Hello, out there....

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Wow, time just keeps flying by between blog posts. I still think about this blog all the time, but just haven't been able to keep up with consistent posts. There is so much going on lately and I want to give you a little glimpse at some of it today!

Last time I posted, I shared my goals for 2016 and I wish that I could say that I am rocking each one of my goals. Unfortunately, I can not! But I do have a fun reason why not....

One of the things that has been a struggle in my our life has been our house. I know I have talked about it a few times on this blog about how small of a space we are working with for 4 people and a large dog. How I feel I constantly organize and rearrange just to keep things neat and myself somewhat sane. Since we moved in 10  years ago we have planned to put a second floor on our ranch style home. We have held off on big family vacations and sooo many other things because we are saving for this upstairs. I am sure there are people out there that thought it was never going to happen, myself included. But guess what? At the beginning of March we did it. It is still a work in progress, but the roof came off and there is a second level on our house. I could not be happier, more excited and more stressed than I am right now!! Ha!

Check it out...

Since you know, we could see sky in the downstairs, we had to move out. 3-4 weeks turned into 7 weeks due to the weather deciding to be freezing late March/early April. With an open upstairs and no heat we really couldn't move back in. Which means we were out of routine for 7 weeks. My sleep schedule that was going so well before went off the rails. My eating out of control. We lived with my in laws who have lots of yummy food right out in the open, cookies, snacks, candy etc. and I totally know why I can't buy these things. Exercise, eeehhh. I still went to jazzercise when I could, but was not as consistent about it. But if you call packing and moving exercise I got quite a bit of that!

Now that we are home, I am eating soooo much better. I started tracking on My Fitness Pal again and I am reading the book, Eat What you Love, Love What you Eat. I need to get back into my nightly routine again where I am going to bed by 10PM and I am working on that!

We are settled back in to our downstairs. The upstairs still looks like this...



The goal is to be sleeping up there sometime this summer! I can not wait. I lay awake at night envisioning how I will decorate each room and I can't wait to show you all how it comes out!

What else has been going on? Well I have been working two mornings a week at the preschool that my kiddos went to. I prep and plan art projects, bulletin boards and special activities at home and go in two days to do them with the kids. It is such a rewarding job.  Here is one of my bulletin board creations...


We have been practicing a lot of baseball/softball around here. The kids are always wanting to play catch and go to the field to practice. We have been watching 3 games a week and loving every second! My two cute ball players....


We are in full blown dance mode right now too, as Olivia gets ready for her dance recital! Can't wait to see this beauty do her thing on stage....



I am super nostalgic lately as my babies are growing up so fast. My baby is finishing kindergarten and my little lady is going into her last year of elementary and will be double digits in less than 2 months...What??!! How did this happen? So if you see me around and I am looking at my kids with tears in my eyes, you know why!! Especially watching Olivia play softball this year, just like her mama did. She looks so grown up out there! 

Anyway, enough about that. I am always thinking up ideas that I want to write about, so hopefully you will hear from me more often! I can't wait to show you all continued progress on the house, tell you all about a couple of books that I have read that are changing my life and there are a few other fun things going on that I can't wait to talk about!


The Year of Sandy

Monday, January 25, 2016

I know we are now almost a month into the new year, but I am working a little slower these days! I couldn't be more excited about a new year! I have been telling everyone that I think 2016 is going to be an amazing year and almost a month in, I still feel that way! Hopefully two months from now, I am still saying it ;)

If you read my last post, you know that the end of 2015 was a dark, trying time in my life. I am getting much needed help and each day is looking brighter. This isn't happening just from the medication and counseling, this is happening because I am working hard at it. This is why I am calling this "The Year of Sandy!" I don't mean this in selfish way. I am not saying that I don't care about anyone else's needs, but this year is about working on me! And you know what I am realizing, the better I feel, the better I make everyone else feel. It is turning out to be the opposite of selfish!

This year my resolution was to work on making my body and mind healthy. It is broad, but covers everything I am trying to do. I want to lose weight, but I am NOT giving myself a number that I want to reach this year. I want to work out more, but I am NOT telling myself that I am going to work out everyday. What I am doing is making small positive changes that will allow me to accomplish this without it being my sole motivation. Today I am going to show you the things I am doing different this year than last year...

So here it goes, everything that I am working on, with a little fun mixed in because who doesn't need a little fun on a Monday? 


1. Regulating my sleep cycle - I am working on getting 8 hours of sleep every night, even on the weekends. I am a night owl and hate the mornings. I stay up way too late and then drag myself out of bed each morning. I am always tired. This year I am fixing this!



2. Meal Plan and Eat Out Less - I am pretty good at meal planning, but really fell off the wagon at the end of the year. So starting at the beginning of the year I started again and it is going great. We have only ordered take out once and that was when we were watching the Patriots game with my parents, so that doesn't count! In my eyes, it was a special occasion, if you can call a game a special occasion! 

3. Move My Body - I am rocking this one already! I started working on this one in October when I joined Jazzercise. I LOVE Jazzercise! This is a great workout, but doesn't feel like one because it is fun. I go at least 2X/week while Olivia does dance in the same building and I really enjoy it! I also added in a Yoga class two weeks ago. I am "moving" right along on this goal :)

4. Learn to say No - I am a Yes girl. I don't like to disappoint anyone. I like to help out. I like to be involved. To a fault. This year I am working on being less busy. Having time to just be, relax and enjoy my little family of four. This means I am saying NO. This is a tough one for me, but I will say that the benefits of this are fast showing me how good it is for me to learn this skill! 

                                

 5. Relax More - This goes right along with #4. I am learning to relax. Even when I would be home, I never relaxed. Ever. I would be up cleaning, organizing, doing whatever as to not sit, be quiet and think. Now I am learning to let things go a little bit. Take a nap, sit and read or play games with the kids and enjoy a little bit more of each day.

6. Read Inspiring Books - I ended the year reading my first book by Brene Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection and I loved it. I then bought her second book in the series, Daring Greatly. I am finding these books extremely helpful in the work I am trying to do personally. I plan to keep up with reading personal development books this year, with of course, some fun books mixed in as well! 

7. Be Kind and Understanding to Me - I am not perfect, nobody is. I am so kind to everyone else when they have a problem, but treat myself like crap. This year I am trying to change my self talk to be more kind and understanding. I deserve the same love that I give out to everyone else! 

So that's the plan for my 2016! I am excited about it. I have been really working hard at it and I can see the benefits already. I will be talking in more depth about most of these topics in future posts. Think, How I became a morning Person, Meal planning for the family, What I learned from Brene Brown's books, etc. I hope you continue to follow me on this journey

Tomorrow I am linking up this post with Andrea and Erika for Let's Talk!

Have a great week! See you next time! 
                                                                                                                                                                                                        

A New Year and a New Me!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Wow! I have not even logged onto Blogger since October 7th. Almost 3 months. It is a little weird to be back here, in my chair at my desk, getting ready to write down my thoughts, but it is making me so happy! I have missed this! I have missed all of you!

You might be wondering why I just dropped out of the blogging world so suddenly. In September the kids went to school and I was ready with a blogging schedule and I was going to flood you with posts five days/week with all of my extra time. As with all the best laid plans...this did not happen. Reality happened...real life happened.

In order to understand, I have to first take you way back. September 10, 2005 the day I lost my little brother to suicide. The day that changed the course of my life forever. The day that I went from being a 25 year old newlywed, having fun, enjoying life to being the caretaker, the strong one. I was the one who answered the phone at my parents when it rang, answered the questions everyone had and when everyone finally went home, I took care of my parents. Did I grieve for my brother, sure, on my own time I had my moments, but for the most part I held it together, on the outside I stayed my happy self and plowed through.

A few weeks later, I found out that I was pregnant with Olivia! I was so happy to be pregnant. Not because it was originally our intention to become pregnant so soon after getting married, but because we realized after losing my brother how important family was and we were happy to be starting one of our own. So bring on more distractions for me, everything baby! Then a move when I was nine months pregnant to be closer to my parents. Olivia comes along and is the biggest joy for all of us! I begin my job as mom.

Now let's go to this past summer (2015). I now have 2 beautiful, healthy children that I am so blessed to have as mine. They are 9 and 5 years old. My job as mom is still important, but I am getting ready to send both of them to school in the fall. My life as a stay at home mom is going to change drastically. I will have more time of my own, more time to think, process and be me.

In August, I lost another very important person to suicide. My cousin. Losing one person to suicide is tragic, losing a second is just plain unfair. Of course, my family immediately went to be with his family and when I got out of the car at his house, I was transported back in time 10 years. I knew what they were feeling. I not only grieved for them, but was also grieving for me and my new loss and of course my old loss was brought right back. I gave myself one day to hug people and grieve and then the next day I jumped into, what can I do to help mode. Again, didn't focus on what I needed but what does everyone else need.

This is OK, because this is how I work, this makes me feel good to help. But I can't ignore my feelings and then go home and expect to just jump back into life without ever really giving myself time to grieve. But, that is exactly what I did. I got back home to the kids, did the fun things we had planned before school started and then celebrated the first days of school. Then I had time to myself. I had time to think. I had time to process. But, instead I continued to ignore. I made myself busy and when I wasn't, I zoned out on social media. I scrolled and scrolled, not really interacting with anyone, but just looking at everyone else's lives, in order to not think about my own.

In October, my sister in law had to convince me to go scrapbooking for the day. If you know me at all, you know I usually don't need convincing to do something fun and I love to scrapbook. I went and worked on my book and was pretty quiet. On the drive home we started to talk about things and I started to cry and I feel like I cried for three days after that. I cried in bed for a good part of the night and was up looking for a counselor online at 2am. In the morning I confided in Mike that I thought I was depressed and I cried the whole time I talked. It was messy, but it was also so good. I was letting it out, I was admitting I had a problem (even though I hadn't realized it myself for so long) and I felt a giant weight come off my shoulders.

The following week I had my first session with my counselor. I knew the first visit that it was a great fit for me. We talk about a lot of things. I never went through the grieving process for my brother. I hold in my emotions and joke things off that I should allow myself to feel. I numb my pain with things like food and Facebook. I am a huge self critic and not in a good way. I am not very nice to myself. If you listened to the way I talk to myself in my head, you would be depressed too. I also don't stand up for myself. I don't like confrontation and I let people say things to me that upset me, but I just push down the feelings instead of expressing how I feel. I told Mike we better up our health savings because I've got some issues!! Again, the jokes :)

Really, though, this is serious. I think I had depression for a lot longer than I even realize. I think it is partially the reason for my lack of energy and the fact that everyday I struggled to get out of bed. I didn't know, or I didn't admit it for a very long time. I just moved on, plugged through my daily life, until one day my body said no more, Sandy. You need help. I am getting help now, from counseling and from medication. Most days now, I feel really good, but there are days that I don't. My goal is to feel them and allow myself to feel them instead of ignore those feelings. It doesn't mean that my meds aren't working or I am depressed again, it just means the feelings that I have been pushing down for years are coming to the surface. I will tell you after one day of letting myself really feel, it felt like a cleanse. Seriously, the next day I was like a new woman!

Each day is not perfection and I have a LOT to work on, but I am working on it and that is all that matters. I am not ignoring the signs and each day I am working on me. I am so glad to be back here writing this blog, but the last few months I couldn't do it, so the fact that today I am writing, means I am doing just a little bit better than yesterday!

My goal for this blog has always been to be real and this is as real as you can get. I felt like I wanted to be honest with everyone, not only because that is who I am, but also because maybe I will help someone who also is plugging along and missing the signs. Maybe by writing this and being vulnerable, I am doing my piece of taking away the stigma of depression. I am talking about it and my hope is that if you notice the signs, you will also get help. I am not healed yet. I still have a lot of work to do, but I feel so much better than I did three months ago. I am so thankful for my sister in law who started the conversation, who opened up the floodgates, for me to realize that there was a problem. Who knows how long I could have gone on as a shell of myself.

So there you have it. It's out there and I am back. You won't see a blog post every day, I am not there yet. Though, my hope is once a week to start! I am still on journey, not just to lose weight, but to better myself, inside and out. My New Years resolution is to be healthier mentally and physically. I am changing my life for the better and I will continue to take you along on the journey, just a little slower at first! Cheers to a happy, healthy 2016!!


WIAW - My Go to Foods

Wednesday, September 30, 2015


It's What I Ate Wednesday and I decided to switch it up a bit today! Usually, I document a day and show you what I had that day, but today I am going to show you some of my Go To foods! 

For those of you who are new to my blog, I am on a weight loss journey and currently doing Weight Watchers, which I love! Last week when I did my Weekly Weigh in, I got some questions about what I eat during the day. Today, I am going to show you what I am choosing most of the time for breakfast, lunch and snacks! 



Breakfast


Ninety percent of the time at breakfast I am choosing eggs. I love an egg in the morning, but often feel like it takes too long to make it. Lately, I have been making an open faced egg sandwich and it is super quick. I use the small frying pan to cook one egg. I toast one piece of bread and put a slice of cheese on the egg right before I take it off the stove to melt it. Put it all together! It only takes 5 minutes, put some fruit on the side and you have a well rounded, low point (5PP) breakfast! 


Egg 2PP, Cheese 2PP, Toast 1PP, Fruit 0PP = 5PP Breakfast
You could choose, light cheese and light toast and you could make it even lower points, but I use what I buy for the everyone else in the house! 

Lunch

For lunch I will often have a sandwich. I enjoy a sandwich and the sides that go with it. I can put soup, veggies, fruit and/or chips with my sandwich and it is the perfect lunch! 



Most of the time I make a wrap. I use the Tumaro's low carb veggie wraps. These are low in points (2PP) and really good!


Instead of sliced cheese I use laughing cow. These come in a few different flavors, are creamy like a spread and I feel they add more taste value than a slice of cheese with less points (1PP). I add whatever I have on hand for veggies to my wrap, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc. 


Whenever I make a wrap/sandwich, I always have chips on the side. Special K cracker chips are my favorite go to convenience food! They are low in points (25-28 chips for 3PP) and they are so flavorful. I don't know about any of you, but I need crunch with my lunch and sometimes a carrot stick just isn't going to cut it, these are perfect! 


Wrap 2PP, Turkey 2PP, Laughing Cow Swiss 1PP, lettuce/tomato, carrot sticks 0PP, TBSP Ranch 1PP,  Chips 3PP = 9PP


Snacks



I eat a lot of the same snacks all the time. When I don't feel like making anything I will almost always reach for either a string cheese (1PP), or a Yoplait yogurt. I love the Boston Creme (2PP) flavor, but there are a few others that are really good. They show the Weight Watchers points right on them now, you can't get more convenient than that! 


When I feel like putting a bit more effort into my snack, I reach for fruit and peanut butter or cookie butter. I was late to the cookie butter party, I think, but I am so glad it has come into my life. If you haven't tried it, you should head to Trader Joe's right now and pick some up! 


I slice up an apple or a banana and take melted peanut butter or cookie butter and drizzle it over the fruit. I can't take credit for this tip, I found Drizzle Me Skinny and she is queen of the drizzle and I am telling you, she is genius! You can take very little peanut/cookie butter, melt it for 30 seconds and drizzle on your fruit and every bite has a bit of the yummy flavor in it! This is perfect for Weight Watchers because you can get away with only using 1 TBSP or less of your peanut/cookie butter for 1-3PP and you get enough to cover all your fruit! Genius I tell you! 


Apple/Banana 0PP, 1TBSP Peanut Butter 3PP, 1/2 TBSP mini chocolate chips 1PP = 4PP Snack
You can adjust the amounts of the butters and chocolate chips and easily decrease the points value depending on what you have left for the day!

If you are looking for something a little sweeter, you should definitely try my new Carrot Cake Yogurt cupcakes with Cream cheese frosting. These are delicious, sweet and the perfect fall dessert! They are only 4PP and totally worth it! I will be making these again really soon! 


You can find all of my recipes here, or you can check out my Weight Watchers Pinterest board where you will find all of my recipes, plus some others that I want to try! 

Follow Sandy Litcher's board Weight watchers on Pinterest.


Today I am linking up with Jenn at PeasandCrayons for #WIAW

I hope this was helpful! Feel free to ask me any questions and I will try to answer them as best I can!

Have a great day! 

Weekly Weigh In 9/23

Thursday, September 24, 2015


This is my second full week back at Weight Watchers and I will be honest, I was not sure how the weigh in would go. Last week, when I had such a big loss, I had three extra points and all of my activity points left on weigh in day. This week was a different story and by Saturday night I had used all of my extra points and a few of my activity points so I was not sure how that would play out on the scale. Also, yesterday was probably the worst day of the month to get on the scale (if you know what I mean) why does it always happen that way?? With all that being said, check out the stats! 



Well, I am not breaking any records today, that's for sure! Buutttt, the scale did move in the right direction and for that I am happy! And if you add this week and my rockstar week, last week of -5.1, that's a total of 5.3 pounds down in two weeks and that's not too bad :)

As for activity, I almost nailed it...again! The goal was five out of seven days at 10,000 steps and I got four...again! Check it out! 


Most of the days that I passed 10,000 I went well over it. Friday night, I was planning to get up and walk around the house, because look how close I was, but I fell asleep. Even my low days this week were not too far off. Yesterday while I was out my battery died on my Fitbit. To be fair though, I probably wasn't going to hit it anyway, as I was at a meeting and then came home and went to bed. 

My other goal last week was to beat my weekly total steps. Last week Fitbit sent me this report...


My goal was to beat 65,601 and guess what?? I did reach that goal! Here is the e-mail from this week...


All in all, I will take this as a successful week! I have tracked everything I have put in my mouth, good or bad. I stayed within my allowed Weight Watcher points. I have been moving more than I have in a long time, loving my Fitbit for accountability. And because I had a loss and not a gain, it keeps me motivated and not discouraged! I got this! 

I may take tomorrow off, so I may not see you all back here until Monday! 

Hope you have a great second day of fall! 



WIAW - 28 Point Sunday

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


Last week, I posted a Weight Watchers 29 point Saturday, but then I posted my weigh in on Thursday and I lost 5 pounds which put me down a point, to 28 points per day. This week, I used all of my extra points before Sunday, so I figured that would be a great day to document to make sure I stayed on track! 

Breakfast (4PP)

Owen was requesting French Toast all week, so I decided to make some on Sunday morning. Everyone had french toast with strawberries on the side! 


Lunch (4PP)

On Saturday night we had Kielbasa in rolls with veggies for dinner. We had tons of leftovers so for lunch we had kielbasa with the leftover grilled veggies in a stir fry! It was yummy! 


Dinner (12PP)

I posted the recipe for Easy Chicken Parmesan, last Monday and you can find it here. We have been eating this every Sunday night as it is super quick and easy and everyone in my family loves it. I feel like everyone needs a good meal on Sunday night so works perfectly for us because everyone eats this without complaint! 


In order to make it work for my entire family, I just leave the red sauce off on one of the chicken patties for Miss, I don't like red sauce (who doesn't like red sauce??) and everyone is happy! 


Snack (8PP)

My snacks all consisted of these carrot cake yogurt cupcakes that I made for a blog recipe! I had one in the afternoon when we made them and one after dinner. The whole family loved these and had them for dessert every night since! I posted the recipe on Monday, you don't want to miss it! They are low in WW points and delicious! 


My little baking helper did the frosting job...


That's it for the day! This was a sweet day which I totally needed, so it was perfect! Owen said my french toast was the best he ever had and everyone absolutely loved the cupcakes, I will take those compliments any day! I just wish I could get that kind of enthusiasm every night at dinner...wishful thinking??!!  

Linking up with Jenn at Peas and Crayons

Have a great Wednesday! 

Litcher Moments 9/22/15

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Last week I caught you up on pictures from the summer that I never blogged about. This week I am going to show you small moments from the last couple of week since school has started!


My boy and his favorite girl on the bus for their practice bus ride before Kindergarten! All smiles! 


You can never be too safe when you ride your bike around here...


Labor day weekend my cousin came and Friday night we had a great time out in downtown Portland for the night! We took a picture in every place we went to document the night! 



The next morning we took Olivia and one of her best friends to Splashtown! We had such a great day! 


To end the weekend we had dinner at the beach with one of Mike's sisters. We all had a great time and the sunset was amazing! 





A little night time selfie with my favorite girl! 


Just a lazy Saturday morning...



It was my mom's birthday and I put the kiddos to work cutting strawberries! 



We celebrated in the morning because her birthday was a Sunday and I wanted to make sure the kids still went to bed early Sunday night since they both had school the next day! We had brunch and Strawberry shortcake, perfect for a morning birthday party! 


I walked in the Out of the Darkness community walk, to raise money for the American Foundation of Suicide prevention on Sunday the 13th. After we walked, my friend and I went to the mall. We were starving and stopped for soup at Karmasouptra. We both had the Maple Roasted Butternut Squash soup. Fall in a dish, enough said! 


The kids walking home ahead of me! Holding hands and everything...love when they get along!


My dinner helper with black olive fingers. 


A little morning swing before they head to the bus stop! Which then led to them missing the bus, but this was cute to watch them swinging and chatting! 


Owen was lining up all his monster trucks one morning before school. He might have a monster truck addiction! 


On the field trip to the apple orchard! 


Instead of heading home and cleaning after the field trip, my friend and I went to lunch, enjoyed a drink and then decided to get a mani/pedi. Ahhhh...



Owen had his first soccer game on Saturday! He scored a goal and was super excited! 


That's whats been going on around here the last few weeks! 

Come on back tomorrow to see what I've been eating this week on WIAW! 

Have a great Tuesday! 


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