How the Jeans Fit Friday #5

Friday, August 29, 2014

So as far as weeks go this one was pretty good. I ate pretty well after my nutritionist appointment. Before my appointment I felt like it was my last supper so I ate Chinese food....oops!

Let me just tell you the nutritionist scale was also not my friend. I was slightly horrified and clearly, what I am doing is not working! But the jeans still button, and actually fit quite a bit better than two weeks ago! Just a few days of great eating and there is already a difference in my stomach! I look forward to fitting into these jeans beautifully over the next few weeks! If you want to hear about my plan and see more of what the nutritionist had to say, click here.

The Good...
  • I followed my meal plan all week, ate great breakfasts and lunches and snacked on fruit and veggies.
  • I prepped my fruits and veggies this week.
  • I scheduled and planned my grocery shopping/prep/ and freezer meals days on my calendar. I am ready to go!
The Bad and the Ugly...
  • I ate Chinese food and maybe various other things in preparation for my big appointment...I can't imagine why I am overweight??
  • I didn't get my steps this week. I really chose to focus on the food and catching up on sleep. I have been transitioning into an earlier bedtime which has been working out pretty well. I still struggle going to bed early, but I think by Tuesday morning I will be ready for my early morning routine!
Goals for this week...
  • Still working on drinking more water and starting much earlier in the day and that is working out great! If you follow me on Instagram you will see that by 9am yesterday I had already drank 2 large glasses!
  • Grocery shopping and meal prep on Monday this week, the day before school starts.
  • Starting my early morning routine on Tuesday.
  • Tracking my food each day on My Fitness Pal and working to stay within 1200-1400 calories.
Want to follow me on Instagram? Find me at @slitcher
Want to be friends on My Fitness Pal? Request me at slitcher

Have a great long weekend! Happy Labor Day!

Nutritionist Appointment Follow Up

Thursday, August 28, 2014

So I went to the nutritionist...and I have nothing to say about it. No, I do, but let me start by saying that it was just a giant waste of money for me. Unfortunately, she can not flick a switch inside of me to stop me from eating things I shouldn't. DARN. Wouldn't that be fabulous!

I had to track what I ate before the appointment. And guess what? On a regular basis I eat really well. My breakfasts, lunches and dinners at home are perfect...hear that? Perfect. I put meals together correctly. They are well rounded mixtures of protein, healthy fat, carbs, fruit and veggies.

My snacks can use some help. I should try for fruit or veggies first. I eat a lot of peanut butter. Totally fine at breakfast, but I should try to cut down on it the rest of the day and if I am going to have it at snack, have it on an apple instead of graham crackers. Easy fixes no biggie.

My love of ice cream did not go unnoticed. I need to use this treat like that, as a treat. I can do that especially with summer coming to a close, it won't be something that we regularly do. As for needing sweets, don't deprive myself, but try something different first and then try for something small and see if the craving subsides. Ok, I can try that.

When I asked about a sugar detox, she kind of blew that question off. I need to cut down but I don't need to remove it from my diet. There is no quick fix for losing weight and learning to eat healthy. Yes, I know, because if there was, I am sure I would have found it by now :)

I need to eat less of this stuff and more of....

Ok so my problems, besides tweaking my snacks a bit, are eating out and portion control. When I eat out, I don't make the best decisions. One night I went out to dinner with my friend, I had 1/2 of a small order of fried clams, a lobster roll served with French fries and 3 beers. Her suggestion was to pick off my friends plate...seriously :) She said, if I was going to split the fried clams I should have gotten a salad with my lobster roll and just had a few of my friends French fries. Ha! Then maybe cut down to 2 beers and it would have cut down on a significant amount of calories. I see the logic in friends might not appreciate my new mentality when I am eating off their plates on future dinner dates!

An example of portion control was a dinner we had with family. Hamburgers, hot dogs, French fries and salad were served. I had all of it. One cheeseburger, one hot dog, a serving of fries (or lets be real, it was probably 2 servings) and salad. She said I should have served myself the cheeseburger with a bun, a few fries and a large serving of salad. Then if I was really still hungry I could have had a hot dog, but I should have had it without the bun since I had already had the bun and the fries. Makes sense to me.

I need to eat less of this stuff and more of....

So what did I learn? Again I say really nothing. Why? Because I know ALL of this. I have known ALL of this, but I haven't changed. So one thing I guess that was good about the appointment is that it was kind of an eye opener to realize this. The only thing that needs to change is me. It isn't that I can't stop myself from eating sugar, and that I can't make better choices, it is that I am not. So, there you have it folks, the answer to this problem is ME. As I said before, I will be making this journey my part time job! I have had limited time these last few weeks of summer. But I have started a list of necessary things for me to do starting next week when we get back into our routine!

The people that are successful with weight loss all seem to do these same things.
1. Meal plan *

2. Grocery shop *

3. Food prep each week

3. Have a stock of freezer meals to use each week

 I already do Numbers 1 and 2. I am halfway there! Now I have to start taking the time to prep for the week ahead. Cut up veggies, divide out snacks so they are easy to grab and prep as much as I can for the weeks dinners. This is not a new concept for me, but nothing that I do on  a regular basis. When I do this, I love how it makes me feel for the week. So now, I have to schedule the time for it every week!
Lastly, freezer meals. This is something that I have not done on a large scale. I have put aside one or two meals at one time or another, but have never spent a few hours putting together a ton of meals for the future, this makes total sense though. If I am going to be taking this journey, I can not eat out or get take out all the time which means that I am cooking 7 nights a week...7 nights. Cooking is not my favorite thing. So if I had freezer meals twice a week that I could just pop into the crockpot or the oven...easy peasy. Then one night is a quick and easy homemade pizza, and one night is usually breakfast for dinner on our busy late nights. So that takes care of 4 nights which means only 3 nights of real cooking. I think I can handle that.
From now on these things will be written on the calendar like an activity or appointment. So there will be no excuse! I will grocery shop and prep on Sunday late afternoons. This way I can shop and then prep as I am getting ready to make dinner. No sense in making a mess twice. Then I scheduled a morning while Owen is in school to make my freezer meals. I will post about this in more detail when I do it!
The other key component to all of this, is of course, exercise. This is something else that I am going to have to schedule in. But that is an action plan for another day. I am still working on my goals for that! I am getting in some here and there, but after school starts I will find the schedule that works for me to get it in at least 5 days per week. My hope is that by a few weeks into the school year, I have a great routine started that I can follow for 9 months while the kids are in school and it will be such a habit that I won't "fall off the wagon" come next summer! Here's to hoping :)
Come on back tomorrow for How the Jeans Fit Friday! 

What I Ate Wednesday

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Today I am linking up with Jenn, at Peas and Crayons for another What I Ate Wednesday! I love the accountability of documenting what I ate. I have realized that I am quite predictable in what I eat during the week at breakfast and lunch. Next week, I am going to do a #WIAW Weekend addition, so that I can document what I eat on the weekend and see how it differs from a weekday!

I am writing this Tuesday night and I have to say that I am super proud of my day. I ate great, I stayed busy. I didn't think about food much and I didn't snack. As I write this though I am craving something sweet :( Before I sat down, I brushed my teeth figuring I will only be drinking water for the rest of the night and to try to prevent myself from snacking on something I will regret! So here I sit with a toothpaste taste in mouth wishing for some chocolate, but I will snuggle up with some TV soon and then head to bed. If it gets to be too much, I will make some tea! 

So here is my day Tuesday August 26th....

Breakfast was my usual, Whole Wheat English Muffin, All Natural Peanut Butter, Banana and honey
Lunch was a Turkey Sandwich with spinach and Dijon mustard on Oatmeal bread and a side of cantaloupe!
For dinner I had a salad (just lettuce, olive oil and white balsamic vinegar), Scallops Provencal over brown rice and sautéed zucchini. It was delicious!

Now a closer look at the Scallops...

For dessert we had Strawberries with a little bit of whipped cream on top! It really hit the spot!

A question for my readers today...
Do you snack in the evening and if yes, what do you snack on??
Come on back tomorrow to find out all about my nutritionist appointment on Monday! 

Favorites Under $10

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Good morning! Today, I am going to link up with Momfessionals and A Little Bit of Everything for my Favorites under $10!

 August Favorites Under $10

Polar Seltzer Pomegranate flavored seltzer water. I never liked seltzer water before, but then my sister in law introduced me to plain seltzer water with some added juice in it. I loved it! What I didn't love though, was the calories. After a while of drinking that, one day I tried a pomegranate flavored seltzer and decided that I really liked it. Now I am hooked!! I gave up my plain seltzer and juice and started drinking the cans of flavored seltzers. I get excited for my seltzer each day...I know that's weird, but I only drink water. I rarely drink anything else, so it feels good to add some flavor to my palette :) I will drink some other flavors, but Pomegranate continues to be my favorite!
Moonlight Path by Bath and Body Works. I always get so many compliments when I wear this scent! I wore it for years and always loved it. After having kids I stopped wearing perfume or body spray. I don't know why it happened, I don't remember it being a conscious thing, but I guess I was too concerned about getting the kids ready and getting out the door that I didn't think about wanting to smell good. Hopefully I didn't smell bad, but I certainly didn't smell good :) One day, probably two years ago now, I realized that this needed to change and I stocked up on my favorite scent from Bath and Body! Now these alone are not under $10, but I NEVER buy them unless they are on sale, Right now they are Buy 3 get 2 Free, that makes them $8.50 a bottle. It is time to stock up! I Love it!

Traders Joe's Tea Tree Oil. I love this stuff. I don't know about any of you, but I probably break out more in my thirties than I did as a teenager, or at least it feels like it. I had a facial a year ago and the aesthetician recommended this product to me. It really is amazing. I use it as a spot treatment only. I dip a cotton swab in the liquid and apply it to my face. Sometimes I am applying to one particular spot, other times I am applying to an area, but by the next day things are looking so much better!

That's it for today! When I thought about what my favorite things are, these are the three things that came to mind! I so much enjoy my seltzer everyday, I smell great now and more than once this month, my tea tree oil has saved me from looking like a teen going through puberty :)

Happy Tuesday!

Menu Plan Monday

Monday, August 25, 2014

I am late with my meal plan today because I decided to go to my nutritionist appointment first before making my plan. If you want to hear about some of the questions I had for the nutritionist, click here. After talking with her (I will update with more detail on How the Jeans Fit Friday this week) this is the meal plan I came up with for this week...You will notice it is really no different from previous weeks. You will hear all about that later in the week :)

Week of August 25th

English muffin with Peanut butter, banana and honey.

Turkey or Tuna Sandwich or dinner leftovers.

Dinner Plans for:

Monday - I had a salad tonight. Kids had noodles and Mike wasn't hungry. It was slim pickings because I haven't gone grocery shopping!

Tuesday - Scallops Provencal - Recipe from the Food Network found here. Will serve with some zucchini from my garden and brown rice.

Wednesday - BBQ chicken tacos - Recipe from Mix and Match Mama found here. served with raw veggies.

Thursday - Chicken Sausage for adults and hot dogs for kids, served with salad and cut up veggies.

Friday - Macaroni and Cheese and leftover hot dogs for the kids - Date night for Mom and Dad, 2 weeks in a row!

Saturday - Pizza and movie night since we will miss it Friday night!

Sunday - Steak with a Pasta salad filled with veggies on the side!

I am linking up with Laura at Organizing Junkie to share my meal plan today! Go check out Menu Plan Monday over at her blog here. Lots and lots of great menu plans!

Friday Favorites!

Friday, August 22, 2014

It's Friday, but this week I am linking up with Momfessionals and A Little Bit of Everything to talk about my Friday favorites. I am skipping How the Jeans Fit Friday and will be back next week after my nutritionist appointment. Quite honestly, there isn't a whole lot of difference from last week to this I will update you next week!

This week the first thing that sticks out in my head is that tonight is date night with my hubby! I love date night! I love being able to go out to dinner and have great conversation (uninterrupted) and just take our time with whatever it is we decide to do. Tonight I am hoping for some good weather so that we can have dinner outside by the ocean somewhere! And the best part is, we are going out again next Friday!
This picture is from our June date night!
I am feeling ready for back to school....very ready. We had such a great great! I will be  posting about summer in a few different September posts. But over the last few weeks, on and off, I have been feeling done and, really, so have the kids. Olivia says she can't wait to go back to school! Here are the reasons that I love back to school....
  1. Back to school shopping - Ever since I was a kid, I loved to school shop! Loved getting new school supplies and clothes and I have definitely passed that on to Olivia. She loves to shop. Loves to try on clothes and loves to buy supplies! We have so much fun shopping and getting ready for back to school together and that has become a favorite part of summers end for me!

  2. Fall - Even though it won't be officially fall until later in September the second the kids go back to school it will be officially fall in my eyes! Fall is by far my favorite season. I love the weather, the scenery, the activities that come with fall, apple picking, pumpkin carving. I love the holidays in fall, Halloween and Thanksgiving. I love to cook in fall with apples and pumpkin. I really just LOVE it! So school starts September 2nd and that day will be fall in our house!
    Our Pumpkin/scarecrow family from last year!
  3. Routine - Like I said we had a great summer, but we went far, far away from having any sort of routine this summer. We stayed up late, slept in and just enjoyed. But over the last few weeks it is catching up with the kids. They are tired and it is showing in their behavior. So I am looking forward to having routine again. I think I need it as much as they do, although by the end of the school year I will be craving a little unstructured time...funny how that works! We started a little this week, but next week we will be back to normal bedtimes and waking up early, to get prepared for the following week!
    He said he wasn't tired!!
  4. Alone time - Although I will miss my kids, especially at first. I do love my alone time. Olivia is in school all day, and Owen will be in preschool 3 mornings a week for 3 hours. Even though all I am doing is grocery shopping, running errands and cleaning by myself. Those 9 hours a week where I can do those things alone, I have really grown to love! I can actually concentrate on the task at hand instead of always multi tasking which is amazing :)

First Day of school for Olivia and Owen last year...

So we will be enjoying our last week of summer and then it will be our favorite time of year :)
P.S. Another one of my favorite things is throwing a party! If you missed it yesterday I FINALLY blogged about Olivia's Cupcake Wars birthday party. Click here to read it. Earlier in the summer I did Owen's Star Wars party. Click here for his!

Happy Friday!!

Cupcake Wars Birthday Party

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Olivia loves to bake and she loves cupcakes! She also loves the show DC Cupcakes, but had never seen Cupcake Wars. When trying to think of a fun birthday party theme for her I found a couple of Cupcake Wars birthday parties and knew right away that it would be perfect for her. I found an episode on Youtube and we watched it and she was hooked and excited about the party right away!

This party took a whole lot of planning and a TON of clean  up after, but cost wise it came in under budget! If you have been reading the blog you know that I have been trying to give our household a realistic budget to follow. One of the things that I always go overboard on is birthday parties, but this year I gave myself $200 for each party and with this party I nailed it! Take a look!

Invitations $1.00
Decorations (including plates/napkins and tablecloths) $16.32
Cupcake supplies (mixes, frostings, candy, liners, etc.) $80.46
Aprons/hats/cupcake boxes (favors) - $34.78
Prizes and Trophies - $21.50
Food (Pizza) - $30.00
Total -  $184.06

For invitations I had found cupcake bordered printer paper at the Dollar Store and we used that to print the invites. Super simple and cheap!

To get ready for the party we bought aprons and chef hats at Hobby Lobby. Then we used iron on letters to put their names on the aprons and their team name on the hats. (More on the teams later). They got to take these home so they doubled as favors as well as protection for their clothes during the party!
For decorations we stayed pretty basic. A few balloons, one cupcake piñata that we just used as a decoration and not a pinata, I think everyone had quite enough sugar at this party we didn't need to add to it with more! We had some tablecloths for ease of clean up and that's it!
I searched Pinterest of course for Cupcake Wars birthday party ideas and I took some ideas from a few different blogs Nothing But Country, Mom of 6 and Our Life in a Click but, I really made the game part my own. We decided what would work for us in our space and I have to say it went so much smoother than I ever expected. The girls were super into it, were efficient and we followed the schedule the whole time! Here is how the party went down....

Sorry for the horrible picture! Olivia made this schedule, she loves using the computer and did a great job, but I clearly need to work on centering pictures :)
The girls arrived at 4pm, put on their aprons and hats and began watching an episode of Cupcake Wars. Not everyone had seen the show, so I thought this would be good to do so everyone had an idea of what we were doing. And I figured it would be good to put something other than sugar in their bellies! At 4:30 I served Pizza and drinks while they finished watching.
When the show was over we went over the rules.

 Upon arrival they had been put into two teams by the name on their chef hat, Sweets or Treats. We just alternated the hats and as each girl arrived they got the next hat in the pile. Each team received a bag filled with supplies. Team Treats had one less person so they were able to choose if they wanted Bag 1 or Bag 2. Inside each bag were their cupcake wrappers and all the supplies they needed to make a cupcake stand (more on that later).

The first step was to make their cupcakes.
Each team chose either a white or chocolate cake mix (surprisingly they both chose chocolate) and were given all the supplies they needed to stir up the mix.
They had to use at least 2 "pantry items" either in or on their cupcakes. Pantry items included, mini chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, coconut, crumbled Oreos and mini marshmallows. Once they had stirred up the cupcakes they brought them to me and I poured it in the Kitchenaid and did the mixing. Then I poured it back in their bowl and they filled the cupcake liners. Each team had a helper. I helped Team Treats and my mom helped Team Sweets. We were their for questions only and could not do anything for them. They didn't have a ton of questions, but did need a little help with the baking instructions. They had to have them ready for the oven in 30 minutes and they finished with plenty of time to spare!
While the cupcakes were baking we did two activities. The first was cupcake decorating. We had made a batch of blue velvet cupcakes before the party and left them undecorated. We put them in plastic holders that carried 4 cupcakes. We put three undecorated in each.

Then we had three rounds. The first round was to decorate a cupcake using their favorite color. We had tons of supplies and frostings of all different colors.
The second round was to make a face with the cupcakes using the edible eyes I gave them! These were really cute! I was so surprised by how creative the girls were!

The third round was open and they could do whatever they wanted!

The cupcake holders were closed up and their names put on them and then they moved on to making the cupcake stand. Each team had received cake circles of different sizes, toilet paper rolls, a couple of different colors of paint, paint brushes and ribbon. I had put each bag together to coordinate with the cupcake liners. So the paint colors and ribbon coordinated with the colors from the liners. They were free to do whatever they wanted with the supplies in the bag. They were very serious about it and made some unique stands!

This was the one activity that took the longest but they were ready right at 6:30, remember I said how smooth it all went!!
At 6:30 they were given enough of their cooked and cooled cupcakes for 3 judges cupcakes and 2 cupcakes for each girl on the team. They only had to worry about that many, but could come and get more if they wanted after they finished with the required ones. They had to decorate the cupcakes however they wanted, but had to have 3 identical ones for the judges, the rest could be decorated differently and then put on the cupcake stand they created. They had 30 minutes to complete this.
One team had a good plan and each girl decorated a cupcake and they chose which one they liked best to make for the judges. The other team just quickly made three cupcakes for the judges and went on to make their cupcakes for the stand. About 10 minutes before the time was up they fell in love with one of the girls cupcake she decorated and decided they wanted that for the judges so they quickly made 2 more! We were laughing at how differently the teams were working!  

At 7:00 they had to present their cupcake to the judges. They just needed to tell them which pantry items they used in their cupcake. After that we sent them outside. I took some group pictures and then went back in with the judges. The official judges were my dad, Mike and Owen. We didn't think it would be fair if my mom and I were official judges since we had been helpers. But we did taste test and help out a bit! We chose the winning team based on taste and creativity of the decorating and the cupcake stand.
Team Sweets Cupcake
Team Sweets Stand

Team Treats Cupcake

Team Treats Stand
 (this one made me nervous it was going to fall, can you imagine how disappointed they would have been??)
Then each girl was going to win a trophy based on her individual cupcake decorating. All of the judges went through their individually decorated cupcakes in their cupcake holders to think of a winning reason. For example. This was Olivia's.... she won for "BEST USE OF EAR DECORATING" One of her cupcakes has ear muffs on and the other is wearing headphones!
 We obviously just made these up as we went along. This proved more difficult than I expected, some of the others were "best use of candy" "best favorite color cupcake" "best use of nerds candy" "best use of frosting" etc. Once we were done with this, we called the girls in. They were dying to know who won, but first I handed out a trophy to each girl for their individual cupcakes and this had them laughing at some of the reasons they won!
Then we announced the winner! Team Sweets! Of course the other team was bummed, but took it really well!

 Each team got a prize. I had a prize box with 3 different prizes in it.

A cupcake notebook and glitter pencil.

A cupcake dry erase board.

And a cup filled with a chapstick, nailpolish, hair elastics, headbands and a pack of gum topped with a shower sponge and wrapped up to look like a cupcake (or so I hoped it did!)

The winning team got to choose from the bucket first and then the other team got to choose as well. So everyone left with something, but the benefit of the winning team was they got first choice!
After we did prizes, they chose a cupcake from their stand and we sang happy birthday to the Birthday girl and opened presents!
Then each girl got to choose another cupcake from their stand to add to their cupcake boxes to bring home.
Everyone seemed to love the party and they left with quite a bit of stuff. They brought home their apron and hat, their cupcake holder with 4 cupcakes, their trophy and their prize!
Like I said before, it took some planning and so much clean up. It probably took me 3 hours total to get my house back to normal! It was a ton of work, but not a lot of money for a bunch of fun! I would say it was worth it!
Want to check out all the ideas I used and pin some of mine? Either click on the pictures above or check out my Pinterest board by clicking below...
Follow Sandy Litcher's board Cupcake Wars Party on Pinterest.
Didn't read about Owen's Star Wars party? Check it out here.

 Thanks for stopping by!!

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