WIAW Vacation Day

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

 


Good morning! Yesterday was an interesting day in the eating department. Mike was off and the kids were at school in the morning so we went out to breakfast. A little morning date!

I had a veggie omelet with cheddar cheese, grilled homefries with onions and a grilled English muffin. It was delicious!



When the kids got out of school, we decided to take them out to lunch so we went to Applebees. We had some sweet potato fries as an appetizer and then I had a house salad with French onion soup without the bread. It was all really good and pretty good choices.




I made good choices at breakfast and for my main meal for lunch, but I did treat myself. I had one of these...
Sangria Martini

Then I decided to get dessert with everyone else and had an oreo cookie shake...probably not the best choice. I did not drink it all, but the calories on that, which I looked up after, were over the top. Not necessary at all. Oh well, live and learn. I enjoyed it, but felt bad about it after. Tomorrow is a new day!

For dinner, I ate some cashews, a few Triscuits and a string cheese. I wasn't hungry after our big lunch. So, I just picked at a few things.

Finally, I had some herbal tea before bed! I talked about my favorite nighttime tea on Monday, here.

Last night I was making my shopping list, because I am one of those crazy people that is going to the grocery store today to get all my supplies for the things I am cooking on Thursday. I always wait until the last minute! Anyway, I am in charge of making a veggie tray, a broccoli and cheese casserole, crescent rolls, cranberry sauce and an apple pie. Veggie tray, crescent rolls and cranberry sauce, no biggie. Mike is in charge of the apple pie and I need a recipe for the broccoli and cheese casserole.

My grandmother used to make it and I LOVE it and my cousin that is coming for Thanksgiving also loves it. I don't remember her recipe, but know that it involved velveeta cheese. As much as I loved it, I was trying to find something a bit more on the healthier side. So I looked up some recipes and found one on the blog Add a Pinch. Sounds delicious and looks the same as the one I am used to having, so I think I am going try that recipe! Check it out here. Anyone else make a broccoli and cheese casserole that would like to pass on their recipe?? I would love to hear it!

Linking up today with Jenn from Peas and Crayons for WIAW! Can't wait to get on and see what others are cooking up this week! Hoping to get some good ideas!  

Have a wonderful Wednesday! 

I Mustache you a Question

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


 
I was nominated by Marnie at Super Smart Mama to answer some questions and I happily obliged! In return, I would like to nominate some of my favorite bloggers!
 
Andrea @ Momfessionals
 


The Mustache Questions!
 
Four names that people call me, other than my real name (Sandra):
1. Mama
2. Mrs. Litcher (which still sounds funny to me!)
3. Sandy - pretty much everyone calls me this!
4. Ma'am - someone was trying to get my attention today at the store and said excuse me ma'am...really?? Am I a ma'am??

Four jobs that I have had: (this list could go on forever, I had a lot of jobs before kids!)
1. Mom
2. PT office manager
3. Administrative work in various doctors offices
4. Pharmacy technician

Four movies I have watched more than once:
1. Pretty Woman - all time favorite movie
2. Return to Me - not as well known as Pretty Woman but if you haven't seen it, you should! 
3. Sweet Home Alabama - Love Reese Witherspoon
4. The Princess Diaries series - I forgot I owned it and found it recently, Olivia and I are enjoying it now!
    Four books I'd recommend:
    1. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand - Read this for book club and I was so surprised to really have enjoyed it.
    2. Divergent series - I am waiting for the last book in the series from the library, but loved the first 2!
    3. These Things Hidden by Heather Gudenkauff - Oldie but Goodie
    4. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn - Currently reading it and don't want to put it down!


    Four places I have lived:
    1. Portland, ME
    2. Rockland, ME
    3. Westbrook, ME
    4. Pawtucket, RI

    Four places I have visited:
    1. Bermuda
    2. New York City
    3. Delaware
    4. Hershey, PA

    Four places I'd rather be right now:
    1. On a beach somewhere warm! Feet in the sand, kids playing, warm water...aaahhhh!
    2. Cruising to Bermuda with the hubby, this is what we did on our honeymoon and hope to do it again someday!
    3. In a warm bed getting 10 hours of uninterrupted sleep! I am just being greedy, 8 would be fine!
    4. In a Jacuzzi tub with a glass of wine!


    Four things I don't eat:
    1. Raw fish
    2. Pea soup
    3. Hot peppers

    4. Jello - I hate the texture!

    Four of my favorite foods:
    1. Lasagna
    2. Shrimp scampi
    3. Ice cream
    4. Cheesecake

    Four TV shows that I watch:
    1. The Blacklist
    2. Parenthood
    3. Scandal

    4. Home Improvement shows - Loving Property Brothers right now, while I am on the treadmill, keeps me on until the end because I have to see the reveal!

    Four Things I Am Looking Forward to in the Upcoming Year:
    1. Getting in shape and losing weight
    2. Olivia's dance recital - she will be in two dances and I love to watch her get on stage! Proud moments!
    3. Summer - I know winter has barely started but I really prefer summer :)
    4. Next fall when both kiddos are in school! Although I will miss my little buddy, I am looking forward to what the next chapter brings!

    Four Things I'm Always Saying:
    1. "Go to the bathroom" - My kids are always doing the potty dance!
    2. "Can I have some privacy??" There is no concept of privacy in this house!
    3. "Hurry up, quick, we are going to be late!" In the morning my kids can make something that takes 2 minutes take 10...we are always late!
    4. "I can't wait for an upstairs!" We are planning on putting a second floor on our house and right now we are in pretty tight quarters, so I must wish for my upstairs at least once a week, but probably more than that!

    What's your favorite question from above?  Pick one and answer it!  I'd love to learn something fun about you!

    Favorites Under $10

    Monday, November 24, 2014

    Well, I decided not to do a meal plan this week, for various reasons, but the biggest one being that it is Thanksgiving week and everyone knows what I will be eating on Thursday right? Plus, tonight Mike and I are going out on a date and eating dinner out and with family coming from out of town who knows what our plan will be for some other nights. Even though I am not planning as well, I am really hoping to stay on track, Wish Me Luck :)



    Since I am not meal planning, I figured why not do Favorites Under $10 with Andrea at Momfessionals! You know how much I love favorites posts!
     

    #1 Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Tea

    I am trying really hard not to eat at night and to go to bed earlier. One of the tricks I am using is drinking some herbal tea when I settle down to relax at night. The sleepytime tea I really like. I enjoy the flavor and they make a K-cup version so it is super easy to make at night! You can't beat that!
     
    Even more exciting, when I did a search for a picture of this tea, it brought me to the Keurig site and I found that they make a whole bunch of other kinds of teas that they don't sell in the store! I will have to be placing an order because I am trying to add a warm drink into my day too!
     
     

    #2 Cover Girl Clump Crusher Mascara

    I have pretty long eyelashes, but I still wear mascara everyday (for the most part) just to make them stand out a bit more and give them a bit more volume. So, generally, I don't go for a lengthening mascara, I will buy something for volume. One day I saw this Clump Crusher Mascara and I figured I would give that a shot, because there is nothing I hate more than clumpy looking eyelashes. It definitely does what it says. My eyelashes stand out, but look natural. I am definitely hooked!
     
     
    I bought it at Target, but I found the pic on Amazon!
     
     

    #3 Believe

    I am starting to decorate for Christmas. I know it isn't even Thanksgiving yet, but I am totally in the Christmas spirit already! Yesterday I went to Hallmark and I got this decoration...

     
     
    I fell in love with it and was so excited to find that it was regularly $19.95, but on sale for $9.95! I love to decorate on a budget, so when I am out doing some shopping today, I hope to score a few more under $10 d├ęcor deals! I can't wait to have the whole house looking festive!
     
    That's it for today!
     
    Here is what I have planned for this week...
     
    Tuesday - I Mustache you a Question - I was nominated by Marnie at Super Smart Mama to answer some questions, so I am going to have some fun with that! Want to play? Let me know and I can nominate you as well!
    Wednesday - WIAW with a recipe for Recipe Club (hopefully)!
    Thursday - Happy Thanksgiving!
    Friday - Friday Favorites with my favorite moments from Thanksgiving! I won't be doing How the Jeans Fit Friday this week, because, well, who wants to get on the scale the day after Thanksgiving??
     
    Happy Monday!
     

    


    How the Jeans Fit Friday #11 and a bonus!

    Friday, November 21, 2014

    Another Double Duty post, because I have to show you my new favorite nail polish, but first let's talk about how the jeans fit, or more accurately what the scale says.

     
    It wouldn't let me upload this photo once I turned it, so its sideways, sorry!
     
    Last week: 200.0
    This week: 198.2
    - 1.8
     
    I lost what I gained in week 10, and also lost another pound from my week 9 weigh in!

    I had a great week! All except yesterday, but we'll get to that later. First we must see the good stuff!


    The Good....
    • I stuck to the meal plan every day but one! I could have had a perfect week, but yesterday did not go as planned. I will take every day but one though, much better than the last few weeks :)
    • I tracked every day! It is getting easier to remember, still not fun, but eye opening and helpful!
    • I exercised on all the days I planned! I am planning to do the same days next week. This schedule worked out really well!
    • I got my steps in 2 out of the 4 days that I wore the fitbit! I still need to work on getting my steps in when I don't walk on the treadmill. Yesterday I was close when I went to bed, but not close enough that it warranted getting out of bed to walk around the house. Here are the good days...
       
    • I went to bed by 10:30pm every night and was up between 6-6:30am every morning. I am already feeling a difference in how I feel. I am already feeling more tired earlier in the night which means I don't think I will need melatonin for very long. I am also have incredibly productive mornings which is great!

    The Bad and the Ugly....
    • It was such a great week, until yesterday. Yesterday, we went to the mall and ended up staying for lunch. What I thought wasn't a terrible choice for lunch, ended up being pretty much my daily calorie max, well that coupled with my eating Owen's leftover macaroni and cheese. Oh macaroni and cheese...how I can not resist you. Then I forgot to start the crock pot when we got home from the mall until it was too late and we were without my planned dinner. It was our first night of Thursday night dance class and it gets out at 5:30, I had Owen with me, and they were tired and hungry so we hit the drive thru. I got a salad, so not a bad choice, but still not the plan. In the end it was an 1,800 calorie day. All because of one meal. Wow!
    ****If you want to look at the good though, due to tracking, I knew before I ate anything else that I was going to go over my calories. It allowed me to make choices for the rest of the day to try to keep from going over my calories as much as I would have, had I not known. Because I was weighing in today, I initially thought, oh gosh, I can't eat for the rest of the day :) Of course I would never do that!

    The Plan....
    • Keep doing what I did this week! Tracking, meal planning and follow through, Exercise and most importantly going to bed early. If you missed it yesterday, you can hear all about why sleep is ranking quite high on my list of must do's, read it here.
    What a great week! Want to check out the other 10 weeks? Click here.

    Now my favorite, Friday Favorites!

    We were having family pictures done last week and I ran out of the house without painting my nails. We ended up with some time to kill before our friend was meeting us, we had rushed into the car because once the kids were dressed and ready we wanted to confine them :) When I realized we would have some time, I made Mike stop at the drugstore so that I could run in and grab a nail polish. I then painted them quick in the car. I am so glad this happened though because my nails looked great and I LOVE the color. Click here to check it out closer.

     
    I have redone my nails a few time since and I have worn this color each time! See it out on my nails...
     
     
     
    If you have been reading this blog for a while you know how much I love ecards. So many of them make me laugh out loud, again and again. Yesterday at the mall, I was getting a Frozen calendar for my niece and saw this calendar. If I bought a calendar for my house, this would be my favorite....
     
     
     
     
    Want to see some of my favorite pictures from the last few weeks?? Look at these cuties!
     
     

     
     
     
    Want to see more? Check out Litcher Moments for some more favorite pictures and the stories behind them! Thanks Andrea from Momfessionals for hostings Friday Favorites!
     
    Have a fabulous weekend everyone!
    TGIF
     
     
    

    Get more ZZZZZZ's

    Thursday, November 20, 2014



    It's official I need more sleep! Last week I noticed that I made some pretty bad decisions when I did not get enough sleep. I knew I was overtired, but I was not breaking that cycle and my lack of energy and my bad food choices was so apparent that it really made me think that my sleep schedule has a big part in my lack of weight loss.

    This week was not the first time, I have noticed it, but I think because I noticed it again, it really started to get me thinking. So I did a little research on this to prove this point to myself and hopefully give myself even more incentive to get some more ZZZZZ's :) Here is what I found....


    1. Externally, there are all the things I am noticing...
    • Too tired to workout.
    • You want fast, quick and easy food choices.
    • You crave comfort foods.
    • You eat more than someone who goes to bed earlier for the simple fact that you are awake to eat, while others are snoozing.
          2.  Internally there is also a whole lot going on....
    • Being overtired is a bit like being drunk, not just because you start to act a little silly, but because your brain acts in a similar way. I don't know about you, but I love to eat when I am drunk and I don't mean apples! I love to eat chicken tenders, pizza and Chinese food. Am I alone here? I don't think so.
    • Not getting enough sleep messes with your hormones. I had never heard of these hormones before, but they are Ghrelin and Leptin. Big time hormones when it comes to making food decisions. Ghrelin signals your brain that it is time to eat and when you are lacking sleep it makes more. Leptin signals the brain when to stop eating and with lack of sleep this hormone decreases. Seems to me this is a dieters nightmare.
    • Cortisol (stress hormone) levels increase when you are lacking sleep and this means your body wants to hang on to fat to save it for the energy your body needs to get through the day. Even if you are losing the weight, you aren't necessarily losing the good stuff, the fat, as much as you could if you were getting more sleep.
    • Insulin also becomes a problem. With lack of sleep the insulin produced in your body is not working as well processing the fat from your bloodstream and instead stores it as fat.
    So to recap and really let this sink in. You want to eat foods that are quick, easy and not good for your body. Not only do you want to eat chicken tender, pizza and Chinese food, but when you do, it will be extremely hard to eat them in moderation as your body will just want to keep eating and not signal your brain when to stop. If you are eating perfectly, but not getting enough sleep your body is still going to hang on to fat. Your body will need to store fat so that you have energy in order to do the simple things never mind trying to get in a workout.

    So I need to be doing a whole lot more of this...
     
    My boys who can fall asleep anywhere in about 2 seconds!
     
    Wow! Hugely eye opening for me. So what is an appropriate amount of sleep for an adult? 7-9 hours of sleep. What is your average? Mine is probably 5-7 interrupted hours of sleep. I think I require 8. I like sleep! I never get 8. Most nights I am in bed between 11pm and midnight (sometimes later) and I am up (AKA dragging myself from bed) between 6-7am.

    Now if I went to bed at 11pm and woke at 7am every morning as a routine, this would make 8 hours. Ideally though, I would be up at 6am. This would make my mornings so much smoother. This means, I need to get to bed by 10pm. It seems impossible for me though given my current routine, or lack there of, I should say! So, I need a plan. I see now how important sleep is for my journey even beyond what I thought before, so it is not something I want to do, it is now something I need to do. I need to stop binge watching shows on Netflix and start cutting myself off at 10pm.

    The Plan...
    • Start getting ready for bed with the kids. I might be in pajamas early, but I haven't brushed my teeth, washed my face or any of that stuff until I am getting ready for bed. So sometimes I might end watching TV between 10 and 10:30 but then I go do all of my bed time prep and boom, next thing I know it is 11! If I do this step with the kids then I can relax and when I am ready for bed, I just go. This seems like it would work much better!
    • I am going to go back to drinking herbal tea. For a while I was drinking a sleepytime tea and I am going to do that again. I think it will help me to stop snacking and it will be soothing for me at night.
    • At least once a week, I am going to try to take a bath. I know once a week may seem over the top. I haven't taken a bath in at least a year, what makes me think I can do it once a week?? Well, I say, why shouldn't I? I LOVE to take a bath so why has it been over a year since I have done it? I am going to relax in the tub with a magazine once a week and settle my body before I go to watch TV.
    • And at least at first I am going to take Melatonin. I think I can try really hard to settle my body earlier, but reality is I am trying to reset my clock and I think it might take more than some tea and a bath!
     
    Who is with me to get more sleep?? I want to hear what your nightly routine is? How many hours of sleep do you typically get? My goal is 8, what is yours??
     
    ****I am no sleep expert, I got all my information from WebMD. To read the article click here.
     
    Come back tomorrow for How the Jeans Fit Friday! 
     
    


    WIAW - Tuesday Tracking Edition

    Wednesday, November 19, 2014

     
    As always, I am linking up with Jenn for What I ate Wednesday! Today I am showing you what I ate yesterday. I am tracking everything I eat on My Fitness Pal and I am trying to stay in my 1200-1400 calorie range.
     
     

    Breakfast

    I bought English muffins for the first time in a long time and I had a whole wheat one with natural peanut butter on it this morning. I had a banana on the side. I realized that I did miss this breakfast when I ditched it for all my pumpkin breakfasts!
     
     
     
     

    Lunch

    On Monday I made a vegetarian stir fry. When I grocery shopped that morning I saw WOK me up, tofu and sauce stir fry starter kit. I bought some already cut up fresh veggies and some bean sprouts to add. It took about 10 minutes total and it was a hearty, filling lunch. I had the leftovers yesterday for lunch again and it was just as good the next day! Easy, quick and different, I will definitely be buying it again!
    Ingredients
     
     
    Press the tofu to dry
     
     
    You cook the tofu for a few minutes alone, add veggies, cook a few more minutes and cover with the sauce.

    Finished product!
     

    Dinner

    Mike loves chili and he loves BBQ sauce. He found a recipe for BBQ Chili and this weekend he made it for the second time. It is delicious! I forgot to take a pic of the bowl, but I took a picture of the leftovers. He doubled the batch and we had enough for him to have lunch for two days, us to eat the leftovers last night and to freeze a whole other meal!
     
     
     

    Snacks

    In the morning I was a bit hungry around 11:30, but wasn't going to eat lunch until at least 12:30 because I had to pick Owen up from school first. So I had my usual morning snack, a string cheese.
     
    After lunch, I popped a bag of microwave popcorn for Owen and I ate half the bag myself. I love popcorn!
     
    After dinner, we went to a Girls on the Run celebration and I ate one chocolate chip cookie and two slices of the pumpkin ring I brought. Yes I brought something pumpkin!
     
    When I got home I had one small glass of Pinot Grigio.
     
     
     
    So on this day, I had too many snacks and went over my calories. It was the celebration snacks that put me over and that was something special not something that happens all the time. So I am ok with it. I am actually proud of myself because there were tons of yummy things on that table and I only tried the chocolate chip cookie, after hearing rave reviews! Then I ate the pumpkin ring leftovers when I was bringing it home. In hindsight I should have dumped it there and just brought the plate home...but it was pumpkin and I was secretly hoping there would be leftovers :)
     
      
    Want to know if sleep has anything to do with weight loss? Come back tomorrow for Get some more ZZZZ's. Then Friday it is How the Jeans Fit Friday and it's been a great week so far! I can't wait to talk about it! You don't want to miss it!
     
    Have a great Wednesday!


    Litcher Moments #2

    Tuesday, November 18, 2014

    Now that I started this, I am taking way more pictures and I love it! With that being said, I am going to have to do this Litcher Moments post a lot more often because there are a lot of pictures! Loving all the memories!

    This cool dude went to the dentist! This was his second time, he did great! He talked his hygenists ear off for the first few minutes and Mike could hear him clearly in the room down the hall where he was getting his teeth cleaned as well. Needless to say everyone thought he was just the cutest!

     

    I got to observe at swim on the last week! He did great!

     
    Olivia was striking a pose after a Fashionista birthday party she went to. She loved it!
     
     
    We had a little fun in the leaves! I just love fall pictures!
     

     
    Carving pumpkins! Daddy hard at work...
     
     
    The kids working hard!

     
    Mike's work of art. Star Wars Stormtrooper, pretty impressive!

     
    Olivia's "dude" pumpkin wearing headphones!

     
    My Bat!

     
    Owen's face! He was so proud of himself when he got the first piece out! He worked so hard on those eyes and mouth, he wasn't up for a mouth, but he loved it just the way it was!

     
    This was my night one night at the end of October. Packaging all the box tops for submission!
     
     
    I got to observe Olivia's ballet class!
     
     
    Love these moments!

     
    The first morning it snowed, Owen thought it was Christmas literally and because he was so happy! He put on his "winter" clothes which consisted of a heavy sweatshirt and Olivia's cowboy boots :)

     
    Then he asked if he could just go run around the yard one time! So I said of course and grabbed a picture! He is so darn cute!

     
    Some glow glasses we got at Halloween!

     
    Observing Olivia's acro class. Imagine that kind of flexibility??!

     
    3rd Grade school picture! Beautiful girl!

     
    Our scrapbook weekend was a cruise theme! Here we are "on the boat"

     
    Oh mom!

     
    Setting up clothes for family pictures!

     
    A little selfie before pictures! She put on a little lip gloss, just like mom!

     
    On the lookout with his "binoculars!"
     
     
    Oh laundry...how I despise you....keepin' it real
     
     
    More snow...this time called for real winter clothes and clearly we need some new snow pants. My little man is growing!

     
    I love my dog, but he drives me crazy probably  more than I enjoy him. This night was different though. I couldn't resist when he came up on the couch and wanted to snuggle! He is so cute and cuddly! Look at this face!

     
    That's it for now! Some of these moments made me laugh and it has only been a few weeks. I can't wait to go back years from now and read through these!
     
    Come on back tomorrow for WIAW, Thursday for Get some more ZZZZZ's and Friday for How the Jeans Fit Friday and a Favorite!
     
    Have a great Tuesday everyone! 
    
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