What's Up Wednesday #3

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Time for What's Up Wednesday and to find out what's been going on at the Litcher's this month!

Linking up with some of my favorite bloggers today!!




What We are Eating this Week:

I did my meal plan yesterday morning and went to the grocery store. Trying to get back on track!


If you didn't see my post on Friday, you should totally check out my planner where I do all my meal planning! I love having everything in one spot! Click here to check it out! 

What I am Reminiscing About:

My weekend! You can read all about it here


What I'm Loving:

Having the house organized! Over the last few weeks, I have taken some days to organize some spots in the house that desperately needed it. I don't know about you all, but I could barely keep up for May and June so things got tossed in piles and with the kids being out of school we spent most of our time outside the house. Then there were birthdays and new toys and stuff came into the house. Finally I gave us some days that the kids relaxed and I organized. It felt good for all of us. I feel more calm and ready to take on the rest of summer and they got some rest. My desk space was out of control, I could barely see the desk, and now it looks great!


What We've Been Up To:

At the beginning of the month it was all about birthdays!





Then we did some relaxing, stayed home a lot, did some swimming at our neighbors and friends houses.


Then had a crazy fun weekend. Now we are moving into August ready to enjoy our last month of summer vacation!

What I'm Dreading:

Our babysitter is leaving for college. She has been babysitting for our family since she was 13 years old and we are so sad to see her go. This mama loves being able to head out for date night or to have some time to myself and know that I don't have to worry at all. I trust her so much and the kids love her! It is fabulous to have peace of mind and now we have to start finding someone to replace her.

Don't get me wrong though, we are super excited for her new adventure and we know we will still see her when she is home on breaks occasionally! 

What I'm Working On:

A new blog name!! Any ideas for me? I have been taking ideas on Facebook and I haven't settled on one yet. I would love your suggestions. Hoping to have the name change by the end of August! Starting in September, when the kids go back to school, I hope to take this blog to the next level , but before I do, I want a name that I love!!

What I'm Excited About:

School related stuff!

 I love to school shop and this year I get to do it with both kiddos!


We found out Olivia's teacher on the last day of school, but we won't hear who Owen's teacher is until sometime in August and I can't wait to know! We are lucky to have great teachers at their school, so I am sure it will be great no matter who he has, but I am anxious to find out! It will definitely make it feel more real that my baby is going to Kindergarten!

What I'm Watching/Reading:

Still watching Sons of Anarchy. Just about to start season 5!


I have a big pile of books that I will be reading over the next few months!

Read any of them? Let me know what you thought! 

What I'm Listening To:

Right now I am listening to the kids playing Minecraft together. I do not get that game at all, but they love connecting with each other!


What I'm Wearing:

My summer uniform has been skirts and t-shirts or tanks, with the occasional pair of shorts mixed in and of course my bathing suit! 

What I'm Doing this Weekend:

We are having a BBQ with some friends that we have so much fun with on Saturday, but other than that we have no plans, hopefully the weather is nice and we can spend a lot of time outdoors! The weekend before last, we went miniature golfing to do something fun and different outside. We had a great time! 




What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month:

Since the city has still not approved our second floor, it is looking unlikely that it is going on this summer.Sometimes I can't talk about it without crying, but some days I am totally fine about it. It is happening, just not this summer. Everything happens for a reason and maybe once it finally goes on, we will know why it had to take so long. For my birthday present Mike wants to take us away as a family for a long weekend. A little bit of family time outside of our tiny house is such a great idea! We are looking at where we want to go and are going to book it for August! Can't wait!  

What Else is New: 

Not much!

What Will I miss most about summer?:

This is a tough one, because as much as I love summer with my kiddos, I crave the routine of the school year. The end of June and all of July tend to be crazy and by August we are ready to relax and get ready to be back to our routine. I think what I will miss is our evenings. We are so relaxed in the summer, but come the school year, our evenings are filled with activities. Dance, soccer, t-ball, Girl Scouts, etc. We end up splitting up in the evening during the school year and in the summer we are spending so much more time as a family and I will miss that for sure! 

Have a great Wednesday everyone! 

Weekend Recap

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Oh, What an amazing weekend this was! It was too amazing not to recap for you all. I was away this weekend so I did not weigh in, but I will be back with a weigh in next week!

First up, Friday! It was my birthday and it started out great! When I woke up, I had flowers and cards from my family and they took me out to breakfast! We ate at this restaurant called Sinful Kitchen in Portland and it was delicious, as always!

I enjoyed a mimosa at breakfast!


After breakfast, we came home and Olivia and I finished packing for our trip! At noon my mom came to pick us up and off we went to Rhode Island!

Taylor Swift played at Gillette on Friday night too and we saw this car on our way down...


By 4:30 we had said goodbye to my mom, as she was spending the weekend with friends and family, and Olivia and I were hanging out with my cousin and her daughters! 

They surprised me with a cake before the momma's headed out for the evening!


Lucky for me, another one of my cousins was around and available to hang out Friday night and the three of us went to dinner! 

We were terrible at taking selfies! 

We had so much fun...a little too much fun, maybe??!! The food was great, the drinks were flowing quickly and the band that was playing was great! We loved all the songs and when we finished eating we all went out to dance. It was perfect!


Once the band finished at the restaurant, we moved on to another bar to end the evening. We didn't get home until after 1AM. I haven't had that kind of night in a long time, it was just the best birthday! Thank you Stacy and Sarah for such a great celebration!




In the morning, I kind of hated myself (you know, like the "I am never drinking again, hate myself), but after some ibuprofen, a shower, some food and a large coke I was ready to enjoy the day! 

My cousin Stacy and I took the girls to the mall and I bought Olivia an outfit for the concert! We went home, we all got ready to go and off to Gillette stadium we went! 


We got to the stadium a few hours in advance, did a little shopping and had dinner at CBS studio right at Patriot Place. The first acts started while we were still at dinner, but we were eating on the deck of the restaurant and we could hear everything! 

Having a little fun! 

Olivia had me send this pic to Mike, because she wanted
him to think she had met Taylor. He wasn't fooled :)

On the deck of the restaurant! 

These two were a little excited! 
When we got into the stadium we went to visit my aunt and uncle who were working there. Then we stood in line forever to buy t-shirts! Then we were off to find out seats and watch the concert. About 45 minutes after we sat down Taylor came out and for the next 2 hours, Olivia and I had just the best time! The show was amazing, Taylor is amazing and I think we will definitely need to see her in concert again!


We didn't get back to my cousins until 1AM...again! Needless to say, in the morning we were exhausted. I drank a cup of black coffee because I could hardly keep my eyes open and Olivia was still sleeping at 11am.....

and when I tried to wake her....


Unfortunately, she had to wake up because we had a long drive ahead of us and the boys were waiting for us! We went to my meet my mom at my Grandfathers where a few of my aunts and uncles were visiting as well! We had lots of laughs recapping the weekend! Then us girls hit the road back to Maine! 

When we got home, Mike made me dinner, steak, fries and corn on the cob! Then we had cake all together to celebrate my birthday. I was so tired, I didn't even think about taking pictures, but it was a perfect celebration with my little family! It was such a memorable weekend and I loved it! 

Have a great Tuesday!! 

Friday Favorites

Friday, July 24, 2015

It's Friday Favorites day and I am excited!


Why am I so excited you ask?? Well, It is Friday. It is my birthday. I am spending my birthday with one of my favorite cousins. Tomorrow we go see Taylor Swift with our girls!! I am not sure that this Friday could get any better??!!!

Well actually, it can for you all!! I am super excited today to show you my new planner. I have used this planner for the last 2 years and it is one of my favorite things! This month, I started my new one and I knew I wanted to show you all how great it is, so I reached out to Plum Paper to ask if they would be willing to provide me with a discount for my readers and you know what??? They said YES!

I am going to show you how awesome it is, and then if you want to order it for yourself, you can save 10%, Thank you, PLUM PAPER!


I don't know about you, but I need to write things down to remember them. I also much prefer to have my calendar on paper rather than on my phone. I don't know why, my husband thinks I live in the stone age, but that is how I operate!

I tried to go digital at one point a few years back and it didn't work for me, around that time I started following a lot of different blogs and a lot of bloggers used the Erin Condren planner that most people have heard of. I thought that would be perfect for me, but I shopped around a bit before deciding, and found Plum Paper on Etsy. I am so glad I did.

I love, love this planner. Here are some of the reasons why:

1. The size - small enough it isn't overwhelming and fits in my purse when I take it with me, but big enough that it has plenty of room for everything I need to write down! 

2. Customization - There is tons of customizations that you can make to the book, it doesn't have to be just a calendar, it can be your life, which is how I use it! 

Let's take a look! 



This is my new cover. There are so many choices it is hard to pick! The absolute only negative about the planner is that it comes with a clear frost plastic cover over the picture cover so it does make the the colors a little more dull than without the frost cover, but it does provide a ton of protection, so you wouldn't want to be without it either. Here is a picture without the frost cover...


You can see the pictures a little clearer and the design is a little brighter without the cover. 

INSIDE

You get a monthly page spread 



This is where I write everything down as it comes in. Appointments, dates, things going on, birthdays, etc. This is summer so things are pretty calm, especially towards the end of the month! 

This is what it looks like during the school year! 

After the monthly spread you get the weekly spread. On Sunday or Monday, I sit down and write in everything we need to do that week and add all my notes! 


Here is where the customization is amazing! Each horizontal column is customized by you. 



For me, I do the columns as follows:

Mom/Dad
Olivia
Owen
Home 
Errands
Workout
Dinner

Last year I did the kids together, but this year with Owen going to Kindergarten, they will have different activities so I decided to separate them. Under home, I write lists of the things I need to do at home that particular day, errands are the things I need to do outside the home. Workout is either my plan or I can keep track of what I do, and Dinner is my meal plan. My life all in one book! 

A page from last years calendar
What are the chances I actually did the treadmill at 5am that week?
Slim to None probably! 

At the beginning and end of each month there is a note sheet.  


I use the beginning sheet to write down my goals for the month and the end sheets to write down lots of other things! I love this because I don't have tons of notes lying around, everything is in this book. Everything! The other bonus is you can add additional note pages as well for a small cost. 


Lists! I make a ton of them! I added TO DO List pages to my book. 


There are small TO DO lists on each weekly spread, but these additional pages you can purchase, are great because you can make big generalized lists, rather than just what you need to do in that week. I used this for the kids birthday party, things I need to get done before the end of the summer. I am even using it for what the kids need for back to school. They each have their own list! I LOVE this new addition, I definitely recommend it. You can add the pages to the end of each month or just a whole bunch at the end of the book. I added 2 pages to the end of each month for a total of 16 TO DO lists each month. 


 The monthly dividers are strong and were still in great condition after 18 months! You do not have to get just a 12 month calendar, you can add up to 6 additional months which is what I did the first time I ordered. I wanted to have the whole next school year in it when I ordered in January. Now I am on the right schedule and will get a new one each July! 


In the back there is a double sided pocket folder. 


This year I did a 12 month family planner, with 1 - extra note page and 2- TO DO list pages added on to each month and it is perfect! It isn't getting as much use in the summer, but come September you will hardly see white space! 

I also have one of their notebooks. I bought the blog planner addition and use this pretty purple notebook for all my blog stuff. You can check that out here

Blog planner notebook

You want one now, don't you?? You seriously can't beat the amount of personalization for the cost! You must go check out the options at Plum Paper. If you decide to order, you can use the code SANDY10 for 10% off your total purchase! (expires 10/31/2016)

Now that I have told you how amazing my favorite planner is, it is time for me to start celebrating my birthday! First thing, we are headed out to breakfast! Have a great weekend everyone! See you back here Tuesday to recap our weekend and Taylor Swift!! Woohoo!

Linking up with Andrea at Momfessionals
Happy Friday! 

WIAW - Fruit Tasting

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

I have two kids, one will try and pretty much eats anything and the other...not so much! This summer my goal is to get them to choose fruits and veggies for snacks more often. Olivia is just like me and could eat carbs and sweets for days. Owen has a more varied diet, but who couldn't use a little improvement??  

Last week, I decided to do a little lesson on the food groups and then we had a fruit tasting. It was such a success and we found some new fruits that both of the kids really liked!! 



I went through the grocery store and picked out a whole bunch of fruits that the kids hadn't tried at all or maybe haven't had in a long time. I picked some because I wanted them to try them and some because I thought they would think the were cool, such as Dragon Fruit. 

I am sure the kid ringing me up at the grocery store, was annoyed because I had just one of each of these fruits, so it took him a bit to ring me up! I apologized and told him we were having a tasting! 


We invited over some friends to have the tasting with us, which made it even more fun! I made a chart so that we could document which fruits everyone liked. The kids were excited to start filling it out and loved reading it after to see which fruits nobody liked! 


I  used leftover small plates from the kids birthday parties, they all had their own color, colored pencil and I handed the fruit out from the muffin tin. I would pass out the fruit, everyone would try and then pass around the chart. We did this with all the fruit until we were done! We had lots of giggles and the kids had a blast! Super easy to do and we found new fruit we like! 

Filling out the chart! 

Even though everyone thought that Dragon Fruit was such a cool name and the inside looked interesting, when we tried it, it wasn't cool anymore! Nobody liked it!   



I personally loved the sour taste of passion fruit, but I was alone! 


Only the kids filled out the graph and here is how it turned out....



Now Olivia is a picky eater and pretty much everything you put in front of her she tells me she doesn't like before she even tries it. So the fact that she tried every piece of fruit without complaint and had a blast doing it makes me think we will be doing this a few more times this summer! Think Veggie tasting and there are still a bunch of fruits we could try!

If you look at the graph, Olivia is green, so we found a bunch of new fruits that she liked! Today she ate a whole nectarine with lunch, you can't beat that! If you have a picky eater or even if you don't you should do a tasting because it was so much fun! 

Linking up with Jenn at Peas and Crayons


I am a little early on this one, but next weeks challenge for the #ETHANproject is try something new. The tasting goes along with that perfectly! Friday I will be linking up with Grounded and Surrounded for Week 8, Try something New! 


If you do a tasting, let me know how it goes! 
Have a great Wednesday! 
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