Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Penny Pinching Tip: Walmart Savings Catcher

You’ve probably already heard of this app because it has been pretty well advertised by now—but I want to tell you that it is WORTH IT. By far.

I shop for groceries pretty much only at Walmart now simply because of the Savings Catcher app.

Here’s how it works. You do your shopping (I’ve even gotten money back on Zyrtec) and pay as usual. There will be a QR code at the bottom of your receipt. Simply use the Walmart app to scan your QR code and wait!

Walmart checks the items on your receipt with various local competitors. If the item is found to be sold cheaper somewhere else, Walmart gives you the difference back. To access this money, you simply create an e-gift card in the app.

I have gotten money back on all but one Walmart purchase I have made. Four trips = $16.15 back. My highest reward in one trip was $6.31—that really adds up! I’m waiting on one more purchase to be processed.

It’s so easy. And chances are you already go to Walmart, at least once in a while, anyways! You’re just missing out on getting money back if you don’t use this app. It’s so so simple.

You can find out more information at the Walmart website.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Valentia Even Glow Serum Giveaway Winner

Just letting you know that the winner has been randomly chosen!

The winner is….. Sharon F. I have contacted her so that she can claim her prize!

Thanks to everyone who participated!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Weigh in Day

This morning I weighed in and lost 1 lb. from last week—so at least I’m back on the losing side of weight loss.

Got to get it!

It’s kind of embarrassing because I’m part of this special program and I have GAINED weight instead of losing it! Oh my. But I still have two weeks to meet my goal and if I stick with it I can definitely do it.

I cringe to admit this, but I’ve lost .3 lbs. since the beginning of September. Any loss is better than a gain at this point. Whew.

I got out for another walk this morning! I earned 5 activity points. It’s supposed to be fall but it’s supposed to be 80 today. I was super sweaty by the time I got home. I’m ready for fall weather!! Baby girl LOVES going for walks now that she can sit up in the stroller.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 25, 2014


On Tuesday I celebrated my 29th birthday. The last year of my 20s.


I know age is just another number in our number centric world but being on the brink of my 30s makes me do some thinking.

I am very happy with my life and all of the steps along the way that have gotten me to where I am today. I have a better husband than I deserve, we have a beautiful and healthy baby girl, and we’re all three happy. I am content with (and thankful for) the important things in life.

However, I continue with my struggle at being the person I want to be and looking the way I want to look.

I came so so so so close to meeting my weight goals in my 20s. And here I am basically starting over again. And again. And again. I have one more year left of my 20s and I want to make it count.

I don’t like how I feel and I don’t like how I look. By the time I’m 30, I would like to be back down to my pre-pregnancy weight. That’s doable—it just requires some commitment.

Turning 30 won’t be the end of my youth—it’s just a number. But I’d like to make it the decade where I finally meet my goals and become the person that I want to be. This last year of my 20s will be the beginning.

Happy birthday to me!

P.S. Don’t miss out on the Valentia Even Glow Serum Giveaway, especially if you’re like me and want to prevent aged looking skin as you get older!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Valentia Even Glow Serum Giveaway

After baby girl was born, I started to notice that my skin began to feel dry and rough to the touch. I think skin changes are pretty common after pregnancy—but I wasn’t quite sure what to do about it.

Valentia Skin Care contacted me at just the right time and offered to send me a bottle of their Even Glow Serum in exchange for a review. And I’m glad I accepted!

I’ve used most of the bottle and am trying my best to get every single magical drop out of it.

At first, I liked how it made my face feel hydrated and smooth when I put it on, along with my normal skincare routine. And then about 2 weeks in, my face started breaking out. I was worried, but I kept using the product and my face cleared up. I do occasionally get short-lived breakouts due to hormones, even while using this product.

The organic vitamin c serum looks and smells like orange juice but is just a little thicker. In addition to the hydrated and smooth feeling, I really do feel like my skin has a glow to it. I spent too much time in the sun in my teenage years without any sunscreen on and I’ve often been able to see the effects of it on my face. I think my face looks less “aged” and spotty after using this serum. I really like the stuff.

In the world of quality skincare products, at $35 for a 1.18 oz. bottle is reasonably priced. It’s available on Amazon Prime so you can get free shipping if you subscribe. But for me, the price is the only downfall.  I know that it’s sold at a reasonable price for the market. The problem is, I already invest money in the Clinique 3-step system and while I would love to continue using this product, I can’t say with certainty that I will (I might)—simply because of the additional cost to an already pricey skincare system I already use.

But if you are in the market for an organic vitamin c serum that really does wonders and makes your skin glow, I highly recommend this product!

And more great news! Valentia Skin Care has offered to give one bottle away to one lucky reader! Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter! Good luck.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 22, 2014

Feeling myself again

Thankfully, I am feeling myself again today.

Hopefully it continues!

I even went for a walk tonight. Yay! 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Not Gonna Do It

Today was weigh in and I am not even going to blog about the monstrosity that took place on the scale this morning. I shocked even myself.

It has been quite the week. Baby got her first cold, which has meant less sleep than usual for me. So I’m tired. And Friday night plans have been canceled (for me and baby anyways).

Yesterday, I got my first speeding ticket. And a hefty price that is!

My body can’t figure things out—so I have been PMSing all week. I’m grumpy and I want to eat chocolate.

Add on my weigh in this morning.

And I’ve been feeling depressed—probably due to my body not being able to figure things out. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah.

I guess that’s not so bad—I’m just grumpy so it seems like it is. I’ll quit feeling sorry for myself soon. Pity Party is about over.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Penny Pinching Tip: Money Back on Groceries (including produce!)

This post contains affiliate links. If you sign up, I will receive a small commission that helps keep A Journey to Thin running. This is an app I use and love!

Checkout 51

Another app that I use to receive money back on my grocery purchases is Checkout 51. In this app, you request a check after you have earned back at least $20. So far, I have earned back $10 in about a month.

This app is definitely less complicated than many of those like it. New offers are added every Thursday and run for a week. There are definitely fewer offers than Ibotta, for example, but these offers can be redeemed at any store.

In this past week, I have used to the app to earn money back on tomatoes, granola, yogurt, bananas and blueberries—for a total of $2.25. It seems like this app always has offers for produce, so I make sure to take advantage of those!

You can actually take advantage of these offers without downloading the app by visiting the Checkout 51 website. This app is also available in Canada.

Just another way to save!

This post contains affiliate links. If you sign up, I will receive a small commission that helps keep A Journey to Thin running. This is an app I use and love!

Monday, September 15, 2014


Alright, confession to make here. I didn’t track this weekend.

It wasn’t intentional, but my new phone wouldn’t connect to the internet for me to track my points (hoping to get rid of this phone TONIGHT). So I tried, but ultimately gave up tracking. And I really didn’t watch my food intake like I should have.

So I don’t know how I actually did. There have been plenty of times that I thought I screwed up until I tracked my points and realized I was ok. My weight was up slightly this morning, but nothing major. I’m guessing it will be gone by tomorrow.

I was at my parent’s house with family and just enjoyed myself instead of worrying about every bite that went into my mouth. But I am back at it today.

Today is also the first day of a special WW program I am doing—so it was actually pretty good timing for me to have a weekend like that. Now it’s even more important that I keep it together!

And now a photo of baby girl from this weekend. Awwwwwwws can commence now.


Friday, September 12, 2014

Weigh in Day

I gained .2 today. Bummer. But that’s practically staying the same and while I know the goal is to lose weight, I assume that next week I will have a bigger loss. I hope!

Plus, as we know—slow and steady has always been my game in this weight loss thing.

I’ll give it another week at the same points goal and if I still don’t lose, I will take a closer look at my plan and reduce points if necessary.

I was kind of expecting another big loss on week 2, but I was already eating pretty healthy prior to starting and I think that does factor into things. The important thing is that I don’t throw in the towel but that I have faith in the plan.

One important thing is that I am FEELING smaller. Probably less bloated, etc. That’s a good feeling.

On another note, I got my free gift for joining WW.


I got a cook book, collapsible measuring cups, a microwave steamer, stickers with points on them, and a case type thing. I love the style of the case, too bad it says WW!! But I suppose that’s the point. Winking smile

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

A Day in the Life of Post (pictures)

I thought I would finally do a classic “day in the life of” post. I’d like to do this every once in a while!

My day started at 6:40 a.m. when I woke up. I love it when I wake up naturally instead of waking up to baby’s stirrings and cries. While it’s always tempting to go back to sleep, I know that I will be awoken by baby and then I’ll end up feeling tired. So it was up and at ‘em for me.

I had just enough time to pump before baby woke up. I get less and less it seems. I now get between 1.5 – 2 oz. per day. I want to continue until I don’t get anything though, because I want to do it for the antibodies. I looked it up and anything is better than nothing.


I didn’t know I was going to do this post yet—so I’m using a couple pics from the last time I was going to and never ended up getting it done!

And then it was in to get baby. In the morning, I give her meds, change her, feed her and then we sit in the chair and rock while she looks around. She loves to just look around. Nosy little baby. lol


After that, it was my turn to eat some breakfast. Every morning, baby enjoys her swing and talking to the little lady bugs while I eat breakfast. I bought that blanket at a garage sale. I washed it all up and she just loves it. She gets all excited when I put it on her.

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I ate oatmeal with blueberries and a glass of milk. And of course, I always drink a lot of water in the morning (and all day) and also take my vitamins and meds.

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Wouldn’t you know this was the one day that my oatmeal decided to overflow in the microwave. I microwave it the same amount every time. It must have something to do with the temperature in the house?

Baby was really enjoying her swing today, so I went ahead and made my coffee (with creamer) and sat down to read.

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By that time, she was starting to get fussy. So out of the swing and time for play!


I sat with her and then quickly washed some bottles and parts.

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Time for baby’s first nap. I had just enough time to get myself ready for the day and she was awake again. I just never know what her nap schedule will be like every day. She usually takes one long nap (and a couple more shorter ones) and that can either in the morning or afternoon. Totally random.

After eating, she likes to stare out the window while I burp her. She’s fascinated with trees.


And then it was my turn to eat some lunch. While I ate, baby was entertained in her Jumperoo.

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I had a spinach salad with leftover grilled chicken, blue cheese crumbles, tomatoes, and a drizzling of lite honey mustard.

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This was followed up by a Chobani Indulgent.

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I did some laundry, got my baby bag re-packed with essentials, and straightened up the kitchen.

Then it was time for tummy time. She did this until she started getting really fussy and it was time for another nap.


I was feeling hungry so I hate a Grahamfuls. I know, not a nutritious snack but it sure is tasty.

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But of course that didn’t fill me up, so I ate a plum and a WW cheese stick.

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I ate this while putting together a list of items to get that I could also get money back on from the various apps I use.

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The bottles were dry so it was time to make those up. Baby woke up, and her Dr’s office called me, but I was able to get everything done before she got fussy.

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So it was time to feed her again.

After that, I headed to a nearby town to pick up her prescription, do a little shopping, and run some errands.

First stop, Starbucks. I got a Skinny caramel macchiato and a cake pop. I was sooooo tired. This really did the trick and I perked up.


I got in the horrible habit of buying chocolate chip cookies at Starbucks (omw I love them) and I know they are very high in calories. So the cake pop was my transition to getting no treats at all…. or something. lol

I do want to mention that I ate more “sweets” than I normally would today. IDK what was up with me today—but this isn’t the norm, I promise!

I had luck shopping for the baby but not much luck for myself! I need some long sleeved shirts. Oh well.

And then it was time to feed the baby again. I fed her in the car and enjoyed the beautiful weather. Ignore my super serious face and crazy hair!


And then it was on to other errands. One of the stops was Wal-Mart—I hate, hate, hate that place. We have two stores in my area and one is HORRIBLE. It wasn’t even a week ago that I said I would never, ever go to that store location again—but it’s just more convenient than the other one.

UGH. The customers are rude and inconsiderate, the employees are rude and have no idea what they’re doing (including a cashier who didn’t know how to process a coupon so she just stood there instead of getting help—I ended up telling her I didn’t want the item anymore), and it’s just no fun!

And then the endless lines. And baby was getting fussy and the poor thing ran out of medicine due to an insurance and Dr. error so she was spitting up like CRAZY. I was putting things on the belt and dropped yogurt—I was flustered, sweaty and everything. lol But I made it out of there alive. Never, ever again, I tell ya… (until next time it’s more convenient to go there…). HA.

I headed home and started to feed baby. Hubby finished so I could get supper together.


I ate an egg white omelet (well…it was supposed to be an omelet but it kind of fell apart) with turkey and cheese, Ezekiel bread with PB and banana, and blueberries/strawberries. Delish!

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After that, hubby entertained the baby while I quickly entered my info into the apps for savings. So far, I got back 11.77 and am still waiting on one more app to come through. Pretty amazing savings, huh? And all things I would have bought anyways (except for one item that I think they ended up paying me to buy…).

And then I put baby to sleep for the night—and here I am! I was going to go for a walk tonight but the time got away from me. At least I did a lot of walking while shopping today.

And I have to wash bottles and make bottles so I can start all over again tomorrow. Not to mention the kitchen is a mess again. SIGH

I still have points left for the day—so I did pretty good.

Tomorrow is weigh in day—we will see!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Weight Focused from Birth

Our baby girl weighed 7 lbs. 10 oz. and was 20” long at birth. That’s within the normal range of 5.5 – 10 lbs. and very close to the perfectly average 7 lbs. 8 oz (source).

So why was it that when she was born or when people ask how much she weighed at birth that they say things like “WOAH”, “That must have hurt”, or “Oh my”?

It is almost like people ask the weight of the baby, not because they are interested in the good health of the baby but because they want to make judgments on how big the baby was. So Ok, fine, whatever—people are interested in the weight of the babies at birth—but why is it that we have this fascination with it?

Just the other day, a man came up to my baby and said “hey fatty”. I immediately cringed inside. A month or so ago, a woman said, “you are a BIG baby”. The fact is, she is very close to average in size. I get comments like this all the time and I just don’t get it—she is not a big baby.

Sure, she has adorable chubby little cheeks—but in no way does she look unhealthy. And quite honestly, since she lost so much weight after birth and we struggled to get her back to birth weight—I am so happy that she has those chubby little cheeks! Babies are supposed to.

I guess what I’m trying to get at is that we are bombarded with weight standards from the moment we enter this world. And why? Shouldn’t the concern be good health and well-being?

When do people stop making comments about a baby’s weight? Why is it “ok” to use terms with babies that we would otherwise consider bullying? I know that people (or so I hope) do not mean anything negative by these comments—but still, I don’t like it. Maybe this is because of where I come from in my own experience.

I remember quite well being called “fatty” myself and I remember how hurt it made me feel. Maybe this is why it makes my heart ache just a little whenever I hear words like that, in jest or not.

I do understand that I am being overly sensitive on this topic—and it doesn’t bother me to the point of action, I just find it incredibly interesting and somewhat annoying. Just wanted to throw it out there as food for thought.

What do you think about the topic?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Random Post

I don’t have a specific topic in mind to post about today, so I’m just going to write about whatever pops into my head.

I am still on track with my points for the week. It will be interesting to weigh in on Friday! What I love about Weight Watchers is that I never feel deprived—I just have to plan for the times that I might indulge more than usual.

Yesterday, I didn’t even use all of my points. I know that I shouldn’t do that often—but I just wasn’t hungry so I didn’t finish off my points. It’s a whole lot better of a feeling than having a growling stomach, headache, and feel light headed because I am restricting calories so much.

I’m going to be honest—I haven’t gotten a whole lot of exercise this week. Excuses. Excuses. I think I will be more motivated to get out for walks now that the weather is going to cool down. Super excited about that!

We’re having a friend over tonight for supper. I’m making carne asada steak tacos. First time making this recipe, so I hope it turns out! It sure sounds delicious. I even made a lower calorie flan for dessert. I’m on fire today—I even cleaned the whole downstairs and it’s only 1:20 in the afternoon. haha

Well, that’s all I have for you today!! How are you doing?

Monday, September 8, 2014

Penny Pinching Tip: Earning Gift Cards for Clicking on Emails and Online Shopping

Thanks to all of you who signed up for Ibotta and redeemed your first rebate—hubby and I have been enjoying our free Starbucks!

Today’s Penny Pinching Tip is one that I have been taking advantage of FOR YEARS; prior to hubby and I even started dating, actually—and we have been married for almost 8 years! So it has been a long time and I have continued to see the benefit in it.

I don’t even know how many gift cards I have redeemed from using MyPoints over the years—but there have been a lot!

MyPoints sends you daily emails with offers and you can earn points on many of them by simply clicking on the link to the company website.

If you do a lot of online shopping (or even just a little) this is a really great way to earn cash back/points on your purchases. You can then redeem the points on gift cards. All you have to do to earn points is go through the MyPoints website and click on their link to the online store you wish to shop at. It’s really that simple. Some online stores have better cash back/points than others.

To be honest, I am always forgetting to go through MyPoints when I do my online shopping—which I do A LOT of, so I am missing out on a lot! But this means that the gift cards I earn are simply from clicking on the links in my emails. It’s pretty crazy.

Hubby and I like to redeem our points on Panera gift cards and then we only end up paying a couple of dollars for our meal!

It’s just another one of those simple ways you can earn rewards for purchases (or not, if you just click the email links)! Sign up today!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Three Day Weigh In (First Weigh In)

As I explained before, I want Friday to be my weigh in day so this week I weighed in after three days instead of the full week.

Yippeee!!!! *jump for joy*

I lost 4.4 lbs.!!!

I am so incredibly excited because I haven’t seen a good loss like that in So So long.

It makes me wonder if my body requires more calories, than average, to make me lose weight. Whenever I count calories, I don’t lose very steadily and it seems like I’m always starving and can’t stick with it.

But on Weight Watchers, I feel like I am eating more, feel infinitely more satisfied, and lose more weight. Who knows. I’ve been told that sometimes you need to eat more to lose—but it’s so hard for me to wrap my head around that since I’m so used to the “eat less, lose weight” philosophy. Something to keep in mind if my weight loss stalls, etc. (obviously, I am eating less than what I was eating before joining Weight Watchers and while not on another diet)

So anyways, I’m pretty excited about my first weigh in!

Thursday, September 4, 2014


I apologize to anyone who wrongly interpreted my post from this afternoon. I am not judgemental of others but can see how someone might have interpreted my post that way. That wasn't my intention.  Instead,  I will give you the final point I apparently failed to make....

Spending time cultivating inward beauty is far more important than having physical beauty. And this is what I truly want to be known for.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

First Day Back with Weight Watchers

The first day was a success! I ended my day right at my Points Plus target. Yippee!

Something feels different this time. I feel more mentally/emotionally ready this time. In the back of my head I am thinking, “I shouldn’t even be saying that…what if I screw up again? That would be embarrassing”, but I am trying not to think that way. This is the time!

I forgot how wonderful it is to be able to eat fruits and veggies without having to count points/calories for them. I had a moment in the late afternoon where I was really hungry but didn’t want to use any points and—”aha—I  can have a peach for free!”

I also had fun cooking supper last night. I made creamy chicken enchiladas—2 for 12 Points+. I started selling Wildtree products (more on that later), and I had fun experimenting with the various spice blends. It gave my stand-by creamy enchiladas an all new taste for no extra calories! I want to experiment with some of the blends, etc. and then I will share recipes.

One thing that should help me out is that I move more now that I am not working a full time desk job. Plus, with the baby, I am moving around more often. It was interesting to see the difference when I was wearing my Body Media.

My WI days will be on Fridays—so I will have my first WI this Friday so it won’t be a full week. But that’s ok!

Has anyone else noticed how fall seems to be on the verge of making its appearance? The sky has been a crisp blue. The fields are starting to turn golden. Yellow wild flowers are blooming in the ditches. It just FEELS like fall, even though it’s a tad bit hot out there yet. Fall is coming—YAY! My favorite season of the year.

So, that’s about it! Just wanted to check in and let you know that I did great on my first day back! How are you doing with your plan?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Returning to Weight Watchers Online

Yep—I’m making that move (again).

In the past week, I have been researching cleanses, juice fasts, and 30-day programs where you drink shakes. I was feeling desperate and wanted to see quick results.

I finally made a random decision this morning to go back to Weight Watchers Online. I was on the verge of purchasing a 30-day program where I would drink shakes for two meals a day and when I saw the price I just couldn’t do it. And right about the same time, I got an email from Weight Watchers asking me to come back.

So I went for it.

I lost weight on Weight Watchers the first time around. Actually, I lost almost all of my weight that way. My only concern is that I will have problems with Points Plus again—but I think it will be different at this point because I’m certainly not where I was when I was on the program before (at a weight loss plateau). I am pretty confident that I am going to see results.

And it feels like home. It’s a program I’m familiar with. The Points system somehow seems less daunting than calories, at this point. And most importantly, I’m eating real and healthy foods—which I wouldn’t be doing if I had chosen the “lose weight quick” method.

I have just been all over the place with my ideas on how I’m going to lose weight lately. I tried calorie counting and my Body Media for quite some time and I am just not sticking with it. So something had to change.

So here I am  again! I have that 10 lb. goal and I really want my pedi! (and to see myself smaller!)


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