Saturday, May 30, 2015

Funny article for Fitbit users

I came across this article and had to share! Any of you who have a Fitbit will be able to funny!

Fitbit Flex Activity + Sleep Wristband

Friday, May 29, 2015

Weigh in Day: It's the Effort that Counts

You all know how excited I was to weigh in today after knowing that I put in the effort this week. I had some hungry days as I stayed dedicated to sticking to my points. I felt really good about myself, I feel smaller, and better overall.

I was expecting a big loss, but I only lost .6 lb.

Eh, that's OK because in just shy of two months I have lost a total of 11.2 lbs. Next week's weigh in will be my 2 month mark. I lost 6.6 lbs. in April and will be interested to see what I lose total in May- so far that's 4.6 lbs.

I'm going to start doing my weekly stats in a chart so I can compare the previous week's results with the current week's results.

This Week
Last Week
Weekly Points Used:
Activity Points Earned:
Activity Points Used:
Total Steps:
Weight Loss this Week:
-.6 lb.
-.3 lb.
Total Weight Loss:
-11.2 lbs.

Kind of crazy how that works, huh? I ate a lot more last week and moved less and I only lost .3 more this week than last!

I need to find that sweet spot, which is why I am tracking all of this. My biggest weight loss in a week to date (excluding my first week weigh in) was 3.8 lbs. That week I used 48/49 weekly points and earned 29 activity points. Apparently I need to eat more and move less. lol Joking. But really, maybe it wouldn't hurt to eat some activity points-- I will just keep watching my stats to see what works for me!

How did you do this week?

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Functional Exercise Day

Shhh... don't tell, but I surprised hubby and mowed the lawn today. I hope he's happy about it! I always offer to mow on Saturdays and he always says he wants to do it. But after a long day at work, I'm sure he will appreciate it.

That was a great way to earn steps! I'm only about 250 steps away from my 10,000 step goal because of it. This is kind of embarrassing, but it was a huge workout for me. I am exhausted! I seriously felt like I used to feel after running a 5K... I guess instead of feeling bad about it, I will just count it as a really good workout for me!

Before that, I pulled baby girl around in her wagon--so I got steps doing that too. We were outside a lot today. I pushed her in the swing, put down a blanket in the shade and we read a book, and she just walked around too...she always wants to go into the neighbor's yard instead of staying in ours! I think it's because they have all kinds of trinkets in their yard and she's attracted to those. She gets mad when I pick her up and keep her in our yard. lol

I'm super hungry today but trying not to eat too much since I'm now out of weekly points. So far so good. I have a healthy supper of grilled chicken and grilled stuffed peppers planned. I can't wait until supper time.

Tomorrow is my weigh in day and I'm excited about it. I put in the work this week and I hope that it shows on the scale! That's a good feeling.

Does anyone else use Windows Live Writer for their posts? There seems to be some issue with the program and Google and it's not working correctly. I love that program and I hope they get it fixed ASAP because it really streamlines the blogging process! I hate having to use Blogger to write a blog post.

I would love to switch to a Wordpress blog, especially for comment reasons, but I have no idea where to begin and I'd be afraid to mess something up. Has anyone else moved from Blogger to Wordpress?

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Join me over there... and more

Today I’m guest posting for Becky over at Olives ‘n’ Wine. Becky, her husband, and their adorable dog (Mitchell) just welcomed a handsome baby boy to their family. I’m happy to be filling in while she becomes familiar with motherhood!

Becky is a new-to-me blogger and her blog has quickly become one of my favorites. Head on over to check out my post and her blog!

In other news, I was feeling completely exhausted this morning and had that "out of breath" feeling. I decided it was finally time to see what's up with the at home sleep study. Hubby and I both decided that paying the $283 to have the test done is much better than me dying in my sleep or something. I just feel like something isn't right--we will find out. I'm supposed to get the kit in 3-5 days. I'm not happy about it, but I do know that I am taking the steps to better my health...if I do happen to have sleep apnea.

I was just having one of those days when I didn't want to leave the house or be seen by anyone. However, it is such a beautiful day that I knew I had to let baby girl enjoy being outside. So I got myself together and headed out for a walk.

I wanted to see if the pool was open yet and find out when they're having aqua aerobic classes, but they were closed. The pool was filled though! Yippee! It won't be long. I think it will be fun to take baby girl there... we'll see how it goes and I might have to get a season pass so I can go whenever I want to for just a short period of time or whatever.

I felt so much better for getting out of the house. It felt really good to walk and enjoy the sunshine. I took baby girl to the park. She was pretty excited when she saw other little children playing. A particular little boy came over and he would just stand by us but not say anything. lol Finally, he told me that he had a baby and pointed to his baby. And then he wanted me to meet his baby brother. It was cute.

Talk about shoving me into a social situation. lol. So I talked to his mom for just a short bit of time... I am so bad at this kind of thing, but I think it went fine. It really does help to have a child to meet people and give you something to talk about. Even though I don't feel comfortable in social situations, it's something that I want to improve so I am putting myself out there to try to better myself...even if it's extremely uncomfortable for me. I'm just awkward...

Baby girl seems to be transitioning from two naps to one nap. I am ok with that because it's easier to go places and do things! I'm kind of excited thinking about the things that we can do...if I can find the courage and the energy. haha... For example, I'm thinking of going to a baby group next week. We will see.

I'm still on track with my points! Only 1 1/2 days to go until weigh in. It takes extra planning and discipline not to use weekly points now that I'm almost out of them! But I'm doing it. Yay for me.

Do you struggle to make new friends as an adult? What summer activities do you love to participate in?

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Weekend Randoms

I hope you all had a great Memorial Day weekend! I thoroughly enjoyed the long weekend and having hubby home for an extra day.

I am really proud of myself because I made it through the long weekend without over indulging on anything. Finally! I made smarter choices and I feel a lot better because of it. I still have 4 weekly points left over and it’s only Tuesday…often times I have all of them used up by Sunday!

It always seems like the weekends are too short and all we have time for is running errands, so it was great having that extra day. I feel like we accomplished a lot yesterday!

I cleaned up the flower beds around the house, but left the tulips so they still look a bit messy. I’ll take pics and show you when everything is looking complete.

I actually learned something new recently and it’s kind of a funny story. Every year, I have always cleaned up the flower beds as early as possible and just pulled everything up that had already bloomed and was done for the season, including the tulips (leaving the bulbs). Well last year we were so busy with the baby that I never got outside to clean up the flower beds. We noticed that our tulips were absolutely beautiful this year and that there were a lot more of them—turns out that you’re supposed to leave the tulip plants until the plant turns brown and then you can cut them off. Whoops!

So anyways, I planted a bunch of flowers. I added two new perennials. I am not good with remembering the names of them. One is bright pink and one is gold. I am so happy with how the flower beds are looking. Every year I add more perennials and the flower beds are really starting to fill in. I am sad that my two beautiful rose bushes died last year though because of the extra cold winter…I also probably do not know how to care for them properly—but they were beautiful for about 7 years prior to that so I must have done something right during that time!

When I was picking out plants in the store, a woman came up to me and told me one plant in my cart was beautiful, but that it was poisonous to children so don’t let the baby touch it. Ummm…she already had. Talk about a heart stopper. I immediately put the plant back and proceeded to start freaking out in my head. I told Hubby about it and he did what I would normally do and Googled it—sure enough, the plant is poisonous to children, but only if ingested…and I didn’t let her eat the plant. lol But I’m actually thankful that woman told me about it…that’s something I’d want to know! The poor lady probably saw the look of terror on my face because she proceeded to say, “oh no, it’s ok—you can still buy it…just be careful”.

I did A LOT of laundry over the weekends and it’s good to almost be caught up. I don’t know where all of that laundry comes from. I have decided that I’m just going to get rid of a bunch of clothes that either don’t fit me anymore or I’m not wearing. I have WAY too much stuff and it’s time to update my style anyways.

I also finally organized our pantry, which allowed me to fit in more appliances and free up cupboard and counter space. Such a good feeling…I love organization. Hubby and I have decided to each tackle one organization project per day. We plan to throw a lot of stuff away and take items to consignment or Goodwill.

Today I went shopping and to lunch with a friend and her little girl. It was fun to get together with another mom so I can watch and learn. As usual, I found a bunch of stuff for baby girl but not much for myself—I only found a plus size summertime nightgown at Old Navy that was a return and so it was 50% off. I am just too picky when it comes to clothes for myself. I always like the clothes that cost way too much—but I’m starting to wonder if I should just start buying those clothes instead of always searching for good deals and having a bunch of clothes that were on sale—but I don’t really love.

So I guess this is kind of a random post—but mostly I just wanted to share that I am doing well with watching my points and I’m proud of that! Even though I never got 10,000 steps this weekend, I was a lot more active in general—weeding the flower beds and planting flowers burns some calories but I don’t get steps for that! So it all counts, even if the Fitbit doesn’t show it.

How was your weekend?

Monday, May 25, 2015

Happy Memorial Day


Trumped Salute Fallen Comrades

All gave some and some gave all. I am thankful for the freedoms we have today because of the sacrifices of so many.

I hope you have a happy Memorial Day!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Sale Saturday: Memorial Day Weekend

It has been a while since I’ve shared any sales I’ve come across through my networks, so I thought I would share a few good Memorial Day sales. I’m always up for a good deal, so I just thought I’d share a few of the better sales I’ve come across…hope you find some use from these!

Please note that there are affiliate links in this post—if you click on a link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission which helps keep A Journey to Thin running.

Now through Monday, get 50% off summer collections plus an extra 40% off markdowns for savings up to 70% at Gymboree.

Through Monday, get 50% off regular price items and 30% off markdowns at Crazy 8!


Take 33% off site wide + free shipping, no coupon code needed, at - Valid through 5/26 - Shop now and save!


Shutterfly Photo Books 300x600

At Shutterfly through (May 27th), enjoy 50% off Hard Cover Photo Books + 30% off everything else with promo code RELAX at checkout.

Terms: Offer expires May 27, 2015 (11:59 P.M. PT). Offer is good for 50% off select qualifying 11x14, 12x12, 10x10, 8x11, or 8x8 hard photo cover photo books and additional standard pages and 30% off other photo book cover types and accessories, cards & stationery, prints, calendars, photo gifts and home décor products through, our mobile-friendly site or Shutterfly apps (only certain products are available on the apps). Taxes, shipping and handling will apply. Not valid on personalized postage stamps, Hallmark inserts, prepaid plans, gift certificates, Videograms, cards sent using mailing services, prior purchases and orders place for in-store pick up. Cannot be redeemed for cash or combined with other offers or credits. Not valid for resale.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Weigh in Day: I’m Lucky

I did well this past week until Wednesday when I was tired and instead of taking a nap I snacked. And then yesterday I ended up going over my points again simply because I was ill-prepared and hungry. I tracked every bite this week, which is a goal of mine because I want to stay accountable for better or worse.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect on the scale this morning, which basically means that I didn’t give it a full effort this week. When I step on the scale, I should be confident that I put in the work—I want to feel that way next week.

I was happy to see that I did have a loss—a small one, but a loss none the less. I lost .3 lb.

Stats for the week:

  • Weekly Points Used: 67/49—yikes!
  • Active Points Earned: 22
  • Activity Points Used: 22
  • Total steps: 46,726
  • Weight Loss this Week: –.3 lbs.
  • Total Weight Loss to Date: –10.6 lbs.

Oofta—seeing all of that here “on paper” makes it more real! I ate 18 more points than I was allotted and I also did not move nearly enough. I was feeling a little bit off this past week—tired, unmotivated, and maybe a little bit down…after having truly experiencing depression, I wouldn’t say I was “depressed”—just maybe a little blue.

The most important thing will be the overall downward trend. I will have weeks like this from time to time (or two weeks in a row), but the important thing is that I don’t throw in the towel. I’ve got this! I’m too determined to reach my goals that I don’t want to give up this time. Maybe I won’t reach my goals super fast—but I’m ok with that. I want this to truly be a lifestyle change and not a quick-fix-diet and exercise-like-crazy episode. Sustainability is what I’m after—and this is how it works for me.

In other news, yesterday went great with the craft project. Baby girl did very well and I handled everything pretty well, I think…with a little extra help of some Xanax. What can I say…I try to avoid it but I know my signs and I knew I needed it. It’s kind of a lifesaver sometimes—I rarely take it, but it really helps when I do. Meanwhile, I am still learning my coping techniques. Just keepin’ it real here on the A Journey to Thin blog. Winking smile

So anyways, I am no artist—but I love how my flower pots turned out! They are a little messy because I accidently used too much paint and it starting running down…but who cares, I don’t require perfection!


They will be stacking pots—I will take another picture when I get them assembled and flowers planted. I’m pretty proud of myself for the color mixtures. We had primary colors so I mixed paints to get the colors I wanted. It’s kind of hard to see, but that’s a teal color chevron, a coral-ish color circles, and pale yellow stripes. Fun!

One more picture…doesn’t baby girl look adorable in her new dress and bow from grandma? Spoiled little girl!


Have a great Memorial Day weekend!

How did you do this week? Did you have a loss or a gain—or maybe you maintained?

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Thursday Update

I’m so glad it’s Thursday and a 3 day weekend with hubby home is just around the corner! We don’t have any big plans, but we plan to try to get a few things done around the house—which we badly need to do! Everything has been so crazy this past year that I feel like we were over our heads and have fallen behind on a lot of things—it will take some time to catch up again.

This past week has been pretty average. On Tuesday, I went to Kohl’s to exchange a dress for Sienna that was too small. She also needs some new PJs for spring/summer and hubby wanted some black and gray undershirts. I also found a skirt for myself, but the jury is still out on whether or not I like it. What do you think?

I imagine wearing it with my new denim shirt and a white tee—and if I wanted to get really trendy, I could wear a fedora hat! I love that look but I don’t usually wear hats.

Yesterday, I was super tired all day long. I should have just taken a nap, but instead I just sat around doing nothing and wanting to snack—which I did a little too much of. I must sleep when I’m tired!!

And then when I’m tired is when my anxiety and everything else kicks in. So our church meeting didn’t go so well with Sienna. Hubby takes care of her most of the time because of my issues. I just wanted to cry. Everyone was so nice afterwards and told us that she did really well and that they could tell us all kinds of stories about trying to take care of their children during the meeting—they’ve all been there. That was an encouragement to me.

This week I reached out to someone to try to make a new friend and was kind of rejected. My first try and it didn’t work out—I don’t think she really meant it to be anything against me but still…I didn’t need that on my first try!! haha

But the good news is that someone reached out to me and invited me to get together with her and another friend of mine to do a little craft project. We’re going to paint flower pots. Afterwards, we’re going to visit a new coffee shop. That’s this afternoon. I sure hope baby girl can handle everything…and me too!

Baby girl continues to be so silly. Last night, she was cheesing at everybody and giggling. She isn’t shy at all. She has been walking a little more lately. She started “singing” and whistling. Oh my goodness it’s so funny. Also, if I ask her what a kitty says, she makes this meow noise that requires her to stick her tongue all of the way out of her mouth to make. She’s also getting to be quite naughty and has quite the attitude at times. I guess if she’s still doing this stuff at 6 years old then we’ll worry—probably just another phase!

Weigh in day tomorrow…I’m not sure how it will go really. Hoping for the best.

I better get going because I don’t have a lot of time to get ready!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Super Easy Grilled Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers

Stuffed peppers are one of my favorite spring and summer foods. When the weather finally gets warm enough to start grilling again, we often enjoy a delicious meal of marinated grilled chicken, stuffed peppers, and fresh asparagus from our garden. Nothing better!

As the recipe states, these stuffed peppers are super easy to make and they only require two ingredients: mini sweet peppers and garden vegetable cream cheese.


Preheat the grill. Next, place aluminum foil on a plate leaving edges that you can use as handles. This will make it easy to transfer the stuffed peppers from the plate to the grill and back to the plate again.

K & peppers 0082

After washing the mini sweet peppers, the next step is to cut off the top of the pepper and then cut the pepper in half length-wise and de-seed. Repeat for all of the peppers.


Using a spoon, fill the inside of the peppers with garden vegetable cream cheese.


Place the peppers on the plate lined with aluminum foil and they’re ready to go on the grill! Carefully transfer the peppers on the aluminum foil onto an upper rack on the grill. Grill until the peppers and cream cheese look slightly browned. Carefully transfer the peppers on the aluminum foil back onto the plate.



Super Easy Grilled Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers

Serves: varies Serving Size: 2 whole peppers (4 halves) PointsPlus Per Serving: 3


  • Mini sweet peppers (washed)
  • 8 oz. container of Garden vegetable cream cheese

Note: How much cream cheese you use will depend upon the size of the peppers—it’s always best to calculate points based on the amount of ingredients that you use.


  1. Preheat grill.
  2. Place aluminum foil on a plate leaving edges that you can use as handles.
  3. Cut off the top of the peppers and then cut the peppers in half length-wise and de-seed.
  4. Using a spoon, fill the inside of the peppers with garden vegetable cream cheese.
  5. Place the peppers on the plate lined with aluminum foil. Carefully transfer the peppers on the aluminum foil onto an upper rack on the grill. Grill until the peppers and cream cheese look slightly browned.
  6. Carefully transfer the peppers on the aluminum foil back onto the plate. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Supplements I Recommend

When hubby and I decided we were ready to start a family, I knew that I wanted to take a good quality prenatal vitamin. I remembered a recommendation I heard on a podcast about Rainbow Light Vitamins, so I decided to give them a try.

What I love about the brand is that their multivitamins are once-a-day and food based—meaning they are based on whole foods so that the body is better able to digest and absorb the vitamins.

Rainbow Light prioritizes using the purest and highest quality ingredients. Their bottles are 100% recycled and 100% recyclable, so they are environmentally friendly too.

While pregnant, I took the Prenatal Daily Duo, which contains both a prenatal vitamin and prenatal DHA.

I have taken multivitamins for quite a few years now, but I only saw noticeable results when I took the Rainbow Light vitamin—hello great nail health! I took these for as long as baby was consuming breast milk.

After that, I decided to try out the Women’s One multi-vitamin and I absolutely love this one! The good results continue to show.

Since having postpartum depression, my psychiatrist recommended that I take fish oil so I bought the Rainbow Light Everyone's Omega - Fish and Flax supplement.

Is it a coincidence that I have started to feel my best since taking these? Possibly, but either way I know these are doing my body good. I tend to not eat as many omegas as I should and this supplement really helps. Plus, Weight Watchers recommends two servings of healthy oils per day and this helps in that area too.

There are a variety of Rainbow Light supplements available—including Men’s multivitamins, children’s chewable multivitamins, and even supplements for dogs.


What supplements do you recommend?


I have no affiliation with Rainbow Light, these opinions are all my own. However, I am an Amazon affiliate and if you click on a link and make a purchase I will receive a small commission which helps keep A Journey to Thin running.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Tragedy and Triumph

Headstone in Cemetery

Last week the sudden death of a friend was a shock. He was only 40 years old and left behind a wife and four little children. It is absolutely heartbreaking and this family has been constantly in my mind ever since.

I just wanted to write about my thoughts since this is what this blog is—a place to express my thoughts and feelings about life in general.

I cannot imagine how this family feels. Perhaps they are numb right now and still in shock. To lose your father at such a young age. To lose your husband and your best friend. And suddenly.

No goodbye. No warning. No chance to say you’re sorry. No moment to express your love. Just gone. Forever. Gone.

I cannot know how this family feels having never been there myself, but my heart broke for them just the same. Empathy and sympathy combined.

I sobbed and I found myself questioning—why?

It seems so senseless. So unfair. So wrong.

I don’t like to question God and honestly this is the first time I’ve ever done so. But in his mercy, He gave me an answer that satisfied my soul—something my dad said not very long ago and I can’t even remember what we were talking about at the time.

“We are living this life—not for this life, but in preparation for eternity.”

It’s a tragedy in the natural sense in every single way. But in a spiritual sense, he finished faithfully in triumph.

This life is temporary, but eternity is forever.

Let the little things go. Let your loved ones know they are always loved. Remember that every breath could be your last.

And never, ever forget the true purpose of life.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Weigh in Day and Finalized Outfits for Family Photos

Before stepping on the scale this morning, I mentally prepared myself for a large gain. When I stepped on the scale, I was surprised to find that I could actually breathe a sigh of relief.

I only gained .1 lb.! Now imagine if I had stayed on track this week…I probably would have had a nice loss. But you never know.

Stats for the week:

  • Weekly Points Used: All of them and then some 
  • Activity Points Earned: 22
  • Activity Points Used: All of them and then some
  • Total steps: 46,546
  • Weight Loss this Week: +.1
  • Total Weight Loss to Date: –10.3 lbs.

I’m especially happy that I didn’t lose my “10 lbs. lost status”. I haven’t even gotten my pedicure yet!!

This brings up something that I need to work on—when I inevitably mess up sometimes, I need to remember that every healthy choice counts. I don’t need to wait until weigh in day to “start over again” with a clean slate. It’s totally a mind thing and as much as I wanted to keep at it…I kept thinking in the back of my mind, “well, what’s the point? I’ve already messed up this much!”. There is a point—health, and it doesn’t start and stop depending upon a couple of “bad” choices. It all counts.

I was so excited to see that I received the skirt I ordered in the mail today!! I rushed inside to try it on and…”oh no”…I pulled another Alissa.

You see, I routinely make these stupid mistakes. Like accidently ordering the wrong color leaves for the tree decal in the nursery, or buying paint that I thought was gray and it was actually purple, or adding a cup of rosemary and salt to a recipe instead of 1 Tbs. Ok, that one is from long, long ago and was my first cooking experience, but you get the picture.

So what did I do? I gave the wrong measurements for my skirt! 3” too large, to be exact. I tried on the skirt and I literally cannot keep it on me because it’s so huge.

I may tend to make dumb mistakes like this from time to time, but you know what I’m also good at? Fixing problems. Although my sister says that I do not need to try to “fix” everything all of the time, I tend to think that in some ways this is a good quality that I have when it applies to things that do not involve emotional fixing…which is where I have a problem…and I’m working on fixing that one with my counselor…so I guess I just like to fix things. lol

Alright, so I thought…this skirt is just too perfect for the family photos that I’m not going to just give up on it. Better too big than too small. I safety pinned it together and it works. The next time I see my mom, I will see if she can fix it for me.

I really like how it turned out! What do you think? I will need to wear an additional tank underneath to make sure the chevron doesn’t show through my tank. The picture isn’t the greatest because I don’t have a good mirror (it’s old and has this foggy appearance that doesn’t come off of it).


I bought my tops at Old Navy (both the denim and the tank), and the skirt is from Needle Nook by Marcy on Etsy. The headband is from Hipsy Headbands which I ordered from Amazon Prime (affiliate link).

Here is what baby girl will wear:


And then I picked up this shirt for hubby at Old Navy. I was in a hurry and when I was leaving I saw a shirt that had all of the colors that we’re wearing…but don’t think I’ll have time to go back and get that one.


So what do you think?

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Personal Update, Struggles, and Style

Hello everyone and happy Thursday!

I decided to do my personal update post today instead of including it with my weigh in stats tomorrow. Mostly, I just need to talk about what has been going on lately so I can get my head on straight.

I accidently ate too many points on our day trip. I say accidently because we ended up going to Perkins and baby was fussy, super energetic and hard to handle! I wasn’t able to look up my points until after we left and then realized that I had eaten more points than I had. Bummer. I also could have made better decisions in general.

So I had best intentions for the following days and then I let stress get in the way—which I always seem to do.

Baby girl has had some “intestinal” problems since April 30th. I feed her very well—lots of veggies, I’ve added pureed fruit since I can’t get her to eat it otherwise, whole grains, etc. I had even started adding a bit of apple juice to her water, took my mother’s advice and added 1 tsp of Karo syrup to her bottles (I never thought I would do something like this but when your baby is in pain you’ll try anything!), gave her massages, etc. I was doing everything right and things weren’t improving. She was in so much pain and the doctor’s office didn’t seem to understand my concern, which made me more frustrated because I felt so helpless!

I started adding prune juice to her bottles and to her water. I made bran muffins, kept up the foods with high fiber content, and made sure she was drinking enough water. I eventually had to go to a last resort and give her a glycerin suppository, which the doctor recommended (the kid’s version). That finally helped and everything started to work normally again—almost too much! You’re welcome for this information, I just wanted to talk about it…lol.

Before I had a baby, I was sure I wouldn’t be able to handle boogers, poop and everything else. “Gross!”, I’d say. But you know what? When you become a mama, all of the sudden none of that matters anymore and you take care of business. I’ve been pooped on, peed on, and vomited on more times than I can count and I have never even gagged. Funny how that works out!

So my point in sharing TMI is to say that I have been stressed out this week…and also hormonal. Add nights with baby girl waking up numerous times. Bad, bad combination.

I was tracking everything I ate whether I thought it was “good” or not. And then about yesterday I stopped tracking. I didn’t go crazy and eat everything in sight, but I probably didn’t need that sundae with hot fudge and Reese’s.

Sigh. In keeping with my goal to have a “survivor mentality”, I take full responsibility. If I am going to “survive”, I will have to learn how to handle stress better. How long have I been saying this? I think I should talk to my counselor about this…maybe I can finally get some help!

On another note, my anxiety continues to improve and I am feeling much more normal—Yay!

In other news, we’re having baby girl’s 1 year photos taken this Saturday. I decided to add on the cake smash option too. It will be so cute. We’re using the same photographer who took her newborn pics—super cute! This lady is so talented. She’s also going to shoot a couple photos of us as a family.

I have baby girl’s outfits, and have hubby’s outfit planned but I don’t have anything yet! I ordered a custom chevron skirt on Etsy and it just shipped—it might be here by Saturday and it might not—so I will have to plan otherwise. I’m really hoping it gets here and it fits. I’m going to go shopping and am going to try to find a denim top to wear with my maxi skirts—I was looking at fashion on Pinterest and it looks like this is in style right now? What do I know…but I think it’s cute anyways!

This is the look I’m going for—minus the necklace and style of headband. My skirt will be aqua and white. (Pinterest link)

CASUAL: Black/White Chevron Print Maxi Skirt, Denim Double Pocket Long Sleeve Top, White Basic V Neck Tee & necklace, all from;  Natural Stone Knuckle Ring from  Bull Ring from

If I can’t find a denim “top”, I will try to find a denim jacket—this is the look.  (Pinterest link)

Patterned green maxi skirt, white top, denim jacket, green statement necklace. sandals.

What do you think?

Anyways, I better get moving because I have a counseling appointment this afternoon and will have to get baby fed, bathed, and dressed before then…and myself too!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Do you have a Survivor or Victim Mentality in Weight Loss and Life?

Survival Word One Way Road Sign Endurance Resilience

The concept of survivor vs. victim mentality was introduced to me in a counseling session, of which I have been going to for postpartum depression recovery. We were discussing a difficult relationship and her advice was invaluable to me—I do plan to blog about dealing with negative relationships soon, but what I find especially intriguing right now is applying this concept to weight loss.

I believe that I have taken on both the survivor and the victim mentality throughout the years. I remember the first time that I met my doctor and I was struggling to lose more weight, having already lost a significant amount, and she told me “you are NOT a failure”. I hadn’t mentioned anything about feeling like a failure, but somehow she had just the right words.

I remember coming home, getting on my recumbent bike and biking my heart out with tears streaming down my face.

I am NOT a failure. I, Alissa, am NOT a failure.

The thought was amazingly freeing and it was a huge turning point for me.

I finally realized that all of the heartbreak I had endured with various people (adults, coaches, and peers) telling me that who I was wasn’t good enough, skinny enough, fast enough, talented enough, pretty enough, outgoing enough—none of that was true.

These were no longer excuses for me to feel like a victim broken by life and like I didn’t measure up—instead, they were experiences that made me stronger, better, and kinder. I was a survivor of these experiences. It doesn’t mean that these experiences were not painful, that they weren’t wrong in so many ways, or that it was even a gift that I went through them. It simply meant that life threw cruelty in my face in so many ways and that I am still standing strong—better for it.

It took me a very long time to get to this place of acceptance and strength. And to this day, I can honestly say that I truly believe that the comments made about me and cruel actions towards me are not a reflection of myself, but a reflection of the inflictor. These were their issues, not mine. I am a survivor.


The word simply invokes strength out of what felt like weakness. It is a shift in mentality that I am finding is a key to happiness.

And so I have been thinking about ways in which I am taking on a victim role in regard to weight loss and my life in general. These are areas of my life that I need to take responsibility for and take action. That doesn’t mean that they are not valid, or that I am silly for feeling a certain way—it simply means that to move forward and to be a survivor, I have to take action. Nobody can do this for me except for me.

  • Victim mentality: I have always felt like I received the short end of the stick in the genetics department. Somehow, I inherited the weight problem.
  • Survivor mentality: I may have been born with a tendency to be overweight, but I can make changes to get my health under control.

  • Victim mentality: I can’t stop eating my emotions because so and so invokes these feelings and makes me upset.
  • Survivor mentality: No one controls my actions except for me. So and so may be unkind, but I am allowing myself to get upset and I am also choosing to eat.

  • Victim mentality: No one likes me as much as they like so and so. They never have and they never will.
  • Survivor mentality: Even if people were cruel in the past, it doesn’t mean that everyone is that way or that it was my fault. If I try to be more friendly, people will probably respond—if they don’t, that’s their problem, not mine.

  • Victim mentality: Everyone else can eat whatever they want whenever they want. If I so much as look at a cookie, I will gain 10 lbs. It’s just not fair.
  • Survivor mentality: Maybe it doesn’t seem fair, but this is the body I have been given and I will only live once. It’s not that I don’t get to eat delicious foods, it’s just that I have set goals that I want to meet and so I must practice moderation. I will be happier having met my goals. The sooner I accept the fact that this is just the way my metabolism is, the sooner I can take steps to move forward.


My examples are kind of “big” issues, but I think it’s easy to have the victim mentality in many shapes and forms. Throughout my journey with PPD, I have learned that my thoughts are incredibly impactful.

Just because we have a victim mentality right now does not mean that we can’t change the way that we think. It’s possible. It takes a lot of mindfulness to identify these thoughts and then change them—but it’s possible.

I can be a survivor and so can you.


Can you identify any ways that you have taken on the victim mentality? How can you change that into the survivor mentality?

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Creamy Mango Dessert Cups Recipe (6 PointsPlus)

There is a store where I grew up in Illinois called Valli Produce. I am envious of my mother who gets to shop there on a regular basis. This store has the most amazing selection of produce for outstanding prices. The bakery has all kinds of decadent desserts and the deli has a wide selection of unique foods. Not to mention, they also sell international foods and that makes shopping there a lot of fun. I love to try new things and especially enjoy the chocolate from Europe.

How did I get from produce to chocolate? Ha! Can’t say I’m surprised!

Anyways, my lovely mother almost always brings us fresh produce when she comes to visit—she asks me what I want but really, we will eat anything. Whatever is on sale! I love it when she arrives and my refrigerator becomes the home of a rainbow of produce.

When my parents visited for baby girl’s 1st birthday party, they brought along pineapple, papaya, a crate of mangos (only $4.99 for the whole thing), blueberries, raspberries, limes, pears, kiwi, strawberries, and sweet peppers. I am probably forgetting something here—but we used the deliciousness at baby girl’s party.

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Tropical fruit is most definitely my favorite. It tasted like Mexico.

My dad cut up the mango & pineapple and I cut up the papaya (while hubby sucked the juicy fruit left on the skin). We had plenty for the fruit salad and also plenty left over! I froze some of the mango and papaya and we’re enjoying it this week. There is nothing better than juicy gold mango.

I had about six more mangos left that weren’t quite ripe yet. I let them ripen and then cut them up. We had a TON more mango—which made hubby and I pretty happy! I looked up recipes for mango and came upon this mango pie recipe and decided to tweak it and make it my own.

This is the perfect dessert for summer time. It’s light and refreshing. I served it for hubby’s parents and they had nothing but good things to say. Hubby’s only complaint was that there wasn’t more for seconds!

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Creamy Mango Dessert Cups

Serves: 4 Serving Size: ~1/2 cup PointsPlus Per Serving: 6


  • Two cups Mango puree (cut up mango and put it in the blender until smooth)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • One packet of Knox Gelatine (unflavored)
  • 8 oz. package of Neufchatel at room temperature (1/3 less fat than regular cream cheese)
  • 5 doonks of pure stevia extract or to taste (or sweetener of choice)


  1. Heat 1/2 cup of water on the stove. Once boiling, slowly pour the packet of Knox Gelatine into the water, stirring continuously until dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. It will become like jelly when it has cooled.
  2. Pour the mango puree and Neufchatel into a mixing bowl. Mix well. Add the cooled gelatin and mix. If you have lumps of cream cheese/gelatin, pour the mixture into the blender until smooth. Add sweetener to taste. (if you have a good strong blender, you could bypass the mixing bowl step and use the blender instead).
  3. Pour the mixture into four serving dishes. Place into the refrigerator to set. When serving, top with a little whipped cream.


I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did! Let me know what you think!

Monday, May 11, 2015

A Day Trip to the Pella Tulip Festival

Hubby suggested that we take a weekend trip for Mother’s Day but the hotel in Minnesota we wanted to go was booked…as were almost all of the other places we looked into!

So we decided to take a day trip to Pella, IA to see the Tulip Festival instead. It worked out perfectly because we got to feel like we were on vacation but were still able to rest our weary heads in our own beds at the end of the day.

I’ve heard of acres and acres of colorful tulips during the Tulip Festival and I was excited to see them. I don’t know if we just didn’t know where to look or what, but we didn’t see nearly as many tulips as I had imagined. It was still fun though.

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Pella is a unique and beautiful town. It is known as “America’s Dutch Treasure” and features numerous Dutch windmills, including the largest working grain windmill in the United States.

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I didn’t feel like I was in Iowa while walking through the town—the architecture was more European and the beautiful city square reminded me of something from a metropolitan area.

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We sat on the grass under the shade of a tree in the city square and enjoyed a hot dog from a food vendor at the festival. I could imagine having picnics here every weekend—it was gorgeous!


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There were numerous people walking the streets in traditional Dutch clothing—including wooden shoes!

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We enjoyed some Dutch treats & ice cream. I let baby girl have a few little bites of ice cream and she kept going “MMMMMMM” really loud—my goodness she loved it. It was so funny.

It was a lot of fun just walking around and looking at the scenery. There were so many people there—at some points it was a little too crowded for me.

After that, we decided to head over to West Des Moines for a little shopping. I found the perfect outfit for baby girl’s 1 year photos on clearance at Gymboree. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find anything for myself! Even my favorite head bands (Bani Bands) are no longer sold at the Scheel’s there! I was so disappointed. I guess I will have to order online.

The best part—hubby and I really racked up the steps!! I hit a new personal record.



I was supposed to pick a restaurant for supper so I picked Jethro’s BBQ. I have been wanting to eat at this place forever. We tried two locations and they were super packed. Since baby was very fussy, we decided to just go to Perkins. It was delicious anyways—but I still want to try Jethro’s!

I hope you had a Happy Mother’s Day!

Friday, May 8, 2015

I did it!! Weigh in Day Recap & Personal Update #PostPartumDepression

Well, I guess that was a dead giveaway in the title! There’s no guessing on the outcome of this weigh in. Yep, it was a loss! But it wasn’t just any old loss…

It was a fantastic loss! And you know why?

Well, first… it was 3.8 lbs., which is just amazing for me—the slow loser.

Second of all, I hit my 10 lb. goal! I’ve lost a total of 10.4 lbs. in 5 weeks. Yay! That means that I can get my pedicure (my reward for my 10 lb. goal) any time now!

I knew that last week’s gain of .3 was just a fluke…that’s probably why I had the big loss this week. Most importantly, I didn’t just say “screw it” and go off track after that gain. Instead, I kept on track and the scale gave me some love.

I also want to say that I did not eat all super duper healthy food last week. I just ate what I wanted (well maybe not everything I wanted…) and I counted the points for it. I truly watched my portions. With baby girl’s party, I had cupcakes. I even had a donut with family. But every single point was counted. That doesn’t mean that all I ate was “unhealthy” food—I had MORE of the healthy stuff.

This is exactly how I lost almost 90 lbs. the first time. It seems like when I started to try to “eat clean” or omit certain foods, etc. that I started to slip up. It was too obsessive and no longer fun. I’m just going to be realistic and do my own thing this time. It seems to work.

Stats for the week:

  • Weekly Points Used: 48/49
  • Activity Points Earned: 19
  • Activity Points Used: 0
  • Total steps: 44,414
  • Weight Loss this Week: –3.8 lbs.
  • Total Weight Loss to Date: –10.4 lbs.

I didn’t do so wonderfully in the activity department—but it takes small changes so I’m not going to beat myself up about it.

I thought I’d give another personal update too. Maybe this makes these weigh in day posts too long, what do you think?

Anyways, I am feeling really great. The addition of the anxiety med really seemed to do the trick. I don’t think I have ever felt so calm and relaxed—it feels very “normal”, like that cloud has been lifted and the heaviness is gone. It’s such a wonderful feeling (this is just in this past week). Now I just need to see how I handle a “stressful” event.

I think my mental health plays a huge role in the weight department. I don’t feel overwhelmed or weary and so I don’t turn to food. I am not so worn out mentally that I don’t have the strength to think about health and making good choices. It will be very interesting to see if this really does the trick for me. Obviously, it takes my effort and it’s not like I’m taking a magic pill—but if the chemical balance was off then maybe that’s what was causing me such trouble (maybe even prior to PPD, just not to the same extent).

It’s a good feeling, let me tell you.

Baby girl continues to be just the cutest little thing ever. *gush and swoon* She’s just so happy like 99.9% of the time. Always smiling and laughing…and making everyone else smile and laugh too. She just has a way about her. She’s very sociable and loves attention from anyone and everyone. She loves to wave and smile at people in the stores.

Don’t get me wrong, she can be very stubborn—like throwing her food on the floor, throwing her sippy cup on the floor, standing up in the seat of the cart, or refusing to sit down when I put her in her high chair. I don’t know that it’s necessarily being naughty but just testing her limits and trying to show her independence, I suppose. She has opinions, I guess. lol

Funny thing though, this morning she threw food on the floor and shook her head no…so she obviously knows she’s not supposed to do it! I’m just trying to practice consistency and hopefully she will stop. She used to like to chew on the furniture (yes, again like a little puppy dog), but with consistently telling her no—she eventually just stopped.

Why didn’t anyone tell me how much I would worry about how to be the right kind of parent? Why didn’t anyone tell me how much I would wonder if I know how to discipline her correctly? Why didn’t anyone tell me how much I would worry that I won’t influence her in the right ways and shape her little life into a girl and woman who is respectable and kind? Why didn’t anyone tell me that I would change when I realized that little eyes were watching and little ears were hearing?

I am most certainly not the woman I was a year ago. It’s been difficult and trying, maybe more so because of the postpartum depression. But it’s been worth it. All of it.

Who knew that this little girl would change my life so much?


Every single moment has lead me to where I am right now---and for that I can be thankful. If there are any other women out there struggling with PPD, it DOES get better.

Much love.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

April At Home Date Night: Hubby’s Turn!

Hubby waited until the very last minute to plan our April date night. Seriously, we had our date at 8:30 p.m. on April 30th! And that’s perfectly ok because it felt so romantic and I loved every minute.

In case you are just starting to follow along, at the beginning of the year, hubby and I decided to alternate turns planning a date night each month. Since becoming parents a year ago, we have realized how important it is to foster our relationship. While it’s not always possible for us to leave the house and go out for a date night alone, we plan at home dates!

I put baby girl down for bed and came down the stairs to have hubby stop me and tell me to wait before coming down. He came back and took my hand and walked me to our enclosed porch.

He had set the patio table and had a sushi supper removed from take out containers and placed perfectly on dishes. He had three little candles burning and had placed a red tulip in a little vase on the table. It was just perfect. The sun was setting and the weather was just right. It made me so happy that he put together something so romantic for us.


Once we started eating, I noticed he had written a note on my napkin.


Wasn’t that just the sweetest plan for a date night at home?

It was so nice and relaxing to eat a delicious meal as just the two of us. We had nice conversation and a great time together.

May is my turn! Hmmm…better start planning!

Interested in previous date nights?




Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Chocolate A Day Review and Giveaway

I was sent a package of Chocolate A Day to review. All opinions are my own.

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All of my chocolate lovers out there, this one’s for you.

Imagine chocolate that contains 14 vitamins and minerals including 100% daily value with 10 of them. Imagine chocolate that tastes good, is sugar free but not made with artificial sweeteners, and is low in calories with only 1 Weight Watcher’s PointsPlus.

Chocolate A Day (made by Color Earth) is all of those things and more. Why chocolate? According to Color Earth, it’s because it is one of the most craved foods in the world and eating your multivitamin like a food helps the body digest nutrients like a food.

The chocolate really is delicious—I like it! It is the perfect little “treat” but also makes me feel better about eating chocolate. A chocolate a day makes mama happy, right?

Here are a few product highlights:

  • Gluten Free
  • Paleo Friendly
  • Dairy Free
  • Vegan
  • Sugar Free (sweetened with Maltitol—from chicory leaves)
  • All Natural
  • No fillers, waxes, substitute oils, or preservatives
  • For every product sold at, a tree is planted in the developing world
  • Safe to cook with (can be broken into pieces and substituted for chocolate chips)
  • Ingredients: Unsweetened dark chocolate, Maltitol, Cocoa Butter, Soy Lecithin, and Natural Vanilla

Color Earth is giving away a one year supply of Chocolate A Day by giving away a box to each of 20 winners—one a day from May 5th through May 15th & June 9th through June 19th. You can enter daily. Click the image below to enter!

You can also check them out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I will receive a small portion of the sale that helps keep A Journey to Thin running.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Baby Girl’s First Birthday Party (Lots of Pictures!)

I can’t believe our baby girl is one year old already! The days are long but the years are short.

I had so much fun planning this birthday party. The decorations, the food, the gifts, and baby girl’s outfit—so much fun to plan! With a lot of team effort, it all turned out beautifully!

For her outfit, I bought a tutu at Party City that was sold along with the party supplies. I picked up the iron on “1” for her onesie at Hobby Lobby. I think it turned out really cute!


We started with gifts to keep things moving along and so her outfit wouldn’t be destroyed for gift opening time! Poor baby wasn’t feeling very well so she looks kind of tired in the pics.

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Our little family:

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Love this picture of Grandma and baby:

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Playing with one of her new toys from mama and daddy:

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I ordered a balloon bouquet that matched the “cupcake” theme that I got for napkins, etc. but when I picked them up they said that there was a hole in the balloon and it was the last one left. So I went with a “1” instead. For some reason I forgot to take a pic of the balloons, but here is an image I grabbed out of one of my photos. I loved the polka dot balloons.


Now onto the birthday party supper. Decorations, plates & napkins are from Party City.

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The centerpiece:

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I bought Frappuccino bottles and hubby and I drank them throughout the week prior to the party and then used some Goo Gone to clean off the labels. I made Crystal Light pink lemonade and served that with vintage paper straws (From Wal-mart)—so cute!

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The baby girl’s throne (bib from Wal-Mart):

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Her birthday hat:

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For supper, hubby grilled stuffed sweet peppers & chicken.

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We had a fresh fruit salad with pineapple, papaya, mango, strawberries, blueberries, & kiwi.

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We also had Texas Potatoes and hubby’s parents brought homemade rolls and green bean casserole. It was so delicious!

Baby girl was ready to eat!

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For the birthday cake, I picked up a dozen cupcakes in all different varieties from a local cupcakery (we had 8 adults). A few years ago, I picked up a cupcake stand on clearance for $3 and I finally got to put it to use! It went so well with the general pretty in pink & girly type theme.

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Don’t you just want to grab one? They were a hit—as always!

Baby girl sure enjoyed hers too!

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So much fun! Next year, I need to start planning a little further in advance and start the prep much earlier—I was feeling pretty overwhelmed the day before and day of the party. Whew! But I’m so happy for how it all turned out.

Happy 1st birthday to our sweet baby girl!


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