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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Why Why Why WHY WHY WHHHHYYYY!!!!???????

Why do I spend so much money?
Why do I justify ordering something I can live without?
Why do I sit and think of things to buy?
Why do I spend my day surfing my favorite websites for goodies to BUY!?

I really hate myself and I hate that I always rationalize buying something.  ESPECIALLY on the weekends.  Every weekend I justify, "It's for a Christmas gift..." but I know i'm just telling myself that until I get home and I keep it for myself.

Low Self Esteem

Everlast 2lb DumbbellsI think that's a big part of it!  No one likes to admit they have low self esteem, and I usually don't.  But I've gained some weight in the last couple years and since I don't really fit into my favorite clothes.  I'd say it's fairly upsetting on a daily basis.  So begins my diet.  And exercise. And regular activity.  Which leads to my most current purchase.

Jillian Michaels Fitness Ultimatum 2011Wii Fit Balance Board Multi Functional Aerobic Step SystemThis morning I ordered The Jillian Michaels Ultimatum 2011 for the Wii, the ever last 2 lb weights that you put your wiimote in, and the wii balance board aerobic step.  I originally was looking only for a step for the balance board, since on our thick carpet downstairs it doesn't accurately read my weight.  You can imagine my surprise when I stepped on and learned I lost 23 lbs since august.  I REALLY didn't believe that.  Luc's explanation was that we lost weight but we only lost muscle weight.  And I thought he was nuts since I can't zip any of my pants.  After I put the board on a hard plastic tote lid, the weight line sprung way up, about 10 lbs heavier then August!

It seems like an endless cycle.  Gain weight.  Buy things to make me feel better.  Rationalize it allllll away.

Hopefully, losing weight leads to better self esteem, leading to less spending to make me feel better.

Looking good, feeling better, spending less.
Susi

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Red, Black & Blue Friday

Why Red, Black & Blue?

We're in the red from Black Friday and I'm now I'm blue.

Normally shopping, especially great deals, make me happy.  Or they make me think that they make me happy.  Yes I DID get some great deals on things I would have bought anyway. More Rubbermaid containers, a refillable spray mop, a small crock pot.  But add to that the christmas gifts I bought, and you have WAY WAY more then would have cost for me to get my KitchenAid mixer I've been saving for.  So I'm back at the beginning.  I was hoping to be able to buy it with next weeks payday. But I put $120 on the Sears card at Target, paid $60 at TJ Maxx, $60 at Fleet Farm, $20 at Hallmark. So after all that, No mixer for Susi.

This is the mixer I was planning on buying.  At Kitchenaid.com they have a refurbished one for $199.  A great deal compared to the original price!

So that's my money issue for the weekend.

Did anything good come from this Thanksgiving?  My family and Luc's spent it together.  That was fun.  What wasn't fun? How my oven DIED half way through dinner on Thursday!  We grilled the stuffing and sweet potatoes.  We made the gravy on the griddle like a hot plate.  I cut my beautiful loaf of dinner rolls into discs and browned them on the other side of the griddle :(  But now I have english muffins essentially.  BUTTTTT, when we got home from Friday shopping our landlord got a great deal on a BRAND NEW OVEN! And it was sitting on our front step waiting for us! So we now have a beautiful new white oven.  The other one was original when the house was built in the 70's.  GROSS.

So I'm going to go make something tastey in it!
Susi

Monday, November 22, 2010

Weekend Shopping Seems To Be My Downfall...

Good Morning!

So this weekend I was working at a "Hunters Widows" shopping event. I was running a booth for my salon for some promos we have going on. Suffice it to say the tupperware lady and the tastefully simple lady were directly in my line of vision. And BOTH had 50% off sales. Fortunately for me I only had 2 checks left in my book, otherwise i would be tapped out!  $50 at Tupperware for a juice container for Lucas, a Cinderella sandwich keeper, Popsicle makers, and holiday tumblers with lids.  $50 at tastefully simple: value pack of the wheat beer bread, 2 pepper jellies, a carrot cake cheese ball and a spinach artichoke warm dip.   Mmmm those will be very good this weekend when we have family here.  I also stopped at the Herbalife booth and got some shakes to try the different flavors, since I'm so FAT right now it's ridiculous! lol  I thought I was going to like the cafe latte, but ended up liking the cookies and cream most! So hopefully these help to jump start my diet!

Speaking of loosing weight!

To save money and still work out: I have a workout DVD from 2002, but it's kinda embarrassing to do around other people.  We also have a wii fit game, but that's currently way way way up north with Luc's sister.  I bought those shape up shoes a couple months ago, and I've noticed a change in my calves already! My boots are already fitting better then last year!   So I hope all these little things will add up to some change in my weight.  BOOOO Obesity!!!!


See you all later!
Susi

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Grocery Shopping For Thanksgiving!

So here's what I got at the store today!
  • Angel Soft (Toilet paper is always appreciated by our visitors over holidays)
  • light brown sugar
  • dark brown sugar
  • Honey nut scooters
  • 2 gallons skim
  • 1 gallon 2%
  • 2 bags of cranberries
  • 5 bags Pecan halves
  • powdered sugar
  • Gold Medal flour, 5  5lb bags, only $1.50! (Stock up at your store this week! Its a manufacturers disc!)
  • flour tortillas
  • 3 Smart Ones for lunch at work.
  • jiffy corn bread mix for my stuffing
  • chocolate chips
  • a premade chocolate pie crust, I ended up being one crust shy, and need a chocolate one anyway!
  • Corn Meal, for english muffins
  • 5 evaporated milk
  • 2 sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 romaine lettuce
  • wheat thins
  • triscuts
  • 3 wanchai ferry box dinners, I LOVE these! The dry box ones not the frozen ones, they are a little bit more work then a typical box meal where you add a meat or vegetable eg. hamburger helper, but they really ARE restaurant quality.
  • 4lb Bacon
  • cabbage
  • 2 broccolli
  • cauliflower
  • 2 pkgs. brats
  • a sirloin roast
  • oranges
  • pears
  • apples for pies
  • bananas
  • celery
  • 2 loaves white bread
  • hot dog buns
  • 4.5lbs sweet potatoes
  • Chocolate covered cherries (these are my favorites at holiday time! I just couldn't resist this little splurge!)
Total shopping trip cost: $189.42
Not bad since I had budgeted $200 for the weeks worth of groceries AND thanksgiving dinner for 10!

Today I'm baking!
I'll be making an apple pie. a pumpkin pie, a chocolate toffee pecan tart, a chocolate cheesecake pie, and the dinner rolls! Yummy! 

Recipes: 
 Apple Pie
  • Thaw premade pie crust, follow directions on box for prep.
  • 3 lbs Apples
  • 2.3C. Sugar
  • 2T. Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 6T. Unsalted Butter
  • 1T. All-Purp Flour
  • 1/2t. Cinnamon
  • Pinch Ground Cloves
  • Pinch Nutmeg
  • 1 large egg
  1. Peel, halve, core apples. Cut each halve into 6 wedges and toss with sugar and lemon juice in a plastic bag.  Melt 4T. butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add apple mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until firmer apples soften but still hold their shape. 8-9 min. Sprinkle with flour, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg and toss until juices begin to thicken, about 1 min.  Remove from heat and cool completely. (Can be made up to two days ahead and refrigerated, but i'm going to cook completely and freeze)
  2. Roll one layer of dough into a deep-dish pie plate. Add filling to crust,mounding in center, dot with remaining 2 T. butter. Chill pie while you prepare your second crust, (I'm going to use my mitten shaped cookie cutter to place a mitten border on the top of my apple pie!)
  3. Lay your dough over top of pie, crimping 2 doughs together around the edge.  Beat the remaining egg and brush over top coat, sprinkle with granulated sugar. Remember to pierce the top curst if your not doing a cut out crust like me, I'll have spaces between mittens for steam to escape, or you can place an adorable pie bird in the center of your pie before filling too! Chill 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  place pie on a baking sheet and bake until curst is golden brown and filling is bubbly about 55-60 minutes (Cover edge with foil if you're worried about them over-browning! I'm definitely going to foil so my top crust only gets minimally brown so when i re-bake on thanksgiving it comes our nice and golden, not burnt) Transfer to rack and cool for 2 hours or until set.
  5. Pie recipe from: Food Network Magazine, November 2010, pg. 150.
Pumpkin Pie
-I was originally going to make a crustless pumpkin pie from The Frugal Girl since I"m not a crust fan, but I happened to have an extra premade pie crust anyway.
  • 1 15oz can of Pumpkin Puree (you can also use pumpkin pie filling, just omit seasoning in recipe.)
  • 3 Lg Eggs
  • 1/2C. Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1/2C. Light Brown Sugar
  • 2t. Pumpkin Pie Seasoning
  • 1/2t. Salt
  1. In a large bowl lightly whisk the eggs.  Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.  
  2. Pour the mixture into the prepared pie shell and place on a large baking pan to catch any spills.  
  3. Bake the pie for about 45 to 55 minutes or until the filling is set and the crust has browned (the center will still look wet).  (A knife inserted about 1 inch (2.54 cm) from side of pan will come out almost clean.)  
  4. Place the baked pie on a wire rack to cool.   
 I'm also going to be making Maple Whipped Cream
  • 1C. Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 2T. Maple Syrup
  1. Put your bowl and beaters in the freezer for about 20 minutes before mixing, it'll help the cream whip up faster!
  2. Add both ingredients to a medium size bowl, and beat on medium high speed until soft peaks form.
  3. Don't leave your mixer unattended, if you over beat it you'll end up with maple butter and maple buttermilk! That's what happened to me last year!  But, if this happens and you have over night guests for turkey day/weekend, just collect the butter milk in a container and put butter in a cheese cloth and rinse well, and press into a ball shape.  Use both for pancakes the next morning!
  4. If pre-making, freeze dollops on a wax paper lined cookie sheet. When firm scoop into a freezer bag and pull out as much as you will need!
  5.  Recipe from http://www.joyofbaking.com/pumpkinpie.html
 Chocolate-Toffee Pecan Tart/Pie
  • I'm using a pre-made chocolate pie crust from Keebler.
  • For the Filling:
  • 1 1/2C. Pecan Halves
  • 10T. Butter
  • 6T. Granulated Sugar
  • 1t. Vanilla
  • 3/4t. Salt
  • 2/3C. Light Corn Syrup
  • 1/4C. dark brown sugar
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 3T. Ammaretto (The original recipe calls for bourbon but i LOVE amaretto)
  1. Coarsely chop 1C. pecan halves.  COmbine butter, granulated sugar, vanilla, and salt in a saucepan and bring to boil over medium-high heat.  Cook stirring until the mixture turns dark amber, about 6-8 minutes.
  2. Quickly stir in chopped pecans, and cook 1-2 minutes more.  Remove from the heat and whisk in the corn syrup and brown sugar until dissolved.  Cool until lukewar, then whick in eggs and amaretto until combined. ( This can be made up to 1 day inadvance at this point, cover and refridgerate the filling and wrap the cooled crust in plastic wrap. But i'm making a week in advance and freezing.)
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, place pie plate on a baking sheet and fill up to the brim. arrange remaining 1/2C. of pecan halves on  top.  Bake on the lower oven rack until the pie is evenly browned and slightly domed in the center.  About 40 minutes.  Transfer to a rack and cool completely.
  4. Recipe from Food Network Magazine, November 2010, pg. 153.

 And last, but definitely not least: Chocolate Cheesecake Pie 
  • Crust
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs  
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter  
  • Filling 
  •  1 15 oz container ricotta cheese (fat-free, light, or regular) 
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 8 oz. package cream cheese (fat-free, light, or regular)
  • 1 egg or 2 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup milk 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    1. Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter, and press into a 9-inch pie pan. Set aside.  
    2. In a food processor, blend ricotta cheese until smooth. Add sugar, cocoa powder, and cream cheese; process until smooth. Add egg, milk, and vanilla, and process just until blended. 
    3. Pour filling mixture into crust and bake in a preheated 350 F oven for 45-55 minutes, or until the edges are firm (center will be soft). Turn oven off and let cheesecake stand in oven for 30 minutes with the oven door cracked open at least 4 inches. 
    4. Remove cheesecake from oven; cool to room temperature on wire rack. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

    Blender directions: Puree ricotta in a blender in two batches, adding half of the milk with each batch. Transfer the smooth ricotta to a mixer bowl and proceed with the recipe, using a standard mixer.
     
  • Recipe from: http://www.thefrugalgirl.com/2010/11/wednesday-baking-chocolate-cheesecake-pie/ 

Each recipe DOES have it's own scratch crust recipe; but since I'M not using them, I'm not typing them up! lol But you can check out each recipe for the crusts.  Or if anyone out there desperately needs them and doesn't have access to the food network mag , please message me and if I'm not too busy I'll send you out the recipes!



I'm off to bake!
Susi

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Brrrrrrr! It's Chilly And Cheap In Here! Plus Menu Plan For The Next Week!

Good Afternoon!

So it's chilly and cheap here at Chez Susi.  We always keep our thermostats at a cool 64.  Why so low? Well between cooking dinner, and cleaning the big house it generally produces enough self heat to keep me comfortable!  We've also seen drastic cut backs on our propane usage from this as well!  What does that mean? The lower the heat, the less gas used, the more money in our pocket!


Sunbeam Twin Herringbone Camelot Dreams Heated Electric Warming Blanket, Seashell Off-WhiteHowever there are some days where I spend a good amount of time at the computer.  For instance, today i worked on our Salon's new website from 8 am until about 2:30pm. So I've been sitting here working on that not moving anything but my hands.  So suffice it to say, I'm QUITE chilly at the moment. I wish I had a heated blanket like this one!  It might be a good idea to get a heated blanket for our guests this holiday season.  Sometimes the upstairs can get a little chilly too!  Although after last Thanksgiving weekend, our family was complaining about the low temps.  So we will most likely crank the heat up to 72 so everyone is comfortable!

3M 17003-VP-3PK Command Adhesive Large Hooks Value Pack
Today I'm going to work on putting up some xmas decorations.  I won't be able to do very much with out those neat command hooks that don't damage the walls.  Renting + holiday decor = annoying catches! But I think those should help.



Babies First Menu Plan! lol

Tuesday/Wednesday is my weekend away from the salon so i'm going to retro fit my menu to include yesterday

Tuesday

  • Chili hot dish made from left over chili and corn bread
  • Salad
Wednesday
  • Breaded chicken strips in alfredo
  • salad
  • Chocolate cheesecake (from todays Frugal Girl posting) But i'll need to run to the store for graham crackers and ricotta cheese.
Thursday
  • Chicken Marsala
  • Salad
Friday- Crock Pot Day!
  • Polish Sausage
  • German Potato salad
  • Beer!
Saturday - Leftovers!
  •  Chili/alfredo/salads
Sunday
  • Monkey bread for brunch
  • Chicken wild rice soup
Monday
  • Taco Night!
  • Salad

Well! I'm off to the grocery store to fill in the extras I need for this week!
Susi

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Terribly Terrific Tuesday!

Herbeau DAGOBERT TOILET THRONE Wooden 550110Good Evening!

So... Is $14,000 too much for a toilet?
Yeah, probably.

Mmmmm, cold beer, chili hotdish and Glee.  Now that's a fantastic end to a long day at work.

OPI Burlesque Little Teasers Mini Nail Lacquers ONLY IN THEATERS
OPI AXXIUM SOAK OFF BOGOTA BLACKBERRY AXF52Speaking of work... So today I lived  spent vicariously through work.  We finally got around to ordering the gel lacquer product. Which is pricey, just not for me, but I am SO excited to start offering that! My favorite thing is we're getting the Showstoppers glitter colors from the new Burlesque movie! I also spent a good ammount of time working on the salon's new website.  Will link to it when it's finished and we've figured out a name for the site.  There's about a million bella salon's out there in cyberspace.  But we'll figure it out.  I'm also working on a flier for a "hunter's widow" event here.  Basically for you non-hunting families, hunting opener is on the 20th and all the men disappear for the weekend.  which is a great excuse for the women at home to go out and do some shopping and have some fun! So a local resort is having a big event with "shopping" vendors and local women-oriented business, like the salon! That'll be a really crazy & fun 4 hours!

This morning Lucas and I got into a fight.
Over butter.
Yeah, butter.  two days ago we had a fight over shredded cheese.
If these are the low points of our relationship, I think we'll be ok.

Tabletops Unlimited Corsica-Plum Square Salad Plate, Fine ChinaANYWAY, mid-butter fight, I dropped/threw a butter knife down onto the counter and hit the corner of one of my beloved square purple salad plates that I bought last year from kohls for $5 a plate (50% off).  ARGGHHHH!!! Only 7 plates? That's total madness and totally throws off my thanksgiving plate needs! So I looked online and found an identical plate on replacements, Ltd.  for $9.99 + 8.99 shipping.  I know this sounds crazy, but I ordered one.  If it wasn't holiday season and if I didn't love these plates sooooo much I wouldn't have bothered.  If only i had broken the one my mom chipped when they were here.

So I'm off for the night to do some cardio dvd workouts, maybe a little yoga too!
Goodnight all!
Susi

Monday, November 8, 2010

Didn't Do So Well This Weekend.

Good Morning All!

I ended up NOT going to Manitowoc over the weekend, instead we went to Duluth!  Luc's mom, sister, sister in law and our goddaughter Leah were coming down to shop for some early xmas deals.  We haven't seen Leah since she was born in July! So obviously we jumped at a chance to spend time with her!  I ended up carrying her around the whole mall in Duluth.  I don't think I've ever met such a happy baby.  She was so sweet just snoozing away on my shoulder.  If sweetness could kill (other then diabetes I mean) then I wouldn't be writing this post.

Batman Begins Fleece Blanket
And now for the bad news... I made it through the mall with only 2 purchases:

  • The batman snuggie for $25.00 (mentioned about 2-3 days ago on here) as a gift for a friend of ours who is quite batman crazied.
  • 2 pretzel dogs and a soda for mine and lucas' lunch. 

However... Then we went to TJ Maxx.
Purchases:

    Prepara Oil Mister
  • A red/black Columbia jacket for Lucas' xmas gift.  $279.99 marked down to $129.99 (A splurge, but he does so much for me it's only a fraction of what I wish I could do for him).
  • A teal paisley ceramic serving platter that my sister had left in our cart became her gift!  A bargain at only $5. ( Not enough? You don't know that she just got married and I was MOH, about $800 on her wedding)
  • A butter cream frosting scented bubble bath/shower gel & a strawberry ice cream scented hand wash for Luc's 12yo sister.  About $9.98 We'll also be getting something nice to go with that too.  We like to buy a nice gift for her and, now, Leah.
  • And for me: A large roasting pan for our huge turkey I just bought, because I LITERALLY have no way to cook it otherwise. $19.99. A refillable oil mister, I've wanted one of these since I was in 8th grade, only $8.99. A red lettuce knife, $2.99.  We eat A LOT of salad in our house, and I always have a hard time cutting the lettuce.  AND to sum up, a 10 pack of glasses that I thought matched what I already have, but when we got home we found out they ARE the same but slightly larger.  $8.99.  ( I needed more, lucas's parents got us glasses as gifts last year for xmas, and he has broken 7 out of 10 originals.) He started putting up a fight about buying glasses, but when I reminded him our thanksgiving guests will probably want to drink out of a glass, not their hands.
Lettuce KnifeAt TJMaxx I spent $202.79.
At the mall I spent (about): $35.00

I was SOOOOOO embarrassed when we checked out a TJ.  On occasion, since I have a new checking account and terrible credit and a bad history with checks.  Some electronic debiting through registers won't accept my checks.  This happens at the Holiday station here.  And it happened at TJ in Duluth.  They tried it 3 times, it didn't get shot down, it just wouldn't take it.  So Lucas ended up having to pay for everything.  So when the chase card bill comes I'll fork over a check for $200 to that. It's too bad he had to buy his own xmas gift.  But he'll get over it when I pay towards the credit card.

Last night we went to Menards to pick up a couple things for the house.
  • 4 spindles, bolts and nuts to use as legs for my antique telephone table.
  • 2 pair safety googles (rebate)
  • butter pretzels (luc's treat)
  • a powerade
  • 4 boot trays (rebate)
  • some batteries (rebate)
  • 2 trash bins for our other 2 baths
So all together we spent $54.72
-$6.00 rebate
$48.72 on the credit card
and we'll get the rebates back in the mail
-$18.00
=$30.72 total

So I spent about $260.00 this weekend.
NOT GOOD.
Partly to prepare our house for guests.
Partly xmas gifts
Partly things for me!
Totally bad for my checking account.

That's all folks!
Susi