Wednesday, January 19, 2011

our journey

Like I said in a previous post we are getting serious about the debt.  So we decided to start another blog that journals how we are spending, and saving.  If you are interested go here, We really hope that by helping ourselves we can help someone else along the way!

We have another big snow storm coming in.....eating veggie soup and chili for the next couple of days.  (funny we planned that before the weather man started talking snow.)   Hope you are having a great week!

~DezynDiva~Gazelle Intense

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Monday menu??

So I have thought about this at great length and decided that it can't be a Monday menu because I am not going to be able to maintain that.  I HATE grocery shopping and do as little of it as possible.  We used to live 20 minutes away from the nearest grocery store, had 3 little ones and I couldn't run to town for this and that so I started shopping once a month, besides I hated it anyway so this cut my trips to the bare minimum.    This isn't for everyone but we save lots of money by doing this.  I make a meal plan for the month....I don't care what day we eat it just, that this is what we have to choose from. So for January this is what we have.  Then we only make additional trips to the store for milk and sliced bread, or the occasional oops.
Everything in Brown is made from Venison.  My goal is to link the recipe to each of the meals, along with the cost.  I am also going to log what we spend on groceries each month, and a record of all the coupons we use.  Ultimately we are trying to keep from giving the pizza guy(whom we love dearly) all our money, and our actual  eating out for special occasions.  We are serious about getting out of debt and by blogging all of this I hope that it will help us stay on task as a family.    

January meals

1.Salisbury steak- Instant taters Green beans homemade bread
2.  Lasagna and homemade bread x2
3.  Ham and beans Fried taters corn bread
4.  Beef (hamburger) stroganoff
5.  Sausage gravy, biscuits and peas
6.  chipped beef gravy biscuits and peas
7.  Roast homemade bread and mac and cheese
8.  Hamburger helper and veggie
9.  chicken helper
10.  chicken casserole and corn casserole
11.  Roasted turkey, instant sweet taters, stove-top and green bean casserole
12.  Turkey soup x 2
13.  pork burgers baked beans and french fries
14.  pork loin cabbage baked beans pasta salad
15 mac and cheese and ham casserole
16 turkey sandwiches and pasta salad
17 chili soup x2 
18 swiss steak mashed taters and green beans
19 Turkey pot pie
20 pancakes and bacon
21 French toast bacon
22 Veggie soup x2
eat supper at church 4 times
that comes to 30 meals  (we vegged out new years on leftover appetizers.)

make jello
make pudding
make cookies
make brownies
make cake
make jerky
make summer sausage
make fruit roll ups

  • think about all the stuff that goes with each day.  For example we drink sweet tea about a gallon a day.  You have to include tea and sugar on your grocery list and knowing how much or how often you use it will make this style of meal planning and shopping much easier long term.  
  • make sure you also account for seasonings you might use during the month.....nothing worse than having tacos on you list and all of the ingredients to make them except the taco season.  A trip to the store for a 50 cent pkg of taco season steals $$ from the Gas envelope/budget.  
  • my kids are in school so the only lunch menu I plan is for me and the hubby.  Generally our lunches are  leftovers from the night before (we don't eat most of them past that next day)  or PB&J, if I get them cheap I will buy frozen veggies for myself since I am generally home.
  • For Saturday and Sunday when we are all home for lunch and supper I plan for us to eat bigger meals for lunch and eat the left overs for supper.  For example a pan of lasagna will feed us for Supper one night and lunch the next day and usually leave enough for hubby and I to have lunch again(we do eat lasagna more than a day old)  
  • Plan your breakfast out before you go grocery shopping if your kids are big cereal eaters like mine....know how much they are eating and buy enough different kinds and boxes to get them through the month.  we use about 2 boxes a week....depending on the garbage disposal aka Taylor.
  • Plan ahead for those nights that you are busy, forgot to thaw out your meat, or are just to darn tired to cook much.  We always try to have 5 easy meals...on hand for those nights.  By easy I mean hamburger/chicken helper, pot pie, frozen pizza, corn dogs, chicken nuggets.  Something that you can make in 20 minutes or less that is cheaper than calling the pizza guy. 
  • Plan for snacks....we all have days where we get hungry for something sweet or salty you know the danger foods.  One way to keep you from wanting them is when you have to make them to eat them, sometimes I don't want it bad enough to make it.     
  • don't forget condiments

How do you manage your spending on groceries, eating out, and the pizza guy?


After some much needed time off with family I think  KNOW I am ready for a NEW year.  We enjoyed a wonderful Christmas with all of our children.  Christmas breaks are normally my favorite time of year, I bake, decorate, and "Martha Stewart" everything....but this year was different.  I missed my extended family, more so this year, mostly because my sis is going through a really rough time and I just wish I could help her and her kids.  I pray daily for them, but I am a fixer by nature and struggle often with letting God fix things.  So needless to say I was a little lot less merry.  I'm not sorry for it, I am just sad that I let myself get that way, when all I had to do was let God be in control, and yet once again I was stubborn and couldn't just "give" it to him.  Which is one of the many NEW things I am working on this NEW year.

I don't really make resolutions, more like plans.  I don't just say I'm gonna lose 15 pounds this year.... I actually write down how I am gonna lose 15 pounds this year...step by step, so when I lose sight of that goal I can look back at my plan see where I got off track and what went wrong and fix it.  (that fix it thing again)  I found out a long time ago this way worked better for isn't perfect but I try much harder if I write things down, and so does my family.  I sat down and wrote out 25 things I wanted to do this year (this is not the plan, more of the brainstorm before the plan was written) some are personal, some are business related and some are just crazy things on my Bucket list.

1.  Grow closer to God.   (always a priority)
2.  Be more organized.  (OCD)
3.  Be on time (no matter how early I start....always running behind)
4.  Get Dave Ramsey serious about the debt!!!!!  (we got lazy last year and are really freaked out about it)
5.  Lose the weight.  65 pounds  61 pounds  (been a long time coming but I am working on it daily)
6.  Get teeth fixed ($$)
7.  Get in shape.  (gotta happen if I want to make #5 a reality)
8.  fix hair and wear make-up at least twice a week even if I'm not leaving the house.  (never have worn make up much but am getting older and I need it more)
9.  drink more water and less coffee
10 Climb Sears Tower
11  eat breakfast everyday and Take a multivitamin
12  Use coupons
13  go to garden of the Gods and hike
14  get my Firearms owners Identification card
15.  go turkey hunting with my son
16  Make the deans list
17   Log at least 20 hours per week on Business  (since this has always beena  hobby it is alot harder than you might think as are the next 2)
18   Log all business purchases
19  Log all business sales/loss
20  Make a "new" item every day (this is easy if I don't have to do bunches of house work)
21  Add a new person to Cristel Dezynz boutique every day
22  list 11 items to etsy, ebay or artfire per month for 11 months
23  do 11 craft shows in 2011 (1st one scheduled for Feb 12th @ the community center, it's Relay for life)
24  Go on a date with my husband 11 times in 2011 (real dates not trips to Wal Mart, or the grocery store)  and 11 separate dates with each of my 3 children (there date w/ me can be to Wal Mart or the grocery store)
25  Go somewhere I have never been before on Vacation.  (even if it is a mini vacation)

I will update on the PLAN for each of these becoming a reality in future posts....I added a 26 and will show you the plan as this week takes shape!

Happy MLK day to you all and I hope you are off to a running start on a NEW year, NEW you!


Monday, November 29, 2010

A Life of Thanksgiving!!!

We were very happy to celebrate Grandma's birthday this year on Thanksgiving!  She has been a wonderful influence on me and a blessing to everyone she meets.  I have always said that if I could be half the woman she is I would be complete!  She is not as strong as she once was and needs a lot more help getting around these days but she still lights up a room and we love her and cherish every moment we get with her.  Grandma has always been the center of our whole family, She is a Godly woman and lives out his love daily.   She has always set a wonderful example of what A life of Thanksgiving looked like.  She has never forgotten to be thankful for anything and is quick to remind you that in all things and situations God has control and that we should be thankful.  She will tell you how much she misses Grandpa, she will see him again in Heaven when the good Lord calls her home but she will also tell you that she is thankful for what time on earth she had with him.  She has never said she got cheated when he left her early, even if we all feel that way for her.  She will tell you that taking care of ailing parents was not easy at times but she will never tell you she would have changed it because she knows that too was a blessing and something to be thankful for, because of the wonderful friends she made in the process.  She would never tell you that one of those friends life was made better because she had my grandma.  No my grandma never takes glory she only tells you how thankful she is for every challenge, obstacle and blessing in her life, and how blessed she is to have all of us, 4 wonderful Daughters, 2 son in laws, 1 Foster son,  13 Grand Children 11 grandchildren in laws, 31 great grand children, and 1 Great Great grand son!  That my friends is a lot to be thankful for!  I will never be able to repay her for all that she has done for me because she has no idea the influence she has had on me as a woman, wife, or mother.  I don't know how many more years we will have with her But one thing I do know is how very thankful God chose her to be my grandma, and how precious every moment I spend with her is to me!!!  
FL Cristen, Shania, Me, Taylor BL My mom and Grandma!  I have lots more pics but today this is the only one I could get to load.  

Thursday, November 18, 2010


So last night I had the hubs make me a cappochino way to late in the evening and ultimately did not sleep well.  Why do I do that to myself?  I LOVE LOVE coffee and really drink way more of it than I should.... Going on the list of behaviors I want to change.  when I am tired and worn out I often think of

Isaiah 40:31 

31 but those who hope in the LORD 
   will renew their strength. 
They will soar on wings like eagles; 
   they will run and not grow weary, 
   they will walk and not be faint.

I find great comfort in knowing that no matter what my savior will get me through!  

So I have been thinking a lot about gluttony with the holidays upon us and really feel like this year we are scaling back.  We say that every year and never do.  I Love CHRISTmas and so does every other member of our family.  We do not over do birthdays...we can stick to our budget on Birthdays but for whatever reason we can not stick to it at CHRISTmas. However we always pay in cash!!! We have never used a credit card for CHRISTmas.  We don't use credit cards period!!!  but this year we even bought and gave 2 of the kids an expensive early gift.  We generally do not buy random gifts for the kids they have what they need and do not feel the need to shower them with gifts.  We shower them with Love, family time, hugs, kisses, warm food, roof over their heads and all the things they need.  In general my family has a heart for giving more so than receiving.  We celebrate the real reason for the season....God sending his Son to live and die for our sins, the birth of our Savior.   So why is it at CHRISTmas we over do it?  Is it a form of gluttony?  I mean really do we need all this stuff?  It is just stuff right?  Are we as a family sugar coating the real reason for the season? are we doing enough?  Could we do more?  Give more?  Has the Holiday become routine?  I think this year we will find some new traditions that will allow us to give more, God has blessed us and I want to be a blessing to others, an example of Gods love.  I think I will make a list of what we do, and see if I can find some new things we can do!  Some new meaningful traditions.    I hope you do as well!  

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


The homemade summer sausage I made on Saturday turned out amazing!!!  especially for having never tried anything like that before!  by no means was it perfect but with deer season being upon us I decided that we needed to empty our fridge of some deer meat and this was quick and easy to do.  I can't follow a recipe unless it is in a cookbook...if I look it up on the internet I tend to I did with this and here is what I came up with!
Summer sausage
2lbs ground deer burger
2 pounds ground deer sausage (breakfast sausage)
1 pound of thick cut platter bacon
Morton tender salt as per the directions on the bag.  
2tsp of mustard powder
2tsp of meat tenderizer(I don't think this is necessary)
2tsp cayenne pepper
2tsp of garlic powder (next time we will use 2tsp of chopped garlic)
2tsp of onion powder (next time I will double the mustard powder and omit this)
2tsp of liquid smoke (I could have used more but was a bit scared to over power)
4TBSP of steak seasoning 
chop up the bacon into small pieces and combine all ingredients in a bowl.  Use your hands and get it mixed real well.  Then run it through a meat grinder.  (we have the old crank type but this tasted so good we bought the attachment for my kitchen aid mixer it will be in on Friday)  after grinding it all up together roll it into log shapes put it on a shallow cookie sheet, and bake in oven at 175 degrees for 6 hours or until the internal temp reaches 160 degrees.  We rolled ours over several times during the process.  allow to cool and then place in zip-loc and store in the fridge.  

So I have been on a cooking spree the last few days.  I also cooked up some homemade Veggie soup (with venison tenderloin) I ended up with way more meat than we needed for our soup and I used the leftover to make up a homemade pot pie.  Apples were on sale at the grocery store for 38cents a pound so I bought 2 dollars worth and made apple pie and apple bread...yummy!!!  I know it was good cause hubby came by the house this morning with one of the guys from work and got apple bread to share!  
well I have orders to get out and if you haven't already you should totally check out   
Cristel Dezynz on facebook!!! 

Monday, November 15, 2010


Today started off just like any other Sunday.....We got up got ready for church, ran out the door hurried, went to church, taught Sunday School which by the way is a blessing!!  We(hubby and I)  had no Idea when we accepted the position of teaching the Junior High class that we would be blessed, and transformed in the way that we have which makes it a blessing to teach these kids.  Today we had 2 visitors....and the only bad thing about visitors in a junior high class is how hard it is to get quality time with a visitor when you have 15 "regular kids" in there all in a hurry to tell you about their week.  I really feel like we fail in this department miserably!!!  I always feel like we could do better with visitors.  Did we make them feel welcomed and included?  did we give them the idea that we are fun but yet serious?  Did they feel comfortable?  Were we polite?  (we as in the whole class, cause with 7th and 8th graders this can be a real issue)  I know we can do better and need to come up with a plan of action for when we have visitors.  If you have suggestions or know something that has worked for you I would love to hear about it!!

We also spent some quality time with a young man from our Youth Group today.  He started coming to our church for all the wrong reasons but has come to know the Lord and really started building a relationship with God for all the right reasons.    His life is being transformed and we are happy to be a positive influence for him as well as a safe place to fall when he needs it.  He is being a good influence on his younger siblings who have both accepted Christ and have been baptized as well.  Not because anyone is telling them to but because each of them have felt the need to and are doing this all on their own accord.

Today while spending time with him we had a great discussion on how he could better be a witness to his family.  (He brought it up, not us)  This young man doesn't have a good influence at home, and doesn't have a good home life.  I was very proud of him today for his yearning to be a witness to the adult members of his family and I am going to be in prayer about this and how God wants to use me in this situation.

I will leave you today with this scripture:  119th Psalm 9-16

 9 How can a young man keep his way pure? 
   By living according to your word. 
10 I seek you with all my heart; 
   do not let me stray from your commands. 
11 I have hidden your word in my heart 
   that I might not sin against you. 
12 Praise be to you, O LORD; 
   teach me your decrees. 
13 With my lips I recount 
   all the laws that come from your mouth. 
14 I rejoice in following your statutes 
   as one rejoices in great riches. 
15 I meditate on your precepts 
   and consider your ways. 
16 I delight in your decrees; 
   I will not neglect your word.