Bakery, Barbells and Bargains I own a bakery, and I like to lift weights and shop

November 29, 2017

Cash In The Closet

Filed under: Uncategorized — shuss @ 9:46 am

Anyone remember the show Cash In The Attic? I watched it a couple of times. It was basically where people wanted to round up some extra cash so the rounded up their items from their attic or other storage spaces to take to auctions. A lot of people were happily surprised with how much their ignored items were worth.

When we started our own Ebay/Amazon selling business a few months ago, we started off by selling off some items from our own house that we were no longer using. This is a great way to get a feel for selling without having to invest in inventory. I knew we had some things we could part with but I was really surprised at how much we had and I kept finding more. Here are some of my favorite sales from items found around our home. These are all items that sold quickly. Bonus, many of these were sold on Facebook, so no seller fees!

Interior door – when we finished our upstairs space we no longer needed a door to close off the stairs and I prefer them exposed. We sold the door along with the handle , hinges, and all hardware

Salt lamp – This was a nice lamp but I only turned it on a few times, it was practically new.

Essential oil diffuser – I sold three of these brand new in the box, they were gifts and we are not that into essential oils.  A lot of people use essential oils so these sold quickly.

Outdoor Furniture – A few years ago I built two nice outdoor chaise lounge chairs and never really used them,  I was able to sell these for the same amount I spent building them as they were in great condition.  I had two rocking chairs on my front porch that were peeling badly and falling apart, I posted them as-is wondering if anyone would want to try and fix them up and they sold quickly.  I was later gifted some nice new porch chairs so I also sold some older iron chairs that a lady bought to re-paint and sell herself.

Old Gaming System and Games – While cleaning out a closet, I found an old gaming system and box of games and asked my husband if I should sell it.  He later told me he was going to list it on ebay since he thought it would do well on there.  So glad he made that call, both items got lots of bids and they each sold for more than we were going to ask for them together if listed on Facebook.

These are just a few items I have sold recently, we have also sold many toys, clothes and other home items.  Here are some items we currently have listed or are about to list for sale:

Wii Fit game and balance board

Children’s princess costumes

Ladies pants – J Crew, Gap, Seven for All Mankind, Ann Taylor, Liz Claiborne and more brands

Columbia jackets – men’s, boys, and girls

Nike sneakers

Kid’s boots

Men’s dress shirts – Tommy, Carhart, and other brands

Vintage Miami Dolphins sweatshirt

Assortment of toys

My advice to anyone starting off with selling is to shop in your own home for inventory.  You will be surprised at what you find to part with that someone else will want and you will save money on stocking initial inventory.  For more tips on selling, check out our other website


November 21, 2017

Why I Decorate Before Thanksgiving

Filed under: Uncategorized — shuss @ 3:29 pm

People seem to hate basically everything these days, especially around the holidays. I am not even going to touch the Merry Christmas vs Happy Holidays war or the annual The Starbucks Holiday Cups Are Not Holiday Enough movement…..seriously people, get a job or something. But I will talk about one recent hate I keep seeing lately and that is Christmas decorating before Thanksgiving.

My Facebook feed this year is either full of people who already decorated or people who hate that people already decorated. I have read that decorating is tacky all the way to it’s downright disrespectful of Thanksgiving, it’s a little ridiculous. And that handful that do not care when others decorate their own house? You’re the real MVPs, never change.

For the past about eight years or so, I have been decorating my house for Christmas the weekend before Thanksgiving. With the exception of the year my daughter was a newborn at Thanksgiving and the year my daddy went into hospice care, those years I squeezed it in when I could. And while I do not really owe an explanation to anyone as to why and when I decorate my own house, I thought I could at least offer a little perspective. So here ya go.

Reason 1 – Thanksgiving Plans
Anyone on here travel for Thanksgiving? Visit more than one family? I do. This is my Thanksgiving week….work M-W, Wednesday pack and prep for Thanksgiving Day, Thursday we have lunch with one family (often hosting) then drive halfway across the state to have dinner with the other family. Then we stay there to visit until Sunday. Monday morning it is back to work. I am very fortunate to be off for Thanksgiving break but I am not actually home to put out any decorations. Coming home from a long weekend is already hectic enough and it is very nice to come home to an already decorated house.

Reason 2 – Daily Schedule
So this is a small glimpse of my schedule. M-F, I work full-time and three of those days I hit the gym after work. Then there are baths, dinner, homework and everything else it takes to keep a household and family running. Saturdays our daughter has gymnastics and Sunday is church. Then there are the businesses we own. Any guesses on which month is busiest for a bakery? Yep, it’s December.

Reason 3 – It Works for Us
I enjoy Christmas, always have. And after losing a parent over the holidays, I found it healing to plan new holiday traditions to enjoy with my little family. Some of those include going away for the weekend as a family. There is also the weekend my husband and I enjoy our Christmas date. There are parties and outings with friends and family and weekends fill up fast. Having decorations up early allow me to keep the Christmas season weekends open for holiday fun.

So that is why my decorations are currently up. This Thanksgiving Day I might have a lit tree in my living room and a few wreaths on my porch, but I promise you I am thinking about Thanksgiving and that is the holiday I am celebrating.

Now, since it is Thanksgiving week, please enjoy my recipe for some yummy cheesecake below.

3 blocks soft cream cheese

1 cup of sugar

3 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup full fat sour cream

Crushed graham crackers or Oreos

Melted butter

Start by mixing either crackers or Oreos with melted butter until crumbly, I just eyeball this so maybe about 4 tbsp butter to 1 1/2 cups crumbs.  The amount you use depends on how thick you want the crust and if you want it up the sides of the pan, so play around with it.  Press mixture into a 9 inch spring form pan and bake on 350 for 5 minutes.

Mix all other ingredients with electric mixer until smooth.  Be sure to scrape bowl to incorporate all ingredients evenly.  Pour filling onto crust and bake on 350 for about 1 hour, place pan on a sheet pan as butter may drip from the spring form pan.  You can use a water bath in the sheet pan but I choose not to.  Watch cake carefully as oven times can vary, it is done when it has a golden brown top and slightly jiggles when tapped.  Remove from oven and allow to rest for 30 minutes then carefully remove the sides of the pan.  Once cool but not cold, chill in fridge for at least 12 hours.  If cake is not going to be eaten by the next day, wrap in foil and freeze.  I like these cakes plain but they are also delish with sweet toppings.

Happy Holidays Y’all!


November 20, 2017

House Updates, Living Room

Filed under: Uncategorized — shuss @ 3:39 pm

After we finished off our upstairs, we changed a few small things in the living room. First we removed the door to the staircase since it is now leading to finished space. Next I moved the tall bookcases on each side of the fireplace to open up the spaces. I added wedding portraits on each side and cute baskets.  The shelves have been re-homed to our space upstairs, one in the landing and the other in the office.  I love being able to shop for home items for free within my own house.  The new frames and baskets are from Michael’s and 50% off and I had a 20% off purchase coupon, I love those deals!

You cannot tell from the photo, but in the staircase landing I added a tall narrow table and some hooks since we do not have a foyer.

The biggest change we made was a new couch, this was very frustrating but needed.  Our other couch, which was only a few years old, was peeling badly and looked really bad.  However it is really comfortable and in good shape structurally so we have moved it to the basement where it is waiting for a nice cover.  Here is the new couch, I really like it and that corner seat is so cozy.  I had a cold this weekend and spent all of Sunday curled up in the corner seat with a blanket.  My little girl calls it the sweet spot.

I’m really happy with how the space turned out.  I would like to get hardwood floors later on but I am not ready to tackle another big project just after finishing the upstairs.  For now we will just relax and enjoy, the carpet is rather cozy after all.

November 17, 2017

An Almost Homemade Thanksgiving

Filed under: Uncategorized — shuss @ 8:23 am

One of my favorite holidays is almost here, Thanksgiving. I actually really like all the holidays but I like how Thanksgiving is just about being together, and it can be as formal or laid back as you wish. My mother hosts my family each year for dinner, so we enjoy lunch with my husband’s family. Two years ago, we started hosting this meal at our home, Since we still have another gathering at dinner time, we have a few tricks to make lunch easy yet festive.

The biggest favor we do for ourselves is buy a cooked turkey, huge time saver and it frees up the oven. We have been getting the fried turkey from Bojangles and it is delicious, everyone enjoys it. To save even more time, we also get our mashed potatoes and gravy from there as well.

Splitting up the work is also a huge help on Thanksgiving day. We discuss the menu ahead of time and split up what we want to contribute. We also try to not make too much food, as we had way too many leftovers in the past.  I also try not to fret about everything being homemade from scratch, but focus more on making sure everyone there has something they enjoy.  I like to make homemade dressing with bread from the bakery, but I will often “doctor up” a boxed mac and cheese to save time.  I buy a bag of mixed veggies and steam with butter and top with seasonings for a simple veggie dish, and I usually just buy the rolls because my little girl loves King’s Hawaiian Rolls.  Dessert is generally where most of my cooking energy goes, this year I will be making a peanut butter pie.

Lastly, I use foil baking trays and pans, paper plates, and plastic cups.  This keeps cleanup very quick, less time doing dishes and more time chatting with guests.  This year we are super excited to have our first Thanksgiving with Mimi and Papa who just moved here from FL!  Below are my recipes for Doctored Mac and Cheese and Peanut Butter Pie, both simple and very tasty.  Please share how you save time on your holiday cooking!

Doctored Up Mac and Cheese  (I double this for Thanksgiving)

1 box of mac and cheese, I like Velveeta Shells

1/3 cup milk

Splash of chicken broth

3 tbsp butter

1/2 cup cheddar cheese OR 6 slices of deli american cheese, we like Boars Head

Additional 1/2 cup cheddar cheese

1/2 cup crumbled bacon (optional)

Cook boxed meal according to package directions and turn heat down to low.  Add the other ingredients and stir until the cheese and butter melt, if the sauce is too thick, thin with milk or broth.  Stir in bacon if using and transfer to 8″ square dish.  Top with additional cheese and broil on low until cheese is melted.


Peanut Butter Pie

1 chocolate or graham cracker pie shell

3/4 cup smooth peanut butter

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1/2 block of cream cheese, soft

1/2 cup heavy cream and 1/4 cup powdered sugar, whipped

Mix peanut butter, sugar and cream cheese until smooth.  Gently stir in whipped cream and pour into pie shell.  Top with additional whipped cream and chill until ready to serve.

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