How to German Smear Brick (with tips and tricks that nobody else tells you!)

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 (We still need to update our roof, trim, doors, etc. and I will add new pictures here when that’s done!)

 (We still need to update our roof, trim, doors, etc. and I will add new pictures here when that’s done!)

We have been wanting to update our outdated brick, ranch-style home since the day we moved in. I pretty much thought that our only option was to paint it, and was just waiting to save up and be able to fit that into our budget. Then, I discovered German Smear (aka German Schmear, aka mortar wash). There are so many styles of it and methods of doing it - some I really like and some that I don’t. I determined that I was going to learn how to do it to achieve the look I was going for and do it to the entire exterior of our house. The problem was, there just weren’t a ton of helpful tutorials available, so once I figured it out, I decided I definitely needed to post one here. I started with my brick fireplace, moved on to the back half of my house to really figure out the look that I liked, and then moved onto the rest of the house.

I was NOT going for a whitewashed look (though I included tips in my video if that’s more the look you like), but for more of the brick color to continue to show through, outlined with the white mortar.

I didn’t use the sponge method, as that also results in a more whitewashed look, but simply used white mortar, gloves, a mortar bag, and a scraping tool. The entire project cost less than $200, and if you simply want to do a single interior wall or fireplace, you could do it for about $20. Here’s a breakdown of the cost for my project:

(Our home is a single story, ranch style home that is entirely brick and is about 3000 square feet.)

  • 12 bags of white thin-set mortar - $15 each from Home Depot (I will add links to products soon)
  • Gloves - $3
  • Bucket - $4
  • Mortar/grout bag - $4

Our gutters and roof desperately need replaced (new leaks every time it rains 🤣), our trim needs painted, and we need new front doors, so we really wanted to do this project as cheaply as possible to try to save money for those necessities.  Under $200 fit the bill just perfectly! What this project will cost you though is time. Now, If you’re just doing a fireplace or single wall, you can easily do it in an afternoon, but if you’re doing your whole house like I did, plan to break it up into manageable segments and just do it little by little over the course of a couple weeks. At least, that’s how I managed it. 

To be continued...

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Elderberry Syrup

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Elderberry syrup is a sweet, simple, and effective way to support the immune system. It’s very beneficial for respiratory problems, one of the most effective remedies for viral and bacterial infections, rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, and can significantly shorten the duration of your illness if you do get sick. Plus, it requires only two ingredients and tastes great!

Ingredients: 

  • 3/4 cup dried elderberries

  • 3 1/2 cups water

  • 1 cup raw, buckwheat honey (you can use any raw honey, but buckwheat has been shown to be especially effective against coughs and colds)

  • optional add-ins: cinnamon stick, 1 TB grated ginger, 1 tsp cinnamon

Directions

  1. Place dried berries and water (and optional add-ins) in saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.

  2. Simmer for about 45 minutes until reduced by half.

  3. Strain into glass bowl.

  4. Cool and then add raw honey.

  5. Pour into a jar and refrigerate.

For health maintenance, take 1 TB a day (1 tsp for children). During illness, take 1 TB (1 tsp for children) every 2-3 hours.  

Copper Chef Wonder Cooker Giveaway!

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Win this cookware here!

I’m so excited for this giveaway because this Copper Chef Wonder Cooker does it all and is gorgeous besides! It has 14 different cooking functions and can take the place of your deep and shallow roasting pan, crockpot, double roaster, bakeware pan, casserole pan, deep fryer, steamer, crisper, slow cooker, electric skillet, electric grill, chafing serving dish, and even your grill pan! Whew! That’s a mouthful! The stainless steel induction plates ensure even cooking edge to edge, and it’s designed with Advanced Cerami-Tech Non-Stick Coating (no PTFE or PFOA!), so there's no need to add any extra butter, grease, or oil if you prefer not to.

So far, I’ve made a delicious braised chicken with mushrooms, these roasted parmesan brussels sprouts, and these delicious chocolate chip cookie bars in my Wonder Cooker!

Click this link to enter the giveaway and win this cookware for yourself!

You can also get 20% off your purchase HERE with coupon code WC20B.

 

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Happy Gut Health Challenge!

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Who wants to join me for a simple and inexpensive happy gut health challenge that also happens to be a crazy good deal? Use this link to get an incredible deal on an amazing gut health package.

The goal is to help with sugar cravings, low energy, sluggish digestion and bloat, and I’m actually super excited about it because the package includes 8 ready-to-blend superfood smoothies and 6 probiotic wellness shots from Project Juice and a personalized gut assessment test from Ubiome (how cool is that?!). It would ordinarily be a total of $190, but they’re offering the one week challenge for just $74.95 (plus an additional $10 off if you use code healthyhomehelp!!!). They’ll also be sending a “happy guts meal plan” as a suggested guide for the week.

You have to order the box in the next week (by 9/7), and I’ve been told they’re only selling a limited number and that the first ones to order will be receiving additionally goodies! The box will then arrive on 9/13 for everyone to participate in the challenge at the same time. You won’t find the deal on their website and you have to use this special link to purchase. And be sure to use the code healthyhomehelp to get the additional $10 off so that it’s only $64.95. Anybody going to join me???

Note: this is a one-time purchase and will NOT enroll you in any subscription for additional deliveries.

Sun basket - Healthy, Organic Meal Kits Delivered to You!

Get 3 Free Meals! Have you ever wanted someone to do your shopping for you and just deliver all the ingredients for a healthy, balanced meal along with detailed, easy instructions for you to cook up an amazing meal in your own kitchen? Or, perhaps you get stuck in a food rut like I do and just need some inspiration, but you really don't want to take the time to come up with new meal ideas, meal plans, etc.?

I.HAVE.BEEN.THERE.

I have always loved the idea of the services that deliver everything you need for delicious meals right to your doorstep, and I can totally understand why they're gaining so much popularity and seem to be popping up all over the place. I never used them though because the problem was, I didn't trust the quality of the ingredients. I want my food to be grown/raised organically, ethically, and grassfed. I want healthy fats and ingredients used in my meals. And, I want to support small farmers who practice sustainable farming practices. I thought I was asking too much from a meal delivery service because I couldn't find one that met my criteria.

Enter Sunbasket.

  • Organic, Sustainably Sourced, Healthy Ingredients
  • Sourced From Small Local Farmers
  • Delicious Recipes
  • Paleo, Gluten-Free, and Vegetarian Options
  • Fresh Ingredients Arrive in Insulated, Recyclable/Compostable Packaging
  • No Planning, No Shopping...Just Cooking
  • Delicious Meals in Around 30 Minutes

You can schedule to receive meals weekly, or less frequently. I have been beyond thrilled with each meal I have tried from Sunbasket. Each one has given me the opportunity to use produce or other ingredients that I previously didn't really know what to do with, and each meal expands my horizons a little and makes me a better cook...all while feeling great about the quality of the food I'm serving to my family.

If you'd like to give Sunbasket a try, use this link to get 3 FREE MEALS in your first meal kit delivery!