Painting Brick

Painting the bricks behind my wood stove has been on my to-do list for way too long. Should I or should I not? Once you paint brick there’s no going back to the original color without sandblasting. That’s not something I ever envision happening in my family room. Not to mention me with a sandblaster in hand might be deadly to something or someone.painted brick woodstove

Our family room is long (think bowling alley) and has one big French door at the end of it next to the wood stove. This corner has always felt like it’s pulling the room into a dark hole.

This darkness of the stove combined with the dark brick has always felt like it’s pulling the room into a dark hole. Go ahead and whistle the theme song to Twilight Zone.

Here’s a before shot–unpainted brickeven the shadows scream hurry up and paint this wall!

I’m not sure why I thought this would be a good project to start after a 13-mile bike ride. But for me when the urge to paint hits I must do it! I love to paint but it’s been a while since I’ve had the energy to tackle a project but today I’m ready.

Vacuum the bricks first. Who knew so much dust and cat hair could make a home between bricks? Or um, could that be considered insulation? I might have discovered this detail if I ever took the time to clean the bricks. Hey, I have books to write, no judgment, please.

I had some Benjamin Moore Marshmallow White left from painting part of this room several years ago. I made a mix of half paint and half water. Then I removed my wedding ring, grabbed an old wash cloth and said a prayer.

brick one coat of paint

This is with one coat. I liked it, but I didn’t love it. Too busy.

painted brick Benjamin Moore

Done. I’m debating painting the mortar joints, but for now, I’m learning to enjoy it. It’s such a difference that it’s taking a bit of time to adjust.  I’ve lived in this house for over 20 years so when I come downstairs I expect to see the dark hole behind the stove. It’s refreshing to see the light color!

This project was much easier than I thought it would be. I’d rate it a beginner, so easy that with guidance a child could do it.


*I’d recommend doing this on a day you don’t ride your bike 13-miles because it’s tiring to get up and down so many times.

While you’re here help yourself to a free copy of All in Good Time

Making Gluten-free Pretzel Buns

Pretzel buns, have you ever had them?

I had them once at a restaurant in Nashville, Tennessee. There is nothing like a soft dough pretzel hugging a burger. That experience was filed in my mind as a ‘never again’ after I learned I had to eat a gluten-free diet. Once in a while I’d pull out that memory like an old vacation photo. I missed the bun but it didn’t bother me since I couldn’t on a whim drive to Nashville and order it.

Then Wendy’s came out with their pretzel bun ads. Oh the pain, the sadness, the misery! I wanted one!

I made a comment on the Gluten Free on a Shoestring site and Nicole Hunn wrote back with a solution to my desire. She has a pretzel recipe in her cookbook Gluten-Free on a Shoestring: 125 Easy Recipes for Eating Well on the Cheap and one that is a bit different on her website.

I had to try it. I used the one in the book because it called for less ingredients and it makes less. Since I’m the only one on this diet in our house it made sense to try a smaller recipe.

I’ll post a link at the end of this post for the recipe on-line. Due to copyright restrictions I can’t post the recipe I used.

pretzel bun dough in clear mixing bowl

In Nichole’s new cookbook coming out in November she’s made some new discoveries on making bread. One of these was to add the dry ingredients last. It made a difference in how the dough came together.

three pretzel buns on a pan

Because this was a pretzel recipe and not a bun recipe this made 3 good size pretzel buns.

cheeseburger with pretzel bun


Slide a cheeseburger between this bun and enjoy. This bun doesn’t fall apart before you finish your meal.

*note mine aren’t as pretty and brown as the one on Eating Gluten Free on a Shoestring’s site. I think it’s because I didn’t know how to make a slurry to get it browned. Should have googled it!

10 Lessons from Gluten Free to Make Bread

Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread: (Biscuits, Bagels, Buns, and More)

Gluten Free Pretzel Bun Recipe

If you don’t have to eat gluten-free search recipes for pretzel buns or soft pretzels and make your own.

The benefit for me is having Pretzel Buns and not having to spend a lot of money–which I would have done if there were any out there to buy.

The Lure of the Coupon

Can a Coupon Lure You?

As I’ve mentioned in other places on this blog we are following the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace way of life. Sometimes it hard…no wait, it’s hard all the time!

I’ve had this desire to purchase a tortilla press for quite some time. I’ve wanted really good tortillas and they have to be gluten-free. I have a recipe for them but not a press.

Making tortillas is supposed to be easy especially if you press them. So I haven’t tried making them since I don’t have the press. Are you following this logic? Ha!

So when the $5.00 off $15.00 coupon from Bed, Bath and Beyond arrived I knew it was time to get that tortilla press.


$5. off at Bed, Bath and Beyond

It’s been awhile since I’ve been inside this mega wonder store. My favorite place is at the front where all the organizing items are located. I touched, pulled things out and marveled at all I’ve missed while on my shopping hiatus.

Then back to what I came for –the tortilla press. They don’t have them in the store. Now what to do? I had a perfectly good coupon for $5. that’s like a five dollar bill in my hand, right?

I continued through the store searching, hunting and even digging through the clearance shelves. I was transfixed by monitors showing me a new way to curl and straighten my hair. Checked the price on that amazing tool–way over $15.

Before leaving I thought I should go back to the organizing items because there had to be something I MUST OWN for five dollars less.

And then it hit me. The coupon was a lure. The item I wanted wasn’t at the store. An item I wasn’t even sure I really wanted but rather desired.

I’d like to say I handed the coupon to another shopper but I stuck it in my purse–just in case.

I did leave the store without purchasing anything. Now that I’m home I’m glad I was able to resist that urge to spend the money to get five dollars off of ‘something.’

Now, I need to find that recipe, try it and if we like it, order the tortilla press.


How about you?

Are you lured into mega stores by coupons?

Have you fought back and won? or lost?

Tell me!




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