Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Coconut Lime Bread

My, oh my - where have you been all my life?

I don't normally share recipes, but this one is too good to keep to myself. This yummy bread was in the March, 2013 edition of Better Homes and Gardens. I tore the page right out my magazine (yes, I still tear and keep recipes on magazine pages) and put it on the kitchen counter.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Make a Bud Vase / Votive Holder

My daughter, Steph, and I tackled a little project the other evening.

This is a great way to reuse baby food or other small jars and scrap wood.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Flower Beds Galore!

Well, our hot Kansas summer is in full swing and I am allergic to sweating while working in the yard. As a result, my project list has moved back inside.

However, I realized I hadn't updated on the yard projects I started in the spring. So, here you go....

Along the front fence line, where I had planted my grandma's peonies...

 ...I put these flower beds down to protect them from the lawn mower.
My plan is to add perennials in the fall - daisies, coneflower, stuff like that.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

How to Make a Brick Walkway

I am extremely excited to share a big project with you today!

We finally put to use the bricks our neighbor gave us ... for free ... and made a lovely brick walkway out front. I did a little research online before starting, then we jumped on in. Here's how it went.

1. We measured the width and length for the walkway, using stakes and twine to mark the area.
I would recommend deciding on the pattern for your bricks before you decide on the width of your path. This will insure that your bricks will fit inside the designated area.
*ahem* I may or may not have done that myself, but would highly recommend you do it.

2. We went 15 feet out from the bottom of the stairs in order to make a nice boundary for the extra parking. The existing blocks were removed before the digging began.

3. Brian and Silas dug out a nice bed for the walkway. You will want to make it deep enough to make your bricks even with the grass level, so take into account the size of your bricks and the layer of sand you will spread before laying the bricks.

4. After all that digging you should take a break. It's hard work.

5. Before proceeding with the next step, call the crew foreman to inspect your work.

6. To prepare for laying the bricks, spread a nice bed of sand about an inch thick in your path. We worked in sections of about a yard each. As you can see, I placed the bricks fairly close together. Wiggle the bricks into the bed of sand to make them fit securely.

7. Here's a look at the progress. I decided to alternate my main pattern with a random pattern because there weren't enough bricks to do the entire thing with my main pattern. I love the patchwork look!
Continue laying bricks until your new walkway is filled.

8. After we finished laying the bricks, we filled in the sides with dirt. I used a two by four to pack it down tightly.

9. Next, dump generous shovels full of sand on your new fancy walk and rub it in using a broom. The goal is to work in as much sand as possible between the cracks. To aid in settling, after the first layer is done lightly spray with water before applying another layer of sand. This part of the process took quite a while to get enough sand in the cracks, so take your time.

10. We were expecting some rain, so I left plenty of extra sand on the surface.
Over the next couple weeks, I swept more sand into the cracks every few days. The hot summer sun has baked the sand into a nice hard seal around the bricks.

TaDa!!! New brick walkway!

Just for fun I decided to make a raised bed at the end of the walk. It seemed like there needed to be a destination at the end, ya know?

I stacked two layers of these funny-shaped bricks and filled it with potting soil and dirt that was dug out to make way for the brick path.

 And now, here are entirely too many pictures of my new brick walkway.
I am totally infatuated!

To me, it looks like the brick walk has been in front of the house since it was first built in 1890!

I hope you find these instructions helpful if you're thinking about installing a brick walkway in your yard. The entire process took several hours of work for three days with my husband, son, and myself doing the labor.

Happy Independence Day!

I will walk about in freedom, 
for I have sought out your precepts.
Psalm 119:45 NIV

God Bless America!

Linking to these sites:
Lil\'Luna Elizabeth and Co.  Shine on Friday  Funky_Junk's_Party_Junk_link_party_150Yellow Bliss RoadHome Stories A2Z  Marty's Musings Grace at Home Ivy and Elephants Remodelaholic