Tag Archives: how to

Time to Tile


Hello All!

I hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday weekend. Now it is back to business. I am a Trustee at our church and we have been working on adding a bathroom in an old historical home the church owns.

We use to have our church offices in this building but now we are converting it to a nice home for our Youth Directors.

Tiling can be fun with the right equipment! 

Tools you will need: Tile snips, tile saw, trowel, grout float, sponge, angle grinder if you have one, Drill, square, level.

Materials you will need: Cement board or Green board  Drywall screws, Tile, spacer of choice (the size of your spacers determines the thickness of your grout line), Flex bond mortor and grout.

We are going to take this Big Old Project Slow!


IMG_20130513_201113  To begin I am going to give you a quick lesson on mixing some of the materials we will be using.

The flexbond is very easy to work with. You will be mixing it with water to a consistency of frosting. You want it to be thick but not too thick to where you cannot spread it easily and definately not runny. We are also going to mix the grout pretty much the same way. I find that I don’t follow the directions because usually it comes out too runny so I start out by pouring the mix into a small bucket and slowly start adding in water and stirring, add a little more water and stir again till you get it looking like mud. Or better yet-like pudding. when you spoon some up and let it drop it should sit on top like pudding does. Sorry, didn’t think to take a picture of it but you will see it as we start putting it up on the walls.

On this particular project I was not the person who hung the cement board. So here is a picture showing some of the tile we have already hung and showing the cement board. IMG_20130509_170028_1

If you are planning on hanging large tile as seen in this picture I suggest using the cement board. They come in 4 ft x 5 ft sheets are heavy but easy to install. You hang it just like dry wall using dry wall screws (approx 1-1/2″ long) Make sure that your corners are square and that the walls are level.

How to: To make sure your corners are square you can check it with a Square and you want to check both top and bottom of the corner. To make sure walls are level you place your level vertically against the wall and check the bubble to make sure it is in the center. You will also want to place the level along the top edge of the cement board checking for levelness as well. If it isn’t you may want to shim behind to achieve the levelness of the wall but usually this is not a problem especially if the 2×4 roughed in are already level. It just doesn’t hurt to check.  

Do not be intimidated by this project! It really is easy-just take your time and enjoy creating you’re new look!

Next I figured out what I wanted to do for my tile configuration. I actually laid the bottom row of tiles to see how I wanted to stand them. You can look in magazines if you need ideas. There are so many looks you can develop using decorative tiles as well. On this particular job it was our initiative to keep it simple.

Let your creative juices flow!

If notice in the picture we decided to cut the tile going down the middle so we did not have to cut in the corners. It gave it a modern look and kept the tile from looking monotonous. Craig my partner in crime suggested this look and we rolled with it. We also did the same on the front and the back for consistency. Also take into consideration if you are going to outline the tub with bull nose tile on inner edge or if you will be using it as an accent on

the outer edge of the tub as seen here looking to the right of the tub. I aplogize these pictures didn’t come the best!


I actually drew the tile on the back wall of the tub to see how it looked to me and then drew a different configuration on the other wall to compare designs. This is my favorite part and I love taking my time to get a good design going. You may not be able to tell in these pictures but there is a ledge (shelf we built in)  along the back wall to put shampoo. I am going to close with a short story of how this came to be and then next week we will get into actually cutting the tile and getting it in place.


As usual, most projects have little bumps in the road to make it fun and exciting! At least that is what I tell my self and I call those “Engineering Changes” LOL.  While positioning the tub up against the back wall we realized that the hole for the tub drain was going to land right on top of a floor joist. Hence the engineering change.  We decided to place the tub out away from the wall and put a 3″ wide ledge along the back wall to be able to make the transition from the tub to the back wall.  (This would help us avoid having to cut a floor joist. Never a good idea to weaken a floor; especially one that will be holding a lot of weight!).


Great idea’s come from things like this. Now we have a little more dimension to the tub and also have a functioning shelf area to put things on. You got to love it!

Well that is the story and as we get further into the project you will see how wonderful it came out. You can also use these skills for similar smaller projects. I am hoping to have time to tile the inside of a table using some of the left over tiles I have from various projects. I will be definately sharing that project with you hopefully sometime soon.

Have a great weekend as always! Feel free to write you have any requests for specific projects. I would love to hear from you.

Girl Friday! 

Mischele Makhlouf

How to build a raised garden bed


Hello everyone! Happy Memorial Day Weekend. God Bless our Soldiers here and gone. Be sure to be thankful for our freedoms. This weekend is one of those long weekends that you are either traveling or getting a ton of yard work done. I really wanted to be able to show this in a video but unfortunately I have a bit of research and learning to do before I can accomplish that goal. Not to mention I am a bit camera shy?! LOL

What you will need for this project is:

4) 1 in x 6 in x 8 ft   long boards  - cut into 4 ft sections

2) 4 in x 4 in x 8 ft long posts-cut into 6 sections that are 16″ tall  (you can cut these shorter if desired. Minimum 12″ in height)

1 box of decking screws 3- 3-1/2 in long

1 to 1-1/2 yards of good dirt

Drill, and drill bit with counter sink drill bit (drill bit has to be a smidge smaller than the diameter of your screw)

1-1/2 hrs of time


As you can see I have my seed starter kits out and ready for planting. 

First of all I started cutting my wood up into 4 foot sections. If you do not have a table saw or a skill saw Home Depot will do this on site for you. It is a free service they offer. Pretty cool I think. That way your vehicle doesn’t look like this! Don’t forget if your hauling long boards sticking out past your tail lights you need to put red flags on them. Informing the driver behind you to take caution. Home depot also provides these at no cost.

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I then cut my 4×4 IN into 16″ sections. I did this so that if I don’t have time to seed a head of time I can fasten some bisqueen (light plastic) over the posts so that it will act as a terrarium. It helps keep the seeds to germinate and keeps moisture in until there is no danger of frost and they are big enough to handle the elements.

Once you have everything cut you are ready to assemble! 

Here are few pictures of drilling your holes. You need to have them on a pretty good angle in order for them not to show. The best way to demonstrate that is to show you pictures.  Begin by drilling a hole straight into the board.

P1080523Then proceed by using that hole and drilling in an upward almost 30 degree angle. P1080522

Make sure you come out approximately in the middle of the board.


This makes it really easy when you go to insert the screws into the 4×4 sections you have cut. Set your bottom board just past the lip of the 4×4 post and drill the bottom and then the top hole. You will notice that the screw will pull the two boards together nice and tight.  Once you have the first board in place add the second board on top of the first as if building another level.

I assembled all of my sections with the 4×4 to my left on a flat surface in my work shop then I took all the sections out to where I would be putting the permanently and fastened them all together. You should have a total of 6 of these sections. Take a look at the picture and you will see how easily the way I did it will go. Think assembly line! LOL 

garden box close up

Choose a good location 6-8 hours of sun! 

Once you have it assembled in place. Start throwing in the dirt….it takes a yard to a yard and a half. We had dirt delivered specifically for this project and for some other areas of my yard that needs some tending to.

You can never have enough dirt and rocks to decorate your yard with!

Memorial day weekend is usually the weekend that some of us backyard gardener’s like to use as a rule of thumb for planting! Usually there is no threat of frost by then but keep an eye out just in case.  

If my garden is blessed and prospers this year hopefully I will be working with Maria in the kitchen at harvest time and we can show you how to can and freeze your fruits and veggies!

Everyone have a wonderful holiday weekend. God bless our troops! Be safe this weekend!

God, I am grateful that I have the freedom to grow my own garden and that we have the ability to watch it grown from seed to fruit. Help us to be a fruitful spirit as well. AMEN

Girl Friday

Mischele Makhlouf

Getting a Head start


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Hello All,

Well I have a special event for you next week. Yep it’s a secret until the end of this article in which I will reveal my master plan.

For this article it will be short and sweet. Actually I should have been teaching this about 4 weeks ago. Long story short I had a mix up in my order and I am now just getting my seeds but I am sticking with the plan regardless.

I wanted to show you that you can start your own seeds and grow your own plants instead of buying them from a nursery. That is if you enjoy and have the time to do this. I love my little babies and find it a blessing that I can start them by seed and transplant them afte the danger of frost.

Most people put seeds right in the garden memorial day weekend. That the old golden rule and it works but I like to give mine a bit of a head start. Usually 6-8 weeks.

I have invested in the these containers that I use year after year, they only cost approx. 3 dollars at Kmart and plants 72 plants!

You can gift some of the little guys to your friends! How fun is that?!

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First you want to partially fill them with this media. It is Miracle grow and it expands to be about twice of what it looks like. It is a bit pricier but it has a lot of benefits.

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It holds up to 50 % more moisture than regular dirt and it also feeds the plant up to 6 months. It special media also provides more air for the roots to grow quickly and establish a good foundation.

Add water to get the media to expand! 1 to 1 ratio.

Start putting in the seeds of choice. Usually I will put 2-3 seeds in a container because not all of them will grow and if they all do grow you can split them a part very easily. If they are larger seed like pumpkin or zucchini then I just put one seed in each compartment.

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Once you have them all in place then I go to work and spread them over with potting soil, pack them down. Or as I say “Tuck them into bed”.

 Water them again to get them started. Then I put the cover over. Perfect for holding moisture in while they germinate. I use a grow light when it is still too cold to put them out doors. You can purchase them pretty inexpensively but if you have a good window that gets at least 6 hours of sunlight that is efficient enough.


 Voila! After a few weeks you will have this to plant in the next project! Garden boxes! I live in Clay. CLAY I tell ya…makes for a great foundation for the house but to grow anything in; it is near impossible!

So I have decided to make a Raised Garden this year. I plan to plant a wonderful vegetable garden. Our next project will be how to build a Raised garden bed! Hopefully in video form for the very first time. So everyone say a prayer for me; I am going to need it because I am just not the best with this fancy Media stuff. I am so excited to try this!

Who knows, maybe canning in the fall with Maria our expert in the kitchen. The sky is the limit with God’s Girls!

Have fun and Praise Him while you are planting.

 Have a wonderful weekend and blessings to all.

Girl Firday- Mischele Makhlouf

A Beautiful Life!


            A Beautiful Life ~ what does this look like?  It is who we are, where we go, what we think and the way we do the everyday things of life.  We display it in the way we take care of our family, our homes, and our relationships.  It is evident in how we feel about ourselves, our God and our fellowman.  We all strive to make our lives more beautiful. But to successfully reach each of these aspects of life can be difficult, especially if we lack inspiration or knowledge…the how to! 

This blog is going to be merged, soon, into a web page that my “Girl Friday”, Mischele and I have been pondering for a while now.  We believe that women just need a little encouragement; in their spiritual lives and their everyday lives.  We also believe that with a little knowledge, we as women can move mountains and ford streams, all it takes is a little push and the tools to make it happen. We can help our families to be stronger by loving our husbands and being the support that they need to move through their days.  By teaching our children how to become Godly men and women.  By feeling good about ourselves through taking care of the amazing creations that we are.  By loving the world around us and therefore reflecting the heart of God.  This is our daily prayer for you.

I can’t promise that we will have all of the answers, all that I can promise you is that we will give it our all, for it is our sincere desire to walk in the footsteps that God has placed before us.  So coming very soon (I’m hoping for next week!!) We will have a web page called “A Beautiful Life ~ living the best that God has for you.”  Mischele and I will still be posting our blogs daily and it will be featured on the main page, but we will each have our own pages with bios and information for living life to the fullest.  This will allow us to load additional content, video features, and downloadable pamphlets. You will continue to receive your post the same way that you always do so never fear!  You don’t have to learn anything new and techy….only me!! (not my strong suit - pray for me!)  I’m very excited about the direction that this is taking, but please be patient with us as we progress through this change…it could take awhile!  As Courtney from Women Living Well would say ~ and I just love this…wish I had thought of it first…

Walk with the King!!


 ~Here is a little extra something that I’ve been working on…it will be a cookbook with recipes for life                                                              ~Coming soon!