Before Pics: Driveway & Walkway

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.


An in-depth, 4-week reverse dieting course for women who feel like their metabolism has slowed down, think they might have hormonal imbalance and can’t lose weight no matter what they do.

Hello, hello!

So, our next big home project is redoing our driveway and walkway because they’re both in need of some serious TLC.

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Mal and I actually spent a couple of hours weeding our driveway earlier this summer, but it doesn’t look like it at all now, does it?

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Holy weeds! As Mal said, “You know you’re in trouble when you need to mow your driveway.”

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There’s also a bunch of roots coming up through the ground in the driveway, which, I’m starting to wonder, might have helped mess up the Y-Pipe on my car? I do run over them every time I pull in the driveway. Hmm”¦

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The walkway going to our front door also needs some help.

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We also weeded it earlier this summer.

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Mal and I also want to remove these bushes:

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And pave in front of our stonewall.

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Last summer, I spent hours and hours weeding this area and almost got strung by a swarm of hornets because I upset their nest in the process. As you can tell, I didn’t even bother with it this year.

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We’re having a few companies come out to give us estimates in the next couple of weeks, so, hopefully, we’ll have a nice, new driveway and walkway sometime this fall. I just hope it doesn’t cost us an arm and leg! I hear paving driveways can be really expensive. Eek!

For those of you who have done similar projects, do you have any advice for us? Any idea how much paving a driveway and redoing a walkway might cost? Anything we should consider/keep in mind when picking a company to do the work? We are such rookies.


This morning’s breakfast was a two-ingredient pancake topped with a massive scoop of sunflower butter and a glass of iced decaf vanilla chai tea.

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Mid-morning, I started to get a little hungry, so I ate a spoonful of almond butter straight from the jar. It did the trick.

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Like yesterday, lunch was a “tasting plate” of sorts with a turkey burger topped with grainy mustard.

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A spinach salad with artichoke hearts, grilled zucchini, avocado, and truffle oil.

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And some Sweet Potato Wedges with some almond butter on top.

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Lunch kept me satisfied for quite awhile, but around 4:00 PM, I started to get hungry again. I thought about making an early dinner, but then I threw together a small snack, which was a scrambled egg with spinach and some strawberries. Random, but delicious.

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Off to take a walk with Murphy!

Enjoy the evening, friends!



  1. Haha it does look like you could just mow the driveway! Ahhh, what a project! I am zero help, however, seeing as I live in a studio apartment and my parents have never re-done our driveway. It’s concrete and has held up just fine for at least 26 years!

  2. This post made me think of the HGTV show Curb Appeal! I feel like this would be a perfect project for the show… wonder if they’re still making shows… You should submit if so!

  3. love this blog and definitely respect the food / diet choices you’ve been making recently to try to ease some of your health issues – but I did notice that the SCD doesn’t allow sweet potatoes, almond butter that’s been sweetened, or seed butters (all of which are in the post) – so am a bit confused about what you say your dietary approach is and what you’re actually allowing in your diet. as someone who is interested in the food approach to easing health issues, am wondering how you decide what to allow and what not to allow especially this early on?

      1. @Tina: This is what I plan on doing starting in October after I do 30 days of GAPS intro. I want to do a combination of SCD/GAPS/Paleo and customize it to my needs and tolerances. Everyone is different and after several weeks of going without certain things, you should be able to tell what you can tolerate AND thrive on. 🙂

  4. Hi there. I live near Worcester. It ran us $1700 to have the driveway torn up and paved. Our driveway is VERY wide (fits 4 cars) and short (2 cars end to end). Hope that helps!

  5. We have a stamped concrete driveway and sideway we put in. There is some maintenance with this- having it resealed at least every 2 years. The important thing when they reseal the driveway is to have them put the “grit” down. It prevents the surface from being slippery- especially if you are in an area where there is ice. (Which from your posts there seems to be snow and ice 🙂 But I love my stamped concrete and they can do color variations.

  6. Possibly the most random question ever, but risking that — I’ve never tried sunflower butter. How would you describe its taste in comparison to almond and peanut butter? I would think that its taste would be more subtle?
    No help on the driveway front — sorry! At 23, it’s not something that I’ve ever dealt with … However, I’m becoming a veteran at buying a condo and waiting for it to be built. 🙂 Though, I’m doubting you’ll be needing expertise on that anytime soon/ever…
    Your lunch looks delicious!!

    1. Sunflower butter tastes like sunflower seeds with the consistency of almond butter/natural peanut butter. It’s really good! 🙂

  7. As always, yall’s zeal for home renovation is inspirational!

    And I rent haha!

    Also, Stone Ground mustard is probably the most delicous thing on this planet, yum!

  8. Hi Tina – I’ve been reading your blog for a while now, but I have never commented, but I think I can be of some help. I am a civil engineer and paving/concrete is my “thing”. I would estimate that you are looking at $2500-$5000 worth of work depending on what kind of material you want to use. Feel free to email me with any questions.

      1. @Tina:
        That would be my estimate for concrete walkway and driveway. If you did an asphalt driveway and concrete walkway, it would be cheaper, but the asphalt will require maintenance every few years.

  9. Your 2-ingredient pancake recipe has changed my life, haha. I eat it every single day. I love adding a scoop of vanilla vegan protein powder and a teaspoon of cinnamon…it makes it taste like banana bread once you add the almond butter! Also good for a sweet treat is craisins or peanut butter chips…healthy yum! Thanks for this healthy edition to my diet!

  10. Ok, So I know nothing about nut butters, but I consume a lot of them while sitting at my desk at the landscaping company my husband and I own. I have never commented before, but I can chime in this time. 🙂 We do a lot of pavers. Walks, drives, patios etc. Because we are halfway across the country in CO, pricing will likely be way different, so I can’t help there. But I would say look into who you get quotes from and see if they belong to a National association like ICPI, or a local association of landscape contractors. They are usually people who stand behind their work, and carry proper insurance etc., and not just Joe Blow in a truck with some guys. Another thing is make sure your base and edging is prepared correctly. Out here we have a lot of the freeze thaw cycle and things tend to heave. You can visit a website like Pavestone, and they can explain to you how to do it, so the drive and walk stay intact after years. We fix so many problems of people who just head to the store buy them with some sand and schlep them down and then shift or come loose after 1 season. In some of the driveways we do, we actually use a driveway paver that is rated to hold more weight, so that is something to look into too. Another thing is to take into consideration the color of your roof. A lot of people will try and match the color of the paver to the color of the brick or stone on their house and forget about the roof color. The overall effect is a bit crazy and monochromatic. If you have red brick on your house and a darker roof, look into a paver that may have some charcoal blended into the color to compliment vs. match. I hope this helps and I don’t sound like some crazy know it all, we just like what we do! PS. those junipers are going to be gnarly to remove:)

  11. I recommend doing concrete and not black top. Maybe it would be neat to do a brick path up to your house instead of a cement sidewalk. Ours was around $3000 to cement our driveway. Yours looks about half our size, so maybe half the cost?

  12. I love house projects, but I get so nervous actually saying ‘yes’ to doing them! Good luck, I’m looking forward to see your outcome, I need to re-do my driveway, too!

  13. the part in front of the stone wall by the fire hydrant may be town owned land, i know that the town owns a certain amount of feet in from the street. So ,if you pay to have that paved, the town might be digging it up in the future if they do road work stuff. Maybe just do more gravel there?

  14. Hey Tina I see you have a fire hydrant at the end of your driveway. I live in PA so the laws might be different, however, there is one in front of our neighbor’s house and several years ago they wanted to pave in the area. After it was all finished, they were told you weren’t allowed to have paving around a fire hydrant and they had to tear it all out!! So … just thought you should check that out before you go to all the expense! This is my first time commenting but enjoyed your book and love your blog as well. 🙂 My son who is 29 also struggles with ulcerative colitis. He eats gluten, sugar and dairy free and it really seems to help! I hope you’re feeling great soon! Marilyn

    1. I thought that might be an issue. Thanks for pointing it out. We should def call the town before we do anything. Thanks for commenting on CNC! 🙂

    1. I usually just buy the store brand. These particular ones actually aren’t very good, so I’m on the look out for some better ones.

  15. Good luck with the driveway. Our driveway was gravel when we built our house but a few years later we had it paved. BEST money we spent!!! We then had our sidewalk done with pavers and I love it. Everything takes time and money but I appreciate everything more!!!

  16. Definitely check out your town’s bylaws before starting anything. Some Mass towns require permits (which the paving company should file for) and have interesting rules about maximum widths and lengths for driveways. I’m speaking from experience here!

  17. Hey Tina,

    Have you tried using Round Up on your driveway and front walk? Since there is no grass there you don’t have to worry about it killing the grass. We have a really nice rock garden in our front yard and weeds took over it this summer. After I pulled all the weeds up my hubby sprayed Round Up in the garden and they haven’t come back. I suppose you could spray them on the weeds without pulling them too. Just a suggestion 🙂

  18. Not sure if anyone has said this yet, but check out stamped concrete for the walkway. I understand is it a lot cheaper than pavers and looks about the same. You can also do loads of different colors with it.

    Good luck with the project!


  19. I know in Stoughton, every so often we get contractors in my neighborhood coming up to our door telling us that they’re doing a driveway in our neighborhood, and since they already have the equipment etc there, can they give us an estimate. We always say no because we’re not ready to re-pave yet. (We’re going to wait until we’re closer to outgrowing our house as part of our pre-sale spruce up.) It’s not very proactive to just wait, but maybe see if any of your neighbors are planning on re-paving this year too?

  20. Pingback: Driveway Day

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