Daily life, Goals and Aspirations, photography

365 photos…

At the start of this year I made a goal for myself for 2014 – for everyday of the year I have to take a different photo (on that day.) Here are a few that I’ve taken so far:

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The point of this challenge is to practice my photography and the end result will be a huge collection of photos from everyday of this year… it’s a win-win!

It was at first difficult to remember to take a photo, and to squeeze in a good picture either right before work or after work while the sun is out. I even had to set a daily reminder, but now it’s become part of my routine.

Anyway, please check out my photo blog and follow along! http://crystal-everyday-2014.tumblr.com/

DIY & Crafts, Gardening, Goals and Aspirations, Home Decor, Uncategorized

Goal update: 50 DIY Projects/Crafts…

I challenged myself to this goal at the beginning of the year to keep myself creative and busy! Here’s what I’ve done so far!

-Curtains… after WEEKS of working on these curtains I can finally say they’re complete! I did the curtains for the bedroom and the living room, and I have to say that my sewing skills have improved dramatically! I did a simple flat curtain to hang from clips and I completed a total of 8 panels! 6 of which I had to do twice because my measurements were off… I wasn’t too happy about that.

-Terrariums… I’ve made a few of these because I’m obsessed with them.  I’ll come up with simple DIY instructions in the very near future in case you’d like to make one yourself, they’re super fun and easy!

-Necklace Hanger..  I know I wanted to use some sort of antlers to hang my necklaces from. I saw this project on one of the blogs that I follow regularly, A Beautiful Mess.. it’s a really easy project that I completed in less than 30 minutes. You can find the instructions here. I’m very happy with mine!

-Plants… this past Saturday I planted heartleafed ice plants (aptenia cordifolia) in front of our brick wall. My mom supplied me with cuttings from her yard. So far they look pretty good! They should be rooting in 2 weeks. Yeay!

And I know you must be thinking that 50 projects are a lot… it sure is.


Dish A Month, Goals and Aspirations, Recipes, Uncategorized

Filipino Dish of the Month – March

One of my goals for 2012 is to cook a new Filipino dish each month.  On this cold and stormy day and nursing a sick boyfriend back to health, I knew arroz caldo would hit the spot.  This comforting filipino dish has been my favorite ever since I was a child, arroz caldo (translated as warm rice), is a chicken and rice porridge that is sure to fill your belly and instantly warm your soul. So I contacted my mom to find out what I needed in order to make this myself…

Arroz caldo (Chicken and Rice Porridge)

  • 1 ½ lbs chicken, cut into serving pieces
  • 1 ½ cups uncooked sweet rice (botan rice)
  • about 2 1/2 cups of water (to start with, you end up adding more to reach your desired consistency)
  • about 4-5 Tbsp of fish sauce, add to taste
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 cup onion, minced
  • 4 pieces hard boiled eggs
  • 1 cup scallions (green onions), minced
  • 2 knobs ginger
  • 1 piece chicken cube (bouillon)
  • 1 lemon or 4 calamansi
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil

Since I’m making my arroz caldo to my preference, I ground both the garlic and the ginger in a food processor that way it was very fine. My mom would cut up the ginger in bigger pieces but I didn’t like that. So whatever you prefer.

Heat cooking oil and saute the onion, garlic and ginger. Then add the chicken cube, cook until cube has melted. Now add the chicken, cook until golden brown.  Next, add 2 Tbsp of fish sauce and uncooked rice, cook for a few minutes.  Add the water and bring to a boil, simmer until the rice has been fully cooked (about 30-45 minutes), stirring occasionally.  You’ll notice as it’s cooking, the water gets absorbed, add more hot water until you reach your desired consistency.  For me, I added A LOT of water while it was cooking because I like my arroz caldo pretty soupy. Also this is a good time to taste test the broth to add more fish sauce, add according to taste. While your rice is cooking you can boil your eggs. Once the rice is done you can add the boiled eggs… peeled (OBVIOUSLY!).. and serve topped with green onions and a squeeze of lemon or calamansi.. Mmmm, Masarap! (Yields 6 servings)

DIY & Crafts, Goals and Aspirations, Recipes

Welcome friends!

Hello everybody, this is officially my first post on the SugarCube Blog.  Rather than introducing myself, (you can read a little about me in my “About Crystal” section) I’ll share a few of my upcoming projects and events that I have coming up in the near future! I’m going to first start off with a few of my goals for the year…

  • Learn to sew.
  • Create a business name and logo.
  • Set up my creativity/crafting room.
  • Create at least 50 DIY projects/crafts within the year.
  • Learn how to cook at least one Filipino dish each month. (I’d like to be as good of a cook as my mom someday!)
  • Start up a shop on Etsy.
  • Create a business card/thank you card.
  • Paint more. (this I can easily incorporate into the 50 challenge)

So far that’s what I have, and I’ll be adding to this as the year goes on.  I’m also happy to mention that I’ve already accomplished 2 of these goals: sewing and say hello to “SugarCube!”

Another thing to look forward to for the future of this blog is witnessing the boyfriend and I transform this cute little house on Cottonwood St from a house to a home!  He had recently purchased a great little craftsman bungalow and although the house has come a long (LONG) way from the condition that it was in before, it still does need some work and personalization.  We’re scheduled to start moving early February.

So here it is:


Isn’t it just ADORABLE?! I love it. We’re both so very excited!

I plan to share how we decide to decorate, paint, plant, install, and whatever else this house needs and I’ll also be sharing with you the progress of my goals… thank you so much for reading and check back soon.