Gardening, Photography & Home-Cooking are just a few of what I love doing!

Gardening, Photography & Home-Cooking are just a few of what I love doing!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

What Is Better For Your Landscaping Project, Crushed or Pea Gravel?

When it comes to landscaping, people tend to picture flowers, shrubbery, trees, groomed lawns, and other foliage. But another important aspect of proper landscaping is the hardscaping, which can involve paths, mulch, and drainage. You can use a variety of materials for your hardscaping, from concrete and asphalt to gravel and sand. Gravel itself comes in a variety of choices. Two popular choices you can find from a supplier such as All Valley Sand and Gravel are crushed gravel and pea gravel.

Crushed Gravel

Crushed gravel can also be referred to as crushed rock, as it is primarily literally composed of crushed pieces of stone. In some cases, crushed concrete pieces may also be mixed in. While crushed gravel pieces tend to be about half an inch to an inch in diameter, granular, sand-like pieces tend to be present as well, which helps add to the stability of crushed gravel. Even without the sand-like pieces, crushed gravel has excellent ability to compact due to its tendency to have irregular, sharp edges. As the edges fit together, the compact gravel can be used for creating a hard base for a number of purposes, such as for fence posts or other structures. More popularly, however, it is used to create a surface for a driveway, walkway, or patio. Although the gravel is great for compacting, crushed gravel also allows for adequate drainage, and is relatively low maintenance. 
Pea Gravel

Although it is also composed of stone, pea gravel differs from crushed gravel in several ways. Instead of being composed of irregular, sharp stone pieces, pea gravel contains smaller, rounded stones. The stones are smooth in feel, which can be gentler on bare feet if used in walkways or patios. It also tends to have a more aesthetically pleasing look, coming in a variety of colors such as light blues, whites, tans, and even reds. Due to the smoothness of the stones, they do not compact as well as crushed gravel, and will require edging to prevent them from scattering. Like crushed gravel, pea gravel allows for adequate drainage and is relatively low maintenance. A company such as All Valley Sand and Gravel thatspecializes in gravels and other filler materials can assist you in deciding which gravel would be best for your landscaping project.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

100th Day Of School Family Project

Last week my son brought this paper from their class about this family project that we will be doing for their 100th day of school. The idea is for the students to find an object and use 100 of it to make some kind of creation. So I decided to use a popsicle/craft sticks to make a cute basket. I've made it before so that was easy for me and my son to work on it. All we needed were the popsicle sticks and glue. I got lucky that I still had popsicle sticks leftover from the last time I made some which was over 5 years ago!

Anyhow, my son and I made the basket yesterday and seemed like he enjoyed making it. This is what the basket looks like below but it is not the actual one that we made yesterday. The one in the pictures below I only assembled to make sure that the 100 mini-sticks will be enough to make one, so I didn't glue it..

Anyway, the idea of this basket is NOT MINE! I found the picture online over 5 years ago, I think on Ebay if I am not mistaken. I just looked at the picture and figured out myself on how to make it. It was kind of hard at first but then it gets easy once you get the hang of it. You can also use regular size popsicle sticks which you can buy both the mini and regular sizes at Walmart at the craft section. I made the regular size before and I still have it using it to hold my shells that I brought from the Philippines. You can use this basket to hold just about anything, as long as it will fit in it and light enough not to break it! Next time, I will post the step by step on how to make this adorable basket!

Friday, January 24, 2014

More Bitter Cold Temperatures Coming Our Way!

We've experienced so much bitter cold temperatures here in our area. It just snowed a couple of days ago, some have melted, some have remained and now I am hearing for more snow days heading our way! I don't know about you all but I am fed up with all these snow. Spring time is still about 3 months away and I do not know what more to expect in this bitter cold days.

All the schools here in our county are closed all week even when there is no snow. It is because it has been dangerously cold outside. I can understand why school administrators don't want to take the risk of kids being harmed!  A week ago, there was a father and a son who died from a wreck they endured from slippery road. It is truly a disgrace! May they rest in peace and my prayers go out to their family!

Anyway, I really hope that the ones that are coming would be the last the ones. We couldn't even keep our house warm because it gets to a single digit temperature outside. Our electric bill already gone up to $50 more this month. This year's winter is one of the worst winters I've experienced in my almost 9 years of living here. And I can see that every year the weather is getting weirder and weirder!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

It's Been 10 Days...

..since I've posted on here. I haven't had any time nor any topics to share on this blog and on my other blogs which really sucks! I wanted to update my blog everyday but how can I if I don't have any topic interesting to post? So I just want to let my readers know, if any, that this blog is still pretty much alive although I haven't been updating it everyday. Once I get everything straighten out around here, I'll be finding something interesting to post!

Monday, January 6, 2014

I Made A Lot Of People On Facebook Drool!

I made this "Humba" or Pork Braised in vinegar, soy sauce and brown sugar yesterday! I uploaded it on facebook afterwards and made a lot of people drool on there. It's not because they don't know how to cook this dish but it's because of the meat that I used to cook it. You see, it is very seldom that you find pork with skin and fat still attached because a lot of Americans do not eat it!

We (Filipinos) are used to eating this kind of meat back home, so everybody gets excited if they find this rare meat! I actually used Hog Jowls to cook this dish. Hog Jowls is a season pork meat usually use to cook in greens or beans to season it. It's not available all the time but only probably once a year during New Year time! I've been wanting to try cooking "Humba" using Hog Jowls and yesterday I finally did it. It's not bad actually, the meat is already seasoned and I think it is smoked too if I'm not mistaken!

Anyway, a couple of my friends on Facebook asking where did I get the meat, I haven't replied to them yet. I am sure they'll be surprised if I tell them that it is just a seasoning meat! It is very cheap too, so it really worked well to my advantage! Next time I'm going to the grocery store, I'll be buying a lot of it to have in stock for they won't be available for long. And I also want to try making soup out of it!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

My Perfect Biko!

One of the Filipino foods that I fixed for the New Year is this dessert that we call in the Philippines "Biko". It is made out of sticky or glutinous rice mixed with caramelized coconut milk and brown sugar with a little hint of salt! I don't know how many times I've made this before but I only got it perfected the other day, well according to my liking that is!

I got the recipe from which is the best recipe that I have tried. I made a few adjustments and it came out perfect finally! What I learned from this is, you have to have patience if you want it to come out decent! Because before, I always rush the coconut milk and brown sugar mixture. You have to have plenty of time to do it too because it takes a while to thicken the said mixture! And when you cook your sweet rice or what we call "pilit", make sure you add less water to avoid overcooking it. So next time you want to make this, do it slowly, be patient and rest assured it will come out the way it supposed to be!  ;)