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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

{ Tiny Office: A Walk In Closet Reno }

Many people thought I had lost my mind when I told them of this project I kept thinking of doing. I was confident it would work, and you know what? I wasn't wrong.

We had the standard closet everyone has in their house. The "Monica Closet" if you will.

Ours, unlike Mon's, was a large-ish walk in. It measures 5.5 feet by 6 feet.

All I could see was wasted space. Junk up to my thigh, and wasted space. I began to look for ideas online and I found some, but most were not for a closet the size of this, so, I just decided to wing it.

The walls up to the door are only 18" deep, which makes it tricky for cabinets. Enter laundry room cabinet... and the angels sang. The cabinets I purchased are 16.65" deep. Wooo!

More on those later.

So, we started with your basic, oversized, Monica closet.

Ignore the framing on the side there. That is for a project hubs never got around to finishing. He did reuse all of that wood for my desk though!

We ripped out the shelving and the carpet. Spackled & painted.

The first thing we did after that was hang the high cabinets. These needed to be quite high to allow for the tall cabinets. I require a small ladder to reach them, so they obviously do not house things I need often.

These actually have 3 doors, but since we had to go so high, the middle door wouldn't open because of the light. We removed them and I use them to display my nerdy collectables.

All of the cabinets were purchased at Lowes. These are ESTATE by RSI and are 53.75 in W x 20 in H x 16.625 in D.

After that, we did the floor. We purchased an inexpensive laminate flooring (also at Lowes).

Next is where a lot of money could come in for many, but, fortunately, my handy dandy husband is actually a journeyman electrician by trade. He installed shallow depth surface mount receptacles instead of cutting into the walls.

After that came the tall cabinets. These are also ESTATE by RSI. We put in two 23.75 in W x 70.375 in H x 16.625" D cabinets.

This closet was, and still is, the main storage area in our house. It houses all our (many) board games, and my (many, many) scrapbooks along with crafts, some seasonal decor, etc. It now also houses office supplies, of course. So, I needed a LOT of storage.

The next step was the desk.

We reused the shelving that came in the closet for the base of my desk. Then, we covered it with the leftover laminate flooring. It is mostly a floating desk, but we did add one leg in the corner for extra support.

After that it was just added shelving, installing the doors on the tall cabinets, and decorating (aka 'geeking up' in my case).

The cubbies to the side of the tall cabinets are for office supplies. I just realized this photo was before the second cubby shelf was installed, so imagine that here, ok? Ok.

(printer has since moved off my desk- it was far too large)

And finally, a view from my family room into the office. (Please note Fang standing sentry beneath my desk).

While it is a small, it's actually a MUCH larger space than my old desk was. I like how everything is tucked away neatly & my tiny little office is bright and happy and filled with my favorite things.

This entire build ran us around $800, which isn't cheap, but was WELL worth it. 3/4 of that price was the cabinets alone.

Monica would be proud.

Monday, July 24, 2017

{ Game Of Thrones Party }

The time has finally arrived! Game of Thrones is here!!!

We, sadly, cannot watch it yet. We 'cut the cord' with our cable company last year. We will be buying the season on Amazon once it's complete and we can't wait!

This party was for Bean's 20th Birthday back in April. I saved it to post during the GoT season though. This would make a great finale party! For the most part, this is very simple too, so you can focus on the goings ons of Westeros instead.

Here's the low down:


A lot of the decorations Bean already had. He's a huge history buff, so they worked along with the theme very well.

Dragon Eggs:

I made the dragon eggs from these Easter decorations I found on sale.

A bit of paint in the egg colors and...

These are a sequin and net covered styrofoam, so if you find this type, paint slowly and lightly. It'll take a few coats. If you paint too fast, the styrofoam will start to dissolve and your eggs will wither!

Around Easter you can find large eggs of many types. Even if your party isn't for months, buy them ahead so you'll have them!

The *Mini* Iron Throne:

Since I had purchased a huge amount of cocktail swords for the cheeses, I decided to make an Iron Throne decoration. I used items on hand to make it. The base is soap boxes, then a bit of cardboard for the arms. Cover in cocktail swords (many whole, some broken) and spray paint. It's not perfect, but it's recognizable and fun. I kept it & my Funko Tyrion now sits upon it.

Wine Bottle Candle Holders:

I used wine bottles a friend gave me and dripped wax all down the fronts. Then I just broke the candles until the fit the opening and lit.

The crown in the top wine bottle photo is a Christmas ornament. The one above is a simple toy crown from the Dollar Tree that I painted in an aged gold.

Other decorations:

The Armillary Sphere I usually have on my Potter selves. The votives here came from the Dollar Tree as did the silver platters you will see in this photo (and others).

Bean got this cool sword display a few years back on vacation- in Gatlinburg, oddly. You'll notice the three dragons here. I also used fruit and nuts as double duty- for decorations and for food.

I made some bottled Imp's Delight. It's bottles of Perrier.


For the food, I mostly stayed with what I thought would be eaten in Westeros. Ham, breads, fruits, nuts, crackers, cheeses. I did add some other heres and theres though, of course.

Cheese tray, with nuts, cheeses, and bread

Wild Boar, of course

Wild Boar

Honeycakes were large biscuits served with honey

A Bowl of Brown. If it really tasted this good, the poor people of Westeros would not be so skinny.
It was made from a packet of chocolate pudding, a tub of Cool Whip, and crushed Oreos.

The 'birthday cake' of the night was Sansa's Lemon Cakes

Lanister Gold Spread can be found here. 1, 2, 3 Cheese ball.

Onion Knight dip was just that- Onion Dip (and veggies)

No alcohol here, just grape juice

Again, no alcohol, so it's apple juice and 7-Up.

You could, of course, use alcohol for an adult party. Tyrion would approve.

Take Homes:

Before the party, I had everyone declare a house. From that I made sigil wine glasses using my Silhouette cutter & etching cream.

These were the glasses everyone used for the night as well as their take home gift. I also used glass plates for the evening instead of paper to add to the element.

The cool stein seen here was a Christmas gift to Bean from Bakingdom and her hubs. They picked it up in Germany when they were stationed in Europe.

So, that's it!  Hope you enjoyed this trip to King's Landing.

If you have any questions, just leave me a comment.

Party breakdown:
Party for 8


Glasses: $8 (plus etching)
Silver Trays: $4
Dragon Eggs: $4 (plus paint)
Sword cocktail sticks (for 250) $6
Votive Cups: $3
Candles (votive and taper): $4
Tiara: $1 (plus paint)


Apples: $4
Cupcakes, including wrappers: $6
Cheeses: $6
Breads: $4
Ham: $6 (Easter sale)
Biscuits: $2
Honey: already on hand
Nuts: already on hand
Apple Juice: $3
7Up 2 Liter: $1 (sale)
Grape Juice: $4
Veggies: $4
Dip: $2 (store brand)
Crackers: $4 (store brands)
Bowl of Brown: $6
Perrier: $2

Total $84

Monday, February 27, 2017

{ 5 Cup Salad }

A couple weeks ago, I posted that we had lost our dear Grammy. Today I am going to share another one of her recipes. This one is a particular favorite of my husband's. You could always count on this being requested for holidays and large family gatherings at her house.

When I was editing the photos for this post, I was telling Darla I wished I had a photo of Gram in her kitchen. It's funny the things you think of once it's too late. Gram was a great cook. She always said, "I'm not a fantastic cook", but I will tell you that NO ONE complained or left her house hungry. More photos of Grammy smiling in her kitchen is something I really wish I had. Flipping through my scrapbooks, I did stumble upon one, and thankfully, it is a really good one :)

This is Gram and my sister in law, Lori. Gram's kitchen had a large pass through window. I was standing in the dining room when I took this through the pass through.

This photo is several years old. The wallpaper is now gone, replaced with clean white walls, the counter top is different, but mostly it looks the same. The same cabinets, the same fridge, the same warm feeling.

You know how some people say we take too many photographs now because we always have one on us with our phones? They are wrong. Take the photo. Moreover, print them out, put them in books, keep them & the originals safe. One day you will be thankful you did.

Now, back to the salad. 5 Cup Salad, which we all refer to as "Grammy's Salad", is an old fashioned fruit salad that takes just minutes to make, but there is a secret. You must refrigerate it several hours minimum or overnight for the best flavor!

Now, the fruit and the sour cream are probably going to sound weird together, but they aren't. The sour cream picks up all the sweetness of the fruit and tastes nothing like it's original flavor.

This is a great, cool salad for summer picnics if you keep it on ice, but you can always find it on our Thanksgiving table. It's been that way for decades and will continue to be. I'm sure some of you out there have had this very salad made by your own grandmothers! :)

Here's one last photo of Gram. This one I snapped while she was sitting at her kitchen table telling me stories about her youth. She was always a great storyteller. <3

Til later,

5 Cup Salad
By Tina @ Sugar Bean Bakers' Grammy

1 Cup Mandarin Orange Segments (drained)
1 Cup Pineapple Tidbits (drained)
1 Cup Mini Marshmallows
1 Cup Flaked Coconut
1 Cup Sour Cream

Make sure fruit is drained very well.  Mix all together in a large bowl, refrigerate several hours before serving (we prefer overnight). Stir before serving.

Will keep 2-3 days in fridge.


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