Author: Lauren

JULY FOURTH:
Patriotic Rice Krispies

 

 

 

Need a quick and easy dessert idea for your 4th of July get together? We have it for you here! Rice Krispie Treats are perfect for a last minute dessert, not too heavy on the tummy, and always a huge hit with the kiddos! This recipe takes about 15 minutes total including decoration – you can’t beat that!

 

Ingredients

3 T Unsalted Butter

10 oz. Package Marshmallows

6 cups Rice Krispies Cereal

16 oz. Betty Crocker Vanilla Frosting

Patriotic Sprinkles

 

Supplies

Nonstick Deep Skillet

Silicone Spatula

Large Mixing Bowl

13” x 9” x 2” Pan

Wax Paper

1 Plastic Sandwich Bag

Scissors

 

 

Directions

Melt the butter over low heat in a deep skillet, or large saucepan. Once butter is melted, add entire bag of marshmallows and stir frequently with silicone spatula until all marshmallows are melted. Remove from heat.

 

In a large mixing bowl add 2 cups Rice Krispies cereal and roughly 1/3 of melted marshmallows. Continue with two more layers of 2 cups cereal and 1/3 melted marshmallows until all melted marshmallows and 6 cups of cereal have been added. This layering technique makes coating the cereal with the melted marshmallows much easier. Stir with silicone spatula until well coated.

 

Line 13” x 9” x 2” pan with wax paper. Pour rice krispies into pan and press with spoon or more wax paper.

 

TIP: You can coat the pan with cooking spray or butter, but I find wax paper easiest when kids are involved. The wax paper prevents any sticking and helps to protect your pan from scratches when trying to cut the sticky rice krispies!

 

 

Decorating

Let the rice krispies cool for a minute to make sure the frosting does not melt when you decorate. Once cooled, add a spoonful of vanilla frosting into the corner of a sandwich bag and twist the bag at the top of the frosting. Press out air, seal the bag, and snip off the corner of the bag where the frosting is located. Be careful not to snip a large chunk off the corner of the bag, a tiny snip will suffice. Slowly squeeze the bag at the top of the frosting while holding the twist and keep a steady pressure while decorating. I chose to do a simple zig-zag pattern beginning and ending in opposite corners. Feel free to get creative with it!

 

After your finished with the frosting grab some patriotic sprinkles and go crazy! You can never have too many sprinkles! 🙂

 

 

Easy right? Leave a comment below to tell us what you thought!

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COUNTRY COOKING:
Creative Apron Display

 

 

This post contains affiliate links. We choose to only provide affiliate links for the products or businesses we trust and use personally. The affiliate links are provided for your convenience to recommended products and to help support the Navy Home. You can find our full disclosure here.

 

A couple of years ago I was out shopping with my mom when I found this horseshoe towel rack. Of course I had to buy it given my dreams of one day owning a horse and all! It makes perfect sense right? Between college and the Navy, I have been living in rentals and as you can figure – all have towel racks. So my awesome horseshoe towel rack sat wrapped up in paper in the closet until one day I would have a home where I could use it. After my husband and I got transferred to our current duty station I was determined to figure out how I could put my towel rack to use when I unpacked it from the moving boxes. I loved it hence why I bought it; therefore, I wanted to use it. It had sat wrapped up in the closet for too long! Of course it took me a while to figure out what alternative use a towel rack could serve until one day it hit me! As we were unpacking and hanging things up I stared at a blank wall in our kitchen wondering what on earth to do with it because it had THIS….. *cue horror music*

 

 

That’s right folks, a telephone jack AT EYE LEVEL for a wall mounted phone (or at least that’s what we think it is!). I did not know they even made phones like that anymore?? Why housing installed this in a home only seven years old is beyond me. And of course the jack is in the worst location possible – smack dab in the middle of the wall – but I digress. My solution to hiding the phone jack was with our “HOME” canvas picture my mom gave us as a wedding gift. It was a magical moment seeing the beauty of canvas wall art cover up the ever so dreaded phone jack. No one ever has to know that jack exists… minus the fact I am announcing its existence with this post, shh. 🙂

 

 

Our “HOME” canvas was looking pretty lonely on the wall by itself and I was unpacking kitchen boxes when I stumbled across my aprons. My aprons have always been neatly folded and stored in a kitchen drawer in hopes of being used; nevertheless I manage to forget they are there. So instead of my aprons taking up valuable kitchen drawer space and never being used, I realized I had found the purpose for my towel rack!

 

Noticing not all of the aprons tied around the neck, I needed a quick and easy way to hang them on to the rack; otherwise once again they would not get used because it would be hassle to get them on and off the rack. Plus, it sometimes takes a few tries to tie the neck of the apron just right to where it lays perfectly in place on you and you don’t want to mess that up. 😉 Can you guess what I used to hang the aprons with? That’s right – shower curtain hooks! We previously lived in an apartment with two showers which required shower curtains. In our current house we have two showers but only one requires a shower curtain. Therefore, we had the extra shower curtain hooks sitting in a bag in the linen closet not being used. Well, why not use them to hang the aprons? The color of them worked well enough to go with the towel rack so the decision was made! My hooks have a ball at the end of them to hold up the aprons, but other styles of shower curtain hooks will work too. If you have small children who might knock the aprons off onto the floor then I would recommend using a ring style or “S” style hook.

 

 

Lastly, you may have noticed there are five aprons to the two humans who live in this house. Let’s just say aprons are like shoes, you need one for every occasion. 🙂 Here is my reasoning to each apron:

  • Orange Daisies: It was my first apron and it was cute, not to mention perfect for Spring, Summer, and even Fall given the color.
  • Black and White Floral: Every woman needs an apron with her initial on it.
  • Little Black Dress: You need a “fancy” apron for hosting dinner parties! It even has “real” pearls on it. 😉
  • His + Her Texas Flag: This one needs no explanation – it’s what every Texan needs! (Want one? You can find them here: His + Hers)

 

Our kitchen apron display has led us to wear our aprons now more than we ever have in the last few years. It is a fun way to add functionality and décor into your kitchen!

 

I hope you have enjoyed my detailed story of our one kitchen wall! Thanks for reading! 🙂

 

 

Please leave a comment below!

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MOSQUITO BITE CURE:
Items From Your Kitchen

 

 

 

This post contains affiliate links. We choose to only provide affiliate links for the products or businesses we trust and use personally. The affiliate links are provided for your convenience to recommended products and to help support The Navy Home. You can find our full disclosure here.

 

Everybody’s experienced the burning and itching that occurs during the most dreaded season of all, mosquito season. After having grown up in Southeast Texas, where the state bird is the mosquito and you have to reapply mosquito spray every five minutes before you sweat it off again, you could say I am well acquainted with the death-eater looking insect. Where I grew up, if you ever wanted to go outside you had to have a full-blown mosquito spraying system installed along your fence line in hopes of protecting you from those little bloodsuckers.

 

What I did not discover until now; however, was the easiest and most effective cure for those pesky bites. Baking Soda + Water. Yup, that’s all. As a matter of fact, I am showcasing this elegant paste in three different locations on my legs while I type. This dynamite fashion statement was what prompted me to share this helpful information with you. Within seconds after applying the paste, I felt a cool relief to my itching and burning bites. A couple of hours later, I could not even find the location of the bites anymore.

 

There is no need to suffer through the itching while you rummage through your medicine cabinet or run out to the store for relief. Instead, both ingredients can be found in your kitchen for instant, all natural relief! Baking soda is a natural way to draw out any poison or irritant from your skin. Don’t believe me? Try it out for yourself! Simply follow the instructions below for the best and most cost effective mosquito relief that I have found, all thanks to my mama! 🙂

 

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon water

 

Instructions:

Combine the baking soda and water into a small bowl. Mix with a spoon until you form a paste. If the solution is too runny, add more baking soda. If the solution is too clumpy, add more water. You want the solution to be a paste that can adhere to your skin and not run off. Once you have a paste, simply dab a blob onto each bite and let the baking soda work its magic! After the solution has dried on your skin, you can gently wipe it off with a wet rag and be on your way! 🙂

 

But wait! There’s more!

 

Most kitchens tend to have baking soda on hand, but if you happen to have some fresh basil leaves those can work too!

 

Ingredients:

1 fresh basil leaf

 

Instructions:

Rub the basil leaf between your fingers until the oil is expressed from the leaf. Use the leaf to apply the oil onto each bite and let the oil sit for about 5 to 10 minutes. Gently wipe off the basil oil with a wet rag and enjoy being itch-free!

 

Be sure to share this article with all of your fellow mosquito victims!

 

 

 

Note: Do NOT use these home remedies if allergic to any of their ingredients. None of this information is to be taken for medical advice! These are simply some home remedies that have worked for us, but may not be suited for everyone. These home remedies are to be used at your own risk. You can find our full disclaimer here.

 

How did you like our home remedies? Let us know how they worked for you below!

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RUSTIC RANKS:
A Gift for Him

 

 

This post contains affiliate links. We choose to only provide affiliate links for the products or businesses we trust and use personally. The affiliate links are provided for your convenience to recommended products and to help support the Navy Home. You can find our full disclosure here.

 

My husband, Chris, was on his first deployment when I made this military rank box for him. I wanted to make something special as a gift for when he got home and came up with the idea several months before he even deployed. Since I would never be able to hide it when he is home, I knew I had to wait until he was away to work on it!

 

After commissioning, he had been talking about needing to get some sort of box to store his ranks in, but the idea he managed to come up with was a plastic CD box… such a boy. 😉 I knew that wasn’t going to work because I wanted his ranks to have a special place for two different reasons. Not only will the contents of this box signify the time he spent serving our country, but it will also house the ranks my mother passed down to him from one of our fallen, LTJG Cole Patrick O’Neil. Chris was completely shocked when I presented him with my gift after he got back home, he had no idea I was making it! This rustic rank box was honestly the most exciting gift for me to give to my husband; it was sentimental for both being handmade for him by his wife and for what resides inside. 🙂

 

 

Materials

Unfinished Wood Shadow Box w/ Glass Top

Painters Tape (if laser etching glass)

Wood Stain

Staining Rag or Paper Towels

Gloves + Mask

Peel + Stick Craft Felt

Polyester Fiber Fill

Fabric

Ruler

Needle + Thread

Sewing Machine (Optional)

Glass Engraver (Optional)

Box Knife (Optional)

 

Exterior

If you plan to get the glass engraved, begin with this step first and remove the lid from the box. I was in school when I made this project for my husband; therefore, I had access to a laser cutter within the architecture wood shop to laser etch the glass for me. If you have a very steady hand or want a handwritten look, you could try a handheld diamond-tipped engraver, but be sure to practice on a scrap piece of glass first! Otherwise, you could go to a glass engraving shop and have them professionally engrave the lid. Tip: Some architecture colleges allow non-students access to the laser cutter for a fee in addition to completing a safety test.

 

Note: If a laser is being used to etch the glass, cover the wooden edges of the lid with painter’s tape. The tape prevents the wood from getting any burn marks.

 

Before the stain is applied, remove any wood dividers in the box that might be in the way for what it is meant to store. For example, I removed one divider on the right side of the box to create a larger space for Chris’s shoulder boards to fit in. You may want to do the same if watches are going to be stored in the box. Be very careful when removing any of the dividers – you don’t want to break the ones you want to keep! Use a box knife to gradually wedge down between the pieces. I admit this is when my dad stepped in to help! I needed some pure manpower because the dividers in my box had been, what I think was, industrially adhered together! Once the pieces are detached, use the box knife to shave down any glue or wood residue to get a flat surface.

 

Select your color of stain, I used special walnut, and remove any hardware from the box and lid. Use your staining rag or paper towels to apply the stain to the exterior and interior of the box. Apply additional coats until you reach the desired color, allow for adequate drying time between each coat. I decided against applying polyurethane since the box will not come in contact with anything that would require it to be sealed. Also, I loved the unsealed look that the special walnut stain gave the wood; the color has a dry and slightly weathered vintage look. 🙂 Apply the polyurethane at this time if you want a glossy or more finished appearance. I recommend using a sponge brush to apply thin coats of polyurethane, allow for adequate drying time between each coat.

 

Note: Read all the directions on each product before use. Remember to stir the stain and polyurethane before use, do not shake. If using paper towels to apply stain, make sure the paper towels are not too soft and leave paper remnants on the project. Always wear a mask and gloves when applying stain or polyurethane along with working in a well-ventilated space. A well-ventilated space creates a cleaner workspace to breathe in and faster drying time.

 

 

 

 

 

Interior

Use a ruler to measure the interior surfaces you want to cover with felt, taking into account the thickness of the felt. Cut out the felt pieces, remove the paper backing, and adhere the felt inside the spaces. The peel and stick felt makes this quick and easy!

 

Add 1” to both the length and width measurements of each space to get the dimensions for your cushions. This 1” addition accounts for ¼” seam around and ½” extra material both ways to make your cushions fluffy. Cut two pieces of fabric for each cushion and lay them face-to-face. Hand stitch or use a sewing machine to sew your ¼” seam around. Leave a 1” opening and pull the fabric through the opening to flip the fabric correct side out. Fill the cushion with polyester fill to the desired thickness and complete your seam across the opening. Place the cushions in their spots and reattach the hardware onto the box and lid.

 

 

You’re done! Whether you made this for a service member to store his ranks or a husband to store his watches and cuff links, you now have a handmade gift any man is sure to love! 🙂

 

 

Please leave us a comment below to share your thoughts with us!

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PICTURESQUE WINDOW:
A Window Picture Frame

 

 

As many of you may know from my Storytelling Fireplace, it took me weeks to figure out how to arrange the treasures on our fireplace mantel. One piece in particular that seems to capture attention is our black and white window frame photograph. The size of the photograph in addition to its classic black and white charm is what makes it a statement piece on the mantel. My husband and I were dancing at our close friends wedding when the photographers sneakily snapped this photo of us. This picture is near and dear to my heart and I am forever thankful to those photographers for having captured this moment. People say a picture is worth a thousand words and I am inclined to believe them, for this one says everything about us and our marriage. 🙂

 

After having several people ask me how I printed out this picture, I decided to write a tutorial on how to enlarge and print a photo to fit seamlessly into a window picture frame. In the tutorial below, you will find instructions for four different software programs in which you can use to accomplish this task. Let’s get started!

 

Materials

Window Picture Frame

Printer Paper or Photo Paper

Photograph

Printer

Scissors

Ruler

 

Software (Choose One)

Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Photoshop

Microsoft Word

Microsoft PowerPoint

 

Photo Prep

First, select the photograph you wish to display in the frame – this is the always the hardest part in my opinion! I recommend using a digital file of your selected photograph for optimum quality. If all you have is a physical photograph, simply scan the picture and save as a file on your computer. When scanning your photograph use a minimum of 300 dpi. Remove the back panels of the frame and use a ruler to measure the individual panel sizes as well as the width of the frame margins between each panel. After a few trial and errors, I discovered the frame margins have to be accounted for; meaning the portions of the picture that fall at those margins will not be visible – refer to Diagram 01. My frame has awkward measurements because it was made for 4 x 6 photos with excess glass surrounding each photo; therefore, my measurements are 6 x 7 ½ with ½” frame margin.

 

Adobe Illustrator or Adobe Photoshop

The process for enlarging and printing the photograph is the same for either Adobe Illustrator or Adobe Photoshop. Begin by starting a new file and set your artboard or canvas size to include all of the photo panels and frame margins.

 

Example:

Photo Panel Size: 6” x 7 ½”

Frame Margin Width: ½”

Artboard/Canvas Width: 15 ½”   (7 ½” + ½” + 7 ½”)

Artboard/Canvas Height: 19”   (6” + ½” + 6” + ½” + 6”)

 

Next, refer to Diagram 01 below and place guides to divide each space according to your measurements. Go to View – Rulers – Show Rulers and place guides by clicking and dragging the ruler onto your workspace. Go to File – Place and insert the selected photograph into the file. Scale the photo to fit the entire artboard or canvas. Your photo may have to be cropped some to fit depending on the frame dimensions. Refer to Diagram 02 below and crop down the artboard or canvas to one of the photo panels. Print the cropped image to actual size on the appropriate page size you are printing at (8.5 x 11, 4 x 6, etc). Undo the cropping to revert back to the original artboard or canvas size. Repeat the crop, print, and undo steps for each photo panel.

 

Diagram 01: Set Guides to Measurements

 

Diagram 02: Crop and Print Each Panel

 

Microsoft PowerPoint or Microsoft Word

The process for enlarging and printing the photograph is roughly the same for either Microsoft PowerPoint or Microsoft Word; Microsoft Word requires a couple of extra steps. Begin by starting a new file and set your page size to include all of the photo panels and frame margins. To adjust the page size, go to File – Page Setup and set a custom page size with no margins. Ignore any messages saying the page size exceeds printable areas; we will be cropping the images down to fit. Press OK to continue with the custom page size.

 

Example:

Photo Panel Size: 6” x 7 ½”

Frame Margin Width: ½”

Artboard/Canvas Width: 15 ½”     (7 ½” + ½” + 7 ½”)

Artboard/Canvas Height: 19”   (6” + ½” + 6” + ½” + 6”)

 

Next, refer to Diagram 01 below and place guides to divide each space according to your measurements. PowerPoint: Go to View – Guides – Static Guides and add new guides by holding Option (Mac) or Ctrl (Windows) while clicking and dragging the existing guides. Word: Go to View – Publishing Layout and add new guides by clicking and dragging the ruler onto your page. Draw lines over the guides and set their wrapping to be in front of text. Return to View – Print Layout.

 

Go to Insert – Picture (From File) and insert the selected photograph into the file. Scale the photo to fit the entire page. Your photo may have to be cropped some to fit depending on the frame dimensions. Refer to Diagram 02 below and crop down the photo to one of the photo panels. Open a new file with the appropriate page size you are printing at (8.5 x 11, 4 x 6, etc). Drag the cropped image into the new file and print from here. Undo the cropping in the original file to revert back to the original page size. Repeat the crop, print, and undo steps for each photo panel.

 

Assembly

Trim off any excess paper around each photo and place them into the frame. Remember to clean the glass before filling in your frame with photos – you don’t want any pesky smudges! Display your beautiful window frame and reminisce in those captured sweet moments of life. 🙂

 

 

What did you think of this tutorial? Have any questions? Let us know below!

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