Easy Cozy Crochet Blanket

| Crochet

Easy Cozy Crochet Blanket

Easy Cozy Crochet Blanket – a great pattern for beginners.

There’s still a nip in the air at this is the time of year, so it’s a perfect time to grab a cozy blanket and cuddle up on the couch with a good book. I was getting a bit bored of always making baby hats so I decided I needed a new project. When my daughter Noelle saw me looking at blanket ideas she begged me to make her a blanket.  I knew Noelle would really enjoy and appreciate a blanket that I made just for her. So I formulated a plan and took Noelle to the store to pick out some yarn. She picked out this fun and colorful yarn by Bernat that’s super chunky and has great colors.  I also picked up a size P/11.5mm crochet hook and went to town on my newest project.

This blanket was inspired by Melanie Ham’s “Easy Beginner Crochet Baby Blanket Tutorial” on YouTube. It’s the same basic crochet pattern but I’ve changed the size and added some detailing. Her original baby blanket pattern can be found here. I highly recommend Melanie’s video tutorial – its fabulous, especially for beginners.

This blanket is super easy and crochet’s up really quickly. I’m not a fast crocheter and it took me a little less than a week to finish it off. Noelle loved the finished blanket and uses it all the time now. It’s great because its cozy without being too warm. Noelle tends to get hot quickly so the loose weave in this blanket is perfect for her. I’ve used this blanket on occasion myself and it really is the best of both worlds. My finished blanket is 44″ x 55″ which is the perfect size for a my daughter.

Easy Cozy Crochet Blanket Pattern 

Materials:

  • Bernat Baby Blanket Yarn – number of balls depends on the size you make it.
  • Crochet Hook – US P/11.5 mm.
  • Scissors

Directions:

Ch = chain, sl st = slip stitch, dc = double crochet (U.S.)

If you choose to make this blanket smaller or larger, for the initial chain, just be sure that the number of chains you use is divisible by 6. 42, 48, 54, 60, 66, 72. etc.

To join a new ball of yarn, tie the end if the yarn to the end of the 2nd ball and continue crocheting. Trim any ends that are sticking out.

  1. Make a slip stitch and chain 60 stitches together, keeping tension even through the chain.
  2. Not turning your work, count back 4 stitches from the hook and do 2 dc in the same spot, skip a chain, 2 dc and continue in the same manner along foundation chain until the end.
  3. Once you reach the end, 1 dc in the last chain.
  4. Ch 3 and turn.
  5. 1 dc in first chain, skip 1 ch, 2 dc and repeat until the end (the 2 dc should be in between the “v” stitches front the first row)
  6. Using the top chain on the end, place 1 dc. ch 3 and turn.
  7. Continue steps 5 and 6 until you’ve made the blanket as long as you’d like. I made my blanket 50 rows.
  8. Fasten off.
  9. When adding the fringe, cut the yarn to about double the length you want the fringe to be (mine were 8 inches each total length). Fold your yarn in half and take the side with the loop and push it through the gap on each side of the 2 dc along the border of your blanket. Then get the side with the loose ends of the yarn and pull them tightly through the loop to secure. Continue until both ends of your blanket have fringe across the entire width of the blanket.

Download the Easy Cozy Crochet Blanket pattern here.

Looking for more great crochet patterns:  Crochet Boot CuffsCaps for a CauseCrochet Infinity ScarfCrochet Cat BedCrochet iPhone CaseEasy-Peasy Crochet Beanie

Easy Cozy Crochet Blanket

Quick and Easy Cozy Crochet Blanket

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Curried Apple Egg Salad Sandwich

| Cooking

Curried Apple Egg Salad Sandwich - the best egg salad sandwich you've ever eaten.

Curried Apple Egg Salad Sandwich

Curried Apple Egg Salad Sandwich – In the past, egg salad sandwiches have been as enticing to me as eating a slop sandwich (sorry if I’ve offended any egg salad sandwich lovers out there). I’m not sure if it was the smell or the drab yellow paste that turned me off but I was a hater none the less. All that changed one day a couple of years ago when I saw a cooking show on TV that was doing interesting takes on good ole fashioned sandwiches. I scrunched up my nose as they showed the typical yellow-grayish mush with white crust-less bread but then something caught my attention…wait, that looks interesting. Curry, apple, lime juice, cilantro… how could anything with those ingredients be bad. Toasted multi-grain bread…yum! OK, that was it, I was sold. I ran out to the store, bought all the ingredients and went to work making the recipe. OMG was all I could say. Fresh, lively and full of flavor. This was by far the best egg salad sandwich I had ever eaten. Now this updated classic sandwich makes regular lunch appearances in our home.

If you’ve been put off by egg salad sandwiches in the past, you must try this – it’ll change your perspective and you’ll become a convert, I promise!

Curried Apple Egg Salad Sandwich

Ingredients:

  • 6 hard-boiled large eggs, chopped
  • 1 cup apples, diced (Granny smith recommended)
  • ¼ cup red onion, finely chopped
  • ½ stalk celery, chopped
  • ¼ cup cilantro or parsley
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1½ tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp old fashion mustard
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Bread of your choice

Directions:

  1. Hard-boil the eggs. Cool, run under water, remove the shells carefully. Chop or mash eggs into small chunks.
  2. Wisk mayo, lime juice, curry, mustard, salt and cayenne together in a large bowl. Add the eggs, apple, onion and cilantro or parsley, stir to combine.
  3. Toast your bread and spread the curried egg mixture on toast. Enjoy!

Download the Curried Apple Egg Salad Sandwich recipe HERE.

Forget your grandma's recipe, this is the BEST EGG SALAD SANDWICH you've ever eaten.

I hope you enjoyed this recipe.  Check out some of my other recipes including: Double chocolate pecan cookiesThe ultimate rice krispie squareBest salad everNo bake energy balls,  the best chicken soup you’ll ever eatBailey’s dipped toasted marshmallowszucchini quinoa pattiesperfect chocolate chip cookiesmarinated feta cheesemediterranean humus.

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Natural Calendula Soap Recipe

| Get Crafty, Health & Beauty

Soap-06-smallNatural Calendula Soap Recipe – This year for Christmas I gave all the ladies in my life handmade bath and beauty products. I really enjoyed making them and it felt good giving items that I knew were all natural and free of harsh chemicals. One product I really enjoyed making was soap but, even though I made the soap from scratch, it came as a kit which was all perfectly measured out and ready to be made – it sort of felt like I was cheating. Luckily I have some pretty amazing, talented and resourceful people in my life including my friend Deborah who has been making her own soap since the late 90’s. She was kind enough to invite me over to her house last week to show me how she made her favorite recipe from scratch. She got this recipe from a basic soap making course she took many years ago. Deborah says that she’s tried many recipes but she always comes back to this one. It’s a simple recipe with only a few ingredients – great for people with skin allergies or sensitivities. In this particular recipe we’ve added dried Calendula. Calendula has a long history of use as a wound-healing and skin-soothing botanical. This beautiful yellow and orange flower is particularly good for cuts, scrapes, bruises, sunburns, irritated skin and acne. Even though Calendula is loaded with powerful skin-healing and anti-inflammatory properties, it’s gentle on most people’s skin.

Soap-01-smallNatural Soap – Excellent Basic Moisturizing Soap Recipe

This recipe needs to be mixed at 135-140 degrees Fahrenheit. Makes approximately 3 lbs.

Ingredients: *note – measurements are done by weight and not volume for better accuracy.

  • 12 oz. (350 grams) Coconut Oil
  • 8 oz. (300 grams) Palm Oil (please, if possible, try to use a certified sustainable palm oil)
  • 8 oz. (300 grams) Liquid Vegetable Shortening or Pure Canola Oil
  • 139 grams Lye
  • 4.9 oz. (356 grams) Cold Water (distilled or filtered if possible)
  • 0.8 oz. (25 mL) Essential Oils or Fragrance Oil (EO’s are expensive so I don’t use nearly that much although you need at least 50 drops of EO if you want to smell the scent of the EO in the soap). Also I’d suggest leaving out EO’s or fragrance if the people using it have sensitivities.
  • 1-2 tbsp. Dried Calendula Flowers (optional)

What you’ll need:

  • Pyrex measuring cup
  • Container to measure lye into
  • Rubber gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • Large mixing spoon
  • Stainless steel pot
  • Kitchen scale
  • Candy thermometer (2 if possible)
  • Blender stick
  • Soap mold (1 quart [1 litre] milk cartons work great if you don’t want to buy a proper mold – that’s what I use)
  • Tea towels
  • Chef’s knife

Directions:

  1. Weigh cold water and place in a Pyrex measuring cup.
  2. Weigh oils and/or fat into stainless steel pot. Place on stove-top and turn on heat to lowest setting and keep an eye on the temperature with your thermometer.
  3. Put on rubber gloves and safety goggles and carefully measure lye into a container. Pour into water while stirring with spoon – mix carefully and avoid splashing (important – always pour the lye into the water and not the water into the lye – this can cause a mini explosion). Avoid inhaling fumes – stir until lye is completely dissolved. Place thermometer in lye – making sure that it is suspended in the liquid and not resting on the bottom of the container
  4. If you used cold water to mix your lye, it should now be somewhere around 150 degrees Fahrenheit and will be starting to cool. The object is to bring the lye and the oils simultaneously to a temperature in the range of between 135-140 degrees Fahrenheit. As long as they are both at the same temperature you should have no trouble getting your mixture to “trace”. Tracing refers to the soap mixture’s ability to hold a design on its surface.
  5. Start to mix the oils at a low-speed with the blender stick. Pour the lye into the mixture in a steady stream being careful not to splash. When the lye has been emptied into the pot continue stirring. Test for tracing by turning the blender stick off and lifting out of the mixture and drizzling across the surface of soap. When the lines hold their form momentarily, you are ready to add scent and calendula flowers if you want to. *If adding scent, coloring or inclusions you must work quickly as your soap will begin to set up quickly at this stage and you need to get it into a mold!
  6. Pour mixture into mold then wrap mold in tea towels to keep the soap as warm as possible. Put container in a safe place out of drafts and let it sit for at least 12 hours before checking (This is the hardest part about soap making – no peeking!)
  7. After 24 hours check your soap. It’s ready to remove from the mold when it has cooled and is completely opaque. If after 24 hours it’s solid but still quite soft, place in the freezer until frozen solid. When solid, tear away sides of the carton to reveal your gorgeous creation. Cut into bars using a large chef’s knife and allow to cure for 3 weeks before use (although it can be used before then – it just won’t last as long).

Download the Natural Calendula Soap Recipe HERE.Soap-collage

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Owl Coloring Page

| Kids Fun, Printables

Free Owls Coloring Page

Owls Coloring Page

Owl Coloring Page – Here’s a great question for you…did you know that a group of owls is called a parliament? I totally would have failed that question on an exam. It’s been a while now since I’ve made a coloring page so I decided to draw a “parliament” of owls for all of our owl fans out there. We love to draw and color in our home – even my husband, who’s main artistic skill is drawing stick men, enjoys getting in on a little coloring action. I often send a variety of coloring pages home with Noelle’s friends when they visit – always a hit. I’ve had a number of mom friends tell me that the coloring pages have saved their sanity while traveling, at weddings, on ferries, camping or when mom just needs a moment of peace and quiet. Some of my teacher friends use these pages in their classes when their kids have finished all their work or to leave for substitute teachers.  I’m so happy that people make such great use of these coloring pages. If you have any theme requests for future coloring pages, please let me know.

Download or print your free owl coloring page here.

Looking for more crafty stuff for kids: Mandala Coloring PageHearts Coloring Page, Rainbow Loom Perler Bead BraceletsBlank Faces Coloring PageJellyfish Friendship Bracelets10-Minute Superhero CostumePrintable Robot Coloring Page Family Movie Night Tickets

Subscribe to Dabbles and Babbles to receive the latest crafts, activities for kids, recipes, printables, tutorials and more – subscribe in the right sidebar. You may also want to checkout my popular Pinterest Boards and Follow me on Pinterest.

Free owl coloring page

Free owl coloring page

Thanks for reading! ~ Jamey

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Double Chocolate Pecan Toffee Cookies

| Cooking

Double Chocolate Pecan Toffee Cookies - rich, decadent, soft, brownie like, nutty, chocolaty gooey goodness all in one tasty little cookie.

Double Chocolate Pecan Toffee Cookie

Double Chocolate Pecan Toffee Cookie – Last weekend we returned from our family vacation. My daughter was eager to see her best friend MacKenzie, so right away we set up a play date our first day back. MacKenzie’s mom, Kelly, was so sweet and brought over a big tin of cookies to welcome us home. I didn’t get a chance to eat any of the cookies until after Kelly had left but once I had… well, lets just say I had much more than my allotted share. While one part of me was cursing Kelly for bringing these rich, decadent  and sinful cookies into my house, the other part of me was thinking… must learn to make these!  Let me see if I can describe them to you – soft, brownie like, nutty, chocolaty gooey goodness all in one tasty little package. I then proceeded to text Kelly and beg her for the recipe, all the while keeping my fingers crossed that it wasn’t a special secret family recipe. Score! Kelly was kind enough to share her recipe and I made quick work of putting my first batch together. Wow, is all I can say!

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE PECAN TOFFEE COOKIES

INGREDIENTS

1 3/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1 egg
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 tbsp milk
3/4 cup chopped pecans pieces (walnuts would likely work as well)
1/2 cup toffee chips (or Skor chips)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS

Use an electric mixer to cream butter, vanilla and sugars and mix until fluffy. Beat in egg. At low-speed, beat in cocoa and milk. With a wooden spoon mix in the flour and baking soda until blended well. Stir in nuts, toffee and chocolate chips.

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto foil or parchment paper lined baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 13 minutes. Remove from oven and cool slightly before removing from baking sheets.

Print and/or download the Double Chocolate Pecan Toffee Cookie HERE

Double Chocolate Pecan Toffee Cookie

Double Chocolate Pecan Toffee Cookie

I hope you enjoyed this recipe.  Check out some of my other recipes including: The ultimate rice krispie squareBest salad everNo bake energy balls,  the best chicken soup you’ll ever eatBailey’s dipped toasted marshmallowszucchini quinoa pattiesperfect chocolate chip cookiesmarinated feta cheesemediterranean humus.

You may also want to checkout my popular Pinterest Boards and Follow me on Pinterest.

Thanks for reading!

~ Jamey

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The Ultimate Vacation Packing List

| Printables

free printable packing checklist for vacatiion

Printable packing list for your next vacation

The Ultimate Vacation Packing List – Free Printable – Now that all the fun and craziness of the Christmas holidays are behind us, we’re hit with the realization that we still have quite a few more months of winter to go. I’m not a fan of long, cold winters (well, it doesn’t get below freezing often where I live but it rains a lot) so we try to save enough money for a vacation to a sunny destination each year. I don’t know about you but I absolutely love winter vacations – I mean I plan for it all year long. If I could only do one thing for the rest of my life, it would be to travel. I love experiencing other cultures, landscapes and food and I think travelling is the ultimate education.

This year we’re so fortunate to be going to one of our favorite destinations, Mexico (Manzanillo to be more precise). A big part of what I love about going on a vacation is the build-up and excitement before we go. I usually have everyone’s luggage pretty much packed about a week before we leave – I know, I have issues. Every year I go through my mental packing checklist but inevitably forget something.

Since we’re leaving shortly I decided to create my own printable packing list that I can pull out and print every year now from this point onward. I thought many of my fellow travelers may like to have this checklist too.

To download your free printable packing list click here. Happy travels!Packing-List-PDF

Looking for more printables: Master Meal List, Summer Fun Activity List Mandala Coloring PageBlank Faces Coloring PageJellyfish Friendship Bracelets10-Minute Superhero CostumePrintable Robot Coloring Page Family Movie Night Tickets

Subscribe to Dabbles and Babbles to receive the latest crafts, activities for kids, recipes, printables, tutorials and more – subscribe in the right sidebar. You may also want to check out my popular Pinterest Boards and Follow me on Pinterest.

Thanks for reading!  ~ Jamey-84-64-149

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