Easy Thick Crochet Wash & Dishcloths

| Crochet, Get Crafty

Easy crochet dishcloth pattern

Easy crochet dishcloth pattern

Easy Thick Crochet Wash & Dishcloths – It’s almost the end of the school year and I’ve been thinking about what sort of thank you gifts to give my daughter’s teachers and instructors (school, piano, dance, baseball, etc.).

I’m all about homemade gifts when at all possible so I started thinking about everything I’ve been learning or working on lately. For the past 2 months I’ve been taking pottery classes, learning how to use the potters wheel. I’ve also started making handmade soap on a regular basis which we now use every day in our household (check out my post on how to make Natural Calendula Soap here). Eventually I settled on the idea of creating teacher’s gifts that combine all my projects. I’m giving them each a beautiful handmade soap dish with my own soap and thick durable crochet washcloths. This crochet dishcloth pattern is about as easy as it gets – a perfect pattern for beginners. You only need to know 2 stitches, the chain stitch and the single crochet stitch. I’ve been really excited about these gifts because they are all things I’ve put my heart into and that hopefully reflect my gratitude to all the people who help teach and shape my daughter.

Download the Easy Thick Crochet Wash & Dishcloths Pattern below.

Easy Thick Crochet Wash & Dishcloths Pattern

Materials:

  • Cotton Yarn – I use Bernat Handicrafter (2 balls at a time)
  • Crochet Hook – US L/8 mm.
  • Scissors
  • Yarn or tapestry needle

Directions:

Ch = chain, sc = single crochet (U.S.)

  1. Hold both ends of yarn together (you will be crocheting with them as is they are one the entire time), make a slip stitch and chain 20 stitches together, keeping tension even through the chain (feel free to make the cloth bigger or smaller just by increasing or decreasing the number of chains in your foundation chain).
  2. Not turning your work, count back 2 stitches from the hook and sc in the chain  and continue to do 1sc in each stitch along foundation chain until the end.
  3. Once you reach the end, chain 1 and then turn.
  4. Do 1sc in every stitch until you reach the end.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you’ve made a square (you can tell if you’ve made a square by folding the cloth in half diagonally.
  6. Fasten off and weave in the ends.

Download the Easy Thick Crochet Wash & Dishcloths Pattern here.

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

easy to make crochet dishcloth

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Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

| Cooking

Healthy and delicious Butternut Squash Soup

Healthy & Delicious Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Healthy & Delicious Roasted Butternut Squash Soup – After all the camping and socializing we’ve been doing lately I’m trying to eat healthier meals during the week. Soup is always one of my favorite lunch choices – especially since I freeze individual meal size packages for a quick and convenient lunch. I have a few “go-to” soup recipes but this has recently become one of my most frequent picks. This recipe is really flavorful and the rich, creamy texture helps to make you feel really full and satisfied.

Healthy & Delicious Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

INGREDIENTS

1 large squash
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 can coconut milk
1 tsp oil
1/2 onion chopped
3 garlic cloves
1 tsp fresh ginger chopped finely
1/2 tsp curry powder (or paste)
juice of 1/2 a lime (or more if you like your soup more tangy)
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (or more if you like it spicier)
cilantro or parsley for garnish

DIRECTIONS

  1. Prepare and bake squash in over for 1 hour. Once the squash is cool, scoop all the squash meat out of the shell.
  2. Saute onions, garlic, ginger & curry powder in oil until soft and well combined.
  3. Put all ingredients from the first two steps into a bowl and using a wand blender, mix until smooth. Place mixture in a large pot on the stove over medium heat.
  4. Add chicken broth, lime juice and red pepper flakes. Heat until it reaches a boil and then turn down to simmer on low for 10 minutes stirring regularly.
  5. Garnish with fresh cilantro or parsley and serve while hot.

Download your Roasted Butternut Squash Soup recipe here.

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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Campfire Toasted Cinnamon Rolls

| Camping & Outdoors, Cooking, Kids Fun

Campfire Toasted Cinnamon Rolls

Yummy and fun to make campfire toasted cinnamon rolls.

Campfire Toasted Cinnamon Rolls – In my last post, I mentioned that our family recently had our inaugural camping trip of the year. We went with some friends and had so much fun camping in the Pacific Northwest rain forest along the coast of Vancouver Island (see last post for some photos of our trip). I love trying new camping recipes and this time I’d seen some orange/cinnamon rolls cooked in orange peels over a fire on Pinterest that looked intriguing. Loved the idea but my daughter doesn’t like oranges at all so I had to take another route…what about simply cooking them on a roasting stick? I really wasn’t sure it was going to work and honestly I kind of forgot about them until our last camping night. Once I remembered, I asked the kids if they had any interest in trying a roasted cinnamon bun experiment and they were all over it.

We cracked open a can of Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls and carefully put them on some roasting sticks. We tried a few different methods but in the end the best way was to simply insert the roll (as is straight out out of the can) on a small double pronged roasting fork. We tried on a single prong but they kept twisting and almost falling off – too much stress. We also discovered that you needed to keep turning them to make sure they were cooked all over, especially in the center. You definitely want some hot, glowing embers to cook the cinnamon rolls, a roaring fire wouldn’t work well at all. As a final surprise, I discovered that these particular cinnamon rolls came with a little container of icing…truly the icing on the cake (or cinnamon roll). Sweet, fluffy, warm and toasty – why does camping food always seem to taste extra delicious! So in the end, it turned out that our campfire cinnamon rolls experiment was a huge success and I would highly recommend it.

Campfire Toasted Cinnamon Rolls

What you need:

  • Can of Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls
  • Roasting prongs (preferably with the prongs close together)
  • Campfire with hot embers

Directions:

  1. Pop open can and carefully divide the cinnamon rolls.
  2. Gently insert the prongs through the side of the cinnamon roll in the center of the bun making sure it’s near the back of the prongs.
  3. Slowly place your roll over hot embers, rotating frequently and on all sides.
  4. Depending on the heat in your campfire, it should take anywhere from 8-12 minutes to toast your rolls so that they are cooked all the way through.
  5. Remove from campfire and allow to cool slightly before carefully removing the roll from the roasting prongs. Eat and enjoy!

You can download and print the directions here.

I hope you enjoyed this post.  Check out some of my other posts that would be great for camping including: DIY Fire StartersDouble Chocolate Pecan Cookies,  No Bake Energy BallsPerfect Chocolate Chip CookiesBlank Faces Coloring PageJellyfish Friendship Bracelets10-Minute Superhero CostumePrintable Robot Coloring Page Family Movie Night Tickets

Camping Cinnamon Rolls

Toasted Campfire Cinnamon Rolls

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Bugs & Butterflies Coloring Page

| Kids Fun, Printables

Bugs & Butterflies coloring page

Bugs & Butterflies coloring page

This weekend we did our first camping trip of the 2015 spring/summer camping season along the breathtaking Juan de Fuca Marine Trail on Vancouver Island. Camping along the Pacific West Coast is one of our family’s favorite past times. We had an amazing time spending three days out in nature.

During our camping adventure, we saw a myriad of wildlife, sea life and interesting creatures including a close encounter with a black bear (see photo below). Camping in the forest and on the beach among all the flora and fauna, I was inspired to get out my sketchbook and draw some cute little insects and butterflies.

Download and print your bugs and butterflies coloring page here.

Please note, these drawings aren’t really anatomically correct but rather fun “interpretations” of bugs and butterflies in general. My daughter loves these coloring pages and the butterflies are her favorite insects to color. I’m sure there’s lots of nature lovers out there who will enjoy these coloring pages. Happy coloring!

Juan de Fuca camping

Camping along the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail on Vancouver Island.

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DIY Fire Starters

| Camping & Outdoors, Get Crafty

Easy and frugal DIY fire starter.

Easy DIY fire starter that lights instantly and cost almost nothing but your time.

DIY Fire Starter – I can almost smell it… salt water breezes and the crackle of a campfire; roasting marshmallows and wieners (check out my amazing Bailey’s dipped toasted marshmallows here). Have I mentioned how much I LOVE the spring/summer camping season. Luckily we have the good fortune to spend most of our summer at the beach. It is without a doubt my favorite time of year.

Every camping season my husband stocks up on wood for our campfires and then we usually find driftwood for the kindling but being right on the ocean means that the wood often stays a bit damp – not the best for trying to start a fire. I did a bit of research and found out that lint was a great fire starter and there’s rarely a shortage of lint in our house. I combined the lint with a few more items that most people already have in their homes and made this fantastic DIY fire starter. I have to say that these are amazing – they’ll get your fire blazing instantly (I used these all last summer and I’m preparing my next batch for the upcoming camping season). Start saving your lint today! You’ll be happy you made these when you’re struggling to get the campfire going this summer.

DIY Fire Starter Instructions

Materials:

  • Lint
  • Newspaper
  • Toilet paper rolls – cut in half
  • Candles
  • String
  • Herbs – Sage helps keep bugs away (not essential but nice if you have it)
  • Wax or parchment paper
  • Cookie sheet

Directions:

  1. Place wax or parchment paper on cookie sheet and place toilet paper rolls out on the tray.
  2. Stuff each roll with lint until its pretty full.
  3. Light a candle, tilt on the side and drip wax into the roll onto the lint (always taking care not to burn yourself or light the roll or lint on fire).
  4. If you have fresh herbs, place on top of the lint in the roll.
  5. Roll a sheet of newspaper around the toilet paper roll and tie off with string so that they look like Christmas crackers.

Download your easy to make DIY Fire Starter instructions here.

I hope you enjoyed this post.  Check out some of my other posts that would be great for camping including: Double Chocolate Pecan CookiesThe Ultimate Rice Krispie SquareBest Salad EverNo Bake Energy BallsPerfect Chocolate Chip CookiesBlank Faces Coloring PageJellyfish Friendship Bracelets10-Minute Superhero CostumePrintable Robot Coloring Page Family Movie Night Tickets

How to make a fire starter

Easy & inexpensive homemade fire starter – perfect for camping, backpackers and home fires.

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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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