Bento: the basics by jen geigley

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If you've been following me on Instagram, you might already know the bento is back! This year I'm back to packing school lunches for my two kids (after a short hiatus.) And I'm having so much fun. Last week, I made these Harry Potter and Mario-themed lunches for their first day. And after I posted this pic on social media, I got a TON of questions!

So, I'd like to share my favorite, most-used bento supplies right here ... and a few things that I bought over the years and haven't used very often. Let's take a look.

(Disclaimer: The links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link. All opinions are my own.)

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First up! Silicone baking cups. I use these for every single lunch I pack! They make perfect containers for fruits, veggies, small crackers, slices of cheese ... practically anything. And the flat silicone shapes are baran food dividers. I use these to divide a lunchbox section into two parts, especially if I have a wet food next to a dry food. (Find the cups here and here. Find the star/moon set here. Find the baran/dividers here.)

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The most adorable and irresistible bento accessory in the world are these little plastic food picks. Use them to decorate sandwiches, fruits, cheese, veggies ... they are adorable and inexpensive and are so fun to use.  (Find these here.)

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I bought a few new food picks to use this year because I couldn't help myself. Some of these are too 'cute' for my sixth grade daughter but my son is in first grade and is STOKED about these. (Find these and more here.)

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Sandwich cutters! This pic does not show what these do very well at all, but basically the outer shape cuts an outline into the bread, like a cookie cutter. Then you take off the top shape and 'stamp' a more detailed, 3D image onto the top piece of your sandwich. I have used these a million times over the years for Lo's lunches. Tiny bunny sandwiches!

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And that's why I bought one more set this year that was a little bit more boy-themed for my son. Pop a few of these little sandwiches into a lunch box and you're set! Sometimes these fit better inside bento boxes than a regular square sandwich too. (FInd them here.)

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Here's a supply I bet you already have! I use cookie cutters and metal fruit/veggie cutters constantly. They are easy and fast and make your food look super cool. I use them to cut sandwiches, cucumbers, carrots, cheese, deli meat, fruit leather ... the possibilities are endless. (Find my favorite IKEA metal animal cookie cutters here.)

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If you happen to have a hard-boiled egg lover in your house, egg shapers are extremely fun. I have one kid who loves eggs and one kid who won't touch them. (Of course!) These molds definitely work best on small to medium-sized eggs. If your eggs is too large, egg white will smush out the sides and your shape won't turn out very well. (Find these here.)

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To use these, you just boil an egg like you would normally. Then peel it while it's still hot. (Not so hot that you burn your fingers, but you want it to be pretty warm.) Put the peeled egg inside the mold and clip the sides shut for about five minutes or so. I make about six at a time and store them in the fridge for a week. (Find Star Wars egg shapers here!)

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I like to avoid using zip-lock bags if I can and these reusable snack bags are the perfect replacement. They aren't totally waterproof though, so they are best for sandwiches and crackers or other dry foods. I love throwing these in my purse, too. (Find the blue/orange set here and the Mario bags here.)

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Hold me closer, tiny boxes! You can pretty much find these anywhere or just use your smallest kitchen containers with lids. I use these all the time when I want to throw in some extra carrots or grapes or strawberries ... sometimes it's nice to keep the wet things separate in a leak-proof container and these little guys do the trick. (Find tons of them here.)

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Okay ... now on to my least-used supplies. (This part is kind of sad, because these boxes are ADORABLE and some of the first lunch boxes I ever bought.) Boxes like these are tricky for a few reasons. They are very shallow, can be more difficult to pack because foods have to stay very flat, and the sections have to be stacked perfectly to keep the food from falling out. (The sections of these boxes don't really snap together at all ... they just sit on top of each other.) These boxes come with a strap (which has been misplaced) but even that didn't always keep the three sections from falling apart. The cute top section is meant for silverware and is very shallow, so there's not a whole lot of space in the compartments below for kids with an appetite. BUT they are adorable, so if you love these, go for it! (You can find similar boxes here.)

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Here's another adorable type of box! But beware of any boxes with these tiny clips on the sides. They break really easily.

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Now THESE boxes have stood the test of time. They might be 6+ years old and still are probably my favorites. Sistema lunch boxes come in a ton of sizes and shapes, and they all have these awesome heavy-duty clips that keep the box sealed really nicely, but they are still easy for kids to open. I have never had one of these clips break. These boxes also hold a nice amount of food. (Find a huge selection of Sistema here.)

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This super sweet random box is another favorite of mine! Again, it has the strong side clips (on all four sides.) And that blue divider inside slides back and forth so you can move it wherever you want, which is awesome. I love Star Wars and I love this box! (I'm not sure this box is available anymore, but there are similar ones here and here.)

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More lunch boxes! This year, Cat and Jack for Target came out with bento boxes (yay) and lunch bags (double yay) and I have been LOVING them so far. These are the perfect size for elementary kids, have sturdy clips on all four sides of the lid and the boxes fit perfectly in their bags with enough room for ice packs and a juice box. The bags also have an outer sleeve to hold a water bottle. They are just fantastic.

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Another fave of mine are these rad boxes from Bentology. If you really don't want your lunch to spill all over the place, these containers will do the job. (Sometimes I only use a couple of the lids, depending on what I'm packing.) I love these colors so much too. I got the raspberry/blue set and the night/pear set. So modern and cool. These also have a nice narrow space on the side for silverware or a napkin. These outer boxes can be a bit tricky for kids to open, but if you practice at home first they will get the hang of it.

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These fit perfectly in the Bentology lunch bags, which I also love (and like the Cat and Jack bags, they too have a side compartment for a water bottle, which is so smart.) These boxes and bags are almost the same size as the Cat and Jack ones, so you could put a Bentology box inside a Cat and Jack lunch bag.

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If you're wondering where I learned all of this, check out the book 'Everyday Bento' by my friend Wendy Copley of Wendolonia. I've followed her and her lunches online for years and everything I know I learned from her. (Get this book.) Another favorite? Bento USA. (But beware ... you'll want everything you see there. Don't say I didn't warn you.)

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And there you have it – some of my favorite and most-used bento boxes and supplies that I have collected over the years. Do you need all this stuff? Absolutely not. You can totally start with what you have – all you really need is a knife, containers with with plastic lids, maybe a few cookies cutters and your imagination! Can't wait to share more throughout the school year – let me know if you have any questions!

(Want to see more? Read my other bento posts.)

Love + Leche by jen geigley

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A couple of years ago, I tried Love + Leche lotion bars and they quickly became one of my very favorite things. As a knitter/crafter/mom, lotion bars are the perfect daily solution for my dry hands. There are lots of things to love about Love + Leche, a farm fresh and woman-owned company that makes all-natural handmade moisturizing bars, so I was excited to try out their new Little Bee beeswax lotion bars. They are absolutely delightful (and adorable.)

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Little Bee bars are the perfect size for travel, your knitting bag, your purse … they’ll even fit right into your pocket. I’m actually packing my weekend bag right now for a road trip, and yup - you guessed it. My Little Bee bar is definitely going into the bag.

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(And also into my knitting bag.)

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Little Bee lotion bars are available in Cedarwood, Lemongrass, Lavender-Mint, Citrus-Rose, Lavender, Lavender-Rosemary and Unscented. I have tried both the Cedarwood and Lavender scents, and they smell so lovely when they’re on your skin. I’m a big fan of essential oils, so natural scents plus a beeswax lotion bar are truly the best of both worlds. (Is it weird to deeply inhale and enjoy the smell of your hands all day? I don’t think so.)

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I own the full-sized lotion bar in Lemongrass, which is also quite lovely. I’ve included a pic here of the original lotion bar (left) alongside the new Little Bee bars (right) so you can see the size difference. Each Little Bee bar comes with a reusable tin, which I love.

Take a look at the gorgeous hand-poured reliefs of these bars. I just love those little bee designs. They are truly a joy to hold in your hand and they radiate a gorgeous, natural golden honey color. Pure local beeswax, coconut oil, almond oil infused with locally-grown certified organic calendula flowers, essential oils are the only things that go into these products.

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And they’re not just for hands! You can use Little Bee lotion bars on your lips, dry elbows and feet … wherever you need some extra TLC. Your body temperature softens the oils and beeswax and your skin will feel replenished and deeply moisturized. Need a cool gift for a knitter in your life, or anyone really? Check out their gift sets and other awesome products. Try them all, or share with a friend.

So, you're ready to give Love + Leche a try, right? Well, I have a super sweet deal for you!

Get a FREE Little Bee Lotion Bar ($8 value)
with a $25 minimum order when you enter
the coupon code 'JenGeigley' at checkout.
(Expires 7/31/18)

Awesome, right? Treat yourself to an all-natural lotion bar or balm and say goodbye to dry hands. Enter the coupon code above, hit the 'Apply Coupon' button and you're all set. Also, follow Love + Leche on Facebook if you have a sec. You'll love their beautiful photos.

also! click the button below to sign up for a
giveaway from Love + Leche! (Ends 7/31/18)

A huge thank you to Love + Leche for letting me try out the Little Bee lotion bars and for the awesome coupon for my blog friends. Enjoy!

(Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post.)

One of my new favorite things ... by jen geigley

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Check out this multi-purpose silicone project caddy, made by Lazadas! Have you ever seen anything so cool? Closed, it’s a project bag … open, it becomes a yarn bowl. It’s made of 100% odorless silicone and has a really nice feel to it. It’s lightweight and waterproof, and if you happen to spill anything on it – ahem, coffee? – it’s super easy to wipe clean. It stays open nicely and folds shut easily as well. (Read to the end for a coupon code!)

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The use of silicone for this bag/yarn bowl is genius - it’s flexible, durable and super smooth, so no snagging or pilling. It’s available in three super bright colors – teal, hot pink and electric violet. (I love them all.)

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Let’s take a look at how this thing works. First of all, it’s the perfect size. Not too huge but definitely not too small. It’s 10 inches in diameter, 5 inches deep and even my biggest needles and super bulky yarn easily fit inside.

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There are four holes on this bag, two on each side. These holes have a couple of different uses. You can poke your needles through from the inside to the outside, keeping your stitches from slipping off. Or you can thread your yarn(s) through from the inside to the outside, preventing them from becoming tangled as you knit.

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You can also just let your yarn come out of the larger openings on the sides. (This bag is really versatile.) I love the design of the handle too – it’s a loop that fits through a slit on the front of the bowl to keep it closed. If you are a knitter on the go or like to knit while walking, this caddy is a must-have. I’ve never tried anything that’s easier or more comfortable to carry while you work.

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I’m a big fan and I'm definitely going to be carrying this project bag/bowl everywhere, starting right now. Want a yarn bowl project caddy of your own? Find them here, pick your color and enter the coupon code JENKNITS10 at checkout to get 10% off through May 31, 2018!

Happy knitting!
xx - Jen

 

The Special by jen geigley

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“One day, a talented lass or fellow, a Special one with face of yellow, will make the Piece of Resistance found from it's hiding refuge underground. And with a noble army at the helm, this Master Builder will thwart the Kragle and save the realm, and be the greatest, most interesting, most important person of all times.

All of this is true, because it rhymes.”

Every so often, I feel inspired to write down our life stories. And every time the month of April comes around, I feel it’s important to document the autism stories. Today (April 2) is World Autism Awareness Day. This is our unique story, because every person with autism is different. (And that's what makes this world a beautiful place.)

Autism Awareness Day happens to be very close to the date my son Bowie was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder three years ago and when this day approaches every year, I can’t help but feel all the feelings. I often think back to those very first days of knowing our little boy had autism and what life was like at our house then.

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The thing that immediately comes to mind from that time period is Emmet. 'The Special' ... the main character in the Lego Movie. When Bowie was 3 years old, the Lego Movie became his first major interest … and borderline obsession. Like most kids who fall in love with a movie, he wanted to watch it over and over again. And if you sat next to him while he was watching, you’d see his lips moving. He wasn’t a clear speaker whatsoever at this age but you could tell that he knew every single word. You could see it in his eyes; the way he concentrated, focused and listened. He was memorizing the whole movie.

We watched him do it.

He’d try to speak along with the characters as best he could, and he'd fit those sounds in ... in perfect unison. He wanted to get those words out. He knew every inflection. He’d copy the facial expressions. In no time at all, he had all of the dialogue completely memorized. And every single action too. He’d stand near the t.v. and perfectly act out every movement Emmet made. Every jump, turn, kick … everything. He could do it without looking. He could copy the characters’ movements perfectly, exactly on time while listening to the movie from another room. Our whole family became mesmerized watching Bowie watch this movie. None of us had ever seen anything like it.

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So we all tried to memorize the movie too. He would talk to us in Lego Movie quotes (this is common with ASD and is called echolalia) and we’d respond back.

“Jumping Jacks, him them! 1, 2, 3. I am so pumped up!”

“Today shall now be known as Freedom Friday... but still on a Tuesday!”

“Croissants? I love croissants!”

“Honey, where are my paaaaaaaaaaaaaaaants?”

He was practicing his language. And we participated in the practice, because it was working. The Lego Movie gave him the confidence to speak. This movie was a BIG deal to him. It was funny, it was engaging. And we knew it was helping. During Bowie’s toddler years, Bo and I honestly did not know if Bowie would ever learn how to talk. He babbled. He didn’t say ‘mama’ or ‘dada’. If he was super into something that seemed to help bring out his speech, we were ready to dive in head-first.

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Predictably, the Emmet Lego mini figure (or mini-fig) soon entered our lives. When we found Lego Movie Lego sets in the store, we had to buy one. As soon as we brought the Lego set home, that Emmet mini figure was in the palm of Bowie’s tiny hand.

And Bowie didn’t let Emmet go for the next two years.

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He took Emmet everywhere. He held Emmet in his hand while he slept. He would cry uncontrollably in sheer panic if he dropped him or if the plastic hair fell off or if Emmet lost a hand. We had to dig for Emmet in muddy, slushy snow. Once, Emmet fell into a sewer. Bowie would carry Emmet on bike rides with Bo and yell out if he had dropped him along the way so they could turn back. We’d spend hours searching for a lost Emmet around the house. And while I completely understand that most kids do this and get attached to a certain toy or stuffed animal, this was different. A whole new level that I had never seen or experienced before. Losing Emmet could bring Bowie down to a crashing halt … for entire week. Or longer. ASD kids can be an extremely sensitive, emotional bunch and we got a crash-course on how completely devastating an Emmet mishap could be.

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We quickly realized we needed replacement Emmets. So we bought our first three-pack on Amazon. This was great because I figured I'd have an easier time keeping the Emmets clean and could carry back-ups in my purse or in our car … whew. But then we realized each Emmett figure came with different facial expressions or features. Some had a red hat, others had the brown hair. One had brown hair and a red hat. And some of them just looked too ‘new’. Bowie would only find certain Emmets acceptable and he really just wanted his old one that had some of the graphics rubbed off (from never letting him go.) He’d stare at each Emmet, turn them around in his hand studying every tiny part of them and then decide if they made the cut or not. Luckily, he became a little bit more flexible with the different Emmets over time and each of these little guys eventually got their turn as the favorite.

By this time, Bowie had started 3-year-old preschool. His teachers quickly learned that Emmet was coming to school with Bowie and would be in his hand all day. I think they eventually worked out a system where Emmet could stay in Bowie’s cubbie while he did school work but that was a process. Even the receptionists in the school office knew about Emmet and if he was ever left behind at school, I could go to the office to pick him up and our little Lego guy would be sitting on the top of the office computer screen, waiting patiently.

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Bowie finished his first year in preschool and went on to 4-year-old preschool. He made great strides. Progress was slow but steady and we were thrilled to see what he was capable of. He had his struggles but was doing well with his numbers, colors, shapes, alphabet and could write his name. He was also becoming an incredible artist.

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By the end of that second year of preschool, Bowie didn’t need Emmet anymore. (It almost makes me cry to type that.) As kids do, he moved on. Sometimes he’d carry a train, a turtle or a dinosaur to school instead and by the time summer rolled around, he didn’t need to always have something in his hand.

Emmet really was 'The Special'. For Bowie. And for our family. Emmet was there for us during that important, sometimes rocky, new autism phase. He was there for Bowie too.

And Emmet taught us some really good things. Quite frankly, he left all of us with some fantastically inspirational messages that will remain ingrained into our brains and lives forever.

Bowie recently started watching the Lego Movie again and to no one’s surprise, he still knows all the words.

Like these.

“You are the most talented, most interesting, and most extraordinary person in the universe. And you are capable of amazing things. Because you are The Special. And so am I. And so is everyone. The prophecy is made up, but it's also true. It's about all of us. Right now, it's about you, and you still can change everything.”

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Ra-Ra-Rafia from Wool and the Gang (and get 15% off!) by jen geigley

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Have you seen the new Ra-Ra-Rafia yarn from Wool and the Gang? I'm completely obsessed. I need to make every single one of these projects.

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There are about a million reasons to love Ra-Ra Raffia, our superstar yarn that's made of 100% long wood fibre. Biodegradable and vegan, Ra-Ra Raffia will add a little structure to your next project, making it the perfect fiber for summer hats, bags and home accessories. Plus, Ra-Ra Raffia is water-repellent and quick-drying, so you can even bring her to the beach for some sand-filled adventures.

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Clutches, bags, hats, a plant hanger and more ... you've gotta see these project kits for yourself.  Ra-Ra Raffia yarn comes in 4 natural shades - Cinnamon Dust, Ivory White, Desert Palm and Midnight Blue.

Shop at WATG using my affiliate link to get 15% off your order!

Have fun!
xo - Jen

Happy Pi Day (a knitted pie crust) by jen geigley

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Are you a knitting knerd like me? (Yes?) Then you might enjoy making a faux-knitted lattice pie crust on your next pie. It's not difficult ... it just takes a bit of time. And pie is always delicious. So what are we waiting for?

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First off, this was based off a post I saw on craftberry bush. (And my pie turned out differently than hers, so be sure to check out her photos too.) I would personally recommend buying two boxes of Pilsbury Pie Crust (two crusts in each box) to be sure you have enough to work with. I'm sure a homemade crust made from scratch would be delicious but the Pilsbury crusts roll up very neatly and nicely. Use a pizza cutter to slice up one whole crust. Place the other one (uncut) in a pie plate. Save the other two in case you need them later.

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Roll up your strips into 'snakes'. Take two snakes and twist them from top to bottom, right over left. Then take two more and twist them, left over right. These twists make a pair – lay them side by side on a cutting board.

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Keep going until you have enough twist pairs to cover your pie. Use an extra crust if you need to make more.

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Lay the twist pairs on top of your pie and gently smush the ends onto the bottom crust.

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If you'd like, use part of the extra crust in the second box to make one more larger roll that you can place around the edge as a crust.

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Bake it and you're done. The end. Happy Pi Day, and happy knitting.

The Gold Medal Hat (Chloe Kim's hat) by jen geigley

It's THE hat! The hat we all saw on the night the USA women's snowboarding team competed in PyeongChang, when Chloe Kim won the gold. It caught my attention right away, which is no surprise ... you all know I love the bulky knits! I saw this hat all over instagram and facebook because every knitter I knew loved it too. So of course, I wrote up a quick pattern and knitted this baby the very next day. (Scroll down to download it for FREE!)

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Find the pattern on Ravelry here or click this link to download it for FREE.

AND! If you're interested in a custom USA patch to stitch onto your hat, check out this shop! They'll hook you up.

Happy Olympics, happy knitting. Go USA!

xo - Jen

Your knits deserve a label by jen geigley

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So ... I've knitted a lot of sweaters over the past few years. And all this time they've been missing something. When I'd throw these sweaters on, nine times out of ten I'd put them on backwards. But I found an easy (and eye-catching) fix. Labels, people. I'm telling you. What a difference a label can make! My sweaters deserved an upgrade and these labels did the trick. You absolutely must check out Dutch Label Shop! (They make it easy.)

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Dutch Label Shop is quite possibly my new favorite website. These labels took less than five minutes to design online, and they offer tons of great fonts, colors and graphics to make it incredibly easy to design a label yourself, even if you don't have your own artwork or a logo. And! The price is definitely right. (Read on for a special discount code.)

There are so many things you can do! You can create care/wash instruction tags, size tags, logo tags, hang tags ... anything you want. Maybe you want to add a label to the knits you give as gifts. They could say 'handmade by me' or 'made for you with love' or you could add your name to a label so future generations will know who made that beautiful sweater or blanket or quilt.

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So, I know what you're going to say next. 'But I can't sew!' And I will say 'YES you can.' These tags and labels are well-made and incredibly easy to sew on. I took out a needle and thread and had all three of these tags sewn on in less than ten minutes. One stitch per side, knotted in the back and boom. What a difference!

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You can even fold them over and add them to hats ... I see knitters everywhere doing this and gives your hat a super cool look.

Definitely head over to Dutch Label Shop right now and check out all of the possibilities, like these cardstock hang tags, sizing tags and labels in tons of colors and different sizes. Enter the coupon code "jengeigley15" (all lower case) at checkout to receive 15% off your purchase! You're sure to find the perfect tag or label for you. (Have fun!)

Holiday Gift Guide Twenty Seventeen by jen geigley

 The holidays are getting closer, and once again I've put together a collection of my fave gift ideas. Some are perfect for the knitting enthusiast in your life but there are lots of super neat things here that anyone on your list would enjoy. Check it!

The holidays are getting closer, and once again I've put together a collection of my fave gift ideas. Some are perfect for the knitting enthusiast in your life but there are lots of super neat things here that anyone on your list would enjoy. Check it!

 First up, my fave bags in the universe ...  Moop.

First up, my fave bags in the universe ... Moop.

 I've been obsessed with these  Mason Dixon Knitting Field Guides.

I've been obsessed with these Mason Dixon Knitting Field Guides.

 Order some  Hedgehog Fibers Chubby  at my fave yarn store,  StevenBe.  (Then knit a Ready Steady hat.)

Order some Hedgehog Fibers Chubby at my fave yarn store, StevenBe. (Then knit a Ready Steady hat.)

 Check out Wool and the  Gang's Knitter’s Paradise Embroidery Kit . So cool.

Check out Wool and the Gang's Knitter’s Paradise Embroidery Kit. So cool.

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My friend Bergen at Lilla Barn is doing a collab with PoemGrown to make these incredible hand-dyed Soul Scarves. (The poem is printed on cotton and sewn on.) Check them out here.

 Do you have the winter issue of  PomPom  magazine yet? This would make a fantastic gift.

Do you have the winter issue of PomPom magazine yet? This would make a fantastic gift.

 New fave of mine ...  Lush's Sleepy body lotion . It's gorgeous. Right before bed. Trust me.

New fave of mine ... Lush's Sleepy body lotion. It's gorgeous. Right before bed. Trust me.

  Westknits Bestknits  for the holidays! Every knitter I know wants to get their hands on  this book.

Westknits Bestknits for the holidays! Every knitter I know wants to get their hands on this book.

 I need this  tshirt . You need this  tshirt . We all need this  tshirt from Shelli Can.

I need this tshirt. You need this tshirt. We all need this tshirt from Shelli Can.

 GGMadeIt literally does it all. Knitting how-to videos. She has tshirts and mugs and all kinds of knitting-related apparel. And she sells her own handknit creations as well. Find her  here .

GGMadeIt literally does it all. Knitting how-to videos. She has tshirts and mugs and all kinds of knitting-related apparel. And she sells her own handknit creations as well. Find her here.

 Knit Safari is my hands-down favorite big, big, BIG yarn. Smooth and glorious and zero of that roving shedding, THIS is the yarn you want to use if you make one of those giant blankets. (I know because I made one for my latest book and it's perfection.) Find Knit Safari Jumbo Yarn  here .

Knit Safari is my hands-down favorite big, big, BIG yarn. Smooth and glorious and zero of that roving shedding, THIS is the yarn you want to use if you make one of those giant blankets. (I know because I made one for my latest book and it's perfection.) Find Knit Safari Jumbo Yarn here.

 Trust me when I say that you need the Illest Tarot Vol. 2 in your life right now, featuring all your 90s heroes. It's so good and my good friend Kristi made it so it's extra good. Get yours  here  before they're gone forever.

Trust me when I say that you need the Illest Tarot Vol. 2 in your life right now, featuring all your 90s heroes. It's so good and my good friend Kristi made it so it's extra good. Get yours here before they're gone forever.

 For the kids! (Or for anyone.) Grab this ultra fun  Art Making with MoMA Action Painting Kit  and embrace your inner Pollock.

For the kids! (Or for anyone.) Grab this ultra fun Art Making with MoMA Action Painting Kit and embrace your inner Pollock.

 Twinkle's back. Back again. (No seriously.) Twinkle's back. Tell a friend. Find one of my all time favorite yarns right here at  Third Piece . Check out their Funky Chunky too ... another fave.

Twinkle's back. Back again. (No seriously.) Twinkle's back. Tell a friend. Find one of my all time favorite yarns right here at Third Piece. Check out their Funky Chunky too ... another fave.

 This is the perfect gift for any crafter! The magnetic  Maker's Keep from CocoKnits.

This is the perfect gift for any crafter! The magnetic Maker's Keep from CocoKnits.

 Find the perfect gift for absolutely anyone on your list at one of my fave local shops,  Eden .

Find the perfect gift for absolutely anyone on your list at one of my fave local shops, Eden.

And last but not least, I can't put together a gift guide without mentioning my knitting books WEEKEND, EVERYDAY, VISIONS and VISIONS KIDS. Treat yourself or someone you love to these gorgeously photographed collections full of simple, modern designs. These books make fantastic gifts – don't forget to add them to your wish list! Find them here.

Happy December, happy crafting and happy giving!

xx - Jen

TWO new books! by jen geigley

They're here! Two new knitting books – one for men/women and one for kids. These books have been an absolute thrill to work on and I cannot wait to share these knits with you. Both books are available in my shop and on Amazon right now!

'Visions' and 'Visions Kids' are full of knitting patterns that you'll love ... but these books will also help you take your knits a step further when you add bleach, paint or dye after you've finished knitting. Don't worry – that part is completely optional and you'll test everything on swatches before you begin. I include detailed instructions for all the techniques I used.

Find the books right here. If you purchase from my shop you will also get a FREE PDF copy of the book after you purchase so you can start knitting right away. (Enter the coupon code AWESOME at checkout to get FREE SHIPPING.) And if you're not a book person, you can find all of the individual patterns and complete PDF ebooks on Ravelry.

I dare you to try something new. I don’t believe in mistakes. Trust your creativity and let your knits become what they want to be!

Huge thanks to my photographer Joelle Blanchard and all of the awesome models who made these books look amazing. And thank YOU for following along and giving love and support over the years.