This is a sponsored post brought to you from Tom’s of Maine through my participation in the Tom’s of Maine Goodness Circle. I was provided product and compensation. All thoughts and opinions are solely my own.
My Mr. Rob and I were talking very recently about the state of our health and how we just don’t know what some of the things we put into our bodies are doing to us. You are what you eat, right? Junk in, junk out and all of that. Though we sometimes wander, we try, really try, to do a decent job of taking care of ourselves.
We hadn’t really thought too much about the things we were putting onto our bodies until recently, though. Somewhere one of us saw and told the other about the biggest organ in your body. Any guesses what it is? SKIN! Your skin, as far as outer organs and organs in general go, is your largest. And, just in case you were wondering, your largest internal organ is your liver. Because, if I just read that sentence I would instantly be all, like, but what about the biggest INTERNAL organ? Come on, people! :)
So the skin is an organ and it’s a huge part of the first line of defense for your immune system. Skin is porous which means things we put onto our body also eventually find their way into our bodies. We followed this little trail of breadcrumbs to the realization that we need to be far more selective about things like the soaps and lotions we use just as much as our diet.
And as it just so happens, this girl right here, is a 2017 member of the Tom’s of Maine Goodness Circle. Are you familiar with Tom’s of Maine? If not here’s a little bit of knowledge for you… As a rule every ingredient, method of processing and packaging has to meet rigorous standards for being natural, sustainable and responsible. Most Tom’s of Maine products are vegan, kosher and halal certified which is super fab. Most are also gluten free which is an absolute must for me as someone who suffers with Celiac Disease. They carry oral and personal care products like toothpaste, mouthwash, dental floss, antiperspirant, deodorant, lip balm, baby products and soaps.
Now even though I knew it was coming, Rob and I were pretty stoked when we came home to find a super heavy and totally ginormous box on our front porch. Any guesses what was in there? Tom’s of Maine Soap!
Now my Mr. Rob is more of a bar of soap kind of a guy and since our whole healthy skin revelation I’ve been making all of his bars so that we know exactly what goes in them. But when we got our package that the good folks at Tom’s of Maine was kind enough to send us, I realized that I can still make soap for fun, but I don’t have to just because anymore.
These Natural Beauty Bars contain ingredients derived entirely from plant sources, are dermatologist tested and have no artificial fragrances or preservatives. Now don’t think that just because there is no artificial fragrance that these bars don’t smell good because they absolutely do. It’s a fresh, natural kind of good rather than a manufactured kind of smell good. The bars are NOT tested on animals, a big deal for this animal loving household, and use a single-layer 100% post-consumer waste paper wrapper that takes less energy and water to create it meaning the carbon footprint of our bar soap is smaller than others.
Each 5 ounce bath bar costs $3.99 and comes in Creamy Coconut with virgin coconut oil, Lavender Tea Tree or Morning Mint with raw shea butter, and Orange Blossom with Moroccan argan oil.
So that means Mr. Rob is set as far as soap goes but what about me? I don’t care for bar soap at all!
No worries! With over 45 years of experience making personal care products it was inevitable that Tom’s of Maine would start making body wash. And they have – Boom! I love it! All sudsy and fabulous, these dermatologist formulas are mild and easy rinsing for fresh, clean feeling skin that I just love. Just like the Beauty Bars, they contain no artificial fragrances or preservatives, are never tested on animals and contain no animal-based ingredients.
You’ll recognize 3 of those Beauty Bar scents because you can grab them as body wash, too. The Creamy Coconut, with real virgin coconut oil to scent it, is a sweet and natural and reminds me of a day at the beach. The Lavender Tea Tree smells soft and comforting and is the perfect way to wind down for bed. And for an energizing, fresh and clean scent to start the day, the Orange Blossom with Moroccan argan oil is so fabulous. These 12 ounce bottles are the perfect size and cost $6.99 apiece.
With new body soap for both of us I decided to bust out my crochet hook and some cotton yarn and start making a few washcloths. I do not care for traditional store bought washcloths because they are too big and soppy and get so heavy and I just hate it. Yes, it really is this big of a deal for me. And that’s why I make my own… I can make them in any size I darn well please and I am pleased with a small cloth! And since I’m going to teach you how to crochet a fabulously modern closed granny square you can make your cloths as small or huge as you like by the number of rounds you complete.
Are you ready to get started? All you need is worsted weight cotton yarn and your choice of crochet hook, I prefer an H or I. Because these guys don’t require lots of yarn, this is a great stash busting project to keep those little wads of cotton yarn from just going to waste.
The beginning of this granny square is just like a traditional granny square.
Starting with a slip knot, chain 5. Slip stitch into the first chain, the one furthest from your hook, to make a circle. Chain 3. This will act as your first double crochet.
You’ll now make 2 double crochet stitches. Yarn over and run your hook through the inside of the circle. Yarn over and pull through, completing the first double crochet. Repeat. Chain twice. (The chains stitches will act as the corner of your square.)
*Double crochet 3 times through the circle of yarn. Chain twice. Repeat from * 2 times.
Once you’ve completed your fourth group of double crochet stitches, connect your chain of 2 with a slip stitch as seen above to complete the first round.
This is how you will start every traditional and closed granny square you make.
***** To continue on chain 3 times. Double crochet twice into the corner, chain twice and double crochet 2 times more. This is how you create the corners of your squares.
You’ll now double crochet in each stitch from the previous round. Our first round is clusters of 3 stitches and you’ll make a single double crochet in all 3. It’s good to get into the habit of counting to ensure that you’ve gotten all of your stitches. Failure to hit every previous stitch will make a shape that is less square and more wonky.
As you cross over those stitches you’ll start your next corner. Double crochet twice into the corner, chain twice, double crochet twice. Continue working around.
Once you reach the beginning of this round connect the round with a slip stitch as seen above.
Repeat from ***** to create as many rounds as you’d like for the perfect sized washcloth for you. I choose to make 4 rounds total for a cloth that is just a bit larger than my hand.
As you work, remember to count out those stitches on the sides so you keep your nice and neat square shape. You can count them out…
…or you can use your finger or hook to run down making sure each stitch has a mate below and nobody got left out.
Once you’ve reached a size you are happy with weave in your tails.
If you’re needing a gift, you can grab a matching set of Tom’s of Maine Beauty Bars and new Body Washes along with a stack of handmade washcloths. How sweet and useful is that? And if you just like to treat yourself, as I do, get after it and make yourself happy!
To learn more about these soaps, or the Tom’s of Maine product line in general, visit them online and check out the hashtag #NaturallyInspired on social media. To purchase Tom’s of Maine products, including these fab bars and body washes you can visit Target and Walmart. Once you try them, I’m sure you’ll love them as much as we do!
Thanks again to Tom’s of Maine for including us in the 2017 Goodness Circle, providing us with awesome Tom’s of Maine products and supporting Dream a Little Bigger with this sponsored post!