The Cozy Holidays Hat – a new FREE pattern from Eucalan and designer Lana Jois.

The days are getting shorter and the countdown is on to the end of year holidays. We hope you’ve got most of your holiday gifts sorted already, but if you’re looking for the perfect last-minute gift knit, we’d love to share the Cozy Holidays Hat with you!

You can receive a PDF download of the Cozy Holiday Hat pattern for FREE when you sign up for our newsletter.

The Cozy Holidays Hat is worked in a single skein of worsted weight yarn, in a simple chevron ridge pattern that is both written and charted. Available in three sizes, this hat will fly off your needles just in time for gifting!

Designer Lana Jois is a doctor by day and loves to knit, crochet and design in her spare time. She is fascinated by technique, construction, the unusual and the interesting. Her designs have been featured in Interweave Knits, Knit Now, Knitscene, Pom Pom Quarterly, and a variety of pattern collections. We were thrilled to have her design this beautiful hat for us.

We wish you the happiest of holidays and hope you enjoy the Cozy Holidays Hat (FREE when you sign up for our newsletter!)

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Getting Crafty for the Holidays

The air is chilly, Canadian and American Thanksgivings have come and gone. The holidays are in full swing and this year we’ve got more time than ever at home. We thought we’d make our surroundings a little more festive and highlight some of our favourite DIY crafts for the holidays. This year we tried to select crafts that you could do with or without kids, and use items you likely already have around the house. We’ve got a Pinterest board full of Holiday Cheer; read on to see more of our top picks to try this year!

Recycle and reuse those cardboard boxes that have been arriving at your house to create a darling “gingerbread” village that will last year after year. All you need is a bit of acrylic paint and this tutorial from Oh Oh Deco

We know you’ve probably got some yarn around the house! Add some paper tree cones, a hot glue gun and some twinkle lights and in no time you can create a snowy tree scene perfect for the holidays using this fun tutorial from Hallstrom Home.

If you celebrate Hannukah and have a selection of scrapbook papers we love this simple but modern Paper Dreidel Garland tutorial from Paging Supermom.

If you’re up for learning some new stitching, we love these adorable “Chalk” Embroidery Hoops from Flamingo Toes. You could make them work for any holiday by varying the sayings and colours!

If you prefer to celebrate the solstice without any particular denomination, these boxes full of faux greenery and candles can add a fresh look to any room, and a soft glow of candlelight when it gets dark outside. Add some sticks or pine cones you find on a snow walk outside as extra touches. No one does it better than Stone Gable!

Finally, who doesn’t love pom poms? Make a Reindeer Pom Pom Garland with this tutorial from Designs by Miss Mandee, or an Anthropology Inspired Wreath from Stone Gable, or these cute Mini Pom Pom Ornaments from The Crafty Swedes at Pysselbolaget. If you don’t have a fancy pom pom maker, you can use cardboard or even a fork. Get the kids involved and soon you’ll have pom poms everywhere! Want to celebrate? Put a pom pom on it!

We hope we’ve given you a bit of crafty inspiration to enjoy the holidays. Do you have a holiday craft to share? We’d love to hear from you! Share with us on Instagram using the hashtag #eucalan or join our Facebook group!

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Caring for Shapewear

Guest Post by Sandi Rosner

Shapewear is an investment in looking and feeling your best. Whether you reserve your shaper for special occasions or won’t leave the house without it, make the most of your investment by washing and storing your shapewear properly.

If you are a shapewear devotee, be sure to purchase your favorite style in multiples. Shapewear needs time between wearings to recover its shape and elasticity. Wearing the same garment for long periods of time can shorten its life; the shaper can become permanently stretched out. Proper washing is actually good for your shapewear! Even if you layer panties underneath, aim to wear a piece no more than twice before washing.

What is shapewear made of?

Most shapewear is made of a blend of synthetic fibers, usually nylon and spandex. Spandex is derived from polyurethane, and is the ingredient that gives these fabrics their superior elasticity. Fun fact: Spandex is an anagram of “expands”! 

Some shapewear styles include latex, which can be made with either natural or synthetic rubber.

Check the tags on your shapewear. Latex and spandex have different care requirements. When in doubt, follow the manufacturer’s care instructions and choose the gentlest washing method you can.

Washing spandex

Handwashing is the safest method for cleaning spandex garments. Fill a large basin with cool water and add a small amount of Eucalan. Submerge your shapewear, swish it around, and let it soak for 15 minutes. Gently squeeze to move the water and soap through the fibers. With Eucalan, there is no need to rinse. Gently squeeze out excess water (don’t wring!) and hang or lay flat to dry.

Spandex garments can be machine washed if your machine has a delicate or hand wash cycle. 

Fasten any hooks or zippers and place your shaper in a mesh lingerie bag. The bag protects your shapewear from snagging on other garments and prevents it becoming entangled with the rest of your laundry. Don’t stuff your shaper into a too-small bag; water needs to flow easily to all parts of the garment to clean well. Choose a bigger mesh bag, perhaps one that is sized for washing sweaters. If you don’t have a mesh bag, use a  pillowcase and close the end with a rubber band.

Set the machine for cold or cool water and select the most gentle cycle and add Eucalan. Chlorine bleach will cause the spandex to degrade, so choose an oxygen-based bleach if you’ve got stains. Avoid fabric softener. Do not tumble dry your spandex shapewear. Lay flat or hang to dry away from direct heat or sunlight.

Spandex can also be safely dry cleaned, but the fabric may hold onto the odor of the chemicals used in the dry cleaning process. When you get it home from the cleaners, remove any plastic packaging and hang your shaper to air out before storing it.

Many cleaners offer “wet cleaning” on request. This process is gentler and more controlled than your home washing machine, and avoids the issue of chemical odors or residues. Many cleaners even use Eucalan in their wet cleaning process!

Washing latex

Latex must be hand washed. Fill a basin with warm water and add Eucalan. Submerge your shaper and let it soak, taking care to avoid deforming the garment. Use a towel to gently blot excess water, then hang your shaper or lay it flat to dry away from direct sunlight. 

Never dry clean latex.

Heat and light will damage latex. If you’re in a hurry, you can speed drying by positioning a fan to blow over your garment, improving air circulation.

Storing your shapewear

Extend the life of your shapewear by storing it in a cool, dark place. Shaping panties can be rolled loosely and stored in a divided drawer for easy access.

Hanging your body shapers can lead to stretched-out straps and damage from bumping against other garments. Avoid folding or rolling your full-body shapers, especially if they have molded cups or boning. For best results, store your body shapers laid flat in a drawer.

A little time and attention will go a long way toward preserving your shapers. With proper care, quality shapewear can continue doing its job for years. 

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Caring for Cloth Diapers with Eucalan

This post originally appeared on our blog in May of 2018 but we’ve updated it with additional information and our new look!

So many young families are cloth diapering their babies, and the benefits are clear- less waste and reduced costs – especially if cloth diapering another baby when the older child has outgrown them!

The tricky part of washing cloth diapers is using something that helps get the diapers clean, but is gentle enough for baby’s delicate skin, especially in such tender areas. Eucalan is gentle enough to wash all of your baby’s items – clothes, soft toys, and blankets. So it is a natural fit to wash your baby’s cloth diapers and inserts with Eucalan, too!

If you’re brand new to cloth diapering, we found this guide at Mom Loves Best to be an exhaustive resource for all the steps in handling cloth diapers. The only change we’d make (of course) is to substitute Eucalan in for your delicate wash of choice.

Also, if you choose to use wool soakers as covers for your cloth diapers, or even knit or crochet your own (pictured below: Vanilla by Kelly van Niekerk), washing them in Eucalan will help them stay waterproof for longer between lanolizing sessions.

There are many different types of cloth diapers available, so these are general care guidelines. Experiment with what works best for you and your diapers.

Hand Wash/Sink Method (best for four or fewer diapers)

For hand washing, give a quick rinse to the diapers in the sink, then add one capful (or one pod) of Eucalan in the scent of your choice to the water. Submerge the diapers and inserts, and let soak for ten minutes.  We recommend Eucalyptus, Grapefruit, Lavender or Jasmine for their naturally-occurring antibacterial benefits, as they are made with pure essential oils. Gently agitate the water, and then drain the water. Wring out the inserts, and roll diaper covers in a towel to absorb excess water.

Washing Machine Method  (best for 5 diapers/inserts or more)

Set your washing machine to cold, and put in diapers and inserts. We recommend running a quick rinse cycle at the beginning of washing diapers. Then add one 3 tsps or 3 capfuls of Eucalan in the scent of your choice to the washing machine.  Eucalyptus, Grapefruit, Lavender or Wrapture (scented with jasmine essential oil) have naturally-occurring antibacterial benefits, and are a great choice. Run your washing machine as you normally would.

Drying

Typically we recommend you hang your delicates away from sunlight to prevent fading, but if you don’t mind the sun doing a little natural lightening on your colourful cloth diapers, feel free to hang them outside in the sunlight, or tumble dry in the dryer if your cloth diaper care instructions are fine with that too- we know sometimes you need those cloth diapers in a hurry!

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Eucalan Celebrates its 30th Anniversary with a Brand New Look

This year we’re celebrating our 30th anniversary with an updated look! And along with the new look, comes a new purpose. We have always kept water conservation top of mind, but now we’re proud to be part of the 1% for the Planet network fighting for a better future.

1% for the Planet is a thriving global network over 3,000 members-strong of businesses committed to supporting environmental non-profits. Eucalan has always been committed to conserving the waterways and ensuring our products are biodegradable and don’t cause harm to the environment. Joining 1% for the Planet is a way for Eucalan to give back and support environmental solutions through everyday actions.

As we approached our 30th anniversary, our CEO, Jennifer, was looking for a way to freshen up the brand while still remaining true to our original formula, an amazing “spa treatment” for all of your fine washables from handknit and woolen items, to treasured pieces of lingerie, to baby items, specialty fabrics, home care and more. 

Jen wanted to establish a consistent visual presence and so she worked with the design team at Forthought Branding + Design in Toronto hoping to come up with a design that was contemporary and clean, while still promoting our classic formula made only with the highest quality ingredients. What resulted is a dark grey rectangular logo that is easily recognizable and readable at a distance. We have new colors and icons to freshen up each of our signature scents: Eucalyptus, Grapefruit, Jasmine, Lavender, and Unscented. Our signature Eucalan bottle remains the same, but includes dark grey caps (a departure from our bright green of the past). Overall, we think the look is modern and elegant, but with icons that add a touch of whimsy.

Of course, we never could have predicted that our planned rebranding would coincide with a world pandemic which made certain aspects of the relaunch problematic. This year we faced so many delays beyond our wildest imagination. Typically we receive our bottles in 3 – 5 weeks; we are now waiting 17 – 20 weeks for bottles! And our new grey caps took just as long to receive. 

But our production issues have gone well beyond packaging. To produce our unique formula we use a well respected facility that also provides products for the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. They are very good to us and very responsive, but we are not their only customer. During the pandemic they have been busy manufacturing skin safe sanitizers and cleaners. All of this has meant that our rebranding in 2020 will be more of rolling set of updates rather than an overnight transition. Fortunately, we’ve already started shipping the new look to our stores and distributors and the transition will continue into early 2021.

What do you think of our new look? We’d love to know!

Autumn Crafting Inspiration

This year has been anything but normal, but one thing remains the same: the first chill in the air means it’s time to start crafting wonderful woolens for autumn and winter. This is one of our favourite times of the year to pore over the pages of Ravelry looking at all the new patterns and getting inspired to knit and crochet. Today we’ve gathered some of our favourite finds in one post to inspire you!

Sweaters

There are so many wonderful sweaters this season! If you love colourwork check out Columbary by Stephanie Lotven or Unbearable Hoodie by Les Garcons (this one comes in child sizes too!). If you want to stick with classic shapes but add some textural details, try the Sahra Sweater by Leena Hoi or Atlantica by Audrey Borrego from Issue 34 of Pom Pom Quarterly. If you’re a crocheter, the Cherry Blossom Wrap Cardigan by Emilia Johansson looks snuggly, or if you’re in search of an aran sweater, try Henry Street Jumper by We Crochet.

Shawls

We love the drama in Fawkes by Christelle Nihoul, and that burnt orange is perfect for autumn. Or play with fading colours in Candy Shop by Julia-Maria Hegenbart or sweet colourwork in Bouton d’Or by Gabriele Vezina. If you’re looking for the perfect bulky shawl to layer over everything, we love Perplexity by Tif Nielan. A new trend for our crocheters that we’ve been seeing everywhere is the Perfect Pockets Shawl by Sonja Hood. And oh those beautiful colors in the crocheted Disha Shawl by Arunima Goel!

Accessories

Fall is the perfect time for accessories! If you want a cozy warm neck, try Berries, Leaves and Vines by Michael Harrigan or the Mesa Cowl by Wooly Hooligan. Keep your head warm with the delicate lace of Hitherto by Hunter Hammersen or the fantastic colourwork of Hecate by Woolly Wormhead. If you’re a crocheter, we love Dotty by Elena Fedotova and the Perfectly Puff Beanie & Cowl Set by Jessica Carey.

Home

We love to surround ourselves with warm woolens during the cooler months. We’ve found a few new items you may want to add to your home! If you love to cozy up on the couch, check out Looking Forward by Fifty Four Ten Studio to keep you warm. Add some color to those dreary days with the Boho Vibes Crochet Pillow Cover by Jennifer Lynn. Corral your projects in one place and still get to look at those gorgeous yarns and colors with the Scrap Yarn Basket by Cintia Gonzalez!

We hope we’ve given you a bit of autumn crafting inspiration and look forward to seeing what you craft. Tag us on Instagram with the hashtag #Eucalan so we can ooh and ahh over what you create!

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7 Fan Favorites – Customers Share their Favourite Experiences with Eucalan

If you’ve been following us for a while, you know how gentle Eucalan Delicate Wash is in cleaning handmade items, delicate lingerie and even children’s clothing and cloth diapers. But we hear from customers all the time about fun and unexpected ways they’ve used Eucalan. Today we’ve gathered up 7 of our fan favourites – we hope they’ll give you great ideas!

  1. Your wedding dress. From customer Kay: “Almost 2 years ago my wife wore this amazing dress. We couldn’t find anyone to clean it after. The outdoor venue had blackened the bottom. Enter Eucalan. I found this to be a great fiber cleaner, including my carpets. So when my wife begged me to try and save her dress so she could preserve it, or sell it I thought I might try using Eucalan. On a 2 year old, set in grass and dirt stain, on a delicate wedding dress. A tiny bit of soaking and direct scrubbing to the worst spots later and I am amazed! Thanks for such an amazing product. Everyone should have some!” We’ve got some extra tips for wedding dress care on our website!
  1. Your child’s favourite toy. From the mouths of babes, and customer Vanessa: “My daughter said he was sticky so we gave him a bath.”  Check out one of our newest videos on Laundering Baby Items with Eucalan for our top tips!
  1. Your delicate clothing items. Lace? Silk? Bling? Eucalan can handle all of them and keep your favourite delicates looking like new for longer. Instagram customer @girlsavage shares, “A wash in Eucalan lavender for my sequined T-shirt.”
  1. Your Winter Coat. If you didn’t launder your coat before you packed it away last season, or if you want to freshen it up for this fall and winter, give it a spa treatment with Eucalan. Customer Joan says “I looked at my wool winter coat and thought, ‘Why not?’ So I did. I love my Eucalan!” You can find more tips on keeping those coats looking spiffy on our blog.
  1. Your Vintage Buttons (and other items). This was a new one for us, but we love hearing these stories! Customer Carol shared, “These vintage buttons from Mom’s and Grandma’s button tins cleaned up nicely. Some of them are quite old, and a filmy layer seemed to have built up over the years. I gave them a bath in my Eucalan wool wash and they are good as new!”
  1. Your Masks. This one’s new for this year and we hope it doesn’t last forever, but you can use Eucalan on your masks! The owner of Esther’s Place Fibers says, “Let me share a tip that made mask-wearing just a little more bearable for me: washing mine in Eucalan. It smells so good when you put it on, it puts a smile on my face!” We’re right there with you!
  1. Your Makeup Brushes. We shared this in a blog article a while ago, but customer Avila says, “First, if you can’t remember the last time you washed your makeup brushes/sponges, wash them! Second, if you’re looking for the best way (that I’ve found) to get them clean use Eucalan delicate wash! It’s better than all the makeup specific cleansers I’ve tried, and cheaper!”

We hope you enjoyed hearing how some of our customers use Eucalan in unexpected ways! If you’re interested in seeing more, we have a Pinterest board where we collect customer stories.

If you’ve got a new use for Eucalan, we’d love to hear from you!

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Back to School 2020

It’s halfway through August and students everywhere are preparing to head back to school for their autumn terms. With the pandemic, schooling this year will be quite different for many students, involving distance learning from home. We went on a Pinterest spree and added tons of great ideas to our Back to School board. Today we’ll share some of the best ideas we found on how to prepare to hit the books in 2020!

School Supplies

First we started by looking for essential supplies for students. Of course, these will vary a bit by the age of the students involved, but we love Our Must Have Supplies for Distance Learning from Mama Cheaps as a place to start. She suggests that at a minimum you have:

  • A Computer or Tablet for virtual learning sessions with teachers.
  • Headphones for each student so that they can listen to content without disturbing other students or members of the household.
  • An array of standard back to school supplies as appropriate for age level. This could include: pencils, pens, calculators, crayons/markers/colored pencils, glue sticks, paper/notebooks. If you want to keep these supplies corralled you should also think about a caddy – you can purchase one or there are tons of fun tutorials on Pinterest to make your own. We really love this Upcycled Lazy Susan School Supply Center from Surviving a Teacher’s Salary and you can even upcycle used Eucalan bottles and decorate them with washi tape (we’ve got a tutorial for that) as containers!
  • A calendar of events and activities, or a daily schedule. This can be a prominent display, an electronic calendar or checklist, or a notebook or printed sheets. Again, this will vary depending on the age of your child, but each day should have learning times as well as breaks built in. 
  • A timer to track study and break times. This can be as simple as a cell phone or an egg timer, but especially with little ones this will come in handy.
  • A printer to print out assignments, worksheets, study aids and the like. 
  • Options: A chalkboard, dry erase board, or a bulletin board for sharing ideas, explaining concepts, posting the daily schedule in a visible way, etc. and appropriate supplies (chalk, dry erase parkers, pushpins) to use those tools.

Dedicated Working Spaces

Once you have your supplies handy, you need a work space for your student. If your living space permits, it’s best to create a permanent work space. A dedicated space gives your student a place that feels comfortable and familiar, and you escape the hassle of constantly shuffling supplies. Again, we perused Pinterest and found tons of great inspiration for workspaces, including 35 Homeschool Room Ideas for Small Spaces from Homeschool Superfreak. The ones below are our favourites for repurposing small spaces into lovely learning environments.

Finding Resources

Since many are becoming “first-time teachers” to students at home, we turned to home school parents to find other resources on how to help your children learn and thrive during these uncertain times. While your school will likely provide you with assignments, virtual learning sessions and the like, we love the tips in Homeschool Resources for Parents During Social Distancing or Summer Break from Apple Slices.

In addition to specific links to learning resources, she highlights how to fold every day experiences into home learning. For example, reading is learning! It doesn’t matter what your student is reading (comic books, fiction, nonfiction, etc.) just that they ARE reading. If your local library is open and you can do so safely, build a weekly or bi-weekly trip in to gather new reading materials. Or find a little free library near you, or swap books with other families in your neighborhood or school!

Struggling to teach math skills? Cooking together involves lots of measuring ingredients. Shopping for groceries or other supplies also involves math. And you can teach simple math skills just by playing card games!

Need to encourage writing skills? Let them write anything they want! Get each student a notebook and if they’re interested, use a tutorial like this one to help them build them their own unique place to write! 

We hope we’ve given you a head start on building distance learning into your back to school routine. We’ve got tons more great ideas on our Back to School Pinterest board and we’d love to hear your favourite tips and ideas!

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Creative Fabrica: A new resource for crafting!

This spring and early summer have given us lots of time at home where we’ve been crafting up a storm. We’re constantly on the hunt for new and fun crafting resources and today we’d like to introduce you to a new-to-us website we’re excited about: Creative Fabrica!

Creative Fabrica was launched in Amsterdam in June 2016 with the following mission “Our goal is simple, to provide exceptional resources for your projects at a fair price.” They want to change the way people consume digital assets: namely fonts, graphics and downloads like knitting and crochet patterns! Creative Fabrica now has more than 1 million digital assets from over 5000 designers, and they’re adding more every day. 

You can interact with Creative Fabrica in a variety of ways and in a variety of crafts. Knit or crochet handmade gifts, and then select some fonts and graphics to make your own gift tags or care instructions. Machine or hand embroider fun patterns that you can download directly to your computer! Can’t find what you’re looking for? Make a request in the Craft Club. Print thousands of different designs on demand, AND get the benefit of a commercial license (you can sell your handmade wares!).

As far as shopping goes, you can make individual purchases or join Creative Fabrica’s subscription model. And in the subscription model there are several options: purchase a Crafts subscription for $12 for three months, a Fonts or Graphics subscription for $19 dollars a month, or get an All-Access subscription where you’ll have access to all products on the platform for $29 a month.

(Note: the Crafts subscription only includes graphics files related to crafts, you’ll need a Graphics or All-Access subscription to access knit and crochet patterns.)

Since we’re avid knitters and crocheters, we’re excited that Creative Fabrica is currently focused on growing its knitting and crochet resources and we’d love to share with you some of the great patterns we’ve found!

Love amiguri? You’ll find tons of cute knit and crochet patterns from designer Amy Gaines

Knit fabulous accessories and colourwork hats from BlackCatKnitCo.

Or check out all the knit and crochet accessories from Knit and Crochet Ever After!

And how adorable are these dolls? You can access all these patterns for free!

If you’re curious about what else you can find on the Creative Fabrica site, you can check out the Knitting and Crochet categories to find more patterns!

We’d love to share Creative Fabrica and something special with you! Now when you sign up for any Creative Fabrica recurring subscription plan, you can receive 30% your membership price with the code EUCALANSUB30. This code will give you 30% off for as long as you stay a member.

Just add a subscription plan to your cart, enter the code EUCALANSUB30 in the appropriate box and click apply – it’s that easy!

Have you tried Creative Fabrica? We’d love to hear what you think!

Disclosure: Eucalan received an All-Access Subscription (value $29/month) for free for the purposes of this review.

Eucalan Summer Recipe Roundup

We’ve spent a lot of time at home this spring, so we’ve been cooking quite a bit more and we bet you have too! Now that we’re into summer, we’ve been looking for inspiration for delicious meals that are quick and easy to throw together. So we went to our favourite source for inspiration: Pinterest! Today we’ve rounded up some of the most enticing summer recipes that will have your family asking for seconds!

Salads

Summer is the perfect time to take advantage of the bounty of fruit and vegetables that are seasonally available. When the days are hot, there’s nothing better than a fresh salad. Our mouths are watering at this Blackberry Chicken Salad recipe from I am Homesteader, and the Watermelon Salad with Cucumber and Feta from Recipe Runner looks like the perfect mix of sweet and savory. If you have easy access to a farmer’s market and fresh vegetables, check out this Grilled Vegetable Salad from A Farmergirl’s Dabbles!

Light Pastas

We do love pastas, especially when they’re part of summer dishes that are lighter than your standard fare. This Summer Skillet Gnocchi with Grilled Corn and Burrata from Pure Wow uses fresh summer vegetables, and the Light Lemon Garlic Pasta with Salmon from The Cooking Jar looks like the perfect summer dinner. If it’s greens you’re after, check out these gorgeous Jade Noodles from Feasting at Home!

For the Grill

For many of us, summer means grilling! If you’re looking for new ways to skewer up your favourites, check out these recipes that can be assembled fairly quickly and thrown on the grill!

The Chipotle Honey Chicken Skewers from Skinny Ms. are blend of sweet and hot, and the Rosemary Garlic Steak Kabobs from I am Baker seem like a hearty dinner re-imagined for a summer grill. On the lighter side, these Salmon Citrus Skewers from Cooking with Mima are beautiful!

Sweet Treats

No summer meal is complete without a sweet treat. Keep it healthy and full of fresh fruit (and veggies!) with these Rainbow Popsicles from The First Year. Or try your hand at baking some of that summer bounty with this Blueberry Peach Crostata recipe by Coley Cooks. This one probably doesn’t qualify as quick or easy, but we bet it’s worth the effort: French Fruit Tart by House of Nash Eats!

We hope we’ve given you some great recipes to supplement your summer favourites. You can also check out our Pinterest board, Summer Recipe Roundup, for more inspiration!

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