We had our first snow this morning, just little flurries drifting, and I couldn't capture them with the camera. We are enjoying hot tea, cocoa and chai, spice cookies, candles and these wonderful rice-filled heating pads I made this weekend for each family member.
They were easy to make and are so appreciated by everyone. About half an hour before bedtime I begin putting them in the microwave to heat, but I am thinking that I might just stick the whole lot of them in the oven on low for half an hour and be done with it!
Here is how I made them: For each pack, I used about 3 1/2 lbs. of cheapo rice from a discount grocery. I poured it into a big bowl and added about 1/2 tsp. of lavender essential oil (for Gemma I used about 10 drops of chamomile essential oil and just about 5 of lavender). I stirred it up really well to distribute the oils, and then poured the rice into a sack I had made from and old sheet. I made sure all seams were sewn double to prevent rice-leakage. The finished dimensions were about 7 1/2 by 15". Then I made a second, decorative cover. I guess I could have made them removable and therefore washable, but my main reason was for identification purposes and to give a second layer of protection from leaks.
These take about six minutes on high in the microwave to heat up, but our microwave may or may not heat very well; I've no way of knowing. The packs stay warm under out covers for several hours.
Just for the sake of comparison, I made my husband one with cherry pits. These are much lighter and better for putting on a muscle ache, since they don't feel like sacks of concrete! Two pounds of cherry pits filled up a sack of the same size, took only 3 minutes to heat in the microwave, but was pretty much cooled off in under an hour. Also, they smell amazing! But for warming the bed, we will stick to the rice bags.