DIY Heat Pack

September 27, 2012 | DIY

I had a belly ache the other day and decided a heat pack would be the only rememdy… except we didn’t own one. Cue sad face.

So I went hunting for a DIY. There are stacks out there, but this one on The Johnston’s blog was what I referenced before I started. You can make so many versions of this once you know how – like not creating segments, adding different oils, or even adding herbs and tea. I decided to give the segmented pack a go, and added lemongrass oil because I had it here with me.

Here’s what you’ll need:

– Cotton Fabric
– Matching thread
– Sewing machine
– Scissors
– Uncooked rice (I used 2.5 – 3 cups)
– Essential Oil (optional)

Step 1.
Cut your fabric into two strips about 16″ x 7″ (40 x 18cm). With right sides together, pin and sew 1.5 cm (5/8″) in from the edges, leaving a small gap of around 5 cm (2″) on one edge.

Step 2.
Trim corners, turn your bag right-side out and use a pencil to push out the corners from the inside. Iron.

Step 3. (optional)
Measure and mark out your bag into 4 equal sections along the length. You want to sew these dividing lines, but not right to the edge – leave around 2 – 2.5 cm (~1″) free on each end. Sew each line. I also then ran a top-stitch around the edge (quite close to the edge), but still leaving the gap open.

Step 4.
Pour your rice into a bowl and add a few drops of essential oil. Mix.

Step 5.
Using a funnel (if you don’t have one, make one from paper), gradually fill your bag with rice. If you decided to go for the sectioned bag, it will take a bit of work to feed the rice equally into each section.

Step 6.
Once your bag is as full as you’d like it, fold in the open edge of your hole and top stitch it closed.

Step 7.
Once you’re ready to use it, put the bag in the microwave for up to 2 minutes and enjoy! OR you can keep it in the freezer for a cold pack :)

*Note: Some blogs I read recommend putting a glass of water in the microwave with the heat pack to stop the rice burning. Also never leave the heat pack in the microwave unattended, and be very careful removing it from the microwave as it could be quite hot.


Recipe: Jam Drops

September 25, 2012 | Recipe

A good classic recipe, Jam Drops. I used to love these as a kid… some things never change.

Here’s the recipe (from Donna Hay Modern Classics Book 2)

180g (6 oz) softened butter
1 cup caster (superfine) sugar
1 egg
2 cups plain flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
jam (jelly)

Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Place butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until light and creamy. Add the egg and beat well. Stir through the flour and baking powder and mix to a dough.

Roll 2 teaspoonfuls of the mixture into balls. Place on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper, allowing room for the biscuits to spread, and flatten slightly. Press a finger into the middle of the dough to make an indent. Fill the hole with jam. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden. Cool on wire racks.

Mmmm yummy!

 Go give them a try! :)