Archive | January 2014

Homemade Microwavable Heat Pads

With the cold winter we we have been having – do your joints and muscles ache? I have just the thing for that! You can make your own heating pad in just a few minutes that will last a long time. Not only a project to complete in the comfort of your warm home, but to also help keep your aches and pains at bay!

Homemade Microwave Heating Pads

These can be made without a pattern. Just cut out the size of pad you want (with 1/2” seam allowance).

Fabrics:
Old towels or washcloths
Fleece
Old socks
Full Cotton – plain, print, flannels, and denim
Cotton is the best fabric to microwave, so keep that in mind when choosing your fabric.

Filler ideas:
Rice
Beans
Feed corn
Oatmeal
Flaxseed
Barley

Optional Scents:
Spices, herbs, or essential oils. If using any of these, mix into filler (such as with rice) and let set for 3-4 days in a sealed container and stir occasionally. This will help get the fragrance evenly distributed throughout your filler.

How to make:
Cut and sew the fabric in the size you want – usually a wash cloth size is just right.
Leave only about 1-2 inches open so that you can fill the pad with your filler. Fill to about ¾ full so that it is moldable to your body. Sew the remaining opening by hand or machine and keep filler pushed away from the opening while sewing it shut.

If you want a removable cover, sew one just slightly larger than the pad filled with your filler.. You can leave one end open or sew a Velcro strip to be able to close it and open it easily. Remove cover to wash as needed. Do not microwave the cover.

Directions on use:
Heat 1-3 minutes in the microwave, depending on the size of the pad. Do not leave unattended in case the pad would start to smoke – do not want it to start on fire. Shut microwave off immediately if this happens. You can set a cup of water in with the pad or spritz the pad slightly first if you want some moisture. If you added spices or herbs, this is a good idea to do before heating the pad.

When you take the pad out – DO NOT immediately put it on the area you need it on – make sure the pad is not too hot for the skin – especially for children. These are great to use to help with aches and pains or to pamper yourself. Like if you have a difficult time sleeping – one filled with lavender may have you sleeping like a baby in no time.

If you are not into sewing, but want to try this out – use an old tube sock without holes and fill it with rice, tie the end and then microwave – for a quick heating pad in minutes!
Great for taking on vacation also!

I do not have a photo of the one I made, but found some on a Google search in different lengths and a tube sock version:
Oblong Microwave heating pad

Microwave heating pad

Tube sock microwave heating pad

(Photos used from a Google search for examples)

Valentine’s projects…

I found some activities one could accomplish before Valentine’s gets here!

The first project is making salt dough cut-out Valentine Hearts. I have made these before – they can be fun for kids of all ages and adults as well. Be creative with your decorating so that it reflects your style or for the person you are making it for!

Here is a link to a page that is more like a tutorial: Handmade Valentine Salt Dough Hearts….
Cute Handmade Hearts - salt dough photo

And for those who like to crochet – please find these cute heart coasters to be a fun thing to crochet up in a short period of time and give to someone special! I have not tried these, but I will have to do that at some point! Please find the pattern on this link: Crocheted Valentine Heart Coasters…
Valentine Heart Coasters photo

ENJOY!!

What role does music play in your life?

Music – love it! I would probably not function well each day if I was not able to listen to it – it is like a life-giving source to me. It sometimes speaks what I am feeling even when I cannot put into words what I feel. It makes me want to move, dance, express myself. Music is a balm – it soothes my soul and can even lift my spirits when nothing else can. Music can express my mood and depending on that mood it also dictates what type/style of music I listen to at any given time.

I like variety in life and music is no different. I love various forms of music and each one affects me differently. I enjoy Celtic music, probably because of my Irish bloodline. I love Native American and Hebrew music with its beautiful haunting tunes. I love instrumental music because even though it does not have words – it still can speak to your whole being! I love country western/bluegrass music because I was raised around it and I love the sound of it. I love classic rock and roll – oldies, my era of 70-80’s music, and some modern day pop rock. My all time favorite is Christian music and the multiple levels of genre’s – Contemporary, Gospel, bluegrass, and the old classics such as An Old Rugged Cross. I was raised around this as well. I love to listen to the K-Love radio station every chance I get.

Music is a universal language and it can express different things to each individual and yet bring people together giving the same experience and feelings. It is a form of “therapy” and is a blessing in life! I believe the power in music is phenomenal and truly cannot be underestimated.

How does music affect your life or how does it move you?
I look forward to your comments!

Cheeseburger Rice dish

I have always liked quick meals and this is one of my favorites. I found this on the Kraft website (www.kraftrecipes.com) and make this when I need a quick meal.

1 lb. lean ground beef
1-3/4 cups water
2/3 cup ketchup
1 Tbsp. yellow mustard
2 cups instant white rice, uncooked
1 cup KRAFT Shredded Cheddar Cheese

BROWN meat in large skillet on medium-high heat; drain.

ADD water, ketchup and mustard; mix well. Bring to boil.

STIR in rice. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 5 min. Sprinkle with cheese; cover. Remove from heat. Let stand 5 min. Serve.

Banana Bread

A very moist banana bread recipe that I have made a number of times. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS
• 3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
• 1/3 cup melted butter
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 egg, beaten
• 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• Pinch of salt
• 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

Directions:

No need for a mixer for this recipe. Preheat the oven to 350°F. With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour last, mix. Pour mixture into a buttered 4×8 inch loaf pan or two smaller ones. Bake for 1 hour until center is done. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve. Serve with butter.

Change…how do you deal with it?

I was at our local grocer today and they are renovating the inside of the store putting up new shelving, new coolers and freezers and eventually the meat department will get a new look as well. Needless to say it is chaotic in there and nothing is where it was – except for a few things. Even the employees were hard pressed to find what you were seeking when you asked them, but even as exasperated as they were with where things were located – they were all very pleasant and most laughed about it. There were some customers who were irate with the aisles not being as they once were and frustrated they could not find anything. I’ll admit it was a little frustrating, but I also know from talking the store manager a couple of weeks ago that it is a temporary thing and then everything will be where it is supposed to be. I am anxious to see the finished product!

Some of us deal with change better than others and I think we all, at some point, have issues with change in some area of our life. I find the older I get that some things I hate to see change in, but change is an inevitable thing and sometimes it is welcome! I know sometimes I wish things would change that do not because you feel like you are in a deep rut that you cannot get out of.

I was reminded this morning about a verse I had read recently and it is found in James 1:17: “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” One thing we can always rely upon is God does not change – He always remains the same no matter our circumstances. He is a rock we can lean on when times are rough and we need some stability in our lives. I prayed this when I was trying to find items on my list and it helped me keep calm and collected. He got me through that grocery store without getting upset and actually it almost felt like a treasure hunt and I got some extra walking in! Sometimes change is necessary in our lives so that our walk with Him does not falter or become a drudgery. Just as Charles Stanley once stated – “Often times God demonstrates His faithfulness in adversity by providing for us what we need to survive. He does not change our painful circumstances. He sustains us through them.”

I am thankful I have faith in a God who never changes and is someone I can call out to – He always provides just what I need to get me through what I am facing.