134 In Life/ Sewing

How’s Your Back? {and prayer requests}

I hope it’s better than mine. Mine hurts. Bad. Not in a disabling, can’t function way. Just hurts bad enough to take a lot of Advil and use a heating pad all day long. Do you know how I hurt it? Lifting furniture… no. Lifting rovers…. no. Exercising…. no. Doing yard work…. no. Doing house work…. no. Doing laundry…. no. I hurt my back in a very spectacular way…. ready…. I hurt my back sneezing.  Justin’s asked me a couple times how I hurt it, I tried to beat around the bush a little then I fessed up that I hurt my back sneezing. I mean, seriously, how ridiculous is that? I laugh at myself for reasons such as these regularly.

I tell you all of this because I want you to meet my back’s new best friend.


You can call it a cordless heating pad, you can call it a rice bag or you can call it a bed warmer. Whatever you want to call it, it’s totally fabulous and easy to make. These have been around for a while and I’m pretty certain most of you know about them but just incase you don’t I thought I’d introduce you to your new best friend.

My mom has one that I used every night at the farm… she’s had it for 10+ years and it’s still good as gold. I like to put it in the bed where my feet go a few minutes before I climb in and then its all warm and toasty. I’ve been watching the weather lately and chances are it’s cold where you live. So, if you have a sewing machine and don’t have one of these I think you should make one… just trust me. THIS IS A BEGINNERS project and very fool proof.

Here’s what I used:

  • a piece of 100% cotton fabric 9″ x 36″
  • 100% cotton thread
  • rice {I used medium grain white rice}
  • a couple tea bags or lavender would be nice too… I was fresh out

I folded the fabric in half with right sides together and sewed a straight stitch {with 1/2″ seam allowance} on the two long sides. And turned it right side out {below}.



Then I marked 4 equal sections on the front. Starting with the section closest to the closed end I stitched a straight stitch {top stitch} about 3/4 of the way down the marked line. Then I filled it with rice {I used about a cup and half of rice}.



I filled it with rice and some tea Chamomile tea  that I sprinkled out of a tea bag and into the rice bag {I used 2 tea bags for the entire bag}. The rice has a smell… not an odor, just a rice-y smell and I figured a little dry Chamomile would be helpful. I don’t want to deter you from making one, it’s not a BAD smell, but if you put this hot rice bag in your bed at night your husband will likely know its there because he will smell it before he sees it or feels it… so a little dried lavender or tea can’t hurt. I’ve even read of people using essential oils but I was afraid that adding oil to rice and then microwaving it would cook or burn the rice… anyone ever tried it with essential oils?

Ok…  After I filled it with rice I tried to maneuver all the rice away from the small section that had not been sewn shut and then sewed it closed… then moved on to the next section doing the same thing. At the end I turned the ends under and top stitched the bag closed.


I nuke it for three minutes. WARNING— it’s PIPING hot when it comes out. Hot enough to not put against bare skin! Consider yourself warned. It’s not too hot against clothing but don’t microwave it for 3 minutes and then lay it on bare skin… or you’ll cook yourself. Maybe you should start with 2 and 1/2 minutes. It stays hot for a long time and there are no cords attached. You may want to make a few while you’re at it! It’d be a great gift for a girl friend or a hostess gift.


Totally unrelated to the rice bag…

Do you see PWs cookbook above my microwave?! I followed her recipe for pot roast today and I must say she knows what she’s doing… slow and low is a must for a pot roast and the rosemary made the entire house smell so good. The roast & veggies were soo good… and I added fingerlings too! The entire cookbook is fabulous… but there’s one thing that Erika and I can’t quite figure out… why her smaller recipe pictures aren’t numbered and read LEFT to RIGHT… have you noticed? They’re all read top to bottom and I never learned to read that way so I found myself going from step 3 to step 7 because I read left to right instead of top to bottom. Am I totally nuts? Please tell me no.


I also have two things I’d love for y’all to pray for… one being my friend Christina. She’s 25-26 weeks pregnant with her first baby {Austin} and is currently on critical bed-rest at UAB for HELLP syndrome. She was transported to Birmingham by ambulance yesterday and they plan to take Austin sometime tomorrow. This is very early and I would love for y’all to pray for both Christina and baby Austin. The ultrasound today revealed that he weighs around 1 and 1/2 pounds. From what I understand, HELLP is of greater danger to Christina right now than it is to Austin. But he has to be born in order for her body to recover from it. Please just pray for both of them. From what I’ve heard she has received 3 steroid shots to develop his lungs and 24 hours from her last shot they will deliver him by emergency c-section. The second request is for my grandfather {my mom’s dad} he had a biopsy today on a tumor and is awaiting pathology reports. My mother and aunt took him to Indianapolis today to meet with a oncologist… we are prayerful for a benign report.

Thanks friends! I’ll keep you posted on both!!!

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  • Janna
    January 5, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    Oh no, it’s funny how you hurt your back, but I hope you feel better soon! I have a similar store-bought bag, and it’s amazing. I bought it five years ago at a drug store, and don’t use it too often, but when I do, it’s magical! (Although now we don’t have a microwave, so I am not sure how I’d heat it up if I ever needed to.) Yours is way prettier and sounds more soothing!

  • Candice
    January 5, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    Darby, I am sorry you hurt your back! My twin sister once hurt her back opening the microwave. Really! And my co-worker hurt hers once while trying to unjam the copier. I hurt mine in the shower bending over to pick up the razor I dropped. And I recall baseball player Sammy Sosa hurt his back once coughing. So don’t feel too silly!

  • May
    January 5, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    Oh, I sympathize with your back pain – mine’s full of pinched nerves these days and it’s pretty taxing to pick up my little ‘rover’ these days (she’s standing but not walking, so she always wants to be picked up). I’m not sure how I hurt my back, but I think it was when I was towel-drying my hair and twisting my neck the wrong way. Pretty silly! Anyway, we have one of those wonderful bags somewhere … I should probably look for it.

    Hope you feel better soon! 🙂

  • May
    January 5, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    Oh, and also, I’ll be praying for your friend & your family.

  • Leigh Scott
    January 5, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    You’ve just inspired my next sewing project! and ditto on PW’s cookbook, I flipped though it at the bookstore but decided against buying it b/c I like her website much better. The large step-by-step pics and funny dialouge are such a trademark of hers that I didn’t think the cookbook really captured (can you tell I overanalyzed that one!)

  • Shannon
    January 5, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    You amaze me with all the little things you just whip up on your sewing machine! You inspire me…thanks! I will be praying for both your grandfather and for your sweet friend. I went to school in Birmingham great medical facilities there. The Lord has put her in the right place but I know all too well that complications during pregnancy are very scary. Blessings to everyone and I look forward to hearing what great things the Lord has done!

  • melissa
    January 5, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    Prayers all around. HEELP is such a scary thing– and I know you are worried about your grandfather, too. Prayerful and hopeful. And I hope your back feels better soon!

  • Sarah's Fab Day
    January 5, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    I was at pilates tonight telling people how I hurt my back (a while ago) sneezing too. It was the kind of pain that put me out of commission for days, I was walking all hunched over like a little ole’ granny. I have sacroiliac instability which is often caused my pregnancy and childbirth. But I have lots of small excercises (I’m a pilates instructor) that can help with the pain, if you want to email me I’d be happy to share my dear.

    I will be praying for the benign results for your Grandpa and praying for your friend and her son.

  • Briana
    January 5, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    Yes – I totally have been missing steps in PW’s cookbook!! It drives me CRAZY. You are definitely not alone. Feel better! 🙂

  • Jennifer
    January 5, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    I noticed the same thing about PW’s cookbook! My mind doesn’t work like that!

    P.S. Have you ever made a cute pin cushion or know of an online tutorial for a VERY beginning sewer??!

  • Katherine @ Grass Stains
    January 5, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    I will keep Christine, your grandfather AND you in my prayers! I have occasional sort-of-severe back pain, and it is amazing how much it can affect your ability to enjoy life! Take care and please keep us posted on all three.

  • Lindsay @ Not2Us
    January 5, 2010 at 11:01 pm

    I’m praying on all accounts. ((hugs))

  • hannah
    January 5, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    hello! love your blog and just had to post a comment b/c my mom makes those bags the very same way you do! except instead of rice she uses kernels of corn. they are the kind of corn that don’t pop into popcorn. and they smell very good but it’s also a slight smell! they also stay warmer longer than rice!! 🙂 js thought i’d let you know.

  • Nikki
    January 5, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    Okay… I have one of those too, but mine has cinnamon sticks in it and always smells so lovely! I actually named it Henrietta because I love it so much! And on another note.. thank you for mentioning Christina! She is a good friend of mine also and I have been praying like crazy. Your blog gets many more hits than mine so it made my heart happy to see her name pop up here! And on a totally random other note, I came to your garage sale many months ago when I was pregnant and bought an adorable corduroy dress for my little girl. She wore it the other day and looked so cute! Thanks!

  • stephanie
    January 5, 2010 at 11:17 pm

    I have one of those rice bags — i love it, especially when it’s freezing cold out (or when i’m sick). It does kinda smell though, when it’s heated. I’ll try to add some tea leaves to it to see what happens

    prayers for your friend and her unborn child. I hope that both mother and child will get through this.

    Also to your grandfather, hope that it’ll turn out to be nothing.

  • LeAnn
    January 5, 2010 at 11:20 pm


    Praying for both requests, especially Christina. My son was born at 26 weeks via emergency c-section because of similar issues. Yes it is SUPER early, but he (and she) are in one of the best places ever! My little man is now 2 and just amazing!! I pray for wisdome on the parts of ALL Doctors and staff and both families have a peace beyond understanding!

  • Sarah
    January 5, 2010 at 11:20 pm

    I am glad to know I am not the only one who thought the picture ordering in the PW cookbook was strange! I haven’t tried anything yet from the cookbook, but have read it almost cover to cover and found myself having to re-train my mind to read top to bottom! Love your blog and I am happy that I took your advice to try the cinnamon honey butter. Totally a hit with everyone I gifted it to!!

  • Amy
    January 5, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    Yes, that totally bugs me about the PW cookbook!! But the deliciousness of the recipes I’ve made so far have made up for it. Hope your back feels better soon!

  • Kaylene
    January 5, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    girl, you have perfect timing. My back is KILLING me. I have seen those rice things before but never thought about making my own. I think I’m going to do it though. It would be awesome to have this week. Thanks!

  • Sherrie
    January 5, 2010 at 11:39 pm

    Keeping those you asked for in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Lee
    January 5, 2010 at 11:42 pm

    I am a long time reader but a first time commenter. I have enjoyed your blog.
    I wanted to send an encouraing message for your friend, Christina.
    I was born at 24 weeks in 1969. All was well with me. It was scary to start with and I was in hospital for several weeks but I had no long term problems. Scienve has advances a LOT in 40 years.

  • Mike and McGee
    January 5, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    So sorry to hear about your back. Mike’s response would be, “That’s how you know you’re getting old.” He would know too: he has thrown out his back 1) lifting our then-10 pound daughter and 2) using his foot to try to kick her baby blanket off the floor so he could catch in his hand and not have to bend over to pick it up.

    I will add my praise for heated rice. It’s heavenly. I went the easy route though. I simply poured rice into one of Mike’s socks and wrapped a hair elastic around the top. It works. In fact, it worked quite nicely during my home birth!

    We will keep your friend and her baby in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Kellye
    January 5, 2010 at 11:46 pm

    Thank you so much for the tutorial!! I think I am the only person in the free world that doesn’t have one and has NO IDEA how to make one until now!! We are freezing here at about 25 degrees so I will be making me one tomorrow!!

    I am also praying, just want you to know!!

    Our God is good and sovereign. There is a definite peace that comes with knowing that and I am praying that in both situations God will make Himself known to everyone involved with that peace that passes all understanding!!!

  • Ashley
    January 5, 2010 at 11:49 pm

    Your friend is most definitely in my prayers. One of my dear friends just lost her baby yesterday…she was 28 weeks along. Can’t imagine the pain and worry both of our friends are going through.

    Thanks for tutorial on the rice bag too! I’ve made my fair share of them but never thought to make little seperate compartments..genious!

  • Carrie
    January 5, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    Hi Darby,

    I read your blog often, but have never commented! Anyways, I’m a physical therapist and wanted to offer a little advice regarding your back. If you hurt it sneezing, it is most likely a disc issue. The discs are like the cartilage cushioning in between the bones in your back. When you sneeze or cough, the pressure inside the disc increases, and that’s why your back will hurt. We see this in our clinic pretty often (the whole sneezing and back hurting thing), so don’t let your husband give you trouble about “hurting” your back in a strange way!! 🙂

    If you would like any advice about what you can do to make it better, please don’t hesitate to contact me, email is below.



  • Heather
    January 5, 2010 at 11:51 pm

    You inspire me. Your back is hurting and you are still sewing!! My back tends to go out from “silly” things too. It is usually when I have been sleeping in unfamiliar beds (staying with family or in hotels) or with the change of weather. Being a mommy wears on your body!! But what a blessing all of that wear and tear is!

    Your sweet friend Christina and your grandfather are both in my prayers! We serve a Mighty and Wonderful Lord!!! I know He will be watching over them and holding them in His hands!! Please keep us posted!


  • Tiffany Hill
    January 6, 2010 at 12:00 am

    Just wanted to let you know, I am a nurse at UAB in the mother baby department. More specifically, I attend births of babies. I just want to reassure you and hopefully through you, your friend, that what UAB lacks in beauty and modernity, it more than makes up for in some of the greatest doctors for moms, and especially babies! your friend and her baby are right where they need to be. And if some of the nurses seem a little hard-nosed(and hopefully they won’t), it is simply because we have been trained to treat the worst, trained to save lives when the need be. It sounds like your friend may need a good stern nurse who doesn’t play around and really knows what she’s doing! I’ll try to keep an eye out for her and her tiny baby and maybe I can sneak her in some VIP treatment!

  • Tonia Hobbs
    January 6, 2010 at 12:21 am

    So Sorry about your back. That is the worst. I did the same thing a while back, apparently just bending over to pick up a toy. . . who knows? Anyways, I had one of the rice bags and sold it at a yard sale last summer! What was I thinking? After your “warm feet” idea I am wishing I would’ve kept that thing! You trying to describe the smell made me smile, because I know what you are talking about.

    I will pray for your sweet friend.

  • terri smith
    January 6, 2010 at 12:22 am

    At least it wasn’t from bending to flush the toilet like I did years ago! Had to have my second back surgery after that one! My morning routine is three ibuprofen, put my heat bag in the micro for two minutes while I fix my first cup of coffee, then sit on the bag for awhile ’til things loosen up! Make sure you are sleeping with a pillow under your knees when on your back, and between your knees when on your sides – this will help keep your spine stable while you sleep. And no sleeping on your stomach! I prayed for your friend, and will pray for your grandfather, mother, and aunt. I’m glad he has them!

  • Mott
    January 6, 2010 at 12:27 am

    I will keep your friend, your grandfather and extended family in my prayers. God gives us the strength we need when we need it and not a minute too soon! He sees the big picture where we can only see a small piece of it.

    Thanks for the tutorial. I, too, poured some rice in a tube sock and tied a knot in the end of the sock! It worked great for years! But I am going to make a pretty one like yours! I have some fabric that would be perfect and Lord knows, we need it here now! It is so cold!!! Hope your back feels better real soon! Try to “take it easy”, if you know how!!! LOL

  • Laura Beth
    January 6, 2010 at 12:30 am

    Oh my word. There is only one complaint that I have about PW’s cookbook and that is that it goes down instead of across. . . ack! The only thing I can figure is that she must be so used to scrolling down on her blog that it is natural to her. . . but a book should be across l-r if you ask me. 🙂 Still love it, though!

  • Devon
    January 6, 2010 at 12:31 am

    My thoughts are absolutely with your friend and your grandpa. I had proteinuria during my last pregnancy and the fear of losing our little guy was awful. I can’t even imagine all that is going on with your good friend at this time. Many, many good thoughts…

    You guys MUST try the PW cinnamon rolls. They are sick (in a phat way). We’ve been obsessively making them here in Seattle and cinnamon roll fever has taken over. Everyone is making them everywhere. You can’t go to a party without having a cinnamon roll. It’s like Cloudy with a Chance of Cinnamon Rolls in our world. Heavenly.

  • jenn
    January 6, 2010 at 12:41 am

    So sorry about your back. On several occasions my mom has sneezed and “thrown her back out.” Tell Justin that’s a totally normal thing to do. 🙂 So glad you shared about the rice bag. My heating pad just went out a few nights ago. I think I’ll go this route rather than buying another plug-in.

  • Shannon
    January 6, 2010 at 12:45 am

    First I have to say I LOVE your blog. So inspiring! Also, I am commiserating with you right now! My back went out stepping into the car! Dropped me and I couldn’t get up with two kids strapped in car seats. SO my dad had to drive over to help us all in the house. Thank goodness for cell phones, and rice bags. I love mine too. Also, if it’s your lower back you may try and SI belt. I was told that with each of my 3 pregnancys the SI joint loosened and it can be common. Amazing how quick it helped me be upright a little easier. Good Luck.

  • Alice
    January 6, 2010 at 12:48 am

    My sister Candice posted I hurt my back opening the microwave. Wrong! I hurt my back when I sneezed as I stood using the microwave. Seriously, it felt like I got shot in the back. Darby, I hope yours didn’t hurt as bad as mine did. Oh, and the sciatica that accompanied the back pain was awful! I still feel twinges of that now and again. Also, now when I sneeze I say a prayer that I don’t hurt my back again. Hope you feel better soon.

  • Kate
    January 6, 2010 at 1:33 am


    Please let me know if there is anything I can do for Christina. I know I’m a stranger, but I would be more then happy to pick up meals, give directions, etc. for her and her family while they’re here. I’m about 10 min. from the hospital if they need anything.

    You can email me for my cell phone number,

  • LizInScotland
    January 6, 2010 at 3:20 am

    Both in my prayers this morning, my thoughts are with both.
    LOVE your heating pad-I developed sciatica during pregnancy (silly lifting in 1st trimester at my job..) so am in pain whenever there’s a weight gain (added pressure) so after the holidays–I’ve been pretty sore!
    Also-PW-I totally agree. I ran the risk of it turning out like Rachel on Friends’ trifle when the pages stuck together in her cookbook and she added mince and onion..LOL. I cannot read up & down either!YOU AINT ALONE!

  • Julie
    January 6, 2010 at 3:21 am

    Hi Darby,

    I have been following your blog for a while and really enjoy it! Years ago I injured my back, and have dealt with back pain ever since. These heating pads are an absolute lifesaver! An earlier reader mentioned that they can also be made with corn, but it needs to be the kind that doesn’t pop. It is called feed corn, in case that is helpful to any of your readers. I loved your idea about including the tea or lavender. I’ve never been a fan of the smell either, but the relief the pad provides is worth it. I’ll be praying for a quick and full recovery!

  • alison g. (brazil)
    January 6, 2010 at 5:13 am

    Prayers granted.

    P.S. – My mom keeps a similar buckwheat & lavender bag in her freezer as a headache helper – seems they can be hot or cold remedies.

  • Carrie
    January 6, 2010 at 6:09 am

    I’m in the same boat! A sneeze knocked my neck/shoulders/spine out of alignment the other day too! I’ve had limited range of motion for a few days. I’m not sure which is more pathetic – throwing your back out with a big sneeze or hoping that another big sneeze will set everything right again!

    Will send good vibes out into the universe for your friend, her son and your grandpa.

  • barbara
    January 6, 2010 at 7:02 am

    hi darby
    i am a long time ‘lurker/reader’, but have never commented so far. i love your blog and can relate to many ‘children subjects’ as i have twin girls about the same age as your younger girl.
    as i had a difficult pregnancy, too, i am thinking of your friend and her baby and hope that everything turns out well for them and also for your grandfather.
    greetings from switzerland

  • kristy
    January 6, 2010 at 7:32 am

    hi darby!

    sending prayers and great blessings for you and all your love ones (your grandfather, your friend and her little baby, your mom … and ofcourse for YOU!).

    keep us posted on all!

    love from lexington, ky.

  • Design Esquire
    January 6, 2010 at 8:14 am

    I am sending prayers to you, your friend, her baby, your grandfather and mother.
    (P.S. – I hope your back feels better soon!)

  • Jess
    January 6, 2010 at 8:24 am

    I hope you get well soon! Sent out the prayers. I love your blog! Thanks for inspiring me with your sewing projects! I don’t know how to sew but I am definitely interested in learning now! Keep up the good work!
    kisses from louisiana

  • Renee
    January 6, 2010 at 8:28 am

    Hi Darby,

    I had a friend with HELLP and she delivered a beautiful 1 lb. 9 oz baby girl at 26 weeks without complications. I pray the same for Christina and precious Austin. And peace and good results for your grandfather.

    Hope you feel better.

  • Ivy
    January 6, 2010 at 8:30 am

    I will be praying!! Take care of your back…go to the Dr if you still hurts in a few days. I had a herniated disc that I let go for a month or so and ended up having to have surgery…scary! Good luck!

  • Susan
    January 6, 2010 at 8:51 am

    Praying for your friend and grandfather. I had HELLP at 32 wks with my son. He weighed 2 lb 14oz at birth. He’s a 2 1/2 now and doing great.

  • Rachel P
    January 6, 2010 at 8:51 am

    love these homemade heating pads! a former roommate of mine made me one after admiring hers – ours have dried corn kernals (not popping corn), but they do have a little bit of a pop-corny smell. she made an inside and an outside bag so they can be replaced and/or washed if needed.

    i have the pioneer woman’s cookbook and it is such a crowd-pleaser, especially with the men! i do agree that i often do the steps in the wrong order… i thought it was just me! ( :

    praying for your back and your friends & family!

  • Victoria
    January 6, 2010 at 8:59 am

    I hope your back feels better soon, that’s the worst. Thanks for the heating pad idea…we are always using our electric one around here. I think I will whip one up today and i have alot of lavender from the garden. I am going to have to check out the Pioneer cookbook I keep hearing great things about it! Your friends are in my prayers.

  • paula
    January 6, 2010 at 9:37 am

    I just recently made one also. I used flax seed and lavendar oil. The flax seed seems to be odorless so it may be a nice alternative to using rice.

  • holly
    January 6, 2010 at 10:08 am

    I had HELLP at 24 weeks. Very scary. Baby is fine now but it’s a long road ahead. Not only recovering for your friend but all the medical issues, NICU stay and therapist and developmental problems. Very very hard.

  • Amanda
    January 6, 2010 at 10:16 am

    Hi – I have been reading your blog for a while now and love all of your tutorials and recipes! I had to comment when I saw your heating pad. I have been using them for years and my husband affectionately refers to them as “d**n things” because I usually have one at the foot of the bed or am usually asking him to reheat. Enjoy it – it is wonderful!

  • Lisa @ lists in my pocket
    January 6, 2010 at 10:21 am

    Praying for you and your friends and family!

  • Kaela
    January 6, 2010 at 10:41 am

    I herniated a disc by sneezing. I can totally sympathize. Sneezing, who knew it was dangerous?

  • Amy
    January 6, 2010 at 11:18 am

    Not only have I also injured my back sneezing, but once I dislocated my knee while turning on a computer. The dislocation took weeks to heal (walking on crutches) and months of physical therapy! However, taking a few Alleve helped my back a lot.

    My thoughts are with your friend and her family. Hope everything is well.

  • Jacci
    January 6, 2010 at 11:24 am

    Oh, dear. You poor thing. If it makes you feel better, my aunt broke her rib from sneezing once. Of course, I think she was about 20 years older than you at that time, so maybe that does absolutely nothing to make you feel better 😉

    I have a “rice sock” that I nuke everytime I have a migraine. I love that thing. I could make a much prettier one, though. Maybe something from a fun vintage-y fabric.

    On a more serious note, I will pray for your grandpa and your dread friend and her baby. Really. It’s easy to say I will, but by God’s grace, I’ll actually remember and pray. I know, I’ll write their names on my kitchen dry erase board! That should help me 🙂

    Thanks for the Pioneer Woman Cooks review – I’ll have to check that one out. Everyone RAVES about her recipes.

    Have a good one Darby and all,

    ~Jacci in Ohio

  • Jacci
    January 6, 2010 at 11:25 am

    Good grief, I meant “dear” friend, not dread!

  • terri smith
    January 6, 2010 at 11:29 am

    1 other thing about the lower back: I spent several months early last year in aqua-therapy for my lower back. Seems there is hardly an L5 disc left, was in bad shape. The therapy was awesome! The one thing that I learned from the therapist is – get ready – do your kegels exercises, all the time! Newer research shows that the real core muscle is not improved by a six-pack of showy muscles, but by really deep tissue strength. She said that MRIs showing live kegels in progress strengthend the deepest core tissues that support the spine. Makes sense when one thinks about mostly women here commenting, that have given birth to children.

  • Jacci
    January 6, 2010 at 11:36 am

    For Jennifer, who asked about the pincushion – Heather Bailey’s blog has some great free patterns (she’s a fabric designer). Here’s one for a pincushion – https://www.heatherbaileydesign.com/HBSquareDeal.pdf

    Hope you don’t mind me providing that link, Darby! 🙂


  • Brooke
    January 6, 2010 at 11:39 am

    Darby, I actually ventured out and made rice bags as gifts for Christmas! i’ll have to send you a pic of mine. i did it similar to the one off the sew mama sew website, but put ribbon to tie the opening at the top b/c my rice insert was made of muslin fabric. i used gardenia oil, but WAY too much. if you do oil, just a drop or two is good! glad you are good, see ya later
    Brooke https://sewmamasew.com/blog2/?p=280

  • monique
    January 6, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    great little tutorial—i really enjoy your blog! thank you for your honesty and for sharing your life 🙂 i will absolutely be praying for your friend and their baby. as well as your family. please keep us updated.

  • Ashley
    January 6, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    I will be praying for your grandfather and your friend. I hope you feel better as well.

  • Amanda Jones
    January 6, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    I hope that your back feels better, and soon! Who knew a sneeze could be so dangerous!? I have prayed for your friend and grandfather and will continue to do so.

    I order the PW cookbook last week and I should have it today or tomorrow…I can’t wait! I will definitely try the Pot Roast as one of my firsts. Ree is great, but I agree, I would have skipped steps reading it that way as well 🙂

  • Cara
    January 6, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    your request will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Kim Barth
    January 6, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    1. I adore (strond word, I now) your website. In fact you have inspired me to start my own. I only hope that I come across as charming as you do!
    2. I have already said a prayer for your loved ones.
    3. I too have a warmer (yes, a rice bag). I love it and I made it. Here is my tip for you- dried orange or lemon zest. Toss it in with the rice before you finish sewing. It makes a huge difference in the odor.I get it my favorite place on the planet- The Fresh Market. It is in theor bagged spices section. I think it’s about 1.44! I know, can you believe it?!


  • Sara
    January 6, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    It is always hard when momma’s don’t feel good or in pain and keeping up with little ones don’t make for a fast recovery. Praying for a speedy recovery for you and praying for your friend and little one and grandfather…hope they both have good results.

  • CarrieBeth
    January 6, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    i noticed that about the cookbook while i was her cinnamon roles for the first time, which could have turned out reeeeaaallly bad :/ thank goodness i noticed before things went wrong!
    i’ll be praying for your sweet friend and her precious baby, along with your family 🙂

  • Sarah
    January 6, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    I will be praying for your friend and grandfather. I recently found your website and I have been truly blessed. I am pretty new to the blogging world and when I found your site I thought this girl is grounded. As a mom myself I’ve enjoyed reading about your sweet family. Keep it up!

  • tiny twig
    January 6, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    random, but i bought fabric today to make one of these. 🙂 my mother in law bought me one for christmas–and i just wanted another to have around the house. 🙂 another great idea is to make the bag of rice out of white muslin and then make an outer fabric cover so you can wash it. washing is a good thing!

  • kathleen
    January 6, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    First of all, I love your blog. I have been “lurking/reading” for some
    time and never commented. Praying for your friend with HELLP syndrome. I had HELLP syndrome and nearly died 2 years ago, my baby is fine but still in therapy. Please keep us updated on her, praying for her and her baby. Hope you back feels better. BTW, your little “rover” looks a lot like mine~he’s always into something. Wouldn’t trade him for anything.

  • dianereeves
    January 6, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    This is way cuter than our soccer socks full of rice. I store them in the freezer. When they are not heated up to help our back pain they can be used cold as a replacement for our little ones’ misplaced boo bunnies (they seem to never make it back in the freezer). I think I will make our family your cute version and then I won’t have to explain to our friends, as they are getting ice, why we have two socks in the freezer.

  • CeCe
    January 6, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    Hi, I’ve recently discovered your blog and enjoy reading it.

    Just wanted to say I am praying for your friend and her baby, and your grandfather too.

  • Ana
    January 6, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    Darby, I have been peeking in your blog and your sisters and you clearly are very talented (both of you) YOu are amazing, being a mom of three and still getting all these projects done. When you say that you hurt your back sneezing, I totally believe you. I have a bad back myself and it gets like that. If you have never had problems with your back and if you have good health insurance, I highly recommend you go and see a back doctor and have an MRI. The reason that a simple sneeze would give you a back spasm is that your back has a more serious problem. Don’t ignore it for heaven’s sake, bcs my husband ignored his pain in the leg and it turns out the main nerve to the leg was pinched by two buldged discs and the pain was ten fold after he ignored the medium pain for a month. SO take care of yourself and my thoughts are with you in this pain. I love your rice bag, but how did your mom heat it when there were no microwaves around (sorry we have not bought into the microwave concept yet 🙂

  • marianna
    January 6, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    I have read your blog for months and really enjoy it–it’s encouraging and uplifting!
    Wanted to share that 9 1/2 years ago I delivered twins at 25 weeks. Our daughter was born weighing 1 lb 13 oz while our son weighed 1 lb 10 oz. This was following weeks on bedrest (home and hospital). I received steroid shots when it became inevitable that they would be born. It was an extremely difficult time in our lives. Today they both are healthy, happy, and doing very well in school. The power of prayer and the belief that everything is in God’s hands, therefore will be okay, got us through. Your friend and son, along with your grandfather, will be in our prayers.

  • Debbie
    January 6, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    Darby, just so you don’t feel alone, many people hurt their backs and rupture discs just coughing and sneezing, but it’s the constant injury/work on our backs that add up. I have a now 5 and 3 year old, but ruptured discs in my neck when they were 1 and 3 from the constant lifting in and out of bath, car seats, etc. Just take care of yourself and have good body mechanics. Our little ones take a toll on our bodies more ways than one. BTW I an new to your blog but so enjoying it!!

  • Des
    January 6, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing this project! I am very much a beginner in sewing but hope to gain more experience this year. My good friend bought me a sewing machine last year and now that we’re neighbors we plan to do our projects together! I could totally use one of those right about now. I have really bad knots in my shoulders and back from stress and plain ol’ child rearing! So thank you thank you!
    I also follow PW’s blog and treated myself to her cookbook a few months ago and LOVE it..except I did almost ruin the cinnamon rolls because of the up to down ordering of steps =( You should see my book, it is very much water damaged thanks to my 19 month old…tipped a cup right onto it! I almost died but decided not to get a brand new perfect one to remind of my reality haha…
    Thanks again for all you share, I thoroughly enjoy your site…it’s one of my “happy places”.

  • christy
    January 6, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    hey darby-
    love your blog as always! so sorry your back is strained! i have had more than enough back stuff to last a lifetime- my latest came from simply getting into bed after getting up with one of my little rascals in the middle of the night. literally, just getting back into bed and such pain shot through my back that i thought i was going to scream! i have a bad back in general and it is always going in and out since pregnancy and children! my only tip: if it is muscular you want to start applying ice after awhile. i used to just sit on a heating pad constantly and my back never got better. my doctor told me that although heat feels good and like it should help, it can increase swelling of the muscles and make things worse. ice feels uncomfortable and cold esp. in january but will reduce swelling and could get you back on your feet sooner. of course i am no expert but i thought this tidbit might help if nothing else was working!! good luck!

  • Amanda
    January 6, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    I definitely got confused by the pictures in the PW cookbook! I love it though! She is wonderful!

  • debra
    January 6, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    Praying for your friend and her baby and your grandfather. Babies are amazing and so strong even at 26 weeks. God is good and is the maker of all things. He is not surprised by this news and has a plan. Keep us posted.

  • lauren
    January 6, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    i delivered my daughter very premature from pre eclampsia and hellp syndrome and it is very very early for her baby to be born but after spending 63 days in the nicu i can tell you that they can do AMAZING things for those babies. unfortunately there is nothing they can do for your friend until she delivers so youre right it is more of a danger to her. the two of them and their families are in my prayers!!!

  • sarah
    January 6, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    Hi, Darby. I, also, am a physical therapist and see patients with back pain a lot. Actually, they are usually my favorite patients (at least since march of last year when i took a Maitland course for spinal mobilizations that has really seemed to help people)! Anyway, I agree with the other therapist who said that it is likely a disc and think you should email her for some exercises. If, however, the exercises don’t seem to help, I’d consider going to a physical therapist (you may need a dr’s prescription in Alabama…not sure) who can do some hands on type treatments.
    I’m so sorry about your back, your pregnant friend, and your grandfather. I just prayed for all three right now. Our Lord is THE great physician, and I will continue to pray that His mercies would be abundant.

  • Lindsay
    January 6, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    Sorry that you are not feeling 100%! Back pain is never fun. I added Velcro to my heating pad so that is stays in the right spot just long enough to fall asleep. Not sure if you are having issues sleeping. I use mine mainly for shoulder pain. But, it is old and now I know how to make a new one. Thank you!

    I am also really sorry to hear about your friend and grandfather. I’ll say some prayers and think good thoughts. It’s the least I can do…

    Thank you for continuing to inspire with this blog.

  • Aura
    January 6, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    I have one of these in my freezer! They’re nice when they’re cold, too. They feel good on sleepy eyes.

  • Lindsey
    January 6, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    1. Can I tell that I messed up my back for days by bending over to pick up a shirt off the floor?? Couldn’t stand up straight for days and had to lay on a heating pad, take motrin, and use my muscle stimulator. Hope you get better soon-keep up the Advil and heating pad, and try to stretch if you can.

    2. Thanks for mentioning Christina, will definitely be praying. If you don’t put a follow up post can you email/call me when you hear anything?

  • Tara
    January 6, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    I heart PW’s Cookbook! Might I recommend the chicken fried steak & her husband’s favorite sandwich…her mash potatoes are also FABULOUS! Everything I’m made so far has been delicious and a hit with my family!

  • Stacy
    January 7, 2010 at 8:19 am

    Oh goodness, I will definitely pray for your sweet friend and her baby! I guess by now she may have already delivered. I’m also sorry you hurt your back!

    I got PW’s cookbook for Christmas and I love it–but I totally understand what you mean about the small pictures. Just this morning I was reading it while I ate my cereal and I kept getting confused about the directions because I kept reading left to right!

    Hope you have a good day!

    Stacy in Charleston

  • Melanie Gore
    January 7, 2010 at 10:26 am

    Okay, you sound like me. I thought I was the only one that could do something like that. I am a walking accident. I have never heard of hurting you back while sneezing but I know that I could do it:) LOL
    I hope you get better soon.

    I love Ree’s cookbook too but I don’t like the up and down thing. It should be left to right. Maybe they didn’t catch that? Kinda confusing.

    How do you like the Cook’s cookbook? I love that magazine and I love cookbooks but I don’t have that one. Let us know.

  • Lori-Marie Mayo
    January 7, 2010 at 10:27 am

    Hello Darby,
    Greetings-this is the first time we have left a comment…although we have watched (followed) your blog a l-o-n-g time! feel like we know yall…I first want to tell you, you have a beautiful family, your a encourager to many, I had a younger gal w/ one lil’girl who lived on our street who I directed to your blog as a encouragement—she could live with more children & craft! (smile) She was sure it would not work? Look at Darby…you do remind me of when my first three were small…so thanks for your showing others you are real, loving the Lord and hubby & children & that yes there are ups & downs…but with Christ all things are possible! My children love to see what you & the children are up too. We would also like to meet you in Illinois to visit the “school-house” at your parents! My hubby is an original Alabam-ian so we mixed north/south we are living in cold-snowy-Wisconsin now. Miss the friendly south so often.
    Any way…thanks for all you do, will pray for your back-along with your friend/baby & her family…that brings me to my comment (finally) I know the sweet family at…www.maprap.blogspot.com they have a oldest son (a kid yet 20) Smile who married a year ago, they had a premie at 29-30 weeks? go to their blog and back track at this sweet lil’guys prgress God has so blessed them. their blog is
    http://www.jmrkpauls.blogspot.com. It is amazing to see! Well now that I have left you a book to read…please keep up your sweet blogg’n and know so many pray for you & yours. We have 8 blessings and oh yes…food for thought Darby you would make a wonderful “home-schooling-Momma”…have a wonderful day!
    Blessings, Momma of 8 (Lori)

  • Kelly
    January 7, 2010 at 10:57 am

    I have a rice bag with my favorite scent – vanilla – that I just love! I got it when I was pregnant with my #2 and he’s going to be 5 next month. They last forever!
    PW Cookbook – two thumbs up! I did notice that about the pictures but I think that’s how a lot of cookbooks are so it didn’t bother me.
    Thanks for sharing your prayer requests! I’ll pray for both today!

  • Christie
    January 7, 2010 at 11:10 am

    I will definitely add your friend and grandfather to my prayer lists! And I hope your back feels better soon. I have pulled my back twice picking up my 37-pound 2-year-old (though never sneezing!), so I know how miserable that is.

    I love your blog!

  • elizabeth
    January 7, 2010 at 11:21 am

    Hope your back feels better soon! My supervisor has one of those rice bags he keeps at work. It has handle on each end so it’s easier to get out of the microwave. He slings it over his shoulders like a scarf for relief. Thanks for the tutorial. I think every household needs one.

    I’ll say a prayer for both your friend and grandfather today.

  • Julie
    January 7, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    Hi Darby. I had that syndrome when I was pregnant with my twins. I stayed on bedrest in the hospital for as long as I could, and delivered at 33.5 weeks. It took a few days after delivery to truly recover, but we are all well now. I will pray strong for you and your friend.

  • Stephanie
    January 7, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    Praying hard for Christina, Austin and your grandfather!

  • Jennifer
    January 7, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    Oh, praying for your grandpa! And Christina, too; I had Hellp Syndrome with Ryan and have since had a friend experience the same thing. Let Christina know she is not alone, and keep us updated!
    I’ve hurt my back sneezing too. Ridiculous, huh? Do you have a chiropractor? They work wonders!!

  • Traci
    January 7, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    I love to visit your blog, read your posts, and enjoy your pictures. You have such a beautiful family! Praying for your back, Christina, Austin, and your grandfather!

  • krista
    January 7, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    I will be praying too. I hope all that rice makes your back feel better!

  • Melise
    January 7, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    Oh how cool! The rice thing not your back! :0) Sorry about your rough sneeze, usually they are so enjoyable! haha. I’m praying for your friend and your grandad. Megan and I are right there with you and Erika, our grandfather (mother’s father) was diagnosed in Oct with cancer and is having his first round of chemo on Monday. Prayers all around!

  • Donna
    January 7, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    What a fantastic idea…you know, the mall has a kiosk that sells these…they have herbs and oils etc…don’t know if they are rice in them…but they do cost a pretty penny!!! Yes!!!! It is odd that the PWCbk reads that way…I’ve caught myself doing the same thing! Saying some prayers for your friend…hope to hear good news about it soon!

  • Sherry @ Young House Love
    January 7, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    Oh man, I’m sending you lots of happy back vibes! I actually broke a rib coughing a few months before my wedding. That was quite an interesting little adventure. Feel better!


  • WendyLou
    January 7, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    Yeah, um, I did the same thing to my neck earlier this week while I was taking off my shirt. Awesome!!

  • Brandi
    January 7, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    Darby, thanks for the wonderful heating pad idea. I got a sewing machine for Christmas and this will definitely be my first project! I hope you back gets better and I will be sure and say a prayer for your friend and her baby.

  • Jenn
    January 7, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    I am definitely going to have to try this. I have a “rice bag” that I bought years ago in Boston and just found another one recently for my little sister (who covets mine every time she is over) for Christmas. What a great idea. I hope your back is feeling better soon, back pain is never fun.

  • Stacy
    January 7, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    Dang, what a clean microwave! : )

  • Jessica {lovely jubbly london}
    January 8, 2010 at 8:41 am

    I am so glad I’m not the only one who finds the PW recipes confusing!! Some are left to right and others are up and down. It drives me bonkers!

    I may try and make a rice bag, putting it in the foot of our bed is such a great idea with this snowy weather.

    and prayers for your family and friends of course for good news on both accounts.

  • Estelle
    January 8, 2010 at 11:41 am

    For the heating pad, if you don’t like the smell of rice, you can also try buckwheat or hard wheat berries. I prefer these to rice because they don’t give a damp feel to the bag when heated. And they actually seem to hold the heat longer. 🙂 I hope your back feels better soon. Love your blog!

  • Amanda Blake
    January 8, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    darby, a friend referred me to your blog to check out your “camera tips”, and then i realized i’d seen your picture at my friend abby’s blog. fun! anyway, i’m an artist and love your sidebar groups as well as all the creative stuff you post. i forgot i had a lavendar bag i’d bought from a crafty friend, assuming i’d never use it. i nuked it after reading your blog and now using profusely. thank you for keeping it real on here as well. i’m hopeful for full recovery for you friend and her baby.thanks for sharing. “His mercy is new every morning”

  • Kathy
    January 8, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    I wanted you to know that I made a couple of your rice bags yesterday. Your directions were easy to follow and it was fun to have a bed warmer last night! My son’s tried them out when they came in from shoveling, too. Great idea. Sorry to hear about your back!

  • Kathy :)
    January 8, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    Hi, I wanted to let you know that I made your Cinnamon Honey Butter and just LOVED it….I gave it out as gits and it was so well received !!!

    Thanks so much…sorry about your back 🙁

    Kathy 🙂

    ps funny thing I don’t remember how I came to your blog the first time….when I copied your recipe you had a link to where you bought those adorable Merry Christmas tags…I got ahold of the gal that makes them and she emailed me your blog name….so a BIG thank you to her too !!!

  • Meg
    January 8, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    Ok…I made like 10 rice socks for when I was going to be in labor with both of my boys. I had both without epidurals (crazy I know) and they were absolutely wonderful. In fact, I was so intense about those things getting heated and put on my lower back during transition that I would just say through my clenched teeth- RICE!!! The only thing is is that mine were not like yours. Mine are actually just plain unattractive and nasty. I used some of Jared’s old white socks that that man wears everyday to work. I mean they were clean when I filled them with rice, but still they are just plain gross. So…..when we have another little one come along I will remember that rice can be filled into pretty fabric and sewed shut and that I will not have to place my husband’s yucky socks on my back anymore. Of course, I will have to find someone to sew those straight lines for me as I cannot even sew on a button. Sssshhhh! Do not tell anyone.

  • Christina
    January 8, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    I have one of those and love it. I hope your back is feeling better soon. I’ll be sending prayers for your friend and her family. What a difficult situation!

  • kickymarcia
    January 9, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    Having a micropreemie is tough. My daughter was born at 27 weeks and a little over 2 pounds. My best advice is to realize the NICU stay will be like a dance. Some days you move forward and some days you move backward. And at times it could be hours instead of days. Once the little one weighs about 3 pounds, the apnea and bradycardia will diminish. I will keep everyone in my thoughts.

    Today at seven years old, you would never know my little pea was a 27 weeker. She’s the most vibrant, creative, chatty little character around.

  • Deanna Divino
    January 9, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Oh Darby! I am praying for Austin and his parents. I had my first son at 27 weeks and my twins were born at 24 weeks. At one point my daughter was weighing less then a pound! God is SO good in times like these and will absolutely wrap his arms around this family! I have some awesome book recommendations for the parents if you are interested in passing them on. I now volunteer in our previous home/NICU working with new parents of micropreemies. These parents were chosen to carry on His work! It’s a rough road, but well worth the journey. Feel free to pass on my email to her. kurtanddeanna@earthlink.net

  • Laurie
    January 10, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    Love your blog and I was shocked when I saw that we hurt our back the same way. My story begins with a sneeze as well, except I was rushed to the ER after my sneeze because the pain was so bad. I hope yours gets better! I’ll have to try your remedy. In the mean time I have just visited a neurosurgeon for a check-up who recommended not wearing high heels, no heavy lifting or anything involving bending over several times in a row, and of course no exercising. Just wanted to let you know that you are not alone! As my neurosurgeon stated, “it is uncommon, but not unheard of” 🙂 My story is here: https://laurieandwesley.blogspot.com/2009/09/one-week-since-sneeze.html

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  • Scarlett
    January 12, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    I am so glad you posted this with the instructions! My grandmother had several she had made and would use them for earaches, as I was prone to them growing up. Who knows what happened to them after she passed. Anyhow, I made one this afternoon and mixed jasmine rice with Sleeptime tea (spearmint and chamomile). It is awesome and smells heavenly, even when not heated! Thanks so much! Hope the back is better!God bless!

  • Andrea
    January 13, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    I really appreciate your “about me” section-it is encouraging to meet other families who love the Lord and point back to His mercy and grace! Thanks for your blog!

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  • » lifeingrace
    February 26, 2010 at 4:32 pm

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  • Sara
    January 26, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    Came across your blog through a friend. Love the rice bag, but OH MY GOSH! I got the PW cookbook for Christmas (which I love), but I have been so FRUSTRATED with the top to bottom thing! WHO does that? Glad I’m not the only one skipping steps! Haha!

  • Jean
    February 16, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    Where do I find thr PW Cookbook? Is this the name of it or is that just initials for the book? Is there a website?

  • Grandma Jean
    April 7, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    PW cookbook and pictures read like that because P’s native language is read from right-left and top to bottom.Chinese(china) reading works that way.

  • Genie
    April 9, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    A few years ago, my rice bag caught fire in the microwave oven! I declared it Karma since I had previously made fun of a work colleague for starting a fire in the microwave. “I never heard of that before!” I said, laughing at her. Well, it happened to me, too. Then I read somewhere that these sort of bags tend to start fire and to always put a cup of water in the microwave with the bag. I found this a good piece of advice considering I had burned up my microwave and almost my kitchen!

  • Stacey
    October 2, 2011 at 9:48 am

    So I recently stumbled upon your blog and have really been enjoying it! I have one of these that I call my Bucky since I used buckwheat hulls that don’t give off the rice “smell” that you mentioned. I have to say to say they are so easy to make and I use mine just about every day! I’ve heard that the rice can burn so if you run into that try buckwheat hulls…

  • Mary @ Redo 101
    December 24, 2011 at 11:16 am

    We just made some and used Peppermint Essential Oil and it is heavenly – I don’t know which is better, the warmth or the peppermint smell – so totally relaxing. Thanks so much for the tutorial!!!!! Made a bunch to give as gifts too!


  • Linda
    January 16, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    I have made many of these heating pads myself, they last for ever. If someone does not have a sewing machine, they can fill an old tubesock (no holes) with rice and knot the top of it. I do not make the seams in mine (good idea). My girls love them also to warm feet, hands, etc.

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  • JTStripling
    July 11, 2014 at 1:32 am

    Grabbed the link from BowerPower while I was catching up on six months worth of blog families. I’ve been making these for about 20 years and have tried them every way you can imagine but this is the first time I’m seen them with tea. Since I actually made 2 small ones last week and have a larger one sitting on my machine now, tea leaves are going in that one! I’ve all sorts of different fabrics and my absolute favorite is too buy a cute patterned, fluffy hand towel and cut it in half widthwise. The softness of the terrycloth is wonderful and you can usually put them on bare skin immediately because of the nap. I have used essential oils, rose oil is amazing in these things but doesn’t last too long. Just a few drops and I rub it into the inside of the bag and let dry before it’s filled. To refresh, I rub some on the seams away from the rice.