My poor parents cant't seem to maintain an empty nest for long--we keep coming home . It's such a blessing to know we can. Anyway--What is so cool about this project is the rice bags. I did a little more research on making these bags and found this link (http://tipnut.com/make-your-own-microwave-heating-pad/) that has a list of fillers and scent ideas. I liked it because it used things I have in my pantry and not just essential oils that can be pricey and can irritate some people's skin and smellers. For my bags I chose to go with rice and dried lavendar flowers. The textures are similar and I like the old-fashioned smell.
This is a great scrap-buster project. If you can sew in a straight line, you can make one of these in about 30 minutes (or less!) Personally I like the long rectangle shape that can go over the back of my neck or lap (heated) or on my head and eyes (cooled). A medium-sized square (6" or so) filled with barley or beans to put in the freezer would be a great alternative to the good ol' bag o' peas for owies. My oldest requested a rice bag with lavendar to heat in the microwave and keep in her lap for those cold mornings in Seminary. Just remember to store them in an airtight bag if you're keeping them in the freezer. You don't want them collecting other smells or sharing theirs.