DIY Heating Pad

December is the month of DIYs (for me at least!). Here’s another great crafting project for these last few weeks before Christmas. These heating pads are the nicest thing to snuggle up with on a chilly night, and now that it’s winter, who could resist?

I hope you enjoy these illustrations! Please let me know. I have an insane amount of fun doing them :)

Don’t forget to Tweet, Pin and share this post on Facebook if you think anyone else would enjoy it. I love getting feedback and hearing that you’ve tried my DIYs.

1

Use a long sleeve shirt!

You’ll need:

  • A cotton long sleeve shirt
  • Sewing machine (optional)
  • Needle and matching thread
  • Uncooked rice
  1. Cut off a sleeve of your shirt at the shoulder seam, and turn inside out.
  2. Sew the two openings together on each end, leaving a small opening at one end (minimum 2 inches). If doing this by hand, I would suggest sewing with a small stitch length, or enforcing the stitch by sewing the edges together a few times. You don’t want any rice falling out!
  3.  Turn the tube inside out, using the small opening. Now all the seams are invisible!
  4. Fill the tube with rice. Don’t fill it too full – you want the heating pad to have some flexibility.
  5. Sew the opening using a whip stitch.

2Use a t-shirt or tank top!

You’ll need:

  • A cotton t-shirt or tank top
  • Sewing machine (optional)
  • Needle and matching thread
  • Uncooked rice
  1. Cut a rectangle using one of the side folds of the shirt.
  2. Keeping the shirt folded, sew the open edges together, leaving a small opening at the end (minimum 2 inches). If doing this by hand, I would suggest sewing with a small stitch length, or enforcing the stitch by sewing the edges together a few times. You don’t want any rice falling out!
  3.  Turn the tube inside out, using the small opening. Now all the seams are invisible!
  4. Fill the tube with rice. Don’t fill it too full – you want the heating pad to have some flexibility.
  5. Sew the opening using a whip stitch.

3Use fabric!

You’ll need:

  • Cotton fabric
  • Sewing machine (optional)
  • Needle and matching thread
  • Uncooked rice
  1. Cut out two match shapes (ex. hearts)
  2. Sew both hearts together, leaving a small opening at the end (minimum 2 inches). If doing this by hand, I would suggest sewing with a small stitch length, or enforcing the stitch by sewing the edges together a few times. You don’t want any rice falling out!
  3. Turn the tube inside out, using the small opening. Now all the seams are invisible!
  4. Fill the heart with rice. Don’t fill it too full – you want the heating pad to have some flexibility.
  5. Sew the opening using a whip stitch.

So…I apologize for not having a photo posted of the actual heating pad yet. Whoopsies! I sat down with my shirt, needle and thread the other night and planned to make one while watching Freaks and Geeks, but sadly, I fell asleep and it didn’t get finished (hehe). Now I’ve become swamped with homework! I’ll post a photo as soon as possible I promise! :)

Lots of love!

yourstrulyg

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Crocheted Ear Warmers

It’s that time of year! The time where all of us DIYers get on Pinterest and Craftgawker, and search for holiday gift ideas. I know not everyone crochets, but it is surprisingly very easy! I only started 3 weeks ago. If you’re looking for other present ideas, many more DIY projects will be posted over the next month, so keep checking back!

Gwyneth1

I had always been incredibly scared of crocheting and knitting, but I knew one day I’d have to try it out, being a DIY blogger and all. After getting to know a bunch of new people here at university, I discovered that my friend Carissa was a crocheter! I mentioned to her that I wanted to learn, and was instantly given yarn and a crochet hook! Next thing I knew, I’d finished a cup cozy and now, a few ear warmer headbands.

I honestly don’t need these here in sunny Arizona at the moment, but I know that everyone loves them at home. So, I decided that these crocheted ear warmers would be the perfect Christmas gift for all my friends.

Gwyneth2My amazing aspiring photographer friend Ceara took these photos. She did a wonderful job! Thanks again Ceara – I definitely owe you some freshly baked double chocolate chip cookies for helping me out with this one ;)

Now let’s get crocheting!

You’ll need:

  • Yarn
  • Crochet hook (I used a 5mm)
  • Needle
  • Matching thread

Abbreviations:

  • ch = chain
  • dc = double crochet

Measure your head. Chain a little bit less than this length (you want the headband to be snug and elastic on your head).

Row 1: Dc in the fourth chain from hook and in each chain across.

Row 2: Ch 2. Turn. Dc in fourth chain from hook and in each chain across.

Row 3-7: Repeat row 2.

Fold the headband and sew the edges together.

For the optional knot:

Chain 15.

Row 1: Dc in the fourth chain from hook and in each chain across.

Row 2: Ch 2. Turn. Dc in third chain from hook.

Row 3-5: Ch 2. Turn. Dc in fourth chain from hook and in each chain across.

Finish off , wrap around your headband and sew the edges together (I positioned this knot by the seam of the headband to hide it).

So there you go! Good luck. I swear, it’s not as hard as it seems. There are some great YouTube videos out there that can teach you the basics, so I would definitely check those out.

yourstrulyg

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Pumpkin Pull-Apart Bread

“…It was super fun to pull it apart and stuff! I really liked that part!” – Carissa

You heard it. Carissa never lies. This recipe takes a pretty long time, but it is worth it! I thought I’d post this now so when Thanksgiving rolls around here in the US, and you have some left over pumpkin puree from that pie, you could make this delicious bread.

Being the adorable college students we are, five of us sat down after a long day of work to drink tea and eat pumpkin pull-apart bread. I was pretty darn happy :) I have noticed that since I’ve started university, food is my go to stress reliever. Baking in the kitchen reminds me of being at home!

IMG_3540

Bread 1

Thank you so much to Sunny Side Up for this recipe!

You’ll need:

For the bread

  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, brown 2 tablespoons of butter, letting it bubble up and turn a dark golden brown but being careful not to allow it burn. Once browned, remove the pan from the heat and carefully add the milk, return to stove and heat through. Pour the milk and butter into the bowl of standing mixer fitted with a dough hook (you can also do all of this by hand!) and allow to cool so it is no longer hot but also not cool (about 100-110 degrees F). Once it has reached a warm but not hot temperature add the yeast and 1/4 cup of sugar and allow to proof (this can take up to 8 minutes, the top will look foamy and the liquid cloudy). Then add the the pumpkin, salt, and 1 cup of flour. Stir until combined then add the rest of the flour 1/2 cup at a time and knead for 6 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic and just slightly sticky. If the dough is too moist, add extra flour 1 tablespoon at a time.

Move dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a clean towel. Allow to rise in a warm place for 60-90 minutes or until doubled in size.

While dough is rising, brown another 2 tablespoons of butter. Set aside. In a separate bowl, mix the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg and mix well.  Set aside. Next, grease and flour a 9×5 loaf pan and set aside.

When the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and flip out onto a clean floured surface and knead with hands for 1-2 minutes. Roll dough into a 20×12 inch rectangle. Brush the dough with the browned butter and then evenly sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture and press into dough with palms of the hand. Cut the rectangle into 6 strips. Lay strips on top of each other and cut each strip into 6 even squares (cut in half then each half into thirds). Stack strips vertically into the loaf pan. Cover the pan with a clean towel and let rise for 30-45 minutes.

In the meantime preheat an oven to 350 degrees. After rising in the pan bake for 30-40 minutes (mine took 37 exactly) or until top is a very deep golden brown.

Now, I order you to take a break. Make this recipe, read a book while the dough rises, and then eat with a cup of warm tea.

yourstrulyg

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How to Make the Perfect London Fog

Ever heard of a London Fog latte? If you haven’t, it’s about time you tried one! Being the tea fanatic I am, I have had one too many of these delicious drinks. Back home when I had a free period from school, I’d always grab one of these at the closest coffee shop. Now that I’m in Arizona, I haven’t gotten the chance to order one anywhere, so I was very happy when I made this recipe and it worked out!

Being a lazy student, I haven’t gotten around to buying myself a frother yet, so I’ve been using the hand-mixer from the community kitchen here in residence. Yes, it is definitely not as convenient as one of those nifty frothers, but it gets the job done! So, if you are in the same situation as me and don’t have a fancy little frothing gadget, do not worry! A whisk, mixer or nothing at all will be just fine (it all tastes the same in the end anyway).

London Fog

If you follow my blog or have seen any of my other posts, you’re probably asking “Where are the photos?”. Don’t panic, I’ll explain!  I’m taking a lot of art classes right now, which I absolutely love! I also got a Wacom tablet for my birthday and wanted to do some practicing. When you put those two things together, this happens! I decided I’d do a drawing of the recipe instead! Please let me know if you like it. I had a lot of fun drawing it and thought it was a fun idea.

Here’s the full recipe!

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup steeped Earl Grey tea
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp sugar

Pour the Earl Grey tea into a large mug. Stir in sugar and vanilla. Steam or heat your milk and whisk until frothy. Add it to the tea and you’re set!

This post is dedicated to my best friend Julia who I miss like crazy! I’ll be home soon Bulia and when I am, we’ll drink lattes and watch Sherlock like mad.

Happy latte making!

yourstrulyg

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Grandmom’s Chocolate Cake

Who doesn’t love a good chocolate cake?

I am one of those people that, if given the chance, will eat an entire chocolate cake. Don’t judge! It’s just some natural instinct I have…and it especially comes into play when I’m dealing with my grandmom’s chocolate cake recipe.

Chocolate CakeOkay, seriously though. Now that you’ve seen the above picture, I don’t think you can judge my obsession. It’s one of the best desserts I’ve ever eaten. I always get a crazy craving for this cake. True love. That’s how one could describe the relationship between me and chocolate cake.

One thing better than eating a piece (or multiple pieces) of this cake with a big glass of milk while watching TV alone in your pyjamas, is sharing it with other people! Now that I’m at university and staying in residence, I got that chance! My new friends Carissa and Allison helped me make the cake, and it was shared with basically anyone who walked by the kitchen!

If you like gooey, moist cakes, THIS recipe is for you!

You’ll need:

For the cake

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

For the frosting

  • 2/3 cup  cocoa
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round (or square) baking pans.

Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely (this is VERY important!). Then frost with the frosting recipe below.

Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do! Lots of love!

yourstrulyg

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Peach Iced Tea

Summer is almost over. Plus, it’s my last day at the cottage in the valley before I head off to sunny Arizona for school. So, I thought it was necessary to post another summer drink recipe with more local fruit!

As you can probably tell, this time it’s peaches! Ever since I published my strawberry thyme lemonade recipe, I’ve been making different syrups to mix into sparkling water like CRAZY! I’m trying to force myself to drink more water…so to encourage myself I’ve been mixing sugary syrup in…does that still count?

IMG_3215

Homemade iced tea is actually the best. I ended up making a huge jug of this stuff, and even had a bit on earl grey to spare. This resulted in me making a London Fog (another drink I’ll have to post a recipe of some time soon).

Enough chatter! Let’s make some tea!

You’ll need:

  • 7 cups water
  • 6 earl grey tea bags (or loose tea)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Two peaches, pealed and chopped

Steep 6 cups of water with tea bags or loose tea, then refrigerate until ready to serve.

In a medium saucepan, stir together water, sugar and peaches. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and let mixture simmer until sugar is completely dissolves. Remove from heat, cover and let steep for 25 minutes.

Strain peaches from syrup mixture and let cool completely before using. Store in the refrigerator.

Mix syrup into iced tea, tasting as you go along, to make sure the sweetness is just right. Serve with ice cubes and peach slices in each glass!

Hashtag it if you do it – #yourstrulyg

yourstrulyg

 

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Peasto Frittata with Bacon, Onion and Feta

First off, if you are reading this and haven’t seen Jamie Oliver’s new YouTube channel “FoodTube” you NEED to go check it out ASAP! (Click here). It is a fantastic channel! I have been watching it all summer and have been making all the recipes.

frittata

This recipe for a peasto frittata is based off a video Jamie posted in July. Wondering what peasto is? It’s basically the same thing as pesto, but with peas instead (…duh). It’s incredibly easy and tastes fantastic. I might even like it more than pesto…

Of course, I needed to add some bacon to the recipe. It is truly one of my weaknesses. I also threw some onion in there. The end result was a delicious brunch which was enjoyed along side some toast and jam. If you try this out and like it (or even just like the picture ;) ) make sure you reblog, pin, share on Facebook and all that stuff!

You’ll need:

  • 6 large eggs
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup freshly podded peas
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese
  • 5 strips of bacon

Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Place your bacon on a cooking sheet and place in the oven for 15 minutes or until cooked. While the bacon is cooking, crack the eggs into a mixing bowl and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk together and put to one side.

Add the peas and a good pinch of salt to a pestle and mortar (or you can use a food processor for this part) and bash to a rough paste. Stir in the zest and juice of half a lemon, a good grating of Parmesan, 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of pepper (you may need to do this in batches). Have a taste and add a little extra Parmesan or lemon juice, if needed.

Place a small non-stick ovenproof frying pan on medium head. Dice your onion, then add to the pan with a bit of olive oil. Cook until translucent. Turn heat to low and add cooked bacon to pan with onion.

Fold half the peas to through the egg to combine. Pour the egg mixture into the pan over the bacon and onion, then spoon little bombs of the remaining pisto on top. Stir gently for a minute or so, then scatter over the feta and grate a little more Parmesan on top, if you like it extra cheesy. Place the pan in the hot oven for about 5 minutes, or until golden and risen.

When the frittata is ready, turn it out onto a board and serve!

Yeah. I know what you’re thinking – It’s beautiful. Jamie never fails. Really. It’s crazy how amazing he is!

yourstrulyg

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