Quality Over Quantity

Quality Over Quantity | The Urban Pig

Has it really been a month since my last post? Oops. Life really does fly by sometimes. It has been so busy since Thanksgiving; I have been prepping for Christmas and working extra hours. And I have really been meaning to post this for two or three weeks now, and it just kept escaping from my priorities. But, I am back and want to talk about something I have been thinking about and trying to keep in mind lately.

So often in the blogging world, we hear the phrase “quality over quantity” in relation to our blog posts. This phrase has been on my mind, not just in blogging but more with applying it to life.

It seems so common for us to compare ourselves and try to keep up with others, and constantly want more. More clothes, more money, more this or more that. We live in a world where happiness and success is thought to be achieved (and often measured) by the number of things we have. It takes a lot of effort to remind ourselves that this simply is not true. I could think of 100 things in my possession that I could do without and still be happy (and probably not even notice they are missing)! I could think of 1,000 things not in my possession that I will never, ever want or need.

I am trying to be conscious of this concept, especially when browsing Pinterest or out shopping at the store. If I see something I like, I try to go through steps of “appreciation” rather than lust. Recognizing its beauty, appreciating its design, and moving on. Of course, easier said than done (especially around Christmas time), but practice helps.
I also must often remind myself of our future goals and what really matters. Our dream is to have a home, modest and affordable, so we can use our money to raise a family and travel. Reminding myself of our dreams and goals puts me right back on track and helps me to bypass “things.” To me, that speaks of quality over quantity.

Quality Over Quantity | The Urban Pig
Quality Over Quantity | The Urban Pig
I feel as if we put so much pressure on ourselves to have more objects to show for our success. But who really cares? I barely remember what my childhood homes were like or what objects they held inside. But I do have the best memories of traveling the states, camping with my family, and discovering nature and viewing national monuments. A simpler life at home is an easy trade-off for quality experiences. And simpler does not have to mean barren or be a huge sacrifice.

Quality Over Quantity | The Urban Pig
I think it just comes down to understanding, and maybe changing, what happiness truly means.

DIY Advent Calendar

DIY Advent Calendar | The Urban Pig

Today, I wanted to share the Advent Calendar I have been working on the last few weeks, as it is finally complete! I went back and forth about many different ideas, but felt super inspired by the tags, fabric, and textures in this little project by Jones Design Company and all of a sudden I was ready to go for it.

I went to the craft store at a perfect time, too. All of their holiday fabrics were on sale (not that I needed much, anyway), and I got the holiday fabric and burlap for a total of $5.00. Woohoo! I had the doilies from some of the projects we used at our wedding, and they were ready to be re-purposed into snowflakes! (Another doily project here from our wedding). The large tags were just a couple dollars, and the wooden dowel was $1.00. So, not only was this project a fun and useful Christmas decoration, it was SUPER inexpensive!

DIY Advent Calendar | The Urban Pig

DIY Advent Calendar | The Urban Pig

I cut the holiday fabric into little squares and sewed them onto the paper tags. I am still learning to sew, and this was a great project for practicing straight lines, which from the close-ups photos you can tell I still have a lot to work on! Then we stamped the tags with numbers for each day, 1-24. For the burlap, I just folded the edges over to get clean looking sides and used a hot glue gun to secure it. I also used hot glue to attach the doilies. Finally, I cut down a wooden dowel, slipped it through the top of the fabric, and used some hemp twine to hang the whole thing. The tags were fastened using little pins through the burlap. I debated using an actual bulletin board behind, but I chose to go without so the whole thing can be disassembled and rolled up for easy storage!

Last year, a friend and I came up with advent activities, so I printed those out, selected the ones we would do this year, folded up the papers, and put each activity in a fabric pocket. I realized we definitely need more adult-friendly ones, as most of the activities we came up with were more aimed toward kids. Any activity ideas you can share would be much appreciated!

Day 1 of our advent activity this year will be setting up the Christmas tree, and I am just so excited to get started!

DIY Advent Calendar | The Urban Pig

DIY Scarf from Shirt

DIY Scarf from Shirt | The Urban Pig

The cold weather is officially among us! Andddd, I’m already over it. So today I bring you a little DIY to help keep you all a little warmer! I always tell Connor how jealous I am of mens’ flannels because they are so much warmer and softer than womens’ flannels. Do you agree? Well, I gave in and just bought one from the mens’ section but of course it doesn’t fit right no matter how hard I try, so I had to find a new use for it. What better way to hold on to the softness then a scarf which comes in such close contact with your face and skin!?

I have to warn you about this DIY though…I literally made it up as I went. No planning ahead. And halfway through, I changed the style from loose to snug. So, I’m sure for all of you crafters you may find there is a wayyy easier method of doing this. But I wanted to share it anyway, mostly to inspire, and hopefully for everyone else it works out better and faster! So, with that in mind…here goes!

DIY Scarf from Shirt | The Urban Pig

DIY Scarf from Shirt | The Urban Pig

^^ My favorite part of this scarf is that it has a pocket!! Also, I love how the buttons show along the bottom of the scarf. ^^

I started by laying out the shirt, ironing (because clearly I didn’t!) and buttoning it up. I then cut off the sleeves following along the seam on the side closest to the sleeve. I then pinned the hole closed.

DIY Scarf from Shirt | The Urban Pig

DIY Scarf from Shirt | The Urban Pig

DIY Scarf from Shirt | The Urban Pig

DIY Scarf from Shirt | The Urban Pig

DIY Scarf from Shirt | The Urban Pig

Place the shirt on its side and pin the bottom opening closed. Cut off the collar and pin that opening closed, as well.

DIY Scarf from Shirt | The Urban Pig

DIY Scarf from Shirt | The Urban Pig

Go back and sew along all of those pinned areas.

DIY Scarf from Shirt | The Urban Pig

DIY Scarf from Shirt | The Urban Pig

DIY Scarf from Shirt | The Urban Pig

DIY Scarf from Shirt | The Urban Pig

DIY Scarf from Shirt | The Urban Pig

Take the collar intersection seams and fold, following the steps in the photos. Sew your pieces together to form one seam.

DIY Scarf from Shirt | The Urban Pig

DIY Scarf from Shirt | The Urban Pig

DIY Scarf from Shirt | The Urban Pig

DIY Scarf from Shirt | The Urban Pig

DIY Scarf from Shirt | The Urban Pig

DIY Scarf from Shirt | The Urban Pig

You will now fold the bottom of the shirt, following the steps in the photos. Sew this new edge.

DIY Scarf from Shirt | The Urban Pig

DIY Scarf from Shirt | The Urban Pig

DIY Scarf from Shirt | The Urban Pig

DIY Scarf from Shirt | The Urban Pig

DIY Scarf from Shirt | The Urban Pig

Go back and fold any pieces that are not hanging quite right, as well as your buttons or clasps. The folds and overall shape of the scarf are going to look odd when laying flat, but once it is wrapped around your neck, you really don’t notice.

DIY Scarf from Shirt | The Urban Pig

DIY Scarf from Shirt | The Urban Pig

DIY Scarf from Shirt | The Urban Pig

DIY Scarf from Shirt | The Urban Pig

DIY Scarf from Shirt | The Urban Pig

Stay warm out there!!

Finch Arboretum in Autumn

Finch Arboretum in Autumn | The Urban Pig

Autumn has been here for the last few weeks but I love that the trees are still holding on to their leaves for as long as they can. It is so beautiful, especially when you go to places like Finch Arboretum or Audubon Park, where for once, you see more leafy trees than pines. Connor and I took an early morning walk through the park where we soaked in all the colors and smells of fall. I am hoping winter will hold off for another month or so!

Finch Arboretum in Autumn | The Urban Pig

Finch Arboretum in Autumn | The Urban Pig

Finch Arboretum in Autumn | The Urban Pig

Finch Arboretum in Autumn | The Urban Pig

Finch Arboretum in Autumn | The Urban Pig

Finch Arboretum in Autumn | The Urban Pig

Finch Arboretum in Autumn | The Urban Pig

Finch Arboretum in Autumn | The Urban Pig

Finch Arboretum in Autumn | The Urban Pig

Finch Arboretum in Autumn | The Urban Pig

Finch Arboretum in Autumn | The Urban Pig

Rooting for Yourself

Rooting for Yourself | The Urban Pig

 [image via Kristen Delap]

This week, there were a couple instances where I found myself being full-heartedly cheered on by a stranger. Each time started with a short conversation and for some reason, ended with the person showing their excitement for what I am doing and cheering me on to keep going, even when I think I am crazy. It is funny how a person we hardly know can be our biggest advocates and believe so much in what we are doing, especially when in our own minds we have so many doubts and worries. I felt so amazing after those conversations, thinking to myself, “Yes, I CAN do this!”

Yes, my friends, we can accomplish anything we set our hearts to. Today, I want to be your advocate and cheer you on. I want to let you know that I believe in your wildest dreams and I know you can make them happen if you truly desire to do so!

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  • Copyright © 2014, The Urban Pig. Feel free to share and use whatever sparks your interest on this blog, but please give credit where it is due. Thank you!
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