DIY Pocket Handwarmers

DIY Handwarmers | The Urban Pig

Yeah, yeah, another month has passed by since my last post. But you know what? I have really been getting focused for the new year trying to accomplish some projects which have been laying around for far too long. I have talked about them before — my genealogy research/book and my cookbook! Connor has been helping me a lot too, and we are making some serious progress! It has felt really great and I feel like so far the New Year has been treating me well. Along with these big projects of mine, I have a whole box full of small crafts I have wanted to get around to as well. One of them was finishing my re-usable handwarmers. I bought the fabric for them quite a long time ago, and I wanted to finish them before winter was over! I found this idea on Pinterest and just thought it was really handy, and not as wasteful as the disposable ones. I already made my own rice bag for muscles aches and cramps, and these handwarmers are basically the same concept, but small enough to fit in your pockets to keep your hands warm on those bitter-cold days. It took me less than an hour to do!

I started by cutting down my fabric into rectangles. I folded them in half (one less side to sew), and I made sure to do this so when I sewed it, it would be inside out. (It looks nicer and leaves a cleaner seam when you pull the fabric out the right way). I then stitched the remaining three sides, leaving a small gap so I could fill them with the rice.

DIY Handwarmers | The Urban Pig

DIY Handwarmers | The Urban Pig

DIY Handwarmers | The Urban Pig

DIY Handwarmers | The Urban Pig

^^ I then had to pull the fabric through the small hole so it would no longer be inside out. It then looked like this (notice the little wing on the top right? it is the hole to put the rice through):

DIY Handwarmers | The Urban Pig

DIY Handwarmers | The Urban Pig

^^ All full of rice and now ready to stitch up the hole!DIY Handwarmers | The Urban Pig

^^ And finally, complete! I made two sets, a pair for Connor and a pair for me!

To use, just throw in the microwave for a minute or two. I have found with my rice bag that if I do it for a shorter amount of time, it feels hot at first but quickly releases the heat. If I warm it for a bit longer, it holds the heat for much, much longer (although it is way too hot in the beginning!). Test out times to see what works best for you. Enjoy, and stay warm out there!

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

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