Thursday, October 22, 2015

DIY: Halloween Wreath

Hey Ya'll! I'm back today with a quick deco mesh Halloween wreath tutorial!
I caught all of the Halloween supplies 40% off at Michael's back in mid-September so I stocked up to make a fancy deco mesh wreath for Halloween! I am in love with all of the fun details and enjoyed hand picking each and every one!
Wah-La!! My finished product. Below, I will step you through the simple, three step process I used.
Supplies: (all purchased from Michael's)
  • orange garland wreath form (with pipe cleaners for attaching mesh & décor)
  • 1 roll of wide (16") deco mesh in the color/pattern of your choice
  • various decorative sprays - I used 5 large ones (purple witch's hat, orange "Boo" sign, purple pumpkin, and two witch's legs) and 8-10 glitter sprays
  • 1 center sign or piece of décor (I used a pre-made sign I purchased at Michael' could do a witch's hat, cauldron, broom, etc.)
  • thin fastening wire in black
 Step 1: Attach mesh around wreath form, starting with the outer rim:
Then fill in the inner rim to provide fullness. I used my entire roll of mesh to make it as full and dense as possible. Because the mesh is opaque, I wanted enough layering that you couldn't see through.

Step 2: Add your centerpiece. In my case, this was as simple as attaching the sign loop to one of the wreath ties using the thin wire. Adjust the length so it hangs where you like.

Step 3: Add your decorations.
This step is where it got tricky for me. Some of my decorations (witch's hat, "Boo" sign, pumpkin) were too heavy for my wire to hold. I wound up mostly using the wreath form ties to hold my sprays in place but that limited my placement. Just an FYI!

I started with my main features at the top and then added the fun sprays around the sides. I added the witch's legs at the bottom very last.

How fun & glittery?!

Hanging outside my door (at night...sorry for the low quality lighting...I did this at 10pm!).

So fun! I'm super excited with how it turned out.

It's the biggest and most fragile wreath I've made so I'm treating it like a prized possession on my door! The hubs is not a fan!! haha...

One of my favorite details...the purple witch's hat!

And my absolute favorite, the witch's legs!!!
What do you think? Do you have a Halloween wreath? While you can buy them premade at Michael's (for like $70!!! or more!) I enjoy the process of creating the vision and seeing it come to reality through my hands. It never turns out exactly how I envisioned...always better!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

What I Wore Wednesday

Button-Up & Vest: {Old Navy, old} Denim: {NY&CO, old} Sneakers: {Versona} Necklace: {Bijoux Boutique, old}

Blue & Black Polka Dots
Top: {Marshall's, old} Denim: {JCPenney, old} Necklace: {Cato Fashions} Flats: {Topshop, Spain, old} Clutch: {Bijoux Boutique, old}

Necklace: {Cato Fashions, old} Leopard Flats: {Marshall's, old}

Polka Dots & Plaid
Blouse: {Marshall's, old} Dress Pants: {NY&CO, super duper old} Heels: {Payless, old} Plaid: {Princess Diana Tartan Scarf from Locharron, Edinburgh, Scotland) Necklace: {Bijoux Boutique, old}

Plaid & Stripes
Plaid Button-Up: {Old Navy, old} Striped Tunic: {LulaRoe} Denim: {NY&CO, old}

Sweater: {Lauren Conrad, Kohls, old} Button-Up: {Old Navy, old} Black Ponte Jeggings: {Marshall's, old} Necklace: {Bijoux Boutique, old}

Aztec Fringe
Blouse: {Belk, current clearance!} Denim: {Macy's, old} Necklace: {Bijoux Boutique, old} Flats: {Target, old} Bag: {Mango, Spain, old}

All the Colors Kimono
Kimono: {Belk, current clearance!} Tunic: {Cato Fashions} Necklace: {Bijoux Boutique, old} Denim: {NY&CO, old} Boots: {DSW, old}

Full the braid with this look!

Sunday Style - Perfect comfy cozy for an afternoon at the State Fair
Sweater: {Marshall's, old} Jeweled Chambray: {The Loft, old} Denim: {Versona, old} Boots: {Payless, old}

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Cinnamon's Come to Town

Recapping our weekend today! My parents came to Raleigh for the first time ever!
We've lived here for almost two years now so we were extremely excited to see them and show them around our new home.
I had work and class until 6pm on Thursday night but after that it was straight to the hotel to pick up my parents. We stopped by our apartment for them to see the sweet little home we have made here and then it was off to one of our favorite steakhouses, Firebird's. We enjoyed a super delicious meal and my parents were impressed! My Mom swears the salad was the best part of her meal there! She loved it so much.
Friday morning we headed out to see some sights including where we work, go to school, etc. We stopped by Tupelo Honey, another one of my favorites, for lunch.
Mom and I outside Tupelo Honey
I gave them the driving tour of Raleigh and hit every major stop: NC State main campus, centennial campus, college of textiles, Meredith College, where the hubs works, downtown, Cary, etc. After that it was off to shop!
Mom and I found some great deals on clearance at Belk. I will have to show those another day!!
Friday night, once the hubs got home from work, we all ventured over to the Angus Barn for our first experience at this Raleigh original. It was nice fine dining with a casual air, you are eating in a barn after all. We all loved it, my parents especially, because it has a farm feel and a rich history. The old farm machinery outside the barn was really interesting to see and my dad was telling us all about it.
But ya'll...this meal right here!!!

The food was delicious and this place more than met expectations. While it is definitely pricey (a special occasion, anniversary, birthday type place) it was the perfect place to celebrate my parents being in town and seeing them for the first time in months!

My hubs' favorite part: The gun room!

My Parents at The Angus Barn

Me & the Hubs at The Angus Barn
The next day was their last and happened to be the College of Textiles open house where our labs are open on Saturday for prospective students and the public tour. This worked out perfectly. We went early and I gave them the behind the scenes, VIP tour! They saw the manikin I work with to conduct my research along with Pyroman. We took a tour of the library and had some ice cream made fresh from the NCSU dairy.
Then it was time for lunch: a visit to the only remaining Raleigh original restaurant that is a favorite of ours...The Pit!! You can't go wrong with NC BBQ!

Dad, Me & the Hubs at The Pit

Dad, Mom & I at The Pit
It was a quick trip but we had an absolute blast! My parents had a great time and I soaked up each and every second. By having them here, the hubs and I realized how much we have grown to consider Raleigh our home. While it isn't where we were raised or spent the first twenty-some years of our life, it is OUR home that we have created together. You & I babe...against the world!
But, seriously, I have THE BEST parents in the world. They are so gracious, generous, humble, and giving. They mean the world to me and every accomplishment and achievement in my life is due them and the foundation of Christ they set forth before me as a living example. God has truly blessed me with the most wonderful family. The only thing brother. Now, we just need to do it all over again with him!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

What I Wore Wednesday

Black & White Houndstooth
Skirt: {Stitchfix, old} Tank: {Banana Republic Outlet, old} Heels: {Payless, old}

Burgundy & Gray
Tunic: {Versona} Ponte Leggings: {H&M, old} Necklace: {Bijoux Boutique, old}

Burgundy & Olive
Chambray Button-Up: {JCPenney, old} Leggings: {H&M, old} Booties: {JCPenney, old}
Scarf: {Kohls, old}

Burgundy Tunic: {Versona} Ponte Leggings: {H&M, old} Booties: {Kohls, old} Tassel Necklace: {Versona}

Camel, Mint, & Olive
Tank: {Hallmark} Blazer: {Forever 21, old} Leggings: {H&M, old} Flats: {Cato Fashions, old} Necklace: {Bijoux Boutique, old}

Sunday Style
Denim Dress: {Versona} Booties: {Cato Fashions} Fringe Crossbody: {Versona} Necklace: {Bijoux Boutique, old}

Date Night
Sweater: {Walmart} Jeans: {Versona, old} Button-Up: {JCPenney, old} Booties: {JCPenney, old} Necklace: {Bijoux Boutique, old} Monogram Clutch: {Marley Lilly, old}

Camel & Navy
Striped Top: {NY&CO, old} Chinos: {NY&CO, old} Blazer: {Forever 21, old} Heels: {Payless, old}

Tangerine & Navy
Houndstooth Blouse: {JCPenney, old} Chinos: {NY&CO, old} Blazer: {JCPenney, old} Flats: {H&M, old}

Leopard & Turquoise
Leopard Blouse: {Versona} Denim: {Versona, old} Flats: {Cato Fashions, old} Necklace: {Bijoux Boutique, old}

Cobalt & Tangerine
Denim: {NY&CO, old} Kimono: {Cato Fashions, old} Tunic: {Cato Fashions, old} Booties: {JCPenney, old} Necklace: {Simple Addiction, old} Handbag: {Marshall's old}

Leopard & Teal
Blazer: {Cato Fashions, old} Tank: {Banana Republic Outlet, old} Denim: {NY&CO, old} Flats: {Target, old}

Teal & Red
Peplum Top: {Marshall's, old} Denim: {NY&CO, old} Flats: {Cato Fashions, old} Necklace: {Bijoux Boutique, old}

Workout Wear
Shorts: {Marshall's, old} Tank: {Under Armour, old} Tennis Shoes: {Nike Free 3, old}

Gorgeous necklace I found on clearance at Cato Fashions this week for $6!!! Can't wait to style it!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Insanity Review

Today I'm talking about fitness. Not a frequent topic here on the ole' blog but I'm excited to give a review on the Beachbody Insanity workout program the husband and I just completed!
I've always been an active person and was a varsity athlete in high school. I played both basketball and softball at competitive levels. In college I continued my fitness routine off the court, usually lifting weights, attending classes, and cardio on the treadmill. In graduate school, finding time to workout started becoming harder and harder. Those thesis deadlines don't wait! I had an elliptical in my apartment but after a long day at school/work the couch was calling my name instead.
After getting married and moving last year, we had a very convenient gym location at our apartment complex. But, who doesn't get tired of the same equipment and cardio machines?! So, I was super excited (and SCARED) when the hubs brought up the Insanity workout program back this summer. I mean, granted, I knew I was somewhat in shape (not a total couch potato) but, Insanity? Really? It's the toughest workout program on the market (for real...hardest workout I've ever done).
Thankfully the hubs motivated me to join in. I wasn't exactly going to sit on the couch and eat candy while watching him do it, now was I? So, after thinking it over, we started the 2 month (9 week) program on Monday, July 27th.
Here are my before pictures:

After the first fit test, I knew I was in trouble! Whew! We took our weights and measurements and recorded them and marked off the first workout (out of 56!). The program is 9 weeks with 6 workouts per week. The first month is lower level (but still super INSANE..pun intended) half hour workouts, followed by a week of recovery (yeah right...recovery my a**), and a second month of even crazier hour long workouts.
Please excuse the super sophisticated pics below (I don't even have hair/makeup done). This is my progress throughout month one.

In the first month I lost 6 pounds. Exercising everyday, instead of 2-3 per week, really made a difference. I also completely cut out soft drinks and cut back on the snacking/candy.
Month 2 was super hard!!! The semester was in full swing and we weren't getting home some nights until after 8 o'clock. Our workout time kept getting pushed back from 8:30 to 9:00 to 9:30, to even 10:00pm one night! For an hour long workout, that was not fun! But, the convenient part is you do the workout right in the convenience of your living room and there's no extra equipment required! Just you, Shaun T, and 60 minutes of pure hell!
Needless to say, we got behind by about a week. There were some events and nights that we just couldn't get a workout in. Instead of skipping the workout, we made them all up and wound up finishing a week and half later than normal. So 10.5 weeks total for us to finish.

By the end, I was over taking pics, measurements, and the dag on fit tests!!! We completed 5 in total! So here is my super classy bathroom mirror pic for the last workout ever!!! Take that Shaun T!!
I can definitely tell a difference in the way my clothes fit (my size 8's are falling off) and my body looks! I have abs for the first time since 8th grade!!! I have obliques and a baby bicep!! Plus, my clothes are fitting better than ever and even too big in the waist! As the hubs now says, "that booty be poppin." #allthecryinglaughingemojis

Overall, I lost 10 pounds and the hubs lost 13!! Together, we lost 19 inches (I lost 8, mostly around my waist, hips, and thighs...I gained some around my calf muscle and bicep!). I am super impressed with the results because I did not enter this with any intention to lose X amount of weight or inches. I wanted to switch up my workout routine, make it fun and exciting, and commit to eating healthier. All of which we both did and the results are a nice reward!!

Here are our fit test results in case anyone has done this program before. Wow!! What a difference. Looking back, I really was so out of shape, worse than I knew! I will be so glad to have a break from power jumps, globe jumps, and suicide jumps!
Since completing Insanity (5 days ago....can you tell I'm addicted?) I've downloaded Beachbody On Demand which is a streaming service just like Netflix, HBO Go, & Hulu but for workouts. I'm trying out different workouts like T25, Insanity Max 30, and Insanity Asylum. I also did a preview of the 21 day fix total body cardio and boy am I sore?!?! We both can't wait to start a new program soon!!
What about you? Have you ever completed Insanity or any other Beachbody workout program? I would love to know your thoughts on how they compare!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Life Lately

Well hello there ya'll! Long time no...blogging?
It's been crazy busy around here this semester between finishing my last year of PhD studies, extra side research projects, having a second job as an adjunct, preparing for the job market, and completing the Insanity workout program (post to come early next week).
So, here's what #TheMcQuerrys have been up to lately...
Dinner by the Fountain

Live music and dinner on the pond!

We've been doing lots of this on the weekends! If I have to work, at least it's from the comfort of my own couch.

Poor little Tucker, he's tired too!

Oh yeah, forgot to mention I was taking a class too! And it's not easy. My first ever sleeve! I was so proud I took a picture.

A snapshot of my pattern making tools for class.
After a particularly rough day at school, the hubs & Tucker (aka the dinosaur) surprised me with flowers! This definitely brightened my day and provided some much needed laughter.

Headed out to BWWs to catch the UK football game. Go CATS!!!

Selfies in my Adjunct office because it's Thursday and another week is almost down.

Tucker says, "Come on Adrian Peterson...Momma needs to win at least one week in Fantasy Football!"

Orphan Sunday - Lunch after church

This is so true!!! I sent it to Travis and he agreed this is me!

Just doing a little cooking in the kitchen for our small group. Cinnamon roll waffles and crispy bacon...YUMM!!
Well, that's a small glimpse of what we've been up to, outside of work and school, lately! I have a few more posts planned in the coming days so stay tuned.

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