Friday, August 28, 2015

Oh Hey, Friday!!!

It's finally FRIDAY y'all!!! I don't know about you but I'm soooo ready for the weekend. Today I'm linking up with September Farm and {the farmer's wife} for another Oh Hey, Friday! Here's a recap of my week...


We got my momma's birthday gift and I wrapped it all cute like this. We shipped it and it should be there by her actual birthday that's on Sunday. She's an amazing woman and an even better mother. She taught me a very important lesson at a young age, "be a parent first, so you can be a friend later." I don't think I'm the only girl out there that agrees with this. I hope I'm half the mother she is and I can't wait for her next "big" birthday in a couple years because we're going to take a bucket list trip together to Ireland, hopefully one like THIS!


I had a great Wedding Wednesday post that featured three of my beautiful sorority sisters: Rachel, Anastasia, and Allie, you can read it HERE. It was about Catholic weddings and so many people have reached out to me and told me how much they loved it so check it out if you haven't :)


Mulligan and Mocha decided it would be cool to go into our guest bathroom and nibble on some Irish Spring soap. I'm just glad they got into Brian's bar soap instead of busting open my Aveda shampoo and conditioner. They are both okay and didn't get sick since I caught them early.


Today is hopefully my last alterations appointment for my wedding dress. As I had mention a couple weeks ago my bustle was messed up so completely new ribbons had to be attached. If all goes well I'll be boxing it up and sending it to my future in-laws house in Cleveland, otherwise...

I'm off to enjoy my weekend with my fiance, only seven more weekends until he's my husband!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Wedding Wednesday: Advice for the Catholic Bride

Hi everyone and thanks for stopping by for Wedding Wednesday. This week I decided to address a wedding topic I personally had a tough time finding advice on in BlogLand: Catholic Weddings! I'll be honest, as a little girl who dreamed about her wedding day I never envisioned it being in a church let alone a Catholic Church...well except for when I was thirteen and saw Saint Patrick's Cathedral in New York lol. I always thought I'd have a beautiful outdoor wedding somewhere in West Virginia but a funny thing called life happened and an amazing [Catholic] guy from Cleveland, Ohio swept me off my feet. Through the years I attended several Catholic masses because so many of my close friends were Catholic. Whenever I was at mass I felt more "at home" than any other church I had attended, so when Brian and I got engaged I told him that I wanted to become Catholic. I started my RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) classes in October of 2014 and the day before Easter 2015 I was happily confirmed into the Catholic church.

Brian and I after my confirmation into the Catholic Church.

I wanted to offer a bit of help to the Catholic brides out there so I asked a few former Catholic brides to answer some questions for me. I adore these ladies and they just so happen to be my sorority sisters so I just had to include their maiden names. First up is...

Rachel (Mosier) Klein

Married on August 9, 2014 at Saint Bridget's Chapel in the Field in Berryville, Virginia to Tyler Klein.

FK: Tell me about a challenge you faced while planning your [Catholic] wedding.

Rachel: The timing of the wedding ceremony was a bit of a challenge. In my mind, I had pictured an evening ceremony, lit by candles only in the church, however we learned that was not an option. St. Bridget's is an intimate mission church which means Mass is presided by one of the priests from the Catholic church in Winchester, Sacred Heart. Our ceremony time options were 10AM, Noon, 2PM, or 3PM.

FK: What was your favorite element of your Catholic wedding?

Rachel: Besides saying "I Do," I really liked the "Prayer before the Virgin Mary" part of our Mass. Following the Communion, Tyler and I went to each of our mother;s, hugged them, and took a rose from them to place at Mary's feet as "Ave Marie" was sung by our soloist accompanied by our violinist. After the wedding (but unique to Catholic weddings) was the Benediction Papalis my parents surprised us with. It's a certificate of a papal blessing, by Pope Francis. Each certificate is hand painted and bless by the Pope himself! I was a very unique memento of our wedding that is reserved for Catholics.

Next is my dear friend, former roommate, and bridal house party gal...

Anastasia (King) Lowe

Married on April 18, 2015 at The Assumption Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Steven Lowe. 

I was lucky enough to have a first row seat at this beautiful wedding and was the second reader, Anastasia is reading the same passage at my wedding. Now on to the good stuff.

FK: Tell me about a challenge you faced while planning your [Catholic] wedding.

Anastasia: I think my biggest challenge with a Catholic wedding was that nowadays people don't practice religions like they used to. My entire family [both my mother's and father's side] are Catholic yet I had some immediate family tell me they weren't coming to the ceremony because they don'f like churches or because they don't go to Mass anymore. I had some friend who aren't Catholic say that they were skipping out on the ceremony because they aren't Catholic so they wouldn't know what was going on. To me the ceremony is the true reason why anyone should be there. I told them if they didn't come to the ceremony their dinner would be boxed up and ready for them at the reception ballroom door. (Go Stacy!!!)

FK: Please offer your best Catholic wedding planning advice.

Anastasia: Get ready for every excuse in the book that people will try to use to get out of coming to the ceremony but, make sure to voice your opinion about how important them being there is for you. It's hurtful sometimes but, don't let it get to you. Get ready to get complained at, unless everyone in your wedding party grew up Catholic and make sure the boys don't drink too much before the ceremony! Have fun and enjoy the best day of your life!

Lastly the most recent bride...

Allison (Cupach) O'Malley

Married on August 1, 2015 at Saint James Catholic Church in Lakewood, Ohio to Thomas O'Malley. 

FK: Tell me about a challenge you faced while planning your [Catholic] wedding.

Allie: Our priest was very traditional, therefore less was more for him. We had to be very careful about what flowers we used and where they were placed. The aisle runner had to be very simple and we weren't allowed to use a unity candle because it isn't a part of the traditional [Catholic] ceremony. My husband is Irish (clearly lol!) and we had a bagpiper but he was only permitted to play outside of the church.

FK: When it comes to choosing your ceremony venue, what's your best advice?

Allie: Don't "church shop." Choose a parish that is important and means something to you with a priest you can relate to. We got lucky because our home parish is beautiful but it's not about what the church will look like in pictures, it's about being able to see the church you got married in every week and being a part of the parish.

Planning a Catholic Wedding Mass is a bit more time consuming than a Non-Catholic ceremony so here are my personal tips of what I've learned along the way.

  • Start talking with your home parish early on. Although a Non-Catholic can marry a Catholic in the church if you was to be confirmed before your wedding you'll need to start your RCIA process before you begin your Pre-Cana (six month marriage counseling) sessions with your priest. We did our counseling in Georgia so our priest has to send all our paperwork to the parish we're getting married at in Cleveland. 
  • Ask your parish's wedding coordinator about EVERYTHING! I had to learn this one the hard way. Never assume you're fine with a certain aspect because you've seen another Catholic wedding have it. I didn't check with my church to see if they had modesty guidelines for wedding dresses...long story short I had to get a new wedding dress. I'm actually glad this happened because my current dress is so "me" but, still it was a stress to have to find a new dress. Don't be afraid to ask a ton of questions whether it's about dress guidelines, music selections, or decor. For example our church allows the flower girls to drop petals but many cathedrals don't because it will harm their beautiful wood floors. Also most churches will have more than one wedding in a day, so ask your parish so that you can plan accordingly. We have a wedding a few hours before ours and when I first found out I had the biggest meltdown! I'm pretty sure Brian achieved sainthood by getting me through it. 
  • Figure out what time of the year works for you. For the majority of the year you're able to choose the elements to your wedding mass yourself but, if you choose a date that falls on a sacred day the readings and music can not be chosen by you. Tip: if you get married around Easter or Christmas (the weeks before or after) the church will already be filled with beautiful flowers that won't cost you a penny. My friend Anastasia's wedding was after confirmation and the church looked like a garden, it was gorgeous. 
  • Work with your priest and let him know if a large majority of the guests are not Catholic. None of my family is Catholic so he [Father Luigi] is going to work extra hard to make everyone feel included and motion when to stand and sit. Music was a huge thing for me and he put us in contact with the parish organist who made my dream to have a special song for my grandmother played, I'm actually getting to walk down the aisle to it. If I wouldn't have talked with the organist I wouldn't have know I could use that song. Our home parish priest, Father Greg, is even helping me with our wedding program. 
  • Create the ceremony that you and your future husband want. A huge part of the wedding process with Catholics is preparing for it together, this isn't a one sided day. Brian and I discussed and selected every aspect of our wedding mass together. So many times the groom is not a part of planning and I've loved having Brian help with everything. We only plan on doing this once  so we want it to be "our" way.   
Don't think you can't use things on Pinterest when planning because I found some great things like this program template from The Budget Savvy Bride that is the blueprint for our program. 

We [Catholics] already know our ceremonies are longer than what you may be used to but the great thing is if you don't want to sit through it you don't have to but don't be surprised if you're asked to not "sit through" the reception either. Being invited to any wedding is a privilege, it means two people who are beginning a new life together want you to be a part of that life. Most wedding masses last around 45 minutes, think about all the times that person [bride and/or groom] has been there for you during the ups and downs of life. You are more than just a filled seat or a name on a place card. Be fully present, be happy, be honored, or be honest enough to respond with a "no" on the RSVP.

I love hearing your input. This post was inspired by a sweet sorority sister named Meredith who wanted to hear more about Catholic nuptials. If you have a request for future posts let me know. Are you a Catholic bride with more advice you'd like to share? Are you a non-Catholic who has questions about Catholic weddings? Please comment below and thanks for reading.

Linking up with Macy & Nikki for Wedding Wednesday and Jessi & Jenn for What's Hap-Pinning?


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

I'm in desperate need of a cruise.

Last night Brian and I were looking over trip packages for our honeymoon and we started reminiscing about our first vacation together which was our cruise to Key West and Cozumel. While we love the ease of cruising we decided to do more of an "adventure" on foot trip through some of Europe. I've been on a few cruises so I decided to share some memories from them with y'all!

My first cruise was to the Bahamas with my friend Sam on Royal Caribbean. I loved every minute of it and had such a great time. When we got off the ship in Nassau it was my first time on foreign soil so this trip will always be near and dear to my heart. This trip also marked my first, and roughest, visit to Senor Frogs.

My next cruise was on the amazing Disney Dream with my best friends from Epcot Guest Relations. This was a birthday trip for all of us. Kathleen and I’s birthdays are in March and Josh’s is in April and we actually got to celebrate his on the ship! At the time I was really burnt out on Disney and thought this trip might be terrible because I’d be surrounded by Disney 24 hours a day but it was the complete opposite. I was completely recharged and left full of much needed “pixie dust.” Everything from the food to the room and the shows were spectacular. Watching fireworks at sea and having strict adults only portions of the ship was truly magical. I can’t wait to go on another Disney cruise and hopefully these wonderful people will come again too.

My most recent cruise (so sad I didn’t go on one this year) was my Carnival cruise last February (2014) for Brian’s birthday. This was his first cruise and he loved it so much. It wasn’t until I found some really cool trips that he finally gave up on trying to make our honeymoon a cruise. We sailed to Key West and Cozumel. Both places were fun but we wished we could’ve had the full day in Key West and the half day in Cozumel. This was a true "unplugged" vacation for us so I don't have many pictures but that's fine by me. Hopefully we’ll be able to go on another cruise soon and since he looks at cruises every week I think it’s safe to say we will.

Linking up with Bonnie Rose for Travel Tuesday and hoping that someone out there books a cruise for me!


Monday, August 24, 2015

Weekending: The Last Free Weekend

Happy Monday everyone! Today is a fresh start to make your week great! This weekend was exceptionally ordinary but still a great one. I'm linking up with Biana to tell you all about it. Here is what we were up to...

Friday I actually got to sleep in since I didn't have to go to work. I use to term "sleep in" loosely because I'm at work everyday at 6:30AM so anything past 8:00AM is considered sleeping in for me now. I went over to see Brian around lunchtime at work because it was move in day for Oxford at Emory University so I hung around the athletic department table in case any girls wanted information about dance team since I'm the coach. I didn't snap any pictures of the madness freshmen move in was but here's a gorgeous shot of the campus.


Saturday we vowed to be extra leisurely since this is our last "calm" Saturday for a while. Brian will begin teaching soon and golf season will be consuming our weekends until November so taking it easy was great. We are going up to Cleveland in a few weeks and decided to be proactive and apply for our marriage license online to expedite our wait at the courthouse. Once we submitted it we realized that it was exactly two years since we met for the first time face to face, what a wonderful and exciting two years it's been. 

Our wedding hashtag, #SchiffJustGotReal, has really sunk in now.

After shopping and going to lunch we headed home for the Lifetime event we've been waiting all week for...The Unauthorized Full House Story. It wasn't as bad as The Saved by the Bell Unauthorized Story but it wasn't fantastic either. Some of the cast were spot on and others were so far off it was embarrassing. I hope they do better with the 90210 one that comes out in October. 

The carbsmart "ous cream" parfaits I made. 

Sunday both Brian and I had to work and we're were exhausted...but clearly not as exhausted as these two. What a rough life they lead.  

I hope you all have a great week and don't forget to stop by in a few days for Wedding Wednesday featuring some of my beautiful and amazing sorority sisters!



Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Wedding Wednesday: What's Hap-Pinning?!

Happy Wednesday everyone! And to answer your question, yes, I'm wearing pink! Today I decided to combine two of my favorite linkups. I'm linking up with Macy and Nikki for Wedding Wednesday and Jenn and Jessi for What's Hap-Pinning?!

To be completely honest starting last Thursday things have been a little disappointing in WeddingLand. A couple things happened that put a damper on my week including but not limited to: finding out an important family member isn't going to come and the bustle on my dress being messed up big time. Luckily I had some amazing people to help me through it. Brian was amazing per usual with helping me through the family situation, one of the perks of marrying a coach is they give you the absolute best pep talks when you need it. My wonderful friend, Erin, drove up from Auburn to go to my dress fitting with me and I honestly don't know what I would've done if she wasn't there. When I got overwhelmed and had to walk out she handled everything and I'm so thankful for that. Well I've had enough of the boring, sad stuff so let's move on to the fun part...some of my favorite Pinterest wedding inspiration that I'm incorporating on our big day!

During the prayer of the faithful in our wedding mass we're able to honor loved ones that have passed but, we loved the idea of having something at the reception too. We're going to have a similar set up when you walk into our reception venue. 


 We were some pretty cute kids so why not feature all that adorable somewhere?! I've made up something like this and I think it will be a hit!

We knew from the get go that we wanted a “cutting cake” and cupcakes instead of a big cake. I searched pins on pins on pins to find our dream desserts and we both loved this two tiered cake and pearl topped cupcakes. We’re currently trying to decide if we want our cake iced like this or a more smooth design to compliment the cupcakes.  

Now that I've been blogging for a little while I've found some blogs that I read weekly. Obviously a lot of them have a large amount of wedding posts and I've noticed something that I think is really cool. The week of the wedding these ladies don't neglect their blogs and leave their readers hanging. Instead they have guest posts. So I've decided to get the ball rolling on this one. I have a friend, and bridesmaid, that introduced me to the blogging world and her name is Kathleen. So Kac...will you write a guest post for me on Friday, October 16th? When you think about it I'm really helping you kill some time on your flight so your welcome. I'm still so new at everything I don't really know how it works with asking for guest bloggers but if any other fellow bloggers would be willing to write a little post for I'd really appreciate it. 

Please comment and share ideas for guest blog posts the week of my wedding and if you would be willing to write a post for's really the most economical wedding gift of all!



Monday, August 17, 2015

Weekend Update: At the homestead

Happy Monday y'all! Today marks two short months until our wedding and I know time is going to absolutely fly by! Today I'm linking up with Biana @ B Loved Boston and Meg @ Life of Meg. Here are a few things I did over this relaxing weekend spent at home.

We FINALLY put together all the elements of our wedding mass. It will be sent up to Cleveland later on this week!

I'm in the market for a new car and decided to go look at the Jeep Renegade. I absolutely loved it and it's definitely the top contender at the moment. I'm one of those weird people that likes a box style when it's comes to my SUV's. 

The flowers from my cousin’s wedding last week were on their last leg but before throwing them out I decided to play around and make a bountineere. I will never deny myself the opportunity to practice floral arrangement. This one turned out pretty cool but, Brian still likes the one I made a few months ago with a spray rose better. Doesn’t that baseball shirt make the flowers pop?! LOL

I busted out the good ole crockpot to make Sunday dinner. I slow cooked chicken breasts with the most yummy glaze by Tastefully Simple. One of my mom’s best friend sells it and they have so many great options. If you’ve never tried any of their products check them out! I paired our chicken with a fresh mozzarella and baby tomato salad. Brian was a big fan of this meal so I’ll have to make it again. 

Last night our sweet and talented photographer, Arastasia,  put up a few pictures from a wedding she shot this weekend and boy are they great! A few of them were already on my shot list for her to try on our wedding day. Seeing these definitely eased my mind knowing that she will do a fantastic job capturing out day. If you live near the Beaufort, South Carolina area you need to contact her for some seriously amazing beach front photos! Here are some of my favorites that she posted. 

I hope you have a great week and as always thanks for reading! Don't forget to stop by for Wedding Wednesday this week.