Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Wedding Wednesday: Why We Decided To Have An Unplugged Ceremony

Hey y'all can you believe I only have two more Wedding Wednesdays until our wedding?! I'm getting all hyped up just thinking about it! I'm so glad you stopped by as I talk about a hot button topic...the "unplugged" ceremony/wedding. I'm not going to lie, I'm completely guilty of being on my iPhone more than I should but in recent months I've really worked on being "present" in my everyday life and trying to not live on my phone. Earlier this week I posted an article on my Facebook that really struct a chord with me (and a lot of other people), you can read it HERE, and so began Brian and I's discussion on having an "unplugged ceremony." I'm sharing some photos I found on Pinterest and some of them broke my heart while others leave me asking WTF?!


When we saw the photos from that article (and online) we realized that we didn't want an album full of phones in place of faces so we tried to figure out different options...Do we ask the people on the aisle seats to not use their phones? Do we not say anything? Do we hope that people won't hold up iPads or step out in front of our photographers and videographers? Ultimately we decided what made the most sense and seemed fair to us and that was to have an unplugged ceremony.


What does an "unplugged ceremony" mean for us?

I can't speak for all brides, nor would I EVER want to but, in our case an "unplugged ceremony" means that from the moment the processional music begins until our parents exit at the recessional all phones, iPads, and cameras should be silenced and put away. We have two wonderful photographers and an amazing videographer who we're paying to capture memories that we want our guests to be present in. We know it will be rough to stay off of your phone but in return we promise to OVERSHARE all our photos and video with you. It will be a nice little vacation from your newsfeed. Instead of asking yourself "Is Donald Trump really a candidate for president?" you can ask yourself "Are those really Jordan's eyelashes?" Spoiler alert....they aren't!


I'll go ahead and say that if everyone adheres to this request I'll channel my Disney service skills and send out an official, personally autographed by the bride and groom photo of our wedding! LOL! Straight up character card style! Those of you who only know "blog Jordan" might think this is a joke but all of you who know real life Jordan will confirm that I will totally do this :)

Just replace Mickey and Minnie with us! *button not included*

I know this will upset some of our guests but think about it...15 years ago every ceremony was unplugged. I remember the details of my cousin's wedding when I was like 10 years old because I was fully present. Her dress was a halter, her hair was long and curled in the most perfect spirals, and her bridesmaids were in lavender! Yes, Duska...I remember your wedding right down to the "nickname" written on the getaway car and it's all because I was paying attention to the day and not my Tamagotchi!


Color me mortified when I saw a picture from the most recent wedding I attended, my beautiful cousin Heather's, where my phone was up in front of my face. Yep that's me on the right side of the picture looking like a prisoner to my phone, luckily I'm easy to crop out of this one but for many couples' photos that's not the case. This photo sealed it for me, I want to look up and see the people I love most faces not their phone cases....see what I did there lol. I hate that I was "that person" and I know my intentions weren't to do that so I know how easy it can be to get swept up in a moment and forget that someone is being paid big bucks to capture these moments. I'm so sorry Heather :(


Don't get me wrong, I still want y'all to break the internet with #SchiffJustGotReal and I expect you to with receiving line and reception pictures but please just do me a solid and when the processional begins put your electronics away and let my amazing paparazzi do their job. Take in the sights of my monogrammed vases, enjoy the musical styling of bad Julie Brown on the organ, smile at our wonderful wedding party as they pass and be enamored by my beauty courtesy of Meg Workman because none of those require a filter to make them #flawless. At the reception it's game on for who can blow up our hashtag the most, who knows...I might have a prize for that! As for the ceremony though please enjoy everything through your eyes instead of a lens because I'd hate to have to shoot you a famous "Jordan death stare" from the altar.

Linking up for Wedding WednesdayWhat's Hap-pinning?!, and Falling for Fall so make sure to check out some amazing posts from those ladies!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Tasty Tuesday {Easy Crockpot Turkey Chili}

I have to admit I cooked so much more when I didn't live with Brian. I blame it on the fact that we love date nights and the fact that he's a really good cook has made me lazy in the kitchen. I'm breaking that habit and getting back to cooking more. Like most busy people, the easier the meal the more likely I am to make it. Here's one of our favorite colder weather meal...

Crockpot Turkey Chili


Ingredients:

- 1 lb. of lean ground turkey
- 1 family size tomato soup
- 1 can of tomatoes with chilies (Ro-Tel) 
- 1 can of dark kidney beans
- 1 can of light kidney beans
- 1 pack of chili seasoning (I like to use a medium low sodium one)
- half of an onion
- a green/red bell pepper (or both if you want to get crazy lol)

Optional items: (3) fresh jalapenos and 1/2 cup medium/hot salsa if you like a kick

Instructions:

1.) Turn your crockpot to the "low" setting and add tomato soup then mix in the chili seasoning. Fill the soup can halfway full with water and pour that into the crockpot as well.


2.) Once the seasoning is completely mixed in drain the canned tomatoes and both cans of beans and add them to the crockpot. If you leave too much of the liquid from those canned ingredients your chili will be runny.

3.) Cook your ground turkey on the stove and while it's cooking chop your onion and bell pepper (and       jalapenos if you decided to include them) then place them in the crockpot.


4.) Once your turkey is thoroughly cooked drain the meat to get rid of any excessive fat and then 
      place it in the crockpot. (you can add the salsa here is you choose to) 


5.) Allow the chili to simmer in the crockpot for around two hours or more (I've left it all day before) 
     while occasionally stirring it and then ENJOY!


I pair my chili with a {PB2} peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat bread but corn muffins and grilled cheese taste great too! This was a sweater weather staple growing up with my grandma and, to me, one of the only things I make that tastes just like hers. If you try this recipe out email me and let me know how it goes!




Thursday, September 24, 2015

Bottoms Up! {Not Your Father's Root Beer & Drops of Jupiter Wine}

While I do miss the days of case races and Tour de Franzia, I've grown to appreciate adult libations that are to be savored instead of chugged. Today I want to tell you about two of my new FAV drinks for the "I'm grown but don't have the budget to pop Cristal like I want to" kind of drinker.

First up is a little diddy that has been blowing up your Instagram feed...Small Town Brewery's "Not Your Father's Root Beer."
                                           

As a long time sarsaparilla enthusiast I was chomping at the bit to try this and it did not disappoint. It was a fantastic blend of spices that had just enough of a bite without being overpowering. Try pairing it with a couple scoops of vanilla bean ice cream and you'll have the grown up root beer float of your dreams.

Now onto my fan girl loving drink of choice Save Me San Francisco Wine Company's "Drops of Jupiter" California Red Wine.


I'm not a huge red wine fan but when I was at what I refer to as "our best date ever", the Matt Nathanson, The Fray, and TRAIN concert with Brian a few months ago and saw the ad for Train's wine in between sets I lost it. I immediately googled where I could buy it and I had to control myself to not buy them all. I plan on testing out every variety but started with the one named after my favorite song of all time. I cry during "Drops of Jupiter" sober so add this wine and buckle up for a total sobfest lol! It tasted great and wasn't as bitter as some red wines I've had. I love that they are named after their songs and aren't just for show but taste great! Well at least this one does :)

That's all for now y'all. Do you have any beer or wines you want me to test out for you or ones you suggest? Let me know and as always thanks for stopping by...CHEERS!!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Wedding Wednesday: How to Handle the "No's"

Hey y'all! Thanks for stopping by my little corner of the internet. I'm linking up for Wedding Wednesday , What's Hap-Pinning, and Falling for Fall with some lovely ladies so check out their pages too! If you read my last post you saw that this past weekend was jam packed with wedding prep up in Cleveland. Last night during dinner Brian and I were talking about the wedding and he said, "I bet it's hard for you when people you're working with for the wedding tell you no. You worked at Disney for so long and was trained to say yes as much as possible so I bet you get a lot more mad about things then I see" and just like that today's post was born. I'm going to share how I got over the "no's" I've faced over the past year and do my best to keep it light for you and sprinkle in some more engagement pics by Arastasia Photography.


The Ceremony Crisis

As many of you know from my "Advice for the Catholic Bride" post I'm a new Catholic and didn't realize or understand all the requirements that a Catholic marriage requires. Before we decided to get married in a church we had picked and booked a beautiful location for the ceremony. We planned to get married at Morley Music Hall on the campus of Brian's alma mater, Lake Erie College. When I started to look for an officiant I reached out to a priest I remembered hearing about from Brian's family to see if he could marry us. I was thrilled when he said he could and quickly shocked when he said it had to be in his church. I asked if ANY priest would marry us outside of a Catholic church and he said nope, not really...unless you're on your getting married on your deathbed at the hospital the whole marriage in the church was pretty universal. I was so mad, not at Father Pete, but every stupid movie I had ever seen with a priest marrying people somewhere other than a church! I eventually got past that and we began our search for a church (haha) in Cleveland. Many caught my eye but when Brian proposed the idea of getting married in the church his parents were married in I thought it was so sweet. The church it not the gorgeous cathedral my newly Catholic self pictured but the meaning behind it is more beautiful than any building could be. When we visited it last weekend I had an overwhelming calm come over me and knew it really was the perfect place for us.



via    

The Dress Debacle

I briefly touched on this a few posts ago but here's the long and short of it. Last November I went dress shopping with my mom, aunts, cousins, and bestie, Sarah when I was home for Thanksgiving. It was a fun experience and so special since mine is the first "big" wedding in my immediate family. After trying on a ton of dresses I my friend Sarah found one that everyone, including myself, loved. Everyone cheered, we took pictures, and my mom bought the dress. Flash forward to when we decided to get married in the we're getting married in, I was asked if I had my dress and when I emailed a photo I was told it needed to not be "so revealing" at the top. I worked with a seamstress to see what adding fabric would look like but ultimately the additional made it look terrible...I faced the fact that I had to get a new dress. I remember crying by myself and feeling so embarrassed to have to tell everyone {especially my mom} that took the time to go shopping with me that I wasn't going to be in "our" dress. I was afraid of the not so excited reactions from whatever new dress I picked and when that happened I will admit that my feelings were hurt but I knew being hurt wasn't going to get me anywhere. After looking through some new dresses and getting them approved through the church before trying them on I drove out to Kennesaw, GA to try on a few. The dress I liked most ended up being wonderful. Even though it was just me and the salesgirl I was so overwhelmed with excitement and knew this was the dress I was going to get married in. Obviously I'm not going to tell you what my new one looks like but the great thing is in 24 days you'll get to see it all over instagram! The lesson I learned here was some things are out of your control. You can either sob about it for days or have a quick ugly cry alone in your car and move on! I highly recommend the second option...saves you some major cash on mascara.
                                                               


This One Takes the Cake...Literally

I'll be blunt, I'm not a fan of the event coordinator at our reception venue however she is the only thing I don't like about it. The rest of the staff (especially my future brother-in-law) is amazing and the chef is out of this world so that keeps me going. Among her frantic demeanor and general attitude the thing that bothers me the most is that she does exactly what you aren't supposed to do in her profession and that's not accommodating simple requests. Long story short we're having different flavors of cupcakes instead of a big cake and when I asked to have PUMPKIN SPICE and was told no I LOST IT! Like "basic white girl in her North Face/Uggs ensemble at Starbuck's when they run out of PSL" lost it! I could've been featured on Bridezillas...then The Soup. I guess the reason I was so upset is the fact that we're getting married in OCTOBER aka prime pumpkin season and considering I've seen pumpkin flavored water I could not handle being told she "couldn't get" pumpkin cupcakes. Once I CTFD I called a local bakery that Brian loves to get a quote on cupcakes and see if they could do pumpkin ones and the woman laughed when I asked and was like, "sweetheart it's October in Ohio...of course I can do pumpkin!" Just like that Gartman's Model Bakery tamed the pumpkin beast inside of me...at a lower price than the venue! I felt like a total boss when I called and cancelled the cupcake order at our reception venue. For y'all reading this that are coming to our wedding savor those damn pumpkin cupcakes and shout from the mountain tops how divine they are (preferably in front of said event lady) and I'll love you forever!
                                                 

As I wrote these I realize how ridiculous it may sound to you panicking over things like this but I blame Pinterest for making me think the PERFECT wedding is achievable. I know things will go wrong and I know there's a chance someone will comment on how our church isn't pretty or that they don't like my dress. But heaven help the person who bitches about the pumpkin cupcakes because I will walk down to the pro shop, grab a 9 iron, and go Elin Woods on your @$$!

***Sorry for the cursing and please realize I'm very sarcastic***  

ALSO!!! My childhood bestie, Lauren {Statler} McKillop launched her own event company REN+OTT EVENTS and my blog is featured on her website. Do yourself a huge favor and check her out, she's amazingly creative and David Tutera better watch out!

How did you handle the no's? What changes did you have to make to your wedding because of them? Will you still read my blog after this post? I sure hope so! LOL


Monday, September 21, 2015

Weekending in the CLE

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you had a fantastic weekend. Mine was spent in Cleveland, Ohio jam packed with wedding tasks and visiting with friends. I'm linking up with Biana, here's my recap in photos...


If you read my post on Friday you saw that we got our marriage license! We also had our last meeting at the church with the priest who is marrying us. His name is Father Lou and he's just the best! Brian's parents met us at Saint Martin's and it was so special to have them there.

Only a few more weeks until we're standing here again!

On our way home we stopped by Gartman's Bakery to place our cupcake order. It was such a darling little shop and everything looked amazing, they even had pepperoni rolls! I loved these Ohio cookies, aren't they adorable?!


Later that night we visited with one of Brian's best friends growing up, Juliann. This was the first time I got to meet her in person but because of us texting all the time it felt like I was reuniting with an old friend. We got our baby fix with her beautiful son, Gage. Normally babies don't like me, I blame it on my strong dark features. Luckily her husband and his family have dark hair and eyes so baby Gage loved me. 


Saturday morning we woke up and headed to Brian's alma mater, Lake Erie College, to scope out some picture spots. The campus is so beautiful so it was quite a task narrowing down my favorite spots but here they are...

 Our "first look" location, weather permitting of course.

 Love this covered porch and the fact that it has rocking chairs.

I put Brian in charge of finding "rain day" picture locations and he did not disappoint! This social parlor was to die for, I loved it so much I decided to make this a location no matter what!

The music hall we originally wanted to get married before we decided to have a Catholic wedding. 

This is the building that Brian worked at as a GA. How cute?!

After our stroll around campus we went to the Amish shop that's doing our woodwork decor. They were so excited to do this and want photos so they can advertise that they make wedding decor. On our way home we stopped by the market where I needed to place my remaining flower order. I was completely wowed by the manager! She was beyond helpful and the flowers were gorgeous. I wish I would've been able to visit earlier because I would have order everything from her. 

Yes, that is Kale in the bottom right corner. Being a flower enthusiast I loved this palette. 

That afternoon my our bestie, Erika, drove up from West Virginia to spend the day with us. We introduced her to some wonderful local spots and then we ventured out downtown where I learned that I am no spring chicken anymore lol. 


Dining at Brian's former workplace, The Winking Lizard.

My brother-in-law in 26 days. 

At the grand opening of Punch Bowl Social. 


I had a blast this weekend and got so much accomplished. The next time we’re in Cleveland I’ll be running around getting everything prepared for the big day! As always, thanks for reading and don’t forget to stop by for Wedding Wednesday! What did y’all do this weekend? Comment below and tell me all about it J






Friday, September 18, 2015

Oh Hey, Friday! [Best Week Ever]

Hooray for Friday! I'm so happy to be linking up with the ladies over at September F A R M and The Farmer's Wife for Oh, Hey, Friday! Here's a recap of the best week I've had since we moved to Atlanta.

If you follow me on Facebook you saw that last week I finally sold my beloved Heidi Honda. I had been looking for a new car for a couple months now and couldn't find something that felt like "me." I kept making excusing for buying a new car but once I sold mine I decided I wanted to have a car within the next week. We hit the dealerships all weekend, I test drove a bunch and dealt with more car salespeople than I'd like to. On Monday I called back the dealership where we got Brian's new Escape in March and she told me she found a car that had everything I wanted. She sent me a link and I feel in love. Right after work I went and signed the paper's for my new lady love Felicia Ford.

 And to answer your question...yes I do say, "bye Felicia!" whenever I walk away.


She has all the bells and whistles I've been dreaming about and a moon roof that became the cherry on top. Here's to having a beautiful car that has my back[up camera] and that I got completely on my own with 0% APR. #AdultWin

Tuesday I got the news I've been hoping for since we moved to Atlanta and was told I'm going to be brought on full time with my company. I've been working as a temp for the past year and completely feel in love with the company. I'm so excited to "officially" be an employee, more details to come later. For now here is my adorable congratulations gifts from Brian, he's just the sweetest.


Being a long distance friend to all my friends is a struggle sometimes. You both have to make the effort to stay active in each other’s lives and I feel like I’m pretty good at it most days. Wednesday was one of those days. After talking with a friend and knowing how down she’s been lately broke my heart but Frontier and Spirit airlines pieced it back together with $39 each way flights so for just under $80 roundtrip I was able to book a much needed girls trip over Halloween weekend! 

Thursday night after work we hopped on a flight to spend the weekend in Cleveland. I'm so happy to be able to tie up some loose ends up here before next month and that my bestie, Erika, is coming up from WV to see us!

Just win I thought things couldn't get happier, this morning we got our wedding license!



I'm off to enjoy LebronLand. I hope y'all have a great weekend! Any fun plans? Tell me about it and comment below :)
 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

One More Month...

It's so hard for me to believe that one month from today I will be a wife. Everyone said the months leading up to your wedding fly by and they were 100% correct. I get asked almost everyday if I'm excited and of course I say yes but this is what I wish I could say instead of just "yes"....

Yes I'm excited that I don't have to go on online dates or make small talk at bars anymore because those are right up there with going for a root canal. 

Yes, I'm glad that the type of man I prayed and WISHED FOR came into my life at just the right moment. 

Yes I'm excited that I finally found a man who made me realize that I am lovable when others did everything to make me feel like I wasn't. 

Yes I'm excited that I found someone who will watch all of my thoughtless tv shows with me, still take me on dates, make me feel beautiful when I feel everything but that, love me through all my mood swings, and dances with me every single day in the kitchen. 

Yes I'm excited for the road that lies ahead for us and I find comfort in knowing that he'll be by my side through peaks and valleys of life. 

For the longest time I never thought I'd get married. If we could go hop in a time machine to 3 years ago and tell me that this is how things were going to turn out I would've called you a liar. My heartbreaks left me bitter, jaded, and with no hope. I accepted the "love" that I thought I deserved and was disappointed at every turn. For my friends out there who are feeling the way I felt please from the bottom of my heart know that you deserve more. You deserve to feel important, special, and loved by the person you're with and if they don't make you feel that way have the courage to walk away because I want everyone to feel as loved as Brian makes me feel. Be brave, be kind, and go out there and find your Brian.



Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Wedding Wednesday: The Top 4 Lists You'll Need for Your Wedding Week

Happy Wednesday y'all and thank you for stopping by for Wedding Wednesday, I'm so glad you're here. I seriously can NOT believe tomorrow marks ONE MONTH until our wedding. We're celebrating by flying up to Cleveland to get our marriage license on Friday. I'm a definition "type A" personality so checking off a task on a to-do list is one of life's greatest thrills for me. In honor of the big day being four weeks away I'm sharing my top four wedding checklists to make sprinkled with some photos from our recent engagement session by our wonderful photographer, Arastasia Rolain!


Packing List
This list is crucial if you're getting married somewhere other than where you currently live. If someone can't drive to your house to pick up something you forgot and be back in 30 minutes you better make this list. For me the biggest struggle was getting everything up to Cleveland for the wedding without having to break the bank in shipping costs. We were able to load up our car with wedding supplies on our trip to West Virginia for my bridal shower for some of Brian's family to take back up to Cleveland with them. This was one of my more brilliant ideas not only financially but emotionally as well. Once those items were out of our house I stopped worrying about them and boy was that a fantastic feeling. Top items you'll want to include for this list are: your clothes/toiletries for the week, rehearsal outfits, wedding supplies, wedding party gifts, checks for your vendors, your marriage license, and a "Call Anyone but the Bride" contact list.


Shopping List
If your wedding is a DIY extravaganza like mine you'll want to make sure you have all the supplies for crafting so you can hit the ground running when it's time to put things together. I made a spreadsheet shopping list that is divided into categories so I can shop in an efficient manner. I'm hosting a bridal party brunch the morning of my wedding as we get ready so I didn't want to forget any food items. My shopping list spreadsheet is divided into these categories: brunch items, alcohol, brunch decor, craft supplies, wedding decor, welcome boxes, and emergency kit supplies.


Wedding Week To-Do List
To me, this list is what will most certainly keep me sane. I'm going to have some amazing helpers through out the week so the days I have help have more tasks. My "wedding gift" to Brian is that once we step in the church for our rehearsal I will not be worrying about things getting done, I will just sit back and soak up the memories being made. He's convinced that I'll get most everything done on Thursday and Friday I won't even really have much to do, I hope this is the case! For this list I made a spreadsheet with columns for each day and after writing down everything that needs to get done I started assigning tasks to days of the week.

Our location was beautiful but very muddy from the rainstorm the night before, this is Brian teasing me about not being able to strut it in heels in the mud.

Shot List
Not that kind of shot you lushes! A list of "must do's" for your photographer and videographer, but let's be real I'm probably need a jagerbomb or two by the week of the wedding! This list will help you create your wedding timeline and help both you and your photography/videography team so everyone is on the same page. For this list I made a document with actual photos I've seen on Pinterest so no time will be wasted in trying to explain how we want the pose to go. I grouped the photos together by when they'll been taken, all the "getting ready" shots are together and all the wedding party photos are together. As far as our wedding video we sent links to the videos we liked most to our videographer so he's knows what "scenes" he needs to capture. I hate standing around trying to figure out what to do so I figured the less everyone has to worry about what the do the better the day will flow.

via Arastasia Photography
This is my "Real Fiancee of Atlanta" money shot. 

I'm not the realistic bride that thinks everything is going to go off without a hitch and things will be perfect. I am however someone who likes to have an order to things and plans in place so that when something go wrong everyone can get past it quickly. Every time I start to get loco about my lists and timelines Brian tells me to watch the Scheana's wedding episode of Vanderpump Rules and I quickly realize that I don't want to be like that on our wedding day. However if Pandora and Lisa want to send some Vanderpump Vodka and Sangria my way I'll gladly accept.


I'm off to pack and get ready for our weekend in Cleveland. I'm linking up with Macy & Nikki for Wedding Wednesday and Jenn & Jessi for What's Hap-Pinning. I'd love to hear about your wedding lists and wedding day timeline tips and am happy to help you with your list questions so comment below and as always thanks for stopping by!