Weightlifting and Pregnancy: How Working Out Helped Me Prepare to Have a Baby

Weightlifting and Pregnancy: How Working Out Helped Me Prepare to Have a Baby

Lifting weights helped me have a baby.

That’s right, going to the gym and training with weights in addition to doing cardio was instrumental in me having a healthy pregnancy and uncomplicated childbirth.

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My Birth Story

My Birth Story

On February 6 my husband and I welcomed our son JJ into the world! When I was pregnant I saw so many women sharing their birth stories, and hearing about other’s experiences helped me prepare for my own birth. I thought I would share my birth story as a first-time mom for anyone who is worried about having their first baby.

Below you can read about how I prepared my body for labor, what my labor and delivery was like and how my postpartum recovery was!

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Our Over the Moon Baby Shower

Our Over the Moon Baby Shower

I am finally sharing all the details from our “over the moon” baby shower in honor of our little guy who is arriving in just a couple weeks! The moon and stars baby shower theme was everything we could have wanted, and we had the most amazing day surrounded by family and friends. Baby Gardner is already so loved! 

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Gluten Free Dining at Disney Springs

Gluten Free Dining at Disney Springs

Eating out when you have a food allergy can be difficult, and it can be even more difficult when you’re on vacation. After finding out I was allergic to gluten I had to be super careful about what I ate, especially when it came to eating out. But on my first trip to Disney Springs since then I was pleasantly surprised by all the gluten free options Disney had to offer!

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Gainesville Gift Guide

Gainesville Gift Guide

Shop Local for the Perfect Christmas Gift

The holidays are the perfect time to support local businesses. While Walmart, Target and Amazon have made one-stop shopping more convenient, there is nothing better than supporting small business owners, helping them achieve their dreams while also getting unique holiday gifts.

Gainesville is a town full of terrific small businesses that specialize in everything from apparel to food to handmade trinkets. Here are some of my favorite local businesses that are perfect places to shop small and get amazing Christmas gifts!

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A Romantic Honeymoon in St. Augustine

A Romantic Honeymoon in St. Augustine

St. Augustine is one of the most romantic cities in Florida. With tons of activities and restaurants there is no shortage of things to do. When we were thinking of cities in Florida for our honeymoon, it was the first place we thought of.

Jared and I got married on January 16 and the next day we set out for St. Augustine for our little honeymoon! We wanted to go somewhere nearby that wouldn’t require too much travel and where we didn’t think it would be too crowded. St. Augustine is also super special to us. It’s where we went on our first vacation, where we go every year with his family and where he proposed!

We spent four days there staying right on the beach, exploring historic sites and eating tons of yummy food! Here are some of the highlights and must-see spots for a romantic trip to St. Augustine.

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Wedding Planning – 4 Month Update

Wedding Planning – 4 Month Update

I can’t believe I’m getting married in just four months! Jared and I have been engaged for over a year, and I’m so glad we decided to give ourselves plenty of time to plan because there are SO many details that go into a wedding that I never even thought of!

With just four months until the big day, we are actually in really good shape. All of our vendors are booked and all that’s left is finalizing details. I did a poll on Instagram (follow me at @thehappyfloridian if you’re not already!) and so many of you wanted a wedding planning update! So I’m going to share the things we’ve done, the things we’re in the process of doing and what still needs to be done!


Booked our vendors!  

We have assembled the most amazing team of vendors for our wedding. Here is who we’ve booked:

  • Venue and Food: Sweetwater Branch Inn
  • Photographer: Leslie Page Photography
  • Flowers: Garden and Grace Florals
  • DJ: Genius Entertainment
  • Officiant: Jack Edmonds
  • Cake/Dessert: Sugar Babies Cookies
  • Hair and Makeup: Moxie To Go

I’m so lucky because I actually work for our venue as the marketing director, and my amazing coworkers are also the event directors for our wedding day. They have given me SO many great tips and recommendations (thank you Casey and Maria!) and I feel very confident in the team working our wedding.

The Dress!

I found my dream wedding dress at David’s Bridal in Gainesville! I’m absolutely in love with it and every time I put it on I don’t want to take it off! I am still waiting to do alterations until the wedding day gets a little closer, but the dress is amazing and I can’t wait to show it to you after we get married!

Finalized Bridal Party Looks

Jared and his groomsmen got their tuxes from Men’s Warehouse and my bridesmaids are getting their dresses from Azazi.

Finished Our Registry

It took me forever to finish our registry, mostly because I would much rather give someone a gift than ask for one! We decided to just register at Target for things we really need or want to upgrade. We have been living together for 5 years so we have a lot of stuff, but almost everything is a used or given to us from family members. Let me know if you want me to do a separate post about our wedding registry!



I ordered our invitations last week and decided to hand address them. So once those come in I will be working my handwriting magic on the envelopes. We also decided to do digital RSVPs, mostly because the RSVP cards were $100 without postage.

Wedding Website

Our wedding website is almost complete except for a few details. We chose to do very simple invitations and have most of the information on our website, including our RSVPs, accommodations, registry information and more.

Reception Details and Signage

After watching way too many TikToks over the past few months I’ve decided to make all the table numbers and signage for our wedding. Well, at least the table numbers, we’ll see how those turn out and if it’s too hard I might leave some of the bigger signs to the professionals. Here are some photos of what I’m trying to make:


It still feels like a million things need to be done! Mostly they’re just small details, like choosing songs we want played at the reception and what shoes I’m going to wear. Here are just a few of the biggest things we’re ready to check off of our to-do list:

Get Wedding Bands

We honestly haven’t even looked at wedding bands yet! Hopefully we will start looking soon!

Figure Out Our Honeymoon

With a global pandemic it’s really hard to get pumped about traveling. We’ve decided that we are going to do a mini-moon a day or two after the wedding, then go on a big trip next year. We just have no clue where to go for our mini honeymoon! We know we want it to be in Florida, we just don’t know where yet. If you have any recommendations, please let me know!

Choose The Food

One of the main reasons we chose Sweetwater as our venue is because they do all their own food, and after working there I know their food is amazing! We are having our menu meeting next month to choose all the food for the cocktail hour and the reception.

There are a ton of things left to do but I feel like we’re in really good shape to have an amazing day! If you have any questions or tips please leave them in the comments!