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!Continue reading “Gluten Free Dining at Disney Springs”
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!
This Gainesville-based company specializes in custom apparel and design. Their online shop has great Florida and Gainesville themed shirts (including my favorite GNV Gal tee) https://www.lvrink.com
A concierge gifting service that takes the work out of trying to think of gifts to give colleagues or clients, Well Wish takes personalization to a new level with their custom, hand-curated gift boxes. They have pre-made gift boxes as well as business gifting options available. https://www.wellwishboxes.com/
If you’ve ever seen my Instagram you would know that I refuse to get my nails done anywhere other than Enso. Give the gift of relaxation with a gift certificate for a manicure or pedicure. They also create their own homemade body butter, which is available for purchase, and they have a small shop area with products from other local artisans. https://www.ensotioga.com/
Baker’s Table Co.
If you are looking for the perfect thing to bring to a holiday party, Baker’s Table Co.’s charcuterie boards! The owner, Ashley, has a gifted eye for making the ultimate party platter, and her holiday menu has some of the most beautiful charcuterie boards I’ve ever seen! https://bakerstableco.com
EarthTonix is a nature-based wellness shop that specializes in plant-based bath, beauty and home products. The shop features candles, body oil, soaks, face mists, jewelry, lip balm and more! https://www.etsy.com/shop/EarthTonix
If you’re looking for a living gift, check out Plantstay, a Gainesville-based houseplant shop that has a wide variety of beautiful plants. They also sell planters, houseplant accessories and have nationwide shipping available! https://www.plantstay.com/
Wild Within Flowers
For a truly unique gift, check out Wild Within Flowers, an Etsy shop that sells handcrafted botanical art using real pressed flowers! Their handmade earrings, rings and necklaces are dainty and beautiful, the perfect gift the any lady in your life! https://www.etsy.com/shop/WildWithinFlowers
The AUK Market
If you’re not sure what you’re looking for and you want a lot of options, I recommend The AUK Market, a local shop that has a curated selection of vintage, handmade goods, art and apothecary. With tons of different products made by local artists and artisans, they have plenty of options for everyone. https://www.theaukmarket.com/
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.Continue reading “A Romantic Honeymoon in St. Augustine”
Last weekend my favorite girls and I got together to celebrate my “Final Fiesta!” Spending my bachelorette party in St. Pete Beach, Florida was the best decision, and we had such an amazing time!Continue reading “St. Pete Beach Bachelorette Party”
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!
WHAT WE’VE 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.
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!
WHAT WE’RE WORKING ON
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.
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:
WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE
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!
St. Augustine Beach has always been one of my favorite vacation spots. My fiancé and I go there with his family every year, it’s where we had our first vacation and where Jared proposed last year. I love exploring this coastal town, and this summer Jared and I decided to take another trip to our favorite spot.
Summer is in full swing here in Florida, and while this season looks a lot different than it has in the past, I am making the most of it and finding safe ways to enjoy my summer! This summer we are headed to St. Augustine Beach to stay in a private condo where we can safely enjoy a much-needed getaway. Here are a few of my summer beach essentials!
I’ve been working from home for the past seven weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the one thing that has helped me the most is having a quarantine routine. Currently I work about 65 hours a week between my full-time job, part-time job, freelancing and blogging. It’s a lot, but it’s definitely worth it, and I’ve developed my own work from home routine that I love!
While I love staying busy and working on so many different things, it’s super important to not get burned out. Here are my top tips for working from home and keeping it all together:
Even though I’m a Florida native, there are still so many parts of this state I’ve never explored, especially on the west coast. So last weekend I was so excited about spending a couple days in Madeira Beach, a coastal town east of St. Petersburg.
We were there for a couple days watching my sister’s softball tournament, but we had a full day of exploring on Sunday. When I looked up fun places to visit in the area, John’s Pass Village & Boardwalk came up and it was definitely worth the trip!