World Food Championships, More Food and More Wine!

“My theater degree pays off as I pretend to cook,” @SparklyNicole joked as she looked over a few pictures I snapped of her at the World Food ChampionshipsFood Fight Write Blogger Summit.


I met up with bloggers ShareOrlando, Orlando Fun & Food, Kim Button, SparklyNicole and about 25 others for lunch following their culinary throw down at the World Food ChampionshipsKenmore Kitchen Arena in Celebration, Florida. Competing for $500, the bloggers went head-to-head preparing their own recipes using Kansas City Steaks, Saucy Mama sauce and produce from My Yard Farm.

This event is only a small, bite-size portion of the ultimate food fight going on just a few minutes from my office.

“The World Food Championships is the largest competition in food sport, where champions of previous events convene in Kissimmee, Florida, for a chance at winning the ultimate food crown and a share of $300,000. The World Food Championships platform ranges from live-event integration and acivations to a robust multimedia platform that serves culinary stars, home cooks, brands and destinations. In three short years, WFC has awarded more than $1 million in prizes and money, spawned a TV series, garnered more than 5 billion media impressions and launched numerous professional careers for successful contestants.” Make sure to check out the consumer events here and may the odds be ever in your favor, contestants!

Spending the day with a ton of bloggers was fun but all day I looked forward to unwinding at Reunion Resort in Kissimmee for their Holidays At Reunion cocktail part, showcasing some of the items that will be featured on their menus in the next few months.

My coworker Nori, myself and blogger/Periscope fiend @MoVernie

Peeps, let me tell you that nothing makes a glutton happier than heavy hors d’oeuvres. It is always my Fat American Dream to sample every plate without committing to a full meal.

With the holidays in tow, it might be an overwhelming time to go into stores and see all the Christmas decorations already out (especially when your lazy ass hasn’t thrown away the crooked pumpkin, haphazardly carved at the very last minute…), but I fully embraced the festive menu. I also thought it would be the last meal I would be able to taste because I am fighting a cold so I had to go all in.

The Butternut Squash soup with creme fraiche and fresh chives was the jam since I was feeling under the weather.


The Tuscan Grilled New York Strip featuring herb roasted potatoes, grilled jumbo asparagus and port wine demi glace was a crowd favorite. So much flavor!


The Pan Seared Salmon with wild mushroom risotto, charred asparagus, cranberry chutney port wine reduction was super tasty and not super overwhelming (I hate fishy fish).


I’m currently looking at all the pictures of the food I tasted last night, remembering the great times and crying. I am living out one of my actual nightmares (no, I didn’t press “reply all” on a company email thread again). I’ve lost my sense of taste, thanks to this nasty cold that attacked me on Monday, which is very unfortunate since I’m going to the Winter Garden Wine Walk tonight. Please pray for me because I want to get drunk (I’m kidding mom, relax).


This post originally appeared on HypeOrlando.


Toothless & Disrobed

I was sitting at church when it happened. I looked down and I felt something fall out of my mouth on to my lap. I picked it up to inspect it. A tooth! My eyes grew wide. What was happening?

I could feel all my teeth suddenly loosening up. They began rolling over my tongue and I panicked. Puffing my cheeks out like a chipmunk so that my teeth would remain in my mouth, I ran to the bathroom and began spitting them out into the sink and crying. Someone kept calling me on the phone but I couldn’t answer between all my sobbing and yelling.

I don’t remember much after that. I know that eventually I found myself at the foot of a waterfall, cradling all my teeth and crying.

IT WAS ALL A DREAM! According to the interwebs, dreams like the one I had are pretty common if you’re having a hard time adjusting to change, can’t seem to let go of something and are overwhelmed AF.   Seems legit.

Halston recently surprised me with a Massage Envy gift card a few weeks ago and between all the “positive vibes” I’m exuding and his new “joke” of calling me a Bridezilla (keep it up and you won’t make it to Saturday, buddy), I figured it was time to schedule a massage and try to clear my mind for at least an hour (is that even possible?).

Booking the appointment:

Booking the appointment wasn’t complicated at all. I went on the website, picked the closest location to me at Winter Garden Village, provided them with a time frame of availability, massage desired (Swedish) and whether I wanted a male or female masseuse.

Day of appointment:


Since this was my first time visiting, I arrived 15 minutes early to fill out medical paperwork which asked about health conditions I could be suffering from and areas in specific I would like for the masseuse to focus on. It also asked if I was comfortable with the massage therapist touching areas like my scalp (yes) or face (no) and pressure desired during the massage (light, medium, deep).

Rochelle, therapist: “So why are you here today? Any pain?”

Me, awful human: “I’m being forced to relax today. Everyone thinks I’m crazy and I’m getting married on Saturday.”

The session began and I was taken to a dimly lit room with soothing music. Rochelle stepped outside while I undressed and got under the blanket (which is heated and so soft… I think I need one in my life). The whole time I wanted to laugh because I kept thinking of John Mulaney’s comedy special in which he said:

I got a massage and the woman told me to undress to my comfort level. So I put on a sweater and a pair of corduroy pants, and I felt safe.”

She focused on my shoulders and neck, legs, arms and back and it felt great! But in true Veronica fashion, instead of clearing my mind, I was rattling off multiple to-do lists in my head and then became anxious thinking, “What if there’s a fire right now and I have to run outside in my underwear?

After an hour, Rochelle left the room, allowing me to get dressed and waited outside for me with water. I checked out at the counter (it is $49.99 for a first time visitor) and learned about their monthly membership.

All in all, it was a great experience and I would definitely go back, just probably not during an occasion surrounding huge change in my life.

What are some ways that you deal with stress or change?