This weekend provided both Scott and I a painful reminder of why we should never skimp on hotel rooms. The $200 or so we saved by booking at a so-so hotel will be promptly spent on massage and chiropractic visits.

We were attending Scott and the boys’ Taekwondo Nationals Tournament held in Orlando, and being the bargain-huntress that I am, I looked online and found a massive discount at the Nickelodeon Resort. “Oh, the kids will have a blast! They can get sliiiimmmmmmeeed!”

I really should have thought it through:

Nickelodeon: For kids, all about kids
Kids: all about play, not about sleep
Me & Scott: it’s all about the sleep

Never again.

Despite the torture bed, we had a blast at the tournament, which was held at the ESPN Center.

The 15 minutes prior to each event starting is frantic. Every single participant is wearing their official ATA Taekwondo uniform – white jacket (dobok – pronounced doe-bock), white pants and their color-ranking belt. In the kids’ ring, we had what seemed like 10,000 kids, their doting parents, judges, grandparents, classmates and instructors all rushing around to get to their correct ring.

It’s like playing “Where’s Waldo” just trying to find your kid!

In case you’re wondering, “Is this anything like Karate Kid?” Well, yes and no. Tournaments are set up for sparring, but most of the competition is around your individual form that you perform by yourself on the mat. Some forms include weapons like plastic swords, lightweight poles, padded nunchucks – so no, you really couldn’t do much damage to yourself or others with those things.

Sparring is done wearing padded gear protecting your shins, hands, face and chest….so no breaking bones or fancy jumping crane, crouching tiger moves.

Scott came home with bling, and the kids got a chance to meet Mickey!

Hey, did you know Mickey can do the splits?

Neither did he 🙂

It was incredibly inspiring to watch some of these kids and teens – you could immediately tell which ones had taken tumbling or gymnastics – their routines were peppered with jumps, triple flips and flexibility like a Twizzler stick.

The great part about the weekend was that Mimi and Papa (Scott’s parents from Clarence Center, NY) were with us and got to see everyone compete. And, yes, they too got the same cheapy beds we did. I’m sure they are poppin’ pain meds right now.


One of my favorite parts of my “job” is being able to host 1-day events with Todd and Diane, our Food Blog Forums. We’ve held ones in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Orlando, and last month in Nashville.

It’s our chance to gather some of the most inspiring and forward-thinking food bloggers and photographers and have a small, intimate setting to share what we know, sort of like a “passing it forward” to new bloggers.

A big thanks to all who came out, and especially to these three lovelies, Lindsay Landis of Love & Olive Oil, Beth Sachan of Eat.Drink.Smile., and Leah Short of So How’s it Taste for spearheading, hosting, coordinating the entire event.

An event this amazing couldn’t have been possible without the generosity of these sponsors who believe in bloggers and support our community – they provided us with so much bling that every single participant went home with a prize!

OXOJust a Pinch Recipe Club
CalphalonGirard's Dressings
Nashville Farmers' MarketThe Patterson House
Magazines.comChicago MetallicSwissmar
Whole FoodsFarm FlavorKitchen Aid
Artisan BooksThe Loveless Cafe 

Cheers! Oh and pssssttt…..if you’re free March 17th next year, come join us for Food Blog Forum Orlando again – this time, our host is Walt Disney World! Oh, boy, I can’t wait to share with you the magic that Disney has planned for us…..