Candy Apple Delight



• 2 Granny Smith apples
• 1/2 cup crushed peanuts
• 1 heaping cup Cool-whip
• 6 mini Snickers (cut in small cubes)
• 1 tbsp. lemon juice
• 1 cup crushed pineapple (drained)


Chop apples and toss with lemon juice to prevent browning. Add all remaining ingredients and stir. Serve chilled.


Coral Bikini: And a Piece of Miami Wisdom

Today I met one of the nicest, most down-to-earth persons at a little swimwear boutique called “Curves n’ Waves” in Coral Gables, Miami. While I don’t usually post things like this (oh wait… yes I do! I love to over analyze situations) the store owner, Joseph, deserves recognition for his customer service and all my readers’ business at his boutique.

When I first walked in his store, no makeup on, sweat literally pouring off of me from the Miami heat and dressed in Adidas pull on shorts/Philadelphia Philly’s shirt, I thought “Shi*! Is there a side door I can easily sneak out?” I had been to stores like this before and knew how pricey they were. One glance at a price tag labeled $190 and I was like “Errrrt. Negative. Mission Abort.”

However, I didn’t leave. Instead I was greeted by a middle aged gentleman, Joesph, who told me “We are running a sale. Find one you like and I will let you know the price.”

Still, I was skeptical. Even if he gave me 50% off, I couldn’t put myself up to buy it. But still, I looked.

While I fingered through the delicate little things, Joseph started messing with me telling me that my black iced coffee is nasty. “Yes, it’s from McDonalds,” I thought “another sign I look cheap af.”

Then he asked what I was looking for.

“Something with a bit of coverage,” I answered. Trying to think of something.

“What! Why?” he replied.

“You know what, maybe I’m not in the right store,” I said as I tried to leave.

“No, you are absolutely in the right store,” he said.

And for some reason. I believed him.

“Here, try this on,” he said as he handed me a few articles including a little coral bikini.

While I tried on the articles, he sat outside the dressing room and made conversation. He gave me a bottle of water to drink, even though I said I was fine. Each time I came out, he adjusted the straps and made sure what I was wearing looked perfect.

“What do you do for a living?” he asked.

 I told him I was a flight attendant but just resigned to continue my education. He told me I must be the nicest flight attendant and asked if I ever wanted to return to Miami.

“Awe, God bless you” I said “And, yes. I really do love Miami and would like to move back someday. It just seemed like it wasn’t the right timing this time around.”

“God bless you!” he laughed. “And good,” he said “Because Miami needs you. There aren’t many people like you.”

We continued to talk and needless to say, I fell in love with the coral bikini. When I walked out with it on, he told me that he is not just saying this, but my body is perfect. That my muscle tone in my legs is great and my stomach is flat. 

He pointed out the details of the top and explained that because the top had little padding, it accentuated the natural shape of my chest… it was better than any push-up tops that give an artificial look.  

When I looked in the mirror, I could see what he meant. Never before had I seen myself this way before.

What he said next caught me by surprise: “You really are the girl that every guy wants to marry.”

My heart stopped and I felt a deep ache suddenly stab my chest. I turned around and looked at him straight in the eye.

“You know what, you’re right. I am that girl,” I said as my face flushed and the realization penetrated my very core.  

I began to recall the times I heard similar statements from my female friends and family members… usually after a breakup. But never before had I heard it from a man. And it really made all the difference. I realized right then and there that people weren’t just saying these things… they were the actual truth! And that God wanted me to believe, “Veronica, you are enough.” 

“They do,” I said “but they don’t want to date me now” I said as if it were something to be shameful about. 

He looked at me in all seriousness and asked me “But you’d rather that, right? Usually with girls today it is the other way around. Guys date girls with lesser standards and never have the desire to commit to them. But not for you, you are the girl they WANT to commit to.”

“I bet you can cook too, am I right?” he asked.

I laughed. “Yea. I actually have a cooking blog.”

“Of course you do!” “She has a cooking blog!!!” he yelled to his business partner who was arranging bikinis in the back. She smiled at me. She liked to cook too.

“So I really like this bikini, I told him,” feeling a slight emotional attachment to it now. “How much does it run?” I asked.

He told me to look at the price tag and read it to him. It said $149.

“$149” I said clenching my teeth.

“$45” he replied.

My heart started to beat a little faster. 

“Really? $45?… That is more than $100 off!” And soooo, I bought it.

When I was checking out, Joseph asked if I would please stop in and see him whenever I return and gave me the address to his new location. I promised I would.

As I walked out of the store, down Miracle Mile, holding my small white bag with lavender tissue paper and coral bikini in hand, I felt such peace. I knew God had placed me in that store for a reason.

I will forever remember my encounter with Joseph, owner of “Curves n’ Waves,” and plan to recommend all my friends to his store.

The value he helped me see in being a good girl is something I will take with me and pray to recall when the temptation of the world says otherwise.

I know that if he, a man, could see value in my conscientious, lifestyle, there has got to be someone else out there right now who does too…I pray to God for him to make it known to me as Joseph did and desire to make an investment now, while we are in our youth.

Xo. God bless,

What San Francisco and a New Bag taught me about the Transitory Nature of Life

In May 2017, I had the chance to visit the Basilica of San Francisco in Assisi, Italy with my mom and little brother. It was the first (and last) big trip I took as a flight attendant, as it revealed to me that God has called me for “something more” in my secondary vocation.

Nevertheless, seeing the town where San Francisco and Santa Clara trod was such a breathtaking and peaceful experience, that it completely overshadowed any trials experienced throughout the past months flying.

When the trip culminated and I had to go back to my home base in Miami, I had time (reserve days) to reflect upon everything I saw in Italy. Series after series of events took place within these days, that allowed my heart and mind to be transformed and open to the plans God has for me.

I began to see things in a new light and soon found myself taking a break from my current position, leasing my apartment in Miami to someone else, moving back to Pennsylvania, and being fully invested in a Masters of Business Administration program at a university!

Talk about hustling!

When it came time to hand back my luggage, equipment and uniforms, however, there was one item I had a hard time parting with… and that was my red bag! Every flight attendant can attest to how excited we were to first find that little brown box on our doorstep and remove from its contents a shiny, new, red leather tote. Handing it back felt like a piercing thorn to the heart.

But, because I am a person of faith, I didn’t let it bother me for too long and resolved to find a replacement. What I found was ironic. A black, leather, bad-as* chic, tote with skulls and golden chains. It was simply magnificent! And it seemed to encompass a subconscious feeling of “death” to the world I had been living in: a selfish world filled with vanity and “I can do this on my own”… so I bought it. 😊😊😊

Somehow through more series of events, I found myself at 2:58 am, laying in bed, reading blogs, perusing newsfeed, liking things, disliking things, completely overthinking… when I stumbled upon a blog post on why San Francisco is portrayed carrying a skull in many artworks. It was so intriguing! So captivating! It gave new meaning to the reason why I will carry my skull bag this summer with no hesitation. Not only will my bag symbolize death to my previous lifestyle (as a diehard corporate employee), it will also serve as a reminder of the transient nature of life itself: that death should be embraced because it is what will take us to heaven with God someday.

Here is a link to the article I read about San Francisco and why he carried a skull with him on occasion. It is written by a very talented blogger.

For all readers, my prayers go out to you. Please let this be an awakening that life is short and we need to seek and serve God in all endeavors.

Xo, V.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries 🍓🍫🍓

Chocolate covered strawberries may seem like the simplest recipe, but if you try making them blindsightedly, you’ll soon realize that there is more than meets the eye to this dessert.

Just this past week, my cousin called for tips on making them and I was delighted to share my knowledge of chocolate melting and dipping with her.

If you follow these simple guidelines on making the perfect batch of chocolate covered strawberries, you’ll be sure to impress all your friends and family at your next gathering. 

Chocolate chips
Vegetable oil

Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper. Rinse strawberries and gently pat with a paper towel to dry. Set aside.

Fill a bowl with 2 cups chocolate chips. Add 1 tbsp. of vegetable oil. Place in microwave on defrost setting for one minute intervals, stirring occasionally until melted.

Dip strawberries. Place on waxed paper and allow to cool in fridge. Once hardened, remove strawberries from waxed paper and consume.

Vocations- What is Your Calling? 📲

No one wakes up in the morning thinking: “Today I am going to be my absolute worst self!” Unless you are deliberately trying to lose your job, make someone breakup with you, or are just plain inconsiderate, you probably wake up thinking: “Today I’m going to be my best self 😌✌🏽.”

But for young people, especially those of us just leaving the confines of college, it is a struggle knowing exactly how to be one’s “best self”… how to be on “one’s game.” Amidst all the opportunities thrown at you… or maybe not being thrown at you, you begin to wonder: “What was I really created to do on this earth?” That, my dear friend, is the stirring of your spirit discerning its vocation.

But before going any further, in case you forgot, the goal of life is to get to heaven someday…to be with God. So “what you do” in this life to reach that goal is called your secondary vocation. It includes your occupation, for example, and is like the surface of a vocation.

Digging deeper, “how you do it” and “with whom” are called your primary vocation. God created us as communal beings and we must remember that we are not supposed to make the journey alone. We were not created to simply “just do me.” When we shoo others away and don’t give serious relationships a chance (with God and others on this earth), we are only hurting ourselves. We cannot reach our fullest potential. It is prideful thinking we can do it all alone. For this reason, we need a change of heart. We need to discern our vocations.

Catholics recognize 3 primary vocations in the Catechism, all of which encompass total life-giving of oneself to another. The primary vocations are explained below in more detail:

1. Matrimony- giving of oneself to a husband or wife
2. Holy Orders- giving of oneself to Christ’s Church
3. Consecrated life- giving of oneself directly to God (as a religious brother or sister)

*Consecrated singlehood is another option for those not being called to one of the other categories. Often it is because of a “particular circumstance not of their choosing” (Paragraph 1658 of the Catechism) in which they decide to consecrate their hearts to God alone.

Keep in mind that each vocation is special in its own way and is irreversible. Once you give yourself to one or the other, it is a permanent decision. For example, you cannot switch from taking a vow to the priesthood or religious life to become married, and vice versa. Just the same, someone who consecrates their heart as a single person (and has made a vow) cannot decide now that they want to get married. A vow is a promise and it must be lasting. There was a reason Jesus said “let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and your ‘no’ be ‘no.'” James 5:12

If you know what you are called to do in your primary vocation, you can make better decisions to align your course of actions to fulfill it. For example, if you are being called to matrimony, you will take every effort to make sure that you are the best possible wife to your husband someday and vice versa. You’ll treat those you date with dignity. You’ll understand that any emotional baggage you carry into the relationship with your future wife or husband will only hurt him or her, so you seek to diminish it entirely. You don’t seek things that are fillers for the burning desire you have for the one God created you to be with.

Instead, you focus on your spouse. You love them (whether it’s a person, Christ himself, or the Church) by learning to control the desires that may lead you astray from experiencing that one, true love on earth. That’s what living out your primary vocation to the fullest entails.

If you’ve already made mistakes that have your life derailing, it is never too late to repent and start back on the right path. By doing so, you’ll become closer to God=Closer to being the person God really created you to be=Closer to living out your vocation=Closer to the goal of heaven.

Understanding your vocation takes time and the Holy Spirit’s guidance, but usually it is what you have a lasting desire for in your heart. Something you know that will make you a better person and that you will enjoy… Don’t forget that God wants us to be happy. The reality is: we live in a broken world, so that is not always the case. However, vocations are meant to rise above that. To give us hope for Heaven and the chance to fulfill God’s work on this earth as His instruments. If you still have no clue about your vocation, seek out the guidance of a spiritual mentor, partake in a retreat, go to confession to eradicate any sin that’s creating distance between you and God, ask the Holy Spirit to lead you, ask others for prayers, and ultimately have FAITH. Have confident expectation that the good you hope for in this life will come to be.

Hope for the Future

I heard in Mass one time that, “faith” is the “confident expectation that what you hope for will happen.” As soon as I heard the priest utter those words, a song resonated in my heart. I knew God has His children’s best interests in mind. He is like a patient investor. Watching each of us, His “investments”, closely… and intervening as soon as He sees a profitable market opportunity. 🤓 To illustrate this point, take a look at Jeremiah 29.

11For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” Jeremiah 29:11-12

God wants us to call on Him. He knows our hearts’ desires already, and He also knows at what point to pour out each of His blessings. He wants to give us a “future”… but not just any future: one that’s prosperous and good! That’s very generous of Him.

Reflecting upon this, I decided to call God today 📲 and share with Him some of the things that might not hurt if they are in the “future,” He provides to me and my other 1/2 someday. God said He will listen, and I trust that if He thinks it’s good, it will happen! So here it goes: a list of things I hope to do someday with my love, provided it’s God’s will.

*Disclaimer: If you are tall, dark, handsome, and reading this… you may want to take notes.  In the words of Bruno Mars: it’s “What I like.” 😉

1. Working out together and taking a walk down the back roads of our hometowns on a warm summer day. Getting stronger and feeling healthier together. Breathing in the fresh air and appreciating the beauty of God’s creation around us. 🌳🌥

2. Planting a beautiful garden. Seeing the fruits of hard labor produce tasty treats that can be taken on a picnic. 🌻🍅

3. Having a cookout. Building a fire and toasting marshmallows. Telling scary ghost stories by the campfire. Then cuddling under the stars. ✨❤️

4. Making breakfast together! Enjoying waffles, omelets, bacon, and strawberries + whipped cream. 🍳🍓

5. Going to a county fair. Eating Denny and Pearl’s, of course! Looking at the animals… and maybe like buying a little bunny or chick or something before going home. Idk. 🙃🐣

6. Spending a day on the beach. Not only getting kissed by the sun, but babe as well. ☺️💕

7. Feeling close to each other’s families. Adopting them as our own. Being there for each other and partaking in fun get-togethers. 📸😬

8. Loving each other in ways pleasing to God. Desiring the best for each other and encouraging each other to reach our highest professional and spiritual potential. 🎓💒

Tuna Noodle Nests

These are perfect for “No-Meat Fridays” during Lent. They pack well in lunches and freeze well for later too!


• 1 pack frozen peas
• 2 cups cooked spaghetti
• 1 can cream of mushroom soup
• 1/2 cup whole milk
• 1/4 cup egg whites
• 2 cans tuna
• Breadcrumbs and parmesan for topping


Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Steam peas in microwave and add them to the cooked spaghetti. Stir in milk, cream of mushroom soup, egg whites, and tuna.

Coat cupcake tins with a light layer of olive oil. Scoop in spaghetti mixture and pat down. Top with a sprinkle of breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese. Bake for 16-17 minutes. Remove from oven, allow to cool, and serve!

“Come Home”

Have you ever had a time in your life when everything seemed to fall apart? Literally EVERYTHING? Your mind begins to list disappointments as if they were a checklist and you just sit there in tears as you recall each thing that’s happened over the past few weeks, months, or years that has caused the pain and anguish you are currently experiencing.  You check off all the times you’ve hurt and used others, and the times they’ve used and hurt you… all the ways your current life situation has kept you from living out the life you truly desire… all the instances where “If I had done this instead…” maybe the situation would be different now. You feel numb. You feel weak. You feel tired. You feel trapped. You just need something…but you don’t know what.

That was me. Yesterday. I called my sister from my parked car at 8:30 at night sobbing and hyperventilating about everything that has been going on lately. From broken relationships to stresses from work, I just poured out “my all” while she listened. When I was finished, she told me something so simple. Something my aunt told her 10 years earlier when she was going through something oh-so-similar to what I was. Something that never even crossed my mind.

“Come home…” “Just come home.”

Come home? How could I possibly come home? I was just home for 11 days! My mind became a tornado of everything I had just been thinking about and the trapping thoughts seemed to surface once again. They were ready to spew over into an outburst of more tears, before I realized… “She’s right. I need a break.”

I turned off the car, went inside, and cancelled my next trip. Something inside of me told me to put on a Catholic Lighthouse Media presentation I downloaded a few days earlier called “Emotional Virtue” by Sarah Swafford. It was so enlightening that I knew God wanted me to hear it for a reason and provided the time for me to listen to it.

In her presentation, Swafford described a time when she was on a retreat and poured out her heart to a priest, just as I had done to my sister a few minutes prior. The things she told him were so relatable: things like “I’m tired. I’m exhausted of trying to be perfect. I am tired of trying to be everything everyone else wants me to be.” As she described her concerns, I felt mine slowly lift away. “At least I am not the only one who feels this way. Others feel alone, broken, and trapped, too,” I thought. But what really hit me hard was what the priest said in response to her. Something simple like my sister said.

He told her, “I just want you to run. I want you to run to our Lord, and I want you to fall into His arms…and I want you to lay everything that you’ve been going through down. I want you to lay it at His feet. And I want you to continue running with Him. And when you’re feeling strong again, and you’re feeling whole, and you’re feeling healed, I want you to glance to your side and see [where you are at] and who is running with you. That is who you are supposed to be with and where you’re supposed to be.”

Can you say, “Mind blown?!”

My universe was shaken upside down by this simple analogy of a girl running with God. I knew that was what God was desiring of me. My attention, my time, and my love. He wanted me to focus on Him rather than get swept up in what trip I have to go on next, how I can afford grad school, what, if any, guy is gonna get ahold of me when I’m home or when I’m back in Miami, etc. 
I realized that God wanted me “home” not in a physical sense, but in a spiritual sense. He wanted me to know that wherever I end up, He will always be there. That He is my home. He is my shelter through the storms. And He is someone who will always provide comfort when I’m feeling overwhelmed and down-trodden by the weight of the world. But I need to run with Him and put my focus on Him alone, before things will get better.

To reassure this idea that God sometimes puts us in difficult situations to increase our faith and focus solely on Him, look at today’s gospel reading from John 11. While Martha and Mary mourned Lazarus’ death, God allowed it to happen to increase their faith and other’s faith around them. Martha said she had “come” to realize that Jesus was the Lord and Messiah, and both she and her sister said that if Jesus were there, their brother would not have died. Their “coming” to realize Jesus was the Messiah, demonstrates that faith is a process. Through their difficult time, the sisters realized God’s saving power through His son. God used what seemed at first to be a bad situation, to fulfill His plan and bring about greater good. I have faith He will do the same in both your and my life if we too, recognize His power and stick by His side.

After this breakthrough, I am striving to run with God now more than ever and I hope you will do the same. My prayer today is that I, and whomever is reading this, has enough courage, strength, and confidence to run with God…To shut out his or her own evil intentions and focus on “His way” rather than “our way” of doing things.

God bless.

Chicken Parmesan 


• 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
• 1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
• 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
• 2 tbsp melted butter
• 1 tsp minced garlic
• Tomato sauce
• 1/4 cup grated mozzarella (optional)


Preheat oven to 450 degrees fahrenheit. Spray glass cooking dish with Crisco non-stick butter spray. In a separate bowl, combine breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese. Melt butter and pour over chicken. Coat chicken with crumb mixture and place in baking dish. Top with minced garlic. Bake for 30 minutes, spread a spoonful of sauce on chicken (and mozzarella, if desired), and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

True Femininity

Have you ever had a single word, an inspiring quote, a thought, or the mention of a person keep coming up in your life?  Because it happens to me all the time… to the point that it’s almost inevitable to escape.  I like to think that it’s God’s way of calling our attention to something.  A “God-wink,” per say… that is, God “winking” and telling us “Go. Do something about this, already.”

For example, just this past week the thought of femininity has surfaced about 755.984 times in my life.  First, when I was writing my grad school essay, I was brought back to what I envision as “my picture-perfect future”: a feminine ideal that serves of a reminder of who I am and where I want to be someday.  In essence,  my picture depicts a road leading to TeawithV.  Along the road my significant other stands, greeting me with a bouquet of flowers.  I imagine us as successful professionals pursuing careers where we use our talents to make a positive difference in the lives of others.  Featured in the background, is our loving home with a cross in the sky to represent God’s grace manifesting in our lives.

The second time the thought of femininity crossed my mind was when I read Pope Francis’ homily delivered at the morning Mass at the Casa Santa Marta on February 9, 2017.  In his homily, the pope described woman as “harmony, poetry, and beauty.” He brought to light that “In order to understand the woman, it is necessary first to dream of her”. When I first read it, I didn’t understand what he meant.  But after taking some time for reflection (i.e. right now), I realize that “to dream of her,”  means “to desire her”. To understand the value of a woman, man must realize the void in his life without her… Just like Adam dreamed of (desired) Eve, a suitable partner to take on life with, so too, must men dream (desire) a woman in this day in age.  By doing so, he recognizes a woman’s worth and the joy and happiness that she (not his gaming buddies or his dog) can, in fact, bring to his life.

A third time I encountered femininity was when I was talking to my sister, Krista… which, let’s just take a moment to reflect on what a blessing she is to this world! She is like the ultimate go-to when it comes to all things girl…Just ask her students. There is a reason why so many college-aged girls flock to her during office hours on campus to ask for advice and talk about life’s more intricate matters.  She is all-around beautiful, a great listener, and a wonderful example of how one can balance having a family and career at the same time.  She and I talk (or should I say vent?) on the phone at least 3 times a day about anything and everything…and really, I do not know what I would do without her.

Anyways…when she and I were talking this past week, she mentioned how she recently read a letter written by a fellow, very knowledgeable and respected Catholic on femininity. The letter described how in this day in age, the term has become mangled and confused by some, a sort of catchall phrase and cover-up, for the dysfunctional and broken lifestyles held by many contemporary women- many whose views were broadcasted at the Women’s March this past January in Washington D.C.

In essence, this faux femininity is ironic. Those in support of it feel as though they are fighting to make women’s lives better, when in reality, they are only deteriorating their own and others’ quality of life. Take into consideration how many innocent lives have been tarnished as a result of women exercising their “reproductive rights”–a core value held by many of those at the Women’s March–through the use of emergency contraception and abortion. It is over 3,000 abortions/ day in the U.S. alone.

Then take into consideration the lives that are affected by marriages that end in divorce (which compromises 50% of marriages now)–both husband, wife, children, and extended family are all affected. Why is this happening? Is this not enough to make you realize there is something seriously messed up with the way things are going?

I’ve come to the conclusion that in order for things to get better, women need to scrap faux femininity and embrace true femininity.  For our men to start acting like men, our women need to start acting more like women. Like Pope Francis observed, “Women bring harmony that makes the world beautiful.”  It is up to us…It is in our beautiful, delicate, but strong-minded nature that we can save innocent lives being destroyed by abortion, make our marriages last, and raise our sons to be respectful, protectors of women’s hearts and souls.

While I can’t say exactly how to accomplish such a feat, I can live by example and urge you to do the same.

I recommend:

1. Taking time for reflection in areas where our lives have led astray from our vocations in life… acknowledging and fixing our voids and mistakes.

2. Seeking a spiritual mentor (priest, religious sister, other knowledgeable Catholic, like my sister) who can bring to light solutions to difficult situations you are dealing with.

3. Reading Saint Pope John Paul II’s letter to women:

4. Listening to Catholic Lighthouse Media any chance you have. I highly recommend “Feminism Misunderstood: One Woman’s Journey to Peace”:

5. Researching your personality type…know what you are and find out what your significant other is (maybe don’t mention it on a first date…you might weird him out) but knowing both your and his type it is a good indicator whether you two are compatible. It can also offer insight into the way each of you deals with conflict so that if you do end up together, your fights lead to reconciliation with each other rather than splitting…(btw, if you are attractive and reading this, I am ISFP):