By Chelsea Karnash

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – For Linda Arceo, it all began with a chili cook-off back in 2012.

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The Washington Township, NJ resident realized she had a true passion for cooking, and she wanted to share her recipes and thoughts on food on “some sort of public platform” while also putting her writing degree to good use.

“I had just won the Woman’s Day National Chili Cook-Off (winner of the best category) and spent several months promoting the win and receiving national and local coverage,” Arceo says. “And I didn’t want the excitement to end!”

Thus, Giggles, Gobbles and Gulps was born. The blog is a smorgasbord of recipes, reviews and travel information – “with a dash of life” thrown in.

Looking for “foodie” shops at North Jersey’s famous Short Hills Mall? Arceo has written a post on that. Want to make a Mexican-inspired meal that’s infused with booze? Arceo has you covered. Looking for the perfect game day recipe? There’s a whole section of the blog dedicated to “football foods.”

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“My chili win really inspired me to turn my love of food, writing and my mixology experience — I bartended my way through college — into a blog,” Arceo explains.

And GGG is really a labor of love. Arceo works full-time as a fundraising and communications professional and is married with two children and two dogs. She also appears on local television and radio programs and contributes to several area magazines, including Philadelphia Family Magazine and South Jersey Mom. She has been featured on Huffington Post and The Today Show, as well as on QVC.

Long-term, Arceo hopes to build Giggles, Gobbles and Gulps into “a solid brand” and devote herself to it full-time.

“I’d like to use my abilities to not only build my blog’s brand, but also become known as a strong, relatable voice in the food and drink community,” she says.

And Arceo is well on her way. Currently, GGG has about 7,500 social media followers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and Pinterest and more than 500 people who subscribe directly to the blog via email. For more on Linda Arceo and Giggles, Gobbles and Gulps, visit her blog.

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