December 31, 2013

Small Serving is Moving!

Goal #12 on My Lucky '13 list was to 
Increase the success of Small Servings. I started my blog in March off 2011 to share my life and my talents. I write about cooking, dining out, products I like, and some of the creative work I do. I have been given some great opportunities in 2012 to promote my blog and what I do as the owner/creator of Small Servings.
With a new year comes a new opportunity! 

I am excited to announce I have a new webpage. At the end of 2013, I learned how to create websites and took the time to work on one for Small Serving. In addition to my own site, I have my first customer, Perez Custom Designs, to build a site for.  Please take a moment to visit my site, which will include a blog. 

You can still follow me on Twitter at @SmallServing or on Facebook at Small Serving 

November 19, 2013

Macy*s Thanksgiving Day Breakfast

When I was younger my family used to go to my grandparents’ house in Belleville, Michigan for Thanksgiving. I usually was stuck sleeping on the floor, but I made sure I was by the TV so I could turn it on first thing in the morning and be ready for the parade.

As I got older, I continued lounge around on Thanksgiving morning in my flannel pajamas, drinking coffee, and watching the Macy*s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Five years ago I came up with the idea to invite family and friends to join me for lounging, breakfast, and parade viewing. It is a great way to spend time with friends before everyone heads off to their family events for the day. My guests are invited, and encouraged, to show up in their pajamas or lounge wear. (And they do!)

My nephew Matt & Me
2013 marks the 87th Macy*s Thanksgiving Day Parade to officially kick off the holiday season. 50 million people at home tune in to see performances, one-of-a-kind floats, and the giant balloons.

2013 marks the 5th Macy*s Thanksgiving Day Parade Breakfast at my condo. Approximately 20 – 25 people at my home come to kick off the holiday season watching the parade while enjoying breakfast foods and sipping a beverage from mimosa,
Bloody Mary, coffee, and/or the juice bar.

It's official!! My 5th Annual Macy*s Thanksgiving Day Parade Breakfast is going to be an international event!  

My cousin Jil Walentiny from Luxembourg is coming to Minnesota to spend Thanksgiving with us.  With this big announcement it was time to raise the bar on my 5th Annual Macy*s Thanksgiving Day Parade Breakfast. This year I am having
•         Mini-Sota Bar
•         Mimosa Bar
•         Cider Bar
•         Coffee Bar
•         & More!

November 14, 2013

Give to the Max Day for Nativity of Mary

This is a fabulous opportunity to support nonprofits. My new employer Nativity of Mary is one of them. This is my first big fundraiser and I would love to have help from my friends. 

Nativity of Mary is an accredited Preschool-8th Grade Catholic school that has been dedicated to educating the whole child in mind, body and spirit for more than 60 years.
We offer a tradition of academic excellence, with standardized test scores that are consistently well above average. We are recognized as a state leader in reading for our use of the Orton-Gillingham techniques, a hands-on program that caters to all styles of learning. The program was originally designed for special education, but pioneered for mainstream use by a Nativity teacher.
We embrace, welcome and celebrate each child's unique gifts and talents. In a time when
many school districts are dealing with budget cuts and growing class sizes, Nativity is dedicated to guaranteeing small class sizes, with an average of 17 students per class, allowing our teacher to give individual attention to each students, and ensure that all their academic and emotional needs are being met. We have a vibrant, active, family-centered environment and a broad range of extracurricular activities for all ages beginning in kindergarten.
But we believe what really sets Nativity of Mary School apart is how we put our faith into action in our relationship with others and through year-round community service projects. Our students learn you are never too young or too small to make a difference in the lives of others and the world around you. They develop compassion, understanding and a sense of pride through serving others in our community and beyond. Our students leave Nativity academically prepared and socially responsible.
Whether $10 or $10,000, the staff, students and parents of Nativity of Mary School thank you for your kind investment and for making a difference in the life of a child!

Donors who donate $500 or more will have their name placed in a drawing for one of the great prizes below:
·         Autographed Vikings Football donated by Minnesota Viking Jeff Locke
·         $50 Gift Certificate to Rudolph’s Bar-B-Que
·         $50 Gift Certificate to Bloomington Chop House
·         $50 Gift Certificate to Solera

Just click on this link to donate.. and thanks as always for supporting Nativity!

Please share the link with family, friends and coworkers!

Check with your employer, many companies provide matching dollars when their employees donate during Give to the Max Day.  

With your help, we WILL reach and EXCEED our $10,000 fundraising goal on Give to the Max Day!

If you have any issues with the Give to the Max site, please do not hesitate to contact me!

October 31, 2013

“I’ll know you for a long time!”

In September 2012 I was laid off from Supervalu, it was on the one year anniversary of my lay off that I received my offer letter from Nativity of Mary in Bloomington. Today, I celebrate one month at Nativity of Mary in Bloomington!

Two Women One Inspiration
I met Jackie Sauber in 3rd Grade at All Saints in Lakeville-she was my teacher. As I became more active at church Jackie served as a mentor and supporter of my creative talent. I was proud to tell my students & people around me that she was my teacher. I am even more proud to tell people she was my friend for 35 years. She is a wonderful women that impacted thousands of lives. Each time she saw me she would ask about my job search and left me with the encouraging words of “God has a plan for you and the right job will be there at the right time and you will know it.” On July 22, 2013, Jackie passed away and I lost a women that has been a lifetime friend and supporter, but I know she still is keeping an eye on me.   Jackie’s sister and my good friend Mary Kay Bungert had been equally encouraging in my search.  Mary Kay started sending me jobs from the Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis website that fit where I wanted to be going with my life and offered to be a reference. One of the jobs was here at Nativity of Mary for the Development Director position.  Shortly after I emailed in my resume I had a call for an interview. For the first time in the year that I had been sending out resumes and having interviews I was excited; I had the feeling this is where God wants me to be.

A Priest, Principal, and Administrator walk into a room …
It sounds like the beginning of a joke, but that was my second and final interview at Nativity.  I think I even made reference to the last time I was in a small room with a priest and a principal asking me questions was in high school.  There were no canned list of questions filled with “tell me about a time…” They wanted to know ME and what I have done. Trust me any smart interviewee can make up scenarios to the “tell me about a time…” question. (Heck, I have done it.). Then came the question that every interviewer has, “Do you have any questions for me/us?” I have some canned questions I typically ask, but this time I had one, “If I am hired what is one thing that you really want me to accomplish?” The principal wanted an alumni program and the priest wanted parish stewardship.

Is God Testing Me?
After the first interview, I sent a follow up “Thank You” and received an email to set up the second in about two days. After the second interview, I sent another a follow up “Thank You” and I waited. And waited. Uh-Oh, was it my reference to the priest and the principal joke? I sent an email to ask if they needed additional information or if I could give them the names of people that would emphatically say, “Hire Kelly.” Should I call? Patience! One more day. The next morning, September 26th I had my answer.

 “Do you like your job?”
I love it!  My excitement for the job is the same that I think I share with a little girl, who on my first day walking through the hall joyous told me she had just lost her first tooth as she pointed to the small gap in her mouth.

There is a saying, “Everything I need to know I learned in Kindergarten”, three days on the job I met a Kindergartener named Brianna as I waited for an assembly to begin. She asked if I would help her with the zipper on her sweater because it kept getting stuck.  I commented that I liked her Hello Kitty lunch bag and she told me “You need to remember your snack.” as she proudly held it up.

One benefit is I can have lunch from the cafeteria for $3.50.  The first day I went to get lunch I was greeted by young girls who welcomed me to sit at their table. “Are you a teacher?” they asked.  I told them I worked at the church office and I was new.  I asked what grade they were in, to which they answered “First”.  I said, “Oh you girls are new too.” My new friend Quinn told me “No, we were here in Kindergarten.” Then Quinn, Isabelle, Angelina, and Autumn showed me the ropes when it came to eating in the cafeteria like if a teacher puts up two fingers in a V then you are supposed to be quiet, and where to put trash and your tray.  I was invited to see their classroom and their teacher, Mrs. Barth, welcomed me to say for “What’s in the Sack” (Show and Tell). The girls told me I can have lunch with them anytime; I try to have lunch with them once a week.

“I’ll know you for a long time!”

Today, as I celebrate one month at Nativity of Mary I coincidentally got my new ID badge.  I didn't have a lanyard to put it on and was given one by the school secretary.  The lanyard was for Academy of Holy Angels School, many students from Nativity go there.  I had also promised my first grade friends I would join them for lunch and today was the day.  Quinn asked, “Does that say Holy Angels?” “Yes, the school secretary gave it to me.” I said.  “Well I am going to go there after Nativity and you will be here so I’ll know you for a long time!” I paused, thinking of my relationship with Jackie Sauber and said, “I hope I will get to see you graduate from there!” I think this is God’s way of saying “this is the right job and I am here at the right time.”

I don't remember if I knew in 3rd grade that I would know Jackie for a long time. I don't know if Quinn will remember telling me she will know me for a long time. I do know that if we do what we love the world around us changes and we make an impact and that is what will  last a long time.

April 5, 2013

CamelBak® Groove & CamelBak® All Clear

70% of the Earth is covered in water.
Less than 3% of the Earth's water it is fresh water.
More than 2/3 of the Earth's fresh water is frozen in glaciers.

 According to groundwater provides 25-40% of the Earth's fresh drinking water. Even though it is "fresh" water it may not be safe to drink. One concern for travelers to a developing country would be having enough safe water to drink. In the United States safe drinking water comes in the form a treated water by a city or county, or in the form of bottled water. The Beverage Marketing corporation said Americans consume an average of 29.2 gallons per captia of bottled water in 2011, with an expected gain of 1.2 gallons over the next five years. Like many people in developing countries the people of Uganda may not have access to clean water. Often the source of water is shared with neighbors and animals. Bottle water is a luxury. In order to have safe water people carry a Jerrycan weighing approximately 40 lbs from the water source to their home which could be two or more miles. Once the water is home it must be boiled before it is safe to consumed or used in cooking food.

At home in Minnesota know I can turn on the faucet and get water any time that is safe to drink.  In my usual travels I take a water bottle, especially when flying to keep hydrated. As I researched my trip to Uganda I found that it was not safe to drink water unless it was bottled or boiled.  I wasn't sure what the availability of bottled water would be so I started looking at various options.  My brother Matt is a designer at 3M and has worked on various water filters, I knew he would have the right product for me. Matt recommend two water bottles from CamelBak®.  The first is the CamelBak® Groove, the second was the CamelBak® All Clear. He was able to get me one of each of each of the water bottles to use on my trip.  

The CamelBak Groove has a built in water filter that will filter out bad tastes in water that is safe to drink. I started using the CamelBak Groove before my trip and did find it made a difference in the water I drink from the tap; it tastes like fresh filtered water. I have also use it at work and public drinking fountains with the same great results. The only thing I need to remember is not to fill it completely to the top because when you put the top on with the filter the water overflows.  

The bottle is BPA-Free and the top has a CamelBak patented bite top which I really like because it eliminates leaking from the top of the water bottle. The filter will last about 3 months. I was worried about remembering to change the filter, but then I found out I could register on CamelBack to get a  reminder. This water bottle is one I will continue to use daily. The cost for a CamelBak groove is $25-35 and can be purchased online at CamelBak Groove or purchased at REI.
Photo by Linda Cullen Photography
The CamelBak All Clear was a life-saver on my trip to Uganda! I will admit the first time I used it in Uganda I was a bit nervous, but CamelBak has a reputation for quality and the All Clear would never went onto the market it it didn't work. It was simple to use, lightweight, and I had extra water all the time. 

The All Clear is a portable purification system that uses UV technology to neutralize microbiological contaminants in water and make the water safe to drink in 60 seconds. The CamelBak All Clear comes with a BPA free water bottle (.75 liter), classic cap, UV cap, USB cable for charging and carrying case for the All Clear UV cap and USB cable.  

The All Clear is simple!  

  1. Fill the bottle with water 
  2. Screw on the All Clear UV cap
  3. Press the power button
  4. Shake for 60 seconds
  5. Drink!

The LCD screen on the cap has a 60 second timer and the UV light will turn off when the water is neutralized.  Once the UV light is done simply remove it and replace it with the classic cap or with other CamelBak cap. The UV light has a rechargeable lithium ion battery built into it.  According to the CamelBak website a fully charged battery can provide 80 purifications (approximately 16 gallons of water)   The UV cap stows in the protective case with the USB cable. I charged the battery before leaving on my 10 day trip and it still had a full charge when I returned home. The USB cable can be plugged into a USB wall outlet, computer, solar panel, etc., and be fully charged in about 4 hours.

Photo by Linda Cullen Photography
Instead of worrying about having bottle water or boiling water before I could drink it I would "make water" (purify it) with my CamelBak All Clear.  Once I made my water I would pour it  into my CamelBak Groove and then make a second batch and simply replace the UV cap with the classic cap. I used the All Clear at least three times a day during my trip to Uganda. The cost for the CamelBak All Clear is about $99.00 and can be bought online at CamelBak All Clear or at stores like REI. This is a great investment for anyone who travels to areas with questionable water. 

If you want to use the All Clear in areas where there might be larger sediment in the water I would recommend also purchasing the All Clear Pre-Filter ($15). This filter fits on the top of the All Clear water bottle and allows you to filter out sediments before purifying the water with the All Clear. It is also available online or in stores.

CamelBak makes outstanding products and they stand behind what they make. Weather you are looking for a water bottle to use everyday or something to have clean water when traveling, camping, or hiking I would recommend shopping at CamelBak.   They also guarantee their products for life. "In 2011, CamelBak introduced the Got Your Bak™ Lifetime Guarantee for all reservoirs, backpacks, bottles and accessories. The Got Your Bak™ Lifetime Guarantee covers all reservoirs, backpacks, bottles and accessories from manufacturing defects in materials and workmanship for the lifetime of the product.

Photo by Linda Cullen Photography
You cannot go wrong with CamelBak!!  

Thank You to Matt, 3M & CamelBak for the great water bottles!

March 10, 2013

Fifty Lanterns Uganda Trip

This trip has been absolutely amazing! And that's an understatement!  I am sorry I have not posted any blogs we just had wireless for about 2 minutes well we've been gone. I have so many amazing stories to tell you and pictures to show you-even some video.

A lot of people are already asking if I will come back, all I can say is I definitely want to;  the trip has just been so amazing and life changing. I am hoping to catch up on all my blogs today as we wait for our flight I have had a lot of smiles and moment that have brought tears to my eyes.

The power has been out with the exception of about 2 minutes today. I will keep communicating as we have wifi.

March 3, 2013

Exploring Outside

I have been sitting inside all morning,  it is 2:00 pm so I decided to walk outside. I have been inside for the past few months I figured it was time to warm up and unthaw from my life in Minnesota.  It is sunny and degrees with a slight breeze occasionally coming through. 

The hotel is surrounded by a wall with a gate that we entered last night.  I found they have a beautiful courtyard with chairs, tables and umbrells. I also found a small bar outside.  And who is behind the bar? Our host Sam joined by another staff member. They are watching CNN. I took a seat in the courtyard to work on some blogs but I think an African beer might be calling my name soon.

I looked on the wall and saw an orange headed lizard; he must be camera shy because he scurried away when I took his picture. If my nephew Charlie was here I am sure he would have reached up and grabbed him. The only other wild life I have seen is a lazy cat snoozing away.  

I tried a Nile Special Beer 4,000 Schilling ($5.00 US) It is a lager beer from Uganda that is 5.6 % ABV . According to it's label it is the "International award winning beer brewed at the source of the great river Nile ". The Ingredients include Water, Barley, Maize Grits, sugar, hops, and CO2. Nile Special has a simple taste that goes down smooth. Even at a cold temperature it forms a long lasting head.

Sleepless in Uganda

It's 5:33am I have been laying awake since about 2:00am. I have tried all my tricks to try to fall asleep-staring at the ceiling fan,  saying a rosary,  reading, and even playing Fun Towers and Majoung on my tablet.  Linda was up too for awhile but has been able to get back to sleep.  I am hot it has to be about 75 degrees in our room. We have a portable air conditioner, but it doesn't seem to be working unless you are standing right by it. There is a ceiling fan but unless it is turned the right way you won't feel cool air, besides the room has a high ceiling. I keep checking the hotel Wi-Fi to see if it allows me to get online, the signal says it is strong but maybe they do something to conserve energy. Time to try it again. I will give it a few minutes to see if it downloads any emails or let's me get online. No it didn't work. I will try again at 6:00am when the staff might arrived to prepare for breakfast. Linda and I were planning on waking up at 7:00am, that is one hour and ten mintues, to have breakfast, pack our stuff and be ready for our ride to arrive. I am so hot that I will take a quick shower before I get dressed. I was hoping to sleep because we have a 10 hour ride ahead of us and I don't want to spend it napping. 

***This entry was written 3/3 but I didn't have wi-fi to post it.

We Have Arrived!

We arrived in Entebbe, Uganda last night. According to my calendar it is March 3rd. was two days of travel. I saw the sunset as we left the United States and then saw it rise is we flew into Amsterdam, I saw the sunset again we headed towards the southern hemisphere to the country of Rwanda. It different flying into someplace that is almost completely dark until you taxi to the gate and see the lights of the terminal. I can now officially say I have been in the Southern Hemisphere.
When we arrive in Entebbe we stepped off the plane to a temperature of 74 degrees; I was instantly sweating, but I was happy not to see snow on the ground. We met another American from Chicago who was here working with a local Orphanage and School. He has worked with them for a number of years. He had two bins of "gifts" for the kids; he led us past customs without any questions or having them open our five bins.
Our hotel host Sam greeted us with a welcoming smile outside of customs. He is a wonderful local man born and raised in Uganda. He showed us pictures of his two daughters (6 years & 3 months old)-he was a very proud dad. Unfortunately where he parked the police didn't like and they put a boot on his wheel to prevent him from moving. He had to speak with the Policeman standing nearby to convince him to release the van; Linda even went to ask and apologize because it took us longer than Sam may have planned. It was a short trip to the Executive Airport Hotel.
Our room is simple, but the best part was laying down to sleep after only a maximum 30 minutes of sleep on the plane at a time. maybe I should say just laying down because I was showing Linda how to use my Samsung Note 10 tablet with stylus to send emails; she was having fun and I think will be purchasing a tablet upon her return. Wait until I show her the drawing apps.   We were told last night we only had our room for one night, which worried us because we didn't think we would get to rest as long. We did find out this morning we get to stay one more night at the Executive Airport hotel which will help with our sleep recovery. The staff here is wonderful and accommodating. Plus they have free WiFi which is a benefit for us bloggers.  

For some reason I cannot easily add photos and captions go I am adding them at the end . Our plane in Amsterdam. My view of Rwanda. Hotel Room

March 2, 2013

"I just show up."

What a journey so far!  Linda and I left Minneapolis,  Minnesota on March 1st.

I have to give a big shout out to my friend Emma Held for taking such great care of Linda and I.  We enjoyed a light lunch at Shoyu of Lettuce Wraps, Spring Rolls, and Spicy Noodles. Before we left Emma gave me a Moleskin travel journal and provided Linda and I each a bag with snacks and water (unfortunately we had to donate the water to the very friendly TSA staff of Terminal 5. The young gal thanked us and assured us they would be drank)

We flew Delta to Chicago with our seatmate Tamera. She was flying from Los Angeles to Chicago for her friend's 50th birthday; not only was it a surprise party,  but she was a surprise guest.  Tamera is a mother of two, her son is off to the University of Michigan to study theater; he is already an accomplished entertainer. Her daughter is a teenager. Tamera was awesome to sit by. (Linda and I wished she was sitting by us the rest of the way) We told her about our trip to take solar lights to the Ugandan Grandmothers and she was moved.    

In many conversations with strangers often the question is asked "What do you do for work?" this conversation was no different.  Tamera said,  "I just show up." My puzzled look led her to clarify she does whatever the job is she is being paid to do. I did find out she moved from Chicago to Los Angeles to do hair and make up 20 plus years ago and she is "still in the business".  We talked about the things we do that make us happy and how we thrive and become better people when we do things we love.
"I just show up." That is what I feel I have been doing since being laid off in September 2012. I am doing things that I enjoy (and sometime get paid for). I am happy!  Yes, I am still pursuing a full time job,  but until that comes I will keep showing up!

March 1, 2013

“As we work to create light for others, 
we naturally light our own way.” 
― Mary Anne Radmacher

Kristine Knutson
David & Beth Branscomb
Rick & Claudia Lund
Kristy and Marty Chromy
Mark O'Conner
Betty Pell
Tom & Lindamarie Branscomb
Kimberly Koehler
Bob and Anita Doll
Mary Lempke
Celeste Riekala
Joy Altman
Vicky Baum
Todd Mace

Thank you for your generous donation towards my trip! With these donations I have raised $2,065 towards my trip.

February 10, 2013

"Wherever there is a human in need, there is an opportunity for kindness and to make a difference."~Kevin Heath CEO More4kids

Tenille Meyer

Lynn Fanene

Wendy Appel 

Bob Curtis
Jaclyn, Steve, Jonah & Sam Perez
Chelsea Anderson & Jesse Pipe
Debbie & Skip Blackmore
Carol & Brice Perkins 
Julie Rickard
Peg & Mike McAloon
Larry & Faith McCaghy
Frank Weiser
Marissa Ryan

Thank you for your generous donation towards my trip! With these donations I have raised $920 towards my trip.

January 28, 2013

Fifty Lanterns Uganda Trip

Hello Family & Friends!

When I was laid off from Supervalu in September 2012 I never realized in the short time how my life would start to change. I feel I finally am discovering my own purpose. My goal in life has always been to make small differences in people's lives; recently I was given an opportunity to change a lot of lives in a way that was larger than any I would have imagined.

Linda presenting solar light

My friend Linda Cullen Weiley is the founder of Fifty Lanterns International. Fifty Lanterns International is a Minnesota-based nonprofit organization that partners with established humanitarian groups to provide communities in the developing world tools that provide safety and opportunity through renewable energy sources such as solar-power lights and arrays-they bring light where there is none. The solar lantern can rid a home of toxic and expensive kerosene and the risk of a deadly fire. With the extended day that the solar light gives a family, children may do their school work, daily activities can be completed after sunset. Fifty Lanterns has completed 17 major distributions or solar installation projects since it was founded in late 2004 including homes, schools and hospitals. Each of these projects made a vital difference in the lives of widows, orphans, families, and disaster victims. Linda and other Fifty Lanterns representatives personally deliver the lights for each project.

I have been helping Linda promote and raise money to purchase lanterns. The most recent project will provide solar lights for a group of Ugandan grandmothers who take care of orphans with AIDS. Linda has asked me if I would go with her in March to deliver at least 250 lights to the grandmothers.

This is an opportunity I have been doing serious discernment about. Maybe the reason I haven't found a full time job yet is the God has a purpose for me on this trip. I know there are risks involved in traveling to a developing country and I need to be smart in my decision. However the advice I give to others keeps going through my head "You can't fly if you don't leap!" It's time for me to leap!

The cost of the trip will be approximately $2500 (I am estimating higher until airfare is confirmed) and I will be gone for 10 days. The trip dates will be confirmed in a few days, but I will be leaving the end of February. I am sending this to ask for your financial support for this trip. Any money donated above the cost of my airfare will be given to Fifty Lanterns to purchase more lights for future projects. In addition to cash and check payments I have a credit card reader to process credit card payments. I hope you will consider helping me achieve this opportunity. Please contact me by email at and I will provide you with my address and/or phone number.

I will post on my blog so you can keep updated on my journey. I hope you will consider helping me achieve this opportunity.

Thank you!


January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!! My Lucky '13

Happy New Year!!  With a new year comes a new list. The number "13" is often associated with bad luck or superstitions; I have never been a believer in that, on the contrary it is one of my lucky numbers.  This list is going to be called "My Lucky '13". My list are not "bucket lists", they are ways to make sure I keep going out and living.  God gives me the days I have on this earth for a purpose, I may not know what that specific purpose is, but I know I am lucky to live each one of them.
  1. Read 13 books. I have always been an avid readers, but lately it feels like my book reading is lacking because life seems to be too busy. I typically read 2 or 3 books at a time so to read 13 books in a year should be a goal I can accomplish. 
  2. Try 13 new restaurant. This item is always an easy one for me to get done.  There are so many great restaurants in the Twin Cities area and even outside of the Twin Cites. This is something everyone should do because it is a great way to get out of dining ruts.
  3. Learn to make cheese. One of my favorite foods is cheese. I have seen quick recipes on making soft cheese; I might have to challenge myself to try making a hard cheese too.
  4. Learn to make pasta. I love the taste of fresh pasta and I have always wanted to make pasta since I was given a pasta maker from a dear friend of mine. I cannot wait to make fresh pasta for my niece Karley as she prepares for swim meets this season. 
  5. Learn to scuba dive. Not many people know this about me, but when I was little I was deathly afraid of water. Another not so known fact about me is that one of my favorite sounds is the sound of being underwater. I love to swim. I love being surrounded by water. I took a introduction to scuba class when I was in Hawaii in the hotel pool many years back and have wanted to give it another try and actually leave the pool.
  6. Cook with Chef John Besh. If you follow my blog this item will look familiar. To cook with Chef Besh was #1 on my 12 in '12 list, unfortunately I was unable to have that opportunity. I did make progress in my journey to cook with him so I am not giving up.I am hoping this year will be luckier in achieving this goal.
  7. Climb the stairs of the IDS Tower.  At 57 stories this iconic building is the tallest building in Minnesota. Climbing is part of reaching goals. I am going to climb the 1,280 stairs to reach this goal for 2013. 
  8. Get a full time job. I was laid off from Supervalu in September 2012.  I was able to pick up two part time jobs, however a full time job would provide would hopefully provide financial stability and benefits. 
  9. Defend my Golden Whisk Award at the 2013 Minnesota State Fair. One of my goals in 2012 was to meet local baker Danny Klecko from Saint Agnes Baking Company in St. Paul, MN.  Who would have known that meeting Danny would lead to the highlight of 2012-cooking at the Minnesota State Fair and winning the Golden Whisk Award. I had an absolute blast doing the demo and cannot wait to find out what the theme is this year. 
  10. Be lucky enough to spend time with people who inspire me. I have such an eclectic group of people I know. They are in my life for various reasons. I want to spend time with them, but I am also adding other people that also inspire me. I think getting snippets of wisdom will be awesome.
  11. Learn to read Braille. I love to read so I figure why not try to do it without my sight.
  12. Increase the success of Small Servings. I started my blog in March off 2011 to share my life and my talents. I write about cooking, dining out, products I like, and some of the creative work I do. I have been given some great opportunities in 2012 to promote my blog and what I do as the owner/creator of Small Servings. 
  13. Go to San Antonio. My cousin Robert Weiser asked if I would put this on my list as number 13, so I did. A trip to San Antonio is always a fun time.