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FROM THE DESK OF Bob Norton
Sometimes, I like to include helpful information in this column, and this is one of those occasions. Each
year, several clients go through major life changes. With everything going on during those times in their lives, the last thing on their minds is updating the beneficiaries on their life insurance and retirement accounts. Fortunately, I have only heard of situations where someone has passed away and their spouse or a child found out that they were not a beneficiary for life insurance or a retirement account because the deceased had failed to update the beneficiary. Apparently, this happens a lot, and I would hate to see that happen with any of my friends or clients. So, I recommend that you check the beneficiary designations on all of your life insurance policies and IRA or 401(k) accounts, as well as bank accounts, brokerage accounts, investment accounts, annuities, and 529 college savings accounts. While you are at it, setup a recurring reminder on your calendar to check your beneficiary designations annually.
APPLE CIDER & BEYOND C reative D rinks to K eep Y ou W arm T his F all
During the chilly nights of autumn, most people turn to one of three piping hot drinks to keep them warm: hot chocolate, apple cider, or tea. But take it from us — you can do much better.
There’s no better place to be during the fall than in your warm kitchen experimenting with the plethora of hot drink recipes the season has to offer. Thanks to the rise of celebrity chefs and kitchen keyboard warriors (aka food bloggers), there are dozens of variations on hot chocolate, apple cider, and hot tea out there and even more unique potions splashing onto the scene all the time. First, let’s address the favorites. You can easily improve your hot chocolate game by melting your own chocolate, adding a bit of cinnamon, and using whole milk instead of water, but the world of cocoa is much larger than that. For an extra sweet twist, try using white chocolate instead of milk chocolate or topping it with crumbled toffee and toasted hazelnut pieces instead of marshmallows. You can spice up your drink with pepper to mimic the Aztecs, or make a 21-and- up version by adding a shot of peppermint schnapps and whipped cream.
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shame to go the whole season without sipping a chai —whether homemade with Indian spices or from your favorite coffee shop. Last but certainly not least are the fall drinks that you’ve perhaps never heard of. Foremost among them, for those of drinking age, is hot buttered rum, which is a warming drink that dates back to colonial days. You can make the rich brew at home if you have rum, butter, brown sugar, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and a pinch of salt. For the younger crowd, try hot vanilla, Oatmeal with a Fork’s alternative to hot chocolate. Not only is it something a bit different, but the recipe is dairy-free, vegan, and paleo. Another healthy option is Green Kitchen Stories’ warm, spicy apple and carrot drink, which is an autumn concoction made with fruit and vegetable juices in addition to the usual spice suspects. That said, there’s nothing wrong with striking an indulgent note when it’s cold outside. Try A Spicy Perspective’s drinking caramel or Lick My Spoon’s maple-bacon hot buttered bourbon for an extra-sweet treat.
When it comes to apple cider, try getting in the Halloween spirit with Food Network Canada’s Spooky Apple Cider Punch; the recipe calls for cinnamon sticks, cloves, and floating apples carved to look like shrunken heads. If you’re looking for an adult beverage, mulled wine is a fun alternative that tastes similar. To make a batch, just add a bottle of red wine, sliced oranges, cloves, cinnamon sticks, star anise, and honey to a pan and simmer it for half an hour. For more kick, add 1/4 cup of brandy. As for tea, you can gussy up your cup with a splash of orange juice, a hint of lemon, sugar, vanilla, and almond extract to replicate the recipe for Russian tea from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. In your quest for a soothing hot drink, don’t forget about coffee. There’s no reason to stoop to the over-hyped pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks when it’s easy to make your own healthier, tastier version at home with a coffee maker, whole milk, spices, and a can of pumpkin puree. For an indulgent upgrade, drizzle on some of Simply Sissom’s homemade salted pumpkin spice syrup. Fall lattes aren’t limited to pumpkin, either. It would be a
‘GOT MY MIND SET ON YOU’ George Harrison’s Sales Advice
is where free trials and giveaways are your best friend. Targeting these special offers specifically at your warm list is a great way to cultivate lifetime customers.
In conversations about sales, one doesn’t usually think of George Harrison. But the truth is that the Beatles’ lead guitarist actually has some solid words of wisdom when it comes to converting warm leads. His last No. 1 hit single, “Got My Mind Set on You,”may sound like dated courtship advice, but it’s actually the perfect road map for turning interested parties into loyal customers. ‘I GOT MY MIND SET ON YOU’ The theme of the song is painfully straightforward: A lovestruck singer has his mind set on dating someone. While your mileage may vary on single-minded romantic pursuits, this level of unwavering dedication is a must for warm leads. Unlike the mystery woman of Harrison’s song, these are people who have shown interest in your business. To build toward a sale, you have to return the favor. Send personalized emails or newsletters, or pick up the phone and call them. ‘IT’S GONNA TAKE MONEY’ As the first verse of the song suggests, building this promising relationship isn’t going to be cheap. If someone hasn’t already taken the leap to become a customer, they need some incentive to get serious. This
‘IT’S GONNA TAKE PRECIOUS TIME’ The No. 1 mistake sales teams make is giving up on leads too early. If you dump a prospective customer because they hesitate on your first few attempts, you’re shutting the door on future profits. Depending on your business, leads that take months or even years to convert can more than make up for the time and effort you’ve spent on them. Customers won over this way are far more likely to stick with you.
‘TO DO IT RIGHT’ The final conceit of George’s song is that there may be other ways to win a person over temporarily, but this is the right way. By remaining dedicated and spending the time and money to build your relationship, you can win over lifetime customers — no singing required.
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CAN YOGA IMPROVE YOUR BASKETBALL GAME? NBA Players Say Yes
told STACK. As a former basketball player himself, Katich is intimately familiar with the sport and claims that even a couple of minutes of yoga can help in a pinch.
We all know that ballet is the secret behind many NFL players’ footwork skills, but did you know that yoga can offer similar game upgrades to basketball players? Fitness experts agree that if you’re trying to get better at shooting hoops, then you can benefit from regular yoga sessions. According to yoga instructor Karla Tafra, there are multiple payoffs to adding stretches like Crescent Lung, Tree Pose, Bridge Pose, and Warrior 2 to your exercise arsenal. “Basketball is extremely fast-paced, with lots of jumps, twists, turns, coordination, and sprints that take a huge toll on the joints and tendons,” Tafra told BodyBuilding.com. “Keeping them flexible and strong prevents injuries and aids recovery.” According to STACK, many of today’s top players are already well aware of the protective powers of yoga. NBA stars like Blake Griffin, Kevin Love, and LeBron James all regularly bend
“It’s not about doing an hour of yoga every day,” he said. “It’s about how you feel and what you need right now.”
Some yoga poses are known for building strength, while others can improve flexibility, ease sore muscles, elongate the spine, and even reduce stress. Combined into an hourlong practice over weeks, months, or years, these yoga poses can make a player lighter on their feet, quicker to duck or dive, more graceful with their reach, and more relaxed. If you’re still in doubt, take it straight from All-Star LeBron James, who has broken dozens of records on the court and is considered by many to be this generation’s greatest player.
themselves into pretzels to improve their game. Love integrates an hour of yoga into his workouts two or three times each week.
James told The Plain Dealer, “Yoga isn’t just about the body; it’s also about the mind, and it’s a technique that has really helped me.”
“Yoga teaches stretching, strengthening, and breathing, and it helps you get in tune with your body. That helps in basketball, or in any sport, really,” Love’s yoga instructor, Kent Katich,
Take a Break!
Miso Caramel Apples
Inspired by Bon Appétit
4 Popsicle sticks
4 Granny Smith apples
2 tbsp light corn syrup
1/2 cup raw pistachios
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tsp plus 1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
3 tbsp sesame seeds
2 tbsp white miso, divided
tbsp water to a boil. Boil for 5–7 minutes, swirling infrequently, until caramel is a light amber color.
1. Heat oven to 275 F. 2. In a food processor, pulse
pistachios and 1 1/2 tsp sugar. Add sesame seeds and 1 tbsp miso, pulsing until miso is fully broken up. Spread evenly
5. Add cream and salt to caramel, whisking to
combine. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and quickly whisk in remaining miso. 6. To assemble, first roll apple in caramel, then in pistachio mixture, before resting on greased baking sheet. 7. Let cool 30 minutes and serve.
on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 15–20 minutes and let cool. 3. Meanwhile, insert a Popsicle stick into the center of each apple. 4. In a saucepan, bring corn syrup, 1 cup sugar, and 2
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE From the Desk of Bob PAGE 1 Your Guide to Warm Fall Drinks PAGE 1 PlayThis Song to Your Sales Team PAGE 2 Can Yoga Improve Your Basketball Game? PAGE 3 Take a Break PAGE 3 Miso Caramel Apples PAGE 3 Amazing Cat Tales PAGE 4
TAILS FROM THE PAST Mythical Cats of the World
to survive, but he still split his meals with his cat, Tama. One day, Lord Nakaota li got caught in a rainstorm while hunting and took shelter under a tree near the temple. Nakaota spotted Tama near the temple, and the cat raised its leg, beckoning the noble to come toward him. Curious, Nakaota complied, stepping out from beneath the tree just before a bolt of lightning struck it down. The lord’s life was saved, and to this day, the Maneki-Neko (the beckoning cat) is a symbol of wealth and good fortune. FREYA’S SKOGKATTS — NORWAY In Norse folklore, the goddess Freya had a unique means of travel: a chariot pulled by two cats. These were skogkatts, or Norwegian Forest cats, that were only a little larger than your average house cat. Still, these small felines towed Freya around battlefields as she gathered warriors to send to Valhalla. On top of be- ing the goddess of war, love affairs, and magic, Freya may well have been Midgard’s first cat lady.
Most owners will tell you their cats act like ancient deities. Majestic, scrupulous, and utterly unpredictable, these fascinating creatures have long captured our imaginations. Even before cat videos took the internet by storm, humans have been idolizing felines, placing them alongside some of their most important mytho- logical figures. While many people know the pharaohs and their followers thought cats were sacred, you may be sur- prised by how deep the connection goes. The earliest depiction of Bastet, the feline deity of protection, is a lion-headed woman in battle. But, over the course of 2,000 years, Bastet evolved to resemble the domesti- cated, pointy-eared cats we know and love today. (MANEKI-NEKO) — JAPAN Legend has it that in the 17th century, a monk living in a small temple in Edo (now Tokyo) was struggling 招き猫 BASTET — EGYPT Of course, a list of mythical cats has to start with Egypt.
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