Berlin Law Firm - December 2019

LEX CANIS THE Lee Berlin Kyle Killam

Don’t Take a Holiday for the Holidays Start the New Year Right!

It happens every winter. People go into Thanksgiving thinking “It’s the holidays; time to cut loose.” Fast forward to Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and you’ve added to your weight, debt, and growing list of incomplete resolutions. That’s a cold way to start the year. This is 2019. We’re standing not only at the beginning of a new year but also a new decade! Don’t you want to head into the 2020s with a running start? It’s not as hard as it sounds — you just need to shake the idea that the holidays are a two-month vacation. I was just as guilty of this as the next person. For me, the holidays were a time of indulgence, especially when I worked for the government. Sure, there were workdays sprinkled between the federal holidays, but no one really got anything done. It was as if everyone went on a mental sabbatical. At first, I thought this was unique to government work. Surely people in the real world had to keep up their hustle no matter what time of year, right? Nope. When I struck out to start this firm, I was flabbergasted to see how many other professionals let things lapse over the holidays. They’d take long vacations, fail to respond to email, and keep irregular office hours. That’s when the gears started turning for me. If I could keep pace during this two-month stretch, I’d have a sixth of a year’s advantage over the competition!

Now, I’m not saying you should throw out your Christmas tree or go to bed early on New Year’s Eve. I’m simply arguing that you shouldn’t let the basic elements of your everyday life and routine fall by the wayside. Forgetting about eating healthy or budgeting your time and money may sound relaxing in the moment, but think about it long term. Coming out of the haze in the middle of January always caused me a huge amount of stress. I felt like I wasted so much critical time right at the start of the year; it wasn’t a good note to begin on. So, I submit to you that a little planning and accountability can take you a long way this holiday season. Start by identifying 2 or 3 manageable and doable actions you can take in December that could actually enhance or improve your life or create some type of leverage or solve a problem or simply make you happy. For some that might mean improving their health; for others, it could be pursuing a lifelong passion. Just remember, you have a month to really kick these changes into gear, so keep them manageable. For example, my three goals for the end of 2019 are all quantifiable and center on my long-term health, personal development, or both. The first is to get an executive physical — like a regular checkup but more in-depth. This will give me a better baseline understanding of what I need to do to stay

healthy for the rest of the year. Second on my list is picking martial arts back up. I practiced Taekwondo in high school and really want to do it again, both for my health and for the mental escape it offers. Last but not least, I want to increase the number of books I read per year. I’ve been managing to hit 24, but I know I can do better. I’m going to make the push for 36, in 2020, come hell or high water. Fittingly enough, it’s this reading that has helped me formulate this end of year strategy. Lately, I’ve become a avid reader of Grant Cardone and Gary Vaynerchuk. I won’t say that you necessarily have to pick up works from these two authors, but you should look for role models and mentors who inspire you. Whatever message resonates and gets you to strive toward your goals and personal happiness is a valuable one. Don’t leave a plan for your happiness until the new year. Start taking actions now, and by the time spring comes, you’ll be amazed at what you accomplished.

Here’s to the new year and the new you.

Merry Christmas! – Lee Berlin

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The Perfect Easy Recipe To Cure Your Post-Thanksgiving Blues

Cooking has been my love language for as long as I can remember. All major life events were centered around the dining room table in my house growing up. There is something so special about sharing a home-cooked meal with my family and friends, so needless to say, Thanksgiving really allows me to go all out. However, with that being said, I do have one rule for the day after Thanksgiving: NO COOKING. The 24 hours following that meal are for me to enjoy the food coma I will undoubtedly be in! I don’t know about your family, but we usually have leftovers for days , and by the second or third day of having the same meal over and over, we start to get sick of it. So, what do you do? To throw it away would be such a waste! Enter the Thanksgiving leftover sandwich. To start, you will need to make sure you have some sturdy bread on hand. This recipe called for sourdough, and it held up better than I expected. Ciabatta bread is another hearty bread that would work great in this recipe too. I toasted two pieces on a flat- top grill with a little butter. After that, it was time to start layering the leftovers! I piled my bread high, starting with stuffing, followed by a few pieces of thickly sliced turkey, and topped off with some homemade cranberry sauce. The Thanksgiving leftover sandwich is awesome . It’s the perfect blend of sweet and savory. And best of all, it’s just like having Thanksgiving dinner all over again, but now it’s portable! No tablecloth or fine china required. You can wrap it up and eat it while you’re camped out waiting for Best Buy to open their doors for Black Friday shopping. Trust me when I say your family is guaranteed to gobble this one up!

4 Eco-Friendly Ways to Decorate for the Holidays I’M DREAMING OF A GREEN CHRISTMAS

Considering all the wrapping paper, decorations, and cards that fill our homes during the holiday season, it’s no surprise that the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is not only the most cheerful but also the most wasteful time of year. According to Stanford University, Americans generate 25% more trash during the holidays than any other period — that’s the equivalent of one million extra tons per week, which is enough to convince anyone worried about the health of the planet to cut back on the tinsel and fake snow. Luckily for the eco-conscious, celebrating the season without adding too much to the landfill is totally possible. To start your own green Christmas traditions, try these tricks: OPT FOR EDIBLE Remember the cranberry and popcorn garlands of Christmases past? It’s time to bring them back! Pair handmade garlands with iced salt dough and gingerbread ornaments for a fully edible, compostable tree decorating scheme. A bowl of patterned pomanders (oranges studded with cloves) and pinecones makes for a beautiful centerpiece that smells festive, too. GO WILD WITH PLANTS If you like to decorate your stair rail or mantlepiece, try replacing the shiny plastic and fake-foliage garlands with real holly and pine boughs or bringing festive potted plants indoors. Small evergreen trees, holly bushes, and poinsettias are all attractive choices that can, with proper care, last the whole year. DARE TO DIY If you have the time, scrap paper can be cut into beautiful ornaments, and old Christmas cards can be punched into leaf shapes and used to create lovely wreaths. Don’t forget to save your wrapping paper and ribbon scraps for next year! THRIFT SHOP TILL YOU DROP If you have your heart set on glitzy glass ornaments or an elaborate candle centerpiece, check nearby thrift stores before you head to Walmart. They’re often stocked to the brim with Christmas decor during the holidays, and you can probably get something you’ll love for pennies on the dollar! Plus, by recycling these previously used decorations, you’ll be keeping them out of the landfill.

Merry Christmas! By Lauren Risner

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As part of our new monthly section, we highlight and feature local small businesses that “get it.” These great, local, small businesses are maxing out on customer service, living with an abundance mindset, and crushing it by example. This month’s featured local small business is owned and operated by our close family friend and the nicest guy around, Grand Master Seo Hwan. The world continues to increase the stress and anxiety for each of us on a daily basis. For most of us, we find that the “daily grind” constantly puts us in an emotional, mental, and physical vice that just squeezes every drop from us. These stressors are even greater for our children. Today, the attacks against our kids come from new and increasingly frightening means and methods. Without the proper foundation and regular training in those foundational teachings, you are like a leaf in the wind. Now, imagine a set of teachings and disciplines that can put you in control of your world. Enter taekwondo. Taekwondo leads to increased energy, better health and fitness, improved self-esteem, and the self-confidence to remove fear and handle any challenge that life may put in front of you or your children. Taekwondo trains you to maintain the qualities vital to a happier and longer life.

powerful discipline is Grand Master Seo Hwan. Master Seo, beyond being a superior martial artist, is an amazing family man with incredible patience, unworldly discipline, and a fundamental desire to see every student happy and successful. Golden Dragon is kid-friendly and has won the “family favorite” title for a number of years from Tulsa Kids. Although Golden Dragon offers programs for everyone at every stage of life, including ladies-only classes ( Estelle, are you reading this? ), Golden Dragon really shines in the programs it offers children from ages 4 and up. Golden Dragon has programs for really young children from 4–6 years old, children and teens from 7 and up, and adults and family programs. Golden Dragon has some great offers for Christmas and for your New Year’s resolutions. Call them at 918-938-9438 to schedule a tour, or go to and learn more. Tell Master Seo that his “big brother Lee ” sent you!

“My wife, my son, and students are my life.” –Master Seo Hwan

Golden Dragon Taekwondo 7807 E. 91st Street Tulsa, OK 74133

Golden Dragon Taekwondo has quickly become one of the premier martial arts programs in the entire United States. In charge of this

Inspired Be

Cranberry Gingerbread


Inspired by Food & Wine Magazine

1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup canola oil, plus more for greasing

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup unsulphured molasses

2 tsp baking powder

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1 tsp baking soda

2 large eggs

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp kosher salt


baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients until blended. 4. Scrape batter into loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes. 5. Transfer to a rack, let cool for 20 minutes, slice, and serve.

1. Heat oven to 350 F. 2. Grease a loaf pan with canola oil. 3. In a large mixing bowl, mix together 1/2 cup canola oil, molasses, brown sugar, eggs, ginger, and cranberries. In a separate bowl, sift and combine flour with baking powder,

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8516 E. 101st Street, Suite A Tulsa, Oklahoma 74133

Phone: 918-770-0172

Inside This Issue

Plan for a Happy, Healthy 2020 Page 1

4 Eco-Friendly Ways to Decorate for the Holidays Don’t Throw Out Your Thanksgiving Leftovers! Page 2 Spotlight on Golden Dragon Taekwondo Cranberry Gingerbread Page 3

LIGHT UP THE NIGHT Why Do We Hang Christmas Lights?

The first string of twinkling lights illuminating your neighbor’s house is always a telltale sign of the upcoming seasonal festivities. Christmas lights are a holiday staple, but have you ever wondered where this beloved tradition started? The tradition of hanging lights on the tree originally started with candles. Because this posed an immense fire hazard, Edward Hibberd Johnson, a close friend of Thomas Edison and vice president of the Edison Electric Light Company, vowed to find a better way to decorate Christmas trees with light. In December 1882, three years after Edison’s invention of the lightbulb in November 1879, Johnson hand-wired 80 red, white, and blue lightbulbs together and wound them around a Christmas tree in his parlor window. A passing reporter saw the spectacle and declared in the Detroit Post and Tribune, “One can hardly imagine anything prettier.”

Johnson continued this tradition, increasing the number of lights each year and eventually putting them up outside. But because electricity was still a new concept, many years passed before the fad took off for regular Americans. In 1923, President Calvin Coolidge began the tradition of lighting the National Christmas Tree, which spurred the idea of selling stringed lights commercially. By the 1930s, families everywhere were buying boxes of bulbs by the dozen. Today, an estimated 150 million Christmas lights are sold in America each year, decorating 80 million homes and consuming 6% of the nation’s electricity every December. Whether you’ll be putting up your own lights or appreciating the most impressive light displays in your neighborhood or town, let the glow fill you with joy this season. Just don’t leave them up until February!

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