February 2020 Soto’s Chronicles
Protecting your most valuable asset — your family
FROM THE DESK OF
Wishing you much success in 2020!
Welcome to February! I hope the new year is treating you kindly. Sorry I missed the month of January. So, I will share a few thoughts of 2020. With the new decade and a new year comes the unknown, lots of surprises, and many adventures that may come with some twists and turns. I do hope you take time to set your goals and priorities for 2020. February is often referred to as the month of love. There are so many ways to express your love, and I cannot think of a better way than leaving a loving legacy as an expression of love to your most precious asset: your family. Let us organize your life and make sure your estate plan is an expression of your love.
A LEAP ABOVE Celebrating Leap Day’s Unique and Storied History
Until next time, many blessings,
What would you do with one extra day? Every four years, we are confronted with that very question.
The first leap day originated in 46 B.C. when Julius Caesar learned from the astronomer Sosigenes of Alexandria that the 355-day Roman calendar was about 10 and 1/4 days shorter than the solar calendar. He introduced the 365-day Julian calendar and added an intercalary day— leap day— every four years to cover the extra 1/4 day. It wouldn’t be for another 200 years that astronomers would discover that the calendar systemwas still about 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds short. It would last this way until 1582, when Pope Gregory XIII introduced a better method for calculating leap year. This method has become the systemwe use today, and it led to Feb. 29 being the standard leap day. Since then, we make up for lost time with one“free”day every four years. Folklore and superstitions surrounding leap day have continued to be passed down throughout history. Here are just a few of the quirkiest andmost interesting stories about this phenomenon.
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FEBRUARY’S OTHER ROMANTIC HOLIDAY Legend claims that in 1288, St. Bridget approached St. Patrick with a unique problem. It was customary for men to propose to women, leavingmany women waiting impatiently for their men tomake a commitment. St. Patrick, ever the generous man, agreed to allowwomen one day every four years when they could propose to their beaus. Thus, leap day became known as “Bachelor’s Day”for many Europeans. Some legends claim that if the man refused, he would have to buy the woman silk or furs, whichmight have been reason enough for women to pop the question in the first place. Historians believe this leap day tradition inspired Sadie Hawkins dances in the U.S., during which girls are encouraged to ask boys to accompany them to the dance. THE DARK SIDE OF LEAP DAY Many people view leap day and leap years as bad omens. For example, many Greeks believe marrying during a leap year is bad luck, somuch so that USAToday predicts as many as 1 in 5 Greek couples avoidmarrying during those years. But the dark history of leap day may have more weight than old superstitions. The first arrest warrant during the dramatic and deadly saga of the SalemWitchTrials was issued on Feb. 29, 1692. The trails would end in May 1693, but by then, more than 200 people had been accused of witchcraft, 30 of those were tried in court, and 19 people were killed. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LEAPLINGS! …UNLESS IT’S THE YEAR 3000 The odds of being born on a leap day are relatively good, at 1 in 1,461 chances. Every four years,“leaplings,”as they are affectionately called, enjoy
a“real”birthday along with the more than 4 million people who share a birthday with them. In Norway, one family celebrates three siblings who were all born on leap day. The Henriksen siblings, Heidi, born in 1960; Olav, born in 1964; and Leif-Martin, born 1968, share this birthday every four years. They were joined by the Utah-based Estes family in 2012, who are raising leaplings born in 2004, 2008, and 2012. And, despite how few birthdays leaplings get, some have even fewer. Leap day may appear to happen every four years, but that isn’t always the case. In general, leap year does not happen during years that are divisible by 100. The only exception is if the year is also divisible by 400. So, the years 1600 and 2000 had leap days, but the years 1700, 1800, and 1900 did not. Likewise, in the year 3000, for example, we won’t celebrate an extra day in February.
Luckily, 2020 will have this unique and special day. The question is, howwill you celebrate?
KEEP UPWITH THE BIG BUSINESSES 3 Tech Trends to Accelerate Your Company
focus on those more important face-to-face interactions with your customers.
The line between technologies that are beneficial for large businesses and those beneficial for small businesses continues to blur. While the latest software programs were once only available to large companies that could afford them, some of these programs have also become available and profitable for small businesses to use. In an age of increasing connectivity, these are a few tech trends that small businesses should watch out for. While it certainly shouldn’t replace every customer interaction, using AI software programs for small tasks — like email marketing, data entry, accounting, and some low-stress forms of customer service — is invaluable to small businesses. Delegating menial tasks to AI can free up time for you to COLLABORATIONWITH ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
INCREASED USE OF DATA ANALYTICS “Big data” is intimidating. For years, sifting through customer data and extracting valuable information that can be used to grow businesses was something that only the largest companies had the time, funds, and expertise to do. However, more programs that reduce the upfront investment and expertise necessary to contextualize customer data are popping up. If you can make use of your customers’ data, you can give them an experience with your business that they won’t find many other places. CONTINUED RELIANCE ON SOCIAL MEDIA Social media marketing remains an effective tool for attracting customers to your small business, even if the tools continue to
change. While marketing on Facebook and Instagram might seem like old news, marketing on trendier apps, like TikTok, Pinterest, or Snapchat, can still work to your business’s benefit. A recent study showed that 45% of consumers head to social media when they have a question about something — are you going to be there to answer it? Keeping up with the latest and greatest tech trends in small-business management can be exhausting, but in an age where technological advancement is accelerating faster than ever, it’s necessary for the survival of businesses of all shapes and sizes.
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A WORLD OF YOGURT A Look at 3 Types of Yogurt
ingredients: milk, live active cultures, and any flavorings (vanilla, honey, fruit, etc.). If you see any fillers like corn starch or corn syrup listed on the ingredients label, it’s probably not the real deal. AUSTRALIANYOGURT (or Aussie yoghurt) is newer tomost stores, and one of the biggest brands in the U.S. is Noosa. Because it’s typically made with whole milk, it’s rich and creamy— you won’t be saving any calories here. It’s not quite as thick as Greek yogurt, but it’s not runny either. It’s often described as silky smooth and sweeter than other varieties of yogurt, thanks in part to the whole milk. Honey and fruit mix in exceptionally well, and like Greek yogurt, this variety is packed with protein. SKYR , often referred to as Icelandic yogurt, has a lot in common with Greek yogurt in terms of consistency and protein content, but it’s actually
If you walk down the yogurt aisle of any store today, you’ll see more varieties than ever before: Greek, Australian, Icelandic, whipped, and probiotic-packed—not tomention yogurts made with soy, coconut, and almondmilks. And, of course, you have all the classic yogurt brands and tons of flavors to choose from. But what’s the difference between all of these yogurt varieties?What sets Greek apart from Australian?What is unique about Icelandic (Skyr)? We’ve gone ahead and broken it down for you. GREEKYOGURT is one of the more common varieties on the market. It’s typically a thicker consistency with roughly double the protein of traditional, strained yogurts. Most brands of Greek yogurt have less sugar and fewer carbs, as well as fewer ingredients overall. A high- quality Greek yogurt will typically only have 3–4
not a yogurt at all. It’s a cultured dairy product classified as“fresh sour milk cheese.”But don’t let that put you off. It’s thick, smooth, packed with nutrients and probiotics, and lower in sugar than traditional yogurt. Skyr is most commonly made with skimor low-fat milk, but since it has gained global popularity, you can find varieties made with 2% and whole milk, too. Yogurt (dairy and nondairy) is a rich source of gut-healthy probiotics, and while there are some differences in terms of texture, flavor, and nutritional content, any of these three types are a great choice for your diet.
Take a Break!
Inspired by The Minimalist Baker
1/4 cup peanut butter 1 cup bittersweet or dark chocolate, chopped 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 lb medjool dates, pitted (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 tsp sea salt
Directions 1. Using a food processor, blend dates and sea salt until dough can be formed into a ball. Slowly add enough warm water to mixture to thicken dough. 2. Roll dough into tablespoon-sized balls. Freeze for 20–30 minutes. 3. In microwave, warm 1/4 cup peanut butter for 30 seconds, then drizzle peanut butter on top of balls. Freeze balls for another 20 minutes. 4. Meanwhile, in microwave, warm chocolate with coconut oil until melted. Stir well. 5. Coat balls in chocolate and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. 6. Top with additional salt and freeze for 30 minutes. Serve at room temperature.
ROSES SKIING SNOWBANK SUGAR VALENTINE
GROUNDHOG LOVE PISCES PRESIDENTS ROMANCE
AQUARIUS ASH CHOCOLATE CUPID DONOR
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE From the Desk of DeDe PAGE 1 How Will You Celebrate Leap Day? PAGE 1 Important Tech Trends for Small Businesses to Keep Up With PAGE 2 What’s Your Favorite Yogurt? PAGE 3 Take a Break PAGE 3 Date Truffles PAGE 3 The Effects of Love on Your Physical Health PAGE 4 The human brain is an incredibly powerful organ. It solves complex problems, recalls forgotten memories, and triggers a dizzying array of emotions. But its most incredible power is the effect it can have on the rest of the body. When it comes to love, well, our brains certainly love it, and our bodies reflect that. connection and belonging, and studies have shown that love actually has positive effects on a person’s physical health as well as mental. The security and commitment felt in a loving relationship are shown to reduce stress by stunting the production of cortisol, the body’s stress-inducing hormone. Less stress means lower blood pressure, a healthier heart, and a lower risk of stroke, especially in men. LESS STRESS Human beings thrive on a sense of CAN YOU FEEL THE LOVE? The Secret to Living a Longer, Healthier Life
HEALTHIER IMMUNE SYSTEMS Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University found that calm, happy people can fight common colds and the flu more easily than those who are anxious or depressed. The physical benefits of love even go as far as healing wounds quicker. Small injuries inflicted on a wide test group at Ohio State University Medical Center healed nearly twice as fast on people who experienced consistent warmth and care than those who experienced hostility. In fact, the latter group needed almost a full additional day to achieve the same amount of healing as the first group. LONGER, HAPPIER LIVES Being surrounded by love may even save your life. A statistic from the National Health Interview Survey states that single people face a 58% higher risk of mortality. Further bolstering that claim is the Harvard Health Blog, which claims happily married
participants experience better health as they age when compared to peers in unhappy partnerships. In fact, the blog asserts, “People in stressful, unhappy marriages may be worse off than a single person who is surrounded by supportive and caring friends, family, and loved ones.” So, it seems the results are in: Loving someone is a healthy lifestyle choice. Even having a strong network of friends and family boosts your odds of living a long life by 50%. So, get out there and make the healthy choice for yourself and those around you by leading a life full of love.
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