Daisy the Office Dog Comforting Our Clients Is Essential
The end of the year is here at last and it has me reflecting on what our firm has accomplished in 2018. As many of you know, our firm started over 30 years ago. It was operated for many years under the leadership of one attorney, and he eventually decided to take his practice a step further and expand throughout the country. He began recruiting knowledgeable attorneys all over the country to work for him, and the firm grew in size and success. Eventually that attorney stepped down and Thomas-Walters was formed by several of the attorneys associated with the original firm, including myself. to grow on our own. When this firm was established in North Texas, we only had one office, but now we have three offices in the local area that I operate and several other offices operated by attorneys with the firm. Earlier this year, we moved into a larger office for our location in Granbury, and we opened a third office in Weatherford. We are also excited to announce that another attorney, Ashley Judd, has joined our team. Ashley handles final signing meetings, can answer any of your estate planning questions, and will soon begin doing educational presentations throughout the North Texas area. In addition to Ashley, we have also gained a new, fun addition to our team: Daisy the Office Dog. The idea for an office dog came to me when I began operating our office in Weatherford. I was explaining the estate planning process to a client when a giant Newfoundland named Bear walked into the room. My first worry was that he would scare the client, who was already in a stressful situation. He went right up to the client and nudged the client’s hands gently with his Thomas-Walters Estate Planning has come a long way since we branched off and started
is crucial, and Daisy plays a significant role in fostering that comfort for clients. Luckily, she is small enough that our clients can pick her up, play with her, or pet her, which helps them relax while we discuss their estate planning objectives. Finally, we are thrilled to announce the launch of our new website: www.Thomas-Walters. com. Be sure to check out the new site often for informative new content and information about educational events and to receive a digital copy of our newsletter. We can’t wait to hear your thoughts on the new site! All of us at Thomas-Walters Estate Planning, including Daisy, are here to help you with your estate planning needs. We continue to grow and the greatest compliment that you can provide to us is to refer your family and friends to our firm.
nose. The client immediately started to pet him and scratch him behind his ears. The next time I met with that client, he asked me where Bear was and told me he had been looking forward to seeing him. From this experience, I thought that an office dog would be a great addition to the team and found Daisy. We understand that estate planning can be extremely stressful, and our goal is to help people feel more relaxed when they come to us for guidance. Estate planning is often an experience that no one wants to think about and is put on the back-burner of priorities, and it is because of this that we at Thomas-Walters Estate Planning try to make it as painless and stress-free as possible. Part of our growth as a firm has been learning how to approach this often delicate subject in as light-hearted a manner as possible, to keep our clients confident and comfortable when speaking to us about their needs and estate planning objectives. Creating an atmosphere that is pleasant for the people who come to us for help
-Les lie Thomas
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WHAT YOUR EYES CAN TELL YOU ABOUT LOVE Is Love at First Sight Real?
example, Sears sold a Kenmore washing machine at a “sale price” of $999.99, compared to a “regular price” of $1,179.99. The problem was the so-called sale price was actually the price that product was offered at every day. Therefore, it wasn’t actually on sale. Duping your customers is a bad business practice, but what makes it illegal? Well, California law requires that retailers post a retail price no higher than what the product was sold at within three months prior to the ad. “Families today … are striving to get the very most they can get from an extremely hard-earned holiday shopping dollar,” said LA City Attorney Mike Feuer. “They deserve to make an informed decision.” After bringing about the suit, the retailers all quickly moved to settle, promising to never engage in false reference pricing again. Most retailers offer discounts around the holidays to encourage shoppers to come into their stores or visit their websites. Promotions and sales are great tools in any business’s arsenal, provided they aren’t out to mislead customers. Big-box stores may try to manipulate innocent people, and it’s up to aggrieved customers to hold those corporations accountable. Nearly every year, you’ll read about a class-action lawsuit that develops in response to the shady tactics of businesses eager to secure those holiday shopping dollars. Are there great bargains to be had on Black Friday? Of course. But if something sounds too good to be true, it very well might be. Keep your eyes peeled and don’t let retailers trick you into a purchase you wouldn’t make otherwise. In the last decade, researchers have determined that from a romantic and reproductive standpoint, both men and women are attracted to partners with bigger pupils. Studies demonstrate that when women are at their peak fertility, they might subconsciously be more attracted to a person with sizable pupils because it could indicate a partner’s attraction to them. Likewise, researchers have reported that men seek out women with dilated pupils due to the association of larger pupils with youth and longevity. The connection between the eyes and enthrallment has inspired some of Shakespeare’s most iconic sonnets, and the science behind our eyes validates some of the Bard’s romantic claims. But does this connection between larger pupils and attraction corroborate the idea of love at first sight? If you believe that attraction equates to true love, then absolutely. But if your definition of love requires a little more depth, then you may have to toss aside the idea of love at first sight and instead view your partner’s eyes as mere“windows”to their soul.
The idea of love at first sight is wonderfully romantic. Two strangers see each other across a crowded room. There’s an instant, magnetic attraction, and suddenly they’ve found their match for all of eternity. In a world in which dating often requires a lot of work —work that comes with disappointment, rejection, and uncertainty — falling in love at first sight has strong appeal. But can it actually happen? Can your eyes tell you anything about love? The connection between the eyes and love has been described in poetry and prose since time immemorial — it’s the stuff of heroic epics and fanciful fairy tales. And evidence has increasingly shown that the human brain is hard-wired to both display and notice visual cues when gazing at a potential love interest. Enlarged pupils are one such cue. When you survey a person or object you are interested in, your brain releases a surge of dopamine — a chemical that controls the brain’s reward and pleasure centers —which causes your pupils to dilate. In this sense, beauty really is “in the eye of the beholder.”
Fake Discounts and Angry Shoppers A MASSIVE BLACK FRIDAY LAWSUIT
Shoppers flock to retailers every Black Friday in hopes of securing the best deals on the year’s hottest products. There are many nasty aspects of Black Friday — the long lines, the over-zealous shoppers, the limited stock of items — but phony pricing and fake sales shouldn’t be among them. But that’s exactly what happened to folks in Los Angeles during the 2016 holiday season, leading to the biggest Black Friday lawsuit in history. In December of 2016, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office sued J.C. Penney, Sears, Macy’s, and Kohl’s for a practice called “false reference pricing,” a nefarious tactic whereby retailers lie about the original price of an item to make a discount appear bigger than it actually is. For
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TAKE A BREAK
How to Indulge Your Sweet Tooth With Less Sugar SURVIVING THE SEASON OF SWEETS Cookies, cakes, and pies, oh my! The holiday season is brimming with sweet treats of all kinds. Sometimes it can feel like candy and sugary desserts are around every corner, and yet you still want to indulge. However, when you consider that over 50 percent of Americans are insulin-resistant, prediabetic, or diabetic, that piece of pumpkin pie with whipped cream starts to look more dangerous than appetizing. During the holidays, how you can satisfy your sweet tooth without worrying about consuming excessive sugar and calories? Skip the candy and go for the fruits and nuts. Keeping a bowl of fruit and nuts nearby can help keep sugar cravings at bay. Dried fruits, such as cranberries, pineapple, or apricots, are both sweet and nutritious. Just be sure to check the packaging for added sugars. You can even make your own dried fruit with a food dehydrator. This way, you are completely in control of the ingredients. No matter what you do, just be mindful not to overindulge. Dried fruit is high in sugar and calories, but the fiber and vitamins make fruit much healthier than just about any other sugary treat. Another way to cut down on your sugar intake is to use dark chocolate in all your chocolate-based treats. Dark chocolate has about half as much sugar as milk chocolate, twice as much healthy fat, less cholesterol, 4–5 times more iron, twice as much potassium, fewer carbs, and more flavonoids and theobromine. The antioxidant properties of the theobromine and flavonoids make dark chocolate as good for your heart as it is for your soul. If you have a recipe that calls for chocolate, reach for the dark stuff, whether it’s dark chocolate chips, cocoa powder, or baking chocolate. While it may seem as though everyone and their grandma is overindulging on sugar this season, know that you have the choice to opt for healthier sweets. And come NewYear’s, you won’t have to spend the first fewmonths of 2019 working off that extra cookie weight.
HOLIDAY ROAST PRIME RIB
Looking for an easy holiday roast that still feels elegant enough for the occasion? Look no further than this delicious prime rib flavored with garlic, thyme, and red wine.
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 bone-in prime rib (6–7 pounds)
8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 cups red wine
4 cups beef stock
1. 30 minutes before cooking, remove roast from fridge and let sit until it reaches room temperature. 2. Heat oven to 350 F. 3. Make small slits in prime rib and stuff with slices of garlic. Liberally season with salt and pepper. 4. Place a rack inside a roasting pan and roast prime rib for 2 hours, until medium-rare. 5. To make au jus, place roasting pan with drippings from roast over 2 burners on high. Add wine and scrape pan as liquid reduces. Add beef stock and cook until reduced by half. Finally, sprinkle in thyme. 6. Slice roast and serve topped with au jus. Inspired by Food Network
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE
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How Our Growth Helps Our Clients
What Your Eyes Can Tell You About Love The Biggest Black Friday Lawsuit in History Holiday Roast Prime Rib Surviving the Season of Sweets
Everything You’ll Need for an Ugly Sweater Christmas
Ugly Sweater Parties A Fun Trend You Can Easily Follow!
ugly photo booth, complete with terrible, tacky props; and, of course, an ugly sweater contest.
store to pick one up. However, if you have a sweater that’s been cozied up for years in the back of your closet or a drawer, now’s your chance to give it new life. Arm yourself with a hot glue gun, thread, and needle, and patch Santa, Rudolph, or Frosty on it. And let it be known that an ugly sweater isn’t complete without sparkles, beads, and sequins galore. WHAT EXACTLY IS AN UGLY SWEATER PARTY? It’s rather simple — slip on your favorite Christmas sweater, gather all your friends and family members, make sure there are plenty of refreshments and games, and you’re guaranteed to have a top-tier party. A few ugly-sweater-themed games that should be on the agenda include an ugly gift exchange, which is similar to the white elephant exchange, except with the gaudiest gifts you can find; an
This is the only time of year when slipping into a lurid red sweater with a stuffed Santa sewn on the front is considered trendy. So adorn yourself in the frumpiest, tackiest sweater you can find, and have some fun this December!
It’s speculated that the first ugly sweater party took place in Vancouver, Canada, back in 2001. Since then, the trend has become one of the most popular holiday party themes. Come Thanksgiving, you’ll start to see racks in all types of clothing stores lined with hideous sweaters. If you’re ready to jump on the ugly-sweater-party bandwagon this Christmas season, here a few things to keep in mind. YOUR VERY OWN UGLY SWEATER Ugly sweaters come in all shapes, sizes, and prices. You can head to H&M or a local thrift
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