Brooks & Crowley - February 2021

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Review Brooks & Crowley

February 2021


439 Washington Street Dedham, MA 02026

*Services Throughout Massachusetts

STAY TRUE TO YOUR GOALS THROUGH FEBRUARY Where Goals and Resolutions Go to Die

If you’re a forward-thinking, hardworking person, you probably set at least a few business or personal goals every January. You may have even accomplished some of them! Chances are, however, there are probably just as many that you haven’t achieved. In fact, studies in recent years have shown that by the second week of February, around 80% of New Year’s resolutions have been abandoned. If this sounds familiar, does that mean that you’ve failed and that you should give up hope of ever achieving your goals? Absolutely not. Admittedly, I’m writing this article before February, so taking on 2021 feels a lot easier right now. But, if your resolutions are currently among that 80%, you can continue to push forward using a few simple ideas. By now, you’re probably aware of the SMART system for setting goals. You may have even used this methodology to plan your goals for 2021. If you’re not aware, SMART goals are S pecific, M easurable, A ttainable, R elevant, and T imely. You can find all sorts of info on the specifics of each of those qualities online. While you’re more likely to achieve your goals if they’re SMART, that might not be all it takes. According to direct sales trainer Deb Bixler, writer for, our goals shouldn’t just be SMART; they should be SMARTER. SMARTER goals are ones where you also E valuate and R eevaluate. While SMART goals may seem easy to achieve, you’ll never know how easy the process actually is until you get started. Then you might find out that your plans don’t work and the action steps that you laid out don’t bring you as close to achieving your goal as you’d hoped. Instead of giving up, however, that’s when you should take some time to evaluate your progress. What action steps are working well? Which ones need to be tweaked? These are the perfect sorts of questions to ask yourself this month if you’re thinking of giving up. However, evaluation isn’t the only means to success. You might find that adjusting your plan for achieving your goals might not change anything. In fact, the new plan might even be less effective than what you did previously. That’s why you have to continually reevaluate your plans and your goals. What works this month might not work next month, so you have to be ready for that.

At the end of it all, I’ve also found it’s helpful to acknowledge that we don’t always set the best goals for ourselves at the start of the year. We may find out that the goal we thought would be good for us actually doesn’t have the impact we were striving for. Say your goal is to wake up every morning before work and go for a run. While that might have a great impact on your physical fitness, it might also mean you’re tired all day at work and you’re less productive. At a certain point, you might have to find a different goal, and that’s okay. Just because you decide to abandon one goal doesn’t mean you’re giving up on success. This month, I want to encourage all of you to resist the urge to quit striving for success. Evaluate and reevaluate your plans, and don’t be afraid to find a new path to success if your goals aren’t serving you as you intended. –Neil Crowley


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Here Are 3 Ways to Protect Yourself Right Now Money Scams Are Skyrocketing

For the past year, scammers have been working full time to fleece people. As a result of COVID-19, federal financial relief efforts, and state-level relief efforts, scammers have found a new way to get into their victims’ pockets. Now, they’re using COVID-19 again, this time with the “vaccine scam.” Through this scam, they’ll sign you up for the COVID-19 vaccine in exchange for a fee. They are also using variations of the grandparent scam, in which scammers pretend to be a family member in trouble (this time, they have COVID-19 or have lost their job) and they need money. Scammers make phone calls, send text messages, and craft phishing emails, hoping you’ll take the bait. How can you protect yourself from these financial scams and more? Try these three different ways! 1. Shut them down. If you get a call from a scammer, hang up immediately (better yet, don’t answer unknown callers at all). At the same time, delete scam texts or emails the second you see them. If you get a call, text, or email from someone claiming to be with the government or a government agency, it’s a scammer. No one from any federal agency will ever call you out of the blue. Anyone claiming to have a cure or

pretending to be in desperate need of money is also trying to scam you. Never say a word back to them. Cut them off and go about your day. 2. Sign up for Informed Delivery by USPS. This free service is a great way to monitor your incoming mail. Every morning, USPS sends you an

email with scanned images of the day’s mail (this doesn’t usually include larger parcels). When you pick up your mail later in the day, you can verify if anything is missing. Scammers may prefer phone calls, but mail thieves are still very much on the prowl. 3. Sign up for an identity protection and fraud detection service. You never know who might end up with your personal information, but you can take steps to keep it safe. There are several services, like LifeLock, Identity Guard, and Intelius Identity Project, that offer comprehensive identify protection. They monitor credit cards, addresses, phone numbers, bank accounts, and more with the purpose of scoping out unusual or fraudulent behavior. Many services can be customized to fit your specific needs.

Warm Up to These Small Projects For Better Home Insulation

Install thick curtains over your windows.

Are you feeling a draft, even when you’re nestled on the couch? Even though good home insulation is important every part of the year, chances are you notice its absence much more in the winter months. But before you call in a construction crew to tear down your walls and fix your insulation, try these simple, budget- friendly ways to keep heat inside your home.

If you have drafty windows, invest in some thick curtains. Light curtains are great when the weather is warmer, but a good set of heavy curtains will keep the heat from escaping. For added insulation, you can also find curtains with thermal backs. However, if saving money is more important than aesthetics for you, you can also insulate your windows by blow- drying some plastic wrap onto the windows to fill any holes.

Weatherproof your doors.

If you can feel chilly air coming through the crack between the bottom of your door and your hardwood floors, putting foam or rubber weatherstripping under your doors can stop the cold air from getting into your home and circulating through every room. Even if the crack between your floor and your door is extra large, you can double up on weatherstripping. Plus, it can be easily removed when necessary!

Keep up with your HVAC maintenance.

system by simply moving furniture out of the way of vents so it can disperse heat more equally throughout your home. The cold may be sticking around for a while longer. But with some proper insulation, you won’t have to be reminded of that when you’re indoors, all while saving a pretty penny.

Maintaining your HVAC system means changing out filters once a month, cleaning ducts regularly, and watching for leaks in the air duct system. (Some key indicators of leaks are higher energy bills during the summer or dust accumulating more in one room than in others.) You can also maintain your HVAC


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How much do you love chocolate? Would you be willing to die for a taste of your favorite candy bar? Would you kill for one? You’ve probably never thought to ask yourself these questions, but if tall tales can be believed, arguments over chocolate have, in fact, turned deadly. National Dark Chocolate Day and National Chocolate Fondue Day both fall this month (on Feb. 1 and Feb. 5, respectively), and in honor of those tasty holidays, we investigated the original “death by chocolate” — an act of legendary revenge. Rumor has it that the controversy started in the 1600s in Chiapas, Mexico, when a group of chocoholic churchgoers started bringing their favorite sweet snack to services. This annoyed the bishop, who resorted to banning parishioners from eating chocolate during church. As an article in Indian Country Today tells it, the chocoholics got back at the bishop by poisoning his daily cup of chocolatl , an Aztec chocolate drink. Who knew the ancestor of hot cocoa could be so deadly?

Desaulniers, then-owner of The Trellis restaurant in Williamsburg, Virginia. Here’s the restaurant’s mouthwatering description of the seven- layer confection, which takes three days to make: “The decadence begins with layers of moist chocolate cake, dark chocolate ganache, crunchy chocolate meringue, and an airy chocolate mousse. The cake is then coated in a glaze of dark chocolate and served on a pool of chocolate sauce with house-made milk chocolate ice cream, topped with a hand-rolled white chocolate truffle, and finally dusted with white chocolate powder.” Is your mouth watering yet? The original version of death by chocolate might be a bit complex for the average chef, but if you’re craving a slice, you can find more accessible recipes at and SugarGeekShow. com. Just remember that when you pull it out of the oven, we don’t live in the 1600s, so you should probably restrain yourself from poisoning anyone who steals a bite!

Surprisingly, this crazy story isn’t the origin of the “death by chocolate” cake we love today. That dessert was created in 1993 by Chef Marcel


Butter and Herb Baked Oysters


Rock salt or uncooked rice (to coat your baking sheet) 1 dozen fresh oysters, scrubbed and shucked 1 stick butter, softened and divided into 8 tbsp 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs

• • • •

2 tbsp fresh chives, chopped

1 tbsp lemon juice 1 tsp lemon zest

Lemon wedges and chopped parsley for garnish


1. Preheat oven to 425 F. 2. On a rimmed baking sheet, spread out a layer of rock salt or uncooked rice. 3. Arrange oysters on the baking sheet, meat side up. 4. In a skillet over medium

5. In a small bowl, combine remaining butter, chives, lemon juice, and zest. 6. Top each oyster with a teaspoon of chive mixture and a sprinkle of sautéed breadcrumbs. 7. Bake for 8–10 minutes and

heat, melt half of the butter. Add breadcrumbs and sauté until brown.

serve garnished with lemon wedges and chopped parsley.

Inspired by


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439 Washington Street Dedham, MA 02026 Inside This Issue

1 Sticking With Your Goals

Through the Rest of the Year

2 Protect Yourself From COVID-19 Scams!

A Few Ideas to Better Insulate Your Home 3 The Deadly Revenge of 17th Century Chocoholics

Butter and Herb Baked Oysters

4 Good News in Boston

Good News in Boston

Rogue Peacock Seduced Into Captivity, And A New CBS Show

Good News About ‘Some Good News’

Zoo. Once they tracked it down, the officers “arrived at the scene and were met by an extremely large, slightly intimidating, and quite beautiful, male peacock,” the police department wrote in a statement. The officers had to think fast. One of them managed to find and download a bird-calling app. He then played a peacock mating call through his speakers. It worked. Using the app, they managed to lure the peacock into a fenced-in area until animal control arrived. A zoo spokeswoman later told CNN, “Upon learning of the peacock’s adventure, our animal care team at the zoo worked quickly with the Boston Police Department and Animal Control to recover the peacock, and we’re happy to report he is now back at the zoo and doing well.” Best of all, now he’s in the right place to find the mate he was looking for.

In an earlier newsletter, we talked a bit about Boston native John Krasinski’s news show, "Some Good News." They stopped producing episodes in May, because Krasinski sold the show. At first, it was undisclosed to whom. But, in his first episode, he asked why news channels don’t have an entire show dedicated to good news. Well, now they do. Now it’s been revealed that CBS has officially signed on SGN, and John Krasinski will be the executive producer! This will keep him involved in the show, although the host will be changing for the new iteration. We’re still very excited to see what comes next! Boston is one crazy, fun city. Thanks for joining us this month, and see you next time!

As much fun as it was to include a “rogue peacock” and “new CBS show” into our title, the two aren’t directly related. However, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day (and to support famous Boston natives!), we thought we’d share these amazing stories of good news with you!

A Runaway Peacock Is Catfished

While patrolling the Roxbury district, a team of Boston Police Department officers met a concerned citizen who told them an animal might have escaped the nearby Franklin Park


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