Hastings Insurance Solutions LLC
2435 Kimberly Road
Bettendorf IA 52722
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Recipe: Berry Christmas Dessert
Have yourself a very merry and delicious Christmas with this sweet dessert dish
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 2/3 cup frozen red berries (strawberries, raspberries, etc.)
Blend lemon juice, cream, condensed milk, and berries on high for 6-10 minutes, occasionally scraping down the sides. Pour into small wine glasses, cover, and refrigerate until set (3 hours).
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups mint leaves
Plunge mint leaves in boiling water for 30 seconds. Transfer to ice water. Drain and set aside. In a pan, boil sugar and water until sugar dissolves. Let cool. Blend on high with blanched mint leaves. Strain through a fine sieve. Pour mint syrup on the surface of the berry dessert and serve extra on the side.
This month, some famous quotes on the holiday season:
I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph.
May the lights of Hanukkah usher in a better world for all humankind.
Christmas Day is a day of joy and charity. May God make you very rich in both.
The darkness of the whole world cannot swallow the glowing of a candle.
Except for excess decoration, excess commercialism, excess editorializing, excess caroling, and excess cheer, I heartily approve of the Christmas spirit.
~If you didn't catch it in past Newsletters. We are moving our offices in June 2014, Final Local Address TBD.
~If you are one of Many Needing Help with the New Healthcare ACA please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call anytime.
~I will gladdly connect you with our Health insurance Specialist, Amy.!
Deck the Halls: Think Fire Safety and Watch the Christmas Tree
According to the National Fire Protection Association, 50 percent of house fires occur in December. The usual culprit? Tannenbaums. So before decorating this year's tree, consider the following:
- From 2006 to 2010, Christmas trees started an average 240 house fires a year, resulting in four deaths and 21 injuries, not to mention $17.3 million in property damage annually.
- Forty-two percent of Christmas tree fires happen during the "12 Days of Christmas" - December 23 to January 3.
- Disposal is crucial. One homeowner wrapped the tree in clear plastic and put it on the patio. The shiny plastic caught the sunlight, and the tree went up in flames.
- Fake trees are responsible for only a third of all Christmas tree fires.
If a fire happens, contact your insurer immediately. Don't delay or decide to cover damages yourself. Usually structural damage is worse than you think. Smoke damage alone in a room the size of a bathroom can cause thousands of dollars in damage.
Wiring damage can spread. If it does, your claim could be denied for failing to report previous damage. Condo and townhouse owners and renters would be liable for damage caused to neighbors' homes.
- Ensure lights, extension cords, and power strips are in good condition
- Unplug lights before leaving home or going to bed
- Keep trees away from fireplaces and heat sources.
- Water trees daily.
Holiday Parties: Even Santa Loves Cookie Swaps
The holidays are all about entertaining - but multiple parties can strain calendars and budgets. So why not consider hosting a cookie swap. These provide a great opportunity for you to catch up with your friends and their friends, and can even help you prepare for more entertaining.
Cookie swaps are simple. Each guest brings enough baked goods for everyone to enjoy at the party, plus extras to take home. Often guests will share their prized recipes as well.
It takes organization
The key to a good cookie swap is organization. The RSVP deadline matters; the number of people attending will determine how many cookies each guest needs to bring. The more mouths to feed, the fewer items each individual needs to contribute. Cookie swap pros also suggest that you ask what people are bringing and communicate that to the others: Otherwise you may be overloaded with sugar cookies or gingerbread Santas.
Balance sweet with savory
It's not just about sweet treats. Cheese and crackers, and veggies and dip are a relief from all those sweets, and, of course, you'll provide choices of liquid refreshment.
A cookie swap provides a good opportunity to pick up new recipes but also to dust off oldies but goldies - and spruce them up. Add festive decorations to your classic brownies, use seasonal cookie cutters and make squares with red and green cereal available only at holiday time. Candy canes crumbled into chocolate hazelnut spread makes a gooey - and easy - treat.
Good uses for extras
Even though your kids may not be invited to the party, they can participate in the baking beforehand - and they'll be sure to enjoy eating the proceeds of your swap. While you're at it, don't forget to freeze extras to pull out when you're asked to contribute to bake sale fundraisers, or to share with those who don't, or can't, bake.
Can You Shape up in Just Minutes a Day?
Are you looking for a quick way to shape up? Well, so are the experts.
High intensity interval training (HIIT) - intense periods of exercise followed by a short recovery time - is gaining favor with trainers and scientists. Proponents say a HIIT regimen - for example, 30 seconds of intense pedaling, followed by a 30-second rest repeated five times gives you greater benefits than traditional workouts. And faster.
The effects are still being studied, but early returns show HIIT increases metabolism and endurance and decreases heart attack risk.
Of course, these workouts are geared towards burning fat, not towards muscle building. But for the full-time working parent, who doesn't have an hour to hit the gym, these brief but demanding workouts are easy to schedule, and seem to do the job.
Beware Buying Life Insurance Online
Many people looking for life insurance turn to the Internet for assistance - but that may not be the best way to get the policy that's right for you.
Companies now give free life insurance quotes on the Internet, and some even offer advice on your life-insurance needs - if they're able to do that without a complete understanding of your financial situation and goals, that is.
It also appears easy to compare - one popular website has more than 1,600 policies in its database - and safe: You can compare insurance companies by their Standard & Poor's and A.M. Best ratings, which reflect different insurance companies' abilities to pay their claims.
But Caveat Emptor (Buyer Beware). There's more to selecting the right insurance policy than comparing online quotes. And the fact that there is such a wide choice can easily get you into the wrong product. Term life insurance, for example, provides your heirs with money for a specific term (such as 10 or 20 years) in the event of your death; permanent life insurance offers the same benefit, but with lifetime coverage.
The permanent life insurance category includes whole life insurance and universal life insurance. With whole life insurance, your insurance company puts part of your premiums in a bank account, increasing its "cash value," which you can borrow against (or receive when surrendering your policy.) Universal life insurance offers many options, such as changing your death benefit and paying your premiums at any time and in any amount (subject to certain limits).
Which is best for you? Instead of relying on an impersonal website, discuss options with your own advisor who understands your individual financial circumstances and goals, and is able to help you select a policy that best meets your needs.
Life insurance is too important a product to leave to the Internet. Even today, nothing replaces the human touch.