Broker Check

January Digest

A Note From Marilyn

Start Your Year with Ease and Grace 

Our best wishes to you and your family as you start 2019! We are very excited to kick off our year as well. We have written our intentions, our big “hairy audacious” goals, and our strategy and tactics for the year. With that, we are off and running hard! May I suggest that we take time to enjoy this process of intention and goal setting this year? Take time to enjoy getting started with Ease and Grace, such that you don’t burn out by March 1st!!

How many of us have set big goals only to get caught up in the minutiae of everyday living and working, and miss our first quarter tactics and then give up our bigger intentions, our bigger goals for the year? Whether our intentions and goals are personal, career, or something in between, let’s make 2019 a year that we make a conscious effort to carve out productive time to complete our plans: one project, one contact, and one pound (!), at a time.

I will commit to keeping track of my intentions, goals, and objectives and will report back to you… Anyone else in on this challenge to make 2019 an Amazing Year? Send me email or text... or 925-336-6611.

Let’s get rocking and rolling!



Giving Great Gifts

Some people have a gift when it comes to gifts. Whether it’s a birthday, wedding, baby shower, Christmas, Hanukah, or some other occasion, they always seem to find just the right thing for each person. If you’re not an insightful gift giver, here is an idea which may help. This present is not easy to create. It will take time, thought, and patience, but it’s likely the people who receive it will treasure it. Best of all, you can add to it each year.

So, what is this great idea? It’s a recipe book; an updated and highly personalized cookbook. You may decide to write recipes on cards, like your mother or grandmother did, because there is something wonderful about seeing a recipe in the handwriting of a person you loved who is no longer around. You may decide to document the recipes electronically so they can be printed, laminated, and kept in a notebook. You may decide to deliver your gift on a portable hard drive or flash drive so recipes can be pulled up on a kitchen computer or tablet.

No matter what form the gift takes, you’ll be providing a slice of your family’s history or the history of a friendship to the people who receive your gift. You may decide to create a drinks recipe book for your best girlfriends, a family recipe book for your children, a tailgating recipe book for your sports-minded friends, or a baby food recipe book for a pregnant friend, daughter, or daughter-in-law. The possibilities are endless.

There are a variety of ways to make your recipe book more meaningful. You may want to include:

  • Stories. Was this recipe someone’s favorite? Why was it liked (or disliked)? Was it always served on a specific holiday? Was it part of a memorable kitchen disaster? Did it evolve through the generations? Was it always served in a particular dish?
  • Pictures. Include pictures of family or friends. Scan photos of your children when they were young (enlist the help of someone who knows how to use a scanner, if necessary.) You may want to have pictures of someone cooking the dish.
  • Explanations. Cooking is at risk of becoming a lost art. Include valuable information such as which recipes are good for entertaining, which are gluten-free, and so on. You can include this in the table of contents or on the recipe.
  • Information. Remember to include tables of equivalent measures, ingredient substitutes, cuts of meat, and other essential cooking data.

The possibilities for your recipe book are endless. If you’re seeking additional inspiration, go online and google some more ideas.


When Do You Eat Miso Soup?

If you’re eating Miso soup in Japan, you’re probably having breakfast. If you’re enjoying Miso soup at lunch or dinnertime, then you’re probably in the United States. If you have never eaten Miso soup, you’re missing out on something delicious.

Here’s a recipe you can try:  Miso Soup

8 cups water

4 dried shiitake mushrooms (or a 3-ounce package)

3 tablespoons sesame oil

6 green onions, sliced thin, separate white and green

Thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and chopped fine

2 cloves garlic, chopped fine

1 cup baby spinach leaves

1 cup medium diced silken tofu

5 tablespoons miso (preferably red or brown)

Pour 4 cups of water into a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add the dried mushrooms. When the mushrooms are rehydrated, remove them from the liquid, let them cool a bit, and chop them. Save the liquid for later. (If you don’t like the texture of mushrooms you don’t have to add them to the soup.)

Heat sesame oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add scallion whites, ginger, and garlic. Cook for one minute. Add 4 cups water and 4 cups reserved liquid. Add the mushrooms, baby spinach, tofu, and miso. Bring to a simmer. Serve in bowls and garnish with scallion greens. You can top off the soup with cooked chicken or salmon if you prefer.

What Do You Know Chinese New Year?

Why are firecrackers set off during Chinese New Year?

a. To scare away monsters

b. To wake the gods

c. To provide light

d. To thrill family members

2. What should you not do on Chinese New Year?

a. Leave the house

b. Eat fish

c. Sweep the housed.

d.Speak the names of the dead

3. What color should you wear for good luck?

a. Yellow

b. Red

c. Whited

d. Black
4. What fruit is traditionally distributed?

a. Pineapple

b. Tangerines

c. Papaya

d. Dragon fruit

 Quiz Answers:

  1. A – To scare away monsters
  2. C – Sweep the house (you may sweep away your fortune)
  3. B – Red: wards off evil spirits (children receive red envelopes of money)
  4. B – Tangerines

The Best of What’s New

If you’re a fan of the television series Parks and Recreation, you may have witnessed the scene in which Park Commissioner Ron Swanson makes wedding rings from a wall sconce and says, “Any moron with a crucible, an acetylene torch, and a cast iron waffle maker could have done the same. The whole thing only took me about 20 minutes.”2 

It’s a pretty fair bet all the inventions recognized by Popular Science during its 8th Annual Inventions Awards took more than 20 minutes to create. On the list were a way to regulate old boiler systems with new technology, a means of charging electronic devices while hiking, and a personal electric airplane that lands vertically. Other award recipients were:3 

  • A powerful robotic exoskeleton. An affordable (about $2,000) device that augments the strength of patients who are trying to recover from debilitating injuries.
  • A collapsible bike helmet. Let’s face it, bike helmets are essential but they’re also inconvenient. What do you do when you’ve reached your destination? This helmet folds up for storage in a pack or briefcase.
  • A pocket-sized way to seal wounds. Stopping blood loss saves lives in war zones. This polycarbonate syringe slides into a wound and deposits dozens of pill-sized sponges that swell to help clot blood and fight infection. 

If you would like to learn more about any of these amazing inventions, visit



Make a Difference

Your family or individual finances need structure, starting with goals, values, and an honest look at your current and future financial picture. Each of us has a unique story and background that requires custom strategies and tactics. It’s never too soon to start planning for your future. Plans can be changed and usually do. It’s the action taken today that will put you on your unique path on the

Yellow Brick Road.

Start today… done beats perfect every time! 

Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.

Napoleon Hill 

There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long-range risks to comfortable inaction.

John F. Kennedy


Setting Your Intentions for The New Year

 As we ring in the New Year it is always a great opportunity to reflect on our growth from the prior year. It’s a good time to review what we have experienced and how we have observed results from both the wonderful events and the sometimes-grueling challenges.

Growing pains happen to adults as well as children, and how we respond to the inevitable challenges life presents does impact our results.

While working through challenges can be painful—it brings with it proof of our inner resilience. Looking back over the last 12 months, let’s be grateful for both the great gifts you have been handed as well as the obstacles you have addressed and overcome.

It is in these obstacles that we learn to test our mettle to conquer, to seek a higher truth or make a bigger impact on ourselves and the world around us.

This is the time to truly measure our successes and our failures. We can look at where we made decisions that did not work well for us and, where we triumphed!

Now for 2019, let us set new intentions by looking backward and forward. While we may not have complete control of our intentions when well aligned with our heart and our souls, will become reality. Keep them close and continue to take action and steps toward our intended desires.

Best wishes to you for a Happy, Healthy and Abundant New Year!

 The above material was prepared by Peak Advisor Alliance. 1_336120