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The Good Life Report 4.1.2020

The Good Life Report 4.1.2020


"You can't be that kid standing at the top of the waterslide, overthinking it. You have to go down the chute."
- Tina Fey

Violet's Blueberry Cake

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (additional flour for pan, etc.)
     
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
     
  • ⅛ tsp. cinnamon
     
  • 1 stick salted butter, softened
     
  • ¾ cup sugar
     
  • ¼ tsp. vanilla extract
     
  • 2 large eggs
     
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
     
  • 2 cups blueberries, rinsed and drained
     
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
     
  • Powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
     
  2. Lightly butter a pan and dust with flour.
     
  3. Whisk flour and baking powder; add cinnamon and set aside.
     
  4. With mixer, beat butter on medium-high for 2 minutes.
     
  5. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy.
     
  6. Add vanilla extract.
     
  7. Add eggs, one at a time.
     
  8. Beat until well blended.
     
  9. Stir in the lemon zest.
     
  10. Mixing on low, add dry ingredients, and beat until smooth.
     
  11. Pour batter into pan.
     
  12. Dress and mix berries with flour and lemon juice, then spoon over batter.
     
  13. Bake on middle rack for 45 to 55 minutes.
     
  14. Check with toothpick, cool in pan for 10 minutes, and release from pan with a knife.
     
  15. Dust cake with powdered sugar.

Recipe adapted from simplyrecipes.com[1]

Searching for a Job? You Can Deduct Certain Expenses


If you're on the lookout for a new job, you might be able to deduct some search-related expenses on your taxes. Here's what the IRS wants you to know:

  • You can only deduct expenses for a job search relating to your current occupation. Unfortunately, you cannot deduct job search expenses if there is a "substantial break" between your last job and your job search or if you are looking for your first job.
     
  • You cannot deduct expenses that are reimbursed by an employer or other party.
     
  • You can deduct fees paid to employment and job placement agencies and the costs relating to preparing and mailing your résumé to prospective employers, including professional proofing and editing.
     
  • If you travel to an interview or another search-related activity, you can deduct those expenses, but only if the primary purpose of the trip is to look for work.
     
  • Job search expenses will usually be claimed as a miscellaneous item deduction, and you can only deduct the portion of miscellaneous deductions that exceed 2% of your adjusted gross income.
* This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax professional.

Tip adapted from IRS.gov[2]


Yes, You Can Hit Long Irons Well

Many amateurs pick rescue hybrids over long irons, thinking that long irons are difficult to hit. In reality, they are not. Try these tips for better long iron play.

Do a half-swing drill on the range. Take half-swings with a long iron: in terms of the swing arc, think nine 'o' clock to three 'o' clock. Gradually, work your way up to a full swing, which will be easy. You see, when you hit a long iron correctly, your full swing will be shorter than it will be with a driver; at finish, your hands should be about shoulder high. Got that down? Then proceed to this. Put a ball on grass and a tee in the ground about 2 inches in front of it. As you swing, try to cleanly contact the ball and strike the tee immediately afterward. This drill encourages you to strike at the ball, not swoop at it as you might with a hybrid.
Tip adapted from BuzzinGolf[3]

Spring into Spring Cleaning

As the snow begins melting for many of us and the flowers begin to bloom, many of us feel inspired to revive our living spaces from the gloom of winter, especially during this period of social distancing. Spring cleaning is a familiar and even pleasant concept to most, but the thought of purging all our unnecessary clutter can be a bit daunting. Here are some tips to get you started.

  • Make a list of cleaning tasks. Cleaning stains and dust from the doors, ceilings, walls, etc. Vacuuming, shampooing, washing, or waxing your floors. Steam-cleaning upholsteries. Washing windows. Dusting furniture and other surfaces.
     
  • Then take it room by room. Assess what needs to be accomplished and focus on brainstorm ways to organize more efficiently.
     
  • Don't forget outside your home. Take advantage of spring days to clean and organize your garage, patio, sheds, and other outdoor spaces.

Springtime is a great opportunity to assess our surroundings and transform them to better serve our needs.

Tip adapted from MarthaStewart.com[4]

Organic Vegetable Gardens


Gardening is fun, green activity for the whole family. With an organic vegetable garden, you'll be reaping delicious rewards in no time.

Start by planning your garden. Carve out space for it, and decide what you want to plant. Since this is your garden, there's no need to plant the veggies you don't eat. Factors like the amount of sun, wind, and rainfall will play a part in the success of your garden, so part of your planning process should include the location. Once you've decided what you want to plant, research the ideal conditions for each vegetable.

Add some companion plants. Design a space with compatible neighbor plants to support the vegetables you want to grow. For example, thick crops, like beans and peas, will prevent weeds from overtaking your vegetables while also providing much-needed nitrogen to the soil 

Tip adapted from Green America[5]

These are the views of Platinum Advisor Strategies, LLC, and not necessarily those of the named representative, broker dealer or Investment Advisor and should not be construed as investment advice. Neither the named representative nor the named Broker dealer or Investment Advisor gives tax or legal advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Please consult your financial advisor for further information.

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[1] Simplyrecipes.com, March 27, 2020.
[2] IRS.gov, August 25, 2017.
[3] BuzzinGolf.com, March 27, 2020.
[4] Marthastewart.com, March 27, 2020.
[5] Greenamerica.com, March 27, 2020.