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The Good Life Report 5.6.2020

The Good Life Report 5.6.2020


"Inspiration comes from within yourself. One has to be positive. When you're positive, good things happen."

- Deep Roy

Celebration Chocolate Cupcakes

Makes 12 to 14 servings

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
     
  • ½ cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
     
  • ¾ tsp. baking powder
     
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
     
  • ¼ tsp. salt
     
  • 2 large eggs
     
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
     
  • ½ cup brown sugar
     
  • ⅓ cup melted coconut oil
     
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
     
  • ½ cup buttermilk, room temperature
     
  • Frosting of choice

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
     
  2. Between two muffin pans, line them with 14 cupcake liners.
     
  3. In a large bowl, whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.
     
  4. Whisk the eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla together in a second bowl until combined and smooth.
     
  5. Add half of the egg mixture into the flour mixture, followed by half of the buttermilk, then mix.
     
  6. Add the rest of the egg mixture and buttermilk, then stir, but do not overmix. If you do, this will thin the batter.
     
  7. Carefully add the batter into the liners with a spoon, only halfway.
     
  8. Bake for 18 to 21 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
     
  9. Cool completely.
     
  10. Add preferred frosting and sprinkles, or otherwise, decorate to taste. 

Recipe adapted from SallysBakingAddiction.com[1]

Preparation is Key

With this year's tax deadline moved to July 15th, you might be tempted to push your taxes to the back of your mind. Now is a good time, however, to set up a system that will keep your tax records safe and easy to find. Here's how to make organizing your taxes even easier:

  • Speak to a professional about tax minimization strategies you can employ.
     
  • Already worried about next year's tax burden? Adjust your withholding to avoid a big bill at tax time.
     
  • Take action when your life changes. Getting married or divorced, having a child, incorporating a business - these are all life changes that may affect your taxes. Speak to a professional about updating your tax information. 

  • Keep all your tax documents organized in one place. Add files, documents, and receipts as they arrive.
     
  • Find a tax specialist. If you're not currently working with a tax professional, now is a good time to interview one. 

* 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]

A Takeaway Tip

Most of the tour pros who crush the ball off the tee have long, flowing backswings, featuring a great takeaway and a big arc that sets up a powerful downswing. One simple exercise can promote this. 

Find a backless bench about 1' wide (you might see one on the next tee, in fact). Get your driver and take your stance on one side of the bench and put your driver over the other side. (In other words, put the foot-wide bench seat between you and your club.) Now make your takeaway with your driver and try to go as far back as you can. The bench prevents you from pulling your driver to the inside, and it teaches you how to extend your takeaway for a larger, powerful arc. Tip adapted from Shark.com[3]

Journaling For Your Health

A pen, some paper, your hand, and your brain. Who would have thought that this quartet could yield some serious benefits to your health? Journaling has been around for over a thousand years. Studies show that writing engages your left brain in analytical and rational thinking, leaving your right brain free to feel, perceive, intuit, and access your subconscious. So, bearing in mind that this information is not a substitute for medical advice from a licensed health care provider, how could this process help you?

  • It calms your mind. When you're stressed and can't work out how you're feeling, writing your thoughts in a stream-of-consciousness style may help you determine your stressors, find solutions, and resolve conflicts.
     
  • You get to know yourself. Once you begin examining your inner thoughts, you'll have a better barometer of who you are.
     
  • Be a better problem solver. Allowing your right brain to have some leeway can help you find creative solutions that your left brain may not have been unable to concoct on its own.

Given the stress we've all experienced over the past several weeks, a journal could be a great tool to have in your wellness toolbox. Tip adapted from PsychCentral.com[4]

Plant Stacking in Permaculture Gardening

What is permaculture gardening, and how does it compare to regular gardening? 

Quite simply, permaculture gardening is shorthand for "permanent agriculture." Rather than changing your garden every year, a permaculture garden is designed to be a year-round affair, working with your natural environment. Every part of the garden design and planting is considered with these principles in mind: to do the least amount of labor without destroying the land.

Plant stacking is one of the easiest ways to implement permaculture gardening into your own plot. Trees are the top layer, followed by shrubs, herbaceous plants, and then ground-cover plants. Vines can be incorporated as well. Plant stacking protects your plants from exposure to wind and rain, while also maximizing the amount of space in your garden. Tip adapted from The Spruce[5]

[1] SallysBakingAddiction.com, May 1, 2020
[2] IRS.gov, December 16, 2019
[3] Shark.com, May 1, 2020
[4] PsychCentral.com, May 1, 2020
[5] TheSpruce.com, May 1, 2020

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