When is the last time we had a white Christmas in Massachusetts? As a twenty-one year old, there are only so many holiday seasons that I remember, but looking back I can just picture rain or seeing green out of my window. This year, we have had one snowstorm and then nothing. I am getting nervous that we will never have a snowy holiday season again. It has been too long and the weather does not seem to cooperate with what we want.
Forget buying a new snowsuit or warm, waterproof gloves. There has not been snow to play in during school vacations in a long time. I just want to wake up around Christmas time and have even a dusting of snow- just SOMETHING to make it feel like winter. Oh well, maybe next year.
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I know it is not even Christmas or Chanukah yet, but earlier today I was thinking about New Years. My friends and I go through the same conversation every year without fail:
“What do you want to do?”
“Where do you want to go?”
“I do not want to spend a lot of money.”
“How many people want to come?”
No one ever wants to take the reins on planning this night because it always is stressful and frustrating. I always wonder why we want to build up a day so much when it is super expensive and the excitement ends at midnight, when the day becomes just a normal day. Every year I still love dressing formal, drinking champagne, and blowing those annoying noisemakers, but I wonder why we all love it. But I guess who doesn’t love a good party?
So my question to everyone is do you think New Years Eve is overrated? Leave a comment a let us know your thoughts!
Brought to you by your Western Massachusetts auto insurance firm.
As a senior in college, I have been cringing at the thought of graduating (or as I like to refer to it- the “G”" word) for about four months, maybe more. Finding a job seems like the most stressful thing in the entire world now that I only have one semester left before I have to join what we all know as the the REAL WORLD. There are many decisions to make and it can be overwhelming to say the least. It is a nerve-wracking thought that I have been struggling with and trying to push to the back of my mind without much success. There are only so many distractions when that time is not-so-slowly creeping up on me.
Working at this wonderful Western Mass insurance agency for about a year has been a great experience and made me feel slightly less worrisome because I have had a little taste of what balancing work and another part of life is like. Also, living in the number one college town in American has given me one of the best experiences of my life. I will have memories that will stay with me forever.
Being a marketing major, I should pay more attention to business magazines and articles, but UMass Amherst can be its own little bubble and I sometimes forget to check in with what is happening in the real world. Our economy is crappy- that we all know. Finding a job is going to be difficult, and not to mention trying to find a job you actually LIKE, but it is doable! This I have been telling myself. You do not have to use traditional methods of applying for jobs anymore. It is not all about the one interview that makes or breaks you. And grades are not everything, though they do help. There are far more resources and opportunities to find something you may never have thought of now than even ten years ago.
Use the people you know.
Networking with friends and family can be one of the most essential parts of finding a job and making the transition from five day weekends to five day work weeks a little bit easier. I have surprised myself many times by some of the conversations I have had just by asking questions and mentioning that I am a senior in college.
So yes, gr- gra- GRADUATING is a scary thought because we have been in a comfortable place for so long, but now I can look at it as the start to a new chapter of my life. Hopefully one filled with more new friends, great learning experiences, and new surprises.
Congrats to all those who are graduating from the Five Colleges in December! And for those like me who are finishing up in May, we can do this!
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This may sound odd, but choosing the right insurance policy is like picking out the perfect Christmas tree. You may want a small policy that is plain and simple or you could bundle many insurance policies together, covering all of your properties and liabilities, like a tree with all of the trimmings. Because there are so many options, you want to make sure to take your time and do your research when buying an insurance policy just as you would like to have a tree that fits your home perfectly. At Dale Frank Financial Group, we are here to help you choose a policy that will fit your personal and business needs and make your holiday season that much better.
When weighing the options about insurance plans, you want to consider properties, family, businesses, payment options, liability, etc. We here in the Sunderland office can show you what you need to consider while looking at all of your options. You want your policy to be solid and cover you properly. Choosing a policy should be a simple and stress-free process like going to a tree farm and choosing the best tree. If you have multiple policies and want extra liability coverage to cover possible gaps, an umbrella policy is a great choice for you. It acts like a shield to give you extra protection just as the Christmas tree covers all of the presents underneath!
Just like a tree that warms a room and makes everyone happy, you want your coverage to make everyone feel comfortable without having to thinking about it. It’s just there and doing its job. You want to be able to go about your every day activities being comfortable knowing all of your belongings are safe.
On another note, be sure your tree is not near anything flammable, but just in case your policy can come in and save your house from paying in full for fire damage!
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When planning for your upcoming holiday parties, you want to try to keep some traditions alive, but please everyone’s taste buds at the same time which can prove to be tough. How do you make all the right foods without spending a month cooking? When you think of holiday parties and family recipes, it may not only be happy memories coming to the surface. There is always that one dish that no one wants to touch but feels obligated to. Or there may not be enough of a favorite dish, angering hungry family members. After chatting in the office, we came up with some fantastic foods and some that can be missing from future parties.
Sweet Potato Pie: sweet potatoes, brown sugar, walnuts, flour… this sounds good with just the ingredients. But after letting it bake and having the top become caramelized, that makes it even better. Marshmallows can be used as well. I can close my eyes and smell this baking right now!
Any type of fudge. Chocolate and Christmas seem to go hand in hand. End of story.
Snowballs: orange concentrate with crushed vanilla wafers rolled into balls with powdered sugar and coconut as a covering. This just makes my mouth water.
Candy Cookies: sugar cookie wafer with a caramel drop on the center and melted dark chocolate drizzled on top with a walnut.
Ice cream pie: vanilla ice cream, creme de menthe mixed in an Oreo cookie pie plate with chocolate sauce on top. If you are going to make these, make sure to have multiple as they go fast.
NOT SO GREAT FOODS:
Brie in a pastry with fruit topping. Apparently this sounds good, but does not taste like it looks.
Giblet gravy: The ingredients may make a few people uncomfortable and the taste is nothing to jump around about.
Nuts in shells: if you are going to put nuts in a bowl for all to munch on, please help everyone out and crack them beforehand. No one wants to be fumbling with a nutcracker and making risque jokes with family around.
So whatever you do this holiday season, carefully decide which foods you would like to have at your party and be associated with for family parties for years to come! It could make or break your gathering.
Brought to you by your food savvy Western Mass umbrella insurance group.Follow @dalefrankins
Today is the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. It was a day of horror and shock as well as the start of a war with Japan and America being dragged into WWII, formally declaring war on Japan on December 8. About 353 Japanese fighters, bombers, and torpedo planes attacked and sank 4 battleships while damaging 4 more. 2,400 Americans lost their lives that day, or as a result of that day, and 1,250 were wounded. Most people know the story and there have been countless documentaries and films, even a major motion picture made about this day.
To honor those who gave their lives, thank a soldier or make a donation to a veteran’s fund because we can never forget the “a date which will live in infamy.”
Brought to you by your proud and patriotic Hampshire County auto insurance agency.Follow @dalefrankins