Summer is in full swing which means you probably want to spend more time outside enjoying the sun than cooking in the kitchen. Our featured blog post this month is full of mouth-watering summer meals that the whole family is sure to enjoy! The best part is that these meals come together in just 15 minutes, guaranteeing you won’t miss out on the last few months of summer fun. We hope you enjoy!
Author: UWIB Blog
Tips for Beating the Heat this Summer
With record highs being reported across the U.S. it’s looking like this summer is already shaping up to be a scorcher. If you’re looking for some ways to beat the heat, you’re not alone! Here are some helpful tips we want to share with you to keep you cool as temperatures get hot. Click here to check them out!
11 Fun Things to do in Seattle this Summer
With summer almost here you’re probably getting excited about upcoming travel plans. If you’re still on the fence about where to go this summer, we recommend a trip to Seattle, Washington home to one of our two office locations. We may be a little biased, but Seattle is a paradise for anyone looking for a vacation with incredible views and plenty to do. Still undecided? Check out this guide filled with Seattle’s must-see spots and we think you’ll be convinced.
4 Things to Consider When Building Your Small Business Insurance Portfolio
Managing your small business’s insurance and risk is no small feat, but it is incredibly important. Having a properly structured insurance portfolio tailored to your small business needs can save you a significant amount of time and money in the case of unexpected events.
While building the perfect insurance portfolio may seem daunting, we’re going to make it a whole lot easier for you by breaking it down into the four basic risks for which your business needs protection. If you own or operate a business with less than 100 employees, you’re going to want to pay close attention to these four main areas of risk.
1. Business structure
When it comes to assessing your small business’s risk, you’ll want to give careful consideration to your company’s legal structure. If you choose to operate your company as an “individual”, know that any liability you incur throughout your business venture will be yours for life. It might be a better idea to operate as a subchapter S Corporation, C Corporation, or even an LLC. Whichever way you choose to define your business, you should be sure to keep a clear separation between yourself and your company and seek advice from a trusted insurance advisor.
2. Physical assets
It’s safe to assume that your small business will operate with the help of a number of physical assets. Things like buildings, property, inventory, equipment, and vehicles are often necessary to keep your business running. If not properly insured, these assets expose your company to unnecessary risk. While it may be tempting to cut costs by insuring corporate-owned vehicles or property under a personal policy, don’t be fooled. When it comes to your company’s physical assets, purchasing the wrong insurance can be just as risky as foregoing insurance all together!
3. Liability risks
Whether you have 10 employees, 100 employees, or work only with independent contractors, make sure you are protected from liability risks with the correct coverages. Protect your employees and yourself by purchasing the necessary Workers’ Compensation coverage as well as Employment Practices insurance. Having proper liability coverage can be the difference between staying in business or folding. Keep your employees safe by ensuring they’re covered and conducting recurring safety meetings.
4. Human assets
We’ve already mentioned protecting your physical assets, but what about the human assets? As a small business, you likely rely on a number of key individuals to keep things running smoothly. Unfortunately, none of us have the power to predict the future and you never know when tragedy might strike, leaving you and your business devastated by loss. The best thing you can do is be prepared for these kinds of emergencies with the right insurance.
So, there you have it. Just about every form of insurance falls under these four foundational points. But, there is one more important step when it comes to building your small business insurance portfolio, and that’s finding the right insurance representative to help you out! Look for a professional who is willing to place your needs at the forefront to ensure your business is properly protected.
At UWIB, we use our decades of experience and extensive insurance knowledge to help our clients with a variety of risk management needs. If you are looking for help building an insurance portfolio specially tailored to your small business needs, contact one of our agents today.
Combating Holiday Stress with Love
The holidays can be a stressful time with distractions from shopping, traveling and eating. A good way of combating the holiday stress is by focusing on loved ones, and communicating how much they mean to you.
Saying “I love you” isn’t easy for everyone, but that’s okay. There are many ways to show your love both verbal and non-verbal. According to Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the New York Times bestseller, “The Five Love Languages”, there are five different ways with which people prefer to give and receive love.
This love language uses words as the primary tool to show how much you care, and it goes far beyond saying “I love you.” It extends to giving compliments (“That new hairstyle looks great on you.”), expressing gratitude (“Thanks for doing the grocery shopping when I was so busy.”), giving reassurance (“I’ll always be here for you.”), and acknowledging mistakes (“I’m so sorry for making you feel bad.”)
Performing Acts of Service
The love language of Acts of Service involves doing things for your loved ones as a way to articulate your feelings. These things can be simple errands like picking up the groceries on your way home from work or favors like cooking their favorite meal. Whatever you choose to do, the important thing is your actions should provide comfort to your loved ones.
The gifts don’t have to be expensive, and there doesn’t have to be an occasion. More often than not, the gifts are symbols of your love and a way of letting your loved ones know they’re on your mind. It can be a trinket that reminds you of an inside joke with them or a balloon in the shape of an animal they find cute. Even the littlest gifts matter.
Spending Quality Time
If this is your love language you’ll want to spend time with your loved ones to make them feel important in your life. It’s as simple as asking how their day went and actually listening to them talk. It can also be shared experiences, like traveling to a new destination. It doesn’t really matter what you and your loved ones do, as long as you’re in it together.
Show your loved ones affection through physical touch. Although this includes intimacy for romantic partners, it’s not solely just about that. Holding hands, leaning your head on their shoulder, kissing them on the forehead, engulfing them in a warm hug, giving them a foot massage – these are all ways to let your loved one know how much they mean to you.
Love is a beautiful thing, and it’s made even more beautiful by the variety of love languages. So don’t worry if saying “I love you” upfront isn’t an easy thing to do for you. You can always find another way to show it, and your loved ones will know what you’ve been meaning to say.
Dial in on End of Year Goals
At some point during the year, most of us look at the calendar and wonder, “Where did the time go?!” The start of the year doesn’t seem that long ago yet, here we are – quickly moving toward the end of this one.
It’s often a time of anxiety for anyone who sets goals. They realize that they’re running out of time to achieve them. Worse, they may have given up on some of them.
It isn’t the time to panic, however. Experts say that it’s the perfect time to get back on track and finish the year strong. But dialing in on year-end goals requires a few different strategies.
1. Step back and reassess
Take a look at all of your year-end goals, particularly the ones you may have had trouble achieving. Match them against what you want to accomplish by the end of this year and decide whether the goal is A) still in line with your values, B) the right goal given everything that’s happened over the year, and C) something you still have time to accomplish.
2. Let your intentions be known
Discussing your goals with someone else helps hold you accountable for achieving them. Attend networking events and tell people about your yearly goals. You’ll not only make your intentions known, but you may meet someone who has ideas about how to accomplish your goals.
3. Make the deadline your motivation
Sometimes having a countdown – in this case, a countdown for achieving your goals before the year ends – provides ample motivation. The deadline that didn’t seem daunting in January is now fast approaching. Decide what goals you’re going to keep and then set up a plan to achieve them in whatever time you have left.
4. Hone your mindset
Even if you’re pressed for time to complete your goals, don’t let the “pressure” cause you to sink into negative thinking. Instead, always think that your goals are achievable because you’ll work harder to reach them.
5. Don’t deplete your time and energy
A deadline that’s suddenly visible in the distance is an excellent reminder that you need to concentrate on the things that are most important. Spend your time wisely, which may mean delegating some of your tasks, but also spend your energy wisely by knowing the times of day when you’re most productive and creative.
6. Make each day count
One way to keep your eye on the prize and to move toward it is by setting priorities each day and then completing them. Work toward mastering the big picture by taking small steps each day.
7. Establish and stick with a plan
Being specific about what steps you need to complete to accomplish your year-end goals is never more important than when a deadline looms. List everything that you’ll need to do to reach your goal by its deadline. Take the right actions and visualize the outcome of those actions. As always, keep your goals as specific as possible.
There’s no better time than now to re-focus and get back on track if you’ve fallen behind on working toward your goals. Taking specific steps and actions will help show the way and help ease your anxiety.
8 Tips About Financial Fraud
If you’ve been affected by financial fraud, you’re not alone. In 2017 alone financial fraud rose by 8%.
The results, not surprisingly, were devastating. Losses soared above $16 million. Still, many people remain unaware of the potential dangers of financial fraud. These tips will help you learn more about financial fraud and help you avoid becoming a victim.
1. Younger, educated people often fall victim to fraud
While many people may believe that older, less educated people tend to fall victim to financial fraud, people between the ages of 25 and 34 are more likely to lose money. Moreover, half of those people had college degrees.
2. You should contact a credit-reporting company immediately
Your best strategy when affected by financial fraud is to contact one of the three credit reporting companies – Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion – and place a fraud alert. Ask that company to report the request to other credit firms.
The initial alert remains on the report for at least 90 days, and you can extend it free of charge.
3. It’s not expensive to protect yourself against identity theft
There is a variety of inexpensive ways to protect yourself from identity theft and financial fraud. For example, request a free credit score once a year from Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion which can reveal evidence of fraud on your report.
4. A 3rd-party company can’t guarantee protection against financial fraud
There’s no guarantee that hiring a third-party company will protect your identity from being stolen. According to the FTC, even a paid company can’t safeguard people from having their personal information stolen.
There are two types of paid services: monitoring and recovery. Monitoring services are for signs of identity theft, while recovery services help you gain control after an identity theft has already occurred.
5. Immediately reporting financial loss saves you money
Your liability for unauthorized charges on a credit card can be no more than $50 on federal law. However, if you report the loss promptly – before the card is used – you won’t be responsible for any charges.
6. Wiring money or using reloadable payment cards is risky
Among the riskiest ways to pay for something are wiring money or using reloadable payment cards. Why? Because it’s nearly impossible to get your money back.
Credit cards, meanwhile, have more built-in fraud protection.
7. Seniors are frequent victims of financial abuse
While younger people are particularly vulnerable to financial fraud, seniors also are at high risk. But more than half of that abuse in the U.S. is committed by family members, friends, and caregivers.
Signs of financial abuse against seniors include unusual activity in their bank account, evidence of newly-opened accounts the senior doesn’t need, and more.
8. Protect your online accounts through multi-factor authentication
An excellent way to make your online accounts more secure is through multi-factor authentication. That means you need more than one set of credentials to verify your user identity – such as a combination of a pin, login-code, password, etc. There’s still an extra layer of protection even if one factor becomes compromised.
Protecting against financial and identity fraud requires a variety of precautions. But the steps you take, both before fraud occurs and after it happens, will reduce your liability.
Creative Ways to get 10,000 Steps a Day
You don’t need a gym membership to get the exercise you need. Make walking a regular part of your routine. But how much should you walk to make a difference in your health? According to a 2000 study, walking 10,000 steps a day is ideal. 10,000 steps reduce the blood pressure of those with mild hypertension.
However, hitting 10,000 steps can still be challenging for people with full schedules. But if there’s a will, there’s a way … 7 ways, to be exact:
1.) Park far away
The parking spots closest to most businesses are the first ones taken anyway. Save the effort of looking and improve your health by parking far away instead. You’re more likely to find available spots farther away. You’ll expend energy on something more important, getting enough exercise and meeting your 10,000-step daily quota.
2.) Get off one stop away
Not driving to your destination? No problem. If you take the bus or train, get off at least one block or station away. Then walk to your destination. Make a habit out of this, and you’ll find yourself enjoying these strolls especially in good weather. You may be able to save on transportation expenses too because shorter distances can mean cheaper fare.
3.) Take the stairs
If your office isn’t on the ground level, skip the elevator and take the stairs. Even if your office is on a much higher floor, take the elevator but get off a few floors lower and cover the remaining distance on foot. If you’re just starting your health journey or get winded easily, take the elevator going up but the stairs going down. Gravity is your friend, so the trip is easier on your lungs and legs
4.) Schedule a walking meeting
When meeting with just one or two people, set a walking meeting. If there’s a park or trail near your office, this can be a fun way to take a meeting. Walking meetings are not only invigorating for the body, but they’re also engaging for the mind. Of course, make sure the other attendees are up for a walk, too.
5.) Use your breaks wisely
Coffee breaks can be used for something better, like a quick walk around your office. Opt to use part of your lunch break for a long walk. Either way, you have time to squeeze in some steps during work if you really want to.
6.) Walk your dog
Walking is less tiresome when you have a furry friend or two as companions. You need to exercise your dogs anyway, so you’ll get a twofer if make them walk with you. If you don’t have dogs, volunteer to look after the dogs of a busy friend or a senior citizen that can’t get out. They’ll be grateful for your services.
7.) Forego delivery sometimes
Nowadays, it’s easy to get everything delivered to your doorstep, including toilet paper. But shopping on foot can add to your step total. Looking for items from one aisle to another translates to many steps on your fitness app.
Whether you’re a couch potato or a fitness buff, these tips will help you reach 10,000 steps.
Summer Fun and Beating the Heat: Outdoor Activity “Hacks”
Now that summer is upon us; the heat is hotter than ever before. You could retreat inside your home and crank up the AC, but your energy bills will drain your wallet if you do that. You also have places to go, people to see, errands to run, so you can’t stay cooped up for long. There must be a better way to beat the heat outside … and lucky for you, here are a few:
Fun Outdoor Activity Hacks
Take a dip
You don’t need your own pool to cool off outdoors. Community centers usually have a pool, so check out the one nearest you. If you want to be more attuned to nature, look for a hot spring, pond, or lake where you can do fun activities other than swimming, like fishing or canoeing.
Pack a picnic
Summer is the perfect time to explore the parks and natural area in your area. If you live in the heart of the city, you may have to drive a way to get to it, but it’s going to be worth it. Make sure to bring a cooler full of sandwiches and ice-cold drinks to keep the heat at bay.
Have a water gun fight
This is a fight where no one gets hurt, and everyone gets cooled down. Buy a few water guns, fill them all with icy water, and start the battle. Kids will love this game, but even adults can get in on the fun. Best to do this in your backyard if it’s spacious enough. Add water balloon grenades for some extra fun.
Drive with the top down
Don’t have a convertible? No problem! Rent one for a day and cruise around town with the wind blowing through your hair. While you’re at it, go to a new place you’ve never been and explore. Whether it’s a restaurant you’ve always wanted to check out or that trail you’ve always wanted to trek on.
Ride a bike
Is a sports car too flashy for you? Then opt for a reliable bike instead and find some hills to coast down on. You’ll still get that feeling of cool wind against your face, but with less machine to maneuver. Of course, don’t forget to put on your helmet and bring a full water bottle.
Practice outdoor yoga
If you’re lucky, you’ll find a yogi who holds classes outdoors in your area. These sessions are usually in the morning when the sun is out but not too hot, so if you plan to join, better wake up early. Don’t worry – it’s a great way to start your day. Nothing beats feeling energized even when it’s only 7:00 in the morning.
Go to an amusement park
A quick spin in a roller coaster will make you forget about the heat. If that doesn’t work, many amusement parks have water rides that are guaranteed to soak you all over. There’s no better way to beat the heat while getting an adrenaline rush.
With these tips, you can enjoy summer outside without getting heatstroke. And remember, the best way to beat the heat is by staying hydrated with lots of water!
Want some fun summer activities for your office? Read 15 Ideas for Summer Office Fun
3 Quick and Healthy Weekday Meals
With life’s hectic pace it’s easier for many people to drive through for a quick meal instead of preparing it. This isn’t in the least little bit surprising. Restaurants, drive-throughs, and convenience stores are everywhere, dotting every street corner especially in cities. Even supermarkets — the very place where you’re supposed to buy the ingredients to cook your own dinner — have sections for prepared meals.
On top of that, apps for food delivery give even more options. With such ease within reach, it’s no wonder why only a few folks bother to cook.
Preparing your own meals is good for several reasons. One, you save money when you buy ingredients and prepare your own food. (I never realized how much I spent at Starbucks until I got my own French Press and Vanilla flavoring. I saved $120 the first month just by making coffee for me and my husband at home!) Two, you know exactly what you eat. This is especially important if you have allergies or other dietary restrictions. Three, have your food just the way you want it — extra spicy, more cheese, less salt, it’s all up to you. Four, get to eat healthy because you don’t eat high calorie, low nutrition processed food anymore.
Of course, if you don’t have a lot of experience with preparing your own meal, you’ve got to start slow. Something quick and easy to whip up in the morning before you go to work or school, and in the evening after a long and busy day. If you have only half an hour or less to spare on weekdays, do away with dishes with long prep and/or cooking time.
So where to begin? Try out Taste of Home’s Ginger Salmon with Green Beans. Salmon is rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and B vitamins, while green beans are a good source of calcium, potassium, and folic acid. Also, the recipe calls for the use of an oven, so you won’t have to fry anything. Best of all, it takes 30 minutes tops to prepare this meal that looks and tastes straight out of a top-rated restaurant.
Ginger Salmon with Green Beans
1/4 cup lemon juice
1T rice vinegar
3 garlic cloves, minced
2t minced fresh ginger root
2 4 oz salmon filets
1 med lemon sliced
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 lb green beans, trimmed
2t olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Mix salmon ingredients. Place each filet on an 18 x 12 in a piece of foil and fold up the edges to create a rim around the fish. Spoon lemon mixture over salmon and top with lemon slices. Fold foil around fish, sealing tightly.
Place in 15 x 10 pan and bake 15-20 min until fish just begins to flake easily with a fork.
Place green beans in water and oil and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered for 5 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients and cook uncovered until beans are crisp-tender.
Don’t like green beans? I use asparagus too!
Not a fan of fish? No problem! Check out the Food Network’s Chicken Summer Rolls. Not only are they perfect for the season, but they’re also light yet filling. They’re Vietnamese style, so if you’re craving for some Asian fare, this recipe should more than satisfy. They’re quite portable too, so they’re easy to pack in a container and take to lunch.
Chicken Summer Rolls
1/4 cup + 1 to 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups shredded, cooked chicken
1 cup shredded carrot
12 (8 1/2-inch) rice paper wrappers (Buy these in the Asian food aisle of your grocery store)
1 cup cucumber peeled and julienned
1/2 cup finely chopped scallions
1/2 cup fresh basil or cilantro
12 Boston lettuce leaves
1/2 cup cooked brown or white rice
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons water
Whisk 1/4 cup rice vinegar with 2 teaspoons sugar in a medium bowl until sugar dissolves. Add chicken and carrot, season with salt to taste, set aside.
Fill a large bowl with warm water. Working with 2 sheets of rice paper at a time (keep others covered with a barely damp cloth to prevent curling), immerse papers in the warm water until slightly softened (about 15 seconds). Remove and spread out on a clean surface or cutting board. Pat dry with a towel to remove excess water. Lay 2 pieces of lettuce over the bottom third of the rice paper, leaving about 1/2-inch clear on edges. Place about 1/3 cup chicken and carrot mixture on the lettuce, top with 4 to 5 pieces cucumber, scallion, several basil leaves and about 1 heaping tablespoon of rice. Roll up the paper halfway into a cylinder. Fold both edges in to tuck while continuing to roll the paper to seal. Place the rolls on a plate covered with a damp towel so they stay moist as you prepare the remaining rolls. Cut rolls in half and wrap in plastic wrap or place in an air-tight container.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the peanut butter with the remaining 1 to 2 tablespoon rice vinegar, 2 teaspoons sugar, 2 tablespoons soy sauce and water until smooth. Put sauce in sealed containers.
I let the kids help with rolling up the ingredients for one on one time with them.
But what if you’re vegan? Don’t worry, we got you covered. Give the Kitchn’s Creamy Skillet Tortellini with Sweet Potato and Spinach a shot. This dish needs only one pot, so you won’t have to spend extra time washing a ton of cookware post-meal. The recipe is also quite flexible, so you can throw in other vegetables if you want to switch up the flavor.
This is one of my favorites!
Creamy Tortellini with Sweet Potato and Spinach
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large sweet potato peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 (5-ounce) bag baby spinach or 1 large bunch spinach, rinsed and torn into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup half-and-half
1 12-ounce bag of frozen cheese tortellini
Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed 10- or 12-inch skillet over medium heat.
Stir in the sweet potato cubes, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Cover the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are just starting to soften.
Uncover the skillet and add the broth, scraping the bottom of the pan with a spatula to dissolve the browned bits. Add the spinach in handfuls, stirring until it wilts down, before adding more.
Stir in the half-and-half, then cover once more and bring the liquid to a simmer.
Uncover and stir in the tortellini. Cook, stirring frequently, for 10 to 15 minutes, until the tortellini are plump and cooked through.
Making your own meals may seem intimidating and overwhelming at first, but in the long run, you’ll enjoy it and your body will thank you. It may even become a hobby!
Don’t be scared to give it a try for the sake of your taste buds and for your health as well. It’s a decision you won’t regret.