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Patrick Keefauver

VanKeef Financial
pkeefauver@vankeef.com
855.731.5134


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November Newsletter


Your Home - Thanksgiving Planning

If you're hosting Thanksgiving for the first time-or even the tenth time-getting everything organized and done in time can be daunting. How early do you need to order your turkey? Which items can you make ahead and freeze? It can be hard to know where to start.

That's why we created this handy checklist for you to print out and post it on your fridge.
So relax and take a deep breath: Here's your to-do list:

Step 1: Pick Your Turkey
Order your turkey now (or at least a week in advance) by hopping online or calling your local store. You don't want to be driving from grocery store to grocery store on Thanksgiving eve looking for a turkey when you realized that you forgot to order one!

Step 2: Plan Your Menu
Now, for the fun part! Whether you have holiday favorites your clan eats every year or you want to experiment with new recipes, start to brainstorm what you'll make. For most groups, serve 2-3 appetizers, 3-4 sides, 1-2 mains (including the turkey), and 2-3 desserts, so that there's definitely something for everyone. As you're planning, be conscious of your kitchen space. If your oven is small, for example, then it's going to be taken up by the turkey, so choose sides you can make on your stove, in your microwave, or ahead of time to be left out at room temperature. To get you thinking, here are some menu suggestions.

Drinks
- Wine
- The Gingersnap
- Wassail
- English Harvest
- Selection of Sodas and Sparkling Water

Appetizers
- Lamb Sausage in Puff Pastry
- Fig Bruschetta
- Gin Marinated Olives
- Brie and Cranberry Puff Pastry Bites
- Spinach, Bacon, and Onion Dip

Sides
- Cranberry Fruit Conserve
- Perfect Mashed Potatoes
- Ultra-Crispy New Potatoes with Garlic, Herbs, and Lemon
- Caramelized Carrot Mash
- Killer Garlic Rolls
- Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Brown Butter and Toasted Pecans
- Pan Gravy

Desserts
- Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie (Simply Recipes)
- Chocolate Bread and Butter Pudding
- Caramel Pecan Tart
- Pumpkin, Caramel, and Toffee Crunch Parfaits
- Carrot Cake with Maple-Cream Cheese Frosting

Step 3: Do the Prep Work
You should do as much of the prep work as possible ahead of time. You'll be so much calmer on the big day if you know you only have to wrestle with your turkey and maybe a side or two.
1. Plan for two separate grocery shopping excursions, one about a week beforehand so you can stock up on non-perishables or items with longer expiration dates, and then another 2-3 days before Thanksgiving for all your fresh items and any last-minute ingredients.
2. From carving knives to a meat thermometer, make sure you have all the necessary baking and cooking utensils to pull off Thanksgiving dinner.
3. Check your plate and flatware situation-and call a friend if you need more.
4. Double-check that your turkey roasting pan fits in the oven!
5. Get your turkey ready-if you bought a frozen turkey, then take it out to thaw two to three days ahead of time. If you've decided to brine your turkey, then do this a day or two ahead of time.
6. Make desserts one to two days ahead of time if possible. You can make your pies the day before and leave them at room temperature so as no tot take up precious fridge space.
7. See what sides or appetizers can be made a day or two before so you only need to reheat them the day of.
8. Chop and prep your veggies the day before, make your appetizers, mash your potatoes and root vegetables, and do any other dish prep possible.
9. Set out all serving platters and serving utensils so you know you have enough for each of your dishes.
10. Set the table.

Step 4: Rock the Big Day
First things first, get that turkey prepped. It is the star of the show, after all! Preheat your oven, grab your recipe, and triple check the cooking time. Then remove the turkey from your fridge at least an hour before roasting so it can come to room temperature.

Once your turkey is done cooking, let it rest while you get the rest of your sides ready to go. One thing I don't worry about is the turkey being piping hot-I think it's much better to have hot side dishes and gravy. I promise, your turkey will taste divine served at room temperature.

Once the turkey has come out of the oven, pop in your side dishes and get them nice and hot. Your microwave can become the hero of the hour if you run out of oven space-dishes like mashed potatoes or carrot mash can always be reheated for a couple of minutes in the microwave. And don't forget your stove-I've been known to reheat mashed potatoes sitting in a large bowl over simmering water. Use all the space you have if possible!

Finances - Future Planning

"I really want to make it in life, but I don't know how!" Success is something that is inherently built in to us as something to strive for from the moment we are educated, to the moment we land that first job. The whole process is meant to move us forward in life, building ourselves a better future. But how do we start planning such a feat?

Find a place where you can think without being disturbed. At the end of it all, you are planning for a successful future for yourself, which means you need to first get into the mindset of thinking about and for yourself.
- Thinking about a successful future is a necessity that should be done without any distractions or interruptions. Being in a quiet place will also help you think on your own, for there will be no other people there who will have any influence on the decisions you feel comfortable with. It is your life that you're pondering, so staying focused in this moment of thinking will be of benefit later on when you need to stay focused on the actual acts to be successful.
- To spend time on your own shouldn't be discouraged. Before taking action for a better future for yourself, you need some clarity on what exactly it is that you want. Ask yourself questions pertaining to what it is that you want, and not what others want for you.

Explore key questions about the future you want. Is the life you see for yourself one where you aren't living for others? Why do you want a change? What could be a manageable change that can be made pretty much immediately? Asking questions like these can help you get to know yourself better. They also get you to rationalize your thoughts instead of blindly dreaming. The more difficult the questions are to answer, the more likely they are to be the most important ones to be asking yourself.

Stop thinking of the past and focus on the present and future. This will assimilate into your mind and help you to persevere towards your dream. Dwelling on things past can be a hindrance when you are attempting to move forward. Keep this bit of advice in mind: Learn from the past. Live in the present. Plan for the future. Being successful is all about going forward, developing, and letting things go to make it all possible.
- Letting go of the past will make you more present with yourself. You may feel like you're moving forward, but if you're mentally stuck elsewhere, then your mind is unable to sort out what is currently happening and what needs to happen. What happened has happened, and what needs to happen should be thought about now.
- Thinking about what you did can lead you to think about failures. This can discourage you, and can make you start thinking about your self-worth in a bad light. Instead, take failures as lessons on what not to do so you don't repeat mistakes.
- Moving on will help you live with what you've done (good or bad). There's no way to succeed in the future if you don't accomplish putting mistakes and other failures behind you. Doing this can make you put all of your energy towards reaching your dream, so that nothing is wasted in things that can no longer be dealt with.

This article is for information, illustrative and entertainment purposes only and does not purport to show actual results. It is not, and should not be regarded as investment advice or as a recommendation regarding any particular investment action.

Personal Interest - Thanksgiving fun

Most people get excited for Thanksgiving. After all, it's that one day that we can be with the entire family to celebrate and just have fun. And because it's a special day, it's only right that you make it as memorable and as enjoyable as possible. If you still don't have any plans yet, here are some really great and fun Thanksgiving activities for families you can try this year.

Take a Walk
Pick an enjoyable destination and get the entire family moving on such a special day. You could also join a Thanksgiving road race or road walk.

Play Touch Football
Just get outside with the gang and do something that involves running around and taking in some nice fresh air.

Board Games
Get out those games you have in the closet since last Christmas and haven't played since. Scrabble, Life, Yahtzee, Cranium, Trivial Pursuit, Trouble, Chutes & Ladders, whatever! Take them out and have the entire family enjoy the fun.

Play Charades
This doesn't take much. Make your own rules as you go and just have fun!

Sing-a-Long
Get out the instruments or put on a holiday radio station. You can sing along or start a contest. You can really have fun with this.

Memory Sharing
Share stories. You can pick a theme such as:
- The greatest day of my life.
- The best thing that happened in my life this year
- My favorite memory from childhood
- The funniest thing that ever happened to me
- Have someone write down the stories or videotape the event.


Share Thanks
At dinner have everyone share what they are thankful for before eating dinner.

Silly Dance Contest
Be silly and dance away. Make up your own rules to make the event a lot more fun.

Kids' Talent Show
There's usually one grownup at family gatherings who likes to get the kids doing activities. If you're that person, consider having the kids perform for the whole family after dinner. While everyone is watching football, you could throw it together. Of course, adults can join the show, too!

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Don't forget

Important Dates:

November 11 - Veterans' Day
November 28 - Thanksgiving
November 29 - Black Friday

Words to live by
Our imagination is the only limit to what we can hope to have in the future.
- Charles F. Kettering

Thank you and have a great month!

Patrick Keefauver
CEO/MLO
VanKeef Financial
NMLS#: 104424

Toll Free: 855.731.5134
Local: 407.268.4700/212.396.0880
Mobile: 407.474.7126
Email: pkeefauver@vankeef.com
Web: www.vankeef.com