One Brick At A Time: March 2017
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March 2017
One Brick At A Time®
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The fan advocates for next month are fans of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons and the USF Bulls. Be sure to check who are the fan advocates in waiting. Do you know them?
Each month a member has the opportunity to be our monthly fan advocate. The fan advocate then selects someone from a not previously selected university to be the next meal advocate. Call (630) 283-6219 or email to recommend a fan advocate.

Ohio State University Fan
Avery Fox

Advocate: Avery Fox  
Fan: Duke Blue Devils
Duke University Fan
Avery Fox

Advocate: Dave Long   
Fan: Nebraska Cornhuskers
Nebraska Fan
Dave Long

Frank Neuener

Advocate: John Mike Ellis  
Fan: USC Trojans
John Ellis

Advocate: John Torzsa  
Fan: Connecticut Huskies
Connecticutt Fan
John Torzsa

Advocate: Todd James 
Fan: Florida State Seminoles
Florida State Fan
Todd James

Published: March 2017
Recipe by: Blue Apron
University of Colorado Fan
David and Lisa Brown
Each month a member has the opportunity to be our monthly meal advocate. The meal advocate chooses from 3 blue apron meals as their favorite for the month. Recommend someone from a not previously selected university to be the next meal advocate. Call (630) 283-6219 or email to recommend a meal advocate for your favorite team.

Serves 2
Calories: About 600 Per Serving

In this Middle Eastern-inspired recipe, we’re putting an exciting, gourmet spin on warm pasta salad. Our pasta of choice is fregola sarda (a round, toasted variety from Sardinia). We’re tossing it with sliced almonds, crumbled pecorino cheese and za’atar-spiced broccoli, roasted for a satisfyingly crispy bite. But what really brings these elements together is the dressing. Tahini, a paste made from sesame seeds, completes the dish with its creamy texture and irresistibly nutty flavor.

Tip of the month
Advocate: John Torzsa  
Fan: Connecticut Huskies
Published: March 2017

Northwestern Wildcat Fan
Annie West
Each month a member has the opportunity to be our monthly wine advocate. The wine advocate chooses one or two wines to go with the monthly menu item. Recommend someone from a not previously selected university to be the next wine advocate. Call (630) 283-6219 or email to recommend a wine advocate for your favorite team.

John Torzsa, practicing Physical Therapist, University of Connecticut Huskies.

Although a Connecticut boy and proud graduate of UConn, I now live in Florida. Next to my family and close friends, golf is my passion. I have the good fortune to play once a week and after every round, I really enjoy a hot dog (mustard, ketchup, onions, jalapenos) and a cold beer. BUT, momma Torzsa insists I eat healthy and the hearty Roasted Broccoli & Fregola Sarda Salad fits just right into our weekly menu.


This pairing may not immediately come to mind. Priced around $17.00, the French Bordeaux white blend is perfect for the crispy bite of the pasta dish. Elegant, full bodied and dominated by the Sauvignon this wine finishes with fresh aromatic notes. I feel this is the "hole in one" white for the recipe.

How about an on-the-nose red plum Sonoma Coast Pinot with this gourmet pasta salad? Priced at $18.00 (not bad for a good Pinot) the selection boasts a cherry orange zest with a sweet spice lingering finish. Just like a great golf shot, this wine is truly memorable.

Hope everyone will enjoy this appetizing meal with my wine recommendations. Also hoping the UCONN Women's Basketball Team wins its 12th National Title! GO HUSKIES

Published: March 2017

Too many people don't have the time or energy to do a full spring cleaning. Thankfully, a quick and simple home refresh will go a long way toward making your home look new without breaking the bank or your back.
In a Houzz article, Laura Gaskill outlines several easy ways to refresh your home for spring. For example, freshen up your entry simply by sweeping and mopping the front porch and adding a new welcome mat.

If you're fortunate enough to have a back entrance or mudroom, it's time to clear out all the remnants of winter. Consider adding extra storage with baskets, racks, or closet organizers to keep your newly tidied mudroom or entrance clutter free. And while you're decluttering, why not tackle clutter catchalls like junk drawers and countertops? You'll be able to find things again, and your space will feel brand new.

Can't remember when you last cleaned your light fixtures? You're not alone; most of us miss this step during regular dusting.

By wiping down neglected lamps and sconces (and those ever-so-dusty light bulbs), you'll lose the grime that's accumulated over many months (years?). Your living space will suddenly feel so much brighter and lighter you may decide to tackle your mirrors and inside windows next.

It needn't cost the earth (or take forever) to change up your décor. New paint is great, but you can achieve a similar result with less work by applying one of today's trendy large-scale adhesive murals to a blank wall. The result: an instant accent space that's easy to switch up when it's time for a change. And don't forget greenery-add plants and flowers to your living space for that instant spring feeling.

As you can see, spring cleaning no longer has to be intimidating. With these simple tweaks, your home will feel like spring before you know it. 
Published: March 2017

Christopher Jason Witten is an American football tight end for the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of Tennessee, and was drafted by the Cowboys in the third round of the 2003 NFL Draft. Witten ranks second all-time in career receptions and receiving yards by an NFL tight end, trailing only Tony Gonzalez. Full Wiki Article
Witten is the youngest of three brothers, Ryan and Shawn, and was raised in Washington D.C., but attended Elizabethton High School in Elizabethton, Tennessee. Witten's father, a 6'8", 300 lb. mailman, was abusive toward his mother, Kim, and his older brothers after he became addicted to alcohol and drugs when Jason was 6. When he was 11, Witten moved to Elizabethton to live with his grandparents. His grandfather Dave Rider was also the coach of the football team, where he was a two-way player, playing linebacker and tight end.

He became a three-year starter playing both linebacker and tight end, while helping his team reach the state semifinals three times. As a senior linebacker, he finished the season with 163 tackles (registering a career school record 450), nine sacks, two interceptions, five forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, and two blocked kicks. That year he received several accolades: All-American, All-State (also as a junior), USA Today Player of the Year for Tennessee, East Tennessee Player of the Year, Region Defensive Player of the Year and runner-up for the Mr. Football award. He had 26 receptions and 14 touchdowns on offense. He also played basketball, where he averaged 15 points and 12 rebounds per-game.
History/Technology: Body by Fisher
Published: March 2017

In 1904 and 1905, the two eldest brothers, Fred and Charles, came to Detroit where their uncle Albert Fisher had established Standard Wagon Works during the latter part of the 1880s. The brothers found work at the C. R. Wilson Company, a manufacturer of horse-drawn carriage bodies that was beginning to make bodies for the automobile manufacturers. With financing from their uncle, on July 22, 1908 Fred and Charles Fisher established the Fisher Body Company. Their uncle soon wanted out and the brothers obtained the needed funds from Detroit businessman Louis Mendelssohn who became a shareholder and director. Within a short period of time, Charles and Fred Fisher brought their five younger brothers into the business.

Prior to forming the company, Fred Fisher had built the body of the Cadillac Osceola at the C. R. Wilson Company. Starting in 1910, Fisher became the supplier of all closed bodies for Cadillac, and also built for Buick.

In the early years of the company, the Fisher Brothers had to develop new body designs because the "horseless carriage" bodies did not have the strength to withstand the vibration of the new motorcars. By 1913, the Fisher Body Company had the capacity to produce 100,000 cars per year and customers included: Ford, Krit, Chalmers, Cadillac, and Studebaker. Highly successful, they expanded into Canada, setting up a plant in Walkerville, Ontario, and by 1914 their operations had grown to become the world's largest manufacturer of auto bodies. One reason for their success was the development of interchangeable wooden body parts that did not require hand-fitting, as was the case in the construction of carriages. This required the design of new precision woodworking tools.

The Fisher Body and Buick Chassis were built in Saint John New Brunswick Canada in the 1920s.

Full Wiki article
Published: March 2017

For years we've been told that weight loss is a simple equation: the more you exercise, the more weight you lose.
Sadly, it's not that simple. Exercise improves physical and mental health, lowers blood pressure, and reduces the risk of acquiring Type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer's. It's a stress reliever. But according to an article on, some 60 studies have found that exercise's impact on weight loss is not that significant.

It's explained this way: We gain all our energy from food. But thanks to our basal metabolic rate (over which we basically have no control), we use 60% to 80% of that energy just to function. We use 10% in digestion, leaving only 10% to 30% of energy available to be burned in physical activity (which includes exercise).

What works then? Interestingly, researchers have found that those who are successful in losing weight "weigh themselves at least once a week. They restrict their calorie intake, stay away from high-fat foods, and watch their portion sizes. They also exercise regularly."

Hey. We knew it all along.
Published: March 2017

I'm listing this spring; how can I enhance my home's exterior?
You're smart to think of this. One way to make sure your "For Sale" sign doesn't stay up very long is to pay attention to the lawn around it and the overall appearance of the house as seen from the street.

Exterior spring cleaning can enhance your home's curb appeal: maintaining the roof, cleaning windows and siding, cutting the grass and sprucing up flowerbeds.

Declutter outside, certainly, but why not do more while you're at it? Freshen the paint and upgrade the hardware on your front door. Put urns of flowers on the porch and add plants to the street side of your fence. Make the front look cozy; consider adding a swing or rocking chair to the porch.

Invest in large house numbers that everyone can read from across the road. And don't forget good outdoor lighting. If the inside is as inviting as the outside, potential buyers may even want to stay past dark.
Published: March 2017

Our kids may be computer whizzes, but chances are they're not very financially savvy. Money management is an essential life skill, and one that's not usually taught in school. But perhaps it should be; the consequences of not knowing how to manage money as an adult can lead to a host of money mistakes. Hence the introduction of device-based programs to teach kids about managing money.
One British start-up, Osper, has been offering a mobile banking service for children as young as eight that is designed so parents and children can work together to manage the child's money. It uses the technology that kids understand so well and offers parents the security of oversight.

The service functions like a prepaid credit card: The child is the cardholder and he or she can use it to make purchases in store, online, and for transactions at banking machines. Parents fund the card according to a budget they create with the child. An app helps them track spending, and parents can lock the card if it's lost or stolen.

Bankaroo is a similar service and allows parents to keep track of their children's earnings from chores and allowances, and to follow their spending. A multi-child family account permits money transfers and tracks the children's individual financial goals. It's available in different currencies and languages, as an app for iOS and Android, and on desktop.

Good news: Bankaroo is now being offered in some North American schools. So tech-focused money management courses may soon be available at a school near you.
Published: March 2017

Spring may bring thoughts of your dream home - and what better time for a home search than now?
By the time summer comes you could be happily ensconced in your new home. Think outdoor living and a relaxed intro to a new neighborhood.

But before the dream turns into a full-fledged home search, there are several things to consider. One of the most important is your credit score and what that score may mean as far as your mortgage options.

To advance to the search phase, you'll need to know what your credit score looks like now and where it ultimately needs to be for you to be in a position to purchase a home. So now is an ideal time to contact your mortgage professional to review your credit.

Indeed, you can pull your own credit, but what you need is a way to interpret what's on the report and how it will impact you throughout the lending process. Many things that you may see as minor on your report may actually make a significant difference in accessing the programs and interest rates you want.

For example, if you carry a lot of credit card debt or if one card has a higher balance than most lenders feel is appropriate, that's a negative. But if your mortgage advisor draws this to your attention, you'll have time to pay off or reduce your balance before you start to search.

And the sooner you start, the sooner you can be in your dream home.

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This newsletter and any information contained herein are intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial or medical advice. The publisher takes great efforts to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this newsletter. However, we will not be responsible at any time for any errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. Seek competent professional advice and/or legal counsel with respect to any matter discussed or published in this newsletter. This newsletter is not intended to solicit properties currently for sale. Logo