Issue 9 | January 2022
Love Is In The Air!
February is the Month of Love, Let Me Help You Avoid Some Mistakes

February is almost here and that means that Valentine's Day is right around the corner. Showing love to those in your life is always a good thing, however, not all Valentine's Day gifts are created equal. Yes, it is the thought that counts, but some of these that I found on the internet makes me question- What were they thinking?!

This would probably not make her squeal with joy. If you are thinking about a gift like this, do so with caution.

Hmm, is this a gift for him or for her? 

YIKES! He might want to re-think things...

Well, I guess it could be worse?

All joking aside, I hope that you got a laugh out of these and that your Valentine's Day plans go perfectly. May you have a wonderful day spent with the ones that you love! 



Local Events

Valentine's Day Dinner and a Show

It can be difficult to plan a fun and romantic date night for every special holiday. But this Valentine's Day, I have you covered! You and your sweetie will hardly have to lift a finger at this special event hosted at the luxurious Venue 1074 in Roopville. Enjoy a professionally catered family-friendly candlelit dinner & a show with you and your loved ones! 

Experience the musical stylings of The Nelons, a local southern gospel group and recent winners of The Dove Award for "Country/Roots Song of the Year". Amber & Nathan will also be performing DINEY DUETS from the classic Disney Music Catalog. Next, laugh until you bust a gut with comedian Mickey Bell, and make fun memories at the digital photo booth!

If you REALLY want to spoil your significant other, indulge in the VIP V-Day bundle where you can snag some swag from the night's headliner The Nelons. Before the official show, you’ll get to meet the band and enjoy a special acoustic concert. At the end of the night, you’ll walk away with a full belly, awesome memories, and fun photos to remember the night.

If you’re at a loss for how to treat your special someone this season, consider this night of fun! Tickets are available at Eventbrite for around $50 per person. Get going though! This event sells out FAST!

Find out more online at:
Strawberry & Chocolate Cheesecake

This time of year is full of saturated sweets and loads of chocolate-not that I’m complaining! But if you want a delicious seasonal treat that sticks out from the usual box of chocolates, try this chocolate-covered strawberry cheesecake recipe! Savory and slightly sweet, it’s perfectly paired with some champagne after a date night dinner. 

  • Cooking spray
  • 2 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 cups plus 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh strawberries (from roughly 5 large strawberries)
  • 4 (8-oz.) pkg. softened cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
  • 4 large eggs 
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (from 1 lemon) 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 drops soft pink food coloring gel
  • Chocolate Ganache
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup salted butter
  • 4 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whole and halved fresh strawberries (2 cups total)
Prepare the Cheesecake

Step 1
Preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly coat a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Wrap outside of pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Stir together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and 2 tablespoons of sugar in a medium bowl. Press mixture on bottom and 1 inch up sides of prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven until set, 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; cool completely, about 30 minutes.

Step 2
Meanwhile, process chopped strawberries in a food processor until completely smooth, about 1 minute, stopping to scrape sides as needed.

Step 3
Beat cream cheese with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium speed until creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually add flour and remaining 1 1/4 cups sugar, beating until smooth, about 1 minute. Add whole eggs, 1 at a time, beating on low speed just until blended after each addition (do not overbeat). Add egg yolk, and beat just until incorporated. Beat in zest, strawberry puree, and 2 teaspoons vanilla on low speed just until combined. Gently stir in food coloring gel until desired shade is reached. Pour batter into prepared pan, and place on a large rimmed baking sheet.

Step 4
Bake in preheated oven just until center is set, 1 hour and 10 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes. Turn oven off, and let cheesecake stand in oven, with the door closed, 15 minutes. Remove cheesecake from the oven, and gently run a knife around the outer edge of the cheesecake to loosen from the sides of the pan. (Do not remove sides of the pan.) Cool completely in pan on a wire rack, about 2 hours. Cover and chill for 8 to 24 hours.
Prepare the Chocolate Ganache

Step 5
Place chocolate chips, butter, and corn syrup in a small microwavable bowl. Microwave on MEDIUM (50%) power until melted and smooth, 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.

Assemble the Cheesecake

Step 6

Remove sides of the pan, and transfer cheesecake to a serving platter. Pour chocolate ganache over the top of the cake, spreading to edges using a small offset spatula and allowing some to drip down the sides. Chill cheesecake until ganache is firm, about 20 minutes. Garnish cake with whole and halved fresh strawberries and enjoy!

Who is Tracking YOU?


Verizon Will Now Track Your Online Activity Unless You Opt Out


Verizon customers are now automatically signed up for a data collection program that tracks things like your browsing history, location, apps, and your contacts, all in the name of helping the company “understand your interests,” If you're a Verizon Wireless customer, you were recently auto-enrolled in this "Custom Experience Program" that Verizon says is meant to "tailor content to your interests." There are even two levels of invasiveness of this program- the Custom Experience and Custom Experience Plus. The Custom Experience Plus really harvests a lot of data about you. It not only uses information about the websites and apps you use on your mobile device, but it also says it uses your “device location,” along with “phone numbers you call or that call you” to help Verizon “better understand your interests.” This also includes your CPNI, which tracks the times and duration of your calls, and because Verizon is your wireless network provider, it can track your location even if you’ve turned off location services on your phone. You can read more about these programs on Verizon's FAQ page

What Is Verizon Doing With This Information?

Well, the official reason is so that they can tailor their offers to you based on your usage and preferences. However, there is nothing stating that they will not share this data with outside or 3rd party sources, so no one really knows at this time. 

But What if You Don't Want Verizon Tracking Your Activity?


Unless you manually opt out of the program, Verizon will store personal information and create user interest profiles on you. The good news is that it is easy to turn this feature off if you know how to do so. Here's the inside scoop:

How Do I Opt Out?

1. Launch the MyVerizon mobile app and sign in to your account or sign in from a computer.

2. From the home screen or the bottom "Account" tab, tap on the cog icon in the upper right-hand corner of the screen to access your "Account Settings" menu.

3. Scroll down just a bit to find the "Preferences" sub-menu and tap on "Manage privacy settings."

4. You should see a list of devices attached to your account. Unfortunately, there's no bulk opt-out switch, and you'll have to complete this task for each device. Select the device you'd like to opt-out of this list.

5. The next screen will be the "Privacy Settings" menu. You should see "Custom Experience" and "Custom Experience Plus" on this page, with toggles on the right-hand side of your screen. Make sure both of these toggles are switched to the left — they should be gray instead of a bright green. It'll look slightly different if you're looking at this menu on a web browser. There will be drop-down menus for the two programs to opt-out on the web. Click and fill the "Don't Use" bubble to opt-out.
❤ A Romantic Robbery ❤

Man Robs the Bank His Girlfriend Works at to Buy Her an Engagement Ring


On Valentines Day 2014 young and in love, Ramsey Fakhouri was sure he found "the one". Desperate to proclaim his love to his sweetheart but down on his luck financially, Fakhouri and his buddy laid the plans for a heist so he could pay for his girlfriend's $13,000 engagement ring. How... sweet? 🤔

His long-distance girlfriend worked at the Bradford National Bank in Illinois and had accidentally leaked some information about how the procedures worked at her bank while she was on speakerphone. The ATM would get stocked every morning by one of her coworkers. The machine was outside of the bank leaving the employee vulnerable for just a few moments with tens of thousands of dollars in their hands.

This was all Fakhouri and his friend needed to formulate their-not so-brilliant plan. One morning they made the drive up to Fakhouri’s girlfriend's bank and waited for her to open up. She called her boyfriend to tell him good morning -now that’s actually sweet- completely unaware of what was about to happen.
Soon enough the employee that restocks the ATM headed out to refill the machine. Fakhouri and his friend masked up (not in the 2020 way, it was only 2014) and pulled out their strikingly realistic-looking airsoft guns. The poor employee, fearing for their life, handed over the cash and the two thieves drove off. While they were making their getaway, Fakhouri divvied up their spoils. $16,000 for Fakhouri and just $10,000 for his friend… Man what a great pal.😒

Fakhouri’s girlfriend texts him about the robbery and how scared she was, so what does Fakhouri do? He goes back to meet his girlfriend to comfort her! Good boyfriend move, bad burglar move. After a while, his girlfriend receives emails about the robbery where she sees the familiar faces in photos. She confronts him about the photos and while he admits he was there he denies his involvement. To prove his innocence she makes him go down to the station to convince the cops he’s not responsible. The police don’t believe a word of his story and book him right there. So, in summary, he was not a good boyfriend or a good thief. 

Fakhouri was sentenced to 78 months in federal prison and 3 years of probation afterward. His girlfriend sure dodged a bullet with that one!💕

Happy Valentine's Day from Julie and her team!

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