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  • Writer's pictureCharlsie Pecoraro

Happy July 4th! What's Happening on the Gulf Coast?

July kicks off with a celebration of Independence in the United States. Family and friends will gather for backyard grilling and delicious desserts like the traditional Flag Cake. I'll link the recipe below so that you can whip one up for the 4th.

If you want to view professional fireworks, Mobile has the ideal event for you at the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park! Thank you, Parks & Recreation for putting this one on!

Please note: Parking is $5/per car


Boss Partners in the News!

Check out boss partner, Lisa Harkey, founder of AlaCoast Insurance Company! She will be the featured speaker at this week's Bay Area BNI group's meeting. If you are searching for a great business networking group, this one is for you!

WooHoo! The pros at Hembree Heating & Air Conditioning have moved into their new corporate office located on Tanner Williams in West Mobile. Congratulations to Josh Hembree and everyone involved in making this dream location manifest! If you are looking for an HVAC company to maintain or repair your air conditioning unit give them a call at 251-259-4664. They can handle commercial & residential projects.

Josh & Kala Hembree

I could not pass up the opportunity to wish Kala & Josh Hembree a very Happy Anniversary. Anyone who has spent any time around this couple knows how dynamic they are. They exude happiness and it is infectious!(Photo from Facebook)

I also want to give Kala a shout out for her entrepreneural endeavors. She has launched The Bread House with Kala and is teaching the community how to bake breads, pastas and so much more. Click here to connect with her business on Facebook. I am looking forward to enrolling in her Sourdough Bread Making Class later this month. Thank you for sharing your skills with all of us.

Headshot of Alan
Alan Bottoms

Alan Bottoms, founder of Alan & Company brings a very diverse skill set to the table for business coaching. He has enjoyed success in all of his past endeavors and mentors others to reach their personal goals.

He is focusing upon real estate agents along the gulf coast. As a real estate professional, he has seen the pitfalls that many new agents encounter. He guides new agents through the maze of becoming a career professional versus one who "tries" the business. He can be reached by calling 850-261-5353.


Special Holiday Hours this week!

Our friends at Lindsey & Waldo will be closed on Thursday & Friday, July 4th & 5th. You can reach them on Monday by calling 251-633-4070.

Lisa Harkey and her team at AlaCoast Insurance Agency will be closed on Thursday & Friday of this week. You can reach them on Monday, July 8th by calling 251-661-4410.

(Side note: AlaCoast has a new website launching later this week, created by my company, Collective Minds,

Every year, the master mechanics at Ronnie Lee's Automotive in Daphne take the entire week off! As busy as this crew has been, I'd say they deserve the break. No worries, for they will back "under the hood" next Monday, July 8th. You can give them a call at 251-625-3355 or visit their website by clicking here.

Redbar Espresso & Market will be closing at 5PM on July 4th. You'll still be able to get your coffee fix Thursday morning! They are open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and happy hour! Check out this gem of a restaurant located in West Mobile on Old Shell Road.


Great Recipes for the 4th of July!

Check out this simple to make Flag Cake on my Youtube channel. It is DELICOUS and will be a hit at any gathering this week. It is a great way to use fresh strawberries and blueberries that are so abundant along the Gulf Coast! Enjoy this one and let me know how it turns out.

Baked Beans are expected if you are hosting a "grill out" and this recipe takes those canned beans to the next level. Check out the recipe by clicking here.

I've seen folks go back for "thirds" for this one! I'll give you a hint: bacon! Go check it out!

What if you can cook your Corn in the microwave in 3 minutes, then "dress" up the cobs for later? I'll show you how to precook your corn, add some seasonings and have them ready to warm up on the grill for your 4th of July. Click here to watch the short video. You are going to LOVE this "hack".

This Banana Pudding recipe is a great dessert to serve on these hot summer days. It is a crowd favorite that just about everyone loves! Click here and learn how to make this simple concoction, just in time for the holiday. If you have any leftovers, it will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

This is a wonderful way to use fresh watermelon and blueberries in a salad. This Blueberry/Watermelon Salad with Walnuts & Feta will be a crowd pleaser on Thursday. Click here to check out the recipe and enjoy!

I hope I've given you some new ideas for your holiday happening! Thanks for watching my videos and subscribing to the channel. It is so much fun cooking with all of you!


Some Pet Tips for the Summer!

Lil' Jack enjoys being outdoors however when the temperature goes up he loves cold water with ice, sleeping indoors on the tile, and taking quick potty breaks.

The mosquitos have been out in full force and they are the carriers of heart worms. My veterinarian told me that there have been loads of positive heart worm tests recently, so don't delay getting the meds. Jack gets an annual injection and it really does offer long-term protection.

Whatever you do, DO NOT leave your dog or cat in your car. A quick 5 minute trip into the grocery store could mean heatstroke for your animal.

This post has been a popular one on social media. I wish I knew who to give credit to. It really makes you think, doesn't it? Always remember that the concrete really heats up and can burn your dog's pads quickly. Keep them on the grass, carry cold water with you for their walks and try to plan early morning and late evening strolls.


Did You Know?

Richard in blue shirt
Richard Lindsey

Richard Lindsey, of Lindsey & Waldo sends out frequent emails and a monthly newsletter. His communications are filled with tax tips for business owners. Imagine my surprise when I opened a recent email and it was all about tax deductions for service animals and fostering.

Richard Lindsey's "Real World" Personal Strategy Note 

When Your Animal Can Help Lower Your Tax Bill

"Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no questions; they pass no criticisms." - George Eliot

Being a pet owner has its perks. Cute, furry friend who loves and adores you? Check. But one perk that doesn’t come with your pet (typically) is saving money on taxes.

Still, there are some interesting and lesser-known scenarios where pet-related expenses can be claimed under specific conditions.

Let’s explore some under-utilized pet deductions…

Service animal support

Many individuals have been diagnosed with a physical or mental condition that requires a trained therapy animal. There are around half a million service dogs employed in the U.S. currently.

If a doctor has prescribed a trained service animal to help with a medical condition, you can claim your fury friend as a medical expense. The IRS allows you this claim because these are working animals, not pets. 

Things like food, vet bills, grooming, and training all qualify as medical expenses. Just remember, that these expenses must exceed 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income.

Business buddy

If you have a guard dog that looks over your business after hours, you might be eligible to write off similar expenses (food, vet, training, etc.) for a job well done.

I say "might be eligible" because, like most other deductions you claim for your business, you’ll need detailed proof of the dog’s working hours on a weekly basis.

Now, if your "guard dog" is just your dachshund snoozing on the office armchair, the IRS will have some questions about claiming this deduction. So, make sure it’s actually a guard dog you’re claiming.

Being a foster home

Helping a pet find a forever home takes time, so shelters will look for volunteers willing to foster the animals until a permanent placement can be found. If you choose to volunteer for this noble cause, you can deduct any unreimbursed care costs (food, supplies, and even veterinary bills). 

However, this does not apply if you are a rescue lone ranger. You must be affiliated with a 501(c)(3) organization in order to claim deductions. But you could start your own group and get tax-exempt status if there aren’t any qualified groups in your area.

Again, it's important you keep scrupulous notes and documentation about what you spend on your foster pets before you apply for a charitable deduction.

Two other situations

Moving. If you're relocating for a job and your move qualifies for the moving expense deduction, you can include the costs associated with your old pal, Spot.

Hobbying. If your pet is part of a hobby that generates income, such as breeding, animal acting, or showing animals, you may be able to deduct some expenses up to the amount of income generated. However, there are stricter hobby loss rules, so consulting a tax professional is highly recommended.

Thank you, Richard for keeping us informed!


~ Charlsie


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