April 2020 253 Lifestyle Magazine

livinglocal360

April 2020 253 Lifestyle Magazine

ISSUE NO. 16

APRIL 2020

L I F E S T Y L E M A G A Z I N E

ON A MISSION TO SERVE

Q&A WITH SOUNDBRIDGE DENTAL

DR. CHIARINA IREGUI AND DR. KARLA BLOOMQUIST OF SOUNDBRIDGE

DENTAL ARTS AND SLEEP THERAPY

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WESTMORELAND PROPERTIES

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Kicking off our Spring Collection of

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This information is not intended to be an indication of loan qualification, loan approval or a commitment to lend.

Other limitations may apply. ©2014 Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation FIMC NMLS ID#2289 (www.

nmlsconsumeraccess.org) EQUAL HOUSING LENDER WA. License Number MLO-248580.

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EXPERIENCE

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SOLD

MLS 1564760 Gig Harbor Waterfront

Listing Broker: Jeff Krause

MLS 1393054 Canterwood

Listing Broker: Patrick Mercado

MLS 1568414 Gig Harbor

Listing Broker: Jeff Krause

MLS 1558522 Puyallup

Listing Broker: Neil Bender

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MARKETING

WASHINGTON DIRECTOR

Cassie Riendeau | 360.798.3061

cassie@like-media.com

MARKETING & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

Nicole Seefried | 253.225.7820

nicole@like-media.com

MARKETING & SALES ASSISTANT

Morgan Selenius | 360.865.6511

morgan@like-media.com

EDITORIAL

EDITOR IN CHIEF

Jillian Chandler | jillian@like-media.com

STAFF WRITERS

Colin Anderson | colin@like-media.com

Abigail Thorpe | abigail@like-media.com

DESIGN

CREATIVE DIRECTOR | Maddie Horton

LEAD GRAPHIC DESIGNER | Darbey Russo

GRAPHIC DESIGNER | Kennedy Pew

DIGITAL CREATIVE DIRECTOR | Whitney Lebsock

great things for

a great community

Founded in 1925, Peninsula Light is your member-owned, not-for-profit

electric cooperative, providing reliable power throughout Gig Harbor and

the Key Peninsula. We are dedicated to continually improving the quality

of life in this great community through system reliability, helping you

conserve and use electricity more efficiently and rising to the challenges

of a rapidly changing industry.

OPERATIONS

MANAGING PARTNER | Kim Russo

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR | Steve Russo

DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS | Rachel Figgins

CONTRIBUTORS

Nikki Luttmann, Marguerite Cleveland, Kristin Carlson,

Olivia Harrell, Stephanie Lynn Gertrude Brown,

Rachel Kelly

253.857.5950 | 888.809.8021

13315 GOODNOUGH DR. NW | GIG HARBOR, WA 98332

WWW.PENLIGHT.ORG

252 Lifestyle Magazine is published monthly and

distributed freely throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Opinions expressed in articles or advertisements

do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the

publisher. 253 Lifestyle Magazine is not responsible

for omissions or information that has been

misrepresented to the magazine. 253 Lifestyle

Magazine is produced and published by Like Media,

and no part of this publication may be reproduced or

transmitted without the permission of the publisher.

6

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Changing the Face

of Family Law

For almost 30 years, Felicia Soleil has helped

families in Gig Harbor and Pierce County transition

through divorce with an emphasis on reducing and

alternative to dissolving a marriage. Considering

divorce or separation? Felicia focuses on helping

people move on, not simply move out.

Divorce

Mediation &

Collaborative

Law

Legal support,

education &

case management,

from simple

to complex:

• Legal

separation

and divorce

• Parenting

Parenting

plans

plans

Child support

• Child support

Prenuptial

• Prenuptial

agreements

Agreements

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PUBLISHER’S Picks

Steve Russo

Executive Director

A Healthy, Happy community

WE ARE IN THE MIDST OF UNCHARTED WATERS AS A COUNTRY, and

as our nation’s leaders and leaders from around the world work together

around the clock to contain the COVID-19 outbreak, we are all struggling

with uncertainty and worry. Many of us either own, run or work for small

business, and we know what it takes every day to keep the doors open. Most

importantly, we all know that it is our own passion, hard work and dedication

to our craft that really drives us to be the best we can be. Our reward at

the end of the day is our ability to take care of not only our families but

others as well. In our small community that we call home, our businesses

not only provide excellent service and quality products, we also contribute

to the well-being of our town in a multitude of ways. Many of us donate

time, money and resources to the local nonprofits and organizations that

help take care of many people in need. There is a lot that takes place behind

the scenes, and without the help of local businesses, these needs simply

cannot be met.

Here at Like Media and 253 Lifestyle Magazine, our mission is to positively

impact the communities we serve. We do this by providing local resources

that serve as a platform for many nonprofits, organizations, and groups.

Whether it is our stories, local events calendars, social media channels,

local websites or e-newsletters, our goal is to tell the stories that most likely

would never be told. Our goal is not only to build community awareness but

to put names and faces behind the causes and to tell the stories the way

they were intended to be told. And all of this is made possible, again, by the

businesses that partner with us each and every month.

In these uncertain times as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread

not only sickness but fear among our fellow men and women both young

and old, remember it is our local businesses that will need your support now

more than ever because, without them, we all will suffer a great loss as this

pandemic subsides. Keep in mind, it is the love and compassion that we

share that makes those in the community proud to call the 253 home.

As we enter a new season of spring with warmer weather on its way, we

are still promised that the sun will continue to shine down on our faces,

the joyful giggles and laughter from children playing outside will continue

to echo throughout the streets and that April will be a time of renewal and

hope as we look forward to spending time with our families celebrating

Easter and the resurrection of our Lord. This, my friends, more than ever,

makes this a special time of renewal and hope for us all.

Be conscious of your actions to ensure the best protection for all, stay

positive and keep the faith alive. It is the love and compassion that we share

for the common man that binds us together in this place we all call home!

May blessings abound this Easter season, and health and happiness to you

and your loved ones.

40 30 54 60

WRESTLING: A STORY OF

HOPE AND PEACE

Q&A WITH DR. KARLA

BLOOMQUIST AND

DR. CHIARINA IREGUI

DRESSING FOR COLD

WEATHER IN SPRING

DESTINATION: SAN

ANTONIO, TEXAS

8

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Stop and smell

the tulips

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INSIDE

18

14

24

54

60

About The Cover

ON OUR APRIL COVER OF 253

LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE, you will

find Dr. Karla Bloomquist and Dr.

Chiarina Iregui of SoundBridge

Dental Arts and Sleep Therapy—

winner of the “Best of the South

Sound” award several years in a

row. Read more about these two

women and how they go above and

beyond to serve the community in

this month’s Q&A on page 30.

HOME

What’s The Best Choice? Decoding

interior paint finish options

TRENDING

What You Should Know When

Remodeling: Tips for a smooth process,

start to finish

TACOMA

A Vast Impact: Cultural center keeps

diverse heritage thriving

Q&A

Dr. Karla Bloomquist and Dr. Chiarina

Iregui of SoundBridge Dental Arts and

Sleep Therapy

14 HEALTH

18

24

30

Tips and informational articles about

living a healthy, active lifestyle

FEATURED

Wrestling: A Story of Hope and Peace:

North Idaho natives Larry and Shelly

Steckman on a mission to serve

ARTS &

ENTERTAINMENT

Discover your local art scene and never

miss an event near you!

TRAVEL

Destination: San Antonio, Texas

34

40

50

60

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Home

what’s the best choice?

DECODING INTERIOR PAINT FINISH OPTIONS

BY NIKKI LUTTMANN, INTERIOR DESIGNER

Paints today come in a whole range of colors and finishes. While choosing a color can be difficult and even

agonizing, choosing the correct finish for your application shouldn’t be.

The rule of thumb used to be gloss for trim, satin for living spaces and semi-gloss for bathrooms and kitchens.

Please don’t do this! The new paint finishes are mainly water-based acrylics and have been developed to be very, very

durable, even in low-luster finishes.

While high-gloss paint can certainly be used for trim, it can also be used for a wide variety of techniques, including

“lacquering,” which entails layering a rich-pigmented oil-based paint to achieve a glossy, polished, jewel-like finish.

While this sounds impressive, it is certainly not for everyone, and something that high gloss accomplishes very well is

highlighting every little flaw in the drywall or woodwork. This technique is best left to professional painters and requires

perfect smooth-finish drywall and doors without dings of any kind. Glossy paint is very unforgiving, and I seldom

recommend it, even for trim work.

Instead, I recommend a semi-gloss or even satin finish for trim and millwork. The smooth finishes of these paints do a

great job of repelling dust and grime and can be easily wiped down, but they are not so glossy as to call attention to little

flaws or nicks that most of us have lived with on our doors or baseboards.

As far as using satin or semi-gloss on bathroom and kitchen walls, don’t do it. These finishes can look cheap and are hard

to touch up. It is far better to use a more matte paint that touches up easily than to use something with a high sheen to it.

The thought is that the glossier the paint, the more waterproof it is, but this is no longer the case. Any paint you use today

is going to have a level of water protection, as most are synthetic latex paints, otherwise known as acrylic. In essence, we

are coating our walls in thin layers of plastic. Now, does shinier plastic protect better from moisture than matte plastic?

Not really.

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Does that mean you should go with the flattest of the flat paints? Something

with no sheen at all? I wouldn’t recommend going that direction either.

Flat paints can show imperfections in another way—their light-absorbing

surfaces show any change in color or texture. In addition, they are

particularly susceptible to fingerprints, grease, or cracks of any kind.

My recommendation when choosing paint is to stay away from the

extremes. For walls and ceilings, choose a matte paint, something with

a light sheen that is still washable. This will be your most flattering—

and most forgiving—surface. It bounces just enough light around to

be beautiful, while still being durable enough for most interiors. These

finishes can be called matte, eggshell or sometimes velvet, depending on

the brand. Ask the paint specialist for the finish they would consider their

“washable matte.” They will know how to help you.

For trim and millwork, choose a satin or semi-gloss finish. This will be

easier to care for and look good in the long term. It also contrasts nicely

with a more matte wall paint.

Always keep a bit of each paint on hand for touch-ups (I like to keep mine

in labeled mason jars under the sink), and don’t be afraid to wipe down

your trim regularly with a mild abrasive-free cleaner. Usually a little dish

soap and water will do the trick. This will keep your new coat of paint

looking great well into the future.

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YOU’RE LOCAL. WE’RE LOCAL.

THE JONES TEAM

YOUR RELOCATION EXPERTS

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Trending

WHAT YOU SHOULD

KNOW WHEN

REMODELING

Tips for a smooth process,

start to finish

By Abigail Thorpe

The arrival of spring has us Marie

Kondoing our closets and deep

cleaning our kitchens, but being

able to see the back of our closet or

how aged that grout really is has us thinking

about more than decluttering. Warm

weather means it’s time for those updates

you put off last year—or just a fun excuse

to finally add some personal touches to the

spaces you spend the most time in. Whether

it’s to update an existing home, remodel

a new purchase that needs some updates

or prepare a home for resale, remodeling

some part of our space is something most

homeowners have had to face at one time or

another.

With any home improvement project, it

can be daunting to know where to start,

what to focus on and when to call in the

professionals. Here are some tips to keep

you on track and help make the process a bit

smoother.

Budget. Naturally budget is a main concern

when it comes to remodeling your home.

Under budget or set your expectations

too high, and you can end up with a halffinished

project and no money left. Ask

any contractor, and they’ll tell you a project

always costs more than you expect and takes

longer to finish. Plan on spending more

than you expect, and you won’t be caught

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If you’re planning on selling the home

in the future, make sure major updates

focus on areas of the home that buyers

notice first. “It’s no question that the

kitchen often sells the house.”

unawares mid project. Carefully allocate money to each stage of the

project, and never start a remodel before creating the budget. This

way you can plan the stages of the process, starting with what’s most

important to you, and working on each stage of the project as you’re

financially able.

Set expectations/go in stages. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither

will your dream home be. Start with a space that you spend the most

time in, that is the most important to you to update, and prepare

the work in stages from there. If you have the budget, it may be cost

effective to schedule multiple things at once, so you’re not having subs

return, but make sure you can complete the project if you start it.

“Kitchen upgrades will make a difference in your lifestyle, as this is

usually the room where folks spend more time,” advises Jackie Suarez,

a real estate agent with Century 21 in Sandpoint, Idaho. “More efficient

HVAC and water heater upgrades should save you money over time.”

Professional or DIY? You might be the king or queen of DIY, but there

are certain things you just shouldn’t touch. “For buyers, the first thing

to remember is to have the home inspected by a professional inspector

or trusted contractor during the inspection contingency period,” says

Suarez. “This will usually identify any hidden costs or surprises.”

A priority is making sure a home is structurally sound—something

a contractor or inspector can help with. Outside of the structural,

electrical, plumbing and any heating or air conditioning updates

require a licensed professional and inspection, so don’t try to tackle

these on your own.

Some demolition, countertop removal, painting, etc. can be self

done, but when it comes to key updates or something you don’t feel

comfortable with, it’s always best to consult a professional.

Keep resale front of mind. “Making a home ‘market-ready’ is very

important. It gives the seller an advantage over other homes that

buyers may perceive as requiring more of their time and resources

than they are willing to spend,” suggests Suarez.

If you’re planning on selling the home in the future, make sure major

updates focus on areas of the home that buyers notice first. “It’s no

question that the kitchen often sells the house,” says Brooke Stebbins,

project coordinator for Monarch Marble & Granite. “People spend a

lot of time in their kitchens, and it’s most often the focal point of family

gatherings. An inviting kitchen is a sound investment in resale value as

well as quality of life, in addition to catching prospective buyers’ eyes.

It is a lot easier to tackle a bathroom remodel, so a buyer may be more

willing to overlook an outdated master suite, for instance, if they love

the kitchen.”

Be careful making updates that are very specific to your personal style

if you are looking to sell. Stick with updates that are fairly neutral and

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on trend. Quartz and granite are popular options for countertops, advises

Stebbins, as both are durable and fairly versatile. “Consider hard-surface

flooring instead of wall-to-wall carpet, as area rugs are easier to replace,”

adds Suarez.

Make your money count. Key updates can make a major difference,

without requiring extensive work. “Replacing your countertops can have

an amazing transforming effect on the space, it may not even feel like the

same room when you’re done,” says Stebbins. While the countertops are

most obvious in the kitchen, this goes for the bathrooms as well. New

vanity tops can update a bathroom without the need to replace the vanity.

“Paint is typically the highest return for the investment, as it makes an

immediate impression, followed by updates in cabinet hardware and light

fixtures, bath mirrors, and if possible, flooring and countertops,” advises

Suarez.

Personal touches. If you are planning to resell and still want to add

personal touches to your space, paint, hardware and light fixtures are

easy to replace, so feel free to add some style-specific flair. “Most of all,

get good professional advice, enjoy the process and make it your own,”

says Suarez.

Curb appeal. Interior is important, but it’s important to consider how

your home looks from the street, particularly for resale. “Remember

exterior paint, yard maintenance and sprucing up plantings will entice

buyers to come through the front door,” says Suarez.

Just remember, prioritize what is most central to your lifestyle or the

resale of the home, budget out accordingly and stay flexible! Everything

is not going to go to plan, but sometimes great outcomes come from the

unexpected.

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Tacoma

A VAST

IMPACT

CULTURAL CENTER KEEPS DIVERSE HERITAGE THRIVING

By Colin Anderson | Photos Courtesy of Asia Pacific Cultural Center

Though established for nearly 25 years, the Asia Pacific

Cultural Center (APCC) in Tacoma continues to

surprise not only those who walk through the center’s

doors but the thousands of community members

impacted by its work each year.

“Most people are surprised to learn there are 47 nations

represented by the Asia and Pacific Island umbrella,” explained

Faaluaina (Lua) Pritchard, executive director of Asia Pacific

Cultural Center. Lua has been leading the center for 10 years

and was a founding member when it formed in 1996. Nations

represented include obvious ones like Japan, China and Korea,

but also Mongolia, Okinawa and Indonesia. Pacific Island

nations such as Hawaii and the Philippines are commonly

thought of, but also New Zealand and Guam are included in the

organization’s focus and membership.

The APCC was established with an aim to bridge generational

and cultural differences through art, culture, education and

business. Each country represented brings with it a rich and

diverse cultural backdrop, providing enhanced experiences

for the thousands of annual visitors who take advantage of the

activities provided by the APCC.

“The APCC mission not only includes the bridging of generations

and cultures but also the enhancements of community life in

the Pacific Northwest through job creation and economic

development,” said Lua. This is accomplished through APCC

activities, community outreach programs, project management

initiatives, business development opportunities and direct local

and international partnerships. APCC serves far more than

100,000 people every year throughout the State of Washington.

There are over 100 languages and more than 55 cultures teaching

about their history, arts, crafts, people, languages, stories, dance,

music and more. Art is a large focus of Asia Pacific Cultural

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Center, where it is always on display. Each month, an artist and their work

are featured and celebrated. The public is invited to view the art whenever

the center is open.

In 2020 one specific mission of the APCC was to make sure its members and

their communities were counted and fairly represented in the U.S. Census.

APCC educated, reminded and encouraged the community throughout

the year until April 1, 2020, when Census Day was observed nationwide.

Helping its members overcome language barriers or intimidation they feel

from American systems is a vital part of the APCC’s mission. “By providing

people that look like them and speak their language, the APCC can work

with community citizens on things like the Census to ensure accuracy,”

explained Lua.

Asia Pacific Cultural Center also provides assistance with housing and

basic needs as well as help with immigration and naturalization paperwork.

Members act as liaisons to government agencies for those starting new

businesses and build educational programs in school systems. The APCC

often provides transportation as well. In 2019, more than 300,000 people

were served across Washington state through in-person or electronic and

phone interactions.

The creation of many youth programs is something Lua and others

at APCC say brings them a great sense of pride and accomplishment.

Working in five school districts including Franklin Pierce, Clover Park,

Bethel, Fife and Tacoma,

the APCC implements

free after-school programs

and a youth intervention

program called PLOT

(Promised Leaders of

Tomorrow). The PLOT

youth program engages

and supports low-income

Asian and Pacific Islander

youth in Pierce County

THE APCC WAS

ESTABLISHED WITH AN AIM

TO BRIDGE GENERATIONAL

AND CULTURAL

DIFFERENCES THROUGH

who are at risk of dropping

out or failing out of high ART, CULTURE, EDUCATION

school. “We help them to

overcome barriers such

as gangs, violence, drugs

AND BUSINESS.

or alcohol, behavior

problems and other issues

so that they stay in school

and graduate,” said Lua.

The program involves after-school tutoring and leadership group, as well

as opportunities in summer learning and jobs, civic and volunteerism, case

management, and college and career guidance. The program is currently

implemented in 11 schools, and there are 197 kids in the 2020 program.

With such a wide impact across many programs and events, support of

the organization can be as simple as joining and paying membership

dues, but simply attending an event and learning more about the diverse

cultures is equally important. Volunteer opportunities are abundant at

the center. With a capital campaign underway to raise funds to build a

new world-class facility, financial donations and monetary sponsorships

are necessary. A key component of APCC plans will be the campaign to

build a home facility with the capacity to reach out and attract over 300,000

visitors annually. The plan is already underway with the goal of opening

the doors to the new facility in 2025. Asia Pacific Cultural Center will need

its friends, families, supporters and all those who are interested to come

together in partnership to help make this dream a reality.

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Those who have not had a chance to experience the center can easily

take part in one of the more popular events. Taste of Asia is held the

first Saturday of each month. Visitors get to learn about and sample food

prepared by a local expert from the featured country of the month. With

nearly 50 cultures represented at the center, each month brings incredible

unique flavors you might not easily be able to find.

Upcoming Taste of Asia participants:

May 2 - Korea, presented by Patsy O’ Connell

June 6 - Thailand, presented by Thai Community

July 4 - Independence Day - Holiday Break

August 1 - Okinawa, presented by Mia Slattum

September 5 - Guam, presented by Imahe Representative

October 3 - Philippines, presented by Al Cosio

November 7 - Mongolia, presented by Oyuna Sanjaa and Otgon Yondon

December 5 - Samoa, presented by Ala Talo

Additional annual events include days of celebration such as Korean

Day and Thailand Day. There are APCC sponsored car shows, youth

fitness day, a traditional Polynesian Luau, and Samoa cultural week and

celebration held annually at the Tacoma Dome. As with all large-scale

events in Washington, dates and locations could be altered, so it is best to

visit AsiaPacificCulturalCenter.org or find them on Facebook for the latest

information regarding all upcoming events.

28 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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Q&A

Q&A

DR. KARLA BLOOMQUIST

AND DR. CHIARINA IREGUI

SOUNDBRIDGE DENTAL ARTS AND SLEEP THERAPY

BY RACHEL KELLY | PHOTOS COURTESY OF SOUNDBRIDGE DENTAL ARTS

30 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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We help our patients achieve whole-health happiness.

Dentistry & Sleep Therapy

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to a higher

standard” is and

has always been the

“Committed

quote that epitomizes

what Soundbridge Dental Arts

strives for. Dr. Karla Bloomquist

and Dr. Chiarina Iregui stop long

enough to discuss just how this

standard plays out in their everyday

care, highlighting the importance

of boutique dental services in the

wider world of health care.

32PHOTO 253 LIFESTYLE BY SAMANTHA MAGAZINE ELISE TILLMAN

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Q. Soundbridge Dental Arts has won the “Best

of the South Sound” award several years in a

row. Why do you think you’ve been awarded

this distinction?

A. That award was given to us by our supportive

community members and loyal patients. We like

to think that it’s because the people that come

here feel cared for and listened to. We emphasize

health and wellness as our primary goal, even

going so far as to pursue continuing levels of

education to see that goal met.

Q. Even after all these years in the community,

serving in dentistry, you state the importance

of “staying ahead of the curve.” Would you say

then that you are still actively learning?

A. Constantly. Always, always, always. We both

believe in not going stagnant. We do this by

continuing our education, coinciding the latest

technologies with our studies and adjusting our

practice according to new knowledge. We are

always bouncing ideas off each other, taking

each other’s opinions into account. We like to

be absolutely sure that we are bringing the right

information and solutions to all of our patients.

Q. You seem to have a very comprehensive view

of dentistry; you believe that systemic health

issues are often seen in the mouth. How does

this interactive viewpoint play out in your

community interactions?

A. With an emphasis on the fact that we are

dentists, and that we do not treat the whole

body, we often see systemic health issues played

out in the mouth. To treat these issues, we have

connections throughout the community. We

refer our patients to others when we recognize

an underlying issue that is affecting their mouth.

We’re just not interested in care that doesn’t

provide real solutions; we will not treat a patient

if we are not convinced that we can provide them

with the best of care. Both of us like to consider

our approach to our patients as comprehensive.

Yes, we know that they see us for dental care

primarily, but we want our patients to know that

we truly enjoy the whole picture.

Q. Your approach to dentistry seems unique.

Dr. Bloomquist has a master’s degree in health

and wellness, and Dr. Iregui has diplomate

status from the Academy of Sleep Medicine.

You go above and beyond in your level of

care. How did you go about developing this

approach?

A. When we met, we started to philosophize

about how to incorporate whole comprehensive

care into our practice. Dr. Iregui became

particularly interested in sleep apnea therapy

because of how closely it is tied to chronic

disease. An oral appliance can be so effective in

bringing about life change! Together, we make

a great collaborative team. By allocating longer

appointments, we are capable of listening to

the needs of the patient. We then have access

to a network of providers that can help with

supportive and comprehensive care, ultimately

resulting in better general health. Patients’ oral

health is obviously our focus, but we don’t have

blinders on when it comes to treatment. Simply

put, we just care about people. That’s why we

entered into this field in the first place.

Q. You mention the importance of your staff.

How do you facilitate an environment where

the staff are capable of providing a high level of

attentive care?

A. It starts with us. We treat each other with

respect and are always willing to listen to the

input of the other. We’ve learned that we’re much

better as a team. That being said, we could not do

what we do if we did not have our support team

working with us. We do our best to spend a lot of

time working with the larger SoundBridge team;

this assures that we all cohesively work toward

the same goal. Care starts on the phone and

ideally ends with completed treatment needs.

Everything in between is a team effort! When we

look to hire someone, it is with the expectation

that they are a team player. We think this really

shows in our overall care, whether a patient

is having general dentistry done or an oral

appliance for sleep apnea.

Q. What’s your favorite part of doing what you

do?

A. Definitely the relationships. We have heard

people say, “I feel cared for here.” That’s what we

set out to do.

Q. What impact does SoundBridge have on the

Greater Gig Harbor community?

A. Aside from being a premier source for health

care, we are continuously finding ways to be

involved in the Gig Harbor community. We

have had representation on the Board of the

Gig Harbor History Museum, are members of

the Gig Harbor Chamber of Commerce, and

participate in large community events like the

Maritime Gig Festival. We have been supporters

of the Gig Harbor Film Festival, Communities in

Schools, and the Career and Pathway Expo with

the Peninsula School District.

We have also provided care for the

underprivileged on the mobile dental unit.

It’s also our goal to educate the Gig Harbor

community in regard to oral health and its

connection to overall wellness. Due to the

COVID-19 outbreak, we are actively doing this

by posting educational write-ups and videos on

social media. We are also contacting our patients

with self-care videos, reading resources, stressrelief

activities and exercise challenges. We don’t

want anyone to lack resources during this time.

253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 33

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Health

BLUE LIGHT

WHAT IT IS, ITS EFFECTS, AND HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF

AND YOUR SKIN

BY KRISTIN CARLSON, MEDICAL ESTHETICIAN

W

hat is blue light, and why is it bad? Blue light is a

color in the visible light spectrum. It has one of

the shortest wavelengths in the light spectrum,

resulting in the highest amount of energy. In its

natural form, blue light comes from the sun and helps regulate

the body’s circadian rhythm—the natural sleep and wake cycles.

It also boosts alertness, heightens reaction times, elevates moods

and promotes an overall feeling of well-being. Blue light in its

artificial form comes from digital screens (TVs, computers, laptops,

smartphones and tablets), electronic devices, and fluorescent and

LED lighting. Prolonged exposure to blue light in this form causes

eye strain, headaches, physical and mental fatigue.

Over time, exposure to the blue end of the light spectrum can

cause long-term damage to your eyes and to your skin. The natural

filters in our eyes are not capable of providing enough protection

against blue light rays in any form. Prolonged exposure to blue light

may cause retinal damage and contribute to age-related macular

degeneration—and in some cases, vision loss.

While blue light in small amounts can help elevate your mood,

increase alertness and regulate sleep patterns, chronic exposure

to blue light, specifically at night, can have the opposite effect,

lowering the production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates

sleep, by disrupting the circadian rhythm and negatively affecting

your mood.

It is common knowledge: UV light can cause damage to the skin.

Because of its shorter wavelength, blue light penetrates deeper than

UV light. Long-term blue light exposure can cause skin damage,

including discoloration, inflammation and weakening of the skin’s

surface, which causes collagen and elastin to break down, resulting

in fine lines, wrinkles and sagging.

How to protect yourself?

• Wear an SPF rich in antioxidants, vitamin C and/or iron oxide.

Unfortunately, not all sunscreens block blue light, so read the labels

before you buy.

blue light in small amounts can help

elevate your mood, increase alertness

and regulate sleep patterns

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• Stylish eyewear is in! Purchase a pair of blue light blockers for the time

you spend in front of any screen. There are some great inexpensive options

out there.

• Also, invest in screen protectors with blue light blocking technology for all

your screens, including your desktop computer and cellular device.

• Use the settings on your smartphone to shift the colors of your display to

“night mode.” This emits warmer tones with longer wavelengths, causing less

strain on the eyes at night when the body is more susceptible to blue light

effects.

• Limit your screen time in the evening. Resist the urge to scroll social media

when you crawl into bed at night. Instead, opt for a book or magazine to help

you settle down for a good night’s rest.

For most of us, avoiding screen time is next to impossible, but we can take

simple steps to ensure we are taking care of the long-term health of our eyes,

skin and overall well-being. And don’t forget about your kiddos! Their young

minds and bodies are still developing and need protection too.

36 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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Health

IS YOUR DENTAL INSURANCE PUTTING YOUR NEEDS FIRST?

What you need to know when it comes to the coverage of your dental care

ARTICLE COURTESY OF SOUNDBRIDGE DENTAL ARTS AND SLEEP THERAPY

Here at SoundBridge Center for Dental Arts and Dental

Sleep Apnea Therapy, we want our patients to be keenly

aware of their insurance benefits. Insurance is an

important factor in our patients’ care. In our practice, we

utilize dental insurance if you are having any type of dental treatment

completed by Dr. Bloomquist and medical insurance if you are seeing

Dr. Iregui for an oral sleep apnea appliance. In this two-part series, we

address some of the most common insurance-related questions we are

asked—and the answers.

How are insurances chosen through my employer?

Companies select which insurance to utilize based on what the

premiums are and the benefits inclusive to that plan. Due to harsh

economic times and rising health-care costs, it has become increasingly

difficult for employers to pay premiums for the best available coverage

for their employees. Therefore, oftentimes, the plan selected by your

employer has limited coverage.

What does being an “in-network” provider mean?

Being an “in-network” provider means that your dental office has

agreed to a significantly reduced fee schedule in order to participate

with your insurance company. While it does benefit you as a patient

as far as what your out-of-pocket costs are with your provider, it also

means that your provider isn’t being reimbursed for the true value of

their work. Quality over quantity.

Do insurances dictate what is covered?

benefits for you, the patient. Let’s say your hygienist recommends

three cleanings per year rather than two; however, your insurance

will only cover two per year. Are you going to go with your hygienist’s

recommendation, or are you going to allow your insurance to dictate

your health-care needs? Most commonly we see patients select the

latter option, and it leads to increased needs down the road.

Why aren’t certain services a covered benefit on my plan?

We hear this question a lot. Insurance companies do not offer coverage

for what they deem to be elective services; items such as tooth

whitening, restorations for cosmetic purposes, nitrous oxide, and

even bite guards and sports guards. Regardless of the money that you

and/or your employer contribute to the plan, insurance companies

have their own limitations, so it is important before agreeing to an

insurance plan that you do your research and read through the fine

print of the contract.

What if I don’t have dental insurance?

This is exciting news! Unless you have an employer that is paying for

your dental insurance, it often isn’t worth the expense of monthly

premiums, plus deductibles and copays for your own individual dental

insurance plan. We’ve found that some of our patients were paying

more annually for their dental insurance than they would have been

for routine care out of pocket! This inspired us to offer an in-office

program for patients without dental insurance as a way to help offset

costs for keeping up on their regular care. Just call our team and ask

about our Wellness Program!

Insurance companies write policies and include a lot of fine print

that helps them contain their own costs, rather than maximizing the

oftentimes, the plan selected by your employer

has limited coverage

38 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 39

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Wrestling: A Story of

Hope and Peace

NORTH IDAHO NATIVES LARRY AND SHELLY STECKMAN ON A

MISSION TO SERVE

BY ABIGAIL THORPE

40 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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Feature

253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 41

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It was the late 1970s. Larry Steckman was a

wrestler for Bonners Ferry High School, and

his to-be wife, Shelly Barton, was a wrestling

cheerleader at the same school. Seventy miles

away, family friend Conrad Garner was wrestling

for rival Lakeland High School in Rathdrum, Idaho.

It was the beginning of a lifelong love of wrestling

for both men—and also the seed for something

bigger. Larry, Shelly and Conrad would all go on to

use wrestling as a means to create positive change

in communities, both locally and internationally:

Garner as the wrestling coach for Bonners Ferry High

School, the Steckmans working with the US Wrestling

Foundation’s Wrestling for Peace, and beyond.

As Larry and Conrad competed in North Idaho,

wrestler Dan Russell was in Southern Idaho working

for another state wrestling championship. He would

go on to be a world-class wrestler and coach, dear

friend of Larry and Shelly, and a driving force behind

their ultimate life work and vision.

“We are so very proud of the work of men like Conrad

Garner and Dan Russell in helping to shape the minds

of the future leaders of our communities and world,”

says Larry. “I never knew then that God would use

wrestling and these relationships to give me a vision

for sharing the love God has shown so generously to

me.

“This story is really about relationships, faith, hope

and love,” shares Larry. In the early 2000s, he and

Shelly met Dan, who was living with his wife Joy and

kids in Battleground, Washington. The two connected

over their shared love of wrestling, and their desire to

utilize the sport as a vehicle for spreading the message

of love throughout the world.

Larry and Shelly purchased a fuel testing laboratory

called FOI Laboratories, which tests fuel for various

reasons, and serves ASTM, EPA, Amazon, airports,

various municipalities, hospitals and the military.

Their hope was to use the profits from the company

to help fund philanthropic and faith-sharing efforts in

developing countries—a dream that would be realized

beyond their expectations.

Soon after, the couple founded a project called Hope

for Her in conjunction with a Ugandan NGO called

Hope for Restoration Initiative founded by Robert and

Pam Kiggundu. The mission of Hope for Her was to

help sexually exploited and abused women in Uganda

gain employment manufacturing reusable sanitary

“THIS STORY IS REALLY

ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS,

FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE.”

42 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

Courtesy of The National Museum of American History,

Smithsonian Institution

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Wrestling for Peace is built on the foundation that

wrestling is a universal struggle in that everyone is

dealing with some trial.

44 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

pads in a safe workplace, provide free sanitary pads to those in need, and promote environmentally

friendly manufacturing and sanitary practices.

“Many young women (high school age and younger) prostitute themselves for the price of a pad,”

explains Larry. “While our work was very under the radar, something very special was happening.

You could tangibly feel the tremendous love coming from the women and girls receiving the pads.”

“In the beginning, it wasn’t easy,” he remembers. “There wasn’t enough material or pads or money—in

fact, we sometimes still don’t have enough due to the overwhelming need.” Larry was discussing the

challenges of the sanitary pad design as well as quality control with new friend and supporter Dan,

when Dan provided a solution: an award-winning retired nurse who was an avid seamstress and

was struggling with feeling needed after retirement. She helped them design a stitching pattern, pad

design and production method that would result in the current production of almost 8,000 pads a

month. The nonprofit now distributes in Ugandan high schools, Entebbe, and on the various islands

on Lake Victoria.

During this time, Dan was serving as a coach and ambassador with USA Wrestling. The Steckmans

were still passionate about using wrestling to share a message of love and giving, and partnered with

Dan to find a way to serve. “We spent many hours discussing how to utilize wrestling as a vehicle in

our message of love,” recalls Larry. “One of our next steps in faith was a chaplain program to

serve alongside the world of Olympic and world-class wrestlers traveling with the team.”

This program would serve as the beginning of Dan and Joy Russell’s vision for Wrestling

for Peace—a nonprofit organization with the US Wrestling Foundation that provides

support to various communities throughout the world through leadership development,

sports diplomacy, medical aid, emergency response, prefabricated buildings, outreach,

and wrestling gear and equipment donations. “These seeds of faith continue to grow deep

and produce fruit today,” says Larry.

Wrestling for Peace is built on the foundation that wrestling is a universal struggle in that

everyone is dealing with some trial. The program “embraces this universal struggle to help

communities in need.” Ambassadors for the program

use wrestling as a sport to help transcend borders

and cultures in an effort to bring humanitarian

aid to those most in need.

Dan and Larry traveled together to Algeria

and the Sahara Desert as ambassadors in the

beginning stages of Wrestling for Peace. While

spreading the message of love and providing

medicine to the Sahrawi Tribe—a four-decade

refugee community—they met Austin Landes,

founder of the nonprofit Make it Rain, who

ultimately became a medicine partner of

Wrestling for Peace and partners with Hope for

Her. “We have merged our work, and I currently

serve on their Board of Directors,” says Larry.

Make it Rain is an organization consisting of a

collection of individuals whose sole focus is

utilizing their networking skills and abilities to

help others. They focus on providing medicine,

medical clinics and other aid initiatives to regions

in the Sahrawi Democratic Republic, Uganda,

Zambia and Mexico. It was the perfect pairing for

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the Steckmans, Hope for Her and Wrestling for Peace, and

a great way to unite efforts and connections in a desire to

serve the underserved.

The Steckmans continued their work with Hope for Her

and Hope for Restoration Initiative, partnering with Make

it Rain, while also working as ambassadors for Wrestling

for Peace. All shared the same mission of providing hope,

love and aid to communities in need. “The next act of faith

was to let go and let God be in charge,” says Larry. The

support they needed would come in a major way not long

a ft e r.

“I don’t remember the day, but Austin called me and said,

‘The First Lady of Zambia wants to talk about the pads

... when can we go?’” recalls Larry. “Now it’s one thing

to do some traveling and field work with a school or the

Red Cross; it’s another thing entirely to be vetted by a

government’s First Lady. ... There was absolutely no reason

for me—a rough around the edges guy—to be discussing

pads with the First Lady of Zambia, but I did it and we are

very close friends to this day. The pad project touched her

heart in a very special way.”

This meeting with the First Lady of Zambia marked the

beginning of incredible opportunity and impact for Make

it Rain, Hope for Restoration Initiative and Wrestling

for Peace. Last season, Hope for Her delivered 1,000

sanitary pads and through the First Lady’s Foundation

created educational training for girls in the school

system to manufacture and produce sanitary pads. In

partnership with each other, the nonprofits were able to

deliver medicine that impacted over 60,000 men, women

and children, says Larry, and they have developed and

approved designs for medical outpost clinics in rural areas

in partnership with Virginia Tech and AutoDesk. These

outposts will provide access to much needed medicine

and hygienic medical aid in regions that currently suffer

from a lack of resources.

“It’s no secret that wrestling builds toughness,” write

Austin and Julie Landes in a recent Wrestling for Peace

update of their work. “Some of the toughest people we’ve

met live in remote areas of the world, battling harsh

climates, debilitating disease, intense conditions, limited

job opportunities and desperately lacking resources. Our

hope is that through these initiatives and those of the USA

Wrestling for Peace Program, we can increase the amount

of lives impacted. Wrestlers are made for overcoming

obstacles and life’s toughest challenges, and we’re looking


WRESTLERS

ARE MADE FOR

OVERCOMING

OBSTACLES AND

LIFE’S TOUGHEST

CHALLENGES, AND

WE’RE LOOKING

FORWARD TO OUR

CONTINUED EFFORTS

TOGETHER.

46 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 47

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AGAIN, GOD’S

FAVOR IN

PLAY

forward to our continued efforts together.”

The Steckmans have seen many doors open as they continue

to follow their calling and passion for reaching those in need.

The First Lady of Zambia is not the only influential figure in

Africa to show interest in the work the Steckmans, Landes

and Russells are doing. “We have invitations this year to meet

two other first ladies and possibly a king and a prince,” shares

Larry. “Again, God’s favor in play.”

Despite their many travels, Larry and Shelly choose to

make the Pacific Northwest their home base, and although

they now live in Vancouver, Washington, they are still very

connected to their hometown of Bonners Ferry, Idaho. “We

find great pleasure in hearing the many stories of love that

come from our hometown, stories like Conrad’s and Dan’s,”

says Larry.

Dan, Conrad and Larry still support and encourage the

wrestling program back in Idaho, and in particular Bonners

Ferry, sharing a passion for the common bond they share,

the sport that has taken them from wrestling on the mats, to

fighting for peace and prosperity for those in need.

“We love finding ways to give back to our community

however we can,” says Larry. “There are many great unselfish

relationship stories that the residents of Bonners Ferry are

constantly making anew. You don’t have to look very hard

to find what the hard-working people of Bonners Ferry are

involved in.”

Larry and Shelly still look to North Idaho and Bonners

Ferry’s spirit of giving and community as an early formative

part of their desire to extend their message of peace and love

beyond the borders of the U.S.

“The Pacific Northwest and beyond have amazing stories

of service and love,” adds Larry. “If you peel back the love,

you will more than likely find a wrestler’s heart beating

somewhere in the fight.”

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April 2020

253 ART&

ENTERTAINMENT

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HOME

ENTERTAINMENT

AWAITS

BY

JILLIAN CHANDLER

April

ALL MONTH LONG

Spring is always a joyful time of year for the community, as the

sun shines brighter and the days become warmer and longer. This

is the time of year for many of those much-anticipated events the

community has been waiting for—since last year—to once again take

place.

This month would have marked the 87th annual Daffodil Parade, the

Washington State Spring Fair, the 110th Tacoma Community House

Luncheon, community spring egg hunts, the Tacoma Guitar Festival,

Reels and Wheels Dinner and Auction, The Michelob Ultra Tacoma City

Marathon and so much more. But due to the current situation facing

the entire world, all has been put on hold, with some events canceled

until next year.

But if you can look at the bright side, now is the time to reflect and

find new ways to find enjoyment—without leaving the comfort of your

own home.

Many of us find ourselves wishing we had more time to spend with our

loved ones, but with the busyness and stresses of everyday life, it can

be hard to find the time. As the COVID-19 virus continues to spread (as

of press time), endangering our local communities and our way of life,

it is important to take this opportunity to spend this valuable time in

a positive way.

From board games and movie nights to preparing home-cooked meals

with your significant other, children or roommates, embrace what

you have and make the most of it! When is the last time you played

charades or Win, Lose or Draw? How about reading a book aloud to the

entire household, or having one of the kids read to the family? Learn

a new recipe and get everyone involved in planning and preparing a

meal together. Dim the light, turn the music on, and have your own

dance party (or maybe you do this already?). Have races in the yard,

work in your garden. Enjoy the things you rarely have the time for.

It’s not where you are but who you are with, and any time spent

together is a time to be cherished. Entertainment and fun await, but

it’s up to you to make it happen.

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CELEBRATE WITH FAMILY

/ April

FOR MORE EVENTS, VISIT 253LIFESTYLEMAGAZINE.COM.

08

APRIL

12

APRIL

22

April

ARBOR DAY

08

Many states observe Arbor Day on different dates throughout the

year based on best tree planting times in their area. In Washington

state, Arbor Day is always celebrated on the second Wednesday

of April. J. Sterling Morton founded Arbor Day back in 1972

with a simple idea—to set aside a special day dedicated for tree

planting. And today, that idea is more important than ever. Trees

provide the very necessities of life itself: Trees clean our air, protect

our drinking water, create healthy communities and feed the

human soul. The Arbor Day Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit

conservation and education organization, is dedicated to inspiring

people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. Call your local nursery

to find the perfect tree for your family to plant in your yard this

Arbor Day. Visit ArborDay.org for more information.

EASTER

12

This year, all of us will most likely be spending the day a bit

differently than years past. As many of us celebrate the resurrection

of our Lord Jesus Christ by attending church services, where the

choir and church congregation fill the building with song, this

year the celebration may be at home. But don’t be discouraged.

Thanks to technology, the family can still dress in their Sunday

best and gather around the TV to take in a church service of their

liking. And though larger gatherings of friends and family are

discouraged, spend the day with your close loved ones at home,

with an Easter egg hunt in the yard, followed by a meal spent

together in the comfort of your own home. Make this the most

memorable Easter celebration that you and your children will

remember with fondness for years to come.

EARTH DAY

22

2020 marks the 50th year that Earth Day has been celebrated

nationally. The theme for this year’s Earth Day is Climate

Action. Though at this time the community is not encouraged

to participate in large gatherings, you can still do a small part in

taking care of our planet. Take a walk in your neighborhood with

the kids, and pick up any trash you come across. Make yourselves

more aware of the products you are disposing of at home,

separating the recyclable items from the trash. Work together to

make a list on what positive changes you can all make in your daily

lives to positively impact our environment. The first Earth Day is

credited with launching the modern environmental movement

and is now recognized as the planet’s largest civic event. Read more

about Earth Day at EarthDay.org.

SUBMIT YOUR EVENTS ONLINE!

Want your event to appear on the largest event site in the

Northwest? Submit your events to us online at

Events.DirectoryNorthwest.com 24/7, 365 days a year!

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DRESSING FOR COLD WEATHER

IN SPRING

Tips to keep you both fashionable and warm

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Spring in the Pacific Northwest is a beautiful

combination of cool mornings and blooming flowers.

It makes us want to dress in those cute frilly dresses

and pastels, but up here the spring still brings days

below 50 degrees. If you have been lucky enough to visit

a Tulip Festival, then you know how gorgeous the pastelcolored

tulips are. The rows and rows of color make such

a beautiful background for photos. When we visited last

April, I wanted to wear a dress so badly but, unfortunately,

it was a chilly 40 degrees, and with the wind chill it felt like

30. Here are a few ideas on how to dress for spring when it

is still cold outside.

Craving to bring out your skirts? Bring out those cute

skirts and short dresses to pair with over-the-knee boots.

It may be too cold to let your toes free, so taller boots can

provide some more warmth on your legs while wearing

spring clothing. Skirts pair well with sweaters too. There are

plenty of pastel-colored sweaters out there to choose from.

Instead of wearing it down, completely tuck in the sweater

to your skirt or just do the “French tuck” (also known as

“front tuck”). The French tuck is a new trend where you

tuck in just the very front section of your top. It makes it so

you can see the details of the bottoms you are wearing and

gives a slimming look.

Wanting to wear that cute tank top you bought? Tank

tops and sleeveless shirts pair really well with lightweight

jackets. Now I don’t mean a puffer coat. I’m talking about a

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Sometimes our springs

are chilly and wet, but

it doesn't mean you

can't dress like it's a

beautiful day.

jean jacket, blazer or draped jacket. Find a neutral

color or lighter shade jacket so your outfit looks

bright and airy for spring. Drape front jackets

add a fun layered look to a tank top. Most of the

time draped front jackets are made of suede or

leather. They add a dressier touch to your outfit

versus more casual with cardigans. Speaking

of cardigans, a bright striped or bold-colored

cardigan would also add a bit of color to your

outfit.

Two words: colored denim. You don’t have to go

crazy here; I’m not talking about neon pink jeans.

Get a pair of white denim or even a pastel color

like sage green or mauve pink. Colored denim

brings a pop of color to your outfit. You can grab

a pretty floral top to match the color of your jeans

or pair with any neutral-colored top you already

have in your closet—neutral colored being solid

tans, whites and light grays.

Have you tried the new bralette trend? Bralettes

are a new trendy item to pair under v-neck and

low-scooping or open-back tops, only these bras

are actually meant to be seen. Most are lace and

have pretty detail so they pop under the top you

are wearing. Many bralettes feature straps that are

crisscross, choker or halter to add more details to

your outfit. Bralettes are also a great option to add

under an off-the-shoulder top. Pick out a brightcolored

bralette to sport underneath a solid basic

T-shirt.

Sometimes our springs are chilly and wet, but it

doesn’t mean you can’t dress like it’s a beautiful

day. After all, this year was the first in many that

Punxsutawney Phil (The Groundhog) predicted

an early spring, so let’s get ready for it!

Clothing provideded by Liv & Rory Boutique

Photos by Anne Marie’s Photography

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Eat & Drink

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MANCHEGO AND CHORIZO

EGG BAKE

Recipe Courtesy of Stephanie Lynn Gertrude Brown

Yield: 1 - 9”x13” Casserole Pan

INGREDIENTS:

2 tbsp. melted butter

2 cups hash brown potatoes, cubed or shredded

1 lb. chorizo sausage

1 cup manchego cheese, grated

1 cup asparagus, chopped

1 cup bell peppers, chopped

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

10 whole eggs

1 ½ cups whole milk

½ tsp. smoked paprika

¼ cup cilantro, chopped

METHOD:

• To get things started, preheat your oven to 350°F.

• While the oven is heating up, prepare your 9”x13” baking dish

by brushing with melted butter, and add the hash browns in

an even layer across the bottom of the dish.

• In a large sauté pan, cook the chorizo over medium-high heat

until fully cooked. Drain excess oil from the pan, and let it

cool down.

• While the chorizo is chilling in time out, go ahead and use

the same pan to sauté the bell peppers and asparagus. Less

dishes is always the way to go!

• You can now sprinkle the chorizo and veggies in an even layer

over the hash browns. Add the manchego and cilantro; just

sprinkle them liberally across all the goodies. It will all get

nicely mixed in when we add the eggs!

• Next you will need to whisk the whole eggs in a mixing bowl

to get them evenly combined, then add the milk, salt, pepper

and paprika and mix thoroughly.

• Pour the egg mixture slowly over your lovely layers in the pan

and allow to soak down between all the pieces. You can give

the pan a little jiggle to speed this process along. If some bits

are not completely covered, that’s OK, as it will add some

color and texture to the top of your egg bake.

• Bake uncovered for 45 to 50 minutes, or until golden brown

and set. You can test it by inserting a knife into the center; if it

comes out clean, it will be good to go.

• Serve immediately alongside all your other favorite brunch

treats!

TO SERVE:

Tips and tricks: You can substitute other veggies you have on hand, like

spinach, broccoli or onions. This dish can also be prepared the night

before; just cover the dish and remove from the refrigerator 20 to 30

minutes before baking.

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Destination: San Antonio

A BLEND OF CULTURES MAKES FOR AN INTERESTING DESTINATION

BY MARGUERITE CLEVELAND

Tr

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Travel

San Antonio is blooming with spring blossoms as the winter chill dissipates. Enjoy

alfresco dining along the San Antonio Riverwalk, bike to historic missions or

explore Texas Hill Country in this mild season. Viva is the city’s bus and trolley

service which has three distinct routes to take you to the most visited sites and

attractions at a very economical rate for a day pass.

Where to Stay

Make the most of your stay by splitting your visit into two sections. For the first half stay

in the Texas Hill Country at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country. This fabulous resort has so

many activities and dining venues, you won’t need to leave the grounds. Avid golfers will

appreciate the onsite 18-hole course while those looking for a more relaxed experience

can Zen out at the Windflower Spa. Kids of all ages will love the landscaped lazy river

that looks like you are floating down a stone-strewn stream past waterfalls. Throw in a

waterslide and a Flowrider where you can surf, and it is a complete waterpark. The grounds

are lovely with plenty of shady trees and a nature trail.

avel

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“An adventurous way to

explore the missions is by bike

along the River Walk’s Mission

Reach, an 8-mile recreational

trail with the missions about 2

½ miles apart.

For the second half of your stay, move downtown to the historic Hotel Gibbs,

which is so close to the sites you can see the Alamo from your hotel window.

The Gibbs is a charming boutique hotel located in the heart of Downtown San

Antonio with “The Alamo” just one block down and in sight of the hotel. The

hotel has kept all the historic details and is a comfortable place to stay while

exploring the downtown area. It is within walking distance of all the major

sights including the Riverwalk. Rates include breakfast in the morning and a

taco bar in the evening in the Taproom 1909, which offers a nice selection of

beer and wine.

Where to Eat

The question should be where not to eat, as the rich culinary heritage of

San Antonio will make it difficult to choose. In 2017, the United Nations

Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated San

Antonio a Creative City of Gastronomy. It is the second city in the U.S. to earn

this honor—and the first in Texas. It is not a surprise with the cultural influences

of Mexican, Spanish, German and French that make for a truly unique culinary

experience.

Start at Pearl, located just north of Downtown San Antonio and set on a

former brewery that was built in 1883 and continued operating until 2001. The

prestigious Culinary Institute of America established its third campus here and

offers culinary instruction not only for professionals but for food and wine

lovers as well. Consider taking a class on local cuisine. Make sure to visit the

restaurant, Savor, for a truly unique experience. Enjoy a three- or four-course

gourmet meal for less than $50. Your dinner is prepared and served by senior

CIA students under the supervision of the professional faculty. Watch these

rising culinary stars hone their craft. Pearl has a variety of shops and restaurants

as well as a food hall and weekly farmers market. Well worth a visit.

Culinaria, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit promotes locally sourced food and wine

experiences in San Antonio. Their website offers a variety of food trails which

will take you all over the area. Although not on their curated lists of food trails,

the Chef Trail is a neat way to find a great place to eat. Who would know better

than a local chef? These are the places they go when not cooking their own food.

The Taco Trail will take you to authentic Mexican food, each stop providing a

unique experience with delicious handcrafted tacos.

What to Do

San Antonio has a rich history enmeshed in modern amenities. There are so

many things to do from exploring the remarkable Spanish Missions to riding

an electric boat along the iconic Riverwalk.

Plan to spend a day at SeaWorld and Aquatica, both located less than 1 mile

from the Hyatt Regency Hill Country, an official partner hotel. You can book

a package online which includes accommodations and tickets to the parks,

and you can tailor other add-ons like animal encounters or meals. Some of the

animal encounters are surprisingly reasonable in cost, or you can go all out and

book a Beluga Whale Swim Experience. A must do is purchasing fish to feed

the sea lions. These guys are so funny with their antics to capture your attention

so you will toss them a fish. Insider Tip: For just a few dollars more, you can

upgrade to up-close parking, an amenity you will appreciate at the end of the

day.

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PHOTO BY MARGUERITE CLEVELAND

PHOTO BY MARGUERITE CLEVELAND

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PHOTO BY MARGUERITE CLEVELAND

The five Spanish colonial missions of the San Antonio Missions National

Historical Park and the Alamo are a UNESCO world heritage site. Established

in the 18th century by Spanish priests, the five missions are the largest

concentration of Spanish colonial missions in North America. An adventurous

way to explore the missions is by bike along the River Walk’s Mission Reach, an

8-mile recreational trail with the missions about 2 ½ miles apart. San Antonio

has a well-run bike share program with docking stations at the missions. You

can bike the whole route and at the end hop on a VIVA bus on the Mission

Route, which stops at all the missions and will bring you back downtown at a

stop in front of the Alamo. VIVA is part of the VIA Metropolitan Transit and

offers visitors an inexpensive way to tour the area. A day pass is less than $3.

If you only have time for one, make it Mission San Jose y San Miguel de Aguayo,

which celebrates its tricentennial in 2020. It is known as the “Queen of the

Missions” and is the largest. It also has the main visitors’ center for the missions

with a small museum and a movie about the missions offered throughout the

day. The grounds of Mission San Jose are lovely, making for a nice stroll as you

explore the mission.

No trip to San Antonio is complete without a visit to the famed River Walk. The

15-mile urban waterway flows through the downtown area just below street

level. It includes downtown with attractions like the Alamo. Further out, visit

the river’s Museum Reach, where you can access the Pearl mentioned earlier.

There is shopping and restaurants and museums all along the route. The best

way to see it is by taking a Go Rio Narrated River Cruise, which points out the

highlights as well as the history of this area. The boats are all electric, making

for an eco-friendly quiet ride. Although not the fastest way to get around, Go

Rio also offers a River Shuttle with multiple stops along the river walk and goes

out to the Museum Reach.

A visit to San Antonio offers all the possibilities of a big city while imparting a

unique historical and cultural experience like no other city in the United States.

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IS IN THE

IS IS IN IN THE THE

IS IN THE

THE THE

SEASON

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ALIVE

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66 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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