ISSUE NO. 19
L I F E S T Y L E M A G A Z I N E
BEHIND THE SCENES OF AMERICA’S
FAVORITE INDEPENDENCE DAY EVENT
Q&A WITH MIKE DAY
RETIRED NAVY SEAL AND AUTHOR OF
“PERFECTLY WOUNDED: A MEMOIR ABOUT WHAT HAPPENS AFTER A MIRACLE”
253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 1
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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.
253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 3
Creative Marketing Made Simple!
253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
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Cassie Riendeau | 360.798.3061
WASHINGTON EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Julie Reed | 253.273.8524
EDITOR IN CHIEF
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Colin Anderson | firstname.lastname@example.org
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CREATIVE DIRECTOR | Maddie Horton
LEAD GRAPHIC DESIGNER | Darbey Russo
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DIGITAL CREATIVE DIRECTOR | Whitney Lebsock
MANAGING PARTNER | Kim Russo
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR | Steve Russo
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS | Rachel Figgins
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.
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253 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.
253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
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.
• Child support
253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 7
Celebrating Our Freedoms
Life has been unpredictable, and at times frightening, frustrating
and heartbreaking, during recent weeks—for us all. With
new “normals” put in place to battle COVID-19 and keep our
communities safe, and the addition of protests that began in late
May, our world has been turned upside down. But at the end of the
day, as we ponder the lives we’ve been able to build here in the
United States, we can’t take for granted all of the freedoms that
come with our great country. Through all the hardships, we are able
to raise our voices and demand to be heard. Through our voices,
we are able to lift others up while they may be silenced. We live in
a country like no other and are proud of the communities in which
we live. Despite the difficulties, we always come out stronger, and
more united, than before.
On July 4, friends and families will once again gather to
commemorate America’s independence. Though celebrations
may be a bit different this year, and smaller, people will still come
together to celebrate our great country—the place we all call home.
If we continue to love our fellow man and want for them the same
freedoms and opportunities we desire for ourselves and our own
children, our communities, states and nation will only become that
much more united.
Take this time to reflect on all the blessings you and your loved
ones have been bestowed, and focus on what we, as individuals
and whole communities, can do to support each other. Our strong,
hardworking families and communities are the backbone of this
I ask you to take a moment to recognize the great privilege we have
as Americans, and the great work we have done and will continue
to do, in building this place we call home.
Happy Independence Day!
44 18 30 60
PYROTECHNICS: FOURTH OF
JULY’S BRIGHT MOMENT
Q&A WITH MIKE DAY,
RETIRED NAVY SEAL
MOUNTAIN, CITY, SEA.
CAN YOU REALLY ENJOY
ALL THREE IN ONE
253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
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BEHIND THE SCENES OF AMERICA’S
FAVORITE INDEPENDENCE DAY EVENT
253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 1
About The Cover
On our July issue of 253 Lifestyle
Magazine, we are truly honored
to feature retired U.S. Navy Seal
Senior Chief and Navy Cross
recipient Mike Day. Today, Day, who
survived being shot 27 times in
combat, is a motivational speaker
and has written a book sharing his
experience. Read more about this
true warrior in this month’s Q&A on
Photo By Chris Conway.
12 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
ISSUE NO. 19
L I F E S T Y L E M A G A Z I N E
Q&A WITH MIKE DAY
RETIRED NAVY SEAL AND AUTHOR OF
“PERFECTLY WOUNDED: A MEMOIR ABOUT WHAT HAPPENS AFTER A MIRACLE”
From Victory Gardens to Garage
Greatness: 5 big jobs to tackle for summer
Small Business, Major Impact: How locally
owned businesses contribute to a thriving
FUSION: Housing for Families in Need:
Local nonprofit infuses our community
Q&A with retired Navy Seal Mike Day
Tips and informational articles about
living a healthy, active lifestyle
Pyrotechnics: Fourth of July’s Bright
Moment: Behind the scenes of America’s
favorite Independence Day event
Waiting in Anticipation: Many summer
events to return in 2021
Mountain, City, Sea: Can you really enjoy
all three in one staycation?
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253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 13
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from victory gardens to garage greatness
5 BIG JOBS TO TACKLE FOR SUMMER
(BPT) - Summer is here, and that means it’s time to tackle the big outdoor tasks.
The importance of getting work done is especially true in this season of social isolation, when Americans are enjoying their homes’ outdoor
spaces more than ever. Outdoor work may require some extra sweat and elbow grease, but these big jobs are a welcome break right now, keeping
people busy and outside—and helping them truly appreciate their well -tended green spaces.
For many, outdoor work is a satisfying endeavor, allowing homeowners to take pride in their home and yard, along with the work they put into
it, which shows in what people are searching for, posting and sharing online. For example, Pinterest Insights saw an increase of 89 percent in
backyard renovation ideas on their website, along with a whopping jump of 658 percent in DIY small patio ideas on a budget, and an impressive
528 percent increase in budget garden inspiration ideas.
Ready to get started on your summer to- do list? Consider adding these big but worthwhile tasks to your roster.
Start a “victory garden”
Given all the questions brought about by COVID-19, many Americans are re igniting the WWII practice of growing their own fruits, vegetables
and herbs to give themselves more control over their food supplies. Many produce varieties are easy to grow, and cultivating them at home can
ward off unnecessary shopping excursions. “Americans are turning to gardens for food access, food security, food safety and food affordability,”
confirms gardening exec Jim Feinson on GardenResearch.com.
Beef up your landscaping
Look over your landscaping layout and determine which parts need trimming, filling in, fertilizing or replacing. If you’re in doubt, many garden
centers can draw up plans demonstrating changes or additions that might look more eye -catching. Before getting started, invest in easy- to-use
equipment that will make the heavy-duty labor less grueling. Northern Tool + Equipment’s Strongway Steel Jumbo Garden Wagon can handle
tough jobs like hauling rocks, pavers or bags of cement; in fact, it can capably pull up to 1,400 pounds of supplies.
Revamp your deck
Does it just need a good power washing, or is it screaming for a repainting or re-staining too? Either way, your work will go faster with Northern
253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 15
Tool’s Powerhorse Gas Cold Water Pressure Washer, which has the 2.5
GPM and 3100 PSI you need to effortlessly blast through mud, dirt and
debris on your deck, siding, fence, patio or driveway.
Get your garage in gear
Reclaim your space by getting rid of junk you don’t need, power washing
your floors and establishing dedicated space for the tools and equipment
you regularly use. New cabinets, bins, racks, shelves or pegboard panels
can go a long way toward keeping everything handy and easy to find. You
may even want to create a mancave vibe by installing a TV, mini fridge
and casual seating.
Tackle your gutters
It can be a hefty job, but built-up debris must be cleaned out at least twice
annually to avoid wet basements, interior leaks, mold growth, rodent
infestations and/or displacement of the gutters themselves. Use a sturdy
ladder to safely access the edges of your roof, then use a trowel or gutter
scoop to remove refuse. Flush out the system using a power washer or
a garden hose with a spray attachment. Check for cracks, rust or paint
damage and missing attachments, ensure all sections are sloped enough to
drain stormwater and replace any sections that can’t be repaired.
Summer is here, and that to-do list won’t take care of itself. Plan now to
take on the tasks that will help you and your family make the best possible
use of your outdoor spaces in the warm weather.
16 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
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253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 17
How locally owned businesses
contribute to a thriving community
By Taylor Shillam
They may be “small” by definition, but when
it comes to small businesses, the word only
applies to the technicalities. The profound
impact of small businesses is multidimensional
and often underestimated. Now more
than ever, it’s time to rally in support of shopping
Can you imagine what your neighborhood or town
would look and feel like without any of its locally
owned businesses? Each small business adds a bit
of value, culture and diversity to their surrounding
community in a way that larger chains simply don’t
have the ability to. Economically, the impact of small
businesses on both local and national levels is critical,
and only expected to grow.
The exact definition of “small business” can be
difficult to articulate. Most often, small businesses
are defined within a specific range of assets, revenues
The federal government sets the definition by trade;
for example, having less than 100 employees as a
wholesale company, less than 500 employees in
manufacturing, and generating less than $6 million
in the retail and service industries.
Consumers may define “small business” as their
favorite local boutique, the corner restaurant or bar
they frequent, or the locally owned fitness studio
18 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
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Passionate business owners who
pursue their ideas and share their
talents while achieving financial
independence are often, deservedly, a
source of inspiration.
where their mornings begin. With some reflection, it isn’t difficult
to identify the small businesses that have become a major part of
your daily life.
It’s largely because of this, small businesses becoming so ingrained
into the daily lives of many, that they have also become a major
lifeblood of their local economy. Of their revenue, a significantly
larger portion is recycled back into the community compared to
chain stores. According to G1VE, one Chicago study found that
$68 from every $100 spent at a local business will stay within that
community, compared to $43 from $100 spent at a chain.
On a national level, the United States Small Business Administration
found that small businesses generated 44 percent of the country’s
economic activity from 1998 to 2014, an impressive feat when up
against the immensely larger chain establishments and Fortune
500 companies. Today, over 50 percent of sales made in the U.S.
come from small businesses.
Sales provide the need for increased staffing and job opportunities.
More than half of the United States’ jobs in the last 25 years have
been created by small businesses. There are over 30 million small
businesses in the country, and as that total continues to rise, so
does the potential for more people to be hired.
Beyond their economic impact, many small business owners
cultivate an experience within their establishment that transcends
outward into the community. Passionate business owners who
pursue their ideas and share their talents while achieving financial
independence are often, deservedly, a source of inspiration. Times
that are difficult and uncertain call for leaders like these; consumers
often look to them for comfort, certainty and motivation, just
as owners look to consumers for the continued support to stay
The relationships between small-business owners and their
customers is truly something special. The care an owner puts into
the business they’ve poured their heart and soul into will be the
level of care they take with their customers, and that can be felt
throughout the “shop small” experience.
Being locals themselves provides small-business owners a greater
ability to foster deep connections with shoppers, community
members and fellow owners, promoting an environment of
20 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
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253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 21
collaboration and support. Knowing exactly who is behind
a business provides a level of personal relationship and
investment to both sides.
Small businesses impact their local community and economy
in ways that are unmatched. They stimulate economic
growth, diversity and innovation within their communities,
both locally and nationally, all while touching the lives of the
patrons who walk through their doors.
Right now, the importance of supporting small businesses
has become more critical than ever. With uncertainty being
a constant presence throughout the last several months,
businesses and consumers alike have drawn on creative
solutions to stay afloat during trying times. Making cuts and
adjustments to everything from operational procedures to
the presence of staff, business owners face difficult decisions
every day while navigating an unprecedented period of crisis.
Although supporting your favorite small businesses may look
different today than it has in the past, there are still ample
ways to show your support in 2020.
Some of the most simple ways include ordering takeout and
delivery, shopping online and buying gift cards. A supportive
gesture doesn’t have to cost anything; it’s also as easy as pausing
(rather than canceling) a membership or subscription, and
promoting your favorite establishments through word-ofmouth
and social media.
Every purchase and each demonstration of support makes
an impact. For the business, it contributes to keeping their
doors open and their people employed. For the community, it
contributes to keeping diversity and innovation thriving, and
the spirit of entrepreneurship alive.
22 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
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FAMILIES IN NEED
LOCAL NONPROFIT INFUSES OUR
COMMUNITY WITH HOPE
By Rachel Kelly | Photos Courtesy of Fusion
higher the hope, the more resilience.
The more resilience, the greater the
success,” says Robin O’Grady, the
executive director of FUSION.
It is the core from which this local nonprofit functions.
FUSION germinates hope within their community.
Hope then culminates in energy. Energy then propels
individuals forward toward success. Joy, the underlying
emotion behind endurance, is built day after day through
real action. Who is the FUSION community? Families
struggling with homelessness. And how do they instill
hope? By practical, hands-on people investing in people.
You could say that FUSION encourages community
cohesion by fusing the gaps in society, bringing us
FUSION began with a woman named Peggy LaPorte, who
saw a need and wanted a solution. It was as simple as that.
She began by gathering her closest friends around her
kitchen table. She started by asking them, “What can we
do for women and children suffering from homelessness
and trauma in our community?” Asking questions would
be a mainstay throughout Peggy’s servant-led approach
to providing housing for homeless families. It is why
FUSION has had such a high success rate for bringing
their community out of homelessness and into permanent
and stable housing. FUSION does not walk into familial
situations with the notion that they know better. They do
not think that they have all the answers. They do not come
with a cookie-cutter type plan to “solve homelessness.”
FUSION recognizes homelessness as being a multifaceted
problem, in need of an evolving solution. To provide
solutions to families, FUSION has recognized the need
for sculpting a tailored approach. They do this by lending
a listening ear.
This is why every family receives access to a case manager
on a bi-monthly basis once they are established in their
temporary housing. The case manager comes with an
24 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
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253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 25
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intent to facilitate life skills and to offer support. By listening, the case
manager is able to work with each individual family to put together a
“family support plan” with achievable goals. The goals are developed based
on their expressed needs in conjunction with a trauma-informed approach.
Evidence-based models of service are provided using the ACEs model
and the HOPE Scale. Both the ACEs model and the HOPE Scale are tools
used to help mitigate trauma and to help create sustainable, healthy, safe
and nurturing relationships and environments. The use of these models
allows the nonprofit to produce measurable results, while still providing
As families reach their goals, they build necessary life skills. This moves
them closer toward independence, eventually reaching success. After just 18
months, 85 percent of families achieve their housing and employment goals
and move into permanent housing and self-sufficiency at the time of exit.
Twenty-seven years ago, Peggy LaPorte’s kitchen table meeting led to the
first fundraiser, which allowed the purchase of the organization’s first
family unit. Every year brought a new fundraiser, and every year the raised
funds have gone toward a new unit. Today, FUSION owns 20 units. Each
unit is fully integrated into the community, in a safe environment meant to
encourage a sense of belonging and well-being. Children make friends and
go to school. Parents talk to their neighbors. Life happens in these homes; as
such, families are given an opportunity to heal, grow and thrive. Families are
given the vital component of time, which heals all wounds.
Every home comes fully
furnished and dutifully cared for.
Every unit has personal touches,
such as the beginnings of a
fully stocked fridge. Transitions
TODAY, FUSION OWNS 20
UNITS. EACH UNIT IS FULLY
for families are facilitated by
volunteers; it is not uncommon
for volunteers to be seen on their
hands and knees, scrubbing a
particularly stubborn spot on
the floor. Volunteers pour their
heart and soul into creating a
space worthy of “home.” It is no
surprise then that the families
that come into these homes
INTEGRATED INTO THE
COMMUNITY, IN A SAFE
ENVIRONMENT MEANT TO
ENCOURAGE A SENSE OF
BELONGING AND WELL-
It is that spirit of practical handson
care that has spurred the
organization toward such high
rates of success. It is why FUSION was recently awarded a $3 million grant
from the state of Washington, and another $3 million from King County to
renovate the Econo Lodge in Federal Way to a “FUSION Family Center.”
A 90-day shelter with 29 family units, The FUSION Family Center will be
used for more immediate emergency situations. With an on-site housing
and employment specialist, the family center will provide services using an
open-table approach in conjunction with community partners. The FUSION
Family Center looks forward to receiving families from all counties.
Meanwhile, FUSION’s transitional housing program is located partially in
King County and partially in Pierce. If families are not capable of moving
toward permanent, stable housing in that 90-day period, they may be
eligible for FUSION’s transitional housing. The $6 million in grants will
enable FUSION to provide housing for both immediate and long-term
needs, encompassing a wider range of community care.
This is especially vital as our community comes out of the COVID-19
pandemic. FUSION’s housing generally runs at full capacity, but just the
other day they received over 20 calls from families in peril. The need for
253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 27
emergency housing is becoming more and more vital. As vacancies become
available, FUSION will post through the centrally located Mary’s Place in
Burien, but also accepts referrals through word of mouth and community
As community needs grow, and as the family center begins its renovation,
the need for full-time FUSION staff has also become vital. FUSION just
recently hired its first employees, two full time and one part time. They plan
to hire more soon. Up until recently, the nonprofit has been entirely volunteer
run—which is incredible, considering its scope. As for the immediate
community housing need, FUSION plans to assist families now as they always
have: through the long-standing kindness, compassion and vigilance of its
volunteers and employees.
They have had to make a few changes this year, however, to accommodate our
community. Taking a cue from their partners, FUSION is doing their yearly
fundraiser online. August 5, FUSION will host a livestream auction dubbed
“Impressionist: Monet By the Bay.” One-hundred percent of the proceeds will
benefit the nonprofit directly to provide transitional housing for homeless
families. Thankfully, this is not their only source of income. FUSION has been
carried by their generous donors since its inception. Four years ago, FUSION
was also able to open up a boutique in Federal Way. Through the FUSION
Decor Boutique, they sell beautiful used/upscale housing decor and furniture.
The boutique has been a wonderful success. All generated funds from the
boutique go to the maintenance and operational expenses of the 20 temporary
housing units. Gently used donations are accepted.
As for Peggy LaPorte? Twenty-seven years after the inception of FUSION,
Peggy volunteers at the boutique. She arranges furniture and trains volunteers
working at the boutique. She is where she began, in service to her community.
For more information about FUSION, please visit FusionFederalWay.org.
28 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
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Q&A WITH RETIRED U.S. NAVY SEAL MIKE DAY
BY MARGUERITE CLEVELAND | PHOTOS BY CHRIS CONWAY
30 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
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“I decided to share my
story with you because
I had seen my story in
so many others. We
have all suffered or will
suffer trauma, and it
will continually happen
until we leave
32 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
Mike Day is an American hero.
His tale is like a Hollywood
movie, almost unbelievable
but all too true for the man
who survived it. On April 6,
2007, he entered a room where four terrorists
ambushed him. He was shot a total of 27 times
but was able to take out the enemy and rescue
six women and children. Day was able to walk to
the helicopter that awaited the team. It took him
two years to recover from his physical injuries,
but the mental scars of Post Traumatic Stress
Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury remain
with him to this day.
Day served a total of 21 years in the military,
deploying multiple times. In addition to a chest
full of medals and ribbons, he was awarded the
Navy Cross, the Navy’s second highest award
after the Medal of Honor. Today he works as a
motivational speaker and has had a great impact
working as a Wounded Warrior Advocate for
wounded Special Operations Warriors. His book,
“Perfectly Wounded: A Memoir About What
Happens After a Miracle,” was published in June
2020 and tells his story about surviving being
shot 27 times while deployed to Iraq.
Q. Why did you decide to share your story in
A. I decided to share my story with you because
I had seen my story in so many others. We have
all suffered or will suffer trauma, and it will
continually happen until we leave this place. I
have personally learned how to deal with my
trauma through a combination of observing
others manage theirs, research and dumb luck. I
speak to the ideas and theories in the book that
have been most beneficial to me as an example of
what may work for others.
Q. How did you develop the resilience to
survive not only being shot 27 times but the
arduous recovery process?
A. My life has been like many others lives, in
that, figure it out or not, sink or swim, win or
lose and champion or victim. I had been forced
to believe that no one was coming to help me. I
learned that no matter what happened, I would
eventually figure things out. Luckily, I also
learned that the right people show up at the right
time. For me it has been the perfect combination
of people and me that got me through.
Q. One of the many hats you wear is that of
public speaker on resilience and overcoming
adversity. What is in your adversity toolkit?
A. My toolkit is continuously being put together.
My tendency is to move too fast and miss what
is being said. When I do slow down, shut my
mouth and listen to smarter people than me,
I learn and build my toolkit. I seek out these
people. I try things that meet the commonsense
bar. I have found that it’s not that difficult to
build some of the tools in the toolkit and more
so in other tools. One of the tools is being
healthy. I can control this mostly. I control what
I consume; what media, food, ideas, theology
and so on. I control my physiological and
psychological health. Relationships are another
big part of the toolkit. I have many acquaintances
and few friends. Although, some acquaintances
are great tools for resiliency, they are not as
essential as a friend. My friends will always take
my call, respond to a text, come move my stuff
on short notice, or respond very quickly to see if
I am alright or need something. I do the same for
them. I know they are coming, and that is huge.
Q. Physical fitness and training is still an
important part of your life. Can you share with
our readers how important outdoor activities
are to you?
A. I know what my wants and needs are. I want
to continue to have fun. Fun for me is to be
having an adventure. I want to be dropping in
on a perfect wave in the tropics, climbing some
mountain, crossing the Grand Canyon, riding
my bike across America, and so much more ...
‘til I break it. The practice for all these fun things
is training. I run, swim, ride, lift and play ... to
practice/train to be able to do the things I call
fun. This has always been part of me, until it
was taken away from me. I have been injured/
traumatized just like so many others who have
had the ability to have fun taken away. Some
lose a limb, job, friend, family member or
whatever. The loss can take your fun. My loss
was a physiological loss of gut flora that caused
symptoms of bad depression. The fix was a lot
easier than you can imagine.
Despite his injuries, Day recovered to the
point his new mission was to raise awareness
of traumatic brain injuries. He trained and
competed in a 70.3-mile half Ironman race and
raised over $88,075 for the Brain Treatment
Foundation, a nonprofit division of Carrick
Brain Centers. He has continued to maintain a
high level of physical fitness.
253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 33
How to choose the perfect outfits
BY OLIVIA HARRELL @OLIVIAMICHELLE.H
PHOTOS BY MOSS & MOUNTAIN PHOTOGRAPHY, EMILY BURNS PHOTOGRAPHY AND
JOHNNA TANGO PHOTOGRAPHY
34 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
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253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 35
Family photos are a way to remember how your
family looked throughout the years, how they grew,
how life changed. These photos can be admired
as they hang throughout your house, be used for
Christmas cards, and made into gifts for grandparents and
other family members. After deciding on a photographer
and location, most people run into the issue of how to dress
your family for a photoshoot.
Should we all wear the same thing? (Insert the classic jeans
and white T-shirt idea we’ve seen through the decades here.)
Should we wear something different and color coordinate?
How can I color coordinate my entire family?
Here are some easy options and things to consider when
deciding on your outfits for the photos you’ll hold onto for
years to come:
Choose yours first: Usually moms are the ones having
to get everyone prepared for this hour or so of chaos, so
choose your outfit first. Choose a specific color that looks
good on you or that beautiful patterned dress you’ve been
dying to wear but didn’t have an occasion to. This is what
I personally do most of the time, since my husband could
care less what he wears, and our child looks cute in anything.
After you’ve chosen your outfit, you can find colors that
match or coordinate with it from there. The easiest thing
to do is take it with you when you shop, that way you can
hold it up next to the items for your family and make sure
the colors match.
36 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
Should we wear
something different and
color coordinate? How
can I color coordinate
my entire family?
Mommy and me: Specific stores and brands have
what’s called a “Mommy and Me” collection.
This is a line of clothing that is made with
specific prints/patterns or colors offered in sizes
for both adults and kids. A majority of the time
it is clothing for moms and daughters, but on
occasion you can also find matching clothing for
moms and sons. These collections make it easy
to get outfits for multiple family members in one
place that already match or color coordinate.
Sibling sets: Many large department stores carry
kids clothing brands that make styles for babies,
toddlers and children sizing. You can grab the
same outfit for each kid then base your outfit off
of theirs. Sometimes these are the exact same
outfits, other times it’s the same color schemes.
Solid colors: If you want to go the solid color
route, I suggest alternating those colors instead
of everyone wearing the exact same thing. For
example, if you choose black and white, have Dad
wear black pants with a white top, Mom wear a
solid white dress, your daughter wear a solid black
dress and son wear white pants with a black top.
This still keeps the solid colors but adds in variety
so you don’t all look the exact same. You can also
choose a set of complementary solid colors (like
blue and yellow) and have the boys wear blue and
the girls wear yellow.
Location: The location is always something to
take into consideration when choosing outfits. If
you have decided on a dark background like trees
in the mountains, then you don’t want to wear
dark colors that will make you blend in. The same
goes for if you decided on a studio shoot and you
know the walls are white, you wouldn’t want to
wear white. Also consider the appropriate type
of clothing for your location. If you are getting
your family photos done at a pumpkin patch, you
wouldn’t wear shorts and tanks because it would
Choosing outfits for your family photos does
not have to be difficult. You can make it a fun
shopping experience finding pieces that look
great together and in turn will help capture your
beautiful family, resulting in a memorable photo
shoot that will be a happy memory for all for years
253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 37
COMMON BEAUTY MYTHS
TRUE OR FALSE? WE SOLVE YOUR MOST
BY BRI WILLIAMS, RN, BSN
e all want to look our best, and the beauty industry
is full of information, products, tips and tricks to
help us do just that. But what information out
there is true, and what is a myth? Below we break
down some common misconceptions and set your beauty record
Botox and filler will make me look unnatural and “done.”
False. Botox and filler are wonderful tools for helping you to age
gracefully and continue looking like you! But you need to find an
aesthetic provider who shares the same vision and approach. The
technique used to place the product, the type of product used
and the amount of product all plays a role in your outcome. Do
your research before choosing a provider. Look at their before and
after photos and schedule a consult before treatment to ensure
that you are on the same page. When done well, “work” should be
undetectable. You should still look like you, only refreshed.
Junk food can cause breakouts.
True. High sugar and high fat (particularly hydrogenated fat) diets
can increase the body’s sebum production, which then creates
inflammatory responses in the body—sometimes in the form
of acne. Further, overindulging in junk food can increase your
chances of becoming deficient in skin-healthy nutrients found in
fruits, vegetables and healthy fats. It is best to keep junk food to
a minimum and stick with nutrient-dense foods to help ward off
I do not need to wear sunscreen because there is SPF in my
False. The amount of protection provided in your makeup is
not enough to protect you from UV damage. According to
Dermatologist Leslie Baumann, MD, “You need seven times the
normal amount of foundation and 14 times the normal amount of
powder to get the sun protection factor on the label.” It is important
that you wear a dedicated sunscreen under your makeup. Look for
one that is labeled “broad spectrum,” meaning it protects from UVA
and UVB damage.
Department store skin care is good because it is expensive.
False. The high price tag on department store beauty counter
goods can fool you into thinking it is high quality. Big price tag
It is important that you wear a
dedicated sunscreen under your makeup.
38 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 39
must mean high quality, right? Wrong. While some may be
better than drugstore brands, they still do not have to meet
criteria set forth by the FDA to prove efficacy. They fall
under the category of “cosmetics,” meaning that they are
only “considered to make people more attractive.” Medicalgrade
skin care, on the other hand, falls under the category
of “drugs,” meaning that the product has been proven to
change the structure or function of the skin. So, when a
medical-grade product claims to diminish fine lines for
instance, it has been scientifically proven to do just that.
So why the higher price tag with department store brands?
Advertising and packaging, whereas medical grade is more
expensive because of research, blind clinical trials and FDA
approval. Which would you rather pay for?
It is important to do your research when it comes to your
health and beauty routine. It is easy to get caught up in
mainstream hype, celebrity/influencer advice and big
marketing, but look to your professionals for the facts.
40 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
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253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 41
The nose knows
BY DRS. KARLA BLOOMQUIST AND CHIARINA IREGUI
SOUNDBRIDGE DENTAL ARTS AND SLEEP THERAPY
What is the first thing that we do as humans when we are
born? What is the last thing we do as humans before
we leave this earth? Breathe!
Breathing is the most fundamental of needs. It trumps the need for
food and water. Some might argue that your beating heart or brain
function are more important. The reason you have a heart is for the
purpose of pumping blood throughout the body. Blood provides
oxygen to your organs, oxygen obtained by breathing. Your brain will
not function if deprived of oxygen for more than six minutes. Where
does this oxygen come from? Breathing! It all comes back to breathing.
If breathing is so essential, shouldn’t you be doing it correctly?
This might seem like a ridiculous question given that breathing is
something we, as humans, do automatically. However, most of us do
not breathe correctly.
By not breathing correctly, you are not optimizing oxygen consumption.
This might sound like a silly question, but why is oxygen important?
It comes down to every cell in your body. They must have oxygen—if
they don’t, they die.
So what does proper breathing look like? If you are breathing properly,
then you are breathing comfortably through your nose with your lips
together, teeth apart, with your tongue at the roof of your mouth. It
also includes using your diaphragm, as well as your back and stomach,
not your shoulders and neck. Sounds simple right? Unfortunately,
many people do not breathe in this manner.
Why is it so important to breathe through your nose as opposed to
The nose is your first defense against bacteria and viruses that can
make you sick. Turbinates are ridges inside the nose. It is the job of
these ridges, along with hair-like projections in the nose called cilia, to
keep as many germs, dust and debris out of your lungs as possible. Your
sinuses produce mucus, otherwise known as snot. This mucous also
assists in the capture of unwanted air debris and germs. By breathing
through the mouth, this first line of defense is eliminated.
The turbinates also humidify and warm the air we breathe. This is
important so that the airway does not shrink, making it more difficult
to breathe. This can be particularly bad for people with asthma.
Mouth breathing can cause the airway to not function at its normal
capacity because the air is cold and dry. A dry airway leads to poor
Dryness due to mouth breathing can also cause dental diseases such as
decay, misaligned teeth and gum disease.
By exhaling through the nose, the process of breathing is slowed down
and a back pressure develops in the airway. This allows more oxygen to
be transferred from the lungs to the bloodstream.
Mouth breathing in children can lead to facial deformities that
will cause a small airway as an adult. A lower chin, longer face, less
pronounced cheekbones and narrow jaws will predispose a child to a
lifetime of difficult breathing.
Why does all of this matter?
Oxygen is essential for cellular activity. Proper breathing allows for
optimum oxygen consumption and is one of the best things we can
do for our cells.
Breathing is the most fundamental of needs.
42 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
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253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 43
Fourth of July’s Bright Moment
BEHIND THE SCENES OF AMERICA’S FAVORITE
INDEPENDENCE DAY EVENT
BY ABIGAIL THORPE
44 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
Every year as Independence Day approaches, we anxiously await the festivities: parades, barbeques, three-legged races and an abundance
of watermelon. But the moment that has always captured American’s focus are the fireworks. Every year we wait for the moment the first
explosion hits the night sky. It’s become synonymous with freedom, and the main attraction of every Fourth of July event.
Part of the magic is perhaps that we can’t see the process taking place—the brightly lit sky and colorful patterns feel almost magical. But
behind the scenes there is a whole lot of work and planning that makes the show possible, and decades of science that date back to ancient China.
Historians believe fireworks’ precursors date back to the second century B.C., when the Chinese would throw bamboo stalks into the fire to produce a
loud pop and explosion, thought to ward off evil spirits. Somewhere around 600 to 900 A.D., Chinese alchemists mixed potassium nitrate, sulfur and
charcoal to produce the original “gunpowder.” They would then pack this powder into hollowed out bamboo stalks—which would later become stiff
paper tubes—and light them on fire, forming the very first man-made fireworks.
It wasn’t until the 13th century that gunpowder started making its way into Europe and Arabia. It was quickly adopted for military purposes, but also
gained a popular use in fireworks used to celebrate military victories and mark celebrations and ceremonies. In medieval England, the first skilled
fireworks professionals were known as “firemasters,” and their assistants were “green men,” aptly named because of their caps made of leaves to protect
their heads from the sparks.
Italians in the 1830s were the first to incorporate trace amounts of metals and other additives to the powder to produce the colorful, vibrant modern
253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 45
fireworks that we know today. Fireworks came with
the first colonists to the Americas and were a popular
part of colonial life. The day before the Declaration
of Independence was adopted by the Continental
Congress, John Adams memorably predicted in a
letter to his wife the significant role fireworks would
hold in celebrating the independence of the United
“The day will be most memorable in the history of
America,” he wrote. “I am apt to believe that it will
be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great
anniversary festival. It ought to be solemnized with
pomp and parade … bonfires and illuminations
[fireworks] … from one end of this continent to the
other, from this time forward forevermore.”
And so it would be—since its inception, the United
States has used fireworks to mark its independence,
with shows taking place in large cities and small
towns alike throughout the country.
But our beloved fireworks displays don’t just happen
every year. In fact, planning for them often starts
the previous year, says Heather Gobet, president of
Western Display Fireworks out of Oregon. “There’s
so much that goes into one of these,” adds Gobet.
Fireworks for the shows need to be ordered over
a year in advance, and there are a lot of permits,
paperwork and state and national laws that have to
be taken into consideration.
The process of planning a fireworks show begins
with a preliminary evaluation of the site through
Google Earth. There has to be adequate room for
a display, and the space will determine the size and
types of fireworks that can be used. “If you’re using
smaller caliber multi-shot boxes, you may only
need 100, 150 feet,” says Gobet. But the large shells
require 1,000 feet in every direction.
“There’s kind of two major components of
designing a fireworks show,” explains Gobet. “The
first one is safety. There are state and federal laws
that dictate how much area you have to have open
around the launch site.” After evaluating the site on
Google Earth, Gobet’s team will talk to the sponsors
about their goals for the show, their budget, and the
context of the event the fireworks are being used for.
SINCE ITS INCEPTION, THE UNITED
STATES HAS USED FIREWORKS TO
MARK ITS INDEPENDENCE, WITH
SHOWS TAKING PLACE IN LARGE
CITIES AND SMALL TOWNS ALIKE
THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY.
46 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
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The moment that has always captured American’s focus are the
fireworks. Every year we wait for the moment the first explosion hits
the night sky. It’s become synonymous with freedom, and the main
attraction of every Fourth of July event.
This initial conversation sets the stage for early planning of the show, and at this point, the
pyrotechnics company will go out to the site in person to understand the logistics of the
launch area. Once the show is designed and a contract put together, it gets sent off to the
customer for approval. “There may be some back and forth,” says Rich Vaughan, district
manager and show designer in Spokane, Washington, for Pyro Spectaculars.
Once it is approved, permits are filed and the process begins. “I take the show design itself,
and depending on the size of the show, I do the choreography and how the show will be
laid out, how it will be fired. We make sure we have a good crew that is experienced,” adds
Vaughan.The majority of Western Display Fireworks’ crews for the Fourth of July shows
are between six and 12 people, says Gobet, and shows start out at $15,000 to $20,000 at
a minimum and go up from there. The process of getting permits and approval is fairly
laborious, and there are different laws in each state pyrotechnics companies have to know
and work with. “We have so many entities that we have to answer to,” says Vaughan.
Once the permit is received from the fire department, the physical planning for the event
starts. “On Lake Coeur d’Alene [in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho] we have to sign up barges and tug
boots, file a marine permit to be on the lake,” explains Vaughan. “When I design the show, all
the paperwork goes to California, they pack the shows and then they ship them up, and we
have a storage facility where everything goes.” Setup for the show usually starts
the day before, but often the fireworks arrive the day of the show, since you have
to have 24-hour security and house the fireworks a certain distance from any
inhabited building, says Gobet.
Equipment like forklifts and cranes will often be used to move the fireworks
and mortars around on site. “For every single firework that goes up in the air
you need a tube to launch it,” she adds. If you have an electric or computer firing
system that actually launches the fireworks, then you need a preprogrammed
While small shows can still be hand fired,
the majority are fired electrically.
Anything on the water is electrically
fired. “We can shoot in just about any
weather,” says Vaughan. “What will shut
us down is wind. The wind is really
bad.” In addition to wind, dangerous
fire conditions can also halt a fireworks
show. But the rain—and even snow or
below zero temps—isn’t enough to stop
The second component of designing
a fireworks show is presentation,
says Gobet. Multiple zones, water
features, themes, color combinations
and the type of event all play a part in
determining the design of the show.
“One of the things we pride ourselves on
is the artistic value of what we do,” says
Vaughan. There are 2,500 different types
of effects you can use to put a program
together in conjunction with or without
48 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
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253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 49
music, says Gobet. A lot of times there are scripted shows
that don’t have music, so the fireworks are the show. If
there is music involved, fireworks can be planned and
timed in conjunction with the music. “In virtually every
case that we’re involved in, when somebody’s purchasing
a show, they’re not just purchasing a show,” says Gobet.
They’re purchasing everything involved—the design, the
planning, the presentation, the equipment and the day
“I take a look at what I have available to me, and then
I try and do color scenarios,” explains Vaughan. “When
you get into really big production shows you do what
they call scenes. What you don’t want to do is shoot the
same stuff over and over again, it gets repetitive. If they
have the same budget, I don’t just pull up last year’s show
and repeat it. Everything I do is custom designed.”
When it comes to pyrotechnics companies, the majority
are family companies that have been in the business a
long time. “The crazy thing is, virtually every major
fireworks company in the U.S. is a family business. I’m
the fourth generation, my kids work here, they’re the
fifth,” says Gobet.
“Almost, without exception, the fireworks production
companies are people who are born into it,” she says. The
pyrotechnicians come from all walks of life, but a large
number are people who were born into it or who have
loved fireworks since they were kids.
It’s what makes the pyrotechnics industry special. “The
family nature of this business and the fact that some
of the customers we’re dealing with go back to doing
business with my parents and grandparents,” says
Gobet. Despite—or perhaps because of—its smaller
size and family roots, Western Display Fireworks brings
professionalism and excellence to every show they put
on. “We would go up against the biggest shows that
anyone in the country could do,” she adds. “We made a
conscious effort to not change the geographic area where
we operate or that small-company feel. We’ve traveled
the world and seen the best of the best, and then we try
to apply that to what we do.”
Vaughan’s story with fireworks began in 1984 when he
was a young adult. A friend of his father’s worked in the
fireworks industry. Vaughan got roped into helping with
a show, and he was instantly hooked. “I did that show
and I told George this is the coolest thing ever; I want to
PEOPLE WHO ARE
BORN INTO IT.”
50 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
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253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 51
I WAS BANGING
ON HIS DOOR
do this for a living. I was banging on his door every
time I heard there was a fireworks show,” he laughs.
He worked for free in the evenings after he got off
from his regular day-time job, and when George
retired in 1989, Vaughan took over the business.
Last year alone, they worked on 180 firework
shows. “You stay busy all the time,” he says. This
year fireworks companies have been hit hard by the
virus. “Everyone’s sales are down tremendously,”
says Vaughan. As many cities and towns across the
U.S. cancel or postpone their Fourth of July and
other fireworks events, it’s been a tough time for
the companies that rely on the business. But they’re
hopeful when COVID lifts, things will rebound and
be even busier than before.
It’s not an industry for the faint of heart, but it is one
that holds a lot of passion. People are in it for the
long haul. So this time, when those bursts of magic
reign down this Fourth of July, we can all appreciate
just how much time—and work—went into our
favorite display of independence.
52 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
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253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 53
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WHAT’S HAPPENING IN JULY
54 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
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253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 55
MANY SUMMER EVENTS TO RETURN IN 2021
By Jillian Chandler
There’s nothing like summertime in the 253, as the beautiful
weather and scenery draw the community outdoors to
experience all the Puget Sound has to offer. From the
wonderful array of dining destinations, breweries and
distilleries, to the unique shops and boutiques, to all of the outdoor
activities we are blessed with, there are always new flavors to
explore and new sites to see. And … you can’t forget about all of
the big annual community events that both young and old wait in
anticipation for all winter long!
Though summer is in full swing, these next couple of months will
feel a bit different than years prior, as coronavirus is still affecting
our way of life and how we are able to safely interact with others in
our community. This means, unfortunately, that some of our muchloved
summer events have been canceled for 2020.
Summerfest, originally scheduled for July 11, will not be taking
place. The city of Lakewood made the difficult decision to cancel
a number of upcoming events, including their signature summer
Ethnic Fest has been celebrating culture and community with two
days filled with music, dance art, food and more for more than 30
years, and like so many of our wonderful community events that
bring us all together, this celebration has been put on hold for 2020.
Each July, The Zoo Society hosts their Summer VIP Experience &
Long Table Dinner. Though this event, which includes a live auction
and paddle raise, raising funds for The Zoo Society, has been
canceled for the time being, the community can still donate to the
organization at TheZooSociety.org.
The Proctor Arts Fest, a community-based street fair organized by
the Proctor District Association along with community volunteers,
which draws in nearly 10,000 visitors annually, will not be making its
way to North 26th and Proctor streets as it has in years past.
Though these wonderful events will not be taking place in 2020, our
anticipation and excitement will only grow that much stronger as
we await their return, along with so many other events, in 2021.
The family friendly Point Ruston Independence Day 5K will return
July 4, 2021, for its eighth year.
56 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
CELEBRATE INDEPENDENCE DAY
FOR EVENTS, VISIT 253LIFESTYLEMAGAZINE.COM.
Though there won’t be any parades making their way down the streets
as adults and children alike line the roadways wearing their red, white
and blue and waving their American flags proudly, and the bright
sights and booming sounds of fireworks won’t be taking over the
night skies in honor of our independence, there is still much to rejoice
in—even if this means a smaller, more intimate celebration. There’s
nothing like a good ol’ Fourth of July backyard barbecue, or spending
a day out on the water boating, paddle boarding or kayaking. Or hop
in the car and take a mini road trip. However you choose to celebrate
this Independence Day, it’s up to you to make it one to remember. And
the most important way is by celebrating with the ones you hold most
dear. Happy Independence Day!
RACE FOR A SOLDER VIRTUAL RACE EXPERIENCE
Permission to Start Dreaming Foundation invites the community to
join them for the Race for a Soldier Virtual Race on Sunday, July 5
(you may also complete your run by July 30)! Race for a Soldier has
gone virtual to offer an experience to run miles while raising money
to support the PTSD Foundation. All proceeds go to the foundation,
with every mile logged supporting local veterans and first responders
in the Pacific Northwest. Choose your race distance: 5k, 10k, 10 or 13.1
miles, or even make your own Race for a Soldier distance! Go online to
RunSignUp.com and search Race for a Soldier Virtual Race Experience
to register for the event, which is $30, no matter which distance you
choose to run.
A DAY AT THE ZOO
NOW OPEN DAILY
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium and Northwest Trek Wildlife Park
have reopened! To comply with Washington’s Phase 2 COVID-19
guidelines, there will be timed online tickets (to limit capacity) and
new guest experiences, which have been designed to help guests
connect with wildlife while staying safe and healthy. While visiting the
zoo and wildlife park, guests can rest assured that the safety of them,
the staff and animals continues to be their number one priority. Only
outdoor experiences will be offered at this time, and Northwest Trek
will continue to offer its popular Wild Drive premier tours, allowing
guests to drive through the park’s 435-acre Free-Roaming Area and
see bison, mountain goats and other native Northwest animals from
the safety and comfort of your own vehicle. Timed tickets can be
purchased at PDZA.org and NWTrek.org. There will be no ticket sales
at the door.
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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Eat & Drink
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FOURTH OF JULY PARFAITS
Recipe & Photo Courtesy of Tina VanDenHeuvel, NTP NHC
Yields: 4 parfaits
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
Lemon cookies (see recipe below)
Coconut cream (see recipe below)
INGREDIENTS (FOR LEMON COOKIE):
3/4 cup salted butter, softened
1 cup Erythritol sweetener
Zest of 1 lemon
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
Juice from one lemon
1 tsp. pure lemon extract
1 3/4 cups almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
2 tsp. baking powder
INGREDIENTS (FOR THE COCONUT CREAM):
1 (13.5 oz.) full fat canned coconut milk
1 tsp. vanilla
METHOD (FOR LEMON COOKIE):
• In a medium bowl using a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Add lemon
zest, egg, yolk, lemon juice and extract and mix thoroughly. Add almond flour,
coconut flour and baking powder and mix until all ingredients are combined.
• Refrigerate dough for 15 minutes.
• Scoop 1 tablespoon-sized cookie dough into your palm and roll into balls. Place
on a parchment-lined cookie sheet at least 2 inches apart.
• Bake at 350˚F for 9 to 10 minutes. Let cool entirely before serving.
METHOD (FOR THE COCONUT CREAM):
• Place the can of coconut milk in the refrigerator for up to at least 4 hours. Chill a
medium glass bowl in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
• Open your can of coconut milk and scoop out all of the cream into the bowl.
Reserve liquid for another recipe like a soup or smoothie.
• Using a hand mixer, fluff up the coconut cream for one minute. Add vanilla and
mix for another minute until creamy.
• Use the coconut cream right away or store in a glass jar with a fitted lid for up to
LAYERING THE PARFAIT:
• Using a pint-sized mason jar, layer parfaits in this order: lemon cookie, cream,
blueberries, lemon cookie, raspberries and then cream. Repeat each layer.
Each jar should hold 4 total layers. On the top layer use both raspberries and
• Serve immediately or keep chilled in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
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Mountain, City, Sea
CAN YOU REALLY ENJOY ALL THREE IN ONE STAYCATION?
YOU CAN IF YOU LIVE IN PIERCE COUNTY
BY MARGUERITE CLEVELAND
PHOTOS BY MARGUERITE CLEVELAND AND COURTESY OF TRAVEL TACOMA
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Have you ever been challenged while planning a vacation? Some in the group want outdoor fun while others
want the cultural experiences only found in a city. Tacoma and Pierce County is a destination sure to appeal
to everyone in your group. It’s only 42 miles from a saltwater shoreline to the peak of a glacial volcano with an
art-focused downtown in between. Discover exhilarating outdoor activities at Mount Rainier National Park.
Learn about art glass in Downtown Tacoma and see why the art form really shows off the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.
Then throw in a bonus by visiting Gig Harbor, the Maritime City, because who doesn’t love time spent by or on the water.
For this staycation you can visit each area on a day trip or spend the night so you can immerse yourself in your hometown.
Every now and then you stumble upon a unique lodging that is incredibly special. The Paradise Village Lodge is just such
a place. Lovingly renovated to look like a Ukrainian village, owner Anatoliy Zaika has created a cozy inn with comfortable
touches from the old country. He and his family run the lodging, restaurant and coffee shop in the town of Ashford, the
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It’s a city of entrepreneurs and
innovators. From craft breweries, to
restaurants, to experiences, most
businesses here are owned by
passionate and local owners, so you get
an experience or flavor that is wholly
“unique to the area.”
gateway to Mt. Rainier. Make sure to try the galushki, Ukrainian gnocchi which
is a rich and hearty dish. What really brings people to stay here is the Instagramworthy
Cannibal Hot Tub. A giant cauldron is heated over a wood fire to create
the most unusual soak you will ever have.
To get the most out of your time at Mt. Rainier, book a Discover Nature Tour
with Diann Sheldon. She has degrees in ecology and evolutionary biology and
is truly knowledgeable about the flora and fauna in the park. With many years
of experience exploring Mt. Rainier, she knows the ins and outs of the crowds
and how to plan a day which will have you experiencing the best the park has to
offer. Before each tour she speaks with you to plan a day based on your interests.
A tour is only as good as the guide, and Sheldon is engaging and never boring. In
July, wildflowers will start peeking out in lower elevations and will peak at higher
elevations in August. Well worth seeing.
After a day in the park, stop at the Wildberry Restaurant. You can’t miss it with
Buddhist prayer flags adorning the building and courtyard. It is owned by Lhakpa
Gelu Sherpa, who holds the world speed record by summiting Mt. Everest from
base camp to the top in 10 hours, 56 minutes and 46 seconds. He has climbed
to the summit of Mount Everest 15 times and Mount Rainier 95 times. The
restaurant is decorated with memorabilia of his exploits. Now his wife, Fulamu,
shines as the chef of the restaurant serving up Nepalese favorites from home as
well as American pub fare.
Tacoma has all the big-city amenities with a small-town charm. The Silver Cloud
Tacoma Waterfront has one of the best locations in town. Every room has a
waterfront view and it is just 2 miles from the Museum District and 3 miles from
Point Defiance. You can easily walk from the hotel to numerous restaurants along
Ruston Way on the waterfront urban trail that connects to Point Ruston, where
you can find restaurants, shops and a movie theater.
You can’t go to Tacoma without seeing artwork from the most renowned glass
artist in the world, Dale Chihuly. You can see his work at two museums, the
Museum of Glass and the Tacoma Art Museum by crossing over the Chihuly
Bridge of Glass, a public art installation. Purchase a three- or seven-day attractions
pass at Travel Tacoma to save on city museums.
To really appreciate what Tacoma has to offer, take a tour offered by Pretty Gritty.
“Tacoma is a beautiful and honest city. It’s a city of entrepreneurs and innovators.
From craft breweries, to restaurants, to experiences, most businesses here are
owned by passionate and local owners, so you get an experience or flavor that is
wholly unique to the area,” said Chris Staudinger, owner of Pretty Gritty Tours.
“Our ‘Get to Know Tacoma’ tour is a crash course in the art, food and history of
the area and prepares you to launch into the city proper.”
African American business owner Terry Waller has created a Victorian
wonderland at her Olive Branch Café and Tea Room located at Freighthouse
Square. A master of upcycling, she has transformed this warehouse space into an
oasis. From the time you walk in the door, are greeted with a hug and hear Brian
playing the grand piano, you know you are in for a treat. Reservations are a must,
and order one of the specialty teas so you can try all the deliciousness the Olive
Branch Café has to offer. Make sure to check out the hat room for a jazzy hat or
fascinator to wear while you enjoy your tea.
For a more intimate “sea” experience, head across the Tacoma Narrows Bridge
to Gig Harbor, a maritime city. You will want to head to the waterfront, which
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is known as downtown. Plan to stay at the Maritime Inn Gig Harbor. This cute
boutique inn is located across the street from the harbor and centrally located so
you can walk everywhere.
Rather than your typical harbor cruise, book a trip on the Gig Harbor Gondola.
Owner John “Cinque” Synco will serenade you as you float through Gig Harbor.
Reservations are a must, and you can order appetizers or just stop by the
Harbor General Store to pick up your own and a bottle of prosecco, an Italian
Gig Harbor is well known for its many great restaurants, but Brix 25˚ really
stands out. This is one of the pricier places to eat but well worth it. The food is
outstanding, but they really shine with the craft cocktails. All the ingredients are
fresh or made in house. Classic cocktails are updated and reimagined with a Brix
twist. Each season a new cocktail list is created so there is always something new
The Gig Harbor BoatShop has classic boats you can rent to take out on the harbor.
If you have more time, book a family boat building workshop over a weekend.
Over two days you will build your own rowboat which you can take home
No visit to Gig Harbor is complete without a visit to Heritage Distilling.
What started as a small, local business now has multiple locations throughout
Washington and Oregon. Their signature Brown Sugar Bourbon has won
“World’s Best Flavored Whiskey” by Whisky Magazine’s World Whiskies Awards
in both 2018 and 2019. It really is that good and put this company on the map.
There is a tasting room in Downtown Gig Harbor and in Uptown Gig Harbor is
There is so much to see and do in Tacoma and Pierce County—even if you live
here! Visit Travel Tacoma for more ideas and itineraries so you can explore
mountain, city and sea all in one destination.
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