Positively Impacting and
SERVING THE COMMUNITY
253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE CELEBRATES TWO YEARS
OWNER/OPERATOR OF BBQ2U
253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 1
2 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
GOING, GOING ... GONE! SOLD WITH MULTIPLE OFFERS.
CALL IF YOU WANT IN ON THIS FANTASTIC SELLERS MARKET! | MLS# 1721314
Broker/Owner | 253.961.5596
Broker | 253.240.5514
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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
Healthy, Glowing, Fashionable?
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253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
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253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 5
WASHINGTON EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Julie Reed | 253.363.8832
DIRECTOR OF PRODUCT MARKETING
Jackson Russo | 208.610.4416
Alyssa Koberstien | 253.363.8830
EDITOR IN CHIEF
Jillian Chandler | email@example.com
Colin Anderson | firstname.lastname@example.org
Abigail Thorpe | email@example.com
CREATIVE DIRECTOR | Maddie Horton
LEAD GRAPHIC DESIGNER | Darbey Russo
GRAPHIC DESIGNER | Kennedy Pew
GRAPHIC DESIGNER | Marisa Inahara
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.
Nikki Luttmann, Marguerite Cleveland, Laura Jane
Brougher, Sarahlynn Etta, Susan Newsom,
Samantha Elise Tillman, Jim Niehues,
Kiersten Patterson Photography,
Symphony Tacoma, Mandi Ann Photography,
Marguerite Cleveland, Washington.org,
Ritz Carlton, Tina VanDenHeuvel,
Nate Graves of In-Gear Media
253.857.5950 | 888.809.8021
13315 GOODNOUGH DR. NW | GIG HARBOR, WA 98332
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
Building Better Solutions for Clients
With almost 30 years experience serving families in Gig Harbor and Pierce
County, Felicia Soleil provides more constructive alternatives to dissolving a
marriage outside of a courtroom. In addition to her family law practice, she
also provides mediation services, offering legal support, education and case
management - from simple to complex - for separation and divorce, parenting
plans, child support and prenuptial agreements.
Facing a divorce or separation? Felicia focuses on reducing and resolving
conflict, helping you transition by moving on, not just moving out.
Felicia A. Soleil, Attorney at Law and Mediator
253.853.6940 • FamilyLawResolutions.com • 7191 Wagner Way, Suite 303, Gig Harbor, WA
253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 7
Spring … It’s Just Around the Corner!
JUST LAST MONTH WE WERE STILL RELISHING THE WINTER
MONTHS, enjoying our time spent indoors, warm by the fire,
embracing the cold, wet, snowy days knowing that this time would
soon pass, and the promise of spring would be fulfilled. March is
here, and spring (at least in name) is just around the corner.
As the clouds clear, the weather warms and the earth begins to
once again come to life all around us, it ignites a light in us that has
been dimmed the past several months. It is incredible to witness the
changing of the season and the power it holds in lifting our spirits
and our hopes for tomorrow.
As we prepare for that spring cleaning, outdoor gardening and home
remodel projects, be sure to enjoy—and embrace—the work. It is truly
fulfilling to sit back, relax, and take in all that has been accomplished.
If you’re feeling uninspired, you’ll find some thoughtful ideas to
help get you started. From replacing your flooring to updating your
kitchen, sprucing up your space is sure to brighten up your spirit and
In this issue, we are also taking the opportunity to celebrate our twoyear
anniversary, as we continue to have the privilege of creating
and delivering 253 Lifestyle Magazine to the community. Since
2019, we have been so fortunate to continue to be an integral part
of this community, and we’ve decided now is as good a time as any
As Leo Tolstoy said, “Spring is the time of plans and projects.” Now’s
the time to start preparing for the warmer—and brighter—months
POSITIVELY IMPACTING AND
SERVING THE COMMUNITY:
253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
CELEBRATES TWO YEARS
Q&A WITH GARY PARKER,
BBQ2U: COMMUNITY AT
CARROT CAKE WITH
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
THE NATIONAL CHERRY
253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
ROOF & CHIMNEY
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253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 9
Having Difficulty Deciding on New Flooring?: Hardsurface
Considering a Remodel?: The how, what and why to
refreshing your kitchen space
Q&A with Gary Parker, Owner/Operator of
BBQ2U: Community at the heart
HEALTH & LIFESTYLE
The latest tips and trends about living a healthy,
Positively Impacting and Serving the Community:
253 Lifestyle Magazine celebrates two years
Symphony Tacoma Launches ‘Eternal Light’: A
rare multimedia video made with kids
Your Luxury Travel Experience: Take a ride with
10 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 1
sneak peek into March ...
Navigating the Slopes: Meet the artist who guides
Events in March you don’t want to miss!
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
TRAVEL & LEISURE
The National Cherry Blossom Festival: Washington,
D.C.’s signature spring celebration
Positively Impacting and
SERVING THE COMMUNITY
253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE CELEBRATES TWO YEARS
OWNER/OPERATOR OF BBQ2U
About The Cover
FEATURED ON THIS MONTH’S COVER OF 253
LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE, we are excited to showcase
restaurant owner and local philanthropist Gary
Parker. His mission and his passion are married to a
food experience, fulfilling needs of the community he
becomes aware of. Take a read of our March Q&A, and
be ready to be inspired.
Cover photo by Samantha Elise Tillman.
253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 11
253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
Having Difficulty Deciding on New Flooring?
HARD-SURFACE FLOORING FAQS
BY NIKKI LUTTMANN, INTERIOR DESIGNER
your hard-surface flooring can be a very rewarding home improvement project. However, there are so
many different types, colors and materials out there, what’s the best one to choose for your home? Following is a
reference guide to “all things flooring” from tile to laminate to some of the newer options like LVP. For this article,
I’ve established a quick cost guide for each, with one $ being the least expensive and four $$$$ being the most.
LVP (Luxury Vinyl Plank) $$
Generally speaking, LVP is fairly cost effective, both as a product and to install. It does require a smooth, debris-free and non-sloping
subfloor, but a professional installer can usually tidy up any issues that your subfloor may have. Still relatively the “new kid on the
block” in the flooring industry, the popularity of LVP has skyrocketed in recent years thanks to its durability, waterproof nature and
the myriad looks that it offers. LVP is a layered product, with a vinyl wear surface on top, pad on the back and a rigid or flexible core
sandwiched between. Generally speaking, the product locks together with a locking mechanism similar to a laminate floor, creating a
floating floor surface that is quite durable and pet, kid and spill friendly. Because it is a floating floor, it installs quickly, and is a good
option for many areas of the home, from main living spaces to bathrooms and mudrooms. It’s also very practical for basements, as it
has insulative qualities due to the cork or rubber backing attached to most products.
Laminate is quickly losing momentum to LVP, but it is still a front-runner for bargain flooring solutions. It is easy to install, and
resistant to scratching and other surface damage, but typically not very water resistant. There are a few laminate products that have
a water-resistant core, but they are typically more expensive and on par with LVP for pricing. However, for sheer durability in dry
locations, laminate can’t be beat. Just a warning, though, it is far harder to find a good-looking (realistic) laminate than it is to find a
Engineered Hardwood ($$-$$$)
Engineered hardwood is real wood. Yes, you read that correctly. Engineered hardwood is typically wood all the way through. However,
it is made up of a pre-finished veneer over a plywood substrate. This plywood or other core is used to create dimensional stability that
is especially helpful in our northern climate’s interiors, where it can be dry and hot, cold and damp, and everything in between—all in
one day! This construction allows for larger, wider planks, and variances in temperature that solid hardwoods do not tolerate well. For
quality, look at the thickness of the veneer, the type of substrate and the kind of finish applied. For those of you who ask the inevitable
question, “Can it be refinished?” The answer is “Yes,” but it’s not designed to be. A quality engineered wood may have a lifetime or 50-
year finish on it. These finishes are often proprietary from manufacturer to manufacturer and may include language like “Aluminum
Oxide” or “Titanium Finish” and are typically baked on for a more durable finish. They are truly intended to last a lifetime.
Solid Hardwood ($$$-$$$$)
Solid hardwood can also come prefinished, but you will likely not find 6-inch-wide planks that run to 8-feet long like you can with
engineered wood. Solid hardwood can warp and bend and is generally finicky about where it lives—just like the trees it comes from.
If you are absolutely convinced you want a solid hardwood floor, in our climate I recommend looking at hardwoods like oak or maple,
253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 13
and going with thinner boards in shorter lengths. Work with a reputable
installer and follow the installation guidelines. Often, solid hardwoods
are recommended to be glued and nailed, or full-spread glued, which can
be pricey. For sand-and-finish hardwood, it is even more important to
work with a reputable installer. The techniques used for finishing a floor
in place are very specific and really, really easy to screw up. I have done
it myself and then had to call in a professional to come fix my mistakes!
Tile is one of my favorite surfaces—for walls, showers, accents and
even floors. It is durable and comes in so many looks and colors, it is
suitable for any home. While there are many affordable and beautiful
tile options out there, something that people often don’t consider is the
cost of the labor to install tile. It is by far the most expensive flooring
option to install correctly, and for good reason. Tile installation—really,
like any good flooring installation—is an art. Many things must be
taken into account, from floor joist weight loads, to subfloor quality,
to underlayment application, grout type and direction of the tile. It is
possibly the easiest flooring option to have done badly. If this is the case,
the new tile might look good for a week, a month, or even a year, but then
cracks start to form, grout starts to chip out, and the floor fails. If you
are considering tile for your flooring needs, I highly recommend going
through a reputable installer who will guarantee their work.
14 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
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253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 15
The how, what and why to
refreshing your kitchen space
By Abigail Thorpe
For most of us, the kitchen has become
one of the most used (and viewed) spaces
in the home. Gone are the days of hiding
it away; now, we look to open concepts,
plenty of counter space, and welcoming lighting and
accessories to make our kitchens the beautiful and
functional entertaining and family spaces we use
As a primary space in the home we use and see every
day, it’s often the kitchen you look to remodel first.
But if you’re on a budget and want to make sure your
money goes the distance, it can be hard to decide
what choices to make when refreshing your kitchen,
and if or when to do it yourself. The average kitchen
remodel can cost anywhere from $20,000 to upward
of $75,000. The good news is, there are ways to save
money—as long as you don’t cut corners where it
How can you save on cost?
When it comes to a kitchen remodel, the highest costs
are typically the cabinets, countertops and appliances.
It’s also important to know what kind of structural
or electrical changes you have to make, as these will
drive cost and time up. “Every remodel we do varies
depending on style, products, and whether we have
to move load-bearing walls, plumbing, HVAC or
253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
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Particularly when it comes to
installing countertops or cabinets
and electric and plumbing, it’s
important to hire a professional.
electrical,” explains Derek Adams of Creekside Construction in
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
When it comes to saving money, cabinets are a prime place to
look. If your cabinets are in good condition, a fresh coat of paint
can make all the difference and save you a boatload, says Daniel
Yoder, owner of Panhandle Countertops in Bonners Ferry, Idaho.
“That’s something that can really freshen it up.”
If you do need to replace the cabinets, opting for manufactured
versus custom cabinets, or choosing less expensive materials and
design, can help save on cost. “The best way to save money is to
buy a less expensive cabinet door material (ie: alder), and have
it painted or stained in one of the cabinet company’s standard
finishes,” adds Deann Hammer of Broadway Design in Tacoma,
Washington. “Also, the cabinet door style can drive up the cost. A
standard shaker-style door design is less expensive than a cabinet
door with a lot of detail in the design.”
When it comes to countertops, quartz is a popular and often
affordable option, but laminate options have come a long way and
are often half or a third the price of stone or a solid surface, advises
When to hire someone and when to do it yourself.
Doing it yourself might not save you money in the long run.
“Unless you have experience or friends with lots of extra time and
skills, we don’t recommend going at it solo,” says Adams. “It may
sound cliché, but you get what you pay for!”
Particularly when it comes to installing countertops or cabinets
and electric and plumbing, it’s important to hire a professional. “A
professional is responsible for all of the job,” says Juan Oseguera of
In-N-Out Construction in Olympia, Washington. He recommends
first getting an estimate from professionals and asking questions to
find out about their experience and ability.
If you’re dying to get in and do some of the work yourself, you
can help with the demo, or even do something as simple as paint
the walls (leave the cabinets to the experts). But don’t just start
ripping stuff out. Call your suppliers first to find out lead times and
availability, that way you don’t get stuck without a kitchen sink for
six weeks, advises Yoder.
An interior designer can help provide the necessary design
materials for you and your contractor, and also help save you time
and money (and end up with a great finished look) by providing
material selections and designer access to pricing and offerings,
18 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
Real Estate real Resource
Average sales price
highest luxury sale
h | SOLD
Fox Island | Sold
Downtown | SOLD
10,000 $714,679 $1,950,000 $3,300,000 9 Days $2,100,000
Up $11,945 from January
Down $2,830,00 from January
Days On Market:
Sale in 3rd Quarter:
* Data collected from multiple listing services on February 21, 2020
welcome home to your new gig harbor neighbors . . .
average days on market
Down .9 days from January
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what’s your home worth?
253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 19
Now trending …
Say hello to light, warm and natural. Kitchen trends are firmly in the
neutral category, and while white and grey are still a popular choice,
even warmer neutral colors and materials are gaining traction.
“Now, more often than not, our customers are doing a combination
of mountain modern or modern,” says Adams. In addition to color
schemes, open concepts and easy accessibility to the surrounding
spaces is central to current kitchen designs, adds Oseguera.
“Think warm-colored wood cabinets, earthy-colored countertops
(like concrete color), and warm-colored lighting,” explains Hammer.
“The new trend in kitchen designs is to make the kitchen feel more
like the rest of the house, and less industrial.” Along with the neutralhued
trend is a focus on using organic materials whenever possible
for added comfort and a natural feel.
Let’s talk appliances.
“Appliances are a category that can make or break your budget,” warns
Hammer. Read consumer reports to find good appliances that will
last, and don’t just opt for the cheapest. To save money, buy an entire
appliance package from one vendor (added bonus, the finishes will
match), she advises, or search out the scratch and dent section at
appliance companies for great appliances with minimal damage that
you often can’t see once it’s installed.
When it comes to choosing between an electric or gas stove and oven,
take a look at your habits and what your space is set up for. Gas is
cheaper to use, but if your kitchen isn’t set up for it, you’ll spend
additional money for the change.
Ultimately, what’s important to you and your lifestyle will determine
what your remodel looks like, but there are some important things
you can consider along the way to save time and money, and also a
whole lot of headache.
20 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
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253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 21
AND SERVING THE
253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE CELEBRATES TWO YEARS
BY JILLIAN CHANDLER
For those who live here in the 253, we know how
truly special this place is that we all have chosen
to call home. Our community is filled with
kind, generous, giving people, who care deeply
for this place and the quality of our lifestyle.
It was two years ago—January 2019—that Like Media
would introduce a new publication, sharing positive
stories highlighting all that’s wonderful in the 253, along
with the incredible local businesses that help in sustaining
this bustling—and thriving—community. With a hyperlocal
focus and original content based on uplifting and
highlighting the best parts of our area, from day one,
253 Lifestyle Magazine has been about the people and
delivering the most beautiful magazine, designed to
serve the locals and visitors by providing valuable and
Like Media is the media agency behind not only 253
Lifestyle Magazine but five additional monthly print
publications across the Northwest—Gig Harbor Living
Local, Coeur d’Alene Living Local, Sandpoint Living
Local, Bonners Ferry Living Local and Go Sandpoint
Magazine. In addition, they produce a biannual
publication, REAL Northwest Living, which is distributed
in areas from Spokane, Washington, to the Canadian
border and Western Montana; and it published the annual
Gig Harbor Visitors Guide.
“What sets us apart from other print models is that
we produce our publications complimentary to the
communities; we have a very ‘inclusive’ philosophy and
22 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
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253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 23
24 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
want to provide a publication that the community can be proud of,”
shares Julie Reed, Like Media’s Washington executive director for 253
Lifestyle Magazine and Gig Harbor Living Local. “If you are unable to
pick up our magazines, we also have the free subscriptions in our digital
e-newsletters. I have never seen such a beautiful magazine, thanks to our
design and creative teams!”
And it is not only in print that the media company is showcasing their
talent, work and support of local businesses and communities. “Like
Media has created so much more than just a community magazine,” says
Allyia Briggs, Like Media’s director of marketing. Like Media is a fullservice
agency that helps companies build and execute their marketing
plans. Its motto: We build your marketing, so you can build your
“It is an entire (print + digital) platform. From our website to weekly and
monthly e-newsletters, social media and more, we make sure that our
positive hyper-local articles and advertisers are being seen everywhere—
which is really unique to this area.”
With a mission to impact the communities it serves in a positive way,
owner and publisher Steve Russo is committed to what the company
on, especially in
“IF YOU LOOK
media has turned
into what it has.
It is on a mission
to divide us based
on political and
but the reality is,
we are all very
IT IS HOPE THAT
DRIVES US EACH DAY
much the same,”
desire to help
he says. “Most
of our beliefs,
WE ARE STRONG
others is what
makes us all so similar. I feel we all need to get back
to identifying as people, community members, family members, and not
red or blue, pro or against.
“We need to get back to uniting around our commonalities rather than
dividing up over our few differences. Fear is winning out nationally, but
if you look around locally, it is hope that drives us each day because
together we are strong and powerful; apart we become isolated and
weak. In today’s climate, we all need to proclaim that fear will never win
out as hope pushes us to be better versions of ourselves.”
Like Media carries out its mission in a number of ways: telling the
good news stories that don’t always make the news and spotlighting the
people who do wonderful things within our communities; highlighting
and sponsoring local events; supporting small-medium local businesses
by providing them an affordable platform to share their messaging;
and most importantly providing free marketing sponsorships for local
Each and every month, Like Media sponsors area nonprofits,
organizations, groups and community members in each publication to
help ensure they are able to carry out their mission.
253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 25
“Through these sponsorships, we are able to give our nonprofit organizations a
voice to create awareness for their own missions and any needs that they may
have,” says Allyia. “It is truly the most special feeling in the world to experience
the level of appreciation and awe that these organizations feel when we reach
out and let them know that we are doing a free marketing sponsorship for
them. This includes articles, advertising, social media promotions and much
more. It is this kind of work that brings us so much pride at Like Media.”
Since its inception, Like Media has been committed to connecting local
businesses with the people they serve, with the goal of impacting communities
in a positive way. “253 Lifestyle Magazine and Gig Harbor Living Local bind
people together and connect the businesses to the community—and this builds
trust with one another,” explains Julie. The Northwest’s trusted media partner,
Like Media is dedicated to taking companies where they want to go through
effective and thoughtful strategies that combine traditional media with new
As a full-service media company, many of Like Media’s print advertisers also
leverage the company to handle all of their digital marketing as well through
Rocket Fish Digital; everything from building their logos and websites, to SEO
services, reputation management, social media, podcasts and more. “We take
time to brainstorm with our clients and come up with a variety of solutions to
meet their business’ needs,” affirms Allyia. “We have the best partners in the
With 29 years in print and over eight years in the digital marketing sphere, Like
Media successfully provides a platform and voice for local companies to reach
their target audiences in the most effective way, while saving time and money,
and building successful businesses that strengthen communities.
“We are building a unique platform that serves dual purposes, which allows
small to medium businesses to effectively build their marketing and brands
locally while supporting local philanthropic groups and organizations. There
is nothing quite like this in the communities we serve,” Steve says. “What our
advertisers should know is that we are actually partners in promoting the
goodwill not only locally but in every town we serve. The support they give
locally goes well beyond our city boundaries by helping many in need.”
“I am grateful to be able to have a part in the production of 253 Lifestyle
Magazine and Gig Harbor Living Local and put my heart and soul into
providing excellent customer service to our clients and readers,” says Julie.
“It brings me great joy when I hear all the positive feedback, especially when
businesses report back how much they have grown their branding awareness
and businesses. My favorite thing to do is to help businesses with their
The team at Like Media looks forward to another year serving their clients,
strengthening partnerships and inspiring the community through 253 Lifestyle
Magazine and various print and digital services that they offer.
“I am excited to continue our mission of infusing positive community focused
articles and contribute fresh ideas to the magazines to give our readers the
experience of an interesting variety to connect them to the 253 area,” Julie
smiles. “Most importantly, I am passionate about providing a unique product
to the local businesses so that they have a multi-level platform to reach the
communities in which they serve.”
26 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
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253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 27
OWNER/OPERATOR OF BBQ2U
COMMUNITY AT THE HEART
BY MARGUERITE CLEVELAND
253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
ST. PATRICK’S DAY
Spring is here and it’s time to enjoy the
light and fresh taste of our teas! Try our
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other precautions we are taking to ensure a safe and healthy environment!
253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 29
“IT IS MORE THAN A FOOD
CHOICE. IT’S A CULTURE
THAT MEANS UNITY OF A
COMMUNITY. BBQ RE-
ENERGIZES THE SOUL AND
CAN GIVE FRESH VISION TO
THE WEARY. BBQ GROUNDS
US IN OUR ROOTS AND
REMINDS US WHO WE ARE
AND WHERE WE CAME FROM.”
30 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
Austin, Texas, native Gary Parker grew
up with BBQing (it is a verb in Texas) as
a way of life. Family get-togethers and
community events were good excuses for throwing
some meat on the grill. Parker worked for the Intel
Corporation as an engineer, which brought him to
Washington. Upon retirement he decided to open
up his own little piece of Austin in Gig Harbor with
his restaurant, BBQ2U. He is well known in the area
for his support of the local community, whether it is
for a nonprofit or helping small area businesses who
have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. He
calls it “Give Back Programs.”
Q. How does one become a Pit Master?
A. Thousands upon thousands of hours
making BBQ. Meet the Pit Masters in your
area, work with them, cook with them. Study
the history and understand the role of BBQ
in society. Study the science of BBQ, the fire,
the woods, the smoke, the meat, the weather.
Understand how the process brings them all
together. Don’t be a snob. All BBQ is great
to someone, and you can always learn from
those who do it differently than you do. I
think Texas BBQ is the best because that’s
where I am from. The methods and flavors
were embedded in my soul as I grew up.
Q. Can you share with our readers how
you decided to use your lobby to support
local authors and small businesses during
the COVID-19 pandemic?
A. Well, the thought really just evolved
over time. The story started early in the first
days of the COVID shutdown. Today, it’s
hard to remember what it was like in those
early days. I remember walking through
the parking lot of the Plaza we are in. It
was a weekday; a time when people would
normally be buzzing around doing what
they do. However, on this day, there was an
eerie silence. No cars, no commerce, just
silence. I was thinking, ‘What are we going
to do? What are my neighboring businesses
going to do?’
A little time passed, and our little business
was fortunate. We were seeing huge support
from the community, but as I talked to other
businesspeople, they were really telling a
tough story. I was initially kicking around the
idea of running specials that would promote
other businesses. Something like show me
your receipt from a struggling neighboring
business and I would give you 10 percent
off your meal. However, our crowds were
growing and sometimes people were waiting
15 to 20 minutes for their order. They had
nothing to do except get frustrated. We
decided to bring in other businesses to set
up displays and promote them. This gives
people something to look at and do while
waiting for their orders. It was a win-win.
In the first few weeks we featured businesses
like Treasures 4 Humanity, Love of Spice,
Ken Walker Jewelers. Time continued to
pass, and we were watching events like the
Taste of Gig Harbor and the summer art
fair get canceled. The participants of these
events had no outlet, no way to share their
creations with others. So we invited some
of the artists and authors to set up displays
in our lobby like we had done with the
businesses. This was really working. People
now had something to do while waiting
for their food, and the artists and authors
started selling their books and paintings.
There are many stories of appreciation, and
today it continues as an ongoing event called
Books and BBQ.
Q. Can you share your philosophy on how
BBQ has been the “center of community”
throughout history and how it influences
your give back programs?
A. Now this is a big question. To really
understand you must be a bit of an historian.
That said, you can look at in a biblical sense,
or take a more modern view, but no matter
how you approach it, cooking meat over
fire and sharing it with the community
is so ingrained in each one of us that it’s
undeniable. What am I saying? To come
together as a community, to debate issues,
to celebrate milestones, to seek out others,
to lend a helping hand, has often been based
on community gatherings. Whenever there
are community gatherings you can bet food
will be present, and across America, that
food is most often BBQ. It is more than a
food choice. It’s a culture that means unity
of a community. BBQ re-energizes the soul
and can give fresh vision to the weary. BBQ
grounds us in our roots and reminds us who
we are and where we came from. I submit
for review and consideration that there
is no other food choice that can compare
with BBQ and the role it has played in the
building of societies. It’s this culture that
BBQ2U tries to bring to this community.
We want to help those in need. We want to
provide a place you can go and recharge.
We want to help young people play sports.
We want to show that small business can be
the answer to classroom funding issues. The
list can go on and on, but I trust you get the
point. We are more than a restaurant—and
we want you to be a part of our community
and BBQ family.
253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 31
SYMPHONY TACOMA LAUNCHES
A rare multimedia video made with kids
BY SUSAN NEWSON, SYMPHONY TACOMA
32 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
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253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 33
In the spring of 2020, when it became apparent that the COVID-19
lockdown was here for the long haul, Symphony Tacoma was
forced to cancel its remaining concerts for the season.
“Our purpose as an organization is to perform live music. All of the
sudden we couldn’t do that,” said Executive Director Karina Bharne.
Like many orchestras, the Symphony turned to online programming.
“We were excited to curate previously recorded performances into
virtual ‘encore’ performances, and we reached out to our musicians
to record new music in small chamber groups. But we also wanted
to create something special in line with our mission of building
community through music that would offer some hope to our
community during the pandemic,” Bharne continued.
“I was inspired by all the creativity that artists have shown despite
being unable to perform, and I was disappointed for the youth from
University Place Presbyterian Church who were about to join us for an
upcoming performance,” said Music Director Sarah Ioannides. “I also
wanted to provide a unique piece for our community that would uplift
spirits and celebrate the fusion of art, music and language.”
Ioannides began to conceptualize the project. “I thought about asking
kids in our community to write a piece of music or a poem, draw a
picture or send in a photograph of something that inspires them or
carries them through a difficult time, and we would connect them into
one special composition.”
She needed an iconic piece of music as inspiration. “As a runner, I
often listen to music to help me run faster. But when I am facing a
particularly challenging hill, music that struggles but gets through
helps me fight the incline!” Ultimately, Ioannides decided on Lux
Aeterna, or “Eternal Light,” an uplifting movement from Mozart’s
Requiem, one of the programs that had been canceled.
34 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
Thirteen local students ranging in age from
10 to 17 submitted original works. Following
this, the students worked with Ioannides
and the creative team of music producers
Kim Scharnberg and Will Scharnberg and
filmmaker Fernanda Lamuño Cavanas to
create a unique production in response to
each other’s entries.
The result is a fusion of music, art, dance
and poetry that shows the creativity that
exists within the youth of Tacoma. The
video consists of two connected parts.
The first is a “collage” of the submissions
visually woven together and performed
by the students themselves. The segment
concludes with a song by Keianna South
(14) with accompaniment by Hudson
Pierce (10) that intermingles all of the other
Part two spotlights the talents of three
students in a composition entitled
Undaunted. Ioannides chose to pair music
composed by Kevin Kernie (17) with a
poem by Holly Pierce (15) and artwork
inspired by Kernie’s and Pierce’s works
by Audrey Hartman (12). The final work
mixes Kernie’s original electronic music
with orchestra lines recorded by Symphony
Tacoma musicians alongside audio and
video of singers from the Eternal Light cast
and Tacoma Youth Chorus.
“It has been extremely meaningful to
create something that has enabled young
musicians and artists to collaborate with
each other, learn new skills, and inspire
them to express themselves through art in
the future,” said Ioannides. “The outcome
has been better than I could have ever
imagined thanks to the hard work of so
many involved. We hope it will bring joy
to the hearts of many during these difficult
Eternal Light can be viewed on Symphony
Tacoma’s YouTube channel: YouTube.com/
“Forged into a cohesive, sparkling whole from
rough diamonds of poetry, art and music by
Tacoma’s young people, the multimedia piece premiered by Symphony Tacoma on YouTube last weekend isn’t
just a pretty gem. It’s 10 minutes of a vision into a hopeful future from a troubled present, of a new musical
order where classical instruments fuse with electronica and voices, and where light triumphs.” - Rosemary
“I’d read in a book that in times of worldwide crisis like this, music and art were not seen as much of a priority
… This author stated that art has a far greater impact on the citizens than we realize, and it is in times like
this that art is the most necessary in society. Eternal Light is one example.” - Gloria, age 13, student
253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 35
DISCOVER BEAUTIFUL RESULTS
with Sculptra Aesthetic
Why everyone in Hollywood is getting this injectable superstar
to keep their natural youthful look
BY LAURA JANE BROUGHER, RN, AESTHETIC INJECTOR AND SKIN REJUVENATION SPECIALIST AT GIG HARBOR AESTHETICS
When you look in the mirror, are you wishing
to maintain or get a more rejuvenated and
youthful improvement? As an aesthetic
injector and skin rejuvenation specialist for
almost 18 years, I can help you understand and improve how to get
back a more rested, refreshed and natural look. I will always assess
the client and discuss a comprehensive rejuvenation plan to bring
balance, structure and youthful radiance back to the face.
It’s a Journey!
There are many modalities to get a refreshed and rejuvenated face,
most importantly skin rejuvenation, Botox/Dysport, dermal fillers,
etc. However, today, we are discussing the superstar biostimulator
Sculptra Aesthetic. We want to smooth the skin and add back lost
volume. Sculptra Aesthetic is an injectable treatment that works
with your body to stimulate your own natural collagen growth. It is
injected into the areas where there is fat loss and hollowing such as
the temples, front of the ear and in the cheeks. It also works well in
areas where there are laxity wrinkles and deep folds, such as the area
in the mid-lower cheek and décolletage.
Sculptra is different than a hyaluronic dermal filler such as Juvederm
or Restylane because it is a poly-L-lactic biostimulator that addresses
the underlying cause of aging skin from within—loss of collagen.
Plump, healthy, youthful skin has lots of collagen and is the
foundation for a radiant look.
By helping stimulate natural collagen growth, Sculptra helps
restore the structure in your skin by replacing the lost volume and
smoothness. Sculptra restores the fullness and will refine wrinkles
and folds with your own collagen. Your body builds a web matrix of
collagen support. This takes two to three sessions done approximately
two months apart.
What to Expect
During consultation, we will go over the different options, discuss
skin rejuvenation, products, your timeline and budget. Sculptra
treatments are usually done in two or three sessions. In the first
session, the liquid Sculptra is injected in areas needed and will
initially look full, then the liquid absorbs and leaves the poly-L-lactic
acid behind to stimulate your body to produce the collagen. Over the
course of the following two to three months, you will see a gradual
improvement. The second session is the same, again building more
collagen. Depending on how much improvement is desired, a third
session may be needed. Each treatment takes approximately 45
minutes to one hour. The most common side effects are tenderness
and soreness at the injection site. There may also be bruising that will
resolve in about a week.
After achieving your full correction, studies have shown that the
results last for more than two years, and many clients see results
for much longer. Eighty percent of men and women injected with
Sculptra have rated their results “excellent.”
Sculptra is a wonderful product to talk to your injector about. And
by the way, please do not ever go to an injector who either looks
overdone or has huge, overinflated lips. (These injectors don’t have a
good artistic eye if they think they look good like that.) You will be
taking an unnecessary risk on how your treatment will turn out. If
you have already walked in their door, just walk out.
An expert injector will always look at your face from a standpoint of
how to give the face more support, more balance, and will suggest
a treatment plan that puts the curves back in the face in a way
that looks natural. Also, be diligent and do your research on their
experience and training.
At Gig Harbor Aesthetics, they will always be honest with you
about pricing and your individualized long-term plan. They offer
complimentary comprehensive consultations and are dedicated to
helping you achieve your natural desired results.
36 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
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LET’S GET MOVING!
The benefits of exercise and tips to maximize them
BY SARAHLYNN M. ETTA, YOGA TEACHER
The long-term health benefits of regular physical activity are
numerous and varied, impacting all the body’s functions and
Brain Power - The human brain is wired to move, and movement actually
facilitates neuroplasticity—the brain’s ability to adapt to change by forming
new neural connections. Regular exercise increases cognitive function and
improves attention, learning and memory.
Mood Booster - Movement stimulates the production of endorphins, the
body’s natural painkillers and mood elevators, as well as neurotransmitters
such as serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin. Physical activity elevates mood,
increases self-esteem, decreases stress and anxiety, and reduces feelings of
Sound Sleep - Exercise supports the ability to fall asleep more quickly, as
well as improving overall sleep quality. Moderate aerobic exercise seems
to increase the amount of deep, restorative sleep. And many types of
movement help to decompress the mind, facilitating an easier transition
Physical Health - Aerobic activity increases energy and improves
metabolism while strengthening the heart and improving cardiovascular
fitness, as well as lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. Movement
lubricates the joints, resistance and weight bearing exercises strengthen the
bones, and standing activities improve balance. Lower intensity exercises
can also help to reduce inflammation.
Anti-Aging - People who exercise regularly show improved blood markers
related to aging and also increased telomere length (an indicator of disease
resistance and increased life span). Resistance training has moderate
benefit, while endurance and high-intensity activities seem to show the
Immune Function - Though the mechanisms are not clearly understood,
regular movers seem to get sick less often and less severely. This could
be because exercise increases blood and lymph flow, thus increasing the
circulation of immune cells in the body. Regular exercise also potentially
slows down changes that happen to the immune system with aging.
Anti-Inflammatory - One way exercise may support immunity is its
generation of anti-inflammatory response in the body. The paradox here is
that extremely intense exercise can temporarily increase inflammation, in
which case low-impact activity is preferred.
To maximize the benefits of your movement:
• Establish routines to help form habits. These benefits come with regular
exercise. Strive to get in 150 minutes of movement each week, or five
30-minutes sessions. Strive for at least 20 minutes consecutively.
• Engage in a variety of activities, including strength, stretch, cardio and
• Stay hydrated. Eat to fuel your body, but avoid heavy meals just before and
just after exercise.
• Take rests when you feel the need for them.
• Avoid vigorous exercise right before bed.
• Exercise with friends and loved ones to increase the release of oxytocin.
• Exercise outdoors to stimulate the vagus nerve, which improves heart rate
• Engage in a mind-body practice such as qigong, tai chi or yoga to add the
benefits of meditation and controlled breathing.
If you experience very high stress, chronic inflammation or an autoimmune
condition, you should also consider keeping intense workouts to less than
one hour; exercise regularly (physical fitness decreases the amount of
cortisol produced during exercise); take regular break and rest days; leave
intense sessions to later in the day, when cortisol levels are lower; and focus
on low-impact activities, such as swimming, walking, yoga and tai chi.
Sarahlynn Etta is owner, movement educator and meditation guide at Maitri
Movement & Massage. To learn more or sign up for a yoga class, please visit
The long-term health benefits of regular physical activity are numerous
and varied, impacting all the body’s functions and systems.
38 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
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253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 39
253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
FEDERAL WAY, WA
Take a ride with Airman Transportation
BY JILLIAN CHANDLER
It was 1994 when a new luxury private transportation company introduced
itself to Federal Way and the surrounding areas. Creating luxurious,
and memorable, experiences for their clients since day one, Airman
Transportation is sure to meet, and exceed, their passengers’ expectations.
This luxury private transportation company specializes in airport transportation
(SeaTac, Boeing Field, Paine Field) as well as all other “point A to point B” transfer
requests. From date nights, wine tours and city tours, concert and cruise ship
transportation, to meetings, doctor’s appointments and all hourly chauffeured
requests, Airman Transportation can provide services for one to 30 passengers.
Offering smaller luxury black sedans (one to four passengers), luxury black SUVs
(one to seven passengers) and 10-passenger private shuttle-type vans, all of the
services they provide are door to door (note, this is not a ride-share service).
For those younger passengers, the company provides car seats of all sizes and are
well-versed in proper installation to ensure the safety of your loved one, from
infant to pre-teen. And there are no additional fees.
Sawsan Alhadeethy and daughter Leela Ward are the proud owners of this small,
family run, woman and minority owned business. Providing excellent customer
service for more than two decades, this is not your average ride-share services.
“We are very different,” affirms Leela. “Our rates are a little higher, but we provide
a luxury service.” All of their drivers are thoroughly background checked by a
third party chosen by the state and go through driver training, annual physicals
and submit to random drug and alcohol tests throughout the year—all done by a
third party. In addition, all drivers carry chauffeur licenses and are permitted and
licensed properly to pick up / drop off at all Port locations.
253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 41
“We take care of our customers like they are our
friends—and most of them turn into friends,” says
Airman Transportation would not be the success it
is today if it were not for its visionary, Leela’s father,
Amir Alhadeethy. “He taught me how to provide
the level of customer service that is standard for us
today,” she shares. “He was hard working and never
gave up, and I always think about that and try to be
like him in that regard when times get hard (COVID).
We wouldn’t be where we are without him and the
foundation he laid for us.”
The story behind Airman Transportation is that of
a family fulfilling their American dream. Amir had
served in the Iraqi Air Force and later became a
commercial airline captain. He and his wife Sawsan
fled their home country to come to the U.S. as
political refugees. The couple had no money when
they arrived. “My father started out as a taxi driver,
and once he accumulated enough taxis, he sold them
and started Airman Transportation,” shares Leela. “I
always looked up to my parents because they worked
from the ground up to make a better life for us. They
worked well together and were very proud of the
service they provided.
“To this day, our customers still talk about my parents.
I am the only child, so when my father passed away
and my mother retired, it fell upon me to take over—
and I couldn’t be happier to do it.”
Leela’s mother retired from the business in 2019,
which was bittersweet, as many of her loyal customers
over the years had become so much more to her—they
had become friends. “The fact that so many people
showed up to say goodbye to her is a testament to how
great her services were,” smiles Leela. “She left a longlasting
impression on so many people, and I only hope
to do the same.”
Since taking the helm at Airman Transportation, Leela
has enjoyed the challenge that comes with trying to
grow the business. “It has been so fun adding my own
touch to it and watching it flourish. My favorite part
is driving and meeting our customers—I try to be the
first driver for our new customers so I can get to know
them, tell them our story and make them comfortable
with us,” affirms Leela.
“We have a fabulous reputation online (Yelp, Facebook,
Google, etc.). Seeing new 5-star reviews posted about
our service is the best part of it all.”
If you’re looking to sit back and relax in luxury and
style to and from your next destination, let Leela and
Airman Transportation take care of you.
42 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
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253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 43
MEET THE ARTIST WHO GUIDES YOUR WAY
BY COLIN ANDERSON
Growing up on a small farm in Western Colorado,
Jim Niehues’ love of the outdoors started early.
Situated amongst 10,000-foot mountain peaks,
and with red rock canyons and deserts within
an hour drive, Jim was drawn to outdoor adventure. From
a young age he was paddling the Colorado River and
hiking and hunting with his brothers and father, all while
mesmerized by the scenery around him. When he would
come back from trips he would attempt to sketch and paint
what he had seen firsthand, as well as his surroundings on
the farm. “As a very young child I would draw the animals
on the farm, and my mother figured I had some talent,” Jim
An unfortunate bout with Nephritis in the ninth grade had
Jim bed-ridden for three months, but it was during this
unfortunate time that he would begin his painting journey,
which would become his life’s work. “During this time, Mom
bought me an oil painting set to help pass my time. My first
landscapes were painted from magazines as I discovered
what would be my lifetime passion.”
If you’re a skier, snowboarder, or have even just spent time in
a lodge, there’s a good chance you’ve been impacted by Jim’s
work. Millions of skiers and riders have posed alongside trail
maps located at the base and summit of mountains across
the globe. Eager planners pick up a trail map and devise a
plan on where the best powder stashes might be, and how
to maximize the amount of runs they can get in and still
beat the lunch crowd back to the lodge. Few, however, have
probably noticed the artist’s signature on these, but if you
look close, you’ll likely find Jim Niehues.
At 75, Jim is beginning to wind down the career he didn’t
begin until he was 40. In his 20s and 30s, Jim held many
jobs as an artist. He worked for an automotive company,
did freelance graphic design work, and partnered in a small
ad agency in Grand Junction, Colorado. He met his second
wife, Dora, and in 1984 the couple moved to Denver, each
with two kids, in hopes of settling down. As Jim struggled
to make ends meet he went back to his interest in painting
outdoor scenery and reached out to Bill Brown, one of the
original ski map artists. “He liked my portfolio and gave
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me a small project, which he had some time before it
was due, in case he had to repaint my attempt. I worked
hard to mimic Bill’s technique, and my version was used
by the client,” said Jim. The small inset was featured by
Winter Park Resort in its 1987-1988 ski map. As luck
would have it, Brown wanted to move on to other
ventures and began handing over client map inquiries to
Jim. “I was on to a whole new career at the age of 40 …
and I couldn’t ski,” he laughed.
Jim would learn and take on the same hand-painting
process used by pioneers like Bill Brown and Hal Shelton.
He has since completed more than 430 maps across five
continents, and each one is painted by hand. As one
would imagine, the detail needed to accurately portray
an entire ski mountain requires an immense amount
of information. This involves gathering hundreds and
often thousands of aerial photographs. Jim is often at the
resort to capture the images himself and recalls the first
few trips as quite the learning experience. “My first trip
on assignment was terrifying. I was doing everything for
the first time for real; client meetings, aerial photography,
composing and painting the mountain, and delivering
the finished product. I remember departing at the
airport hoping I had everything I needed for the project;
was I forgetting something?”
Today’s technology has vastly improved the amount of
detail he can capture. When he was getting started in
the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, the process was more drawn
out. “In the early days it was a film 35mm camera. The
film camera meant carrying 10 rolls of 36 exposure film
from home, finding a developer on location, reviewing
the 4x6-inch photos with the client during the visit and
returning with all the prints for reference,” explained
Jim. “Once in New Zealand I lost a roll of film from the
helicopter as it rolled out the open door.”
Now armed with a 24meg Nikon D7100, Jim gets
incredibly high-resolution photos, which he can bring
back to his studio and begin the sketching process.
“When I shoot a resort I start with a sweep about 1,000
feet above the summit, high enough to get the entire
resort at 50mm or so on the zoom. After taking various
angles at that altitude, I will drop the plane to 500 feet
Some of the Northwest trail
maps produced by Jim Niehues:
Schweitzer Mountain Resort
Silver Mountain Resort
Brundage Mountain Resort
49˚ North Mountain Resort
Mt. Baker Ski Area
Whitefish Mountain Resort
… and more
46 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
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253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 47
above the summit and zoom into the top sections
of the mountain for the detail and then drop to
mid-mountain to capture the lower sections and
base. When I review all these views I will pick
the best to create the full perspective and draw a
Once he reviews these aerials and any other material
he can get hold of, Jim will sketch out the scene for
the client’s approval. Once the sketch is approved
it is transferred/traced to the painting surface. “I
use gouache watercolor that is easy to remove and
repaint for future alterations and expansions, and I
paint on an illustration board that is prepared with
gesso so the paint will not soak into the board.”
After another approval, the final painting is taken
to a photo lab for the scan. Jim then works on these
scans to touch up areas and tweak the color. The
scan is then uploaded to Dropbox and the link
sent to the client for downloading. The client or
their graphics people will put the trail names and
symbols on the image.
For Jim, the greatest challenge is getting all slopes
of a complex mountain in one flat representation
of the real-life multi-faceted scene. It takes a lot of
manipulation of the elements to connect all trails
but keep them relative to each other to show all
sides. All efforts are made to keep all runs running
down-page, especially the steepest runs. “Many
different perspectives flow together to create the
final composition that will effectively navigate the
skier to different parts of the mountain,” he said.
Once the sketch is approved, all the detail must be
transferred exactly onto the painting surface. The
airbrush is then used to paint the sky and all the
snow’s undulating surfaces. Steeper slopes usually
are shaded to set them apart from the easier runs.
The tree shadows on the snow are added next.
The trees are the most time-consuming part of
the painting. “I have developed a technique that is
creating a tree-like texture then rewetting the color
to blend and adding the highlights and shadows. It
is important to create the landforms with the sun’s
light on the tree-covered slopes using shading,” said
A large ski resort takes about a week to compose
into a comprehensive sketch and a good two weeks
to paint. Once the final rendering is approved, the
30x40-inch painting is sent to the photo lab for a
100meg capture, and then off for client approval.
While some resorts use computer-generated
depictions, Jim is a firm believer that computers
cannot replicate what the human eye can. In his
case, many resorts across the world agree with him
and have supported his art when they could have
turned to technology instead.
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“When I met with the crew at Schweitzer in 1993, they pulled out a computer-generated elevation-lined
perspective of their mountain, and they were very excited about what the new technology could do in
mapping. My heart sank,” Jim recalled. “They were hiring me that day, but how long did I have? My career
had just barely made it to the comfortable level, and I might very well be outdated within a short time. I left
that meeting thinking I had maybe 10 years. They did hire me again in 2006 for a new updated rendering.
Computer maps just couldn’t—and still don’t—match the presentation of a hand-painted map. The old way is
the best. You need the human element to best relate the experience.”
Jim’s life work can now be found in a coffee-table book, which features 200 of his maps, intriguing stories and
his artistic process. Jim teamed with Open Road Ski Corporation, which launched a Kickstarter campaign to
help fund the book. The response was overwhelming; $500,000 raised, making it the No. 1 Art-Illustration
Kickstarter campaign of all time. The funds allowed Jim to make the most beautiful book he could. It measures
11.5-inches tall and 24-inches wide and uses Italian art-quality printing, heavier weight matte-coated paper
and a lay-flat binding. “It has been extremely rewarding to realize what my illustration has meant to skiers
around the world. Most of them remember pinning the maps on their walls as kids,” said Jim.
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253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 51
I THINK I AM MOST PROUD
OF THE FACT THAT I AM
AN EXAMPLE OF WHAT IS
CAPABLE IF YOU SET YOUR
MIND TO IT.
As Jim lives in semi-retirement he is able to reflect back at his accomplishments and where it
all began. He believes the luck of being in the right place and the right time played a factor, as
well as passion and determination. “I think I am most proud of the fact that I am an example
of what is capable if you set your mind to it.” Jim also believes his wife Dora was a major key to
his success, as she helped him navigate a lot of the business side of things so he could remain
focused on the art.
Jim is a recent inductee into the National Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame and the Colorado
Snow Sports Hall of Fame. As the awards and accolades continue to pile up, Jim aims to
continue to stay true to who he is. “I remain a pretty humble homegrown farm boy from the
small community of Loma, Colorado, that is uncomfortable in ritzy resort accommodations. I
like the smaller home-town ski mountains and cozy lodges.”
In retirement the painting won’t cease. He will take revisions to update existing resort paintings
and perhaps one more resort or two—maybe. Jim has always wanted to paint landscapes and
being so busy with maps has not found the time to do so. “I have hundreds of photos of scenes
I’ve wanted to do. I have completed nine so far and plan to continue for years to come. After
all, I started the ski maps at age 40, why not this at 75,” he laughed.
You can see more of Jim’s work at JamesNiehues.com.
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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
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253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
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253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 55
MARCH 17TH MARKS
ST. PATRICK’S DAY
WAYS TO CELEBRATE WHILE SUPPORTING LOCAL IN THE 253
By Jillian Chandler
Celebrations continue to take many forms as we try to maintain
proper social distancing and follow all of the current—and everchanging—health
and safety guidelines. But don’t let that rain
on your parade. It’s time to don your best green attire (and of
course, throw on those hats, beads, shamrocks and anything else to show
your St. Patty’s Day spirit) and create your own celebration, whether it’s
solo or with friends, and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
Beer and whiskey pair well with this annual Irish holiday, so why not plan
your own pub crawl to enjoy some great brews while patronizing your local
drinking establishments! If you’re looking to have a nice evening in, you
can always order to pick up and take your choice of brews home with you.
And hey, St. Patrick’s Day may fall on a Wednesday this year, but that
doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate after a day at the office or on Zoom.
A stop at 7 Seas Brewing (2101 Jefferson Avenue) is a great place to kick
off an afternoon or evening of festivities. Swing by Odd Otter Brewing
Company (716 Pacific Avenue), and for a brew with a view, Narrows
Brewing Company (9007 South 19th Street) can’t be beat! Though they
were closed for the month of February, Black Feet Brewing (2302 Fawcett
Avenue) will open its doors again in March. If cider is more your style,
Incline Cider House downtown (2115 South C Street) has a great selection
of ciders on tap, as well as beer and wine available for your enjoyment.
At Wingman Brewers (509 1/2 Puyallup Avenue), guests will be treated
to well-crafted, authentic Tacoma ales. Dunagan Brewing Co. Tasting
Room (1126 Commerce) is another great option. If you’re looking to enjoy
brews from Harmon Brewing Co., be sure to visit Harmon Pac Ave (1938
Pacific Avenue). And don’t forget to top off your night with some good
old-fashioned whiskey from Old Soldier Distilling (309 Puyallup Avenue,
Celebrate the holiday, safely, while showing love to local businesses.
Be sure to call ahead for current hours. As many of these establishments are
serving at 25 percent capacity, make a reservation if you can.
56 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
FOR EVENTS, VISIT 253LIFESTYLEMAGAZINE.COM.
TACOMA RV SHOW
Now’s the time to find your perfect family vacationer. Prepare for your
summer adventures at the Tacoma RV Show, where you’ll have the
opportunity to view and compare hundreds of models and over 200,000
square feet of RV space. Explore the region’s best selection of RVs, and
get the season’s best deals on a broad selection of sizes, years and models,
including new and used RVs. This is your chance to see Washington’s
best dealers all in one spot, and to begin your 2021 adventure on the
road. Tickets are $12 for general admission, $6 for military members
and veterans, and free for children 12 and younger. To purchase tickets
or learn more, visit TacomaRVShow.com.
HEALTHY, WEALTHY & WISE WOMEN 2021
Join a group of women on your journey of discovery, and learn how
to celebrate and commit to self care this year. Thursday, March 11,
from 5:30 to 7pm, Jennifer “Taz” Vasquez, Nancy Harris and Cathryn
Cummings will present this year’s virtual Healthy, Wealthy & Wise
Women, where you will gain practical insight and tools to create a
happier, healthier you no matter where you’re starting from. Join the
free event virtually, and begin the journey to growing your health,
wealth and wisdom. Register at NewFoundationWG.com/events.htm.
ST. PADDY’S DAY RUN TACOMA
Throw on some green swag and head out to the live, in-person Bud
Light St. Paddy’s Day Tacoma 5k on Saturday, March 13. This year
marks the 12th annual year of the event, where runners can participate
in a modified, in-person run with staggered start times from 8 until
10:45am. Celebrate the beginning of spring with a fun run through
downtown Tacoma, and cheers afterward to the favorite Irish holiday.
It’s the perfect healthy way to start your St. Paddy’s Day with a fun
tradition Tacoma’s been cheering on since 2009. Registration closes on
March 10 at 10am. Visit TCMAEvents.com to register or learn more.
* Please note, as of press time, these events were still scheduled to take place
as planned. Due to the current health crisis, there is the possibility that event
schedules may change or events canceled completely. Be sure to visit event
websites to stay up to date with current information.
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!
253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 57
253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
Eat & Drink
CARROT CAKE WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
Recipe Courtesy of Tina VanDenHeuvel, NTP
You can follow Tina @madebetterforyou on Instagram
3/4 cup coconut flour, sifted
3/4 cup almond flour, sifted
4 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
9 large eggs
1/2 cup white Erythritol Sweetener (I used Lakanto)
1/2 cup golden Erythritol Sweetener (I used Lakanto)
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 cups carrot, grated and lightly packed
3/4 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (27 g.) + 1/4 cup
toasted for garnish (optional)
• Preheat your oven to 350˚F and line two 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper,
spraying the exposed sides with cooking spray. Set aside.
• In a medium bowl, stir together the coconut flour, almond flour, cinnamon,
baking soda and powder, salt and nutmeg.
• In a separate, large bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat the eggs, sweeteners,
sour cream and vanilla until well combined. Stir in the flour mixture and stir until
• Gently fold in the carrots, pecans and coconut flakes until well combined. Let the
batter stand for 10 minutes so the coconut flour can begin to absorb the moisture.
Your batter will be thick; this is normal.
• Divide the batter evenly between the two pans, spreading out smoothly. Bake
until the sides are golden brown, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out
clean, about 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting.
12 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature (1.5 bricks)
3/4 cup sour cream
3 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup powdered Erythritol Sweetener (I used swerve)
• In a large bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat together the cream cheese,
sour cream and sweetener on high speed until fluffy. Add in the vanilla and beat
until combined and smooth.
• Place one layer of the cake bottom side up on a cake stand. Spread 3/4 cup of the
frosting all over it evenly. Then, place the other cake bottom side up gently on
• Spread a thin layer of frosting all over the cake to make the crumb coat. It doesn’t
have to be pretty, it’s just to seal in the crumbs. Chill for at least an hour, up to
overnight. Put the remaining frosting in the fridge as well to firm up.
• Once chilled, frost the entire cake with an offset spatula. Garnish with extra
coconut, if desired.
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60 60 253
THE NATIONAL CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL
WASHINGTON, D.C.’S SIGNATURE SPRING CELEBRATION
BY MARGUERITE CLEVELAND
As winter fades and trees begin to sprout blossoms and leaves, the nation’s capital springs back to life.
People emerge from winter hibernation and venture out to enjoy Washington, D.C.’s many public green
spaces and monuments. Each year the signature event is the National Cherry Blossom Festival.
Where to Stay
The Ritz Carlton Pentagon City is the epitome of luxury, where you can often snag some great rates for a stay. It is
so easy to get to from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. The hotel has indoor access to the Metro and
is only two stops away from all the monuments and museums. You are walking distance to great shopping at the
Fashion Centre or Pentagon Row. Arlington Cemetery and the Pentagon are also nearby. The hotel is offering a
Spring in D.C. package with a perfect way to enjoy the spring season. It includes accommodations, a $65 breakfast
credit, Afternoon Tea for Two and Metrorail passes for two.
Many hotels in the area are offering Spring Packages, so when booking reservations make sure to ask.
Where to Eat
The National Mall is a food-truck oasis with a vast cultural diversity of food. There are so many it can be
overwhelming, but it is an experience you shouldn’t miss. Where else can you dine on street food while enjoying
the views of the Washington Monument and other treasures on the National Mall. Food choices abound with
everything from Philly cheese steaks and burgers to authentic gyros, shawarma and other ethnic foods.
Another not to miss is the legendary afternoon tea at the Ritz Carlton Pentagon City. This is a good option for lunch
as well. Homemade scones, petit sandwiches and a variety of pastries are served up with your choice of teas or a
champagne cocktail. Truly memorable and worth the splurge.
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Another popular activity in D.C. is happy hour at a rooftop bar—especially
when the weather turns nice. Zoning limits the heights of buildings in the
city limits, so there are some expansive views with no skyscrapers. Many of
the hotels in the area have an outdoor experience. Google “Best Rooftop
Bars” in Washington, D.C., and you will see list after list. Here are two that are
repeated on multiple “best of ” lists. Top of the Yard Rooftop Bar is located at
the Hampton Inn and Suites Washington, D.C. Navy Yard. It is famed for its
view of the Nationals Park, and you can see the baseball games while enjoying
a cocktail from this outdoor venue. Throw in a ballpark-themed menu for the
win. The Watergate Hotel boasts the Top of the Gate with a 360-degree view of
the D.C. skyline, Washington Monument, the Potomac River and the Kennedy
Center. Enjoy small bites while sipping a craft cocktail. Rooftop Yoga is offered
during the season.
Restaurants in D.C. are operating at a 25 percent capacity for indoor dining.
Outdoor dining, carryout and delivery are available at many local restaurants.
The situation is changing, so verify with the restaurant—and be sure to make
What to Do
The National Cherry Blossom Festival is an ode to spring. Plan your visit to
coincide with the peak bloom date. According to the National Park Service,
this is the day when 70 percent of the blossoms on the Yoshino cherry trees,
which surround the Tidal Basin, are open. Throughout the city, a variety of
events are planned. Due to the nature of COVID-19, some will be virtual, but
there will be opportunities to see the blossoms live. You will need to check
with the festival organizers for more details. Two fun things to do during the
festival is to go art hunting. Local and national artists have created 25 giant
cherry blossom sculptures that have interactive icons you can engage with to
win prizes. Beginning March 20, search around the D.C. area. A new event is
the Petal Porches. Download a virtual map and plan a walk or drive around
a D.C. neighborhood to see porches decorated with a cherry blossom theme.
The International Spy Museum is open. You will need a timed ticket, so make
sure to purchase in advance so you aren’t disappointed. This museum is
impressive, with lots of interactive experiences. You register as an agent during
your initial briefing then complete challenges throughout your tour. Once you
are finished with your tour you will enter the Spy Shop, one of the best museum
gift shops in the country. A fantastic selection, they even have National Cherry
Blossom Festival souvenirs.
With the weather so nice in the spring, venture to the Hillwood Museum and
Gardens. This lovely estate was purchased by Marjorie Merriweather Post with
the intent to establish a museum after her death. The gardens are set on 25 acres
and have a variety of styles including a Japanese Garden and a Russian Dacha
on the grounds, which is now used for special exhibitions. The highlight of the
museum collection is two Faberge Imperial Easter Eggs, the Twelve Monograms
Easter Egg and the Catherine the Great Easter Egg. Post’s collection of Faberge
is one of the finest in the world. This is such a lovely property it is easy to spend
a day. There is also a restaurant on-site and a well thought-out gift shop with
many luxury items.
62 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
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Another museum house worth visiting when the weather is nice is that of George Washington. Mount Vernon was
his love, and on a nice spring day you can see why. The estate is over 40 acres on the Potomac River, and there is so
much to see and do; you will want to plan your visit. The ticket process can be confusing, as you must purchase an
estate pass and then add-on tours of the home and other specialty tours, which vary by day. For first-time visitors,
tour the mansion (timed tours purchased in advance online) and then use the website to decide on an itinerary. So
many options from a first-time visitor or family itinerary to a military or African American history. For foodies,
follow the Food and Spirits Itinerary. An interesting fact: Did you know George Washington made whiskey? In
1779, the year he died, his whiskey distillery was one of the largest in America and produced over 11,000 gallons.
When planning your visit to D.C., visit Washington.org, the official tourism site for the area, for the most up-to-date
information regarding COVID-19 requirements and what is open. The situation is constantly changing, so check
back frequently. There is a wealth of information on the area, and the site has some great ideas for your trip. Make
reservations or purchase tickets ahead of time. Due to space capacities, many attractions offer timed entry, and if
you wait until the day you want to visit, you may be disappointed, so be sure to plan ahead.
253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 65
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