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Special Holiday Meals

Feel Good Giving

Holiday Shopping

Photo Contest Winners

This holiday season, may you receive great joy from the simplest of things.

Happy Holidays from your friends at Making Life A Little Easier MEMBER FDIC

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CON T ENTS Decem b e r



Holiday Shopping

Holiday shopping doesn’t have to be stressful! These holiday shopping streets offer great shopping along with cups of good cheer. From Mount Vernon to Blaine and everywhere in-between, you’ll find everything you need for all the lucky recipients on your list.

58 58

Feel Good Giving

Ideally, the holiday season is one of giving as well as receiving. We have many recommendations and ideas for your donation dollars, as well as tips to make sure that what you donate goes to the projects and people you want to help most.

49 65   Meet the Chefs — Special Holiday Meals Local chefs share their favorite holiday dishes! From a warm, cozy cassoulet to sweet pumpkin treats, you’re sure to want to incorporate some of their wonderful holiday traditions into your own.

65 76

76 6 NorthSoundLife.com

Photo Contest 2013

Our judges, Ryan Duclos and Diane Padys, selected from this year’s entries. We had so many great submissions that really captured the people and splendor of the North Sound. We had a hard time choosing. Congratulations to the winners, and many thanks to our entrants.




Holiday Entertaining Tips


Temple Bar


By the Numbers


Dining Guide


Lasting Image




In the Know


Seven Good Things


Real Heroes


Drink of the Month Old Fashioned


5 Faves Winter Brews


Quick Trip Whistler Winter Wonderland


In the Spotlight Kelsea Donnell




Events Around Town


Holdiay Port Festival


Events Out of Town


After 5 Fashion Shopping


The King and I


Necessities Get your shine on


The Scene


Savvy Shopper Blue Horizon Clothing


Savvy Shopper Home to Home


Around the Sound Michael Kors




Editor’s Letter




Letters to the Editor


Beauty Holiday Shine


Meet a Staffer Kaelen Morris


Calendar Races & Runs


Final Word

Congratulations to our Best of the Northwest winners, and thank you to our friends for making our Best of the Northwest celebration a huge success! See page 97 for more photos.

Holiday Issue  December 20137

CON T ENTS On t he We b

More of the great North Sound at


Restaurant reviews, searchable by city

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE Hot Drinks for Cold Days

Check out our web exclusive on the best places in the area to wrap your cold hands around a nice warm mug of coffee, latte or — dare we say it? — drinking chocolate.

Our top picks and event listings

Printable holdiay-recipes from our feature “Meet the Chefs” Wight’s Wonderland of Christmas

Intern at Bellingham Alive! and North Sound Life

Get yourself a head start by interning with K & L Media. If you are a writer, photographer, designer or interested in marketing and PR, an internship provides valuable experience and adds creditability to your CV and portfolio. Get more information online at northsoundlife.com/jobs-and-internships or email editor@klmediacorp.com

weekend VIBRATIONS Sign up for our free e-newsletter to get the latest on upcoming events and more! northsoundlife.com

Join us on Household Tips

Christmas & Winter


Weddings 2014

Go green with a digital subscription.


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8 NorthSoundLife.com

Hawaii Publisher’s Choice

Lummi Carver Jewell James 9/25/13 5:41 PM

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N OTES E di t or ' s L e t t e r

Holiday Cheer from Our Family to Yours


t is easy to love Bellingham in the summer, as our cloudless blue skies outline the white peaks of the Cascades to the east, the Olympics to the South and the Coastal Mountains of BC to the north. It is easy to love our warm — but not too warm — sunny weather. But this is the time of year I love Bellingham best, with the driving rain and occasional snow moving across the water, the dark days that shift from black to grey and back to black again in only a few short hours. Loving Bellingham on a day like this, the one on which I am writing this, with the rain driving hard against the windows, blurring the cottonwoods across Squalicum Way in streaks, is a hard love, a committed love, a love of flying shingles and soaked shoes. I would say that I also love Bellingham Alive in fair weather and foul, but I have only known the bright and beautiful Bellingham Alive. My welcome here has been so full of warmth and good cheer. I’m in awe of my coworkers’ gifts: the sales staff’s detailed attention to our advertisers’ needs; our publishers — Ken and Lisa — and their endless drive to push us forward and keep us moving and growing. Ken’s good humor and philosophical insight give us extra light on these dark winter days. I’m honored to work with such a great pool of interns, photographers, freelancers and contributors who bring their talent and expertise to everything they do. I am indebted to our art director, Jana Junge, and her infallible eye and exquisite taste. I can’t imagine a day without Kelli Reynolds’ ability to answer any question on any subject about any aspect of the business. I am lucky to have a great associate editor in Megan Munroe to bring Snohomish County to your doorsteps. This team is a second family to me, and I’m fortunate not only to work with them, but also to celebrate with them, as we did with 300 of you for our Best of the Northwest party. With this issue, we’re warming your bellies with delicacies from our area’s chefs. We’re inspiring you with the broken beauty of Kelsea Donnell. We’re throwing an arm around your shoulder and helping you through the holiday entertaining rush with the excellent advice of Sarah Brand, and we’re helping you through your gift list with our special gift guide. But most of all, we’re wishing you, on every single page, a wonderful holiday season.

Frances Badgett

10 NorthSoundLife.com

Eric Subong, MD is a fellowship-trained retina specialist/surgeon, board certified ophthalmologist. With a team dedicated to caring for your vision, Bellingham Retina Specialists provides a welcoming environment. Our expertise and experience is focused upon diagnosis and treatment of retinal and vitreous conditions using the latest advances in medicine and technology.

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N OTE S Co nt r i b u t o r s Dakota Mackey Western Washington University and Fairhaven College journalism senior, Dakota Mackey has been with K&L Media for almost a year. With a love for cooking, writing and eating, her passion is writing about food. She hosts a food blog called “Butter and Bunny.”

Cheryl Jason Professional makeup artist Cheryl Jason received her training and certification in the state of Virginia. Cheryl is passionate about helping people look their best, whether it’s a bride on her wedding day, a young girl on prom night or a fashion model at a professional shoot. Cheryl is the owner of CherWear. ­cherwear.com

Ryan Duclos 1-hour* massage session

1½-hour* massage session

From 1839 to 1936, Ryan’s ancestors were the largest family of photographers in the world. He opened Duclos Studios II in 1998 and specializes in photography for fashion, weddings, ­portraits and lifestyle. ­bellinghamphotographer.­com

Sarah Brand The founder of Bellingham-based SKB Events, Sarah has been designing and producing client events professionally since 2006. Her background includes planning events both domestically and internationally for a wide array of companies and ­nonprofits. skbevents.com

12 NorthSoundLife.com

Professional, Knowledgeable, fun & friendly to work with.

Cerise Noah Realtor | Windermere-Whatcom

360.393.5826 cerisenoah@windermere.com


65 Reasons to Stay

R e as on # 1 2 : Your own se c r e t hideaway

Find beautiful places beyond the reach of tour buses. Stay with Aston on Oahu, Maui, Kauai or Hawaii Island and enjoy convenient locations, island-style accommodations and true Aston hospitality. See more reasons to stay at AstonHotels.com/65Reasons Aston Islander on the Beach

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Aston Waikiki Circle Hotel


Aston Maui Hill


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11/19/13 3:38 PM

Holiday Issue  December 201313

PUBLICATIONS Bellingham Alive North Sound Life Snohomish County

Expert knowledge, spirit & imagination to serve you and the area we love. Kathy Stauffer is a dedicated and passionate Real Estate Professional. Offering an uncommon knowledge, exceptional level of service with a determined imagination and devoted spirit to meet your real estate needs in Whatcom County.

PRESIDENT/PUBLISHER  Lisa Karlberg EDITOR  Frances Badgett ASSOCIATE EDITOR  Megan Munroe ART DIRECTOR  Jana Junge ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Gale Beatty | Teresa Brown Christine Clauson | Rachel Grogan Kaelen Morris | Debbie Robinson

EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS Dakota Mackey WRITERS Laura Going | Kyla Rohde PHOTOGRAPHY Ryan Duclos | Laura Going Jana Junge | Megan Munroe CONTRIBUTORS Sarah Brand | Cheryl Jason Ken Karlberg CIRCULATION & ACCOUNTING Kelli Reynolds CORPORATE OFFICE

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Visit me at my website: www.kathystauffer.com Kathy Stauffer Managing Broker 360-815-4718 kstauffer@windermere.com

14 NorthSoundLife.com

K & L Media, Inc. 909 Squalicum Way, Ste. 110 Bellingham, WA 98225 klmediacorp.com SNOHOMISH COUNTY OFFICE 6100 219th St. S.W., Ste. 480 Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043 INQUIRIES & SUBSCRIPTIONS Info@klmediacorp.com northsoundlife.com 360.483.4576 x4

L e t t e r s t o t he E d i t o r


of the




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Fall Arts Preview 2013

Hawaii Publisher’s Choice

Lummi Carver Jewell James

1305_BA-NSL Cover.indd 1

9/25/13 5:42 PM

VANISHING ICE WOW … what a beautiful introduction to your Arts section this issue. It was so beautiful I had to catch my breath. This is award winning.



Normally I do not write into magazines, but I really felt the need with your current Best of the Northwest issue. What a great resource for locals and visitors. The winners were beautifully displayed and I have already frequented three of them. Thank you for supplying our community with a publication we can call our own and be so proud of.

Dear Bellingham Alive Staff, I just wanted to send a thank you for hosting such a wonderful event.

Sheri Palmer via ­northsoundlife.com


Todd, Bellingham Fitness

WINNERS This year’s winners of your Best of the Northwest should be excited. Your staff did an amazing job of highlighting so many of our local business and calling attention to some I didn’t know about. Great Job! Steve Hines via ­northsoundlife.com

Carrie via Facebook

Errata – Victoria Cleaning’s ­correct phone number is 360.599.2584. – The photographer for the Cheeks image is Michelle Rainey, R5 Images. – Find Your Fashion’s consignment department is Find Your Fashion Again.

Holiday Issue  December 201315

N OTES Me e t a S t a f f e r Every issue we highlight an ­­employee of K  &  L Media. This i­ssue we ­introduce you to Kaelen Morris, account executive.



Kaelen Morris Ace salesperson, foodie and world traveler!



How long have you been with K & L Media? Since July 2013. Definitely feels longer!


16 NorthSoundLife.com

What is your background? I grew up overseas and have spent a lot of my life traveling and am a true Third Culture Kid! I attended USC and obtained my BA in Communications and went on to hold jobs in the hospitality, film and fashion industries before moving to Bali, Indonesia and starting a career as a content developer and freelance copywriter. I met a boy, moved to Germany, and just this year returned to the US after a five-year hiatus! What is your favorite part of working for a regional lifestyle magazine? This setting is the perfect place for me to combine my interests, experiences and passions. It is also a fantastic way to explore our new hometown and all this region has to offer. Being part of a publication like this is an incredible learning experience and every day offers new challenges and rewards.

What are you hobbies and interests? Traveling is part of who I am and I spend a lot of time planning the next adventure. I can usually be found cooking, reading or feeding my online shopping addiction and anything beach or boat related makes me happy. The most important thing to me is my family and friends. Spending weeknights watching Jeopardy with my parents and husband is among my favorite things. 



of the





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MAIL TO K & L Media, Inc. Bellingham Alive | NSLife 909 Squalicum Way; Suite 110 Bellingham, WA 98225

MAIL TO K & L Media, Inc. Bellingham Alive | NSLife 909 Squalicum Way; Suite 110 Bellingham, WA 98225

© istockphoto.com/Chris_Elwell

LIFESTYLE In The Know • Travel • 5 Faves

Holiday Entertaining Tips BY SARAH BRAND


mergency! You’ve agreed to host the office holiday party at your house, but you have no idea where to begin. Or your cousins from Slovenia have decided to join the family for the holidays, and you have never fed more than a few people some frozen pizza. Do not panic! Our holiday tips will help you organize and plan your holiday extravaganza. Most families have a holiday tradition, but if you’re stuck in a rut of flocked greenery and swags, try something new —  don’t be stuck doing the same dinner or the same décor year after year. If there’s a risk of profound disappointment, just pick one small thing to change — something that has secretly driven you crazy for years and change that! Maybe you hate poinsettias and have always hated poinsettias, and this year you’ve decided to go poinsettia-free. Unleash your crafty side and try a new centerpiece or a new dish — the holidays are about joy, merriment and being together rather than emulating a typical Rockwellian scene. Your experimental dim sum Christmas Eve dinner will be the talk of the family for years to come. What is important is that you are sharing time and food together — not that it always be the same turkey dinner. And if it all goes horribly awry, there is always New Year’s! When it comes to gifts, remember that it truly is the thought that counts. Too many times you are stuck with a long list of people who you think “expect gifts” and you run from store to store trying to find the perfect thing and often fall short and buy something continued on page 23  …

L IFE S T YL E By t he N u mb e r s


Read about local opportunities to experience your own

days of christmas. see page 52

The new SpringHill Suites offers

1700 sq ft

of meeting space.

see page 24


Whatcom and Skagit counties are home to more than



see page 58

local Chefs share their holiday favorites with us. see page 65

For your New Year’s Party, check out our


We’re suggesting


 aces & Runs to R help you get rid of your holiday pounds. see page 46

Must-Haves. see page 38




The year Chelsea Farmer took over ownership of the Temple Bar. see page 83

20 NorthSoundLife.com

La st i ng I ma ge


© iStockphoto.com/lenta

“There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.” CHARLES DICKENS, A CHRISTMAS CAROL

Holiday Issue  December 201321

HEATHER OTHMER Making home dreams a reality

Cell: 360-739-9224 Office: 360-671-5000 heatherothmer@windermere.com HeatherOthmer.withwre.com

22 NorthSoundLife.com

© istockphoto.com/Liliboas


“good enough” to cross them off the list. If the recipient is over 8 years old, they will know this is how it went down. Instead, look for perfect gifts throughout the year for the people in your life and give them as you find them — a surprise Christmas gift in September is always welcome. When the holiday rolls around, you can give them a snapshot of them enjoying the gift to remind them it was for Christmas, or write them a nice note. Feeding an army can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Having enough food and drink is key, because people tend to over-indulge at holiday parties, and running out of Sancerre or mini quiche before the night is over is a sure fire way to make people feel unwelcome. Purchase or make things that are easy to freeze if they are not consumed, and have a stash of mixed nuts and olives on hand if all else is exhausted. Buy more wine and mixers than you think you need — they keep! And you will always need more ice, as it is needed for most drinks and keeping your beer and soda nicely chilled throughout the night. When setting the date for your holiday party, be considerate of people’s schedules and commitments — this is a busy time of year for everyone. Get out your calendars and check with your closest family and friends before you send out that mass evite to a “rager” at your place. The people you truly want to attend should be given a heads up before hand to

continued from page 19

I n t he K now


avoid disappointment when your party falls on the same date and time as their mandatory corporate gathering. This is not advice for the masses — just the few people without whom you can’t bear spending your holiday. When it comes to entertaining with or without children, be clear — if you are hosting a cocktail party and do not want a million little ones underfoot, be sure to say something tactful like “adults only” on the invitation so people understand that this is an event for which they should spring for a sitter. And if that is the case, try to go the extra mile to make it special —  ­sitters are expensive. You don’t want to shell out $70 to your s­ itter for a night sitting on someone’s couch eating stale chips and dip and wondering if your little angels have strung the nanny up in front of the Elf on the Shelf. Make your event sparkle, and people will be happy to have a grown up night out, especially during the holiday season — a notorious time for wired kids hopped up on holiday cheer and chocolate. Conversely, if your deepest desire it to have a family-centric tree trimming and chestnut-roasting soiree, be sure to make that clear on the invitation as well — and be prepared with children’s crafts and some kid-approved snacks so everyone has a grand time. Holiday entertaining is about creating memories for you, your family, and your guests. With a little thought and some preparation, you can conquer the holidays and entertain an army in style.  

Holiday Issue  December 201323

L IF E S T YLE I n t he K n ow

SpringHill Suites Marriott BY FRANCES BADGETT


fter dragging yourself off a crowded airplane or packed train car, there is nothing like the clean, orderly comfort of a wellappointed hotel to help you shake off travel stress. SpringHill Suites takes that comfort and adds perfect details. Bellingham’s newest hotel on the block is loaded with touches that make it uniquely ours. For starters, illuminated displays in the bar and breakfast areas are from the Hertiage Flight Museum and the Whatcom Museum. The lobby bar is the first noticeable area in the hotel. It carries the reception area’s refreshing palette of spring greens and earth tones, and is accented with brushed steel. A small plates menu offers a lot of favorites, but with a bit more upscale flair. Three interactive touch screens in the lobby allow guests to check flights, look up local events and research local shops, restaurants and services. The hotel boasts 1700 sq ft of meeting space — a 1100 sq ft conference room, and a smaller board room. The rooms can be partitioned, or they can be combined into a single large space. They are equipped with a state-of-theart audio visual system, complete with Bose surround sound and many lighting options. The fitness center is well-designed, and the large, L-shaped pool is beautiful. There’s a roomy Jacuzzi, and a nearby changing room with shower, sink and toilet, so you don’t have to race back to your room dripping wet. 24 NorthSoundLife.com

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the surroundings. The hotel is set against a greenbelt, so that the conference room, pool, lobby and rear-facing rooms look over a stand of trees. This perfect site also keeps the hotel whisper quiet, despite nearby traffic on Bakerview and Northwest. The rooms are very thoughtfully designed. In each room, toilets located separately from the showers. Smoked glass dividers between the desk areas of the room and the sleeping area ensure that night owls don’t disturb their roommates. each bed has both general lighting and a specific reticulated reading light. Each air conditioning unit has a bench over it, creating an amenity out of what is normally an ugly but necessary space in a hotel room. But the most impressive feature of this hotel is the rooftop terrace, which gives guests a 360-degree view. With Mount Baker and its foothills in the east, and the bay in the west, the terrace is spacious, gorgeous, and, thanks to all those trees, quiet. It’s nearly impossible in our area to find a great rooftop, but thanks to our hosts at SpringHill, we can finally have that great rooftop experience we’ve all wanted. In January, the hotel will begin its final stage — SpringHill Townplace — in which suites will have kitchenettes for longer-term guests. The foundation and underground parking are already in place, waiting for the project to begin. It will be complete in August of next year. 

Book Reviews


I n t he K now


This month, our selections are perfect frozen treats for a winter’s night. These chilly tales of white drifts and cool ice will have you tugging your blanket a little tighter.

The Future of Ice: A Journey Into Cold by Gretel Ehrlich, 224 pages, Vintage, 2005.

Ordinary Wolves by Seth Kantner, 344 pages, Milkweed Editions, 2005. Ordinary Wolves tells a coming-of-age story (not unlike Kantner’s own) that contrasts primitive life in a sod igloo on the Alaskan tundra with the beckoning modern world. Cutuk (who is white) is neither accepted as an insider in the Inupiak culture whose old ways and elders he respects, nor does he feel at home in white culture when he ventures to Anchorage as a young man. Because Kantner grew up in this setting, the narrative gives a very realistic view of cycles of hunting and long, cold winters in the igloo, as well as life in modern-day small Alaskan villages of the far north. If you prefer nonfiction, Kantner’s memoir Shopping for Porcupine is excellent and both of the above should put readers in mind of Jack London, whose short story “To Build a Fire” is, of course, the quintessential tale of cold and snow.

Having been arrested by Ehrlich’s prose in her first book, The Solace of Open Spaces, and awed by her account of the ways being struck by lightning on her Wyoming ranch changed her personality and brain functioning (A Match to the Heart), Ehrlich has continued to amaze with explorations of Japanese internment camps, the Cultural Revolution in China, the aftermath of the Fukushima tsunami disaster and the coldest places our planet has to offer. Her fascination with cold began when Ehrlich traveled to Greenland after recovering from her lightning injuries. Months at a time spent out on the sea ice with Inuit hunters on dogsleds are recounted in This Cold Heaven and her other books on the subject of the world’s coldest places (The Future of Ice and In the Empire of Ice) are good complements to the Vanishing Ice exhibit at the Whatcom Museum in Bellingham through February 2014.

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey, 416 pages, Reagan Arthur/Back Bay Books, 2012. Debut novelist Ivey borrows from a Russian fairy tale when her hardscrabble homesteaders, Jack and Mabel, distraught at being childless and worn down by the demands of backcountry Alaska in the 1920s, shape a child out of snow one evening. In the morning, the snow child is gone, but they begin to be visited by a young, blonde-haired girl, often accompanied by a red fox, who is somehow able to survive on her own in the unforgiving climate. A magical book, full of wonder, but also as harshly real as the cold wild beauty of an Alaskan winter. An Alaska native whose subsistence lifestyle informs her writing, Ivey also has roots in Bellingham as she received her B.A. from Western Washington University. Lisa Gresham is a librarian and adult services coordinator with the Whatcom County Library System.

Who Knew? Holiday Entertaining Pleasant Cheese Plate Bring the cheese to room temperature for an hour before serving. Though the cheese may become a little soft, the flavor will be much brighter and more pleasant.

Keeping a Party Lit Want to keep candles lit during the whole party? Place them in the freezer the night before. When you take them out and light them, they will burn more slowly and drip less.

Baking Potatoes When baking potatoes this season to pair with your roast, don’t wrap them in foil; it doesn’t actually making them cook faster. Instead, aid the cooking process by rubbing them in vegetable oil. Don’t forget to pierce them with a fork to let the steam ­escape. It will result in a ­fluffier texture.

Best Roasted Chicken and Turkey Baste your bird with a small amount of white zinfandel or vermouth. It will help crisp the skin; the sugar in the alcohol will give the skin a golden color and glaze. To further this color on the outside, brush the bird with reducedsodium soy sauce during the last 30 minutes of cooking.

Source: Who Knew? by Lubin & Bossolina-Lobin 

Holiday Issue  December 201325

L IF E S T YLE Real H e ro e s



n the summer of 2012, fourth grader Logan Neal and his family took a vacation to Couer D’Alene, Idaho. The Neals rented a house at the lake’s edge where Logan and his sister Lily would spend the days swimming at the beach. One day, Logan, who loves the water, was swimming with his sister and another young boy. They were all holding onto a floating log in the shallows of the lake and watching the fish swim just below the surface of the water. The younger boy, whom Logan estimated to be about three or four years old, wanted to get a better look at the fish and let go of the log. “It was where we could reach [the bottom],” Logan told the Red Cross, “but I didn’t realize he was swimming out, following the fish. I saw him still under there for a long time and I thought ‘oh something’s wrong.’” 26 NorthSoundLife.com

Logan dove underwater again and saw that the boy had a look of panic on his face and that he couldn’t swim back up to the surface. Logan knew he had to act fast. Swimming back down below the water, Logan grabbed the other boy and pulled him to the surface. Logan’s mother, Dayna Neal, was watching the children swimming from the shore and said everything happened very quickly. “I didn’t notice anything was wrong until he popped up with the kid,” she said. “I was just watching him and I don’t remember thinking anything of it when he went under the water because he’s under the water all the time. But all of the sudden Logan just popped up and the [little boy] was just purple.” “He was sort of heavy so I thought maybe I would get stuck down there too,” Logan said. “But I eventually

got back to the top and we were both [gasping].” The little boy was coughing up water when he and Logan reached the shore but after a few minutes he recovered without needing CPR. For the rest of the day, Logan stayed at the boy’s side, making sure he was safe in the water. “I just kept playing with him and I was always just out farther in the water than him and keeping him where he could reach,” Logan said. He even went back underwater and told the other boy that the fish had swam away to make sure he didn’t go down again. “I did know that I was gonna’ save someone and that really motivated me,” Logan said about the rescue. “I’ve already saved one person so who knows how many other people I could be saving down the road. I feel very proud of myself and my mom and dad do too.” 

I n t he K now


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An addictive game in which you hunt for clues in a series of rooms by tapping and moving your way through them. Solve puzzles and advance 9 levels.

Landmark Purchased BY DAKOTA MACKEY


oon Lynden’s 72-foot windmill will run again. This is just one part of new owner Greg Neufeldt’s plan for refurbishing the Dutch Village Mall to bring people back to the landmark. According to The Bellingham Herald, Neufeldt purchased the property Nov. 1 for $1.055 million, which was down from when Jiangong Lei of Tacoma purchased the property for $1.23 million in 2006. His company, Elements Hospitality, needed a new office and the Dutch Village Mall fit their needs nicely, Neufeldt said. Tim Broersma, CEO of Elements Hospitality, and Ben Ryan, Elements’ Chief Financial Officer, have teamed up with Neufeldt for the revision project at 655 Front Street. The hotel and resort renovation company, Elements, will manage the property. “We are local to the area and grew up with this property being part of our past,” Neufeldt said. “It is quite nostalgic to the community.”

Over the years, Neufeldt has noticed the icon has suffered from a lack of attention, which has led to its decline. He was inspired to take on the project and revive its vitality in the community. The first order of business is to move Elements’ 40 employees into the building, which he hopes will create more buzz in the area. They plan to lease the remaining open spaces in the building next to the current tenants, a gift shop and a Thai restaurant. The building is also home to the Dutch Village Inn, which is due for expansion. The inn has seven rooms, and though they have been kept in good condition, the owners have a hard time filling them. Neufeldt noted that the windmill’s blades haven’t turned in years. He believes getting them moving will create a greater morale among locals. “For the community to see that happening, we believe, will create the kick off to what will be a thought-out, paced revitalization plan for the property so that the downtown community will feel a little more complete,” Neufeldt said.  

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Capture watermarks, tags and bar codes and create a collection of your favorite products in your iPhone. Deals and special offers are also promoted through the app, as well as information on trends, contests and local guides for major cities.

Holiday Issue  December 201327

L IF E S T YLE F i ve Fa ve s

Chuckanut Brewery BELLINGHAM

Winter Brews

Š istockphoto.com/Jill Chen

ROBUST PORTER Try Chuckanut’s dark brown, winter porter with chocolatey notes and a smooth finish. Pair it with your holiday meatloaf or roast. The bitterness in porters is nicely balanced by the malt and sweetness. On a chilly night, the Robust Porter is positively seductive. Alcohol level by volume: 4.2%

Boundary Bay Brewery BELLINGHAM CABIN FEVER Boundary Bay Brewery says Cabin Fever is “specially brewed and bottled for the Pacific Northwest winters.” The red-brown, rich beer pairs well with any hearty meal. Boundary specifically recommends pairing it with spicy food. This dry and hopped delight also stands well on its own. Alcohol level by volume: 7.2%

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CHUCKANUT DUNKEL LAGER Dunkel, meaning “dark” in German, is a malty beer with a slight chocolate flavor and moderate bitterness. Chuckanut’s Dunkel Lager has won 7 medals since 2009, and pairs perfectly with bacon or brussel sprouts as well as braised meats. Alcohol level by volume: 5%

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Skagit River Brewing Co. MOUNT VERNON

TRUMPETER STOUT Based on a traditional Russian imperial stout, Skagit River Brewing Company’s seasonal brew is deep in color and in flavor. The hints of molasses and caramel are balanced by the mild hop. This beer is only served in a 12-ounce glass — it packs quite the punch! Alcohol level by volume: 9.2%



Holiday Issue  December 201329

L IF E S T YLE Qu i c k Tr ip

Whistler Winter Wonderland BY FRANCES BADGETT


or us in the North Sound, winter can be a bit dreary: what isn’t rain is cloud, the relentless low ceiling of our winter days. It feels as if the sun sets at noon, damp and cold settling between our layers of knits and fleece. Fortunately, on the other side of Vancouver, up the Seato-Sky corridor — one of the most scenic drives in North America — you can enjoy warm stone treatments, clear mountain air, fresh powder, carefully crafted cocktails and fine food. Whistler is named for the Whistling Marmots who inhabit the trees of the Coast Mountains. Its companion, Blackcomb, is the newer addition to this winter playland. Together, they are some of the best skiing in the world. Whistler was originally conceived to be an Olympic village. In 2010, 55 years later, Whistler Blackcomb realized its dream. Whistler had always been a kind of a village — generations ago, it had been a trading stop between the Squamish and Lil’wat Nations. Now it caters to commerce of a different kind, with more than 200 shops and hundreds of restaurants all collected together on pedestrian-friendly central avenues. With an annual average snowfall of more than 35 feet, Whistler Blackcomb is famous for the soft powder on its 30 NorthSoundLife.com

slopes. Advanced skiers and snowboarders will find plenty of places to play, including heli-skiing packages. Beginners are best starting out at Blackcomb Base, Whistler Village and Whistler Creekside and gradually working their way up to the more advanced slopes. The resort has added two new lifts opening this winter. The Crystal Ridge Express will give skiers faster and better access to Blackcomb Glacier, Hortsman Glacier and Spanky’s Ladder, and the Harmony 6 Express will carry snowboarders and skiers to the Harmony Zone. Snowshoers and cross-country skiers have a vast network of trails both around the villages and on the lower slopes of the mountains, and guided tours are also available. Sledding is also a great way to enjoy the snow without having to strap on special gear. For the non-skiing tots, the Magic Castle on Blackcomb and Tree Fort on Whistler are great places to explore and play. And if you’re a fan of ice climbing, Whistler offers classes and tours from the beginning to advanced levels. A good tip is to purchase a gift card that includes lift tickets and rentals, so that you aren’t having to schlep a wallet around a mountain all day. There is a huge range of accommodations at Whistler, from simple, clean lodges to four-star retreats. You book

© Tourism Whistler/Robin O’Neill © Tourism Whistler/Robin O’Neill

through w ­ histlerblackcomb.­com. The website features a comprehensive A-to-Z list of all the accommodations, as well as type, maps and level of luxury. You’re sure to find a room that matches your budget or pampers your every whim. You can also purchase ski packages with your room accommodations. Insider tip: last-minute lodging deals are available online for local travelers who are just a short hop away. If you prefer to enjoy the snow from inside, there are plenty of shops, restaurants, cafes and spas to keep you busy all day. Armchair Books has a great selection of fiction and nonfiction in all genres. They specialize in outdoor books, but also offer a full selection of current titles as well. My personal favorite stop at Whistler, Moguls Coffee Shop, is near Armchair Books and serves excellent coffee in a cheery space with plenty spots for winter reading and writing. All that snow play makes Whistler’s visitors hungry. On the finer side of dining, Araxi serves up a menu that is locally sourced and innovative. The wine list is deep and extensive, and the ambiance is elegant without being too overdone. For a quick bar bite or casual meal, the FireRock Lounge at the Westin Whistler Resort and Spa is a good place to grab a beer and bite, or savor a cocktail while the snow piles up outside. With its cozy lodge atmosphere, heavy leather furniture and warm hearth, it’s the perfect spot for a little apres-ski. There are also several bars and casual spots slopeside to keep you fueled. During the holidays, becomes a holiday dreamland with lights and events. Free skating, tubing, sleigh rides and holiday displays — not to mention skiing — ensures that whatever your idea of a great snowy holiday may be, Whistler can © Photography by Tourism Whistler/Mike Crane, unless otherwise indicated

accommodate it. If you want to capture yourself in an action shot flying over a mogul or making snow angels with the kids, professional photographers and videographers are available for mountain service — a great way to capture memories without having to carry a camera. On Sundays, Whistler’s snow showoffs perform in the “Fire and Ice” show, in which advanced skiers leap through flaming hoops while the snowflakes gather. For a fascinating afternoon out of the cold, the beautiful Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre at Whistler contains a longhouse, pithouse, historical displays, a theater and offers classes in cedar weaving and other arts. The tours are firstrate, complete with fascinating historical insights and excellent storytelling. You will learn about the Wild Woman of the Mountains and the inukshuk — the stack of stones that became Whistler’s symbol for the Olympics. Inukshuks marked important places like burial grounds and food caches and, later, the Olympic Village. Miniature inukshuks can be purchased at the many gift shops around Whistler. Getting there: Getting to Whistler in the driving snow can be a challenge. Take tire chains and drive carefully. The town of Squamish is a nice stopping place on the way, and the Squamish Inn and Brewery is a great place to catch a bite. The Rocky Mountaineer Sea-to-Sky Climb train service runs from downtown Vancouver to the heart of Whistler Village. The train is a luxury ride and priced accordingly. There are two classes available, Whistler Classic or Whistler Dome. Another fun way to go is by seaplane. There are several carriers out of Vancouver. On a clear day, the views are spectacular.  

Holiday Issue  December 201331

L IF E S T YLE I n t he S p o t lig h t



istakes. Castoffs. Shards. Failures. Kelsea Donnell’s father, a glassblower, often suffers some breakage in the large platters, bowls and vases he creates. Kelsea gazes into those broken pieces and sees light, color and beauty. She gathers fragments of bright red, blue, green and painstakingly assembles them at her parents’ kitchen table. She refreshes her eyes and gathers inspiration with the ocean view through her parents’ kitchen window before returning to the intricate pieces. “Sometimes I can look at the broken pieces and know right away what I want it to be. Other times,” she said, “it can take awhile before I fully know.” Once assembled, she places them in a kiln, and fires them overnight. Every morning brings excitement as she looks into the kiln to find out how they turned out. Kelsea was born with Spina Bifida. So she knows something of creating beauty from brokenness. For eight years, she has been transforming her father’s broken pieces into wearable art, glowing pieces of layered, sparkling glass. Rather than concerning herself with her physical limitations, Kelsea charges ahead into what she can accomplish. Her business card reads, “I can swim like a fish, ski (with the right equipment), and make beautiful handmade glass jewelry.” Her venture, Kelsea’s Creations By the Sea, is gathering steam through word-of-mouth and her pieces of glittering inspiration are showing up all around the North Sound. I was lucky enough to get a private audience to the entire collection. Kelsea and her mom unstacked dozens of velvet, gray boxes and opened the double-sided display flaps. I was immediately astounded by the sheer magnitude of options: shimmery metallic, monochromatic, bright and bold, and subtly simple. Every glass pendant seemed to have a personality of its own. One cheerful square of blue glass caught my eye, and I noticed that she’s perfected the art of turning an insular collection of broken smatterings into a miniature bouquet of flowers. Astounding. I picked up each one, examining their detail, drinking in their depth of color and reflection; seeing little worlds inside each one. I was then drawn

to one that resembles a crest of seafoam. It is light, airy, effervescent, as if the maker didn’t have a care in the world. And it humbled me, because I realized that these gorgeous necklaces aren’t just beautiful works from an artisan that has perfected her craft, they are a reflection of a fire-tested faith; a resilience that has become richer and more beautiful with time. Just as Kelsea explained, sometimes the nature of her jewelry confounds. One piece may be easy to coax out of it’s broken form into a new identity, while another may struggle to reveal what it’s

“Sometimes I can look at the broken pieces and know right away what I want it to be. Other times, it can take awhile before I fully know.” ultimately meant to be. Regardless, each necklace is a token of tenacity; a jeweled representation of the human condition. It is clear that Kelsea is the channel by which this universal message has chosen to materialize and each pendant before me is a reminder that we are all beautifully broken. I picked up the bouquet of flowers pendant and cradled it in my palm. And in doing so, I completed the impossible — choosing one among them all.  You can find Kelsea’s Creations by the Sea at the Garry Oak Gallery and His Place Christian Book Store in Oak Harbor. She also hosts private ­jewelry parties — perfect for the holidays. Kelsea will be the featured artist at Garry Oak Gallery for the month of December. Meet Kelsea at their First Friday Artist Reception on Dec. 6, between 5 and 8 p.m. creationsbythesea@yahoo.com 360.675.3041 Find Kelsea on Facebook: Kelsea’s Creations By The Sea 

Holiday Issue  December 201333

Celebrating our 19th Holiday Season in Downtown Bellingham!

AROUND HERE, BROWSING ISN’T SOMETHING DONE WITH A MOUSE. Just minutes north of Seattle. OPEN UP to more of Snohomish County, where the thrill of discovery is matched by the thrill of a great buy. Have Fun, Shop Local!

360•671•5704 Downtown Bellingham•1317 Railroad Ave.

Snohomish County Tourism Bureau North Sound Life / Bellingham Alive 1/3 Page Horizontal - 4.75” x 4.75” - Full Color 11/2013


34 NorthSoundLife.com

© Laura Going


Savvy Shopper • Necessities • Around the Sound

After 5 Fashion Shopping BY KYLA ROHDE


ituated within the contemporary-style Birch Bay Village, among an eclectic mixture of coffee shops, burger joints and a doggy boutique, sits the fashionably iconic shop, After 5 Fashion. Positioned just 20 minutes north of Bellingham and 5 minutes south of the Canadian border, the U.S. location, opened in February 2013, now provides both local residents as well as Canadian visitors an easily accessible shopping experience. The family-owned business was started in Vancouver, B.C. 45 years ago by Rose Chenkis. It has since become an anchor in the area retail community. Under the stewardship of Rose’s son, Boris, After 5 Fashion is focused on providing customers with high quality and couture social occasion items, designed for the Pacific Northwest. Celebrities such as Sarah McLachlan and family members of Michael Buble have been known to shop at the Canadian boutique. With a great number of clientele traveling from Bellingham, Chenkis saw the opportunity to fill a need within the Whatcom County community by opening the store in Birch Bay. Residents between Seattle and Vancouver can now shop locally instead of travelling across an international border and paying a hefty duty on items at the Canadian crossings. continued on page 37  …

Modern Convenience & Traditional Service appleyarns.com 1780 Iowa St. Bellingham, WA (360) 756-9992

36 NorthSoundLife.com


Specializing in social event attire, the store carries pieces designed for any ‘after five’ event which includes cruise wear, black tie affair, mother of the bride or groom, pageant and evening wear, gala, prom and sexy separates, as well as handbags, shoes and accessories. Customers can choose from various collections from designers such as Dave and Johnny, ALYCE Paris, Sherri Hill, Jovani, La femme, Terani and many more. Unique in today’s fashion industry, After 5 Fashion offers a full range of services, from individual, client-based customer service, to an in-house seamstress. Whether looking to make an appointment for one-on-one service or simply dropping in for leisurely shopping, customers can look forward to high caliber customer service. “We really go the extra mile to make sure the dresses fit properly, that items are shipped in a timely manner, and that we are flexible and helpful to the customers,” said store manager, Jade Danielsen. Danielsen’s six years in Guadalajara, Mexico working as a

continued from page 35

© Photography by Laura Going

model and freelance makeup artist has given her invaluable experience in retail customer service. Coupled with her love for fashion, Danielsen’s experience allows her to help women find evening attire that gives them fit, comfort and confidence. In the near future, Danielsen hopes to offer her experience and services as a makeup artist to customers attending prom, a gala or other special events. An enthusiast of beaded or sequined cocktail and Prom dresses from designers such as Adrianna Papell and Jovani, Danielen finds that many customers return to the relaxed environment of the cozy boutique. “People return over time to update their wardrobe. It’s fun to get to know the customers that come in every few months,” she said. In order to stay current with fashions as well as select styles appropriate for the West Coast, Chenkis regularly attends Fashion Week as well as tradeshows in New York. Through years of experience, Chenkins has found that the West Coast social attire differs greatly from that of the East Coast. “It is much more toned down. The 

eveningwear is not as embellished,” Chenkis said. Chenkis’ vision for the boutique involves not only its growth as a local shop but also as a valuable online shopping source. To attain successful online shopping, Chenkins encourages dialogue with customers about true fit and differences in fit among designers. From there, Chenkins fine tunes the service to reflect the customers’ individual needs. “I would like to use the store as a provider for the entire West Coast, to provide an online presence here. People are more comfortable shopping online now more than ever,” Chenkins said.  Birch Bay Square, Unit 118, Blaine 360.746.8591 Mon., Thur. & Fri. 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Tue. & Wed. Closed Sat. 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Sun. 12–5 p.m. afterfivefashion.com Holiday Issue  December 201337

Join us on for even more good ideas!

S HOP N eces s i t ie s

Get your shine on. Gold is back in a big way. Add some sparkle and shine to your holiday plans with any of these glittering goodies.







1 1. Gold Embellished Jacquard Dress With an oversized floral print and an overly embellished collar, this dress is a fashion-forward answer to embracing the old and new. $116, ­warehouse.andotherbrands.com 2. Gold Crown Wine Coaster At your next party, give your favorite bubbly or wine the royal treatment with this 24-karat gold-plated metal coaster. $78, oliveandcocoa.com

38 NorthSoundLife.com

3. Luna Wrap Bracelet Mixing silver and gold is no longer a fashion faux pas; prove you know how to layer with this luxe white bronze and satin gold suspension bracelet. $89, stelladot.com 4. Report ‘Sophe’ Flat House shoes just got a bit more ­glamorous. $70, Nordstrom

5. Michael Kors Chronograph Camille Watch Covered in glitzy accents for an added dose of sparkle you may forget it actually serves a purpose other than making you look like a ­million bucks. $550, Macy’s, Bellis Fair, Bellingham

6. Mineral Fusion Gold Rush Polish 100% Vegan and free of formaldehyde and other toxins as well PETA certified, this shimmery metallic nail lacquer is luster you can feel good using. $7.99, beauty.com 7. Gilded Nightstand Bowls If you want to get more organized come the New Year, these nightstand bowls are a gorgeous way to keep precious items in their place. Set of Two, $89, oliveandcocoa.com

Sa v v y Sho p p e r


Blue Horizon Clothing … live life in style! BY LAURA GOING


ellingham women looking for a one-stop-shop with high-quality clothing by North American designers must look no further than Blue Horizon clothing boutique in Historic Fairhaven. This beautifully designed shop has comfortable, professional attire for trend-setting Bellingham women and emphasizes personalized shopping experiences to encourage every visitor in finding the perfect clothing. Blue Horizon signifies a fulfilled dream for owner and Bellingham local Parul.The store has been in Fairhaven since 1995, but Parul took over the ownership in 2012 after her father passed away. “I worked for St. Joseph’s Hospital for many years. But when my dad passed away last year, I was looking for something different and I was ready to embrace a new opportunity.” Ownership of the boutique, located on 12th Street in the heart of downtown Historic Fairhaven, became available and Parul pounced at the opportunity. “My dad just knew that I was going to open a boutique but he knew I wasn’t ready yet and it was really a blessing out of nowhere,” she said.

“I just said to myself, “Parul, this is the right place. Let’s do it.’” The store features mostly products that have been made in North America, which Parul says is one of her most important goals. “Why spend money and time on things made somewhere else when you can support American designers,” she said. American designers such as Hobo bags, Michael Stars and Chan Luu are some of the most popular items in the store. Parul says her aim at Blue Horizon is to create a unique shopping experience that caters to the niche needs of Bellingham women, so that they can avoid big box stores and the mall in favor of local boutiques. The store carries everything from jeans to jackets, from stockings to handbags, so that a shopper might be able to create and accessorize an entire outfit from a single, personalized visit. The staff members also encourage shoppers to experiement with the latest labels and styles. Blue Horizon also carries a wide selection of dresses, which can be very hard to find, in styles appropriate for wedding guests, the mother of the bride or professional women. SPONSORED PAGE

Featured designers: Hobo, Michael Stars, Luii, 3 Dots, N.Y.D.J., Lisette, Chan Luu

Parul says the support and encouragement from her husband and two kids as well as her friends has been great and that she is excited to continue to explore the fashion tastes of the Bellingham community. “This is my dream,” she said. “And I’m so excited that it’s finally coming true.”  1302 12th St., Bellingham 360.734.7803 Mon.–Sat. 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Sun. 12–5 p.m. bluehorizonclothing.com Holiday Issue  December 201339

S HOP S a v v y S h o p p e r

Home to Home 117 W. Chestnut St., Bellingham 360.392.8163, hometohomedecor.net Mon.–Sat. 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Sun. 12 –4 p.m.

Photography by Laura Going


THE SHOP  Inspired by the rustic shops she frequented during family trips to Utah, store owner Laurie Farnes wanted to provide Bellingham shoppers a place where they could find household items to love of unique quality and affordability. With an eclectic mixture of vintage furniture, festive home décor and antique decorative items — provided by Farnes’ South Dakotan mother-in-law — Home to Home’s first few months gave way to such success that the store owner had to fill the emptying space with pieces from her own home. With a passion for arts and crafts — especially painted furniture — Farnes has filled the store with items she bought at auctions, and restored and painted them. Truly a business focused on the customer, Home to Home allows shoppers to request custom pieces, or bring in their own household furniture to be “tweaked” to their liking. ATMOSPHERE  Re-styled, vintage and eclectic.

WHAT YOU’LL FIND  Get swept back in time as you enter through the door, as rustic, shabby chic hutches, knick knack shelves, chandeliers, antique dishes and vases surround you. A cozy fire burns in a hearth. A diverse collection of fashionably up-cycled furniture pieces — along with antiques, wall hangings and trinkets — can be found. Farnes’ mother-inlaw’s artwork sits along the walls, along with paintings from the shop’s own contributing artist, Keisker. Staying current with the fashions and inspired by Pinterest: everything from brightly colored shelves to hanging lanterns and banners, to vintage suit cases, chalkboards and painted Mason jars, there is much for the creative eye to digest.

KEY PEOPLE  Farnes, owner and manager of Home to Home, operates the vintage shop while her husband Scott rebuilds and restyles furniture. He does everything from hand-crafting missing molding for desks and dressers to hauling pieces from one location to the next. The couple, along with Sales Associates Kourtney Keisker and Grette Cass, select items at local auctions and collectively restore the pieces.

OWNER’S FAVORITE  With such a variety of unique items sold throughout the shop, Farnes’ favorite thing about her business is managing the display window. Enthusiastic about the changing seasons and holidays, the store owner is able to translate her passion into a creative display every few weeks. And thus, the changing of the themes allows Farnes to “make decorations specifically for the display window.” t 

Holiday Issue  December 201341

S HOP A ro u nd t h e S o u n d

Michael Kors Opens New Store in Alderwood Mall BY MEGAN MUNROE


ichael Kors is a world-renowned, award-winning designer of luxury accessories and ready-to-wear. His namesake company, established in 1981, currently produces a range of products through his Michael Kors and MICHAEL Michael Kors labels, including accessories, footwear, watches, jewelry, men’s and women’s ready-to-wear, and a full line of fragrance products. Perhaps best known to those who weren’t familiar with his line beforehand from Heidi Klum’s fashion competition, Project Runway; his vision for fashion has been one of the forging forces that has flourished over the last 3 decades. Lucky for retail therapy seekers everywhere, Michael Kors has brought his luxury label to Alderwood Mall. Originally built in 1979, the mall itself has undergone a series of renovations in years past and has emerged one of the most beautiful open-air and indoor mall spaces in the North Sound. Michael Kors’ new retail space adds pure sophistication to the Zone B section of the shopping centre, proven by it’s gorgeous, 2,333-square-foot store. 42 NorthSoundLife.com

Currently carrying a mix of accessories from the Michael Kors Collection and MICHAEL Michael Kors labels, including handbags, small leather goods, footwear, eyewear and watches. The store will also carry ready-to-wear from the MICHAEL Michael Kors line, as well as a selection of the brand’s fragrances. The brand’s in-house team designed the store experience to echo the label’s casual-chic aesthetic, using elements like zebra furniture, sleek metal and mirrored surfaces and glossy, large-scale vintage photographs to evoke jet set glamour and timeless sophistication. And while Bellevue, Seattle, and Southcenter have all had the good fortune of having a Michael Kors retail space in their vicinity, this addition is a wondrous development for trend setters in the North. Luxury Michael Kors stores are operated, either directly or through licensing partners, in some of the most prestigious cities in the world, including New York, Beverly Hills, Chicago, London, Milan, Paris, Munich, Istanbul, Dubai, Seoul, Tokyo and Hong Kong. And now, Lynnwood can be added to that list of prestigious places. 

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Holiday Issue  December 201343

Photography: Oveth Martinez Styling: Lola-Leigh Events and Heather Hulbert Models: Thelmy Campos and Chris Novotney Makeup: Cherwear Professional Makeup Artistry




he holiday season sneaked up on us once again. Here it is! It seems like a week ago I still had a tan. Now for the good news: the glowing tan is one of the holiday’s hottest trends, and there are more ways to get a great tan than baking in the sun or in a tanning bed. Follow these tips to look your best at festivities this season. I wish all of you a safe and happy holiday! 1. Keep those lips exfoliated and use a lip stain. I recently discovered Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetic’s Lip Tar. I am absolutely in love with it. Lip Tar is great because it doesn’t have the dry appearance often associated with lip stains. Try the Matte version of the tar. Bold lips in magenta and red are the trend this holiday season. A lip stain is best for the holidays because it won’t fade with all the eating a drinking. Tip: Make sure your lips are exfoliated (try Mary Kay’s version of Satin Lips). Apply a single coat of the stain. Applying too much of a lip stain can make lips “feather.” 2. Glowing, tan skin is in! Illuminate your skin by using a bronzer instead of a blush to add color to your cheeks. 3. Peachy, metallic, copper eyes are this holiday season’s trend. Apply MAC Cosmetic’s pigment shadow in Let’s Skate to get that soft shimmer on your eyelids. Try and avoid heavy glitters (that look is so last year). Soft shimmery eyes with golden tones will make you stand out at the holiday party. Try Smashbox’s eyeshadow palette in Chic Copper.

4. Who would have ever thought that spider eyes would become trendy again? This look is back. Believe it or not, the more mascara the better. Use false lashes to help bring attention to those baby blues. Make sure you curl the false lashes with your own lashes to make the eyes “pop.” 5. Use a teeth whitener. It is a simple and fast way to upgrade your smile. With your bright stained lips this season, brilliant white teeth will only complement your look.  

Holiday Issue  December 201345

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Resolution Walk/Run & Padden Polar Dip


Nookachamps half marathon, 10K & 5K

5.2-mile run & 2.6-mile run 11 a.m., Lake Padden Park, Bellingham cob.org

Half marathon, 10K run & 5K run 10 a.m., Skagit Valley College, Mount Vernon runningintheusa.com


Live. In The Know 5 Favorites Home & Remodel Home Search On The Town Wellbeing Travel & Outdoors

46 NorthSoundLife.com


Woolley Trail Runs


Birch Bay International Marathon & Half Marathon


Smelt Run

50K run, marathon & half marathon 7 a.m., Fairhaven Park, Bellingham runningintheusa.com

Marathon & half marathon 9 a.m., Birch Bay State Park, Blaine birchbaymarathon.com

5K run, 10K run, kids run & 2-mile walk 9:30 a.m., La Conner Middle School, La Conner runningintheusa.com

Sponsored Page

Northern Cross Collective “We are a small group of patients helping a larger group of patients.”

Northern Cross Collective, located at 1311 Cornwall Ave. offers authorized medical marijuana patients access to quality product for their varied needs. Owner Martin Nickerson opened Northern Cross Collective three years ago because he wanted to help people get the help they need, safely and responsibly. “We are a small group of patients helping a larger group of patients,” Nickerson said. Nickerson lives with degenerative disc disease, but has personally eased the pain with products from Northern Cross Collective. In particular, he recommends the line of Kush Creams for people who suffer from similar pain. The topical creams can also be applied to cuts and scars. Nickerson said the creams also work for fading stretch marks. Northern Cross Collective carries other products including tinctures, oils and edibles, including Nickerson’s own line of treats called “Skunk Train Edibles.” He makes cheesecakes, brownies, muffins and no-bake Oreo bars. Aside from candy bars and creams, Northern Cross Collective has a large assortment of different varieties of medical marijuana to fit the patient’s needs, by suggested donation. Nickerson said most people coming in have cancer and are looking to ease their symptoms. Non-psychoactive versions are available for kids suffering from conditions like cancer and seizures. With an emphasis on product information, Nickerson trains each staff member about each product, so they can help customers with upmost care.

Product information is kept up to date with the help of Analytical 360 Test Center in Seattle, where all of Northern Cross Collective’s marijuana is tested for pesticides and cleanliness after it comes in from the participating farms. Northern Cross Collective holds an ongoing food drive in the lobby, where non-perishable items can be donated. All of the food is sent to Bellingham’s Rainbow Recovery Center. Nickerson has a passion for helping people in many forms by both helping patients find relief, and by contributing to the community. Northern Cross is the only collective in Washington that puts on an annual music and cannabis celebration. HarvestFest is their way of giving back to the community and the patients. Harvestfest features a Cannabis Cup Competition in which all the best growers from WA came together to showcase their highest quality medicine.  It is a great way for the patients to meet growers of their favorite medicine and an opportunity to learn from each other.  HarvestFest demonstrates Northern Cross’s commitment to the community. It’s an event that provides safe access, and one that patients look forward to every year. This past year, Sean Kingston closed Saturday night of the festival with a killer performance! It is an amazing weekend of camping, music, laser light shows, and celebrating cannabis as it should be celebrated. Look for our next HarvestFest in summer 2014.

Locate us

1311 Cornwall Ave., Bellingham Call one of our network providers

Sunleaf | Bellingham | 425-248-9066 Green Wellness | Bellingham | 888-885-9949 NWCNM | Bellingham | 360-734-9500


Kush Creams Anti-Aging Cream $30

Aloe-based, hypo-alergenic, seals dermis, clears up redness, reduces puffiness and tightens. Northern Cross Collective, 1311 Cornwall Ave., Bellingham

The Staff At


Holiday Shopping


Few things evoke the spirit of the holiday season like a stroll down a shop-lined sidewalk with lights and decorations on every lamppost and snowy displays in every window. This year, we encourage you to return to the good ol’ days and shop along your favorite downtown streets.

LYNDEN Lighted Christmas Parade Dec. 7, 6 p.m. The holiday season isn’t complete without a wave from Santa atop his big red sleigh. For Lynden, the downtown fun begins at 1, as Lynden merchants host an “Elf on the Shelf” scavenger hunt throughout downtown businesses. As darkness descends, prepare for the lights for the parade! Lynden will light up the night with holiday cheer for the 23rd annual Christmas parade and treelighting ceremony. The parade of farm equipment, trucks, wagons, cars and floats — all decorated with lights — will begin at Fairway Center and will go through Downtown Lynden along Front Street.

ANACORTES Annual Chamber of Commerce Christmas Tree Lighting Dec. 6, 6 p.m. This annual tree lighting will bring out the kid in you. Join this cheery community gathering as they light the tree. Holiday music, photos with Santa and lots of good cheer will fuel you for your stroll through the Holiday Art Walk. With hundreds of artworks and crafts for sale, you are sure to find just the right gift for that special someone. Christmas Parade Dec. 7, 11 a.m. Grab a blanket, pack up your thermos of hot chocolate and the kids, it’s time to enjoy an old-fashioned Christmas parade. Enjoy the creative floats and talented marching bands as you wave to Santa atop his sleigh. … 

Holiday Issue  December 201349


Downtown Mount Vernon Christmas Parade Dec. 7, 5 p.m. Mount Vernon’s downtown is a great place to gather up the gifts for your friends and family. With upscale shops and down-home antiques, Mount Vernon has something for everyone. After a day of shopping, gather with friends and neighbors and watch the Christmas parade. This year is a competition among participants. Dress in costume and enter your own float, ­embellished with lights and holiday décor. Pictures with Santa Dec. 1 & 8, 12–4 p.m. Remember life as a kid, waiting all year long for December to bring a whirlwind of holiday cheer, treats and photos with Santa? Visit Skagit Valley Gardens during the first two Sundays of December where photos with Santa are free — donations go toward The Friendship House of Mount Vernon. Get in the holiday spirit with free cider and cookies while browsing decorated themed trees, festive ornaments and numerous stocking stuffers. Skagit Valley Gardens, 18923 Johnson Rd., Mount Vernon, 360.424.6760, ­skagitvalleygardens.com

FERNDALE Tree Lighting Dec 6, 5–6 p.m. After a stroll through Ferndale’s cute downtown, be sure to gather for the Holiday Tree Lighting at Centennial Riverwalk Park. Special appearance by Santa and Mrs. Claus.

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© iStockphoto.com/adamkaz

DOWNTOWN BELLINGHAM Shop. Dine. Celebrate! December 1–25 Bellingham’s downtown streets welcome holiday shoppers with stores offering a wide variety of gifts and plenty of good parking. Local restaurants are offering discounts for shoppers. When you spend at stores including Buffalo Exchange, Ideal and Little Tiger Toys, you will receive a sticker on your receipt. Show your receipt to receive discounts at restaurants like India Grill, Pure Bliss Desserts, Temple Bar and The Table. Also, courtesy of Bellingham, all downtown parking is free Dec. 10–25.

FAIRHAVEN Fairhaven Sleigh Rides Nov 28–Dec 25 With its bricks, cobblestones, twinkly lights and festive shop displays, few things remind us of a pure, old-fashioned Dickens of a Christmas like Fairhaven. This year, participating Fairhaven shops will stay open until 9 for holiday shoppers. Sleigh rides will be available every Saturday at the Fairhaven Village Inn. Santa will also be available on Saturdays for Christmas list suggestions and photos inside the Fairhaven Village Inn.

BLAINE Annual Christmas Tree Lighting and Holiday Harbor Lights Dec. 7, 10 a.m.–7 p.m. Blaine’s boardwalk and seaside downtown give your holiday cheer a boost. Enjoy the local shops in the afternoon, then bundle the kids up and join in the family fun festivities where everything from caroling, candy canes, hot cider, horse and carriage rides, senior center bazaar, prize drawings, library book sale and winery open house entertain and delight. Enjoy the lighted boat parade as the vessels in Blaine Harbor display their festive illuminations, then head over for a visit with Mr. and Mrs. Claus in downtown Blaine. Downtown Blaine, 360.332.6484, Blainechamber.com

SAN JUAN ISLANDS San Juan Historical Museum Old Fashioned Christmas Celebration Dec. 5, 5–8 p.m. Experience time-honored traditions, where many of the things you remember from long ago are brought to life once again. Visit with old friends and make new ones while celebrating the spirit of the season. Delectable baked goodies, Ivar’s Clam Chowder, hearty chili, hot apple cider and good cheer for all. Caroling, sing-a-longs and the winter wonderland train set will provide fun for the entire family. The museum heritage structures will be decorated in their holiday finery, so mark your calendars and take a step back to a simpler time. San Juan Historical Museum, 323 & 405 Price St., Friday Harbor, 360.378.3949  

Holiday Issue  December 201351

12 Days of a North Sound Christmas BY FRANCES BADGETT

Everyone knows the holiday favorite The Twelve Days of Christmas. We’ve decided to bring you our local version, updated for 2013. We’re covering a lot of birds with relatively little taxidermy.


We begin with the partridge. Partridges abound in Christmas ornaments, but not so much in the avian population of the Pacific Northwest. We recommend an ornament for your beautiful pear tree to give it that holiday sparkle! Personally, my pear tree in my yard could little glitter this holiday season. If you’re not prone to decorate, you can always pick up two DVDs of The Partridge Family from Best Buy or Film is Truth. Pear trees are available at Garden Spot nursery 52 NorthSoundLife.com


Officially, the lyric is “four colly birds.” I know you were thinking calling birds, as were we, but we discovered that it’s colly. And not Lassie, either, which is lucky, because Lassie retails at around $500. A collie bird is any black or dusky colored bird. We figure you can’t swing a cat in this town without hitting a teatowl with a bird on it. If your True Love prefers art to tea towels, Fishboy Gallery has no shortage of dusky birds for your choosing.


We’re now off to track down two turtle doves. Since we’re the Northwest, we’ll settle for whatever doves come to the feeder. Doves mate for life, so French hens the pair flirting are all the rage in our around your new backyard urban farmfeeder will ing movement. So you can either roll be a lovely through your neighborhood on a bike reminder and just steal them, or you could of your head to Clark Feed-n-Seed in true love. Bellingham or Townline Hatchery in Skagit to select your Faverolle, Maran or Crevecoeur chicks. If your True Love isn’t into a trio of live poultry for the holidays, Bellingham is also fortunate to have a boutique named Three French Hens, and there’s nothing wrong with substituting birds for a cozy wrap or some chic earrings.



What kind of a lucky person gets FIVE gold rings, much less even one? When one or two aren’t quite enough for your true love, go for five! We recommend stacking rings, unless you’re into that reality TV look.

6 &7

Finding eight maids a-milking could be a challenge. Lynden has no Six geese and shortage of dairy of a wholesome provseven swans enance: Twinbrook, Edaleen, Mapleview, create kind Rozelyn Farms all have wholesome dairy goodof a big flock ness to offer. We can’t guarantee the maiden status for your of said milkers. You could always skip the average milk and give your TL eight pints of back yard. ice cream from Edaleen, Mallard or Swans probSirena Gelato. We can also suggest ably make a cheery holiday arrangement of lovely pets, eight bars of creamy smooth goat milk soap but if your TL and lotion. Hey, it doesn’t say what aniisn’t really into mal the maids are milking, now keeping a flock, does it? Skagit Valley is home to some excellent winter For birding. The Wiley Slough the nine of the Skagit Wildlife Area ladies dancing, is a favorite spot for locals the Old Edison Inn hops and to check out snow geese, jives to live music. A mix of trumpeter swans and tundra ages and folks makes this swans. Or you can get your one of the best nights out in goose-loving True Love a the area. Another favorite for membership to the Audubon getting your dance on is the Society, which works to Wild Buffalo, with live music protect migratory birds. and dj’ed nights every night One of the great birding of the week. Rumors is also events in the entire North a great dancing venue, as is Sound is the return of the The Green Frog. Trumpeter Swans every winter. We recommend the following hikes with your TL to see these beautiful birds. Trumpeterswansociety.org



Great ten Lords-a-Leapin’! Lucky for you, Love of True Love, it’s Nutcracker season! We can’t attest to the Lordship of the men on stage, but hey, men leaping is close enough. McIntyre Hall in Mount Vernon hosts the Nutcracker on Dec. 22.

With eleven pipers piping, you’re bound to make a big splash at your holiday party. Who doesn’t love tartan during the holidays? What could be more dramatic and exciting for the holidays than hiring the Bellingham Pipe Band for your True Love? Founded in the 1960s under the direction of Pipe Master Bill Paterson, the BPB also offers lessons. bellinghampipeband.com


On the last day (but on Jan 16, so not precisely Epiphany) you can give your TL some serious drummers drumming. In what is sure to be a spectacular show, the Mount Baker Theatre is showing the Portland Taiko, a drumming group. Taiko is the art of Japanese percussion, and the movements are a combination of dance and martial arts, sure to knock your TL’s socks off. 



Holiday Issue  December 201353


Holiday Gift Guide Naughty or nice, sugar or spice,

Cheeks has a gift for all the lovely ladies in your life! Find fashion and accessories from name brands like Hudson, 7 for all Mankind, Big Star, Rock Revival, Mystree, Tulle, Sanuk and more! Cheeks Boutique, 105 3rd St., Lynden, 360.778.1849, cheeksjeans.com

Washington State Pendant

If someone you know has ever lived, visited or gone to school in Washington … this is the perfect gift for them! Only $24 at Mi Shoes! Mi Shoes, 1315 Railroad Ave., Bellingham, 360.715.2046, mymishoes.com

Lodge Elements 8-Piece Cookware Set

The ultimate cook’s set utilizing the best of all cookware worlds. Set contains stainless steel and cast iron for the right tool for the right job. Yeager’s Sporting Goods, 3101 Northwest Ave, Bellingham, 360.733.1080, yeagerssportinggoods.com

Give the gift of holiday spirits!

Friends and family deserve BelleWood’s Vodkas, Apple Brandy and Gin. Distilled from apples; created for you by passionate farmers. BelleWood Acres, 6140 Guide Meridian, Lynden, 360.318.7720, bellewoodfarms.com

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Teva: De La Vina

This practical yet stylish leather waterproof boot features a cushioned insole, inside zipper, and a sturdy rubber outsole keeping you dry and comfortable all day long! $180, Hilton Shoes, 360.734.3090, 113 W. Magnolia St., Bellingham, hiltonsshoes.com

Lily Crossover Jacket

Looking for a cute and comfortable way to stay warm this holiday season? Cozy up in the Lily Crossover Jacket made locally by Seattle-based clothing line, Jaleh. $92, jalehclothing.com

Restyled Vintage Side Table

Bring home a restyled and updated piece of vintage furniture to enjoy in your home. Styles and colors will vary, $49–$79. Home to Home, 360.392.8163, 117 W. Chestnut St., Bellingham, hometohomedecor.net

Bellingham Detail and Glass Gift Certificate

Choose from a variety of options. Since 1980, we make your car look new again. Prices from $29.95 Bellingham Detail and Glass, 2108 Pacific St., Bellingham, 360.671.5696, bellinghamdetailandglass.com

ReStyle ... it’s a consignment thing!

Fashionistas and families alike can enjoy the goodies at Restyle Consignment store! Women and men’s clothing, designer handbags, jewelry, shoes, accessories, home wares and more, this is the perfect one-stop shop for all your holiday gifts! Restyle Consignment, 193 Telegraph Rd., Bellingham, 360.647.6065, Like us on Facebook: ReStyle Consignment!

Holiday Issue  December 201355


Holiday Gift Guide

Learn to Knit or Crochet Gift Certificate

An Eclectic Mix

Re-Feather Your Nest Presents an ever-revolving inventory of retail and consigned home furnishings in their two hip, relaxed and easy to shop stores. Re-Feather Your Nest, 121-A Freeway Dr., Mount Vernon, 360.755.3126, re-featheryournest.com

Learn to knit or crochet, a gift that lasts a lifetime. Your $30.00 certificate includes yarn, needles/ hook to make a washcloth or fingerless mitts and our Learn to Knit/Crochet Class. Apple Yarns, 1780 Iowa St., Bellingham, 360.756.9992, Appleyarns.com

Kick that habit once and for all ...

This holiday season, make the switch to electronic cigarettes. With no offensive odors, bad breathe, or tar, they are the preferred alternative to tobacco cigarettes. Get started for as little as $19.99, with free e-liquid on your first purchase!

Give the gift of local

Award winning Dry Fly Gin, Vodka and Whiskey made in Spokane, Washington, uses only locally grown grains and botanicals. DRY FLY Distillery, Available at specialty retial locations and at www.dryflydistilling.com

Growler & Pill Bottle

Give the gift of Beer! 32oz. or 64oz. sizes available in multiple flavors. Sustainable and Delicious! Kulshan Brewing Co., 2238 James St., Bellingham, 360.389.5348, kulshanbrewing.com

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12 GAUGE 3” #2 SHOT


Reg $2499


The holiday season, especially Thanksgiving and Christmas are the ideal time to not only count one’s blessings but also to count one’s friends and for us at Yeager’s Sporting Goods, that means you, our esteemed and valued customers.

M ukiLteo


MiLL Creek


Snohomis h Shop.Dine.Live.

You’ve supported us for 92 years and have often voted us as the best sporting goods store in the area, and once again you have done so in the Bellingham Alive. This means a lot to us, more than we can relate in these few words.

Celebrate the Harvest

Crafting & Cooking 45 Things to Carving

20% Off

What it does most is encourage us to keep doing what we do well, look for ways to improve our service TANGLEFREE to you and seek new ways to serveTANGLEFREE you.


We thank you for this honor and pledge to you to keep trying to earn and keep your trust for the years to come. The Yeager’s Family




• Tan



about winter

Let our Dining Guide help

Medical Profiles

Fall Favorite Festival of Pumpkins

Meet the doctors

Leavenworth’s HEALTH

ThaT’s The TickeT


Barvarian-country charm

Massage, Facials September/ October 2012 & Weight

13 performing arts groups worth the price of admission 2


$4.99 US $5.99 CAN

September/October 2012 2013 1 December/January

SnoCo_SeptOct12_1_use.indd 1

45 Things to


about winter

Medical Profiles

Excludes Sales & Clearance items, Cannot be combined with any other offer, Limited to stock on hand.

Meet the doctors


Serving Whatcom County for 93 Years!


Where community comes first

Massage, Facials & Weight December/January 2013




3101 Northwest Ave. Bellingham

Hours: Mon.-Sat. 9-7 • Sun. 10-5 • www.yeagerssportinggoods.com



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Holiday Issue  December 201357

Š iStockphoto.com/mattjeacock

Feel Good Giving A Little Means a Lot MEGAN MUNROE AND FRANCES BADGETT

It may not seem to you that putting the holiday shopping frenzy on pause for a moment to write a check to an organization does much good in the world. You may feel that an hour at a soup kitchen serving the less fortunate, or a blanket to a shelter is a drop in the ocean of need during the winter months. Maybe global climate change feels overwhelming, and your small check to the environmental nonprofit of your choice feels futile. But if each one of us contributes even a small amount, the collective benefit of blankets, volunteer hours and little checks adds up to a lot of giving. Our winter storms are infamous: flying roof tiles, broken branches and cold rain batter us on-and-off through much of December and January. People and animals need shelter, food and safe, warm places to go. Volunteers and employees of nonprofits work year-round to protect the environment, create beautiful art or teach people to read. The holidays are a good time to honor all that good work. Every small gift to a nonprofit is appreciated in big ways.

Where to Find Your Cause There are more than 200 nonprofits in Whatcom and Skagit competing for your attention, so where do you go for guidance? The Whatcom Council for Nonprofits is a great umbrella organization for helping you find the right home for your donation dollars. The Skagit volunteer Center is another good place to look. Wcnwebsite.org, ­skagitcap.­force.­com

Concerns about Charitable Giving Going concerns and self-licking lollipops: are my dollars buying that executive director’s Mercedes? It’s a fair question: you see charity auction photos and you think that your donation is going to pay for that executive director’s embroidered jacket. The truth is, concern about “overhead” is a myth. There are nonprofits that pocket your money and give little to the cause, but those are pretty easy 60 NorthSoundLife.com

to spot. Hint: they sell a lot of merchandise. If you’re giving locally, you have a greater chance of seeing your money turned into good work. True, some of the donations to nonprofits and charities go toward salaries and administrative costs, but that’s a good thing. Supporting the people who do good work isn’t the same thing as buying a McMansion for the people at the top. If you know people working for nonprofits (and in our area, it’s impossible not to) you know they aren’t livin’ large. The truth is, nonprofits are a huge part of our economic development in our area. According to the Employment Security Department at the State of Washington, nonprofits employ more than 4,000 people in Whatcom and Skagit counties. Nonprofits help us all by reducing the burden of support on our collective resources. They train volunteers to become more effective public servants, which makes them great community leaders. And nonprofits create a community support web that increases the quality of life for all of us, not just for those they help.

Get to Know Your Neighborhood ­ Do­-­Go­oders So how do you develop an educated intuition? It begins with developing that personal connection in your own life to a charity in your community. To jumpstart your findings, here are a few local charities and nonprofits that are doing some amazing things to help those in our neighborhoods and across the globe: Sean Humphrey House The Sean Humphrey House provides housing, counseling and medical care to people living with HIV who are, for whatever reason, unable to live independently. The SHH is dedicated to the memory of a young man from our area who settled in Bellingham with his partner before he succumbed to AIDS. seanhumphreyhouse.org Mount Baker Red Cross The Mount Baker Chapter of the Red Cross has served Whatcom and Skagit counties since 1917. With offices in Bellingham and Burlington, the Red Cross provides safety instruction, emergency preparedness, aid and relief during natural disasters among many other emergency services. ­re­dcross­.­org/wa/bellingham Brigid Collins The Brigid Collins Family Support Center’s mission is to provide services and support to families in order to break the cycle of child abuse. They counsel parents on positive parenting, provide a support net for families struggling with financial and substance abuse issues and help heal families in the wake of abuse. brigidcollins.org Opportunity Council The Opportunity Council serves low-income and homeless individuals through both emergency services such as emergency housing and food, as well as long-term support to help low-income people gain self-sufficiency. Their broad range of services includes helping underserved people with childcare, home weatherization, nutrition, housing, ­education and other essential needs. oppco.org

Other worthwhile organizations include: Visiting Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services (­dvsas.org) and the Bellingham Food Bank (­bellinghamfoodbank.org).

N.O.A.H. stands for Northwest Organization for Animal Help.

Something for the Animals If your heart warms for the soft and furry among us, these organizations are a great place to donate a little extra holiday warmth. Whatcom Humane Society The WHS has a new home on Division Street in Bellingham. For more than 110 years, the WHS has been caring for abandoned and neglected animals and finding homes for animals up for adoption. The WHS doesn’t turn away any animals, regardless of their condition or temperament. w ­ hatcomhumane.org Animals As Natural Therapy Operating out of Windy Acre, a 100-year-old farm, ANT allows for people to explore trust-building, communication, confidencebuilding and respect through their relationship with therapy animals. ­animalsasnaturaltherapy.org N.O.A.H The Northwest Organization for Animal Help found homes for more than 3000 pets in 2012. They have spayed or neutered more than 8000 dogs and cats. Located in Mt. Vernon, they’re open 7 days a week and have a very clean, inviting facility, helpful staff and robust website. Their animals come to them from other shelters. They provide free spay and neuter clinics for the public. ­thenoahcenter.org … 

ANT’s motto is “Transforming our Community One Life at a Time!”

Holiday Issue  December 201361


WOMEN’S EXPO MAY 9 –11, 2014



• Kitchen & Bath Design • Furniture & Interior Design • Home Design | New & Remodel

Award-winning Residential Design Jan Hayes, CMKBD • Thea Stephens, CAPS, CGP


NSWEXPO.COM For Information call 360.483.4576 x 4

62 NorthSoundLife.com


Cultural Giving

Environmental Giving

Our communities here in the North Sound love culture, hosting art walks, galleries concerts and events throughout the year.

Environmental causes are ingrained in our lives here in the Northwest, and here are a few organizations that turn your dollars into bold action and strong protection for wildlife and wild places.

Allied Arts of Whatcom Through events like Gallery Walk, Holiday Festival of the Arts, and school programs, Allied Arts nurtures our local visual artists and musicians, and contributes much to the vibrant cultural life of our area. alliedarts.org

Conservation Northwest Those who follow wildlife issues know that great wildlife protection combines two critical skills: compromise without net loss, and creative strategy. CNW’s reach is state-wide. Whether working to protect wolf packs or saving large tracts of land from development and logging, this organization works incredibly hard and delivers results for your donation dollars. conservationnw.org

Pickford Film Center The Pickford Film Center is more than just a movie theater. By providing our local film scene with independent and international releases, the Pickford enriches our community greatly. The Limelight Theater on Cornwall Ave., also run by the Pickford, is a 21+ venue for additional screenings. The Pickford hosts festivals and community events as well. p ­ ickfordfilmcenter.org Theater Arts Guild of Skagit The TAG was founded in 1992 by educator Bruce Vilders to give kids the experience of staging and performing plays. Since then, the TAG has taken off, producing favorites like Willy Wonka, The Producers and Footloose. ­theatera­rtsguild.­org

ReSources for Sustainable Communities Over the years, ReSources has played an important role in environmental action here in our area. Their focus is on marine habitat, and they house the local Baykeeper program, which is part of the national Riverkeeper program started by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. They also run several educational programs and manage the ReStore, which re-sells recycled building materials and fixtures. ­re-sources.org

© Craig Monette

Surfrider started with a goal to stop contamination of beaches and shorelines.

Conservation Northwest works to protect wolves and other species state-wide.

Surfrider, NW Straits Chapter Surfers started Surfrider out of a concern about the erosion and contamination of beaches and shorelines where they loved to play. Now an international organization that advocates for clean, healthy waterways and beaches, Surfrider opened a chapter here in Bellingham with a focus on marine and coastal planning. nws.surfrider.org Pipeline Safety Trust Formed from the ashes of the 1999 pipeline explosion that claimed four lives in Whatcom County, the PST advocates for pipeline safety in communities all over the world. pstrust.org 

Holiday Issue  December 201363

How to Choose a Charity A step-by-step guide on informed giving

With so many charities to choose from it can be overwhelming to decide where to spend your time or your money. Here are a few ways to narrow down which nonprofit is right for you. Step 1 Begin with a broad search. Focus on organizations that support causes you have a heart for. From there, consider using websites like Charitynavigator.com, ­GreatNonprofits.org, Philanthropedia and GiveWell.org to get further insight. A personal favorite, Charity Navigator is America’s leading independent charity evaluator. They work to advance a more efficient and responsive philanthropic marketplace by evaluating the financial health, accountability, and transparency of 6,000 of America’s largest charities. Step 2 Schedule an over-the-phone interview or in-person meet up. Choose your top two or three charities and ask to speak to someone in their development department. They will be happy to accommodate that request. If you are planning on making a long term commitment to a charity, whether you plan to give large sums or not, you need to have a full understanding of the business model’s inner workings. Step 3 Ask for program data. Don’t be shy about asking for a charity’s annual report as well as program data that tracks their activities. You want to be able to analyze the metrics by which they track their progress and ascertain that you’re involvement would be beneficial. However, don’t be too critical. Some problems can be extremely difficult to solve and you don’t want to punish charities for working on those very important issues. Step 4 Go with your gut. If you’ve done the broad search, focused in on a charity, and have found them to a passionate group of people with integrity: give. Sometimes all the data and research in the world can’t replace the peace one has. Ultimately, the path you choose to philanthropy will enable those who have put their life’s work into a cause that means something very special to them. 64 NorthSoundLife.com

“Free” Ways to Give Generously: Generosity takes various forms. Handing over your credit card isn’t always a requirement. Instead, here are a few other ways to get involved that are just as valuable. 1. Download the VolunteerMatch App on iTunes. One of the most popular volunteer network finders for your iPhone or iPad, the VolunteerMatch app is an award-­ winning service that makes it easy for good people and good causes to connect. You can search 62,000 open volunteer opportunities to find the perfect one for you. Discover needs closest to where you live. Whether that includes helping load and sort boxes at your local food bank or volunteering for early childhood literacy programs with VolunteerMatch you will begin to see how much there is for you to get involved in and how much you have to offer. itunes.com, ­volunteermatch.org 2. Clean out your closet. If you are fortunate enough to have more clothes than you need, why not make space by removing some of the items you don’t wear anymore? Donating clothes is one of the oldest needs in the neighborhood, but nonetheless, important. With several Goodwill drop-offs in our county, take advantage of the ease of helping in this way as well as getting a jump start on New Year organizing. seattlegoodwill.org 3. Install the Firefox plugin Browse for a Cause. If you do most of your shopping online, take 30-seconds and install Browse for a Cause on your computer. This Firefox plugin silently runs in the background while donating a percentage of your purchases to charity. A genius tracking system, it can recognize when online shopping merchants like Amazon have affiliate programs which return a percentage (usually 3–5%) of sales to partners. The browser add-on will then appropriately locate the affiliate revenue generated and donate it. browseforacause.com

Give Yourself the Gift of Fulfillment this Season No matter if you’ve always given or if you feel compelled to start a new tradition, this time of year is the perfect opportunity to open yourself to giving. It is the generous in our community who are instrumental in helping our community to thrive, while also changing the world for the better. We offer a big thank you to donors big and small who open their hearts and wallets for a good cause. 

MEET THE CHEFS Interviews by Dakota Mackey Photography by Ryan Duclos

We teamed up with local chefs to find out what foods define the holidays for them, what they enjoy making for their friends and family and what ingredients they love to use this time of year. The chefs from Willows Inn, Pure Bliss Desserts, The Fork at Agate Bay and Fool’s Onion Catering each prepared a dish that most represents the season for them. For the full e­ xperience, these recipes are available on our website northsoundlife.com. Join us in the kitchen with these great culinary artists.

Shopping List

JOHN RUSSEL opened The Fork at Agate Bay with his wife Gina in 2009. 2530 N. Shore Dr., Bellingham

Why is this holiday dish your favorite? Here in the PNW there is such a plethora of crab in people’s freezers, and we are all pulling our last tomatoes before the frost hits. A lot of them are green, so it’s a good use of the bounty. The dish is really easy to put together as well so it takes you out of the kitchen allowing more time with your guests. Do you have any special holiday traditions? Ahhh. At my house in Virginia it’s oysters baked on the half shell with bacon, grated onion and Velveeta...yep Velveeta. Also we tend to drink quite a bit of Nelson’s Blood, which is a champagne cocktail with tawny port. What are your favorite seasonal ingredients to use during the holidays? Root Vegetables any way you can cook them. I also enjoy pomegranates and cranberries. How did you get your start as a chef? My mom. There were five of us, so she was always cooking. And she wrote a cookbook a few years back!

What is your favorite part about this time of year? Knowing that the snow is going to fly soon! What do you find is the most rewarding part of your job? To hear of people’s happy experiences with the food and full bellies. What are your go-to sources for holiday recipes? I use my kitchen staff for a lot of our recipes. We have all come from all different experiences so it’s fun to collaborate. But when cooking at home, I go straight to my mom’s cookbook.

I taste in my natural appetite the bond of living things everywhere. Lucille Clifton, cutting greens

Do you stick to the traditional holiday dishes? I go back and forth, but I try to put a new twist into anything traditional. What is a good dish to bring to a holiday potluck? Pork Belly. What is your favorite holiday beverage? Bourbon.

DUNGENESS NAPOLEON WITH FRIED GREEN TOMATOES AND BACON VINAIGRETTE serves 4–6 Shopping List …… …… …… …… …… …… …… …… …… …… …… …… ……

For the recipe visit our website.

1 lime 6 eggs garlic 1 Tbsp cilantro 1 green onion 1 red bell pepper 2 tsp ginger 1 Tbsp bay 1 Tbsp mayo 1 cup panko 1 lb lump crab meat 5 green tomatoes milk

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cornmeal flour salt pepper 1 shallots 1/2 cup apple cider vinaigrette 1/4 cup brown sugar 1 cup canola oil 1 cup olive oil 3 Tbsp Dijon mustard 5 slices of bacon 1 lemon paprika

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ANDI VANN had been a caterer for 4 years before opening Pure Bliss in 2010. 1424 Cornwall Ave., Bellingham

Why is this holiday dessert your favorite? This is a new recipe here at Pure Bliss, adored by all our staff! Creamy Pumpkin Wedges with Crumble topping really makes the BEST go-to treat. It is a combination of all our favorite fall flavors: Silky Pumpkin Puree, a combination of freshly ground spices, toasted nuts and an oat crumble topping for an extra crunch. Add a scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream and you have just gone to a new level of deliciousness. It’s like eating an upgraded version of Pumpkin Pie … all season long. Do you have any special holiday traditions? YES! We love baking with seasonal flavors — especially those produced locally. In October and November, we embrace sugar pie pumpkins, roasting them and pureeing them until silky and smooth. Then we add some beautiful spices and other ingredients to create pies, bars, cheesecakes, muffins and layered cake. December we welcome heavy doses of Ginger, Molasses and Crème de Menthe into our kitchen

to whip up a few desserts that bring in Christmas cheer. How did you get your start as a chef? My mom. She loved cooking for our family when I was younger. When I heard activity in the kitchen, I would stop whatever important game I was playing to hop on the kitchen counter and watch her cook. She never used a cook book or a recipe — she just went off feel and EVERY meal was delicious. As the years progressed, I helped her more and more with meals, getting comfortable with being in the kitchen; dicing, chopping, sautéing and learning the “feel” of things. Then I started reading cookbooks for fun and to learn to nuances of ingredients and how to blend them together to create delicious things. By adulthood, the passion for baking was in my blood, I couldn’t stay out of the kitchen…busting out chocolate chip cookies; mixed and baked in 28 minutes flat. After graduating college with a Psychology Degree and working in an Organizational Development firm for 4 years, it was clear that my need to bake was greater

than any other calling. So, a few more months of recipe development and bam! Pure Bliss was born in 2008. What is your favorite part about this time of year? The colors changing outside, the warm homes with spiced cider on the stove and friends gathered around, the family time around the dinner table filled with seasonal offerings harvested locally. What is a good dish to bring to a holiday potluck? When it comes to potlucks, I am all about bringing bite-size, easy accessible desserts. So typically, delicious dessert wedges, cookies and petite cupcakes. This way, each guest can easily snag one or two of whatever looks good to them in the moment, and of course come back for more as the event continues. What is your favorite holiday beverage? Double shot, 12 oz Americano with eggnog. YUM. I consume these at dangerous levels.

CREAMY PUMPKIN WEDGES WITH CRUMBLE TOPPING serves 6–8 Shopping List …… …… …… …… …… …… …… ……

For the recipe visit our website.

all-purpose flour granulated sugar brown sugar salt 1 cup oats 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter 1/2 cup pecans 4 oz cream cheese

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1 cup pumpkin puree 1 egg 1 tsp ground cinnamon 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg 1/8 tsp allspice 1/8 tsp ground ginger 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

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DEREK SOM started at Oboe Café in September 2013. 714 Lakeway Dr., Bellingham

What is your favorite holiday dish? Chicken Pot Pies or Sweet Potatoes. Do you have any special holiday traditions? My favorite tradition is spending time with family. My wife and I just had Jackson, our first child, so we are so excited to share him with our family this season. What are your favorite seasonal ingredients to use during the holidays? I love parsnips and beets, they have can have various palate variations on how you cook them, whether you caramelize them for sweet sugary flavors or you stew them for a savory dish. How did you get your start as a chef? I was a food service officer in the United States Coast Guard. What is your favorite part about this time of year? The family meal. Too often we eat on the go, or we eat in front of the television, or miss meals together completely.

For me the holiday meal with family and friends is a celebration of the family unit, a place to feel understood and welcomed. What do you find is the most rewarding part of your job? The ability to create memories for people, whether it is a meal on your wedding day or a business lunch when you were able to close the deal. I love being part of human experience. What are your go-to sources for holiday recipes? I feel a little embarrassed, but I do use the Martha Stewart Living website more than once or twice.

The world begins at a kitchen table. No matter what, we must eat to live. Joy Harjo, Here

What do you do with leftovers? Anything goes great between two slices of bread. What is your favorite holiday beverage? The Kulshan Brewing Royal Tenenbaum Christmas Ale.

CHICKEN POT PIE serves 4 Shopping List …… …… …… …… …… …… …… …… ……

For the recipe visit our website.

3 whole chicken breasts, split olive oil Kosher salt freshly ground black pepper 5 cups chicken stock 2 chicken bouillon cubes 1 lb unsalted butter 2 yellow onions 2 cups all-purpose flour

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1/4 cup heavy cream 3 large carrots (2 cups) 10-oz frozen peas 1 1/2 cups frozen small white onions 1/2 cup Italian parsley baking powder 1/2 cup vegetable shortening 1 egg

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KRISTINE KAGER opened Fool’s Onion in 2002. 5305 Northwest Ave., Bellingham

Why is this holiday dish your favorite? This cassoulet is an easy dish to offer to large group of guests with very little hassle. It’s a one-pot meal you can make ahead, so it’s perfect for the holidays. It’s very hearty yet elegant and makes a beautiful presentation when it arrives at the table. The aromas fill the house. I recommend offering it with green salad, locally made bread and bottle of red wine. It’s the perfect Christmas Eve dinner.

pedicure with Bailey, and working with Lance and the rest of the staff at Greene’s Corner on Christmas Day.

Do you have any special holiday traditions? NUTCRACKER!!!! Our 9-year-old daughter Bailey dances at Northwest Ballet, and this will be her 6th Nutcracker season. We watch as many times as we can both on stage and via internet. We can’t get enough! This is a busy time of year for caterers, and it’s a lot of work. But we get to cook for some of favorite clients and share in their holiday traditions. A few of my favorite traditions are a drive through town with Bailey looking at Christmas lights while listening to Joni Mitchell, getting a holiday

How did you get your start as a chef? In 1985, I worked the line at small family owned deli/burger joint in Gig Harbor called the Span Deli Inn. It’s no longer there — it was torn down when the second Narrows Bridge was built. I’ve been cooking ever since.

What are your favorite seasonal ingredients to use during the holidays? I love warm spices. There’s just nothing cozier than a house filled with the smell of clove, cinnamon and nutmeg. Some other seasonal ingredients I love are butternut squash, pomegranate, kale and pork tenderloin.

What is your favorite part about this time of year? I love the coziness, warmth and candlelight. And braised dishes.

What are your go-to sources for holiday recipes? The Flavor Bible By Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. I also find good recipes on the Internet, and I have a lot of past recipes that I use. Do you stick to the traditional holiday dishes? No, I like to shake it up a bit and try new recipes and flavor combinations. What is a good dish to bring to a holiday potluck? Cassoulet. What do you do with leftovers? Very rarely left over cassoulet! With other items we eat them or turn them into a hearty soup. What is your favorite holiday beverage? Homemade Egg Nog. Lance’s mother has a great recipe.

What do you find is the most rewarding part of your job? Being part of a memorable event.

CHRISTMAS CASSOULET serves 8–10 Shopping List …… …… …… …… …… …… …… …… …… …… …… ……

For the recipe visit our website.

5 cups white beans, dried 2 Tbsp vegetable oil 1 Tbsp whole peppercorns 1 large yellow onion (1 1/2 cups) 2 large carrots (1 1/2 cups) 1 bunch celery (1 1/2 cups) 3 large parsnips (1 1/2 cups) 1 cup white wine 1 bunch Italian parsley 1 bunch fresh thyme 13 whole tomatoes 8 cloves garlic


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chicken or duck stock (8­–­10 oz, homemade if possible) 1/2 cup tomato puree 3–4 unseasoned bread crumbs salt and pepper duck (4–5 lbs): thawed, back bone removed, divided into 6 pieces 1 lb sausage links 3 lbs lamb shanks cheese cloth kitchen twine

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Š Jim Henkens

BLAINE WETZEL has been the chef at The Willows Inn since 2010. 2579 W. Shore Dr,. Lummi Island

What do you find is the most rewarding part of your job? Making people happy every day, seeing families and couples having a really memorable experience with us. How did you get your start as a chef? Just working in a kitchen during high school, and I just kept at it. What is your favorite holiday dish? Wild mushrooms with woodruff. Do you have any special holiday traditions? Not really, mostly just catching up with family and enjoying time with them. What are your favorite seasonal ingredients to use during the holidays? I love cooking with winter squash, it is something I look forward to and enjoy cooking all winter long.

What is your favorite part about this time of year? The wild mushrooms! What are your go-to sources for holiday recipes? Time Life cookbooks.

“My palate hung with starlight: As I tasted the salty Pleiades Orion dipped his foot into the water.”

Do you stick to the traditional holiday dishes? Yes, for the most part. What is a good dish to bring to a holiday potluck? Chicken Escebeche. What do you do with leftovers? Escebeche sandwiches.

Seamus Heaney, Oysters

What is your favorite holiday beverage? Hot spiced cider.

WILD MUSHROOMS WITH WOODRUFF serves 4 Shopping List ……

2 lbs wild mushrooms (­cultivated oyster mushrooms and cinnamon cap mushrooms. Available from Cascade Mushrooms.) oil 1 bay leaf 1 sprig rosemary shallot

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woodruff 2 cups white wine 8 oz butter salt pepper whole wheat bread (in chunks) 1 Tbsp ricotta cheese

© Joe Ray

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For the recipe visit our website.

Holiday Issue  December 201375

1 Annual Photo Contest 2013 st

When we think about what makes this area such a great place to live, two things spring to mind — the abundant natural beauty that surrounds us, and the warmth of our neighbors and friends. The photographs that our contest participants submitted were of such high quality, our judges had to work hard to select the winners. Congratulations to Kristy Torres, who receives free roundtrip tickets from Bellingham to Reno on ­Allegiant Air, 2 nights at the Peppermill Casino Resort Spa and 2 nights at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe. We hope you share your photos with us of your great trip!

Grand-prize sponsored by:

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Kristy Torres Reflection of Mt. Shuskan in a pool of water from melted snow

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Danny Lauve Sailboat in waters off Guemes Island

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Debbie Jansen Lavender Field on San Juan Island

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Susan Brendon Fort on Guemes Island

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Linda Gray Waterfall at Whatcom Falls Park

Sarah Arquitt Tulip Fields in the Skagit Valley

Elvira Butler Corner of Holly and Prospect St., Bellingham

Mike Vigoren Light Trails at the Northwest Washington Fair 2013


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Brandon Artino Ptarmigan Ridge

James Wells At the outlet of Lake MacDonald, Glacier National Park

Elisabeth Katyal Summer Hay Bales at Hovander, Ferndale

Jennie Jansen Blue Heron at Oak Harbor Marina

Ray Morris Sunset over Salish Sea

Experience Hands-on Cooking while enjoying a Full Course Meal including wine tastings!

Chef Dan Van Norman

of 13moons cooks up Northest Fresh cuisine with wine pairings provided by Tulip Valley Winery and a surprise guest winery!

Bham Alive Mag-htruong_horz PROOF.indd 2

11/12/2013 2:15:53 PM

Excellence in Diagnosis, Neurosurgery and Recovery Five Star Rating for Back-Neck Spinal Fusion Excellence 2011-2012


January 16th 6p.m. - 9p.m. David Baker MD

David Goldman MD

Barry Landau MD

Michael Lawrence MD

Tung Ha DO

For complete menu and details go to meetthechef13moons.eventbrite.com Sponsored by, Carlton McQueen MD

Pain Management Specialist

Fourth Corner Neurosurgical Associates PS, Inc. NORTH SOUND LIFE

judd & black Your Hometown Appliance Store!


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710 Birchwood Ave, Suite 101, Bellingham 360-676-0922 web: fourthcornerneuro.com

© Dakota Mackey


Dining Guide • 7 Good Things • Restaurant Reviews



on’t be fooled by Temple Bar’s name. Though it may have originally been named after the famous bar in Dublin, it neither serves Guinness nor pub food. Instead, dates are stuffed with goat cheese, wrapped in prosciutto and drizzled with balsamic reduction, which permeates the entire restaurant with a sweet, balsamic smell. The stuffed dates are one of Temple Bar’s classic dishes for good reason—unscrolling themselves in your mouth, revealing the trifecta of pleasure: creamy, sweet and salty. The stuffed dates have been on Temple Bar’s menu for quite a while, but perhaps not as long as the cheese plate, which has been around since the opening in 2002 by previous owner, Liz Dean. Current owner, Chelsea Farmer, first applied to work at Temple Bar because of her admiration for the cheese plate. Chelsea was teaching English in Taiwan when she decided she wanted to work in the restaurant industry. She made a list of her favorite places and applied. After working as a waitress for a year, she took over ownership in 2004, acquired a liquor license and expanded into a second room. The cheese plate that Farmer is so fond of comes with three rotating cheeses, which always vary in texture and pungency. The plate is embellished with pairings like salty pistachios, tangy olives and honey for drizzling, along with fresh baguette. Farmer recommends wine with the cheese or Lillet Blanc, a French fortified wine, which is typically meant as a palate cleanser. It is sweet, clean and fresh poured over ice with orange rind. “My heart belongs to the Temple Bar cheese plate,” Farmer said. “I don’t make money off it, but it’s dear to me, and I just want you to be full of cheese when you leave.” Temple Bar has blossomed, offering seasonal food menus to pair with exceptional cocktails. continued on page 86  …

D I NE Rest aurant Reviews

DINING KEY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . up to $9 . . . . . . . . . . . . . $10–19 . . . . . . . . . . . . $20–29 . . . . . . . . $30 or greater . . . . . . . . . . . . Breakfast . . . . . . . . . . . . . Brunch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lunch . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dinner . . . . . . . . . Family-Friendly . . . . . . . . . . . . . Takeout . . . . . . . . Outdoor Seating   . . . . . . . . . . Reservations   . . . . . . . . . . Happy Hour . . . . . . . . . New Review See all our restaurant reviews on our Eat and Drink tab at northsoundlife.com

ISLANDS DOE BAY CAFE American 107 Doe Bay Rd., Orcas Island 360.376.8059, doebay.com/cafe/cafe.html Whether you’re heading toward the San Juan Islands or don’t mind taking a trip for an unbelievable meal, be sure to make reservations at the ever-popular Doe Bay Cafe. The cafe is set in the Doe Bay garden, providing a beautiful view and the majority of the cafe’s organic ingredients. Owners Joe and Maureen Brotherton have stuck to their philosophy of taking good care of their visitors by providing world-class dishes made by Executive Chef Abigael Birrell. Choose from a selection of delicious dishes such as Huevos Rancheros with free range, organic over-easy eggs with black beans on griddled corn tortillas or the Pan Roasted Point King Salmon served with a carrot ginger sauce and smoky fried chickpeas and charmoula.   DUCK SOUP INN American 50 Duck Soup Ln., Friday Harbor 360.378.4878, ducksoupinn.com Sitting on the border of the woods at Duck Soup Inn is one of the most delightful dining experiences you’ll likely experience. The outside eating area of this restaurant — located almost midway between Friday Harbor and Roche Harbor on San Juan Island — opened last year and offers tables for dinner as well

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as a couple of couches for pre-dinner drinks. The meals here match the atmosphere: fresh and natural outside; sophisticated country kitchen feel inside. Appetizers include tender calamari with a light salad; twice baked corn soufflé with green chili lime cream and goat cheese; and house-smoked oysters with a cilantro almond pesto. A main course of Alaskan Weathervane Scallops with whipped potatoes and a blue cheese crema followed was followed by a Chocolate Panna Cotta paired perfectly with a pear liquor. Every bite offered freshness and flavor. The food was largely local and every dish was garnished with flowers from owner and executive chef Gretchen Allison’s own garden.   PRIMA BISTRO French 201 1/2 First St., Langley 360.221.4060, primabistro.com A quintessential South Whidbey dining ­experience in the heart of Langley, Prima Bistro marries gourmet French cuisine and classic Northwest ingredients. Fried Spanish Marcona Almonds arrive steaming hot, glisteningly crisp and in a glory of flavor — and just in time a glass of Pinot Grigio. The selection of reds and whites offers options for connoisseurs of every stripe, along with a full bar. The Burgundy Snails in Herb Butter taste delightfully creamy, with an uncharacteristically soft, yet enjoyable texture. The Bistro Burger is a juicily grilled patty of Oregon beef, topped with a deliciously thick slice of melted white Cheddar; a burger made in heaven! For fabulous food, elegant ambience and world-class views, be sure to visit the Prima on your next visit to Whidbey Island.   VINNY’S Seafood 165 W. St., Friday Harbor 360.378.1934 vinnysfridayharbor.com Owner Becky Day welcomes diners to Vinny’s Ristorante in Friday Harbor, mirroring the feel of this warm Italian restaurant. Dishes change monthly and reflect the desire of Chef Daniel Van Hamsersfeld to serve simple, everyday fare. His appetizers of Fior de Latte — a caprese salad — and mushroom medley (mushrooms with a Marsala demi glaze and cambozola cheese) are perfect for sharing and leave space for a summery Capellini Mediteranea (prawns and clams in a light white wine and olive oil sauce). As well as a good selection of pastas, Vinny’s has seafood and meat entrées, many of them traditional favorites like Veal Marsala and Chicken Picatta. The cocktail list includes old favorites and some fun offerings like the Crantini and a rhubarb margarita. Top off a meal with crème brûlée — a light, roomtemperature custard topped with a layer of burnt sugar.  

SKAGIT A’TOWN BISTRO Regional NW 418 Commercial Ave., Anacortes, 360.899.4001 Colorful photographs of farm scenes dot the walls of A’Town Bistro, summing up all this restaurant stands for: Fresh, local, seasonal food. Even the inside of this Anacortes restaurant feels farm-like, with simple wooden tables and flooring and no unnecessary flourishes. The kitchen is open, and sends out entrees such as Smoked Salmon Cakes (which contain nothing but king salmon and breadcrumbs and come with a tomato-caper coulis and garlic aioli), Pork New York (pan seared with an apple cider gastrique), a Wild Boar Burger, and Ancho Chili & Chicken Stew. Appetizers include the restaurant’s signature fries, which are twice fried and tossed in truffle-parmesan salt. Both beer and wine are on tap here. Both taps and bottles offer some great representatives from local and international producers. Settle in, and enjoy food, drink, and a fire that roars away between the entrance and the dining room, keeping diners warm in both body and spirit.  – 

IL GRANAIO Italian 100 E. Montgomery St., Ste. 110, Mount Vernon 360.419.0674, granaio.com Chef Alberto Candivi arrives at Il Granaio in downtown every morning to make the day’s pastas by hand, sculpting basic ingredients into the building blocks for lavish, rich Italian dishes served throughout the day. When the ingredients call for a lighter hand, his restaurant also turns out reserved, delicate dishes. Il Granaio is a practice in the intricacies of cuisine, displaying the best flavors Italian food has to offer. With more than 30 items on the entrée menu, the list can be quite daunting. Il Granaio’s dessert menu is just as lush as the entrée menu. The wine menu is expansive, and the beer menu features several local craft brews. Their grappa selection does the Italian cordial the justice it deserves.   NELL THORN Seafood 205 Washington St., La Conner 360.466.4261, nellthorn.com This small-town gem located in the heart of La Conner brings in tourists and locals alike. They boast well-prepared and locally sourced fresh seafood as well as an extensive wine and beer list. The charming and cozy pub atmosphere, homemade soups and generous portions make for a great special occasion or romantic evening. Try the polenta cakes with cured black olive and roasted garlic tomato sauce — you won’t be disappointed.  



ina looked at her husband and said, “They come because of your cooking!” Kirby smiled and said, “No, they come to see you!” Kirby is the only cook in Homeskillet’s kitchen — the colorful, spunky breakfast and lunch joint on Kentucky Street. The couple first met when they were cooking breakfast for 1,200 scientists and support staff in Antarctica. After traveling and going back to Antarctica to cook four times, Kirby and Tina made it back to Kirby’s home town: Bellingham. With experience in the industry and knowing how much work is involved, they had no intention of starting their own restaurant. “We always said we’re not stupid enough to open a restaurant,” Tina said. When she heard the building was for sale and that it had potential for a commercial kitchen, she jumped at the chance. A week later, the sellers accepted their offer. “To open a restaurant, you definitely have to be crazy, and I think we are the right kind of crazy,” she said. Tina thought of naming it Homeskillet after the famous line in the movie “Juno,” when Juno McGuff says, “This is one doodle that can’t be un-did Homeskillet.” “If you’re a Homeskillet, you’re good buddies,” she said. Kirby and Tina enjoy the camaraderie of the restaurant. They said when they first opened in May 2012, people were hesitant to sit at community tables, but now people sit down, eat breakfast together and end up leaving to go play frisbee together, for example. The “Homeskillet” on the menu, a personal skillet filled with homefries, scrambled eggs and choice of toppings, was an afterthought. Tina said, “We were like “Oh well we should probably put something in a skillet.” The “Homeskillet” is a popular choice, but not quite as much as pulled pork tater tot hash-n-eggs. Tina calculated that, on average, Kirby fries 720 eggs and cuts 700 pounds of potatoes per week.“It’s overwhelming quite often,” Kirby said. “I just put my head down and get it done.” Tina works the front of the house with the help of usually one or two staff members.“I was nervous to be the front of the house, but I love it.” Homeskillet has plenty of regulars whom Tina knows by name and Kirby recognizes by face through the kitchen window. “We thank the community for making us feel so welcome,” Kirby said. They didn’t expect to be so busy. To keep up with the demand, they are putting in an additional prep area.

For the second year in a row, they were voted “Best Breakfast” by Cascadia Weekly’s “Best of Bellingham.” They are also ranked #15 for their breakfast in King 5’s “Best of Western Washington.” The restaurant has continued to keep its quirk with brightly painted walls, cheery staff and eccentric decorations. “We have a creepy clown in the bathroom,” Tina said. “Tina does it to cut down the time people spend in the bathroom,” Kirby said. Check out the clown and also Tina and Kirby’s personal favorite breakfast: the Homeskillet Poutine, wonderfully seasoned and fried potatoes topped with homemade traditional gravy, fried eggs and cheese. Wash it down with local brew from Hammerhead Coffee Roasters and a chat with Tina.  521 Kentucky St., Bellingham 360.676.6218 homeskilletinsunnyland.com

Holiday Issue  December 201385

SAKURA JAPANESE STEAKHOUSE Japanese 1830 S. Burlington Blvd., Burlington 360.588.4281, sakurasteakhouse.com Professional Teppan Yaki chefs take you on a journey of delicious and interactive dining at Burlington’s Sakura Japanese Steakhouse. Using the freshest ingredients and perfect seasonings, they stir-fry your meal right before your eyes, creating a fabulous feast. Choose from steak and chicken to salmon and shrimp; each meal is served with soup, salad, rice and vegetables. If it’s sushi you crave, they also offer a full sushi bar for even the most discriminating taste buds.   SEED’S BISTRO Regional NW 623 Morris St., La Conner 360.466.3280, seedsbistro.com

…  continued from page 83 The fall menu features a salad of kale from Cloud Mountain Farm and roasted Delicata squash. The bed of kale is dressed with a white balsamic vinaigrette, mixed with the sweetest slices of squash and sprinkled with farrow, an ancient grain that adds the must-needed chew. To top it off, the salad has a dollop of greek yogurt to round out the wonderfully calculated blend of flavors and textures. Farmer credits the customers for being able to modify the menu seasonally. “I feel comfortable changing our menu because people who come here are willing to try new things,” she said. The dynamic menu is also a result of the collaboration between Farmer and all Temple Bar staff. Everyone takes turns cooking, making the tastiest of libations and waiting tables. “I have employees that have been here almost as long as I’ve been here,” Farmer said. “It’s a tight-knit group of people, and everyone has a voice.” They experiment with flavors often through the daily specials. On a particular day there may be desserts like bourbon, apple bread pudding with caramel sauce. In a few moments, someone from the waitstaff will glide along the black and white checkered flooring with a boat of bread cubes, baked with thinly sliced apple, bourbon and spices. While the center may be soft, the top is crunchy, offering a juxtaposition of bright textures and flavors in a single mouthful.

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Seed’s Bistro in La Conner is a celebration of the fresh bounty of food offered in Skagit County. It offers simple dishes that highlight the fresh, exciting ingredients found throughout the Pacific Northwest. The menu features local selections rotated with the seasons. The macaroni and cheese features Northwest-favorite Cougar Gold cheese with a butter-crumb crust. Burgers are juicy, cooked perfectly, and served on homemade potato buns with the smallest bit of crunch and a fluffy interior. The whole family can enjoy Seeds’ offerings — comfort foods satisfy children’s desires while more intricate food items appease fastidious palates.  

WHATCOM BLACK PEARL Vietnamese 1255 Barkley Blvd., Bellingham 360.756.5003 202 E. Holly St. 117, Bellingham 360.318.7655 blackpearlbellingham.com

Maybe it’s the pink and green walls. Perhaps it’s the sparkling crystal chandeliers and the handsome black bar. There’s something about this place. It’s the place you’d catch up with a friend over a harmonious cocktail of homemade bitters and shrubs from herbs and flowers in Farmer’s garden. It’s the place to huddle over a piping hot dessert with a lover. Either way, you’ll be charmed at Temple Bar.  306 W. Champion St., Bellingham 360.676.8660 templebarbellingham.com

Bellingham has an abundance of Vietnamese restaurants; the trick is to find ones that stand out — like the Black Pearl. With all the available extras, it is almost impossible to get the same flavor twice. The pho is clean and refreshing with a variety of sauces to add as extra seasoning. It comes with a variety of types of meat, including round-eye, brisket and chicken, but vegetarians don’t despair, there’s an option for you, too. One nice feature of the Black Pearl’s menu is that it doesn’t only serve pho. Try the chicken or beef teriyaki, or a noodle bowl. The Black Pearl’s selection of crepes is second to none — everything from classic butter and cinnamon to New York Style Cheesecake with strawberry or raspberry jam.   BLUE FIN SUSHI Japanese 102 S. Samish Way, Bellingham 360.752.2583, bluefinbellingham.com At Blue Fin Sushi, fresh sushi is used to create a variety of tasty options like the Tekka roll,

which is seaweed, rice and tuna. The waitstaff is friendly and it’s always entertaining to watch the chefs at work. Blue Fin also offers a full menu of non-sushi food items. Its version of fish and chips, for example, is a must-try: tempura fried salmon pieces served with sweet potato fries with a creamy wasabi sauce for dipping. Blue Fin Sushi also serves a variety of teriyaki, orange chicken and bento boxes.   BRANDYWINE KITCHEN Regional NW 1317 Commercial St., Bellingham 360.734.1071, brandywinekitchen.com Named for the decadent heirloom tomatoes grown on their farm, the owners source much of their ingredients locally and hold the “from seed to plate” philosophy. The menu offers vegetarian and gluten-free options (like ricePanko Fish and Chips), and includes beer from both Boundary Bay and Chuckanut breweries. Try the Quinoa-Salmon Cakes with red pepper aioli or a BLT with Hempler’s bacon and maple-tomato relish. Don’t miss the Hibiscus Iced Tea for a refreshing sip or treat yourself to a Raspberry Champagne Cocktail.   CIAO THYME ON THE SIDE CAFE Eclectic 207 Unity St., Bellingham 360.927.4890, ciaothyme.com For those who have experienced Ciao Thyme’s gourmet dinners and cooking classes, the new Ciao Thyme on the Side Café is a welcome addition to the delicious work of Jessica and Mataio Gillis, owners of Ciao Thyme catering. As with everything Ciao Thyme does, ­ingredients are fresh, local and in season. Choose soups, salads and sandwiches a la carte, or create a plate with a selection of all three for a hearty and satisfying lunch.

that changes on an almost daily basis (based on what’s fresh at the market that day), the Fireside has a lot to offer the casual diner and those more focused on detail. The Fireside claims to have the largest “by the glass” wine selection in Bellingham, none of which are served anywhere else in the area. Cocktails are based on in-house infusions of spirits and it’s a collection found only at Fireside. Beer options range from local to obscure to international. The decor in Fireside is welcoming and intimate, with couches and armchairs throughout the lounge.

Northwest Fresh Cuisine

  THE FORK AT AGATE BAY Eclectic 2530 N. Shore Rd., Bellingham 360.733.1126, theforkatagatebay.com As unassuming as they come, The Fork at Agate Bay is a quiet retreat of fine food and wine only a short drive down the east side of Lake Whatcom. Be careful not to be fooled by its quaint exterior; inside you’ll discover a surprisingly upscale atmosphere warmed by a welcoming and rustic charm. Opened in June 2009, it has gained recognition as one of Bellingham’s best restaurants, emerging as a favorite for food connoisseurs. From a simple yet elegant egg breakfast to wild-mushroomstuffed chicken, the menu is a delightful and modern take on the classics. With a full wine bar, an in-house baker and fresh, local ingredients, The Fork at Agate Bay provides a sophisticated twist on Northwest dining.

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Monthly Wine, Beer and Specialty Dinners Business Lunch Hot Spot Group Seating

714 Lakeway Drive, Bellingham 360.671.1011 | thelakewayinn.com/dining



  DASHI NOODLE BAR Japanese 1311 N. State St., Bellingham 360.305.1500, dashinoodlebar.com The name “Dashi” refers to the delicious savory Japanese broth in which the noodles are served. Pan Asian influences are combined with fresh local ingredients and serving large comforting bowls of steaming noodles. Everything is made from scratch. The broth is simmered with either beef or mushrooms with Asian spices to create a complex, rich broth. The menu allows diners to customize their “bowl” — the choices being three types of noodles, three types of dashi, tofu, vegetables and meats. For a treat, try a steam bun, a soft pillowy bun folded around a savory filling, topped with Napa cabbage and a coconut curry or hoisin sauce. The menu also includes seasonal chilled rice noodle bowls and appetizers.   FIRESIDE MARTINI & WINE BAR Dinner/Bar 416 W. Bakerview Rd., Bellingham 360.738.1000, firesidemartini.com Fireside is out to make a name for itself. By using fresh, local ingredients and a menu

and if you like our Sandwiches, you’re gonna love our...

WRAPS in Fairhaven BURGERS at James St GRINDERS on Railroad avenuebread.com 

Holiday Issue  December 201387

Catering • Events • Private Rooms

THE FOUNTAIN BISTRO Eclectic 1910 Broadway, Bellingham 360.778.3671, thefountainbistro.com The Fountain adds a new spice to its location at the junction of three historic Bellingham neighborhoods. The Fountain features fresh takes on salads, hot and cold sandwiches, “crepe stacks” and quiche. The quiche is light and fluffy, and comes in a bacon and cheese variety or veggie. Baked in a crepe-like pastry shell, set inside its own personal ramekin, it’s the perfect size and consistency for a nice lunch, especially served with a side salad with a white balsamic vinaigrette. There are two varieties of crepe stacks, featuring chicken and salmon, but get them fast, because it is not uncommon for them to sell out early on in the day.   IL CAFFE RIFUGIO Italian

Meet, Mingle & Party this holiday and thoughout the winter!

Open 7 days

Lunch 11:30 a.m. Mon - Sat Daily Happy Hour 3p.m.- 6p.m. Early Dinner Specials 3p.m. to 6 p. m. Full Dinner Menu Starting at 5 p.m.

Bellingham Marina, 21 Bellwether Way 360.714 8412, GiuseppesItalian.com

5415 Mount Baker Hwy., Deming 360.592.2888, ilcafferifugio.com Richard Balogh has brought fine dining to the “wilderness.” Fifteen miles out on Mount Baker Highway, just past Deming, is a funky old café that has been transformed into an oasis for people who enjoy good food and coffee. Menu items befit their Italian name with panninis and frittatas for Saturday/ Sunday brunches; Cioppino is a summer dinner menu highlight. Dinner menu changes weekly, begging for a second trip. A small covered deck with colorful lanterns sits adjacent to the dining room for your al fresco pleasure. Just beyond, in a meadow, sits a red deck used as a stage, and is the centerpiece for special dinners under the stars.  

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Craft Beers • Small Plates • Dancing • Live DJs • Live Entertainment Craft Beers • Small Plates • Dancing • Live DJs • Live Entertainment

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Craft Beers • Small Plates • Dancing • Live DJs • Live Entertainment

Introducing poppes 360 Introducing poppes 360

The best place for evening entertainment in Bellingham

Weʼve made a 360-degree in our offerings! In addition to our fabulous The best placechange for evening entertainment in Bellingham martinis and menu of Northwest Local Fare, we have an updated small plates menu Weʼve made a 360-degree change in our offerings! addition to our fabulous that and a new selection of 12 Washington regional CraftInBeers. Enjoy entertainment martinis and Top menu ofto Northwest Fare, have an updated small plates menu ranges from DJs Open MicLocal Night andwe Exciting Giveaways. Live entertainment and a new selection of 12local Washington regional Beers. Enjoy that on weekends showcases musicians. Home toCraft Bellingham’s largestentertainment outdoor Covered patio! ranges from Top DJs to Open Mic Night and Exciting Giveaways. Live entertainment on weekends showcases local musicians. Home to Bellingham’s largest outdoor Covered patio!

Featuring fabulous martinis and menu of Northwest Local Fare, we have an updated Mon.–Wed. 4 p.m.–11 p.m. (last call) and Happy Locatedainside small plates menu and newtheselection of Menu Hour Information Thursday 4 p.m.–12 a.am. (last call) Best Western Plus Lakeway Inn Fri. & Sat. p.m–1 a.m.p.m. (last(last call)call) 124Washington regional Craft Mon.–Wed. 4 p.m.–11 Located inside 714 Lakeway Dr the Beers. EnjoyMenu and Happy BEST Hour Information Sunday 4 4p.m.–10 (last call) Thursday p.m.–12p.m. a.am. (last call) Best Western Lakeway Inn Bellingham, WAPlus 98225 entertainment ranges from Top DJs to NORTH Fri. & Sat. 4 p.m–1 a.m. (last call) that www.thelakewayinn.com/events 714 Lakeway Dr 360.671.1011 SundayOpen 4 p.m.–10Mic p.m. (last call) Bellingham, WA 98225 Night and Exciting Giveaways.BEST WEST The best place for evening entertainment in Bellingham NORTH www.thelakewayinn.com/events www.facebook.com/poppes.bistro 360.671.1011 Live entertaiment on weekends showcasesWINNER WEST Weʼve made a 360-degree change in our offerings! In addition to our fabulous www.facebook.com/poppes.bistro local Bellingham’s largest WINNER martinis and musicians. menu of NorthwestHome Local Fare, to we have an updated small plates menu and a new selection of 12 Washington regional Craft Beers. Enjoy entertainment that outdoor covered patio! ranges from Top DJs to Open Mic Night and Exciting Giveaways. Live entertainment

Introducing poppes 360

on weekends showcases local musicians. Home to Bellingham’s largest outdoor Covered patio! Mon.–Wed. 4 p.m.–11 p.m. (last call) Thursday 4 p.m.–12 a.am. (last call) Fri. & Sat. 4 p.m–1 a.m. (last call) Sunday 4 p.m.–10 p.m. (last call)


Located inside the Best Western Plus Lakeway Inn 714 Lakeway Dr Bellingham, WA 98225 www.thelakewayinn.com/events


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Menu and Happy Hour Information



JALAPENOS MEXICAN GRILL Mexican 1007 Harris Ave., Bellingham, 360.656.6600 501 W. Holly St., Bellingham, 360.671.3099 2945 Newmarket Pl., Bellingham, 360.778.2041 jalapenos-wa.com Jalepenos Mexican Grill lures you in with promises of a cheap lunch special. But after looking at the menu, you’ll want so much more. You’ll find a masterpiece starting with the complimentary chips and salsa. Ask to see if they are featuring any types other than the normal red that day. The salsas exude freshness. A house favorite is the authentic “puffy tacos”. They’re messy, filled with shredded chicken, cheese and topped with guacamole, but worth the added effort of using a knife and fork. Of course, there’s a variety of flavored mojitos and margaritas, and Jalepenos doesn’t play around with their drinks. The glasses are huge, and the drink is good to the last drop.   KEENAN’S AT THE PIER American/Seafood 804 10th St., Bellingham 360.392.5510, thechrysalisinn.com Keenan’s at the Pier is the new restaurant in Fairhaven’s Chrysalis Inn & Spa. With the same stunning panoramic views of Bellingham Bay as its predecessor, any seat in

the restaurant is an excellent choice. Executive Chef Robert Holmes uses fresh ingredients that are regionally sourced, and the menu changes frequently. Happy hour runs from 3 to 6 p.m., and a number of tasty options are available for under $10, including truffle fries, chickpea cakes and spicy lamb sliders. Breakfast, lunch and dinner entrees range from seafood to American favorites. Try the garlic roasted chicken, halibut special or beef-battered fish and chips, made with Alaskan cod, hand cut fries and housemade coleslaw. The menu items are imaginative, tasty and beautifully presented. The wine list offers a mix of imports and domestic wines that pair well with your meal. Reservations at this popular restaurant are not required, though highly recommended.   MAGDALENAS Crêperie, European 1200 10th St., Ste. 103, Bellingham 360.483.8569, magdalenascreperie.com Paris, London, New York, Vancouver and Bellingham have them. Little shops where the aromas of sweet and savory crêpes, custom sandwiches and hot soup du jour fill the air. With a formidable selection of crêpes, it’ll take more than one trip to decide which is better, sweet or savory. But at this eatery, it is criminal to pass up the sweet little numbers filled with velvety smooth vanilla-flavored cream cheese, white chocolate and your choice of fresh fruit. A crêpe option for every crêpe crave.   MI MEXICO Mexican 241 Telegraph Rd., Bellingham 360.647.0073 Mi Mexico’s reputation as one of the local favorites among Mexican food lovers is well deserved. The experience starts with a warm, friendly, professional waitstaff in an enjoyable, upbeat atmosphere. And from there, Mi Mexico separates itself from the competition with a choice of traditional and non-traditional Mexican dishes that few Mexican restaurants in the Pacific Northwest offer, all made with the freshest of ingredients available. From your first bite of Mi Mexico’s homemade salsa to the last bite of your main entree or dessert, you will already be planning your next visit.   NEW YORK PIZZA & BAR Italian/Gourmet Pizza 902 State St., Bellingham 360.733.3171 8874 Bender Rd. #101, Lynden 360.318.0580, newyorkpizzaandbar.com If you love pizza, then you’re going to love New York Pizza and Bar. Not just because of the crispy, handmade dough (made fresh daily) or because of the fresh, high-quality ingredients or the amount of them that top each slice. But because New York Pizza is the master of pizza diversity. Anything you want on a pizza you’re likely to find here. Regardless of what you order, expect to be more than satisfied. There’s also a full bar and great happy hour selections.  

OLD WORLD DELI Mediterranean


1228 N. State St., Bellingham 360.738. 2090, oldworlddeli1.com Along with serving the finest deli meats and cheeses available, the owner creates housemade sausages, duck confit and pates, and fresh soups daily. Much more than a sandwich shop (and a fabulous sandwich at that), this is the place to find all the authentic ingredients for your Mediterranean cooking. They also deliver. Consider this the perfect place to enjoy a respite during the art walk or to meet before the theater.


  PEL’ MENI Russian 1211 N. State St., Bellingham 360.715.8324 Step off busy State Street after your late night festivities for an inexpensive and satisfying fill of plump dumplings. Stuffed with either meat or potatoes, these dumplings are piping hot and sprinkled with cumin, paprika and cilantro. Because they pair so well with tasty libations, Pel’ Meni manages to consistently have a line out the door as soon as the sun goes down. For $7, you’ll get a plastic, clam-shell container full of savory dumplings. Smother them with vinegar, sour cream and hot sauce for the full effect.   ROCKET DONUTS Bakery 11th and Harris Ave., Bellingham 360.672.6111, rocketdonuts.com With two locations, Rocket Donuts is an icon in Bellingham for its delectable donuts and sci-fi themed storefronts. The donuts are made fresh daily, giving them their fluffy, soft texture. Try the classic glazed or spice up your morning with maple-bacon bar. Rocket donuts is unique by offering vegan and gluten free options. Lift off your morning Rocket style.  

The following selections have made it past our taste bud test and into our top seven this issue. Step out and give them a try, you won’t be disappointed.

1 2

SCOTTY BROWNS North American Cuisine 3101 Newmarket St., Bellingham 360.306.8823 brownsrestaurantgroup.com/scottybrowns Scotty Browns offers an edgy, energetic ambiance, a varied menu of mainstream and upscale creations, and excellent drink options for all ages. Outdoor dining is a popular alternative during warmer weather. The selection of beer, wine and cocktails is broad enough to accommodate most any mood. If you are into martinis or cosmos, try the Mr. Pink. The name is a little unnerving to order if you are male, but worth the leap of faith. Some items on the menu, like appetizers, change seasonally, so you know you’ll never get bored. Casual to upscale dining options range from hamburgers, rice bowls and pastas to higher-end seafood and steaks.



The Eggs Benedict at the Cedars Restaurant in Ferndale is served with thick slices of ham, delicious hollandaise sauce, and is one of the best we have found in the area. 360.384.2847


We aren’t sure which is better: the pink velvet décor or the red velvet cake. Pure Bliss’ soft, yet dense, cocoa-based cake is finished with a luscious cream cheese frosting and decorated with rich, chocolate ganache. Bellingham. 360.739.1612, pureblissdesserts.com


Bring out the special agent in you and try the 007 Gimlet at Stella’s in downtown Bellingham, you won’t be able to stop at just one. 360.441.3222, ­stella311­.­com


The potato, gorgonzola and sausage pizza at La Fiamma is beautifully crafted. It has the perfect balance of creamy smooth textures, spunky spice and delicate herbs with a balsamic vinegar glaze to pull it all together. Bellingham. 360.647.0060, ­lafiamma.­com

Munch on a heaping pile of hush puppies at Bayou on Bay. Crunch through the crispy shell to the soft, steaming cornmeal center. Don’t forget to dip in the creamy remoulade! Bellingham. 360.752.2968, bayouonbay.com

The Steak Salad at Mambo Italiano in Fairhaven has a hint of spice and knocked our socks off! Bellingham. mamboitalianocafe.com

Step off the rainy streets of Bellingham, and slide into a colorful booth at Pepper Sisters. We love the garlic potato flautas — flavorful mashed potatoes wrapped in a crunchy corn tortilla. Bellingham. 360.671.3414, peppersisters.com

Holiday Issue  December 201389


Place: The Real McCoy Home Bar & Kitchen Ingredients: Bourbon, Aromatic Bitters, Gum Syrup, Orange Zest, Marasca Cherry Cost: $9

SKYLARK’S HIDDEN CAFE Eclectic 1308 11th St., Fairhaven 360.715.3642, skylarkshiddencafe.com Syklark’s Hidden Cafe in Fairhaven is worth seeking out. From decadent breakfast items such as Eggs Benedict and house specialty Banana Bread French Toast with Maple ­Walnut Topping to hearty dinner entrees such ­Halibut & Lobster Thermidor and New York Steak with Jack Daniels Herb Butter, the menu at Skylark’s is varied and every bite delicious. Come for the food and stay for the jazz on select evenings.   SUPER MARIO’S Salvadorian 3008 N.W. Ave, Bellingham 360.393.4637, super-marios.com Serving fresh, healthy meals with the customer in mind is what Super Mario’s is all about, and it’s the consistent flavor and quality of the food that keeps bringing people back. The veggies are chopped fresh daily, nothing is frozen, and nothing is cooked until it’s ordered. In addition, nothing is deep fried.  



tep into the 1920s at The Real McCoy Home Bar & Kitchen. The room is lit with candles, decorated with a black piano and filled with bustling patrons, sipping on their carefully-crafted libations. Bartender and owner, Brandon Wicklund, named the bar after William McCoy, a rum runner from the prohibition era who was known for having only the purest of spirits. The house specialty is the Old Fashioned, a blend of bourbon, aromatic bitters, and gum syrup — a Prohibition-era ingredient, similar to simple syrup — poured over one big ice cube and topped with orange zest. The best part, however, is the cherry. A rich, dark purple marasca cherry is skewered and placed for a sensational nectarous and chewy bite. Your reaction will probably be to order a whole bowl of them, and Brandon will laugh saying you’re not the first to request this. The Old Fashioned itself hits the tongue with a burst of bourbon, and

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an aftertaste of balanced sweet and bitter. The gum syrup, which is sourced from San Francisco, gives the drink a thicker mouth feel. The Real McCoy has their Old Fashioned on tap for quicker service and a consistent pour. It’s served on a single rock, which keeps it colder and takes much longer to dilute the drink than normal ice cubes. Sip on the burnt-orange, robust drink that The Real McCoy is known for; order a bowl of marcona almonds sprinkled with salt and lavender, and relax in the mellow, accommodating atmosphere.  The Real McCoy Home Bar & Kitchen 114 Prospect St, Bellingham Tue.–Sat. 4–11 p.m. 360.392.8051 therealmccoybar.wordpress.com

THE STEAK HOUSE AT SILVER REEF Steak/Seafood 4876 Haxton Way, Ferndale 360.384.7070, silverreefcasino.com This award-winning restaurant offers elegant dining and an intimate atmosphere. Primegrade steaks are broiled at 1,800 degrees to lock in the natural juices and finished with a special steak butter. The wine list is ample and recognized for its quality by Wine Spectator. This dining experiences rivals any of the bigtown steak houses in quality and service without the big-city price tag.   TWOFIFTY FLORA American 250 Flora St., Bellingham 360.778.8930, whatcommuseum.org Each week, be swept away by a different choice of tartine and soup from Bellingham’s own soup and toast bar. Located in the Lightcatcher Building of Whatcom Museum, Twofifty Flora’s ever-changing menu offers options labeled as omnivore, vegan and paleo, so customers know exactly what is in each item. You don’t need to have a dietary restriction to eat here; there is something for everyone. Sit on the patio and enjoy a tartine, such as one with smoked salmon spread, capers, pickled shallots and microgreens. Nibble on the arugula salad with exceptionally tangy apple-cider vinaigrette, and savor spoonfuls of creamy sweet potato soup with Italian sausage. Both the food and service is elegant, humble and completely satisfying.  

E ve nt s


The Nutcracker, Dec. 14


Northwest Ballet Theater’s cast of more than 100 dancers bring the classic holiday story of a young girl and her nutcracker to life. Artistic Director John Bishop’s rendition is based on the original choreography by Petipa and Ivanov in 1892 in Russia. Absorb yourself in the stunning technique, beautiful orchestra and lavish costumes and backdrops, which create a memorable experience for any age. Mount Baker Theatre 104 N. Commercial St., Bellingham 360.733.5793, mountbakertheatre.com SCOTTISH COUNTRY DANCE SOCIAL DEC. 14, 7:30 P.M.

Learn the social dance of Scotland in a fun group setting. There is no need for a partner, just show up in soft shoes and walk through all of the steps. The

Bellingham Scottish Country Dancer’s goal is to preserve the liveliness of Scottish Country Dancing, while offering participants an enriching experience of dance and music. YWCA 1026 N. Forest St., Bellingham 360.734.4820, ywcabellingham.org

Chorale led by Ryan Smit and the Bellingham Children’s Choir led by David Post for their annual holiday concert. The concert will include Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Polonaise from Christmas,” Eve Bizet’s “Farandole from L’Arlésienne” and “Bach’s Air from Orchestral Suite No. 3.” Mount Baker Theatre 104 N. Commercial St., Bellingham 360.733.5793, mountbakertheatre.com


Celebrate Christmas with the whole family at A Gift of Dance Studio’s winter production of “Night Before Christmas.” Don’t miss the talented dancers perform in vibrant costumes with festive choreography and music. Lynden Christian High School 503 Lyncs Dr., Lynden 360.318.3511, agiftofdance.org WHATCOM SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA HOLIDAY CONCERT DEC. 8, 3 P.M.


Celebrate the holidays with the Fidalgo Youth Symphony as they perform classical holiday pieces as well as smaller chamber works. The symphony is in its 18th year of leading young students in Northwest Washington to pursue their orchestral talents under the direction of Sharyn Peterson. McIntyre Hall 5201 E. College Way, Mount Vernon 360.416.7727, mcintyrehall.org

Whatcom Symphony Orchestra will join with the Bellingham Chamber 

Holiday Issue  December 201391


Indulge your ears in the strong sounds of this symphonic band of over 80 of young musicians. The ensemble plays standard literature like Holst, Grainger, Sousa and Reed. Many of the members are music majors and others are passionate, hardworking players. Western Concert Hall 516 High St., Bellingham 360.650.6146, wwu.edu


Sleeping beauty is the ultimate storybook romance ballet. View this world-renowned ballet from the comfort of Pickford Film Center. David Hallberg is the first ever American principal dancer for the Boilshoi Ballet. He is casted as Prince Desire. Svetlana Zakharova will dance in the female leading role as Princess Aurora. This production was the first ever performed in the new Bolshoi Theatre.

The Holiday Port Festival


o to the Bellingham Cruise Terminal this holiday season for their annual event, The Holiday Port Festival. Local performing groups, choirs and bands will entertain. Partake in art activities held by Allied Arts teaching artists and hop on a fire truck or horsedrawn wagon for a ride. While walking around the gingerbread house display, snack on free cookies and sip on hot apple cider. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be attending the event. Take a professional photo with your family to bring home. In the spirit of giving back this season, bring a non-perishable food item to donate to the

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Bellingham Food Bank to fight local hunger. Don’t forget to participate in the gingerbread house contest. Anyone is allowed to participate and build your own creative house. Choose a category to place in and get your chance to win prizes. Many of the gingerbread houses are donated to the silent auction running through the three-day event to benefit the Mount Baker Chapter to the American Red Cross and the Bellingham Food Bank.  Dec. 6–8 Bellingham Cruise Terminal 355 Harris Ave., Fairhaven Portofbellingham.com

Pickford Film Center 1318 Bay St., Bellingham 360.647.1300, pickfordfilmcenter.org PETIT FOURS: MINIATURE ART SHOW DEC. 6

Allied Arts is proud to host an art showing made up of over 100 local artists. The only requirement? All of the art pieces had to be no bigger than 6 inches in any direction. The show has many different mediums including sculpture, photography and paint. Allied Arts 1418 Cornwall Ave., Bellingham 360.676.8548, alliedarts.org AHA! AFTER HOURS ART: CONTEMPORARY NATIVE AMERICAN ARTISTS ON SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES DEC. 5, 6:30 P.M.

Ramon Murillo, an art instructor at Northwest Indian and Fairhaven Colleges, will speak about contemporary Native American artists who make art as a means to promote social change. Murillo’s own work is part of Washington’s Vanishing Ice exhibit. Whatcom Museum 250 Flora St., Bellingham 360.778.8930, whatcommuseum.org

The Paperboys, Dec. 7


DINING Enjoy relaxed fine dining in an intimate atmosphere.


The newly renovated,


multiple award-winning

DEC. 15, 12:30 P.M.

Steak House and Wine

Join What the Chelm! for a holiday concert at Whatcom Museum. They will play a festive mix of Hebrew, Ladino, Yiddish and Klezmer songs of celebration. The band has been performing together since 1993 in Northwest Washington. They also have two albums, “What the Chelm!” and “Oy, They’re Back!”

Room with additional seating is now open.

Old City Hall 121 Prospect St., Bellingham 360.778.8930, whatcommuseum.org

Open 7 days a week at 5PM. Reservations are not required, but highly recommended. Visit SilverReefCasino.com.


The Canadian folk band is coming to Bellingham’s Wild Buffalo for a night of Celtic Folk and bluegrass with country and soul influences. The band formed in 1991. Wild Buffalo 208 W. Holly St., Bellingham 360.746.8733, wildbuffalo.net BR’ER RABBIT AND THE BLACKBERRY BUSHES


DEC. 21

Head to The Green Frog for a tasty brew and two sensational bands. Br’er Rabbit is a folk-stomp band based out of Bellingham. They stand out with their three distinct vocals and foot stomping. After touring the Pacific Northwest, they will release their album next spring. Following Br’er Rabbit, The Blackberry Bushes will close the show with their alternative-folk string band. The band has traveled around the U.S. and Europe, but are making their way back to Bellingham for a night. The Green Frog 1015 N. State St., Bellingham 360.961.1438, acoustictavern.com




(866) 383-0777 I-5 Exit 260 • 4 Min. West Haxton Way at Slater Road Events subject to change without notice. Must be 21 or over to play. Management reserves all rights. ©2013 Silver Reef Casino

Holiday Issue  December 201393

Award-Winning Care, Close to Where You Live As your community hospital, we are proud to offer personal attention and unique services for you and your family. Look to United General Hospital for one-of-a-kind care.

Awarded for Patient Safety One of only 16 Washington state hospitals recognized An exceptional commitment to patient safety earned United General Hospital the 2013 Washington State Hospital Association’s “Safe Care in Action” award. Through our participation in the Partnership for Patients national initiative, we successfully reduced patient harm in 10 key areas.

Recertification of our Medical Fitness Center


FIG art workshops give kids ages 5 and older a chance to expand their art skills and put their creativity to use. The FIG staff help the students delve into the world of art with a project based on the class theme. This class will focus on interpretations of the theme, “Visions of Summer.” FIG Studio 250 Flora St., Bellingham 360.778.8930, whatcommuseum.org

One of only 300 certified facilities in the nation


The Medical Fitness Center at United General was the first such facility to be certified in Washington State. Today, we are one of only three in the state and one of 300 in the nation. This certification means we have undergone an in-depth facility review and met the highest standards in the industry.


Prestigious Award for Volunteer Excellence One of only four programs recognized nationwide The dedication of our volunteers was recognized by the American Hospital Association (AHA), making The Landing a recipient of the 2013 AHA Awards for Volunteer Excellence.

2000 Hospital Dr., Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284 (360) 856-6021 • www.unitedgeneral.org

DEC. 6–8

Take the whole family to the historic cedar log cabins of Pioneer Park for a festive, yet educational, experience. Members of the Ferndale Heritage Society will greet visitors in their pioneer costumes and tell stories about how so many people before them had celebrated Christmas in the log homes. Each of the 12 homes will be decorated with a different theme. Take part in crafts, old fashioned games and carriage rides. Pioneer Park 2004 Cherry St., Ferndale 360.384.6461, ferndaleheritagesociety.com ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE: BENEFIT DANCE FOR MEALS ON WHEELS DEC. 7, 6 P.M.



DEC. 12, 7:30

DEC. 7, 11 A.M.–5 P.M.

The Whatcom County Historical Society presents their annual night of holiday open mic. Share or listen stories of research, history and artifacts. If you’re a member, also partake in the membership meeting and board election!

Get some holiday shopping out of the way while supporting local artists. The Jansen Art Center will host a sale of festive goods including fiber arts, woodworking, paintings, drawings, ceramics, jewelry, glass arts and more.

Dance to music from The Walrus to benefit Whatcom Meals on Wheels program. Dress in your best 60s attire and get your groove on for a good cause. The Walrus is a popular band in the Northwest for their energizing music and arrangements including Jackson 5, Pink Floyd and the Beatles. Whatcom Meals on Wheels delivers nutritional meals to seniors in the area to make sure that nobody goes hungry. All proceeds will be donated to help them succeed.

Old City Hall 121 Prospect St., Bellingham 360.778.8930, whatcommuseum.org

Jansen Art Center 321 Front St., Lynden 360.354.3600, jansenartcenter.org

Bellingham Senior Activity Center 315 Halleck St., Bellingham 360.756.0999, wccoa.org


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The Washington Beer Commission will host their annual tasting event, featuring local breweries. The event can accommodate 1,000 thirsty patrons at once, so go delve into the world of fine beer. Sample some seasonal beers like the maltiest of stouts and robust porters, then vote for your favorite! Warren G. Magnuson Park Hanger 30, 7400 Sand Point Way N.E., Seattle 206.787.1989, washingtonbeer.com GARDEN D’LIGHTS

© gatewaytheatre.com


Gateway Theatre: The King and I

Grab a hot beverage and walk through the Bellevue Botanical Garden. Lit up with a half-million lights, this winter wonderland is a holiday site for the whole family to enjoy. Over 150,000 people view this display every year. The lights are nature-themed and based on plants in both the Northwest and the world. Bellevue Botanical Garden 12001 Main St., Bellevue 425.452.6893, gardendlights.org



ateway Theatre presents the production of The King and I, a story of a young window ordered by the King of Siam to teach English and Western ideas to his wives and children. Set in 1860, this classic is based on “Anna and the King of Siam” by Margaret Landon. The play is embellished with songs like, “Getting to know you,” “Shall We Dance?” and “Whistle a Happy Tune.” 

Spend the day on Grouse Mountain this holiday season. Have breakfast with Santa himself, listen to carolers and even sing along! The breakfast features a hotand-cold buffet. Afterward, get your face painted and make your own reindeer antlers. Grouse Mountain North Vancouver 604.980.9311, grousemountain.com

Dec. 5–31 Gateway Theatre 6500 Gilbert Rd., Richmond, BC 604.270.1812, gatewaytheatre.com

Holiday Issue  December 201395

TH E TOWN T he S ce n e

Church of Assumption In September, Assumption Catholic School celebrated its centennial with a gala at the Silver Reef Event Center. Honored that evening were the distinguish alumni Honorable Steve Mura and Susan Roland, who taught at Assumption for 36 years. Principal Monica Des Jarlais, Pastor Fr. Scott Connolly and the Archbishop Peter J. Sartain attended that evening.

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Š Photography by Spyderweb Media

Best of the Northwest Awards Party On November 7th, more than 300 guests joined us in celebrating our 2013 Best of the Northwest winners. We wish to extend our gratitude to partner Kafe 104.1 and sponsors Wilson Motors, Overhead Door, those who offered food and beverages, and to the Lakeway Inn Best Western for the great space. For more photos, see our website northsoundlife.com.

© Photography by Laura Going

Holiday Issue  December 201397


F i nal Wo rd

Pay It Backward

The holidays are an opportunity to pick up the phone and say “thank you.” BY KEN KARLBERG


he holidays are introspective days of remembrance and appreciation for me. I pause to look back on my life’s journey and to mark what I have, not what I don’t. From my early childhood years at Sunnyland Elementary to my recent return home, I embraced life as a privilege, not a right — one to be earned every day. I often ask myself, “What did I do to justify my existence today.” It’s a silly question, of course. None of us has to justify each breath that we take on earth, but this philosophical approach, my mental gamesmanship if you like, served as constant motivation and a reminder: I can do more. Perhaps more importantly, I pause to be grateful for those who changed the trajectory of my life. I have not had the life that I dreamed of as a young boy. Somewhere along the path, I ran into my own limitations. Most of us do. We dream; we reach; failure is not even a consideration. And then life happens, and we discover just where we are in the world’s bellshaped curve of humanity. The thump on the nose can be cruel and painful. It was for me. Had it not been for my Aunt Jo, I don’t know where I would be today. As I lost hope in myself and self-doubt crept in, as I asked myself “Am I good enough?” As I wondered if I would ever achieve my dreams, Aunt Jo was my catcher’s mitt. She caught me mid-fall by taking me into her home as I finished high school — and that single unselfish act of love re-directed the trajectory of my life. I could have “settled” for a lesser Ken, or worse. Instead, her support at a critical life juncture gave me courage to bet on myself. I don’t know where I am in life or whether I have made a difference. But I do know that my life has been even better than my childhood dreams because of her. I appreciate now more than ever that I was beyond lucky. My childhood best friend was not. Tragically, he

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didn’t have an Aunt Jo when he needed her most. As young boys, he and I played together; we laughed together; we dreamed together. I knew his heart, I knew his values — they were no different than mine. And yet, I learned recently that he has lived at the Lighthouse Mission in Bellingham for many years. It is hard not to ask myself “why.” Why did his life take such a different direction than mine? It didn’t need to be. But because he was emotionally and financially abandoned by his family in his high school years, he broke into a lumber yard and took some petty cash. Who breaks into a lumber yard? A hungry young boy trying to survive, that’s who. I don’t need to know all of the details of the “why” to know that his life would have been different if he had the support he deserved. Life can be a slippery slope. That one poor, desperate choice caused a soul to lose his way without a helping hand. It just didn’t need to be. I know there’s a good person in that man even today. Shame on me for not reaching out to him earlier. My holiday wish for our readers is not a wish, but a reminder that few of us are successful in life on whatever level success is measured without an Aunt Jo. It may have been a parent, a teacher, a coach, or a good friend who believed in you when you doubted yourself. It doesn’t matter who or why. Pick up the phone and reach out to them over the holidays. Perhaps their love and support pushed you to take a step forward that you were fearful to take. Or perhaps they were your catcher’s mitt like Aunt Jo was mine. No matter — it is not enough in life to care; you have to take the time to show you care. The sound of smiles through the phone may just be the best holiday present — for both of you. Ron, I will find you. I promise. 

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