Bellingham Alive | December | 2019

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Winter is here, which means it’s time for sweaters, scarves, and all things snuggly. Whether you’re on the hunt for an unforgettable gift or the perfect addition to your own closet, let this month’s fashion feature be your guide. The best part? Everything is sourced from local stores and boutiques.



Photo © Katheryn Moran Photography

Warm Winter Wears


Photos: Bottom left by Lara Dunning. Center © Radley Muller Photography. Upper right by Dean Davidson. Lower right Tyler Kendig.


Wellbeing  Where to Sauna


Heard Around the Sound  Cannabis Tax Money


Heard Around the Sound  Favorite Sledding Spots


Heard Around the Sound  Toys for Tots


Artist Spotlight  Lin McJunkin


Apps We Love


Game Changer  Laural Ballew


Book Reviews


Literary Events


International Holiday Traditions


Community  WWU’s New Multicultural Center


Necessities  Rain Boots


Local Find  Three Little Birds




Fashion Q&A


Holiday Shopping Guide


70 Review Lombardi’s

Warm Winter Wears



Sip  Canned Wines


8 Great Tastes


Top Picks


Holiday Happenings


New Year’s Eve


Local Events


Out of Town


74 Five Faves Winter Cocktails 60 Featured Home Lake Whatcom House 61

DIY  Upcycled Jewelry Holder


Necessities  Winter Decor

TASTE 66 Bellingham Burger Roundup 36 Savvy Shopper handmade. la conner


Chef Spotlight Calypso Kitchen


Dining Guide


Mixing Tin  Run Run Rudolph


Culinary Events


Recipe  Potato Latkes


Editor’s Letter




Letters to the Editor


Meet the Team


The Scene  Best of the Northwest Party


Lasting Image

December 2019 3

Notes  What’s Online


@bellinghamalive enjoyed an Orange Turmeric Oat Milk latte at 11th Hour Tea and Coffee Bar on State Street. You gotta try this!

Online Exclusive In this month’s feature we explore the latest trends in soft, cozy, and warm winter wears. Although texture and fabric are fundamental to fashion, there’s another element that can make or break your look: color. Each season, the Pantone Color Institute puts out a Fashion Color Trend Report, signaling the season’s hottest new colors. Check out our web exclusive to learn more about this winter’s bold and classic color picks. A perfect night for Edaleen Ice Cream. She ate the whole thing!!!


Be sure to check out our events calendar. If you have an event that you would like our readers to know about, offers an events calendar where viewers can search by day, venue, event type, or city. Go to and submit your event today. Once your event has been approved by our editorial staff, it is live.


Sign up for our free entertainment e-newsletter to get the latest on upcoming events and more!


“The energy profile of the home with its ADU will have a small offsetting effect on greenhouse gases in our atmosphere.”

It’s Time To Gather



Notes  Editor’s Letter

A Message from Overall Girl


hen I was a little girl, my elementary school decided to impose a strict “tucked-in shirts” policy. During the summer months leading up to school, I fretted over the new rule — as a little girl with a big belly, nothing was worse than tucking in my shirt. Then, in a flash of brilliance, I discovered a loophole: overalls. For three years straight, I wore overalls nearly every day. Because kids are kids, I quickly became known as Overall Girl, a nickname that didn’t really bother me because it was true, and because I loved my overalls dearly. One year, on school picture day, I wore baby blue overalls with a lime green shirt underneath. Because I also wore pigtails every day (yes, I really was that cool), I tied my frizzy hair with green and blue scrunchies to match. This, at the time, seemed like haute couture. All that to say, I’ve never really understood fashion. Most of my clothes are neutral-toned, loose-fitting, practical. The idea of assembling an actual ‘wardrobe’ sounds as daunting and outside-my-wheelhouse as starting a collection of rare 17th-century surgical tools. And yet, I can’t help but admire people who have an eye for fashion. Everywhere they go, these people make a statement about themselves, about who they want to be, without having to say or do anything in the moment. As a writer and full-time introvert, I prefer to let my words speak for my personality. And yet, when you’re simply moving through a room, there are no speech bubbles following you. Sometimes, for better or worse, appearances speak louder than words.

“I’m never massively concerned about what somebody is wearing, as long as it makes them feel really good about themselves.” Tan France, “Queer Eye”


It’s also true that the way we look affects the way we feel. When we wear slouchy, wrinkled, or old clothes, we may feel slouchy, wrinkled, and old. If we wear bold colors and vibrant prints, we might feel bolder, more vibrant. And yes, when we wear overalls, we might feel safe, but only because we’re trying to hide. In this month’s fashion feature, we showcase cozy and cute sweaters from local retailers. Our publisher, Lisa Karlberg (perhaps the direct opposite of Overall Girl), lovingly assembled each outfit to display the kind of unique Northwest style you can find at businesses in Whatcom, Skagit, and San Juan counties. This holiday season, there’s really no need to shop online or visit boutiques in big cities; you can find whatever you need right here at home. As someone with minimal fashion sense, I found myself drawn to the clothes and accessories Lisa discovered (strangely, there wasn’t a single scrunchie in her collection). I admit, browsing through the items she selected, I felt inspired to revamp my own style. I hope, looking at this month’s fashion feature, you’ll feel the same way, too. 


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Notes  Contributors


Samantha Hale Samantha Hale was raised in the woods and waters of New England. At a young age she developed a passion for adventuring in and learning about the natural world. Her passions led her to a career in environmental education and communications. Samantha is the Marketing & Outreach manager for The RE Store. The RE Store works to divert building materials from the landfill, assisting community members in their diversion needs by offering free donation pick-ups, building salvage services, and our award-winning retail store.  p. 61


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Bre Sheppard Bre Sheppard currently lives in Bothell, Washington as a full-time influencer. Her website,, shares details of her life, such as travels, fashion, beauty, and more. Her husband, Matt Sheppard, recently joined her in the fulltime blogging world as well. The pair met in Bellingham, Washington while Bre was a freshman and Matt was a senior at Western Washington University. Now, Bre works with big-time fashion and skincare labels like Nordstrom, Abercrombie & Fitch, and TULA.  p. 43

Lizz Roberts A librarian since birth, Lizz loves books, stories, reading, learning, and helping others do the same. Born and raised just across the Mississippi River from New Orleans, she also loves to talk about (and eat) great food. In 1997, Lizz decided to move “home” and transplanted herself to the Pacific Northwest, where the trees and mountains are tall and the mushrooms tasty. Most days, you’ll find Lizz working at Whatcom County Library System’s South Whatcom Library.  p. 23

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From elaborate blanket forts to high-performance homes, Dave has enjoyed the process of building spaces to inhabit since he was a kid. His love of building and the natural world led him to start Bellingham Bay Builders (BBB), a workers’ cooperative focused on sustainable construction. After a busy work season at BBB, and with time for relaxation, you will find Dave outside with friends and family.  p. 60

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PUBLICATIONS Bellingham Alive NSL Guestbook Couture Weddings MENU Seattle



Lara Dunning

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Kristy Gessner | Mia Sperandeo




CONTRIBUTORS Dave Brogan | Samantha Hale Evan Holmstrom | Lydia McClaran Katheryn Moran | Dan Radil | Lizz Roberts Bre Sheppard

EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS Sam Fletcher | Ray Garcia Questen Inghram | Tyler Kendig Anelyse Morris | Mysti Willmon


CORPORATE OFFICE K & L Media, Inc. 432 W. Bakerview Road, Suite 101 Bellingham, WA 98226


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Letters to the Editor Notes

I just had a new prospect come in after seeing me in your recent magazine! I’m very excited to work with her and wouldn’t have made the connection without your publication. Thanks so much for all you do in recognizing local businesses...  — Nicole, Bellingham

See, Make, Play Local Art for the Five Senses

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Bellingham Alive welcomes comments and feedback for our Letters to the Editor section. We’d love to hear what you have to say and are open to story ideas about the people, places, and happenings in the North Sound (Whatcom, Skagit, San Juan counties). Let us know what you like, and what you’d like to see in the magazine! Contact our editor at



of the



of the

I just love your magazine, the style, the fact that you cover different things in every issue. When I moved here and discovered Bellingham Alive it opened the whole world of Bellingham for me. Even the ads because they tell me about what’s available to me locally. It’s just marvelous and beautiful. Thank you.  — Gail W., Chuckanut




of the







I was just re-reading your See, Make, Play story in the November issue, and enjoyed it all over again. Your intro is nicely crafted, and engaged me into the story. I’ve clipped a couple of the art gallery blurbs to visit.  — Cheryl M., Bellingham

My husband and I recently retired to Arizona but still get your magazine each month. It’s so nice to feel in touch with the community even though we’ve left! Thank you.  — Susan P., Gilbert



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December 2019 11

Notes  Meet the Team

Every issue we introduce you to a staff member at Bellingham Alive.

Winterns (Winter Interns)

Mysti Willmon, Tyler Kendig, and Anelyse Morris

What is your role at the magazine and how long have you been with K & L Media?

What is your favorite part of working for a regional lifestyle magazine?

Anelyse  I’ve had the pleasure of being part of the K&L Media team as an intern since September.

Anelyse  Working for a smaller media outlet means I can write stories that matter to the community. Whatcom, Skagit, and the San Juans are such beautiful parts of the state, with so many stories to tell. It’s exciting to be a part of that. I’m actively improving as a writer, which I am incredibly grateful for.

Mysti  I have been working for K&L Media as an intern since September. Tyler  I began interning at the magazine in late August.

What is your background? Anelyse  I’m currently working toward my BA in news/editorial journalism with a minor in English at Western and hope to graduate this spring. I’m a military brat and have been lucky enough to live all around the world. I’ve always had a passion for writing, and fell in love with journalism when I joined my high school paper. Mysti  I’m attending Western and working on getting my BA in news/ editorial journalism and creative writing. I have always loved reading; currently, I own around 300 books. This passion led me to writing. Creating stories and pictures through words is amazing, and I am glad I get to do it every day. Tyler  I first took an interest in journalism at my community college newspaper in Bremerton, and I’ve stuck with it since. I’ve always had a knack for editing, so I leaned into editorial positions at the Olympian in Bremerton, as well as The Western Front and The Planet Magazine at Western. After my internship, I plan on graduating with a BA in news/editorial journalism from Western.


Mysti  My favorite part is the fact that we get to cover really amazing events and people. I have heard horror stories of internships where interns don’t get any work experience or are treated without respect. Working for a small magazine means you get to know everyone in the office. Tyler  I enjoy the low-stress environment at Bellingham Alive. As interns, we get to spend our time fact-checking (which I love, personally) or seeking out stories that resonate in our community.

What are some of your hobbies? Anelyse  I love to travel, spend time with the people I love, read the sappiest romantic novels possible, sing, dance (poorly), and write for fun. Mysti  I spend most of my time at school, working, and organizing a couple of clubs. However, I do love reading. I also enjoy crocheting and other craft projects. Tyler  I like to record music with my guitar and piano or go to concerts. After my internship, I plan on volunteering at a local music and arts space. 


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Favorite Sledding Spots 21 WWU Multicultural Center 26 Holiday Happenings 29


Photo courtesy Lin McJunkin

Artist Spotlight

Lin McJunkin 18” h, pate de verre sculpture, commenting on the depletion of Earth’s resources, human and natural (artist’s collection). All of the metal work was done by Milo White.

20 December 2019 15

Life  Wellbeing

Where and Why to Sauna BY BECKY MANDELBAUM


S WE HEAD INTO WINTER, it’s essential to find

ways to stay warm. You can always wear cozy clothes, drink mugs of hot tea, hang out by a wood stove, or coerce a cat to hunker down on your lap. You can also consider another way to warm up this winter: saunas. People have sought the healing benefits of sweat for centuries. Thousands of years ago, the Mayans created sweat houses for religious and health purposes. Some Native American tribes relied on sweat lodges to seek wisdom, celebrate, or mourn; a few of these traditions still exist today. In Finland, saunas emerged roughly 10,000 years ago, when they were just holes in the earth covered with animal pelts. Although the concrete benefits of saunas are still under contention, various studies have found a relationship between sauna use and improved immune function, lower blood pressure, pain relief, heart health, and healthier cholesterol levels. As saunas typically increase heart-rate, those with heart issues should consult with their doctor beforehand. No matter where the research falls, you don’t need a scientist to tell you that sitting in a sauna is relaxing. It loosens the muscles, calms the mind, and eases tension. It’s


is heated by wood. Inside the sauna are heated rocks. Users can spoon water onto the rocks to increase the humidity in the sauna. Increased humidity typically creates a hotter 16

also a nice opportunity to disconnect from the outside world and check in with your body. There’s also nothing quite like a sauna when it comes to bringing people together. Not only do saunas promote body-positivity, but they also encourage conversations with strangers and respect of shared spaces. One thing I personally love about saunas is that they’re an inherently technology-free environment — nobody wants to bring their iPhone into a 150-degree sweat box. There are few phone-free spaces left in the world, and saunas are one of them. Many studies suggest the benefits of a sauna are best if you use them multiple times a week. If you’re looking for an easy way to relax and detoxify this winter, here are a few local spots where you can sweat it all out.

Semiahmoo Resort With a hot and dry sauna in both the women’s and men’s locker rooms, guests can enjoy whatever kind of sweat they desire. Pair a trip to the sauna with a relaxing CBD-oil massage or a detox and renew body treatment wrap for a truly restorative experience. 9565 Semiahmoo Pkwy., Blaine, 855.917.3767,

sensation while lowering the actual temperature. The moisture may help with respiratory issues. A dry sauna is essentially the same as a Finnish sauna — heated by wood, with hot stones — but does not include

water to throw on the rocks. The result is a lower-humidity sauna that can reach temperatures close to 200 degrees. Fun fact: to turn a dry sauna into a Finnish sauna, all you have to do is add water.

Doe Bay Resort & Retreat

Bellingham Fitness

The dry sauna at Doe Bay Spa is located next to three outdoor soaking tubs. The private, clothing-optional spa area overlooks beautiful Doe Bay. It’s open seven days a week from 8 a.m.–10 p.m.; family hours run from 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Purchase a day pass or enjoy complimentary access with an overnight reservation at one of the resort’s cabins, yurts, domes, or campsites. 107 Doe Bay Rd., Olga, 360.376.2291,

The spa at Bellingham Fitness offers a dry sauna as well as a steam room and hot tub. Members can enjoy these amenities post-workout for an extra-cleansing gym experience or just pop in for a quick sweat on a cold day. 1730 N. State St.,

Choose between a single-use, full-spectrum infrared sauna or a community Himalayan salt sauna, which incorporates the good-feeling properties of Himalayan salt. The large, co-ed infrared sauna has an entire wall made of Himalayan salt. If you’ve ever spent time near a salt lamp, you know there’s something strangely calming about the soft pink light. 1920 Main St., Ste. 19, Ferndale,

Zazen Salon Spa Zazen offers an array of spa services and encourages clients to arrive early so they can take advantage of the infrared saunas. These saunas are heated to between 100 and 140 degrees, allowing first-time users to ease in on the low end of the spectrum and veteran sauna users to crank the heat. The salon also has showers so clients can rinse off before their appointment. 11 Bellwether Way, Ste. 201, Bellingham, 360.715.1050,

Internal Harmony Center This holistic wellness center is dedicated to helping clients feel better. It offers a range of services, including an infrared sauna to promote “natural healing and disease prevention.” Clients can purchase single sessions or packages. 1333 Lincoln St., Ste.

Bellingham, 360.733.1600,

Flow Motion


The Spa at The Chrysalis If you’re planning a massage or facial at The Chrysalis Inn and Spa Bellingham, a Curio Collection by Hilton, be sure to arrive early so you can take full advantage of the eucalyptus steam room. With showers and a relaxation lounge overlooking a pond and waterfall, stress doesn’t stand a chance. 804 10th St., Bellingham, 360.392.5515, 

2, Bellingham, 360.734.1099,

Infrared saunas rely on infrared heat, which heats your body rather than the entire room. Although they don’t create as much ambient heat as traditional saunas, they still cause users to sweat. They are typically smaller,

accommodating only one or two people, and reach temperatures around 120–140 degrees. They do not create steam. Steam rooms, or steam baths, differ in that they are typically made of glass or tile and generate large amounts

of steam. They typically reach 100% humidity, creating a hotter sensation than the actual temperature, which typically rests between 100 and 120 degrees. Like a Finnish sauna, the steam may help with respiratory issues.

December 2019 17

Life  Heard Around the Sound

Green from Green How Washington Is Using Cannabis Tax Money BY BECKY MANDELBAUM



which legalized marijuana for use by adults age 21 or older. While we all know the first part of the initiative — it’s legal to buy weed! — what many don’t know much about is the second part of the initiative, which designates how the state uses tax revenue from cannabis sales. At a rate of 37 percent, the money raised through the cannabis excise tax is sizable. Last year, cannabis taxes and license fees brought the state $367 million dollars. For reference, liquor taxes and license fees during this same time period raised $209 million dollars; tobacco raised $0.7 million. So, where did all this money go? The answer is multifold. The bulk of cannabis tax money raised during the 2018 fiscal year — nearly $200 million dollars of it — went to the state’s general fund. Although a large majority of the general fund comes from retail sales tax, revenue from controlled substances does make a dent, helping fund public education as well as debt services and higher education. For instance, during 2017–2019, the state anticipates it will spend a little more than half of the general fund on public schools. The next greatest use of cannabis tax revenue in 2018 — $117 million — funneled into the state’s basic health fund, which supports health care services, notably for lowincome people who lack coverage. The third largest chunk went to cities and counties, which receive different amounts of funding based on their population. More than $36 million went toward an education and prevention fund. Money from this fund helps create and distribute information about cannabis, including health


and safety risks associated with cannabis use. The education and prevention fund also supports substance abuse programs, mental health services, and programs that aim to reduce and prevent cannabis use among minors. Some of the year’s tax money also went toward research. This fund, though relatively small ($1.1 million), provides money for a variety of research initiatives. One such initiative is called the Healthy Youth Survey, which collects information about the health of Washington adolescents. This information helps inform and shape policy decisions regarding public health and safety. Some of the money also supports the University of Washington and Washington State University in their research on the effects of cannabis use. Finally, more than $20 million went into a miscellaneous fund that supports things like the Health Care Authority, which funds community health centers; and Building Bridges programs, which help prevent middle and high school students from dropping out. Overall, the money raised through cannabis tax and licensing fees has vastly exceeded early estimates. In 2017, state experts projected the cannabis tax would raise around $120 million in revenue. In reality, that year produced $315 million. In 2018, the projection was $160 million — more than $360 was raised. In 2019, experts project $194 million in revenue, a figure that, based on the past trends, will likely turn out to be a gross underestimation. The next time you visit your local dispensary, remember you’re also putting dollars into public schools, health care services, and scientific research. I’d call that a win-win. 

Distribution of Cannabis Tax Revenue, Fiscal Year 2018 General Fund

What’s Your Favorite Sledding Spot? BY MYSTI WILLMON

Pheonix B., Bellingham When I first moved here, my friend took me up the big hill by the university by the tower. We sled down five blocks. It was pretty epic.

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Rachael B., Bellingham I’ve seen people slide down the log sculpture on campus [Western Washington University]. It is pretty bomb. Rebecca M., Bellingham I always see people sledding at Artist Point at Baker. It seems fun! You also get a great view. Tee K., Bellingham Lots of excellent sledding hills at Squalicum Park. Ally M., Bellingham There is an area right next to Lake Padden that has really gorgeous views and is actually a super fun place to go sledding.

$15 million Cities, Counties

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Research Basic Health

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Where Can I Drop off Toys for Children in Need?

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Toys for Tots, a national nonprofit operated by the U.S. Marine Corps, opens local chapters in Whatcom and Skagit Counties. The goal? To encourage people to donate toys to children who might otherwise receive none this holiday season. To say the program works is an understatement; in 2018, residents from Whatcom and Skagit donated more than 10,500 toys to nearly 4,000 kids. If you'd like to donate a toy (or 10) this season, there are plenty of local businesses eager to help. Haggen Grocery Stores, Walgreens, Safeway, Ace

Hardware, and Little Caesars Pizza are just a few places that will happily collect Toys for Tots donations this December. Generally speaking, most banks, grocery stores, police and fire departments, insurance companies, and car dealerships will also have donation boxes set out for the season. For a complete list of drop-off sites near you, visit the website below and click on the “Donate a Toy” link under the “Ways to Donate” tab. Whatcom County: bellingham-wa., Skagit County: mt-vernon-wa. 


December 2019 19

Life  Artist Spotlight

1 Cutting-Edge Creations BY ANELYSE MORRIS

2 20

McJunkin has done it all. As a former science educator, McJunkin fuses her passion for climate change awareness with glass art to make one-of-a-kind creations. McJunkin's interest in glasswork began 30 years ago when she started working on small ceramics projects. “Maybe it’s something about using fire to transform a rather ugly dried clay or chunky glass object into a beautiful piece of art that attracts us,” she says. Over time, she switched from mainly using clay to using glass because she feels glass has greater narrative potential. “I wanted to explore certain questions with my work, not only make pretty things.” With studios in California, Oregon, and Washington, McJunkin has left her mark all over the West Coast. She says her workspace is often irrelevant because she spends as much time trying to get her work out into the community as she does at her workbench. McJunkin primarily works in three different styles —  “pate de verre,” a creation and molding of glass paste; “kilncarving,” an embossing method; and “glass casting” into metal cut-outs — often conducting them in her own style. “I never know where inspiration is going to come from or how long it will take to filter from my brain, through my heart, and into my hands, whether in materials, process, or content,” she says. Following decades of creations, McJunkin has made pieces that will stand the test of time. In 2018, she collaborated with artists Milo White and Jay Bowen to create “Valley of Our Spirits,” a Native-American inspired sculpture in downtown

Photos courtesy Lin McJunkin



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3 Mount Vernon that towers more than 20 feet tall. McJunkin is particularly proud of the totem pole, which tells the stories of the inhabitants along the Skagit River. Although McJunkin traded in her classroom for a studio long ago, her time as a science educator continues to shape her work. Her interest in climate change, or as she coins it “climate weirding,” stems from a grant that aimed to design a climate change curriculum for middle schoolers. Once she started teaching about climate change, her interest in the subject skyrocketed. As she read more and more about the effects of fossil fuels, she became increasingly inspired to take action. “Art can evoke an emotional reaction that, when added to the intellectual stimulation of scientific facts, can inspire people to make changes,” she says.

This goal fuels her creative process. When she starts on a project, she turns on NPR and reflects until the world's political and environmental issues irritate her enough to make something both beautiful and meaningful. McJunkin says she looks forward to the future of her work, particularly the opportunities to collaborate with other artists and scientists. She continues to participate in the Museum of Northwest Art’s biannual “Surge” exhibit, which features works about local climate change issues. She also has two public projects lined up for California and Olympia with her metal partner Milo White. “It’s not enough to leave people informed but paralyzed by their overwhelming fears [regarding climate change],” she says. “Action is the antidote to depression.” 

Photo Captions

How the Grinch Stole Christmas Oceanhouse Media This classic Christmas tale comes to life in this $3.99 app. If you’re wanting to take Christmas Eve story time to the next level, download this app for interactive content such as mini-games, puzzles, and hide-and-seek. You can choose narration or turn it off to read it yourself. Click on words and pictures to explore vocabulary. This digital version of the Dr. Seuss classic has won several awards.

Substitutions Gormaya If you’re like me, December means a lot of holiday baking. If you’ve got friends or relatives with food allergies or special diets, or if you find yourself missing a critical ingredient mid-cooking, use this handy app to find the perfect substitutions. Sort ingredients based on allergies, food preferences, or dietary restrictions. Don’t have a specific tool or utensil a recipe calls for? You can even find a substitution for that.

1. Vanishing Ice – 28” long, pate de verre sculpture with LED lighting in metal base – commenting on rapid loss of glacier ice. 2. Fossil III – 72” h, metal and cast glass, commenting on Colony Collapse Syndrome suffered world-wide by bees, caused in part by warming climate and pesticide use (purchased by the City of Anacortes). 3. Eaarth in the Balance – 38” long, pate de verre sculpture, commenting on how we have changed the composition of the earth’s atmosphere so that we need to call it by another name, coined “eaarth” by Climate guru Bill McKibben (artist’s collection) Note: Eaarth is the correct spelling for my title. All of the metal work was done by Milo White.

Mint: Personal Finance & Money Is one of your 2020 resolutions to be better with money? Or maybe to work on saving up for something big? Mint is here to help. It tracks bank accounts, credit cards, bills, and investments to help you see your spending at a glance. You can even check your credit score for free. LINDSEY MAJOR

December 2019 21

Life  Game Changer

Q&A with Laural Ballew [Ses Yehomia/tsi kuts bat soot], New Tribal Liaison at WWU BY MYSTI WILLMON



of American Indian/Alaska Native and First Nations Relations and Tribal Liaison to the President for Western Washington University. As the first in her position, Ballew is committed to helping all students find a place in the community. Ballew considers herself inter-tribal because she is a Swinomish tribal member living on the Lummi reservation with direct family ties to Aleut, Nooksack, Upper Skagit, and Suquamish tribes.

How has your background led you here? My training started as a little girl, being raised by my two grandmothers. They were traditional but knew how important education was. They instilled that in me when I was really young. I had two older brothers and an older sister, who all fished alongside my dad. But my dad specifically did not train me and my younger sister because he wanted us to go out and get an education. I think my journey was already pre-planned by my grandparents and my parents.

What in your academic background has prepared you for your role as Tribal Liaison?

What are you working on at Western Washington University while you are Tribal Liaison? The Native American Student Union, in their May 2016 letter, expressed need for a Tribal Liaison. There were a total of five objectives in that letter. First and foremost, we need to address and keep working on those five objectives. One was a tribal liaison position, second was a Coast Salish Longhouse, third was the revival of the annual Pow-Wow, fourth was government-to-government training for Western, and last was verification of tribal enrollment. 22

The ongoing project is the longhouse: securing the funding and support to get the land and to build here on campus. I'm sure it's going to be my continual goal for the next several years. Western Washington University also has a land acknowledgment that the university is on Lummi territory. I believe there has to be action behind that land acknowledgment. And creating this position gives acknowledgement to the land, to the students, and to the tribal communities that we serve that, “Yes, you're important. And yes, we recognize you.” 

Photo by Mysti Willmon

I am a Western alumni. I got my bachelor’s degree in American cultural studies with a minor in Native studies. I received my master’s from Evergreen State College in public and tribal admin with a concentration in tribal governance. That helped me at Northwest Indian College when they asked me to come in and develop a four-year program in tribal governance. I am in the final stages of writing my dissertation for Maori University and it’s using Northwest Indian College as a case study of preparing our future indigenous leaders.

Literary Events


December 5, 7 P.M.


The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

with her husband, a famous fashion photographer. She is a renowned artist, which only adds to the mystery and speculation when she is found in their home, her husband tied to a chair, having shot him five times. She never speaks another word. Theo Faber, a criminal psychotherapist, has followed her story in the press and jumps at the chance to work with her. But from page one, something seems off-kilter. To call “The Silent Patient” a psychological thriller isn’t enough. Be warned, Michaelides’ characters’ minds aren’t the only ones he’s playing with. Fans of A. J. Finn, David Baldacci, and Lee Child will devour “The Silent Patient” through all its twists and turns, but will find themselves devoured by a final twist no one could have predicted. This is Alex Michaelides’ first novel; I’m really looking forward to the next one!

Ron Miller, Conversations with Legendary Television Stars: Interviews from the First 50 Years Village Books, 1200 11th St., Bellingham, 360.671.2626,

Ever quoted “I Love Lucy”? Have a secret collection of “M*A*S*H” episodes? Ron Miller and James Bawdin have got behind-the-scenes details and interviews from the first 50 years of television. Come to Village Books to talk with Miller and get your book signed.

December 7, 7 P.M.

Kira Jane Buxton, Hollow Kingdom — Fiction! FOR TWO YEARS, men in a remote Mennonite colony in

Women Talking

Bolivia have broken into other members’ homes, drugged women with cattle anesthetic, and assaulted them. The men are eventually arrested and jailed. The colony’s leader, who intends to bail out the men and bring them home, gives the women of the colony an ultimatum: Forgive the men or risk their souls and homes by being shunned. The women, determined to find a way to protect themselves, gather in a hayloft to discuss three options: do nothing, stay and fight, or leave. Their conversations, recorded by a man who serves as notetaker, serve as the meat of the novel. This is an existential, surprisingly wry, and sometimes amusing exploration of faith, forgiveness, and justice.

by Miriam Toews

Village Books, 1200 11th St., Bellingham, 360.671.2626,

Get ready to experience an apocalyptic world through the eyes of a crow. Yes, a crow. Kira Jane Buxton’s humorous young adult novel, “Hollow Kingdom,” flips science fiction on its head and examines an apocalypse from the animal’s viewpoint. Buxton will read from her work, answer questions, and sign copies of her book.

International Holiday Traditions Sweden: Gather Round the Gävle Goat At over 40 feet tall, this massive goat statue appears annually in Castle Square to commence the holiday season. After being hit by cars, set on fire, and even kidnapped, this holiday goat now has a committee dedicated to its protection.

Austria: Krampus the Kidnapper While Santa is known for giving coal to bad kids, Krampus takes it to the extreme by capturing naughty children in sacks and stealing them from their homes. Some people even dress up as Krampus around the holidays to scare children.

Iceland: Potatoes in Your Shoe On the 13 days leading up to Christmas, children put their shoes on a windowsill. Each night, a different Yule Lad visits. If he finds the child to be good, he fills the shoe with candy. If not, the child will wake to a shoe full of rotten potatoes.

Venezuela: Roller Skating to Church Every year during the nine days before Christmas, citizens of Caracas, Venezuela arise for Misas de Aguinaldo: holiday morning mass. Churchgoers opt for roller skate transportation. Portions of the streets are sectioned off to make the roller skaters' commute easier. ANELYSE MORRIS

December 2019 23

Western’s New Multicultural Center Celebrates Diversity and Inclusion on Campus BY LINDSEY MAJOR



brand-new, state-of-the-art Multicultural Center (MCC) at the building's grand opening on October 10. Construction on the building began last winter and finished in July 2019. Going forward, it will house the Ethnic Student Center, Multicultural Student Services, and four other centers — the Blue Resource Center, the Disability Outreach Center, the Queer Resource Center, and the Womxn’s Identity Resource Center — all of which fall under the jurisdiction of the Associated Students Student Advocacy and Identity Resource Centers. This project now connects the Viking Student Union, the Bookstore, the Multipurpose Room, and KUGS, the student radio station. The center, which cost $20 million, received a large portion of its funding from a new student fee that passed in 24

2016. Students voted in favor of the $30-per-quarter fee in the spring of 2016, which took immediate effect. The income not only went toward the construction of the building but will also help the upkeep of the facility moving forward. Other funding comes from reserves in Viking Union bonds and additional university funds. “Western’s new Multicultural Center is a turning point in Western and Bellingham’s history. It marks a time when students of color are leading transformational work to both survive and thrive in a predominantly white institution. The new MCC will honor students who worked to create the space and will have an immeasurable impact, giving students of color a space to engage in challenging the colonized Eurocentric forms of education here at WWU,” Victoria Matey-Mendoza, programing and events manager

for the Ethnic Student Center, told Western Today. The Ethnic Student Center (ESC) was founded in 1991 through the Associated Students (AS) of WWU. Their website states that their mission is to “Help students affirm their identity, build a sense of community, and cultivate leadership.” Within the ESC, students can find a comfortable place to work, study, or lounge between classes. There’s also a team of staff members ready to answer questions or guide students to resources. The Blue Resource Center, also referred to as the Social Issues Resource Center (SIRC), encourages students to “become more active and engaged citizens.” The folks at the SIRC consider it their job to spread awareness of issues that may not be covered in the mainstream media. They provide education resources, as well as a space for diverse conversations through resources and events. AS also sponsors the Womxn’s Identity Resource Center, which is fully student-funded and studentoperated. The goal of the organization is to provide encouragement to all students who identify as women or may be discriminated against due to gender identity. 

Photo © Rhys Logan

Life  Community

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With every new Subaru purchased or leased, Subaru will donate $250 to your choice of charities that benefit your local community.* Dewey Griffin Subaru will donate an additional $250 for each sold or leased vehicle. November 15 through January 2. See retailer or for details. *A documentary service fee of up to $150 may be added to the sale price of the capitalized cost.


Photo Š Mount Baker Theatre

Top Picks

A Christmas Carol


December 2019 27

Life  Top Picks


Since 1970, Seattleites have embarked on a 26.2 mile run through the city center each year. While only 30 runners participated during the first year, 8,000 are expected to run in the 2019 race. A momentous, spectacular show of community, the marathon proceeds were estimated to contribute $5 million to the Seattle economy. Come cheer on the runners and witness one of the biggest runs in the Northwest. Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St., Seattle, 206.729.3660,

A CHRISTMAS CAROL DECEMBER 22, 3:00 PM It’s not quite Christmas without this classic tale from Charles Dickens, featuring Ebenezer Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Past. Gather the family and head to Mount Baker Theatre to see first-rate actors bring this beloved holiday story to life in a new adaptation. With 26 Christmas carols written into the script, you’re sure to sing along. 104 N. Commercial St., Bellingham, 360.734.6080,


7 P.M.

DECEMBER 31, 5:30 P.M.

Her fourth time on the WJMAC stage, Marina Albero is joined by two of the most sought-after jazz musicians in the Pacific Northwest region: Jeff Johnson on bass and D’Vonne Lewis on drums. Get ready for a captivating performance that will leave you wanting to buy tickets for the next show. Sylvia Center

What better way to ring in 2020 than with a blast to the past? Dress up for this ‘80s-themed party and rock out with two local cover bands, Wicked Timing and The Shannanagins. The bash will feature a buffet dinner, a photo booth, a late-night snack and, of course, a champagne toast to end the night. Tickets are $75 for adults, $16 for children ages 6 to 12, and free for kids 5 and under. Semiahmoo

for the Arts, 207 Prospect St., Bellingham, 360.305.3524,

Resort, 9565 Semiahmoo Pkwy., Blaine, 360.318.2000,


FAIRHAVEN FALALA CAROLING COMPETITION DECEMBER 21, 2 P.M. Are you the first in your family to annoy the rest by breaking out in Christmas songs in October? If so, put your talents to good use for the second annual Fairhaven FaLaLa Caroling Competition. The event is open to kids from 1 to 92 and all donations collected from this notso-silent night (er, afternoon) help benefit the Historic Fairhaven Association as well as Skookum Kids, a local nonprofit aiming to help ease the stress on foster kids around Whatcom County. Historic Fairhaven Village, 1207 10th St., Bellingham, 206.696.2671,

Photos: Left © Mount Baker Theatre. Right © MarathonFoto


Events Life

HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS WHATCOM DECK THE OLD CITY HALL DECEMBER 1–31, TIMES VARY Ah, Christmas music. How’s that one go? “Deck the Hall just north of Holly?” Something like that. Visit the Old City Hall any day in December to check out an assortment of themed Christmas trees, meet with Santa, or participate in weekly holiday crafting. Admission is by donation. Whatcom Museum, Old City Hall, 121 Prospect St., Bellingham, 360.778.8930,

FAIRHAVEN WINTERFEST DECEMBER 1–21, TIMES VARY Fairhaven has become one of the best locations to bask in the holiday glow. Local businesses will compete for the title of best window display, while Saturdays are earmarked for the “Signs of the Season” treasure hunt, horse-drawn carriage rides, streetcorner performances from Western and Bellingham High School students, and even a Winter Ball on December 7. And of course, check out Father Christmas in his big, red suit. All of it takes place at the Fairhaven Village Green. 1207 10th St., Bellingham, 206.696.2671,

HOLIDAY PORT FESTIVAL DECEMBER 6–8, TIMES VARY This annual free, family-friendly event is known for its Gingerbread creations. Accepting all ages and skill levels, this year’s theme is movies. Prepare to be wowed by these culinary masterpieces while listening to live music, visiting with winter princesses, and much more. 1801 Roeder Ave., Bellingham, 360.676.2500,

BLAINE HOLIDAY HARBOR LIGHTS DECEMBER 7, 4:30 P.M. Blaine is pulling out all the stops for its Christmas event. Starting at 4:30 with the requisite Christmas tree lighting, kids will then get a chance to meet Mr. and Mrs. Claus, who arrive via horsedrawn carriage. The carriage will be open for another hour or so after to offer families fun rides. Other activities include caroling, a 1.5 mile obstacle dash, free snacks, and a prize drawing. Downtown Blaine, 601 Peace Portal Dr., Blaine, 360.332.4544,


Photo © Mark Gardner


Local dancers of all ages will participate in this traditional holiday ballet with original choreography that celebrates San Juan Island. Stick around after the show for a tea party, holiday gift boutique, and photo opportunities. Brickworks, 150 Nichols St., Friday Harbor, 360.298.1720,


Yearning for a good ol’ fashioned lighted parade? Lynden’s packing its streets with more than 40 eclectically decked-out cars, trucks, floats, wagons, and farming equipment. Expect the parade to last roughly an hour and for the streets to be filled to capacity with onlookers. Starts outside Fairway Center, 1750 Front St., Lynden, 360.354.5995, December 2019 29

Life  Events goodies at this magical event that’s fun for all ages. Port of Anacortes Event Center, 100 Commercial Ave., Anacortes, 208.310.0973,


On Dasher, on Dancer, on Prancer and Vixen — follow Santa’s sleigh through the annual holiday parade in historic downtown Mount Vernon. Walk with your loved ones down the parade route and bask in the holiday cheer, then cap off the evening by watching the Christmas tree light up the night sky.

SKAGIT DOWNTOWN CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING DECEMBER 6, 6 P.M. O’ Crab pot tree, o’ crab pot tree — how lovely are thy bars? Join the Anacortes Chamber of Commerce at their annual lighting of a Christmas tree made up entirely of crab pots! Enjoy live choir performances, hot cocoa, and a special visit from Saint Nick. Anacortes Chamber of Commerce, 819 Commercial Ave., Ste. F, Anacortes, 360.293.3832,

BOW FARMERS MARKET’S HOLIDAY FESTIVAL DECEMBER 7, 10 A.M. Bow Farmers Market welcomes you back for its annual holiday festival. Grab the perfect present from one of more than 65 artisan vendors, warm up with a free cup of hot cider, and shop to the soothing sounds of live music. Edison Elementary School, 5801 Main Ave., Bow, 360.724.3333,


Prepare to get sweaty in your ugliest holiday sweater! Join the Sedro-Woolley Chamber of Commerce in this holiday run. Go for the gold by being the speediest reindeer to finish the race, or wow the judges by sporting the biggest fashion faux pas! Downtown SedroWoolley, 810 Metcalf St., Sedro-Woolley, 360.855.1841,


Family holiday fun is always priceless, even at this annual holiday fair. Grab the perfect picture with Santa, participate in craft-making, and get your fix of holiday


Downtown Mount Vernon, 325 Pine St., Mount Vernon, 360.336.3801,


Involving at least five different events, including tea parties, markets, tree lightings, and theater, this festivity will have something for everyone this season. Join the crowd as they celebrate the holidays! Friday Harbor, 360.378.5240,

feelings. Sparkling lights surround the market full of food vendors, produce, live music, and more. Activities abound for both kids and adults, so be sure to bring the whole family! Brickworks, 150 Nichols St., Friday Harbor, 360.378.0095,


Claiming to be the biggest New Year’s event in Skagit Valley, Gin Fever (a portmanteau of the headlining bands’ names) will ring in 2020 with the help of rockabilly artists Gin Gypsy and Whiskey Fever. DJ Eli Montoya will bookend the night, kicking things off when the doors open at 7:30 and finishing up at 2 a.m. after the bands exit the stage. Attendees who don’t want to (or shouldn’t) drive home will have access to discounted room rates at the attached inn. Best Western Plus Skagit Valley Inn and Convention Center, 2300 Market St., Mount Vernon, 360.428.5678,



Holiday music will fill the air from the Community Band as hot cider and cookies are shared throughout the crowd. Santa and Mrs. Claus will hand out gifts to kids before the tree is lit, signaling the start of the holiday season. Village Green Park, 203 N. Beach Rd., Eastsound, 360.376.2273,


Join the library for their annual “thank you” to the community. Tea, coffee, cookies, tea sandwiches, and more will be at this gathering along with live music and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus. Orcas Island Library, 500 Rose St., Eastsound, 360.376.4985,

OLD FASHIONED CHRISTMAS MARKET DECEMBER 14, 10 A.M. This European-style Christmas market will fill you with magical holiday

If you’re sensing a rock theme here — you’re right! Join the The Royal We — a Seattle cover band that interprets classics from the ‘60s through the ‘90s — as they traipse through four decades of rock, pop, and hair band hits. Anything is fair game, from the Beatles to the Beastie Boys and back. If you’re in the mood for musical whiplash, they’ve got you covered. Angel of the Winds Casino Resort, 3438 Stoluckquamish Ln., Arlington, 360.474.9740,

ISLAND REC’S NEW YEAR’S EVE CELEBRATION DECEMBER 31, 7 P.M. If you live in Friday Harbor, don’t miss out on the San Juan Island Parks and Recreation’s New Year’s Eve Celebration, located in the beautiful Brickworks event center. Intended for locals, the all-ages event will include activities like crafts and bingo, as well as a live stream of the ball drop in Times Square. Attendees are asked to bring a sweet or savory snack to share. Brickworks, 150 Nichols St., Friday Harbor, 360.378.4953,

Events Life

CONCERTS JOHN CRAIGIE DECEMBER 5, 8 P.M. Not everyone can say they have fan mail from Chuck Norris, but John Craigie can. With his fan mail and multiple songs with over 1 million streams on Spotify, Craigie has found the right groove and captivated the attention of many with his classic musical talent. Don't miss his appearance at the Wild Buffalo. Wild Buffalo House of Music, 208 W. Holly St., Bellingham, 360.746.8733,


Petunia and friends Devin and Jan will give the audience a throwback with rarely heard country tunes and some of their own creations. If you’re lucky, you might hear some classic honky-tonk hits or even some yodeling. You’ll have a great time singing and dancing in your seat! The Firefly Lounge, 1015 N. State St., Bellingham,

CASINOS 2019 FESTIVAL OF TREES: OPENING NIGHT DECEMBER 3, 5:30 P.M. After 34 years and more than $11 million raised for a good cause, the Festival of Trees is back at the Tulalip Resort Casino. Under the theme “Season of Miracles,” the event offers a buffet dinner, live music from the jazz outfit The Apollo Trio, an extensive silent auction, and a complimentary champagne cocktail. Cocktail dress attire is required. Tickets are $65 and proceeds from ticket sales and the silent auction benefit Providence Children’s Services. Tulalip Resort Casino, 10200 Quil Ceda Blvd., Tulalip, 360.716.6000,

Photo © Bradley Cox

PHIL VASSAR AND LONESTAR HOLIDAY & HITS DECEMBER 4, 8 P.M. This year, the North Pole meets Nashville as Academy of Country Music Awardwinning artists Phil Vassar and Lonestar team up for their “Holiday & Hits” tour. The duo, who also collaborated on their song “Not So Silent Night,” aims to bring their brand of Christmas cheer to Western Washington for the very first stop of their tour. The country legends will pull from their extensive backlog of

John Craigie

songs, as well as some holiday favorites, and promise to deliver an “inspirational and emotionally powerful performance.” Angel of the Winds Casino Resort, 3438 Stoluckquamish Ln., Arlington, 360.474.9740,


Blessed with a four-octave vocal range, Benni James stands out among the wave of modern rock artists in the Seattle music scene. A little bit soulful, a little bit heavy metal, his debut album, “All I Want Is You,” was voted by Northwest Music Scene readers as the third-best album released in the Pacific Northwest in 2016. On top of that, he’s opened for the likes of Chris Cornell and Tom Morello. If you’re into new sounds around the Sound, Benni’s got your back. The Skagit Casino Resort Winner’s Lounge, 5984 Darrk Ln., Bow, 877.275.2448,

CLASSICAL HOLIDAY MAGIC! DECEMBER 8, 3 P.M. Get ready for a magical night with the Bellingham Symphony Orchestra. Enjoy a screening of the classic short film “The Snowman,” then get lost in the soothing sounds of the holiday with symphonic performances of “Sleigh Ride” and “Silent Night.” Don’t forget to warm up your vocal cords and sing along to the local children’s choir performances at this festivity. Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St., Bellingham, 360.734.6080,


Embark on a musical journey through time as you travel back to Christmas 1879. Follow the love story of composer Richard Wagner and his wife, Cosima, as you get swept up in a millennium of classical music performed by the Skagit Symphony Chorus. With romance and nostalgia, there’s no better way to get in the holiday spirit! McIntyre Hall, 2501 E. College Way, Mount Vernon, 360.416.7727,

MAGICAL STRINGS’ CELTIC YULETIDE DECEMBER 15, 3 P.M. Years of musical family fun unite at this 41st annual performance. Magical Strings is a family ensemble comprising three generations of talented musicians and performers, and each year they bring their talents to the stage for a Celtic Yuletide concert. Get swept away in the sounds of numerous instruments and powerful voices while watching an array of juggling, dancing, and elaborate costumes. Lincoln Theatre, 712 S. 1st St., Mount Vernon, 360.336.8955,


Head to the Lincoln Theatre in Mount Vernon to hear the Lynden Choral Society bring this seasonal oratorio to life. Accompanied by the Starry Night Orchestra, this group of roughly 70

December 2019 31

Life  Events dedicated Lynden vocalists is sure to put you in the holiday spirit. 712 S. 1st St., Mount Vernon, 360.336.8955,


Skagit Valley Academy of Dance presents the 30th annual performance of this classic holiday story. Kids and adults alike will watch in awe as the magical story unfolds of a prince engaged in battle, a girl who saves the prince, and a dance with the Sugar Plum Fairy. McIntyre Hall, 2501 E. College Way, Mount Vernon, 360.416.7727,


S. 1st St., Mount Vernon, 360.336.8955,


Tragedy, comedy, obsession, and redemption — get swept up in the drama in Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company’s live streaming of this classic Shakespeare tale. Featuring the talents of Judi Dench, Tom Batemen, Jessie Buckley, Hadley Fraser, Miranda Raison, and of course, Kenneth Branagh, this film has something for everyone. Pickford Film Center, 1318

G.F. Handel's Messiah




13, 10 A.M.

Each year, the Children’s Museum of Skagit County decks the halls of The Outlet Shoppes at Burlington, and this year is no exception. Intended mostly for kids, the extended weekend will include visits from the characters of Disney’s “Frozen,” Cinderella, Spider-Man and Batman, real live reindeer, and, of course, Santa. The museum is adding a treelighting event Friday evening, but old favorites like face painting, snowshoeing, and a bounce house will make a return as well. The Outlet Shoppes at

For anyone hoping to make a difference this holiday season, the monthly Days for Girls sewing sessions in Anacortes are a great place to start. The nonprofit organization, founded by Whatcom resident Celeste Mergens, began as a way to supply feminine hygiene products — specifically, washable and long-lasting pads — to orphans in Nairobi and Kenya. Since 2008, the organization has grown to 1,500 chapters across 40 countries and has provided sewing kits for more than a million people. The Anacortes chapter, which happens to be the first, is always looking for new volunteers. Anacortes Lutheran Church,

Bay St., Bellingham, 360.738.0735,

Burlington, 448 Fashion Way, Burlington, 360.757.3548,




Come shop for crafts, books, and delicious treats at the second annual Holiday Bazaar! You will find gifts for all ages at this local vendor event. There will also be a raffle with tickets $1 each. All proceeds from the raffle will go directly to Bellingham Food Bank. Come buy gifts and give back to the community all in one place this holiday season!

Are small fruits your big passion? This three-day conference covers need-toknow topics like horticulture, food safety, breeding, and pests, all presented by actual scientists who work in the field. It’s held in tandem with the Lynden Ag Show, which happens to be the largest agriculture trade show in Washington. Two for the price of one! Northwest Washington Fair and Event Center, 1775 Front St., Lynden, 360.354.4111, 32


Bloedel Donovan Park, 2114 Electric Ave., Bellingham, 360.778.7000,

2100 O Ave., Anacortes, 360.293.9586,


Held by the Whatcom Skagit Model Railroad Club, this model railroad open house is home to two model trains, one at 1:87 scale and a smaller one at 1:160 scale. The lifelike dioramas offer a glimpse into mid-century railway life, an idyllic simulacrum littered with smalltown industrialization and green, rolling hills. While the open house runs every other Saturday, the late-December event promises to be a special holiday showing, so expect a generous helping of shake-on

Photo © Lynden Choral Society

A story of disability, poverty, and a journey to see a newborn Christ, this opera was the first to be composed for American television in 1951. The performance, with all its humor and emotion, has made its way around the world and is now an essential holiday tradition for many. Lincoln Theatre, 712

snow. The club’s website suggests that “polite kids” are welcome with adults. Alger Community Church Annex, 1469 Silver Run Ln., Bellingham, 360.333.7062,


Hopefully you won’t be running from ghosts when you participate in this marathon! However, the run isn’t for beginners. Taking place at Birch Bay State Park, the event states the weather should be terrible and warns of ice. Get a new experience and test your endurance before Christmas! You will be able to brag to your family about it. Birch Bay State Park, 5105 Helweg Rd., Blaine, 360.746.2663,

DETOX AND FASTING WITH JIM EHMKE DECEMBER 10, 6:30 P.M. Worried about your health? Jim Ehmke will explore the ways detoxification can help clean your system and improve your health. He will also talk about the link between longevity and decreased caloric intake. Join a class of healthconscious peers and learn new techniques for staying healthy. Community Food Co-op, 315 Westerly Rd., Bellingham, 360.734.8158,


The saying that “everything is connected” is true when it comes to stress. In this class, Regina Zwilling will explain how stress affects different parts of your body, including your general health. She will also give tips on stress reduction and which foods to eat to stay healthy during times of stress. Skagit Valley Food Co-op, 202 S. 1st St., Mount Vernon, 360.336.9777,


Whatcom Museum continues its monthlong docent-led tours, exploring the works and background of artist Ed

Bereal. This exhibit showcases 60 years of work from the 82-year-old Bellingham artist, from his early sketches, to radical works of the ‘60s and ‘70s, to his more contemporary, provocative creations. Come witness this dynamic timeline for yourself before the exhibit ends in January. Whatcom Museum Lightcatcher

Gift Live Entertainment!

Building, 250 Flora St., Bellingham, 360.778.8930,


Step into the shoes of abstract artist Wassily Kandinsky at this relaxing, bubbly-infused workshop. Grab a glass of wine and attempt a recreation of Kandinsky’s painting “Squares with Concentric Circles.” Learn more about the artist’s life and practices, watch demos, receive thorough instruction, and most importantly — have fun. Jansen

FRI JAN 17 7:30PM $59.5 0, $5 0.5 0, $4 0.5 0, $3 0.5 0*




Art Center, 321 Front St., Lynden, 360.354.3600,


Finish 2019 with a splash at one of the Seattle Aquarium’s largest events. Participate in numerous educational activities, witness special performances, and interact with a different animal each day — all included in general admission. Grab your friends and family and experience this aquatic adventure while it lasts. If you don't catch it in 2019, it goes through January 5. Seattle Aquarium,

SUN JAN 19 7:30PM $89.5 0, $79.5 0, $69.5 0, $39.5 0*


Lois & Bob Nicholl

1483 Alaskan Way, Pier 59, Seattle, 206.386.4300,


Witness the electrifying performances of some of the best DJs and electronica artists at Canada’s biggest winter music festival. The lineup features the talents of Major Lazer, Tiësto, Kaskade, Fisher, Rezz, San Holo, and many more. With two days of music, loads of food and drinks, and more than 20 different artists, there’s no better way to finish the year! BC Place Stadium, 777 Pacific Blvd.,


tions Always Vancouver, BC,Perfect 604.669.2300,

SAT JAN 25 7:30PM $22.5 0*

*Plus applicable fees.

Season Sponsor


December 2019 33



Necessities: Rain Boots 38 Three Little Birds Salon & Boutique 40

Photo courtesy handmade. la conner

Q&A: Bre Sheppard 43


Savvy Shopper

handmade. la conner


December 2019 35

Beautify Yourself and Your Home the Natural Way at handmade. la conner BY LARA DUNNING


Photos: Top and middle courtesy of handmade. la conner. Bottom by Lara Dunning.

Style  Savvy Shopper

THE SHOP For more than six years, handmade. la conner has provided high-quality beauty and household items all crafted by hand. Located in the heart of downtown La Conner, customers can purchase items in the store, online, or in any of the 275 stores around the country that carry handmade. la conner products.

THE ATMOSPHERE Inside the bright, heavenly-scented retail shop are shelves of bottles organized by fragrance and product type, as well as select handmade items including greeting cards, purses, kimonos, and jewelry. To see just how “handmade” everything is, you can peek into the production kitchen where employees are hard at work. If you have a question, ask! The staff is happy to explain the process. “It is important to me that customers are able to see that everything is made here,” says owner Robyn Bradley. “In the production kitchen, you can see us measuring, melting, stirring, pouring, and labeling all by hand.”

KEY PEOPLE Bradley’s journey began more than 11 years ago. In need of products that didn’t irritate her skin, she first developed unscented laundry soap. Soon, friends were asking to buy it. When she lost a job during the 2009 economic crisis, these same friends encouraged her to turn her talent into a business. She did, and it grew from there. Along with a staff of 12, she has two adorable but shy rescue dogs, Henrietta and Winston, who like to give high fives for treats.

For everyday household items, you’ll find laundry soap (16 ounces, $12), all-purpose cleaner, dishwashing soap (16 ounces, $14), and hand washing soaps (8 ounces, $14). For bath and body, you can peruse bath salts (16 ounces, $24), bar soaps, body washes, body scrubs ($20), lotions (8 ounces, $18), body mists (4 ounces, $20), and a skincare line that includes night creams, cleanser, toners, and masks. The store truly has something for everyone. New moms will appreciate the magnesium lotion (8 ounces, $22) and diaper cream (2 ounces, $10). Outdoor enthusiasts can get their hands on natural bug-bite balm (1/2 ounce, $6) as well as bug and tent spray (4 ounces, $12). Gentlemen can spruce up their look with shave soap, body scrub, styling balms, and waxes. Shoppers with a sense of humor will enjoy the new Sweary line, a collection of cocktail-inspired products with irreverent labels. If you’re on the lookout for stocking stuffers, the store also has a great collection of cute notepads, candles, and pottery. 106 1st. St., La Conner,

Photo by Lara Dunning


360.214.2415,  December 2019 37

Style  Necessities



3 4

Photo by Dean Davidson




Yeager’s T OYLAND


VERYONE KNOWS that winters in Washington are wet and cold. It’s hard enough to get out of the house when it’s raining and chilly, so the least you can do is prepare yourself for what’s outside. Prevent one of the worst things about winter — cold, wet socks — with these waterproof footwear options sourced from local stores. This season, if you see a puddle, go ahead and splash — these boots will keep your feet warm and dry.


Brand: Blowfish Style: Lama Color: Rust


Brand: Bogs Style: Flora 2-Eye Color: Mustard


Brand: Joules Style: Welliebob Short Height

$60, Fringe Boutique, Bellingham

Come see Santa in Toyland until Christmas Eve. Call for specific hours.

3101 Northwest Ave., Bellingham 360.733.1080

$65, Hilton’s Shoes, Bellingham

Color: Anniversary Floral $65, 12th Street Shoes, Fairhaven

4 5

Brand: Blowfish Style: Cabrillo Color: Camel $80, Fringe Boutique, Bellingham

Brand: Salvia Style: Nell Hydra Color: Suede Brunetta $180, 12th Street Shoes, Fairhaven

WHERE Comfort

& Style MEET Free People, Kut, Hudson Jeans, Lush, BB Dakota, Synergy, Level99, Matty M, More...

1317 Railroad Ave., Bellingham, WA 98225

360.671.5704 |

December 2019 39

Style  Local Find

Three Little Birds Salon & Boutique BY LARA DUNNING



hairstylist Janet Horton where she found her trendy threads, she realized she could combine her passion for hairstyling and fashion in one place. As such, Three Little Birds Salon & Boutique was born. The store features a fullservice hair salon and a women’s boutique; something quite unique to the area.

Revitalize Your Look “Our salon and boutique is a one-stop, feel-good place,” says Horton. “I love building relationships with customers and hope they walk away feeling better about themselves and are happy with their experience.” Guests are greeted warmly by Horton, or her sister and store manager, Jessica Pimentel. Shoppers can peruse Horton’s latest discoveries, which she selects for their quality and versatility. She also strives to find items made in the U.S. After shopping, guests can arrange for salon appointments, 40

including lash extensions, manicures, pedicures, and nail enhancements. With three dressing rooms and a cozy seating arrangement, everyone is encouraged to take their time. For those who like assistance when they shop, Horton and Pimentel are happy to personalize the experience and help customers find distinct pieces.

Treasured Finds L’Oréal and two other beauty product lines, LOMA and milk_shake, are available in the shop. For attire, you’ll find hand-picked dresses, jeans ($30), leggings, blouses, sweaters ($26 to $40), and accessories such as scarves, shoes, coin purses ($7 to $10), and scrunchies ($3 to $4). You can also explore locally-made decorative pillows ($16), jewelry, and baby blankets. For mothers who like to match their child, the children’s section boasts a generous selection of twinning items during the winter months. New arrivals are posted on the store’s Facebook page, where they also hold regular giveaways. The holiday season is an exciting time to swing by the shop, as new items come in every few days for those special gift ideas and stocking stuffers. 501 E. Fairhaven Ave., Burlington, 360.588.4186, 

Photos by Lara Dunning

A Passion for Style

Renew Her Wows

1730 LaBounty Drive in Ferndale (360) 384-2803

of the






Follow us on

Instagram @BellinghamAlive

Comfort & Joy GIVE AN EXPERIENCE THIS CHRISTMAS! Give a gift, get a gift! Purchase an Inn at Lynden gift card for $200 and receive a $50 gift card to use at any of the five unique stores inside the Waples Mercantile Building: Avenue Bread / Bellingham Baby Company / Cheeks Jeans / Overflow Taps / Village Books.

100 5th Street, Lynden


Copyright 2019

Exit 262 on I-5, in the Grocery Plaza outlet

Style  Whimsey

For the Love of All Things Sparkly Whimsey in the Historic Fairhaven District BY LARA DUNNING


AMI GRICHEL HAS A TALENT for handpicking

jewelry or, as she likes to say, “all things sparkly.” In 2003, her passion led her to open Whimsey, a designer jewelry gallery in Bellingham’s Historic Fairhaven District. The shop features one-of-a-kind necklaces, rings, pendants, bracelets, and other creations from nearly 30 designers. Many artists are local and regional, but the store also features international designers from France, Brazil, and Canada.

A Dresser Full of Treasure As a little girl, Grichel upped the ante on playing dress-up, thanks to a dresser full of jewelry at her grandmother’s house. She spent hours sifting through each drawer, lining her wrists in bracelets, covering her fingers with big, shiny rings, and trying on giant sparkly clip-on earrings. Years later, she is surrounded by a similar treasure chest of sparkly gems and stones. Her creative streak goes beyond sourcing beautiful and unique jewelry; you can feel it in the space itself. Her gallery has an inviting atmosphere that begins with whimsical butterfly garland dangling in the windows, framed art accented by red walls, and displays fashioned for each artist’s creations.

To get the full experience of seeing, touching, and donning these unique creations — including gold, rose gold, and yellow gold jewelry — be sure to stop by the gallery. If you’re on the hunt for a unique gift, the store also has plenty of other items, such as bright-colored flasks, compacts, and candles. For those unable to visit the gallery, the online store sells select items, including citrine drop earrings and sterling spiral earrings. “The experience in our store is all about customer service and helping people find that right item, whether it is at our gallery or another local business,” Grichel says. “It’s very important to me that customers love their jewelry for years to come.” She also has 14 karat gold and diamond jewelry in stock to round out her selection. Sterling silver jewelry costs around $40 to $100, whereas gold pieces can cost several hundred. “I actually have a huge variety and price range,” Grichel says. “My intention is that I have something for everyone. But I also want to cater to someone like the 50-year-old woman who wants to treat herself.” 1001 Harris Ave., Bellingham, 360.733.5568,  42

Photos courtesy Whimsey

Get Your Sparkle On

Fashion Q&A  Style

to make it stylish. I feel like it’s a lot of boots, jackets, and finding ways to incorporate different textures — like sherpa and fur — and being cozy.

What is a staple winter piece? Last year, puff jackets were really in. Kind of cropped, with the tie at the bottom. I feel like everyone had the down puff jacket, which to me is really practical and makes sense but it’s also really cute and edgy. I like that sort of cropped statement jacket.

Where in Bellingham do you shop? [When I lived in Bellingham,] I did a lot of Buffalo Exchange and those secondhand stores just trying to find a way to rework things. You don’t have to go out and buy something brand new to be on-trend or stylish. You can repurpose things you already have. Things are always coming back in style, so you can go look at those places and find something that’s a really good deal.

Influenced by Fashion

What colors are on the rise? I always feel like around the holidays, jewel tones become really popular again. Like the maroons and emeralds. Green is always big for winter. I feel like in fall, of course, camel, everything camel, and different neutral tones … a lot of black. Deep colors that are rich and cozy, but kind of holiday colors.

Bre Sheppard’s unique style is taking the Instagram world by storm. BY LINDSEY MAJOR

Photo by Lindsey Major



internet influencer skyrocketed when she launched her blog in 2014. In just a few years, her social media posts began accumulating more than 10,000 “likes” each. Today, she has nearly 250,000 Instagram followers and more than 1,500 posts. Sheppard began pursuing her fashion and beauty career while a student at Western Washington University. She lived in Bellingham from 2011 to 2015, all the while striving to work with local brands. In the years since, she’s relocated to the Seattle area with her husband (and fellow WWU alum), Matt, and has worked with

mega-brands such as Nordstrom and Abercrombie & Fitch. Because of her success, Sheppard is able to run her blog full-time, dedicating her entire career to fashion. She was even invited to New York Fashion Week — for the second time — in September 2019. I sat down with Sheppard at Makeworth Market in Bellingham on a chilly October day to talk about cold weather fashion, what she loves, and how she wears it.

What is winter fashion to you? I feel like, especially in Washington, winter fashion is a mix of comfort, and then practical, and then finding a way

What textures do you like for winter? I love velvet. It’s so classy but cool, and there’s a lot of different ways you could wear it. A velvet jacket, or a fitted velvet dress, or there’s always black velvet skirts. You can dress it up with boots or heels and wear it to a holiday party, or [with] a graphic tee and it’s really casual. I love sherpa. I love the little touches of fur without it just being a full-on fur coat. When it’s small touches of different fabrics and textures you can obviously wear it more, which I love ... I think corduroy is going to stick around, too. @bresheppard, 

December 2019 43

Special Advertising Section

Holiday Shopping Guide 2019

Addies Angus Ranch Addies Angus Ranch wishes you Happy Holidays! Enjoy a Grass Fed Angus Roast as your centerpiece for your feast. Roast purchased before 12/15/19 get 10 pounds of burger free! We have Prime Rib, Tenderloin, and New York Roast! Place orders through website. Scroll to the bottom of the homepage and find “Orders and Questions”. 13449 Rector Rd., Mount Vernon 360.399.9213 |


Cheeks Jeans Shop the latest styles and get daily outfit inspiration @CHEEKSJEANS. Brands: Levi’s, Billabong, Free People, 7 For All Mankind, Hudson, Joe’s Jeans, Sorel, Capri Blue & more. 420 Front Street, Lynden, WA 360.778.1849 | @cheeksjeans

Still Life Massage and Float Give your loved ones the ultimate gift of stillness. Float Therapy is deeply relaxing, pain relieving, and truly restful. The nothingness of Floating is everything and more. 19 Bellwether Way #101 Bellingham 360.647.2805 |

Special Advertising Section

Petals & Blooms Petals & Blooms is a family-owned home & garden décor business. At our barn, you can find something for everyone on your holiday shopping list, even yourself! 5780 N. Star Rd., Ferndale Instagram: petals_and_blooms 360.920.1294

Bellingham Travel and Cruise

Village Books

Want to give them the world? And have someone wrap it? We offer travel gift certificates, in denominations large and small, for destinations far and wide. We will create a gift basket for that special someone on your list with brochures and a travel keepsake appropriate to your choice destination or our selected choice of destinations sure to inspire.

Connect with family and friends over a puzzle this holiday season! We’ll help you select from a wide variety of high quality styles and sizes suitable for kids from 2 to 102. 1200 11th St., Bellingham, 360.671.2626 430 Front St., Lynden, 360.526.2133

1801 Roeder Ave., Ste. 144, Bellingham 360.733.1270,

Tides of Anacortes

Dynasty Cellars

30 Minute Hit

We have wonderful choices for your holiday wardrobe. Stop in and find something special for yourself and perhaps check a couple of gifts off your list too! Our brands include Sorel, Blundstone, Glerups, Beyond Threads, Johnny Was, Masai, Lafco and Votivo! Open Monday–Saturday 11–5:30.

Dynasty Cellars is your wine shop for the holiday season! Wonderful wine selections, food and thoughtful gifts. We also have gift cards available in any amount. We can help you select that perfect wine for anyone on your list! Cheers!

This Holiday season, give her the gifts of strength, stress relief, and confidence- perfect for any of the women in your life. $89/Month Unlimited training. Mention Bellingham Alive for 25% off Registration & a Free Gift. Gift cards available.

804 Commercial Ave., Anacortes 360.873.8785 |

2169 E. Bakerview Rd., Bellingham 360.758.2958 |

1255 Barkley Blvd Ste 104, Bellingham 360.656.5367

December 2019 45

Special Advertising Section

Sojourn Celebrating our 25th year in Bellingham. Sojourn offers plenty of options from local to well known designers like Free People, Hudson Jeans, Kut, BB Dakota and many more. Shop local and visit us this holiday season, discover why we won Gold in the 2019 Best of the Northwest. 1317 Railroad Ave., Bellingham 360.571.5704 |

Yeager’s Jones Snowboards goals are to make the world’s best performing gear, have unmatched durability and lead the industry in sustainability practices. Making gear for all conditions, Jones boards can handle everything. See store for prices. 3101 Northwest Ave., Bellingham 360.733.1080 |

Hilton’s Shoes Hilton’s has been serving you with all your footwear needs since 1924. We offer high quality men’s and women’s shoes, with exceptional sit-and-fit service. Shop small this holiday season and discover why we have been Best of the Northwest every year since 2012! 113 W. Magnolia St., Bellingham 360.734.3090 |

September Catering

Spero Salon and Spa

Renaissance Celebration

Keep winter evenings warm by inviting friends to share a September grazing box. Filled with artisan meats, cheeses, breads and spreads, paired with fresh and dried fruits. Full service catering and meal delivery available.

This holiday season give the gift of a spa gift certificate. Let the one you love get pampered with a massage, facial and so much more! Let one of our experienced staff help you choose a specialized service today! Winners in 5 categories for Best of Skagit 2019.

Fairhaven’s Art Glass & Jewelry Gallery offers Designer Jewelry in Sterling Silver & 14Kt Gold. Also the Largest selection of American Art Glass in Bellingham. | 360.510.3079


1400 Riverside Dr. A., Mount Vernon 360.899.5105 |

915 Harris Ave (corner of 10th & Harris) 360.647.4592

Special Advertising Section


Betty Lou’s Downtown Emporium A Clothing Jewelry, Gift Boutique. Family owned in the heart of Downtown Bellingham since 2001. Eclectic holiday collection. Mention this ad receive $5 off purchase.

Red Wing Shoes

Quinn & Foster

Quality work and lifestyle footwear, accessories and care products for him and her. We offer Red Wing, Red Wing Heritage, Irish Setter and Vasque. Where fit comes first!

We are a locally owned Men’s and Women’s upscale clothing boutique located in the heart of downtown Bellingham. Let us help you shop for that special someone in your life or just treat yourself. Designers: Vince, MOTHER, White + Warren, Haupt, AG, Alberto, Kinross, Nicole Miller, MOL, Donald Pliner

133 Telegraph Rd., Meridian Plaza, Bellingham 360.733.2500 |


109 West Magnolia, Bellingham 360.752.0670 | Facebook/ Downtown Emporium

Reference Media Bellingham’s premier Sony dealer. Sony televisions are simply the best and most dependable. Visit our store to see their performance first hand. As custom integrators we do all things audio video, from headphones to smart homes. 1200 Old Fairhaven Pkwy. #104, Bellingham | 360.714.8860

Holiday Special | Buy One Subscription, Get One Free.

128 W Holly St, Bellingham | 360.671.2000

Valley Shine Distillery

Bellingham Alive! | 360.483.4576 Holiday Special! BuyNew one subscription, Valid Nov. 1 thru Dec. 31, 2019. Subscriptions Only.

Local, handcrafted spirits will spread holiday cheer. Valley Shine Distillery offers a well-curated gift box for cocktail lovers. Several options are available, each containing a full-sized bottle of hand-made, small-batch Valley Shine spirits, t-shirts, glasses and bar accessories. Visit the tasting room, full bar and restaurant in downtown Mount Vernon.

get one free to Bellingham Alive — your local lifestyle magazine. Valid Nov. 1– Dec. 31, 2019. New subscriptions only. | 360.483.4576

320 S. 1st Street, Mount Vernon, WA 360.588.4086 | December 2019 47

SKIS Yeager’s Sporting Goods $749.99

Warm Winter Wears LEFT


SWEATER Cheeks Society Amuse, $62

SWEATER Cheeks & The Why, $46.50

BEANIE Cheeks C.C. Beanies, $28.50

SCARF Cheeks Rag Poets, $38

WHITE TEE Betty Be Good Cherish, $29.90

BEANIE Betty Be Good C.C. Beanies, $19.90

EARRINGS Statement Apparel OC, $33

EARRINGS Sojourn Michael Berg, $36

JEANS Cheeks Hudson Los Angeles, $198

JEANS Quinn & Foster Fidelity, $190

Cuddle up with this season’s coziest sweater trends


S TEMPERATURES DROP and snow begins to fall, it’s important to stay warm and cozy. Luckily, comfort doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on style. This season, stock your closet with these essential winter picks from local stores in our corner of Washington. From sweaters and scarves to hats and vests, let these pages be your guide to a season that’s both cuddly and cute. December 2019 49

NECKLACE Tides of Anacortes $200 BRACELET Tides of Anacortes $185 SWEATER Quinn & Foster Vince, $385 CARDIGAN Betty Be Good OCEANUS, $54.90


EAR WARMER Betty Be Good $16.90 EARRINGS Statement Apparel $15 SWEATER Cheeks Lira, $69.50 VEST Tides of Anacortes ISLE by Melis Kozan, $104

December 2019 51

HAT Three French Hens Asian Eye, $52 COAT Quinn & Foster John + Jenn, $220 SWEATER Three French Hens Kinross Cashmere, $218 PANTS Blue Horizon Paper Label, $125


BEANIE Betty Be Good C.C. Beanies, $19.90 SCARF Cheeks Rag Poets, $38 SWEATER Cheeks & The Why, $46.50

December 2019 53

SWEATER Tides of Anacortes funsport, $120 VEST Blue Horizon Beyond Threads, $317 EARRINGS Fringe Sown Designs, $22 BRACELET Statement Apparel Lizzy James, $78 PANTS Blue Horizon Paige, $220 BEANIE Sojourn free people, $28


SWEATER Tides of Anacortes Esqualo, $89 EARRINGS Sojourn $54

December 2019 55

EARRINGS Three French Hens $155 HAT Statement Apparel Parkhurst, $43 SWEATER Quinn & Foster White + Warren, $332 COAT Three French Hens Joseph Ribkoff, $259 BRACELET Three French Hens Julie Vos, $330


STYLING Lisa Karlberg PHOTOGRAPHY Katheryn Moran Photography HAIR Katie Bouma Vanity Hair Studio, Bellingham COSMETICS Zorganics Mineral Makeup MAKEUP Leah Reitz Zorganics Institute Beauty & Wellness


MODELS Brooklyn Matthysse Kennedy Bray SHOPS Betty Be Good Blue Horizon Cheeks Fringe Quinn & Foster Sojourn Statement Apparel Three French Hens Tides of Anacortes Yeager’s Sporting Goods

December 2019 57

Cerise Noah

Spacious Suites Bus trips to appointments

Complimentary lunch & tour

24 Hour staffing Great food

Realtor® | Windermere-Whatcom 360.393.5826

Your Relocation Sp ecialist Realtor of the Year 2016 Whatcom County Association of Realtors – 2015 President

Northwest Fine Furnishings would like to help you turn your house into a home.

NORTHWEST ��� ����i���ng�

919 Riverside Dr. ▪ Mount Vernon 360-424-8455 ▪

Timeless Quality, Reliable Installation and Upright Service.

Voted Best Retirement Facility

844 W. Orchard Drive Bellingham, WA 360-647-3708

360.656.6579 or 360.961.4918 | 873 Hinotes Court A2 | Lynden, WA 98264

Upcycled Gift 61

Photo © Radley Muller Photography

Necessities: Winter Decor 62


Featured Home

Lake Whatcom House 60 December 2019 59

Home  Featured Home

Lake Whatcom House Comfort and Beauty All Year Long BY DAVE BROGAN

Sound set the stage for a spectacular home that blurs the line between the indoors and outdoors. Our clients came to us with three overarching goals for their home: execute a clean, modern aesthetic; use our experience to optimize the home’s high-performance chops; and maintain discipline for the overall construction budget. In our humble opinion, these three goals – beauty, high performance, and budget restraint – are a great starting point for most home renovation projects. In the cold, wet winter months of the Pacific Northwest, when we spend many hours indoors, we all appreciate a home that has great indoor air quality, consistent, comfortable temperatures, and does it all without high utility bills or a big carbon footprint. During the summer months, when we’re out manically recreating, we appreciate cool, airy indoor spaces and the absence of home maintenance. Not only does this home on Lake Whatcom have it all year-round, but it’s also downright beautiful.  60

Photos © Radley Muller Photography


HE STUNNING VIEWS of the lake, city, and Puget

DIY  Home

Upcycle an Old Picture Frame Into a Cute DIY Jewelry Holder BY SAMANTHA HALE


IFT-GIVING SEASON is here, and

what better way to show your love and appreciation for someone than with a homemade gift? If you have a fashion lover in your life, this simple and easily customizable jewelry organizer is sure to please. Made with minimal tools and easy-to-find materials, this is a project even the most entry-level DIYer can accomplish.

Tools & Supplies Paint scraper Pliers Wire cutters Staple gun with staples Picture frame

Wire or mesh Paint 2 metal D-rings Picture frame wire Felt pads Hooks or knobs


Photos courtesy Samantha Hale

• Visit your local thrift store and find a vintage wooden picture frame. Something smaller than 18 by 20 inches is ideal. • Remove the artwork and glass and clean up the back so it lies flush with a wall. You may need a paint scraper or pliers for this part. • Using wire cutters, cut your wire or mesh to be slightly smaller than the back of the frame. • Set frame, mesh, and hardware on cardboard and paint. • When completely dry, attach the mesh to the back of the picture frame with a staple gun. Some frames have a slot that the mesh can slide into and stay in place with tension. • Attach D-rings to the top two corners of the back of the frame. String picture frame wire between them. Put felt pads in all four corners to cushion it from the wall. • Attach hooks and knobs for holding chunkier jewelry, watches, and scarves. Tip: You can find all of the supplies for this project at The RE Store in Bellingham. We offer a large selection of wood picture frames, chicken wire, vintage radiator coverings, gutter guard, and hardware cloth for wire mesh. You can also find drawer pulls, curtain rod hangers, eye hooks, and dowels as hanging hardware. To learn more, visit  December 2019 61





Styled by Lindsey Major. Photo by Dean Davidson

Home  Necessities

4 5




Winter Decor




ECEMBER IS A MAGICAL MONTH. With family in town

and kids home from school, it’s the perfect time to snuggle in and celebrate the holidays at home. Add a touch of the season to your space with some of our favorite picks from around town. Keep warm, add a little flair, and enjoy time with your loved ones. Whether it’s a movie night on the couch or a festive dinner party, these picks will help you set the perfect scene.

1 2 3 4 5 6

∙ $25.00 off to new customers

Jingle Bell Wine Stopper $6, Petals & Blooms, Ferndale


∙ Special on water heaters - call for prices



Plaid Ceramic Pitcher $27, Surroundings Home, Gifts, & Garden, Lynden

Plaid Decorative Tray $14, Surroundings Home, Gifts, & Garden, Lynden

Pendleton Queen Size Blanket $369, 1 PaperBoat, Fairhaven

Knit Throw Pillow $65, Greenhouse, Bellingham


Sweater Blanket $75, Greenhouse, Bellingham Jack & Michelle Johnson

When it comes to servicing and repairing your garage doors and openers, no one does it better than Overhead Door. No matter what brand or model... from simple tune-ups and repairs to full replacement and the experts at Overhead Door to get the job done right – right away.

202 Ohio St., Bellingham, WA | (360) 734-5960 |

December 2019 63

® TM

Burgers • Wings Fat Sandwiches

take-out • delivery Order Online

Holiday Month Food and Drink Specials! Texas Style BBQ • Smoked Meats • To Go Events • Private Parties • Live Music

360-366-8752 Sun-Thurs 11am to 1am

Barkley Neighborhood 1263 Barkley Blvd. 360.306.3624

Fri-Sat 11am to 3am






For the latest from Bellingham Alive Magazine. Look for local events, news, contests, giveways and more!


Dynasty wines make great holiday gifts! 1–8 pm Fri./Sat. 2169 E Bakerview Rd, Bellingham 360.758.2958 |

Calypso Kitchen 68 Lombardi’s Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar 70

Photo by Sam Fletcher

5 Faves: Winter Cocktails 74


Burger Roundup Pictured: The Classic, Fat Shack


December 2019 65

Taste  Roundup

Mushroom Swiss Burger: Zane Burger

Elvis NW: Cosmos Bistro

Bellingham Burger Roundup

INTER MEANS comfort food, and what’s more comforting than a burger? To help guide your taste buds, we tested out six local burgers — some classic, some experimental (think peanut butter and balsamic beets), but all downright tasty.

fry and a potato wedge — The Hearse has all the luxury features, like pastureraised beef, cheddar, bacon, caramelized onions, and the standard package of lettuce and tomato. This model also has Irish Death beer sauce, made from Irish Death beer out of Iron Horse Brewery in Ellensburg, Washington. LINDSEY MAJOR

The Hearse at The Filling Station A gas station-themed restaurant might seem unconventional, but this place will really rev your engine. After cruising down the car-themed menu, order my favorite: The Hearse. Served with a side of “Tire Treads” — fries that can only be described as a cross between a curly 66

Mushroom Swiss Burger at Zane Burger This 1950s-inspired restaurant offers a meal so good you’ll leave with something to be nostalgic about. Served on a warm brioche bun, the Mushroom Swiss Burger offers a

heavenly balance between freshlysauteed mushrooms and perfectlymelted cheese. The decadent pairing is then laid on top of a certified, grass-fed Angus beef patty, which is cooked to order. Apart from Zane’s fingerlicking-good red sauce, the burger is nicely complemented with fresh lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles. RAY GARCIA

The Classic at Fat Shack Although famous for their sandwiches stuffed with unusual fillings — e.g. mozzarella sticks, chicken fingers, and jalapeno poppers — Fat Shack also serves up a mean classic burger. The Classic is filled with two hearty 100

Top left by Sam Fletcher. Right by Tyler Kendig. Bottom left by Lindsey Major.


Triple B Burger: Brandywine

percent Angus beef patties on a simple bun with the iconic works: lettuce, onion, tomato, pickles, and their special burger sauce. It’s tastier and more filling than the big-name fast-service joints. Plus, they can deliver it to your home through DoorDash until three in the morning. What could be more American than that? QUESTEN INGHRAM

Bacon Ranch Burger at Nicki’s Bella Marina




If you’re craving bacon, go for the Bacon Ranch Burger from Nicki’s Bella Marina. For $14.99, you get two patties for a total of 2/3 pound ground chuck steak. It has a toasted bun, thick-cut honey-cured bacon, lettuce, and tomato. Their house-made ranch dressing is rich, creamy, and delicious. The bottomless steak fries aren’t bad either. What can be better than that? Enjoy it right on the water as yachts pull in and out of port. SAM FLETCHER

Elvis NW at Cosmos Bistro Peanut butter fans, pay attention. Inspired by the king of rock and roll’s famous love for grilled peanut butter, bacon, and banana sandwiches, this burger features a generous patty (made from local, grass-fed beef), a layer of creamy maple peanut butter, thinly-sliced green apples, arugula, and strips of crispy bacon. While the flavor combo might seem intense, the result is a delicious, unique, and high-protein burger experience. To help sweeten the deal, burgers are $2 off every Thursday, all day long. BECKY MANDELBAUM

Triple B Burger at Brandywine

Nickis Bar and Grill on the waterfront in Bellingham serving award winning, hand dipped, tempura style fish & chips. Build your own burger featuring our handcrafted USDA chuck patties and fresh baked buns. BEST



of the



of the




No, “Triple B” doesn’t stand for “Brandywine’s Best Burger,” but maybe it should. It’s called that because it’s got beef, bacon, blue cheese, and balsamic beets (I’m thinking Quintuple B Burger didn’t roll off the tongue as well). This grilled ham’s loaded with the aforementioned fixings, as well as organic arugula and a lovely garlic aioli — all of which are locally sourced. If you’re bored of by-the-book burgers, Brandywine’s Triple B Burger might be your brandnew bread and butter. TYLER KENDIG



2615 South Harbor Loop Drive, Bellingham 360.332.2505 |


December 2019 67

Taste  Chef Spotlight

Calypso Kitchen Brings Caribbean Flavors to Bellingham BY BECKY MANDELBAUM

on the island of Trinidad and Tobago into a family with Indian, Chinese, and Portuguese heritage. Growing up there, she regularly watched her grandmother cook incredible meals. “Whatever she was doing in the kitchen, I was always at her side, just watching what she was doing,” Chan says. In 2006, Chan moved to the U.S. to seek asylum from domestic violence. “The country of my birth, the home which I still love, was not able to protect me, so I had to leave hastily,” she explains. After living briefly in New York, Chan moved to Birch Bay. When she had difficulty finding a job, she decided to make her own. Not only could she be her own boss, but her three young daughters would also have something meaningful to inherit. Like this, Calypso Kitchen was born.

Cooking Classes In October, some of our staff had the pleasure of attending a Calypso Kitchen cooking class. We arrived to a colorful spread of chips, fresh fruit chow, and hibiscus sangria. Upbeat calypso music played softly in the background. After a short history review on Trinidad and Tobago, we gathered around Chan, who had set out bowls of curry powder, cumin, and culantro, an herb similar to cilantro but more potent. Our lesson for the evening was on curried chickpeas and eggplant fritters


“It makes me ecstatic to see the joy on people’s faces when they put the first taste of something they created into their mouths and they love it.” Sarah Chan, Owner Calypso Kitchen topped with blueberry tamarind sauce, a dish so delicious, I honestly can’t compare it to anything I’ve eaten before. Chan explained that fritters and chickpeas are a common street food snack in Trinidad, a place she talked about with such obvious love and affection, it made all of us want to travel there ASAP. The food was out of this world, and Chan is a genuinely skilled teacher (I learned several useful tricks), but what makes a class at Calypso Kitchen so memorable is Chan herself. She is friendly and open, with stories that capture your attention as she lovingly resurrects the flavors of her childhood. Her love of cooking is infectious. “It makes me ecstatic to see the joy on people’s faces when they put the first taste of something they created into their mouths and they love it,” Chan says.

Markets and More In addition to classes, Calypso Kitchen also caters and serves food at pop-ups around Bellingham — when it’s in season, you can find Calypso Kitchen at the Bellingham Farmers Market. You can also buy Chan’s traditional Caribbean dishes and sauces online, or drop by the storefront on Hannegan Road to grab some goodies in-person. (I highly recommend the blueberry tamarind sauce; it will change your life.) Outside of cooking, Chan uses her platform to spread awareness about domestic violence, human trafficking, social and political indifferences, and food insecurity. “As I build my business, I want to build an awareness of the negativities and what we can do to change those negativities,” she says. 4073 Hannegan Rd., Bellingham, 347.413.3983, 

Top by Dean Davidson. Bottom courtesy Calypso Kitchen



Dining Guide Taste

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

Kitchen sources many of its ingredients locally, upholding their “from seed to plate” philosophy. The menu offers vegetarian and gluten-free options and a rotating selection of beer from local breweries.   COSMOS BISTRO American Bistro,

Comfort Food

1151 N. State St., Bellingham, 360.255.0244, The comfort food at Cosmos is always made in-house from scratch at their historic Herald Building location. With award-winning service, plates brimming with creativity for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and many vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options, Cosmos Bistro offers something for everyone.   FIAMMA BURGER American

Menu items and prices are subject to change, so check before you go. See all our restaurant reviews on our Eat and Drink tab at  * Review provided by restaurant.


7 Bellwether Way, Bellingham 360.527.3473, The Hearthfire menu speaks to the everyday eater, not just the special occasion treat of Anthony’s. Seasonal items, such as peaches or huckleberries in the summer, complement salads, entrees, and drinks. Steaks, seafood, and items on the Woodfire rotisserie round out the selections.   BLACK SHEEP Mexican 215 W. Holly St., Ste. 101, Bellingham 360.526.2109, Co-owners Charlie Pasquier and Chas Kubis opened Black Sheep with the same approach they took to Goat Mountain Pizza years earlier, with a devotion to scratch-made, fresh ingredients. With homemade tortillas, fresh garnishes, and slow-braised meats, each taco tastes and looks like a small masterpiece just waiting to be demolished.   BRANDYWINE KITCHEN Regional NW 1317 Commercial St., Bellingham 360.734.1071, Named for the farm where they began growing their decadent heirloom tomatoes, Brandywine

1309 Railroad Ave., Bellingham 360.733.7374, One word speaks volumes about Fiamma Burger: variety. With a multitude of patty types and more than 20 menu options, there are endless possibilities for a burger masterpiece. All burgers are served on a fresh-baked bun, with crisp lettuce and all the usual fixings. You can even get a “burger in a bowl,” served without the bread. Spice it up with chipotle ketchup, spicy mustard, or curry mayo, then cool it down with a beer or milkshake.   THE FILLING STATION American 1138 Finnegan Way, Bellingham 360.715.1839, 716 Alabama St., Bellingham 360.746.2079, The 1950s vibe resonates within the walls of this all-American burger joint. From the antique gas pump to the car memorabilia lining the restaurant, The Filling Station is Fairhaven’s newest go-to spot to satisfy your hunger. With names like Chevy Pickup, Mustang, and Thunderbird, the menu provides different burger selections along with appetizers like Dip Sticks (deep-fried zucchini strips), Hot Rod (footlong hot dog), or the Junkyard (classic, onion, and tire fries).   THE GRILL Greek, American 1155 E. Sunset Dr., Ste. 105, Bellingham 360.306.8510, A peek into The Grill’s kitchen will reveal a lamb rotisserie awaiting carving for your Traditional Gyro. The menu has plenty of variety; order anything from a hot dog to an Italian sandwich.


9990 Mount Baker Hwy., Glacier 360.599.2863, Milano’s is known for its accommodating staff, extensive beer and wine selection, and its delicious, authentic Italian food. People will travel great lengths just to get a taste, as it’s located in Glacier, the last town before the big climb up to the Mount Baker Ski Area. After a long cold day of snowshoeing, what’s better than warming up with a steaming plate of homemade pasta?   NICKI’S BAR AND GRILL/ NICKI’S BELLA MARINA American, Seafood 2615 S. Harbor Loop Dr., Bellingham 360.332.2505, Harborside visitors can grab a bite at Nicki’s Bar and Grill or rent out the floor above, Nicki’s Bella Marina, for private events with spectacular views of Bellingham Bay. Once you’ve had a chance to check out the water, take your first glance at the large menu. The burgers are big, juicy (there are even Wet-Naps on the table), and flavorful.   NORTHWATER Regional NW 4260 Mitchell Way, Bellingham 360.398.6191, From breakfast to late night dinner, northwater’s 185-seat restaurant features a diverse menu of Pacific Northwest dishes made from locally sourced and sustainable ingredients. The restaurant’s waitstaff is personable and enthusiastic — eager to answer our questions about ingredient sources and what desserts they’d recommend.   SWIM CLUB WET BAR American, Bar 1147 11th St., Bellingham 360.393.3826, “To drink is to swim, and this is the club we do it in.” This wet bar on the edge of Fairhaven boasts a rotating food and drink menu, along with seasonal pop-ups. The owners wanted to evoke the carefree, fun nature of a pool party, with decor and drinks that boost the vacation vibes. Even in a February snow storm, Swim Club still feels like a tropical getaway.   TASTE OF INDIA Indian 3930 Meridian St., Ste. 107, Bellingham 360.647.1589, At Taste of India, all the dishes are rich, delicious, and authentic. Dishes come with your choice of pulao rice or the classic Indian bread naan. Taste of India offers a variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes, all with

December 2019 69

Taste  Review





Lombardi’s founder and owner Diane Symms spent her childhood traveling the world, tasting food from France, Italy, and Switzerland. Symms eventually ended up in Seattle, where she opened the first Lombardi’s in Ballard in 1987. Her life has been restaurants ever since. Symms had been considering a location in Bellingham for some time, so when she heard that Giuseppe’s Al Porto was closing, plans began to solidify in earnest. In October, Lombardi’s officially opened its third location in the Bellwether storefront where Giuseppe’s used to be. (Loyal Giuseppe’s customers will be happy to know that Symms kept on numerous staff members.) The newly renovated space is cheerful yet classy, with large windows overlooking the marina. In the kitchen you’ll find Chef Andy Hilliard, who started at the restaurant’s Everett location in 2014. Before the Bellingham restaurant opened, Symms took Hilliard and a few other kitchen staff on a two-week trip to Italy for the sole purpose of eating and learning about authentic Italian cuisine. (Tough job, right?) That’s the kind of dedication Symms brings to each of her Lombardi’s locations, and it shows. All the pasta at Lombardi’s comes from Italy, and most of the dishes are made-to-order, featuring fresh, local ingredients from Washington. The restaurant also boasts an extensive drink menu with cocktails, craft beers, and wines from the Pacific Northwest and Italy (on Tuesdays, bottles are half off). For a classic dish, try the Chicken Marsala ($21), which has been on Lombardi’s menu for more than 25 years. The hand-cut, cooked-to-order chicken breasts are juicy and tender, covered in a flavorful marsala wine sauce and served with a generous portion of fettuccine. Another delicious staple, the Penne Siciliana ($20), is slightly spicy and features two shapes of Italian sausage, for varied texture. My personal favorite was the Sicilian Lamb Meatballs ($22). These flavorful house-made meatballs are served over

Photos by Dean Davidson

Lombardi’s Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar Comes to Bellingham Waterfront

Penne Siciliana

pappardelle and topped with slices of red grape, pecorino cheese, and mint. The dish’s warmth and sweetness come from its sauce, which is made from caramelized onions, figs, oranges, and spiced with nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove. The flavors are inspired by Moroccan, Greek, and Sicilian cuisine and come together in a truly unparalleled dish. Pizza lovers will be happy to find an assortment of Neapolitan-style pies made with fresh yeast and San Marzano tomatoes. The Prosciutto e Funghi Pizza ($17) expertly layers Prosciutto di Parma with thick slices of wild mushrooms for a delectable combination of salty and savory. You won’t want to skip the crust, which is chewy and flavorful rather than thin and crispy. For a richer, creamier meal, try the Tortellini Gorgonzola ($20), stuffed with four kinds of cheese and tossed with walnuts, basil, and gorgonzola crumbles. Meat-and-potato-types will be in heaven with the Grilled Pork Chop ($27) served with fingerling potatoes. The chop comes bone-in, perfectly-cooked, and is topped with a unique apricot demi-glaze. If you like what you eat (and you will), you can also reserve Lombardi’s for your next party. The restaurant offers two spaces, a large private dining room that seats up to 70 and a cozier room that seats up to 16. 21 Bellwether Way, Ste. 112, Bellingham, 360.714.8412, 

Prosciutto e Funghi Pizza

Chicken Marsala

December 2019 71

Taste  Sip

For Some Wineries, the Freshest New Releases Are in the Can BY DAN RADIL


sound like a lot, but that’s the equivalent of paying only $10 to $15 each for three bottles of wine. At those prices, you can afford to stock up and keep an on-hand supply year-round. To get you started, here are a few selections from a trio of Northwest wineries:

Mercer Estates ICAN This Prosser, Washington winery recently released an aptlynamed line of wines that feature a chardonnay and a rosé in sleek aluminum containers. A couple of added pluses: a plastic ring on the lip of the can keeps your mouth off the metal while the screw-top lid allows you to seal the can for later enjoyment.

Canned Oregon From the Stoller Wine Group, located southwest of Portland, comes a tasty array of fun, fruit-forward choices that include pinot gris, pinot noir, rosé, and two sparkling options: White Bubbles (made primarily from chardonnay) and Pink Rosé Bubbles (a white wine blend with a splash of syrah for color).

Cascadian Outfitters Andrew Wilson, a winemaker from Benton City, Washington-based Goose Ridge Vineyards, has crafted some fresh, flavorful choices under the winery’s canned wine brand. Something-for-everyone choices include chardonnay, rosé, sparkling white, sparkling rosé, and a syrah-based red blend. Mixed six-packs and cases are also available from the winery’s website, making shopping for your next party a breeze. 

Photo by Dan Radil


EMEMBER the unwarranted inferiority stigma attached to screw-cap wines when they first entered the mainstream marketplace? It’s safe to say that canned wines are going to follow that same path; questionable in quality by some, but only until they try that first sip. From the onset, one of the biggest selling points for canned wines has been their convenience, especially as an “outdoor” wine. They’re lighter in weight and more totable than bottles, making them a great option for concerts, picnics, and barbecues. You can also do away with corkscrews and the risk of shattered glass. But let’s not stop there. These wines have year-round adaptability that expands into the fall and winter months. They’re perfect for cooler weather tailgating parties, lunchtime breaks during snowy hikes, or enjoying with friends around the fire. You can also incorporate them into casual holiday gatherings. If you’re like me, you often finish an evening with a halffull bottle of wine. The serving size of canned wines — usually about 375 milliliters, which is half the size of a standard bottle — equates to almost three 5-ounce glasses. That means more manageable servings and less waste. So, back to the idea of lesser-quality, drink-from-the-can wines, which remains a sticking point for some. To that, some producers point to their can’s interior coating, which separates the aluminum from the wine. Despite the can’s practicality, producers also suggest serving the wine in a glass rather than consuming directly from the can. This may prevent any problematic flavor nuances. Canned wine’s easy-on-the-budget price points are a big consideration as well. $30 to $45 for a six-pack may

Dining Guide Taste


exquisite and well-developed flavors. For those unsure of what to order, or those who want to try multiple dishes at once, try the lunch buffet.




12885 Casino Dr., Anacortes, 360.588.3525, Located on the waterfront within the casino, 13moons is sure to catch your attention. The menu offers a wide variety including first plates, entree salads, seafood, and steaks. Give this go-to place for locals a try and you will be walking away satisfied.

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

ANELIA’S KITCHEN Polish 513 South 1st St., La Conner 360.399.1805,


A welcoming atmosphere, local food prepared with care, and great music make Anelia’s Kitchen & Stage a must-visit. The assortment of house-infused Polish vodkas and myriad of local beers on tap will make you wonder why you didn’t visit sooner. Na zdrowie!   BASTION BREWING COMPANY American 12529 Christianson Rd., Anacortes 360.399.1614,


On the Bastion Brewing Company menu you’ll find classic salads, an array of interesting burgers, and crispy chicken wings drenched in your choice of sauce. Food arrives impressively quick, and even more impressive is the quality of the food.   CALICO CUPBOARD American 901 Commercial Ave., Anacortes,, 360.293.7315, 720 S. 1st St., La Conner, 360.466.4451, 121-B Freeway Dr., Mount Vernon, 360.336.3107,

Photo by Mysti Willmon

Since 1981, Calico Cupboard has been serving the purest, most heart-healthy, and high-quality ingredients. Using freshly milled, organicallygrown, whole grain and unbleached flour, the cafe aims to promote its local farmers and gratify your body in the process. Sit down for breakfast or lunch, or just order from the bakery and grab an espresso to go. Calico Cupboard will leave you full, but feeling homey, healthy, and happy.

3 4

The Brewer’s Grilled Cheese Sandwich is the ultimate comfort food. Twin Sisters Brewing Company adds pulled pork to this classic to create an otherworldly sandwich. Upgrade to Parmesan Truffle Fries for a delicious, satisfying meal. Santo Coyote Mexican Kitchen in La Conner offers a Pollo a la Crema that will make your taste buds water. In addition to chicken and cream sauce, Santo Coyote makes it their own with onion, bell peppers, and mushrooms. Next time you’re at Aslan Brewing Company, try the Hawaiian Bowl. Cilantro-lime slaw, hoisin sauce, and sweet chili mayo come together for a filling meal that’s vegan and gluten-free. Order it over greens and rice or add tofu for extra protein.

The unbeatable Brussels Sprout Hash at Calico Cupboard Cafe & Bakery in either Mount Vernon or La Conner comes with red potatoes and fried eggs. It’s topped with house-made chile verde, melty pepper jack cheese, and fresh avocado.

5 6 7 8

On Rice has three Bellingham locations for when you’re craving Phad Thai. Or, if you’d rather have this delicious dish delivered to your door, place an order through Viking Food.

If you’re in a hurry in the morning, Woods Coffee has a Sausage and Cheddar Breakfast Sandwich that’s scrumptious and quick. Pair it with their signature coffee and you’ve got yourself the perfect start to the day. With three locations in Bellingham, El Agave is a great go-to for Mexican classics. The Chipotle Burrito is stuffed with refried beans, rice, and shredded chicken, then smothered in a warm chipotle sauce and topped with sour cream and guacamole. For a cozy night of authentic Northern Indian food, head to Taste of India in Downtown Mount Vernon. The Tikka Masala with Chicken comes with tender pieces of chicken in a rich butter cream sauce. THE EDITORIAL TEAM

December 2019 73

Taste  5 Faves

Medicinal as well as tasty, the hot toddy is the perfect drink on a chilly, wet winter day. A simple drink, it can be whipped up quickly with the following: 1 ½ ounce brandy, whiskey, or rum; 1 tablespoon honey; 1 lemon quarter; 1 cup very hot water; and 1 tea bag (or an infuser of loose-leaf tea). Coat the bottom of a mug with honey. Add liquor and the juice of the lemon. Heat water in a kettle, add the tea bag to the mug, and pour the hot water over. Stir and quaff! Pictured: Temple Bar Hot Toddy



Photo by Tyler Kendig





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MULLED WINE The unofficial winter drink of German Christmas markets, mulled wine is also a great hostess drink. helped me with this one: 1 bottle of syrah, 2 ounces bourbon or brandy, 2–3 cinnamon sticks, 2-3 star anise pods, 1 long strip of lemon or orange peel (or both), and 1 teaspoon sugar. To get that great, holiday smell, simply add everything to a nice big pot and heat, but not to a boil. Serve warm.

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EGGNOG Waning in popularity as people worry about consuming raw eggs, genuine eggnog is still a creamy holiday treat. This recipe makes a smallish batch (from 6 eggs, separated; 1 cup sugar; 1 pinch Kosher salt; 2 cups whole milk; 2 cups heavy cream; and 2 cups dark rum. Combine egg yolks and ingredients; whip whites separately and fold into mixture. Sprinkle with fresh nutmeg and cinnamon, then chill. (Martha Stewart adds cognac and bourbon.)

HOT BUTTERED RUM Two words: Polar Vortex. This is your first line of defense: 1 small slice of soft butter, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, spices (cinnamon, ground nutmeg, allspice), vanilla extract, 2 ounces dark rum, and hot water. Place spices and butter in the bottom of a mug and then muddle. Pour in rum and hot water and stir.

IRISH COFFEE Make your winter more delicious with a mug of spiked coffee: 1 ½ ounce Irish whiskey, 1 ounce brown sugar syrup (cook together one part sugar and one part water), hot brewed coffee, and whipped unsweetened cream for the top. Pour whiskey and syrup into a glass Irish coffee mug. Add coffee to two-thirds of the mug, then pile on delicious whipped cream.

The Making of a festive


In search for the highest quality charcuterie, look no further than your local Haggen Delicatessen. We carry an abundance of carefully cured sausages, finely sliced meats and all the sweet and crunchy accompaniments to go along with them. A well planned charcuterie board is perfect with cocktails before the main event and an easy-to-prepare appetizer for a stress-free holiday gathering.

Haggen Food & Pharmacy • Visit to view our weekly flyers, store hours and more. Barkley Village • Sehome Village • Meridian & Illinois • Fairhaven • Ferndale ©2019 Haggen 191021-10

December 2019 75

Run Run Rudolph

Ingredients: gin, mulled wine puree, lemon, cane syrup, sparkling wine, $11


S PART of Swim Club’s

annual holiday pop-up, Miracle, the traditionally tropical lounge transforms into a Winter Wonderland, adorned with lights and decorations. The cocktail menu also gets a little more festive. From now through December 30, you can order concoctions like the Bad Santa or the Gingerbread Flip. Included on the menu — printed on vintage-style holiday cards — you’ll find the Run Run Rudolph, a bubbly drink that’s warm (even though it’s iced), inviting, and absolutely delicious. Let me be deeply honest with you here: the Run Run Rudolph tastes like liquid Christmas. The warm cinnamon flavor from the mulled wine and the tartness provided by the lemon remind me of holiday baking with my family. The bubbles from the Prosecco taste like New Year’s Eve or a swanky Christmas party. It’s juicy and light, made strong with gin. Simply put, I love this drink. The Miracle pop-up has everything a Who’s heart desires, and might even make the Grinch hearts out there grow three sizes. General Manager of Swim Club, Dennis Schafer, says, “At the pop-up, guests should expect an immersive Christmas experience. From the decor, to the cocktails and the glassware, the whole event is designed to evoke the feel of a classic Americana Christmas.” LINDSEY MAJOR 1147 11th St., Bellingham 360.393.3826, 76

ENCORE* Epicurean Dining 5984 North Darrk Ln., Bow 360.724.0124, Located within The Skagit Casino Resort, the newly remodeled and re-energized Encore restaurant strives itself in creating everything in house from scratch by utilizing fresh and natural ingredients from locally sourced products. Inside the room, featured photographs of personalities from the music industry, recognizing The Skagit Casino Resort’s long history with entertainment; a platform that differentiates them from local competition. Take an epicurean dining adventure and discover one of the best restaurants in the region.   NELL THORN Seafood 116 1st St., La Conner, 360.466.4261, Nell Thorn is seafood-heavy, so trying one of their seafood dishes is a must. Their daily specials take into account the freshest catches, but you’ll also typically find a seafood pasta, filet-topped salad, and oysters on the menu.   SKAGIT VALLEY’S FARMHOUSE American 13724 Laconner Whitney Rd., Mount Vernon 360.466.4411, Craving home-cooked food but don’t want to make it yourself? Skagit Valley’s Farmhouse may be what you’re looking for. When first entering the building, you walk past a mouthwatering pie showcase and through a gift shop that has the perfect items for Ma and Pa. The decor is reminiscent of country living. Even though their breakfasts are famous, try their lunch and dinner menus as well — when you eat here, you’re home.   SWINOMISH SPORTS BAR & GRILL American

12885 Casino Dr., Anacortes, 888.288.8883, Located along the waterfront of Anacortes, this is not your run-of-the-mill sports bar. While you can go the more classic bar-food route, this restaurant offers Italian, barbeque, seafood, Southern, among many other cuisine styles. Find the latest lines, watch the race, or grab a beer and grub as you watch every play, pass, and score.   Photo by Lindsey Major

Swim Club Wet Bar

Dining Guide Taste

SAN JUAN CATKIN CAFÉ American 11 Point Lawrence Rd., Olga, 360.376.3242, The menu of this Orcas Island eatery may be small, but it is mighty. Breakfast and lunch are served late and their menu features meat and produce grown on the island. Don’t forget about their bakery before heading out — all sweets and baked goods are made in-house.   CYNTHIA’S BISTRO American 65 Nichols St., Friday Harbor, 360.298.8130, Located in a renovated 1920s home, this local San Juan Island staple is known for their innovative menu selections. You can enjoy lunch, or even an extended breakfast, daily in spring and summer. They are famous for their brunch, but you might try stopping by later in the evening for their dinner menu — a special treat.   INN AT LANGLEY American 400 First St., Langley, 360.221.3033, If beauty were a taste, this would be it. As a guest, you’re taken on a mouth-watering culinary journey through a multi-course tasting menu. Not only is the meal a delight for the taste buds, but there are also surprises at each turn, whether it’s the presentation or the accoutrements. Each guest is served as if they are the only one in the dining room. The menu is prix fixe, with an additional charge for wine pairing. Dinner here is more than just a meal; it’s an experience. $ $ $ $  ISLAND SKILLET Homestyle 325 Prune Alley, Eastsound, 360.376.3984 Beloved by loyal patrons for its large portions and casual, customizable meals, Island Skillet is a must-stop for anyone visiting Orcas Island. A rustic metal rooster outside the entrance sets the tone. Start the day with a skillet breakfast complete with a bottomless cup of coffee. Sandwiches rule the lunch menu, and you can choose from a lengthy list of sides and customizations for most items, so you can totally have it your way.   SAN JUAN ISLAND BREWING CO. American 410 A St., Friday Harbor, 360.378.2017, At San Juan Island Brewing Company all the brews are named after San Juan-inspired concepts, and if you can’t decide what brew to try, order a sampler. If they weren’t in the business of brewing, San Juan Island Brewery would be in the business of pizza. Order one of their wood stone pizzas and you won’t be disappointed. The thin crust is crispy on the bottom, but still soft and chewy.

Culinary Events Truffle Making Class December 7, 2 p.m. What’s more decadent than a truffle? Now you can learn to make your own at this delectable workshop. Try your hand at a variety of flavors and learn all about the trufflemaking process. Best of all, take home a box of your creations for a sweet way to start off the holiday season. Forte Chocolates 1400 Riverside Dr., Mount Vernon

Sparkling Wine: An International Tour December 11, 6:30 p.m. Take your taste buds on a bubbly ride around the world at this international tasting class. From local finds like California sparkling wine to European delights like Italian Prosecco and Spanish Cava, learn how each wine is unique while exploring pairing opportunities with provided appetizers. You’ll be a connoisseur in no time. Roots Room, Community Food Co-op Cordata 315 Westerly Rd., Bellingham

Incognito: White Elephant December 19, 6 p.m. Everyone’s favorite holiday party game meets mysterious culinary delights at this special festivity. Grab a bite and grab a gift during the multi-course meal, accompanied by adult beverages. All attendees are encouraged to bring a kitchen, cooking, or hostess-related gift. At the end of the night, everyone will vote on the tackiest present. Ciao Thyme Commons 207 Unity St., Bellingham

Spring Valley Vineyard Winemaker Dinner


December 20, 5:30 p.m.

8 NW Front St., Coupeville, 360.678.4222,

Begin this reception with appetizers and a refreshing glass of bubbly, then move on to a five-course meal. Each dish is carefully paired with a variety of wines, all of which will be available for purchase this holiday season. Prepare to wine, dine, and have a good time.

Overlooking the scenic Penn Cove in the center of old Coupeville, Toby’s Tavern offers diners a dive bar ambience with a delicious menu of seafood favorites. Steamed and soaked in a scrumptious mix of simple seasonings, wine, and juices, Toby’s robust offering of mussels makes for a memorable visit.

Semiahmoo Resort 9565 Semiahmoo Pkwy., Blaine

December 2019 77

Taste  Recipe

I Promise, You’ll Like Them a Latke BY BECKY MANDELBAUM


F YOU’VE NEVER HAD A POTATO LATKE, imagine a love child between a hash brown and a pancake, or like a tater tot who got cocky. Although these fried, crispy treats are traditionally eaten during Hanukkah, they’re the perfect addition to any holiday gathering, or really any time you’re craving something hot, fried, and potato-based (which, if you’re like me, is always). When I was in college, I used to make latkes for my roommates every December. I lived with four other people, plus their significant others, so I’d usually double or triple the recipe to make sure everyone got their fill. After what felt like days of grating potatoes and onions by hand, I would set up camp near the stove and begin the long, dramatic process of frying. One by one, I would place the finished latkes on a paper-towel-lined plate beside me. Each time I looked over, the plate would be miraculously empty, and I would peek over to find my roommates happily licking grease from their fingers. Most times, I was lucky if I got a latke or two to myself, but that’s the point of the holidays, after all: sharing with those you love.

Potato Latkes Start to finish: 45 minutes to 1 hour Yields: About 24 latkes 2 large russet potatoes, scrubbed 1 large onion 2 eggs 1/2 cup matzo meal 2 tablespoons flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 78

2 teaspoons Kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon pepper Peanut, safflower, or other high-temperature oil, for frying • Grate the potatoes and onion either by hand or with a food processor that has a coarse setting. • Squeeze the grated mixture of as much moisture as you can. You can either press the mixture against a colander, use a cheesecloth to wring out the water, or dry in a salad spinner. The more moisture you remove, the crispier your latkes will be! • Once the mixture is relatively dry, place into a large bowl. Add the eggs, matzo meal, flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper. Mix well. • Add a generous layer of oil to a large skillet on mediumhigh heat. Once the oil is hot enough to sizzle, add a tablespoon of batter to the skillet and flatten it into a disc. You can decide how thick your latkes are — the thinner they are, the crispier they will be. • Cook the latkes in batches, letting them sit on each side for about 5 minutes, or until the edges are brown and crispy. To save time, you can have two skillets going at once. • Once cooked, place the latkes on a paper towel or wire cooling rack and let the excess oil drain off. • Repeat until the batter is gone. • Serve with applesauce or sour cream and chives. 

The Scene Notes

Photos by Oh Snap! Event Photo Booths

Best Night in the Northwest On a brisk Friday night in October, over 350 guests filled the ballroom at the Holiday Inn & Suites Bellingham for Bellingham Alive’s Best of the Northwest party. The annual fete celebrates the winners of the Best of the Northwest issue, from dairy farmers to dentists and everyone in between. Upon arrival, guests were greeted by our office manager, Jenn Bachtel, and given drink, raffle, and swag bag tickets. A spread of delicious finger foods lined the ballroom’s back wall, while servers carrying additional hors d’oeuvres circled the room. About halfway through the event, the magazine’s president and publisher, Lisa Karlberg, gave a speech expressing her gratitude to the community. With a crowded dance floor, talented bartenders, and an exclusive photo booth, the night was an all-around success. LINDSEY MAJOR

December 2019 79

© Evan Holmstrom

Notes  Lasting Image

“Fungi are the perfect photographic subject. Ideal specimens are elusive, but when you find them they hold still for you. I’m enchanted by their whimsical appearance and unique ecology. This Angel Wing from the Cascade River valley is a favorite of mine for its form and flavor.” EVAN HOLMSTROM, MARBLEMOUNT

North Sound photographers, we want to see what you’ve got. We’re looking for locally generated photographs for our Lasting Image feature. We’re seeking local nature photographs — ones that freeze a moment, tell a story, evoke an emotion. We’ll run your photo, along with your name, where you’re from, where the photo was shot, and a short 40-word write-up about the photo (inspiration for it, how you got it, meaning behind it, etc.). The photo must be high resolution (300 dpi) with no watermarks. Send to Then sit back and enjoy the view.


‘Tis The season for fun!




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