ISSUE NO. 28
Keeping Up With A
THRIVING MARKET PIERCE COUNTY REAL ESTATE MARKET UPDATE
WRESTLER, MUSICIAN AND CO-HOST OF BJ & MIGS, MORNINGS ON 99.9 KISW THE ROCK OF SEATTLE
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SOLD IN 3 DAYS IN ARLETTA HILLS! OFFERED AT $679,000 | MLS# 1735553
CAROLYN WESTMORELAND Broker/Owner | 253.961.5596 JENSEN WESTMORELAND Broker | 253.240.5514
Mark Wambold NMLS ID 248580 State Lic. MLO-248580 253.225.3352 | email@example.com www.wamboldhomeloans.com
This information is not intended to be an indication of loan qualification, loan approval or a commitment to lend. Other limitations may apply. ©2014 Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation FIMC NMLS ID#2289 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org) EQUAL HOUSING LENDER WA. License Number MLO-248580. 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
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Office of Khash A. Dehghan, MD, PHD, FACS
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WASHINGTON EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Julie Reed | 253.363.8832 firstname.lastname@example.org DIRECTOR OF PRODUCT MARKETING Jackson Russo | 208.610.4416 email@example.com MARKETING COORDINATOR Alyssa Koberstien | 253.363.8830 firstname.lastname@example.org
EDITOR IN CHIEF Jillian Chandler | email@example.com STAFF WRITERS Colin Anderson | firstname.lastname@example.org Abigail Thorpe | email@example.com
CREATIVE DIRECTOR | Maddie Horton LEAD GRAPHIC DESIGNER | Darbey Russo GRAPHIC DESIGNER | Kennedy Pew GRAPHIC DESIGNER | Marisa Inahara DIGITAL CREATIVE DIRECTOR | Whitney Lebsock
MANAGING PARTNER | Kim Russo EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR | Steve Russo DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS | Rachel Figgins
great things for a great community Founded in 1925, Peninsula Light is your member-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperative, providing reliable power throughout Gig Harbor and the Key Peninsula. We are dedicated to continually improving the quality of life in this great community through system reliability, helping you conserve and use electricity more efficiently and rising to the challenges of a rapidly changing industry.
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Deann Hammer, Rachel Kelly, Marguerite Cleveland, Serina Jones, Jessie Puryear, Taylor Shillam, Lynn Castle, Tina VanDenHeuvel
Samantha Elise Tillman, Brett Wifall, Nate Graves of In-Gear Media, Marguerite Cleveland, Tina VanDenHeuvel, Betty Rose Cortes - Pacific Islander Health Board, Special Olympics Idaho, Special Olympics Washington
253 Lifestyle Magazine is published monthly and distributed freely throughout the Pacific Northwest. Opinions expressed in articles or advertisements do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher. 253 Lifestyle Magazine is not responsible for omissions or information that has been misrepresented to the magazine. 253 Lifestyle Magazine is produced and published by Like Media, and no part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted without the permission of the publisher.
Building Better Solutions for Clients With almost 30 years experience serving families in Gig Harbor and Pierce County, Felicia Soleil provides more constructive alternatives to dissolving a marriage outside of a courtroom. In addition to her family law practice, she also provides mediation services, offering legal support, education and case management - from simple to complex - for separation and divorce, parenting plans, child support and prenuptial agreements.
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Felicia A. Soleil, Attorney at Law and Mediator
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Steve Russo Executive Director
A SEASON OF PROMISE LAST MONTH WE SAID GOODBYE TO WINTER, WELCOMING SPRING WITH OPEN ARMS AND HAPPY HEARTS. As we bask in the sunlight and warmth of the season, it reminds us that this is a time of renewal, of growth, of hope, of promise. This coincides beautifully with Easter, April 4 this year, as this celebration of Jesus’ resurrection reminds us of God’s promise of eternal life. When reflected upon, especially in these times of continuing uncertainty, we all can find hope and strength in that promise. It can be easy to lose hope when you feel alone in the world. And with so much illness and isolation still being felt across the country, it is important to remember to share God’s grace with those around you.
KEEPING UP WITH A THRIVING MARKET: PIERCE COUNTY REAL ESTATE MARKET UPDATE
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Q&A WITH STEVE MIGS: WRESTLER, MUSICIAN AND CO-HOST OF BJ & MIGS, MORNINGS ON 99.9 KISW - THE ROCK OF SEATTLE
One of the best ways we can show the love of God to others is through our actions, giving the gift of hope to others. I encourage you to connect with others who may feel lost in their lives; who may find themselves hopeless. This year, in addition to your yearly Easter traditions, do what you can to inspire hope in others. Share God’s love with those around you, and you too will feel renewed. As nature around us comes alive, the trees budding and the flowers beginning to break through the soil up toward the sun, take a moment to breathe in the fresh air, take in God’s beauty, and embrace this season of hope and change. A blessed and joyful Easter from all of us at Like Media.
FEATURED RECIPE: CARAMELIZED ONION AND SHIITAKE FRITTATA WITH HAVARTI CHEESE
OREGON’S ADVENTURE COAST: ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES FOR THE PERFECT GETAWAY
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A Before and After Affair: Embarking on your home transformation
28 Q& A
HE ALT H & LIF E S TY L E
How to Land Your Dream Home in a Hot Market: Come prepared, do your research, and find the right agent
Q&A with Steve Migs: Wrestler, musician and cohost of BJ & Migs, Mornings on 99.9 KISW - The Rock of Seattle
The latest tips and trends about living a healthy, active life
TR E NDING
TACOMA FO CUS
TH E ART S
BU S IN E S S P IN P O I N T
Keeping Up With a Thriving Market: Pierce County’s real estate market update
25 Years of Community Service: Asia Pacific Cultural Center
Time for a Move?: Coast Movers ensures a smooth transition
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sneak peek into April ... 60
ISSUE NO. 28
The Struggle to Keep Up With
A THRIVING MARKET PIERCE COUNTY REAL ESTATE MARKET UPDATE
F E ATUR E
FEAT U R E D R ECIP E
Celebrating 50 Years of the Special Olympics: How local branches of the organization are adapting in 2021
Caramelized Onion and Shiitake Frittata with Havarti Cheese
ENTE RTA I NMENT
TRAV E L & LE IS U R E
Events in April you don’t want to miss!
Oregon’s Adventure Coast: Endless possibilities for the perfect getaway
WRESTLER, MUSICIAN AND CO-HOST OF BJ & MIGS, MORNINGS ON 99.9 KISW THE ROCK OF SEATTLE
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About The Cover RADIO PERSONALITY, MUSICIAN, WRESTLER, FAMILY MAN AND COMMUNITY SUPPORTER, you can find Steve Mig’s featured on this month’s cover of 253 Lifestyle Magazine. Read more about Steve in our Q&A on page 28. Cover photo by Samantha Elise Tillman.
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Home A Before and After Affair EMBARKING ON YOUR HOME TRANSFORMATION BY DEANN HAMMER, BROADWAY DESIGN
uring the COVID pandemic, as many people flee to less populated suburban areas, many residents have chosen to stay put and renovate. Low interest rates have also stimulated the trend, as homeowners now have access to low-cost loans to complete their ultimate home projects.
As I wander through the home improvement stores, I see a plethora of people glassy eyed and utterly confused about where to begin. Most have no idea how many decisions they are making over the course of their project, or how much it will cost to get to the finish line. They wander around the store with one tile sample in hand and think, “I got this.” Here are some things to plan for when embarking on a home transformation: 1. Have an overall design plan. Look up photos of completed projects on Houzz.com or in magazines. Be very clear about the overall feel you would like to accomplish. Do not focus on one room at a time. Your goal is to create “flow” between rooms so that they all connect within the overall design theme. 2. Make sure your design goals will not be out of trend or become outdated in the next five to 10 years. 3. Focus on the exterior architecture of your home, and attempt to keep the design style that exists on the outside to coordinate with the design style on the inside. There is nothing worse than a 1970’s split level with a coastal cottage interior. Don’t do it! Remember to keep a consistent theme from the front of the driveway to the end of the backyard. 4. Know your budget limitations. Don’t have grandiose ideas that you simply cannot afford. Do your homework and know the cost of each task. Don’t spend all of your money on a super high-end jacuzzi tub if your kitchen is 30 years outdated. 5. Kitchens and master baths are always the best place to start renovating for resale if you are in doubt.
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6. Always think about the next homeowner. If you like pink, that’s great! But buy a pink scarf—don’t paint your living room pink! Pillows and art are great ways to add pops of color with little commitment. Let’s face it, life can throw us curve balls, and a home is often the largest investment in our portfolio. Keep up your home’s resale value with a timeless, uniform design that works for all who may come to live there. 7. A design professional will help you avoid making costly mistakes like installing hardwood flooring that your dog’s feet will quickly dent, or a paint color that makes you look sickly. Every improvement costs money, so take your time. The cost of the item isn’t always the most important factor if it won’t fit through the front door or is out of stock. Interior designers can save you money on your investment by measuring accurately, sourcing wholesale items, avoiding material selection mistakes and accurately planning for furniture within the space under renovation. Deann Hammer is the owner of Broadway Design, a boutique interior design firm in Gig Harbor. She and her team craft spaces that are tailored to each client’s personality and lifestyle, while mindful of their budget, creating a perfect harmony between aesthetics and function. BroadwayDesign.net.
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Trending HOW TO LAND
YOUR DREAM HOME
IN A HOT MARKET
Come prepared, do your research, and find the right agent By Abigail Thorpe
or anyone looking to purchase a home in the current market, most people have discovered just how fast things move and how difficult it can be to land your dream home—but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. The market may be moving fast with relatively low inventory, but there are still opportunities to find a property or home that fits your needs, as long as you do your homework and come prepared. Start a relationship with a local agent. In this market, having a real estate professional working for you is key. Find someone who you feel comfortable with and start a relationship before you even start looking for property. “No matter what price point you’re looking in, the market is magnificently competitive, and you’ll want to have an ally and advocate working on your behalf,” explains Raniel Diaz of Our Town CDA, Professional Realty Services Idaho. Get referrals from friends and family, and do your research to find the right realtor for you. They will be key in not only helping guide you through the process but in networking in their local area to find you a good fit that might not even be on the market.
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Gig Harbor Gig harbor estate resource Real Estate real Resource
Average sales price
h | SOLD 910,000
Fox Island | Sold $729,559 $1,950,000
Up $14,880 from February
. Days On Market:
highest luxury sale
Downtown | SOLD $2,350,000 9 Days $2,100,000
Down $950,000 from February
average days on market 10 Down .6 days from February
* Data collected from multiple listing services on March 18, 2021
welcome home to your new gig harbor neighbors . . .
Sale in 3rd Quarter:
What's Your Home Worth? www.key2see.com
key 2 see Team "Pairing innovation with Communication to create a long lasting trust so you can Enjoy Home"
key 2 see team
“Pairing innovation with communication to create a long-lasting trust so you can enjoy home.”
jennifer hawkins | cj stewart | whitney johnsen
what’s your home worth? www.key2see.com (253) 229. 1414
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Know your needs versus your wants before you go into the buying process—and set limitations. Come prepared. It’s no secret the market is competitive. Sellers won’t wait for you. “Be prepared to move quickly toward negotiations and, if possible, be physically onsite to view property,” advises Jackie Suarez, associate broker at Century 21, Riverstone in Sandpoint, Idaho. Determine your financial capabilities, and if you’re not able to purchase with cash, get pre-qualified. “While it is great and fun to go out looking at homes, it is no fun to fall in love with one only to find out it is just out of your range,” adds C.J. Tuma, owner/broker at Coldwell Banker Northwoods Realty in Bonners Ferry, Idaho. “Get prequalified first, then the fun of starting to look can happen.” Also, be prepared to increase your offer if need be. “Cash offers tend to take priority in this market, and ‘escalation clauses’ are common. Sellers need to know that they are negotiating with well-qualified buyers,” explains Suarez. Do your research. Research the area to determine your target locations. Local geography, employment opportunities, services, schools, etc. will all play a role in your decision of where to buy. “Your best decisions can be made when good judgement balances your emotions, and knowledge is key,” says Suarez.
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Once you’re pre-qualified, talk with your agent about your parameters, discover what your payments will look like with taxes and insurance, and make sure it’s a comfortable fit. It’s better to know from the beginning what your limitations are. Accommodate the needs of the seller. Sellers want to know a buyer isn’t going to waste their time. “The less perceived risk a seller sees associated with your offer the better,” explains Diaz. Your best chance of landing the property you want is to know what the seller is looking for. “Learn what will be the best-case scenario for the seller. If you can accommodate their timelines and needs, consider structuring your offer to be the best fit possible,” advises Suarez. Determine your needs. Know your needs versus your wants before you go into the buying process—and set limitations. What is absolutely necessary? And what can you be flexible on? This will help you move quickly when the time comes and lets you know when you should keep looking. But make sure your list of “non-negotiables” isn’t too long, or it could hurt your search. “In this market, plan to learn, be humble and flex when possible,” says Diaz.
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Get your credit in order. Set yourself up for success when it comes to getting pre-qualified. Make sure your debt-to-income ratio is healthy, and talk to your lender about your options. They can even help guide you on what to pay off to help improve your credit and buying power. If you’re in the market for a home, don’t take on any new large debts like a car payment or maxing out a credit card, advises Tuma, as this could end up hurting your approval odds in the end and jeopardize your home search. Have a plan. Lastly, be prepared. Have a plan in place before you start making big moves. “If you’re preparing to sell to buy your next home, try
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to make sure you have a solid plan before that sign goes in your yard,” recommends Diaz. Network with friends and family to let them know you’re looking to buy, and don’t rush headlong into the process without getting your things in order and setting a timeline, so you’re ready when the moment comes to make that offer. The ins and outs of the real estate market can be difficult, especially in a market like the current one. But with a trusted agent at your side and the right planning, it is more than possible to find a new home you love. Remember, at the end of the day, sellers are human beings after all, and your unique story matters. “Some of my clients’ beautiful success stories (also known by us as ‘Real Estate Miracles’) have been hinged on their ability to present their story in a compelling way that opened the door to their perfect home,” encourages Diaz.
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EXCEEDING EXPECTATIONS Gig Harbor Cabinets is focused on providing high-quality products and customer satisfaction. We will do everything we can to exceed your expectations. Because life takes place in the kitchen.TM All plywood boxes | Soft-close doors and drawers with dovetail drawer boxes on all styles | Wide variety of styles | DeWils | Luban Cabinetry
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Tacoma Focus Keepin g Up Wit h A
THRIVING MARKET PIERCE COUNTY REAL ESTATE MARKET UPDATE BY RACHEL KELLY
hen it comes to the Pierce County real estate market, I think we can all breathe a sigh of relief.
Last year (as I’m sure you’re aware), we went into full lockdown. The housing market, which could only be described as “hot,” was expected to drop. As was everything. This spelled bad news for much of the middle class, whose one and only future investment is their house. Thankfully, in a time of uncertainty, some things just don’t change. In fact, sometimes, they get better. As society switched from meeting in person, to meeting online. From in the office, to at home. From with to without. There were many businesses that couldn’t make the switch. Income dwindled. For struggling farmers, we did co-ps. For restaurants, we showed up for restaurant rallies. For the April 2020 housing market, things really slowed down. Buyers and sellers were waiting to see what the market would do. It looked like it was to be a lean year. “I don’t think anyone could have predicted the year we’ve had,” says Joe Sanchez of Coldwell Banker Bain of the Pacific Northwest. “This has been one of our best years.” Surprisingly, COVID has been good for homeowners. Especially here in Pierce County. This surprising turn of events can be explained by an imbalance of supply and demand. There are a lot of buyers coming from just about everywhere, but simply not enough houses. The Pacific Northwest has that rare combination of a fantastic quality of life coupled with affordability. Pierce County is especially desirable because it’s so close to the much more expensive Seattle, and yet not far enough away to be entirely different. This has resulted in a swelling home value. This comes at a time when interest rates are at a record low. Once a home goes on the market, there are usually several offers within the week at or above the asking price. Many brokers and agents are scrambling to keep up.
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Retire in Style Downsizing just got easier! Norpoint Communities offers spacious cottages, all with attached garages. Enjoy your private patio, gas fireplace, and ample kitchen space. Small pets welcome. Landscape maintenance included. No buy-in or entry fees. 12-month leases.
Our Communities Gig Harbor 4203 Rosedale St. NW (253) 530-3334
Olympia 4125 Capital Mall Dr. SW (360) 956-9400
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NE Tacoma 4301 Norpoint Way NE (253) 952-8347
North Tacoma 3602 N. Narrows Dr. (253) 879-1000
Silverdale 1001 Deer Harbor Ln. NW (360) 633-1800
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This is partially due to a change in perspective. The pandemic has altered the way we do work. Many companies have switched to doing work remotely, from home, and found that it actually works! Areas centered around tech jobs, like the Seattle area, are especially amenable to working from home. Many people living and working in larger cities have been told they may never come back to the office! Even as we return to normality, the shift to working from home is expected to continue. This has resulted in a mass exodus from places like California, Texas and Seattle. People are simply looking for a higher quality of life with an affordable price tag. Apparently, what we’ve known all along, the rest of everywhere is now finding out. The secret is out: It’s awesome here. If you own a home, and you’re looking to move, now is the time to do it. Interest rates are at an all-time low, which means that most homeowners are finding that they can afford to go where they please. However, because there’s a shortage of available homes, make sure you have a contingency plan. It may take a bit to find what you’re looking for.
THE SECRET IS OUT: IT’S AWESOME HERE.
The market is good for us here in Pierce County. In fact, it’s healthy. Which is a bit of a shocker, considering the year that the world has had. “Our needs went from walkability and commute times to sprawl space and outdoor amenities,” says Jennifer Hawkins from Hawkins-Poe Real Estate services. On the upside, the pandemic has shifted our focus inward. Instead of traveling the world, we’re traveling from the sofa to the kitchen. The value of home, family and the outdoors has been elevated in our minds. We rest, exercise, work, vent and create at home. It’s important that home is a good place to be. That outside is a beautiful place to explore.
With such an unpredictable shift in the market, many may be asking, “What’s next?” Our friends at Coldwell aren’t seeing changes anytime soon. “In my opinion, we’re not seeing anything change until after COVID,” says Sanchez. It takes quite a bit of time to shift to a more consistent market. Homes aren’t opening up anytime soon, and buyers aren’t backing down. If anything, the flux is still underway. Be prepared to settle in for a low-interest, high-value home market for the time being. However, the market is not expected to stay this way forever. Some brokers have differing opinions on what might happen next. Hawkins feels that “our country’s spending to stimulate the economy during the pandemic will need to be paid back. That money will most likely come from rising interest rates.” There are lots of feelings and predictions about the future; this season has taught us that sometimes the future is unpredictable. Regardless, brokers know from experience that interest rates are not always consistent. They fluctuate according to environmental factors. Right now, we can celebrate low interest rates, even if later they may go up again.
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Regardless of if this is news to you or not, I think we can all take a rest. If you own a home, your investment is safe. If you want to move, you’ll most likely make money selling. If you want to buy, interest rates are low. The only bad news is for the house buyer who needs to buy now. With so few houses on the market, it’s definitely a waiting game. But if you already live here, you don’t have to worry about all that. Just bask in this new spring sun, secure in the knowledge that things (at least some things) are looking up. You already live here, the place where the sun rises in view of a snow-capped mountain. It’s setting rays glitter on the water. Sigh. It’s no wonder that with all the distractions stripped away that more people want to be a part of what we have here. And it’s not just nature, it’s community. Instead of stripping our neighbors down, we come together. For the misrepresented and unheard, for the quiet and the loud. For those that we agree with, and those we don’t. Here, we’ve got it all.
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MIGS WRESTLER, MUSICIAN AND CO-HOST OF BJ & MIGS, MORNINGS ON 99.9 KISW - THE ROCK OF SEATTLE BY MARGUERITE CLEVELAND
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wishing you a
HAPPY EASTER Spring is in full swing and it’s time to enjoy the light and fresh taste of our teas! Try our floral and fruity springtime blends.
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“HAD IT NOT BEEN FOR THIS STATION, I WOULD HAVE NEVER MET MY WIFE SYDNEY. ... WITHOUT MEETING MY WIFE, I WOULD HAVE NEVER BEEN SO BLESSED TO HAVE OUR DAUGHTER, TATUM, WHO JUST TURNED 1 YEAR OLD IN DECEMBER.”
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intentional, but it is a cool visual that there is all of this hair flying on stage—and then there is me and my bald head in the background on the drums! Most importantly though, I get to play music with four of my favorite musicians in Travis Bracht, Glenn Cannon, Jeff Rouse and JT Phillips. I am a very lucky fella! Q. KISW just celebrated its 50th anniversary. Can you tell our readers the importance of KISW in your life? A. I am typically not a person that gets caught up with nostalgia, [but] it was great to hear them remind all of us how lucky we are to work at a station with such history … and how important this station has been for me. Had it not been for this station, I would have never met my wife Sydney. She is truly my best friend and supporter; she has made me a better person. Without meeting my wife, I would have never been so blessed to have our daughter, Tatum, who just turned 1 year old in December. And to say that this has been the best year of my life would be an understatement. KISW has introduced me to some of my best friends, and so many memories I’ll forever cherish. I am a drummer, and a couple years ago we interviewed members of the band Stone Temple Pilots (one of my absolute favorite bands). During the interview I mentioned how much of a musical influence they have had on me and my band (Bruiser Brody), and they invited us to join them on stage to play a song. My bandmate, Glenn Cannon, and I joined them on stage to perform in front of over 15,000 screaming fans at White River Amphitheater for KISW’s Pain In The Grass festival. Q. I have to ask. What is it like to be the clean-shaven guy in a band with some pretty impressive hair and beards?
teve Migs is a true renaissance man. He is a radio personality, drummer for the band Bruiser Brody and a pro wrestler. Quite the resume. This expat moved to Washington from Brooklyn, New York, after graduating from college. He was drawn here by the Pacific Northwest music scene. He fell in love with the area and after 20 years considers it his home.
A. Ha-ha! This is the best question ever. Bruiser Brody started when my good friend Glenn Cannon and I started talking about doing a fun project that our listeners (we do a podcast together called the MigsCast) could follow along with from its inception to our first show. We hit up some of our good friends and favorite musicians to be a part of it. As we started writing and recording, we realized that we had something special with our band, but it wasn’t until after our first show and I looked at some of the pictures taken that I realized that I am in a band surrounded by some dudes with incredible hair! It wasn’t
Q. Music is an important part of wrestling, with many wrestlers having a theme song, but it is rare to see a musician who is also a wrestler. A. I started wrestling just a few years ago when I turned 40. I figured I needed a mid-life crisis after all, so why not get body slammed in a ring in my free time!? It’s one of the most challenging things I have ever done, which is part of why I love doing it. There is something amazing about showing up to a venue, meeting your opponent, and together creating something that will get a room full of people to get lost in the match and suspend all disbelief. It’s like creating an action movie scene for people to watch in person. The combination of physicality, improv performance and crowd interaction is what I especially love about being a wrestler. Q. Can you elaborate on your charitable/ nonprofit work with your wife Sydney? What causes do you support? And why is it important to give back? A. One of the charitable causes that we feel strongly about is animal rescue, as we have donated to and partnered up with Motley Zoo Animal Rescue over the years at KISW. In fact, I just recently learned that Wicked Pie Pizza (an awesome restaurant in Puyallup) is naming a pizza after me. The pizza is being called “The Migs,” and proceeds from sales of the pizza will go to Motley Zoo! Also, through KISW, we have partnered with Operation Warm and the Washington State Council Of Firefighters for our “Coats For Kids” program. We raise money to help put brand new coats on kids in need during the winter season … and in the last three years we have raised over $145,000! Last year KISW partnered with Mary’s Place for a few fundraisers, including our “Kicks For Kids” program. We raised over $36,000 to get kids in need brand new shoes of their choice. For the last 10 years, I have partnered with the Seattle Thunderbirds (junior hockey team) and their Hockey Challenge fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House. In 22 years, the Thunderbirds have raised over $6.6 million. For me, all these charitable causes and partnerships are no brainers—a chance to help kids, and animals. 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 31
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sia Pacific Culture Center was founded in 1996 from the vision of a small group of citizens representing three generations of Americans from Asian and Pacific Islanders heritage. With the powerful mission to bridge community and generations through art, culture, education and business, APCC has been focused on helping their community for the past 25 years. According to the executive director of Asia Pacific Cultural Center, Faaluaina Pritchard of Lakewood, “Our organization serves as an interactive cultural crossroads between local and international communities. While APCC is well known for the arts and entertainment we use to showcase our cultures, it is so much more than just an entertainment organization.” A visit to Asia Pacific Cultural Center’s Facebook page illustrates how culture and community are central to the organization with postings of all their past programs and events. This organization does so much for the South Sound community, but it was especially evident during the recent pandemic. Located at the 4800 block on South Tacoma Way in the historic South Tacoma Business District, APCC was busy throughout 2020. From hosting free COVID testing in their parking lot every other Wednesday for months, to providing free food giveaways from the Tacoma Farmers Market weekly in the summer, APCC was laserfocused on doing whatever it could to help. Whether it was giving away thousands of masks and sanitation tools to citizens and businesses or school supplies to kids as virtual school started up, APCC worked to assist everyone in the community. “Helping our community is part of our core values. It is what Asian Pacific Islanders do every day, but it was especially important during the recent crisis,” said Pritchard.
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Throughout the months of the crisis, Pritchard and her team worked with several organizations to touch as many people as possible. A great example was the COVID-19 Assistance for Families program, which partnered APCC with the Pierce County Connected Fund to give away $75 grocery store gift cards in late December—when struggling families needed help the most. Just days before, APCC hosted a toy giveaway with local Kiwanis chapters and free lunch from NW Share. APCC worked with the Pierce County Management Team and Tacoma Pierce County Health Department for free flu shots as well as regular COVID testing. Recently, they worked with the same organization to implement COVID-19 vaccinations at the center. To assist the business community, staff at APCC continue to extend assistance in applying for government-funded small business loans in various languages. And also important is all the work that APCC’s Promised Leaders of Tomorrow team continues to do for at-risk youth in 17 schools in the Tacoma, Clover Park, Franklin Pierce and Bethel school districts through virtual learning programs, providing support wherever it is needed. The team adjusted to weekly virtual meetings, they delivered food boxes to students and families in the program, completed safe at-home visits when needed and implemented a Youth Taskforce for Tacoma Pierce County Health Department. APCC is very proud of the 95.9 percent graduation rate among the 225 students in this program. Asia Pacific Cultural Center represents 47 countries and cultures, offering programs and services honoring their distinct artistry, business protocols, history and social practices. During 2020, APCC presented 63 live events (pre-pandemic) and 109 virtual events (post-pandemic) with nearly 300,000 people served. From the 10th annual Samoa Cultural Day to the 23rd annual Polynesian Luau and the fourth annual Korean Chuseok Festival, APCC worked to keep the community culturally connected. That work continues into 2021 with the upcoming Korea Day celebration on May 1 and the celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage month activities throughout the month of May. More information about Asia Pacific Cultural Center can be found on their website at AsiaPacificCulturalCenter.org. To view many fantastic programs, including the recent New Year Celebration, visit Facebook.com/AsiaPacificCulturalCenter.
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Health LO O K I N G TO I M P R OV E
Give your skin a fresher, more youthful look with microneedling BY SERINA JONES, LME, GIG HARBOR AESTHETICS
hat is Microneedling?
Microneedling is also known as “Collagen Induction Therapy” because—yes, you guessed it—it induces collagen! According to a 2019 study, patients who had four microneedling treatments had a 400 percent increase in collagen and elastin six months after completing the series. Microneedling is a non-surgical breakthrough skin treatment for reducing acne scars, wrinkles and fine lines. It creates thousands of microchannels that stimulate your body’s natural wound-healing process, while minimizing cellular damage. This rejuvenates your skin from the inside out. The result is effective remodeling of scar tissue, while keeping the overall structure of the skin intact. Microneedling Benefits: The treatments of microneedling not only help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles but also have a positive effect on uneven skin tone and acne scars—improving the skin’s overall appearance to give you a fresher, younger look. Some of the many benefits from microneedling include: • Wrinkle reduction • Texture and tone improvement • Softer, younger-looking skin with fewer signs of aging • Acne scar and traumatic scar improvement • Stretch mark improvement • Overall skin radiance How do I find a professional microneedling treatment? Do your research. There is only one FDA-cleared microneedling
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device on the market that ensures the highest level of safety while delivering consistent results. Request a consultation prior to booking a microneedling service so you can ask how much experience the provider has and how the treatment is performed. In addition, when you properly space treatments that are overseen by a professional, the procedures can be administered year-round. What to expect after your microneedling treatment: Most people can return to their normal, daily activities immediately after their microneedling treatment. The total healing time depends on the emphasis of the treatment. On average, the skin might be pink one to three days afterward. You might experience slight redness and a small amount of peeling 24 hours post treatment. Most patients will see immediate results with improved skin texture, brighter complexion and overall more radiant skin. So, does microneedling work? Yes! Microneedling can provide incredible results to those who utilize it as a regular skin-care practice. Just be sure to discuss your options with your skin-care provider so they can walk you through the unique benefits and challenges that your skin may experience as a result. New collagen production significantly improves the look of your skin, combatting the effects of years of sun damage. Visible changes in the skin can develop over the course of a few days or several weeks after the treatment. Results continue to improve for up to six months after original treatment, as collagen production continues over time.
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Health W H Y I S M E D I TAT I O N S O H A R D? And what I discovered to make it easy BY JESSIE PURYEAR, OWNER, URBAN FLOAT UNIVERSITY PLACE
t was 2004, I was a newly Commissioned Officer in the U.S. Navy. I had just reported to my first Command as an Officer. I found that there were situations in which I felt overwhelmed, to the point of my hands shaking, my mind becoming locked, unable to think, literally stuck. I immediately began to seek out something that would help me work through those situations. I knew that I was not interested in taking medications. I wanted to find a holistic method; I felt meditation could help me. I read the research and knew the benefits it provided would help. So, I bought a book, I took it home and read it, cover to cover, and tried to follow the instructions. I tried and tried and tried. With every ounce of determination, I could not get my mind into a meditative state, not even a little. Everything distracted me, every noise, shadows on the wall, cars driving by outside, the cat, my thoughts … I mean everything! So, for one of the few times in my life, I gave up. Flash forward to 2015, I was sitting in a symposium, its purpose to teach us how to be better leaders, and how part of being a good leader is taking care of ourselves. There on one of the PowerPoint slides was the word “floating.” Immediately curious, I Googled it. I was intrigued. I then Googled floating near me. I made an appointment for my wife and I to try it out. It was amazing! For the first time ever, I was able to get my mind into a meditative state. In the float tank, there were no distractions from light, or sound, and once I learned to quiet my mind it was the most relaxed I had ever felt. But the benefits did not stop there. As my body relaxed, my back pain subsided. It was complete relaxation at an unrealized level. The
more I floated, other benefits became more obvious. When I found myself in stressful situations that would have triggered my anxiety, I now stayed calm, my mind engaged, I was able to work through the situation, calmly. It raised my confidence and ability to push myself. The ability to quiet my mind and body in the chaos, on demand, became my superpower. In that moment I knew what I wanted to do after I retired from the Navy. I wanted to share this wellness method with the people of the South Sound. In November 2018, I opened an Urban Float location in University Place. Floating is a great way to practice meditation and exercise being present. In fact, without any external stimulation, it can be difficult to do anything but live in the moment while your sense of self melts into the water and air around you. So this year, do yourself—and your loved ones—a favor. Treat yourself not just to a pleasant and relaxing experience, but form that meaningful connection with who you are deep down. Go for a float, become one with the nothingness you are surrounded in, and come out ready to give everything you’ve got to those who need it. With the way this past year has been, it is more important than ever to look out for each other, and that starts by looking out for yourself. Urban Float is open six days a week, and in addition to floating offers infrared sauna and red-light therapy. For additional information, visit UrbanFloat. com/UniversityPlace
Floating is a great way to practice meditation and exercise being present.
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TIME FOR A MOVE? Coast Movers ensures a smooth transition BY JILLIAN CHANDLER
espite the ups and downs many business owners experienced over the past year, one local moving company has continued to stay busy. Despite the pandemic, and no matter what else is going on around us, there will always be people on the move. And Coast Movers is there to help!
“Fortunately for me and my crew, COVID has not affected business,” says Coast Movers owner Jonathon Sheridan. “People still need to move, and we’re there to make the process as seamless and stress free as possible.” Jonathon and his crew continue doing what they love. “Everything is up, never down,” affirms Jonathon. “Our numbers are still on track, and we are still growing— that’s the goal.” Jonathon has been in the moving industry for the past 16 years and started his own business more than a decade ago at the age of 26. Coast Movers is a privately owned company, and Jonathon employs only dedicated professionals to transport your belongings with the utmost care and compassion. The Coast crew is made up of hardworking, honest, reliable people who will provide you a service unlike any other. Clients have continued to be impressed with Coast Movers, sharing their experiences for others interested in their services: As Nick H. shares, “Coast Movers is great! The moving crews are always respectful and thought out. They make sure to cover every little detail so the move goes as smooth as possible and that nothing gets left behind. They try their best to fulfill
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every request and need of the customer, and they are always polite. I would recommend using Coast Movers for your next move!” Another satisfied customer, Edie S., states, “Outstanding workers. … The team was very detailed and careful with everything, making sure they didn’t bump corners, brush walls or drop anything. I couldn’t have been happier! A well-directed group by the man in charge with the others following his lead closely. Wish we’d had them for our other moves. Can’t go wrong here.” Jonathon, along with his crew, takes pride in what they do, valuing the important role Coast Movers plays in ensuring a smooth move for all of their clients. “I’ve always just loved the fact that we’re helping people relocate. It’s a stressful time for that person, and we try to make it as joyful and peaceful as possible; our goal is helping the process rather than hindering it or creating added stress. I’m glad I can be a part of that.” Gig Harbor is where Jonathon has planted his roots and is raising his three young children. He feels blessed to call this place home and to be a part of this special community. “I’ve made a lot of great friends, new friends, through my business and by networking around the community,” says Jonathon. He finds it imperative to support your local community businessmen and women, working together, supporting each other, recommending each other and using each other’s services. “It’s all about community and networking; we’re all here to contribute and be a part of it.” If a move is in your future, look no further. Providing moving services in Tacoma, Gig Harbor, Bremerton and more, the professional and caring team at Coast Movers will ensure you are provided a positive—and memorable—moving experience. Call them today to get a free estimate and to schedule your move. It’s time to get moving with Coast Movers. “We love contributing to the community and doing our little part,” smiles Jonathon.
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CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF THE
SPECIAL OLYMPICS HOW LOCAL BRANCHES OF THE ORGANIZATION ARE ADAPTING IN 2021 BY TAYLOR SHILLAM
ince its beginning as a backyard summer camp in 1962, the Special Olympics has come a long way.
Dedicated to changing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities all across the world, the Special Olympics is now internationally recognized and has immeasurable impact on the lives of its athletes of all ages, backgrounds and abilities. An organization created to bring about inclusion now embodies the word in every sense. Harnessing the power of sports, the Special Olympics empowers people with intellectual disabilities to continuously develop their strengths, skills and abilities. The organization’s mission is to provide opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and build strong bonds with family, friends and community members.
Shriver was the director of the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation, an organization whose efforts focused on reducing the societal neglect of people with intellectual disabilities. Being part of the Kennedy family and having a sibling with special needs gave Shriver the power and the passion to support her cause. In 1962, after concerned parents approached Shriver about how difficult it was to find summer activities their children with special needs could participate in, her response was simple: “Enough.” Declaring “enough” was a starting point, Shriver’s first big step in paving the way for change. She started Camp Shriver on her Maryland Farm for special needs children from her area, recruiting local students to act as counselors.
The Special Olympics operates through the calendar year and provides sports training and large-scale athletic competitions in a variety of sports for children and adults.
Camp Shriver focused on interaction and engagement. The children played, flourished and simply had fun. The camp quickly became a success and gained attention from community members and public officials.
The organization’s beginning dates back to the early 1960s, when Eunice Kennedy Shriver wanted to change the public’s perception of people with intellectual disabilities.
By the summer of 1968, day camps similar to Camp Shriver were providing summer activities for more than 7,000 children with intellectual disabilities, and the next summer
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saw the first International Special Olympics Summer Games, held in Soldier Field, Chicago. That year, Special Olympics became officially incorporated, and it was pledged that another Special Olympics would be held in 1970 and every two years thereafter. Their growth hasn’t slowed since; in the last several decades, the Special Olympics has gained momentum through worldwide growth and recognition. Millions of athletes are now part of the Special Olympics movement, and it’s grown to be much more than summer camps and sports training. The organization provides health screenings, fundraising events, and chances for everyone to get involved, including local leaders, celebrities, law enforcement, businesses and more. The organization holds thousands of events across the world each year and has created a program to advocate for inclusive health—meaning the ability of people with intellectual disabilities to take full advantage of the same health services as people without disabilities. The Special Olympics’ health programming focuses on improving the well-being of people with special needs physically, socially and emotionally by increasing their access to health and wellness services. In fact, they are the world’s largest health-care provider for people with intellectual disabilities. Even with its undeniable impact, the Special Olympics was not immune from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Taking a look closer to home, the Special Olympics branches of Idaho and Washington states have each had to adapt significantly over the course of the last year. Components of the organization that have been most affected include athlete engagement, fundraising and sponsorships. When it became impossible to hold in-person events, it required tough decisions, quick adaptations and an increased difficulty in matching the level of fundraising success seen in years past. On April 20, 2020, Special Olympics Idaho made the difficult decision to cancel their Summer Games and all community-based programs for that year. “This was the first time in Special Olympics Idaho history,” said Director of Special Events Kristi Kraft, calling the cancellations “devastating” to their athletes, many of them who depend on Special Olympics for critical pillars of health like physical fitness and social interaction.
Millions of athletes are now part of the Special Olympics movement, and it’s grown to be much more than summer camps and sports training. 46 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
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The effects of canceled events were felt across the organization. “It’s hard,” stated Jaymelina Esmele, vice president of marketing and communications for Special Olympics Washington. “Going to events in person is a big social outlet for people who are already in social isolation because they are different.” She recalled other barriers that arose when events turned virtual. “Not everyone has access to the internet or technological devices at home.” Despite their best efforts in creating online challenges, virtual events and increased social media support, there would still be athletes the organization just couldn’t reach through the internet. Even still, the organization has met the pandemic’s challenges head-on, by boosting their social media campaigns, encouraging continued participation at home, enlisting virtual coaches and partners, and sending training kits to provide athletes with the necessary equipment to keep up with their physical fitness from home. Thanks to donors’ support, Special Olympics Washington distributed 5,000 at-home training kits to athletes across the state earlier this year. The kits contained items to keep athletes active, including a pedometer and fitness DVDs—items that didn’t require an internet connection for use. The organization will be mailing another wave of kits later this year. The impact of the Special Olympics has been called transformative, speaking to its ability to develop confidence and improve health on physical, mental and emotional levels. The achievements reached in a Special Olympics event translate into real achievements and real change in the rest of the world.
Organizations like the Special Olympics are strong in their values and in their accomplishments, but in difficult times, even the strongest need support. There are many ways community members can contribute to the causes that drive the Special Olympics. “Like many nonprofits, last year was very taxing on us financially,” Kraft said. “We always look forward to community support through virtual volunteering and donations,” Esmele said, grateful for the support the organization continues to receive from community members. Online donations are accepted through the organization’s websites or through Facebook’s donation pages. Amazon Smiles is an option that allows Amazon visitors to set up a charity as they shop. If they choose
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Special Olympics Idaho or Washington as their charity of choice, a percentage of their purchase will be donated to the organization. Even before in-person events fully make their return, community members can still volunteer with the Special Olympics as a virtual coach or partner. These virtual mentors are paired with athletes to check in and offer critical support through their time training at home. Community members can even show up as virtual Fans in the Stands, sharing their support by sending in an uplifting message, photo or video. This allows fans and supporters to cheer on Special Olympics athletes electronically, from wherever they are in the world. The hope for more in-person events sustains into 2021. A few annual events remain on the horizon—along with the usual air of uncertainty during this time. Special Olympics Idaho is currently in the training process for regional Summer Games. “We have taken many precautions to keep our athletes safe by offering non-contact sports and regionalized competitions to limit the number of people at the event,” Kraft said. Later this year, Special Olympics Idaho will host three regional “Night of Champion” Galas (in person), including one in Coeur d’Alene on September 23. The galas will celebrate 50 years of accomplishments and hopefully raise much-needed funding. 50 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
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THERE’S A LOT OF WORK WE’RE DOING TO KEEP ATHELETES ENGAGED Across the border, Special Olympics Washington’s annual events remain virtual until further notice. They are currently in preparation for the launch of a six-week run/walk event. The event will encourage participants to run, walk, roll and stay active throughout the spring, and will also serve as a fundraiser. Participants can register online, obtain a miles goal for movement throughout May, and meet their mileage goal by June. Anyone and everyone will be welcome to join. Full details will be released this April on their website at SpecialOlympicsWashington.org. Special Olympics Washington’s fall fundraiser, typically a five-course dinner with a featured chef, wine pairing and both live and silent auctions, went virtual in 2020. This year, they hope to offer a hybrid option, with a virtual component to stay within guidelines and provide options to those staying home. While events and fundraisers remain virtual, Special Olympics Washington will continue their online training options, including virtual workshops, interactive game nights and challenges for charity to keep both athletes and community members engaged. They even hosted a virtual Polar Plunge and series of Winter Games to welcome 2021. “Although we’re all home and staying safe, not getting together in person, there’s a lot of work we’re doing to keep athletes engaged at this time,” Esmele said, emphasizing the importance of maintaining social connection for their athletes. This year, stay connected with the stories and athletes of the Special Olympics as they celebrate their 50th anniversary. The organization will feature an athlete’s profile on social media each Friday for 50 weeks. Look for their celebrated athletes on their social media accounts and on Vimeo. For more information on participating in virtual events, fundraisers, galas or athlete engagement, contact Kristi at email@example.com or visit SpecialOlympicsWashington.org. The Special Olympics began as a way for people with intellectual disabilities to be included—to play, grow, to connect, and to use their abilities to the fullest. An organization that focuses on what can be accomplished is certain to do just that in 2021: accomplish big, life-changing things despite the necessary adaptations that have come with the past year. With support from the community, Special Olympics athletes can continue the physical training, social support and emotional growth they depend on into 2021 and beyond.
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AISLES OF JUNKIN’ TREASURE THE GREAT JUNK HUNT RETURNS THE WEEKEND OF APRIL 23 By Jillian Chandler
ith spring in full swing, what better way to spend a weekend than at the Washington State Fairgrounds, where visitors will find treasures galore being sold by a variety of curated vendors. Shop items that can’t be found anywhere else!
This event has been created for curators and shoppers who love the thrill of the hunt for vintage, upcycled and one-of-a-kind items. Shoppers will discover everything under the sun, from farmhouse, industrial, vintage, repurposed and handmade goods, and much more, at the 2021 Great Junk Hunt. The Great Junk Hunt has been voted the top traveling vintage market in the U.S. by Flea Market Style magazine, named one of the Top 15 Flea Markets in America by Romantic Homes Magazines and listed as a Top 5 Flea Market in America by Flea Market Décor magazine. The weekend of fun wouldn’t be complete without cocktails and music.
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Tickets must be purchased online in advance at TheGreatJunkHunt. com/tacoma-puyallup-wa-vintage-market. Early Bird tickets are available for Friday, April 23, from 4 to 9pm, offering entrants first pick of the fabulous items available. The 4pm entry time has already sold out, but tickets for 6pm are still available ($15). Early Bird entry is also available Saturday morning from 8 to 10am ($12). General admission is $8 to $10, with entry times spread out throughout the day starting at 10am and on the hour every hour, with last entry at 2pm. Sunday April 25, admission is $8 for those entering at 8, 10 and 11am, with a $5 Happy Hour price offered for those attending noon to 4pm. Those interested in attending, please note: The Great Junk Hunt is taking safety measures by adding time to the normal event hours and introducing additional ticket types/times to maximize social distancing. Attendees are required to purchase tickets online prior to the market. Additional measures that will be taken to ensure a safe and successful event can be found on tthe website.
FREIGHTHOUSE MARKETPLACE SPRING OPEN MARKET
WASHINGTON STATE SPRING FAIR
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Celebrate the start of spring while you support local businesses and vendors at the Freighthouse Marketplace Spring Open Market in Tacoma on 25th Street starting on April 9 at 11am and closing April 11 at 5pm. The open market will feature a host of local vendors, creators and other small businesses to browse while you enjoy dine-in options from food court vendors. While you’re shopping and enjoying some good bites, stop in the Rainier Room for a food and cash drive to support the local shelter. Presented by Freighthouse Marketplace Events, the market promises to be a great welcome to spring and the return of some normalcy to the Tacoma area, so head on out and support the community! Social distancing and masks are required. To learn more, visit Freighthouse Marketplace Events online at Facebook.com/FreighthouseEvents.
The Spring Fair may look a little different this year, but it’s sure to provide 10 fun-filled days jam-packed with things to do, one-of-akind experiences, entertainment and … you can’t forget the fair food! This year, jump in the car with friends and family—be sure everyone safely fits and wears a seat belt—then sit back and enjoy the fun, entertainment, sights and sounds of the Spring Fair. All tickets are valid for one vehicle admission, one time through, with no re-entry. Carload tickets include farm animals, fair food for purchase, Brad’s World of Reptiles, strolling entertainment, Daffodil Festival displays, entry to the Mattress Firm ShowPlex, and entry to Agriplex to purchase grab-and go treats. Choose one of the following experiences (one per carload): Racing Pigs, DockDogs or Bingo, and add-on experiences like monster truck rides and fun buckets, and drive-in movie and ride bundles for an additional fee. Tickets for this year’s fair must be purchased in advance online at TheFair.com. $30 to $55 per carload, depending on what day you plan to attend; $55 per shuttle bus.
2021 DAFFODIL FESTIVAL
The beloved Daffodil Festival is back, although with a new look! Harkening back to the daffodils that grew in the Puyallup Valley over 80 years ago, the annual celebration links one generation to another in the tradition of decorating floats with fresh-cut daffodils to celebrate the arrival of spring. This year the parade will be stationary and will include floats, bands, clowns and, of course, the beloved princesses. This year’s theme is Reach for Your Star, so head on out to the Washington State Fairgrounds April 7 through 11 and 14 through 18 to experience a host of beautiful flowers and floats celebrating spring’s favorite cheerful flower. Tickets required. To reserve tickets and learn more, visit TheDaffodilFestival.org.
* Please note, as of press time, these events were still scheduled to take place as planned. Due to the current health crisis, there is the possibility that event schedules may change or events canceled completely. Be sure to visit event websites to stay up to date with current information.
SUBMIT YOUR EVENTS ONLINE! Want your event to appear on the largest event site in the Northwest? Submit your events to us online at Events.DirectoryNorthwest.com 24/7, 365 days a year!
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Eat & Drink
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C A R A M E L I Z E D O N I O N & S H I I TA K E F R I T TATA W I T H H AVA R T I C H E E S E Recipe Courtesy of Tina VanDenHeuvel You can follow Tina @madebetterforyou on Instagram
INGREDIENTS: 3 tbsp. butter, divided 1 medium sweet onion, sliced in thin rounds 1 1/2 cups shiitake mushrooms, roughly chopped 12 large eggs 5 oz. creme fraiche 3/4 cup shredded Havarti cheese salt, to taste pepper, to taste fresh parsley
METHOD: • Preheat oven to 350˚F. • In a 10-inch cast-iron skillet, heat 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add onion. Cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. • Add mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until all liquid has evaporated and onions have turned golden brown, about 10 minutes. • In a large bowl, whisk eggs and creme fraiche together. Mix in Havarti cheese, salt and pepper. • Increase heat to medium and add 2 remaining tablespoons of butter to the skillet, making sure the edges are nicely coated with the butter. Pour the egg mixture over the onions and mushrooms. Cook without stirring for 5 minutes. • Transfer skillet to oven. Bake frittata until golden brown and center is set, 25 to 30 minutes. • After removing from the oven, allow to cool and serve at room temperature. Garnish with fresh parsley.
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Travel OREGON’S ADVENTURE COAST ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES FOR THE PERFECT GETAWAY BY MARGUERITE CLEVELAND
regon’s Adventure Coast truly is an adventure. From the excitement of exploring Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area by ATV or storm watching the epic waves along the coast, there is something for everyone. The charming maritime towns of Coos Bay and North Bend border each other and overlook the bay, while quaint Charlestown is a sleepy fishing town. Explore the bounty of the area on the Wild Rivers Coast Food Trail and learn about the rich culinary heritage of the region.
Where to Stay
The Mill Casino Hotel has a lovely boardwalk overlooking Coos Bays with 200 water-view rooms. It is a perfect base for your visit to the area. There are a variety of rooms from your basic hotel rooms up to luxury suites. Splurge on a Tower Balcony Suite, which has a huge bathroom with a jetted tub and a bay view. The private balcony opens up to panoramic waterfront views and lovely sunrises. The hotel offers some pet-friendly rooms. Where to Eat There is such a diverse variety of food on Oregon’s Adventure Coast. Check out the Wild Rivers Coast Food Trail for some ideas of where to eat. It highlights the local food on Oregon’s South Coast and helps to support the producers and crafters that grow and use local ingredients. The following can all be found on the Food Trail. The 7 Devils Brewing Co. specializes in Northwest-style ales, with most ingredients grown in the Pacific Northwest. Their public house offers some great food featuring locally sourced ingredients. Make sure to try the line-caught fried 7 Devils beer-battered Albacore Tuna with an amazing lemon caper aioli. Tokyo Bistro combines traditional Japanese cuisine with local fresh seafood and produce to create food that is fresh, healthy and delicious. This is a convenient stop on the way to the Cape Arago Loop. Dine in or grab some takeout to enjoy at one of the parks on the loop.
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Bayside Coffee is in the small fishing town of Charleston. This is a nice stop either before or after visiting the beaches, as it can get chilly with the wind, and a cup of coffee certainly hits the spot. Bayside offers organic fair-trade coffee and a variety of fair-trade gifts. Serving brunch daily, the Shark Bites Café is a cute little place decorated with coffee sacks, coastal driftwood and surfboards. It is famous for its fish tacos and other fresh local seafood, and is one of the best seafood cafes along the Oregon coast. Lastly, although not on the Food Trail, The Pancake Mill Restaurant and Pie Shoppe is an excellent choice for breakfast and a favorite with locals. Each day they offer a breakfast, lunch, pie and drink special. Order off their Mill specialties, which offer international favorites. The Dutch Baby or the Apple Pancake take an extra 30 minutes—but they are definitely worth the wait. With that extra time, you can try the fresh baked muffins or cinnamon rolls while you wait. Things to Do Head to Spinreel Dune Buggy & ATV Rental to spend some time at the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. After a safety briefing, detailed instructions and an overview of the map, you will head out for some high-energy exploration of the dunes and the beach. Spinreel’s Razr ATVs are state of the art and worth the rental cost. The Oregon Dunes are incredibly special. It is the largest expanse of temperate coastal sand dunes in the world. Islands of trees,
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the dunes and the Pacific Ocean form a beautiful topography often shrouded in mist. Off-roading gives you the ability to cover a lot more ground than on foot. The drive to the beach is about 20 minutes. Make sure to pay attention to your location and look for landmarks as you head out. It is amazingly easy to get disoriented. If you prefer to explore on foot, the Oregon Dunes Day Use Area is closed off to off-road vehicles. There are accessible viewing platforms to take in the great views of the dunes or Pacific Ocean. The Oregon Dunes Loop Trail is paved for the first half-mile, then you have a few options. The 2-mile round trip out to the beach and back is mostly level and the trail is hard packed sand. For a longer hike you can add a 1.5-mile beach walk before exiting through the dunes to loop back. The trail is marked by large post markers. The Cape Arago Loop will take you from Charleston to local beaches, overlooks and three state parks. The rocky coastline of Southern Oregon is where you go for epic storm watching with waves that crash against the cliffs and soar into the air. It is so impressive. If you have time for just one park, make it Shore Acres State Park. Begin by viewing the craggy sandstone cliffs, where the ocean waves slam into the rocks creating beautiful rock formations. There is a fully enclosed observation shelter you can watch the waves from if the weather is bad. The park was once the estate of timber baron Louis J. Simpson, and you can visit a formal garden with plants and flowers from all over the world. There are two rose gardens and a Japanese-style garden with a lily pond. There is something in bloom almost every day of the year. Past the garden you’ll find a trail leading to a secluded ocean cove. You can also follow a trail along the cliff ’s edge.
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Insider Tip: Make sure to stop at the Simpson Reef Overlook—and bring binoculars. From this vantage point you can see out to Shell Island, which is part of the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge. These reefs are breeding grounds and rest areas for a variety of sea birds and marine mammals. From this vantage point, depending on the time of year, you can see Northern Elephant Seals, Harbor Seals, Sea Lions, Gray Whales and an array of sea birds. Make sure to visit the Coos History Museum. It is located not far from your hotel, so you can stop in for a visit at the beginning or end of your day. The museum focuses on life in Coos County as well as Oregon’s South Coast. The first floor is the Main Gallery and has permanent exhibits on the Uplands and the logging industry; the Tidewater, which focuses on shipbuilding and the bounty of the local waters; and the Seashore focuses on the rough seas and shores. The exhibits highlight the natural history and the human history of the area. The second floor Mezzanine gallery has changing exhibits. The current museum collection includes more than 50,000 objects and more than 250,000 images. Make sure to visit the outside interpretive signs that share the cultural and natural history of the area. For more information on the area, visit OregonsAdventureCoast.com.
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