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University Place l November/December 2009

Chef Sara Myron Personal Chef and Volunteer

Olympus Spa

A place to Relax, Rejuvinate and Heal

Holiday Gift Guide 2009

Gifts For Everyone

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9:13 AM

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community matters 4 Chef Sara Myron business highlight 10 Olympus Spa holiday gift guide 15 Gifts for Every Occasion

M A G A Z I N E S TA F F Publisher/Editor

Michele McGehee VP Operations

Justin Weil

Sales Director

Kenneth Russell Graphic Design

Katy Jacobs

© 2009 by Catalyst Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved. All photography, articles and advertising, or any part thereof compiled by Catalyst Media Group, Inc., are exclusive property of Catalyst Media Group, Inc., and protected by copyright. Reproduction in whole or in part without express written permission is prohibited. Opinions expressed in this magazine are those of contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Catalyst Media Group, Inc. Catalyst Media Group, Inc.,is an environmentally responsible company.

Located parallel to I-5 on the west side between 38th Street and 48th Street in Tacoma. Shopping Line® 253.475.4565. Located parallel to I-5andonconditions the west side between 38th Streetfeeand Handling fee applies. Terms apply (including an administrative ® of $2.95 per month beginning Shopping in the thirteenth after the month of card 253.475.4565. 48th Street in Tacoma. Linemonth

PO Box 4207 • Spanaway, WA 98387 Phone: 360. 350. 1237 • Fax: 253.292.3667

purchase, and additional fees which may apply) and are available at Simon Guest Handling applies. Terms and conditions apply an administrative fee Services, fee on-line at, and(including in materials which accompany ® of $2.95 beginning after the card each card.per Themonth card can be usedinatthe anythirteenth merchantsmonth that accept Visamonth debitofcards. purchase, and additional fees which may apply) and are available at Simon Guest Services, on-line at, and in materials which accompany each card. The card can be used at any merchants that accept Visa® debit cards.

November/December 2009

The Community Guide


C o mm u nit y matte r s CM

Chef Sara Myron

By Michele McGehee Photos by PJ Indahl of PAYHOTOGRAPHY


have met many interesting people in my industry and I am always amazed at their commitment and passion for what they do. Recently, I had the pleasure of talking with Chef Sara Myron, owner of My Chef Sara, located in Gig Harbor. She has combined her love for good food with her passion for helping others. She officially started her business on September 2005, but she has been cooking much longer than that. “I started cooking for people 15 years ago. I was doing all the dinners for our church. If they needed a big event taken care of, they would call me,” Sara explains. “If people had surgery or had a baby, my idea was to cook meals and stock up their freezer. I didn’t know at that time that this is what a personal chef did.” “I always dreamed of owning a restaurant or kitchen, but I never had the funding to support this dream. About 10 years ago,


The Community Guide

November/December 2009

What is a personal chef?

Personal chefs are one of today’s fastest-growing culinary professions. They may specialize in making family meals prepared for the freezer, catering small dinner parties, or in-home cooking classes plus other personalized cooking services. Various chefs provide holiday meal preparation and baking. Many specialize in dietary restrictions required for diabetes, allergies and medical recovery. Their services usually include menu planning, shopping, cooking, cleanup, packaging and cooking instructions. I read an article on personal chefs,” she explains. She learned that personal chefs can actually get licensed to travel to other kitchens and cook. Whether it is in a church facility or home kitchen, she is able to go to any kitchen and create her magic. Sara has a variety of clients, from busy professionals to people who have a restrictive diet that need help eating correctly, to families who are busy and simply need help in the kitchen. Sometimes it is on a monthly basis and other times, it might be a special event or dinner party. Sara explains, “People like to entertain at home but do not want the stress of doing all the work. That is where I come in.” She helps plan the meal, shops, prepares the meal and cleans up afterwards. Most of her long time clients want weekly or monthly meals. “When I work with people for a long period of time, I consider them friends. I get to know them and their families.” She recently had a client who contacted her to cook for his parents. He lives in Georgia and wanted to provide a romantic 40th anniversary dinner for his parents. In addition, he wanted to provide meals for them because his mother was going through cancer treatment. She got to know the whole family and she still considers them friends. “When you cook for people, you learn their likes and dislikes and work closely with them on a personal level.” Mostly self taught, she continues to expand her knowledge through continuing education, new recipes and management and accounting classes that help her be the best Personal Chef and caterer she can be. She now gives back to up and coming chefs by being a guest speaker in the classes she has attended over the last few years. November/December 2009

She also does retreat cooking. She recently went with a group from Bend, Oregon to Camp Indianola. They contacted her and discussed their needs and she came up with a healthy menu for 20 people. She brought a friend from Idaho to help her and had some time off between meals to relax and catch up. As anyone knows who cooks for a large group of people, it is hard work. She has a list of people she can call on to assist her, from cooking staff to servers. With over 300 cookbooks, she can locate the right recipes for any occasion. She is also a founding member of Personal Chefs Cooperative and is a board member, an online resource that is in beta for personal chefs. It is a message board, support service and a venue for chefs to come together and share ideas. For more information on this organization, visit Besides cooking and food, Sara is also passionate about helping others. Her list of fundraising and nonprofit support is inspiring. In February, she participated in the Miracle Making Gala at the Gig Harbor Galaxy Theater. She had heard about a young man, Darius Weems, who has Muscular Dystrophy. Inspired by his story, Sara volunteered to feed over 350 guests, raising money for MD awareness. “What an experience. I felt like I was making a difference and it was an amazing local community event,” she explains. Vistit www.dariusgoeswest. org to learn more.

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The Community Guide

Showroom Business Hours Monday - Friday 8am - 4pm Saturday by appointment only 1931 S Fawcett Ave. Tacoma, WA 98402

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Join thousands of Americans on Thursday, November 19, 2009 as they go smoke free. The American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout offers you the chance to quit for good. For more information on tobacco cessation tools, tips and assistance in your community, contact your local American Cancer Society office at (253) 272-5368. 1.800.227.2345

In April, she participated in the Art of Dining Fundraiser Gala, held in the Freemont district of downtown Seattle. All Art of Dining proceeds directly benefit Women’s Funding Alliance’s critical work creating social change for women and

Chef Sara Myron with the U.S. Track and Field team of the Deaflympics, an operation supporting deaf athletes.

November/December 2009

girls in the Puget Sound region. Sara assisted her friend, Chef Debra Lane, in providing a four course dinner to two lucky tables. For more information, visit In July, she flew to Texas to cook for the U.S. Track and Field team of the Deaflympics, an organization supporting deaf athletes. The team was preparing for the upcoming games in Taiwan and the coach called to request her services. They needed a menu that provided the calories and protein that professional athletes require to be at their best performance. “I was amazed to see how much food athletes require. Some are consuming 6000 calories a day.” Visit http://usadtf.blogspot. com for more on the organization. And it doesn’t stop there. She continued her journey to New Orleans to assist the volunteers for the St. Bernard Project – an organization helping Katrina victims rebuild their lives. Sara cooked dinners for Americorp volunteers who were helping rebuild the homes and neighborhoods in the hard-hit region of St. Bernard Parish. “It was a great experience to be able to help others. Many times, the only food available is frozen and prepared foods.” For more information, visit www. With all the volunteer work and clients, she still has room for more. “My passion is teaching middle and high school children to cook. “I volunteered my time to create a year-long

The Community Guide


4755 South 48th Street, Tacoma, WA 98409 253-475-4611

Lily may hang on to her bad nail-biting habit, but she’s switching and saving on her lights. She gets it. Save up to $4 when you buy compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) at local participating stores. Switching from inefficient incandescent bulbs to Energy Star-qualified CFLs will save you energy and lower your lighting costs.

Unfortunately, it won’t save your nails.

Switch & Save with special deals on CFLs. Buy them at these participating stores: Ace Hardware Agrishop • Bartell Drugs Bed Bath & Beyond • Costco • Fred Meyer Home Depot • Marlene’s Market & Deli Saar’s Market Place • Walgreens (253) 502-8377 8

The Community Guide

November/December 2009

curriculum for a home school organization. I was home schooling my daughter at the time and wanted to share my passion,” says Sara. Last year, she did an after school cooking class that has inspired many a young chef. She and her husband are currently building a teaching kitchen next to their home. Her goal is to have an after school program for kids who are interested in learning to cook. “Kids love it and it doesn’t matter what their skill level is. If kids like to cook, they enjoy being involved in the kitchen.” In a society that has fast food restaurants on every corner and far too many overweight teenagers, this is an amazing opportunity to help children and young adults learn to cook and eat healthy, fresh food. Sara is truly inspiring. She has helped so many people over the years and her passion shines through her stories and compassion. “Being a personal chef has brought so much joy and so many opportunities to my life. How can I not give back?” TCG

To contact Sara, visit her website at or call her at 253-225-4452 I want to thank the Tobin Ropes and Maureen McHugh, owners of Mad Hat Tea Company for the hospitality during our interview. Mad Hat Tea Company is located at 1130 Commerce Street in Tacoma. Visit their website at

Caprese Skewers

makes about 25 skewers courtesy of Chef Sara Myron

These make a great QUICK yummy appetizer and there is NO COOKING REQUIRED! It is a wonderful addition to any holiday party.  

Ingredients: • 1— 8 ounce container fresh, marinated mozzarella balls • 1— 8 ounce package cherry or grape tomatoes • 25 paper thin slices cured specialty meat, such as Capicola, Bresola, Proscuitto or Salami • 25 fresh basil leaves • 25 short skewers (decorative ones are nice to use!) • Olive oil, or use the oil from the mozzarella balls

What to do:

Thread one each onto skewers: mozzarella ball, specialty meat, basil leaf, and a cherry tomato. Arrange on platter, drizzle with olive oil.  If desired, place a bowl of olive oil (can be flavored with basil or use the oil from the mozzarella balls) on platter with skewers for serving.

Sweet Treats Come on down and get that perfect gift for the holidays! So many choices, your pallet won’t know what hit it!

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Purchase $15 giftcard and recieve a free

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2601 N. Pearl Street • Tacoma, WA 98407 November/December 2009

The Community Guide


BH B u siness h ig h l ig h t

Olympus Spa A Place to Relax, Rejuvenate and Heal By Michele McGehee


The Community Guide

November/December 2009


he sound of water falling, the tranquility of a forest, the serenity of a mountain retreat. Sounds expensive and untouchable in today’s busy world. Tucked away in Lakewood, there is a unique spa that brings together the healing techniques of Korean and Western society. Catering to women only, it is a wonderful place to relax, rejuvenate and reconnect with mind, body and spirit. Built in 1997 by Mr. Lee, the facility reflects the traditional Korean spa services. After great success, in 2005 Mr. Lee expanded to Lynwood, providing women “You get addicted to the velvety in the north sound soft way your skin will feel for the same unique weeks after. All shapes and sizes of services. bodies, no one is judging; they are Mr. Lee built too busy relaxing. This experience the facility for actually seems to help you his wife. Coming accept and appreciate your body, from Korea, his whatever its condition.” wife had a hard time acclimating to the winter weather. He wanted to provide her a space that could warm her body. It took over 3 years of research in Korea, New York and Los Angeles to come up with the perfect spa design. And the dedication and quality show in the facility. When you enter, you are greeted by a friendly staff. You are provided with a locker key, your personal robe and towel. Shampoo, conditioner and body wash are available in the showers. You do not need to bring anything from home. A day November/December 2009

pass is very affordable, which includes access to the pools, earth energy heated rooms, sitting area and the private Korean restaurant. You can add additional services for an added fee. If you are a first time visitor, they will give you a tour of the facility and explain the different services they provide. “We want everyone to feel comfortable and have a wonderful experience,” explains Lee. There are five pools that are different temperatures, ranging from 60 to 102 degrees. You can jump from pool to pool to stimulate the body. In addition to the baths, they have a pool of mugwort herbal tea that can be poured over your body to improve circulation and soften your skin. It is said to have a cleansing affect on women’s reproductive system. Many women come to just soak, relax and reconnect. Conversation is light, providing a quiet atmosphere to wash away the stress of the day. If you enjoy saunas, the herbal dry sauna and the mugwort steam sauna will ease your muscles, relax your mind and eliminate toxins in the body. After a soak, one of the most popular treatments is the body scrub. A tradition for thousands of years in Korea, the process exfoliates the dead skin cells using soap and a scrub mitt. It cleanses the skin and improves circulation. The process takes about 40 minutes and leaves your skin soft and glowing. You can have your body moisturized afterwards, which finalizes the ultimate pampering experience. In addition to the body scrubs, they offer facials, massages in their five massage rooms and detoxifying body wraps. Everything a body needs to stay healthy and relaxed. Through the end of January, they are providing the

The Community Guide


Chocolate Body Wrap. We have heard how quality chocolate can help in weight loss, lower blood pressure and cholesterol and help protect the body from free radicals. Applied to the body, the same results can be seen after one session! After soaking in the tub, the attendant measures you as a starting point. You are covered in chocolate and a wrap is applied, similar to other detoxifying body wraps. Now it is time for the chocolate to do its magic! They have had great results from the process, seeing up to 2 inches shed from the body in one session. “I love it. This place is not about What sets looking cool; it is about relaxing Olympus Spa and taking care of yourself.” apart from western saunas is the heated rooms. Each room is built all natural stones. These stones generate Far Infrared Rays, which create natural sweating and expels metabolic waste, leaving you feeling refreshed and regenerated The Mud and Jade Room contains crystals such as Jade, Rose quarters, Aventurine to name a few. This unique combination is said to promote blood circulation, help expel toxins and stimulates the cells, bones and muscles. The Charcoal and Sand Room, which has a sand floor, creates negative icons and the far-

Lily may hang on to her bad nail-biting habit, but she’s switching and saving on her lights. She gets it. Save up to $4 when you buy compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) at local participating stores. Switching from inefficient incandescent bulbs to Energy Star-qualified CFLs will save you energy and lower your lighting costs.

Unfortunately, it won’t save your nails.

Switch & Save with special deals on CFLs. Buy them at these participating stores: Ace Hardware Agrishop • Bartell Drugs Bed Bath & Beyond • Costco • Fred Meyer Home Depot • Marlene’s Market & Deli Saar’s Market Place • Walgreens (253) 502-8377 12

The Community Guide

November/December 2009

infrared rays neutralize free radicals in the body, strengthens the immune system and helps eliminate heavy metal that can build up in the our bodies. Unlike many spas in the area, Olympus Spa does not require reservations to access the pools, heated rooms and saunas. So if you find yourself in need of a little TLC, you can drop in and enjoy the pools, To contact Olympus Spa call mediation rooms. 253-588-3355 (Lakewood) They do recommend 425-697-3000 (Lynwood) reservations if you or visit would like to have a body scrub, massage or body wrap, but they will do their best to fit you in. You can spend an hour or the entire day if you have the time. “Many people come with their friends. Some come with a limited time, but want to have some time to stop and relax. We also have had many wedding parties and girls nights out,” explains Suni. There are few places in our community where you can step away from the noise and activity of our daily lives. Olympus Spa provides women in the South Sound a place to rejuvenate, relax and heal. If you don’t take time for yourself, you will not have the energy to take care of your families and careers.

November/December 2009

If you are looking for a unique gift for your wife, sister, mother or friend, Olympus Spa would be a great option. With numerous packages to choose from, you can provide a day of relaxation. They also have a membership options that are affordable and provide daily access to the spa and 5% discount for all services. So if you are buying a present for ‘the person who has everything’ or a woman who needs a day of rest and relaxation, think of Olympus Spa. TCG

The Community Guide



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he best gifts are always those that have been chosen with care and accompanied by love. While it’s easy to get caught up in the frenzy of holiday shopping and overspend, with a dash of advance planning and a sprinkling of creativity, it is possible to celebrate everyone on your holiday list without going overboard. Planning ahead, shopping from a list and watching out for sales are three key holiday savings strategies. Start by creating a list of the people you will be buying or making gifts for during the holiday season. This is a master list that you can update throughout the year as you shop. Alongside each name, note the person’s interests, hobbies, likes and dislikes, past gifts and gift ideas for the current year. How much detail

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you keep is up to you. Carry the list with you whenever you shop, all year round. In so doing, you can purchase gift items when you see them -- and when they are on sale. Not only are you getting the best deals by shopping year-round, but you can avoid a year-end money crunch. Whether shopping online or in person, be sure to check with one or more Internet price-comparison sites on the Internet, such as, Yahoo! Shopping, or Another money-saving strategy is to stick with homemade and semi-homemade gifts. Such gifts are both relatively inexpensive and can also add a welcome personal touch to holiday giving. • Gift baskets and gift sets can be put together to match just about everyone’s tastes and interests. Be on the lookout for inexpensive baskets, boxes and other interesting containers, which can be filled with a merry mix of items, such as a sampler of herbal teas, scented candles or bath soaps. • For the “duffer,” a set of golf balls, a few tees and a pair of knee-high argyle socks makes a practical and amusing gift. • Artists of every age will appreciate an assortment of drawing or painting supplies “wrapped” in a hand decorated paint can. (New, unused paint cans are available at many home centers.)

• If you’re a good cook or baker, share some of your favorite recipes and package them in an interesting food tin. • Instead of giving already-baked goods, combine the dry ingredients of your favorite cookies in decorated mason jars and add a festive tag with mixing and baking instructions.

A set of golf balls and tees can be the perfect inexpensive gift for the golfer in the family.

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16 Community_GiftGuide_7x4.5.indd


The Community Guide

11/4/2009 8:42:38 2009 AM November/December

Giving the Host a Helping Hand Gift Giving Etiquette for Holiday Party Guests


or many people, the best thing about the holiday season isn’t the gifts under the tree or the extra days off from school or work. While those things are nice, the chance to spend quality time with family and friends is what many people find most attractive about the holiday season.A big part of that enjoyment involves visiting family and friends for holiday gatherings. A good guest always knows what to bring to make the host or hostess’ job a little easier. When planning your next holiday visit, consider the following gift giving tips.

beverage as well. Bring a bottle of sparkling wine so you, your fellow guests and your hosts can sit relax and share a few laughs. If you feel funny bringing just wine, make it Italian style and bring something to serve with the wine.

Make it yourself

If you’re late responding to an RSVP and the rest of the guests have all already agreed to bring something along, the host or hostess could still no doubt use a helping hand. Rather than volunteering to bring an extra dish or bottle of wine, volunteer to come over early and help set things up or stay late and help clean once all the guests have departed. TCG

Bringing a homemade gift everyone can enjoy shows the host how much you appreciate his or her throwing the party.

Make it practical

Holiday gatherings are about family, friends and food. Guests often like to catch up on the last year over a good

November/December 2009

Make it sweet

The holidays are one of the rare occasions when nearly everyone lets their guard down and fulfills their need for sweets.

Provide a helping hand

The Community Guide


09 November/december events November

Thursday, November 26th Turkey Trot Fun Run: This Thanksgiving morning fun run features a 5k run, 2-mile walk and kids’ dash. 8am-noon, onsite registration begins at 7:30am, Centre at Norpoint, 4818 Nassau Ave NE, Tacoma. For more information, contact: Centre at Norpoint (253) 591-5504 Gig Harbor Turkey Trot: Growing in participants and in fun, this year’s Turkey Trot is gearing up to be the best ever, Thanksgiving morning November 26th at 8am. To learn more about the training group, check in at the “Y” front desk or go to www. November 28 The Polar Express and 64th Annual Tree Lighting Based on the beloved Caldecott Medal children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg, this film is Rated G and perfect for all ages. This film is Rated G and perfect for all ages. Times: 3:00pm; :  Pantages Theatre - 901 Broadway, Tacoma WA 98402; 253.591.5894. Admission:  $9.

November 27 - January 3 Zoolights: Don’t miss the Northwest’s wildest holiday light display, now in its 21st year! 5 PM - 9 PM; Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium; 253.591.5337; Admission:  $6.50 at & $7.50 at gate. November 28, 2009 - November 29, 2009 Special Shopping Event at the Museum Store: Find unique and inspired presents for everyone on your holiday gift list at the Museum Store. 10am-5pm; Tacoma Art Museum Store (253)2724258 Admission:  Free

December December 4, 2009 Lakewood Christmas Tree Lighting: Santa and his reindeer are coming to Lakewood! Everyone is invited to the 14th annual holiday festival Friday, Dec.4, from 4 to 7 p.m., at Lakewood City Hall, 6000 Main Street in Lakewood. Please bring non-perishable food items for the Lakewood Youth Council Food Drive. Contact Lakewood Parks and Recreation at 983-7887 for more information. Admission:  FREE

Bellwether Pet Care Dog Daycare

InsureD & BonDeD

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1/2 price monday and friday Doggy Daycare for the month of november/December

20% off all new enrollments for the month of november/December

exceptional references that we encourage you to check! 3017 Bridgeport Way, university Place, Wa 98466


The Community Guide

(253) 212-3452 Pet sitter since 2003 November/December 2009

P.O. Box 4207 l Spanaway, WA 98487 Office 360.350.1237 l Fax 253.292.3667

Day Pass - $30

-Herbal hydrotherapy Bath- Heated Marble Room -Herbal steam sauna - Mugwort Dry sauna -Earth Energy Heated Rooms: salt, sand, Mud and Jade

` InDIvIDual sERvIcEs Body scrubs (asian style) Body Moisturizing (asian style) Korean Facial Moisturizing spa Massage (combination of Massage Modalities) Body Wrap (Detox) new Hungarian Mud Wrap Paraffin Treatment:

come in and Relax in our sea salt Room.

Hands, Feet, Both

Foot Treatment new all about Feet chocolate Body Wrap (offered through January 2010)

` PacKagEs-$145-$280 1. Rejuvenate - apprx 1 hr. 30 min 2. Refresh - apprx 1 hr. 30 min 3. soothing - apprx 1 hr. 40 min 4. Invigorating - apprx 1 hr. 40 min 5. calming - apprx 1 hr. 50 min 6. Relaxation - apprx 2 hr. 20 min 7. Renew - apprx 2 hr. 30 min 8. Total Bliss! - apprx 3 Hr. 20 min

Excellent Gift for the Holidays

Have her feel like a queen of the day!

8615 s. Tacoma Way`lakewood, Wa`253.588.3355 3815 196th st.sW, ste 160`lynnwood, Wa`425.697.3000

The Community Guide - University Place Nov/Dec 2009  

The Community Guide - University Place Nov/Dec 2009