Search Results for: kelly lenihan

Your Very Own Cabin Adventure Awaits!

As the weather warms, we start thinking about getting outside and getting away. Fortunately, Washington is renowned for its glorious national parks, fun outdoor activities, wonderful Pacific beaches, and numerous other points of interest. Getting outside and getting away are easy.

Whether you’re planning an enjoyable vacation as a solo traveler, a romantic getaway for two, or a family-friendly adventure, to ensure that you have the most unique experience, skip the hotel and try renting a vacation cabin with hotel-like amenities for a more memorable stay.

The world outside can take a break while you hunker down, find some nature, and truly get away in an idyllic cabin. How does unwinding in a cozy hot tub on the porch sound? Or perhaps dining on the deck as the sun sets over an amazing view? What are you waiting for, your adventure awaits!

Did you know Washington has:

  • Roughly 2,500 miles of marine shoreline, with plenty of access points for beach combing, sailing, pleasure boating, sea kayaking, fishing and whale watching?
  • Twenty-nine officially designated national and state scenic byways—including the nation’s only Marine Highway?
  • Three national parks within state boundaries: Olympic, North Cascades and Mount Rainier?
  • More than 7 million acres of state-managed recreation lands, including access points to parks, wildlife areas and hiking trails?

No matter how you spend your days exploring and playing, after the adventures of the day are done, you will love going home to your very own vacation cabin. The following agencies offer cabin rentals all over Washington state, so whether you prefer rainforests and wild mountain ranges, the moody seashore, or somewhere in between, we’ve got you covered.

For Additional Information

Cabin Escapes | cabinescapes.net

GlampingHub | glampinghub.com

TripAdvisor | tripadvisor.com

Vacasa | vacasa.com

VRBO | vrbo.com

KELLY LENIHAN

Washington College Savings Plans

Washington College Savings Plans, or WA529, is a collection of 529 college savings plans offered by the State of Washington.

WA529 is composed of the Guaranteed Education Tuition, or GET Program, which entails paying tuition in advance at a set price. Value is guaranteed to keep pace with in-state college tuition.

WA529 Benefits

– College savings reduce the need for student loans in the future.

– College savings help motivate your child toward higher education—students who know they have a college savings account are more likely to attend college.

– GET accounts are protected by state law (unique among state-sponsored 529 plans). You can pay a set price now and over time for future tuition. The value is guaranteed to keep pace with tuition, no matter how much it changes in the future.

– Both DreamAhead savings and GET units can be used nearly everywhere—including out-of-state institutions, private schools, community colleges, and even at trade and technical schools. Since 1998, more than 55,000 students have used GET in all 50 states and 15 countries worldwide. 

– If your child gets a scholarship, or decides not to go to college, you can use your funds for room and board, books and other qualified higher education expenses; you can request a refund, or you can transfer the account to another relative of the child (even yourself).

DreamAhead is a 529 college investment plan whose investment returns are tied to financial market performance. Account owners select one of two saving options: year-of-enrollment portfolios where investments automatically adjust over time, or static portfolios, that let you set your investment strategy and stay the same until you make changes.

These two plans offer Washington families a flexible set of college savings options. Families can choose GET, DreamAhead, or both. Neither plan charges an enrollment fee for enrolling online, so it’s easy to start an account.

What’s New for 2020

The SECURE Act, enacted at the end of 2019, includes new provisions that allow 529 Plan account owners to withdraw assets to pay for certain apprenticeship programs, and to pay principal and interest on qualified higher education loans for the beneficiary or any of the beneficiary’s siblings. For more detailed information on this change, visit: get.wa.gov/Secure_Act

Compare Washington 529 Plans | wastate529.wa.gov

GET 529 Prepaid Tuition Program | get.wa.gov

DreamAhead 529 College Investment Plan | dreamahead.wa.gov

KELLY LENIHAN

Take Your Appetite on Your Next Trip to Mt. Rainier

A visit to Mt. Rainier in the fall is like no other. The colors are breathtaking, and that’s not all. If you’re planning a visit soon, and you love tasty, fresh food, consider spending the day on a chef-led, farm-to-table tour.

The tour will have you gathering ingredients from local micro farms, farmstead creameries and award-winning local butcheries. You’ll meet the farmers and ranchers and learn firsthand about organic farming, sustainable farming, the art of cheese-making and butchery. The full-day tour concludes with a special dinner from the foraged finds, prepared by Chef Ky Loop.

“Chef Ky,” as he is locally known, is passionate about cooking. “Food, especially good food, speaks to your soul,” he says. “So many things in our lives revolve around food. Just like our ancient ancestors huddled around the fire (where the cooking happened), so do we in a sense (party guests always end up in the kitchen). During a chef-led, farm-to-table tour, we provide the food, you provide the party, and together we’ll create a lasting memory.”

The day starts with everyone meeting at a local coffee shop about 9 a.m. From there the group heads off to visit the farms and meet the farmers. Participants learn what the farmers do, enjoy tastings and then select ingredients for dinner. Some of the places in the tour include Fantello Farmstead Creamery, Mason Jar Farm or Cedar Spring Farm, Olson’s Meats & Smokehouse, L & B Mini Ranch, and a local brewery or two.

The tour wraps up between 2 and 3 p.m. and then everyone enjoys some free time exploring the area or relaxing while Chef Ky prepares dinner. About 5:30, the group gathers at Pursuit Distilling Company to dine together and talk about what they’re eating, how the ingredients were used, and so on. It’s a delicious experience to be sure.

KELLY LENIHAN

For Additional Information

Chef-Led Food Tours with Chef Ky Loop

253.569.7150

chefky.com

Northwest Fresh: In the Mood for Sushi?

Sushi is cultural and artistic and can be wonderfully addictive. The Japanese dish begins with bite-sized cakes of cold boiled rice flavored with rice vinegar. The cakes are rolled in seaweed with, or topped with, raw fish, vegetables or egg. Sushi does not always mean raw fish. But raw fish—sashimi in Japanese—is the most popular ingredient in sushi.

What makes sushi great is the simplicity of the food and the complexity of the flavor. Serious sushi chefs study for decades to master these tasty bites. The ingredients for makizushi (sushi rolls) are chosen so that taste, texture and even colors complement each other. The rolls are served sliced into disks so diners can see the artistic work inside.

At traditional omakase-style places, you can usually order a set of sushi with a fixed price. Or you can order your favorite sushi pieces as you eat your meal. Sushi connoisseurs recommend that nigiri, a slice of fish atop a strip of rice, is best enjoyed by turning it upside down to place the fish side on the tongue.

Ready to tantalize your taste buds with delectable Japanese delicacies? Here’s a list of sushi spots in the South Sound.

LACEY

Koibito
730 Sleater Kinney Rd SE
sushiolympia.com

OLYMPIA

Aya Sushi
1540 Cooper Point Rd SW

Osaka
7265 Martin Way East
osakajapanese.com

Red Wind Casino—Seafood Restaurant
12819 Yelm Hwy SE
redwindcasino.com/dining/seafood-restaurant

PUYALLUP

Forever Sushi
4301 South Meridian
fspuyallup.com

Sushi & Wok
5610 176th St East

Sushi Ari
206 39th Ave SW
sushiari.com

GIG HARBOR

Domo Sushi
4901 Point Fosdick Dr NW
domosushi.co

Mizu Steakhouse
3116 Judson St
mizusteakhouse.com

TACOMA

Gari of Sushi
1209 South 38th St
gariofsushi.net

Mio Sushi
5051 Main St
miosushi.com

Sushi Tama
3919 6th Ave
sushitamarestaurant.com

Sushido
1620 South Mildred St
sushidowa.com

The Koi
1552 Commerce St
thekoitacoma.com

LAKEWOOD

Hanilkwan Sushi & Grill
3615 Steilacoom Blvd SW

Jin Sushi
8904 South Tacoma Way
jinsushi.multiscreensite.com

UNIVERSITY PLACE

Sapporo Steakhouse
3810 Bridgeport Way West
sapporosteakhouse.com

KELLY LENIHAN

Getting Fresh with Farm-to-Table Dining

One of the best parts of dining out is reading through a menu full of delectable dishes. Each description makes you hungrier as you try to decide from an array of appetizing options. But do you ever wonder where that food comes from? Or if it’s fresh? Fortunately, many dining establishments are making a shift toward providing farm-to-table foods. When you see the terms farm-to-table, locally sourced, farm-fresh or farm-to-fork on a menu, you know the restaurant has a direct relationship with a farm. But what does this really mean?

Farm-to-table, at its heart, can be defined as a social movement in which restaurants source their ingredients from local farms without going through a store, market or distributor. Farm-to-table promotes “clean” eating that guarantees fresh, healthy food. Local organic farming, community support, seasonal eating and environmental sustainability are the greatest benefits of this booming movement.

Most recently, the farm-to-table movement has led chefs and restaurant owners to get increasingly involved in the growing of their ingredients, even buying their own farms. As the Wall Street Journal put it, a shift is underfoot from “simply sourcing to becoming the source.”

We are lucky to have a delicious array of restaurants featuring locally sourced, farm-fresh menus in the South Sound.

Here are a few of our favorites:

TACOMA

Art House Cafe
111 North Tacoma Ave
253.212.2011 | arthousecafe.com

Montamara Kitchen
2208 North 30th St
253.314.5892 | montamarakitchen.com

Primo Grill
2701 6th Ave
253.383.7000 | primogrilltacoma.com

Sel
229 St Helens Ave
253.327.1015

The Table
2715 6th Ave
253.327.1862 |thetabletacoma.com

STEILACOOM

De La Terre
1606 Lafayette St
253.584.0258 | restaurantdelaterre.com

OLYMPIA

Hart’s Mesa
111 Columbia St NW
360.878.8490 | facebook.com/hartsmesa

Iron Rabbit Restaurant & Bar
2103 Harrison Ave NW
360.956.3661 | ironrabbit.net

Our Table
406 4th Ave E
360.932.6030 | ourtableolympia.com

GIG HARBOR

Table 47
5268 Point Fosdick Dr NW
253.857.4777 | t47.com

The Green Turtle
2905 Harborview Dr
253.650.0490 | thegreenturtle.com

KELLY LENIHAN

Summer Camps & Kid-Friendly Activities

DAY & OVERNIGHT CAMPS

Summer camp offers children an experience all their own without Mom or Dad supervising their every move or decision. Yes, camp counselors are keeping a close watch. But kids away from home become more resilient and learn how to do more things on their own. Summer camp helps kids have enriching experiences, be a part of a special community, form new relationships and grow. For parents, the best part is watching the kids become more confident because of activities they were doing at camp.

A summer full of memories, growth, experience, and friends—what could be better?

Camp Fire Orca campfireorca.org

Cascade Christian THRIVE cascadechristian.org/thrive

Coding with Kids codingwithkids.com

Harbor WildWatch harborwildwatch.org

PenMet Parks penmetparks.org

Pierce County Park Camps piercecountywa.org/1423/Camps

Salvation Army Camp Arnold tsacamparnold.org

YMCA Summer Day Camp symcapkc.org/camp/summer-2019

YMCA Camp Seymour Overnight campseymour.org

SUMMER FUN FOR FAMILIES

If summer camp isn’t your thing, or you prefer to spend time as a family, there are plenty of activities, programs and classes to keep you busy this summer. Choose from a wide range of recreational activities for all ages and abilities—early childhood, youth, adult or people with disabilities. Whether sports, fitness and wellness classes, or other activities, there is plenty of fun for everyone!

Auburn Kids SummerStage auburnwa.gov

Hands On Children’s Museum hocm.org/summersplashfestival

Kindermusik at Kiddos & Kin kiddosandkin.com

Lattin’s Country Cider Mill & Farm lattinscider.com

Museums & Nature Centers metroparkstacoma.org/attractions

Music Off Main rhubarbpiecapital.com/event/music-off-main-9

Open Arts Studio openartsstudio.com

Puget Sound Estuarium sseacenter.org

Star Center metroparkstacoma.org/star

Tiptoe Through the Tidepools tacomanaturecenter.org

Tunes @ Tapps ci.bonney-lake.wa.us.org

KELLY LENIHAN

Warm-Weather Wellness Tips for Seniors

Warmer weather often awakens a desire to get outside and be active. But seniors who have a higher sensitivity to heat need to use caution when making plans in the sun.

Put on Your Walking Shoes

Walking is an excellent physical activity. And doing so in a park or forest is a great way to connect with nature. Joining a group can also be an easy way to meet new friends. Choose terrain—and supportive shoes—suitable for your activity level and balance.

Take an Exercise Class

Get your endorphins flowing! Yoga, pilates or tai chi can all improve balance and flexibility, decreasing the chance of falling. Water aerobics is good for those with arthritis or chronic pain. Or try low-impact sports such as horseshoes, miniature golf, bocce ball, bean bags, badminton or croquet.

Get Outside and Garden

Gardening can be as calming and relaxing as an hour of meditation. Digging, planting and weeding can improve strength, flexibility and agility. If you don’t have a garden, consider volunteering at a local park.

Lighten Up Your Diet

With fruits and vegetables coming into season, it’s time to enjoy salads, light soups and other lighter fare. Farmers markets provide an opportunity to get outdoors and select healthful foods for dinner.

Stay Hydrated

As we age, our ability to notice thirst may decrease, so keep an eye on your water intake, especially when you’re outdoors in the sun. At home, drink water and herbal tea rather than other beverages.

Watch for Allergies

Summertime can mean allergy season, so pay attention to allergy forecasts. Untreated allergies are uncomfortable and can lead to breathing problems or sinus infections. Your doctor can recommend or prescribe a treatment to help prevent serious respiratory problems.

Check the Side Effects of Your Prescriptions

Some medications increase sun sensitivity. Find out whether you need to take extra precautions. Following other suggestions on this list will help you avoid problems.

Relish the Outdoors

Enjoy the great outdoors with a picnic! Just remember to pick an area with comfortable seating and shade, even if it’s in your own backyard. Bird-watching and photography are two other pastimes to stimulate the mind and body. If you love to shop, flea markets are a fun summertime activity. Just remember to protect yourself with sunglasses, a wide-brimmed hat, sunscreen and bug repellent.

KELLY LENIHAN

Tacoma Nature Center: Celebrating 40 Years

For 40 years, the Tacoma Nature Center has been a vital part of the South Sound community. To commemorate this milestone, the center has planned special anniversary celebration events and programs all year long.

Today the Tacoma Nature Center is a 71-acre nature preserve encompassing Snake Lake and the surrounding wetlands and forest. For many years, however, Snake Lake didn’t rate more attention than a wasteland. Its wet and brushy surroundings were visited most often by kids who bushwhacked in to fish or catch frogs.

The heart of the serpentine body of water has belonged to Metro Parks Tacoma since 1928, but the park property was neglected for decades. That all changed in the spring of 1969 when leaders of Tacoma’s budding environmental movement set out to preserve what is now a treasured resource. It took 10 more years of planning and lobbying for public money before the official opening of the center.

Now, 40 years after its opening, the Tacoma Nature Center is recognized as a cradle of environmental awareness. It aims to introduce children and young families to the importance of wetlands and wildlife conservation in an urban setting. “We all owe a great debt to the farsighted people who stepped in to save Snake Lake when it could have been filled in to make way for Highway 16,” said Aaron Pointer, president of the Metro Parks Tacoma Board of Commissioners. “Their efforts to preserve this urban oasis should be a model for all because of the critical need to protect and sustain the natural world for future generations.”

The Tacoma Nature Center enables visitors to develop a connection with and appreciation for the natural world year-round. They can stroll nature trails to observe native birds, animals and plants; peruse fascinating exhibits and collections; and participate in exciting nature programs and summer day camps.

“This has always been a special place for families and we are thrilled to share how much we have grown over the last 40 years,” says Michele Cardinaux, supervisor of the Tacoma Nature Center. “As part of our yearlong celebration, we’re especially excited about our Family Adventure Challenge, which will be running July-August.” Families can choose activities from the events calendar and earn points for each activity completed. Prizes will be awarded, says Cardinaux, “but the family camaraderie and connecting with nature are priceless.”

KELLY LENIHAN

TACOMA NATURE CENTER
1919 South Tyler St, Tacoma
253.404.3930
metroparkstacoma.org/tacomanaturecenter

Senior Wellness: Tips for Health this Spring

Most people, especially seniors, tend to slow down during the winter, so spring—when nature is waking up again—is the perfect time to get moving. Whether you’re living independently, living in a senior community, living with a family member or caring for one, these spring health tips are sure to rejuvenate and inspire.

“Spring up” your diet by eating foods fertile in the spring season as a healthy way to shed those winter pounds naturally. Foods that are in season during the spring include leafy greens, strawberries, baby asparagus, and seasonal fish and shellfish.

To keep your body running at peak performance, it needs regular maintenance: a spring tune-up, so to speak. Dr. Lu Gao, board-certified internist at Pacific Medical Centers, offers the following tips:

  1. Keep warm as the season transitions from winter to spring. Even as temperatures start to rise, it’s important not to switch to spring/summer garments until outdoor temperatures stabilize.
  2. If you’re no fan of ice and snow, your whole world may expand once the spring sun settles in and thaws out the land. Stay active with daily outdoor exercises, ranging from 30 to 45 minutes. Moderate physical exercises are best to keep your heart rate at a safe range of 40–50 percent. These activities may include brisk walking or gardening, easily fitting into your daily routine.
  3. Be careful of obstacles to prevent falls both inside the house and outdoors. To be extra-cautious, use aids like walking sticks or canes whenever appropriate and possible. It is also important to ensure that footwear is securely on and supportive of your feet.
  4. Springtime can mean the beginning of allergies. If you suffer from seasonal allergies, take or continue your allergy medications, and be aware of pollen exposure during springtime. Pollen counts are the highest between 5 and 10 a.m., so try to reduce excessive exposure during that time frame by staying inside, wearing a mask or taking antihistamines.
  5. Stay hydrated. As we age, our ability to notice thirst may decrease, so it’s important to keep an eye on water intake, especially when you’ve been outdoors in the sun.
  6. Stay up to date on immunizations and other health screenings.

When your body is tired and your joints are sore, finding the motivation to be active is easier said than done. Even the smallest steps, however, can have a big impact on your overall well-being. Start with just one or two of these health tips and work your way up from there.

https://www.pacificmedicalcenters.org/who-we-are/lu-gao/

KELLY LENIHAN

Savings Made Simple: WA College Savings

In today’s world, where the price of a bachelor’s degree can rival that of a single-family home, having a 529 college savings plan can offer young parents peace of mind. It’s easy to enroll, either on your own or through a financial adviser, and once you’re signed up you can set up automatic contributions to fund the account. Your investment grows tax-free and won’t be taxed when you withdraw, as long as the money is used to pay for qualified education expenses.

Beyond the double benefit of tax-deferred investment growth combined with tax-free withdrawals for qualified expenses, there are a number of advantages to saving in a 529 account. A brand-new benefit as of January 1, 2018, is you can use 529s to save for private school tuition for kindergarten through 12th grade. This provides tax savings for parents who plan to send their kids to private school.

You can withdraw up to $10,000 per year, per student for this purpose. Additionally, you can set up an unlimited number of plans, and there are no rules on who the beneficiary can be. This means you can create an account for a relative, friend, or yourself. The gift of education is one that will open doors to a world of opportunity and is sure to last a lifetime.

For many new parents, receiving a college fund as a baby gift packs a stronger punch than a new toy or baby bib. “Giving the gift of higher education is really amazing,” says Lucas Minor, Interim WA529 Director. “An entire family can participate. When someone is saving for your child’s future and cares about your child’s success, it reduces barriers and encourages kids to grow up with the incentive and expectation to attend college.” When opened for a newborn baby, the account has 18 years to grow, with interest compounding on interest, making it an especially savvy present for money-minded gift-givers.

KELLY LENIHAN

Compare Washington 529 Plans

There are two types of 529 plans: prepaid tuition plans and education savings plans. Explore both options to find the right plan for you.

wastate529.wa.gov | 800.955.2318

GET 529 Prepaid Tuition Program

The GET prepaid tuition plan lets a saver or account holder purchase units or credits at participating colleges and universities (usually public and in-state) for future tuition and mandatory fees at current prices for the beneficiary. Enrollment through May 31, 2019.

get.wa.gov | 800.955.2318

DreamAhead 529 College Investment Plan

The DreamAhead education savings plan lets a saver open an investment account to save for the beneficiary’s future qualified higher education expenses—tuition, mandatory fees and room and board. Withdrawals from education savings plan accounts can generally be used at any college or university, including some non-U.S. colleges and universities.

dreamahead.wa.gov | 844.529.5845