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Nathalie Bajinya’s Future Is Bright

Nathalie Bajinya has been fascinated by textiles and fashion design from a very early age. She once cut up her mother’s dress to fashion into her own clothing designs at age four.

Originally from the Congo and orphaned at a young age, Bajinya learned to sew while living in an orphanage in Kenya. Excelling at the craft, fashion design quickly became a lifelong passion.

Today, under the label Undeniable Bajinya, Bajinya translates her sewing and design skills into exquisite one-of-a-kind garments and accessories in her Lakewood shop, Undeniable Bajinya.

Home to couture gowns, wedding dresses, and custom-tailored fashions, Undeniable Bajinya’s signature designs are vibrant cotton and wool dresses and jackets that combine French fashion with African colors and American styles.

A rare talent, Bajinya can look at a swath of fabric and intuitively know what design will best highlight the fabric’s motif or drape. “When I look at fabric I see something that is telling a story,” says Nathalie.

Often made with distinctively colorful and elaborately designed African wax print fabric – commonly referred to as the “wax hollandais,” “ankara,” or “kitenge” – Undeniable Bajinya’s unique designs encompass innovation, artistic creativity and the consumer’s choice to celebrate life through their clothing.

Recently featured on King 5 Evening, the segment thoughtfully shared Nathalie Bajinya’s journey, showcasing her love of fabric and her passion to design and sew beautiful garments.

In May, with only two weeks to prepare, Undeniable Bajinya featured twelve of her original designs during Africa Fashion Week Seattle in Redmond, Washington.

Without patterns, Bajinya designs, sketches, and crafts each of her beautifully unique fashions from customers’ measurements. She says there is nothing like a dress made exactly to your measurements.

“Back in my country, you don’t buy a dress from a store, you go to a tailor,” Bajinya said. “We don’t have that here in
America. Everyone should have access to custom garments that fit perfectly, not just famous people.”

For Additional Information
Undeniable Bajinya
6405A Steilacoom Blvd. SW, Lakewood
undeniablebajinya.com

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.

BY KELLY LENIHAN

Health Starts Where We Live, Work and Play

Healthy choices should be convenient choices for everyone in Western Washington. That’s why Pierce County medical providers are helping families live healthier lives, through programs and services in medical clinics and hospitals throughout our communities.

Tacoma health care quality comes down to access, affordability and outcomes. Out of 39 counties in Washington, Pierce County ranks 24 for health outcomes, 26 for health factors, and 33 for healthy behaviors. Research indicates that a healthy lifestyle may prevent up to 70 percent of common life-threatening diseases, including heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes.

Since 2005, Pierce County Gets Fit & Healthy, a countywide initiative to promote the importance of healthy eating and active living, has provided tools to help everyone get fit and healthy. It is a major collaborative effort, led by the MultiCare Center for Healthy Living, the YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties, and the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department. Best of all, it’s easy to participate. Whatever your health challenge, whatever your fitness goals, Pierce County Gets Fit & Healthy has something for you.

Sure, healthy living is a long-term commitment, but there are steps you can take right now that will make you healthier today than yesterday and pave the way for healthy living tomorrow. Since Pierce County has 50 park sites totaling over 4,200 acres, why not find a walking buddy and get out on one of many walking trails right away? Not sure where to start? Check out this handy walking guide for beginners.

Health Care Resources

  • YMCA
  • Hospitals
  • Medical Clinics
  • Emergency Services
  • Senior Centers/Resources
  • Caregiver Support
  • Parent Help 123
  • Maternal Child Outreach
  • Community Health Care
  • Children With Special Health Care Needs
  • Tacoma/Pierce County Health Department

BY KELLY LENIHAN

Getting Settled into a New Home

After the last box is moved into your new home, you might think the hardest part of moving is over. And you’re right, but there are still things to take care of before you can relax completely.

Get Your Utilities Set Up

You don’t want to arrive at your new place, late at night, and find that the lights don’t work. Before you move, arrange for the utilities to be set up there. Make sure all of your services are up and running so you can check your electronics and appliances.

Check Major Appliances

If you moved major appliances, such as a range, dishwasher, washer or dryer, check to make sure nothing was damaged during the move. This is particularly important if the mover prepared your appliances for the move. Your insurance policy may have a limited time in which to make a claim. Since these are big-ticket items, you want to make sure they’re all working.

Check all Boxes and Furniture

Make sure all boxes and furniture arrived and that nothing is damaged. If you’re missing something or you find damage, contact the mover and your insurance company to submit a claim. It’s important to do this immediately after moving in or the insurance company may not reimburse you.

Save Receipts

Keep all receipts and documentation related to your move in one file and store the file in a safe, secure place. Make sure you have your bill of lading and payment receipt. You may be able to claim your move on your next tax return, and you’ll need all the necessary receipts to make your claim.

Make Sure You’re Getting Your Mail

Check with the post office about mail forwarding. Update all important files and documents with your new address and notify everyone who needs to know about your move.

BY KELLY LENIHAN

Northwest Winter Safety Tips for Seniors

During the winter months, slippery sidewalks and cold weather can cause a wide range of injuries and illnesses, especially for seniors. The following tips will help prevent common cold-weather dangers faced by the elderly population.

  1. Avoid slipping on ice. Icy, snowy roads and sidewalks make it easy to slip and fall. These falls often cause major injuries such as hip and wrist fractures, head trauma and major lacerations. Make sure to wear shoes with good traction and nonskid soles, and stay indoors until the roads are clear.
  2. Dress for warmth. Cold temperatures can lead to frostbite and hypothermia, a condition in which the body temperature dips too low. According to the CDC, people over the age of 65 are at greater risk of hypothermia-related death. So limit the time spent outdoors and dress in multiple layers with a good head covering.
  3. Fight wintertime depression. Because it can be difficult and dangerous to get around, many seniors have less contact with others during cold months. This can breed feelings of loneliness and isolation. To help avoid these issues, family members can check in on seniors as often as possible. A short, daily phone call can also make a big difference. Seniors can arrange a check-in system with neighbors and friends, with each person looking in on one or two others daily.
  4. Check the car. Driving during the winter can be hazardous for anyone. But it is especially dangerous for older people, who may no longer drive as often or whose reflexes may not be as quick as they once were. Get your car serviced before wintertime hits—or ask a family member to take it to a garage for you.
  5. Prepare for power outages. Winter storms can lead to power outages. Make sure you have easy access to flashlights and a battery-powered radio in case the power goes out. Stockpile warm blankets. Longer power outages can spoil the food in your refrigerator and freezer so keep a supply of nonperishable foods on hand that can be eaten cold. If the power goes out, wear several layers of clothing, including a hat. Move around a lot to raise your body temperature. Check out this winter weather checklist from the CDC to make sure you have everything you may need: cdc.gov/disasters/winter
  6. Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Using a fireplace, gas heater or lanterns can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. Ensure your safety by checking the batteries on your carbon monoxide detector and buying an updated one if you need to. The most important tip to keep in mind during the colder months is to ask for help. Arrange rides to the grocery store and doctor’s appointments—many communities have shuttle services specifically for seniors. Don’t be afraid to reach out or help.
  7. ICE (in case of emergency). For seniors who live alone and their long-distance care team: Print out a contact card/in case of emergency card for your senior to give to trusted neighbors, landlords, clergy, and so on to easily locate family members (or power of attorney) should an issue arise.

Wintertime certainly poses challenges for seniors, but with planning and awareness, you will stay healthy and experience the joys of springtime soon enough.

BY 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 advisor, 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 now 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. by Kelly Lenihan

RESOURCES

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

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 period: November 1, 2018 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

 

Experience the Wonder of the Nutcracker

As the holiday season gets under way, families are often looking for fun experiences that can become annual traditions. Going to see The Tacoma City Ballet perform The Nutcracker & The Tale of The Hard Nut can be a great way to build enthusiasm for the holidays, while also introducing children to the joys of a live show experience.

The Tacoma City Ballet, under the leadership of Miss Erin Ceragioli, Executive and Artistic Director, is celebrating its 35th production of one of the most famous ballets in the world, The Nutcracker & The Tale of The Hard Nut. This timeless holiday classic, first presented in 1892 in St. Petersburg, Russia, has entertained generations for well over a century.

The story of The Nutcracker, told in its entirety with the addition of The Tale of The Hard Nut, features the historical scenery and costumes first seen by audiences in 1892. Tacoma City Ballet creates a magnificent production filled with spectacular dancing, live orchestral music by the Tacoma City Ballet Orchestra, grand scenery and lavish costumes, sure to enchant your entire family this holiday season.

If taking kids to the ballet where the story is told entirely through dance – no talking or singing — seems daunting, here are a couple ways to prepare. The Nutcracker ballet is based on the story written by E.T.A. Hoffmann in 1816 and there are plenty of picture books. Head to your local library or bookstore and find a version you like. Making The Nutcracker part of your bedtime story routine in the weeks leading up to the show will help your child become familiar with the story and be ready to see it interpreted through dance. Another thing you can do before you go to the show is to familiarize your child with the musical score. The Nutcracker ballet music was written by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, a Russian composer renowned for his ballet scores. Download the soundtrack and play it often – in the car or during playtime.

Take your child to a Sugar Plum Tea prior to the performance for a snack and an opportunity to interact with dancers in costume — bring your camera — creating a connection that carries over to the performance and adds to the enjoyment of the experience for your child.

Plan to arrive to the ballet early so you can look through the program together and read the synopsis. This will let you know exactly how the Tacoma City Ballet is interpreting and presenting the story. Getting there early also allows you to enjoy the atmosphere of the venue.

Who knows, this could be the start of a magical holiday tradition to be carried on for generations to come. Happy holidays!

KELLY LENIHAN

Six performances 

  • Sat, Dec 15, 2pm
  • Sun, Dec 16, 2pm
  • Thu, Dec 20, 7:30pm
  • Fri, Dec 21, 7:30pm
  • Sat, Dec 22, 2pm
  • Sun, Dec 23, 2pm

Sugar Plum Teas

  • Sat, Dec 15, 1pm
  • Sun, Dec 16, 1pm
  • Sat, Dec 22, 1pm
  • Sun, Dec 23, 1pm

tickets

Federal Way Performing Arts & Events Center (PAEC)

31510 Pete von Reichbauer Way South, Federal Way, WA 98003

box Office: 253-835-7010, online: fwpaec.org

 

Nutcracker Suite for the littlest ones

December 8 and 9, 2pm

Broadway center for Performing Arts

901 Broadway, Tacoma

Box office: 253-591-5894, online: tacomaartslive.com

 

 

Dracula– The Romantic Ballet

The Tacoma City Ballet is thrilled to premiere Dracula—The Romantic Ballet—an original ballet fashioned from the legend of Vlad the Impaler, Count Dracula of Transylvania.

The expression Dracula, which is now primarily known as the name of a fictional vampire, was for centuries known as the sobriquet of Vlad Dracul III (“Vlad the Dragon”). Vlad the Impaler is a brutal but tragic character who became the immortal vampire Dracula out of his love for his deceased wife, and shows his actions as Dracula to be his own personal war against God for denying the entry of Elisabeta’s soul into heaven, mixing historical fact with the fiction.

Over four hundred years later, Vlad meets Mina Harker, who he believes to be the reincarnation of Elisabeta. Dracula’s intention is to turn Mina into a vampire so they can be together as husband and wife for eternity, as he and Elisabeta were meant to be. Chased by vampire hunters, Dracula is mortally wounded. Mina provides the finishing blow, reverting him back to his human form, which allows him to die. Through Dracula’s death, Mina is freed of the vampire’s curse.

Featuring fabulous dancers, a brilliant musical score, opulent scenery, and luxurious costumes, Erin Ceragioli, Executive/Artistic Director of the Tacoma City Ballet, envisions that Dracula will be for Halloween what the Nutcracker is for Christmas; as well, her big picture plan is to pair the ballet with a masquerade ball.

Dracula is suitable for audiences of all ages, and the perfect addition to your celebration of Halloween. Audiences are encouraged to come in costume.

http://www.tacomacityballet.com/dracula/

Dates and Times

Friday, October 26th at 7:30pm

Saturday, October 27th at 2:00pm

Sunday, October 28th at 2:00pm

For Tickets

Federal Way Performing Arts & Events Center (PAEC)

31510 Pete von Reichbauer Way South, Federal Way WA 98003

Box Office: (253) 835-7010

Online: www.fwpaec.org

The Blood Bank will be on hand in the parking lot accepting blood donations.

KELLY LENIHAN

 

The Parallel Powers of Music and Athletes

Sarah Ioannides’ dynamic presence on the podium for Symphony Tacoma has won praise from audiences and critics internationally. The New York Times has described her as a conductor with “unquestionable strength and authority.”

The physicality of Ioannides’ career requires dedication and perseverance, much like an athletic endeavor. She shares her story of injury, healing and music as a lens through which others might envision succeeding in anything that requires both mental and physical discipline.

“I’ve always had a passion for running,” says Ioannides, “but… with having two knee surgeries, conquering Lyme disease, and bringing up three children—while living in three states from coast to coast—my physical strength needed recovery… an ongoing challenge with constant travel.”

After moving to Tacoma, she says, she committed to resolve her knee struggles and to regain balance and strength. In 2017 she met Alison Unterreiner, PT.

Unterreiner says physical therapy relies on rehabilitating systematically and deliberately. And running requires a person to train effectively and to be patient for the results. Both physical therapy and running require self-discipline to do the work and to wait for the recovery or performance.

When Unterreiner and her husband attended Symphony Tacoma’s opening concert, the physical therapist was entranced by the performance and the music. But her PT self also focused on the conductor and the physicality of her job.

Ioannides told Unterreiner “I’ve never been very sporty,” but the physical therapist begged to differ: “What you are doing on the podium—takes endurance and strength and movement awareness and timing. That is the essence of athleticism.” This ignited talk of the training parallels of musicians and athletes, the need for selfdiscipline, and having the patience to let the music “sit” or let the body adapt.

After a few months of rehabilitation and running again, Ioannides’ focused dedication enabled her to complete the Sound to Narrows 12K, placing 11th in her age group.

Ioannides’ goals began with wanting to stay fit on the podium, and stay energetic to manage being a wife, mother and conductor. She now believes in her athleticism and plans to stay strong for conducting, for running and for life!

KELLY LENIHAN

For Additional Information on Running Therapy
therunnersclinicpt.com

Ultimate Fall Getaway in Leavenworth

Ready for a midweek escape? Look no farther than Leavenworth, Washington, nestled on the east slope of the central Cascade Range. Fall’s cooler nights and shorter days mean the mountainous region comes alive with vibrant colors of orange, yellow and red, providing breathtaking views as you drive along the Cascade Loop Highway.

At an elevation of 1,200 feet, the Bavarian-themed village of Leavenworth provides an excellent base for enjoying outdoor activities your family will love. There are over 800 miles of accessible trails for hiking and biking. You can play a round of lateseason golf or miniature golf. Take a walk along the Wenatchee River at Waterfront Park. Visit an orchard to pick apples or pears. Pack a picnic at the Cheesemonger’s on Front Street and enjoy all the sights and sounds of Leavenworth in autumn. If you enjoy the arts, check out the events lineup of music, opera, theater, dance, films and more at Icicle Creek Center for the Arts.

While exploring the streets of downtown Leavenworth, you can imbibe in a little wine-tasting in any of 20 tasting rooms. Indulge in an afternoon of “retail therapy” in the shops, followed by some quiet time in Front Street Park. This beautifully landscaped park in the heart of downtown provides a welcoming respite after a busy day. It’s also the site for some of Leavenworth’s most exciting fall festivals and celebrations.

Stick around through the weekend to enjoy the Autumn Leaf Festival, Leavenworth’s original festival dating back to 1964. There’s also live music in the Gazebo, Art in the Park, Fall Wine Walk and Oktoberfest. Visitors from all over the country flock to scenic Leavenworth in September and October to indulge in traditional festivities, fantastic food and of course beer!

Take in a little sightseeing while immersing yourself in fabulous fall color. Head to Lake Wenatchee, located halfway between downtown Leavenworth and Stevens Pass. The 489-acre lake offers over 12,000 feet of waterfront with plenty of space to relax along the shore and take photos of the stunning fall scenery. The reflection of vibrant autumn colors on the lake is breathtaking.

Tumwater Canyon, located along the Stevens Pass highway, is one of the top fall-foliage viewing spots in the region. Along the way are multiple pull-off areas for incredible viewing—and photo opportunities—of the towering cliffs standing above the roaring Wenatchee River. Don’t forget your camera!

For information on places to stay and things to do in Leavenworth, visit leavenworth.org.

KELLY LENIHAN