Out and About This Holiday Season

Don’t let the winter weather stop you from getting out and about this holiday season. Fill your thermos with hot cocoa, bundle up with hats and coats, and head out to enjoy one or more of these wonderful ways to spread holiday cheer.

Winter Markets at Point Ruston

Saturdays on December 5, 12, and 19
Enjoy live music and explore the offerings of over 40 vendors, all with products grown or made in Washington State. Shoppers will be able to find seasonal vegetables, treats to take home, gifts for the holidays, and more.

Olympia Holiday Farmers Market

Saturdays and Sundays, November 6 – December 19

As the nights get longer, enjoy the season of lights with one or more of these illuminating experiences.

Gig Harbor Lighted Boat Parade

Watch the boats circling the harbor all along the Gig Harbor waterfront.
December 11

Winter Solstice Lights

Lakewold Gardens
November 19-28


Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium
November 26, 2021 – January 2, 2022

Winter Wonderland

Northwest Trek
December 26, 2021 – January 2, 2022

Fantasy Lights

Spanaway Park
November 26, 2021 – January 2, 2022

If you are seeking an indoor festive experience in venues with plenty of physical distancing, consider one of these options.

Wander through the decorated trees at Christmas in the Forest held at the Olympia Hotel at Capitol Lake (formerly Hotel RL Olympia), this year celebrating “Hope and Joy” and raising funds for the Providence Southwest Washington Foundation.

Immerse yourself in the world of Vincent Van Gogh with the unique exhibition, Imagine Van Gogh, presented by Tacoma Arts Live at the Tacoma Armory.

Plan a special gathering to make gingerbread houses. This year Greentrike will present its annual Gingerbread Jamboree as individual private parties where families are provided with kits that include everything needed to build their own sweet constructions.

Please check websites for details regarding health precautions related to any of these events.


Six Ways to Boost Your Immune System During the Holiday Season

“Have fun with flavor and color to boost your immune system this holiday season,” says Professor and Department Chair Anne VanBeber, R.D. With the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19 and the holidays around the corner, VanBeber provides easy tips and recommendations of food and drink to consider when planning weeknight and holiday meals.


Experts have strongly suggested adding vitamin C to our daily diet to boost immunity during the global pandemic. Lemon is high in vitamin C and, as an antioxidant, this helps our bodies prevent disease and reduce inflammation. VanBeber suggests adding lemon to your water each day.

This advice goes for warm or cold drinks. VanBeber recommends drinking more teas, which tend to contain phytochemicals – biologically active compounds found in plants. “Phyto is the root word for plant, and chemical means compounds, and phytochemicals help fight disease, keep our cells healthy, and boost immunity,” she says.

Red and Purple Foods

Dark red and purple fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, eggplant, raspberries, strawberries and cranberries each contain phytochemicals that boost the immune system. For the holiday season, try preparing fruit salads with these darkcolored berries – you can even squeeze some lemon juice and raw honey on top for added nutrients or cut up fresh mint or add some dried mint from your pantry and add it to the dressing.

Spices and Herbs

Spices and herbs come from different parts of the plant, but they have disease-fighting benefits and nutrients that are equivalent to whole foods. VanBeber suggests incorporating fresh or dried herbs into dishes whenever possible. For example, if you are making mashed potatoes, add garlic or onion powder. If you are making roasted carrots – add some dill.

Beans and Greens

Greens, high in chlorophyll — a powerful antioxidant — are popular during the holidays, and they provide a good source of vitamin A in plant form. Greens are also a significant aspect of the Mediterranean diet. Spinach, broccoli, arugula, kale, turnip greens, romaine and Bibb lettuce need to be emphasized because in the U.S., we often don’t eat enough servings of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. Legumes, such as lentils, kidney beans, pinto beans, or chickpeas are high in fiber, inexpensive and shelf-stable foods. Fiber also protects our gut, which is the first line of defense in our immune system.

Nuts, Seeds and Supplements

Nuts and seeds are foundational to the Mediterranean diet. People who eat nuts are known to have reduced chances of heart disease and other chronic diseases. Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, pistachios, or pecans can easily be added to other vegetable dishes such as green beans or broccoli.

Zinc is known for boosting immunity and wound healing because it helps us build proteins. This is widely found in animal foods such as beef, fish, and oysters as well as tofu and seeds such as pumpkin seeds. Vitamin C and D have been commonly referenced by leading experts during the global pandemic.

Probiotics and Prebiotics

Prebiotic foods such as legumes, onions, garlic, apple skins and bananas help to protect your gut. Probiotics include fermented and cultured foods such as kombucha, yogurt, kefir, miso, tempeh, kimchi and fresh sauerkraut (not canned). All of these foods promote a healthy gut and good bacteria to help us fight off illness. “Overall, we need to focus on eating real foods like fruits, vegetables and good lean meats (if you eat meat), and avoiding prepackaged, high-sodium foods that are devoid of nutritional value,” says VanBeber.

Don’t be afraid to make your holiday dishes fun and be sure to add colorful foods from a variety of food groups.

Meet Sumner’s Cool Vintage: Inta Vintage

Owner Pam Johnson describes her store Inta Vintage in Sumner’s Main Street shopping district as a unique shop with something for everyone. Inta Vintage has 7,500 square feet dedicated to 40 vendors featuring one-of-a-kind items and handcrafted fare. There is another 1,500 square-foot area called the Cellar that hosts classes and special events throughout the year.

According to Johnson, who owns the store with Curt, her husband of more than 30 years, “We don’t have NEW stuff … we promote craftspeople who upcycle and recycle. We collectively pride ourselves in bringing a new face to old stuff.”

Johnson credits her appreciation of older items to her grandmother with whom she began collecting with as a child. “I was always into my grandma’s older stuff that told our family history, so I started going to auctions with my husband and we began working at estate clean-outs.”

Inta Vintage’s new location at 1109 Main Street opened following an extensive renovation last October 31st. Specializing in repurposed and newer furniture, home decor and personal products, Inta Vintage features a wide spectrum of vendors.

From mid-century modern, farmhouse style, wine barrel furniture and art, painted furniture, garden art, linens, vintage clothing, jewelry, goat milk products, specialty incense, local honey and Dixie Belle Paints, the selection is vast. There’s even a vendor that makes lamps out of cameras and projectors and one that creates one-of-a-kind clothing treatments and pillows from quilts.

The Johnsons and their variety of vendors truly appreciate how well they were supported by the community this past year. They are especially looking forward to bringing back the many special events that Main Street is known for.

“These events are the lifeblood of what makes downtown Sumner function,” said Johnson.

For Additional Information
1109 Main Street, Sumner


Beautiful Cabinets by Trivonna

When you meet Amber and Rick Bevacqua, owners of Cabinets by Trivonna, you feel their passion for customer service immediately. From their showroom in Lacey, the Bevacquas pride themselves on getting to know their clients.

According to Amber, “We are hands-on and spend a lot of time with our clients to help them make smarter, more informed choices.” “Fifteen years from now, we want people to still love their choices,” added Rick.

As a licensed real estate agent with experience in house flipping, Rick has an eye for how to improve a home. “Rick can walk through a space and redesign it in his head, which allows him to do more for our clients,” said Amber.

During a recent new home build, Rick was able to collaborate with the owners to create their vision, while saving them money. The use of a unique white laminate out of Italy (Fenix from DeWils Fine Cabinetry) instead of paint in the bathrooms, laundry and mud rooms means the cabinetry will last much longer in moist environments.

Suggesting the use of a colored stain on their cherry kitchen cabinets versus glaze saved more than 30%.

Helping these clients meet their design goals included selecting cabinets that allowed for open spaces, stacked doors with glass accents, drawers and cabinets that were set in and set out to add linear variety, and inset cabinetry that was more like furniture than cabinets.

“We are different than other cabinet places . . . we are onsite with clients and are available as much as we need to be during installation to ensure we get to the client’s ultimate goal,” said Rick.

A few tips from Rick when picking your new cabinetry: Look for manufacturers that offer limited lifetime warranties. Watch for quality hardware. Notice not only the product the cabinets are made from, but, more importantly, how they are constructed. “Warranties really show you how well they are truly made because it means they believe in their product enough to stand behind it,” said Rick.

For Additional Information


Holiday Gift Guide

Our favorite finds for that special someone this season

3.5 Qt. Le Creuset Dutch Oven

Implement some rustic tradition into family meals with a gorgeous, ceramic-coated dutch oven from the renowned French brand.
$320 lecreuset.com

Air Walker

A toy that teaches engineering and physics! This robot defies gravity using suction cups and pumps and crawls up any smooth surface.
$40 teachingtoysandbooks.com

Bittersweet Chocolates of Olympia

This chocolatier offers affordable, handmade artisan chocolates using the finest local, natural and organic ingredients in their beautiful creations.
$17 bittersweetchocolatesllc.com

Beast Blender

With this intentionally designed machine, step up their smoothie game. This blender powerfully blends nutrient-dense foods with precision.
$155 thebeast.com

Dr. Squatch Suave Bundle

Help him smell like a champion with a special hygiene bundle of a variety of manly-scented, natural soaps.
$65 drsquatch.com

Men’s Speedgoat 4 Shoe

Enhance outside activity on any terrain with these cool trail runners named after athlete Karl Meltzer, aka the “Speedgoat.”
$145 hokaoneone.com

Day Pass

Gift total relaxation with a day pass to the luxurious Olympus Spa. The pass allows access to herbal therapy, steam and energy rooms.

$48 olympusspa.com

Escape to Salish Lodge & Spa

Nestled in a naturally beautiful and dramatic location and often recognized as the iconic “Great Northern Hotel” in the cult classic Twin Peaks, Salish Lodge & Spa is perched on top of Snoqualmie Falls in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. This tranquil getaway, originally the 1916 Snoqualmie Falls Lodge, is the ideal escape for couples, girls’ trips, or even a solo staycation. Salish Lodge offers an intimate escape in thoughtfully appointed guestrooms with fireplaces and a huge soaking tub or spa-like shower – sweeping views included. For additional mountain luxury, guests don’t need to leave the lodge – Salish offers an award-winning spa and dining as well.

The Dining Room is a luxurious yet comfortable space beloved by guests and locals alike, featuring award-winning food and wine alongside one of the best views in the Seattle region. Offering sweeping views from their indoor and outdoor seating areas, The Dining Room sets the stage for an unforgettable seasonal dining experience. For those looking to sip a cocktail or grab a quick appetizer, The Lounge at the Attic offers all of that plus Salish’s signature views in a cozy atmosphere.

Adding to the appeal of Salish Lodge’s dining, they are proud to have their own apiary, which produces honey that guests will find on every menu alongside Salish Lodge’s own homegrown herbs. Guests can look for the Salish bee icon around the property to guide them to items featuring the unique honey, including honey-infused Pacific Northwest cuisine in The Dining Room or honey-based treatments in The Spa.

Sweet treats created with unique artisan honey are around every corner, such as their Pike Hive Five Hopped Honey Ale produced by The Pike Brewing Company, Salish Honey Truffles, and much more. Salish Lodge is famous for their delicious four-course Country Breakfast with Honey from Heaven™ service, where honey from their own hives is poured from high above your plate onto buttery housemade biscuits—a Salish Lodge tradition that keeps visitors coming back year after year.

For those more interested in pampering than feasting, The Spa at Salish Lodge offers a variety of treatments using Pacific Northwest ingredients, including massage and body therapies, all aided by expert practitioners. Their natural surroundings reflect the calm, contemplative environment of the Pacific Northwest, featuring private soaking pools and the soothing aromas of cedar and eucalyptus. Their boutique retail store offers high-end skincare products and retail lines including Éminence, the popular organic skincare line Salish Spa utilizes in their facials. The Spa at Salish Lodge has won numerous awards and honors, including Condé Nast Traveler’s “Top 50 Hotel Spas in the United States.”

Salish Lodge & Spa is the ultimate Pacific Northwest getaway any time of year — the perfect place to create an incredible romantic getaway or to relax after spending the day hiking the local trails. Their team is always ready to
welcome loyal guests or newcomers to their memorable escape from the everyday.

For Additional Information


Toscanos Responds to Challenges with Renewed Community Involvement

During the winter when restaurant dining rooms were shut down because of COVID, Toscanos Italian Grill in Puyallup, like other restaurants, began to serve family-style, takeout and curbside meals. This became a successful formula for keeping the business going and its staff employed. Toscanos also began a practice of giving back to the community by preparing meals for local healthcare workers and first responders.

The challenging years of 2020 and 2021 brought many changes to Toscanos. But through all that change, the restaurant has rekindled its core belief in supporting the community. After an extensive renovation, Toscanos reopened its dining room and bar in the spring. Soon their sun-splashed patio reopened and things seemed to be returning to something like normal. But as summer continued, the stress and pressure placed on understaffed healthcare workers mounted. Toscanos responded with more meals for these heroes. And on Labor Day, to honor their 17th anniversary, Toscanos provided lunch for the entire staff at Good Samaritan Hospital.

After a conversation with Good Samaritan’s leadership, the Toscanos ownership and management team felt and heard the struggles of local healthcare workers that they still need the community’s support. The hospital staff is exhausted both physically and emotionally and they really need to know that the community is behind them. To answer this need, Toscanos will be providing individual meals to the healthcare workers at Good Samaritan Hospital Christmas week 2021.

Toscanos dining room, bar and even business model may have changed during this past pandemic year but the restaurant’s unwavering commitment to the community has only grown stronger.

For Additional Information


Wines to Enjoy this Holiday Season

Prime wine tasting season may be over, but that doesn’t mean full-bodied reds and refreshing white wines can’t make the winter holidays that much more special. Washington State is known for its rich and abundant vineyards, so here are five top-notch Washington wines to indulge in and celebrate.

Rose of Sangiovese 2020

Barnard Griffin
Columbia Valley
Vintage style

A wine that tastes like a summer memory. Bursting flavors of strawberry, melon and pineapple with every sip. Pair this juicy rose with a lemony clam linguine.

Grenache Blanc 2020

JM Cellars
Yakima Valley

This white holds a touch of vintage European flavor from nine months of aging in French oak barrels. Crisp citrus notes make this wine pair perfectly with fish-focused dishes, especially fish tacos!

Best Friends Red Blend 2018

Mellisoni Vineyards
Columbia Valley

A beautiful Tuscan blend that comes from a fun Mellisoni story, (you’ll have to visit the winery to hear all about it), this red harbors tart cherry, fig and sweet thyme helping it pair well with herbs and hearty vegetables, along with peppered short ribs.

Signature Syrah 2018

DeLille Cellars
Yakima Valley

Aromas of wild blueberries and violets hit the nose on this Syrah, while smokey flavors fill the palette. Try pairing this wine with deep berries and smoked gruyere cheese.

Malbec 2018

Lone Point Cellars
Columbia Valley

Intense, rich spices such as vanilla and anise and hints of huckleberry envelope the mouth of the one that drinks this malbec. A rubbed tenderloin steak pairs beautifully with this wine.


The Kids are Doing Alright

We all love our kids and want them to grow up to be strong, intelligent, and kind people. Lofty goals. To help us reach that goal, the South Sound is filled with many nonprofit agencies and programs to expand their horizons, test their leadership skills, and sometimes, just let them play!

With core beliefs to inspire and enable youth to realize their greatness and reach their full potential, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County has several locations including Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater, Rochester and Yelm, plus the RMAC at North Thurston High School. The organization stands on three pillars: academic success, character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. bgctc.org

Connecting youth to food system education and fostering a love of plants, animals and nature is one of the many goals of GRuB out of Thurston County. GRuB engages teens/ young adults on the GRuB Farm and through community service to help break cycles of hunger, poverty, inequality and oppression. Youth programs at GRuB include GRuB Farm, Tend, Gather and Grow and are focused on the themes of “Farming Self, Land and Community.” goodgrub.org/youthprograms

Students at twelve Tacoma elementary schools have onsite access to expanded learning opportunities like visual and performing arts, dance, robotics, STEM, mentorship, sports, and more through a Greater Tacoma Community Foundation program called Tacoma Whole Child, in partnership with the Tacoma School District. The program—which takes place before, during, and after school—provides a safe place for students to learn new skills, build positive relationships, and connect with their community. gtcf.org

HopeSparks envisions a world where all children and families are safe, secure, and stable. Their mission is to strengthen families by inspiring courage and confidence to make a lasting change. HopeSparks programs serve children and families in Pierce County who face trauma, abuse, and overwhelming life challenges. Providing counseling and home visits, HopeSparks also distributes basic needs through their HopesCloset program in a dignified, warm shopping environment. hopesparks.org