4 Holiday Road Trip Getaways

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photo: Salish Lodge at Snoqualmie Falls by John Westrock via Flickr If there’s one thing we can count on this winter, it’s Seattle’s rain. But, the beautiful thing about precipitation is that a drop of a few degrees and a rise in elevation transforms that constant drizzle into a floating, ethereal delight of white. With mountains encircling us, snowy escapes are waiting at our doorstep – you don’t have to go far to get away. Here’s a list of 4 spots within a 4 hour drive that you won’t want to miss this season. NORTH Bellingham / Mt. Baker Driving distance: 1.5-2.5 hours photo: Artist Point Snowshoe by Sarina Clark What to Do Snowshoeing (or snowmobiling). Mt. Baker holds the record for most snowfall in a single season (95 feet!) and offers countless snowshoe trails off State Route 52 –...
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2017 Holiday Gift Guide: 12 Cool Kitchen Gadgets for Every Budget

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For the ones who love to cook with the latest gadgets or the inspiring chefs that need a little help, these kitchen gadgets in our 2017 Gift Guide make a great gift that you can afford on any budget.  On a Tight Budget: Gifts under $20 Norpro Grip-EZ Jalapeno Pepper Corer - $6 If you’ve ever had that fiery-devil-oil-residue on your hands from a jalapeño, this product is for you. The curved design and sharp inner teeth easily removes the seeds and core to minimize skin contact, leaving you with empty shells perfect for stuffing all sorts of cheesy goodness inside. Salad Cutter Bowl by WEBSUN - $11 Simply add your ingredients to the salad bowl , rinse, and slice away using the guided knife grooves for easy cuts without any mess or frustration. It also has two rotation wings...
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2017 Holiday Gift Guide For Her

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Women love to get something they wouldn’t normally purchase for themselves. Put thought into your gifts and use this guide to help you finish your Christmas shopping. Choose from precious handcrafted earrings, sparkling beverage maker, instant photo camera, and more. Some of these also make great stocking stuffers. For the Beauty Queen When it comes to fine jewelry, it’s wonderful to gift a special piece that is unique. If she loves to make a statement and enjoys all things beautiful, this special set of earrings from Turgeon Raine will decorate her jewelry collection and her wardrobe. The neutral colored moonstone and rose quartz is an easy to wear option with various colors of clothing she owns. Don’t worry about her waiting to take these out of the box for a special occasion; the 22 karat gold earrings go with everything....
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2017 Holiday Gift Guide For Him

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This Christmas get him a gift that’s special yet unexpected. We’ve found the top gift items for the man that loves adventure, collecting gadgets, music enthusiast, and more. All items are the top 2017 must-haves he’ll be sure to get excited about. Use this guide to start shopping online and getting those items checked off your list. If He Craves Adventure   Most men love adventure and even if he doesn’t, you do! Get an experience you can both enjoy to ring in the New Year. Try this skydive simulation at iFly without having to do it in the traditional, scary off a plane format. After floating through the air tunnel and getting some experience, maybe next year you can upgrade him to the real thing? There are many packages to choose from but my recommendation is the 4 flight...
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Your Healthy Holiday Gift Guide

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We all have that one friend who talks about getting healthier in the new year. Help them out this holiday season with some of the best health and fitness gifts to get them to be their healthiest self.  Or if you’re feeling in need of some inspiration, #treatyoself to some of these fantastic gifts at any budget. For the meal prep newbie The Instant Pot is the new “it” kitchen appliance, labeled as the machine that does the work of 7, working as your electric pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, warmer, and sauté pan so you can hit those meal prep goals. To read more about meal prep - check out 8 Ways to Meals Prep Like a Boss . For your bestie who does it all SENSO Bluetooth Headphones will resist even the rainiest run...
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Seven Gifts for the Entertainment Lover

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It’s hard to believe the holidays are already here. Before you mindlessly cruise the mall or the internet for all your gifts this year, check out this list for seven awesome presents to give the entertainment buff in your life. READER LOVER   Kindle is the perfect gift for any book lover. This amazing piece of technology gives readers access to over a million books that all can be downloaded instantly from the Kindle app. The Kindle’s sleek design, built-in reading light, and no glare screen make it easy to enjoy a great book anywhere.  ($119.99) THE BOOK LOVER With that Kindle or if your book lover has a different e-reader, they will need books to read and Audible delivers just that. For a limited amount of time, Amazon is offering Audible for $4.95 for the first three months of...
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Holiday Treats Dogs Can and Cannot Eat

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The holidays are our favorite time of the year. Besides being spoiled by our awesome pawrents on a daily basis, the holidays mean extra treats, toys, and if we give the cutest of puppy eyes, a few bites of holiday dinner. However, no matter how much we beg, we can’t have it all. Don't worry fellow pups, there are some we can be thankful for along with some great alternatives. THE NAUGHTY LIST
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    Gobbling Up Turkey

    It seems like giving us the bird would be completely ok, but we won’t be thankful for all of it. Feeding us raw turkey – that includes the neck and gizzards, can cause bacteria or salmonella poisoning that could end our puppy years. If the turkey is cooked, avoid treating us to the turkey skin. It’s too fatty and will give us diarrhea and may cause pancreatitis. Lastly, no, no, no, turkey bones. All of us love a good bone, but turkey bones will splinter causing us to choke or rupture our belly. Keep it to cooked lean pieces without seasonings, gravy, or grease to keep us jolly. 

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    Pigging Out

    How many times have you given your pup bacon or ham? Man, both of those are really yummy, but you may not have noticed that your furbaby wasn't feeling good afterwards. The grease from bacon is fatty and just as bad as that turkey skin and ham is packed full of sodium and preservatives – including those labeled organic and all natural. If sodium isn’t good for you humans imagine what it can do to us!

  • bad-nuts-for-dogs
    Going Nuts

    We like to think the nutcracker is a great chew toy for us during the holidays (if we can find a way to grab it), but the nuts that get cracked could be deadly. Macadamia nuts are poisoning to us so if you see us depressed, weak, vomiting, having tremors or paralysis, lack of coordination, or joint stiffness – take us to the vet ASAP. Walnuts contain a dangerous toxin that causes seizures, and almonds, pecans, pistachios, and hickory nuts can make our stomach upset or cause an obstruction. Peanuts, cashews, and hazelnuts are ok in moderation, but should be cooked along with salt, sugar, honey, and candied free.

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    Sugar and Spice – Not So Nice

    Onions, garlic, sage, chives, and nutmeg is all very dangerous. Not only will our stomachs hurt, but could have long term negative effects on our nervous system and red blood cells. Stuffing, mash potatoes, sweet potato casserole, and pumpkin pie are the main culprits containing these so make sure to check all of your sides before “accidentally” dropping any.

    For the sweet stuff, most humans know sugar needs to be extremely limited, but some may not know sugar-free treats are just as dangerous. The artificial sweetener, Xylitol (also known as Gum Xylitol) causes a fast and sudden release of insulin in our body seriously lowering our blood sugar in less than 15 minutes. We could end up vomiting, being lethargic, having tremors, and more. If you don’t take us to the vet, we could end up dying or with severe liver damage. 

  • bad-food-for-dogs
    Just a Few More

    A few other items you may or may not know is unbaked dough – especially bread dough. It may seem like an obvious thing since humans shouldn’t eat it either, but some just can't resist puppy eyes. The dough can expand causing the stomach to twist that will require emergency surgery. Also bread dough contains yeast. Yeast creates alcohol, which tosses me to the next thing. It may seem cute to give us a small sip of beer, wine, or any alcoholic beverage, but it won’t be cute if we end up in respiratory failure or having seizures. Besides wine being alcoholic, it is also made from grapes. Grapes (and raisins) can also be fatal and cause kidney failure. Coffee, tea, other caffeinated beverages, chocolate, salt and avocados are also listed on the naughty foods list.

    One to watch is dairy. Some pups can handle it, some can’t due to a lactose intolerant. Also cow milk can contain sugar and almond milk, well, almonds aren’t good for us so the milk isn't either.

THE NICE LIST I understand how hard it can be for you humans to resist our begging charms and may think that “just a little won’t hurt.” But do you really want to take that chance? To make us feel like we are still part of the holiday traditions without sacrificing our health, here are some dog approved holiday sips and eats to...
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Seattle Sounders FC vs Houston Dynamo in the Western Conference Championship

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photo credit: Seattle Sounders FC Unless you have been living under a rock, you will know that our very own Seattle Sounders won the MLS Cup last year and this year they are well on their way to the MLS Cup Championship once again. Earlier this month the Sounders clutched a 2-0 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps, granting them a guaranteed spot in the Western Conference Championship. They will play against the Houston Dynamo who defeated the Portland Timbers just a few days after Whitecaps match. The Sounders have already faced Houston twice this year with the first match resulting in a loss and the second in a victory.  The Western Conference Championship will be a two-game aggregate-goal series, first taking place in Houston on Tuesday, November 21st and then in Seattle on Thursday, November 30th.  Sounders fans will be...
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#SquashGoals

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Pumpkin is easily the most popular fall flavor, we find it in lattes, muffins, patches and even skincare. Aside from being trendy, pumpkin is actually super good for you. Pumpkin is low in calories and packed with fiber which helps you feel fuller longer so adding this tasty member of the squash family to your oatmeal, smoothies or even soup is a great healthy choice. They are also packed with vitamin C to help you fight that fall cold and full of beta carotene and antioxidants to help lower blood pressure and even improve eyesight.> Give this delicious smoothie a try the next time you want a pumpkin drink, it’s vegan, gluten free and full of fiber and vitamins. For an extra boost add your favorite plant based protein powder. Perfect Pumpkin Smoothie ½ cup pumpkin puree ½ banana ⅓...
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November Food News: Giving Thanks for Dumplings & Whisky

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November is finally here which means we are swiftly approaching an entire holiday devoted to eating—and I couldn’t be more excited. This year I’ll be trading in the turkey for Sake and Sushi (read more about my research here). New tradition? Maybe. No matter what you choose to gorge on this month, remember to give thanks for great food and even better company. Newish Joli Amy Beaumier (previously of Local 360 and Bell and Whete) opened Joli last month. Nestled between Greenwood and Ballard, this cocktail bar has been a long time coming (almost two years to be exact). Neighborhood patrons can expect a monthly rotating menu with items like Delicata Squash & Burrata with apple, ground cherry, brown butter, and sherry and Mushroom Flatbread with kale, sauce mornay, cured egg yolk, and chili oil. Happy Grillmore What started as...
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Five of the Best Halloween Happenings in Seattle

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Halloween is just around the corner. Do you embrace this holiday with spectacular costumes and decorations or are you the kind of person who decides to be a cat for the 3rd year in a row and passes out toothbrushes to trick-or-treaters? Whether you are obsessed with Halloween or completely indifferent, these five events in Seattle featuring cocktails, Dracula, zombies and much more are sure to get you in the Halloween spirit. Burke NiteLife: Creepy-Crawly Cocktails On October 20th, head to the Burke Museum for an up close and personal look at their massive collection of bugs, reptiles and more, all while chasing your fears and fascinations with delicious cocktails. Observe a variety of deceased critters preserved in jars as well as live ones that crawl and slither. Plenty of experts will be on-site to answer all your questions regarding...
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Fashion and Beauty Products in Support of Breast Cancer Awareness

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October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and many brands have created pink products to continue supporting the cause. This month let’s continue coming together to help find a cure. During your fall shopping excursions, keep in mind that your purchases can also make an impact and raise money for many different breast cancer organizations. It’s easy to contribute; simply change the products you normally purchase for one that supports Breast Cancer. You can choose from hair products, beauty essentials, jewelry, clothing, and even sportswear to show off your pink. A percentage of the sales from the special packaged products will go back to various organizations including the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Susan G Komen Foundation, and more. Missoni – Key to the Cure Tee $35 This crew neck, chevron print tee can we worn countless ways. The colors are fall...
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5 Best IKEA Hacks

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Whether it’s the $9.99 side table or the Billy bookcase, IKEA has budget-friendly staples for every home. Sometimes, though, you want something a little more unique, personal, and let’s be honest, expensive looking. Luckily, the Swedish superstore’s products are versatile and easy(ish) to modify, and with a little DIY magic, those mass-produced, assembly nightmare projects can become one-of-a-kind focal pieces that will make even Pottery Barn snobs envious. I’ve scoured the web and collected the 5 best IKEA hacks to make all of your home décor dreams come true. There’s something about mid-century design that is epically classy. This bookcase turned entertainment stand/sideboard would easily fit in Don Drapper’s office. Or your living room. Get the directions on IKEA Hackers . Classic white with a touch of gold make this campaign dresser extra glamorous. Check out how to build it...
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True Love on World Sake Day

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My interest in saké  blossomed at Umi Sake House where a date indulged me in my first ever sake flight. Two years and plenty of saké later, I’m excited to experience this iconic beverage on vacation in Tokyo with the same date who is now my fiancé. But before all that, I invite you to join me in raising an ochoko to National Saké Day. If you’ve never tried it, or only tried it once—I promise a true love is just a flight away. Kanpai! Saké 101 Saké is often referred to as Japanese rice wine and is made with only four all-natural ingredients: rice, water, yeast, and koji. The process starts when the rice gets polished to remove the bran so that it can be soaked and steamed. The more rice grain that gets polished away, the smoother the saké. After steaming,...
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Make Your Own Protein Bars

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We all lead pretty busy lives, and eating healthy on the go can be challenging. Things like meal prep and having healthy snacks on the fly can make this a lot easier. Unfortunately, a lot of protein or energy bars are pretty expensive if you make them a staple in your diet. Making your own protein bars at home can be an easy and delicious alternative and be much better for your waistline and your wallet. Here are some great alternatives to store-bought bars if you want to try your hand at making your own batch. If you like KIND Bars: Oat & Nut Bars 1 cup oats 2 cups almonds ⅓ cup dried cherries ¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes 1 tablespoon chia seeds ½ cup honey or maple syrup 2 tablespoons coconut oil - Combine dry ingredients in bowl....
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Five Fall TV Favorites

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photo credit: NBC Summer is finally coming to an end and fall is upon us. I hope you had plenty of time in the sun because it looks like the rain is finally back. Here are five fantastic returning shows you can cuddle up with during these cooler days and nights. So grab some snacks, blankets and your PSL or pumpkin beer and enjoy some quality television. This Is Us Break out your Kleenex because This Is Us is back on NBC September 26th. Last year, The Pearsons and the Big Three nestled their way into our hearts and did not let go. There are plenty of highs, lows, smiles and tears throughout the amazing story of this beautiful family. Season two is meant to pick up the morning after season one’s cliffhanger ending. I’m sure we can expect to...
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September Food News: Prost!

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photo credit: Alabastro Photography l Fremont Oktoberfest 2016 As summer winds down and so does the steady stream of new restaurants—at least for now.  Getting ready for fall means being basic with PSLs, grilling fresh corn from the farmer’s market, and warming up with hearty soups from Marmite. And enjoying the final days of sunshine means finally trying out one of Seattle’s new restaurants of getting out to enjoy your neighborhood’s Oktoberfest celebration.  Newish The Halal Guys This world renowned spot opened their Pioneer Square location last month serving up either a sandwich or platter with choice of chicken, gyro meat, or falafel. Avoid the lines and get it delivered or try swinging by for an evening snack—they’re open until 10 pm. Commonwealth Nestled in the alley between 3rd and 4th is the new bar from the team behind Pintxo and...
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One on One with Sofi Tukker

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photo credit: Bumbershoot 2017 Sofi Tukker consists of Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern. They made big waves with their first single “Drinkee” and the release of their 2016 EP, Soft Animals. Their sound is a unique blend of electronic, rock and more that makes for an exciting and engaging performance making them a perfect fit to join the North American leg of ODESZA’s A Moment Apart tour. I had the opportunity to sit down with Sophie and Tucker to hear their thoughts on being part of the tour and their views of Seattle. First of all, welcome to Seattle! You two played the Crocodile earlier this year in April. Besides this show have you spent much time in Seattle? Sophie: We as a band have only done that one show but I used to live in Victoria so I’ve come...
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Bumbershoot 2017: Die Antwoord, The Roots and Solange Reign Supreme

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Since I was a child, Bumbershoot has been there for me. Whether it was George Clinton in 1995, Rise Against in 2004, Blue Scholars and Kanye West back to back in 2006 or Tame Impala in 2016, every Bumbershoot I’ve attended is special to me. This year is no different.  For 2017, Die Antwoord, The Roots and Solange have all the glory. Honorable mentions include Chicano Batman, Sofi Tukker, The New Respects, Smokey Brights and ODESZA.  Day one started with Chicano Batman at The Mural stage. This band had been on my radar since I watched their KEXP live performance a few months back. Their bright organ fueled Chicano psychedelia sound teamed with their ever positive lyrics immediately roped me in.  On stage, they exploded with spirit and charisma. They left it all at The Mural and it was great...
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Four Tips for Flying Cheap

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I have a love/hate relationship with booking airline tickets. I love traveling, but hate fluctuating prices and the stress of finding the best deal. There are some general rules that are helpful – don’t book on a Friday (business trip bookings raise prices), fly on a weekday, and purchase a ticket more than two weeks in advance. However, if you really want to find a steal, simply follow these four tips to flying cheap. Search multiple airlines with the flexible date function. There are tons of search engines that allow you to compare airline prices at once. My favorite is Google Flights – it has a calendar view that shows you the cheapest day to travel on all the major airlines (except Southwest, which doesn’t allow automatic search engines to monitor its fares so you'll need to go to their...
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