Try 2005’s good finds for comfort, health and wellness

  • By Sarri Gilman / Herald Columnist
  • Monday, December 19, 2005 9:00pm
  • Life

If you are still doing some shopping, here is a list of my favorite finds of 2005. There may be some tips for last minute great gifts.

* My No.1 favorite new place to eat is JW Desserts on Whidbey Island. This well-known cake maker has finally expanded from being a take-out and special-order dessert place to a sit-down lunchtime restaurant. The soups and desserts are obvious favorites.

Visit this place in Clinton, totally worth the ferry trip, and order a few things to sample as much as you can in one sitting. They have gift certificates and make delightful special-occasion surprises. Ask to see their book of photographs.

* My next favorite find is the best place to sleep. A year ago, I was content with a Tempurpedic pillow, but now I’m on the Tempurpedic mattress and it’s everything they promise and even a bit more. I’m a “swimmer” in my sleep and for the first time I’m not moving all night. Sweet dreams.

* If you like to walk, take a long walk in the fur-lined Merrill shoe. It is like having slippers on your feet all day but their shoes can go for long walks on the road. They come in fun colors, though my family drew the line at the purple ones.

* It is hard for me to rave about the next item because the darn little thing gets so much positive press already. But I can’t leave it out cause I’m a big fan, too. I love my iPod. The iPod allows you to carry an encyclopedia of music in the palm of your hand.

It doesn’t skip when you run. If you still don’t have one, use any excuse to get or give this treat. My daughter and I bought factory refurbished models and they are every bit as good as brand new. They were wrapped like they were brand new, but Apple sold them at a substantial discount.

* Here’s one for the dogs in the readership. Don’t miss Paws Gourmet in Edmonds. At a fair this summer, I met the two women who started this company. My dog Romeo sampled their homemade dog treats and now he won’t settle for anything less.

They have a great Web site,, for ordering gifts and often appear at local festivals with their yummy treats.

* In 2005, I finally made the drive to see the Japanese Garden of Portland, Ore. My neighbors have been telling me about it for a few years. If you’re sprucing up your own garden at home, there is plenty of inspiration. Even if you don’t make the trip to Portland, they have a lovely book of photographs any gardener would appreciate.

* One more excellent thing in 2005 has been to work out with a trainer. I grew up in the era when girls didn’t work out in the gym and TV exercise guru Jack La Lanne was encouraging women to try to exercise.

Everything I learned to do in a gym, I did on my own. It is not the same as working out with a trainer. I am seeing results I couldn’t find on my own.

If you’ve secretly felt like it was too much money to invest in your body, do what I did: After a quick calculation, I realized I spend more to maintain my car every year than to maintain my body.

* Finding new ways to get involved in great causes is always uplifting. This year, my daughters and I are doing things with the Red Cross. They have so many ways to involve people in learning skills and preparing for disasters.

In a world that seems to be on tender footing, working toward preparedness provides some measure of hope. There are many ways to make a difference and share your inner gifts to make our world better.

* If you are looking for a great book to share at your holiday table, I highly recommend “The Gift of Nothing” by Patrick McDonnell. Great for all ages.

Happy holidays.

Sarri Gilman is a freelance writer living on Whidbey Island. Her column on living with meaning and purpose runs every other Tuesday in The Herald. She is a therapist, a wife and a mother, and has founded two nonprofit organizations to serve homeless children. You can e-mail her at

Talk to us

More in Life

Flowering knotweed Persicaria amplexicaulis firetail in the morning light.
Save for one infamous variety, fleece flowers are easy to fall in love with

This long-blooming, easy-to-grow perennial comes in many desirable varieties. But watch out: One is an invasive knotweed.

A view of King Street Station in Seattle, Washington from an Amtrak Cascades train to Portland, Oregon from Everett, Washington on Wednesday, May 24, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Ride the rails on Amtrak Cascades from Everett to Portland

Make new friends and let Amtrak do the driving on this 5-hour trip past sea, city and forest.

From left, Elora Coble, Carol Richmond, David Hayes, Karli Reinbold, Giovanna Cossalter Walters, Landon Whitbread in a scene from Edmonds Driftwood Players' production of "Murder on the Orient Express." (Dale Sutton / Magic Photography)
Music, theater and more: What’s happening in Snohomish County

Edmonds Driftwood Players opens its 65th season with Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express.”

Local musician Alex Johnston, whose newest album "Daylight Fooldream" pairs with short film he made with help from his partner Mikaela Henderson, sits with his morning coffee on Friday, Sept. 15, 2023, at Narrative Coffee in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Folktronica musician shoots 37-minute visual album on iPhone in Everett

Alex Johnston, 31, describes his music as ”if Coldplay and Bon Iver had a love child.”

Some collectibles are found in nature; some imitate them. If it weren’t for the attached figure, this Royal Dux porcelain vase might pass for a real conch shell.
This shell-shaped vase would make a fine souvenir of summer fun

It may not be a real shell, but this art nouveau piece could still evoke fond memories of days at the beach.

Arlington Garden Club celebrating its 90th anniversary

The club has monthly programs for north Snohomish County gardeners and awards scholarships to area students.

Spouses Franchesca and Don Simpson talk about their baby girl’s “chubby cheeks” and “button nose” as Kelly Fox RDMS RVT performs a live-view 3D ultrasound on the expecting mother Saturday, August 26, 2023, at Wonder Baby Ultrasound Studio in Everett, Washington. The Simpsons are expecting their first child in October. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Glamour shots in utero? Everett studio offers HD ultrasound keepsakes

For curious parents, these glimpses are exciting, but not medically endorsed.

An Oxford White grille with red “BRONCO” lettering signifies the 2023 Ford Bronco Sport Heritage Limited Edition model. (Ford)
2023 Ford Bronco Sport has two new Heritage Edition models

Design and paint treatments pay homage to the original Bronco introduced in 1966.

Everett comedian Taylor Clark performs stand-up in 2023 at The Triple Door in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Mike Bryk)
Comedian Taylor Clark to film first special Friday in Everett

The skateboarding funny-man will record an hour of his stand-up at the Historic Everett Theater.

Most Read