Thursday, December 22, 2011

Innovatively Organized a Seattle Productivity and Process Improvement Consulting Firm Announces Messiest Work Desk Contest

Nominate a Co-worker to Win New Year Messiest Work Desk Transformation


SEATTLE, Wash. —(December 22, 2011)—January is Get Organized Month, and because better productivity and small space organization are the second most popular New Year’s resolutions Innovatively Organized, a Seattle productivity consultant firm, is launching The Messiest Work Desk Contest.  

Innovatively Organized is searching for the most disorganized workspace in the Greater Seattle area to transform.

“According to a study conducted by Brother International Corporation, an estimated 38 working hours (or close to one work week) per person each year are lost as a result of looking for misplaced items in the office. The Messiest Desk Contest will revolutionize the work desk of one lucky Seattleite as they move forward into a better, more productive and organized 2012.” said founder Elizabeth Bowman.

Beginning January 1, 2012, people are encouraged to nominate a friend, co-worker, family member, or themselves at The top five finalists will be announced January 15 and the public will vote for a winner from January 16 to 20. 

On January 23, one lucky winner will be revealed to receive an organizational overhaul of their messy work desk from the team of professional organizers at Innovatively Organized.  Throughout the month, Innovatively Organized will provide tips for maintaining an organized workspace and share the transformation of the winner’s desk on their blog at

Seattle-based organizing and process improvement consulting firm, Innovatively Organized is sponsoring this contest with Getting Organized Magazine, Storables, and tiniCling.

About Innovatively Organized

Innovatively Organized provides effective organizing solutions for busy professionals, teams, and families to manage their time, increase productivity, and gain control of their space.  From workflow strategy to office systems, their professional team of organizers, space planners, and productivity consultants have extensive experience in solving organizing challenges. For more information, visit or call (206) 494-9822.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011


It’s Not Too Late to be Among the First to Ring in 2012 in Sydney or Hobart, Australia


BELLEVUE, Wash.—(December 20, 2011)— Down Under Answers (, the leading wholesaler of vacation packages to Australia, reminds curious travelers that it’s not too late to plan for New Year’s Eve revelry Aussie style.

While the rest of the world, save Antarctica, waits for the stroke of midnight to celebrate the passing of another year Australia will already be in the throes of welcoming 2012.

Said Down Under Answers Sales Manager Jason Mesnick, “Without a doubt, the most renowned place to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Australia is Sydney, and for those looking at ringing in the New Year in a smaller more intimate setting, then Hobart is an excellent option!”

In Sydney, travelers can expect nearly a million and a half revelers celebrating New Year’s Eve in Sydney Harbour.

A smoking ceremony from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander vessels cleanses the famous Sydney Harbour of negative spirits and the New Year countdown is projected on the Sydney Harbour Bridge pylons. At 8:45 p.m. the Acknowledgement of Country begins and pays respect to the Gadigal People of the Eora Nation. Custodians call up the first reveal of the Bridge Effect, which is a spectacular graphic display with a series of brilliant fireworks.

“Imagine a mind-blowing grand finale featuring fireworks launched in tandem from seven barges on the Sydney Harbour, seven city skyscrapers rooftops and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. There is nothing like it in the world,” comments Mesnick.

Of all the things to do in Hobart Tasmania, New Year’s Eve in Sullivan’s Cove is a world-class party featuring bands, roving entertainers and two sets of fireworks and is one of Hobart’s great attractions.

“Arrive early to Sullivan’s and get a prime viewing spot for the fireworks, which explode in awe-inspiring color over Hobart’s striking sandstone buildings. Get Tickets for The Taste of Tasmania party, where foodies can sample delectable Tasmanian fare from more than 70 food booths” suggests Mesnick.

About Down Under Answers
Down Under Answers, which will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2012, is the recognized industry leader in vacation packages to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Tahiti and the Cook Islands. The Bellevue, Washington-based tour operator offers a wide variety of travel package options ranging from escorted tours to self-drive vacations, adventure travel, island escapes, groups and special interest travel, as well as customized independent arrangements. The company has repeatedly been voted the “Best Travel Wholesaler” by Tourism Australia’s Aussie Specialists and Tourism New Zealand’s Kiwi Specialists as well as “Best Travel Wholesaler” by Australian Supplier Partners.  For additional information, visit or call 800-889-1464.

Twitter: @downunderanswer

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Editor’s note: Jason Mesnick and Down Under Answers President Kirk Demeter are available for interview to talk about spending New Year’s Eve in Australia.

Monday, December 19, 2011

“New Year’s in Napoli” Party at Tutta Bella Westlake

South Lake Union is the ‘Best Place of 2011’ to Ring in 2012 

2010 Space Needle Firework Display from Tutta Bella Westlake
Photo credit: Tom Schabarum

SEATTLE, Wash.—(December 19, 2011)— Tutta Bella Westlake invites guests to celebrate Italian-style at the New Year’s in Napoli party. The South Lake Union neighborhood, named one of the best places of 2011 by Seattle Magazine, will surely be the center of New Year’s celebrations and Tutta Bella’s private balcony offers unobstructed views of the Space Needle fireworks display. For $50 guests will enjoy a special 4-course authentic Neapolitan menu complete with a flute of Prosecco to toast in the new year while listening to live music performed by May Palmer “The Queen of Ivory Soul.” Tutta Bella founder Joe Fugere encourages guests to partake in Italian tradition and “do as the Italians do” by wearing red undergarments and bringing something old to shed for a fresh start to the New Year!”

WHO:             Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria. The only American pizzeria whose chef has been recognized with a Gold Certification of Pizzaiolo by the VPN (Verace Pizza Napoletana) in Naples Italy.

WHAT:           New Year’s in Napoli Party

· Special 4-course Neapolitan menu: Antipasti, salad, pizza and dessert  
· Live music by May Palmer beginning at 9 p.m.
· Prosecco toast at midnight
· View Space Needle’s fireworks display from private balcony
· Price is $50 per person (tax and gratuity excluded)
· 2 hour validated parking at 2200 parking garage 9th Ave. and Westlake Ave.

WHEN:           December 31, 2011
                      Reservation times are start at 8 to 9:30 p.m.

                 Reservations contact: Ashley Aust 206-624-4422

WHERE:         Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria Westlake
                      2200 Westlake Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121

Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria: In 2011 was named the “Best Pizza Joint” by Parent Map Magazine, selected as ‘Best Pizza in Seattle’ by Seattle Weekly and ranked as one of the top 100 fastest growing inner city companies in America by Fortune Magazine. Founded in 2004, Tutta Bella has four locations; Columbia City, Stone Way, Westlake and Issaquah.

For more information on specific locations, visit

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Buon Anno !

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

BMW Northwest’s Mission to Drive Event Benefits Lakewood Boys & Girls Club

Tacoma BMW Northwest Donates $50 for Every Test Drive Through January 3


TACOMA, Wash.—(December 7, 2011) —Now through January 3, BMW Northwest invites locals to test drive a car for a good cause and get a look at the BMW 528i xDrive featured in the new Mission Impossible movie.  For every registered BMW test drive $50 will be donated to the Lakewood Branch of the Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound.

Each $50 donation will go directly to the Lakewood facility located at the Gary and Carol Milgard Family HOPE Center which serves around 250 youth between the ages of 6 and 18 each day. Boys and Girls Clubs keep kids engaged in fun activities that help them achieve academic success, good character and citizenship and healthy lifestyles.

This local charity drive coincides with the release of the new “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol” movie and BMW Northwest’s ‘Mission to Drive’ sales event to save up to $2,500 on a BMW. BMW Northwest is also offering savings of up to $7,000 on select new vehicles during the month of December.

WHO:             BMW Northwest

WHAT:           Test Drive any BMW and $50 will be donated to the Lakewood Boys & Girls Club

WHERE:         BMW Northwest

4011 20th St E Tacoma, WA 98424

WHEN:           December 1, 2011 through January 3, 2012

*Supporters will register the test drive at the front desk by filling out the donation form. Test drive participants must be a licensed and insured driver and at least 18-years-old to qualify. The donation to Lakewood Boys & Girls Club will be capped at $5000.

About BMW Northwest

BMW Northwest has been family owned and operated since 1968 and is the premier BMW dealer in Tacoma. BMW Northwest strives to provide for their customer’s every automotive need and offers an extensive inventory of new and used cars. In addition to their friendly and knowledgeable sales staff, they also provide financing, service, and parts. For more information about BMW Northwest, visit their website at

About Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

The Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound serves nearly 10,000 children and teens at 9 branch Clubs and several outreach sites throughout Pierce, Kitsap and Mason Counties.  The Clubs offer programs designed to enhance personal growth and education, tutoring, computer skills, delinquency prevention, the arts, sports training, league involvement and much more.  Through quality professional staff and a fun positive environment, the Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound assist thousands of kids to develop much needed life skills, self-esteem and positive values.  For more information on the Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound, please call (253) 502-4600 or visit their website at

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Friday, December 2, 2011

Fox’s Gem Shop’s Dazzling Window Displays of Antique Teddy Bears Delight Holiday Shoppers


SEATTLE, Wash. – (November 23, 2011) – Every year, just before Thanksgiving, Fox’s Gem Shop (located downtown on 5th and Union) fills their storefront windows with a spectacular display of teddy bears. Ten of Fox’s windows boast imaginative dioramas showcasing more than 100 antique teddy bears and Americana collectibles. Each window is designed with its own distinct theme, making this local jewelry shop a magical destination during the holiday season.

Fox’s Gem Shop, celebrating its 100-year anniversary in 2012, invites families to pay a visit to its charming teddy bear windows before making the short walk between The Fairmont Olympic Hotel’s Teddy Bear Suite and the Gingerbread Village at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel.

Fox’s tradition of antique teddy bears was introduced in the 1970s before owners Joy and Chai Mann started collecting, but today all the treasures on view are from their own teddy bear collection that they have been amassing since the early 1980s.

“We’re probably the only jewelry store in the country that doesn’t have jewelry displayed in our windows during the holidays,” laughs Chai Mann.

Each window chronicles cherished moments from the Manns’ history. Whether purchased from an antique store, brought back from Europe or donated by a thoughtful passerby, every bear has its own unique, colorful story.

This year’s teddy bear windows include:

Bathtub Window
The two bears in this window are relaxing in a tub that Chai himself bathed in as a child. These bears from the 1930s were found in a flea market in England.

Nurse Window
This window features furniture made by “hobos” or “tramps,” as they were called during the Great Depression, who traveled the railways in search of work. They created furniture out of whatever materials were available, such as orange crates and cigar boxes. This distinctive style became known as Tramp Art, and is highly sought after by collectors.

Typewriter Window
A tribute to Joy’s father, Sid Thal, this window includes a typewriter from the early 1900s and an old Seattle Times apron with pouches used to collect change for the newspaper in the 1950s. Also included in this window is Sid’s little green book, Loose Gems, which contains many of the ads he created for Fox’s while already in his 80s.

Other windows this year include a cooking window, sled window, sushi window, fireplace window, beach window, sewing window and wedding window.

The display of teddy bears has become a cherished ritual, not only for Fox’s Gem Shop, but for families growing up in Seattle as well. One long-time Seattle resident recalls her first visit to Fox’s teddy bear display:

“When I came to Seattle almost 25 years ago, I searched the city at Christmas for something to delight me and my five-year-old daughter. Thrilled by the teddies at Fox’s Gem Shop, I knew that I’d found ‘home,’ or a place for us, when I spotted the Hanukkah menorahs, cards and dreidels in the window,” says Louise Olsen.

Fox’s also offers greeting cards featuring teddy bear scenes much like the window displays for customers to share with family and friends. Packets of five cards are $20 and single cards are $5 each. All proceeds from cards purchased are donated to Northwest Harvest.

Fox’s Gem Shop’s teddy bear windows will be on display until the end of December. For those seeking comfort from the cold, Fox’s Gem Shop invites guests inside to peruse their collection of fine jewelry and watches. With a wide variety of timepieces and gems, Fox’s has the perfect holiday gift for every budget and style.

For more information about jewelry, watches, or custom design, call (206) 623-2528 or go to

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