Sweet Serenity Blossoms on Park Lane

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Sweet Serenity,  formerly located in The Village at Totem Lake (they still have a flower cart at the Village!), is now permanently moved into their space at 140 Park Lane.  This adorable plant/flower/candle shop feels fresh, and airy, and gives happy vibes when you breeze through.  Light splashes through the big corner windows where the plants soak it all in.  Sweet Serenity has fabulous plants in many shapes, sizes, and presentations. They also do flower arrangements and custom-made bouquets, along with soy wax candles that they make and pour every few days in-house.  


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The interior is organized by scent, with each awning having its own featured smell.  Their most popular scent is "Happy Hour" (that sounds about right to me), followed by "Winter's Night" which is cozier. There are plenty of great hostess gifts and creative foliage pick-me-ups to make someone's day.  Sweet Serenity also offers classes, such as their wreath-making class that is coming up on 12/16, which looks like it even has a few spots left! 

Sweet Serenity hours are Mon-Thurs 11 am- 6 pm and Fri/Sat 11 am- 7 pm. 425-588-8575.  Go pop in and 'buy local.' 


It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like...Christmas?

The last Halloween Snickers bar had barely hit our treat bags this year when everyone flipped on their holiday lights! Turns out, this is really helpful since it's dark by 4 every day now and I'm in my jammies by 6.  COVID struck me down last week, which is entirely un-fun, so I'd recommend staying rested, boosted, and properly liquored up to fight off any potential incoming infections.  Holiday happenings are starting to crop up, so I thought I'd share these few with you now...

Uglysweater
Fri Nov 18th is the Ugly Sweater Kirkland Wine, Beer, & Spirits Walk. You start at the Heathman Hotel and troll around to various local merchants from 5-9pm while sipping and laughing at each other.  Always a fun time! Tickets are $30 now or $40 at the door.  Or you could always volunteer to be a door monitor if that's more your style (we appreciate you!). 

Frostival2022
Frostival at Kirkland Urban- Every Saturday from 11/26-12/17.  This is a free community event that includes snaps with Santa, a gingerbread selfie suite, snow on the promenade, holiday pop caroler, caffe ladro coffee + cookies, and festive giveaways from 11-2.  And from 10-2 you can enjoy the KDA's winter market where you'll find artisan crafts, gifts and seasonal delights.  Who doesn't love a delight?

 

Xmas Tree Ad 2022
Kirkland Kiwanis Tree Lot- opens Nov 25th at 10am and sticks around each day until they're all gone!  Same prices, same spot with fresh trees, wreaths, garland, and candy at Juanita Beach Park.  

The Village at Totem Lake- keep an eye on their event page for upcoming carolers, ladies night out gingerbread house-making (11/30, 12/7, 12/14), and photos with the big guy in the red suit. 

Winter Wellness at Woodmark Hotel- Get prepared for the holiday stress, and use PROMO code "WINTER" on your luxury accommodation + 60 min massage with white cranberry back scrub (must stay between Nov 1-Dec 30). Also, 12/13 is the Still Spa's Passport event from 3-8pm where you get 2 express spa treatments, expert skin/beauty advice, discounts, and more. You can get your tickets here.  And don't forget Thanksgiving, where Carillon Kitchen can help you with their to-go options (pretend you cooked!), you must order by 11/17. 

Ziply
Have you been to the Kirkland Downtown Association office in Kirkland Urban? Ziply Fiber is sponsoring a Toys for Tots Box, so there's a great excuse to drop by and bring along a new toy donation.

Google Holiday Lights 2018_1 (photo cred: Google)
On Friday, December 2nd,  Google’s Annual Musical Holiday Lights on the Cross Kirkland Corridor (CKC) will be back, with a free family-fun celebration that includes a petting zoo and hot chocolate.  Google Kirkland engineers have programmed a show featuring 10,000 LED lights and holiday music.

And somehow we seem to have glossed over Thanksgiving, which should never be the case. Always take those moments to be grateful and relax with friends and family.   If you don't feel like cooking, you can order your Thanksgiving to-go meal from Carillon Kitchen ($75/pp).  Just order by Nov 17th and pickup Thurs 11/24 between 10am-2pm. Hearth at The Heathman is also doing to-go ($70/pp)  or dine-in for your Thanksgiving fixings.


Adrish: A Zero Waste Natural Organic Lifestyle Store Arrives in Kirkland

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Sai and her husband Phani are locals that recently opened Adrish in the previous Everyday Athlete spot (264 Central Way, which has it's own parking). Adrish is a popular franchise in India, and this is the first international store right here in Kirkland.  This couple is so genuine and enthusiastic about striving to be plastic-free, zero-waste, and having great offerings of organic-certified goods.  Even their pillars, beams, and shelves are 150-year-old reclaimed wood from Pondicherry India! 

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You can bring your own containers or use their bags to weigh bulk food staples such as pastas, rice/dry goods, beans, sugars, flours, and teas (no refined sugars, flours, or oils).  All of their oils are wood or cold-pressed so there is no heat generated and all of the nutrients are preserved. This is good for your bones.  They also have eight different kinds of millet.   One of Adrish's best sellers is the 'khichdi mix' which includes brown rice, lentils, red rice, millet, quinoa, and moringa powder.   Most items are sourced from their indigenous location in India, and some are very rare here, such as the white almost (delish!).  Phani's sister, Roja, will be managing the store and offering cold-pressed juices with no ice/water/sweeteners, organic teas, and tastings.  Recipe suggestions will also soon be available. 

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I had an opportunity to try bhakarwardi, an Indian snack popular in Maharastra which was delightfully crunchy with a spicy finish.  And the dried apricots are the softest and freshest I've ever tasted.  In addition to food items, Adrish also has handmade goods such as caneware and brassware, along with children's wooden toys that are made with organic vegetable dyes.  Adrish is open from 11-7 every day, and they're looking forward to welcoming you and answering all of your questions about their new zero-waste natural organic lifestyle store. Pop in and say hello.  Gift boxes will soon be ready for the holidays too! 

Follow Adrish on socials here: Facebook, Insta.  Questions:  adrishkirkland@gmail.com 

Bonus, you will be supporting a veteran (she is in the army reserve!), woman, bipoc owned business. :-)


First Annual Market St Holiday Stroll 11/5

Market ST Holiday stroll Social Media
Greet Kirkland (formerly Kirkland Living) is working with 6 businesses on Market Street for a Holiday Stroll. Participants include Crown Linen Designs and Arte Italica, Kirkland Arts Center, Found Interiors, Oscar & Co., Book Tree, and FrogLegs

Come help bring awareness to these neighborhood businesses and boost holiday sales!  This is the First Annual Event and we hope to continue the tradition. There will be gold balloon bouquets at each participating establishment and raffle prizes and festivities at each participating business.


Meet our Totem Lake "Litter Lady"

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Totem Lake resident, Francine Deymonaz-Taylor, has recently reached local celebrity status for her obsession with cleaning up trash and keeping her neighborhood tidy.  Maybe you've seen her out working or read about her on Be Neighborly Kirkland? It all started this past spring when she noticed random trash collecting on roadsides, sidewalks, and around local businesses near 124th and 116th and thought, "someone should do something about this."  She couldn't 'un-see' the litter, and quickly came to realize she couldn't wait for SOMEONE and decided to be part of the solution herself.  And that's how the "Totem Lake Litter Lady" was born.  In addition to her 2-hour-a-day addiction to cleaning up Totem Lake trash. 

Francine is a nurse, so she had some gloves on hand, grabbed a garbage bag, and got to work.  She filled that bag in less than 3 minutes and quickly realized she needed to bolster her arsenal of litter-fighting supplies.  She has graduated to heavy-duty gloves, a gripper for picking things up, plenty of bags, a pushcart for the bags, and earbuds (good music is a "must" she says!).  When I was sitting at coffee chatting with her, a helpful and appreciative citizen gifted her an orange reflective vest that she wears now too.   She uses nearby dumpsters to dispose of her bags. Francine says, "I hate litter, have OCD, and love to organize.  It's a beautiful thing when your passion and disease are aligned."   Now she picks up trash every day after work for two hours, which makes her feel good because she's getting outside, doing something physical, helping her community, and receiving the visual reward of a cleaner neighborhood.  But this work will never end, the job is never complete.  We need to stop littering, Kirkland.  Teach your kids not to litter.  If you see litter, pick it up.

 
 
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Our litter probably tells a lot about us, and Francine sees it all and nothing surprises her anymore.  The grossest discoveries are rotten food, jugs of pee (c'mon people!?), and dead animals (not a fun cleanup).  Apparently, the drug and alcohol of choice in the greater Totem Lake area are whippets, Modelo beer, and 5-hour energy drinks. 

Here are some of the items she finds most often:

  • Fast food/candy wrappers- hey little piggies, use a trash can, please  
  • Starbucks cups  - people drink their $7 Grande and then toss the cup out the window?! 
  • Alcohol- creates waste and makes you do dumb stuff....like litter!
  • Retail theft- found way too often, and Francine feels bad for the retailers in the area
  • Clothes- lots of clothes and underwear. This is worrisome. Or maybe there are more naked people running around than we realized?
  • Signs- politicians/realtors, we're looking at you! These turn into wet/sharp trash when you don't come back to pick them up.
  • Plastic water bottles and straws/their paper wrappers- if only we could use these things less.

Francine was recently informed she will be awarded the "Heart of Kirkland" award by the Chamber of Commerce in December. This is amazing and well-deserved.  But it's not enough. We can't expect one, albeit amazing, lady to tend to our litter in Kirkland.  We need less littering, and more folks on pick-up patrol.  

Reach out to Francine directly at totemlakelitterlady@gmail.com if you want to join her or learn how to get some folks started in your neighborhood for some added pride in your community.  She has some group events she is working on putting together soon! (weather permitting ;-)


Let's Go, Punkins....

First, let's give ourselves a high five because Money Magazine recently ranked Kirkland the 3rd Best Place to Live in the U.S. After this sunny October, I cannot disagree.  And, of course, our community events make this an incredible place to be. Such as these coming up where there are plenty of treats for all ages :

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Zombie Wine Crawl
- Better hurry if you don't already have your ticket ($30) for Friday 10/21 to meander through participating local merchants in downtown Kirkland while sipping on wines and spirits at each stop.  5pm at The Heathman and costumes are encouraged. Always a good time. 

Totemhween2022 (photo cred: The Village @ Totem Lake)
Villains in the Village
- Sat 10/22 11am- 1pm. This is a free event for all ages at The Village at Totem Lake (meet near Salt & Straw) where you can expect a wicked fun costume contest, craft station, caricature artist, fun photo ops, and meet/greets with some of the most nefarious and notorious villains. Costumes encouraged. Rain or shine (no registration needed).

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Pumpkins in the Park- Get ready for this 3rd annual at Marina Park from 10-2 on Oct 29th.  There's a pumpkin patch, a pet costume competition, a fall-themed selfie station, a petting zoo, a Blue Grass band, and even "Pumpkin Wars" (no, we don't get to throw them, boooo..) where enormous pumpkins will be carved.  Don't forget the downtown merchant Trick-or Treating extravaganza from 1-2. 

Treat Street at Kirkland Urban- Sat 10/29 3-7pm.  After Pumpkins in the Park, roll on down to K-Urban for more seasonal celebrating.  Treat Street will have live pumpkin carving, Halloween tunes, kids games & activities, a giant candy shoot, a live DJ, and tasty treats provided by local businesses.


Dave Fox: The Journey from Pedaling to Painting

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You probably remember Dave Fox and his wife Angela from their years as owners of Bassline Fitness in downtown Kirkland.  You could often find Dave sweating and pedaling his spin bike on stage while motivating large groups of fitness junkies in their signature "Mash-Up" classes. This dynamic duo opened their first gym, Gorilla Sports, in 1995 and then continued to open 13 more gyms all over the US (and sold some along the way).  This magical formula of challenging classes with great music and an upbeat, high-energy vibe created quite a local following. But things changed for Dave one day in 2017 when he suffered from a blood clot in his right leg that had gone to his lung.  He stopped teaching to focus on his recovery and then, you guessed it, a pandemic shut us all down.  Bassline included.

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Covid did have a few upsides, one being the self-discovery and emergence of talents and exploration many of us never had time for before (you'd think I would be a better cook by now?) Dave always had an interest in art, but never before did he have the time to let this creative side of him unfold.  Years used to go by between his art projects, so when he stepped away from the gyms, he was excited to give oil painting a go.  He said, "the only way to learn how to paint is to paint."  He started out doing YouTube and art instructional videos and is enjoying the evolution of his artistic style. Oil is a slow-drying medium and typically a piece takes him 3-4 weeks to complete.  Dave starts with a photo that he edits digitally before using that as a reference for the final piece that he will layer and create with his brush.  A spare bedroom in their home has been transformed into his studio where he puts on some music and can quickly lose himself in 3-4 hours of painting.  His dogs, Kai and Kula (photo), seem quite content in this space also.

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When Dave takes or finds a photo to paint he just asked himself, "can I see myself painting this?" It's whatever strikes his fancy.  Then when it feels right, he builds his plan, starting from the back, then the forefront, and then refining everything at the end. Many of his works are from around Kirkland in familiar settings we all know and love such as  T-dock, the stairs on Central, and the blow-up floaties at Via Lago.  Some take more time than others, like the big bear (photo above, not a Kirkland bear, LOL) that has the detail of hairlike brush strokes to make him pop off the canvas. Dave also does commission pieces and lots of his art can be put in different formats such as bags, phone cases, etc.  Check out his website at davefoxstudio.com.  I was lucky enough to score a pack of Kirkland-themed blank greeting cards (final photo above, cards are $6/ea, and various seasons!), a great gift for a fellow Kirklander.  You can follow Dave on Facebook here.  


Jump Into Fall with a Harvest Party, Porsches, and Pumpkins

It's time, people. Back-to-school season is in full swing and a cool fall breeze is in the air.  We just did "senior pics" with my youngest this evening (sniff, sniff) after recently road-tripping our other two kiddos back down to college.  Pretty soon we'll be packing away our Aperol (just as the shortage is over?!) and ordering up pumpkin lattes.  Costco has shamelessly dragged their Christmas gear onto the floor already.  I will desperately hold on to every last shred of summer and sunshine but realize we need to talk about these kinds of things now....  

Logo Design Contest for Pumpkins in the Park

Are you a talented and dynamic artist that can help design the next "Pumpkins in the Park" logo? The winning design will be featured on Kirkland Downtown Association's social media channels, on Pumpkins in the Park merchandise, and will get a special feature in their newsletter.

The winner will also receive complimentary merchandise with the winning design. Deadline for submission: Friday, Sep 9th (5:00 pm PST).  Submit here

 All Porsche Grand Display 9/11

On Sunday, September 11, the Pacific Northwest Region of the Porsche Club of America will be holding their 10th annual All Porsche Grand Display on the top, uncovered section of the 2000 garage at Carillon Point. This event showcases all things Porsche and is open to the public at $10 per adult (free to those under 15). Doors open at 9:00am, with the show concluding around 2:30pm.  There will be jazz playing all day.  For more information, visit the online event page here.

Harvest Party at Kirkland Urban 9/16

On Friday, September 16 from 4-6 p.m., Kirkland Urban is hosting a Harvest Party to celebrate the arrival of the fall season! Kirkland Urban is inviting Eastside kids and families to come by, enjoy the last weekend of summer and get into the autumn spirit. 

The main feature is the “Instagram-able” Harvest installation designed by Top Knotch Events. Event attendees are encouraged to take photos in front of this backdrop and post, tagging Kirkland Urban! Additionally, there will be several environmentally focused events. Seattle-based beekeeping educator, Alvéole, will be hosting a live bee workshop for all guests to show off the resident beehives at the Kirkland Urban Plaza. Plant with KU, an initiative sponsored by Forest Nation, will also be offering Blue Spruce starter kits for attendees to bring home. For every tree kit planted, Forest Nation will plant additional trees in a developing country.  

For the kiddos, Hoopla Face Painting will join the fun by providing glitter tattoos and face painting. There will also be kid-friendly games in the plaza and treats provided by local businesses.  

This event is free and open to the public, brought to you by Kirkland Urban in partnership with Top Knotch Events.          

Kirkland Urban is an inclusive and accessible open-air shopping center. To support children and adults of all abilities, sensory-sensitive toolkits will be available onsite during all Kirkland Urban events. Toolkits include noise-canceling headphones, sensory/fidget toys, earplugs and an identifier sticker/badge and can be picked up upon arrival. This event is free and open to the public. 
 

And don't forget... Fall Harvest Festival Series at Salt & Straw-check out these seasonal flavors!!!