Kindness is Contagious

I recently received this email from Victoria & Mark Fanning, owners of Crown Linen Designs. Donate $99 before April 5th and receive a $50 Crown Linen gift card (free contact-free delivery too!).   What a clever idea to accelerate giving to a local cause that is helping our local healthcare teams stay strong as they fight COVID-19... here is their note... thx for being awesome, Kirkland.

As you may be aware, over the last two weeks, The Herbfarm in Woodinville has been delivering free, delicious and nutritious meals nightly to medical teams at our local hospitals.  Thanks to all of you who have already supported this effort!

Clearly, these health care heroes are on the front line of this pandemic.  We just can't do enough for them right now.  

To date,The Herbfarm has delivered over 2,065 meals to Evergreen, Overlake, Virginia Mason, Swedish, Kaiser Permanente, UW and other local hospitals.  They are adding new hospitals next week and hope to continue this effort as long as needed. 

Not only are these heroes thrilled with a dinner from The Herbfarm, they always comment on how much the community support means to them.  

Can you believe it?  They give thanks for what others are doing!   It is the embodiment, not only of heroism, but grace - beyond inspiring. 

Also inspiring is the commitment of owners Ron Zimmerman and Carrie Van Dyck and Chef Chris Weber and The Herbfarm team to make this happen.  I honestly don't know when they sleep!  

To fund this endeavor a Gofundme campaign has raised about $80K to date but we want to keep this effort going as long as there is a need.  

Here's a link where you can learn more:

https://www.gofundme.com/f/meal-delivery-puget-sound-covid-19-hospital-staff

A Patreon site has also been set up for those who are able to make recurring donations:

https://www.patreon.com/theherbfarm

If you are considering contributing, Crown Linen Designs in Kirkland (906 Market Street) is offering a $50.00 gift card for every $99.00 you donate between now and April 5.  You can order online and we will deliver it for free (and contact free) anywhere in King County within 2 business days. 

Here's what you do if you you're interested: 

Make a contribution of $99 or more on the Gofundmesite and include your name. 

Always have the last digit of your contribution be be a "9" so we will know who you are.  Every $99 dollars earns you another $50 gift certificate!

Visit us online at www.crownlinendesigns.com and find what you like.  The offer applies to our entire line of apparel, bedding, tabletop and gifts including sale items.

Email us at www.retail@crownlinendesigns.com and let us know what you would like to purchase and we will contact you to arrange delivery. 

Please contact me at this email, at mark@crownlinendesigns.com or on my cell (425) 864-0921 if you would like more info.  

Thanks for anything you can do.  I promise - it really is making a difference - and we really can't do enough for these heroes.

With deepest wishes for health for you and your loved ones. 

Victoria & Mark Fanning

Crown Linen Designs

906 Market Street

Kirkland, WA 98033

Main: 425-406-8975

PS - Feel free to forward this email and offer to your friends and promote it on your social media. Anything you can do to get the word out is greatly appreciated. 


Blue Ribbons for Hope

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Have you noticed blue ribbons around many of our trees in Kirkland?  Special thanks to Tricia LaVoice for spearheading this effort to show people that a simple gesture can help people feel not-so-alone during this COVID-19 outbreak.  This is especially meaningful for many of our seniors that are feeling frightened and isolated, but can  now look out their window in their nursing homes and know their community is thinking of them. 

Tricia has wrapped over 150 trees so far!  There are currently 11 nursing homes that are impacted by the virus in King County and she is focusing on using safe distancing measures while single-handedly and methodically getting to each of their trees with her ribbons of hope.   This angelic lady has also adorned the trees on Park Lane, Lake St and Market St to represent the connection of  the Kirkland Life Care Center to its city and our hearts.  Tricia told me, "it's just my little part that I can do" and it would be great if others across the country also recognized their local nursing homes and how much meaning this can have for those residents.  Just today as she was checking on the ribbons at Life Care, someone pulled up and asked if she was taking them down.  "No, I'm just fixing them up" Tricia said, and the person thanked her for keeping them there as her mom really appreciates looking at them out her window.  

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"I wanted to share love, not fear, and this community has always been so nice and has really stepped up their game to be friendly, sweet, and supportive while still respecting the boundaries that we need to have right now."  Tricia mentioned the awesomeness (is that a word?) of Kirkland Life Care and the outpouring of support they are receiving , but to remember that there are many other nursing homes and care facilities where our elder population are feeling scared and alone.

How can we help her?    She's also running low on silk flowers and ribbon, so email her if you have some for a 'no contact' pickup or need a delivery address for an online order. If you have blue ribbon,  you can also put some around your own trees in your yard to show your support.  Like her FB page here.

 


What's Your New Normal?

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Things are changing at a rapid rate, so it's tough to keep track of what is or isn't okay in Kirkland these days.  Staying home mostly? Yes, that's okay because it sounds like more cases of asymptomatic transmission are popping up and we are unknowingly spreading COVID-19 to others.   But the amount of food I am eating while chillaxing in my house? That's not okay.  And now that the kids are out of school for 6 weeks I'm pretty sure we may all lose our minds, but we're determined to do this for the good of everybody.  This is not a drill.  This is for real, friends, let's follow the guidelines we've been given by our state and federal government.  If we can't manage to keep ourselves out of populated public spaces,  the likely next step is that they  will do it for us.   So let's impress and air on the side of caution.

That being said, you don't have to barricade yourself in your house with your 600 rolls of TP (still don't understand that, this isn't dysentery).  I have seen many heartfelt community efforts on the Be Neighborly Facebook page of people offering to do errands and food shopping for the higher risk citizens that shouldn't be out and about.  There was also a food sign-up (not making food, buying food)  for Kirkland Life Care residents and workers. You may want to donate gift cards to Nourishing Networks or donate/volunteer through the Lake WA School Foundation's Pantry Packs program, so those local kids that have food needs are being served.  Buy gift cards to local restaurants and businesses to help see them through this tough time. Or a free idea.. you could give blood.

IMG_8602 Opening Day (pushed to 3.26) tee at Asher Goods
I really appreciate the innovation coming from some of our local businesses.  Times are changing so let's get creative, right?  DERU Market now uses their parking area as a drive-thru for pickups and will be open 7 days/wk and doing deliveries.  Lake St Diamond Company  sent an email saying they are implementing 'teleconsults' via text, email or zoom in addition to store sanitizing and social distancing. Comcast announced it would offer free public wi-fi hotspots throughout the country during this pandemic.  Some places are understanding of the required slow-down and are suspending operations, such as Lynn's Bistro until 3/30, Lakehouse in Bellevue, and I'm sure many more to come in future days.  The ski runs are closing gyms are talking about putting workouts online for their clients to do while they are staying home.  Holly Smith of just announced "At Home with Cafe Juanita" so you can order and pickup on certain days/times through their virtual store.  I know the Kirkland Chamber of Commerce is working really hard to help support our local businesses through these tough times.  Are you friends with the Kirkland Blog on Facebook? I'm going to start doing snapshots of local business owners and ways you can still get their products/food. Shoutout to Asher Goods  and their Opening Day tees is up there right now. 

Our family has been talking about how we want to structure our days, reiterating to our teens that we can't sleep in until noon every day.  Steve is re-organizing his entire closet at this very moment and I have a feeling the garage is next.  Good news, the weather is great for a few days so get outside.  We're so lucky to have the Cross Kirkland Corridor and amazing parks for walks.   At our house, we were thinking about having a few 'no tech' days where we put our phones down completely (gasp!). The slow down of everything can more easily allow for a 'fun' experiment like that.  This seems like a perfect time to take a Masterclass online with a famous expert in their field.  Wordscape is a very dangerously addictive word app you might like.  Or maybe we can invent something- like some hand sanitizer that smells like orange blossoms and simultaneously moisturizes my chapped over-washed hands?  Feel free to share your ideas of how to use our down time wisely.


Can You Loan Me $65 for Some Hand Sanitizer?

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With our amazing community of people, charming downtown and phenomenal sweeping lake views, who would have ever thought that Kirkland, "Washing-hands-a-ton" would make global news for being the US epicenter for COVID-19? But here we are.  It looks like we may not make the  "Best Places to Live" list again this year, but that's the least of our problems.  Lucky for you, I'm not the news, so instead of throwing a bunch of up to the minute statistics  at you and current local advisories, I thought I would try to keep it light and look at the bright side, because sometimes we need that.  Especially w some kids home from school and spouses working from home and 2 rolls of toilet paper left. 

Here are some of my random observations and not-always-particularly-wise tips on how to look at the bright side:

  • I'm so proud-you guys are eating your fruits and veggies! Nice work, Kirkland. Of course the TP, hand sanitizer and water are depleted from all of the stores, but I was really impressed to know that you realize the importance of fresh produce for your overall health and have decided to also clear out most of the hardy greens and fresh fruits.  A+ people.  I've noticed a post that Met Market was cleared out of kombucha, artisan breads and black truffle burrata.  Aren't we fancy!
  • A few weeks ago I was looking for face masks online  and came to realize some of them were being shipped from China.  I could have COVID-19 delivered straight to my front door? How's that for irony?   
  • I'm worried for our local businesses that have seen a tremendous downturn in the past month.  It's good that you're staying safe and following guidelines to minimize the potential spread, but maybe we can do some online ordering to help keep them afloat? By the way, WowWow Lemonade has permanently closed their Kirkland location.  And there is a Grand Opening event this weekend for Mr. Wish at 320 4th St (next to the Shell on Central Way) and they are excited to be here with their freshly brewed fruit tea, smoothies, bubble tea and milk tea.  Here's their flyer for a "buy one get one free" event 3/9-3/10.
  •  Mr.WishGrand Open Poster
  • We all know how to wash our hands while singing happy birthday now. It's easier than chewing gum and tapping your head.  And I mean REALLY wash our hands, nothing like pre-Corona hand washing. We are paying extra attention to fingertips, thumbs, that meaty blob under your pinkies and the back of your hands.  And using the paper towel or an elbow to turn the water off when done drying.  And then there's Ellen's way
  • Handshaking is so 2019.  Hugs? Don't you dare. It's a foot-shake now folks, and here's how you do it.  
  • On the upside, traffic is non-existent. And I went to the gym yesterday and rolled right in to my favorite parking spot, used my sleeve to open the doors and wiped down everything before and after I used it.  I appreciate that the staff is visibly wiping down equipment and doorways/knobs constantly.  But I was mostly by myself (with my new haircut), as you can see by the sea of empty treadmills. Good news: The lake is flat and I just got word that a boat is de-winterized so my future workouts may be waterskiing- especially since it's a gloved sport and I'm hoping COVID-19 can't sustain the 48 degree water temp like my drysuit can.  
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  • Airfare is cheap.  I just got an email from Alaska about flights starting at $20 one way.  In case you're plotting an escape...
  • Or-stay! This is a great time to organize at home! Before the stir-crazy part sets in, I'm thinking I can clean up some crap piles of paper from my office and re-arrange some furniture to keep things exciting around here. 
  • Teach your kids negotiating skills by bartering for in-demand quarantine supplies.  I'll trade you 3 rolls of toilet paper for that hand sanitizer?  In a pinch, you can make your own hand sanitizer.   My dad texted to let me know there's a way to make sanitizer with vodka.  But I would never waste perfectly good vodka that way. I still have some olives around here somewhere and I could just as easily start my cleansing on the interior. 
  • One silver lining of having  Kirkland unwilling land in the national news is the re-connections that it has sparked.  My mom heard from a friend she hasn't spoken to in 20 years.  I'm getting Facebook messages from friends all over the country checking in.
  • Feel free to share your upside stories and advice for this not-so-awesome time in Kirkland.  It's kind of a nice break from the news. :-)  

 


Mix it up with a little Mystery

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On Friday night, Steve and I went on a "Mystery" date that I had purchased for him as a Christmas gift.   Don't worry I was still his date, that part was not the mystery,  but we had no idea where we were going.  We didn't do any planning whatsoever.   I just answered a few questions about our level of adventure, noise preferences, degree of alcoholism,  food preferences, and budget and followed the real-time instructions that the Mystery app provided.  Yes, this requires a leap of faith, but one you'll likely be thankful for, if you take it. 

We received a text on Tuesday reminding us that Friday was our Mystery date.  And then a text again on Friday with the one hour countdown.  Our directions were to meet at the Evergreen Park & Ride in Medina where our Lyft will be waiting for us at 6:15 pm to take us to our first destination.  How exciting! There's something totally freeing about not being responsible for figuring out a plan or  making a reservation. We could just show up.  I can do that.  And there's no possibility that we would change our minds and just watch Netflix with some Thai take-out because we had confirmed, and the curiosity factor was running high.

MysterydateThis is Mystery's photo. Steve & I not this young and adorable by any stretch of the imagination.

Our Lyft was waiting for us when we arrived at 6:10 and it immediately zipped us toward the 520 bridge with, miraculously, no traffic.  As the car was winding towards Fremont and Steve and I are giggling and guessing where it might be taking us, an alert from the Mystery app pops up on our phones.  "Your destination is 2 minutes away. Are you ready for it to be revealed?"  Yes, of course, secrets drive me bananas.  And it was.... a private salsa dancing lesson for two at Salsa Con Todo! But since we arrived a bit early we were able to squeeze in a martini a few doors down, which we felt would greatly prepare us for our upcoming dance lesson.  Casey from Mystery was communicating with us via the app during each step of the evening, so if we had questions, we could get an answer immediately.  I'm not going to lie, when that reveal for salsa dancing popped up I thought it was a super fun idea, but then Steve sort of mumbled an 'oohhhh boy.'  The location was a place that I once walked past with girlfriends months ago and we had ogled at all of the dancers having a blast on the dance floor, so for me this was like a dream come true.  Steve, however......his parents were both Arthur Murray dance instructors (that's how they met) which was pretty hot back before Dancing with the Stars, and it's clear that Steve opted for playing basketball in the street with his buddies instead of yielding any dance guidance from his pros at home.  The guy has definitely fot rhythm, but there's always an air of regret or unfulfilled potential when dancing comes up.  But we had a BLAST! Our instructor was patient and funny and she gave great guidance as we hysterically laughed at ourselves.  This delightful hour is possibly the longest amount of time I have seen my husbands eyes not looking at his phone in the past few months. This is why I have no pics from our date, because we were too busy enjoying the moment and wondering what was about to happen next.  Brilliant.

As our lesson ended at 8pm, our app alerted us that our Lyft  was 4 mins away and would take us to our next destination..  We scurried down the stairs and outside to find the gray Prius and awesome driver named Sara that awaited us.  She had no idea we were on a Mystery Date but thoroughly enjoyed hearing about our evening and being part of the adventure. We wove through neighborhoods of stoic close-knit Seattle homes with streets packed with cars and our simple little vanilla Eastside brains were laughing aloud, "where are we? near UW? heading north? Where is she taking us?"  And at last, the reveal from the app, a few minutes before arrival told us we'd be eating at Frank's Oyster House & Champagne Parlor.  We checked in and they had a cozy table in the front window waiting for us.  Deviled eggs, shrimp, fried chicken (their signature dish), wine and even the banana split for dessert. The food was excellent and the vibe was that same cool dark delicious Seattle feel that reminds me we should try to get there more often.  Never in a million years would we have found that place and gone there on our own. After licking our plates clean we clicked the link in the app that would beckon our Lyft home, sad to have our series of surprises come to an end.  

I asked Mystery if they did any Eastside adventures and right now they only do that upon request so they can maximize the chances of sending people to experience new places. This was a fun video of another couple documenting their Mystery experience. This local company just had their one year anniversary and loves when people are willing to dive in head-first and just let the experience happen with an open mind.  The pricing works like this- you tell them a per person price range ($50-100) ($100-150) and they work within that.  Remember the Lyft rides will eat some of that budget too (if you plan to indulge in drinks).  Mystery billed us  for the Lyfts and the dancing but the dinner we paid for directly (the app told us this ahead of time). The total amount came in under right under budget. FREEBIE ALERT: There is typically a $20 planning fee, which is WAIVED if you use this link for your first experience. YAY! They also now do single-stop options for either a meal or activity that don't have additional fees.  I hate to send you out of Kirkland, but this was FUN.  And different.  A change of scenery is always good-push outside your comfort zone.  Surprise your date, enjoy some family time,  go on a group/team outing, or give this experience as a gift.  What a great way to appreciate the moment you are in.   Even if someone else put you there. ~j

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Divalani Excited to Style Kirklanders

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After you've grabbed your Starbucks latte and find yourself breezing by Divalani on Park Lane right next door, take a moment to drop in.  With a quick glance it's easy to see clothes in the window and think it is still Unique Chic Boutique, but I assure you it is not.  Divalani owner, Marta Hardin, decided on Kirkland for her second location where she caters to affordably styling women that are 40+ in clothes that make them look and feel good. She says,  "I've been doing this since I was 17 and I know the store like I know my own closet.  But you make the clothes.  You are the canvas.  I can help you put together outfits that you would never think of."  Oh, thank goodness!  Deep exhale from all the middle aged ladies that no longer have to stress over finding clothes that look good on us. Someone local will do it for me for free?!  (in store, hourly priced styling happens at home or office)

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Divalani carries mostly Canadian and LA brands that are under $200-ish, such as Joseph Ribkoff and Frank Lyman and Liverpool.  Marta emphasizes her goal of helping you to find an emotional connection with a product.  She wants people to remember a happy experience and how they felt when they wore those clothes.      You'll often find Annette in the shop, who is an in-house stylist that enjoys working with busy women that don't have time to shop. You can also get styled for everyday or special occasions and check out  scarves and jewelry from local artists. Say hello, Marta and Annette are super friendly and you're sure to walk out finding something that makes you look and feel fabulous!


Shamrock Run 2020

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Lake Washington Physical Therapy's annual Shamrock Run will take place on Saturday, March 14th. This 5K starts at 9am and benefits local charities. Registration is $45, and good news, you can get up to $10 off by referring friends.  Run, walk,  push a stroller, walk a dog or dance a jig, it's up to you! After your St. Patrick's Day exercise duties, roll on over to Wilde Rover for a pint at the post-race party. 


Grounded Above the Clouds

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Janice Winfrey (right in photo) lost everything in the devastating Paradise, CA fires of 2018, barely escaping with her husband and dog and the clothes on her back.  This tragedy also managed to open the door of opportunity for her to move closer to family in Washington, and fulfill her dream of starting a business with her sister, April Laskey (left in photo).  Professionally, Janice  has been a nurse for many years and found the culture to be very stressful.  Her co-workers barely knew each other and often worked different shifts. She wished she could find a way to incorporate more community building and support structure to her field. Her sister April, a weight loss coach, has a passion for art.  How could they join forces in an effort that was meaningful for both of them? That's when Grounded Above the Clouds was born. 

Squirreled away in the back of 30 Lakeshore Plaza is their adorable space where Grounded Above the Clouds has been open since November 8th.  In the front room is where they have local artists creations for sale and in the backroom.............that's where the magic happens. Janice and April host workshops that bring people to together for an art project, which is less about the artistic outcome and more about the opening up the creative side of your brain and connecting with the people around you. Workshops are typically in a 2 or 3 part series and have a guided theme or objective which focuses on personal and professional growth and innovation. 

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Some of the classes they teach and others have guest instructors.  This is not a step-by-step project because everyone is working on their own unique creation.  These could range  from fluid painting (messy fun!), hand-built ceramics, brush calligraphy, comic book drawing, hand knitting ( I totally want to try this!), or art meditation to name a few.

Here is the schedule. Classes range from $45-75 depending on materials.  The goal is to provide a space that is comfortable and experiential that can connect people, build resiliency and encourage creativity.  These ladies specialize in corporate team building sessions so people can bring some of these life lessons back to their work culture.   The name "Grounded Above the Clouds" represents the way people can have normal jobs and still be dreamers and explore other possibilities that might be out there.  You don't always have to have one thing or the other-why limit yourself? It's okay to dream. 

Go say hi to Janice and April to learn more about their passion for opening your mind through art. Bring your team from work.   They are open Tues-Sat 11-7 pm.  You need to be a bit of a Kirkland expert to find it (despite the giant letters that say "Lakeshore Plaza"), so I drew you an arrow. It's just under the stairs that go down the side of Wilde Rover.  Through the door and the lobby and it's back on the left.  They'd love your suggestions for new classes  and teachers too. Have fun, I can't wait to try it.

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