Lululemon Keeping us On-Point.. and safe

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Lucky me! I left my house on Friday to venture over to The Village at Totem Lake for the opening of lululemon.  Lulu fabrics have been working overtime to make me appear to be fit for years now, so I felt like I the least I could do is brush my hair and throw a mask on to visit their newest location here in Kirkland.  Good thing I did.  They were supposed to open on 3/31 but, you know our Crusty ole COVID friend decided that wasn't going to happen until 6/26. lululemon did an AMAZING job being prepared with  6 ft of distance floor stickers outside  and under 10 people in the store at a time to shop the latest sport-trendy attire.  New/current rules include masks on your mugs (they have them on too, thank you!), trying not touch clothes that you aren't going to buy (tricky, I love touching everything!) and no dressing rooms, but you can take home and return within 30 days.  Plenty of men's and women's sport and leisure clothes and accessories to peruse for summertime.

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Their corner spot across from 203° F Coffee is open and welcoming.  As I stood out front I thought if I closed my eyes and re-opened them I could possibly be in U-Village.  Love all of the plants and cozy 'village' feel outside and then the clean high energy vibe of lulu itself. Logically I can't walk out of there without a cute pair of joggers ($88) and short-sleeved top ($48) that may family will be lucky enough to see me wearing around the house or maybe even some strangers on a walk or at the grocery store.   Hours are 11-7 except Sunday is 12-6.  go- have fun, support this new store!

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A few doors down was the adorable flower/candle pop-up stand that just opened called Sweet Serenity, which has a heartfelt story behind it (photo).  And of course you are curious about what else is still on its way. Besides the giant 40% off sale at Nordstrom Rack (get on line) right now and much appreciation to Trader Joe's, Whole Foods and the other essential businesses, you can also look forward to Evereve and Athleta coming soon along with Cinemark (Phase 2, Nov-ish). Lots to look forward to! 


Re-Openings are Welcome News

There are twinkles of hope resembling normalcy as King County ventures into Phase 2.  Even new stores opening!  While we all continue to social distance and err on the side of caution to keep our numbers in check, businesses are striving to offer us a safe environment in which to do our shopping.  Check out the Village at Totem Lake that has continuously served us by way of Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe's, All the Best Pets, AutoZone, HSBC, Key Bank, Joe's Burgers, Chipotle, MOD Pizza, 203°F Coffee Co, T-Mobile.  T-Mobile, Wells Fargo, At&T and Verizon.  Anthony Vince Nail Spa and Nordstrom Rack and also now re-opened.  Hand sanitizer stations are located throughout the Village and and ground stickers to remind us of safe distancing.  

UrbanTread
Urban Tread
just opened at The Village! It is a Seattle-based company that specializes in stylish and comfortable shoes and boots for men and women.  Let's go show them some support (just not all at the same exact time. And with our masks on..)

There was also some sad news of Anko permanently closing all of their US stores.  This is a loss, my daughters will no longer be able to afford to decorate their  own bedrooms. Also closing on the other side of Kirkland is Tuesday Morning on 85th.  By the way, if this is your first time hearing this news, you need to follow the Kirkland Blog on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) where I blab about these things as soon as I hear about them. 

Anyway, back to The Village!.......Still also expected to open very very soon are LuluLemon, Athleta and Evereve.  I know I will be a regular in those favorites. I'm just scared to learn what my new sizes will be. 

After construction resumes fully, the Village is also looking forward to celebrating grand openings of Cinemark, Sephora and Salt & Straw. I can't think of a better way to eventually wrap up this COVID thing than some great mascara, an ice cream and a movie. A girl can dream, right? #cantwait


Kirkland's Virtual 4th of July

From our 4th of July Committee:

4thofJulyvirtual

A message from Kirkland Downtown Association regarding 4th of July celebration:

 This year 4th of July is going to look a little different. To still celebrate as a community, we are creating a virtual parade and fireworks show to stream live on FB and Kirkland TV.

This will give us an opportunity to “gather together” from the comfort and safety of our own spaces and enjoy images and footage of 4th of July celebrations from the last 20 years.

How fun it will be to see how floats, styles, and downtown have evolved since we began Celebrate Kirkland in 2000. Pay attention and you just may see some familiar faces that have participated through the years.

Join us at Noon on Saturday, July 4th on the Celebrate Kirkland 4th of July! Facebook page or on Kirkland TV for the parade and fireworks show.

We would also love to see how you are celebrating! As you deck your homes, selves, pets, or children with red, white, and blue, we would love you to post your pictures with the below hashtags.


#CelebrateKirkland!2020 #KirklandTogether #WeGotThisKirkland


Attn Chocolate Lovers: Sweet Cloud Gifts is (virtually) Here

Olga and Yakov Sweet cloud gifts logo

You may recognize Yakov Gorshkov, the owner of Seattle Thread Company on Lake St., who is also a regular around Kirkland. But have you met his daughter, Olga? These two dynamos have started an online business together called Sweet Cloud Gifts and it's all about .....chocolate!  Oh thank goodness, right? That can solve just about anything.   A software engineer by trade, Olga is excited about her online chocolate gifting so that she can connect with the community and make people happy.  This idea has been swirling around in their brains for awhile, and they decided now is the time to bring it to life.  Olga and Yakov are primarily focused on Kirkland and individual gifting, but they also offer business gifts for rewards and events.  Their chocolates are sourced from around the world, so you'll notice some familiar Seattle area faves alongside unique global brands. Their stock is in Kirkland so it only take 2-3 days to get to you. They also have their own gift sets in an adorable Sweet Cloud Gift box.

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When I asked Yakov about his favorite chocolate he said, "I eat them all." Olga has a sweet spot for the liquor-filled chocolates (double trouble!). Check out their website- these two Kirkland mainstays are passionate about building connections, embracing community, collaborating and promoting neighbors.  So reach out and say hello and send a friend or associate some chocolate.  I'm sure they'll be glad that you did!


Kirkland's Seniors Cruise the Blvd

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The graduating class of 2020 has definitely had some special end of year moments robbed of them due to the Coronavirus restrictions.  But on Thursday evening, the rains stopped and the sun shone down on hundreds of smiling capped and gowned teenagers from Lake Washington High School, Juanita High School, Eastside Prep, Emerson and the International School.  A giant 'unofficial' parade of cars honked, shrieked, danced and  let loose down the Lake St/Lake WA Blvd in Kirkland as parents and socially distanced bystanders clapped and cheered them on from the street.  For those 45 minutes, life even felt a little bit 'normal' as kids got to see each other and feel the love and support of their friends, family and community.  Finally, a celebration!  I don't have a senior, but I still found myself holding back a few tears of pride for this amazing group of teens. 

Perhaps this grass-roots effort just started a new Kirkland tradition.  LW parent, Kristen Estes, helped the group of moms that put this effort together and commented, "We are so thankful to the Kirkland community for helping us celebrate the Class of 2020 during these unique times.  it was fun to see everyone come together and make this a special event for the graduating class of 2020."  Perhaps years from now Kirkland grads will read about COVID-19 in their history books and go charging out the door for their annual community graduation 'senior cruise' through our city remembering how it all started. I hope so. 

You've got this Class of 2020.  Congrats!


Love Always

Rileypic

I've been keeping a sharp eye out for the murder hornets, because well wouldn't that just figure that they would be able to find me while on our stay-at-home order.  They'd buzz their giant asses right on into my house during those few moments my door is open after bringing in the mail. I don't have time to ponder such thoughts because I'm mostly trying to keep my household from resembling a fraternity house on a Sunday morning and failing miserable.  This last Sunday was pretty great though-how was your Mother's Day? My family gave me a Roomba, which we named Pete, and he's been trying to help us out with aforementioned frat house floor.  My daughter handed me this little doodle (sweetest 17 yo ever?) that, at first glance, says "Love Always."  I tole her  a "Thanks honey" and gave some big hugs and then when my eyes went back to the doodle, suddenly it appears to say "home Always." What the what?!  Is my mind playing tricks on me? Can you see it??! Because that is also VERY VERY true.  What is this trickery she has bestowed upon me?

BumblebeeThis is not a murder hornet. But I have time capture photos of bees on my walks now.

When I do venture out of the house, I put my mask on over my new little chipmunk cheeks and marvel at how sometimes social distancing has extended its hand to make us socially inept.  I've seen a few people snap at the grocery that don't yet realize the aisles are one-way. I'm wondering if we've turned into 'serious' zombies, ones that not only stay 6 feet apart but don't say hello or wave or hardly acknowledge those around us anymore.  This reminds me of when I was asking my daughter recently about her remote schooling.  And she said, "School is basically the same except they sucked all the fun out of it."  Have we had the fun sucked out of us? Say it isn't so.  I know I still have some fun left in me.

Instead of complaining I've decided to do something about it.  I purchased some coffee gift cards and now hand them to service people that deserve thanking or sometimes just unsuspecting grouchy people.  Their reaction is worth every penny- the softening of the eyes, the change in body language as they relax their shoulders and tip their heads in appreciation of a kind gesture.  I challenge you to do this too- it could be picking a flower or tipping extra or whatever your spin might be.  My UPS guy seemed to like the sampler box of whiskey mini-bottles I left for him.  Just saying. The checker at the grocery store was delightfully confused when I gave her a gift card. You do you.  It doesn't have to cost a thing. Spread a little kindness.  We all need it right now.

Oh, and speaking of which- please follow/like the Kirkland Blog's Facebook page.  There's a (hopefully entertaining) little photo contest up there now where you can win $100 gift card to Bibi Kitchen for their delicious take out. 

 


Kirkland's 4th Parade Cancelled

Shinydime
I've had a few, what I call,  "shiny dime days" recently.  When paying for something with cash pre-COVID  (back when we used to be out and use real money on occasion), and inevitably, somehow a shiny skinny little dime always escapes my clutches. Who invented those little buggers? Anyway, you know the feeling, everyone at the register hears it pliiiinkkk to the floor and offers to helps as it makes its edgy winding escape under a counter or into an unreachable crevice.  "Aaah, don't worry about it," I'd say not wanting to further advertise my clumsy hands or fret over ten cents.  Now in 2020,  I am losing days like I used to lose dimes.  I'll never get either of them back.  I may be waking up with intent, albeit a little later, but not-so-much really happens.   Maybe I've emptied some dishwashers, written a few emails, gone for a walk or watched movies with the fam.  Perhaps every day.  They are slipping through my fingers just like the shiny dimes, and I find myself still saying, "aaah, don't worry about it."  Because there's always tomorrow.  When this is all over I hope I can motivate myself to get more than one thing done in a day.  And I'll be picking up those dimes! 

As we look about 60 tomorrows into the future, it turns out we will still be celebrating America's birthday on July 4th, just not in the traditional way Kirkland is accustomed to.  Here is the update from Celebrate Kirkland taken from their website:

We have experienced unprecedented changes and adaptions in our daily lives since the beginning of March as our community and country have faced the impacts of our current health crisis. Kirkland Downtown Association cares deeply about the safety and well-being of our neighbors so we are continuing the theme of adapting and overcoming by exploring creative and safe ways we can celebrate Kirkland this 4th of July. While we won’t be having our traditional parade, community picnic, and fireworks as we have in the past, we are working on some extra-special ways to celebrate safely.
We look forward to the days we can join together again in our parks and businesses. When that day comes, rest assured, we will have a celebration like no other.

Can we drop firewarks from really high drones for us all to see from our homes? Flags in front of every home? A car parade for each neighborhood?  Hot dog and beer touchless delivery? Whatever it is, I know we'll figure it out-hang in there, Kirkland. #wegotthis

 


Not-So-Deep Thoughts During COVID-19

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All at once, time is both standing still and flying by.  I have a vague idea of what day it might be, but no urgency to figure it out.  Thoughts are clanking around in my brain like a forgotten quarter in the dryer.  So I jot them down on a piece of paper, in case they eventually make some sort of cohesive sense, and I thought I would share my compilation with you.  I know the news is constant and our inboxes are full with virus updates from every business we have ever worked with, so it seems like some light notes from our time at home might be relatable, if not, therapeutic. 

  • Is anybody else hiding food from their family? If I happen to buy a treat at 4pm, perhaps some cookies or chocolate, I can pretty much guarantee it will be gone by 8pm.  They are an incredibly engineered breed of scent-driven sweets hunters.   Right now there are chocolate covered raisins hidden in my underwear drawer (who would go there?!) and I will sneak a handful to ration out to everyone when the timing is right.  
  • Smiles are contagious, in a good way, but now they are all hidden under our masks! (photo, big grin)
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  • Many people, aside from essential workers, are SO accessible right now. Was there somebody you've always wanted to talk to? Or an old friend you never had time to catch up with?   Isolate physically but reach out virtually.  I've never heard so many people actually answer their phone!  Hey, does anyone have Oprah's number?
  • Just making sure that you know this important fact: menopausal women all over the globe wake up every morning in a cold sweat and take their temperature thinking they could have it. 
  • When school got canceled (the first time), one of my 17 yo girls said "Ohhh, it's like 99% of the stress just got lifted from my shoulders."  I thought that was interesting in a time when this situation is causing much greater stresses on so many people that for her it actually a bit of a relief moment, even though she is sad to miss her friends and teachers. Meanwhile, her sister is painting/creating COVID-19 planners. (photo at top)
  • I put some jeans on today for the first time in weeks and they fit! Winning!
  • Who has TikTok? If you have hours of your life that you would like to make disappear, this is a great way to do it with some belly laughs along the way.  Make your family do one of the group dances, I'll be looking for you.
  • -I am not hoarding.  My family actually eats this much.  3 teenagers=(2) costco 3 packs of milk and (2) 18 packs of eggs in any given pre-Covid week.    
  • -I bought some hand sanitizer from Heritage Distillery and am hoping I don't mistakenly drink it on any given day at 5pm (photo)
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  • -Is it too early/presumptive to start planning a Christmas party at my house?  Somehow that would bring me joy now.   
  • I went for a walk with Riley and was noticing how many bunnies and birds seemed unusually close to us, almost as if they were saying hello.  "Perhaps they miss seeing people too?" I asked. "Or maybe they're always there and you're just now taking the time to notice?" she said.  Touché. 
  • It will be interesting to see  stats on how many divorces, alcoholics and babies this quarantine produces.
  • For teen drivers w/permits, this is a great time to practice driving on less congested roads without making everyone around your crazy (except your parent in the passenger's seat)
  • Do you think we'll ever phase back into shaking hands? If we do, can those of you with wimpy handshakes please use this downtime to practice a bit?
  • COVID makeover- this will be a mandatory step in the recovery process as I am looking quite primitive now.  Gyms, hair and nail salons will be a hot commodity when they re-open.   
  • I was driving the other day and suddenly felt a wave of emotion and welled up with tears.  Was it from that quick taste of lost freedoms? The build up of going on for weeks  pretending this new life is normal? Or my mask pinching me behind the ears? I'll never know.  We all have these moments.  Acknowledge them.  Move forward. 
  • I took the gray polish off of my toes and did them bright pink instead.  It just feels happier. And sometimes I wear bright clothes that don't necessarily match. Try it. It's liberating and makes me laugh at myself.
  • So, I try to check in with my mom every day. But it's mind-blowing- like Groundhog Day- hearing the same info/news updates because she never leaves the house anymore and has nothing new to talk about.  She did say we could use a Jonas Salk right now, which is very true,  and then she will tell me again tomorrow.
  • Mother Earth.  I feel like she's taking a giant inhalation with her head tipped back and her arms held out wide.  Her fish are returning to the newly clear waters of Venice.  Air quality has greatly improved, especially in LA and China. Her bunnies and birds are enjoying their space again on my walks again. What will we do?  What will she?
  • Not being rushed by my teens/our hectic schedules and being able to have family dinner every evening has been an upside to this giant slowdown.   
  • I'm so thankful for every healthcare worker, truck driver, mailman, no-touch food delivery person, fire/policemen, grocery workers, and behind the scenes people that keep our days moving forward for all of us. 
  • This Seattle video made me well up (again). We're making great strides, WA, but we're not there yet.  We can do this.  And yes, I miss your face. xo