Enough Already

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What's next??! At this point I don't even think I'd flinch if I saw a dinosaur walk past my window.  Asteroid? No problem. In case limiting my social interactions and altering life for COVID wasn't enough, now there's a a dangerous smoke cloud encompassing us while flashing an evil fiery 2020 themed smile.  I just spent last week convincing myself that having my kids doing school at the dining room table w/earbuds and blue light glasses while my husband works in the next room all day is okay.  I was even coming to grips with noticing that my pajama pants (!) are getting snug.  I know, at least I have pants, and a dining room table and nice family and good health/safety, so for those things I am thankful.  But I can still get pissed that 2020 has essentially been an epic game of  disaster whack-a-mole.  I've been trying to think of an appropriate way to celebrate New Year's this year because, honestly, it can't come soon enough. 

I've decided I would like to invent a new drink and that is........... tequila-champagne.  That's right, tequila b/c it's uniquely flavored with a hint of anger to really give our usual light and celebratory champagne-worthy holiday a one-upper.  And if we call it 'Quilapagne' it sounds an awful lot like 'kill-the-pain' which is definitely on-point, don't you think?  Make note, both of these are intentionally low-cal beverages so we can begin to fit back into our normal clothes for 2021. I realize tequila distillers are going to start filling up my inbox after this stroke-of-genius post, but don't worry, I promise to include you all in my celebration when I make the Quilapagne big time.  Fingers crossed that when Good Morning America interviews me I won't still have to be in my mask or on Zoom.  I'm also open to your suggestions of how to celebrate the end of 2020. Please indulge me.

 


A=Anxiety B=Back to School C=Chainline

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This is what high school looks like at Lake WA HS in my house in 2020.  And this is what it might look like if we don't survive the week. Kudos to the genius in the tent using Kirkland wifi. Actually, I was pretty impressed that my kids all got dressed and ate breakfast and assembled themselves in the dining room like good little worker bees on the first day.  A few minor bumps with laptop audio and Microsoft Teams adjustments, but then again, what fun would it be if nothing unexpected happened?  BIG props to all of the teachers and school district support folks that have obviously worked tirelessly to make this remote learning recipe work.  Nothing is perfect, but teachers seem prepared and the tech teams are quickly responding even though we know they must be overwhelmed (Syd got a new laptop the same day she logged her issue w/ helpdesk!). Of course I say this as a parent of three teenagers that attend school at home and craft college essays all day while I sneak off to re-start my waterski habit.  They can feed and manage themselves.  My heart really goes out to all of the parents with full time jobs that are trying to not only doing their own work, but have suddenly become teacher's assistants, tech advisors and short order chefs to their young children.  I would be pulling my hair out if COVID hit our family 10 years ago. Literally.  I am thinking of you all, and I think it's important for your mental health to realize that Chainline Brewery is now open at Kirkland Urban. 

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If you can't escape your kids/pets, then just mask up and bring them! You'll find Chainline's new location (formerly next to Google/the CKC trail) on the second level in the northeast corner of Urban.  There's plenty of outdoor space with a view towards Seattle, and well spread indoor space with high ceilings.  The sun was shining on the patio when I popped in at 3:30, and I had to agree with Ariel (photo) that Chainline is the new 'cool kids on the block' with their friendly easy vibe.  They've got food bites (pretzels, flatbreads), plenty of flagship and seasonal beers, and even cider and wine on tap!

Their hours are Sunday 12-8 and Mon-Sat 12-10pm, so you can escape head out after you put those kiddos to bed. We've got this #KirklandStrong.  Cheers to a new school year!

 

 


Dog Days of Kirkland: Virtual Style

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We can't sit around doing nothing forever, people.  The beloved annual 'Dog Days of Kirkland' dogshow contest will be online this year, so you and your pooch can participate from the comfort of your own home.  How very 2020 of us!  This dog photo contest means that you will be uploading photos of your trusted furry friend to one of the nine categories on kirklandparks.net, where they will then be shared on Facebook and voters can pick their faves. It's FREE!  Register your dog now through Sept 3rd.  Photos will be posted on Facebook for a 'likes' contest from Sept 5-12th.  Top winners will receive a gift card from Denny's Pet World and the grand prize winner receives a delux pet protrait session with Jennifer Wollman Photography.  I have no pets, just a houseful of teenagers so I will be looking out for your cute shots!


Restore. Yes, please.

RestoreExteriorRestoreKimandJJ <--owners Kim & JJ

Restore
in Kirkland Urban opened on Feb 22nd and then we blinked and COVID was here. Fast forward six months and I've had time to mask up, walk on over and pay them a visit. There's usually street parking right outside their door. And it's exactly what we all need- a little injection of  hyper-wellness!   We need to remember to take care of ourselves, especially when we've taken up new outdoorsy adventures like hiking and biking and kayaking, or binge watching Netflix that can make our old asses sore.  Feel free to drop in or make an appointment  for a socially distanced/masked tour of this clean and new recovery haven. 

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They offer services that include full body cryotherapy (good for inflammation, metabolism, mood boost, skin/collagen generation), PBM infrared light therapy (reduces pain, cellular regeneration, eye health, skin, sleep), infrared sauna (detoxifying, heats from within), hyperbaric oxygen chamber (stimulates healing), compression therapy (lymphatic stimulation), stretch therapy (assisted stretching), and nutrient IV's  (with a very extensive menu, these require an initial consult with their nurse/naturopathic doc).  They also offer cryoslimming (Oh sign me up!) and cryotoning and cryofacials with a specialized aesthetician. 

Restore has 62 locations and plans to have 125 across the U.S. by the end of the year.   Over 180 Kirkland members have been using these all-natural modalities to help themselves feel better in recent months. The staff can help you put together a plan to meet your individual goals and tailor a program to address your needs.  Or if you prefer, you can just drop in for a service when you feel like you need it.  Training for a marathon and feeling sluggish? Working to recover from an injury? Everyone needs a nudge. Co-owner JJ Durant says they also offer great treatment alternatives and compliments for chronic pain such as rheumatoid arthritis and even auto-immune conditions such as lupus.

Everything can be a la carte or memberships start at $79 and work up to $239 (for a daily pass) depending on your number of visits.  Members also get a discount on services. Bonus- students get 50% off retail prices!  My husband has been in to Restore for cryotherapy (brrrrr..) twice in the last week and is potentially addicted, so there's a good chance you'll see us there. 

 

 


Pushing Forward. Donuts. Bubbles...Onward.

I've had a shoulder injury that is taking some time to heal. This getting old thing is hard to get my head around.  It doesn't  matter how hard I work at physical therapy  (thx LWPT for the in-home sessions!), it just needs TIME.  Something that seems more plentiful these days, but when we are already limited in what we can do and where we can go, this is super frustrating. A number of  things that make me happy- golf and waterskiing for example, are off the table.  So I walk and do modified workouts...meh, been a little desperate for some new fun ideas.   I've been eating frozen grapes which are an amazing summertime treat, so there's a bright side.  And I watch TikTok, sometimes with my kids, and it makes me cry the best belly-laugh tears I have experienced in a while.  For all things good, universe, please don't take this small hilarious pleasure in life away.  If you have not been on this app, better hurry before it's too late, and scroll past the teenage girls desperate for followers and check out the hilarious dog and prank videos. It's like America's Funniest Home videos without a million replays and commercials, and restores my faith in the humor of mankind.

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The landscape is definitely changing.  Literally.  Have you seen the weeds in all of the medians? Just kidding, sort of.... anyway, as I walked through downtown Kirkland the other day I found myself wondering which businesses would make it.   Canvas has closed. A few months ago I was amazed at how they always seemed to have full classes in the middle of the day. Pike St Press closed their Kirkland location. Brix just closed - COVID is killing the bar biz and they need that to survive- but good news, they will be opening in Woodinville at Woodin Creek Village post-COVID. Bassline Fitness had to downsize their space.  Diva Lani has re-opened to warm support and added to their more casual quarantine-cozy clothes.  Santorini is working hard to re-open in the upcoming weeks (finally filling the void in my heart).  

There are also always a few stories that simply inspire.  I love when people are able to get scrappy and resourceful.  Hamed, the owner of Shirzad  Fine Jewelry on Central Way, recognized people aren't running out for fancy jewelry at the moment, so he opened a coffee/donut drive through in Factoria with a partner to keep things going.  They donated to local hospitals and now nurses/healthcare workers are a big part of his customer base.    Mini's Coffee & Donuts features coffee from his friend's farm in Costa Rica and donuts that are fried on the spot and made to order. People always need donuts and coffee, right?

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Go-getter Carolyn Holt is a Kirklander with crazy champagne skills. Yes, you read that correctly. This girl knows her bubbles. She's a familiar local face that has been the wine buyer and wine club coordinator at The Grape Choice, not to mention the Pop Up Bub Club coordinator,  and dreamed of having her own champagne bar.  And despite these times, she has got a plan to make it happen.  Hellooooo Pop!Culture. A non-pretentious, fun, bright atmosphere where families can enjoy bubbles and wine and small plates while creating long-lasting relationships with the locals.  She's hoping to find a space in Kirkland (but Woodinville has potential too) and open in October or November. Check out her sample menu and Kickstarter campaign here if you are champagne fan, there are lots of fun experiences in exchange for your support.  Pro Tips- her favorite champagne reco's would be: Billecart- Salmon NV Brut Reserve and Pol Roger NV Brut.  Show her some love if you want to see pop!culture in Kirkland. Virtual tastings too! 

 

 


Stay-at-Home Time Sparks Creativity: Seattle Supreme Clothing

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It's quite evident that these last few months have sent a screaming curveball into our lives, but local high school student Nathan Chen was not deterred.  Nathan decided to use his extra time to explore his creativity and start a company, Seattle Supreme Clothing, also known as "Seasup."   These Covid days....some sleep in, others get motivated! We may need to step up our game to keep up with this kid.

Nathan moved to Kirkland from Taiwan four years ago and he found himself thinking about the cultural differences he had experienced, and how he could incorporate language and design to help widen people's view of the world.  "During quarantine I needed a way to express my feelings," he says, "and I wanted to make a collection with meaning.  So I ran the idea by some friends, and they liked it."  Nathan's debut collection of trendy tees is called "Mandarin" and each shirt has an explanation of the language and design's deeper meaning if you click on it.  He emphasizes cultural diversity,  social awareness, and even international  landmarks and melds it with a splash of local flavor.  All of Nathan's designs are hand sketched and then fine tuned on Adobe Illustrator and then printed on shirts in Nevada.  Each shirt is $19.99 and 15% of profits go towards WA Youth for Masks,  another local teen-driven effort.

When Nathan isn't outsmarting the adults around him, you may find him working out, playing football or shooting some hoops.   He's hopeful to end up at one of his dream colleges, either UW or UC Berkeley studying business in 2021.   His advice to us..."If you have the opportunity, just do it!"  

You can check out Seasup's Insta page here and  don't forget to buy yourself a sharp new tee that will compliment your  face mask when you leave the house again next Tuesday.  


Comings and Goings. Hello to J. McLaughlin on Park Lane!

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I prefer comings to goings but these are strange times, indeed. A little masked stroll around town in my newfound favorite mask, from Z Supply at Purpose Boutique (photo) for $12.99, was a good little fact-finding mission.  IVY- family emergency and closed until further notice as of 7/9. Birdcage has left the building. And  Rocketfizz has closed and will be turning into....drum roll please....a bank (deflated exhale). Santorini is working to reopen soon despite a recent personal hardship/loss (we love you Stavros!)

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But wait, wait for it.. something new is opening in August you say? YES. Mid-August at 129 Park Lane in the old Essentials spot you will find J.McLaughlin.  They have been around since 1977, provide men's and women's clothes/accessories and brand themselves as "classic clothes with current relevance and a retail environment with a neighborhood feel." So there's something to look forward to! Athleta in Totem Lake is getting really close too!  Let's keep working on our mask wearing/social distancing so we will be able to comfortably and safely visit these new places, Kirkland. :-)

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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!