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KOAP Home in the Heart of Kirkland

Koap_002 What a great little shop this is in the space where Sound Realty used to reside (116 Central Way).  You walk in and can immediately sense a good vibe-- bright and open with clean nifty things and people like owner Diane Schultz (pictured left) who has an energy that doesn't go unnoticed. KOAP Home is pronounced "Co-Op" and is intended to be a store that respects your own personal design style; one that encourages you to mix/match whatever it is that you love.  For example, you have great-grandma's heirloom chair that you want to hold on to but update a bit.  Go ahead and pick the leopard print upholstery if that's what you like- KOAP's designers can help you find and mix different styles 'Co-Operatively' and promise not to dictate your personal style for you.

Koap_001 Diane Schultz , a Kirkland resident herself, comes from the corporate retail design world and has worked with big names such as T-Mobile, Eddie Bauer and Starbucks.   She had been looking for a spot in downtown Kirkland for quite some time, and jumped at the chance when it arose.  They offer both residential and commercial design services, while their store is packed with unique furnishings, gifts and accessories.  While I was there I got to meet Jeffrey Braun, one of their local furniture designers who has lots of great pieces and aims for a 4-6 week delivery time (wow, usually it's twice that long!).  I liked him immediately because a guy that wears a scarf has got to have some gusto.

KOAP is open Mon-Sat 1-6 and Sun 11-5 right now, and plans on having extended hours in the summer.    The service is warm and kind, and they are both kid and dog friendly too.   Check 'em out, it's a really fun little shop.  And Diane is so upbeat I'm looking forward to watching her business boom in Kirkland.  Here's their press releasewww.koaphome.com  425-822-2003.      ~Janis

Kirkland's Tree Lighting Ceremony

Just a reminder to head downtown tomorrow night, Saturday 11/25, to get a jump start on the holiday season in Kirkland.  You can get your picture taken with Santa at Kahili coffee from 4-7 and then watch him light the big tree near The Slip.  All of the lights are up along the streets which I especially love (my kids gasp in delight every time they see it).  Live reindeer will be galloping in front of Reasons to Believe from 5-8 and all the shops are open from noon til nine.  So, bundle up - hopefully your turkey dinner has digested by now and you are ready for some chestnuts roasted on an open fire!

For more info go to www.explorekirkland.com .  Happy Holidays! ~Janis

Jessi Enlightens us on her Pageant Experience

Kittytiara1 Steve and I attended the Miss Washington pageant last weekend to support Jessi Thompson, our own Miss Kirkland, and all the beauty queenies and teenies of Washington state.  I've never been to something like this before, and it opened my eyes to an entire world which exists that I never knew about.   First and foremost, each of these girls deserves credit just for having the guts to get up and display themselves in front of many hundreds of people in evening gowns and especially in swimsuits.  I'm embarrassed to walk to my mailbox in my bathing suit.  These girls have bright lights, spectators whispering about them, poise/pivot/head tilt, swing the little sarong around ---all while balancing on some 4 inch heels.  Amazing.

Jessi made us very proud to have her representing Kirkland.  She was gorgeous and confident and worked the stage like it was her own.  We had fun sitting in her cheering section with her family and friends too.  Many thanks to Jessi for all of her hard work both at the pageant and in her year of service as a represenative of our community. 

Here are Jessi's post-event comments:

And the winner is: Leilani Jones!  Leilani is a 24 year old pharmaceutical technician in Seattle.  She works closely with her church and loves to watch NBA games.  As a fellow contestant and friend, I couldn't be happier for her and I am confident that she was most deserving. 

I, on the other hand, am no longer Miss Kirkland USA.  I am back to being Jessi the daughter, sister, friend, employee and trouble-maker.  I am proud of my year of dedication and service.  I am looking forward to another year of competition but for the next couple weeks, I just want to be Jessi. 

As for the pageant weekend, I have never experienced anything quite like it.  This year I thought I knew what I was getting into because I competed the 2 previous years, but I obviously had no idea.  I won't name names, but the girls this year crossed the lines of competitive, straight on into vicious.  There was everything from lotion poured down evening gowns to smashed up curling irons.  Needless to say, I was one of the women who experienced these sorts of wardrobe malfunctions.  As a result, I don't feel I was able to compete at my highest level of ability.  That's fine though, I learned a very valuable lesson.  ALWAYS LOCK YOUR BELONGINGS UP!

It's back to the drawing board and I am a little scared and a little excited all at the same time.  I plan to make a trip to the Miss USA Pageant this year to cheer on Leilani and get a taste of my dream and, God willing, my future.        

The Winter Uglies

I've got them bad.  It's that time of year when my tan has completely faded, my skin gets dry, and having downpours of rain (and sick kids) makes me avoid the gym and just want to curl up by the fireplace in my sweatpants with a hot latte.  Oh, did I mention the bags under my eyes since the time changed? 

I'm also one of those people that tries to fight it.  By nature, I want to stay DRY.  I park close and carry and umbrella and run from overhang to overhang.  I see some of you out there still wearing shorts and a cap and walking through the rain like it's not even there.  You're so cool.  I wish I could be so unphased.

Rain I supposed after the amazing summer we had, I don't really have the right to complain, but this constant rain is really bugging me out this year.  And then I went and did it again. I just did what I do about ever other year.....make a change!  That always makes you feel better, right?  I told my hairdresser, let's cut off about four inches and go dark this time (i'm usually blonde-ish. Gray really, but blonde by choice).  It's different and she did a great job, but every time I wonder why I decided that was a good idea.  The cool thing is nobody recognizes me now- my husband and kids barely did, which could have been used to my advantage if I were clever enough. 

Maybe I just need some sunshine.  I think a mid-winter sunny escape is mandatory when you live in the Seattle area.  What do you guys do to escape the rainy day blues?  C'mon, Kirklanders, let's help each other out here.   Light therapy?  Prozac?  Vacation?  Do share-------                  ~Janis

Hopelink Turkey Trot in Kirkland- Nov 19th

74561 On Sunday November 19th, Hopelink will hold its annual "Turkey Trot" fun walk to raise money for providing meals to families in need over the holidays.  Last year, they were able to help over 2100 families!  And this year, especially with added costs when Hopelink was forced to move (due to an infestation), they need our help more than ever. 

Prior to the walk, participants are invited to breakfast at the Wilde Rover.  Then at noon registration starts and the walk begins at 1pm.  Expect to see face  painters and a 15 person jazz ensemble at the finish line.  The 5K (3 mile) route takes you from Marina Park to Carillon Point and back.  Even my three year olds could do that!   And what a great cause- I know sometimes we get so busy, but this is a great time to remember that the holidays are about sharing and giving to others.

Pre-registration ( by 11/17) is $20/person or $15/person if you have at least a 4 person team.  Day of event registration is $25/person and $20/person on a team.  Go the extra mile- if you collect pledges for greater than $100 or dress up in costume, you'll be entered in a drawing to win some cool prizes that have been donated by local restaurants, hotels and shops. Any turkeys out there? See pic above- fun turkey hats will be for sale if you're feeling game-y (ok, that was lame).

You can shoot any questions you have or offers to help to Patrick Tippy at patrickt@hope-link.org or 425-869-6000.           ~Janis

Good Luck Miss Kirkland!

Jessciscomissteen Our very own Miss Kirkland (pictured left in photo) is going to compete in the Miss Washington Pageant this weekend!  Goooooooooooo  Kirkland!  I've asked Jessi to do a guest blog post for us so we know what it's about and what she's thinking.  She's going to do one now and then follow up again next week after the pageant when she will hopefully be elated by victory and smiling big with that fake side to side wave that we all know and love.  If you have some words of encouragement, feel free to post them here or you can email her directly at misskirklandusa@hotmail.com . Anyway, here's Jessi Thompson:

It’s been a long road to this point but it seems like it was just seconds. I’ve been Miss Kirkland USA now for over seven months and in less than a week, I’ll either be the new Miss Washington USA going on to compete for the title of Miss USA or I’ll be back to square one. I’ve competed twice, so far, placing in the top 15 both times. This year though, I took things a little more seriously.

Most people, unless you're from Texas or Louisiana, don't truly understand the work it takes to compete at the state level in the Miss USA Pageant system.  You are judged on Interview, Swimsuit and Eveningwear.  That's why this year, I employed the services of Tammy Jansen.  She was Miss Washington USA 1999 and has been working this particular pageant for over seven years.

After she reviewed the tapes of me from the past 2 years she let me know right off the bat and very bluntly: You need to lose weight.  Duh!  What beauty queen doesn't think she needs to lose weight?!  Besides that, she said "All you need to do is refine your on stage skill and you should have a crown on your head November 12th."

There looks like more competition this year than any other, but come November 10th, I'll have my blinders on and stay focused on competing only against myself.  The pageant will be taking place at The Fremont Studios in Seattle.  The preliminaries are on Saturday at 5pm and Finals are on Sunday at 2pm.  You can get tickets online at www.ticketwindowonline.com .



More Business Obituaries

We ran our first business obituaries post in early 2006 (click here to see the story).  This is a quick update to that post and part of a continuing series (as we see them close down we will let you know).   Here are two more businesses that recently bit the dust in downtown Kirkland:

RealitycoffeeoobReality Coffee located where the Seattle's Best Coffee used to brew up their java.  There is work going on now and I assume something new is on the way (no idea what though).   BTW, we are big fans of Kahili Coffee on Lake Street

Coldstoneoob Cold Stone Creamery locate in Kirkland Parkplace (did I spell that right?).  Not sure what happened here either.  Seemed they were doing decent business, but then again, you just never really know.  They still have several locations around the Seattle area.  So if you are expecting to get some ice cream after you next movie you might want to visit TGI Friday's instead. 

Do you know of any business obituaries we missed?  Please let us know by commenting on this post. BTW, we also like to cover new businesses opening up so email us if you know of any coming soon.     Thanks, Steve