« February 2011 | Main | April 2011 »

Unique Plus (a Children's Shop!) Opens Downtown

When I saw the "Unique Plus" sign go up at 219 Kirkland Ave where Terra Bite used to be I figured I would be too small to fit into the clothes there.  Turns out I'm too big.  Our newest gem is for the tykes in your family with a focus on being green.  Unique Plus features organic eco-friendly kids products and clothes from places like Japan, France and Italy.  You'll find brands such as Dwell, P'kolino, Collegien, and Baby Soy whose clothes are made with soy bean fiber (and are oh-so soft!).  Owner and Kirkland resident, Lily Chiang, has two kids with sensitive skin so she knows how difficult it is to find these types of products and wanted to make it easier for others.  You'll also find diaper bags, cute booties, and unique gifts. They even have non-toxic chemical-free crayons! Stop in before May 31st, 2011 to get 40% off any one regularly priced item.

UniquePlus2 UniquePlus

The space has a fun clean Euro feel and I love the recycled paper tubes that they use as their display shelves. In addition to the fun storefront, there is also a bright room where Chinese learning classes are offered.  Children between the ages of 2-5 can sign up for a 60 or 90 minute series of classes where they learn Chinese speaking, reading, writing and listening through playing, singing and crafting. A schedule of classes is available in the store or you can call 425-296-1024. Store hours are Mon- Sun 10am to 5:30pm. Pop in and say hello.  Lily was raving about what a warm welcome she has received from Kirklanders and how everyone is so friendly. Aw, you guys are the best! ~j

Emergency Preparedness in Kirkland-What you Need to Know

As our hearts and wallets pour open to get help to Japan, recently struck by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake, many can't help but wonder when it's going to be our turn. 700 calls came in to the Emergency Preparedness group at the City of Kirkland last week. And it's true, we are due. So, let's talk about what the city is doing and also what your household should be doing to be prepared (without me freaking you out).

I spoke with Stephanie Day, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator (Fire/Bldg Dept), who helped clear up that question that... NO there cannot be a tsunami in Lake Washington.  Tsunami by definition requires a sea floor and the lake is not a sea.  We could have what is called a seiche, which sounds fancy but only equates to some foot high waves for a short while. So, Kirkland is safe from the big wave.

More troubling would be the Seattle fault line running along I-90 which could deliver the most damage and destruction.  A significant quake would likely sever gas lines, water, sewage, rail and impact the transporation of supplies and groceries, much of which comes from the Kent Valley.  The good news is that Kirkland is on pretty solid ground so our potential for landslides is generally less than in other areas. We also have a lot of new construction which is built to more stringent codes. 

The city has a Comprehensive Emergency Mgmt Plan that is available online.  If you want to see topographical info and some details like if you are in a landslide area, check the document called "hazard vulnerability assessment." We have a team of people that think these details through every day. There are many different elements that go into emergency planning- police, fire, utilities, and also meeting with regional partners such as Evergreen Hospital and Lake Washington School District so we're all on the same page. One important point is that our Comprehensive Emergency Mgmt Plan assumes that citizens are helping and prepared also.  Are you?

I helped take my street through the "Map Your Neighborhood" program recently.  If you haven't done this in your neighborhood, I would highly recommend it. Email Robert Reeves to get started.  You will learn how to compile a list of contacts, supplies/skills, and gas turnoff locations with your neighbors.  Then you figure out your meeting spot and talk about the 9 steps to take immediately following a disaster.  And of course the supplies to have on hand to be ready (yes, there are shoes, gloves and a hardhat under my bed right now).  Having extra WATER is most important.  Some of our neighbors keep an extra garbage can in their garage that they have stocked with emergency supplies. Pretty clever. Oh, and there is a company in Redmond called Prepare Smart that makes kits so you don't have to procrastinate any longer. That's where I got the 3 day kit I keep in the trunk of my car. King County also has a program called "3 Days 3 Ways" which urges the public to get prepared and tells you how. Plenty of resources! You should also sign up for notificiations on RPIN (Regional Public Information Network) so you can get an alert when there is an emergency and updates.

One last link- for those in Japan that need our help. I'm sure they would do the same for us- and this one is a deal too--- Living Social is matching $5 donations to the Red Cross through tomorrow. Get your household and your neighborhood ready. I figure if we're ready it won't come. ~j

Golden Touch had a Heart of Gold too

Walking through Lakeshore Plaza the other day I noticed that the Golden Touch $25 herbal foot massage place had closed.  Just as I was about to let out a big whine about the gift certificate I bought for Steve that he hadn't used yet, I noticed a sign on the door. It said, "if you have a gift certificate, call 425-647-6618.  We will give you a refund." I called the number and Andi, whose parents owned Golden Touch but went back to China for a while, was awesome enough to meet me at my gym the next morning and trade me the gift certificate for $25 cash. Now that's some good karma.   ~j

Coca-Cola Freestyle Coming to Kirkland

Watch out--you are going to start seeing these cool new "Freestyle" machines popping up around town.  The Freestyle is Coca-Cola's high tech "fountain of the future" which can dispense 106 different drinks, many of which have never been available in the U.S. before.  Raspberry Coke, Orange Coke and Peach Dasani are just a few you might try.  Steve and I lived in Atlanta prior to Kirkland and I remember going to the Coca-Cola museum (HQ is there) where there was a giant room full of dispensers where you could try Coke products from all over the world.  Some were kind of crazy. Heading to the Coca-Cola museum with visitors in Atlanta is equivalent to going to the Space Needle in Seattle.

The first local Freestyle will be at the Taco Time on Elliot in Seattle on March 9th.  By mid-month our Taco Time on 116th Ave NEin Kirkland will have one as well.  Feel free to post here about the new flavors you've tried! ~j

A Superfly deal.....

...if you hurry!

Fly Fitness is doing this great offer til 3pm on Friday for us.  If you haven’t tried this new workout spot (bootcamps and spin classes are awesome!) at Carillon Point this is the perfect opportunity! See my review here.

$45 for 5 classes of your choice (sched attached)

One year to use it, 90 days once you start your first class

Call the studio to book the deal at 425-522-4408