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Give a Little Get a Lot


I know the champagne has barely popped on our annexation celebration, but I wanted to catch you while you are still drunk and generous.  Some of our favorite Kirkland events such as the 4th of July, the holiday tree lighting, flowerpots downtown, the Classic Car Show, the Wednesday Market and concerts in Marina Park are lacking some serious funding.  Instead of complaining after the fact (i agree, the holiday lighting event seemed a little bare bones last year), open you wallet and help now.  Every dollar

counts- no amount is too little. When planning events, COOLNESS costs MONEY.  Here's a link to the "Give a Little Get a Lot" campaign. Forward it to everyone you know in Kirkland that loves these events! Welcome to Kirkland Kingsgate, Finn Hill and Juanita--can you spare some change?

GiveWithDonors (2)If you've already written your last check and your wallet has dustbunnies- here's another idea. Donate goods or services to the 2011 4th of July Auction. Call or email Kellie Jordan 425-466-4364.  It's tax deductible. And we're shooting for.......gasp..........$60K by July 4th.  Can we do it? Here's info on the event: Friday June 10th at the Marina Park Pavilion from 6-9pm with a $10 donation at the entrance. There will be live music and drinks and, assuming you all pick up the phone and start emailing Kellie, lots of great items in a silent auction.  You can even win a champagne cruise around Lake Washington with Steve and I on our boat.  Or some advertising on the Kirkland Weblog. Wow, I know, it's like a dream come true. LOL. Show us what you've got, Kirkland. ~j

Come Celebrate one BIG Kirkland!

The official annexation is just around the corner so get ready to do some celebrating as we welcome Finn Hill, North Juanita and Kingsgate to the City of Kirkland.  Here's the scoop:

Weds 6/1- Open House at City Hall 4-7: meet city officials and staff, sip on refreshments, chat with neighborhood association members and visit information booths to learn about city services (the ones that we still have budget left to support)

Ursino 003 
Thurs 6/2
- Business Breakfast, Casino Caribbean, 7:30-9:30am: Keynote Speaker Capt. Mike Ursino from Kirkland PD, who is always entertaining, so you need to RSVP to this one. And it finally gives you a reason to check out our casino!

Fri 6/3- Community Celebration, Juanita Beach Park 6pm: Welcome by officials, free dessert, musical performances 7-9, info booths, and police/fire vehicles to crawl all over.  And of course the Fri Farmer's Market 3-7.  Bonus-- outdoor movie in the park at dusk sponsored by Carillon Properties!

Welcome to Kirkland!! ~j

Pancaking to End Homelessness

Everybody loves pancakes! So why not eat some to help others? The Kiwanis Club of Kirkland is having a Pancake Breakfast on Saturday May 28th from 7:30-11:30am at the Peter Kirk Community Center (352 Kirkland Ave) to support KITH and the 7 Hills of Kirkland Bicycle Ride. The suggested donation is $7 per person, but don't be scared to give more if you can. And there is a superstar named Hal that you can call anytime (425-890-7854) and he will deliver your tickets to your house!! Love the dedication. Now let's show Hal we have some too. ~j

New spin on "KNOCKERS" from Kirkland

Knockers copy (2) EllynSchull2

I knew that would catch your eye.  You guys are so simple. :-)

The knockers I am referring to are not the Bikini Beach babes of the 4th of July parade as you had hoped.  It's even better.  Local Kirklander and author, Ellyn Oaksmith (photo),  just self-published her first book called "KNOCKERS." Ellyn used to be a full-time screenwriter in LA (credits include "The Secret Lives of Fish") before her husband and large local family lured her back to the Great Northwest. This is her first book whose idea was inspired by some social realizations after her second daughter was born.  She had lost her baby weight quickly and the typically flat-chested author was on a cruise and quickly noticed that her baby-induced busty bikini body got her lots of attention.  "It changes the way you act or feel about yourself. It was empowering." So the KNOCKERS idea was born.

KNOCKERS is about a young woman, Molly, who, through a surgical error receives nwanted breast implants. Furious, she schedules surgery to have them removed, only to find out that the implants begin talking to her. The implants, Max and Louise, give her great advice about her burgeoning love life although they rarely agree and are both highly opinionated and belligerent.  Through Max and Louise, Molly learns to trust her own instincts and falls for the most unlikely of men. 

KNOCKERS is a comedic romance for people who like their romance with a side of laughter. It appeals to those who enjoy the books of Sophie Kinsella (SHOPAHOLIC) and Meg Cabot (THE PRINCESS DIARIES.)

You can download KNOCKERS  onto your Kindle here. Ellyn is now working on another comedic novel CUL DE SAC, and a kid's book, THE WEIRD KID, so I have a feeling we'll be seeing more of her! Congrats, Ellyn. ~j

Sirena Gelato Just In Time for Summer!

SirenaOutside SirenaBrian 

YUM.  We first took a liking to gelato when we were in Italy about 10 years ago because it is on every corner there.  Those Italians are onto something.  Gelato is not frozen as deeply and contains less air (and fat) than ice cream so the result is a crisp, fresh and creamy cold delight. In the little space previously occupied by the Kirkland Downtown Association at 109 Park Lane, Sirena Gelato already has a steady stream of traffic discovering that their doors are open. 

Brian Ugurlu's (photo) father is the owner and also has a shop in Bellingham where their gelato is made fresh daily.  They display 16 flavors and have 4 secret ones stashed in the back too. :-) Do some spoon tastings before you decide which one to order- a small cup is only $3.64 and you get 2 flavors and is the perfect sized treat. A scoop ranges from 60-100 calories depending on the flavor.  Or if you want to eat your gelato in the privacy of your own home, a pint is $5.95 and a quart is $11.50.  Here's a list to think about: pistachio, cappuccino, mango, dark chocolate, green tea, tiramisu, raspberry, panna, watermelon, hazelnut, caramel, green apple, banana, mixed berries, lemon.  Brian's favorite is the chocolate, which I tried and have to agree is amazing.  Steve loved the lemon for its sweet crisp refreshingness (yes, i know that's not a word).  My eight year old will gladly endorse the Oreo and the cake batter.  Actually, I don't think you can go wrong in this place. 

The grand opening will be sometime TBD for next week.  They are already open every day from 12-10.  425-739-9339. www.sirenagelato.com ~j

Mi Mexico Tiene Ensaladas Muy Deliciosos

MiMexicoInterior MiMexicoSalad

That's about all the Spanish I can remember.  But what I speak is the truth.  Steve and I dropped into Mi Mexico on Park Lane for lunch over the weekend.  The layout and colorful tables look very similar to the old Jalisco's, albeit more tables than booths now, but thank goodness someone has done a serious scrub-down of the old place.  With new ownership brings new carpet, new paint, new interior and a new menu.  The menu with pictures is always so helpful for indecisive customers like me that are slow readers. We each ordered the Ensalada Costa Alegre ($12.99) which was really really good.  It had varied greens and spinach, grilled shrimp that were perfectly sauteed, tomatoes, onions, avocados, and mango with mango citrus vinegar dressing.  Skipped the corn and tortilla chips for &*%$ paleo diet but don't worry- we ordered up at Sirena Gelato afterwards (post coming on that too, you gotta live a little sometimes).

Mi Mexico still has that family feel and you can opt to sit outside on the patio if it happens to be Aug 15, Aug 28th or Sept 6th.  Just kidding- I'm a little bitter about the weather lately. I'm sure you can sit on the patio in yourgaloshas whenever you please. This is not a spot for a grown up quiet dinner- there will be families sitting next to you. The service was great and the giant water glasses you get couldn't possibly need a refill.  I didn't get a chance to scope out other people's plates, so you will have to let us all know what you have eaten that's more traditional Mexican fare and how it was. But I would recommend those salads in a heartbeat.  Looking at the menu, it seems  more interesting, but equally lengthy, with more fresh ingredients than before.  I always secretly wondered if Jalisco's just had 4 ingredients in the back, one of which was cheese they just hid everything under.  But what do I know.  The prices seem a bit on the high side for traditional Mexican food- burritos $10, enchiladas $12, seafood $16 but in the case of our salad it was worth it-- fresh, delicious and a  good-sized portion. They are open from 11-10 Sun-Thurs and 11-11 Fri & Sat. 425-822-3355. ~j

Paleo Busts my Charlie Burger

But don't worry, I brought a professional burger taster with me.  I've been trying to stick to a paleo diet the for the past six weeks or so which unfortunately does not include things like buns or yummy sauces.  Or carbs or dairy or legumes or anything yummy really, but that's another post entirely.  The point is that Charlie's Flame Broiled Burgers on Lake Street is OPEN and the burgers are great.  And the pattie on a bed of lettuce is good too but a far cry from the real thing.

Charlieburger CharlieChristi 

Charlie's, formerly Asia Kitchen, has a sort of retro feel with red, yellow, black and stainless decor enveloping the 14 little tables that fill this quaint spot. The menu is simple- there are classic burgers, chicken burgers and specialty burgers.  Don't forget to throw a few appetizers, wings, salads and a fish taco on there for good measure.  But I think you should skim that page and hone in on something like the Charlie Burger (photo) that my friend Christi , the hamburger taster, ordered.  For $10.99 you get this heaping delight which has 1/3 lb pattie, Charlie sauce, american cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles and hot pastrami coupled with some seriously good steak fries (yes, the ones with that orange looking salty stuff on them).   For the burger newbies in the house, I'm going to suggest you keep your burger wrapped in the paper and peel it back as you bite so  you don't get a lap full of Charlie sauce surprising your shorts.  People were piling in, as was evidenced by the kitchen 86'ing avocado and mushrooms already that day (86=restaurant lingo for running out of something).  The service was great- super friendly and helpful. They almost have to be b/c the counter is no more than 10 feet from every table in the place.  There is also a kids menu and beer (why did I put those two things in the same sentence?).

Anyway- go try it and let us know for yourself.  They are open Mon-Sat 10-8 and Sun 11-8.  Christi was ever-so-lady-like and ate half her burger and got the other half to go.  She was excited to inform me the next day that it tasted just as good reheated. Then she threw back her beautiful head and cackled a wicked laugh at how silly my paleo diet is.  Agreed! ~j


Asher leaves Ballard and heads to Kirkland

Asherlogo Asher

Keep an eye out for Asher, a contemporary menswear shop, opening up in the newly renovated building at 13 Central Way. After two and a half years in Ballard as "Asher Anson", they've dropped the Anson and Ballard for the lustre of downtown Kirkland. Owners Matt Lawrence (photo rt)and his brother-in-law, Jerry Morris (left) are really excited about the move and have been supremely impressed with how welcoming and friendly everyone in Kirkland is (thanks for being on your best behavior, Kirklanders!) 

They're hoping to open their doors late this week or next and their shop will be casually styling brands such as : JBrand, Life After Denim, Original Penguin, Wolverine and Clae footwear.   Denim ranges from $150-200 and shirts/wovens range from $59 to $99 for button-downs.  When I stopped in,they were painting the walls a warm manly color and the dressing rooms looked nice and big so you can try lots of stuff on and still flex your muscles in the mirror too.   j