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Cafe Juanita Again

written by Guest Blogger and Awesome friend: Dr. Lisa Thoms

CafeJuanitakitchenCafe Juanita entry
Dr. John Heldridge, Oral Surgeon in Edmonds, says Cafe Juanita is the best restaurant in Kirkland (actually, in all of Seattle) if you want a perfect meal.  During their year long remodel, Cafe Juanita relocated to downtown Seattle continuing their tradition of perfect meals with all of the same staff.  Dr. Heldridge also said he had the best meal of his life while they were in their temporary digs.  We went with him to check out the remodel and see if Holly Smith and her team were maintaining their traditional excellence.  The remodel is clean, simple and modern.    

The restaurant is expanded and every seat was full both visits.  They have opened a patio downstairs if you would like to enjoy the outdoors and a rosé or tea.  We were greeted by friendly staff at the front door and this warmth and friendliness continued throughout the meal.  The cod was "amazing" and "perfect" according to my two dinner companions.  I had the lamb which was beautifully and surgically dissected and scrumptious.  I was impressed by the vegan, dairy free and gluten free menus.

    Cafe Juanita lamb Cafe Juanita codCafe Juanita dairy free menuCafe Juanita menu vegetarianCafe Juanita vegan menu

Also, Molly never forgot I was lactose intolerant throughout the entire meal.  John had gluten free bread with butter, Britt had good old fashioned bread and butter and I had bread with delicious olive oil. 

Cafe Juanita breadMolly, our sommelier, was impressed with John's choice of wine, Arzigh Roero Arneis, and told us the heartwarming story of the son who took over his parent's vineyard in Italy. She is fortunate that she is able to visit Italy twice a year to maintain her expertise and maintain relationships with the winemakers. 

Cafe Juanita Molly  <---I liked her a lot

I would definitely recommend the Belgian endive salad with mint and fennel for a starter.  It was the best Belgian END-ive salad I have ever tasted.  Or, I could say, it was perfect. 

Cafe Juanita endive

Back to School: Backpack Safety

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Have you met my adorable sherpas? Here they are. Otherwise known as (a couple of..) my children.  Look more closely at their backpacks and you'll discover why  I call this my 'good twin/bad twin' photo.  One has her pack properly loaded and wears it tightly to her back with the bottom a few inches above her hips and her chest strap fastened.  The other is hinged forward at the waist to compensate for her sagging backpack that is not being worn properly.  She's laughing now but won't be once she begins her 1.5 mile walk to her middle school where there are no lockers. These girls will walk around like this all day long.  

Summer is almost over and the school bell is ready to ring again.  This changing of the season is sad for some parents and highly anticipated by others, but whichever camp you fall into, I want you to be an informed parent.   Unfortunately, it's not unusual for these little nuggets of ours to carry 16-20 pound loads on their backs, which is over 20% of their body weight.  The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) and the American  Physical Therapy Association (APTA) both recommend that a student's backpack should not exceed 10-15% of their bodyweight.  Oh....snap! So what do we do?  How do we save our children from the suffering of back, neck and knee pain and injuries while their fragile adolescent musculoskeletal systems are  trying to grow at rapid-fire speeds?  There is no magical solution, but here are some helpful tips:

 Buy a Backpack that Fits and wear it properly

  • It is like buying shoes (well maybe not as much fun?!)-- they fit people differently, be sure to try it on (and load them w/your stuff and feel for comfort/fit)
  • Straps adjust tightly enough that pack doesn't slouch off the back
  • Padding on the back of the pack
  • Pack does fall below hips, shouldn't be more than 2 inches below waist
  • Thick straps that don't cut into/compress nerves at the shoulders
  • chest/hip strap help alleviate weight from the back  
  • Make sure the pack itself isn't too heavy
  • You don't want it bigger than needed- kids will fill as much space as you give them
  • Never wear it one shoulder

How to Pack it Light

  • Heaviest items, like a laptop, go up against the back
  • Use lightweight plastic file folders instead of binders
  • Don't fill your water bottle until you get to school
  • Lunchboxes and the icepacks to keep them cold can get heavy, choose lightweight otpions or buy lunch
  • Leave your laptop chargers at home
  • You should never be carrying textbooks back and forth.  Unless your mom drives carpool in a horse and carriage. Get an extra copy of books to keep at home.
  • Leave more materials in the classroom instead of carrying back and forth...you may have to ask!
  • Minimize duplication of paper/technology
  • Only bring what you NEED..ie 3 Number 2 pencils instead of 14 in every color of the rainbow
  • Cleanout your backpack at the end of each week

If backpack weight is a prevalent issue at your school that is concerning to parents, consider hosting a National School Backpack Awareness Day.  Yes, this really is a thing.  Talking about it with your student really helps them be aware of what they are carrying and how it impacts the weight on their back.  Here's to a great 2016-17 schoolyear! 










New in Town: Welcome to Wow Wow Hawaiian Lemonade!

By Guest Blogger: Laura Caroline Gingrich

Kirkland community - get excited, there’s a new company in town: Wow Wow Hawaiian Lemonade!

Wow Wow Hawaiian Lemonade was “born in the spirit of Aloha”. After visiting friends in Hawaii, the owners decided to make Maui their home and expand their small lemonade business. While working to establish a Wow Wow community in Maui, they also paired up with friends back in their hometown of San Diego. Wow Wow Lemonade was built upon the beliefs of supporting local farmers, encouraging sustainability, and strengthening community relationships.

Terrence Santos, who is currently working to open the new Kirkland location, was inspired to help the company come to the Pacific Northwest because of their message to spread Aloha by way of a “more nutritious version of a true classic”. His father’s side of the family is from Hawaii, and he says they were already huge fans of Wow Wow products, so the partnership was a no-brainer.

Wow Wow operates in retail locations, lemonade stands, and markets in both Maui and Oahu, Hawaii, in Yokohama, Japan, San Diego, California, and Gilbert, Arizona. And now, the Seattle area as well.


Their handcrafted lemonades are made from fresh-squeezed lemon juice, are sweetened with organic cane sugar, are and flavored by fresh fruit purees. Every lemonade product is free of concentrates or syrups. My favorites so far are the strawberry mint and the watermelon basil lemonades - but all their recipes are delicious!

Another unique part of Wow Wow Hawaiian Lemonade is their use of mason jars. Customers can buy just a one-time use plastic cup, or invest in a 24 oz. or 32 oz. Aloha mason jar. With the purchase of one of these jars, you can enjoy a refill of any type of lemonade for only $5. I have one myself, and I love the refill option, but I use the jar for other things besides lemonade, too.

The new location in Kirkland will open in late August or early September in the Kirkland Marina area. The store will sell not only their delicious lemonades, but also Acai Bowls, healthy smoothies, local nitro brew, and Poké.

Wow Wow Hawaiian Lemonade currently has stands at the Kirkland Wednesday Market from 2-7pm, Renton’s Thursday Landing Market from 3-7pm, and the South Lake Union Saturday Market from 10-3pm.

For more information about Wow Wow Hawaiian Lemonade, visit their website at wowwowhawaiianlemonade.com. Check out their Kirkland Instagram, @wowwowkirkland


"The Pursuit" at Juanita Village

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No, it's not a dating service.  Grab your gym shorts on instead.  I happened to walk by this sign in Juanita Village (facing the baseball field) recently that is announcing the opening of The Pursuit in August.  And if you are like me, you have never heard of lagree fitness, but are thankful for Google searches. I learned that lagree fitness is a training method taught on exclusive technology that was developed by Sebastien Lagree.  From the look of their Facebook page photos, I image that if a Pilates Reformer and a Gravity machine had a baby, this is what it would look like.  It is based on the principles that physical fitness is made up of five basic elements: cardio, strength, endurance, body composition and flexibility. Lagree incorporates all 5 elements not just in one session but in each and every move.  It is high intensity on the muscles but low impact on the joints, spine and connective tissues.

They are currently hiring experienced group fitness instructors. Check out The Pursuit website and get ready to meet me there to try this out soon!

Susanne Park is......The Good Cooky

Thegoodcooky    Thegoodcookycookies

Kirkland resident Susanne Park, former owner of Sweet Cakes on Park Lane, is at it again---creating delicious goodies for all of us!  After some casual experimentation in her home kitchen, Susanne found herself combining her passion for whole foods and nutrition with the mighty sweet tooth that speaks to her.  Friends were trying her 'cookies' and insisting that she market them- and so here we are, announcing the launch of The Good Cooky.  Coconut, cacao, hemp and chia seeds, honey, dates, almonds and molasses are all just a few of her go-to ingredients in the kitchen. The result? Non-processed bite-sized super-food snacks that contain organic foods with no gluten, dairy, wheat or GMO's.  Each adorable nugget contains about 8 ingredients and 100 calories.  Herban Wellness is carrying these  in downtown Kirkland and you'll start seeing them popping up other places around town, or you can even order online!  My fave right now is the cacao peanut butter. Keep an eye on Susanne, she knows how to whip up healthy delights and build a following of loyal customers. ~j


Join Us For The First Annual Kirkland Farm to Table Dinner

By Guest Blogger: Laura Caroline Gingrich

The Kirkland Wednesday Market is excited to bring the Kirkland community and local farmers together during this exciting & delicious event. The inaugural Kirkland Farm to Table Dinner is guaranteed to be one of the most memorable nights of the season. Come celebrate the end of summer with all the Friends of the Market!

Beginning promptly at 6pm on August 27th, guests will dine outside at the Woodmark Hotel in beautiful Carillon Point. This five-course meal event will feature the freshest ingredients from some of the local Kirkland Market vendors, and the menu will be crafted by an elite pair of culinary artists. The members of the event team are the best of the best: James Beard Award-winning Chef Jason Wilson, Woodmark Hotel Executive Chef Matthew Steffen, and renowned event planner Kevin Bradford.

Check out the event website at kirklandfarmtotabledinner.com. Tickets are available for purchase on EventBrite, and are going quickly! 

The Woodmark Hotel is further collaborating with the Kirkland Market by offering dinner guests a 20% discount for a room after the festivities. Use the promotional code “MARKET” when buying tickets on EventBrite or reserve your stay directly through the Kirkland Farm to Table event website.

If you have any further inquiries about this event, contact info@kirklandfarmtotabledinner.com.

See you there!