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Shamrock Run: Register Now for $5 OFF

This year's Kirkland 5K Shamrock Run (or walk..) is Saturday March 11, 2017 at 9am. If you're in the mood for a holiday deal, you can register before Dec 31st and enter discount code HOHOHO to enjoy $5 off your entry. This event benefits local non-profits and, logically you can celebrate your finish time, whatever it may be, at Wilde Rover afterwards. Sign up here and get ready to get your green on through the streets of downtown Kirkland.


Polar Plunge 2017: Kirkland Style

Yesssss- it's time to pull your bikini out of storage!  Just what you were hoping for, right?

If you can't find it, just throw on a ridiculous costume instead.  This deliciously chilly event is hosted by, well....nobody! It's a citizen-driven tradition and anything goes at this Kirkland "Polar Plunge" that happens at 1pm on January 1st each year in Marina Park.  Hundreds and hundreds of certifiable lunatics from all over the area jump into the frigid waters of Lake Washington in unison. Fifty-two degrees never felt so good as you cleanse the chaos of 2016 out of your soul. Enter at your own risk.

You see every type of person at this event which makes it even more special.  A true collection of our city's people. Some bring a friend or even their whole posse for moral support.  It's not easy to chicken out once the siren blares and everyone runs westward with jaws clenched and eyes at the horizon.  Essentials for your outing include: water shoes (rocks- ouch!), big towel, warm dry clothes and hat, phone to take pics (you'll be proud after). Side bonus, the polar plunge is also a great cure for a hangover. ;)

Happy New Year Kirkland. See ya in your skivvies on the first. 


Columbia Athletic Club Shares Their Traditions

CACad  Brenda Kauffman, the Membership Director at Columbia Athletic Club at Juanita Bay, who also happens to be a recent recipient of the Anne J. Owen Award from the Kirkland Chamber of Commerce for her community service (woot woot!), shares her favorite local holiday happenings with us.  Exciting news also worth mentioning is that Columbia just remodeled a room in their facility to be an ImpacTraining Studio.  Maybe I'll see you in there in 2017?

From Brenda...

My favorite Kirkland holiday tradition is the Annual Tree Lighting produced by the Kirkland Downtown Association.  I love it because it’s a great way to kick off the holidays and it gets me excited for the season.  This event gets bigger and better every year, changing locations to make sure there’s room for everyone, which keeps it fresh and fun.  I remember years ago we had reindeer in a fenced off area and roasted chestnuts over an open fire.  This year there was snow for the kiddos to go sledding, while everyone listened to Geoffrey Castle on the electric violin.

At Columbia Athletic Club we like to thank our members with a big holiday party in December. 
This year we also celebrated the Club’s 35th Anniversary and had nearly 300 folks attend the bash!  Continuing the celebration of this milestone, we’re offering very exciting promotions until the end of year. So if your New Year’s resolutions involve improving your health, while having fun doing it, December is definitely the month to get going! Email brendak@columbiaathletic.com or call 425-821-0882 for more info.

Neal Smiles Orthodontics Teams with Mary's Place for the Holidays

DrNealIt makes me happy to give thanks and do a special shout-out to the Kirkland Weblog advertisers during the holidays.  It's a great opportunity to hear what their favorite things are during this season and what traditions they embrace. Thank you, Neal Smiles Orthodontics, for being a Kirkland Weblog partner and helping to keep our readers 'in the know.'  There are still a few days left to stop in their freshly remodeled office (just north of Juanita Village) to donate coats and clothes to Mary's Place.....


Each year at Neal Smiles Orthodontics, our team looks for ways to help give back to our local community, throughout the year and especially during the holidays. Dr. Michelle Neal, of Neal Smiles Orthodontics prides herself on giving back with local school sponsorships, hosting free community events and a Candy Buy-Back program each year that supports our troops and military service. This year we will be hosting our second annual, Holiday Donation Drive with Mary's Place. Mary's Place is a wonderful organization and family shelter that empowers women, children and families. They've given us a list of the most needed items like personal toiletries, socks, warm jackets and clothes, and they also accept Amazon Smile gift cards. We will be collecting new, and gently used donations from now until December 21st at our office, in Kirkland Washington. The more we can spread this information, the larger our efforts can be to spread holiday cheer to those who needed most this holiday season - Information is available on our website: www.nealsmiles.com and on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/NealSmiles or call our office at (425) 823-1234. Thank you for your generous support and for helping us make the holidays brighter for Mary's Place and our community!

At Neal Smiles Orthodontics, we look forward to decorating for the holidays each year not just for the holiday cheer, but because we have our 'Giving Tree' on display. This is our tradition, each year, where we collect donations for charities. In past years we've donated hundreds of gifts to many organizations such as Children's Hospital and Mary's Place. Our team looks forward to the growing amount of gifts on display under the 'Giving Tree' as we receive donations from our patients, fellow dental professionals and the community. Come by our Kirkland, Washington office to view our tree on display and to drop off your donations, now through December 21st.


Free Santa Pictures at Healthy Bonez

Santa has a special place in his heart for those that are good and good to their bodies.  His reindeer will be dropping him off at the new Healthy Bonez location in Totem Lake (behind the driving school and Ken Zaburo Sushi) on December 17th (9-2), 19th (8-3) and 20th (8-3). When he's not re-charging with a raw cold-pressed juice, he's available for FREE photos with you and your little loves.  Forget the long lines at Bellevue Square and check this holiday tradition off of your list locally at Healthy Bonez.

Who knows, maybe you'll get a gem like this one.  I know I've shared this photo before, but it still makes me laugh every time (S&R circa 2004)


Just Poké for the Kirkland Peeps

JustPokeNormanandDanny <--These are not my children.  They are the co-owners, Norman and Danny.

I was super excited to try Just Poké, not only because I would get to type an accented é and let you know that it rhymes with okey dokey, but mainly because I am a big fan of meals that consist primarily of protein and veggies.  And if I can find these items on the fly, then you will quickly make my list of happy places! Just take a look at my first lunch there (photo below)-yes I've been back a few times already, there's a customer loyalty system too-I can't help it, I'm addicted. 

JustPokelunch <-delish  JustPokeline  JustPokesignage

 Here's how it works: Just Poké has an assembly line, where you tell the friendly staff what you want and they dish it up for you.  Easy step-by-step instructions of your upcoming decisions are above the food line on the wall (photo). First you select the size you like, then whether you want rice/greens or both, then your protein (3-4 raw fish selections), then sauce, toppings and sides. All super fresh and locally-sourced.  You can create something new every time. These guys first discovered poké in Maui and set out to bring it back home to Seattle, so we could all enjoy it too!  Norman and Danny care what you think and welcome your feedback.  I was a little delayed on my meal decisions, so I'd recommend they just call my favorite bowl the "Slow Poké" so I can order it by name and not have to think too much (always finding ways to save brain cells).  

Just in case the fresh fast healthy food wasn't good enough news, there's more.   And it's pretty awesome-I noticed it the second I walked in the door. Just Poké cares about their community and the world around them, and they're doing something about it.  As soon as you walk in, you'll find separate trash, recycle and compost receptacles.  LOVE  ♥  They use biodegradable and compostable materials (yes, silverware too!) and even went for energy-efficient lighting and low VOC paint during construction.   The fact that they are thinking about sustainability makes me even more enthusiastic to support their business.  

You'll find Just Poké in Plume's old location next to Lizzy Kate and Bank of America at 117 Kirkland Ave.  A bowl runs around $10 which is super reasonable. Check out their Facebook page and note they are open 7 days a week:  Mon-Sat 11-8 and Sun 12-6.  425-658-3387. info@just-poke.com  Norman and Danny are there a lot.  Say hello. It's ok if you're a 'slow poké' like me, they'll get you dialed in. :-)

PS-Get ready for their next store opening in Bellevue soon too!