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Kirkland Polar Plunge 2018

PolarPlunge2012Crowd PolarPlunge2009 008 A die-hard tradition, these photos are from the Kirkland Plunge circa 2012

It's that time of year again where stupid and exhilarating collide.  Get those last couple of sit-ups in and head on down to Marina Park on Monday January 1st in your skivvies.  The Polar Plunge happens at 1pm SHARP, but get there early to huddle by the fire, talk up your big game and get mentally prepared to sprint with 200 of your best friends into the 48 degree water of Lake Washington.  Extra cold this year with the air temp too!  Good news-all of the lies and disgust of 2017 freeze in time and a new and inspiring story begins for 2018.

Tips wise and experienced polar plungers, verifiable brilliant advice:

  • Bathing suit under sweats or whatever ridiculous costume you might decide to share w/your community at large (easy to get on/off)
  • Shoes you can get wet. It hurts to run on those rocks in the shallow water
  • Dry towel/blanket/change of clothes handy (hat for sure!)- bonus if you have someone holding these items for you on the ready (they also double as your camera-person to prove you actually did this and earn you some bragging rights)
  • This whole thing is unsanctioned and "at your own risk" so might as well go BIG.  In my book, it doesn't count if you just dip up to your shoulders. RUN like you mean it.  Fully submerge. You'll be glad in about 10 minutes.
  • Bring canned food items for donation.  This way if you don't survive the plunge, everyone will remember you as generous and giving. win/win
  • Go check out a local business that can provide you with a hot toddies, some warm soup,  or a cup of joe. You'll feel so good you'll be buying rounds for your friends. 

Congrats, you have made it 2018! Looking fwd to a new year of crazy with you all. xo 

ps- check out this video of Santa and some of his helpers skiing Lake Washington on Christmas day. Just watch 9:15-10:15. That's some serious holiday commitment (not that's not me, but I would totally do it..)




Shopping Local in Kirkland 2017: Favorite Things, Take 2

You didn't think I was done sharing my shopping finds, did you? I could do this forever.  Just be a professional shopper and blabber on about what I like.  Dream job.

But before I dive into that I need to share a troubling holiday phenomenon to top off this ridiculous year.  Time announced it's "Person (people) of the Year" and Alabama just elected a Senator that is not an accused pedophile- two steps forward! Amen.  And then-- REINDEER BOOB-- one step back.  Hopefully this is not happening at office parties. I'm feeling really old right now.  Back to shopping..

Seduce's Seahawk tribute sweaters are always a big hit.  Styled for a lady's shape and super soft material, these spirited sweaters come in a variety of colors/numbers and are always well-loved by the 12th (wo)man. $99 

Herban Wellness offers their "Feelin the Love" tea which is a natural aphrodisiac.  At only $7 it is a great way to start a party to take the edge off and relax (if you're out of tequila).  Not recommended in combination with Reindeer Boob. Great hostess gift.

IMG_5298 1
We can't forget about the boys.  The need to carry credit cards around in a way that wouldn't make that crusty awkard wallet square on the back pocket of their jeans. Seattle Thread Company has lots of choices of Secrid brand wallets - look how thin and lightweight!  $45-90 

Via Lago is exploding with new purses and it's all about the bling.  Feminine adorned bags with high-end designer looks but not the bi price tag. Some  have pops of color to add to the fun factor.  My fave was the bumble bee (153). Bags range 94-400. 

BooBoo Barkery knows that you need to find the perfect something for your pooch too.  Check out these beautiful organic and preservative-free doggie cookies. And they last up to a month in the fridge. Now that's a treat! $3-4/each

Ivy Gift & Home has a beautiful display of a classic holiday gift that anyone can love. NEST candles (and fragrances)!  I can't help but ogle at their beautiful and festive packaging. Birchwood Pine is the best-seller here, and they also make great hostess gifts.  $16-250 depending on size.

I think that's it for my shopping insights for now.  Time is a tickin'.  Interestingly, Vince at Lake Street Diamond said that most of his holiday jewelry sales happen the 2 weeks leading up to Christmas.  We were trying to decide whether the guys don't think of shopping until then, or they are trying to minimize the chances of the surprise being ruined by their credit card statement's arrival. Either way, a wise wizard once said that can never go wrong with jewelry (hi Steve!). 

Happy Holidays! 

Holiday Cheer in Kirkland

Some little reindeer nuggets for you--

The Seahawk House is back- you can still find the holiday Seahawk lights on the 11000 block of NE 100th St in the Highlands neighborhood of Kirkland, after a carefully balanced plan was created to keep both neighbors and fans in cheerful spirits. Detailed and light display schedule can be found here

Christmas Ships- The Argosy is in full swing with their Christmas Ship Festival of Lights.  Looking for a boat ride or simply to watch the show? Find the schedule here. Don't fall in, that water is f-f-f-f-freeezing.

Carillon Point Holiday Happenings
- cookie decorating, peppermint spa treatments, special holiday menus at Bin on the Lake and Beach Cafe and holiday brunch with Santa. So many things!

Kirkland Arts Center Holiday Art Market
free and open to the public shopping for unique and local handmade gifts and keepsakes. 12/6-23. Check KAC for details.

Letters to the Big Guy at the North Pole
- find Santa's mailbox in the middle of downtown Kirkland in front of Bank of America. Don't forget to have you little one include their name and address so Santa can write back!  Get them submitted by Dec 22nd before the elves take it away.

PolarPlunge2009 011
And of course, mark your calendars for the Jan 1st Polar Plunge at 1pm at Marina Park so you can shock yourself with electric cold water straight into 2018! 

Shopping Local in Kirkland 2017: Favorite Things

Greetings from your local shopping assistant.  That's right, I've been popping in a few places downtown and gathering up a list of some of my favorite things.  I'm no Oprah but I can have a list too.  Here's a start. Get your credit cards warmed up because time is running out.

First stop, you need to grab a "Santa's Little Helper Latte" at Lizzy Kate. Delish.  You can't be a Seattlite if you don't have a warm cup in your hand to help you shop.  

IMG_5240 random stranger at the fireplace not included
The Heathman Hotel
- surprise her with a gift card for a stay-cation in one of the recently renovated guest rooms. New carpet, drapes, furnishings, mini fridges, built in task-lights and enhanced work area in each room.  Each floor's art celebrates a different NW theme: water, land, mountains and sky. Rates from $199+ 

Lady Yum "Eat Drink & Be Merry" Holiday pack $20. So pretty and yummy. They last 2-3 days in the fridge. Be sure to include the eggnog toffee crunch and especially the peppermint macaroon. Because it's dipped in chocolate and chocolate calories don't count during the month of December. Great hostess gift!

Asher Goods
- check out these pressurized growlers that keep beer, coffee or mixed drinks fresh for 2-2 1/2 weeks. $149-169. Why would you ever leave the house? Perfect for the guy who already has 'everything.' You'll find Yeti products at Asher too because dreams CAN come true.

IMG_5316 wow I can hardly seem them
Essentials on Park Lane- ladies, you know what I'm talking about. When it's game day and you accidentally brought you big purse and now you're in big trouble.  Get yourself a clear game-day bag so there's not mistaking what you've got with you. Hopefully nothing embarrassing! $27-50.







Pokémon Kiosk Arrives at Fred Meyer

PokemanmachineFM photo credit: Ginny Daily 

Just in time for Christmas, you may have noticed the most enormous vending machine you've ever seen in the main entrance lobby of the Kirkland Fred Meyer.  This big boy is about 5 feet wide and contains Pokémon goodies such as full games, stuffed animals, cards and more all arranged by character and ranging in price up to $50. I barely even know what this means, can someone help me out here? Will we start seeing zombie kids on their phones hovering by this machine? I spoke to John Ashmore, the Regional Store Services Supervisor for Fred Meyer, who explained how Pokémon International out of Bellevue approached him with the idea of testing the market with these new machines.  There are four kiosks in the State of WA, three of them at Freddie's locations: Kirkland, Bellevue and Greenwood and one at Northgate Mall.  The Pokémon product in a vending machine is different from what you'll find in the store.  As this pilot moves forward, future technology will be added such as social media games and upgraded forms of payment. If the concept does well, you may very well start to see more machines in other locations.  Good to know for last minute gifting for Pokémon fanatics. 

And in other local technological feats you should know about...

Google's big musical holiday light show on the Cross Kirkland Corridor is this Fri 12/8.  There will be caroling, hot cocoa, photo booth (starting at 5), the Seahawks' Blitz and a llama.  Yes, that says llama.  At 5:30 Mayor Amy Walen will flip the switch to start the 10,000 LED lgiht show that is custom programmed to holiday music by Google Kirkland engineers. 


Musical Holiday Lights on the CKC

Join your Kirkland neighbors on Friday December 8th for an evening of caroling, hot cocoa, photo booths (open at 5pm), hanging with the Seahawks’ Blitz and a llama (yes that says llama) at  Google's third-annual musical holiday lights on the Cross Kirkland Corridor! Head to the Family Fitness and Play Area near Google's campus. Directions here. At 5:30 p.m. Mayor Amy Walen will flip the switch to kickoff the show featuring 10,000 LED lights custom-programmed to holiday music by Google Kirkland engineers. Parking is limited, so those who can are encouraged to take public transportation, bike or walk to the show. It's free and extra awesomeness points are given when you bring a donation of unwrapped toys, gift cards and non-perishable food.