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Your To-Do List this Week


 1.VOTE. I won't tell you how to vote just please make sure that you do. One of my kids that takes classes in portables and is crammed in a lunchroom with 800 other kids helped me send in my vote today.  This handy ballot box is at the City of Kirkland Building on 5th Ave (around back).  When we pulled up she exclaimed, "Oh well isn't THAT an inviting box!" Kid cracks me up.

 2.Eat at Park Lane Public House. They are open for biz and I'm hearing good things so far!  I still need to get over there- email me  your reviews and I'll include them in my future post.

3. Think about Valentine's Day.  It's right around the corner- time for reservations!  Or maybe you'll be able to stop in the new Shirzad Fine Jewelry store at 200 Central Way Ste 200 if it opens soon (the old Kobe Cafe).


Rose Hill's Mixed Use Project

Kirkland may be growing faster than my teenagers this year!  Which is likely why somebody wants to  put another grocery store in town- they must have seen the stats on my kids' food and milk consumption.  Turns out we've all been so enamored with Kirkland Urban and The Village at Totem Lake that some of us may not have noticed the proposal for a mixed-use project in Rose Hill. Thank you, avid blog reader and awesome super spy, Kim B., for the tip! 

The proposed site is on NE 85th St and 120th Ave NE, where the not-so-easy on the eyes shopping center that includes Petco, the Dollar Store and Outback is right now.  This property also stretches back to the auxiliary Costco parking lot, but does not include our beloved beige argyle U-Haul. Check out the proposal and conceptual drawings (pages 9 and 25 are good ones to skip to). With over 1 million GSF, this project will include multi-family residential (apartments), commercial/retail, and structured parking. The plans also mentions it will likely offer a grocery, a pharmacy, misc retail/commercial and a restaurant.  Public plazas, pedestrian corridors and plenty of landscaping are also on the promise list. Take a look. What do you think? 

Vaping 101: Curious Moms Want to Know

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Ten years ago I was blogging about fun things to do around Kirkland with a toddler, and now apparently I've moved on to topics like trying to understand the allure of vaping for teenagers.  Some of you are eye rolling me right now b/c this may be your schtick, but I was feeling a little mystified by the clouds of fruity smoke I kept walking through on the street.  Now with 12 and 14 year olds in the house I hear stories of middle and high schoolers doing this after school, in the bathroom, and even IN class.  Why? What does it look like? How much does it cost? Is it addictive? How bad is it for you? Inquiring parental minds want to know. So, I strolled on down to XHale Vapor & Smoke on Lake St. to have them give me a little lesson.  Walking into the store is a bit intimidating for a newbie and smells of smoky mango. There are big hookahs on one side and a counter of vaping devices on the other, with a wall full of oils and cartridges behind that. Overwhelming. Where to start?

IMG_5574 <-- Meet Spencer w/his vape juice menu. Sooo patient answering all of my questions

The minimum age in the State of WA, which is also the federal minimum, to purchase e-cigarettes is 18 years old, just like it is for smoking.  In California and a handful of other states it is 21. My helpful friends Abdul and Spencer (photo) at XHale said that most of their 50 or so clients per day are 30+ yrs old.  This whole e-cigarette craze started about 5-6 years ago so there is not much data on long term effects.   These devices are different from smoking in that you are using a rechargeable device to heat liquid nicotine into vapor which is then inhaled and absorbed into the lungs.  There's no tobacco smell, carcinogens, tar or combustion.  And you can control the nicotine level- choosing from liquids that have a .3% , .6% or 1.2% nicotine concentration.  The nicotine level will correlate to the 'buzz' that you get when you inhale the vapor.  This is also why many smokers that are trying to quit turn to vaping, so they can systematically ratchet down their nicotine levels and wean themselves off the habit.  Spencer likes to think of it as a cleaner and safer alternative to smoking.

IMG_5569   IMG_5570   IMG_5573  My what a beautiful juul you have

The "Juul" (pronounced 'jewel', the gray/white stick in photo) is super popular right now since it is small, discreet and inexpensive.  They look a lot like a tall USB drive. And seem dwarfed when compared to the more traditional (sooo 2016) vapes like the pink one in the photo.   A juul starter kit is about $55 and a package of 4 cartridges is $18. The cartridge (photo w/the arrow glaring at it) is what houses the 'juice.'  Juice consists of roughly 70% vegetable glycerin and 30% propyline glycol and of course whatever nicotine % you fancy. The top of the cartridge is where you suck to get the vapor that can be any of the many many bins of flavors that are available.  There's watermelon, brain freeze, lava flow, very cool, and naked unicorn which apparently tastes like strawberry cake.  Blue raspberry is another popular one.  Which sort of makes this start to feel like an adult candy store, right? Unfortunately, kids are also getting their hands on these devices, perhaps through older siblings and friends or online purchases, and are enjoying their candy flavored hits as well.  One juul cartridge is equivalent to a pack of cigarettes.  In 2016, more than 2 million US middle and high school students reporting having used an e-cigarette in the past 30 days. This includes 4.3% of middle school students and 11.3% of high school students (per the CDC).  I asked my high schoolers if this was surprising and they assured me the numbers are higher.  They even said they were worried they'd be the only ones at their future high school reunions because "everyone else" at school vapes.  The product hasn't been out long enough for any reliable long term studies yet, however, it's interesting to read the CDC's take on the matter as they outline the pros (can help you quit smoking) versus cons (don't start, it's still nicotine, we already know that's bad and highly addictive). 

IMG_5572 <--this one is for THC liquid, so not quite as small as a juul (yet)

And FWIW, you cannot put weed juice in a juul, that requires a weed vaporizer, which looks a little bit different, the smallest/most similar one looking like this photo. You getting all of this, folks? At least now you know a little bit of what's what.  At least for a few moments.  Until..... I asked Spencer what his most popular item in Xhale was he said "kratom." 18 and over. It is often used for pain relief and relaxation and also frequently for people trying to quit an opiate addiction.   Which is a whole different controversial story altogether.  Who can keep up?!  ~j



Can You Feel It?

IMG_5512  <butt-kickers

Happy 2018.  Are you dieting? ARGH. Starting a new fitness routine?  Or torturing yourself by cutting out wine for a bit like I am?  9 days in and I'm still alive, yet perhaps a bit grumpy.

On a happier more endorphin-filled note.....I'm a girl that's been comfortable in the free weight room of a gym since (cough, cough) the late 80's.  I think it started when my high school softball team used to workout on the clunky nautilus set, crackled old benches and rusty dumbells in the training room. I was hooked.  Through living in different cities and visiting many gyms it's just always a place that I'm comfortable, despite the fact that I was often the only woman in there.  I like the variety it offers and the creativity I can add to a workout and call it my own.  And truthfully, if I try to follow along in a fitness class I'm always five seconds behind looking like a complete buffoon in the back of the room.  Over the years, ladies have shared with me their fears of the free weight room and I've tried to offer encouragement.  Usually either they didn't know what to do with the equipment, felt like everyone was looking at them or the number of sweaty men in the room just made them uncomfortable.  

Enter 2018.  I looked up from my workout on Monday and who do I see in the free weight room?  SIX women.  Two men.  YESSSSSSSS!  All in their own zone working their butts off.    The symbolism in that moment forced me to round everyone up for a photo. Maybe it was Oprah's speech the night before?  Who knows.  So I punched one of the guys and made him take the pic of the rest of us.  I love these chicks and I don't even know them ( they did approve the photo).  I'm excited to see more examples like this one in 2018, as the free weight room phenomenon foreshadows the representation of women in the workplace, politics and leadership roles everywhere.  Let's get 'em ladies! ~j

Park Lane Public House -Coming Soon!

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Ever wonder what is going on behind the plastic tarps of new construction? Well then just stick your nosy head back there like I do! Helloooo Park Lane Public House. They're looking good over at 115 Park Lane where the  Bottle & Bull owners are getting ready to open their new family friendly gastropub- check out their Facebook page for updates.  So far I'm going to say that the gray brick is a vast improvement over the orange stucco from Mi Mexico. Sounds like they're shooting for a January opening, but that would take some serious hustl.....but you never know! More details after they fill my belly. ~j