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Nyanza Bridal says "I Do" to Kirkland

IMG_1743                IMG_1721 <--I wish I had her hair  IMG_1726 2

Next time you walk past 123 Lake Street S. Ste. #102, be prepared to be mesmerized by the sheer beauty of the exquisitely breathtaking wedding gowns in the window at Nyanza Bridal.  Ashley Child (photo) is the owner of Nyanza and has a breadth experience in high-end bridal in Vancouver, BC.  Having her own shop right here in Kirkland is the culmination of two years of meticulous planning.  And it shows.   She was that little girl that collected bridal magazines, so it's no wonder this is a dream come true for her.  A native of Olympia, Ashley found it interesting that so many brides traveled from the states to get their dresses in Vancouver.  With some research and the support and encouragement of her designers, she brought her vision to Kirkland.  She loves the fact that Kirkland knows what it is:  close to Bellevue and Seattle, but more intimate and familiar, with a strong sense of community. She wanted to bring a luxurious, exclusive and personal dress shopping experience to local brides. 

When she previewed her current space, Ashley knew it was 'the one' because Nyanza also happens to be a Kenyan word for "a large mass of water, especially a lake." She came up with the name because Nyanza was the name of the street in Lakewood where her parents got married 35 years ago.  It was an afternoon backyard wedding in her grandparents home and her mom wore a $199 dress that she bought a month before the wedding. Everyone still speaks of what an amazing wedding that was.  So Nyanza is to honor her parents and their marriage. 

IMG_1737  IMG_1742 <-- would she be mad if I jumped into this pile of tulle?

Nyanza Bridal opened on November 10th.  They have 2 private fitting rooms and also do VIP appointments (champagne! yay!), but Ashley encourages everyone to stop even if you're just curious.  Expect to see designers such as Anne Barge, Galia Lahav (Coutoure Collection, hello Serena Williams), Justin Alexander (Signature Collection), Lela Rose, Reem Acra, Romona Keveza (Legends Collection) and Vera Wang. So many beautiful things.  Each one more amazing than the last.  I secretly wanted to try one on, but decided my husband might find that highly unusual.  Brides are encouraged to order their dresses about 8 months prior to their wedding date since they take 4-6 months to produce and do alterations.  Did you know that a typical bride visits 2-6 times before making a decision?  Prices range from $3500 and up. Appointments can be made online and typically last for 90 minutes. You can also call 425-629-3781 or email info@nyanzabridal.com.  


I tried to get some good 'bride-zilla' stories out of Ashley, but she said it's usually not the bride, but the family/friend's comments that she has to help manage and mediate.  You've all seen "Say Yes to the Dress." This is no joking matter!  Ashley takes it in stride and says, "it's really important for me to be the bride's best friend through the process."  I'm sure they are thankful for her.  Welcome to Kirkland, Nyanza. ~j



KPD Issues Statement in Response to Menchie's Incident

In case you haven't heard about the recent situation that transpired at the Menchie's on 124th, you can see the Seattle Times article here.  And also the 205+ comments from your 12K best friends in Kirkland here or plenty of them here too. Our KPD Chief, Cherie Harris, and City Manager, Kurt Triplett, just issued an official response.

I'll leave my commentary out today, focus on taking some deep breaths, and just let you know that I am thankful for each one of you this Thanksgiving.  We'll get past this incident and do better, because the warmth, kindness and depth of community (not to mention the amazing sunsets) is what makes Kirkland a place to be grateful for. And I always have fun sharing that with you. 

IMG_1677 <--quick pic from sunny Turkey Trot last weekend

Events to Keep You Busy around Kirkland

Tis the season to start queuing up lots of events! I'm feeling festive because a bunch of you are NOT kidding around and have already put your holiday lights up. How did you get so sneaky? And Sirius Radio has presumptively made my #2 station setting 'holiday songs?!'    Way to fire up the eggnog early.  Here we go..chronological-like...

THIS Friday Nov 16th 6-9pm
is the Downtown Kirkland Wine Walk.  It starts at The Heathman Hotel and then you walk around town to various tasting locations at our participating local businesses.  Please leave your under 21 year olds and furry friends (the 4-legged type) at home. Tickets can be purchased online for $25 or $30 at the door. Or you can sign up here to work a 2 hour shift and get your tickets to participate for free! Don't drink too much wine because you'll need to get up bright and early SATurday....

Saturday Nov 17th 9-12
it's time to decorate downtown Kirkland for the holidays. This is a really fun community effort. Dress warmly, bring your gloves (and a ladder if you have one!) to light up the poles with holiday sparkle.  Meet at the back room on the main floor of Merrill Gardens at 8:45am for some breakfast goodies and then you'll be given a job and let loose on the town.  Lunch is at 12:30.   Sign up here- the more the merrier.  Questions? TExt 425-765-5576 or 253-444-8951

TurkeyTrot 002
Sunday Nov 18th 9am-12,
186th Annual Hopelink Turkey Trot- fun starts at 8 (packet pickup etc)and the run begins at 9. You and 1500 of your new best friends will start moving at Marina Park in whatever way you see fit around this 5K course that hugs the shore of Lake WA.  Bring your dog, your kids, your Grandma, all are welcome. Register ahead of time here  or hope for the best on run day.  $40 per adult and don't forget to donate to this great cause. The weather forecast is cooperating for the moment!

Last week of Nov- Santa's Mailbox goes up right in the center of downtown Kirkland after Thanksgiving. Don't forget to send in your requests to the big guy at the North Pole. The Kirkland Downtown Association brings back Santa's mailbox to surprise and delight children this season.  Santa's mailbox will be located on the corner of Lake St & Kirkland Ave (by Bank of America).  Santa and his elves ensure that every child gets a letter back.  Be sure to include a return address.  Special thanks to Kirkland Kenworth for helping to support this project. Want more info, or interested in volunteering?  Contact barbiey@kirklanddowntown.org

Sat Dec 1st 3-6pm @ Marina Park, Winterfest
. Get yourself ready for our tree lighting, llamas (yes, llamas!), food trucks, a sledding hill, bonfires and entertainment all to be followed up with Santa photos and an ugly sweater after party at Wilde Rover. Volunteer here if you'd like to help! You could be a 'llama photo assistant,' because dreams do come true.

Friday Dec 7th 5-6:30pm, Google Lights
- come sip on cocoa and chow on cookies while Google's campus right on the Cross Kirkland Corridor puts on a display of 25,000 choreographed lights to music. Carolers and a photobooth and Blitz from the Seahawks will be there too.  Don't forget to bring an unwrapped toy to donate. 

Thank you also to all of the magical sponsors that make all of these fun Kirkland events possible! Looking forward to a festive season together. ~j

Let Katalyst Fitness do the Workout for You

Katalyst Fitness
opened in downtown Kirkland (127 Lake St, next to Via Lago) on October 12th and I have been lucky enough to try it a few times.  This is unlike any other workout you have experienced.  It is a personalized experience using Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) which gives you a full body workout that engages over 90% of your muscle fibers in only 20 minutes.  Yeah, really.  It kinda feels like you're cheating!

IMG_1414 <--it's a tough job letting cute boys dress me

So here's the low-down on how this works.  When you walk in, you're greeted by a trainer that will have you fill out some forms and then hand you a 'base layer' to change into.  You have to be COMPLETELY naked under the base layer. So if that freaks you out stop reading now and go back to your sweaty hour-long workouts.  If you can live with the idea that this suit needs to be the only thing between you and electrical impulses keeping your muscles contracted without you doing any work- keep reading.  Anyone can do this workout since there is no external load (unless you have a pacemaker).  And, this technology is also FDA approved for 18+ yr olds.  

Katalystmachine <-Fadi is practicing cranking up the dials to make me twitch

After the base layer is on (nice changing area/shower/lockers btw) your trainer sprays down your Katalyst suite with warm water for conductivity. The Katalyst suit looks like a jump suit (photo) for zip lining or rock climbing and your trainer will ever so kindly vice strap you into this corset-like contraption and drop the wireless jet pack battery in the sleeved pocked in your back, so you are wirelessly connected to the machine that will be delivering your EMS.  Shoes/no shoes= your choice.  

Katalystpunch      Katalystfocus  <-Friends don't let friends workout alone

Your trainer will start to activate each muscle group with an electrical impulse one by one until they are all buzzing in harmony while you grip a rolled up washcloth in each of your clenched hands. Then you spend the next 20 minutes going through a series of movements that your trainer demonstrates for you. You need to remember to breathe (duh, right? not so easy actually) as the impulses cycle through about 4 seconds on/4 seconds off. Even doing punches into the air seems difficult while your muscles are already contracted (photo).  Occasionally my arm would involuntarily jerk upwards- ok, yes I almost punched myself in the face, but it takes focus to control your movements under these circumstances.  It's also difficult to concentrate and follow the instructions the first time because your mind/body is so busy wondering what the heck is going on.  After my 2nd and 3rd visit I knew what to expect and my brain was better able to manage the full body buzz .  The trainers also knew what to expect out of me and therefore the movements get more challenging and the dial that controlled my current seemed to be twisting up incrementally. I like this workout b/c I also get to laugh at myself a lot. 

This whole shabang only takes 20 minutes. But leave some more time for your first visit to get suited up and oriented. The best part is that you throw their clothes into their dirty laundry bin and walk away feeling unscathed.   You are supposed to wait 72 hours before your next Katalyst workout. After the first time I was sore a few days later, but subsequent visits have allowed me to walk freely without groaning out loud which was fabulous. This workout has lots of applications- from complimenting existing workouts, returning from an injury, athletes wanting to push past their max, just starting your fitness program or even anyone that is tight on time.  No cardio piece to this one, so for some you that may be a relief. Katalyst also uses the InBody scale that gives you your body composition analysis - how much of your weight is bones/body fat/water/etc- and it gets broken down by each appendage so you can track your progress. In case you were wondering my right arm weighs 6.04 lbs

Pricing is in packages ($25-35/session)-but have no fear, your first two are FREE! Just go here to  book your session and enter INTROKIRK3 at checkout before 12/31/19. Let me know how it goes! ~j

**In other fitness-related news- those of you that were enjoying IceHouse Cryotherapy for recovery, they have moved on to other projects and closed their doors on Nov 3rd. Boo.

RUMOR ALERT- there may be a bridal shop moving in just north of Katalyst on Lake S.  Unconfirmed. But you know how I like to stick my nose in and chat with workers. :-)