Good Health and More Holiday Cheer

After my daughter was sick for a full 2 weeks and I *thought* I was in the clear, lightning struck and I went down in a ball of flames.  Today is the first time I have dried my hair and stepped foot outside in 3 days.  The fresh air was pretty fantastic after previously feeling like someone removed the bones from my body and boiled me in a 102 degree pot of nauseous serum.   I had all sorts of interesting Kirklandy things to tell you but my fingers didn't have the energy to type and my eyes couldn't stay open for more than 30 mins at a time. Sad story, I know, but it was good to get that out of the way early this season.  And so thankful that my clothes don't make my skin ache anymore! 

It's a good reminder of the importance of our wellness. Hopefully you all are staying healthy and remembering to take care of yourself this season?? 

Here's what I've got (from my recently pretty limited point of view)...

Musical Holiday Lights on the CKC

Join your Kirkland neighbors on December 13th for an evening of caroling, hot cocoa, the Seahawks’ Blitz, alpacas, a photo booth, and the fifth annual musical holiday lights on the Cross Kirkland Corridor! The alpacas and photo booth will be ready starting at 5:00 p.m., and at 5:30 Mayor Penny Sweet will flip the switch to turn on a show featuring 25,000 LEDs 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.

The event is free and attendees are encouraged to bring donations in the form of unwrapped toys for LifeWire and non-perishable food for Hopelink.

What: Musical Holiday Lights on the Cross Kirkland Corridor

When: Friday, December 13, 5:00-6:30 p.m., Photo booth opens at 5:00 p.m., lights at 5:30 p.m.

Where: The Family Fitness and Play Area on the Cross Kirkland Corridor near the Google campus (Approximate address is 499 7th Ave S, Kirkland, WA 98033 - click here for directions:


Kirkland Urban is doing a Winter Festival each Saturday approaching Christmas from 2-8pm.  Family fun, arts/crafts, Santa, music and more. 

The 12 K's of Christmas
is Sun 12/15- You can still sign up and don't worry, there's a Kids' Dash, 5K or 12K. 


How was the Holiday Home tour on Fri? Did you go? I had to give my ticket away so I didn't contaminate everyone.  Missing Winterfest too, darn, fill me in please if you went. 






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

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

Summer Fun Begins in Kirkland

Concertsinpark 001
Kirkland Summer Concerts
-start next week! It's worth it just watching happy people dance to the beat of their own drum.  Tuesdays 10-11am at Juanita Beach starting 7/10 - and Thursdays 7-8:30pm at Marina Park starting 7/5. Go get your groove on! Full schedule here


2008FourthofJuly 004 KIrkland 4th photo circa 2008- thank you Penny Sweet for always making this an amazing event for our city!

4th of July Parade & Fireworks-  nothing is better than the 4th of July in downtown Kirkland. "Celebrate Kirkland, United We Stand" is this year's theme. The schedule goes something like this: children's decorating event starts at 10am in the Marina Park Pavilion.  The kids' parade starts 11:30 at Market and Central and the old fashioned parade begins at 12.  Grab a bite to eat and then roll back down for music in the park is at 5. 

Fireworks begin about 10:15 pm.  Leave your dog, personal fireworks, alcohol and vehicle at home.  DO BRING your patience for large crowds, your bike/scooter/bus pass, a flashlight and your love of country and appreciation for all things patriotic. Maybe even a device to listen to the STAR 101.5's live musical synchronization to the firework display.  The boat launch will be closed. I sometimes cry when I hear the national anthem or watch fireworks, so there's another weird quirk you know about me. 


Kirkland Art Walk
- Friday July 13th 5-8pm. Galleries and businesses with a pink balloon are an easy way to spot who is participating. Enjoy local art and music around downtown Kirkland.


Summerfest 2018
-Mark your calendars for Aug 10th-12th.  Always a weekend not to be missed: music, art, kids stuff, food and beer gardens. Details evolving here.  

SeaFair Weekend-
Aug 3-5th.  Hydroplane races, war planes, stunt planes, Blue Angels soaring over your head and inexperienced drunk boaters everywhere- this is notoriously a weekend to be remembered. Someone always loses a foot.  Did I say that outloud? Stay safe out there people- fun times. Who wouldn't want a front row seat?



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.

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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! 

Downtown Kirkland in the Halloween Spirit

Happy Halloween!! Enjoy this montage of photos from the downtown door decorating contest. 

Bonus: There's a little "Where's Waldo" for you too- can you spot the doorstep where somebody left their lunch? (I swear it wasn't me...)


IMG_4973  Boo!     

Heathman (winner)----> IMG_4965             IMG_4965  <------Via Lago (runner up)

IMG_4965     IMG_4965       IMG_4965     IMG_4965
IMG_4965   IMG_4973IMG_4973     IMG_4973   IMG_4973

IMG_4973    IMG_4973     IMG_4973      IMG_4973


October Tricks and Treats!

Hween 2017

Oct 13th -- Swing by  the Art Walk which will kick off at 5pm with the City of Kirkland receiving an award from the American Planning Association for the design of Park Lane. We landed on this year's Great Places in America list, as one of the five streets in the nation to win in the 'Greatest Streets' category. 

Oct 23rd-- is judging week for the downtown merchants and restaurants, all of WITCH are encouraged to participate in a "Monster Door" contest.  Businesses can decorate their doors and windows in a monster theme, using whatever decor they can find.   There is no cost for anyone to participate, and they will be judged on their creativity and effort.  I'll be on the  panel of judges along with Jim Gatens from the Kirkland Reporter, and Rob Butcher from Kirkland Views.  So you should know that Heath Bar or Sour Patch Kids are my faves in case I accept bribes.  Not likely.  But just in case.

Oct 27th--The adult Halloween parade is happening from 6pm-9pm. Early birds  meet at 5 at the Heathman Hotel for the Zombie Wine Walk (the last one is Nov 17th!). You need tickets for this one, but it's well worth it! ($25-35). The best zombie costumes will be crowned as Kirkland's Zombie King and Queen, and receive a gift certificate to Trellis restaurant! 

Oct 29th--Mark your calendars for Sunday Oct 29th for a kids Halloween parade that will wind through downtown Kirkland.  Meet at Marina Pavilion at 1:45 and start parading at 2pm. Don't forget your pooch, there's a contest for dogs AND children before the parade begins. Hit up the local business for some treats from 3-6.

Oct 31st-- the REAL Halloween trick-or-treating takes place. Stop by downtown participating merchants from 3-6pm- teal balloons indicate peanut-free options and the orange balloons out front means they might have peanuts in their treats. 

Kudos to the KDA and the Chamber for scaring up a spooktacular October for us.

Kirkland Needs You this 4th!

Uncle-sam-needs-you         4thKirkland2017

Celebrate Kirkland is hovering near the panic button because they desperately need volunteers to pull off our annual parade and celebration downtown.  Show them your red, white and blue! There's a full list of jobs here and you can sign up online to help or email or if that's easier.  This year's theme is "With Liberty and Justice for ALL."    Tell your teens it's a great way to accrue a few more volunteer service hours!  See you out there..

PS- St. James Espresso ,across from the Performance Center, shut their doors today.  Here's my original post from when they first opened back in 2008 (owners have changed since then).  RIP SJE.

Let's Get Creative this Mother's Day

I was thinking about Mother's Day (yes, it's this Sunday, you knew that) and how there are probably some nice brunches being offered around town that I should look into.  And then when I read THIS, I was buckled over laughing in recognition that I really don't want brunch at all.  And luckily my kids are older than the author's, so I'm past those throws of chaos, yet I can still appreciate and remember the moment she is in.  Her brutal honesty was a fantastic kick in the pants and offers an opportunity for us to ponder, mothers...what do we really wish for on Mother's Day?   

Let's get the PC stuff out of the way.  I'm grateful.  I love my children very much and appreciate the health and happiness and awesomeness of our family. I'm glad I am a mother.  Glad I have one.  I don't need anything because I am loved, blah blah blah. Onto the bitchy portion...  I struggle each year with the internal pull that comes from being a mother and having a mother, so we have to share the day.  While my mom's dream is to spend some quality alone time with me and review and reminisce about how she believes this (rapidly aging) human she created is the most fantastical person on Earth, this drives me bat$*it crazy and is exactly how I do not want to spend any moments of my spare time on any given Sunday, let alone Mother's Day.  I cannot walk arm in arm with her whispering girlish secrets and cackling in contented laughter.   So I save a sliver of family time on Sunday to include my mom and promise myself I won't curse at her (outloud, c'mon we're from Jersey) or roll my eyes (when she's looking at me).  I'm definitely saving some time for kiddos- they will scamper around making me cards that very morning and writing what jobs they will do for me to celebrate my big day.  If the weather cooperates it would be fun to do a hike or bike ride or family walk together.  They want to spend the entire time together, not realizing that we already spend every single day together, mostly driving in carpool circles that give me vertigo. 

But then there's the rest of the time that Sunday- this is the preciousness of Mother's Day.  Be brave.  Take that time and make it your very own.  I know seasoned moms that make plans with each other- golf with girlfriends, go on an adventure, go to the spa, walk mindlessly around the mall, get a make-over at Sephora, hide in an empty room and drink some champagne or read a book.  Something that your normal mommy days don't ever account for.   Take a nap- that'd be crazy!  What does the important mother in your life like to do most? Give her the time to go do it.  

I need to jump start my "motherly-ness" on Mother's Day and run that day like every other- an organized and productive machine.  Don't waste a minute, between this day and one birthday a year we can't be frivolous with our allotted moments.  I was thinking of maybe putting together an itinerary that looks something like this for Mother's Day this year:

9am- don't disturb mom until at least 9.  Darkness and quiet house prevail

9:15- wake me up with head-pets and soft face tickles.  cheek kisses are ok too (pls brush your teeth first)

9:30 -coffee to mom, start cooking her 2 over easy eggs with a side of sausage, and seasonal fresh fruit (blueberries are lovely right now!)

10- family bike ride. tires already topped off with air. I'm sure the sun will be shining.

11:30-3:30 Husband/kids clean the entire house and all laundry while Mommy goes and plays 9 holes of golf w/girlfriends.  Perhaps you pack me some snacks and a some wine for the cart.

3:30 Mom and Grandma go for pedicures together while Dad/kids prep for dinner, some kids perhaps plant some flowers in outdoor pots as a fun surprise 

5  Mom and Grandma return to clean house, flowers, music, sunshine and smiling family faces.  Slow rush for hugs and mother's day cards.  A crisp Viognier and cushioned patio chair would really hit the spot.  

6 healthy dinner made with family teamwork is enjoyed by all, convo consists of funny stories from kids childhood that we all always enjoy

7:30 everyone that is not a mother cleans up.

8 No gifts necessary, but kid art is always welcomed. Well, I suppose so are spa gift cards or vouchers to get my gross crumb and baseball cleat encrusted car detailed. 

9:30 everyone goes to bed early without being asked 28 times.


Well at least this is my own warped dream of a perfect Mother's Day. What's yours? 



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 or call 425-821-0882 for more info.