Armoire Gets Trendy at Carillon Point

 

IMG_7164<-Jonathan & Amy lookin' fresh and excited to be in Kirkland

Finally, someone to dress me and do my laundry!  This post is for the ladies, and perhaps the clever male gift-givers (oh, and there's a happy hour invite for you too).  Armoire threw open the doors of their second location in the beginning of October at Carillon Point.  This clever concept is the modern woman's life hack to shopping- a wardrobe rental service. You have access to their online and in-store endless stream of high-end everyday clothes that can be tailored to your preferences.  You'll find everything from party dresses to Paige jeans, Equipment tops, Rag & Bone sweaters, Derek Lam jackets, Vince, Joie, White+Warren, Alexander Wang, Helmut Lang and many more high-end brands.  Why buy these expensive pieces when you can borrow them and give them back for another? It's a tagless shopping experience. And they help you style it and do the cleaning for you. Magic.

IMG_7156    IMG_7156  

I figured I'd give Armoire a try since they have this special offer now where you get 2 months for $99 (normally $149/mo).   You can select 4 items and, as always, you get to swap them out for new ones as many times as you like during your rental period.  Wear it one night, bring it back for something else the next!   They refresh their inventory a few times a week so you can expect to find new treasures each visit.  I found sizing to be a little hit/miss, but your stylist, a service that is included,  has always got your back to help you find your size or pull things for you ahead of time if they know you are coming in.  Don't forget there's also a 'digital closet' where you can put in your preferences and they learn your style and work from your profile.  You can also order items online if that's easier and shipping is always free.

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 <- 4 items I selected to take home, I haven't left my color comfort zone yet ;-)

I love that this is a business started and led by a local Seattle woman and also that it's being green by recycling perfectly good clothes for multiple people to enjoy.  Of course, if you find something you love during your rental period, there is the option to buy it as well.  It's also just fun because you can try clothes and styles that may be a little out of your comfort zone and not feel committed or like you just spent too much money on something you won't wear again.  I've worn a few of my items from my first visit and already went back in to swap them out for a few more.  I think I need to get an office job so I have more places to wear these trendy things (resume available upon request).  I just got an adorable Milly top I would never buy or probably even try on in the store, but am super excited to wear.  I overheard a new mom in Armoire mention that she hadn't lost all of her baby weight yet and didn't want to buy clothes in her current size, but had some events coming up. What a great idea for her. This is a great fit for so many situations.

Best for Last....Upcoming events!  

THIS WEDS 11/13 : Have we sipped rosé together yet? It's time.  Happy Hour w/me and the Armoire stylists, details and RSVP here.  Feel free to invite your friends!

11/22-24:  Vintage Luxury Good Trunk Show, Handbags & Accessories for Purchase

Store hours are M-F 11-7 and Sat/Sun 12-6.  Parking validated, of course. Questions: hi@armoire.style

 

 

 


Anko Opens to Awaiting Crowd

Anko (32)  Makenna & Bailey, superstar Anko shoppers
Close to 200 people lined up on Friday 10/18 for the grand opening of Anko at The Village at Totem Lake. These super-excited ladies in the photo live in Sammamish and woke up at 4:30 am so they could arrive at 6:30 am and be #4 and #5 to enter the new store. Nope, I'm no kidding. They even pre-shopped online for a more targeted experience, as you can see by their heaping cart of goodies.  When asked what they love about Anko they explained, "It's appealing like Ikea, but waaaayy cuter and cheaper."

Anko (13) Anko (11) Anko (20) <--Where's Penny?

There's a smattering of everything, so as you peruse through the store you will walk past dining and kitchen items, bath and living room, pets, clothing, seasonal and then children's items. An adult winter coat is $35.  Cute little jars for gifting holiday cookies are $2-5. A marble cheeseboard (very popular!) is $15.  Their cutting boards are a hot item also. The most expensive item in the store that I witnessed was a $49 marble table. Everything feels new, fresh and current and amazingly affordable.  Products are sourced globally, a fact they are proud of and freely share, since they also put effort and thought into making sure they support living wages, care for the environment and excel as good citizens.

 

Anko (29) I probably said something hilarious  Anko (30)  trends explained  Anko (38) tah-dahhhh


I had the opportunity to chat with Ryan Greenough (photo), GM for Anko U.S., who explained that the way Anko differentiates itself is by making the store an experience for its shoppers.  As many retailers do, they have to ask themselves....What would compel people to come into a physical store over shopping online? The answer is this: Anko makes it easy to shop. They narrow the choices down for you. As you approach the dining section, you will not find 14 choices of plates.  There will be 3 consistent 'trends' that can be found throughout the store and can easily coordinate which are: urban, timeless and natural.  Great idea-simplify! I wish Cheesecake Factory would do this with their menu, so I didn't have to have a mental breakdown trying to order there.

In case this wasn't already my lucky day experiencing the grand opening of Anko, I also was able to be a student in one of their community workshops in fall floral arranging.  A Bellevue mother/son floral team from Flowers for the People walked me and five other giddy Anko shoppers through a perfectly timed 30 minute session of putting together a fabulous fall arrangement.  Of course, it started with an Anko glass vase, and then we built up our orange, brown and green foliages from there.  My proud masterpiece is in the photo above. Anko hosts various community workshops from time to time in partnership with local businesses, and I'd highly recommend signing up for one. 

Store hours are Mon-Sat 8:30am-9pm. Sunday 11-7:30. Phone is 425-947-2499.

 


Help Your Diabetes Arrives Downtown

IMG_6951   IMG_6955 Linda Bennett, co-owner of Help Your Diabetes

Local Kirklander, Linda Bennett, retired after 25 years as a dental hygienist and was trying to figure out what she wanted to do next.  She knew it involved helping people, but she was also very busy assisting her mom in California whose diabetes had escalated and led to heart disease, being put on dialysis, and a general health decline.  Linda's siblings are medical professionals, and when they all discussed mom's health they became very frustrated with the overload of often conflicting information, prescriptions and protocols from the myriad of specialists that she was seeing.   But it seemed clear that diabetes was the crux of the problem. 

After some research, her passion for finding a solution to help Type 2 Diabetics led Linda and her husband Matt to open the 15th nationwide location of Help Your Diabetes  at 316 Central Way (old T-Mobile location). There are over 30 million Americans living with Type 2, and founder Dr. Murray Hockings has been helping people for 27 years. Linda knows first hand how much diabetes can impact patients and their families and is excited to share a more natural approach to Type 2 diabetics to enable them to manage their disease, reverse symptoms, and get off their medications.  After 5 months in the program so far, her mom even with her advanced dialysis which would normally exclude her from the program, was able to get her A1C from a 10 all the way down to a 6.1.   The five elements of the program include 1/specific foods to enjoy/avoid, 2/a supplement to balance gut bacteria, 3/exercise or movement protocol, 4/national weekly phone support group, 5/text, email, voice support 7 days a week from a doc (D.C.) that specializes in diabetes.

So how do they measure success? By getting your A1C count under 6 without meds.  Help Your Diabetes guarantees it.  You submit weight, blood pressure, blood sugar and your food log weekly while going through the program.  They guarantee three things: You will be clinically non-diabetic in less than 6 months.  You will be off your diabetes medications. This has 100% money back guarantee PLUS they will give you $500 for trying if you follow the protocol and it doesn't work for you. Nationally, Help Your Diabetes has helped over 25,000 patients.

They didn't disclose their flat fee to me,  but mentioned that financing is available (insurance does not cover). If you've been struggling with managing your Type 2 Diabetes and wanted to learn more about the HYD Program, an online appointment can be scheduled here for their downtown Kirkland location or you can call 425-655-0440.


Spooky Halloweeny Things to Know

If you are feeling the leaf-kicking, costume-wearing pumpkin-carving spirit, you'd better pay attention to this lineup for the weekend. Boo!

Halloween Parade 017 <--don't mess with this cowboy (circa 2006). man I miss that little guy


PeeWee Monster Bash
- Fri 10/25 10am-noon at the North Kirkland Community Center

Definitely kooky and not so much spooky.  Bring your 1-5 year old toddling bundles of cuteness over for Halloween themed carnival activities such as a cookie walk, swamp fishing for treats, crafts, a monster movement maze, story-time and more.  Toy prizes for all attendees, but there's no room for strollers so keep those bad boys at home.  This one sells out so register here or call 425-587-3336.

 

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Zombie Wine Walk
- Fri 10/25 6-9pm starting at The Heathman Hotel. 

After a morning with the toddlers, this is the time for the Mommy Zombies (and daddies and such) to rise up from dead and walk the streets of Kirkland in search of wine and shopping. This is clearly for the 21+ crowd and the non-refundable tickets are $25/ea. Get your tickets here.

 

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Pumpkins in the Par
k- Sat 10/26 12-3, Marina Park

It's a FREE fall harvest festival in the heart of downtown Kirkland. Carnival games, pumpkins, farm animals, vendors and a pop-up farmer's market will be going on while you sip your pumpkin latte (hopefully in the sun, says the weather now).  Dogs and children will have a costume contest and then you can gather at 1:45 with your littles for the 2pm parade.   Have your treat bags on the ready, because from 3-6pm participating shops (indicated by a balloon outside) downtown will be anxiously awaiting your trick-or-treaters.  Teal balloons are peanut-free merchants and orange balloons are not. 

 


Bite-Sized Info from Around Town

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I like to call these my Kirkland Snack-Packs.  A little bit goes a long way sometimes.......

oh waaaait!! Before you get your little snack, you should know that you can also find your favorite Kirkland Blog  (<--check out the new look/feel!) in other fun social places like Instagram (kirklandweblog), Facebook, and Twitter (@KirklandWeblog).  It's almost 2020 after all, and if Jennifer Anniston finally joined Insta and crashed the app, then so can we. 

 

Papi's Cantina- CLOSED. The fact that it took me this long to notice speaks for itself.

3rd Floor Fish Cafe Building- I know that you are feeling a glimmer of hope as you watch scaffolding and workers making updates, but ... BUZZKILL... there's nothing new that's known in the works there for the general public to date.  Same owner making some improvements on his company's building is the word I heard. No grilled romaine salad for you anytime soon. Actually, I take that back- love the internet- here's the recipe.

Holodeck- CLOSED their Kirkland storefront but moved the studio to Seattle (Urban Worklofts). What started as a pop-up shop stayed in Kirkland for 4 years, so they are now planning to bring 3D technolgoy to other areas while also focusing on their online business.

Urban Float- also GONE. Which is really too bad. I had only been there a few times, but that warm epson salt relaxation pod could definitely transport you to another universe.

The Slip- wants to keep the summer momentum going w/fun fall happy hours- everyday 3-5 and 8-close (food offerings under $8, wine/cocktail specials from $4.95 and $1 off drafts)

Kirkland Life Chiropractic- Congrats! They just celebrated their 20 year anniversary in Kirkland. Woot Woot!

Armoire- opened at Carillon Point. Having someone else dress me and launder my clothes sounds heavenly. I'll check this one out soon!

 


Dr. Seuss Comes to Kirkland

GunnarWindow decal 20 by 28     GunnarLifes great balancing acts framed1  

TM & (c) Dr. Seuss Enterprises LP 2019

Gunnar Nordstrom has been a loyal Kirklander for 30+ years so it seems only natural that he would bring his business back home to our downtown after 11 years in Bellevue.   Gunnar Nordstrom, Dealers in Contemporary Fine Art, will be arriving the first weekend in November at 92 Kirkland Ave (previously Bikini Beach and then
Holodeck Studio)..  Great things often come in small packages, and even though this space is small, the rotating featured artists are sure to be some of our faves.  One of the biggest draws is always the Art of Dr. Seuss (yes, THE Dr. Seuss), which are limited editions produced by Chase Art and the estate of Theodor Seuss Geisel. Gunnar is one of twenty galleries in the country lucky enough to sell these works. 

GunnarParallel Lives  48 x 72
To kick things off, Svetlana Shalygina, an abstract/figurative artist from CA, will be the first to have her work featured in the Kirkland location from Nov 2-20th with Parallel Lives.

Day and hours are Tues-Sat 11-6, Sun 12-5 and closed on Monday.  Gunnar is always there to answer questions (and pour some wine?) and help you explore your art interests.  Be sure to pop in!


What's Shakin' at Kirkland Urban?

UrbanAug2019 (3)          UrbanAug2019 (2) <--lobby of Urban North 

Well, Shake Shack for one!  In fact, Urban is already working on a plan for traffic and crowd management in anticipation of the phenom burger chain's opening on 9/9.  Kirklanders seem to really like their burgers and gyms, in some sort of torturous ironic twist.

Are you wondering what else is coming our way? Checklist! Right here w/time estimates. Boom...

  • Dough Zone Express Q4
  • Mosaic Salon + Spa  Q4
  • Restore Hyperwellness and Cryotherapy Northwest  Q4
  • Power Hour 360 Q4
  • AT&T Q4
  • Homestreet Bank TBD
  • Caffe Ladro Q3
  • Levue Nails Q4
  • QFC Open!
  • Mud Bay Q3
  • Top Golf Q1 2020 
  • Heavy Restaurant Group (Purple) Q2 2020 
  • Bright Horizons Children's Center Q4
  • Evergreens Salad Q3-- 
  • Soi Q4
  • Shake Shack Q3

All of the office space is accounted for and there are just 3 retail vacancies left. In the next 60 days you will see the old QFC and the ParkPlace Building come down as they forge forward into the next phase. Yes, that's the iPic phase, which is forecasted for spring 2022 and along with a new 7 story building.

UrbanAug2019 (5)   UrbanAug2019 (1) <--lobby area

    UrbanAug2019 (6)<--pretty sweet shared space to hangout 

I also had the opportunity to tour through Kirkland Urban's new Uptown Apartments which are located on the east end of the property, right up the stairway in the center of Urban.  There's a cool patio as you approach the entry, where music or small events could be held.  You'll also find an amenity space and shared workspaces in the lobby which nestle below 185 apartment units (priced at roughly $3.50/sf), along with BBQ's and sweeping views on the shared patios above. A/C for everybody.   Approximately 40 units are already leased and an occupancy permit is ready any day now, so better hurry if you want to live there!

It's fun watching this project unfold! Seems like a good lineup of entertainment, services and restaurants.  Let us know what else you'd like to see in Kirkland Urban.

 

 

 


Athina Flora- She's Back!

  IMG_5873 <--Athina w/her giant work table that's been w/her for 26 yrs

Everyone knows Athina.  At least anyone that's been in Kirkland for a little while and has been paying attention. This local gal is always a smiling familiar face with a personality that is so kind and down-to-Earth that you can't help but feel magnetized to her.  She was in floral/events for 15 years, and then went to help her brother with George's after her Dad, George, passed away.  She also does real estate part-time.  It wasn't until her friend asked her, "Athina, what do you actually want to do?" that she realized it was flowers and real estate.  Coming back to the floral business just felt right.  Once this declaration was made, she quickly sprung into action to bring Athina Flora to life.  Two blinks later, she had secured the space at 42 Lakeshore Plaza where the tattoo shop used to be, and celebrated with a ribbon cutting on July 11th.  Hello go-getter.

 

      IMG_6080   IMG_6084  A stunningly unique bouquet, just love her style!   

In true Athina fashion, she's going to kick this business off by partnering with the KDA and throwing an event called the "Athina Flora Wedding Wine Walk" on Friday August 16th.  This wine walk will allow you to taste Washington wines, check out Athina Flora designs as well as other wedding vendors in downtown Kirkland.  Proceeds will support beautification efforts in the downtown core. If you'd like to help by volunteering (for free drink tickets, of course!) there's a sign up here. 

Athina Flora focuses on the details and creating over-the-top arrangements for your special occasions.   She is so creative. This is not the florist where you browse a wall of flowers in a case.  She will not be housing flowers in the shop, but you can pre-order.  There will always be plants for sale and olive trees, a fave that she says always do well here. Athina also does weddings and special events.  And (tell my husband to read this), you can also choose a frequency to have flowers delivered to a special someone throughout the year.  Birthday, Mother's Day, Anniversary- bam! Sign up for the annual program and you don't have to remember and are sure to impress.   Designing pots for private homes is also an ongoing service she provides for each season. 

AThinatabletopflowers photo cred: www.stonephotographyseattle.com
And then- lucky us! Flower classes will start happening on a monthly basis too.  They will be free of charge  in the evenings and hold aout 12 people.  You are just asked to bring a food donation that will be brought to the Kirkland Seahawkers monthly meeting and delivered to The Free Little Pantry. Athina will teach everyone how to make a particular arrangement from start to finish that she puts together, and then does a drawing to see who will get to take it home.   The first class will be Sept 19th at 6:30pm.

Hours are Tues-Fri 11-4 and Sat & Mon by appt only.  Questions you can email Athina at athinapita@gmail.com.  Also check her out on FB and Insta


QFC Kickstarts Kirkland Urban

IMG_6061 <--bust friends drinking a mid-day beer      IMG_6060

Wow.  Just wow. Crazy crowds are piling in to check out the new QFC at Kirkland Urban.  This should be a nail biter for Whole Foods because QFC has just upped their game big time.  There's an indoor/outdoor bar anchoring the corner, so.... mic drop right there.  But wait..there's more? 

IMG_6064 <--that's my cart of groceries riding down the escalator


Parking is underground and free (for the moment) - eventually it will be a 90 min limit complimentary park once we are all trained on the process.  Nobody seems to know an exact date. You'll find an uber-cool escalator  for your grocery cart (photo) in addition to the usual human version.  Ready-made food abounds- from Tutta Bella and Starbucks to cases and cases of grab-and-go food.  And LOTS more local, natural, organic food choices.  The old reliables are still there, but so many more unique options designed with the local Kirkland shopper in mind.    I promise you will turn into a zombie after walking about 15 feet into the store.  Leave yourself time, the exploring is rich, and I'm already looking forward to the day that I know where to find things in there.  Take note that the milk and eggs are strategically in the very back of the store so you'll have to walk past 64 enticing items to fill your cart with before arriving to the mundane. 

IMG_6051    IMG_6051 IMG_6052

Compostable bags make me happy.  Produce looks amazing- there's even a live local mushroom display! (photo)   Of course there are lots of self check-out stations one each end of the store, peppered with familiar employee faces from the little ole QFC we all remember.  I grabbed some hummus and was chased down by this nice fellow, Walid Joudi, who owns Dreamland Foods, the company that provides many of the fresh locally prepared foods.  "Why did you choose this hummus?" he inquired. "Because I liked the packaging?" I explained sheepishly (got it home, it tastes good too!).  I appreciate that the vendors are here for the launch and talking to customers first hand.  Samples can be found throughout the store.  

IMG_6053  <-Walid Joudi of Dreamland Foods-->      IMG_6049     

Hours are 5am-1am everyday.  Kids are already frolicking in the splash pad out front on these hot days.  Be ready- this is not the subtle QFC experience you are accustomed to-- it is loud and entertains all the senses.   Sneaking in with your pajama pants and a ponytail may be less likely You will see at least 4 people that you know and they will be a bit shell-shocked at what has just landed in Kirkland front/center.  Amazing for some.  Overwhelming for others. You decide.   ~j


Office Max is Packin' it Up

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The Office Max in Totem Lake is having a major clearance sale to get rid of all their merchandise before they close on April 27th. The City of Kirkland purchased it last year and will be working on a plan to re-use the building and create a Parks Maintenance Facility.  Construction should be starting around the end of May.

I just did our 'back to school' shopping in April! Seems like each item was about $1.50 on my receipt. Not a ton left but might be worth a stroll, there were still plenty of binders, posterboard, pens/pencils/highlighters and furniture when I was there today. 

Thx Monique for the tip!

IMG_4730IMG_4730 <--some aisles look like this, others like that