Lululemon Keeping us On-Point.. and safe

Luluexterior  Lulufrontsign

Lucky me! I left my house on Friday to venture over to The Village at Totem Lake for the opening of lululemon.  Lulu fabrics have been working overtime to make me appear to be fit for years now, so I felt like I the least I could do is brush my hair and throw a mask on to visit their newest location here in Kirkland.  Good thing I did.  They were supposed to open on 3/31 but, you know our Crusty ole COVID friend decided that wasn't going to happen until 6/26. lululemon did an AMAZING job being prepared with  6 ft of distance floor stickers outside  and under 10 people in the store at a time to shop the latest sport-trendy attire.  New/current rules include masks on your mugs (they have them on too, thank you!), trying not touch clothes that you aren't going to buy (tricky, I love touching everything!) and no dressing rooms, but you can take home and return within 30 days.  Plenty of men's and women's sport and leisure clothes and accessories to peruse for summertime.

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Their corner spot across from 203° F Coffee is open and welcoming.  As I stood out front I thought if I closed my eyes and re-opened them I could possibly be in U-Village.  Love all of the plants and cozy 'village' feel outside and then the clean high energy vibe of lulu itself. Logically I can't walk out of there without a cute pair of joggers ($88) and short-sleeved top ($48) that may family will be lucky enough to see me wearing around the house or maybe even some strangers on a walk or at the grocery store.   Hours are 11-7 except Sunday is 12-6.  go- have fun, support this new store!

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A few doors down was the adorable flower/candle pop-up stand that just opened called Sweet Serenity, which has a heartfelt story behind it (photo).  And of course you are curious about what else is still on its way. Besides the giant 40% off sale at Nordstrom Rack (get on line) right now and much appreciation to Trader Joe's, Whole Foods and the other essential businesses, you can also look forward to Evereve and Athleta coming soon along with Cinemark (Phase 2, Nov-ish). Lots to look forward to! 


Re-Openings are Welcome News

There are twinkles of hope resembling normalcy as King County ventures into Phase 2.  Even new stores opening!  While we all continue to social distance and err on the side of caution to keep our numbers in check, businesses are striving to offer us a safe environment in which to do our shopping.  Check out the Village at Totem Lake that has continuously served us by way of Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe's, All the Best Pets, AutoZone, HSBC, Key Bank, Joe's Burgers, Chipotle, MOD Pizza, 203°F Coffee Co, T-Mobile.  T-Mobile, Wells Fargo, At&T and Verizon.  Anthony Vince Nail Spa and Nordstrom Rack and also now re-opened.  Hand sanitizer stations are located throughout the Village and and ground stickers to remind us of safe distancing.  

UrbanTread
Urban Tread
just opened at The Village! It is a Seattle-based company that specializes in stylish and comfortable shoes and boots for men and women.  Let's go show them some support (just not all at the same exact time. And with our masks on..)

There was also some sad news of Anko permanently closing all of their US stores.  This is a loss, my daughters will no longer be able to afford to decorate their  own bedrooms. Also closing on the other side of Kirkland is Tuesday Morning on 85th.  By the way, if this is your first time hearing this news, you need to follow the Kirkland Blog on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) where I blab about these things as soon as I hear about them. 

Anyway, back to The Village!.......Still also expected to open very very soon are LuluLemon, Athleta and Evereve.  I know I will be a regular in those favorites. I'm just scared to learn what my new sizes will be. 

After construction resumes fully, the Village is also looking forward to celebrating grand openings of Cinemark, Sephora and Salt & Straw. I can't think of a better way to eventually wrap up this COVID thing than some great mascara, an ice cream and a movie. A girl can dream, right? #cantwait


Attn Chocolate Lovers: Sweet Cloud Gifts is (virtually) Here

Olga and Yakov Sweet cloud gifts logo

You may recognize Yakov Gorshkov, the owner of Seattle Thread Company on Lake St., who is also a regular around Kirkland. But have you met his daughter, Olga? These two dynamos have started an online business together called Sweet Cloud Gifts and it's all about .....chocolate!  Oh thank goodness, right? That can solve just about anything.   A software engineer by trade, Olga is excited about her online chocolate gifting so that she can connect with the community and make people happy.  This idea has been swirling around in their brains for awhile, and they decided now is the time to bring it to life.  Olga and Yakov are primarily focused on Kirkland and individual gifting, but they also offer business gifts for rewards and events.  Their chocolates are sourced from around the world, so you'll notice some familiar Seattle area faves alongside unique global brands. Their stock is in Kirkland so it only take 2-3 days to get to you. They also have their own gift sets in an adorable Sweet Cloud Gift box.

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When I asked Yakov about his favorite chocolate he said, "I eat them all." Olga has a sweet spot for the liquor-filled chocolates (double trouble!). Check out their website- these two Kirkland mainstays are passionate about building connections, embracing community, collaborating and promoting neighbors.  So reach out and say hello and send a friend or associate some chocolate.  I'm sure they'll be glad that you did!


Divalani Excited to Style Kirklanders

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After you've grabbed your Starbucks latte and find yourself breezing by Divalani on Park Lane right next door, take a moment to drop in.  With a quick glance it's easy to see clothes in the window and think it is still Unique Chic Boutique, but I assure you it is not.  Divalani owner, Marta Hardin, decided on Kirkland for her second location where she caters to affordably styling women that are 40+ in clothes that make them look and feel good. She says,  "I've been doing this since I was 17 and I know the store like I know my own closet.  But you make the clothes.  You are the canvas.  I can help you put together outfits that you would never think of."  Oh, thank goodness!  Deep exhale from all the middle aged ladies that no longer have to stress over finding clothes that look good on us. Someone local will do it for me for free?!  (in store, hourly priced styling happens at home or office)

DivaLani (2)  DivaLani (2)
Divalani carries mostly Canadian and LA brands that are under $200-ish, such as Joseph Ribkoff and Frank Lyman and Liverpool.  Marta emphasizes her goal of helping you to find an emotional connection with a product.  She wants people to remember a happy experience and how they felt when they wore those clothes.      You'll often find Annette in the shop, who is an in-house stylist that enjoys working with busy women that don't have time to shop. You can also get styled for everyday or special occasions and check out  scarves and jewelry from local artists. Say hello, Marta and Annette are super friendly and you're sure to walk out finding something that makes you look and feel fabulous!


Grounded Above the Clouds

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Janice Winfrey (right in photo) lost everything in the devastating Paradise, CA fires of 2018, barely escaping with her husband and dog and the clothes on her back.  This tragedy also managed to open the door of opportunity for her to move closer to family in Washington, and fulfill her dream of starting a business with her sister, April Laskey (left in photo).  Professionally, Janice  has been a nurse for many years and found the culture to be very stressful.  Her co-workers barely knew each other and often worked different shifts. She wished she could find a way to incorporate more community building and support structure to her field. Her sister April, a weight loss coach, has a passion for art.  How could they join forces in an effort that was meaningful for both of them? That's when Grounded Above the Clouds was born. 

Squirreled away in the back of 30 Lakeshore Plaza is their adorable space where Grounded Above the Clouds has been open since November 8th.  In the front room is where they have local artists creations for sale and in the backroom.............that's where the magic happens. Janice and April host workshops that bring people to together for an art project, which is less about the artistic outcome and more about the opening up the creative side of your brain and connecting with the people around you. Workshops are typically in a 2 or 3 part series and have a guided theme or objective which focuses on personal and professional growth and innovation. 

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Some of the classes they teach and others have guest instructors.  This is not a step-by-step project because everyone is working on their own unique creation.  These could range  from fluid painting (messy fun!), hand-built ceramics, brush calligraphy, comic book drawing, hand knitting ( I totally want to try this!), or art meditation to name a few.

Here is the schedule. Classes range from $45-75 depending on materials.  The goal is to provide a space that is comfortable and experiential that can connect people, build resiliency and encourage creativity.  These ladies specialize in corporate team building sessions so people can bring some of these life lessons back to their work culture.   The name "Grounded Above the Clouds" represents the way people can have normal jobs and still be dreamers and explore other possibilities that might be out there.  You don't always have to have one thing or the other-why limit yourself? It's okay to dream. 

Go say hi to Janice and April to learn more about their passion for opening your mind through art. Bring your team from work.   They are open Tues-Sat 11-7 pm.  You need to be a bit of a Kirkland expert to find it (despite the giant letters that say "Lakeshore Plaza"), so I drew you an arrow. It's just under the stairs that go down the side of Wilde Rover.  Through the door and the lobby and it's back on the left.  They'd love your suggestions for new classes  and teachers too. Have fun, I can't wait to try it.

Lakeshoreplaza

 

 


Miracles Can Happen

Miracle
All of the glitter, eggnog and fireball is finally put away.  Usually I start off the new year by rambling off some New Year's resolutions that I think might stick but this time, I'm not going to bother you with that.  Screw it.  I'm not striving to change everything. I'm accepting things.  Instead of vowing to workout more and eat less, I'm just realizing it's not the end of the universe if I just size up in my pants.  They look fine, and at least fit better so I can breathe easy.  Instead of resolutions, this year I am going to share a little Christmas miracle that happened in our house this holiday. Then a few Kirkland updates, of course.

Our son is 14 and our daughters are 16 now.  Those parents of little kids that still stay up late doing 'elf on the shelf' and assembling gifts- I want you to know, there is a turning point when you no longer feel like you have to do it all.  And this year was ours. The one where lightening struck and our children finally had more moments of maturity, forethought, appreciation, gratitude and unprompted kindness.    Just a few examples..first, the girls drove themselves to Nordstrom Rack and bought us well-thought out gifts with their hard-earned babysitting money.    Then on Christmas Eve, after a great meal and conversation at home, all three voluntarily popped out of their seats and cleared every item off of the table, loaded the dishwasher and hand-washed every pot, pan and serving bowl. They were laughing and chatting together the whole time.   I had to pinch myself. Was it our often questionable parenting style to credit for this?  Were we being Punk'd? Or perhaps the wine and holiday music were feeding a hallucination? Their hugs and thank you's that evening suddenly seemed to have depth, as if they could see every stocking we stuffed and ribbon we curled over the last decade.  I wish I could have bottled that feeling.   With 2020 underway, everything is back to normal with the sarcasm and procrastinating in full swing, but hopefully that magical spell is cast again next season.  

Kirkland things you might be curious about:

Which gyms have smokin' deals to help you achieve your fitness New Year's Resolutions? Summary post soon, get your gym pants ON (or just size up like me). 

Park Lane Public House is closed and will become "Feast," a french brasserie with lots of wines by the glass and a PNW flair on French food.

Top Golf Lounge is opening at Kirkland Urban on 1/24. I'm previewing this week, stay tuned!

Bailey's Shoe Repair in Rose Hill (previously in Kirkland Park Place) has closed. 


Final Days of Serendipity

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Serendipity
, a consignment shop at 117 Lake St., will be closing its doors on Sunday Dec 15th.  New clothes and jewelry will be 40% off until then. The building, which also houses the barber shop and pet store, has been purchased and rent was getting read to triple. Yikes.  I'm pretty sad, I've been bringing my clothes/shoes there for years and it was always a fun surprise to stop in and pick up a check and know that somebody else was going to enjoy my things too.  Then I'd spend my check on other cute finds in there! Serendipity will still have their Bellingham location.  Here is the farewell letter from Lisa Lee, the owner:

It has been an honor to be part of the Kirkland community and to have so many wonderful customers over the last 11 years.  Serendipity will be closing its doors in Kirkland December 15th, 2019. As consignors, customers, advocates and friends, you are the ones that made Serendipity successful.  Thank you so much!  I couldn’t have done it without the great employees we’ve had, many of whom have become good friends.

To our consignor customers, all December checks will be mailed at the end of the month.

For those of you still interested in consigning, one of my employees whom has been doing online sales for many years will be offering a “white glove” service. Clare will offer free pick up and drop off to your home.  If you are interested, please feel free to contact Clare Koesters at 360-325-5287 or contactclarescloset@gmail.com and visit her website clares-closet.com.

I will be in the store Saturday, December 14th from 2-6 so if you are in the area please stop by and say goodbye.

Thank you again for 11 great years. 

Warm regards, Lisa


More Openings at Kirkland Urban

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Power Hour 360- 400 Urban Plaza-You know I love trying out all of the (many) new gyms in Kirkland.  I rally my usual workout crew and we all hit it hard and then debrief afterwards.  Check out the big guns on Christin and Megan, it's no wonder I feel inadequate.  This franchise is out of Las Vegas and Kirkland is the first WA location and they plan to keep expanding with their strength and endurance training.  They got excited about Kirkland because this demographic is young and activity oriented (good job, people! Please call me young).  Cardio is always half of the class, which kicked my butt the first half when we toggled back and forth from treadmill to rower, varying our focus and intensity.  Just when I caught my breath, as indicated on the screen, it seemed we were racing off to our stations where we had our own punching bag/gloves, instructional screen and peripherals (weights, med balls, etc). Our instructor, Andy, moved along with us and demonstrated and used cues as to indicate what was coming next.  I'm old and bad at following directions and so the lady and timer (90 seconds per round) on the screen were very helpful (similar to Orange Theory if that's your jam).  This boxing class moved us through about 4-5 cycles of punches followed by a body weight exercise such as mountain climbers or push ups. Everything feels clean and new, because it is! We all liked that we had to do cardio before the workout because we wouldn't normally push ourselves that hard on the cardio.  AJ wasn't sure if he could do that kind of workout everyday, but I think he was just trying to keep his heart rate score above ours- he's a bit competitive.  We all got our butt kicked and left feeling accomplished.

Hours are Mon-Fri 5am-7:30pm and Sat/Sun 6am-3pm. Parking is validated.  You can find Power Hour's list of classes on their website here. There are lots of membership options: the first 50 members score the Founder's special which is $139/mo plus free monitor and gloves.  Otherwise, it's $159/mo. Or you can pay $99 for 8 classes per month.  Membership is always month to month so you don't have to fret about over-committing yourself.  Best part- your first TWO classes are FREE! Pop in, tell Courtney, Don, Chanel and Andy you are friends with me. ;-)


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Mosaic Salon + Spa- have opened their 6th location at Kirkland Urban (and 2nd one in Kirkland!). All 24 studios are fully occupied- mostly hair stylists, but you will also find lashes, microblading, botox and even a plastic surgeon is on site.  Mosaic's concept allows independent vendors/stylists to have their own space while all under the same roof.  Two more will be opening soon in Seattle. 

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Mud Bay-
425 Urban Plaza-I haven't been in here yet, but it looks bright and open and ready for you and your pet ( I just have kids, no pets, I'd have a mental breakdown if there was one more thing to keep track of/feed). Coupons are filling my mailbox that you can save $8 on any purchase of $25 or more so swing by to introduce your little furry friends.  They've had healthy food, treats, toys, litter and supplies since 1988 so they must know what's going on.  It looks like there are some upcoming events for pet photos and Santa shots here.


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.

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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.