Who you callin' Papi?

My hubs spotted this sign at the old Milagro location on his drive to work.  Yep, he went in to work today while most of us stayed in our pj's until noon. Anyone have any scoop? I can't find "Papi's Cantina" on the beloved interwebs yet, but I think the tagline "It's Margarita Time" says a lot about their fun factor and willingness to get to know us.  Cause tequila gets me talkin', Papi. 

PS- LWSD peeps, enjoy your delayed opening tomorrow.  Anyone want to take bets that it turns into another snow day?  My kids are delighted by the idea.  The Jersey girl in me laughs a little at how a few inches of snow catches us in a 'flurried' panic. Stay safe, friends. j


Who you callin' Papi?

My hubs spotted this sign at the old Milagro location on his drive to work.  Yep, he went in to work today while most of us stayed in our pj's until noon. Anyone have any scoop? I can't find "Papi's Cantina" on the beloved interwebs yet, but I think the tagline "It's Margarita Time" says a lot about their fun factor and willingness to get to know us.  Cause tequila gets me talkin', Papi. 

PS- LWSD peeps, enjoy your delayed opening tomorrow.  Anyone want to take bets that it turns into another snow day?  My kids are delighted by the idea.  The Jersey girl in me laughs a little at how a few inches of snow catches us in a 'flurried' panic. Stay safe, friends. j


Hello 2019- what's in store?

IMG_1181 This is the Rabuchin 'Polar' Plunge 2019 (w/guide ChiChi in the back who kept us alive)

Did you guys do the Polar Plunge? Man that looked cold.  We did ours in Costa Rica this year, which was uncharacteristically and amazingly easy, but I promise I was thinking about you all. Turning the page on a new year always brings up the topic of resolutions.  My kids never seem to have any they want to commit to, so I told them to pick a few small attainable things so they'll easily be able to feel good about themselves.  That's my strategy this year.  Perhaps just some little personal challenges.  Like doing less talking with my hands.  I hate when I do that, but often I will be enthusiastically explaining something and realize that the annoying hands waving around in the air uselessly trying to assist are my own. Taking more deep breaths is another one- it feels so good! Especially when the air is crisp outside.  It feels like a treat to inhale until my lungs can't hold anymore and then slowly let it out.  Perfect blend of relaxing and invigorating and less calories than a cocktail.  I've noticed that my kids are nilly willies when it comes to doing anything outside of their comfort zone, such as talking to someone at school they don't know, standing up for themselves  or asking for help.  So I've decided I'm going to do a better job of practicing what I preach and consciously try to do more things outside of my comfort zone.  This may include resisting the urge to be clean and organized 24/7.  And along with the everyday stuff, I've got to throw one out there that I never got around to last year, which is giving the ole Kirkland Blog a facelift.  It's time. This is the year. And even though it should look more clean and organized and I just said I'm trying to avoid that, it is definitely out of my comfort zone.  So hold tight with me while I figure out how to get 12 years of content moved to a new platform and polish up this old lady beast.  If you or someone you know wants to help me embark on this escapade- awesome- send me an email to [email protected].  Or if you have ideas for features, layout, and content you'd like to see here in the future, comment away!  I'll add them to my already lengthy dream list. Oh, and don't worry, this will definitely happen in phases.  Last time I changed one little thingy on the top banner of the page I got a bunch of emails from you guys freaking out wondering what happened. If we hold hands, we can do this together.  2019. 

Other random info chunkers to know:

2008FourthofJuly 004 a fave photo of Penny I took back in 2018 (4th of July of course) , she's been a Kirkland do-er FOREVER. 

  • Congrats to Penny Sweet, our new Mayor!
  • BookTree's next few months are critical to their survival, if you love our local bookstore, it's good time to go support them.
  • Best Kept Secret is MOVING on 1/19 (out of Kirkland, waahhh!) - hustle on in for their moving clearance sales
  • Katy, the owner of Vovina bought The Slip, will give you that scoop in an upcoming post 


The Sky is Falling

I can't think of a more annoying interruption to my late morning workout than a blaring cell phone alert from President Trump.  Just when I was trying to let off some steam...perfect timing dude. Great to know you know how to find me. And also that there's not a real emergency?  There was also some mayhem on the roads of Kirkland this morning, though. At the 116th/98th, the  traffic light (in every direction) was blinking and so  we all acted like grown-ups and had to treat it like a 4-way stop.  Then as I head up Market St to the light at Forbes Creek Rd at a whopping 4 mph in standstill traffic, it appears that light is only letting 2-3 cars through per green light. Software issues? Also problems at lights in Houghton some friend mentioned. Anyone else experience this?  Maybe Trump was checking if he could jam our grids too.

Then the afternoon came around with the news that The Slip is closing. Twenty two years and done. So no more Earth burgers for you.  Heavy day, right? They will be open Thursday through Sunday until Oct 21st so you have a little time to say goodbye.  And also hello to Orange Theory opening soon on Park Lane (you read that right, another gym in the -033 now?!)


Name that STOP sign


This albino stop sign makes me chuckle every time I see it.  It's not like we live in such a sunny place that all of our stop signs get bleached out. How old is this thing?  Someone in the City of Kirkland needs to tell me (and put a replacement in the budget soon, LOL).  

Do you know where this is located? 

**Update: It only took 14 seconds for the City of Kirkland Public Works to let me know the scoop with this stop sign (spoiler alert: it's at the post office). If only my kids listened that well! Since this STOP sign is on the post office's federal property it is the post office's to maintain. The City maintains signs in the right of way and on public roads.  So for future reference, if you need help w/street, grounds, storm, water, sewer issues that are City of Kirkland, you can always call (24/7) 425-587-3900 .  I'm fine with continuing to laugh at this STOP sign. But if you wanted it replaced, better call the post office 425-739-6727 (or just walk in and tell them!). 

Caption this Photo


So surreal, it almost looks like an album cover.  I did a double-take as I was driving down Kirkland Ave and saw this little person at the top of a tree.  I couldn't decide if I needed to blink and rub my eyes because I had seen an angel land, or if I should run before the alien child spins its head around and laser beams me with her eyes.  Either way, cool photo.  And I survived.

Sharing our Favorites

Everyone has their favorite go-to foods around Kirkland-wouldn't it be fun if we shared them? 

I sent an email to a gaggle of friends and asked them to tell me ONE favorite food in Kirkland. And since they're my friends, of course they included drinks too. 

  • Cheese grits from Metropolitan Market
  • Lamb meatballs on spaghetti squash from Volterra
  • Baked spaghetti at George's
  • Turkey Grinder at Acropolis
  • Gluten-free chocolate chip cookie from DeRu
  • Boeuf Bourguignon at Le Grand Bistro
  • Brix Truffle fries
  • Kabocha (thai pumpkin) from La Thai 
  • Chopped salad from Hector's 
  • Bolognese w/zucchini squash from Volterra
  • Pesto Pasta at Cafe Veloce
  • THE Cookie at Met Market
  • Cinnamon Spice tea at Lizzy Kate
  • Sonoran Spa Chicken at Cactus
  • Albondigas (pork and lamb meatballs)- Bottle & Bull
  • Over Doin' It cocktail from Bottle & Bull
  • Dry rub wings at the Lodge
  • Chocolate milkshakes at Ben & Jerry's
  •  Any Pho Bowl from Pho House
  • Gyro plate from Padria or Bella Balducci
  • Salted peanut butter cookie from DeRu
  • Salmon Nigiri from Sushi Joa
  • Olympic Omelette at George's
  • Pow Wow Old Fashioned from Bottle & Bull


I'm excited to try some of the things on this list that haven't been on my radar before.  Add your faves in the comments below!

Strawless in Seattle


Did anyone happen to see Adrian Grenier hanging around downtown Kirkland last week? Adorbs. He and his entourage of friends from the Lonely Whale Foundation were busy launching their Strawless in Seattle campaign.  Yes, I said strawless-  the ones you drink out of (but now you'll try not to...).  The plastic straws that Americans use 500 million of each day, many of which end up in our oceans.  During the month of September, over 100 restaurants have committed to incorporating sustainable alternatives to plastic straws.  There are a lot of familiar names leading by example and teaming up in this effort to reduce the consumption of plastic straws, such as the Seattle Mariners, Sounders, Seahawks, Seattle Aquarium, Tom Douglas restaurants, Seattle's Great Wheel, the Space Needle, Nube9, Columbia Hospitality, Chihuly Garden and Glass, and more than 100 restaurants and bars. Shout-out to our Kirkland supporters! I saw Anthony's on the list and  The Heathman is on all-in, check out their Facebook contest  (so easy--- do it!), where you can win a voucher for 20% off at Trellis.


Strawless in Seattle presser_Dune Ives_Executive director of Lonely Whale Foundation <-- Lonely Whale Executive Director, Dune Ives (photo credit: Emy Kane/Lonely Whale Foundation)

"We are living during a critical turning point for our ocean, and that's why I'm excited to celebrate the city of Seattle as a true ocean health leader," said Adrian Grenier, co-founder of Lonely Whale Foundation.  "Alongside Lonely Whale Foundation, Seattle's citywide commitment demonstrates our collective strength to create measurable impact and address the global ocean plastic pollution crisis. We are starting in Seattle with the plastic straw and see no limits if we combine forces to solve this global issue."  Check out some of the FAQ here to answer your questions about why this matters.  

There are lots of great videos on their site.  Show your kids.  They'll hop on board too. Our ecosystem goes full circle, and the fish we eat are consuming the microplastics in our oceans. Gross, right? Doesn't seem like it should be so tough to use a cute paper straw instead (or metal or glass or bamboo or reed)! Do you have a business or know of a business that would love the idea of saving our oceans one plastic straw at at time? Challenge them to #stopsucking.  The goal is to remove 500 million plastic straws from the U.S. waste stream in 2017.  You know I love this stuff...little things that can collectively make a big impact on our planet.  Sort of like when we all stopped letting the water run  the entire time we brush our teeth.  Not tough, but makes a difference.  Spread the word. ~j

Sunshine Makes us Crazy

It is such a cool phenomenon when Kirkland gets a few bluebird sunny, warm days in April.  People are suddenly tan and smiling and friendly. Windows open and convertible tops come down. Flip flops and lollipops. What did we do to deserve this?  A post spring break gift from the weather gods, perhaps, but us locals know that historically, it won't last long and so we'd better seize the moment. 

Here are some of my 'sunny days in Kirkland' observations.  Feel free to add your own:

        -I let my kids eat popsicles BEFORE dinner. 

        -At least a truckload of bikini-clad high school aged kids were at Houghton Beach Park on a sunny weekday at noon. Do they let school out early for sunshine here? Fun times!

        -Less fun..at this same park, someone walking their dog allowed it to walk about 12 inches into the lake and take a poop.  Toddlers playing in water 10 ft away.  I'm still troubled by this.

        -Places of employment seem mysteriously sparse. Long lunches allowed. 

        -Crosswalk flags- please use them! So many pedestrians and distracted drivers through downtown coupled with the glare of that glowing ball of light in the sky- recipe for disaster.

          Pedestrianflags- I turn up the music and open all of my windows and my sunroof in my car.  Kids all CRACK UP.  Apparently this doesn't happen often and the wind is quite hilarious?          Weatherapp-  Everyone is posting a screenshot of their weather app to Facebook so friends all over the world can notice that it doesn't actually rain here ALL the time.Crazypants -I wear my crazy pants.  Crazy times call for crazy pants.

Janisnewhair2016 - Why not cut all your hair off!? Feels like summer.  Plenty of time to regret this decision later but for now it's easy breeeeezy.  I dare you to do it too!

-The chilled chardonnay bottle in the fridge knows how to say my name at 5pm. Who taught it that? Brilliant trick!  I think it called me "Yanis" like Siri does but I know what it meant.

-I feel like spring cleaning.  And if you also feel like cleaning- don't forget there's a "Kirkland Clean Sweep" event coming up on 4/30 from 9am-1pm.  They still need lots more volunteers so bring your tools and gloves and able body and in exchange the Kirkland Downtown Association will feed you coffee and donuts. Meet up is Hallmark Realty on the corner of Lake and Kirkland Ave. Sign up here.  

Hurry and tell me your funny sunny time stories before the rain comes back and we're all cranky again!

Happy Anniversary, Kirkland Weblog!

I was rummaging through some papers the other day and stumbled upon the fact that the Kirkland Blog recently had a TEN YEAR anniversary. Isn't that kind of nuts?! It is to me.  Have we known each other that long-- you and me?? I had to sit down, take a deep breath and ponder my life and collect my thoughts, but yes, it's true, it's been 10 years. 

Sara's bday 027 <-- Here we are in all of our 2006 glory. I know you're jealous of my bangs.

  Tango2015 (5) 2016: Now we hide behind sunglasses. Steve, please please will you write a blog post for us? For old time's sake?

People often ask how long I've been doing this blog gig and how it started.  So an anniversary seems like a good time to tell the story. Steve and I have lived in Kirkland since 1998 and we've always loved socializing, shopping and eating here. Everyone is just a special kind of AWESOME. So by 2006, we had 2 three year old's and a one year old, so we were a little frazzled perhaps, but clearly still had a love of our community and oddly enough, time to pick up this side hobby.  

All of the truly cool ideas are always Steve's.  Out of nowhere he asked me--"why don't we start a blog about Kirkland?"  (blogging was a sort of new-ish back then)  " We already do everything in Kirkland.  We should just share our experiences with others," said young Steve. "We could take turns writing posts." < Insert canned laughter here.>  Steve wrote about 8 posts and now you have to read my ramblings every week.  What started on a whim then began to snowball.   More followers, more hits/day, friends were asking what we were posting and what was new around town.  And there you have it, the Kirkland Weblog was born.  

A lot has happened in ten years-- real estate has gone up ( then down then up again), businesses have changed over, we annexed, parking spots have disappeared, development is surging and  my laugh lines have deepened.... but the love for Kirkland and all that makes it create that feeling that warms my heart from the inside, has gone unchanged.  So thanks for sticking with me, Kirklanders.  I love hanging out with you.

The best anniversary gift you could give us would be spreading the word.  Tell your fun friends to subscribe in the top left corner here.  Speaking of fun, let's play a game....REMEMBER WHEN.  I'll start...remember when....

-the Grape Choice was where the Heathman stands today?  I think Larry Springer was mayor then.

-Wilde Rover opened? I think it was 2006- was brand new when this blog started. 

-the Bath Bar was on Park Lane? I can almost smell it right now.

-there was a Santa Store on Kirkland Ave, and the owner would carve them in the front window

-I went to EVERY gym in Kirkland and reported back w/ a review. Great butt kicker.

-they moved Heritage Hall from east of Market to its current location at the bottom of Market St.

-Bead Hut, Calabria, River Rock, Crab Cracker, Unique Plus, Life is Good, Trenditions, MuShoe, Olive You, Ravenna, Six Tables, uBrDo...


What do you remember?????????????????????????????????????????????