Things You (maybe) Didn't Know


Such as...

NorthwestMarlene (photo credit: NWU)

A Northwest University student took first place at the World Universities Debating Championships in Greece.  Kudos to Marlene Pierce for the big win.  I promise to never get in an argument with her.  Good news is now I know who to consult for advice on debating household chores with my children.

KirklandRotaryDonation (photo credit: Rotary Club of Kirkland)
The Rotary Club of Kirkland and its Foundation recently supported the World Bicycle Relief with a $5000 donation.  WBR supports citizens of developing countries gain increased mobility giving access to education, health care, employment, and basic necessities.  Many recipients are  young women with only their own feet for transportation.  Way to think globally, Rotary of Kirkland.

GoogleInsleeNest (photo credit: Google)
Governor Inslee and Congresswoman DelBene were in town to celebrate Google's expansion here that doubled its size to 375,000 square feet and spans four buildings. The Kirkland campus is home to engineering teams working on high profile Google products such as Hangouts, Cloud, Chrome and Ads.  The new space has features such as a human-size nest and skylight, hideaway ‘cave’ areas, offices, cafe and micro-kitchens, living roof deck, dog-friendly offices, cooking classes, and crepe-making room.  And of course they already had fitness, massage centers and a climbing wall.  I'm sending my application in right now because it just sounds fun to work there.  Maybe I can make their crepes or clean the nest.   Never mind that makes it sounds just like home.  But it is cool that Google is innovating for the planet and also for their employees and community- thanks for leading the way!

Meet Anne Hess with Kirkland Living Magazine

Kirkland Living Magazine, a free monthly N2 Publication that hits the mailboxes of about 1700 residents in the Market/Moss Bay/Lakeview, Norkirk/East of Market neighborhoods, has a new publisher.  After two years of charming us all, Heidi Hawkins has made a dash for the sunnier skies of San Diego, and left the magazine in the very capable hands of Anne Hess. Kirkland, meet Anne (photo).  Doesn't she kind of look like Sally Field?  Anne was originally going to cover a Seattle territory, but when this one opened up, she jumped at the chance to cover Kirkland.  

KirklandLivingCoverNov2015 <--this month's issue

Kirkland Living is all about community.  The content is powered by residents who write, photograph and advertise each month.  It's about sharing local content that may highlight human interest stories,  a featured home, a pet or a Young Achiever.  Anne is excited to focus on the youth in our community, so if you know any young writers, email her at I also love how this publication partners with local restaurants and businesses to host free events (even for kids!) that promote sharing and community among neighbors.   I think Anne will feel right at home here.   


Lucia Hosts Star-Studded "The Bachelor" Viewing Parties

JasonMollyAre you a fan of ABC's hit reality show "The Bachelor?"  Then you should scratch the pj's and ice cream plans you have for viewing the premiere on Monday Jan 5th  on your couch, and give yourself a much-deserved 2015 upgrade to Mike Halter's hip Lucia restaurant at Kirkland Park Place, where the it will be showing on all screens and two former Bachelor couples will be on hand to mingle with you.  From the looks of it, we've got one Maple Valley contestant this season, so you have another WA resident to root for.

That's right- we've got some locals that have been on the reality show, fell in love and are still around to talk about it.   And they will be on there to answer questions every Monday at the Lucia viewings from 8-10pm this season.   Expect a special Bachelor cocktail menu, food, and fun contests to keep you on your toes. 

Jason and Molly Mesnick (wedding photo- how cute can ya be??!) are Kirklanders that met on the 13th season of The Bachelor and have been married for almost five years and have an adorable daughter, Riley (1) together, in addition to Jason's superstar son, Tyler (9).  Jason is now in residential real estate with the Northwest Real Estate Group. Molly is a talk show host for 106.1 Kiss FM in the morning.

Chris Siegfried and Desiree Hartsock,
who live in Seattle currently (she is from CA, he from OR),  met on Season 9 of "The Bachelorette" and are preparing for their January 2015 wedding.  Chris is a mortgage banker for Home Street Bank and Desiree is a bridal stylist, conveniently enough. ;-)

Call Lucia for reservations to get in on the excitement of the new Bachelor season with Chris Soules and to celebrate our own local reality stars, Jason, Molly, Chris and Desiree, and meet them first hand.  This party continues every Monday from 8-10 for 10 weeks starting Jan 5th.  425-889-0200.



Louie de Coton: Technical Clothing for your Pooch

LouiedeCoton (8)   LouiedeCoton (1)

I am SO not a dog person.  Sorry.  Not sure where this went askew.  I grew up with dogs and loved them, but something changed as an adult, in my Type A brain, that can't fathom adding another layer of slobber, hair, wet paws, and poop to my life.  Maybe I'm just lazy.  Because I do realize, that for many people a pet can open up your heart and change your life. 

Local resident Fay Andersson's dog came into her world at exactly the right time.  In 2011, she was in a life-changing accident that left her in excruciating pain and depressed.  To cheer up, she got a white fluffy Maltese puppy and named him Louie de Coton or "Louie" for short.   Louie went everywhere with her.  He healed her pain, alleviated her sadness, and even became designated as an emotional 'service dog' by her doctor so she could bring him everywhere with her.   Even pilates! Louie changed her life.  

But little Louie got cold easily. So Faye began designing technical dog clothes for him.  She has searched everywhere to find the finest high-quality, high-performance materials to create fashionable clothes for small dogs.  She was looking for things that weren't bulky but provided warmth in a light-weight fabric. You are North-westerners...think Gore-Tex/Northface/Patagonia styles.  Her other priority was finding safe/environmental free/made in the USA materials and doing her manufacturing locally.  There are rain jackets, fleeces, and even lined messenger bags for your little pooches.  Why should humans be the only ones spoiled by awesome weather-proof clothing when your dogs are chilly too?

Louie de Coton products can be found online or at BooBoo Barkery in Kirkland.  Prices range from $27-75. Louie has since passed on, but his legacy lives through Faye and her passion for designing high-end clothes for little dogs.  ~j



Inga Carlson Turns 104. Yes, really. 104.

Inga   IngaCarlson104

On Wednesday February 19th, Inga Carlson celebrated her 104th birthday at the Columbia Athletic Club pool with her 'aqua aerobics' friends.  You know you are awesome if you are 104 and still have aqua aerobics friends! "She used to take those classes three times a week until she was 100," says her friend Rozann Cherry.  And she played golf until she was 98.  And didn't give up her car until she was 97  ( I may have been behind her on the 405 a few times?). This lady is a spitfire! I want to be Inga Carlson someday.

Inga lived most of her life in Redmond growing up on an 84 acres farm near Novelty Hill.  She was a teacher for 15 yrs and also a principal of two elementary schools before she moved to NYC with her architect husband, Carl, in 1947.  After her husband passed away, she returned to the Northwest and moved to Juanita in Kirkland.  One time, there was a fire in her condo building, and a fireman carried her down to safety.  Then she made him go back in to her place for her purse.  Ha-Gotta love Inga! She currently resides in a small adult family home in Redmond.  

When Inga was asked if she ever thought she would live long enough to see a black president, she shared that the only president she ever saw in person was Calvin Coolidge outside a building she was in.  That was in the early 20's.  Amazing! Inga doesn't admit to knowing what the secret to a long life is, but her friends all say it's because she never had kids.   LOL, I guess I may be in trouble.  Power to ya, Inga! ~j

A Naked Cow & Coyote?

Alright Kirklanders- I think this is a no-brainer, but I need your opinion to validate my sanity.  And your COMMENTS at the end of this post (not in my inbox, pls!) so your voice can be heard.  

It has come to my attention that the attire of our cow and coyote in the center of downtown is in question. SomeBODY is very unhappy that our art sculptures are treated with such inhumanity at every holiday.  Red scarves at Valentine's, or rallied up in Seahawks gear for the big Superbowl game, or Easter baskets and bonnets in the springtime -it's all a flurry of turmoil and the Cultural Art Commission is holding a meeting on Weds 2/19 at 4pm in the Rose Hill Room (City Hall) to decide what kinds of rules/regulations they need to adopt to address this issue.  

I am not kidding here people.  There is a city meeting to discuss the dress code for our beloved cow and coyote, whom I am pretty sure would freeze without the hand-sewn treasures that adoring citizens wrap onto them in good-natured fun on their own time.  This whimsical display, in my opinion, represents Kirkland and who we are- we are a community that is artsy, smart, generous, outdoorsy, unique, clever, respectful, humorous, appreciative and tightly knit.  I look forward to turning onto Central Way to see what those two are wearing and my kids point and chuckle as if the cow and coyote are their old friends.  I'm pretty sure I see them smile back at us, too.  Don't suck the smiles out of our everyday lives! ~j  


X Factor's Phillip Lomax: Last summer performance at Lucia on Aug 21st

Let's rally a monster crowd of fans for local star, Phillip Lomax, this Weds Aug 21st from 9:30-midnight at Lucia in Kirkland Park Place.  Phillip was a finalist on X Factor 2011 and made his mark as a young crooner wearing a fedora and singing Sinatra's "Fly Me to the Moon" for his audition.  I didn't watch the show, but I checked the videos and can tell he's a charmer with a contagious smile and serenading voice that you won't want to miss for his last summer performance. Joining Phillip will be Eric Robert on the keyboard and Maurice Bailey on drums. There's no cover charge, but tips are welcome. Always great food and drink at Lucia- make a night of it!

Party at George's with Funnymen Keister and McBeth on 5/3

 Who couldn't use a good laugh? ( and EVERYBODY loves George's.....)

Comedian2  Comedian

On Friday May 3rd @ 6pm you can come meet the funny men of Almost Live! and The [206] John Keister and Brooks McBeth at
George’s.  Don’t miss this exclusive opportunity to meet Seattle’s Comedic Icon and National Headliner and other surprise guests @ George’s. They’re coming to George’s just before their performance at KPC to have dinner, take photos and sign autographs. Jubal Flagg from 92.5 will also be there with a few other surprise guests.

Ticket info:

Get your tickets to this awesome show at Kirkland Performance Center, just after you get a chance to meet them at George's!
Tickets to the Comedy Show at KPC are 20.00- I just bought mine!  Still more available...


From Knockers to Adventures

About a year and a half ago I did a post on Ellyn Oaksmith, a local author who had just self-published a book called "Knockers."  It's always fun to have a follow-up post that boasts a success story. Ellyn just let me know that  Knockers was picked up by Harper Collins and will be published this Tuesday, under a new title Adventures with Max and Louise.  There will be an e-book release February 12th-- just in time for Valentine's day.  What a great treat to buy yourself for $2.99. 

Here's how Ellyn said it happened.... "An agent in New York got half way through the book and called me, asking if I had representation. I had just gotten a glowing review on and so people were calling me out of the blue. I was busy working on my next book DIVINE MOVES, which I will be done with on Tuesday in time for the book launch so didn't think much of it. I signed with the agent thinking nothing would happen. She called me a couple of weeks later with 3 offers. I went with Harper Collins because they were the most enthusiastic and established publisher. Having the manuscript polished and vetted by their team has been a dream come true. The line editor, who did the final polish, made sure that everything, right down to the cell phones in the story were the right vintage andmodel, that restaurants in Seattle were still open that I'd mentioned and even let me know that my timeline fore one character was physically impossible and I had to change WWI to WWII. Instead of feeling stupid, I felt lucky to have someone like that watch my back. I'd much rather plow out the story, doing my best and have someone with a keen eye vet out the details."

Isn't that so cool? I just wanted to share the news with you all so you can get Adventures with Max and Louise downloaded and congratulate Ellyn yourself.  Sounds like some Kirkland Blog readers are her biggest fans, myself included.  Way to go Ellyn! ~j 


Santa at Kirkland ParkPlace

Did you know that you don't have to go to the mall to visit Santa? He is right here in Kirkland, but his location is a little hidden this year, and so he's not feeling the charms of the season that our children bring him.  Go have a chat, take some pictures, spread some cheer! Tucked back by the movie theater at Kirkland Park Place is St. Nick himself, and there's toys to play with, no line and you get your photos developed promptly.  The photographer, Michael, with John Galt Productions, is keeping Santa's shop open for the following days/hours:

Dec 1st and 2nd...11am-7pm

Dec 9th and 9th....11am-7pm

Dec 11th-14th.....12pm-7pm

Dec 15th-24th......11am-7pm

Then you can always mosey on up to The Heathman to check out their living tree in the lobby, which will be donated to Everest Park in January.