BOSA’s Newest Bellevue Project, ONE88, is Re-Defining Luxury

BOSA’s Newest Bellevue Project, ONE88, is Re-Defining Luxury

For the first time in a decade, Bellevue is seeing new condominiums added to its city skyline. With an estimated completion date of spring 2020, BOSA has already started picking entries from their lottery-style showing and sale process.

A luxury, high-rise condo building, BOSA’s new experience in premier living broke ground last September. Their units will be a mix of 1-bedrooms, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom units and void of studios; and will range from the mid $800 thousands to mid-$2.9 million. Though pricing hasn’t been publicly disclosed for the 21st floor, three-bedroom penthouse you can inquire your request.

Unlike Insignia, ONE88 offers only 143 spanning across 21 stories of luxurious living. Enjoy well-planned units, each with its own view of Bellevue via your personal, outdoor living space, complete with electric hookups. Interior square-footages span from 752 square feet to 2,849 square feet, excluding the penthouse, which tap out closer to 2,948.

Live large in more ways than one. Their kitchens are where form meets function with a collection of high performance, German-engineered Gaggenau appliances, Kohler faucets, and intuitive NEST technology and home automation.

But these premier homes aren’t just packed with luxury appliances. Their redefinition of the word concierge puts their service on a new level, including a weekly e-newsletter, including social events and special events calendar.

The range of services offered, range from personal services and domestic, personal, and healthful referrals, including:

  • Onsite Chef Concierge services
  • A 24-hour attended lobby reception
  • Rotating lobby art installation
  • Weekend lobby lounge coffee service
  • Package and grocery delivery acceptance and storage
  • High-speed wiki throughout amenity area
  • Fitness center towel service
  • Private building and restricted elevator access
  • Bicycle storage and tune-up station
  • Underground, gated resident parking
  • Communicable electric car charging station
  • Dedicated pet retreat
  • Convenient, ground floor retail

And these are the basic ones. The building offers a private fitness center and yoga and exercise studio. High ceiling and expansive windows lookout from a fully-equipped fitness facility with cardio equipment, free weights, and multi-gym system, allowing you private, all-hours access all within the comforts of home. The yoga-exercise studio is outfitted with a virtual fitness screen, yoga mats, and strength training accessories, so you can plan your own workout and have a private place for your personal trainer to come to you.

Practice your swing or play a virtual round with friends in the golf-simulation studio.

The indoor pool, steam room, and sauna are enticing features for the chilly, Pacific Northwest. Enjoy year-round, heated water access all within your architecturally beautiful atrium, which features soaring ceilings. Adjacent changing rooms, steam room, and sauna are also no shy accessory.

The expansive third-floor terrace allows you two spread out and savor the views. Host a summer barbeque or enjoy the sky-shows throughout the year from your private, landscaped terrace with adjacent fireplace lounge, grilling and dining areas, artistic features, and grassy area for outdoor yoga, meditation, or lawn games. The fifth floor also offers a terrace overlooking the city and nearby park.

Reserve the resident lounge if your party is larger than your thousand-plus square foot pad and use the open and versatile space to create a comfortable, yet stylish statement. If you’re hosting a dinner part, you can also reserve the private dining room, featuring a chef-par kitchen and dining room featuring high-end appliances, communal table, and large, entertaining island.

One last major amenity we’ll cover here is the children’s play room, which proves a comfortable and creative space for expanding minds. Age and height appropriate seating, play, and bathroom facilities are just a few of the things you’ll find here.

The homeowner’s association fees approximate around $625 to $2,807 per month.

Located on the corner of Bellevue Way Northeast and Northwest 2nd street, you’re steps away from lounging on the lush green of Bellevue’s Downtown Park, shopping at the Bellevue Collection, or enjoying dinner at any of Bellevue’s amazing eateries.

Though acceptance is figured by a lottery system, the ONE88 condominium building will still prove bountiful to the area. Its architectural beauty offers a captivating visual for anyone gazing at Bellevue’s expanding city skyline and it offers an immersive, Bellevue lifestyle that is both rich in culture and full of artistic, transportation, and recreational options.

Curious about some other neat facts about Bellevue’s bustling community?

Needless to say, Bellevue is Seattle’s contender on several levels and, while we aren’t sure which is top rated, it’s no wonder why people are flocking to the city.

7 Of Bellevue’s Most Beloved Parks

7 Of Bellevue’s Most Beloved Parks

Modern Bellevue is known for its forest-forward momentum, and they quite enjoy beautiful green spaces in tandem of their ever-developing city. With over 2,700 acres of park and 80-miles of trails, they indulge over 10,000 happy participants annually.

With the seasons in this state of flux, we’re swiveling between the weather forecast and the clouds in the sky. Washingtonians and Seattleites love the great outdoors, and the number one thing we wait for as the winter thaws is the first few days of warm sunshine – no, not this cold sun we’ve been experiencing, though it’s still pleasant in its own icy-breath way.

DOWNTOWN BELLEVUE PARK

The Bellevue Downtown Park was re-imagined into a 21-acre oasis in the heart of downtown Bellevue. Completely rejuvenated in 2017, this monolith of Bellevue culture and recreation. Enjoy a 240-foot wide waterfall as it crashes into a reflecting pond, or a ten-acre designated lawnspace for picnics, reading, or relaxing in the sun against the tremendous Bellevue skyline.

Other amenities include the INSPIRATIONAL PLAYGROUND, where children “explore at their own pace” and their passion for play is encouraged.

THE BELLEVUE BOTANICAL GARDENS

Though no dogs are allowed, the Bellevue Botanical Gardens are an amazing place of urban play, encompassing 53-acres of cultivated gardens, restored woodlands, and natural wetlands. Whether you’re looking for a day surrounded by beauty or to expand your knowledge of Pacific Northwest foliage, their live collections “showcase plants that thrive” in the area.

KELSEY CREEK PARK & FARM EXPERIENCE

Open 365 days per year, the Kelsey Creek Park of 150-acres of forest, meadows, and wetlands that offer insight into Bellevue’s historic past. But Kelsey Creek Park is just a park in the area. Visit the farm and immerse yourself in Bellevue’s farmhouse roots. A free recreational opportunity, this urban oasis offers hiking, picnic areas, a playground, open grassy area, day camps, and summer volunteer opportunities.

Though pets are allowed at the Kelsey Creek Community Park, they aren’t at the Kelsey Creek Farm – but don’t worry, you’ll have a bunch of farm critters to enjoy!

CROSSROADS PARK

A mega-community center, Crossroads Park is 34+ acres of activity, including the Crossroads Par-3 Golf Course, Crossroads Community Center, Bellevue Youth Theatre, and Water Spray Playground. Aside from these amazing amenities, the park also offers tennis courts, basketball courts, a shores shoe pit, a skate bowl, play areas, picnic shelters, jogging paths, and tons of open greenspace for play and relaxation.

Home to Bellevue’s annual Strawberry Festival, Crossroads park is near Crossroads Mall, local restaurants, and plenty of transportation options.

LAKE HILLS GREENBELT PARK

Touted as a community hub, the Lake Hill Greenbelt stretches between Phantom and Larson Lakes via the Lake to Lake Trail, a 3-mile trail through the massive, 150-acre expanse of diverse wildlife habitats, which includes forests, wetlands, streams, and lakes.

The Lake Hills Community Gardens & P-Patches are near the Bellevue Park Ranger Station off SE 16th Street – also near Lake Hill Farm Fresh Produce market and southern Lake to Lake Trailhead.  Though much of the park is greenspace, wetlands, or part of the Blueberry Farms and is only traversable via dedicated trails, the 3-miles of trail can bring you to Phantom Lake and Phantom Lake Park, which offers another 2.4-miles of trail, fishing areas, and a small dock.

MERCER SLOUGH NATURE PARK

With 7+ miles of dedicated trail, Mercer Slough Nature Park is perfect for people looking to get out of the big city. Though the Winters House is currently closed through 2022 for light rail construction, you can still enjoy one of Lake Washington’s remaining freshwater wetlands. Explore over 320 acres of Bellevue largest park and a diverse expanse of freshwater wetland ecology and educational purpose. A partnership between the Mercer Slough Environmental Educational Center and the Pacific Science Center instilled such purpose and drive through activities such as free guided ranger walks and guided canoe tours.

ROBINSWOOD COMMUNITY PARK

Near Bellevue College, Robinswood Community Park is full of recreation, including lit softball and soccer/lacrosse fields, ten wooded acres of trails, a children’s play area, and lush open spaces and adjoining pond.

Two corrals offer different spaces for off-leash, human-pup recreation – one with a small shelter to escape the Seattle drizzle.

NEWCASTLE BEACH PARK

One of Bellevue’s most southern parks, Newcastle Beach Park is a popular place for swimming, sunbathing, and short nature trails. With lifeguards on duty late-June through Labor Day, the area is most bustling during the summer season – when the sun is out, and the air is dry. Plan a picnic or host a barbeque, and enjoy the day away surrounded by family and friends.

We’ve mentioned a few local, Bellevue events during this article…  Are you curious about all the events going on in Bellevue, Washington? We are too – so, check out their calendar of awesome upcoming events!

Do you have a favorite park or place in Bellevue or are you more curious about the area? Tell us about it!


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For more information, please contact Jay Agoado.
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6 of Our Favorite Breakfast Places in Seattle, Mercer Island & Bellevue

6 of Our Favorite Breakfast Places in Seattle, Mercer Island & Bellevue

What’s the most important meal of the day – and one of our favorites? Why, breakfast, of course! The Pacific Northwest holds tons of hyper-local secrets in the breakfast world, but what are the area’s favorites? We’ve done breakfast posts before, but we’re breaking down our favorite breakfast and brunch places in Seattle, Mercer Island, and the Greater Eastside, why their so delicious and our suggestions.

Hidden in a cozy storefront off 24th in Old Ballard, Seattle you’ll find a darling treasure named Café Besalu, specializing in handmade pastries and handcrafted espresso. Since selling to Herkimer Coffee in 2017, the café has seen a few minor tweaks, but the same delicious pastries that call for lines out the door and ritualistic regulars remain.

Do you love artisan baked goods? Flaky goodness in every bite? Their humble outside appearance opens to a well-oiled machine and delightful breakfast treat. If you’re looking for something small, a drink and pastry combination perhaps, peek into this shop!

Nestled in the bustling city, the Tilikum Place Café features a classic breakfast menu, in a welcoming, aromatic atmosphere. Breathe in the morning of eggs benedict Dutch Baby pancakes, and indulge with either classic, sweet, or savory!

You might wait for a table, and you might wait for your scrumptious foods, but you’ll enjoy the high quality, high energy, and beautiful setting. Keep in mind, this little café usually doesn’t have space for walk-ins, and reservations are oftentimes books weeks in advanced.

A downtown Mercer Island classic, Bennett’s Bistro has long served the Mercer Island community with authentic and original foods. Part of Sugar Mountain, Bennett’s uses premium ingredients, Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, and a “whole food” commitment.

Bennett’s Bistro uses a ton of ingredients from its sister companies, including Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, Mama Lil’s Peppers, and other Sugar Mountain companies. Enjoy the mouthwatering nature of handcrafted foods, straight from “the earth, the sea, and the vine,” from local Washington sources, including Carnation, Yakima, Bellingham, and the Olympic Mountains.

A newer, local favorite is Mioposto on Mercer Island. Its original storefront opened in March of 2006 in the Mount Baker neighborhood in Seattle, but they recently opened a sister site on Mercer Island and recently celebrated their one-year anniversary (in January 2018, opened January 2017). Literally translated to “my pace” in Italian, Mioposto was inspired by traditional Neapolitan pizzerias from their aesthetic to their ingredient sources.

Crafted in open-flame ovens, their foods are handcrafted with care and attention, by skilled oveners incredibly in-tune with their ovens and kitchens. They form unique recipes and beautiful displays, but don’t take our word for it – try it yourself!

Like Seattle, Bellevue has a ton of boutique eateries local and visitors love indulging in, including the French Bakery. There are several locations across the Eastside, including Bellevue, Redmond, and Kirkland, and each offers a unique experience and flaky pastries.

Made savory and sweet, their delightful pastries and desserts are crafted daily for your repeated enjoyment. Looking for a meeting space with light fare, or a place to camp out while you get some work done? Grab a coffee for energy and a croissant for brain power here!

Located in the heart of Bellevue, the Bellden Café started like many other local restaurants: with a simple idea and lot of love, commitments, and passion. Coffee and food bring people together, and that was precisely the idea behind this love project.

Behind the chaotic times is a menu filled with you, the customer, in mind. Their menu changes periodically to keep up with the demand and season, but their delicious coffee stays the same, carving the Bellden Café into the Bellevue lifestyle.

We’re sure we missed some of your favorites. What are they? Where are they? And why are they amazing?

Top 15 Washington School Districts

Top 15 Washington School Districts

There is no doubt that Washington, specifically the Seattle area, is growing, but what does that mean for our public-school system? Usually, that means our class sizes grow and become slightly less one-on-one, unless our systems and tools are growing alongside our population.

Depending on what you’re rating, graduation rate, class size, test scores, etc., you and your neighbor might have a different determination of what makes a great school or district the best. Schools are one thing families looking to grow might look into when searching for their new home, and with good reason.

Niche.com combines statistical data with authentic reviews to rate districts. Similar to websites like Yelp for food, Niche has reviews from real families, with real experiences rating on their site, and while their reviews are only a portion of their rating, it’s an excellent resource and provides “real life” insight into the district or school.

The Top 15 School Districts in Washington State

  1. Bellevue School District
  2. Mercer Island School District
  3. Lake Washington School District
  4. Issaquah School District
  5. Bainbridge Island School District
  6. Camas School District
  7. Northshore School District
  8. University Place School District
  9. Seattle Public Schools
  10. Shoreline School District
  11. Tahoma School District
  12. Vashon Island School District
  13. Olympia School District
  14. Oakesdale School District
  15. Mukilteo School District

Especially if you’re moving from outside the state, or even across the state, this website might be what you need to help make your next move – and don’t worry, it’s not just for Washingtonians. Find out about schools across the nation!

This list is a combination of smaller districts and mega-districts, proving that smaller schools and districts can achieve educational success and college-readiness with limited resources and small funding pools. According to Eric Webb, superintendent for the Orcas Island School District, success in schools can be found by shifting focus to education for all grades and not on barriers that separate.

If you’re looking for more hard and statistical data, take a peek at the Washington State Report and check the summary of the district you’re considering!


Overall reviews based on a blend of statistical data, district reviews from actual families, and Mathematics & English test scores.


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180206_002_FullRes.jpg

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Remodeled mid-century rambler ideally located on the North End of MI. Large, sunny lot close to schools and parks with easy access to I-90 for commuters going east or west. Brand new kitchen includes custom Kerf cabinets, stainless appliances, quartz counters & 10-foot island with seating for four. Walls of windows bring the outdoors in from your fenced backyard—a perfect summer sanctuary. Double-paned windows, A/C, generator, tankless water heater, newer furnace & so much more!

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Jay@JayAgoado.net • 425.260.0715 • JayAgoado.net

Catch a Movie on a Rainy Day at Any of These 6 Local Cinemas

Catch a Movie on a Rainy Day at Any of These 6 Local Cinemas

When was the last time you went to the movies, instead of just waiting for it to come out on Blu-ray? There’s just something about the smell of popcorn and butter, dark surroundings, and blaring surround-sound to make you jump during a frightful scene or tug on your heartstrings during a particularly emotional one.

These Seattle-Eastside local theaters are great for experiencing the movie, even if you weren’t able to actually be on-set while filming…

Half-theatre, half-museum, the Cinerama in Belltown saw a massive renovation in 1999, catapulting it into the spotlight of Seattle cinemas. After over a decade of staggering success, the Cinerama saw another huge upgrade in 2014, featuring 6P digital laser projection systems and other upgrades to the sound systems, seating, and concessions. Today, it features the original costumes from Star Wars, Star Trek, Blade Runner, and Batman, among others. The classic, Cinerama experience, remains a peak into Seattle history.

Off Market Street in the heart of Ballard, you’ll find the Majestic Bay Theatres. Completely reimagined in 1998, the theater was at the forefront of the Seattle movie resurgence. Upgraded with graceful and traditional lines and signature movie-style traditions, invite all to the triplex theater. Whether you’re an individual or company event, the Majestic Bay offers meeting facilities and special event hosting for corporate events, birthdays, and private parties.

 In the Columbia City community, you’ll find this charming neighborhood theater: The Ark Lodge Cinemas. Though petite in size, the theater makes up for its size with adorable allure, affordable prices, and the fact that it’s locally owned. They have the standard seating-style theater, but also have the Prestige Room, where the standard seating has been replaced with comfy, faux-velvet sofas and side tables for your refreshments! It’s near the downtown area of Columbia City, where you can enjoy a meal at Wabi-Sabi Sushi, The Taproot Café & Bar or the classic, Columbia City Bakery before enjoying your showing!

The destination of many school fieldtrips, the Boeing IMAX Theater at the Pacific Science Center has been a mainstay since it was built. Home to two state-of-the-art theaters, you’ll enjoy your favorite flicks in IMAX 3D. Some have said that if there’s a movie “actually filmed in IMAX 3D”, you “don’t want to see anywhere else in Seattle.” Make your experience and entire day, and visit the Pacific Science Center, the Seattle Armory, or the Museum of Pop culture while you’re there!

The Cinemark Lincoln Square cinema is a local favorite. Their expansive selection makes them the go-to theater on the Eastside, and its proximity to the Bellevue Collection (Bell-Square Mall) makes it great for a night out and the “movie” part of the classic “dinner and a movie” trope. Great for family adventures, friend night outs, or date nights – the Cinemark Lincoln Square offers a centralized location for fun and food.

If you’re looking for a 21+ experience, the Cinebarre in Mountlake Terrace offers dinner and a movie, without leaving the comforts of your chair – or the movie at hand. Watch your latest favorites with a drink in hand (cocktails, soda, milkshakes, and more!) and a sandwich, pizza, salad of burger in front of you! Though you won’t find the same smell of popcorn as prominent you’ll find a different experience on comfy seats, great movies, and fabulous friends. Fun fact: they also have on in Issaquah!

Do you have any favorite local theaters we haven’t mentioned? Any that ring a spark in your life?

A New Hobby to Kick Off the New Year! Check Out Any of These Local Meetups!

A New Hobby to Kick Off the New Year! Check Out Any of These Local Meetups!

Are you wanting to get out more in 2018? How about trying your hand at a new hobby or gaining a new skill? Or perhaps you already know what you’ll enjoy, but are looking for amazing people to share it with.

Meetup groups can be an amazing way to get out in our communities, learn new skills, and hone new passions and hobbies. Groups like this allow us to get outside of our comfort zones, and harness the power of face-to-face gatherings as a point of networking between members and organizers.

Meetups can be more than just way to get out of your house, but it can also help you birth, grow and develop friendships, hone your interests, or learn more about business and entrepreneurialism. These groups are excellent resources on many levels, and can offer tons of insight into whatever you’re looking to learn.

The Greater Seattle has tons of meetups to choose from, and you can use websites like MeetUp.com to find the one that sings to you? We’ve compiled a list of the Seattle area’s most favorite:

Sports, Activity, & Adventure:

Writing Groups:

Book Clubs:

Tech Groups:

Pet & Pups:

Regardless if you’re into the tech industry, learning, music or eating (or anything else), there’s a group for you – and, if you don’t see exactly what you’re searching for, that’s okay! Try your hand at your own meetup, and coordinating your own group to your akin preferences.

Do you have any favorite meetups in the area?

6 Mouth-Watering Eateries in Bellevue, Washington

6 Mouth-Watering Eateries in Bellevue, Washington

Bellevue is known for many things: lux real estate, unique boutiques, and luxury shops. One thing that goes hand in hand with upscale shops, are amazing restaurants. But, which are the most highly rated? While no restaurant we could find had a distinguished 5-star online review rating, we’ve compiled a list of the top 6 restaurants in Bellevue, and where you can find them!

John Howie Steak Restaurant has proved a long-time, Eastside favorite. Their menus comprise traditional steakhouse fares, but they also offer seafood and vegetarian options. Across the board, people love the experience and friendly faces they encounter, and they’re conveniently located at the Shops at the Bravern in downtown Bellevue.

Another restaurant located in downtown Bellevue, Facing East offers Taiwanese cuisine with a unique twist. With so many options, you’d figure it would be hard to decide – and it totally is! Reviewers note their menu has several “MUST get” options!

Looking for something light and fresh? Try Bellden Café! Located in the heart of Bellevue, their artisanal eats allow just that. Though their menu may seem simple, they offer nutrition with a punch, including avocado-packed toast, nutrient-dense salads, and home-style and basic sandwiches.

When Din Tai Fung was new it gathered crowds around the corner, waiting for their delightfully crafted dumplings. A fledgling company in 1972, they quickly received rave reviews and an extensive following all over the world. There’s another location in Tukwila, if you’re interested in checking it out!

Located off the main strip, El Gaucho rises above many other Bellevue restaurants as a local fan-favorite. Their wall of windows glisten by day and sparkle by night, in their welcoming atmosphere of Eastside eateries. This steakhouse also offers seafoods, poultry, vegetarian, and a wonderful sharable menu!

We’re rounding out this Eastside eating list with a long-time favorite: Lot No. 3. Classic comfort foods, this vintage-inspired eatery offers a mouth-watering brunch, lunch, and dinner menu, including classics such as fish & chips and mac & cheese, but also some unique flavors, including their elk burger and PB&J&B (peanut butter, mixed bery jam, and bacon on sourdough!

Don’t see your favorite on this list? Let us know what it is in the comments below!

The Eastside’s 5 Hottest Neighborhoods of 2017

The Eastside’s 5 Hottest Neighborhoods of 2017

Many areas across the Eastside experienced boundless growth, and are expected to grow into 2018, albeit, at a lesser rate. Windermere’s Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner, gave us insight into what 2018 might have in store for homeowners and home prices. You can read the entire article at WindermereMercerIsland.com/Trends.

Jan18-SM2

The Eastside and Seattle offer their own set of unique offerings, but people are looking at much more than local amenities and locale for their newest home purchase. While location is key, come are prospecting outside of local major metropolises for their purchase. Why? Because outside of major cities, like Bellevue, Seattle or Redmond, you may find more bang for your buck. More home for your dollar – and that is crucial, especially when you’re searching for a family home.

Area #5 WEST BELLEVUE experiences a 16% increase, which is still staggering on its own.

West Bellevue is at the heart of the city’s center. The name “Bellevue” is French for “beautiful view”. In 2014, Bellevue was ranked as the 2nd best place to live in the nation by USA Today. The addition of many new high-rise condominium and apartments over the past decade has changed the scene in downtown Bellevue making it a very hip, walkable, and vibrant part of the Eastside. Many highly-desirable, longstanding and well-maintained single-family neighborhoods snuggle in to the north and south of downtown. Click here to read the entire article.

Area #4 KIRKLAND saw a 16.7% increase, in year over year prices.

Kirkland, a community of over 80,000 people, is fortunate to have a vibrant downtown area located on the waterfront of Lake Washington. Its proximity to I-405 and 520 provides easy access to Seattle, Bellevue and the Eastside. Kirkland has so much to offer residents and visitors: the arts, outdoor recreation, vibrant dining options, and unique local shops. The award-winning Lake Washington School District serves the residents of Kirkland with outstanding local schools. To read the entire article, click here.

Area #3 MERCER ISLAND homes experienced a 17.1% increase.

Centrally located between Seattle and Bellevue is the beautiful city of Mercer Island. Home to 22,000+ residents, Mercer Island is the most populated lake-bound island in the United States. While it is an island, it is directly connected to Seattle and Bellevue city centers via Interstate 90. Mercer Island’s location in Lake Washington tops the list of attractive attributes regarding the “Rock” and makes Mercer Island a premier Puget Sound community. The north end Town Center offers a dynamic urban village vibe with shops, restaurants, coffee cafes, and professional service providers amidst and upscale condo and apartment residences. To read the entire article, click here.

Area #2 The EASTSIDE SOUTH, including neighborhoods like Newport Hills and Somerset, saw a 17.4% increase in prices, year over year.

The Bellevue neighborhood of Somerset, with its iconic perch overlooking not only Bellevue surrounds, Lake Washington and Seattle—but also Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains in the distance on a clear day—is a favorite vantage point to take in panoramic views of Bellevue and Seattle. Click here to read about Bellevue.

Area #1 The most dramatic increase over the region was in EAST BELLEVUE, who saw a 20.4% increase – a larger increase than Seattle’s highest year over year, which was BEACON HILL/MOUNT BAKER at 20%.

The Woodridge neighborhood, located in the City of Bellevue, is just south of downtown and east of Interstate 405. Characterized by quiet no-through streets and comfortable homes – many with views of Lake Washington, downtown Bellevue and Seattle, this community is truly just off the beaten path. Woodridge Elementary School, a part of Bellevue School District, is just at the top of the hill. Local parks include Bannerwood Ballfield Park, Kelsey Creek Park, Norwood Village Park, and Woodridge Water Tower Park. Click here to read the entire article.

Overall, the lowest eastside increase was East Lake Sammamish, which saw a 13.2% increase year over year – which is almost double the national average at 6.7%. The Greater Seattle area, and surrounding regions, are experiencing seemingly limitless growth.

Which areas are you looking forward to in 2018? Or in which areas are you considering your upcoming home purchase? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll let you know some fabulous happenings in that area!

6 Shopping Fan-Favorites on Main Street, in Bellevue, Washington

6 Shopping Fan-Favorites on Main Street, in Bellevue, Washington

Are you all shopped out from the holiday season? We are – but there are also a ton of after-season sales going on! If you find yourself in the mood, but want to avoid the rush of local malls, try Main Street, near downtown Bellevue.

Often referred to as Old-Bellevue, visit the heart of the city with great food and interesting shops, in a vibrant portrayal of “small-town” living in an urban metropolis. Visit and imagine everything surrounding it as strawberry fields, and you’ll get a decent depiction of what the area used to look like; but now this not-so hidden, Eastside gem bustles with cafes, bars, and boutique shopping.

Glassybaby is an establishment any charity lover can get behind. With locations along the West Coast, their glassblowers handcraft each “glassbaby”, ensuring the highest quality in your unique product – and this beautiful oasis of color offers a donation with ever purchase.

Do you have a kid in your family? Or a friend or family member you’re looking to buy for? Wee Tots Children’s Store on Main Street in downtown Bellevue, Washington is perfect for all types of children’s gear! Toys? Clothes? Or maybe some larger furnishings? This upscale infant and children outfitter offers quality!

Old and Elegant offers just that: antique-style fixtures and furnishings for your home. This unique retailor procures the finest wood and metal findings, alongside helpful, knowledgeable and honest owners and staff.

Looking to get the new year started right? Check out Title Nine for all things athleticwear and gear. With a business based on inspiring the world around us, you’ll surely find something for yourself or a friend!

Cozy into bed with Soaring Heart comfort. With a plan only to provide you with a night of great sleep, they let you know exactly what you’re buying – the fabrics included in their organic material, lack of toxic chemicals, and recycled and reused materials. Each mattress is handcrafted by precision builders.

And if you’re looking to furnish the rest of your home, check out LUXE + WOODS Urban Designs, where they believe ever furnishing should be as unique as you! Their one-of-a-kind creations, fit no mold in their beautiful boldness.

Located blocks away from Lincoln Square and the Bellevue Collection, Main Street in Bellevue, Washington shopping is nothing if not luxe-inspired. Regardless of if you’re looking for yourself, a friend, or your sister’s children, you’ll find something unique.

What are you favorite shopping stores in downtown Bellevue?

8 of Our Favorite Restaurants in Renton, Washington

8 of Our Favorite Restaurants in Renton, Washington

In ideally located Renton, Washington, you’ll find tons of new restaurants to try. Whether at the Renton Landing, perched in the Highlands, or hidden in a downtown, brick building, Renton offers a variety of cuisines to please the entire family.

Located near the Landing and Coulon Beach, Peyrassol Café offers a selection of brunch, lunch, and dinner specials, raised, grown, and crafted locally. With firm roots in the Pacific Northwest, Peyrassol Café has, since the beginning, used local purveyors to supply their high-quality eats. (http://www.peyrassolcafe.com)

Perched in the Highlands of Renton, off State Route 900 & Duvall Avenue, is Sushi Roll Roll Roll. Consistently touted as “excellent” and a local favorite, patrons enjoy a cozy atmosphere alongside friendly service. (https://www.yelp.com/biz/sushi-roll-roll-roll-renton?frvs=True&osq=Restaurants)

Big Island Poke is another local hit. Created by a People of the Chubs partner, this island-style eatery quickly ravaged the hearts of residents as a go-to poke establishment. Fresh and high-quality, this place is great for your Hawaiian taste buds! (http://www.bigislandpokeinc.com/)

Offering a delight lunch and dinner menu, Vino at the Landing has melted the hearts of local with their love of wine and fine foods. Whether you’re looking for a gather space before a night out, a bottle of wine for the evening, or a fabulous place for dinner, Vino at the Landing is your place! (https://www.vinoatthelanding.com/)

Ideally boutique, Smoking Monkey Pizza has consistently been awarded for the winning recipes, including #1 Pizza in Renton, Washington. A blend of traditional and modern loves, Smoking Monkey Pizzas offer the standards, and indulge in the unique. (https://www.smokingmonkeypizza.com)

Another fan favorite and Renton Highlands establishment, The Brick Pub & Grill offers passion alongside quality and artisan cuisine. Indulge in local and fresh ingredients with their passion-driven menu of WA craft beer, NW wine, and decadent eats. (http://www.thebrickpubrenton.com/)

If you’re looking for German cuisine, the Berliner Pub has you covered! Located near the heart of downtown Renton, their menu reflects a German Beerhall with long, shared tables with traditional fares and a full-range of beers! (http://www.berlinerpub.com)

And now, one of Renton, Washington’s favorite restaurants continues to be the Melrose Grill. Highly regarded in articles by the Seattle Times, Tacoma News Tribune, and Seattle Weekly, this “Best of Western Washington” establishment brings steak to another level. (http://www.melrosegrill.com/)

Renton, Washington is an easy drive to both the Eastside and Seattle – and only minutes from the Seatac Airport.

Do you have a favorite place near Renton you’d like to share? What are you hoping for dinner tonight?

Bellevue & Mercer Island School District Information: January 2018 Edition

Bellevue & Mercer Island School District Information: January 2018 Edition

This will be a week of schools, as we head into the new year and another season of change. When home searching, schools may be at the top of your mind – especially if you have school-age children.

Being in a good school district has more to offers than premier schools, extracurricular activities, and high test scores. A decent school district, such as the Bellevue and Mercer Island districts, can also combat lags in real estate or can be the selling point for a potential buyer. And if you have or are planning on having children, they’ll only benefit from top schools.

The Bellevue and Mercer Island School Districts are highly regarded in the area for high mathematics and English scores and overall college readiness – and it’s safe to say both areas offer fabulous housing, are great for families, and decent employment opportunities.

Mercer Island School District

Total Students: 4,513
College Readiness: 59.3%
Proficient in English: 83%
Proficient in Mathematics: 84%

Complete MISD Information

Mercer Island High School
Graduation Rate: 93.5%
Total Students: 1,484
Total Teachers: 82
Average Years of Teachers Experience: 13.5
Teachers with at Least a Master’s Degree: 73.2%

Bellevue School District

Total Students: 20,461
College Readiness: 70.1%
Proficient in English: 71%
Proficient in Mathematics: 78%

Complete BSD405 Information

Bellevue High School
Graduation Rate: 87.3%
Total Students: 1,624
Total Teachers: 91
Average Years of Teachers Experience: 12.5
Teachers with at Least a Master’s Degree: 76.9%

Big Picture High School
Graduation Rate: 83.3%
Total Students: 350
Total Teachers: 35
Average Years of Teachers Experience: 7.8
Teachers with at Least a Master’s Degree: 65.7%

Interlake High School
Graduation Rate: 87.4%
Total Students: 1,627
Total Teachers: 101
Average Years of Teachers Experience: 10.2
Teachers with at Least a Master’s Degree: 78.2%

International High School
Graduation Rate: 100.00%
Total Students: 569
Total Teachers: 43
Average Years of Teachers Experience: 10.9
Teachers with at Least a Master’s Degree: 69.8%

Newport Senior High School
Graduation Rate: 94.4%
Total Students: 1,795
Total Teachers: 101
Average Years of Teachers Experience: 13.4
Teachers with at Least a Master’s Degree: 80.2%

Sammamish Senior High School
Graduation Rate: 84.2%
Total Students: 1,038
Total Teachers: 69
Average Years of Teachers Experience: 10.4
Teachers with at Least a Master’s Degree: 78.3%

Do your children in either of these Eastside school districts? Share your experiences in the comments below!

 

Data pulled from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) Washington State Report Card.

Too Cold? Try These 4 Slurp-Worthy Ramen Houses!

Too Cold? Try These 4 Slurp-Worthy Ramen Houses!

It’s super cold outside – and rainy, too. Now might prove a fabulous time to try that new ramen house you’ve been whispering about. Traditional ramen typically served hot (although there is a chilled option) and comprises a soupy consistency, of broth filled with noodles and toppings. Though the toppings widely vary, some standbys include sliced pork, dried seaweed, green onions, and egg.

Though the history is a bit unclear, ramen has swept Japan and China, and has made its way in to the heart of Americans, too!

Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya is a chain that has experienced tons of growth other the past decade, with locations spanning across Japan, Australia, Taiwan, and the United States, including Indiana, Illinois, Oregon, and Washington. They serve a delicious and diverse menu comprised of Japanese cuisine!

We just went over Ramen Danbo in a previous article, so I won’t rehash the same information, but rest assured it’s delightful!

Located near the Westfield-Southcenter Shopping Mall, Arashi Ramen is a boutique ramen house that packs a lot of punch. They have ten different styles of ramen, plus sides and rice bowls, making their menu available to anyone. Highly-regarded in the area for consistently flavorful and heartwarming bowls, they use their own signature blend of handcrafted ramen, utilizing premium ingredients and simmer their broths over 16 hours.

Our last stop on the Ramen train is Seattle’s Teinei. Located in the South Lake Union neighborhood of Seattle, this industrial-chic eatery utilizes the Japanese meaning of its namesake: with care and politeness. They use their name as an emphasis for their upstanding hospitality, premium quality and outstanding service – and their reviewer agree!

After you try these places, you’ll forget about all the cold weather outside! In the comments below, share with us your favorite ramen house!

6 Hot & New Restaurants in the Greater Seattle Region – December 2017 Edition

6 Hot & New Restaurants in the Greater Seattle Region – December 2017 Edition

Hot and new restaurants are always popping up in the Puget Sound area, and we LOVE trying new and exciting things. Some people don’t want to cook when they get home, or they cook the same ten things week after week without sufficient variation.

This is where eating out and trying new things comes into play. Being adventurous and adding variety (dare, I say spice) to your life is a great way to indulge and find new tastes you never knew you enjoyed – and it doesn’t have to be something crazy. Maybe, you’ve just never tried brussels sprouts?

Tiger Bites is taking the area by storm. Located in the Overlake neighborhood of Bellevue, they offer delightful Taiwanese fusion eats, coupled with quality food, excellent service, and a sense of community. As a fast-casual restaurant, they offer quick, filling bites set at the highest quality!

Ramen has taken the area by storm in recent years, and this new Downtown ramen house is making statements with their signature Tonkotsu broth, touted as “unmistakable”. Nonetheless, only weeks old and Ramen Danbo proves a delicious eatery!

Open for two months, the Red Bamboo Bistro offers a fabulous and expansive Chinese menu. Located in the Renton Highlands, this eatery is already touted as “up there with the top places in Renton for Chinese food.

Neko: A Cat Café proves as adorable as it is indulgent in our fierce feline companions. The unique space rests in the heart of Capitol Hill, and offers drinks and nibbles as you pet the totally adoptable cats that slink around your feet. Drink. Eat. Pet cats, and maybe even adopt one while you’re there!

A combination of “new rustic and old, tradiational” Mexican foods, D’ La Santa offers a menu diverse with quality, prime meats, organic vegetables, and community. Their “family approach” to business shines through their unique and delicious menu!

Already garnered the title of “great brisket in Seattle” by the Seattle Times, Barbecue Smith offers a new take on a delicious trend. Alongside their traditional menu or brisket, mac & cheese, ribs, and pulled pork, they also offer unique additions, like kimchi and BBQ ramen.

Eating out can be fun and, while we shouldn’t overdo it, it can be a great way to find new inspirations and ideas for homecooked meals later down the line – or even just trying to figure out how they made what they made so delicious. Maybe you can add it to your New Year’s Resolutions to add to your palette.

New eats are a dime a dozen, but these places are well-rated (4+ stars) and have garnered media attention through their delicious offerings. What are your favorite new eating spaces in the Pacific Northwest?

Polar Bear Plunge – December 2017 Edition

Polar Bear Plunge – December 2017 Edition

The Polar Bear Plunge is a time-honored custom around the globe. People in Canada, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, and the United States all take part in this off-the-wall activity. But, why? Because we love kicking off the year with a cool and refreshing tradition, of course!

Well, sort of – and the fact remains that not all places observe this tradition on January 1st. Some, instead, wait for Spring.

The Polar Bear Plunge(s) are where people jump in or otherwise submerge in the water, despite the chilly winter water temperatures and are usually held to raise money for any number of charitable organizations.

Our proximity to the Puget Sound offers easy access to chilly waters and local volunteers assist with refreshments and much-needed hot beverages. Two local plunges happen in Seattle and Tacoma.

Seattle Polar Bear Plunge
WHEN: Monday, January 1st, 2018
TIME: 11:00am – 01:00pm
WHERE: Matthews Beach Park (4999 NE 93rd Street, Seattle)

Tacoma Polar Bear Plunge
WHEN: Monday, January 1st, 2018
TIME: 11:30am
WHERE: Point Defiance Marina (5912 North Waterfront Drive, Tacoma)

Alongside the Seattle Polar Bear Plunge, is the Resolution Run 5K & Polar Bear Drive. Presented by the Club Northwest, the event is held at Magnuson Park (7400 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle). Check out complete information here!

Regardless of if you’re searching for a New Year’s party, or a themed polar bear after party, the Seattle are has tons of offerings for you and your family! You can even try the Woodland Park Zoo or Tacoma’s Point Defiance Zoo & Aquariam to see polar bears!

3 Top-Rated Mercer Island Salons

3 Top-Rated Mercer Island Salons

Isn’t it about time for some pampering? If your anything like us, you’re busy, busy, busy with decorating, holiday parties, family get-togethers, and cooking, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take some time for yourself. The last few months are always chaotic and brimming with obligations, but remembering to take some for yourself can make the season all the more enjoyable.

Au Courant Salon & The DEN remains a fabulous island staple as both creative designer and specialized consultants. Locally owned, Au Courant is an “of the moment” designer service, specializing in visionaries and industry expertise. Aside from their typical services of hair styling extraordinaire, they offer POSH, a wardrobe & image consulting service.

With knowledge and expertise, the unique team at the Island Salon and Spa offer “no short cuts” on your salon and spa experience. From hair, to spa, tanning or massage, they have you covered for all your pampered needs – and their conveniently located in downtown Mercer Island: a quick stop from either Seattle or the Eastside, and excellent for island residents

Family owned since 2011, Hair Excel offers a value of an experience at an affordable price point. Consistently innovating, they leave “no hair out of place” at their family salon. Clean, efficient and attentive to detail.

Regardless of what you want, these awesome salons can get you what you’re looking for – and they’re conveniently located for Eastsiders, Seattleites and Mercer Islanders alike.

Grab your mother, sister, and best friend and head down for a holiday pampering! Or grab some gift cards for a New Year, and plan a spa day! Do you have a go-to salon on the island?

New Year’s Celebrations Around the Greater Seattle (and Tacoma) Area – December 2017 Edition

New Year’s Celebrations Around the Greater Seattle (and Tacoma) Area – December 2017 Edition

The New Year is just around the corner, which means you’re probably dwelling on past and future resolutions, and figuring out where you’ll spend your late night. You can read this productivity article to optimize the new year, but we’re gonna show you some of the fabulous places (and parties) in the Greater Seattle Area.

Several places like to sell out before the night, so reserve your spot before everything’s full – and if you’re looking for something more casual, look on OpenTable to see what Seattle area restaurants are hosting specials!

Early New Year’s Dance Party: Resolution
WHEN: Friday, December 29th, 2017
WHERE: WaMu Theater
BUY TICKETS HERE!

Bollywood Masquarade Party (Bollywood Dreams Entertainment)
WHEN: Saturday, December 30th, 2017
WHERE: Columbia City Theater (4916 Rainer Ave. S., Seattle)
FEE: $15-$25
BUY TICKETS HERE!

New Year’s at Benaroya Hall
WHEN: Sunday, December 31st, 2017
WHERE: Benaroya Hall
BUY TICKETS HERE!

New Year’s Eve at Chihuly
WHEN: Sunday, December 31st
TIME: 8:00pm – 01:00am
WHERE: Chihuly Garden and Glass (Seattle Center)
FEE: $250 per person
BUY TICKETS HERE!

SPECTRA: New Year’s Even Under the Arches
WHEN: Sunday, December 31st, 2017
TIME: 09:00pm – 02:00am
WHERE: Seattle Pacific Science Center
FEE: $80 / member I $85 / non-member (additional packages available)
BUY TICKETS HERE!

Ring in the New Year with KEXP at the Seattle Space Needle
WHEN: Sunday, December 31st, 2017
WHERE: Seattle Space Needle
MORE INFORMATION HERE!

Moisture Festival New Year’s Eve Extravaganza
WHEN: Sunday, December 31st, 2017
TIME: 08:00pm
WHERE: Hale’s Palladium (4301 Leary Way Northwest, Seattle)
FEE: $50 – $75
BUY TICKETS HERE!

New Year’s Eve in Tacoma, Washington
WHEN: Sunday, December 31st, 2017
WHERE: Around the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts
FEE: $12 – $15
BUY TICKETS HERE!

Have Family Coming to Town? These are 5 of Seattle’s & 5 of Bellevue’s Most Highly Regarded Hotels

Have Family Coming to Town? These are 5 of Seattle’s & 5 of Bellevue’s Most Highly Regarded Hotels

The holidays are stressful enough without having the added pressure of dealing with the hotel you’re staying at. You’d assume it would be easy. You book the room and the show up and settle in, but we’re heard horror stories of ruined holidays or last-minute cramped quarters as twenty people share one four-bedroom home.

We’ve done through dozens of reviews, articles, and exposes and we’re here to share our findings – and just in time, too!

Bellevue

Hyatt Hotels is a world-renowned legacy, marked by outstanding service, profound understanding and knowledge of the surrounding area(s), and offering all the conveniences of home. In Bellevue, Hyatt Hotels offers two locations, one in downtown Bellevue, the Hyatt Regency, and on in the Eastgate neighborhood, the Hyatt House. There’s also one in Redmond!

The Hampton Inn & Suites is another popular Hilton endeavor. Friendly and “highly recommended” this location is right outside downtown Bellevue, meaning you get all the convenience, without all the traffic and city hubbub (don’t worry – you’re only two blocks away!)

The Westin Hotel in Bellevue, proves a premier experience at it’s finest. Consistently top notch, they’re a quarter-block away from Bellevue’s premier shopping experience, including the Bellevue Collection, Lincoln Square, Shops at the Bravern, and the Bellevue Connection.

Mariott Hotels also offers a getaway in Bellevue Downtown District. Excellent location and an overall comfortable stay make the holidays an easy experience! Add in some fabulous dining, their fitness center, and other amenities, the Courtyard by Marriott in Bellevue proves an excellent option!

Seattle

With how expansive Seattle is, there’s bound to be tons of excellent hotel options – and that’s definitely the case here. Don’t worry – we’ve compiled a list of our top 5 go-tos!

Self-touted as “hip and urban, funky and fun,” Hotel 5 is at the top of our “Seattle” list. With their pup-friendly package, “there’s no need to ruff it without your furry friend!” This ultra-modern hotel has set its sights higher and offers a plethora of amenities – and a 1100% smoke-free environment.

Another fabulous option is the Loews Hotel 1000. Each location is uniquely modern and contoured to the Seattle community – including awesome pup and children specialties. Check out their Spaahh for award-winning products and treatments, while their Seafood & Oyster Bar and Bell Lounge offer expert dining experiences.

Another Seattle experience, highlighting the human-dog friendship that’s so brightly invigorated around the Puget Sound Region. The Kimpton Hotel Vintage is one of Seattle’s boutique hotels, offering an urban retreat for anyone within the sound of their voice. Want to get spoiled and pampered? Delight in their in-room spa experience, complimentary hotel bicycles, plus their partnership with Washington wine partners and their morning coffee + tea service. Love the hotel you’re in!

Stay in the heart of downtown, at the Kimpton Alexis Hotel. Another unique endeavor, similar to their Hotel Vintage location, this luxury stay was rated “#1 Hotel in Seattle” by Conde Nast Traveler, RCA 2017 and “Best Seattle Hotels” by U.S. News & World Report, 2017. Curious why? Phenomenal experiences. Exceptional services. “Because you’re worth it.”

Enjoy classic Seattle shopping at the new Pike Place Market and stay at the Inn at the Market. Savor the views of downtown, Pike Place Market, Seattle’s waterfront experience, the Puget Sound, and the Olympic Mountains beyond – and depending on your preferences, there are different suite options to choose from!

Bonus

But Seattle and Bellevue, though the premier cities of the area, aren’t the only one’s with decent digs! Kirkland also offers two premier hotels, if that’s a bit closer to your family!

The Woodmark Hotel & Still Spa is located just north of Bellevue, on the edges of Yarrow Bay. With great reviews, dashing views, and awesome activities, they’re on this list of classic Pacific Northwest experience.

 Another Kirkland abode away from home is the Heathman Hotel. Totally #PNW and luxurious, and only a hop, skip and a jump into Woodinville, this hotel is ideally located near downtown Kirkland shopping, eating, and their beautiful waterfront.

Do you have a have a favorite place to stay in-town, or while you’re visiting the Seattle area? Let us know!

Feeling the Winter Blues? Try Exercising at Any of These 10 Mercer Island Fitness Centers

Feeling the Winter Blues? Try Exercising at Any of These 10 Mercer Island Fitness Centers

Working out is part of creating a healthy life. Whether you have a home gym, walk around the block, or actively participate at a local establishment, you’re boosting your energy levels, improving muscle strength and increasing the delivery of oxygen and nutrients throughout your system. Working out is great for you in many regards, but whatever your reason, we all tend to lag a bit during the holidays.

Is it the coma-inducing meals? The fact that we’re always a bit busier? Or, perhaps, that it’s been a long year and you’re looking to start fresh in the upcoming one.

Mercer Island is full of opportunities, both free and paid, to get you active and keep you coming back.

The Mercer Island Athletic Club has been touted as “impressive” in reviews and consistently offers the full-body experience in your daily workout. Tons of classes, personal training opportunities, and massage therapy sessions are ripe for the indulging!

Mercer Island Crossfit is a downtown establishment that consistently rates highly among its patrons. This welcoming atmosphere allows you to workout with their coaches, while simultaneously learning from the experience. They’ve got classes for children and adults, so be sure to bring the entire family!

212 Health & Fitness is another 5-Star, downtown establish. A great place to receive “personalized fitness,” they offer a unique vision “reflected through [their] own personal goals and beliefs”. Group fitness or personalized, they work with you to find your unique regimen.

The Island has several Pilates places, including Mercer Island Pilates and 5 Elements Pilates. Both of these options are conveniently located and offer ample support to help you on your path towards a healthier life.

Yoga is another popular form of exercise, and both the Daily Method and Yogabliss are great options to choose from. Both studios offer unique visions and classes to help you through your journey towards inspiration, community, and salubriousness.

A great for of exercise for all is dance, and the Creation Dance Studio on Mercer Island is a fabulous place to learn and get your creative juices flowing.

If you’re looking for something a little more… unique, look no further than Mercer Island’s Martial Arts studios, such as Mercer Island Martial Arts or Z-Ultimate Self Defense Studios. Great for all ages and the whole family – try taking the whole family! Make friends in this active art, while learning new skills, gaining discipline and “re-defining family time”!

And, always remember, there are tons of free options around the island. Do you work or live near downtown? Try walking around Mercerdale’s quarter-mile, circular pathway. Four circles and you’ve gone a mile! There are also tons of activity at Luther Burbank Park, Aubrey Davis Park, Island Crest Park and all three of Pioneer Park’s quadrants.

What are your favorite workout places around the island?

A Wintery Edition of Windermere Living, Winter 2017

A Wintery Edition of Windermere Living, Winter 2017

Beautiful & breathtaking, the Winter edition of the premier Windermere Living Magazine is hot off the press! Read about the latest in luxury home trends, fabulous destination hubs, and darling homes across the Western Region!

Seattle – where are your favorite places to visit in the Great(est) Pacific Northwest?

4 Up & Coming Ways to Commute Around the Greater Seattle Region

4 Up & Coming Ways to Commute Around the Greater Seattle Region

Seattle’s commute has proved horrendous for a while, but what are we doing about it? And how can we make it better?

According to an October 2017, GeekWire article, Seattle has the sixth longest average commute time, at 54.22 minutes – and, believe it or not, that number has actually reduced from an earlier February figure from King5. Though we’re still behind cities like Washington, CD, San Francisco, CA and New York, NY, the figure in minutes is only about a 6-minute difference. According to that same article, however, Seattle falls to number 17 in commute-related stress.

While vehicle transit makes up a large majority of Seattle’s average commuter, there are tons of other options coming down the pipeline.

One of the largest options in the newspapers are the Light Rail Expansions, and although it’s not settled to be “complete” (as per current projects) until 2039 for its furthest reaching, Tacoma expansion, and projects headway can be seen across the I-90 bridge and 2041 for the Kirkland-Issaquah service.

It seems a far in the future, but the 62 new miles, coming in at 116 miles total, of light rail is projected as one of the “most ambitious transit expansions this country has ever seen,” noted Snohomish County Executive, Dave Somers.

King County Metro has spoke about expanding bus service and boosting their late-night schedules. With 240 more trips each weekday, 100 more Saturday trips, 153 additional Sunday trips and the hiring of more than 2,800 transit operators, the metro system is confident to bolster service throughout the region.

Water Taxis are making a comeback as new options come to light. A fast-ferry has also been proposed for foot-traffic between Tacoma and Seattle. According to Curbed-Seattle, Tacoma’s City Councilor, Ryan Mello, there’s “a lot of regional interest” in the idea, but regulation bars them on a state level, leaving it up to the local governments to run with the idea. If this were to take effect, it could reduce the averaged 30-minute commute by 10-minutes.

Another fast-ferry could be on it’s way, connecting Seattle to Renton, Washington, via Lake Washington. Though this is the idea of a private developer, they hope to be up and running in 2020 – only a couple short years away!

Since so many other land-routes are clogged and bogged-down throughout the day, and especially during peak hours, water seems like the right way to go about reducing congestion.

Seattle’s Bicycle Master Plan was also implemented earlier this year (2017). The 2017-2021 plan, is a vision that bicycle riding throughout the region proves comfortable for people’s day-to-day life, for all ages and all abilities. Stay up to date on the Bike Master Plan page.

Ferries, buses, biking… they’re all the usual, but a huge way you can cut your commute in the meantime is to rideshare. Whether through private organizations or with your best buds, this is a great way for you to take advantage of perks, like cutting fuel cost and consumption, cheaper parking, use HOV/HOT lanes and avoid extraneous wear and tear on your vehicle.

Bottom line, many major metropolises are bearing a heavy burden, when it comes to its workers’ commute. Some drive times expanding 17-miles could take up to 90-minutes – or longer – in some cases. Something many agree on, is that solutions lie in data and technology, and “not necessarily in adding a big highway or building a big parking garage.”

What do you think about these potential or up and coming options? How drastically do you think they’ll reduce and relieve the average commute? Know of any more options? Let us know in the comments!

3 Delectable on-Island Breakfast Favorites for your Post Thanksgiving Feast

3 Delectable on-Island Breakfast Favorites for your Post Thanksgiving Feast

It’s only a few days after Thanksgiving cooking and the busiest shopping weekend ever, so do you really want to wake up at the crack of dawn and hash out eggs and sausage with a side of toast? Yeah, we didn’t think so either.

And remember, it’s already 9am – which means people are already stirring in their beds!

Imagine this… Taking a relaxing bike ride down Island Crest Way or a leisurely drive down East or West Mercer (be careful of the turns!) and making your way into Mercer Island’s beautiful Downtown District.

Mercer Island’s Mioposto offers a delightful array of Italian cuisine, cooked to perfection by skilled oveners. Their “open-flame ovens” are handcrafted locally and are the “only heat source in the kitchen.” Even though, it probably gets sweltering hot in there! Their dinner menu offers tons of shareables, pizzas, and pastas, but their breakfast & lunch menu is to die for.

A unique blend of palates, their menu offers delights such as the Bacon & Egg Breakfast Pizza, Shakshuka, Panenata, and others delights to enjoy!

Committed to serving authentic, original food, Bennett’s Bistro offers an blend of sweet and savory breakfast options. From pancakes with sweet cream butter, to Chiliaquiles, to Steak and Eggs, Bennett’s has long proven itself a favorite amongst the locals. Looking for something lighter after the holidays? Their Beet Salas or Roasted Delicata Squash and Arugula Salad are spectacular!

They’ve even partnered with another local, Seattle company, Beecher’s Cheese, to embellish the original take on Mac & Cheese. Whether you just want that original love, or want to try it with Kale & Mama Lil’s Peppers, you’re sure to enjoy! Also, check out their lunch and dinner menus for other small-town favorites!

Are you looking for something quick and on-the-go, before another day with family? Homegrown is always an option for nutritional and local foods – and they offer seasonal specials! While their breakfast menu comprises most warm bowls, sandwiches, and portage, they also offer their regular menu throughout the day! So, regardless of if you’re craving an Avocado, Egg & Cheese Sandwich or a Grass-fed Steak & Blue – they’ve got you!

Or, maybe yet, you’re just more of a morning, plus coffee kind of individual… The Island has an array of Starbucks and Tully’s coffee houses! The new market, New Seasons, also offers a local source of the caffeine-infused beverage.

Now that we’ve gone over Mercer Island’s breakfast hotspots, what are your favorite, local places to enjoy the morning?

Want to find out more about Mercer Island? Check out their informational page and any of the following links to get to know the real local-favorites!

Enjoy Music with a Vintage Sound? Check Out These Washington Record Stores!

Enjoy Music with a Vintage Sound? Check Out These Washington Record Stores!

Music has been a mainstay in the Pacific Northwest for as far back as we can remember, and the area has long played a role in the music scene of Washington. From grunge to punk, pop, rap, and metal, the area’s offered several influential bands, music labels, and venues. I mean, look at that photo above – Talking Heads! (Yes, we know they aren’t a local band…)

Seattle’s Spin Cycle is a classic, local shop, complete with overfull baskets and bins of vinyl, cassettes, and other musical & gaming memorabilia. The complete nerd-heaven, this awesome shop includes artists like the White Strips, the Who and Jello Biafra. Want a Nintendo 64 game? They’ve got that, too!

Complete Seattle chic, Light in the Attic Record Shop offers a variety, including soundtracks, soul, subpop, jazz, classic, rock, hip hop, blues, country, rock, and electronica. Good music and great people. What more could you ask for?

Chic and clean, Daybreak Records offers a variety ranging from rock to classical to jazz, and everything in between. Like many record stores, they offer a listening section, where you can try out your new-found record to ensure its free of scratches and other damages.

Easy Street Records remains one of West Seattle’s favorite breakfast and music hubs. They offer LOADS of new and old sounds, nestled among their massive collection. Their food is also pretty decent!

And just because Seattle is the mecca of music, doesn’t mean they’re the only place with great sounds! Puget Sounds, a Bellevue, Washington proprietor, prove a solid option for buy/trade/sell vinyl records and paraphernalia. A humble and down-to-earth shop, Puget Sounds remains a highly rated shop!

Though the scene and popular music has changed throughout the years, Seattle has remained a mega-house for shows and could almost add popular bands and music to their exports list.

What are your places to pick up new or vintage records? Are your favorite places in Seattle? Or maybe elsewhere?

A Time for Giving… Local Charities Who Would LOVE Your Help & Different Ways to Donate

A Time for Giving… Local Charities Who Would LOVE Your Help & Different Ways to Donate

We here at LiveOnGuides.com are all about giving back to the community and supporting throughout the year, but the times of holiday cheer are often the most needed times for volunteers, food, and other items for people who might not have the means. It’s also getting cold especially early this year, and any weather-resistant outerwear you could donate would very much be appreciated.

Outside of the organizations and communities we volunteer at and donate to, it’s just the tip of the iceberg for local places. The awesome list is from the quoted article below offers a ton of great resources – and we’re offering some ways to offer support!

Fulfill someone’s wish list: Tons of people have created wish lists through organizations, like HopeLink, YouthCare, Seattle Children’s and Toys for Tots. Oftentimes, toys and electronics aren’t the only thing on people’s wishlists; things such as hygiene products, bedding, clothes and hearty shoes are also on the list. You may even consider a gift card to a grocery store!

Host a food/clothing/etc. drive: Have an event coming up? Or just want to get involved? Host a drive and offer to pick things up. Better yet – partner with a local business and make that the drop-off site!

Volunteer throughout the year: It’s no secret that Thanksgiving and the following month of December show a massive influx of volunteers, filling many volunteer organizations to volunteer capacity. Tons of local organizations, including the Salvation Army, Community Lunch of Capitol Hill, the Jubilee Woman’s Center, the dozen or so included in the linked list below, and countless more amazing places around Seattle.

The Seattle Times has made their own list of tips for “making the most of holiday charitable giving,” so make sure to check it out – and remember, even if you aren’t able to donate monetarily, you may consider carving out one day a year to volunteer! Happy Season!

Looking to share your bounty this holiday season? Below are some of our favorite local, vetted organizations who can use your time, household items, toys, and more to help improve the lives of homeless and low-income families in our area. You might also check out these tips on how to make the most of charitable giving.

The complete article can be found on MercerIslandPulse.com (click here for a quick link).

5+ Places to Find Inspiring & Interesting Children’s Toys

5+ Places to Find Inspiring & Interesting Children’s Toys

Remember when you were children, and your favorite toy was that stuffed animal that you’ve for, literally, ever? Or the blanket your grandma made for you? Or that LEGO set that took your four months to complete because you knew you didn’t need help to finish it.

And with today’s evolving technology, our view of children’s toys has also evolved. Oftentimes, we’ll find children four years of age, playing with cellphones and tablets in restaurants.

Seattle

Red Wagon Toys remains a north Seattle favorite. Located in the neighborhood of Madison Park, this humble toy store offers fun, educational toys of intrigue, inspiration, and variety.

Another Seattle-local toy store is Top Ten Toys in the Queen Anne neighborhood or Seattle. This store remains a true staple in the community and a huge “hit with the kiddos!” Walls of children’s kits offer endless fun for years to come! Their mission is to inspire creativity, offer intrigue through imagination, and tons of fun! We think they hit that mission spot on.

In South Seattle, specifically the Columbia City neighborhood, you’ll find Retroactive Kids. This store offers excellent selections from the current generation, and from previous generations of newly reimagined designs, hence the name “retroactive.”

In the Pioneer Square neighborhood is where Magic Mouse Toys stands. Included in their 6,000-sq. ft. facility are children’s books, die cast cars, dolls, stuffed animals, games, kids’ kits, puzzles, and tons more!

Eastside

The eastside offers even more options for you little ones, including Snapdoodle Toys. This solid-five-star-rated toy shop offers “fun” in spades! From construct-ables to actions figures, puzzles to books, and plush animals to educational toys, this shop what you’re children are searching for!

Another highly-rated shop, Wee Tots Children’s Store specializes in simple, colorful and interesting toys for children of all ages. It’s adorably located in the heart of Old Bellevue, so grab a latte and enjoy the shop!

Do you have too many toys? Or just trying to clear out for the holidays? Many of the places on this list, we at Windermere Mercer Island volunteer and donate to throughout the year and could definitely help you repurpose your toys. Or if you don’t have extra toys (or children at all), any unused food products could help them through the holiday surge!

What are your favorite places to support throughout the year?


new this week from

WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

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BROADVIEW BEAUTY
12548 11th Avenue NW, Seattle • MLS# 1218441
$675,000 • 4 Bedrooms •1.75 Bathrooms • 1,710 Square Feet • 8,100 Lot Size

Nestled on a peaceful and friendly street just blocks away from the Puget Sound waterfront, this classic mid-century home awaits you. Relax or gather friends around the fireside in its light-filled living room. A spacious dining room is ready for holiday parties, while the adjoining kitchen features a cheerful breakfast nook with bay window. You will want to spend summer days out on the sunny back deck and patio. The fully-fenced, grassy backyard is something special with its generous fruit trees and wide-open space. Four bedrooms provide plenty of privacy for everyone. Carkeek Park’s beach, trails and playground are just a stroll away!

For more information, please contact Jake Kanev.
Kanev@Windermere.com • 206.686.4700 • JakeKanev.com

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A CAPTIVATING VIEW
24018th Avenue N #201, Seattle • MLS# 1218815
$629,000 • 2 Bedrooms • 1.25 Bathrooms • 1,065 Sq. Ft.

THE VIEW IS CAPTIVATING! Sailboats, seaplanes & sparkling lights, Gasworks Park, Lake Union, Capitol Hill, the city & beyond, an outlook all the way to the snow capped Cascades! Yet you are only minutes to SLU or Fremont-a quick ride in the dedicated bike lane. Completely refreshed! Move-in, live large, entertain even larger! How will you spend your extra time? Take a run on the Burke-Gilman, grab coffee at Herkimer’s then relax on your deck before brunch? Live your COMMUTE-FREE life here, now!

For more information, please contact Kathryn Buchanan.
KABU@Windermere.com • 206.227.2227 • KathrynBuchanan.com