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?

8 Of Our Favorite Seattle Juiceries

8 Of Our Favorite Seattle Juiceries

Do your plans for the new year include a healthier lifestyle? Or maybe just adding more balanced to your diet? Adding various fruits and vegetables to your diet can help in a variety of ways, including adding essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients and diversifying your eating habits.

If you’re considering adding fruits and vegetables but find the chore of adding four to eight pieces of fruits and veggies to your diet daunting, you might find juicing a health-hearty option for the new year. And you don’t need a juicer to get started. You can use a blender and a mesh strainer if you’re cautious about investing money into a new ritual.

Another alternative is to utilize one of the many juice bars in the Greater Seattle area, which is what we’re going to go over today.

Heart Beet Healthy is an amazing juicer, with tons of options. Feeling a tickle in your throat? Try the gingers hot or snake bite to nip it in the bud! Their juices are brimmed with color and nutrition and packed with organic vegetables, made fresh when you order. Feeling something creamy? Try their non-dairy smoothies – and maybe add a superfood add-on!

Fresh squeezed to order and when you want it, Chaco Canyon Organic Café is a great reminder of community and healthfulness. They have a ton smoothie and juice recipes, but if you don’t like them, or want to add your own kick, don’t hesitate to add it on!

Whether you’re looking to cleanse or just add some more nutrients to your day, Jujubeet has you covered. With several locations around the Greater Seattle Region, their story starts like any other: with passion and a whole lot of fruits and vegetables.

Founded only seven short years ago, the Juice Press was envisioned with a healthier and more transparent eatery in mind. Tons of options with your favorite vegetable or fruit packed in. Like a 50/50 mix? Or maybe more fruit than vegie? Or the other way around? They’ve got it.

Made from locally sourced fruits and vegetables, Moondrop Coffee offers a good selection of fresh juices and smoothies on their menu. Do you like the “usuals” – or maybe something with chia seeds and hemp milk.

Tons of quality flavors, the Fit Bar Café a slurry of fresh eats.

The Pressed Juicery quenches your cravings, with drinks including beets, dates, turmeric, vanilla, aloe vera, coconut “meat”, and the usual “green” variety.

Do you like fresh squeezed? Or juiced? Or maybe you need something quick, because you’re forever on the go in Seattle? The Juicy Café has you covered. Located in the convention center in downtown, you’re only a few blocks away from delicious.

Do you have a favorite juicer in the area? Share your experiences in the comments below!

How Does Remodeling Impact Your Home Sale in Seattle?

How Does Remodeling Impact Your Home Sale in Seattle?

Feb18

I think we all get that remodel itch around this time of year. Whether it’s the presumption of an early Spring or the thought of another year with the same, pink walls, I don’t know; but, I do know that all home remodels are not treated equally, in terms of cost recouped during a resale – and if you’re looking to remodel to sell, these tidbits might offer you some bang for your buck!

A few key takeaways we learned from this report are:

  1. Exterior “curb appeal” improvements generally pack a bigger payback than interior projects
  2. Inexpensive improvements are easier to recoup than pricier remodeling projects
  3. Replacement projects usually net more than remodeling/expansion projects—which may explain the relatively low returns on kitchen and bath remodels/additions (as well as the simple fact that tastes vary widely from one buyer to the next)

For the full Seattle report on all 21 projects, including project descriptions and scope, click here!

Cost vs. Value for Midrange Projects in Seattle

Cost vs. Value for Upscale Projects in Seattle

Cost vs. Value data © 2018 Hanley Wood Media Inc. Complete data from the Remodeling 2018 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded for free at www.costvsvalue.com

7 of Seattle’s Most Hidden Bakeries

7 of Seattle’s Most Hidden Bakeries

As we all know, Seattle has so many mouthwatering restaurants, that you’d never run out! But, sometimes we just want snacks, and local Seattle bakeries harbor some of the most delicious pastries we’ve ever had!

Google searches for local baked goods continues to skyrocket, year after year – sort of like the current local real estate market. As more and more people are indulging in local baked goods, more and more boutique bakeries pop up.

This is our own “short list” of hidden (and, let’s be real, not-so-hidden) bakeries around Seattle.

Probably one of Seattle’s worst kept secrets, is Bakery Nouveau. Though there are a few locations around Seattle, we’ve enjoyed the Capitol Hill location on several occasions. From daily-made sandwiches to homemade breakfast pastries, fresh bread, plus holiday and seasonal delights.  They’re in Burien, West Seattle, and Capitol Hill, so indulge in their range of products.

A humble and whimsical bakery, the Dahlia Bakery can be found in the Belltown neighborhood of Seattle. Though they can complete your every baked-good need, they specialize and have been world-renowned for their Triple Coconut Cream Pie. So, try their artisan breads, homemade pastries, and delightful cakes, full of fresh ingredients and local heart.

Local and baked with the heart, the Sod House Bakery offers beautiful creations from cinnamon rolls and croissants, to hand pies and sandwich cookies. Specializing in creations made with local ingredients from sustainable sources, their cookies, pies, and other baked goods are delicious, and they offer an amazing place for community.

Off 24th Avenue in Ballard, you’ll find a small bakery, called Tall Grass Bakery. Referred to at the “BEST… THE NUMBER ONE” in Seattle, this little bakery has had lines around the block several times. Completely organic and hand-forged, these “hot for you” breads are scrutinized to the highest caliber, and use only the finest quality of ingredients available.

Family owned, craft bakery, Sea Wolf Bakery has made its mark on the Seattle baked-goods scene. Created from brothers, who use only the best practices of local sourcing and skillful craftsmanship, they found their own piece of the city in August of 2016, after years of using borrowed kitchens around Seattle.

New to the neighborhood, this pretty bakery opened just a few weeks ago (2017), with carefully crafted pastries, breads, sandwiches, and crepes – paired with fine wine and espresso, to boot! The Semillion Bakery Café, offer fresh goods, locally sourced. When choosing in the Northwest, why not choose the Northwest?

Located in Northern Beacon Hill, Fresh Flours offers the finest quality of pastries and coffee. While it began as a dream, it’s since cumulated into some of the most unique and expertly developed baked-gods recipes, including flavors like green tea, sesame, and azuki.

Some of the best smells in the world can be found inside a bakery. With fresh bread out of the oven, and the creamy texture of freshness and youth in the air, any bakery can make you feel at home. Delight in the freshness, and indulge in the goodness.

What are your favorite Seattle bakeries? Which are the most hidden?

4 Chipper Salons on Capitol Hill, Seattle

4 Chipper Salons on Capitol Hill, Seattle

Capitol Hill is one of those neighborhoods where you can find almost anything only a few blocks from your front door. Craving something? Dozens of cuisines are within the surrounding blocks, or can be delivered via local food courier services.

So, what about your body and hair? Taking ritualistic care of your health and body can prove beneficial to your quality of life and, while you can always do these things at home, you might, on occasion, want to indulge and have someone else pamper you a bit.

These four Capitol Hill salons offer more than the casual or standard cut, but they offer stylings unlike what you might find at other places – or what you might be able to create at home!

With enormous pride and commitment to their work, the Bowie Salon and Spa exceeds expectations with their full range of services, including hair styling, cuts, extensions, and blowouts, plus facials, waxing, and nails. Representing the “very finest in hair and hairstyles”, this salon offers over 25 years of experience and industry influence.

Salon Moxi is an independently owned and operated boutique salon, rested on the crest of Capitol Hill. Fresh and unique, they offer and atmosphere that fosters individual creativity, which translates in their approach to each hair and style. Warm and welcoming, you’ll enjoy top-notch stylists and an accumulated 26+ years of experience.

Known as a balanced blend of independent hair designers, the Emerson Salon has created something truly special. Powered by experience and persistence, they stand alongside their quality service and stellar professionalism. Get to know each stylist on their website, and their own unique menu of services.

With a drive for the artists and sometimes eccentric, the Canary Salon offers a variety of services and specialties, from the comforts of Broadway Avenue, Capitol Hill. Whether you enjoy the flare of the dramatic, or soft lived-in styles, their experienced and inspired stylists are sure to offer what you’re looking for.

Everyone, from a five-year old child through any age bracket, can enjoy their hair the way they like it – whether that be natural tones, pastels, or bold colors! And in any style, from short, to medium, to long! Sometimes we enjoy doing own creations at home, and sometimes we want a professional to take the plunge into our hair. What are your favorite, local spots to get styled?

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!

5 of Seattle’s Most Competitive Neighborhoods of 2017

5 of Seattle’s Most Competitive Neighborhoods of 2017

These Seattle neighborhoods took the cake 2017, and are starting strong with staggering figures in January 2018. Overall, the Greater Seattle Region has seen increasingly low inventory, raising home prices and heightening competition for homes – and while these issues aren’t unique to Seattle, we are experiencing it most prevalently.

Seattle has grown in several areas in the past year, including the grand reopening of our beloved Pike Place Market and the 2018 reopening of the highly anticipated remastering of the Seattle Space Needle – and the city towers are growing right alongside other areas of economic growth. Check out a three-year time lapse of Seattle’s astounding growth.

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But, which areas have growth more than others, in terms of home price or bang for your buck? We’ve compiled a list of Seattle great-growth neighborhoods in Seattle’s not-so sleep streets.

Neighborhood #5 NORTH SEATTLE, with an average of 14.3% increase.

Laurelhurst is a coveted residential neighborhood in northeast Seattle near the University of Washington (UW) and Seattle Children’s Hospital. Waterfront homes enjoy frontage on Union Bay, a part of Lake Washington. The Laurelhurst Beach Club (private) and Laurelhurst Community Center (public) are popular community hubs while nearby University Village offers a hip shopping, dining and social venue for residents and UW students alike. To the north, Wedgwood (map), is a more modest local neighborhood that is undergoing much transition as homeowners rebuild or remodel its predominantly 1950’s homes to transform them into modern and more functional structures suitable for today’s needs. Click here for the full article.

Neighborhood #4 The greater BALLARD are, including neighborhoods such Fremont, Phinney Ridge, Ballard and Wallingford, averaging 14.6% home gains.

Ballard is one of the hippest and most coveted neighborhoods in Seattle. Its close proximity to the burgeoning tech industry in neighboring Fremont and reasonable access to the Eastside via 520 makes Ballard an extremely convenient place to call home. Located in the northwestern part of the city, Ballard houses a vibrant working waterfront and looks out upon Fisherman’s Terminal, the home base for the North Pacific Fishing Fleet. The terminal offers a collection of delicious dining options and is a great place to purchase the freshest seafood. The Ballard Locks enable boat traffic to move from freshwater Lake Union to the salt water of Puget Sound-a 26-foot grade change. Pass a sunny day watching the parade of sailboats, motorboats, tugs, barges and yachts come into the locks, and the water level is adjusted to allow their safe passage to the lake or sound. Shilshole Bay Marina offers moorage for 1,500 recreational boats, a waterfront promenade, and fabulous views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains beyond. Promenade users can stroll over to Golden Gardens Park, a popular beachfront park. Click here for the full article.

Neighborhood # 3 WEST SEATTLE saw a 17% increase from 2016.

West Seattle is aptly named—it represents all of the city located west of the Duwamish River. It is the birth place of Seattle, being the first place settlers established themselves. Gorgeous views from West Seattle of the Seattle skyline, Puget Sound, along with the Cascade and Olympic mountains, have contributed to residents’ love for the area and make this a favorite Puget Sound destination. Alki Point, and its immensely popular Alki Beach, offers sandy beach, lawn, fire pits, volleyball nets and a flat bike and pedestrian trail runs the length of the beach—people who use this trail are treated to some of the most amazing views in the region. Low tides offer extraordinary opportunities to explore tide pools of Puget Sound marine life. Click here for the full article.

Neighborhood #2 SHORELINE, though not entirely within Seattle jurisdiction, saw 19.6% home gains.

North Seattle includes the Cedar Park, Jackson Park, Lake City, Maple Leaf, Meadowbrook, North Matthews Beach, Northgate, Olympic Hills, Pinehurst, and Victory Heights neighborhoods. To the northwest along Puget Sound the city of Shoreline (map) boasts and incredible 404 acres of parkland enjoyed by residents and visitors alike. Its saltwater shoreline, botanical garden, interurban trail, athletic fields, courts and playgrounds draw people to this popular north Seattle community. Homeowners in the North Seattle region have benefited from a surge of sales activity and buyer demand for their modest, affordable homes conveniently located to Seattle’s metro employment centers. Click here for the full article.

Neighborhood #1 And the number one increase from 2016 to 2017 was the BEACON HILL & MOUNT BAKER neighborhoods, who saw a staggering 20% increase year over year.

Beacon Hill in South Seattle, with its distinctive views of the Olympics and Cascades, has tremendous appeal to people who work downtown and commercial developers alike. It is currently a hotbed of activity undergoing significant revitalization as an affordable community close to the Seattle core. To the east, Seward Park, named for the park located on Bailey Peninsula near the south end of Lake Washington, offers coveted waterfront views and access. Between them, Columbia City is an urban center with ample shopping and many cultural local restaurants. Beacon Hill is served by light rail direct to downtown Seattle. The average downtown commute to about 12 minutes, car-free. Given its convenient proximity to I-5 and Interstate 90, a relatively affordable housing market, and its sweeping mountain and Puget Sound views, Beacon Hill has a lot to offer. Click here for the full article.

What areas of Seattle are you keeping a keen eye on? Let us know and let you know what fabulous in that area!

4+ Beach Resorts Along Washington’s Coastline

4+ Beach Resorts Along Washington’s Coastline

We’re coming on the end of Fall, which means Spring is only a few short months away – and what better way to plan for Spring Break or Summer vacations than a few days along the Washington coastline?

Sparkling beaches and forever sunsets after long days of playing in the sand and perusing local shops and boutiques. Because of Washington’s diverse terrain, our coastline makes for a just-as diverse and welcoming allure.

Chosen as “The Northwest’s Best Resort in 2016 by Seattle Magazine,” the Semiahmoo Resort offers 4-star amenities, including lodging, golfing recreation, and spa. Located on the cerulean shores of Semiahmoo Bay and Drayton Harbor, you’ll enjoy hours of beach life, wading in tidepools and indulging alongside Pacific Northwest wildlife.

Are you looking to get close to nature? Enjoy the sparkling water in the San Juan’s with several fabulous resorts across the islands. We couldn’t decide on just one (stay tuned for an in-depth, San Juan’s vacation post), so we’ve provided a great Trip Advisory link for review-based lists.

Touted as “Seattle’s only waterfront hotel”, the Edgewater: A Noble House Hotel, offers a stunning escape in the urban paradise. Stay in the heart of the city: only blocks from nightlife, Pike Place Market, Olympic Structure Park, and boutique, Seattle shopping. Vacation “on the edge” beside the lull of the city and the breathtaking vistas of the Olympic Mountains and beyond.

Along Sunset Beach of Moclips, Washington rests an oasis known as the Ocean Crest Resort. This full-service resort, offers comfortable lodging, an indoor pool, massage & healthy spa, fine-dining restaurant, and gift shop – and don’t forget the cocktail lounge. From their vantage perch, they offer spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and meandering pathways down to the beaches below. As they say, “relax, enjoy, and return again and again.”

No too far down the Pacific Coast, is the log cabin resort known the Iron Springs Resort. Having evolved from humble beginnings, Iron Springs started in the 1940’s with only a handful of cabins and continued to grow – and build – into the 25-cabin resort they are presently known as. In 2017, they won accolades from Best Northwest Escapes for “Best Cabin” and “Best Dog-Friendly Place to Stay”! Rent one multi-bedroom cabin, or a couple for a whole-family getaway!

If you’re looking to sunbath on Washington’s beaches, wade through nature’s tidepools, or fly your kite in the windy ocean air, Washington many shores have a little something different to offer. Enjoy the kite festival in Ocean Shores or whale watch along the Pacific Straights. From the rocky ridges to sandy shores, Washington offers a different experience at every opportunity.

What are you planning? What are your favorite resorts along Washington’s Pacific Coastline?

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?

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!

7 Vegan Restaurants You’ve Been Wanting to Try in Seattle, Washington

7 Vegan Restaurants You’ve Been Wanting to Try in Seattle, Washington

Eating vegan isn’t just a preference, but a lifestyle – and you don’t have to eat completely vegan to enjoy the benefits of the diet. Like any cuisine, vegan dishes are vast and deliciously satisfying meals, crafted for you: the eater!

What are these many benefits – you may ask? You may consider replacing a few meals a week with vegan alternatives to slim down and increase energy and to add vegetables and essential nutrients to your diet that many people aren’t getting. And while you can always make your own emulations at home we’ve comprised a list of Seattle restaurants, specializing in vegan cuising.

With moderate prices, an excellent location, and fabulous cuisine, Araya’s Places offers delicious vegan Thai food. Proclaimed as the 1st vegan-Thai restaurant in the Northwest, they opened in 1987 and remain a family-owned and operated establishment. With three locations in the Seattle area, Araya’s Place is a beautiful place where accommodation doesn’t stop at the door.

Beautifully crafted vegan interpretations of everyday dishes is Chaco Canyon Organic Café’s specialty. With three locations sprawled around Seattle, they offer fresh and local foods with every visit, meaning the feeling of homecooked vegan food is only a short drive away.

Another Thai-vegan restaurant, with a 4+ star rating, is Seattle’s Kati Vegan Thai. Cozy chic, this restaurant offers that classic dining feel, with the openness of Seattle’s industrial architecture around South Lake Union – and they’ve got excellent reviews on Happy Cow.

A delicate flower, Café Flora has proved a wonderful addition to the Madison Valley. Their boutique dining is next level, from “utilizing local, organic, and sustainable produce” to “building strong, and direct relationships with Washington farms.” They community-based business perfectly intermingles with Seattle’s vibes and they’ve been repeatedly awarded “Best Brunch” and “Best Vegetarian Restaurant.

Harvest Beat is a unique form of restaurant. Specializing in goodness and unity, they offer an ever-changing menu that both “respects the food of the moment” and diminishes the restaurant’s waste. The experience starts when you think about making reservation and lasts through the 5-course meal and final sip of your evening pairing.

Hundreds of reviews later… Wayward Vegan Café rests comfortably at a 4.5 star, with reviewers touting their cuisine as a “no contest” in top Seattle vegan spots. Established in 2004, they offer veganized American diner-style food, with “large portions, bottomless coffee, and friendly service.”

Between First Hill and Capitol Hill rests Plum Bistro – a vegan hotspot in the area. Expertly crafted dishes, comprised of local, sustainable, and organic ingredients, are what make Plum Bistro amazing. The passion and delicate intricacies of each dish delight foodies everywhere.

Regardless of what your preferences are, these vegan restaurants are delightful and delicious. What are your favorite vegan eateries in the area?

Love BBQ? Try These 4 Local Favorites!

Love BBQ? Try These 4 Local Favorites!

Seattle loves BBQ – and for good reason.

The Pacific Northwest was built on a healthy lumber industry, and to make great BBQ, you’ve got to have a great wood to smoke meat with! Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Seattle isn’t Memphis… or Birmingham… or Nashville… or any other the hundreds of world-renowned BBQ places in the United States.”

And we understand that. But… what do know is that Seattle… is Seattle and we’ve got great food all around!

Starting in Seattle’s north end neighborhood of Wallingford, RoRo BBQ & Grill has been a local favorite since 2006 and has garnered over 500 reviews on Yelp.com, averaging a 4+ star. Must be good! Parking is a bit of a nightmare, but their cozy inside will surely make up for it. Try their homecooked wares and unique BBQ sauces.

Down in Pike Place Market, you’ll find Pike’s Pit Bar-B-Que – a local loved and renowned BBQ mainstay. Carefully crafted, each sandwich offers a combination of Peco beans, Tillamook sharp cheddar, and meat piled high. What’s the best part? The part where they get the all-around goodness of smothered twice and messy BBQ.

Travel to the SODO district of Seattle and Pecos Pit Bar-B-Que will stand as Seattle’s “hottest” BBQ houses – and I mean it! Their medium is mind-blowingly HOT. I always have to get the mild (or get it on the side). Regardless, they BBQ master make an epic sandwich, hot link, and brisket, etc. Buy in bulk an feed the whole family!

The last on this list of the Wood Shop BBQ off Jackson Street, in Seattle. With amazing food, they’ve quickly made a name for themselves and, having established their brick and mortar in only August 2016. As sported on their website: No Compromises. No Secrets. Just Great BBQ.

Got another local favorite we forgot to mention? We’d love to know your favorite local barbeque eats! Let us know in the comments below!

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!

A NEW Ice Creamery for Your Winter Shopping Season

A NEW Ice Creamery for Your Winter Shopping Season

Yes, yes, we know it’s cold outside, but who doesn’t love ice cream? Even when it’s chilly? And this hot, new ice creamer is ready for your #winter indulgences!

FROM MILK just opened a few weeks back, in Westfield’s Southcenter Shopping Mall – and the line is still waiting in this frosty weather! Featuring handcrafted, premium delights, From Milk offers a unique menu adding green tea and red bean to “usual” menu, alongside classics like classic milk, vanilla bean, strawberry, and chocolate.

But their unique-ness doesn’t stop at their flavors – in fact, that’s only the beginning. They specialize in dipped ice cream bars, piled with sauce and other fabulous flavors. Alongside their bars, they offer bowls, which comprise shaved ice cream (delicious!), topped with a combination of fruits, buts and other lovely additions. And, guess what, it’s also topped with a bar!

Don’t want to waste the paper bowl? Try the special watermelon or honeydew bowl. It’s a big larger and a tad messier, but it’s work every honeydew-ball bite!

Another feature of From Milk is their signature milks. With the flavors of strawberry, blueberry, and Matcha tea – with chocolate coming soon – they’re really going all out on the “From Milk”.

Check out the entire menu on their website! If you haven’t tried them yet, they’re definitely worth a try!

Do you have any favorites you’d like us to know about? Leave your favorite, local ice cream parlor in the comments below!

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?

4 NEW Bellevue Restaurants to Check Out While You’re Shopping this Holiday Season!

4 NEW Bellevue Restaurants to Check Out While You’re Shopping this Holiday Season!

Out shopping for the holidays and don’t have time to stop back at home? Or maybe you just want to enjoy the experience and try something new! Bellevue has opened up a few new restaurants to try this upcoming season!

Dukes Seafood & Chowder House has opened another Pacific Northwest location in Lincoln Square. Like their other locations, they’re true to form with an extremely clean eating space and refreshingly friendly atmosphere. A cozy experience to say the least!

The Central Bar opened a few months ago in the heart of Bellevue. A convenient location across from Bellevue Square Mall, this new bar offers an ambiance comprised of a sports bar and intimate gathering space. Since it’s not sports-centric, one feels right at home and able to gather around the table without the loud screams of sports games (but, don’t worry – there’s still four to view your favorite Seahawks game!)

Located off Main Street in old-Bellevue, Swiftwater Cellars opened approximately two months ago. A warm and inviting décor, coupled with unique compilations of food and drinks, create an elegant atmosphere. This coupling perfectly displays their rustic roots of Cle Elum, with a modern twist of the local, urban lifestyle!

Ultra-boutique candy stores are all the rage – and there’s a reason for it! While many candy stores cater towards children, this new trend shifts the focus on adults. Sugar Factory has created an sophisticated, full-service experience when it comes to your sugar of choice! Happy sweet things!

Regardless of what you’re looking for, Bellevue has it. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert – or even drinks afterwards – there are always tons of places just a block away. And Bellevue’s Main Street “old-Bellevue” area, has tons of overlooked, local favorites!

What are you favorite local places we should try?

6 Holiday Vacations Around Washington Your Pup Can Tag Along On!

6 Holiday Vacations Around Washington Your Pup Can Tag Along On!

Taking a vacation can be great for the entire family – including your four-legged best friend! If you’re thinking about retreating from your urban (or suburban) life into the “wild”, here are some ideas to get you started in the right direction!

Rent a wintery cabin. Tons of cabins are up for rent this season – just be sure to check the reservations and rules before you book. Many allow dogs for an additional pet deposit, either per night or per week. Leavenworth can be great during the fall and winter season – and you’ll get to be amid their snowy celebrations!

The West Beach Resort, on Orcas Island. Cabins, cottages, RV, and camping… oh my! Located on the west side of Orcas Island, Washington, this private destination spots has long specialized in an “authentic San Juan Islands getaway.” Many of their areas are pet-friendly, with a small, per-day fee.

Ski, hike, and experience Crystal Mountain through Crystal Mountain Hotels. While many of the other hotels in the area are not god friendly, some Crystal Mountain Hotels have pet-friendly rooms available. You’ll have to call them to find out the details, but it’s a great opportunity for you to enjoy a weekend away with your pup!

Enjoy the Olympic Nation Park & Forest via the Lake Quinault Lodge. With several room-types to choose from, this lodge offers tons of local activities, including biking, boating & paddleboards, fishing (you may need to look into licensing), hiking and local tours of the lake and rainforest. Better yet – bring your pup (with deposit)!

Need a relaxing weekend of yoga, kayaking and saunas? Enjoy the Doe Bay Resort & Retreat in Olga, Washington. They allow pets in some of their accommodations, so be sure to 100% clarify when booking your reservations! Indulge in their Spa & Serenity Garden, or hike off in your own adventure!

Relax at Suncadia Resort in Cle Eleum, Washington. Touted as one of the best pet-friendly resorts in Washington, this outdoorsy retreat off many on-site activities, as well as backs the Cle Elum River. It’s also close to the Washington State Horse Park and the Cle Elum Lake. Talk about an intimate, yet centrally located getaway!

The Greater Seattle Area is riddled with dog lovers and families who are looking to getaway! And since these places are relatively nearby – within the state, that is – it makes them easy destination spots, whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway or extended vacation!

The big question of can I bring my dog pops up more than we think, but we dog lovers are always searching for new ways to help our pups enjoy life! Curious about tips for vacationing with your pet? We were, too! And that’s why we dug a little deeper to find some.

  1. Take your pup to the vet, and get copies of their shot and health records. You may need it when you’re staying in a hotel or resort.
  2. Ensure your dog is up-to-date on local licensing and is marked with their identification, including your dog’s name, your name, and your phone number. Don’t forget about the tag signaling your dogs rabies vaccine is updated. You may consider double checking their embedded Microchip.
  3. Don’t forget their collar, harness, and leash (and you may consider taking an extra.)
  4. Grab some toys and a familiar blanket to comfort your pup in its new environment.
  5. Pack food, treats and extra water for the trip – and pack more than you might think. If you’re pup is typically sedentary, but you’ve planned a trip of hiking, you may consider packing more food and water.
  6. Avoid leaving your dog unattended. Your pup may be a saint, but new environments can bring out underlying anxiety issues – and we don’t want that!

This article from the AKC website, offers in depth information about lodging and specific travel types.

Know of any other pup-friendly, Washington getaways? We’d LOVE to hear about them!


new this week from

WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

003-255679-1E3A8409_blended_5830442.jpg

LAKE VIEWS IN JUANITA
11309 100th Avenue NE, Kirkland • MLS# 1223088
$955,000 • 4 Bedrooms • 3 Bathrooms • 2,690 Sq. Ft. • 10,726 Lot Size

Lake and mountain views in Kirkland. Thoughtful, modern, open spaces maximize westerly views while retaining the intimate character of traditional design. Four bedrooms plus large den. Wrap around view deck and awning on main level to fully enjoy the incredible sunsets. Dedicated upstairs master deck. Vaulted ceilings, oak hardwood floors, skylights, heat pump, solid core interior doors, new windows and range. See to appreciate!

See more at JuanitaLakeViews.com

For more information, please contact Larry Williams.
Larry@LarryWilliamsRealEstate.com • 425.445.9870 •  LarryWilliamsRealEstate.com

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!