City Guide: Kirkland, WA

JUST ACROSS THE LAKE

Perhaps when we think of the Pacific Northwest, iconic Seattle might immediately come to mind. But just across Lake Washington is another beautiful, more relaxed waterfront city, gaining popularity in it’s own right.  Kirkland, Washington is an incredible place to live and there are countless reasons why it should be on your radar.

For starters— the views! Kirkland’s downtown runs along the scenic waterfront, meaning you have an incredible view of the lake and a sense of calm from being near the water at all times. You can enjoy the view of Seattle’s skyline across the lake—without having to be stuck in the traffic. The location is central and close to anything you could ever need. In addition to being close to the many corporate headquarters and campuses, it’s just a quick pop over to Bellevue for big city shopping or into Woodinville for wine tasting. The relaxed and approachable vibe in Kirkland seems to attract both young families and retirees alike, who form the building blocks of great neighborhoods and a tight-knit sense of community. Whatever your reason for coming to Kirkland, there’s no doubt in our minds you’ll enjoy the many restaurants and beachfront parks this charming city has to offer. Here are some of our absolute favorite places:

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TRENDY SHOPS & GREAT RESTAURANTS

Flatstick Pub

You will only find beer from independent Washington breweries being offered here. They are passionate about craft beer, supporting local breweries and mini golf—making this one of the most fun bars you’ll ever find.


Lady Yum

Their logo says it all— macarons and mischief. This locally owned and operated store offers French style macarons with creative flavors like honey lavender or s’mores, plus rotating and seasonal offerings, like sour watermelon for July. They also offer a variety of champagne and house made shrubs, which are both bottomless on Tuesdays!

Zoka Coffee

With ample windows and seating, this popular spot has a bright, inviting atmosphere—perfect for a work day away from the home office or a meet up with friends. Grab an espresso beverage to go, or stay a while and enjoy some slow coffee. May we suggest a single origin pour over?

Lizzy Kate Tea

Here you can find both hot & iced teas, tea lattes and even kombucha on tap! On the weekends, enjoy a thoughtfully crafted tea flight, sometimes even offered with food pairings including wagashi (Japanese sweets) or cheese.


Purpose Boutique

Just as the name suggests, here is a place you don’t have to choose between reasonable prices, trendy clothes, or a good cause. A percentage of every sale is donated to a charity to fight human trafficking so you can feel even better about the clothes you’re in!

EXPLORE THE OUTDOORS 

Unlike living in Seattle and having to leave the city when you want to be in nature, in Kirkland, endless outdoor activities are literally in your backyard!  Did you know that no other city in the Puget Sound Region has as many waterfront parks and beaches as Kirkland? That’s right, parks make up over a quarter of Kirkland’s beachfront property— which means you get to enjoy the protected views and water activities anytime you want! Here are some of our favorite parks to check out: 

MARINA PARK

Downtown and close to many restaurants and shops, Marina Park features a sandy beach with magnificent views of Lake Washington and the Seattle skyline. There is also an open air pavilion and amphitheater, making this park home to many of Kirkland's special events and outdoor concerts.


WAVERLY BEACH PARK 

This is another beautiful park with a protected swimming area, a playground, covered picnic area, and another beautiful view of downtown Seattle across the water. There's also a nice grass lawn where you can set up your chairs or picnic blankets and play structures for the little ones


HOUGHTON BEACH PARK 

This scenic waterfront area attracts locals for swimming, kayaking, paddle board, and volleyball games in the sand! There’s also a well maintained lawn, walking trails, a playground, and a pier that is perfect for sunbathing and fishing.


JUANITA BEACH PARK 

This park features a nice long stretch of sandy beach, play structures for children, plenty of benches to sit and take in the views, a sand volleyball court, and nature preserve. Come here to go swimming, play some outdoor sports, walk on the jetty over the water, or even bird watch!


UPCOMING EVENTS

Maison DeLille

July 28, 2019 6:30 PM - 9:30 PM

Live Music in the heart of Kirkland. Join us for wine flights, by the bottle and glass, and light bites! Happy hour is 3 to 6 p.m., and music from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. MAP IT

Kirkland Waterfront Car Show

August 11, 2019 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

The 2019 Car Show is rebranding and expanding! There will be hundreds of beautiful cars on display in Downtown Kirkland off the shores of Lake Washington. Live music, food, and fun for the whole family! MAP IT

Shop Local - Farmers Markets

One of our favorite things to do this time of year is to browse our local farmers markets.

It’s more than a grocery shopping trip, it’s all about the experience. 

Coming to the farmers market makes shopping a pleasure rather than a chore. The farmers market is a community hub—a place to meet up with your friends, bring your children, or just get a taste of small-town life in the midst of our wonderful big city.  We like to take our time, meet the farmers, learn about their process, and and all about their farms.  It’s fun to connect with them and learn about the food you eat. It brings a sense of community and belonging.  Besides, wouldn’t you rather stroll along outdoor stalls of fresh produce on a summer day than roll your cart around a grocery store with artificial lights and piped in music? 

Shopping at your local farmers market is a great way to support our community. Small family farms have a hard time competing in the food marketplace. Buying directly from farmers gives them a better return for their produce and gives them a fighting chance in today’s globalized economy. 

We have put together a list of the local farmers markets including the day and time they are open and some of the special features of each. 

We hope you can make time to visit a few and perhaps, make it a regular part of your summer routine.

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SEATTLE

U-District: Saturdays - Open all year round | 9am-2pm | University Way NE (the “Ave”) between 50th & 52nd, 98105

Food: farm fresh, farmstead artisanal food, meat, poultry, seafood, wine, beer, cider, artisanal and market bites.

Pets welcome.

Parking is by-donation in the U Heights NORTH lot. Free tokens (for 1 hr. at nearby lots) are available at market manager booths. 2 Handicap spots available in the N. & S. lots at U-Heights.

EBT/SNAP accepted.

Capitol Hill: Sundays - Open all year round | 11am-3pm | Broadway Ave E and E. Pine Str.

Food: farm fresh, farmstead artisanal food, meat, poultry, seafood, wine, beer, cider, artisanal and market bites.

Pets welcome.

Street parking is free on Sundays - shopper loading zones available to pick up purchases.

EBT/SNAP accepted.

West Seattle: Sundays - Open all year round | 10am-2pm | California Ave SW & SW Alaska, in the heart of the West Seattle Junction, 98116

Food: farm fresh, farmstead artisanal food, meat, poultry, seafood, wine, beer, cider, artisanal and market bites.

Pets welcome.

Street parking is free on Sundays and in close by West Seattle Junction lots. on Sundays - shopper loading zones available to pick up purchases.

EBT/SNAP accepted.

Columbia City: Wednesdays - May 8 to October 9 | 3pm-7pm | 37th Ave S & S. Edmunds St, off Rainier Ave S., in South Seattle, 98118

Food: farm fresh, meat, poultry, seafood, wine, beer, cider, artisanal and market bites.

Pets welcome.

Street parking is available and most neighborhood lots offer free parking for market shoppers.

EBT/SNAP accepted.

Lake City: Thursdays - June 6 to October 3 | 3pm-7pm | NE 125th & 28th NE, next to the library off of Lake City Way, 98125

Food: farm fresh, farmstead artisanal food, meat, poultry, seafood, wine, beer, cider, artisanal and market bites.

Pets welcome.

Parking is free at the Lake City Library underground garage, entrance is on 28th St.

EBT/SNAP accepted.

Phinney: Fridays - June 7 to September 27 | 3:30pm-7:30pm | N 67th St & Phinney Ave N, in the upper lot at Phinney Neighborhood

Food: farm fresh, meat, poultry, seafood, wine, beer, cider, artisanal and market bites.

Pets welcome.

Parking is free in the lower lot of the PNA and on the street.

EBT/SNAP accepted.

Magnolia: Saturdays - June 1 to November 23 excluding August 5 | 10am-2pm | 33rd Ave W & W. McGraw St. in the Magnolia Village

Food: farm fresh, meat, poultry, seafood, wine, beer, cider, artisanal and market bites.

Pets welcome.

Parking is free on the street.

EBT/SNAP accepted.

Check out https://seattlefarmersmarkets.org for more information and a special events calendar for each market.

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BELLEVUE

Thursdays - May 16 to October 10 excluding July 4 | 3pm-7pm | 1717 Bellevue Way NE - parking lot of Bellevue Presbyterian Church

Food: farm fresh, artisan food, seafood, prepared food, wine, beer, cider.

Parking is free on the street.

More info: https://bellevuefarmersmarket.org

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KIRKLAND

Wednesdays - June to September | 2pm-7pm | Marina Park

Food: farm fresh, artisan food, seafood, meat, eggs, prepared food, processed food, wine, non-profits, food trucks and art.

Parking: https://www.kirklandwa.gov/Page620.aspx

More info: http://kirklandmarket.org

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REDMOND

Saturdays - May 4 to October 26 | 9am-3pm | Leary Way

Food: farm fresh, fish, meat, eggs, plants, gourmet pantry items, delicious lunch options, artisan crafts and entertainment.

More info: http://redmondsaturdaymarket.org

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DUVALL

Thursdays - May 2 to October 10 | 3pm-7pm | On Brown Ave. between NE Richardson & NE Ring

Food: meat pies, kettle corn, flowers, plant starts, fresh produce, mushrooms, berries, cheese, better meat, Georges - North Bend Bakery, baked goods, crafts and kids activities.

Parking is on Main next to Redemption Church (old) Union Bank.

More info: http://duvallfarmersmarket.org

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TACOMA

Eastside: Tuesdays - June to August | 3pm-7pm | 35th & McKinley

Broadway: Thursdays - May to August | 10am-3pm | September - October | 10am-2pm | 9th & Broadway

Point Ruston: Sundays - June to September | 10am-3pm | September - October | 5005 Ruston Way

More info: https://tacomafarmersmarket.com

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PUYALLUP

Saturdays - April 20 to October 12 | 9am-2pm | Pioneer Park and in the Pioneer Park Pavilion - 330 South Meridian Downtown Puyallup

Food: hanging baskets, fresh veggie and fruit starts, flowers, artisan crafts, specialty food vendors, non-profits and entertainment.

More info: https://www.puyallupmainstreet.com/puyallup-farmers-market/

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KENT

Saturdays - June 1 to September 28 - excluding July 13 | 9am-2pm | Town Square Plaza - at the intersection of 2nd Ave and Smith St in downtown Kent

More info: http://kentfarmersmarket.com

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MAPLE VALLEY

Saturdays - June 15 | 9am-2pm | Rock Creek Elementary School - 25700 Maple Valley Black Diamond Road Maple Valley, WA 98038

Food: farm fresh, prepared foods, non-profit, young entrepreneurs, artisan crafts, re-sellers and entertainment.

More info: http://www.maplevalleyfarmersmarket.com

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RENTON

Tuesdays - June - September | 3pm-7pm | Piazza Renton in Downtown Renton

Food: farm fresh, wine, beer, artisan crafts, prepared foods, goodies and food trucks.

More info: https://www.rentonfarmersmarket.com/index.php

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BOTHELL

Fridays - June 2 - September 29 | 12pm-6pm | Center parking lot of Country Village - 23718 Bothell Everett Hwy

Food: locally grown, farm fresh produce, fresh cut flower bouquets, homemade baked goods, artisan crafts and entertainment.

More info: https://www.facebook.com/Bothellfarmersmarket/

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EVERETT

Sundays - May 12 - October 6 | 11am-4pm | Boxcar Park in the Port of Everett

More info: https://everettfarmersmarket.com

Decluttering as a Family

Fun and Cooperative Strategies for the Family

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A clean and organized home can greatly add to our enjoyment of it. If you have a cluttered, poorly decorated, or somewhat disorganized living space, home relaxation can be virtually impossible! Fortunately, we have some tips that can ease the stress. We are pleased to introduce our guest writer, Jackie Waters. Ms. Waters is a mother of four boys, and lives on a farm in Oregon. She is passionate about providing a healthy and happy home for her family, and aims to provide advice for others on how to do the same with her site Hyper-Tidy.com. In this article, she shows us how with a little help, your home could be the clean and organized space you dream of.

Here’s how:

When decluttering, people sometimes fall victim to the “I-may-need-this-again” mindset, an irresolute and counterproductive view that can leave you with the same mess you started with. One effective and enjoyable way to stay faithful to the objective of decluttering is to use a system of accountability that involves everyone in the decision-making process. It may take a bit longer and there will be some debate — some of it spirited — but this approach interjects a healthy element of group responsibility into the process.


Checks and Balances

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Everyone who participates has an equal say in how to dispose of each item based on the proposition that no one “owns” anything while decluttering. To help avoid sentimentality, everyone has a right to question three decisions based on the following criteria: you either use an item regularly or intend to pass it on to your children. Otherwise, it needs to be recycled, donated, or thrown out. If someone challenges a decision, the others vote “yea” or “nay” based on the goal of getting rid of as much stuff as possible.  

Space and Well-Being

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The aim of decluttering is to free up space in your home and, in so doing, improve your sense of well-being and happiness. With that in mind, as you begin to go through each possession, consider whether you really need it, whether it’s something you just can’t live without, and whether keeping it is important enough to sacrifice your goal of creating a freer, more open living space. Answering these questions honestly should help in overcoming the often overwhelming impulse to retain objects needlessly.

The ‘Two-Bag’ Treatment

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The “two-bag” approach will help you differentiate between items based on what you intend to do with them. For example, there may be some items you’re not ready to just throw away but which you can’t justify keeping. In one trash bag, place anything that’s going to be donated, recycled or given to someone outside your household. In the other bag goes all the stuff you’re resolved to throw away. It’s a simple, straightforward approach designed to discourage the impulse to hang onto stuff that’s not needed anymore.

Slay the Paper Monster

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The daily mail is a major source of clutter in most households and needs to be dealt with resolutely. What’s needed is a system designed to pare down the mail to bare essentials — no junk mail, just bills and very little else. Delegate someone to clip coupons from flyers and circulars, then toss the rest into the recycling pile. Take a similar approach with catalogs: If no one is purchasing from a catalog, recycle it. Personal mail, including letters, credit card offers, membership renewals, and so forth, should be reviewed and acted on or disposed of.

Clean It, Keep It Organized

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Once you’ve got your living environment under control and everything that’s staying is in its place, give the house a good, thorough cleaning. Pay particular attention to the bathroom, often one of the dirtiest rooms in the house. Make sure you have a vacuum that’s effective on tile flooring and has attachments that can reach into tight spaces. Also, keep the house clean so it doesn’t fall into the same disarray that led you to decluttering in the first place. You can hire a cleaning service, but this create added cost, so give careful thought about whether you can afford the expense. If you are looking for a cleaning service, the Maple + Main team have some great referrals for that!

Create a ‘Profit Pile’

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Most of us have belongings that can generate income. That includes books, CDs, DVDs, records, sports equipment, clothing, shoes, and old jewelry. As long as you’re going to the trouble of decluttering, you may as well try to make a few dollars out of it. If you decide to challenge someone’s decision to keep a questionable belonging, point out that it could be worth something and that they don’t simply have to throw it out or recycle it. A great many things can be sold on eBay or Craigslist and a host of other “second-hand economy” websites.

Decluttering can be a lot easier and more enjoyable if you make it a group effort rather than a nebulous task that’s at the discretion of each individual. Getting rid of familiar and comfortable objects can be a difficult emotional process. Sometimes, we need the support and strength of others to help us stay focused on the task at hand, and the end result will be well worth it!

Maple + Main's Guide to Chelan

Washington has so many beautiful areas to visit. In just a couple hours, you can drive to a completely different climate with varying scenery.  This makes Washington one of our favorite areas to vacation in.  That means we get to skip the airfare and be at our destination with minimal effort. 

One of our favorite spots to go is Chelan. In fact, we love it so much that the whole team headed there  last month for a team retreat. We’ve put together a handy guide that includes our favorite places to stay, play, and eat. We even chatted with the locals to find out insider tips that not everyone knows about. Here are a few of our favorites:

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PLACES TO STAY

 In Town -

Campbell’s Resort 

We like Campbell’s because it sits in a prime spot of historic downtown allowing you to walk to EVERYTHING! Alise likes to stay here and rent out the flats at the end of the resort.  They feature a kitchen and beachfront access where it’s a bit quieter. Campbell’s features award-winning dining, a day spa, and fun family activities that include summertime beach concerts, outdoor yoga, FitLab bootcamp, and kids crafts and activities. Campbell’s has been a popular destination spot since 1901 and has even been voted the #1 Resort in the Northwest by Evening Magazine. 

Luxury Stays (without the cost) - 

 Airbnb Rentals

Chelan takes up a relatively small footprint of beachfront at the end of Lake Chelan.  Just a few minutes of driving can get you into a lakefront or lakeview Airbnb in Manson.  We love staying in an Airbnb because you can get all the luxuries of a nicely outfitted home, lakefront access, gorgeous views, and even a private pool!  If you bring friends, you can split the cost which can make staying in an Airbnb less expensive than a small hotel room. 

Our team stayed in this home which featured 5 bedrooms, each with their own private bathroom suite. Here is a link: https://bit.ly/2Xksjf1

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Camping - 

 If you want to keep costs down and enjoy camping, make a family tradition of your own, like Stacie by annually taking her kids camping. You can choose from several parks around the 50.5-mile lake, but some of our favorites include Lake Chelan State Park, Don Morse Park and if you have an RV, Lakeshore RV Park. 

Lake Chelan State Park features 6,000 feet of shoreline and has 139-acre camping park. It doesn’t matter if you’re a water-skier or hiker there’s a place for you to adventure in Lake Chelan State Park. However, if you’d like to visit a day use park visit Don Morse Park, which features 2,000 feet of the waterfront and gives you access to every activity from swimming to all of the boating and water sporting companies. 

RV users should utilize the Lakeshore RV Park, but need to plan ahead as they take reservations 9 months in advance. Their camping lots are able to accommodate up to a 40’ RV and have 163 hook up sites offering water, electric, sewer and cable! Other amenities include: tent pads, free internet, restrooms, showers, picnic tables and dump station. 

 

Check out all of the details for these camp spots here: 

 https://parks.state.wa.us/531/Lake-Chelan

https://cityofchelan.us/departments/parks-recreation/day-use-parks/

https://cityofchelan.us/departments/parks-recreation/rv-park/.

 

Don’t wait last minute though as campsites fill up early as families, like Stacie’s, eagerly wait all year to fulfill their family tradition spending part of their summer on the 1,486 ft. deep lake.

PLACES TO EAT

Breakfast: Blueberry Hills Farm

“One of the TOP 4 Restaurants in Washington State!” as named by the Seattle Times and awarded King 5’s “Evening Magazine Viewer’s Choice Award,” “2nd Best Destination Restaurant in Washington,” in 2017. Not just the omelets, coffee and hot chocolate were amazing but the friendly atmosphere created was adorable, but do expect a wait as it is extremely popular! 

Besides being a restaurant Blueberry Hills Farm is a 20+ acre operating berry farm (16 different blueberry varieties!!), fruit stand and gift shop. U-Pick, U-Sit, U-Eat, U-Visit! 

 Tentative picking times:  

•     Blueberries (are the only fruit pre-picked as well) : July — Mid-Late August

•     Strawberries: June — Late Fall

•     Raspberries: Late June — Late Fall

•     Blackberries: August — Late Fall 

Check out their site to stay up-to-date: http://wildaboutberries.com

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With our breakfast cravings satisfied we wanted to run you through where you can eat no matter what your taste buds are longing for: 

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Mexican

Marcela’s for a sit down experience OR Tacos La Roca, a hidden food truck behind Les Schwab that has absolutely fantastic Mexican food. 

Wood Fired Pizza

Local Myth, the perfect place to go after spending all day on the water. With hand-crafted pizzas, calzones, salads, antipasto and desserts you can’t go wrong. “In town, you can’t beat Local Myth Pizza,” —Sunset Magazine. 

Take the kids

The BBQ at Lake Chelan Winery, perfect for date night with the familyas you'll be surrounded by vineyards and the gorgeous country-side. Munch on satisfying BBQ outside on the picnic benches while the kids are free to roam and even enjoy a glass of one of the wines unique to Chelan Winery.

Date Night (with or without kids)

Wapato Point Cellarsis Alise’s favorite dinner spot. Located in Manson and set back on the road, it’s not easy to find so you’ll have to look it up. The higher end restaurant is perfect for date night without the kids but isn’t too hoity-toity for children.  Fantastic dining inside or outside.  They have a large grassy area with a play toy that that if you bring the kiddos, they can go run around outside while you linger over conversation. Enjoy their tasting room open 12pm — 5pm, winemaker’s grill open at 5pm andwine bar also open at 5pm.

Romatic Date Night

Andante is a fine dining experience providing (in Alise’s opinion) the best wine list in Chelan. Candle light and the sounds of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, or even live piano on occasion, playing in the background create a romantic atmosphere.

Dinner with a view

Tsillian Cellarsis a hot spot if you’re looking for dinner anda view. With unbeatable hospitality and wine that has won over 400 gold and platinum awards you’ll enjoy a delicious meal while looking over the rolling vineyards.  Their tasting room is quite grand and spills out onto a large patio complete with winding coy pond and bridges.  This is a must-try.  Sample some wines in the tasting room before dinner so you know which one you’ll want with dinner. 

Girls Day Lunch

The Bistro at Benson’s Winerynot only will the wine capture your taste buds but the bistro’s space has captivated hearts to host private dining experiences and special events.

Rosé All Day: 

The Amos Rome Vineyards Tasting Roomis another hidden gem with LovelyRosé as their flagship wine and have whites for tastings as reds are in the bottling process. Open every weekend 12pm-5pm be sure to make a visit!   

Cocktails and Small Plates

Layla’s is a new, fun cocktail lounge with outstanding customer service, killer drinks and quick eats. Bethanie says you can’t go to Chelan without visiting here at least once. 

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On the Water

Alpenhorn Drive-In will be perfect for you. Boat by the 25-mile creek state park, dock and you’re at lunch! 

PLACES TO EXPLORE

Chelan is clearly known for its lake, but you don't have to have boat to enjoy it. There's plenty of boat rental/water sport options to choose from, even in the busy seasons. 

Modern Boat Rentals was our favorite as they brought the boat right to us and we did not have to wait in any lines. They offer boats andjet skis for a variety of ways to be on the water. 

Slidewaters is a popular waterpark to check out complete with fun water slides and kid pools. They are currently constructing the nations largest surfing simulator! 

Chelan Lanes has Cosmic Bowlingwhich begins at 7pm on Friday and Saturday nights and is a perfect activity to take your friends and family to as the sun goes down. 

Mini-golf is always a fun option, especially in summer nights and is located right by Don Morse Park as mentioned above.  Brea feels this is one of the best mini-golf parks she has been to. 

Hikers and walkers will enjoy Chelan Butte along with several other trail heads in the area.

Wineries and vineyards grace the lakeside and you’d be remiss to not visit a few.  These tasting rooms have a laid back, welcoming feel and many include an outdoor area to relax or try your hand at horsehshoes or bochi ball. Here is a list so you can pick out your favorites to visit: http://lakechelanwinevalley.com/wineries/

Can't fit in enough of the wineries? Try a wine tour on an electric bike to enjoy all of the views from winery to winery. 

If shopping is more your thing definitely check out the Historical District. There’s lots of quaint shops to visit but also be sure to visit the historic Ruby Theater built in 1914. You have the option to rent out the theater for private screenings as well. See what they’re showing for your visit here: http://rubytheatre.com

Another must visit, Alise’s favorite, is to Bear Foods. So much more than a healthy food store, it is filled with displays coinciding with the season. The owner’s Nick and Theresa aspired to give shopper’s a whimsical European experience. We recommend walking slow through the aisles so you can be inspired for your home, garden and gifts too. 

Next door, also owned by Nick and Theresa is Café-Crêperie where you can find savory and sweet crepes but also gluten, dairy, soy and sugar free crepes to fit anyone’s diet. All of the ingredients are from Bear Food’s too. 

For any winter fans be sure to visit Echo Valley Ski Hill in the colder months where you can ski, snowboard, tube and participate in events happening around the resort. Stay updated here: http://www.echovalley.org

There are always fun weekend events taking place in Chelan.  We timed our trip with the annual Wine and Jazz Festival.  Check out their event list to plan your vacation around one of these popular venues and you’re sure to have a full week of fun in the sun! https://www.lakechelan.com/events/list/

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$22,000 Rehab = $79,000 Profit!

One of the biggest questions we get asked when working with home sellers is,

“What do I need to do in order to get the most money when I sell?”

We wanted to walk you through how our latest client invested around $22,000 into rehabbing their home before listing, which resulted into a $79,000 profit!

However, there is a delicate balance when it comes to this concept of rehabbing your home. While you don’t want invest too much, you don’t want to invest in too little and not receive a worthwhile profit. For example, if you were to put in $20,000 but only get $20,000 more when it sells the investment wouldn’t be worth your time and effort.  

Here at Maple + Main it’s so important that we bring our knowledge of this Puget Sound market, combine it with our design expertise and make sure we are giving every one of our clients the recipe to a successful sale that yields them the most money possible. 

The home is simply another example of how we help put tens of thousands of dollars into our clients pocketbooks.

Brighton Place

Brighton Place was a home built in 1990. Although fairly recent, the owner had started updating some trim and the flooring on the main floor. Everything else was the original, so to create more appeal work needed to be done.  

To get the home in salable condition the basics of painting, carpet replacement, landscaping and general repairs were a must. If the owner did simply the basics they would be able to list the home for $675,000.  

The kitchen and bathrooms all had standard style oak cabinets with formica counters. We determined if they remodeled the kitchen and all 3 bathrooms they would be able to price the home for $725,000 with the chance of having a bidding war over the asking price. 

So, what was the result? 

Initially, this home could sell for $675,000 without the kitchen and bathroom remodel. 

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The owners invested $22,231 into the remodel projects making the new minimum listing price $697,231.

However, with these new improvements we listed the home for $735,000 and it sold for $776,000!  The owners ultimately made a profit of $78,769. Not too shabby!  

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Brighton Place is the perfect example of why you should always consult with a top expert in your area before selling your home.

Here at Maple + Main we can help you determine what needs to be done to yield the most money and whether those investments make sense for you.

Of course many factors go into a listing pricing like location and the current market. It doesn’t always make sense to do major repairs like this but maybe just the simple carpet and paint updates. Having the Maple + Main team visit your home before listing it will give you the best opportunity to prepare the home for maximum return. 

If you’d like a complimentary consultation, reach out to us by visiting our website maplemain.com.

How to Add Value to Your Home Before Listing

We all have our own personal style, especially when it comes to decorating our home. Selling our home becomes a different story as you need to change your perspective from having your space with the character of your daily life to the perspective of the eye’s of the buyer.

Our eyes tend to work from the ground up and this reflects to the eye’s of the potential buyers when looking for work needed to be done on any home.

There are three areas to a home that show the most wear and tear but are also the easiest improvements:

  • Flooring

  • Wall treatments/Paint

  • Staging

Flooring -

Both carpet and hardwood floors show where the high-traffic areas are in your home. Whether the hardwood is more faded (from lots of sun or people exposure) or the carpet is more matted or discolored, the potential new home buyers will immediately notice.

Refinished or repurposed hardwoods, new carpet, or a professional carpet cleaning, will add thousands of dollars of value to your home. The floors will appear seamless, clean and up-to-date focusing the buyer’s eyes elsewhere, which you want to do!

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Wall Treatments -

Take a look at your home’s walls and notice the condition of what they are in along with what is currently on them. Are all walls painted or is wallpaper or a different texture in the mix? Are there chips, scratches, finger prints, dirt on the walls? Most likely you’ll need at least a fresh coat of paint. A simple, inexpensive solution that will end up adding to the value of your home with little cost to you. The walls are your home’s canvas and will be easy to tell if they’ve been updated.

Doors of any kind are important to consider as well. In the home above, we simply painted the wood closet doors white and it made a world of a difference to lighten up the space and blend together with the walls rather than be the room’s focal point.

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Staging -

Staging is a unique aspect Maple & Main focuses on as we not only want to help you sell your home, but create a home and space that fits your lifestyle and a potential buyer’s. The design behind the staging is what will make the difference of not just selling a home but making sure it is the best fit, not to mention quickly!

When setting up your home the key objective is to simplify your spaces. Too much furniture or decor makes a space look smaller than it really is and takes away from beautiful features of the structure of the home. Clean lines and no clutter is the goal.

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The above three improvements may be $5,000 — $10,000 of an investment but will add tens of thousands to your home when selling.

Happy fun fixer-upping!!

2 Refreshing Spring Cocktails

Spring is finally here and so are spring cocktails! 

With the weather changing comes a change in our taste buds as well. Hence, why we love lemonade and a not hot chocolate in the spring and summer months.

Bethanie and Brea here to share two of our favorite drinks you can try out when your outside enjoying the sunshine. 

First try the Cherry Blossom Tini.

A sake based cocktail, similar to a Cosmopolitan, making it light and perfect going into spring and summer. Perfect for a brunch or bridal shower, stepping up even the most casual event.  The alcohol content is fairly low making it easy to have simple flavors. 

 Supplies: 

  • Shaker

  • Jigger

  • Strainer

  • Stir Stick

Glasses of your preference, we used:

  • Martini glasses for the Cherry Blossom Tini

  • Mason jars for the Kentucky Mule

What you need for the Cherry Blossom Tini

  • Ice

  • 1.5 oz of sake (Fred Meyer’s only $8.00 — easy to find!)

  • 0.5 oz Cointreau Orange Liqueur (substitutes are fine!) 

  • 0.5 Cranberry Juice 

  • 0.25 (half of a jigger) fresh-squeezed Lime Juice 

  • 2 dashes of Orange Bitters (less is more!!) 

  • Lime garnish

Secondly, try the Kentucky Mule.

Similar to a Moscow Mule, but there’s a twist. Instead of vodka, you use bourbon (preferably bullet bourbon) for the Kentucky Mule - think Kentucky Derby style. With this kind of taste you can serve it anytime to enjoy with your friends and family to enjoy these beautiful seasons.

What you need for the Kentucky Mule:

  • Ice

  • 1.5 oz of bourbon (bullet bourbon is our fav!)

  • 0.25 (half of a jigger) of fresh-squeezed Lime Juice

  • 6 oz fill the rest with Ginger Beer

  • Lime garnish 

Overall, have fun with it! Get creative with what you have as far as barware, no need to restock your kitchen and who knows you could start a new trend! 

We understand you may want your kids to enjoy or maybe you’re cutting back on alcohol so we wanted to include some mocktails to try out as well:

Lime Rickey: 

  • 30ml Lime Juice

  • 30ml Sugar Syrup 1 

  • 15ml Orange Bitters

  • 120ml Soda Water

  • 1 Lime

The Real Shirley Temple: 

  • 45ml Grenadine

  • 180ml Ginger Ale

  • 1 Lemon

Have fun sippin!


Style & Design Tips: New Homeowners

 

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Intimidating is an understatement when you think of moving from a 500 sq. ft. apartment to then transitioning into a two-story home.

Let's talk style and design.

In styling an open living space, we were able to select rather large, statement furniture pieces. If you’ve ever lived in a large city where you search high and low for the smallest couch or the smallest chair the store has, this room is the exact opposite and gives you an endless amount of options when it comes to styling it. Who doesn’t love a good sectional? We’ve selected this custom sectional as most couch buyers don’t realize often times you can customize the look and style of your sectional if you have the time and patience to wait for it, otherwise what’s in stock could be fine as well. Adding accent chairs and ottomans is an excellent option too, as seen in this example.

This is the exciting debate with new homeowners as the decision is ultimately up to YOU.

With open concept rooms it’s important you define the space and have a set intention where you place each piece of furniture or decor as it allows the space to take its own shape. With hardwood floors, adding a large area rug to the space pulls the room together making it feel complete and homey.

Appliances, though not really decor, are often added immediately as they are part of our every day world. However, keeping them as neat and clean like a piece of art is just as important. Cords, gaming systems, DVDs, CDs, you name it, aren’t very cute to show off and would be better placed in storage elsewhere.

On the contrary artwork is extremely acceptable to showoff so putting a piece on an open wall could be a nice finishing touch to a room or even a mirror strategically placed to make a room feel larger.

Color is a key aspect that really finishes off a space. Where you put your color is where the eye will be drawn so a safe bet is to keep furniture pieces neutral so you can add color with pillows, plants and artwork and interchange as frequently as you’d like. Greenery is always good to implement not only because plants are beautiful but because they help clean your air making your home feel fresh and not stuffy.

Need some more inspiration? Check out these links to some of my favorite area rugs and pillows:

west elm

west elm

CB2

CB2

west elm

west elm

CB2

CB2

Target

Target

anthropologie

anthropologie

Target

Target

anthropologie

anthropologie

Seattle To Bainbridge Island Day Trip!

 

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Who knew a short 35-minute ferry ride could take us to a town with so much to offer? Let’s talk everything Bainbridge. 

The whole Maple + Main team ventured across the Puget Sound together. The Seattle ferry isn’t simply a mode of transportation itself, it’s a scenic experience of the surrounding areas and makes for a fun trip. 

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After arriving in Bainbridge, the team headed to the 5-star rated Good Egg restaurant. Good Egg utilizes fresh produce from the surrounding area.  Besides being a great restaurant, Good Egg also puts on fun events. Check out their events page here: https://squareup.com/store/goodeggbi

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With full bellies, the team was ready to have an exciting day of shop-hopping. Salt House was first on the list where Bethanie found a particularly special item called ‘Roman Salt’. Her son’s name is Roman whom recently finished culinary art school, so of course, she had to get it for him. 

90% of Salt House’s product are made in the USA with most being in the PNW. We love that! From small-batched foods to laundry detergent, there’s a product for you. https://www.salthousemercantile.com

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B.I. Barkery was a highlight for Brea as she found plenty of options for her beloved dog, Bear. This is the perfect spot for dog lovers with specialty items and organic treats. 

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Bon Bon Collections, specializing in ‘Bainbridge Island Fudge’, is a must visit where you’ll most likely be like Alise and go home with 5 lbs of fudge (she claims it was all for gifting ... yeah, right!). The fudge is made in-house daily and makes your visit that much sweeter! Plan the flavors you’ll want to try here: https://bonboncandies.com/flavors

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Churchmouse Yarns & Teas had a plethora of products that really pulled in each one of our team members. From clothes to dishware to their lavender products — grown in the San Juan Islands — one can easily spend hours just within this one shop. Stay up to date by signing up for their newsletter here:https://www.churchmouseyarns.com/pages/newsletters

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Seaside Station was our team’s last stop but it’s perfect to be your first stop being right by the ferry terminal. Located in an old gas station even the aesthetic is worth seeing. As a commuter market selling everything from flowers to hoodies, there’s something for everyone here. We loved the Bainbridge Island logo hoodies!

Our time quickly came to a close and we realized how much we didn’t get to see and do. Bainbridge part 2 is a must! Let us know your favorite things to do on Bainbridge and we’ll try them out our next trip. Happy day tripping!

What To Do: Enumclaw, WA

Brea and Stacie took a day trip to the town of Enumclaw to visit the must sees and dos.

First on the list was to go on a hike of Mount Peak (or Pinnacle Peak). 1.8 miles in length with an 1000 foot elevation gain, the hike is a ‘butt buster’ but very doable. With picturesque greens, we highly recommend making a visit as the hike is pet friendly and you’ll see many friendly faces along the way. One unique aspect of this trail is the basalt outcroppings (rapidly cooled lava tubes) near the summit and views of the White River and of course Mount Rainier. 

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Afterward, a well deserved pastry and latte at The Local: A Modern Day General Store and Coffeehouse was next on the list. They serve Stumptown Coffee and you can either take a seat and relax while you’re having a treat or take a walk through their general store.  

With the cutest knick-knacks at The Local, exploring the rest of the wide array of shops around town was a must-do. 

Bridget’s Boutique was one of our favorites as they sold clothing, jewelry and furniture, all matching your budget. They make a point to get to know you by name and provide a delightful shopping experience. 

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Another favorite, Nature’s Inventory, had an amazing product line from all natural essential oils to skin care to teas. A very passionate company about all that they do and sell to make life better. Focused solely on health, they wanted to make solutions to problems without all of the side effects. Inspired by their customer base, they are constantly working hard to meet every single one of their customer’s needs. The highest quality of ingredients, all natural and organic, consistent and incomparable prices - only $15.95 a bottle - they want to make natural products available to everyone. You won’t be disappointed.  

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After working up an appetite, a meal at the family owned Mint Restaurant and Ale House was next. We highly recommend the gyro and the ‘not your momma’s’ grilled cheese. With an incredible sense of community, we’ll always make a visit to the Mint every time we’re in town. Check out their menus here: https://www.thehistoricmint.com/menu/.  

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The Chalet Theatre is another must-do (we hit the $5 matinee). Not only do they show films but also live shows and sporting events! View all of their events here: http://chalettheatre.com.  Starting out in 1917, the theatre was home to the American Legion and even a manufacturing plant throughout WWII. Made into a movie theater in 1947, the walls are filled with the original tapestries and murals from the time. Ken Kerr bought and ran the theatre from 1977 until 2012, the year of his passing, but it is run by the same family today. 

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We headed to the new Headworks Brewing (kid and pet friendly!) for some beer to top it all off. Check out their beers on tap here: http://www.headworksbrewing.com/ontap. Located in an old Enumclaw laundromat, the team wanted to renovate an iconic space to bring together community, which is exactly what we experienced today. 

Pike Place Market Food Tour with Savor Seattle

Whether you’ve lived in Seattle for a few months or 20 years there is always something new to see at the world famous Pike Place Market. There are several types of tours visitors and locals go on, however, one is never enough. We decided to go on Savor Seattle’s VIP Early Access Tour at Pike Place Market. From well-known favorites to hidden gems we were pleasantly surprised and left with happy tummies. This tour is also a lot more than just food, too!  We learned so many things about Pike Place that we never knew!  We can't wait to do it again! 

Check out their site for all of the details including 7 other tasting tours: savorseattletours.com - Mark was our outstanding tour guide, maybe you'll have him too!


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Stop 1: Honest Biscuits 

Owner Art Stone first started making biscuits when he was only 4 years old with his grandma. After years of trying to replicate his grandma’s recipe, he finally felt he was catching up to her yet incorporating his own style into the biscuits creating the Honest Biscuits we all know and love today.

As described by a local baker as, “fluffy clouds of goodness," the biscuits are baked fresh everyday with all local ingredients including Washington’s Shepherd’s Grain flour. Unique twists inspired by other market favorites are used as well like, Bavarian Meat’s bacon, Beecher’s Cheese, Theo Chocolate and of course local fruit. 

Honest Biscuits are shared among several different farmer’s markets and seasonally alter flavors to reflect all of the different markets. You can check out their Find & Buy page here to see what farmer’s markets they’ll be located around Seattle: https://www.honestbiscuits.com/find-buy 


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Stop 2: Indi Chocolate

Who doesn’t love chocolate? Indi Chocolate is special not only for their great tasting chocolate and variety of products they supply, but because their cacao beans are sourced directly from farmers providing them with higher incomes. Their products made from cocoa butter range from teas to body care — including sun tan lotion!  

Being in Seattle, it also comes to no surprise Indi Chocolate loves their coffee. They have a cafe with specialty coffee drinks and their single origin drinking chocolate. Yum!

Be sure to try out a class here: https://indichocolate.com/blogs/classes


 
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Stop 3: Frank’s Quality Produce

“Quality” is our middle name. 

Frank’s Quality produce is 85 years and 5 generations in the making. With beautiful displays of fruits and vegetables hand trimmed and selected every morning, you’ll never miss it walking through the market.

Not only do they sell at the market but they deliver to many restaurants around Seattle. They hand craft gift boxes and fruit baskets as well. Is there anything they don’t do? 

Be sure to make a visit as their customer service is ‘unsurpassed’ and you'll sample the freshest fruits you've ever tasted.


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Stop 4: Pike Place Fish

Pike Place Fish is really what has made Pike Place Market the world phenomenon it has become today. 

From halibut to crab to salmon, there is something for all palettes. Maybe even try catching a fish like Brea! 

Place an order here: https://www.pikeplacefish.com/


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Stop 5: Market Spice

Beginning in 1911, Market Spice offers 140 different teas, spices, honeys, cookie, mints, sauces, their own candle line and so much more. 

Want to try a 1st place World Tea Championship winner?  Try the Cinnamon Orange bottled tea, it obviously can’t be beat.   

From their signature blends, to adding essentials oils and yet no sweetener, Market Spice is a must visit to find the spice that fits your life. 

View their extensive product line here: https://www.marketspice.com/


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Stop 6: Pike Place Urban Garden

Want to visit a place no one knows about? This urban garden will be for you. With fresh greenery all around and stunning views of Seattle - it’s a perfect place to take a moment to soak in the beauty, and if you’re lucky, maybe some sunshine. 


 
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Stop 7: Miss Cafe - Turkish Cuisine

If you’re a pizza lover and are willing to try something new, Miss Cafe’s signature Turkish Pizzas (Pides) are a must. With the perfect crisp, ground beef and some veggies you won’t be disappointed.  


Notice the little things: 

Rachel the Pig, aka a large golden pig in the middle of the market, is an actual piggy bank.

Supporting The Market Foundation, Rachel raises around $20,000 each year for education, local soup banks and senior citizens. If you rub Rachel’s snout and make a donation legend has it you’ll be going home with some good luck!  

Be sure to grab some donuts at the Daily Dozen Donut Company and trying their maple bacon donut. If you’re then craving some coffee stop by the original Starbucks where the company sold their first cup of coffee. 

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Bon appetit!

EASY Table Setting For Your Next Dinner Party

 

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Everyone loves the ease of entertaining an informal dinner. We are guilty all too often of pulling out the paper plates and serving things buffet style.  And if that’s what it takes for you to invite some friends over, great!  But it can be a nice touch to set a table and share a meal that you and a few close friends can gather around.

Having a sit-down dinner doesn’t have to be complicated.  We think it’s all about keeping it simple…. otherwise, the idea of setting a perfect table and trying to figure out what you’ll talk about all night may be enough to make you call in the take out.

Here are a few easy tips to keep the night lively, the table setting easy and elegant, and how to pull it off without a hitch.  And if you still want to get take out, make sure you order well ahead of time so you can put it in some nice dishes to make it look like you slaved all day over the stove! 

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We suggest setting the table the night before. That way it’s all done and all you have to work on is the meal.  A table setting is EXTRA easy if you use plain white dishes.  I love having colorful dishes, but about 10 years ago, I ditched my colorful set and bought clean, white, simple dishes.  They look great displayed in the cabinet, make the food look tastier, and add an easy elegance to a table setting. I don’t like spending a lot of money on dinnerware and I searched for something that would not break the bank yet would also hold up to everyday wear.  My favorite line is from Crate & Barrel.  They have a line of dishes called their Essential Dinnerware. It has simple, clean lines and its held up to just about everything I’ve thrown at it.  I have a few pieces that have chipped over the years, but the line is still around 10 years later so it’s easy to just buy another plate if the need arises.  The best part is that even though the line is porcelain, they are very inexpensive. A set can be purchased at a discount for $36.95 for 8 dinner plates, $29.95 for 8 salad plates, and $29.95 for 8 bowls. That’s under $100 for a whole set of 8!

Here is a link to the Crate & Barrel Essential Dinnerware Line: https://www.crateandbarrel.com/dinnerware-collections/essential-dinnerware/


Now for the fun part; setting the table! Here are some easy steps for a BASIC TABLE SETTING: 

  1. If you are using a placemat, set the dinner plate in the center

  2. Take a napkin (we suggest going to the dollar store and getting REAL white linen napkins). Fold them into a rectangle and place it to the left of the dinner plate.

  3. Place the fork in the middle of the napkin.

  4. Place the knife to the right of the dinner plate, blade facing in towards the plate. 

  5. Place the spoon to the right of the knife.

  6. Align all the silverware so that the bottoms line up with the bottom of the plate. 

  7. Imagine the dinner plate is the face of a clock.  Place the dinner glass at the one o’clock position of the dinner plate. Make sure the entire glass is on the place mat. You may need to position the plate and silverware lower towards the bottom edge of the place mat so they all fit. 

  8. OPTIONAL: If you are serving wine, or would like to serve a spritzer in a wine glass, place it to the outside right of the dinner glass. 

  9. Place a sprig of thyme or rosemary in the center of the plate at a slight angle.  If you are setting the table the night before. Wait to place the herbs until an hour or so before dinnertime. 


Voila! A basic table setting all ready to go!  

If you would like to serve a salad on a smaller plate, simply put your salad plate on top of the dinner plate.  You can put the sprig of thyme on top of that.  You can also put a smaller salad fork to the left of the larger dinner fork.  

Lastly, if you are serving soup or a saucy dish like curry, simply place the bowl on top of the salad plate or dinner plate.  

The important thing is not to stress about it!  You can stick with the basic setting for ALL occasions and you don’t need a salad fork if you don’t have one.  The table will look great either way. 

For a touch of color and seasonal interest, we like to add a few flowers to the table.  Do not go and spend big money on a fancy bouquet.  An inexpensive bouquet is all you need.  We like to cut the bouquet down and divide it among a few small vases or mason jars.  That also keeps them lower to the table so you don’t have a giant bouquet preventing you from seeing the person across from you.  

We also like to add a few votive candles to the table.  This can really set a relaxed mood yet you don’t have to worry about candle wax dripping all over.  


Dinner Playlist

The trick to a seamless evening is to have background music.  This does wonders to prevent the awkward silence that can arise when everyone is chowing down.  We suggest starting the music before guests arrive to set the mood right away. Here are a few of our favorite dinner party playlists on Spotify: 


Jazz - Dinner Party - By mark.hayhurst

An enchanting compilation of 94 of the best jazz artists from Billy Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Nina Simone and the rest of the best! Think nostalgic evening over candlelight, lingering conversations, and letting the dishes just sit as you reminisce all night. 

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/1eIg0A4RHNrhJoYDVWTagC


Dinner Party Jazz: A Delicious Collection of Instrumental Jazz for Entertaining - Various Artists

A jazzy instrumental mix that you won’t have to think about. It will just play nicely in the background and add a light, happy mood.  

https://open.spotify.com/album/0u7h5OPzvahRQb5qC51d9R


Mellow Pop - by Spotify 

This is an easy going mix of easy vocal pop that plays nicely without getting weird or feeling like you need to forward a song.  

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/37i9dQZF1DWYp3yzk1civi


Family Dinner Party - By Blaike Ford

This has a whopping 449 songs that include everything from BB King to Cold Play. It’s a nice mix of music that won’t get out of hand while still remaining upbeat.  449 songs in this mix means once you set it, you can forget it.  

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6bYC60qfmSeJQ2AgSLzD8K


And there you have it.  An easy table setting, mood-setting music, and you’re on your way to a memorable evening. 

Have fun! 

Written by Alise Roberts

Video by Bethanie Ferrando

 DIY Terrarium in 6 Easy Steps

 

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Now that Spring is upon us, it’s time to bring some life and color into your home! Terrariums are a fantastic way to freshen up any space. And better yet, they are SO easy. What's great about building a terrarium is that you can really make it your own and add elements that you love. For this one, I’ve added some stones that my kids brought back from the beach when they were small children. I never quite knew what to do with them, but adding a few to my terrariums is a fun way to be reminded of them. Here is a step by step guide to creating your very own springtime terrarium.

 
 

What you’ll need:

Glass Container, with or without lid

Charcoal 

Soil (specfic for the plants you are using)

Decorative rocks or pebbles for layering

Plants of your choice

Decorative moss and/or objects

Directions:

 
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The base: You definitely want to begin by laying down some charcoal in the bottom of your container. This will absorb the smells that can come with moisture. Place the charcoal in a mound in the center of the container. 

Potting Soil: Next we are going to mound some soil on top of the charcoal being careful to leave the outer edges by the glass container untouched.  Lay the soil in a way that creates a mound in the center so we can create some rock layers around the soil. We are using potting soil because we are using basic house plants, so potting soil is great, but if you are planting succulents or cacti, you will want to use soil that is appropriate for those species. 

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Rock Layer: Place the rocks on the sides, around the soil mound. You can purchase these potting rocks at any local nursery; mine are from Windmill Gardens in the Southend. Lay the rocks around the mound. We wanted to kind of mix it up with our terrarium, so we laid a layer of white rock in between each layer. As you layer rocks continue building soil in the middle and rocks on the other edges. 

Potting Soil: After the rocks are laid down, cover the entire top with a three or four inches of potting soil.

 
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Add the plants: The key to an interesting terrarium is choosing beautiful, contrasting foliage. We chose to use a taller green plant, one small green plant, and a fun pop of purple flowers. Gently place the plants in the top layer of soil. 

Finishing Touches: Put the final touches on by placing moss over the top layer of soil, and around the plants. Adding other accents like pinecones or some beautiful stone creates a fun and interesting look as well!

And just like that, you've got a beautiful terrarium! We love placing these in the center of a coffee or side table.  They also work as a great accent on a bathroom counter that has natural lighting.  Caring for them is pretty easy.  Watering needs to be done lightly and less often than other house plants since they have their own ecosystem in place.  

We are sure you’ll love your new terrarium as it brings a new life to your home.  Enjoy! 

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Wine and Cheese Pairing on a Budget

 

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Is there anything better than wine and cheese? We don’t think so!  We love putting together charcuterie and pairing it with our favorite wines.  But when it comes to entertaining, this can quickly add up.  

Entertaining doesn’t have to break the bank. There are some excellent budget wines and quality cheese that pair wonderfully and taste delicious.  We have put together a few of our favorites so that the next time you entertain, all you have to do is print out the list and go to your local grocery store.  

Most grocery stores also carry pre-packaged nuts and dried fruits.  You can typically find these “pairing packs” in the specialty cheese kiosks at stores like QFC, Safeway, and Hagen.  The one we picked up cost under $7.99 and included dried apricots, almonds, cashews, and cranberries.  Other additions to your charcuterie board can include salami, olives, and fig jam.  These also are easily found at the cheese kiosks. Don’t forget the crackers! 

Now, on to the fun part! 

These three wines and cheeses are all UNDER $20 and received high ratings or QPR (quality/price ratio)

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PAIRING #1

Francis Coppola Diamond Collection Cabernet Sauvignon + Cypress Grove Midnight Moon Gouda

You can’t go wrong with these two! Flavor and intensity are amazing.  The cab has flavors of plum, black cherry, anise & clove. This Dutch classic aged goat gouda is dense and creamy with a long sweet caramelized finish. 

Francis Coppola

Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 Vintage — $16.99

Cypress Grove Midnight Moon

Goat Gouda  —$7.00-$8.00


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PAIRING #2

Mark Ryan Vincent Board Track Racer + Esquirrou (ehs-keer-oo)

This wine was one of our favorites. It’s a Washington state red blend and ranks in the top 3% of wines from the Columbia Valley. It has some rich dark notes of blackberry and dark cherry with a super smooth finish. The cheese we paired this with is called, Esquirrou (ehs-Keer-oo). It’s a cheese from France and is made with sheep’s milk. It has a smooth, elastic texture with a nutty sweetness. This was the 2018 grand prize winner at the world cheese championships. You’ve got to try this one!

Mark Ryan Vincent Board Track Racer

Red Blend — $19.99

Esquirrou

$9.00


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PAIRING #3

19 Crimes The Uprising + Montemore 

With aromas of warm vanilla and caramel up front and blackberry jam, plum, and spice on the finish, this bottle is an absolute go-to for inexpensive red wine. The cheese we put with this one is Montamore Cheddar. It’s a sharp white cheddar blended with a moderate parmesan for a super delicious cheese blend! 

19 Crimes The Uprising

Cabernet Sauvignon - $11.99

Montamore

Sharp Cheddar and Parmesan Blend - $7.50

Our Favorite Salad Recipe! Citrus Cranberry Salad

 

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Do you ever get to that point where you feel a lack of creativity in the kitchen? There’s nothing like sharing recipes to put an end ho-hum meal boredom!  Last week we asked you to send in your favorite go-to recipes and WOW, what fun that was! 

For everyone that submitted a recipe, we put your name in a drawing for $100 shopping spree to Whole Foods Market.  We are thrilled to announce that Terri DiMartino won!  Terri sold her Des Moines home with us a few years ago and we have enjoyed hearing about her and her husband, Pete, in their new ventures since they recently retired.  

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Terri submitted this super easy salad recipe that comes together in just a few minutes.  She calls it her anniversary salad because they just celebrated their 9-year anniversary and they make this salad a few times a week.  We can understand why!  This salad adds a twist to your everyday salad and the variety of flavors make it anything but boring!  We especially loved that all the ingredients are winter-friendly, so even when produce is hard to come by in the coldest months, this salad will be an easy one to make! 

Terri says that the best part of this salad is that all the ingredients can be purchased at Costco, a fave shopping place for them.  But really, all these ingredients are easy to find at any basic grocery store, so we love that too. 



Citrus Cranberry Salad

Here is what you’ll need: 

  • 4 cups of Power or Super Greens (usually a mix of baby chard, kale, and spinach)

  • 1 chicken breast, cooked and cubed

  • 3 cutie oranges, peeled 

  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries 

  • 1/2 cup pecans, lightly toasted and roughly chopped

  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

  • 1/2 cup of Walden Farms Lite Raspberry Vinaigrette dressing 

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Just throw all the ingredients into a bowl, toss, then serve! 

The only work to this salad is cooking the chicken breast.  If you like to meal prep on the weekend, we found that it was super easy to bake, grill, or sauté a few chicken breasts ahead of time. Chop them up, put them in a storage container and VOILA! This salad pretty much comes together in 10 min or less.  

Here are a few other tips we noted: 

  • If you don’t have time to toast the pecans, they taste great raw, too! 

  • We didn’t find the Walden Farms Lite Raspberry Vinaigrette at the grocery store we went to, but we used Marie’s instead.  Pretty much any raspberry vinaigrette should do. 

  • Have fun with the chicken. Salt and pepper are just fine. But we threw some other herbs on it while cooking and it added an element of flavor.  Grilling would also be extra tasty! 

Another thing we loved about the salad is the color.  With the orange, cranberry, and bright greens, this salad is like a gem show!  It’s absolutely gorgeous and will add sparkle to your dining room table… that is if you can wait long enough to dig in! 

Confession time! After we filmed the video for this salad, we all grabbed forks, stood around the bowl, and went to town eating it right out of the communal salad bowl.  It was THAT GOOD!  

We hope you are inspired to try this at home.  Let us know if you do in the comments below!  

Before and After Reveal: Latona of Seattle

 

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What is it that draws us to before and after’s so much?  There is something uplifting about looking at a project that seems overwhelming, maybe even impossible, and seeing it transformed with new energy and purpose. 

That is what we love so much about helping our clients transform their homes. Of course, it’s the cherry on top when the process results in our listings selling for much more money and putting extra dollars in our clients pockets! 

One of our most recent projects was this fun Latona listing.  The home was being rented by a group of room mates and it needed a major overhaul to unveil the beauty that was hiding within.  Before we worked our magic, the home was cluttered and dark. There was way too much furniture and it was placed in areas that inhibited flow. 

When a home feels light and airy, it helps us to feel calm.  Since we want our homes to feel like a sanctuary, this is an important emotion we want prospective buyers to experience when they walk through our listings.  Here is how we transformed this home to show off its best features and create a calm, enjoyable experience for buyers. 

Lighten Up!

Paint is one of the single most important things to address.  It sets the mood for the entire space.  If the paint is too dark or if the color is not suitable, it can convey the wrong message and make a room feel much smaller than it actually is.  Fortunately, for the amount of impact it makes, it is also one of the least expensive things you can do. 

In this listing, we lightened all the walls to an off white color.  Because the home was built in 1960, the ceilings are lower and although the rooms are fairly large, they are somewhat disconnected.  This near white color on both the ceilings and walls gave the illusion of taller space and also enhanced the size of the room. Keeping the color consistent throughout the entire home gave it a better overall flow.  

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Living Room

This living room had way too much furniture.  The massive fireplace is oddly shape and it juts out into the room, taking up precious floor space. In most cases, we love fireplaces!  But the size and style of this one just didn’t work for the home.  As much as we would have loved to remodel it, that wouldn’t have been cost effective.  The name of the game with our transformations is to spend the least amount of money for the most payoff.  Since the design of this fireplace gives the room a narrow footprint,  it was important to keep the furniture minimal and also use pieces that were more petite in size.  This opened up the room to feel larger.  We used bold pieces that took the spotlight and brought attention away from the elephant in the room—the huge, oddly shaped fireplace. 

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Den

We have no idea what purpose a rug played in being hung over the French doors to this room, but it was hiding one of the best features of the home.  Double glass French doors opened up to a generous space beyond.  Because this room sits right off the entry and living area, opening up the doors made the entire main floor feel much bigger and brighter.  Now when you walk in the home, you get a much more energizing feeling and it also made our smallish living room feel much bigger!  Adding a desk and modern console showed buyers that this room worked great as an extension to the living room or played double duty as a library or office retreat. 

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Kitchen

The kitchen had been remodeled but it was quite long ago. The Corian countertop isn’t really in style, but the neutral color worked.  It would’ve cost far too much to update the counters and we felt that because they were still neutral, just a few small changes could modernize this space.  The appliances were old and tired so the seller brought in new stainless steel pieces including a higher end stove. By updating the appliances, fixing a crack in the counter, and bringing in a few minimal pieces, this kitchen feels stylish and shows off an expansive amount of space by removing unnecessary clutter.  

Flooring

Flooring takes a close second to painting when it comes to huge impact for the least amount of cost.  If the flooring is in poor condition or the carpet is dirty and dingy, it doesn’t really matter how much staging and work we put into the home.  Bad flooring will offset beautiful design.  It can make buyers feel that the home was not lovingly cared for and that there is much more work to do than there actually is.  These types of impressions can make a buyer look elsewhere for a home or offer a much lower price than it would have cost to replace or repair flooring.  

This home has hardwood flooring throughout the main level.  Even though they were in need of repair, that is the beauty of having hardwood floors. Restoring them back to their natural beauty is not too expensive and adds more value to the home.  

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The Basement

This basement was a hodgepodge of rooms lacking a clear purpose. Half the basement had cement floors, no trim work, and no lighting, so it technically was unfinished.  Adding carpet and trim, then hiring an electrician to run electrical and add lightning increased the value to the home significantly because it added finished square footage for very minimal cost.  Let us break this down a bit. The unfinished area was about 600 square feet.  Our sale price netted the seller $394 per square foot. 600 square feet multiplied by $394/square foot equals $236,400!  Yes, we think the minimal cost of carpet, trim and some electrical made this well worth it for our seller!  This was worth a team high-five! 

We’ll admit, we had a lot of fun with this project and we were thrilled the seller was open to making these changes.  The end result was a home that we were able to list for a much higher price than if the seller did nothing.  We were even more thrilled when it resulted in a sales price $45,500 over the asking price in just 33 hours!  

What do you feel made the most impact in this transformation?  We welcome your comments below.  And don’t forget, if you are thinking of selling a home, we’d love to offer a complimentary consultation to help you determine small changes that can help you get the most money when you sell. 

What To Do & Where To Eat in Downtown Puyallup

 

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There is a lot to love about Puyallup. Located southeast of Tacoma, this gorgeous town has a balanced combination of urban living and small town charm. Aside from the epic Washington State Fair, there are great restaurants, coffee shops, parks, and more!

We met up with Shaylee, from Clever Media, to check some fun spots around Puyallup! 

Anthem Coffee

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Lucky for us, Shaylee is an expert on local coffee shops, and introduced us to Anthem Coffee and Tea! This coffee shop is awesome! We ordered a “white lave,” a white mocha made with lavender espresso - delicious! Anthem coffee shop is also one of the only coffee shops in Puyallup that carries oat milk, which is a creamy, neutral-tasting milk that you won’t want to miss out on. And don’t forget to check out Shaylee’s coffee instagram, @thecoffeefreak

Looking for a bite to eat after your coffee? Right across the street from Anthem is an authentic wood grill pizza stand! They’re actually in the process of renovating the area where the pizza stand is to be a fun community space for food trucks, pop-ups, and stands! It’s going to be a really fun hang out spot—we can’t wait! 

Pioneer Park

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Pioneer Park is a gem. With a massive, manicured green lawn, paved pathways, and a large play structure, the park is a great spot to spend time outdoors with your friends or family! The Puyallup Library is also located next door to the park, and hosts great  community events. And if you like music, there is a an outdoor pavilion that holds local concerts! 

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Looking for a fun and exciting Saturday activity? The Puyallup farmers market in Pioneer Park is  a great way to check out local vendors, food trucks, and more! The market takes over this huge area, and is a great place for the community to come together. 

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Local Food Spots

Local Food Spots

There are many incredible places to eat in Puyallup! Here are just a few of our favorites that you’ll have to visit!

The Taco Bus: This local secret is a an experience you don’t want to miss — It’s literally a bus! They serve a delicious taco menu (even a beef tongue taco)! Who doesn’t love a good local whole in the wall? 

Trackside Pizza: This is an award winning pizza shop that serves delicious wood fired pizza. It is a fun family-friendly atmosphere and has some of the best pizza in town! 

Crockett’s Public House: This amazing restaurant was featured on the Food Network! You absolutely have to try their famous meatballs!

Head over to Puyallup and stop by these great spots! We promise you won’t be disappointed!