Kirkland has finally finished up the planning for next years Charity event, ” Tie the Knot ”  .  A  few years ago, a group of local business owners wanted to come up with a low cost alternative wedding event for those that either couldn’t afford a more grand event, or those that did not want all the fanfare of a larger scale wedding.  Read a testimonial from one of the brides that chose this event for her wedding.

The Kirkland based business owners offer their services basically at cost or free to promote a low cost alternative wedding for the minimal fee of $350.00.  You can read the details of the event and sign up here .

Any proceeds left over after expenses, are donated to local charities.  Last years proceeds were donated to Kith, an agency that provides transitional housing to those in need.

Sign up early as spaces are limited.  As you can see from the promotional video put out by the City of Kirkland Tourism Department, Kirkland is a fabulous place to plan your wedding in 2010!

Here are photo’s of some of the past Tie The Knot events:

Tie the Knot 2009

Tie the Knot 2009

Tie the Knot 2009 event

Tie the Knot 2009 event

Tie the Knot Event 2009

Tie the Knot Event 2009

Fantastic View in Kirkland, Tie the Knot

Fantastic View in Kirkland, Tie The Knot!


Kirkland, WA – June 11, 2009 – Guests will explore their passions and revel in the presence of true artisans at Kirkland Uncorked, a festival of art, style and taste July 17-19 at Marina Park.

Spend the weekend on the shores of Lake Washington tasting the best the Northwest has to offer in food and wine. Uncorked allows you to taste over 30 Washington wines from the comfort and luxury of Marina Park’s Tasting and Lifestyle Garden. Over 13 restaurants will serve over 10,000 free bite size feasts throughout the weekend. Sample the delectable flavors and see the preparation behind the delicious masterpieces with tips from the chefs themselves during Grilling Demonstrations by Russell Dean Lowell Catering, Tulalip Resort and Casino, Barking Frog, Emmer, and Trellis throughout the weekend. From a sip to a taste, uncorked will tantalize your senses.

The sun won’t be the only thing heating up Marina Park. Watch as Master Chefs Aaron Valimont of Oceanaire Seafood Room, Franz Junga of Il Fornaio, and Scott Lents of bin on the lake go head-to-head in quest of grilling glory during the third annual Grilling Competition Saturday at 5:00pm. Watch as the culinary masterminds turn up the heat and battle to hold the title of “Master of the Grill.”

For those looking for a break from the grape, or in need of more horsepower, both can be found at Kirkland Uncorked. Take a stroll down Kirkland Avenue to view over 60 plus artists. From jewelry to paintings, the street will be turned into an art lover’s paradise. The Seattle Boat Show makes port at Kirkland Uncorked’s Marina Park all weekend; these posh yachts welcome guests aboard for tours and a sneak peak into a floating life of luxury. Also sailing to the shores of Marina Park will be the Tall Ship Lady Washington, known as the official ship of the State of Washington. Guests can purchase Sunset and Adventure sails on the historical ship throughout the weekend. On Sunday, the Kirkland Classic Car Show will feature hundreds of classic hotrods painting their own pictures of style and power.

Even local hotels are getting on-board with the Uncorked festivities! They’re offering guests unique “Uncorked Staycation” packages and amenities such as a complimentary water taxi to the festival.

To learn more about the Kirkland Uncorked wines, restaurants, art and hotel packages, or to purchase advance tickets for the Tasting and Lifestyle Garden visit

Here is a collection of Andy’s photos from his trip around the world. I don’t know Andy , I’ve only spoken to Andy on the phone, one time, he called me from Nepal.  He made me laugh because when I asked him how he found my store in Kirkland, he laughed and said “I just asked around here in Nepal,  and you’re famous here.”  🙂 Funny answer,  What a character!

He told me about his blog, and I became hooked on his adventure.  I think he’s been back for a while now, but I just found all the pictures from his adventures,  I’m excited to browse through them.  I have his blog listed under my favorites, it’s called   Enjoy browsing all the different countries.  There are some beautiful photographs.

So many changes have taken place in flower production methods, this frontline pbs video is just one great example of how the world of flowers has changed.   It’s important to ask how the product you buy is produced, not necessarily organic, but humane and ethical treatment of human beings.  I deal with a small farm in Ecuador and they are like my friends, it’s important to me to know they are treated well.

One of my rose farm workers in Ecuador, recently sent me a lovely gift, a piece of woven material made by the indigenous people of the Andes. It is the most beautiful scarf I’ve ever seen.  So fine and delicate, hard to believe that it is hand made.  I asked her to tell me about it, and she said there are lots of little markets, with crafts, and farmers, and this video shows one of them.

I was fascinated to hear the description of the life of a weaver, how it is a way of life, a choice, a tradition, the heritage that they embrace.  I loved this video, and although my cloth did not come from Peru, but Ecuador, the story she told me was similar.  Enjoy

The video is from 4real.c0m a community of individuals from around the world who are passionate about creating social change through action, art, and culture.                

Honeymoons are changing, travel is now about passion and a purpose. Newlyweds are now becoming focused  on a  new non traditional way of travel.  For couples looking to find  meaning and inspiration in their adventure, there are some great options out there.

One of the new travel trends is to become a travel philanthropist!  A company called Elevate Destinations offers trips to numerous destinations and also  donates a percentage of the trip proceeds to non profit companies giving back to the community that you visit.  It’s a great idea, check out the site to browse all the travel locations that they offer.

Another of the travel trends is to spend time volunteering in the community you are traveling to. A great way to immerse yourself in a new culture and experience a one of a kind trek to an exotic location. Think of it as part work, part play and life changing to say the least.

If you are  spiritually oriented, interested in other cultures & religions, and are an ecologically mined person who likes adventure you might enjoy exploring the Ladakh region of northern India in the heart of the Himalayan mountains in this ancient Buddhist region. This non profit group works in alternative energy, water resources, biodiversity and agrigriculture.

If it’s out of the ordinary sights and adventure that you are looking for and you appreciate an approach that is responsible and geared towards conservation and giving back to the community then check this company out.

I was recently reminded to look at my city through the eyes of someone who doesn’t live here! I realize that it’s an amazing city with so many wonderful things to do, and I tend to take it for granted, but I am lucky to live here.

If you are planning a visit the the Seattle area any time soon, you should add Kirkland to your list of places to come visit.  We are only about 20 minutes from downtown Seattle.  ( well depending upon traffic, I guess )

The Space Needle

If you plan a trip in the summer you can experience the summer concerts at the marina which boast beautiful sunsets overlooking the water, it is just the best evening you can imagine! I was lucky enough to have friends visit from California, and they really helped me see my city through new eyes. I was even lucky enough to benefit from the picnic dinner that they brought out to the marina, a boxed sampler from Beechers hand made cheeses, which is located at Pikes Market in Seattle.  It’s  funny, I live here, and I didn’t even know that Beechers did boxes to go. It was a spectacular evening and it really made me appreciate my city!

Kirkland Marina area

We have a terrific performing arts center, a ton of art galleries, quaint shops and just plain friendly people. I love the way everyone walks every where,  it doesn’t even matter if it’s raining, we are walkers.  Come for a visit if you can, we are a warm and welcoming city!

We are only about 15 minutes from some of the big wineries and breweries, Woodinville as small suburb like Kirkland, has created a whole area of wineries and quaint places to visit.

If you just travel an hour and 1/2 to the north you’ll be at the  tulip fields and the tulip festival ( check the dates, for the Skagit county tulip festival, before you plan your trip) , and go two hours south to Mt. Rainier National park,  or two hours  east the other direction the the Olympic National park.  If you have never been, it will blow you away with it’s natural beauty.  If you like hiking, you will love these places which are full of natural  beauty, hot springs, and wildlife.

If winter fun is your thing, we have that  too! You can go to Snoqualmie pass for skiing, hit the new Snoqualmie Casino for food and fun on your way back , and stop by and enjoy  the breathtaking Snoqualmie Falls which is  famous for it’s beautiful views and great hiking trails! What a way to spend the day!

Snoqualmie Pass

The next day you could head north to Stevens pass and ski there and then go on in to the town of  Leavenworth which is only about 30 minutes over  Stevens pass. It’s a quaint Barvarian village, with lots of things to explore.

I don’t think that many people realize how close everything is to explore here.  I guess if you have never been here before  you don’t realize how easy it is to hit alot of places.  I know when I travel and end up in a new town it is tough to figure out what there is to do.

I know I didn’t really think about it until my friends came to visit and I became the tour guide. We have many things so very close and with really easy access.  The best time to come is in the spring & summer, unless you are a skier and like the snow ( and the rain )

Here are some links to some great places to visit..and don’t forget to visit me if you are in the area: