We are in the final weeks of the school year. Don’t panic! There is still time! Just because the kids are out of school doesn’t mean parents don’t have to get things done. As we all know, summer camps are a great way to get the kids out, meet new people, and reduce the amount of screen time. They also give parents a minute to do, well… all of the things we need to do on our mounting lists. Right now — if you’re like me you’re just trying to get through the last few weeks of crazy with all of the end of year activities. So summer camp may be just an after thought….until NOW… there is still plenty of time to find a great camp in your community!!
Where do I look?
The Puget Sound area offers a variety of great camps for all ages, check out 6crickets to see what camps are in your community.
How cool would an indoor ski camp in Bellevue be? What a great way to get the kids ready for the slopes this winter! Sign the kiddos up for Nature Camp Sessions and allow them to deepen their understanding of the environment and its inhabitants through games, exploration, hands-on activities, stories and art. This program is offered at Madrona Park, The Valley School, Hamlin Park, Cascade K-8 Community School, Soundview School, or Brookside Elementary School.
Parentmap is another great resource for camps in your area. You can search by key word, location, day camps, classes, or overnight camps and by category. With so many great options this makes it really simple to find the perfect fit for your kiddos.
Kiddie Pool Fun!
If summer camps are not working out or maybe not in the budget, I found some really fun things to do with your kiddie pools… and some of them do not require water! I am not sure what I want to try first… walking the plank or maybe the rainbow soap foam? I would love to know what you decide to try! Check out these fun things to do with kiddie pools.
Just a head ups, next Sunday, June 16 is Father’s Day. And we have your back! We are dedicated to helping with a few places to go and things to do for the Dad or Dad’s in your life!
Washington Brewers Fest June 14-16 – Marymoor Park in Redmond offers 500 beers from Washington breweries, wine, cider, food trucks, live music, and a kids’ area. Check out this fun event!
Fenders on Front Street is a great car show in Downtown Issaquah where you can see hundreds of classic cars as you stroll down Front Street. Don’t miss the “cruise” that starts at 3pm. For more great ideas in your community click here.
NO more tie’s — I don’t really think that’s a thing anymore but we have found some personalized, inexpensive and heart tugging gift ideas too.
Let’s get those little hands dirty! So many fun projects to do with your hands!
How cute is this? If you can’t get your hands on the fancy letters grab the markers and crayons and have the kids draw their own! Get the full tutorial from Make It & Love It. If you have pets have them help with this too, maybe dangle a letter from their collar? Let us know if you try it and how it worked, we would love to see how creative you get!
Let’s face it! You’re busy…heck we’re all busy. And in the case of shopping — technology is your friend. I’ve been wishing this new shopping and pick up thing was available for years. Mostly when my kids were little — who wants to take three kids into a store and roam the isles! EEK! But I guess better late than never. Many of us have tried online grocery shopping but it seems there is a new alternative to this. I can still shop at my local grocery store then pick it up — it’s all ready and waiting for you in a designated spot in the store. Even better — having fresh produce delivered to your front door? There are so many great options for this (see below). It may take a few times to get your online ordering skills on point but let me tell you, it’s so worth it! Your orders will be saved and the next time you shop you can just click click click on the items you need and love and you’re done. Another bonus — coupons are more accessible and it’s easier to take advantage of additional savings while shopping this way. With so many local grocers offering this service, whether it is delivery or pick-up, this will save you time and these days, time is money so it is a win win!
Located in North Bend this is a great option for your produce. Farming organically since 1996 they make it simple to live the good food life and bring the season’s best mix of organic produce and specialty farm products conveniently to your home or office. Each delivery comes with farm news and some fun fresh recipes.
Smith Brothers Farms is a local family-owned and operated dairy that has been serving the greater Puget Sound area for more than 90 years. They are one of the largest independent dairies in the region, processing and delivering the freshest milk and select Northwest products to more than 50,000 homes every week. And don’t be fooled, they don’t just have milk and eggs, my kiddos love the Alki Bakery Banana Bread and Blazing Bagels.
Although I have not tried New Roots Organics I love that they are located in Ballard and have been supporting healthy customers and local growers since 1999! Each week a bin of fresh seasonal produce is delivered, you will have the option to customize what you are getting prior to your delivery. Throughout the year they make it a priority to include locally grown produce 1st, and then when needed to make your bins balanced and complete, they will include citrus, avocados, fresh greens and lettuces , etc. from California, and sometimes Mexico but they will always identify what is grown locally. Let me know what you think if you have tried New Roots Organics, I would love to know.
Check out https://www.fredmeyer.com/ for a location offering pick-up/delivery near you.
A few locations are below:
17667 Ne 76Th St
Redmond, WA 98052
12221 120th Ave NEFred Meye
Kirkland, WA 98034
23475 NE Novelty Hill R
Redmond, WA 98053
2041 148Th Ave Ne
Bellevue, WA 98007
2746 NE 45th St
Seattle, WA 98105
2902 228th Ave SE
Sammamish, WA 98075
21045 Bothell Everett Hwy
Bothell, WA 98021
Let’s face it — we live in a pretty amazing area. There is no need to go elsewhere if you want to enjoy Memorial Day weekend. It’s seems like the perfect time to stick around and have some LOCAL fun. And as a bonus — this weekend is supposed to be SUPER fabulous as far as being able to get some vitamin D is concerned. We’ve looked around some of our most favorite communities so you can find the fun — no mater where you live. Don’t forget to let us know what your favorite events are. Especially if there is something everyone else should know about. Post some pictures on IG or FB and be sure to Tag me!!
Northwest Folklife Festival & Kindiependent Showcase
The 48th Annual Northwest Folklife Festival & Kindiependent Showcase is one of the largest folk festivals in the country and fun for the whole family. With hands on activities for the kids, 26 different stages, back to back performances and dancing you will have a hard time choosing what to do first. Oh! and there will be food so make sure you are hungry!
Memorial Day Weekend Train Rides
All Aboard! With what looks like a promising weather weekend ahead take a scenic train ride through the Cascade foothills of the Upper Snoqualmie Valley to celebrate Memorial Day. This special 75-minute train ride is in addition to the railroad’s usual weekend train schedule and takes you to the top of Snoqualmie Falls. As a bonus, the Northwest Railway Museum will be offering $5 round-trip train fare Sat.-Mon. to members of the military, including active duty, guard, reserve and retired and their dependent family members, with current military ID.
Remlinger Farms is now open on Saturdays and Sundays. Take a ride the half-sized steam train along the Tolt River, pet the farm animals (think: goats, horses, piggies, cows, alpaca, sheep, bunnies, donkeys) or take a pony ride and jump in the hay maze, spin on the mini roller coaster or “fly” on the pumpkins. Plus, go ’round and ’round in the pedal cars and enjoy a day full day of farm fun.
Memorial Day Weekend Run
Put on your running shoes and bring the family to the Memorial Day Weekend run. You can choose a 5K, 10K or 15K run/walk as well as a 1 mile Memorial mile and there is a Kid’s Dash! The 400-meter Kid’s Dash (for ages 2-10) will start 15 minutes before race time, giving you the perfect chance to run with your kiddo and get warmed up before your race.
Sat., May 25 at 10 a.m. Seattle. $3 to $32. Registration required. Ages 2 & older.
Get ready for the noise at Tankfest Northwest this Memorial Day Weekend. This family event will showcase military vehicle demonstrations, remote control tanks and a scavenger hunt, plus face painting, a bouncy house and food from some of our region’s top food trucks.
Memorial Day Ceremony
This 3 day event is a great way to teach your kids the importance of Memorial Day. Enjoy this annual ceremony held at The Museum of Flight. The Museum will honor military service with patriotic music from The Boeing Employees Concert Band, followed by a ceremony with local officials and US Military personnel. And! All veterans and active US military personnel will receive free admission with ID.
Did you know May is National Bike month? Yes that’s right, it’s time to dust off the wheels and enjoy those sunny day’s — because we all know, sometimes in Spring they are few and far between. One of the best places to ride in our area is the Burke Gilman Trail — enjoyed by runners, walkers, bikers, young, and younger. Extending from Seattle to Kenmore –with MANY amazing spots along the way. Much of the trail is wide and flat with great spots to stop for lunch and views of our beautiful region. With so many access points along the trail you will usually be able to find a good spot to start and will always find a new view. If you’re really ambitious you can always just ride the whole thing from start to finish, 19 miles in total! This is a great trail for the whole family, you will not be disappointed.
Miri’s at Golden Gardens
Begin your journey at the sandy beaches of Golden Gardens that lie at one end of the trail. If you don’t pack a lunch Miri’s specializes in local, organic breakfast and lunch goodness. Make sure to try the poffertjes, Tiny Dutch pancakes! Yum! Open Thurs.-Sun. and Mon.-Sun. starting in mid-June.
8498 Seaview Pl. N.W.
Seattle, WA 98117
The Lockspot Cafe
The Lockspot is located at the entrance of the Ballard Locks, so if you are hungry or thirsty be sure to stop. From The Café the kiddos will be intrigued as they watch the boats go through the locks. Maybe Mom can actually eat her fish sandwich while it is still hot, one can only hope! With a menu for your little riders, and a beautiful patio, make sure this is marked on your map as a must see.
3005 N.W. 54th St
Seattle, WA 98107
Hale’s Ales and the Burke-Gilman share the same corner of the path in Fremont. Order some Mexican food from El Camión and check out the live event at Hale’s, make sure to catch The I Hate Children Children’s Show, a very funny magic show starring… kids!
4301 Leary Way N.W.
Seattle, WA 98107
Whatever you may need bike related Recycled Cycles will have what you need. Have you heard of a Trail-a-Bike? It is hitched to an adults bike and the kiddo gets to pedal along while still safely attached to your bike. With 25 years of dedication and knowledge Recycled Cycles is a great place for all your cycling needs including, air, parts, new and used bikes.
1007 N.E. Boat St
Seattle, WA 98105
Agua Verde Cafe & Paddle Club
Switch it up and add some water fun to your cycling journey. Agua Verde rents stand-up paddleboards and kayaks for the whole family. It is also a great place to grab tacos, nachos, and margaritas… Oh my!
1307 NE Boat St
Seattle, WA 98105
206-545-8570 (ext. 2)
Great State Burger & Burke Gilman Brewing Company
2 in! Burgers and Beer at 1 stop! Are you tired yet? Grab a burger, fries from Great State Burger and a NW IPA from the recently opened Burke Gilmand Brewing Company, which opened July of 2018. No worries… they are kid and dog friendly.
And if you prefer wine over beer and Burrata Tartin instead a burger try Erickson’s Bistro Shirlee just opened in the same complex. bistroshirlee.com
Great State Burger
3600 N.E. 45th St.
Seattle, WA 98105
Burke Gilman Brewing Company
3626 N.E. 45th St.
Seattle, WA 98105
Where are you going when you hit the Burke Gilman trail? Any great places to be sure to see, play, restaurants to enjoy? Let us know!
My Five Favorite Cold Treats on the Eastside
Summer and warm weather in our region is always somewhat of a surprise, isn’t it? Just like this week — 80 in May!!? There have been years where the kids have splashed in Lake Washington on Easter, and there have been years that we’ve all worn coats well into July. And with June-uary approaching we never know what we’ll get. Since we don’t know what mother nature has in store for 2019, I thought it’d be great to plan ahead and have your list of hot places for cool summer treats ready to go in advance! Enjoy!
With several locations scattered across the Eastside, Menchies is a FROYO place that comes out heads and shoulders above the competition. They’ve built a brand around fun, and have been able to stay on brand with ease. The colors and design of the stores are fun, you’re encouraged to walk your dog to their shops (even if he can’t come inside), and they feature trendy revolving flavors that often capitalize on pop culture. Add as many or as few toppings as you like, they have a whole buffet of options, but you’ll pay by the total weight of your dish. If you go on Fridays after 6 pm, your treat costs $5 no matter how much it weighs.
The new kid on the block, Molly Moons in Downtown Redmond rarely fails to have a line around the block when the weather is nice. It’s delicious, sure, but the real story is about how the ice cream is made. 90% of ingredients are locally sourced in the PNW, making it a real hometown treat. They donate more than 3,000 scoops of ice cream per year and donate 1% of their profits to food banks. This is a cone that tastes as great as it makes you feel. With regular and revolving “seasonal” flavors, there is always something new to try… and a trusty favorite on tap for if it’s not a hit!
Cold Stone Creamery
Almost as much fun to make as it is to eat, having a Cold Stone is a full adventure. You go to the shop and start by picking your ice cream flavor. Then you pick candies, treats, and sauces that sound good. A sundae artist then uses metal spatulas to blend them into one dreamy mix while you watch. This is done on a frozen marble slab (hence the name) right before your eyes. It’s a place to let creativity run free! There are various locations on the Eastside, but my family prefers the one in Woodinville by the AMC theatre.
Not exactly Eastside, but my conscious wouldn’t forgive me if I didn’t mention it. The Snoqualmie creamery isn’t in Snoqualmie either. In fact- you need to go the exact opposite direction to find it. Located on an unassuming hill in Maltby, this is the birthplace of all those gourmet and artesian flavors you can find in your local freezer section at the grocery. The inventiveness of the chefs at Snoqualmie never ceases to blow me away. (Who would ever have thought to create Tennessee Bourbon flavored ice cream?) The kids can also run around the little farm and watch as ice cream is being made. It’s a cozy, inviting family place that can be turned into an educational afternoon, and you’ll never have ice cream so fresh!
Fog Rose Ice Cream
A boutique ice cream joint in Bellevue, this is the hot new contender on the market. Yelp! Is literally blowing up with people singing the praises of this one, and it’s not hard to see why. Targeted at a more mature, sophisticated audience, Fog Rose bills themselves as “a secret that you want to keep.” Made with liquid nitrogen right before your eyes – the ice cream is never preserved. It never sits in a tub in a freezer. It goes directly from the mixer to your mouth. What a concept! Ice cream is served in a beautiful manner, and with an impressive list of upscale toppings.
Honorable mentions go out to Baskin Robbins in Kirkland and the plethora of boutique ice cream shops in downtown Seattle. For top value, my kids also never get sick of an ice cream sundae from Costco, or a or a Wendy’s Frosty (they’re surprisingly good!).
If you’re a fan of the “Shop Local” movement, chances are good that I don’t have to clue you in on local farmer’s markets. But, just in case you don’t already plan your weekends around these markets, let’s break it down.
Farmer’s markets on the Eastside give you access to the freshest, most flavorful produce you can imagine. And it’s usually offered at rock bottom prices to boot. You’re supporting local farmers (some of whom drive to the Eastside from Spokane every week!), probably getting better food, and showing your kids about business. It’s really a win-win-win. Here’s where to Farmer’s Market this spring.
Season: May 4-October 26
The Redmond Saturday Market is a staple in the Farmer’s Market scene. The event is held on Saturdays, as the name would suggest, but you’ll find so much more than just food here. Crafts, flowers, pet supplies, and even live musicians are here every weekend. The event has a permanent home near the Redmond Town Center and always draws a large crowd. Often called the “Cadillac of Farmer’s Markets.” 2019 marks the 44th consecutive year of operation for this group.
Season: May- October
The Bellevue Farmer’s Market operates on Thursdays, rain or shine, from 3-7pm. With less infrastructure than the bigger Redmond market, this one really feels like visiting the farm. Vendors sell out of tents and stations, and everything for sale is made or grown right here in Washington. Just like in Redmond, you’ll find eggs, fruit, vegetables, crafts, flowers, meats, and artisan designs.
With a much shorter season than the big markets on the Eastside, Kirkland’s answer to local produce pops up on Wednesdays through the summer. The market pops up in the downtown waterfront park, which means the kids can chase ducks and splash in the lake after you shop. With all of the restaurants and vendors downtown, visiting this market feels like urban shopping at it’s finest.
These are not the only markets on the Eastside, just the most well known. You’ll also find markets in Issaquah, Sammamish, and Woodinville. Which market is your favorite? In fact – what are the farmer’s market items that you just HAVE to have? I want to know so that I can try them, too!
I know…tax season is over (hopefully you got yours done already!!) But this question about CAPTIAL GAINS TAX is a question I get on a regular basis from my clients — about what it is and does it apply to me? This was an article I recently sent out in my monthly ‘paper’ newsletter (I know so old school) to my mailing list. It was super helpful for me to understand what it actually is and how it works — I hope you find it as informative.
What is capital gains tax? This is a prime question that might creep up when you sell your home for more than you paid for it. That’s good news for you, but the downside is, you may have to pay taxes on those profits in the form of capital gains tax. Yep, just as you pay income tax and sales tax, home sale profits are subject to taxation, too.
Complicating matters is the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which is changing the rules. So if there’s ever a time to brush up on all things capital gains, it’s right now. Here’s what you need to know.
What is capital gains tax—and who pays it?
In a nutshell, capital gains tax is a duty levied on property and possessions you’ve held onto for more than a year that you sell for a profit—including your home.
The IRS gives each person, no matter how much the person earns, a $250,000 tax-free exemption for a primary residence.
“So if you and your spouse buy your home for $100,000, and years later sell for up to $600,000, you won’t owe any capital gains tax,” says New York attorney Anthony S. Park. However, you do have to meet specific requirements to claim this exclusion:
- The home must be your primary residence.
- You must have owned the home for at least two years.
- You must have lived in the home for at least two of the past five years.
If you don’t meet all these requirements, you may be able to take a partial exclusion for capital gains tax. For more information, consult a tax adviser or IRS Publication 523.
How much capital gains tax will you have to pay?
For capital gains over that $250,000-per-person exemption, just how much of a bite will Uncle Sam take out of your real estate sale? In the past, that depended on your tax bracket. Under the new tax law, capital gains rates are now based on your income, explains Park. Let’s break it down.
Married Filing Jointly
|Head of Household||Capitol Gains Tax Percentage|
|Earning Less Than||$39,375||$78,750||$52,750||0%|
|Earning Between||$39,376 – $434,550||$78,751 – $488,850||$52,751 – $461,700||15%|
|Earning More Than||$434,550+||$488,850+||$461,700+||20%|
Don’t forget, your state may have its own capital gains tax. And very high earners may owe an additional 3.8% net investment income tax.
Do home improvements reduce capital gains tax?
How much capital gains tax you’ll pay may also be reduced because of home
improvements you’ve made. The money you spent on any home improvements—such as replacing the roof, building a deck, replacing the flooring, or
finishing a basement—can be added to the initial price of your home to give you the adjusted cost basis of your home.
For example, if you purchased your home for $200,000 in 1990 and sold it for $550,000, but over the past 29 years have spent $100,000 on home improvements, that $100,000 would be subtracted from the sales price of your home this year. Instead of owing capital gains taxes on the $350,000 profit from the sale, you would owe taxes on $250,000. In that case, you’d meet the requirements for a capital gains tax exclusion and owe nothing.
Make sure to save receipts of any renovations and repairs, since they can save you big-time come tax filing season.
How capital gains tax works on inherited homes
What if you’re selling a home you’ve inherited from family members who’ve passed away? The IRS also gives a “free step-up in basis” when you inherit a family house. But what does that mean?
Let’s say Mom and Dad bought the family home years ago for $100,000, and it’s worth $1 million when they die and leave it to you. When you sell, your purchase price (or “basis”) is not the $100,000 your folks paid, but instead the $1 million it’s worth on their date of death.
How to avoid capital gains tax as a real estate investor
If the home you’re selling is a second home (i.e., vacation home) rather than your primary residence, avoiding capital gains tax is a bit more complicated. But it’s still possible. The best way to
avoid a capital gains tax if you’re an investor is by doing a 1031
exchange. This allows you to sell your property and buy another one without recognizing any potential gain.
“In essence, you’re swapping one investment asset for another,” White says. He cautions, however, that there are very strict rules regarding timelines and guidelines with this transaction, so be sure to check them with an accountant.
If you’re opting out of the rental property investment business and putting your money in another venture, then you’ll owe the capital gains taxes on the profit.
Many potential sellers believe that waiting until Spring is in their best interest. Traditionally, they would have been right.
Buyer demand has seasonality to it. Usually, this falls off in the winter months, especially in areas of the country impacted by arctic conditions, although that has not been the case this year!
Demand for housing has remained strong as mortgage rates have remained near historic lows. Even with an increase in rates forecasted for 2019, buyers are still able to lock in an affordable monthly payment. Buyers are increasingly jumping off the fence and into the market to secure a lower rate.
Those who act quickly and list now, before a flood of increased competition, will benefit from additional exposure to buyers.
Bottom Line: If you are planning on selling your home in 2019, contact me and we can evaluate the opportunities in your market.
6 Easter Egg Hunts on the Eastside
There is just something special about Easter chocolate. It doesn’t even matter if you can buy chocolate year round. There is just something special about Easter chocolate. Maybe that’s why so many East-siders are so loyal to the idea of community egg hunts.
The tradition of hiding and seeking eggs goes back thousands of years. In many cultures, the egg represents new life, making it the poster-child for Easter and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. For many of us, memories of hunting hidden eggs and acquiring hidden candy, toys, or even money brings back all kinds of fond memories. It’s so much nostalgia!
Here’s where to find the best egg hunts around the Eastside in 2019.
- Kirkland Egg Hunt
Held every year at Peter Kirk Park, this event is a favorite for so many people in Western Washington. The city will scatter eggs inside of the baseball diamond before releasing the kids like a pack of hungry wolves. There really is no “hunt” involved, and every year I am terrified that some child will be mobbed and trampled to death, but so far that hasn’t happened. All anxiety aside, this is a fun event where you’re almost certain to run into a neighbor. Just make sure you get downtown early to find a parking spot.
Pair a 5k with a traditional egg hunt and come out with something for everyone in the family! This event places eggs along the 5K route, which really motivates runners to hustle! Get this- the eggs are prize based. Some eggs will add minutes to your run time. Other eggs take time off your total. The catch? You’ll never know what is inside the egg until you’re done running and gathering. So, is it worth it to collect a lot of eggs? That’s up to you! While there is a fee for participation for the grown-ups, kids can dash for free and without prior registration.
Fox Hollow Farm, Issaquah
I just love the idea of this one! The folks over at Fox Hollow in Issaquah blend an old-fashioned farm experience with thousands of hidden eggs just waiting to be found! Kiddos can fill their baskets while petting baby animals, playing in the corn bin, and meeting the Easter Bunny himself! If your kiddo finds the 1 (out of thousands) of Golden Eggs hidden at the farm, we’re told you’re in for a “big” surprise. You must pre-reserve a spot to attend this event, and prices range from $10 per person to $50 per carload.
Redmond Town Center
RTC seems to always have something exciting going on, don’t they? Their annual egg hunt is pretty great, too. Hosted by the Kiwanis Club, the event will be held on April 20 and kicks off at noon. The event features an egg scavenger hunt as well as prizes for the first 2,000 kids under 12. There will also be inflatables, trampolines, arts and crafts, face painting, and all sorts of other fun things to do.
- Bellevue Community Egg Hunt
Every year Bellevue College puts this event on as an annual community affair. It’s free and open to children 10 and under, and one of my favorite events in Bellevue. With more than 50,000 eggs, you can also expect face painting and inflatables. Even better yet? You can pre-reserve things so that you’re able to skip the long lines on the day of. Now THAT is nice!
What better way to play around than in a comfortable, safe kid’s museum? This annual event does have a cover charge, but once you’re in the door you can expect games, crafts, and of course a good old fashioned egg hunt. Children must be accompanied by a paying adult. Watch the website for sales times on tickets!
There are so many egg hunts out there that AREN’T on the Eastside, and I wanted to share those with you as well. Everything from a flashlight hunt for teens to egg hunting with animals at Woodland Park Zoo, it’s all right here.