Are you ready for a green beer?
St. Patrick’s day is always such a fun day. Kiddos enjoy setting leprechaun traps in the day time, and parents enjoy a night out after the kids go to bed! It’s not all alcohol-infused parties, though. Many communities are working hard to develop more family-friendly and healthy events for the major American holiday. For now, though, here are my favorite hot-spots for dining and drinking this March 17th.
Eat, Drink & Be Irish!
While we’re not seeing anything special planned for the Irish pub, it’s hard to imagine that there won’t be a festive atmosphere and green beer here on the 17th. And hey, you could always bring your own green food coloring
Right in downtown Bellevue, this Irish pub is the perfect place to grab some food and a beer before heading out on the town. With so many hotels within walking distance, it’s the perfect place to enjoy the holiday responsibly.
With regularly scheduled live music three nights per week, you can believe that St. Patrick’s day will be a lively event at this local eatery. This place is super unique, as it blends Celtic and Cajun food for a totally exciting experience.
Right on the Kirkland waterfront- this one is always busy. On St. Pat’s though, things get really intense! Expect live music, drink specials, and a lively crowd.
No shortage of runs scheduled for St. Patrick’s Day 2019, either! On the Eastside, my pick would be the Kirkland Shamrock Run.
If you’re up for a trip across the lake- don’t forget that Seattle puts on one heck of a parade. Complete with bagpipers and Irish dancing and music. It’s sure to entertain the entire family! There is also an Irish festival and 5K at Seattle Center.
Anyone on a diet can tell you that one of the biggest struggles of dieting is dining out. Portions are huge, flavors of magnetic, and dessert is always on the menu. But dining out doesn’t have to sabotage your success. Here are a few big name restaurants with surprisingly healthy (and amazingly delicious) menu items that will keep you on track and happy about it!
Did you know that a single burger on the Red Robin menu can cost you up to 1,200 calories? That’s right, a whole day’s worth of calories for a typical female dieter… and that’s before we even talk about the fries. So it might be a bit surprising to see it topping my list. But hear me out!!! Skip the burger and opt for the Ensenada Chicken Platter. Double up on the meat, trust me you’ll want it. This is a south of the border inspired dish focusing on getting flavor from calorie-free spices instead of sauces. Since there is no bun the carbs are naturally low, though you can get them even lower if you ask for no chips. The Baja ranch dressing that compliments your (bottomless) side salad is amazing, too. All of this, for under 500 calories.
I know, I know… it’s delicious and that means that it can’t be healthy. Right? Turns out you’re wrong. A chipotle bowl (not the burrito) is actually a well-balanced meal that keeps your intake on point and your family happy about dinner. There are a few tips to getting the most nutrition bang for your buck, though. First up- try for chicken instead of beef. And make it double the protein. Load up on the fajita veggies too, and skip the rice. If that’s asking too much, just ask them to go light on the rice. I love adding black beans in place of rice. It’s still a carb, but the high fiber offsets the carb count for those tracking net carbs.
The Cheesecake Factory
If you don’t trust me by now, this one will win you over. The answer is yes, you can stay on a diet when you eat at a place dedicated to decadent desserts. You can even HAVE dessert. Here’s how. Start by ordering the “Skinny-Licious” grilled salmon. (I don’t name the dishes people, I just endorse them.)You’re getting a heap of protein and Omegas without the fat of beef. And hey- it’s not chicken! Compliment the fish with green veggies to get some fiber in while keeping your carbs low. Ask for no butter in the preparation, or butter on the side to manage fat. All of this clears the way for dessert. Stick with regular plain cheesecake (no Oreo cheesecake allowed!) for a dessert with a decent amount of protein that is still satisfying! Yum!
Yes, I went there. I have a friend who taught me this hack and it is so satisfying! Order the chicken scampi dish … but substitute out the angel hair pasta. Instead, ask for your meat to be served on a bed of broccoli. She usually asks for an extra side of sauce, but doing that will up your total fat intake. In any event, it comes out similar to a stew. The broccoli sops up the sauce in a satisfying way, and you’re out the door for under 20 carbs. If you can avoid the breadsticks, that is…
Finally, if nothing on my list gets you excited to dine out on a diet, head to Applebees. Here you can actually have a steak and stay under 500 calories! That’s because the restaurant created an entire menu of items offered under 500 calories. They did it back when they were partnered with Weight Watchers. And, while that partnership may not have worked out the way that they had hoped, the end result was a delicious menu well suited to dieters with a lot of options to choose from.
Now that I’ve totally blown your mind, grab your purse. It’s time for dinner on the town!
Join me next week when we take a tour of yoga studios around the Eastside!
The following analysis of the Western Washington real estate market is provided by Windermere Real Estate Chief Economist Matthew Gardner. We hope that this information may assist you with making better-informed real estate decisions. For further information about the housing market in your area, please don’t hesitate to contact your Windermere Agent.
The Washington State economy continues to add jobs at an above-average rate, though the pace of growth is starting to slow as the business cycle matures. Over the past 12 months, the state added 96,600 new jobs, representing an annual growth rate of 2.9% — well above the national rate of 1.7%. Private sector employment gains continue to be quite strong, increasing at an annual rate of 3.6%. Public sector employment was down 0.3%. The strongest growth sectors were Real Estate Brokerage and Leasing (+11.4%), Employment Services (+10.3%), and Residential Construction (+10.2%). During fourth quarter, the state’s unemployment rate was 4.3%, down from 4.7% a year ago.
My latest economic forecast suggests that statewide job growth in 2019 will still be positive but is expected to slow. We should see an additional 83,480 new jobs, which would be a year-over-year increase of 2.4%.
Home Sales Activity
- There were 17,353 home sales during the fourth quarter of 2018. Year-over-year sales growth started to slow in the third quarter and this trend continued through the end of the year. Sales were down 16% compared to the fourth quarter of 2017.
- The slowdown in home sales was mainly a function of increasing listing activity, which was up 38.8% compared to the fourth quarter of 2017 (continuing a trend that started earlier in the year). Almost all of the increases in listings were in King and Snohomish Counties. There were more modest increases in Pierce, Thurston, Kitsap, Skagit, and Island Counties. Listing activity was down across the balance of the region.
- Only two counties—Mason and Lewis—saw sales rise compared to the fourth quarter of 2017, with the balance of the region seeing lower levels of sales activity.
- We saw the traditional drop in listings in the fourth quarter compared to the third quarter, but I fully anticipate that we will see another jump in listings when the spring market hits. The big question will be to what degree listings will rise.
With greater choice, home price growth in Western Washington continued to slow in fourth quarter, with a year-over-year increase of 5% to $486,667. Notably, prices were down 3.3% compared to the third quarter of 2018.
Home prices, although higher than a year ago, continue to slow. As mentioned earlier, we have seen significant increases in inventory and this will slow down price gains. I maintain my belief that this is a good thing, as the pace at which home prices were rising was unsustainable.
When compared to the same period a year ago, price growth was strongest in Skagit County, where home prices were up 13.7%. Three other counties experienced double-digit price increases.
Price growth has been moderating for the past two quarters and I believe that we have reached a price ceiling in many markets. I would not be surprised to see further drops in prices across the region in the first half of 2019, but they should start to resume their upward trend in the second half of the year.
Days on Market
The average number of days it took to sell a home dropped three days compared to the same quarter of 2017.
- Thurston County joined King County as the tightest markets in Western Washington, with homes taking an average of 35 days to sell. There were eight counties that saw the length of time it took to sell a home drop compared to the same period a year ago. Market time rose in five counties and was unchanged in two.
Across the entire region, it took an average of 51 days to sell a home in the fourth quarter of 2018. This is down from 54 days in the fourth quarter of 2017 but up by 12 days when compared to the third quarter of 2018.
I suggested in the third quarter Gardner Report that we should be prepared for days on market to increase, and that has proven to be accurate. I expect this trend will continue, but this is typical of a regional market that is moving back to becoming balanced.
This speedometer reflects the state of the region’s real estate market using housing inventory, price gains, home sales, interest rates, and larger economic factors. I am continuing to move the needle toward buyers as price growth moderates and listing inventory continues to rise.
2019 will be the year that we get closer to having a more balanced housing market. Buyer and seller psychology will continue to be significant factors as home sellers remain optimistic about the value of their home, while buyers feel significantly less pressure to buy. Look for the first half of 2019 to be fairly slow as buyers sit on the sidelines waiting for price stability, but then I do expect to see a more buoyant second half of the year.
As Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate, Matthew Gardner is responsible for analyzing and interpreting economic data and its impact on the real estate market on both a local and national level. Matthew has over 30 years of professional experience both in the U.S. and U.K.
In addition to his day-to-day responsibilities, Matthew sits on the Washington State Governors Council of Economic Advisors; chairs the Board of Trustees at the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at the University of Washington; and is an Advisory Board Member at the Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies at the Unversity of Washington where he also lectures in real estate economics.
This post originally appeared on the Windermere.com Blog.