Summer Bucket List

So here we are… August! How has the summer been going? If you have no travel plans and looking for some ways to stay busy in your community — we’ve got some fun ideas to keep the momentum for the next few weeks till school starts. So, I am finding this list a great way to keep things simple and occupy them as the big day gets closer.
Here are a few of my favorites:
– Have a YES day!
– Learn how to make friendship bracelets.
– Super community focused —  Get a paper map of your city and push pins. Plan out the places you’ll visit with the kids, and after you’ve done so, let them pin the location. At the end of the summer, it’ll be fun to see all the places you saw and did together.
– Take a picture a day and print out an end-of-summer photo album.
Let me know which ones you love!
Posted on August 14, 2019 at 2:39 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Bellevue, Denise Perkins, Eastside, Helpful Home Tips, Home Sweet Home, Kids, Snoqualmie, Things to Do, Woodinville | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2nd Quarter of 2019 is complete!

This is a brief summary of the Quarterly Gardner Report.

Things are still seeing positive growth from a Real Estate perspective.

In Western Washington YOY price growth is 2.8% higher. When compared to 1st Quarter it’s 12%. County by County is a bit different – for King County we saw a -0.4% price drop. This speaks directly to the affordability in that area. Days on market is still relatively low (21 Days in King County) and if a home is priced and marketed well – it will attract attention and sell rapidly. One strong take away is that interest rates are still at an all time low – with inventory up this is a great time to buy. And for those needing to sell before you can buy contingent offers are a viable possibility again!

Posted on August 7, 2019 at 6:23 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Bellevue, Denise Perkins, Eastside, Helpful Home Tips, Home Sweet Home, In the News, Market Stats, North Kirkland, Redmond, Snoqualmie, Woodinville | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

It’s Seafair Ya’ll!

It’s Seafair ya’ll!  Starting in July and ending in Early August with the Hydroplane races on Lake Washington. This event has over 30 fun (and affordable) activities to participate in but also has a pretty interesting history. 

Seafair is one of our areas longest running community events. Starting back in the early 50’s – before our area had any Seahawks, Sonics or Mariners or even the Seattle Center  – the powers that be were looking for a way to generate tourism, national recognition and to promote the area being the “boating capital of the world.”   

Seafair was first held at Greenlake.  The 5,500 seat Auqa Theater was built (in 75 days) – and festival began August 11, 1950.  The event featured the Aqua Follies “swimusical”  including a diving show and synchronized swimming, boat races and amateur athletics.  The early event also included Seafair royalty, parades and a variety of community festivals!

Over the years the event has grown to include the famed Boeing Seafair Air Show with demonstrations from the US Navy Blue Angels (my favorite every year), Seafair Pirates, Torchlight Parade and of course the amazingly fun Home Street Bank Cup hydroplane boat races. 

Got a boat? Or know someone that does? Don’t miss the epic partying on thousands of boats tied to the Seafair Log BoomIt’s a 10 week long event – so be sure to find a way to participate!!

What’s your favorite part of this event?  And if you’re new to the area go find it and let me know!!  There are a few links in this post that will hopefully prove helpful, including Seafair Calendar of events, Best places to watch the Blue Angels (this NEVER gets old!), More history

Posted on July 31, 2019 at 5:58 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Denise Perkins, Eastside, Holidays, Home Sweet Home, In the News, Kids, North Kirkland, Redmond, Snoqualmie, Things to Do, Woodinville | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Cost of Waiting!

Interest rates are at a two year low. Who knew!

There have been so many predictions over the past several  years that rates were headed higher and higher and while they have fluctuated a bit – today it’s like free money! Our economy as well as the real estate market is unpredictable.  But one thing is for certain, if you are or were on the fence about buying – either for the first time, selling and getting a bigger house or even ready to downsize and get into your retirement home – now could be a great time to make that happen.  Most markets in our area are still great for sellers if the home is marketed and priced accordingly – and inventory is up (24.5% as of May) which means more for buyers to choose from.

Multiple offers are still the story again in some markets – but with more to choose from it’s doesn’t seem as frenetic.  So why does all this hub-bub matter when it comes to interest rates – well it really can effect what you can buy.  BUYING POWER is the answer – and with low interest rates you can afford more.  And in our area – that makes a big difference.   Which brings me to the information seen here – it’s a great depiction of what waiting, or what a changing interest rate can mean to you and your bottom line.

So when you’re ready to talk about finding your next community – let’s chat – I can help!

Posted on July 24, 2019 at 11:22 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Denise Perkins, Eastside, Helpful Home Tips, Home Sweet Home, In the News, Market Stats, North Kirkland, Redmond, Snoqualmie, Uncategorized, Woodinville | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Outdoor Flicks with the Fam

Looks like the sun is headed our way and will stay for a while… thank goodness because my kids and I are ready! This is the perfect time to plan for an outdoor movie night since there are so many great places that offer cheap or totally free flicks and have other fun activities right here on the Eastside.

Redmond

Outdoor Movies at Marymoor Park

With big screen flicks, a variety of entertainment, some of Seattle’s best food trucks and the fact it is dog friendly makes this one of my families favorites. Facebook.com/MoviesatMarymoor

$5/person (cash) or $6/person (credit). Ages 5 & under Free. Parking is $5.
Event entry opens at 6:30 p.m.; movies start at dusk after event entertainment

Kirkland

Carillon Point Outdoor Movie Nights

Enjoy outdoor movie series this summer on the picturesque shores of Lake Washington every other Saturday in July and August. Bring your low-back chairs and blankets and come ready to relax and enjoy a late night movie.

$5 suggested donations benefit Hopelink of Kirkland, a local non-profit with a mission to promote self-sufficiency for all members of our community.

Seating will be available at 7pm, with the show beginning at dusk. Get there early so you have time to chow down before the show since Beach Cafe, Le Grand Bistro Américain, and Carillon Kitchen will be there. 

Popcorn, soda, and candy will be available for purchase in the plaza.

Bellevue

Crossroads Movies in the Park and Bellevue Summer Outdoor Movies at the Park

Head to Bellevue’s favorite parks, Crossroads and Bellevue to enjoy FREE outdoor movies and popcorn this summer. There are pre-movie activities planned before each movie, so come down early, stake your ground and have some fun.

FREE popcorn, and FREE admission. The summer movies series also features eight non-profit agencies, one per week, which the audience can participate in by donating to the many programs and services the agency provides our community-in-need.

Movies are at Downtown Park and Crossroads Park, pre-movie entertainment begins at 7:30pm, and the movies will start at dusk (approximately 9pm). Check out the summer line-up of outdoor movies for 2019.

For a full list of theaters and more details on each in the greater Seattle area click here.

Posted on July 17, 2019 at 10:36 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Denise Perkins, Eastside, Home Sweet Home, Kids, North Kirkland, Redmond, Resaurants, Snoqualmie, Things to Do, Woodinville | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

What’s Happening in the Market?

Wanted to quick share what’s happening in the Market. It’s been ticking up every month since February and is gradually catching last years numbers after the 4th quarter dip of 2018.  Market times are down again and pairing that with sub 4% interest rates it is making the prospects of buying vs. renting very enticing! Sellers are now seeing increased traffic, but are also competing with additional homes for sale. Location, Location, Location is still the theme of todays market and the hotter marketplaces in June has been North Kirkland (Finn Hill), Mercer Island and Renton.

Click here to see the the stats in your area for June 2019

 

Posted on July 10, 2019 at 10:22 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Denise Perkins, Eastside, Helpful Home Tips, Home Sweet Home, In the News, North Kirkland, Redmond, Snoqualmie, Woodinville | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

3 Camping Spots within 3 Hours

You’ll hear me talk about the “Big Three” pretty often. To me- those are the three cities that make up the heart of the Eastside. Redmond. Kirkland. Bellevue. Depends on who you ask, the Eastside is growing, and can sometimes include Issaquah, Bothell, Woodinville and Sammamish. But, for me, when we’re talking Eastside, we’re talking the big three.

Since the city is growing so quickly, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find a patch of green space where you’re allowed to camp overnight. There are still plenty of parks and natural areas around town, but try to pitch a tent overnight and you’re likely to wind up in some hot water. It’s just not cool. But that doesn’t mean that you need to plan an epic road trip in order to find a nice little camping spot, either. Here are my personal top three favorite places to get some R&R and a bit of nature within three hours from the Eastside.

 

  1. Dash Point State Park

Address: 5700 SW Dash Point Rd, Federal Way, WA 98023

Drive Time: Less than an hour.

Why I Love It

Dash Point State Park is right off of I-5 in Federal Way. It’s so close to the city that sometimes you even get city noise while you’re in the park. While that may sound like a turn off, hear me out! This park has so much going for it! Positioned right near Commencement Bay, the park has access to a swimmable beach that plays host to some incredible beachcombing at low tide. Expect to find thousands of sand dollars, shells, clams, jellyfish, and the last time I was there, I even saw a fully intact “ghost” sailboat washed ashore. How cool! To top it off there are great hiking trails, a summer “Jr. Ranger” program for the kids, and a large grassy field in the middle of the campground loop for the kids to makes friends and play in. Remember that city I talked about? It’s pretty cool because, if you don’t like campfire cooking, you can easily pop right into town and have dinner out, returning to your site for s’mores and tent sleeping.  Plus, if everything goes bust, you’re so close to home that it’s simple to call it a loss, pack up, and head home. That makes it perfect for first time campers!

 

  1. Pine Village KOA

Address: 11401 River Bend Dr, Leavenworth, WA 98826

Drive Time: 2 Hours

Why I Love It

The only non-state park camp on my list, this place is super fun for a long weekend. It’s only a 2 hour drive time (admittedly, that’s before we account for traffic) and most of that drive is spent going through either scenic Stevens or Snoqualmie Pass. The campsite itself offers SO many amenities. There is space for trailers, RVs, tents, and even a few cabins that you can rent. Onsite you’ll find a playground and even a pool. In the summer there is a free breakfast in the mornings, outside movies in the evenings, and even a free shuttle into downtown Leavenworth, where you’ll find a whole host of things to do. In the winter you can enjoy a massive open field directly behind the campground, perfect for sledding, snowshoeing, or a winter trek into town. Leavenworth is a city of festivals, with something going on almost every weekend. This glimpse into a Bavarian village makes the kids happy, and the high concentration of wineries and breweries makes mom and dad happy, too.

 

  1. Deception Pass State Park

Address: 41020 SR 20 Oak Harbor, WA 98277

Drive Time: 90 minutes

Why I Love It

As far as I’m concerned, this is the gold standard for an immersive camping experience. This park has.it.all. On top of a TON of spots for RVs, trailers, and tents, you’ll find not one, not two, but THREE beaches. There is a salt water beach opening to the Salish Sea, a freshwater beach on Cranberry Lake, and another saltwater lagoon beach that has some of the best tide-pools in the PNW (at low tide). The Salish Sea beach has a ton of driftwood, perfect for hut making, the lake beach plays host to canoe and kayak rental as well as a seasonal snack stand, and the tide-pooling beach has rangers on site to guide you (during the summer) and help you find creatures! On top of ALL of that, you’ll also find iconic bridges that you can walk (or drive) across with sweeping vista views of the sea. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that the other half of this massive park has great fishing access, too. Freshwater and saltwater fishing are both available, along with a whole host of hiking opportunities of varying difficulty. Not that you will ever need to leave this park to stay busy, but my family really enjoys a quick trip into Oak Harbor where we enjoy an evening at one of the only drive-in theaters left in the state. (Blue Fox Drive-In Theatre). Frankly, if you’re only going camping once, make it this park. It’s pretty popular and fills up fast, so make sure to make reservations well in advance.

 

Honorable Mention

Moran State Park

Address: 3572 Olga Rd, Olga, WA 98279

Drive Time: 3.5 Hours

Why I Love It

Missing my list due to time constraints only, this park is cool because it’s on an Island. Orcas Island, to be exact. That means that you’ll need to take a state ferry to get there, making it kind of pricey for trailer or RV campers. The sites are small, but the views are BIG. You can even drive (or hike) clear to the top of Mt. Constitution for a bird’s eye view of all of the San Juan Islands.

 

Did I miss your favorite campsite? If you want to keep it a well-guarded secret, I get it. But, if you’re willing to share, please let me know what I’m missing out on in the comments below.

Posted on June 19, 2019 at 9:42 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Denise Perkins, Eastside, Home Sweet Home, Kids, North Kirkland, Redmond, Snoqualmie, Things to Do, Woodinville | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Schools Out? Don’t Panic!

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.

Posted on June 13, 2019 at 5:44 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Denise Perkins, Eastside, Home Sweet Home, Kids, North Kirkland, Redmond, Snoqualmie, Things to Do, Woodinville | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Don’t Forget Dad!

 

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!

Click here to check out some other fun ideas!

 

Posted on June 6, 2019 at 2:39 am
Denise Perkins | Category: Denise Perkins, Eastside, Holidays, Home Sweet Home, Kids, North Kirkland, Redmond, Snoqualmie, Things to Do, Woodinville | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Forget the cart… shop local online

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!

https://www.fullcircle.com/

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.

https://www.smithbrothersfarms.com/

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.

https://newrootsorganics.com/

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

 

Posted on May 30, 2019 at 12:13 am
Denise Perkins | Category: Denise Perkins, Eastside, Helpful Home Tips, Home Sweet Home, Kids, North Kirkland, Redmond, Snoqualmie | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,