Best Grilling Tips for your July Fourth BBQ

IMG_2429 (1)July Fourth is here and we want to address a very important part of that celebration: grilling. America’s biggest celebration deserves a good ol’ fashioned BBQ! We set out to find the best grilling tips, where to get the best meat to grill and where you could enjoy the best grilled food in our neighborhood. And here’s what we found.

Grilling basics: 

  • Get it hot: Turn the grill on several minutes before you want to begin grilling. You want the grill nice and hot for when you begin.
  • Oil it up: Grab a paper towel and soak it in oil, grab it with tongs and rub it over the rack to avoid the meat from sticking to the grill.oil_grill_tip5
  • Dry it off: Pat your meat dry with a paper towel before you place it on the grill to get the perfect sear.
  • Let it rest: When the meat has reached your desire done-ness, let it rest for a few minutes to allow the juices to settle.
  • Use it: Grill pans are great for giving vegetables and fruits the smoky flavor we all love, without having them fall through the rack.
  • Warm up: chefs suggest to warm up your meat by taking it out of the fridge for 20 minutes before you begin grilling.

Where to get your meat

The number one grilling tip our neighbors at the farmers market gave us was that the most important part of grilling is to get quality meat. Which is why you should skip the grocery store and go straight to the source: the butcher. Not only will you save time avoiding the crowds, but you’ll get quality meat and will have supported a local business! Butcher Shop Cafe will have everything you need exactly how you need it.

Our other favorite, if you want to grill fish or other seafood, is Tim’s Seafood. Located on Parkplace Center. They recommended Salmon, Snapper or Mahi Mahi for grilling from their current seasonal collection. They also have some great mussels and clams perfect for the grill or some scallops perfect for Kebabs!

You have your key grilling tips, and you have your meat—all you need now is the right recipes to make your July fourth BBQ the perfect one. Here are our top five recipes for Independence Day:babyback-ribs-5

  1. Bacon Bourbon BBQ Chicken Kebabs
  2. Beer Marinated Grilled Steak
  3. Grilled Cilantro Lime BBQ Wings
  4. Grilled Veggies: Zucchini, Carrot, Mushroom and Peppers
  5. Chipotle Baby Back Ribs

Lastly, the drinks! Eater Seattle has a fantastic list of the best mixed drinks for July fourth. Tried and tested by the best bartenders. Looking for more summer and barbecuing or drinks recipes? Follow our Pinterest Boards!

What are your plans for Independence Day? Do you have any grilling tips or secrets? Share them with us in the comments!

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What’s All the Buzz about Pillar Loves Pets?

As we continue to celebrate our pet-loving month, we’ve had a chance to see some adorable photo entries for our Pillar Loves Pets photo contest and host a fantastic pet event for our residents. Overall, we’ve simply been spoiling all pets at The 101, which is what Pillar Loves Pets is all about!

We hosted a Happy Hour on our rooftop where pets and their humans were invited for a relaxing afternoon together. We partnered with local pet shop Boo Boo Barkery and Boutique to provide some tasty treats for our pets.

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And what was in it for the owners of these adorable pets? Well, other than the pure bliss of seeing their pets play together and enjoy the afternoon, they also had the chance to unwind from their busy day.  With an incredible view of Puget Sound from our rooftop, residents relaxed with neighbors while they sipped on some wine and savored some snacks.


We enjoyed watching the pets and humans get to know each other and it was fun hearing lots of happy barking!


So, what’s up next? Our Pillar Loves Pets photo contest is in full swing.  We need your help picking the best pet photo. Check all Pillar Loves Pets photo entries and vote for your favorites until July 10.  Plus, we hear that looking a cute pet photos can increase your productivity. So what are you waiting for? Time to get voting!

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Pillar Loves Pets Month!

June is Pillar Loves Pets Month! This is our time to celebrate the furry friends who make life so much better and we want you and your pet to join us!  We love pets of all shapes and sizes and we have some seriously cute pets living at The 101.  This is the  month for them to shine.  And maybe win you some cash!

p loves pets

Its the 3rd Annual Pillar Loves Pets Photo Contest!  If you think your pet is the cutest, enter our tail to tail contest! Submit a picture of your pet doing something silly, funny, ridiculous or incredibly adorable for a chance to win.  We will be collecting the pet photos until June 26th.  Then, invite your friends to vote on your submission to win!  Be sure to follow us on Facebook to enter the contest. Winners get big prizes…first place is a $150 gift card and $50 gift cards for second and third place.  Tell your pet to get posing.  You can enter here.  Good luck!

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Meet Our Team: Katie Olson

Bragging isn’t really our style, but we can’t ignore that the people who work at The 101 are pretty awesome. Each one of them have an incredible personality and interesting story, which is no surprise that they make The 101 a very special place for our residents. That’s why we’ve just got to share them with you!

We will be showcasing each one of our team members in our Meet Our Team posts. We will be asking them fun and thought provoking questions so you can get to know them on a more personal level.IMG_2840

For our first post we’d like to introduce you to Katie Olson, property manager at The 101. Katie recently returned to Pillar Properties at the beginning of this year to take on a big responsibility, managing two properties: The 101 and The Corydon. Her performance since day one has been spectacular and we could not be happier to have her lead the team at The 101. Katie is always cheerful, with a warm smile and always ready to lend a hand. We think she’s great, but you don’t need to take our word for it read on to find out:


Our question: If you could fly anywhere, where would you go first and why?

Her answer: Caribbean Islands.

Ocho Rios, Jamaica Source:

Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Katie has been dreaming of a tropical vacation for quite some time. When we asked her where she’d go first if she could fly, she didn’t have to think about it twice! Though, her tropical vacation would not be a typical one, she has a whole adventure planned! She would love to meet up with her uncle who lives in Jamaica and sail on his boat through the Caribbean Sea. She told us she’s been thinking about doing this trip with her family for quite a while. She would join her family in Jamaica, sail on her Uncle’s boat and go island hopping all over the Caribbean—it would be like their own little cruise! Katie dreams of laying on the beach drinking tropical drinks, trying the delicious local cuisine and snorkeling her way around exotic fish and turtles. Sounds like a dream, right? We agree, a Caribbean vacation sounds divine!



What do you think? Where would YOU like to go if you could fly? Please share in the comments, and let us know of any questions you’d like to ask our team.

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Best Pie in the Hood to Celebrate the Ultimate Pie Day

Happy π Day!

This year, March 14 is more special than ever because Pi= 3.1415…, and today is 3.14.15, which makes it the ultimate Pi day!

We love celebrating days like these, and there’s no better way to celebrate Pi day than with some of the most delicious pies in the neighborhood!

George’s has been in Kirkland for over 38 years offering some of the greatest food, and according to our team, they have the best apple pie in town!

Courtesy of George's Facebook

Courtesy of George’s Facebook

Stop by for a slice of this, you can thank us later!

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St. Patrick’s Day Festivities to Get your Green On

St. Patrick’s Day is always a very festive day around Puget Sound.  Everyone wants to get their green on with parades, bar crawls and of course, beer!

Looking for your best option for celebrating?  We’ve got ya covered!

  • Shamrock Run: Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at a fun-filled 5K with the rest of the Kirkland Community as we celebrate the Irish culture. Runners, walkers and dogs are welcome! Plus join the after party at Wilde Rover. Full details here.When: Saturday March 14 at 9 a.m.
    • Cost: $44 per person
    • Location: Marina Park
    • To register, click here.


  • St. Patty’s Celebration: A four-day celebration with Irish dancers, pipes and drumsat Wilde Rover! Gear up and join the festivities because this Irish Pub and Restaurant is going all out. Full details here.
    • When: March 13-15 and 17
    • Cost: Free!
    • Location: Wilde Rover, Central Way.


Know of any other fun St. Patrick’s Day activities in town? Share them with us on the comments below!

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Pillar Properties Named Tops in the Nation for Resident Satisfaction!

National-Award-Company-2014-2-300x94Our teams are constantly focused on customer service at Pillar Properties.  Its the cornerstone of our mission – to provide what we call a ‘quietly awesome’ experience for our residents.  That means our teams work diligently behind the scenes to make sure the experience inside our properties matches residents lifestyles, needs and expectations.  Being quietly awesome is a focus for everything we do and it is the guiding light of our customer service team.

That’s why we are especially proud to receive the SatisFacts 2014 National Resident Satisfaction Award for 2014.  SatisFacts is a national company that works with more than a million apartment dwellers annually to gauge their experiences.  We are thrilled that of the nearly 300 property management companies across the country, Pillar Properties is ranked in the top three!*

“Seeing Pillar Properties recognized with this award is exceptional but I can humbly say I am not surprised,” said Billy Pettit, senior vice president for Pillar Properties.  “This all comes back to the teams at each of our properties – The Lyric, The Wave and The Nolo at Stadium Place, The Century, The Corydon and The 101.  They are deeply committed to making our properties a special place to live and they are clearly succeeding.”

SatisFacts surveys all residents annually and again anytime a resident moves in, has a maintenance request or moves out. Based on those surveys, Pillar Properties also received an Exceptional Company Award (score of 4.5 or higher of 5.0) for resident satisfaction.  You can see the awards and rankings here.

“This awards shows us that our teams are responding to our resident’s needs and that’s what truly matters to us. We focus every day on ensuring that our property teams are quick to address any issues that arise for our residents.  That’s what makes Pillar Properties different from other property owners and that’s what being quietly awesome is all about,” said Pettit.

SatisFacts is the apartment industry retention and reputation management authority, working with hundreds of management companies and more than a million apartment units nationally.  You can learn more about the company here.



* Of companies with less than 2,000 apartment units

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Valentine’s Day treats!

We absolutely LOVE pampering our residents, and there’s no better day to show our residents how much we appreciate them than Valentine’s Day!


Saturday morning we woke up bright and early to put together a little something for our residents.


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Our Restaurant Pick for Valentine’s Day: Volterra

We picked our favorite neighborhood restaurant and asked them for a sneak peek on what they have planned for Valentine’s Day!

The restaurant Volterra was named after the town in Italy where owners Michelle and Chef Don Curtis were married, and in honor of that their goal is to make Valentine’s Day very special at Volterra.

For this Saturday Chef Don has outdone himself with a Valentine’s Day five-course menu. He shares a little bit about what to expect on that day!

Chef Don also shared with us about one of his featured items on the menu this year—his signature item.

Reservations are filling up quick for Saturday so be sure to give them a call to make sure you get your table for Valentine’s Day!

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Washington Multi Family Housing Association Finalist (WMFHA): Sam Hale – Maintenance Rookie of the Year

We are always excited to see one of our team members recognized for their outstanding work. It’s not an easy task to become an Emerald Awards finalists, but Sam Hale showcased his abilities and passion to work individually and as a team member, and he is now a finalist in the category Maintenance Rookie of the Year!

This annual awards presentation, sponsored by WMFHA, honors the top performers in the apartment industry in Sam Halethe Pacific Northwest.

It’s a long road to becoming a finalist and we couldn’t be more excited to see Sam recognized for all he does. After submitting written information about his work, Sam was interviewed in person by a judging committee. Only the best make it to the finals!

The Emerald Awards Ceremony will be held Thursday February 12, and we will know then if Sam is the winner or not. Of course, he is already a winner as far as we’re concerned and we are happy to have him in our team.

Please join us in congratulating Sam Hale on his accomplishment of becoming a WMFHA Emerald Awards Finalist.

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