Olympic National Park- Staircase

Staircase-15 Staircase-2 Staircase-4 Staircase-5 Staircase-7 Staircase-13Mary Staircase-8 Staircase-6 Staircase-9 Staircase-17It’s about time I got back on my blogging train.  Many exciting things have been happening around here, which has taken my attention elsewhere. (more on that later)

I’ve been trying to get out and play as much as possible lately.  This last weekend’s adventure with Mary Jo Photography brought us to Olympic National Park, Staircase Trail.

If you are wanting to see lush, green moss and some of the tallest trees in the west, GO. If you are from the Northwest and haven’t made it to the Olympic Peninsula, GO! If this is your backyard like it is mine, WE ARE SO LUCKY.

The Staircase Loop Trail is a little over 2 miles, which easily turns into 5 miles for us with all of our wanderings. It is fairly easy and there were many families out enjoying the cold, crisp day.

We took to the trail with cameras and tripods in hand.  One of the things I love about adventuring with Mary, is the no rush vibe we get when we see a spot that HAS to be photographed.  These outings are a perfect opportunity to hone our skills with no pressure and the ability to really set up a shot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where the Water Falls

After several weeks of hard work with my day job, I needed to take a few days off to disconnect from the everyday and get some extra adventuring in.   I took to the Columbia River Gorge with my favorite companion and her2 year old (also my favorite) for a day of hiking.

We decided on Wahkeena Falls to get our PNW fix, knowing that half the vertical hike was paved.  This made it “easier” with a little one strapped to my dear friend’s back.  With several switchbacks and several goldfish crackers, we made it to Fairy Falls.  The water was pristine and the moss and ferns were the most beautiful shades of green.  All I could say the entire way up was, “This place is magic- and we live here”.   What could have been made into a large loop hike, we made our finale the falls and made our way back down the trail, since hiking with a little one can be tricky. A quick zip to the Eastwind Drive In for a bite and HUGE ice cream cones for all and we were feeling like the day was the perfect amount of adventure and friendship.

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Simple Terrarium

It is a shiny new year here at share a bit of love!  I thought I would share a gift that I made for a gift exchange this year in case your new year’s resolution is to give a little more, make the world a greener place, or to spruce up your home or office.

I made this simple terrarium (two actually) for under $10 with some help from mother nature.Terrarium6

Here is what you will need:

  • Clear glass vessel
  • succulent plants
  • moss
  • potting soil
  • activated charcoal
  • gravel
  • rocks & sticks for added decoration

1. Start layering in this order: Gravel, charcoal, & potting soil.

2. Plant succulent in soil.

3. Pat in moss around to cover- You can skip this step, but it adds nice texture.  I managed to peel some moss from our front yard. (thanks Pacific Northwest!)

4. Add stones/sticks (I used drift wood from a girls weekend at the beach a few months back, and stones collected from a camping trip)

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Hunt & Gather Wreath

As you may have noticed, I love living in the Pacific Northwest.

There is endless nature to be discovered, scenery as far as the eye can see, and gifts only the cool damp weather can bring.

With the holidays in full swing, I thought I would gather a few pieces of my favorite place and put a wreath together. I chose to hop over to my favorite green belt and pick up the left overs from a recent wind storm. It was a win-win.

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Here is what you will need:

Florist Wire

Wreath form (I used a maple branch)

Various Evergreen Boughs

Patience

Start by forming your wreath by bending the branch into a circle. Wire together tightly.

Grab about 4 boughs at a time, laying them on the wreath form, and tightly wrapping with wire to secure them. I used several pieces of wire instead of continuously wrapping. Continue around the entire wreath form adding different sets of boughs for different textures.  Wrap a hanger to the main circle of the wreath.  Tuck in a garnishments-holly, pine cones, or as I did, curly willow branches.

Give to your neighbors- hang on your door- share a bit of love.

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Katelyn- Class of 2015 Timberline High School

Thanks to Katelyn and her Mom & Dad, we spent a crisp fall evening-luckily free of rain- wandering their beautiful property just outside of town.

There was endless gorgeous greenery, a pond or two, mud, cows and a couple tractors.  Katelyn is a sweet and super silly kind of gal, so we kept it light until we actually had NO daylight. Time flies when you’re having fun!

Wishing Katelyn a successful Senior year and a glowing future ahead!

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This corner of the world

I have been wanting to get out into the woods a lot more lately it seems.  My house needs some major attention in the cleaning department, but I keep finding really important things that seem to take priority. There are plenty of wet days ahead to take care of the “have to’s”, so I plan on taking advantage of the less rainy days to enjoy what is outside in this corner of the world- the Pacific Northwest and my backyard.

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Night and Day

Things have been busy- in all the right ways.  I had the opportunity to travel for work this week to sunny San Diego.

When I wasn’t busy meeting some of the most amazing colleagues in my field, I was given a few spare hours to enjoy the city. As a regular tourist, I hopped the local bus to Old Town for dinner and onto Balboa Park for the evening.  The park was fun and inviting with warm lighting and much to do- I spent my time taking it all in. Mission Beach was gorgeous with the perfect sea breeze and the California sun.

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