May 27, 2015

New Garden Tour

It's a glorious spring morning here at The North End Loft. The birds are singing, the sun is shining, and the air is crisp and sparkling after a big thunder storm last night. It's the perfect day to introduce my new garden tour!


I've been wanting to put together a photo tour of our little garden for ages, and I finished one over the weekend. The tour is made up of a few new photos along with some from the past two years, all taken since we cut down the big backyard shade tree in 2013. 

I've added a garden tour tab just below my blog title, and you can also see the tour by clicking right



Have a wonderful day, and I hope to see you in the garden!

May 18, 2015

Our Oregon Coast Spring Vacation

Hello, friends! I'm back from my spring vacation with some photos to share today. 

My husband and I took a road trip to the Oregon coast last week. We love to visit the coast in the spring when it almost seems like we have the whole place to ourselves. We don't let the unpredictable spring weather slow us down and just pack clothing for whatever may come. On this trip we had some of everything, from light rain and wind, to misty fog, to sunshine. 


 We always stay in our favorite beachfront condominium where we can enjoy a warm fire or a home cooked meal while looking out at the beautiful ocean view. 


We had our own patio and grassy area, which was great for Tucker. Our hosts greeted us with a big basket of cute dog bowls, towels for wet sandy paws, and even some sheets to cover the bed in case Tucker sneaked up there when we weren't looking. 


The condo is next to Tillamook Mountain at the quiet residential south end of Seaside, and there's a cute pub, a breakfast café and even a little neighborhood market just down the street.


Here's a view of the sun setting from our little patio. Our bedroom shared this view from sliding doors, too, and we kept them open a bit at night to hear the waves breaking on the sand. Our condo complex lends out cruiser bikes to ride along this promenade into Seaside if the mood for crowds strikes. We could sometimes look all the way down the promenade and not see another soul here, though, and it really felt like we had the whole beach to ourselves! 


Tillamook Mountain is included in Ecola State Recreation Area, which is our favorite place to explore when we visit the coast. We especially love hiking through the lush green ancient forests.


Tucker has to be on a six foot leash when we walk here, but on the sandy beaches from the grass to the low tide mark, dogs under voice control are allowed off leash on all state beaches. Oregon is considered one of the dog friendliest of all states for well behaved dogs. 


 There are trees so huge here that we can't see their tops. These trees were here when Lewis and Clark hiked in these forests. Maybe they even stood here and looked up at this very same tree.


The views of the coastline from high up on the trails are stunning, and we stopped often to take photos with our iPhones.












This is a view of Cannon Beach (a charming seaside town with fabulous shopping) and Haystack Rock (a popular tourist attraction) from the Ecola State Park viewpoint. 

   It's hard to get a feeling for how huge Haystack Rock is unless you're standing next to it. 


To give you an idea of how huge it is, this photo of me with Haystack Rock in the background was taken from almost three quarters of a mile away. You can see the tiny people on the beach at its base if you look carefully. There are tide pools full of fascinating sea creatures here and hundreds of seabirds nest atop it.


Cars are allowed to be carefully driven on Oregon State beaches, too. As soon as we arrived, we drove down onto a deserted beach and introduced ten year-old Tucker to the ocean. It was his first time experiencing all the sights, sounds, and scents of the ocean.


I caught his excitement with this iPhone video. (You might want to turn down the volume a bit before clicking on the arrow.)


As you can tell from his big silly grin, he loved it!

We all had such a great time beach combing, hiking, and watching the tides come and go. 

It rained here in Boise almost the whole time we were gone on our vacation, so we came home to lots of pretty spring flowers. When the sun comes out I'll be outside with my camera again. 

Until then, I hope you have a wonderful week!


Let's party at

A Stroll Thru Life
Coastal Charm


May 2, 2015

Yay for May!

YAY for May!

Yesterday, I beat the weekend crowds at the nursery and shopped early for my spring plants.

And today's forecast is for perfect planting weather! 


Sunshine, here I come!


I hope you have a wonderful day, too!



Join me again this year for the fun and fabulous Elizabeth & Co. Garden Party

Elizabeth and Co.



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