Recommended :: Orphan Train


Orphan Train” has been on the best seller list for ages and for good reason – such wonderful characters and a very absorbing plot that switches back between present day and past. The story is fiction but based on the experience of the almost 200,000 (!!) orphaned children between 1854 and 1929 who rode westward on trains to be adopted by families in the midwest. Some of these families actually wanted the children to love as their own but far more wanted workers or extra hands on the farm. I highly recommend this engrossing book!

Orchard Cove Highlights – Ceremony Favorites

A few favorite images from the many beautiful ceremonies I documented

The setting for Katie & Colby’s wedding was pretty spectacular
I have so many favorite recessional shots – there is so much adrenaline and emotion in that moment and it’s one the highlights of the wedding day for me. This one is from Kami & Jeff’s Bolton Ponds wedding.
Another high of the day – the processional – I remember back to being walked down the aisle by my Dad and it makes me teary every time! Here is Katie being accompanied by her Father.
And a sweet moment during the ring exchange at Katie & James’ wedding
Laura’s niece was pretty sure this was the ideal moment to show off her trucks – it was so funny to catch her embarrassed Dad in the background!
I turned to catch the Grandparent’s reaction at that same moment!
This ceremony was so full of joy and emotion – I just loved how expressive Laura & Jay were.
Jessie was doing her best to laugh instead of cry during her ceremony – I love her cheeky grin!
LIttle children all dressed up – few things are cuter. Here are Pete & Emily’s niece and nephew!
And finally a light moment from Ben & Lindsay’s wedding which wrapped up my season at the end of October.

Recommended :: Creamy Sweet Potato Soup

This is a relatively quick and easy Creamy Sweet Potato Soup from Cooking Light

2 large sweet potatoes, roasted
2 t. olive oil
1 c. chopped onion
1/2 t. cumin
1/4 t. crushed red pepper
4 c. unsalted chicken stock
S & P
6 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
1/4 shaved Parmesan cheese
2 T. parsley (optional)

Roast potatoes or microwave – discard skins.

Saute onion 1 minute – stir in cumin & red pepper. Add stock to pan and bring to a boil. Place half of sweet potato mixture and half of stock mixture in blender – blend until smooth. Repeat with remaining soup. Sprinkle bacon, parmesan, and parsley on top.


Back in July when Sarah and Emily were visiting Sarah put the bug in my ear about turning my upstairs office nook into more of a finished space / space for me. I am a lover of fabric and quilting and it was all in bins under the bed in the guest room making it hard to remember what I had and hard to plan for projects. At that point my sewing space was downstairs on the dining room table and with Norah starting to crawl I knew I needed to move all that stuff to a safer spot so she didn’t get into it…..not to mention the inconvenience of constantly packing everything up when I was in the middle of a project so we could actually eat at the table!!

I have to say I was very resistant to the idea for some reason but she kept nudging me and eventually I came around – taking a trip to Ikea with Norah in August to buy the bookcase, and then getting a carpenter in to build a huge worktable in the fall. I finally feel fully settled into my space and it is WONDERFUL. This time of year is high crafting time for me with my work load considerably lighter than during the summer and it makes me so happy to walk into the space and see all the color!

I’m a little embarrassed by my enormous fabric stash but I tell Jeff it’s better/cheaper/healthier than drugs!! I don’t know what it is about fabric but I just love it and on these cold winter days the burst of color energizes me. It’s been great to get ideas for projects and be able to shop my stash and use some of it! Enjoy the photos and happy crafting!!

I forgot to take a proper before (bad photographer!!) but this is pretty close….from last winter when we were doing our taxes and Norah wouldn’t go to sleep….she finally fell asleep on the floor!
Behold the glory! The awesome rug is Dash & Albert – it’s probably meant for a child but I love it!!
The huge tabletop is split into thirds – my sewing machine, my computer, and my cutting mat all have their own (permanent!!) places. My printer, hard drives, and other computer cords are tucked away mostly out of site behind my enormous monitor.
The height of the desk was dictated by the height of the file cabinet which I knew I wanted to fit under. As a result it’s a bit higher than a normal desk but it’s convenient when I’m cutting so I don’t have to bend over as much.

FABRIC…..yes a lot of it!

This is officially my happy place – thank you Sarah for (almost!) always knowing what is best for me!

Sweet Potato, Kale, and Pomegranate Salad

My friend Brierley brought this DELICIOUS and healthy salad to a friend’s baby shower and she kindly sent me the recipe which is from Two Peas and Their Pod – a blog I hadn’t heard of before.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE RECIPE – taking her lead I tore up kale and put it at the bottom of the bowl – the sweet potatoes right out of the oven wilted it and it made it that much healthier and delicious. Enjoy!