We made our own orange slice garland this year and it was really so easy! This is not an in depth tutorial but I will explain what we did, if you would like to try it. I also took so many photos that they needed a place to live, so here we are!
I used 8 oranges and made four strands of 6' garland. You may also use clementines, tangerines, whatever you want. I sliced the oranges pretty thin, about 1/4 - 1/8", blotted with paper towels, and placed on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper in a single layer. We baked the slices at 250 degrees for 3 hours. I flipped them once and removed oranges as they browned a little. Then, we let them sit on baking racks for 3 days. Yes, for 3 whole days, the orange slices just sat out on the counter. I don't know if this is necessary everywhere, but the flesh may tear when you stitch the slices if there is still moisture and it was still humid in Orlando during November.
We strung the oranges about 6" apart on twine, using a yarn needle. I am fine with the slices sliding around a little so we only used one stitch through each slice. Just insert the threaded yarn needle near the rind, and again through the other side of the slice. The boys were able to stitch the oranges themselves. Tess needed some help but was also the most enthusiastic helper.
Our garland is not perfect, but it looks festive and we decorated the whole house for Thanksgiving. These pretty little orange slices may even stick around through Christmas. Right now, I have them alongside some evergreen garland on the stairs and it looks cute. I might pull some off and attach to gifts when I start to wrap all of our packages!
What you need:
-Oranges, tangerines, or clementines, slice to 1/4-1/8"
-Papertowels to blot citrus
-Yarn needle (I found this on Amazon.com)
-Twine (also on Amazon.com)
Let me know if you make your own citrus garland,
I'd love to see how it turns out and how you use it!
Tea parties, jumping on beds, this whimsical family session was every little girl's dream! Sisters are forever friends and it was fun to see this sweet friendship beginning to blossom!
Baby Adrianna at one year. This is really such a sweet age. Crawls turn to wobbly steps and this new independence inspires exploring everywhere. I believe this is usually when parenting becomes an all day cardio event! I remember the curious pointing, everything going in their mouth and the most adorable belly laughs. Our tiny babies morphing into little humans!
My favorite images are, quite often, those that happen during the in between moments. When children and families are interacting and connecting in a way that is truly them. During this session, the kids found an apple tree and were having the most fun picking the small apples and showing off their treasures. The sound of their laughter as the sun peeked out from between the tree branches, showering them all in golden light, was such a happy moment that I felt was just meant to be remembered. As I watched them playing together, I thought these are the images I will love. And as a mother, I would like to have remembered this part. When my kids were being kids and their little personalities were shining ever so brightly in that afternoon light. I just feel like there is such magic in the uniqueness of each and every family and I wanted to share that beauty as I saw it.
Krissy and Brian are two the most warm and kind people I have met. They are just easy to be hang out with and to laugh with. They also happen to be the cutest together! It is always so wonderful when our couples know other friends who we have photographed on their wedding day. Lucky for us, Krissy and Brian know several! I was cracking up as they listed off all of the couples they know and recalling some of the weddings we have all been a part of. I am truly so grateful for all of the amazing couples we have been fortunate enough to work with and honored to be included in one of the biggest days of their lives. We can hardly wait for Krissy + Brian's wedding next year!!
Aralyn + Jacob's wedding day was so much fun and bursting with love! The girls began the day at The Millennium Hotel in Buffalo, NY where they sipped champagne, chatted and laughed while a very talented girlfriend did their hair. Ava Grace did a beautiful job on makeup while babies were fed and passed around to many loving aunts.
Aralyn chose two dresses for the occasion. She selected a traditional, strapless princess gown, with delicate lace details that she found at a trunk show for her ceremony. She chose a more fitted, satin gown with a jewel encrusted bodice for the rest of the day and evening. Rose gold jewelry and shoes added a hint of color and sparkle. A side swept, relaxed updo completed Aralyn's look. This momma looked amazing! Since momma had two gowns, it was only fitting that Aralyn's 5 month old daughter, Elly, had two outfits as well. She was so cute! The bridesmaids wore different shades, textures and dress styles, all in a rose gold hue. The men were outfitted in gray suits from Men's Wearhouse with vests and black bowties.
Aralyn + Jake had a really sweet first look. Daughter Elly stole the show when she was brought over to see mommy and daddy. It was so beautiful to see there little family of three all together on one of the happiest days of their lives. Aralyn's nephew, Tommy, was also part of the wedding. He and Elly are close in age and they were both so good for the entire day. They were simply adorable! The bride and groom are highly allergic to flowers so Aralyn's mother-in-law created a unique bouquet for Aralyn and each of her bridesmaids of white peacock feathers and heirloom pearls and jewels. Aralyn honored her late grandfather with a rendition of his image attached to her bouquet.
The bride and groom were married in a lovely ceremony under a simple white arbor adorned with willow branches and twinkling lights at Kloc's Grove. Jake got a little choked up when he was saying his vows, leaving very few dry eyes among the family and friends in attendance. Jake + Aralyn have such a fun and playful relationship and their wedding day reflected that!
We were so honored to be a part of such a special day. Seeing Aralyn, Jake and sweet baby Elly, together as a family of three was so wonderfully heartwarming. The excitement we witnessed from their families who came together from different countries and the other side of the world was so beautiful. It was truly a joyous event and one that we will never forget!!
We wish you all the best, Aralyn + Jake and your adorable daughter Elly! Hope you have an amazing honeymoon in Punta Cana!!
Venue: Kloc's Grove
Makeup: Ava Grace
Hotel: The Millennium Hotel
Groomsmen: Men's Wearhouse
Entertainment: DJ “Shyguy” Shawn
Videographer: Dan Richardson
Day of coordinator: The Wedding Connection
Second Shooter: Mary O'Sullivan
I want to remember it all. The curiosity, the faces they made, that wispy baby hair. These days when they are young. They are long, but the years somehow pass us by in a blink. The memories continue to build up as I try to grasp at them to hang on. Finding new ways to connect as they grow and no longer need to be held. Thinking about this as I snuggle my youngest baby, hoping she doesn't ever get bigger. Knowing that every child must grow up.
I met Stephanie + KC for maternity photos at their home, just a week before the arrival of their new baby girl. Stephanie is one stunning mama! This amazing view is what they look out at from their home, every day!
Amanda + Matt's wedding day was truly such a beautiful event. The people, the venue, the weather...it could not have been more perfect! Amanda and her bridesmaids began their day hanging out in their suite while having their hair and makeup done at The Tamarack Club of Holiday Valley Resort in Ellicottville, NY. Groomservice had all the ladies' hair looking amazing while The Makeup Parlour made sure all the girls' makeup looked flawless. Amanda shared the sweetest gifts with her mother, father and mother in law, while her sister/Maid of Honor gifted her with a beautiful bracelet to wear on her special day. It was all so touching and everyone did their best to hold back their tears! Amanda chose a unique Inca wedding gown by Grace Loves Lace from NYC. It is a dress bridal dreams are made of. The gown was so flattering with delicate lace, a low back and feminine details. She was so unbelievably beautiful in it! Amanda paired this with a simple cathedral length veil and nude heels with dangling drop pearls and crystals around the ankles. A stunning half-up fishtail hairstyle with relaxed curls completed Amada's look. She looked effortlessly chic and beyond gorgeous!! The bridesmaids chose coordinating gowns in various shades of pink, blush and champagne from Adrianna Papell and Lulus. It was such a soft and beautiful color palette. Matt sported a modern navy suit by Hugo Boss, while the rest of the guys wore suits in the same hue from JP Tailors with multi colored satin ties and coordinating pocket squares and socks. They all looked so well put together! Matt gifted all the guys with personalized flasks, complete with a cartoon image of themselves on the front. These gifts were hilarious and actually very practical throughout the day!
Matt and Amanda chose to have a first look and it was so lovely and romantic. These two are absolutely enamored with each other in the very best way! Their happiness is contagious! After the first look, we took some photos and guests headed to the ski chairlift for a champagne cocktail and a ride up to the mountain top ceremony. The view was amazing! Keith James played music for the ceremony while over 200 guests watched this happy couple become husband and wife in front of a gorgeous floral and pampas grass arch created by Swan Street Florist. Amanda and Matt recited their own vows that were incredibly heartfelt and thoughtful. After the ceremony, guests headed back down the mountain for cocktails and the reception in the main lodge at Holiday Valley Resort. The newlyweds sat at a sweetheart table in front of a decorative wooden hexagon sculpture with floral details that reflected the ascetic of the floral arch from their ceremony. Tables were adorned with elevated gold vases holding pampas grass, fresh eucalyptus and rich greenery. Amanda and Matt were showered with love during the kindest speeches from their dearest friends and her brother and father. When your brother tears up and calls your new husband your "soul mate", you know you've found a partner that your family adores! After dinner, the bride and groom shared their first dance and cut their three tiered, gold foil embellished wedding cake created by Chrusciki Bakery. DJ Mike S. of Toy Bros got everyone on the dance floor with glow sticks for Buffalo's favorite "Shout" song. Stephanie and Mary Beth of Video Network got it ALL on video and we cannot wait to see it! Everyone was out there, included all the kids that were having the time of their lives. It was really so cute!
Amanda and Matt share a love that is so special. They are two of the warmest and kindest people. It was evident that they bring so much joy to those around them. You can't help but to feel the energy of their love and happiness when you are in their presence. We wish the two of you all the happiness in the world. Congratulations!!!
Thank you to all of the wonderful vendors that helped to make this day so amazing!
Venue and Coordinator: Holiday Valley Resort
Dress: Inca Gown by Grace Loves Lace
Bridesmaids: Adrianna Papell and Lulus
Makeup: The Makeup Parlour
Groom Attire: Hugo Boss
Groomsmen: JP Tailors
Ceremony Music: Keith James
Invitations: Black Bow Studios
Florals and Arch: Swan Street Florist
Bouquets and Boutineers: The Faux Bouquets
Cake: Chrusciki Bakery
Video: Video Network
DJ: Mike S. of Toy Bros
Photography: Rooted Love Photography
Second Shooter: Mary O'Sullivan