10 on 10 | September

This is a first for me, since I have generally kept this site "strictly business" in regards to the theme of my content here. However, when a fellow photographer asked if I'd like to link up with a few others for a "10 on 10" post (ten personal pictures on the 10th of the month), it sounded like it could be a fun venture, and help me break out of some of my typical shooting (after all, if these are just for the fun of it, what do I have to lose?) and also give you, my reader, a chance to see some of what my life looks like beyond a regular photo shoot.

So, here we go! You might see a slight theme in these of excitement about little things that look like fall, but ... really, fall's kind of a big deal (especially when you're a Midwest girl).

1. I enlisted the help of my sister-in-law, Allison, and nephew, little Wesley to help me scout out a potential photo shoot location. Can't believe this guy is almost a year already! I remember when he was only this big.

2. I got this chair before he was born, but this was my "someday" vision for it all along! Agh. This kid and his excessive adorableness.

3. Autumn is such a fascinating season. So often the focus is on the leaves turning, and the harvest, but have you ever noticed the vulnerability of the autumn sky? It seems to change more quickly than at other seasons, and takes on such fascinating forms. 

4. And, just to prove that point ... a few hours later, we have this! I don't think I've seen a rainbow do this before - it was a double, but one stacked right on top of the other! The picture doesn't even capture the full glory of it, but every rainbow is a call to remember our faithful God, and His covenant.

5. Awww! Look at that noble face. Such a sweet puppy. (Yes, she's still a puppy. She's almost 13, but she's still my puppy.) I love the peaceful entertainment of watching her and our other dog scour the woods pointlessly, in anticipation of non-existent thrills.

6. Birches. They leave such pretty little notes behind in the fall.

7. Clover in the neighbor's field. (The rain drops on the leaves were kind of cool, but I think there's been so much rain lately that it would have been harder to catch these at a time when they didn't have rain on them.)

8. The life he'd really have on the outside of the screen I'm sure isn't half so interesting as the life he imagines that he'd have.

9. Okay, yeah. I couldn't resist. It's another one of these two. But, seriously - look at that crazy little monkey's face. He's such a happy nut.

10. And ... iced chai! It's the perfect thing when a crisp gust comes through the air, and it makes sitting down with a good book or daydream almost irresistible.

And, since I think we need more good book reading and productive daydreaming ... I'm going to share this recipe with you! Having worked in a cafe for a couple years, I learned a secret about iced chai. You can't just make it like iced tea, folks. Nope. You need a concentrate. A concentrate of complex spices, with a little bit of sweetness, and a strong black tea to give it a backbone, mixed with some milk for a creamy, pleasant finish. That's what chai is. That's what this is.

6 c. water
5 bags chai tea (I used Stash, which I would recommend; but, whatever you use, be sure it's a black tea-based chai. Red or green just won't cut it.)
1 T. cinnamon (all the spices are up to your tastes, but I think it's better to go a little strong than too weak; remember you'll be adding milk in the end, which will mellow out these flavors)
1/2 t. ground ginger  
4-6 whole cloves or 1/4 t. ground (cloves can get overpowering - and numbing - so ... maybe be a little more careful on the amount you use of this one ;) )
Crystallized ginger (optional - I threw in a piece since I had it, but it'd be fine without, too)
1/4 c. raw sugar (you could use honey, but ... I prefer the nutty undertone of raw sugar in this, and think that honey competes with the overall flavor; but, this is your chai! Make it how you want. :) )

Pull the tabs off the tea bags. Put the bags, spices, and sugar, along with the water into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a low heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half (about 2 hours; 2 hours of AMAZING SMELLS all over your house). Once reduced, pour liquid through strainer into a glass jar; discard tea bags, cloves and ginger (or eat the ginger - it still tastes good). Leave the jar open and allow your concentrate to cool some before sticking it in the fridge for a few hours, or overnight. Once it's all chilled through, give it a good shake and combine 2/3 c. of your cold concentrate with 1/3 c. of milk (at least 2% is best ... or you could use almond milk). Pour over ice, give a little stir (I love that smooth, clinky sound ....), then sip away your little taste of fall! Makes about 4 servings. Keep any leftover concentrate refrigerated. That is, if there is any leftover. :)

I hope you've enjoyed this little diversion from the usual here - I'd love to hear your feedback, and let me know if you try the recipe! And don't forget to head over to Kristen's blog, splendidwonders.com, to see her September 10 on 10! Hope you're having a beautiful day!

All images contained in this post are copyright Manifold Grace Photography..


  1. Sadie... I LOVE YOUR NEPHEW! he is soooooo adorable! I enjoyed this post :) thank you!

    1. Hi, Brytni! Oh, I know - isn't he just too much? And his personality, too.... Such a clever little guy! I can't believe how much I love him already. I'm blessed with such a great family! Thanks for coming by - I hope you're doing well! <3

    2. I forgot to mention thank you for the recipe which I will be delighted to try because I was so distracted by Wesley Haha :) I am well! We will soon be moving into our new house, LORD willing! I hope you are well too! Keep up your beautiful, talented, work!

  2. Love the clouds!!! And the rainbow... :) Thanks for joining us this month!! :)


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