Our Maple Tree

Keeping up with The Maples


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I Heart Fall

I have to admit that I am a bit sad that fall is coming to an end. Thanksgiving is definitely my favorite holiday but there is always a sense of finality this time of year. Seeing the trees shed their glorious colors, the beautiful blue October skies being replaced by grey winter clouds, and the sharp chill of winter air blowing in; all reminds me that fall is gone and winter has set in. And since I traveled for most of October (not that I am complaining), I feel like I have missed a lot of fall here in the mountains. So to offset that, I have been trying to squeeze as much fall fun as possible. Unfortunately, it has been a rainy fall so a lot of it has been spent inside and at the library (thank goodness for libraries and all of their free awesomeness). But you bet when the days are pretty, we are out enjoying it.

When you ask your toddler to hold a pumpkin for a picture… I can’t imagine what the teenage years are going to be with this one! 😉

Ada loved the chickens and did not want to leave. She kept saying, “Ada hold it. Ada hold chicken.” I can’t say that I blame her, the chicken was so fluffy!

On the rainy days, we go to the library for story time, for crafts, and for a change of scenery.

At home we have been filling our days with reading and Thanksgiving theme crafts. We have colored many turkeys and discovered that gluing feathers is a lot harder than Pinterest mentioned. Our favorite craft has been watercolor tissue paper. You cut out bleeding tissue paper into any shape you like, place them on a canvas (or white paper of your choice), and “paint” water onto the tissue paper. You let the paper dry, peel off the tissue paper, and then you are left with a beautiful watercolor painting. Note: You definitely need bleeding tissue paper for this to work, at least in my experience. I tried tissue paper that I just had at home and it did not work. It sure did feel like a Pinterest fail moment.

I hope you are enjoying the last of fall and that you get so spend them with your loved ones. Happy Wednesday ya’ll!


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Mama + Mini Monday: Autumn Florals

Happy Thanksgiving week! It has been a mad house here trying to get everything ready for the big Turkey Day. I have felt like I have been working my booty off for days and have nothing to show for it… do you ever have days/weeks like that? I have been having a lot of these days here lately and they are starting to bum me out. Hopefully, things will feel like they are coming together soon! To brighten up my day, let’s talk clothes! 😉

The inspiration for today’s outfits began with Ada’s dress. I saw this dress at Gap at the start of fall and just had to have it. A good thing too, because it is unavailable now. I found a similar dress here (this one is really cute with all the woodland creatures on it and with all the right colors, too!) I paired her dress with mustard sweater tights from Amazon. I was pleasantly surprised with these tights. They are super soft, thick, affordable, and the color is a perfect mustard. And since Ada is all about dresses right now, (which is the greatest thing ever!) I plan on getting a few pair so she can wear her dresses this winter.

For my dress, I wanted one just like Ada’s because I love it that much. But unfortunately, they do not make that dress in my size. But I came across this dress from Ruche. I love the colors and a shift dress is perfect for the big meal on Thursday. My favorite part is the tie in the front. It helps gather the fabric just enough to give me a waist without being too tight. The dress is still loose, but not baggy loose. I was very lucky in getting this dress because it just kept selling out. Not only did I catch it in stock in my size, but on sale and I had some store credit! Woot, woot! My shoes are one of my most favorite purchases from Modcloth. I have had them for several years now and they go with so many of my fall outfits. Here are a similar pair.

I hope you all have a wonderful week and that you are more on top of things than I am! Now I am going to go pour myself a glass of wine and write down my to-do list. Here’s to getting things done – tomorrow! 😉


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Mama + Mini Monday: Thanksgiving Style

I can’t believe Thanksgiving is next week! I blinked and my favorite time of year is almost over! I am looking forward to all the delicious recipes that I want to try this year; most of them involving pumpkin. But what I am looking forward to the most, is spending some quality time with my family.

This week I have been in planning mode – deciding on menus, fun themed crafts for Ada, and of course, picking out the perfect outfits for all of our family pictures. At least, I am hoping we can get some family photos! Little Ada is getting harder and harder to take pictures of since all she wants to do is run. 🙂 Any advice on taking pictures with a toddler is most welcomed!

Ada has definitely gotten some Zoolander looks going on here!

I know that the holiday rush is upon us, but I hope that everyone will take a moment to stop and reflect. Reflect on all of our many blessings and on all the many small things that make us happy. And I hope you take a moment to dance in the leaves. Happy Monday ya’ll!

My Chambray Top – similar  //  My Corduroys   //  Mustard Scarf – similar  //  Ada’s Chambray Top  //  Ada’s Mustard Leggings  // Ada’s Boots  //  Ada’s Pumpkin Necklace  //  Ada’s Mustard Pigtail Bows


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Friday Fall Favorites

My favorite time year is here and I have been soaking in all that fall has to offer. The past few days have been delightfully cold so I have been enjoying cozy sweaters and hot coffee. Now usually I wear pjs all day but with the holidays approaching, I figure I better find something else to wear, you know like real clothes. But I will still wear all of my hats so I at least don’t have to worry about my hair. 😉

I came across this ribbon on Instagram and immediately felt like a winner because not only did I get myself out of pjs today, but I put Ada in something other than pjs as well! Go, me!

Anyways, without further ado, here are some of my favorites!

  1. Plaid Poncho: I love snuggling up in a poncho. I am so glad that these are still in style. I will be so sad the day that they are no longer in. This poncho can carry you into Christmas as well;  paired with red accessories. 😉
  2. Mama’s Floral Dress: This dress has been difficult to find in stock. This past week, I was able to snag one and I am so excited! I bought it when they had a 25% off and I had some store credit so yay! I plan on wearing this one for Thanksgiving to match my little (of course).
  3. Little’s Pullover: June&January has done it again with their holiday line. I can’t make up my mind on what to get Ada. But I am thinking the pullover will be the one thing I will grab for her; over and over again.
  4. Mama’s Beanie: Gigi Pip makes the best hats and their beanies certainly do not disappoint. I have been wearing this mustard beanie pretty much nonstop this fall. And I have been eyeing this one ,in blush, for a few days now… my Christmas wish list just keeps on growing! 😉
  5. Little’s Beanie: I bought Ada a beanie earlier this fall, but it doesn’t want to stay on her head. So I am thinking one like this will fit better.
  6. Little’s Floral Dress: I can’t express enough how much I love this dress! The colors are just perfect! It just screams fall! Matching autumn florals for the win.
  7. Campfire Mug: I have had this mug for a few years now and it is my favorite. It is big enough to hold all my marshmallows for hot chocolate or my much needed coffee in the mornings.
  8. Fall Garland: Pearl&Jane makes the cutest garlands. I love how she paired pink, mustard, and blue together for this one. Definitely fits all the colors in my home. Her Christmas garlands are so adorable and I am struggling not to buy them all!

I hope everyone has had a great week and Happy Friday ya’ll!


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Halloween 2017

This Halloween was probably the best yet! Ada is at such a fun age right now. I wish she could stay this age forever! I love her running around, asking questions, chatting with us, and understanding what a party signifies. (That’s my girl!) I told her several days in advance that we were having a Halloween party with our friends. She got all excited and started singing, “Happy Birthday!” I am so proud! 😉

We had a simple party with good eats, pumpkin painting with glow-in-the-dark paint, and glow sticks. I think my favorite part were the glow stick necklaces & bracelets. The kids loved them, of course, but watching the adults enjoy them too was even better! I had a great time decorating for Halloween this year, which was pretty much the first for me. Target had so many cute things that it was easy and fun.

After the party, Randy found a video of a boozy caramel apple bar. Sounds like it could be fun! I guess we will just have to have another party soon! 😉

Ada had her very first s’more, but I am not sure she liked it. Blasphemy I know… no way she can be my kid. Just kidding! I think she didn’t like the sticky marshmallow all over her face. She is such a little princess and I love it.

On Halloween night, we took Ada trick or treating for the first time. We stopped by a local petting zoo, where we trick or treated and got to pet animals. Ada, naturally, fell in love with this baby bunny. But who am I kidding? We all fell in love with this little baby bunny! It was all we could do to give the bunny back. She screamed bloody murder until we gave her, her very first sucker. After that, the bunny was old news. So now Ada has been asking for candy ever since. After the zoo, we took her downtown to go trick or treating at all the shops.

Celebrating Halloween with Ada has been so much fun! Seeing the joy and excitement in her eyes is, seriously, the greatest thing of all time. I loved dressing all of us up as her favorite characters from Monsters, Inc. I hope we can continue to do family costumes, but time will tell. Until then, I am going to soak it all in – the family costumes, the magic, holding her hand from door to door, and giving her candy for dinner. I hope you all had a great Halloween! Happy November, ya’ll!

 

Boo Balloon – Amazon

Jack O’ Lanterns – Target Dollar Section, similar

Pumpkin Garland – TJMaxx, similar

Glow Stick Printables


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Pine Nuts & Noses

Ada has always been a little different from other children her age, in a good way, of course. For instance, she has never been one to put things in her mouth or place things in funny places. I have never needed to worry about Ada playing with little toys or things. But that all changed a few nights ago.

Randy was away for business so it was just the two of us. Ada was sitting in her highchair eating a snack while I was chopping vegetables for our dinner. She was snacking on some pine nuts, which she has had dozens of times before. I was watching her occasionally while I was cooking and during one of my checks, Ada had this panic look in her eyes and I saw a pine nut in her nose. As soon as I saw what was happening, I dropped everything and ran to her to pull out the pine nut. But as soon as I got to her, she decided to sniff. And sniff hard. That pine nut went shooting up her nose.

I yanked her from her highchair and was trying to explain to Ada to blow her nose. She obviously had no idea what I was getting her to do because she just kept sniffing. Pulling that pine nut even further into her nose. I tried laying her down on the bed and using a flashlight to see where the pine nut ended up. I couldn’t see it anywhere. So I tried calling Randy, my parents, and my friend to figure out what in the world I should do to get the pine nut out. In my panic state, I decided to take her in to the ER.

Now as a back story, it didn’t help that I just watched a video on FB about a little girl who stuffed something up her nose. The doctor was too scared to try to pull it out because he thought he would just push it up further. Causing them to operate to get the object out of her sinuses. So this video was fore front in my brain… I just knew that the pine nut was too high for anyone to pull out.

On my way to the ER, I heard Ada sneeze a few times but I didn’t stop to check the pine nut, I just kept driving. My friend advised me to call the pediatrician, which was good advice. So glad someone was thinking logically. By the time I got the pediatrician on the phone, I was sitting in the parking lot at the ER. The pediatrician told me to just let it go and to not worry about it. The pine nut will eventually slide through her sinuses, down her throat, and into her belly. I was shocked that is what she suggested. She wanted me to sleep knowing that my daughter had a pine nut her nose! It was going to be a long night.

So I went back home. When we got home and I started getting Ada out of her carseat, I noticed that a pine nut was sitting on her chest. She apparently sneezed it out before we even got to the ER. *Cue huge sigh of relief* I am so relieved that we avoided our first ER visit, at least for now! 😉

At this time, my parents returned my call and I explained to them what just happened. They thought it was hilarious and my dad told me that Ada is just like her great grandfather. My dad told me the story of my grandfather placing a dry pinto bean up his nose. And as you know, as dry beans get wet they expand. So the bean expanded and got stuck. They made a tool to help get out the bean and created a funny poem to go along with this story.

“Little Johnny Greene

Up his nose he stuck a bean

Who got it out?

Little Eddie Stout.”

Now if only I could figure out a poem for Ada’s little pine nut incident. Anyways, I am just glad that everything turned out just fine and that I can laugh about it now. Moral of the story… no more pine nuts.


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First Family Vacation

Last week we took our very first family vacation. We rented a beach front condo off the gulf of Florida with our dear friends and had an absolute blast! This was the first beach experience for Ada and it was so precious to watch. She loved the beach! She couldn’t get enough of the water and loved chasing the waves. Every morning she would wake up saying, “Ocean girl! I ocean girl!” Which she then preceded to bring us her bathing suit saying, “Baby soup, baby soup.” Yeah, it was pretty darn cute, even though it was usually before sunrise.

We started every day chasing toddlers around the condo with sunscreen & swim diapers and at the beach by 8:30 am. We spent our mornings playing in the sand and our afternoons in the ocean.

Ada’s favorite thing to do at the beach was for us to hold her, walk about waist deep in the ocean, and jump the waves. She would scream in delight every time a wave hit us. It was so much fun! And being the klutz that I am, face planted the ocean from a surprisingly large wave in the back. Luckily, I wasn’t holding Ada and I didn’t lose my hat & sunglasses (silver lining). After that, I didn’t hold Ada in the ocean any more or venture in waist deep. 😉

The Gathre leather mat was great for the beach, because the sand just falls right off it and there was no need to wash it. It just wipes clean! Great for toddlers & all their little adventures, fyi!

After nap time (for all of us), we would go back out and do all over again. We stayed out until sunset just about every day. It was so great to just unplug from everything, play outside all day, and enjoy the majestic display of God’s creation from morning to night.

We did, of course, leave the beach and explore Destin & Rosemary Beach. The Merchants of Rosemary Beach is so beautiful and I just loved the shops & restaurants. The green space is so beautifully manicured and the architecture is really unique with an old world vibe. My favorite was lunch (shocker!) at Wild Olives where we enjoyed a wonderful cheese platter & wine. But I believe Ada’s favorite was the ice cream shop, Sugar Shak. And just a little note, the people were not friendly and store was not kid friendly. There were all kinds of signs and rules against children in their shop (I mean, it is an ice cream and candy shop. There are going to be kids in there!) and the people were just happy to be alive (insert sarcasm here). But Ada was happy with the end result which was an ice cream cone. 

Taking a trip with your best friends is the greatest thing ever, especially when you have littles. Not only do the adults have fun together, but so do the little ones. And having four adults keeping an eye on the kids at the beach makes the day go so much smoother. Plus, you can trade off date nights! Which is what we did to celebrate our 8 year anniversary! We went to the sweetest, most romantic little restaurant ever! It was called, Beach Walk Cafe. We had dinner outside on their porch by candle light and listened to the waves crash in the distance. I felt like I was in a movie, more specifically, A Walk to Remember. The scene where he takes her out to dinner and they are eating outside by the beach… yeah, it was that romantic! I would love the chance to stay at their B&B for a romantic weekend away someday.

Overall, we had a fantastic time with our friends at the beach and can’t wait to go on another adventure with them. But I believe my most favorite thing on this trip was watching the wonder and excitement of my daughter meeting the beach for the first time. This trip will definitely be one that I will always remember. Thank you Florida for an awesome time… until next time.


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Silobration 2017

Move over Disney World, Magnolia Market at the Silos is the new happiest place on earth! I can’t believe that I was lucky enough to visit the Silos during the biggest party of the year – Silobration. It was a crazy, fantastic, whirlwind of fun and it was over in a blink of an eye. I can not wait to go back and experience it all over again!

I went with my mother-in-law for a girls’ weekend and we had the greatest time. In fact, we were so excited to be there that we arrived at the Silos before the sun every, single morning. It was the best time to go because not many people were there and we got to see the Silos all lit up plus a beautiful Texan sunrise. Not a bad way to start the day, if you ask me.

To add to the all ready glorious mornings, we enjoyed sweet cuppin’ cakes (100 points to anyone who can guess this quote) from the bakery and the best cup of joe I have ever had in my life (at the coffee truck, Common Grounds)! The seasonal cupcakes were campfire and pumpkin spice, so I was in heaven! Surprisingly, my favorite was the nutty cinnamon roll…oh my goodness, I still dream about that roll.

 

I am really glad we decided to visit during the Silobration because there was tons of shopping to do at the street vendors. Without the vendors, there would not have been a whole lot to do. Some of my favorite shops were at the Silos – The Jones Market, Little Unicorn, and Gigi Pip. I was so ecstatic to meet the girls behind Gigi Pip! They make my all time favorite hats and they were the sweetest girls ever!

And let’s not forget the food trucks! I mean, could there have been a better place for me to go? Everything I ate was amazing, especially the gourmet grilled cheese sandwich (sourdough bread, bacon, basil, cheese, and avocado)!

The market itself was spectacular! Every nook and cranny was so inspiring and beautiful. You could tell that Joanna had a hand in everything in this store. I wanted it all in my house! Luckily, most of the things in her store are also available online. But seeing her products on display and seeing how she decorated was so much better than shopping online. I can’t wait to get home and order some things for my house!

With it being Silobration, the store was crazy full. It was incredibly hard to move around but the staff are so very helpful and friendly. Even though they checked people out quickly and efficiently, I never once felt rushed or not their number one priority. Their customer service was on point!

The attention to detail at the Silos was astonishing. Brick pavers, hand letter signs, subway title, gorgeous light fixtures, cedar window boxes filled to the brim with cabbage & pumpkins, porch swings, ample seating, photo booths with staff there to take your picture for you, and pumpkins every where you turned. I mean, just wow! They have seriously thought of everything.

We also got to enjoy the concert and saw Chip & Joanna in person! They are honest to goodness, good people. All weekend long, I heard people telling me how the Gaines paid for their trip to the Silos or how they paid for their purchases in the store. And all the finalists in the Chip Starter Campaign got the money they needed to fulfill their dreams. All six finalists! Not only are they generous, they also are unwavering in their faith; which is something that I greatly admire. No amount of money or fame have swayed their hearts on what truly matters. We could definitely use more people like Chip & Joanna Gaines in this world.

We had the most fun at the Silos and it truly is a magical place. If you ever need an idea for a girls’ weekend, Magnolia Market is the place to go! Thank you Chip & Joanna Gaines for creating such a wonderful, beautiful place for all to enjoy!

 


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Halloween Fun

Since it is Halloween month, I have been having so much fun finding Halloween activities for Ada to do. After the pumpkin painting party, she has been talking non-stop about it. (Which makes me feel like mom of year over here!) So I thought I would print out some pumpkins for her to decorate and send to the grandparents.

I ordered more Crayola Kid’s Washable Paint, but this time I got glitter paint. I love the vivid colors and the glitter just makes it so fun. Ada calls it shiny paint then proceeds to sing, “Cause I’m shiny!” (Moana song for those of you who do not know).

After painting, we had a picnic lunch that was pumpkin themed. I cut her PB&J sandwich with a mini pumpkin cookie cutter, served carrots and ranch in a pumpkin bowl and cheez-its (because they are orange and delicious and addicting — oh, why did I buy cheez-its?!). Oh and her orange drink is actually orange Pedialyte (she has been under the weather for the past couple of days).

And to top it all off, an adorable kitty outfit! OldNavy has done it again with their Boo-tique this year. I love all the black cats and Ada’s second favorite animal is a kitty. So she will be sporting this outfit all month long and then some. 😉

I hope you are all having as much fun as we are! And that you are celebrating Halloween all month long! 😉

Ada’s Outfit: Black Sweatshirt Dress / Black Cat Leggings / Black & White Bow


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Pumpkin Painting Party

Tis the season for pumpkin everything! And since Ada just loves to paint, I figured a pumpkin painting party would be the perfect way to celebrate fall/Halloween. Plus, carving a pumpkin with a two year old sounds like a terrible mess! This way, we can still decorate a pumpkin without all the cleanup. Win, win!

Last week, the weather was perfect for painting outside. I just cut open a large black garbage bag to put over my table to help contain the paint and we used Crayola’s Washable Paint (which is amazing, btw!). I also had colorful Halloween stickers and pumpkin tattoos for the kids to use.

Inside, we had some tasty goodies to enjoy! Apple cider & pumpkin donuts, s’mores cookies, pretzels, apple slices with caramel, and hot apple cider. The kids were definitely running around with a sugar high by the end of the party. But it was totally worth it! 😉

I found these adorable party favor bags in the dollar section of Target! I just love the bright colors! I filled the bags with fun size bags of M&Ms and they also got to take home a kitty pumpkin tattoo.

We all had so much fun and I had a blast putting it all together! Ada is still talking about painting pumpkins so it sounds like I need to go pick up some more pumpkins! 😉 Happy early Halloween ya’ll!

Party Sources: I found all my Halloween decorations in the dollar section of Target. And I made the paper bats.