Our Maple Tree

Keeping up with The Maples


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San Francisco – Take 2!

I get a second chance at San Francisco! I am super excited! Just 3 more days and I will be in the beautiful San Francisco! Eek!

As you all know, from my Valentine’s Day post, how much going to this city means to me. So I have had my itinerary planned out for years!

First on the list, Golden Gate Bridge and Park!

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Alcatraz Island – Welcome to the Rock! Yeah, I am totally going to be saying that the moment I arrive on the island.

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Riding the cable cars! They are going to be so much fun!

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Observing the sea lions at Pier 39.

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Admiring “The Painted Ladies”.

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Going to the Farmer’s Market at the Ferry Building. I have read that the food is amazing there!

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And much much more! Union Square, Chinatown, Fisherman’s Wharf and Sausalito. And lets not forget the restaurants I want to go to: Blue Bottle Cafe, Mama’s, The Stinking Rose, The Fog Diner and more! And on top of all this wonderfulness… trying all the local California wines!

So what are your suggestions for San Francisco?


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August Love List

Fall is right around the corner and I couldn’t be happier! But it is not quite here yet. 🙁 Until then, here is a list of transitional items I love!

1. This perfume from Caudalie smells amazing. My good friend discovered it while she was visiting Paris and I am so glad she shared it with me. It is the perfect balance of sweet and musk. And it helps that Randy absolutely loves it too! 🙂

2. This Crock Pot Beef and Sweet Corn Queso Dip looks delicious! Everything I have made from Iowa Girl Eats has been out of this world good. (If you don’t follow her, I suggest that you do!) I can’t wait to give this one a try this weekend!

3. I bought this gray sweater from Loft and it is the perfect transitional sweater. It is warm enough for those chilly mornings and light enough to keep me comfortable in the afternoons. Plus, the eyelet detail on the sleeve is adorable!

4. As you all know, I have an obsession with Hello Apparel. I just love their stuff! I saw this on their Instagram and I am super excited! It isn’t available until September, but I will be the first in line to buy this one when it becomes available. It will be great for football season, even though I am not a football fan… or any sport for that matter. I feel like Brian Regan when it comes to sports, “Go my favorite sports team! Make a goal, unit, basket!” Anyways, I digress…

5. And last but not least, this utility jacket from Sierra Designs. I bought this jacket in gray (of course, my favorite color!) from the online REI outlet store . I have wanted a utility jacket for a while now, but they mostly come in olive. I love the color olive, it just doesn’t love me. So when I saw this jacket in gray, I just had to have it! 😉 It is a great weight for this transitional weather and water resistant (a plus in my book, since we live in a rain forest!). It is going to be my new go-to jacket for travel. It will be getting it’s first test at the end of the month (more info on that later!).

I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend and that you are having a good start to your week. Just 3 more days till the weekend!


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Life Lately

This summer has been hectic for us. Great, but busy. My class for work ended a few weeks ago (yay!) but I am taking another one that starts next week (boo!). So I have been squeezing in fun activities before I get sucked into school work again.

I had a girl’s night out a couple of weeks ago and it was so much fun! We went to Wine and Design. You bring your own wine and they provide everything else; canvas, paint, brushes and an instructor. You sip wine and laugh with your girlfriends while you attempt to paint the assigned painting of the night. It is a lot of fun! The night we went was an abstract painting night, which is good because I am sure it is a lot more forgiving! 😉

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My husband, Randy, is the sweetest guy I know. When I came home, he bragged about how awesome my painting was and how we needed to hang it up. God bless him! 😉 Note: I will not be hanging this painting up in my home! It is a little too Dr. Seuss for me! 😉  It was just a fun girl’s night out! I would love to do it again sometime.

Last weekend was filled with volunteer work. We helped with the United Way Golf Tournament all day on Saturday. On Sunday, we went to a volunteer appreciation dinner for Blue Ridge Humane Society (for those of you who don’t know, I am a board member for this group). It was held at a historic building in Hendersonville called, The Cedars. It was a beautiful house! But I adore everything vintage. The trees around the house are huge and beautiful. And inside it is filled with antique furniture and decor. I wore my vintage inspired dress and shoes from modcloth.com. I love this outfit!

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Also last weekend, Randy and I had a much needed date night. We aim to have a date night out, at least, once a month. But it had been probably 2 months since the last date night out! It was so nice to go out for a romantic meal with my husband. It was lovely!

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I wore one of my favorite shirts from BCBG. It is so feminine and romantic!

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I just love the detail in the back!

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I hope everyone is doing well and that your summer has been fantastic! It won’t be long till fall is here! I can’t wait! Happy Friday ya’ll!


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Our Weekend + A Photoshoot

We had a lovely weekend in Boone with my parents. And had a much needed girl’s day with my mama – shopping, getting our nails done and of course, cooking. 🙂

We woke up bright and early and went to the farmer’s market on Saturday. The farmer’s market in Boone, in my opinion, is the best. The food is beautiful, the flowers are gorgeous, the food is great and it is where you can get the best honey ever! We got a cup of coffee, some homemade hand pies and took in all the beauty. 🙂

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Afterwards, mom and I went shopping and got our nails done. I love that my mama can be silly with me!

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We spent the rest of the day at the farm where my grandparents live. My dad has worked so hard on this farm and it has paid off. It is such a beautiful place to go and relax with the family. And Randy took photos of me in my new favorite dress. I got this dress at Belk and I just adore it. It is a bit old fashion, but that is what I like about it.

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The dress is perfect for spinning! The skirt is so voluminous! 😉

 

I love this field of Queen Anne’s Lace. I hope my backyard can look like this one day! And the best part about this dress, it has pockets!

Randy got this photo while we were at the farm. Not bad, uh? 😉

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Next morning, we had a wonderful breakfast and mom introduced us to her blackberry wine cake. It was so good and refreshing, perfect for a hot summer day! You can find the recipe for the cake here.

Then we made our way back home. 🙁 It is always hard to leave my family, I hope one day we can all live closer together. At least the ride back home has beautiful scenery.

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I hope everyone is having a great weekend! Enjoy every minute of it! 🙂


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Taking a Break from the Norm

Tuesday night Randy and I decided not to stay home and do chores. We decided to enjoy this beautiful fall-like weather we have been having here lately! I know! We are such rebels! 😉 We took Tesla for a short hike up Bearwallow Mountain. It is about a 2 minute drive from our house, basically our back yard, with a gorgeous view.

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The only little downfall about the summit is that we have to share it with cows, therefore there are cow-patties everywhere! So as I was taking this shot I stepped and slid in a cow-patty. Lovely!

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Pretty sunset.

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Happy Tesla!

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And the great view!

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When we got home we made grilled caprese chicken, from Iowa Girl Eats. It has become one of our favorites! And to make it even better, it is super easy and quick. Perfect for a weekday dinner! We usually make a little bit more and eat on it for about a week. We love it that much!

Grilled Caprese Chicken with Basil Vinaigrette

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups balsamic vinegar
  • 4 small chicken breasts, pounded to an even thickness
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 8oz mozzarella pearls
  • For the Fresh Basil Vinaigrette/Marinade:
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, lightly packed
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 large clove garlic (or 2 small cloves)
  • lots of salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Pour vinegar into a saucepan then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium then simmer until the consistency is slightly thinner than maple syrup (you should be able to see the bottom of the pan for a moment when scraping a spatula across the bottom,) 15-20 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
  2. For the Fresh Basil Vinaigrette/Marinade: add all ingredients except extra virgin olive oil to a food processor or blender then pulse to roughly chop the basil and garlic. Turn processor on then slowly stream in oil.
  3. Season chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper then add to a Ziplock back with half the vinaigrette/marinade. Marinate for 15 minutes or up to a 4 hours in the refrigerator. Meanwhile, combine cherry tomatoes and mozzarella pearls with the remaining vinaigrette in a large bowl.
  4. Preheat grill over medium-high heat then grill chicken for 3-4 minutes a side. Plate then top with cherry tomato and mozzarella topping and reduced balsamic vinegar.
http://ourmapletree.com/taking-a-break-from-the-norm/

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I hope everyone’s week has been great and that you have been enjoying this excellent weather! Happy Friday!