Our Maple Tree

Keeping up with The Maples

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Our 5 Year Anniversary Trip – Part 2

The next day was spent exploring the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Being October, it was extremely busy. We knew planning the trip that we were going at the busiest time of the year, but it is still surprising how crowded it felt in such a large park! But we still had a great time.

We were blessed again with another beautiful fall day!


Isn’t it beautiful? That sky… just wow!







I could stand and look at this forever!




This overlook was really unique. There was a little bridge that was built next to the road so you could get this amazing view!



Isn’t he so handsome? I am one lucky gal! 😉

randy 2


When we finally made it back home we decided to have our own anniversary dinner. We made our favorite – filet, sautéed mushrooms, roasted asparagus and roasted potatoes. Mmm… so delicious!

anniversary dinner


And to wash down this great meal, we opened a very special, rare wine. We opened one of the Chiantis we brought back from Italy. We decided that it was the perfect time to open it. It was our 5 year anniversary and it had been 1 year, to the day, since our Italy trip.



Our trip was perfect for us – a romantic B&B, beautiful views, hiking, great food and awesome wine. I couldn’t imagine a more perfect get-a-way for our anniversary. Looking forward to our next big anniversary trip… maybe another trip to Europe or Napa Valley! 😉

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Our 5 Year Anniversary Trip – Part 1

For our anniversary we decided to go to Cades Cove, TN. I have been wanting to go there for months, so we thought our anniversary was the perfect excuse for us to go.

We stayed at a B&B, The Richmont Inn, and we had a lovely view from our room of Rich Mountain. These windows were right above our bed… it was awesome! Especially at night, we had a great view of the stars! 🙂


B&B view

Enjoying the view from our private balcony.

B&B us

The weather was perfect while we were there, the sky was such an incredible blue. October is the busiest season for Cades Cove, so there is a lot of stopping and going. But it was worth the trouble. 😉



Cades Cove is full of beautiful open fields, adorable little white churches and log cabins.  DSC_8035




I love this little white house! Isn’t it the cutest?!




These Cantilever Barns were everywhere in this area of Tennessee. These barns were designed to help with the rainy and the high humidity climate of the mountains. They provided plenty of ventilation and kept rain away from livestock and the cribs.



A lot of these photos were taken from the truck. It was much easier to continue driving through Cades Cove with the windows down, taking pictures then it was to park and get out of the car. There were just so many people! So sorry if they are a little blurry!



We did eventually get out and hiked. We decided to hike a little bit of the Rich Mountain Loop trail… but we accidentally hiked the entire 8.3 miles! Oops!




After hiking one of the hardest hikes I have ever hiked, we made it to the top. The brochure made it sound like there was a huge clearing at the top and that we could see for miles… that is why we kept hiking… we were looking for the huge clearing – instead, we found this…


Not the worst view, of course… but definitely not what we were looking for! 🙂

us hiking



Isn’t that tree stunning? It just popped against the smoky mountains.


The hike back down was much more pleasant and the trees created a beautiful golden glow.



So pretty!

randy hiking 1

randy hiking 2

After the hike we were exhausted. So we headed back to the B&B, just in time for our fondue dinner!

This champagne is very significant… it was the champagne we had on our honeymoon and it is very hard to come by. We have been saving this bottle for several years for a special occasion. So we thought our 5 year anniversary was special enough to open it. 🙂

toad hallow

us at dinner

We enjoyed a 4 course meal inside a beautiful, private, timber frame cabin with a lovely view of Rich Mountain.



Our day was perfect – a beautiful day at a beautiful location, enjoying the things we love to do.


Stay tune for part 2 of our trip and more picture overload!

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Fashion Friday: Burgundy & Mustard

The temperatures have dropped here in the mountains and I am loving it! Out come the scarves, the jackets and the chucky sweaters!

Today is one of my favorite fall outfits! Burgundy is such a pretty color for fall and I just love how versatile this color is – you can wear black, brown, white, mustard, navy, gray,  – the list goes on!

I love how well this scarf matches the pants… and because it has mustard in it! 😉 And the jacket is super soft and it goes with everything! It is my go-to jacket through all of autumn.


These shoes are so incredible soft and comfortable. And to make it even better, they are cute and unique!



Jacket – Target

Scarf – Loft last year, similar

Pants – Loft

Shoes – Josef Seibel from TJMaxx last year, similar
I hope you have a wonderful fall weekend! Happy Friday!

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Five Years in Pictures

Today we celebrate our 5 year wedding anniversary. I can’t believe it has been five years already! It feels like just yesterday when we first met each other in modern physics class. I guess time flies when you are having fun!

Our wedding day, October 17, 2009 – such a perfect day!




Our first apartment with an awesome view!



Our fur-babies!



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Our first house!


When we bought the house 2 years ago!

Our first house! April 2011

We have renovated a house together!





We have celebrated together.

Halloween 2011_02



Small Group Christmas 2013-18

We have shared many adventures together.

us at sunrise

Randy in the hammock


We have traveled to Colorado, the Bahamas, San Francisco and Italy together!

Mount Evans 220



trevi fountain

We have laughed together and cried together. But mostly laugh!

us laughing

us and icecream

We have done so many great things and have made such wonderful memories – and we have done all these things together. There have been times of hardships and struggle, but that has only made us stronger.

You have been my best friend, my partner in crime, my helper, my teacher, my comedian, my comforter – my husband. I couldn’t have asked for a better partner in life. God has blessed me above all reasoning and I am eternally grateful.

Thank you for just being you. I love you, always forever.

I look forward to 100 more years of adventures with you!

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Fashion Friday: Favorite Color Combo

Mustard and navy… my favorite combo! I’m pretty sure that half of my closet consists of these two colors! I know mustard isn’t everyone’s favorite, but something about mustard at this time of year just works. The pop of yellow against the crisp blue skies and the colorful leaves of fall – perfection!



I really like the way this utility blouse from Loft fits. Some utility blouses I have tried tend to look funny on me, but this one fits better than most. This blouse isn’t too big and it isn’t too tight… fits just right. And the color is fantastic!



These boots are my most favorite pair of shoes I own. They are unique, they are comfortable and I love the color (of course)! I wear these boots as much as possible in fall and most of winter! It is a shame that these boots are no longer available! I don’t know what I am going to do if they ever wear out or tear on me! Heaven forbid!


When I saw this necklace at Loft, I just had to have it! It is a nice size statement piece, not too big and chunky, but definitely big enough to be seen. And in person the colors are so vibrant and pretty. This necklace will work well in my closet of yellows and blues! 😉


Mustard Blouse – Loft

Navy Cardigan – TJMaxx, similar

Jeans – No Nonsense

Boots – Miz Mooz (no longer available) similar, similar, similar

Necklace – Loft

Earrings – Loft

Hope you ya’ll have a great weekend and get to enjoy this beautiful fall! Happy Friday!


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Wine & Dine Party

This past weekend was an absolute blast! We held an wine & dine party at our house – great food, great wine, amazing company and good laughs!

I have been wanting to do a wine tasting party for months now and this weekend was our first available weekend to do it. As you all know, we love wine and good food in this house, so this party was perfect!

The idea was to have everyone bring two bottles of their favorite wine; one bottle was to be used for a blind tasting and the other bottle went towards the grand prize. After sampling all the wines, you would vote on your favorite one and who ever brought the preferred wine wins the second set of wine!

We had a spread of food – an antipasti tray, creamy peppercorn dip with bread, pappardelle pasta with hearty beef and mushroom sauce, caesar salad and brownies!

The antipasti tray had an assortment of cheeses, meats and mushrooms.






This creamy peppercorn dip is our favorite. It is creamy peppercorn seasoning, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. We order the creamy peppercorn from Penzey’s and it is our most favorite seasoning. We put it on everything!





This was the first time we have used pappardelle pasta – it is a long, thick, flat noodle. With a meaty sauce and the huge noodles, this dish is very hearty, but delicious!


I found these small, plastic wine cups at our local grocery store. Are they not the cutest?!




Each guest received a “notes” card, so they could take notes of each wine they sampled. And they received a voting card, to vote for their favorite wine of the night.


These are our wines for the blind tasting. I used brown paper bags and painted white numbers on them using a white paint pen. Simple and cute! 🙂









Randy pouring our wines.




After filling our bellies, sampling all the wines and telling funny stories, we all voted for our favorite! Kathy reading out the results…


And Rachel won! She got to take home the grand prize! Congrats Rachel!


We forgot to take a group shot with everyone, but at least we got one with my brother and sister-in-law. 🙂


We had a blast at this party and want to throw another one soon! I love this style of party, you can do so much with it. You could have a beer and cheese party or cocktails and hors d’oeuvres or wine and chocolate – really whatever you want to do! So who is in for the next one? 😉

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Fashion Friday: THE Herringbone Vest

I have decided to try something new. I talk about fashion quite often on my blog and my Instagram feed is full of outfits; it only makes sense to make it official. Haha! 😉

I have an obvious obsession passion for fashion. I love clothes and especially shoes! It just makes me happy! 🙂

So welcome, to my first Fashion Friday! Today, I would like to share with you the outfit I wore last weekend to Skytop Orchard.


The vest is from the J.Crew Factory website. I have been drooling over this vest for over a year now and was disappointed when it sold out last year. So when I saw it appear on the factory website, I jumped on it! And I am glad I did. I love, love this vest! If you order this vest, size down. I ordered a small and it is a little big on me, but I don’t mind. I want to be able to wear bulky sweaters with it! 🙂


The black blouse is from Old Navy. I haven’t shopped in Old Navy in a very long time – not sure why, but anyways, I was impressed by their selection. And I love this blouse! It is elegant but casual, can be dressed up or dressed down, perfect for work or date night, etc, etc. I believe I am going to order more colors soon – the blue one is calling my name! 😉

The scarf is from Target. I have had my eye on this scarf from NastyGal.com, but the $40 price tag made me pause; which I am glad that it did. Because I found a very similar scarf for $16! Target for the win! I really like this scarf and it is one that I will be wearing a lot this fall!



I look forward to next Friday! Fall outfits are the best outfits! Until next time! 🙂


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Perfect Fall Weekend

This weekend was filled with all the wonderful things fall has to offer.

Saturday night we went over to a friend’s house for a bonfire. The boys shot guns and the girls snuggled under blankets by the fire. We enjoyed homemade gumbo, hotdogs, s’mores and the best homemade ginger ale you have ever tasted.

Sunday after church, we went to Skytop Orchard. Living in apple country, there are plenty of orchards to choose from to visit, but Skytop is my favorite. It has a great view and amazing apple cider donuts!

My favorite thing about fall weather… the beautiful clear, blue sky.

skytop 3

skytop 2

Waiting in line for the apple cider donuts.

skytop 1

Enjoying our donuts! Yummy! They were worth the wait!


My handsome photographer. 🙂

randy at skytop


us at skytop 1

Isn’t that sky amazing?! I love fall!

skytop 4


skytop 5


It was a perfect fall weekend and I look forward to having more weekends just like this one! I hope you are enjoying fall as much as I am!

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Girl’s Weekend

This past weekend I went to the beautiful Charleston, SC for a bachelorette party. We stayed at the Wild Dunes Resort… great vacation spot! I hope to go again with Randy some day. We stayed in a condo that was right on the beach. It was the first time (for me) staying in a place with the beach so close and it was awesome!

We had a great time enjoying the beach and pools, even though it was a little chilly. The beach here reminded me of the movie, The Notebook. It was very beautiful.



The beautiful bride-to-be!


We spent most of the weekend at the resort, but we spent some time Charleston.



We ate dinner at Slightly North of Broad aka SNOB. It was very good (as is everything in Charleston) and had quail for the first time. And they had a super Tuscan wine, so I was one happy camper!

So happy for Macie and I had a great time celebrating her!


The next day we had brunch at a restaurant called, Husk. It was in a beautiful house, the kind that you can only find in Charleston. It was elegant, rustic and southern. A very unique combo. 🙂


We spent a little time walking around, admiring the beauty of Charleston. Love the trees!



me,althea&jadie 2

I love Charleston… I love the architecture, the food, the culture. It is such a beautiful city. I hope the next time I visit I can spend more time exploring the city! 🙂 And I had a great time with the girls! It was a much needed break from all the boys (I’m the only girl on my team at work)! I look forward to the next trip together!

I wish you the best Macie! I know that you will live happily ever after with your prince! 😉