Our Maple Tree

Keeping up with The Maples


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Intermix Diaper Bag

When I found out I was pregnant with Ada, I picked out my first diaper bag from Skip Hop. I really loved the design and felt that it was a gender neutral color aka Randy would feel comfortable carrying it. It worked well for our needs for a while, but it wasn’t long before we outgrew that diaper bag. I then transitioned to a huge tote – not just a big tote, I’m talking the mother of all totes. It was huge, which I liked, but extremely heavy and difficult to carry. (I pack a lot in my diaper bag, if you haven’t guessed that already. Do you? No? Well, I guess its just me then!) After I pulled muscles in my shoulder while trying to put Ada in her carseat and at the same time, trying to manage that huge tote, I decided I needed something different.

That was when I found the Intermix Collection from Petunia Pickle Bottom. I absolutely love this diaper bag! The Intermix is a customizable system of bags and accessories that you can mix and match to create exactly what you need. I chose the Birch and Black bag and love the colors + simple design.

When I was researching for my next diaper bag, I knew that I wanted a backpack. Since I am chasing a toddler around, I definitely wanted something that would keep my hands free! When I found the intermix collection, I instantly fell in love with how the bag opened. The whole front opens up, giving you easy access to everything inside. Plus, getting to choose which and how many storage cubes to put inside your bag was a huge plus for me. Now everything has it’s own place, is easy to get to, and suits my organizing needs.

I love that I can pack cold snacks and drinks in the insulated cube. Perfect for those of you still carrying formula or breast milk. I have a place for extra clothes, toys, crayons, and I even have my own cube to store all of my things! This bag definitely has enough space for me!

The Intermix Collection is a great diaper bag system and is great for busy moms who need a little help in getting all their stuff organized – especially, the moms who feel like they need to pack everything but the kitchen sink. 😉

Hope you all had a fantastic weekend! If you are in the market for a new diaper bag, check out Petunia Pickle Bottom – they have something for everyone!


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Friday Favorites

Happy Friday ya’ll! Thankfully, this week was a short one; plus it helped that we have been having so much fun! The week just flew by and now it is already Friday! And for the cherry on top or should I say, for the sprinkles on top – it’s National Donut Day! Win, win! We, of course, celebrated by enjoying our free donuts from Krispie Kreme.

I just taught Ada how to say, “Cheese!” for a picture and it is pretty much the cutest thing ever. Just see for yourself. 😉

It has been a while since I have written a Friday Favorites, which is sad because these are my favorite posts to read from other bloggers. So I decided to bring them back! 😉

These past few weeks, Randy and I have been working on several projects around the house. First, being our media room, now family room/playroom. We have been playing with layouts and upgrading our entertainment center (entertainment centers are ridiculously expensive, btw!). But the most exciting part, is decorating Ada’s play area!

I picked out these prints which displays my all time favorite quote from my all time favorite children’s author, Roald Dahl (can you tell that I am super excited about these prints?). The full quote goes, “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely of places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”  I picked out these gold frames and to add a little flair I paired this wooly ball garland to go with it. I can’t wait till we pull it all together and share the final results with you all!

I have been living in this jersey swing dress from Old Navy. It is so soft and comfortable – paired with sneakers + a baseball cap and you have the perfect mom uniform! 😉 And for $10 – I mean, come on! I have been debating on getting more colors. The bright pink one is adorable!

I just stumbled upon a store that sells hats for women – the most perfect store for me ever, right? My favorites have been this mustard hat and this blush pink baseball cap. Baseball caps tend to fit strange on me – they are either too tall and the hat overlaps my ears or they are too wide and stick out funny on the sides. But this baseball cap fits like a dream! I hope to buy one in every color over the next few months because I love them so much! Plus, their beanies come in colors that I have been hunting for, for a while now. I just love this store!

June & January makes some of my favorite clothes for Ada, but their varsity shorts and peplum tops are the cutest ever! I love their shorts! They fit so much better than other brands I have tried for Ada. Other shorts stuck out real wide on Ada and I thought they looked weird. But these shorts fit tighter and look adorable! Plus, they are soft, stretchy, and comfortable. Win, win, and win! 😉

It is difficult to find shoes that fit on Ada’s tiny feet. Her feet are really narrow and brands like Stride Ride or shoes from Target are huge on her. I have only found two brands that work for Ada – Nike and Livie & Luca. And since, Ada is a new walker, I didn’t think regular sandals would be a good option for her this summer. Luckily, Nike offers these water shoes and they are the greatest sandal & water shoe. Ada loves them and wears them every day! I just hope they continue to make them, because they were kind of hard to find. They are definitely a shoe that I will buy each summer, if I can!

Now that warm days are here in full swing, popsicles have been the snack of choice for everyone here in the Maples’ house. The next recipe that I want to try are these strawberry watermelon popsicles… um, yes please!

I hope everyone is enjoying the beautiful spring weather as much as we have! Have a wonderful weekend ya’ll!


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Summer Starts Here

Our Memorial Day weekend was pretty low key here – basically enjoying the gorgeous weather hiking, playing in the kiddie pool, and eating popsicles. For Memorial Day, we spent the day at Chimney Rock, which is practically in our backyard. I forgot how beautiful the view is from the top; even if you have to climb 500 stairs to get to it! It is definitely worth it; especially, if you enjoy some ice cream at the end. 😉

Ada’s favorite part of the hike was this ginormous flag at the top. She would hold her arms out wide and say, “Fly, fly!” (Her way of saying flag.)

A few weeks ago, I was getting ready to pack away all of Ada’s pacifiers. She hasn’t really touched them in a month or so. But as soon as I was getting ready to pack them away, Ada all of sudden, became super attached to them. It was like she knew they were getting ready to disappear. Now she hardly goes anywhere without one. I am guessing it is because she has been working on her incisors for a little while now. So that is why she has pacifiers in all her pictures now. Hopefully, she will drop them soon!

These mini pop molds are the cutest ever and the most perfect size for her. I can’t wait to try other recipes this summer! Like, these nutella cool whip popsicles – um, yum!

In the mornings we enjoy our local park. Ada can climb up and slide back down all by herself now! I am so proud and at the same time so sad. She is needing me less and less everyday! (Sorry, emotional mom here!)

This kiddie pool was the best $30 we have ever spent! Ada loves this pool and wants to play in it every day. So when the sun is out, so are we. It has been so nice to sit on the back porch, soaking in some sun, and playing with Ada in the pool. I am loving this casual, laid back summer and never want it to end.

I hope you are all enjoying summer time as much as we are! Here’s to the best summer yet!

 

 


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Thoughts on 30-Something

This past weekend I turned 31, which is crazy to me, because I feel like I just posted our 30th birthday celebration not that long ago. How can another year already come and gone?! I swear life moves more quickly the older you get. But I am now officially in my thirties… not just 30 but in my thirties! Even though I struggle with the idea that I am older and that I’m a somewhat functioning adult – oh, and a mom; I still feel eternally grateful that I am getting older. Getting older is a privilege. I am grateful to have spent another year on this earth and that I got to spend it with my family and friends.

People say that the 20s are the best years. My 20s were great – they were years of self-discoveries, making mistakes, changing my mind, and exploring the world around me. In those years, I accomplished what others said I couldn’t – getting a degree in physics. In college, I met my best friends and my soulmate. I got married in my 20s, we bought our first house in our 20s, and we traveled to Italy and had many other great adventures. Yeah, my 20s were great. But, I feel like I am living the best years of my life now.

Since I have come into my 30s, I have discovered that I have changed, in a good way.

  • I am more self-confident, than I ever was in my early 20s. My self image has changed. Since having a baby, my body isn’t the same and you know what? I am perfectly ok with that. My body has done some amazing things these past few years and I am proud of it. Now I am more concerned of becoming an example for Ada. I want her to have a role model that can show her how to be confident in her own skin. To know that true beauty is within.
  • I feel more settled in my sense of style and who I am. I always felt like a late bloomer in this area. Before I got married, I worn nothing but jeans and t-shirts. But now I know who I am and what I like, regardless of popular opinion.
  • My health has become an invaluable asset. I have always been health conscious, but now that I’m getting older and starting to see some “age” on my face, I am taking even better care of myself. Like, washing my face every single night (yeah, I was one of those that didn’t do that!). And as always, eating healthy (well, as best as I can – I do love me some ice cream) and getting at least some physical activity everyday (having a toddler helps with that). You only have one body and I want to do the best I can to treat it right. 😉
  • And last but certainly not least, I became a mom when I was 29 (great way to end my 20s, uh?). Having Ada in our lives has been the greatest blessing of all. It is because of her, that I am now living the best years of my life.

So there you have it, 30s are so much better than your 20s! 😉

This weekend my family came up and went with me to the “Tour de Fat” at the New Belgium brewery. And whole reason we went was to see Third Eye Blind; my favorite band in high school. It was a fantastic concert and I felt young again! 😉 We had a blast eating food truck food, drinking beer, and singing at the top of our lungs to songs I blasted through my car stereo in my high school parking lot. It was a great night!

Thank you all for my birthday wishes and to those to celebrated with me. And a special thanks to my parents for watching over my little girl. 30 was a great year and I am looking forward to this year. Heres to living in your thirties and making them the best years of our lives!


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Mother’s Day Weekend

Happy late Mother’s Day ya’ll! Sorry this is so, so late… May is a busy month for us. I hope that you all had a wonderful weekend with the ones you love! Last year on Mother’s Day, Randy was traveling for work, so I went to stay with family because you know, it was my first Mother’s Day. 😉 Ada was almost 9 months old and did not sleep well anywhere but in her own crib at home. So I remember her waking up often and staying awake forever each time. I tried so many things to help her go back to sleep, but she wasn’t having it. And even though I was very sleep deprived, it was also a weekend I will always cherished. Because the night before Mother’s Day, was one of the last nights I breastfed Ada. At the time, I didn’t really think much about it (in fact, all I could think about was sleep), but looking back on it now, I see that it was such a sweet moment that I will never forget.

This Mother’s Day was very similar to last year. Randy was traveling for work and I went to stay with family. (Seeing a trend here?) And you guessed it, Ada did not sleep well at my parents’ house. So I had another sleep deprived Mother’s Day but again, it was a sweet time. This year Ada is running around and loving my parents’ front yard. Their yard if full of flowers, birds, butterflies, frogs, and a gorgeous waterfall. I had a wonderful weekend with my family and throughly enjoyed playing outside with my sweet, little girl.

I love how Ada is photo bombing in this picture! Haha!

But the best moment is when I taught Ada how to twirl. (Just click on the link for the video.) Isn’t she the cutest?!

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I am so very grateful for my little Ada – my gift from God; a wonderful, loving mother; a loving, fun family; and a husband who is the absolute best father to our daughter. Happy late Mother’s Day ya’ll!


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Mother’s Day Photoshoot

I can’t believe that I am getting ready to celebrate my second Mother’s Day. First, I still sometimes struggle with the idea that I am a mom and second, I can’t believe that my baby is almost two! The years have flown by, especially this year! So for Mother’s Day this year, I wanted a photoshoot with Ada. I know we do a lot of these, but I have been super emotional with Ada’s second birthday approaching. I just can’t believe that Ada will be two in just few short months! Where did my sweet, chubby baby go?! But I am grateful that I have had many photo sessions with Ada. I love looking back on them and remembering what Ada was like at that time.

Special thanks to my sweet, patient husband for taking the time to take these photos. We are the luckiest girls in the world!

Outfit Details: My Dress // Ada’s Dress // Ada’s Bow // Ada’s Bracelet

Hope you all have a wonderful week!


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Our Weekend

Happy Monday friends! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend because we certainly did! Friday night we celebrated Cinco de Mayo with our dear friends. It was a fun night, watching our kids play, while we enjoyed some margaritas.

Saturday was a rainy, cold day. So we did what we could to entertain Ada when all she wanted was to play outside. But Sunday, the weather cleared and we ran outside before it decided to rain on us again. We took Ada to Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest. We have been dying to go for a few years now, so we made it happen yesterday.

For those of you who don’t know, Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest is a rare forest of old hardwoods. In fact, this forest is the largest old growth forest in the Eastern United States. Some of the trees are 100 feet tall and about 20 feet in circumference. They are magnificent trees that are about 450 years old! It truly is a beautiful forest, carpeted with moss, ferns and delicate flowers.

Ada loved hiking around, but the terrain was a bit rough for her. So she enjoyed most of the hike in her backpack carrier. I believe Ada has pretty bad allergies. She has had a constant runny nose and red, watery eyes this spring. I feel so bad for her! Any suggestions on how to help her out, besides locking her up inside all summer?

It was a beautiful hike! And yesterday was just a perfect day. We felt like we were exploring this old forest all by ourselves. We only ran into a few people and the forest was so very quiet. It was so peaceful and a nice change of pace for us. One that was definitely needed.

This forest is in memory of Joyce Kilmer, a journalist and a poet who was killed in service during World War I. He is known for his poem from 1913, “Trees.” I am ashamed to say that I have never seen this poem before, but find it really beautiful. My favorite part, “A tree that looks at God all day and lifts her leafy arms to pray.”

This girl never goes anywhere without her “Hop-Hop.” They have shared so many wonderful adventures together.

A Sunday well spent, brings a week of content. If this saying is true, then my week is going to be awesome! 😉 I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! And if the mountains are calling to you, check out Joyce Kilmer. It is definitely worth seeing! Happy Monday ya’ll!


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Mama + Mini Monday: April Showers

With all these April showers we should be getting tons of May flowers, am I right?! After days of rain, Ada and I could only stay inside for so long. So I put on my rain boots, grabbed my umbrella, and we took a stroll downtown. It was a wonderful change of scenery that Ada and I both needed.

Ada was fascinated by this clock that chimes every 15 minutes. She would keep pointing at it and say, “Tick, tock! Tick, tock!” Downtown is one of my favorite places to walk and window shop. I love all the old buildings and Ada likes to stop and smell the flowers. Not to mention, Kilwin’s ice-cream is simply the best!

My navy striped dress came from TJMaxx two years ago (similar, similar). I wore it a lot throughout my pregnancy. It is super soft and stretchy; hence why I worn it all the time while pregnant. My blush cardigan is a spring time favorite. You always need a sweater/jacket in the mountains. My floral rain boots are from Joules. They have so many adorable boots! I chose the shorter ones because I am so short! Regular rain boots hit me at my knees, which makes things like walking difficult. Joules also make some adorable matching rain boots for Ada, but since she is just learning to walk, I thought it would be better to wait till next year for rain boots.

Ada’s navy striped shirt is from Gap (similar) and her gray cardigan is from Old Navy. And her pink gingham bow is from Ellia May Designs.

After our fun in the rain, we ended our day with a popsicle pretending it was sunny outside. Next time she gets a popsicle, she can eat it outside, because dang that was messy! But totally worth it; just look at that face! 🙂

Well, I hope you are all staying dry out there! Let’s hope for some sunshine soon! Happy May 1st ya’ll!


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Springtime Fun

You know you are a mom of a toddler when you dread a rainy day. Especially, in the spring when you have had several days of beautiful weather to play outside. I am just so grateful that I live in the time of Pinterest! There are so many great ideas to help entertain your energetic toddler on a gloomy, spring day. Today I am sharing our favorites.

1. Cloud Dough – This stuff is so cool! It feels like silky, sand and it holds its form when you squeeze it in your hand or into a container. I found this recipe that just uses two ingredients: flour and coconut oil. You can add food coloring, but I decided not to. Ada loved it and it entertained her forever! She loved using her Easter eggs and other kitchen utensils to scoop the dough into. It was a little messy, but we have a large quilt that we use to let her play on, so it helped contained some of the mess.

Ada, of course, tried eating it, but only took one bite before realizing it wasn’t very tasty. That is also why I used coconut oil instead of baby oil.

 

She was covered in the dough, but she was happy & just look how cute she looks with that messy face! 😉

2. Swing: Randy and I just got Ada a swing… I know, took us long enough! She loves this swing! She could probably swing all day if I let her. We have two places that we can hang the swing. One on the front porch when the weather is nice and one inside for rainy days. I love having it inside because she can watch me cook dinner from her swing and she is perfectly content.

3. Whisking Bubbles/Pouring Station: This activity is a little difficult inside, but it is doable – with lots of towels! Today though, we were able to catch a little bit sunshine before the afternoon showers hit. I have also seen where you can use a large storage bin to help contain the water, but we actually don’t have one. (Weird, right?) With this activity we used a tupperware dish filled with water and some soap. I then let Ada use a whisk to create bubbles. She had all sorts of cups, bowls, and spoons to play in the water with.

She also had to sample the bubbles…. silly kid.

4. Coloring/Stickers: For rainy days, we will pull out our coloring & sticker books. I just started buying these for Ada, since she has just started playing with stickers. Her favorite right now, is this one. The reusable stickers are great and it has helped her with counting. I definitely plan to get more of these!

5. Indoor Picnic: To help bring some excitement to our days stuck indoors, we will have a picnic inside. I usually cut her food up into fun, bite-size shapes. Mini cookie cutters are my best friends when it comes to bringing some fun to Ada’s food. And sitting on the floor gives Ada the chance to play and eat at the same time.

Regardless of the weather, these activities are fun to do. But they are even better when you are stuck indoors and bored! 😉 What are some of your favorite rainy day activities?

Happy Friday ya’ll! I hope your weekend is sunny!

Ada’s Outfit: Peplum Tank / Leggings / Nike Water Shoes / Hair Bow


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Our Easter Weekend

There is something so peaceful about waking up before everyone else in the house. Easter Sunday I was so excited to celebrate this holiday with Ada that I was up before anyone else. Therefore, I got to enjoy a beautiful Easter sunrise while I drank my coffee. The birds were singing, the sky was an array of colors, and I had a few minutes to myself to remember the importance of Easter.

I am pretty sure that I was more excited about giving Ada her Easter basket than anyone else in the house! It took me about two months to complete and I loved everything in there. Especially, the jewelry (necklace & bracelets).

I think Ada was pretty much in love with her basket this year, too. The jewelry was a huge hit and the bunny theme dinnerware was even bigger hit! Who knew, right? 😉

And of course, the bubbles were Ada’s absolute favorite! We will be keeping bubbles in stock for the rest of summer! We have gone outside for bubbles everyday since Easter – rain or shine.

We have had a lot of rain here lately, so we were lucky to squeeze in a quick family photo in between rain storms on Easter. And of course, Ada did not want to take any photos, evident by the tears still in her eyes. But I think we got a few good ones. 😉

I love how she holding onto Randy’s tie in these pictures. I just love these two!

As you can see, Ada does not go anywhere without her lovie – or as she calls it, Hop-Hop. I don’t mind, I think it is the cutest!

Ada’s dress is actually from her one year photo shoot. I was so glad that it still fit 8 months later. I bought this dress about a year ago from a consignment shop. I adore the details; embroidery, buttons, pleating, lace trim – what’s not to love?! Her hat was a another Kidizen find – I have found so many great deals on this app! At church, everyone knew that she was my daughter because of her hat. Wearing a hat on Sunday is kinda my thing. I am just thrilled that Ada loves them as much as I do!

We finished up the day with friends and a beautiful Easter dinner. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend filled with friends, family, and good eats.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,” 1 Peter 3-4