Our Maple Tree

Keeping up with The Maples


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Summer Adventures

This summer has been such a magical time for us. Watching Ada explore the world around her and discovering new things has been so fun to witness. Even though Ada took her sweet time to start walking, I am glad that it happened when it did. Ada has been encouraged to move and try new things this summer and it has made me so proud of her. She is still my little lamb, but I have seen her grow, learn, and show courage everyday this summer. It has been an absolute marvel to watch.

With all these extremely humid, hot days, we have been living in the water. This past week, I took Ada to the splash pad for the first time. She was a little afraid of it at first, but seemed to really enjoy it after a little while.

So funny story – on my way to the splash pad I realized that I packed everything but Ada’s swim suit. On the drive, I debated turning around to go back home to retrieve her swim suit (after I had driven about halfway) or just letting her run around in her swim diapers. After much consideration, I decided that I didn’t want to go all the way back home and that I didn’t want to get judged 6 ways to Sunday for letting my little girl run around without a swim suit. So I stopped at Target and picked up the last suit in a size 2T they had. Luckily, it was adorable and Ada was a hit running around in it. Everyone kept remarking how cute she was and how adorable her suit was. And I believe Ada loved her new suit as well, because all she did all day long was play with the tutu. Mom for the win…

Our days are full with water activities and our afternoons are full of hiding from the summer thunder storms. We have been building forts, playing in puddles (when it isn’t storming, of course) & having dance parties in the kitchen.

As I mentioned before, eating popsicles has been a staple here at the house – so has eating ice cream. Our favorite activity to do as a family this summer has been going to Kilwins, getting ice cream cones & walking around downtown. Have you seen a toddler devour an ice cream cone? It is the cutest, stickiest mess ever!

And this picture is on overload of cuteness – the pigtails, the bloomers, the cheeks – she just melts me!

I hope your summer has been as magical as ours! Long live summer – until fall gets here, because let’s be real here – fall is simply the best! 😉


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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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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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18 Month Snapshot

Today my sweet, little baby turns 1.5 years old! And what better way to celebrate, then with donuts for breakfast!?

mmm… which one?

We went to a local restaurant called, Hendough. They serve homemade donuts and fried chicken – yeah, it is awesome! Ada loved her chocolate donut and couldn’t stuff it in her mouth fast enough!

And about two seconds after this photo was taken, Ada decided to grab the basket of donuts and fling them around. Resulting in a chocolate donut and coffee fiasco. The hot coffee went everywhere, including my white jeans. Note to future self: Never, ever, ever wear white around a toddler. Besides feeling like a hot mess (see what I did there? haha!), we had a great birthday breakfast.

Age: 18 months

Stats: Last time we were at the doctor, Ada was in the 95th percentile in height and weighed 22lbs. She is one tall little girl. So tall, that I have had to start buying 2T clothing for the length – even though the 2T shirts hang off her shoulders.

Favorite Foods: pasta, bread, cheese, crackers, apples, black beans, sweet potatoes – just to name a few. This girl has always enjoyed food and will pretty much eat what ever I put in front of her.

Favorite Words: hi, belly button (bee-boo), no, yes, snack (nack), beep-beep, hop-hop (what she calls her lovie), and bath (ba-ba) – Her vocab has always been extensive. She probably can say about 30 words consistently and can repeat everything that we say. So we have to make sure that we watch our words around her! 😉

Favorite Activities: Ada has been a bit motor delayed. She isn’t walking on her own yet, but she is cruising along the furniture and is getting stronger and better everyday. She can walk around while I hold her hands and she loves to climb the stairs. Her favorite toy right now is the Little Tike car. She loves to be pushed around in it outside in our driveway; all the while screaming, “Beep! Beep!” It is pretty darn cute and I can’t help but smile whenever she does this. Ada loves to color and her favorite is the, “My First Crayola Mess-Free Marker & Paper.” I love that I can leave her alone with this and not worry about my walls getting marked up. One of her favorite activities, is playing tea. She has a tea set for the bath that she just loves to play with. She also loves to wrestle and roll around on the floor with her daddy. They do it every night and I just love hearing them both laugh and Ada squealing in delight!

Least Favorite Activities: She hates getting her diaper or clothes changed. She will scream at me just about every time. Now when she needs a diaper change, Randy and I will go back & forth on whose turn it is to enjoy the scream fest. Ada has started tantrums, which are just wonderful…. She gets so mad when we have to end a fun activity to go eat or take a nap. The worst is when I won’t let her scoot around on the floor in public (like the grocery store). I know we are both getting frustrated that she can’t walk on her own yet. I am hoping that this will give her even more incentive to learn to walk on her own even faster!

Signature Moves: Blowing kisses and saying muah, waving hello and goodbye to everyone, dancing when she hears music, and singing when we sing a song she “knows” together (she usually just says, La la la!), and making silly faces to make us laugh.

This has been such a great age, but also pretty trying. I am hoping that once she starts walking on her own, things will be just a little bit better. But who am I kidding? When she starts walking, I’ll just be exhausted from chasing her all day! 😉 I do think when she starts walking on her own, it will help with some things – like, the tantrums in the grocery store! But I love being a mom and I am so incredibly grateful that I get to spend everyday with this silly, sweet girl of mine. Happy 18th month birthday Ada Marie! You are so loved!

 


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Mama + Mini Monday: Hearts

‘Tis the season for heart-shaped everything! It is so easy and fun to celebrate and decorate for Valentine’s Day. And with all the Christmas decor gone, Ada is loving all the heart shapes and fun colors! She has been loving how I cut her food into heart shapes. She just points at her pancakes saying, “Heart, heart!”

Not to mention, all the clothes for littles’ this time of year are so adorable! I just love all the hearts, cute sayings, and cheery colors!

Just like this sweatshirt and leggings from Old Navy. Not only are they super cute, but they are soft and warm. Perfect for this wintry rain we have been having lately.

We celebrated with our friends last weekend, by taking fun photos and eating homemade heart-shaped pizzas. You can find my favorite pizza dough recipe here. I used a heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out pepperoni hearts (it was harder than I thought it was going to be!). But they turned out cute and delicious! 😉

The photo back drop was just plastic tablecloths and the two banners came from Target. The heart garland was something I made using my Cricut machine and bakers twine.

My t-shirt is from Hello Apparel and I have had it for years. They no longer carry this design but they have a sweatshirt that is similar that I love!

As you can tell, Ada was thrilled to have her picture taken with me. 🙂

But I was able to get a few good ones of Ada.

I hope you all have a wonderful week full of love and hearts – lots of hearts! 😉

“But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13


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Our Holidays in Photos

Our holiday season was sweet and simple, filled with family, friends, and good eats! 😉 We enjoyed spending Christmas with our families and had special visits from old friends for New Years. Ada loved every minute of it and I am so sad to see Christmas end. Ada is already missing her Christmas lights in her room and the choo, choo train around the tree. I am going to have to think of something fun and festive for Valentine’s Day just so Ada (& I) can enjoy another celebration. 🙂

One of my favorite activities that we did this Christmas, was taking Ada to see Christmas Lights in Asheville. It is a spectacular light show that you drive through and all the lights are schronized to Christmas music on a dedicated radio channel. Ada loved it! She just talked and pointed at everything as we drove by. It was simply the best!

Ada and I spend two days making Christmas cookies for our family and neighbors. She had a blast getting covered in flour and eating cookie dough behind my back.

Afterwards, we all enjoyed some milk and cookies by the Christmas tree.

Freshly made Christmas cookies, ready to be delivered.

For New Year’s, we stayed at home and enjoyed playing with Ada and her new toys. Her favorite – the elephant ball popper! But we also enjoyed some cake, sparklers, and champagne (for mom and dad)!

I made us some mini party hats and was delightfully surprised when Ada loved having it on.

I adore this picture! Just look at that adorable, cheesy smile! 🙂

Clapping in the new year! Ada’s favorite word right now is, “Happy”; because of us saying, “Happy New Year!” So now she is running around the house saying, “Happy, happy, happy!” Yeah – it is pretty darn cute.

I hope your holiday season was filled with love, family, friends, and happiness! And may God’s peace and joy continue to bless you all through out the new year! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year ya’ll!


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Mama + Mini Monday: Buffalo Check

It has been a bit crazy here at the Maples’ house. The terrible forest fire near Lake Lure is only about 6 miles from our house. We have been covered in smoke and the fire is too close for comfort, for me. I hope and pray that we get some rain soon and that those who are closer to the fire are safe.

On a brighter note, we took some mama + mini photos wearing some holiday-ish colors. I really like red buffalo check for Christmas time. It can be worn both casually and formally. Not to mention the adorable Christmas decor in buffalo check. 🙂

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I had a hard time getting Ada to take some photos with me today. She just wanted to wiggle, squirm, and scoot around. Exhibit A…

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But Randy was able to capture a few sweet moments. Thank goodness for a fast shutter speed. 😉

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I have been looking for a red buffalo check shirt for some time now. I finally found mine at TJMaxx and it is Lucky Brand (similar here). I like the loose fit and love the detail in the back. Ada’s sweater dress is from Target and is super soft. And I love the gold button details. This sweater will be perfect for all the holiday festivities for the next couple of months. 🙂

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My hat is from REI from a few years ago – the brand being Pistil. I love this style so much that I have them in several different colors. Ada’s red buffalo check bow is from The Small Peanuts Shop.

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I hope everyone is having a wonderful week so far and that everyone remains safe from all these forest fires. Happy Monday ya’ll!


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Mama + Mini Monday: Chambray & Leggings

It is hard to believe that Halloween has come and gone. But now that it is November, the holiday season has officially begun! Bring on the decorations, the festive music, and yummy food!  The days here have been absolutely gorgeous! Perfect blue skies, warm days with a cool wind, and falling leaves. We have been outside as much as we can and Ada has been loving it!

We finally got around to gathering up the leaves in our front yard this week and we took full advantage of it and played. Ada was a little unsure about it at first, but I think she enjoyed herself at the end. She loves tearing up the dry leaves.

This is her growl face, that Randy taught her. She holds up her little hands and says, “RAWR!” She mastered it, just in time for Halloween!

Then I joined her in the leaf pile. I can’t resist a good leaf pile!

It was all fun and games until I saw a spider. I jumped out of there so fast I scared Ada. But I don’t do spiders…. I just don’t! *shivers*

I found Ada’s chambray shirt at a consignment shop (surprise, surprise) and couldn’t wait to match her to me. Ada’s shirt is Carter’s brand and her black leggings are my favorite for her. They are from Gap and they have adorable lace trim. Her mustard bow is from Ellia May Designs. My mustard scarf is from Modcloth and my leggings are simply amazing. They are from Nordstrom, Zella brand. I cannot brag enough about these leggings. They are so comfortable and they compress a little, which helps hold everything in. 😉

She is not standing on her own yet, but she has really improved in the last week or so. She can now hold her self up using a table or a couch; which is a big deal! I guess it won’t be long now!

I hope you are having a wonderful week enjoying this beautiful fall weather!


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Welcome to Oz: Our Halloween

I have been patiently impatiently waiting to do family costumes for Halloween for a long time now, and this year my dream came true! We had a blast dressing up together and I hope to continue to do so for years to come!

This year we were : Glinda the Good Witch, little Dorothy Gale, and the Great and Powerful Wizard of Oz!

For mine and Randy’s costumes we were inspired by the movie, “The Great and Powerful Oz.” Plus, it was easy to replicate their versions of the characters. I don’t exactly have a big, pink ball gown laying around, like what Billie Burke wore on, “The Wizard of Oz.” 😉 But I do have a dress similar to what Michelle Williams wore. All I had to add was a crown and ta da! Glinda the Good Witch.

Randy just wore one of his suits and I found a bow tie and top hat for him to wear from Amazon. Ada’s dress came from a consignment shop and I have been holding on to it for about 6 months now. Luckily, it fit her beautifully! Her shoes came from Gap and her red glitter bows came from BeckandBelle. I did get some thick, white tights for Ada to wear because it is always freezing cold on Halloween. But this year, was the first year that I can remember that it was in the high 70s for Halloween. Say what? But I was grateful for the beautiful day, because we were able to enjoy outside and take cute pictures of Ada.

Those pigtails just kill me!

We celebrated Halloween by taking Ada to a local petting zoo that was having a Halloween party. She had a blast! She loves farm animals right now. She “moo-ed” and “baa-ed” all through the zoo. It was the cutest ever! Our dear friend came along, too, with her adorable son.

Halloween 2016

Halloween 2016

Halloween 2016

Halloween 2016

I think Ada’s favorite animal was the bunny. Her lovie that she sleeps with every night is a bunny, so she just loved seeing and petting a real one.

Halloween 2016

Halloween 2016

They had music playing and a dance party as well. They played Ada’s favorite song, “Old MacDonald”; which she tries so hard to sing, “E-I-E-I-O”. Makes my heart melt every time!

Halloween 2016

After the petting zoo, we all came back to our house to have a simple Halloween party. Our babies were about to lose it about this time, so Ada did not stay up long after getting put into her costume. But we still had fun together taking photos of everyone! I made this photo backdrop to use for our pictures. The kids thought it was awesome and tore up all the yellow brick road bricks and hid behind the rainbow.

Isn’t Aldrick the cutest scarecrow? It was even better when he was walking around and his little scarecrow feet were flopping around.

And here we have the scarecrow and the cowardly lion. They are so cute!

Overall, we had a wonderful time and look forward to doing it again next year!


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Mama + Mini Monday: Plaid

This post is a bit late, but it is still Monday, right? These past few days have been a little difficult, Ada has started temper tantrums. I know it is a normal thing, but I didn’t expect them so soon. So our days have been long and I am exhausted at the end of the day. Does this phase end soon or is this something that is here to stay? Regardless, we still have good times. It is a good thing that these tantrums have started during the fall, because the weather has been great and nothing makes Ada happier than being outside.

Today, we are matching in our red and navy plaid shirts. I found both of our shirts at Old Navy. Ada’s outfit came as a set – shirt and jeggings. The jeggings are my favorite “jeans” for Ada. Actual jeans do not seem comfortable for her. I think they will be better when she is standing and walking around. Right now, they seem too tight for her chubby little thighs. 😉

My navy utility vest is from TJMaxx last year (similar). It is actually a little difficult to find a utility vest in a different color than olive. Unfortunately, I cannot wear olive; so I was excited to find it in navy. My booties (similar) are from TJMaxx as well, they are Dolce Vita brand. I love these booties! I have been searching for the perfect booties for two years now and I am so happy that I came across these. Not only are they cute and the color I wanted, they are very comfortable.

And my favorite photos from the day. The golden hour is so lovely in the fall.

Now it is crunch time for Halloween – just one week away! I am so excited to dress up Ada this year. It should be so fun, not to mention, absolutely adorable! What are your plans for Halloween?