Our Maple Tree

Keeping up with The Maples


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Christmas Cards

It is my favorite time of year again – Christmas card season! I love getting Christmas cards from everyone and look forward to the mail coming every day this time of year. I got our Christmas cards out a couple of weeks ago and love how we tried something a little different. This year, we used Randy’s drone to take our family photo. It was so much fun and I want to do it every year! But I think my favorite part was Ada singing at the top of her lungs while we got the cameras set up. It definitely got everyone’s attention at Jump Off Rock. But she didn’t care one bit and neither did I! I am so proud! 😉

And of course; the only way to work on Christmas cards is by the fire, listening to Christmas music, while sipping on a festive drink! 😉

I hope you all have a very merry Christmas! Happy Friday!


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Deck the Halls

Fa la la la la la la la la!

We are less than one week away from Christmas and we are all super excited… a little tired & a little wired (name that movie), but excited! I now understand why people start decorating for Christmas before Thanksgiving. Since it took me three weeks to get the house decorated, and I was only able to finish because I had help from family, I believe I am on board the Decorate Before Thanksgiving Train. Next year, I would love to enjoy the decorations for longer than two weeks! 😉 So without further ado, here is our holiday home tour!

Scroll: Cotton Wood Shanty 

Stocking Holders: Target

Stockings & Tree Skirt: Ballard Designs 

Candlesticks on Mantle: Magnolia Market

Bedding: Anthropologie

Bed Frame: Charles P. Rogers 


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Perfect Weekend

Snow truly is magical. When it snows the world around you seems to stop just so it can watch the snowflakes dance. The loud sounds of the hustle and bustle fade away. And you are left with the quiet, peaceful sound of snow falling. On snow days, it is perfectly acceptable to shrug off your responsibilities for the day and just enjoy the beauty of this new world. Because what makes it so special, is that it only lasts for a moment, so you better “carpe diem” this snow day while you can.

This past weekend was the greatest, most perfect weekend of all time. We felt like we were living in our own little snow globe. This snow was perfect for building snowmen, snowball fights, and building quinzees. And seeing the joy & wonderment through the eyes of child just makes it so much better. We were caught off guard a bit with this snow. The weatherman predicted just a few inches at the most for this storm. It ended being around a foot when it finished! Not that I am complaining! It was totally awesome! Luckily, I had enough food to get us through the weekend, so whew! But our diets mostly consisted of cookies and hot cocoa anyways, so turns out I didn’t need to worry about our meals. 😉

It snowed non-stop on Saturday and continued for half the day on Sunday. Ada could barely contain her excitement so we were out in the snow before it really started to accumulate. But it was fun to dance with the snowflakes. Ada loved it and threw her head back & stuck out her tongue to catch the snow. At first, I wasn’t sure how she even knew to do that, then I recalled we have been reading books from the library about snow days. I have ordered Ada some gloves and boots for Christmas, this snow just came earlier than expected. Hence, the ginormous gloves. Although, I think she pulls them off!

I love how Ada thought that our chimenea was a snowman. She spent a long time trying to get these little gloves to stick into the snow. Meanwhile, Randy built a quinzee and I built a snowman. 😉

After Ada went to sleep, Randy and I took our chance to play in the snow and in the quinzee.

We spent the weekend, playing in the snow, running back into the house to warm up with some hot chocolate, watching Christmas movies, then running back out to play some more. In our down time, we make our first gingerbread house/village. Both Randy and I have never made one before, at least, not that we remember. Ada was more into eating the gingerbread houses and candy then putting them together. I spent more time looking for candy she had thrown then putting together the houses. So Randy did most of the construction. 😉

We are definitely missing the snow and we hope that it will come back soon. Around Christmas would be just perfect!


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Holiday Gift Guide for Him

And last, but certainly not least, a holiday gift guide for him. To be honest, I struggle the most with finding things for Randy. Not only are the things Randy is interested in expensive, but they are also things I have no knowledge on. Like, all the gadgets and tech he loves. Or all the gear for backpacking and biking. I can’t exactly go into REI and pick out something. He spends hours researching on the things he wants & needs. Even if I did pick it out, I would most likely pick out the wrong thing. What I can do is pick out clothing for him, but like a kid, he isn’t going to be jumping up and down at getting clothes for Christmas. So without further ado, here are a few of some of Randy’s favorite things, with a some added extras that I think he will love.

  1. Pants: Randy is particular about most things and one of them is his clothing. He only really loves clothes from Columbia, Patagonia, Arcteryx, etc. And since he is in desperate need of some new pants, these pants will fit the bill.
  2. Shirt: I love the colors in this shirt and Randy loves the brand/practicality of it. So win, win!
  3. Drone: This has been Randy’s most favorite toy ever. He has been researching for years on the perfect drone and he finally chose this one. He plays with it everyday and couldn’t be happier!
  4. Mug: This mug has our favorite quote, plus the design is really cool. And this mug is practical – it can be used on a camp fire, which Randy loves.
  5. MEEM: Ok, this little gadget is really nifty. It is a flash drive and charging cable all in one. It can back up all of your phone – photos, contacts, etc and charge your phone at the same time! Talk about being useful for when you are on the go! I imagine I would use this cable every time I traveled.
  6. Audible Gift Card: Randy and I use audible all the time and we just love it! Especially, when we are traveling together, we will listen to an audiobook in the car. (Puts Ada to sleep every time!) Randy prefers audiobooks over reading any day. And since he travels often for work, he loves having a book to listen to. So if you have a traveler, or a reader on your list – give him one of these!
  7. NEMO Stargazer Camp Chair: So this is a gift I want for myself as well. It is a hammock-like chair that swings/rocks and it also reclines so you can watch the stars. It is pretty awesome! I would be fine having some of these on the back porch instead of patio furniture.
  8. Fleece Pants: Now that Randy is working from home now, he really needs some comfy clothes to “work” in now. These would be comfy, warm, and they have pockets.
  9. Cocktail Kit: With all of Randy’s travel, I can imagine that one of these would come in handy every once in a while. I could use one of these when I travel because I hate flying! 😉 This would make a great stocking stuffer!

Hope this helps inspire some of you still looking for the perfect gifts! Good luck ya’ll!


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Gift Guide for Little Ladies

Ok, buying for Ada is seriously the most fun… ever! But man, I could easily go over board in gifts this Christmas! There are so many cute and awesome things for kids these days. All I know is, that if I had a princess dress & shoes when I was little, I would have just died! Now, you can easily pick one up at Walmart. With that being said, I am afraid that the princess dresses will have to wait because my little girl is not into Disney Princesses just yet. But don’t you worry, she will be! 😉 Instead of princess dresses, my daughter is into trains, cars, shopping, and bunnies. #thatsmygirl

This year, Ada’s big Christmas present is this jeep! I cannot wait for Christmas morning! I know Ada is going to love it because she loves cars and “driving”. She needs a car that can handle the steep hills and rocky terrain around our house; so I was thrilled when I found this one on Black Friday. And I will definitely be putting one of these stickers on the jeep!

Right now, Ada is really into shopping since I took her to the Children’s Museum in Charleston a few weeks back. She has talked about it non-stop and now wants to go shopping all the time. (I’m so proud!) 😉 So this shopping cart would be so much fun for her. She can also use some cozy sweaters & socks this winter and these are perfect for her. Not to mention, Gap is having a 40% sale right now.

One of Ada’s favorite movies, is “Trolls.” No surprise there, since this girl loves singing and dancing! I snag one of these Poppy dolls during the Cyber Monday sales and I am so glad I did. I got it for 50% off! It is so cute and I know Ada is going to love singing along with her.

Every season I get Ada new books. I figured that we had to have “The Nutcracker,” for our Christmas collection and the artwork in this one is breathtaking. BabyLit books are some of Ada’s favorites. She always picks one of them for her bedtime story every night, so “A Christmas Carol,” is one I picked for Christmas this year.

The Advent Puzzle is just as much for me as it is for Ada. She loves puzzles and I would love to display it on my buffet. So we both win. 😉 I think it would be so cute to use a mini Christmas wreath as the marker as you countdown till Christmas!

And last but not least, this PlayDoh Set. We just introduced playdoh (I was a little nervous at first, considering what happened not that long ago with the pine nut!) and she of course, loves it. I think this bakery set will make all her dreams come true, since her most favorite thing to do is make cakes and ice cream.

Well, I am off to have some hot chocolate by the fire and watch the snow fall! I hope you are enjoying this beautiful, snowy day (if you live somewhere that gets snow!) and happy Friday ya’ll!


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Gift Guide for Her

It is that time of year again, when you hear the same questions over & over, “What do you want for Christmas?” or worse yet, “What can I get so-and-so for Christmas?” It can be a bit difficult buying for others since we are all so very blessed. I know I struggle with new ideas for Christmas gifts every year. So I will be putting together some gift guides that are pretty much our wish lists for this year. Today, I started with the easiest one – my holiday wish list. 😉

  1. Wall Calendar: This is a mix of both need and want in my life. This calligraphy calendar is gorgeous and I know it would be something that I would use every single day. Life just keeps getting busier and busier & we could really use a family calendar to help keep it all together. Plus, it is so pretty that I wouldn’t mind hanging it up in my kitchen.
  2. Wreath: The Hearth & Hand line at Target is just simply amazing. Everything Joanna Gaines touches is magic. #numberonefan But my favorite is this wreath.
  3. Zella Pullover: I can’t really explain how much I love Zella products. This pullover has everything I want in a cozy shirt – thumb holes, pockets, and a pretty design so I can wear it out & about. The perfect addition to the mom uniform.
  4. Promptly Journals: This is a new journal that I just discovered in the last month or so. It is a simple journal that you can fill out each year about your children. It starts from pregnancy and ends at 18. After you have filled it out, you can give it your child as a graduation gift. *cue emotional mom*
  5. Blanket Scarf: Now if you are anything like me, you really don’t need another scarf. But this one… I just can’t resist… just look at all the beauitful colors! And it is reversible so it is two scarves in one! (At least, that is how I am selling it to my husband!) 😉
  6. Barefoot Dreams Pullover: I am sure you have all seen the craze over this brand, Barefoot Dreams. Their most popular item is their cardigan. Well, I saw this pullover and I am dying to try it! It fits all my criteria for a sweatshirt – thumbholes, pockets, and no hoodie! Not to mention, it is suppose to be the softest thing ever! #getinmycloset
  7. Candlesticks: As I mentioned before, Joanna Gaines is a rockstar and I can’t get enough of her pretty things. I have had my eye on these candlesticks since I saw them in her store during Silobration. They are extremely well made (forget the baseball bat when an intruder comes into your home, grab one of these instead!) and would match all the wrought iron in my house. And I just fell in love with them the moment I saw them.
  8. Camp Socks: Everyone can use socks for Christmas. And not only are these practical, but they are fashionable. 😉

Well, I hope this helps provide some ideas on what to get all the lovely ladies in your life. Good luck shopping and have fun! Happy Thursday!


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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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Christmas Family Photos

One of the things that I look forward to during the holiday season is making and receiving Christmas cards. It makes getting the mail everyday so much fun! I love seeing everyone’s beautiful families and all the different styles of cards. I have been using Shutterfly for our Christmas cards since we have been married and I have saved each one. It has been so much fun looking back and seeing how much our lives have changed from year to year.

This year we took our photos at my family’s farm. Our dear friends helped us take our pictures. It took a village – one to take the photos and the rest jumping around and dancing to get Ada to smile and/or laugh. My so serious child! 😉 But I love how the turned out and they will be treasured photos that I can look back on and remember this sweet time.

I just love these two!

Ada was really into growling at this time. Thanks to Halloween and Randy. 😉

And my favorite picture of all time! Definitely hanging this one up in our house somewhere! Those big, blue eyes – makes my heart melt when she looks at me like that.

Special thanks to Adam Zipperer for taking these great photos.

Merry Christmas from the Maples Family!


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Mama + Mini Monday: Emerald Green

Christmas is just 6 days away!! I am so excited for Christmas morning. I can not wait to see how Ada reacts to all the chaos of opening presents, eating cinnamon rolls, and being past around the family for some love! It is going to be so much fun!

Today, I am sharing another simple holiday outfit. I feel that the color green gets overlooked at Christmas time. Don’t get me wrong, I love red. And red pretty much looks good on everyone, but a beautiful emerald green is hard to beat. Today I paired my green top with jeans. It is hard for me to wear dresses or skirts right now, because I am mostly on the floor playing with Ada. I spend a lot of my days sitting on the floor while she sits on my lap or me getting up and down to help her walk around the house. So pants are necessary anymore. 😉 This green blouse is one of my favorites and I have it in cranberry red as well. It is comfortable, flowy, and flattering – what’s not to love? I bought them both at TJMaxx and have been hunting for more. There are a few options on PoshMark and eBay – just look up Violet and Claire blouses.

Ada’s shirt is from Kidizen – I cannot describe how much I love this app. I have found so many beautiful clothes for Ada already! I love the green flower with a gold button center. Such cute detail!

My little scooter is always on the move. She can crawl and stand while holding on to something, but her preferred method of transportation is still scooting on her booty. 🙂

This face though! How can anyone say no to this face? We certainly can’t! 😉

And my favorite gold velvet bow from Small Peanuts Shop is on repeat here lately.

She gets her silly faces from her mama. I’ll show you what I mean as soon as I can get a hold of my baby pictures.

My jewelry is another TJMaxx find. They are very unique pieces, I have yet to find anything else like it. The necklace and bracelet are even prettier in person. If anyone knows where I can find more jewelry in this style, please let me know! A sapphire blue would be gorgeous, right?!

I hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas week!


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Christmas at Home

I have really, really struggled on decorating our home for Christmas this year. I would put together something, then tear it down. Then I would hang up something, leave it there for a day or two and then tear it down again. I did this for about two weeks! But I can gladly say, that I have finally completed our decorations for Christmas! Whew! Just in time, uh?

Although I struggled this year, I love decorating my home for Christmas. Especially, since Ada loves it all! Every time she sees the tree she says, “Tree… Lights… Pretty.” It makes me so happy to see how much she enjoys it all. This season is just so joyous and I am grateful that I get to make beautiful memories with Ada and Randy! I hope you enjoy this little glimpse into our home!

One of my favorite Christmas decorations that I look forward to pulling out every year, is this nativity set. I love it and I am so glad that we have something like this to have as a family tradition and heirloom.

A special shout out to my dear friend who inspired my mantle this year. She had this gorgeous scroll hanging above her fireplace and I just had to have one, too! I have been looking for a Christmas sign to put above the fireplace for years now and this is perfect! You can purchase it here. She is working on some new designs that you can peek at on Instagram – there is one that I need for my bedroom…. now to convince Randy that I need this one too… 😉

We got to add another stocking this year! I couldn’t get her stocking last year because they sold out! So I bought it early this year. You can get these stockings here.

The tree skirt is from here.

I think these Santa hat glasses are so cute! I have had them for years and love drinking my eggnog in them! You can buy them here. And of course, one of my favorite candles that smells like Christmas! The white tray is from Pier1.

For our dining table, I used a wooden box that my dad made me. He used barn wood from his old barn. I love it and keep it out all year long.

We do not have a bar cart – which is sad! 😉 But I use this little corner in the kitchen to make our favorite drinks. This year’s favorite, Moscow Mules.

Happy Friday ya’ll!