Our Maple Tree

Keeping up with The Maples


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Friday Fall Favorites

My favorite time year is here and I have been soaking in all that fall has to offer. The past few days have been delightfully cold so I have been enjoying cozy sweaters and hot coffee. Now usually I wear pjs all day but with the holidays approaching, I figure I better find something else to wear, you know like real clothes. But I will still wear all of my hats so I at least don’t have to worry about my hair. 😉

I came across this ribbon on Instagram and immediately felt like a winner because not only did I get myself out of pjs today, but I put Ada in something other than pjs as well! Go, me!

Anyways, without further ado, here are some of my favorites!

  1. Plaid Poncho: I love snuggling up in a poncho. I am so glad that these are still in style. I will be so sad the day that they are no longer in. This poncho can carry you into Christmas as well;  paired with red accessories. 😉
  2. Mama’s Floral Dress: This dress has been difficult to find in stock. This past week, I was able to snag one and I am so excited! I bought it when they had a 25% off and I had some store credit so yay! I plan on wearing this one for Thanksgiving to match my little (of course).
  3. Little’s Pullover: June&January has done it again with their holiday line. I can’t make up my mind on what to get Ada. But I am thinking the pullover will be the one thing I will grab for her; over and over again.
  4. Mama’s Beanie: Gigi Pip makes the best hats and their beanies certainly do not disappoint. I have been wearing this mustard beanie pretty much nonstop this fall. And I have been eyeing this one ,in blush, for a few days now… my Christmas wish list just keeps on growing! 😉
  5. Little’s Beanie: I bought Ada a beanie earlier this fall, but it doesn’t want to stay on her head. So I am thinking one like this will fit better.
  6. Little’s Floral Dress: I can’t express enough how much I love this dress! The colors are just perfect! It just screams fall! Matching autumn florals for the win.
  7. Campfire Mug: I have had this mug for a few years now and it is my favorite. It is big enough to hold all my marshmallows for hot chocolate or my much needed coffee in the mornings.
  8. Fall Garland: Pearl&Jane makes the cutest garlands. I love how she paired pink, mustard, and blue together for this one. Definitely fits all the colors in my home. Her Christmas garlands are so adorable and I am struggling not to buy them all!

I hope everyone has had a great week and Happy Friday ya’ll!


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Solar Eclipse Fun

As some of you know I went to school for physics, but the main reason I chose the physics program, is because I love astronomy. My concentration was in astronomy and I loved every second of it. Appalachian State has a wonderful astronomy program offering so many different opportunities for students. For introductory students, they have an observation deck with a retractable roof and about 20 11″ automated telescopes. For intermediate students, they have a private lab with an observation dome housing an 16″ telescope. And for their advanced students, they have an entire observatory off the Parkway with an amazing 32″ telescope with all the latest observation tech. Yeah – it’s pretty awesome.

My college years were amazing and I sometimes miss the late nights observing the cosmos. But I don’t miss those tests or those all nighters studying! But I am super excited to be witnessing the solar eclipse this weekend! And because I celebrate everything, I put together a few ideas to help all of you to celebrate, too! 😉

Since we will be traveling to see totality, I put together some coloring sheets for Ada. I found these free printables that are all about our solar system. I kept it simple and just picked out the star, the moon, the sun, and of course, the solar eclipse. I am using a cookie sheet as a lap desk for Ada to use (which I am sure everyone knows about thanks to Pinterest). She can use it on our trip to color and play with her magnetic letters & numbers.

I found this craft for Ada to do that seems a bit more age appropriate for her (besides coloring). Plus, the finished results look really pretty.

These t-shirts are so darn cute and so corny! Right up my alley! 😉

There are tons of great ideas for eclipse themed food on Pinterest. Everything from eclipse cookies, galaxy popcorn, and sunshine cupcakes. Since we will be traveling, I decided to keep it rather simple – Moon Pies, Sun Chips, and Sun Drop is the way we are going! Plus, who doesn’t love Moon Pies? 😉

And to make things more fun, adding star & moon shape balloons will add the perfect touch!

I hope you all get a chance to enjoy & marvel at God’s beautiful creation on Monday! And I hope you make a party out of it! 🙂 Happy Weekend ya’ll!


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Summer Reading

One of the great things about summer, is sitting by the pool or ocean and reading. Well, we haven’t been to the beach yet, but we have spent a great deal of time by our kiddie pool. 😉 While Ada plays, I can sometimes sneak in my reading time. Or sometimes we sit outside together and read. I try to squeeze in as much reading together as possible throughout the day but she usually just wants to read at night before bed. Which is probably more of her trying to stay awake longer than anything else. We also visit the library about twice a week to find new books to read and to enjoy Toddler Story Time. But Ada’s favorite is going to Music & Movement – this girl loves to sing and dance.

Our library has a program called, “1000 Books Before Kindergarten.” I am sure every library has it, but the idea is to keep a record of all the books you read to your child. You can repeat books, of course but if you read 1000 books before they start kindergarten they get a party to celebrate. So I thought I would join the program and keep a record myself of all the books Ada reads. Just a simple journal for her to look back on and see what she has read. I picked a pretty Rifle Paper (because they make the prettiest patterns!) journal to keep a record of Ada’s reading.

Some of Ada’s favorites right now are:

The Very Hungry Caterpillar: We read this one over and over again! She seriously cannot get enough of this one. She loves identifying all the food; that’s my girl!

All Better: Ada loves the interaction of this book. She even likes to kiss the boo-boos before applying the bandage. This has been on repeat since Ada received her first cut, which required a bandage, not long ago.

Biscuit’s First Beach Day: We have several Biscuit books and Ada loves them all! This one we picked up at the library and was her favorite out of the bunch we picked out.

Press Here: Ada loves, loves this book! We have read this one together so many times. Her favorite part is to clap to make the colorful circles bigger.

Some other favorites of Ada’s are her BabyLit books. She has The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland – we have read these over and over again as well. I really need to get her some new ones. 🙂

On my reading list this summer:

Hidden Figures: I was very interested in this book and I wanted to read it before watching the movie, but it is difficult to read. There is no dialogue so it reads more like a history book. The topic is very interesting and I love the actual story, but man it is hard to read. We will see if I can finish it, but I think it will be better to just watch the movie (I know! Blasphemy!)

Stress Free Potty Training: It is about that time around here. Ada has shown some interest in the potty but I don’t think she is quite ready. So I am reading all the materials that I can find right now to help me prepare. Any advice or suggestions regarding this subject would be greatly appreciated!

A Wrinkle in Time: I read this book years ago in middle school but I have mostly forgotten what it is all about. So I want to re-read it before the movie comes out – which looks amazing, btw! As soon as I can get through Hidden Figures, I will be starting this one!

On my reading wish list are these two books – Pizzazzerie: Entertain in Style and Celebrate Everything! These two look like so much fun and I’m pretty sure they would be books that I would read over & over again! 😉

My wish for Ada is that she grows up to love reading. It has always been a favorite hobby of mine and I hope it becomes hers as well. And as Dr. Seuss so perfectly said: “You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back, relax, all you need is a book.”

My dress sold out from Target (similar) // My hat // Ada’s dress // Ada’s necklace // Ada’s bow


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Friday Favorites: Summer Lovin’

Now I’ll admit that I kind of dread summer. I know, I am totally weird. I have always been more of a fall & winter girl. But Ada has changed my mind on summer this year. We have been having so much fun this summer, that a small part of me doesn’t want summer to end! But then I see all the adorable fall sweaters & booties and that feeling quickly dissipates. 😉

Anyways, I just thought I would share some of our summer favorites that has made our summer so much fun!

First, this kiddie pool has been a lifesaver – best $30 we have spent all summer! Especially, during these very humid, hot days we have been having lately. We are pretty much out in the pool every day before noon. One great thing about that, is that Ada is exhausted and takes a glorious nap in the middle of the day (which is good, because I am still working on her birthday present!). 😉

Second, popsicles have been our main source of nutrients this summer. Ada wants nothing but popsicles. She gets cranky towards the end of the day and a popsicle always makes everything better. With a combination of the heat and her teething – yeah, popsicles for dinner is how we roll! 😉 I found these popsicle molds and they are the most perfect size for Ada’s little hands & mouth. Our favorite recipe so far has been this watermelon & strawberry one.

Because of our popsicle obsession, getting her popsicle pjs was a no brainer. Plus, Ada asks to wear them every night. She loves looking at them and naming all the colors she sees. Unfortunately, the pair she has have sold out, but here is a similar set.

I finally found the perfect “mom” shorts. They are long enough to cover my booty but not so long that I look like a grandma. Plus, I love the distressed details – not too much that I look homeless but enough to help me feel cool! 😉 Yeah, like I said, perfect jeans.

My mom has always told me that you should never buy peaches until after July 4th because otherwise they are not good. Since July 4th has come and gone, we have been eating peaches like crazy! My favorite recipes right now are both from the summer issue of Magnolia Journal – chicken, brie & peach flatbread and prosciutto, peach & gouda grilled sandwiches. We love these recipes and have had them several times… this week! 🙂

Well, that’s all I have for now! What are some of your summer favorites? Happy Friday ya’ll!


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New Skincare Routine & Makeup

I find it almost unbelievable that I am writing a beauty post. If my sister is reading this, she is probably reading it with her mouth wide open in disbelief. You see, my sister is the beauty expert. She is a genius with all things makeup & beauty supplies. I, on the other hand, have never really been into makeup. It wasn’t until I got engaged that I started playing with makeup (since I was doing my own makeup for the wedding). Before, I was the girl living in sweatshirts, jeans, a hat, and maybe some mascara. But I have found some products that I am absolutely loving and just had to share it with you all.

First things first, skincare. I have been using CeraVe face wash for many years. It is the only thing that I have found that works for my very, very sensitive skin. After washing my face, I use Thayer’s witch hazel as an additional cleanser and toner. I love the way the rose petal version smells and I feel like it does well in giving me a deeper cleanse. I then, use a few small drops of JoJoba oil in problem dry areas on my face. Usually, on my cheeks, my forehead between my eyebrows, and my chin. I also, use it all around my eyes to help hydrate. I love, love this oil! It dries quickly and doesn’t leave a greasy residue. Not to mention, it has been great moisturizer for my skin and has helped soften the wrinkles around my eyes. And last, but certainly not least – face sunscreen. HelioCare 360 is my go to sunscreen. It is slightly tinted so it works well as a primer before I put on my makeup. I will advise that it tends to leave my skin a little oily, but it is difficult to find a sunscreen that doesn’t for my skin.

Now, on to makeup. I have been using bareMinerals mineral veil for many years. It helps with absorbing oil and minimizing pores. I put this on if my skin is a little on the oily side, like when I use sunscreen.

The new item that I have been using and just fell in love with is the Veil Illuminating Complexion Fix. This has replaced my foundation. I have never really enjoyed heavy makeup and prefer a more natural look. This veil is perfect for just that. I put it only on my problem areas and do not feel the need to wear any additional coverage.

The next new items, are Daniel Sandler’s watercolor blushes. These blushes are amazing!! I have been using two different colors – glow, which is a beautiful, shimmering brown color and flush, which is a perfect pink for my cheeks. Glow works like a bronzer, which is new terriority for me. I have never worn bronzer in my life, but now that I have this stuff, I don’t think I can ever go back!  I put a little on all the places of my face that gets sun first – my cheeks, the top of my forehead, the bridge of my nose, and a little on my chin. This blush gives me the most perfect glow without looking like an Oompa Loompa! Then I put just the tiniest bit (because you definitely do not need a lot) of the flush blush on the apples of my cheeks. And viola! A nice, tanned face without the sun! 😉

I found this eyeshadow at Target a few years ago and wear it every summer. I love the shimmering champagne colors for summer and I like brown/gold with my blue eyes. I usually focus this eyeshadow in the corners of my eyes to help brighten them. And then my mascara – bareMinerals flawless definition. This is another oldie, but goodie that I have been using for years. I love the small brush to tackle the hard to reach lashes and I love the formula. If I accidentally get it in my eye, it doesn’t burn like a thousand suns and comes off my contacts easy. And, I can get it in a true brown color, which believe it or not, is very hard to find.

I hope, maybe, this helps inspire your summer makeup this year or help you find new tools to try in your next makeup rotation. I am also interested to hear what your beauty secrets are! Do tell!

Happy Friday ya’ll!


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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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Ada’s Easter Basket

I can’t believe that April is almost here and that Easter is just a few short weeks away! I am relieved that Easter is going to be in the middle of April this year. Do you remember last year? Easter was in March and it was freezing cold! Hopefully, this year the weather will be more appropriate for spring attire. 😉 With Easter approaching so quickly, I am glad that Target’s $1 section is full of the cutest Easter-y things. I picked up their sidewalk chalk and bubbles for Ada’s Easter basket and I know that she is going to love them! Here are a few more things that I think will be the perfect addition to her Easter basket.

Every holiday/occasion I give Ada a book (or three) and this year I want to give her this book, “God Gave Us Easter”. It is important to us that Ada understands why we celebrate a holiday. And Jesus’ resurrection is super important and awesome!

Ada has loved coloring for a while, but she is now showing an interest in stickers. So I thought this cute bunny activity book would be perfect for her.

And every girl needs some bling! Ada has really shown an interest in jewelry right now. She tries to put hair ties onto her wrists, like a bracelet. And she loves to wear my chewing necklaces. So I thought it was time to start her jewelry collection. These bracelets are oh so adorable and they can be adjusted so she can’t rip them off and lose them! And the necklaces from Hooray Everyday are perfect!

We spend a lot of time at home in our pjs and I noticed that Ada’s feet stay cold. So I thought a cute pair of bunny slippers would fix that! And considering Ada loves shoes and bunnies – win, win!

Now that spring has arrived and warmer weather is here, I plan on spending all of our time outside. So sidewalk chalk and bubbles will be a lot of fun! Now that Ada is almost walking by herself, I know that she is going to have a blast chasing bubbles in the front yard.

And last, but not least, a beautiful Easter doll. Isn’t this doll gorgeous!? I just love the bunny ears bonnet and the vintage fabric & colors.

I would love to hear what you are putting in your baskets this year! Have a good week ya’ll!


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Mama + Mini Monday: Spring Favorites

Happy First Day of Spring ya’ll!

Even though it is officially spring, it takes a few more weeks for it to feel like spring here in the mountains. So while I wait for the beautiful spring weather to come, I will be shopping for mine and Ada’s spring wardrobe! And today, Old Navy & Gap are having a 40% sale online! Woo hoo! Perfect timing!

1. /2. Mustard dresses for mama and mini: Are these not the cutest? And they come in my favorite color! Not to mention the eyelet detail is so pretty!

3. Pink Lace Tank: I am so in love with the lace detailing on this tank. Perfect for spring under a cute cardigan!

4. Lace Top: This lace top for mini is the cutest ever! I think Ada would look darling in this!

5. Pjs: There couldn’t be a better pair of pjs than these bunny ones. Not only does Ada love bunnies and calls them, “Hop-hop;” she also says, “Happy!” all the time! And, Ada’s favorite song is, “Because I’m Happy!” So these pjs are definitely coming home with us!

6. Pink Bow: Swiss dot bows are my favorite! (Remember, Ada’s first birthday yellow bow?) This pink one will go so well with all of Ada’s spring pinks!

7./8. Denim jackets: Everyone girl needs a denim jacket in their closet! Here in the mountains, you always need a jacket, no matter how hot it is outside! I love pairing mine with summer dresses, but it looks good with anything!

9. Jellys: And of course, every little girl needs jellys for summer!

10. Romper: I thought this romper was adorable and it will be perfect for playing at the park, once it gets warmer! The purple one is a gorgeous color, FYI!

Well, I hope you are all having a wonderful day! And let’s hope and pray spring weather comes quickly here! Happy Monday ya’ll!


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Holiday Gift Guide for Little Ladies

Deciding on what to get Ada for Christmas this year has been so much fun and at the same time, difficult. She is at an awkward stage right now. She is too grown up for the toys that were made for babies who are mostly sitting, but she isn’t full on walking yet. So she isn’t quite ready for the toys that require walking. But after weeks of searching, I think I have found a list of toys that she will enjoy; along with some items she needs.

I think Ada is going to love this Tubby Table, especially with the tea set. Ada loves to pretend eat. Her favorite toys right now are a bowl and a spoon, so I think she is ready to play tea. She is in desperate need of new bath toys, so I can not wait for her to try out this table! I also got her a few more bath toys since she hasn’t had any new ones for months now. I know that she is going to love them all!

Pjs are always a need for Ada (she is growing by the minute), and these lamb pjs are so sweet. Plus, Ada loves lambs.

It is time to start Ada’s Christmas book collection – this, Night Before Christmas, has great illustrations and the Mouse one is a favorite of Ada’s. And of course, adding an Owl book to her library is a must, considering how much she loves owls.

I have decided to try out this ball popper, since Ada loves to play with balls (when I take her to a toy store, she goes for the balls). Her mimi got her a ball pit a while back and she loves playing with the colorful balls. I think this will be a nice addition and might encourage her to start walking even faster.

These wooden cupcakes are so adorable! And I think Ada will enjoy having some play food and I look forward to the day that she can play with them in her play kitchen.

Ada seems to feel more confident in taking steps in shoes. I have tried stride rite shoes and they are way too big for her little feet. So I am going to try out these Livie & Luca shoes. Plus, they are the cutest shoes ever! I love the rose gold and vintage look. I hope they work out for her, because I love them! 😉

And a stocking full of things that she needs – new socks, a hairbrush that doesn’t hurt her, shampoo, and some new bows.

I can not wait to see the look on Ada’s face Christmas morning, when she opens up her presents! Although, I am pretty sure she is going to enjoy the paper and boxes more than the actual gifts. That is how it goes, right? Regardless, it is still going to be so much fun! What are your gift suggestions for toddlers? Hope you are having a great week!