Our Maple Tree

Keeping up with The Maples


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Valentine’s Fun

Now that we are all on the mend, we have been trying to squeeze in all the Valentine’s Day festiveness before the big day. To be honest, we are all about to go a little crazy during this flu season. We haven’t been able to play much outside & we have been avoiding people to keep away from germs. And it seems that we are taking turns with our friends – when we are sick, they are well and when they are sick we are better. Hopefully, this season of illness will pass soon, because being stuck at home all the time is starting to get to us! So to help entertain a two year old, we have been making Valentine’s to send to our family & friends. And I hope sometime we can make some pink & heart shaped goodies. Because how can you properly celebrate Valentine’s Day without sweets, right? 😉

We started off with a simple craft, cut out hearts to color and put stickers on because Ada loves stickers. And an adorable printable for Ada to color. I hope that we can try to do this craft later. I can definitely use some Ada hands/hearts in my life.

Can you tell that she is super excited about doing a craft?

And of course, hop-hop can never be left out on all the fun. 😉

I picked up a few Valentine’s Day goodies for Ada because just look how cute she is, all decked out in Valentine cheer! 😉 How can I resist that sweet face?

I hope everyone is having a great week and that you are all staying healthy! Happy Hump Day!


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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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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!