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: 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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Marked

Last Saturday, Randy and I had a date that we will never forget. It has been a long time since we had a date like that. 😉 It is difficult to make every date rememberable when you have been together for over a decade. But on this date, we decided to commit to our matching tattoos.

Now, if you have asked me ten years ago if I would ever get a tattoo; the answer would have been, “Hell no!” But over the years, my desire to have a tattoo has grown. Ten years ago, the days before Pinterest (say what?), I didn’t care for any of tattoo. Now, tattoos are so cool! I love the simple, minimalist ones and the watercolor ones. I love that it can have so much meaning to you and represent something or someone you love. So for the last few years, Randy and I talked about getting matching tattoos. We toyed around with so many ideas. Wedding bands, infinity & hearts, Always Forever (our wedding song title), etc. But none of them really jumped out at us. Then last week, it came to us and we designed our own tattoo.

When designing our tattoos, we both wanted something that was special to us and something that we wouldn’t mind having permanently on our arms… I mean tattoos are forever, you know? And that is how we came up with our design. As Randy so eloquently put: The mountains represent where our roots are and the constellation of Orion represents where our lives came together.

If you recall our last anniversary, we took photos where Randy and I first met. It is also where Randy propose to me. On the ASU campus there are large, metal cones configured in the constellation Orion. And that is why the constellation Orion is important to us.

And in the mountains is where everything wonderful has occurred. We met in the mountains, we got engaged in the mountains, we got married in the mountains, we bought our first home in the mountains, and we are raising our first child in the mountains. And did I mention, that we love the mountains?

To finish our lovely date, we enjoyed a flight of hard cider at a local cidery, because tattoos hurt. 😉  It was a wonderful time and we really needed some time away. But the best part of our day, was coming home to this little sweetie!

Hope you are all having a wonderful week! Happy Hump Day!


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Our Fourth

I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July with your friends and family!

We had the greatest fourth spent with all of our dear friends! Everyone came over for a fun cookout at our house. The kids played in the yard, the kiddie pool, and we all enjoyed some good food & drinks. After playing all day in the sun & eating until we popped; we all went to a friends house on top of a mountain to watch fireworks. We watched fireworks going off all over Hendersonville. Seeing all the fireworks above the blue ridge mountains was just beautiful. Ada loved the fireworks and kept saying, “Boom! Noise!” We also pulled out some sparklers for the kids to look at and Ada ended up being a bit afraid of them. So I am glad that we were not terribly close to the real fireworks. Maybe next year she will enjoy being closer to action. 😉

Ada’s face in this photo is seriously the best! Haha!

I am so very blessed to have all these people to share life with. I love my tribe!

I hope everyone has a wonderful week! Happy Sunday!


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Mama + Mini Monday: Red, White, & Blue

I am so excited for July 4th weekend! I just can not wait to see Ada’s reaction to some fireworks and all the other wonderfulness that this holiday brings. We haven’t finalized our plans yet, due to Randy’s crazy work schedule. But I am hoping that we, at least, see some fireworks and enjoy some s’mores! I put together a little Mama + Mini 4th of July outfit today – this is just one of several that I have planned for us this week (yeah – sorry, I’m not sorry!). 😉

As I am sure you have noticed, this dress of mine is old. I got it from Belk’s about three years ago and is still a favorite of mine. The skirt is so flowy and it has a vintage flair to it. Here are a few options that are similar: chambray maxi , striped maxi , & navy skirt.

I found Ada’s dress last year on clearance at my local Gap outlet store. When I saw it, I literally jumped for joy because I knew it would match my my favorite maxi. A similar option is this one.

Ada’s bow is a favorite of mine this summer from Emmy’s Pretties. I love that it is red, white, & blue for the 4th; but it can still be worn all summer long.

So here’s to the week going by fast and for sunshine all weekend long! Happy Monday ya’ll!


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July 4th Favorites

Celebrating July 4th is a holiday I look forward to every summer! It’s usually a long weekend or vacation time for us and I love fireworks! Not to mention all the fun that comes with celebrating July 4th – eating hot dogs + watermelon, playing at the lake, making s’mores and spending time with family. And don’t forget – wearing all the cute red, white, and blue! 🙂

There are so many adorable July 4th options for little girls to wear. I prefer holiday outfits that Ada can wear outside the holidays, so simple colors and designs. June + January have wonderful options – dresses, shirts, shorts, etc. My favorites are their swing dresses and varsity shorts. The shorts pair perfectly with all of Ada’s tops, especially chambray for the summer. I came across this popsicle dress at Target and just had to have it. Isn’t it the cutest? It is a pinafore style and the straps criss-cross in the back – just adorable. And to finish up her outfits this summer, she will of course need accessories: a bow, necklace and shoes! And we cannot forget mama! For the 4th, I like to wear casual dresses and tops. This pinstripe peplum top is so, so cute and is a top that you can wear all summer long. And you have to make sure that you have some red, like these red shorts.

I look forward to celebrating the 4th with Ada this year. She is at a really fun age and I can’t wait to see her reaction to fireworks this year. And she can really enjoy all the festivities of the holiday – playing outside, popsicles and s’mores! So much fun! Hope you all had a great week and happy Friday!

 


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My Blueberry Girl

“Let her tell stories and dance in the rain, somersault, tumble and run, her joys must be high as her sorrows are deep, let her grow like a weed in the sun.”
― Neil Gaiman, Blueberry Girl

This is one of my favorite books to read to Ada. And it is perfectly fitting for our family because years before Ada was born, my dad created his blueberry patch. He planted over 1500 blueberry bushes on our family farm and he has worked tirelessly on this farm for many years. He has made this farm absolutely breathtaking and it is a place we love to visit and enjoy! When we found out that we were having Ada, my mom bought her Neil Gaiman’s, “Blueberry Girl.” So this past weekend, I was so excited to take Ada blueberry picking at Poppy’s Blueberry Patch.

Ada just loved carrying around a bucket and picking the blueberries off the bushes. The only problem was that she wanted to pick all the berries, including the green ones. I think she just loved listening to the berries hitting the bottom of the bucket. But once she discovered that the blue ones were delicious; she just sat her self down and starting going to town eating all the blue ones that she could find. (No worries, the blueberries are completely organic.)

I also took this opportunity to take our annual Father’s Day pictures. But Ada was having so much fun with the blueberries that she didn’t care to hold still or hold up the letters. So this is the best I could get. 😉

We all did what we could to help pick all the blueberries. They were ripening before our eyes and the birds were eating them all. So every chance we got, we picked. I think my favorite moment, a moment that I will remember forever, was when we were picking blueberries in the cool evening. The fireflies were coming out and the crickets and frogs were singing together. To help entertain Ada while we picked, my dad drove Ada around the farm in his gator. She loves riding in the gator and calls it a tractor. While I was picking, dad & Ada came around to say hi. As they drove away (because Ada wanted to ride some more and was yelling, “Tat-tor!”), Ada looked at me and said, “Bye-bye, mommy. Love you!” That right there, is something that I will never forget. And yes, it definitely made me cry… like a lot. 😉

If you haven’t read, “Blueberry Girl,” you definitely should. It is a sweet book, that tells what every parent wants for their baby girl. Happy first day of summer!

“Help her to help herself, help her to stand,
Help her to lose, and to find.
Teach her we’re only as big as our dreams,
show her that fortune is blind.

Truth is a thing she must find for herself,
precious, and rare as a pearl;
Give her all these, and a little bit more,
Gifts for a Blueberry Girl.” – Blueberry Girl

Dress / necklace / bow / shoes


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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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Friday Favorites

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Summer Starts Here

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

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

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

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

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

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

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