Our Maple Tree

Keeping up with The Maples


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I Heart Fall

I have to admit that I am a bit sad that fall is coming to an end. Thanksgiving is definitely my favorite holiday but there is always a sense of finality this time of year. Seeing the trees shed their glorious colors, the beautiful blue October skies being replaced by grey winter clouds, and the sharp chill of winter air blowing in; all reminds me that fall is gone and winter has set in. And since I traveled for most of October (not that I am complaining), I feel like I have missed a lot of fall here in the mountains. So to offset that, I have been trying to squeeze as much fall fun as possible. Unfortunately, it has been a rainy fall so a lot of it has been spent inside and at the library (thank goodness for libraries and all of their free awesomeness). But you bet when the days are pretty, we are out enjoying it.

When you ask your toddler to hold a pumpkin for a picture… I can’t imagine what the teenage years are going to be with this one! 😉

Ada loved the chickens and did not want to leave. She kept saying, “Ada hold it. Ada hold chicken.” I can’t say that I blame her, the chicken was so fluffy!

On the rainy days, we go to the library for story time, for crafts, and for a change of scenery.

At home we have been filling our days with reading and Thanksgiving theme crafts. We have colored many turkeys and discovered that gluing feathers is a lot harder than Pinterest mentioned. Our favorite craft has been watercolor tissue paper. You cut out bleeding tissue paper into any shape you like, place them on a canvas (or white paper of your choice), and “paint” water onto the tissue paper. You let the paper dry, peel off the tissue paper, and then you are left with a beautiful watercolor painting. Note: You definitely need bleeding tissue paper for this to work, at least in my experience. I tried tissue paper that I just had at home and it did not work. It sure did feel like a Pinterest fail moment.

I hope you are enjoying the last of fall and that you get so spend them with your loved ones. Happy Wednesday ya’ll!


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Mama + Mini Monday: Autumn Florals

Happy Thanksgiving week! It has been a mad house here trying to get everything ready for the big Turkey Day. I have felt like I have been working my booty off for days and have nothing to show for it… do you ever have days/weeks like that? I have been having a lot of these days here lately and they are starting to bum me out. Hopefully, things will feel like they are coming together soon! To brighten up my day, let’s talk clothes! 😉

The inspiration for today’s outfits began with Ada’s dress. I saw this dress at Gap at the start of fall and just had to have it. A good thing too, because it is unavailable now. I found a similar dress here (this one is really cute with all the woodland creatures on it and with all the right colors, too!) I paired her dress with mustard sweater tights from Amazon. I was pleasantly surprised with these tights. They are super soft, thick, affordable, and the color is a perfect mustard. And since Ada is all about dresses right now, (which is the greatest thing ever!) I plan on getting a few pair so she can wear her dresses this winter.

For my dress, I wanted one just like Ada’s because I love it that much. But unfortunately, they do not make that dress in my size. But I came across this dress from Ruche. I love the colors and a shift dress is perfect for the big meal on Thursday. My favorite part is the tie in the front. It helps gather the fabric just enough to give me a waist without being too tight. The dress is still loose, but not baggy loose. I was very lucky in getting this dress because it just kept selling out. Not only did I catch it in stock in my size, but on sale and I had some store credit! Woot, woot! My shoes are one of my most favorite purchases from Modcloth. I have had them for several years now and they go with so many of my fall outfits. Here are a similar pair.

I hope you all have a wonderful week and that you are more on top of things than I am! Now I am going to go pour myself a glass of wine and write down my to-do list. Here’s to getting things done – tomorrow! 😉


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Mama + Mini Monday: Thanksgiving Style

I can’t believe Thanksgiving is next week! I blinked and my favorite time of year is almost over! I am looking forward to all the delicious recipes that I want to try this year; most of them involving pumpkin. But what I am looking forward to the most, is spending some quality time with my family.

This week I have been in planning mode – deciding on menus, fun themed crafts for Ada, and of course, picking out the perfect outfits for all of our family pictures. At least, I am hoping we can get some family photos! Little Ada is getting harder and harder to take pictures of since all she wants to do is run. 🙂 Any advice on taking pictures with a toddler is most welcomed!

Ada has definitely gotten some Zoolander looks going on here!

I know that the holiday rush is upon us, but I hope that everyone will take a moment to stop and reflect. Reflect on all of our many blessings and on all the many small things that make us happy. And I hope you take a moment to dance in the leaves. Happy Monday ya’ll!

My Chambray Top – similar  //  My Corduroys   //  Mustard Scarf – similar  //  Ada’s Chambray Top  //  Ada’s Mustard Leggings  // Ada’s Boots  //  Ada’s Pumpkin Necklace  //  Ada’s Mustard Pigtail Bows


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Mama + Mini Monday: Cobalt Blue

Happy Cyber Monday ya’ll! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with family, friends, turkey, and pie! We had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend with family, but it is always nice to come back home. Now we can decorate the house for Christmas and take advantage of all the Cyber Monday savings to finish up our Christmas shopping!

Today, we are wearing another favorite color of mine – cobalt blue. I think this color is great for the holidays and winter time.

I have been hunting for a cobalt blue shirt like this for about a year now and was so excited to find it at TJMaxx about a month ago. You can find this blouse here. I also like wearing this shirt with my J.Crew herringbone vest. It is so easy to dress this shirt up or down and this style looks so good on everyone.

My jeans are from Loft. Loft’s jeans fit me the best. Pretty much all my jeans come from there. 🙂 My shoes are another TJMaxx find. I love t-strap shoes! I love the vintage look and I feel like they slenderize my ankles and feet. They are Franco Sartos and even though they do not look comfy, they really are comfortable. I can wear them for hours without them hurting my feet (similar). YAY!

I was so excited to find Ada’s sweater at OldNavy the other day. I snagged it during the Black Friday sale this past weekend and I am considering getting the other colors. The sweater is soft and the tunic fit is so cute on a little one. It even has dolman style sleeves! How cute! Her leggings are from Gap and her gold Mary Janes are from Amazon. Her metallic gold bow is from SmallPeanutsShop.

She looks so cute standing up! She is getting better and better at standing. She still can’t quite pull herself up into standing position, but she can stand up against a table unassisted. I do worry about her not standing or walking yet. I know she will in her own time, but it still worries me. What if she doesn’t really walk till she is two? Has anyone else heard of or seen a little one take so long to walk?

Ada has shown a big interest in shoes right now; that’s my girl! She loves putting them on and taking them off. She even likes to go into my closet and play with my shoes. She usually comes back with one or two for me to put on for her. She is definitely my daughter! 😉 So there will probably be a pair or two under the tree for her this year.

There are some great sales going on today: Old Navy & Gap are having 50%; Loft is having 50% off + free shipping; Anthro is having 20% off + extra 30% off sale items. Amazon is having some good deals today – one being the FitBit Charge 2 and a Kitchen Aid Mixer. And don’t forget J.Crew – 40% + free shipping!

Have fun shopping today!


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Farewell 2015 – Our Year in Pictures

Happy New Year’s Eve! 2015 has been an amazing year! It has been so much fun looking back on all our memories and seeing how much our lives have changed; for the better, of course!

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This has certainly been the best, most exciting year of our lives, so far! I look forward to another year of adventures with Randy and now with our sweet little girl!

I wish you the happiest New Year! Cheers!


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Ada’s First Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is over and our house is empty. 🙁 This year’s Thanksgiving was extra special because it was Ada’s first and we had some dear friends to visit and meet Ada for the first time! We had the best time with our friends and family. I wish they could stay with us forever!

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We brined our turkey in maple syrup and sea salt, then cook it in a dutch oven outside using hot coals. The most perfect job for the boys, while the girls take over the kitchen. We have cooked the turkey this way for two years in a row now and it makes the best, most moist turkey.

After dinner we took naps and family photos. And we of course had dessert – pumpkin pie, whipped cream and ginger cookies.

It was awesome to get some photos of our sweet little family too!

It was a wonderful Thanksgiving, especially for Ada’s first! Another holiday come and gone… I can’t wait for Ada’s first Christmas! Happy December First!


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Truly Grateful

This Thanksgiving was quite different than planned. I don’t have photos to share of our beautiful family or of our amazing Thanksgiving dinner or of the beautiful decor that only Thanksgiving can provide. This Thanksgiving was spent in a waiting room at a hospital. Randy’s grandmother was in a house fire last week and was sent to an ICU burn center. She is OK and it seems like she is going to pull through. She is definitely a fighter and her strength is an encouragement for us all. It is a tragedy that she lost her home to the fire, but she is alive and that is all that really matters.

Spending Thanksgiving in a hospital really got me thinking. I don’t ever recall spending any holiday in a hospital. All of my holidays have been spent at the comfort of my home surrounded by my family. Thinking about this made me realized how truly blessed I am. Every Thanksgiving I take time to reflect on my blessings and I am aware how blessed I am. I am thankful for everything that the Lord has blessed me with.

But after this Thanksgiving it had me thinking about all the families around the world who spend their holidays in a hospital. Those who have had an accident within the family or for those who spend every holiday and celebration in the hospital. My heart goes out to the families who spend their holidays in a hospital. I can’t imagine how difficult it is to spend year after year in a hospital. The Lord has certainly blessed me and my family with good health.

Spending days in a waiting room, we joked around how this Thanksgiving was not going to be blog worthy. But why not? I don’t have fun ideas or recipes to share or even pictures of my day. But what I do have, are memories of spending real quality time with my family. And at the end of it all, isn’t that what Thanksgiving is all about? Being with your family? Reflecting on what you have and not what you don’t have?

I wish Randy’s grandmother was not in a fire and that she didn’t lose her home. But she is alive, thank the Lord. And we have each other. That is what really matters. Having each other and being there for each other through the good times and through the bad.

I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful! No matter where it was spent, I hope it was spent with the ones that you love.

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Thanksgiving Part 1

I am going to take a little break from Italy, mostly because we have not converted our Rome pictures yet! We are working on it though!

We started celebrating Thanksgiving the weekend before – Randy’s dad and girlfriend came up to visit us. We had initially planned to go camping, but a cold front came in, bringing 12 degrees wind chill! No thanks!

So instead, we hung out at our house and enjoyed our fire pit. Randy’s dad brought a turkey breast to be cooked in a dutch oven by the fire coals. It was our first time trying anything like this before.

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Cooking the turkey this way was a lot of fun. We placed the turkey in the pot, filled it with chicken broth and all kinds of goodies – seasonings, potatoes, onions, celery and an apple. Then we placed hot coals from the fire on the bottom and the top of the dutch oven.

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Then we just waited.

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Tesla joined us too, away from the fire. She gets too hot around it.

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After about 3 hours of cooking, we finally opened the dutch oven and this is what we found:

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A beautiful turkey, that smelled amazing! Randy’s dad was so excited on how well it went. He has been wanting to try this for a long time.

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I made some sides to have with the turkey. Made-from-scratch green bean casserole, roasted garlic mashed potatoes and anasazi beans.

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Everything was delicious! It was a lot more entertaining cooking the turkey this way. I would love to do it again for Thanksgiving! We planned on s’mores for dessert, but by the time we finished dinner, the wind picked up. We could hear tree branches breaking off and trees hitting the ground. So we stayed inside and enjoyed our Thanksgiving inspired fireplace. 😉

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I made the “GIVE” banner with my cricut machine, the “M” book came from Altar’d State, the “THANKS” pumpkins came from Wal-mart (I drew the letters on with a sharpie) and the maple leaf garland came from yellowbirdyellowbeard.com.

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We had a wonderful weekend with Randy’s family and enjoyed being outdoors for a least a little bit!

Randy and I are so very blessed and have so much to be thankful for. We know all that we have has been given to us by God and I thank Him everyday!

Psalm 9:1

I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart;
I will recount all of Your wonderful deeds.