52 weekScreen Shot 2015-12-31 at 9.26.54 AMs in a year; each documented by a photo of brotherhood, a look into a growing relationship, a relationship that changes on the daily. I had a hunch that this project would show the growing bond between Chan & Mars and I was right.

To recap: In 2013, I did #365daysofchandler and in 2014, I did #365daysofmarshall. In 2015 I decided to do a photo project that included both of them, together, with #52weeksofchanandmars.

Without further ado, unfortunately, in no particular order. I give you 52 weeks of Chandler & Marshall . . .
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Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 1.32.19 PMApple picking, bike rides, bedtime stories, popsicles, puddles, fair rides . . . Awwwww, can I do it again next year? Maybe just continue the hashtag!?! Although, I do already have another project planned. In 2016, I’m planning to do a one second video per day. Not necessarily just of the kids, but of our everyday life, using the 1 Second Everyday app. I’m intrigued to capture a year of our lives in video.


Navy Blue {POWDER} Room

This powder room is everything! I do have dreams to replace the tile with marble or white and black penny tiles, but that has to wait to we replace all the main flooring flooring.

I did everything myself and thrifted all of the framed art, except the large flower photograph in the middle. That was my first, and only, photograph that was featured in an art show back in 2007.

Chan to Mars | Home Tour | Dark Navy Blue Powder Room | Small Bathroom Design

The walls are a cheap version of board and batten, using hard board instead of pine. I was able to have Lowes make all of the cuts for me, which is good, because this board is not easy to cut without it fraying. Then, I simply glued and nailed it to the wall, patched the holes, and painted it a glossy white to match the trim.

Chan to Mars | Home Tour | Dark Navy Blue Powder Room | Small Bathroom DesignThen, I removed the towel bars, have I ever told you that I cannot stand towel bars? At our last house, I removed them immediately and patched the holes. At this house, it took a little longer to get them gone. But, I think we only have one towel bar left in our entire house and I’m okay with that. Hooks is where it’s at!

The last thing I did was change out the silver farmhouse modern light fixture for an industrial caged light fixture, which dramatically brighten the bathroom and made the dark navy color so much richer.

Having a {BALL} Party

Party-InviteBall Party Cake | Chan to Mars Blog Ball Party Food | Chan to Mars Blog Ball Party Cake | Chan to Mars Blog Ball Party Fun | Chan to Mars Blog Ball Party Decor | Chan to Mars Blog Ball Party Favors | Chan to Mars Blog

Our “baby” turned two today, TWO! He loves balls, always loves to throw them, kick them, and jump in the ball pit. So, it was obvious that we had to have a ball themed party. I was looking forward to all of the bright colors and fun shaped food. I made a polka dot, rainbow layered cake and mini trix treats that I rolled into balls. We ordered an insane amount of kolache from St. Louis Kolache, because they’re delicious and shaped like balls to go along with the theme. I also ordered another one of my favorite ball-shaped foods, glitter bites from Sarah’s Cake Shop.  Sadly, our ball pit did not survive the party, but I guess that means that the kids had a ball of a time!

{SUPER}Chan’s 5th Birthday


SuperChan’s fifth birthday party was a {SUPER} good time! Chan & his cousin, Car, are one day apart. This year, they both wanted a superhero party . . . so we decided having their parties together would be a lot of fun. All the little superheroes that attended had a blast playing the superhero games and running around in their capes that my Aunt and I made for them.

Chan-to-Mars-Blog---Superhero-Party---Super-CakeChan to Mars Blog - Superhero Party - Cake TableI made the boy’s cakes, then my Aunt & I added the fondant buildings. Super easy with a large impact! I made the buildings and cake toppers using a laser cutting machine. The black and white polka dot background is wrapping paper. My aunt made the superhero suckers and the dipped marshmallows. Of course, we couldn’t have a superhero party without having a Capt. America fruit tray 😉 Chan-to-Mars-Blog---Captian-America-Fruit-Tray---Superhero-PartyChan to Mars - Superhero Party - DetailsMy Aunt & I made each little superhero a personalized cape! We picked up the Ironman glider balloon at a local party store. It was a big hit with the kids & a nice greeting for the party guests. Chan-to-Mars---Superheo-Party---Pop-ArtChan to Mars Blog - Superhero Party - Black & White - Pop Art CakeChan to Mars Blog - Superhero Party GamesWe had four games; Hulk Smash, Pin the star on Capt. America’s shield, Get through Spidey’s Web & the Bat Signal. Hulk Smash was definitely the biggest “hit” of the party. Chan-to-Mars-_-Superhero-Party-_-FamilyWith love from my {SUPER} family to yours!

Five in {FIVE} Days!

Everyone says it, every day, but, seriously . . . where has the time gone? My baby will be FIVE in five short days. He’s absolutely ecstatic about it! He cannot wait to grow up, me on the other hand, I can wait.  I mean c’mon, look at those long baby eyelashes and that adorable freckled face. In another five short years it’s all going to be different.DSC_5274Chan-to-Mars---5-Years-Old-Every year he seems to grow leaps and bounds above the last, and this year is no different. He’s learning everyday, not just from school though, he’s very observant and constantly learning from others. I love to teach him because he’s always willing to soak up the knowledge. He just started his last year of preschool and he was so excited. He’s made several friends in our subdivision this year and he loves when we go on bike rides over to their houses to play. He loves to play with his brother, but hates to share. He’ll share with friends, just not his brother! He loves going out to the “farm” and going camping. He loves to eat junk food, so we have to be sneaky about the healthy foods. He loves biscuits & gravy, cheese toasted ravioli, and pizza. He likes sneakers and comfy pants. He likes collecting toys. He likes to play with cars, trucks, remote control cars, and superhero costumes. He loves to drive or ride anything motorized. He’s a surprisingly good driver! He’s still super funny, strong willed, with a phenomenal vocabulary, and an adorable smile.

The {COUNTRY} Life

Chan to Mars - Boys in the Creek Chan to Mars - 5 Year old creek photoshootChan to Mars - Creek PhotoshootChan to Mars - 1950's Ford Truck PhotoshootChan thrives in the country life, as did I. I grew up in the country, in the middle of 12 acres, in the middle of nowhere with a creek on the back of the property, complete with a field of horses. My hometown is much more developed now than it was when I was a child, but it’s still what I would consider “country”. When we’re not camping we love going back to our hometown to visit with family and subsequently throw the boys into the country life . . . if only for a couple of hours, it’s worth it.

The {HEART} of the Home

It’s amazing how the kitchen has evolved from something that was unsightly and hidden a century ago to being the heart of everyone’s home today. Where everyone gravitates to. Seriously, everyone! We have a hearth room, dinning room, and family room on our main level, but all our guests gather around our little peninsula. We even keep two other bar stools in the basement that we bring up when people visit.

Once again, almost everything in this kitchen is thrifted and/or DIYed. When we moved in the kitchen was painted all beige with latex painted cabinets in chocolate-brown. Latex paint was a temporary fix of the previous owners and it did not take long for the cabinets to begin showing wear, plus, we thought the brown was too dark. We’d moved from a condo that had dark wood and we were ready for something lighter. We started by removing the cabinets on the right wall, painted them with white chalk paint, distressed, and waxed them with dark wax for an aged look, then polyurethaned them. Then, a year later we decided that we wanted all the cabinets on the left wall painted white. Then, we decided to add bead board and paint all the lower cabinets. Skip forward to this summer (Eight months, yes EIGHT, after the second painting session began) and we’re finally done! If my husband and I were on Renovation Realities on the DIY network, we’d be the ones that would NOT finish in the allotted project completion time.
Chan to Mars Blog - Chalk Painted Kitchen Cabinets

The cabinets are painted with Maison Blanche Chalk Paint in Magnolia and Renaissance Chalk Paint in Ultramarine. Then waxed with a dark wax. However, I still need to poly the lower cabinets to hold up to water and food stains. The chalkboard wall was a homemade formula I found on Pinterest, you mix flat paint with dry grout. The bar stools were thrifted from Goodwill, but are originally from Target. The copper chevron hardware is vintage, they were found at in Estate sale in CA, I bought them on Etsy. The matching copper knobs are amazing reproductions, also bought on Etsy. The pendant lights are DIY and all the materials are from Lowe’s.

Chan to Mars - Eat-in Kitchen Details

Our table and chairs are from Goodwill. I sold the chairs that came with the table, then painted the table and cut the legs slightly shorter & found these three chairs at a different Goodwill and recovered them with fabric from Joanne’s. The chandelier is from Lowe’s. One of my most favorite thing in the kitchen, besides the vintage chevron drawer pulls, is the vintage Aunt Jemima bottle that adorns the table. The pillows are DIY project as well. I stamped canvas with fabric paint and then sewed envelope pillow covers. The aloe plant is planted in a utensil caddy from Target. The tea cart was in the trash at a friend’s house, I painted it the same color as the cabinets and added a little copper paint too.
Chan to Mars Blog - Eat-in Kitchen with Couch & Chalk Painted Navy Blue Cabinets Chan to Mars - Homemade Chalk Board Wall

The small buffet came from a resale shop, it was also painted with horrible latex paint in black. I painted it to match the white cabinets and I love it so hard now! It’s still a little small for the space, but it works until I we figure out how we want our kitchen reconfigured, we may end up doing a built-in buffet on this wall. I’d love to have a little more serving space. Chan to Mars Blog - Kitchen Home Tour - Details

This kitchen was on a five year plan when we moved in two years ago and it is still on a five year plan . . . so, basically seven years now. We’ve customized it and fixed things up enough for us to love it “for now” and then in several years we plan to reconfigure it. There are just a few things that do not work for us, such as the huge pantry, the fridge location, the countertops, the stainless steel appliances, the floor tile (I’m fine with it, but my husband loathes it and it’s hard to keep clean), and the condition of the cabinetry. In five years, fingers crossed, we’ll re-configure the kitchen to accommodate our family and lifestyle; which will include taking some of the pantry space on the left of the eat-in kitchen area to build-in our fridge, ripping out and replacing the backsplash, replacing the countertops with stone, possibly getting new cabinetry (budget willing), adding a window to the back wall, replace the stainless steel with white appliances, and trying to figure out how to get rid of the peninsula and fit an island in there (super wishful thinking).

Nighttime {NOTES}

To my boys:

Chandler {CHAN} you’re really something . . . funny, independent, strong-willed, and determined. I don’t want to squelter your strong-willed mind, but at the same time I have to parent you, you have to be respectful, you have to be kind, you have to grow to be a caring and honest man. God gave us you to lead you, raise you and shape you into the person that you’re meant to be. At this point in time, I’d say we go through a power struggle on a daily basis and sometimes more than one. We’re all learning everyday! Your dad & I are learning that now is the time, although it probably should’ve been sooner, that we need to be really consistent in our parenting. We need to implement rewards and repercussions and stick to them.

11705434_10153116521561553_6083899514733047599_oYou’ve been saying really funny things lately . . . things that wouldn’t really be funny if an adult said them, but they’re hilarious when your little 4-year-old self says them. The other day your daddy said to you, “You’re really funny, huh, Chandler?” You said, “Mm, I don’t know. A lot of people seem to think so”. We laughed so hard, which proved your point. You’re just figuring out how to verbally express yourself more, it’s keeping us laughing and keeping us on our toes.

Marshall {MARS} you’re getting faster, wilder, and more talkative everyday! Our lives are so different this summer than they were last summer. This summer you are running, talking, yelling, eating everything and exploring on your own. You are obsessed with balls, particular bouncy balls and golf balls. You love “wah-wah” (water), “bahs” (clif bars), “Tanler” your “uh-bah” (brother), “ella”s (elephants), and “an-mols” (animals). You can say well over 30 words and you’ve started grouping 2-3 words together to tell us something, everyone’s favorite around here seems to be when you say, “hot poop”!

You’re pretty fearless! You’ll climb anything, jump off anything, and somehow you manage to not get hurt. You’ve always had this fantastical way about you . . . you could take the nastiest fall or do the scariest looking thing (like riding a 360 bike backwards down an inclined driveway), but you manage to come away unscathed. You’re amazing at catching yourself when you fall which always protects your face, it’s usually unfortunate for your knees, but a few scraps and bruises are your badge of honor for all your reckless stunts you perform.

Sleep tight little ones!


Your Mommy ❤