Lead {CREEK} Valley

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve surely noticed that we’ve been camping, like always, but you may have noticed that I’ve been using the #leadcreekvalley on some of our camping trip photos and videos. Wondering where that is?!? It’s our family’s property in our small hometown. We always spent a lot of time there before we had children, but once we had kids it became harder to get out there. Especially to do any work while we were there. This year, since Mars is older and more self sufficient, we’ve been able to spend more time there. Sleeping in our camper, doing work, and showing the kids a good time! We’ve been cutting grass, cleaning up fallen trees, having campfires, swimming in the creek, and boating around the lily pad pond.

Chan to Mars Blog | Family | Lily Pad PondChan to Mars Blog | Lily Pond

At the beginning of spring, Chandler & I watched an episode of The Wild Kratts that talked about bats and installing bat houses. We went to the store the next day, bought two of them, and had the guys install them. You can see one of them hanging in this beautiful old oak tree. We’re happy to report that we already have at least two bats!! We saw them when we were out there on Sunday evening. You may wonder why we would ever want bats. Let me tell you . . . according to The Wild Kratts episode, which is where I get all my wildlife information, haha,  a single bat can eat up to 300 mosquitos in one hour after dusk. Chan to Mars Blog | Family Farm Chan to Mars Blog | Oak Tree

Our ultimate dream plan is to build a cabin there within the next couple of years. There is an old homestead on the property, likely built sometime around 1910, which is beyond repair. Fortunately, the foundation is in great shape and is reusable. We’ve already started collecting some building materials. I have no real timeline as to when this cabin building is going to happen, it’s just a “that would be nice” idea.


Capturing Another Side of Vegas

It’s been almost year since our kid-free trip to Las Vegas . . . and I’m wishing that we had another trip planned for this year. But, we don’t. We’re holding off until next year to celebrate our ten year anniversary, likely somewhere on a beach.


We love visiting Vegas. We love hanging on the strip, but the best thing we did on our last visit was rented a corvette and drove out to Lake Mead, across the Hoover Dam and through the Valley of Fire.  The scenery was breathtaking, so much so that we decided when the kids get a bit older, we are going to plan a camping trip to Lake Mead. I can’t wait to show the kids how beautiful the desert is . . .

Vegas.com is looking to #CaptureVegas, so I thought I would share with you guys a different side of Vegas. There are so many Las Vegas deals when it comes to attractions outside of Las Vegas. A couple of those attractions we drove through.


5 . . . 4 . . . 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . . {BLASTOFF}

You know what’s so great about my family at this stage in our lives!?! Everyone goes along with my ideas. They’re boys, so they really do not have much opinion on what the want to wear . . . and if they do, I convince them otherwise. For example, our Halloween costumes this past year. I mean, obviously the space theme was my idea and it was fantastic one!

I knew that I wanted Mars to be, well, Mars. So, the search was one for a planet costume . . . it was a tough search. Apparently planet costumes are not a thing. I found one pin on Pinterest that provided me with a little insight on how I could make the costume, which I have never ever done before.

I ordered the largest red lantern that I could find, this one on Amazon and red duct tape for reinforcement and bought some red acrylic craft paint in deep red and bright red to add some depth and make it look like a planet instead of just dressing him up as a paper lantern. From there, it was all just piecing stuff together and cutting holes where they needed to be, which was harder than I expected since the paper lantern has wires running through it. I had to use wire cutters for those parts. Another thing that I had to consider was how to make it stay in a circle shape, without the wire support that goes into the lantern. My solution was to cut a large embroidery hoop in half and tape half to each side. Then, I taped these lights to the inside of the lantern and used the battery packs as weights in the bottom.


Chan’s costume was much easier to find. I bought this Melissa & Doug astronaut costume second hand and then I was shopping in a thrift store one day and scored this silver, handmade, with hand sewn patches, and a handwritten “Armstrong” badge astronaut costume, likely from the 50’s for $4.99 and I couldn’t pass it up. You know I love vintage!


The dog got in on the fun with a rocket costume from PetsMart, which I picke up the day before Halloween for 75% off the original price.

DSC_3614DSC_3583I was a galaxy. I bought my leggings and sweatshirt from Amazon. Made a star headband out of ribbon, glitter, and felt, then painted my face to match.Crystal GalaxyIt was raining all day and I neglected to get a good family photo in the daylight. But, wanted to share a photo of all of our costumes together. Like I said, my husband is down for my ideas as long as all he has to do is wear a themed t-shirt . . . haha! It’s all about compromise.


To the moon & back . . .



Master {BED}room

I’ve posted about our master bedroom before, here, but now we’ve finished a few things and thought I would share “real” photos this time instead of iPhone photos. My most favorite part of the room? Hmm. That’s hard, I love so much of it . . . but, I’d probably say that one of my most favorite things is the series of moon prints. In my first blog post those weren’t hung yet.  Thank goodness my husband is a picture hanging genius that actually measures, with a tape measure and a level, to make sure the picture frames are perfect! I probably would’ve given up on the second frame, but he didn’t, and I love them!

DetailsDSC_8530DSC_8534DSC_8535Master Bedroom | Chan to Mars Blog | Home Tour DSC_8539 DSC_8541 DSC_8542 DSC_8544 DSC_8545 DSC_8546

We’re always changing things around here . . . Just since I’ve taken these photos we’ve added another framed print on the left side of the room and that is probably my second favorite thing in the room. If you follow me on Instagram you can see that photo here.


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 . . .
Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 1.28.35 PMScreen Shot 2015-12-30 at 1.28.51 PMScreen Shot 2015-12-30 at 1.29.38 PMScreen Shot 2015-12-30 at 1.30.02 PMScreen Shot 2015-12-30 at 1.30.18 PMScreen Shot 2015-12-30 at 1.30.32 PMScreen Shot 2015-12-30 at 1.30.47 PMScreen Shot 2015-12-30 at 1.31.01 PM
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!

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.