Stop and go hiking: A few images from my photo journal

Today my husband and I took our annual beginning of the school year hike around Hematite Lake at LBL recreational area in Cadiz, KY.

It was a warm sunny morning when we left with our house to drive to the trail head. The trail itself  is around 2 miles. The  hike has a few mild inclines, and is shaded throughout.

I took this opportunity to bring my camera along to see if I could get a few snapshot of various late blooming wildflowers/shrubs. I did see several vines, herbs and shrubs blooming including Button bush, Japanese honeysuckle and Ironweed. Here are a few shots from our hike. I am starting to appreciate how well I can “paint with light” (with my camera). Enjoy!

Button bush with insect

Inhabitants of forrest floor

Aquatic plants

Vine on tree

Over the bridge to return home


Movin’ to the Beat!

  Since school has started I’ve  been working on getting back into the gym on a regular basis. During the summer I had less of a regular schedule so it was hard to plan on when I could go. Now I have no excuses!

One thing that  keeps me motivated to push myself while I’m working out is music.

Music with a strong beat or an uplifting voice really helps with running that extra mile or climbing that fictitious hill while on a stationary bike.

I’ve learned quickly that I have to change up my playlist, so I don’t get too attached to certain songs, and wear out my enthusiasm for listening to them (ex. Blackeyed Peas – I’ve Gotta Feeling).

Here are my top 11 motivational beats:

1) CAKE – the distance

2) EVANESCENCE – bring me to life

3) KATY PERRY – firework

4) SWITCHFOOT – stars

5) ONE REPUBLIC – secrets

6) SMASHMOUTH – i’m a believer

7) QUEEN – we will rock you

8) JASON MRAZ – you and i both

9) SHERYL CROW – if it makes you happy

10) AEROSMITH – jaded/ KEITH URBAN – days go by

11) JET – are you gonna be my girl

I know some of you probably won’t like a few songs on this list but I’d encourage you to find a good set of tunes that can help get your heart a pumpin’ a little faster.

Work in Progress

Recently, I have been working on a felt baptismal banner  for church.  It has been fun putting together various colors, religious symbols and figuring out various designs. I pretty much have everything cut out except for the letters. Then its time for the sewing machine! Here’s my progress as of last night.

Brandi’s Snack

Snack ingredients

One of my co-workers at the MSU herbarium introduced me to this crunchy, sweet, creamy and salty treat! All you need is a handful of wheat thins, homemade strawberry jam (my Mom’s jam is quite delicious with this snack) and Philadelphia cream cheese.  Place on a small plate these delightful ingredients and scoop, dip and bite into until your taste buds are satisfied. Enjoy!

Photo of the week 8/21

Friday and Saturday of this week my adviser needed a hand in collecting mulberries in Southern Illinois. I decided I would go and help as well as brush up on my identification of  native plants of the area. I also ended up collecting a few plants along the way. Here’s a picture of a few of the flowers & fruits I collected.

Unknown aster, Jack-in-the-pulpit stalk of fruit, Red clover, Queen Anne's Lace

Photo of the week 8/13

The weather has started to cool down so I am finding myself outside a little more every day. Here is a photo I took this morning of a caterpillar on my dill plant. It’s a little fuzzy I’m still working on the focus on my macro setting on my camera. Enjoy!

Caterpillar in the Herb Garden

An Artist Growing Up

This past weekend my parents made the trip down to Kentucky to see my husband and I (and our two critters). Along with them (per my request) they brought two portfolios full of my old artwork. The portfolios contained crayon drawings from when I was 4 years old to watercolor paintings when I was 16+ years old. I thought I would share with you some of my favorites!

Cow and Mouse on Yellow Legal Pad Paper

Me and Dr. Nickles

Giraffes in Colored Pencil

Ring-tailed lemur, Digital image made in Microsoft Paint

Landscape, Oil Pastel on Paper

Blue Flowers Watercolor

Lizard, Watercolor on Paper

Horse and Rider, Graphite on Paper

Horse, Gauche on Paper