October 1, 2020

Sedona Girls Trip | 5 Things To Do In Sedona, Arizona

What do you do early on in a pandemic? You plan a girls trip because you're missing your friends so much! Late March my girlfriends and I planned a girls trip for late September thinking this pandemic will surely be over by then! Well...we were wrong but we were able to make the trip and still be safe. Sedona was amazing and it was even better in person than in photos. We had an easy direct flight from Austin to Phoenix on Southwest Airlines and I love that SW is not booking the center seats to keep everyone spread out more. The drive to Sedona is about 2 hours and the closer you get the more dramatic the views get! Let me tell you what we did because we're bad ass bitches (that's what we named ourselves on this trip) and we had an amazing time so why not share the tips with others? Here we go!
1. Rent an Airbnb (especially with a pool if you go when it's hot) We rented the Doodlebug House and were very happy that we had a pool to come back to since it was 100 degrees! This house sleeps 8 so we were super comfortable with only 6 women in the house. I even got my own room this time conveniently located by the kitchen. They have great amenities including a little putting green and the garage has been converted into a game room with a pool table. We spent the majority of our time when we were there down at the pool, the cabana with lots of comfy seating and the balconies with the amazing views! We used the kitchen alot b/c most of the gals are doing the keto diet so I was nearly in ketosis by the time we left AZ! :)))
2. Rent ATV's We had to do it! This is where we named ourselves the "Bad Ass Bitches" because we owned every dirt road, curve, bump and ate dust like the best of them! We actually rented two atv's...we had one 4 seater and one 2 seater so all 6 of us could go. Those of us who wanted to drive made sure to sign the waiver and get added on the contract and those who didn't just rode along for a good time. We rented our atv's from Sedona Can-Am and everything went smooth! We had read on some of the reviews that they are pretty particular so we made sure to video all around our atv's before we left so we had photos and we didn't have any issues. On our 4 hour rental, we chose to go to Honanki Heritage Site with ruins and picnic in the shade there and then headed to Schnebly Hill which we never made it all the way to the top because we were cutting it close on time. The Schnebly Hill Road was WAY more bumpy and rough and by that time our bad asses were worn out! Ha! As we started to head back, we decided to take a group shot on our atv on Schnebly Rd and were having a hard time finding a spot to set the camera up so when an older couple driving by stopped we asked them to take our photo. As the older woman handed back the camera she said, "Wow! You gals are tough!" Of course we are...we're Texans AND we all have kids in college! I think that makes us double TUFF! :) If this video doesn't sell you on the atv idea, I don't know what will!

3. Bell Rock Hike (Vortex Hike) Bell Rock is on the Red Rock Scenic Byway (SR 179) and unmistakable. It's huge bell shape towers over the Village and makes it easy to spot. Bell Rock is reputed to have very strong vortex energy and many feel the strongest energy is located on Bell Rock's north slope. The girls and I did the hike around the entire Bell Rock which was about 4.5 miles. None of us really knew much about the vortex energy but wanted to try one vortex hike to see if anything would transpire. In due time, I guess we will find out. We decided on our hike that we would each take some time to come up with some goals, wishes, ideas that we would each like to come to fruition in our lives. After we started the hike, we spaced out each of us taking a turn to tell the others what we wanted to make happen in our lives. On Stacy's turn, we each picked up a flat rock and put our rocks together and listened to her speak then we each took a moment and sent her good energy so that her goal would be fulfilled...hopefully soon. While doing so we had to give a quiet "ohmmmmm". With each one of us, we picked up different items on the hike...broken sticks and built a teepee for Julie, sprigs of juniper and tossed it over our shoulders for me, layed on the rocks for Tara, picked yellow berries for Shana and put them in a cactus and stacked rocks for DeeDee. For me personally, I've entered into a new decade of my life this year and have come to terms with the fact that my life is more than half over yet I feel so young and have so much living to do. I still have big dreams that I want to fulfill and I shared with the gals that I want to own my own rv park/boutique hotel AND I want to eventually find a tall, dark, single, hot, funny, caring, loveable christian man that I can share a healthy relationship with. Can I get an amen? Or should I say an Ohmmmmm? :) Let's move that vortex energy and make it happen! Here's an interesting article about what a vortex is.
And then sometimes the energy just moves you to bust out in song because you can see for miles and miles and love how wide open the space is! Sorry Chicks we kinda destroyed your song with our singing! :))) We'll work on that for the next karoake night!

4. Sunset dinner at The Hudson
Try and make reservations early on in your trip for outside seating on the deck at The Hudson if you can. The views are breathtaking and the food was tasty!
5. Pack Moisturizer/Sunscreen/Lip Balm Last but not least...pack these items when you go because you will need them! Especially if you go when it's hot like we did! It's the first time I've ever been happy to return to the humidity in Texas so my nose and skin could heal and have some moisture.
6. For all the single ladies out there, I'd say Bumble while you're there but to be honest me & Stac (the two single ladies in our group) tried and it was slim pickens'! I guess Sedona is just too small of a town for these big city girls! We can scratch #6 off of the list! :)))
#sedonaarizona #sedona #arizona #sedonaaz #sedonahiking #redrocks #visitsedona #sedonaescape #hiking #arizonahiking #travel #az #nature #sedonavortex #adventure #explorearizona #visitarizona #photography #arizonaphotography #wanderlust #flagstaff #ig #explore #travelgram #healthyoutcomes #cathedralrock #arizonaphotographer #hikingadventures #desert #bellrock #atv #girlstrip

August 27, 2020

Set of 4 Palm Tree Prints | New in Etsy Shop | Pink Palm Designs Shop

Hey everyone!  I'm excited to share my latest and greatest tropical  downloadable prints for purchase in my Etsy Shop.  I know a lot of people have been busy doing home projects since Covid and adding some fresh, new art work to your walls is an easy one!  In my shop, the prints are downloadable so once you purchase your favorite print (or in this case a set of 4 prints!) download, order prints online and have them shipped to your home!  This Palm Tree Collection would add a pop of color to any neutral room! You can purchase them in my #Etsy shop here at Pink Palm Designs Shop.

July 29, 2020

How-To Instructions | Paint Your Stairs | Fixin' My Ex's Messes!

If you are a single, independent woman on a budget like myself and you are used to doing home projects on your own, then yes you too can rip the old, nasty 18 year old carpet (don't judge) off the stairs and paint your own, too! I'm going to be straight up about this though...this is NOT a weekend project! It's messy, dusty, tedious, tiring AND well worth the reward if you're up for it! I did my research and looked at many how to's and I found one person that nailed it (no pun intended) and said this project IS more than a weekend project. I honestly thought I could knock this out in a few days if all I did was work on the stairs non-stop but that is just not the case. I had my son help me rip out the carpet (well half of it!) and then I was on my own for the rest of it. We're supposed to be getting new carpet for my bedroom and the upstairs bedrooms so I wanted to paint my stairs and live with it for awhile first and then if I don't like it I can always have the stairs covered again. OR, I may have a runner installed in the middle of the stairs and keep the colored stairs showing on the sides. We shall see. This is all new and exciting right now so I'm loving the finished product so far. AND, after all this work I can't EVEN fathom covering up this beautiful piece of artwork now!

 So, let's get started! You may want to grab these things to have on hand:
work gloves
x-acto knife
broom/dust pan
trash bags
needle nose pliers
staple remover tool (if you have one) 
pry bar, claw hammer to remove carpet tack strips
spackling/wood filler 
hand sander
sand paper
sponge/bucket/soapy water

My son used an x-acto knife (utility knife) to cut the carpet under the top lip of the top stair. Then,he grabbed a corner of the carpet and started yanking!  Of course, he needed mama's help so I had to get in on the action.  This, my friend, is a great way to get some of that pent up frustration out, too!  :)


Round 1:  ding. ding.  The carpet VS. Brandi...Brandi wins!  Roll that nasty 18 year old carpet up and put it in the trash!  I know what y'all are saying...how could you have 18 year old carpet, Brandi?  Well, s*it happens and certain projects get priority over other projects and then there's budget restrictions and time passes and then you're kitty cat gets to be 18 years old and his health isn't that good and you don't want to get new carpet while you're having to clean up after him all the time and time just happens.  You can have some relief in knowing that I built this house and we're the only ones who have ever lived here so at least the old carpet ick is just from us.  Now, let's move and quit being so judgy.


This is where the broom/dust pan and vacuum come into play.  I like to clean up as I go so the dust and crap don't get walked through and tracked through the whole house.  Here's where it starts getting fun...JK!  This is where the elbow pain starts to happen.  Time to remove the carpet padding (easy) and the carpet tack strips (not bad) and the staples (this will make ya cuss for sure!).  Ugh!  Why did those carpet installers use SO many freakin' staples?  You'll see what I'm talking about if you're removing carpet from your stairs.  Now, I don't have all the fancy tools like I mentioned above for removing staples and tack strips so these are the 3 tools that I used.  Yeah, I'm a beast.  I try and work with what I have b/c my budget is tight.

I thought removing the staples for me was the worst part b/c my elbows were so sore from pulling, tugging and yanking so hard but as the job continued I learned there were other parts to this that I hate more.  Ha!  I told ya I'm not going to lie to you.  This job is hard yet rewarding. Two steps down and 15 to go!  This part I did over 2 days because I thought I was going to lose my mind and that my right arm might fall off. Just remember no pain no gain.  After I finished removing all the padding, tack strips and staples, I moved on to filling all the holes.  I started with the wood filler that I had but it was kind of old and hard so I ran to Lowe's and bought some @Fast'N Final lightweight spackling and it's nice, light and airy.  

Slowly but surely, I made progress.  I was like the little train that could...chugga chugga choo choo!

I had to take a break and work out to go move around and get this body off of those hard stairs for awhile AND I had to reward myself with some zucchini brownies before I could move on to sanding!

Zucchini brownie recipe is to die for and can be found here:  https://pin.it/3biO2DO  Thank you Crazy for Crust for this yummy recipe!

Ok, back to work.  It's time to sand these mofo stairs!  Remember how I said I thought pulling the staples out was the worst job?  Well, sanding is worse!  Since my budget is tight, I'm going to sand the existing wood used for making the stairs because it's good wood just not pretty.  When they built the house they knew they were covering the stairs with carpet so they're very unfinished and have some plaster on them, etc.  I've seen where some people actually replace or cover the wood here which would save the sanding step but also cuts into the budget more.  You decide what's best for you.  You'll see here what I think about sanding!  I did put a big piece of plastic over the stairs trying to contain the dust a bit and I do think it helped...a little.  EVERYTHING will get dusty so get ready for a mess!  My son had left to run an errand and came home after I had been sanding awhile and he was like, "What is going on in here?  Have I landed in the Sahara Desert or what?"  You can chuckle all you want but I actually thought at first I could just sand the stairs by hand to knock off the top uneven layer...yeah, I know.  That was a joke!  Half way through my first stair, I called my gay neighbors Paul & Ry ( AKA my besties who save me from everything!) and asked to borrow their hand sander.  They of course bailed me out once again and let me borrow their @Craftman hand sander.  What a life saver!
Paul & Ry!
Meet Paul & Ry (my crazy neighbors!)

Remember how I said everything will get dusty?  I wasn't joking.  With sanding, comes cleaning which I'm going to say is the silver lining.  It makes you clean and wipe down things that maybe you haven't dusted in awhile. You're welcome!

The video is just for entertainment purposes.  I crack myself up!  Haha!  Viewer notice...it's a Sunday afternoon and I'm doing manual labor so I'm a la natural.  No make up, no cover up, nothing, nada.  I maybe had a little trouble pronouncing the word caulk, too.  😂😂😂 You can watch part 1 sanding video here (hit replay button if you don't see me):  
                           and part 2 sanding video here (hit replay button if you don't see me): 

Once you've finished sanding, vacuum the stairs again.  Get some warm, soapy water and a big sponge and wipe down all the stairs really good to clean up the dust.  Now, you're ready to CAULK!  Remember how I said I hated sanding even more than ripping out the staples.  I hate caulking even more now!!!  Here comes another funny...I bought one tube of caulk thinking that would cover all the cracks in 17 steps.  Uhhhh, no.  Try 9 tubes of caulk was needed for this project.  I misjudged that, too!  Caulking was easy on the small cracks but it was a b*tch on the larger cracks.  One things for sure, I'm putting professional caulker on my resume now.  I bought @White Lightning 3006 All Purpose Quick Dry Caulk @Lowes.

Look at that caulk, baby!  That is a piece of work in itself.  Another truth, the caulking took me a couple of days just because I'd get so frustrated.  You're laying on the stairs trying to get up under the lip and you're at weird angles and everything hurts so it's not a pleasant job.  Thank you to all the caulk layers out there.  You're much appreciated after I finished this job.  Can we please paint now?  YAAAASSS!
It's time to paint the primer/base coat.  I painted two coats of white on all the stairs and the sides.

Holla!  I do have to say the house feels much cleaner just having the carpet off of the stairs.  It took me awhile to figure out what my color scheme was going to be.  I knew I wanted it to be a party so I'm going with multiple, bright colors.  I debated doing an ombre but in the end I'm glad I went with what I did.  There's some really fun ideas out there though that you can do...patterns, mural, ombre, wallpaper the backs of the stairs, etc.  After I painted two coats of white paint on, I let it dry over night and then FINALLY 11 days later I painted the colors on!  Whoop!  To be honest, I didn't know if this day would ever come!  I ended up using a 12 pk of bright acrylic paint by @Deco Art Americana that I bought from Hobby Lobby.  I think the 12 pk of paints was $12.99 and then applied the 40% off coupon off in the Hobby Lobby app so they ended up costing about $8.99 instead. 

So, there ya have it!  The real truth about painting your stairs.  It may be a lot of work but now I get to kick back and enjoy the view!  You got this!  Just do it!  You'll be happy like me after all the work.  ;)

 #diy #handmade #art #homedecor #love #design #woodworking #interiordesign #home #fashion #wood #decor #style #doityourself #instagood #maker #vintage #nyc #craft #artist #crafts #creative #jewelry #photography #makersgonnamake #smallbusiness #painting #pinterest #woodwork #lowes #craftsman #hgtv #whitelightning #fastnfinal #x-acto #fixinmyex'smesses #yougotthis #girlpower

July 20, 2020

ATX Seniors 2020 Video | Ann Richards School For Young Woman Leaders | Isabella

Isabella showed up ready for her photo shoot rocking her new Texas Tech t shirt and mini skirt. She's only looking forward into the future and excited about becoming a Red Raider. Her senior shoot may have gotten delayed a bit because of Covid but we finally were able to get her shoot in a few weeks ago and she rocked it! We are still celebrating these seniors of 2020 and will be all the way up through August! They deserve as much celebration as possible because their senior year ended with a fizzle...then a ploop...then a plop. No big "POP" or "BANG" has really happened for any of them so remember to keep these seniors of 2020 in your thoughts. Isabella is moving on and excited to study film editing in college. I told her she will ALWAYS have a job if that's her career. So, let's do a toast and give Isabella a big "cheers" to her super cute senior photos and a "cheers" to her heading off to college! Yay! Congratulations on your achievements!!!
#classof2020 #graduation #senior #seniorpictures #seniors #graduate #seniorportraits #senioryear #seniorinspire #grad #seniormuse #covid #senioryearmagazine #annrichardshighschool #seniorstyleguide #seniorphotos #photography #college #atxseniorphotographer #congratulations #quarantine #prom #graduationpictures #modernsenior #seniorphotography #thetwelfthyear #seniorpics #strong #theseniorcollective #brandinellisphotography

July 9, 2020

Downloadable Beach Print | Pink Palm Designs Shop | My Etsy Store

For those of you who don't know that I am the world's best beach expert, well now you do! Every chance that I get I will soak up the sun and sink my toes in the sand. I've acquired so many beach photos over the years of travelling so I've finally started selling them in my Etsy shop that's called Pink Palm Designs Shop. You may purchase the digital file for personal use and make your own beautiful products to hang around your home or office. Simply purchase the print/file, download to your computer, choose your favorite product that you'd like to print it on...canvas, wood, metal, acrylic, paper, order online and have the finished piece shipped to your home! Voila! Super simple! Here's my latest print that I've added to the shop titled "Beach Please!".
#photography #beachphotography #instagram #downloadableprint #livingroomart #bloggers #instantdownload #beach #ocean #water #blue #modern #minimalist #islands #beachhomedecor #coastaldecor #brandinellisphotography