Red Wing Roots Music Festival: Day 1

I can’t say much about the caliber of awesome that was the inaugural Red Wing Roots Music Festival that hasn’t already been said. Well, not with words anyway. But I can tell you a thing or two with my photos. *whoop whoop*  I couldn’t get there fast enough on Day 1 of the three day shindig.  As lovely Megan set me up with a wrist band, I could hear Caleb Stine’s hollow voice echoing through the chimneys. Gaaaah! Heart.throb. I walked under gray skies to the Shenandoah Mountain Stage and once it was in sight, the mood was clear, so I shut my mouth and tiptoed to the front. As if they were all witnessing a sacred ceremony, eyes affixed to the stage, the audience sat in awe and respect and silence. It didn’t take long for me to follow suit.  The tone was set for the day.

Next on my to-do was to get coffee. Then food. Then beer. Then more music. In that order. The layout of the festival was great and the venders were plentiful with a lot of local options! *bonus* AND they required the use of a Klean Kanteen which not only serves as a Red Wing souvenir but creates much less trash for the festival and the planet. *double bonus*
FCLIMG_9636 FCLIMG_9639 FCLIMG_9645 FCLIMG_9807FCLIMG_0197FCLIMG_9721FCLIMG_9660 FCLIMG_9730 FCLIMG_9663FCLIMG_0009FCLIMG_0206FCLIMG_9747 FCLIMG_9642 FCLIMG_9658New Country Rehab

Larry Keel & The Natural Bridge

I’ve come to understand one very important thing about festival goers: they’re always ready to have a good time. Rain or shine. Lucky for them! The rain clouds moved in but the shows went on. People pulled out their rain gear…or fashioned rain gear out of found objects. Dancing and smiling and swaying…feet planted in the mud. Little slivers of heaven.

Lost Bayou RamblersFCLIMG_9776 FCLIMG_9778BW FCLIMG_9779 FCLIMG_9781BWFCLIMG_9762 FCLIMG_9795 FCLIMG_9805FCLIMG_9975 FCLIMG_9806 FCLIMG_9803FCLIMG_9970


Tim O’BrienFCLIMG_9980BW FCLIMG_9995

Gregory Alan Isakov

Yarn…getting the kids all riled up!FCLIMG_0139 FCLIMG_0147FCLIMG_0105BW FCLIMG_0177 FCLIMG_0182 FCLIMG_0179FCLIMG_0127 FCLIMG_0159 FCLIMG_0160 FCLIMG_0150FCLIMG_0212FCLIMG_0202

The sun set. The rain poured. The Duhks took the stage.FCLIMG_0220 FCLIMG_0256 FCLIMG_0241FCLIMG_0228 FCLIMG_0261FCLIMG_0254 FCLIMG_0253BW FCLIMG_0249BWFCLIMG_0273


FCLIMG_0334…one down, two to go…

 Check out: Red Wing Roots Music Festival: Day 2

Copyright © 2013 · Photos by Brandy Somers. All Rights Reserved · & This material may not be copied, downloaded, altered, cropped, reproduced, or printed without express written consent. If you use photos from this blog for Facebook, please give credit or link to blog post. Thank you for respecting my creative property.

Brunch & Bubbles

“Man, I hate brunch” said no one ever.  Anything that prolongs the breakfast experience is ok with me. For this particular brunch, the occasion was to celebrate the end of the school year and the beginning of summer.  …I hear ya… “Girrrl, you cray, it’s August!” I am aware. It’s a common misconception that teachers have all summer to do absolutely nothing thereby quantifying their mediocre annual pay. Wrong. I spend a large part of my summer (which was 7 weeks this year) working to earn money to compensate for what my “day job” does not pay. And I am just now finding the free time to complete this post. Excuse me while I step down from my soapbox and get back to…brunch. The kids and I headed to meet my friend Martha and Jewel at Jewel’s new home. Her hand has surely touched every inch of her yard and perhaps even watered it with her sweat and tears. It’s gorgeous. All the flowers stood tall and the trees chatted about their spectacular views. Oh, Harrisonburg. You so pretty. Jewel made a variety of treats including a cheesy crumb cake(!), a sweet breakfast crumb cake, fresh fruits, a fruit smoothie and of course, coffee. Mm. After chatting about art and work and life the kids (and adults) had fun with Jewel’s bubble set!

So cool!FCLIMG_7583 FCLIMG_7589 FCLIMG_7592CFCLIMG_7605BW FCLIMG_7599BW FCLIMG_7601 FCLIMG_7608Reaga had fun too.

Copyright © 2013 · Photos by Brandy Somers. All Rights Reserved · & This material may not be copied, downloaded, altered, cropped, reproduced, or printed without express written consent. Thank you for respecting my creative property.

Dudes: Asheville, NC


I’m gonna make this simple because quite frankly, I’m tired of explaining it. *not really, I love it* My long time bestie, Lee, popped the question to his girlfriend. And she said yes! *and she’s a looker!* He asked me and Laura to be grooms(wo)men. And we said yes. Laura put together a weekend to gather and celebrate Lee’s bachelorhood where there were 13 people under one roof: 2 girls and 11 guys. It seemed like a perfect storm in the making but we were all quite responsible and had one heck of a good time! I only stayed two of the three days (day two photos coming soon) but it didn’t take long for me to pick up on some pretty important Laws of the Man:

#1: Paper plates are versatile. “Veggie Trays….” are questionable. FCLphoto-6

#2: 3 days is a long time. Buy in bulk.

#3: Billy.    …that’s all. Just Billy.

#4: Ray reads. Let him. He has the ability to kill.FCLIMG_6249BWFCLIMG_6246

#5: Don’t guess names. It creates new nicknames. Sorry RayJay.FCLIMG_6256

#6: Laura wears many hats.FCLIMG_6240collagE

#7: Appreciate a good cigar.

#7.5: Or, like me, just learn how to hold it and pretend.FCLphoto-5 FCLIMG_6265

#8: Food is key.FCLIMG_6268

#9: Food Meat is key. FCLIMG_6280 FCLIMG_6262

#10: Dan is the grill master.  Be patient, it’s worth the wait.FCLIMG_6260 FCLIMG_6279

#11: If you talk while eating you are merely waisting time. Besides, no one is listening anyway.

#12: The more ridiculous the tshirt, the better.

#13: Weird things happen after 10 pm.FCLphoto-7 FCLIMG_6282 FCLIMG_6284FCLIMG_6272BW

#14: Man hugs are perfectly acceptable before bed.

Thanks for a great weekend fellers! And Laura.

Copyright © 2013 · Photos by Brandy Somers. All Rights Reserved · & This material may not be copied, downloaded, altered, cropped, reproduced, or printed without express written consent. Thank you for respecting my creative property.

Meat Shmeat

A couple Saturdays ago, my friend Danielle invited me and the kids over for a vegan dinner. They were a little skeptical at first. I think it was the mere labeling of a meal as vegan. I mean, they eat fruit and veggies but if I called them vegan fruit and veggies…they may inspect twice before devouring. *kids* As Danielle and I chopped and stirred and chatted about life, the kids played Twister and hung out with her sweet dog Rascal. The aromas and laughter filled the air as they do in the presence of good friends and good food. When the meal was ready and it was time to eat, the kids scarfed down their mac ‘n cheese like it was nobody’s business.

It's pretty common for me to come with extra kids in tow. :)

It’s pretty common for me to come with extra kids in tow. 🙂

Copyright © 2013 · Photos by Brandy Somers. All Rights Reserved · & This material may not be copied, downloaded, altered, cropped, reproduced, or printed without express written consent. Thank you for respecting my creative property.

RVA by day…

I have this condition where if I have a minute of free time, I want to cram every ounce of fun into it. #cantstopwontstop anyone? The day after Sarah and Jason’s Richmond wedding, I had little on the agenda except to make it home by 5ish. That never happens. I let myself be a feather in the wind and before I knew it, I was sound asleep in my bed with a brain full of new memories. I’ll let the pictures guide you through this cloudy-turned-sunny Sunday but keep in mind…this all happened in a matter of about seven and a half hours.

Enjoying amenities at the Crowne Plaza in Richmond and feeling a little Hockney-esque.
FCLphoto-6During one of my visits with Sarah, she and I ran a loop from her apartment to Belle Isle. It’s one of my favorite memories with her so I wanted to take Ben here to see this gem in the middle of the city.
FCLphoto-5 FCLIMG_5072FCLIMG_5006C FCLIMG_5011bw FCLIMG_5025BW FCLIMG_5017c FCLIMG_5063Next stop was Millie’s Diner. If you’ve been there, you’re probably drooling right now. If not, you should really make a point to hit this place up the next time you’re in Richmond. We were greeted by a man that said if we didn’t drink a bloody mary we weren’t welcome to stay. And I believed him.       …two please.FCLIMG_5081 FCLIMG_5077 FCLIMG_5088 FCLIMG_5092C FCLIMG_5093FCLIMG_5112 FCLIMG_5103C FCLIMG_5105 FCLIMG_5096CFCLIMG_5114

Ben got a case of Millie-gut….FCLIMG_5118

food-drunk: /foôd•drəNGk/ adj. 1) so.deliriously.full. And happy.


Little bit of sightseeing…FCLIMG_5119BW FCLIMG_5125 FCLIMG_5127FCLIMG_5131COLLAGE

We were lured by the sounds of music and clatter to the Richmond Farmer’s Market Cinco de Mayo Festival.FCLIMG_5132 FCLIMG_5136 FCLIMG_5137


After more walking and exploring we hit the road, headed home and allowed ourselves to get sidetracked by Pippin Hill. Good decision.

A quick taste test and home we go…FCLIMG_5221COLLAGE FCLIMG_5217 FCLphoto-9 FCLIMG_5202

Copyright © 2013 · Photos by Brandy Somers. All Rights Reserved · & This material may not be copied, downloaded, altered, cropped, reproduced, or printed without express written consent. Thank you for respecting my creative property.

RVA: Mrs. Sarah

I was more than eager to attend this wedding as a guest. Don’t get me wrong, I love photographing weddings, but having been deprived of guest-status for…a while, I truly appreciated every sip, bite, and free moment of this day. On our way out of town, Ben and I stopped at the Harrisonburg Farmer’s Market for a small bite and a hot coffee. I can never resist those ding dang O’cakes. Lordhavemercy. Then we hightailed it out of the ‘burg to RVA. A little sprucing up in the hotel and we were ready to witness some matrimony. Sarah and Jason created a website for wedding guests that listed some of their recommendations and favorite spots to frequent in Richmond. With a little time to spare we decided to honor the time they took to create such a list and visit one of Jason’s favorite Richmond restaurants: Joe’s Inn. There was no time for the feeding frenzy of which I’m always ready to partake…but we managed to toast the couple with a pair of Guinness and be on our way. ohmyguinness. Just a few short blocks passed under our tootsies and we arrived at the Virginia Center of Architecture where I caught up with some familiar faces. I watched the camera man bounce around doing squats and yoga and core strengthening that I’m convinced only photographers know how to do. I nestled into my chair and enjoyed the chatter. Let’s just be honest here, I’m not sure what I’d do with my hands in most of life’s situations if not for my camera…so of course I had moments where my Canon found it’s way to my face and boomtown: snap happy. The ceremony was light and sweet and Sarah made all the funny faces that I love. I was particularly excited about the reception at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts(!) so I wasted no time in heading that way after the kissy kiss. Plus Joe’s Inn left me with a full bladder. I have a thing for bathrooms and got immediately sidetracked in there. Come to think of it, after looking at my last few sets of photos I’ve discovered I also have a thing for elevators. And freshly made beds. And food…but that’s nothing new. Congrats to Sarah and Jason on their beautiful Richmond wedding!

More Richmond photos HERE!


Spicy Peanut Brittle O’cake. drool



iphone panoramas are so fun!



direction check…Joe’s Inn



Don’t worry, I asked permission before taking this creeper shot.


Ben took the shot above.




Here’s something I don’t normally see on my camera…pictures of ME:FCLIMG_4947CFCLIMG_4954CFCLIMG_4978FCLIMG_4981

I couldn't get enough of the Chihuly garden.

I couldn’t get enough of the Chihuly garden.


Check out the AWESOME shots by their photographers:

Copyright © 2013 · Photos by Brandy Somers. All Rights Reserved · & This material may not be copied, downloaded, altered, cropped, reproduced, or printed without express written consent. Thank you for respecting my creative property.

Patio Season

All in the same hour I received two messages: one from Lauren at Clementine asking if I could take some patio shots and one from a ladies group that meets every Wednesday. On this particular Wednesday, the gals were meeting at Clementine to enjoy the warm spring weather on their newly opened outdoor patio. It was a win-win so I joined the girls with camera in tow. They didn’t seem to mind me hiding behind the lens every now and then and joining in on the occasional *cheers!*.















Breakfast For Dinner

I picked the kids up from school and we made a quick stop by the grocery store to grab strawberries, pineapple and Ben. We were heading to Brittany’s house to celebrate Jr’s birthday. Breakfast for dinner. *score* Who doesn’t love breakfast?! Gah. On the way out to their place we noticed some construction near the old train station downtown. The busted out walls exposed some colorful graffiti and since I just-so-happen to have my camera, I couldn’t resist. My kids are well trained models. Then hustle-bustle…off we went. Alex, the dog, went mad when we arrived but was quickly calmed with peanut butter and belly rubs. I feel you Alex. Brittany had an entire buffet prepared complete with oven-baked pancakes, goat cheese grits (!), sausage and egg casserole with sriracha (oh lord), chipped beef cheese dip, homemade cinnamon crumb cake AND MORE. That girl can cook!




I couldn’t decide between color and black and white. So you get both.










Alex and Ella greet guests with a bark.









Easter Funday

It’s really too bad laughter doesn’t burn more than 1.3 calories per minute because I would feel a lot better about all the food I ate today. With my family, you just never know what will happen next. They are fun, loving and down right entertaining. Here’s a glimpse at our Easter Sunday Funday.

Hell-o spring.

Hell-o spring.

There’s no question that my PawPaw is legit.



Oh yes.

After we ate, we did our annual Easter egg hunt. The adults always try to be extra clever in the hiding spots. See for yourself. Ha!

Egg in broom

…in a broom…

…under this handle…

…tucked in the rocks…

…in Luke’s shirt…


…in Aunt Brenda’s hair roller…?

Ready. Set. Go!

Mirra found Brenda’s right away!

Ella found one in Brook’s cup!


…making sure they found all of them…

Eggcellent rewards.

I wanna play!

Once the kids collected their rewards, they hid eggs from the adults…

Get in line.

Be nice kids!

George, doing things his way.

This is serious business.


...a little friendly competition...

…a little friendly competition…



Lastly, a little prank that didn’t go quite as planned. 🙂


Note: airborne plastic egg


…then she threw a real egg…


…and it bounced off his arm, and onto her car…


…but it was still hilarious…

Bread with Mommy

Mommy makes the best bread. I asked her to come over one morning and teach me the ropes of her family envied recipe and technique. Her experienced hands showed that dough who’s boss! We made what we call “Three Generation Rolls” where she rolled a small ball of dough and then my daughter and I did the same. We put all three in one muffin pan and it was very obvious which one of the three my mother man-handled. It was grey and cold outside and warm and delicious inside. Hope your not wearing your new shirt ’cause this post is mouth-watering!Dough and Hand 1

Fried Bread

Breadmaking 1

Breadmaking 2

Breadmaking 3 Breadmaking 4

Rising dough

homemade rolls

Bread dough 2

Mommy's hands and dough

Rolling in the dough

mommy rolling dough

Breadmaking 2

bread in pan

cinnamon rolls

cinnamon rolls 2

cinnamon rolls 2

cinnamon rolls 3

happy girl with bread

buttering bread

fresh baked bread

fresh baked bread 2

cinnamon roll icing

holy cinnamon rolls

cinnamon rolls with nuts

cinnamon roll taste test

cinnamon roll hand