Celebrate the 4th of July

This post contains affiliate links. Read my disclosure here.

I love Independence Day. When I was a kid, it ranked right up there with Christmas. Instead of going to bed early to wait for Santa you get to stay up late and watch the sky light up with exploding colors. It is time to get out the red, white and blue. The bunting pictured above is so beautiful.


Having a party? This cute patriotic plate and napkin set will be perfect to serve your guests finger foods or a red, white and blue cake.

As day turns into night, be prepared with this patio essentials party pack. It contains 50 items including torches, Citronella buckets, glass candles, tea lights, replacement torch wicks, and bug bands.

Chinese lanterns for Independence day? Why not? These would be perfect to hang around the patio. They are solar powered and waterproof.

Going to the beach? This star beach towel will be perfect for the occasion. It is 100% cotton.

You are going to need a bag to carry it all it. This flag tote bag can hold your sunscreen. I never have enough reusable totes.

Complete your patriotic look with these resin star earrings. I am thinking two sets. One for my daughter and one for me.

Protect your head from the sun with this twill American bucket hat. The cord comes in handy for keeping it with you on windy days or out on the boat.

Add this pillow cover to your throw pillows for a quick little patriotic accent. This Cateyes cotton patriotic American flag throw pillow cover is an affordable decorating option.

This post contains affiliate links. Read my disclosure here.

Shared at Best of the Weekend, Yankee Doodle Party



Controlled Chaos

Last week there was rain, followed by wet, followed by rain again. At the beginning of the week I was pretty sad about missing my bike rides.  By Saturday I was using the possibility of rain as an excuse to not even bother.

Yoga fizzled out last week also. I was diligent on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  By Wednesday,  things were getting difficult. The 30 day challenge is getting harder a bit to fast for me.  Thursday I told myself I was to tired. Friday I had a hair appointment and didn’t get home until after 9:00. I told myself I was to tired. By Saturday I was just indifferent to it.

This weekend, the muscles and areas I use most in yoga and biking hurt. They felt tight and uncomfortable.  I think they were protesting my inactivity. I need to get back to it.

Monday I rode my bike. I rode pretty hard because I wanted to beat the rain, which I did. It felt good to be out there.

My eating has been slowly drifting away from what I should be consuming. I am still limiting carbs but have been adding more fat and larger portions. Needless to say, my weight has been fluctuating up and down.

I have not fell off the wagon. I am currently walking beside it. I have made a conscious decision to take a few days off. I am making an effort to control what could become chaotic.  I am planning my off plan meals and avoiding sugar. I can’t be controlled while consuming sugar. I know this about myself.

I am three meals into my controlled chaos. I am happy to report that it is not as great as I imagined. My body definitely prefers lighter meals with less carbs. Armed with this knowledge, I look forward to getting back on my new normal diet on Sunday.

I expect to gain a few pounds. I will take it. I am earning them.

I am also resuming yoga. I enjoy it. I decided I will do each day twice before moving on. This turns the 30 day challenge into a 60 day challenge.  I have also decided to not do yoga on the days I ride my bike.  This might change in the future,  but for now that is my plan.

Do you alter your plans as you go along?

Celebrate You

Congratulations! You lost 5 more pounds.  You are looking great.  Ok, not great, but you are looking better than you have in years. You feel on top of the world. Let’s make a banner and hang it high. This should be celebrated. Quick! Someone ordered confetti.

Stop! Hold the presses!

News flash-  Not everyone is happy about your weight loss success.

What? That is crazy! Don’t they see the sunrays beeming down on me? Don’t they hear the birds singing?


Ok, no birds. I get it. But shouldn’t they be happy that I am doing something to improve my health?

In theory.  But not everyone is happy you are bettering yourself. For a variety of reasons, some people are not happy about it at all.

Perhaps they are happy with your status as their fat friend and don’t want that to change.

Perhaps they are annoyed at their own weight loss struggles and just don’t want to hear about how good you are doing.

Perhaps since you are getting out and doing more things they are worried about their status in your life changing.

Perhaps it is just all that confetti you keep throwing around. It is making a mess.

Your successes deserve to be celebrated. Not just weight loss, but all successes. Be your biggest fan. Sometimes your celebrations need to be a party of one. 

Celebrate all that is you!


30 Day Yoga Challenge for Beginners


Drum roll, please.

I have now lost 25 pounds. I am 5 weeks into my 8 week weight loss cycle. After the 8 weeks, I will do a two week cycle that Lindora calls metabolic adjustment. When I am in the metabolic adjustment phase, I probably won’t be losing weight. During that two weeks, I will be eating more food to increase my metabolism for the next weight loss round.

I have been riding my bike a lot. Weather and appointments permitting, I am trying to ride 3 days a week. I ride on a beautiful paved trail that is lined with trees. There are lots of squirrels, gopher tortoises and armadillos. It feels good to connect with nature. It is peaceful. After a day at work, it relieves a lot of stress.

Also, I started an almost daily yoga routine. I am currently doing Youtuber Lesley Fightmaster’s 30 day beginner challenge. I have been pretty consistent. Last night I chose to skip it. My daughter and I ran errands most of the day. As soon as we got home, we loaded up the bikes to go ride. By the time we got home it was 8:00. We had a late dinner. After dinner, I just wasn’t up to it. I chose to listen to my body.

Between yoga and biking, I feel stronger and more flexible. I like how the exercise is making me feel.

Are you up to a challenge? 

The Missing Component of My Being

Life has been so busy. My free moments have been few and far between this month. It has been a great month. The ups far out weigh the downs.

I have been doing Lean for Life for 28 days. As of yesterday, I have  lost 20 pounds. I feel great. I feel satisfied when I eat. I am usually not hungry between meals and snacks. I am currently at 239.6. The 230’s always feel good to me. My yo-yoing doesn’t get me down to there  often. When it does it feels like the shift between being morbidly obese and being a normal person. Of course, ‘normal’ means overweight but it feels noticeably different to me. Let’s be honest. I am still obese but if feels like a gear has shifted.

My husband and I have road bicycles off and on all through our 21 years of marriage. It has mostly been off, but there have been a few chunks of time where we rode regularly on the weekends. I have wanted a new bike for years. I was all set to get one several years back. I had a bonus check that was burning a hole in my pocket. I was just waiting for the weekend. That was the week my husband found out that his employer could no longer afford to keep him on. The bike idea was scratched. My husband never forgot that. On May 14th I got a new bike. It is a Trek. I love it. Since buying it, we have road 44 miles. I am tracking the total mileage in the sidebar on the right. We are trying to ride 3 days a week which is much more then we ever did before.

I want to try yoga. I have looked around for some local classes. There are no beginner classes that are consistently at the same time several nights a week.  I don’t even know if I could find the time if there were. I dug around and found I have Rodney Yee’s Yoga For Beginners. I can’t find the case, but the DVD was floating around with some other strays. I remember trying it once, but I am not sure why I didn’t do it again. Yoga is always in the back of my mind when I try to lose weight. I usually don’t bother to exercise so the thought doesn’t go far. I found something interesting while looking for a yoga class. One of the Physical Education teachers from my high school is a yoga instructors. There was a picture of her. She looked the same as I remember her looking in the 80’s. In her bio, she says she starting doing yoga to relieve stress from working in the public school system. She found yoga to be the missing component of her being.

The missing component of her being.

That phrase now enters my head several times a day. I know I have a missing component to my being. Is it yoga? I don’t know but I am willing to find out.

I almost feel like biking might be the missing component of my being. This week we have been on a trail that I used to ride a lot alone in the early years of our marriage. Back then, the trail was my favorite place in the world. It was a new trail back then. The vegetation and trees have matured. Being back on that trail feels like home. I think it can easily become my favorite place again.

Blue Paper Bead Bracelet


This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission if you make a purchase with no additional charge to you . You can read my disclosure here. Thanks for supporting Finding Candace.

It has been awhile since I made any beads. I chose a dark blue marble paper. The beads are 1/4 inch wide. Quarter inch wide beads have become my favorite. My consistency still needs work. Practice. Practice. Practice.

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I was excited to get back into the swing of things after my new tools arrived.  I bought this 16 piece Wisehands Jewelry Making Tool Kit. Since I am now equipped with more tools then I probably need, I decided to try and up my jewelry game by using wire.

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Wire is harder to work with than I thought. Before I try to work with it again, I am going to have to do some research on tips and tricks. It bent out of shape very easily. Once out of shape, it was impossible to smooth out.

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Luckily the beads cover a good bit of the warped wire. Once the beads are over the wire there is an illusion of straightness.

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I hope everyone has a wonderful Mother’s Day. If you are able to, hug your mother. My husband wishes his was still with us so he could hug her.

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This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission if you make a purchase with no additional charge to you . You can read my disclosure here. Thanks for supporting Finding Candace.
Shared at these great parties:

Happiness is Homemade, Snickerdoodle Sunday, Social Butterfly Sunday, Anything Goes, Mix it Up Monday, You’re Gonna Love It Tuesday, Turn It Up Tuesday

Lean for Life Week 1 – Down 12.8 pounds


This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission if you make a purchase with no additional charge to you . You can read my disclosure here. Thanks for supporting Finding Candace.


I ‘secretly’ started Lean for Life last Saturday. It was a secret, because I wanted to make sure I didn’t abandon it after the first day. I have lost 12.8 pounds my first week.

Lindora Clinics have been around for 45 years. If you are from California, you are most likely familiar with them. They operate 43 weight loss clinics around the state. They also have an online program with phone coaching. Both are pretty pricy.

Around a decade ago, I did the Lindora Lean for Life online program. I was successful on it during the weight loss phase. You did the weight loss phase for 10 weeks straight instead of the 4 week the book tells you to do. Again, this is speaking from my experience from a decade ago, but I was not satisfied with the online support. There were several times when I had an appointment for phone coaching and I did not receive a call. The daily information they gave you was exactly the same as in the book, which was also part of the online program. It was a lot of money for what amounted to forum access.  However, their customer service was great. When I complained about the phone coaching, they refunded me all or most of my money. I don’t remember which, but it was significant.

I read some reviews about the Lean for Life program. Either people love it or hate it.  I love the Lean for Life program. You can do it at home thanks to the inexpensive book available here.

Lean for Life uses ketosis to burn fat at the highest possible level and to reduce cravings. Your body goes into ketosis when it has no more carbs to burn so it burns fat instead.

The program works on the mental side of weight loss, too. It details how to control cravings, stay motivated, control your inner voice, and stress management.

The Lean for Life book provides you with a letter to share with your doctor. Before starting any new diet or exercise program, you should check with your doctor. I am not qualified to give any advice.

In order for the weight loss to be permanent, all 4 of their steps need to be followed. I haven’t found it in the new book, but the older version has a great analogy. If you break your leg, go to the doctor, spend money on x-rays, and have a cast put on you wouldn’t go home and take the cast off yourself. That would be foolish. After your weight loss, you still need the support of a ‘cast’ to maintain lasting success.

I will tell you more about what I am eating next week when I do an update on what I have lost.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission if you make a purchase with no additional charge to you . You can read my disclosure here. Thanks for supporting Finding Candace.

Linked up to these great parties:
Healthy Living Link Party, Link Love, Anything Goes, All About You, Turn It Up Tuesday, Wonderful Wednesday, Wake Up Wednesday

Grow Your Own

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Last year I planted seeds than ignored them. I was shocked when everything died. Who would have thought that tender new plants and seedlings would whither and die under the harsh Florida sun when neglected. This year I am determined to do better.

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We planted seeds and plants a few weeks before I was held hostage in the hospital.. My daughter kept everything alive during my absence.

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Not only did she keep things alive, they flourished. We have always had good luck with cherry tomatoes. We have plenty of full size ones growing too. They look good right now, but it is to early to start drooling over them. Sometimes they don’t make it for one reason or another.

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There are dozens of tiny squash growing. My mother has expressed her interest in taking any extras I have off my hands.

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I love going out to the garden early in the morning when it is quiet. The blossoms are open. The plants are still damp from dew. It is a good time to be alone with my thoughts.

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I am looking forward to harvesting cucumbers. We eat a lot of them. It will be nice to have ones that are free for the picking and taste better then the waxy store bought ones.

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Nothing tastes better than home grown.



I linked up to these great parties:

You’re Gonna Love It, Tuesdays With a Twist, Turn It Up Tuesday, Brag About It, Wake Up Wednesday, Wow Us Wednesday, Happiness is Homemade, Silver Pennies Sundays



The Need for a Plan

This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission if you make a purchase with no additional charge to you . You can read my disclosure here. Thanks for supporting Finding Candace.


Things feel more in control this week. They are falling back into a rhythm. I was having trouble getting to sleep and waking up in the first few weeks after I had surgery. Both are better this week. Also my eating is better. I can’t say I’m eating great, but it is much better then last week.

Speaking of eating, I need a plan. I have the vague idea of ‘losing weight’ without any kind of plan. Let’s face it, it is not working. There are two plans that I have done well on in the past that I keep considering.

The first is Weight Watchers. Several years ago, I lost around 70 pounds on Weight Watchers. I found it all again. Last week I read that Biggest Loser winner, Ali Vincent, joined Weight Watchers. She says she feels like a failure for regaining weight. I think it makes her human. Keeping weight off is much harder than losing it. At least it is for me.

The second program I am considering is Lean For Life. Around a decade or so ago, I lost 50 pounds in two months on Lean for Life. Lean for Life isn’t for the faint of heart. It is hardcore. It leaves no room for cheat days and makes it clear why you should not have them. I don’t think I could stick with this long term. It would be nice to have a round of quick and motivating weight loss to get the momentum going. The question is, am I capable of sticking to such a hard core program right now?

Both have their pros and cons. The biggest con for Weight Watchers is there is not a good meeting time available for me so I would have to do it online. The biggest con for Lean For Life is the strictness it requires.

I am going to decide soon. This lose a pound, gain a pound program I am on now is just not conducive to weight loss.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission if you make a purchase with no additional charge to you . You can read my disclosure here. Thanks for supporting Finding Candace.


2016 Link Party List


I love a good link party. I had trouble keeping them all straight. I can never remember what day a particular link party is on. A lot of lists I found were outdated. I needed my own list of current parties. I hope it helps you as much as it helps me.


Hello Monday / Sincerely Jenna Marie and More Pieces of Me

Share the Joy / The Joy Chaser

Over the Moon / Sandy’s P.O.V., Nana’s Wisdom, Marilyn’s Treats, Sizzling Towards Sixty, Mended & Blended

Big Pink Link / This Mum’s Life and Pink Pear Bear

Anything Goes / My Random Musings

Blog Fair / Mummy Do It

Mix it Up Monday / Flour Me With Love

Inspire Me Monday / Morsels of Life , Simple Life of a Fire Wife, Mostly Blogging, Farm House 40 and Mama of Many Blessings


All About You / Mama and More

You’re Gonna Love it Tuesday / Kathe with an E and The Kim Six Fix

Tuesdays with a Twist / Stone Cottage Adventures, Back to the Basics, God’s Growing Garden and Heavenly Bodies

Turn it Up Tuesday / Epic Mommy Adventures and others

Let’s be Friends Blog Hop / The Dwelling Tree and others

Brag About It / My Husband Has Too Many Hobbies and VMG206

Two Uses Tuesday / Sarah Celebrates, Pyrfylle, Two Chicks and a Mom and My Sweet Things



#waywow linkup / View From In Here

Blogger Club UK / Mudpie Fridays (you don’t have to be in the UK to join)

Wonderful Wednesday / Two Chicks and a Mom and others

Wake Up Wednesday / Sew Crafty Angel and others

Wow Us Wednesdays / Savvy Southern Style

It’s a Party / A Creative Princess

Inspire Me Wednesday / Adventures of Mel

Best and the Worst / All the Beautiful Things and Run, Jump, Scrap

Healthy Living Link Party / Urban Naturale


Idea Box / Mila’s Little Things

Brilliant Blog Posts / Honest Mum

Thursday Favorite Things / Katherine’s Corner, Vintage Mama’s Cottage, Surrounds by Debi, My Cozy Corner, An Italian in my Kitchen, I Thee Cook, Over 50 Feeling 40, Reinvented Collection, The Fabulous Journey, Marilyn’s Treats, Peonies and Orange Blossoms and A Well Styled Life

Thriving on Thursday / Domesblissity

Family Fun Linky / Diary of an Imperfect Mum (Share a parenting post)

Think Tank Thursday / Joyful Homemaking and Saving 4 Six

This is How We Roll Thursdays / Homemade for Elle, Organized 31, and Wondermom Wannabe

Home and Garden Thursday / A Delightsome Life

Artsy Fartsy Link Party / Artsy Fartsy Mama



Fab Favorites / Style Elixir

Friday Frolics / Life, Love and Dirty Dishes

Pick N Mix Fridays / A Cornish Mum and Mummy and Monkeys

Post Comment Love / Morgan’s Milieu and Life at 139a

The List / You Baby Me Mummy and Mr and Mrs T Plus Three

Fiesta Friday / Fiesta Friday

Funtastic Friday / Olives n Okra, Crazy Organized and Two Chicks and a Mom

Friday Favourites / Teacher by Trade Mother by Nature, Lisasaurus, Misses Mac and Happy Mum Happy Child

Best of the Weekend / Little Miss Celebration, Ms Toddy Goo Shoes, Hello Little Home, Virginia Sweet Pea and 24 Cottonwood Lane

Creative Collection / Blooming Homestead, Craft-O-Maniac, The Crafted Sparrow and Giggles Galore



Just Another Linky / Something Crunchy Mummy and Life As Mum



Link Love / Running With Spoons

Sunday Features / Denise Designed and Tabler Party of Two

Happiness is Homemade / Blogghetti and others

Snickerdoodle Sunday / My Husband Has Too Many Hobbies, Across the Blvd, Creative Crochet Workshop and Sew Travel Inspired