Blue Paper Bead Bracelet


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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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


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 book by Cynthia Stamper.

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.

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

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.

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

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






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




When I heard the news that Prince died this week, I had to sit down for a moment. It was a huge blow to the Candace I once was. Prince rarely crossed my mind in the last few decades but there once was a time when he meant the world to me. Even if he never knew I existed.

In 1985, there was nobody I loved more than Prince. I was a huge fan. My favorite movie star was Matt Dillon. My favorite singer was Prince. My bedroom had a wall dedicated to Prince. I loved that he rocked the guy liner. I loved the clothes he wore. I loved his music.

Then the most wonderful thing happened to a star struck fourteen year old. Prince came to my town. The kids all thought we lived in a ‘cow town’ but the city had an arena venue. Unfortunately, my friends and I dragged our feet and the show sold out. We were devastated. Lucky for us, a second show was announced. We all gave our $20.00 bills to our friend Lisa’s mom and she purchased five tickets to see His Purple Majesty.

It was a situation, that now as a mother, makes me cringe. Five girls going alone to a concert. The oldest is only fifteen. The youngest is Lisa’s little sister, who I think was ten. Did my mother even know how dirty his lyrics were? The fourteen year old me knew what the lyrics meant, but they didn’t have the visual effect that the forty six year old me gets. Over the years, as I listen back to the songs of my youth, I realize that I was oblivious to a lot of innuendos. It is not just Prince songs either.

I am sad to say that I don’t remember much about the concert. It was the biggest thing in my life back then. Today, as with many memories, it has faded. I remember the excitement. I remember our group waiting for the concert. I remember that I was chewing gum in line outside the venue. But there is not one clear memory of anything Prince did that night. I vaguely remember him singing Purple Rain. I’m not sure if it is a real memory or I know it to be true because it was The Purple Rain Tour. It was so important at the time. I am sure we must have rehashed the details to our other friends many times. I have searched and searched the memory files in my mind and it just isn’t there anymore. It is disappointing on so many levels and makes me worry about the health of my mind.

Up until a few years ago, I had the t-shirt I bought that night. I finally threw out the bag that held multiple concert shirts from the 80’s. All that is left is my fading memory and the ticket stub.

RIP Prince

The Return to Normal

Today marks the forth week since I was admitted to the hospital. I never intended on staying gone so long. In fact, on the way to the hospital, I worried about the blog post I never finished. It was a week before Easter. Here are the paper carrot beads that I was going to feature.


I feel good. I had a follow up with the surgeon who confirmed things are doing just fine. The top incision is a little sore still, but that is normal. I’m not even sure sore is the right word. I am aware of its presence.

I haven’t been able to pull myself back on track. Not with blogging. Not with watching what I eat. Not with housework. Not with the budget. This week I am going to make an effort to get back into my routine. There is no physical reason why I shouldn’t. I just feel like I can’t organize my thoughts. My mind is pulled in too many directions and I’m having trouble focusing on one single task for long.

My biggest problem right now is eating. I know I am eating to much. It is a novelty to me. In spite of being obese, for years I have had to be careful not to overdo things. If I did, it cause a gallbladder attack. I no longer have that barometer to tell me when I need to quit. I need to get control of it. This needs to happen immediately.

Next week I have the lose goal of finding my routine. I will resume my daily to do list to help keep me on track. I will post an update on the garden and make some beads if I can still remember how. It has been awhile.

I look forward to seeing you soon.

The Curveballs of Life

Sometimes life throws you a curveball.

I have had gallstones for years. I was good at avoiding impending attacks. As soon as I felt one coming on, I would down a few bottles of water and that would make it subside. It was in my head that my gallbladder was at the end of its life expectancy. My doctor told me the next time I have an attack, go to the emergency room. Since I could make it go away, I hadn’t exactly followed that advice.

A week ago Sunday, after lunch, I felt off. It was like a gallbladder attack, but the pain was not quite in the right spot.  It also wasn’t severe, like it can get. I continued to do things around the house. Sunday is generally a big laundry day. I still wasn’t feeling great at dinner time. We ordered Chinese food. I ate on the light side. By 7:30, we had a problem.  I lost my dinner and was feeling pretty bad. After an hour or so debate, we decided to go to the emergency room.

At the emergency room, they diagnosed me with gallstones. What a surprise. They also diagnosed me with pancreatitis. The pancreatitis got me admitted to the hospital.

I am happy with the care I received in the hospital, but nothing seems to happen fast in the hospital.  Sunday they managed pain and nausea. By midmorning on Monday, I was feeling fine. I was on a nothing by mouth ‘diet’ and starving. Late Monday night, I had an MRI to see if there were any stones outside of the gallbladder. Of course there were. Late Tuesday night, a GI doctor did a scope down my throat to remove three rogue stones. Finally on Wednesday night, the gallbladder was taken out. After feeling just fine for close to three days, I was sent home on Thursday when I was feeling the worst.

It is now Monday again. I am feeling better than I have in days. The incisions are healing. My ankles seem to be missing. I hope to be back to my normal routine in a week with the exception of heavy lifting.

Bodies are funny things. Let’s take this out, you don’t need it. Let’s not feed you for three days, fourteen pound weight gain. We interrupt these weigh ins until my system levels out.



Right or left?

Should you leave now, or in ten minutes?

Should you go to the bank first, or the drug store?

You could go grocery shopping on Saturday or Sunday.

Should you take Sandalwood Road or Oak Drive?

Choices. So many choices. We make them daily. Often they come without much thought. They are the tasks we do every day, day in and day out. Most of the time we just do them. There is no big internal debate.

But what if one of those choices changes your life?

If you didn’t go to that party, you would have never met your husband. Life would be different. What if you skipped out on that job interview that landed you the job you have held for close to two decades? Life would be, at least to some extent, different.

What if you had waited ten minutes before leaving on your errands? You would have missed that car that pulled out in front of you, avoiding a traffic accident.

If you worry about all the what ifs for every single thing you do, it would drive you crazy. Sometimes I do think about it. I only allow the thought to stay for a moment before I push it out of my head. It can’t linger there. There are to many choices to make to dwell on them.

One of my friends should have waited ten more minutes to do his errands this week. A truck violated his right of way. He was unable to avoid hitting the vehicle. At the scene everyone seemed fine at first. Everyone was out of their vehicles. Everyone was walking around. My friend’s neck started to hurt. This isn’t surprising. He hit the truck hard. He totaled the vehicle he was driving. The airbag failed to deploy.

An ambulance was dispatched to the scene. They took my friend to the hospital. Whatever the paramedic did at the accident scene saved his life. That is what the doctors have told him. He is alive because of the top notch care he received from a first responder. It turns out his neck was fractured on both sides of the vertebrae.

He has a long recovery ahead of him. His life is different. It might always be different. We don’t know right now.

This has served as a reminder to me to hug my love ones good bye and tell them I love them. We never know what our choices will result in.

Gardening is Exercise


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 am down again. When you have so much weight to lose, it can seem like an slow process. I have to keep reminding myself of the big picture. Even a pound a week adds up to over 50 pounds a year. I would rather be 50 pounds lighter this time next year then exactly where I was today.

I have so much work do in the garden. Last year, after I planted seeds, I ignored it. It is suffering from severe neglect. I have six raised beds. All were full of weeds. Some even had roots growing in them. They are pretty big. I suspect they are from the neighbors tree. I have been pulling weeds, dead plants, and what might have been a small tree.

The soil in the raised beds seems to disappear into thin air. I have made several trips to the Garden Center to buy more soil. I don’t have a truck, so I can’t fit that many bags at a time. I started gardening about a decade ago. Back then I mixed my own soil blend. Mel Bartholomew recommended it in his book All New Square Foot Gardening.  I would love to do the blend again, but it is hard to find agricultural vermiculite locally. I can get it an hour away. I am not willing to drive that far right now. I will just use what is available.

Next, I have to replace all the trellis. Every one of them has damage. The ‘good’ ones just have a few holes. The bad ones are missing most of the bottom two feet. It involves tying a million little knots.  I love the trellis. I just weave the plants in it as they grow.

Gardening is exercise. My muscles are sore to prove it. Soil bags are heavy, like weights. Pulling tough weeds works the core. Getting up and down can be loosely construed as squats.

How have you got your exercise this week?

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.