Lifting Weights / Resistance Training (Part 3)


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Please check-out Part 1 of Lifting Weights / Resistance Training post where I covered:

  1. Why lifting weights is important to me
  2. Misconceptions women make about lifting weights
  3. Things to-do
  4. Lifting program weeks 1 – 5

Then check-out Part 2 of Lifting Weights / Resistance Training

  • My workouts for weeks 6 – 10
  • Articles that discuss general guidelines about training and the menstrual cycle

I completed the 10 weeks of the two workout programs linked above with modifications each week on number of sets, reps, and or weight so that each workout continued to challenge my body to adapt (aka: change).

My next 4 weeks of workouts and 1 rest week (weeks 11 – 15) are now complete and it feels so good!

Side Note: The next 5 weeks will not be as many super-sets as the last 10 weeks, but larger circuits. This means more volume and a little lighter weight (or not). Circuit training is a higher intensity training regime that builds strength and requires more muscular endurance than a super-set does.

The first workout of the week will still be a super-set style training. The next two workouts are circuit style training. As each week progresses, I will still modify the weight to continue to challenge by body to adapt.

Lift Weights Faster

Week 11

Tuesday – Full Body Workout (4 Sets of 8-12 Reps)

Thursday – Full Body Circuit Training

You can use one set of dumbbells for the whole circuit or you can set-up various weights around you to grab as you change exercises to fit where your current strength is, which is what I like to do.

Circuit 1 – (Repeat 3x) – (You need a flat bench for this circuit)

Circuit 2 – (Repeat 2x)

Circuit 3 – Bodyweight (Complete 1x)


  • 20 min Walk with Dad
  • 30 min Kayak with Sister

Week 12

I wasn’t feeling very well in the gym this day. I managed to get in 4 sets of the following, but it was really difficult. I still needed steps by the time I got to the gym, so I also warmed up and cooled down with 10 minute treadmill walks.

Tuesday – Full Body Workout (4 Sets of 8-12 Reps)

  • Reverse Lunge – 20lbs front loaded barbell (added reps)
  • Half Kneeling Single-Arm Overhead Press – 15 lb dumbbell
  • Smith Machine Pull-up or Inverted Row – Bodyweight
  • Smith Machine Back Squat – 25 lb bar + 2x 25 lb plates

Thursday – Full Body Circuit Training

Circuit 1 – (Repeat 4x) – (You need a flat bench for this circuit)

  • Seated Overhead Press – 20 lb dumbbell (increased weight)
  • Chest Press – 20 lbs dumbbells
  • Reverse Lunge – Bodyweight (increased reps)
  • Bent-over Row – 20 lb dumbbells
  • Goblet Squat – 35 lb dumbbells (increased weight)
  • Seated Leg Press – 130 – 140 lbs

Circuit 2 – (Repeat 3x)

  • Straight Leg Deadlift – 50 lb barbell (increased reps)
  • Bent Over Row – 50 lb barbell (increased reps)
  • Bulgarian Split Squat – Bodyweight
  • Upright Row – 30 lb barbell

Circuit 3 – Bodyweight (Complete 2x)

  • Push-ups – Incline
  • Plank

Week 13 – Rest & Recover

Week 14

Tuesday – Full Body Workout (4 Sets of 8-12 Reps)

  • Reverse Lunge – 20lbs front loaded barbell
  • Standing Single-Arm Overhead Press – 15 lb dumbbell 
  • Wide-Stance Squats – 45 lb dumbbell 
  • Standing Cable Rows – 65 lbs (alternating underhand and overhand grip)
  • Alternating Hammer Curls – 15 lb dumbbells 
  • Seated Leg Press – 130 – 140 lbs

I only managed to get one lifting session in this week, which is unfortunate, but ok. I spent the last part of this week preparing for a large and fun Mother’s Day lunch on Saturday.

Week 15

Tuesday – Full Body Workout (4 Sets of 8-12 Reps)

Front Squat (1 Set of 20) – 20 lb barbell

Circuit 1 – (4 Sets of 8-12 Reps)

Circuit 2 – (4 Sets of 8-12 Reps)

  • Seated Row – 50 lbs 
  • Push-ups – Bodyweight 
  • Plank

Goblet Squat (1 Set of 25) – 25 lb dumbbell

Thursday – Full Body Circuit Training

Circuit 1 – (Repeat 3x) – (You need a flat bench for this circuit)

  • Seated Overhead Press – 20 lb dumbbell
  • Step-ups – bodyweight
  • Chest Press – 20 lbs dumbbells 
  • Reverse Lunge – bodyweight
  • Bent-over Row – 40 lb barbell
  • Goblet Squat – 30 lb dumbbells 

Circuit 2 – (Repeat 3x)

  • Straight Leg Deadlift – 40 lb barbell 
  • Upright Row – 30 lb barbell
  • Bulgarian Split Squat – Bodyweight
  • Biceps Curl – 30 lb barbell

Saturday – Full Body Circuit Training

  • Reverse Lunge – 30 lb front loaded barbell
  • Half Kneeling Single-Arm Overhead Press – 15 lb dumbbell
  • Smith Machine Back Squat – 25 lb bar + 2x 25 lb plates
  • Smith Machine Pull-up or Inverted Row – Bodyweight
  • Wide-Stance Squat – 45 lb dumbbell
  • 15 min treadmill walk

Learn How-To Iron

Here are some of my other blog posts that discuss exercise.

If you have any questions please feel free to comment on this post and I’ll get back with you as soon as I can.

Vital Proteins Sampler Box


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If you have been curious about Vital Proteins’ most popular collagen products and want to explore different flavors, give the Sampler Box a try.

Vital Proteins Sampler Box

In the Sampler Box you’ll receive a box with 5 different types of to-go stickpacks in it:

  1. Collagen Peptides – Unflavored
  2. Marine Collagen
  3. Beef Bone Broth Collagen
  4. Strawberry Lemon Beauty Collagen
  5. Lavender Lemon Beauty Collagen

I use collagen peptides every day. It has made a massive difference in the health of my nails, hair, skin, and gut. I love knowing that I’m nourishing my body with the highest quality products I can.

For more information about Vital Proteins, please check out my introduction post.

Please be aware that I am an affiliate for Vital Proteins receive a small commission on purchases made through the links above.


A Few More of My New Favorite Things….


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Long-Perishable Food Items

Organic Lime SeaweedLime Seaweed Snacks

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Skinny Dipped AlmondsjpgDark Chocolate Raspberry Almonds

Ceylon CinnamonOrganic Ceylon Cinnamon

Beauty Product

Kampuku Beauty BarProbiotic & Prebiotic Beauty Bar

Thrive Market

I highly encourage you to Sign-up for Thrive Market.

Thrive Market allows you to shop for all the healthy food items you know and love at discount prices, because they cut out the middle man, and it gets delivered to your door so it also saves you time. Not only to you save money, but for every paid membership Thrive Gives a membership to a family in need.

The second best part, aside from saving money, is that all your favorite pantry items will be delivered to your door and you don’t have to go to stores which also saves you time and energy. And who can’t use more money, time, energy?!?!

Fresh Produce


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Food Deserts

A big topic in the real food community lately is “food deserts”. Being defined typically as urban areas that do not have grocery stores within a mile from homes (people not having automobiles), only having quick-marts, gas stations, and fast food in the area. The online dictionary says “urban area in which it is difficult to buy affordable or good-quality fresh food”.

food-deserts 2

I go back and forth on this topic, I understand that areas like this exist…..what I do not understand is why the people with automobiles aren’t helping those without get real groceries? Are people not asking for help? Why are people not using public transportation to get to a grocery store? Amazon also has a service called Amazon Fresh,  which ironically isn’t available in my area, but seems as though folks can get fresh food delivered to their door-step. If someone can get to McDonald’s, I tend to think that with a little more effort they can get to a grocery store. Also, note that McDonald’s now offers salad, albeit probably not the best quality every, but better than the other stuff on the menu, ask for lemon juice and forgo their salad dressing.

Honestly, I do not fully understand this whole situation.

The three closest grocery stores to my home are within 1.8 – 2.9 miles of my house in three different directions. I also have a Jack’n the Box on the corner about 0.20 miles from my house. I’m pretty certain that I would walk myself down to one of the grocery stores that is further away, rather than go to eat fast food because it is closer to my house. I would certainly get all my steps in. Our current American culture, unless very deliberate about it, doesn’t move enough and walk enough during the day.

Alternatively, folks can grow food in containers in their house or window seal or on their porch, steps, or fire escape. Vertical gardening is a very good option for high-density cities where space is limited. I also have heard of people doing community gardens on roof tops and creating a CSA. People can learn how to grow food on the internet. That is what I have to do. One of my favorite webpages is called Bless My Weeds.

Why is this important?

This is important because eating fresh vegetables and fruit, ideally organic (good reason to grow your own), is critical to have, create, and maintain a healthy body. Conventionally grown vegetables are still better for you than fast food or packaged/processed food-like products. There are populations of people who do not obtain and eat fresh produce, at all. Many children cannot even identify and name various vegetables and fruits (you can see this on Jamie Oliver’s TV show called Food Revolution, much less know what they taste like. This is bad folks!

People are getting sicker and sicker. Children are getting sicker and sicker. The majority of disease states (what is called lifestyle diseases, like Type-2 Diabetes) that are plaguing our population can be either or both controlled and or reversed by changing the inputs going into the body.

While I do think that eating animal meat (ideally well sourced) is important, I think that eating lots of vegetables and fruit is important too. While the Keto Diet and the Carnivore Diet is taking the world by storm (right now), there is nothing like yummy fresh produce. The exception and the extreme diets, I find can work under specific circumstances, as a therapeutic diet for a period of time. I also consider Veganism as an extreme diet just like I do the Carnivore Diet. I tend to sit in the middle and advise a balanced diet with lots of veggies, fruit, meat, and whole food starchy carbohydrates and healthy fats for most people. The ratios of all the food groups can be adjusted to fit individual needs.


Fresh Produce

Shout out to my gurl Ursula for this topic. I may have gone off in a direction she didn’t anticipate and frankly neither did I, but… the topic at hand…..

Eating lots of veggies and fruit is so very important. They provide vital minerals, vitamins, fiber, and water that your body needs and craves (keep in mind there are also highly bioavailable minerals and vitamins in meats that your body needs as well). They also taste delicious when treated properly. Eating them raw, steamed, roasted, and grilled are all fantastic ways to eat them.

The bottom line is that you get out of your body what you put in it, so put in the good stuff. The fresh produce. Give your body foods that it can identify and know what to do with.

I am fairly certain that it isn’t a mystery that eating vegetables and fruit is healthy for the human body.

Resources & Reason to Eat More Veggies

Dr. Terry Wahls is one of my favorite examples of someone who took her healthy into her own hands. She went from being in a wheel chair to riding a bike in a year! Why!? Nutrition! Her case is unique and maybe a bit extreme, but her healing journey is a shining example of the healing power of healthy food. She eats a large amount of fresh vegetables every day.

Don’t Be Scared of Fruit


This seems like it should go without saying, but I’ll be a monkey if there are not people out there that are afraid of eating fruit! They think that fruit will make them fat! WHAT!?!!? NO. Just no!

You CAN Grow Your Own

I totally get that the idea of growing your own vegetables and fruit seems daunting. And it is quite possible that initially you may not yield much or at all. However, with not much money and not much space, you can learn in a short time and start supplementing your diet with homegrown produce or completely eat your own produce instead of buying it at the grocery store.

Grow Your Own

For urban areas, I like vertical gardening and container gardening; Google to your hearts content on how to do this. You can do both with scraps and imagination. You do not have to spend a ton of money. My grandparents use to grow food in old cut-up milk jugs and buckets. You can also grow food from scraps, in water, in jars, and glasses in your house. Again, Google away on this.

Check out the book All New Square Foot Gardening II: The Revolutionary Way to Grow More in Less Space


If you have a little more space, like me….I have a small backyard. I can probably fit a 4-foot wide by 6-foot long raised garden bed in my backyard. My parents have a raised bed made from large Here are a couple of more articles that can be helpful, one and two. Which is my intention.


I’ve been growing bell pepper plants in pots and 4 herbs in the corner of my flowerbed.

Here is a picture of my first container garden of herbs.

First Herb Pot Garden

If you have more land, which most don’t, but I love Diana Rodger’s book The Homegrown Paleo Cookbook: Over 100 Delicious, Gluten-Free, Farm-to-Table Recipes, and a Complete Guide to Growing Your Own Healthy Food.

Here is another book you may enjoy, Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on ¼ acre.

You can buy seed online and have them delivered to your house. I think it is worth the money to purchase heirloom seeds and plants. At the end of the day, do what you can do. I find that planting plants vs seeds are more gratifying in the short-term. Talk with the local nursery, Lowes, or Home Depot plant / garden manager is tremendously educational and they can steer you in the right direction by how you are growing and what you are growing. Once you get food producing you can harvest in such a way, that it keeps growing back or use the scraps to regrow, per the above.

Not Food Yet….

I’m also attempting to grow Meyer Lemon Trees. I totally don’t know what I’m doing. But they started growing and now I can’t give-up on them.

  • How-to: Grow a Meyer Lemon Tree (Part 1)
  • How-to: Grow a Meyer Lemon Tree (Part 2)

I haven’t written part three yet, because there is nothing significant yet to say….

They are now 1 year and 4 months old. Here is my picture progression.

I hope the information I provided in this post is useful and encouraging. I hope that it opens your eyes to what you can do for yourself, your family, and for others that are less fortunate than you.

Mother’s Day Celebration


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This year for Mother’s Day, I thought it would be a good opportunity to cook lunch for my husband’s and my family. I love to have everyone mixed and mingled all together.

We are looking at about 12 people total for lunch.


Before everyone arrives we will arrange things in such a way that everyone has a place to sit to eat, drink, and relax with each other. I will certainly set-up outside seating as well as inside seating, but it may be too warm out. I plan to fresh flowers set around and candles lit strategically.


Adult Beverages

White Sangria

White Sangria

1 bottle of Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, ½ cup White Rum, ¼ cup Triple Sec, 1 can 7-Up, Frozen or Fresh Fruit (strawberries, lemon slices, black berries, blue berries, kiwi, oranges, green apple)

Side Note: Using a sparkling wine is also fun.



Fresh Margarita Recipe: ½ cup Lime juice, 4 tsp lime zest, ½ cup Lemon juice, 4 tsp lemon zest, 4 Tbs orange juice, 1 tsp of orange zest, ¼ cup of sugar or aprox. 3 oz of simple syrup (depending on how sweetness is preferred; need just enough to balance out some of the tartness of the citrus), pinch of salt, 1 to 1.5 cups of tequila, ½ cup of orange liqueur

Easy Margarita Recipe: 1 large can of frozen limeade concentrate, ¼ to ½ can of water, 1 can tequila, ½ can orange liquor, ¼ can lemon juice, ¼ can lime juice

My favorite thing for margaritas is Twang-A-Rita Unwind Lime for rimming.

Non-Alcohol Beverages

spa water

  • Spa Water: Fresh mint and sliced lemon
  • Organic Green Tea


My sister specifically requested these two appetizers.

Candace’s Famous Deviled Eggs

For the Deviled Eggs, I will pre-cook the eggs and bacon the night prior allow them to cool and then place them in the fridge so they are ready to assemble the next day. The keys are to use even amounts of sweet and sour relish, spicy mustard, cayenne pepper instead of paprika, and garnish with crispy bacon. I will post the full recipe of my deviled eggs on its own after the event.

Glazed Sausage & Pineapple

Glased Sausage & Pineapple

For these you can use any link sausage you prefer. Can pineapple chunks reserving the juice. Mix 3 parts teriyaki sauce with 1 part sweet chili sauce, 1 part pineapple juice, 1 part honey, and a dash of ponzu sauce or coconut aminos to cut the sweet. Place the coined sausage on a baking sheet, place a pineapple chunk on top, add glaze to each, poke with a pre-soaked toothpick (so it doesn’t burn in the oven), and bake at 425 degrees for 15 – 20 minutes.

Meats & Taters

Slow-cooker Herb Pork Roast

Crockpot Pot Roast

I have a large pork roast that I’m going to put in the crock pot on top of a bed of yellow onions and slow cook for maximum tenderness and flavor. To get the best flavor though, it is important that you dry the meat, season it liberally with salt and pepper then sear it at a high temperature to get some good color and crust on it. If you feel like it, you can make small cuts all over the roast and place cloves of garlic in them. Then place it on top of the cut up onion in the slow-cooker. Then add ½ to ¾ cup of broth, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, fresh or dried thyme, ½ cup brown sugar, ¼ cup of balsamic vinegar, 2 Tbs coconut aminos, 1 or 2 Tbs of wine, beer, or whisky. Close the lid and cook for a long as you have. I think the lower and slower the better.

Side Note: I tend to no longer put veggies in my slow-cooker, because they over cook and get mushy.

Citrus Roasted Chicken

I’ve been making this dish for years and it is one of my favorites. Not only is it beautiful, but the roasted citrus is delicious. It has a pungent flavor so if you do not like strong tastes, don’t eat the citrus part. This recipe comes from The Comfort Kitchen Herb and Citrus Oven Roasted Chicken.


If I have room on the pan, I like to add little red potatoes to cook at the same time as the chicken. If I do not, I’ll use my countertop convection oven to bake some herbed red potatoes. I put them all in a large zip-lock bag, add 1 – 2 Tbs of avocado oil, salt, pepper, garlic, rosemary, thyme, and sage. I’ll cook them at 375 degrees until they are done, usually around 30-ish minutes.


I hope my husband was paying attention the other day when we were discussing this event, because he is now signed up to grill veggies for us.

Grilled Veggies 2

I typically like to make my own marinade with avocado oil, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt, pepper, herbs or purchasing a premade marinade makes things faster, here are a couple of my favorites: Citrus Herb Marinade or Balsamic Vinaigrette & Marinade.

  • Purple Onion
  • Zucchini
  • Yellow Squash
  • Okra
  • Asparagus
  • Pineapple Rings or Peaches


Individual Pineapple Upside-Down Cakes

Mini Pineapple Upside Down Cakes

Using your favorite oil sprayer grease a 12 cup muffin pan. Drain a large can of pineapple rings in juice into a liquid measuring cup. Cut the pineapple rings in 4s. Using a small pan, melt 1 part butter to 2 parts brown sugar (1/3 to 2/3 or 1/2 to 1). Prepare an organic yellow or pineapple cake mix. Use melted butter (real butter, not margarine) or melted coconut oil instead of vegetable oil, and substitute pineapple juice for the liquid in the mix. Also, give it a quick dash of real salt and an extra tsp of vanilla extract. These changes will create a super moist and flavor-filled mini-cakes. Place 1 – 2 tsp of the butter/sugar mixture in the bottom of the greased cups, add 3 pieces of sliced pineapple in each cup, with an organic dye-free maraschino cherry in the middle. Then using a small ladle, scoop the cake mixture into each cup. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Allow them to sit for about 5 minutes after you take them out of the oven. Using a knife, loosen around the edge of each one. Use a large sheet pan, put it over the top of the muffin pan, and then quickly flip it over to release the cakes. Then arrange on a cute platter for serving.

A second dessert will be provided by my talented baking father-in-law.

I’m looking forward to visiting with the family and eating all the delicious food.

And this menu is sure to please everyone!




Planning Our Summer Vacation 2018 – South Lake Tahoe (Part 2 of 5)


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Check out Part 1 on picking where to go and picking lodging.

Now that the big things are chosen and booked, it is time to move on to the most fun part!

Food and Activities!

This is where Google and Trip Advisor will be your best friends.

First Stop Reno, NV

Since we land in Reno, NV just after noon Pacific Time and we can check-in to our lodging after 3:00p PT, I wanted to find us some lunch and something unique to Reno to see before we head south.

One of the first things that popped up on my search was the iconic Reno Arch (located at the intersection of Virginia St. and Commercial Row); selfie time, gotta do that!

Reno Arch

We also need to get some lunch….I found a place called The Depot Craft Brewery Distillery that is in a building from 1910 that served “as the headquarters from the Nevada-California-Oregon Railway”.

Between my love of history and gin and my husband’s love of craft beers and bourbon, our quick Reno experience is going to be epic! I will post a review of the food, beverages, and experience here on my other site called: Restaurant Reviews – ByCandace.

Second Adventure

Being from Texas, I have been endlessly subjected to old western television shows like Bonanza and Ponderosa….well, if you didn’t know already….both were filmed on the land that stretches down the side of Lake Tahoe out to Carson City and between Reno and South Lake Tahoe. Which means….we will be driving through The Ponderosa!

ponderosa map

How-to Scope-out All the Places!

The first thing I do is pull up GoogleMap of the address where I am staying, I look around on the map for what is close by. The types of places I look for are: grocery stores, liquor stores, pharmacies, hospitals and emergency rooms, coffee shops, breakfast spots, lunch spots, dinner spots, breweries, wineries, happy hour spots, spas, and entertainment and activities. I create a Word document with a list of places for each category.

Since we have a kitchenette in our lodging we are going to keep some snacks, breakfast food, and stuff for morning coffee. We are a little bit of coffee snobs so we are probably going to pre-grind and food-saver our home coffee and pack it in our suit case to take with us. However, I did find a couple of breakfast spots near our place that we’ll probably try out a couple of mornings.

Over the years traveling, Trip Advisor has been my best and most reliable tool when it comes to restaurants. I typically start with their top 10 best rated restaurant list. Then I look up all the places that show up nearby on the GoogleMap. It is also fun to see if there are any nearby Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives spots.

As I’m looking through the places on Trip Advisor and Google under each category, I’m looking at the reviews, ratings, location, menus, and locations to determine if they are places I’d like to go. If they look appealing then they go on the list, including their name, address, phone number, webpage, hours of operation, affordability, type of food served, and any notes that I may have about the place.

The Word document is what I’ll use to make reservations for dinners and will email myself and husband so we have easy access from our phones to the address, phone numbers, and web-pages while we are there and on-the-go.


Again with the Google and the Trip Advisor…..

Depending on where you go, you can do targeted searches for specific activities (like fishing) as well as general searches (like top 5 things to do in Lake Tahoe in the summer). I did many searches of both types.

For the South Tahoe area, there are tons of activities to explore:

Activity List

Once there is a list of activities identified, then you narrow them down to what interests you the most and what you can afford to do. Then I typically check out all the reviews of the companies so that I can pick the best one for the activity I want to do. I add the activities that I want to do, by category, to the Word document, including the name, address, phone number, webpage, and costs for each.

Some activities like fishing excursions for my husband and spa days will likely need to be booked in advance during a holiday week. While some things like renting a kayak a reservation probably won’t be needed.

Day Trips

It is always good to research what else is around the area you are visiting. While we want to experience all that South Lake Tahoe has to offer, we also want to be open to experiencing surrounding areas as well. During my Google searches I also found two places (Nevada City and Markleeville) not far from S.L.T. that might be worth visiting that offer something different (like Hot Springs) that we may decide to experience.

Making Reservations

This is where things can get tricky. Part of the fun of vacation is to not be overly scheduled so that it allows you the freedom to come and go and move around as you please at the time and mood strikes you. However, some things need to be reserved, particularly during a holiday week.

Since we are traveling to a popular area during a holiday week, we will make reservations for dinner for 4 of the 7 nights at the nicer places that it may be difficult to get into. If you can make reservations on OpenTable that is great, because you’ll earn points, but not all restaurants are on OpenTable. I’ve found some restaurants allow Yelp reservations now; I don’t like Yelp personally. We will for sure make reservations for my husband’s fishing excursions and the spa treatments and massages.

The key is to plan and reserve the activities you want to make sure you do and leave room in between to go with the flow and do what you feel like… hit the pool, beach, take a nap, go to a brewery, have lunch, or check out local shops.

The best way to do this is to spread things out so there is plenty of room in between activities. Use your calendars folks! For my example below, I’m going to list out the days.


  • Arrive @ 12:00p PT
  • Reno Arch & Lunch
  • Drive to S.L.T., Check-In
  • Go Check Stuff Out, Have Dinner, Hit Grocery Store


  • Exploration Day
  • Reservation for Dinner – Assign a Restaurant & Time


  • Hike Eagle Falls – Lower hike is 30 mins
  • Reservation for Dinner – Assign a Restaurant & Time


  • Husband to Fish AM / Me to Kayak AM
  • Reservation for Dinner – Assign a Restaurant & Time

Wednesday: Independence Day!

  • Spa Treatments/Massages
  • Casual Dinner

Fire Works!


  • Heavenly Resort Activities (Gondola, Zip Line, Hike)
  • Reservation for Dinner – Assign a Restaurant & Time


  • Husband to Fish PM
  • Low Key Evening, Pack-up

Once you have an outline of what you want to schedule and on what days, then buy tickets and make reservations. Update the information to the Word document and to your calendar with time reminders, addresses, phone number, webpages etc. for easy information access.

It is also a good idea to print and take multiple copies of the Word document. One for the rental car and one to leave in the room. Then email the data from the Word document as well, so that it is accessible on your phones with clickable links and phone numbers. The document will have more information on it than what you’ll put in calendar invites, as the calendar will only have reservation information.

Part 3 on Packing Lists – Coming Soon!

Introducing: My New Favorite “Age-Defying, Skin Perfecting” Foundation


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Going into the spring and summer months in Texas, I tend to want to wear a lighter foundation, so that it feels like a second skin and not melting down my face in the heat and humidity.

While I still love Araza Natural Beauty’s 7-in-1 Coconut Cream Foundation and Green Tea Cream Concealer, it is full coverage and feels better for me to use during the cooler months when the air is dryer vs. the summer months. If you didn’t know already….in Texas we only really have two seasons….summer and winter-ish.

I recently found / was introduced to (thank you Ulta sales girl) a brand called juice BEAUTY and their Stem Cellular CC Cream

CC Cream

Off the webpage linked to above:

Stem Cellular CC Cream

Side Note: This is my choice for a better and organic ingredient replacement product for BareMinerals’ Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream, which I had been using for years.

I’m finding that this new juice BEAUTY CC Cream is the perfect product for me. It is light, doesn’t sit in my fine lines and wrinkles, it has SPF, it has antioxidants, moisturizes, and it blends perfectly into my skin. I do not feel it on my face and my skin tone looks very even with it on.

The one thing… doesn’t smell good. I’ve smelled worse, but it isn’t “fragranced”, which is a good thing BUT it doesn’t smell good. I only notice the smell when I’m applying it to my face.

At this time, this is the only product that I’ve tried of this brand, but after exploring their webpage; I think I’ll be trying some other products!

I was told that their PHYTO-PIGMENTS Flawless Serum Foundation is also a very good product and is a medium to full coverage make-up that can be built-up for as little or as much coverage as you prefer.

Phyto-Pigments Serum Foundation

Off the webpage linked to above:

Phyto-Pigments Serum Foundation Benifits

Go to Ulta and color-match the product to your skin and then……if you go to their webpage (I linked it above and below) there is a little button that pops up on the bottom of the page that says “Get 15% off your first order” – do that!

It is very important to me that I use organic, clean, non-poisonous make-up on my skin.

The performance of a product is important, but so are the ingredients used and where they are sourced from.

Finding a brand that is committed to the safety of their products to people, animals, and the environment is truly unique. Check out the links above for more information. Side Note: Beauty Counter is also one of these brands.

I feel good supporting brands like juice BEAUTY, Araza Natural Beauty, and Beauty Counter (I buy through Hayley Mason). They are doing things right!

I hope you choose to check out juice BEAUTY products; I’m loving them!

Lifting Weights / Resistance Training (Part 2)


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Please check-out Part 1 of Lifting Weights / Resistance Training post where I covered:

  1. Why lifting weights is important to me
  2. Misconceptions women make about lifting weights
  3. Things to-do
  4. Lifting program weeks 1 – 5

I completed 5 weeks of the workouts in my Part 1 post with modifications each week on number of sets, reps, or weight so that each workout continued to challenge my body to adapt (aka: change).

Then I was stupid while kayaking and got a really bad sunburn down the front of both of my legs and left arm, which prevented me from working out for a full week. You can check out my pictures on my Instagram page. My knees were swollen for 3 days and my ankle was swollen for 5 days, which made it very painful and difficult to walk…..much less exercise. Soooo, had a rest and recover week.

Below you will find my next 5 weeks of workouts (weeks 6 – 10).

Side Note: I like to super-set my workouts so that I can get them done faster and it keeps my heart rate up throughout the whole workout to obtain the cardio benefits. A super-set is when you move from exercise to another exercise without a break in between. When starting out I usually can only do one set of each before taking a break. Once my ability increases, I’ll be able to multiple sets of each before taking a break. I’ve colored the text below to show you my groupings for super-sets.

Lift Weights Faster

Week 6

Tuesday – Lower Body (3 Sets of 8-10 Reps)

Thursday – Upper Body (3 Sets of 8-10 Reps)

Sunday – Full Body (3 Sets of 8-10 Reps)

Week 7

Tuesday – Active Recovery Day  (I was still sore from Sunday’s workout)

  • 15 minute revolving stairs
  • 15 minute treadmill walk
  • Plank
  • Mobility Work & Stretching

Saturday – Lower Body (3 Sets of 8-10 Reps)

  • Warm-up: 10 minutes revolving stairs
  • Wide-Stance Squats – 50 lb dumbbell
  • Goblet Squat – 25 lb dumbbell
  • Hip Thrusts – 40 lb barbell
  • Hamstring Curl Machine – 50 lbs
  • Traditional Leg Press – 90 lbs
  • 10 minute walking cool down

Week 8

Tuesday – Upper Body (3 Sets of 8-10 Reps)

  • Warm-up: Assisted Pull-ups and Chin-ups
  • Incline Press – 20 lb dumbbells
  • Wide Grip Cable Row – 50 lbs on cables
  • Dips/Press-Down – 50 lb
  • Under-hand Grip Lat Pull Downs – 40 lbs
  • Arnold Press – 15 lb dumbbells
  • Wide-grip Drag Bicep Curl – 30 lb barbell
  • Lateral Raise – 5 lb dumbbells
  • Paloff Press w/ Oblique Twist – 10 lbs on the cables

Thursday – Lower Body (3 Sets of 6-10 Reps)

  • Warm-up: 10 minutes treadmill walk
  • Wide-Stance Squats – 50 lb dumbbell
  • Goblet Squat – 30 lb dumbbell
  • Seated Leg Press – 115, 125, 135 (pounds)
  • Hamstring Curls – 50 lbs
  • Glute Bridge – Bodyweight (1 set)
  • Garhammer Raise (1 set)

Week 9

Tuesday – Upper Body (3 Sets of 8-10 Reps)

  • Warm-up: 10 minutes revolving stairs
  • Incline Press – 20 lb dumbbells
  • Bent-Over Row – 45 lb barbell
  • Dips/Press-Down – 50 lb
  • Under-hand Grip Lat Pull Downs – 50 lbs
  • Arnold Press – 20 lb dumbbells 2 sets, 15 lb dumbbells 3rd set
  • Wide-grip Drag Bicep Curl – 30 lb barbell
  • Lateral Raise – 5 lb dumbbells
  • Paloff Press w/ Oblique Twist – 10 lbs on the cables

Thursday – Lower Body (3 Sets of 6-10 Reps)

  • Warm-up: 10 minutes revolving stairs
  • Wide-Stance Squats – 50 lb dumbbell
  • Goblet Squat – 30 lb dumbbell
  • Hip Thrusts – 50 lb barbell
  • Hamstring Curl Machine – 50 lbs
  • Seated Leg Press – 120, 130, 140 (pounds)
  • Stretch

Side Note: My menstrual cycle threw me for a loop so my 3rd workout this week did not happen…..and that’s ok.

Below are some article that discuss general guidelines about training and the menstrual cycle:

  1. How to Train with Your Menstrual Cycle
  2. The Underground Guide to Planning Your Exercise Around Your Menstruation Cycle
  3. Training & Recovery During Your Menstrual Cycle

Week 10

Wednesday – Lower Body (3 Sets of 8-10 Reps)

Friday – Upper Body (3 Sets of 8-10 Reps)

  • Warm-up: 10 minutes revolving stairs
  • Incline Press – 20 lb dumbbells
  • Bent-Over Row – 50 lb barbell
  • Dips/Press-Down – 50 lb
  • Under-hand Grip Lat Pull Downs – 60 lbs
  • Arnold Press – 15 lb dumbbells 2 sets, 15 lb dumbbells 3rd set
  • Wide-grip Drag Bicep Curl – 30 lb barbell
  • Lateral Raise – 5 lb dumbbells
  • Paloff Press w/ Oblique Twist – 10 lbs on the cables


Here are some of my other blog posts that discuss exercise.

If you have any questions please feel free to comment on this post and I’ll get back with you as soon as I can.

Planning Our Summer Vacation 2018 – South Lake Tahoe (Part 1 of 5)


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I am a planner by nature so planning vacations comes pretty natural to me. Some folks are not planners and have to work harder at it or they do not do it at all. I’m a bit biased towards planning and being prepared. Flying by the seat of my pants is not my style and tends to produce anxiety in me.

I decided to share my travel planning tips and suggestions with you, in hopes to make your next trip smooth and anxiety free.

Our last and first vacation was in the summer 2014 for our honeymoon. We went to Park City, UT. It was a great town; I highly recommend it. We decided early in the calendar year that we were going to make a vacation happen for us this year.

Step 1: Determine where you want to go

We want to stay in the states with easy and fast travel, to maximize our time away on the vacation part not the traveling part.

  • We live in south-east Texas so escaping to some place cooler during the summer is ideal for us.
  • We tend to travel during and around the 4th of July holiday week because I already get a day off work, my boss goes on vacation at this time too, it is close to my husband’s birthday, it’s not far from our wedding anniversary, and it is a good time to get out of the Texas heat.
  • We lean towards going to the mountains for vacation for all the aforementioned reasons.

When figuring out where to go, I make a list of activities I’d like to do or see. For this trip the draw is variety….which, as you know, is the spice of life!

  • Good Food – I don’t think I need to explain this one…..cause GOOD FOOD!
  • Breweries, Distilleries, and Wineries – Local brews, wines, and spirits are a fun way to meet people and experience the local culture.
  • Water Activities – Fishing (husband), Kayaking (me), Boating, Jet Skis, Parasailing, Swimming, Floating
  • Mountain Activities – Nearby hiking trails and natural wonders to experience.
  • Nice Spas – Relaxation

Initially we were looking to go to Washington state or Oregon and explore the beautiful mountains up there. After GoogleMapping (I don’t think this is a real word/verb), I realized that we’d fly into one of the major airports in the area and the have to drive 4-6 hours away to get to the beautiful mountains that were interested in seeing. Once we’d get there it is pretty desolate with not a ton of activities nor people around. I personally didn’t want to drive 4-6 hours somewhere…..seems like a bit of a waste of time. One day I will do that trip, but it didn’t sound very appealing to me for this year.

I then looked around the Yellow Stone area and Wyoming….same sorta thing, but a whole lot more expensive! So, that was a no (for now).

I thought about Colorado, but I spent many summers in Colorado growing up and really wanted to go somewhere I’ve not been before as an adult.

As I was drifting around the map I landed on Lake Tahoe. “YES!”, I thought….it has all the things we are looking for in a summer vacation location.

South Lake Tahoe GM

Step 2: Determine if you can afford to go there

This is where I’m really not the best. I’m not a travel bargain shopper. I’m sure this is my misfortune. I think that if I were trying to go to Europe, Hawaii, or Alaska or somewhere far, I’d be more apt to find deals, even at the expense of my convenience. Since I’m traveling close and I can cater to my convenience.

Keep in mind that things typically are more expensive when it is a holiday week.

Step 2.5: Settle on what days you will be traveling/stay for

The flights and lodging are typically the most costly part of any vacation.

United Airlines has a hub in the Houston, TX area and I determined that we could get a direct flight into Reno, NV. There is only 1 direct flight per day in to RNO from IAH and only 1 direct flight per day from RNO to IAH. Soooo that didn’t leave very much wiggle room; we’d need to book the flights right away to ensure that we can get back and forth on the days we want.

I checked our credit card points to see how much we could apply towards our flights. It wasn’t a lot this time because I kept using my points on Amazon for my dog, but every little bit helps. My Mom also hooked me up for my birthday….chipping in towards the costs of our flights (thanks Mom!).

I then started looking on and AirBNB for places to stay. I originally was looking at North Lake Tahoe, it was not super expensive, really close to Reno, BUT it was far from the mountains. Then I started checking South Lake Tahoe, which apparently is “the place to be”. I found a condo for rent that was within a reasonable price range per night.

Next was checking the rental car prices. Thankfully, I get a corporate discount through my company and it is going to be around $300 for 8 days.

The financial part was looking doable…..sooooo let’s do this!

Step 3: Picking & Securing Lodging

Do not drive yourself nuts with all of the millions of options. I made a board on both VRBO and AirBNB webpages and saved the most appealing ones to the boards. Once I felt like I had seen most of what was available in the area, I started narrowing them down based on the location and amenities that are important to me.

  • Location – Can I walk to things? How close to the water or mountains am I?
  • Kitchenette – Coffee, Snacks, Perhaps cook breakfast.
  • Laundry Facility Access – For an 8 day trip, this is important.
  • On-Site Pool and or Hot Tub (other/more amenities a plus)
  • Patio or Balcony
  • Size and Luxury

Once you have a list of what is important to you in lodging you can easily and quickly narrow down the options in each board. After I narrowed it down to 2 or 3 options, I provided them to my husband to obtain his preference. He chose the same one that I did, so just like that….bam! We had a place to stay.

I booked the room for the dates I had picked and immediately went online and booked our flights. Then immediately reserved a rental car, which will be a small SUV. All the big things are booked and paid for……..

Now the fun part of planning a trip really begins!

Part 2 on Food and Activities – Coming Soon!

I will re-cap our trip and experiences and I will review our lodging location.

I will do restaurant reviews and post them on my other site called: Restaurant Reviews – ByCandace

Do You Need Motivation?


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Throughout my many readings during the past few weeks, I’ve noticed a lot of articles around the idea of motivation. How to stay motivated. How to get motivated.

Do you think to yourself that you can achieve a specific goal if you could just get motivated? Or just stay motivated?

If so, this post is for you.

I know the feeling all-to-well of not feeling motivated to physically do something; even if it is something that I want to do or want to enjoy the benefits of after said thing is done.

So, what’s the issue? Why is there a struggle to do “it”?

It is not about motivation….not the way that we typically think of motivation or the lack thereof preventing us from achieving something that we want.

No Motivation Yes Dicipline

The Nitty-Gritty

You do not need motivation. You need discipline.

Naturally it isn’t quite a simple as that. Discipline isn’t easy.

Find your Why

If you want something bad enough you will prioritize your life and choices to achieve what you want. If you do not make that goal a priority then you do not want it bad enough. Perhaps the timing for achieving that goal is off and going after that goal at a later date may be a better option for you.

Ask yourself why you want the goal. Then ask yourself why 4 more times to each answer you give yourself. If your why answers are strong enough and you are attached to the answers, then the why will drive you / motivate you to make the necessary actions to make the goal a priority in your life.

What You Want Most

Take Action

If your why is strong and your goal is a priority, then you develop an action plan to reach your goal. You will create discipline around those actions because you will be driven by your why. You will go do your action steps regardless of if you feel like doing them or not, because you are intrinsically driven to do it.



Do not allow your feelings and excuse of “not feeling motivated to” prevent or derail you from the action steps you created. If you are feeling a lack of motivation, I encourage you to determine if your goal is a real priority to you and your life at that time.

If not, fine; readdress the goal at a later time. Make a different goal that is a priority to you now.

If so, then go back through the “find your why” questions and re-prioritize your life in such a way that will allow you stay on-track towards achieving your goal.


I wrote a post called Pure Gold Nuggets! a few years ago that touches on a similar subject.