The Time of My Life


When I was creating a loose reading guideline for myself, I added the genre of non-fiction, largely, because of the one that was in front of me at the time. I thought to myself “I really enjoy getting swept away into the great beyond…wouldn’t it be cool if I gave non-fiction a chance to do the same!?”

Now, I may have cheated a little bit, being I was a fan of the subject matter but my non-fiction read for January was The Time of My Life by Patrick Swayze.

Just in case you need a reminder of where you may have seen Patrick, here you go…


My first memory of Patrick Swayze was actually from a shirt my mom use to wear when I was a little girl. One of her jobs while my brothers and I were growing up was at the local video store and I guess she use to get free merchandise with the movie shipments and this one was a favorite of hers, and mine too.

The combination of her working at the video store and growing up in the 80’s meant I got to watch a lot of cool movies. I can’t recall exactly when I watched them but I have seen, almost, all of the above movies and have ALWAYS been huge Patrick Swayze fan (and not just because of Johnny Castle).

As it was probably destined, my sweet Momma read this book first and had so much fun telling me about it, until she decided I should read it myself. I am glad that happened because it added to the enjoyment of the book to know she read it too 🙂


In The Time of My life Patrick takes the reader from his formative years, until the year he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer (the book was published before he passed away).

Within the pages you are taken behind the scenes of his career and personal life, as he navigates his passion for dancing, singing, acting, nature and Lisa. Over 30 years are covered in the book and it’s a wild, wild ride for sure.

I wasn’t expecting the book to fit so perfectly with where I am in life. As I get older, my desire to be authentic, vulnerable and totally transparent was met in kind by Patrick as he laid everything out in words written, much as he did in all of his auditions.

Patrick Swayze wanted to bring his best into whatever he endeavored, often suffering physically and personally to achieve it but he didn’t sugar coat it in the re-telling. With every punch thrown, every part not gotten, every breakthrough, every accolade, and every heartbreak, he lets you in to what it meant to be him.

I appreciate every page of this book for the part of his self he left on the pages and I think that it finding me almost a decade after his passing makes the resilience found within in it speak even louder.


Over the years, friends/family have often gotten a chuckle out of how deeply connected I feel to people I have never met. I had no idea why I felt Patrick was one of those people until I read it in his words. He was a strong man but also, felt too much, like me and some of the hardships he faced, he barely made it through. His life story resonates with me.

There was a really beautiful reflection on the passing of a beloved animal, Cody (who also passed away from cancer).

Although I knew his spirit was free, I felt an incredibly deep sadness that he wouldn’t be here with us anymore…

When those you love die, the best you can do is honor their spirit for as long as you live. You make a commitment that you’re going to take whatever lesson that person (or animal) was trying to teach you and make it true in your own life.

It’s a positive way to keep their spirit alive in the world, by keeping it alive in yourself.


If I believe anything in life, it’s that last line. Somewhere out there Patrick’s spirit knows that he made an impact in the life of little ole me and that brings huge smile to my face and small stream of tears to my eyes.

His story still matters and I am grateful I have the opportunity to share what I can from it with you all ❤



One of my favorite artist, Matthew Lineham, has something fantastic coming up next in a few weeks…check out his Instagram.


Tookish Travels

Welcome to the spot On Wanderwood Lane where I will share the photographic journey of my travels.

While I’ll be starting with the BIG ones, like Ireland and Italy, I want Tookish Travels to become a place that eventually houses all my adventures great and small, as I continue to cultivate my artistic expression through my words and photography.


Then something Tookish woke up inside him, and he wished to go and see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking-stick.” – from The Hobbit


Until the next adventure 🙂

Woman Warrior and Wanderer

If you have been reading On Wanderwood Daily for the past, almost, week, then you may remember that the first post here had the goals I had written down to achieve this year.

***if you didn’t see it, you can navigate to it now and then come back 😉


It’s only day 6 so you may be wondering why I am posting about it again, but hang in there.

First, I want to talk about the goal that said Budokon Woman Warrior. I caught wind of Budokon Mixed Movement Arts a few years ago when a Facebook friend shared a video of the founder, Kancho Cameron Shayne, in her feed.

I was immediately drawn to the fluidity of the movement in the video and thought to myself, I bet I would feel better if my body could move like that.

For the past few years I progressively began to follow the Shayne’s, Budokon University and various other warriors on Instagram. It didn’t take long AT ALL to realize that body movement was a small part of the practice itself…there was MUCH more too it.

I couldn’t get enough of the LIVEs that were shared and really began to wonder how I was going to be able to make down to Miami for a training. It was intimidating to think about my extra curvy body mixing in with all those lean, mean machines but MAN DID I WANT TO try it!!

As destiny would have, an Instagram announcement this past summer led me to a newly formed Academy within 30miles of me. It wasn’t HQ but for me, it was way easier to get to than Miami.

I quickly followed and reached out the the Sensei there to inquire about classes. They were offering a great introductory sampling to come unlimited for 2 weeks for $22. It was a no brainer and before I knew it I was meeting Andres at 9am on a Wednesday morning for an introduction.

I had NO idea that I would be the only one there but in a situation that would normally make me have a panic attack, I was at peace. The environment knew I wanted to be there and welcomed me into it, as did Andres. I was led into foundational moves and much to my surprise, my body (larger or not) could do what I required of it.

This was a different experience than anything I had attempted in my life. I cried, of course, as the tutorial was coming to a close, because I knew that I had indeed found something that could lead me to the next level of me…and I wanted it.


Fast forward to today, when I attended the first Woman Warrior workshop.

**I’ve made it back a few times over the fall but due to so much travel, I couldn’t do it with consistency.

One of the first feelings I got in this space was the sense of community and I had missed it, so though very nervous, I was thrilled to be back there today.

The lovely Irene led us through a morning of self awakening and discovery. I had done the physical work before but we started with peeling back the mental/emotional layers and I got to witness the entire concept of Budokon layed out…I got to feel it. It was followed by a nourishing meal and a discussion about applying this concept to every area of your life.

Upon leaving I knew it was time to make a commitment and I didn’t let myself fall into doubt, fear or anxiety about it because (as I’ve known for years) it HAS to happen.


2019 is the year I get in touch with the woman warrior in me!



Second and third won’t take long because they come down to basic math…

I don’t like numbers. I don’t know why, I just never have. So when I think about things like setting number goals, I am not very creative with it.


For example, I chose the number 50 for my book reading goal for the year. I had done this a few years ago, without much structure and ended up all but quitting half way through. All I wanted to do when I set 2019s goal was finish the old one.

Then I chose the challenge of reading 4 books, because they were sitting there looking at me, and said “I could probably do that every month and blow my goal out of the water”. I was about to comment on someone else’s “read 50” goal, when thankfully, I finally did the math and realized that I would be 2 SHORT of my goal. Now, I know that there are plenty of ways to fit two more books in, so I am not worried about it, I just thought you might enjoy a chuckle at my expense…because I certainly did 🙂




I’ve been wanting to complete the #nc100miles challenge for about 2 years now. Something always comes up…mostly excuses about how could I reach such a high number in a state park, in day trips (as that’s about all I have time for)…


Having been fresh in math brain, I decided to run the numbers to see how many miles I would need to get in each month to hit the goal…and once again, the palm of my hand hit my forehead…8(ish)…8(ish) miles PER MONTH…now that number is SO doable, without requiring a bike/kayak/horse (none of which I own).

I’m so silly, I know.



After the three of these revelations and the fact that I am about to hit send on what will be my 9th (I think ;)) (91 to go) blog post, I’d say it’s going to be a good year for crushing goals!

Who’s with me!!??

Should You Need Us

When I began to start planning my reading/posting for 2019, it didn’t take long at all to realize that my bookmark collection was severely lacking. I believe I had a grand total of four when I finally found all of them. As per usual, they were in four different, unfinished books.

As I took them out of each book and put those books back in the TBR pile, it dawned on me that if I wanted to keep my postings fresh, I couldn’t be rotating the same 4 bookmarks around.

Luckily for me, it was the end of the year and a few of the creator accounts I follow were having a SALE.


Erin, creator at Bibliophile Prints, was one of the accounts I had been following closely since introduction and I couldn’t help but notice, her sale was pretty BIG! The next thing I know, I am down the rabbit hole that is her wonderful shop and I had a great time filling up my cart.

My package arrived yesterday, with a lovely note (I love personal touches like this) and was incredibly pleased with my order!


Every bookmark is vibrantly colored and individually sleeved for safe transport.

Here’s a breakdown of what I received.

I edited these a little darker so you could see how vibrant the colors are.

Labyrinth is one of my all time favorite movies. The fun fact here is that I didn’t find this movie until I heard the soundtrack as a teenager. Animatronics and Puppetry have always interested me and Ludo, Hoggle, Sir Didymus and Ambrosius immediately captured my heart. I go back to the story a lot, anytime I need a pick me up really, because I view the characters that I read/watch the same way Sarah does in the quote captured beautifully on the above bookmark.

“every now and then, in my life, for no reason at all, I need you”…it makes me cry every time.


For reasons that are probably more than obvious by now, I had to include my big fandoms in the bookmark stash because, well, I am a hufflepuff, hobbit and daughter of Eve 😉

Jane is included because Tarzan was one of the first movies I watched with my niece and nephew when I use to keep them weekly and that song was the first song I sang to them. They are all getting older and busier now so that sentiment means even more to me.


I thought these would be amazing to accompany posts and the photographer in me adores that Erin captured my truest self by creating them!


On Wanderwood Lane has become such a big part of my life in such a short time. I think about this space ALL the time and am beginning to really have a clear vision for it. I am so grateful to the bookish creators, like Erin, out there, who create a beautiful, quality product that I can both enjoy and share with you all.


Thanks Bibliophile Prints!

Who’s that girl?

Maybe it was all the brainstorming and shopping for that costume yesterday, maybe it was watching Night School tonight at movie night, or maybe was Alanis singing to me on the drive home but I am still stuck in 90’s brain…and not just 90’s brain, my 90’s brain.

Among all the things it made me think of, it had me wondering…why?

Why, in movies/books/real life are we always looking back to the things we would change about that time in our lives?

I am guilty of it too, don’t get me wrong. There are a million things I would tell 15/16 year old Candice that might save her a lot of (often self inflicted) heartbreak but tonight I left myself drift to the times when I felt truly invincible…



It was sophomore year and my first year playing HS soccer. For a first year, all female team, we were good and I loved every minute of “us”. The blend of physicality and camaraderie were second to none and the only thing better than sharing the bus to matches with those ladies, was sharing the field.

I felt like my uniform was my armor and that I could anything when I laced up those cleats. Ok, that’s not 100% accurate. Looking back I took a lot of anxiety and self consciousness on to that field with me but it quickly melted as the match progressed.

It’s the only time in my life I’ve enjoyed running and probably the only setting in which I exhibited any Gryffindor “I can do anything, go-get-em” spirit.

That soccer girl version of me was pretty damn awesome, especially that year and I miss her!


My junior and senior year, I followed my passion to the stage and took drama both years. As intimidated as I was by all the talent around me, I didn’t let it stop me from learning all that I could do. Memorizing lines can be daunting but imagining a set when there was none was the easiest thing in the world and I enjoyed those classes more than most of my others combined.

Once again, finding camaraderie fed my soul and brought out the best in me. I didn’t get any lead roles but I felt the warmth of the stage lights, the applause of the crowd and took a bow. I was exhilarated every time I got to step into a character’s life and there isn’t a play or movie that I see today that I don’t imagine myself a character in.

That theatre girl gives me so much joy and I am glad she still makes an appearance.


circa 2000

Love…in high school, it’s most definitely a crazy little thing.

Sophomore year brought with it a great little love. Anyone reading who remembers that time knows that I ADORED him and sharing that time with someone who cared as much as he did was a really great way to spend most of that year.

But we were young, so young and on a week long club field trip he decided to see someone else. If I am honest, it was my first true heartbreak. Oh, as I mentioned I am dramatic, so I thought it had already happened, but I really did love that guy.

What amazes me about that girl is that she dried her tears and said to herself “this isn’t worth being sad about anymore, we lived, we loved and if it’s time to move on, it is”. The next day at school, she put a flowy dress (it was a game day after all), a huge smile and flashed that beautiful smile at everyone she crossed paths with that day, including the new couple.

For a day, hopefully more since, that girl determined her worth and let it shine.

I think that’s the girl I miss the most ❤


 There are probably a ton of other examples of times I surprised myself and I really hope there are but those are the few that stick out to me, at least at the moment, because…

One of my dearest friends, to date, shared that soccer field with me and knowing we will carry that camaraderie for the rest of our lives lets me know that she will remind me that soccer girl is still in me somewhere, waiting to take the field again and for that I am grateful.

Theatre helped me find a home for my creativity/imagination (I still run monologues for myself) and also taught me that you don’t need a “someone” to have a hand to hold, a shoulder to support you or a embrace to hold you. It’s one of the places my heart grew a size and for that I am grateful.

The first heartbreak remains dear to me and I to him. Just because it never led us back to each other, doesn’t mean we can’t adore what we had and wish each other well, which I know that we do. In a strange way, it also helped me better navigate situations in my adulthood when I haven’t ended up with the one I adored. Just because romantic love isn’t the ending doesn’t lessen the adoration (I my case) and for that I am grateful.


Since I’m a fan of broody music, I’ll leave you with the lyrics to this Alanis Morissette song.

Thank You

How ’bout getting off of these antibiotics
How ’bout stopping eating when I’m full up
How ’bout them transparent dangling carrots
How ’bout that ever elusive kudo

Thank you India, thank you terror
Thank you disillusionment
Thank you frailty, thank you consequence
Thank you, thank you, silence

How ’bout me not blaming you for everything
How ’bout me enjoying the moment for once
How ’bout how good it feels to finally forgive you
How ’bout grieving it all one at a time

Thank you India, thank you terror
Thank you disillusionment
Thank you frailty, thank you consequence
Thank you, thank you, silence

The moment I let go of it
Was the moment I got more than I could handle
The moment I jumped off of it
Was the moment I touched down

How ’bout no longer being masochistic
How ’bout remembering your divinity
How ’bout unabashedly bawling your eyes out
How ’bout not equating death with stopping
Thank you India, thank you providence
Thank you disillusionment
Thank you nothingness, thank you clarity
Thank you, thank you, silence


Goodwill Hunting

Even though the sun wasn’t out to greet me, I was back into the swing of things work wise today and it felt good. I am big fan of a moody day weather wise but here in my corner of NC we have been getting A LOT of it…I NEED the sunshine, please!

Work finished up earlier than expected, as it sometimes does, and though I didn’t have the energy for much, I knew I needed to make a stop before I went home.

This Saturday I’ve been invited to attend a 90’s themed birthday party for a friend of mine. I was thrilled to get the invite but had honestly not put much thought into what I was going to wear.

Enter my friendly, neighborhood Goodwill…

Now, I take ZERO credit for the idea of costume shopping at Goodwill. That goes to my girl Lizzie and not only does she find costume pieces, in my eyes, she’s pioneered the #thrifted fashion scene.

I always channel my inner Lizzie when making Goodwill runs and I have been making it my first stop when shopping for about 3 months now. As expected, I don’t always find something that speaks to me but what treasures I have found, I’ve been thrilled with! I am so grateful she reminded me that thrift stores aren’t just for donations!

Back to tonight…

While I did have a few ideas in my mind, it took about an hour and some change to put a look together I was proud of. I grew up in the 90’s so maybe I had a little advanced help when it came to getting it right.

Here’s the look….


Honestly, I don’t know how I found something so perfectly me, but I sure did.

Now, I went through MANY fashion phases in my pre-teen/teens. My Mom and I wore the same size for a few years so I was constantly wearing her dresses and jewelry when I needed to dress up. If I had a photo album right now, you would have found me somewhere with a perm in my hair, headphones and depending on the year, in pipe leg jeans/plaidshirt/heavyeyeliner, flowy dresses and lots of make up or tight fitting sweaters and mens silvertabs. I had a pair of Airwalks by my heels and soccer cleats…Ahhh the 90’s ❤

The dress called to me over the teal blue blazer I, originally, had in my hand and I fell hard. It’s plaid, a 3/4 oversized dress AND in Hufflepuff colors…PERFECTION! Originally the idea was to wear it with black skinny jeans and some combat boots but then I found the purse. The photo doesn’t reflect but its plastic-y, like everything in the 90’s was and once again, I fell hard. The shoes were a little bit harder to navigate, as most of them were taller than I am BUT these beauties not only have the size heel I can manage but also mimic the snakeskin look that’s gone in and out of style over the years.

The wayfarers caught my eye on the way out and I just had to!

This was most definately my favorite Goodwill hunt, to date!

I’ll post an update with me in the outfit over the weekend!

Toodles!! 😉

A day off

The most surprising thing about today wasn’t that I had the day off, because I try to take mid-week off every week BUT that I woke up too exhausted to do everything that I planned.

Originally, I was going to get my car inspected, work on a few more writing prompts and then a visit a friend for the afternoon…

When I opened my eyes and immediately wanted to close them again (at 9:30), I knew that something wasn’t quite right. I was saddened to cancel plans but figured I had the day off so the time to recoup from whatever this was, was there.

It’s very hard for me to take a day off. Even when I am not working at my practice, I am running around doing one thing or another, and even at home I am working on more than one thing. As in, there isn’t much time space when I rest both my mind and my body…

It eventually catches up with me…today is a good example of that.


As hard as it was, I’ve made myself do very little. The couch has been my home base and from there I have either read, napped, watched something on Netflix or spent time writing…which still sounds like a lot when I read it back. Leaving out even the most minimal physical exertions has seemed to help, as I figure all the liquids have (I don’t have much of an appetite when I don’t feel 100%).

The day hasn’t been completely uneventful, however, as it has led me to realize (once again) that I am in control of how much I do in a day and I am the only one who can make me feel guilty for doing absolutely nothing on a planned day off.  I have to chuckle at the body for, once again, proving that point to me.

And so I look at this achy/fatigued laden day as a gift and with it I have started my first TBR of January (choosing to get the non-fiction done first), journaled about the first couple of days of the New Year, drank tons of hot tea, rested under the big/comfy blanket and stumbled onto another Margaret Atwood TV adaptation called Alias Grace (soup seems like the perfect accompaniment to this show)…

I think my favorite part (other than my bestie dropping off provisions) is that all of the events of today lined up my TBR for February and I don’t even have to think about now…

We all need a TRUE day off…don’t wait on your body to teach you that lesson 😉

Turn the Page


You’ve found the room On Wanderwood Lane where I will be taking my love of reading to the next level and increasing my bookworm efficiency by planning out my reading and posting!

I would say I am starting small but that would depend on the kind of reader you are 😉

Each month, I will have a small to be read consisting of one non-fiction book, one classic,  one by a local author and a 4th that I liked the cover of. This is subject to change, should I run out of the latter two but I’m hoping this model will take me through 2019.

But before we move into this year, I have to share my Nov/Dec read with you because I started it in an 80 degree weather weekend and finished it 4 weeks later after an uncommon NC snowfall.


The Silent Girls by Eric Rickstad was an Orlando Goodwill find and admittedly one I chose for the cover. I am a HUGE sucker for a book full of suspense and a puzzle to solve.

When writing my Goodreads review the first thing I said was that the length of time it took me to read this was not indicative of the pacing/story. I was caught somewhere between that road trip and binge watching Supernatural and fell into the “just one more episode” vs “just one more chapter” flow.

This Vermont based thriller is a page turner that I could have easily read in a couple of sittings, if it weren’t for being too sleepy some nights to keep up with the details, which you’de want to do. I really enjoyed the story and the way the author set the scene. While it may be a bit graphic for some, I appreciate details, even in the heavy things as it helps further draw me into the narrative.

More simply put, this was a read that had me immediately looking for a sequel. Don’t be surprised if you see Rickstad’s name show up here again!

January TBR

In an effort to start my 2019 reading at it’s best, I have included my January TBR stack here so that I can wrap this post up and get my nose in a book!


The 1st book is one that I am very excited about. While it’s not by an author local to me, it is by a Nantucket native AND I purchased it while visiting the island in the fall…so I am counting it!

I picked up Salt to the Sea a few weeks ago off a tea shop’s bargain bookshelf and though I did read the book blurb, the cover is what compelled me to buy it (you’ll have to follow along to see it).

Sense and Sensibility by Austen is my choice for classics for this month. I found this gem on a local Goodwill bookself. I didn’t think I’d like a more modern cover for a classic but I have to say I dig this one.

The non-fiction book for this month is one my mother gave me after she read it a few months ago. Patrick Swayze was the first actor I remember remembering and I adored him. I am looking forward to this one!



What are you reading this month?

The Daily OWL

Happy New Year!


Welcome to the space On Wanderwood Lane that will hold not only something that doesn’t fall into another room but will also give a home to a big goal I have for the year…

Writing DAILY!!!

If you held a microscope up to most of my days, this already happens in one form or the other but I felt I needed something more fine tuned…so here we are.


With today being the first day of a brand new year, I was hit with inspiration early on and began writing down the first things that came into my head.

The loudest and clearest was a theme song for the year. Music is like oxygen to me so narrowing it down happens in a different way than me just choosing one.

Fresh off of viewing The Greatest Showman (2017) it didn’t take long for Come Alive to be the song that spoke to me and said it wanted to be my theme for 2018. It proved to be monumental throughout the entire year and I can say I most definitely lived out those words.

I learned and felt so much from the entire soundtrack over 2018 that I was sure I had learned from it all that I needed to, until this morning that is.

For the 100th time, the lyrics to This Is Me rang in my ears.

“Wait, self, I know and believe all of this already, what’s going on here?” I impatiently asked my brain. The answer came in the form of honing into part of the lyrics that I had been glazing over…

I’m not scared to be seen, I make no apologies, this is me

I know that I deserve your love, there’s nothing I’m not worthy of

This song is an anthem to be sure and I have cried many tears feeling the lyrics in a very real way but while I have made great strides in living out the above, I am not where I can to be with it…unafraid to be seen in my entirety, feeling like something always needs to be changed to get me to the place where real love comes in…

It starts, as it ever does, with me. I can’t hear what others are saying sometimes because of the negative self talk and as far as I’ve come, I have a ways to go…

So…2019…this is me…



I shared this image earlier today with my friend Amanda and I thought she would be the only one, because she’s one of my biggest cheerleaders…and then when I was planning this post I knew, I was being afraid to be seen, again.

I hadn’t intended to come up with 19 things to carry out in 2019 but they showed up (and as I type this I realize I miscounted…SEE). A good amount of them are only important to me so I am not even sure where the fear to share came from but it HAS TO GO.


Here’s to year where we can all be a little bit more comfortable and unapologetic with ourselves!!

Happy 1st day of 2019 everyone!





While You Were Steeping

As you may have deduced by now, my fondness for loose leaf tea is at an all time high!

I am very excited to have a page on my blog devoted entirely to my venture of becoming the ultimate tea enthusiast.

I had to snag this little crocheted cuppa by @thirtysevenstars

While You Were Steeping will feature what’s in my cuppa on any given day as well as special items I might come across.

For example. I took advantage of the David’s Tea 24 days of Tea recently have loads of tea blends to share from that box, as well as a set of Holiday tea poppers from a friend.

The idea is not only to refine my palette so that I can find the best it out there, it is also to share these great tea companies with you in hopes that our support can keep them blending loose leaf for years to come.

The posts will be a short/sweet peek at my tea tasting experience, designed to help you decide if it’s something you would like to try.

All my fellow tea sippers will want to stay tuned to this page!!


I had to share the feature image again because I had a custom decal made to accompany my blog postings. I think it turned out great!

You can get one for yourself here: