The space within my head – Candice M

Just Awesome.


Life, the Universe, and Everything Else

I can’t change my address huh.

Well, I relinquished the tag willful soul back to my lovely friend a while back, but I think it’s stuck on my blog. Which I don’t feel like exporting and making a new one (and having to find the people I follow all over again- Opinionated man I would miss your rants especially). Oh well! ūüėõ


un-acomplishment can be.. just Candice

It’s true. ¬†I suck at accomplishing things, unless it’s cleaning baseboards, light switches, and making sure the house looks Martha Steward-esq (on a very much lower budget) before anyone shows up on my doorstep. ¬†But school? ¬†Have no progression to show. ¬†Doctor thinks we should double the dose of the 2 BP meds- so 4 horse pills and 2 regular circles daily, plus the anxiety stuff. ¬†I’m not so sure that’s the problem, but we’ll give it a month.

Today kicked off a 15 week (yes I said 15 weeks or 105 day) diet. ¬†The 4th of July does not count :P. ¬†I’m going to prove that, no matter what your method is, it’s possible to go from apple to hourglass and have that jLo booty that CAN be achieved with squats.. just lots of them.

I have two proof sets to post, but finished 3 shoots.  I will say, after being ready to throw in the towel on newborn shoots, we came up with some of the cutest damn photos.  My other sessions went extremely well too, including a redeployment in a hanger at the adjoining army post at 5AM.  (not a morning person).

Kids. Summer. Headaches.

I added 2 Zebra finches to the 4 society (2 european, 2 regular?) and while they all get along, the 4 societies have moved to the larger nest and just last night the zebras were allowed to take up residence in the smaller one.



If you need a shoot (and live in Hawaii) or are wanting to get in shape, let me know. ¬†Part of my 15 week program *suggests* beachbody products but hell I’m happy to help anyone using DIY methods that are free. ¬†I’d just like the support group to form.


email: or

text: 808-927-2940      //        No creepers!


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I HAVE to start on my homework. ¬†Once I’m half way (at least) through Unit 2 then I can work on this weeks shoot 2 and 3 proofs. ¬†Maternity, family studio, and anniversary ūüôā

Ok, school again (NASM)!  Kids are locked upstairs, charlie is on the grind too, and FB and Phone are turned off.  Sayonara!

‚ÄúI was born with an enormous need for affection, and a terrible need to give it.‚ÄĚ

Audrey Hepburn

I’m going to admit it. ¬†I’m not always the most empathetic person, but people do come to me often and I try my best. ¬†I wish I could say the same as Audrey. ¬†Sometimes, I feel as though people I know think it’s THEIR show. ¬†And, really, it is. ¬†In their life it’s their show, and in my life it’s MY show. ¬†But I shouldn’t write off others because I feel their complaints and problems are minor compared to mine (though I’m pretty reserved with my issues). ¬†To them, it’s all the shit they’re dealing with and it’s a lot, and who am I to judge? ¬†I need to step back and really look at the big picture. ¬†I used to be so good at this! ¬†Lately I find myself irritable and not really listening 100% of the time. ¬†I can be a great and terrible friend at the same time. ¬†I think my true friends see me for what I am and see the good in me, not the crappy side.

I LOVE attention, affection, being envied,¬†imitated, whatever. ¬†In high school, before I turned to other methods, I drew from other’s flattery. ¬†As I got older, it was usually from the opposite sex that I got this attention I craved, and used it to my favor. ¬†Not saying I was a harlot, but it was nice to have people buying you drinks because you smiled the right way, had the coolest hair and piercings/tattoos, and were brash.

It’s also probably the way I met the love of my life. ¬†We were both waiting by the bar (him for his paycheck, me for drinks for table whatever) and he commented on something with OJ and Pineapple juice probably being delightful. ¬†My brash mouth and attitude spat out “yeah, if you have a pussy” and I guess for him it was love at first sight. ¬†At the time it wasn’t at the front of my mind, but after one date with him (which took a few weeks and a very cheesy pick up line on his part) I was done for.

I digress.

Even now, a few years shy of thirty, and I still wish for that praise and affection that… I don’t know that it exists for me at this time. ¬†I’m not graceful, a great hostess, or able to be the compassionate listener (I used to be good at this). ¬†Now my mind wanders, I cut people off, and often wonder why I don’t just blab all my issues to the world as if I needed sympathy. ¬†I know I’m too old to be that punk rock chick taping band flyers to the homeless in Orlando, but at the same time I can’t (and I’ve tried) be the “woman” wearing clothing from the women’s section and heels with statement jewelry. ¬†If I had it my way, I’d probably have about 10 facial piercings and 2 full sleeves by now (not considering monetary issues). ¬†What type of image does this imply as an army wife? ¬†Sure, while Charlie is a JNCO is isn’t a big deal. ¬†But once he grows in rank, or if he gets accepted to green-to-gold or OCS I’m pretty sure I’ll need to put on a new “face”. ¬†The army is a bit different from civilian life, and I’m adjusting while fighting it.

HNL right before sunset.
HNL right before sunset.
Gold as that naked king.
Gold as that naked king.
Color corrected
Color corrected

On a whim, I drove a bit outside of Honolulu tonight to try out long exposure and ended up meeting a new friend while at it. ¬†Here are the three images I edited since I arrived home. ¬†Tomorrow morning I’m hitting the lagoons with a good friend, then Walmart, then a newborn shoot (can I remind myself after the other scheduled one I’m no longer doing newborns? ¬†They are so precious and I love snuggling them, but so hard to get great photos of!), and lastly picking up a gift for a certain person. ¬†Plus getting things ready for my baby’s homecoming! ¬†Cheesy, yes, he has only been gone a bit more than a month but we missed him and he missed us and that means we are celebrating!

Oh yeah. ¬†I still haven’t made a Hibiscus half post. ¬†Later (meaning next month, lol)






I saw this on and connected, and wanted to share.

Almost done!

Charlie comes home in a few days! ¬†It went by faster than I expected. ¬†I didn’t accomplish nearly as much as I hoped.. funny. ¬†When he is home, he tells me to stop cleaning, when he is gone, I don’t want to! ¬†Lol.

I was doing better at keeping it updated, but here’s the link to my youtube video feed. ¬†It’s nothing super impressive, just day to day life ūüôā ¬†But I know my parents and in-laws love to see the nuggets in action. ¬†

I broke out the juicer again yesterday- I forgot how good (kind of?) fresh juice is.  That, plus Combat live today, and shakeology has my system like whoa.

Image  Image

(that is not my husband or anyone I even know.  But that is one sexy as hell camera lens!)

Tripler Ridge to Haiku Stairs

Attempt number 2 climbing up the back of the mountain ridge overlooking H3 and down Haiku Stairs, AKA “Stairway to Heaven”. It’s extremely gorgeous under good weather conditions.. unfortunately 6 of the 7 hour hike was rainy and we were (literally) walking in the clouds. Embedded is a short video Charlie took coming down the stairs.

Was it hard? You bet. Lots of very, VERY steep climbing with rock footholds and holding onto ferns or the occasional rope to hoist yourself up an almost vertical climb. Plenty of sliding down the ridge (parallel to H3) on our bums. We were literally “red” from the clay by the end of the trip, but it was extremely amazing to accomplish something very few will ever do in their lifetime.

PS- going down the stairs is scary as shit! Not only were they wet, some of the rungs are missing or wobbly or tilted, and a few of the rails are no longer there. Parts are vertical, forcing you to go down like a ladder, but mostly you can go down face first. About a 1/4 down the stairs the weather cleared (just one side, the one overlooking the highway and K-Bay) and the rain let up.


I made a slideshow of images I was able to gather from our collective cellphones, the GoPro video feed will be posted after the guys return from operation desert training.

Here is a link to the slideshow:

1911055_4086576659197_5221806058698163136_oMy first 10k! ¬†I honestly did not run once since the 23’rds Spartan Sprint.. lol. ¬†How great am I at preparing for things!?

I will say, I ran for 10+ minute intervals (never happened before!) and my 5k time was about a minute better than my first Cross Country event in high school. ¬†Not terrible for being 10 years older. We started at the foot of the bridge, and ran a huge clockwise circle on the roads that follow the permitter of the island. ¬†Cool running past the Mighty Mo’ and all the old buildings. ¬†I’m surprised they haven’t remodeled them- some of them look in pretty bad shape. ¬†Veterans were nice enough to hand out little Flags so I stuck one in my camel back around Mile 2. ¬†Since I had my hydration system I didn’t have to stop at the water stations, but pretty much traffic got congested there. ¬†There was a guy who went down around mile four, hope he is okay ūüė¶ ¬†It was decently warm (high 70s low 80s) and maybe he didn’t hydrate well, or pushed himself too hard. ¬†I didn’t see the details.

My final time was 1 Hour 17 minutes and a few seconds, I haven’t seen where to find the official results yet. ¬†Woop Woop dude was there, plus a whole interesting variety of people. ¬†One older guy had a Ford Island Bridge Run shirt from ’99, another looked like Carrot top wearing a speedo. ¬†Lol. ¬†I had a blast! ¬†It was a little scary doing something all by myself, but I dove in headfirst. ¬†Hubs was apparently pretty proud of me and told his office all about how cool I am (:

I’m ready for the next thing! ¬†I think we might try a hike next weekend, and possibly skydiving for our friend’s birthday on Easter!

More images @ Flickr- Click me!

v Here is a cool break down of the route, elevation and mile times. v

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cropped-img_8225.jpgHi! ¬†This is my new website, since as great as Facebook is for social sharing, it’s just not quite comprehensive enough for everything I want to share with you!
I have struggled with my weight on and off since I was in elementary school (although, I didn’t really realize it or care then- I was a kid having fun and loving my coco-puffs!). ¬†As I got older, I went through phases of being strong and lean (sports in high school, growth spurts) and chunking it up for a while. ¬†When I got in my first serious relationship post high school, the pounds started packing¬†on- to the point of a great deal of anxiety and depression (two things that, in my case, only make the problem worse!). ¬†I started a job where the whole team worked out on our lunch breaks and after work, and got down to a lean, mean, 124 pounds and looked GREAT!
Of course, if you don’t keep up with a healthy lifestyle, and go back to your old habits, well, you’ll go back to your old self. ¬†Which is exactly what happened after a long period of substance abuse and a lifestyle I’m not proud of. ¬†As of February, 2010 I officially cleaned up my act. ¬†I met my now husband later that year, made another beautiful baby, and completely have changed my life! ¬†I started going to a gym and working out with a trainer, eating better and more “real” foods. ¬†I bounced back from post-pregnancy super quickly and was so happy with my results!
Once again, after my husband finished his basic training and advanced training for the Army and we moved back in together after 5 months (and to Hawaii no less- the official bikini state) my new life as a stay at home mom began to show itself- my fat pants were now tight, and forget about my skinny jeans!
Needing to make a change I saw someone advertising shakeology samples on a local trade group and thought why not? ¬†Needless to say- It was love at first taste. ¬†I attended a local coaches event to check out the business and decided to sign up as a coach with Les Mills Pump Challenge Pack, thinking I’d mainly just be doing it for the discounted prices on the shakes and programs.
Now I have a team of coaches under me who love sharing the product! ¬†Most of them started off as customers like me. ¬†There is nothing more rewarding than hearing that you helped change someone’s life. ¬†Hearing someone was able to get off certian medications, can run a 5k, chase their kids at the park, or just be in less pain is the best compensation in the world.
I always knew I wanted to be a part of the fitness world- I’m a Nutrition Major at the University of Alabama (currently taking a break from school while my husband focuses on his major and career), had a blog previously called moms vs muffin tops (I sitll love that name!) and invite anyone over to my house to come workout with me! ¬†On the weekends we try to do hikes and Hawaiian adventures when babysitting can be arranged, and I ran my first 5k obstacle course in March (Spartan Sprint!). ¬†Next saturday, April 5th, I’m doing my first 10K! ¬†And in August we are signed up for the Spartan Trifecta- 2 days, 22 Miles of intense obstacles (broken down into a half-marathon day one, and a 5 and 10k day 2). ¬†Insane? ¬†Yes! ¬†But before beachbody and the amazing support I’ve received, I would never have imagined myself able to accomplish these things!
SO, thank you for making it to the end of my novel!  I hope that I can help insipre you, and likely you inspire me!  Feel free to contact me, day or night, with questions, motivation, tips, or just to chat.
Candice MacDonnell
Myfitness pal name: MrsMacDonnell
Instagram: willfulsoul
Twitter: willfulsoul
Mahalo and Aloha!
1972284_381724331965392_1488234079_nWhat a hike to pick for my first, actual, nature-y hike!
Our prime objective, which sadly I’ll admit was not met, was to traverse the mountain from the backside and end up going down the Haiku stairs.. which is guarded and not allowed access to from the front (unless you manage to slip in during a time when the guard is not there, which is illegal also, and hard to predict a good time to try. ¬†I’m sure going down isn’t legal, but they can’t do much at that point.. you’re just a crazed hiker in need of food and water).
We took a turn too early for the route planned and ended up on the Kulana’ahane Trail, which is a beautiful, long hike with lots of A) mud ¬†B) streams to cross ¬†C) trees and vines. ¬†Following it all the way goes a few miles through pretty dense vegetation with a few open spots where you can see that you’re really in the middle of a mountain line. ¬†Eventually you’ll come to a sign that states you are at the end of the maintained trail- and it’s not kidding. ¬†Your path narrows to about two feet wide and is very slick, uphill, and inconsistent footing. ¬†Somehow, there are “foot steps” in the rock that allow you to go up a very narrow ridge, and ropes to help keep you from toppling over. ¬†It started raining a bit once we were about half a mile from the end of the trail. ¬†Rain drops are very large at an elevation of 1,660 feet! ¬†When you have a chance, really do try to admire the beauty around you on all parts of the hike. ¬†On the way down (it was pouring at that point) you can see waterfalls going straight down the mountains.. and these are not the gentle slopes you can drive up. ¬†I’m talking almost 90 degree angles. ¬†Erosion or whatever hasn’t been heard of here.
All five of us made it to the top, with only slightly muddy and wet attire.  Luckily, no electronics were harmed (as of today, though a few got wet) and no injuries other than some brush scrapes, hurt egos, and a few bruises.
After seeing the next 20 “steps” to get to the stairs from our mistake, we decided to go back down. ¬†This was much faster going, though now it was extremely slippery and muddy. ¬†A piece of photography equipment was lost somewhere along the way ūüė¶ ¬†and there was a lot of sliding on our rears and crab walking down the steep slope. ¬†Once we got to the bottom of the drop, the streams were twice as high and crazy fast! ¬†Crossing them became a little more challenging, and I’m lucky I was surrounded with soldiers to help keep me from falling down a zillion times (have I mentioned I’m a klutz?).
After getting almost to the end of the Kulana’ahane, and actually feeling dry for the first time in a while, the rain gods decided it was time to pour again, so the remaining 3 miles or so were drenched. ¬†Having good company made it much better, and the entire way down we actually had a blast.
Tradition to a grueling adventure, we ended up at Bowles Burritos, where I finally found something as good as the little shack in Ocala I used to drive an hour and a half to find!  Nom Nom.
Cold car ride home, rescued children, hot showers, and some Super Mario 3, and everyone was happy and ready to do it again.
I’m not disappointed we didn’t reach the stairs- it meant a loooong hike back but still, I got to stand on top of a freaking mountain, the highest elevation I’ve ever been, and watch the cars go by. ¬†I’m normally one of those cars on my way to a shoot wishing I was on top. ¬†Today, I was.
See photos from this hike here: ¬†Flickr- Kulana’ahane¬†(More to come soon)
Here is the 2nd blog we tried to follow and half-hearted gave up once we reached #17:
stay classy,

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