Be Exceptional!

ExcellenceIn line with our recent posts about deconstruction, letting go of the past, and setting goals, today’s post basically takes us to the next level of being…be exceptional. As always, I like to start with a definition. According to Merriam-Webster, ‘exceptional’ means “better than average…” My parents always encouraged my sister and I to “do our best.” As low-pressure as that sounds, I think this statement is deeper than it first appears.

What does it really mean to do one’s best? Isn’t ‘best’ a relative goal? For some, optimal studying may yield an ‘A’ on an exam; for others, their best may be a ‘C’. When you think about it, if everyone’s ‘best’ were the same, we’d all be perfect, wouldn’t we? I believe our ‘best’ is relative. For simplicity, I submit that our ‘best’ is the state of achieving one’s necessary goals for personal success, whatever that definition of success may be. It’s much like the law of inertia – that an object in motion/at rest stays in motion/at rest “unless acted upon by some external force.” What are these external forces? In the case of a smooth metal ball rolling across a smooth surface, gravity and friction keep the ball from continuing to roll in a straight line forever. In our own lives, what are the external forces that keep us from continuing to stay in motion, or in some cases, keep us from taking time to be still? What are the things that keep us from being our best?

I have been thinking about this for a long while now, as part of constructing my goals for the next year (no resolutions, remember? It’s about setting goals!) Unlike gravity and friction, sometimes these forces are things that ARE totally in our control. What are we spending time doing that keep us from our goals? Who are we spending time with? What things are we making a priority that really need to take a back seat? Let’s face it, we don’t like admitting that sometimes WE get in our own way! As painful as it can be, being honest with and about ourselves is the first step in doing our best. Once we get past acknowledging and accepting our part in this, it is even more important to do something about it! If you recognize the symptoms and then say, “I have a cold,” but then do nothing to treat the cold, then you will stay sick longer than you need to. True, you may eventually get better as your body uses its natural defenses to heal, but why take the long road? As a good friend always says, “Work smarter, not harder.”

So whatcha sayin’ Calandra?…It’s time to clean out the clutter of our lives and be BETTER than our best! Be “better than average” – be EXCEPTIONAL! Go into the New Year not with resolutions, but with a goal and a plan to be EXCEPTIONAL! Use the best of what you have to be the best you can be!

Happy New Year!!


We Wish You a Merry Christmas!


This and That With Calandra would like to thank all our subscribers and readers for all your support throughout 2012. We wish you and your families a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Happy and Blessed New Year. Looking forward to a great 2013!

Peace and Blessings,


A Christmas Reflection

20121216-220615.jpgThis thought began as a Facebook status update, but soon proved too lengthy and I thought it would be better served as a quick blog post.

There is nothing more peaceful than sitting in silence by the lights of the Christmas tree. I have treasured these moments annually since I was a little girl. I would sit on the floor beside our family’s larger-than-life, live Christmas tree, soak in the fragrant needles and watch the twinkling colored lights.

As I sit here now and reflect, I can hear my Daddy’s smooth baritone voice give Nat King Cole a run for his money, singing, “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Jack frost nipping at your nose…” And deeper still, thinking about the meaning of Advent…the expectation of the birth of Jesus, THE reason for the season.

In this time of holiday busy-ness and stress, take a few moments in reflective solitude and remember that it’s Christmas…

Cocktails & Class

Cocktails & Class2

I am fortunate to have teamed up with two of the most industrious ladies I know. My best friend of over 25 years and I formed SGF Events in November 2011, hosting beauty events and themed makeup parties. Through mutual connections on Facebook, I met Ginger Jones, creator of Make Beauty Your Business. Together, the three of us hosted our first joint beauty event this past September in Laurel, Maryland – Cocktails & Class. Ladies from the local area came for cocktails, refreshments and MAKEUP!! We were able to help some who had never been much for makeup become comfortable with color selection and application. It was a BLAST! Vendors from Traci Lynn Jewelry and Thickness Tees rounded out the afternoon with great products for sale.

Cocktails & Class II: The Holiday Edition is scheduled for Saturday December 15, 2012. We’re coming back to Laurel to help the ladies with their holiday glam. We’ve also got products for the fellas, as well as a host of vendors to help the ladies and gents finish off their Christmas shopping! We welcome vendors from Thickness Tees (my FAVE t-shirts), Traci Lynn Jewelry, Grace Adele handbags, Scentsy, Tastefully Yours, and our sponsor Motives Cosmetics. So join us on the 15th if you are in the Maryland area, and invite your friends and family to join you there. Click HERE for more information, or email us at