The Art of…Letting Go


Over the past few years, I have been actively working on advancing my career. It has been an exciting, and at times, frightening process. Moving forward forces one to embrace the good, the bad and the ugly. However it is always good to take a hard look at yourself and learn more about what makes you tick.

Another effect of self-discovery is letting go – letting go of ideas, emotions, perceptions and sometimes even people. Letting go should never be viewed as a negative exercise. Pruning trees is a great example of letting go – cutting branches back controls growth and removes dead and diseased areas that would normally hinder growth. As much as we might want longer hair, my fellow hair caretakers understand that an occasional clipping of the ends will actually stimulate hair growth. Similarly, exfoliating the skin sloughs off dull and dead skin cells, exposing the growing layer of healthy skin underneath.

All these examples lead to a similar conclusion – letting go is good. Getting rid of anything that is toxic and unhealthy not only takes away the bad, but more importantly, makes way for the healthy, growing and good things to rise to the surface and flourish.

What do YOU need to let go of?


This and That With Calandra Turns 4!


I can’t believe that four years ago today, I started my first blog, This and That With Calandra. Technically, I started it a few weeks earlier on another site, but for simplicity, let’s just use January 30 as the official birthday of TTWC!

What started out as the written version of my YouTube channel has turned into so much more. In the past four years, TTWC has highlighted the following:

  • Makeup reviews and tutorials, based on my YouTube videos.
  • Food and Family articles from my cousin and TTWC contributor Jasmine Hall Ratliff.
  • Facebook Fan Page with over 230 followers.
  • Parenting articles published for the online magazine MortarNBrique.
  • A month of daily audio posts (AudioMo challenge), immediately followed by a month of daily blog posts (31WriteNow Challenge). TTWC followers increased dramatically as a result of the daily postings!
  • A section dedicated to music that spun off to create my second website, Liner Notes Lounge, which also became the home of my monthly music podcast,  The Listening Suite.

And who knows what the future will hold for This and That With Calandra! Thanks to all who have supported TTWC and its offshoots over the years, and who have personally encouraged my writing. TTWC would not have come this far without YOU! Here’s to many more years of This and That With Calandra.

Autumn Saturdays

It is a rainy and raw Saturday in New York; the kind of day that reminds me of why Autumn is my favorite season. My mind immediately rolls back to Autumn Saturdays of my youth.

My mother and I rose early to do the weekly chores. My father went out to run errands. Momma had a pot of Great Northerns (beans) on the stove and cornbread in the oven. Storm clouds dimmed the sunlight that usually lit up the living room, which was now colored a muted gray. The raindrops tapped out a melody on the windows, and the growing wind later joined in harmony.

By the time our work was done, Daddy was back home so we sat and ate our beans and cornbread.  We watched television – flipping between the news reports of the Nor’Easter that was blowing through the area, and bowling matches (hey, don’t judge – we were a bowling family!).

Quiet afternoons led to quiet nights, preparing for church the next day. I miss days like this…the smells and sounds of Autumn Saturdays.