In Remembrance

posted on: Monday, May 27, 2013

" The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield, and patriot grave, to every living heart...should swell into a mighty chorus of remembrance, gratitude, and rededication..." - Abraham Lincoln
Memorial Day takes a special place in my heart. I come from a family of honorable men who sacrificed their lives to make this day possible for me. After all, my own existence has been one that was borne out of political turmoil.  And as I write, my heart remembers seeing the grim, melancholic expression on my husband's face when we last visited his military base to pay our respects to his fallen soldiers, yet another solemn reminder that our freedoms of today have not been without its price.  And so, today, as many of us take a reprieve from work, I am taking some time to honor and remember our brave men and women who have served, thereby making their ultimate sacrifice to our country.

Memorial Day, Fallen Soldier Memorial, via Chandara Creative
Fallen Soldier Memorial | Schofield Bks, HI | Photography via Chandara Creative

Published on SMP Living: Entertaining with Oysters

posted on: Tuesday, May 21, 2013

I'm absolutely thrilled and giddy beyond belief that my first styled shoot with my favorite briny friends was published today over at Style Me Pretty Living.   Many thanks to the fabulous Silvana di Franco for capturing the beautiful day. 


Oftentimes, whenever we do something new, we talk about and embark upon grandiose goals, but truth be told, when I woke up this morning to this tweet, my heart jumped up and smiled like I'd just won the lottery. No, no money involved, but just this crazy passion of mine doing backflips to the nine. I still remember drooling over the features from other amazing creatives they'd highlight, and wondering if perhaps someday, if I ever created something just as amazing, that just maybe...I could grace the SMP Living blog, even for a split nano-second, that would be uber-fantastic in my little world. And so today, when my feature did just that, I realized that these small, incremental moments of happiness are what I live for...these milestones that serve as a recurring reminder that doing what makes me smile is really why Chandara Creative was born and why I know, it will continue to shine on.

Oysters with Chandara Creative | Photography: Silvana Di Franco

Oysters with Chandara Creative | Tomales Bay | Photography: Silvana Di Franco

Oysters with Chandara Creative | Tomales Bay | Photography: Silvana Di Franco

Oysters with Chandara Creative | Tomales Bay | Photography: Silvana Di Franco

Oysters with Chandara Creative | Tomales Bay | Photography: Silvana Di Franco
Don't have an oyster set? No worries. I used a drink dispenser stand and a small plate to re-create my own. No biggie.

See the full feature at SMP Living

Appreciating Apples

posted on: Tuesday, May 7, 2013

If you can read this, thank a teacher.

Happy Teacher Appreciation Day via Chandara Creative

I have so much respect for teachers. 

My mother is a pre-school teacher; my sister was a kindergarten teacher; my friends have dedicated their lives to a humble (but immensely rewarding) teaching profession, and quite frankly, I don't know where I would be today without my first grade teacher, Mrs. Cooper -- who graced me with the gift of literacy at the tender age of 6. I picked up my very first book and read it from cover to cover. I loved every bit of it, and haven't stopped loving it since then.

Back then, my family didn't have money to go on lavish vacations, so books became my portal for traveling to wherever my imagination would take me, and goodness gracious, the possibilities were endless. I remember tilting my head up and wishing meatballs really would fall from the sky as it had in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs; I remember envisioning a room filled with golden silk threads with a little, old, wrinkly man riding on a spoon after learning about Rumpelstiltskin, and I remember feeling my first pangs of injustice seep in after finishing my first chapter book, Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry. To this day, I gift all of my friend's children with childhood is truly the only gift that keeps on giving.  And when I do travel, my hubby and I collect children's books in different languages, from different countries.  We would love nothing more than to create our own multicultural library in our home one day, and judging from the stockpile we've amassed over the years, I know we're well on our way.   

" You're never too old,
too wacky, too wild,
to pick up a book,
and read to a child! "
 -- Dr. Seuss
For all my teachers who have helped nourish my passion for reading, 'Thank you, Thank you."
Happy Teacher Appreciation are the apples of my life.

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