Hi everyone,

I apologize for not being consistent with my blog updates. I have had and STILL have so many errands to do. It feels like I never have enough time in the day...time is flying by so fast and my wedding day is getting closer and closer!  Today is my day off and I grabbed this opportunity to update my blog starting with events from January 2009 to the present.  


One Love Over Violence
January 31, 2009 

Jennifer Burnett, who is one of my good friends, is involved in a non-profit organization called “Peace Over Violence” (POV). Jennifer invited me to be a part of her fundraiser event, which was a fashion show. The fashion show was called “One Love Over Violence,” and I was glad to help out and support the cause. Not only that, I love to share my clothing line with anyone who wants to see my designs.

The event was a huge success! The fashion show was packed with people who enjoyed watching the models who wore clothes from my Handshapes and Silhouettes line. In addition to the fashion show, there was a special theme that accompanied the POV fundraising event. The models modeled African dresses that were made by a woman from Africa. 

Following shortly after the fashion show, I sold products from my Handshapes line and earned a great deal of money! The best part was that everyone was happy and pleased with my Handshapes products. 
At last, I want to send my special thanks to:
Jennifer Burnett – Host
Peggy Reyna – House owner
Sheena McFeely – Event Planner
Jonathan Reyes – Mara’s Assistant
Jessica Sanchez – Mara’s Assistant
Davis Nyguyen – Volunteer
The Models 
Rachel Tan
Kaitlin Fleming
Kristin Leete
Caridad Reyner
Ashley Griffith
Josh Josa
Chris Peters

Long trip to Philippines
February 6-15, 2009
Jonathan and I were looking forward to our long awaited vacation in Manila. However, after the trip, I realized it was not our “vacation.” We were very busy and had a lot of wedding planning to do!! We needed to complete our wedding chores; for instance, we had to meet with our wedding planner and several photographers and florists. Not only that, we went and met with the dress designer, priest, and many other important people!! Jonathan and I did not have enough time to get some rest. However, one day out of the week during our stay in Manila (we lost the track of the days), we enjoyed 4 hours in a day spa. I felt so relaxed and at peace while I was receiving my massages. I cannot believe it was so cheap!!  During our time at the day spa, we each had an hour worth of massages, and I got a manicure and pedicure. And the best part is we got FREE shabu shabu. This spa package only charged us 40 DOLLARS for the both of us! Oh man, I miss it! Other than the amazing spa therapy, we enjoyed eating A LOT OF FILIPINO FOODS. I gained so much weight because we ate like 5 times a day! The food was so delicious, especially the fruit smoothies!!! YUMMY!
Here are some pictures from our "vacation"...

The middle picture that look like from the movie "slumdog millionaire".

Jon and I want  thank my Mom who also went with us to the Philippines. She was a BIG HELP to us!!! We are so thankful and grateful to her...she is the best Mom!

I also want to thank Ate Jocelle, our schedule/information manager; our nanny who took care of us during our time in Manila; and last but not least, our wedding planner, Lanie Mustard.
We are really looking forward to our big day in September!!! We can hardly wait!

March 13, 2009

Gabe Silva and Didi Pelletier, the fundraiser co-chairpersons for Deaf CSUNians, invited me to participate in their fashion show. The fashion show became my fifth fashion show and it was fun!! 

Thanks to the models who volunteered their time in planning and wearing the products from my Handshapes and Silhouettes line. 

Matador March reminded me of great memories from the first Deaf CSUNians' fashion show that was hosted by an old friend of mine, Kristi Doris, in 2003. I was involved in the fashion show as a model and it was fun to walk the runway with other models. We all had a blast and this group was the best team.  


2nd Annual Sign 'n Run 5K
at Cal State University, Northridge
April 29, 3009

  The Sign 'n Run event is a fundraiser event for the deaf and hard of hearing community. Many runners included students who ran for 5 kilometers around the CSUN campus. The event also provided entertainment and some fun activities. It also had many booths where people sold or advertised their products; those booths had representatives from companies such as Sorenson, Viable, Purple, and various clothing/accessories companies. I was one of them! NCOD and Dr. Roz focused their goals in the fundraising events on scholarships and programs for students.
Many customers were surprised about my business and Handshapes logo. They love my handshape logo since it is very unique. Many customers were excited to purchase their very own Handshapes products. Not only did I get a chance to sell my products, I had a great experience in meeting many different customers. However, it was very, very HOT that day since the Sign 'n Run event was an outdoor event. I realized I should have rented or bought a tent for my booth...it would have been nice to keep cool and stay out of direct sunlight!! I will definitely bring a tent for my booth to the next event! Other than that, the event was a big success for my company!

I want to thank Crystal Eusebio and Jessica Tanner, who helped me sell Handshapes products at the booth. I also want to thank Jon for taking the time out of his busy schedule to help me as well.  

 My Birthday
April 22, 2009
I didn’t know what to do on my birthday. I was not scheduled to work on Wednesday but everyone else was at work. But luckily, my best friend Jessica Sanchez visited me right after she came back from NYC the day before my birthday. We spent my birthday by catching up on our recent news and changes in our lives over lunch, and we went to a nail salon where she treated me to a manicure and pedicure. Jessica and I also went to Santa Monica and shopped on Third Street Promenade, and we went to the beach and watched the sunset. After that, Jonathan joined Jessica and I for dinner after his night class. We had a good time together. 

  During the last few years of my college years, I used to go and sit on the beach and watch the sunset in Santa Monica by myself when I was stressed out in my personal life. When I noticed Jessica was stressed out and overwhelmed in her personal life, I decided to take her to Santa Monica to watch the sunset with me. During those times, especially while watching the sunset, we enjoyed relaxing on the beach and found that sunsets at the beach lightened up our mood, even if it was just for a little while. It gave us a nice break from reality. During those moments, it was the best feeling ever. I’m so grateful to have Jessica, who is always there for me. 

When was the last time you watched a sunset? I recommend you go to the beach, sit on the sand and watch a sunset or even a sunrise. Take some time out of your day, go to the beach and watch one of nature's beautiful sights! It is therapeutic!

My Belated Birthday
I went out to dinner with my family and Jon’s parents at Burner Barn in Pasadena. It was a mini feast and the food was GOOD! I had a good time with them. 

Deaf Nation Expo in Pomona, CA
May 2, 2009


The Deaf Nation Expo was where I had my first time selling my products in a big convention.  Approximately 2,500 people attended the Expo to see different exhibitions. Several exhibitions provided a vast expanse of information in deaf culture, deaf awareness/needs, and also electronic devices and clothing that were available for sale. I found out that approximately 7,000 people attended the Deaf Nation Expo last year in the same city. I think that the number of people at this year's Expo was lower than last year because of the economic recession and/or swine flu concerns.
Anyway, I had a pretty busy but good day selling Handshapes products and meeting old and new faces. It was very interesting for me to meet a diverse group of customers, and it was nice hearing their positive feedback about my business.  Jon and I could not have handled it all by ourselves with so many customers, and we are grateful for our sale associates. Many thanks to Crystal Eusebio, Jessica Tanner, Lynn Moran and Chris Peters for all their help. They did an awesome job and I loved their high energy which I believe, helped brought in the customers and successful sales. The By Mara Business was successful with their help!
I am really looking forward to selling more of my products at the next Expo!  


Matt Hamil was my booth neighbor; his booth was right behind mine. He is a martial arts fighter for Ultimate Fighters Championship (UFC). Jon and I have watched a few of his fights, and he is really good. We are proud of Matt for his hard work and efforts in representing his amazing abilities. Matt is the only deaf fighter in the UFC and he was there at the Expo, selling shirts as a fundraiser that will help support him in his training as he prepares for the next UFC match. There were a lot of fans at his booth. Near the close of the Expo, we traded our shirts and took a picture together. =)

I finally hired Ali Mojahedi as my photographer and website developer. He is doing such an amazing job! I am thrilled to be working with him. Thank you, Ali! The website is NOW activated !! You can order your products ONLINE! 
Check out www.bymaracollection.com 

I also want to send special thanks to my models who were willing to volunteer their time:
Kaitlin Fleming
Kristin Leete
Didi Pelletier
Caridad Reyner
Rachel Tan
Chris Peters 

Thank you for your time and patience with me! You all did a wonderful job! lmL   

Wow! I wrote about six different events in one sitting!! From now on, I will try my best to update the blog more often and consistently. I hope you've enjoyed reading my blog.
If you have any questions about this or By Mara company, feel free to contact me at Info@bymaracollection.com

Hope you have an awesome summer!