Tuesday, December 31, 2013

leaving 2013 with no regrets and a better resume

All I can say is Thank You! 

Thank you 2013...

  • For a productive and lucrative year.
  • For getting me into shape with New Balance's Lace Up 365 campaign.
  • Introducing me to the November Project.
  • Giving me a press position at one of the largest women conferences
  • Helping me become one of the top 5 campus reps under MRY (Bobble campaign).
  • Growing my blogging hobby.
  • Amazing travel experiences with friends and family.

Top 2013 Blog Post are...


Personal Favorite Fashion Event of the Year goes to...

Poshmark Boston Bloggers Party

That's me, second from the left!

There are many things that I am grateful for from 2013 and I have no idea what to expect from 2014, I know it is going to be good! If you follow me on twitter you would have caught some of the fitness motivation tweets and Boston updates from throughout the year. I started my new year resolution a bit early so, come join me on twitter as I sweat glitter at 5 am in the morning with adrenaline junkies.

My instagram page is an extension of my blog. For 2014 I will be posting up to date events, fashion, fitness, and fun. I definitely encourage you guys to follow my social pages and receive live tweets and pics that are parallel to the post you see here!

2013 has fulfilled Sound of Charm's duty and is ready to report for 2014!

Auscla vous and adieu 2013, grammarly yours, Semirah D

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Black Girls Tan Too

Women sometimes do many things to look the way they do. It's hard (nearly impossible) to generalize a gender so, I'm going to have to explain my point in "simplest terms". These regiments that women carry out have the potential to form into lifestyles. Fitness is a lifestyle... Regular tanning becomes a lifestyle... Your daily makeup routine is apart of your lifestyle. Lifestyles are not discriminatory. They don't pick and choose which type of person they would like to be connected with, just like life, it just happens!

When I lived in Georgia, where it's hot and sunny for a large portion of the year, women still tan! They have the sun in their back yard but still choose to tan regularly. This whole concept baffled me for years and I never grasped a meaning until I took a trip down to Femme Fatale tanning salon located in the middle of Boston University's collegetown hub. There are many myths and societal images of the orange people that undergo fake tans.

I knew that tanning is something that can not be undone overnight, especially for someone who is naturally tan-ish (The "-ish" is referring to the effect of cold winter weather on a tan pigment, it kind of yellows out.) I felt like I was going to get a tattoo done on my body that could not be removed. I felt like tanning was only for pale/white women. I had never met a darker complexion person go tanning, except on TV and in the pageant world. So when I said that I was going tanning, people thought, "But your black...", "You're already tan...", "hahaha I wish I was the color you are now..." and they all just pictured the little orange people.

I don't blame them because, I didn't even know that there was a tanning method that enhanced, nourished, and invigorated your skin. Tanning has more purposes than just making you look darker. Wow! Who knew?! Tanning evens out uneven skin tones, stretch marks, sensitive areas, and darken areas that have cumbersome unwanted hair. Before writing this post, I called a few friends and asked for their opinion on the topic of black/bronze/tan women going tanning. I found out that it is actually NOT a foreign concept. It is hard to have an even skin tone when you cover up your body 70% of the time (This results in pasty looking legs/arms/chest/etc).

The key phrase that actually led me to making a tanning appointment at Femme Fatale was that the tanning spray is made with almond extract versus the carrot extract of the orange people. This means that the product will give my skin a brown hue versus the orange hue of other tanning products. To take the edge off of this visit, I invited a friend and we giggled our way to bronze-dom. When we arrived the owner, Amy, ushered us to our own separate tanning rooms. We striped down and put on a paper panties and hair caps. We were each, thoroughly, sprayed down and stood in front of an industrial fan to dry off (4-5 minutes). If you wish to go for a darker hue than you will then be sprayed down again to your desired color. I only needed to be sprayed down once and I felt like I had just hopped off the plane from Spain!

Before and After picture. 
Femme Fatale uses Infinity Sun products, which are, long lasting and all-natural. In a city like Boston where the weather is more bipolar than Kim Kardashian's relationship status and the sunshine time is as reliable as the MBTA schedule on a weekend, a tan at Femme Fatale should be right on your list next to nail appointment on Newbury St. and hair appointment in Burlington!

Grammarly yours, SemirahD

P.S. Thank you Mary Kay for sending me a different color of face foundation!

Femme Fatale provided a complimentary service in exchange for this blog review. For more info on my sponsorship policy please visit the Contact Me page.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Mark Zuckerberg And I Are BFFL's

             In so many words, Mark Zuckerberg and I are basically BFFL's, right? I met his sister, that must mean him and I indirectly crossed social paths and that one second of recognition constituted our friendship. This can all be justified in New England, where name-dropping is socially acceptable and essentially required for survival. If you've traveled the East and West coasts of America, you may notice certain differences in social norms. Here in New England, name dropping has it's advantages and naturally there are disadvantages as well. You can get into the most exclusive clubs by cranking out a few important names and your relations. California is too big for anyone to possibly know enough people to name drop their way to fame, please inform me if this has been accomplished!
            The coolest part of this social phenomenon is when your name is used to someone else's advantage. When this is correlated with social media, having a popular twitter following or connections on social media can get you further than New England style name dropping. Businesses want to be heard and having an influential "Voluntweeter" in their grasp is like cashing in on this free advertising real estate called social media. Making a social media follower into a dedicated fan is your key to growing an army of voluntweeters.

           In between keeping up with school work and my winter fitness endeavors, I was invited to cover the Massachusetts' Conference for Women. Wearing a press badge and having inside access at one of the nations largest women conference was a honor. The strength, influence, and (huge amounts of estrogen) in the building was insane! The conference provides connection, motivation, networking, inspiration and skill building for thousands of women each year. All of these things sound great and dandy but, the amount of productivity gained at this conference depends on your homework. Most conference's you show up and expect to be fed motivational reminders of tips and tricks for your career. At the Mass Women Conference you need to know; who is speaking, when and where.
            After completing my homework, I had a lecture/panel coordinated with appropriate book signings in sequential order. This was my first time at the MA Women Conference and the long day slammed me mentally and physically. The only thing that kept me going was: 1) A miracle called, Tylenol and 2) The prospect of amazing networking opportunities.

Massachusetts Conference for Women Guest Speakers

Randi Zuckerberg and I 

The networking opportunities I gained were unexpected but, highly appreciated. To do a little name dropping, I was able to meet and learn from the following personnel: 

Blake Mycoskie: I've never seen a man grasp a crowd of 10,000 women quite like Blake did. Blake's down to earth aura and enticing background demanded the attention of everyone in the auditorium. I laughed, cry, and clapped for every single awe-inspiring idea that left Blake's lips. But the story behind TOMS shoes is definitely something to hear! 

Randi Zuckerberg- Was apart of a social media panelist alongside spokesmen from @lululemon @BostonGlobe and @raytheon. Randi is the CEO and founder of Zuckerberg Media, as well as former marketing director for.... Yes, you guessed it... Mark Zuckerberg's baby "Facebook". During the meet and greet with Randi I was able to pick her mind with a few additional questions that really helped out with my blog's Facebook page. 

Karen Holmes Warden- Personal on WCBV and inspirational women. Karen and I had an inspiring conversation before closing out the conference. Informative for both of us, I taught her a bit of Twitter 101 and she shared with me some tips of the trade when it comes to getting the most out of networking opportunities. 

Anne Hebert- The amazing women behind @masswomen  #masswomen for the conference's social media presence. We were able to get #masswomen to be one of the top trends on twitter in the USA that day.  

Leymah Gbowee- This women may be alot of extraordinary things but, for me, she was a helping hand before becoming an inspiring figure. It was 8 hours into my day and I could barely stand to walk to the next lecture but by fate I made it to Leymah's meet and greet. By this point in the conference I was a walking zombie with a smile plastered on my face. Leymah had me sit down and she hugged me before taking a photo. It was nice to know that out of all of the swarming bodies, at the conference, someone was looking out for you. Leymah's grounding touch gave me the push I needed to finish my day out.

Leymah and I at the Massachusetts Conference for Women
I am so honored to be afforded the priceless opportunities that I've experienced this year. Through this blog I've met so many people and have begun to build a brand for Sound of Charm. As the winter rolls in I will be spending more time in the books and on the treadmill. This Wednesday, I am going to attempt the feat of getting out of bed and going to go run in zero degree weather. God bless my soul! 

Grammarly yours, SemirahD

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Fit To Be A Hunger Games Tribute

Let the games begin! Training will be at the Boston Sports Club in Downtown Crossing on December 17th at 12:15pm.

Last week I had the opportunity to "Train Like A Tribute" with Bron Volney, Boston Sports Clubs Master Trainer and Instructor. He guided us through 12 Hunger Games movie-inspired training moves to torch fat, incinerate calories, and set your muscles on fire. 

Participants will navigate their way around a clock of 12 fitness challenges -- from dodging "attack monkeys", to scaling Heavensbee Hills, to wielding the Peacekeeper battle ropes -- switching stations each time the Head Game Maker strikes the gong (or in our case yells "time").

Some of the participants, the trainer: Bron Volney, and I 

Train Like a Tribute - 45 min.

•  Katniss Killers -- participants use a bow for a resistance to work the upper back and
 Peacekeeper Battle Ropes -- whipping stations against the Rebellion work the biceps and shoulders.
•  Monkey Jumps -- plyometric squat jumps are a great cardio workout that strengthen legs and glutes.
•  Hevensbee Hills --  the head game maker's namesake, this cardio interval blasts fat and strengthens legs for rebellion runs through the Capitol.
•  Finnik Trident Presses -- tricep presses with a weighted trident, the weapon of choice for one of the lead tributes.
•  Peeta Pull-Ups -- the camouflaged hero achieves a whole new level as the Rebellion rises.
•  Dummy Squats ----  Flipping and lifting a punching bag simulates a part of the plot where the fog paralyzes some of the tributes and others have to carry them to safety
•  Forcefield Planks -- push against a walled forcefield looking for the weak spot while holding a plank to increase arm and belly burn.
 White "Rose" Rows -- improve posture with upper back rows named after President Snow's signature boutonniere.
•  BeeTee Biceps -- show that you can't beat the forcefield without a secret weapon – strong "guns."
•  Tsunami Row Machine -- up the cardio ante while escaping a tidal wave on this popular gym machine.
•  Quarter Quell Kettle Bell Swings -- "shoulder" the burden of the victors fighting to "remember who the enemy is!"

This was my first time at the Downtown Crossing BSC location and I think I arrived to what I expected; a small, city gym. What I didn't expect was to see every machine filled with men and the women stretching or working out on the floor. If you are a guy that wants to show off how macho you are then this gym would fit you. I only saw the open UXF zone and the machines, next week I'm going to venture around and hopefully find separate rooms for other activities. Coming from a gym that is in a bigger facility and has tons of open space, it was a shock to come to a smaller gym and have to vie for stretching space. Welcome to the city!

P.S: Follow the BSC trainer, Bron Volney, on twitter for daily tweets about a healthy fitness diet! https://twitter.com/BronCoreFitness

P.S.S. This workout was a continuation of BSC's 2012 Hunger Games-inspired workout, “Train Like a Tribute 2013" subscribes to The Hunger Games' "survival of the fittest" mentality, utilizing BSC's green turfed UXF Zone "jungle" to create the ultimate athlete.

Grammarly yours, Semirah D

Sunday, December 8, 2013

December Product Reviews

The Sock Club

I am so excited that the Sock Club Guys sent me some very groovy tribal socks to review. Sock Club brand socks are all american made. The socks are knitted, material procured, finished, and packaged in North Carolina. 

The socks I received are the November Diamond Stripe, the first ever sock exclusively designed and produced by the Sock Club. Sock Club delivers socks to your doorstep monthly. Just like your beauty supplies or pizza boxes that conveniently take the hassle out of extraneous work. 

I always take pleasure in the small things in life and having a new pair of awesome socks monthly sounds like a sweet deal. I generally love receiving mail. Like if the world ran out of cinnamon soft pretzels or gummy worms, I would be devastated. But if I came home to like 5 boxes of awesome mail then my frown is instantaneously turned upside down!

So, I would definitely recommend checking the quirky Sock Club guys over at http://www.sotmclub.com/about.

Thank you and adieu.   

Influenster #VioletVoxBox Review

A little peek inside...

  • Goody Athletique Headband
  • Sally Hansen New Triple Shine nail polish
  • SoyJoy bar
  • Montahne Jeunesse Clay Spas
  • Not Your Mother's Clean Freak Refreshing Dry Shampoo

Total value of products: $33.50

Favorite product: The "Goody Athletique Headband" because, the headband was the first thing I opened and wore immediately. My second favorite is the Dry Shampoo because, it's been on my lust list since August.

Least favorite product: The "Montahne Jeunesse Clay Spas" face mask are my least favorite because, it is the last product that I would use in this box. 

I'm going to have product reviews all month so, come back next week for some new goodies. Along with these goodies, I will be treating my body to daily fitness workouts. The winter is a challenging season for some. I am making it a goal to not only change this mental stigma but also continue with intense fitness motivation. For the next two weeks I will be joining Santa's little elves and doing a #elf4health activity daily. Join me by following my instagram and/or twitter channels (@SemirahD).

Grammarly yours, Semirah D

Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary for testing purposes from Influenster and The Sock Club. For more information about my sponsorship policy please click the Contact Me tab.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

How To Be Press For An Event

You have a press pass for an event, now what? Here is some advice for the press photographer, guest, social media personnel, etc. 

I will be attending the Massachusetts Conference for Women as a selected Press member and have put together some tips I've learned as a special guest for past events.
Boston Convention, Business Women
Photo Creds: http://instagram.com/keikozoll
1. It takes 3 Gives for 1 Get.
As a press member, exhibitors and companies will be looking for coverage and exposure. If you plan on conversing with people, share something about yourself and the media outlet you're representing. People remember conversations better than a quick business card exchange.

For post-event networking, I personally contact businesses that I've connected with and they know who I am. For the Massachusetts Conference for Women, plan to meet and actually converse with your interviewees, speakers, and exhibitors before you expect them to share information about who they are and how they can be of service for you.

2. Take a breather.
Social media is rapid and quick. The press room at the MA Conference for Women tomorrow, is guaranteed to have 100 tweets leaving it's virtual bubble every 30 seconds. Remember to take a breather and observe your surroundings, you may be missing out on an amazing networking opportunity that is destined to help you reach that new goal you're striving for. I'm sure out of the 10000 attendees tomorrow, someone is bound to be there to take your social media platform further.

3. Be prepared for the unexpected.
Have a mental list of interview questions that can apply to any speaker. It is always great to know a tad bit about a speakers background but, when you attend a huge event like the MA Conference for Women, it may be a challenge to remember all the amazing ventures that all 100+ guest speakers are currently pursuing.

This checklist can even apply to the attendees as well! If you see someone with an ipad, iphone, and laptop in hand, just know that their press pass is hiding under all of those wires and yes that person might be me! I will be in the press room tomorrow at the MA Conference for Women, amongst the big boys aka guys with big cameras and bloggers with thousands of followers. Can't wait to meet everyone, make sure to introduce yourself!

P.S This advice is suitable for the small scale press attendee: bloggers, magazine editors and contributors, etc.

Grammarly yours, Semirah D

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