Sunday, October 26, 2014

Boston Family Fun: King Richard's Renaissance Faire

For 33 years in Carver, MA a team of dedicated New Englanders set up, for eight consecutive weekends, one of the largest and longest-running Renaissance Festival. Tucked away on 80 acres of enchanted forest, the Faire is open 10:30 am to 6 pm each day. My family arrived Columbus Day weekend around 1pm, expecting the crowds to have slimmed down, only to find that the festivities were just getting into full swing. 

We packed up our royal court in the buggie and headed towards the 16th century fantasyland. Tickets for adults ($29) and children ($16). 
  • Rides are an additional $2-$3
  • Food vendors only accept food tickets which can be purchase in bulks of 5/$5. So for example 15 tickets = $15. One soda = 4 tickets = $4. 
  • Performers accept tip (because this is how they make a living) so bring dollar bills for that.
  • There are artisan shops throughout the faire so bring more dollar bills for that too!
  • (Money, money, money, muunnn-nayyy, MUN-NAY)

After parking our car in a dirt field we could only hear the excitement coming from inside the Faire but, we could not see anything besides the entrance door. The only hints that we received of what we were about to experience were the many costumes, creatures, and knights we encountered in the parking lot. After passing a few fairies throwing fairy dust and a man in a kilt, my brother and I were practically running towards the entrance to squish our curiosity. 

We were instantly met by two costumed nobles put in place to make sure that no outside food came in and to collect tickets. BTW you literally can't have any type of outside food no matter the circumstance (ONLY exception; babies)

Have you ever tasted a giant turkey keg? Yeah me too, so here is a place to try them! Head over to Castlegate Inn and Lancaster Lane to experience some one of a kind Renaissance Faire activities along with jousting and tiger shows. 

Shining Armor

My royal court and I (aka my family) had finally entered a past era, The Renaissance. If I was more prepared I would have definitely donned a more elaborate costume. We smelled funnel cakes aka "Peasant Pies", saw teems of wenches, crossed paths with lifesize puppets, and heard 16th century entertainment sounds. 

When we ordered food it was really hard to find seating so, we had to stand to the side and people watch while we munched on our lunch. The large paper soda cups don't have any tops... I don't know why because there is dirt and leaves misting the air and every time I walked the soda slushed around. I would bring a reusable tumbler to put my soda in for the next trip because open air soda only lasts for so long.  

My Irish cousin stopped by for a visit... ode to my father's side of the family ;)

With so much excitement happening at once we could only stare in awe and enjoy everything that just so happen to be in front of us. I loved taking pictures with the different characters and watching all of the shows positioned on one of the eight stages at the Faire. 

Even though we were given a map and some version of a schedule at a gate we still were unsure of what exactly was happening at any given time. I would recommend that you check out the website and plan out your adventure ahead of time. You know that point in a family road trip or any trip in general when every is aggravated due to disorganization, crowds, confusion, etc. Well my royal court and I had a moment of agitation towards the end of the day when everyone wanted to make sure they got souvenirs or saw a show we missed.   

Casual Renaissance Faire ensemble 

Grammarly yours, Semirah D

*Disclaimer: I was provided complimentary admission in exchange for a review. As always all opinions are my own and thank you for supporting my blog.*

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

What To Wear Your First Day of College

Shoes c/o White Mountain
You know that one class on campus that seems to not even exist! Umm yeah, when you are running around campus trying to keep your composure together but get to class on time you'd ideally want to be wearing some comfy shoes as opposed to loud and delaying heels.

Please hand me the comfy shoes because, those blisters from speed walking in heels were kill-ah! But don't settle for comfort, stylish is still achievable. White Mountain shoe company basically made it their mission to provide stylish comfy shoes.

You are going to be told this 20+ plus times and if not yet then let me just wave a flag saying; "College is NOT like high school." The objective of the first day is not to pick out the cutest outfit and expect to gain brownie points and a circle of friends. 

Work on being who you are and dressing for yourself. The first semester of college is for discovering yourself and figuring out where you want to be. Be comfortable! Be Be Comfortable!

I opt for classic Levi jeans for bottoms and there's the option to cuff them because it still may be hot and humid when school starts for you.

Becausseee... there is so much happening during the first few weeks of college I prefer a versatile outfit. This outfit needs to take me from night to day with the switch of either makeup, accessories or shirt. 

Artsy Pic Bruh. 

Heart Lace shirt c/o The Girl That Loves boutique
Here's the full view of the outfit I proposed for the first week of college. The lace shirt I am wearing can easily be accessorized for any season!

Grammarly yours, Semirah

Monday, August 4, 2014

Pensole Boston with Dwayne Edwards LEAD Academy

On my blog facebook page I posted a link to a newspaper article that is an interview of my brother and I about the Pensole Lead program founded by Nike/Jordan designer Dwayne Edwards. In the interviews and pictures you get to see the glitz and glamour... if you came to the presentation night than you received the finished product of all the hard work that my team and the other teams accomplished. No one really understands how much time we spent; understanding new concepts, learning about the sneaker industry and applying these into our projects. 

Go ahead take a peek... What is something you've always wanted to know about the exclusive sneaker industry? 
My groups pre-show photo: photos by Rafael Feliciano Cumbas
I want to share with you snippets of my diary and notes that I gathered throughout the Pensole Boston program.  I anticipated the rush of embarking on a new experience and I grabbed the challenge by the horns. Starting with day one...

Program Rules:
  1. Start at 10AM
  2. Speak up. Ask Q’s
  3. No Egos
  4. Keep it clean at MIT
  5. Divertido! Have fun :D
  6. No sombreros.
  7. Be professional

Day One Notes:
  • Need: Logo (Personal brand, Biz cards)
  • “I don’t have limits… I have to do lists” -Semirah Dolan
  • Jordan 2’s inspired by a pencil (use your imagination)
  • Dream Killer’s are people:
    • With No dreams
    • Who Don’t understand
    • Who Can’t think beyond what they do
  • Come up with your personal:
    • Strengths: Finding opportunities
    • Weakness: Formulating my thoughts (What am I doing about this? See here.)
  • Assigned teams: TEAM ONE (Ayyy!)
  • Class theme: Y.O.U (lol look: Why. Owe. You)
  • Marketing question (Yet to be answered!) Self-promotion → how is this done professionally?
  • Dwayne’s 8 personal goals for the class:
    • Challenge students to think
    • Share industry knowledge
    • Be inspirational
    • Improve students verbal communication skills
    • Improve students time management skills
    • Get the best out of the students
    • Develop leadership skills
  • Personal goals for each individual student:
    • Think of who you really are
    • Consider yourself a brand
    • Be an inspiration
    • Challenge yourself to be better than yesterday
    • Promise yourself you won’t let anyone outwork you
    • Your actions dictate your future
    • Learn from your past to create your future
    • Be the best you you can be
Me presenting on stage: photos by Rafael Feliciano Cumbas
  • Daily creative outlets:
    • Quote: “I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man.” -Jay-Z
    • Website:
    • Book: Decoded by Jay-Z

  • Sneaker Industry Career Profiles for class:

    • Product Marketing
      • Brand and consumer research
      • Beginning of the shoe developing process
      • Find market opportunitites
      • Need great verbal communication
      • Road map for designer
      • Deliverables: Product design brief
    • Designer
      • Work with P.M
      • Skillset: Sketching/Visual communication/Sneaker Jargon
    • Product developer
      • Make sure the design can be physically made/manufactured
      • Skillset: Material knowledge/Cost & Revenue/Written communication
      • Deliverables: Bill of materials (Cost & Components)
    • Sales
      • The art of persuasion
      • Skillset: Retail sales & terms/Business planning/Verbal communication
    • Buyer
      • Skillset: Retail/Business planning/Buying product knowledge
    • Brand Marketing
      • Convince people to go to store to buy product
      • Create a vision for the brand
      • Knowledge of marketing strategies
      • Visual communication

Article on South Coast Today site

Grammarly yours, Semirah

Friday, August 1, 2014

WIWT: A Wedding on the Cape x #RockportChallenge

This weekend I will be joining a friend of mine to a wedding on the cape and I thought it was the perfect time to take on the Seven to 7 Rockport challenge. 

Rockport is committed to creating a place where style meets comfort and its 2014 collection is raising the bar. Every pair of shoes is equipped with ADIPRENE® by adidas sport technology, making your favorite pair of heels feel like your favorite pair of running shoes. It’s simply, Style Made Comfortable. For Spring/Summer 14, Rockport designers researched and sourced global trends in women’s fashion, translating them into style-driven collections that address all wearing occasions.

Dress c/o The Girl That Loves // Necklace c/o Accessory Mercado // Pumps c/o Rockport
My pumps matched perfectly with my springy/summer collection Accessory Mercado statement necklace. I adore statement necklaces! It is my goal to have a matching statement necklace for the majority of the dresses in my wardrobe. I feel like they are the ultimate accessory for collegiates and to achieve that classy preppy look.
Seven to 7 Plain Pump // Accessory Mercado necklace // C. Wonder Tote
Maroon and Navy are well usually tokened as fall colors but, I figured we could break the rules for one weekend. Plus with the lace detail and flower necklace my assemble gave off the appropriate amount of summer casual vibe. 

What am I looking at? Those gorgeous shoes. 
When I first stepped into my Rockport pumps I melted. I am always skeptical about brands that claim they have came up with the most comfortable heels but, just by slipping my feet into these babies I knew I was in for a smooth ride. Instant cushion! I easily lasted an entire day in these shoes AND I took public transportation with no complaints from my toes. I recommend these pumps for stylistas & fashionistas who insist on rocking pumps on a daily basis.

Photography by my brother. Kudos Richard!

Grammarly yours, Semirah

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Guide to Social Media for Bloggers

6 Secrets to our Facebook success:
  1. Study what everyone eles is doing… and then throw it out the window. ---> It just might not work for you!
  2. Start by bringing your personal page to your family page. ---> support from friends and family.
  3. Facebook likes variation. ---> Pictures/Videos/Stats
  4. Find out when is your community engaging? What are your most popular post? (Try posting similar post like that at different times of the day to measure most effective posting times.
  5. Get creative: Post per hour, ask your audience questions, post old post, link to other sites (People love to share info we don’t know).
  6. Know your audience! (i.e. commenters love to have the funniest comment, they like to talk they just don’t like to say mcuh)

Facebook & Sponsored Content:
  • Finding sponsored content that will work on your Facebook will thrive if you do what you love. Don’t jump around topics. It needs to be clear that you are the fit to post this content.
  • Sponsored post 4 times a week = No No. → 1-2 times a week: 👍
  • What makes a sponsored post?
    • Delight the brand
    • Entertain/Inform
    • Build you!
      • Link back to yourself (telling google to dig deeper)
      • Telling a story but incorporating the brand!

Must Have Blogger Assets:
  • Professional blog design
    • Your blog is a store window. If I’m knocking and no one comes I’m leaving. If it’s not pretty I’m not going in.
    • Plug ins may be slowing you down.
    • Small header!
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter: 1,000+ followers
  • Google+ is the future!
    • Achieve authorship!
    • Resubmit your blog post
    • Videos!
    • Children in sports is a hot trend (random Spring/Summer 2014 fact)
  • Networking must haves:

What I know about SEO:
  • Place best words in first 100 words of blog post.
  • Link back to your facebook and twitter
  • Lol…. teach me!  

Thank you for visiting my blog and I hope that my notes on social media at the SITS invisalign talk and various social media conferences helped you. Share one of your social media successes!

Start a conversation on what we as bloggers could do better? Or do you frequently read blogs and wished a blogger would stop doing something..what is it?

Grammarly yours, Semirah

Friday, July 25, 2014

New Balance Girls' Night Out

This summer New Balance has launched, Girls' Night Out, a new kind of "night on the town" to help active, social women connect with each other and achieve personal fitness goals together. This past July meet up attendees were able to pick either a MetCon class at Equinox, 3 mile run or Flywheel class. The theme of the night was 'Self-Expression' and fitness blogger Rachel (@Healthy_Chicks) catered the nights activities to fit that.

When I arrived to the New Balance Back Bay store I immediately signed up for the Equinox class and sipped on some Zoos peach tea. Everyone arrived and mingled until we headed to the gym. Equinox accommodated our workout on their quaint rooftop and gave us quite an experience. We did a MetCon class with Equinox trainer, Maryanne, don't underestimate her because of her small size. Maryanne hopped, ran, jumped and stretched across the roof keeping us in motion the entire time. Being amongst so many like minded individuals motivated me to fight through the workout and luckily we did it, we did it! (Just to say that we did it!) 
Girls’ Night Out is offering women the opportunity to redefine what a “night out” with their girlfriends means to them. GNO MeetUp will allow women across the country to plan their perfect girls’ night out by finding group runs, creating new running routes, discovering new hangouts, and inviting friends to meet up for a run. To celebrate a night on the town, women are encouraged to share their experiences using #NBGNO on Twitter and Instagram.

“Girls’ Night Out is inspired by women doing what they love — connecting with friends and sharing a night out,” said Norma Delaney, Senior Manager of Global Advertising and Brand Strategy for New Balance. "The program is designed to provide easy-to-use tools to enrich women’s busy lives so that they and their friends can be challenged, rewarded, educated, entertained, pampered, and most importantly, connected, to experience what they enjoy most — fitness and friends."


Grammarly yours, Semirah D (ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!)

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Restaurant Review: Chopps American Bar and Grill

The home of 5 course beer/steak dinners and adjacent to the Burlington Boston Marriott hotel is Chopps American Bar and Grill. The summer is the perfect time for leisure brunch dates and soirees with old friends. I recently visited Chopps with BlogandTweetBos and a selected group of Boston bloggers to try out their lunch menu. We were treated to a beautiful lunch at the chefs table right in front of the kitchen (what an experience!).

To start off our lunch we had Yellowfin Tuna TartarFlash Fried Scallop and ShrimpMelon and Prosciutto, and Lamb Lollichops. I don't know if being a seafood lover is a New England stereotype but I have come to love trying out different chef's tuna tartar. The amazing Chefs, Chef David and Chef Daniel, definitely prepared each dish to perfection. Each dish had something unique and beautiful about it. I was very excited to taste Lamb for the first time and was not disappointed at all. 

 Tuna Tartar via

Melon and Prosciutto
Chopps take great pride in their locally supplied ingredients from nearby farms and New England neighbors. Great assurance to know that regional dishes, seafood, and steak are all fresh!

The next course brought on: East Coast HalibutSesame Soba NoodlesLine-caught CodFlat Iron SteakKurobuta Pork Chop, and Tomahawk Ribeye Chop. Chopps offers a balance between seafood and steak dishes so you aren't stuck eating the 'run of the mill' grill meats, Chopps offers tasty variety. Before last year I did not consider myself a steak eater because that is a title that my brother firmly held in my family. However after branching out and trying gourmet restaurants throughout New England I can't help but fall in love with it. Chopps serves steak at almost any cut you can think of and their flat iron cut is juicy and succulant (never had anything like it before.

All Steaks are Hormone-Free, Organic Beef; Grilled and Seasoned
Served with French Fries and Jumbo Asparagus

Chopps handmade tater tots!
 Frozen Dark Chocolate and Espresso SoufflĂ© via
Out of all the desserts I can't confess to having just one favorite... However at the moment as I type this post out on the yard in this warm Boston weather I would really like to re-experience the divine taste of the Frozen Dark Chocolate and Espresso SoufflĂ©.

Grammarly yours, Semirah

Chopps American Bar and Grill
Burlington Boston Marriott
One Mall Burlington Mall Road
Burlington, MA 01803
Mon - Sunday: 10.30 AM to 10 PM
(781) 221-6643

P.S. Make sure you google maps this first! Just saying because the iphone GPS was not so helpful ;p
P.P.S You guys know I love a great deal! Here is 15% off coupon for yall.

Chopps American Bar and Grill on Urbanspoon

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