Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Graduation Gift Guide: Monthly Subscription Boxes

It is graduation season and for my beloved blog followers you may have seen my first gift guide of the season here: Graduation Gift Guide: Monograms. Monogram lovers, Vera Bradley obsessed people and boys packing away for college, that first post was for you. For this college/high school graduation gift guide I will be sharing some monthly subscription boxes that I've experimented with. Monthly subscription boxes are for him and her, totally unisex, one size fits all.

Since December I've had a dose of Pijon box, a Mexican candy box and Japanese candy box. These are all very diverse in selection (trust me, I know) but, I really aim to emphasize to you all that there is a monthly subscription box for everyone.

First up: Pijon Box

Frava Juice // Socks // Smarty Pants Gummy Vitamins // JimmyBAR! // Vapur
 Pijon box seems to be like I would order it mid year of college. I'm a student and I've learned a bit of what my needs are for the year but, having some nifty and helpful products out of the Pijon box won't hurt. My favorite item from this box is the Vapur water bottle because I love the convenience. This bottle is perfect for traveling (hiking, sports, etc.) because of it's ability to be folded into basically a wallet-sized space. The gummies, bars and juice were great snacks to bring to class and for post-workouts. Socks are socks, kudos for styling in stripes. 

At a price point of $25 and promise of $30-$50 in value, I don't think this box is worth the price. The total value of everything in this box is about $23 (which I still don't understand). Honestly I more medium-large sized item may have convinced me.

Out of 5, I give this box a 3.  

Next: Mexican Candy Box

Details of candy visible in picture.
First off, I would like to say I have a passion to become fluent in spanish. My mother almost had me in Mexico so, I guess this all runs in the family. The Mexican candy box was not my first time trying Mexican candy. My thirdrd grade spanish teacher brought some of these same candies to share with my class. Obviously it has been a while since I've had these but, I just wanted to share my perspective before I recommend you try it. If you have a taste for adventure but are stuck in a rot then, travel to your adventurous side by ordering a sweets box from Mexico or Japan (details below). 

The candies from this company are offered in separate boxes of spicy, sweet, or both. I opted for both. Everything definitely has an acquired taste and I honestly couldn't finish the Molcajetes or any candy that said "with chili". For Americans with bonafide sweet palates start off with the sweet box. 

The boxes are also divided up into portion sizes as: solo (individual)- $12, amigo (two servings)- $15 and familia (four servings)- $20. 

Out of 5, I give this box a 2.5 (I'm sure these candies are wicked cheap but, it costs to export stuff).

Finally: Candy Japan

Warning: extreme bravery needed. Maybe I am exaggerating but, as an American who recently learned that Chinese General Gao chicken isn't even Chinese food, I was in a total shock with these sweets. Maybe it is the lack of chemicals held in all American food or maybe it is the difference in sources but, these candies require a whole new frame of mind or familiarity with (REAL) Asian food to digest. The first thing that I felt safe enough to try was the "Choco" treats because, "All chocolate is good chocolate" (Right?). Wrong! Inside of these supposed treats is some type of clear gummy like substance that could probably be a rice ball (pictured on the front). 

In the end, everything is safe to eat and I didn't get sick. If you are interested in this kind of candy and/or have childhood memories of loving these things then, viola it is available online. Now if only I could get some company to send my crepes or treats from India! (btw this adventurous spirit is stemming from the fact that Indiana Jones is my current muse). 

Out of a 5, I give this box a 1.5

Grammarly yours, Semirah D

*Pijon, MexicanCandyBox and Candy Japan sent me complimentary boxes in return for a honest review. All opinions are my own.* 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Her Campus Pre-Collegiate Conference (Boston)

Attendees heading to the panel talks.
Pre-collegiates (high schoolers) will be leaving their security bubbles and heading off to foreign ground, otherwise known as, college. Her Campus traditionally holds an intercollegiate conference in NYC but, was inspired by parents of pre-collegiates to hold a forum for girls to learn the ropes before college. Her Campus held their very first Pre- Collegiate Conference in Boston, MA earlier today and dedicated each panel to soon to be sleep deprived, overwhelmed, anxious students (aka college kids). 
Morning registration 

Students and families came from all over to experience some of the following: 

Breakfast sponsors @Maiayogurt
  • Find out exactly what it's like to be in college from tons of real college girls who will spill on everything from study tips to studying abroad
  • Hear from a real college admissions officercollege nutritionistleading college coaches, and internship advisors
  • Get inspired by our keynote speaker Jessica Bashelor, founder of The Handle Bar Indoor Cycling Studio in Boston and Northeastern 2010 graduate
  • Attend panels, workshops, and talks by guest speakers from Harvard, Tufts, and more
  • Enjoy a delicious breakfast provided by Maia Yogurt and Temptations Cafe and a free lunch catered by Chipotle
  • Nosh on yummy snacks from PopchipsNeuro, and more
  • Leave with a sweet goody bag stuffed with products from our favorite partners including IntelPopchipsChipotleWrentham Premium Outlets and many more!
  • Win amazing raffle prizes including devices from IntelJack Roger SandalsChipotle Catering and more!
  • Watch a fun fashion show demonstrating college dos & don'ts and how to transition your high school wardrobe
I am grateful to have had the opportunity to cover this event as a press blogger. A few other bloggers and I were selected to cover the event and essentially guide alot of the live social media hashtag conversations (#HStoHC). 

Katherine Tab @StyleTab // Ingrid Marquardt @smilingrid // Me @semirahd
Posing with our prizes from the raffle. 
I will be posting keynotes and quotes from the speakers in a separate post so stay tune for more inside details!

Event Sponsors

Snack sponsors: Popchips // Hint Water // Neuro 

Tech sponsor for the conference was Intel. Wish I had one of these for class!

Peach Maia yogurt and heaven in a bottle (aka Neuro Bliss!). 

Notice my food is gone, LOL, Chipotle was too good to stop and take a pic ;* 
Intel is not only your computer brains but they make nail polish too! House hold staple ;) 

I have a name tag obsession! Love love love love! See Jane Work notebook

 Grammarly yours, Semirah D

Monday, April 14, 2014

Boston Fitness Review: Barry's Bootcamp

Chad of Barry's Bootcamp was the instructor for a group of Boston bloggers selected to try out a Full Body workout class at Barry's Bootcamp. Barry's Bootcamp's is located in Downtown Boston and they have locations across the nation thar, in my opinion, are helping American's become squats away from a strong body.

However, this class is not for the beginner athlete. I recommend Barry's Bootcamp for people who workout at least 2 times a week. I warn you if you haven't worked out in a while, you might want to whip your butt into shape before attending Barry's. I recently had spring break for 2 weeks and over the span of that time I did not exercise. Coming back into my workout regiment has been hell so, adding Barry's Bootcamp to my schedule was a true test of my mental and physical strength.

Instructor (second from the far left) and his minions! I am in all purple ;)
Top: C9 by Champion // Bottom: Dona Jo Fitwear 

What to bring: Water bottle, form fitting clothing advised
What is provided: Towels, free water refills, showers, locker, juice bar
Who: NOT people who need small settings and individual attention. The class is dark with a dimmed red light, resembling a dance party w/ the loud music and hyped instructor to match the ambiance. If a peaceful yoga class is your forte and you want to bump up the intensity try pilates.

Full Body Class review: 

For this class we needed to bring 2 dumbbells and a mat to our separate stations. The smallest dumbbell that I could find was a 12 POUNDER! The biggest dumbbell that I've ever used in a my lifting workouts has honestly been 15, but being out of shape I was hoping for a 5-10lb dumbbell.

(P.S. The smaller dumbbells are hiding in the corner near the door, don't be scared to take that walk and grab one if you can't handle 12+ lbs.)

The class was broken down into 4 circuits; switching between the floor and the treadmill. The floor consisted of planks while incorporating the weights, (intense) squat exercises, and lifting. The treadmill was a balance between a jog to a sprint and we adjusted the speed with the instructors direction (like adjusting your torq in spinning classes).

Instructor review:

Chad is a very energetic and fun instructor. He bounces around the room shouting out commands and funny/motivational comments. (Side note: He flawlessly demonstrated with a 25 lb. weight whilst my wimpy arms adjusted to 12 lb.-ers.)

Before I said that if you need individual instruction than this class is most likely not going to help you well, just honestly try and call out to the instructor and you can get guided into the right direction. I had a completely lost look on  my face for one of the workouts and Chad came to the rescue and demonstrated in front of me so that I could hopefully replicate (I did!). 

I had an overall amazing experience, as you might can tell from the lengthy review. Point blank is that Barry's Bootcamp kicks butt and with consistency* I believe that you could see fast results. (*3-5 week consistency).

Shark Tank is Coming to Boston (ABC TV)

Sign up and see more details here!

Attend an Open Call

Attend an Open Call where you will be given the opportunity to do a 1-minute pitch of your business/product/idea to a member of the Casting Team—just like you would as if you were on the show. Come prepared to wow and dazzle us. Only the first 500 applicants are guaranteed to be seen so arrive early to secure your numbered wristband. Be advised: security may check your bag and you are responsible for your own parking. We do not validate. To apply at an Open Call you must have a completed Application Packet.Download the Application HERE and bring it with you to the Open Call. It is imperative that you complete your Application prior to the Open Call because there are a lot of detailed questions on there that you may not have the answers to at the Open Call. 
All Open Calls are open to the general public. You DO NOT have to purchase a credential to attend a Shark Tank Open Call. Please do NOT call the venue.

Grammarly yours, Semirah D

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Macy's Campus Tour Finale 2014

Spring inspired outfits from Macy's mstylelab 

#macyscampustour finale! Tour details available at macyscampustour.com

Grammarly yours,

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Graduation Gift Guide: Monograms

Hi y'all,
It is almost graduation time and for seniors this is one of the major milestones of life (for other people a small speed bump). Most people describe this time as the "end of the road" like "Hey! High five, you made it to the end!" In my opinion it is the total opposite, it is more around the sense of "Hey, here is a hug because you now have an extra list of responsibilities." I feel like this is a beginning, a time to prepare for a new adventure and new opportunities. 

To help prepare you for gifting graduation season I've worked all winter gathering some goodies that I think would be GREAT presents for your future grad. These gifts are useful, productive, and and an asset in your future grads life.  

In my opinion, monograms personalize your possessions and essentially stake a permanent claim on your belongings. The Gentlemen Scholar declared that, "A monogram is at best a memento." and @Gailbrilldesigns believes that, "Monograms are evocative of a time when manners mattered and social stationary was essential."

For whatever reason monograms appeal to you, they are a perfect gift. When given to a grad it says, "I know you and I want to prove it by knowing your full initials." or "This would go perfect with your preppy style." or "I'm worried about your social life but, the ladies dig monograms." 

Monograms are my go-to gift for grads because, assuming your grad is in their 20's, they are most likely sharing a dorm or apartment with a stranger who will potentially fall in love with their gorgeous pillows and want to borrow them. Too bad half of the room decor is monogrammed and too bad they don't share the same name. 

I don't know, maybe I am the only one who grew up with a monogrammed book bag and school supplies to match but, when I lost them... they always came right back. 

You know what they say, "If it ain't movin' monogram it." 

Monogrammed pillow by Heit Boutique. Dynamic duo and mother-daughter team, came up with this boutique to centralize the surplus of craft projects and little treasures coming out of their in home workshop.  

 Like Heit Boutique on Facebook or check out their shop.

Stay tuned throughout the spring for more graduation gift guide post :) 
P.S. S/O To my little brother for modeling in these pictures for me. 

Grammarly yours, Semirah D

*Sponsored Post* I was provided this item from Heit Boutique but, all opinions are my own. The graduation gift guide is a series of items that I recommend for gift giving, some are sponsored some are not.  

Friday, April 4, 2014

Macy's Men's 2014 Spring Fashion: Sporty Casual

For the past 5 weeks I have had the opportunity to dress up and dress down my spring wardrobe at the mstylelab in Macy’s.

                                      4th Macy's mstylelab Spring Wardrobe post

 As a woman in a male dominated family I couldn’t help but venture into the male section of the mstylelab and put some pieces together for men’s spring 2014 fashion.

Macy’s is not on the top of my brother’s shopping list, or whatever organizational tools that boy’s use to shop. But after putting together a casual sporty look for my football obsessed cousin the men around me are beginning to sneak into my shopping trips to Macy’s mstylelab to see what the hype is all about. The brands that I shopped at to complete a casual sporty look were; Levi’s, Nike and Adidas.

I didn’t see many young boy’s/men spring fashion trends on the #macyscampustour at www.macyscampustour.com so here is my little cousin modeling the next biggest thing, the super mantra, the casual sporty look of the season….

 Grammarly yours, Semirah D

*Sponsored post* This post is sponsored by Macy’s and all opinions are my own. Sponsorship policy available under the ‘Contact me’ tab. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Microsoft Surface Update

Today the third post about the Microsoft Surface bloggers event was suppose to be done and up. Well I am still getting a grip of the actual tablet and I would like to get to know a bit more about the tablet before I give you guys the detes about the Microsoft Surface Pro 2.

I would like to share a picture of Ingrid who won the Surface Pro 2 to take home forever and ever...!

Grammarly yours, SemirahD

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