Thursday, July 31, 2014

July 2014 Favorites

July is over and now it's time to replenish all of your beauty essentials and next season's trending items. Before that happens I wanted to share with you all some products that I lah-oved all throughout July (and June!). I have a mixture of beauty and fashion items. After this I would be very interested to hear about some of the products that you used all throughout this summer!  

Moment of silence! My camera has been fixed and this is my first product shoot in weeks! Yayy!!

Shave Savour: Hair Inhibiting Serum va
First up is Whish Body.. For the past month I have tried out the hair inhibiting gel. It's the summer and shaving, waxing, tweezing, whatever method of hair removal is extremely annoying when you have to do over and over again, wasting both your time AND money. Well men have after shave that makes them smell good, smoothes/soothes their skin post-shave, etc. Women are usually discouraged from using men after shave so, we need a product of our own. In comes Whish Body w/ with the hair inhibiting gel. Apply post shave/hair removal treatment and the natural (and really good smelling) ingredients inside of Whish's products will prolong the time you have in between shaving.

I used the gel about 2x/week and didn't begin to see results till the third week. I tried the gel on main less sensitive areas like my legs and I notice that the hair wasn't as thick. In fact that hair appeared to be shrinking away.. thinning away.. or just not growing as fast. The product smells good and after repetitive use it actually works.
Witch Hazel Oil Controlling Towelettes and Toner
I've depicted the oil controlling towelettes but, I also used Dickinson's original witch hazel who is actually the real MVP in this July 2014 favorites list. The Dickinson's Witch Hazel toner has uses for every single type of face: oily, normal, dry, combo, etc.

I used the toner every night after I showered and before I applied my night creams. The wipes and the toner assured that my face wash worked, tightened my pores, removed unwanted dirt, etc. FIVE points to Dickinson!

Karma Kit + Face Mask Set
I have been a face mask fan ever since I saw my first Michelle Phan youtube video about a clay face mask. Through the years I've tried different varieties of face mask that accomplish different things. Using a face mask is like a signal to yourself that it is time to take a break.. sip some tea and rejuvenate from the daily grind.

Karuna's face mask did brighten and moisturize my face. However they pride themselves in being a "mess-free" face mask brand. Their masks are packed with so much liquid or product that it is dripping as you apply it. Not really "mess-free" but you do get all the product you pay for ($28 for 4 masks). The face mask sets don't really provide hard-core treatments or remove deep in the pores. The Karuna face masks are great for moisturizing and brightening up your face on a late night, etc.

62 Cotton Hipster in Noir
Panty by Post's mission is to spread the pleasure of French lingerie all over the world. With each pretty package, send a message of love and joie de vie. I am putting Panty by Post in my July 2014 favorites because the summer is the time to travel and experience new things. When I need to pack a luggage in 10 minutes it's great to just grab my Panty by Post subscription right out of the mail packaged in a cute convenient envelope or have it delivered to wherever I am at.

Now it's your turn to share? Summer products that moisturize or tone? Pick one!

Grammarly yours, Semirah

*Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary in exchange for a honest review. All opinions are my own.*

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

NYC Spa Review: The Village Beauty Lounge

*Disclaimer: I was provided a complimentary service in exchange for a honest review. All opinions are those of pageant sister queen/friend Mariel K who reviewed the salon on my behalf.*

The Village Beauty Lounge was a great spa experience, even with it just being a pedicure. It's easy to find by public transportation, just a few short blocks from the L train at 3rd Ave station. The NYC neighborhood is in an area that people of all ethnicity and social standings would feel comfortable. When I first entered I felt a little strange the way they stared at me, perhaps my shorts were too short. But shortly after everyone warmed up a bit. Fabien at the desk is simply adorable! He's very polite and attentive. I was offered a choice of water or tea to drink while my feet were being attended to by a very quiet yet kind lady, Rosa.

They played French language music in the background, similar to what Sadness by Enigma sounds like. It was tranquil and went nicely with the muted pastel shade that was on the wall. The spa staff spoke Spanish in a hushed tone, not in any type of way to make a person feel uncomfortable. Everyone was so quiet that you could almost hear a pin drop!

My favorite part was the drying station. It had a nice set up for you to read a variety of magazines. I saw O Magazine, Vogue, The New Yorker, and the one I chose to read was dedicated solely to Asian cuisine. The magazines were set up perfectly at eye level. I can imagine if I had gotten a Mani as well the set up would've been very helpful. The only thing I forgot to ask was what method they used for drying. It wasn't UV (thank God) and it felt really light for it to be a conventional fan.
The finished work of art! 

They offer a variety of services outside of hands and feet including wraps, massages, and waxing. It's definitely a place I'd return to. I hope this was helpful!

Grammarly yours, Mariel & 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

Friday, July 18, 2014

Book Review: I Just Graduated... Now What? by Katherine Schwarzenegger

For those of you that know me are aware that I just graduated and will be moving on to a four year public university. I and many other graduates are gladly accepting advice on how to make the next step in our lives. 

However... be careful! Everyone wants to bring the new neighbors a homemade pie but unfortunately everyone can't cook. Lol what I mean to say is that you should pick and choose what advice you accept into your life and what advice ends up in your trash bin. 

When I heard about Katherine Schwarnegger's new book I Just Graduated... Now What? I was wicked excited to get my hands on it and be overtaken with tons of valuable advice on how to be successful.. on surviving the transition after graduation... basically a ton of questions that usually bother the millennial graduate. 

I open the book and there is the introduction, you know the author giving a story about how her mom let her stay home and ponder about life post-grad because she didn't know what to do to make her happy... Okayy wow your parents are nice. I would've had to get a job and you know earn my place in society. So I skimmed over the mushy parts and kept a keen eye out for the part where she interviews influential people about how to make it and recommended steps post-graduation. Well uhhh the mushy details never ended and the interviews never started.

The first few chapters began to start sounding like casual conversations or essays that the celebrities sent to Katherine to be included in her book. And it became quite obvious that this book was for the first class, 1%, came from influence family. Oh you know the other 99% of graduates who have worries about finances and merely surviving post grad can just read about a life that they could have if they didn't have to get jobs.

Don't get me wrong I did find some cool ideas I could emulate from Blake Mycoskie but, that is only because I met him last year at the Massachusetts' Conference for Women and hearing more details about his post-grad life intrigued me.
If you haven't figured out by now Katherine Schwarzenegger's father is THE Arnold Schwarzenegger. This being said Katherine did achieve her goal AND she did not just sit at home wasting away. No.. far from it. She sat at home with her parent's phonebook paving a way for her own life with a slight (*huge) shadow of her parent's influence. 

The book's hardcover is beautiful quality, the colors are pretty, and the idea of creating a transition book for post-grads is genius. But Ms. Katherine did not provide valuable content in my opinion (none of it is her content it's just curated stories) either way, me no recomiendo. 

Grammarly yours, Semirah

*Disclaimer: I was provided this book compliemntary in return for an honest review, all opinions are my own and I would have been disappointed if I had of invested in this on my own*

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


Tournament to Create an Opportunity for High School Players to Compete on a National Stage
July 21-25 at Harvard University

Global athletic leader New Balance on March 5, 2014 announced the creation of the inaugural New Balance High School Tennis Championship presented by the United States Tennis Association (USTA), an event that will offer young tennis athletes a new, elite level of competition on the national stage. The tournament will be held at the Beren Tennis Center at Harvard University in Boston, July 21-25, 2014.

“New Balance believes the high school tennis player will be a tennis player for life, and we are proud to recognize the commitment these athletes have to the game,” said Bruce Schilling, General Manager of Tennis for New Balance. “We are also excited to build relationships with the high school state athletic associations through this new and exciting event and work with them to develop ongoing programs and services for individual players and coaches.”

New Balance developed the event with the goal of supporting and recognizing all high school tennis
players and coaches and the dedication they bring to the game. New Balance sought the USTA’s support
for this event because of the strong alignment of both organizations’ goals to promote and develop the
sport of tennis, as well as the USTA’s extensive experience managing tennis events.

“The USTA is proud to support this extraordinary event and we recognize that the high school tennis
experience leaves a lasting impact for so many,” said Dave Haggerty, Chairman, CEO and President of the
USTA. “These efforts and contributions aim to help raise the profile of high school tennis – and the sport
as a whole.”

Boys’ and girls’ singles events will unfold in a 64-player compass draw format, giving players the
opportunity to play many matches, and giving spectators the chance to witness exciting, level-based competition. Winners of the New Balance High School Tennis Championship will be awarded wildcard spots in an International Tennis Federation (ITF) junior event held in the U.S. prior to the 2014 US Open Junior Championships.

To foster participation among high school players and the event, New Balance is collaborating with the
High School State Associations to conduct outreach and work with athletic directors, coaches, and players
to acknowledge the importance of the high school game. Other event supporters include Harvard, SJX, and
Home Team Marketing.

Throughout the United States, more than 355,000 boys and girls participate in high school tennis. At the
collegiate level, approximately 20,000 varsity positions are available for top athletes, with intramural and
club-level programs providing an additional 40,000 participants the opportunity to maintain their social
and competitive connection to the sport throughout college.

About New Balance: New Balance, headquartered in Boston, MA has the following mission: Demonstrating responsible leadership, we build global brands that athletes are proud to wear, associates are proud to create and communities are proud to host. New Balance is currently the only major shoe company that manufactures athletic footwear in the U.S. with 1 out of every 4 pairs of shoes we sell in the U.S. made or assembled here. New Balance owns five factories in New England and one in Flimby, U.K. New Balance employs more than 4,000 associates around the globe, and in 2012 reported worldwide sales of $2.39 billion. To learn more about how New Balance Makes Excellent Happen, please visit

About the USTA:
The USTA is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the United States and the leader in promoting and developing the growth of tennis at every level, from local communities to the highest level of the professional game. A not-for-profit organization with more than 750,000 members, it invests 100 percent of its proceeds in growing the game. It owns and operates the US Open, the highest-attended annual sporting event in the world, and launched the Emirates Airline US Open Series, linking eight summer tournaments to the US Open. In addition, it owns approximately 90 Pro Circuit events throughout the U.S. and selects the teams for the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic Games. The USTA’s national charitable foundation, USTA Serves, provides grants and scholarships and helps underserved youth and people with disabilities. For more information on the USTA, log on to, “like” the official Facebook page,, or follow @usta on Twitter.

Grammarly yours, Semirah

P.S. The New Balance Tennis apparel pictures that I included are all on my summer fitness wish list! What are your summer workout gear must haves?

Monday, July 14, 2014

New Balance Headquarters Visit

Before this summer I did not know that I was living in the hot spot of the shoe industry. New England is home to international sneaker giants like New Balance, Timberland, Skechers, Puma, and Reebok. Through my product design intensive internship I had the chance to speak and see the design and product development process of many of those companies. 

At some point in your professional career you begin to see just how small the world really is and this does not exclude the sneaker industry, everyone is somehow connected. 

Last summer I got to be apart of the groundbreaking celebration for the new Converse headquarters in Boston and next summer I hope to be there when it's doors open. Boston is in store for some innovative and exciting opportunities summer 2015 so stay tune and get ready. 

I am already a big fan of the New Balance Fresh Foam but I was not aware of the many other upgrades that New Balance offered, such as: Fantom Fit, Rev-lite, and Cush+.

The design team and many of the employees of the New England sneaker industry find their inspirations within the local fitness communities. If I lived in the city I would love to attend every November Project workout or City Sports run. Unfortunately I can't and I make do with my local park and amp up the excitement on my personal social media pages to connect with other fitness ambassadors and adrenaline addicts. 

How are you staying fit this summer? Yes summer bodies are built in the winter but, summer hours call for excessive amounts of froyo and frozen desserts! 

Grammarly yours, Semirah

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

3 Reasons To Use Face Serums

It is the Western civilizations dream to be young forever... look, feel, and act the part. It is said that it takes a long time for one to become young (think of an older person you know that enjoys life more vivaciously than 99% of the teenagers you know). However looking young takes a bit more effort on our part.

From my knowledge of sci-fi and chick flick movies the absence of drug and alcohol usage in our lives can keep your skin younger, for longer. Living in a world where beer/wine is offered at children's playgrounds (Chuck E. Cheese) and the consequences of smoking are still tolerated it is hard to maintain a pure lifestyle. 

Don't get me started on the high levels of city pollution...! Basically the world is out to get your face to the end of it's prime, faster than you can catch up to. Slow down the clock by taking small beneficial steps. Serums are the fairy god mothers of anti-aging treatments. These little bottles of concentrated water based nutrients penetrates your skin and provides vitamins to the deep layers.   


1. Repairs Sun Damage
Every time I use the M-61 JetGlow serum at night I feel like I am marinating my face in a mask of vitamins. It is recommended that you use serums at night because the sun's UV rays hinder the serum from completely penetrating your skin. And you want this serum to get it's concentrated potion to the depths of your pores. M-61's retexturizing peptide with red seaweed and goji berries completely revived my face (specifically those dark bags that built up after hours of studying for finals!). 

Now I can feel confident that even if I don't have any makeup on my magic M-61 JetGlow Serum took care of any odd spots and damage.  
2. Improves Skin Texture
If you have acne prone skin using a serum with Vitamin C will enhance your skin clarity and cleanse deep into your pores. The serum didn't get rid of my acne, my face care routine did, but the serum took part in the action by providing nutrients to the dead skin and smoothed over the popped pimples and dug out black heads. Sorry to be gross but I hope you see how it is easy to overlook serum because of the small portions they come in and it's price. However, the small bottles are packed in with a concentrated solution that was made to specifically feed your skin.   
3. Brightens Skin
After using this product for one week my skin was noticeably brighter and clear. I used the serum 2 times a week and was able to go out on certain days makeup free! Just some moisturizer and sun screen satisfied my needs because my skin was taunt and smooth. In conjunction with the Petunia Skincare vitamin C serum I also tried the Dermaroller. For now the serum is sufficient for my face routine but, if you are interested in bringing medical spa like results to your home then definitely experiment with the Dermaroller. The Dermaroller purposely punctures your skin to force it to produce collagen (quite barbaric but it gets the job done-- new layer of skin that is scar free). 

Grammarly yours, Semirah D

P.S. I am currently participating in an internship at MIT so, sorry in the hiatus of blog post but I have been posting vlog updates!

*I was provided these items complimentary for review purposes, all opinions are my own*

Friday, July 4, 2014

Visit Atlanta: Mint Julep, The Cookout, Latino Flea Market


Latino Flea Market

7 years ago when I first heard the term ‘Flea Market’ I recall imagining the actual flea bug but, I couldn't figure out how that correlated with markets. Soon later visiting flea markets all over the states became a family ritual and I now enjoy finding and resisting the urge to buy hidden treasures.

Today: I visited the flea market for discounted household items but my alternative motive was to find a foreign ‘wonder’ (some clothing/item neither found nor sold in USA).

Found: Delicious cups of fruit and frozen shaved fruit (they shaved an entire frozen mango in front of you!) --- Totally worth $2.50. Lol of course the only thing I care to leave with and purchase is food. (Yummm… when I travel the world I am going to be that tourists that eats every (reasonable) meal).

Productivity level: Snoop Dogg high porque I got the chance to practice my spanish for major deals and stellar negotiation opportunities. (And if you don’t know Snoop Dogg is a man famous for his public displays of the effects of marijuana so, ‘Snoop Dogg high’ is pretty far up there on the scale).

My first visit to Mint Julip a Lilly Pulitzer signature boutique

I have been obsessed with Lilly Pulitzer for a mere 2-3 years and have not had the chance to transform my wardrobe into a Lilly Pulitzer haven (unlike many LP fanatics I’ve met). There is a Lilly Pulitzer store in Boston and it is lovely. However I feel like the Atlanta location is just more rooted, native, and established. Basically Lilly seems more like a Southern trend and therefor the ladies at the Atlanta Mint Julep will be able to understand my adoration for the designer. I walk into the boutique and of course the southern hospitality doesn't fail me and I am graciously welcomed inside. The sales clerk are all in the back tea party style helping out another Northern belle (from Maine) become accustomed to their ways with a Lilly transformation. I am asked something along the lines of if I am looking for anything specific and I comment, “Hi I’m from Boston and when I seen this store I kind of stopped breathing and had to come in!”. One of the sales clerk reply, “Honey I completely understand. My dogs name is Lilly Pulitzer!” Me inside my head: Lol well whew we are definitely on the same page of uniqueness (slash oddness, slash slightly weird).

I may be a newbie to the Lilly love fest but, I am not a freshie to the value ($$$) of LP pieces. I hit a b-line towards the glowing 50% off sales rack because, “Who can resist a sale?” …. Right none of you so st-ahp pretending. Let’s rewind this conversation *rewind* I said FIFTY percent off…. Yes I still can not breathe. Mind you there is a rack of bathing suits outside the door on sale for 30-40% off as well. The only thing that could make this experience anymore heavenly would have been a platter of assorted pastries and some sweet tea or lemonade.

Actually since I’m describing a heavenly scenario the perfect scene would be if they engaged in conversation with me and some how the notion of me being a lifestyle blogger came up. Then they were just so infatuated with how ambitious and resourceful I am that they send me home with a package of clothing to style and share on my blog. Yep that would have been the perfect scenario. Boston lifestyle blogger Semirah Dolan recruited as a Lilly Pulitzer ambassador, yes… I can see the headlines now and the business emails just flowing in. As you can tell this little vacation I am on has me missing my blog business more than ever. Did I mention I don’t have internet connection unless I take a walk to Starbucks? The struggle is completely real.

Grammarly yours, Semirah

*Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored. I visited/experience the above on my own. All opinions are honest and mine.*

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