Blogalicious 5!: Oh, Atlanta… Part 1

I made it!!! I made it alllllllll way to Atlanta, Georgia on a 17 hour Greyhound bus ride because of you! Yes, I really took a bus from Philadelphia to Atlanta and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, besides people wanting to have full blown convos at 3 AM.

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After being chosen to be a part of the official Blogalicious Social Squad (a fancy name for the beautiful group of social butterfly volunteers), I was excited and figured that I’d get my travel arrangements in order sooner or later. As time passed, school was coming to an end and graduation fees and other financial obligations surfaced, causing me to get stuck in a real rut. Thank God I have awesome people like YOU who donated to make it possible for me to book a roundtrip ticket, even if it meant I’d be on a bus instead of a plane like I’d originally planned (I secretly hate flying anyway).

I got to ATL 5 days before the conference was even to begin for the purpose of spending some time with my friend who recently moved there. My 1st impression of ATL was exactly this—> “Oh, no…. see I need a train or bus line or something because like… how am I supposed to get around if I don’t drive?! Omg, it’s nothing to do… I am going to die of boredom”. This was all before I realized that:

1. My friend lives in the Conley area of GA, which is south of ATL where not even natives seem to be familiar with it

2. You do in fact need a car if you want to get around ATL comfortably

3. There is PLENTY to do, you just need to know the right people who know the right places!

After a few days of stressing because multiple cab companies refused to drive to my friend’s house to pick me up and take me downtown to the conference, and having VERY limited funds, the gates of heaven opened and I found a very affordable hotel that was literally a 5 minute walk from the conference. Hallelujah!

My new resting place was a hotel in downtown Atlanta which definitely wasn’t 4 stars (maybe not even 2 and a half), but it was going to have to work. Now the stress was gone, I was within walking distance from the conference, and I still had enough money left to eat real food for the next few days.

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On Wednesday all the Social Squad members were to report for our orientation and to stuff swag bags (which were quite amazing I might add. Don’t worry, I’ll give the scoop on what was inside in the next post!). That day we all got to know each other, and I have to say that the afternoon shift set up a meannnnn assembly line filled with laughs and pandora. We were done those swag bags in record time! I have to give a shout to Ms. Jana, the Boss Lady who kept everything in order from start to finish, I don’t know how she does it!

The conference started the next day and as a Social Squad member, we were assigned to assist at specified panels each day, and then were free to attend any sessions and panels we wanted to! I have to say that I loved that set-up because we were getting the opportunity to get an inside look at the inner workings of how to run a conference, while also being able to enjoy it as an attendee. Since each of us were assigned to specific sessions, we knew well in advance where we had to be and what speakers we would be assisting. Ironically, I got chosen to assist Amy Dubois-Barnett, Editor-in-Chief of Ebony Magazine! Like, whaaaaa?! Since I found out that I’d been assigned to the keynote address, I’d started dreaming up what I’d say, exactly how I’d introduce myself, and how even a brief conversation would go if the opportunity happened to arise. When the day came, another panel was in session as Amy sauntered in quietly to take her seat and gather thoughts before addressing the audience. As it came time for the keynote to begin, I began rehearsing my quick intro in my head (total geek moment). Since Amy was already seated, Jana decided to initiate an introduction between us, and it took a little of my nervousness away. She was maaaaad cool, y’all! I totally felt like I was talking to one of you, she was so down to earth. As we explained to her that we would help her keep track of time, she asked if we could go with her in life to help her do that everyday.. ha. Now I can say thay I shared a laugh with Amy Dubois-Barnett, swoons. Our convo was brief, but memorable… at least in my mind.

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The rest of the weekend was filled with thought provoking panels on blogging and branding by some of my favorites, including Afrobella, Luvvie, Marie Denee, Lamar Tyler, and more.

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There were networking mixers where I got to meet dozens of bloggers from all over, I connected with the Digital Editorial Director of Ebony Magazine who recently spoke at my school, and I connected with fabulous brands like Pic Monkey, Heart of Haiti, and Friends Fun Wine at the pop-up-shop! This is the 2nd conference I’ve been to where I’ve felt a real sense of community and unity, all for the purpose of working toward advancement.

The season premeire Scandal party sponsored by Xfinity and hosted by Luvvie was AMAZING…… AH-MAH-ZING. Like, she came in her Olivia Pope BEST! It was a great time.

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The brand suites were fun, informative, and inviting. The Colgate Optic White Suite was lavishly LAID…

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ORS gave product samples and live demos…
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And I took a spin in the new Kia SUV! Well, I was a passenger.. tehee.

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Overall, I had a great experience at Blogalicious and I would definitely return for another dose! There’s so much more to say about this conference, so in another post, I’ll give you a list of the 10 best take-aways from Blogalicious 5 more photos, and all the deets of what was in this fab swag bag!

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Until then, click HERE for the official event photos
Sharontina B.

H&M Online Shopping is NOW OPEN in the U.S.!

Stop the presses!!!

 

God heard my prayers this morning, he truly did. Just got word (literally 5 minutes ago) that H&M.com is now available for online shopping in the U.S.!!! This has been a lonnggggg time coming, and I’m saying R.I.P. to my pockets in advance, because now indulging in affordable, cauuuuuute clothing is even easier. No lie, 80-90% of my clothes are from H&M. As a budgeting fashionista just finishing college, H&M has been my savior on many occasions. I say all this to say, I’m happy! Just downloaded the app, so yeah…..it’s a wrap!

 

H&M shopping online

 

By the way, to celebrate the new launch, H&M is hosting an IG contest that you might want to participate in, you could win a $1000 gift card and a trip to NYC! I’m in!! H&M launched the “50 States of Fashion” campaign, where you can rep your state along with the Ambassadors who were chosen by H&M to represent each state in the U.S., by showing off your personal style.  Click HERE to find out who YOUR state ambassador is and how to enter. And CONGRATULATIONS to my blogger friend, Fashionista Next Door on becoming the ambassador for Georgia! Woot woot!

For my Philly girls, show off your personal style and use the hashtag #HMShopOnlinePA to enter! ALSO, students, don’t forget to ask about the 15% student discount at the register, it’s for their back to school promotion, just have your school ID with you! (Always looking for a deal..tehee)

Ahhhh, I’m so excited to shop, hope you are too!

Happy shopping!

Cosmetic Chemistry, Who Knew?

Hey!

I recently attended a FAB event, hosted by The Fab Network called  “The Chemistry Behind Cosmetics”, and let me just say this, I will never look at my makeup the same way again! The panel included chemists from L’Oreal USA, Ron Robinson of BeautyStat.com, a chemist who manufactures polymers but is enthralled with beauty and is trying to make her way in, and an entrepreneurial chemist who is HILARIOUS and gave us the tea on work-life balance as a chemist in this industry! I decided to write the event recap on my new & improved personal branding site, Her Brand DNA because the women (and one FAB guy), were dynamic, extremely intelligent, and about their business! Click the image below to check out the post and learn more about my new site, Her Brand DNA!

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Sincerely,

with style~ Sharontina B.

 

Well, It’s Complicated…

Greetings friends,

I guess you’re probably assuming from the title that this post is going to be a tell-all about my young love, and how it’s complicated because he doesn’t want to settle down, I do, and we can’t seem to compromise because we are both stubborn. Well, not exactly, but I may be able to find you a little resolve if that scenario spells out your situation. Paul C. Brunson, theeeee matchmaker of all match makers, who is commonly referred to as the “The Modern Day Hitch”, is the co-host of the Oprah Winfrey Network show Lovetown, USA, and is recognized as one of the most successful matchmakers and relationship coaches, is bringing the It’s Complicated LIVE! tour to Philly in celebration of his new book, It’s Complicated, But It Doesn’t Have to Be: A Modern Guide to Finding and Keeping LovePaul will engage the audience in a lighthearted discussion about topics from his book that address many of the dating issues we may be going through, and will also offer tips that will help us get from the place we are to the place we want to be on today’s love scene.

Paul C. Brunson: It's Complicated LIVE

The event will take place on March 21st, from 6-8PM (check-in at 5) at Bloomingdale’s in King of Prussia, and will include beauty makeovers for attendees as well as light refreshments. This event is going to be informative, intimate, and you will have the opportunity to network with professionals, tastemakers, bloggers, and entrepreneurs! It is free and open to the public, but you must RSVP for you an any guests to reserve your seat. I am so looking forward to to this conversation; I think all that attend will gain some insight into their relationship, or lack thereof, and be able to do something differently as it applies to them. To RSVP to attend this event, click HERE or call 215-706-3334.

Location Details

Bloomingdale’s King of Prussia
660 W. Dekalb Pike
King of Prussia, PA

 

In the meantime, I’m aiming for a little Q&A with Paul before he makes his way to the city of brotherly love, so I’d like your input on questions you’d like me to ask! Sure I could come up with a million of my own, but we’re all in this together, so I want your help! To thank you for your help, your question will enter you for a chance to win a copy of Paul C. Brunson’s new book, It’s Complicated, But It Doesn’t Have to Be: A Modern Guide to Finding and Keeping Love ! To submit your question in relation to dating, relationships, and love maintenance (ohhhh, love maintenance..) follow the instructions on the giveaway widget below:

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