Love Language #101

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What say you?

Recently I had the eavesdropping pleasure of overhearing an impromptu all male convo. The subject centered on women of course, (insert grin) and how these handsome gentlemen felt a certain type of way related to dating. Now listen my lovely readership, they were straight out complaining, and not holding back. I found their convo extremely interesting, specifically because of the age demographic. Every well dressed man in this group was above the age of forty, or maybe even forty plus! Check out the one comment that caused my eyes to roll sideways, just a tiny bit.

“A real woman will cook you a home cooked meal, without even asking her” 

Well, because I was not a part of this conversation, I chose to keep my opinions to myself. While I understand the meaning of the comment, I couldn’t help thinking, why would you expect a single woman to play wifey, straight out of the gate?

Feed her TACOS and tell her she’s PRETTY. Express genuine interest, put forth a little effort before expecting her to cook a meal. The simple things carry a lot of weight out here in the dating game, women are looking for men who are authentic in their love language. And Yaaassss, many of us are looking forward to cooking a home cooked meal, but speaking hypothetically, are you showing her that you are deserving of her culinary efforts.

~ Don’t shoot the messenger~ 

Author: Dakota Somerville

Photo Credit: Kela Walker/Facebook

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Tim Reid’s Cultural Fashion Showcase

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An Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony, and the aroma of culture, filled the venue as I walked in the door. I had finally arrived, after a one hour plus drive to the all interesting city of Richmond, Virginia.  I came for the fashion extravaganza presented by actor, producer, and first time designer Mr. Tim Reid, along with his lovely wife Mrs. Daphne Reid, who slayed the runway with her first design collection.

Perfection may be an understatement when describing Tim Reid’s Cultural Fashion Showcase. The RVA event space was lit on April 27th with local and international lovers of fashion. Well-dressed attendee’s mingled about, smiling at one another, greeting folks who’ve attended in the previous years, from my observation the event was some type of reunion amongst fashion connoisseur’s. People watcher number one, that would be Moi, was here for all of it…..insert handclap emoji three times!

The breathe taking beautiful co-producer and event host Salome was mesmerizing, wearing her beautifully unique designs as she graced the stage hosting simultaneously with Tim and Daphne Reid.

“Fashion models enhance the designers creative masterpieces”

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Step to the side while I shout out the sharp dressed male runway models, wearing designer Malcom Staples, of Malcom’s Custom Made to Fit. The women in the audience began to “oooh and ahhh”, snap fingers, while displaying the biggest smiles as the older more distinguished models hit the runway. Malcolm’s classy fitted suits gave favor to a trendy vintage look, full of pops of color, and fun patterns. I loved the sexy-sexy female tuxedo suit, well put together featuring a cute top-hat, perfect for a swanky dinner party. I haven’t worn a women’s suit in a while, however, if one can be created for a special holiday party, with a little sparkle, I’m all in for it.

Actress, producer and first time designer Daphne Reid, hit the runway with flowing color pops, floppy hats accentuated the swing jacket style, giving you the NYC street look of an older woman, out and about her business of the day. Comfy, eye-catching designs to turn heads, as you walk on by….

I’m excited to attend Tim Reid’s fashion show again, unfortunately I had a family emergency in the middle of the show, causing me to leave early. I missed a lot of amazing designers, international and local. All the fashion chatter for weeks after the event came across super positive, highlighting the charity who benefited from the proceeds, congratulations to the recipient Legacy Media Institute.

Bravo to all on a job well done…

Author: Dakota Somerville

Photo Credit: Dakota Somerville

 

 

‘Shades of Life Networking Soiree’

 

Dr. Dionne Gibbs, Nurse, CNE, Nurse Administrator, Owner and Operator of Shades of Life Coaching and Consulting Service.

You know you’re a powerhouse, when your positive energy enters the room long before you actually make an appearance. The quiet chatter amongst the excited attendees, gave notice that we were about to gain a wealth of life-long knowledge. Entrepreneur’s, family, and old friends came together to celebrate the branding launch of “Shades of Life”, the new coaching and consulting business, spearheaded by Dr. Gibbs. On Friday, June 28th, the beautiful Slover Library in Norfolk, Virginia, was once again the perfect venue, including its magnificent roof-top area overlooking the city.

“Walk upright in your purpose, and support other women”

Dr. Gibbs spoke passionately to her audience on the subject of holding yourself accountable when you have fallen into that space you need help coming out of, first and foremost you must recognize where you are in achieving your goals. If you need to wiggle, then wiggle your way back to that positive space. Networking was at its peak level during the event, others began to acknowledge the resources sitting next to them.

I am absolutely certain every person in the room felt empowered, as well as uplifted and consciously motivated. Dr. Gibbs is on a solid mission to serve, which includes a pursuit and purpose of educating, elevating, and empowering women of all ages to be the best version of themselves while finding their true purpose within the current journey in life.

She wore a gorgeous red jumpsuit, and we all know red is a power color representing energy and determination. Dr. Gibbs was a lovely hostess, as she moved about with her arms extended, greeting her guest with warm hugs and words of encouragement. O’ wow, let me tell you how the aroma of delicious food easily flowed out to the sexy roof-top patio eating area, highlighted by a lovely warm summer’s night.

I personally made a great network connection with a fierce spoken word artist by the name of Neisha Himes, of the Grow Foundation. My love of poetry attracts the deepest souls, we always link, like kindred spirits. I recognized her captivating voice from a previous event I had just recently blogged. As she stood front and center to give her poetic rendition of “Dear Broken Woman”, I knew she was the one to perform a special piece from my poetry repertoire. And that my readership is the essence of a networking event.

“How can I teach my daughter the definition of a strong woman, when my own weakness defines me in a dictionary I don’t want to read anymore”

Poem: Dear Broken Woman      Artist: Neisha Himes

To recap the “Shades of Life Soiree” in one blog is nearly impossible. I believe the mission statement was well accomplished, bringing like-minded individuals into one room for the sole purpose of networking. Dr. Gibbs has been coaching and consulting in her daily work life for quite some time, now that she has branched out specifically with that purpose in mind, it’s a definite win for the Hampton Roads Community. I’ve spent some time researching her platform of empowerment, many of you will be amazed at how kind, yet very direct her statements come across, and how easy her goal setting principals will apply to your life. Let me be the first to congratulate Dr. Gibbs on a very successful brand launch.

Food for thought:

If you are looking for someone to hold you accountable through the steps of your success journey, contact Dr. Dionne Gibbs.

http://www.shadesoflifecoaching.com

Facebook: Dionne Gibbs

Author: Dakota Somerville

Photo Credit: Dakota Vibe/Dionne Gibbs

You Do Not Have Permission To Quit!

Mikia Shae Troche – Founder and CEO

What does the word “ENDURE” mean to you? Many of us would define the word as a form of suffering, or going through something to achieve a specific end goal. If you’re a living breathing human being, you are at some point in your life enduring through a storm. For some, it may be a little less difficult than others, which would have a person in the midst of enduring without even realizing it.

On Saturday, June 1, 2019 my spiritual soul was set ablaze from the moment I set foot into the Semi-Annual Enduring Conference, held at the Holiday Inn, in the lovely city of Virginia Beach. Author, visionary, motivational speaker, and business mentor Mikia Shae Troche greeted her conference attendees looking simply angelic in an all-white attire. You could feel the peacefulness in the room, filled with eye-catching  tones of yellow and blue, as encouraging sounds of gospel music played in the background.

I pride myself on being able to pick up positive energy vibes. Every single speaker who spilled their life’s transparency, gave me inspiring levels of goose bumps! I’ve always heard, sharing is caring, yet somehow in the process of sharing, each and every single testimony intentionally gave the room full of attendees, food for thought. Anyone who was in attendance will more than likely tell you of at least one important aspect he or she learned as a knowledgeable take-away. When you can gather together our young millennials, and our respected senior generation at the same table, smiling, chatting, and breaking bread, you’ve accomplished diversity. Vendor stations created a very relaxing experience for those who enjoy stumbling upon something a little special to take home.

Quote of the day: Neisha Himes – G.R.O.W. Foundation

“Your crown matches every outfit, never take it off”

This well-organized event included a wonderful host, comedian Ryheem Johnson captured the audience with his clean cut, and let me add entertaining humor straight out of the gate. His intermittent jokes proved to be just what was needed to change up the mood during the conference. Life is not always kind, healthy discussions of how to step up and endure any adversity being thrown at you is a topic we should all be interested in hearing. Telling a story in mime, or standing on a stage takes courage, but the healing begins way before making a choice to share your life with others. Manny Mitchell spoke enthusiastically on the storm of rejection, how starting a career with no arms proved what we all know to be true….”What GOD has for you, is for you”…

We all have a story, are you empowering others with your enduring journey?

I had the pleasure of a short interview with the founder of the Enduring Conference, Mikia Shae Troche, her spirit of authenticity glowed as bright as any diamond in the swankiest of jewelry stores. Having survived a stroke, being wheel chair bound, amongst other adversities, never gave her permission to quit. This beautiful queen endured every negative emotion imaginable, she cried, she prayed, and then with the help of her loving husband, she got up for the win.

Mikia captured the attention of her audience with a powerful heartfelt speech as she ended the conference. The topic, “You Do Not Have Permission To Quit”, resonated throughout the entire room, as if she were standing on stage with a bullhorn.

Every head nodded in agreement, without blinking an eye….

Thank you, for the amazing opportunity to blog your event, while interacting with your panel of fascinating speakers. Every testimony held value to someone in the room. Bravo Sista!

Honorable Mention: Nicole Armstrong, Juanita Ricks, Ryheem Johnson, Manny Mitchell, Jada Danielle, Jay Harris, Suzette Meeks, Neisha Himes, Shakeya Nesbitt, Tanisha Thompson, and keynote speaker Mikia Troche

Follow Enduring Conference via Facebook, be sure to attend the 2nd Semi-Annual conference on January 25, 2020.

Author: Dakota Somerville

Photo Credit: Enduring Conference, Mikia Shae Troche, Dakota Somerville

 

 

Teach One ~ Reach One ~ Invest

 

 

Plant the seed, and show them the way…

Nonprofit organizations serve many purposes. Feeding the hungry to name a few, however, nothing stands out more than a community group with a vision to serve our youth. The children are our future leaders, they are our future in a nutshell. Our beautiful brown babies from impoverished neighborhoods deserve every single opportunity of exposure to learn the when, where, and how’s of success.

 

I am truly honored to share with my readership a group of young boys who are truly making a name for themselves here in Hampton Roads, Virginia. They are learning a multitude of important life skills from some very influential pillars of our community. The Young Investors of Virginia Club comes highly recommended for any young man who has a desire to learn about entrepreneurship, real estate, and the beginnings of stock market investment. This newly formed group in my humble opinion speaks volumes to the idea of teaching one, while reaching one.

Young Investors of Virginia Club Mantra:

I am a young investor

I invest in myself

I invest in my community

I learn the generation before

I teach the generation behind me

 

Her smile is infectious, her soul is contagious, her energy is magic, and all the accolades of community merit go out to the founder, Ms. Keyzia. We first met about two years ago, at a summer dinner celebration. She sat across the table from me, filled with her vision, ready to share with the whole world, how she literally wanted to make a change. I was a bit mesmerized at first, and then I began to really listen to what she was saying about the importance of creating opportunities for our young boys to enhance their life skills. It was at that very moment, I knew she was going to embark on something special. Congratulations queen, you are the epitome of motherhood, taking a stand to help children from the lower income and high crime areas of Chesapeake, Virginia, to see a whole new world beyond their wildest imagination.

 

“A sense of pride and opportunity can make a difference”

Many of our young African American boys face an uphill battle on a daily basis, systemic poverty, and the juvenile judicial system are more often not interested in how a young man may be making strides in turning their lives around. Two of the fifteen year old’s in the Young Investors of Virginia Club, are facing unfortunate circumstances. Joining the group created a sense of leadership, they were able to see hope, and began to recruit the younger boys in their neighborhoods to join the group as well. In September of 2018, the group had a fantastic opportunity under the leadership of a licensed real estate agent to host an open house, allowing potential buyers to see their young efforts.

What about our young girls you may ask? Well, as of June 2019, Ms. Keyzia has now implemented a Sister Section to the group. I am certain, Young Investors of Virginia Club will flourish as they grow with love, and support from the Hampton Roads Community!

Contact: via Facebook Page  – Nonprofit Organization

Author: Dakota Somerville

Photo Credit: Young Investors of Virginia Club/ Keyzia Nikole

 

 

 

 

Check -Your -Soil

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As I Open my Mind

my petals become free

to be the woman

God intended me to be

As I Open my Mind

my soil becomes healthy

embracing the universal gift

that someday I will be wealthy

As I Open my Mind

i learn to SEE

with the third-eye

that was given to me

I check my SOIL

so my petals will flourish

my mind will be nourished

As I Open my Mind

weeds with thornes disappear

allowing a ray of sunshine

to miraculously re-appear

I Opened My Mind

Today.

Author: Dakota Somerville

Photo Credit: Dakota Vibe

 

 

 

“Bea Great, Bea Positive, Bea You”

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Mouth Watering Sweet Potato Cheesecake Dessert

Have you ever dreamed of having your own personal chef? Of course, we sometimes crave those delectable homemade yummies we see displayed on our television screens. About a year ago, I became acquainted with a young single mother, who also happened to be an aspiring chef on the rise. She was somewhat soft spoken, but I could see she was ever so hungry to succeed. I really connected with Chef Bea, also known as Chef Beatrice Copeland, owner of ‘Oh My Loaf, LLC.

Chefbea9 Chef Beatrice Copeland

It gives me a tremendous amount of pleasure to watch this young chef blossom in the business woman she always hoped to be. Its inspiring, anytime a single mother works towards her dreams, you can find me somewhere in the background cheering her on. I had a chance to stop by Chef Bea’s pop up Sunday Brunch, located in Virginia Beach, at the well known Phoenix Restaurant and Lounge. Now listen, I’m nowhere near being a food critic, but what I admittedly am is a foodie girl. The atmosphere was warm and friendly, highlighting my down to earth palate with every food item I love, including an omelet station, shrimp and grits, with an assortment of fruit.

Chef Beatrice, your new positive mantra is certainly appropriate for the trajectory of your culinary path, salute from one single mother to another.

Bea Great, Bea Positive, Bea You

Exciting moves are on the horizon for this lovely young chef, soon she will be blessing us with a bakery filled with sweet treats, and vegan choices, as well. Plans are underway for a easy to access location in the Military Circle Mall food court. Currently Chef Bea has a variety of vegan, dairy free treats available in Norfolk, at Jikoni Café. Stop by and grab a vegan banana bread loaf, or perhaps you’re a chocolate chip lover, is so, check out her newest creation…Chocolate Chip Vegan Banana Bread! O’ My Loaf….Well done baby girl, keep baking your way one loaf at a time, success is closer than it appears.

Fresh product shipping is available as needed. For your unique personal chef experience, you can find Chef Beatrice via social media.

Instagram: Chef_bea7          Facebook: ChefBea Copeland

Photo Credit: Dakota Somerville & Chef Beatrice Copeland

Author: Dakota Somerville

 

Men’s Fashion Extravaganza 2019

MFW7 Media Blitz

Men’s Fashion Week Virginia 2019, set the fashion industry ablaze, making it very clear, Southeastern Virginia has arrived on the men’s  runway stage with great panache.

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“Real men do wear pink”

Designer: Kenny “Kas” Flanagan – Model: Marcus DeVaughn Sr.

The week of April 8th through April 13th will be remembered in the Hampton Roads community, as the week local and national men’s wear designers elevated our fashion consciousness to the next level. Celebrity producer/host Ron Cooke, along with assistant producer/designer of “Reckless Brand” Mario Daughtry, put together an unforgettable collaboration of new spring designs.

I emphatically feel confident in saying, with a limitless diversity in style, there was something pleasurable to the eye, for each and every event attendee.

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Fashion Week is exciting, every year the designers get to showcase what they’ve been working on. The models get the prestigious honor of presenting those designs to the public, and they walk proudly each night. The added element of the pedestal used in some of the shows, give a fascinating mannequin look to the overall presentation. Virginia is not only for lovers, the state is also a mecca for brilliant fashion designers, as proven by the spectacular talent displayed during Men’s Fashion Week 2019. This being the third year solidified the hashtag usage seen all throughout social media, #MFWV is trending globally amongst the who’s who in the industry, and beyond.

“Some people wear clothes that reflect their mood, others wear clothing that changes their mood, hence we have fashion”

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MFW18     MFW30

MFW22     MFW21

Local designers were impressive with urban clothing styles, and edgy streetwear, for a more comfortable lifestyle. I loved how their clothing lines reflected a super cool hip-hop vibe.

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With a total of six fashion shows during the course of one week, Men’s Fashion Week embraced every genre of style, from sexy European to kick-back Eclectic. As a blogger, I’m always paying attention to the audience comments, and how they respond to the models. Listen! I just want my readership to know, most attendees were amazed to find out some of the shows had no cover charge at all. 

Dillards – Featuring Spring/Summer Fashions

Springtime in southeastern Virginia has a special meaning. These two models are wearing the perfect attire to check out all the happenings along the beach. This years fashion week didn’t snatch my edges, but I must admit a number of female event attendees left with sore necks! 

From the opening night reception at Baila Fuzion Dance and Creative Arts Studio, to the closing night men’s fashion story “Read” at the gorgeous Slover Library, the energy level never changed. The production team, models, and D J’s (Dave Champion and D J Pynk Dyamond) gave a stellar performance, on each and every night. Bravo…Bravo…Bravo, to a successful men’s fashion extravaganza.

Author: Dakota Somerville

Photo Credit: Runway Authority, Dakota Somerville, Facebook

Event Designers:

Marva Nelson – House of LaMaica

Tracey Langford – 360 Vintage Designs

Kenny “Kas” Flannigan – Kas Collection

Malcolm Staples

Kevin Dickens – KD Sports

TEAM L.A.M.B.

STALLIA – Premium Urban Apparel

PURSUIT

Reckless Kids

Sponsors:

Phillip Michael Fashion for Men

Upscale Men’s Fashion

Dillards

 

 

 

 

~Custom Living by Darmeshia Guyton~

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Owner and Designer, Darmeshia Guyton

Coastal Virginia is no sleepy little piece of the world, it’s quite the opposite, the area is well noted for its luxurious beach homes. I had the distinguished pleasure of meeting one of the areas top interior designers today. The beautiful, soft-spoken Darmeshia Guyton, owner and lead designer of MeMe G Home Designs repeatedly captivates her TV viewers attention during her weekly segment, every Wednesday morning, filmed on the local TV program Coast Live.

“I love to help my clients bring out their decorating vision, one room at a time”  

Darmeshia Guyton with host April Woodard

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We sat down today for a quick blog interview, catching up with this savvy fashionable business owner in her own element, made for a very enjoyable dialogue, which I am certain you will enjoy immensely.

question: Tell us what do you most enjoy about home decorating?

answer: I enjoy helping my clients create their achieved look, especially those who are clueless when it comes to decorating. I enjoy being able to walk into a space, and sharing with the client the vision I can see.

question: Do you decorate commercial property, as well as, home decorating?

answer: Yes, I am a designer, which means I have technical expertise and background. I prefer small commercial properties, because of all the building codes involved. My heart leans more towards home decorating, because I can put more of my signature stamp on that type of property.

question: You are always dressed so beautiful, do you have a fashion stylist?

answer: No, I buy what I like, all the outfits you see on Coast Live, I purchase from an online store. Thank You, I am my own stylist, as you can see, I do enjoy looking my very best, (insert big smile).

question: Our readers want to know, what is your favorite room to decorate?

answer: That’s a hard one to answer, but, I would say a kitchen remodel from top to bottom. I love to work with a full gut job, kitchens are the easiest room to go into, and because the flooring will include extensive design work, the challenge is all mine.

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“Anyone can place a pillow, or hang a curtain, but a designer with passion, can change a room”

Darmeshia is a refreshing addition to the Coast Live morning program, from what I observed in the studio today, host April Woodard and Cheryl Nelson seem to all mesh together like a hand in glove. Being a part of a show that celebrates its people, places, and local events has to promote exposure, along with the highest level of creativity.

I would say with a great degree of certainty, Darmeshia Guyton has arrived. Impressive would be an understatement, when describing her unique talent. You can contact her business via her website, http://www.memeghome.com or MeMe G Home Designs via Facebook.

Author: Dakota Somerville

Photo Credit: MeMe G Home Designs, Dakota Vibe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I’m a grown woman with Moods and Attitudes”

attitudeblogpi3 Model, Kate Melde

Have you ever felt like a chameleon? If you are a woman, of course you have, based on the circumstances surrounding your day-to-day life. There are moments of loneliness, when the only thing you can do is to close your beautiful eyes, embrace yourself with positive affirmations, and secure your head space with self-love.

attitudeblogpic1 Model, Vanessa Frances Chini 

Have you ever felt like a princess? I can personally answer yes, maybe even a vintage princess, one who knows he’s not coming into your life riding the proverbial white horse. No….he’s stepping to your world, fully confident of his capabilities to make you happy.

attitudeblogpic2 Model, Gilca Lorenis Perez

Have you ever felt like the queen of side-eye? At some point in life, you will need to give them the business, and own every single glare. Remind your mental psyche that you are a grown woman with moods and attitudes.

Author: Dakota Somerville

Photo Credit: Bronze Magazine, photographer Shanal Belton