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

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

 

“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.

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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

 

Call Her a Hidden Gem

 

nadine4Nadine Owens, CEO/Owner – My Brothers Keeper

Mothers are a special breed, we make many sacrifice’s in life, to assure that our children are afforded the opportunity to become self-sufficient young adults. But, just for a hot minute, place yourself in the shoes of an amazing queen, someone who has endured the unimaginable, yet she somehow finds the strength to forge ahead. I was first introduced to Nadine during our women supporting women’s meeting, we each shared our own version of inspiration, and personal triumphs. Her voice was soft-spoken, somewhat shy in nature, however, every syllable screamed of a mothers bravery.

“I am a mother of three adults with disabilities, who never gave up”

On February 21, 2019 Nadine Owens was presented with a certificate of recognition award, an honor bestowed upon her by Mayor Robert M. Dyer, of the city of Virginia Beach, Virginia. Her non-profit community organization, Our Brothers Keeper is opening doors locally for any adult with disabilities to participate in life changing activities.

nadine3Mayor Robert M. Dyer, with Nadine Owens 

Our Brothers Keeper, is the brainchild of its CEO Nadine Owens. We all know the challenges of being a mother of three, factor in the obstacles she may have faced along this journey. Caring for two autistic children, and one with severe anxiety, seems like a three person job, on any given day. Not having the resources available to accommodate her plan of care for her young disabled adults, motivated Nadine to create a resource center, where education, life skills, arts and crafts could be utilized. Make your own T- Shirt is just one of the wonderful craft classes offered at the center, along with many more to come. Women are out here making all kinds of magic happen, we salute these hidden gems for taking the imitative to support their community needs.

The “Voice of Hope Book” written by Nadine Owens, will be very instrumental in offering tools to parents of young adults with disabilities. Contact the resource center, located in Virginia Beach, Va., by calling 757-351-1310 during regular business hours.

“You are not alone”

Author: Dakota Somerville

Photo Credit: Nadine Owens

 

 

 

 

A Dream Girl’s Spectacular Sale

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The Double R Mansion as we know it has a NEW Name—Now known as the Double L Ranch.

Yes, the Suffolk Ranch Is SOLD. The luxurious historic mansion at Double L Ranch, located upon 32 acres of pristine privately owned property in Suffolk, Virginia, was quietly sold & closed on February 27, 2019 by Hampton Road’s very own Queen of Real Estate. This Harvard Graduate does not believe in being average. She will tell you that failure is not an option. Claudine Ellis is a top-notched real estate agent who is sought after around the world. Dream Girl of Real Estate, Claudine L. Ellis, CEO/Broker accomplished the largest residential property sale of her fifteen plus year career. Ellis can take credit for singlehandedly raising real estate values in the rural 23737 area as this was the most expensive home listing in Suffolk.

“This Harvard Graduate does not believe in being average”

Claudine is outstandingly talented and well versed in the area of luxury, residential, and commercial real estate sales. A million dollar home in Hampton Roads usually averages a year on the market from list to close, but our readership shouldn’t be the least bit surprised to know that this queen sold the mansion in record time—less than 90 days.

The mansion itself holds many special memories, as a premier event venue. I’ve heard about the first floor classic billiard room, theater room, and the exquisite white baby grand piano, captured in the lavish wedding portraits of couples from near and far.

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“Nothing speaks luxury like the alluring tone of a baby grand piano”

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Beauty, brains, and a savage beast at what she does, would sum up the challenges Claudine faces on a daily basis with her clients. What I admire most about this real estate professional is her ability to not judge her clientele, anyone who wants to purchase a home can contact her for a property showing, whether it be a huge multi-million dollar mansion, or a simple two-story traditional colonial. As a first time home buyer, you can attend one of her training sessions, affording you the knowledge needed to make a wise decision, based upon your family’s needs.

“In addition to a successful real estate career, Claudine makes it a priority to give back to and serve the community”

I personally support her non-profit endeavors, each and every first class charity event sponsored by DREAM DAP, Inc. has been a huge success, designed specifically for any Hampton Roads single parent seeking home ownership. The mission statement to help single parents with down payment assistance in purchasing their first home, should warm the hearts of any one reading this blog post. Congratulations are definitely in order, Claudine L. Ellis has made her presence known in the real estate world, as a million dollar agent, the one to watch, as well as, the one requested across the globe.

Written by: Dakota Somerville

Edited by: Claudine L. Ellis

Photo Credit: The Double R Ranch, Claudine L. Ellis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alex Malay Brand

alexmaylayblogpic1“Love and Light”, as frequently quoted by owner and CEO, Rochell Malay of the global mega brand, Alex Malay. Starting a brand new year, celebrating their six-year anniversary at the top of 2019, her brand’s style and vision proves Alex Malay has definitely landed in the world of high fashion.
As many of her fashion followers may already know, Rochell began her creative business sense years ago, as a young child. She embraced a hard work ethic from her family, spinning those endearing qualities into the timeless fashion brand you see before you today. Women like to feel unique, you can also add super special, whatever your lifestyle goals are to enhance inner beauty, this brand has something designed just for you.

“We wish you to be your own kind of beautiful, and a great way to express that is through fashion”

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Oftentimes we find ourselves at a loss when it comes to gift giving, imagine just for a moment, that you are a lovely bride to be, pondering on a gift selection for each of your bridesmaids. Alex Malay has you covered, choose the “Angelic Soy Wax Candle”, with an enchanting aroma scent. Any bridal shower would certainly benefit from a beautiful display of gorgeous pink bags, filled with love, as a bonus, you may consider dropping a “Girl Power T-Shirt” in each bag. Set up a fun bridal photo shoot, someplace where you, and your bridesmaids can kick back wearing your matching T-Shirt’s. Being the classic beauty you aspire to be, is the overall mission statement for this brand.
Shopping Alex Malay should be an experience not limited to women only, there are a large number of men globally who also derive a great amount of pleasure in selecting a special outfit for that beautiful lady in their lives. He is the man who always wants his significant other to look and feel like a princess, from the inside out, when they enter the room, he is the man who wants heads to turn in adornment.

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This is a season must have for an elegant evening out and about, any man would love the rich vibrant navy tone of the “Royal Gala Skirt”, paired with a classic vintage style black fur throw.

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression”

Alex Malay is a fashion brand on the rise, capturing the attention of global customers, followers, and fans who adore the feeling of wearing such a creative style of clothing. Her integrity as a business owner is evident in the quality of her products. Timeless style and confidence are a few of her core principles, she gives you a feeling of beauty unmatched by any other brand. Women all over the world, are rushing around dealing with the everyday hustle and bustle of daily life, after all it’s the twenty-first century, and truly the age of girl power. The entire Alex Malay team is just a click away from helping you figure out your next outfit needed for any special occasion, or perhaps to just enhance your wardrobe a bit. Stay connected for the upcoming announcement of her new fashion boutique, which will be located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where you will be sure to find a little something to make your heart smile.

Blogger: Dakota Somerville

Photo Credit: Alex Malay

Shop: http://www.alexmalay.com