‘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

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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

 

 

 

 

“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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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

 

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

 

 

 

Community Magic Exemplified

DREAMDAY2  Red Carpet Smiles

“My heart is singing a tune of black girl magic on auto repeat, it’s like not being able to un-see the most beautiful women in Hampton Roads, Virginia”

What am I talking about, you may ask? Well, I’m talking about a vision that turned into a fabulous reality, on Sunday, September 16th in the heart of downtown Norfolk Virginia at the highly popular Slover Library. Dream Dap Inc. launched a charity program to help support single mothers and fathers with down payment assistance needed to purchase a home.

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Queen Claudine Ellis, Sequoia Youngblood and Celebrity Hip-Hop Artist NO Malice

Hurricane Florence was somewhat lurking in the midst of this successful event, but with hard work, lot’s of prayer warriors, and angels smiling down on the purpose intended, this party became the talk of the town. As I mingled inconspicuously through the huge crowd of attendees, everyone glammed in blue jeans and white tops with a lovely glow of happiness, set off with the biggest of smiles. Queen Claudine greeted her guest as if we all were celebrities in her eyes, from pictures on the red carpet to line dancing in the main room, O’ my goodness, how can I not mention the VIP lounge and its colorful ambience. From my personal perspective I deem this charity fundraiser as perfect in every way possible!!!

The Gourmet Appetizers were Impeccable 

Chicken & Waffles…Crab Balls…Cucumber Cream Bites

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Chef Tasha*Chef Beatrice*Chef Dominique

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Vendor*TraciLynn Jewelry*Treavce Whitmore

We are magic when we come together as a community of intelligent beautiful women, who aspire to a level of success. Special recognition and kudos’ go out to a dedicated single mother for beating the pavement to make sure everything and everyone lined up as envisioned by the founder of Dream Dap Inc., Riika Wright you are a real MVP.

1st Ever Facebook Party*Riika Wright*Energi Logan

DJ Dave Champion entertained the crowd with a diverse music sound, a bit of old mixed with the new. Group “KARAOKE” was as much fun to watch, as it must have been to participate, judging from the laughter and enthusiasm of the party goers. The fabulous stage host Ginger Savage killed her themed outfit with studded six-inch heels, every woman in the room, including myself had major shoe envy…..

Ginger Savage and Dakota Vibe enjoying the rooftop

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Vendor*Pink Zebra*Candle Wax Display Smells of Heaven

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When your heart is filled with a giving spirit, it becomes a vibe that will attract an awesome tribe. Let us all raise our glasses to the future success of Dream Dap Inc., single mothers and fathers who connect with this wonderful charity will forever remember Claudine Ellis, we however, like to refer to her as Queen Claudine.

~BRAVO JOB WELL DONE

For information: Visit Dream Dap Inc. via Facebook

Author: Dakota Somerville

Photo Credit: Dakota Vibe and Facebook Attendees

#1stEverFacebookParty

 

A Party With A Purpose

DREAM2 Claudine Ellis

Philanthropy never looked so beautiful, with her vision, and a dream to help single moms and dads become home owners.

Hampton Roads, better known as “Southeastern Virginia” is well-known for it’s highly publicized social events. On September 16th, you don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to be a part of history in the making. Dream Girl Claudine Ellis will set the Slover Library on fire, with her new project launch, Dream DAP, Inc.

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The 1st EVER Facebook Day-Party will not only bring together many of the areas movers and shakers, this clearly thought out brainstorm will unite a very supportive community of volunteers and those who have a village mindset of togetherness.

WHEN: Sunday, September 16, 2018
WHERE: Slover Library, 235 Plume Street, Norfolk, VA 23510
TIME: 1pm-5pm
THEME: White Top and Blue Jeans

Come out, take Pics on the Red Carpet, win prizes, shop vendor stations, while you enjoy scrumptious food items, but don’t get too full, because dancing is highly recommended for this lit day party. I have one hundred brand new business cards ready to go, as I mingle about, blogging the DEETS of the DAY, in all my Cuteness!

Norfolk, Virginia has never seen anything of this magnitude when it comes to a day party in a downtown library. The Slover Library and its magnificent glass architecture is the perfect venue to kick-off all of the hard work, media chats, and long hours of planning put in by Claudine and her dream team.

                   “A PARTY WITH A PURPOSE”

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Good food shall be consumed, laughter will fill the room, friendships will be made, while positive inspiration overtakes the hearts and minds of all who attend…..

Author: Dakota Somerville

Photo Credit: Dakota Somerville, Claudine Ellis – Photographer 

 

Dear Universe You Got Me?

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I’ve been thinking for sometime now, well, maybe more like dreaming…

I can see myself on a tropical island slowly swinging back and forth, with the sound of a calming wave rolling up to the shoreline.

In the background holiday tunes are creating one smile after another, hey it’s Christmas and the world is full of joy and happiness.

“DEAR UNIVERSE YOU GOT ME”

Hello Love, you look spectacular tonight, and by the way I love your braids, Sooo he whispered in my ear.

How often do we dream, or should I say we manifest, or perhaps we experience a repeated version of DEJA VU…..

~SPILLED INK~

Author: Dakota Somerville

Photo Credit: Holland – IG