Relationships

You Are Not Here To Be A Witness!

Me: I’ll just chill and crush from afar. I rather live vicariously through my friends.

One of my girlfriends: Okay but don’t make that your life story. You gotta be BOLD sometimes. Remember, you are not here to be a witness.

During a recent chat with my girlfriends, I inquired about what they do in order to stay out of a guy’s friend zone. I met a guy who is really nice and we went out to happy hour (the idea to go out was approached on a friendship level), however afterwards I thought to myself “I’m not sure I want to be placed in the friend zone just yet.” Can I say I really like a guy after one outing? I’m not sure. But I can say that I am intrigued and would be interested in getting to know him. Some would say that in 2014, if a woman is interested in a guy, she should say something and not be afraid to ask him out. That’s the same advice I received from my girlfriends but of course I punked out.

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone You Are Not Here To Be A Witness!It seems the older I get the more dating comes up with my parents. They haven’t pressured me into being married by now (I’m thankful for that), but every now and then my dad will ask “so are you dating anyone?” During my birthday lunch, somehow we got on the topic of dating and we talked how women should not be afraid to approach a guy if she’s interested; if you like what you see speak up! As I have heard time and time again, you cannot sit on the couch and expect something to happen. You have to put in time and effort. During my birthday party, one of my girlfriends Samantha asked about my single guy friend Charles because she thought he was cute. I asked her if she wanted to be introduced and she immediately said yes. I did my part and introduced them; they have been dating for the past month. Then last week, another friend called while she was on her way to go play pool with a guy she met the night before at Walmart.

So I started thinking, am I putting myself in a position to be a witness to life instead of participating in it, especially when it comes to my dating life? Don’t get me wrong, dating is not easy.  But am I really doing all that I can to put myself in a position to present new dating opportunities? As much as I say I want to date and put it on my vision board each year, I think subconsciously I have a fear of liking someone and being rejected again (based on many previous experiences). That cycle can get exhausting. I have become very comfortable with my single status.  But sometimes comfortable isn’t really living and after awhile, it allows you to be a witness to what is going on around you instead of participating.

one life act accordingly You Are Not Here To Be A Witness!

You are not here to be a witness not only relates to the dating life of a single girl who is almost 30 (seriously, where the hell did the time go???) but it also applies to life in general. Often times, we sit back and watch others LIVE. They are checking things off their bucket list. They try something new. They step outside their comfort zone which leads them to a path of fulfillment and purpose.  They grab life by the horns and enjoy each and every moment. That’s the life I want to live. I rather live a life of “oh wells” instead of “what ifs.” I want to say “well at least I tried” even if that means embarrassing myself.

I don’t normally have a motto for the year, but you are not here to be a witness just might be it for 2014. Dating is not the only area in my life that I feel like I have allowed myself to become a witness. And now that I have acknowledged that, I must be proactive in changing my behavior; not allowing myself to become comfortable. You are not here to be a witness is a nice reminder that we are not alive to sit on the sidelines and watch things happen. We are here to be an active participant in this journey called life.

Hmmm….Now should I call this guy and ask him if he wants to go out this weekend? icon wink You Are Not Here To Be A Witness!

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Valentine’s Day: I Don’t Understand The Hype

Valentines Day Hype Valentines Day: I Dont Understand The HypeWhen we were kids in elementary school, we used to exchange Valentine’s Day cards and candy with our classmates. In high school, girls may have walked around with balloons they received from their boyfriends. Under the age of 21, Valentine’s Day was fun and cute.

But once you become an adult, it’s a different ball game (for some).

Over the past few days, I have seen a lot of chatter online about Valentine’s Day. Single women complain about being single on that day. Women in relationships stress about what they should get for their boo. After all, men are more simple creatures when it comes to gifts. Guys scramble to make last minute dinner plans since Valentine’s Day is such a big deal for their lady. I have contributed to the online chatter by writing three blog posts over the past couple years related to the day: 1) Valentine’s Day Ideas: Singles & Couples 2) Valentine’s Day Is Not About The Gift 3) Ask Keri: What Should I Wear For Valentine’s Day?

But when I sit back and think about it, I wonder “why is Valentine’s Day such a big deal?”

Valentine’s Day is not a religious holiday like Easter or Christmas.  It’s not a holiday that brings family and friends together under one room to spend precious time together like Thanksgiving. Instead, February 14th has become the one day out of the year where people spend too much money on flowers and candy and stress about giving the perfect romantic gift.

While I understand it is important to show love and appreciation, shouldn’t people be doing that all year?  I know I’m different than most; but I much rather have a significant other take me out for a romantic dinner or shower me with roses on a day I’d least expect it. We have been conditioned to think that February 14th is the day that we all must go above and beyond. And if you’re single on that day, well then you might as well go hide under a rock.

Why not switch things up and do special things on a day that has not been so commercialized?

Although I don’t get the hype surrounding Valentine’s Day, I did make plans to hang out with my favorite girlfriends tonight.  I mean, if everyone else is going to DO the most on this day, the least we can do is get together and go out for dinner and a movie (weather permitting of course).

If you’re single, don’t beat yourself up over this “holiday.” It’ll pass before you know and we’ll go back to living like we were before Feb 14th. If you’re in a relationship, don’t stress yourself out about finding the “perfect” gift. If anything, use the day to take a break from life and spend time together, especially if your schedules have caused you and your boo to miss having some much needed quality time.

At the end of the day, Valentine’s Day is just another day on the calendar.

*Goes back to eating chocolate and sipping a glass of wine*

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Upgrade Your Faith!

“What God has revealed to you will happen! Don’t downgrade your dream to match your reality. Upgrade your faith to match your destiny! What you believe will come to pass!” – DeVon Franklin

Upgrade your faith Upgrade Your Faith!

When I saw Devon Franklin post these words, I felt like I needed to pause for a second and have a talk with Jesus.  Like so many of you, I’m ambitious and I have taken the time to really think about the things I want to accomplish career wise and personally. I think over the past two months, I’ve really been able to identify my purpose. But living your purpose is easier said than done.

I’m going to keep it 100%. I struggle with both faith and fear. If you’re faithful that God will make a way, you can’t be fearful that things don’t work out. I’m no perfect Christian and while I continue to work on my faith and strengthen my relationship with God, I sometimes catch myself downgrading my dreams. Well if a fashion career doesn’t work out, what other industries could I work instead? I’ve searched online for jobs in other fields knowing in the back of my mind, I still wouldn’t be happy if I was in another position that wasn’t related to my dreams.

But Franklin’s message is a reminder that my actions reflect my lack of faith. I must upgrade my faith! Whew! Talk about a walk up call. It’s up to me to continue to be faithful and steadfast. God didn’t place these dreams on my heart just for fun. I must practice being patience, faithful and prayerful that the work I do now is not in vain and the life He has set for me will come to pass.

I pray that all of us who struggle with fear set it aside and upgrade our faith; knowing that the dreams revealed to us will become reality. Amen.

 Upgrade Your Faith!

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2013: Year In Review

Last week I started going through my Instagram pictures. While scrolling through photos from this year, it became apparent that 2013 was an EXTREMELY busy year but nothing short of amazing! I wanted to take a moment to highlight some of the great things that happened both professionally and personally, as well as identify some of the lessons I learned from this year’s experiences.

The biggest milestone I experienced this year for A Diva State of Mind, LLC was my brand becoming trademarked. Seriously, that could NOT have happened without the help of my mom. She was truly a blessing during the process. I’ll admit it’s still a little shocking to know that A Diva State of Mind, LLC is official. I can really put the ®after the name!

I always wondered how bloggers got to model looks on the local morning shows and then I became one of them! I started the year modeling gowns for the WUSA9 Inauguration Gowns Segment and ended the year modeling for the WUSA9 Holiday Accessories Segment.  In March, I submitted my application to be the Style Setter for the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City. Although I wasn’t selected, I want to THANK YOU all for voting! Was I disappointed I wasn’t selected? Yes, but like I’ve learned before, everything opportunity that comes my way isn’t for me.  I know I have to keep pressing on and what is meant to be will be. 

IMG 3631 2013: Year In Review

When it comes to my styling business, I’m thankful for is the increase in the number of clients I had this year. Last year, I worked with two clients and this year I worked with seven new clients. I have a habit of downplaying accomplishments when I feel like they’re too small or not reflective of where I want to be. For example, if my goal is to be a full-time stylist, I may have brushed off the fact that I’m still styling clients on the side while working a 9 to 5. What I have learned is that each accomplishment no matter how small is important and should be acknowledged as such. Everything takes time and it’s important to focus less on the destination and really take time to enjoy the journey. And I am enjoying the journey thus far!

Through the blog, I was able to catch the attention of the National University Quantico Online Information Center.  I was asked to participate in their Improve Your Groove Series and thus challenged to give my first style presentation. I found out that evening that the event organizer found my website by searching for personal stylists in the DC area. That was a reminder that you really never know who is watching you.

The increase in business and request to give a style presentation also prompted me to move my styling services to a new website www.styledbykeri.com. The new website allows me to neatly display all services available and my portfolio (please check it out if you’re considering working with a stylist in 2014. The first style consultation is free).

I continued working with Facon Magazine this year and styled an editorial for the Spring issue. I also had the chance to work with Elaine Luxe Accessories and style looks for the company’s new website. That photo shoot was a lot of fun and I met some amazing women on set. I really hope to work with them again in the near future.

Facon Mag Spring 2013 2013: Year In Review

The second biggest milestone for me personally was attending New York Fashion Week in September. I had New York or NYFW on my three previous vision boards (don’t judge me!) so I had to find a way to get there. I didn’t get approved for media credentials but luckily fellow stylist Lauren couldn’t make it to all her shows so I went in her place!   I’m the type to plan but when it came to fashion week, things were a little unexpected. I secured a place to stay and knew I was meeting up with other stylists, but how my day would actually work out was up in the air. I attended shows I hadn’t plan to and ran into people I knew from the DMV but didn’t know I’d see while up there. The uncertainty made the experience fun (and exhausting). You can read about my NYFW experience HERENote to self: it’s ok to not have EVERYTHING planned out!

Finally Made It To Fashion Week 2013: Year In Review

It wasn’t all about A Diva State of Mind this year! While a lot of things happened for by business this year, I sure did keep business with my personal life as well. I attended the 2nd inauguration of President Barack Obama. I was in graduate school during his first inauguration so I made sure I didn’t miss his second one!!

This year served as the centennial year for my sorority, so I kept busy by attending ALL of the major centennial events that took place this year: Founders Day weekend, Women’s Suffrage March and Convention (check out pictures on my IG page). I join the sorority in 2012, so I was like a kid in the candy store; so excited to be a part of these amazing experiences. I also celebrated my one year Deltaversary!

Not only did I stay busy with Delta events, but 2013 was a great year in music! I attended three concerts this year: Alicia Keys, Jay-z & Justin Timberlake and the Made in America Festival. If you’re going to attend Made in America, please be a fan of large crowds. There were soooooo many people there. But I had a great time; it’s nice to not have to worry about putting on your “best look” all the time. Throw on some shorts (I did make sure I was “festival cute” lol), grab a beer, run into folks you know from the DMV (it seems like every one there) and just enjoy the music. It was my first time attending a music festival of that magnitude. If there are a number of artist at the next Made in America festival that I like, I’ll be there!

photo 3 2013: Year In Review

Note to self: Always stop and smell the roses!  We all want to live the life we imagine for ourselves. While we work towards making that a reality, it’s important that we take the time to enjoy life along the way.  You already know, life is too short. We must make the most of it while we can. And this year, while I prayed about styling and jumped on every opportunity I could, I also made sure I took time to have FUN!

I don’t want to brag about the things that happened this year. Instead I view this recap as a way to reflect on the year and lessons learned. Hopefully this year in review will serve as inspiration for others who are pursuing their dreams and/or often times find themselves sitting idle on the sidelines while watching others have some of the best times of their lives.

I can’t wait to see what happens in 2014!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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Dear Peter Thomas: Learn The True Meaning of “In Sickness and In Health”

 Dear Peter Thomas:  Learn The True Meaning of In Sickness and In HealthThis season on the Real Housewives of Atlanta, viewers witnessed Cynthia undergo surgery for fibroids.  The fibroids had caused bloating (she sometimes looked pregnant), discomfort, pain and no desire to have sex. Since she had experienced these symptoms for awhile, I would hope that her husband would be sympathetic and interested in understanding what her options were to have them removed so she could live a life free of those symptoms.

Unfortunately, that last statement doesn’t apply to Cynthia’s husband, Peter Thomas. During an episode of the show, while Cynthia complained about being bloated and discussed going to see a doctor, Peter joked about how she looked and made light of the situation.  Not too long after Cynthia had surgery to have the fibroids removed, Peter asked when they would be able to have sex again.  Sir, can your wife’s uterus heal first before you start worry about sex?? *side eye*

But what really made me go “huh?” was a recent interview Peter and Cynthia gave to Life & Style Magazine.  During the interview, Cynthia revealed that had she not had surgery this year, she and Peter wouldn’t have made it. “We’d be divorced for sure” she says. And Peter agreed, “I know we would’ve been done. There is absolutely no way we could have survived another year if things hadn’t changed” (things meaning not having sex consistently).  There were times they’d go three months without sex and at one point, Peter considered having his sexual needs fulfilled elsewhere, “Me and my buddies were planning a trip to Venezuela because nobody knows us there, ” he shared.

Luckily for them, Cynthia is healthy and their area lot more intimate now. But what happened to those vows they took when they got married? “In sickness and in health.” Seriously, Peter’s wife is suffering from painful fibroids and he’s worried about having his sexual needs met by some randoms in Venezuela??  What if she had a more serious condition like cancer?!

It’s quite disappointing to hear a man say he’d cheat on his wife because he was not having sex regularly due to her health condition. Newsflash Peter, everything isn’t going to be perfect in your marriage and it’s not going to always be about you!

Marriage is supposed to be sacred. You’re supposed to be faithful to your spouse and the vows you took. If you can’t be there for your significant other through the worst of times, maybe you shouldn’t get married.

But hey, I’m single. What do you I know?

What do you think? Was Peter justified? Ladies, what would you do if you were Cynthia?

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No Substitute For Passion

If you follow me on social media, you may have seen the quote below.

While at the nail salon on Saturday, I came across this quote from Ivanka Trump in the February 2013 issue of O Magazine. When you’re chasing your dreams, you may sometimes feel as if you’re not good enough: you don’t know enough, you don’t have enough experience for people to want to give you a chance, etc.

This quote really stuck to me. As I pursue turning my stylist business into my career, I often feel that I’m not good enough because things don’t APPEAR to be going in the direction I envision as quickly as I’d like. I didn’t grow up wanting a life in fashion. I didn’t attend a fashion school or intern with a fashion magazine. I often think “will I ever get there? Is it really possible?”

Love What You Do No Substitute For Passion

Whenever you start to doubt yourself, remember that the drive you have is what sets you apart from the rest.  There are a lot of smart people in the world that talk about doing x,y and z, but there are only a few that actually take a chance and work towards making their dreams a reality. Those that we see living their dreams are ones that are PASSIONATE and kept pushing forward with they faced failure and doubt from others.

I pray that we, through passion and faith, succeed in reaching the goals that have been placed on our hearts!

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2013 Dating Challenge Update: Online Dating

OnlineDating1 2013 Dating Challenge Update: Online DatingI have concluded that online dating isn’t for me!

In September, I declared I would give it another try. After all, the year wasn’t up yet and I was interested in going on dates.  That week after writing that blog post, I reactivated my account on the same online dating site I signed up on last year.

I updated the “about me” section, uploaded new photos and began searching online for potential suitors. I “winked” at a few guys and also sent emails to those I thought seemed like potential matches. No response…

After being on the site for a few weeks with no luck, I made some minor changes to my profile. It’s good to make changes when things have been idle for a while. Making changes somehow brings a new pool of guys to view your page.

I had listed in my profile that I’m a Redskins fan, so after the Cowboys vs. Redskins game, a guy on the dating site reached out to me with the usually Cowboys/Redskins banter. It was a cute approach. We went back and forth via email for about a week and once the opportunity presented itself to meet in person, he didn’t follow through with plans so we never met up.

Since then, things have been quiet on the site for me. I haven’t come across any new guys that I’m attracted to. Instead, I’ve been contacted by young guys (Gabrielle Union has us believing young is the way to go but I’m not entertaining someone fresh out of college) or I have receive winks from men over 40 (They’re old enough to be an uncle…I can’t).

I have about a month left to go on the site since I paid for three months. I don’t plan on paying for any additional months once my three months are up! I’m not sure online dating is the best avenue for me. It works for some people; a lot of people have met their spouses online. I know for me, meeting potential suitors behind a computer screen right now is not going to work.

Maybe I’ll feel different if I’m still single at age 40…

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Groom Surprises Bride With Pinterest Wedding The Same Day He Proposed

We could all use a little light in our lives during this time of darkness we’re facing in the country.

Ryan Leak took things to another level when he decided to propose and marry his girlfriend Amanda on the same day! While they were dating, Ryan overheard Amanda tell someone that she wanted to get engaged and married on the same day.  So Ryan took things into his own hands and made it happen. With the help of Amanda’s pinterest board and friends, he pulled off an engagement and wedding in Miami earlier this year. And instead of asking for wedding gifts, the couple asked all guest to make a donation to A21, an organization that fights sex trafficing. Ryan had a videographer capture it all.

Check it out!

I read a few comments and some were caught off guard that the day Ryan proposed was the first time he said “I love you” considering they dated for five years. I was a little surprised too, however if it works for them, that’s all that matters. I thought their special day was so beautiful!

When it comes to that special day, as Josh from Good Morning America said, “that guy is killing guys everywhere!” May God bless their union.

What do you think about a having a proposal and getting married on the same day? 

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Hmmm…2013 Dating Challenge??

Online dating 101 for introverts Hmmm...2013 Dating Challenge??In December, I decided that I wasn’t going to have a 2013 dating challenge. Last year was fun and definitely a learning experience (you can read about last year’s dating challenge here). But I’ve been doing some thinking lately and with three months left in the year, I may want to put myself up to another challenge after all icon wink Hmmm...2013 Dating Challenge??

I’m going to keep it real with y’all. I am very comfortable in my singleness but I want to date! And since I haven’t met anyone while being out and about this year, online dating may be the next option to try again.

In last year’s online dating post, I said “I am going to stick with trying to meet people by being out and about. If I don’t have any luck, I just may reconsider online dating.” Well ladies and gents, the time has come to reconsider!!

I had a very busy summer attending various concerts, conventions, going on vacation and hanging out in DC. These were great opportunities to meet new guys, yet that didn’t happen. I’m not complaining; I had a great summer! But now that we move into the fall season, I’ll go back to attending after work happy hour and social events that usually include the same people. I need to switch things up in order to be exposed to new people.

My friend Emily, who also signed up for online dating when I did last year, decided she was going to give it a try again this year. Her eagerness to try again plus the $5 Groupon deal I received in my inbox last month inspired me to try again too. After all, what do we really have to lose? If we go on dates and they don’t work out, we can at least say we tried it and we may even have interesting stories to tell!

When I signed up for online dating last year, for a number of reasons, I didn’t give it 100%.  I just couldn’t get into it. But this time around, I am approaching it with a more open mind and enthusiasm. When it comes to approaching guys in person, I’m the worst so don’t expect me to be any better online! Looks like I’ll be hitting up my friend Steph for some guidance. She’s done online dating in the past and has gone on a few dates with guys she’s met online. I could use some tips!

Emily and I plan on reactivating our accounts tonight. We’re going to sign up for 3 months and see how it goes.  I’ll keep you posted! icon wink Hmmm...2013 Dating Challenge??

For those looking to switch things up, would you consider online dating? 2013 isn’t over yet, so there’s plenty of time to try it!

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When Sending Nude Pics To Your Boo Goes Wrong

photo When Sending Nude Pics To Your Boo Goes Wrong

Last Friday morning, tweets scrolled down my timeline about nude pictures being leaked on twitter by a man scorned. Apparently the guy’s now ex-girlfriend cheated on him; before posting the nude photos, he posted a picture of her asking him not to leak the photos. His response ““b*tch get out of my inbox.”

Some said she got what she deserved because she cheated. Of course others disagreed. No matter how scorned you are, being upset does not give you the right to violate someone or their property. Now I know cheating is a huge violation of trust.  But he can end the relationship, deal with those emotions and move on. Dragging this woman through social media hell by leaking her pictures takes things to a whole different level.  I’m sure the pictures have been retweeted multiple times and those who agreed with the man’s actions called the ex-girlfriend every name but a child of God.  This woman is ultimately experiencing sexual harassment and will forever have to live with the fact someone can Google naked pictures of her.

“go sit somewhere and process your ish like an adult. You are not entitled to stalk, harass, assault others or damage property because you ‘re mad” – Demetrica Lucas

Call me old-fashioned or conservative when it comes to relationships, but this situation is why I would never send naked pictures to a significant other. Yes even if I was married. If you want to see what I look like naked, come see me at home! I know; we SHOULD trust our partners and believe that they wouldn’t do anything to violate us but you never know what people are capable of when things go left. I’m sure the ex-girlfriend in this situation never thought that the photos she shared would end up Twitter.  Don’t put crazy past anybody when they are scorned!

We live in a society where things are overshared on social media ALL THE TIME!  I’ve seen dissertations on Facebook (literally a play by play of a situation), pictures of people lying in bed in a “seductive” pose (which caught me off guard since the person had a boyfriend. Share that with him not your IG followers), screen shots of conversations and more!  We are a society that likes to share! So if we share so much during good times, what makes you think people aren’t going to share a lot during bad? Society as a whole lacks discretion so I wouldn’t put it past anyone to post something that was supposed to be sacred.

Is the guy who posted the leaked photos a jerk? Absolutely. Maybe he demonstrated these characteristics when he and his ex were together so she shouldn’t put it past him to leak photos.  If people in relationships want to send each other photos, they have the right to do so. It’s not a bad thing; just keep in mind you expose yourself to the possibility of your photos literally being shared with the world.

And to the guys that think posting nude pictures for revenge is ok, take some advice from Rich Jones:

Rich Jones Tweet When Sending Nude Pics To Your Boo Goes Wrong

*side eye to the women that agree with a man leaking pictures *

What do you think about sending your partner nude pictures? Have you ever had your pictures leaked?

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