Close to My Heart

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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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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Heartache Over Tragedies

The Boston Marathon explosion: another tragedy where innocent people were targeted. My heart aches again. I sat on the train speechless after hearing the news trying to comprehend how something like this could happen. After all, it’s the Boston Marathon; one of the most popular events of the year.  And this year at the marathon, the victims of the Newton shooting were being honored; a tragedy many are still mourning. Can’t we get a break from something bad happening??

In our lifetime, we have experienced some immense tragedies: Newtown, Virginia Tech, Columbine High School, movie theatre and military base shootings, Oklahoma City bombing, and 9-11 and more.

Pray For Boston Photo 3 630x429 Heartache Over Tragedies

Source: www.961wodz.com

While sitting in silence on the metro yesterday, I was sad but also frustrated.  Why is there so much evil in this world? Why is it no longer safe for us to be at schools, movie theatres and marathons? Why do others feel the need to destroy our sense of security? Is there something we should be doing differently to help avoid these types of tragedies in the future? Why is there so much hate and not more love?

Every time an incident of this magnitude is reported on the news, I sit in shock. My heart aches for the victims and for those families whose lives will never be the same.  I’m not sure what we can do to try and prevent things like this from happening in the future.  While we all deal with our own way of internalizing, these events also put things in perspective. Some people in other countries experience incidents like this on a daily basis. I know the sadness I feel when something happens here. I can’t imagine the emotional suffering those in other countries face continuously. We as a world need healing.  All I can do is express how I feel and pray for those affected by these horrible tragedies both nationwide and worldwide.

Let this tragedy, like all others, be a reminder to live a full life. One filled with love, laughter and compassion.

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Must Read: “Produced by Faith” by DeVon Franklin

Produced by Faith Must Read: Produced by Faith by DeVon FranklinI didn’t grow up dreaming of a career in fashion. I wanted to work in sports. At first I wanted to be the next Pam Oliver; reporting sport news from the side lines.  Then my focused changed to sports marketing. The desire to work in fashion didn’t materialize until I was in grad school.

We hear people all the time say “I’ve wanted to sing since I was nine” and now they’re a major music artist. I saw a story on Wednesday about a guy who plays in a major orchestra. When he was little he wrote on a notepad that he was going to be the best at playing his instrument when he grew up.  When I hear those stories, I always feel like I’m behind the curve because I didn’t pursue a fashion career sooner.  So I often struggle with having faith in where my career is going.  Why would God fill me with the desire to want to have a fashion career if it currently looks like it isn’t moving in that direction? Will styling just be a hobby? Will I work a 9 to 5 I’m not passionate about for the next 30 years?

My desire for a career in fashion is stronger now than its ever been so it is no coincidence that I started reading DeVon Franklin’s book, Produced by Faith. Franklin is the VP of Production for Columbia Pictures and a minister.  In his book, he provides a guide on how to remain steadfast in faith while pursuing your dreams.  Talk about a wake up call!!! I wish y’all could see me when I’m reading this book. You would think I was studying for a test the way I have highlighted the pages!

Franklin shares his story of how he rose to where he is in his career; discussing the steps he took, how he relied on God and some of the challenges he faced. It’s not easy being a Christian while trying to work in Hollywood! Because I think this book is really an eye opener, I wanted to share some excerpts. I’ve highlighted too many lines to share in one post, so here are just a few things that really struck a cord with me:

“The trouble is that when you are a character in a story – when you are immersed in it – you can’t see how things will progress in the future….It becomes very easy to assume things will always be the way they are today.”

“So if your career is shaping who you become, and your faith isn’t integrally involved in your career choices, then what good is your faith?”

“While you are considering the Big Idea for your future, consider this: It’s got to be about more than getting promoted, getting a raise, or even becoming a star.  It must also be about how you can make an impact on the world and become a living example of God’s divine power.”

“We all struggle with ego and a sense of entitlement. We think we’re smart enough to know how to navigate through this complicated life, or that what we want is what is best for us. In reality, we don’t have the answers.  God does….It was about who I was going to be in God’s eyes – his servant or my own.”

“What matters today is not where you are today, but what kind of person God is shaping you to become in preparation for the time when he brings his vision for your life to fruition.”

“Be bold enough to request your ideal schedule from God, but be confident enough in him to agree to his schedule even if it differs from the time line you’ve had in your mind.”

Produced by Faith 2 Copy Must Read: Produced by Faith by DeVon Franklin

I’m about half way through the book but it has definitely been life changing. More than anything, this book has helped me focus on ways I can build a stronger relationship with God.  Being that I am a work in progress, not only to be a better servant of God but to also live my life’s purpose, this book has definitely provided great guidance.

I HIGHLY recommend Produced by Faith for anyone, but specifically for those like me who may struggle with faith as you pursue your career and those searching to build a closer relationship with God. I promise, from what I’ve read so far, you won’t be disappointed.

Produced by Faith is available at Amazon.

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[VIDEO] A Pep Talk From Kid President

This video has been spreading over the internet like wild fire!

I first saw “A Pep Talk from Kid President” on The Seventh District blog on Tuesday and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect.  After seeing the video posted on Facebook and receiving it from a friend via email, I knew I had to share.

This pep talk will surely inspire you to get moving!

0 [VIDEO] A Pep Talk From Kid President

You were made to be awesome!

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Happy New Year!

happy new year 2013 Happy New Year!

“I pray 2013 is the year of your destiny, your purpose manifested and your year to feel the power of love! You are produced by faith! Happy New Year!!”  - DeVon Franklin

2013 has arrived….let’s make it ours! icon smile Happy New Year!

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Ready For 2013!!

In less than 5 days, we’ll be celebrating a new year.  Time flies when you’re having fun!

It has been a great year! I worked new clients this year on my own and through the Style for Hire network. I was also able to showcase my styling skills by working on makeovers for SNOBSWAP and an editorial for Façon Magazine.

Styling Recap Ready For 2013!!

This year I committed myself to a dating challenge and encouraged you to join me! We had fun pushing ourselves outside our comfort zone (I hope you had fun doing so).  Life begins when you challenge yourself and step outside of what’s comfortable. I knew if I blogged about it I would be held accountable for challenging myself all year. So thank you for joining me on that journey.

Styling clients and dating weren’t the only things keeping me busy this year.  DC had some great events. I loved the BET Hip Hop Awards Style Lounge and Beauty That Runs Deeper Concert Series And the year would not have been complete without the A Diva State of Mind Three Year Anniversary Party! I am truly humbled by the support I have received over the three years and really appreciate everyone who reads this blog.

2012 Event Recap Ready For 2013!!

Those are just a few of the major highlights of 2012. With so much that has happened this year, I pray it is only the beginning of what is yet to come. I am excited to see what 2013 has to offer!

Are you ready for the New Year? What are you looking forward to in 2013?

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

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Sometimes We Need To Take A Break

work relax Sometimes We Need To Take A BreakI think last week was the first time I took an entire week off from writing and uploading blog posts. I didn’t intend to take a break, but after returning from out of town, working the 9 to 5, styling a new client after work, and attending an event after work, this girl was tired! And there wasn’t really much on my mind so I did not feel the need to try and force a post.

I have always been the type to stay busy. When I was a child, I was involved in numerous activities.  Even when I vow to take a week off from attending events or doing anything after work, I find myself not getting home until 10 or 11pm three to four nights a week.  Or I end up staying up past my bedtime to work on a post.  But what I learned last week is that we all need to take a break sometimes in various areas of our lives.

Yes I know, it doesn’t seem like I took a break because I did other things last week that kept me busy, but blogging takes a lot of time.  One post, depending on content, can take up to 2 hours to complete.  While I didn’t take a break from being busy, taking a break  from blogging did allow me to meet with a new client,  see folks I hadn’t seen in a while and sit comfortably on my couch Friday night to watch TV, without a computer in my lap (that’s my normal blogging routine).  

Occasionally we need to take a break to recharge our batteries and to get the creative juices going again; otherwise, we’ll burn ourselves out. Then how productive will we be??  It is necessary to take a step back and breathe for a minute.  This gives us time to really think, refocus our efforts and move forward full of energy. 

So while you continue to work hard and stay busy remember to take a break every once in a while!!

While searching for a picture to use in this post, I came across Time Management Ninja. They offer great advice on taking a break from work.

Photo: Evelyn Parham

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The Less You Give A Damn, The Happier You’ll Be

Clutch Magazine post Wise Words just about every day. While they’re all great, some stand out more than others like this one.

Less You Give The Less You Give A Damn, The Happier Youll Be

“Decide that you won’t allow the whims of others to dictate how you feel about yourself—for real, for real.

While others are certainly entitled to their opinions, you’re entitled to living your life on your own terms, and if what they’re saying wrecks your flow or makes you feel less than….keep on moving and don’t even give a damn about it.” – Britini Danielle, Clutch Magazine

Happy Friday! icon smile The Less You Give A Damn, The Happier Youll Be

pixel The Less You Give A Damn, The Happier Youll Be
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