Saturday, March 10, 2018

The Gift and The Curse

I am married to a doctor. He's a pediatrician. One of the best pediatricians in the Baltimore/DC Metropolitan area (Not up for debate. LOL!). And I'm not saying that because he is my husband. (Wives are very honest critics.) I'm saying it based on feedback from his students, colleagues, higher ups, and most importantly, his patients.

When my husband and I got married, I never thought about what it would be like to have a pediatrician in the house with me when were eventually blessed with children. Most people assume that it's the best thing ever. But sometimes, it can be a real pain in the behind. Husband's are annoying, in general. Parenting adds tension to any marriage. So, just keep those things in mind as I run down the facts about having a child with a pediatrician. This is from a woman's point of view. I say that because there are some things about raising a child that a man just does not understand.

The Gift
The medical care side of raising a kid is amazing. There are so many things that I don't have to think about because my husband just takes care of it. He makes all of our doctor's appointments. He asks all of the right questions. He answers all of the weird questions on that child progress questionnaire. We do not have to visit the doctor's office for non-routine visits. He has a good relationship with our pediatrician. If we need a prescription, he calls her, she calls it in. Because there is an obvious conflict of interest, ethics prevent him from being the official pediatrician to his own child. Like, I cannot make an appointment for our son to be seen by him at his practice. However, if I pop in to bring lunch, one of his colleagues are happy to "take a peak" at our son if we need it.
He is right there with me to answer questions about something that looks "weird". He reassures when our son is "fine". And takes action when our son is not fine. He knows the milestones we should be hitting and when. He also knows the things we should and shouldn't be doing to help our son meet those milestones. He gets hundreds of different perspectives on child rearing from the wide range of types of parents he interacts with, so he gets a myriad of holistic approaches to typical "baby" issues like: how to combat hitting and tantrums, language, solid foods, eczema solutions, potty training techniques, etc.
It's really nice to have a baby father who is so involved and proactive about these things. But can get out of hand.

The Curse
This is the first child for my husband as well. So he is having to eat some of the words of advice that he has given to parents over the 10 years he practiced without having kids of his own. Some things taught in school just don't have any practical place in child rearing.
Exhibit A: On Day 2 of parenthood, we were still in the hospital. We called ourselves "getting use to having a baby", so we decided not to send baby boy to the nursery over night. It was hell. Baby boy was waking up every hour, then just looking at me when I put him to the breast. My husband immediately called the nurse asking for formula (because that's what they do at his hospital), against my preference to strictly breastfeed. His doctor logic was that the baby boy was hungry. I didn't have enough colostrum (even though we had wet and poopy diapers that indicate the baby is eating) and I wouldn't be able to make it if I wasn't getting any sleep. But EYE knew that the baby just wanted to be with me because he could smell me. We had been together for 39 weeks. He didn't know any better. Thank God for the old school Mother/Baby nurses on the unit at GBMC. They denied the formula request, took the baby to the nursery, and told us to get some rest. We slept for 4 hours straight. LOL!
Exhibit B: He was super strict on not letting baby boy sleep in the bed with us and the ABC's of sleeping. Baby should sleep Alone - A, on their Back - B, and in their Crib - C or bassinet. Well, our baby ended up having a flat head so we had to alternate rigging a rolled up blanket so he could sleep on his sides and round his flat head out. LOL! And then those nights that I'd fall asleep nursing....the panic when he'd wake up to a baby in the bed was HILARIOUS! But then he'd fuss at me. Sir, I am a new mother, a wife, a blood bank manager and running a business. I'm TIDE! Sorry, I fell asleep while nursing at midnight. But you were right there. You could've taken baby boy to his bed but you didn't because
you were, what? That's right. SLEEPING!
Exhibit C: A couple months in to parenting, we are getting the hang of nursing. I guess he was observing our
nursing routine and offers (unsolicited advice) that our son was not nursing long enough. He suggested that I hold off for a little while before nursing when baby boy starts the hungry cry. "That way, he will nurse for longer." My reply was simple. "ARE YOU CRAZY?!?!?! We are talking about a human baby here. Not a dog or a puppy. When he wants to eat, I will nurse him."
Exhibit D: Baby Boy is about 9 months old and he did not gain the desired weight over a 2 month period. He proceeds to make me feel like I'm not feeding my child enough and that he was under weight. EVEN THOUGH there was no indicators that our son was hungry or malnourished. He was proceeded to press me to pump 30 oz. of breast milk per day! Ummm...whet?!?! How am I suppose to do that when I am barely pumping 15 oz. per day? Dis skressful, mane.
Exhibit E: Our son has an isolated speech delay. That means that autism and hearing loss have been ruled out and he still isn't talking. Our son is very intelligent. He imitates when he wants to actions. And since I work from home, there were multiple doctor appointments made for me to take baby boy to. Hundreds spent on unproductive, private speech therapy sessions. The whole time, I'm thinking that our son is fine, just stubborn. Sure enough, 2 months before his 2nd birthday, baby boy is starting to use words, sing his ABCs and imitate us more. Although he's not up to the milestone of 50 words, he's fine. Like I said he was in the first place.

My husband sees at least 100 different kids each week. From 5 days old all the way up to 24 years old. So, it's easy to compare his own kid to these kids and their levels of development. As we approach two full years of parenting, I hear Doctor Dad saying "All kids are different." a lot more often than I'm hearing him say "He's supposed to be _______ by now."

Yes. I know. #FirstWorldProblems However, I just wanted to put it out that that having a pediatrician baby father can be just as stressful as a non-healthcare baby father.  I guess parenthood is stressful in general. 🤦 Some times I just wanted to do what I wanted to do with my baby without hearing anyone's mouth, ya know.

My Fancy Life ain't been no crystal stair. LOL!

Shameless Plug Alert:
Fancy Free Hair & Skin manufactures quality products for hair and skin, as well as provides natural hair consults for women who would like assistance on their natural hair journey. Our motto is "Keeping you chemical free." Visit our website,, to see a full range of our products and services. Sign up for our mailing list to receive natural hair tips and stay up to date on sales and the latest happenings with Fancy Free.


Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Reading Is Fundamental

Sounds so cliche, but it's so true. We first heard it in elementary school. As we grew up, we find that reading is just as fundamental at work as it is trying to assemble a file cabinet from Ikea. NOW we have to read the ingredients of our food and personal care products. It started with the food. Apparently, it's perfectly legal to put a derivative of plastic in food (aka margarine) and feed it to unsuspecting Americans so that it can be produced cheaply and sit longer on the shelf before we eat it. Personally, if it doesn't mold, I don't want to eat it. But you can't stop at the food. You have to read what's in your personal hygiene products too. WHY?

Well, let's think about this now. There are medications that are administered through the skin. That means, that compounds that make contact with your skin penetrate it and make it to your blood stream. That's deep. If I can put a Nicotine patch on my arm and it helps curve my smoking addiction. That means that the medication on the patch gets to my blood stream, through my skin. The same thing with the  birth control patch. Then there are poisons and highly addictive drugs that are administered by putting it on the skin. No pills, no snorting, no smoking, no eating. Just by putting it on your skin. With that being said, this is why it's just as important to read the labels on your body as what you're putting in your body.

I'm going to stick to personal care ingredients because I get sick thinking about all of the crap food companies are allowed to put in our food. Ok. Here are a few:

  • Formaldehyde: Formaldehyde is intentionally added to some products, such as keratin hair straighteners. Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives (FRPs) such as quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, polyoxymethylene urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, bromopol and glyoxal are also widely used in personal care products including nail polish, eye shadow, mascara, nail treatment, shampoo and blush for the prevention of bacterial growth. FRPs are designed to release formaldehyde slowly and constantly over time to act as a preservative. IARC, the National Toxicology Program (NTP) and California EPA’s Proposition 65 (Prop 65) classify formaldehyde as a human carcinogen. EPA identifies formaldehyde as a probable human carcinogen. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) also raises concern that exposure to formaldehyde leads to irritation of the eyes, nose, throat and respiratory system. Standards for cosmetics in Japan prohibit formaldehyde use in cosmetics,and the European Commission restricts formaldehyde in cosmetics to no more than five percent concentration in the finished product.
  • Phenacetin: Phenacetin was used as pain and fever reducer until banned in the US by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1983 due to its carcinogenicity. Although it is no longer used as a drug, it is still occasionally used in personal care products as a stabilizer in products such as facial hair bleach, hair color and women’s depilatories. IARC and Prop 65 identify phenacetin as a human carcinogen. NTP lists that phenacetin and analgesic mixtures containing phenacetin are reasonably anticipated to be human carcinogens. Phenacetin can also cause renal damage and anemia. Exposure to phenacetin has been linked malignant mammary tumors.
  • Coal Tar: Coal tar is a known carcinogen and a by-product from coal processing. It is used in cosmetics containing hair dyes, shampoos, dandruff/scalp treatment and redness/rosacea treatment. IARC, NTP and EPA classify coal tar as a known human carcinogen. Coal tar was one of the first occupational exposures linked to cancer; when scrotal cancer among young chimney sweeps was associated with exposure. It is also associated with cancers of the lung, bladder, kidney, and digestive tract. Environmental Canada classifies that coal tar pitch is persistent and inherently toxic to aquatic organisms. European Commission prohibits coal tar use in cosmetics. Coal tars are complex mixtures that can contain other known carcinogens, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), such as benzo[a]pyrene. PAHs damage DNA, and exposure to PAHs can lead to tumors on lungs, bladder and skin; and PAHs can also cause non-cancer toxicities like reproductive and developmental toxicity.
  • Benzene: Benzene is derived from coal tar, and exposure routes of benzene are inhalation and ingestion. Benzene is used in the production of plastics and detergents and occasionally in hair conditioner and styling lotion. IARC and NTP classify benzene as a known human carcinogen. Prop 65 identifies benzene as a concern for both cancer and developmental toxicity, and benzene can lead to mammary tumors in female mice. EPA identifies benzene as a known human respiratory toxicant. Benzene is considered a  priority pollutant of wastewater by EPA, which means environmental releases of benzene are regulated. The Endocrine Disruption Exchange considers benzene as an endocrine disruptor. Occupational exposure to benzene is linked to leukemia; and benzene can target organs including eyes, skin, respiratory system, blood, central nervous system and bone marrow. The European Commission prohibits benzene use in cosmetics, and it is restricted in the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Altantic (OSPAR).
  • Mineral Oils: Mineral oils are derived from crude oil; and mildly refined mineral oils always contain significant amounts of PAHs. Mineral oils are common in a wide array of personal care products, including eye shadow, moisturizer, lip gloss, lipstick, conditioner, hair color and bleaching, facial treatment, styling gel/lotion, blush and concealer.  IARC, NTP and Prop 65 classify untreated and mildly treated mineral oils as a known human carcinogen. NIOSH raises concerns that mineral oils can target organs including eyes, skin, and respiratory system though inhalation, or skin and eye contact.
  • Ethylene Oxide: Ethylene oxide is a possible impurity in personal care products as a byproduct of the process of ethoxylation, which is used to buffer the harsh effects of some sudsing agents; Ethylene oxide is most widely used to sterilize medical instruments. It can be found in tobacco smoke, automobile exhausts, and foods.There is strong evidence that ethylene oxide can lead lymphatic and hematopoietic cancers; and some studies found increased incidence of breast cancer in exposed workers. Prop 65 identifies ethylene oxide as a concern for both cancer and developmental toxicity in both females and males. The Endocrine Disruption Exchange lists ethylene oxide as an endocrine disruptor. NIOSH concludes that ethylene oxide leads peritoneal cancer and leukemia; exposure to ethylene oxide through inhalation, ingestion, and skin and eye contact can disrupt respiratory system, central nervous system, and reproductive system. The European Commission prohibits ethylene oxide use in cosmetics.
  • Heavy Metals: Heavy Metals like hexavalent chromium, and cadmium serve as colorants in eye shadow and lip gloss.  Other metals such as arsenic are impurities in cosmetic ingredients including facial lotion, shampoo, and foundation as a result of arsenic contamination in ingredients such as D&C Red 6, aluminum starch octenylsuccinate, hydrogenated cottonseed oil, and polyvinyl acetate. And let's not forget Aluminum chloride being used as an antiperspirant being directly linked to causing cancer. IARC, the National Toxicology Program and California’s Prop 65 identify cadmium and its compounds, arsenic, and chromium as human carcinogens; in addition, chromium can also lead to developmental problems in both females and males.
  • Cadmium: In addition to its carcinogenic properties, cadmium targets the cardiovascular, renal, neurological, reproductive and respiratory systems through inhalation and ingestion. Standards for cosmetics in Japan and European Commission prohibit use of cadmium compounds in cosmetics.
  • Arsenic (Also allowed in American chicken feed. Like I said, don't get me started on the crap they put in our food): The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concludes that there is sufficient evidence that arsenic is a carcinogen; and arsenic can also lead hyperpigmentation, keratosis and possible vascular complications. EPA lists arsenic as a priority pollutant and regulates arsenic emissions; The Endocrine Disruption Exchange suggests that arsenic can cause endocrine disruption. NIOSH demonstrates that exposure to arsenic leads to lung and lymphatic cancer; because it can target organs including liver, kidneys, skin, lungs and lymphatic system through inhalation, skin absorption, skin and eye contact, and ingestion. The European Commission prohibits arsenic in cosmetics.
  • Chromium: The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) lists chromium as a carcinogen and mutagen. NIOSH indicates that exposure to chromium leads to lung cancer; and the metal targets organs including blood, respiratory system, liver and kidneys. It can cause  increased blood leukocytes, eye injury, and skin ulcers through inhalation, ingestion, and skin and eye contact. EPA considers chromium to be both bioaccumulative and ecotoxic. The European Commission prohibits chromium use in cosmetics.
  • Silica: Silica occurs in two different forms: crystalline or amorphous; quartz is the common mineral in crystalline silica. If you breathe crystalline silica in is an airborne contaminant that can penetrate the lung when it is inhaled. Crystalline silica is widely used in lipsticks, lip gloss, eye shadow, eye liner, foundation, sunscreen, lotion and shampoo. NTP and IARC both list crystalline silica of respirable size as a known human carcinogen, and Prop 65 classifies silica, crystalline (airborne particles of respirable size) as a carcinogen. NIOSH raises concerns about lung cancer in animals exposed to crystalline silica; and this chemical can target eyes and the respiratory system through inhalation, and skin and eye contact.
The FDA has a job to protect us but ultimately, we have to protect ourselves. We haven't even touched phthalates and parabens. The cosmetics industry is not as heavily regulated as someone may think, which is why it's legal for me to make cosmetics in my kitchen and sell them to you. However, because I am a science geek, my products are properly labeled with all ingredients listed. I choose ingredients that come from a plant source because I care. I take advantage of the anti-microbial benefits of my ingredients instead of using harmful additives to prolong the shelf life of Fancy Free Hair & Skin products. Think about it, would you want to eat something that was still "fresh" after sitting for 3 years? If bacteria, mold, and bugs don't want to eat it, you shouldn't eat it. Same for cosmetics and other things you put on our skin and hair.

The foundation of what I do is because I want people to live a healthier life, whether you buy Fancy Free Hair & Skin products or not.

Shameless Plug Alert:
Fancy Free Hair & Skin manufactures quality products for hair and skin, as well as provides natural hair consults for women who would like assistance on their natural hair journey. Our motto is "Keeping you chemical free." Visit our website,, to see a full range of our products and services. Sign up for our mailing list to receive natural hair tips and stay up to date on sales and the latest happenings with Fancy Free.


Friday, February 23, 2018

We're Off To See Wakanda

If you haven't seen or heard about Marvel's Black Panther yet, I want you to log off this blog, leave the rock you've been living under, and go to the nearest movie theatre to see it. Seriously. However, if you know what I'm talking about, then you can relate. My husband and I did it up in full, Coming to America, ethnic thot, trap royalty regalia for the private screening we attended. Then I went back for a matinee just to make sure I didn't miss anything. I'll probably volunteer to go, yet again, with some school kids too. After it's all said and done, seeing this movie 5-6 times won't be too many times in my book.

Red, black and green
sneakers cuz....
Peep the hair bling though.
This movie most certainly lived up to all of it's hype. Not only was it a great movie as far as story line, cinematics, and special effects were concerned, it was full of beautiful images of Africa for those of African descent. It made me proud to have these images of my people in media.

However, I would be remiss if I didn't point out all of the black girl magic displayed in this movie. The motto of black women in America has always seemed to be "F@#k it. I'll do it." Constantly saving everyone from themselves. Or at least trying to. We always seem to be the best at decision making in tough situations. Oh, how black girls were magic in Black Panther, let me count the ways....
  1. First up, Nakia. The newly crowned king of Wakanda's love interest. Yes, she was sent as a spy but she was not just observing, she was saving the people. Although we did not get much detail about her "mission", it looked as though she had inserted herself into the human trafficking operation and was freeing the helpless. That is, until her needy ex-boyfriend came to get her. LOL! And even after she was offered the throne, she declined. Essentially saying, yeah, this is nice but I have things to do. Nakia was beautiful, fearless and honorable. Just doing it. 
  2. Then we have Okoye. The general of Wakanda's royal army. Leading a band of bad-ass bald women warriors. She was wise and intuitive. Always calm, she never appeared to make decisions out of emotion. Always calculating and loyal. Even to the point of being willing to off her own man in order to save the people. 
  3. The one who stood out to me the most was Shuri, the genius princess of Wakanda. There were so many things about Shuri that I could relate to. Obviously, she was brilliant. But she was funny and relatable. Not your typical princess, she clearly wasn't fond of rules but would follow them when absolutely necessary. She was always tinkering with and finding ways to improve a process. That's what I'm talking about! WORK! 
My girl, Shuri!

Yes. There were other women in this movie with stand up rolls but these three were my favorite. 🤷🤷 They worked together to save Wakanda but they also helped the king see that the Wakandan way is not the best way for the sake of humanity and progress. So they helped to save the rest of the world too.

Seeing this imagery on the big screen, not only made me proud of my heritage but it was also confirmation that I am on the right path. I am free to do as I please, to develop new products, to improve what I have but also to help other's while I'm doing it. I'm so excited about the growth of Fancy Free Hair & Skin and the plans I have to save the Qmunity while I do it. I am so thankful for this blessing of an opportunity to help others. Yes, you can give someone a job but to help them believe in themselves enough to create opportunities for others is the real blessing.

Shameless Plug Alert:
Fancy Free Hair & Skin manufactures quality products for hair and skin, as well as provides natural hair consults for women who would like assistance on their natural hair journey. Our motto is "Keeping you chemical free." Visit our website,, to see a full range of our products and services. Sign up for our mailing list to receive natural hair tips and stay up to date on sales and the latest happenings with Fancy Free.


Friday, February 9, 2018

The Best Products to Promote Hair Growth

Long locs of love. That's what you want. That's what a lot of women are seeking when they are
caring for their hair. Hair care companies know this and they market their products to you based on this. I'm sorry but I have bad news. I hate to break it to you but products do not make your hair grow longer. That's right! They are LYING TO YOU just to make a couple dollars. Aren't you so glad you found me?

As a scientist, I know the biology behind it. Growing up in a salon and having many years of natural hair care experience, I can tell you with all honesty that everyone's hair grows. The length it grows is determined by genetics. The hair follicle is genetically programmed to grow to a certain length before it sheds from the follicle or hair root. Most people shed 50-80 strands of hair per day. Yes. Biotin and other supplements do promote hair growth. TOTAL BODY hair growth. You may see more/thicker hair but if you're not taking care of it and yourself properly, the length will stay the same.

So why isn't you're hair getting longer? In my experience, people who feel like their hair isn't growing are probably experience breakage before it grows to it's maximum length. So, I have a few tips to maximize hair growth that doesn't include buying products....unless you'd like to buy Fancy Free products. I'm totally fine with that. LOL!

5 Tips To Grow Your Hair
1. Drink water
Dry hair is brittle. Brittle hair is more likely to break before it reaches maximum length. Yes, you can apply moisturizing products but water is the best moisturizer. Let it come from the inside. Take your weight and divide it in half. That's how many ounces of water you should be drinking daily. For example: If you weigh 150 lbs., you should drink 75 ounces of water each day. If drinking that much water is overwhelming, try drinking the bulk of it in the morning as soon as you wake up and sipping through out the day. I have taken to drinking flavored sparkling water to break up the monotony. Drink your water however you like but drink it. Your body and hair love it.

2. Take a multi-vitamin and eat right.
My morning routine along with the capsules
There may be nutrients that you aren't getting from your diet. Take a daily multi-vitamin. I have one that I prefer. The whole family takes it. Avoid processed foods. They are full of preservatives and lab experiments. If it doesn't grow from the earth or come from a butcher, avoid eating it. Jehovah has place everything we need on this earth. Processed foods tend to be high in calories and low in the nutrients that we need for our bodies to function properly. I try to get well rounded meals by using the
following guidelines:
  • 4 servings of protein
  • 4 servings of green vegetables
  • 4 servings of fruit
  • 3 servings of unprocessed carbs (sweet potato, corn, carrots, etc.)
  • 1 serving of oil or grain (I use 2 tablespoons of flax seed meal in my morning smoothie to cover this)
Now, I'm not strict with this. I do have the occasional slice of cake or piece of candy but this is my guideline.

3. Let your scalp breathe.
Just like every living thing needs water to survive, it also needs oxygen. Shampooing your hair regularly cleanses the scalp of residue from products and sweat allowing oxygen into your hair follicles. If you like to wear weave, make sure you are getting to that scalp with a witch hazel swab or something. Avoid shampoos that dry the hair out because, remember, dry hair tends to break due to damage more often than moisturized hair. I recommend Apple Cider Vinegar rinse (Click HERE for ACV Rinse instructions) for the scalp, followed by a sulfate free shampoo (if you must shampoo), and/or a conditioner (Conditioners can be used in place of shampoo. They have cleansing properties without the drying effects). Make sure you read the ingredients of your shampoo before your buy it. Some products will claim "Sulfate free" on the front but the ingredients include a derivative of sulphate in them.

4. Keep your hair moisturized.
Yes. You are drinking half of your body weight in water daily. Now, we have to address the products. If you are using products that are oil based, like Fancy Free Shea Pomade, and other shea butter products or oils, these should only be applied to wet or damp hair. Why? Well, they are designed to seal moisture - aka water - into hair. When oil based products are applied to dry hair, it's just oil sitting on top of dry hair. Water based products, like Fancy Free Milk, have water in them and can be applied to dry hair as a moisturizer. Again, pay attention to the ingredients on products that you're buying. Ingredients like mineral oil and petrolatum are not designed to moisturize and can actually leave your hair feeling more dry than it did before you used it.

5. Use "low manipulation" styling techniques.
KEEP YOUR HANDS OUT OF YOUR HAIR!!!  I can't say this enough. Have a professional install your weave. Find a style and products that work for your hair so you don't have to re-twist or roller set your hair more than 2 times a week. Only detangle damp or wet hair. If you want super long hair, let your hair loc. Have you ever noticed that people with locs have the longest hair? That's because locs are low manipulations. You're only twisting the newest hair, at the roots. And those 50-80 strands that shed everyday? Well, they're literally loc'd in. So the hair appears to grow longer because those strands that would normally come out in the comb or brush are still attached.

All hair textures can grow long. I've seen it. I am a witness. It just takes learning your hair and sticking to your routine. One bad heat styling experience can ruin all of your hard work. It's like losing weight. You can diet and exercise but if you don't make the required lifestyle changes, the weight will begin to creep back on. Nourish your hair and it will grow long and flowing, no matter how kinky the coils are.

Shameless Plug Alert:
Fancy Free Hair & Skin manufactures quality products for hair and skin, as well as provides natural hair consults for women who would like assistance on their natural hair journey. Our motto is "Keeping you chemical free." Visit our website,, to see a full range of our products and services. Sign up for our mailing list to receive natural hair tips and stay up to date on sales and the latest happenings with Fancy Free.


Monday, January 22, 2018

I'm TIRED of being humble...

Lol! Really, Ray J? Who says that? In real life? And means it? It was pretty funny when he said
it though.

I went to University of Maryland - College Park, which means that when I was in my 20s, I partied in DC. My husband was attending Howard University when we started dating, so we went out in DC while we were dating. I. Hated. Going. Out. In. DC. Mainly because the crowds seemed sooooo pretentious to me back then. I felt like giving your resume was standard practice when you met someone. Ugh! STFU! I DO NOT CARE what you do for a living. We are at the club, not a networking event. Your job title is not WHO you are. It's what you do. STOP THIS! On God, I don't even know what my real friends do for a living. Like, people who have been in my life for 30 years, I don't know the details of their job function unless we have worked together. You know why? Because that's not why we're friends.

My husband is pretty popular. Very popular. I like to think that I am more low key than he is. I try to stay out of the way, travel, and have fun with my same 10 friends - cuz no new friends. LOL! I love y'all though. I never really cared to know and be known by EVERYONE. So obviously, when the pretty girl, that know one has ever seen before, is all of the sudden engaged to Mr. Howard University (That's what I called my husband even though he did not garner the official title), people had questions. He is loved by everyone, so without knowing anything about me or our relationship, they assumed I was a "gold digger" only dating him because he was about to be a doctor. 

FIRST OF ALL! 🤣🤣🤣🤣 That's always funny. Anyway, my point is people would ask me what I did for a living. And I'd be kind of offended. Like why do you need to know that? Are you trying to count MY money? I'm a waitress. I'm a stripper. I'm an illegal arms dealer. I'm a paper clip bender. Didn't you see me on House Hunters? Seriously, what does it matter? I'm not asking you for money and since no one really knows what a medical laboratory scientist is or does anyway, INCLUDING doctors who rely on medical laboratories to make some pretty important decisions regarding their patients, I made a game out of not telling people what I really did for a living. Mainly because yelling "I'M A BOSS!" when you're not a rapper is frowned upon.
But here's the conflict....

Now that I am a business owner, I need to promote myself and my business whenever I have a chance and it makes me uncomfortable because I have always avoided talking about my profession in social settings. How do you create a conversation around who you are and not what you do for a living? What do I do? I create. I save. I lead. I encourage. I connect. I help. I do all of these things because that's who I am. I am a creator. Creating products for "us" because "the man" markets products with unhealthy ingredients that counter my customer's hair and skin goals. I save edges and elbows. I am a leader. Leading by action to show people that they can live in their purpose too. I am a helper. I help people tackle their dry hair and skin. I help people avoid cancer and body odor by manufacturing an aluminum free deodorant that actually works and doesn't break them out. I help other small business owners create product lines of their own through product development and manufacturing quality products for them. I connect people with my network so they can build relationships in line with their own goals.

Part of who I am is being "regular". I don't like to make a big deal about what I have and projects that I'm working on because I've conditioned myself to not want people to think I'm bragging. Yes. I know. How people interpret what I say is a reflection of them, not me. But, like I said, I've conditioned myself over the years to play what I've accomplished down. My husband calls it humble. I just say I'm out here living in my purpose, doing what I'm supposed to do, it's not a big deal. Or is it? 🤔 I always kick myself when someone compliments my hair and/or skin and I can't find a way to tell them about my products.

Things I work on in therapy: having empathy and ways to get over myself so I can promote myself. The truth is that I am an introvert and my previous life as a managing scientist did not require networking or much self promotion. So, talking period, let alone, talking about myself does not come naturally for me. Cuz closed mouths don't get fed and Fancy got a family to feed.

Shameless Plug Alert:
Fancy Free Hair & Skin manufactures quality products for hair and skin, as well as provides natural hair consults for women who would like assistance on their natural hair journey. Our motto is "Keeping you chemical free." Visit our website,, to see a full range of our products and services. Sign up for our mailing list to receive natural hair tips and stay up to date on sales and the latest happenings with Fancy Free.


Monday, January 15, 2018

Brain Washed

Disclaimer: I don't watch television. I used to. I want to. I love to be entertained. I just find myself
Amara La Negra
trying to do so much in one day that I look up and it's time to go to sleep. I don't want to be one of those people who says "I don't have time to watch tv." or "I'm too focused to watch tv." I just run out of time at the end of the day. I DO scan social media and have group text with my friends who watch tv.

Love and Hip Hop Miami has me intrigued. Once I'm done with all of my goals for January, I will definitely be sitting down to indulge in that. First of all, the cast has established music artists. Trick Daddy is one of my favorites. While I don't listen to much latin music, Amara La Negra caught my attention. She is beautiful and strong. I know she's strong because she has been in the music industry for many years and remained true to herself. A thick, brown beauty with a flourishing afro. She is popping. But that doesn't stop a producer from trying to tell her that she needs to change her look. Ummm...exsqueeze me? I was so proud of her for standing up for herself. 

You see, I used to be one of those people who thought that you needed straight hair for formal events or when you got "dressed up". Big hair don't care until you're in a gown. Then it's fried, died and laid to the side. LOL! Praise Jehovah for an awakening. Don't get me wrong. If' that's what you prefer, then that's what you prefer. But it's definitely not a requirement. Who decided that edges had to be smooth and pulled tight? Who says that I won't look classy with the same bush I wear everyday? I feel like make up and the wardrobe makes the look, hair is the compliment. Again. My personal preference. 

And the hair accessories really took my
look to the next level. 😍
When planning my wedding vow renewal, my sister's were asking me how I was going to wear my hair after I found my dress and offered suggestions. All of which included straight hair. I told them I was not straightening my hair for this. One of my sister's response was "I don't think a natural style will go with that dress" *clutches pearls* Bish whet!?!? I caught myself and responded in love. This is my day. I am who I am. I like natural styles. I am the natural hair "guru". What I look like wearing straight hair on this special day. I am supposed to be setting an example and paving the way. I will be wearing my hair in a style that does not require straightening, weave or wig. It's what I like. I wore my "natural style" with my elegant gown and looked beautiful. No stressing over maintaining straight hair while on vacation. Hmph! 

For so many years, African American women have been subjected to all kinds of torture trying to make their hair do something it's not designed to do. Leading to scalp sores, damaged hair, baldness, and other issues in extreme cases. For years, we were told that locs were "unprofessional" and got foul looks for wearing our hair in styles that enhances the natural curls instead of trying to tame them. There have been so many news worthy stories of school and policy changes as young girls and women are not only opting out of straight hair and tightly pulled ponytails but we are letting our afros flourish. It's 2018, an afro does not indicate militancy. (I'm sure a lot of the policies about hair were based on the hair style of choice back in the Civil Rights movement and the emergence of Black Power. We see you) We are woke and more powerful now than ever before. We will sue the pants off of any corporation if we find out that we were denied an opportunity because of our hairstyle.

Personal preference is just that. Personal preference. But once you start trying to impose your opinion on me, we have a problem. Let me be me. Whether it's curly, kinky, wavy or straight. Short or long hair doesn't make me more or less feminine, professional or classy. Jehovah made me in his image. I choose to honor Him by not subjecting my hair toxic chemicals and damaging hairstyling techniques. You choose to honor Him in ways that suit you. Different strokes for different folks. But leave me out of your choices and preferences. Now....if you ask my opinion, that's a different story. LOL!

It makes me sad when people think that they HAVE to be something they're not. Elegance does not require straight hair, Mr. Young Hollywood. Elegance comes from within. Like style and grace. An Afro can be just as elegant as a long, flowing hair or a beautifully coiffed up-do. Leave us out of your closed minded view of what is beautiful. Hmph!

Shameless Plug Alert:
Fancy Free Hair & Skin manufactures quality products for hair and skin, as well as provides natural hair consults for women who would like assistance on their natural hair journey. Our motto is "Keeping you chemical free." Visit our website,, to see a full range of our products and services. Sign up for our mailing list to receive natural hair tips and stay up to date on sales and the latest happenings with Fancy Free.


Monday, January 8, 2018

Trickle Down Economics

Baltimore, MD is my home town. It's where I grew up. It's where I live now. Not in the suburbs of the city but actually within the city limits. I like to say I live smack dab in the middle. I wasn't within the Freddie gray riots but I smoke from the burning CVS could be seen from my front yard. I pay astronomically high property taxes and a ridiculously expensive water bill. Those things are more expensive in the city than in the county but the trade off is that we are literally no more than 30 minutes from anything we need to get to. So, we spend less time in our car and more time actually with the people we love. My husband's commute to work is less than 15 minutes, so we save on maintenance for his car. I am also committed to investing within the city. When I buy and hold a property as a rental, it's in the city. I also do most of my shopping and other activities in the the city. Which means, I support the city I live in try recycle my dollar within my community when ever possible.

When I was growing up, the mayor at the time, Kurt Schmoke, deemed Baltimore as the "City that reads." to encourage literacy and education. But the recent state of Baltimore City Public School System and the cities priorities in general indicate the city could care less about educating our children let alone the literacy of the entire city population.

This is all our fault. When I say "our" fault, I mean the type of African-Americans who used to make up the majority of the city's population, seem to have made a bee line for the "county" when they "made it". Yes, some of us still work in the city and own property in the city but it's not the same as being here. If you live in the county and work in the city, you still shop and do most of your extracurricular activities near where you live because it's convenient. This supports the community that you live in. Supports jobs, government funded functions, and other factors of the economy that most people don't think about. You are more likely to invest time and resources to the upkeep of the community you live in, whether you own or rent, just because you live there. Meanwhile, the population of the city is dwindling. The number of vacant residential properties are at an all time high. No one is around to defend the communities we all grew up in. We are too good to live in the "trap" that made us who we are. Now, those communities are failing and the city is failing our children because we aren't around to clap on them. The ones who know things aren't right are not here to hold elected officials accountable for the poor decisions they make regarding investing in our city.

Let us count the ways:
1. The casino
The Horseshoe Casino was built under the impression that a portion of it's revenue would go to our education system, but that money does not go to the education fund. It goes to a general fund that can be used for anything really. The "City that reads" didn't read that detail in the legislation. The dwindling population didn't turn out in droves to vote it down or demand an amendment prior to setting the plan.
2. Politicians being politicians
It's no secret that we've have a succession of mayors who didn't put the city's needs before their own. But that's the nature of politics. You scratch my back, I scratch yours. However, when you have a city full of unaware citizens, no one fights to hold these "leaders" accountable and yet they keep getting voted into office term after term because "we" vote based on popularity and name recognition instead of the issues. There is no way developers should have been allowed to receive as many tax benefits as they receive for investing into Harbor East without giving back to our destitute communities right around the corner. But I digress.
3. Baltimore City Public School Administration is just as political as elected officials
Between misappropriating funds, poor budget allocation choices, and less than stellar hiring and firing practises, the leadership in BCPSS should be ashamed. Experienced teachers being forced into retirement due to clashes with egotistical principles. Teach for America newbies in a classroom with our babies having no idea how to nurture and encourage them. The list goes on. However, BCPSS ain't got no shame cuz there is no one to keep them in check. Those of us who "made it" and fled to the county don't have children being educated by BCPSS so we care but not as much as we'd care if our babies were effected. What's left? Some of us who "made it" and stayed in the city but we have the resources to send our children to private schools, so our children aren't necessarily being effected by poor leadership on North Avenue either. There are far more unengaged citizens sending their children to BCPSS than engaged ones. The home environment for some of these children is even colder than going to school in an unheated building. At least there's food for them and maybe one or two teachers who show them love. We are talking about communities who have been ran through and extorted by the drug trade. Communities that look like war zones due to absentee investors who buy properties in
Baltimore City and leave them to rot without keeping them in condition to be occupied with no penalty. (I am VERY salty about this part cuz they have long money and I've been outbid several times by investors who don't live here. They overpay and then let the properties sit because it's out of the scope to actually renovate after overpaying. 🙄🙄🙄 I digress) Studies show that the involved parent gets the results. Informed parents get the resources. With Baltimore City having the highest rate of intravenous drug abuse and a generational deterioration of the black family due to the school to prison pipeline, you can say that a large percentage of the parents are not involved in much of their children's education in Baltimore City.

And then we have this systematic racism that has trickled down to 2018 without us calling it out and demanding a "recount"🤦. Racism and the policies still in place to support it effects major cities all over the country. The state of Baltimore City Public School System goes way beyond buildings that need renovation and updated HVAC systems. If my career in health care and journey as an entrepreneur taught me anything, it's that we all have to work together. No one system operates in a vacuum. In order to elect officials who are going to make decisions in the best interest of our communities and our children, we need more engaged citizens residing, shopping, having fun and voting in our city for policies that benefit our citizens and not just an elite few. We need to set the example for the children in our communities that think there is no hope for them. We do that by living in among them. Engaging day to day. Keeping our properties maintained. Picking up the trash. Having conversations with them and not judging them. Showing them better ways so that they do better. Your presence is a present. You have more of an impact than you know.

In the meantime, you can find Fancy working behind the scenes supporting efforts that teach our Baltimore brothers and sisters skills and not teaching them to rely on handouts. I live by the motto "If it is to be, it's up to me." If it doesn't exist, I am responsible for creating it or at least collaborating with someone who has already in the process of creating. My personal plan for how I intend to engage in the community beyond my home is laid out in my iFundWomen fundraising campaign. Check it out, donate, share it with your network. I'm starting with the (wo)man in the mirror.  How about you?

Shameless Plug Alert:
Fancy Free Hair & Skin manufactures quality products for hair and skin, as well as provides natural hair consults for women who would like assistance on their natural hair journey. Our motto is "Keeping you chemical free." Visit our website,, to see a full range of our products and services. Sign up for our mailing list to receive natural hair tips and stay up to date on sales and the latest happenings with Fancy Free.