Tuesday, December 22, 2015

When The Time Is Right

I'm writing this for women who feel like it will never happen for them. When the time is right. It will happen. Work on your relationship. Work on yourself. Exercise. Eat right. Take your vitamins. Pray. Don't stress. Jehovah knows what's best.

My husband and I got married in 2007 after 4 years of dating. In retrospect, we were young and dumb. He was still in residency, I was still in school but we both knew that we were made for each other. The first four years of our marriage were TOUGH! Mostly due to selfishness and immaturity on both parts. What people don't tell you about getting married is that you don't automatically think like a wife or a husband right after you say "I do". There's no switch. You have to grow into those roles.
We had essentially been in a long distance relationship the entire 4 years that we dated. Even though DC and Baltimore aren't that far from each other, with his school schedule and my work and school schedule, the weekends or every other weekend was when we spent time together. The rest of the time was spent talking on the phone. No Facetime back then. LOL! Sometimes we went as long as 6 weeks with out actually seeing each other. Absence makes the heart grow fonder but you also don't realize how annoying someone can be when you aren't around them all the time.

My Role

I was I-N-D-E-P-E-D-E-N-T. I had purchased my home and maybe one investment property. I had a car. I was making decent money. I lived alone. I was used to coming and going as I pleased because I had no one to be accountable to. I liked things a certain way. The right
way. My way. I was brash and bossy. I was a caretaker. I did everything and did not expect him to help out around the house because he was working 80-100 hours per week. I handle all of his "business" without him asking for help. I did not allow any negative consequences so that he could figure stuff out on his own and learn.

His Role

He was "focused" on his career, which meant quality time with me was often neglected. If it came down to spending time with me doing something he didn't necessarily want to do or work/sleeping for work or softball, he had a habit of choosing something other than me. He did not offer to help me out around the house because usually it was taken care of. He ignored me when I fussed.

Delay In Kids

We never put our marital problems on blast. EVER! We worked on them in private. I'd joke when people asked me when we were gonna start a family and say "We gotta figure out if we like each other enough before we do alladat." or "With all these advances in medicine, I got until a smooth 40 before pregnancy becomes an issue. I got trips to take."
But the reality was, we had some things to work through before we jumped into adding even more stress, like a crying infant. LOL! We had to get our finances in order. People assume because you're in a certain tax bracket or have a certain career that your money is right. No. We had to learn to set a budget and stick to it. I had my way of doing things and he never had any financial responsibility. He had been in school from age 6 to 26. We had to learn how to communicate with each other. We had to perfect our roles on the team. He learned to do laundry and dishes. I folded, dried and put them away. We budgeted in a housekeeper for all the other things. I went to the grocery store. He carried bags and put groceries away. I handled the bills and communicated where we were. He made sure I had access to everything I needed. Most importantly, we went to marriage counseling. I'm not talking about going to sit with our pastor at church or a marriage ministry bible study, not that there is anything wrong with that. But we needed something a little more candid. I'm talking about a certified therapist, who gave us assignments and helped us really hear each other. Our therapist gave us a book to read that really helped us understand each other better, Getting the Love You Want by Harville Hendrix, with the work book.
Once we went to therapy together, we were able to get to the root of "why" instead of focusing on the "what". Things were moving in the right direction but it still wasn't enough. Both of us had to do some work on ourselves, so still, to this day, we have regular individual therapy sessions. We have grown leaps and bounds....together. Once our communication improved, everything else improved. EVERYTHING.
We got our money right.  We traveled. We bought dumb stuff. Had regrets. We were finally able to got into our groove late into year 6.

The Plunge

Our marriage was on track. We had checked everything off of our bucket list from our 20s. We were in good places in our careers. We decided that we'd start trying for a baby in August 2015. August was ideal because we had a few trips in the summer and we wanted to be able to drink and do excursions. LOL! Although we are both healthy, it was still in the back of our minds that we were 35 years old and that we may encounter some difficulties getting pregnant now that we'd "done it right". You know, finished school, advanced our careers, traveled, enjoyed marriage, and THEN started a family.
We were both taking our vitamins, working out, eating right and so in July, we counted 14 days from the first day of my cycle and set the date to begin trying, August 1. At least twice a day, every other day for 7 days. We had fun. No stress.
I had some of my closest friends in town to celebrate my anniversary of birth, August 24, for the weekend.
Lots of food, fun, and sun. AND libations. Then it hit me, my period was supposed to come. So I took a test before they left. That thang turned positive within 30 seconds. I showed my husband. He high fived me, like I was a softball teammates. LOL! We had done it. The time was right. We were in a good place in our marriage and in life. Jehovah had blessed us at 35 with our first son. No fertility treatments, even though those vitamins had our loins on fleek. LOL! No stress. No in vitro. Just love. We celebrated 8 years of marriage this year and pray for a healthy baby boy to be born in April 2016. God is good.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

How Fancy Free Came To Be

Growing My Relaxer Out

I grew up in a salon, my great aunt's salon. A blue magic, press and curl, Marcel irons salon. My whole family grew up with long, healthy, relaxed hair. So, when I told my mother I wanted to grow my relaxer out
Since big hair was attainable with relaxed hair, I kept relaxing my hair for about 10 more years. After 3 degrees, a husband, and reaching my career goals, I was now more focused on my health. I was working out, making sure my food was organic and trying to eat right. I say "trying" cuz I love sweet and cakes and pies. One day, I asked myself why I was cautious about what I was putting in my body but still putting that crap ON my body. So, I had a talk with my husband, since my hair is his hair, and we decided no more relaxers. I would grow my relaxer out and finally have the big hair I wanted 10 years before.
Transitioning was tough for me, even though I knew how to take care of and style hair. Something about the 2 different textures made it difficult. But I saw it through and about 6 months into my transition, I was able to cut the last 2 inches of relaxed hair off and be totally "free" from chemicals.
at 20 y.o., her first question to me was "Why?" At 20, I ain't have no real answer other than that I wanted big hair. LOL! Which was a legit answer. She told me to rod my hair, pluck it out, and I'd have big hair. Hahahahahhahaha!!!

Fancy Free Natural Hair Consults

Not relaxing my hair has been a journey for me. I have had to experiment with styles and products. About 7 months in, I was able to get into my groove. That's when the questions started when I'd go out. And not just "Is that a twist out?", I'm talking they wanted step by step instructions for the entire process while I was walking out off my office building, running late for an appointment. This would happen to me all the time.
Almost every where I went. When my accountant suggested we start a home based business, I hadn't been introduced to direct sales yet, so....I ordered business cards and set a new gmail account. Voila! "Fancy Free Natural Hair Consults" was born. My marketing strategy? I would answer 3 questions about my hair, if there was a 4th question, I'd hand them a business card to set up a time for the interested party have a consultation. That didn't really start popping off until the product came around.

Fancy Free Shea Pomade

I have thick, kinky hair. Kinky hair tends to get dry. In experimenting, I found that I needed a heavy, shea based product to seal the moisture in and hold my twists. I tried a few products off the shelf but the texture was too waxy and difficult to work with or I didn't like the smell. I never thought about making my own. I went to a natural hair expo on a mission and I found a product made by a natural hair stylist, based in North Carolina. It smelled great and was easy to work with. However, the cost of shipping and time it took for me to get what I needed was just too much. So, one day I decided I could make it myself. I got me a recipe from the interwebs, picked up the ingredients and got cooking.
The first batch was a disaster. After making a mess in the kitchen, my husband spilled my shea all in the refrigerator and on the floor. *sigh* I was laugh-crying about it at work and one of my colleagues told me to whip it instead of melting it. It's less work, doesn't separate, and doesn't make that big of a mess. She was right! I whipped my own hair product for about a year before I started using it on my skin too. 
I kept that product a family secret for about 2 years. Only my sisters and I were using it. LOL! Then one of my master public relations girlfriends was getting dressed at my house for an event and used some of it. She said "This product is bomb! Start selling this ASAP!" So, I did and the rest is history.

NOW, my Natural Hair Consults include a 2 oz. Fancy Free Shea Pomade, a 3 day supply of awesome sauce nutritional supplements, that I use myself, and a customized hair care plan. I also sell the whipped shea by itself. With lots of support and word of mouth testimonials, Fancy Free Shea Pomade has grown leaps and bounds in just 9 months. As we continue to grow and try to fit the needs of every curly hair texture, stay tuned for more products in the Fancy Free line.

Just know that it is our goal to have everyone fall in love with their natural tresses and keep skin glowing and moisturized. 

Visit our website at www.fancyfreellc.com/hair for more about me and sign up get email updates about products and sales.  

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Monday, October 12, 2015

What's your number?

In 2013, I started my first home based business. I started it fort he tax benefits only. I really wasn't looking to
be a full on entrepreneur. Let's face it. I have a cushy job as a supervisor. That comes easy to me. I re-direct, delegate, and solve problems. I get paid for what I know, not what I do. I take that back. I get paid to accomplish goals and meet deadlines, not to cover a work area for an allotted time. Which was all fine and dandy to me until I started hanging around people who were making monthly what I make yearly. I say, in the most humble way possible, I do well for myself. So, to see that kind of money in someone's income statements really got me thinking about my real "worth".

Most home based businesses are considered "direct sales". What is direct sales? The principal behind it is, the individual markets a product or service for an established company. As an individual, you get paid a commission for the sales you make and then you build a team to do the same thing. The company compensates you for adding member to your team. You help the people on your team sell the product and/or services and receive a portion of the commissions from your team's efforts as well. The great thing about this model is that it encourages team work. As a team leader, I want to sell and make money and I want my team to sell.

Not only do you get to help a gang of people earn the kind of income they dream of, you also open your mind. Prior to opening my mind to direct sales, I thought I would be set with a salary anywhere between $80,000-$100,000 per year. I'd earn that going into an office, working about 40-50 hours per week. I'd have to be on call, since I'm in the healthcare field, which meant my phone may ring in the evenings after I already left the office for the day, on the weekend, in the middle of the night, or even while I'm on vacation. I was fine with that until I saw that there were other ways to earn money, help people, like I enjoy doing in healthcare, and feel like I'm being compensated properly for the time that I spend "working".

I LOVE the technical aspect of my healthcare profession. The patient testing. Process improvement. Buying new equipment. Validating a new test method that will save my staff time and frustration. It's awesome. I don't like the managerial aspect of it. Personal issues. Disciplining staff. Terminating staff who don't correct their mistakes. It can be really stressful at times. Late nights. Coming in early to catch up with night shift staff. Staying late to be prepared for an early morning meeting. The thought often passed through my mind..."I don't get paid enough for this." I know I am not the only one who has had these thoughts.

What is enough though? Like, if they suggested they'd double your salary, would you still feel like you didn't get paid enough? Maybe I would take double to deal with the same stress. Maybe. But eventually, the feeling would come back. "I don't get paid enough for this crap."

What's your number? How much money will it take for you to deal with the "crap" of your job on a daily basis where you would feel like you get paid enough to deal with it? Everyone has a number. I'm curious. Being around entrepreneurs in all fields, not just direct sales, I've become more comfortable in naming my number with confidence. I am fine with walking away from the table if the numbers and conditions aren't satisfactory to me. Why? Because I know my number. I know what I bring to the table and the value I add. Truth is, the people I end up negotiating with know it too.

Remember, know your worth. When negotiating a salary, a recording contract, or a distribution deal, you have to know your worth and stand behind it. Otherwise, the person whom you're negotiating with is going to try to  low ball you. Nothing personal, it's just in their best interest to get the most value for the least amount of money.

Although I wholeheartedly believe in the power of direct sales and the benefits of a home based business, but I love my career. Direct sales has given me the confidence to venture out in to some other things while I build my team. It also gave me the confidence to negotiate terms with my employer that give me the flexibility to grow my own businesses and also continue to grow in my career. Those negotiations took over 3 months but I knew my number and I knew what I had to offer so I could advocate for myself.

If you don't know your number, figure it out. If you don't love your situation at work or in life, fight for change. You add value. It's highly likely that the people you are working with know that and will give you everything you want. That's how you live the "Fancy Life".

Monday, August 31, 2015

Are you misunderstood?

One of life's greatest challenges can be being misunderstood. Look at how Kanye West acts out. He is not crazy, he acts out because he is frustrated. He is frustrated because he is misunderstood. Kanye just wants to create without limitations and bless the world with his genius. Having people question his intentions and ultimately stifle his blessing us is frustrating to him, so he acts out and is labeled as crazy or a misfit, when he is simply misunderstood.

Most geniuses are considered crazy, just because they think differently than the masses. Just because someone doesn't understand what you're doing doesn't mean that what you're doing is not valuable. They just don't understand it....yet. Sometimes they will never understand and that's OK too. What I love about Kanye is that he knows that people think he's crazy and does not care. He knows that he is going to be misunderstood before he opens his mouth and he says what he wants to say anyway....and MEANS IT!!!

The same goes for me. In conversation, I process things pretty quickly, and start thinking faster than my mouth can communicate. So, my responses can sound...well....crazy. It can be frustrating when someone doesn't read your mind and think and process the way you do. LOL! I feel misunderstood.

I have learned that my perspective and my point of view are just that, mine. There are sooooo many interesting point of views out there. I have realized that everyone doesn't want what I want or see what I see and it's AWESOME! I have learned to ask more questions and do less talking, so that I'm not misunderstood as often.....like Kanye. My mind still processes quickly but by listening more, I have time to come up with coherent sentences that don't make me sound like a total nut job.

Everyone does not have to understand you. Genius ideas are considered borderline crazy at first. Don't be afraid to be different and to think like an individual. If you don't care about being misunderstood, get your "Yeezy" on, speak your mind as soon as the thoughts hit you, no matter how esoteric they may sound. I have learned that I come off as less of a crazy person when I listen more than I talk. The people who "get" me know my heart is genuine and anything I say comes from a good place even if it comes out sounding ridiculous.

Life would be boring if we were all the same. Even as a genius, life is better when you're able to communicate with people who think differently than you. Thinking like a artistic genus is only fun when people are interested in the art you share. I love Kanye for not caring but I don't want to offend people when I talk. So I ask questions and listen. My point of view isn't the end.

If you find that you are misunderstood more often than not and you want to fix it. I would LOVE to help you work toward that. Give us a call (410)929-0302 or fill out the form to join our email list for weekly pointers on succeeding.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Busy vs. Productive

In this day in age, everyone is soooooo busy. Busy building a brand. Busy changing lives. Busy on
social media. Busy walking in circles. Busy protesting. Busy rallying. Busy doing nothing. LOL! Yes, sometimes I say I'm busy because I don't want to do anything. A consistently full schedule can be exhausting. Sometimes you do need to schedule in "nothing" also known as down time.

Being a business woman and a hospital laboratory manager, I find it more valuable to be productive than "busy". We only have 24 in a day, so when I work on my business, my "Money Making Time" needs to be spent doing just that, doing activities that will make me money. Or get my mind right so that I can make money. If I find that that is a way to automate a task. I automate. If there is a task that doesn't require my direct input, I delegate. There is a list of things that I have to do every single day and then there are special items on my "to-do" list that I like to take inventory at the end of each day to make sure I got those things done. Boom. Productivity.

As a lab manager, productivity looks a little bit differently. I can pull data to see the "productivity" of my staff. Who did how much of what and how long it took them. Sometimes, I measure my own productivity by how messy my desk is. LOL! I am constantly looking for ways to improve processes so that my staff can use their time efficiently instead of wasting time working on, what I like to call, "foo foo ka ka stuff". It's just not efficient use of resources for me to pay a skilled professionals to perform clerical tasks, like scanning and filing papers, just to say they're "busy". When the auditors come to assess my department, there is no fat to trim. We are all "productive".

Let's get into "busy." I"ll admit it, I, too, have fallen victim to popcorn brain and shiney object syndrome. I'll start doing one thing then get distracted by a text message or an indicator light on my phone. The next thing I know, I've spent an hour on the internet chasing down the real reason Mariah and Quad, from Married to Medicine, had a falling out. Yeah. I was busy. If no one actually saw what was on my phone, they'd probably think I was reading emails or a personal development book. But was I productive? No. LOL!

A goal is nothing but a wish if you don't have a plan of action. Actions without a plan just keep you busy and not productive. It's so easy to get caught up in "activities" for the sake of doing something or being seen or getting the attention of the media. Everyone is busy but are they busy making decisive, calculated moves or are they just running on a treadmill. Moving, just not toward anything. When you are participating in activities, ask yourself "What am I trying to achieve here?" "Is this a good use of my time?" "Is this helping the cause?" "Will this activity actually make a difference?" "Is this going to help me reach my goal?" Or am I just gonna be busy?

In my journey toward the fanciest life possible, I've learned a lot about myself and improved how I operate to increase productivity. Having a Fancy life is possible but if you need help with getting where you want to be, I would LOVE to help you. Fill out the contact information form so we can schedule your consultation on how to move from being busy to being productive.

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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

And Here's the Conflict.....

This whole Drake vs. Meek Mill conflict brings up a lot of items for discussion. But lets focus in on the claims that started the whole thing. Meek Mill was upset about something and then started spilling all the dirt....that's not really dirt. Drake has a ghost writer. So what. No seriously. Who cares that Drake has a ghostwriter. Everyone does. You need help to stay on top of day to day business AND continue to put out music as regularly as Drake does.

What Meek fails to realize is that Drake is the talent. Drake is very good at what he does and he is also very versatile. People want him to perform their work. I mean would you rather hear Beyonce perform 1+1 or The Dream? No disrespect to The Dream but it's just that sometimes the talent gets the shine because......they are the talent. LOL! It's that simple. If you look on the writing credits for some of pop culture's biggest icons, they all have multiple people listed on each song. All of them.

Who cares if Drake doesn't write everything. People are still going to buy Drake's music, no matter who wrote it. No artist writes every single thing they perform or record. We know Drake has written and can write. Clearly. If Drake has a ghostwriter, let that ghost get paid. Geez.
Don't try to take food out of the ghost's mouth, Meek.

We thought Meek and Drake were cool. Putting secret society knowledge on blast says more about Meek than the "tea" says about Drake. My mama always taught me to keep my private business private. Everyone doesn't have to know your business and they shouldn't. The best way to resolve issues with a person is directly with that person. Most misunderstandingss are just that, misunderstandings that manifested because of a lack of communication. Use your words, Meek. Use your words.

What lessons can we learn from this situation? Everyone that you associate with ain't your friend. Period. Keep your secrets close to your chest. Let people prove their loyalty before you reveal potentially damaging information to them. Pay close attention to how someone responds to other people when they don't get their way. If they are talking smack about someone else around you, telling everyone else's business, it's only a matter of time before they're telling yours. When someone tries to put you on blast, don't retaliate, just state the obvious. In the end, petty and witty will always beat angry and argumentative. Not that it's always about winning but....it's always about winning. LOL!

I don't have an opinion on how it could have been handled better because, quite frankly, I have been entertained by all of the shenanigans. That's what it was supposed to do, right? Entertain us. For me, I prefer to address conflict directly. Even when I'm in the wrong. I address, try to resolve, and move on. I'm not one to hold grudges but I WILL cut someone off after forgiving them. Like "I forgive you but you're not gonna give me your behind to kiss on MULTIPLE occasions. Nope."

Enjoy your Fancy Life....as drama free as possible.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Big Hair Problems

Big Hair is all fun and games until.....

1. You close your hair in your car door.
When my hair was long and straight, I thought getting my hair caught under my purse or bookbag straps was a nuisance. Nope. Closing my car door and turning to look for my phone in my purse, only to get yanked back cuz my hair is still outside. SMH

Yes. This is an actual bug that I
found in my hair. :-(
2. Wash day
I've got a pretty simple and effective routine but....you still have to mentally prepare. No one ever feels like tackling that alladat hair. Even the shampoo girl at the salon rolls her eyes when I walk in the door. Sorry. Not sorry.

3. Finding bugs in your hair.
You finally get yo mind right to comb your hair only to feel something crunchy in the back of your head. You think "No. My fairy knots are towards my ends. Is that popcorn? We haven't had popcorn. No. Wait! It's a bug!" Aaaahhhhh!!!
Big hair is no different than "grass" to bugs. You have been warned.

4. You can't be cute at the pool.
Pool day swag. I don't care. I don't care. I don't care.
I mean you can be cute. But be prepared for the "post swimming" detangling struggle, which is way worse than the regular "wash day" detangling struggle. I'd rather not. So, I detangle and plait before hitting the pool. I look ugly but my post swimming life is way more convenient.

5. You gotta master the duck and move Matrix type back bend.
For whatever reason, people are fascinated with big hair. They want to touch it. They wanna feel if it's soft. They wanna feel if it's a weave. But no. Get yo nassey hands away from my hair. This is not a petting zoo. I do not want to hurt you by doing the karate chop hand block, so I duck and move like the Matrix to avoid the scalp assault.

On a serious note, I love my hair. The good. The bad. The ugly. We work well together. LOL! At Fancy Free Natural Consults, I specialize in helping women get through their big hair struggles and embrace it, the way I have. Check out our Fancy Free Shea Pomade for Hair & Skin at www.fancyfreehair.com.

We care about your big hair. You should too. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Who's Going to Save the Hero?

I am a music head. I LOVE good music. Music gets me through my day. Music gets me through tough times. I can have a whole conversation just by citing different lyrics. I'm not the biggest fan of ballads. I prefer booty popping and trapping music. However, I am a musician deep down inside, so every now and then a slow song will catch my attention. Not often but it does happen. So, the first time I heard "Save The Hero" by Beyonce, it instantly caught my attention. Mainly because I am drawn to music that is in a minor key but then I started to listen to the lyrics and I teared up a lil bit. I may have shed one thug tear, but that's it. Cuz I'm a G and G's don't cry.

What are the lyrics to that song? Let's have a look:

I lay alone awake at night
Sorrow fills my eyesBut I'm not strong enough to cryDespite of my disguiseI'm left with no shoulderBut everybody wants to lean on me.I guess I'm their soldier.Well, who's gonna be mine
[Chorus:]Who's there to save the heroWhen she's left all aloneAnd she's crying out for help.Who's there to save the heroWho's there to save the girl...After she saves the worldAfter she saves the world.
I bottle all my hurt inside,I guess I'm living in lie.Inside my mind each day I dieWhat can bring me back to life?A simple word, a gestureSomeone to say you're beautifulCome find this buried treasureRainbows lead to a pot of gold
I've given too much of myselfAnd now it's driving me crazy(I'm crying out for help)Sometimes I wish someone wouldJust come here and save me...Save me from myself

WOW! That is deep. It really hit home because I my maternal grandmother died of a heart attack while being the care taker for my great grand parents. Not her parents. Her husband's parents. I watched my mother do for everyone else and then have to short change herself because she gave so much. Most women find themselves in this position. We are givers and nurtures. It's in our genetics. We are more than willing to put our own hopes, dreams and desires on the back burner so that we can support our children, husband, family, friends, community and anyone in need. 

I found myself beginning to walk in the same footsteps of my mother and grandmother. Sacrificing to see smiles on everyone else's face until one day it hit me that I was not smiling. I was not doing the things I wanted to do so that I could make sure everyone else had what they wanted and needed. Although I did those things with love, I recognized the sacrifice that no one else could see because I always made it look so easy. *adjusts crown* So when I didn't feel like it was appreciated I would go OFF!!! Like cussing people out and cutting them off. A protection mechanism of sorts. Yes. Very extreme but it seemed healthy to me......until I talked to my therapist about it. LOL!

Guess who saved the hero after she saves the world. A therapist. I learned that my "crown syndrome" made me feel obligated to go out of my way for people that I care about even at times when those same sentiments weren't being reciprocated or even really appreciated. Therapy made me realize that it is perfectly fine for me to "worry about myself" and that I could not help anyone if I wasn't happy with my own life.

There is a reason that you have to put the oxygen mask on yourself first, in the event of emergency. How can you save anyone if you can't breathe? You can't. Save yourself. You are responsible for yourself, hero. Get in therapy. Therapy is like the best thing ever. They are legally obligated to keep aaaaallllll your secrets. LOL! Learn your limits. Don't feel guilty about saying "no". "No" is a complete sentence.

Yes. Life comes at you fast. Sometimes things can get overwhelming even when you are taking care of yourself. Crying in itself is a sort of therapy. Let it out, in private, wipe your tears, then get back to business. You can't save yourself or the world if you spend too much time crying about it. LOL!

I say all of this to say, Fancy is trying to save you from yourself. You can be the hero. We need more heroes and heroins in this world. Just make sure you aren't saving everyone and losing yourself. Save yourself. Save the world. Cry when you get overwhelmed. Fix your crown. Fasten your cape. And get back to saving.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Open Minds Learn More

One of the things that I've learned in life is that everyone can teach you something. EVERYONE. I pride myself on adding value to all of my relationships. However, always being a giver can be draining. The blessing in being a giver and a helper is that you attract other givers and helpers. I am surrounded by awesome people who are always willing to lend a helping hand offer knowledge.
In the past 3 months, I have learned a LOT about people around me as well as learned a lot from them. 

Most importantly I learned two very pertinent things that have changed the way I look at my health and how I take care of my hair. Priorities. LOL!

Lesson #1: All smoothies are not created equal.
I have a girlfriend and business partner who battles with high blood pressure and has to watch her diet so she does not become an insulin dependent diabetic. We're having girl talk at her dining room table and she's telling the story about how her doctor tried to come for the nutritional supplement we are marketing. The doctor compares the ingredients to one of the products they are marketing in the doctor's office and sees that what we have is better. My girlfriend had been putting the product, a protein shake, in her breakfast smoothie. And just like me, the breakfast smoothie had been consisting of mostly fruit and maybe some kale or spinach. We all know fruit has natural sugars but what we didn't consider is that making a fruit smoothie may overload you with sugar. Even though fruit sugar is not bad for you. Too much of anything is not good. The doctor explained that the breakfast smoothies should have more vegetables than fruit to avoid sugar overload. 
Imagine that. All these years, I've been doing the breakfast smoothie and was going it wrong. Now I know. LOL!

Lesson #2: Beauty secrets in unexpected places
With my natural hair consults business, I also make a product. Whipped shea butter with some added oils to help with the most common problem in our natural hair community, keeping hair moisturized. I was at my cousin's birthday dinner, talking with her friends about hair and different products and techniques. My mother just so happened to have some of my product samples in her purse. Gotta love mothers. Then, my cousin's friend tells me one of the best products to seal moisture in skin and hair. This product helps protect from heat when heat styling. Something else you can get from the grocery store. The product is......Crisco. Yes, the Crisco shortening that our grandmothers use for cooking. Go ahead and Google it. People have been using Crisco for YEARS in their beauty regimen. Just don't eat it. LOL!

I am always listening and learning. My way is tried and true for me but I know there could be a better way out there. Life teaches us everyday. All lessons aren't taught in the classroom. Education can be anywhere. Have an open mind and you will be able to learn beyond what you ever imagined.

We would love to work with you at Fancy Free, LLC. We specialize in health and wellness but the personal growth you gain from working with us is phenomenal. Contact us at (410) 929-0302 today for your complimentary consultation to see how we can help you expand.

Friday, April 24, 2015

The Fancy Life On Fleek

Lordt. Jesus. Can time slow down? Life comes at you FAST!

Two years ago, I officially started my company, Fancy Free, LLC. I initially started it to operate my rental property expenses and my direct sales business but things happened and now it's an umbrella company, I like to refer to it as a lifestyle company. That includes "managing" my husband's Turn Up-ologist gigs and selling hair product and more. It's so funny how life hits you all at once. Like, it's literally feast or famine. In the times of famine, I don't get discouraged. I work on building my online campaign, generating content online and creating an online presence for my businesses. In the season of feast, I am a crazy person. And when I say crazy person, I mean, I'm running around like a chicken with my head cut off. Always doing something. No days off. Gotta book me at least 2 weeks in advance. Show nuff crazy person. And what makes me so crazy is I LOVE every bit of it.

When I begrudgingly made Fancy Free, LLC. official, I had no idea that I'd be doing all of the things that I do as a part of my business. It goes to show that my daddy and aunties were right. Do what you love and don't worry about money. The money will come. I've discovered the underlining common theme is in all that I do that gives me fulfillment. So....how does that look in the Fancy Life?

Fancy Talk. I have a podcast that I record weekly with my god brother on his internet radio station VVCRadio.com. We talk about life stuff and give tips for improvement. Depending on the topic and who is
in my network that can speak on it, I bring guests and let them to give input. It's like having a conversation about life with your good friends, bouncing ideas off of each other, recording it and posting it on the internet for everyone else to hear how insightful and goofy your are. LOL! It does take effort and preparation though. A good thing about it is, I have been able to practice my non-regional dialect since the show began. No longer can visitors hear IMMEDIATELY that I am from Baltimore.

Direct Sales. We have two different companies. One of them, I run with my husband. The other one, I run it by myself. We have picked up momentum with both of them, so we spend some time on the evenings and weekends with my business partners helping them build their businesses. We pour into them because helping them get what they want is fulfilling in itself. Getting paid is just a small perk.

The Woods Entertainment Group. The training associated with building a direct sales business is so phenomenal. You begin to feel invincible, like you really CAN do anything you want to. My husband being a DJ/Turn Upologist is a perfect example of that. He practices, all the dayum time, and is getting very good. Now, he has a regular spot on the Friday night live stream on VVCRadio.com. His show is called The Preparation, what to listen to while you get ready to go out and party, the party before the party. LOL! The number if parties he's been requested to "Turn-Up" are becoming more frequent. I manage him and make sure all of the business is handled appropriately so he can focus on keeping the party popping. I go to most of the parties with him. Sometimes as the photographer, sometimes just as the "manager/hype woman" to get the party started. We are out with the people. Forming new relationships. Sometimes they even support our other ventures.

Natural Hair Consults. Originally, Fancy Free Hair Consults was something I started just to give a business card when someone asked more than three questions about my hair while I was out and about. It's amazing how there's so much information out there but we still prefer a personal touch and a plan catered to you and your needs. The consults have been picking up, face to face and virtual, and my clients are very pleased with the services.

Fancy Free Pomade. I started making it for my own hair because I couldn't find a product that met the
needs of my hair, was affordable, was easy to work with, and smelled nice. Then I started using it as lotion instead of my trusty Palmer's Cocoa Butter with all of those additives that don't really moisturize. Then I started making it for my friends. Then I started giving a sample of it to my hair consults clients. Then I put some samples in a swag bag for an event I helped plan and it's been moving like hotcakes ever since. I mean, I was gonna make it anyway, now I just make more and let the whole world enjoy it.

Real Estate. I have always invested in real estate but as an owner and landlord. I never ventured into investing and flipping because...well...I didn't think I had enough money to do that and I didn't know how to get started. So, when a really good friend of mine, who is VERY successful in real estate investing, offered a hands on mentor program, I was all in. It's been an amazing experience and I've started looking at real estate with a whole new set of eyes. The potential is limitless.

And don't forget, Fancy friends are being great, so I am often supporting one of their events and Fancy LOVES her a good vacation. So factor in a couple girls weekends or surprise getaways. BOOM! Calendar packed.

Surprisingly, I don't feel overwhelmed with everything I have going on. It may sound silly but I feel like my purpose is to expose as many people as possible to the Fancy Life and show them how they can have it, then help them along the way. When you're living in your purpose, you never feel like it's too much. Everything fits. I love to see people flourish. I am a helper. Is it your money? Is it your hair or skin? Do you need some pictures of your event? Do you need your party to be turned up? Is it just getting the courage to get started at whatever you're passionate about? Fancy to the rescue.

What do you want to do but just haven't gotten started yet? Contact Fancy Free, LLC. by phone or text, (410) 929-0302, or email fancyfreellc@gmail.com.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Sooooo....my husband is a Certified Turn-Upologist

When did you first fall in love with hip hop? Hahahahaha!!! Naw. That's not how we met. But close enough. As corny as it may sound, my husband and I were band geeks. Our friendship/crushing began on the drum line of Poly/Western's combined marching band back in the late 90's. Being in the marching band was so much fun in high school. No hanky panky back then, just friends. All the way through college we were just friends. We always shared the love for music. Well, for us, it is a love for 808's and dope beats.

Fast forward 15 years after high school, we debate what song is the hottest. We sit in my car after I got my sub woofer installed to listen to the latest trap music at ignorant volumes. No dining room table in our first house, that was replaced with a drum set. We panic when the surround sound at the house isn't working because we can't listen to our "housework" music. We travel long distances to go to concerts. Our current home even has a music room with assorted instruments, were we have private rock out sessions. To those who know us, we are fans of good music. Music of all genres. Not that being a DJ is a natural progression but it's not a surprise. 

After finishing school and residency, we were able to go out a little bit more. We even started having more parties at our house. He keeps an ongoing list of "party songs" or "bangaz", that's what he calls them, in his phone. That guy always ends up in the DJ booth, giving suggestions for what to play next. When he was asked to be the Hype Man for a Raven's play off party, he did such a good job, he was invited back for the Raven's Super Bowl party. That was confirmation for him. So, when his father gave him an iPod Touch, that was all she wrote.

I really don't pay much attention to what he's doing on the internet. But, I quickly realized what he had been spending his evenings searching for on our 7th anniversary. I wanted to buy him a new coat and was disappointed when it sold out. His response to my explaining that I couldn't get him the gift I wanted to buy him was, "Eff dat coat. I already know what I want." and proceeded to log on to MY eBay account, found his mixer and purchased it, using MY PayPal information.

The mixer arrived the next day and he's been practicing his mixing skills almost every evening, faithfully. Practice makes perfect and he is getting really good. He knows what to play and when to play it. His blends are on point, so we decided to share it with the people. His official debut as a DJ/Turn-Upologist was on a cold Friday in February at our house. We had a ball. My doctor DJ rocks! Shout out to Devan for capturing the fun while Fancy Fotos was on hostess duty.

Being a supportive wife can be overwhelming sometimes. I'm glad I just kept my mouth shut and only offered words of encouragement. My husband is stepping out of his comfort zone and trying something different. Yes, he is a doctor but he needs to feed the music lover in him. I couldn't think of a more productive way for him to do that, mainly because I'm a hustler and this is a hobby we can monetize. Tee hee.

Everything you want in life is right outside of your comfort zone. That's what living the Fancy life is all about. We can support you on your Fancy journey. We have the tools you need for personal growth that give you the confidence to do what you REALLY want to do, live Fancy. 

Check DJ P.O.P. out, live on vvcradio.com on Sunday, March 1, 2015 from 2a-4a.

Text WOODS to 55469 if you want our help on                                                                                           your journey to Fancy living.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Different Strokes For Different Folks

A lot of people refer to me as "Fancy"...hence the name of the blog. However, I don't think of myself as the definition of "fancy". I just like what I like and I'm unapologetic about it. Why should I apologize for enjoying the spoils of my labor? No one should. Shoot, Beyonce didn't apologize for taking a year off to enjoy her life. Hmph!

I am not a person who brags, when I talk about something, it's because I am genuinely excited about it. When people are excited about what they have going on in their lives, I get excited too. I do partake in some luxuries and I invite people in my life to enjoy them with me. I am appreciative of my blessings. I try to point out blessings in people's lives when they feel down. I know that at a moment's notice everything can be taken away. Appreciating what you have leads to increase. Of course, there are things I am striving toward but I am also secure in knowing that what is for me is for me. I don't wish I had what someone else has and I hope that people do not look at my life wishing that they had what I have. Please believe, my life ain't been no crystal stair. I'm just smiling through it all and crying in private. There are also things and activities that I prefer to not partake in. That is not to say that I am above or better than, it's just not my preference. Sorry. Not sorry.

I am simply enjoying life. I don't do it for the Vine or Instagram Grammy awards. I live my life for my own pleasure. Some of it is entertaining, so I post it for a few to be entertained as well. Some times I feel like things in my life can add value to someone else's life, so I share. There is never any judgement, on my part, of people who have different preferences than I do. No matter how you slice the pie, there is always gonna be someone who just prefers broccoli. And that's ok. Imagine how boring the world would be if we were all
doing the exact same things.

I want everyone to win. Of course, I want you to win with me and be on my team but everything ain't for everybody. Believe me. I'm cool with that. I still what to celebrate your success with you. When people choose not to partake in what I have to offer, I am still supportive of what they are pursuing. If I see where there is room for improvement, I do my best to try to help them improve or at least point them in the right direction. If they choose not to take my advice, that's fine too. I ain't always right and I know that I don't know all sides of the story because I'm looking at it from the outside.

No harm. No foul. What's for me is for me. What's for you is for you. There is enough out here for all of us to be successful with whatever we decide to do. I am always willing to lend a helping hand when I can and support other people's efforts.

Working with us at Fancy Free, LLC. will help provide a vehicle for you to live life how you want, as well as tools to help others do the same. Text WOODS to 55469 or visit www.fancyfreellc.com.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Fancy's Hair Horror Story

Yes. Me and my perfect hair have horror stories. LOL! I'm being dramatic but I was kind of traumatized. Let's start from the beginning.

Bantu Knots
I did not do the big chop. I transitioned. Like straight transition with no weave or anything. My philosophy is that you should enjoy your hair at each phase of growth and naturalness. When I first cut the last inch of my relaxed hair off, I mostly wore my hair as a wash and go. My Go-To product at the time was Kinky Curly. As my hair grew, the twist out became my style of choice. Stay with me, I'm going somewhere with this.

Bantu Knot Out
Like I said before, I don't do much to my hair but I take care of it and make sure it's healthy. Healthy hair grows.....like weeds. So, now I'm experimenting with different styles for my even longer hair. Well, I have to because a wet twist out, that used to last for about 2-3 weeks, now only lasts for about 1 week. I can push it to 2 weeks but it gets dry really fast and dry hair leads to breakage. And Fancy hair is healthy hair. Lately, I have been blow drying it and styling it in an up do. Here is where the Horror Story begins.....

Sticky Flexi Rod Set
I decided I wanted to try flexirods on my natural hair. Only problem is, I gave my flexirods to my mother and then my sisters lost them. So, here I am all ready to rock and roll with the rods. I had watched the videos, figured out what kind of product I needed. I was ready. Since I didn't have my rods, I decided I would do a bantu knot out. The YouTube girl used flax seed gel and I ain't feel like making that so I looked in my product stock to see what I already had that I could use. Low and behold, I had some Shea Moisture Gel Curling Souffle from when I was experimenting with replacements for Kinky Curly. I was sold when I saw it had flax seed oil in it. Flax seed gel, gel with flax seed oil in it....same thing to me. I whip it out and get to bantu knotting.

Stick Nasty Flexi Rod Set
After 2 days in
Tampa Humidity
The bantu knots are perfect. And I let them out and they LOOKED perfect. However, they felt damp and sticky even though I didn't use that much product. *sigh* We all know that damp and sticky natural hair will never end well. You have 2 choices, push through and deal with it or shampoo it out. I decided to push through. My knot out fell and started to swell as soon as it got a little
warm in the party we went to. I tried to  one more time before I gave in and just bought some flexirods. I didn't add anymore product, just sprayed with a little water. Flexirods looked great. My hair still felt a little sticky but not as sticky as the first day.

Then......we went to Tampa, FL. It was all down hill from there.

After my emergency shampoo
and blow dry.
It was so humid. I could feel my hair swelling as soon as we got off the plane. We had to stand outside to wait for the rental car shuttle. It got bigger. So big that my husband looked
at me and asked if I packed my hair stuff with me. Got to the hotel room. It was just as humid in the hotel room as it was outside. So I whipped out my flexirods, spray bottle, and another archived hair product, Design Essential Defining Creme Gel. I kept my rods in my hair for the car ride to the convention center. It was so humid in the hotel room and outside that my hair was STILL WET when I took my rods out. I got compliments on my hair but I was not happy when I thought about how my hair looked before we arrived in Tampa. So that night, I did the same thing. Rods, spray bottle, product. But this time, I was getting this nasty dirt gunk on my hands while I was rolling it. I was so disgusted. I started plotting how I was gonna shampoo my hair with no hair products or tools.

Finally got it right!
Flexi rods with Shea Moisture
Curl & Style Milk
The next day, I didn't have any form to my style. It was a full on bush. I loves me a bush but it was a sticky, dirty bush. No go. So, I got on google and found me a natural hair stylist. Confirmed my walk-in appointment and go that guck outta my hair. She did a great job with my shampoo and blow dry. Was even open to my instructions when it came
time to style it. Thanks Ms. Nancy!

Moral to the story: Even Fancy has bad hair days. Natural hair is trial and error. Don't be scared. You're not gonna die because you had crazy looking hair. Having a bad hair day, or two, is not the end of the world. Make light of it, wash it, and try again.

Don't be afraid to do something different with your Fancy hair. That's what the Fancy Life is all about, taking chances.

Text WOODS to 55469 to schedule your consultation with Fancy Free Hair

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

What Are You Worried About?

We all love a good Louis Vuitton but a missing head light
is a safety hazard. Should we be worried about that instead?
The African-American community is always being criticized for something. Usually it's for worrying about the wrong things. You know standing in line for Black Friday but not showing up for Parent-Teacher conference night. Up early to get the latest release of Jordan's but not showing up to vote. Mother's criticized for making sure their weave is tight but there's no food in the refrigerator for their kids to eat breakfast before they go to school. There is nothing wrong with want to look nice and to have nice things but when there's no balance and that's your only concern, we need to assess why we are worried about the wrong things.

I'm not sure if there is a simple solution. As I struggle in helping my younger sisters grow into adulthood, I find myself saying the same things to them over and over. "You are not supposed to have what I have right now. I have paid my dues and have worked hard. You are still working. It will happen, just not now." Social media and reality TV have a lot to do with it. We live in a microwave society. Everyone wants instant gratification for minimal efforts. While healthy competition is nice, there is a problem when you go to great lengths just to "out do" someone. I'm "fancy" because that's just me, I don't live my life trying do something bigger than the next person.

Youngsters want the "Fancy Life" but don't want to go through the years of training and hard work to get it. Worrying about what their lifestyle looks like instead of creating a stable foundation to sustain it. Fast money. Fast cars. Lavish lifestyle. Then it all comes crashing down and we're left in a constant state of struggle. It all starts with exposure. Our kids are being exposed to a lifestyle without being exposed to the hard work, sacrifice, discipline and tenacity it takes to get to live that lifestyle. A phrase I like to use is "shooting in the gym". Ask any successful athlete how much time they spend training during the season and off season and they'll tell you "all day". Like, literally 8-10 hours TRAINING!!! The same goes for any career. You gotta put in that WORK to get ahead at whatever you do.

Sean "P. Diddy" or "Puff Daddy" Combs worked for FREE as an intern before he got his shot. That is work without pay. Modern day slavery. LOL! I kid. But he was getting paid in knowledge. Some people are so concerned with being seen in a certain light that they forget that money comes and goes, just like things, but knowledge is the gift that keeps on giving. Did you know that Kim Kardashian was an assistant to many
celebrities before she became one herself? Let that sink in. Kim Kardashian, the lady with the multi-million dollar empire, was an assistant, running errands and picking out clothes BEFORE she became a household name. It does not happen overnight. But if you push through the times that seem like struggle, you will make it and know what it takes to keep it.

Are you worrying about the wrong things? How you're going to pay your credit card bills that are maxed out from purchasing things? Are you focused on being great at all costs? When you are great, no matter what your specialty is, money will come and you will always be able to buy the things you really want to buy. The Fancy Life is the fruit of our labor, we ain't doing this for the "Gram".

Until next time, continue focusing on being great in your Fancy life.

Are you on the verge of breakthrough? Let us help you map out your plan and "do the work" to help you make your life even more "Fancy" than it already is. Text WOODS to 55469.