It’s been pretty quiet on this blog for a few months! I just came back to tell you that… surprise! I have a brand new blog! IndiaHillWrites.com.

Photo-Apr-14-12-24-15-PM

via

I’ve been working on the concept for a while now, which is why in some of the previous posts I said I was looking to switch to more lifestyle and writing related posts. If you’ve noticed, I’ve also been saying I’ve been working on some writing projects that have been taking up all my time and I couldn’t really devote a lot of time to blogging. Now I can say that this year, I’ve finished TWO manuscripts for books! I’m editing and polishing both as well as I can to get them ready to query for publication. I’m documenting this entire journey on my new blog, and I’d love for you to follow me on it!

Sometime last year, I got more in tune with my two first loves: reading and writing. Really reading, and really writing, not just blogging and casually reading. From there, I started a book review channel, YouTube.com/BooksandBighair, that now has over 2,000 subscribers. I decided that I wanted to dive back in to my childhood dream of becoming an author, so I wrote my first manuscript in January of this year, and participated in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, I wrote all about it here) and wrote the second manuscript in November.

I knew that eventually I’d have to change the name of this blog from The Redd Blogger to something else, probably my real name, especially since I am trying to become an author. I thought about changing the entire domain name and everything but figured it would just be easier to start up an entire new blog, especially since the focus is going to be different. Where this blog is more focused on my daily life and natural hair, IndiaHillWrites will still focus on those things, but with a heavy focus on books and writing. I don’t know how my old followers would feel about that, so I decided, along with the amazing design skills of Whitney Blake,ย to make a new one!

I didn’t want to get rid of this blog because there are so many memories on here, and I still REALLY love the design (done by Ashley from TheBlogSalon, she’s amazing as well!), so I’m keeping it up, and may even update it from time to time, but know that I will be posting more frequently on my new website. I’m trying to post every Wednesday, and if you’re a reader of TheReddBlogger, I’d love to see you there! You could follow me on Bloglovin’, if you’d like!

Thank you so much for following me on this journey on this blog. This was the place where I announced I was quitting my job to freelance full-time, the place I started the Twenty-Something series, participated in the city’s first Natural Hair pageant, and so, so much more! Here’s to more excitement, more good news, and more adventures.

 

Xoxoxoxoxo,

signature

 

 

If you’ve been following my blog for more than a year, than you might remember that I ย was in the very first Miss Naturally Crowned Carolina Pageant. I was so nervous about it and I almost talked myself out of doing it a few times because I was so intimidated and it was out of my comfort zone. I don’t consider myself to be extroverted or the ‘pageant’ girl, but I decided to do the pageant anyway to try something new. Through it all, I conquered a fear of mine, made lifelong bonds with the girls and the helpers and received the title of 2nd runner up! It was an amazing experience and I couldn’t have asked for a better group of girls to do it with.

Fast Forward to this year’s pageant. I was so excited to see the girls, how much the pageant has grown and to experience the pageant from the other side. I went with my best friend and we got to say a few encouraging words to the girls before the show started. I sat with the other contestants who did the pageant with me last year as we all watched the girls do their thing on stage!

1926223_843892309019542_5413335747400917091_o

Pageants are nerve-wrecking. Every time a girl walked up the mic I hoped that she wouldn’t trip over her dress or stumble over a question. Luckily, neither happened and everyone did wonderfully. This year, the pageant had a different twist as each contestant had to pitch a business proposal and open up the floor for questions by the judges. Talk about intimidating!

11103045_843909719017801_5243634044885658327_o

The evening gown portion was beautiful and really helped me see the girls personality and overall feel they were going for for the pageant. With Miss Naturally Crowned Carolina, your hairstyle during the evening wear counts A LOT towards your score.

10011821_843999689008804_5191625363784658770_o

I couldn’t help but get emotional as Chanelle did her final walk. There couldn’t have been a more perfect person to be the first EVER Miss Naturally Crowned Carolina, and I sincerely mean that! Chanelle is gorgeous, confident, humble and really put a lot into her reign this past year.

11121747_844000869008686_2668208890236466214_n

Although it was anybody’s game, I had a goodfeeling about who the girls who would place, I just didn’t know which order they would and who would actually win!

11130096_844398148968958_6242558833555320138_n

Congratulations to the NEW Miss Naturally Crowned Carolina Tra’Shon Howard, 1st runner up Alexis Gilmore, and 2nd runner up Brittany Jackson, you all did amazingly!

Miss Naturally Crowned Carolina 2014 and 2015 contestants!

Miss Naturally Crowned Carolina 2014 and 2015 contestants!

I never would have thought going natural in 2012 would open up so many opportunities and friendships, but I’m so glad it did.

signature

 

(All photos are courtesy of Raw Demand Productions, photographed by Maurice Johnson!)

posenpost8

This past Sunday, I had the pleasure of going to #PoseNPost Symposium, an intimate event hosted by singer Chrisette Michele and a few beauty bloggers and entrepreneurs, such as Brosia Malbrough, Lover4_Fashion, and Courtney Adeleye of The Mane Choice. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to attend this event at first because of the price point, but luckily I was contacted about covering the event for the blog, and I couldn’t say no!

posenpost1

 

First of all, let me say that the overall ambience of this event was excellent. It was a chill vibe filled with young women ready to learn about using social media to build their brand, network with their peers and just meet some new friends. I’ve been to more than a few networking events where the air felt forced or competitive, but at this one I could honestly say that I held a genuine conversation with everyone that I talked to. Every person I smiled at smiled back (this doesn’t always happen) and everyone went out of their way to be friendly, exchange business cards, or just compliment one another!

posenpost5

posenpost4

Chrisette started the event by singing a few songs (her voice is excellent by the way) and had everyone play an icebreaker where we met up with someone we didn’t know, took an “US-ie” and posted it on instagram after creating our very own hashtag.

posenpost10


posenpost16

Chrisette then opened up the floor for questions, and everyone had the chance to have their questions answered about everything from building your personal brand, to finding your personal asthetic for your social media handles (my question!), to figuring out when to make the leap into full-time enterpreneurship. It was great to hear all of the ladies horror stories and accomplishments, to know that they went through struggles to get to wear they are today.

posenpost7

posenpost9

At the end of the event, we could all take a picture with Chrisette Michele, and my boyfriend caught this candid moment of me being goofy (of course) as Chrisette complimented me on my pants. Rob took all of the photos by the way.. I told him he might have a hidden talent on his hands : )

posenpost6

It was blessing to have the media pass, because I am SO glad that I got to attend this event. I will definitely attend in the future, whether or not I have one. If she’s on her way to your city, I suggest that you grab a ticket fast!!

signature

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

 

I definitely need to get back on some type of blogging routine around here again! AT LEAST once a week. Sheesh, I only blogged once last month! I can’t do that in March ๐Ÿ˜€

What’s New: I got a new job! So if you include Freelance Writing and my part-time, that’s THREE jobs. Definitely going to have to have a Work/Life balance plan. We don’t want to be burned out like we were in 2014. I’m excited about this new job, though. I will be doing the social media and marketing for a certain restaurant that shares the same values as I do and it’s the same one that invented the Chicken Sandwich ๐Ÿ˜‰ I haven’t worked in a restaurant since high school, so this is a little out of my comfort zone. But, I will be more on the PR side, so we’ll see how this goes!

Also, I’m looking to do a rebranding of this site very soon. As much as I love TheReddBlogger brand or the REDD brand in general, I think I want a website that reflects every part of me and my writing. Maybe it will be just my name instead of a whole new idenitity. I also want this blog to be more lifestyle (I think it’s been that way for ย a while, anyway). I already know exactly who I want to rebrand my blog, I just need to get a clearer idea of what I want before I contact her!

In terms of writing, blogging has been taking a serious back seat to this huge writing project that I’ve been working on for months. I don’t want to say too much yet, but I will keep you guys posted. It’s definitely a tough project but I think it will be well worth it. I’m so excited!!!

What’s been up with you guys? I know some of my northern readers have been battling the super cold, while I was hoping to see some snow before Spring. Tell me in the comments!

Oh, and the winner of the Liberte Yogurt contest isย Annette Prejean! Congratulations! I’ve already sent her an email and she has 48 hours to respond before I pick another one! ๐Ÿ™‚

signature

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

My birthday was Saturday and I turned 23 years old! My best friend asked me to sum up being 22 in one phrase, and I would have to say that it was a year of trial and error. I put my hand in so many different things (which was overwhelming sometimes!) Some of these things worked out, and some didn’t. Some things I ended up loving and some I hated! ย I actually started this blog a few weeks after my 22nd birthday, my first post being about how much I disliked the club and didn’t want to go for my birthday (this still stands! Talking about this more a little later in this post.)

22 was my first year as a college graduate, and that can be a bit challenging. You’re expected to go to college and immediately start working a 9-5 job of some sort. I’ve expressed on this blog that I don’t think I’m a 9-5 type of person, but that doesn’t meant that a 9-5 wouldn’t be perfect for someone else. On my freelance writing journey, I’ve had an epiphany of what I REALLY ย want to do career wise. It was a “DUH, India!” moment for me, but I don’t think it’s something that my friends and readers would expect. (I promise, I’ll talk more about this later!) What I will say now is, a lot of the career visions I’ve had and career goals I’ve made this year were more about reaching ‘success’ than about doing what I actually love. And that’s something I want to change this year as a 23-year old ๐Ÿ™‚

My birthday was great!! It was definitely low-key, and I had slight anxiety about what I should do for my birthday. Do I need to plan a big birthday bash? Go to a party? A bar? A vacation? I was getting more stressed out about having a cool answer to the question of “What did I do for my birthday” than actually doing what I wanted for my birthday. So I immediately got THAT mindset out of the way and did exactly what I wanted to do. Eat, shop, and hang out my boyfriend, family and friends ๐Ÿ™‚

I feel like my biggest goal last year was achieving success in the career field and blogging world, so much that it was driving me a bit (more) crazy. As a 23-year-old, I want to focus more on cultivating and improving friendships and relationships: with God, family, boyfriend, friends, and everyone else. I’m an introvert, but I don’t want that to stop me from making relationships LAST! I feel like everything else will fall into place.

I’m so excited to continue experiencing being a 23-year-old! ๐Ÿ™‚ For those of you who’ve had a birthday recently or have one coming up, what do you want to do differently being a year older? How would you sum up this year in one phrase? I’d love to hear this. ๐Ÿ™‚

signature

Do y’all watch Patricia Bright on YouTube? I discovered her channel a few months ago and I LOVE her fashion sense and her ACCENT! Everytime I watch one of her blogs I get wanderlust for London.

Last week, Victoria posted a video titled “20 things I’ve learned in my twenties” and it was spot on. I’m only 22, but some of the things that she mentioned I could already relate to. It’s makes me feel better that I’ve not the only one going through some of these things!

Watch the video and tell me if you can relate to any of these things! Is there something you’ve learned in your twenties that she didn’t mention?

signature

I am super excited to have Shalyn Nelson as this week’s feature! When I first ventured into lifestyle blogging, I stumbled onto to Shay’s blog and said “Yup, this is the EXACT feel I want for my blog.” Shay is optimistic, hard-working, humble and hilarious. She’s always talking about twerking when she’s in a good mood and we share a similar love for Beyonce ๐Ÿ™‚

She owns a photography business, Love, The Nelsons, with her husband Drew, whom she affectionately refers to as DDHP (Drew Drew Hot Pants) and they live together in Austin, Texas. I have a special place in my heart for photographers because it really is NO JOKE. I had the pleasure of talking to Shay about her business, advice for aspiring entrepreneurs and how she balances her work life with her marriage!

***

shay_photo2.png~original

You’re always talking about blaring Beyonce’ music! What’s your favorite Beyonce song of all time?

Gosh. This is tough! Her latest album is sooo good. I guess I’d say Flawless! #iwokeuplikedissss

You always have such a positive attitude! What do you do when you’re feeling down?

Read More »

photo photo

I am so, so, so excited for this giveaway! I’ve been wanting to do a big giveaway like this for a really long time, and after brainstorming with the beautiful #ColumbiaCreatives women, I thought what better time to do a giveaway on my birthday month (My birthday is on October 25th!) and what better theme to have than ‘Choosing Joy’?

 

 

Whether you’re working a 9-5, working as an entrepreneur, going to college or working a part-time, it’s easy to get overwhelmed or stressed. It’s important to wake up everyday and decide to be happy on purpose.. choose joy! No matter what curveballs get thrown at you, it’s important to face the day with a positive attitude! This giveaway includes more than a few things to put on your desk or hang on your wall with positive messages!

choosing joy

These beautiful items are all handcrafted by women who own small businesses (and farms!) with a positive message. I connected with these ladies at the Lara Casey Event at Stone River and it was so exciting to meet with women who were so ambitious and hard working. This blog thrives on spreading positivity throughout the internet, and every item in this gift set has a positive message or image that you can keep or give away to a friend or encouragement. Let’s meet the women behind these beauties!

Read More »

I can’t remember exactly how I found Lauren Legato’s beauty channel on YouTube, but it was about a year or two ago. I was drawn in by her super positive personality, her helpful beauty tips and her openness to talking about Jesus. Lauren recently opened up to her 50,000 subscribers about how she will not be dating anyone for a year to use that time to work on her relationship with Jesus.

I had the pleasure of talking with this beauty about her new decision, tips for starting or improving a Youtube channel, and so much more!

***
ROb_HMeC

 

Where would you like to see your youtube channel in the next year?

I’m hoping that my YouTube viewership continues to grow, of course. I love sharing what I’ve learned about hair and makeup, and also sharing my take on style and fashion. But more than anything, I’m hoping to open up a lot more in the next year. I have been through so many things that I know I could speak about to help someone else.

Are you still singing? If so, when can we expect new material? ๐Ÿ™‚

This is such a great question. YES! I am definitely still singing. All summer I’ve been recording new material. I think by the top of next year you will start to hear more originals by me, but until then there will of course be covers

What made you start your channel?

The first YouTuber I ever watched was Da1NOnlyMixedQt (Tiffany Darlyn). I just thought what she was doing was so cool and I wanted to do the same thing. I loved the idea of having your every day girl sharing tips and beauty advice. But deep down I always wanted to eventually open up and talk from experience about things all girls go through.

What tips do you have for other women who want to get started on YouTube?

Read More »

september goals2

I hope everyone is having a great first work week in September! This is my first work week as a ‘freelancer’! Wow.

I’ve never done a goals post before, but I wanted to put my goals up for everyone to see so that someone could hold me accountable, lol! Here are my goals for this month:

Lose 10 pounds. I know that’s a little overzealous, but I’m aiming high here! I want to be fit for my birthday, which is October 25th.

Do a 3-day juice cleanse.

Buy a newer, better camera.

Read More »