06 Nov 2016

#indiatakesnyc: the first month

I’ve made the journey from South Carolina to New York City about a month ago– the last time I’ve updated this blog! Ever since I’ve changed the name from IndiaHillWrites to BooksandBigHair, I’ve been meaning to give this blog a revamp and jumpstart things with series about living in New York. Of course, it was easier said than done because I’ve been super busy literally since I stepped into Manhattan. Not an exaggeration haha. But, maybe it’s is a good thing, because I’ve been here for a month and I have more of a grasp of what I want to say.

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I also want to note that since I’ve changed the name of my blog to BooksandBigHair, to match my bookstagram and BookTube Channel, I’m going to try hard to stay true to the focus of the blog [writing, reading, lifestyle– and occasionally hair :)], so I’m going to break everything down in those categories.

Okay, let’s jump right into it!

Writing: So, I haven’t done a lot of writing in NY besides the writing that I do at my job. I do a fair amount, which is great, but as far as blogging, writing articles, and working on novels, that has taken a MAJOR backseat this month which is something I was actually stressed out about at first.

Speaking of novel writing, after a few weeks of playing with the idea, I’ve decided not to do NaNoWriMo this year. I was definitely sad about it, especially since I won last year, but with adjusting to a new city, new job, and new place, it just seemed like something that was going to automatically stress me out, especially now that I know how stressful it can be. I’m actually dedicating an entire blog post on why I’m not participating this year, so look forward to that! The good news is, I’m actually expecting a major change with all three things – more blogging, freelance work, and working on my novels, so be on the lookout for that as well 🙂

Reading: This is the most reading slump-y I’ve been ALL year. I’ve been reading slump-y three times this year: Once at the beginning of the year, once after Madcap Retreats, and now, since right before I moved to new york. I’ve been trying to read Empire of Storms since the week before I left for NY, and I tried reading it for about 2 weeks when I got here before I realized my reading slump was too strong for me to finish at the moment. So I started reading Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina by Misty Copeland and that was the perfect thing for me. I absolutely ADORED that book. I don’t know if it’s because I had to make a big move to New York just like she did, or because it seemed like the perfect Cinderella story in real life (humble beginnings, rough childhood, and everything changed for the better), but I could not put that book down! Although I am not a ballerina, I’m so inspired by the advances Misty has made for the African-American community as a ballerina and period. I’ve definitely been stalking her website to figure out when I can see her perform live.


Lifestyle: New York. What can I even say about this place. It’s extremely fast-paced, not very clean, expensive, and there’s tons of walking involved. On the flip side, it’s extremely easy and cheap to get around, there’s always something to do here, and the people are un-stereotypically nice. In just this month alone, I was able to see one of my all-time favorite vocalists, JoJo, for free, have tea time in SoHo, visit a wax museum and experience a Ghostbusters Virtual Reality Experience, attend a Natural Hair Brunch, attend a rooftop happy hour or two (or three), and stumble upon a parade or an outdoor bookstore. Some moments, like when I walked upon a bookstore on the sidewalk and talked to the bookseller for 10 minutes about being Christian, I think, ‘living here isn’t so bad’. And then other times, when I’m pressed up against someone on a crowded subway or see a rat run under someones car, I crave the South.


I still crave the easygoingness and comfort of the South and I can’t wait to go back. but there’s a lot to appreciate about New York and I haven’t even uncovered the half of it. It’s nice to actually feel like going somewhere and having a ton of great options to do so. I also got to talk to Sarah Jessica Parker, so that was amazing.


Hair: I’m more of a twist-out girl, but wash-and-go’s and afro puffs have been my best friend while living here. I simply can’t devote 2.5 hours of my time to twisting my hair. I’m always exhausted and my hair is really the last thing on my mind these days.  I’m honestly looking forward to getting box braids, or getting a blowout when it gets a little colder. I’ve been doing wash-and-go’s once a week, and when that starts to not look as good, I’ve been wearing afro puffs.


I actually got a ton of new products in the mail thanks to Jane Carter Solutions that I can’t WAIT to try out. I also got a goodie bag of Bumble and Bumble Products from the TravelLoveGrow Brunch featuring natural hair bloggers Rene Daniella and HeyGorJess. This brunch was the first networking/natural hair thing I’ve done since living in New York, and I’m honestly so glad I went! The food was amazing (hello, bottomless mimosas!), the conversation was incredible, and it made me so excited to travel the world. I’m inspired by those women and their ability to do what they love for a living!


All-in-all, this month was jam-packed with so many things: good, bad, happy, stressful, busy, relaxing, fun, tiring, inspiring, etc. etc. etc. On top of everything else, this is also the month that I turned 25 (!!!), so expect another post about that! I can see why people say New York is a hard place to live, but I can also see why someone wouldn’t want to leave. I actually don’t know how I feel about the city yet! But stay tuned as I figure it out. Also, if you want me to talk about something more specifically, please feel free to leave it in the comments!


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  • Still swooning over this @galmeetsglam dress and @kendrascott jewelry 😍 @whitv is a creative directing genius!
  • I met the Planner Queen @emilyley today and she is just as sweet and warm as you’d think! I had the pleasure of participating in the @simplified planner photoshoot and planner gals: y’all are NOT ready for the new covers. I already have mine picked out lol! Today was such a fun day with so many amazing and hardworking women. 💕 #simplifiedsisterhood
  • So this is the first true bookshelf I’ve had since I’ve started Booktube like FIVE years ago!!! These aren’t all of my books, I need another shelf, and I don’t know if this shelf will stay organized like this (I’ve already arranged one), but for right now, I’m soo happy with it. Two of these rows are TBR shelves - I haven’t read the books on them yet! Do you see any faves? 💕📚 #shelfie #shelfiesunday
  • The cover of my debut novel, THE FORGOTTEN GIRL, publishing with @scholasticinc on November 5, 2019! The full interview including the inspiration behind the story and some fun facts about me are at the link in my bio! I LOVE this cover so much and how it perfectly embodies the story! The cover focuses on our ghost, Avery, who was buried in an abandoned and segregated graveyard. 👻❄️She wants to be remembered by any means necessary. Iris and Daniel try to help her but ... to what end? Thank you so much to @maevenn for such a BEAUTIFUL cover. A bonus is that blue is my favorite color! 🙌🏽💙 #TheForgottenGirl
  • I’ve uploaded my 2019 Bookish and Writing Goals and a Copyediting vlog to my channel, and a bpost all about @purebarrelkn and how it made me love working out again to my blog! The links to all of these are in my bio. I’ve turned in first pass pages for #TheForgottenGirl too! 😍 I can’t wait to show you what the cover and inside pages look like! This past week was pretty busy, so I felt this shirt from @clutchcowork was pretty fitting. Here’s to an restful Sunday to prepare for the start of the a new work week. ❤️
  • Happy New Year everyone! I took the day yesterday to set goals for the year in my #powersheets, and figure out my Word of the Year. I decided on Steadfast. Here’s why. ⬇️ Steadfast: fixed in direction; steadily directed: a steadfast gaze. firm in purpose, resolution, faith, attachment, etc., unwavering, as resolution, faith, adherence, etc.

Last year I spent a lot of time dwelling on decisions - from big ones to small ones like figuring out which book to read next. 😂 I was easily distracted by worry, stress or social media. 
This year, I’ll have tunnel vision and focus on what matters. I’ll be able to make a decision and stick to it. I’ll focus on my debut author year without the noise. I’ll be so strong in my faith that I won’t think to worry or stress. I’ll be intentional in both work and play time! 
And there’s this Bible verse: “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” Isaiah ‭26:3‬ ‭NIV‬ 
Here’s to a fruitful and exciting year! 🙌🏽🎉What’s your Word of the Year?
  • This month marks 6 years since I chopped my hair off and went natural! Every December, I get my hair trimmed and straightened (this time, I got around 3 inches cut bc i wasn’t that kind to my hair this year.) Swipe for the blowout I got right before I got it straightened, and some other fun pics through the years! ❤️ the very last pic is a length check. Thinking of doing a natural hair journey video on my channel! 🙆🏽‍♀️
  • Merry Christmas from us and our 3 different types of plaid. 😂🎄🎁 ❤️#PajamaChristmas