Author Archives: haleydhiggins

China adventures, part 1

In case you’ve not yet heard, ten days from now I will be moving to China. I’ll be living in a city called Zhangjiakou about 40 minutes outside of Beijing by train. There are as many people in my new city as in the entirety of Louisiana, though they consider it rural. I will be working at a local school and teaching English. I’ve been slowly learning Mandarin in preparation for this new adventure, which is no easy task.

Many of my friends and family have inquired how I will be chronicling my adventures abroad. I may not be able to access my facebook account, so the best way to contact me will likely be through WeChat @haleydhiggins. I’ve decided to dust off this old blog and breathe some life into it again. I’ll try to post pictures and updates regularly, though I make no promises.

As I move into this exciting new chapter of my life, it is with so many mixed emotions. Feelings of happiness, grief, fascination, bewilderment, astonishment, excitement, elation, love, joy. I hope you’ll come along for this wild and crazy the ride.

再见 (zài jiàn)

See you again soon.

XO, Haley

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An Audrey kind of day

Audrey and Pippin

thirst quencher

sunshiny day

grocery shopping



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Optimism and Cake Squares

Hello, lovely readers.

Long time no type… Let’s see, what have you guys missed? Basically not much, but let’s just start with this week. This week has been an emotional roller coaster, seeing as our busiest time of the year at work has been these last several weeks and climaxing this week, so everyone in my office has been pretty much walking around sleep-deprived and crazed. I’m, however, doing alright, because one of my coworkers, for some unknown reason, brought amazing cake squares to work today, and she gave me one. That makes her my new favorite person and put me in an even better mood than I was already in. I have no idea why I’m in such a good mood today, but I’m not questioning it. My Spotify is playing wonderful music. It’s Friday, and there’s an overall more-than-normal optimistic/cheerful vibe in my office (which I love). There are hilariously exciting movies premiering this weekend. And the J.Crew Factory store is 50% off this weekend. It’s going to be a good weekend!

Also, fabulous things are happening for my wonderful friends! Two of my friends, one of which is married, just bought their first houses. One has been in her new house for a few weeks now redecorating, and the other closes on her house at the end of the month. Another friend decided to end her engagement to her fiancé several months back, and now she’s in a new relationship and happier than I’ve ever seen. Finally, I have a friend in interviews this week that would put her in a very special job seemingly created just for her (Fingers crossed). My friends are amazing.

So I think that’s pretty much it for now… I hope you all have incredible weekends! Mine is going to be filled with lots of much needed me time.



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So I decided to paint that wall…

So I decided to paint that wall… in fact, I painted the whole room. To be clear, I painted one of my guest rooms, and I’m in the process of remodeling it. It’s almost complete, but not quite. It has been the most invigorating project. I was sick all last week, but I was determined to paint that room by the weekend. With the help of my wonderful brother and sister and a couple friends, we managed to knock out the painting in just a few hours Friday evening. I let the paint dry overnight, and by Saturday afternoon, I was able to do touch-ups and finally hang my curtains. I also managed to find a painting I love and some awesome throw pillows at World Market. The room is really coming together, and the project has inspired me to keep making changes and improvements throughout my house. Pictures to come.

This weekend, I’m making a vintage picture collage/ picture wall on one of the walls in my hallway. For those of you unfamiliar, it’s a wall of various shaped and sized photo frames interspersed with vintage mirrors of various shapes and sizes. I have been scouring my photographs, both electronic and paper, trying to find all the possible photos I would want to have on my wall. I have found so many incredible photos from my childhood, high school, college, and they all flood me with memories.

I have been very fortunate in my life, though it was not always a cheery one, to have many friends and many families at many times. Those people played a part in making me the person I am today, and without having known them, and without having had the experiences I’ve had, I might be a different person; I might have walked a different path. When I look back at pictures and see people who are no longer a part of my life, it does not make me sad any more, at least most people. I am grateful for what I received from them, what I learned and my ability to grow as a person, and the ability to appreciate the memories for what they are-happy memories of times past- and move on with my life, and I can only wish that those people have done the same as well.

I have definitely caught the home improvement bug… I wonder what my next project will be.

Oh, and I got my first paid editing job! One of the girls I work with is enrolled in an online publishing program for her Masters, and she often has me edit things for her, both for work and for her classes. On Monday, she approached me with a big project and asked if I’d edit seventeen essays for her, and she’s paying me to do it! These are long, tedious essays, and I have to be finished with them by tomorrow (Thursday). I’m about a third of the way through with them now, so I still have a good bit of work to get through before tomorrow, so I better get back to it.

With love.


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“Look for the helpers.”

Yesterday, I was unable to process what was going on in the news or rather, chose not to, as that’s how I tend to handle more emotionally trying situations. I wasn’t able to avoid it, however, for very long. I first heard of the explosions on Twitter, with people sending their love and thoughts and prayers to the people running the marathon, the injured bystanders, and the citizens of Boston. Those outcrys were peppered with links to news articles with extremely graphic images and live video feed of the bombings, showing the explosions in real time as well as pictures of the injured and deceased. It made my heart hurt and it still does. I couldn’t exscape it, and I still can’t; it was on the news as I went to bed last night and as I woke up this morning. It was the discussion on the radio as I drove to work. It was the story on the television playing in the doctor’s office. There is no avoiding it.

My way of dealing with terribly sad, scary, or emotional things has always been to compartmentalize them until I’m ready to handle whatever it is. This, however, insists on being dealt with now. There is no compartmentalization allowed. Yesterday was a teribbly sad and emotional day, and without knowing who’s responsible or why they chose to do what they did, there are some things I do know. There are many very good people in this world, and there are more good people than there are evil. After seeing all the footage that was so unavoidable, what was wonderful to see was the people rushing to help the injured and the fallen to safety. So many people, after the explosions, ran toward rather than away from the detonation site to help others. As a whole, people are inherently good, and that makes it hurt just a little less.

All my love.


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101 things in 1,001 days

Good morning, lovelies. Below you’ll find my version of the 101 in 1,001 project that you may or may not have previously seen elsewhere, inspired by Makenzie Horan. It’s sort of a cross between a to-do list and a bucket list in that I’m allotting myself 1,001 days or 2.75 years to accomplish the things on my list. Though I’m partial to list-making, this list has taken me a few weeks to compile, probably because it is so long, and it really required me to do some thinking and imagining, so without further adieu…

Start date: April 12, 2013
End date: January 8, 2016

1. Come up with 101 things I want to accomplish (April 12, 2013)
2. Put $10 into savings for each item as I accomplish it
3. Take a self-defense class
4. Learn sign language
5. Brush up on my French
6. Take a ballroom dance class
7. Do more yoga- start going at least once, if not two or three times a week again (Update: monthly membership renewed; classes taken steadily since the beginning of May 2013)
8. Scrutinize the contents of my closet, and donate or toss items I never wear June 2013
9. Go camping
10. Go to the aquarium
11. Go to the zoo
12. For one month, buy nothing new (exceptions: groceries, bills & emergencies)
13. Redecorate my guest rooms (1/2)
14. Redo my kitchen
15. Go sailing
16. Have a tea party, Eloise style
17. Visit seven cities I’ve never been before (0/7)
18. Travel to three new states (0/3)
19. Attend the ballet
20. Have/ attend a murder mystery party
21. See all the movies nominated for an Oscar in Best Picture one year
22. Have my own star (In the Sky, not in Hollywood, although Hollywood wouldn’t be half bad)
23. Take a ballet class
24. Read 50 new books (4/50)
25. Take a train trip
26. Watch 10 black and white movies (0/10)
27. Organize and go on a scavenger hunt with friends
28. Learn to drive a stick shift
29. Send a message in a bottle
30. Send seven random, fun, unexpected packages to friends (0/7)
31. Find a good job at an amazing publishing company
32. Move to NYC (or somewhere equally exciting)
33. Have high tea at The Plaza
34. Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge
35. Start taking vitamins regularly
36. Do a juice cleanse (Update: BR is getting a pressed juice bar!)
37. Take a spontaneous weekend road trip
38. Take a last minute flight the same day of purchase
39. Spin a globe and point (eyed closed) to a spot on the map, then travel to wherever it lands
40. Use AirBnB to help secure lodging for these spontaneous or scheduled trips
41. Ride in a hot air balloon
42. Invest in a good pair of brown boots
43. Update my quote journal with a new quote every day for a month
44. Discover 10 new restaurants (0/10)
45. Re-watch five Audrey Hepburn classics (0/5)
46. Re-watch all of Nora Ephron’s films (0/13)
47. Re-watch five Lauren Bacall classics (0/5)
48. Throw my first Sunday brunch party
49. Get a massage
50. Learn the art of home canning
51. Go to a music festival (New Orleans Jazz Fest May 2013; Bayou Country Superfest May 27, 2013)
52. Get rid of things I’ve been saving for a rainy day that’s never coming
53. Find out my blood type
54. Learn to like running
55. Do a color run
56. Get in the habit of cooking dinner during the week
57. Try macaroons (May 2013)
58. Print photos from my phone or Facebook and frame them (May 2013)
59. Clean out my makeup bag
60. Visit my sister when she goes to college
61. Actually do spring cleaning
62. Buy a lottery ticket
63. Plant an herb garden and keep it alive
64. Join/ start a book club
65. Learn to knit
66. Learn to crochet (How different are knitting and crocheting? Update: Apparently, they are very different.)
67. Learn how to tie a tie
68. See a Cirque du Soleil show
69. Go to a wine tasting
70. See Wicked on Broadway (May 11, 2013)
71. Take pictures in a photobooth
72. Ride an elephant
73. Re-learn how to play chess
74. Take a pottery-making class (Update: class purchased! Now, to schedule…)
75. Go on a staycation
76. Take a vacation with friends from college
77. Take a vacation/ weekend alone
78. Clean out my kitchen- major overhaul necessary (Update: Beautiful new plates purchased; now to tackle the rest of the cabinets…)
79. Start a classic vinyl record collection (for my new record player!)
80. Invest in sturdy, classic wardrobe pieces
81. Clean up my bike and start riding again
82. Send flowers to a loved one out of the blue
83. Send handwritten thank-you cards for an event
84. Do 25 random acts of kindness (0/25)
85. Learn how to do a fishtail braid
86. Get at least one more stamp in my passport (0/1)
87. Go on a bar/pub crawl
88. Go orchard picking
89. Try five new foods (1/5)
90. Buy a gorgeous cake stand
91. Start a new tradition
92. Build a fort in my living room and have a slumber party in it with friends
93. Make three new friends (1/3)
94. Ride on a Ferris wheel
95. Go to a drive-in movie or movie in the park
96. Learn how to fold fitted sheets
97. Get a psychic reading
98. Make my bed every morning for a month so it becomes habit (Update: Currently in the works)
99. Re-watch all the Harry Potter movies (0/8)
100. Schedule appointments with GP, GYN, dentist, etc. and go at least once per year (1/3 scheduled for July 2013)
101. Donate $5 to charity for every item incomplete at the end of the 1,001 days

Alright, so I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, especially if you’re doing something similar or have been inspired to write your own list after having read mine! As always, thanks for reading.

With love,


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“I just applied for a job in Vietnam. What’s for dinner?”

Above is the contents of a text message I sent to a friend telling her I had just applied for a job in Vietnam, softening the blow by asking what we’re going to have for dinner tonight at our weekly Tuesday night get-together. She took it well, replying with exclamations of excitement and asking if I still wanted macaroni and cheese or if I’d changed my mind. My mother handled it surprisingly well too. I sent her the link to the job description and she replied, “The hell you are moving to Vietnam.” After I explained to her the job would only have me in Vietnam for a year, she seemed okay with it, but then she reminded me how my grandparents would react saying they’d “totally stroke the hell out”. She’s not wrong, but they’d get over it. Eventually. The third person I told had a more radical reaction. “Vietnam?! Have you lost your MIND?! That’s a war zone!!!” To that, I just laughed and reminded her that technically we could be considered a war zone as well.

When I found the job posted online, I didn’t see all the scary things my friends and family were weary of, and I still don’t. All I see are possibilities: the chance to learn the e-book publishing process, the opportunity to go abroad and explore Asia. I know it will be scary, and the likelihood of me actually getting this job is slim, but I took and chance, and I have hope.

There’s a quote I believe is very fitting to this situation by Neale Donald Walsch – “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” That is certainly the case here, as moving to Vietnam would be outside of my comfort zone, by a long shot. I think it would be a fabulous opportunity though, one I would be crazy not to jump at, seeing as it’s only for a short period of time… I mean, what’s a year really, anyway? It’s already almost April, and I feel like it was just Christmas.

Time just seems to fly past without any real thought. And of course not; time doesn’t and cannot think. Time is not a tangible thing. What is time even? Just the way someone once decided was necessary to mark the passage of days? Even a day is a matter of time made of intangible hours, minutes, and seconds that are used to classify and compartmentalize our world, but they really have no meaning at all. They pass quickly and slowly and without any regard or meaning, or perhaps with a great deal of meaning depending on the circumstances. This is becoming much more philosophical than I’d intended, but so it goes.

Here I am droning on and I haven’t even told you what the job entails. I would be considered an e-book associate and would be learning the ins and outs of publishing e-books as the publishing house expands their market. They mostly deal in publishing compilations of fine art, which is right up my alley. I could walk through art museums all day long.

I’m also in the process of applying for a job in California as an editorial assistant for a company that publishes mostly academic journals. That could be interesting, and California is California. I’d be just outside of Los Angeles, which sounds nice in theory. I’d be a lot closer to Oakland, where my darling friend Caroline lives, at least for a little bit longer, though Oakland is still a pretty good ways from Los Angeles. At least it’s not as far as Vietnam!

Well, today I’m taking chances. I’m stepping out of my comfort zone and jumping head first into the abyss. Here’s hoping.

With love,


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Awards for Versatility in Blogging- Time to pass the baton!

Hello, lovely readers.

I was recently nominated for a Versatile Blogger Award by one of my wonderful readers/ fellow bloggers, Kimberly. She maintains a very inspiring blog, A Mind Ready to Explode!, which is located here:  She is also chock full of wisdom and sage advice, always happily commenting on my posts and offering uplifting thoughts when things get a little dark on my end. You should all check out her blog; you won’t regret it.

The criteria below comes directly from The Versatile Blogger Award site which can be found here:
• Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy.
• Include a link to their blog. That’s also common courtesy — if you can figure out how to do it.
• Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly.
• Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award — you might include a link to this site.
• Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

Before I make my nominations, I’ll tell you a few tidbits about myself.

  1. I have a really simple, classic sort of style, but I love bright colors and well-designed patterns and think they should be worn all year round.
  2. I love old movies like Casablanca, To Have and Have Not, and Key Largo. Lauren Bacall is pretty much everything.
  3. I collect elephant figurines from all over the world.
  4. I love board and card games; I can be very competitive.
  5. I’m obsessed with estate sales.
  6. It’s pretty much impossible for me to sleep past 7:30am or to take naps during the day.
  7. I really want some tea bags with inspirational quotes on the tags, and thanks to some sleuthing by a helpful friend of mine, I now know I can find them at Target!

Now onto my nominations…

  1. Expiration Dates
  2. Little Gypsy, Big Suitcase
  3. Thoughts
  4. The Deconstructed Dating Project
  5. Wanderlust
  6. Artists & Acoustic Adventures
  7. For the Love of Nike
  8. Unkilleddarlings
  9. A Day in the Life of Shareen A.
  10. Simple Tom.
  11. The Jiggly Bits… because life is funny
  12. The Reporter and The Girl
  13. Philospohy & Photography
  14. SethSnap
  15. Bucket List Publications

Thanks again to Kimberly for presenting me with this lovely award and giving me the opportunity to nominate 15 bloggers whose creativity and versatility bring me a bit of joy and/or a chance to look at things from a different perspective. I hope each of you take the time to pass this along, allowing others to discover new and interesting blogs.

With love,


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today was meaningful

a collection of thoughts, life lessons, and days full of meaning.

Short-term bloggin'

A snapshot road trip between two cousins

Artists & Acoustic Adventures!

10% Music, 10% Philosophy, 80% Charisma

Thought Catalog

Thought Catalog is a digital youth culture magazine dedicated to your stories and ideas.

The Jiggly Bits

...because life is funny.

for the love of nike

for the love of nike

Unkilled Darlings

Faulkner said, kill your darlings. I say, put them on the internet and let strangers read them.

Words4jp's Blog

A Mind Ready to Explode!


(n): a strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world.

Expiration Dates

Everything is disposable these days!

To the Moon and Back

Landing Somewhere Among the Stars


my innermost ponderings


Two friends. Three months. Twelves dates. Ready, go.

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