Posts by Halley

I’m the creator of Chiaroscuro, where I write about an array of topics, ranging from philosophy and psychology to fashion and food. Underlying all my interests is my passion for understanding people and how they live. I’m fascinated by the beauty and connections found in everyday life, and my goal is to highlight and share them in personal and meaningful ways.

Books on Pregnancy and Beyond

On Pregnancy

Your Relationship

  • How Not To Hate Your Husband After Kids
    • I found this book helpful for navigating those inevitable conflicts in every relationship (even without kids), especially ones that can really get under your skin when you are living under the same roof. Afterall, sharing a kid is much more challenging than sharing a living space, but you have to start somewhere right?
  • To Have and To Hold: Motherhood, Marriage, and the Modern Dilemma
    • Decades of studies have shown marital satisfaction takes a nose dive after the arrival of a child (and it never quite recovers). This book shares insights to why that might be the case and how it can be avoided.

Raising Kids

2018 Remembered

2018 was easily the best year of my life to date. The year started with Vincent turning 28 and I turning 30(!). Leaving my 20s I remembered friends who reached 30 a couple of years ago saying that 30 was a turning point for them, that it was the age when everything fell into place. Now that I have spent most of the year in this new decade, I heartily agree with my wiser friends. 2018 brought along a slew of changes, some small and others more monumental, but all were undeniably positive.

In May, Vincent and I celebrated our marriage with our closest friends and family in Newport, Rhode Island. It was everything I had ever wanted, from the fairy tale backdrop to being surrounded by the people dearest to our hearts.

In Julywe spent two weeks in Hawaii for our honeymoon. We divided our time between visiting beaches of all colors (white, black, red!), driving through rain forests in Hana,  flying over the active volcanoes on the Big Island, and waking up to the most beautiful sunrises. We also had the best Thai food out of  a food truck 🙂

In August, Vincent started his new job and we spent a few glorious weeks in SF / Bay Area, where we discovered our love for Burmese food (and all other Asian food in the Bay Area).

In November, we moved to Pittsburgh and began the next chapter of our lives. I applied, and got accepted, to a psychology graduate program and found research opportunities at two psychology labs at CMU. I ultimately chose to focus on the research projects at the labs for now and postpone school until the fall.

In December, Vincent and I went back to New Orleans on Christmas and spent a few days stuffing our faces with various Cajun delights and strolling in the French Quarters.

For 2019, I don’t have any resolutions, except to continue striving to be the most authentic and thoughtful version of myself and to keep building a life that is full of joy and meaning. To all my readers, I wish you the very best in love and life in the brand new year.

Staying moisturized in cooler months

I know we are officially in the middle of the fall when the air suddenly becomes crisp, almost too crisp, and my lips are constantly chapped and regular moisturizers don’t seem to quite cut it anymore. We have not turned on the heat yet, but I am already slapping on hand cream, lip balm, and heavier moisturizers non-stop. If you are also looking for some extra dose of moisture and protection in the winter months, I have some recommendations: Continue reading →

Lessons In Love

As much as we all seek love, understanding love and more importantly, knowing how to love, can be elusive. What I know about love is largely shaped by three individuals: my mother, my best friend, and my husband. Together, they have shown me what love is and how to love. I could never thank them enough for their infinite wisdom, kindness, and yes, love. By sharing the insights I learned from them, I hope to pay it forward and help others find the love they deserve. Continue reading →

Cooking with a formula

I have been cooking for myself regularly since getting my own kitchen while in law school. My friends are always impressed when I tell them that I make dinner, and even packed lunch, for myself every day. How do you have the time, or energy, after a whole day of work? Well I actually resorted to ordering take-out once while living in Chicago and decided to never do it again. The food took almost an hour to arrive and it tasted like it had been sitting there for that long too. For comparison, when I cook for myself, it usually takes an hour from prepping to eating to cleaning up.

I am a firm believer in cooking at home over ordering take out because it’s generally more affordable, healthier, and can be done in a very little time if you get the formula right. Here is the formula I use: Continue reading →