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Double rainbow. Photo by my dad.

My dad took this photo today, and he’s been telling all his friends I’m putting it on my site — he’s very proud of me, and I’m so thankful for that. I’m also thankful that he shares his cottage with us, not only because it’s a gift to be away from the city and surrounded by so much nature, but also because we get to spend more time with him and my mom.

It’s a double rainbow and full of significance as I sit here, on Josh-O’s computer, gazing out at the colourful landscape — a landscape painters dream of — here on Thanksgiving weekend at my parents’ cottage.

As always, I have to preface this post with excuses as to why I haven’t been here in several months. Instead of boring you with the usual stuff — aka busy, busy, busy and busy… also busy, like, very — I’ll give my excuses in pictures. CHECKIT:

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I’ve been doing tons of TV as a celebrity parent expert (on behalf of Today’s Parent) on Etalk… Have you seen me on TV? Photo by Etalk.

Spoke at the awesome Blissdom Canada conference about writing/pitching for magazines.

Spoke at the awesome Blissdom Canada conference about writing/pitching for magazines. Photo by Louise Gleeson

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Interviewed Jessica Alba and Christopher Gavigan – check out the interview HERE! Photo by Emily Piccinin

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This little Monkey is also very, very demanding. She doesn’t like when I write about her, but she insisted I post this photo.

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Scooter-boy, the Rascal, is a little firecracker — 37 pounds of demands. But the cheaty little blondie LOVES his mama.

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This guy, Josh-O, is so so so busy. And I’m thankful for that. But, he’s been away a lot the last few months or working late — leaving me solo with the kids and no time to blog here! He’s photo’d here with the Rascal, of course, and Joe the llama.

This thing is a ton of work, I had to quit Candy Crush because I needed more time to take Instagram photos of her -- like this one.

This thing is a ton of work, I had to quit Candy Crush because I needed more time to take Instagram photos of her — like this one.

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This one has been waking me up all night; that tongue is a magnet, alas, for my face — all through the night. So, you see, I’m simply too tired to blog!

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I’m writing a ton at Today’s Parent — and, as you can see, it’s not all about celebrities!

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I’ve been very busy lately learning new things…

Since I don’t write about the kids as much as I’d like to — they won’t ALLOW me to, and I respect their wishes even if they’re doing it just to be MEAN to their mama — I sometimes feel self-indulgent writing about and posting pictures of ME. But this is an inevitable offshoot of the blogging genre I love (and to which I’m forever indebted), so I might as well accept it.

I am, however, thankful for my renewed obsession with Ashtanga yoga, so I’m thinking I’ll write a few posts on this amazing practice — i.e., why I spend so much of my life practising it and trying to embody its principles.

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See, I don’t really ever get a break. Heh! This was really fun, though! Check out my four-year-old nephew “meditating” in the front of the photo — NO ONE put him up to that!!

Lots of people ask me about how I lost FIFTY POUNDS, too, so I can write about that in another post, soon. Although…, a lot of that has to do with my daily yoga practice. Not only is it toning up my bod, but my mind feels so much more stable, centred and focused — and I can’t stress enough how key that all is for weight loss. Every morning, when I hit the mat, I embark on a physical, emotional and psychological quest. That’s a gift for a busy, xx-year-old mom. And I’m very thankful for that space I can give myself every day and for all the amazing people I’m on the Ashtanga journey with.

More self-indulgence for the road:

What I’m reading (when time permits, and now that I’ve deleted Candy Crush from my iPhone): 
- The Signature of all Things, by Elizabeth Gilbert
- If You Have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You, by Kelly Cutrone
- The Power of Ashtanga Yoga, by Kino MacGregor

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#Paw #UnderBite #BettyWhite

What I’m eating:
- Lemon water with sprinkle of cayenne pepper and turmeric in the morning (curbs the cravings and starts off the day healthy, alkaline and with a spicy kick in the butt)
- Green tea
- Apple with almond butter (my favourite 4 p.m. snack)
- Friday is CHAI DAY! (Also Saturday…)
- Clean, whole foods — as Michael Pollan says, “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”

What I’m wearing:
- EXTRA SMALL, baby!

I’ll blog again here SOON (sooner than last time, at least), promise. In the meantime, I’m thankful for all the things above — and so much more — that have been keeping me away from this space. Also, I’m totally thankful for you, and for the blogging community I’ve seen rally around friends of mine who’ve been in need of mass love lately (#rainbow), for this life, freedom, health and all our gifts. More of that all around the world, please, for the good of all…

What are you thankful for?

Love!
xo Haley-O

 


When I’m not writing at Today’s Parent, I’m taking much-needed time off all writing, and living life — playing with the kids, cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, driving the kids around, helping them with homework, drinking tea, watching karate, watching soccer, watching dancing, reading, tweeting, Facebooking, Instagramming.

I’m telling you this because something was brought to my attention the other day. Well, it was really a few weeks ago, but it seems to take a few weeks for this piper to actually sit thee down and write* here these days, in case you haven’t noticed.

I bumped into my old friend Ryan, who’s also a Cheaty Monkey reader, and she said something like, “I miss you now that you’re not online anymore.”

Not online? ME? You miss me? Not online?

Eager to know if other friends “missed” me online, I went up to some more old Cheaty Monkey readers in the schoolyard, and asked them if they thought I’d totally deserted them too.

“You know, Angela,” I said to one of the lovely moms, “I may not write at Cheaty Monkey that much anymore, but I’m all over Todaysparent.com all the time.”

Like Ryan, she had no idea.

“I write a bunch of blogs every day there,” I explained, “Mostly about celebrity families, but also on tough parenting topics like bullying and dealing with tragedy. If you’d like, please check it out!” (I am shameless.)

I said this to Ryan and Ang, and I’m going to say it to you now too: If you miss me (and I miss you too, believe me!), please friend me on Facebook. I keep it pretty well updated with some of my celebrity posts, ALL of my weekly celebrity galleries (UPPAbaby stroller contest in this one, hollaaa!), ALL of my more personal writing both at Cheaty Monkey and at Today’s Parent, and of course, with lots of photos.

Speaking of which….

Yes, another great reason you need to friend me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter NOW. Betty White was sleeping beside me when I took that picture (that’s what they call need-to-know information).

Please don’t “miss” me! Let’s stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, and a little more often here (I’ll definitely try).

In other news:

- I have successfully lost seven pounds.

- People who write comments without reading articles properly are, as the Rascal used to say, “vewy fustifating” (trans.: very frustrating).

- I’m giving a talk (well three talks…three sessions) on developing a daily writing practice at this month’s Blissdom Conference.

- I’m going to talk about why a daily writing practice is important, what to write about, why to use a blog as your platform, and a bit about my own writing practice.

- I’m also going to talk about how sometimes a writing practice may actually involve not writing. But that’s only really if you do NOTHING but write and edit all day long. *cough*

- Otherwise, write.

- Every day.

- After the session, I’ll share all my secrets here.

- Or…, maybe three weeks after the session.

- But NO! I will write here more often.

- I officially suck at going to yoga.

- Instead of going to yoga, I’ve been riding my stationary bike while watching The Voice, The Real Housewives of New Jersey, or Pokemon.

- Yeah, it doesn’t get much worse than that.

- I’m just still too self-conscious in the yoga room.

- I was going to title this post “An Open Letter to My Yoga Teacher.”

- Hmm, maybe I will anyway.

- But next week, I’ll be closer than I’ve been in the last five years to my goal weight, so I may just show up at the shala.

- Oh, wait, but Josh is away.

- So maybe sooner.

- In my microsession, I will also talk about using Instagram and Twitter/Facebook photos to build your blog posts.

- You won’t want to miss that.

- I could also do a whole other session on how to blog with a massive cat on your lap…

- …who wants nothing more out of life than to stick his tongue down your throat.

- OH! I know.

- Maybe next year.

I miss you and will try to write here more often. I may have a full writing practice at Today’s Parent, but I can’t really post photos of my pets there, now can I?

LOVE!

xo Haley-O

* From William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience — one of my fave literary works of all time. Tiger, Tiger burning bright / In the forests of the night, / What immortal hand or eye / Could frame thy fearful symmetry?