One of the funniest things the Rascal ever said would occur in the backseat of our car on a fairly regular basis.

“Monkey,” he’d say, turning to his big sister (using her real name, of course), “you GAWBAGE.”

“You GAWBAGE, Monkey, you GAWBAGE,” he’d say. Josh-O and I used to look at each other in the front seat and try to laugh as quietly as possible. The Monkey would cry, of course.


Perhaps this traumatic event from the Monkey’s preschoolhood surfaced when she drew THIS hilarious masterpiece the other day….

The girl in the green is, I’m told, the Monkey. The girl in the purple is her friend Madison. And the sad little soul on hands and knees with the blond tuft of hair is her brother, the Rascal, “picking up garbage.” The green thing in the middle is the garbage can, by the way. And there’s an airplane overhead. The Monkey’s a stickler for detail….

The girls are dreaming of “being stars,” the Monkey explains. And the Rascal’s thinking “he wants to do something else.”

From the looks of things, garbage collecting, at least as a career, isn’t in the cards for our Rascal. At 4 years old, Gorgeouses, he can read! Or, well, he can “read.”

Now, I know you like when I post the odd video of the kids, and God knows the Rascal loves performing, so we videoed this just for you. It’s THE  RASCAL READING, or, well, “READING”! Enjoy…!

Hee! Now that I have an iPhone, I’ll be posting videos a little more, I think! It took NO TIME to upload it to YouTube!

Before I leave you to get back to my insane pre-holiday workload, which my amazing managing editor, Nadine Silverthorne, generously prioritized for me (Cheaty Monkey, of course, wasn’t on the list…but this is another QUICKIE post, and I’ve missed you…), I want to introduce you to the ladies who are successfully getting me to feed myself….

These are the brilliant, creative, gorgeous ladies behind the brand new Macrobiotic Centre of Toronto — and I’m so proud to call them my friends. That’s Miss Stan on the left, Alice in the centre, and Jill (the juicing guru!). Congrats, Ladies, on your amazing new venture. I look forward to many delicious takeout breakfasts and lunches, fresh juices, brunches, dinners, cooking lessons, weight loss, more energy, glowing skin, etc., etc.,  and FUN ahead. Psssst: join their Facebook group for all the inside scoop.

Back to work!


xo Haley-O

Frown Lines, by The Monkey, February 2011.

There is a very. curious. picture of me in the pages of this month’s issue of Today’s Parent Magazine. I mean, Harley Pasternak looks chiseled! But I look, well, what’s a good word for the opposite of chiseled? That would be me.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, the art team at Today’s Parent is the BEST. I mean LOVE! (And they even showed me the rest of the final photo layout when they saw how DISTRESSED I was about how I looked in this one — and it was very reassuring! The photos are beautiful!) It’s all me in this one. And, okay, it’s Harley’s fault too for putting me in a très unflattering position! No one looks good in an ab twist that’s facing the camera, head in profile. OKAY JUST SEE FOR YOURSELF HERE. It’s arful. And if you want to know what “arful” means, click on the link.

So…? What’d you think? ALL THAT SAID, it is a teeny photo — a preview of the cool three-photo layout of Harley and me in the June issue of the magazine. Anyway, we’ll just pretend this wee photo never happened and wait for JUNE (well, May, when it comes out).

NOW, I’m going to bed. And I may or may not blog tomorrow about this little thing called non-attachment that I’ve been thinking about lately…. Also, I’ve been vilely ill for the past few days and it’s a wonder I’m able to put fingertips to keyboard and make any sense right now — having just come back (on this edge here of vile illness) from the National Ballet of Canada’s quite excellent production of Don Quixote.

And guess what, Gorgeouses!? Tomorrow I get my NEW TOOTH! A shining, beautiful, PERMANENT new front tooth. It’s going to be a grueling appointment, fo’shizzle, but beyond worth it after a WHOLE YEAR OF WAITING! Maybe it’s just what I need to get really motivated to kick it up a nartch for my “After” shoot — aka REDEMPTION shoot — in the December issue of Today’s Parent….

I’ll try to get some photos of the new teeth tomorrow if I don’t look too “wretched.” (Apparently I looked wretched today — but still way better than I look in my wee photo! EEEK!)


xo Haley-O

I’m trying to write this blog post right now, but my husband’s going on and on about The Bachelor. He’s loves it (even if he won’t admit it). And he has more to say about it than I do. So I think he should start his own blog. In the meantime….

The Rascal thinks we own the cottage.

He refuses to accept that we’ve been going to my parents’ cottage all this time. But I guess it doesn’t matter. Especially since he’s been decorating….

It’s the solar system. But I didn’t need to tell you that. He taped it onto my parents’ his fridge himself!

…Right after his sister climbed onto a stool and taped her own masterpiece to her grandparents’ fridge. And when I say masterpiece, I mean masterpiece. Gorgeouses, we have a real artist on our hands (click to enlarge)!

Which one is your favourite? For me it’s a tie between the 6th in from the left and the 2nd in from the right (with the, you know, the hair!).

And the fridge isn’t the only thing she’s been decorating. She decorates EVERYTHING. THE WORLD IS HER CANVAS. My little Picasso is always at work creating worlds and decorating, umm, my stuff….

And her little brother’s one of her biggest fans….

Yes, there’s a lot of cuteness around here. But also a lot of tiredness. My little artists’ young minds — brimming with so many ideas, art, GENIUS — continue to create through the night. HAVOC.

I’m exhausted.

But they’ve promised not to wake me up tonight. And they’ll never keep it.

I’m really run down, Gorgeouses. And I’m hoping that returning to yoga tomorrow — after a long, forbidden holiday — and committing to my daily practice again no matter how little sleep I’m on, no matter how much I’m working, and no matter how cute and cozy my kids look in the morning, will help rejuvenate me. Tired.

Yoga is another thing on the long list of things I SHOULD do every day. But it’s also something I can count on. Something consistent and predictable and unchanging (for the most part) and just for me.

No decorations.

Just me.



xo Haley-O

OH! And check out how I’m doing on my fitness journey HERE!

I wrote this post yesterday — Tuesday, December 21. But then my blog went haywire. Apparently we were “raided.” Raided. This is sooo because of the solstice/lunar eclipse. Because a) when on earth does that ever happen? and b) I’ve spent the past three days dealing with the IT guys at work, too — all of whom are flummoxed by the computer problems I’m having. I am cosmically clashing with technology. Anyway, read this now — before your computer poofs into stardust.

It’s the winter solstice, December 21, and there was a lunar eclipse last night, woahh! Double Rainbow! In celebration of this monumental event — when was the last time there was a concomitant lunar eclipse and winter solstice in your very own backyard? — I give you Random Mysterious Lunar 21.

1. At 3:43am last night, which was approximately smack-dab in the middle of the eclipse (2-5am), I bolted awake, looked at my clock as I always do when I wake up 45 times a night (thanks to a little boy who refused to sleep unless he was on top of me for three years), threw on my fuzzy pink slipper boots, a too-short black coat, and dashed out the back door with Betty White in tow. I was a little bit afraid of vampires and zombies, but I sucked it up. And this is what we saw alone together in the backyard in the starry black of night….

2. Betty White refused to look up at the moon no matter how frantically I snapped my fingers in the air so she’d tilt her head in the moon’s general direction and maybe lock eyes with it for a second and become enlightened. But no….

3. Minden also refused to become enlightened when I tilted his head to the sky…. But I still think he’s brilliant.


5. Josh came outside when I nudged him unapologetically awake, and he took this really creepy-awesome picture apparently while slipping in the snow….

6. Speaking of mysterious round things, check out BAKED APPLE. All you need to do is fill a cored apple (leave apple bottom in tact) with crushed walnuts, raisins, cinnamon and a drizzle of syrup, and place it in the oven covered with a little water on the bottom at 350°F for half an hour or so. I’ll post it in the kitch with more deets when I’m a little less lazy….

7. My wise friend/yoga buddy/brilliant macrobiotic counselor Alice would approve of my baked apple. I know because I just ate her surprisingly delicious “Intuition Stew,” which she was awesome enough to leave for me at the yoga shala today — verklempt. I feel so intuitive right now.

8. Alice asked me if the Monkey knew our Dreidel video may be shown to thousands of people. “Of course!” I said. “She couldn’t sleep the night before her teacher showed it to her Kindergarten class three times, and shrieked with utter glee, ‘I AM ON TVeeeee,’ and tilted her head inquisitively while asking, ‘Mama, why don’t you show my face? I want my face on there.'”

9. Justin Timberlake as a Cup o’ Soup. OMG. I can’t deal.

10. Just like her mama, the Monkey (already) loves boys. But apparently they’re not allowed in her room. Which brings us to our next mysterious round thing….

11. And other mysterious drawings…?

12. …among the many others that she taped onto her door. Never mind Bawbara — move over Debby Travis AND Martha Stewart!

13. Mysterious WRITINGS have also mysteriously popped up on her now-mysterious radiator…

14. …and on her now-mysterious dresser…

15. Please send eco-friendly children’s marker (and sticker) remover? Who’s the PR rep for that. We could do big things together here!

16. She’s talented, that Monkey…. Karen Kain and Mikhail Baryshnikov must also move over. Bring it on, So You Think You Can Dance! Bring. It. On.

17. One of my favourite parts of the Monkey’s dance show was definitely the bar work. That fifth position is tricky! (I also loved the part when another little dancer interrupted the teacher to whisper “I have a Zhu Zhu pet” in her ear.)

18. The Monkey’s brother’s favourite part was no doubt the candy-cane-Rice-Crispy-square-and-cupcake “pawdy” (trans. “party”)….

19. Mmm, food colouring. I was so proud.

20. I’m also so proud because (are you ready?) THE RASCAL IS FULLY TOILET TRAINED. Fully and FINALLY toilet trained. Turns out he had no idea that he could “hold it in.” I literally had to teach him how to “hold it in” — to do what moms would call kegels and what yogis would call bandhas. Yes, I taught my 3-year-old son kegels and bandhas, and he hasn’t had an accident since. Go Rascal!

21. I can’t keep up at all with my email. And I feel terrible about it because I rarely get around to responding to your comments. To fix this problem, I’ll be responding to all your comments in the comment section — unless I have something intensely personal to share with you.  (I’ll definitely email to say a special “hey” once in a while, though.) It’s going to be fun, Gorgeouses! So check back after you leave a comment, okay? Also, leave comments. You know, so we can test this out…. Oh, okay, what blogger doesn’t love comments?

Happy solstice! And congratulations to all of us for getting to the end of this post. Did you happen to see the eclipse? DISCUSS.


xo Haley-O

One problem with blogging is that people think they know you — I mean, the whole you — based on the posts you write. It’s happened before that people have made assumptions about me based on this blog. And while I now have no problem with that, it’s still not the whole truth. It’s all true, of course, yes! But you’ll never get the whole truth from twice-weekly, or even daily, blog posts. Or even seeing someone in real life, for that matter. People are sort of different every time you see them, don’t you think? I may dislike someone one day and LOVE them the next. Everything’s fragments.

And still you come back here and you read, I guess, the truth of this moment. And how much do I love you for that? Because it does get lonely behind this screen sometimes.

So today I give you A BUNCH of truth fragments in one post, and then maybe I can take the rest of the week off because I am tired. That’s probably the whole truth right there. If you see me in real life, go right ahead and assume I AM TIRED.


1. At the end of my much-interrupted 6am yoga practice this morning, I lay down in savasana (or corpse pose), and Rascal stood over me and asked, “Mama, are you dead?”

2. He also asked if he could lie on my back while I was in a seated forward bend — nose to knees. I let him, of course. And he’s a feather. I felt nothing.

3. The Monkey is obsessed with Netflix’s preview of The Swan Princess, which is basically this song….

I’m telling you, plunk your kids down in front of that video, show them how to make it play again, and go make dinner, or read a novel (the whole thing), shave your legs…. You deserve a break.

4. Rascal says “rorot” instead of “forgot.” And he says it a lot — reminding me never-too-often of him….


5. He also calls my Macbook a “puter” (pronounced “pewdah.”)

6. Because 2 cats and a dog aren’t enough, we’ve adopted a new member of the family. Meet “Pixie Hollow”:

7. I may only be blogging here once or twice a week, but I’m blogging over HERE up to FOUR TIMES A DAY, sometimes even in a British accent.

8. I only APPEAR outgoing. I’m very very shy and uncomfortable at blogging events……

9. The Monkey’s been obsessed with drawing hair lately…. (Click to enlarge.)

10. Speaking of hair…, the Rascal wants his hair cut. But I say “no,” because there’s nothing like 3-year-old bed head. There just isn’t….

11. Betty White is apparently a very long dog. This jacket is size MEDIUM. She’s a tiny dog — there’s no way I’m getting her a large….

12. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again. He…completes me….


xo Haley-O

I’m keeping this post short because I’ve already used up any possible sense I can make over at Today’s Parent — given the current state of EXCRUCIATING PAIN I’m in after the unforeseen gum surgery I had on Friday afternoon. See? Not making sense. That painfully said, here’s some proof my house is funny, as in I can’t make this stuff up.

*Gums are throbbing.*

In case you didn’t know, I work in office until 1:30pm every day (and I finish the day’s work in the evening). The other afternoon, I came home from work to THIS dancing (seated) on my living-room floor….

It was cooking day at school, apparently….


Also *owwwwww.*

Speaking of “also,” there’s also this situation….

At least Betty White’s crate is good for something…. But then….

Minden: “Help. Me.” Also: “I was here first, meow meow.”

Betty White: “Kisses? Rawr!”

Poor Minden could use a break. He and Betty White fight literally like cats and dogs….

Off to go gargle and writhe for a while. Seriously, Gorgeouses, THE PAIN!


xo Haley-O

As you know I have a lot of adjusting to do, so blogging will be sparse until I feel a little more settled in my new job. Suffice it to say, I’m loving it. I mean, for me, what could be better than writing for a living? It’s better than a chai latte. And you know that says a lot.

My first couple of days have been eventful. I tried the subway, yes I did. And it was a big fat FAIL (#bygones) because, of course, I got lost. And, it being the hottest day since the Dinosaur era (actually, I just googled, the temperatures during the dinosaur era are a subject of controversy, FYI), I arrived at work a sweaty frizz ball, and I have a hideous new photo-ID card to prove it. My work clothes were drenched, makeup was running, and blisters emerged by the dozen on my poor feet, way unused to high heels! But it didn’t matter. Everything exceeded my expectations — the people, the role, the office space. I have a desk with a view, Gorgeouses, of beautiful downtown Toronto. And I’m sure the novelty of the glam fashion magazine posters gracing the walls will take a while to wear off….

What else? I’ll keep you posted on when/where my work is published. In the meantime, I’m enjoying writing and learning a ton of stuff from all sorts of experts I’ve been interviewing. Totally fun and challenging!

I really appreciate all your support and congratulations in the comments, email, twitter, facebook…. Seriously, fahklempt! To show my gratitude, I give you a…a gift: some, umm, art created by none other than THE MONKEY — who, trust me, loooves that her mama’s suddenly wearing heals, dress pants, anything but Lululemons….

When I first saw this drawing, I was immediately drawn to the butterfly — because I distinctly remember loving to draw butterflies when I was in Kindergarten. My parents, of course, framed one of my butterfly masterpieces….

So, I’m sitting there tearing up over this butterfly, and then, I notice something. Not the curious scissorhands or fabulously long feet, but…this:

Ummm, what the…?  Freud?

It is priceless, isn’t it? And I give it to you, dear Gorgeouses, with love and thanks. Enjoy!


xo Haley-O

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