I’m not sure if my brillers yoga teacher minds if I quote him (again), but I’m too shy to ask. And yesterday, in yoga class, a funny thing happened.

In Ashtanga yoga, which is the style of yoga I practise, you do the same sequence every day, 6 days a week. Once you’ve mastered the poses your teacher’s given you, you get to add on another pose (or more). So I’ve been “stuck” at Bhujapidasana for over 9 months now. UNTIL YESTERDAY!

David: How was your Bhujapidasana today?
Me: Umm, uh, good. I, erm, was a bit stiff in the neck, but I got my feet off the ground.
David: Okay, do Kurmasana.
Me: Umm.

DO KURMASANA. Just like that. After 9 months. NINE. NINE MONTHS.

SURE! No problem. Do Kurmasana. You want to see Kurmasana, Gorgeouses? Let me show you Kurmasana. Actually, let DAVID show you KurmasanaLOOK!

And here’s a woman named Maria Villella demonstrating Bhujapidasana and Kurmasana (aka Hell on Hamstrings) very fancy-like on video — because you have to see these Kurmasana poses in action….

Right!? RIGHT. Do Kurmasana, he tells me. Just like that. And would you believe it’s even harder than it looks? I promise to video it when I can finally do it, ohh, 9 years from now?!

Anyway, I’m still in shock that I got a new pose. So I had to tell you all about it — even if you don’t share this crazy passion of mine. But, you know, this is my blog. And this yoga is my life saver. It makes me a healthier, happier, less OCD-anxious person. And it makes me a better — stronger, more focused, present and less nervous — mother. It’s kind of basically me. In a nutshell. Or nutshell-shaped pose. Hmmm….

And now for farm pictures.

We went to the farm near Montreal to spend the first night of Passover with Josh’s side of the family. And it was beautiful as ever. Except for that one bitty thing Betty White did. My in laws aren’t dog people, but they graciously allowed the dogs to roam free in the house, and, well, Betty White thanked them for it….

We had crated her in some cheap thing when we went out to the sugar shack (below) for a couple of hours, and the crate collapsed on poor Betty White! From the evidence we gathered, she then freaked out and started running all over the house looking for us — pooping in the living room and and AND decorating the entire upstairs with diarrhea….

A-ny-way…. She’s a GREAT DOG! I love her — like crazy.

So here are the pics! (Click to enlarge….)

We started at the sugary-sweet Sand Road Maple Farm. I was in a really good mood the first day — a true Canadian!

The whole family enjoyed an “authentic Canadian maple meal,” as I watched (since they don’t serve anything green or remotely vegan there other than orange juice). And the kids tasted their first authentic taffy stick…

…in their own special way….

The Canoe Race was a hoot. I was still in a good mood for this…. I was really into it!

…Of course the view helped…!

Unfortunately, none of the rowers opted to go through those RAPIDS OF DOOM. They all portaged. Boooo. So we stood out there for an hour for nothing….

But it’s okay because I was in a good mood and Betty White was warm….

Other than that, I planted my butt on a country chair and transcribed a couple of interviews (for hours!), and I started to get moody after feasting at the Passover Seder. Maybe it’s the yoga finally sinking in — but if I don’t eat clean (no sugar or overeating), I feel awful. Kind of like how Betty White’s puppy-cousin Kugel felt in a kippah…..

But the yoga helped. Saved me. And it’s always a treat to be out of the city and immersed in nature….




xo Haley-O

Aside from feeling “nudged” (which is a Jewish term for wanting to eat even though you’re not hungry), I feel great. And it all started last Thursday.

I’d been meaning to prepare you for the event. But I didn’t get around to it, and I didn’t want to think about it. Which is also why I didn’t crash diet for it — and I totally meant to and I totally should have. Instead I think I ate more, and chugged at least a chai a day to numb myself to what was to come….

Yeah, you know those layouts in magazines where they have a girl in tight clothes demonstrating workout moves? You know the ones. Usually the girl is really svelte with nary a nugget of flab. Well, Today’s Parent Magazine selected moi for such a role.  And I agreed.

The thing is, not only did I agree to do a layout, but I also agreed to do the VIDEO for TodaysParent.com. And, apparently, there is no airbrushing a video. And that “slimming lense” that Andrew Dunlop, our web editor and video master, told me he’d use for the shoot? Doesn’t in fact exist. Aaaaaandrew!

That’s Andrew. I snapped that shot when we got to The Shopping Channel headquarters, which was where the photo and video shoots took place. Why there, you ask? Because that was where the guy who was going to show me the MOVES was advertising his new products: Harley Pasternak.

You may have read about him in the gossip mags, when the stars talk about their diet and exercise regimes, because he’s worked with most of them. His insane list of his star clients includes the likes of Halle Berry, Natalie Portman, Orlando Bloom, Megan Fox, Jason Segel, Kate Beckinsale, Robert Downy Jr., Jennifer Hudson, Paul Rudd (my new crush), Katy Perry and Jessica Simpson….

…and now me!

Here’s Harley and me posing for my blog….

I really shouldn’t smile in pictures. Not only does my fake front tooth look horrid (I’m getting the bridge in just a few weeks woohoo!), but my cheeks balloon out like my 5-year-old’s….

See, here’s a picture of me not smiling (granted a little distorted, but you can still see the difference)….

Got my hair and makeup did by the gorj Michelle Rosen and sweet outfit styled by the gorj Vanessa Taylor.

And please don’t get all “Haley, you look AMAZING” on me because even I can say I look slimmish in this photo. But there’s a sizable leftover-pregnancy pot that you can’t really see in that photo for some reason. You’ll see it in the video (trust me — it’s going to be SO embarrassing), and possibly even in the photos.

Anyway, that photo was shot in my GREEN ROOM. I had my very own green room right next to Harley Pasternak’s green room. Which turned out to be a bit of a problem because — look at my green room door….

“Haley” looks a lot like “Harley.” So I may or may not have — okay I did! I did! — walked into Harley Pasternak’s green room instead of mine. And that’s how he and I met for the first time. Awkward. Very. Very awkward: “Hi, H-H-H-Harley! I’m H-H-H-Haley. Oops. Heh. I’m actually interviewing you later and doing that whole workout thing with you. See I walked in here because my name’s ‘Haley’? Kind of looks like ‘Harley,’ you know? Don’t you think? Okay thanx bai.”

I returned to his green room a little later to interview him about fitness and celebs and why I can’t seem to lose weight — he’s not into my yoga or my veganism — and it was cool and relaxed. I got lots of goods.

And so now here’s the thing. When I left, I promised Harley that I’d get on this and do his program: I’d do his 25 minute workout DVD with the “Harley Bar” (both of which I received care of The Shopping Channel) 5 times a week, and I’d eat 5 times a day — as per his 5-factor program — and, finally, that I’d lose 25 pounds, to which he replied, “Don’t put a number on it.” Okay no number.

But, see, here’s the thing: not only did I make this promise to Harley Pasternak, but I’ve made it BIG TIME to Today’s Parent Magazine. In the November Issue of Today’s Parent, you will see a finally FIT and HEALTHY me…. It’s set in stone in the editorial calendar. And we’re shooting my “AFTER” PHOTO in April.

So it’s officially ON. For years now, you’ve been hearing about my dieting trials and tribulations. And enough is enough. I mean, when I got a new boss a few months ago, I felt compelled to tell her I wasn’t pregnant so she wouldn’t wonder about it. And that’s just not okay. Not okay. I’m tired of looking pregnant. Yes, my pregnancies were emotionally and physically traumatizing. But it’s time to shed it all and move on.

The training has begun. I’m still doing my daily Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga (it is NOT EASY, Harley) and eating vegan. But I’ve added a few more healthy meals in there — which is doing wonders for my apparent hyperglycemia — and Harley’s 25-minute 5-factor workout DVDs. Apparently, even Lady Gaga (another one of Harley’s star clients) works out for 25 minutes, 5 days a week (unless she happens to have extra time on her hands). You’d think these celebs worked out for hours. But Harley says no.

I think that’s all for now because, man, I’m writing a book here. But I will say this: Jennifer Hudson has Weight Watchers (and Harley Pasternak) behind her, and look at her! And now, very thankfully, I have Today’s Parent behind me. And maybe that’s what it’ll take to DO THIS THING. An “after” picture in a magazine: now that’s motivation! *Shivers.* I think it’s ON, Gorgeouses! Yes, it’s ON!

So, your turn. Want to join me? I WILL post your before and after photo right here if you want it…. Do it do it!


xo Haley-O

Photo source

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

I think I just wasted 20 minutes of my life (which I’ll never get back) adding two new words to the Urban Dictionary.

GORJ (= gorgeous)

AGORJABLE (= both gorgeous and adorable)

We’ve been using GORJ around here for years now. But AGORJABLE’s definitely a new one. It emerged on twitter (as so much does) when I was direct-messaging my AGORJABLE friend, Ms. @Lindseyjay, who also happens to be GORJ. There — I just used both words in a sentence, in one sentence.

The Urban Dictionary’s not quite the OED, but I’ll get there. I also invented the word LAPPAH, if you recall….

Where was I? I had to leave…. Just lost another 10 minutes of my life (which I’ll never get back) adding LAPPAH to the Urban Dictionary. Please tell me this isn’t as addictive as twitter, or chai lattes….

By the way, don’t search for any of my new words yet. The Urban Dictionary editors have to approve them. But I’m thinking if they approved Sh–––g– and F–––@*&%$, then they’ll probably approve GORJ, AGORJABLE and LAPPAH.

Shh…. Betty White is sleeping, so we have to be quiet….

And I know what you’re thinking. She looks JUST like the dog “Kyle” in Despicable Me with that halucious underbite (and no you’re not having a déjà vu — I’ve definitely mentioned this before, but I like these pictures better!)….

Oh gosh! HALUCIOUS isn’t a real word either, is it? Gotta go.


My Urban Dictionary addiction is healthier than Starbucks, I guess. I suppose I should see if UGGERS and BRILLERS are in there, too…. Ugh. Tired! Hold on.

I’m back.

So, Gorgeouses, in addition to all these super-exciting new words, I’ve made two significant changes in my life. (And no, this isn’t a déjà vu either.) I officially-officially quit Starbucks-soy-no-water-tazo-chai lattes AND I’ve been going to the Ashtanga yoga “shala” every. single. day. Except Saturdays and moon days (it’s traditional not to practice yoga on the days of the new and full moon because the body has less energy and is more prone to injury).

Somehow, it was always okay to go to the gym every day. Why not yoga, until now?

It just so happens I’m not the only crazy “Ashtangi” around these parts. Have you seen Eden Kennedy’s brillers Yogabeans! blog? I’m doing what those action figures are doing every. single. day.

I never thought I’d love sweating in a hot shala every day doing intense yoga that has my heart pumping, face beet red. Yoga was always about bliss before, and breathing into your toes…. Now it’s about tradition, strength, focus, presence and, more than ever (and unexpectedly), community. I have the support I need to get strong and fit and calm(er) and healthy. That, and I get to be with other crazy Ashtangis every day. And they are a cool people. I’m telling you. Cool. (Although I’m a little irate with some of them for being in MEXICO right now on a dream retreat. Grrrr….)

After my yoga practice today, Alice left a “reward” for me at the front desk. And I’ve been verklempt about it ever since. It was the most delicious thing I’d tasted in a long time because it was a homemade, macrobiotic, nourishing nourishing treat. Look how pretty….

Alice says it’s my reward for going baked-goods FREE until January. Mmmm-mmm! Be part of the challenge, get the recipe, and potentially earn your very own “rice triangle sandwich” at ALICE’S NEW Macrobiotic food blog — you’ll see my pretty sandwich and I are featured in her post!

I’m telling you Gorgeouses! I have a new lease on life. Finally, I’m taking care of BOTH my family AND myself. At 3 and 5 years old, my kids are thoroughly entertained and excited by their mama’s curious passion. And I see how good it is for them to see me taking care of myself and doing something, to think!, for me (who?) — which, really, is ultimately for them…. Because practicing my yoga and eating right make me a happier, healthier and more present mom (and person all around).

Now, sit back, and watch me melt off 20 pounds with joy….

Love! xoxo Haley-O

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