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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

 


Forgive me, Readers, for I have sinned. Gosh, it’s been almost four months since I last blogged here. There’s actually an unpublished post I wrote about a month ago sitting in the backend. For some reason, I couldn’t bring myself to publish it. It’s called “I lost 25 pounds” — I never got around to finessing the title. I couldn’t bring myself to publish it because, I guess, I wasn’t ready to share, I needed more of a blogging break, or I just didn’t like it (it didn’t sound like me). So it remains in the backend collecting Internet dust; and so it will stay. Especially because…I’ve now lost 33 pounds! Hehee.

Check me out opening Toronto’s Disney on Ice show a few weeks ago on behalf of Today’s Parent (I’ve lost a few more pounds since then, too) — what an honour!

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Yes, I’ve finally lost the baby weight — something I’ve been trying to do pretty much since I started writing this blog (with a 10-month reprieve while I was preggers with the Rascal).

I’m pretty sure it took so long to lose the baby weight because, as I wrote at Today’s Parent (and please forgive me for spilling my guts there rather than here — it’s a bloggy balance I have yet to strike, clearly), having school-aged kids is awesome. The kids are amazingly more independent now, so they can entertain themselves more willingly when I’m riding the stationary bike or while I cook healthy food for us or while I count Weight Watchers points.

Yes, I’m on Weight Watchers (online — no in-person meetings for this introvert!). I chose this program because my friend Lolo (remember her?) was also on the diet, as well as several of my fabulous Today’s Parent colleagues. It was helpful to text Lolo whenever I was in a bind, and to vent about plateaus, tweet and restrain from eating office treats with my colleagues. Mind you, I never had a problem with office treats, but at least I didn’t have to refuse them alone anymore!

OK, I’m getting to the point where I’m wondering if I should publish this post or not. I seem to have left my blog legs at Today’s Parent. I am sooo busy there right now. There’s a lot of exciting stuff happening, and you’ll see a lot more writing from me — not just about celebrities! I even just had an article about — gasp — pregnancy published in our Today’s Parent Pregnancy magazine. I posted a photo of it on Facebook, if you want to check it out. I didn’t realize how graphic it was at a certain point. I probably should have cut the photo off before the vagina and rectum part.

Anyway, I know a lot of you have been trying to lose weight with me all these years. So, here are the little trickies I’ve learned on my weight-loss journey.

1. Give yourself a treat day
Even Jillian Michaels recommends this — for her kids, but still, it works. My treat day is Saturday (woohoo, almost there!). So, if I have cravings during the week, I put the food away and think to myself, “You can have it Saturday!” I even recommended this strategy to a smoker friend of mine. I suggested she try to refrain from smoking all week and then smoke all she wants on Saturdays. It hasn’t worked for her, alas, but you really have to want to quit, or to lose weight, to make it happen (see #2). Make sure you don’t go overboard on treat day, though, or it does sabotage your efforts, and you will feel sick. I speak from experience.

2. Be wanting and ready to lose weight
When I was at my highest weight, back in September, I started feeling physically averse to my flab. It’s sort of like when you really need a haircut, and, like, you need it now! I needed the fat off NOW. In the five years I’ve been trying to lose weight, I never had this fierce, physical desire or drive. It’s definitely key. Maybe it involves getting to your highest weight — or, as they say, hitting rock bottom. It was a key factor for me.

3. Control your cravings and log your food intake
I’ve plateaued a couple of times during my weight-loss journey. To get through plateaus I had to really take a look at what I was eating, and what I was craving — that’s easy to do if you’re using a weight loss app, like Weight Watchers’, which has a food log component (SO KEY). For the most part, I noticed, I started plateauing when I was eating too much bread or baked stuff: a homemade muffin for breakfast, crackers and hummus for lunch, bagel and peanut butter for dinner. It was all well within my daily points allowance, but not nutritious, and I was craving these foods. The more bread you eat, the more you want it. So, to lose the last 10 pounds or so, I’ve been limiting the bread and baked goods, and replacing some of those missing carbs with healthy whole grains, fruits and starchy vegetables. And, lo and behold, the weight peels off and I don’t need spelt ShaSha cookies for dessert anymore.

4. Exercise
Biking, sweaty Ashtanga yoga, walking, kickboxing DVDs, snowshoeing, skating….

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It’s all about convenience. This means I crack open the yoga mat more often at home than at the studio (alas), and I bike in front of the TV while dinner’s cooking, etc. The most I exercise (formally) is around 45 minutes, six days a week; I take a break on treat day. I also try to be as active as I can throughout the day, i.e., by taking the long route to the office washroom, parking a little farther from my destinations, walking instead of driving to the bank machine, tackling the dog, chasing the kids, etc.

4. Have a bite
Sometimes treats happen beyond “treat day.” My kids know that Mama’s treat day is Saturday. But I don’t want them to see me being rigid. If we’re presented with a cake, I’ll have a bite, even a sliver. They just know that having a treat day helps me eat healthy most of the time — which is what their goal should be, too.

I’m sure I’ll think of more tips after/if I press the “Publish” button here. But, let’s talk about it in the comments…or Facebook or Twitter. I’m happy to answer any questions you might have about Weight Watchers, weight loss, Betty White — who recently got groomed (in case you were wondering based on the photo above…).

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She was still mad about getting groomed when I snapped this picture.

Alright, this was fun! We should do this more often. Truth is, I am SWAMPED at work, so it’s hard to find the time. And this whole post is a symptom of a little procrastination problem I’m having this morning. But, I guess now I’m warmed up to write!

See you soon.

Love!
xo Haley-O


Happy Holidays, Gorgeouses!

I have nothing to say. Mostly because I’ve been eating way too much sugar. So now, as I sit down and attempt to craft a brilliant Happy-Holidays blog post, all I hear in my mind is this: bzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Eventually the sugar buzz will go away, and I’ll probably have to eat some more sugar. UGH, there are just so many sugary goodies in my house. IT’S SO UNFAAAAAAAIR! How am I supposed to eat healthy when, for example, our amazing Todaysparent.com General Manager, Elana, leaves THIS on my desk….

Of course, it’s vegan and fair trade, so there were no excuses for me NOT to devour this chocolate-mint DREAM….

Well, anyway, I managed not to eat the whole bar. But it sat just like that on my desk all day, staring at me and calling my name. “Haaaaaaley! Haaaaaaaaley! Eeeeeeeat meeeee! Noowwwwwww! I’m yuuuuuuummy and will make your world preeeeeeeeeeetty!” So as soon as work ended and I got in my car to pick up the kids, I tore open the luscious green wrapper and scarfed a good chunk of it down like an ancient, ancient Neanderthal man in winter. I probably shouldn’t bother with the metaphors, huh? Bzzzzzzzzzzz…..

Despite my extreme sugar consumption, I have been going to yoga every day — except for those two days when, A, I had a rare migraine headache and couldn’t see anything (AND I still practiced blindly in my bedroom while the kids pointed at me and laughed) and, B, my alarm didn’t go off (I swear, it didn’t go off! Why won’t anybody believe me!?). In the New Year, I’m committing to a full 6-days-a-week practice…. And I’m going to really try to lose weight. No, really. REALLY.

I’m not going to go crazy and say I’m quitting sugar and wheat and chai lattes. As my friend Alice suggested, I’m just going to keep it simple and limit sugary and salty extremes: I’m going to eat grains and vegetables at every meal (lunch and dinner, anyway), and one soup; and I’m going to enjoy a fresh juice, fruit and/or tea in the morning instead of grabbing a chai latte.

In the meantime, I’m high on sugar. Bzzzzzz….. And I have to wake up early for yoga.

Oh gosh. I need water….

In the New Year, there will definitely be fewer sugar rushes. I’ve been feeling tired from all the sweet gluttony, and I haven’t been eating lunch. And due to protruding sugar gut, my yoga twists are awful again — like the books I’ve been collecting on my shelf at work, only not as HILARIOUS….

And bzzzzzzzz…. Nothing.

As I vowed on Today’s Parent‘s Facebook page earlier this evening, next week I’m going to take a “parenting holiday.” I’m not exactly sure how this is going to go down because I still have to feed the Monkey and Rascal, bathe them and break up the fights! But I’m going to try enjoy my family and relax this holiday without worrying so much about outcomes. “C’we have cookies for breakfast, Mama?” Sure! “Mama? C’we watch ANOTHER movie?” Sure! And just maybe I’ll take a little better care of me for once, instead.

Josh and the kids say HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Betty White says HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Minden says HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Maaaarge came out of hiding to say HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Happy Holidays, Gorgeouses! All the best to you and your families!

Love!

xo Haley-O


Lucky, lucky me, I got to interview the legendary Martin Short for Today’s Parent today. And legendary he is. Tell me you didn’t adore him as Franck Eggelhoffer in Father of the Bride (“Papalah, coom vit us!”), and did you see him in this Saturday Night Live synchronized swimming skit (my fave ever!), and have you and your kids been watching him on Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That, not to mention How I Met Your Mother and Two and a Half Men? How about SCTV days (Ed Grimley, anyone?)…, Three Amigos, the list goes on and on and on for this multiple Emmy and Golden Globe award winner. Amazing. Amazing!

Well, he was in town today to promote Canada’s Got Talent (which debuts March 2012). With hilarious Martin as a judge (along with the awesome Measha Brueggergosman and Stephan Moccio), and the truly fabulous (and lovely!) Dina Pugliese as host, it’ll definitely be a great show!

I was beyond honoured to interview Martin today. Check out the interview HERE!

In addition to Martin, I got to see opera star Measha Brueggergosman’s famous hair, and listen to her famous voice as she gave interview after interview….

AND the beautiful AND funny Dina Pugliese….

Great day! Love, love, love!

By the way, these photos of Martin Short are by my sidekick today, Laura Grande (editorial assistant, Todaysparent.com). She was so hungry (it was a long day), she dove into my purse and ate my apple…. Haha!

Love!

xo Haley-O

Photos of Martin Short by Laura Grande. Photos of Measha and Dina by me (Haley Overland / Todaysparent.com).


I’m going to be on CityLine tomorrow (Wednesday). NO, not as a guest, of course! I’ll be sitting giddy in the audience gawking at…HEIDI KLUM.

I WAS supposed to interview Heidi one-on-one; but to tell you the truth, celebrity interviews are nerve-wracking…. So it was just perfect for me to sit back and watch a real pro, Tracy Moore, do it so naturally in front of a live audience. It’s not like I wasn’t nervous, though. I really didn’t know if they were going to pull me out of the audience to do a quickie interview after the show, drag me to the Eaton’s Centre (where Heidi was headed next), or what. When the interview was over and Heidi stood up to leave, I finally took a deep breath and enjoyed the rest of the show…. Makeovers!

As the Monkey likes to say, well anyway, the interview was quite fascinating, and it was really hard for me to take my eyes off her. She’s that stunning. Read all about it (lots of good deets!), and check out the pics on my Celebrity Candy blog HERE, and see if you can spot me in the audience in tomorrow’s show — CityLine, CityTV, 9am and 2pm EST (I’ll update you with the online edition here ASAP, in case you miss it)! I’ve never been in a studio audience before. It was REALLY FUN!

In other news I’m pretty sure I’ll be stalking Jessica and Ashlee Simpson this weekend. I got a vague invite to an event they’ll be at, and I’m dragging the whole family with me. Hey, it’s a Saturday! I insist on being with my family on the weekend, even if it means they go to work with me!

So we’re back in the celebrity swing of things. High energy. Lots of events. Tomorrow, I’m taking the Rascal to the worldwide debut of the “Canuck Monster Truck.” Funny little Rascal, he went right to bed this evening because he couldn’t wait to wake up for the show in the morning: “I’m goin’ right to bed, Dada! I’m goin’ right to bed.” I was warned on Facebook that I need to bring some earplugs for him. So we’ll be running out first thing in the morning to get those earplugs.

But before that, reeeeally early in the morning, I’m going to yoga.

In the meantime, I have to feed Betty White her rice….

It seems we’re both on the macrobiotic diet…. Well, I am, thanks to my gorgeous friends at the brand new Macrobiotic Centre of Toronto (website to come). Looking back at my life so far, I can’t really believe I have friends who run a macrobiotics centre. Nothing in my life really ever pointed here. But here I am. Hovering among celebrities, Monster Trucks, rice, school pick-up, fairies and Ashtanga yoga. Kind of an amazing place to be.

Oh, and Betty’s not really on a macrobiotic diet, FYI. She has DIARRHEA. The macros would cringe at that instant white rice the vet insisted on (in the photo)!

Let’s just say Betty’s hungry. She’s really, really hungry.

Arf! She’ll be back on her regular food tomorrow. Fingers crossed for no more crap! Heh. Poor dog is so exposed on this blog. But we all love her and want the best for her, right, Gorgeouses?

Love!

xo Haley-O

PS: Check out my Twitter feed (@cheaty) and Today’s Parent’s Twitter feed (@todaysparent) for live Monster Truck action tomorrow morning!


I’m trying to gather up enough energy and stamina to write a post here. Thoughts have been forming and merging and collapsing lately, but fingers repel keys like magnets with like poles because exhausted and empty.

But just like I now get on the yoga mat each morning (thanks to persistent, available, compassionately whip-cracking teacher), I’m getting on the keyboard and writing this evening.

Yoga for writers: Do your writing, and all is coming….

Lately I’ve found myself thinking a lot about who on earth I am. I’ve had so much going on: my first TV appearance, celebrity interviews, and more and more celebrity interviews and two trips to New York in just over a month and trips to the cottage and work and…and…and…and family.

And my family, though last on that list of “so much going on,” is at the forefront of my thoughts all the time. When I pick up the phone to Jessica Alba’s very sweet voice, it occurs to me how close in age the Rascal is to her daughter. Does she want to know how much my son will love Spy Kids? Or how the Monkey loves the Little Mermaid, too? She has a Little Mermaid “babing suit”….

She turned six last week. SIX.


Gosh, and I’ve been blogging here since she was 8 months old….

We threw her a fairy birthday party. Tinker Bell flew in and blew the Monkey away. She stayed much longer than she was supposed to (thankfully), went up to the Monkey’s room with all the girls, ate cake with us, took pictures. The Monkey hugged Tink for dear life when it was time to say goodbye. She really believed….

With so much going on, when I hang up the phone with Jessica Alba, when I leave work for the day, when the TV camera switches off and I’m wondering how I did, when I’m standing on my head at the yoga studio, when I crawl into a foreign hotel bed, I am all about my kids.


“Ooo, look at the upside down rainbow!” — my brother and his wife taunt me when I practice yoga at the cottage….

From the moment I crawl out from under the Rascal in the morning, to the time I pick them up from camp, they’re in my thoughts — emerging and retreating as my focus on other things waxes and wanes. How are they doing at camp? Is the Monkey wearing her hat? Is the Rascal asking his counselor for “Mama”? Is he eating his snack? What will we do together after camp? Hair cuts? The “fairy store”? The park?

I’m thinking about my family. That’s who I am. And I’m thinking about career and life and what I’ll make for tomorrow’s lunch when I finish writing this post. I’m thinking about my dharma.

Last night I dreamed of a cave and a guru. Another guru dream. There were no answers, nothing full or finite. Just open arms and a smile.

Love….

xo Haley-O


Hi Gorgeouses! This has to be the quickest blog update ever because I’m in the middle of watching Hall Pass with Josh-O at the cottage, and I didn’t want to forget to loop you all in on everything that’s going on.

Last week was basically the most insane week ever. And if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, or if you’re a regular reader of my Today’s Parent celebrity news blog, Celebrity Candy, then you pretty-much know most of this already. But here’s the basic roundup:

Last Sunday I went to New York again for another overnight trip to meet and interview a celebrity mom for Today’s Parent. This time it was Alyson Hannigan! Long time Gorgeouses will know how very dear WILLOW is to my heart, so this was incredible….

Check out the great interview HERE! I even got to say “This one time? At band camp?” to her! It was definitely a highlight of my life…. Hee!

Then, just as I’m finally starting to recuperate from Monday’s trip, yesterday (Friday) was CRAZY! The Canadian entertainment news show ETALK came to interview moi about celebrity secrets for post-baby weight loss….

My amazing and thoughtful General Manager Elana Schachter and my totally awesome NEW MANAGING EDITOR Nadine Silverthorne insisted that I get hair and makeup done so that I’d feel my best (verklempt, right?). So here’s me getting my makeup done in the Rogers offices by the sparkly and fabulous Elise Tremblay (closeup pics of that to come – I forgot my USB chord at home!)….

Here’s me apparently bending forward unflatteringly (!) while talking to eTalk….

Eeep! I hate to share this photo because, aside from Elise’s fab hairstyling, I look horrid, but it gives you a good idea of the environment I was working in, i.e., pretty scary at Today’s Parent/Flare/Chatelaine/Hello Canada Magazine reception area with camera in face — but the wonderful eTalk producer Heather Lin (above) was wonderful at making me feel relatively at ease (as were Nadine and our PR guru Hazel Picco).

So the episode of eTalk airs TUESDAY (July 26), 7pm, CTV. You can also catch it on channel 63 (in Toronto), at 6pm and 11pm. I’ll keep you posted on any changes on Twitter.

Gosh, I hope I look okay on TV and that I don’t twitch or anything!

SO THEN! After I finish the interview, I’m in the middle of writing an article due yesterday, and I get a phone call. Apparently I’m interviewing JESSICA ALBA. She’s going to call me on the phone in a few hours.

So I spend the rest of the day scrambling to organize a blurb about it for Today’s Parent Magazine ASAP (huge thanks to the print team and Nadine for making THAT happen!), devising questions for Jessica, catching my breath…. The interview itself was great. She’s very sweet and real and had lots of useful things to say about motherhood and balance, and I can’t wait to share (next week on Celebrity Candy).

So how was your week, Gorgeouses?

Love!

xo Haley-O

eTalk photos c/o Nadine Silverthorne | Photo of Jessica Alba c/o Georges Biard

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