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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

 


I haven’t had a Starbucks grande-soy-no-water tazo-chai latte in over a week.

I haven’t had sugar (at least not consciously) in over a week. Except for that teensy amount of ketchup I put in the peanut sauce I made from scratch the other day, which my kids hated. Boooo.

I haven’t eaten much wheat in over a week. Except for those sprouted-grain Ezekiel breads, mmm, with some hummus or Daiya (vegan) cheese on them.

I haven’t really eaten after 8 p.m. Except last Friday night because they had no vegan food at my daughter’s religious schools’ “mandatory” Shabbat dinner. Only half the school showed up, so we are officially suckers. But, it’s OK because the Monkey was thrilled to be there and, quite frankly, the magician was fantastic, and it was interesting to see some faces from, ohhh, 20 years ago! No one ages any more….

I haven’t eaten anything too fatty in over a week.  Except last night, when Josh and I went to Disgraceland for dinner. He had a massive burger that I tried not to make eye contact with, while I ravenously scarfed down my magnificent vegan Caesar salad and vegan nachos (omigosh).

After dinner, we went to the Comedy Bar and laughed for two hours at the hilarious Sklars Brothers show. Here’s a photo of Josh (wearing contact lenses for the first time in 25 years — he thinks he looks bizarre) with Jason Sklar, whom you may recognize from Curb Your Enthusiasm, Entourage, CSI and a buch of other stuff — really nice guy….

Jason’s other half, Randy Sklar, got stuck in Minneapolis, so they did their act via skype — hilarious!

It’s been ages since I went to the yoga shala…. I drive by there on my way to work, and I always hope to see someone walk in or out the front door. I miss everyone! But I need my new lifestyle to set in before I set any more goals. And, unfortunately, I seem to need to lose this weight before I feel comfortable doing yoga anywhere but here at home.

It’s been a week since I started practising yoga at home and exercising. I’ve been dancing a lot with the kids to my favourite radio station, working out with a video, walking the dogs, skating with the kids….

Yeah, It’s been a week since something finally snapped. I just couldn’t take it anymore. I started feeling really low in energy. All I wanted to eat was crap and sit on my couch. And my clothes just kept getting tighter.

So far, I’ve definitely lost a little weight, and people are telling me I look great all the time. As my naturopath, Tara Campbell (who’s helping me along this journey), said, the changes are coming from the inside — so it’s not new makeup, as people have suspected! I’ve just been drinking a lot of green smoothies and eating whole grains, legumes and veggies — all good stuff. Except for the nachos. But, you know, moderation….

OK! Off to NYC to meet my new nephew! This one-day trip will definitely be a challenge, diet wise. But Josh is now on a diet too, so he’ll help me. Besides, I may treat myself to Starbucks, since I can’t bring my blender with me, and one chai, in a different country, totally does not count.

Check out my Oscar fashions roundup, which is, by the way, the reason this post is a bit suckage (late, late night, FTW!)….

Love!

xo Haley-O


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


We had our own little cabin apart from the main cottage where the rest of my family — parents, sister’s family, brother’s family — stayed. I wish I had a picture of our little cabin, but the only one I took was of the kitchen clock with the words “Who Gives a Sh**?” Don’t believe me?

For the record, I totally gave a sh**. I could have stayed at that cottage for another week, month, year. Time ticked too fast. Because look….

And look….

Closer….

Look….

Look….

Look….

Look….

So….

Many….

Dogs….

That’s Olivia (above). She’s deaf. Betty White sat and barked at her for ages trying to work her up, and Olivia didn’t flinch.

We got there Wednesday afternoon, and I worked until 2:30am. And then I rested and totally, completely enjoyed myself and my family the rest of the time. There were just a few mini bites of anxiety due to, ALAS, potentially some JURY DUTY in my future. I say “potentially” because I just learned this morning that I may be able to get out of it. Since I only work until 1pm and don’t have childcare in the afternoon, AND Josh will be out of town on business, I may just be excused. And, hello? I better be. Because I can’t even watch Law and Order. That, and my “summons” takes place during Rascal’s 3rd birthday — and he talks about his birthday EVERY DAY. He want’s Lightening McQueen to come to the party….

Yeah, I know….

Aside from my jury jitters, I’m a little wordless today. Look….

I’m just so relaxed after my cottage adventure. My glass is full, you know? And I’m enjoying the buzz. Without words.

Who gives a sh**?

Love!

xo Haley-O


What I learned from a day in Niagara Falls….

I learned not to take my kids into ANY of the wax museums because there will be FREDDY KRUEGER. A less terrified-of-Freddy blogger would insert a photo here.

I can’t deal.

I learned that the incredibly beautiful Falls give good mist. My skin was oh-so-dewy!

I learned that there IS a city in this world that doesn’t have a single vegan morsel to eat — I mean other than a soggy salad fit for gargoyles (they tried!).

I learned that Frankenstein and Dracula ARE ALIIIIIVE….

I learned that I’m “the coolest chick, yeah you are!” Check this video, Gorgeouses. I took it just for you. These two lovelies were sitting at separate tables, and, apparently, when we sat down to eat, my big hat was blocking his view of her. So I took my hat off, and their love was set free…. After he bought her a glass of wine, loudly, she whispered, “why don’t you come here?” He didn’t want to leave his buddy (who, you’ll see, can do a mean chair dance). So, she went over to him. I had to get them on video, just for you. Forgive my total geekiness. I was having fun….

So you see. I have proof. I. Am the coolest chick, yeah I am. Hee. They did let me put their video online. I always ask permission (because I’m coo like dat) — hence my URGENCY: “SAY IT FOR THE PEOPLE!” *Cough.* If they only knew….

I learned that when you least expect it, some people can be a total HOOT. Love.

You can just ponder that all with this lovely view of Niagara Falls, and more.

This vid’s a little less exciting (which says a lot), but more beautiful. Mind you, there is some uninteresting conversation showcasing my only slight (alas it’s true) tendency toward ditsiness, which the voyeur in you might like….

Love!
xo Haley-O


I just spent about an hour sitting with my legs up on my suitcase just people watching and waiting for Emma to arrive with the keys to our hotel room. Familiar thoughts rolling around in my head: “WHY am I here?” “I could totally just bolt!” “Is that…?” “Should I say ‘hi’ to her or just turn the other way because it’s, like, 1000 degrees in here and I’m schvitzing and not ready, I mean, ‘hi’ can wait…we’re here all weekend.” “WHY am I here?”

The BlogHer conference can be a little overwhelming at first. I remember last year: I got in to the hotel, looked around the lobby at little groups forming, listened to the echoing “squeeee”s, and then I ran up to my hotel room and just stayed there for a bit. I think I must have changed three times: went down in a green shirt, went back up to my room, came back down in a black shirt, went back to my room, and went down again in a different black shirt, and finally started saying some hellos.

I’ll be okay. I just take a while to acclimatize.

I’ve actually been in NYC for a few days now (after a lovely few days in the country). We stayed at a hotel in Brooklyn — right across the street from the JAIL. Talk about JEEBIES. We walked alongside it, and a car drove by with a bunch of SCARY-looking dudes yelling up at the barred windows: “YO JOOOOO! YOOOO! JOOOOOO! JOOOOOOOOOO!”

JEEBIES!

My family and I spent the day in Manhattan yesterday, walking along the sweltering streets, past one-too-many crackheads and a sunglass store at which I purchased these babies….

I was in mid-sentence at the time of this picture-taking, FYI. They look a little big on the sides, but it’s just the angle (I hope). I went in thinking — “I will not buy mom-glasses, I will not buy mom-glasses.” Success, I think!

So there’s that. And this….

Betteh White in NYC! It was VERY hard to leave her this aft….

OY!

Gotta go. Party at the Canadian Embassy. Promise I’ll start being more social.

LOVE!

xo Haley-O


Keeping up with my blog now that I have a full-time writing job is proving très challenging — mostly because, by the end of the night, when my day-writing is done, and the kids are finally in bed, I’m wiped, and my brain is mush.

Plus, I’ve been getting up early in the morning. I mean, really early. Before I started working at Today’s Parent I used to drag myself out of bed as late as humanly possible — I was exhausted from writing late, I mean, really late, into the night. Now, I’m dragging myself out of bed as early as humanly possible. Why? The answer is threefold (I just said that with a Spanish accent, FYI):

The First. Because I want to get to work by 8:30am.

The Second. Because THE RASCAL slows me down — he’s beyond stubborn and demanding in the morning. I sense the beginnings of lower-back pain because, you know, he sleeps on top of me, and, then, the minute I wake up to start on The Third, he’s up, too….

The Third. Because I’ve decided I want to get in shape, I’ve been walking for half an hour every day before work. Only the complications around this fold are twofold:

The First. The Rascal freaks out when I leave the house so early. He needs to drink from his sippy cup and rub my back for at least half an hour before we get out of bed. (So, I wake up even earlier…for the back rub…the awesome back rub.) #highmaintenance

The Second. The dog. I have to take Betty White with me on the walk, or else I have to walk her again later, and there’s no time for that, as you can see…. But, the problem is, she’s a reluctant walker. The vet who lives down the street has never seen such a thing — a puppy who doesn’t want to go for walks. Of course, it deserves pictorial elaboration….

Betty White at the beginning of the morning walk:

Betty White during the walk:

She basically runs as fast as she can to get home the entire time. I know this because she gets even faster on the way back. Silver lining? Makes for an awesome pacer….

And it’s not just the morning walks. Here’s Betty White at the beginning of our family walk later that day….

Underbite.

When we came home from Toy Story 3 that same night, it was pouring rain. Josh had to drag her outside, of course. Imagine that. I don’t have a great picture of Betty White refusing to walk in the rain. But I DO have a picture of Josh-O carrying the only umbrella we could find (which is even better)….

I know once I get used to this routine, and the morning “swamp smoothies” (that my co-workers were gagging at this morning) start kicking in, I’ll be able to do this, or to do more, or be less mushy — inside and out.

Oh, and I’m on Day 2 of quitting chai lattes…, again. At this point in my chai-quitting career, quitting alone is enough to turn my brain to mush. A thousand fold.

Goodnight!

Love! xo Haley-O

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