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

There we are. Jennifer Garner and me! You can read my interview and all about my Jennifer Garner experience HERE! It was a whirlwind. I haven’t had a trip like that in a long time, or maybe, like, ever? Crazy!

I left for NYC at 4:30am on Thursday morning. I got on the plane at 6:30am, but my co-traveler Emma Waverman got detained in customs and missed our flight…! It didn’t get much better for poor Emma. When she got to NYC, her car broke down on her way to meet the rest of us. She’s the one in the pretty sundress beside me….

Oh, wait! EVERYONE’s wearing a sundress but me (and tall Jennifer, who got fancy on us!). Apparently, someone didn’t get the sundress memo. But I did get the “wear heels” memo from a little voice in my head — thank goodness…! I went with black wedges and polished toenails, and I brought an extra pair of quite hideous sneakers for the rest of the day.

Anyway, I loved meeting Jennifer. She’s stunning and nice and very passionate about the charity Save the Children, which we were there to promote with my new favourite appliance company Frigidaire.

Little did I know, though, the trip was just beginning. After the event, Emma, Denise Smith from (in the grey dress on the end) and I hit the town thinking we should make the most of the few hours we had left in New York. Little did we know….

We went to Soho and walked forever in the sweltering heat to visit the famous vegan cupcake place, Baby Cakes. Shockingly, it was foodie Emma’s idea. She owed me one for trying to convince me not to be vegan that one time….

I cropped out our arms because we were both having “bad arm days” in our photos….

Such good sports they are to walk that far for vegan cupcakes! The cupcakes were pretty good. But I couldn’t really tell because I had some sort of weird laryngitis symptom that made EVERYTHING I ate taste sour for a good couple of days….

After the bakery, we went shopping. And startlingly, I was the only one who bought anything — a gorj boho-chic necklace from Free People. I don’t have a photo of it yet….

While in Soho, I took my first photo with a sleeping man (and, ooo!, there’s my necklace)!

Emma made me do it…. Hideous sneakers.

After that, we met our friends Irene Ngo from Chatelaine Magazine (in the blue dress, above), Rachelle Stark, David Riabov, and Stephanie (beside Jennifer Garner, above) and Norm from Frigidaire. We were supposed to go for dinner. But the traffic held us back, so we had to go straight to the airport. Parched, hungry and exhausted.

As we drove, the sky got DARK. People were walking the NYC streets covering their faces, the wind was so bad.

Our flight was scheduled for 8:30pm, but the weather kept getting worse, and there was no flight in sight. Eventually, we got out of there still parched and hungry (nothing was open!) and rebooked our flights for the earliest flight home the next day — 2:30pm (3:30pm for Emma, of course…).

We had no change of clothes, no makeup (gah!), toothbrushes, NOTHING. But we had each other. And we had Nobu, and we had 1am shopping at Forever 21 for fresh clothes to wear, and we had a hotel in Times Square, for the win!

Emma and I shared a hotel room, and Irene and Rachelle (above) shared another. I’m a VERY private person, and Emma and I didn’t even have a WALL on our washroom. It was more like a WINDOW WALL. But I didn’t care. Emma is a hoot. They all were. We giggled the whole trip. And I needed it….

I spent the next morning with foodies Irene and Emma. Of course, we checked out Chef Mario Batali’s Eataly. Some of us were in HEA-VEN….

Emma — she had no pants to wear! And Irene’s still wearing her blue dress from the day before…. Look! Mushrooms!

We did so much walking in our new Forever 21 clothes (I NEVER wear stripes! and Emma did finally find some pants to wear) that…

…(yeah you saw that right….) I had to get a Starbucks….

BUSTED…! Oooh! And there’s my new necklace again! Like it?

After that, we went to the airport, checked in. And, of course, Emma’s flight got delayed. We all waved goodbye to poor Emma and off we went. She left 3 hours later.

Okay, this was a lot of work, Gorgeouses! So in return for my sharing the intimate details of my fabulous trip to NYC, can you please do me one favour? Go and commit to “eat fresh.” For every person who commits to eat fresh (it’s quick!), Frigidaire will donate $1 to Save the Children Canada. Plus you get a chance to win an awesome fridge. For more about this cause and to read my Today’s Parent interview with Jennifer Garner, CHECKIT!

Stay tuned. I interview Dean McDermott, whom many of you know as Tori Spelling’s hubby, Thursday. I’m bringing the Rascal with me…. Gaaahhh!

xo Haley-O

I have a really tight schedule. So much so that I often say my top priorities are my family, my job and my friends — in that order. Sadly, I don’t have much time for friends. I have a full-time job and part-time help with the kids. And when I’m not caring for my kids or working, I’m trying to take care of myself, you know, so I don’t break into a million tiny pieces: I go to yoga every day, and I cook now…a lot.

But tonight I made time for a friend, and it was one of the best nights I’ve had in a long time. Here’s a fuzzy (alas, unflattering) photo of us….

What you don’t see is my two little Monkeys by our sides — I’d already used up my babysitting quota the night before when I went way downtown to hang out with my fabulous blogger friends.

What you don’t see is the jade “friendship” necklaces we bought shortly after taking this photo from a lonely street vendor. It was like we were kids again. Even though my own kids were there — providing the usual entertainment.

What you don’t see is her gorgeously pregnant belly. She wanted me to put a pink star on the photo (we didn’t end up getting) of it — just like I do over the Monkeys’ faces. She’s a funny one, that Erna!

Jill, or ERNA (as we like to call each other), is one of my oldest friends. She’s gorj and VERY PREGNANT with her first child. She’s a soul friend whom I don’t need to see all the time in order to stay close.

So I’m tweaking my priority list a bit and making at least a little more time for friends (and a regular date night with Josh, maybe?) — even if it seems there is no time. Because I may be exhausted from another late night, but I feel content, and like I’ve lived a little. And something tells me that’s a good thing.


xo Haley-O

PS. I lost a lot of weight writing my Fitness Blog at Today’s Parent! Here’s my “after” photo (for now)….

I’m in the process of migrating the posts to Cheaty Monkey, where the Fitness blog will now live (humungous thanks to my amazing team at Today’s Parent for gifting me with it)! Now to KEEP the weight off and lose some more. It’s harder without a blog to write! So we’ll have to talk about that here and get back on the wagon ASAP! Love!

Photo by the lovely Jana/Ms_Blue.

I know I was supposed to write about the curious incident of the white elephant, like, two days ago. But it’s going to have to wait. This has been one of the busiest weeks I’ve had in a long time. And that says a lot. Because I am freaking busy.

And before I continue rambling on in my record-exhausted state, I have to point out how awesome the people at my yoga shala are. I’ve missed three days of practice this week. Part of the reason for that is that the cat’s away: my teacher David Robson and his gorj wife Stan and their ridiculously-adorable baby (seriously, look how gorj they are) are in India for a whole month. I’m pretty sure that if they were here, I’d be in that studio EVEN if I accidentally threw my fake front tooth in the garbage and only realized what I did as the garbage truck went rumbling away……….

By the way, I’m getting a PERMANENT TOOTH next Friday! Can you believe!? Can I get a massive HALLELUJAH? Please, say it with me!

Anyway, I did get to yoga this morning. I apologized to Anna and Oliver and Lisa for not being there and they welcomed me with smiles and a pat on the back and, just, with such understanding and compassion. When I left, all sweaty and buzzing with joy and accomplishment, I talked to Jeff and Jodi outside as we put our boots on. We talked about kids and work and my insane schedule, and they got it. They just got it. They looked at me straight in the eye, and they got it. I felt beautifully, intensely, reliefully understood.

Note Bene: “Reliefully” is not a word. But it should be. Either that or “reliefly.” And maybe now I’m demonstrating the true extent of my exhaustion. Because there must be a grade-two level word to describe being understood in such a relieful way.

And then last night at book club. They got it too! At the end of one of the longest days in the history of my days, I hosted book club. And it was good. I sat back on my own cushy couch with some of my favourite people, talked books and gossip and the little humping thing my (female) dog does to my very reluctant (male) cat — TWISTED — at fairly regular intervals….

And that was what Jana was referring to when she tweeted the above photo of Minden with a caption that read, simply, “Alpha?”

And to that I would only add this — a theme song:

One day I will create a video of my dog’s twisted little hobby to the tune of that song — just for Emma Willer. BWAH! That was because she was being mean to ma dawg on twitter this afternoon. That’s what you get for that. Aside from her twisted humping issue, my Betty White is teh awesome. Even though, on our field trip today, the Monkey may or may not have put her hand up to say, simply, “My – dog – is – so – bad.”

And for ALL of that, I sincerely apologize.


xo Haley-O

Psssssssssssssst! Comment on this post below, AND THEN, get thee to my brand new “FIT AND FAB WITH HALEY-O” blog at Today’s Parent. I’ll be blogging there Tuesday’s and Thursdays for the next several months. Checkit!

It’s hard to write a blog post with a cat on your lap. I think that’s one of the reason’s I blog less often than I used to. That, and twitter, and my seasonal anti-socialness. Yes, beloved Macbook, I know “socialness” is not a word but, according to you, either is “macbook.” There’s such a thing as poetic license, you know. And thank you for helping me spell “license.” It’s one of those words I never know how to spell. That, and “exercise” and “occasion,” and “judgment.” Reminds me of how it took me the longest time to notice the spelling of “schedule” — why not “schedual”?

I so think I’m Aristotle right now — ruminating on the little particulars in life and in the mind…. Because I just read this FABO (I know, not officially a word but whatevs) novel all about Aristotle and his student Alexander the Great….

Yes, I read Annabel Lyon’s The Golden Mean. It was my T-Dot blogger bookclub choice. Aside from the animal experimentation and dead-soldier dissection — Alexander the Great was a wee bit CRAZY (crazy but HOT, apparently) — this was the most relaxing, enjoyable book I’ve read in a long time.

If you loved The Tudors and Rome TV series (LOVE LOVE LOVE), you’ll love this book. Lyon takes you RIGHT out of the 20th century, and into Aristotle’s mind — an insatiably curious, innocent, self-questioning, seeking and apparently bi-polar mind.

If you love ancient philosophy, you’ll love this book. Lyon’s (historical-fictional) contextualization of Aristotle’s works makes his theories so much more accessible than your philosophy professor ever could. If only this book were around when I was taking philosophy exams. I had so many “AHA!” moments — or, should I say, “EUREKA” moments!

If you love ancient history, you might, as the author puts it in her acknowledgments, “turn purple” when you read this book. But I was okay with that.

If you love a little erotica in your reading, you’ll love this book. I’m not sure I ever needed to imagine Aristotle’s sex life. But, it was cool to learn how his second wife taught him that there is, indeed, such a thing as a female orgasm. EUREKA!

At Book Club last night, we didn’t talk much about the book. Probably because we all had different levels of interest in Aristotle and his philosophy. I wanted to talk about the significance and treatment of TRAGEDY and CATHARSIS in the book — but I was once a post-graduate philosophy major. AND WE WERE TIRED. AND WE WANTED TO CUPCAKES…. Check ‘em out!

I set them up in my fancy cake plate. Ooo, did I mention I entertained? I ENTERTAINED. I never entertain at my house. EVER. I chose the book; I hosted the SOIREE. But, I think I did ok! What do you think? Check out the table….

Fresh veggies and hummus….

Chips and dips, and fancy NUTS — total HIT — from my fave food store, Organic Abundance — presented in a GORJ clay bowl handmade by BFF Jenifer-Lyn Terner….

And various grains and bean dishes, etc., etc….

And I dressed up my 5-pound LIGHTER bod….

Getting there…! (I’m getting my haircut TOMORROW, woohoo!). And I wore my fancy slippers….

And I had a great time with my bloggy buddies — like the fabulous and brillers KAREN….


Lovelies KITTENPIE and BLITHELY BABBLING don’t show their faces online. But I managed to get a picture of Kittenpie’s lap….

And, of course, the “unwonted guest”…. The Monkey LOVES Mamalooper…. Here she is trudge-trudge-trudging BACK upstairs for the fifth time (I saved her a cupcake, of course)….

It was a FAB party, if I do say so myself. Several peeps in the club couldn’t make it, so it was low key. We drank mint green tea, instead of wine. I turned on the fireplace and gave Mamalooper a blanket to cozy up in. They left after 11pm. I went to bed happy.

Then, today, the Monkey barged in on me when I was in the shower, yelling, “THAT’S MY MAMA!” Let’s just say her playdate, Jill, got an eye full….

THIS MONTH’S BOOK: Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants.

Thinking about the people in Haiti today. A great place to donate is here —


xo Haley-O

This post should probably be FIVE posts and not one (edit: two). But, if I don’t do this now, get it all out NOW, it might get away, and I might never write it. So it has to be done. All of it — even though eyes are still half shut from all the drinking, dancing (oh yeeeahhh), late nights and CONSTANT schmoozing (I HAVE NEVER). When I went to the grocery store today, I checked EVERYONE out and wondered…”DO I KNOW YOU?” Because that’s what you do the WHOLE time at BlogHer. You are constantly asking, “Do I know her?” “Is that? NOOO. YES! Better go say hi! Or, not.” It can make you a little insane. Total culture shock. Anyway, onward!

I ARRIVED…. Chicago is a GORJ city. Much like Toronto — only, they have peeps who, like, take your garbage to the DUMP! TO THINK! Gah.


I felt really out of place when I got there the first day. I DID hide in my room for a bit because the whole thing was so overwhelming. But, then I changed out of my yoga pants, put on my HOT PANTS and gladiator heels, and I was good to go with head held high. Note: I wore my yoga pants and running shoes the ENTIRE rest of the time.

Believe it or not, I hung out with SO many Toronto peeps!

Like, Ms. Emma Willer — because, you know, Where there’s a WILLER, there’s…A WAY — hung out a lot. Here we are experimenting with our self-portraits at lunch. CHIN UP?


OR, CHIN DOWN? We can’t decide which is more flattering….


OR, the torso shot at the Saturday-night cocktail party by the waterssss. GORJ…. (This post does not adhere to chronological order because I’ve come to terms with the sorry fact that I’m a tragically circular thinker. I just don’t DO linear — in case you haven’t noticed BLAH BLAH, omg, THE TANGENTS.)


I just love me some down-to-earth peeps! Speaking of which…. Some KARENMEG!


And some sweet lovely CARING-for-my-overwhelmed-soul KATIE MOTHERBUMPER!


Ma girl MANDY GRATTON! (We took this pic ourselves.)


And, the DON MILLS DIVA Kelly Graham-Scherer IN THE FLESH — who, by the way, made one fine KEYNOTE. Go girl! PLAYDATE (I’m holding you to it!)


And, of course, the woman who got me blogging in the first place, Ms. AliMartell — my old friend and co-worker at that big ole red publishing company….


Yes, it seems you have to go to CHICAGO to hang with your Canadian peeps (even though Ms. Martell is moving to Atlanta AS WE SPEAK!).

I met SO many awesome non-Canadian’s, too, of course! A highlight for me was meeting one of the first bloggers I ever loved. AMALAH! If only…to have…that ARM! She’s GORJ! And SWEET! Loooove!


AND, she probably thought I was stalking her at the Mamapop panel…. But, no. I just smile A LOT. Am COMPULSIVE smiler. But, I DID get a pic of another fave peep of mine, Jodifur, and Amalah’s little boy EZRA! OY!


(Jodifur doesn’t like this pic. And she DOTH look GORJER in real life than in this pic — but OY. EZRA. Had to share.)

And, the one-and-only 6-months-preggers fabtastic writer and person MEGAN JORDAN. LOVE! Love love. Really. I loved hanging with her, and…


and…, AND…. I loved GOING ON AND ON AND ON to her (and to the amazing adorable NEILOCHKA) about — WAIT FOR IT! — TIM GUNN (look at my sidebar posted WAY before BLOGHER! BIGTIME CELEBRITY LOVE)!

I met him. I met Tim Gunn at BlogHer. “We need to stick together,” he tells me….


To be continued….

Make it work!

xo Haley-O

P.S.: For the full photo debrief, check my flickr #blogher09 stream! Enjoy!

P.P.S.: It’s The MONKEY’S 4th Birthday today! FOURTH!!! Happy Birthday, Monkey! I love you….

-2 I took my kids to Shoppers Drug Mart yesterday. We needed diapers, wipes, a new eyelash curler, and celebrity gossip magazines (because I was craving a guilty pleasure that doesn’t involve CALORIES) — and dammit I should have bought those organic cough drops because *COUGH.*

Anyway, as I was pushing my terribly awkward double stroller (which sounds like a WAILING GOAT thanks to one rainy day — M-A-A-A-H) by the newspaper stand, something caught my eye. A picture on the front page of The Toronto Star of an old friend of mine, Krista Stryland, holding her baby boy, and, next to it, another picture of a woman standing proudly, almost smugly. The title of the article read “Liposuction MD Loses Right to Treat Patients.”

I had to do a triple take. I thought to myself, “Krista died almost two years ago already — why is she in the news again?” Of course, I called my friend Jenifer-Lyn, who’d introduced Krista and me several years ago. “Jen,” I said, “Krista’s on the front page of The Toronto Star! Justice, Jen, justice — the doctor who performed the lipo that killed Krista has lost her right to practice!”

As much as I was glad to learn this news, and to see it on the front page of the paper — Krista was THAT important — I was a little disappointed in the amount of coverage the article gave to Dr. Yazdanfar and her FEELINGS. It’s just paragraph after paragraph of her PR babble — how sorry she is, how her life’s been forever changed, how she PRAYED that Krista would be saved, blah blah. PR babble, that is, to go with the perfectly-crafted pose in that font-page photo (above) suggesting both pride AND remorse. Tyra Banks herself must have trained Yazdanfar in front of the mirror for this one. But, obviously, the PR people were sleeping when they okayed Yazdafar’s final statement (which was also the final paragraph in the article):

“I just want [Krista’s family] to know…, because they have the impression that I have no feelings about it, I need them to know that it does devastate me to lose a patient. It really does. It’s the worst thing if they can feel that I don’t care.”

If the family has “the impression that [you] have no feelings about it,” there’s a reason for that. And, of course, YOU CARE — your reputation has been ruined. And it SHOULD be. It’s a wonder you’re not in JAIL.

Just saying.

I’m not going to get into the debate about whether or not doctors need to be CERTIFIED plastic surgeons or not in order to perform liposuction — which is what this tragic event triggered the medical community to ponder. I really know NOTHING about this. I’m not interested in plastic surgery. And, it was a SHOCK to me when I learned my friend had DIED of plastic surgery.

Too many incisions, they said:

“[Krista] had liposuction on both legs, buttocks, back, abdomen and chest wall. This seemed to be excessive,” says a memo written by college investigator Sandra Keough quoting Dr. James Edwards at the Office of the Chief Coroner.

This was a SHOCK to Jenifer-Lyn and me. I wasn’t as close to Krista as Jen was. And even she was shocked by the amount of lipo the doctor performed on this truly beautiful, SLIM person.

I wasn’t as close to Krista, no. But, I was profoundly affected by her death. Her son was only three when she died. And I had JUST SEEN HER. I used to take dance class with her at the gym every Saturday. The teacher used to tell us to shut it and pay attention! Heh. I always feel her absence when I go there now. I miss her smile. I miss dancing with her. I miss talking about our kids together.

One thing we never talked about, though, was HER weight. We were a little too focused on MINE: me telling her I had a zillion pregnancy pounds to lose, and her telling me NAHHHH. When I looked at her, I saw perfection. She was a ballerina.

She was not “that girl who died of liposuction,” or “the 32-year-old real-estate agent with the 3-year-old son who died of liposuction.” She was a dancer, a wonderful mother, an extremely warm, friendly person. Not shallow in the least. You’d never guess she had such serious issues with her body that she’d go to this extreme. And, it’s a REAL shame that she’s being remembered for that.

The very last time I saw Krista was at Toronto’s famous Hollywood Gelato. I think I was on my way to a mom-baby store nearby. She was sitting on the front patio sharing some gelato with her little boy. I remember having to do a triple take (me and my triple takes, I know…) because she looked so stunning. I remember telling her, “Wow! You changed your hair colour! I LOVE it! You look gorgeous! I totally just thought you were a celebrity — I had to do a triple take!” She smiled broadly at that, “Really? A celebrity? Thanks!” We promised to get together at some point with Jen and her kids. But, that never happened. I never saw her again.

I haven’t heard much about how Krista’s family’s doing. But, I’m sure they’re happy to see some justice done, and that she didn’t die totally in vain. Her death has brought a lot of awareness to the subject of liposuction and who has the right to practice cosmetic surgery at all. This still doesn’t bring a mother back to a little boy. A young daughter back to her parents. And it doesn’t fill the void I will always feel in my dance class, or the absence I always feel when I go to (or even drive by) Hollywood Gelato.

Just last week, I took my 3-year-old daughter to Hollywood Gelato, and we sat in the very seat Krista and her son were sitting in the last time we saw them. “Remember the woman and her little boy we saw here a long time ago?” I asked my daughter. “Mommy used to dance with her. She was beautiful, smart, funny and kind.”

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