I realize I look obese in this photo. But, although I can’t claim to have my 28-year-old body back by any means, it’s not as bad as it looks up there. And I obviously love you and miss you enough — after this latest long pause between blog posts — to appear obese before you, just to share a laugh.

So, our Betty White loves her mom. Can you tell? If I leave her for a minute, she squeals. It’s a bit of a problem, and it really irks the neighbours. So into the kayak she goes….

PEEK-A-BOO! I look like a hunchback in that photo, with bad kayaking form, to make matters worse. See how I love you?

And see how I love the water? I never loved it this much growing up. If someone suggested water sports when I was a kid, I usually ran the other way — screaming. I guess you appreciate the things that make you happy more as you get older. Or, at least you have to for sanity’s sake.

Because I don’t stop during the week. Among the kids, Josh, my job, my gazillion interests….

“Numbers never stop,” the Monkey tells her little brother. “They’re even making numbers right now.”

I don’t stop. The lake makes me stop, and breathe. And the lake literally made me stop a couple of weekends ago when I wakeboarded too hard in roaring winds and she wouldn’t have it. After several face plants into the cement-like waves, I got myself a concussion.

I’m still recovering from this concussion because, against the doc’s orders, I haven’t stopped working on my computer, and I haven’t stopped reading. And here I am talking to you, when I should really be resting and getting back on the yoga mat.

Gazillion.

But who can rest when you have two kids, a busy husband, an exciting job and what really seems lately like a gazillion interests? So here I am with that lingering ache and buzz around my head, and the sensation that my mind, my brain, is all a-fragmented…. I suppose that’s how I’d describe what this concussion feels like. But I keep going until I can’t go anymore — stopped in my tracks by the warm, sparkling, rippling waves.

But it’s only Tuesday. And so earlier this evening, I made veggie burgers for the first time ever, and promised a Twitter friend I’d post the recipe, so checkit:

They’d probably look better if I’d used black beans, but all I had were red kidney beans (no wonder, because I never eat them). Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients: 

1 15-oz can beans/1.5 cups cooked beans (black beans, pinto, red kidney)
1/2 cup salsa
1 oz sliced onion (or more, to taste)
1.5 cups bread crumbs (I use spelt or wholest grain possible)
1 tsp cumin
pepper (to taste)

Instructions:

1. Pour the beans and the salsa into your food processor, and blend until smooth.
2. Add in the onions, cumin, 1 cup of the bread crumbs, pepper, and blend.
3. Pour it into a bowl.
4. Get messy, and use your hands to make 8 nice-sized patties. As you form them, gently press both sides of the burgers in the remaining bread crumbs.
5. Let them set in the refrigerator for 15-30 mins while you prepare other parts of your meal (or clean up or make the kids’ lunches!)
6. Place the burgers on a baking sheet, and bake in preheated oven at around 350ºF for around 20-25 minutes (I’m not really sure about the timing — I just waited ’til they browned a little bit), flipping once.

Stick ‘em in a nice, lightly-toasted, whole-grain bagel, sprinkle some Daiya vegan cheese on top, some Vegenaise, ketchup, Dijon, lettuce, tomato, the works, and enjoy!

Tell me, Gorgeouses: Do you have a gazillion interests too? What are some of your interests — beyond parenting and your job…?

Love!
xo Haley-O


I try.

I try to be a good mother.

I try to be a good wife and daughter and friend and relative.

I try to be a good person.

I try to be a good student and employee and coworker.

I try to write well.

I try to entertain and delight.

I try eat well.

I try to practice yoga. Every day.

I try to exercise.

I try to breathe and meditate and be spiritual.

I try to look presentable.

I try to be compassionate.

I try not to eat or wear animal products.

I try to keep a clean house.

I try not to lie, get mad, eat too much sugar, skip meals, spend too much money.

I try to manage anxious thoughts, stave off panic and ride waves of depression without slipping back into the deep.

I try to keep my plants alive and my pets fed.

I try to support and help others.

I try to be green and heal the planet.

I try to keep my family happy and healthy.

I try to set a good example for my kids.

This holiday I stopped trying.

I took a holiday from parenting and everything else at my parents’ cottage. I ate a lot, slept a lot, relaxed, gained weight. I let my kids eat cookies for breakfast, spend the day in their pajamas and watch Star Wars.

We played a lot of Sorry! (the Rascal’s our Sorry! champ!)….

We made a (sorry) snowman….

I slid down a hill on this Spider-man sled over and over again and laughed….

We went snowshoeing….

We danced and did our thing….

And I bought a sparkly pompom hat and scarf, fell in love with Ryan Gosling, baked cookies with the Rascal, read books, coloured and went for fairy walks with the Monkey, played tons of soccer, gazed at the stars, the moon and the nearly-frozen lake….

I’ve quoted this a bunch of times here in this blog and I’ll quote it again. My wonderful former yoga teacher, Monica Voss, said this about an asana (yoga pose) during one of our classes a few years ago: Sometimes we have to collapse the structure so we can gradually rebuild. I’ve never forgotten it.

And I’ve done it again.

I’ve collapsed the structure — The Structure of Trying — in which, like a guinea pig, I try and I try and I try to attain goal after goal and I’m just running and running and time is passing, wheel is spinning, and I’m getting nowhere. And I’m still heavier than I’d like to be, getting heavier. And still anxious. And perpetually tired. Endlessly busy, and buying, and sitting, and doing, and pushing, and giving, and hungry, and full, and struggling.

I’ve collapsed the structure. And I’m very gradually building a new foundation — starting with me.

I’ve found a really gentle guide on holistic nutritionist Meghan Telpner’s website called 21 Days to Health. It’s an ebook that involves making small daily changes to your life, like drinking lemon water in the morning (Day 1), flossing every time you brush (Day 2), going to bed 15 minutes earlier (Day 3), and so on. I do a lot of these things already (like flossing!), but I’ve been feeling such a sense of accomplishment, simply because I’ve managed to drink lemon water every morning for the past 5 days — never mind the fact that I haven’t been inside a Starbucks in five days either!(!!)

That easy, daily sense of accomplishment is golden for someone like me.

At the same time, I’ve been energized enough to make all my own meals, feed my family well, eat greens, take a lunch to work, eat lunch, avoid sugar, drink more water, and stay away from Starbucks!(!!)

And, so, for my yogi readers: I haven’t been to yoga. I’ve gone from my daily, trying Ashtanga practice to effectively ZIP. But I feel good. I’ve been taking my practice into my own hands, laying down the necessary foundation of a good diet (and general self-care), on which to gradually build a proper yoga practice — and everything else. The yoga just wasn’t working: I was gaining weight, not sleeping, feeling anxious. But then again it was working. It’s now forcing me to make space for yoga in my life (as my current yoga teacher might say) by cleaning up my diet (but, as you know, he would definitely not condone not practicing to make the space…!). And cleaning up my diet, for me, has meant limiting strenuous exercise. At least for now. I will be in class tomorrow, though, and probably a few times next week. Eventually, I’ll build my practice up to where it was, but I’ll be stronger and healthier and lean enough to progress in it and, finally, to be assisted in twists without shame, crying (or laughing!). It’s worth a try.

So it seems 2012 is starting quietly, calmly, privately (hence the lack of blog posts…), pensively, lightly, (somewhat) effortlessly, deliciously, healthfully, joyfully.

I brought a delicious casserole I made and an orange to work today….

Happy New Year, Gorgeouses…!

Love!

xo Haley-O


A few weeks ago, I hurried out of yoga class to get to work and stopped to say bye and thanks to my super-amazing yoga teacher David.

“My twists are terrible,” I told him as I slipped on my crocs.

“Awful!” He laughed.

“Terribly awful,” I insisted.

“How’s your diet?”

How’s my diet? At first I was excited that he asked because it meant that some good, motivating diet advice from my super-amazing health and spirituality guru was about to come. But, then I realized, gratefully, what an incredibly brave question that was for him to ask me. As my yoga buddy Jeff pointed out, it really shows the depths of a teacher’s compassion and investment in his students — that he’s willing to risk a slap in the face from overweight female straggler. Super amazing.

“It’s bad,” I told him. “Too many soy-chai lattes, sugar, bread, peanut butter. No time to cook for myself, blah blah blah.”

“That’s not good,” he told me. “You need to feed yourself.”

Feed yourself. My gosh. Once again, super-amazing yoga teacher has triggered epiphany. Feed myself. My gosh, I don’t feed myself. I eat, but I don’t feed myself. And I totally 100% eat to numb my emotions. I figured it out on my vacation over the last two weeks in cottage and farm country — i.e., miles away from STARBUCKS. A whole bunch of emotions (even happy ones!) surfaced as a result of not starting my days with a Starbucks sugar rush, and I had no idea what to do with them other than face them head-on or continue to stuff them down unsuccessfully with the sweetest cinnamony syrup I could find.

Practising yoga every day helped. Emotions arose and then vanished after a few poses. And I survived, incredibly.

I kayaked alone almost every day, and I noticed my emotions as I braved some big waves. Emotions ebbed and flowed. Seriously. It was meditation on water. And I survived, incredibly.

I tried to feed myself, as David advised. And I didn’t do that great. I ate chips (which I never eat), the kids’ vegan gummy bears, dark chocolate, peanut butter bagel sandwiches. I wasn’t feeding myself. I was eating.

And now that I’m back from vacation, I’m back on chai lattes.

So today’s the day, Gorgeouses. I’m going to start officially to feed myself. And I know it’s going to be tough, but I’m going to face my emotions head-on without food: anxieties about the kids, the stresses of feeding my family every day, responding to demands, tantrums, needs, wants (never mind my own needs and wants…). I can’t be a perfect parent because there’s just no such thing — I know that — but the stress of doing my best every day takes its toll. And sometimes at the end of the day I just want to veg — lay like broccoli, rather than eat it. I know this now.

Just breathe.

My body is supposed to be my temple. I believe that. And I want to move faster, feel lighter, look better.

I’ve been noticing lately that some women wear scarves around their necks to adorn their bodies. Others ink themselves with awesome tattoos. Others twist shiny strands into intricate ‘dos just to go to work.

I wear makeup — not to adorn my temple, ahem, but to cover up the results of not feeding myself: zits, dehydration, exhaustion, need I go on? As for my hair, I’ll always wash and go….

But I took the kids to the grocery store today. We stocked up on veggies, fruits, all good organic stuff. And when we got home, I took the time to wash and chop everything up instead of letting it all rot untouched in my fridge, as usual.

David suggested that I don’t do anything extreme to feed myself. No raw diets, low-carb diets. Definitely a vegan diet, of course. He likes the macrobiotic way of eating. But he said that if, for example, I can’t find time to make a macrobiotic breakfast (i.e., porridge and blanched greens, blergh…) after yoga practice, that I should have fruit and nuts — “just feed yourself!”

So I’m going back to basics, with the help of this book and this new book…. And then we’ll see about getting macro-fancy. I just need to feed myself, and not eat so much. Know what I mean?

By the way, David did say that I can allow myself my favourite drug drink on moon days — so, I’m looking forward to Sunday….

How about you? Do you feed yourself? How?

Love!

xo Haley-O

 

 


I’m on vacation and spending way too much time tonight trying to get posts and pics for Celebrity Candy to load. And it’ll be a WONDER if I can actually post this blog post. The Internet gods have not been with me while I’ve been on vacation. Which is probably a sign that I should actually take a vacation….

We did have a post in mind to write tonight, and we were totally excited — we really wanted to write it. And in case you’re wondering, we’re speaking in the first-person plural because we just read a book in which one of the characters was trying to obliterate his ego by speaking in the first-person plural, and we quite liked the idea of that. What do you think, Gorgeouses?

Yeah, I’ve been doing a lot of reading on my vacation. We went to Josh’s parents’ farm for a few days, and we’re doing another week in cottage country — which would be sweet if only my Internet were working properly and I could load photos of sweet Rascal in the now-shallow lake water…. For now I can only tweet them.

So keep up with me by checking my Celebrity Candy blog, Twitter and Facebook (like us?)! I’ll be back up and running as soon as we (Josh and I) figure out this photo issue! Could be as soon as tomorrow, so check back — I got farm pics!

OH! Wait! We — well he — JUST figured it out…!

Sigh, I love this pic. Ooo! And now that we can post pics again, I’ve been meaning to share this pic from earlier this month….

That’s awesome Todaysparent.com editor Alex Mlynek, moi and Tori Spelling. Tori was totally lovely this time and felt bad for insinuating that I was short (“I feel so tall! It must be these shoes.” No, not the shoes!). Read all about it here!

Well, life can go on now. Josh put an end to the photo crisis. I can’t tell you how many back flips I want to do right now….

More to come — it’s been a long frustrating night. I plan on updating a little more regularly here. But you know where to find me now when I’m not here, right?

Here’s one more photo for the road woohoo!

Betty White! (And don’t worry about Minden and Maaarge! We have an awesome yogi taking good care of them and our home. But they do say hi…! Meoowww! Miss….)

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


How DOES she do it?

I love them. And I fed them for her sake — because I can’t imagine what it’s like to have nine children. And, of course, they kept coming back for more. In the end they were swimming with us, side by side. Quack quack quack. Until Betty White jumped in. She didn’t bother them or anything, but the mere presence of such a SCARY BEAST was evidently enough to send the ducklings and their mama quacking away for a few hours at least….


Ooooooo…. Scary beast. RAWR!

Or maybe it was my Justin Bieber towel that scared them away….

If you can help it, try not to comment about how dirty and disease infested ducks are. I’ve been fighting some serious sun anxiety/OCD lately. I spent an entire paycheck buying every mineral sunscreen I could find in the store, and that doesn’t seem to be enough for my (and my sister’s) fair beauties in the heat of the cottage sun….


Cousins…. They did wear T-shirts most of the day…AND their beloved life jackets.


Brothers….

Obvious: I love the cottage. I feel like a kid again when I’m there, only better. When I was a kid, I was terrified of the lake, hated the outdoors and ran the other way when anyone yelled “WATER SPORTS WOOHOOOHOOHOOO!” Now, here I am jumping in the middle of the lake to rescue a lost hat, kayaking….

WAKEBOARDING…!

I got up on the wakeboard, and I made it around the lake, bouncing off choppy waves and whipping side to side. Totally awesome, dude…. And I went crazy water tubing. Here’s Josh-O hating every minute of our saggy water tube….

I love it. I love the cottage. The nature, the play, the togetherness. and I hate to leave every time….

So thanks for the emails, Gorgeouses. I know I’ve been MIA here lately. It’s okay. I haven’t even been to yoga much lately either. And I’m kind of disappointed in my apparent laziness. But I am long overdue for this thing called “play,” which I’m surprisingly rediscovering at the cottage.

I think my last yoga practice taught me something about this just the other day. I was really struggling through the poses — probably because I’d eaten too much the night before — and just spontaneously decided to stop working so hard. I let my muscles go a little flaccid, rested a little between poses, relaxed inside the poses (all of this a no-no in Ashtanga yoga), breathed a little more freely. And it suddenly occurred to me that I do EVERYTHING TOO HARD. My “flaccid” yoga was for sure someone else’s 100%. I consistently work too hard in every single aspect of my life. I put too much pressure on myself to go all the way and do everything perfectly. Eureka! Maybe things would flow better for me in general if I just let go a little…. Ride the wave….

Parenting, writing, working, parenting, cooking, yoga, dieting, parenting, running, running, running like Lola.

It felt good to let go in yoga, and it feels good to let go a little in life. To play without guilt or holding back or fear. Without fear without fear, for two seconds without fear. I got up and around the lake on a wakeboard for the first time in my life. You missed it all, Fear.

Now I just have to find that healthy balance between work and play, push and pull, order and chaos, freedom and control, yin and yang.

My arms still feel slightly torn out of their sockets from wakeboarding, but I should make it to yoga tomorrow (and I will work hard). It’s pretty crucial. I have the greatest, most inspiring teacher out there, who, like wakeboarding, reminds me that I can do anything.

Ahh, life.

Love!
xo Haley-O


The husband was away. I wrote two articles this week. Nine or so celebrity blog posts. Interviewed another celebrity last week. Went to another event today. Haven’t been to yoga. Haven’t been eating well. Haven’t been going to bed at reasonable hours. The Rascal graduated from preschool twice. The Monkey graduated from morning school, had a dance recital, a theatre performance, a park party, school cookout and has another graduation Friday. I apply a bottle of sunscreen a week to myself and my squirmy children. We’ve lost two hats and three pairs of shoes.

So I’m not going to write anything today. Today we’ll just chat. Grab some ice water. I hear it’s not very good for your kidneys to drink ice water, or your digestion, but it’s hot in here. So go grab a glass. Maybe squeeze some lemon in it — I need to cleanse. And I’ll share some pics from the last while. Because, as far as writing is concerned? I don’t have a word left in me. That, and I’m seeing doubles trying to keep up with my personal email, work email, my Twitter, Twitter, Facebook, Facebook, blackberry, macbook, work computer and now the new PlayBook that Best Buy kindly gave me because, among other things, I really needed another gadget to check things on, and the Rascal really needs another thing to YEARN and throw window-breaking-loud tantrums about.

What’s the deal with boys and games, anyway? He’s been begging for an “iPot” since he was two. Poor guy NEVER gets to play because I’d rather see him do low-tech things, like colouring or kicking a ball. But, yes, he does enjoy the “finger slide,” whenever he gets the chance, every now and then. But he does think my new PlayBook is for him.

Anyway, how’s that ice water. Mine’s great. Gulp gulp. So here are some pics from some of the last week or so since I’ve blogged, you know, since I’m flat out of words. So, Gorgeouses, checkit….

Rascal, the reality TV star!

For the full scoop on the Rascal, Tori Spelling, the kids and my interview with Dean McDermott (and, come on, Dean haters, everyone makes mistakes — he was LOVELY), go to Celebrity Candy. Grab some vegan candy, enjoy the story, and I’ll wait right here….

What’d you think of those pics! My hair. I know. It was WINDY. I have since rediscovered my hairbrush. The barrage of complements I got on my freshly brushed hair today have incentivized me (I know that’s not a word) to use a brush more regularly.

Get your minds out of the gutter, Gorgeouses, IT’S A FISHING ROD WITH A FISH ON IT. The Rascal asked me to hold it while he enjoyed his organic lollipop.

FISHING ROD!

Look out for our Rascal (and me!?) on the next season of Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood. Ha!

The cottage.

I’m going to go get more ice water. While I’m gone, check out these pics from the cottage last weekend. I feel really lucky that my parents let us use the place like it’s our own…. We don’t hold back….


Bygones…!

Tomorrow I’m meeting with Warren Kramer for a private macrobiotics counseling session. I’ve fallen off too many wagons lately, and I’m feeling it! My friend Alice would say I’m too yang. Way too yang. My yoga teacher David would say, “Don’t let the vrittis win.” They won. I can’t bring myself to go back to yoga now that Josh is back in town…. I’m just exhausted. So I’m hoping Warren will give me a nice, cushy, energizing, happifying wagon to stay on long term. We’ll see.

Love!

xo Haley-O

Photos of Tori, Dean and the kids: Haley Overland/TODAYSPARENT.COM

 

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