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

“Too much film festival.” That’s what my yoga teacher said to me as I carried my mat to my spot in the hot room, alas, still wearing my gaudy rhinestone-encrusted Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses on my head. One of the funny teaching assistants quipped, “I think you should leave them on.”

Yes, a little too much Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF): I’ve been sick with a cold/flu — Heather Graham’s cold — and exhausted from interviews with gorj stars on the red carpet, interviews with awesome filmmakers in the heart of downtown Toronto, transcribing all of these interviews, and I’m still recovering from my peek at James Franco and my Clive Owen birthday encounter. *Swoon!*

Now, many of you have known me for years, right? So you know that, of all the celebs in the world, Clive Owen’s my number-one celebrity boyfriend, right? RIGHT? Even if you haven’t known me for long, just look at my Twitter bio. Clive Owen is part of WHO I AM. This is serious business, Gorgeouses. And, although I write about celebrities around the clock, trust me when I say I’m not obsessed with celebrities — not one bit — except for Clive just a little bit….

So when I saw the real Clive Owen standing before me, thanks some sweet VIP tix at the Killer Elite TIFF gala, I was beside myself — waving subtly, arm extended stick straight in the air, mouth uttering I-don’t-know-what, “I love you”?

But, because I love you, Gorgeouses, I’ll share the first photo with you, which no one’s seen yet because I was saving it for you. It’s added proof that (no matter what a certain dinner-party jealous-person-who-shall-not-be-named-you-know-who-you-are might say) Clive was STARING AT ME. Ready? CHECKIT!

Exhibit 1….

Bald guy on the right is Jason Statham, by the way. And pardon the fuzziness. It’s hard to wave and take photos at the same time…. Note that there is not a crowd of people around me. I had ample space on either side of me…!

Exhibit 2….

STARE, right? Doth mine eyes deceiveth me Gorgeouses? No. There it is. Gosh, now I think I may have underplayed the stare a little bit on Celebrity Candy. Now that you see the two exhibits together, you see — RIGHT? — that there was, indeed, a stare.

What the stare was about, I have no idea. Maybe he was thinking there’s that cheaty girl from the Internet, who’s been calling me her boyfriend all these years bwah…!

Anyway. For me it was a surreal experience, like staring at a shark — mysterious, awesome, sublime. Clive.

One more thing before I leave feeling (as my favourite radio host Taylor Strecker likes to say) happy of myself. I may have had a little “too much festival,” but I’ve also been thinking about other more serious stuff lately — like the provincial election here in Ontario, Canada. Gorgeouses, those of you who’ve known me for years know that I stay away from politics because, unlike Clive, it’s so totally not my forte. But I did take to the keyboard the other day to write about an unsettling situation that involved an electoral candidate.

Sighh, I suppose, in the worst case, there’s always Jon Hamm…. But I’ll always have my stare.


xo Haley-O

PS: I’ll be posting more TIFF pics up on my Cheaty Monkey Facebook page, asap!

Photos: Haley Overland/

One of the perks of being the celebrity blogger at Today’s Parent is that I get to be “press” at international events — like the Toronto International Film Festival, which has brought the likes of Ed Harris (*swoon*), Katie Holmes and Suri Cruise, Jennifer Connelly, Ryan Gosling, Ryan Reynolds, Kevin Spacey, Kelly Preston, Scott Speedman and, ohhh, most celebs I can think of, to our fair city. Unfortunately, the TIFF organizers placed the film festival smack-dab in the middle of the Jewish High Holidays. So I’ve been missing most of the action…. When I went to pick up my pass mid-festival, the peeps behind the desk were a little, like, “huh? whah? who?”

You know, though, that’s okay. I got the press pass, and it was really exciting, Gorgeouses!

(Pardon my nails. Manicures are at the very bottom of my priority list these days…. If only I inherited my mother’s manicure and haircut discipline. Nope. BUT, I do shower daily.)

I loved the press junket. That was so thrilling for me. People were buzzing and stressing and schmoozing….

I know the photo doesn’t show much (bygones!) — I really should get an iPhone if I’m going to be “press.” But you can see all the Macs in the background, no? And, seriously, it’s hard to take pictures with your shoddy blackberry while a very little man is practically pulling your pants down to get your attention, screaming “I’M HUNGAWY! I’M HUNGAWY!” (I had JUST fed him.)

The press could have cared LESS about the very blond little thing in the very big yellow top that I brought to the junket….

There we are in the hotel lobby. I appeased him with a few pennies to toss in the apparently fascinating water fountain. Luckily he didn’t toss any in a journalist’s Starbucks cup…. Though there were a few close calls.

Nope. I didn’t see a single celeb. But I spoke to some producers, and I got familiar with the scene and what to do when you’re press…. All great prep for next year when, I just learned, my press privileges will increase. Yeehaw!

I’m not celebrity obsessed at all, though, contrary to popular belief. I just love writing about celebrities because it’s fun and light and makes people smile. But I don’t regret that I missed seeing Ed Harris (*crush*) or Keanu Reeves because the kids didn’t want to leave the schoolyard and I got stuck in traffic.

And now to bed. I’m so tired that I bought TWO diet books today — and ate a bowl of sugary dry cereal for dinner.

The little Rascal, as friggin’ adorable as he is….

…He’s been keeping me up at night. Sending me on water runs in the middle of the night and insisting on sleeping TOTALLY on top of me. ARRRGHH!

Between the not-eating-well and the not-sleeping — OH! and the TIFF — I look like carp. I need more than a manicure. I need a complete spa day, spa week, alone, in Arizona…. Complete with BLISS and coconut smelling things.

So there you have it. I hope a little repetition didn’t bore any of you who’ve been reading Celebrity Candy…. It’s fun over there — click on the GOSSIP link at the top of the page to checkit regular, ‘kay? Thanks!

To bed! No edits. Love! xo Haley-O

She didn’t know exactly what Harry Potter was, but she loved that she “got Gryffindor” when she sat under the “sorting hat” at the Ontario Science Centre’s Harry Potter Exhibition this afternoon.

He didn’t know what Harry Potter was, and he was terrified of the mythical creatures, Hedwig’s hut, and pretty-much anything in a cloak (which obviously posed a bit of a problem), but he loved that he could make magic with his very own Harry Potter wand. And make magic he did….

After the Science Centre I (bravely) took them out to dinner. Just the three of us. We even had to wait 15 minutes for our table.

The last time we went to this restaurant, I had to drag the Rascal out of the restaurant — ON THE FLOOR — screaming….

This time they entertained themselves by entertaining strangers who were also waiting for a table. They ate their dinners and actually patiently waited for me to finish mine.

I realize I’ve probably jinxed myself by blogging about this truly magical day with well-behaved and totally enjoyable children. But I don’t care. I’ve been working like a dog lately — wait ’til you see the fun articles I wrote for Today’s Parent this month (one of them’s a really fun quiz!) — and what you see here is what spontaneously spilled out of me when I opened up my macbook to say hi to you Gorgeouses! HI!

Here’s hoping I didn’t jinx myself because I’m off to a cottage tomorrow for some serious R&R. Josh will meet us there on Friday, if he ever recovers from the vile flu bug he caught from me…. And I didn’t even have the decency to go out and get him cold medicine. Cold medicine doesn’t work for the flu! And I was exhausted from, ahem, the Science Centre and dinner out with — as well-behaved as they were — two cheaty, cheaty little monkeys…..

One more thing before I pass out of utter exhaustion. My puppy Betty White? With her freakish underbite, she looks curiously like “Kyle” from Despicable Me…. Checkit:

Uncanny, isn’t it!? We’ll revisit this comparison when I have more time to research better photos. Pinky swear….

Anyway. I won’t be blogging until next week. But I’ll tweet, fo’shizzle. I need the break. BUT, you will be able to find me on twitter and Celebrity Candy.

Have a great weekend!


xo Haley-O

We had our first lemonade sale today. The Monkey was so excited about it yesterday she could hardly sleep. Of course, I was blasé about it. I’ve often wished I could get as excited about such mundane family activities as going to the park or Canada’s Wonderland, as I do about going to the kid movies, like Toy Story 3 or Despicable Me (can’t wait for that one!), or eating muffins together at, erm, Starbucks.

But I’m working on it. See, I noticed something. I’ve been tired lately. I mean, seriously, tired. Anyone who’s either gone out with me or attempted to go out with me in the past month or so will have noticed. I am tired. Granted, my whole lifestyle has changed. I now no longer have any free time to myself. I go from working 9am-1pm to tending to a very high-maintenance little Rascal, then picking up his sister,  entertaining them both until dinner (which, of course, has to be cooked at some point), and, finally, completing my at-home work hours, cleaning up and making camp lunches in the evening.

So, I haven’t been able to blog much. What, once a week, max? It’s not so much because I can’t make the time, but because I don’t have the energy, because I am tired. And — surprise surprise — I blame Starbucks.

See, it’s like a drug. No, it’s not like a drug; it IS a drug. The more I drink it, the more I want it. In case you don’t already know, I’m talking about the devil itself: grande soy no-water tazo chai latte. Rolls off the tongue, it does….

Most of you know well how hard I’ve battled with this mad drink. MAD. I’ve known it was bad for me, even though everyone else was whatevs about it. I’ve unintentionally gotten a bunch of you Gorgeouses hooked on this demonic drink. Well, now I’m serious. I mean, I mean business. It’s a drug.

Like any hardcore drug, I went off it for a few days, and I was tired — major withdrawal. But now? Three days later (I made it!)? NOT TIRED. Miraculously NOT TIRED. No massive mid-day slump. NONE. I can WALK again at 3pm.

It’s a drug, I repeat. A DRUG. Like any hardcore drug, the more you drink it, the more you want it. One chai in the morning was no longer satisfying my NEED. And there was no way I was going to start buying a second chai in the afternoon, so I was passing out for want of it. Tired. Beyond tired. So, I quit it. Quit it for good. No joke. I never EVER want to feel that tiredness again.

So, lemonade stand! Already I’m excited again…. Not mundane at all. She made a sign!

And he made a sign to go with it (couldn’t you just…OY!)….

Unfortunately (my former addicted self may have said fortunately), I had to skip out for a bit to do a work assignment at the Distillery District downtown. Isn’t it fab?

It was like a mini vacation. No Starbucks required. And the whole excursion took me an hour and half….

I returned home to a topless Rascal and bikini-clad monkey enjoying some swimming in our neighbour’s front yard. Heaven! I loved this day! Maybe next week we’ll go to the Distillery District….

How was your weekend? Stay off that chai, Gorgoueses, okay? Take it from me. I’m so serious.

Love! xo Haley-O

ARTICLE ROUNDUP (my latest Today’s Parent / Canadian Parents Online articles):

Toys That Make You Go Hmmm…: The 9 most curious children’s toys ever made (This one ended up on the home page of MSN – woohoo! And it’s a funny one! If you check any of them, check THIS ONE!)

So you want to be a mom blogger: six things you need to know

11 Baby Shower Games

10 Maternity-wear Must-haves

Is It OK to Drink When You’re Pregnant

Of course, please check out my celeb blog CELEBRITY CANDY for constant updates.

I have resolutions. As most of you know, I’m ALWAYS making resolutions, so you can’t be THAT surprised to see that my first post in ALMOST a week (I couldn’t hold out for the whole week…) is a long list of resolutions. Because, as you will see from this list, I resolve to be PERFECT in 2010. Yes, PERFECT. And, you know what, Gorgeouses? I’ve already started. See, for me, 2010 started last week. And so far so good. Except for tonight, when I splurged on some organic lollipops and, erm, a chai freaking f*ing latte, grrrrr….


Check it:

IN 2010, I RESOLVE….

1. To lose 25 pounds. And, yes, this belongs at the top of my list. Because LOOK at these videos of me — particularly the last one. I ran and reran it, like, a thousand times, NO KIDDING, trying harrrrd to deny that I looked rather large. And it DIDN’T HELP that….

MORE importantly, this resolution belongs at the top of my list because the better I feel about myself, the more I exercise and the healthier I eat, the better person I BECOME all ’round — the better, less anxious, MOTHER I become, the more PATIENT and CONFIDENT and INSPIRED and ENERGETIC I become. See this is KEY. SO, to get started on this goal, I’ve ALREADY begun my 30-Day Shred program….

I’m on DAY 7 of Level 1. I’m doing each level for 10 days (as prescribed by Shredheads). I haven’t lost a single pound this week, but I’m seeing some definition in my belly and shoulders again. So, as I tweeted the other day, I’m holding on tight to the fact that….

2. Hi, my name is Haley-O, and I’m a Shopaholic. Yes, à la Rebecca Bloomwood….

In fact, I’m watching the movie Confessions of a Shopaholic AS I WRITE this post LOVE!  Only I don’t spend my money on fabulously quirky designer clothes and accessories like Rebecca Bloomwood does, no. I spend tons of money on designer organic FOOD that often never gets used. So, I resolved to PLAN PLAN PLAN what I’m going to cook (speaking of which, have you SEEN my latest recipe, in which I actually USE my designer foods?), and BUDGET BUDGET BUDGET what I spend. Incidentally, I can’t take my eyes off Isla Fischer’s GLORIOUS red hair in this movie. Which reminds me….

3. I will get a hair cut. It is, like, GROSS long right now. But, TIME! There’s never any TIME!

4. WHICH reminds me of my resolution to KEEP AN AGENDA! In 2010 I will keep an agenda — TO THE HOUR. Because, as I mentioned JUST the other day….

5. I will go to the office at least twice a week.

6. I will write at least 2 brillers articles for Cottage Country PER WEEK.

7. I will be as patient with myself and others as my boss at Cottage Country has been with me….

8. I will practice yoga and meditate every day (even if it’s for 5-10 minutes).

9. I will brush my cats’ teeth.

10. As a little voice in my head told me (DO do DO do DO do DO do — it’s the twilight zone theme song, okay!?!) during my savasana meditation at the end of yesterday’s yoga session….


In the year 2010, I WILL LIVE. I’m not really sure exactly what that means, but I THINK it has something to do with worrying less and living more, with being in the PRESENT — whether I’m working, playing with the kids, cooking, exercising, or just chilling with my kitties….

OR! Chilling with my parents’ Chinese Crested Powder Puff “Olivia”…. Did I mention, I’m babysitting her? I love taking her EVERYWHERE with me. EVERYWHERE!

I’m a regular PARIS HILTON!

Check her out at the office HERE. She did NOT get along with the boss’s dog Taco at all. BUT, she DOTH love my MEENO (Minden)! Here she is, cuddling with Minden….

OY! Olivia’s deaf, by the way. Did I mention that?

Monkey: Yulivia! Yulivia! Come here!
Me: Honey, Olivia can’t hear you. She’s deaf, remember?
Monkey: Why? Can she not hear because her ears are down?


Did I mention it’sgrandma and papa’shere took me and the Monkey to The National Ballet of Canada’s (LOVE!) production of The Nutcracker? Here’s it’sgrandma and the Monkey chatting excitedly ahead of me….

And, here are the Monkey and me…. Ahhh, special moments! #TOOLONGHAIR!!!

We were so ridiculously lucky to have my absolute favourite male ballet dancer, PIOTR STANCZYK (see, I wrote about him HERE), dance the role of the Nutcracker….


And, incredibly, my favourite female ballet dancer, Sonia Rodriguez, danced the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy….

I was in HEAVEN. Didn’t want it to end. Papa’shere didn’t even fall asleep during the performance! Seriously, the show was so good I was fantasizing about it the next day. Loooooove. As I always like to say, the National Ballet of Canada is a Canadian GEM that is so worth our support. SWAN LAKE is coming in March! Toronto Gorgeouses, book your tix! (And, no, nobody pays me to say this!)

Did I mention it’sgrandma and papa’shere bought the Monkey a little porcelain ballerina at the Ballet Boutique, just before the show? Did I mention she dropped it during the intermission and the hand fell off and papa’shere was going to glue it but the Monkey wanted to take it home, so I said I’d glue it, but then, did I mention, the Rascal got hold of it and threw it on the ground and smashed it to pieces. So, did I mention, I went back to the The Nutcracker the following day, raved to the usher about Piotr Stanczyk, and bought her a new porcelain ballerina? DEEP BREATH. Did I mention that?

How many days do you think this porcelain ballerina is going to last before it’s smashed to pieces again?

Yes, in 2010, I’m going to live and LAUGH and LOVE more….

How about you, Gorgeouses?


xo Haley-O

P.S.: Did I mention there’s a wee contest going on over at Cheaty Goodies? If you haven’t seen it, get the FLIP over there because I’m giving away a FLIP CAMCORDER, and the contest closes DECEMBER 31st!

Guillaume Côté & Greta Hodgkinson with artists of the ballet in The Sleeping Beauty. Photo by Bruce Zinger, c/o The National Ballet of Canada).

Oh, to sleep a hundred years (and to wake up just as beautiful,
no morning breath, no stiff neck…).

I went to the ballet on Thursday with my mom, it’sgrandma. I was so wound up all day with a bunch of crazy, exciting and last-minute (as usual for me) stuff to do for work that I couldn’t IMAGINE sitting in silence, sans Macbook and sans blackberry for three hours at the ballet.

But, the babysitter arrived, as planned, at 6:30, and off it’sgrandma and I went. Me, in my lululemon yoga pants, of course, and it’sgrandma in her typical blazer and dress pants. One day I’ll dress as sophisticated as it’sgrandma (only never as tailored because I’m convinced I’m incapable). One day, I’ll remember to brush my hair and throw on lip gloss before leaving the house. I was pretty-much a frizzy-haired mess, but that didn’t stop it’sgrandma from introducing me proudly to any old friend we bumped into. Me, clasping my long black sweater to cover my too-tight tee….

I sat in my seat, looked toward the deep red curtain, and I felt my mind racing. I felt my breath halted. And I became aware of a slight buzzzzing all over my body.

How am I going to sit here for 3 hours, through two intermissions? I fretted.

The curtain opened, the music began. And, ahhhhh, le Tchaikovsky. I sat back. Breath came. Shoulders and neck softened. And my brain waves! I could literally feel my brainwaves slow down to smooth ripples. (I even tweeted it….)


The music, the setting, the stunning (as always) National Ballet of Canada dancing were like this delicious concoction. I drank it all up. And all my stress, anxiety, and tension flew out the stage door.

And so here we are again. I’ve been WOUND UP so tight for so long it seems I’ve hardly been breathing. I haven’t been going to yoga because — the same reason I didn’t go to the ballet — I’m actually AFRAID of unwinding.



I loathe this drink more than Hootie and the Blowfish, my cats’ wet food and Home Depot all put together. It is the BANE of my existence, the SOURCE of my anxiety issues, and the REASON I don’t eat anything else until 4:30pm every day, the REASON I held my long black sweater so tight across my too-tight tee at the ballet.

I don’t know about any other astrological sign, but VIRGOS like me should not drink chai lattes, or any Starbucks products for that matter. It magnifies all our flaws A TRILLION FOLD.

Watching the ballet not only soothed me because it was so beautiful, but also because it brought me back to a time when I could move like that (to a degree). I was a dancer. I had great energy like that. I could fly and spin and lean all the way back — touching my head to my heal WHILE lifting my leg into a standing splits. These days, I’m just excited to sit on my couch and exercise my fingertips, on my keyboard.

Not good.

So, yet again, we’re making a change. No more chais. EVER. That’s the first goal. That, and more kale, even though….


…and more exercise — more TURBO JAM!

You wouldn’t believe how hard it is for me to quit these chais. It’s been two days of HELL so far. I’m tired and irritable and angry and craving a hundred years of sleep. Just ask it’sgrandma, who attempted to have a phone conversation with me yesterday. Life seems hopelessly BLEAK without this stupid drink. But I’ve been in this place before, every time I quit. Another day or two and I’ll be feeling good as new. Which goes to show that stuff is CRACK.


We’re going to try this for 30 days and see what changes come…. Of course, I’ll keep you posted.


xo Haley-O

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