Chin high. Face filthy. Shoulders square and teeny. Oy. He was very proud to be wearing his mama’s favourite t-shirt. For some unidentified reason, I beam whenever he puts it on. And the neon bracelets (aka scary chemical bangles he got in a loot bag and that I hate and hid as soon as he put them down and looked the other way) add the perfect touch, don’t they? He comes in peace — this bizarre, uncannily cute being of mine.

“Mama! Mama! I am 35-point-zero pounds today, Mama!”

Look at him riding my stationary bike (and singing). He’s actually pedaling….

I am crazy about this child. So much that I can’t deal. And, after what we went through last May, I thank God every day for his health and contagious enthusiasm for life. Though I wish he’d drink his lemon water, eat more greens, clean up his Ninjago spinners, spare me that ringing in my ears from extra-high-pitched pleadings to watch Star Wars (again), and sleep in his own bed.

Of course, I am also crazy about his big sister.

I took her to “the crystal store” (as she likes to call it) this evening — a little mom-and-daughter outing. She’s turning seven (SEVEN) on Saturday, so this was a special pre-birthday gift. You see, she loves fairies. And she sparkles in these spiritual shops, which incidentally attract others who also believe in fairies. Her favourite is a charming store called “Odyssey,” which is worth the drive all the way out to Pickering. So that’s where we went.

She bought a necklace with a charm full of “pixie dust,” a miniature blue bird — “for happiness,” the lady behind the counter said — a little blue cluster of crystals, a coin with a saying on it that she liked, and a mini “fresh picked rainbow,” which I’m still not quite sure how she’s going to use.

I love being eccentric and imaginative with her. And if you know me well enough, you know I often have a crystal hanging on my neck.

“Mama, d’you know what? Selena Gomez is Justin Beaver’s girlfriend.” Did you learn that in school, Monkey? “No, Grandma told me.”

I’m also crazy about our magnificent Betty White….

…our little lover, Minden…

…and our beautiful MAAARGE! (who, alas, isn’t doing so well, I learned at the vet just today)….

(If you want to see ALL the things I’m crazy about, by the way, check me out on Instagram — love love love! And if you’re on Instagram, tell me your username in the comments, and I’ll follow you back.)

Also, big news: I finally got a wedding ring that I’ll actually wear. Strangely enough, I loathe conventional jewellery, and my original rings have been tight ever since I had kids. But this ring’s very light, simple and symbolic for me. Josh is thrilled, of course — I guess because he’s crazy about me. And I guess I’m crazy about him too, enough to wear a piece of jewellery…that doesn’t contain crystals.

Love!

xo Haley-O

P.S. I’ve been up to a lot, as usual, at Today’s Parent. Check out my most recent blog posts and galleries (every week I do a fun celebrity gallery) over at Celebrity Candy! And some other fascinating stuff my fellow editors and I have written over at On Our Minds.


It’s a good sign that I’m writing today. It means I’m using a little less energy for anxiety, and a little more energy for productive stuff like writing (more than I already do…). Sigh, even though I just received a bill for the ambulance. It’s okay. I’d happily pay anything they asked.

Actually I feel pretty close to back-to-normal after the events of last month. Still a little more tired than I’d like to be, still breaking down during yoga (gosh, I wish that would stop). But I’m working on all that by cleaning up my diet (what else is new), and just taking it easy on myself.

Of course, I still watch some of my favourite trash TV shows, which helps. But when I’m not hanging out with the kids, I’m keeping busy working a lot, reading on my beloved KOBO — nothing lascivious yet, ahem, much to my female friends’ chagrin (you know who you are) — building crazy-intricate Samurai monsters for the Rascal….

…and making a lot of almond milk….

…which is so strangely therapeutic! Isn’t it beautiful? The Rascal loves it….

Mama, it tastes like icin’,” he says (icing!). And from the looks of this masterpiece the Monkey brought home the other day, she likes it too….

I still think the “k” her teacher erased makes more sense…. I’m pretty sure my daughter thinks I’m more a KOOK than a COOK. But I’ll take it!

Anyway, yes, the Rascal’s doing great. A nutritionist I bumped into on the street today suggested I give him water with a squeeze of lemon every morning to detox away the lingering circles under his eyes. So I’ll give that a shot. He’s finally getting less clingy, and he’s finally sounding more like himself. Baby talk is never cute. EVER. Just saying.

But getting a carrot from our lovely Today’s Parent food editor, Eshun Mott, is definitely cute — and good for the detox….

Oh, I love that photo. He and the Monkey (whom you can see snooping around in the background) were on location at a Today’s Parent Magazine photo shoot. They’ve been doing a lot of that lately, which is totally fun!

They’ll love seeing themselves in the magazine. “I’m famous now, right, Mama?” Yes, you are totally famous, Monkey, especially after all that hand modeling you did with the adorable Daniel DeSouza yesterday (above). I’ll keep you posted on the stunning photo the kids took for a spread in the August issue — yes, front-of-the-face, and all!

Oh, gosh, how’d that photo get there? Heh. Betty White and her feline siblings, Minden and Maarge!, are doing great too.

Everything is good. The Rascal is healthy. We have a working laundry machine and dryer again. The spider in my car has finally vacated the premises (all that swinging in front of my face was distracting). I’m riding the stationary bike again. The Monkey’s looking forward to her 7th birthday party and another trip to the crystal store. Josh lost 15 pounds. And school is almost out.

Love!

xo Haley-O


Look at that….

That’s our little Monkey on the stage of Disney On Ice presents Dare to Dream. I wrote a blog post about it over at our editors’ blog at Today’s Parent, but I wanted to share some of the pics here too.

She was invited to launch the lantern with Rapunzel and Flynn about two months ago, and she’s been counting down the days ever since. And, Gorgeouses, she was amazing (click to enlarge)….

I was crouching way down beneath them, taking pics and, of course, bawling. All eyes were on her. She played her part superbly — she was the magic!

It was such a great show (we love Disney On Ice). My parents, my sister and her kids came to watch the Monkey’s special moment. Here they are rehearsing during intermission….

That special night was probably the highlight of our March Break! Well, that, and that one go-to-work-with-Mommy day (don’t ask)….


Make yourself at home….

Because I’ve been working around the clock lately — I was at The Heart Truth fashion show last Thursday evening (and interviewed Canadian R&B singer Divine Brown), congratulated Matthew McConaughey’s fiance, Camila Alves, on their recent engagement (interview to come), and last night, interviewed Carson Kressley (hilarious interview to come) — I decided to take today off and show the kids a good time.

Despite this sexy cough and fever I’m sporting, I took the kids to the Art Gallery of Ontario today….

…and then we built a model plane (FAIL) and attempted to fly it in the park, but it broke pretty soon after we left the house. So I sat shivering in the hot sun as the kids rolled down the parks’ steep hills. I bathed them right when we got home, made us all some smoothies and collapsed.

Gorgeouses, when I opened my macbook to blog this evening, I swore all I was going to do was post this “vlog” (video blog) and call it a day!

….But, Josh and the kids are at Grandma and Papa’s house, and apparently delirium has set in — so I’ve written this tome.

And I’m not done.

Since I’m addicted to posting photos on Twitter, I took the plunge and joined instagram. It’s basically an app that lets you prettify your photos before you tweet them, and share them with other photo-sharing addicts. If you’re on there, too, look me up @haleyoverland, and enjoy pics like THIS….

Love!

xo Haley-O

P.S. Disney on Ice presents Dare to Dream runs until March 18th. If you’re in the GTA, checkit! You can get tix here. And you can learn more about it in my review of the show at Today’s Parent.


“Mama,” the Rascal pleads, “I’m not doin’ anything to Betty and she’s just crazing me out!”

If you ask me what I love about motherhood, that sums it up (also Beyblades and Lego — I built these insane Star Wars ships myself in just four hours the other day!). At four-years-old, the Rascal is brimming with personality, and at six-and-a-half years old, his quirky, hilarious sister is too.

My parents took them out to a Purim party this evening, giving me some much-needed time to myself. The Rascal wore a Superman costume that, to my pleasant surprise, was too small on him; and the Monkey wore a Supergirl costume and her favourite shiny blue “magic gloves.”

Even when I have time to myself, though, there’s always our high-maintenance, spirited Betty White to deal with. And lately, adorable as she is, she’s been “crazing” us all out….

…Especially the poor cats, whose ability to find the perfect place to sit never ceases to amaze me, even if it’s in Betty’s direct line of fire (RUN, MINDEN, RUN! Like the wind!)….

It’s been a rough few days with Josh-O away for work again. And Betty White knew it so well that, when I collapsed on my bed the other day, I landed in a cold, wet patch of what the kids like to call her “stinky pee.” Needless to say, she was officially excommunicated from my room after that, but the persistent little bugger managed to sneak sheepishly back onto the bed and curl into an entitled little ball beside me.

Sighhh…, want to hear what a great parent I am? I was so exhausted from solo parenting and the pee fiasco that I put the kids to bed at 6:10 p.m. last night. It was still light outside, but they were too busy bouncing off the walls to question it. Miraculously, they went right to bed and stayed there, and they woke up the next morning at the perfect time (the Rascal’s vomit scare at 6 a.m. notwithstanding) — with ample time before school to dawdle, drink a green smoothie, and play with the new Beyblades I bribed them with the day before — which is making me think they should go to bed at that time every night, huh…!

In addition to Josh being away and the dog crazing us all out, things have been really busy at work. Yoga has fallen through the cracks completely. But I may take a real break over the weekend, roll out my mat and make it happen. Because Josh-O and my romantic getaway for his 40th birthday — the first time we’ll be going away alone together since having kids — is still too far away. And, although, motherhood has its perks, I’m beginning to really understand that, for my kids’ sake and mine, even I need a holiday.

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


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.

“YOU GAWBAGE!”

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!

Love!

xo Haley-O


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love!

xo Haley-O

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

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