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

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

And look….









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

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

Yeah, I know….

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

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

Who gives a sh**?


xo Haley-O

Betty White insisted I show you all her new haircut. So, here….


Tell her she looks CUTE. She loves it. Seriously? I can’t deal. I have officially fallen HARD for this little thing. Love love love.

Other than loving, bathing, walking and feeding ALL my animals, I’ve been keeping busy lately.

Still with the yoga…. This week my practice has mysteriously taught me not to form “stories.”

We do that, you know? We think of someone, and immediately our minds create a story around him or her. Like, you think of so-and-so and the scandal, or so-and-so and what she said to you that one time when she was in a hurry, or that email so-and-so didn’t send you. All stories.

Here’s a little yoga practice idea for you (I’ll save you the 1.5 hours daily on the mat…for now): screw the stories. Or simply recognize them for a start…. Because, ever notice how your impressions of people change in a heartbeat? One minute you loathe someone, and the next they send you a thoughtful tweet or two, and you love them. It’s all stories. Stories stories stories. Just notice them. It’s pretty liberating to let the story-telling go, or at least to see it for what it is and let people (and things, anything) be.

Still with the social-life organizing…. Yesterday, I had the Monkey’s AND the Rascal’s friends over for dinner. What was I THINKING?

This, of course, after a long day of work. And I’ve been a writing MACHINE this week. (Check my latest “In the news” blog posts on the fan page.) I even actually made the kids a fancy tahini salad dressing, which they loved! They were asking for more BROCCOLI! One of these days I’ll update the kitch with new recipes…. Promise.

Still doing fun stuff with the Monkey and it’sGRANDMA…. It’sgrandma, Monkey and I went to a Mark’s fashion show today. Honestly? Marks doesn’t pay me to say any of this. They’ve simply shown me their stuff and not asked a thing of me. I’ve featured them on Today’s Parent, and I wear a ton of their clothes because…I love them! The clothes are stylish, comfortable and they actually look good on ME. I lived in Lululemons for years until I discovered Mark’s (recently). So, I’m happy to share their awesomeness with you.

Mark’s is also awesome because they let it’sgrandma AND the Monkey join me at their big fall fashion show event today, and they treated the Monkey like gold….

The fashion show MC even said she was “the star of the show”! Which she loved…. More pics!

Loved this outfit (and the model loved the Monkey)! I’ve asked them to make these boots in SYNTHETIC vegan fabric; we’ll see what they come up with (heh). They DO have fab down-free winter vests and cotton (not wool) hats, mits, scarves and cardis! Yay!

PJs! And gigantic teddy bear….

UNDIES UNDIES UNDIES! The best part of the show. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Yes, hot dudes in UNDIES. Check. IT!

Ohhh, yeaaahhh. Everyone was smiling.

I accidentally squirted the gorj sandy-blond-haired guy (below) IN THE FACE with a water gun later on in the show. *Cough.* I didn’t mean to, but….

…but he was SO HOT…! And he was wearing goggles — which is open invitation for water in the face, no? Even though we were simply asked to test the water resistance of the jacket he was wearing. Oops….

In case you were wondering, when the show was over, the Monkey absolutely did her little thing on the catwalk….


Okay, off to bed. I have 6am yoga practice at the studio tomorrow. Wish me luck! No stories, ‘kay?


xo Haley-O

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

First of all, I have SO MUCH NEWS. And since I know you all want to hear about the finger-in-nose incident, I’ll be like The News and save the story with the most buzz for the end. So, you all have to read all this WORD FOR WORD first, okay?

FIRST FIRST. I have to mention a very important person: Cathy. The very first Kids Deserve Art artist. Look what she worked SO HARD on — to get out in ONE day so a little girl would have it on her birthday….

madison 001

(As the wise old woman who taught me to teach yoga used to say in thick French accent…) CLOSER-CLOSER….

madison 004

The little girl’s name is MADISON. How CEWWWT is that? Way to go, Cathy!

My little company Kids Deserve Art has been BU-SY lately. And we’re proud to say we’re having a great presence at two major Toronto children’s charities this month: earlier this month, we rocked the Silent Auction at Sunday in the Park with Lilah and, later this month, we’ll be rocking the Silent Auction at Bike for Tykes. I’m obviously really proud to be involved in these charities. Look for us at Bike for Tykes at the end of the month!

NEXT ITEM! My day (and night) job, bTrendie is sponsoring the MamaPop BlogHer party…. Check…IT:


See us? In the banner! Isn’t it pretty? SPARKLES! I have yet to put it on my sidebar. But, isn’t it GORJ? We’re also sponsoring the PEOPLE’S PARTY, and we have HOT-ARSE (that’s a hint) surprises in store for the Room 704 party. Yes, the company for which I am DIRECTOR, MEMBERSHIP & COMMUNITY is officially TAKING OVER BLOGHER.

And, whatchoo tellin’ me? You haven’t joined yet? DUDE? Support CHEATY! Heh. If you want to join, go to bTrendie and use ma code: CHEATY to get in. Love! …and thanks.

Okay, enough shameless self-pimpin’. Time to pimp some other peeps. So, last Thursday, I took my mom “it’sgrandma” out for her birthday….


First, I took her to Kristen Ma‘s LAUNCH party for her NEW BOOK, Beauty 2.0: A Holistic Guide to Natural Beauty for the Modern Age:

Praying Girl

And my mom was so proud when I was chatting with the author herself and taking many photographs with her to get one half-decent good photo (I is un-photogenic!)….


Look at it’sgrandma in the background there. SO PROUD of me. Heh. My hair, by the way, definitely did NOT look that unbrushed. Although, come to think of it, I did go to the launch straight from a full day at the office; so maybe it was that disheveled. And, will you look at Kristen’s SKIN? Wanna get that skin? (BIG PIMPIN’: ) I’M GIVING AWAY THREE AUTOGRAPHED Beauty 2.0 books — filled with all Kristen’s GOLDEN secrets — to give away over at GOODIES later this week…. If you can’t wait for our contest, you can buy one at Amazon….

Kristen is the co-owner of Pure and Simple, aka my second home and the ONLY skincare and cosmetics lines I TOUCH. With a 10-foot pole. Isn’t she gorj….


So, the launch was held at Pure and Simple. It was FABULOUS. There were gorj ayurvedic platters set out (in keeping with her book), CUPPING sessions, makeup artists, and an ayurvedic doctor….

…the very Ayurvedic Doctor who stuck his fingers up my nose. Dr. S. R. Sharma. I met him at the launch. Yes, he took my pulse and told me….


So, of course, I made an appointment immediately. I mean, no wonder I’m STILL not at the weight I’d like to be since Rascal was born. No wonder I’m often sluggish and tired. No wonder! I’m DOMINATED by Kapha! (And, so you know, us yogis take our ayurveda very seriously….)

Sooo…, the next day, I went to see Dr. Sharma. He treats all the celebs, apparently, so I knew I was in good hands…. Check him (fully posing for the pic, by the way — I asked him to) studying my info:


LOVE! After I told him my life story (kind of like how this post is turning into a LIFE STORY – EGAD – I’m. still. writing.), and then some, he determined that I am DOMINATED BY KAPHA and have a slight VATA imbalance. So, he got me to lie on this bed….


…and he did all this cool energy work on me.



Of course, I wasn’t prepared for it. But, I’m a yogi. So, I maintained my SAVASANA pose. And, I ACTUALLY DID NOT REACT! I just lay there — still with a straight, relaxed face! I surprise myself! Also, I was too busy marveling at the strange, like, camphor smell and the COLD sensation inside my nose…. For the rest of the session, I was thinking about my COLD nose.

AFTER the session, I asked Dr. Sharma about my nose. What is that smell? Why is it cold? What did you put in there? He said “NOTHING”! Apparently, he put NOTHING in my nose. He simply moved the energy around to create the sensation. And, then, when I thought of it? I realized the smell was the that dang CRACK I’m addicted to — STARBUCKS CHAI TEA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (I think that’s enough exclamation marks.)

He told me to look at his fingers, smell them. NOTHING. There was NO balm on them. NO trace of chai balm on them, Gorgeouses!

When I got home, my nose was still cold on the inside, especially when I wiggled it. So, I asked Josh to smell my nostrils. Were there any fumes emanating from them? NO. None.

So, anyway, to make a long story short(er)…. I have to go back to the centre for 5 days in a row for a FULL-ON cleanse. Wish me luck. Sharma better not stick his fingers anywhere else without warning. Eek! You never know! He wouldn’t! Right…!?

Okay, so, I’ll keep you posted on how that goes. Time for bed. And someone’s calling my name….


He’s teething. Looks like it’s going to be ANOTHER night of no sleep.

Stay tuned for the big BEAUTY BOOK contest. Coming later this week. Maybe even tomorrow, if I’m not too Kaphic….


xo Haley-O

Okay, Gorgeouses, I’m QUASI taking the night off from blogging because I have this headache, see. And, it’s my own fault! Because I bought THIS for my kids today….


I was TIRED (after, sigh, another night of SCREAMING), in a haze, and the thing was ON SALE. And, and, Rascal is such a DEPENDENT player. I needed a new toy desperately. I’m getting bored of all his other toys…. *cough.*


So, Valentine’s Day is on Saturday. And, apparently, it’sgrandma and papa’shere know I desperately need to GET A LIFE. So, they’ve offered to forfeit their own romantic Valentine’s Day so they can babysit our little monkeys while Josh-O and I go out on the town. How nice is THAT?

Josh even suggested we go to a vegetarian restaurant….

Methinks it’s going to be a GOOD Valentine’s day….

So, here’s where you come in.

We want to go to a movie. Josh-O and I have seen just about every movie there is to see ON VIDEO. But, we haven’t actually BEEN to a movie in I CAN’T REMEMBER HOW LONG. So, what to see? What to SEE!?

Here’s a list of the movies that are out right now (and that we’d see — i.e., no HORROR movies for me, or movies with too much violence…because I’m a delicate little flower……). Now, it’s up to YOU to tell us which movie to see. Here are your choices (And, you better comment — no more of this NOT COMMENTING business! heh. LOVE):

It’sgrandma says this one’s FABO.

I love me some TRASH. Then again, this IS the perfect rental.

Slumdog Millionaire…Paul Blart. Paul Blart…Slumdog Millionaire. Decisions decisions!

BRAD. But do I feel like crying on my first date in MONTHS?

Can’t wait to see this one…. But, will Josh be that into it?

Love me some Isla Fisher. Love me some Sophie Kinsella Confessions of a Shopaholic….HAVE to see this at some point.

I can’t WAIT to see this movie. And, it’s exactly the movie you’d see on the big screen. Hint hint. Josh and I both love a good fantasy………..

So, what do we see???

xo Haley-O

CONTEST over at Goodies. We’re talking SKINCARE and MAKEUP! Check it!

‘Sup dawg?


No. No. No.

I’m just watching American Idol right now, and Randy Jackson has that effect on me. Plus, I’m tired.



The monkeys and I went to the country today to watch it’sgrandma ride her horse Whisper.


At one point, I could hardly keep my eyes open — I was sneaking in 2-SECOND naps. I swear. I don’t even know how I’m writing this. And, I still have Valentine’s Day cards to prepare for Monkey’s class tomorrow. Oy.

Huh? Ahem. S’up Dawg! Wha? Who won? Oh. OH! Eek. Don’t know what happened there. Must have dosed off. Am awake now. Awake. Always a-fricken-wake. I need sleep. I mean real sleep. Like, in-a-hotel sleep. Because I can’t sleep with this Rascal waking up in hysterics at all hours.

It’s just too much.

Also too much was dinner at Fresh — my fave vegetarian restaurant in the city. WHICH I can now mention by name on my blog because the WAITER this eve WAS FAB. Love love love. Why was it too much, you ask? Try because (AMONG OTHER THINGS) I had to leave the table with hummus-covered flailing Rascal only to have him writhe in hysterics ON HIS BACK…, ON THE FLOOR, in the front of the restaurant. (I’m waiting for them to send me my Mother of the Year award….)

I’m okay. Really. I’m okay.

So, for now, I give you pictures of the day. To speak more than words I simply don’t have today. Sleep is taking over and…need… I… to make… cards… Tine .. Valen……

Gorj…. I need this. Need to get out of the city as often as I can. Just to breathe….

He loves horses….

Monkey and it’sgrandma gave Whisper a nice hot bath…. He LOVED it. So did she….

Whisper does the most bizarre tongue thing. It’s hilarious. See it? The tongue? He’s constantly got his tongue sticking out. He’s loves his tongue. Loves his bath. Loves his work. Loves his stall. He’s one happy, lucky horse. I love him.

….Besides, Gorgeouses? You know, I’m still totally hungover from yesterday’s cheat day….

xo Haley-O

Contest over at Goodies!. Get yer JURLIQUE, HAUSCHKA, PURE+SIMPLE…! Check it!

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