I’m only writing a post right now so that I can move the last post I wrote down the line. You know — the one DOWN THERE where I say I’m obsessed with Bethenny Frankel? I’m NOT obsessed with Bethenny Frankel. I’ve just had a fever on and off for 2 weeks, and I, clearly, wrote that post during one of my more feverish moments. I’m shivering with fever chills just thinking about it: me, obsessed with Bethenny Frankel. While I like her — and maintain that I still LOVE the whole Real Housewives series and may write about it elsewhere on the internet later today, from my bed, while feverish — I’m not obsessed with her. Although her body really is something else, and she tells it like it is like nobody’s business, and she makes a mean margarita (not that I drink margaritas)…. Not obsessed. Seriously. Did I mention I’m SICK AS A DOG?

I’ve been sick for 2 weeks. And, aside from the smoking part, I remind myself of Rosana Rosanadana in this famous SNL skit (FAVE)…..

From the rash in Florida, to the worst sore throat I’ve ever had in my life, to the stomach flu that had me praying to the porcelain god like I HAVE NEVER, and now to this cold? I’m A MESS. So I thought I’d share. And this is better than nothing, right? It’s better than leaving a post up for days stating I’m obsessed with Bethenny Frankel. Actually, I’m a little, more admirably, obsessed with Wallace Stevens today — since I found his book Palm at the End of the Mind in a box in my garage while I was looking for another book (that I for the life of me cannot find):

To say more than human things with human voice,
That cannot be; to say human things with more
Than human voice, that, also, cannot be;
To speak humanly from the height or from the depth
Of human things, that is acutest speech.

(Wallace Stevens, “Chocurua to its Neighbor”)

So there’s that. And just when I was about to go to bed for the entire day and maybe, like, heal and such, I realize Monkey and I have to count one hundred hearts together….

And we have to do our Friday school homework assignment…. And we have to make Valentine’s Day cards — 20 of them, which involve the handwriting of each child’s name in her class GOD HELP US ALL. And the mystery therein lies in this undeniable fact: my child’s “y”s look like vaginas….

Okay, to bed….


xo Haley-O

This Is Just to Say
by William Carlos Williams

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

This Is Just to Say
by Minden

I have eaten
the lettuce
that was in
the reusable grocery bag

and which
you were probably
for dinner

Forgive me (meowwww)
it was delicious
so sweet
and so cold

Minden is the only member of Cheaty’s house who hasn’t vomited in the last few days — not even a hairball. It’s probably thanks to the lettuce.


The artists of Kids Deserve Art and I have submitted fabulous pieces to a very special auction, “To Haiti With Love.” Please go on and check the pieces and BID, and please TELL YOUR FRIENDS (facebook, email, etc.)! All the donations are going DIRECTLY to St. Joseph’s Family of Homes for Children in Haiti.

The auction closes on February 8th at midnight! So, go go go! And please spread the word.

Click HERE to go straight to all the KDA items!


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fresh veggies and hummus….

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Thinking about the people in Haiti today. A great place to donate is here —  http://freethechildren.com/.


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

I am going to write more about yesterday’s post because, between the comments and the emails people felt were too personal to post here, many of you want to talk about it…. And I’m happy, honoured, to oblige.

Truthfully, I didn’t mean to GO THERE last night. I was too tired to write anything really, and I’ve been feeling on the edge of blog burnout the whole week. But, that’s what came up while I was writing about NOTHING in point form. It was like, “hey wait a minute — why am I writing about my weight, AGAIN?” It just bubbled up like that. And there it was.

Anyway, I’m going to write more on the weekend. For now, I want to not dwell on weight or eating or anything related. (So, when I mention the ballet, let’s pretend none of the dancers are or look remotely anorexic.)

I just got back from the most incredible production of Romeo and Juliet tonight. If you live in Toronto and have the chance to go, please treat yourself. The show runs until March 22.

I cried BIG BULBOUS RASCAL TEARS in the tragic final scenes of this ballet. And, Gorgeouses, I didn’t even cry during BEACHES.

It was just SO GOOD. THAT GOOD. I cried because it was THAT GOOD. Because the original story, the dancing, the music, the costumes, the POETRY — all of it — was brilliant.

And here I have to give a special mention to the dancer who played Juliet — Sonia Rodriguez. I haven’t seen anyone do Juliet like that since Veronica Tennant….

Another special mention goes to this guy — who played Mercutio….

Yeah, that’s Piotr Stanczyk. I’ve seen him in several ballets now, and my eyes are always drawn to him. He is FABULOUS and CHARISMATIC and lovely to watch. Indeed, Stanczyk, Rodriguez and Zdenek Konvalina (who played Romeo, and also deserves special mention) are reasons why Karen Kain’s new-and- improved National Ballet of Canada is better than ever.

I know this post is probably boring for most of you. I mean, who goes to the ballet?* But, I was profoundly moved by this particular ballet, and that’s worth expressing here. I was so moved that I just had to thank with this small blog tribute the ballet company that works SO HARD to move us.

*I wish more people would go to the ballet…. Support your city’s arts! Love!

Photos of Romeo and Juliet, with thanks, c/o The National Ballet of Canada official website.