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.


Oh gosh. I’m posting this picture of myself for three reasons.

1) Because Ange told me I’m finally looking like myself again after 4 weeks of looking like arse from the ghastly cold/cough/flu/bronchitis I’ve been battling (the dark circles under the eyes are still there, as is that UFO thing in the middle of my head — heh, I wore it shopping this aft, and the Rascal loved it). And Ange has a fabulous British accent.

2) Because my friend Alice, aka “Kittenpie,” said my hair looked “Gorgeous!” when I tweeted it earlier today.

3) Because this is my blog! And one should post photos of oneself on one’s blog, don’t you think? (And it’s really rare that I actually get a good photo of myself, so I thought I better post it and possibly make it my Twitter/Facebook avatar for the next 10 years.)

And one should post photos of one’s kids on one’s blog, don’t you think? And if one (like myself) doesn’t post photos of one’s children’s faces on one’s blog, then one better post a photo of one’s child’s FIRST LOST TOOTH!


Congratulations, MONKEY!

…Or at the very least, one better post lots of photos of one’s seriously unphotogenic dog — to make one’s own photo look more gorj.

Speaking of one…, guess what I did this weekend?! If you follow me on Twitter, you may know I gave a talk (about blogging, community, marketing and me!) at the Rotman School of Management, at University of Toronto.

Because I was so sick, and because the kids kept me up most of the night before, I may or may not have dozed off mid sentence once or twice…. But what a great experience! I wasn’t nervous at all, could have talked all day long, and the students were really lovely. I also learned a lot myself, simply by taking the time to reflect on the pretty crazy career I’ve had so far: from hobby blogging, to Urban Moms, bTrendie (remember that?), to TODAY’S PARENT MAGAZINE.

Here’s the wonderful Professor Bill McEvily (left) and social media expert Matthew Stradiotto, of the Toronto-based social media company Matchstick.ca, who also gave a (fascinating) talk.

And look what Prof. McEvily gave me for showing up to his class….

I love this mug. This mug SAVED me during two extreme, ugly cough attacks at work today and yesterday, so I’m very grateful. Inside, however, was the worst possible gift ever: a gift card to Starbucks. Apparently, the professor did his homework….

One should probably blog more than once a week (or so) if one’s going to have just so much to share, don’t you think? We haven’t even gotten to the diet and yoga stuff I wanted to tell you about. Next time.

UPDATE ON MAAARGE!: As many of you know, Maaarge has been really ill. Well, I’m happy to say the wonderful vets at Laird-Eglinton Pet Hospital have worked miracles: Maaarge’s seizures have stopped! She’s stopped urinating everywhere, and I even got to shower her (for the first time in 15 years). So she actually even smells fantastic! Her back legs aren’t what they used to be — I’m thinking she probably injured them during one of her seizures. She sleeps a lot, and she seems a little more out of it than before all this happened. But she’s comfortable and happy.

I’ve been holding her a lot lately. Putting my ear to her li’l body and listening to her purr. It occurred to me that she’s literally my rock. Sediment upon sediment of emotions, memories, experiences. I’m not ready to lose her, and I know there’s not much time left. But I’m enjoying holding her, appreciating her. My delicate, precious, living relic. For as long as I can.

Love….

xo Haley-O (off to make one’s morning green smoothie!)


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 don’t tend to think of myself as a “mom blogger.” And honestly? I loathe the term “mommy blogger,” so I definitely don’t think of myself as a “mommy blogger.”

One reason I don’t think of myself as a “mom blogger” is that the other day this guy I hadn’t seen in a long time saw me and said, “Hey, Blogger Mom!” Ew! I am NOT a violent person, but I wanted to clock him.

I also don’t think of myself as a “mom blogger” because I just don’t write about the kids that much anymore. I write about motherhood and my experience as an individual who is a above all a mom, but who’s also a lot of other things — so many things that my head is rolling from all the hats I wear on any given day. If they must have a name for me, then they can call me “Individual Blogger” or “Many Hats Blogger” or even “Writer Blogger.” Although being a mom is a massive part of who I am, a big reason I write this blog is to assert, find, express my individuality — or at least my individual experience.

Anyway, last week I took 10 minutes to not write about emotions, and this week I’m taking 10 minutes to not write about my kids. Instead, they’re going to speak for themselves!

I’ve compiled a bunch of Monkeyisms and Rascalisms that I’ve tweeted over the last several months, and I’m sharing them right here — both as a way to document the adorableness and, of course, to blog it, like a good Many Hats Blogger. So without further ado, I bring you MY CHILDREN, in their own words…. There are quite a few gems in here, I think. Enjoy!

Love! Now, Gorgeouses, if you follow me on Twitter, you can see all these Monkeyisms and Rascalisms in REAL TIME. And if I’m not following you back and I should be, please let me know. Sometimes I find people I can’t believe I’m not following back….

And guess what? If this post seems wonky and clunky to you, it IS! And you know why? DAY 5, baby! We are on DAY 5 of NO STARBUCKS SOY CHAI LATTE. This is record-breaking, Gorgeouses. Record. Breaking. I’m feeling like crap. A lot of EMOTIONS bubbling up, a headache, a nervous cough that’s getting reeeeeeeaaally attractive, and this annoying repetition of vowels in blog posts. I’ll try to get a handle on that last symptom soooooon.

The good news is, though, that I’m eating so much better. I actually think I have low blood sugar, or whatever that condition is when you need to eat often. Because I’ve become more aware of when I need to eat — which seems to be quite frequently! This is fascinating to me. I’m, like, a grazer now. You can find me at my desk EATING now, most likely a banana, or a salad, a soup. ME! It’s crazy.

Speaking of work, have you checked out our shiny new website at Todaysparent.com (check me out at work — in a meeting — in the photo!)? This was a labour of love for me and my amazing co-workers, and we’re still working away to perfect it. My blog, Celebrity Candy, will get gorgeous within the next couple of weeks, they tell me. But I’m posting there, so checkit!

And since I’m not blogging about my children today, I HAVE to tell you the Rascal is about to get a new belt next week!

Even though I’m not a blogger mom…: squeeeeeee! I’ll be okay. But it’s amazing what he can do with that strong little bod!

Love! xo Haley-O

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