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


Happy Holidays, Gorgeouses!

I have nothing to say. Mostly because I’ve been eating way too much sugar. So now, as I sit down and attempt to craft a brilliant Happy-Holidays blog post, all I hear in my mind is this: bzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Eventually the sugar buzz will go away, and I’ll probably have to eat some more sugar. UGH, there are just so many sugary goodies in my house. IT’S SO UNFAAAAAAAIR! How am I supposed to eat healthy when, for example, our amazing Todaysparent.com General Manager, Elana, leaves THIS on my desk….

Of course, it’s vegan and fair trade, so there were no excuses for me NOT to devour this chocolate-mint DREAM….

Well, anyway, I managed not to eat the whole bar. But it sat just like that on my desk all day, staring at me and calling my name. “Haaaaaaley! Haaaaaaaaley! Eeeeeeeat meeeee! Noowwwwwww! I’m yuuuuuuummy and will make your world preeeeeeeeeeetty!” So as soon as work ended and I got in my car to pick up the kids, I tore open the luscious green wrapper and scarfed a good chunk of it down like an ancient, ancient Neanderthal man in winter. I probably shouldn’t bother with the metaphors, huh? Bzzzzzzzzzzz…..

Despite my extreme sugar consumption, I have been going to yoga every day — except for those two days when, A, I had a rare migraine headache and couldn’t see anything (AND I still practiced blindly in my bedroom while the kids pointed at me and laughed) and, B, my alarm didn’t go off (I swear, it didn’t go off! Why won’t anybody believe me!?). In the New Year, I’m committing to a full 6-days-a-week practice…. And I’m going to really try to lose weight. No, really. REALLY.

I’m not going to go crazy and say I’m quitting sugar and wheat and chai lattes. As my friend Alice suggested, I’m just going to keep it simple and limit sugary and salty extremes: I’m going to eat grains and vegetables at every meal (lunch and dinner, anyway), and one soup; and I’m going to enjoy a fresh juice, fruit and/or tea in the morning instead of grabbing a chai latte.

In the meantime, I’m high on sugar. Bzzzzzz….. And I have to wake up early for yoga.

Oh gosh. I need water….

In the New Year, there will definitely be fewer sugar rushes. I’ve been feeling tired from all the sweet gluttony, and I haven’t been eating lunch. And due to protruding sugar gut, my yoga twists are awful again — like the books I’ve been collecting on my shelf at work, only not as HILARIOUS….

And bzzzzzzzz…. Nothing.

As I vowed on Today’s Parent‘s Facebook page earlier this evening, next week I’m going to take a “parenting holiday.” I’m not exactly sure how this is going to go down because I still have to feed the Monkey and Rascal, bathe them and break up the fights! But I’m going to try enjoy my family and relax this holiday without worrying so much about outcomes. “C’we have cookies for breakfast, Mama?” Sure! “Mama? C’we watch ANOTHER movie?” Sure! And just maybe I’ll take a little better care of me for once, instead.

Josh and the kids say HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Betty White says HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Minden says HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Maaaarge came out of hiding to say HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Happy Holidays, Gorgeouses! All the best to you and your families!

Love!

xo Haley-O


Lucky, lucky me, I got to interview the legendary Martin Short for Today’s Parent today. And legendary he is. Tell me you didn’t adore him as Franck Eggelhoffer in Father of the Bride (“Papalah, coom vit us!”), and did you see him in this Saturday Night Live synchronized swimming skit (my fave ever!), and have you and your kids been watching him on Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That, not to mention How I Met Your Mother and Two and a Half Men? How about SCTV days (Ed Grimley, anyone?)…, Three Amigos, the list goes on and on and on for this multiple Emmy and Golden Globe award winner. Amazing. Amazing!

Well, he was in town today to promote Canada’s Got Talent (which debuts March 2012). With hilarious Martin as a judge (along with the awesome Measha Brueggergosman and Stephan Moccio), and the truly fabulous (and lovely!) Dina Pugliese as host, it’ll definitely be a great show!

I was beyond honoured to interview Martin today. Check out the interview HERE!

In addition to Martin, I got to see opera star Measha Brueggergosman’s famous hair, and listen to her famous voice as she gave interview after interview….

AND the beautiful AND funny Dina Pugliese….

Great day! Love, love, love!

By the way, these photos of Martin Short are by my sidekick today, Laura Grande (editorial assistant, Todaysparent.com). She was so hungry (it was a long day), she dove into my purse and ate my apple…. Haha!

Love!

xo Haley-O

Photos of Martin Short by Laura Grande. Photos of Measha and Dina by me (Haley Overland / Todaysparent.com).


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!


“…Piper, sit thee down and write
In a book, that all may read.”
So he vanish’d from my sight,
And I pluck’d a hollow reed,

And I made a rural pen,
And I stain’d the water clear,
And I wrote my happy songs
Every child may joy to hear.

— William Blake, Songs of Innocence, 1789

I’ve been writing a ton lately. Writing articles, editing articles, and writing blogs posts over at Today’s Parent. So, sighh, I’ve neglected our little spot here again, Gorgeouses. I’m not complaining or making excuses in saying this — not saying I’m tired or busy this time. Just saying I’ve kind of wanted to do other things than sit me down AGAIN and write! It’s just a little tricky fitting all the writing I want to do in. I still have to make lunches at the end of the day, you know? Boil rice. Read stuff. Water the catnip….

Maybe it’d be easier if I didn’t, say, start posts off with a William Blake quote.

Even though my finger tips are numb from writing (and what a blessing that is, really!), and even though I quoted Blake and raised your expectations…, I’m going to try to write little less today and just give our blog some love already, right Gorgeouses? And I know just the DOG to do it. Are you ready? You should probably sit down for this….

As you may know, that’s not a Muppet. That’s our Betty White. I promise you she’s gorgeous. GORGEOUS. Except maybe for the bottom teeth. Have you any idea how many times those adorably terrible teeth have hooked me in the nostril? It’s worth it for the kisses, though. I should probably just stop blogging, shouldn’t I. Heh. *Cough.* I’ll be alright!

Speaking of amazing little lovers (and awesome segues), check out the Rascal in karate class. Can you spot him (the blondie in the centre)?

Look at him jump! Move over, young Michael Jordan and kangaroos!

Speaking of superstars (and more awesome segues), check out the amazing Kino MacGregor! I had the privilege of watching this master yogi of whom I’ve been a fan for a long time practice and share her knowledge, wisdom, experience and sparkle….

Isn’t she amazing? I’m still processing a lot of what she said, mainly her comments on yoga, Being and suffering. Made me think a lot about how I personally use chai lattes to run toward pleasure and away from suffering. Yes, I fell back off the wagon last week, drank chai lattes and have five extra pounds on my belly to show for it. I’ve been speeding through Marichyasana C and D (major twists) to avoid being assisted by my teachers. Too humiliating. Too much suffering.

Anyway, speaking of wise ones and drug addictions, Minden’s loving the catnip I grew him….

Impressive, right? Too bad it makes him barf.

Love!

xo Haley-O (I’ll definitely try to check in more often….)


Do you hate it when people say they’re busy or tired?

I was kind of raised to be busy but never to complain that I’m busy and never to complain that I’m tired. But I’m guilty of doing both anyway — resulting in the frequent eye rolling of family members.

But, Gorgeouses, I’m busy and I’m tired and I am owning it! Are you with me? Or do you hate me right now for saying I’m busy and tired and owning it?

Here’s why I’ve been too tired and too busy to even blog lately (my bad, bygones)….

1. Halloween. You know, it’s tiring avoiding all that candy all the time. There’s a massive white bowl of it still sitting on my toaster oven in full visibility on my kitchen counter (which is too small for a big white bowl of Halloween candy).

And of course, it’s tiring dealing with two wild and crazy candy-eating monkeys. But I have to say I was pretty smart this year: I let them enjoy the candy, and let it stick around. Like most kids, they don’t want me to throw the candy out, that’s for sure. But they haven’t asked for it in days! Smart, right? Wonder if they’ll notice that big ole bowl is gone tomorrow….


The most beautiful li’l witch in the world….


Mike the Knight!

2. Quitting chai lattes. It’s been TWO WEEKS AND ONE DAY since I had my last grande soy no-water tazo chai. And I even went to Starbucks the other day with a friend and wasn’t even tempted to order the usual. Instead, I ordered juice. This chai latte addiction has been plaguing me, as you know, for years. Years! But I’ve been sick (see #3) every month since September. So, clearly, my body’s telling me I need to improve my diet big time (see #4) and strengthen my sorry immune system. I’m just a little, erm, tired without all the sugar, caffeine and daily morning drunk-like bliss….

3. I’ve been sick, again. Another cold, some pink eye (care of the Rascal), a nagging cough. I’m going to probably get it from my yoga teacher when he returns from his workshops because I played hooky all last week. As you may know, Ashtanga yogis like me aren’t supposed to miss a day of practice unless they’re pretty-much on their deathbed. But I needed to feel better before subjecting my constantly ailing bod to the heat and early morning sweat and tears…. It does feel good to be back at the yoga shala now, though — even though I’m super tired and busy….

4. I’ve been cooking good food, getting healthy and strengthening sorry immune system. So instead of blogging and going to yoga, I’ve been cooking lots of wholesome and yummy vegan meals so I don’t feel deprived of the old sugary, habitual crap I was eating. I’ll update the kitch with some of these recipes when I’m a little less tired and busy….

The kids loved last night’s vegan hot dogs, oven-baked fries, and “tarragon green beans” (from Forks Over Knives). It’s not the healthiest vegan meal, I know, but it was fun-food Sunday…!

5. Betty White. I’ve been walking Betty White a lot so both of us get a healthy dose of exercise and the outdoors. Our truly bizarre Betty White is terrified of being walked, but once she gets outside, she’s alright. FYI. Poor thing got groomed yesterday (another thing she hates), and she’s been shivering a bit outside. So I indulged my love of irony at her expense and bought her this Confessions-of-a-Shopaholic-inspired “fashion” coat (we watched the movie together the night before we bought it, last Sunday)….

Betty White loves her new pink coat with the fluffy white faux-fur collar — *cough.* I think it’s hilarious, and she’s warm and GORGEOUS.

6. MAARGE and I are busy growing four different kids of catnip. Meowww, purrrrr, MAAAARGE!

7. Jealous Minden wakes me up at 4am daily. It wouldn’t be so bad if he just meowed. But he slathers me in sloppy kisses and tries to knock things over — like the glass of water beside my bed, or my bookshelf.

8. The kids. Waking them up, getting them to bed, washing clothes, cooking dinners, making lunches, making snacks, making muffins (see #4), doing homework, refereeing fights, taking them to after-school programs, picking them up, getting them dressed, bathed, loving them…. Also the Rascal sleeps on my back. He’s little but he’s solid.

9. Todaysparent.com site relaunch. Isn’t it pretty? We’re still busy working feverishly to perfect it, but it’s gorj, right? And, by the way, you know how last week I shared all the funny stuff my kids say? Now you can enter all the funny stuff your kids say and win $10,000 over at our “Today’s Kids Say” contest — HERE!

Yawn. I’d write tons more reasons why I’m busy and tired but, yawn…. So tired. So busy. But happy. Being busy isn’t so bad — even if it means I’m tired at the end of the day. And I’m sure when I start to feel better, when my rock-star immune system goes platinum, and this new no-chai, healthy lifestyle kicks in, I’ll be bouncing off this web page with all the energy.

I kicked my chai addiction, Gorgeouses. And I didn’t have a single piece of Halloween candy. Tired, busy, but, omigosh, wow!

So now’s your chance. Are you tired and busy too? OWN IT right here in the comments. We promise not to roll our eyes….

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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