WT Happiness

20 May

Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 12.56.44 PM

Today is my day to post in the happiness group about how you can foster your level of happiness.  I read Cheryl Sandberg’s commencement speech to Berkley this morning while sitting in my physical therapy appointment.   She addressed the students, not with her lessons in life but her lessons in death.  While dealing with her bereavement at the loss of her husband more than a year ago, she learned some incredible lessons that I think we all take for granted.

One of the biggest things I took away from her words were:  ‘Think about how much worse things could be’.  That’s the reality check we all need in life.  Perplexed, she responded to her friend saying ‘Are you kidding, how much worse could they be?’ and his response was ‘Your children could have been in the car with your husband when he had his Arrhythmia’.  When we think about life being worse, our minds move into the mode of ‘grateful’ and ‘appreciation’ for what we have, not what we don’t have.  While I was annoyed to be spending an hour of my morning sitting in PT as opposed to working out and sweating at the Crossfit gym, I took some of Cheryl’s advice.  IT COULD BE WORSE!  I could have torn my shoulder as opposed to just overusing it.  I would have had 6 months of PT as opposed to the mere 6 weeks (which are thankfully almost done).  And I still can work every muscle in my lower body which is what burns the most calories anyway.   Research has proven time and time again that people who find gratitude and appreciation are more resilient and are happier and healthier.

If you’ve seen any of my recent ‘family’ Facebook posts, you’ve seen the new friend that I’ve made with my future step-sons mother.  Brian and I have been together for over 2 years now and it’s taken us a while to get here but she needed time.  Time to realize that ‘things could be worse’… I could be worse.  I could be mean and nasty and uncooperative.  But i’m not.  I’m loving and forgiving and kind.  And no matter how long it took her to be come around, I was waiting with open arms and a smile to embrace her, befriend her and partner with her in the co-parenting of her son.

So next time you’re feeling down, or sad or hurting… just think about how much worse it could be and then write down or make a mental note of the things you are truly grateful for and the things you appreciate in your life.  Better yet, start a journal and write them down so when you tend to forget, you can look back and remind yourself.  #choosehappiness #itcouldbeworse

If you’d like to join our next Happiness Group event (it’s free and open to ANYONE), click here for more information: https://www.facebook.com/events/1285732538121063/

A link to the full article on Sheryl’s Commencement Speech:  http://www.businessinsider.com/sheryl-sandberg-berkeley-commencement-speech-2016-5

WT Honesty (in Parenting)

27 Apr


As parents, how often do we speak the truth about what goes on in our heads and behind closed doors.  Some live in towns where they don’t want to be labeled or judged by others so they keep the intimate details and personal thoughts all to themselves.  Me…. I’m an open book and although I do agree that my kids deserve the right to tell their own stories, until they are able, I will continue to be the mouthpiece sharing my (our) lives with the world.

In the essence of sharing, I thought it would be entertaining to highlight some of what I have personally been feeling this week about my awesome and not-so-awesome parenting moments.

On Monday, I wrote (posted on FB) about the kids off of school this week and how we should all try to take a moment and reset/enjoy some of the time with them rather than give into the stress of what it means to entertain or shuttle or occupy their time for the week – especially for those of us in our normal elements and not away on vacation.  In reflecting back on my life as a full-time working commuting mom, I realized or should I say I self-admitted that life was easier then during weeks like this one where I was working and not taking off.  I didn’t have to organize, plan and entertain.  I went to work and had an amazing nanny to do the dirty work.  In this realization, I also came to terms with the flip sides of that previous life.  Being a full-time, entrepreneur that works from home, life during a vacation week presents a whole new set of challenges.  Similar to the full-time, stay at home mom which is also a very difficult job, we have to balance these vacation days with work and responsibilities while trying to balance the kids’ schedules and the shuttling service.  I kept thinking, how the hell am I going to get any work done during the day?!?  And I felt tons of guilt for even feeling this way.

As I consider myself to be a master of time management, I still felt the pull of my kids wanting mommy time but knowing full well that mommy time means not mommy holding a cell phone, sitting at her laptop or with her head in her work.  So in putting my own challenge out to world on Monday, here’s where I am at 5 days into vacation.

I’ve accomplished and tried to squeeze a Life Lesson (LL) into each one:

  • Being fun mommy at least once a day for at least and hour or two.  LL: I’ve actually had a really fun time doing it.
  • Feeding kids cupcakes for breakfast (sorry Rabbi). LL: Even mommies crave sweet treats for breakfast but it feels better to start the day with a healthy choice.  The next day we had protein (Eggs and Bacon – sorry again Rabbi) for breakfast.
  • Playing dodgeball chasing them around the house. LL: Don’t shoot at the face. Don’t mess with a Navy Seal. They always win.
  • Giving in to dying their hair pink and purple (occupied about two – three hours and they were so excited the entire time that no energy or entertainment was needed on my part.  LL: hair color is temporary and can always wash out.  I told them both…. Don’t do anything to your hair or body that you can’t reverse – this is due to the fear my little one will want a real tattoo sooner than later.
  • Movie (Superhero) marathon all week long.  LL: Talked about how awesome girl superheroes are like Black Widow who can kick anyone’s ass. (I did use child appropriate language while explaining)

During vacation week, it’s ok to:

  • Feel the stress of the week and dread it
  • Still make time for yourself and your workout or manicure or whatever it is you do for yourself
  • Crave a cocktail before noon even if you’re not on a beach
  • Dump your kids on someone else for a few hours
  • Over-schedule them at back to back workshops or Unlimited Sports and then Parisi and then a play date
  • Hide:  I’m not really working, I’m in the basement avoiding you and your sister and your bickering about absolutely nothing

Here are a few things I’ve accepted this week:

  1. I’m a better mom after a workout.
  2. I’m more fun after two glasses of wine – this goes for non-vacation days as well.
  3. I could have handled many moments differently this week but we only have so much patience (I tend to think I have much less than most people).  I do make sure to apologize after I yell and explain how we both could have handled the situation differently.
  4. My kids are 6 and 8 and I need to accept that they don’t appreciate half the shit I do for them now but only hope they’ll appreciate it later in life.
  5. My kids like me a lot better when i’m a silly, goofy, funny, cool, non-mommy life figure.  Sorry kids, at the end of the day, I’m still your mother.

IMG_5700In a nutshell, being home during a vacation week is f’in hard and it’s ok to ride the rollercoaster of good mom, fun mom, mean mom, crazy mom, buzzed mom, happy mom and exhausted mom.   That’s what it’s all about, right?  We had kids so they could torture us like we tortured our parents but at the end of the day, those cute little animals make life a lot more fun and exciting and help us appreciate the little (and big) things in life that make us truly happy.

Enjoy the rest of your vacation week.


WT Insanity

14 Dec

 To write a personal blog or a business blog… that is the question.  Or make it applicable to both.  Since I started Foster Inc. a year ago, I’ve kept my business blog strictly on my business website.  WTHayley has always been my personal brain dump and the place where I can write about whatever I’m feeling and business associates and Clients won’t be offended.  Well, for the sake of this post, I am merging and if we do business together and read my previous personal blog posts and you’re offended… Sorry, NOT sorry.  I write from my heart and my gut and that’s just who I am and always will be.  

As the end of the year is quickly approaching and I emphasize quickly, people begin to freak out… And I’m not just taking about holiday shopping.  Many of us use the end of the year to reflect and think back on what the year was like.  Did I set out with a goal in mind? Did I reach that goal?  Did I want to lose weight, workout more? Eat healthier?  Save more money?  Whatever your goals were for this past year and whether or not you achieved them, chances are you will write many of the same ones down again for next year.  What we rarely do is analyze why we didn’t reach that goal, what road bumps slowed us down and what actually got in our way.  When you reflect, you can better plan and strategize for how to go about things differently next year so that we don’t make the same mistakes again.  As you know, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and again but expecting a different result.  Thanks Einstein. So, are you going to start 2016 off as an insane person or better equipped for success?

Wether or not you are thinking about your goals for 2016 from a business or life perspective – or hopefully both – below is what I have done (and I am still doing) to plan for the year ahead.  

  1. Grab a piece of paper and write down what your goals were for this past year – 2015.  
  2. On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being SUCCESS, how would you rate yourself on each goal?  Be honest, “failure is the opportunity to begin again, onlybthisntime more intelligently.” (Henry Ford)
  3. What did you do/actions you took to be successful? 
  4. What didn’t you do that you should have done?
  5. What/who got in your way?
  6. What could you change moving forward?

Before you put pen to paper for your new 2016 goals, I want you to close your eyes, obviously when you’re done reading this entire post, and do this short visualization exercise.  We get so caught up in the things we want to do or not do, but don’t necessarily think about who we want to BE. 

  • Close your eyes
  • Take three deep breaths 
  • Ask yourself ‘who do I want to BE in 2016’
  • Picture yourself a year from now as that person you want to BE
  • As your future self, what did you need to DO to get yourself there – actually try to picture yourself going through those steps
  • Now that you’re there, what do you HAVE that you didn’t have before
  • Open your eyes -hopefully your smiling
  • Grab your pen and write down what you just saw – who you became this year and how you did it. 

To give you an easy example to follow, let’s talk about the person that starts the year off with the goals of working out and eating healthier.  Taking the BE approach, that persons goal should be that they want to ‘be more disciplined‘, in order to DO more workouts and cook healthier meals in order to HAVE a healthier lifestyle.  By also looking back on last year, they could probably conclude that the reason they failed was because X and Y got in the way.  Being disciplined and recognizing that discipline was what they needed each day, they may have avoided looking back with regret that they didn’t do a better job reaching those goals. 

When you think about what YOU want to BE in 2016, try to find a word, just ONE, that is all encompassing.  Underneath that word, you should be able to list the things you’ll need to DO so that you can HAVE…. 

As coach-like as this sounds (it’s sorting bothering me that it is so coach-like), it’s been tested and works. You can’t keep setting the same goals and doing the same things to reach them and expect success if you don’t change your plans and formulate new strategies.  Picture yourself as a success and you will be!

WT Boobs

6 Nov

I apologize for using the title to rope you into this post but it’s a good one and an important one.

I consider myself to be strong…. not just mentally and emotionally but thanks to Crossfit Port Washington, physically as well. No matter how strong we are, there are things that happen in life that knock us on our asses.  About 10 days ago, I received a phone call from my best friend telling me that her mammogram showed a lump in her breast and she needed to go back in for a biopsy.  A phone call like that puts life into perspective and gets you thinking.  Sadly, as women, chances are at some point in our lives we will all come in close contact, or even worse, be the bearer of those words “I’ve got cancer”.

Early detection saves lives and I am a firm believe in supporting any organization that is set up to help people detect cancer before it gets to the point of no return.  There have been way too many touch points in my life this past year with friends and friends’ family members that are dealing with cancer of some kind.  

On November 14, which happens to be my birthday and if you know me well you know that I am A HUGE birthday celebrator, I will be participating in a Crossfit event called Barbells for Boobs.  This non-profit organization is dedicated to raising money for early detection with an emphasis on men and women under the age of 40.   I competed in the event last year and was planning to skip it this year since it interfered with MY DAY but, after the phone call that knocked the wind out of me, I knew in my heart it was something I wanted to do…. not just for my best friend and others I know currently fighting the disease, but for everyone out there that is scared to get a mammogram or blows it off because they ‘don’t have time’.   

My plea to you is this….. if you read this post or my WTHair post and were entertained, then take 5 minutes and click the link below and donate to this incredible cause.  If everyone that read my last post donates just $10, I will double my fundraising goal.  If you are a close friend and were planning to buy me a birthday gift – DONT.  Instead, please donate whatever you were planning to pay for my gift to Barbells for Boobs.   If you buy me a gift, I will be angry with you.  I need nothing and this means the world to me.  

If you’d like to come down and support the CrossFit Port Washington team… on my birthday this coming Saturday 11/14 @ 9am … please come down (wear some PINK) and cheer us on at 41 Sintsink Drive East in Manhasset Aisle.  There will be food and drinks and someone better show up with a birthday cake for me.  :-)  Just sayin…

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 8.08.29 PM

Thank you for reading and for you donations.


With much gratitude and love,

WT Hayley

PS – My best friends’ biopsy was clear.  Thank G-d.

WT Hair

3 Nov

I’ve been meaning to write a WTHayley post for months now and over the last few weeks, I have had so many people comment on my hair color and curls that I figured I would write a post to share my hair secrets and hair history with the blogosphere (I still can’t believe that’s actually a word).

I’ve gone through my stages of terrible hair (some might use words that aren’t as nice)  – frizz, multiple bottles of Sun-In, 80’s, 90’s…. you name it, I’ve had it.  Growing up with curly hair was torture and ironically, the street I grew up on was…. Curley Street.


According to my parents, I was a late bloomer when it came to hair growth (which I suppose runs in the family since my youngest, also with curls, still has short hair at the age of 6 because it just refuses to grow).   1930538_34869583265_8272_n

My mother, when I was about 6, must have gotten fed up and heard some old wives tale that the shorter you cut it, the quicker it will grow.  NOT TRUE!!! I ended up looking like this(Image on the left).  Full on JEW-FRO.  Thanks mom.  Not that her spaceship hair cut looked much better and my poor brother always trying to brush his curls out as a kid and ending up with a Princess Leah look.  The best part was, although my mom was a hairdresser, she refused to cut my hair herself knowing full well that I would never speak to her again so she took me a few houses down to her friend Betty who did the deed for her.  I’m not even sure if Betty was a beautician.

It took years before my hair grew back to a normal length and I’m not even sure there were any photos taken during those years.  As the second child, my parents tried to prove their were photos  of me (which equated to them telling me ‘we loved you just as much as your brother even though there are 14 albums of him and none of you) but they happen to all be on slides – apparently all the rage during the late 70’s and early 80’s.  When I questioned them years later, they would try to make me feel better by holding ‘projector night’ where we’d take the little square slides, hold them up the light and look at these tiny 2×2 images that you could barely even make out a person, let alone colors or details.

(Left Image below taken at Timber Lake Camp…. hair still trying to grow and not quite sure what to do with it.  Photo with mom taken at the camp bus stop a few years later during the 70’s Farrah Fawcett phenomenon with the flipped back sides – super cool with Cabbage Patch Kid to match)










As for this image below of me going to my Jr. High Prom – Stag (not surprising) has been the butt of many jokes over the years and rightfully so.  There are no words. My fiancé keeps this picture posted next to his computer just as a reminder of how far I’ve come… although he says it’s just there to make him smile (or die laughing, depending on his mood).

Best Hair Ever

THE LATE 80’s:  When the 80’s rolled around and perms were all the rage, I thought it would be cool if I permed my hair too.  So I bought a home kit, thinking I might have inherited some of my mothers skills, which I quickly learned are not genetic and are actually something you need to go to school for.  Needless to say, my home kit enabled me to get a little bit of a tighter curl allowing the AquaNet to fully do it’s duty.  I won the hair height contest hands down.  Just a little spray and then the… ‘can you blow on this’ to my BFF’s while I held my bangs 5 inches above my head… totally did the trick.

(Right Image: My brother fully learned to embrace his curls after moving out west in 1990 to San Diego and living the surfer life)

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 10.44.53 PM  12191779_10206269901961202_4809192095481012644_n

THE 90’s:  After my freshman year in college, dead ends, weird color still growing out, and trying to get rid of the awful bangs (see image above with brother), I decided over the summer to CHOP my hair off and go back to my natural color.  The short hair was fun and cute for a while.  When I got back to school Sophomore year, nobody recognized me…. not even my own boyfriend at the time.

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 10.44.34 PM

Graduation, moving into NYC and getting my first corporate job, along with an extra 20lbs (I missed out on the Freshman 15 and just put it all on after college with the NYC carb-load-can’t-afford-real-food diet of bagels, pizza and pasta), I went for a new reddish/purple/dark look.  (Due to excessive weight gain, photos have been torched).   A few years in, I discovered highlights – just a few hits here and there.  I stuck with my girl for many years and was happy until about 2 years ago when I finally discovered what true happiness was.

THE COLOR:  My best friend(see image below), who I should disown for the price alone, introduced me to Nicole Tresch at the Rita Hazan Salon.  This woman is a gift to hair and a color genius.  After the first appointment, I was hooked and haven’t looked back.  She is truly amazing and every time I leave there, I am over the moon at how much I love the color of my hair.  It changes from lighter to darker depending on the time of the year and mood the day of my appointment but all in all, I love it every single time.  The upkeep is a royal pain in my ass but well worth it.


THE CUT:  I have used many people over the years to cut my curls but at the end of the day, Sean James at Rita Hazan is THE MAN.  He makes it a point to bring his scissors in contact with every single strand of hair on your head.  I kid you not (and it takes a very long time)…. but the end result, amazing.  He also is a styling genius when it comes to dolling you up for events (image above Wedding Glam Shot taken at 2am after a night of partying – hair still looking fab).


THE CURL: Now to the important part…. CURL management.  You name a curly hair product and trust me, I’ve tried it.  I’ve had my luck with a few things over the years but my newest obsession is this…. Ouidad Whipped Curls.  It tames, it holds, it lasts, it keeps it soft and bouncy and not weighed down.



THE PROCESS:  Here’s my advice for curly hair… we are going to have good days and we are going to have bad days… same as everyone else.  However, our bad days are worse than those straight hair bad days. When it comes to curls, you just need to figure out what it takes to makes your curls behave the way you want them to.  Here are some of the questions and then I’ll tell you my answers.

Shampoo and Condition?

Leave in Conditioner or Wash it out?

To Brush or not to Brush?

Keep wrapped until ready to dry or let it air dry then blowdry or just air dry?

Mouse or Gel? And How much?

Regular Blowdryer or Diffuser?

MY PROCESS: I shampoo and put in a half-dollar size of Ouidad Whipping Curls in the shower and pull my fingers through the curls.  I scrunch the water out of them with my head upside down and then immediately get out of the shower and wrap it in a towel.  The towel stay on until I am ready to blowdry.  I put in John Frieda Frizz-Ease Curl Reviver Styling Mouse and dry immediately with a diffuser with my head upside down.  I scrunch but don’t run my fingers through it.  When it’s just about completely dry, I flip my head up, apply direct head to the front pieces to get it out of my face and then use Aussie Sprunch to hold it in place.  The result… manageable curls that last pretty much the whole day.

IMG_0873Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 11.40.12 PMScreen Shot 2015-11-03 at 11.36.44 PM

Other products I have had luck with…. Nexxus Humectress (which I use as a leave-in conditioner), Pantene Curly Hair Mouse, Paul Mitchell Mouse (not sure if the one I used is even still around).  I hope that this is helpful and entertaining.  Please feel free to reach out with any questions you may have.  If you don’t have curly hair and read all the way to the end…. thank you for being a fan.




26 Jun

We’ve started a new tradition at home that you may have seen posted on social media: Thankful Saturday’s. As a family of divorce, while the weekends with no kids are great, there is nothing better than the 5 of us all getting together around the table or counter on a Saturday morning and starting the weekend with what we are all thankful for.  

Last weekend, it was Marleys turn to go and she paused and took a deep breath while thinking. Then she turned to me and said ‘Mommy, how much does sleep away camp cost?’ To which I responded, Marley, you have no idea how thankful you should be for the summer you are about to endure.  
Tomorrow morning, my baby gets on the bus for seven weeks away. Over the last few weeks I’ve been telling her about all the things she’s going to experience at camp – the decisions she will be able to make without me telling her what to do, the friends she’s going to make from the minute she steps on the bus, the experiences she will have that she will never forget and all the amazing things that are still so vividly clear to me after not having been at camp for 30 years.  
Sitting here tonight I am so thankful for the summers that I was able to spend away at Timber Lake and all of what it brought to my life. I always say that I am the person I am because of the experiences I had as a kid at Summer camp.  

So here is my list (which could go on forever) of things for my daughter that I am, and she should be, thankful for this summer and every summer hereafter that she gets to spend at Timberlake: 

Cold mountain air and slimy lakes

Bug juice, jax, and griddle cakes.

Mess hall chants and the girls HC,
Waking each morning to Revile. 

Canteen, colorwar and Ron Degon
Rainy day movies with your PJ’s on.

Visiting day and a huge water balloon fight,
Campfire songs and raiding bunks at night. 

Catching salamanders in the stream
Passing inspection with a bunk so clean.

Razzes, sing night and Intercamp games
Yelling at Ropeburn to increase the flames.

The far far field and the tushy house
When JJ talks, it’s as quiet as a mouse.

The Gordon cup and hiking the north dome 
Getting a slip to make a call to home.

Murals and alma maters up on the wall
Arm and arm with friends and having a ball. 

Friendships you’ll make and have forever
Memories and good times that will last forever. 

Green and white always true
Timber Lake, we love you. 

WT Divorce

1 Oct

WT Divorce.