Building a Great Influencer Program

This summer I went to Vancouver to meet with the Canadian team of Telus Advocates. I’ve shared my love for Telus over the years but this experience was truly amazing. They flew in content creators from across the country to visit their Vancouver office, tour Telus Garden, create, eat, explore, and build relationships.

I’ve worked with heaps of brands but I truly admire the influencer program Telus has built over the years. Ok yes, I am a little bias because I chatted with the team before they created the program and shared my likes, dislikes, and brand experiences. They have set the bar high for what it means to work with a telecom company or a big brand. The experience (as an influencer) is tailored to each person’s style of content and audience.


In this post, I’m sharing a few of my tips for creating a great influencer program with Telus as my example. 

Build Relationships

The thing about being an influencer is that you’re usually sharing your real life, so when you work with a brand, it means authentically integrating their content into your own experience.

You have to get to know each other in order to learn what works and create opportunities that mutually benefit the relationship.

It’s cool when you work well together and even cooler when it becomes a friendship. I’ve worked with Telus for about 8 years now and we’re colleagues but also friends. I can text with jokes, links, or that odd time on the weekend when I broke break my phone. (Sorry!)

Since we’ve built a good working relationship, we all reach out whenever something cool comes up like an event, giveaway, or content idea.

 


Customize Content

It really sucks when you’re scrolling Instagram and you see a sponsored post that seems kinda generic, but then you see another Influencer say almost the same thing, then another, and god forbid another. It doesn’t show personality, it’s not that creative, and it’s boring. Everyone is different and creates content (hopefully) in their own style.

Your influencer crew should be talking in their own voice and sharing photos that look like their real life, not just an #ad.

Telus is really cool about knowing what each of us likes and letting us create our own stories. At the start of the year, we have a 1-on-1 meeting where go through content ideas for the year. Each influencer picks out the events and ideas that speak to them, and we plan around that.

This means everyone has a unique story to tell that integrates with their life. In the past, I have talked about Telus travel plans, tech giftsgreat coverage at the cottage, giving back, their use of VR, and more.


Get Together

I am amazed that this doesn’t happen more. Brands have groups of influencers, sharing content around the same #hashtag, often in the same city, but they never hang out. Bring your people together! It’s a great way to build relationships between client/influencer but also between the creators.

We like hanging out, taking photos together, meeting new people. It helps strengthen the team, give each other ideas, and the brand has an amazing opportunity to create original content.

#TeamTelus, Vancouver, influencers

(Some of) #TeamTelus 2018 in Vancouver!  


Give Where You Live

If you have a great team of people you like working with who are sending out good vibes and great content, why not use that power for good? Telus gives $45M a year communities across Canada and half a billion since 2000. This year at TELUS Days of Giving events 35K employees will be involved in 2,000 events across Canada.

In Vancouver, the Telus Advocates (us) and a bunch of Telus employees joined forces to pack 200 bags with weekend snacks for Backpack Buddies. This charity was started by two women to help fill the weekend hunger gap for Vancouver kids in need. We went around the room in a circuit with people doing different jobs to hustle through packing. It was a lot of fun and it brought us together. Love to see more of this from other brands. See more at #GiveWhereWeLive.

#teamtelus, Vancouver, casie stewart

We packed 200 bags for Backpack Buddies and Telus donated $10,000!


Ask Questions

If you’re building an influencer team or already have relationships, remember they’re good at what they do because they have experience. They work with multiple brands, agencies, timelines. You don’t need to get super specific but asking questions is a great idea. What do they like about other programs? Do they have ideas on how to make things better, faster, smoother? How could we use technology to tell stories in a different way? Asking questions helps you learn and when you learn you have more ideas, and everything gets better.

Telus Vancouver dinner and the day I first wore my fav dress.


Bring Them In

I love learning about a program while it’s still in development and giving feedback or sharing a related experience. I usually have a different perspective and turn it on its head.  Last year, Telus brought a few of us in to ask about a new program they’re thinking about and while we were in Vancouver we talked a lot about Telus programs and the future.  It’s great to hear about what the company is doing, planning, how you can work together.


Create

You know what all content creator influencer people have in common? They all like to make things, create things. A lot of them even like the camera. ūüėČ Make stuff with them!

Telus had each of into Telus Vancouver Studio (inside their building) to shoot some fun stuff on camera. They planned it out well, has scripts, full crew, and we each took turns for private studio time. It was fun and now they have a whole bunch of fresh-faced content.

Last year before Mother’s & Father’s Day Telus had a bunch of us come to the Toronto office and shoot us talking about gadgets & gift ideas. We also called our parents to ask about their favourite present we ever gave them. You will laugh at mine because I was born on Mother’s Day and like, what is a better gift than THAT!? ūüėú


Learn & Grow

Through building relationships, coming together, and asking questions, you learn a lot about people, marketing, and what works best. Your program should be agile and change with the times, the content, technology, the people. New feature on IG or app to make something cool, try it. Find a great new creator, reach out to them. Someone not posting as much as they used to bc they just aren’t really into it, cool no problem, work with that or move on.

You need to be constantly innovating or you will be left behind. Innovate or die.

Finally, this goes without saying at this point, if you’re working on all this stuff with someone or a group of people, you should pay them for their time and expertise.  It can be cash (cheques are good) or in-kind (must have great value) but please recognize the immensely unique perspective and value someone of this nature can bring to your program or organization.

Sidenote, Vancouver is really beautiful. Especially in the summer!

 


How to Build a Great Influencer Program

  1. Build Relationships
  2. Customize Content
  3. Get Together
  4. Give Where You Live
  5. Ask Questions 
  6. Bring Them In
  7. Create
  8. Learn & Grow

I love working with Telus as you can tell from this post. Check out some of my other stories over the years here. ūüíö

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Portugal Pt. 1: What to Do in Lisbon

Portugal is amazing! My trip with Aeroplan¬†this month was great and if you were following¬†on social you’ll know because I posted heaps of photos!¬† The air was hot, the food was good, and¬†I found inspiration in the bright colours and kind people. I took over 2,000 photos and kept notes during the trip. I did a bunch of research before I left and have been asked heaps about recommendations, so, I’ve broken down my trip into 5 posts based on things I did, which is only a fraction of what there is to do. Next trip I’ll rent a car and drive around to see¬†the Algarve, Braga, Cascais, Coimbra, Aveiro (the Venice of Portugal), and the historic town of √ďbidos.

I’d like to take a second to thank Telus for keeping me connected. I have an Easy Roam package on my¬†plan where for the cost of a coffee & snack each day I could use the data of my Canadian plan without having to worry about roaming. It’s great to disconnect but for me, being able to still share my experience as it happens is part of the fun!

Links to other Portugal Posts are at the bottom and I’ll update as each is published!¬†Obrigada!


What to Do In Lisbon

I arrived in Lisbon with a loose plan of what to do for the next 10 days. It was my first visiting and I’d been building a Pinterest board of the things to see and do for weeks. The city is so beautiful, bright coloured¬†buildings fill the streets and the hills make it so picturesque. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to walk a lot.

When you arrive from the airport it can be a bit confusing, if you don’t want to Uber or taxi, there’s a green bus that will take you downtown to a variety of spots for a couple Euros (the ticket is good for 24 or 48 hours).


The main streets will present heaps of opportunities to dine on a patio, have wine, visit a museum, or go shopping. We found a great little store for clothes at a good price at the bottom of¬†¬†Santa Justa Lift. I ended up getting a 2nd suitcase to bring home all the things I bought on this trip! You can go up the lift for a 360 view but there was a line so I didn’t bother (this is included in your Yellow Bus ticket, see below).

Yellow Bus Tours

For 20 Euros I got a 48-hour ticket for Yellow Bus Tours which allowed me to take 2 bus lines and the trolley unlimited for 2 days. This worked out really great because they have an audio guide on the bus that tells you all about the history and landmarks, it also saved me paying for Ubers to get to all the places I wanted to go.

Parque Eduardo VII

One of the great views from the bus tour is¬†Parque Eduardo VII, the largest park in Lisbon. I would have loved to walk around the park. There’s some greenery that looks like a maze!¬†The park is 26 hectares and in between Avenida da Liberdade and the Marquis of Pombal Square, right in the centre of the city.

casie stewart, portugal, travel blogger, lisbon, aeroplan, withaeroplan, travel

Belem

One route on the bus tour took me to Belem and¬†Torre de Bel√©m (Tower of Belem).¬†It was built¬†on the northern bank of the Tagus between 1514 and 1520 and in 1983 was classified by UNESCO as¬†“Cultural Heritage of Humanity”.

There’s also a place in¬†Belem called¬†Past√©is¬†de¬†Bel√©m, the original spot for¬†Pastel da Nata (Portuguese¬†egg tart), since 1837.¬† Be prepared to wait but sooo¬†good!¬†

belem, casie stewart, portugal, travel blogger, lisbon, aeroplan, withaeroplan, travel

LX Factory

This is a really cool area with bars, restaurants and shopping. It’s great for photos and has heaps of street art. This was where I saw the most hipstery people in Lisbon. There was live music and really cool shipping container/bus things to check out.

Barrio Alto District

Grab a beer at a little store and walk around, it’s really busy here!¬†(Also, you can drink in the streets!) There are heaps of little bars and restaurants. We had dinner in an alley at an Italian restaurant.¬†I was also surprised¬†by how many police and families¬†were walking around late at night. Hold onto your stuff though, if you were going to get pickpocketed, this would be the place.

Park Bar, Lisbon

If you’re looking for a great view, Park Bar it’s a busy hot spot on top of a parking garage with wooden seats and drinks. The entrance is on a small side street but they will likely be people hanging out or checking Google Maps on their phones to get there. You’ll have to walk up a few flights of stairs but the view is amazing. Unfortunately, I didn’t get there before sunset, the view in daylight is amazing.

Praça do Comércio (Yellow Square)

The Royal Palace used to be here before the Great Earthquake in 1755. The square is beside the Tagus River, it has a beautiful archway (Rua Augusta Arch) and a bronze statue of¬†Joseph I of Portugal (1750 ‚Äď 1777)¬† (King of Portugal during the earthquake).

Time Out Market

This is a HUGE market with all kinds of different food. It’s really busy at night with people eating and drinking. It’s right across from the train station if you want to get to Sintra, Cascais, or¬†Praia De Carcavelos¬†(beach).¬† I stayed at a great Airbnb just behind the market with a great host who showed me how to navigate the train station. If you haven’t used Airbnb yet, visit this link to get $45 CAD off your first stay.

time our market, lisbon, casie stewart, portugal, travel blogger, lisbon, aeroplan, withaeroplan, travel


Hope you enjoyed my photos and recommendations.

Check out my other posts about Portugal below! 

Casie Stewart: Guide to Portugal

  1. Portugal Pt. 1: What to Do in Lisbon
  2. Portugal Pt. 2: Sintra & Pena Palace
  3. Portugal Pt 3: Porto (Coming Soon!)
  4. Portugal Pt. 4: Douro Valley (Coming Soon!)
  5. Portugal Pt 5: Highly Instagrammable Places to Photograph (Coming Soon!)


This vacation was in partnership #withAeroplan. Earn miles and rewards by shopping at your fav spots (ex. Amazon) and redeem for travel almost anywhere in the world. I've been an Aeroplan member since I was 11 years old and love redeeming my miles to visit new & exciting destinations. Check out aeroplan.com!Aeroplan Logo
 
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Win a Makeover from Sassoon Toronto!

Praia De Carcavelos, Portugal

Hello!

I am writing this to you from Lisbon, Portugal!

I just came back from the beach after travelling here from Porto. I was wearing a hat for most the day, slept on a train, rode 2 Users in sweltering heat, then walked the beach.

But you know what? My hair is still looking great!

Something I love about my cut/colour is that no matter what activity or where I am, plane, train, city, beach, cottage, it always seems to fall¬†right into place.¬†ūüėä‚úąÔłŹūüŹĖ

I have the team at Sassoon Toronto to thank for my amazing cut and great colour. Blonde can be really hard on your hair but Kim and Tricia keep my hair soft and healthy with treatments and regular cuts.


My last visit to Sassoon Toronto was the day before my trip. My hair was shaggy and I had HUGE roots but my dream team took it from meh to HUZZAH. Scroll down a little bit to see details about the makeover giveaway and a link to my Instagram¬†post where you’ll need to leave a comment.


Sassoon Makeover Giveaway Details

Sassoon and I are giving YOU the chance to win the hair makeover valued at $350! To enter, leave a comment on THIS INSTAGRAM POST and make sure you are following @SassoonToronto.

The contest will run for 7 days and a winner will be notified by Instagram. The winner has 24 hours to claim the prize!

Sending you love from the beach!

casie stewart, portugal, travel

casie stewart, autograph, famous, blogger, canada, toronto

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Ford EcoSport Cross Canada Tour

This year for Canada Day weekend I was part of the Ford EcoSport cross Canada road trip with Ford Canada. My friend April and I were Leg 14 of the adventure and driving from Regina to Medicine Hat, SK and finishing in Calgary Alerta. It was both our first time in Regina and we had heaps of fun along the adventure. Thank you Ford Canada for this experience! Scroll down to see what we got up to along the way.


The Ford Eco Sport Tour involves 14 different content creators each driving the exact same Ford Eco Sport for a relay across the country. When I first received the email I was so excited and even more so that I got to bring a friend! I’d been wanting to go on a trip with April since that great weekend we spent glamping up north a few years back.

We started in Regina, SK and it was the first time there for the both of us. We arrived late afternoon and checked into Hotel Saskatchewan, an extremely elegant hotel. Ford hooked us up with a 2 room suite and it was perfect! The hotel offered great views of the city, was walking distance to restaurants and bars, it had a nice gym¬†and a hot tub too. We drove around and made use of the SYNC¬ģ 3 with Apple CarPlay‚ĄĘ and FordPass Wifi HotSpot.

Instead of doing typical tourist stuff on our road trip, April and I made a point to stop at different vintage and second-hand stores across the two provinces. We love to shop! I’ve always found that shops in small towns are where you really find the gems. Our first stop was T&A Vinyl & Fashion and the owner was so cool. We shopped the vintage finds/records and he gave us pins, stickers, and a whole bunch of tips for things to do along our journey.

After a busy day of travelling and some shopping, we were ready for relaxation. Instead of going out we ordered room service from the incredible kitchen at Hotel Saskatchewan and pigged out in our rooms wearing our robes.

In the morning, we woke up pretty early (with the time difference) which it earned us time to hit the gym, have a coffee, and be on the road by 9am. Our goal was to do as much driving in the early part of the day as e could so we had some time at our next destination, The Resort at Cypress Hills. The car was great to drive and features like SYNC and wifi kept us on track and connected the whole time.

We had no shortage of great places to stop along the way. A lot of the drive looked the same with wide open Canola fields of yellow, green grass, and blue skies. We sang along to 90s on 9 on Sirius XM and stopped for photos and shopping along the way. It was really fun. As we turned off the Trans-Canada highway we came across a cute stop with a goat farm. So cute. Always stop for baby goats!

It was just about dinner when we arrived to our room at Cypress Hill Resort, a nice resort in the middle of a provincial park. We had a great dinner and turned in early to watch TV in our beds. We’re a real wild bunch! haha.

It was Canada Day when we woke up on Sunday so we both wore red and hit the road for the final leg of the trip to Calgary. It‚Äôs amazing how wide and flat the Prairies are. Really makes you appreciate how big and beautiful Canda is. Especially on Canada day! ūüá®ūüá¶

We made a few stops along the way including a Sunday market. We talked to shopkeepers whoever we stopped and people asked about the Ford Eco Sport wherever we went.


Sunday night we stayed at my fav spot in Calgary, Hotel Arts. I filmed this video there with Tourism Calgary a couple years back. We had a great dinner at Yellow Door Bistro inside the hotel and watched the Canada Day day festivities from the balcony.

Althouth we were on a self-guided adventure,  we had Denis who worked with Ford to drive across Canada to make sure each participant was a-ok along the journey. He also put gas in the car overnight so we were ready to roll in the morning. Thanks Denis! 

Overall the Ford Eco Sport was a great car to drive. It’s comfortable, good on gas, nice sound system, and my fav feature was the automatic windshield wipers. It didn’t rain much but when it did, they started up themselves!

Check out @FordCanada on Instagram for some of the other people who were part of the relay. It was such a  cool experience to be part of and to explore a new part of Canada.

Thank you Ford Canada! 

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Nervous/excited is my favourite feeling.

When your heart is racing and you feel like maybe you had too much coffee. You might throw up. You can’t stop smiling. Your thoughts are going a mile a minute, circling round the details. You pace back and forth. You need water. You can’t sit still. You’re not sure if you’re nervous or excited but something is going on and you can’t wait. That’s how I feel today.¬†


Tomorrow¬†we go to Portugal with Aeroplan. It’s my first time going a Eurotrip! I’m packed and have taken care of all the details. Got travel insurance which is essential. Mailed details to family just in case. We’re on a self-guided¬†tour of a few cities, hotels, Airbnbs, doing whatever we want for 12 days. The weather looks amazing. I have heaps of outfits, accessories, and shoes, neatly packed in my carry-on. I don’t know what I did before packing cubes came into my life (I have these from Amazon). Shared some packing tips a while back in this post.

This weekend we were at the cottage the weather was warm and it was great to be out in the boat. In August we’re up for Sean’s birthday and¬†staying for nearly 2 weeks. It’s my fav time of the year up there together. We have a few projects we want to do around the cottage. It’s great creative time with lots of relaxing. I love to get out in the kayak or my SUP board in the morning. I tell myself every year that I’m going to work on my book, maybe I will this time! I’m further than I was last yeat and I think this Portugal trip will give me the kickstart I need!¬†

This weekend I tried the beyond Meat burger at A&W that’s made from plant protein and it was so good. I’ve loved A&W since I used to¬†go to cruise night there with dad as a kid. I like what they’ve been doing lately by trying to provide better and healthier fast food options. Not sponsored lol.


Sending you love and sunshine. Have a great day. Enjoy the weather wherever you are!‚ėÄÔłŹ

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Amazon Prime Day is Today – Get 5x Aeroplan Miles!!

I look forward to Prime Day each summer! I bought my first Instant Pot on Prime¬†Day years ago and I’ve been obsessed ever since. If you’re¬†an Aeroplan¬† Member, you can earn you 5x the Aeroplan Miles on Prime Day this year.¬†Think about¬†that for a hot second, get amazing deals AND rack up those miles!¬†

I’ve been earning Miles w/ Aeroplan as long as I can remember¬†because mum was keen on getting any help we could in order to visit the fam back in New Zealand. I really love Amazon Deals and Amazon, in general, it’s such a great addition to life. An easy way to get just about anything sent to you in a day or two. If you don’t have a¬†Prime Membership, sign up here.¬†I love the future!

Amazon Prime + Aeroplan Details

WHAT IS AMAZON PRIME? The basic benefits of being a prime member are FREE 2-day shipping, access to Prime Video (Man in the High Castle, Mozart in the Jungle Transparent), access to Prime Music, AND special deals on Prime Day! There are over 100,000 deals across heaps of categories like electronics, fashion housewares, and more.

How it works: Amazon + Aeroplan

  1. Visit aeroplan.com/estore
  2. Using the search function on the page, find Amazon.ca
  3. Enter your Aeroplan number and last name
  4. Click on the ‚ÄėShop Now‚Äô button to be redirected to Amazon.ca.
  5. GET ALL THE DEALS. Happy shopping!

The Aeroplan eStore promotion starts on Prime Day and lasts until July 18th.

Prime Day starts at 3pm ET on Monday, July 16


This week is an exciting one, today is Prime Day, tomorrow I’m back at Sassoon Toronto and will be announcing a REALLY GREAT makeover¬†giveaway, then Wednesday I’m off to Portugal #withAeroplan for almost 2 weeks. What a time to be online!¬†

casiestewart, this is my life, blogger, toronto, writer,

This post is sponsored by Aeroplan as part of my ongoing partnership. Make sure you tune in next week because I'm off to PORTUGAL #withAeroplan!

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Hot summer nights, good food, music, and drinks, you can’t go wrong!¬† This coming weekend in Barrie is Medley Festival¬†in Barrie, Ontario, a food & drink¬†event celebrating Canadiana¬†with a bunch of great vendors and live music. One of my old buds is behind the event and I want to give you some¬†tickets!

I have (1) VIP Ticket Package (valued at $300) and 2 Pairs of Weekend passes (valued at $50). I would 100% be there but Wednesday I leave for Portugal.

TO ENTER:

  1. Visit medleyfestival.com
  2. Leave a comment on the blog about what you’d like¬†to eat, drink, see, or do there this weekend!

Lots of great vendors including Bacardi, Black Fly Beverages, Dr.Oetker,¬†The Flying Monkeys Brewery, Pie, Smoke’s Poutinerie, Muskoka, Brewery, and more!

casiestewart, medley festival, cottagelife, muskoka, barrie

This Flying Monkey’s IPA is good and my fav colour.


I would like to note that one of the food vendors is Pie Wood Fired Pizza which is MY FAVOURITE PIZZA. Just look at this it’s amazing.


Here’s a little look at what to expect at¬†Southshore Centre & Park, Barrie. FYI it is 45 minutes from Toronto and there is a GoTrain¬†RIGHT across the street. So, if you don’t have a car, don’t worry, enter the giveaway, save yourself the hassle of traffic, and enjoy a few cocktails!

medley fesitval, barrie, medley fest, toronto, blogger, GTA, giveaway, tickets, contest


Winners will be picked at random and notified on Wednesday by noon and have 24 hours to claim the tickets. Prizes will be delivered by email.

Thank you for reading, sharing, and entering! GOOD LUCK.


Partnered with my old friend Jeff Atley & Medley Festival to bring you these¬†tickets! Winners will be notified via email. Love ya! ūüėäNo automatic alt text available.

medley festival, barrie, toronto, tickets, giveaway
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Tom Ford – LOLA Sunnies ūüėé

If you follow me on IG or have been reading here for a while you’re well aware of my sunglasses obsession! I’ve been collecting them for longer than I care to admit and they’re my favourite accessory. Most are funky and not too pricey but do I have a couple designer pairs I’ve found over the years.

Last month I received an email from SmartBuyGlasses.ca giving me an opportunity to pick a pair from their latest lookbook. I went for these cat eye, Tom Ford – LOLA beauties, I love them. The tint is perfect and the lenses are very clear. I usually go for dark lenses but I find they make it hard to read my phone screen (which is essential!).


I’ve worked with SmartBuyGlasses before and they have heaps of designer eyewear at better than retail. Remember my Celine or YSL ones? They’re the nicest glasses I have! [See here!]

Protect your face from the sun and look stylish af w/ great sunnies. Check out their website. ūüėé

This post is 100% in exchange for my new glasses. Thank you SmartBuyGlasses for reaching out! YOLO.

this is my life, casie stewart
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10 Great Things: Vineyard, Local Flights, Baby Goats, Italian Food

Monday was just a casual day y’know?¬†I flew to Niagara on the Lake (NOTL) with a small group for lunch & wine tasting at Two Sisters Winery w/ the two sisters. It was such a great experience!

Small groups or private adventures are a great way to get people  (media, content creators, friends) familiar with your brand. Thank you, Two Sisters (the actual sisters!) for hosting and Fly GTA for the great flight.

Can’t wait to try their Muskoka route soon!¬†

Scroll through the IG post below and read the captions below. I shared 10 great things about the day. This is an expansion of the original¬†IG¬†post.¬†I’m not sure if I’ve done before? It usually goes the other way¬†(WP->IG vs IG->WP). ūü§ď

1. Arrived at the airport I was a last minute invite so I went right to the office like HELLOOOOO. Thank you Stilez for hooking me up! ūüėä

2. The flight is 10-25mim depending on route and $99. Very beautiful!‚úąÔłŹ

two sisters winery, fly GTA, muskoka, niagara on the lake, NOTL, casie stewart, wine country, ontario

3. Hot pilot alert ūüĎ®ūüŹĽ‚Äć‚úąÔłŹ

two sisters winery, fly GTA, muskoka, niagara on the lake, NOTL, casie stewart, wine country, ontario

4. Two sisters took over a peach ūüćĎ farm 4 years ago.

5. They have a great team who takes care of the vineyard by hand.

6. I love Italian food and lunch was INCREDIBLE. Love the Burrata & polenta. Also HOT SAUCE.

7. What a voice, don’t miss this video or check out my NOTL Story on IG. Impromptu acapella performance from a band visiting from Portugal. ūüáĶūüáĻ

8. Step inside the wine cellar, theres a table for private dining. ūüć∑ (See IG¬†video)

9. Private tour of the family farm with BABY GOATS ūüźź ūüźź ūüźź

10. They also have a hidden pond on the vineyard with a family of ducks and ducklings + heaps of fish.


two sisters winery, fly GTA, muskoka, niagara on the lake, NOTL, casie stewart, wine country, ontario

THE CREW! Maurie from 92.5, Joanna Sable, Solmaz, @meetandeats.

 

This adventure was hosted by Two Sisters Winery and I was SO MUCH FUN.  I love documenting adventures with words and photos so I can always remember them.

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Sassoon Style: Summer Wedding Season

Last week I stopped by Sassoon Toronto for my regular trim. My hair is lower maintenance since I opted for highlights last month instead of full bleach & tone. I really like what’s going on with my two-tone hair, it’s still blonde, has some texture, and is my natural colour at the back.

For my touch-up cuts in between colour, I’ve been seeing Tricia for a quick¬†trim. She usually does a few snips while the hair is wet, then does scissor-over-comb (SOC) while my hair is dry to finish off the¬†look.¬†It’s amazing how a quick trim makes you feel so refreshed!¬†

Summer Wedding Hair Tips from Sassoon Toronto

I love summer and wedding season is the perfect chance to get all dolled up. I would wear this dress to every wedding this summer, it makes me feel great and always gets compliments. It’s my¬†‘feel good’ dress of¬†Summer 2018! I chatted with Tricia about the perfect summer wedding hair and got a few tips from Sassoon Salon‚Äôs creative directors Lorraine McAndrew and Wesley Hanlon.

Keep it fresh
Tricia’s reco¬†is to get a fresh haircut/trim/colour touch-up one week before the big day. If you have short hair like me,¬†opt for a blow-dry on the day of. A professional just has the magic touch to¬†give your hair some OOMPH.

Hot Tip: For added shine ask for a personalized in-salon Kerastase Fusio-Dose treatment.

¬†‚ÄúShine is key for ensuring your hair looks healthy from every angle,‚ÄĚ
– Lorraine McAndrew, Sassoon Salon senior creative director

Styling Requirements
If you’re going for a braid or pretty up-do, your hair should be clean, but DO NOT wash it the day of the event. Wash the night before to keep your hair‚Äôs natural oils intact, you’ll be able to count those curls, waves, or up-dos holding better and looking great in photos.

Less is more
Want to look modern and elegant? Keep it simple, don’t over style!

Wedding Day Tool Kit
I always carry a small bag with a few beauty must-haves for big events or a wedding. I love Dior or Mac lipstick, Hello Flawless Powder by Benefit, bobby pins, and tiny rubber elastics. If you’re rocking a fancy hairstyle that took some work, pop Sebastian Shaper Plus mini hairspray in your bag.

SIDE NOTE – The team at Sassoon Salon are so great. I’ve been going there for almost 2 years now and I look forward to every visit. I spend half the time laughing and talking like we’re old friends. If you’re looking for a new look or someone to really take care of your hair, I highly recommend making an appointment.


Hope you had an amazing weekend. Here’s to a great week!

Sending you Sunshine!

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Fill Up for the Weekend + Be Safe Out There

This weekend we’re heading to the cottage and I couldn’t be happier. The past few weekends I’ve had a bit of travel in Ontario and out west. I can’t wait to have a few days to recharge my batteries,¬†nothing is quite as relaxing at a few days up at the cottage. We usually stop to fill up the car on the way and our fav place is the Husky Station near Bradford for the very best samosas, snacks, and of course gas.


When Husky reached out to me about their latest campaign I replied right away about the cottage drive but what I learned in the process is how many people actually get gas and don’t pay for it. As if! Doing that never crossed my mind but in my research,¬†I found out it happens more than you know. In May this year,¬†new legislation¬†passed in Alberta to protect gas and convenience store workers after multiple deaths.

‚ÄúThe number of fuel thefts in our province would surprise people at how high it is and occasionally a worker is injured or killed either because a dash-and-gas is happening and they‚Äôre accidentally involved or because they maybe tried to chase someone,‚ÄĚ – Alberta Labour MinisterLabour Minister Christina Gray¬†

Last year in Toronto, a man was charged with 2nd-degree murder after dragging a gas attendant 78 metres, when he drove away trying to escape a $112 tab. He didn’t even know he had killed a man until a couple days later! Gives me chills. With gas prices on the rise, I looked up how common gas fraud is in North America and it’s apparently ‘alive and well‘ (according to NASAA in USA) with major gas brands stating warnings right on their websites.


In order to protect their employees, Husky implemented a pay-at-the-pump policy for all locations, including the 110 locations in Ontario. Husky is one of the only stations in the province to implement this mandate.

‚ÄúYou hear tragic stories of employees trying to stop a gas theft and getting hurt, or even killed, and you often wonder if this could happen to you. Even though we aren‚Äôt supposed to try to stop these incidents, prepay ensures there is no dispute at the pump and helps me get home to my family at the end of every shift.‚ÄĚ – Mike, Husky employee in St. Catherines

If you live downtown, you’re probably used to paying at the pump, but over the past month, I drove in Muskoka, Regina, and heaps of little towns where it’s not mandatory to pay before filling up. This weekend we had conversations with so many great staff members at gas stops through the Prairies and I hate thinking how this could happen to them.

Husky Energy Launches Pay before you Pump Awareness Campaign

Husky Energy believes having customers pre-pay will minimize risks to staff. Since implementation in BC, the rate of gas-and-dash deaths has decreased to zero.

I wonder when other gas companies will make this mandatory?


FYI if you go to the Husky on the 400 near Bradford, highly recommend the lamb or vegetarian samosas + plum sauce.

P.S.¬†GAS¬†PRO TIP –¬†Next time you are getting gas, look on the gas handle for a little latch that will hold it handle in the ‘pumping gas position’ (or use the gas cap) and you won’t have to hold it with your hand. ūüėä‚õĹÔłŹ


This post is sponsored by Husky but the message is my own. I read a lot before writing this and I wonder how long it will take this to be mandatory at all gas stations.

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Europe’s  Hottest Destination for 2018 – PORTUGAL!

I’ve always dreamed of summer in Europe and although I’ve travelled to heaps of countries, I’ve never done a Euro¬†trip. I KNOW! Well, ladies and gentlemen, the time has come. As part of my ongoing partnership with¬†Aeroplan, tomorrow I’m heading to¬†PORTUGAL. We leave mid-month and we’re back on the 30th.¬† Have I said¬†I’m excited, yet?

I was originally heading to Paris with Sean but that trip is a little delayed and I’m so glad this worked out. It’s a great feeling to text your friend and say ‘hey want to come to Europe this summer?’. Ahhhhh pinch me, it’s times like this I’m like omg, this is my life!

I am so excited. Portugal is the hottest spot to go this summer, just check your Facebook feed or of your fav online celebs and they’re all checking in to Lisboa, Porto, Sintra, and beautiful coastal beaches.

Yesterday I was reading this article on W Magazine and it’s one of many about how Portugal is THE SPOT to be. We’ve planned out most of the adventure but I’ve left a few days up in the air to figure out as we go. I love not having a plan and the freedom to make things up as we learn more about secret beaches, hidden hideaways, and locals only spots.


If you have any food & drink recommendations, family, friends, hotels, Airbnb, vacation properties, restaurant owner friends, anything, PLEASE COMMENT.

We have a Google doc and Slack set up to manage everything (yes, we are nerds) so I will add all of your suggestions.



So far we’re arriving in Lisbon, going to Sintra, then to Porto, we’ve got a few¬†days with no plan, then back to Lisbon before¬†coming home. We’re gone for almost 2 weeks. It is going to be so hot and I can’t wait.

Sintra, Portugal – we’re staying in this great city for a night!


If you haven’t¬†checked out the new Aeroplan, I suggest popping over to aeroplan.com. They’ve got deals on getaways, vacation packages, and more. You can also earn¬†Miles at¬†Amazon, Costco, and heaps of other online shopping spots. I’ve had an Aeroplan credit card for¬†years and love racking up those rewards.

Thank you Aeroplan for making this dream come true! Follow along all our posts tagged #withAeroplan.¬†I’m so excited!

 


Over the holidays this year took mum back to New Zealand for a month with Aeroplan and it was such a  great adventure. Watch this video we made w/ 1188 before our vacation.

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