Creativity: It’s Always There, You Just Have to Find It

I haven’t written much in the last week. I’ve been busy but I’ve also been tired/lazy. Last week I directed a commercial, went to a conference, and had a press trip. It was non-stop go-go-go and although I relaxed over the weekend, come Monday I felt drained. I love my work and what I do but I am much more of a homebody and introvert than you might realize. I love staying home! Being a blogger (writer) means you spend a lot of time at home on your computer. 

I’m listening to the Call Me By Your Name Soundtrack, did you see that movie? It’s beautiful. I saw it on one of the flights I’ve taken since January. By the end of February, I’d seen almost every new movie on Air Canada. I was happy to see this one pop up, it’s good. After coming back from New Zealand I was pretty relaxed and ready to start 2018 business. But now, I can’t believe it’s April and I feel like the last two months have been a blur. I was super sick for half of February then I had a week in Vancouver, a week in San Francisco, a couple weekends at the cottage, and few days in Ottawa (Gatineau). Where did the time go?!

This extended winter is not helping, I totally wore the wrong coat.


This weekend we are heading up to the cottage and I can’t wait. Before we head north, I’m attending a creativity workshop with FITC. I’m hoping for an electric charge that inspires me to make things. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day routine, feeling tired but your creativity is always there, you just have to find it. I’m a very creative person but I go through waves of stopping and starting, staring at my computer, into hour-long blackholes of scrolling FB or IG.

It’s easy to get caught up in day-to-day routine, feeling tired, but your creativity is always there you, you just have to find it.  

You have to find something that inspires you every single day. I love going for walks, riding my bike, or calling someone (on the actual phone) to chat a few minutes. Workouts are good too if you’re into that haha.

Today I tweeted about the sunshine because this damn long ass winter seems to be never ending but you can’t let it get you down. Spring is around the corner, a time of renewal, growth, change. Take inventory of the things around you, make your bed, close your eyes and think for a minute, go outside, read your old journal, buy flowers, draw something. You control your thoughts and you are in charge of the way you feel. If you find the sunshine within, you can share it with the world.

dontquit, dont quit, casie stewart, lifestyle, positive, blogger

 

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Travel Tips: Packing a Stylish Carry-on

Thankfully Thursday is here, best day of the week! I’m so excited for this weekend I’ve been counting down the days hours of what has felt like a really long week. Yesterday I posted an IG photo with the caption ‘hump day lol’ and it wasn’t until about 4pm I realized it WASN’T EVEN WEDNESDAY.

My BFF Sarah and I are flying Porter to Ottawa for a relaxing, fun-filled few days at Lac-Leamy Casino in Gatineau, Quebec. From now until April 22 they have a ‘Now Boarding‘ theme that’s all about travel and adventure. My fav things! 

After all these years, I’ve almost perfected the art of packing the right mix of stuff for fashion and function. With the help of 1188 Films, we created a cute video with some of my trusted packing tips. Click here to watch on Facebook or hit play below!

Travel Tips: Packing a Stylish Carry-on

This weekend I’m heading to Casino Lac-Leamy w/ my BFF. I’m so excited! Here’s a few of my trusted packing tips for a weekend getaway! http://casiestewart.com/packingtips-casinosquebec

Posted by casie stewart: this is my life on Thursday, March 29, 2018

 


I’m so excited. I honestly can’t wait. Lac-Leamy Casino has hooked us up with a great room at the hotel, dining at their 5 restaurants, a spa visit, and of course, we’ll be hitting the CASINO! Big money, baby! I mean, I hope we win some $$$ but we’ll have heaps of fun no matter what. They’ve got a whole bunch of travel activities to accompany their current ‘Now Boarding’ theme and it is going to be SO FUN. 

I’ve been on heaps of trips and try to travel with just a carryon whenever I can. Once I did 2 weeks in Thailand with just a carryon! I still managed to look stylish the whole trip, it became ‘a thing’ with our group to see what I walked into the lobby wearing each morning. Haha.


Travel Tips: Packing a Stylish Carryon

  1. Scarves come in handy
  2. Bring a bunch of sunnies
  3. Travel pillow
  4. Travel sized essentials & ziplock bags
  5. Packing cubes are 👌🏼👌🏼👌🏼
  6. Dryer sheets to keep things fresh

A couple other things, I always dress nicely when I go to the airport, you never who you’ll run into/sit beside, and it’s helpful in scoring upgrades. I usually wear all black, leggings, loafers (or whatever shoes take up the most space!), a loose-fitting black top that looks tidy, and my khaki trench coat. I take most of my tech accessories zipped up in my big black purse and throw my Mac charger in the suitcase.

The travel pillow, packing cubes, and my go-to iPhone charger are all from Amazon, I’ve linked them below. I never go anywhere without them! For this trip, I ordered Sarah and I these super cute matching robes and this disco laser light for our soon-to-be hotel dance party. I can’t wait. I’m so excited!


Follow our adventures on IG Stories and Twitter. For a sneak peek at what we’ll be doing pop over to the casino website.

 


This post is in partnership with Casinos du Québec. I've been compensated and I'm SO EXCITED to share this experience. Even better, I'm taking my BFF! So fun. Best job ever!

Check out their Now Boarding theme here and think about Lac-Leamy Casino for your next weekend getaway!

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Don’t forget this on your next trip! Very Important!

I’ve been travelling a lot this year and have a routine when I pack.  I never forget, a hat, an eye mask, thongs (aka flip flops), multiple pairs of sunglasses (no matter what the temperature), a couple scarves, insurance, and my passport. Wardrobe and accessories always depend on where I’m going. Something  REALLY important people often forget is INSURANCE.

Millennials, I’m lookin’ at you. Apparently, we’re more likely to hop on a plane without insurance (55%) than without our cell phone (45%). Raise your hand if this is you?!

In a recent TD Insurance survey, more than 1/3 of Canadians forgot to purchase travel insurance at least once (37%) or said it’s the last thing they think of (36%).


SF MOMA, San Francisco, United States


Over a third of Canadians think they have travel insurance with their credit card (37%) or their job (37%), but don’t check what coverage they really have. You should definitely double check before you get on that airplane and consider buying supplemental insurance if you don’t have out of country emergency medical coverage.

We’ve all heard stories of people having accidents on trips and you don’t want to rely on a GoFundMe to get you home safe. 

Drake Devonshire, Prince Edward County, New Zealand

Sutro Baths, San Francisco, United States


Almost half of Canadians travel outside the country/province more than once a year. It’s important to have Canada-wide coverage as well as international. DYK that government health plans won’t always cover out-of-province emergency expenses like bringing a family member to see you in hospital, returning you home, or ambulance rides?

If you travel heaps like me, check out the TD Annual Plan that covers you for unlimited trips of 9, 17, 30 or 60 days throughout the year. This will save you from *forgetting* insurance again and save you unwanted expenses in the event that something bad happens.


This post is in partnership with TD. I love to travel and insurance is really important. Don't be one of those people that forgets to take care of it!

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You remind me of a sunshine the way you light up a room.

I used to post a lot of collage photos of my faces, different faces, expressions. I mean, used to as in the ‘old days’ of social media, pre-Instagram, early Twitter. I love taking photos of myself and documenting them. I love myself and I want you to know that. You should love yourself too. What else can I say? You gotta love yourself first because the more love you have, the more love you can give to others. Love and kindness are infinite.


I always thought it was fun to take a million (ok, a hundred?) photos of my facial expressions and post them. As a kid, I spent heaps of time making faces in the mirror, ask mum. Honestly, I take about 50+ sometimes before I get one I want to post. I’ve always had an expressive face.

When I was a kid, I did a lot of dance competitions across Ontario, New York, Myrtle Beach. At one competition my adjudicator was Patsy Swayze, Patrick Swayze’s mum. She trained him for Dirty Dancing in 1987 when I was 5.

It was circa 1990 when she recorded a tape about me.  Back then, judges used to record their comments on tape while you were dancing and give it to you after the awards. I still have the tape of her talking about me. She said, “it’s too bad we don’t have lighting from the audience to show this child’s facial expression because she really does deserve it”. To this day, that is one of my proudest moments.

“it’s too bad we don’t have lighting from the audience to show this child’s facial expression because she really does deserve it”


I will never stop showing who I am. I’m too damn old to try and pretend to be someone else, gah, imagine how much work that would be? I am who I am and I’m proud of it. You really should be proud of who you are too. Just be, and be the most. Giver.

In a world where you can be anything, be yourself.

Check out @martinamartian for super fun IG Stories Surveys or peep my story here!


In other news, I was offered a spray tan from Bronzed by Emily Bloom. I obvs said YES because this winter is never ending and a tan makes my skin feel great and my mental health instantly better. Also, it wasn’t that hot in California (no tan 😩) so I booked it for the day after I got back from San Francisco. Smart right?

Her tans are organic, vegan, gluten-free (not sure what this means for a tan?), and I am totally loving it. The studio is above Milagro on Queen West and the whole process was about 20min. I stripped down to my skivvies and she sprayed me by hand all over with a small machine. I highly recommend wearing sexy underwear bc I am a derp and was wearing full hipster panties so my tan lines aren’t cute. I feel great tho. It lasts about a week (7-10days). Emily also donates 5$ to the Melanoma Research Foundation for every bottle of Brazil Bronze purchased. 🙏🏼

BEFORE TAN AT HOME: “Hi I take 100 photos of myself”

AFTER TAN AT HOME:  “Hi, my skin is flawless”


Ok, that’s all for now. Remember,  you will never be younger than you are RIGHT NOW, so make the most of it. 

 

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HAPPY FRIDAY!

I’m back in TO and what a great week I had. I love California and especially San Francisco. I have over 2,000 photos and so many stories to share. If you were following me you’ll know I was pretty busy. On my last day I went to the famous Museum of Ice Cream (more photos coming!), then a boat tour, and a bus tour. It was so fun but today I’m exhausted.

I’ve been switching back and forth from EST to PST for two weeks with being in Vancouver and SF and I think it’s catching up with me. Plus, we have Daylight Saving this weekend. This weekend I’m looking forward to some quality time at home with my computer writing about my adventures. I’m sticking around the city for a couple weeks before I visit Montreal and Paris.  I’m really looking forward to opening the cottage soon.


Sending you some California sunshine, I tried to bring back as much as I could! 

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TRANSFORM – What to See at FITC Toronto 2018

Over the past couple years, I’ve attended FITC in Toronto and highly recommend it. I’m not shy about my love for emerging tech and welcome any opportunity to see what’s new, learn from innovators, and get my hands on the latest gadgets. If you love that stuff too, you should GET A TICKET NOW. Use code FITCCASIE for a 20% discount. Tell your boss you need to go for professional development. 


FITC is a hub for creatives and stands for Future, Innovation, Technology, Creativity. My first FITC was in 2011 and I was blown away by all the cool stuff I saw. It’s amazing to think about how technology has changed since then.

Last year I was walking around showing off my Snapchat glasses and this year nobody really uses the app anymore. I love tech because it moves so fast and it always changing. I’m writing this to you from the tech centre of the world in San Francisco, California. 🌁 Since 2012 FITC has held events all around the world bringing people like-minded people together to embrace design and technology.

FITC: The Technology & Creativity Conference

 


What to See at FITC Toronto 2018

Here’s a few things I picked I’ve added to my schedule. You can make yours on the website. The list of speakers is great and there’s heaps to learn. Something I really like about the website is for each session they detail an overview, objective, target audience, and 5 things the audience will learn. This helps you maximize your conference experience based on your own personal interest and desire to learn.

One of my fav things last year was the lounges set up for chatting and relaxing between sessions, one had mini massages and essential oil, another had bean bag chairs and beer. They have everything! 

FITC, casiestewart, tech, blogger


Wondering who attends? All kinds of people including a couple well-known companies you *might* have heard of. It’s a great place to meet people, network, and be inspired.


I would love to meet you there and attend sessions together/catch up. Use my code FITCCASIE for a 20% discount and LMK when you get a ticket.

 


Watch the 2017 FITC Highlight Reel

 


This post is in partnership with FITC. FITC produces design and technology events worldwide which inspire, educate and challenge attendees. Since 2002, FITC has brought together like-minded professionals and students in Toronto, Amsterdam, Tokyo, San Francisco, Chicago, Seoul, New York, Los Angeles and many other cities.

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Encouraging Women in Tech w/ Ladies Learning Code + Booking.com

Last week I attended a Women in Tech Panel hosted by Booking.com to kick of March which includes International Women’s Day. It was nice to see some of my fav ladies and be inspired by powerful women on the panel. The panel included: Melissa Sariffodeen, CEO & Co-founder of Canada Learning Code; Helen Papagiannis, Ph.D, a world-leading expert in the field of Augmented Reality; Huda Idrees, the founder and CEO of Dot Health; and Ioana Popa, Strategy Manager at Booking.com. It was refreshing to hear their stories of creating new things, fighting stereotypes, and career struggles.

Nadia (Addicted Magazine), me, Jenn (JennandtheCity


This year, Booking.com is honouring International Women’s Day with a month-long series of events in partnership with Canada Learning Code.

I’m quite familiar with Canada Learning Code, it was Ladies Learning Code was founded by some awesome Toronto Women. Since 2011, LLC has had over 17,500 participants and held over 600 events. The organization is dedicated to ensuring all Canadians – particularly woman and girls – are given equal opportunity to access education in tech, a field still mostly run by men. Yes, ladies! 


March Workshop w/ Ladies Learning Code

Booking.com has a two-part Ladies Learning Code workshop on March 21st and 28th. For $65, you’ll learn basic coding skills and build your own website in a positive and encouraging environment. It’s totally a-ok if you aren’t a code whiz, this workshop is perfect for beginners.

There’s more! Everyone who takes part in the workshop is has a chance to win a $500 Booking.com travel credit which can be used at any of the 1.6 million properties available on the site. PLUS, you’ll receive a professional one-hour mentorship session with a top female tech leader at Booking.com. Props if you get to chat with my friend Carolyn Van


How to Enter

 Participants must Tweet about a woman that inspires them using the hashtag #BookingFEMpowers. Winners will be announced at the start of the second workshop on Wednesday, March 28th.

Get Tickets Here

Time to get tweetin!


 “Connecting with strong female role models is crucial to help women advance their careers, especially in the tech industry. Our recent research revealed that 90% of female respondents would be inspired to chase their dreams just by seeing more women in leadership roles,” says Gillian Tans, Booking.com’s CEO. “Booking.com explores female mentorship opportunities wherever we can so that we can continue to support women to progress and excel in their careers.”


The workshop is presented by Booking.com and the title partner is my BFF Telus. Both companies are committed to encouraging women in tech and it’s my pleasure to work with them both. Thank you for supporting us!


This post is in partnership with Booking.com and in line with my goals of female empowerment in tech. Booking.com is dedicated to providing women around the world with the tools they need to succeed in the tech industry. From the inaugural Booking.com Technology Playmaker Awards, to Women in Technology scholarships at the University of Oxford and the Delft University of Technology, to now partnering with Ladies Learning Code on coding workshops in Toronto, the company is working harder than ever to empower women around the world to achieve their digital dreams. Learn more here.
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Hello from San Francisco!

Hi!!!! This is a quick little update from the Bay Area. I just checked into my hotel in Union Square and am meeting the other journalists shortly for dinner. It was sunny when we landed then a few showers rolled in. It was raining on the way to the hotel, sunny when I got to my room, then it rained, and one second later a beautiful rainbow appeared. Magical!

san francisco rainbow casiestewart


I’m really excited to explore the city over the next 6 days. I’ve been here a couple times but mostly just quick work trips with Virgin America. I’m here w/ SF Tourism this time writing for Canadian Geographic and we have a really great itinerary including a Segway tour, Alcatraz, Mission District, dinner theatre, and heaps of good food.

WELCOME TO SAL FRANCISCO!


Follow along on Twitter @casiestewart or IG @casiestewart here. I love sharing my adventures and am really excited about what the next few days will bring.


The rainbow at sunset from my balcony!!!

Here’s to a great weekend!

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Interview w/ CASACOM: How do you maintain authenticity as an influencer?

I recently did an interview with Toronto based PR firm, CASACOM. They invited me to the office to have a candid chat about the current state of social media, the world of influencers, and my career in digital over the past decade. You can read the interview here or scroll down for a little snippet.

READ THE INTERVIEW HERE


 2. How have you maintained your authenticity over the years as the digital landscape changes?

You have to stay true to who you really are. Sometimes bloggers and influencers make themselves look a certain way and portray a life they don’t actually live. It’s hard to live up to those kind of standards you set for yourself and you’ll burn out if you’re not yourself. I’ve heard of younger people wanting to starting a blog or ‘be an influencer,’ but influencer isn’t something you can just decide to be; influence comes from DOING something that gets recognized or influences the ideas and thoughts of peopleYou can’t buy your way into being influential, establishing yourself as a brand or thought leader takes time.

For me, authenticity is more important than perfectly curated Instagram. I think the best way to be authentic is to be yourself and tell stories, to be a real human. One of my favourite ways to tell stories is going on adventures and exploring new things. I also only work on things that I like, have tested, or experienced first-hand. How can you share your honest opinion on something if you haven’t tried it?! [Read more]


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How to Make a Difference In Your Life

Wake up and smile at yourself. Look at the sky. Take some deep breaths. Think about what you are grateful for. Think about who you love and who loves you. If there is no sun, think about how you can be a sunshine that day. Wear something that makes you feel great. Use your best products you’re saving for a ‘special day’, each day is special. Put on your favourite makeup. Smile in the mirror.
Keep that smile and flash it around to people in the street, in a store, at work. You will feel better about your life if you spread your smile around. Eat food that makes you happy, healthy is best but you got to live a little. Share. Write handwritten notes. Drink more water. Go for a walk. Look at the sky. Take some deep breaths. Think about your future.
Set goals, write them down. Make your lunch. Think about travel. Dream of adventure. Call someone in your family to say hi. Feel warm sunshine on your face. Ride your bike through the park. Drink some water. Surprise someone with flowers. Thank your friends. Smile at yourself in the mirror.


Inspired by this quote today: Smile in the mirror. Do that every morning and you’ll start to see a big difference in your life. Yoko Ono


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Happiest When Travelling

Hellooooooo! Good morning from Surrey, BC. I’m here as a consultant for a conference and that’s all I can say about that right now. Arrived yesterday afternoon after a great flight on Air Canada. I’m staying at a pink hotel called Pacific Inn that looks like a Caribbean resort. I’ll take some photos before I leave!

Today we’re at a beautiful golf resort with mountains in the background. The view below is from the beach in White Rock, BC were I had dinner last night.

Tomorrow I’m heading to downtown Vancouver for the day and booked and Airbnb for the night. Back home Thursday.

Sending sunshine from the West Coast!

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