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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I’m Nominated for the 2018 Premier’s Awards!

Hello! If you’ve been following my IG or Stories the last few days, I’ve been all over the place. I spent 4 days driving from Regina to Calgary on a road trip w/ Ford Canada, then an overnight glamping trip with Up Cannabis. Both trips were very different and incredibly fun. I will share more about those soon but now I have a little announcement! 

A couple weeks ago I received an email from my college asking to have an in-person meeting. Since I was travelling we had a call and it was then learned, I’ve been chosen as the Creative Arts nominee for the 2018 Premier’s Awards! Yes, ME! 

The awards celebrate Ontario’s outstanding college graduates and winners are presented awards at a gala in November. More specifically, The Premier‚Äôs Awards honour the important social and economic contribution that college graduates make to Ontario and throughout the world. The awards were launched in 1992 and are administered by Colleges Ontario.

Last week my nomination was officially submitted and today it’s online. Past winners in my category have included an internationally acclaimed TV director, top chefs, leading playwrights, and an Academy Award-winning animator. It’s a pretty broad category and more than anything, I’m honoured to be nominated. ūüėÉ

Check out my photo on the Conestoga College website here!

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Having My Moment

Last weekend I had the opportunity¬†to spend a dreamy weekend driving around in a 2017 Porsche Boxster GTS. This car is INCREDIBlE. I drove all over the place, taking friends to run errands, back and forth to get groceries, from Scarborough to the far West, and all over downtown. I’ve never owned a car and I’ve joked since I was a kid that my first car would be a Porsche, well, there’s still time!

Suits me, right?


Cool thing about this car is that the engine is right behind the 2 seats so there are two trunks,¬†front and back. You can fit groceries and your weekend¬†bag but only one friend at a time, it’s perfect. ūüėúI took Embot around for a drive listening to music and felt like the coolest step-mama ever.

It’s got amazing handling for city or highway. It is also VERY fast, not that I was speeding ever at all. The roof is fully automatic and pretty fast, you can put it down to¬†take the top off while stopped at a traffic light. It’s pretty good on gas but you have to put premium, however nothing compares to the beautiful¬†German engineering of a Porsche. My dad was v jealous!¬†casie stewart, porsche canada, porsche, boxter gts, carrera, toronto, influencer, blogger


Porsche is celebrating 70 Years, (HBD!), and tonight they’re hosting an event. I would love to work on this relationship so I can drive more and more cars for the media fleet, that way, when I buy my very own, I really know what I want! Ha! I’m serious. They gave a few media peeps the opportunity¬†to drive cars. I booked this drop top baby a few months ago and waited patiently for the day I could pick it up.

Thank you Porsche Canada! ILYYYYYY!

As I sadly returned the Boxter, I saw this BRIGHT yellow Carrera and thought, that would look good on me! Maybe next time?!

casie stewart, porsche canada, porsche, boxter gts, carrera, toronto, influencer, blogger

With love,

Disclosure: Porsche Canada gave me the car to test drive for the weekend but I said that already!

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Exciting Times Ahead: Weed VR & Cannabis Marketing

Last week some exciting family news hit the Global Newswire! About a year ago, the team at Occupied VR came up with an idea for a virtual reality cannabis dispensary. Well FF‚Ėļ to last week, we announced that Weed VR has been acquired by licenced cannabis producer Biome Grow.¬† Check out the news release here.

If you’re reading this and are thinking ‘what is¬†Weed VR, I want to try it“. Email me casie@weedvr.co or send me a DM on any social platform and we’ll hook you up. Comments are open on¬†this post if you have questions.

Essentially, it’s a virtual retail dispensary and soon to be the largest library of 3D cannabis strains for educational purposes.


It’s a really exciting time to be in this business. I’ve seen some really creative marketing, events, and promotional products. The striped metal grinder card and papers in the top photo are from Van Der Pop, a female-focused Cannabis brand. They send a cool package a couple months ago.¬† Next week I’m going glamping with UP Cannabis near Blue Mountain with a bunch of media peeps. (UP is the cannabis company partially owned by the Tragically¬†Hip!)

up cannabis, casie stewart, cannabis marketing, weedvr, weed vr, marijuana marketing

This is the cool event invite I got from UP Cannabis! So creative! When you slid the top of the wooden box open the red plastic piece says ‘roll with us’. Love it.


This stage of the industry kinda reminds me of early days of social media. Back when my friends would make fun of me for staying home to work on my ‘blog’ or going to so many¬†‘TweetUps‘ with my ‘internet friends‘. That was a really special time, the friends I made and relationships I built back then will last a lifetime. The things I learned from being early stage, a pioneer, are priceless.

Being at the start of something new takes risk, you have to be agile and innovative. I’m working on Weed VR PR and it’s new, a bit nervewracking, but exciting.¬† Nervous/excited is my¬†favourite feeling. I’m really looking forward to the next few months building this brand w/ Biome Grow.

How many times did I say excited in this post? haha!

HUZZAHHHHHHHH!

casie stewart

 

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#ShareLove Pride 2018! Video + Parade w/ Telus!

A couple weeks ago I was invited to Telus Toronto to share some of my Pride memories. I’ve been going to the parade since I was a teenager. Dad took my sister for our first time when we were in high school. It’s been a place for positive self-expression, to celebrate, to join friends for their first Pride after coming out, or to remember friends who have past. Every year we get together to share love, joy, and friendship while dancing in the street together.




Thank¬†you, Telus for having me in to share what PRIDE means to me. I am so proud and glad to work with a company that supports diversity, LGBTQ, and gives back in communities across the country.¬† This weekend I’ll be walking in the parade with Telus. I love being there and feeling the happy energy flying all around.

Sending you sunshine and I hope to see some of you at PRIDE!

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Local Ladies – Documentary

This weekend I was invited to sit down with Katie and Meghan, who created Local Ladies, a series all about telling women’s stories in the community.

Over the past three years, they’ve interviewed women and screened the short films to raise funds for Women in Crisis. I was interviewed for a feature documentary they will be screening in September.

Some of the other Local Ladies!


The Local Ladies mission is to shine a light on as many incredible women in the community as possible through interviews, collaboration videos, and *soon* a podcast.

Check out their Press for Progress video they created for International Women’s Day 2018.¬†The short film was then screened on March 8th at the Princess Twin in Uptown Waterloo.


The studio had great lighting so I took a bajillion selfies. I am also obsessed with this bright emoji yellow and will be wearing it from here on in. ūüėÜ

I’ll keep you posted on the premiere screening and other things surrounding the film! Find them¬†on Twitter @LocalLadies.


Thank you, Katie and Meghan, for the kind words and reaching out to include me in this great project. Happy to share my story and hopefully inspire some Local Ladies along the way! 

 

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Work Work, Blog Work, WeWork, Werk!

Hi! I am at WeWork visiting¬†Raymi¬†and the office is SO COOL. It’s a co-working¬†space and there are heaps of big and small businesses around and freelance people working in the common areas. It’s super bright and well designed to inspire creativity. I love it!

Of course, we had a little photoshoot!

I wore this dress when I was in Vancouver and honestly, I would wear it every damn day. It’s from H&M and I get so many compliments on it! I am on the hunt for more yellow in my wardrobe. It’s so sunshiney and bright! ‚ėÄÔłŹūüćčūüíõ

Tonight¬†I’m going to to the cinesphere at Ontario Place, then to a BBQ w/ Schneiders. I’m surprising¬†her so I hope she likes it! This weekend we’re heading up to the cottage for a few days. After all the work we’ve done¬†over the last few months, we can finally relax and enjoy it! I’m looking forward to sitting on the dock, reading, and soaking up the sun.

Remember to wear sunscreen! 

P.S. Raymi just updated her blog and she is very happy right now go read it! It’s way longer than this haha.¬†raymitheminx.com

She has a real job now at Full Stack Resources if you ever need some dev work done!

 

 

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Bunz Trade For a Portrait

Last month I met up with my friend Charmaine after she posted on Bunz Trading¬†Zone about wanting a Fitbit. I’ve been going to FitBit media events for years (Love my new Versa!) so I have a couple. Bunz Trading Zone started out at Bumz a couple years ago as a small group for local trades, without the exchange of money. It’s grown to thousands of members with different groups for friending, makeup, yoga, housing, and jobs. Charmaine asked what¬†I was ISO (in search of) and knowing she is a great photographer, I asked her to take my photo.

She took a couple of me¬†on digital and film and just had a couple developed! I was just at the office in my regular clothes so it wasn’t a full-on photoshoot, more like a walk & talk hang w/ photos. Great trade if you ask me!¬†

Thank you, Charmaine!
Check out her IG here.

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What a Wonderful World

Sean was up cleaning up tree branches at 6 am today! I slept until 7:30, I’ve always been a morning person. ūüėä‚ėÄÔłŹūüíõ There were a few huge piles of tree branches and trunks to cleanup and we were almost done at 10am. Hustle! ūüĆ≥ūüĆ≤ūüĆ≥ūüĆ≤ I love being up here so much. The boat is in the water and it’s beautiful out today. ūüö§

Waking up early here is great because you get heaps done and then can chill the rest of the day. There’s a chipmunk creepin up a tree behind me, they are cute but can be annoying. You do not want the little buggers in the house!

I love sitting on the dock and writing things down. The lake and nature are inspiring and if I don’t write things down I always forget. ūüí≠

Make the most of the weekend. Do something for yourself. ūüíē

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Brighter Days

Smile into the sun. Feel it on your face. There are brighter days ahead. 

What a week right, amirite? I don’t think I’ve ever been more looking forward to escaping to the cottage for the weekend. We have worked really hard since March to get it ready and we’re finally there. Time to relax.

Yesterday I had a nice lunch with my sister Queen West. We sat outside and laughed in the sun. I spent some time in Bellwoods, caught up with an old friend, met up with Lauren. We went to the Zane X Jenny Bird pop-up at ZANE for a bit. It was so nice out. I met Jenny Bird and totally fangirled like a DORK.

Real bugger to hear about the Ontario election results after such a great day. Also sucked waking up to hear about Anthony Bourdain. He was such a great storyteller, inspiring chef, great traveller.

This weekend I am focussing my energy on the great stuff. Planning the next 2 months. I have some trips coming up to plan for and a couple really fun brand partnerships coming up. I am feeling very grateful for the opportunities¬†I have and the people¬†around me. Extremely excited for the rest of summer. Today I signed up for 6 months with a trainer. I’ve wanted to do this forever and I’m doing it now, for myself! It isn’t sponsored and I probably won’t be posting workout stuff I biked there today and didn’t even tell anyone haha.

Sending you sunshine through the internet.
Here’s to a great weekend. ūüėä

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DONT KILL YOURSELF

Don’t give up. Don’t quit over your job. Don’t die over money. Don’t bottle your feelings up. Don’t stay inside and hide. Don’t give up. Don’t hold it all in. Don’t put on a smile and act like everything is fine when it’s not. Don’t write your last letter. Don’t plan your exit.¬†Don’t be so hard on yourself. Don’t be selfish. Don’t kill yourself.¬†

PLS ASK FOR HELP.

Yesterday I posted the suicide hotline after hearing about Kate Spade. I felt sad. Her death was a reminder that no matter how much money, fancy clothes, cars, businesses, health, family, no matter how much you have, you can still have dark thoughts. None of us are immune to feeling like we’re backed into a corner. We all go through love, loss, money, no money, jobs, no jobs, depression, anxiety. Life is hard. No matter how much it seems like someone has a perfect life, THEY DON’T.¬† They might have an even more fucked up life than you think you do, trust me! We all go through it. We all have days, weeks, months, years when we wonder why we are still doing it, or not making it, or are we just faking it?

Life is hard. We’re constantly¬†bombarded with challenges, tests, to see if we can make it to the next level. We all have the strength to deal, to fight, to call on each other, to make it through. You are never alone. There are lots of people around you even though you might not feel like it sometimes. It’s easy to isolate yourself, to put on a smile and act like everything is a-ok when you feel like dying inside. Reach out to someone around you. People care, people at work, home, on Facebook, and right on the other side of the phone at your fingertips. And you have me, I am always on the internet, I’m here for you.



Yesterday I posted the suicide hotline for a second time. A friend messaged me to say that Darrek Kwik, my friend, who did my hair for years, who I always blogged about, took his own life. I saw him about a month ago. I feel sad and angry. I feel sad and angry everytime I have to call mum at work and say, “I’m ok, well actual, remember so-and-so? They died.” I have a Post-It note in my closet with names of people who have died recently and there are too many names.

Was there something I could have done? How is his family? I don’t have answers. I do have a platform and a voice.¬† I am here reaching out, sharing my story, maybe it will help you feel more comfortable sharing yours with me. You’re not alone.


Suicide is a mother fucker. I have lost a lot of people this way, unfortunately. I feel sad thinking about what they could have gone on to do with their¬†lives, the things they missed out on. The hole in their family that will never be filled. Did they think of the pain and loss they will leave behind? Forest through the trees. It’s hard to see the consequences or what is happening around you when you are trapped inside yourself.

I almost didn’t make it once.¬†When I was in grade 8, my parents were splitting up. My best friend was moving away. I was sad. I had been in some trouble at school. A couple girlfriends and I decided to walk home and walk on the train tracks. We were prepared to let the train hit us that day. I was ready to give up. A couple guy friends from school followed us and wondered why the girls were going down that path, on the tracks. The train always went by after school.

When the train was about 2 metres away from me I was pushed off the track by my friend Allan, the hero who saved my life that day. There have been other days where I thought about giving up but I have made the choice to be a story and not a statistic. I will not do that to my family and my future.

It hurts to imagine things I might have never have accomplished, that’s kind of backwards but I think about places I’ve travelled, stories, all the jokes, the outfits, and hairstyles. Darren was one of the first people I met when I moved to Toronto. I lived on Bathurst and we met one Sunday night at Sneaky Dees. We were instant friends. He knew me different than most people, your hair stylist always does. He did my hair for years, we spent so many hours together, blonde processing, chatting about life, having drinks, partying. He was in my 2010 Virgin America video, we shot some of the documentary ‘It’s All About Me‘ in his studio, there’s a video of him shaving my head.¬†I wish that he had reached out.


Please know, we are all fighting battles on our own. Behind the perfect Instagram posts and Facebook, behind the blogs, behind the camera, someone is struggling with something. You are not alone.

I went to the gym today and booked a session with a trainer.
Trying to channel this sadness and anger into motivation.
Please know I am always here, on the other side of the screen.

Posting the suicide hotlines another time, in case you need. ūüĖ§

  • Toronto Distress Centre: 416-408-HELP
  • Ontario Distress Centre: 905-688-3711
  • National Suicide Prevention Hotline¬†1-800-273-8255
  • Canada Suicide Hotline¬†1-800-273-TALK
  • Kids Help Phone 1-800-678-6868

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