It’s been snowing for days and I’ve hardly left the house. Today I binged all of the new Queer Eye on Netflix and it is amazing. I prepped heaps of food as a distraction from anything else and it was great. I’m really glad it’s going to warm up this week. Somehow I hurt my shoulder so taking a break from yoga. I’m excited about what this week will bring. Tonight we are watching Olympic figure skating.  Both Sean and I love skating!

On Friday night we watched a couple movies, The Tower and Dunkirk. Discovered this great list of the best 50 Style Tips of all time from InStyle. So many good things. Big fan of adding scarves to things. I can’t wait for spring.

If you haven’t watched queer Eye yet, HIGHLY RECOMMEND. It will make you laugh, cry, and maybe give you inspiration for self-care or updating your life/space.

casie stewart, toronto, blogger, speaker, influencer, "this is my life"

 

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After 10 Days I am Finally Feeling Better!

Oh man, the last 10 days have been hellish. I was sick all last week and this week. It started with a sore throat and I thought I was getting better before *BOOM* a got a brutal cough. That was compounded by a nasty head cold. It was not cute. It’s been 10 days of cancelling meetings and rescheduling things for next week.

Once I was feeling more like myself, I did a big clean in my room. Put away the mountains of clothes and stuff that piled up. Broke out my brand new Endy sheets and pillow and put them on my bed. It feels so good to breathe easily again.

In other news, while I was sick I made a store. Curated items, things I love, and wish list here.

Back to regularly scheduled programming. 

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Cauliflower Makes a Great Instant Pot Soup Base

Omg, I am still sick and I hate it. Left the house for a hot minute this morning to get some meds and liquids but urghhh.  I know I’m smiling here but I feel gross, I sound even worse. My chest is heavy and it’s hard to breathe. I put a filter on it. You can still smile when you’re sick. 😷

I don’t even know if I feel better. I might be more stuffed up today than the last 4 days. I just don’t know anymore. My room is a mess, it’s more like a closet with a bed in it.

Since I’ve been in the house so much lately I’ve taken to getting WILD with the Instant Pot. Today I was inspired by my grocery store trip to make a soup using mixed beans and corn.

The Soup Is Easy

I didn’t photograph making it. It was easy and unglamorous. Sean liked it. I’ll make it again. Cauliflower + broth + coconut milk make a tasty soup base.

  1. Put a head of cauliflower on the trivet chopped in two.
  2. Add can of corn (not creamed), can of mixed beans (drained), can of coconut milk, cup of broth, a cup of water, bit of salt, chilli flakes.
  3. Cook for 12 min on manual.
  4. Take out trivet, give a stir w/ a whisk, voila! Delicious soup.
  5. Top w/ cilantro and some pepper.

In other news about things I made today, Sean bought a huge thing of dates so I cut some up in mixed in coconut, coconut oil, cocoa, and ground flax seed. Rolled them into little balls and popped in the freezer. They’re delicious.

This isn’t my photo or the ones I made but they looked like this. Recipe here.

Since being sick I’ve been eating mostly homemade food and no meat. I’ve been drinking heaps of water every day and getting a lot of rest. Taking my vitamins. I don’t know what to do anymore.

I really hope I feel better tomorrow. I hate being sick. I read in the news about how the ‘2018 Flu is Deadly’ and people are literally dying all over North America. I don’t want to die.

 

 

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After days of being cooped up in the house, I needed to break free! Hung out w/2 of my bff last night and it was so nice to share laughs and stories. I’ve still got a cough today but feel a bit refreshed. Decided to skip yoga and hibernate.

Yesterday I started watching Flesh and Bone on Amazon Video, a show about professional ballet. I stopped dance when I was 13 but I did ballet for 10 years. I spent a lot of my childhood at the dance studio.

My teacher Lisa Meyerhofer was amazing. I learned heaps much from her, I realize more with age. She taught me to walk with confidence, shoulders back, head high. Dance was hard, there were a lot of times I wanted to quit but by not quitting, I gained so much. I learned to persevere and work through it. I remember crying to mum about wanting to quit and her not giving me that option. I can imagine as a parent that was hard but I’m incredibly grateful. I wrote about dance here.

This is me 😇

First recital, 5, I was a Fluffy Cloud

My first solo ‘The Clown’, 9-10yo, mum made this costume out of the most beautiful fabric


Today Sean and I started Netflix’s new show Altered Carbon that came out on Friday. Pretty good so far. “Set in a future where consciousness is digitized and stored, a prisoner returns to life in a new body and must solve a mind-bending murder to win his freedom.”  FYI this show contains sex, drugs, and violence. It’s starring Joel Kinnaman the guy who plays Will Conway in House of Cards. Almost full frontal! 😝

OK, that’s all for today. Blending into the couch.

 

casie stewart, toronto, blogger, speaker, influencer, "this is my life"

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Mammary Memory, Thanks Facebook!

Two years ago today I was in Cabo with Sean on a sponsored trip w/ Sunwing. It was an ok trip. We had a pretty strict itinerary and were at a remote resort but the sun was beautiful and we had a great room. When I look at this photo, I think about how I had to post a certain number of things each day and it was kinda stressful. This was one of the photos I posted to IG during the trip to document stand paddle boarding. The other thing I see when I look at this photo is the size of my boobs.

Surfing photo, hiding the boobs here again.

Six months after this trip I had a breast reduction. For years I would hide them, they never fit properly in a bathing suit, or a bra, especially a sports bra. I hated them and was at the point where I was willing to pay for the surgery myself when the phone call came in. I am so glad I went through that process and have smaller boobs now.

The biggest change, aside from working out in 1 bra only is the effect it had on my mental health. I’m happier. I’m more confident. I was always a happy person with confidence but the change for me is in how I feel on the inside. I don’t stress about shirt buttons popping open anymore, I can just throw on something and get dressed really fast, I wear tighter stuff without feeling likes someone might say “whoa Tits McGee!”. That happened a few times before lol. I can laugh about it now, but having huge boobs was something that I really stressed about. I had a DD and was 100Lbs when I started high school, it wasn’t fun. For the last few years before the surgery, I never wore v-neck, low cut, backless, strapless, tank tops, or spaghetti strap. And the only t-shirts were definitely baggy.

If you have ever thought about going through the process of getting the reduction, I am happy to chat you about my process. It was covered by OHIP and I saw a great surgeon in North York. I personally know a couple women who have done it for me and it’s a real life changer.

These days I love working out, the gym, yoga, and running outside. I’m working on my summer muscles already and I can’t wait for summer. There are 46 days until the first day of Spring and according to the groundhog, we’ve got 6 more weeks of winter taking us to March 16th.

Sean and I on a jetski in Cabo! You can barely see the famous archway in the distance!

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Let’s Talk

Three events today. Ignore…. 33 Facebook notifications. Too many unread emails. Twitter notifications. Instagram notifications. Unread messages. It’s overwhelming. Then add on [that you’ve been keeping a public diary about your life for a decade and] all kinds of people who don’t really know you who think they ‘like totally’ know you because they’ve known you for 5+ years.

They know about the cottage and people, places, things, thoughts. Boyfriends, birthdays, best friends. They’ve had babies and you’d recognize their kids now, but you don’t really know them.

They know you, part of you, the sunshiney part where you’re always smiling and wearing bright colours, or going somewhere great looking good.

They don’t see behind the screen, in the pile of clothes or messy closet. The days when you just can’t even, when you think about leaving the house. Or going to that event. When all you want to really do is stay home and cook in your kitchen or go to yoga because it makes you feel better.


I feel like I need a break and maybe it’s the winter blues talking post vacation SAD*.  Maybe it’s because I’m on the waitlist for yoga at noon. Maybe it’s Time’s Up or Me Too. I don’t know. It’s freezing outside and blowing snow gives limited visibility. It’s also Bell Let’s Talk and Spring is just a few weeks away.

It’s ok not to be ok. I’m not always ok. The last few weeks have been really hard. The trip to New Zealand was super fucking hard. My nana died and one of my uncles was being super controlling from the day I arrived to the point where I blocked him on Facebook. Travelling with your mum is not easy. I cried a lot for the first week of the trip. I cried while driving with my mum in the car yelling at each other. I pulled over to cry while mum walked off. I fucked up the car by putting diesel in the gas tank after having a big cry with my BF. I fucked up a tire by driving over a storm grate to take a picture of a sign that said ‘Beaconsfield’ like the old Queen West Bar. I drove alone on really insane roads where death was less than a metre away. But I did it. I did it all and I made it home safe. I was worried at times I wouldn’t make it and other times I wanted to drive mum and I off the damn ledge because I was so annoyed. But I didn’t do that either.

Over the course of the NZ trip, I learned a lot about myself and had a lot of time to think about what I want to do with my life. What’s next? I kept a diary of the trip with mum. I haven’t posted as much for the last 2 weeks since I’ve been back but I’ve still been writing. I’ve been working on more projects w/ 1188 and Occupied VR. I’ve been eating well, going to the gym, and doing yoga. Today I baked a lasagna from scratch.

I’m continuing my 2017 mantra of doing what makes me happy and making my time a priority. I guess you could say I’m reclaiming my time.  Last year after my LA trip, I shifted the way I think about things and it has made all the difference. I am more considerate and calm, and I try to listen more and talk less.

Being a positive person is something you have to want to do and decision I try to make every day. Post NZ I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what I want to do next and I feel like the winter is a perfect time to hibernate and do just that. I always feel better when I write it down. Having a diary really helps me through those days when I don’t want to get out of bed.

If you’re having a hard day, hang in there. You are the director of your movie and you decide how the story goes and who plays a starring role.

You can also reach out to me anytime, I think you probably know me better than I realize. I’m always here. 

FYI in case you aren't from Canada and don't have the long cold winter!
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that's related to changes in seasons —SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. If you're like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody.
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Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful

Hellooooooo! Hope you had a nice weekend. Mine was pretty quiet and it started with me not feeling so great on Friday. I spent most the day in bed and had a quiet night. On Saturday morning I went to yoga and made some stuff in the kitchen. I used the Instant Pot to make a great black bean soup, the most delicious Instant Pot rice infused with coconut oil, and bran muffins.

On Saturday afternoon a few friends and I went to Hannah’s Aunt’s vintage shop and played dress up. It was so fun! we tried on a ton of outfits and Hannah’s BF took photos.

On Sunday I was also a slug and hardly did anything. We finished watching Unibomber which I highly recommend. On Sunday night I watched The Grammys which I thought were pretty boring. Next, we watched Get Out which was crazy and super good. Real edge of your seat thriller that gave me nightmares.

This week I have two things planned I’m really looking forward to. I signed up and bought my own tickets. This year I’m continuing my personal mantra to do more self-care and these kinds of events are right up that alley.

Saw this in New Zealand ☀️

 

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Keeping the Romance ❤️ Dinner Date @ Wildfire Steakhouse

Last weekend Sean and I were invited to Wildfire Steakhouse to test out their Winterlicious Menu and it was incredible. We hadn’t’ had a date in a while since I was away for a couple weeks and it was so nice. We’ve been together 6 years and whenever we go out for a dinner date or it reminds me of when we first started dating.

We met the owner, Jody who took us on a tour of the space showing us the private dining rooms available. Both Sean and I have worked in a restaurant and it was great to get the full tour including a walk through the kitchen. We’ve eaten at the downtown location inside the Cosmopolitan and it was our first time at the North York location which has a more chill vibe.


Winterlicious is Toronto’s Premier prix fixe food event running from January 26 to February 8, showcasing our city’s diverse cuisine. There are over 200 restaurants taking part and offering three-course prix fixe lunch and menus at set prices ranging from $23 to $53. It’s a great chance to dine at some really incredible restaurants.

There are 4 Wildfire Steakhouse locations in total and you can experience their Winterlicious menu at both Toronto locations, North York on Yonge Street and downtown inside the Cosmopolitan.

Here’s a look at what we had. The food was really good. Highly recommend.

We complimented dinner with some nice wine and great conversation. I love going out to eat! Thank you Jody & Wildfire Steakhouse for hosting us. We will 100% be back!

Check out theWildfire Steakhouse lunch menu or dinner menu ahead of time and make a reservation via OpenTable or on the website wildfiresteakhouse.com.

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Years ago when I worked with Virgin America I helped them launch service in Dallas Texas. It’s a really cool thing when a new airline joins a city. All kinds of celebrities and media are flown in on their biggest plane and before anyone exits the aircraft, a huge water cannon washes over the plane. It was so neat. Stephanie Pratt (Spencer’s sister) from The Hills, Eric Stonestreet from Modern Family, and Xeni from Boing Boing were on the plane too. Read the full post here from Dec 1, 2010.

On this trip I met Richard Branson for the first time, Willie, LMFAO, a few other great people. This quote of his came up in my Facebook memories from this day in 2014 so I thought I’d share a little more about the day I met the author.

Redwood, redwood, coming in for landing xo. 

Redwood is the Virgin America (VX) callsign!

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Over the last couple months, I’ve been tuned into my skin and what makes it look beautiful. I’ve found drinking heaps of water, taking my vitamins, and exercise really help. Funny how that works, eh. I’ve gotten used to upping my water intake but taking vitamins was kinda a struggle, I’d always forget!

Bathroom selfie last night, minimal makeup!

When I got back from NZ, Sean had stocked the kitchen with chewable gummy vitamins and I really like them. I take Omega-3, B12, Fibre, and a multi.

I feel like my skin has been soft, clear, and clean the last couple weeks. My other secret to great skin is getting facials. I love to treat myself every now and then.

Before the holidays I was invited to Q Esthetics in Yorkville where I tried the Q Max Facial, a highly therapeutic facial treatment that instantly renews and revives your skin.

There’s two steps to the facial, the first part is where a nurse cleans your face and then goes over it with a small suction cup, the second part is a laser. The facial is non-invasive, it ‘exfoliates damaged skin cells, purifies pores and infuses your skin deep with of vitamins and nutrients’. The suction cup feels kinda weird at first but it’s super relaxing. I almost fell asleep!

The second part is done using a laser technology to ‘increase circulation, collagen production, and the lymphatic system to rid skin of toxins‘. I liked this part even though it made me kinda nervous when the nurse described it. It’s non-invasive and completely painless however you are laying in the treatment room with a light mask really close to your face for 5 whole minutes while it flashes colours. If claustrophobia is something that freaks you out, you might want to skip that part. I layed under it the laser light for 5 minutes in the name of beauty and was totally fine. I would 100% do it again.

The entire process including signing the waiver and talking about my skin was about an hour. My face was a little red after so don’t blame me for not posting! If you reallllllly want to see it, ask me. I still drove home and got gas lol.  I was very happy with my facial and my skin felt amazing AF after.


Visiting Q Esthetics piqued my interest in other services, I want to stay young FOREVER, OK!. They offer a wide range of procedures to make you feel beautiful and look young if you’re into it. They also have 3 locations around the GTA, get more info here.

I recommend drinking lots of water and exercise!

I was invited to try out the facial by Q Esthetics and this is my honest opinion. I will happily try beauty treatments in the name of staying young and looking fabulous!

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Tramping in New Zealand

OK, I know what you are thinking and I THOUGHT THE SAME THING.

When I arrived in NZ we picked up the rental car at the airport. Next, we pulled into a parking lot at the airport to change into summer clothes. I took a few laps of the airport to get used to right-hand drive and being on the other side of the road. I was fine.  I drove us down to the Viaduct in Auckland to look at the boats. [Mum is really into sailing and has a boat, sailed from Ontario to the Bahamas and lived there for a year.]

We went into a sailing shop and I saw this mug…

We walked out of the store and very serious I came close to mum, and whispered in her ear “mum, what is tramping?

I was so serious. Tramping?
What is a tramping club?

Mum, WTF IS TRAMPING?

Because to me, ‘tramping’ would be something to do with tramps or going out to find a man. Something you might have done in college that involved a lot of shots. Nothing I would ever do, now.

In New Zealand…
TRAMPING IS HIKING!

Tramping, known elsewhere as backpacking, rambling, hill walking or bushwalking, is a popular activity in New Zealand. Tramping is defined as a recreational activity involving walking over rough country. Wikipedia

“tramps, ranging from easy to difficult”


WELL, THANKS FOR LETTING ME KNOW.
Here I am thinking something bad and it’s totally hiking. 

So, I went tramping on Piha beach and it was AMAZING.

Black sand due to volcanic sand and iron oxide. Cool eh!

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