What would you do with a Million Miles? Where would you go? I visited New Zealand and Portugal #withAeroplan this year and if I had a million miles I’d be off to India, South Africa, and Japan. I’m so inspired by adventure! Travelling is the best way to enrich your soul, feed your curiosity, and expand your mind. Portugal #withAeroplan
Aeroplan is back this summer with their incredibly cool contest, Moments Worth Millions. They’re giving away 5 Million Miles over the course of 5 weeks where 5 winners will each win 1 million miles. Think of the possibilities?
5 weeks. 5 winners. 5 million miles.
Do you know how many trips you can take with a million miles? You can take 20 friends to Hawaii in economy or a handful of besties in business. You can take 40 trips from Toronto to LA or take someone you love on a first class trip around the world.
That trip created so many memories and was really special for mum and I. Road trip sing-alongs in the car while driving the other side of the road, exploring the North Island, Eketahuna, Taupo, Dessert Road, visiting family, friends, and spending our last moments with Nana. It was an experience that enriched my life in so many ways my heart swells with love thinking about it.
If you win the contest and need a great travel buddy. I’m always here haha. Love you!
I love summer, vacation, being outside, boating, the cottage, and heaps of sunshine. I do not however like the idea of getting old leathery skin from sitting outside under UV and you could not pay me to use a tanning bed. (I did that heaps when I was a teenager, wtf was I thinking?) I wear sunblock on my face all year, my favs are Clinique and Laura Mercier but also love having a nice tan.
A couple years ago I went to Hammam Spa and got a body scrub + spray tan and I loved it but was pretty expensive and not something I can do all the time. A bit after that I went to a TIFF event where they had St. Tropez and I got a personalized tan sprayed on by their expert and totally kick-ass babe, Sophie Evans. She is super rad & has tanned heaps of celebs including Lady Gaga, Britney, and Kim K. At the start of summer 2018, I had the opportunity to be tanned my Sophie again!
I love the way St. Tropez looks, not orangey, streaky, or sticky, and you can do it at home by yourself. I’ve been using it religiously the last couple years before trips, after trips, winter, spring, all damn year. It’s THE BEST self-tan I’ve ever used.
St. Tropez Tan – My Picks
The original foam is my favourite but the new Ultra Dark is great if you already have tanned skin. The Bronzing Water face spray is nice to use daily to maintain and give yourself a light glow.
The EverydayTintedMoisturizer+Primer is great for events if you want to give your face/legs/arms/body/decolletage a nice glow.
Some great tips in this video from Sophie & St. Tropez about applying on yourself at home.
This post isn't sponsored by St. Tropez but they did hook me up with some new products.
Thank you! Long time fan! 😊
This weekend was super relaxing. Bed early on Friday, Saturday nap, made dinner & dessert, Sunday boating, blogging, reading. I love the weekend to slow down, talk less, sleep more, and take a break from email.
I didn’t use to be so good at it, I had to work at relaxing, I couldn’t sit still. Last year I went to regular yoga at a studio.One of my fav parts about yogayoga was the practice, making time for it, laying on my mat, moving through the poses, sweating, meditating. Something I learned from my teacher, Sandy was ‘not reacting takes practice‘. And although she said it in the context of trying to stay still in savasana, I carried it with me right out the door and into my life.
Not reacting takes practice. It took me a while to be able to lay there, still on the floor with my thoughts and not move when a bead of sweat dripped across my face. I’ve been doing yoga on our rooftop patio and it’s good but not that same as a quiet room and music lead by someones calming, familiar voice. [Studio is back open in January!]
When I think back to Sandy saying ‘not reacting takes practice’ it’s so true if you apply that to stressful situations. Especially those where you could react with rage or anger, not reacting there is a real test of your patience and just how much practice you’ve had. 😊 My mum has a couple good sayings like ‘water off a duck’s back‘ or ‘build a bridge and get over it‘. She always knows the right thing to say.
If you’re feeling stressed or holding something inside, let it go. Write it on a piece of paper and throw it in the fire. There is no sense carrying it with you for another day, week, or year. Free up that space in yourself to fill it with something that makes you happy, with sunshine. Step outside feeling lighter and put on a smile.
Not long I went to an event at Only One Gallery featuring a reading by NYC poet Cleo Wade hosted by MedReleaf‘s brand, Altavie. It was one of the first cannabis-focused events I’d attended, it stood out with its classiness and the incredibly cool group of mostly women in attendance.
The night started with a guided meditation where everyone closed their eyes to take a few minutes for themselves. The panel was hosted by Briony Douglas who’s art was displayed around the gallery with a few other artists (Alpo Snow, Tahsin- The Good and Enzee Creative. Briony is one of my favs I have couple pieces from her recent show MOUTHPIECE in my room.
AltaVie by MedReleaf aims to help make mindfulness more attainable
Altavie is a high-end cannabis brand with a movement towards mindfulness, being present, and living in the now. I was there thinking, ‘wow this weed brand is so ME right now, how is this really happening‘. Life is such a dream.
The only product currently on the website is a cannabis-free a nut bark that looks pretty good called Cannabis Crunch. It’s infused with cannabis inspired flavours (toffee, cinnamon, cardamom) and the product is already available at over 200, health food, drug and grocery stores across the country. A perfect product placement strategy.
“We are living in a fast-paced world that has us all constantly looking to the future and focused on getting somewhere or the next thing” noted Darren Karasiuk, VP Strategy at MedReleaf. “While the benefits of cannabis are far-reaching, for the launch of AltaVie we want to focus on the power of being in the present, allowing our consumer to appreciate life’s moments more fully – in the here and now, big or small.”
I’m really interested in high-end cannabis brands and products, and how they’re being marketed to women . I’ve already seen some really beautiful accessories. Um, hello weedbox.com?!
Another cool thing about this event was San Rafael ’71, another Medreleaf brand targeted at the classic consumer. Their 420 Lager doesn’t contain cannabis but it has exactly 4.20% alcohol. Nice one! 😊The beer was released in partnership with Amsterdam Brewery prior to legalization to get the brand name out there. If you live in Toronto you might have seen the posters around. Smart idea.
This is the creative marketing I love, I live for this stuff. So exciting. I love being part of what’s happening in the cannabis space and it’s only going to get more interesting. Please invite me to all your events.
This week I’m going to a cannabis event for a ‘sneak peek’ at 3 new cannabis brands and it’s at ‘For Your Eyes Only’ (a strip club). I will be sure to take photos (if I can!) and share what goes down behind the black curtain.
This post is not sponsored by Altavie! Cool the brand & the event was great.
All photos by Ryan Emberley.🍃
I’m writing this from the cottage with the lake as my second screen. Last week was a busy one after being away but I love those weeks almost as much because things move fast and it’s motivating.
The other day I went rock climbing with Raymi and some friends at Hub Climbing in Markham. I like rock climbing but it gets harder as you get older haha. My arms were a bit sore this week from wakeboarding and my trainer. I’m chuckling a bit to myself writing this because back in 2001, I was a Sunshine Girl (Toronto Sun) and my bio said I liked ‘baseball, rock climbing, and want to work in marketing‘. At the time I had never gone rock climbing in my life. Safe to say I always knew what I wanted career-wise!
We were invited to check out Hub Climbing‘s 18,000 sq ft facility with over 200 climbs and bouldering. They’ve got locations in Markham (where we went) and Mississauga where they offer camps, classes, school groups, and yoga. They were very helpful in training us to ‘learn the ropes’, climb safely, and push ourselves to the limits.
It’s definitely a fun experience, we had heaps of laughs. Martin from @Studenomics was REALLY good. He scaled the speed wall in under 10 seconds!
Hello, I am a rock climbing bae now.
The thing I like about rock climbing is that you use every muscle in your body including your brain. You have to think strategically about where you’re going and how you’re going to get there. Such is life.
Thank you Rob & Hub Climbing for inviting me to climb at your gym. Looking forward to my next visit!
This experience was sponsored by Hub Climbing! Check them out if you you're looking for a super fun activity to do with your friends.
I use the space under my bed for storage. Today I cleaned some stuff out. Every single time I do this it’s a mix of ‘why am I keeping this crap’ and ‘oh my God look what I found!‘ Like this great leather hat and vintage leather fanny pack lol.
As I was digging, I thought about how this relates to life. You keep all kinds of crap and take it around with you but you should really just let it go, clean it out. Why do we keep so many things?
I’m on a mission to cleanse everything from my life that doesn’t give me joy.Marie Kondo your life kinda thing. I did this a couple years ago after a great trip to LA. I came home refreshed with renewed self-worth and energy to go confidently in the direction of my dreams. I find, one of the best ways to cleanse out your internal demons is to get rid of crap around you in the physical world. It is so cathartic to throw things down the laundry shoot, in the garbage or toss in the bins at the dump (a personal fav!). After that LA trip I was pretty dedicated to yoga 3-4/week and eating better, but as time went on, I travelled heaps, got off my path and hardly went to yoga this year (or hardly worked out at all tbh).
You can’t hate yourself for it though, life happens! You always have the ability to start something today, shift your perspective, take a new outlook, or make a change. Your life is your movie and you are the director, You decide what you do and how you handle the situations life hands you. NO excuses.
This summer, I started actually going to the gym and even booked a trainer for 6 months. I started wakeboarding. I went rock climbing. I’m drinking less. It feels less like work and more like a challenge when you stick to your goals. I am in no way perfect or really great at this but I’m trying. I try every day and some days I’m really off my game, but that’s ok. The important thing is to keep trying.
If you’re looking for some motivation, start with clutter around your bedroom, house, kitchen, and clean it out this weekend. You’ll feel heaps better!
Tonight I am going to Diner en Blanc and I really hope it doesn’t rain!
It’s a great reset to take a break from your everyday lifeand escape to the woods. Sean and I had 7 whole days alone before welcoming guests on the last weekend. It was an incredible getaway. After my Portugal trip I felt like I needed some time to reset.
August is always a time where I asses the year so far, look at my goals and make a plan for the final quarter. Fitness, mental clarity, more work I enjoy, travel, and balance are key.
I hit the ground running w/ my trainer this week and after my first weekend of wakeboarding, it was kinda hard. MY ARMS WERE KILLING YESTERDAY. I’m determined to give it another go this weekend and hone in on my skills. I honestly never thought I would be a gym-loving wakeboard chick but here I AM.
Swipe for video of me wakeboarding (Cory Lee is screaming, not me! haha)
Feeling fresh and ready for a great month. Yesterday was my first day back and I’m already moving on a couple exciting things. Next week I have 2 speaking gigs, the public one is at the Apparel Textile Sourcing show and you can register to come here.
Remember, you will never be younger than you are today so make the most of it.
Helloooo and happy Monday Tuesday! It’s a short week and I’m happy to working beside the lake. Tomorrow is Sean’s birthday and each year we spend this week up at the cottage.
The weather this weekend was amazing. Got some good sun on Saturday. Drove the truck with the boat trailer and backed it into the water perfectly. Did dock yoga with coffee. Already finished a book and hope to get through another one or two on my Kindle this week. The lake is so warm and perfect for swimming. Went out on my stand up paddleboard (SUP). We have been out in the boat quite a bit and I’m comfortable taking Sean out wakeboarding. This was ‘relationship goals’ for him!
I love cooking at the cottage but I rarely share what I’m making. To social media all the things I create makes it feel like work. I love spending time prepping for dinner, making marinades, and finding recipes on Pinterest.
I have been working on perfecting bbq cauliflower, there are so many great ways to cook it. Grapefruit is a favourite for breakfast. Meat from Costco has been great for bbq, comes seasoned and these Korean ribs were incredible! I’ve had perfect avocados 3 days in a row. Brought back some incredible olive oil from a winery in Portugal and it’s amazing the difference from what you buy at the grocery store here. Good olive oil is worth the $$!
We made some lake friends this weekend who invited us to a concert. There was a full on band playing covers and heaps of people around our age hanging out. We boated over for a couple beers and it was so fun.
I’m grateful for rainy days just as much as the sunshiney ones to get things done inside or on my computer. It’s so nice to have a break from city life. I know I was just on vacation in Portugal but it was the opposite of relaxing, go-go-go everyday! My next post on visiting Porto will go live later today or tomorrow. Lots of great stuff from there to share.
First, a short story about this great card. I ordered it from Dani Kreeft‘s print shop, Dani Press before she shut it down. I loved her cards, the perfect short sentences paired with perfect photos she took herself.
This one reminds me of mum, she’s always there slow clapping behind me. I talk to her a lot. She’s the person I ring when something exciting happens and sometimes that’s few in a day. This card is also a reminder for me to be that person for others, to remind them there’s someone in your corner. Even when you feel alone, you are not alone, someone is rooting for you. If you feel like you are all by yourself, reach out. 💕
I’m writing this post using the new WordPress Editor, Gutenberg. It takes some getting used to and I had almost finished my post when I accidentally deleted it so now I am paying more attention. It allows you to add content blocks, ex. a paragraph of text, image, gallery, audio, subheading, columns (beta). It’s similar to how Medium works or LinkedIn work for posts.
It’s much easier to move parts of your post around without cut/paste. I think that columns is a neat idea. Wondering how I can use this in a creative way to tell a story. The new format is similar to medium or LinkedIn where you are working with content blocks you add to the post. They’re easily searchable and you can add favs to a quick menu. [Columns didn’t work for me they looked ugly, still in Beta so I’m sure will improve]
WordPress Gutenberg – Columns
One of the really great things is adding Twitter/Youtube/IG/FB embeds from the blocks, it would be nice if they were auto centred.
You can also easily add almost any kind of content. I’ve been using WordPress for years and I think this is a real step in the right direction. I wonder if they will add more photos editing options?!
If you want to try the new Gutenberg editor you have to install and activate it as a Plugin while it’s still in Beta [dowload here].
WordPress dashboard has a welcome message for the latest update outlining some feature and benefits (I am using the fully hosted option not wordpress.com). I‘ve been thinking about editing my theme and might do that during my vacation next week.
I’ve decided I like the new editor.Hello Gutenberg, my new friend that I will spend countless hours with.Drop cap is kinda nice. I feel like using the old editor will be like going back in time. This post is not sponsored by WordPress, I just spend some much time using the platform I decided to blog about it while I was using it this morning. I love blogging about blogging. Ha!
I went to Sintra, Portugal, the most romantic place!The true romance was really how great this blazer matched the Pena Palace. I bought it just before leaving Toronto knowing full well that it would match perfectly. Ha! Aeroplan was open to me picking the places I wanted to visit for this trip and Sintra was top of my list. It’s a small resort town in the foothills of the Sintra Mountains, about a 20min Uber from Lisbon. It’s amazing how close this is to Lisbon and yet so different than the city. There are a couple beaches nearby, but unfortunately, I didn’t make it there.
Casa do Valle
I stayed at a beautiful place in Sintra about a 10 min walk from the centre of the tourist area. I booked it almost 2 months ahead and paid $149.42 CAD the garden suite near the pool. When I check to extend my stay there, it was almost double the price. Book early! Get $40 if you use this booking.com link.
Always sit in the hammock
Casa do Valle is owned by a family from Finland, they built it to have family stay with them but they didn’t come so they turned it into a bed and breakfast. We met them they were so incredibly nice. Breakfast was served in our room and we had a few different options to pick from + coffee and tea. Wifi was included and from the pool area, you can see Pena Palace and the Moorish Castle.
This is the red/yellow castle. I mapped this place out and added it to my itinerary as soon right away. I was told to get there early in the day to avoid crowds but we went around 4:30pm and it was busy, but not ridiculous. I was still able to get great photos without too many people in the background. I was actually quite surprised how patient people were for everyone taking photos. Thanks, Instagram!
I purchased ‘Park & Pena Palace: Skip the Line’ mobile tickets from tiqets.com a couple hours before visiting or 14 Euros. I really didn’t need the ‘Skip the Line’, there was no line.
The hilltop 19th-century Pena National Palace is known for its design and bright colours. You can get a great view from the mountain top and explore the beautiful park before the castle. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes because you have to walk from the park up the hill to the castle and you’ll really feel it in your booty.
When leaving Pena Palace you pass the Castle of The Moors, a medieval castle where you can tour the grounds to a lookout over Sintra. (You’ll need to buy a ticket!)
Sintra’s downtown is a cute little area beside The Palace of Sintra is in the heart of the old town. There are cabs, Uber, and tuk-tuks to take you around the tourist areas. I didn’t have any great meals but there’s a pastry you must have a Piriquita, the most famous pastry in Sintra.
I highly recommend going to Sintra. It’s magical!
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!
I went glamping on a farm and it was amazing. 🏕Chefs cooked all the food, we did yoga in a barn listening to Tragically Hip, I went in a greenhouse, there was a pond, the outdoor showers were glam, and there were 250 people. I knew this would be cool based on the invite, it was unique. 🙏🏼🌳☀️
50 Luxury Tents for us!
The glamping trip was hosted by Up Cannabis at The New Farm. The Tragically Hip are big investors in the company and the band was there the whole day and had dinner with the group. It was the first big cannabis event I have been to. It was also the nicest camping experience I have ever had and would 100% do that again. Up Cannabis can’t actually share their product with us but for the 50 media that stayed over to camp, they infused the same terpenes found in the product into the soaps, drinks, food, and everything around us.
The event was really well done. The tents were like little apartments with electricity, real beds, furniture, lights, and fans. It was reallllly hot those days. In the morning, outside our tents were little baskets with reading material, breakfast snacks and cold brew coffee (that was cold!). They gave us heaps of little things to take home, wool Glerups slippers, snacks, and my favourite item is this soap which you will soon find in the Up Cannabis store soon.
at its finest!
Welcome to camp!
The Upside-down house
Gord Sinclair from The Hip
Band played in the barn
They had alcohol non beverages
A breakfast option!
Dinner is served!
Morning packages w/ cold brew
The New Farm Owners
Up Cannabis Strains
The Up brand has positioned themselves in the ultra-premium segment with a strong connection to music. By having The Tragically Hip as major shareholders and strategic partners, the band weighs into every major marketing decision and infuses their brand music.
Given the upcoming legislation gives event sponsorship the green light, you’ll see more cannabis companies at festivals, events, and consumer touchpoints.
What a time to be alive. Back when social media started, new technology was bringing people with like interests together, all over the world. We were all on Twitter and it was magic. That same energy is floating around right now about the upcoming cannabis legislation. Working with Weed VR has been an eye-opening experience.
We’re on the cusp of a new $20 billion dollar industry with unlimited potential for retail, tech, marketing, education, and medicine. “It’s not like putting a new candy bar on a new shelf, it’s a whole new store” (4:19 Podcast). Great listen about the industry on the 4:19 Episode 1 w/ Shekhar Parmar Founder/CEO, Harvest Medicine Chief Strategy Officer, ABcann (🔊here).
This summer I went to Vancouver to meet with the Canadian team of TelusAdvocates. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We packed 200 bags for Backpack Buddies and Telus donated $10,000!
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.
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. 😉 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!? 😜
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
Give Where You Live
Bring Them In
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. 💚
Casie Stewart is a Canadian writer, director, and entrepreneur. She’s an award-winning content creator and expert in digital. During her decade-long career in media, she’s been named Canadian Screen Award Winner (Voice Pioneer), Best Travel Blog, and Top 30 Lifestyle Blogs in Canada. Casie has been a keynote speaker at SXSW, NXNE, TEDx, and spoken at YouTube Canada and the United Nations of Canada. She lives in Toronto with her boyfriend and loves summer weekends at the cottage when she’s not travelling around the world.