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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Theres A Butterfly In There Somewhere!

It’s crazy that when everything is going great you can also feel like everything is crumbling. I don’t mean Murphy’s Law but like just life, in general, has this up and down thing as much as you try to keep a plateau. This week I had two great things come to the table, one that I have been working on in the background of everything else for years, and another potential opportunity to do something I used to do well. I was feeling good about it but I’m at the point in my career that I don’t get too excited until I have the cheque in my bank or a signed contract and we’re making the thing. There was a time I’d get sooo excited about an email. I’d ring mum at work and be like ‘omg mum guess what?” and go on about how someone from some company or tv station sent an email about doing a thing. Sometimes it turned out and sometimes it didn’t. I don’t count chickens anymore.

Yesterday I woke up barely breathing with a deathly chest cold and it was hard to talk. The whole day was been hard because being sick makes everything harder. I had to cancel 2 meetings. 1 of which I first cancelled last week because I was sick. I’m going on day 7. I feel really bad about cancelling twice and even worse because I’m sick and I can’t help it.

I took the photo above while sitting on the floor in my living room with the camera on the back of a chair. I’ve been wearing this vintage wolf shirt for at least 24 hours and I feel like complete garbage. I put on makeup to go to shoppers to get cough medicine to make myself feel better but tbh it didn’t really work. As soon as I open my mouth you can tell you should keep your distance. I sound like a haunting, creepy old lady/man who smoked 200 cigs a day for life. It’s not cute.

DO NOT BE FOOLED. FEEL LIKE GARBAGE.

Later in the evening, I had a nice time watching Moana with Embot and eating homemade lasagna I made the other day. Everything was fine until I was cleaning up and poured some of the remnants of a Thai green curry I made [I’ve been cooking a lot] down the toilet. Well, apparently that was A HORRIBLE FUCKING IDEA. I went to the bathroom 15min later forgetting about the soup thing and then went into the kitchen. I heard water running. Did I leave the tap on? Maybe I should lay down, am I ok?…NO, NO TAP ON, TOILET OVERFLOWING. EVERYWHERE. WATER ON THE FLOOR. Clean water but STILL. FML FML.

Next, someone is pounding on the door, I open it to the downstairs neighbour YELLING at me because the water is leaking into her house. I say sorry and start crying.  I can’t handle this rn. The other neighbour is also there and she comes in to turn off the water. I’m sick and stuffed up and there is water everywhere and fuck fuck fuck. Sean is on the phone upstairs and I tried to use the plunger myself without bothering him but I think I made it worse and oh my god she keeps yelling. I run upstairs and through tears and raspy voice I tell him he needs to come downstairs NOW. I’m crying more. Emily hugs me. Neighbour says ‘hi Emily!’ and is back to fast, loud talking right at Sean and me.

I feel horrible and I don’t know what to do. Sean goes to her place. The damage isn’t bad, like at all. He fixes the toilet. Everything is fine. Except me. I’m more stuffed up than I was before, dehydrated, and my face is puffy. I just want to crawl into the cocoon that is my bed and stay there until the butterfly inside is ready to come out. 🦋

Today we’re laughing about the whole thing. I mean Sean is laughing more than me but it’s ok. Haha.  I’ve always been a little dramatic. You can’t sweat the small stuff! Today is a new day! 


POSITIVE SIDE NOTE

When I was in New Zealand, Catherine had so many caterpillars in her backyard. They were everywhere and ate so much food. It was a daily trip to get new plants for them to eat. Reckon over a hundred while I was there.  Some were lost in winds from the tropical storm, but many survived.

Monarch butterflies were dancing in the air all over the place. It was some kind of magic.

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Instagram vs. Your 360º Life

Ahhh. Hellooooo February! I felt good to write all that down yesterday. Remember Instagram is only one angle on a 360º life. There’s a lot you can’t see through a screen! 

I had to send photos to a producer of our house today and omg I was like ‘ahhhh our house is a mess‘ and she said everyone says that. When you see that person post their oh-so-perfect living room, kitchen, office, remember it there’s a chance (a good chance!) doesn’t always look like that and there just might be a pile of stuff on the other side of the room. On the other hand, they also might find immense joy in perfecting their Instagram post because that’s the life they want to live. You never who’s is dealing with a death in the family, a cheating spouse, sick kid, putting food on the table, or just making their rent. Instagram allows us to build the reality we want to live in. If you’re lucky, you’ll follow some people who like to keep it real like Lauren (This Renegade Love) or Gracie (Edit 7 Mag). I try to keep it real but day after day, IG is less of a platform I love, ex…

There is no sense in comparing yourself to someone you see on the internet. Like, if Beyonce got a new car or house, you wouldn’t compare or feel bad you didn’t have it too. So, don’t do it!

Live your best life. Work hard and be nice to people. 

In other news, Instagram launched new fonts today. Just go to the screen where you add text and tap the top of the screen to get different fonts. Also, FB is saying they might ixnay the newsfeed and put Stories at the forefront [more on that here].

Also, it’s not snowing so I didn’t wear socks. It’s going down to -15 tonight! SPRING, I AM SO READY FOR YOU BABY! Also, this header photo is a stock photo from Unslpash. My desk isn’t ready for photos today!

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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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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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I mean new me kinda because you’re like,  you’re always changing. Right? Maybe you’re looking to make some changes in your life this year and there is no time like RIGHT NOW. Tomorrow you’ll wish you started today.

I really want to get fit this year. I’ve been home a couple days and made yoga + hit the gym. I feel good. I’m not sure when or IF jet lag is going to kick in but I’m ready for it. Update: I feel it today. I don’t have heaps planned this week in an effort to maintain self-care and get a fresh start on 2018.

Just came from the gym don’t mine me.

When I go to the gym I don’t stay for a super long time but I’m proud of myself every single time I go. I’ve had gym anxiety my whole life, until now. I hated going up until I had my breast reduction last summer. It took a while to be emotionally ready to workout, but last summer I signed up for my first every gym membership. YAY ME. Before the operation, I hardly ever worked out and when I did never wore anything with cleavage to avoid getting unwanted attention. I used to wear 3 sports bras to keep those bad boys still if I wanted to run. I was always fully covered in t-shirts for yoga and tank tops were out of the question.

For years, I had a hard time getting dressed in the morning or for events. It gave me anxiety. Sean used to be like ‘are you ready yet?‘ and there were so many times I was upstairs in tears or not wanting to go anywhere. I would try on a million things and nothing would fit those big boobies and don’t even get me started on working out.

This year I’m excited to work out and I want to run outside. Run free and far, with the freedom of only wearing one bra and not worrying about my boobs the whole time. So here’s to starting something new and making 2018 a great year of positive transformation. I’m all here for it!

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I love being on vacation and I love coming home. I really like the start of the year for trying new things and organizing my life. I also love a good Saturday (or Tuesday, whatever!) any time of year to clean out drawers, closet, organize stuff, and purge. Post vacation is a great time to clean out your closet and stuff. Once you’ve lived out of a suitcase and still managed to pull together great outfits, you realize you don’t need so many things. [I didn’t have someone to take my photo in NZ so there are not a lot of outfits posts but it was still fun lol.]

Picked up my mail today from the office and these are my new glasses! Use code IFLZKADXK9 for $10 off at eyebuydirect.com. I love them!


I’m totally into the minimal movement and I know Monday I was all like “Marie Kondo your life” but my clothes are different. They’re a collection I’ve built over decades, dresses, accessories, vintage finds, and lots of shoes. I also have some books I’ll keep forever. There’s some things I just CAN’T get rid of. Over the last year of making changes in my life, I’ve drastically decreased the number of things I own. I have a lot more plants though haha. I put focus into having nicer things instead of more stuff and I feel really good about it.

New light I got before Christmas and yes, that is a mini-me on my phone.


I’m usually a pretty light packer and mostly do short trips. After being in NZ for 3 weeks, living suitcase life and a different nearly every other day, I feel like I have so much stuff! Sean left a pile of laundry in my room and as I was putting things away I was like “whoa you have so many yoga pants“, this drawer is already full“, “another one of those!“. I’m not sure how jet lag is going to affect me, I feel ok right now. I’m gonna try and go right back to my regularly scheduled programming, drink heaps of water, and use melatonin to regulate.

Feels good to be home and in my own bed.

 

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