Events

Events, usually they have a hashtag.

Yesterday I was feeling pretty overwhelmed. I know we all have those days. I’ve been working on something with my speaker agent, prepping for a keynote in Edmonton, and then there’s a mounting email, and social updates. Sometimes I feel like I just need to shut down and take a break, I wonder how the heck I’m gonna do it all?! That’s usually when I ring mum and she talks me through, reminding me not to give up, and how hard I’ve worked to get here. She reminds me I’m probably tired, and maybe hungry. For this, I’m grateful. I call her almost everyday with something, so today on International Women’s Day, I’m especially thankful.

When I got off the phone with mum the other night I arrived at the Rotman School of Business at U of T for a special presentation with TD, their 10 Lessons: Women @ Work Report. I was happy to see my friend & fellow social entrepreneur Gracie’s smiling face and we sat down together, all ears. Tweets from the night can be found at #YourStoryYourFuture.

TD partnered with University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management to release a joint report that uncovers insights about how women across the country perceive the challenges and opportunities in advancing professionally.

Career, relationships, family, finances, it’s hard (and often stressful) to manage this stuff all at the same time. I don’t have my own kids yet but there’s challenges with a blended family, we’ve got a sassy 8yr old 50% of the time, and Sean and I are both entrepreneurs, managing very different businesses. Learning about the challenges of other women in professional careers, really made me feel better about my own challenges. I don’t share things I struggle with very often but managing the blog, clients, marketing, fiancees, the house, staying on top of it all, is hard work. It’s also hard work to make it look easy or glamorous. 🙂

The report, 10 Lessons: Women @ Work Managing Career, Family & Legacy, is the result of a year-long research project and essay competition that engaged close to 400 working women from across Canada. 10 key themes emerged on how women can achieve success. Research for this report started in February last year when TD and the Rotman School launched an essay competition inviting women from all across Canada to submit personal essays describing their experience navigating family, career and legacy aspirations.

The report is now online and I encourage you to check it out here. If you feel the stress of managing career, relationships, finance, or mental health, you are not alone.

Key Lessons From Report:

  1. Being financially prepared for the unexpected to allow you to better deal with unexpected events including illness, divorce, and unemployment
    • I wrote about planning for unexpected expenses a couple months ago, you never know when something will break at home, you lose a job, or someone gets sick. It’s really important to have an emergency fund so you don’t risk losing everything if something happens. See that post here.

“A key finding from our perspective is the significant role education and financial preparation play in contributing to solutions and future successes in furthering women’s careers,”

Walid Hejazi, Associate Professor, Rotman School

  1. Develop business acumen which happens through formal education, on-the-job experiences or self-directed learning
    • I feel that a formal education has drastically helped me in my career, I studied marketing at college and university and the skills I learned there have helped my business skills in every other area. My on-the-job experience in start-up, tech, finance, and agency have really helped my freelance work. It’s important to always be learning and educating yourself! In social & digital media, I need to know more than my clients so they want to work with me. 
  1. Understand the trade-offs of a career break.
    • I’ve not taken a career break (yet) but it was interesting to learn about this stuff from some women who have. 
  • The first element to consider when ‘taking a career break’ is the true cost involved. Consider long-term financial and skills implications, when making the decision to opt out.
  • The second element to consider when ‘taking a career break’ relates to the challenges of reentering the workforce. Finding work and feeling your skills are relevant and current can be difficult following a career break.

One key finding was the lifetime impact on lost earnings due to child care absences from the workforce can be larger than they appear at first glance. Such absences were found to generate a persistent 3% wage penalty per year. When added to raises foregone during an absence, the cumulative earnings loss of a career break is amplified, and can be quite large added up over the span of a woman’s working life.

Beata Caranci, TD Economics Special Report, Career Interrupted


The second part of the night was a talk by Laura Vanderkam from her new book ‘I Know How She Does It’. She interviewed a ton of women with children under 18 who make $100/year to see how they spent their time. I was really inspired and am very thankful to receive a copy of her book. I’m starting it today!

I find hearing other women’s challenges really helps me feel better about my own struggles. I woke up today ready to face the world and checked a bunch of things off my to-do list.

Thanks TD Bank for inviting me to this event, inspiring me, and sponsoring this post.

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

 

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Events | New Creations Festival at the Toronto Symphony

If you’re looking for something cool to do tonight, check out the New Creations Festival at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. I’m heading back from Edmonton to meet Sean there for a date!

The festival wraps up tonight w/ Water by Jonny Greenwood from Radiohead.. It adds the beautiful sound of tambura, vocals from Brett Dean, and DJ Skratch Bastid wraps it up with a remix from the festival. Check out KNOCKING AT THE HELLGATE.

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I’m partnering with the TSO to share some of the great stuff they’ve got this season and remind you how much fun it is to go. Last time I went for was a couple years ago. I love live music and the TSO offers a whole bunch of great shows at a beautiful venue.

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LMK if you’ve already got a ticket! 

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Events | Towards Tomorrow w/ Toyota

This week I ventured out to Square One is Mississauga. I hadn’t been there in YEARS, man that place has really changed! Toyota invited me to check out their pop-up inside the old Target store that’s directed at millennials like me with a love for tech & digital. Yesterday the story was featured in Marketing Magazine and Strategy online with me in VR as the lead photo. Huzzah! The event is spearheaded by Desperado and Saatchi & Saatchi Canada.

Scroll for my experience & see some stuff I made 😊. Toyota’s ‘Towards Tomorrow’ opens this weekend during mall hours and is around till the end of May.

Being an artistic individual, I was feelin’ the digital paint/graffiti wall. My creation features pink wheels and rooftop gardens, because why not? I’d love to see customizable car colours and more gardens in the future.

towards tomorrow, toyota, casie stewart, VR, samsung, square one

Toyota is looking attract next gen of car buyers by giving us tech-focused experiences and a place to interact with cars outside the dealership. “ Inside the space you’ll find the iM (read my review), Rav4 Hybrid, Prius C, the 4th-gen Prius, and a slew few tech showcases like VR driving with Samsung Gear VR, digital painting (love this), a selfie station (see top photo☝︎) all with sharing capabilities for social & email. If you’re keen to get behind the wheel, you can test drive the vehicles on display and a couple other models outside.

“Clearly, our customers today are well-educated, using the web and have a greater idea of what they want. They certainly still want to see the vehicle, drive the vehicle and touch the vehicle to make sure it fits. But they want to do that in a pressure-free, non-traditional retail environment,” says Cyril Dimitris, VPof Sales, in a recent Canadian Auto World article.

If you’re heading to the mall with the whole fam or you’ve got a couple kiddos in tow, there’s a colouring station with toys. I sat dowm to test it out and give it 👍👍👍. As for my drawing? I dunno, I got creative and added wings, grass, a sprinkler, and free toys to this thing that kinda looks like a car. 😜 Never know that the future holds guys! 

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If you’ve got any questions about the experience feel free to tweet me or @toyotacanada.

casiestewart, toronto, blogger, towards tomorrow,

Post sponsored by Toyota, story all mine. Next time I’m working harder at the paint station! 

towards tomorrow

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Oscars, Awkwards, My Fav Dresses, & Behind the Scenes

Watch the awards last night? They seemed to go on forever! I’m glad, along with the entire internet that Leo finally won. There were some totally WTF moments, Stacey Dash, those three Asian kids? I know people are upset about the lack of black nominees but I wasn’t expecting the ENTIRE show and all the commentary to be about it. I don’t find Chris Rock to be that funny. Everything that came out of his mouth was about race, everything! Jokes about Will & Jada were mean, the ‘black bloke from Star Wars — Darth Vader’, using those kids as a  joke was rude.

The show used to be so much fun and last night, everything was SO political. Then, you have these crusty people who didn’t even clap for a winner.

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In other news, my friend Joey Salmingo was on the red carpet for E!. It was so neat to follow along his behind the scenes, oh y’know, hanging out with Ryan Seacrest and all.

My friend Kelsey was a producer on ‘Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah’ that was nominated for Best Documentary Short along with Adam Benzine. She was so excited and looked absolutely beautiful on that red carpet. It was neat to see photos of the stage from her seats while watching at home on my own couch. 

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A photo posted by Kelsey Lynn (@kelserspix) on

Following adventures of people I know was more exciting to me that watching the show. I felt it dragged on and made me feel uncomfortable several times. Following along on Twitter was once again, the best commentary. Shoutouts to Toronto and New Zealand who both got mentions as well. 🙂

These are my fav looks from the red carpet. I absolutely love Alicia Vikander, she can do no wrong that woman!

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On Thursday night next week I’m hosting a dinner at Lisa Marie on Queen Street with Chef Matt Basile. Our Muskoka Bound theme is about #cottagelife and For $60 you get food, drinks, and a fun night, tip is also included. U-Feast events typically sell out, so get a ticket now! The menu is incredible. I stopped into Lisa Marie last week to taste a few items and I’ve been thinking about them since.

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Read Matt’s Interview in NOW Magazine 

“On February 25, you can witness another side of the in-demand chef at U-Feast’s Muskoka Bound at the restaurant. Hosted by blogger and woman-about-town Casie Stewart, the night aims to channel the pleasures of cottage life through a culinary feast, complete with deck chairs and camp gear. Revel in cottage country-inspired indulgences such as crispy fried chicken, steak and guac tacos, chimichurri corn, sweet and sticky ribs and a s’mores dip for dessert – not to mention a welcome cocktail and beers.” Read the full interview.

 

⬇︎ Muskoka Bound Dinner Menu at Lisa Marie

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Fashion | WILDFOX Fairytale Collection Launch

The other day I hosted a party at the Toronto WILDFOX shop w/ HIGH STREET fashion. We had champagne, a candy bar, onsite fashion illustrations, and a great DJ. The night was celebrating the launch of the WILDFOX Fairytale collection 2016.

I was a huge fan of the brand years ago and it’s nice to see the latest is still totally up my alley. A nice mix of mermaid/fairytale fun with a side of rock n’ roll.

Here’s some of my fav photos from the night. All pix by Pedro Marques unless otherwise noted. See more at #wildfoxinthe6ix on Instagram or Twitter.

Thanks everyone who came by! The new collection is now in store and online. I’ve got my eye on a few summer items. Can’t wait for cottage season!

 

 

The hostess with the mostest @casiestewart & I last week at the @wildfoxcouture @highstreetfs 

A photo posted by Chantel Bedward (@its_pinkie) on

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Friday, I’m In Love  – Holiday Style!

I absolutely love this. One of my fav songs since I lived in Australia 10 years ago. Heart warming to see this big group singing amongst the lights of the Toronto Christmas Market. I’ve not gone by there yet but plan to pop by next week during the day.

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Something cool about this vid and another reason I wanted to share…

To perform Friday I’m in Love, they required permission from Robert Smith of The Cure. After he watched a short clip they sent him, he loved it SO MUCH he asked them to donate the licensing fee to charity. Together, Koodo & Choir! Choir! Choir! (80 choir singers in TO)  are donating that fee towards sponsoring a Syrian refugee family.

ALL THE FEELS. I love it.

In other news, I went to the Koodo office during my last Telus visit and it’s full of bright colours and smiles.

Happy Friday, spread that holiday cheer! 

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Hola and Happy Tuesday! Last week I viewed all the entries for the travelcuts documentary film festival and piked my favs. There were a handful of awesome entries. I’m dying to jump in a plane and go on an adventure after watching.

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It’s easy to vote, just share the hashtag that goes with your fav entry. I’ve listed each hashtag with the videos below. If you visit travelcuts.com/filmfest you can see the 3 finalist videos and easily vote there too.  Voting goes until Nov. 17th and the winner will be announced the following week at the screening. Exciting!

😀☀️✈️💛💯💕💛😍✌️🎨👑❤️🎈🎥

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Events | Woodbine Racing 2015 Season Comes to an End

This weekend, before heading to the cottage Garret, Sean and I stopped by Woodbine for the last big race of the season, the Breeders Cup. Over the past few months I’ve attended a bunch of great times there with friends. Almost everyone I took this season came home with $$. I’m still working on my luck!

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One of my fav events of the summer is the Queen’s Plate. Carla had never been to the races so I took her as my date. It was a nice sunny afternoon and we started with the Hats & Horseshoes party. All season, Woodbine hosted a selfie contest with a $1,000 gift card prize. It was easy to enter, snap a selfie with the racetrack in the background, post to Twitter or Instagram with #OfftotheRaces and you were in.

Aside from the Queen’s Plate there’s Woodbine Oaks, the Pattison International, and Breeders Crown. Before Dawn moved back to Scotland I took her for an afternoon at the races. Woodbine Oaks was a fun one for us as there were rock n’ roll bands playing for us to jam out to.

My sister Carynn was the big winner of the summer with a near whopping $100 for the day. We went in the middle of October and it was an absolutely gorgeous day. We dined at Futures where they offer a sit down lunch, private viewing area, and full buffet. They also make some pretty good cocktails here! 😉

I’d like to thank Woodbine for a fun summer. It was great sharing my #offtotheraces experiences and taking friends for the first time. My Grandad really loved the races and I feel like he’d be happy to know I’d been going.

Until next summer horses! Have a safe & happy winter 🙂

 

casiestewart autograph

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This weekend I’m taking my sister Carynn on a date to Woodbine Racetrack for her very first time. Instead of eating at the concession, we’re getting a lil’ fancier at Favourites Dining Room (located on the 2nd Floor, west end).  It IS Thanksgiving weekend after all! Thanks Woodbine!

If you’re just tuning in or don’t recall, I’ve partnered with Woodbine for the entire racing season. See my previous adventures with Dawn at Ricoh Mile, the Queen’s Plate w/ Carla, and the first race of the season, Woodbine Oaks w/ Sean.  

  The racing season goes until November so you’ve still got time to plan a little outing. If you are a smoker, you’ll be happy to know there’s smoking areas and you can actually smoke beside the track. Crazy I know. 

  
Woodbine has an #OffToTheRaces contest running the entire season where you can win $1,000 Woodbine Racetrack gift card just by snapping a selfie at the racetrack and post to Twitter/Instagram w/ the #OffToTheRaces hashtag.

Get more info on Woodbine and upcoming races by visit their website at woodbineentertainment.com.

 CASIE

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Travel | Sky High in Cottage Country – My KD Golden Noodle Adventure

Last weekend I went on an epic cottage adventure. If you were following Twitter or Snapchat you’d have seen a bunch of tweets from myself and Lauren as 2 planes landed on our lake and took us flying around Muskoka for the afternoon. My guests included Lauren, Steve, Sean, and one other special guest…a golden KD noodle. Ok so you’re thinking what? A Noodle? Yes, a NOODLE! 

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KD is celebrating the love it’s fans have for it in a way that’s truly worthy,  WITH GOLD. Until October 5, Canadians have the chance to win a 1-LB 24K Gold Noodle, worth approximately $30,000 CAN. To enter pop by your local grocer and pick up a limited edition box of KD Gold. Next, enter your unique PIN, found inside specially marked 4 and 12 pack bundles of KD Macaroni & Cheese, at kdgold.ca.  No the noodle is not in the KD box! It’s pretty heavy!  You can also win hundreds of instant prizes, including gold-plated KD cuff links, sunglasses, flip flips, or a gold plated coin.

If you’re wondering how I like my KD, I like to switch it up, sometimes ketchup, maybe hot dogs, other times a healthy dash of black pepper. As a side note, I didn’t actually try Kraft Dinner until I went to college. My parents are from New Zealand and they don’t have KD there. Thankfully my college crew introduced me! It’s one of those things everyone has in their pantry and sometimes the perfect fix  to feed your hunger.

My KD Golden Noodle Adventure in Muskoka

Here’s a few snaps from our float plane experience. We flew from Bala to Port Carling, went for lunch, and flew back. It was beautiful to experience an aerial view of Muskoka this time of year, the leaves are all starting to change. Special thanks to our pilots at Lake Country Airways for a great trip!

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Our friends from across the lake saw us off cottage style proper, a sea doo chase!

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Magical.

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Hey Lauren & Steve!

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I would love to be a pilot one day. I was feeling like Paris Hilton at this moment as we rode off in our private planes. I could get used to this! 

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Landed in Port Carling

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Sweet ride!

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After lunch it was time to head back to the cottage. Me n’ my crew! 

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Thanks KD for an awesome and unforgettable afternoon. I think the noodle enjoyed it! Ha.

For info on how YOU can win the golden noodle visit kdgold.ca or check out  @KraftDinner on Twitter or Facebook.com/kraftdinner.

🎈💛✈️💯 CASIE

 

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