DONT KILL YOURSELF

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

PLS ASK FOR HELP.

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

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



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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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Balance + Books + Blogs

Sean and I had a really romantic weekend, we cleaned house and went to the dump about 4 times. To be honest, chucking furniture into a huge bin is exhilarating. We managed to move a massive fridge then, on the way it fell off the trailer, it was so mashed up! Also kinda satisfying seeing it so mangled! haha¬†ūüėĚ We got it back on the truck with no fuss and Sean moved another fridge later in the day.

cottage life, muskoka

This spring we’ve been up here quite a bit. It’s been nice. Though,¬†unless you have a cottage or something like it, you won’t know how much work it is. We’ve been husting every weekend since we opened this place in March. This weekend I managed to carve out time to finish a book I picked up Friday. [Sister of Mine, it was good! Toronto based author, Ryerson Professor]

Check this out, the author and I chatted on Twitter. Love reaching out after a read a good book to thank the author, even cooler when they reply!


Over the last little while, I’ve been working on a thing that’s really exciting and I can’t wait to share with the world. I think it’s important to have something not everybody knows, a secret project, a magic motivation to focus on. If you tell everyone everything, you have no surprises!

This week I’m also¬†working on blogging more. I often chat with people who have blogs and they set really high goals and rules for themselves, then, beat themselves up when they don’t blog every day¬†or publish as much as they imagined. Don’t do that! Write when you feel like writing, if it’s your own blog and you’re your own boss, be a good boss to yourself!¬† A blog is your¬†creative expression, it’s always there for you when you need it.

Over the last 13 years, some months I blogged 50+ times and others only a handful. That is a-ok. The main thing is you don’t give up.¬†


Sending sunshine from Muskoka. I got my first damn mozzie bite today. FML. LOL! 

casiestewart, blog, blogger, toronto, canada, travel, tech

 

 

 

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This blog post is an extension of a conversation, an email, and a couple texts. I finally got around to it hahaha. I remember¬†learning about the ‘multiple streams income’ concept from The Wealthy Barber, Dave Chilton back in college. I always¬†wanted to get to point where I had multiple streams of income and wasn’t waiting for my next cheque to arrive. There’s working hard and working smart and I am a big fan of being creative and efficient.

If you need to get more $$ in your pocket get smart about making more money. 

Get bills in your bank, scroll on my friend!


Get Money w/ Ebates Cash Back + Referrals

I’ve earned over $100 on my purchases in the last couple months. I have both USA and Canada accounts. I (spend all my money on the internet and) love buying things at Sephora and Amazon.ca. It’s free money you get back on things you’re already buying! Sign up her

One of the other cool things is you get $$ for referring friends with your sign up link, so send this out to your fam and get them to sign up. BAM!

You get money and in the form of a big fat cheque or they’ll deposit it right into your PayPal (so you can buy more things on the internet!).


Get a Better Job

Years ago I was on a tv show called Maxed Out, through that show I learned the first steps to making/managing money and paying back debt. The host helped kick my ass into gear and get a better job. If you are struggling for money and you hate your job, make a change in your damn life.

There is no point in doing something you hate. We live in a world of opportunity and there are jobs doing literally everything from decorating cupcakes, to delivering food, to playing video games. If you need a recruiter or some direction, I used to be a recruiter, just ask.


Try Out Background Acting

I spend a good chunk of time doing this when I moved to Toronto ages ago (see here). Both my sister and I were on Degrassi and spent an entire summer as extras on a big movie. It was super fun.

You’ll spend a lot of your time just sitting around in Background Holding but it’s not hard work. If you’re lucky you’ll get called up to do a role or maybe earn some acting credits. Regardless, you’ll get paid hourly and it’s a great way to meet some people in film & entertainment. Here is a list of Toronto background agents.

You’ll never find us in this old photo but it’s the entire background cast from the movie.


Go to a Casing Call w/ The Brunch Store РCasting

This company is owned by my friend Sergio. He casts all kinds of reality and scripted reality, commercials, and more. We use him at Occupied VR and 1188.

IF YOU HAVE A BAD DATING STORY THEY ARE CASTING RIGHT NOW.
Please email a short description of your nightmare date to casting@casiestewart.com


Clean Out Your Closet

You have too many clothes. We all do. If you have some¬†nice ones that you never wear, haven’t worn in the last year, and they aren’t seasonal or really, really special, GET RID OF THAT CRAP. Hang it nicely to¬†make it look nice and take it to your local KindExhange or a consignment shop. I am forever getting rid of things and the less I have the better I feel. KindExchange gives you more back in store credit but they will also give you cash on the spot.


The Amazon Bounty Program

Love Amazon Prime? ME TOO! Tell people how much you love it? Me too! Sign up for Amazon Associates and make $$$ sharing something you love with people you care about. You will make money and it comes in the form of Amazon gift card directly to your account, so you can spend more money on Amazon.


If you’ve been looking to make a change in your life there’s no time like SPRING right now!

Don’t wait for spring to arrive. Get your booty in gear now so that when spring finally (if it ever) comes you can go play outside with more money and no worries.


This post contains affiliate links!
   

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Balance, It’s a Lifestyle!

Yesterday I was rushing around after being in ‘cottage mode’ for the last few days. I have a bunch of work to get done and will be hustling into the night to get things done by tomorrow. Today is crunch time before Thursday. Tomorrow, ¬†Embot and I¬†are going to Vancouver¬†for a shoot on Friday, then home Saturday. Next week I’ve got a big client¬†presentation w/ 1188 and a speaking gig. Safe to say, I’ll be spending a lot of time at my computer until then.


I think one of the most important things I’ve learned to manage over the past few years of not having a ‘regular‘ full-time job is BALANCE. You can easily get caught up in doing all the work and/or going to all the things.

Before the start of this year, I knew I needed to make a change. I was feeling uninspired, unhealthy, and my brain was dull and clouded. I considered quitting my blog and whenever that happens,¬†I KNOW it’s time for change. After my solo trip to LA in January, I came back feeling renewed and inspired. I mentioned the sound bath¬†I went to and how it really made an impact on me. I started back at yoga end of January¬†and have been averaging 3-4 times a week since. I book my classes at the start of the week and in order for me to miss a class, it has to be work or something I really want to go to.

I used to spend so much time¬†going to events, sometimes more than 2 ¬†night but those days are few and far between lately. I’ve had to prioritize my time and that involves staying home, going to yoga, cooking, sitting on the couch, reading, drinking less, getting sleep. I think I’d tuckered myself out by the end of last year and it really got me down. Since January I’ve made planning my me-time a priority.

My happy place is laying here on my mat after a great yoga class.

BALANCE is getting ice cream after yoga!


I biked to yoga again this morning and feel super energized to kick some a$$ today. I’m really excited to take Emily to Vancouver tomorrow. It’s our first solo girls trip together. First, of many hopefully!

Remember to make time for yourself, you can’t just do work or else you won’t have room for inspiration.

Take a deep breath. Smile. Do something for YOU.

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You’re young. You can do whatever you want.¬†

Found this in an alley near my house the other day. I would be kinda annoyed if this was my wall but I also like the message.

This is a little reminder that you can do anything you want. Just go, get up off the couch and DO IT. Want to start a blog? Make one. Be an enrtepreneur? Do something every day to bring you closer to your goal. There is nothing standing in your way other than your own self-doubt, fear, or anxiety. Not having time or money is not an excuse. Face whatever is holding you back, head on, and make a change.

There’s no point wasting your time and energy doing something you don’t want to do. Life is short and every day you should do something that makes you happy.

I originally drew this back in 2009. It¬†was around the time I quit a job I didn’t want to do anymore. I wasn’t allowed to do use social media at work¬†since it wasn’t part of my¬†job (they blocked Twitter & Facebook!). I’d removed time stamps from my blog as to hide when things were posted. I quit that job to do social at Much/MTV and have never looked back.

Since then, if I find myself in a situaion where I don’t want to do whatever it is, I quit. I find a way to get out of it or change it into something I do actually want to do.

Make the most of each day. You’ll never be younger than you are right now. ūüėä

 

quit everything i don't like casie stewart, borderline artistic

 

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It’s crazy and mind opening to go back into my life diary and see things¬†I made and not really remember creating them. Imagine 10 years from now, scrolling back to read the diary you started today?¬†

There’s a lot¬†of benefits as you may know, to keeping a journal (here’s 10). I started mine, mostly to keep more memories and it has totally worked. Writing¬†this blog has helped my memory, writing, self-discipline, and it’s pretty good therapy (for the record!).

In the last 12 years I’ve grown¬†from a wild post-uni 20-something to an adult doing real things. Still¬†kinda wild tho! I had no idea what this (journal) would turn into when I started, or back in 2009 when I took this photo and wrote words on it. I’m really glad I didn’t give up all those times¬†I thought about it.

Randomly found the¬†2009 photo below while searching (for something else) in my blog yesterday. I’ve taken so many photos and written a ton of things, sometimes I actually inspire myself!

I guess what I’m saying is, anything is possible and you can find
a lot of inspiration in your own archives.

 


 
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The Hardest Part is Through

This past week was a¬†hard one for me. Actually, this entire month has been a challenge, I’ve been on the verge of a meltdown since May 2017 started with birthday anxiety. I had a trip to Jamaica that started with an allergic reaction in my eyes, where I couldn’t see that well, it rained heaps, I missed my bf, and I got my period. When I got home I was overwhelmed with anxiety about work I needed to get done, and it was a short week. I went to the 1188 office every day¬†to get the music video I directed wrapped up, and didn’t really have time to work (at home like¬†usual) on blog things. The week finished week with a full day on set.¬†I was so tired.

Finally, on Saturday, it happened. I legit had a meltdown.¬†Our car had a problem with the tire¬†so I rented a car for the afternoon with my car sharing app and¬†left around 11:15 to make it to Scarborough by 12:15. Well, no, that wasn’t happening. It took me 45 min to get to the DVP (highway downtown for non-TO peeps) and by then I was feeling super stressed after leaving the house in a huff w/ Sean. Then mum called and it opened the floodgates to me balling my eyes out, stuck in traffic. It seemed like everything around me was collapsing. Then, it started raining and the event I was about to drive an hour to was canceled. BUT, I was already on the DVP and still in traffic. I took a few deep breaths and decided to get off the highway. Didn’t really know where I was heading but the end goal was home.

I decided to put on the Lumineers album and for the next 30 minutes, drove past Yorkdale, down the Allen to Eglington, singing and crying loudly in the car. (I laugh about it now but at the time I was really feeling at a loss and wondering what to do with my life.) 

I don’t have those days very often but they happen. I get anxiety about all kinds of things and get down and into a dark¬†place every now and then. It’s hard to manage sometimes and those days I find it really hard to be an ‘internet person’. I don’t feel like sharing or putting on a smile, pretending everything is ok.


I’ve written 10+ posts over the years titled ‘Sometimes I Don’t Feel Like It‘ when I don’t want to blog anymore. Writing through it helps me deal. ¬†I like going back to read them when I get in a¬†mood and it helps me know it’s ok to feel that way and I’ll be ok.

A couple of my favourites are #1 from 2010 and #2 from 2011. 


I’ve wanted to quit a bunch of times and each time, when I push through whatever it is I’m feeling, and don’t give up, something good happens.¬†


After I finally got home from my 2.5 hour tour of the city, I rode my bike over to yoga for a popup Sandy was hosting. It was the turning point. I had a mini massage, brows done, tarot card reading, wrote some postcards, and got a beautiful bouquet w/ pink & yellow peonies to bring home.

We left for the cottage shortly after. The next day, I spent a good chunk of time outside doing yard work w/ Sean, enjoying the sunshine, making food, and laughing together. It was the reset I needed.

Today I felt totally¬†renewed and open to anything that came my way. I’ve found that if I don’t have time to rest my mind, body, and thoughts, I can’t even deal with anything.¬†I also really enjoy my alone time. It helps me recharge.

Writing about my anxiety was inspired by an email I got last week about an event on Wednesday w/  Kayley Reed & Wear Your Label.

This isn’t a sponsored thing, I was inspired because Wear Your Label is about ending the stigma around mental illness and May is Meltal Health Month. Honestly, it’s pretty easy to act all smiley for Instagram or whatever but I’m a real human with feelings and the world only sees my life when the sun is out.¬†Sean sometimes says I use all my sunshine up on the internet and he gets the salty version of me. (I’m sorry babe!)


So,¬†here’s an official invite from me to you. The event is at Wednesday 6-8:30pm at Joe Fresh on Queen/Portland and hosted by Wear Your Label. You get 25% off regular priced stuff and one of the exclusive collab hats w/ purchase (see above, all the feels). 50% of the sales will be donated to the Canadian Mental Heath Association in support of mental health in Canada.

I’d love to hug some new and/or familiar faces and share some sunshine with you. The¬†FB event is here.¬†


Most of all, I want to remind you that if you have anxiety or you feel like you can’t even deal anymore or deal one day, remember that it will pass. And it WILL get better. Mum says that’s when you probably need to go and take a nap (and she is usually right!)

I remind myself all the time, the hardest part is THROUGH but YOU CAN DO IT. And you will. And you will be awesome at it.

P.S. It’s also totally ok to drive around loud cry singing to yourself. It actually felt pretty good. This is the song where the title comes from/one I was singing to.¬†

 

Don't give up on yourself, you're stronger than that.


 
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Let Success Be Your Noise

Had a great morning yoga session today. Feeling energized and have a jam packed day ahead. Saturday I’m going to Jamaica for a week. It’s the first time in years I’m going on a vacation-vacation that isn’t work. YAY!

I’m travelling with @Lovesey as his guest and we’re gonna have SO MUCH FUN. We did Route 66 last year with Arizona Tourism then went hiking Sedona together. It was magical. Really looking forward to hot sun, beaches, and the food! ūüáĮūüá≤

Posted the image below¬†in my IG Story the other day and wanted to share here. Got a message from someone after posting who said it was just what they needed at the time. She mentioned theres a few people around her always shouting about their ‘success’, and I reminded her that’s often a sign they’re not really as successful as they seem.¬†Actions speak louder¬†than words and if you have success, it shows.

I’ve always thought it’s better to talk about things you’ve done rather than going off about things you plan to do. Talk is cheap, baby. I love sharing my work and life but you usually don’t know about something until it’s happened!

Work hard. stay humble. The race is long and in the end it’s only with yourself.

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Go All The Way

The last couple weeks have been kinda crazy for me, not just normal life and¬†‘blog stuff’ but I went out of my comfort zone and did a totally new work thing. I’ll share more on that but the point is, I learned a lot in¬†the process, new skills, and things about myself. At the beginning of the project I was really excited, then I got discouraged, ¬†followed by a wave of inspiration and creativity, then a breakdown. I thought about quitting, then got excited again, had some¬†stress, and well you get the point. It wasn’t easy but I made it through.

Sean was seriously so incredibly awesome dealing with me and encouraging me the whole time. He continued to remind me you have to work hard to get to the next level but it’s worth it. He says ‘You can do anything you put your mind to if you do the f&%king work.” I know I said this other day but, if you think about it, IT¬†IS SO DAMN TRUE.


You really CAN do anything, if you REALLY want to. You have to hustle you do something every single day to get closer to that goal. You can do anything!


Yesterday I turned 35 (where did the time go right?!) and I had a really great day.¬†I was thrilled to spend the day doing exactly what I want, with a clear head knowing I’m continuously evolving.

I’m not sure if you’ve ever seen this video but you should watch it. Sean showed it to me years ago and I go back and watch it to remind me why I do things, the struggle, the joy. I watch it for inspiration and to clear my head. It’s a¬†reminder¬†live each day on your¬†own terms. To do what you want. To go confidently in the direction of your¬†dreams and not let anything stand your¬†damn way!


¬†If you’re going to try, go all the way.

All The Way – a Charles Bukowski poem from Willem Martinot


‚ÄúIf you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery–isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And, you’ll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you’re going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It’s the only good fight there is.‚ÄĚ

‚Äē Charles Bukowski, Factotum


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You Can Achieve Anything You Want If You Work At It

I found this photo in a¬†box of tax receipts and it gave me such a warm feeling. I’m pretty sure mum has this costume still hanging up in a closet at home. When I was about 9 my jazz class did a competition number to the Inspector Gadget song and to this day I still remember some of it.

I spent heaps of time at the dance studio as a kid. I started ballet around 3 and a half, had my first recital at 5, and spent a few years competing. I went all over Ontario, NY, and the National American Dance Championships in South Carolina a couple times.

First ballet Recital, 5 years Old, Fluffy Cloud


I distinctly remember times ballet was hard. Sometimes I hated it. I’d be crying after class,¬†begging mum to let me quit. But she never did. And thank god for that.

Although it was tough, dance taught me so much.

It taught me hold my head high when I walk, how to enter a room, how to be on stage. I learned to not give up.

I’m so thankful for the decade I spent dancing as kid. For my teacher Miss Lisa at Meyerhofer¬†Academy in Cambridge. I’m grateful for¬†mum who taught me to persevere¬†through all the tough times. Also thankful for all the¬†late nights, mum¬†sat at the kitchen table making ballet skirts for the studio to pay for it.

As I get older ,I appreciate more and more the hard work I put in when I was younger. This week Emily and I signed up for Tae Kwon Do. It’s her first go and my first time back in 20 years. [Side note: WHERE DID THE TIME GO, HOW AM I THAT OLD?]¬†


TDK is another thing I spent a few years doing that taught me so much.  I have my green belt, won an Ontario trophy for 3rd in sparring, and once broke a guys jaw with a roundhouse kick.

Before signing up this week I inquired¬†about it twice over the last year and I’m glad I finally did it. Even after all these years, the five tenants of Tae Kwon Do have never left my memory.

Explanation of Tenets

1. Courtesy (Ye Ui)

2. Integrity (Yom Chi)

3. Perseverance (In Nae)

4. Self-Control (Guk Gi)

5. Indomitable Spirit (Baekjul Boolgool)


I’ve been working hard at yoga the last couple months and I feel so much stronger in ¬†my muscles and my mind. I’m not sure if I’ve lost many lbs but I’ve for sure made some muscle and lost some of that muffin ’round the middle.

This post is a reminder: Don’t give up. When something is hard you have to push through to¬†get to the next level. It’s like playing a really hard video game, and working hard to beat The Boss, and make it to the next level.

When you get there, it’s always worth it. And you can do it again.


Have a great weekend, 

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This week felt like¬†a long one and it’s finally Thursday. As Keri would say, “Best night of the week!”. Tonight I’m heading to my BFFs house out of the city and tomorrow we rented a sweet hotel room in a random Ontario¬†town, not too far, for a well deserved girls getaway.

Sometimes when I look back at my story of the day, on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, or Facebook, my short term memory forgets things even happen. This was the case a few times this week. I started the week slow, was super tired, and had a sore shoulder from an awkward sleep on Sunday.


Tuesday I spent most the day dragging my a$$ through the motions, but, by the end of the day I was so inspired I couldn’t sleep! I was a judge at the Women in Wearables Tech Meetup¬†for the Female Founders Cup. ¬†It was ¬†great to be surrounded by incredibly amazing women¬†making waves in the tech community. You can watch¬†the livestream here if you’re looking for some inspiration.¬†


Women & Wearables: An evening of celebration, discussion & activism


Wednesday seems like a blur. Did yoga at 7:30 then drove home, picked up Emily and took her to school. Shawn Hawaii came over for quick head shot shoot around 9am and by 10:30, Sean and I we were heading to 1188. The rest of the day was non-stop and by 9:30pm I was finally ready to sit down and do things on my computer.

I am SOOOOO looking forward to a 2 night getaway with my BFF and a s-l-o-w pace. I love what I do but life is exhausting and I’ve had to teach myself¬†to take breaks.¬†Also, I can’t wait till we open the cottage and my regular weekend escape from the city is back in action. Cottage life, baby!

Here’s to the balance of hustling hard then taking time chill!

casiestewart, blog, blogger, toronto, canada, travel, tech

 

There is no sponsor today but I found the inspiration for my title from this (Brainy) quote.
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