CAMP WAS SO MUCH FUN! TWO ISLANDS WEEKEND 2017!

At the start of September, Lauren O’Nizzle (my bff) and I packed the car with all our gear and hit the road to Camp Timberlane in Haliburton for Two Islands Weekend.  Imagine, 250 campers, mostly 30-40, sleeping in cabins, eating in a mess hall, doing group activities, and an open bar for the entire weekend. It was so much fun!

The organisers invited me early in the summer to come to camp as a guest and my email reply was something like ‘OMG YES I WANT TO COME OMG‘. I went to camp as a kid but this place sounded legit amazing. There were heaps of activities like Beyonce Dance Class, archery tag, dance party, karaoke, talent show, jazzercize, movies, camp sing-a-long, and heaps more.


We were a bit of a situation when we arrived. Both of us were super excited after the 3hr drive, parked the car, and walked down the big hill past everyone, wearing huge sunglasses, city clothes, and more luggage than two people need for a weekend. We were so extra, haha! 

Attention everyone, we’re heeeeeere!

For our first event, Welcome Drinks, we wore matching INTERNET sweaters by Shelfies from a shoot with Becca Lemire a few years back. Everyone stared at us like we were weird but we didn’t care. We ARE weird! And matching outfits were part of our weekend plan! Also duh, internet is our jam!


I don’t know what I was expecting but it was totally a real camp! There were about 8 girls in our cabin and we slept in stacked bunks. We made heaps of new friends and had so many laughs the whole weekend. The organizers did an amazing job of wrangling everyone to and from activities and meals. Thank you!


On the last night, there was a talent show followed by a dance party. I really pulled out all the stops and busted some fire 🔥 moves on that dance floor. It felt so good to just let go, I even left my phone in the cabin. I wish there was a video of my dance solo to ‘Single Ladies’ because I drew a crowd and they all cheered after. It was so much fun. I love dressing up and busting moves!

Aside from all the drinks, new friends, sing yelling, hangovers, AND losing my voice, the best part was the environment. They have a zero-tolerance policy for hate, discrimination, or bad vibes, everyone was accepted. When we first arrived I had a flashback of high school like ‘omg, they’re gonna hate us‘, but that never happened! Everyone was so incredibly nice and fun. It was something truly magical. 

They were also super accommodating of different diets and allergies, offering vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and allergy-specific foods. There was no shortage of snacks and the food was good. Special thanks to Great Lakes Brewery for ALL the beers I drank, love you! 🍻


Thank you so much to the team for having us as your guests. We had an incredibly memorable time. I would love to make Two Islands Weekend an annual thing and go back to see the camp crew.

I highly recommend texting this post to your BFFs and getting on the list for 2018 tickets.  

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Audible.ca launches w/ Margaret Atwood + Elisabeth Moss Reading Handmaid’s Tale

Last week was full of adventure! On Wednesday morning I was at Union Station for the launch announcement of audible.ca where Margaret Atwood spoke and Elisabeth Moss read from Handmaid’s Tale.

My fav moment was when Atwood was talking about Handmaid’s Tale and said ‘there’ll be no makeup in the dystopian future, WORST!‘. I didn’t expect that from her, she’s the best! I showed up just before it started and jumped into one of the last media seats. I love the opportunity to do this stuff! I took the UP Train from Bloor (near my house) and was there in about 10min.

Audible is an Amazon company (love Amazon!) and their Canadian programming includes 100 new titles from Canadian authors in (Eng & Fr), original programs, lectures, and comedy.

There’s a whole bunch of books on Audible read by celebrities including Samuel L. Jackson reading Adam Mansbach’s “Go the F— to Sleep”, Anne Hathaway reading L. Frank Baum’s ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’, Naomi Watts  reading ‘Summer‘ by Edith Wharton, Kim Basinger reading ‘The Awakening’ by Kate Chopin, and Dustin Hoffman reading ‘Being There‘ by Jerzy Kosinski.

I love that you can listen to familiar voices. Don Katz, CEO of Audible, said they hope to be the largest employer of actors in Hollywood.  That’s a lofty goal but possible I reckon. Maybe I’ll read one someday!

Later in the day a bunch of media peeps boarded a branded Audible train to Montreal. They hooked us up with Audible swag and iPod Touches charged, and loaded with books. After about an hour on the train, I went into the last car, behind us to find a full-on charcuterie spread w/ full bar, candy, popcorn, coffee, shrimp, and more. It was fantastic! The fanciest train ride of my life!

I grabbed my computer and sat back there for a while. A special edition of The Handmaid’s Tale read by Claire Danes is free for a month and I listened to 12 chapters on the train!


Ontario is so beautiful, taking the train is pretty rad. There’s wifi, food, drinks, and great views.

audible_blog3, le labo, montreal

We stayed at the Queen Elizabeth Montreal and they have Le Labo! My fav is Santal 33. I asked for extra lotion! 🙋🏼


Sign up for your first 30 daysmembership here, exchange any book you don’t like, and access 24/7 Customer Service. Listen to Claire Danes read The Handmaid’s Tale here.  

Thank you Audible.ca for taking me on this adventure. I can’t believe Gracie, Daniel, Julio and I didn’t get a photo together!

I absolutely love my Kindle and am looking forward adding  Audible to my reading routine.

THIS WAS SO FUN! COOL OPPORTUNITY! TO BE WORKING AND  PAID TO TRAVEL, HANG OUT WITH FRIENDS, AND WRITE ABOUT IT.

THIS IS MY LIFE OMG. SO COOL!

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Speaking in New Orleans + Cute Dress from Studio Fitzroy

Cambridge represent!

Last week I flew to New Orleans to speak at a conference, first talk outside Canada. Woo hoo! It was also my first time in NOLA! I’m heading back to New Orleans in November for a week vacation w/ some friends. I was booked via my agency, the National Speakers Bureau, I’ve been with them for about 2 years now. Check out my NSB profile here.

My talk was ‘Get Trending: Building Campus Engagement with Digital Media and it went great! Conference attendees stuck around for half an hour after to chat, take selfies, and ask questions. I get a little nervous/excited in the 5min before I go on stage, then, once I get going it’s over before I know it. The Q&A at the end is always my favourite part.

I even met someone from who was from my hometown in Cambridge, Ontario. Hi David!

The hotel was right beside the Superdome and U2 played while I was there. I was tucked away in my room putting finishing touches on my preso so didn’t make it over.

The view was pretty cool and the Superdome photo was taken from one of the huge glass hotel elevators.



I wore the cutest little, crushed velvet dress by For Love & Lemons from Studio Fitzroy. I loved it!

They have heaps of beautiful new dresses for rent, you’ll love it.
Visit shopfitzroy.com to scroll the gowns or your dreams.

studio fitzroy, dress rentals, casiestewart, speaker, blogger, fitzroy boutique


Took a little walk around the hotel early Friday before I got ready to hit the stage. It was so warm and sunny. There was a Starbucks inside the Hyatt, so convenient! I imagine that happens a lot in the USA. I wasn’t sure if conference attendees knew I was a speaker or not but I definitely had a *different* style.

I got heaps of positive feedback from organizers and attendees. I absolutely love being on stage and speaking about something I love, THE INTERNET!

Feeling refreshed! Here’s to a great week!

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

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Bonjour! In Montreal for a Hot Minute ✈️👋🏼🇨🇦

Spent the day w/ Audible taking the train to Montreal. I listened to Claire Danes read The Handmaids Tail. Feeling pretty exhausted and will be up early for a 6am flight back to Toronto. I fly to New Orleans at noon. 


Ordered a pizza. It was ok. The hotel is really beautiful. Stayed here in 2015 and they’ve really made some beautiful design changes since! 

They have Le Labo products and you can bet I asked for an extra couple lotions! My fav scent from Le Labo is Santal 33, it’s amazing!

XO Montreal! Have a great day! 

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I love to travel and have been jet setting round the world since my first NZ/Hawaii trip when I was 2. When I was a kid mum was adamant about us collecting Aeroplan miles on those long trips and we’ve since redeemed a bunch towards other trips and non-flight rewards. I’m currently saving up money and racking up miles on my Aeroplan Visa to go visit my family in New Zealand.

However, with the latest contest from Aeroplan, you and I could be there in a heartbeat, WITH an entourage!  

Aeroplan has announced a new contest where they’re giving away 1 MILLION MILES A WEEK for 5 weeks. This is their biggest giveaway ever and honesty, a life changer for each person who wins.

Do you have any idea how many things you can do with miles like that?!

Take 20 girlfriends to Hawaii in for Economy Class

Take your 8 fav rellies to Paris,
ride bikes, and eat baguettes by the Eiffel Tower

 

Be the best bae ever and take your one true love
on a FIRST CLASS trip around the world.

Fly Premum Economy to Dubai w/ 7 friends

OR YOU take 40 trips in Economy from TO to LA
(or Toronto to Vancouver)

Me in Venice Beach driving a convertable this year!


How to Enter?!

Aeroplan wants to know where your Aeroplan miles have taken you and the amazing memories you’ve created. Show and tell a little bit about your adventure by posting photos, videos, and stories and tag them #withAeroplan on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.  Each post is a chance to win 1 of 5 prizes of 1 million miles.

For more information and rules/regs on the Aeroplan Memories Worth MIllions contest visit this page on aeroplan.com.  If you’re curious about how many miles you need to take your dream trip, there’s a chart right here.

And finally, if you win I can be packed and ready to take a trip with you anywhere anytime! 

 

 

 

This post is proudly in partnership w/ Aeroplan

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I Loved The Eclipse <P>🌖🌗🌘🌑🌒🌓🌔

I loved every minute of that magical experience. 

Powerful day for connection and setting goals. I went to the gym this morning and caught the sunrise. Checked a bunch of things off my list at the office and watched the eclipse with the 1188 team. We got to Best Buy Yonge Dundas last night *just* in time to get a couple pairs before they ran out. There was a pretty big lineup and they were selling them at the counter 1 per person for $1.50.


I set intentions for things I want to bring into my life and habits I’m working to change. Very powerful day. Sharing a couple updates from Amy (@lesbest) below.


MAKE THE MOST OF EACH DAY!

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Yes, I am Still At The Cottage

But I’m starting to get cabin fever. I’m ready to come home. It’s been about two weeks up here and mostly just Sean and I here together. I’m so looking forward to friends, events, a conference, and my good blue shampoo. (If you are blonde, you’ll understand! My hair is yellow!) I also really need a manicure. Today I screamed at a chipmunk that startled me, like a total crazy woman. I want a Starbucks. I got a couple new bug bites taking out the garbage this morning (it comes on Mondays) and I just about lost my shit. Enough damn bugs! The views are beautiful but everyone has a breaking point. Sean and I cooked a great surf & turf BBQ last night w/ aglio olio (Italian pasta). Then we had a dip in the hot tub and watched a beautiful sunset.

But I’m still ready to come home. Tomorrow Lauren and I are attending an entrepreneurship conference that includes an aerial yoga class. So fun! I’ve got a media preview at the Spoke Club after then a Sweat yoga class. I miss yoga. I’m not as good as I would like to be at self-starting a practice on my own up here. I do at home! I don’t know what it is about the cottage that makes me so lazy and eat all the snacks, I guess that’s what they call ‘relaxing’.

I sent an RSVP for a TIFF event this morning and I am really getting excited about it. I’ve been doing TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) for about 10 years now and it’s fun. The city is so alive! The first couple days are the best and I love media day before the official opening. I’m going away to adult summer camp (Two Islands) on the opening weekend of the festival this year. I don’t mind missing a couple festival days for camp, I’ve done it so many times and the best parties are the first few days anyway. I’ll still catch a few films and see all my favourite media darlings.

Ok, gonna make the most of the day and take a break from scrolling while I can. Have a great day! Back in the city tomorrow and can’t wait!

With love from beautiful Muskoka,

 

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VACATION MODE ✔️

This week has been super chill so far. Tuesday was Sean’s birthday and we’ve been taking it pretty easy. The weather called for rain but it’s been absolutely beautiful every day! I finished a great book by Jill Dodd, the founder of ROXY called The Courage of Love. I don’t read many memoirs but the story was so good, I couldn’t put it down. Highly recommend!

My friend and her BF were up over the weekend. We had so much fun. They were getting ready to leave and I was like ‘omg we haven’t even taken one selfie!’. The sign of a good ol‘ analogue good time!

Ordered this Bardot top and shorts from SheIn recently and we had a mini portrait shoot on the dock. Love it.

What a babe! Love this set on her. Get it here.

Tonight we had our first sunset cocktail in the hot tub together. It was so nice. This week has been really relaxing, long days of reading books, scrolling, boast rides, simple meals, alone time, silence, and naps. Finally started Ozark on Netflix too, good show.

Kim Crawford cocktail recipe – KC white wine, watermelon juice, soda water, fresh fruit. Devine!


 

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The Flight Pack Kickstarter is LIVE!

I love travel and as you know am always on the go. My next trips (aside from the cottage) are Two Islands Weekend and a speaking gig in New Orleans. Travelling all the time means I almost always only take carry-on and keep my tech accessories/toiletries to a minimum. Seeing people who haven’t packed things up properly or don’t have their things organized at airport security is a pet peeve.

Gloria, one of my friends and long time blogging babe created something to solve this problem, THE FLIGHT PACK. They’re almost half funded and only launched today, congrats girl!


The Flight Pack is a travel bag that’s meticulously designed to keep your essentials the way you want it.

  • Minimal: We decided less is definitely more. The Flight Pack has a simple, sleek silhouette created for a hassle-free experience at the airport.
  • Modular: Carefully designed to keep your travel essentials organized your way with a removable vanity panel and detachable compartments that snap in and out of the bag.
  • Durable: Well made for people on the move – this is not the kind of bag you’ll want to replace anytime soon. This bag is simple to clean, and builds character over time.

The Flight Pack launches on Kickstarter TODAY and they’ve got some great options available including the EARLY BIRD for $85 CAD which includes 1 product and you save $55 off future retail cost ($140), with free shipping worldwide.

CHECK OUT THE KICKSTARTER


Gloria is an awesome human, you might recognize her from the last couple GIVING BACK VIBES lunches we cooked up at Evangel Hall.


Love supporting friends doing cool things.
If you have a cool side-hustle or project on the go, lmk!

 

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Into the Wild! We’re Going on an Airstream Adventure Next Week!

I can’t believe it’s almost time! Wanted to do this for as long as I can remember! A couple months ago I received an email from GoRving Canada about going on an RV adventure and documenting my trip. It was like the universe was responding! So, over the last while we’ve been working out the details and next week it’s happening.

Sean, Embot, and I will be picking the Airstream up from London, ON, staying in Grand Bend for a night, then travelling around Ontario for 5 days. I’ll be sharing more about the trip at we get closer to the date and on the road.

This is the plan. ⬇️ I’ve never stayed over in Algonquin so we’ll be parking the airstream and spending a night there. Next, we head up to Deep River so Sean can show us where he grew up. I went camping with my parents at Sandbanks Park as a kid so we’ll be spending a night there too.


If you have any tips about travelling via airstream or RV, please let me know!

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Showin’ Her the Ropes! Girls Trip to Vancouver, British Columbia ✈️

It’s just after 10om in Vancouver and I’ve been up since 5:30am EST. Emily and I have been travelling all day. It’s been pretty great! This is her first trip alone with me and it’s her first media trip ever. Tomorrow we’re on location with Subway Canada visiting Windset Farms for a planting & picking day while we enjoy beautiful British Columbia. We landed here about 11:30 PST and she was swimming in the hotel pool by 12:30.

Seeing how far we’ve travelled today, her first time in Western Canada


Since it’s our first trip together, I wanted to make it special. Instead of doing touristy things, I shared a few of my favourite activities to do on a media trip the day before our scheduled activities.  Travel can be exhausting and there’s nothing I really love more than sitting in a hotel room, having room service, and working away on my computer recharging my batteries.

Here’s what we got up to today! Safe to say she said things like “we have the best lives” and “we’re queens“.


I love to put my feet up and get into a nice robe.

Room service!

Soak up some sun in the salt water pool!

Living the dream w/ chicken fingers and fries!

Rent a hotel movie to watch before bed! Zzzzzzzz


Looking forward to tomorrow! We’ll be at the farm at 9am for a day of fun and to see where Subway harvests vegetables for locations across the country. I made a storyboard on the plane ride here to direct the video we’re creating. It’s gonna be great! Follow along on Instagram Stories or Twitter.

In the afternoon we’ll be back at the hotel for some pool, and Friday night room service + movies in bed before heading home Saturday. My hope for this trip is to leave her with some great memories and good travel habits. Ok, I might be setting her up for ‘fancy’ travel habits but there’s nothing wrong with starting that young!

OK, Boss Baby is almost over, time for bed!

I’m not a regular mum, I’m a cool mum!

 

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Great Week Ahead!

En route back to the city after a v chill time at the cottage this weekend. I took a bunch of naps and spent hours reading. I’m at so it’s important to recharge your batteries.  I like to take breaks from my phone and totally zone out. It was pretty windy/cool out so we’ve not started on the outdoor yard work (hence the naps/📚). Cottage life is great but it is also a lot of work!

 

Last week I wasn’t feeling super great or inspired but the cottage cured me and I’m so ready to make this week awesome.

It’s finally spring and each week is nicer than the one before. 

I’m looking forward to a couple events I’ll be covering this week. Emily and I are doing Tae Kwon Do and I’m liking it. Feels good to be back in a uniform after being away from martial arts for…oh y’know, 20 YEARS! I book my yoga classes at the start of the week and try not to miss them as things get busy, hopefully I make them all. Threw some SPIN in the mix too!

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Escape to Free Your Mind

This winter I didn’t  travel as much as last year because things kept coming up. So, my bff and I decided we needed a local getaway that was short and fun. Like us, haha! 

On Friday we drove about an hour to our hotel, shopping and getting food along the way. Our penthouse suite looked like a grandmas apartment from the 80’s but we had all the things we needed to make it fun. I was so into to our own party I didn’t even photograph the place. I hardly used my phone at all and didn’t update anything about where we were to the internet. It was kinda nice.

Sometimes you just need to ESCAPE!

We walked to a Mexican place for dinner, treated ourselves to the best tequila, and had a dance party on the balcony. It was perfect.


I absolutely did not wear the right shoes. They were soaked!


In other news, I was really excited to go to the cottage today but both Sean and I have things we need to get done at the house. Going up there makes me so incredibly happy and it’s the most beautiful place. I’ve got a list of DIY things I want to do and make. It is a lot of work but I look forward to it every year, cleaning, putting in the dock, getting the boat, doing the gardens. I also can’t wait to get back on my paddle board!


Today, I’m off to yoga and then a manicure before I knuckle down on food and work prep for the week.

Feeling great about spring, longer days, and warmer temperatures.

Take the sunshine wherever you go! 



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Bueno Has an Awesome Trip Giveaway Right Now. ✈️ You Should Enter!

I spent a while going through all my travel posts to write this one. I love adventure and travel, going places and discovering new things. It makes me feel alive. I’m in a constant state of ‘where and I going next?!’.

Heard about the Bueno Getaway contest and had to tell you about it. Aside from winning an amazing trip, you will probably get some chocolate! I’ve loved Bueno since I was a kid, the soft, creamy, hazelnut goodness just melts in your mouth.

You should enter, the prize is a trip to one of 15
incredible places in the world valued at $8,500.

I’d so love to visit all the great places on the Bueno Getaway:   Paris, Cape Town, TokyoBuenos Aires, Nairobi, Goa, Xi’an (Terracotta Army), Lisbon, Moscow,  Lima, Santiago. I’ve been to the North American destinations Austin, TX, NYC, and Tulum.

There’s 3 easy steps to enter the contest: 

  1.  Pick your continent

  2. Choose your destination

  3. Enter your PIN

 Take the Bueno Quiz to Find Out Your Dream Destination

It’s my dream to one day visit Marrakesh, Morocco. The winning trip there is described so beautifully, totally sounds like my kind of adventure.

Marrakesh, Morocco:Living on the edge, everything for the moment, a walking “yolo”: these are just a few ways to describe your philosophy on life. (Right?!!!) Funny enough, they are also a few ways to describe the culture of Marrakesh. Your adventure could start in the ancient Medina Market, overwhelmed by craftsmen and artists. It could continue in Ville Nouvelle, where you’d explore dinner featuring flavours you never dreamed existed. There is only one constant in Marrakesh: beautiful unpredictability.

A Few of My Fav Trips

Travelling gives you a feeling you can’t get anywhere else, it takes you places physically but also mentally, it opens your mind to new experiences, people, and food. These are a few of my favourite recent trips, missing from this group are Costa Rica and New Zealand.



My next trip is somewhere warm for a real vacation and then a couple days in NEW YORK CITY for work.

Remember you are never younger than you are right now so make the most of each day. I would say buy the ticket and take the trip but in this case…

P.S. If you win and need someone to go with, I’m here!

 

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