Tech | #SeizeTheKeys! ☀️🌴 I’m Heading Down to Florida!

Well, it’s just starting to cool down and I’ve got something warm and exciting to share… on Sunday I’m going to the Florida Keys! I’m heading down with Florida Tourism and a couple other blog friends.

I’ll be documenting my experience on Facebook (w/ Live!), Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram. I can’t WAIT to see what we’re doing. I got a heads up that we’ll be Night Boarding, which is stand up paddle (SUP) on board that are LIT. I love my SUP board so stoked for this

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I’ve had the Beach Boys song Kokomo in my head all week. (There used to be a bar in the Keys called Kokomo!) I’ve also looked up famous movie scenes filmed there and this one is on my to-do list haha.

Have you been to the Florida Keys?

Any recos of what we should do there?

LMK!

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I first met with Telus PR in 2009, since we’ve done some amazing things together. Back then, ‘influencer marketing’ was something for celebrities (Paris, Britney, Beyonce) and I was still working at Much/MTV.

Since then, Telus and I have done some really fun things together like mobile updates from around the world, scaling a building, building a garden, and donating to charities. Last year, TELUS created #TeamTelus Advocates, an official group of influencers across Canada to help them spread Telus vibes across the country through community involvement, sharing experiences, and talking about tech.

I’m happy to share I’m on the 2016/17 team w/ a bunch of great Canadians!

I’ve got a few stories planned over the next couple months including getting my dad set up his first android, travel packages (I’m away most of October!!) AND MY NEW iPHONE 7+! OMG, I can’t wait to get my new phone and take that camera on adventures.


Check out some of the #TeamTELUS Advocates below, see full list here.

In case you missed the videos we did this year, check out the Mother’s Day one below and scroll a little bit more to see my excited face after scaling down Toronto City Hall at the Rope for Hope for Make-A-Wish Foundation the year before.

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Make-A-Wish Rope for Hope w/ Telus

Make-A-Wish Rope for Hope w/ Telus


Recently, I wrote about my love for the Telus mobile network when we’re up at the cottage,screen-shot-2016-09-19-at-8-39-38-pm I seriously have the best service up there. Next week I’m joining the Toronto team for The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup. October 1st 1pm, Beaches, Toronto. Details here if you want to join me!

Thanks for following my adventures, and since a lot of updates come from my phone or via mobile wifi, we really Telus to thank for keeping us connected.

I’m excited to share adventures and stories with you this year. Next trip announcement coming soooooooon, there will be 🌴🌴🌴🌴🌴!

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Weekend Roadtrippin’ w/ Enterprise CarShare

Last weekend I had my first Enterprise CarShare experience. I applied for a membership a couple weeks before, then downloaded the app for iPhone, logged in using my Member ID, and started browsing cars and dates.  In my experience it’s nice to have a small car for city driving that’s convenient to park and good on gas.

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Mini Countryman booked w/ Enterprise Carshare App

Once my car was booked in the app I was ready to roll. I scheduled pickup for Friday at noon and arrived at the pickup location shortly after. Tapped my card on the windshield sensor and it was unlocked. Spent the afternoon running errands in Queen West then popped over to visit my sister in the Beaches. It took a few tries to get used to locking and unlocking the car but it was a breeze overall (instead of using the power locks you tap your member card to the windshield sensor). View Post

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The 8th Wonder of the World, Beautiful Niagara, Ontario

When I was growing up, visiting Niagara Canada was something we did a few times a year. My parents are from New Zealand, so the wonder of the falls and all that surrounds them was something we wanted to show ALL overseas visitors.

Now that I’m a grownup, (yay adulting!) I’m looking to visit for a nice relaxing weekend of togetherness. A few years ago we went to Niagara for vacation and it was so fun driving around and discovering new things. There’s heaps of attractions in the Niagara Region, so I’m making a list of fun, couple stuff we can do together. It’s a great getaway that’s not too far from anyone living in Ontario or just over the USA border. 🚙  Road trip time! 

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This month, Niagara Canada is stating their claim as The 8th Wonder of the World. The region has so much to offer – it’s truly one of mine and Sean’s fav places to escape for romantic couples getaway. 💘  And of course, those falls are a massive 176 feet with 150,000 gallons of water crashing down per second, now that truly IS a wonder.

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Fun Couples Things to Do In Niagara, Ontario

🌘 Nightlife – I really love casino carpets and stage shows so we definitely want to pop over to the Fallsview Casino Resort and check out one of their amazing presentations. We both love theatre so I would love to attend the Shaw Festival. They’ve got a bunch of packages that include dinner and a show. The 2016 playbill features Alice in Wonderland!  I would also be down to check out Yuk Yuk’s for a few good LULZ; or one of the many shows at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre

🍝  Food – Narrowing down a few choice places to eat is hard, there are so many options! I’m looking at The Rainbow Room by Massimo Capra21 Club Steak & Seafood at Fallsview Casino Resort, and Windows by Jamie Kennedy Fresh Grill and Winebar which serves farm-to-table. Wellington Court in St. Catharines is another spot I really want to check out – and get all dressed up with my guy for a fancy date night!

I love visiting farmers markets when we’re in cottage country so before heading home I want to visit one of the MANY farmers’ markets and maybe pick up a couple pies from The Pie Plate.

❤️ Romantic Adventure – I would love to take a helicopter ride over the falls with Sean – a great chance to cozy up up to my honey and take in the beautiful views from up above!   I’ve seen some amazing photos and although it might be kinda scary, I’ll do it for the ‘gram. You can also take a Whirlpool Aero Car, aka. antique cable car over the Niagara River. 

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🍷Wineries – The Jackson-Triggs Winery has a summer concert series and their amphitheatre looks beautiful. I’ve never experienced the wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake (NOTL) and Twenty Valley so I’m definitely planning to check out a few.  If you’re looking for a wine tour, there are numerous companies in Niagara that do this and you can find them here. Some highlights include Crush on Niagara Wine ToursGrape Escape Wine ToursGrape & Wine Niagara Tours and Niagara Vintage Wine Tours. Now Twenty Valley is little bit off the beaten path, but I’ve heard it’s well worth it. Not only is it where half of Niagara Canada’s wineries live but it also has the most beautiful escarpment views! For a full list of Twenty Valley wineries click here.

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💆🏼 Relaxation – I would love to have a relaxing day at some of the amazing beaches along the North shore of Lake Erie in Niagara’s South Coast. Earlier this year we visited Cabo and Costa Rica. On the last day of each trip I arranged for us both to have massages, such a nice way to wind down before returning to work. There are SO MANY spas in Niagara.  I’ve always wanted to go to  100 Fountain at Pillar & Post and depending where we stay I’ll look into other services.


For more info on our 8th Wonder of the World, right here in Ontario, check out visitniagaracanada.com. On Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram follow @Visit_Niagara. If you’ve got recos for romance or other fun things, please LMK!

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Brought to you by Niagara Canada and The Co.

 

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Being Your Own Boss Has Its Perks – Cottage Workation!

This week we are working form the cottage.☀️😎✌🏼  I find I’m really productive up here. It’s a nice mix of working hard, writing, and taking breaks, snacks, and naps.

I usually spend the day writing and doing blog biz things then after 2pm, I go down to the dock, float in the lake, or read on my Kobo. I’m about to finish She’s Not There by Joy Fielding today. 📚📚 📚 This will be my 10th book since April, summer goals ✔️!!!

Today is Sean’s 40th birthday! I know, he looks so young, what a babe! I baked a layered red velvet cake yesterday for later and we opened presents this morning. We’ve got some friends joining us end of the week to celebrate together.

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Us at Disneyland in California a couple years ago 💘

If you’re following my Snapchat you’ll have seen these photos and the MASSIVE WATERMELON I got the other day. It’s seriously the biggest one I’ve EVER SEEN. I might cut into it this afternoon. 🍉🍉🍉

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In other news, SEAN GOT ME A CLAWFOOT TUB. I’m in love with it. It’s SO BIG. It’s not set up yet but it will be eventually. I’ve dreamed of having one of these and I’m absolutely over the moon. I sat in it, inside the garage for about 20 minutes yesterday, with no water. It’s MASSIVE!

Andrea Claw-Foot Tub With Silver Medici Feet

Sending you sunshine from cottage country, here’s to a great week!

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Cerulean Sea, Blue Skies, Boston Besties

This weekend in Boston was really fun. 🇺🇸 ✈️  The friends I was visiting totally surprised me and flew in a couple we both know from San Francisco, (who used to live in Boston). I totally screamed when they walked in the backyard! 💁 I love surprises and they totally hid this from me for the last week. THANK YOU BOB AND ELLEN ILU! 💘   They pulled together all my Boston BFFs and we had heaps of fun eating great food and lounging by the pool.

On Friday night we had dinner with Kristen (in photo) and from then till Sunday morning when I left I was smiling and laughing. I took a break from Snapchat and Pokemon to spend some real FACE TIME with my friends. It was great! It’s been 2 years since I saw any of the crew and some even longer! They always say I bring the sunshine and I totally did, it was an absolute perfect day on Saturday. ☀️🌊

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I got home last night after another great flight with Porter Airlines. I absolutely love flying Porter. I’m not 100% on my next vacation destination  *yet* but early August we are up at the cottage for 9 days and I can’t WAIT. It’s Sean’s birthday that week and last year we rented a Seadoo.

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Have a post-op appt with my surgeon today and hopefully everything is a-ok. Still recovering and in some pain. I’m really happy with the results tho, it’s the first time in my life I’ve been able to comfortable wearing a bathing suit top!

☀️ Here’s to a great week! ☀️

 

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Cottage Open, Spring is Finally Here! 

Had a great time at the cottage this weekend. The weather was fabulous! Spent some time reading my book in the sun yesterday between yard work.  There are heaps of leaves to rake, gardening, cleaning, etc.

Check my Snapchat story HERE for videos and the wonderful sounds of nature 😊

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Travel | My Digital Detox Diary on The Co.

I know I’ve Mentioned how great my last trip to Costa Rica was but was the first real vacation I’ve taken in a while. I’m feeling inspired and I’ve got a fresh perspective on life. I wrote about the experience on The Co. by Jones Media and it’s on the front page today! Read it here! 

Today I’m picking up a little Ford Fiesta and cruising home to spend some time with mum. Tomorrow I’m speaking to the grade 6-8 kids at her school about bullying and following your dreams. I wish i had someone like me come and tell me everything will be ok, it’s cool to be weird, and that the job I’d be doing didn’t exist yet.

Still eating healthy since my trip and exercising daily. About to go for a run! 🤗 It’s truly amazing what a good getaway will do, staying at Anamaya Resort is a magical experience. Here’s to a wonderful day!

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A photo posted by The Co. (@voiceoftheco) on

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Travel| Refreshed, Recharged from Yoga Retreat in Costa Rica!

I’m home. The last week has been so wonderful. I wrote down some thoughts about my Anamaya Resort/Costa Rica experience last night and it’s hard to explain it all in words, but I’m gonna try. Working on an article about my first real digital detox (SPOILER: it was awesome!), and posts about staying at Anamaya Resort, the yoga retreat, the INCREDIBLE food, activities, new friends, the circle (I’ll explain), the treehouse, and a style guide to packing light for jungle living.

One things is, Anamaya is an incredibly amazing place to go alone, with a family member, partner, or when you really need to hit the reset button on your life. After 7 days of gluten, dairy, and mostly sugar free free, with no red meat, heaps of fresh juice, tons of water, sunshine, and fresh warm air, I feel alive, and calm.

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Picked up groceries today and loaded up on healthy grains, coconut milk (instead of my usual lactose free), heaps of veggies, fruits (papaya and plantain too), and I’m going try and keep this way of life going. Made a new BFF and am hopefully going back to stay with her in Costa Rica in October.

Here’s to a wonderful week and *hopefully* spring like temperatures!

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Anamaya Resort – Welcome to the Jungle, Pura Vida!

Good morning from Anamaya Retreats in Costa Rica! Yesterday was our first full day here and it was magnificent. I’m really making an effort to take a digital detox on this trip but documenting is something I love. I’m running on wifi and often not able to connect with the online world. I’ve been taking photos, making notes, voice recordings, I wanna remember all my thoughts and feeling on this journey. It’s absolutely beautiful, photos don’t do it justice!

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Feels good to be back on the yoga mat too, I’ve been a bit slack this winter and this trip is like hitting the reset button. Our menu this week is all gluten free and local, Anamaya has a farm that we’re visiting Wednesday to see where a lot of our food comes from.

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We are staying in a treehouse that is 50ft up with a yoga/hammock deck, and a loft bedroom. It’s the most beautiful treehouse I’ve ever been into, it’s fully equipped a king size bed, drinkable running water, and AC. It’s giving us some good inspiration to build one at the cottage.

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This is My Life | Return on Enjoyment: Finding That Work-Life Balance

I find taking vacation or ‘staycations’ essential to my sanity. If you’re following my Twitter or Snapchat you’ll know that I’m always on the go doing something, events, speaking, dinner, travel. I love it, but tbh it’s pretty exhausting.  Putting heaps of energy out (friends, work, or social) can take a lot out of you. In a recent TD survey, they found that us millennials have a hard time finding balance between financial and work commitments, and taking time to relax is a challenge. I can totally relate to this.

TD found that 46% of millennials don’t take their allotted vacation days, mostly due to heavy workload (31%) and lack of travel funds (29%).  Back when I was working in an agency, I hardly ever took vacation, felt pressure to work late, and when I did take vacation, found myself constantly checking my phone and responding to emails. I know I’m not alone here!

The survey found, 90% of Canadian millennials agree that vacation time, even mini-vacations or “staycations”, are essential to keeping them happy. Taking time to recharge doesn’t have to be expensive, I find a good binge weekend with some cooking, takeout, and a nap (or two!) boosts me up. Having a financial plan and a budget will help you get that ROE – Return on Enjoyment. 😊

This weekend we opened the cottage, going there, even for a 24 hour getaway gives me leaps and bounds of energy. Don’t have a cottage? Make friends with someone who does (heh heh) or check out options like Airbnb or Glamping Hub for affordable getaways.

Millennials like us can save for activities by creating a financial plan to account for funding life’s pleasures (or unexpected moments). We could all use a little more vitamin SEA, amiright? 🏄 Other activities with good ROE – concerts, a spa day, beach day, a trip to Toronto Island, a picnic in the park with your BFFs, or a nice long bike ride in the sun. (Spring will be here soon!)

Getting to a happy work-life balance can be a bit of a challenge, Hellen Buttigieg, life coach and founder of We Organize U has a few tips we can all use. I personally like her mention of ‘relaxing’ looks different to everyone, sometimes blogging is a really relaxing things for me since I started it as a hobby and I love writing. Other times, it feels like work and I’d rather do take a yoga class, nap, or go out for dinner.

  • – Millennials often set high expectations for themselves when it comes to professional advancement, but it’s important for them to recognize that taking time off can actually benefit their work life.
  • – Making time for yourself can help boost productivity and makes employees better equipped to handle challenging tasks, clients or colleagues.
  • – Maintaining a work-life balance is essential to one’s health and well-being – to avoid the anxiety that comes with leaving a heavy workload behind, book time off during slower periods and space out the days throughout the year.
  • – Relaxing also looks different to everyone – whether you want to invest in a new hobby that can be experienced time and again or plan a getaway, what’s essential is to take a break, refresh, and invest in some much needed time for yourself.

Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed or like you can’t afford a vacation, remember it all starts with a plan. Write down your goals, where you want to go, what you want to achieve, and set a budget to help you get there. If you need a hand getting that in order, stop into your local TD branch for helpful advice.

You 100% can get there. 👍

* this post is sponsored by TD in my ongoing partnership, all stories and opinions my own, see other posts in this series below!

Planning for Life’s Unexpected Moments w/ TD Canada 

TD Savvy Saver Quiz – Are Your Finances on Track?

 

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I’m pretty excited because today is one of my most fav days of the year, the day we open the cottage! 🙈👊🏼😎✌🏼️🙆🏼💃🏼💑✋🏼

We’re en route to Muskoka to see how it handled the winter and do some cleanup. It’s a fair bit of work but I take joy every moment. Being up there is so relaxing, the fresh air, lake, trees, country roads. It’s so calming.

Make sure you’re following me on the Snapchat 👻 for a little bit of cottage life.

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Travel | CO/NNECTED: Tech Travel Must Haves

I wrote about a few of my fav things, read it on The Co. here. I’ve got a few items I don’t leave the house without, this stuff is in my bag for work and long trips.  Gadgets & tech for a worldly adventure or a weekend getaway.

The Co’s travel and tech expert Casie Stewart shares the ultimate globe trotter’s guide to staying connected while abroad.
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  1. PureGear braided Apple 
  2. Belkin BOOST↑UP™ adapter
  3. This is Ground Cord Taco, Fitzy Cord Keeper
  4. Happy Plugs, Telus
  5. Rudsak Clutch

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Other things I never leave home without? Burt’s Bees original, a Sharpie, and a great pair of sunnies. Happy to share any other fag gadgets or travel apps. If you’ve got a question or something to share, leave a comment or tweet me @casiestewart.

Wishing you safe & happy travels!

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Travel | Win a Trip for 2 to Cabo w/ Sunwing & Los Cabos Tourism

I bet the beach sounds preeeeeeety good right now. This weekend Toronto is looking at some really cold temperatures, -15 to be exact. So, perfect time to daydream about being on a beach like I was a couple weeks ago.

Los Cabos Tourism and Sunwing Vacations sent a bunch of influencers to Cabo, there we documented our adventures, in food, fun, and nightlife.

Watch the video below and visit cabonow.ca to win a trip for two to Cabo! I wish you all good luck, you’ll love it!

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