DO IT FOR YOURSELF.  #JOMO

I read a great article on self-care yesterday about how it’s not all chocolate and bubble baths. Self-care is doing stuff for yourself like not going out, eating well, making time to exercise, and fighting through the hard crap like cleaning your room and doing your taxes. I finally did mine this year after more years than I care to admit. 

This Is What ‘Self-Care’ REALLY Means, Because It’s Not All Salt Baths And Chocolate Cake


In January I set out to take better care of myself and started regular yoga and since I’ve become stronger physically and mentally. I’ve carved out time in my life to do things FOR MYSELF and not be pressured to do things or go to things if I really don’t feel like it. Sure, I have missed out on fancy parties, previews but do I really care? No. I’ve gone to more parties and events in the last 10 years than some people will ever go to. I never feel FOMO when I scroll past familiar faces smiling or posting the perfect cheers in a Boomerang. I am all about the JOMO – THE JOY OF MISSING OUT. I love skipping things to go to yoga or leave early because I have something important t0 get to (aka yoga). Last winter I invested in creating a beautiful workspace for myself at home filled with smart lights, an air purifying fan, all the plants, and photos I’d been meaning to frame for years. I love staying home and there is nothing wrong with that. This is a reminder to you and myself to not feel bad for putting yourself first. If you don’t, who will? By taking care of myself, I free up room to do more and take care of others without feeling drained or worrying about things I need to get done.  This the winter my goal is to actually use my first ever gym membership.

Trying to live my best life, one day at a time. 

 


Original Post on JOMO 

Putting the JOY in JOMO

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Last night I was not feeling great. I wasn’t sick-sick but it had been a really busy day. My head was full of anxiety, my mind was racing, and I was feeling stressed TF out. I realised it’s easily been two weeks since my last yoga class and I can 100% feel a difference in my mental health when I stop going. So, I scheduled my smart lights to turn on at 7am and set my alarm. I planned to get a coffee but then realized I forgot my wallet in the car. Urgh! I didn’t let that stop me. I was the first one at class just as Sandy was putting on a pot of coffee. It all worked out. It felt so good to stretch and work up a sweat. I came home, took my vitamins, and had a new perspective on the day.

I work hard at being positive and sunshiney all the time. It’s not always easy but the more you give and share, the easier I find it is to be genuinely happy.

If you are having a hard time, or you feel like quitting, remember why you started. 

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Getting Involved  and Giving Back: War Child Canada + National Philanthropy Day

Last week I attended the What If Women Gala in support of War Child Canada. Since I was young volunteering has been something very important to me. In the last year, I’ve donated my time with Telus, served a few meals at Evangel Hall Mission, Movember Canada, Brands For Canada, and partnered with War Child Canada.

Aside from the gala being super fun, it was inspiring to hear stories of survival and celebrate the incredible accomplishments of women in attendance. I went with Deane from Veritas as an Ambassador for War Child. I rented this beautiful dress from Studio Fitzroy, my go-to place for great dresses.


I was jazzed to meet Margaret Atwood and Sarah McLaughlin. I loved that M. Atwood and her husband were both wearing Coogi Sweaters. When I complimented her on it she seemed surprised and pleased I recognized the Australian classic. I used to have one and it’s my most regretted piece of clothing I gave away. I think about that bright beautiful thing all the time and wonder where it might be. 

Photo Credit: Christopher Wahl


Over dinner, Chantal Kreviazuk performed with Sarah Mclaughlin and Ruth B. It was great. I love Ruth B.’s ‘Lost Boy’ and hearing her sing it live was amazing.  Dinner was also good. Deane and I had so many laughs together and I met some great people.

Photo Credit: Christopher Wahl


It’s truly amazing what we can do when we work together. Today on National Philanthropy Day, think about how you can give back to your community or online to an organization that matters to you. To support War Child Canada visit the website here.

If you need help getting involved and giving back, ask me! Happy to help!

 

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HO-HO-HO! Need a Holiday Jumper? I Got You!

I’ve been growing my collection of holiday sweaters for years. In honour of the holidays approaching and the ease of Amazon Prime, I’ve selected a few great holiday sweaters that you can order just in time to rock that holiday party. 

Called on Sean to model some of the sweaters I ordered. Photos were taken using portrait mode on the new iPhone 8 Plus and my new millennial pink seamless background.


Ho-Ho-Holiday Sweater Fun

All three of Sean’s sweaters are from Amazon, the Cash Business Wreath, Braaaaap, and Go Jesus. I also ordered the Stripper Silhouette which is on its way lol. If you’re looking for something a little more feminine, I’ve included a few crazy print holiday dresses you’ll be sure to dazzle a crowd in. 🤶🏼 Oh man, I can’t wait to bust all these out.


I love digging out my hidden stash of holiday sweaters that’s been tucked away. One of my all time favs that you can’t buy was a gift from Target Canada years ago (RIP Target Canada). It’s called the ‘Together Sweater” and fits two people. Sean and I only wore it once to a party and did not last in it all night. It’s wool and super hot but totally fun.

I love this stuff so much. Bring on the holiday cheer!

 

This post contains affiliate links!

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It was the day after Halloween, I’d been working from home, did some work, and took a nap. When I woke up I was in a hungry daze. Checked my calendar and I was so glad so glad to see this dinner because I love Mexican food and Marian invited me + I was really hoping we’d get to sit together.  On the Eve of Dia de los Muertos and I hung out with a bunch of bloggers and  Jarritos Canada eating Mexican food. The night was full of laughs and a delicious menu all washed down with Jarritos. My favourite flavours are grapefruit and mango for the record.


WATCH THE VIDEO

 


Shoutout to their photog Josh for the photos.↓ In this one,  I’d already posted something on my IG story and someone said “do that again” so I’m laughing here because I’m watching my own IG story haha. 


The menu was prepared by La Carnita. We started with 3 dips and chips including amazing guacamole, corn salsa, and spicy bean dip. Next, we had spicy Scorpion wings and Mexican Street Corn. I really wanted to eat the corn but it was a bit too messy for my liking so I passed and moved right onto the tacos.

I really love dinners like this that bring together a bunch of people from different backgrounds. I don’t usually get invited to that many ‘foodie’ specific things so always fun to make new friends.

We finished off the meal with Paleta, one of their signature items, similar to a popsicle that cleans the palette. I am getting hungry as I write this. 


Thank you Jarritos Canada + Branding & Buzzing for the invite. So great to hang out and catch up over my favourite food! Sean is a fan of Jarritos and I was lucky to bring some home too. 💚

 

I was compensated for this post but there's a good chance I would have gone for the food + fun times. 😝

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Winter on the Outside, Summer on the Inside

Oh man, did you get a shock when you woke up this morning? I opened my curtains to see that the patio door had a layer of icy frost! Damn. It’s cold out there. Broke out the winter boots and warm jacket. Here we go guys, it’s winter.


I’ve been a little off my game this week. Maybe I’m coming down with something? Slept in more than usual today and went to bed at 10 last night which is pretty early for me. I didn’t even make yoga once this week. I also ate so much crap I probably gained 5 damn pounds! We’re closing the cottage this weekend and I’m not looking forward to it. I wish we could keep it open all winter! I know I said I like the closing duties but once winter hits, it’s all bittersweet.

There’s no bad winter, just bad outfits. Keeping warm in Sean’s Burberry scarf and these are my fav glasses. DYK you can get Celine on Amazon?!


I’m heading to have lunch with April and I always feel energized when we hang out.  Stay warm out there my friends! Keeping this quote in my thoughts today and sending sunshine in your general direction through the internet.

In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.
– Albert Camus

 

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Weekend Workshop + Book Recos + Monday Motivation

This weekend was fun.  I went out for one last kayak before we put all the stuff away. It was surprisingly warm, but damp, great weather for getting things done. Although it’s a lot of work, and I can feel it in my arms today, closing the cottage is something I kinda look forward to. Sean and I do together as a team; heaps of lifting, holding the ladder, carrying the canoe, putting away the outside stuff, and family trips to the dump. We had Embot with us and her fav part was deff packing the trailer then chucking everything into the huge garbage at the dump.


For years I’ve been wanting to make cutting boards from some of the beautiful wood laying around and we finally did it! I marked and measured, Sean put them through the planer, then cut them into pieces. I spent ages with the sander making them night and soft. Next step is sealing, drying, and wrapping for the holidays. I need to visit Lee Valley this week. I spent lots of time in the garage with my dad as a kid so doing that as a family this weekend was nice.


This weekend I finished a book called The Party by Robyn Harding (a soft-cover gift from Jen Kirsch!) and started another book called The Party by Elizabeth Day (on Kindle!). I was searching Amazon for one and found the other!

Since I got a Kindle last year I’ve read SO MANY BOOKS. It’s the most convenient way to read and I’ve started putting my phone down before bed and reading a book instead.

If you’re looking to cosy up with a good book, here are some favs I’ve read over the last year. I’m really into suspense, mystery, thriller, or murder. If you have any recommendations, I’d love to hear them. I can always add to my reading list!



We’re back in the city now and tonight I’m going to the War Child #WhatIfWomen gala I told you about last week. I’m really excited to start getting ready and put on my dress. I picked it up from Studio Fitzroy this afternoon and IT IS AMAZING! I’ll be sharing posts from the night on Twitter and Instagram Stories!


Hope you’re having a good day. This time of year can be kind of dreary, so try to find inspiration in people and places around you. Smile at strangers and treat yourself or someone around you to a small surprise. Spreading a little bit of kindness will do wonders for your own mood!

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It Finally Happened, I’m On A Kids Show!

Ok so, for years Sean and other friends have said I’d be great on a kids show. I’ve never disagreed and this weekend, although it was only a one episode interview, I was on a kids show! I love doing tv. It’s so fun and being on camera is something I’ve always been into.

You might not know I was first on stage at 5 years old and pretty heavy into dance competitions growing up. I performed heaps as a kid then spent a few years as a teen model before shooting my first commercial in high school.


The show is called My Job Rocks and it’s on Rogers and Bell Fibe. My episode will be out in March and I’ll keep you posted when I have a date. Until then, here’s a little look behind the scenes!

Throwing it out there, I’d love to do more tv and am totally available!

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Celebrating the Power & Promise of Women! #Whatifwomen

#WhatIfWomen is a fundraising event for War Child, an organization that helps children in war-affected communities get back their childhood by giving them access to education and opportunity.

On Monday I’m excited to celebrate The Power and Promise of Women with War Child Canada. You can get a ticket here

Growing up, my mum really instilled in me that I could do anything and be anyone I wanted when I got older. It wasn’t easy and there were struggles but nothing like growing up in a war-torn country like Sudan or Iraq.

For the past couple weeks, I’ve been working with the War Child team to join a group of incredibly inspiring women in this campaign. When they approached me about volunteering it was around the day when all the ‘Me too’ posts hit the internet and I nearly broke down talking about how important it is for women to support other women and girls.

THOUGHTS ON MY MIND…

What if women were given the same work opportunities as men? What if women had the courage to speak up without consequence? What if women had equal pay? What if women had equal access to education? What if women were given the chance to lead? What if women didn’t have to be scared of walking alone at night? 

What if women grew up knowing they can achieve anything they want? 


November 6, 2017 | Eglinton Grand | Toronto | 6 pm | #WhatIfWomen

You can still get a ticket to Monday’s event at Eglinton Grand featuring performances by Sarah McLachlan, Chantal Kreviazuk, and Ruth B. It’ll be a room full of strong voices coming together to show the world that compassion has no borders.


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

 
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Happy Halloween weirdos!

I wasn’t really feeling in the ‘spirits this morning but Sean asked what I was dressing up as so I started into a ‘little’ Halloween lewk. Well, about 45 minutes and huge coffee later, VOILA! This haunting creeper was born out of a desire to make a cute skellie with pink and sparkles. I love looking like this so much. I also really adore this wig (from Amazon) and will likley wear it more just for fun.


BTW, superzoom in Instagram is so much fun. See video below.  I tried it out finally. I’ve been a but quiet the last couple days dealing with some family things but I’m a-ok. I’m working on a HUGE adventure for December and I want to tell you about it so bad but it must wait.

Be safe out there and let your freak flag fly!

Not sure what my plan is for tonight after handing out candy but I’ll be creepin’ it real all day!

 

 

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This post is sponsored by TD and the TD Common Ground Project

On a sunny Sunday afternoon, I took a drive to Morningside Park in Scarborough. This year as part of Canada 150, TD is revitalizing over 150  community green spaces across Canada. It’s so nice to adventure and stroll through a new park discovering things along the way.

I took some time to sit in the sun, watch the water, and admire the light shining through the trees in the middle of the forest. 🌳🌳🌳🌳

When I was a kid in Cambridge, Ontario  I spent heaps of time at Riverside Park near our house. Playing there as a kid, volunteering for summer camp in high school, riding bikes, and watching friends play baseball when I was a bit older. To this day I always take a drive through the park when I go home to see how it changes and go for a walk if I have some. Sometimes I just sit in the car and listen to music with a friend like the good old days. So many memories. 

A park is such a big part of a neighbourhood and city. TD’s Common Ground project encourages Canadians to come together in green spaces across the country. The scale of projects varies and there are 7 flagship projects, the outdoor gathering space at Morningside Park is one of them. 

There are 82 projects in Ontario, with 7 in Toronto, find them all here. Next time I’m in KW I’ll be checking out Waterloo Park to see the new bridge connecting the two universities, provided through the TD Common Ground Project.


Step Into the Forest – 360 Photo of Morningside Park, Scarborough


I hope you’ll look up your local TD Common Ground revitalization project (here) and see what spaces are changing near you. For more information about the project find my first post about it earlier this year here.

 

 

 

This post is sponsored by TD and the TD Common Ground Project

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Hocus Focus, Put a Spell On me Please!

I really should not be blogging right now. I have a report to finish but I just can’t get my head in it today. Back in the day when I worked at a big agency I was the Director and had a team and would oversee the reporting but didn’t have to make the reports. It takes me so long, I hate doing it. It’s nice outside. I already went for a walk, got a snack, opened some packages. Looked up flights. Scrolled FB. Sent a few tweets. Talked to other people in the office. Looked for music. Got some ie water. Had a call. Omg, time is moving so fast and the deadline is getting closer. WHY DO I DO THIS TO MYSELF. I do this every single time though. Urgh. We are our own worst enemies sometimes! I think I’ll have a cookie and a coffee. It’s really nice outside. I wish I was at the cottage. Help!

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Healthy Eating FTW! My Food Prep Favs from Amazon

I love making things, cooking, baking.  Have been eating a bit healthier after a few changes in the diet/exercise category back in January.  I generally feel healthier, happier, and that my life is better since. I don’t really blog about food much because it’s a time I like to put my phone down. I find it relaxing. I usually put on music or a show and take my time creating things to eat.

I have, however, been using some badass kitchen appliances I’ve bought over the last year and they’ve helped with the food prep and healthy eating. I love making a bunch of things on Sunday afternoon, I’ve even started planning them.


We’ve been at the cottage the last few days and the weather is amazing. I’ve got the windows open, music on, and I’m putting things in the oven and prepping food, while typing away on this week’s work.

When I look out the window the leaves are falling every few seconds and catching sunshine on the way down.


Instant Pot: Last year for Christmas I got Sean (well, us!)an Instant Pot electric pressure cooker and I use it so much. I love that little thing. It’s great for cooking a bunch of chicken breast, rice, stew, chilli. I even made up a risotto recipe. I’m planning to get more adventurous and try some new stuff this winter.

Spiralizer: I’m obsessed! I would love to get an electric one but I have read some bad reviews so I haven’t ordered one yet. If you have a reco, LMK! My favourite things to spiral are cucumber, carrot, or beets for salad, zucchini as pasta, carrot for spaghetti, or onion for everything.

You can spiral stuff at the start of the week and store it in a container or ziplock bag with a paper towel and it will keep for a few days. 

Magic Bullet: I use this a lot for salad dressing or sauce for my zucchini noodles. It’s great for smoothies etc but that is obvs.

Garlic Crusher: I love this little OXO guy more than the one you can order without the rubber handle. It’s easier on the hands. I tried a small metal garlic rocker I saw on Buzzfeed but it didn’t work that great (this one $5.79).

Shop my favs below!


 

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I’m at the Drake Commissary to do some writing on a new project, biked here in the sunshine, feeling it warm on my face. As I was walking to the door I checked my phone and saw that Gord Downie has passed away. Sad, I was hoping a miracle would keep him alive,but we all knew it was coming. Listening to Tragically Hip over the summer has been a tradition as long as I can remember, driving up to Grand Bend or Wasaga Beach in the 90’s, summers in college, missing home while at Uni in Australia, and all the time at the cottage. Thank you Gord Downie and the Hip for so many memories and being the most Canadian, Canada loving band of all time. You will be missed. 😥❤️

Years ago The Hip played Bridle Bash at my friend Lorne’s house for a few hundred people in the backyard. We were so close to the stage and everyone sang along and danced into the wee hours of the night.

Another summer a bunch of us went to see The Hip for Canada Day at Burls Creek. We had a whole gang at the cottage and it was so much fun. I remember dancing around in the field with Carly and everyone singing at the top of our lungs. Sean has no beard here.

Two summer’s ago Mark & Sean set up a huge screen on the dock and we watched the last Hip Concert on CBC from the lake. So many great memories over the years. I’ll think of the great times and celebrate his life whenever I listen to the Hip.

Sending sunshine in your general direction,

 

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