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Sometimes You Just Need a Break

Sometimes You Just Need a Break

This weekend I’m taking a little drive to Cambridge to visit my parents for a few hours and I’m so stoked.  It’s hard to believe the summer is almost over! I love September, it feels like a little reset, opportunity to move forward, ditch old habits, and set new goals.

mum picking flowers for me in her garden
mum picking flowers for me in her garden

I talk to mum almost everyday but haven’t seen her since before my birthday in May. She spends most of the summer on her boat and I’m at the cottage most weekends. It’s also been ages since I’ve seen Dad! Neither of my parents have seen me since my BR surgery in June, so I’m quite keen to visit. I’ve arranged a car that can fit both parents and their partners so I can take the whole gang out for brekky!

It’s not THAT far away but since I don’t own a car it’s a bit of a hassle to get there and back, especially for a short visit. I’ve booked a carshare for Saturday morning and it’s pretty affordable & managed in an app.

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I’m totally guilty of being ‘busy‘ all the time and the rest of the time I feel like I’m tired. Sometimes I just need to sit on the couch and do nothing or tweet alongside something like The Bachelor to give my brain a break.

On that note, I’m making more time to exercise, I’m looking to try just about ANY workout class that gets me off the couch right now. Since my surgery I feel A LOT better in workout clothes, I was REALLY self conscious before. Was gifted a 30 day membership to justtryit.ca so my plan is to try 10 classes at 10 gyms. I’ve gone to a few more aerial yoga and reformer pilates classes since my class last week. My two week pass is up on Tuesday. I really like reformer pilates I need to commit to that with my wallet and my intentions.

☀️ Sending you sunshine and warm wishes for a wonderful weekend.


We’ll be at the cottage Saturday afternoon and the weather looks great. Summer is NOT OVER!

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Money Hacks for Millennials: Have You Saved for a Rainy Day?

Coincidently I am writing this post on a rainy day, and despite always hearing this expression, I didn’t know exactly what it meant. “Save for a rainy day?” more like “save for a rainy three to six months” in case you lose your job, break a limb, or god forbid some other unexpected life moment goes down.

Over the past two years I’ve written a few posts with money tips for millennials. If you missed those, let me give you a little background on my situation, in 2005 I returned from Australia, tiny, tanned, and educated. I brought something else home with me tho, a HUGE debt. I owed over $30k in student loans and credit cards! 😰  It was a tragic look at reality when all the bills started rolling in and I’d barely started my first full time job in Toronto making under $30k/year. It seemed literally impossible to dig out of the hole I was in.

Not long after that I was on a TV show called Maxed Out where I got some solid financial advice, consolidated my loads, and began my journey to financial freedom. It wasn’t easy but by the time I was 30 I’d paid back everything, boosted my credit rating, and could set new financial goals.

solo trip to Mexico at 30
solo trip to Mexico at 30

In this post, I’m breaking down that age-old advice and putting some measurable ‘money hacks’ out there. According to a recent TD survey, the top three pieces of advice millennials get from parents/guardians are:

  1. Don’t live beyond your means 55%
  2. Saving a percentage of every paycheque 52%
  3. Save for a rainy day 47%

Although this advice is useful, it doesn’t realllllly give us a blueprint of how to get out of debt and build that nest egg. With the help of Shirley Malloy at TD Canada, it’s time to turn those old money tales into measurable things you can implement.

Money Hacks for Millennials from Shirley Malloy at TD


“Don’t live beyond your means” What that means: “Don’t mistake credit for cash”

  • – Malloy suggests credit can be a valuable tool when used responsibly, and reminds us that not all debt is bad. 
  • – A mortgage or student line of credit can be considered an investment that helps generate income in the long term and increases overall net worth. The key is to have a plan in place to pay it back. MAJOR KEY 🔑
  • – TD’s money management app, My Spend, can help track expenses and keep essential and discretionary spending in check.

“Save for a rainy day” | What that means: “Save for a rainy three to six months”

  • – Everyone should aim to set aside three to six months’ income to provide a financial buffer against any unexpected life events.
  • –  Plan to save a two month buffer this year, and increase to four months once you’ve reached your goal.
  • – The Simply Save program is a great tool to help build savings. Every time you use your TD Canada Trust Access Card for debit purchases or ATM withdrawals, an amount of your choice is transferred into your savings account.

“Save a percentage of every paycheque” | What that means: “Save 10 per cent of EVERY paycheque”

  • – Malloy suggests that 10 per cent of every pay should be the goal, but start small if that figure isn’t realistic.
  • – Set up an automatic transfer of $50 to a savings account. Then, set a bi-monthly meeting to revisit the budget.
  • – Challenge yourself to reach your goal of saving 10 per cent each paycheque over time.

If reading this gives you a bit of anxiety, that’s ok. It’s uncomfortable to deal with things that take you out of your zone. Something I’ve learned is that the sooner you face this stuff head on and make a plan, the better you’ll feel about it. After a few months or years, you can look back and see how far you’ve come. Once you’ve got saving down to a science, start setting bigger goals! 

 

* Post sponsored by TD Canada, debt story and lessons learned all mine!

This Week Has Been Chill AF

This Week Has Been Chill AF

We’ve had great food, heaps of naps, swam in the lake, daily boat rides, relaxed, and caught up on work. It’s amazing what a week away will do for your health, hair, skin, creativity. Still have a few more days then back to the city by Tuesday. Our weekend guests bailed so it’s just the two of us enjoying the cottage to ourselves. 


I’ve got an interview on Zoomer Radio Tuesday morning then my first aerial yoga class. Here’s to a few more days of paradise! ☀️ ILY Canada! 🇨🇦

5 Books to Read This Summer & The New RECO App

5 Books to Read This Summer & The New RECO App

When I was a kid my summers were spent playing outside or at the library. Each year mum had us join the Summer Reading Club where we would read a bunch of books, play with the other kids, talk about books, and at the end of the summer, a Teddy Bear Picnic. 🐻📚🐻 I have such fond memories of reading but over the last few years I hadn’t read many book, this year I set a goal to read more.

A couple months ago I got an ereader a couple months ago and since then I’ve read 10 books. More than I’ve read in five years! Here’s my top 5 summer reads that will leave you wanting more. Download the new RECO app from Chapters Indigo and read reviews of all the books I’ve recently read. Reco is about inspiring your friends to read great books more often, so on that note, here’s my fav five I’ve read recently.

5 Books to Read This Summer


This list is a mix of light summer reading and suspense drama. I like to switch it up! I love books that take me on an adventure and leave me thinking about the characters when I’m going about my day. Safe to say I loved each one!

  1. She’s Not There by Joy FieldingThis is my most recent read.  Darling daughter Samantha (2) is kidnapped from their hotel room in Mexico while Caroline Shipley and her husband are celebrating their 10 year anniversary. This book is a suspenseful thriller and has a few twists as the story unfolds. I couldn’t wait to finish this one,  was left wondering what would happen next every single time I put it down. 
  2. You by Carolyn KepnesI was sent a copy of this from Simon & Shuster and it was SO GOOD. A twisted tale of love and murder with Joe and Beck. I loved the modern language and social media references. I had a few WTF moments, some laughs, and the rest of the time I was biting my lip with suspense while turning the page. Follow this up with Hidden Bodies by same author, amazing book that was a little more creepy. I read them in the wrong order but they were both great. 
  3. The Girls by Emma ClineI read this because it was on all the summer reading lists and it lives up to the hype. Evie Boyd is only a teenager when she meets Suzanne and starts hanging around the cult like crew of misfits in a rundown compound. It’s the summer of 1969 and a seemingly sweet girl starts her summer all innocent and by the end there’s sex, drugs, and murder mystery she can’t seem to escape. 
  4. Sweetbitter by Stephanie DanlerIf you’ve ever worked in a restaurant you’ll instantly connect with this book. Tess moves to NYC with big dreams and wide eyes for a new more exciting life. After getting a job as a ‘backwaiter’ she begins to experience food, wine, partying, and all kinds of of experiences that shape her life.  There’s a bit of romance, a love triangle, and no shortage of ups and downs. 
  5. Dark Places by Gillian FlynnThis is the story of Libby Day who was only seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice” of Kinnakee, Kansas.” There’s a cult following of the murder and Libby discovers the Kill Club, who hopes to find evidence that will clear her brother Ben from the murder conviction. It’s a dark twisted thriller that’s incredibly well written. This book has been made into a movie w/ Charlize Theron but I’ve not seen it, reviews are meh! Same author as Gone Girl which, if you haven’t read, i’ll reco you do that too. 

Runners up to this list include Sweetbitter by Stepahie Danler, The Nest by Cynthia D’aprix Sweeney, Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave, and Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple.

The RECO App


This app is designed to give you recommendations from people you know an allows you to follow authors and other influencers on book choices. The app is easy to use and nicely designed, simple interface FTW. Reco is the first stand-alone digital experience from Indigo since they founded Kobo in 2009

Things to note:

Connect & Share: Share your fav books easily, write quick recos, make lists peole can follow

Discover: Find great books based on your interest, subscribe to curated lists from experts, personalization reminds me of Apple Music a bit with the topic selections,

Capture: Keep track of books you wanna read or have finished, make purchases from Indigo and Kobo in Canada, and iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo in the US and internationally.

Discuss: Discuss great books w/ your friends, connect w/ people who have common interests

Reco is available in Canada and the USA on any iOS device (iPhone / iPod Touch / iPad) from the Apple Store. Download it here.  Read my recos on the app here.

Read anything great lately? Love to know your recos in the app.

I’m sitting here wondering WHAT DO I READ NEXT?!

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Being Your Own Boss Has Its Perks – Cottage Workation!

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.

casiestewart, boyfriend, california, disneyland
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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Long Weekend! Make It Count ☀️🇨🇦🍕🏕💛

Long Weekend! Make It Count ☀️🇨🇦🍕🏕💛

In Muskoka for the weekend. ☀️🇨🇦🙏🏼 The weather is so nice. We came up today instead of last night because it was a long week! Finished Stranger Things on Netflix, great show. 📺  I hate that empty feeling when you’ve binged something good and then it’s over. 😩

We’re at PIE right now waiting for pizza. 🙌🏼🍕🍕🍕  There’s a couple locations in Barrie, this is the first in Muskoka. The pizza is SO GOOD. We order a coulple then take some home each time. Cold pizza is my fav breakfast. 😊

Saw this sweet Corvette outside. Sean has one from 1982 sitting in our garage. 💘 This weekend I’m driving a new Cruze from Chevrolet Canada, it’s sweet!

I borrowed a tent from Mountain Equipment Co-op and Emily and I put it together with no sweat. 🏕☀️👍🏼  The last time I put up a tent I think I was her age. Things have gotten easier since then! 


Tonight we’re having fireworks and a fire.  🔥🎆 

PIZZA IS HERE, OK BYE. ❤️🍕

Putting Your Best Face Forward w/ Dr. Lisa Kellett

Putting Your Best Face Forward w/ Dr. Lisa Kellett

This year I turned 34, I know, hard to believe! I’ve always had a young youthful spirit and boundless energy, think back to the other weekend when I drew all over my bag for the Ford adventure. Mum had a chuckle when I showed her this photo, sometimes I’m still 8 years old.

casie stewart, DIY, backpack, design, travel, camp, camper, camping, tattoos, stay home club, #escapeanddiscover, Ford, NO FUN PRESS

A few months ago I was given the opportunity to learn about Emervel, a soft dermal filler for dealing with fine lines and wrinkles. It’s used most for enhancing lips and minimizing the signs of ageing. It was good timing because I’ve had more chats about ‘enhancing’ beauty at events over the last year than ever.  Earlier this year I shared the Emervel Kissability report with info on plumping up your pout.

YouTube Canada gave me some stats about beauty & fashion trends on the rise, three of the top beauty trends are eyelash extensions, eyebrow filler, and lipstick. Canada also ranks 3rd worldwide for ‘lip filler’ which had a big spike last year and continues to grow.

According to dermatologist Dr. Lisa Kellett, “Emervel Lips helps achieve a balanced and harmonious look, and, combined with other products in the Emervel line, can give the face a more youthful and rejuvenated appearance. Patients are very satisfied with the natural-looking and long-lasting results.”

I made an appt with Dr. Lisa Kellett for a consultation without knowing too much but I was interested in seeing about minimizing smile lines around my mouth (nasolabial folds) and the lines between brows (neuromodulator). I considered the appointment like an interview, I wanted the low down on what people were doing and results.

Dr. Kellett analyzed my face and talked about options. I was relieved to hear she’s a minimalist and likes to go for the ‘refreshed’ look. Basically, nobody would be able to notice exactly what was different but I’d look ‘refreshed’. She said ‘refreshed’ again and as I left that stayed in my mind. After a week I booked an appointment.

Before

no makeup date of appointment, frowning, visible smile lines. I used black & white because I look haggard! 

casie stewart, dr. lisa kellett, toronto, filler, emervel
* I’ve been using Miracle10 for about 8 weeks and it’s really helped the redness in my skin go down and clear up my complexion. See before and after of those here.

After

The morning of my appt at DLK in Yorkville I was kinda nervous. Arrived about 30 min early so I could get a coffee and snack. I got to the office at 8:20 for my 8:30 appointment. Dr. Kellet came in and we chatted about looking ‘refreshed’ and I let her do her thing.

The whole appt took about 30 minutes and it didn’t hurt. The needles they use are very small, less of a prick than an immunization. She did a treatment for my smile lines, and cheeks to enhance natural contour.

One week after: lines from nose to mouth minimized, looking fresh

casie stewart, dr. lisa kellett, toronto, filler, emervel

The treatment for the smile lines will last about 6-12 months. I can 100% understand why 9/10 patients want to have this procedure again. I love it. It’s just enough to make a slight difference and I feel refreshed. If I hadn’t written this post I don’t think anyone would even notice!

When I got home from the appointment Sean popped by the house and looked at me for a second, then said ‘you look pretty‘. It made me feel great. 💘

If you’re looking into this type of treatment it’s important to go to a reputable dermatologist/clinic. If someone is offering a discount, think twice before putting that stuff in your face. Dr. Kellett is one of the top in her field in Canada and you can find her at DLK on Avenue Road.

It’s been a couple weeks since my first visit and I’m due for a follow up. I’ll give you an update how that goes. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me via email or send me a DM.

Here’s to putting your best self forward and feeling great about it! 

1-casie_yellowheart, love

New Me, New Adventures, New Love for Life

New Me, New Adventures, New Love for Life

Yesterday I went out on my bike for the first time in weeks. Since my surgery I’ve been trying to get out for a walk in the morning and then before sunset. I find leaving the house in the morning gets me in a good groove for the day. I have a coffee, soak up some sunshine, catch a  few Pokemon, take some photos, update Snapchat, all before 9am. 😎✌🏼

I caught a JYNX today and then saw a man drawing a Poké Ball in his notebook at the coffee shop.

It’s amazing how much you learn about yourself going though a surgery or big life event. It was pretty hard at first not being able to reach for things or lift things but I managed. Sean has been really helpful in this whole process and tbh I’ve kinda liked not having to load the car for the cottage or carry groceries! (Thanks babe love you! He prob won’t read this 💘)  I’m back in the kitchen making great snacks and have perfected a trick of using tongs to grab things high up.

I found this darling little Tuck Shop around the corner from home yesterday. I was there just as it closed but they make all kinds of delicious (sounding) food I can’t wait to try. So, I popped into Wallace Espresso on Dupont instead and picked up some real fruit pops and a cup of the most incredibly delicious chocolate ice cream. The Junction Triangle is seriously evolving, there’s a bunch of great spots in the area now. There’s also a Rancho Relaxo on this same corner to fulfill the need for tacos. HUzzahhhh!

This is a happy person on bike with wind in her hair. Watch the story on Snapchat here. 

Wrote most of this while sitting on a great little bench I discovered today. Shoutout to Canadian Designer Sara Duke for sending this super cute ‘fatiqué’ crop top. It was the perfect thing to wear as I sleep-walked to get coffee. I could never wear this stuff before! Yay!

☀️ Sending you sunshine from across the internet! 🌻😊🇨🇦

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Cerulean Sea, Blue Skies, Boston Besties

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! ☀️

 

BRB Moving Pokemon from Games to Lifestyle Folder

BRB Moving Pokemon from Games to Lifestyle Folder

Not gonna lie, I spent a significant amount of time yesterday searching and catching Pokemon. I never thought I’d be saying this! When I got home from the cottage it was so nice out I decided to go for a run (to see if there were any Pokestops or Pokemon Gyms near my house, there were!). I ran around going to all the closest stops collecting Pokeballs, whist stopping do a few exercises in between each one. I managed to get up to level 5 so I could finally join a team and battle someone at a gym.

This all may seem foreign to you if you haven’t tried the game but let me tell you, it’s a phenomenon taking over with more daily users than Snapchat, Tinder, Instagram, OR Twitter.  Pokemon Go is the fastest growing thing we’ve seen in a long time.

Here’s a few great resources I found on how you can use Pokemon for business and how it’s helping peoples mental and physical health, really.

Pokemon Go Is Driving Insane Amounts of Sales at Small Local Businesses

What not drop a lure and get the Pokemons to come to you! This article has some great ideas of how small businesses can jump on the Pokemon craze to help grow business. Near a Pokemon gym? People will be hanging around so why not offer a Pokemon team or player discount? READ FULL ARTICLE HERE.

GREAT idea for animal shelters!

Pokemon & Mental Health

Pokemon Go is really helping people who don’t usually like to interact with strangers or even go out of the house to make friends and get exercise. Great short read here by Brock McLaughlin on Medium. There are a heaps of updates on tumblr I found last night about people saying it’s made a huge impact on their lives.

Stop Hating On People For Playing Pokemon GO Because You Don’t Understand Its Power

🏋 Pokemon & Fitness

I asked early in the day yesterday if there was a Pokemon workout yet and by later in the day, I found this. It’s a great way to get out and walk around, why not throw a few exercises in to up your heart rate and work those muscles. I’ll give this a go today. 

🇨🇦 Canadian Launch?

Hopefully coming soon! The game launched in Europe today but only in Germany. Why does Canada always get things last? We’re a world class country and ‘apparently’ a leader in tech and business. Urghhhhhh!

PLEASE REMEMBER TO BE SAFE WHEN HUNTING FOR POKEMON,
USE YOUR HEAD LIKE DON’T GO INTO A VAN OR DARK ALLEY

 😜😂🙆🏼

In other news, apparently there is a Pokemon Go movie in the works. I’m working from home this morning then heading to visit my sister (find Pokemon) in the beaches. Friday we go to Boston so I’ll be searching there all weekend! Ha.