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Meet Me in the French Quarter

Yesterday was so lovely. I spend hours walking around and taking in the sunshine. I sat in the park reading my book for over an hour then managed to get in some shopping and good food later in the day. Today is a bit overcast and we might get rain but I’m loving the warm air and finding inspiration around every corner. There are so many friendly people and bright buildings here it’s hard not to walk around with a smile.

Gold Joan of Arc Statue gifted from France

Sending sunshine from down south in the Big Easy! 

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Cyber Monday, More Like Cyber Funday! ūüĖ•

Did you buy any stuff today? I’ve been out and about around New Orleans but I’m back in my apartment¬†to¬†check on and share a few deals before the day is done. Last week for Black Friday I ordered a new Instant Pot from Amazon and an Echo Dot. I’ve been obsessed with the Instant Post since we got one last year for Christmas and I use it a couple times a week.


SOME OF MY FAV DEALS ON AMAZON TODAY!


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Sunny New Orleans w/ Blue Skies & Beignets

Sunny New Orleans w/  Blue Skies & Beignets

Hello from¬†down south! This week I’m in New Orleans staying at Mardi Gran Manor with a few friends from TO. We each have our own apartment in a beautiful set of units behind a big gate in the French Quarter. I’m stocked up on groceries and all moved in for the week. Hoping to catch some sun and start off December with a nice tan. I’m sitting at a¬†small table outside my unit by the pool as I write this.

I was here in September¬†to speak at a conference so spent a few hours then getting my bearings. In the French Quarter, we’re a few doors down from Brad & Angelina’s old place and Nicholas Cage has a spot down the street. I love the architecture and the streets are alive with music. All the buildings are hidden behind huge window shutters and or large gates. At first, I thought it seemed kind of run down but as soon you’re lucky to get a glimpse into someone’s house or behind a gate, there’s see nothing but beauty. Chandeliers, fountains, and gardens all over the place.

This morning Natalie¬†and¬† I went to Cafe Du Monde for coffee & beignets then walked down the Mississippi River to the shopping outlets. It’s not nearly as hot as it was in September¬†but it’s warmer than home and lovely in the sunshine.


Tonight we’re all having dinner together in at Comp√®re Lapin owned by Chef Nina Compton and her husband. She was a runner-up on Top Chef and I met her a couple years ago in Toronto. Also coincidently, Sean and my really great friends from Muskoka are also here in NOLA so we’re all meeting up on Frenchman for drinks tonight.


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Watch My Talk at Social Media Week 2017

Watch My Talk at Social Media Week 2017

Had a great time at Social Media Week. Was great to see so many familiar¬†faces (like Raymi, hey girl!) and meet some new friends. Kudos to Michelle and the Pinch Social team for putting on a great festival. I’m proud to be a member of the Advisory Board and love seeing how HUGE SMWTO has grown over the years.

Deb from Rock-It Promotions and I spoke on a panel about influencers and influence and influencing. Very hot topic right now! Scroll down to watch my talk via Facebook Live video.


Watch My Talk At Social Media Week 2017

 

Time in for my influencer talk w/ Debra Sadowski at Social Media Week Toronto (SMWTO)!

Posted by Casie Stewart on Wednesday, November 15, 2017


Lauren was also a speaker and it was her birthday. I showed up with balloons to brighten her day. Take the sunshine wherever you go!

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A Time and Place Story

Maybe I’m stupid for writing this down but last night I came home frustrated¬†after paying to go to a¬†sound¬†meditation that was the opposite of relaxing. I was really hoping it would be like the sound bath I went to in LA earlier this year. That amazing experience changed me for the better and I’ve been a little bit different ever since. Last night was NOT what I was hoping for. Given one detail, it would¬†have been great but something happened….

I don’t think I’m wrong for feeling this way?

I was really looking forward to last night after a particularly emotional day, hoping to calm my thoughts and body. BUT IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE TO RELAX. There was a medium size dog walking around the room the whole time dinging a bell (tags) and going up to everyone’s face while they were laying on the floor. This is not the dog’s fault! It’s not about the dog! Dogs are dogs and that’s what dogs do!¬†It’s not like a dog could get its own ticket and come by himself.

It would have been FINE if they SAID there was going be a dog or it was dog meditation or goats yoga or whatever! Or if everyone knew the dog already!

Consent is important.

Just try to imagine it was a person walking around making noise and putting their face in your face while you are laying on the floor trying to meditate in a new space with your eyes closed. (Some people might be into that but you would know what you’re getting into!)¬†

I could not for the life of me concentrate or relax because I was listening to the dog walk in circles, worried he was going to come up to my face. I was nervous from the moment I walked in but totally thought the dog would be out of the laying down area. Maybe in the dog mediation section? I don’t know. Nothing against the dog I’m sure he is super cool but it was not the time or the place.

I left stressed out and had a cry on my way home. The end. ūüė≠

This is was not the dog that was there but a cute dog at an old friends house!

The LA Soundbath was Guy Douglas and I’m considering going back to LA to go! So great!

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New Zealand Here We Come!

New Zealand Here We Come!

OK, this post is kind of long, the TL;DR is I’M GOING TO NEW ZEALAND! I’d been saving up money & Aeroplan miles for months and in an amazing twist of events, Aeroplan is sending ME AND MUM and we’re going on a 21-day road trip next month. I’m so excited. I’ve wanted to go back and see my family for SO LONG and I’m thankful to Aeroplan for helping us get there, especially around the holidays! ‚úąÔłŹ‚̧ԳŹ

It’s been hard to keep a secret until now but get ready for non-stop NZ for the next few months!Scroll to read a lovely story of how this came together!


Last year around the holidays time I really missed my family, as I do every year except the one Christmas we had together when I was 12 (see above). I said to Sean, maybe next year I’ll get back to NZ for their summer. It was kind of a dream because it’s really far and expensive and you need to go for a while (few weeks). A few months into 2017¬†I started saving for a trip. I figured the only way I was going to actually get there is if I started focussing on it with active intentions and putting some money aside.

In August I was in touch with Aeroplan about helping them promote a giveaway. A couple weeks later we started talking about a video project that you will see before the holidays. Another thing we talked about is how much I wanted to go back to New Zealand. I remember that call so well, it was a Friday morning, I was wearing a blue leather jacket, walking my bike and drinking a coffee after a manicure. We talked about the video project, going to NZ and they said¬†‘we can make that happen’ followed by the option of two tickets and I¬†had to sit down. I was honestly overwhelmed¬†with excitement and all kinds of feelings about seeing my family¬†that I’ve spent most of my life away from. I called mum at work to say she was my guest and we¬†set the plan in motion. I think she thought I was joking at first.¬† Three years ago mum went back to NZ on an emergency trip because we thought¬†her mum (my nana) wasn’t going to make it. Luckily, she made it through the holidays¬†and hit her 90th birthday this year. I can’t wait for her to have both of us there this year.


My last trip back was in 2010 for New Zealand Fashion week where I extended my trip to spend a week with my aunt and nana in Auckland. Before that, my last trip was when I was 18. Which, hard to believe is nearly half my life ago!

Can you believe this magazine cover was 7 years ago!?

Mum and I leave on Christmas Eve and arrive in Auckland on Boxing Day. Yes, we will experience Christmas on a plane but we’ll be together! After a few days in Auckland, we head to Shelly Beach, Coromandel Peninsula where I spent holidays as a kid. I booked us a cabin for 3 days over NYE! I can’t WAIT to be back there. I’ve rented us a car and we’ll be doing a mother-daughter road trip around the North Island for 21 days. In the true spirit of adventure, I haven’t planned it all out and we’ll make it up as we go. We’re both excited to stop at little shops and towns as we drive from place to place. Growing up I remember getting my first Aeroplan card and earning points, since NZ is a pretty hefty ticket. I’m incredibly grateful for this trip and to have Aeroplan help make it happen. It’s honestly a Christmas miracle. I know mum getting to see her mum again this year is priceless. I can’t wait to hang out with my grandma, aunts, uncles, cousins, jump on their trampolines, eat all the meat pies, lots of lollies, have bbq, watch NZ TV, and hit the beach.


If you don’t have an Aeroplan account, sign up here to start earning miles for your next adventure. I also have a credit card that helps me earn miles faster!¬†

I CAN’T WAIT TO SHARE THIS TRIP WITH YOU!

I’M SO EXCITED!

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TL:DR: too long, didn't read


Aeroplan has sponsored our tickets and some travel. A lot of this trip is covered and planned by ME!

DO IT FOR YOURSELF. #JOMO

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 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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So Long Muskoka, Until Next Year!

So Long Muskoka, Until Next Year!

We closed the cottage yesterday. As soon as we got north of the city there was snow. I’ve seen snow every winter of my life but I still feel a burst of energy and excitement for the first snowfall of the year. As we got progressively¬†north the snow continued and we drove through our first snow squall¬†(almost blizzard!).

Since the cottage isn’t winterized, closing up involves¬†putting huge wood panels on the¬†windows, draining the lines,¬† dryer sheets everywhere (to keep critters away), emptying the fridges (we have condiment overload now), cleaning, and final lock up. There is a lot of lifting, garbage, flashlights, and tools. I always take a minute to be grateful for the work, the views,¬†and doing it together. Sean and I have been opening and closing it for about 5 years now.

I got to thinking about how our lives will change¬†before we make it back up in the Spring. It’ll likely¬†be late March or April, and a lot can happen in 4 months. I’ll be away for about 4 weeks over the holidays and I really hope we can take a family vacation in February. Emily will¬†be 10 my blog¬†will be 13. Maybe we’ll start a renovation or have a new couch and TV? I’m hoping for more speaking at the start of the year and am working on that with my agency. I like thinking about the time passing because it’s easier to set goals when you have a timeframe to work with. I’m upping my fitness routine and hopefully, by then I’ll feel better in a bikini. I’ve never really been on to set New Years Resolutions, why wait will the new year when you can make a change now?

Come NYE, you’ll wish you started today!


Woke up super groggy but dragged myself to the gym and although it wasn’t a long workout, going is the first step to making a habit (AGAIN). So, tomorrow I’ll try. I have yoga tonight¬†but I want to get more cardio into the mix. I always hated the idea of going to the gym but I actually feel better every time I go (surprise!) so I try to think about that feeling instead of the anxiety I get before going. After my workout, I took myself for a much-needed mani to kick off a big week with nice nails.

For the last¬†few years, I’ve been following through on the ONE New Years resolution¬†I ever set. I made a promise to myself to always have my nails looking nice. It’s a small thing but I swear it makes a huge difference. If I have my hair and nails done, I can do anything.¬† It makes me feel like I have my shit together, whether I do or not.


This week is a really busy one. Tomorrow I’m at Influence TO a huge¬†entrepreneurship¬†& influencer¬†conference.¬† Side note, the worlds #1 and my all time¬†fav YouTuber,¬† Casey Neistat RT my tweet about it nbd. I am speaking at 2 events on Wednesday and Saturday I leave for a week vacation in NOLA.

 


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In case you need a reminder…

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

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!

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. ūü§∂ūüŹľ 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!

 

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A Super Good Time Celebrating Mexico w/ Jarritos!

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.‚Üď 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. ūüíö

 

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

Social Media Week Kicks Off Today – Visit YouTube, Twitter, Inspiring Speakers

Social Media Week Kicks Off Today – Visit YouTube, Twitter, Inspiring Speakers

Today kicks off Social Media Week in Toronto. I’ve been part of it every year since it started, in some capacity. This year I’m on the SMTWO¬† Advisory Board for my second¬†year and speaking on a panel Wednesday. It is truly amazing to be part of an industry that has grown and developed SO MUCH the last 10 years.


I could go on an on about how special the start of it was and how there were so few people. Back then, the role of Community Manager didn’t exist, we couldn’t’ schedule updates, there were no analytics, no budgets, and advertising was few and far between.¬†

Back then people had influence, we called them leaders. Fearless self-starters who took chances, tried new things and did things differently. We followed to see what they would do next. Influence came from their work and the impact it had on others, not just followers. 

Things have really changed and they¬†continue to change. This is what makes Social Media¬†Week such an important event for our growing industry. Every year the topics are different and there’s new platforms, policies, and processes to discuss. For the past couple months, I’ve been tweeting ‘NEW THINGS EVERY DAY‘ almost daily when a new feature is added to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat. It’s a challenging space to work in because¬†your tools and the entire drawing board are always¬†changing.



#SMWTO has TONS of cool things, here are a few of my favourites!


Thank you to Michelle¬†& Pinch Social, all sponsors and partners for making this happen another year.¬† I’m excited to attend a bunch¬†of sessions, meet new people, and catch up with old friends.

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Winter on the Outside, Summer on the Inside

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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About Casie Stewart

Casie Stewart is a Canadian writer, director, and entrepreneur. She’s an award-winning content creator and expert in digital. During her decade-long career in media, she’s been named Canadian Screen Award Winner (Voice Pioneer), Best Travel Blog, and Top 30 Lifestyle Blogs in Canada. Casie¬†has been a keynote speaker at SXSW, NXNE, TEDx, and spoken at YouTube Canada and the United Nations of Canada. She lives in Toronto with her boyfriend and loves summer weekends at the cottage when she’s not travelling around the world.

SHOP MY FAVOURITE THINGS

Platform Converse OX – White
MORE INSIDE Sea Salt Spray 3.38 oz
Sister of Mine
Magnetic Lashes
WISHLIST
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Market Tote
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Have this one!
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These are the ones I have!
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Amazing coverage, long time fav.
I wear these all the time.
Travel essential for the 10+ years!
Love love love.
Soft, quick dry, travel towel.
Instant Pot essential!
My favourite shoes.

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