The other day, Cory Lee and I went to HideSeek, a “pop-up experience inspired by childhood nostalgia“. We spent over an hour taking photos, changing outfits and laughing our heads off and got to meet the team behind the experience. It was heaps of fun.
I’ve been to a bunch of Instagram friendly pop-ups over the last year (Happy Place, Museum of Ice cream, Museum of Illusions) and this was was my favourite one in Canada so far. There are 15 installations with multiple photo ops in each. Grab your BFF, kid, parent, partner, or a date and go back in time. I have heaps of photos from the experience so if you follow me on Instagram (HERE) you’ll see some of these rolling out over the next few weeks.
HideSeek is at 305 Dundas St. West. Toronto and you can find them on Instagram at @gohideseek. It’s running until June 2nd so you have a little while to get in on the action.
When you get invited to have lunch with Kim Kardashian’s BFF, you go! A couple weeks ago I joined a suite of media babes for a late lunch at Square One Mall’s soon to be epic food market. The almost 40,000 sq ft Food District opens later this month is now OPEN and aims to provide shoppers with an elevated culinary experience.
There’s a few downtown Toronto favourites like Pie Commission, Hale Coffee, La Carnita, Sweet Jesus, and other options including Italian, Indian, bbq, Danish, and DIY cupcakes. There’s also a fresh flower shop. The space was still under construction during our visit but it’s now open. For more info about the Food District, check out Blog TO and read about the opening on Toronto Sun.
You have to write the thing. You have to sit down at our computer and type your fingers along each key forming words into sentences. It sounds easy but it’s hard if you ‘ve been thinking about it for a while and you know you can do it, but time is running out. You’re already a day late and you don’t want to hand it in at the end of the day tomorrow. All you need to do it sit down and not get distracted. Drink some water. Sit up straight. Open a window. Check the fridge. Sit back down. Your anxiety grows to form a mountain range that now you have to climb over before you reach the spot where you can just sit down, and write the thing. Sit down, start writing.
Sometimes just writing about writing helps the worlds start flowing.
A couple of weeks ago I sat down w/ the crew from Get Into The Weeds at Post Office Sound. It was really fun and the light was amazing! I shared stories about how I got to where am today and the weird/wonderful path I took.
We talked cannabis and if you swipe you’ll find a snippet of a story from when I was in college. I haven’t sent it to dad yet! The podcast ep is full of stories & lulz. I‘ve posted it on the blog and put the link in Stories/bio.
I love this interview and I hope you enjoy it too!!!! Thanks to the guys for having me! ✌🏼😊🍃🍃
Over the past two months, you’ve read my reviews of AfterShokz wireless headphones and how they’re great for walking, working out, and so lightweight you’ll forget you’re wearing them. This is part 3 of my 4-post series and today I’m going deeper into the tech specs and my thoughts after 2-months of use.
Headphones are a really personal thing. They’re part of your style but also serve a different purpose for each person wearing them. For example, Lauren O’Nizzle is one of my friends who’s almost always wearing headphones, whereas me, not nearly as often. However, this year I’m growing into new habits and working out more.
I mentioned earlier that one of the reasons I really like Trekz Air headphones is you can hear the world around you. I tried over the ear noise cancelling any they’re not for me. I need to be able to hear my environment to stay calm. I do a lot of walking outside and will soon (come on Spring!) be doing outdoor workouts so it’s important to hear what’s around me.
As for comfort, the Trekz Air headphones wrap around the back of your neck and hang over your ears. I can’t speak for long hair but they’re totally fine for my short hair. You forget they’re there and the fit is fine with a hat and/or glasses. They’re a really great workout fitness headphone if you want something that will stay put, not get in your way, but keep you aware of your environment.
The new AfterShokz Treks Air have improved bass from previous versions which improves dynamic sound range. When you turn up the volume you can feel a tiny vibration in your cheekbone. It’s pretty cool and not distracting, Ilike it.
As a tech lover, one of my favourite things to do is test out new gadgets. I am so impressed with how these deliver sound into your head without going through your ears. Think about that for a second! The doors are open for new developments like this and it makes me excited. I think one of the areas we’re really going to see a lot of new tech in the next year is audio devices and voice commands.
In my best effort to give you an honest review, here are my most favourite features and 2 things I think could be improved.
Lightweight, hardly know you’re wearing them
Allow you to hear the world
Convenient for busy lifestyle, parents, fitness
The volume isn’t super high as the headphones don’t cover the ears
Sound quality not as good as regular headphones
In my fourth and final post in this series, we have a giveaway and I’ve asked for a second opinion on these headphones from a tech aficionado. I gifted a pair of AfterShokz to my friend Dan Levy and I’ll be sharing some of his thoughts on them. Dan is really into music so I’m interested to see what he says!
If you’re looking to get a jump on your own pair, us this link for $50 off. Now that I’ve hit publish, I’m grabbing my headphones and heading outside.
LMK if you have any questions & have an amazing day!
From January to April 2019, I'm reviewing AfterShokz headphones in a paid partnership with PTPA (Parent Tested Parent Approved). All opinions experiences are my own, obvs. Stay tuned for a contest in the next post where you can win a pair!
Last week, my bffLauren O’Nizzle and I were on the Jones Media Podcast – Keeping Up with the Joneses. It was super fun! If you know Lauren and I or have been on the internet for a long time, you’ll enjoy this.
We talk a lot about influencers, brand partnerships, and how social media has changed over the 10 years we’ve been friends.
This week on Keeping Up with the Joneses, we have Casie Stewart and Lauren Neil in conversation about starting as OG bloggers, tweet ups, their first paid gigs, how they transitioned into today’s influencer culture and tips for parents on how to engagement their kids in conversations about the internet.
Memory Lane – Stuff Mentioned in Podcast
Thanks for tuning in!
I’ve opened up comments on this post to feel free to leave one if while listening!
Over the last few years, I’ve had some amazing adventures with Aeroplan. In this post, I’m excited to share that Aeroplan has a booking tool that will help you earn more miles, faster.
Making Memories with Aeroplan
Looking through travel photos gives me so much joy. I was browsing iCloud finding photos for this post and was reminded of how travelling is truly one of the greatest things in life. You learn so much about yourself, other cultures, and it enriches your life, leaving you lasting memories.
Portugal 2018: On this day I took a bus tour around Lisbon by myself, listening to facts about history and architecture. I went shopping, ate a fresh Portuguese egg tart by the Belem Tower, and had ice cream on the beach. I took heaps of photos of the city and hardly any of myself. When I think back to this moment I was so warm and free, happy in the sunshine. It was one of my all-time favourite adventures with Aeroplan. If you’re heading to Lisbon and looking for some tips, check out this post.
Aeroplan’s Booking Tool
In addition to earning Aeroplan Miles on flights and purchases, Members can earn miles with 250,000 hotels and more than 11,000 car rental locations in 50 countries. You also earn miles on bookings made through aeroplan.com when you book using cash. My friend did the same when booking her trip to Crete, she then checked out e-mietwagenkreta for car rental deals, so I hear and it just made her trip so much better.
“travel has never been easier and more achievable”
They’ve made it super convenient and enhanced the online experience so you can add multiple items to your shopping cart and check out with ease. One of my favourite ways to earn is through my Aeroplan-affiliated financial card. I love logging in to aeroplan.com and seeing what purchases earned the most each month. I’m more likely to shop somewhere if I know I can earn more miles!
Limited Time Offer: Get double the miles
Book, earn, repeat!?Enjoy a special double the miles offer until April 14, 2019, and earn an additional ?4 bonus miles per dollar spent?. That means you’ll get a generous 8 miles per dollar spent on hotels and car rentals booked with cash through ?aeroplan.com?! Kick off your earning with an Aeroplan-affiliated financial card and with just one booking, you could earn enough miles for a short-haul round-trip flight reward. How amazing is that? Before you know it, you’ll be back on a plane!
Years ago Sean and I went to LA and we rented a convertible, as you do! Earning miles on things I’m already doing or buying is my favourite. I love logging into Aeroplan and seeing where I earned the most on my purchases that month.
I’m taking advantage of this double miles offer myself and planning a family vacation. Where should we go next?!
My connection to the Aeroplan started a loooooong time ago when mum got me my first Aeroplan card as a kid. I’ve been earning miles for 20 years! If you missed my video about this from last year, watch it here or below.
Your life is your movie. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. You decide who plays a starring role, what kind of movie it is, and what path you take. Make a path leave a trail.
Take up space. Take up as much space as you need. Be proud of who you are. You are unique, there is only one you. Your stories matter. Share if you like or hold onto them for safekeeping.
Do what makes you feel good. The seasons are changing and you can change anytime you want to. You don’t need a day, a new moon, a new year, you just need to shift. Move in the direction you want to go. Make little steps each day or take strides. You got this.
Have faith in yourself and the universe will listen. You have to believe in yourself 100% in order for the universe to respond. Let go of self-doubt, don’t carry it with you anymore, it’s heavy and doesn’t serve you.
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Open doors for yourself.
We’ve been watching S3 of Queer Eye the last few days and I feel like this season is really personal. It’s the first time they’ve done makeovers on women, sisters, a wedding. It gave me all the feels, it’s hard not to cry. Since watching, I’ve found myself internalizing a lot of what they were saying.
Themes that really stuck out to me were about celebrating yourself believing in yourself, not talking negatively about yourself, to yourself. We all do it and I’ve been pretty hard on myself lately.
We all have things to be grateful for. We should be celebrating each day we wake up, our challenges as opportunities. Celebrating the bodies that carry us, the brain that all allows us to do things, the smile that greets strangers. We’re capable of so many things, so why do we stand in our own way?
In one episode a father mentions he wants to cook better food for his kids and that one of them is a little rounder. Right away, Antoni said, “who’s feeding her?” RIGHT? Like hello, an eye-opener. So simple but this stuck with me. Do I want to lose weight and be more fit? Yes. I am in charge of feeding myself and doing exercise? Yes. Ok well,do it then!!
The other day I called up a friend and we shared all the good things that happened to us lately. Who don’t we do this more? You should surround yourself with people who want to hear that stuff, who will embrace and encourage you. If you can’t share with the people around you, you’re around the wrong people. This week I started work on a film with 1188 and have been asked to give the Alumni Address at Conestoga College School of Business Convocation in June.
A little while ago I wrote a post titled “Be thankful where you are. This is once where you wanted to be“. I think about this a lot. Years ago I would be happy to be doing one of two of the handful of things I’ve got going on now. We need to remind ourselves of the small wins each day. This week I’ve been grateful for the warmer temperatures, living near the West Toronto Railpath, working from home, cooking good food, and all the Kon Mari I did over the winter. Has made spring cleaning a breeze!
Tonight I’m going to a Spring Equinox Sound bath hosted by Becca Lemire and I am SO Looking forward to it. A few years ago in LA, I went to my first sound bath (see post) and it was a transformative & life changing experience. I took a much-needed break and after that experience had a week of clarity and realization. Who knows what might happen tonight!
After what feels like the longest winter, it’s finally spring! This post is for all the weekend warriors, the road trip people, and anyone ready to roll into the sunset with the wind in their hair. Raise your hand hands! I can’t wait to get back up to the cottage and continue the opening duties.
Over the summer months, we spend a LOT of time back and forth from Muskoka to Toronto. I recently chatted with OK Tire about how to get your car in top shape for spring. Answers have been edited by me but the info is from an expert! Scroll down for a few tips on safety, changing a tire, and link to playlists. ? You will also find photos of me and cars I’ve driven/seen recently!
Q1: How does one prep the car if you’re a ‘weekend warrior’ that takes regular trips out of town?
A: Preventive maintenance is the best way to make sure your car is always ready for your weekend adventures. OK Tire recommends having your car inspected at every tire change and make sure you stick to that vehicle maintenance schedule.
Keep an emergency kit filled in the trunk with essentials
GPS is key, I love Google Maps/or Maps on iPhone
Don’t wait till you’re nearly out of gas to get gas, keep your tank at least 1/4 full!
Tunes are essential, have your passenger take care of this if you can (FYI – OK Tire also has Spotify playlists here)
Don’t forget snacks and games (for kids!) LIKE, WHO DOESN’T LOVE SNACKS!)
Q2: What’s the difference between winter/summer tires?
A: I know winter tires have more traction but there must be more than that so I investigated. DYK, winter tires are specifically designed to perform on wet, cold, snow-covered and icy surfaces? Winter tires have 2-3 times the number of sipes than your regular all-season tires, that provide hundreds of extra biting edges for better traction. The rubber compounds in winter tires are formulated to operate in colder weather and stay more flexible in temperatures below 7 degrees. This softer compound will wear down rapidly in the warmer months, so best to put those all-season tires back on before you hit the road.
While we’re talking about all-season, there’s a few different kinds to consider:
Low rolling resistance for fuel economy
Reduced siping and grooves for ride comfort and reduced road noise
Long tread life for high mileage use
Varying degrees of performance
Q3: Long car ride, what do you need to have on hand to be safe?
A: My friend recently got a new car from ICL and we’re thinking of going somewhere long distance in it. But you need to be well prepared! You want to have a few essentials in the car at all times in case (god forbid!) there’s an emergency. Sean keeps a bin in the back of the truck with a bunch of this stuff in it. Things you want to have: phone charger, blanket, matches, candles, some type of non-perishable food, bottled water, first aid kit, jumper cables, gloves, spare tire, duct tape, tire gauge, and of course, a paper road map. Imagine you had no service or phone battery?! You’re gonna need that map! You need to make sure you have the correct car insurance policy too. When it comes to this, you may find that you have a lot of questions, such as is aarp any good? What is third party insurance? or What is the best policy for me? Take your time to do some research, as this is very important. I know someone who owns a Lexus and he got some lexus insurance which was perfect for him. Shop around and find the perfect policy!
Hot Tip: If you’re a passenger on a long car ride, do yourself a favour and order the Trtl pillow so you can sleep in the car. It’s amazing.
Q4: How do you change a tire?
A: Confession, I’ve never had to change a tire myself so i wanted to ask this to get the low down.
Golden rule: FIND A SAFE LOCATION. As soon as you realize you have a flat tire, don’t abruptly brake or try to turn. Slow down and scan around for a level, straight stretch of road with a wide shoulder. An empty parking lot is ideal. Look for level ground to prevent your car from rolling. Also, straight stretches of road are better than curves because oncoming traffic is more likely to see you.
Never attempt to change your tire on a narrow shoulder near oncoming traffic. Move slowly until you find a safer spot. It sucks to drive on your rim but honestly, it’s better than being hit by a car.
Consult your trusty owner’s manual and review for specific steps on how to change a flat tire for your vehicle.
We can’t prevent flat tires but taking good care of your car improves performance and ensures your tires last as long as possible. Be safe out there!
Q5: If you puncture a tire, do you need to buy a whole new tire?
A: Key thing here, don’t try to repair a punctured tire yourself, it needs a specialist. In some cases, a tire can be fixed. Have a certified technician take a look and follow their recommendation.
When I was growing up my dad had a hot rod shop, ‘Toys For Boys’ and we spent heaps of time around old cars. Love this 1936 Ford 5 window coupe I found on their IG @OKTire.
If you have any questions for me or a tire expert, feel free to comment or send me a tweet.
Now that Daylight Saving time has kicked in it’s finally starting to feel like spring. I can’t wait to be back up at the lake!
This post is sponsored by OK Tire and the thoughts and interest is all me. I hope you find it useful!
About OK Tire As the largest independent tire and auto service retailer in Canada, OK Tire experts have the experience and knowledge to help you make the right decisions for your vehicle, no matter what the year, make or model. With over 300 locations coast to coast, OK Tire is 100% Canadian owned and operated. Customers can count on national support and the personal service of a local owner who lives in, shops in, and supports their community.
One of my favourite things about working with Telus over the years is their consistent commitment to giving back in communities across Canada. Over the next 5 years, Telus is donating $1 MILLION to Sick Kids to help build the worlds best children’s hospital where they treat 100,000 kids annually. This the largest fundraising effort effort in Canadian healthcare history and we can all help to make it a reality.
To help get to that goal, TELUS created a digital storybook, Bunny Goes to the Hospital, to help kids and families feel more comfortable about going to the hospital. Which, as we all unfortunately know, is not usually great.
The sun was setting and I thought wow you should really go out for a walk. I looked out the window and since we moved the couch it’s easier to see out. Neighbourhood watch. I decided against the walk and wondered why am I so tired? I started going through the things I did today and realized, whoa, no wonder. I feel like I should keep going but I had a video shoot, pulled an event outfit, signed a contract, made burritos, and we switched our internet plan today. Add in a bunch of emails and remembering a script. I need to charge my batteries. I don’t know if Daylight Saving has anything to do with it but I’m definitely tired. Couch time.
I grabbed my iPad, put on the show, and made some food. Caprese salad, banana on toast, simple, delicious. This weekend I finally set up another pair of Phillips Hue lights so we can dim the front door and entryway lights. I tackled the mess that was the entryway over the weekend and it feels nice now. The living room is tidy and filled with coloured balloons from the shoot. It’s still light out at 7:30pm.
Oh hello there! Woke up early and did some work, cleaning, went for a walk. It is finally a *tiny* bit warmer and it makes such a difference! I’m not even mad about how cold winter was, it made it easier to stay home, organize, tidy the house. Thankful to myself right now for all the Kon Mari, We have less clutter around the house and it makes me feel more relaxed, happy, and we’re enjoying the space. Next on my to-do list is the patio.
Had a very chill weekend at home. Saturday I took Em out around the west end to a gallery for a music video launch. Yesterday I went to check for plant sales and came home with a bunch of beauties for the house.
Today I opened the windows and my GOD does it ever make a difference. It’s insane how the few degrees and some sunshine makes everything seem better. We’re not at bare ankles and trench coat just yet but I’ll take it!
One of my fav things to do in the morning is get up and go for a walk. As part of my 4-month test of AfterShokz Trekz Air headphones, I’m sharing how I’ve grown to really love these headphones, especially for walking outside.
I love to get outside for fresh air when I get up in the morning. It’s a little harder during the cold months but if you dress for it, you’re fine. You’ll be glad you went and luckily, spring is almost here. More often than not, I find something along the way to inspire my thoughts, feelings, or at least a selfie. 😎✌🏼
I like to listen to music, books, and podcasts but don’t want to fully cancel out the noise around me. What if there’s a dog or a siren?Safety is really important. It sucks that we live like this but the thought of a stranger coming up behind me on the sidewalk, path, or just about anywhere freaks me out. I need to be able to hear what’s going on around me at all times. Especially since my fall in November, I’m hyper-aware to what’s going on around me and how safe, or icy the ground is. Side note, spring weather is apparently coming early!
The AfterShokzTrekz Air headphones send sound to your inner ear with little vibrations through your cheekbones. This leaves your ears free and open to hearing all the sounds around you. It’s kinda futuristic and makes me excited for the evolving world of wearable tech. I went into detail about how bone conduction works in my first of 4 posts right here.
Benefits of a Morning Walk
I know it’s hard in the winter but if you start now, come spring you’ll be happy with your new routine and likely see some health benefits. Here are a few ways a 15-30min morning walk will help you look and feel healthier:
Helps to improve blood sugar control, reduce diabetes risk
Heart health! Brisk walking can help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Can alleviate symptoms of depression & anxiety
Enhance brain function
Weight loss – exercise helps to slim & tone your body
Helps with arthritis, bone health
Good for the immune system. Fresh air!
Helps with weight loss and reducing overall body fat
Thank you for tuning in! Over the next month, I’m getting back into working out and yoga post-injury. I’ll be assessing AfterShokz for work workouts at home and the gym. If you’re looking to order a pair, get $50 off via this link from PTPA.
Finally, do you have any podcast recommendations? I like no bs, comedy, tech, or true crime.
Next month my blog is 14 years old, can you believe that? I’ve been building my little piece of the internet and sharing stories longer than the time I’ve had this blog. Before WordPress, there was Blogger, MySpace, and MSN Spaces.
I love sharing and being an ‘internet person’ but it can take a toll on you. I love it most the time, but sometimes, I don‘t feel like it.
It’s Not Easy Being On The Internet
It’s crazy the things people say on the internet when they’ve got a screen barrier to give them extra confidence. Often forgetting there’s a human on the other side, manning the comments. Like, a real human being with feelings.
One little comment can stay in your head all day or a tweet can jump right through the screen and punch you in the heart.
The other day I tweeted how ‘Having a sister is legit the best.” and a friend replied, “Yes it was”. I had to fight back tears. I know he lost his sister and maybe was having a hard day, I was too. I couldn’t get it out of my head. I called my sister crying.
This comment made me think how ‘influencer culture’ has kinda made the internet worse. This was in response to a post I shared about #PinkShirtDay with Telus. I didn’t have to post about it, I wanted to. Telus has a great program and is invested in making a difference in communities across Canada. I love this about them.
It seems like everything is sponsored these days. Is it bad? I don’t know! To each their own! We all have the ability to curate our feeds and if you think someone has too many sponsored posts, mute or unfollow them. Your feed, your life.
I started this blog in a time where NOTHING was sponsored. There were no budgets for anything back then. It wasn’t until 2012 that brand partnerships and sponsored posts started to happen and a new industry was created.
I find the internet to be a great place most the time. You connect with like-minded people, build a support group, or have friends you can count on to always share a funny gif. Shoutout to Jen aka @thiscrazy blog, she’s quick with the gif replies that make me smile.
I love comments from people who have known me for a long time or who have followed for years. Reading comments like this gives me so much joy!
If you’re new here, you might be interested to read some of my other posts titled ‘Sometimes I Don’t Feel Like It‘. My last one was in December and I’ve been writing this series for a few years now.
It’s totally normal to feel overwhelmed by social media and the internet. Give yourself a break. Don’t compare yourself to someone else’s highlight reel.
Sending you love and sunshine through the internet.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. it’s amazing what a weekend away can do for your happiness, health, relationship, and spirit. Over the winter we don’t get away too often so when Ford Canada offered up the new Ford Expedition and hotel stay, I was so down.
We stayed at the JW Marriott Muskoka, one of Canada’s top 10 luxury resorts as voted by Conde Nast. I’ve wanted to stay here for ages and tweeting back in forth about Muskoka and cottage life for years. The staff were nice, the food was good, it was quiet. We didn’t do much other than eat and sleep but it was just the relaxing 24 hours we needed.
The lobby is quite modern and the whole place has a country house vibe. There was warm apple cider in the lobby, complimentary snowshoeing, snow bikes, and valet.
We were upgraded from a standard room to an apartment style suite which was verrrrrry roomy. A family of 4 could have stayed here no problem. It had a full kitchen, fireplace, two tvs, a private bedroom, washroom with 2 sinks, and a separate toilet/bath/glass shower, so you could use each independently.
I could have honestly stayed there for a week working on the great Americancan novel, or my blog.
Inside the JW Mariott Muskoka
The hallways feel a bit like you’re in a movie. We’re definitely going back in the summer to take in the outdoor spaces and activities.
The weather wasn’t great and neither were the roads. I was happy we were in a vehicle with 4 wheel-drive. The 2019 Ford Expedition Platinum is huge, especially when you are only 5’2 driving an SUV that seats 8! It’s also rollin’ on 22’s so you’re seated above most cars on the road. Great for visibility! The amazing traction control was very useful on icy Muskoka back roads.
“This is a very smart vehicle.”
Sean on the way home through a blizzard
This car definitely got dirty driving through lots of huge of slushy puddles, snowy roads, and a slight blizzard on the way home.
Some of my favourite features of the 2019 Ford Expedition:
heated steering wheel
Hands-free liftgate (open back door with foot movement!)
There’s also entertainment screens in the back of the front seats but we didn’t use them as it was only us this weekend. Although, earlier in the week Emily absolutely LOVED sitting in the front seats, the middle seats, sleeping in the back seats, and the varying technology in each passenger location.