This weekend was super relaxing. Bed early on Friday, Saturday nap, made dinner & dessert, Sunday boating, blogging, reading. I love the weekend to slow down, talk less, sleep more, and take a break from email.
I didn’t use to be so good at it, I had to work at relaxing, I couldn’t sit still. Last year I went to regular yoga at a studio.One of my fav parts about yogayoga was the practice, making time for it, laying on my mat, moving through the poses, sweating, meditating. Something I learned from my teacher, Sandy was ‘not reacting takes practice‘. And although she said it in the context of trying to stay still in savasana, I carried it with me right out the door and into my life.
Not reacting takes practice. It took me a while to be able to lay there, still on the floor with my thoughts and not move when a bead of sweat dripped across my face. I’ve been doing yoga on our rooftop patio and it’s good but not that same as a quiet room and music lead by someones calming, familiar voice. [Studio is back open in January!]
When I think back to Sandy saying ‘not reacting takes practice’ it’s so true if you apply that to stressful situations. Especially those where you could react with rage or anger, not reacting there is a real test of your patience and just how much practice you’ve had. 😊 My mum has a couple good sayings like ‘water off a duck’s back‘ or ‘build a bridge and get over it‘. She always knows the right thing to say.
If you’re feeling stressed or holding something inside, let it go. Write it on a piece of paper and throw it in the fire. There is no sense carrying it with you for another day, week, or year. Free up that space in yourself to fill it with something that makes you happy, with sunshine. Step outside feeling lighter and put on a smile.
Not long I went to an event at Only One Gallery featuring a reading by NYC poet Cleo Wade hosted by MedReleaf‘s brand, Altavie. It was one of the first cannabis-focused events I’d attended, it stood out with its classiness and the incredibly cool group of mostly women in attendance.
The night started with a guided meditation where everyone closed their eyes to take a few minutes for themselves. The panel was hosted by Briony Douglas who’s art was displayed around the gallery with a few other artists (Alpo Snow, Tahsin- The Good and Enzee Creative. Briony is one of my favs I have couple pieces from her recent show MOUTHPIECE in my room.
AltaVie by MedReleaf aims to help make mindfulness more attainable
Altavie is a high-end cannabis brand with a movement towards mindfulness, being present, and living in the now. I was there thinking, ‘wow this weed brand is so ME right now, how is this really happening‘. Life is such a dream.
The only product currently on the website is a cannabis-free a nut bark that looks pretty good called Cannabis Crunch. It’s infused with cannabis inspired flavours (toffee, cinnamon, cardamom) and the product is already available at over 200, health food, drug and grocery stores across the country. A perfect product placement strategy.
“We are living in a fast-paced world that has us all constantly looking to the future and focused on getting somewhere or the next thing” noted Darren Karasiuk, VP Strategy at MedReleaf. “While the benefits of cannabis are far-reaching, for the launch of AltaVie we want to focus on the power of being in the present, allowing our consumer to appreciate life’s moments more fully – in the here and now, big or small.”
I’m really interested in high-end cannabis brands and products, and how they’re being marketed to women . I’ve already seen some really beautiful accessories. Um, hello weedbox.com?!
Another cool thing about this event was San Rafael ’71, another Medreleaf brand targeted at the classic consumer. Their 420 Lager doesn’t contain cannabis but it has exactly 4.20% alcohol. Nice one! 😊The beer was released in partnership with Amsterdam Brewery prior to legalization to get the brand name out there. If you live in Toronto you might have seen the posters around. Smart idea.
This is the creative marketing I love, I live for this stuff. So exciting. I love being part of what’s happening in the cannabis space and it’s only going to get more interesting. Please invite me to all your events.
This week I’m going to a cannabis event for a ‘sneak peek’ at 3 new cannabis brands and it’s at ‘For Your Eyes Only’ (a strip club). I will be sure to take photos (if I can!) and share what goes down behind the black curtain.
This post is not sponsored by Altavie! Cool the brand & the event was great.
All photos by Ryan Emberley.🍃
I’m writing this from the cottage with the lake as my second screen. Last week was a busy one after being away but I love those weeks almost as much because things move fast and it’s motivating.
The other day I went rock climbing with Raymi and some friends at Hub Climbing in Markham. I like rock climbing but it gets harder as you get older haha. My arms were a bit sore this week from wakeboarding and my trainer. I’m chuckling a bit to myself writing this because back in 2001, I was a Sunshine Girl (Toronto Sun) and my bio said I liked ‘baseball, rock climbing, and want to work in marketing‘. At the time I had never gone rock climbing in my life. Safe to say I always knew what I wanted career-wise!
We were invited to check out Hub Climbing‘s 18,000 sq ft facility with over 200 climbs and bouldering. They’ve got locations in Markham (where we went) and Mississauga where they offer camps, classes, school groups, and yoga. They were very helpful in training us to ‘learn the ropes’, climb safely, and push ourselves to the limits.
It’s definitely a fun experience, we had heaps of laughs. Martin from @Studenomics was REALLY good. He scaled the speed wall in under 10 seconds!
Hello, I am a rock climbing bae now.
The thing I like about rock climbing is that you use every muscle in your body including your brain. You have to think strategically about where you’re going and how you’re going to get there. Such is life.
Thank you Rob & Hub Climbing for inviting me to climb at your gym. Looking forward to my next visit!
This experience was sponsored by Hub Climbing! Check them out if you you're looking for a super fun activity to do with your friends.
Today I cleaned some stuff ou out from the stage space under my bed. Every single time I do this it’s a mix of ‘why am I keeping this crap’ and ‘oh my God look what I found!‘ Like this great leather hat and vintage leather fanny pack lol.
We keep all kinds of crap and take it around with you, different houses, relationships, but you should really just let it go, clean it out. Why do we keep so many things?
I’m on a mission to cleanse everything from my life that doesn’t give me joy.Marie Kondo your life kinda thing. I did this a couple years ago after a great trip to LA. I came home refreshed with renewed self-worth and energy to go confidently in the direction of my dreams. I find, one of the best ways to cleanse out your internal demons is to get rid of crap around you in the physical world. It is so cathartic to throw things down the laundry shoot, in the garbage or toss in the bins at the dump (a personal fav!). After that LA trip I was pretty dedicated to yoga 3-4/week and eating better, but as time went on, I travelled heaps, got off my path and hardly went to yoga this year (or hardly worked out at all tbh). You can’t hate yourself for it though, life happens!
You always have the ability to start something today, shift your perspective, take a new outlook, or make a change.
Your life is your movie and you are the director, You decide what you do and how you handle the situations life hands you. NO excuses.
This summer, I started actually going to the gym and even booked a trainer for 6 months. I started wakeboarding (ok I went once but I did it!). I went rock climbing. I’m drinking less. It feels less like work and more like a challenge when you stick to your goals. I am in no way perfect or really great at this but I’m trying. I try every day and some days I’m really off my game, but that’s ok. The important thing is to keep trying.
If you’re looking for some motivation, start with clutter around your bedroom, house, kitchen, and clean it out this weekend. You’ll feel heaps better!
Tonight I am going to Diner en Blanc and I really hope it doesn’t rain!
I went glamping on a farm and it was amazing. 🏕Chefs cooked all the food, we did yoga in a barn listening to Tragically Hip, I went in a greenhouse, there was a pond, the outdoor showers were glam, and there were 250 people. I knew this would be cool based on the invite, it was unique. 🙏🏼🌳☀️
50 Luxury Tents for us!
The glamping trip was hosted by Up Cannabis at The New Farm. The Tragically Hip are big investors in the company and the band was there the whole day and had dinner with the group. It was the first big cannabis event I have been to. It was also the nicest camping experience I have ever had and would 100% do that again. Up Cannabis can’t actually share their product with us but for the 50 media that stayed over to camp, they infused the same terpenes found in the product into the soaps, drinks, food, and everything around us.
The event was really well done. The tents were like little apartments with electricity, real beds, furniture, lights, and fans. It was reallllly hot those days. In the morning, outside our tents were little baskets with reading material, breakfast snacks and cold brew coffee (that was cold!). They gave us heaps of little things to take home, wool Glerups slippers, snacks, and my favourite item is this soap which you will soon find in the Up Cannabis store soon.
at its finest!
Welcome to camp!
The Upside-down house
Gord Sinclair from The Hip
Band played in the barn
They had alcohol non beverages
A breakfast option!
Dinner is served!
Morning packages w/ cold brew
The New Farm Owners
Up Cannabis Strains
The Up brand has positioned themselves in the ultra-premium segment with a strong connection to music. By having The Tragically Hip as major shareholders and strategic partners, the band weighs into every major marketing decision and infuses their brand music.
Given the upcoming legislation gives event sponsorship the green light, you’ll see more cannabis companies at festivals, events, and consumer touchpoints.
What a time to be alive. Back when social media started, new technology was bringing people with like interests together, all over the world. We were all on Twitter and it was magic. That same energy is floating around right now about the upcoming cannabis legislation. Working with Weed VR has been an eye-opening experience.
We’re on the cusp of a new $20 billion dollar industry with unlimited potential for retail, tech, marketing, education, and medicine. “It’s not like putting a new candy bar on a new shelf, it’s a whole new store” (4:19 Podcast). Great listen about the industry on the 4:19 Episode 1 w/ Shekhar Parmar Founder/CEO, Harvest Medicine Chief Strategy Officer, ABcann (🔊here).
This summer I went to Vancouver to meet with the Canadian team of TelusAdvocates. I’ve shared my love for Telus over the years but this experience was truly amazing. They flew in content creators from across the country to visit their Vancouver office, tour Telus Garden, create, eat, explore, and build relationships.
I’ve worked with heaps of brands but I truly admire the influencer program Telus has built over the years. Ok yes, I am a little bias because I chatted with the team before they created the program and shared my likes, dislikes, and brand experiences. They have set the bar high for what it means to work with a telecom company or a big brand. The experience (as an influencer) is tailored to each person’s style of content and audience.
In this post, I’m sharing a few of my tips for creating a great influencer program with Telus as my example.
The thing about being an influencer is that you’re usually sharing your real life, so when you work with a brand, it means authentically integrating their content into your own experience.
You have to get to know each other in order to learn what works and create opportunities that mutually benefit the relationship.
It’s cool when you work well together and even cooler when it becomes a friendship. I’ve worked with Telus for about 8 years now and we’re colleagues but also friends. I can text with jokes, links, or that odd time on the weekend when I broke break my phone. (Sorry!)
Since we’ve built a good working relationship, we all reach out whenever something cool comes up like an event, giveaway, or content idea.
It really sucks when you’re scrolling Instagram and you see a sponsored post that seems kinda generic, but then you see another Influencer say almost the same thing, then another, and god forbid another. It doesn’t show personality, it’s not that creative, and it’s boring. Everyone is different and creates content (hopefully) in their own style.
Your influencer crew should be talking in their own voice and sharing photos that look like their real life, not just an #ad.
Telus is really cool about knowing what each of us likes and letting us create our own stories. At the start of the year, we have a 1-on-1 meeting where go through content ideas for the year. Each influencer picks out the events and ideas that speak to them, and we plan around that.
I am amazed that this doesn’t happen more. Brands have groups of influencers, sharing content around the same #hashtag, often in the same city, but they never hang out or have a chat. There are online platforms designed to help creators and businesses find each other like Socially Powerful, but I still feel more needs to be done. Bring your people together! It’s a great way to build relationships between client/influencer but also between the creators.
We like hanging out, taking photos together, meeting new people. It helps strengthen the team, give each other ideas, and the brand has an amazing opportunity to create original content.
If you have a great team of people you like working with who are sending out good vibes and great content, why not use that power for good? Telus gives $45M a year communities across Canada and half a billion since 2000. This year at TELUS Days of Giving events 35K employees will be involved in 2,000 events across Canada.
In Vancouver, the Telus Advocates (us) and a bunch of Telus employees joined forces to pack 200 bags with weekend snacks for Backpack Buddies. This charity was started by two women to help fill the weekend hunger gap for Vancouver kids in need. We went around the room in a circuit with people doing different jobs to hustle through packing. It was a lot of fun and it brought us together. Love to see more of this from other brands. See more at #GiveWhereWeLive.
We packed 200 bags for Backpack Buddies and Telus donated $10,000!
If you’re building an influencer team or already have relationships, remember they’re good at what they do because they have experience. They work with multiple brands, agencies, timelines. You don’t need to get super specific but asking questions is a great idea. What do they like about other programs? Do they have ideas on how to make things better, faster, smoother? How could we use technology to tell stories in a different way? Asking questions helps you learn and when you learn you have more ideas, and everything gets better.
Telus Vancouver dinner and the day I first wore my fav dress.
Bring Them In
I love learning about a program while it’s still in development and giving feedback or sharing a related experience. I usually have a different perspective and turn it on its head. Last year, Telus brought a few of us in to ask about a new program they’re thinking about and while we were in Vancouver we talked a lot about Telus programs and the future. It’s great to hear about what the company is doing, planning, how you can work together.
You know what all content creator influencer people have in common? They all like to make things, create things. A lot of them even like the camera. ? Make stuff with them!
Telus had each of into Telus Vancouver Studio (inside their building) to shoot some fun stuff on camera. They planned it out well, has scripts, full crew, and we each took turns for private studio time. It was fun and now they have a whole bunch of fresh-faced content.
Last year before Mother’s & Father’s Day Telus had a bunch of us come to the Toronto office and shoot us talking about gadgets & gift ideas. We also called our parents to ask about their favourite present we ever gave them. You will laugh at mine because I was born on Mother’s Day and like, what is a better gift than THAT!? ?
Learn & Grow
Through building relationships, coming together, and asking questions, you learn a lot about people, marketing, and what works best. Your program should be agile and change with the times, the content, technology, the people. New feature on IG or app to make something cool, try it. Find a great new creator, reach out to them. Someone not posting as much as they used to bc they just aren’t really into it, cool no problem, work with that or move on.
You need to be constantly innovating or you will be left behind. Innovate or die.
Finally, this goes without saying at this point, if you’re working on all this stuff with someone or a group of people, you should pay them for their time and expertise. It can be cash (cheques are good) or in-kind (must have great value) but please recognize the immensely unique perspective and value someone of this nature can bring to your program or organization.
Sidenote, Vancouver is really beautiful. Especially in the summer!
How to Build a Great Influencer Program
Give Where You Live
Bring Them In
Learn & Grow
I love working with Telus as you can tell from this post.
Check out some of my other stories over the years here. 💚
This year for Canada Day weekend I was part of the Ford EcoSport cross Canada road trip with Ford Canada. My friend April and I were Leg 14 of the adventure and driving from Regina to Medicine Hat, SK and finishing in Calgary Alerta. It was both our first time in Regina and we had heaps of fun along the adventure. Thank you Ford Canada for this experience! Scroll down to see what we got up to along the way.
Canola field just outside Regina, SK
The Ford Eco Sport Tourinvolves 14 different content creators each driving the exact same Ford Eco Sport for a relay across the country. When I first received the email I was so excited and even more so that I got to bring a friend! I’d been wanting to go on a trip with April since that great weekend we spent glamping up north a few years back.
We started in Regina, SK and it was the first time there for the both of us. We arrived late afternoon and checked into Hotel Saskatchewan, an extremely elegant hotel. Ford hooked us up with a 2 room suite and it was perfect! The hotel offered great views of the city, was walking distance to restaurants and bars, it had a nice gym and a hot tub too. We drove around and made use of the SYNC® 3 with Apple CarPlay™ and FordPass Wifi HotSpot.
Instead of doing typical tourist stuff on our road trip, April and I made a point to stop at different vintage and second-hand stores across the two provinces. We love to shop! I’ve always found that shops in small towns are where you really find the gems. Our first stop was T&A Vinyl & Fashion and the owner was so cool. We shopped the vintage finds/records and he gave us pins, stickers, and a whole bunch of tips for things to do along our journey.
After a busy day of travelling and some shopping, we were ready for relaxation. Instead of going out we ordered room service from the incredible kitchen at Hotel Saskatchewan and pigged out in our rooms wearing our robes.
In the morning, we woke up pretty early (with the time difference) which it earned us time to hit the gym, have a coffee, and be on the road by 9am. Our goal was to do as much driving in the early part of the day as e could so we had some time at our next destination, The Resort at Cypress Hills. The car was great to drive and features like SYNC and wifi kept us on track and connected the whole time.
We had no shortage of great places to stop along the way. A lot of the drive looked the same with wide open Canola fields of yellow, green grass, and blue skies. We sang along to 90s on 9 on Sirius XM and stopped for photos and shopping along the way. It was really fun. As we turned off the Trans-Canada highway we came across a cute stop with a goat farm. So cute. Always stop for baby goats!
It was just about dinner when we arrived to our room at Cypress Hill Resort, a nice resort in the middle of a provincial park. We had a great dinner and turned in early to watch TV in our beds. We’re a real wild bunch! haha.
It was Canada Day when we woke up on Sunday so we both wore red and hit the road for the final leg of the trip to Calgary. It’s amazing how wide and flat the Prairies are. Really makes you appreciate how big and beautiful Canda is. Especially on Canada day! 🇨🇦
We made a few stops along the way including a Sunday market. We talked to shopkeepers whoever we stopped and people asked about the Ford Eco Sport wherever we went.
Canola field just outside Regina, SK
Sunday night we stayed at my fav spot in Calgary, Hotel Arts. I filmed this video there with Tourism Calgary a couple years back. We had a great dinner at Yellow Door Bistro inside the hotel and watched the Canada Day day festivities from the balcony.
Althouth we were on a self-guided adventure, we had Denis who worked with Ford to drive across Canada to make sure each participant was a-ok along the journey. He also put gas in the car overnight so we were ready to roll in the morning. Thanks Denis!
Overall the Ford Eco Sport was a great car to drive. It’s comfortable, good on gas, nice sound system, and my fav feature was the automatic windshield wipers. It didn’t rain much but when it did, they started up themselves!
Check out @FordCanada on Instagram for some of the other people who were part of the relay. It was such a cool experience to be part of and to explore a new part of Canada.
Last week I stopped by Sassoon Toronto for my regular trim. My hair is lower maintenance since I opted for highlights last month instead of full bleach & tone. I really like what’s going on with my two-tone hair, it’s still blonde, has some texture, and is my natural colour at the back.
For my touch-up cuts in between colour, I’ve been seeing Tricia for a quick trim. She usually does a few snips while the hair is wet, then does scissor-over-comb (SOC) while my hair is dry to finish off the look. It’s amazing how a quick trim makes you feel so refreshed!
I love summer and wedding season is the perfect chance to get all dolled up. I would wear this dress to every wedding this summer, it makes me feel great and always gets compliments. It’s my ‘feel good’ dress of Summer 2018! I chatted with Tricia about the perfect summer wedding hair and got a few tips from Sassoon Salon’s creative directors Lorraine McAndrew and Wesley Hanlon.
Keep it fresh
Tricia’s reco is to get a fresh haircut/trim/colour touch-up one week before the big day. If you have short hair like me, opt for a blow-dry on the day of. A professional just has the magic touch to give your hair some OOMPH.
Hot Tip: For added shine ask for a personalized in-salon Kerastase Fusio-Dose treatment.
“Shine is key for ensuring your hair looks healthy from every angle,” – Lorraine McAndrew, Sassoon Salon senior creative director
If you’re going for a braid or pretty up-do, your hair should be clean, but DO NOT wash it the day of the event. Wash the night before to keep your hair’s natural oils intact, you’ll be able to count those curls, waves, or up-dos holding better and looking great in photos.
Less is more
Want to look modern and elegant? Keep it simple, don’t over style!
Wedding Day Tool Kit
I always carry a small bag with a few beauty must-haves for big events or a wedding. I love Dior or Mac lipstick, Hello Flawless Powder by Benefit, bobby pins, and tiny rubber elastics. If you’re rocking a fancy hairstyle that took some work, pop Sebastian Shaper Plus mini hairspray in your bag.
SIDE NOTE – The team at Sassoon Salon are so great. I’ve been going there for almost 2 years now and I look forward to every visit. I spend half the time laughing and talking like we’re old friends. If you’re looking for a new look or someone to really take care of your hair, I highly recommend making an appointment.
Hope you had an amazing weekend. Here’s to a great week!
This weekend we’re heading to the cottage and I couldn’t be happier. The past few weekends I’ve had a bit of travel in Ontario and out west. I can’t wait to have a few days to recharge my batteries, nothing is quite as relaxing at a few days up at the cottage. We usually stop to fill up the car on the way and our fav place is the Husky Station near Bradford for the very best samosas, snacks, and of course gas.
When Husky reached out to me about their latest campaign I replied right away about the cottage drive but what I learned in the process is how many people actually get gas and don’t pay for it. As if! Doing that never crossed my mind but in my research, I found out it happens more than you know. In May this year, new legislation passed in Alberta to protect gas and convenience store workers after multiple deaths.
“The number of fuel thefts in our province would surprise people at how high it is and occasionally a worker is injured or killed either because a dash-and-gas is happening and they’re accidentally involved or because they maybe tried to chase someone,” – Alberta Labour MinisterLabour Minister Christina Gray
Last year in Toronto, a man was charged with 2nd-degree murder after dragging a gas attendant 78 metres, when he drove away trying to escape a $112 tab. He didn’t even know he had killed a man until a couple days later! Gives me chills. With gas prices on the rise, I looked up how common gas fraud is in North America and it’s apparently ‘alive and well‘ (according to NASAA in USA) with major gas brands stating warnings right on their websites.
In order to protect their employees, Husky implemented a pay-at-the-pump policy for all locations, including the 110 locations in Ontario. Husky is one of the only stations in the province to implement this mandate.
“You hear tragic stories of employees trying to stop a gas theft and getting hurt, or even killed, and you often wonder if this could happen to you. Even though we aren’t supposed to try to stop these incidents, prepay ensures there is no dispute at the pump and helps me get home to my family at the end of every shift.” – Mike, Husky employee in St. Catherines
If you live downtown, you’re probably used to paying at the pump, but over the past month, I drove in Muskoka, Regina, and heaps of little towns where it’s not mandatory to pay before filling up. This weekend we had conversations with so many great staff members at gas stops through the Prairies and I hate thinking how this could happen to them.
Husky Energy Launches Pay before you Pump Awareness Campaign
Husky Energy believes having customers pre-pay will minimize risks to staff. Since implementation in BC, the rate of gas-and-dash deaths has decreased to zero.
I wonder when other gas companies will make this mandatory?
FYI if you go to the Husky on the 400 near Bradford, highly recommend the lamb or vegetarian samosas + plum sauce.
P.S.GASPRO TIP –Next time you are getting gas, look on the gas handle for a little latch that will hold it handle in the ‘pumping gas position’ (or use the gas cap) and you won’t have to hold it with your hand. 😊⛽️
This post is sponsored by Husky but the message is my own. I read a lot before writing this and I wonder how long it will take this to be mandatory at all gas stations.