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PSA: TELUS is Giving $1 Million to SickKids and You Can Help!

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.

Download the TELUS digital storybook and TELUS will donate $25 to Sick Kids Children's Hospital.

The digital storybook is available for download at telus.com/sickkids.

For every download of the digital storybook, TELUS will also give $25 to SickKids, to a maximum donation of $50,000.


Since 2000, TELUS team members and retirees have contributed more than $1.6 million to SickKids, and last year alone they (we!) together gave $317,000.

Learn more about how Telus is donating to Sick Kids here, see community projects here, and read about my work with Telus here.

Download the TELUS digital storybook and TELUS will donate $25 to Sick Kids Children's Hospital. http://telus.my/TELUS-SickKids-CasieStewart

It only takes a second to download the storybook. Read it to your kids, send the link to a friend and be part of the SickKids Foundation‘s campaign with a fundraising goal of $1.3 billion.

For more information about Sick Kids fundraising and how you and your company can give back, visit sickkidsfoundation.com.

Sending you love!

P.S. Need a new phone?

TELUS will give $25 to SickKids for every new TELUS smartphone activated in Ontario from now until March 31!

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Face The Sun Like a Flower, Shine Girl!

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.

Plants from Canadian Tire, spring 2019.
Yes, Canadian Tire!

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!

Feeling pumped for this week. Have 2 shoots and a speaking gig plus a dinner I’m really looking to on Wednesday with Tokyo Smoke. This weekend we might open the cottage.

Sending sunshine your way. Put a smile on your face and flash it around!

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A Morning Walk for Good Health

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 AfterShokz Trekz 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
  • Boost of energy
  • Can relieve stress
  • Improve blood circulation – good for the glow up!

AfterShokz TrekzAir: Comfort & Fit

  • Sunnies? Yep! – You’ll be happy to know you can 100% wear AfterShokz Trekz Air with sunglasses. I never leave the house without mine!
  • Lightweight – They’re really quite comfortable to wear while running/walking and don’t slip or fall off. They’re so light, I’ve come home a couple times and forgot I was even wearing them.
  • Hat? No problem! – You can wear a beanie or baseball hat without interfering with the fit or audio.

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.

Have a great day!

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Over 4 months, I'm reviewing AfterShokz headphones in a paid partnership with PTPA (Parent Tested Parent Approved). All opinions experiences are my own and I get to keep them!

Sometimes I Don’t Feel Like It #17

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 dont feel like it.

Nobody Likes You, street art by Banksy on Casie Stewart's blog THIS IS MY LIFE
Nobody Likes You, Banksy

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.

Facebook comment about a sponsored post on Casie Stewart's blog.

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!

positive Instagram comments on @casiestewart account.

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.

Casie Stewart at home in Toronto.
This is my messy room haha.

Sending you love and sunshine through the internet.

casie stewart, this is my life
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Sharing the Love w/ Ford Canada – Weekend Getaway at JW Muskoka

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.

2019 Ford Expedition Platinum from Ford Canada

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:

  • wireless charging
  • heated steering wheel
  • massage chairs
  • heated/cooling seats
  • Hands-free liftgate (open back door with foot movement!)
  • SYNC3 & Apple Car Play
  • 360 + Backup cameras
  • B&O Soundsystem

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.

Another cool feature of this SUV is the Ford Pass App + Wireless Hot Spot, we didn’t use these features but I would 100% if I owned the vehicle.

Thank you Ford Canada for creating this experience. It was so nice. We had so many laughs and came home feeling rested.

If you’re keen to stay at the JW Muskoka, use this link on booking.com to get $40 back on any hotel reservation.

I’m looking forward to being back up in Muskoka in a few weeks to start opening the cottage.

The countdown to spring IS ON!

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Ford Canada hooked us up with a car and hotel! Wooo hoo!

Tips for Growing Out Short Hair

At this point, I’m committed to growing my hair. It’s going to be a long road and I consider cutting it once a day BUT I WILL NOT DO IT. Right now, I’m determined to have a cute lob (long bob) in a couple of months. This super cold winter we’ve been having has been great for hair growth because I’ve been wearing a hat almost every day!

I got a trim the other day at Sassoon and asked my stylists to recommend some tips for hair growth. Thought I would share for anyone in the same situation. Do you not just wish there was some modern version of the Peanut Butter Solution?


Here’s some style tips from Sassoon to to help your hair long and healthy. If you’re looking for short hair inspiration, feast your eyes on my Short Hair Styles Pinterest board. Heaps of looks for all different lengths from buzzcut to bob.

While we still have a few weeks left of winter, check out my Winter Hair Care Tips post from last year.

Tips for Growing Your Short Hair

  1. Get regular trims, scissors are your friend!
  2. Avoid heat as much as you can. If you can, air dry!
  3. Don’t shampoo every time you shower
  4. Cold rinse at the end of your shower. I have learned to love this!
  5. Conditioning treatments – Pamper your hair with your hair with serums each week
  6. Avoid hair ties, they can break your hair!

Years ago, my old boss gave her hair growth a boost by eating heating heaps of Jello. Apparently, gelatin helps hair and nails grow too! You can also take supplements (ex. Viviscal) but I haven’t tried anything just yet.

One of my tricks through the awkward stages is to do small braids, wear scarves, or throw on a hat. I’m almost at the half up/half down stage.

If you have any tips of magical witchcrafy ways to make hair grow, I’m all ears!

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Sharing the Love on Valentines Day w/ NKPR

Hope you’re having a great day! Remember, the most important person to love on Valentines is yourself! The more love you have the more you have to give.

Today I joined Cory Lee, Ish and a bunch of volunteers at NKPR for #NKPR26 where they are doing 26 Hours of Giving. We helped to pack sandwiches for #HashtagLunchbag, a global movement empowering everyday people in local communities to spread love, one lunch bag at a time. We packed over 700 lunches!  

To learn more about Hashtag Lunchbag and find an event near you, visit hashtaglunchbag.org.


Tonight Sean and I are having dinner with Emily. We celebrate each other & our love all year but later this month we’re heading up to a hotel in Muskoka and going snowmobiling. It will be my first time and Sean hasn’t gone out on one in years. Yes, mum, we’ll be safe! 😜


Sending you love and sunshine through the internet. Have a great day!

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Review: AfterShokz – Trekz Air, Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones

A few weeks ago I was looking for wireless headphones, I wanted something to wear to the gym but I wasn’t sure if I wanted noise cancelling or something else. There was a whole debate about what’s better on my Facebook page and I ended up ordering a pair of noise cancelling but they made everything…too quiet! I’m rarely in a situation where I want to silence everything, I feel safer when I can hear. I like to know what’s going on around me when I’m walking around outside, working out, or in transit.

Then something great happened! I got asked to review AfterShokz headphones with bone conduction technology in a program with PTPA. Over the next 4 months, I’ll be testing out the headphones in my daily life and sharing my experience. I was really keen to try how bone-conducting headphones work and the technology behind them.


First Impression

I can tell you right now that my first day I was pretty blown away. The cool thing is, since AfterShokz headphones don’t go IN your ear, you can still hear your music, a podcast, an emergency siren, or someone calling your name in the office. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I’m really quite into them, plus you can hardly notice when they’re on. [Don’t mind my hair it’s so wild right now!]

Comfort

Comfort is a big factor for me and these are small and lightweight, you can hardly feel you’re wearing them. I’m not that into earbuds, I’ve found most of them uncomfortable in the past. I feel like a bit of a dork telling you this but there’s been a few times I’ve had them on, forgot I was wearing them, then wondered where the music was coming from. Ha! They come with a handy carrying case for easy transport when you’re not wearing them but to be honest, you can wear them all the time with ease.

I love being able to hear what’s going on around me but also have a soundtrack to my life. 

Me on Day 1 w/ AfterShokz

How Does Bone Conduction Work?

The sound is a little bit hard to explain but I like it, it feels futuristic. You can turn up the volume so you hardly hear anything around you, or keep it low and be fully tuned in to your surroundings. They also come with ear plugs if you want a noise cancelling effect but I don’t think I’ll be using those.

According to Aftershokz:

“Bone conduction is a natural part of the hearing process—sound travels through our eardrums and bones simultaneously. We’ve taken the concept to the next level through development of a suite of proprietary audio technologies and design patents. The result: headphones that deliver unrivaled situational awareness and comfort.

via aftershokz.ca


In my next post, I’ll be sharing how they are for working out now that my shoulder is better. They repel sweat and I’m gonna put that to the test. I love that you can wear them cycling or running and still feel safe and alert to sounds around you. I also have a giveaway with a pair for a lucky reader so stay tuned for that! Any questions about the sound or bone conduction technology, leave a comment or Tweet me!

Follow #ShokzSquadCAN to see what the rest of the review team is saying. 😊

casiestewart, blog, blogger, toronto, canada, travel, tech
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Over the next 4 months, I'm reviewing AfterShokz headphones in a paid partnership with PTPA (Parent Tested Parent Approved). All opinions experiences are my own and I get to keep them!


 

Happiness & The Benefits of Light Therapy

It’s a bit more work stay my sunshiney self during the winter. Today we had freezing rain that looks and feels like kosher salt. The last few weeks have involved a lot of staying inside and I wrote about a few ways to boost your mood here.

Today I had my first Light Therapy session at MOCA Toronto. It was cool! 

I was here for an hour today! Light Therapy at MOCA Toronto

Light Therapy is included with your museum membership unless there is a private session booked. I had purchased a membership because I thought it was only open to members. I booked weekly sessions for the next few weeks and today I found out I have the room ALL TO MYSELF for each one!

There’s a cafe on the first floor and drinks are permitted inside the installation. There’s parking across the street and coat check on the first floor.

If you are interested in coming to check it out, please let me know. I have the room booked weekly and can bring a few people each time. We can chat or you can do your own thing!


What is Light Therapy?

Light therapy involves exposure to intensive light under controlled conditions. The installation is designed to simulate a bright, sunny day with LEDs generating 5,600 K of low Ultraviolet, full spectrum daylight-balanced light. Everything in the room is white and you’re encouraged to wear a lab coat and white shoe covers to maintain the brightness. I am very into the lab coat. Light therapy can help with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). In winter we lack vitamin D from the sun, our skin is dry, and sometimes, depression sets in. This installation is an experiment as part of the Art in Use project and Light Therapy is by Apolonija Šušteršič.

History of Light Therapy

Light Therapy was originally produced for the Moderna Museet in Sweden in 1999, to explore how contemporary museums function as a public space, and as a social or healing device. The project was restaged at the Van Abbemuseum, The Netherlands in 2014, where Apolonija began to also consider new forms of artistic practice that are socially engaged — those which involve people and communities in debate, collaboration or social interaction. In its third iteration at MOCA, we add to this developing research, thinking about how museums might be places that support wellbeing, and more recently as spaces that support mental health.

More on the MOCA Website

Why Light Therapy is great?

  • thought to affect brain chemicals linked to mood
  • easing SAD symptoms
  • help with anxiety
  • help you sleep better
  • relaxation

Casie Stewart in the light therapy room at MOCA Toronto.

I can’t wait till MOCA is open this summer and the park is built outside. It’s nice having this in our back yard.

Sending you warm thoughts and please let me know if you want to join me here sometime.

Casie Stewart, signature, iPad Pro.
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Not sponsored I bought my own membership!