Day 370: Sunrise Cold Plunge in Lake Ontario

This morning I woke up nice and early and went to Humber bay part to meet some friends for a cold plunge in Lake Ontario. The sun was just coming up over the horizon and it was cold but beautiful. It was the first time IRL meeting Amy Shio, aka Les Best the wonderful woman who has been a big part in inspiring me to run daily. Megan, Amy, Eric, Phil, and I ran into the water just after 7:30 am and stayed in for about 45 seconds. I wasn’t expecting the waves to be SO HIGH but it was still fun. When I came out of the water, it was so cold that part of my hair was FROZEN! I reckon next time we’ll pick a spot that has less waves and rocks because it was a little scary! Hoping to go back in the water again next week. Happy Friday!

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Day 368: Think About Perspective

I do a petty good job of sharing positive stories, sunshine, smiley faces but let me remind you, once again, what you see on the internet is never the whole story. Some days are hard, messy, or just plain garbage. Life is hard and we are living through a deadly global pandemic. We’ve learned a lot after one year of this but that doesn’t make it easier on the day-to-day. I try to find joy in the little things, stand and face the sun, and get out fresh air to clear my head. The past year has really taught me about perspective and I try to keep that in mind when I’m faced with it a challenge. No matter how much I try tho, I can’t help but feel sad or angry sometimes, both made more difficult if you’re tired. This week has been a mix of awesome and shitty, a real rollercoaster. It’s important to remember that a bad day isn’t all days, you are strong, you can handle this. Take some deep breaths, a walk outside, or even take a little nap. There’s no sense in letting a bad day ruin everything and with each new morning, we have an opportunity to find some good in the day. Today I was having a hard time when I decided to stop everything and go for a long walk. The air was cool but the sun was out, by the time I got back home, I felt better. I love this reminder shared by Amy Shio on Instagram, a good one to keep.

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Day 367: Making Fun Happen

Had a great run this morning and found some street art on the way home. Can you guess what I drew here? The sun of course! Love seeing people out here making fun happen. I received a fabulous box from the tourism folks in Stratford, ON filled with all kinds of goodies from local retailers. It was so fun to open! [WATCH THE VIDEO HERE] I grew up in the 519 and Stratford has so many memories for me. We used to visit all the time with my parents and I spent few weekends going there for dance competitions. To help support local businesses, they’ve created this lovely box filled with local Stratford treasures. Purchasing one is not only is a great gift, you’re supporting local shops in an Ontario tiny town. Check out @visitstratfordon on IG or visit their website to order. Each box is $100+HST (includes free shipping across Canada). My last visit there was in 2018 and I made a guide of things to do when you visit, in this post. The shirt I’m wearing is my OWN vintage from 1989. I used to go to heaps of car shows w/ the family as a kid. I was playing with the mirror and found it hilarious to see my reflections multiply. ? Just’ making my own fun over here. This week I also received a package I ordered from a childhood friend’s new biz, The Curator’s Shop. They created it during covid and ship boxed full of all kinds of luxury goods that make great gifts. I purchased the Hinza Tote, a green plastic, sustainable multi-use bag made from sugar cane, a renewable resource. For over 50 years these bags have been produced in Sweden. Finished the day with a long walk from Junction downtown to Queen & Bathurst…

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Day 366: Big Spring Energy

I’ve been waking up so early this week and I’m not sure if it’s Daylight Saving Time or general excitement. Knowing spring is around the corner has me feeling some kinda way and I’m working on a couple of projects that have me BUZZING. Last year when I was off work for a couple of months, it made me think about life and what I truly wanted. I’ve been working in social media for so long and felt like I needed a change. I joined the Advisory Board at Hvr then took a contract with Funday Agency. I’ve been so inspired by the work I’m doing, it’s transferred to everything I do. I spent years not being *truly* happy and I think this past year really gave me a chance to revaluate what matters. I reprioritized a few things and through that gained a new perspective on life. I am truly excited for the next year and what I might can accomplish. Here’s to BIG SPRING ENERGY. ☀️? She’s ready to BLOOM!

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Day 365: A Year of Cottage Living

Living in the woods for a year will change you. I remember when I started dating Sean and spending time at the cottage, I dreamed of us running away to live in the woods. I’d eat healthily, build a garden, go for long walks, and letting my hair grow out. Today marks one year since we packed up our essential items and moved up to the cottage to wait out the Covid-19 Pandemic. We thought it was a great opportunity to open the cottage a little early and get some jobs done around the property. We had no idea it would last this long. The first few months were filled with online workout classes, dance with Ryan Heffington, and long runs outside through the woods. Over the summer I read a bunch of books, perfected my tan, and safely hung out on the water with cottage friends. In August, I spent a week in the city and it was so nice to walk with friends, sit on patios, or hang in the park. I started a new job in August we both worked from the cottage for most of the fall. I was starting to miss home and good wifi, I wanted to get back to some kind of normal routine. In December, we had our first family Christmas at the cottage complete with a tree, presents, and fireworks. Sean and I spent a nice 7-day stretch at the cottage the week before NYE. We came back to the city on January 1, 2021. Sean spent most of January and February 2021 at the cottage alone or with Emily while she was doing home school. I wanted to spend some time at our house in the city, I missed my stuff, my closet, and the comfort of our space. I…

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Day 364: One Full Pandemic Year

Sometimes it feels like, is anyone out there? You’ve been following my year but how has your year been? How are you doing? I’m here if you want to talk, text, email, or Tweet. It’s me on the other side of your screen. Some days I feel good like I can handle this, I got it, I’m doing good. Other days I melt into the couch in loungewear wondering when the hell this will be over. I binge-watch shows and eat too many snacks. Then go to bed early, in my same clothes, and wake up hoping for a good day. Day 1: Social Distancing was published on March 14, 2020, it’s been one full pandemic year. My biggest accomplishments have been growing my hair out, writing this blog, and surviving. Getting through this has been hard and just making it to Day 364 is an accomplishment, so man people aren’t with us today. Although our old ‘normal’ seems a lifetime away, there are things to look forward to. As vaccines continue to roll out, and stores start to reopen, we’ll get back to some kind of normalcy. Yes, you still have to wear a mask and it might be sometime before we’re all vaccinated, but the days are longer, patios will open, and things will get better. One thing we can all take from this is the joy of slower living, the hygge of having a space that feels cozy. How important it is to have best friends, or how a call from someone can turn your day around. Some of the best times I has this year were long walks with friends or hanging out in the park. I have great memories with our cottage friends and spent lots of time reading on the dock. I’ve talked to…

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Day 363: Counting The Days

Socially distanced. Wearing a mask. Staying home. Staying inside. Working from home. Distanced walks. Banana bread. Zoom meetings. You’re on mute. Loungewear. Self-care. It’s wild to think back to March 13th, 2020. I remember going to the gym in the morning, meeting friends at Drake Commissary for lunch, eating inside. Picking up beers from the brewery, walking home in the sunshine. I went for a walk at magic hour, sat inside at the bar for a pint near our house. The next day my sister came over and we watched Contagion thinking, no way this could happen here. I’m not exactly sure how to ‘celebrate’ one year, it’s not the kind of thing you’d throw a party for. A party is technically illegal these days. I’m gonna keep counting the days until the pandemic is over. Hopefully the end is near but looking at how the vaccinations are rolling out, it might be a while. A couple of friends in Canada got their vaccines this week and I can’t wait to get mine so we can all hang out. I miss seeing friends. events, concerts, yelling in a crowded bar, karaoke, fashion shows, press-previews, or grabbing one last drink at a dive bar. Today we watched The One on Netflix and finished the 8 Episode series. Good show! Sean chopped wood and we had a nice fire, cozied up on the couch. Pretty sure it was only 9 pm when we both fell asleep.

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Day 362: The Sun Shines for You

Today was cold and so windy. On days when it’s really sunny, the sun streams into the cottage living room, casting a beautiful light onto the couch area. I was mesmerized by it today! I could feel the warm energy on my face and it gave me hope for spring and longer days ahead. Daylight Saving Time is on Sunday and it will be so nice to be able to go for evening walks without it being dark. This week at the cottage has been so nice, calm, relaxing. I’m looking forward to being home next week, checking on my plants, and going for distanced walks with friends. Both Muskoka and Toronto are still in lockdown so there’s not much to do but with warmer weather, we can hang outside. Please stay safe, stay home, and wear a mask when out. We’ll get through this, hang in there! The sun shines for you!

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Day 361: Making Smoothie Bowls

New fav lunch is making smoothie bowls, I didn’t realize how simple and beautiful they were. I’m always looking for more ways to integrate fruit, vegetables, and fiber into my meals and this is IT. Picked up a great mix of frozen fruits & veg for smoothies, then add coconut, bran bits, dairy-free coconut yogurt, and fresh fruit. Absolutely divine! Spend most of the day working, really quite enjoying my job, and will be working more over the coming months. Sometimes I dream about working in an office but other days I love the freedom of working from home. I’ve been going through old posts and looking back over the past 12 months. This weekend marks one year of pandemic life and I’m so glad to have kept this diary. I feel like I’d have no idea where the year went without it! Should I keep counting the days after one year?

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Day 360: Wednesday Workout

Today was a good day. Went for a guided run on the treadmill with the Peloton App. I love their fitness trainers and music. I also did a barre workout and it reminded me so much of ballet as a kid. From 3-13, I spent heaps of time in the studio with multiple classes each week. I learned so much from Ms Lisa, not just about dance but strength, persistence, hard work, and how to stand tall, walk with my head high. Took another short dip in the ice today, a cold plunge hurts but feels great after. I didn’t last too long today, it was windy and that makes it harder. I’ve got some friends in the city who want to give it a try so we might find a spot in the city next week. Looking forward to our weekly trip to town today, Walmart here we come. Wonder if they’ll have any plants in yet? Last year I got a beautiful Monstera and a Fiddle Fig at Bracebridge Walmart, each for $25. In the city I paid $80 for a Fig tree the same size! Sending you good vibes through the internet, hope you’re having a great week!

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Day 359: Welcome to Ice Beach

It was so warm today, almost 10 degrees! Sean came into where I was working and said ‘let’s go tanning!’. We sat outside in the Muskoka chairs, in the snow, and soaked up the sun. If you squint a little the ice almost looks like sand. Welcome to Ice Beach! Can you believe we’ve been at the cottage for almost a whole year? This week in 2020 was the last week before everything changed. I have learned so much in the past 12 months, especially about myself. I’m grateful for the experience of being here with Sean, connecting with nature, and learning to appreciate a slow living. I am loving this weather so much. It’s incredible how warmer air and a touch of sun can boost your whole vibe. Feeling more creative this week than I have in a while. This jacket is one of my most treasured vintage finds, I got it at Curries’s Music in Gravenhurst, they have a great section of clothes in the back.

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Day 358: Ice Cold Therapy

Yesterday we had an epic day of outdoor adventure with Pat & Miranda at their cottage. Sean has been really into Wim Hof breathing and cold plunges for the last year. Some benefits of cold therapy are reducing inflammation, swelling, and sore muscles, improved quality of sleep, more focus, and improved immune response. To read up on it, check out wimhofmethod.com. If you can tough it out for a few minutes, you’ll feel AMAZING after. Sean filmed this with a drone and it turned out so good. Watch the video on Instagram here. Pat had to break the ice with an axe before we could go in the ice hole. He went first for about 2 min, then me for about 1.5 and Sean too. The temperature outside was about -6 and the ice water was VERY VERY COLD. Felt so energized after going in the cold water. I’m gonna try and go in our ice bath at the cottage a few more times this week. I find it really helps with arthritis in my arm and sore feet. Here’s to a great week!

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Day 357: Walk On Water

Nice morning walk on the frozen lake. The ice is very thick. Crazy to think we went right across to the other side. Walk on water, baby! I love these smoke bombs, thanks Sean! You can find them at your local fireworks store or here on Amazon. Made a video and posted it on Instagram. WATCH THE VIDEO HERE It’s so quiet and peaceful out on the lake. The shifting ice makes these subsonic sounds that you can feel in your bones. With a shift in temperatures, ice moves, vibrating up and down, kind of like a drum or deep-sounding bass. It’s really cool to feel when you’re walking on it. Sometimes it’s loud and we can hear it from inside the cottage. How great is this jacket?! It’s Sean’s mum’s and has matching hot pink snow pants. I love it! Hi Lorna if you are reading this, miss you!

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356: Playing Outside

Today we had an adventure and went to visit Talia & Nelson at their cottage. I dressed for playing outside and it was a beautiful day. Around this time last year, we spent a night at their place and went snowmobiling. We even drove snowmobiles to a lake-side restaurant and ate inside. Inside! It was the last weekend before the pandemic hit. It was so mild today, I even unzipped my jacket for part of the walk. Nelson & Talia showed us all the targets they have set up for shooting. I’d never shot a gun until this day but it was the right place and time. Nelson turned to me and said “Casie, you’re up!” and carefully walked me through it. I’m not a gun person by any means but at this moment, I felt safe and decided to give it a try. Proud of myself, I was pretty good at hitting the target! Feels good to spend the day outside enjoying winter, making the most of each day. We drove back to the cottage as the sun was setting.

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