Last week Em & I went to #WeDayToronto and had a great time with @Telus and 20,000 other kids! Huge thank you to the Telus team for making this magical day happen. Scroll down for a giveaway I’m hosting in partnership with Telus on Instagram!
I think it’s really important for kids to see other young people who are making a difference in the world. As a kid I was very involved in my community volunteering, governing youth issues alongside city council, and being a leader as Miss Teen Cambridge. I wanted to take Emily to be inspired by young leaders making a difference in their schools, communities, and the world.
She’s almost 12 and I see her making new friends, being online, texting, growing up. I want her to feel empowered to make positive change, to stand up for herself and others.
I’m proud to be part of the Telus team and all they’re doing to help communities across Canada including their efforts to End Bullying. Since 2007, TELUS & team have provided more than $26 million in support of the @wemovement, including #WEDay, #WESchools, and engaging youth to #EndBullying. 💚💜💚
ENTER THE TELUS GIVEAWAY FOR A GOOGLE NEST HUB
Share in a comment on how you can #EndBullying, or tips you have for me to share w/ Emily.
𝗣𝗥𝗜𝗭𝗘: Google Nest Hub (value $169 CAD) 𝗥𝗨𝗟𝗘𝗦: You must be following @casiestewart & @telus on Instagram to win. Contest closes Friday, Sept. 27th 12pm. Not affiliated w Instagram. Canada only, sorry!🇨🇦
That’s a wrap on #TIFF19 for me! This week I’m working on a Vitamix commercial w/ 1188 doing props & set styling. I love it!
Over the past couple of years, I’ve been all about JOMO vs FOMO (see this post). The joy of missing out is something I’ve come to love, I think it comes with age and experience. This is the first TIFF, I didn’t go partying, stay out late, or drink alcohol. I put my happiness and health first, yay adulting!
Finding Balance: The Telus Happiness Workshop
This summer I spent a week in Vancouver for the Telus Creator Summit with the #Telus_Partner team from across Canada. It was 4 action-packed days of volunteering, adventure, food, drinks, and learning about the many sides of Telus business. I had heaps of fun and made new friends but by the last day, I was totally exhausted.
Telus anticipated this and used it as an opportunity to bring us together for a Happiness Workshop. We put down our phones, learned about disconnecting, and finished with yoga, meditation, and lunch. Not something you would expect from a telecom giant but that just goes to show how Telus is different.
During the workshop, something amazing happened…
The whole group of bloggers, YouTubers, and content creators started talking about how much social media stresses them out. The pressure to create, stay positive, be healthy, have a clean house, great photos, have good engagement, make money, collect the money, have good relationships, be a good parent, be a good partner, AND remain sane while living this crazy internet life.
IT WAS SO REFRESHING. It felt like a weight was lifted knowing we all have similar feelings about social media anxiety, it connected us.
The Telus Happiness Workshop was developed with input from expert psychologists to tackle online issues facing youth including excessive digital use and comparing themselves to others. As a group, we talked about spending too much time on your phone, social media anxiety, and the importance of taking breaks.
Have you ever taken a social media break?
Over the holidays this past year, I took a 5-day Instagram break and let me tell ya, it was great. It’s not until you take a break that you realize how often you pick up your phone, scroll, and have feelings of self-doubt looking at other peoples highlight reel. I try not to do it, but we all do.
Telus gave a bunch of teens a 24-hour challenge to not look at their phone and it’s amazing to see their reactions.
The Happiness Workshop is available online or face to face, in both official languages, and hosted by a TELUS Wise Ambassador. The online workshop can be done alone or in a group, ex. in a classroom. I highly recommend taking the Happiness Workshop with your kids, it’s geared towards teens but I reckon everyone on the internet could benefit from it.
Aside from going over digital safety, the workshop talks about digital breaks, limiting the social comparisons, and practicing the Joy of Missing Out (JOMO) as opposed to the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO). For more information visit telus.com/en/wise.
If you want to see something crazy about internet usage, check out internetlivestats.com. We learned this in the workshop and it will BLOW your mind!
I have a partnership with Telus and love working with them.
Check out some of the great stuff we've done together here.
A couple of months ago, the guys at Occupied VR and I got really into AR filters on Instagram. The first one approved in the app was for The Holy City VR at Cannes Film Fest. The Spark AR program is now out of Beta and now anyone can submit filters to Instagram to be approved.
Monday I submitted my first filter to the app! IT IS NOW LIVE!!!
I had been wanting to make one for ages but hit a couple of roadblocks as developing a filter involves learning Spark AR, a program from Facebook. About a week ago I decided to send Sean some text I’d made on iPad to see if it would work for a filter. It totally does! He made the background pink and they added the same hearts you see on this very blog. I was so excited to try it for the first time! Big thanks to Sean & Daeve for helping me. Check out Daeve’s other filters here!
Earlier this month, I started a blog post called ‘make the thing’. For the past few months, I’ve been very tired, uninspired. I needed to take a break to get my mojo back. I spent heaps of time at the cottage this summer and also declining events to stay home. It feels good.
September feels like a new start. There’s 4 months till Christmas and 2020. What’s your 2020 plan?
This week I went to the 2020 Ikea Catalogue media preview where they announced their partnership with Sonos. I love IKEA and smart home accessories so was keen to learn more. Through this partnership, IKEA is focussed on enhancing your home with sound and lighting. This post is not sponsored by Ikea but I would love if it was!
I was given the new SYMFONISK speaker and set it up as soon as I got home. Wanted to share my thoughts right away because I’m super impressed. It’s my first Sonos and by far the nicest speaker I’ve ever personally owned.
In a few minutes, I set it up on my home wifi, connected it to Apple Music, and my Amazon Echo to work with Alexa. The SYMFONISK I recieved is a bookshelf speaker that can go vertical or horizontal and be mounted as a shelf that can hold up to 7lbs. Multiple speakers can be paired for surround sound, paired over wifi, or to your TV. You control the speaker with the Sonos app and can set up voice controls. Mine is connected to Alexa and works perfectly!
Symfonisk Design x Quality
Both speakers in the series come in black or white and are designed to blend in with your home decor. The bookshelf speaker is $149 and table lamp speaker is $249. Pretty good price for the sound quality and Sonos brand. For the one with the light, you can add in smart bulbs like Phillips Hue or Ikea’s own smart bulbs to make the light change colour.
At the media preview, they had a bunch of the speakers paired together for ‘party mode’ which was pretty rad.
One of the really cool things, when you set up the speaker, is it takes you through pairing it to your specific room from the app. You slowly move your phone up and down around the room in a wave-like technique to pick up on the room shape and tone, this allows the speaker to perform the best sound for the space. Safe to say I am loving how loud it goes and clarity of sound.
The speakers are available online and instore August 7th. If you are buying online, make sure you sign up for Ebates first because they have 2.5% cashback at IKEA right now.
I recently did an interview w/ Chrissy, longtime friend, OG PR, and founder of Vocab Comm. I talk about the social media landscape, influencers, and my career. I included part of the interview below, read the whole thing here. Chrissy used to host MMVA and celebrity gifting lounges at the beginning of social media, we worked together on a few. This was a fun one.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I grew up in Cambridge, Ontario. My parents immigrated here from New Zealand and my dad had a custom Hot Rod shop growing up. I created my first business in grade 2 and at 14 I wrote a book and started a publishing company. I went to Conestoga College and last year was given an Alumni Award for my work from the President of the college. I went to university in Australia and have a B. Com in International Business. I have lived in Toronto since 2005 when I started my blog. Through my blog, I’ve built some amazing brand partnerships (Pepsi, Telus, Aeroplan, Sassoon) and traveled to incredible amazing places in the world (Thailand, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Disneyland).
How do you define an influencer?
I think the word ‘influencer’ has really taken on a whole new (kinda negative) meaning with the rise of Instagram influencers. To me, influence is a product of something someone does. It’s not something you get by having a lot of followers. My influence has grown from being a pioneer in a new industry and constantly innovating. I share my life with the world and love discovering new things, my influence comes from building trust with my audience.
What advice do you have for other people looking to become an online influencer?
Don’t do it. Find something you love and do that! Don’t set your goal at being an influencer. I swear it’s not all it’s cracked up to be!
Don’t strive to be an influencer, aim to do something that has influence on the world.
– Casie Stewart
The other week I was at the Cannes Film Festival and someone said “I’m jealous of your life”. Shortly after, I tweeted, “You wouldn’t be jealous if you knew how much work it took to get here”. For almost 10 years I blogged every single day. I very rarely take a day off and hardly any of my travels are vacation. I love what I do and have turned it into a career. It takes WORK and consistency.
What’s your fav personal social media moment in your career so far?
I’ve some really cool moments in the last 10 years of my life. A lot of them tie back to my work in social media. Traveling around the world, working with Virgin America & Richard Branson, walking in Toronto Fashion Week, being in a film about TIFF, reporting on The Royals for eTalk, speaking at SXSW, doing a TEDx talk.
How do you inspire others through your work or personal life?
I try to keep it real. Being on the internet can be hard. I have a series of posts called ‘Sometimes I Don’t Feel Like It’ (See here: http://bit.ly/2KA5Bgd) where I write about how social media gives me anxiety or I don’t feel like being an ‘internet person’. I’ve had great feedback on those posts because they share the realness that you don’t see in curated Instagram feeds.
Hellooooo! I’m excited to share this review with you and announce the giveaway I mentioned in previous posts. My favourite thing about AfterShokz Trekz Air is how you can hear the world around you while wearing them. This month in my final post, I got a second opinion from my tech-loving friend Dan Levy and have a great prize pack up for grabs.
Dan and I have known each other since the early years of Twitter 10 years ago. He’s written about heaps of tech gadgets in the time I’ve known him. Dan has a love for great music so I was keen to see what he thought of AfterShokz Trekz Air. Find his edited review below and make sure you enter the giveaway at the bottom of the post.
I’ve been using the AfterShokz Trekz Air headset for a couple of weeks after Casie asked me for a “guy’s perspective” on this new Bluetooth headset.
Out of the gate, the coolest thing about this headset is how it delivers sound to your brain without going into your actual ears. Instead, they use a technology called “bone conduction” where the headset’s audio is delivered to you via your jaw bone under your ears as opposed to going into or over your ears like other headsets you’ve used before. [Read more about this in a previous post by Casie]
I have really enjoyed using these headphones for walks and just day to day audio. Aftershokz greatest strength is also their greatest weakness – that they allow you to be aware of all that is going on around you because they don’t block your ears from hearing ambient noises. This is FANTASTIC for when you need to be present to the sounds around you but also want to be able to listen to your own personal soundtrack.
Aftershokz bone conduction technology is an absolute joy for getting out and exercising in your neighbourhood without risking lack of awareness of your surroundings. They helpfully include a pair of disposable ear plugs in the Aftershokz Trekz Air package so you can still listen in loud environments but where these headphones truly shine is for fitness users. They are IP55 rated which means that they are made to withstand dust particles and that they are “protected against powerful water jets and heavy seas”. You can sweat in them or get caught in the rain and not be concerned you kick up dust on the sidewalk/road while you’re running because these are built and certified to withstand such hazards.
I’ve been wondering if bone conduction audio delivery at full blast is better for your ears than putting a pair of earbuds to full volume (which is very much not advisable and can damage your hearing). I’m guessing it is!
If you’ve given these a try let us know what you thought of them. If you have any questions about them, be sure to reach out!
OK, giveaway time. After spending the last couple of months with these headphones I have to stay I’ve really grown to like wearing them.
As someone who likes to always be aware of what’s going on around me, they’re awesome. In the last few weeks, I’ve been wearing them around the house to listen to books & podcasts and wearing them to do my BBG workouts.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
“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.
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!
We have quite a few stairs at home, so I decided Roomba would live at the 1188 office. Honestly, it’s been such a hit with everyone, they were all so excited when the big box arrived, it would be interesting to find out what is best robot vacuums to try out. It feels like we have an office pet again!
I would say the only downfall about the Roomba Robot Vacuum is that it can’t do stairs, yet! It does have Cliff Detect so it won’t fall down or take a tumble should you have some stairs around.
Once I got everything set up, it was really quick to download the app and connect the device. The Roomba i7+ is the smartest robot vacuum yet. It has a cleaning dock to empty itself plus an app that lets you control it and see where it’s cleaned.
You can see it was super quick to set up. I snapped these screenshots all in the same minute! My favourite part aside from clean office floors is the app (by the way, this is the perfect vacuum for wooden floors). I’m able to see if there’s an issue, what’s been cleaned, or set it to clean at any specific time.
Two features that make this an amazing machine are 1) Dirt Detect™ Technology and 2) The Edge-Sweeping Brush. Dirt Detect gets to know areas that need more cleaning like high traffic spots and prompts the robot to be more thorough when cleaning there. The magical Edge Sweeping brush gets into the edges and corners. I found this quite useful in the kitchen and around office chairs.
This is a handy feature. The robot cleaned 4h 57minutes before needing to be emptied. This feature means you don’t have to worry about emptying the little robot once it’s full saving you time and energy. It’s really easy and not messy to take out the full bag, toss, and put a new one in. The vacuum set comes with 2 bags and it was about a month before I needed to empty the bin. You can order new bags from theiRobot shop.
I love this feature. Some people mentioned it’s ‘kinda creepy‘ that it makes a map of your space but honestly, that doesn’t really concern me when I arrive at the office and the floor is tidy.
The Roomba i7+ robot uses Imprint™ Smart Mapping technology to learn the floor plan and it gets better over time. You can set it to just clean certain areas, pick specific times, or set to a schedule. Watch the video below to see how it works.
Another really cool thing is that the Roomba connects to Alexa enabled devices or Google Assistant. The joy of saying “Alexa, run the vacuum” makes me so excited for the robot future.
Great vacuum. Highly recommend.
Also, this is my favourite comment from Sean about the new Roomba, haha.
“I dropped some chips so I woke up the Roomba”
Disclaimer: iRobot sent this for me to review in exchange for my honest opinion and that's exactly what you've got here!
I installed the new WP 5.0 that came out last week right away. I like to be the first to try things out. I’ve always been an early adopter. There are a few glitches but I believe this is the start of a new, modern, flexible WordPress. It gives you so much more customization in the way your work is displayed, photos, galleries, quotes.
I ran into an issue when I first installed WP 5.0 where it reverted me back to the Classic Editor. I lost Gutenberg when I installed 5.0 then I installed the Classic Editor and couldn’t get Gutenberg back. I searched a whole bunch of WP developer forums and it was VERY CLEAR, people HATE Gutenberg and they HATE Blocks. To fix it I disabled the Classic Editor plugin, and deleted, reinstalled the Gutenberg editor. I also disabled Page Builder (Site Origin) and a couple other plugins that I wasn’t using and probably weren’t updated for WP 5.0.
I blogged about my fav parts of the new Gutenberg Editor back in August when it was released here.
One of my favourite things in the new editor is how you can display images wide across the page. I love the way galleries look stretched out instead of just within the pixel width of your blog text. So pretty. These photos are from Ashley Longshore gallery in New Orleans, LA.
What are your thoughts on the new WordPress, do you love it or do you hate it?