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Weekend: Wonderland, Cottage Life, Bike, Bondage!

Weekend: Wonderland, Cottage Life, Bike, Bondage!

This weekend was a great one. Went to Wonderland w/ Sean and my sister, opened the cottage, got a new bike, and managed to catch some sun.

We went on Leviathan which was crazy/scary/awesome. If you’re going to Canada’s Wonderland for the day I suggest getting a Fast Pass. The upgrade is well worth the time you’ll spend waiting in lines. The rides are really fun but I’m impatient! Don’t like waiting!

Sean and I went on the Merry-go-round. It’s cheezy and slow but I like it. I realized I’m not really into the super-fast-whip-you-around coasters like I used to be. This was romantic.

Thank you Shannon Kelly and the Canada’s Wonderland team for inviting us. We had a blast. I think my sister went on every single ride that was open! The park was just as fun as I remember and it was nice to be back after about 10 years.

Arrived at the cottage in Muskoka post Wonderland with daylight left to get the place open. There’s heaps of work to be done to get it ready for summer fun.  I raked leaves for at least 2 hours

It was great to be out in the canoe again. So Canadian!

Before Sunday dinner Sean and I  jumped in the lake. It was SO COLD but also refreshing, liberating.  I used to be all ‘nooo’ and scared about jumping in before it’s warm but switched my perspective and decided I’m lucky to have the opportunity and it’s not gonna hurt me. YOLO!

Sunset steak dinner on the dock is just about as good as it gets. Watching the sun go down here gives me great inspiration and mental clarity. It feels SO GOOD to be back.

Sparks were flying.

We Sean set up this nifty little WatchBot nanny cam on the cottage wifi. The view needs to be adjusted but now I can see and hear the cottage from the app on my iPhone.

KNOCK, KNOCK. WHO’S THERE? THE FUTURE!

Did some bike bondage and tied my girl down for the trip back from Muskoka. I’ve got pretty good rope skills and wasn’t worried about her getting away one bit! 50 Shades of Rain got her real dirty though

Cool licence plate bro.

If you’re ever in the mood for some good classic rock (like when aren’t you?), 104.1 The Dock is a great station. Nothing but good rock from the last few decades. When not in the car I stream it from my phone, quality is good.

Yesterday I got a new lock and lights for my bike. After a few solid hours of work I reckon it’s time to hit the road and catch some rays on my new wheels. Hope you’re having a great week so far. Get out and feel that sunshine on the face if you can. Don’t forget sunblock tho! 🙂

<3 CASIE

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Distracted Driving is a Modern Problem

Distracted Driving is a Modern Problem

Last week I mentioned the OneTap app in a post along with the importance of NOT texting while driving. If you have an Android phone, download this app right now. Think of the olden days when people drove around without distraction of a mobile phone, then think about now…so many distractions. Even the smallest things like a sputter from your car can cause distractions! If your car is very loud and splutters all the time, you might want to soundproof your car. It will stop distractions from your car that the OneTap can’t prevent as well as making conversations inside the car much easier. Now, soundproofing your car doesn’t have to be expensive either, as long as you get it from the right place.

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OneTap is an app that keeps drivers focussed on the road. I know updates can be distracting (my phone is buzzing all day!) but there’s no text, email, tweet, or status update worth risking your life. Looking at these texting and driving statistics should be enough to make you realise this, as there are a shocking number of accidents that happen as a result of it, and I’m sure those involved would turn back time in an instant and put their phone away before turning on their engine. All kinds of small distractions can be so easily avoided. When you look away from the road it’s like driving blind and an accident can happen in a split second, which could end badly for everyone involved, it might end with you being charged with something like vehicular homicide and requiring the help of someone like these criminal attorneys to take on your case.

Key features of OneTap App

• Prevent distractions from calls, texts and alerts
• Activate manually, or let it detect when you’re driving and turn on automatically
• Easily review collected alerts when you arrive at your destination
• Track your driving habits and be safer behind the wheel
• Keep on eye on your family’s distracted driving
• Send and receive urgent calls and messages—OneTap will notify you when you should pull over to receive an important message

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Download OneTap here and I’ll keep you posted as soon as it’s available for iPhone!

DRIVE SAFE and keep your eyes on the road!

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Travel | Nuit Blanche à Montréal

ZIPLINE, MONTREAL, TRAVEL, TOURISM, CASIESTEWART

This weekend Sean and I went to Montreal as you know. It was a short but fun trip. I love Montreal and even though we were gone and back within 24 hours, a getaway is always nice. Here’s a little sneak peek of what we got up to!

Only packed one small Sully Wong overnight bag for the trip. I’ve become a master at packing lite!

It’s quite lovely taking the Via Rail in the daytime. We sat at the front of our car and were able to experience the beautiful trip in the sunshine.  The sun was so bright the car was heating up, it felt like summer!

There’s wifi on the train so we were able to get a bunch of work done. Sean’s beard is getting so big!

Huge thank you to Fairmont Montreal for all the treats they sent to our room. A bowl of fresh fruit and a card arrived just after we checked in.  We popped over to the Apple Store to pick up a HDMI cable so we could watch some House of Cards and plan our night.

Next they sent a gift bag with our media passes and some delicious chocolate treats from a French patisserie.

We stopped into a church on rue Sainte-Catherine for a poetry reading in the pews before heading to Place des Arts to see all the action.

There was heaps going on! We walked through a couple domed filled with winter activites before heading up the stairs to try the ZIPLINE. It was longer than I thought and went over the entire crowd at Place des Arts. Huge thanks to Montreal tourism for the media passes because we were able to skip the line!

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Nuit Blanche Montreal was definitely a different experience than Toronto but one not to miss. It wasn’t too cold once you got outside and heading from one place to the next. We had heaps of fun cruising the streets and checking out all the different activities. There were over 200 events taking place that night and we only got to see the tip of the iceberg. Check out all the activities at montrealenlumiere.com.

Thank you Tourismé Montreal, Via Rail, and Fairmont Montreal for sending us on an adventure. Can’t wait to get back to Montreal this summer and experience activities in the sunshine!

<3 CASIE

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Montreal | Hi-Speed Blogging in the Sunshine at 90MPH

Toronto > Montreal | Hi-Speed Blogging in the Sunshine at 90MPH

This week was a busy one and I’m looking forward to a nice sleep at the Fairmont Montreal tonight. We’re on the train heading to Montreal for Nuit Blanche and thanks to Montreal Tourism.

Remember that contest I entered and a bunch of you guys helped me fill the train? I didn’t win the contest but they invited me to come along for the ride and experience Nuit Blanche Montreal.

Bae working away, looking all cute.

Earlier this week I was working form the new 1188 Films office and dressed the place up with some spring flowers.  There’s 8 days until daylight savings, if you;re counting down like me.

This is the before face of going through the worst pain I have felt in my entire life. I’ve been having high blood pressure along with those chest pains I mentioned so I’m unable to take my old contraceptive and got a IUD. I wasn’t expecting it to be so painful and felt nauseous after, it was brutal. Good thing it’s a five year plan. I’m thankful my doc was so lovely and took great care.

Lucky for me, House of Cards is BACk so we binged a couple episodes last night while I was in recovery. Much better today and back to my regular bouncy self. Claire Underwood, I love you. Maybe I should keep short hair? This internal ‘cut it or grow it’ battle never ends.

We’re on the train for 4 hours, currently going aboout 90MPH. I’m glad to have NextIssue and will be reading magazines once I hit publish. I’ve been reading magazines I never used to buy since I’ve got them all at my fingertips now (Nylon, More, Condé Nast Traveller, Dwell).

This cover of Vanity Fair is awkward, no? Loving the images in Condé Nast Traveller. Makes me want to just pack my bags, sell my stuff, and travel the world! The digital reading experience is so neat and full of extra content you don’t get in a traditional paper magazine.

You can download NextIssue here and give it a try for 60 days free w/ code ’60Free’. Some weekend reading ideas below. Saveur is next on my reading list.

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I’d like to send a HUGE thank you to Netflix for letting me now Mean Girls is NOW ON NETFLIX IN CANADA. They sent a little handwritten style note with the shirt below.  Loved coming home to this yesterday.

Another thank you to Charming Media and Skechers for the new kicks. TBH I hadn’t thought about wearing Skechers since the height of Britney Spears days but these little runners are really comfortable. They’ve got memory foam and and very light. A good reminder that spring is around the corner and I should have been be working on my beach body Anyhoo, I’ll be putting these to work after the weekend.

Make sure you’re following me on Twitter and Instagram @casiestewart, I’ll be posting heaps over the next 24 hours!

With love from a Via Rail train on Telus mobile wifi, we just passed Kingston and the sun is shining nice and bright. So bright in fact that it feels like summer in my seat. Love it!

<3 CASIE

 

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#TBT Thailand: Panoramic Views of Somewhere Warmer Than Here

#TBT Thailand: Panoramic Views of Somewhere Warmer Than Here

Came across these photos on my phone and forgot I even took them. I love how panoramic photos capture a time and place. Fond memories. These were all taken on my trip to Thailand just over a year ago with Contiki Canada. They took 17 of Canada’s top content creators on the trip of a lifetime. We had so much fun. these photos were taken in Bangkok, Chaing Mai, Koh Tao, and Koh Samui. Go back in time and relive my trip in posts tagged Thailand.

I would absolutely love to be somewhere warm right now but have too much going on to drop it all and get away. So, instead I’ve cranked the heat and dehumidifier and am sharing  travel photos. Enjoy!

#TBT Thailand: Panoramic Views of Somewhere Warmer Than Here#TBT Thailand: Panoramic Views of Somewhere Warmer Than Here#TBT Thailand: Panoramic Views of Somewhere Warmer Than Here#TBT Thailand: Panoramic Views of Somewhere Warmer Than Here#TBT Thailand: Panoramic Views of Somewhere Warmer Than Here#TBT Thailand: Panoramic Views of Somewhere Warmer Than Here#TBT Thailand: Panoramic Views of Somewhere Warmer Than Hereimage8#TBT Thailand: Panoramic Views of Somewhere Warmer Than Here#TBT Thailand: Panoramic Views of Somewhere Warmer Than Here#TBT Thailand: Panoramic Views of Somewhere Warmer Than Here

With love,

CASIE

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Travel Tuesday: Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic

You ready for vacation? This week we’re looking at Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Yes, I like Pina Coladas.

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Currently browsing packages and flights to Punta Cana because I need to ditch this cold and soak up some sunshine! It feels like -30 in Toronto today! My sister went to Dominican a couple years ago and since I’ve been to a bunch of the surrounding islands (Cuba, Puerto Rico), so it’s on my destination list.

One of the things I love about the Caribbean is the beautiful blue water. I adore being near the ocean and salt water on my skin. It’s also a great opportunity to practice my Spanish. Since I’ll be travelling alone, I don’t really have to speak to anyone if I don’t want to!  One of the best things about going on a solo trip is plenty of time to do whatever you want and/or keep to yourself in silence.  You might be thinking ‘but you are so outgoing!’, truth is, I really cherish my alone time and everyone needs to recharge their batteries. I’m one of those ‘outgoing introverts’ if you can believe it.  Travelling alone is an excellent way to explore a new city or country. If you’ve never done it I HIGHLY recommend it.

Does this not look wonderful?

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

I’m looking to stay at a quiet resort without kids. I’d rather be amongst seniors than people on family vacation! Aside from vitamin D and relaxation, this trip is to put finishing touches on my book before it comes out in March.

A photo posted by GoDomRep (@godomrep) on

My ideal spot is an all-inclusive resort on the coast with white sand beaches where you can catch a few waves. Last time I went surfing was 2013 in Costa Rica so I’m dying to get back on a board. I dreamt about surfing last night.

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Have you been to Dominican Republic? Have any reocos? I’d love to know. Ready to book ASAP!

Sending sunshine through the airwaves right to where ever you are!

<3 CASIE

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Travel | Take Me Away To…Cuba!

Sun for everyone! #Cuba

Since it’s winter and we’re all dreaming of sunshine, I’ve decided to get a little more organized with my travel stories. Starting this week and each following Tuesday, I’ll be writing about my adventures past, present, and future. As part of my quest to keep more memories, it’s great to relive those moments and what better time than RIGHT NOW. Guys, it’s -5 in Toronto right now and I’m wearing a big fur hat as I work.

This week, we adventure to Cuba! I visited Havana back in 2010 w/ a friend. We stayed at Hotel Nacional, a famous spot where gangsters, famous people, and socialites used to hang out. The hotel opened in 1930 and Notable guests include Ernest Hemingway, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Backstreet Boys, Naomi Campbell and tbh there’s so many!

I absolutely love being in a country that speaks another language. Best way to learn I reckon! I danced to the sounds of Buena Vista Social Club, ate delicious fresh fish, and took in heaps of history about Cuba.  Each day I watched different coloured taxis roll up with old white walled tires. It was like going back in time, I loved it.  My dad builds hot rods so I’ve been around old cars like this my whole life.

My friends at Air Transat made this video a couple weeks ago and gave away all-inclusive trips to passengers. Did any of you guys see the Cuban Cab? Would you have taken a ride? I can’t imagine the being handed a trip so random like this! I could love to go back to Cuba. Especially today!

Stay warm out there!

<3 CASIE

 

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CottageLife | So Long Sweet Summer Home

Winter in the city, summer in Muskoka

I rolled down the window as soon as we got to cottage county this weekend, Toronto didn’t have snow yet and I wanted fresh air. It smelled like winter, crisp and clean. Closing the cottage is bittersweet, it looks so nice all covered in snow but we can’t stay. I wanted to. I imagined staying up for weeks, making fires, taking trips to town for groceries. Wearing jogging pants.

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There was more snow than I thought and it crunched with each step.  Tossed a few snowballs in the lake and watched them stay in little circles. The water is really, really, cold, small ponds alongside the road are freezing over.

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Picked up this blanket and mugs from the Target for TOMS collection. They were sold out of the poncho I wanted but I got Sean one of the chambray shirts. He has at least five that look similar but this one was nice. He’s totally one of those ‘Lumbersexuals’  everyone is talking about with a beard, who wears plaid and the Canadian tuxedo (denim on denim).

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Had to pour out our homemade beer and tried snow painting. No Picasso!

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Winter is a season I find inspiring.  I’m planning to lay low and hibernate the next few months. Working on something I hope to launch in April.

In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.
Albert Camus

For now, lights out at the cottage. The very last step of closing for the season.
Until next time Muskoka, see you in the spring.

<3 CASIE

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Dinner with Chef Chef Nina Compton + Saint Lucia Tourism

Photo: @CasieStewart and @Dobbernation at the 2014 Saint Lucia Media Dinner by @Beccalemire

On Monday night I travelled to Toronto’s Queen East for a mini escape to Saint Lucia with Chef Nina Compton and their tourism board. I’ve never been to Saint Lucia but I’ve also never wanted to go more than right now after tasting the food and hearing travel stories from other guests.

Chef Nina cooked up some seriously delicious food. My fav was the cacao beef short rib with polenta and baby veg. The spicy cacao martini was a nice start to the night. You might recognize her from Bravo’s Top Chef, she was the runner-up and fan favourite on the most recent season. Chef Nina is in Toronto as the first culinary ambassador of Saint Lucia. Now that’s an awesome gig!

Chef Nina Compton, culinary ambassador of Saint Lucia=

Here’s some snaps from the night by the lovely Becca Lemire. Did you know Saint Lucia, aside form it’s natural beauty, has a tropical rainforest and one of the world’s few drive-in volcanoes. DRIVE IN VOLCANO. A DRIVE IN VOLCANO. I can only imagine the other magical wonders waiting there for me.

Chef Nina Compton, culinary ambassador of Saint Lucia

Photographer: Becca Lemire

Photographer: Becca Lemire

Photographer: Becca Lemire

Thanks to the Saint Lucia Tourist Board and Chef Nina Compton for a delicious dinner and some time to catch up with Andrew (aka Dobbernation). I had a great time meeting Charlene who has been reading THIS IS MY LIFE for years had never ran into me IRL. HI CHARLENE. It’s a truly humbling and awesome experience meeting people who have been reading for a while. It’s nice to get to know ya. You know heaps about me!

Here’s to a wonderful day. It may be getting cold outside but that doesn’t mean you can’t take the sunshine wherever you go.

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