Motivation | Your Life Is Your Movie

Casie Stewart, pink and yellow balloons, spring flowers, leopard dress, having fun.

Your life is your movie. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. You decide who plays a starring role, what kind of movie it is, and what path you take. Make a path leave a trail.

Take up space. Take up as much space as you need. Be proud of who you are. You are unique, there is only one you. Your stories matter. Share if you like or hold onto them for safekeeping.

Do what makes you feel good. The seasons are changing and you can change anytime you want to. You don’t need a day, a new moon, a new year, you just need to shift. Move in the direction you want to go. Make little steps each day or take strides. You got this.

Have faith in yourself and the universe will listen. You have to believe in yourself 100% in order for the universe to respond. Let go of self-doubt, don’t carry it with you anymore, it’s heavy and doesn’t serve you.

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Open doors for yourself.

Your life is your movie and you are the star. ?☀️

Casie Stewart, pink and yellow balloons, spring flowers, leopard dress, having fun.

Stop Bullying Yourself!

Stop bullying yourself. You should be celebrating yourself each day.

We’ve been watching S3 of Queer Eye the last few days and I feel like this season is really personal. It’s the first time they’ve done makeovers on women, sisters, a wedding. It gave me all the feels, it’s hard not to cry. Since watching, I’ve found myself internalizing a lot of what they were saying.

Themes that really stuck out to me were about celebrating yourself believing in yourself, not talking negatively about yourself, to yourself. We all do it and I’ve been pretty hard on myself lately.

We all have things to be grateful for. We should be celebrating each day we wake up, our challenges as opportunities. Celebrating the bodies that carry us, the brain that all allows us to do things, the smile that greets strangers. We’re capable of so many things, so why do we stand in our own way?

In one episode a father mentions he wants to cook better food for his kids and that one of them is a little rounder. Right away, Antoni said, “who’s feeding her?” RIGHT? Like hello, an eye-opener. So simple but this stuck with me. Do I want to lose weight and be more fit? Yes. I am in charge of feeding myself and doing exercise? Yes. Ok well, do it then!!

The other day I called up a friend and we shared all the good things that happened to us lately. Who don’t we do this more? You should surround yourself with people who want to hear that stuff, who will embrace and encourage you. If you can’t share with the people around you, you’re around the wrong people. This week I started work on a film with 1188 and have been asked to give the Alumni Address at Conestoga College School of Business Convocation in June.

A little while ago I wrote a post titled “Be thankful where you are. This is once where you wanted to be“. I think about this a lot. Years ago I would be happy to be doing one of two of the handful of things I’ve got going on now. We need to remind ourselves of the small wins each day. This week I’ve been grateful for the warmer temperatures, living near the West Toronto Railpath, working from home, cooking good food, and all the Kon Mari I did over the winter. Has made spring cleaning a breeze!

Tonight I’m going to a Spring Equinox Sound bath hosted by Becca Lemire and I am SO Looking forward to it. A few years ago in LA, I went to my first sound bath (see post) and it was a transformative & life changing experience. I took a much-needed break and after that experience had a week of clarity and realization. Who knows what might happen tonight!

Reminding myself of this ↓ today:

Tips to Get Your Car Ready For Spring from OK Tire

Tips to Get Your Car Ready For Spring from OK Tire

After what feels like the longest winter, it’s finally spring! This post is for all the weekend warriors, the road trip people, and anyone ready to roll into the sunset with the wind in their hair. Raise your hand hands! I can’t wait to get back up to the cottage and continue the opening duties.

Over the summer months, we spend a LOT of time back and forth from Muskoka to Toronto. I recently chatted with OK Tire about how to get your car in top shape for spring. Answers have been edited by me but the info is from an expert! Scroll down for a few tips on safety, changing a tire, and link to playlists. ? You will also find photos of me and cars I’ve driven/seen recently!

Q1: How does one prep the car if you’re a ‘weekend warrior’ that takes regular trips out of town?

A: Preventive maintenance is the best way to make sure your car is always ready for your weekend adventures. OK Tire recommends having your car inspected at every tire change and make sure you stick to that vehicle maintenance schedule.

A few things you can check yourself:

  • Tire pressure: Proper tire inflation = higher fuel efficiency
  • Wiper blades: Visibility is key!

Some more tips to get your car ready:

  • Pack a second set of keys
  • Keep an emergency kit filled in the trunk with essentials
  • GPS is key, I love Google Maps/or Maps on iPhone
  • Don’t wait till you’re nearly out of gas to get gas, keep your tank at least 1/4 full!
  • Tunes are essential, have your passenger take care of this if you can (FYI – OK Tire also has Spotify playlists here)
  • Don’t forget snacks and games (for kids!) LIKE, WHO DOESN’T LOVE SNACKS!)

Q2: What’s the difference between winter/summer tires?

A: I know winter tires have more traction but there must be more than that so I investigated. DYK, winter tires are specifically designed to perform on wet, cold, snow-covered and icy surfaces? Winter tires have 2-3 times the number of sipes than your regular all-season tires, that provide hundreds of extra biting edges for better traction. The rubber compounds in winter tires are formulated to operate in colder weather and stay more flexible in temperatures below 7 degrees. This softer compound will wear down rapidly in the warmer months, so best to put those all-season tires back on before you hit the road.

While we’re talking about all-season, there’s a few different kinds to consider:

  1. Low rolling resistance for fuel economy
  2. Reduced siping and grooves for ride comfort and reduced road noise
  3. Long tread life for high mileage use
  4. Run-Flat/extended mobility
  5. Varying degrees of performance

Q3: Long car ride, what do you need to have on hand to be safe?

A: My friend recently got a new car from ICL and we’re thinking of going somewhere long distance in it. But you need to be well prepared! You want to have a few essentials in the car at all times in case (god forbid!) there’s an emergency. Sean keeps a bin in the back of the truck with a bunch of this stuff in it. Things you want to have: phone charger, blanket, matches, candles, some type of non-perishable food, bottled water, first aid kit, jumper cables, gloves, spare tire, duct tape, tire gauge, and of course, a paper road map. Imagine you had no service or phone battery?! You’re gonna need that map! You need to make sure you have the correct car insurance policy too. When it comes to this, you may find that you have a lot of questions, such as is aarp any good? What is third party insurance? or What is the best policy for me? Take your time to do some research, as this is very important. I know someone who owns a Lexus and he got some lexus insurance which was perfect for him. Shop around and find the perfect policy!

Hot Tip: If you’re a passenger on a long car ride, do yourself a favour and order the Trtl pillow so you can sleep in the car. It’s amazing.

Q4: How do you change a tire?

A: Confession, I’ve never had to change a tire myself so i wanted to ask this to get the low down.

Golden rule: FIND A SAFE LOCATION. As soon as you realize you have a flat tire, don’t abruptly brake or try to turn. Slow down and scan around for a level, straight stretch of road with a wide shoulder. An empty parking lot is ideal. Look for level ground to prevent your car from rolling. Also, straight stretches of road are better than curves because oncoming traffic is more likely to see you.

Never attempt to change your tire on a narrow shoulder near oncoming traffic. Move slowly until you find a safer spot. It sucks to drive on your rim but honestly, it’s better than being hit by a car.

Consult your trusty owner’s manual and review for specific steps on how to change a flat tire for your vehicle.

We can’t prevent flat tires but taking good care of your car improves performance and ensures your tires last as long as possible. Be safe out there!

Q5: If you puncture a tire, do you need to buy a whole new tire?

A: Key thing here, don’t try to repair a punctured tire yourself, it needs a specialist. In some cases, a tire can be fixed. Have a certified technician take a look and follow their recommendation.


When I was growing up my dad had a hot rod shop, ‘Toys For Boys’ and we spent heaps of time around old cars. Love this 1936 Ford 5 window coupe I found on their IG @OKTire.

If you have any questions for me or a tire expert, feel free to comment or send me a tweet.


The day we closed the cottage, November 2018.

Now that Daylight Saving time has kicked in it’s finally starting to feel like spring. I can’t wait to be back up at the lake!

Drive safe!

From the OK Tire Blog:

This post is sponsored by OK Tire and the thoughts and interest is all me. I hope you find it useful!


About OK Tire As the largest independent tire and auto service retailer in Canada, OK Tire experts have the experience and knowledge to help you make the right decisions for your vehicle, no matter what the year, make or model. With over 300 locations coast to coast, OK Tire is 100% Canadian owned and operated. Customers can count on national support and the personal service of a local owner who lives in, shops in, and supports their community. Image result for ok tire

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

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

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!

Ok, Tuesday.

Casie Stewart is a Toronto based writer, director, and content creator.

The sun was setting and I thought wow you should really go out for a walk. I looked out the window and since we moved the couch it’s easier to see out. Neighbourhood watch. I decided against the walk and wondered why am I so tired? I started going through the things I did today and realized, whoa, no wonder. I feel like I should keep going but I had a video shoot, pulled an event outfit, signed a contract, made burritos, and we switched our internet plan today. Add in a bunch of emails and remembering a script. I need to charge my batteries. I don’t know if Daylight Saving has anything to do with it but I’m definitely tired. Couch time.

I grabbed my iPad, put on the show, and made some food. Caprese salad, banana on toast, simple, delicious. This weekend I finally set up another pair of Phillips Hue lights so we can dim the front door and entryway lights. I tackled the mess that was the entryway over the weekend and it feels nice now. The living room is tidy and filled with coloured balloons from the shoot. It’s still light out at 7:30pm.

I can’t wait for spring.

Casie Stewart is a Toronto based writer, director, and content creator.

Face The Sun Like a Flower, Shine Girl!

Toronto downtown from the CN Tower. Casie Stewart, This is My Life, travel blogger

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!

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!

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

Casie Stewart, internet human, lifestyle blogger.

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

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!

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

Get a Ticket for #IMakeALiving w/ FreshBooks

FreshBooks #IMakeALiving event at Burroughes, Casie Stewart speaking about building a brand online.

Next month, I’m speaking at FreshBooks #IMakeALiving event at the Burroughes. I’ve been following this series since it started and have been a few times. They bring together creatives from different industries to talk about how they make money, challenges, and lessons learned. You will leave feeling motivated and inspired.

#imakealiving: creating a genuine brand in the digital world

Our panel on March 27th brings together some great people and we’ll be talking about creating a brand in a digital world. Lots to discuss here!

Tickets are free, get one here!

Topics for the Night

  • Building an online business
  • Creating an online community
  • Projecting your persona
  • Creating authenticity in the digital space
  • Measuring ROI from impressions and reach
  • Finding the right social platform for your business

About #IMakeALiving

The #imakealiving event is returning to Toronto for the 4th time to bring together a diverse group of creatives, entrepreneurs and small business owners for a lively, candid and often hilarious conversation.

Part small business boot camp, part group therapy you’ll leave feeling inspired and motivated. Plus, you’ll get lots of actionable insights to take you and your business to the next level. After the discussion, the event opens up for networking & drinks – a great opportunity for you to meet like-minded folks!


If you’re not familiar with FreshBooks cloud accounting, check out freshbooks.com. I’ve been a customer for 5+ and use them to do all my invoicing!

Look forward to seeing you! LMK if you get a ticket!

casie stewart, this is my life

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!

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!

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

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. if you’re interested to learn more about Light Therapy, check out this resource.

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

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

Easy Ways to UP YOUR MOOD in Winter

Easy Ways to UP YOUR MOOD in Winter

I don’t know if I’ve ever spent so much time at home, inside the house, as I have the past month and during the Polar Vortex. Thankfully, today our upstairs patio door is no longer frozen shut but winter is far from over. Long winters like these are often hard to get through and the constant dull weather can really bring down your mood. If you’re feeling stir crazy or craving some something to boost your mood, here are a few things I like to do to make me feel happier when the SAD kicks in.

Home Spa

Love yourself and self-care your mood to a higher frequency with a little time, DIY beauty hacks, and products. You don’t need heaps of money or fancy stuff to pamper yourself like the queen you are. I love doing masks and usually get them from Shoppers. Also recommend checking out the beauty section of Winners, they almost always have a good selection at a great price. I got this set of metallic masks to nourish, brighten, and hydrate plus an applicator brush there the other day for $7! ?

casie stewart, pinterest

I Pinned a few DIY recipes with ingredients you probably have on hand here or scan the pin code in the Pinterest App. Make a quick body scrub by mixing your used coffee grounds with coconut oil. Or make a simple lip sugar scrub with and a combination of white/brown sugar plus olive oil/coconut oil/honey, with peppermint, lemon, grapefruit, lavender, or activated charcoal to brighten. My mum makes a GREAT, thick, face cream with marigold, frankincense from New Direction Aeromatics. I love it!

Mum has been making us this great cream the last couple years. It’s so thick and moisturizing with all natural incredients and aromatherapy oils.

Light Therapy

This helps to boost your mood, deal with SAD, and can (not an expert!) help depression. I have the Phillips Hue light system in my room that includes Hue Light Bulbs and Hue Go Lamp. I use them every single day and can set them to create the illusion of a warm spring morning or a summer sunset. I also created a custom setting to replicate natural light that makes everything seem sunnier during grey days. There’s a soft pink that’s really nice on sunny days. ??

Next week I start Light Therapy at MOCA Toronto not too far from home. It’s only available for members so bought a $50 individual membership and signed up for 1 session/week for the next 5 weeks. Can’t wait to see how it makes me feel.

Exposure to light is used as a treatment for seasonal affective disorder (SAD), milder winter blues and sleep disorders caused by jet lag and overwork, or lack of daylight. Because it has no proven side effects and everyone can use it, light therapy can improve our busy lives and make us feel happier.

MOCA Website

More Plants

I am turning into a plant lady and I love it. I’ve always been connected to nature and I love being surrounded by lush green leaves. It makes me feel warm and they inspire creativity. Plants always brighten my day and there’s always room for one more. I wrote about some planty places in this post. ?

Get A Glow

I absolutely love a sun-kissed glow but it’s a little hard to get naturally when you live in temperatures like Toronto winter. Obviously, vacation is the ideal situation but that’s not always an option.??? I’m a big fan of St. Tropez products, you can get them at Shoppers. beautyBOUTIQUE. I’ve been using this brand for years and use the products year round. My favourite for a nice bronze boost is the Classic Tan. For a slight glow on light skin try the Bronzing Water Mist. If you want a deeper tan, the Extra Dark will have you ready for the beach.

Exercise

Get ff the couch. Go outside. Do some situps. Make a Pinterest board of exercises you might do. Take a walk. I’m trying to learn to love the gym and am getting back into yoga after my shoulder injury. I have to woek at not letting things get in the way but I like how working out it makes me look and feel.

Exercise is good we all know this, but most of us (deff me) need a reminder to get in gear. You got this.

Organize

No really. Over the last month (with the help of the Marie Kondo documentary) I organized almost everything in the house and I feel good. I hardly ever show photos of our house because, to be honest, it’s not always spotless and until recently, there was stuff everywhere. I started with the pantry, moved to the kitchen drawers, closets, clothes, under the bed ( was hiding a lot of clothes here), and Emily’s room. We’re not 100% done but the ball is rolling. I find clutter clouds my brain and stresses me out. I am a recovering hoarder, I used to keep everything! I’m having less stuff is bringing me joy because everything has a place now and I can get to it with ease.

It might seem daunting at first but start with something small and go from there.


Hope you find this useful or inspiring. I’m sending you sunshine thorough the internet!

46 days till spring! ??

Planty Places in Toronto

casie stewart, plants, planty places, toronto, blogger

Last night I went deep into a hole of finding and following Instagram accounts that are beautiful plants and planty places. Scrolling through Instagram content has become so much easier now that you can put multiple links in Instagram bio. I’m sure a lot of you at home will be desperate to do this too! Some were very easy to find because they had large followings on platforms like Instagram. Although, I did wonder if they had used Buzzoid.com to achieve such fantastic figures. Over the last month, I’ve really pared down everything I personally own and cleaned TF out of my bedroom, closet, and set up a new home office space. It’s been a lot of work, to say the least. I want to reward myself and bring life to the space with MORE PLANTS. This post is not sponsored I was just looking for some planty places in Toronto and I put them here because I found some really good stuff!


Allan Gardens Conservatory

Warm, beautiful, green, great spot to lift your spirits, take some photos, and make you forget it’s arctic outside. This place has a long history you can read about on toronto.ca. The have 2 Tropical Houses, a Cool Temperate House, Palm House, Tropical Landscape House and the Arid House which has unusual cacti and succulents. It’ open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., 365 days/year, with free admission, and is wheelchair accessible. Super cute for dates or BFF hangs. Afternoon sun is best.

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Daycation in Toronto

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I’m sure I’ve been there since this photo was taken on a cold day in November, 2011 for FAJO Magazine. I loved those Jeffrey Campbell shoes from Nasty Gal so much.

Fav old shoes. Don’t have anymore!

Plant World

THERE IS A PLANT SALE FOR ALL OF THIS MONTH. Saw this on FB and you can find more info here. Daily in February from 10am-6pm. They have a cute IG and this place is known for haveing a big selcection. I’m going. Bye.

plant world, planty places, plants, toronto, casie stewart, blogger
  • Location: 4000 Eglinton Avenue West, Etobicoke, M9A 4M2
  • Instagram: @PlantworldGC

Ontario Science Centre

Not just plants, a full-on rainforest ecosystem. The Living Earth exhibit is warm and damp like a jungle complete with a bridge and running water. We like to go on the weekend as a family. Ticket info and special exhibition details at ontariosciencecentre.ca. For access, you need to get a pass for the whole museum wich is $22 for adults, $13 for kids, and under 2 are free.

Dynasty

This store on Queen is so beautiful. It’s a fancy plant shop where you’ll find all kinds of beautiful indoor plants, big cacti, succulents, vintage pots, and planters. Expect boutique prices. Go in the mid-late afternoon to catch the sun coming in the front window.


  • Address: 1086 1/2 Queen St. West or new location 136 Avenue Road
  • Instagram: @dynastytoronto

Ottos Bierhalle

Across the street from Dynasty, on the ground floor of The Great Hall, you’ll find Ottos. Same cool peeps behind SoSo Food Club and the Mansion parties we used to hit. Expect lots of plants, beer, and really good food. Good people watching by the window but I suggest sitting under the plants and getting into the atmosphere. Lunch is M-F 12-5pm.

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2019 resolution? More plants ???

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Urban Gardener

This one is near my house, so I like to walk over (when I have a plant emergency haha). They have heaps of little succulents, small plants, and large ones. They also offer workshops, landscaping, and interiors. The owners Dave and Joe have been friends and worked together for nearly 20 years. Good selection of pots, soil, and gifty things. Prices are medium. Good photo ops.

Valleyview Gardens

I haven’t been here but I discovered them today and I want to go. It’s up in Markham and family owned since the 70’s. The likelihood of me driving there is looking slim right now but I’ll browse their beauty IG until it happens. The website has the current temp as 22 degrees and it looks lush & tropical. Let’s go!


I hope you enjoyed this list. If I’m missing a gorgeous green indoor garden somewhere please let me know! One of my goals this month is to spend more time in my space, around more plants, and make at least one macrame hangar. Crazy cool plant lady vibes all around. ?


If you want some inspiration here are a few posts from Instagram plant accounts/hashtags I discovered.

HIBERNATION STATION

This cold weather is so damn freezing it hurts. I’m thankful to work from home. Took Em to school, got groceries, turned up the heat, had an old school house music dance party w Sean. ❄️

Good thing about this weather is staying inside and working on yourself. Going through your notebooks, updating your website, fixing buttons, organizing your beauty products, cleaning boots, reading, taking an online course, or doing Kon Mari on every room, closet and drawer in your house. That has been my January. ???

If you put in the work and make the most of this cold/stay inside time, you‘ll feel lighter and accomplished.

There is no time like right now to make a change and shift your direction. 

I’m ready for February, love yourself! ???

5 Great Views in San Francisco

I originally wrote this post for Canadian Geographic after my press trip to SF last spring. Some good stuff in here and places I had no idea about until I went on a great afternoon tiki tour with a local friend. Scroll down for some fun SF moments and check out this post on Canadian Geographic with 5 great things to do in San Francisco.


I love San Francisco. The city is bright with lots of neighbourhoods to explore, each with a distinct look and history. There’s plenty of great spots to take in the city including the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Pier 39, or the Coit Tower. SF is known for frequent fog so all views come with a recommendation for a clear sunny day. ☀️

There was a perfect rainbow when I arrived! View from my balcony at Hilton, Union Square

Here’s a few great views that weren’t in my first SF travel post!


Twin Peaks 

Here you’ll find a great 180 view of San Francisco from the centre of the city at an elevation of 922 ft. The hike takes about 45 minutes but the drive is only 10 min. I love the way the road and city and look from the top of the hill. You’ll notice the Sutro Tower in the middle of the hill (not pictured). I learned that it’s become ironically iconic and was once seen an eyesore but is now kind of, cool? Ha! There’s shirts, souvenirs, and a selection of sellers on Etsy with Sutro Tower merch. It reminds me of something from Aliens or War of the Worlds.

Museum of Ice Cream 

If you can get a ticket, the views here are like something you’d find in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The Museum of Ice Cream is located near Union Square inside a former bank. Aside from learning worldly facts about the famous food, you’ll find incredibly cute backdrops for photos. The museum is 100% family friendly and encourages you check in as a kid at the door. They’re closed each Tuesday to re-paint and fix any of the fixtures throughout the interactive exhibit.  Small groups are taken through the museum giving you enought time to take photos and tast the treats. Check out ticket dates and availability here.

Cityscape, Hilton, Union Square

At the very top of the Hilton Union Square, on the 46th floor, you’ll find Cityscape, a 360 view of San Francisco. On a clear day, you can see everything from the bridge to Coit Tower, and across the bay. They offer a selection of SF inspired cocktails and open daily at 4:30. If you’re a guest at the hotel, you can pop in anytime for photos or to use the wifi.

Alamo Square 

You might not recognize the name but trust me, you know the view. Anyone who was a fan of Full House recognizes these houses from the opening credits. It was a childhood dream to visit this park! ‘Postcard Row’ is located at 710 to 720 Steiner Street across from Alamo Square. The best shot is at magic hour just as the sun sets in the west. I could almost heat hear Uncle Joey saying “cut it out!“.

Sutro Baths

This is the best place to see the sunset. The Sutro Baths are located at Lands End and opened to the public as the world’s largest indoor swimming pool establishment in 1896. The former mayor of SF and wealthy entrepreneur,  Adolf Sutro created the baths which burned down in 1966, amongst years of complications. There’s a path from the Cliff House down to the remaining ruins but you’ll want to check the weather and tides before walking down. It’s really magical here.


As I was updating this post I went through my photos from this trip and I would love to get back to SF. It’s such a beautiful city full of colour, great food, and stuff to do. There is also HEAPS of street art! I’ll get those photos rounded up into a nice gallery and share with some food recos.

Happy Friday!

With love,

Half of this trip was covered by San Francisco Tourism & Hilton SF, the rest was all me. Would 100% do it all again! 

No Winter Lasts Forever

And we’re glad about that! I don’t know what it is about this weather that makes me just want to stay home all the time and make things or sort through the clutter. Today is slightly warmer than it’s been but there is no end in sight as next week the temp dips back down to the unbearables. There are 54 days until spring and each day brings a little bit more daylight. ☀️


On Monday this week I had breakfast with Sunwing to announce their Blue Monday deals. I also found out the commercial I’m in playing at Yonge Dundas Square! If you’ve still not seen the latest version I posted it on IG this week here.

Tuesday I went to Art Battle Toronto, a monthly event in its 9th year that is live competitive painting. If you’re intrigued, I highly recommend checking it out. There are two round of painters, the crowd votes via text for who makes it to round three, and all paintings go up for silent auction throughout the night. It was really fun. Lots of telented people. Check out artbattle.com for more info or events around the world.


In other news, I spent some time this week updating my portfolio site. Feel free to check it out at casiestewart.biz or by clicking below. It’s a work in progress!

The title is part of a quote by author Hal Borlan via BrainyQuote

Review: Roomba i7+ Robot Vacuum

Over the past 45 days, I’ve been testing the Roomba i7+ from iRobot. Overall, awesome vacuum, especially great for bungalows, love the self-cleaning feature.

casie stewart, roomba, toronto, review, tech, blogger

I’ve wanted a Roomba or years and talked about it on Twitter back in 2012. Hello, who wouldn’t’ want a little cleaning robot?!

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! This works for the floors, but for the rest of the Office Cleaning we do still hire a specialist cleaning team, as the Roomba can’t clean walls, fridges, technology, and other office items!

casie stewart, pridyct review, roomba, roomba i7, tech, toronto, blogger
Welcome to our lives little guy!

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.

Cleaning

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.

Self Cleaning

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 the iRobot shop.


Smart Mapping

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.

casie stewart, roomba, toronto, review, tech, blogger

Also, this is my favourite comment from Sean about the new Roomba, haha.

“I dropped some chips so I woke up the Roomba”

casie stewart

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Disclaimer: iRobot sent this for me to review in exchange for my honest opinion and that's exactly what you've got here! 

Hello 2019!

Here’s a little update with what I’ve been up to so far this year, my latest Sunwing commercial, and some Netflix recos for the winter storm that’s coming this weekend. I’m prepping to stay inside for more hibernation!

First up, I’m doing quite a bit better with the collarbone and took some much needed time off over the holidays. I got new x-rays today and my bone is healing slowly with no complications. Thankful it’s winter and totally a-ok to stay home for days on end in lazy clothes.

Sean and I went to the cottage for almost a week during New Years and it was the perfect break from everything. We kept warm by the fire, watched movies on DVD, and went for walks on the frozen lake. Woke up New Years Day feeling fresh and ready for a new year.

2018 started pretty rough. I was in New Zealand with mum and on New Year’s Eve, I accidentally put diesel in the gas car the on New Year’s Eve. I was stressed out and upset when I got gas. I’d never done that before and hopefully won’t do it again! However, the car was toast! ? We had to have a flatbed truck come to our cabin in the park to bring a new car and take the old one. I was hungover, embarrassed, and frustrated. It also set us back a few hours on our trip to see Nana. The first 2 weeks of the year were pretty stressful as we spent time with family and Nana before she passed away. It was a hard time to go through but it also brought us closer.

After all 2018’s ups and downs, I was ready to start 2019 with nothing but positive vibes.


I’ve watched heaps of great shows over the last few weeks. Highly recommend YOU, Sex Education, Instant Hotel, Bird Box and Marie Kondo on Netflix. The book YOU is one of the best books I’ve ever read and I’m glad to see the second book from Carolyn Kepnes ‘Hidden Bodies’ will be Season 2. Gillian Anderson is really great in Sex Education. I’m not usually one for reality shows but Instant Hotel is an Australian show where people rate each others Airbnb’s. One of the pairs is from Bondi Beach, Sydney when I used to live so I was loving it. The show is full of drama and has heaps of tips if you’re looking to have your own Airbnb.

When we got home from the cottage I went hardcore on the Marie Kondo‘s Kon Mari. I started with the pantry, went through all the and went through our cupboards, the whole kitchen, out closets, and all the clothes I own. Emily even got into it and went through all her stuff. It was a family affair!

I tweeted about my experience and one of them ended up in a CBC article. Ha!


I finally saw the lastest Sunwing commercial I’m in when I was watching the Golden Globes. I had people messaging me from everywhere! It’s national and playing on a few channels (CP24, Global, CTV). I was quite pleased to see it during Y&R and Jeopardy.

Click the ‘Play’ button below to watch in the tweet.


I’m still recovering from the shoulder injury so taking it easy but I’ll be ready to come out of hibernation in a few weeks. I’ve been doing more work at the 1188 office lately and we have a few reallllly cool things coming up. I’ve signed on for another great year of the Telus partner program and will have more to share about that soon. I’m still working with Sassoon and have really let my hair grow the last couple weeks. The future is looking longer and blonder!

Overall, I’m starting to feel like my old self again.

Here’s to a great year of adventures, storytelling, sharing advice, and growth.

With love,

casiestewart, blog, blogger, toronto, canada, travel, tech

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Head High

 I went out on Friday this past weekend for a hot minute but it was a very special and amazing short time. I popped out to Super Wonder Gallery to see ECHLO. Chloe Charles aka ECHLO was having an album release party & art show and I didn’t want to miss seeing her live. We met in the summer at an event hosted by ZANE and totally hit it off.  Ended up having a great time that warm summer night with patio drinks and our best friends. 


After 5 weeks on the CBC’s top songs chart, last week she made it to #1 with the song below (that I love) called Head High. I have no doubt you will love it too. Aside from music she is a super talented artist check out her website at echlomusic.com and follow her dope IG @ECHLOMUSIC.

“I tried to be normal, love like the rest, and my demon takes over, and straddles my chest, I can’t breathe”

Hey girl congrats! You were amazing!

casie stewart, autograph, famous, blogger, canada, toronto

P.S. Discovered this GEM she did for CBC last year while I was on the Google and WHOA. So good. Love the acoustic at the start!

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Sometimes I Don’t Feel Like It #16

I’ve been laying low the last month, posting less, staying in. I just haven’t felt like it. The other day I wrote down something I overheard Sean said on the phone when someone asked how things were, he said “a mix of awesome and shitty“. It stuck with me, that’s how I’ve been feeling the last month.

On November 21st I was given a prestigious award from the President of Conestoga College, Alumni of Distinction. It was a proud moment when I sat at the back of the crowd with my mum and my ‘Fairy Godmother‘ (mum’s best friend) who watched me walk up and make a speech in front of the group. It felt amazing to be recognized for my career, not something that was voted on by social media but actually recognized by people older than me who didn’t really know me personally.  This part of the night was awesome. 

It was really cold that night we were happy to get home and cheers over a glass of wine. We were all filled with such excitement. We weren’t up late but I went outside for a minute before bed. This part of the night was shitty. I slipped on some ice on the concrete stairs outside mum’s house. I fell on the concrete steps resulting in a black eye and later found out I fractured my collarbone. I went to the doctor the next day, swollen and bruised. I got acupuncture. I felt like garbage, how could this happen? I barely remember falling, mum holding frozen peas on my head, the drive back home the following day.

I tried to hide it, act like nothing was wrong. I covered up my face, wore glasses, stayed home from events. As for my shoulder, it was 1 week and a trip to New Orleans before I thought, ‘ I really should get an x-ray‘. I knew something was wrong and I was right. I don’t need a cast or surgery but it hurts and I’m taking it easy. Tomorrow I’m heading to the fracture clinic at the hospital for more x-rays.

New x-ray, definitely broken.

It’s crazy that this would happen right at the same time two really great things happened.

“a mix of awesome and shitty”

Aside from the Alumni Award at Conestoga College, I was nominated for the Premier’s Awards. A provincewide award recognizing alumni in Ontario from all 24 colleges. I was nominated in the Creative Arts and Design category amongst some pretty well known Canadians whom I admire. Although I was smiling and had fun with mum at the awards. I was wearing my glasses and trying to not let my eyes water to reveal the makeup covering the dark bruise around my eye. I left for New Orleans the next day and spent most of the week wearing sunglasses.

I’m doing a-ok and will be back to normal in a couple weeks. The holidays are a great time to sit back, rela, take inventory of the year and set intentions.

Life has a way of making you slow day, teaching you lessons, and making you think about your life in different ways.

This injury has really made me slow down. I’ve missed a bunch of holiday events but then again, am I really missing anything? I’m taking the next 2 weeks off to Marie Kondo our house, exlore my creativity, and get ready for 2019. Can you believe we’re only 1 year away for 2020?

Unpopular Opinion: I Like The New WordPress 5.0

Ashley Longshore, NOLA, Louisiana, painter, magazine street, travel, pink, bright colours, artist, casie stewart, blogger, travel blogger

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?

Comments open!



Say Yes to You

Say Yes to You

Over the past 2 years, I’ve been on a mission to be healthier, both mentally & physically. Ever since I took that solo trip to LA I’ve been paying more attention to my body and taking more time for myself. My next quest is to learn about gut health

Did you know that your overall well-being, including your weight and immunity, may be tied to your gastrointestinal health?

In the summer I went to a workshop hosted by  Koena, an over-the-counter probiotic supplement to promote gastrointestinal health. This was my first introduction to gut health and got me thinking about my family.  Last month I went to another workshop focussing on food sensitivity, leaky gut, and overall gut health. I’m learning but there’s so much to know. 

A key takeaway is you really are what you eat and your gut is connected to your brain which is connected to everything else. 

What are Probiotics?

Probiotics are  “friendly” bacteria that live in the gastrointestinal track and help maintain and protect gastrointestinal health. 

This week I’m starting with Koena Probiotic Supplement for adults.  Their products have no GMOs, are vegan, gluten free, preservative free, with no dyes or artificial flavours. The adult formula has a blend of probiotics and a prebiotic (fibers).

Koena’s also offers certain blends for women and children’s individual needs. Their products are crafted from natural medicinal ingredients to promote healthy gut flora.

 Our intestines are populated by a large number of various bacterial strains: a well-balanced and rich intestinal flora, also called the microbiota, is able to protect us from many disorders. Its activity helps with everything from digesting food, to fighting infections and protecting the body from toxins.



If you have any tips for gut health (or remembering to take your vitamins) I’m all ears!  I’ll be sharing an update in a few weeks on how I’m feeling and my recommendations on probiotics.

I started drinking kombucha this summer, I wonder how long till I start making it myself?!


In partnership with koena.This product may not be suitable for you. Always read and follow label instructions. TM: Trademark owned or used under license by Sandoz Canada Inc.



Great Reasons to Visit Stratford, Ontario

A couple weeks ago I went on an autumn adventure to Stratford, Ontario.  Home of Justin Bieber and the Stratford Festival, the city has lots to offer and is just a 2hr drive from downtown Toronto. We have so many great plces to visit within a 2hr drive of Toronto and it was so nice to visit Stratford again. I hadn’t been since I was a kid! I spent the day with Stratford Tourism and learned it’s quite the quaint destination for culture, food, shopping, and of course theatre. I was happy to find a few cute boutiques with vintage finds, local brands, unique jewellery, and beautiful housewares. Luckily I drove so I had room to fit my purchases in the boot! 

What to Do: Stratford Ontario

Here’s a few of the things I really loved about Stratford aside from catching a show. If theatre is your jam it’s definitely worth seeing one of the many nightly shows, we saw To Kill A Mockingbird which was great. (I did not know this story which is like whoaaa btw).

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The Stratford Festival is world renowned and for $29 you can get a bus to and from the theatre from Downtown Toronto. Upcoming shows include Billy Elliot, Othello, The Neverending Story and more. See the full list here.


Shopping

  • La Osa Vintage – This store is amazing. It’s on a side street from Market Square and FULL of vintage and new items from Canadian designers. They also carry heaps of unique jewellery. I could have really lit some $$$ on ??? in there!
  • Wills & Prior – This spot in the heart of Market Square has heaps of beautiful items for your home. The owner used to live in TO and work in PR and she’s left the city for small-town life. I was kinda jealous hearing about her journey and the store is so beautiful you’ll want to move right in! 
  • Distill Gallery   – The spot for well-crafted Canadian design, this shop has over a hundred different artisans and they have heaps of great accessories and gifts, plus a great selection of creative cards. I picked up a pair of gorgeous silk socks by Strathcona.  

Food

  • Revival House – This spot is an old church that’s been renovated and is run by a local couple. It’s a beautiful space for weddings and the huge windows let the light in to create a bright dining space. Upstairs is a bar called Belfry Lounge that offers incredible cocktails made with local ingredients. On Thursdays, they have a record night where people can bring their own records and the owner DJs. It caters to the 35+ crowd and honestly sounds like a total blast. Great spot.
  • Revel Coffee – This shop is a hub for fairtrade coffee and homemade pastry & sweets made in their open kitchen. It had a steady flow of locals and lots of tables if you want some creative time. We all sat at a large main table with recycled wood from the shop the used to occupy the space. They have a great patio for warm temperatures and are located right in Market Square. 

Stratford For the Holidays

  • Christmas Trail -This is a shopping tour of 25 shops downtown Stratford.  You’ll get six gifts along the tour for just $30(+HST). You’ll even be able to see lookout for seven swans a swimming! ? It runs until Dec. 20th, details here. 
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  • Outdoor Christmas Market – Their Very Victorian Christmas is at Market Square and has all kinds of cute things that will surely get you in the spirit and boost up your holidays IG content. ?? Ex. carousel rides, mini markets and Santa, of course.

For more info on Stratford check out visitstratford.ca. Huge thank you to the team at Stratford Tourism for taking us on an adventure. Great to explore part of Ontario I hadn’t seen in a while!

Stratford Tourism invited me and covered my expenses but the experience is all mine! 



TELUS Friendly Future Foundation: Helping Youth & Communities Across Canada

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Across Canada, 1.5 million children go hungry without access to nutritious food every single day, 30K Canadians are homeless (mostly young people), and 40% of low-income families don’t have internet access putting kids at risk for falling behind in school. We can all do something to help and this year Telus launched the Friendly Future Foundation putting $120 million into addressing the social and economic challenges facing Canadian youth.  I am proud to work with Telus and have been a #TeamTelus partner for the last 8 years.  


The Foundation will give grants to grassroots charities in communities across Canada who really know their community and how to help. By partnering with smaller charities, they’re able to help out groups that might be missed by huge corporate donors and make a big impact in small communities. I think this is an amazing approach. I work with Brands For Canada, an organization that provides new clothing & basic needs supplies to people across Canada and this method of working with local charities has worked great for them. 

The Friendly Future Foundation funding will help kids build up digital literacy skills, get basic healthcare and mental health support to the homeless, and open up other educational opportunities. Here’s an example of doing good in a community not too far from us, Telus donated $20K to the Women’s Shelter in Barrie.


casie stewart, telus, give where we live, toronto, charity, donations

The $120 million TELUS has provided for the Friendly Future Foundation is the largest donation made by a publicly traded Canadian company in history and one of the largest ever in North America. Way to go team!

Over the past two decades, TELUS, team members and retirees have contributed more than $1 billion of value to Canadians, through $530 million in financial support and 1.21 million days of volunteerism. Last year alone they (we!) volunteered 1 million hours. 

I’m continuously impressed by how Telus gives in communities where they live. I’ve had the opportunity to do some giving back of my own through volunteer programs and they have made over $21,000 in charity donations on my behalf. This year my donation went to Cambridge Montessori (where I went!) and last year my donation went to SKETCH, an art based program for kids in the GTA.  I’m hoping to do more with Telus and local programs for 2019.


Have a project that could use some help? You can APPLY for funding here. The deadline for Toronto applications is January with different deadlines across Canada. So, if you want to make a difference, learn more about community grants here and get on it.

casie stewart, telus, give where we live, toronto, charity, donations

For more information about the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation visit friendlyfuture.com/en/foundation. And for some inspirational stories about people Telus has already helped, check these out.


This post is part of my long-term partnership with Telus sharing great stuff the brand is doing, my favourite things about being a customer, and tech gadgets I love (or want!).

Instant camera photos of children faces in heart-shaped pile

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