It Takes Practice.

It Takes Practice.

This weekend was super relaxing. Bed early on Friday, Saturday nap, made dinner & dessert, Sunday boating, blogging, reading. I love the weekend to slow down, talk less, sleep more, and take a break from email.


I didn’t use to be so good at it, I had to work at relaxing, I couldn’t sit still. Last year I went to regular yoga at a studio. One of my fav parts about yogayoga was the practice, making time for it, laying on my mat, moving through the poses, sweating, meditating. Something I learned from my teacher, Sandy was ‘not reacting takes practice‘. And although she said it in the context of trying to stay still in savasana, I carried it with me right out the door and into my life.

Not reacting takes practice. It took me a while to be able to lay there, still on the floor with my thoughts and not move when a bead of sweat dripped across my face. I’ve been doing yoga on our rooftop patio and it’s good but not that same as a quiet room and music lead by someones calming, familiar voice. [Studio is back open in January!]

The cottage makes me feel calm.

When I think back to Sandy saying ‘not reacting takes practice’ it’s so true if you apply that to stressful situations. Especially those where you could react with rage or anger, not reacting there is a real test of your patience and just how much practice you’ve had. My mum has a couple of good sayings like ‘water off a duck’s back‘ or ‘build a bridge and get over it‘. She always knows the right thing to say.


If you’re feeling stressed or holding something inside, let it go. Write it on a piece of paper and throw it in the fire. There is no sense carrying it with you for another day, week, or year. Free up that space in yourself to fill it with something that makes you happy, with sunshine. Step outside feeling lighter and put on a smile. I’m well aware that this won’t be as easy for some people as it is for others, and that’s ok. It’s all about finding the right method for you to help you deal with these stressful feelings. Some people may prefer to Buy CBD Oil instead of writing their feelings down on a piece of paper. As long as you don’t suffer, you should do what feels best for you. It may be worth giving it a go first, just in case you find it to be effective.

This is your life.

Head in the Clouds: Altavie & The Art of Now

Not long I went to an event at Only One Gallery featuring a reading by NYC poet Cleo Wade hosted by MedReleaf‘s brand, Altavie. It was one of the first cannabis-focused events I’d attended, it stood out with its classiness and the incredibly cool group of mostly women in attendance.

The night started with a guided meditation where everyone closed their eyes to take a few minutes for themselves. The panel was hosted by Briony Douglas who’s art was displayed around the gallery with a few other artists (Alpo Snow, Tahsin- The Good and Enzee Creative. Briony is one of my favs I have couple pieces from her recent show MOUTHPIECE in my room.

AltaVie by MedReleaf aims to help make mindfulness more attainable

Altavie is a high-end cannabis brand with a movement towards mindfulness, being present, and living in the now. Cannabis products are becoming more and more well known for their mental health benefits, for example, in helping with anxiety, depression and insomnia, and there are many different kinds of products out there, from CBD vaping cartridges (check out this CBDFX discount code if you’re interested in those) to products like Altavie. I was there thinking, ‘wow this weed brand is so ME right now, how is this really happening‘. Life is such a dream. It’s amazing how so much has changed – now there are more cannabis brands reaching customers with the help of an SEO agency specializing in the cannabis industry which once upon a time, not too long ago, would have been totally unheard from. How times have changed, and for the better too, I would say!

I am feeling this vibe ?

The only product currently on the website is a cannabis-free a nut bark that looks pretty good called Cannabis Crunch. It’s infused with cannabis inspired flavours (toffee, cinnamon, cardamom) and the product is already available at over 200, health food, drug and grocery stores across the country. A perfect product placement strategy.

“We are living in a fast-paced world that has us all constantly looking to the future and focused on getting somewhere or the next thing” noted Darren Karasiuk, VP Strategy at MedReleaf. “While the benefits of cannabis are far-reaching, for the launch of AltaVie we want to focus on the power of being in the present, allowing our consumer to appreciate life’s moments more fully – in the here and now, big or small.”

Newswire.ca

I’m really interested in high-end cannabis brands and products, and how they’re being marketed to women . I’ve already seen some really beautiful accessories. Um, hello weedbox.com?!


Another cool thing about this event was San Rafael ’71, another Medreleaf brand targeted at the classic consumer. Their 420 Lager doesn’t contain cannabis but it has exactly 4.20% alcohol. Nice one! ?The beer was released in partnership with Amsterdam Brewery prior to legalization to get the brand name out there. If you live in Toronto you might have seen the posters around. Smart idea.


This is the creative marketing I love, I live for this stuff. So exciting. I love being part of what’s happening in the cannabis space and it’s only going to get more interesting. Please invite me to all your events.


This week I’m going to a cannabis event for a ‘sneak peek’ at 3 new cannabis brands and it’s at ‘For Your Eyes Only’ (a strip club). I will be sure to take photos (if I can!) and share what goes down behind the black curtain.


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This post is not sponsored by Altavie! Cool the brand & the event was great. All photos by Ryan Emberley.?

Getting Higher: Rock Climbing

hub climbing, casie stewart, toronto, blogger, influencer, rock climbing

I’m writing this from the cottage with the lake as my second screen. Last week was a busy one after being away but I love those weeks almost as much because things move fast and it’s motivating. 


The other day I went rock climbing with Raymi and some friends at Hub Climbing in Markham. I like rock climbing but it gets harder as you get older haha. My arms were a bit sore this week from wakeboarding and my trainer. I’m chuckling a bit to myself writing this because back in 2001, I was a Sunshine Girl (Toronto Sun) and my bio said I liked ‘baseball, rock climbing, and want to work in marketing‘. At the time I had never gone rock climbing in my life. Safe to say I always knew what I wanted career-wise! 

We were invited to check out  Hub Climbing‘s 18,000 sq ft facility with over 200 climbs and bouldering. They’ve got locations in Markham (where we went) and Mississauga where they offer camps, classes, school groups, and yoga. They were very helpful in training us to ‘learn the ropes’, climb safely, and push ourselves to the limits.

It’s definitely a fun experience, we had heaps of laughs. Martin from @Studenomics was REALLY good. He scaled the speed wall in under 10 seconds! 

Hello, I am a rock climbing bae now. 


The thing I like about rock climbing is that you use every muscle in your body including your brain. You have to think strategically about where you’re going and how you’re going to get there. Such is life. 

Thank you Rob & Hub Climbing for inviting me to climb at your gym. Looking forward to my next visit! 

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This experience was sponsored by Hub Climbing! Check them out if you you're looking for a super fun activity to do with your friends.

Why Do We Keep So many Things? Clean it out.

Why Do We Keep So many Things? Clean it out.

Today I cleaned some stuff ou out from the stage space under my bed.  Every single time I do this it’s a mix of ‘why am I keeping this crap’ and ‘oh my God look what I found!‘ Like this great leather hat and vintage leather fanny pack lol. 

We keep all kinds of crap and take it around with you, different houses, relationships, but you should really just let it go, clean it out. Why do we keep so many things?

Oh hey old friend! 

I’m on a mission to cleanse everything from my life that doesn’t give me joy. Marie Kondo your life kinda thing. I did this a couple years ago after a great trip to LA. I came home refreshed with renewed self-worth and energy to go confidently in the direction of my dreams. I find, one of the best ways to cleanse out your internal demons is to get rid of crap around you in the physical world. It is so cathartic to throw things down the laundry shoot, in the garbage or toss in the bins at the dump (a personal fav!). After that LA trip I was pretty dedicated to yoga 3-4/week and eating better, but as time went on, I travelled heaps, got off my path and hardly went to yoga this year (or hardly worked out at all tbh). You can’t hate yourself for it though, life happens! 

You always have the ability to start something today, shift your perspective, take a new outlook, or make a change.

Your life is your movie and you are the director, You decide what you do and how you handle the situations life hands you. NO excuses.

This summer, I started actually going to the gym and even booked a trainer for 6 months. I started wakeboarding (ok I went once but I did it!). I went rock climbing. I’m drinking less. It feels less like work and more like a challenge when you stick to your goals. I am in no way perfect or really great at this but I’m trying. I try every day and some days I’m really off my game, but that’s ok. The important thing is to keep trying.

If you’re looking for some motivation, start with clutter around your bedroom, house, kitchen, and clean it out this weekend. You’ll feel heaps better! 


Tonight I am going to Diner en Blanc and I really hope it doesn’t rain!

casie stewart, this is my life, blog, toronto

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Sometimes you just need a break.

Sometimes you just need a break.

It’s a great reset to take a break from your everyday life and escape to the woods. Sean and I had 7 whole days alone before welcoming guests on the last weekend. It was an incredible getaway. After my Portugal trip I felt like I needed some time to reset.

August is always a time where  I asses the year so far, look at my goals and make a plan for the final quarter. Fitness, mental clarity, more work I enjoy, travel, and balance are key.

I hit the ground running w/ my trainer this week and after my first weekend of wakeboarding, it was kinda hard. MY ARMS WERE KILLING YESTERDAY. I’m determined to give it another go this weekend and hone in on my skills. I honestly never thought I would be a gym-loving wakeboard chick but here I AM. 

Swipe for video of me wakeboarding (Cory Lee is screaming, not me! haha)


Feeling fresh and ready for a great month. Yesterday was my first day back and I’m already moving on a couple exciting things. Next week I have 2 speaking gigs, the public one is at the Apparel Textile Sourcing show and you can register to come here

Remember, you will never be younger than you are today so make the most of it. 

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Live from the Lake, it’s Vacation Week!

Live from the Lake, it’s Vacation Week!

Helloooo and happy Monday Tuesday! It’s a short week and I’m happy to working beside the lake. Tomorrow is Sean’s birthday and each year we spend this week up at the cottage.

The weather this weekend was amazing. Got some good sun on Saturday. Drove the truck with the boat trailer and backed it into the water perfectly. Did dock yoga with coffee.  Already finished a book and hope to get through another one or two on my Kindle this week. The lake is so warm and perfect for swimming. Went out on my stand up paddleboard (SUP).  We have been out in the boat quite a bit and I’m comfortable taking Sean out wakeboarding. This was ‘relationship goals’ for him!

I love cooking at the cottage but I rarely share what I’m making. To social media all the things I create makes it feel like work. I love spending time prepping for dinner, making marinades, and finding recipes on Pinterest.

I have been working on perfecting bbq cauliflower, there are so many great ways to cook it. Grapefruit is a favourite for breakfast. Meat from Costco has been great for bbq, comes seasoned and these Korean ribs were incredible! I’ve had perfect avocados 3 days in a row. Brought back some incredible olive oil from a winery in Portugal and it’s amazing the difference from what you buy at the grocery store here. Good olive oil is worth the $$!


We made some lake friends this weekend who invited us to a concert. There was a full on band playing covers and heaps of people around our age hanging out. We boated over for a couple beers and it was so fun. 


I’m grateful for rainy days just as much as the sunshiney ones to get things done inside or on my computer. It’s so nice to have a break from city life. I know I was just on vacation in Portugal but it was the opposite of relaxing, go-go-go everyday! My next post on visiting Porto will go live later today or tomorrow. Lots of great stuff from there to share.

Sending sunshine!

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WordPress Finally has a New Editor: Meet Gutenberg

slow clapping behind you all day, dani press, dani kreeft

I’m writing this post using the new WordPress Editor, Gutenberg. It takes some getting used to and I had almost finished my post when I accidentally deleted it so now I am paying more attention. It allows you to add content blocks, ex. a paragraph of text, image, gallery, audio, subheading, columns (beta). It’s similar to how Medium works or LinkedIn work for posts. 

It’s much easier to move parts of your post around without cut/paste. I think that columns is a neat idea. Wondering how I can use this in a creative way to tell a story. The new format is similar to medium or LinkedIn where you are working with content blocks you add to the post. They’re easily searchable and you can add favs to a quick menu. [Columns didn’t work for me they looked ugly, still in Beta so I’m sure will improve]

WordPress Gutenberg – Columns


One of the really great things is adding Twitter/Youtube/IG/FB embeds from the blocks.


You can also easily add almost any kind of content. I’ve been using WordPress for years and I think this is a real step in the right direction. I wonder if they will add more photos editing options?!


If you want to try the new Gutenberg editor you have to install and activate it as a Plugin while it’s still in Beta [dowload here].

WordPress dashboard has a welcome message for the latest update outlining some feature and benefits (I am using the fully hosted option not wordpress.com). I‘ve been thinking about editing my theme and might do that during my vacation next week.


I’ve decided I like the new editor. Hello Gutenberg, my new friend that I will spend countless hours with. Drop cap is kinda nice. I feel like using the old editor will be like going back in time. This post is not sponsored by WordPress, I just spend some much time using the platform I decided to blog about it while I was using it this morning. I love blogging about blogging. Ha!

A short story about this great card. I ordered it from Dani Kreeft‘s print shop, Dani Press before she shut it down. I loved her cards, the perfect short sentences paired with perfect photos she took herself. This one reminds me of mum, she’s always there slow clapping behind me. I talk to her a lot. She’s the person I ring when something exciting happens and sometimes that’s few in a day. This card is also a reminder for me to be that person for others, to remind them there’s someone in your corner. Even when you feel alone, you are not alone, someone is rooting for you. If you feel like you are all by yourself, reach out.


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Portugal Pt.2: Sintra & The Yellow Castle

casa do valle, sintra, casiestewart, aeroplan, travel blogger, sintra, portugal

I went to Sintra, Portugal, the most romantic place! The true romance was really how great this blazer matched the Pena Palace.  I bought it just before leaving Toronto knowing full well that it would match perfectly. Ha! Aeroplan was open to me picking the places I wanted to visit for this trip and Sintra was top of my list. It’s a small resort town in the foothills of the Sintra Mountains, about a 20min Uber from Lisbon. It’s amazing how close this is to Lisbon and yet so different than the city. There are a couple beaches nearby, but unfortunately, I didn’t make it there.

Casa do Valle

I stayed at a beautiful place in Sintra about a 10 min walk from the centre of the tourist area. I booked it almost 2 months ahead and paid $149.42 CAD the garden suite near the pool. When I check to extend my stay there, it was almost double the price. Book early! Get $40 if you use this booking.com link

Casa do Valle is owned by a family from Finland, they built it to have family stay with them but they didn’t come so they turned it into a bed and breakfast. We met them they were so incredibly nice. Breakfast was served in our room and we had a few different options to pick from + coffee and tea. Wifi was included and from the pool area, you can see Pena Palace and the Moorish Castle.

Pena Palace

This is the red/yellow castle. I mapped this place out and added it to my itinerary as soon right away. I was told to get there early in the day to avoid crowds but we went around 4:30pm and it was busy, but not ridiculous. I was still able to get great photos without too many people in the background. I was actually quite surprised how patient people were for everyone taking photos. Thanks, Instagram! 

I purchased ‘Park & Pena Palace: Skip the Line’ mobile tickets from tiqets.com a couple hours before visiting or 14 Euros. I really didn’t need the ‘Skip the Line’, there was no line.

The hilltop 19th-century Pena National Palace is known for its design and bright colours. You can get a great view from the mountain top and explore the beautiful park before the castle. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes because you have to walk from the park up the hill to the castle and you’ll really feel it in your booty.

When leaving Pena Palace you pass the Castle of The Moors, a medieval castle where you can tour the grounds to a lookout over Sintra. (You’ll need to buy a ticket!)

Sintra

Sintra’s downtown is a cute little area beside The Palace of Sintra is in the heart of the old town. There are cabs, Uber, and tuk-tuks to take you around the tourist areas. I didn’t have any great meals but there’s a pastry you must have a Piriquita, the most famous pastry in Sintra.


I highly recommend going to Sintra. It’s magical!


This vacation was in partnership #withAeroplan. Earn miles and rewards by shopping at your fav spots (ex. Amazon) and redeem for travel almost anywhere in the world. I've been an Aeroplan member since I was 11 years old and love redeeming my miles to visit new & exciting destinations. Check out aeroplan.com!Aeroplan Logo
 

Up North: Summertime Glamping at The New Farm

up cannabis glamping, tragically hip, casie stewart, cannabis

I went glamping on a farm and it was amazing. Chefs cooked all the food, we did yoga in a barn listening to Tragically Hip, I went in a greenhouse, there was a pond, the outdoor showers were glam, and there were 250 people. I knew this would be cool based on the invite, it was unique. ?????

50 Luxury Tents for us!

The glamping trip was hosted by Up Cannabis at The New Farm. The Tragically Hip are big investors in the company and the band was there the whole day and had dinner with the group. It was the first big cannabis event I have been to. There were plenty of edibles floating around as well. Like the edibles online that people regularly order. Seeing as I was new to it all when they kept referring to their business as a cannabusiness and at the time, I wasn’t too familiar with this term. But the more I spoke to some of the people there, the more of a better understanding I had. I should have read This CBDistillery Review before going then, I would have had so much more knowledge.

There are so many things you have to think about when running a cannabusiness. For example, before this trip, I knew very little about the wide range of cannabis packaging options out there, but now I am something of an expert!

It was also the nicest camping experience I have ever had and would 100% do that again. Up Cannabis can’t actually share their product with us but for the 50 media that stayed over to camp, they infused the same terpenes found in the product into the soaps, drinks, food, and everything around us.

The event was really well done. The tents were like little apartments with electricity, real beds, furniture, lights, and fans. It was reallllly hot those days. In the morning, outside our tents were little baskets with reading material, breakfast snacks and cold brew coffee (that was cold!). They gave us heaps of little things to take home, wool Glerups slippers, snacks, and my favourite item is this soap which you will soon find in the Up Cannabis store soon.


The Up brand has positioned themselves in the ultra-premium segment with a strong connection to music. By having The Tragically Hip as major shareholders and strategic partners, the band weighs into every major marketing decision and infuses their brand music.

Given the upcoming legislation gives event sponsorship the green light, you’ll see more cannabis companies at festivals, events, and consumer touchpoints.


What a time to be alive. Back when social media started, new technology was bringing people with like interests together, all over the world. We were all on Twitter and it was magic. That same energy is floating around right now about the upcoming cannabis legislation. Working with Weed VR has been an eye-opening experience.

We’re on the cusp of a new $20 billion dollar industry with unlimited potential for retail, tech, marketing, education, and medicine. “It’s not like putting a new candy bar on a new shelf, it’s a whole new store” (4:19 Podcast). Great listen about the industry on the 4:19 Episode 1 w/ Shekhar Parmar Founder/CEO, Harvest Medicine Chief Strategy Officer, ABcann (here).

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Building a Great Influencer Program

telus, influencer program, casie stewart, travel

This summer I went to Vancouver to meet with the Canadian team of Telus Advocates. I’ve shared my love for Telus over the years but this experience was truly amazing. They flew in content creators from across the country to visit their Vancouver office, tour Telus Garden, create, eat, explore, and build relationships.

I’ve worked with heaps of brands but I truly admire the influencer program Telus has built over the years. Ok yes, I am a little bias because I chatted with the team before they created the program and shared my likes, dislikes, and brand experiences. They have set the bar high for what it means to work with a telecom company or a big brand. The experience (as an influencer) is tailored to each person’s style of content and audience. This kind of influencer marketing service is bound to provide a great product for their clients too, as they clearly value quality and retention.


In this post, I’m sharing a few of my tips for creating a great influencer program with Telus as my example.

Build Relationships

The thing about being an influencer is that you’re usually sharing your real life, so when you work with a brand, it means authentically integrating their content into your own experience.

You have to get to know each other in order to learn what works and create opportunities that mutually benefit the relationship.

It’s cool when you work well together and even cooler when it becomes a friendship. I’ve worked with Telus for about 8 years now and we’re colleagues but also friends. I can text with jokes, links, or that odd time on the weekend when I broke break my phone. (Sorry!)

Since we’ve built a good working relationship, we all reach out whenever something cool comes up like an event, giveaway, or content idea. That’s why working with new brands is one of the best things you can do as an influencer, as long as you’ve got the audience for it, of course. That’s why so many influencers tend to use services similar to Socialfollow®
in order to boost their audience numbers and make their profile more attractive to brands.


Customize Content

It really sucks when you’re scrolling Instagram and you see a sponsored post that seems kinda generic, but then you see another Influencer say almost the same thing, then another, and god forbid another. It doesn’t show personality, it’s not that creative, and it’s boring. Everyone is different and creates content (hopefully) in their own style.

Your influencer crew should be talking in their own voice and sharing photos that look like their real life, not just an #ad.

Telus is really cool about knowing what each of us likes and letting us create our own stories. At the start of the year, we have a 1-on-1 meeting where go through content ideas for the year. Each influencer picks out the events and ideas that speak to them, and we plan around that.

This means everyone has a unique story to tell that integrates with their life. In the past, I have talked about Telus travel plans, tech gifts, great coverage at the cottage, giving back, their use of VR, and more.


Get Together

I am amazed that this doesn’t happen more. Brands have groups of influencers, sharing content around the same #hashtag, often in the same city, but they never hang out or have a chat. There are online platforms designed to help creators and businesses find each other like Socially Powerful, but I still feel more needs to be done. Bring your people together! It’s a great way to build relationships between client/influencer but also between the creators.

We like hanging out, taking photos together, meeting new people. It helps strengthen the team, give each other ideas, and the brand has an amazing opportunity to create original content.

#TeamTelus, Vancouver, influencers
(Some of) #TeamTelus 2018 in Vancouver!

Give Where You Live

If you have a great team of people you like working with who are sending out good vibes and great content, why not use that power for good? Telus gives $45M a year communities across Canada and half a billion since 2000. This year at TELUS Days of Giving events 35K employees will be involved in 2,000 events across Canada.

In Vancouver, the Telus Advocates (us) and a bunch of Telus employees joined forces to pack 200 bags with weekend snacks for Backpack Buddies. This charity was started by two women to help fill the weekend hunger gap for Vancouver kids in need. We went around the room in a circuit with people doing different jobs to hustle through packing. It was a lot of fun and it brought us together. Love to see more of this from other brands. See more at #GiveWhereWeLive.

#teamtelus, Vancouver, casie stewart
We packed 200 bags for Backpack Buddies and Telus donated $10,000!

Ask Questions

If you’re building an influencer team or already have relationships, remember they’re good at what they do because they have experience. They work with multiple brands, agencies, timelines. You don’t need to get super specific but asking questions is a great idea. What do they like about other programs? Do they have ideas on how to make things better, faster, smoother? How could we use technology to tell stories in a different way? Asking questions helps you learn and when you learn you have more ideas, and everything gets better.

Telus Vancouver dinner and the day I first wore my fav dress.

Bring Them In

I love learning about a program while it’s still in development and giving feedback or sharing a related experience. I usually have a different perspective and turn it on its head. Last year, Telus brought a few of us in to ask about a new program they’re thinking about and while we were in Vancouver we talked a lot about Telus programs and the future. It’s great to hear about what the company is doing, planning, how you can work together.


Create

You know what all content creator influencer people have in common? They all like to make things, create things. A lot of them even like the camera. ? Make stuff with them!

Telus had each of into Telus Vancouver Studio (inside their building) to shoot some fun stuff on camera. They planned it out well, has scripts, full crew, and we each took turns for private studio time. It was fun and now they have a whole bunch of fresh-faced content.

Last year before Mother’s & Father’s Day Telus had a bunch of us come to the Toronto office and shoot us talking about gadgets & gift ideas. We also called our parents to ask about their favourite present we ever gave them. You will laugh at mine because I was born on Mother’s Day and like, what is a better gift than THAT!? ?


Learn & Grow

Through building relationships, coming together, and asking questions, you learn a lot about people, marketing, and what works best. Your program should be agile and change with the times, the content, technology, the people. New feature on IG or app to make something cool, try it. Find a great new creator, reach out to them. Someone not posting as much as they used to bc they just aren’t really into it, cool no problem, work with that or move on.

You need to be constantly innovating or you will be left behind. Innovate or die.

Finally, this goes without saying at this point, if you’re working on all this stuff with someone or a group of people, you should pay them for their time and expertise. It can be cash (cheques are good) or in-kind (must have great value) but please recognize the immensely unique perspective and value someone of this nature can bring to your program or organization.

Sidenote, Vancouver is really beautiful. Especially in the summer!


How to Build a Great Influencer Program

  1. Build Relationships
  2. Customize Content
  3. Get Together
  4. Give Where You Live
  5. Ask Questions
  6. Bring Them In
  7. Create
  8. Learn & Grow

 


I love working with Telus as you can tell from this post. Check out some of my other stories over the years here. ?

Image result for telus logo png

Portugal Pt. 1: What to Do in Lisbon

casie stewart, portugal, travel blogger, lisbon, aeroplan, withaeroplan, travel

Portugal is amazing! My trip with Aeroplan this month was great and if you were following on social you’ll know because I posted heaps of photos!  The air was hot, the food was good, and I found inspiration in the bright colours and kind people. I took over 2,000 photos and kept notes during the trip. I did a bunch of research before I left and have been asked heaps about recommendations, so, I’ve broken down my trip into 5 posts based on things I did, which is only a fraction of what there is to do. Next trip I’ll rent a car and drive around to see the Algarve, Braga, Cascais, Coimbra, Aveiro (the Venice of Portugal), and the historic town of Óbidos.

I’d like to take a second to thank Telus for keeping me connected. I have an Easy Roam package on my plan where for the cost of a coffee & snack each day I could use the data of my Canadian plan without having to worry about roaming. It’s great to disconnect but for me, being able to still share my experience as it happens is part of the fun!

Links to other Portugal Posts are at the bottom and I’ll update as each is published! Obrigada!


What to Do In Lisbon

I arrived in Lisbon with a loose plan of what to do for the next 10 days. It was my first visiting and I’d been building a Pinterest board of the things to see and do for weeks. The city is so beautiful, bright coloured buildings fill the streets and the hills make it so picturesque. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to walk a lot.

When you arrive from the airport it can be a bit confusing, if you don’t want to Uber or taxi, there’s a green bus that will take you downtown to a variety of spots for a couple Euros (the ticket is good for 24 or 48 hours).


The main streets will present heaps of opportunities to dine on a patio, have wine, visit a museum, or go shopping. We found a great little store for clothes at a good price at the bottom of  Santa Justa Lift. I ended up getting a 2nd suitcase to bring home all the things I bought on this trip! You can go up the lift for a 360 view but there was a line so I didn’t bother (this is included in your Yellow Bus ticket, see below).

Yellow Bus Tours

For 20 Euros I got a 48-hour ticket for Yellow Bus Tours which allowed me to take 2 bus lines and the trolley unlimited for 2 days. This worked out really great because they have an audio guide on the bus that tells you all about the history and landmarks, it also saved me paying for Ubers to get to all the places I wanted to go.

Parque Eduardo VII

One of the great views from the bus tour is Parque Eduardo VII, the largest park in Lisbon. I would have loved to walk around the park. There’s some greenery that looks like a maze! The park is 26 hectares and in between Avenida da Liberdade and the Marquis of Pombal Square, right in the centre of the city.

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Belem

One route on the bus tour took me to Belem and Torre de Belém (Tower of Belem). It was built on the northern bank of the Tagus between 1514 and 1520 and in 1983 was classified by UNESCO as “Cultural Heritage of Humanity”.

There’s also a place in Belem called Pastéis de Belém, the original spot for Pastel da Nata (Portuguese egg tart), since 1837.  Be prepared to wait but sooo good! 

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LX Factory

This is a really cool area with bars, restaurants and shopping. It’s great for photos and has heaps of street art. This was where I saw the most hipstery people in Lisbon. There was live music and really cool shipping container/bus things to check out.

Barrio Alto District

Grab a beer at a little store and walk around, it’s really busy here! (Also, you can drink in the streets!) There are heaps of little bars and restaurants. We had dinner in an alley at an Italian restaurant. I was also surprised by how many police and families were walking around late at night. Hold onto your stuff though, if you were going to get pickpocketed, this would be the place.

Park Bar, Lisbon

If you’re looking for a great view, Park Bar it’s a busy hot spot on top of a parking garage with wooden seats and drinks. The entrance is on a small side street but they will likely be people hanging out or checking Google Maps on their phones to get there. You’ll have to walk up a few flights of stairs but the view is amazing. Unfortunately, I didn’t get there before sunset, the view in daylight is amazing.

Praça do Comércio (Yellow Square)

The Royal Palace used to be here before the Great Earthquake in 1755. The square is beside the Tagus River, it has a beautiful archway (Rua Augusta Arch) and a bronze statue of Joseph I of Portugal (1750 – 1777)  (King of Portugal during the earthquake).

Time Out Market

This is a HUGE market with all kinds of different food. It’s really busy at night with people eating and drinking. It’s right across from the train station if you want to get to Sintra, Cascais, or Praia De Carcavelos (beach).  I stayed at a great Airbnb just behind the market with a great host who showed me how to navigate the train station. If you haven’t used Airbnb yet, visit this link to get $45 CAD off your first stay.

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Hope you enjoyed my photos and recommendations.

Check out my other posts about Portugal below! 

Casie Stewart: Guide to Portugal

  1. Portugal Pt. 1: What to Do in Lisbon
  2. Portugal Pt. 2: Sintra & Pena Palace
  3. Portugal Pt 3: Porto (Coming Soon!)
  4. Portugal Pt. 4: Douro Valley (Coming Soon!)
  5. Portugal Pt 5: Highly Instagrammable Places to Photograph (Coming Soon!)

 


This vacation was in partnership #withAeroplan. Earn miles and rewards by shopping at your fav spots (ex. Amazon) and redeem for travel almost anywhere in the world. I've been an Aeroplan member since I was 11 years old and love redeeming my miles to visit new & exciting destinations. Check out aeroplan.com!Aeroplan Logo
 

Win a Makeover from Sassoon Toronto!

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Praia De Carcavelos, Portugal

Hello!

I am writing this to you from Lisbon, Portugal!

I just came back from the beach after travelling here from Porto. I was wearing a hat for most the day, slept on a train, rode 2 Users in sweltering heat, then walked the beach.

But you know what? My hair is still looking great!

Something I love about my cut/colour is that no matter what activity or where I am, plane, train, city, beach, cottage, it always seems to fall right into place. ?✈️?

I have the team at Sassoon Toronto to thank for my amazing cut and great colour. Blonde can be really hard on your hair but Kim and Tricia keep my hair soft and healthy with treatments and regular cuts.

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My last visit to Sassoon Toronto was the day before my trip. My hair was shaggy and I had HUGE roots but my dream team took it from meh to HUZZAH. Scroll down a little bit to see details about the makeover giveaway and a link to my Instagram post where you’ll need to leave a comment.

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Sassoon Makeover Giveaway Details

Sassoon and I are giving YOU the chance to win the hair makeover valued at $350! To enter, leave a comment on THIS INSTAGRAM POST and make sure you are following @SassoonToronto.

The contest will run for 7 days and a winner will be notified by Instagram. The winner has 24 hours to claim the prize!

Sending you love from the beach!

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The Praries: Ford EcoSport Cross-Canada Tour

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This year for Canada Day weekend I was part of the Ford EcoSport cross Canada road trip with Ford Canada. My friend April and I were Leg 14 of the adventure and driving from Regina to Medicine Hat, SK and finishing in Calgary Alerta. It was both our first time in Regina and we had heaps of fun along the adventure. Thank you Ford Canada for this experience! Scroll down to see what we got up to along the way.


The Ford Eco Sport Tour involves 14 different content creators each driving the exact same Ford Eco Sport for a relay across the country. When I first received the email I was so excited and even more so that I got to bring a friend! I’d been wanting to go on a trip with April since that great weekend we spent glamping up north a few years back.

We started in Regina, SK and it was the first time there for the both of us. We arrived late afternoon and checked into Hotel Saskatchewan, an extremely elegant hotel. Ford hooked us up with a 2 room suite and it was perfect! The hotel offered great views of the city, was walking distance to restaurants and bars, it had a nice gym and a hot tub too. We drove around and made use of the SYNC® 3 with Apple CarPlay™ and FordPass Wifi HotSpot.

Instead of doing typical tourist stuff on our road trip, April and I made a point to stop at different vintage and second-hand stores across the two provinces. We love to shop! I’ve always found that shops in small towns are where you really find the gems. Our first stop was T&A Vinyl & Fashion and the owner was so cool. We shopped the vintage finds/records and he gave us pins, stickers, and a whole bunch of tips for things to do along our journey.

After a busy day of travelling and some shopping, we were ready for relaxation. Instead of going out we ordered room service from the incredible kitchen at Hotel Saskatchewan and pigged out in our rooms wearing our robes.

In the morning, we woke up pretty early (with the time difference) which it earned us time to hit the gym, have a coffee, and be on the road by 9am. Our goal was to do as much driving in the early part of the day as e could so we had some time at our next destination, The Resort at Cypress Hills. The car was great to drive and features like SYNC and wifi kept us on track and connected the whole time.

We had no shortage of great places to stop along the way. A lot of the drive looked the same with wide open Canola fields of yellow, green grass, and blue skies. We sang along to 90s on 9 on Sirius XM and stopped for photos and shopping along the way. It was really fun. As we turned off the Trans-Canada highway we came across a cute stop with a goat farm. So cute. Always stop for baby goats!

It was just about dinner when we arrived to our room at Cypress Hill Resort, a nice resort in the middle of a provincial park. We had a great dinner and turned in early to watch TV in our beds. We’re a real wild bunch! haha.

It was Canada Day when we woke up on Sunday so we both wore red and hit the road for the final leg of the trip to Calgary. It’s amazing how wide and flat the Prairies are. Really makes you appreciate how big and beautiful Canda is. Especially on Canada day! ??

We made a few stops along the way including a Sunday market. We talked to shopkeepers whoever we stopped and people asked about the Ford Eco Sport wherever we went.


Sunday night we stayed at my fav spot in Calgary, Hotel Arts. I filmed this video there with Tourism Calgary a couple years back. We had a great dinner at Yellow Door Bistro inside the hotel and watched the Canada Day day festivities from the balcony.

Althouth we were on a self-guided adventure,  we had Denis who worked with Ford to drive across Canada to make sure each participant was a-ok along the journey. He also put gas in the car overnight so we were ready to roll in the morning. Thanks Denis! 

Overall the Ford Eco Sport was a great car to drive. It’s comfortable, good on gas, nice sound system, and my fav feature was the automatic windshield wipers. It didn’t rain much but when it did, they started up themselves!

Check out @FordCanada on Instagram for some of the other people who were part of the relay. It was such a  cool experience to be part of and to explore a new part of Canada.

Thank you Ford Canada! 

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Nervous/excited is my favourite feeling.

Nervous/excited is my favourite feeling.

When your heart is racing and you feel like maybe you had too much coffee. You might throw up. You can’t stop smiling. Your thoughts are going a mile a minute, circling round the details. You pace back and forth. You need water. You can’t sit still. You’re not sure if you’re nervous or excited but something is going on and you can’t wait. That’s how I feel today. 


Tomorrow we go to Portugal with Aeroplan. It’s my first time going a Eurotrip! I’m packed and have taken care of all the details. Got travel insurance which is essential. Mailed details to family just in case. We’re on a self-guided tour of a few cities, hotels, Airbnbs, doing whatever we want for 12 days. The weather looks amazing. I have heaps of outfits, accessories, and shoes, neatly packed in my carry-on. I don’t know what I did before packing cubes came into my life (I have these from Amazon). Shared some packing tips a while back in this post.

This weekend we were at the cottage the weather was warm and it was great to be out in the boat. In August we’re up for Sean’s birthday and staying for nearly 2 weeks. It’s my fav time of the year up there together. We have a few projects we want to do around the cottage. It’s great creative time with lots of relaxing. I love to get out in the kayak or my SUP board in the morning. I tell myself every year that I’m going to work on my book, maybe I will this time! I’m further than I was last yeat and I think this Portugal trip will give me the kickstart I need! 

This weekend I tried the beyond Meat burger at A&W that’s made from plant protein and it was so good. I’ve loved A&W since I used to go to cruise night there with dad as a kid. I like what they’ve been doing lately by trying to provide better and healthier fast food options. Not sponsored lol.


Sending you love and sunshine. Have a great day. Enjoy the weather wherever you are!☀️

Amazon Prime Day is Today – Get 5x Aeroplan Miles!!

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I look forward to Prime Day each summer! I bought my first Instant Pot on Prime Day years ago and I’ve been obsessed ever since. If you’re an Aeroplan Member, you can earn you 5x the Aeroplan Miles on Prime Day this year. Think about that for a hot second, get amazing deals AND rack up those miles!

I’ve been earning Miles w/ Aeroplan as long as I can remember because mum was keen on getting any help we could in order to visit the fam back in New Zealand. I really love Amazon Deals and Amazon, in general, it’s such a great addition to life. An easy way to get just about anything sent to you in a day or two. If you don’t have a Prime Membership, sign up here. I love the future!

Amazon Prime + Aeroplan Details

WHAT IS AMAZON PRIME? The basic benefits of being a prime member are FREE 2-day shipping, access to Prime Video (Man in the High Castle, Mozart in the Jungle Transparent), access to Prime Music, AND special deals on Prime Day! There are over 100,000 deals across heaps of categories like electronics, fashion housewares, and more.

How it works: Amazon + Aeroplan

  1. Visit aeroplan.com/estore
  2. Using the search function on the page, find Amazon.ca
  3. Enter your Aeroplan number and last name
  4. Click on the ‘Shop Now’ button to be redirected to Amazon.ca.
  5. GET ALL THE DEALS. Happy shopping!

The Aeroplan eStore promotion starts on Prime Day and lasts until July 18th.

Prime Day starts at 3pm ET on Monday, July 16


This week is an exciting one, today is Prime Day, tomorrow I’m back at Sassoon Toronto and will be announcing a REALLY GREAT makeover giveaway, then Wednesday I’m off to Portugal #withAeroplan for almost 2 weeks. What a time to be online!

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This post is sponsored by Aeroplan as part of my ongoing partnership. Make sure you tune in next week because I'm off to PORTUGAL #withAeroplan!

Eat. Drink. Live | Win VIP Passes to Medley Food & Drink Festival!

Hot summer nights, good food, music, and drinks, you can’t go wrong!  This coming weekend in Barrie is Medley Festival in Barrie, Ontario, a food & drink event celebrating Canadiana with a bunch of great vendors and live music. One of my old buds is behind the event and I want to give you some tickets!

I have (1) VIP Ticket Package (valued at $300) and 2 Pairs of Weekend passes (valued at $50). I would 100% be there but Wednesday I leave for Portugal.

TO ENTER:

  1. Visit medleyfestival.com
  2. Leave a comment on the blog about what you’d like to eat, drink, see, or do there this weekend!

Lots of great vendors including Bacardi, Black Fly Beverages, Dr.Oetker, The Flying Monkeys Brewery, Pie, Smoke’s Poutinerie, Muskoka, Brewery, and more!

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This Flying Monkey’s IPA is good and my fav colour.


I would like to note that one of the food vendors is Pie Wood Fired Pizza which is MY FAVOURITE PIZZA. Just look at this it’s amazing.


Here’s a little look at what to expect at Southshore Centre & Park, Barrie. FYI it is 45 minutes from Toronto and there is a GoTrain RIGHT across the street. So, if you don’t have a car, don’t worry, enter the giveaway, save yourself the hassle of traffic, and enjoy a few cocktails!

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Winners will be picked at random and notified on Wednesday by noon and have 24 hours to claim the tickets. Prizes will be delivered by email.

Thank you for reading, sharing, and entering! GOOD LUCK.

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Partnered with my old friend Jeff Atley & Medley Festival to bring you these tickets! Winners will be notified via email. Love ya! ?No automatic alt text available.

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Tom Ford – LOLA Sunnies ?

Tom Ford – LOLA Sunnies ?

If you follow me on IG or have been reading here for a while you’re well aware of my sunglasses obsession! I’ve been collecting them for longer than I care to admit and they’re my favourite accessory. Most are funky and not too pricey but do I have a couple designer pairs I’ve found over the years.

Last month I received an email from SmartBuyGlasses.ca giving me an opportunity to pick a pair from their latest lookbook. I went for these cat eye, Tom Ford – LOLA beauties, I love them. The tint is perfect and the lenses are very clear. I usually go for dark lenses but I find they make it hard to read my phone screen (which is essential!).


I’ve worked with SmartBuyGlasses before and they have heaps of designer eyewear at better than retail. Remember my Celine or YSL ones? They’re the nicest glasses I have! [See here!]

Protect your face from the sun and look stylish af w/ great sunnies. Check out their website. ?

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This post is 100% in exchange for my new glasses. Thank you SmartBuyGlasses for reaching out! YOLO.

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Two Sisters Vineyard, Niagra on the Lake: Local Flights, Wine, & Baby Goats

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Monday was just a casual day y’know? I flew to Niagara on the Lake (NOTL) with a small group for lunch & wine tasting at Two Sisters Winery w/ the two sisters. It was such a great experience!

Small groups or private adventures are a great way to get people  (media, content creators, friends) familiar with your brand. Thank you, Two Sisters (the actual sisters!) for hosting and Fly GTA for the great flight.

Can’t wait to try their Muskoka route soon! 

Scroll through the IG post below and read the captions below. I shared 10 great things about the day. This is an expansion of the original IG post. I’m not sure if I’ve done before? It usually goes the other way (WP->IG vs IG->WP). ?

1. Arrived at the airport I was a last minute invite so I went right to the office like HELLOOOOO. Thank you Stilez for hooking me up! ?

2. The flight is 10-25mim depending on route and $99. Very beautiful!✈️

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3. Hot pilot alert ??‍✈️

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4. Two sisters took over a peach ? farm 4 years ago.

5. They have a great team who takes care of the vineyard by hand.

6. I love Italian food and lunch was INCREDIBLE. Love the Burrata & polenta. Also HOT SAUCE.

7. What a voice, don’t miss this video or check out my NOTL Story on IG. Impromptu acapella performance from a band visiting from Portugal. ??

8. Step inside the wine cellar, theres a table for private dining. ? (See IG video)

9. Private tour of the family farm with BABY GOATS ? ? ?

10. They also have a hidden pond on the vineyard with a family of ducks and ducklings + heaps of fish.


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THE CREW! Maurie from 92.5, Joanna Sable, Solmaz, @meetandeats.

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This adventure was hosted by Two Sisters Winery and I was SO MUCH FUN.  I love documenting adventures with words and photos so I can always remember them.

Sassoon Style: Summer Wedding Season

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Last week I stopped by Sassoon Toronto for my regular trim. My hair is lower maintenance since I opted for highlights last month instead of full bleach & tone. I really like what’s going on with my two-tone hair, it’s still blonde, has some texture, and is my natural colour at the back.

For my touch-up cuts in between colour, I’ve been seeing Tricia for a quick trim. She usually does a few snips while the hair is wet, then does scissor-over-comb (SOC) while my hair is dry to finish off the look. It’s amazing how a quick trim makes you feel so refreshed

Summer Wedding Hair Tips from Sassoon Toronto

I love summer and wedding season is the perfect chance to get all dolled up. I would wear this dress to every wedding this summer, it makes me feel great and always gets compliments. It’s my ‘feel good’ dress of Summer 2018! I chatted with Tricia about the perfect summer wedding hair and got a few tips from Sassoon Salon’s creative directors Lorraine McAndrew and Wesley Hanlon.

Keep it fresh
Tricia’s reco is to get a fresh haircut/trim/colour touch-up one week before the big day. If you have short hair like me, opt for a blow-dry on the day of. A professional just has the magic touch to give your hair some OOMPH.

Hot Tip: For added shine ask for a personalized in-salon Kerastase Fusio-Dose treatment.

 “Shine is key for ensuring your hair looks healthy from every angle,”
– Lorraine McAndrew, Sassoon Salon senior creative director

Styling Requirements
If you’re going for a braid or pretty up-do, your hair should be clean, but DO NOT wash it the day of the event. Wash the night before to keep your hair’s natural oils intact, you’ll be able to count those curls, waves, or up-dos holding better and looking great in photos.

Less is more
Want to look modern and elegant? Keep it simple, don’t over style!

Wedding Day Tool Kit
I always carry a small bag with a few beauty must-haves for big events or a wedding. I love Dior or Mac lipstick, Hello Flawless Powder by Benefit, bobby pins, and tiny rubber elastics. If you’re rocking a fancy hairstyle that took some work, pop Sebastian Shaper Plus mini hairspray in your bag.

SIDE NOTE – The team at Sassoon Salon are so great. I’ve been going there for almost 2 years now and I look forward to every visit. I spend half the time laughing and talking like we’re old friends. If you’re looking for a new look or someone to really take care of your hair, I highly recommend making an appointment.


Hope you had an amazing weekend. Here’s to a great week!

Sending you Sunshine!

Fill Up for the Weekend + Be Safe Out There

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This weekend we’re heading to the cottage and I couldn’t be happier. The past few weekends I’ve had a bit of travel in Ontario and out west. I can’t wait to have a few days to recharge my batteries, nothing is quite as relaxing at a few days up at the cottage. We usually stop to fill up the car on the way and our fav place is the Husky Station near Bradford for the very best samosas, snacks, and of course gas.


When Husky reached out to me about their latest campaign I replied right away about the cottage drive but what I learned in the process is how many people actually get gas and don’t pay for it. As if! Doing that never crossed my mind but in my research, I found out it happens more than you know. In May this year, new legislation passed in Alberta to protect gas and convenience store workers after multiple deaths.

“The number of fuel thefts in our province would surprise people at how high it is and occasionally a worker is injured or killed either because a dash-and-gas is happening and they’re accidentally involved or because they maybe tried to chase someone,” – Alberta Labour MinisterLabour Minister Christina Gray 

Last year in Toronto, a man was charged with 2nd-degree murder after dragging a gas attendant 78 metres, when he drove away trying to escape a $112 tab. He didn’t even know he had killed a man until a couple days later! Gives me chills. With gas prices on the rise, I looked up how common gas fraud is in North America and it’s apparently ‘alive and well‘ (according to NASAA in USA) with major gas brands stating warnings right on their websites.


In order to protect their employees, Husky implemented a pay-at-the-pump policy for all locations, including the 110 locations in Ontario. Husky is one of the only stations in the province to implement this mandate.

“You hear tragic stories of employees trying to stop a gas theft and getting hurt, or even killed, and you often wonder if this could happen to you. Even though we aren’t supposed to try to stop these incidents, prepay ensures there is no dispute at the pump and helps me get home to my family at the end of every shift.” – Mike, Husky employee in St. Catherines

If you live downtown, you’re probably used to paying at the pump, but over the past month, I drove in Muskoka, Regina, and heaps of little towns where it’s not mandatory to pay before filling up. This weekend we had conversations with so many great staff members at gas stops through the Prairies and I hate thinking how this could happen to them.

Husky Energy Launches Pay before you Pump Awareness Campaign

Husky Energy believes having customers pre-pay will minimize risks to staff. Since implementation in BC, the rate of gas-and-dash deaths has decreased to zero.

I wonder when other gas companies will make this mandatory?


FYI if you go to the Husky on the 400 near Bradford, highly recommend the lamb or vegetarian samosas + plum sauce.

P.S. GAS PRO TIP – Next time you are getting gas, look on the gas handle for a little latch that will hold it handle in the ‘pumping gas position’ (or use the gas cap) and you won’t have to hold it with your hand. ?⛽️

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This post is sponsored by Husky but the message is my own. I read a lot before writing this and I wonder how long it will take this to be mandatory at all gas stations.

Portugal: Europe’s Hottest Destination for 2018

Portugal: Europe’s  Hottest Destination for 2018

I’ve always dreamed of summer in Europe and although I’ve travelled to heaps of countries, I’ve never done a Euro trip. I KNOW! Well, ladies and gentlemen, the time has come. As part of my ongoing partnership with Aeroplan, tomorrow I’m heading to PORTUGAL. We leave mid-month and we’re back on the 30th.  Have I said I’m excited, yet?

I was originally heading to Paris with Sean but that trip is a little delayed and I’m so glad this worked out. It’s a great feeling to text your friend and say ‘hey want to come to Europe this summer?’. Ahhhhh pinch me, it’s times like this I’m like omg, this is my life!

I am so excited. Portugal is the hottest spot to go this summer, just check your Facebook feed or of your fav online celebs and they’re all checking in to Lisboa, Porto, Sintra, and beautiful coastal beaches.

Yesterday I was reading this article on W Magazine and it’s one of many about how Portugal is THE SPOT to be. We’ve planned out most of the adventure but I’ve left a few days up in the air to figure out as we go. I love not having a plan and the freedom to make things up as we learn more about secret beaches, hidden hideaways, and locals only spots.


If you have any food & drink recommendations, family, friends, hotels, Airbnb, vacation properties, restaurant owner friends, anything, PLEASE COMMENT.

We have a Google doc and Slack set up to manage everything (yes, we are nerds) so I will add all of your suggestions.



So far we’re arriving in Lisbon, going to Sintra, then to Porto, we’ve got a few days with no plan, then back to Lisbon before coming home. We’re gone for almost 2 weeks. It is going to be so hot and I can’t wait.

Sintra, Portugal – we’re staying in this great city for a night!


If you haven’t checked out the new Aeroplan, I suggest popping over to aeroplan.com. They’ve got deals on getaways, vacation packages, and more. You can also earn Miles at Amazon, Costco, and heaps of other online shopping spots. I’ve had an Aeroplan credit card for years and love racking up those rewards.

Thank you Aeroplan for making this dream come true! Follow along all our posts tagged #withAeroplan. I’m so excited!

 


Over the holidays this year took mum back to New Zealand for a month with Aeroplan and it was such a  great adventure. Watch this video we made w/ 1188 before our vacation.

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I’m Nominated for the 2018 Premier’s Awards!

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Hello! If you’ve been following my IG or Stories the last few days, I’ve been all over the place. I spent 4 days driving from Regina to Calgary on a road trip w/ Ford Canada, then an overnight glamping trip with Up Cannabis. Both trips were very different and incredibly fun. I will share more about those soon but now I have a little announcement! 

A couple weeks ago I received an email from my college asking to have an in-person meeting. Since I was travelling we had a call and it was then learned, I’ve been chosen as the Creative Arts nominee for the 2018 Premier’s Awards! Yes, ME! 

The awards celebrate Ontario’s outstanding college graduates and winners are presented awards at a gala in November. More specifically, The Premier’s Awards honour the important social and economic contribution that college graduates make to Ontario and throughout the world. The awards were launched in 1992 and are administered by Colleges Ontario.

Last week my nomination was officially submitted and today it’s online. Past winners in my category have included an internationally acclaimed TV director, top chefs, leading playwrights, and an Academy Award-winning animator. It’s a pretty broad category and more than anything, I’m honoured to be nominated. ?

Check out my photo on the Conestoga College website here!

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Having My Moment

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Last weekend I had the opportunity to spend a dreamy weekend driving around in a 2017 Porsche Boxster GTS. This car is INCREDIBlE. I drove all over the place, taking friends to run errands, back and forth to get groceries, from Scarborough to the far West, and all over downtown. I’ve never owned a car and I’ve joked since I was a kid that my first car would be a Porsche, well, there’s still time!

Suits me, right?


Cool thing about this car is that the engine is right behind the 2 seats so there are two trunks, front and back. You can fit groceries and your weekend bag but only one friend at a time, it’s perfect. ?I took Embot around for a drive listening to music and felt like the coolest step-mama ever.

It’s got amazing handling for city or highway. It is also VERY fast, not that I was speeding ever at all. The roof is fully automatic and pretty fast, you can put it down to take the top off while stopped at a traffic light. It’s pretty good on gas but you have to put premium, however nothing compares to the beautiful German engineering of a Porsche. My dad was v jealous! casie stewart, porsche canada, porsche, boxter gts, carrera, toronto, influencer, blogger


Porsche is celebrating 70 Years, (HBD!), and tonight they’re hosting an event. I would love to work on this relationship so I can drive more and more cars for the media fleet, that way, when I buy my very own, I really know what I want! Ha! I’m serious. They gave a few media peeps the opportunity to drive cars. I booked this drop top baby a few months ago and waited patiently for the day I could pick it up.

Thank you Porsche Canada! ILYYYYYY!

As I sadly returned the Boxter, I saw this BRIGHT yellow Carrera and thought, that would look good on me! Maybe next time?!

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With love,

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Disclosure: Porsche Canada gave me the car to test drive for the weekend but I said that already!

Exciting Times Ahead: Biome Grow & Cannabis Marketing

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Last week some exciting family news hit the Global Newswire! About a year ago, the team at Occupied VR came up with an idea for a virtual reality weed dispensary. Well FF? to last week, we announced that Weed VR has been acquired by licenced cannabis producer Biome Grow. Check out the news release here.

If you’re reading this and are thinking ‘what is Weed VR, I want to try it“. Email me [email protected] or send me a DM on any social platform and we’ll hook you up. Comments are open on this post if you have questions.

Essentially, it’s a virtual retail dispensary and soon to be the largest library of 3D cannabis strains for educational purposes. A virtual dispensary is a truly revolutionary way to market and ultimately sell cannabis products. It is a modern alternative to a traditional dispensary that typically features store fixtures and merchandise displays and instead offers an entirely new way to shop. I cannot wait to see how everything plays out. If you’d like stay up to date with all cannabis news specifically relating to the CBD, have access to educational articles, reviews, medical research news and more then you may want to visit TheCBDInsider.com.


It’s a really exciting time to be in this business. I’ve seen some really creative marketing, events, and promotional products. The striped metal grinder card and papers in the top photo are from Van Der Pop, a female-focused Cannabis brand. They send a cool package a couple months ago. Next week I’m going glamping with UP Cannabis near Blue Mountain with a bunch of media peeps. (UP is the cannabis company partially owned by the Tragically Hip!)

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This is the cool event invite I got from UP Cannabis! So creative! When you slid the top of the wooden box open the red plastic piece says ‘roll with us’. Love it.


This stage of the industry kinda reminds me of early days of social media. Back when my friends would make fun of me for staying home to work on my ‘blog’ or going to so many ‘TweetUps‘ with my ‘internet friends‘. That was a really special time, the friends I made and relationships I built back then will last a lifetime. The things I learned from being early stage, a pioneer, are priceless.

Being at the start of something new takes risk, you have to be agile and innovative. I’m working on Weed VR PR and it’s new, a bit nervewracking, but exciting. Nervous/excited is my favourite feeling. I’m really looking forward to the next few months building this brand w/ Biome Grow.

How many times did I say excited in this post? haha!

HUZZAHHHHHHHH!

casie stewart

#ShareLove Pride 2018! Video + Parade w/ Telus!

#ShareLove Pride 2018! Video + Parade w/ Telus!

A couple weeks ago I was invited to Telus Toronto to share some of my Pride memories. I’ve been going to the parade since I was a teenager. Dad took my sister for our first time when we were in high school. It’s been a place for positive self-expression, to celebrate, to join friends for their first Pride after coming out, or to remember friends who have past. Every year we get together to share love, joy, and friendship while dancing in the street together.




Thank you, Telus for having me in to share what PRIDE means to me. I am so proud and glad to work with a company that supports diversity, LGBTQ, and gives back in communities across the country.  This weekend I’ll be walking in the parade with Telus. I love being there and feeling the happy energy flying all around.

Sending you sunshine and I hope to see some of you at PRIDE!

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Local Ladies – Documentary

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This weekend I was invited to sit down with Katie and Meghan, who created Local Ladies, a series all about telling women’s stories in the community.

Over the past three years, they’ve interviewed women and screened the short films to raise funds for Women in Crisis. I was interviewed for a feature documentary they will be screening in September.

Some of the other Local Ladies!


The Local Ladies mission is to shine a light on as many incredible women in the community as possible through interviews, collaboration videos, and *soon* a podcast.

Check out their Press for Progress video they created for International Women’s Day 2018. The short film was then screened on March 8th at the Princess Twin in Uptown Waterloo.


The studio had great lighting so I took a bajillion selfies. I am also obsessed with this bright emoji yellow and will be wearing it from here on in. ?

I’ll keep you posted on the premiere screening and other things surrounding the film! Find them on Twitter @LocalLadies.


Thank you, Katie and Meghan, for the kind words and reaching out to include me in this great project. Happy to share my story and hopefully inspire some Local Ladies along the way! 

 

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Work Work, Blog Work, WeWork, Werk!

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Hi! I am at WeWork visiting Raymi and the office is SO COOL. It’s a co-working space and there are heaps of big and small businesses around and freelance people working in the common areas. It’s super bright and well designed to inspire creativity. I love it!

Of course, we had a little photoshoot!

I wore this dress when I was in Vancouver and honestly, I would wear it every damn day. It’s from H&M and I get so many compliments on it! I am on the hunt for more yellow in my wardrobe. It’s so sunshiney and bright! ☀️??

Tonight I’m going to to the cinesphere at Ontario Place, then to a BBQ w/ Schneiders. I’m surprising her so I hope she likes it! This weekend we’re heading up to the cottage for a few days. After all the work we’ve done over the last few months, we can finally relax and enjoy it! I’m looking forward to sitting on the dock, reading, and soaking up the sun.

Remember to wear sunscreen! 

P.S. Raymi just updated her blog and she is very happy right now go read it! It’s way longer than this haha. raymitheminx.com

She has a real job now at Full Stack Resources if you ever need some dev work done!

 

 

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