The Renegade Guide to Travel | Whistler to Vancouver

Feb
21st

There’s always been a friendly rivalry between Canada’s West Coast and East Coast – who has the better food, who has the better sports teams, who has the better lifestyle, who has more expensive real estate…. the list goes on (and on).

And although I bleed The 6ix through and through (Home is Toronto, y’all!), when it comes to outdoor living, epic views and a laid-back lifestyle, the West Coast is the clear winner. Even Vancouver, one of the country’s biggest urban centres, is surrounded by incredible mountain ranges and an unbeatable waterfront that are beautiful no matter what the season.

Which is why – as Toronto goes through that gross mid-winter grey slush period – I was stoked to head out west last week to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Nita Lake Lodge, one of Whistler’s premier luxury resorts, with my friend Joelle of La Petite Noob blog. Sitting on a serene lake and surrounded by snow-capped mountains and spacious rooms with private balconies, it’s the ultimate winter destination (they also have resident doggies, which makes for a GREAT property, if you ask me). With a few nights planned in Whistler, followed by a couple of days in Vancouver, it was the ideal week-long getaway that only BC can offer – a perfect mix of city and slopes.Read More


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7 Truths I’ve Learned From Blogging

Feb
2nd

It’s amazing what you can learn in just 3 years.

Truthfully, I’ve been blogging for *almost* three years now, but spent the first part of my career working in publishing and then PR + brand partnerships – I’ve always been a content creator or been the one working with content creators. But it wasn’t until I quit my job three years ago to launch This Renegade Love that I started to discover the truths of what it meant to be a blogger – the hustle to build a community, the stresses of creating your own income, the rate in which you constantly have to evolve, and the ease in which it can all fall apart if you make poor decisions for your brand.

We talk a lot about growth when it comes to our channels, but we don’t talk as much about personal growth and what we’ve learned and gotten out of being bloggers. I originally did this post as an Instagram Live session, one that I thought would foster a lot of discussion with other content creators and bloggers, PR reps and even small businesses. But one of the interesting things that came out of it were the viewers not in the industry, who worked corporate jobs or were stay-at-home-mums, and found that a lot of the same truths could be applied to their lives as well.

So whether you’re a blogger or just a consumer of online content, here are 7 truths I’ve learned from blogging that I’ve been able to use in all facets of my life.

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7 Time-Saving Productivity Tools for Bloggers

Jan
24th

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In my first year of blogging, my focus was on trying to figure out who the hell I was in the online world. In my second year, it was all about growing my audience and onboarding brand partners. And now, in my third year as I plan to expand TRL from a blog to a biz, my obsession is trying to find ways to minimize wasted time and maximize productivity. And let me tell you, it’s not easy for someone who gets easily distracted by shiny things (i.e. me). But one of the main ways I’ve been able to stay on track is through utilizing different tools that can cut distractions, streamline workflows and make time-sucking tasks easier to get through.

One of the biggest distractions I noticed in my day-to-day was having my phone near me when I’m in work mode. Even if it’s not facing up or beeping off notifications, I’m aware that it’s there and filled with plenty of distractions to reroute my focus. It got to the point where I couldn’t even pick up my phone without mindlessly clicking through the social apps, even if that wasn’t my reason for looking at it in the first place. So, I started leaving my phone in a separate room and telling my Google Home Mini to perform some of the tasks that I usually turned to my phone to do. At any time of the day, you can walk into my apartment, find me in front of my laptop, alone, and saying out loud:

“Okay Google, add an appointment to my calendar.”
“Okay Google, set a reminder to call Damien at 4pm.”
“Okay Google, add ‘e-newsletter’ to my To-Do list.”
“Okay Google, pour me a glass of wine…”

Alright, so that last command doesn’t work (a girl can dream!), but the rest of them have made life hella easier and more productive. If I’m in the middle of writing a blog post and remember I need to add a reminder to my calendar, instead of breaking my focus by running to my phone to type it in (followed by a 5-minute Instagram scroll), I just keep on typing my blog post and command the Google Assistant to add it via the Google Home Mini. It’s the future guys, and I am here for it ALL.

I’ve tried LOADS of different apps, programs and products to streamline my workflow and make certain tasks easier, and have found some to be integral additions to my life. In addition to the Google Home Mini, here are a few of my favourite productivity tools for bloggers and solopreneurs alike…

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The Popularity Game: Instagram, Influencers and The Rise of Engagement Pods

Jan
16th

It’s no secret that Instagram is one of the biggest social platforms for influencer marketing. With each scroll through your Instagram feed, you’re bound to see sponsored posts, branded collaborations, or advertisements featuring the image of a blogger or content creator. It’s a platform that has helped to create the mainstream growth of the ‘influencer’ – a regular person who, through the content they put out online, amasses a following and in turn, has the ability to influence peoples’ opinions (a status that was previously reserved mostly by celebrities).

But like most things where money and competition for attention are involved, sneaky practices for growth ensue – and in this case, it’s influencers buying their followers, boosting their engagement with comment pods to fake their influence, and using follow/unfollow bots to grow their following… just to name a few.

And although these shady tactics have been a growing frustration for content creators and influencers who aim to grow their brand organically, this post is one I’ve been hesitant to write. Not because I wanted to shy away from a controversial topic (when have I ever been that person?), but because I didn’t want to write this post as a complaint – as whiny or ‘holier than thou’ or accusatory towards the influencers using these tactics (some of whom are peers that I really like as people). Because here’s the thing I realized:

I’ll never be able to control what other people do with their lives.

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