By now, you must know that I'm a self-professed rewards junkie. I'm all about getting more bang for my buck when shopping using loyalty programs. I've been a card-carrying Air Miles member since 1998 and have been upgraded to a Gold Card. I don't just collect my miles—I use them! Over the last decade I've been able to to buy gift cards, an air conditioner, flights, a television and movie tickets using my miles. If you haven't signed up for a card yet, what are you waiting for? It's free. Full stop.
I also have an Air Miles American Express Card which allows me to "double dip" when shopping at Metro, Shell, Children's Place and other Air Miles friendly retailers. I proudly take full advantage of earning bonus miles and use the program to its fullest. Psssst. Here's a collector's tip: when shopping at the LCBO, always buy the wine with bonus miles attached. Somehow they taste better :)
Since it's no secret that I am a fan of the card, I was asked to test out the new Air Miles Cash program. Basically, instead of redeeming my miles for "stuff", I can choose to redeem them to reduce my bill at participating Air Miles locations like Shell across Canada, or Metro and Rexall in Ontario.
Here's how it went. I was given 475 reward miles which essentially equals $50 in cash. If you do the math, 95 reward miles = $10. In order for me to access those reward miles, I had to change my preference on my account to 100% Cash vs Dream. Then, I went off shopping to my regular haunts and experience the process.
First stop was a fill up at Shell. I drive a minivan, so my bill was $75. I know, ouch! Why didn't I buy a Mini?? Anyway, once I filled up, I went to the cashier and simply asked him to redeem $20 which was immediately electronically applied to my bill. I gotta tell you, paying $55 for a fill up felt a bit better than $75.
And, what was cool, five minutes after paying, I received this email:
Once my van filled up with gas, I was off to do my weekly grocery shop. There are a couple of reasons why I am quite faithful to my local Metro store. Obviously, it's for the Air Miles. I love buying groceries and getting bonus miles for picking up products already on my shopping list. But, there's another added benefit. The store manager, Tom, is an old fashioned kind of guy who is on a first-name basis with many of his customers, and makes his supermarket feel like my local corner store. But that's another post...
Next, I went through my regular weekly grocery shop and ended up spending $203. In doing so, I earned 10 regular reward miles plus 29 bonus miles. Then I asked this lovely cashier to apply $30 to my bill, which dropped my bill down to $173.
I still haven't spent all of my reward miles. I'm like that. I covet them and use them wisely. I still have to pick up some sunscreen at Rexall for my upcoming trip to Miami (don't hate me) and wanted to save some reward miles for that. And while I'm out, I may just stop at the LCBO...cuz it's hard work being a tester and this mummy will be in need of some wine (and some bonus miles).
Are you ready to sign up and join the legion of reward junkies? Visit airmiles.ca/cash and thank me later!
I'm not going to be coy or modest. Of all the samples of snacks, diapers, ointments and gadgets new moms at the Baby Time Show in Toronto were lining up for, I must say the best swag was given out by YummyMummyClub.ca
While not the most valuable monetarily, what YMC handed out to all the new moms who visited our booth and signed up to be part of the club, was a simple, colourful postcard with wise words for exhausted moms to live by.
Designed by Kat Inokai and written by Sharon DeVellis, these cards were created specifically for moms to hang on their fridges, playful and painfully true words waiting to soothe you on those stressful days when you wonder why you ever decided to have kids in the first place.
When I handed the cards to the new moms and explained what to do with their them, they usually gave me a wide smile and a thank you. But it was the grandmothers who giggled knowingly at the playful mantras we created, cuz they've been there and done that. I imagine many of them had guilt-filled years raising kids, trying to live up to unrealistic expectations of being a perfect parent. This card reminds new parents there's more to motherhood than worrying about perfection.
For those of you we met at the Baby Time Show, we hope you use your cards well. For the rest of you, here is the list we put together of simple rules to live by to survive the rollercoaster of motherhood. If they resonate with you, use them and pass them on to all your girlfriends with kids. Hopefully it will make a mummy's day just a bit easier.
After reading this blog about Shoe Porn, I was inspired to share my own. I'm kind of weird about shoes. As much as I love high heels, I just can't walk in them. I've bought a bunch of seemingly comfortable heels throughout the years, but after half an hour I'm hobbling. I call that shoe torture. So I'm constantly on the lookout for stylish shoes that add height, but are easy to walk in. Usually I give up and buy yet another pair of black boots from Rockport.
But I think the tide is turning. Last year I discovered Fly London—a quirky collection of hipster heels. Here are a few of their styles I'm coveting for this summer.
These blue Fly London Bay Blue Sandals are perfect with shorts, jeans or a groovy summer dress. Talk about walkable! Plus, the colour makes me happy.
I love the imagination behind the Fly London Sis design, combining a chunky heel and a wedge. With more sole surface, there's more stability. I haven't tried them on, but I imagine these will let you dance all night long.
Love these Yuma White Sandals for a perfect mix of casual elegance. These would be awesome with a messy pair of shorts to take the kids out with a long stroller walk. I can also imagine wearing these with sandals for the fancy White Party this year at the Mom 2.0 Conference.
For a more corporate look, I'm digging these Sybil Ruby Heels from Fly London. They're conservative with a wink and a nudge.
And finally, these Black Ikon Heels are the ultimate of party wear for me. However, the harsh reality is, I haven't tried them on and I fear they very possibly could be uncomfortable. Oh well, a girl can dream, right?
For more information about this line, check out FlyLondon.com
Caveat: Fly London shoes are NOT cheap. Although walking in them isn't painful, the price hurts! Expect to pay between $150 - $250 a pair. OUCH!