Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Frequent Flier Miles 101

When's the last time you were rewarded for great behavior?? Perhaps at age four it was exciting to get a tootsie roll for being sweet to your sister or a gold star on the potty chart, but now that we're adults and nobody's monitoring successful bathroom usage, we deserve to be rewarded for bigger and better things.

Many companies are establishing loyalty programs to incentivize commitment to specific brands and stores. By simply making a purchase, you have the potential to earn points or stamps or miles, eventually reaching some level of reward. Airlines in particular are known for this by way of frequent flier programs, providing top-notch rewards (upgrades, free flights, accommodations, transportation) after a certain amount of flying or buying with them. But as always, there are tricks to every trade...
It is important to note that most major airlines are part of an alliance. This means that you can attribute your flight activity to any frequent flier program within the alliance. For example, you can fly British Airways or Iberia or Jet Blue and apply those miles to your AAdvantage account. Just select which program you want your miles to go to when booking and the rest is well-documented history.

Tip 1: Though many airlines might be part of the same alliance, they each have their own frequent flier programs. So, your best bet for acquiring maximum mileage will be to choose one frequent flier program from each alliance for your miles to go to. It will be much faster and easier to obtain miles that way rather than getting a lower amount for each individual program and never having enough to reach an award. Plus, you can often use the miles from one program to book an award flight with another airline from that alliance.

Tip 2: Research how long miles will last before they expire. If Turkish has a 3-year usage policy and United only has 18 months, you should go with Turkish to make sure the points don't go to waste.

Tip 3: Figure out which airline's miles are most valuable within an alliance. AKA, check each airline's award charts to see how many miles you would need to earn a free flight. Then, choose the one with the lowest spending levels. For a free ticket within the US, you only need 12,500 Delta Skymiles whereas booking a flight with KLM would require 25,000 miles for the same award...obbbbbbbviously we'll go with Skymiles.

**Just remember, when booking an award ticket you cannot combine miles from different frequent flier programs so it really is essential that you choose just one program from each alliance for maximum benefits. So fly free, my sweet readers, and remember that a little loyalty goes a long way!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Splurge of the week: 9/24

Your Place or Mayan Clutch from TOBI.com
What do your 9th grade Geometry class, African drum carvings and the colors from a handful of sour gummy worms have in common? They've all somehow influenced the creation of this fabulous clutch from TOBI.com!

With bold prints and colors playing an integral role in Fall fashion, accessories are the perfect way to experiment without committing to an entirely new, trend-inspired wardrobe. This deliciously vibrant clutch is the perfect statement starting-point, packed with personality, elegant hues and eye-catching design. The clutch is also sure to make you look like a fun, mysterious person.

As a generous buying incentive, TOBI.com offers 50% off your total first purchase with signup. So, after discounts, this spicy "Your Place or Mayan Clutch" amounts to nothing more than $22 + Shipping and Handling. Proceed with caution, however, as everything on TOBI is amazing and affordably justifiable and you're more than likely to come out with a few more blouses than you bargained for.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Joie Fall 2012: get the look for less!

Photo Credit: Bloomingdales.com
Since 1989, I've fostered a strong "wardrobial" relationship with leather and lace. Though I may have personally been the reason leather went out of style in the 90's by wearing a pink pleather ensemble to my 10th birthday party, various NY Fashion Week runways prove that the combination of fierce and feminine is back and hotter than ever.

The new Joie (jwah) collection is especially chic, featuring fab, textured looks that could kill. Luckily, this almost $2,000 getup is simple enough that similar pieces are available in plenty of stores for way less.

Get the look:

Monday, September 17, 2012

Splurge of the week 9/17

hmmmm...perhaps I spoke too soon.
As much as we hate to say it, Summer 2012 is officially a thing of the past. And while the Florida sun often allows for a few extra sun-dress cameos, those of you in Alaska and NYC aren't exactly walking around in bikinis in September.

Click here to visit hue.com
So as crisp Fall weather approaches, it is absolutely essential that every female splurge on a quality pair of HUE leggings...or three. HUE's come in an amazing variety of colors and fabrics and while my #1 pick is a classic pair of denims, their microsuede line vaguely reminds me of a fab wearable version of my favorite throw blanket. In a very very good way.

While these are a tad pricier than the little cotton one's from Target that we're used to, HUE's are one of the best investment decisions I've made in my life thus far. I've literally worn them 300 days out of the past 365 this year and they still look completely fresh and new...they also consistently make me look 5 pounds skinnier which is always appreciated, especially after a froyo-binge.

Tip: Please keep in mind that not all jeggings are created equal. Pajama Jeans are NEVER ok, for any reason at all, whatsoever.

All in all, HUE leggings are totally versatile and your long sexy legs deserve only the best! Visit www.hue.com for a peek at the multitude of adorable options.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Guiltless Pampering: Spa Week 2012

ummm, why isn't it October yet?!
Photo Credit: Spaweek.com
Spa la la la laaaaaaaaa, la la la la (sang to the tune of Deck the Halls). I know what you're thinking, Christmas isn't until December...but there's a new holiday in town called Spa Week and we just can't wait to celebrate!

Spa Week is a week-long biannual event where a collection of top-rated spas and salons offer extravagant full spa services for just $50. Rejoice!

From October 15-21 (the Fall event), a delicious variety of treatments are available across the country from pumpkin scrub facials to sugar body scrubs and almost everything in between. Uh-ohhh...I think I already feel a bit "feverish" that week and can't make it to work, cough cough.

Longing for a cellulite reduction treatment? On the market for a spiced buttercream massage or perhaps an acne clearing gel peel? You bet your sweet cheeks somebody somewhere is offering this tiny piece of heaven and really wants you to experience it.

So go on. Indulge. Because the average working woman still deserves to feel like a queen.  Plus, going somewhere luxurious for your treatment just feels better and $50 is a total steal..

Tip: Book ASAP because appointments are sure to go fast and you don't want to miss out.

To find out which spas are participating in Spa Week in your area (and for 10% off all gift card purchases with code "WELLNESS"), visit Spaweek.com. Hurry hurry hurry.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

NY Fashion Week 2012...get the looks for less!

Today, I found myself perusing some New York Fashion Week looks...

Some of the outfits I stumbled upon were deliciously adorable but too many others were just SO out there that I don't think I'd wear them even if they were presold looks for $0.25 at the Salvation Army...I mean, oxblood crushed velvet? Very few people in this world could pull that off without looking like a couch.

So, in honor of the everyday fashionista that lives within each of us, I've taken my most fave wearable look straight from the streets and found great pieces to match within a reasonable budget. Get inspired, baby, it's Fall 2012 and metallic ain't gonna wear itself.

Comment if you'd like exact links to each piece!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

CVS extrabucks: make money doing nothing

Who here has watched Extreme Couponing and been extremely jealous when those brilliant lunatics leave the supermarket with $1,000 in free Ketchup and Gushers and a $20 bill in "overage"??? Many of us, me included, have dreams and fantasies of this happening to us but let's face it, we're just not there yet.

Great news! CVS has now made it a billion times easier to leave their store with a little extra cash. How? The CVS extrabucks rewards program is like a big yellow book of money-saving for dummies and basically ensures that if you buy from them, you'll be rewarded.

Here's how it works: after signing up for an extracare card, you can check your weekly ad to see what's eligible for reward and then get crazy with it! Usually, 5-10 items will be listed and by making a combined purchase of $25-$30 of those specific items, you'll get a $10 voucher good for mostly anything in the store. There will also always be individual items that, when purchased, will earn you a few extrabucks to add to the stock pile.

Tip: Sometimes when you're REALLY lucky, the extrabucks reward will be greater than the actual price of the item. So umm, we don't care if it's a jumbo pack of Depends for women, you better GET IT. This is the "No Deal Left Behind Act of 2012", ya'll...who's with me??

In addition to weekly reward earnings, every single purchase you make at CVS qualifies you for a 2% cash back reward that is accumulated quarterly. And for a very limited time, there are double quarterly rewards so you'll get a whopping 4% cash back on all purchases. Hey hey hey, a little loyalty goes a long way, suckas.

CVS=Continuous Value Snatching

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Beauty on a budget!

We've all heard the phrase, "beauty is pain"...but that usually only applies to hair straightener burns and/or freak eyelash curler accidents. Ouch. What we're trying to say here is that beauty shouldn't ever be painful for your wallet. To save your big bills, be sure to take advantage of these deals from BeFrugal:

Get a free gift with your $25+ order using this Sephora coupon (expires 9/30). Plus, earn 5% cash back.

Save $10 off your $60+ order using this Ulta coupon (expires 9/22). And earn up to 9% cash back.

Score 20% off any order with this Bath & Body Works coupon (expires 10/6). Plus, get 4% cash back.

Use this BH Cosmetics coupon for 5% off any order (expires 10/1). Also, earn 17% cash back.

Enjoy $2 off any acne product using this Burt’s Bees coupon (expires 9/15). And earn 5% cash back.

BeFrugal.com offers free coupons and Cash Back, currently with an average rate of 7% at 3000+ online stores. For even more savings, sign up for a free account now. To get the most savings, be sure you activate your account before you click to use the online coupon offers above. This way, you’ll earn Cash Back plus save big from using the coupons above. Cash back rates can change from day to day. These rates were valid 9/11.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Splurge of the week 9/10


Silky smoooooooth
Fresh off the boat, I'm proud to say that I had an amazing vacation filled with poolside siestas, long walks down Italian cobblestone streets and glamorous afternoons spent in the French Riviera. Ahhh, la pura vida.

But more important than whipping my old spanish skills out of the archives and confusing many people with a less-than impressive interpretation of "spanglish" was my discovery of L'occitane...in the bathroom of the Carlton hotel in Cannes. Ok so maybe the hand lotion was intended exclusively for hotel guests but whatever, a girl's got needs. 

The last time my skin felt this soft was either a) at birth or b) in Africa when I substituted shea butter lathering for actual bathing. Secret's out...anyway, L'occitane is totally worth every penny and will make you feel like silk. 

The best news of all is that you can try it before you buy it. For a limited time, L'occitane is giving away a 1oz tube of their amazing hand cream. A little dab goes a long way, so let's not get crazy. 

When your baby stash runs out, a full-size will be your best fall accessory...because dry, rough hands are never in style. Click here for your free tube!

Deals of the Week!

Who loves diamonds? Ok ok I should probably ask, who loves rhinestones?? heh. The fall is a great time to invest in some trend-worthy wardrobe staples like jeans and statement jewelry. Lucky for us, there's a ton of great sales happening right now and coupons like these from BeFrugal will help lower that price on your receipt:


I want it NOOOWWWW
Photo Credit: Maslindadesigns.com
Get free shipping on your full price denim order using this Guess coupon (expires 9/14). Plus, earn 4% cash back.

Enjoy free shipping on new fall jeans using this Nordstrom coupon (expires 10/21). And earn 5% cash back.

Buy 1 and get 1 at half price on women’s jeans with this Express coupon (expires soon). Plus, get up to 7% cash back.


Use this Sears coupon for 10% off fine jewelry and watches (expires 9/29). Also, earn up to 7% cash back.

Score 20% off any order with this Ice coupon (expires 9/18). Plus, get up to 10% cash back.

Happy Shopping!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Cruising through Europe, Baiiiiiiiii for a week!

Greetings from Barcelona, EspaƱa, beautiful people!

Mom and I are leaving tomorrow afternoon for our week-long Western Mediterranean cruise and we couldn't be more excited. For those of you who don't already know the deets of this trip, I won it!

Ummm.....hell yes.
Photo Credit: petergreenberg.com
You heard me, dreams really do come true. Unfortunately for you, that means you'll be without me and unbelievable fresh savings for about 5 days, but I promise to make it up to you. Plus, I bet there's a post or two you missed and have been meaning to catch up on. Here's a few suggestions:
and just for some extra vacay kicks and gigs, this post promises to keep you chuckling in your love seat and ultra-inspired to never look at a razor again...beauty is pain, ya'll!
OK cuties, gotta run down Las Ramblas because my afternoon siesta is calling. I promise to drink an extra glass of sangria tonight for each and everyone one of you. Besos!