Confession: I’ve shopped a lot over the last few months. But it’s not as devastating to my wallet as it may seem. Why? Because I charged everything to the brand new American Express ChoicePlus Card I’m currently test driving, and earned up to double points on my purchases. A pretty fantastic deal, wouldn’t you say?
The new Choice and ChoicePlus Cards give me the freedom to earn points everywhere I use my Card and the power to choose five places from over 100 retailers where I want to earn double points. Remember when I selected The Bay, H&M and Flight Centre to be on my list of 5 retailers? I chose wisely, because I earned double points on the contribution I made to my sister-in-law’s upcoming honeymoon to Bora Bora, and even some seasonal sale items from The Room at The Bay (hello Mary Katrantzou and Roland Mouret!).
Now, of course, comes the fun part: redeeming all those points I’ve racked up! With so many options available through American Express Choice by Membership Rewards, I can save up my points and redeem for rewards I really want and love. Gift cards to retailers like Banana Republic, Sporting Life and The Keg, concert and event tickets through Ticketmaster, merchandise rewards from brands like Apple, Sony and KitchenAid – the possibilities are endless.
First item on my list? I’m making winter a bit brighter and have redeemed some of my points for gift cards for essentials like gas and Cineplex movie passes (yes these qualify as ‘essential’!). As for my remaining points balance, I’m going to save it for now and keep building it up until I have enough for a really big reward down the line. In the meantime, I’ll be daydreaming about redeeming them on TripFlex travel rewards for an exotic beach getaway or on a Holt Renfrew gift card for a swanky new handbag. Decisions, decisions…
The Choice and ChoicePlus Cards are tailored to your unique shopping habits and lifestyle. You get to choose the five retailers, from an extensive list of American Express merchants, where you can earn double points and then redeem them for fun rewards – what more could you ask for from a credit card?
Image Credit: Harper’s Bazaar
Sponsored by American Express Canada
We’re only 4 episodes in, but truth be told, The Face had us at ‘Naomi’. The new reality series, broadcast on Oxygen in the US and MuchMusic in Canada, has effectively replaced America’s Next Top Model in our hearts as our favourite reality TV modeling competition. Here are 6 reasons why:
1. The Coaches
The coaches are 3 working supermodels, none of whom require any introduction. Who better to learn the ins and outs of modeling from than the likes of The Naomi Campbell herself, former Victoria’s Secret Angel Karolina Kurkova and Canada’s own Coco Rocha. Their unique personalities and modeling styles make for a dynamic cast that has us asking, “Tyra who?”
2. The Models
As seasoned arm-chair modeling competition judges, we like to think we know what it takes to be a model. While the ANTM casting criteria seems to revolve more around sob backstories and odd personalities than actual talent, many of The Face contestants legitimately look like they have the potential to work in the industry. What’s more, their looks are diverse. The Face has already featured as many East Asian models in one season than ANTM has in 19 cycles to date.
3. The Challenges
No ‘booty tooching’ lessons here; if you don’t know what that is, trust us when we say that you’re better off. Instead, The Face contestants compete in both individual and team challenges each week, learning how to pose, walk, and everything in between from their supermodel coaches.
The team-based format puts a fresh spin on this reality TV genre and adds an interesting dynamic to the show. We’re #TeamCoco all the way, obviously.
4. The Host
We couldn’t have been happier when we found out that Nigel Barker, our favourite ANTM alumnus, would be hosting The Face. It might have something to do with our longstanding crush on him.
5. The Fashion
The series opened with Naomi, Coco and Karolina strutting their stuff for Zac Posen at NYFW, and it’s been an ongoing fashion show of sorts ever since. From Naomi in Azzedine Alaïa to Karolina in Prabal Gurung, each episode is a feast for our fashion-obsessed eyes, thanks to stylist and regular Vogue Italia contributor Patti Wilson.
6. The Naomi Factor
We watch each episode both fearing and hoping that Naomi will lay the smackdown on a fellow judge or would-be model, and she has yet to disappoint. In the series premiere, Naomi ferociously warned Coco and Karolina: “It’s game on from now on.”
We’ve been hooked ever since.
xx, T & S
Images via The Face
What a year 2012 was! It started with a Toronto Fashion Week runway walk and ended with some Tiffany & Co. hardware. In between, we attended a lot of events, made some lovely new friends, celebrated our 3-year anniversary, wrote 373 blog posts, and more than doubled our reach. Not too shabby, by our measure.
Here’s a look back at our favourite moments from the past year. Thanks to all of you lovely readers, brands, PR folks and fellow blogger friends for showing us so much love. We’re excited for what 2013 will bring, and hope you’ll stick with us to find out!
S’s runway model moment for VAWKKIN at Toronto Fashion Week
The side of S’s head was on an episode of America’s Next Top Model. It was awesome.
A stylish road trip to The Somerset Collection in Troy, MI? Yes please!
T and model Irina Lazareanu, giving their best smizes.
Celebrating Three Years of Style with Style Blog, The Souls of My Shoes and our lovely readers…happy birthday to us! (Image Credit: You Just Got Spotted)
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Here’s to embarking on new adventures in 2013 and looking chic while doing it. Happy new year, dear readers!
xx, T & S
Image Credit: FLARE (via Fashion Gone Rogue)
Remember to keep it civilized, ladies and gents. Happy Boxing Day!
xx, T & S
Image Credit: Harper’s Bazaar
I was recently asked by American Express to test-drive their new Choice and ChoicePlus Cards. My mission, which I happily chose to accept, was to sign up for the Choice or ChoicePlus Card, go shopping with it and earn points whilst doing so, and then redeem said points for rewards. In short: easiest assignment ever!
That’s because the new cards are tailored to your unique shopping habits and lifestyle. They give you the freedom to earn points everywhere you use your Card and the power to choose five places from over 100 retailers where you want to earn double points. As you collect your points, you can choose how you’d like to redeem them. First step? Apply for the card. Check! Second step: choose five retailers that fit my lifestyle and where I’ll earn double points at.
Whittling down to just five when there’s such a long list of great options is easier said than done, but after much deliberation I finally settled on these:
1. The Bay – What doesn’t The Bay carry? Whether I’m buying a swanky Hugo Boss suit for the Mister, a lovely new fragrance for me, or the latest and greatest washer and dryer set for the house, Canada’s oldest retailer has got me covered. The Bay is a no-brainer as one of my chosen five retailers.
2. GO Transit – The Mister and I recently made the move to the suburbs of Toronto and have become a GO train-riding family. We’re already spending big dollars to travel from home in the suburbs to work in the city, so we might as well earn double rewards points while we’re at it.
3. Oliver & Bonacini – If the mac and cheese at Oliver & Bonacini Cafe & Grill, the incredible 54th floor view of the Toronto skyline at Canoe, or the duck poutine pizza at Bannock aren’t enough, perhaps the allure of double rewards points will entice the Mister to plan more date nights for us! O&B is a strategic choice, for sure.
4. H&M – I rather enjoy my cheap and cheerful finds from the fast fashion retailer. Rarely a month goes by when I haven’t purchased a trendy piece or two for me or cute new duds for my son. I definitely want to be earning double points on those big purchases I make from the designer collaborations in particular.
5. Flight Centre – I have big plans to travel more over the next few years. A return visit to Europe with the Mister, a Disney cruise for the family, my first New York Fashion Week with my fellow blogger pals – the wish list is long. I intend to make these trips happen and earn double points through my Flight Centre bookings when I do.
There you have it – the five retailers where I’ll be earning double points. Amazon, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Shell Canada, and the Gap/Banana Republic/Old Navy family were this close to making the cut too. Which of the 100+ retailers would you choose as your five? Check out the entire list of participating retailers, and read more about the new Choice and ChoicePlus Cards by American Express, right over here.
Sponsored by American Express Canada
I walked into the screening of Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel knowing shamefully little more than Vreeland’s name. Within the first ten minutes of the documentary she had won me over with her humour and candor, and by the end I was in absolute awe of her tremendous contribution to fashion and her larger-than-life personality. The Eye Has to Travel takes us through the remarkable life and work of Vreeland as a columnist and fashion editor at Harper’s Bazaar from 1937 to 1962, as editor-in-chief of Vogue from 1963 to 1971, and later as a consultant to the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
As the author of the Harper’z Bazaar column “Why Don’t You,” Vreeland offered lifestyle suggestions that encouraged readers to be more extravagant, creative, bold – a little less ordinary. Her singular perspective of the world revealed itself in such tips as, “Why don’t you . . . paint a map of the world on all four walls of your boys’ nursery so they won’t grow up with a provincial point of view?” or “Why don’t you . . . wear violet velvet mittens with everything?”
As Fashion Editor at Harper’s Bazaar and Editor-in-Chief of Vogue, Vreeland’s vision was no less extravagant or original than her suggestions for “Why Don’t You.” She brought clothes to life by employing compelling narratives and stunning locales in her fashion editorials, and in collaboration with renowned photographers such as Richard Avedon she created iconic images for Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue. Not only did Vreeland change the way that people looked at clothes, but she also transformed people’s perceptions of so-called human physical imperfections into features that were beautiful and worthy of celebration, such as a prominent nose or a gap between one’s two front teeth. Expanding western culture’s rigid and narrow definition of beauty is arguably Vreeland’s most significant achievement.
Don’t miss Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto.
I love Toronto, and can’t imagine living anywhere else in the world. Over the last few years, I’ve been exploring more and more of my beloved city, and have been blown away by all that is has to offer. When JACOB asked me to share my favourite TO hot spots for their Live Chic fall style guide, coming up with a short list was quite the challenge.
Curious about the 4 must-visit destinations I finally settled on for a perfect Sunday in autumn? Click on over to jacob.ca to read all about hanging out at the Harbourfront Centre, dining at Origin, and shopping at Toronto Eaton Centre and The Bay‘s Queen Street flagship. You’ll also find arts, entertainment, food and shopping recommendations from fellow Toronto bloggers Anita Clarke of I Want – I Got, Nelia Belkova of Style Blog, Stefania Yarhi of Textstyles, and Sarah Francis of Real Life Runway.
Enjoy! And don’t forget to call me when you stop by Origin for dinner. I’m going to want a bite of your chinois duck taco.
Eat, drink, and be fabulous!
xx, T & S
Image via FashionIndie