Tuesday, December 29, 2015

How to Earn Free SkyMiles Flights Faster

This month the Boy and I were on 14 flights in 17 days. A trip to Texas for our nephew's 1st birthday, a trip to Hawaii for one of my best friends weddings and then a trip home to Alberta, Canada to see my family for Christmas. And in between all that I also made it to Kansas City for a year end sales meeting, but I jumped in my car for that trip.

As you can see we do a lot of traveling, and flights aren't cheap. But we've been able to afford it because we can usually book the Boy's flight for free on AirMiles points. So what is the secret to earning those free flights? He are some pointers.

1. Stick to one airline. Delta is my airline of choice and that is what we fly 95% of the time. Even if the flight is $20-$50 more we'll still go with Delta. That's because it allows our points to build with one airline. It also allows me to build status with one airline and over time that leads to earning more points.

2. Look into an airline branded credit card. Since Delta is our airline of choice we chose the Delta American Express. After the first year there is a yearly fee, but for the amount we save by not having luggage fees more than pays for that cost. Also, for every dollar spent we earn one point. We run EVERYTHING through our card to capitalize on earning points. However, we are very careful to completely pay off the balance in full EVERY month. If you are incurring interest you aren't really getting a free flight.

3. Shop through the airline webisites. Delta has a SkyMiles shopping site. When you visit this you can see all of their partner site. Lots of popular stores like Sephora, Macy, Lowes, Nordstrom, etc are affiliated. Once you have logged into your SkyMiles account, you pick your store and you are redirected to their website. You create your online order on the store website like normal, but when you make your purchase points are credited to your miles account. For example, on my most recent Sephora purchase I earned three Delta SkyMiles points for every dollar spent. American Airlines, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines both have these programs too. Since starting to shop through the Delta site this spring I have earned nearly 10,000 points and every little bit helps.

If you are looking for more ways check out this really neat blog completely dedicated to travel points.
And don't forget to check out my 6 Tips for Better Air Travel if you are hopping on a flight soon.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Beauty Swap Review: Sephora Necessities

Hello beauty product lovers! It is time for my Crystal Cattle Beauty Swap (#ccbeautyswap) review. For those of you who aren't familiar with the Beauty Swap a little bit of background. In December gals signed up, and then I matched them up with a partner. The partners chat about their beauty product loves, and things they might want to try and then they swap packages. This go round I also had the help of my friend Myla at the Purple Front Door!

My partner Carly is a fellow Iowa gal. She is a Sephora loving gal, and slowly becoming addicted to MAC like me, so of course in her package I had to send her some of my favorite MAC products. I'm kind of a bad swapper or maybe a super excited one because Carly sent me my package in the cutest package, and I kind of tore it a part before I even remembered to take a picture of it.

Carly was spot on with her peppermint colors and Chai tea. She also sent me these awesome bobby pins. The seriously don't move. I'm on the road now and they are packed someone in my suitcase so I'll update you with the brand later on. However, these two products in the box were really the stars.
I was SO excited to receive this sleeping mask from Sephora. I've tried the Sephora sheet face masks before, and one of the Sephora eye sheet masks sitting in my make-up draw. Starting this weekend and through Christmas I am going to be on 14 different flights. That is not a typo. Flying is hard on your skin. My hair dresser actually recommended these masks and wears them while flying. Her skin loves her even though the passengers may think she looks like Freddy Krueger. I was thinking about doing the same on our flight to Hawaii, but now this sleeping mask, which is a cream is going to be a much better option. 

Next, is the Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Bachelorette. One of my original Beauty Swap partners Ashley at Messy Kennedy raves about this lipstick. Now I will admit you have to be careful applying it. The color is INTENSE, and since the formula is liquidy, technical make-up term there, it is pretty easy to color out of the lines. However, once you’ve got it in place it isn’t going anywhere. I’ll definitely be purchasing more lipsticks out of this line.

Now it's your turn. I want you to either comment below or link up with your reviews. You can also check out my Crystal Cattle Pinterest Board for some great reviews and inspirations. If you missed out on this swap be sure to follow my blog or Facebook page so you can get in on the next! 

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