Category: twentysomethings

saving money on grown-up stuff

People that know me, know that I love to save money. I may have made my boyfriend book and cancel a hotel room 3 times last year because I kept finding better deals. We ended up saving $400, he never made fun of me again.

I particularly love saving money when it’s on “grown-up” things like insurance. I was recently talking to some co-workers at work and they were telling me that they left their cars in their small towns with their parents because their insurance would be close to $300/month which is so crazy! That is actually more than what I pay to own my car, I don’t blame them for deciding to park it and take transit in the city. When it comes to insurance, I usually check it every time I get a renewal and will happily change if I’m not getting the lowest price. I recently made some changes to my insurance and THEN I found out about LowestRates.ca, which I will definitely be using when I’m next up for renewal.

This site  helps people compare rates for car insurance companies, in just a few minutes and a little information, you can get a quote from 10 companies. It is so much easier than having to fill out the forms or even worse, call someone to be asked the same questions over and over again (although, now I can tell you exactly when I got my G1, G2 and G license). I input my vehicle information, along with my driving history and within 5 minutes, I received a quote from 10  insurance companies, highlighting which was the best deal for me. I could also add additional cars and drivers if necessary. Once I received my quote, I was also able to recalculate it based on changes to the coverage, such as deductible amount and amount of coverage. I found out that the insurance I’m with now is giving me the best rate available, which makes me very happy. As soon as I get my next renewal, I’ll be checking the comparison site again to make sure I’m still getting the best deal.

Lowest Rates also allows you to compare rates for mortgages, credit cards, car loans as well as a variety of insurances (part of being a grown-up is having insurance on more than just your car!). It can be so tedious and annoying to compare but not comparing can cost you several hundred dollars a year, as it was with my home insurance.

Next time you need to get a quote on any financial services, I would definitely recommend using a comparison site to make sure you’re getting the best deal so you can spend that money on other important things, you know – like beer, trying new restaurants, make-up and clothing.

 

contest: canadian sport film festival

A couple of years ago, I heard about the Canadian Sport Film Festival and got to see some amazing movies about sports. The film festival is now in its 8th year, the festival tells stories of sport, not from high performance scorelines but from a different angle, grass-roots and of social justice. A number of the films will also include Q&A with the directors as well as panel discussions following the films. Movies this year include stories of human rights, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, mental health and youth culture. I’m really excited to be giving away a pair of festival passes, a value of $120!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can find a detailed schedule of the festival here. Can’t wait to find out if you won the contest? Tickets are available online now and are $12 with discounts for seniors and students. 

contest: haus musik

I’m really excited to be giving away tickets to another Tafelmusik experience! You may remember me talking about these fun, classical events in the past. Their events are designed for the under 30 crowd as a way to learn more about classical music (and you know, be cultured).

Their next event is on Tuesday at 918 Bathurst, this immersive concert will feature a cash bar throughout the show. You can find a sample of the music you can expect in this sample on spotify.

But now! On to the contest! Simple complete this Rafflecopter. Contest closes Sunday night and the winner will be contacted by email by Monday morning. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

having *the talk*

I always joke that I’m getting old. Friday and Saturday nights used to mean being out until last call (or later if we had to stop for snacks) and now sometimes I feel like Cinderella, if I don’t get home by midnight, I’ll turn into a pumpkin (that’s how that story went, right?). Not that I never go out, if you follow my blog or twitter, you probably know I stay busy but staying out until 3am actually stresses me out, I know there’s no way I’ll get a great night’s sleep! I never thought that 27 would feel so different from 23, I didn’t realize the difference a couple of years could make, it’s like we’re actually grown-ups now.

Not only does it feel like every day someone is getting engaged or having a baby on my Facebook, but I also notice that the people around me are getting older. We’re expected to be responsible and know things, that we always just expected the adults to know – but now – we’re the adults.

We’re now expected to know how to file our taxes, what an RRSP is, book our own appointments and most importantly, what do to in an emergency.

Bayer is trying to get the word out about how Aspirin 81mg may help save your life or the life of someone you love in the event of a heart attack. A recent survey by Vision Critical found that while 75% of Canadians feel they know the signs of a heart attack, only 10% were able to actually identify the correct symptoms when asked. Common signs of a heart attack include: chest and upper body discomfort (including in the arms, jaw, neck and back), shortness of breath, sweating, nausea and light-headedness.

Many of us may know that Aspirins 81mg may help save a life in the event of a heart attack, but probably aren’t exactly sure how. In the event of a heart attack, call 911 then crush or chew two Aspirin 81mg tablets. With heart attacks happening every 7 minutes in Canada, that information could save a life.

So now you can be a real grown-up and tell everyone you know. Have The Talk with your friends and loved ones, it could save somebody’s life.

disclaimer: this post was sponsored by bayer aspirin 81mg

behaving gentlemanly at the gentlemen’s expo

This past weekend was the 3rd annual Gentlemen’s Expo. I’ve been to a number of expos designed for women, so I was excited to see what the gentlemen’s version would entail.

I headed down at noon at Saturday, bought some drink tickets and hit the floor with my boyfriend. I quickly realized there was a lot of drinks that I was going to want to try, including craft beers (and not so craft but still delicious beers), whiskeys and wines. I promise that those will be showing up in Thirsty Thursdays over the next couple of weeks.

It’s no secret that I love “shopping local”. I love seeing what people in this city are doing and this was a great expo to learn about local merchants including “steak” jerky, an all-beef, nitrate-free jerky from table mountain curing company and thank you toronto, with sweet hats and cute dog leashes. I loved the opportunity to speak with the owners and operators of so many great places in the city.

There were lots of options for maintaining a beard, staying dapper and well lubricated. There were a number of presentations on the main stage (most, I unfortunately missed just based on timing) but they included drink pairing guides, hypnosis and concerts. My favourite part of course was the variety of drinks, as much as I love my beer festivals, it was great to be able to sample so many different brands of beers and other drinks that I’m not familiar with. As I said, check back over the next few weeks to see all the great stuff I tried.

I had a great time at The Gentlemen’s Expo, I would recommend checking it out next if you’re looking for a fun day out, there is plenty for the ladies (I may have started my Christmas shopping) as there is for the gentlemen!

Have you been to the The Gentlemen’s Expo? What was your favourite part?

hidden gems in toronto: the upper beach

I’m always surprised when I find neighbourhoods in the city that not only have I not been to, I’ve never heard of. This city never ceases to amaze me. I was invited to check out the Upper Beach by the people at Streetcar Developments, among building condos, you may know Streetcar Developments as the developers that bought Jilly’s at Broadview and Queen.

If you’re like me, and have never heard of the “upper beach”, it’s basically the area halfway between Main Station and the Beach. It’s a 10 minute walk to the Danforth and to the Beach and an adorable neighbourhood where people seem to know each other and cute shops. We started the evening at our “hosts” – Streetcar Development. The Southwood condos. They told us a little history of the neighbourhood and sent us on our way to our first stop, the Yellow House Gallery – a space that is half gallery, half framing shop. The curator and owner hosts monthly exhibitions, the next one beginning on September 10th “BODY.FORM.COLOUR.” and you can easily go to the opening night and support emerging artists.

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Our next stop was the Art of Cheese, owned and operated the “grand fromage” Bill Miller. He has a huge selection of cheese, which we were able to sample with some local red wines. If you can dream it as a cheese, Bill’s store probably has it. We also got to take home some cheese which was perfect on my balcony with more wine (of course).

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Our next stop was an adorable gift shop, where I totally stocked up on greeting cards – there was two walls of them. TWO! And the good ones, I hate terrible cards. I should have just bought all of them that day. The store was Collected Joy, which is owned by Sharon Smyl – a former marketing director who quit her job to open her shop. Ask Sharon about any item in her store and she can tell you the story of how it was created and who it was created by. She wanted a store that would be fun to shop in, and she was successful in creating a warm inviting space that you can easily get lost in and find gifts for even the hardest of people.

By this time, we needed a snack. We stopped in at the Stone Pizza and split a few pizzas. This restaurant prides itself on having the freshest ingredients – they don’t even have a freezer on site. The restaurant is mostly designed for take out or delivery, but there are picnic benches outside, as long as the weather keeps holding up.

Of course, that was just a snack so we headed over The Beech Tree, owned by Robert Maxwell, who like Sharon, quit his desk job to open a restaurant. They pride themselves on making everything for the restaurant, including their own juices and infusing their own liquors. I was driving so I didn’t have any drinks here but I want to go back and try their strawberry old fashioned – seems so strange but the potential to be delicious. My favourite food we had was definitely the gnocchi in a sweet corn puree, feta and fennel bread crumble. I can’t wait to go back and eat a whole thing of that to myself.

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We were now supposed to go through the Glen Stewart Ravine, but it was getting dark so we walked through the beautiful gorgeous houses. IT was one of those neighbourhoods you can drive around and pick your favourite houses (I can’t be the only one that does that…) We ended up closer to the beach, at Queen St where were met by Sanna’s Famacia‘s bike. Like a “dickey dees” bike, Steve Sanna rides around his handmade smoothes, freezies and juices. While we were standing there chatting with him, the fire department drove by, we thought they were slowing down to tell us we needed to move but they were stopping to say hi to Steve, it really showed the community spirit of the neighbourhood.

I had a great time thanks to The Southwood by Streetcar Developments in the upper beach – a neighbourhood worth exploring. What are your favourite “hidden gems” in the city? I’d love to check more out!

bourbon loves chocolate

Well the Tipsy Teachers have done it again and this time in conjunction with Jamie from the Bourbon Thing. They hosted Bourbon Loves Chocolate at Boxcar Social in midtown on the patio. It was the perfect evening to sip bourbon and eat chocolate on the patio with friends.

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We were lead through four bourbon tastings with notes and history on each of the distilleries. I have mentioned a few times that I never really got into bourbon until I fell for rye with old fashioneds. I never really enjoyed bourbon on its own, turns out I was just drinking the wrong one and missing chocolate!

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I think I also may just be becoming more of a “grown up” and that’s why I’m enjoying more “grown up” drinks. It was a great event where I got to learn more about bourbon, a drink I didn’t know too much about and got to eat delicious chocolate, including a coffee chocolate which I really enjoyed (again, more of the almost a grown up thing).

The ladies will be hosting some other great events in the future (including our sold out Detox to Retox, this weekend), and a wine and junk food event (to which I exclaimed “shut up and take my money”) and they promise to do this great event again. :)

Have a fabulous weekend!

 

money, money, money #2

I wrote a few months ago about sites online (including Swagbucks and Ebates) I use to save/make money and I thought I’d share some of the others ones I’ve found over the last few months.

DailyRewards – This site is similar to Swagbucks but not as flashy. It took me a little time to figure out how to best use this for me. I mostly stick to the “daily email”, where you get points for just confirming you read the email and the search feature, which has clear rules for how to earn, unlike Swagbucks which is random. You’ll earn 10% of any referrals on this site.

Earnably – I’ve been using this site about as long as I’ve been using DailyRewards and to be honest, I find it more confusing to navigate and earn points but I don’t do a ton of surveys – maybe you’ll have better luck. Like most reward sites, it gives you 10% for any referrals.

MoPals – This site also has a mobile app. On their website, you can go to retailers sites like most other sites. The mobile app gives you points for checking in, sharing photos for venues and adding places to their map. You can check into a place one time for points and add up to 5 photos a day. They can be a little slow to approve new places but if you’re good with check ins and photographing your food, this may be the app for you! This site will give you 200 points for every referral and can be used towards gift cards for coffee, clothing and electronics. I just ordered a Tims card – free lunch for me!

Angus Reid – This is a survey only site, which will occasionally send surveys to your email. I don’t mind doing the surveys on this site, I find they’re well organized and not too repetitive. Angus Reid will give you $2 for everyone who signs up.

That’s all I’ve got for now, but I promise as I keep finding them, I’ll keep sharing them.I think it’s great that you can earn gift cards for doing things you’d already be doing online or in the background while watching Mike and Molly (maybe that describes me very accurately).

In case you missed the post from a couple of months ago, you can find the details here.

thirsty thursday: tea of the people

This week, I’m mixing it for the thirsty thursday. This week is –non-alcoholic–. I know, I can hear your gasps but sometimes you’ve got to mix it up.

This week’s thirsty thursday is tea of the people’s barrel aged rooibos – madagascar cocoa x mint. Rooibos is one of my favourite teas to begin with so I was really excited when I got to try this tea (and their chai).

As the name suggests, the tea has cocoa and mint but also has orange and apple pieces in it. The tea smelled so good, you could clearly see the pieces of fruit in it. The tea tasted great – I didn’t sweeten mine, I figured with all the flavours, it didn’t need any additional sweetness and it was great. I brought this tea with me to the office (because sharing is caring) and one of my co-workers said “you can really tell this is premium tea, not that garbage I drank in university” – I’ll take her word for it :)

Barrel Aged Madagascar Cocoa x Mint Rooibos

Tea of the People develops Canada’s first barrel aged organic tea. The tea along with the flavours (fruits, herbs and spices) are barrel aged in a wine cellar for 3-5 months, which results in a unique oaky flavour. Tea of the People is also passionate about being good for you but also good for society – each month, they donate 5% of their profits to entrepreneurs or non-profits who are working to solve issues around poverty, education, public health and climate change.

Their teas have begun selling in a few Loblaws throughout Southern Ontario. You can also order online, some of their other flavours I have to try are the dragon well green tea pomegranate x yumberry, blueberry x dragon fruit and an acai x goji. As I mentioned (or my co-worker mentioned), this is a premium tea and prices range from $9.99-$11.99 per 50g (definitely on par with bigger tea shops).

Have you tried the Tea of the People? What has been your favourite?

monday link love

Hello and happy monday! I hope all the Americans enjoyed their day off today. I totally missed last week’s post because of our holiday but here’s some links I’ve loved around the web this week.

This blog post is an awesome blogger sharing other awesome bloggers (is this what inception was about?) The Beverage blog interviewed the lovely ladies at School House Booze – two super awesome blogs!

This humidity-ridden-frizz-hair of mine keeps telling me that summer is coming and I always love finding new things to do in the city (you know, like a yoga-class-on-a-boat-followed-by-craft-beer) and HUG have some great ideas for you.

I’ve got a birthday coming up (don’t worry, I’ll still be a twenty-something) so casie’s post’s title really spoke to me. This is the youngest you’ll ever be again so live it up!

Have a fabulous week everyone!