Saturday, December 30, 2017

Welcoming in a New Year of Prosperity

Don’t get the headline wrong, I’m not one of those people who believe you make a resolution you’ll have more money and “poof,” it appears! I do believe that you have to do something to get something back, but it doesn’t have to be that difficult.

I’ve gone through many “cash back” sites and applications. Whether it was selling clothing and old electronics, or using coupons, scanning barcodes, and filling out rebate forms. I’ve added it up to a lot of time, effort, and aggravation.

I once spent days of emails and phone calls over a guy I sold my laptop to on eBay. He insisted there was a defect I hadn’t mentioned, and I should refund half of the price. I finally told him to send it back because I gave him a more than fair price. Suddenly, when he realized he wasn’t getting money back, I didn’t hear from him again!

This is why I like Dosh. It’s a set it and forget it app. (Of course, if you do go in and click through before you shop you can also earn additional cash.) You can safely enter your credit card information and then, whenever you go to a dosh participating store, activity, or restaurant with that card, you’ll automatically receive cash in your account.

Dosh cash can come right back to you, or go to charity for your next tax deduction – something we all may need more of next year.

There’s absolutely no cost or nothing to lose by downloading the Dosh application and signing up now. In fact, you can immediately load your Dosh bank by entering cards and sending your referral link to your friends. 

I also recommend you open Dosh at least once a week to see what’s new. Make sure the application is up to do and look for special offers, such as the current increase in referral fees to $15 each.

I’m curious to hear how you do with the Dosh app. As one of the original beta testers, I’m always looking for success stories. I’m also happy to pass along any problems you are having to the company.

Here’s to a prosperous 2018. In 2017, with Dosh only available to the general public for a couple of months, users received nearly $5 million cash back in their pockets.

P.S. It’s also a great time to take a little vacation (or staycation). Check out the hotel deals on Dosh. Not only will you save money, but you can get an additional $25 back for your first booking!

This is a sponsored post. 

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Farewell, 2017. Much More to come…

It’s been quite a year. Not all of it has been good, but I’m probably in a more positive state of mind than I ever have been.

I apologize for being so behind on this blog, but that doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten anything! Unfortunately, I’m still dealing with health issues.*

I am traveling much less than I previously did, so I am slowly getting caught up. It’s now two stories forward and one behind!

You may have also noticed a lot of blogs here for the Dosh application. It’s noticeable because I’m behind on my trip reports. (Be assured that I will be “filling in” during the new year so it doesn’t look – or read – this way.)

I am very choosy about sponsored posts such as the ones for Dosh. I like to pay the bills as everyone else does, but you won’t find inappropriate ads or advertorials here (i.e. gambling sites). Dosh is an app that I feel is beneficial to my audience of travel, food, and fun lovers.

If you are looking for what’s to come, check out my “Upcoming Stories from the Wine & Spirits Traveler” on the right side of this blog. These are mostly places I have gone that you can look forward to stories on.

While I’m traveling dramatically less, I do have some things coming up soon so be sure to follow me @Spiritstraveler on Twitter and Instagram, as well as like Midwest Travel with Marcia Frost.

You’ll find my trips are different these days. Since I’m doing a lot less, it’s got to be right for me and my health.

I read a lot about adventure travel. I’ve learned over the last three years you don’t need to be adventurous to have fun. It’s more about relaxation and, of course, great food at great places!

There’s less wine and spirits tasting for me these days (it doesn’t mix well with my medications) and more spa time, museums, and scenery. My relaxing is more in the shade than the sun, but it's a chance to try out lots of floppy hats!

Most important of all, I’m taking the ones I care about with me. I've had the chance to build relationships and real stories on individual trips instead of following heavy press trip schedules. 

Finally, I hope that everyone has as wonderful a 2018 as I plan to. It’s not always about where you go, it’s about finding the best places there and enjoying them with the ones you love.

*I’m not going to bore everyone with the details of my health. You can find more information on my story on The Mighty. Since that time, unfortunately, I’ve dealt with more of from autoimmune diseases (consensus between my doctors seems to be Lupus and Sjogren’s), but am on an immunotherapy that is keeping it under control. 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Ready for Holiday Shopping?

Remember to Download the Dosh App

Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday… they are just the beginning of a long holiday season that ends in the one thing you don’t want – bills.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could receive cash too? The Dosh app can help you do that and it requires very little work on your part. The list of stores offering cash back in your pocket is huge, and it includes stores such as Bed Bath & Beyond, The Body Shop, Speedo, Hollister, Neiman Marcus, Sam’s Club, Hallmark, and Cost Plus World Market.

Don’t forget when you are out and about shopping to check for the latest local restaurants and activities in your area that are giving cash back. Just keep your Dosh app up to date and press the “Nearby” button to see what’s there.

Cash back at restaurants is easier than you can imagine. Once you securely enter your credit card in the Dosh app, you don’t have to do anything else. There’s no coupons, scanning, or showing a card with Dosh. You simply go to the restaurant, pay with one of the credit cards you’ve entered in the Dosh app, and the cash back will automatically appear when you sign back into the app. From there, you can request your free money to go to your bank account, PayPal, or even donate it to charity.

In addition, Dosh currently has some special deals available for a limited time, making it even easier and more lucrative to use the application.

Through December 1st, you can earn extra cash for your holiday shopping. After you set up your account, simply send out the referral link to your friends and family. You will receive $15 for every person you refer who downloads Dosh and signs up. There is no cap on the number of people you can refer and earn $15 a piece from.

In addition to you receiving the referral fee, each person will get $5 in Dosh cash as soon as they link a credit card.

Another great deal going on at Dosh now is $25 cash back on your first hotel booking. The $25 dosh dollars (which can go into your bank account to help pay holiday bills) is in addition to cash back and discounts you’ll get for booking the hotel. Hotels all around the country and the world are participating in this deal.

Why not treat yourself to cash instead of just bills after the holidays?

This is a sponsored post. 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Spooktacular Savings with Dosh

Happy Halloween! If you haven’t gotten your costume, candy, or even decorations, it’s not too late to get some great cash back with your purchase when you sign up and shop with the Dosh app.

In fact, you’ll even earn the same money at stores such as Target, Jelly Belly, Big Lots, Walmart, (one of my favorites) when you purchase all those discount Halloween products when the holiday is over. Dosh money does not stop coming when the store slash prices.

If you haven’t checked out the Dosh app yet, there’s never been a better time. Halloween is just a start of the end of the year holidays. 

With all those gifts to buy, we all could use all the savings we can get. Wouldn’t it be nice to get a chunk of cash back to help with those credit card bills?

I didn’t do a lot of shopping this month (I’m saving my purchasing power for next month), but I did stop by Denny’s for some scrumptious pancakes. With my card registered at Dosh, that means 10% back on everything that went on my charge at the restaurant.

You can use the “nearby” tab to check what’s in your neighborhood for Dosh $. In addition to Denny’s, mine includes local Italian and pizza joints, Mexican food, Firehouse Subs and the Forever 21 store, perfect for shopping for the teens in your family.

Hallmark Cards has also joined the Dosh cash back team for the holidays. You can get 7% back on your purchases of holiday cards, ornaments, wrapping paper, and personalized books. That’s not for one shopping trip, it’s for every purchase you make with a linked card through at least the end of 2017.

Don’t forget to also think about treating yourself to a post or pre-holiday getaway. Check out the hard to pass up deals on hotels from Boston to Rome, and many cities in between. Just book through the application. You can also earn part of your car rental and meals back while traveling.

It’s never been easier to use an app for money back. After you sign up with Dosh, safely enter in your credit cards and you will automatically get cash when you use them at a participating store. 

The other option is to shop online through a link on the Dosh app.  Personally, I don’t want to take any chances that I’ll miss anything that offers money, so I do both!

This is a sponsored post. 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Dosh Means Cash, Don't Lose Out

I’ve been writing a lot about Dosh here and it seems that a lot of people are listening. This month, the Dosh app is celebrating giving $100,000 in cash back.

That’s not money from a contest, it’s free money to those who have used the app to do things they would normally do every day – shopping, travel planning, eating, and enjoying local activities.  

For a limited time (thru 11:59 pm, Sunday, October 1), you can also get cash without even doing those activities.  One of the best features of Dosh is that you don’t have to work for your cash back, it will record anything you’ve put on stored credit cards. If you are a new user and store your credit card this week, you will get $10 cash for the first one, and $1 each for the second and third.  This is in addition to the $5 you earn instantly for completing the sign-up process.

It’s also a good time to remind everyone to not forget Dosh when it comes to back to school shopping. Sign in and look before you go anywhere. You can pick up school supplies at Walmart or Target, shop for school clothes at The Gap (or one of the newer stores available for cash back, such as Hollister and Forever 21).

After your back to school shopping, check Dosh for local restaurants you can visit with all that spare time and money. Earn cash at while you eat at restaurants.

For those weekends and after school times, Chuck E. Cheese is also still offering 5% on Dosh

While I don’t have young kids, I do shop at Target or Walmart, who is currently offering free two-day shipping on orders over $35. I have used that offer more than once to order non-perishables when I didn’t have time to go shopping. I got great prices and cash back on Dosh.

I know many people are concerned about the devastation in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico from the hurricanes. One way you can help is to donate your dosh cash to The American Red Cross. Just go into your Dosh wallet and select it as the charity you’d like to give your dosh money to.

One last reminder about the Dosh app: please update it and check it often. New offers are constantly being offered and will continue to be. Holiday shopping is just around the corner and you don’t want to miss the opportunity to get money for doing what you do anyway.

This is a sponsored post. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

A Full Final Day in Nova Scotia

It had been an exciting trip to Nova Scotia, a place I hadn’t visited in many years. 

My daughter, Sam, and I would be heading back to the States, but first we had a lot to see and do with our group at Fox Harb’r Resort.

We packed up our things and said goodbye to our one-bedroom suite. The view would definitely be missed.

The group convened in the Cape Cliff dining room for another delicious breakfast.

After we ate, Executive Chef and Food & Beverage Director Shane Robilliard met with us to talk more about the cuisine of Fox Harb’r.

Chef Robilliard talked about how much he loves the opportunity at Fox Harb'r to work with the ingredients available to him, including the greenhouse, where nearly all his fruits, vegetables, and herbs come from.

He’s also proud that the resort uses sustainably harvested seafoods and local meats.

Our group then divided up for our last two activities at the resort. The first for us was fly fishing.

Sam always loved to fish so she was ready to try it.

It was a lot of fun, even if she didn’t catch anything. Fox Harb’r provides instruction to its guests (see video).

After the fishing, we went to the resort’s Sporting Lodge for clay shooting. I’m not a supporter of guns and didn’t want to partake, but those who did were given full instructions and really enjoyed it.

We all climbed into the van and headed to Jost Winery, who partners with Fox Harb’r, currently to provide wine and in the future to produce the wine from the resort’s new vineyard.

The wine pairing lunch showed off the selection at Jost, as well as their culinary offerings, including more Nova Scotia fish.

One of the wines that I especially loved was the Jost Tidal Bay.

Tidal Bay is a grape produced in Nova Scotia. It’s a bit of a cross between sauvignon blanc and pinot grigio – white, light, and fruity.

Immediately following lunch, Sam and I had to head to Halifax airport to catch our flights.

It was again another exhausting experience with Air Canada, but it certainly didn’t make us forget a wonderful trip to NovaScotia with Fox Harb’r Resort. 

Check the new TripAdvisor for great deals at Fox Harb'r Resort

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Discovering Fox Harbr Resort in Nova Scotia

It was a beautiful morning at Fox Harb’r Resort in Nova Scotia, Canada, and my daughter, Sam and I were excited to check the place out.

We woke up fairly early in our Executive Suite to go join the rest of the group for breakfast at the Cape Cliff Dining Room, where we had eaten the night before.

For breakfast we were served Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict, which Sam loved. Since I am allergic, I had a filling plate of eggs, potatoes, and fresh fruit.

When everyone was done eating, we washed up (even the bathroom here is opulent-look at that sink) and got ready for a tour around the resort.

We walked to the downstairs of the clubhouse to head out through there.

It was filled with photos, clubs, and trophies from this very prestigious golf course at Fox Harb'r, which is just outside Halifax, Nova Scotia.

In fact, the golf course spread out through most of the resort, along the hills and valleys, and most spectacularly, along the water.

We went over to the resort’s Dol-άs Spa, named one of the top 25 spas in Canada by Canadian Spa & Wellness last year.

It’s a beautiful full-service facility that includes a fitness area and a breathtaking pool area with sweeping views of some of the best of the property.

We went through the massage and lounge areas too.

I was excited about coming back later in the day for my massage.

Outside the Spa, you could see the tennis and volleyball courts, as well as the North Cumberland Straight, which leads into the Atlantic Ocean.

We then got into golf carts to continue exploring the resort.

Our next stop was at the Fox Harb'r Resort Golf Academy. Here those of all abilities can learn with expert teachers, as well as state-of-the-art equipment.

Lessons are available one-on-one or in small groups.

From there we got to see some of the beauty of the golf course as we made our way around the property, which includes fishing facilities and miles of water views, some over bluffs and rocks.

The Greenhouse at Fox Harb'r is another element of this resort which is very impressive.

Here they grow the vast majority of the fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers used throughout the property.

We also had an inside look at the condos and private houses Fox Harb'r Resort has for rent and sale.
These homes have breathtaking views, furnishings, and property amenities.

With the exchange rate, they are definitely a bargain for Americans to own waterfront properties.

We went back to the Clubhouse for lunch on the patio. Fish and Chips was served, and I had a club sandwich. For dessert we all had a luscious chocolate concoction.

After lunch, we went our separate ways to enjoy some of the resort’s amenities.

Sam went kayaking with one group and then did some hiking on the bluffs.

I headed to the spa for a relaxing massage. After, I went into the whirlpool and took in the views of the beautiful scenery at Fox Harb’r.

I returned to our suite in time to go outside by the airstrip (yes, Fox Harb’r has their own airport) and catch the eclipse.

The view wasn’t nearly as good as my Illinois friends had, but I was able to recite a line from my favorite Carly Simon song…

“You flew your Learjet up to Nova Scotia
To see the total eclipse of the sun.”

Sam came back to the room soon after that and we both napped before bathing and getting ready for dinner with our group.

During the day’s touring, we heard about the Joyce family, owners of Fox Harb’r Resort.

Canadian Ron Joyce invested in Tim Hortons in 1964 (when it was only one Hamilton, Canada, restaurant) and was instrumental in growing it into a successful fast food chain.  In 1996, he sold the business to Wendy’s.

Joyce invested his profits into the charitable Joyce Family Foundation, as well as in owning and operating Fox Harb’r Resort.

Ron Joyce’s son Stephen is the current CEO of Fox Harb’r and he invited us to dinner at his home.

I don’t know that I could have imagined a more ideal setting for an evening than the site of the waterfront mansion Stephen Joyce stays at when he is at Fox Harb’r.

We started the evening with a relaxing boat ride from the neighboring Marina. We went out into the North Cumberland Straight. It was very peaceful and we even saw some frolicking sea lions along the way.

The night continued with a lobster boil on the deck, with one of the most spectacular sunsets I’ve ever seen.

The buffet included endless lobster, tuna, salmon, mussels, steak, and potatoes. Since I couldn’t indulge with my allergies, they brought in a chicken dinner from the restaurant for me.

The wine and cocktails flowed for hours, as did the trays of desserts. I was exhausted and one of the first to leave, many hours after I arrived.

It had been a long, but wonderful, day at Fox Harb’r Resort, and there was another one to come before we would leave Nova Scotia.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Nova Scotia, From Halifax to Fox Harb’r Resort

It was a misty day in Halifax. It seemed fitting for this Nova Scotia city with a very English background.

My daughter, Sam, and I were staying at the regal Lord Nelson Hotel & Suites for one night before heading to Fox Harb’r Resort on the other end of the island.

We woke up early and ate at the hotel’s breakfast buffet, which was filled with fresh fruit, pastries, eggs, and more.

From there we took an Uber to Harbour for Ambassatours Deluxe Halifax City Tour. The tour would be by bus and start in front of the Maritime Museum.

The ride was comfortable, and the guide was terrific, filling us in on tons of historical facts as we went through the sites.

It had been 30 years since I had been to Nova Scotia, and Sam had never been, so we welcomed the information.

We only had a short orientation, but I’d love to come back and see the sites in depth. 

The city is filled with historical buildings and churches, and the Victorian Public Gardens, but two sites stand out. We were glad we stopped at both.

The first was the Citadel National Historic Site, a Canadian National Park built around a former fort atop the city. It is supported by guards dressed in full uniform, as they are in front of Buckingham Palace.

The views from the Citadel are fantastic, even on this foggy day, and we took some photos before getting back on the bus to the place everyone was waiting to see.

Halifax was the town most of the victims of the Titanic disaster were sent to. More bodies were processed here than anywhere else.

This was one of the reasons James Cameron chose to come to Halifax for filming of Titanic the movie.

In fact, Five Fishermen, the restaurant we had been to the previous night, was the site of the mortuary where many were brought.

As many victims as possible were sent home to their families, but 121 are buried in the Fairview Lawn Cemetery.

Our guide took us through and told us about some of the victim stories, including the littlest one, who could not be identified at first.

On the way from the cemetery, we passed by Queen's Mansion and the new Via Rail Station at the Westin Hotel. Also, the Pier 21 cruise ship terminal and the Largest Farmers Market in North America.

The tour bus brought us back and we had some free time, so we decided to walk around the Halifax Harbourfront. 

It had some interesting shops and I bought myself a floppy hat, as I was optimistic we would have sunnier days.

We went back downtown and had some tea at Humani-T, where they had every kind imaginable, and relaxed before it was time to go to the hotel and get our things.

Sam and I took a cab to the Halifax Airport to meet with the Fox Harb' r Resort Group and head to the resort.

It was a scenic drive through rolling hills and then to the coast of the North Cumberland Straight, where the resort is located.

The last time I saw golf courses this spectacular was at Big Cedar Lodge, but that body of water was man-made. 

This was all the natural beauty of Nova Scotia, directly across from Prince Edward Island.

Our Executive Suite had a huge bathroom with a standing tub, separate living and bedrooms, a wet bar with coffee maker, a refrigerator, and a microwave.

We had plenty of snacks, a patio, and our favorite wine, Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc.

We opened the bottle and enjoyed the views from our patio.

After freshening up, we met outside the Cape Cliff Dining with other members of the press trip and executives from Fox Harb’r for a cocktail hour, followed by dinner in the dining room.

The views of the golf course were just spectacular, and got even better as sun began to set.

The chef had prepared a special menu for us of local dishes paired with local wine. Substitutions were made for me to accommodate my seafood allergy.

The group started with a delicious Taste of Salmon appetizer and I was equally thrilled with my Caprese Salad.

For the next course we all had the Fox Harb’r Mixed Greens, which included vegetables, beans and seeds, with a light dressing.

The main course was Surf N Turk, Espresso Crusted Beef Tenderloin in a cabernet jus, and a Nova Scotia lobster tail, covered in butter, and served with a poached herb risotto.

I had a double portion of the meat, which was tender and tasty.

The dessert sounded a bit unusual, but it was scrumptious: Carrot and Spice Cheesecake with raisin compote and brandy tuille.

Sam and I returned to our suite right after dinner. It had been a very long day and I couldn’t wait to lay my head on that pillow. 

We would still have a few more days to explore Fox Harb’r Resort