Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Decor Newsflash- 50% off at LOWES

Lowes is in the process of marking down ALL of their Christmas decor, including lots of live plants in the garden center.

Lowes has lots of artificial trees at great prices, outdoor and indoor decor, plus gorgeous healthy poinsettias, rosemary "trees" and planters.

Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Fit in holiday shopping with extended mall hours!

Don't forget that most of the malls are open at least until 10pm.  Many stores are open until 11:00 or 12:00pm on weekends!

Shopping the extended hours makes sense.  The stores are empty and you can stop off on your way home from dinner or work or... whatever.  Perfect for hitting and running in for that last-minute gift.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Holiday Shopping TIps

Here are some great shopping tips compliments of the Chelsea Premium Outlet Centers

Check off your gift list now: You are shopping for your friends and family, right?

Wear comfortable shoes: You never know how many bargains you may be running after.

Wear layers: The chilly December air in most cities may nip at your nose while you shop the center, but the stores will likely be warm with excitement.

Do your bargain hunting homework first: Visit each center’s website to print a list of all the store sales and promotions and decide which stores you want to visit first.

Map your day before you go: Print a map of the center and determine your plan-of-attack to save time (available online on each center’s web page). Plus, determine where you want to park ahead of time.

Shop extended hours: For your convenience, most centers are offering extended hours.

Bring a friend and tag team shop: There may be lines to get into some stores, so stand in separate lines and see who gets to the front first. This also works when the check-out lines are long. Be sure to bring your cell phones.

Bring your sense of humor: Smile your way through the crowds and enjoy the thrill of the hunt.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Black Friday at Premium Outlets!

The outlets at the Premium outlet mall are having storewide sales from 30% to 50% off of EVERYTHING in the store starting midnight tonight.  Some, like Nautica and Puma are already into their sales.

Get there ASAP for the best selection!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

NEW Flea Market in Dolly Parton Stampede building

The new flea market is OPEN.  It's located next to the Prime Outlet mall near Lake Buena Vista and Disney.

Although some of the booths remain vacant, this market is worth a stop. It will take you about an hour to get through it... The entrepreneurs in the market are varied and there are some very good buys on accessories, toys, costume jewelry, sunglasses and more. There is also a good "dollar" store that sells "advertised on TV" items for a steal.

If you want to try the latest technique in tooth whitening, there are several booths offering intro specials.  You can get it done for $70 here or pay $100 to $150 elsewhere.

Both Nautica Outlets 50% off on Black Friday!

The Nautica outlets at Prime and Premium Outlet malls will have everything marked 50% off on Black Friday.  Other outlets will have similar savings.  For many outlets, the sales start at midnight the Friday after Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Score a Designer Purse at the Outlet Mall!

You'll find designer handbags at great prices at the Orlando Outlet Malls.  No more cheap imitations that fall apart, get the real thing!

Prime Outlets
  • Kate Spade
  • Coach
  • Dooney and Bourke
  • Juicy Couture
  • Betsey Johnson
  • Brighton
  • Burberry
  • Neiman Marcus Last Call
  • Gucci
Premium Outlets
  • Tory Burch
  • Prada
  • Bottega Venetta
  • Burberry
  • Chanel
  • Michael Kors
  • Cole Haan
  • Vera Bradley

Friday, November 6, 2009

Cole Haan- 30 to 50% off entire store

Attention Cole Haan Fans-  Prime outlets store is having a big sale with 30 to 50% off the entire store.  Most items are 30% off of already low prices (compared to retail.)  Good buys on shoes.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Holiday gifts at Baccarat/Lalique

Stop at the world's only Baccarat/Lalique outlet for lovely lightweight gifts, perfect for carrying home on the plane.

Baccarat has lovely small glass paperweights with small metal figures on them. One is a blue wave with a tiny dolphin. Perfect for any working women on your list.

Lalique has jewelry at all price ranges from $100 to over $1000.  Especially lovely for young women.

And of course, there are lots of vases and crystal items.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Great accessories at Prime Outlet Mall- Hypoallergenic Earrings, Hair Clips and more!

Looking for a great souvenir, but low on dollars?  Head to the food court at the Prime Outlet mall for the Icing shop!  You'll find lots of hypoallergenic earring in the latest styles plus hair clips and barrettes and lots more.  The earrings are nickel free and lightweight.  If you take your earrings off because they bother you, you will LOVE this shop!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Dress up the little ones for the holidays. Hartstrings and Strasburg now at the Premium Outlets!

Attention all Grandmas!  Head to the Premium Outlet mall near Disney for the most adorable children's clothes. If you have cute kids in your life, don't miss Strasburg and Hartstring's stores.

Strasburg is a more traditional line, with high end details on dresses like smocking and ribbon sashes.  Yet the prices are reasonable, a bargain given the quality.  There are great items for girls and boys.  In the back of the store, you'll find final sale racks full of great buys.

Strasburg offers a beautiful doll and a line of mini- Strasburg dresses to dress her in.  It is toooo sweet. 

Hartstrings' style is that of an upscale country family going on an outing.  The clothes are equally cute as Strasburg but with more of a classic Ralph Lauren kind of vibe.

$10 coupon for designer fragrances! Bulgari, Versace, Hermes and more!

Here's a great holiday coupon to use at FragranceNet, a great site for the best fragrances.  Use it for gifts or stock up on your favorites  before the season of parties and romance!
Use the code FALL9 and get off $10 off orders of $80 or more at .com. Ends 11.15.09

Friday, October 23, 2009

Make flights fly- with eBooks & AudioBooks!

Traveling to Orlando soon? Want to make the trip seem shorter? Is there a book you've been dying to read? Twilight, anyone?

Order your audio books or eBooks from Keebra before you leave home. Click on the link below and save 10%:

Largest selection of eBooks online.  Save 10% Now! Use code: SAVE10NOW.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Baccarat/Lalique...Together in one outlet at Prime!

Two world-renowned crystal brands- Baccarat and Lalique- are together in one store at the  Prime outlets.

For Prime Outlets, scoring this one of a kind store was the outlet mall coup of the century.  It 's the only one of its kind in the world.

Check it out, saving are up to 50% off of retail.

Nordstrom Rack comes to Orlando

Orlando, FL
Millenia Crossing
November 6, 2009

A Nordstrom Rack store is opening near the Mall of Milennia.  Nordstroms bills this as  "an event not to be missed!"   Nordstrom Rack stores carry "the hottest brands and trends at the best prices."

At the grand opening, Nordstrom holds a 'Race Through the Rack' sweepstakes*. One lucky person will be chosen to be the first customer to enter the store and have 90 seconds to select up to $2,000 worth of merchandise. The drawing will be at 8:45am in advance of the 9am grand opening. Plus the first 1,000 customers will receive a Nordstrom Rack tote bag as a gift with their opening day purchase. Crazy but fun.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Premium Outlets Holiday Shopping

Orlando Premium Outlets is a great place to spend a few hours... or a few days!

150 stores include:

A/X Armani Exchange
Salvatore Ferragamo
Barney's New York
Tag Heur
Joe's Jeans
AG Adriano Goldschmied... and many more

Plus all the great athletic brands- Adidas, Nike, Reebok

Go to for holiday savings.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Downtown Disney Update

Don't miss Raglan Road,the Irish Pub in the middle of Downtown Disney (in what used to be Pleasure Island)!  A huge authentic pub, there is great entertainment, food and beer on tap. 

In addition to live music, there is a featured Riverdancer, who pops up every so often to dance.  It's all good.  For smokers, there is a huge patio with its own bar. 

In Dowtown Disney, the best mixed drinks are at Wolfgang Puck's. The bartenders are real bartenders, who can make any drink you like, plus a bunch of great menu choices.  They fill the glasses all the way up and are friendly too.  They'll recommend the snack rolls as appetizers for good reason- the flaky dough and yummy plum sauce are a fine accompaniment to your drink.  Rainbow rolls (sushi) are great too.

Last but not least, stop into Magnetz.  There's something in this shop for every child and the inner child in every adult here.  Lots of cool stuff.  A fun place to pick up a UNIQUE souvenir for a few dollars.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Guerlain Fragrances at Epcot

The entire line of Guerlain fragrances can be found in "France" at Epcot.  This includes many not normally available in the US.

If you are going to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, grab a glass of champagne and try on scents to your heart's content.  Bring a guy who can give you the male perspective.  :)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Bahama Breeze, an island down the road from Prime Outlets

Visit Bahama Breeze for comfortable surroundings with an island flair, like a Beach restaurant. It's right down the road from Prime Outlets, on Vineland road.  There is a great big outdoor tiki bar area plus a large inside bar and restaurant.

The portions are generous, so you can share a couple of appetizers or an entree for a light meal.  Local favorites are coconut shrimp and goat cheese spread appetizers.  The newest hit is the stacked mango, crab, shrimp and avocado appetizer that comes with long crunchy crackers; it's healthy and delicious.

Don't miss the Key Lime pie at Bahama Breeze.  A Florida tradition, it's not too sweet, on the perfect graham cracker crust and peaked meringue topping.  The perfect ending to a great day of shopping.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Mall of Milennia for young fashionistas

Mall of Milennia is fashion heaven.  For the young trendy set, there's:

Juicy Couture
Betsey Johnson
Neiman Marcus (great sales, less expensive than you'd think, a great place for occasion/dance dresses)
Macy's (BIG store, merchandise overload, but you will find great buys)

For upscale looks, there are lots of designer shops.

For the college bound and those who dress like they are:

Forever 21 (cheap and trendy)
Urban Outfitters
Abercrombie and Fitch (preppy)

News: there is a new MAC cosmetics store upstairs between Bloomies and Neimans.

Young men at Mall of Milennia

Visiting Mall of Milennia? Here's the search and destroy shopping plan for young men.

For dressed- up clothes with style:

Kenneth Cole

For casual, preppy (i.e.- loose-fitting) with great quality (will be worn again, first by brothers and then by cousins):

J. Crew

Young men hit the Orlando outlets

Between the two mega malls, Prime (on I-Drive) has better guys' sportswear and preppy clothes.  Premium (by Disney) has more fashion forward choices.

Sporty favorites at Prime:
  • Adidas
  • Aeropostale
  • Nike
  • Oakley Vault
  • Reebok
  • PacSun (multi-brand, classic Florida surf wear)
  • 7 for all mankind (only outlet in world)
At Prime for the preppy/classic guy:
  • Tommy Hilfiger
  • Ralph Lauren/Polo
At the Premium outlets, you'll find trend-setters:
  • AG Adriano Goldschmied
  • Kenneth Cole
  • Lucky Jeans
  • Joe's Jeans
  • Diesel
For a classic, yet up to date look (not necessarily preppy) at Premium:
  • J. Crew
  • Banana Republic
  • DKNY
Premium also has Nike, Reebok, Puma and a large Adidas store.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Ralph Lauren and Nautica outlets for the casual workplace

Ralph Lauren and Nautica have both stepped up their style in the past few years.  More than just solid pique polos, you'll find stylish, yet classic sportswear that is perfect for the casual office, the small business owner or the home-mom who wants to look polished on the go.

Prime and Premium outlet malls each have these outlets. Look for coupons for these on the mall web sites and during any mall promotion.  

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Thomas Pink Now Open at Prime Outlets - Orlando

According to Prime outlets- Thomas Pink, the leading international luxury shirt brand, has just opened a new outlet store in Orlando's Prime Outlet Center. Southeast Florida will now have the opportunity to experience Thomas Pink's distinctive, timeless designs and exceptional quality. Choose from an exquisite array of luxurious shirts and delectable accessories for men and women.

Neiman Marcus Last Call Columbus Day Sale

Neiman Marcus Last Call in the Prime Outlets has a big sale from October 7 to 13.  SHOP EARLY because the store gets picked over by Sunday.  You'll save an extra 20 to 30% over already great prices.  Get that pair of designer shoes now!

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Met some nice folks from Great Britain at Mall of Milennia today. They said that they didn't like Florida Mall... They didn't even realize that there is a NICE part to the mall, they missed it...

Florida Mall has 350+ stores; and half of them are downscale- not bad, just boring.  If you are looking for nice quality and a great shopping experience, you need to be in the NEWER part of the mall.

Park by Macy's or Nordstrom or the M&M store.  Or Dillard's.  Then you will be near the new wing.  In the new part, you'll find these great stores and fun finds:
  • M&M Store- huge and fun.
  • Adrenalina-  great surf shop with indoor surf tank, fun to watch!
  • Saks Fifth Avenue- can't be beat for gifts, makeup, perfume, designer purses, good quality costume jewelry,  men's designer ties, overall a nice experience with great customer service.
  • Nordstrom- more great service, wonderful womens accessories, samples of any perfume in little bottle, nice coffee stop/shop, big MAC and Bobbie Brown cosmetics counters, cute and surprisingly reasonable kids clothes. 
  • Sephora-  great makeup store with lots of top brand make-up and perfume.  Also mens cologne.  DON'T MISS.  Locals travel far to shop at Sephora. Makeovers and advice are free and helpful.
  • Abercrombie and Fitch-  where saleskids are called "models" for a reason. Cute, preppy, all-American clothes that last FOREVER.  Pricey, but the quality is really good.  If you have multiple kids, buy for the oldest and they will all want to wear them.  We give them to cousins after that and they still look new!  NOTE: F. Mall has two Abercrombie stores- one for kids and one for adults.
  • Banana Republic- if you have to dress decent for work and are between 28-59, go to BR.  Great quality, current styles, help is well-trained and friendly. Some are so good, they act as stylists, giving great advice as you try things on, but never obtrusively or without invitation.  This is the only store credit card I have, it's that good.  

Mall of Milennia jewelry sales- GO NOW

Next to the upstairs food court at Mall of Milennia, you'll find three types of jewelry-  young trendy jewelry at Forever 21 (no sale needed, it is crazy inexpensive, some items look like they cost hundreds!), upscale watches and designer lines at going out of business Park Promenade (20 to 50% off now, will keep going down, but so will selection) and 80% off on good copies of In Style magazine favorites at Landau.

For example, I bought 4 items at Landau.  $10 for 1" David Yurman-copy hoops (too cute and too real-looking to believe) for everyday, 10$ for gorgeous waterfall earrings (what the stylists say we should wear instead of tiny studs that no one sees) and $20 each for two EXCELLENT copies of 24" necklaces- one Heidi Klum's expensive (18K) line and one a dead ringer for a $2000 14k necklace.  Landau has upgraded their line from the original fake studs and pearls.

If you are a Yurman fan- rush in to see the cuff bracelets that are on sale.  Dead ringers.

Landau excels at the almost forgotten art of customer service.  All 4 of my finds were brought to me by the very nice woman who helped me.  An English woman in the store looking for jewelry to match a special occasion dress was equally pleased and bought beautiful pieces that would have cost thousands in their original incarnation.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

First Watch or La Peep for Breakfast, Orlando's favorite breakfast spots

Two local favorites for breakfast are First Watch on Sand Lake Road not far from Disney and the Premium outlets and La Peep, around the corner from Universal and close to the Prime outlets.

It's a great idea to have a real meal (french fries eaten in the car do not count as a meal!) before you take on the outlets or the malls.  You'll need the energy to get the most out of your shopping trip.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Mall of Milennia Parking tips

In a few words- don't park by Macy's.  Unless you are on a search and destroy mission; and it includes Macy's.

If the mall is packed,  park by Neiman Marcus.  You get a fun walk-thru and the lot is rarely full... Check out the men's jewelry to indulge your inner rock star.  Also, the women's cosmetics has rare and wonderful lines like Cle de Peau (Shiseido's upscale line) and Rock and Republic (the world's best blusher, no contest).  Plus there is always a new perfume to try, and a knowledgeable person to tell you about its top, middle and bottom notes.

If you are not in a rush, go upstairs and check out the little shops for china, crystal, silver, etc.  NM has wonderful and unique gifts, especially at the holidays.

Florida Mall Parking Tips

Park near Buca De Beppo restaurant, between Nordstorm and Macy's.  This gives you direct access to the nicer part of the mall. 

Enter through either department store of through the entrance between them.

An alternative, if you are into labels and can afford them, is to park by Saks Fifth Avenue.  There is always plenty of parking near Saks, and it is so much fun to see what is new and hot from purses to shoes to cosmetics.  Just walk on through and get the copies at the stores inside the mall.

Hidden treasures-  Clarks shoes and Banana Republic are near the Saks entrance to the mall.  Clarks has the comfy hiking type shoes that Europeans love, plus higher, sexier versions.  Banana Republic has great fitting, American-style (but not preppy) clothes for the young adult crowd as well as for in-shape boomers.  The quality is great for the price and there is always something for sale.

For cosmetics junkies-  there is a MAC store by the food court and a Sephora near the Macy's entrance to the mall.  Both will give you all the free advice you want.  At Sephora, they now give free samples of everything in little plastic containers.  Just ask.

Premium Outlets Columbus Day Sale!

Go to Premium Outlest online VIP room for Columbus Day sale coupons.

This is one of the year's biggest sales.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Sushi in Orlando- Sushiology at night

By popular request, here is the address for Sushiology on I-Drive, near Wet & Wild and the Prime Outlets:
6400 International Dr #130
Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 345-0245

Sushiology is open from 11 to 11 (Sunday 3- 10:30) so you can satisfy that sushi craving when you get back from the parks!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sushi and Ice Cream near the Orlando outlets- Fast and FUN

If you are near Prime Outlets and Festival Bay, go a few miles down the road to:
  • Sushiology Sushi
  • Dippn Dots ice cream
Located next to each other, these stops are the most fun you can have without a waitress or a wait.  Sushiology is a quick service sushi restaurant with GREAT sushi.  There are a few tables inside and out, plus beer and wine.  There are take-out deals that start with 20 pieces of sushi and go into the 100's...  or you can just order by the roll or the piece.  Either way, the prices are low and the quality is excellent.

Dippn Dots is a speical type of ice cream made in many flavors. Kids LOVE this treat. Don't miss it!

United World Soccer and Bass Outdoor World in Festival Bay

For soccer fans and fanatics, United World Soccer is the place.  In Festival Bay Mall on I-Drive, you'll find a great selection of soccer jerseys and gear.

While you are there, hit the BASS outdoor world.  Kids love the BIG fish tank in center.  If you like outdoor activities (fishing, boating, hunting, you name it), you'll love BASS.  For the rugged life wanna-be's, there are really nice classic clothes, always something on sale.

For a food stop, there's a good Italian stand in the center of the mall with delicious NY style pizza.  Nice people too.

Looking for the NIKE, Adidas or Puma in Orlando?

There are large NIKE outlet stores in ALL of the outlet malls in Orlando/Kissimmee. All have good selection of clothes, shoes and sporting goods, like bags and balls.

Plus there is a real Nike outlet on Rt. 192 in Kissimmee, where they get all of the left-over shoes and clothes from the retail stores, including top quality golf shoes and soccer cleats.  If you are staying in Kissimmee, don't miss this one.

Adidas can be found in the Prime and Premium malls. It's not cheap but it's the quality you know.

Puma is in both outlet malls, but it's the worst kind of outlet...random leftovers mostly. My sons love the Puma brand; and we have never found anything to buy here.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

ESCADA Company Store (outlet)

Escada company store NOW OPEN at the Prime Outlet mall, close to another reader favorite, the Judith Ripka outlet.  Beautiful clothes. Don't miss this store if you appreciate American- style clothes with class, but not at all fussy or silly.  You will love these clothes.

HIDDEN Waterford/ Wedgewood Outlet

Across from Festival Bay on the other side of I-Drive (behind Texas de Brazil, the restaurant), you'll find the Waterford/ Wedgewood Outlet.  It's towards the back of the parking lot.  A real outlet, this is the perfect place to shop for your sister or Grandma who collects Waterford pieces.  The prices are so great, you may pick up something for yourself!

Esprit, Aeropostale, Burton and Guess for Young Men

For that hard to fit group that is fit and lean and finds preppy wear (Nautica, etc) way too baggy, hit Prime Outlets for Esprit, Aerospostale, Burton and Guess wear.  All feature T's and casual wear for young men that is tapered and fitted, but not too tight.

Juicy Couture

For Juicy Fans, the outlet at Prime outlets is a gold mine. LOTS of purses, a good display of jewelry and rack and racks of clothes. 

Friday, September 25, 2009

Keyword: Coupons

Readers are looking for coupons and discounts for the outlet malls.  Here's where to find them:
  1. Online-   Go to the mall's web site for special offers and vouchers for coupon books that you redeem in person at the mall office.
  2. VIP cards and clubs-   Sign up for these while you are on the web site.  You may get instant coupons to print out, a VIP card to use in person and/or other goodies.  Plus they will email specials on an ongoing basis.
  3. Mall offices-    If you didn't have time to go online for a voucher to pick up mall coupons in person, tell them.  They'll give them to you anyway.  Ask if they have any other promotions going.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The world's only Lalique/Baccarat outlet

The world's only Lalique and Baccarat outlet is right here in Orlando at the Prime Outlet Mall.  The Prime Outlets are in International Drive, near Universal Studios and not far from the Disney resort area.

If you want to take home a piece of beautiful crystal, spend some time at the Prime Outlets.  Remember,  crystal is heavy, so you will need to take it to your car immediately after purchase or you can pick it up right before you leave the mall. 

The perfect purse

I have been carrying a gift with purchase Vicky's Secret barrel-style (no shoulder strap) black microfiber purse lately.  Why?  Because it is LIGHT.  I never understood the runaway appeal of Kate Spade's basic black eponymous purses in NYC.  NOW I do and here's why... When you have lots to carry on a long day and you are walking (like they do in the big apple and I do at the Orlando malls), microfiber is the only way to go.

The funniest thing is that I have gotten lots of compliments on my gift with purchase Victoria's Secret Bag.  I am on the hunt for  a real designer bag that is as light and looks as classic as this one does.

Stay tuned.

Fun and Funky

Looking for something interesting?  Try Tu Tu Tango on I-Drive.  Kind of an artist's gallery meets a tapas bar, they serve great drinks and lots of little plates.  There are original paintings on the wall and artists are actually painting live for "atmosphere".

Tu Tu Tango is close to the convention center and Pointe Orlando. It's perfect for a multi-generational visiting group, like your uncle, his kids and yours.

Fun for Kids

Many a tired Mom has found that their children have more fun at the Disney Marketplace than at Disney's expensive theme parks.  Why?  No lines, great food, kid-friendly attractions, like the Lego store and the BIG run-through fountain. If you have a picky eater, there is a large McDonald's right next to the Lego store.  Plus Disney has seasonal activities galore, from sandboxes to trains to playgrounds... This is really a local secret!

Once I sat next to a nice Mom from the Midwest, whose daughter was blissfully playing in a temporary  beach at the Marketplace.  She said that taking her child to Disney was her dream, but her 5 year old really was exhausted by it all.  Disney Marketplace suited the little girl much better.  :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Save in Orlando

Top spots to save in Orlando:

Prime Outlets-
Top picks include 7 for All Mankind, Joe's Jeans, Neiman Marcus Last Call, Escada, Calypso, Lalique/ Baccarat outlet, Judith Ripka (jewelry), Kate Spade, Juicy Couture and Vicky's Secret.  Plus sporting wear from North Face, Pearl Izumi, Reebok, Nike, Adidas, Burton and on and on.... Great Calphalon and La Creuset outlets here, where you'll find that last piece for your set or a perfect gift.

Premium Outlets-
Find AG Adriano Goldschmied, Lucky, DKNY, Armani, La Perla here. Lots of sporting wear here too at Reebok, Nike, Adidas. Big Timberland and Ralph Lauren outlets. Nautica is a favorite at Premium.  Enjoy French-inspired fare at the Anelle and Hugo kiosk in the center of the mall.

Lake Buena Vista Outlets features a large Vanity Fair outlet and a host of smaller outlets.

Milennia Mall- Orlando's most fashionable shopping address has lots of sales and deals these days, at Macy's and Bloomingdales especially.  Today, retailers mark slow-moving product down ASAP.

Shop Pink at Prime in October

For just $2, you can buy a Pink discount card in October to benefit a Breast Cancer charity. It's a great deal, since you get a free cream puff from Beard Papa's, with a value of more than the cost of the card. (Way to go, Beard Papa's!)  Plus lots of other great one-time discounts. 

To find out more:

The trouble with comments

If you are having trouble leaving a comment, please email me at

Need to solve the missing comment mystery... I'll appreciate any clues.

Thank you for reading!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Florida Mall Alert: FREE Metallic Stephanie Johnson bag at Saks Fifth Avenue

Go to this link to see these great metallic totes, free with any $75 dollar beauty purchase at Saks:

Don't wait, this is while supplies last or until October 4th, in-store or online.  Top picks at Saks:

For a makeover in a bottle, try YSL Teint Majeur foundation for $100.

Rachel Zoe, the stylist to the stars, swears by Armani Liquid Silk Foundation.

If you love romantic, feminine fragrances, pick Chloe in the pretty bottle with a sterling silver top. It makes you... happy!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Top Quality Cosmetics at PRIME outlets!

The following brands are found at The Cosmetic Company Store:
  • Estee Lauder
  • Clinique
  • MAC
  • Bobbie Brown
There is also a Lancome company store.

Ralph Lauren and poor service

There is a new RL outlet at the Prime outlets, to house the RL designer collection.  Great idea, except the two self-absorbed young people in the store did not bother to greet me, help me try on their overpriced clothes or say thank you when I left.  It reminded me of the SNL skit with Adam Sandler providing hideously poor service at the GAP.  I would NEVER go back to that place.  It was empty and will probably be gone in six months.  Unless someone gets a clue.

On the FLIP SIDE, go to Cole Haan or Christian Dior.  Going up the ladder towards prices in the straosphere, both outlets treated me with respect (even in a jean skirt and T) and worked hard to find the buy of my dreams.  If you visit, you will be glad you did.

BOOTS and more at Bass- 50% plus another 10% off

Bass is running a crazy sale on current styles, including lots of BOOTS and warm clothes, including sweaters and khakis for both sexes.

The deal is 50%, plus an additional 10% off almost everything.  To help with the math, they have charts all around the store.  If shoes cost $50 originally, they are now $22.50. 

More REAL outlets- Vicky's and Chico's

If you are a Victoria's Secret fan, go to the big outlet in the Prime center.  A real outlet, you can find lingerie, yoga wear, VS cosmetics and toiletries and more.  It's like a big treasure hunt.  Today, the cosmetics were 75% off for LOTS of choices.  True to VS form, this is a service oriented outlet.  I had several women ask if they could help me...

Chico's is a favorite of working women with style. Check out the triple threat outlet, also at the Prime Outlet mall.  Chico's, according to the manager is NOT for young boys (as the name translates in Spanish) but for women.  The perfectly cut, adjustable strap (very unusual, almost like free alterations!), sexy but ok for business camisoles, will make your sweaters and jackets into outfits.  This outlet has three areas- Additions, Chico's outlet brand, plus real outlet product from the past month's catalog and Soma, the next big thing in lingerie (advertised on the Delilah show). 

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Real Outlets

From time to time, we'll cover real outlets, like the big North Face outlet in the Prime outlet mall.  North Face is a gym- size building where you will find racks of whatever is left over from the expensive retail stock in the US.  Good place for warm jackets, light jackets and backpacks.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The shiny side of Florida Mall

Popular Florida Mall has two faces.  There's the newer, shiny side, with upscale shops like Sephora and Saks Fifth Avenue plus fun features, like the M & M store and the glass enclosed surf tank in Adrelina.

For the shiny side, be sure to park near Nordstrom, Macy's or Saks, NOT by Sears, Penney's or the Food Court.

If you're hungry, head to the food court, which is huge and has lots of good spots, and the best (and worst) of American fast food at McD's and Chik FilA, which is a Southern favorite for chicken sandwiches and nuggets. The bad news is that the food court is noisy and crowded. Teens love the free samples of delicious chicken that are always available from at least 4 vendors. If you like chicken, you can make a meal out of free samples.

Also, on the shiny side of the mall, check out Williams Sonoma and Harry and David for delicious free samples. Seasonal in nature; samples are especially plentiful during the holidays.  If you like popcorn, don't miss the Moose Munch at H&D, available in Dark, Milk and Sugar-Free choco varieties.  Also in the same part of the mall, Teavana is pours expensive innovative tea combos in little tiny cups for you to try. 

Monday, September 14, 2009

Coupons! 25% off on Kenneth Cole and Guess

Attention Kenneth Cole fans. Head for the Premium outlets, near Disney, after hitting the Premium outlets webs site, where you can get a coupon for 25% off your entire purchase at the KC outlet. 

The Guess outlet , a favorite of young adult Orlando fashionistas, offers 25% off on a $100 purchase.  They have hard to find wovens and t's for leaner guys, every day. Also reasonably-priced sexy shoes and accessories for women.

If athletic shoes, accessories, shorts and T's are your thing or you just need some new stuff, there are coupons for 15% off at Reebok and at Adidas. Adidas store is not cheap but great selection of the latest styles.

Anti-designer jeans

For those of you who don't like pretension of any kind, head to the Vanity Fair outlets in Prime and Lake Buena Vista outlet malls for Wrangler and Lee jeans.  They make both brands. plus lots of others including Jansport.

Outside the Prime mall, there is a huge billboard, visible from I-4 off-ramp to the Florida turnpike.  Compliments of the VF outlet, featuring Junior (Dale Earnhardt, Jr.) in his Wranglers.  Not sure how, but NASCAR is now America's most attended sport..  Cute guy.  :)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Finally- a sunscreen that won't gross you out

Finally a sunscreen lotion that does not smell or leave a layer of white on your skin.  It's called Aveeno Continuous Protection Sunblock Lotion, SPF 55 with "active photobarrier complex".  An oil-free, non-greasy waterproof lotion that comes in an ivory tube with a gold cap, this is what we have been waiting for.  Perfect for long days in the sun.  I use it before a long car ride on sunny days...

I bought mine at Walmart. You can get it at CVS and Walgreens as well.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Ralph Lauren at Premium Outlets

Looking for a quick buy that will go with everything you already have?  Head to the Polo Ralph Lauren outlet (also on in the Prime outlet mall near Universal) for tops, from bright colored logo t-shirts to collared polos to long-sleeved wovens in the latest styles.   If you look good in vivid- colored jersey knits or you like light-colored wovens, like those found on button-down shirts, you will love this place.  Plus lots of jeans, khaki pants and skirts.

The outlet is divided into mens, women's and children's areas.  There are accessories and lots of sale racks. 

You can get a coupon for $20 off $200 purchase at the customer service desk in the food court.  It is found in a coupon book (really a brochure, not a book) that sells for $5.  Tell them you signed up on the mall's website; and they will give it to you for free.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Best Free Samples in Orlando- Dark Chocolate Brownies

Take a side trip to Winter Park for chocolate heaven.  At Not Just Cake, "Fresh Bakery and Cafe",  in Hannibal Square (on New England Avenue) across and down the street from local favorites, casual restaurant Dexter's and brunch and dinner fave, Hot Olives, you can enjoy large samples of the world's best dark chocolate brownies to your heart's content.  With a pound of chocolate and a touch of espresso in each batch, these brownies are simply amazing.  On an early morning visit, the charming owner gave me a large bag of crumbs and edges for my son to enjoy with ice cream... how nice is that?

Winter Park has great boutique shopping- Lily Pulitzer, Eileen Fisher, Douglas cosmetics, Winter Park pioneer and style-setter Tumi and lots more.  Timothy's is a fine art gallery with great jewelry and interesting pieces of glass and fine art finds. Peterbrooke chocolates on Park Ave has more free samples of choco-creations, most famously, their chocolate-covered popcorn. My favorite- the choco-covered oreos. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Cafe Kalik at Prime Outlet Center

Island- themed restaurant has great Sushi rolls.  Conch chowder was only OK, not flavorful enough.

Lots of variety on the menu, including Bahamian, Jamaican and generic "island" options.  I'll be back to try the seafood, since the sushi was so good.

Also lots of island drink options, the best thing on a hot day (every day in Orlando, right?), includes about a dozen island beers, a long list of "rhums" and a menu of mojitos, margaritas and rum punch-type things.

Btw the "Bread" basket is unique in a good way- sweet little muffins (yum), long plantain-like chips and regular chips, plus salsa, butter and honey butter.  Kids will love it.

$1 Milk Shakes

Burger King is selling small milk shakes for $1.  These are the perfect size for children or for adults looking for a no-guilt treat. 

There is a Burger King across from the Disney entrance in Lake Buena Vista.  There is one near Universal as well.

Designer Purse Update

At the Premium Outlet mall, it's Kate Spade for clean classic looks in purses and totes. Leather in a rainbow of colors as well as the microfiber KS made so popular a few years ago.  LOTS of inventory in the store, all sparkling new. Hurry- Great deals on small purses and wristlets for a perfect souvenir that doesn't take up much space in your luggage. Loved a black leather/patent wristlet with the Kate Spade name embossed quietly on the front.

There is a new Brahmin shop if you like that classic leather brand, based in Massachusetts. Great buys on bright summer colors, including hot pink. If you live in a warm clime, you can use them all year.

If you are under 30, hit Juicy Couture for a large selection of Juicy purses plus jewelry.  Also- Guess has a large purse collection, not lasting quality but the latest looks.

Gorgeous clothes at ESCADA

ESCADA, a designer label, has a brand new outlet at the Prime outlet mall.  The clothes are pricey, even at 20 to 50% off, but clearly on a higher level than most clothing available at retail in Orlando.

The fabrics, cuts and fabrications- beads, sparkles, trims- sets this line apart.  It is not for teens (head to Juicy Couture), but for women with a more evolved style.  Lots of suits, separates and lovely party dresses. A pale blue party dress displayed near the entrance with heavy beading on the bodice, front and back, was the subject of oohs and ahs from everyone who saw it.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Baccarat/Lalique...maybe not.

Don't go out of your way for the Baccarat/Lalique outlet unless you like the Lalique jewelry.  There are always major deals on jewelry.  This week, RINGS are 90% off.

Next door at Judith Ripka, you will find real deals on pretty everyday jewelry, sterling and 14k.  The most popular stones are yellow quartz, blue topaz and green quartz.

Comment please!

My faithful readers tell me that it is a bit "quirky" to comment on this blog.  Will resolve that ASAP.

Looks like only the author (me) can post, but you can "comment" at will.  Please do!

Note: when it asks for your identity, just put in your email address.  That's all it means....

Thank you for your support!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Top Perfume Samples at Nordstrom!

Nordstrom's in Florida Mall is offering generous samples of perfume.  You can get a sample of ANY perfume they carry in a small vial. Ask for more than one if you can't decide which is your favorite.

The latest perfumes include Totally Hollywood by Michael Kors, a luscious gardenia-based fragrance that is perfect for a tropical clime like Orlando or Miami, according to Nordstrom's perfume expert. Don't let the gardenia scare you (it scared me), it is only one note and it blends into a lovely dry-down. I want this one!

There is also a new version of Chanel # 5, called Eau Premiere.  It is a bit warmer, less formal, according to the experts.  It grows on you, so be sure to wear it for  a while before deciding.

Don't miss Bobby Brown's new lipstick shades on the fall promo display. Deceptively neutral, they light up your face.  Rosebud is gorgeous, like a cashmere sweater.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Good food to go, close to I-4, plus NY bakery

If you've overdosed on theme park food or are looking for a great selection of healthy food for your condo kitchen, stop at Whole Foods. By the Sand Lake Road exit on I-4 (on the other side of the highway from the world's largest McDonald's), this store has everything you need, including including wine, cheese, seafood, produce and great ready-made selections. For a quick bite, there is a huge salad bar and bakery, plus a cafe. 

If you need a bagel fix, go next door to Delish, the New York bakery.  Already one of Orlando's top bakeries after just a few months, they cook bagels to order with real NYC dough.  Stop in, order yours, go shopping at Whole Foods. Pick them up and go!  A complete selection of favorite NYC bakery items like those big cookies... and Junior's cheesecake.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

World's Only Baccarat Outlet Store Open at Prime Outlets International Orlando

The headline above was a Reuters news story last year.  The first and only Baccarat/ Lalique outlet in the world opened in the Prime Outlets in Orlando near Universal Studios in 2008.

Baccarat joins the Waterford/ Wedgwood outlet at the Prime outlets. The Waterford outlet is one of eight locations in the world where you can find discounted Waterford crystal.

Florida Mall- or not?

Mall of Milennia is fun to visit, but the locals shop at Florida mall.

On the plus side,  the area's only Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue stores are in the Florida Mall.  Saks has mostly prestige goods- purses, shoes, expensive and top quality make-up (only source for Armani line, touted by Rachel Zoe recently) and exclusive fragrances.  Also great jewelry, most, but not all expensive.

The Nordstrom store (according to a manager there) carries mostly quality American labels that are popular with visitors from overseas. It is not a "designer" store, like some other Nordstrom's (e.g- Miami). These American labels are reliably good quality and style, but not that exciting.

There are some standout departments at Nordstrom that are fun to browse - unique, top quality, reasonably priced hair accessories (barrettes, clips, etc.), costume jewelry and shoes. Also an unusually large Bobbi Brown counter and perfume department.  These impulse-buy departments are close to the mall entrance and Nordstrom's coffee cafe, so you can browse with latte in hand.  Fun.

The area's largest Sephora and MAC cosmetics stores are in Florida mall, as well as a Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Banana Republic as well as other upscale mall standbys.

Note:  the best fashion department store is Bloomingdales in Mall of Milennia.  More on Bloomies soon.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Best outlet that no one knows about-Vanity Fair

The Vanity Fair outlet is a treasure trove of quality brands for great prices. It is hidden in the Lake Buena Vista outlet mall (yes, another outlet mall!) on Route 535 near Disney.

Vanity Fair is a MANUFACTURER of many brands.  They include:  Lee | Wrangler | Jansport | Riders | Nascar | NFL | L.E.I. | Union Bay | New York & Co. | Engergie | Reef | VF Outlet | and others, including Nautica and Tommy Hilfiger women's lingerie.  Plus well known children's brands.

There are some other good outlets in that mall- OshKosh and Carter's used to get a lot of my business, then the boys grew up.  :)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Insider tip- Premium Outlet Coupons

According to the college kids who work at the Premium Outlets near Disney, the secret is to go online and print out coupons before you shop.  They say people are saving hundreds of dollars by using coupons.

The coupons are on the VIP club section of the Premium Outlets web site.  There is a coupon book as well as a list of individual store coupons.  You print them out yourself.

Wanted to mention the Oilily outlet right past the Adidas entrance in this mall. If you have grandchildren, this is a must-visit.  Very, very cute, but not silly-cute or preppy-cute, baby and toddler clothes.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Looking for WiFi?

All Barnes and Noble stores now have ATT WiFi in the cafe!  There is a Barnes and Noble on Sand Lake Road, close to the theme parks.

Panera Bread always has WiFi.  There is a new Panera Bread on the same road as the Premium Outlets near Disney.

Ebel, Lacoste and Juicy watches

For a great new watch at 20% of original prices, run to the Movado outlet at the Premium outlet mall.

In the back are two big cases of Ebel watches.  A solid 18K gold women's Ebel is marked down from $20,000 to a few thousand.  If your budget is a bit smaller, an 18k and stainless steel version of the same is marked down to $850 from $3000.

Movado makes ESQ, Juicy Couture and Lacoste watches.  The outlet has a good selection of all three plus lots of Movado- brand watches.

This outlet is close to the center of the mall and the food court.  In the food court, stop at the candy store for large free samples of candy apples and pralines.  There's a Starbucks there too.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Handbags/ Designer Purses

Looking for info on the best places to buy handbags in Orlando.

According a new book about style on a shoestring, your purse is the flashing badge of your social status the 21st century.

My large leather black and brown Brighton tote, which I love, sends all the wrong signals, i.e.- boring suburban mom.

By contrast, my more stylish faux Louis Vuitton and authentic mid-level designer purses are so big that they take up their own seat in a restaurant.  On a trip to the  mall, they become anchors... too heavy and too large!

Help, Orlando fashionistas... need some ideas.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Premium Outlets in Lake Buena Vista

OK, let's clear up the confusion. There are TWO big outlet malls on International Drive, one at each end.

The big outlet mall near Disney World in Lake Buena Vista is the Premium Outlet mall.  The even bigger outlet mall on the far end of International Drive near Universal Studios is the Prime Outlet mall.

They share some stores- both have Nike, Adidas and Reebok, Nautica, Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger- but they also have some big differences. More on the differences in another post, but if you are looking for Saks Off 5th and  Neiman Marcus, you need to go to the Prime outlets.

Near the Prime Outlet Mall, you will also find some great peripheral shopping.  In Festival Bay Mall about a 1/4 mile down the road, you'll find a BASS Sports superstore,  Ron Jon's Surf Shop,  Sheplers Western Wear and a Van's Skate Park and shop.  There's a very good pizza spot right in the center of Festival Bay, great for tired children and their parents.

Mall of Milennia

For visitors, a top shopping destination is the Mall at Milennia, Orlando's most upscale mall. Here, you'll find the only Bloomindale's and Neiman Marcus stores in the area, plus the upscale tony retailers including Tiffany's, Gucci, etc.  If you need to stock up from standbys like Victoria's Secret or Williams Sonoma, you will find them there as well, plus a huge Macy's.

Some new finds include the Rock and Republic cosmetics in the front of the Neiman Marcus store on the mall side. Try the amazing sheer blush in colors that don't look wearable but are.  At Neiman's, they still believe in service; and it shows.  You will love shopping there, and you can still find bargains.  Even if it's not on sale, it's usually worth it at Neiman's...

Bloomingdales carries hard to find YSL cosmetics. YSL Is the main reason why French women look better than we do...  Look for the "promotional" bronzer, featured in a lot of magazines this summer.  It's large enough to use for face and body; and it delivers a real-looking glow (no sparkles).  Use the application tips that were in Allure from Mally- put blush all around the edges of your face and on your neck.  Then use a true hot pink blush (not a whitish or dusty one!), like the one from Rock and Republic, high on your cheekbones after the bronzer to fake a day in the sun (technique compliments of Bobby Brown).

Bloomingdale's also has great costume jewelry clearance tables, located on the way in from the lower parking lot.  Don't miss them.

If you're hungry at the Mall at Milennia, you can stop in at local favorite Brio, for a refreshing Chardonnay and some bistro-style Italian food. It is a pretty and can be quite romantic in the afternoon... There's also a Cheesecake factory, great if you have a big group.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Best restaurant near the Prime Outlets

The best "real" restaurant near the Prime Outlets is Texas de Brazil, a Churrascaria.  For the uninitiated, this is a Brazilian- style steakhouse. The atmosphere is festive and upscale. The restaurant is expensive, but the meal includes an extensive first-course buffet that features salads and appetizers.  The main course is served by roaming waiters who appear consistently with different grilled meat offerings. Restaurant for red meat lovers only.  Chicken sightings will be infrequent; and anyone who avoids red meat will not get their money's worth. For the rest of us, it's a great restaurant for celebrating special occasions or a great vacation.

Try a new treat at Prime Outlets in Orlando

The strangest little restaurant has opened in the Prime Outlets.  It comes to us from Japan and is called, My Papa's Beard.  They serve three kinds of cream puffs and about ten flavors of rice coated ice cream balls.  And that's it.  I tried the "eclair" version of the cream puff.  You can get vanilla or chocolate cream.  With vanilla cream, the cream puff is a cool creamy treat. The outside of the puff is reminiscent of pie crust... The overall impression is that of a gourmet Boston Cream pie...   Next time, I'll try the rice ice cream.

Calypso by Christine Celle

New arrival on the upscale side of the Prime Outlets (near Off 5th by Saks Fifth Avenue) in Orlando- Calypso by Christine Celle.  There are dozens of these boutiques in ritzy areas in France, the US and the islands. The clothes look the part- comfortable, creative and artsy with interesting trims and cuts...  CC is an artist who sold her boutiques to a corporation so she could be an artist again.  This is a REAL outlet.  Today, a rack of gorgeous blue green watercolor dresses  with long scarf-like sashes dazzled shoppers.  Originally $226, the outlet price of $89 was marked down to... $19. Amazing.  Teens and their moms were shopping together here. A lovely children's line is displayed in the back.  If you are already a fan of the Calypso boutiques, the outlet carries all of the Christine Celle candles and eau de toilettes, at the regular prices.

Monday, August 24, 2009

50% off Cole Haan at Prime Outlets

If you love Cole Haan, rush to the Prime Outlets in Orlando.  The Cole Haan outlet has 50% off of everything in the store.  You don't need a coupon.

I am going today!  Hope to score a pair of Cole Haan high heels with Nike technology (originally over $300).

Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th Outlet- Savings for Back to School!

Go to this link for BIG savings at the Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th outlet (located in the Prime Outlets):

Sunday, August 23, 2009

7 for All Mankind and Lalique!

7 for all Mankind jeans are worn by your favorite celebrities and, until now, were available only at tony retailers, like Bloomingdales. 

The big news is the opening of one, and only one, 7 for All Mankind outlet store in the U.S. It is in Orlando in the Prime Outlets. 

The Prime Outlets are on I-Drive near Universal Studios.  This center is the largest of the Orlando shopping meccas.  

Prime also has the only Baccarat/ Lalique outlet in the United States.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Orlando has lots of hidden designer jean sources. I'll be updating you on the best ones, including the secret one-of-a-kind Orlando outlets, this week.

Check out the Orlando Premium Outlet Mall near Disney, where you'll find an outlet for my favorite jeans brand- Joe's Jeans.  Joe's Jeans has several great fits, clearly marked on the tag.  My favorite, the Diva fit, is curvy and very flattering. The service at this boutique-style outlet is very friendly.

You'll also find Lucky Brands and AG Adriano Goldschmied stores at the Orlando Premium Outlet Mall, plus a real Armani outlet.

A fun side trip between Disney and Unversal Studios is the Ocean Drive boutique on Sand Lake Road. It's a trendy spot with multiple brands of designer jeans and hot tops to go with them. They always have a sale rack. Plus the best selection of top quality designer replica bags (expect to pay at least $200 for an A+ replica, indistinguishable from the real thing) and accessories in Orlando!  Sand Lake Road is also known as Restaurant Row, so grab a great lunch or dinner while you are there.  If you need some caffeine, there's also a Starbuck's, a Barnes and Noble and a Panera Bread (if you need Wi-Fi, Panera has it!) nearby.

Get ready for your trip!

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