Back To School Shopping Time! Win a $50 gift card to Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores!

ConverseLBV20121102-160It’s almost August, and you know what that means: school bells will be ringing soon, and so will cash registers during back to school shopping. The Florida Sales Tax Holiday is August 1-3, so plan now to take advantage of that. I’ll be sharing Florida’s best shopping deals throughout this ultimate shopping week.

I definitely plan to load up my two teenagers and head to Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores, where shopping is hassle-free and you can find factory-direct premium quality merchandise at savings up to 75% off (and sometimes more). Plus, there’s easy store front parking.

Here’s your chance to win a $50 gift certificate to the mall, where you can select merchandise at over 50 spacious outlet shops and get great deals at the area’s only Old Navy outlet store, newcomer U.S. Polo Assn., newly renovated Nike, OshKosh B’Gosh and Tommy Hilfiger Stores, plus other well-known outlets including VF Outlet for uniforms, G by GUESS, Justice, Carter’s, Crocs, Calvin Klein, Levi’s®, Aeropostale, Converse, Famous Footwear Outlet, Fossil, Gap, Izod, Rack Room Shoes, and many more. Don’t forget to stop by and treat yourself at Lindt Chocolate, too!

 Even if you don’t win, you can get in on the savings by downloading a coupon from the Center’s website, then bringing it to Travelpro at the Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores to receive a coupon booklet valued up to $400 in savings. Many stores offer additional savings from 20-40% off to “Friends & Family.”  Savvy discount shoppers can learn about these discounts, as well as specific stores and their hours by following the center on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest, as well as visiting www.lbvfs.com.

VF Outlet Back to School 2014

Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores is located just one mile from Walt Disney World at 15657 S. Apopka Vineland Road (State Road 535), Orlando, FL 32821-6316, and two miles south of I-4, Exit 68. Stores are open Monday-Saturday, 10am-9pm, and 10am-7pm on Sunday.  Let the school bells ring!

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Springtime Savings In Orlando… Win a $50 gift card to Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores!

MC910217033.pngI love spring shopping in Orlando! It’s the perfect time to update my wardrobe with bright colors and new styles for Easter, beach trips, and Disney Days. You know I can’t stand to pay full price so whenever it’s time for a big shopping trip I take the family to Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores.  Unlike the other outlet malls around here, this mall has easy store-front parking, so I can pop into the stores I want to visit without schlepping bags for miles.  

SONY DSCThe mall gets even more merry with the 17th Annual Spring Festival on Saturday, April 12th. It’s a FREE festival for the entire family, including character appearances by Mayor Clayton and Ms. Merry, rabbits from Give Kids the World Village; and superheroes from Heroes Alliance. You’ll also enjoy a farmers market, crafts, face painting, balloon sculpting, games and an awesome sidewalk sale.

Plus, the center is selling raffle tickets for a chance to win more than $6,000 in great prizes including attraction tickets, hotels stays, store gifts and gift cards. One hundred percent of raffle ticket sales benefit Give Kids the World.  Give Kids the World is an amazing village here in Orlando where kids with life-threatening illnesses can join their families for a dream Disney vacation. 

Here’s your chance to win a $50 gift certificate to the mall, where you can select merchandise at over 50 spacious outlet shops and get great deals at the area’s only Old Navy outlet store, Lindt Chocolate, newly renovated Nike, OshKosh B’Gosh and Tommy Hilfiger Stores, plus other popular outlets including G by GUESS, Justice, Carter’s, Crocs, Calvin Klein, Converse,  Fossil, and The Gap.

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LBV20121102-102 (1)Even if you don’t win, you can get in on the savings by downloading a coupon from the Center’s website, then bringing it to Travelpro at the Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores to receive a coupon booklet valued up to $400 in savings. Many stores offer additional savings from 20-40% off to “Friends & Family.”  Savvy discount shoppers can learn about these discounts, as well as specific stores and their hours by following the center on Facebook and Twitter, as well as visitingwww.lbvfs.com. Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores is located just one mile from Walt Disney World at 15657 S. Apopka Vineland Road (State Road 535), Orlando, FL 32821-6316, and two miles south of I-4, Exit 68. Stores are open Monday-Saturday, 10am-9pm, and 10am-7pm on Sunday.

Ross Stores $25 Gift Card Giveaway – Try Out Their New Lake Mary Florida Store!

My favorite dress of all time- a silk leopard number I purchased at Ross!

My favorite dress of all time- a silk leopard number I purchased at Ross!

Designer discount retailer Ross Dress for Less will be opening TWO brand new stores in Orlando and Lake Mary on Saturday, March 8, just in time to find all your spring wardrobe essentials! At 20-60% off department store prices, Ross is my favorite source to find all of my favorite brands for less.

Here is the address of the new stores:

Southchase Village
12339 South Orange Blossom
Orlando, FL 32827

Lake Mary Center
3765 Lake Emma Road
Lake Mary, FL 32746

I’m excited to check out these new stores this Saturday, and I’m offering a $25 Ross giftcard so that you can shop there too!

Check out my article sharing all the things I love about Ross: http://sunshinestateshopping.com/?p=440

Here are the entry details:

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See’s Candies Giveaway! Sample See’s at Florida Mall and Altamonte Springs Mall for the Holidays!

sees-candies-nuts-chewsI’ve been a See’s Candies fanatic since I was a little girl.  My mom is from California, where See’s is based, and it is her favorite kind of chocolate.  When I was growing up, family would visit from California and bring us boxes of See’s chocolates, and we would savor every bite.  See’s is usually only available by mail order in Florida, but that changes during the holidays.

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Shoppers in the Orlando area can now visit malls in Orlando and Altamonte Springs to pick up their favorite treats at See’s holiday gift centers. Between peanut brittle, scotchmallow and the famous See’s lollypops See’s Candies has something for everyone on your holiday list this year.  And here’s a little tip- make sure to stop by the See’s kiosk at the mall- they give out FULL SIZE lollypops and candies as samples, so everyone can discover their amazing flavors.

seesI’m so happy to be offering a See’s gift card giveaway  for my readers. American-made and famous for deliciousness, See’s never adds preservatives to its candy and all candy is made from scratch with quality ingredients. In addition to See’s traditional products, Christmas boxes and assortments will be available to holiday shoppers. And I’m giving away FOUR $5 gift cards so some of my lucky readers can try See’s for themselves!

Enter the Giveaway Here:

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See’s Candies provided me with the gift cards for this giveaway.

Good Luck and Happy Holidays from Sunshine State Shopping and See’s!

Simplify Your Holiday Shopping with Florida In-Store Pickup!

searsblog1 The holidays seem to be busiest time of the year. Between shopping, untangling lights, wrapping (or unwrapping) and baking dozens of cookies, your regular life doesn’t press pause. You can only read so many articles on ‘holiday hacks’ before you realize that unlike the miracle of Santa getting down a chimney, there is no Christmas miracle for making the holidays less busy.

You can, however, find little ways to relieve the stress and smile more. One way I’ve found is using free in store pickup for your holiday shopping. Both Sears and Kmart offer free in store pickup, letting you shop thousands of gifts online in the comfort of your own home before picking up your items in store in 5 minutes guaranteed (or whenever you’re ready).

With in store pickup you’ll avoid lines, busy stores and the wasted time of walking down every aisle. The bow on top: You can have a friend or relative pick up your order and pay in store with cash, if you prefer. Now it’s no question that you should try free in store pickup at Sears or Kmart but there’s now a question of, what will you do with more free time over the holidays?kmartblog1

A few ideas include: volunteering at a shelter, making gingerbread houses with the kids or simply putting your feet up and enjoying the view of the Christmas tree. Learn more at Sears: http://bit.ly/HL896t and Kmart: http://kmrt.us/1bmIoRk

Presented by Mami Innovative Media, this is a sponsored post on behalf of Sears and Kmart. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Win a $25 gift card to Perfume Smart at Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores!

The holidays are upon us! I don’t know about you, but I’m looking for great deals to stretch my budget this season, and outlet shopping is my perfect solution.

LBV20121102-187That’s why I plan to head out to Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores, where holiday shopping is hassle-free and you can find factory-direct premium quality merchandise at savings up to 75% off (and sometimes more). Plus, unlike the other outlet malls, there’s easy store front parking and a head start on gift-buying with most of the center’s retailers open on Thanksgiving Day, 10a-6pm, and select stores open for Black Friday Midnight Madness, November 29, Midnight-9:30pm.

LBVFS ShoppersMany stores offer additional savings from 20-40% off to “Friends & Family” starting two weeks prior to Black Friday.  Learn about these discounts, as well as specific stores and their hours through the holiday season, by following the center on Facebook and Twitter,

The village-style center offers 50 spacious outlet shops and great deals at the area’s only Old Navy and G by GUESS outlet stores, newcomers U.S. Polo Assn. and Lindt Chocolate, newly renovated OshKosh B’Gosh and Tommy Hilfiger Stores, plus other well-known outlets including Justice, Crocs, Calvin Klein, Levi’s®, Aeropostale, Carters, Converse, Famous Footwear Outlet, Fossil, Gap, Izod, Nike, Rack Room Shoes, and many more.

Here’s your chance to win a $25 gift card to Perfume Smart, where shoppers can select from over 1,000 brands of discounted designer perfumes and fragrances, including Prada, Robert Cavalli, Chanel, Calvin Klein and more.

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 You can get in on the savings by downloading a coupon from the Center’s website, then bringing it to Travelpro at the Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores to receive a coupon booklet valued up to $400 in savings. The Center is located at 15657 S. Apopka Vineland Rd. (SR 535), Orlando, FL  32821.

Happy shopping!

 

Where To Buy… Wear To Work Clothing For Less!

Style Context blogger Diane Taha

Style Context blogger Diane Taha

Diane Taha of Style Context shares where to find the best work outfits at the lowest prices…

Hello lovely readers! I’m excited to write a guest post today on Sunshine State Shopping. I know Sunshine from UCF where I attended school and subsequently taught communication. Like Sunshine, I love communication and…shopping, especially for good deals, which is what I’m going to discuss today. As much as I love fashion, I avoid purchasing most things at regular price.

Premium Outlets Orlando

 

That’s why the Orlando Premium Outlets is one of my go-to places to shop for high end brands on a budget. If you’ve ever been to the Orlando Premium Outlets you know how expansive and overwhelming it can feel.

For this post I’m going to focus on the best places to shop for your 9-to-5 workday for top brands on a budget. When it comes to work clothes, the following stores run the gamut of business casual to business professional.

As with most things, I personally prefer to incorporate color into my work wardrobe; even with monochrome, I’ll insist on adding a pop of color to brighten an outfit. These stores are great for finding colorful work wear that puts standard office attire to shame.

1. BCBG Max Azria

If you’re looking for pencil skirts, trousers, ruffled blouses, or a sweater dress (hey, it gets chilly in Florida between December-February), this is your go-to store for catching up on the classics, basics, and trends.

2. Elie Tahari

I have yet to find another brand that consistently designs affordable, flattering sheath dresses for the everyday career woman. The sheath dress is a fun, efficient alternative to other work wear outfits.

banana13. J. Crew

By far my most favorite thing about J.Crew is jewelry, which is strange considering it’s not a jewelry store. This is where I like to scope out the latest statement necklaces to add to my wardrobe. I like to go for a piece that will adds a pop of color to my wardrobe or that is versatile enough to complement most outfits.

southoutlet1144. Tory Burch

Tory Burch is most famously known for her Reva ballet flat, but one thing I always find myself coveting when I’m in the store are the immaculate collarless tweed jackets that come in multiple colors. The jackets are a refreshing, feminine alternative to the conventional lapel blazers that roam the workplace.

5. Diane von Furstenberg

You may be familiar with Diane von Furstenberg for her quintessential wrap dress that revolutionized the way women dressed in the office in the 1970s. The wrap dress is still a staple today, and while it is more comfortable than the sheath dress, it’s no less professional or chic.

Where are your favorite places to shop for high end work clothes on a budget? Let me know in the comments or catch up with me on Style Context where I blog about fashion, beauty, and blogging tips. You can also tweet me on Twitter.

Shopper’s Guide to the 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Epcot Food and Wine Festival t-shirtDisney World’s Epcot Food and Wine Festival draws foodies by the thousands every fall, and for good reason.  It’s a dream come true for lovers of food, wine, and beer.  Unique menu items are offered from dozens of countries around the world, and Epcot’s a beautiful place to explore, stroll, and enjoy.  

In addition to great food, the event offers a chance to buy exclusive merchandise.  Whether you’re seeking to fill up your liquor cabinet, recreate favorite dishes, or just have a token to remember the event for years to come, Epcot has you covered.

Epcot Food and Wine Festival 2013

Epcot Food and Wine Festival 2013

There are several shopping areas throughout Epcot where you can pick up Food and Wine Festival items.  

When you first enter the Festival from Future World, you’ll see the Port of Entry shopping area.  This shop has a selection of food items, beer and wine accessories, and Festival-themed clothing.  

epcotfw7Some of the coolest stuff is right across from the Scotland booth in a little open-air shop. This shop has some exclusive items not available anywhere else in the festival, including the new-this-year Mason Jar glasses with the event logo.  

Rinse bath and body wine soapAdjoining this mini shop is the very fun Rinse Bath and Body shop.  They have beer and wine scented soaps and luxurious handmade body lotions, balms, and oils, with delicious kitchen-inspired scents.

Inside the Festival Center there are four different shopping areas.  The Art of Food & Wine offers prints and original artwork featuring Disney characters enjoying food and wine. They also have potholders and kitchen decor items featuring Disney food-related artwork.  You’ll even find cookbooks and goodies from the chefs who’ll be cooking up demonstrations at the festival.epcotfw5

epcotfw10The Festival Wine Shop gives guests an opportunity to choose from a prestigious selection of wine, spirits, and beer.  For home chefs, The Stockpot Shop displays cooking tools and products, many with inventive prints of Disney characters.  

And while you’re there, don’t forget to visit The Chocolate Experience: From Bean to the Bar, hosted by Ghirardelli® Chocolate Company. They have FREE chocolate samples, and sell special wines that pair well with chocolate.  I’m so glad I stopped by this shop, because I discovered the yummy Rosa Regale sparkling wine, and now I have a new favorite dessert wine!  

epcotfwFor me, half the fun of visiting Epcot is the shopping, and it’s even more fun now that the Food and Wine Festival is going on. For tons of fun foodie finds, make sure to take a look at all of the shops while you’re there, and let me know what YOU choose to bring home to remember the festival!

 

My Designer Discount Shopping Florida Fave: Ross Dress For Less!

Readers of my blog know that I can’t stand paying full price.  My policy is that an item must be on sale for 75% to 90% off retail for me to purchase it.  I often shop at malls and check out the department stores and boutiques to try on the latest fashions, but I only buy at a mall when there’s a BIG sale.  My favorite kinds of sales are when stores offer an additional % off already marked down prices.

That kind of sale is hard to find at a mall, so I do most of my shopping at off-price stores like Marshalls, TJMaxx, and my favorite, Ross Dress for Less.  We have LOTS Of Ross stores here in Florida, and they’ve been opening up a lot of new stores lately.  They’re usually found in strip malls next to major shopping malls, and are always worth the trip. Want to see what kinds of awesome things you can find at Ross?  All of these photos show my family and me wearing or using items that I purchased at Ross over the years.

I’ve found that prices at Ross are usually at least 10% cheaper for the same items compared to Marshalls and TJMaxx.  Ross is my go-to for things like undershirts, dress shirts, and ties for my husband.  I also learned from a good friend of mine who is a professional chef that Ross has the highest quality housewares of the off-price stores.  She’s right- after she told me that I started looking and have found lots of nice pieces for baking, cooking, and entertaining from major companies at miniscule prices.

But let’s be honest- what keeps me coming to Ross is two things that I LOVE to shop for:  shoes and dresses.  The shoe selection is incredible, with super-low prices that make a pair of new shoes feel less like a splurge and more like a smart decision.  I find at least 50% of the dresses I wear on a daily basis to teach at the university at Ross.  They have lots of high quality designer sheath dresses and beautiful fun summery dresses that are perfect for Florida.  I always check the Clearance rack and have found amazing dresses there for under $10.  I love the treasure hunt shopping aspect of Ross, and now I’d like to share it with my readers by giving away a $25 Ross gift card!!

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Good luck readers! I look forward to announcing the winner and sending their prize!  PLEASE NOTE:  I received a $25 gift card for myself and for the contest winner from Ross Dress For Less.

IKEA 2014 Catalog Launch Review and Giveaway

Sunshine from Sunshine State Shopping at the IKEA Blogger Event

Sunshine from Sunshine State Shopping at the IKEA Blogger Event

I recently attended a blogger event at IKEA Orlando, right next door to the Millenia Mall, where I was among the first to receive their new 2014 Catalog. I am a huge IKEA shopper but never realized that the catalog was such a big deal! Did you know that IKEA spends over 70% of their marketing budget on their catalog? Many people can’t get to IKEA stores, so the catalog is a way for shoppers worldwide to experience IKEA’s innovative, affordable, and smart product line.

IKEA Shopkeepers share the kid-friendly vision.

IKEA Shopkeepers share the kid-friendly vision.

IKEA invited a group of Orlando bloggers to share their new corporate vision. IKEA wants to be “the most family friendly company in the world.” An honorable aspiration, in my book! The focus of their design in every room of the house is now “Living With Children.” IKEA recognizes the impact of kids on every room in the house, and has created solutions to make life with kids colorful, functional, and FUN!

IKEA designers explain the home visit design process.

IKEA designers explain the home visit design process.

One of my favorite things about IKEA stores is the showrooms that are set up to show how real families can live. They have three awesome new room setups, each representing a different family type. Each IKEA store gets to design their own showrooms based on the families living in the local area. The IKEA designers in Orlando chose to visit 15 family homes in our local market, to see how people really live, and what types of challenges they face. The main issue here in Orlando is lots of STUFF!

IKEA Family Room layout for a large family with multiple ages of kids

IKEA Family Room layout for a large family with multiple ages of kids

People’s closets and garages were overflowing, and there was too much stuff everywhere with no where to put it. The designers dealt with this by creating multiple places to keep things, especially toys. They also created attractive open spaces for creativity, like art tables in the kitchen, where art supplies could be left out to encourage kids to keep creating.

IKEA girl's living room

IKEA girl’s living room

This pink and white living area depicts the life of a single mom living in an apartment with one six year old daughter. Toys and art supplies are organized at kid-friendly levels so little ones can clean up after themselves when playtime is through.

IKEA Family room for teens

IKEA Family room for teens

This one is for a family with teenagers, and the large modular couches and footstools can be turned different ways to focus on gaming equipment or conversation. They accented the gray and white with cool red cabinets to store all of the video game equipment. I love the sleek look and the versatility!

IKEA Kitchen for large family

IKEA Kitchen for large family

This large kitchen and family room is for a family with kids of varying ages. There’s plenty of different types of seating and many places to hang out. It allows adults and kids to do their own activities while sharing the same space.

I learned three very cool things during my visit to IKEA.

IKEA 2014 catalog #IKEACATALOVE

IKEA 2014 catalog #IKEACATALOVE

First, the name IKEA is actually an acronym for the name of the founder and the farm and village in Sweden where he grew up. IKEA stands for Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd. Who knew?

Lowest prices on EVERYTHING at IKEA

Lowest prices on EVERYTHING at IKEA

Second, I learned that IKEA absolutely guarantees the lowest price on EVERYTHING they sell. If you tell a manager that you’ve found a lower price on anything, they have to change it. They even changed the price of their hot dogs in the restaurant from 50 cents to 25 cents when they found out a gas station across town was selling them for that price!

IKEA Crayfish party!

IKEA Crayfish party!

Third, I was surprised to find out that crayfish are a HUGE deal in Sweden. Every August, villages in Sweden hold huge crayfish festivals where the entire town gathers to each crayfish cooked in butter, beer, and schnapps. IKEA stores all honor this tradition by holding a crayfish festival, the one in Orlando is on Friday, August 16. Check out this link for all the details. I hope you’ve enjoyed learning all about what’s going on at IKEA this Fall. IKEA is offering a $100 IKEA gift card to one lucky blog reader, here are the details on how to enter:

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*Note:  I received free products from IKEA at their blogger event. This review is my honest opinion based upon my experience at IKEA.

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