Monday, April 14, 2014

Week in Review


Work

Last week was Spring Break, so I was off all week. It was great to have a break from work. My scheduler did call twice to give me jobs and now I'm booked solid for the next two weeks.

Life

I had big plans for Spring Break. I was going to start spring cleaning. It didn't really happen. Oh well.


Thursday, I took my annual trip to the Vera Bradley Outlet Sale, which you can read about here.

Since Trish was down from Minnesota, we got together with some friends on Saturday. It was a good day of food and playing with babies. I baked snickerdoodle cupcakes and they were amazing!


On Sunday, I decided to do something productive and washed all the outside windows that I could reach. Now, I can't wait to do the rest of the windows, so we can have clear views again. We had nice spring weather, so we had the windows open. Too bad it will be down to the 30s again this week!

 How was your week?

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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunday Social - The Best


What was your best birthday?

Probably one when I was a kid and I had birthday parties. I don't really remember them. I do remember getting an awesome My Little Pony from the neighbor I had a crush on, so that one must have been pretty good.

What was your best vacation?

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Our honeymoon, hands down. 10 days in Florida, staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, hitting all the Disney parks, SeaWorld, and JFK Space Center.  I got to touch a penguin - this vacation will always win.

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What is the best date you've ever been on?

 M took me to feed giraffes when he found out they were my favorite animal. I didn't even know you could do that. He took me to Binder Park Zoo and I had so much fun.

What is the best movie (quality) you've seen?


Pride & Prejudice

The acting is great and the whole movie is just beautiful. Matthew Macfadyan is my Mr. Darcy. (Sorry, Colin Firth!) I could watch this movie every day.

What is the best TV show ending of all time?

I don't know that I've seen many TV show endings. I confess that I usually give up on the show before it ends. Usually because shows go too long and they just get ridiculous.  I did enjoy the Psych ending though.


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Friday, April 11, 2014

My Experience at the 2014 Vera Bradley Outlet Sale



Yesterday was my day to shop at the Vera Bradley Outlet Sale. I'm sad it's over and already counting down to next year!

I wanted to share with you a few notes about my experience and some pictures I took along the way. I shopped with my best friend Tricia and our moms. We are all veteran VBOS shoppers.

We arrived at the Coliseum  about an hour before our 11:00 session. We ended up being at the front of Line 2 which meant we were led upstairs to wait. I was disappointed not to be in Line 1, but happy we were at the front of Line 2.

We ended up sitting down to wait and looked over the map. The wait didn't seem to be very long. The hardest part was waiting after 11:00. I think we lost about 20 minutes from our shopping time. Frustrating, but I still felt that I had enough time to shop.

Once in the sale, I headed straight for the purse I wanted and then the lanyards which were nearby. I then tried to head to the lunch bags, but they were not where the map said they were located. I ended up just walking up and down the aisles and grabbing whatever caught my eye.


We were smart and designated a meeting spot this year. I sorted through my bag and ended up putting a few things back after doing some math and some thinking. This year, I think I did a good job of finding things I liked and not grabbing a lot of extra stuff.

We really used our time in the session and didn't end up heading to the check out until just before 1:30. The line was long, but it actually moved very quickly. We never really stood in one spot for long. The gentleman that rang up our purchases was super friendly.

Things I Liked This Year
  • The friendly workers! Almost everyone I interacted with was very friendly and nice. 
  • Markdowns! Last year, I felt like there weren't very many markdowns. This year, there were several and they announced them frequently. 
Things I Didn't Like This Year
  • Strollers! Way too many strollers again. Our session was sold out and very crowded once everybody was in.  Dodging people was hard enough. Dodging strollers is impossible. Plus, I'm always worried somebody is going to get hurt.
  • Pattern selection was hit and miss. Last year it felt like there were a lot of the newer patterns and this year felt like it was mostly just the already retired patterns. There was quite a bit of the Canterberry patterns. I love Ribbons and was hoping to score some items in that pattern, but nothing that I bought had it available. 
  • Prices were hit and miss as well. Some things were great deals, some things were decent deals, and some things are just bad deals. The Tech Cases, Cosmetics, and various Wallets are not good deals.  They are decent sale prices, but not what I consider "outlet" prices. 
  • Things were not where the map said they were. As I said, the lunch bags were not in the location printed on the map. I ended up wandering around looking for them. There were several other items not located correctly according to the map. Also, I saw the Tumblers in 3 different spots.  
  • No prices on the shopping guide. Finding the right sign for products was sometimes tricky with the crowds and I always have a hard time remembering things. The price scanners were helpful, but with no prices on the guide, it meant that everybody wanted to use the scanners. You had to fight the crowd to get a chance to scan your item.
Here's what I bought...


Vera in Olivia Pink
Glenna in Olivia Pink
Lunch Sack in Go Wild
Mini Notebook in Go Wild
Colorful Hair Clips in Go Wild
Flip Flops in Go Wild
Lanyard in Cupcakes Green
All in One Wristlet in Island Blooms


Here's what my mom bought...


Tablet Tote in Ribbons
Mandy in Ribbons
Coin Purse in Lilli Bell

What did I put back? As you might remember from my Wish List, I wanted a Tumbler. They were at the sale for $9.99. I was willing to pay that price and picked one up in Go Wild. Ultimately, I decided that I really wanted one in Ribbons and to just wait. 

I picked up Clip Zip IDs in Go Wild and Island Blooms because I need something to hold my ID for my summer camp job so I don't have to carry a purse. I decided to go with the All in One Wristlet instead because it will also hold my phone.

My mom originally picked up the Vera I got because she was considering a few different bags. She ended up with the Tablet Tote and I decided I wanted the Vera, so instead of going in the reject bin, it went in my bag! And now I'll be sporting a new teaching bag after spring break.

After shopping, we had lunch and then headed over the Vera Bradley store at Jefferson Pointe. I really wanted to check out the new beach stuff that came out yesterday. That turned out to be a bad idea, because I ended up falling in love with all the new giraffe items as well as the new necklaces. Hopefully, I can score them at next year's sale!


We had a great day of shopping and I can't wait for next year's sale!

Have any questions about the Outlet Sale or Vera Bradley? Feel free to ask them in the comments or over on the Argyle Love Facebook page.

What did you get at the Vera Bradley Outlet Sale?


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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Week in Review




Work

Last week was the week before Spring Break, so I didn't really think I'd work much. I did end up doing 2 half days. One day was in kindergarten and one day was 2nd grade. Since it was the week before Spring Break, the kids were squirrely and I think everybody was ready for a week away.

Because we have missed so many days of school thanks to the polar vortex, we have many days to make up. The state said that schools could add an hour to the day and every six days would equal one day made up. As a result, we will be adding one hour to every day after spring break until school gets out in June. This will allow us to get out on June 4 instead of June 11.

It is going to be interesting going to school for 8 hours. We're starting a little earlier and ending a little later. I'm sure we'll all need some adjustment time. Luckily, the school did agree to pay subs more, so it's worth it for me. And I'm already booked for the next 2 weeks of school with full days, every day. It's going to be interesting for sure!

Life

I've been preparing for the Vera Bradley Outlet Sale. My day to shop is tomorrow and I'm so excited! I'll be sure to post about my experience on Friday.

Lent is still going well. I'd be lying if I said I don't miss chocolate though. I made a batch of Rice Krispies treats over the weekend and they are not going to last long. I have no willpower with those things!

I'm also fighting off a little spring cold. I'm sure I have the munchkins to thank for that. I'm sure my allergies will be kicking in soon now that spring weather is here.

How was your week?
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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sunday Social - Twitter


When did you join twitter? 

 February 2009

Who is your favorite non-celeb to follow? 

Hmm, I really don't think about having favorites...probably my friends and some of the Weddingbee tweeps.

What Kate Wore is great for Duchess of Cambridge news as it happens.

Who is your favorite celeb to follow?

I like following the people who work on Doctor Who & Sherlock b/c sometimes I get to witness some really funny conversations.

The Bloggess is also good to follow.

Also, Alton Brown is awesome. He answers questions and gives cooking advice.

Have you ever had a celeb respond to a tweet? 

Not a celeb, but Vera Bradley and Weddingbee have retweeted me. 

What is your favorite store/brand to follow?

I like following Vera Bradley to get info on new products and I've been lucky enough to win a Twitter giveaway from them. 

Give us three tweeps we should be following.

Well, me, obviously - @Jenn1682

My best friend, Tricia - @EverydayTrish

Alton Brown - @altonbrown

The Bloggess - @TheBloggess


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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Vera Bradley Outlet Sale 2014 Wishlist



As I said yesterday, I'm making my trip to the annual Vera Bradley Outlet Sale next week. The sale is crowded and chaotic, so it helps to go prepared. I like to make a wishlist of items to look for first before I attempt to browse the rest of the sale.

Today, I'm sharing with you my Vera Bradley Outlet Sale wishlist.


Vera Bradley Glenna


Last year, I picked up a Glenna in Island Blooms and I carried it all summer. I really love this purse. It's a great size to hold everything I like to carry and has plenty of pockets inside and out. I'm hoping to get one in Ribbons.

Lanyard


I wear a lanyard everyday at work in both my school year job and my summer job. I'd like to pick up another one for some variety. Again, I'm hoping for Ribbons, but I won't be too picky with this one.



Lunch Sack



My old Vera Bradley lunch bag is too small and since I take my lunch to work all the time, I really need a new one. I think this style is the best for my needs, but I'll probably take a look at all of the styles available. Again, Ribbons is my preferred pattern, but as long as it's not something really ugly, I probably won't be very picky.

Flip Flops


Two years ago, I was able to find a pair of flip flops in my size and a pattern I liked. Last year, my size was nearly impossible to find. I'm not holding my breath that I'll find some this year, but I'll try.

Tumbler


Since the tumblers came out last year, I'm not even sure they'll be at the Outlet Sale, but if they are, I'd like to get one. I drink water all day out of tumblers, so I'd love to have a Vera Bradley one.

Of course, I have other items I'm interested in getting, but unless the price is right, they aren't as important as these items. Check out my wishlist on Pinterest to see more of what I'm wishing for!

My shopping buddy, Trish, shared her wishlist for the sale too and be sure to check out her Pinterest board as well!

What's on your Vera Bradley wishlist?

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This is not a sponsored post, but it does contain affiliate links which means that if you click on one of the product links, I'll receive a very small amount of compensation. (Which I will then use to buy more Vera Bradley.)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Tips for the 2014 Vera Bradley Outlet Sale


The Vera Bradley event of the year is next week and I cannot wait! The Annual Vera Bradley Outlet sale is held every year in Fort Wayne, Indiana. It's an arena full of handbags and accessories all at a discount price. For me, it's just as good as Christmas!

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Basically, once you enter, you grab a big plastic bag and a price sheet and then it's time to shop! My plan is to grab anything I think I might want and stuff it in my bag. Then, when I've browsed everything, I find a spot and sort through what's in my bag. Rejected items are placed in nearby boxes and carts to be restocked by Vera workers.

After making my decisions and any final sweeps around the arena, it's time to pay! There are always tons of registers and the lines move pretty quickly.

To prepare for the sale, I try to make a list of styles I want to look at the most. These are the items that I will head to first before taking some time to mosey through the rest of the sale. I'll share my wishlist for the sale tomorrow, so come back to check it out!

Just about every current and retired style of bags and accessories will be at the sale. What's unknown is exactly which patterns will be available. Based on what I've seen at previous years' sales, I can usually make a pretty good prediction of what I'll see. I try to identify which patterns I would most like prior to the sale. This is especially helpful if you are attending the sale with a group. Your friends can help by grabbing things in the pattern you want if you want to split up to shop and then meet back up to sort. (Of course, you'll help out your friends by grabbing what they want.)

I've found that the patterns are mostly ones that have been retired since the previous year's sale as well as some that are going to be retired after the sale. These are often the colors listed as "sale" on the Vera Bradley website

So, what colors do I expect to see at the Sale? I usually say it's a good bet we'll see plenty of the patterns that have been retired since the last sale, but at last year's sale, there were lots of new patterns available, so it's really anyone's guess. However, I would not set my hopes on a getting a new pattern and instead be pleasantly surprised if they're available this year.  I believe that most of the available patterns will be retired patterns.

Starting with the colors most recently retired..

Sun Valley
Lilli Bell
Cocoa Moss
Lola
Then, those retired last November...

Va Va Bloom
Indigo Pop
Go Wild
Marina Paisley
La Neon Rose
And the patterns that were retired last August...

Suzani
Island Blooms
Canyon
Dogwood
English Rose
And I'm sure we'll see some of the colors that were retired just after last year's sale...

Summer Cottage

Paisley Meets Plaid
Provencal
Portobello Road
Lime's Up

As in previous years, there will also be older patterns available in select styles, but it's tough to predict just what exactly will be available. For example, I've been seeing Night Owl every year since 2010. Your best bet is to look over the Sale section of the Vera Bradley website to get an idea.

Retired styles are usually available in all patterns that they were made. Theoretically, you could find a bag in a Spring 2014 or Summer 2014 pattern, but I've found that anything that new tends to disappear fast. Your best bet of scoring those will happen in the first few sessions on Wednesday. I'd love to snag something in Flutterby or Flower Shower!

So, what about prices? Exact prices won't be known until the sale opens, but looking at previous years' prices can give you an idea of what to expect. Keep in mind, that beginning the second day of the sale, prices may start dropping. Just a few on the second day, then more as the sale goes on.Just keep in mind, the later in the sale you go, the less selection you may have to choose from. I value selection over price, so the second day works well for me.

Here are some links to previous years' prices
2013 Prices

EDIT: Apparently, the links I had, don't work anymore. And I was curious, so I made a chart to show the prices that I found and how they compare over the past few years. 

Vera Bradley Outlet Sale Price Comparison

This will be my 7th Vera Bradley Outlet Sale and I've picked up a few tips along the way.
  • Use a crossbody handbag or a smaller purse. It gets crowded in the arena as you can see from the pictures and believe me, you'll want your hands free to shop!
  • Wear comfortable clothing and shoes. You're going to be on your feet the whole time. Don't wear flip flops or you risk having your foot stepped on.
  • Last year, several readers suggested using a tote or larger bag to hold their shopping. I was buying a tote for my mother-in-law, so I stuffed my other shopping in it and it was awesome. It was much easier to carry than the plastic bag you are given. If you are not going to purchase the tote you use, I would suggest making sure you use one that is well stocked so that you don't take away somebody else's chance at getting that bag.  There are boxes at the registers to put back items you do not want to purchase.
  • Bring your registration and your ID. There are usually computers set up to print off your registration, but you'll have to wait in line. Save time and do it before you arrive. You will not be able to purchase anything without your ID, so make sure you have it!
  • Please don't bring children! There is no way I'd bring a kid to the sale. It's crowded and you won't enjoy yourself if you have to worry about keeping your child with you at all times. I'm going with my best friend, Tricia, and she is leaving her adorable baby at home. He's a great shopper, but she knows that the Outlet Sale is no place for a baby. I'm so glad I have responsible friends who value the safety of their children.

This is not the mall, do not bring a stroller! You will only annoy everyone else and your baby really doesn't belong. If I couldn't get a babysitter, I wouldn't go to the sale. I really cannot stress this one enough. Last year, there were tons of strollers and I even saw a double stroller. It is very crowded in the sale and at times, impossible for an adult to just walk through the crowd. A stroller will only make your shopping experience unenjoyable and unsafe.

Don't forget to like the Argyle Love Facebook page and follow me on Twitter and Instagram. I'll try to tweet from the sale and hopefully share some pictures too. Also, follow my friend Trish on her Twitter and Instagram. We're shopping together and I'm sure she'll have things to share too!

And finally, remember to have fun! Score some great deals and enjoy being in the company of other Vera Bradley lovers.

Any questions? Leave them in a comment below and I'll try to answer them!

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