Friday, March 30, 2012

Tips for the 2012 Vera Bradley Outlet Sale

The Vera Bradley event of the year is approaching and if you're like me, you know it's not to be missed! 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!

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. This year I want a new Stephanie (or two since the style is retired) and a new Turn Lock Wallet.

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'd say it's a good bet we'll see plenty of the patterns that have been retired since the last sale.

Starting with the patterns that will be retired in March. (All pattern swatches from the Vera Bradley website.)

Blue Lagoon
Lemon Parfait
Then, those retired last November.

English Meadow
Twirly Birds Pink
Night & Day
And the patterns that were retired last September.

Twirly Birds Navy
Hello Dahlia!
Slate Blooms
I think we'll also see patterns that were retired just after last year's sale.

Simply Violet
Call Me Coral
Make Me Blush
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. Your best bet is to look over the Sale section of the Vera Bradley website to get an idea.

I'm sure we'll also see the next patterns to be retired...

Safari Sunset

Viva la Vera

Deco Daisy
Retired styles are usually available in all patterns that they were made. Theoretically, you could find a bag in a Winter 2011 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 score something in Island Blooms, though!

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 start dropping. Just a few on the second day, then more as the sale goes on. I usually go on the second day of the sale and find good deals. Just keep in mind, the later in the sale you go, the less selection you will 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 thanks to the great website Discount Fabric Handbags.
2011 Prices
2010 Prices
2009 Prices

This will be my fifth 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.
  • 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.
 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.

Don't forget to like the Argyle Love Facebook page and follow me on Twitter. I'll be tweeting from the sale and hopefully sharing some pictures too.

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

Are you going to this year's sale?


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Honeymoon Day 11

Sadly, today was our last day of our honeymoon. It was time to check out of the Animal Kingdom Lodge and fly back home. But not just yet! Since I didn't want to get up early and be at the airport in the morning, we weren't scheduled to leave until the afternoon. So, we had some time to kill.

And what better way to kill time than to have a fabulous breakfast? Since I knew we weren't leaving until the afternoon when I made our dining reservations, I got us a breakfast reservation for our last day. I booked us the 'Ohana's Best Friend Breakfast at the Polynesian Resort.

I did this for three reasons: 1. It looked tasty. 2. It features some of my favorite characters. 3. The Polynesian was my second choice of the Deluxe resorts and I wanted to check it out.

So, we finished packing our things and checked out of the Animal Kingdom Lodge and then drove over to the Polynesian. Unlike at the Crystal Palace, our reservation was about halfway through their breakfast service. We checked in at the restaurant and then explored the area around the restaurant while we waited. The restaurants at the Polynesian are actually on the second floor because that's where the monorail picks up and drops off guests.

Apparently, if you're celebrating something, you're supposed to get leis, but we didn't get them even though I had noted on our reservation that it was our honeymoon. I'd also read that they took your pictures before they take you to your table and then later try to sell you the picture, but we never had our picture taken. I can't remember if we were asked or not.

Unlike our other character breakfasts, this was not a buffet. Instead, the meal is served family style, which makes sense since 'Ohana means family. (Can you guess what characters we're going to meet now?)

After greeting us and explaining the breakfast, our server brought us our food.


Sorry, I forgot to take a picture until we'd already dug in. The skillet held scrambled eggs, Mickey waffles, fried potatoes, biscuits, sausage links, and bacon.

There was also a plate of fresh fruit, which you can kind of see on the left there. I can't remember what fruits were on it, but I'm pretty sure I ate a bunch of fresh pineapple.

We also got this basket of bread.


This bread was super yummy. I think I ate all of it by myself because my husband didn't like any of it. Oh well, more for me! One of the breads was a pineapple bread which I love and I think the other had raisins, which I also enjoy. And of course, I had a glass of orange juice. You have to drink orange juice when you're in Florida!


I love that Disney takes the theming of everything so seriously. Doesn't it look like we might actually be in Hawaii?

Since this was a character breakfast, we were waiting to meet the characters. Unfortunately, 'Ohana doesn't seem as organized as the Crystal Palace and we had to wait awhile for the characters to get to us. Plus, they stopped a couple times and did some parades around the restaurants with the kids. But we really wanted to meet these characters, so we tried to eat slowly and be patient. Our server did get us more food and M was quick to request more bacon. He would have been happy with just a skillet of bacon!

Finally, we got to meet the celebrities...



We finally got to meet the big guy!


And the reason for this breakfast, Stitch!  He's my favorite and I gave him a big hug when he arrived.  Lilo was also there, but we didn't really want to meet her and didn't want to spend more time there, so we left.

Since we still had plenty of time until our flight, we decided to explore the resort a little.


The grounds were very pretty.


Here's the gorgeous pool area.


As you can see, the Polynesian has a view of the castle.


Even the slide is themed to match the resort.


Here you can see what the buildings look like.


That's the Disney Wedding Pavilion across the Lagoon.


There's the Grand Floridian.


And there's the Contemporary.


Since the Poly is on the Lagoon, they also have a beach. I've heard that you can see the Magic Kingdom's fireworks from the beach.


Can you believe this is in the lobby? The Polynesian is really a beautiful resort.

Since I had managed to read all of the books I'd brought along, we decided to hit up a bookstore on the way to the airport. We spent some time there browsing and I found a book. Eventually, we made it to the airport with plenty of time. We turned in our rental car and checked into our flight.

We found our gate and then waited for our time to board. And waited. And waited. I was getting antsy and checking my watch. Shouldn't we be boarding now? I got up and wandered over to our gate (Our gate was very close to two others and they all shared a large waiting area.) Oh, according to the sign at the gate, our flight is delayed. They finally decided it might be wise to announce that. Turns out our airplane couldn't leave wherever it was coming from due to a storm. So we waited. And waited. And waited. I was getting nervous because we were supposed to connect in Cincinnati and it wasn't looking good.

We finally got to board our plane and head to Cincinnati. We landed 5 minutes before our connecting flight was supposed to take off. I checked the monitor at our arrival gate and it looked like our flight was still there. I finally got to fulfill my Amazing Race fantasy and we RAN to the gate!


The good news was that since it was Delta's fault, they put us up in a hotel for the night and gave us food vouchers. The bad news was that it was already 9:00 pm and nothing was open for food at the airport and the hotel wasn't in an area with restaurants. It did, however, have a shuttle that picked us up from the airport along with others from our flight.

The hotel people were nice and even gave us a king sized bed. However, I was not in the mood to spend the night in Cincinnati. I wanted to sleep in my own bed in my own house.


We're not at the Animal Kingdom Lodge anymore!

Since our bags were checked, we only had our carry-ons. And of course, I didn't pack any extra clothes or my medications in the carry-on. Delta gave us these toiletry cases, which helped, but it still wasn't my stuff.


Luckily, the next day we were able to get home and I vowed to never fly Delta again. And I learned to pack some extra clothes in my carry-on as well as my meds.

And finally, our honeymoon was over. We had a great time and I wouldn't change any of it except for our adventure getting home.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Doctor Who's Day: Favorite Villain

Today's Doctor Who's Day topic is favorite villain.

The Doctor has faced a lot of villains over the years and some have been better than others. However, for this topic, I have to go with a classic.

The Daleks! Every incarnation of The Doctor has faced the Daleks at some point. They are his greatest and oldest enemy.

They make look like robots, but inside is a little alien that reminds me of Pepe the King Prawn Muppet. Once the Dalek opens up, I just can't take them seriously anymore.

Why do I love the Daleks? Mostly because it's tradition. Every Doctor has fought them. And every time the Doctor thinks they're gone, they come back. They just won't stay down.

I also love they way they speak. They sound silly and ridiculous, yet they think they are so evil and smart. They love to say, "Exterminate!" I'm sure every Doctor Who fan has a Dalek impression.

I also love that the Daleks always get the Doctor so riled up. It's fun to watch the various Doctors take on the Daleks in their own ways.

Who is your favorite Doctor Who villain?


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Pinterest Sunday

Time for my weekly Pinterest roundup! Every Sunday, I share with you a few of my top finds from the previous week.

I love lemon desserts and every time I go to Starbucks, I eye the Lemon Pound Cake, but I never give in. This recipe looks delicious and I could enjoy it in my own home instead of with the hipsters at the local Starbucks.

If you follow the Argyle Love Facebook page, you saw that I posted some codes for free 8x10s from Walgreens last week. I used the codes to have some subway art that I found on Pinterest printed. I didn't find this one until after I used the codes, but it's a great one for spring.
I also love the Ball jar with the spring blossoms. I may have to find some silk ones for our living room.

If you've been following my Pinterest Sunday series, you know that I love the idea of using Ikea spice racks as bookcases in the nursery. I never thought of using them elsewhere in the house. My bathroom doesn't have much counter space, so this would be a great solution. Now I need to get even more spice racks whenever we make the road trip to Ikea!

If you're on Pinterest, leave a link in the comments and I'll check out your boards.


Friday, March 23, 2012

Venus & Olay Razor Review

You know, I love free stuff, right? And I love to join programs that allow me to try products. So I am loving the Influenster program. I was lucky enough to be chosen to receive their newest VoxBox, the Love VoxBox.

The Love VoxBox was filled with great products to prepare for a date, but one product really stood out for me.

I was fairly happy with my current razor, so when I pulled the Gillette Venus & Olay razor out of the VoxBox, I wasn't sure that it was relevant to me. But then I started reading about the razor and I got intrigued .

It turns out, this razor combines the best of Venus and Olay. It has 5 blades to give you a close, smooth shave and it has Olay moisture bars to keep your skin moisturized and give your legs a "goddess glow." My favorite part was that because the razor has those Olay moisture bars, you don't need to use a separate shave cream.

Ok, to be honest, I only use shave cream when I'm pampering myself and indulging in a bath. Normally, I just use my shower gel and I often have to use lotion after my shower to keep my legs from drying out.

I liked the idea that I might get to skip a step or two and maybe even take a faster shower, so I decided to give it a whirl. And I loved it! I didn't have to lather up my legs first, I just got the razor wet and started shaving. And the razor glided so smoothly, it didn't feel like I was shaving at all. The pivoting head made shaving my knees so easy. And when I was done, my legs were smooth and not dry at all. I didn't have to use lotion at all. I can't wait to keep using this razor all summer long for smooth and glowing legs.

I was lucky enough to try the Gillette Venus & Olay razor before it was in stores, but you'll be able to pick one up of your own by the end of the month, so keep an eye out for it when you're shopping. A refillable Venus & Olay razor with one replacement cartridge sells for approximately $8.99-$10.99. Packages of three replacement cartridges are available for about $14.99 - $19.49.

For more information, be sure to check out the Venus website.

I received this product complimentary to test through Influenster’s VoxBox program. All opinions are my own.