Shop-O-Matic


Category: Destinations (119)

Explore Mars on the Curiosity Rover, compliments of NASA


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Take a trip to Mars and explore the red planet on the Curiosity rover.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology will imprint Earthlings' names on a microchip on Curiosity, the Mars Science Laboratory Rover, blasting off on a Martian mission between Nov. 25 and Dec. 18.

Sign up and then check out NASA's fun and fact-filled Mars Exploration Program website. You can watch scientists build the rover on the Curiosity Cam or visit the Mars FunZone and enroll as a Martian citizen, send a postcard to Spirit Rover (currently on a Mars mission collecting data for the 2011 trip), or play fun Martian games. You can even ask Dr. C., a computerized scientist based on NASA's real Dr. Phil Christensen (no relation!), questions about the planet and mission.

Click here for the deal. The offer ends on Monday, June 13.

Klaatu barada nikto!

Three ways to keep up with the latest deals: "Like" our Sentinel Deals page on Facebook; follow Doreen Christensen on Twitter@PrettyGoodIdeas and get mobile alerts: Text DEALS to 23539.

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Bloomies tonight!


A very quick hello from Super Saver Kathy. The shopping babe, Doreen, has put together a nice event at Bloomingdales in Boca Raton for the bloggers to meet our readers.

Come and tell me how much you miss Coupon Chaos! I sure miss you...AND your strategic shopping tips.

Super Saver Kathy

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Crate & Barrel Outlet to close at Sawgrass


Say it ain't so! Crate & Barrel Outlet is one of my favorite stores at Sawgrass Mills in Sunrise, and it has announced it is closing on Jan. 9.

Over the years, I've bought wine glasses, tableware, some cute snowmen salt and pepper shakers, and other items for myself and as gifts at the outlet store. There are bound to be great bargains before the store closes, so I'll try to make a final visit .

You can continue to shop the regular stores at Boca Town Center and Gulfstream Village, but you won't find the prices you did at the outlet. You can still shop the outlet online at Crate and Barrel Outlet.

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Take a free ride on space shuttle Discovery compliments of NASA


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Since NASA has delayed the Discovery space shuttle launch, you still have time to hitch a ride to the International Space Station. Well, at least your face can! NASA wants to fly your face in space for its final two space shuttle missions.

The agency will launch your name and uploaded photograph on the historic final launches of Discovery's STS-133 mission and/or shuttle Endeavour's STS-134 mission.

After the launches, you can get a commemorative flight certificate signed by the mission commanders. You also can check on mission status, view photographs, space out watching NASA TV, even follow the commander and crew on Facebook and Twitter.

Click here to go to NASA's "Fly Your Face in Space" page and click the "Participate" button to upload your name and photo. Click here to get the latest space shuttle news on NASA's website.

Have a blast!

Three ways to keep up with the latest deals: "Like" our Sentinel Deals page on Facebook; follow Doreen Christensen on Twitter@PrettyGoodIdeas and get mobile alerts: Text DEALS to 23539.

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Buy tarpon T-shirt, contribute to oil spill cleanup


Support the oil spill cleanup on Florida's Panhandle beaches with a tarpon T-shirt and others painted by South Florida artist Pat Anderson.

The shirts, featuring marlin, tuna, sailfish, wahoo and others, are on sale for $39.99 with a portion of the proceeds going to food for volunteers in the beach cleanup effort.

A boat name or logo can be added to the shirt for $4.90. The shirts come in medium to XXXL.

Call 954-785-7980 to order or visit Anderson's store, My Own Cruising Journal, at 2424 N. Federal Hwy., Lighthouse Point.


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Expanded Big Lots to open Thursday


big%20lots.pngBig Lots will reopen its newly expanded Fort Lauderdale store on Thursday, July 29. The closeout retailer, which closed for renovation in March, will reopen in the Southland Shopping Center at 1003 State Road 84.

Find groceries, electronics, home decor and housewares, toys, seasonal products, furniture and Serta mattresses at the store. Here's a Char-Broil gas grill for only $119, for example. gas%20brill%20big%20lots.jpg

I'm a fan of Big Lots, which offers great deals on everyday and specialty items, in a well-kept store. I like to shop bargains, but not in messy or dirty stores.

There are other discount stores that could learn a thing or two from the Columbus, Ohio-based Big Lots chain. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Marlins at Tommy Bahamas shopping event Sunday


Meet Florida Marlins baseball players Jeff Conine and Rich Waltz at Tommy Bahamas shopping event at its 1002 Las Olas Boulevard store from 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday, July 18.

All of the local Tommy Bahamas stores are offering 10 percent off purchases for the Marlins Community Foundation, which supports children.

Receive an autographed baseball when you spend $100 or more at the stores, including the two Las Olas stores, the Relax store across from the Cheesecake Factory and 1002 Las Olas Blvd., near Mango's restaurant .

Other stores giving a discount for the Marlins Foundation are located in Mizner Park in Boca Raton and The Village of Merrick Park in Coral Gables. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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City Market in Hollywood opens Thursday


What a great idea Hollywood has! It is opening an indoor market called The City Market, in the Harrison Court Retail building, at 2028 Harrison St., #105. The grand opening is at 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 8.

The market will offer organic, hand-made and fresh items. And, thankfully with this summer heat, it's all inside in cool air conditioning!

Entrepreneurs Becki Stewart and Ann Kiliona are behind the complex that provides
an opportunity for market vendors to promote and sell their goods in a retail environment as well as participate in the City Market online retail website.

The cost to participate as a vendor is $100 per month plus 10% of sales. Checks for vendor goods sold will be issued on a weekly basis. Vendors have the opportunity to receive one free month of retail participation per every 10 vendors that they refer who commit and pay to participate.

The market will be open six days a week, for a minimum of eight hours a day.
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The following vendors will be participating:

• Ms. V’s Organics - Produce
• The Key West Soap Factory – Handmade soaps and herbal bath salts
• Garden Foods – Nutritional herbal condiment
• Flowers R Us – Fresh flowers, orchids, bamboo and plants
• Auggie’s Doggies Handmade Gourmet Dog Biscuits
• Good Vibe Organics – Teas and other organic products
• Jole’s D’Lites – Organic Baker
• Weltonart – hand spun yarns and handmade goods
• World’s Finest Raw Honey - Local Honey
• Made By the Sea – Beach Stones
• Just Be – Cards and note cards
• Maria De Feudis – Handmade key chains
• “Famous” Lemon Lime Ade

At the Grand Opening, shoppers will be treated to a fresh fruit bar, fresh-squeezed Lemon Lime Ade and music by local guitarist Jim Welton.

For more information on the The City Market, call 954-483-0930 or email becki@citymarket33020.com.

-- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Free Starlight Musicals Concert series - Holiday Park


Sunday I took a walk down the Riverfront to the Jazz Brunch. The crowd was lively, music was great, the ambience festive...until the scorching noontime heat almost did me in. It's a wonderful event, but folks, tie your hair up off your neck, wear loose cotton clothing, and bring plenty of ice water.

The Starlight Musicals concert series is also FREE, on Fridays from 7 to 10 pm on the football field at Holiday Park, which is located at East Sunrise Boulevard and Federal Highway in Ft Lauderdale. If you haven't been, do yourself a favor and head on over. Bring lawn chairs, picnic baskets, and coolers, I've seen some very whimsical and imaginative table settings at past concerts. Please leave Fido home, pets are not permitted in the park.

Entertainment schedule:

July 9 - CURBSTONE (50s, 60s, 70s & Beyond)

July 16 - BRASS EVOLUTION (10-piece Show Band)

July 23 - MARY WASHINGTON BROOKS (Blues)

July 30 - VIVA CLASSIC ROCK ‘n' ROLL (Classic Rock)

August 6 - JIMMY STOWE & THE STOWAWAYS (Tropical Rock/Jimmy Buffet)

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Rockport to open store in Miami


Rockport%20-%20Women%27s%20-%20SBII%20Boat%20Shoe.jpgRockport will open its first Florida store at The Falls in Miami on July 3rd. A second store in Florida is scheduled to open in the fall in Orlando.

If you're not familiar with Rockport, you probably are under 30. But anyone who likes comfort for walking might be interested in Rockport. The store has men's shoes as well.

The new Rockport store will offer a selection of the spring men’s and women’s collections, featuring Adidas technology that provides shock absorption in the heels. These "boat shoes" for women retail for $75.

The women’s footwear collection goes from $60 to $140 and the men’s collection ranges from $75 to $130, a store spokesman says.

The Falls is at 8888 SW 136 Street in Miami. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Sex & The City 2: What to wear?


Sex%20and%20city.jpgShopping blogger "Coupon Kathy" and I are, of course, going to the premiere of Sex & The City 2. The "Mr. Big" question is "what to wear?"

Well, our sexiest shoes, of course, is a start. Kathy is leaning toward the Moroccan look from the well-publicized movie scene of the girls on the camel. I'm going with my little black dress.

What are you wearing? Where are you going to party? Post it here.

The movie opens Thursday, but the Carrie-style celebrations are mostly on Saturday:

Mi-VI at Gulfstream Park & Casino, 901 S. Federal Highway, in Hollywood is hosting a Sex and The City 2 event on Saturday, May 29. For reservations, call 954-457-6464.

Blue Martini at CityPlace in West Palm Beach is hosting a "New York State of Mind" party at 7 p.m. Saturday, just before the 8:45 p.m. movie at the nearby Muvico. Profits go to Susan G. Komen For The Cure to aid in breast cancer treatment and research. Visit http://martinisinmay.com for more information.

Ruth Chris Steakhouse at Mizner Park in Boca Raton is hosting a $65 girls night out in coordination with the movie on Saturday. Call 561-392-6746 for reservations and information.

Moi? I'll be drinking Cosmos with my girlfriends at the movie theater. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Kick off your shoes and give them to charity on Sunday


The Marriott Harbor Beach Resort is hosting an acoustic performance at 4 p.m. Sunday, May 23, to raise awareness for Soles4Souls, a nonprofit group that provides shoes for those in need.
Marriott Harbor Beach is at 3030 Holiday Dr. in Fort Lauderdale.

Guests who attend are encouraged to kick off their shoes doing the concert and donate them to the shoe charity. The performance is by the Carter Twins, kicking off the country duo’s upcoming trip to the impoverished communities of Haiti.

Cole Haan is hosting an after-party reception at 6:30 p.m at their Galleria Mall Fort Lauderdale location and will be offering a 20% discount off an entire purchase with the donation of a gently worn pair of shoes.

Soles4Souls has donated more than 8.7 million pairs of shoes worldwide, and most recently committed more than 1.3 million pairs to the victims of the Haitian earthquake.

So go get those gently worn shoes out of your closet. Probably something comfortable, not four-inch heels, would be best. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Summer resort deals in South Florida


Summer is fast approaching, and Florida resorts are offering new specials to lure visitors and locals alike in the warmer months.

Here are some offers just unveiled:

The luxury Breakers resort on Palm Beach offers summer rates starting at $249 a night, plus extras for guests staying weekday nights, including free breakfast, free spa access, free children's camp and free overnight parking. Summer rates also include unlimited fitness classes and free Internet all days.
For details, check www.thebreakers.com.

The luxury Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts of Florida are offering an extra night free when guests stay at least three consecutive nights between May 1 and June 30. Stay three nights and get a fourth free at six of the seven Waldorf of Florida properties, including the Boca Raton Resort in Boca Raton. Stay six nights and get a seventh free at the Edgewater Beach in Naples, the group said.
For details, check www.waldorfastoria.com.

The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa is offering a summer golf membership at its Hallandale Beach course from May 1 through Oct. 31. Members pay $340 a month and get unlimited play, with cart fees of $25 before 2pm and $15 after. They also get free valet service, discounts at the golf shop and food, plus other perks.
For details on golf membership, call 954-883-4404.

Doreen Hemlock can be reached at dhemlock@sunsentinel.com or 305-810-5009.

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Steve Madden at Aventura's Macy's on Saturday


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Meet the designer behind this shoe! Shoe designer Steve Madden is scheduled to make a personal appearance at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19, at Macy's store at the Aventura Mall.

Style mavens are invited to pose with the fashion footwear mogul for a complimentary photo while he autographs free Steve Madden tees and tote bags.

Also on Saturday at Aventura:

Get a free Santa's Rice Porridge face mask with a $40 skincare purchase at Lush, lower level.

Zingara opens with its Latiin American line of bohemian print bikinis and silk cover-ups, upper level Aventura.

At Bloomingdale’s, from 2 to 4 p.m., get tips for best last-minute gifts and looks for holiday glam from Michael Cohen from Bravo's "Miami Social." Get a 1-hour style consultation with Cohen.

Happy last weekend of holiday shopping! -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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New Ross store opens in Deerfield


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You would have thought everything was 90 percent off. No such luck, but great prices as always at Ross Dress for Less' new store at Hillsboro Boulevard and Powerline Road in Deerfield Beach.

The parking lot was packed today and shoppers coming out with two or three bags.

I found a few items of interest such as August Silk matching sleeveless sweater and cardigan for $12.99 and $19.99 respectively. They had several color choices including black, red, orange and purple, but mostly large or extra-large sizes.

The store is bright and large, with racks where you can actually look at the clothing. It's not all crammed in. Either wall is filled with shoes -- women's on one and men's on the other.

The merchandise seemed a mix of new and stuff I've seen in other stores, but that's always the case with discount stores. You have to look for the treasure. So happy hunting. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Francesca's Collections 30% off sale


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Francesca's Collections at CityPlace in West Palm Beach holds a 30% off sale on its dresses, tunics and outerwear this week through Sunday, Sept. 27.

If you haven't been to the store before, it's worth a trip (one also at Mizner Park in Boca Raton). Though younger styles, the boutique has lightweight clothing from around the world that's perfect for South Florida. This colorful dress is $26.60 at Francescas Collections

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It also has fun knicknacks and jewelry including two necklaces for $40; two bracelets for $30 and two rings for $25. These earrings are only $9.99 online.-- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Labor Day specials everywhere!


Labor Day looks to be a big shopping weekend. With expected rainy weather, what else is there to do but stroll the mall?

Besides, there are clearance sales going on everywhere. Here are some samples:

J.C. Penney is offering 40% to 60% off its furniture.

Ann Taylor has a fall preview: Buy one, get second item at 50% off.

New York & Company: Take 20% off purchases of $50 or more with this coupon or promotion code 3556 online:

NY & Co. coupon

Lots more out there? What have you found so far? Post the specials for everyone here. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds


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Spa Chic week is back!


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Ahhhh...It's that time of year for Spa Chic, when regional spas offer $99 specials. The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, sponsor of the event, says these treatments are half price on Sunny.org:

It's an opportunity to try some of the area's ritziest spas (including the Ritz!). Offers are good now through Sept. 30.

Here are some sample treatments:

Bliss at the W Hotel, Fort Lauderdale: Rapid Rub Massage TM: Thirty minutes of intensive massage and Oxygen BlastTM: Includes a quick fruit acid wash, massage with micellated vitamins, a hydrating hot-towel and enzyme pack, and a five minute oxygen spray in a customized activating solution.

Heavenly Spa at the Westin Beach Resort, Fort Lauderdale: "Rollerssage / 80-minutes: "Heated crystalline spheres, selected for their energy enhancing qualities, are rolled over the body, melting away tension and relaxing tight muscles, while restoring balance to ones energy source."

Planet Massage, Fort Lauderdale: "Deluxe stress and pain relief massage package: Deep tissue, Swedish, neuromuscular or sports massage; reflexology and active isolated stretching if desired. Therapy includes a Chi Massage session, moist heat therapy and Medi-Rub foot massage. Also included is gift bag with an assortment of personal massager's and Biofreeze pain relief gel."

Spa 66 at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66, Fort Lauderdale Wine therapy scrub exfoliates while French Chardonnay grape seed extract, shea butter and fine oils purify, soften and protect the skin. A douse of velvety shower bath gel with a refreshing bouquet of pomegranate tones and conditions the skin. Finally an application of the rich emollient of Chardonnay Body Butter with a hint of grapefruit provides the ultimate in skin hydration."

The Spa at Ocean Sands Resort, Pompano Beach: "Welcome cocktail upon arrival, choice of any 50-minute massage along with a manicure and pedicure and spa lunch."


The Spa at Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale: "The Ritz-Carlton Signature Massage / 50-minutes"

There are lots more! Go to Sunny.org for the full list and to book an appointment. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Halloween costumes and discounts at Aventura's Disney on Saturday


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Kids can find their favorite Disney characters in Halloween costumes at Aventura's Disney store, which is featuring specials for its grand opening on Saturday, Aug. 29.

Snow White, Ariel and Belle costumes are expected to be top sellers this year, according to the Disney store, which is featuring a "limited edition" Snow White gown -- only 2,000 to be sold in the nation.

Back-to-school items will be on sale at the store, with Mickey and Minnie Mouse making an appearance on Saturday. Customers at the grand opening will receive 20% coupons good on any item for the day of the grand opening.

For more information on the grand opening, call the Disney Store at 305-936-0653. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Fall: All about plaid? Check out Loehmann's Thursday.


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If you follow fashion even a little bit, you've heard that fall is all about plaid.

Plaid is not very South Florida, but Thursday, Aug. 20, is your chance to see the first of the fall fashions at Loehmann's stores. Loehmann's has several stores in South Florida including Palm Beach Gardens, Boca Raton, Pembroke Pines and Aventura.

Leggings are also are in for fall -- nice and toasty in 90-degree weather!

Ah well, while you peruse the fall fashions, you no doubt can pick up more Florida-esque clothing on clearance. It's that wonderful time of year when stores are trying to get rid of their summer inventory to make room for fall fashion.

For us in South Florida, it's the ultimate bargain time. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Beauty samples, tips at Winn-Dixie


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Get beauty tips and free samples of cosmetic, hair care and skincare products at Winn-Dixie stores in Fort Lauderdale and Miramar on four upcoming Saturdays.

A beauty advisor will demonstrate products including Garnier, L'Oreal, Nailene and Olay, and the first 75 participants will receive a Winn-Dixie bag with product samples and coupons.

The beauty events will be at the Winn-Dixie stores at 1625 Cordova Road, Fort Lauderdale, and 17101 Miramar Pkwy., Miramar. Here are the dates:

Saturday, Aug. 22, 2009, from noon – 4:00 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 29, 2009, from noon – 4:00 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 5, 2009, from noon – 4:00 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009, from noon – 4:00 p.m.

I'd aim for earlier rather than later on Saturday, because only the first 75 shoppers get the samples! -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Cheaper Starbucks?


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Starbucks, slowly getting in tune with the economy, is offering tips on how to trim costs of your caffeine habit.

I write this, of course, as I sip my afternoon iced latte.

1. Don't believe the $4 coffee myth: Approximately 50% of our beverages are priced under $3 and more than one third under $2.

2. Bring your own cup and get 10 cents off your beverage.

3. Order a brewed coffee with steamed milk known as a Caffe Misto, instead of a Caffe Latte. That provides an average savings of 85 cents.

4. Get refills on brewed coffee for just 50 cents. Registered Starbuck card holders get refills on the house.

5. Brew yourself. Pick up a back of Starbucks whole bean coffee to brew at home for about 30 cents a cup.

6. Enjoy a coffee press for two. For about $3, any coffee we sell can be brewed through a coffee press, which yields four 8-oz cups and costs less than a grande.

7. Order pairings. For $3.95, order breakfast or a snack with coffee, a savings of about 90 cents.

8. Use your treat receipt, available through Sept. 30. Bring in your receipt from your morning purchase and in the afternoon after 2 p.m., get any grande cold beverage for $2.

Do you have your own methods to save on Starbucks? I know what you're going to say: Go to Dunkin Donuts or McDonald's. Just doesn't cut it for Starbucks addicts like me. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Buy one pant, get one free


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New York and Company is offering a "buy one pant, get one free" deal, plus coupons for $25 off a $75 purchase and $60 off a $150 purchase, either in stores or online, through Aug. 16.

Print this out to bring to the store:

New York & Company coupon

Or enter these codes online:

The higher price prevails so, of course, you want to choose two pairs of pants similar in price to get the best value. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Free backpack with $10 purchase at Office Depot


Office Depot is offering a free backpack with a minimum $10 purchase -- a special only through Wednesday, Aug. 12. Hey, pick one up and give it away to a kid you know or charity!

While you're there, pick up some of their other specially-priced items for school including:

Crayola 24- count crayons free with 10-pack markers

2 Pocket Paperports, 1” Binder, 2-pack scissors, and composition books, under $1 each. --

Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Free shipping on Pottery Barn pillow covers


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There's nothing like a new pillow cover to freshen the look of your living room or bedroom.

Pottery Barn has them at all prices, $29 and up, but with free shipping for a limited time. These graphic crewel pillow covers are $49 each. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds


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Crate & Barrel Outlet 50% off sale


Spotted during a quick trip to Crate & Barrel Outlet at Sawgrass Mills Outlet: oversized, striped beach towels for $14.95, regularly $34.95.

Lots of items 50% off including dessert bowls in pink and orange for $2.50, one-liter wine carafe for $6.95; and cake and cupcake holders (where are they when you need them?) for $7.95 to $9.95. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Dillard's discounts big time


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You can see the ad on this Web site: 40 percent off permanently reduced merchandise at Dillard's stores and online.

But the proof is in the product and how big the sale. So I did a run through Dillards for some potential deals. Here's what I found:

Guess Crystal logo sunglasses, regularly $65, on sale for $19.50. My kind of price for shades!

BCBGirls "Ariel" open-toe patent pumps, in red or black, regularly $89, now $35.77. Very sexy.

NightAway ruffle party dress, in red, regularly $99, now $35.54. Super cute!

You have to search, but the booty is there. The sale on some items is only until Saturday, Aug. 1, so get shopping! -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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CVS $10 'Extra Bucks' for $20 Olay purchase


Need some mascara this morning and I found myself in the Olay aisle at CVS. Not only were all the Olay products discounted, but CVS also was offering $10 "bucks" for a $20 purchase of Olay products.

Well, a girl can always use the pre-moistened wipes to get rid of left-over mascara and make-up, so I picked up a pack of those and then one more product to get the "bucks." If you're not a CVS customer, when you use their red "Extra Care" card, you occasionally get a buck, or $3 or even a $10 discount on new purchases.

The bucks systems is great if you're a frequent CVS shopper as I am. I bought my Olay purchases then returned to the counter to buy one more item, using my $10 in bucks. Got that $15 item for only $6.

And as Super Saver Kathy would tell you: Use your coupons first, then your extra bucks. That makes the discount go even further. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Even Prada's on sale


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When I was a teenager, my father took me to the big city, which was Chicago for us, and bought me a dress at Saks Fifth Avenue.

I felt quite sophisticated in my Saks dress, which was probably a little too old for me. But the experience of shopping with Dad -- not his favorite pastime -- was one I'll always treasure.

Saks is not a place I normally shop because, on a journalist's salary, I can't afford to be spending $300 to $1,000 on a item of clothing. But in this recession, everything is on sale.

At Saks Fifth Avenue in Town Center at Boca Raton, many designer fashions right now are up to 70 percent off. You'll see signs saying "50% off ticketed prices" all over the store -- on items that already have been marked down!

The Elijah strapless dress pictured, for example, is on sale for $99, regularly $300.

It's also a pleasure to shop where the sale clothing isn't in a pile or jammed on racks. At Saks, even the clearance items are neatly hung.

You've got until Sunday, July 12, to get designer fashions at a discount at Saks. You might just find Tory Burch, Marc Jacobs and Prada on sale. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Bras 40% off at Macy's Saturday sale


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Macy's having a one-day sale on Saturday, July 11, (with preview on Friday) and one of the better deals is 40 percent off its bras. The sale is in stores and online at Macy's.

This Maidenform satin demi bra is marked down to $19 from $33, for example.

Lots of other sales on bed and bath, women's swimwear, jewelry (a $59 diamond bracelet?) and more. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Jeans $19.99 at Gap!


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"Selected" women's and men's jeans are on sale for $19.99, regularly $49.50-$69.50, at The Gap, stores only.

Who knows if these jeans are wide bellbottoms or so skinny tight you have to squeeze into them? But it's worth a look at that price! Besides, jeans are The Gap's specialty so they have a big variety.

Of course, It's hard to think of wearing jeans in this 90-plus degree heat. Jean shorts, maybe? -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Unique gifts at Lighthouse Point nautical store


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If you're looking for a gift that is uniquely South Florida, look no further than the art of Pat Anderson and the items in her store, My Own Cruising Journal in Lighthouse Point.

I met Pat and her husband, Pete, a few years ago and wrote a story about their store. Pat used to sketch as Pete sailed. But Pete passed on and Pat was torn about keeping the store open.

But she has bravely reopened it and is selling her tropical artwork, including an image of the Hillsboro Inlet, and nautical-themed T-shirts and gifts. She also sells a calendar featuring images from Florida and nearby islands.

The Grand Re-Opening is July 2 to July 4. The store is at 2424 N. Federal Hwy in Lighthouse Point. Stop in and see Pat's new art gallery. She'll welcome you as a friend. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Spa specials in Fort Lauderdale area


Specialized spa treatments are $99 through Lauderdale Spa Chic, a month-long promotion in September by The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Lauderdale Spa Chic 2009 offer customized treatments at a dozen spas in the region, many of them top of the line.

Sample spa treatments available include the "Rapid Rub Massage and Oxygen Blast" at the Bliss Spa at the new W Fort Lauderdale; the "Ying Yang Massage and Citrus Manicure" at the Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa; and the 80-minute "Rollerssage" at the Heavenly Spa by Westin. Oooh...I wonder what that is?

You can combine a spa experience with lunch at The Spa at Ocean Sands Resort and Spa, a package that includes a 50-minute massage, manicure, pedicure.

Participating spas are:
• Bliss Fort Lauderdale at the W Fort Lauderdale
• Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa
• Heavenly Spa by Westin at The Westin Beach Resort, Fort Lauderdale
• Spa 66 at the Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty-Six
• Planet Massage
• Spa 950 at Embassy Suites Hotel Deerfield Beach Resort
• Spa Atlantic at The Atlantic Resort & Spa
• The Spa on the Broadwalk @ Hollywood Beach Marriott
• The Diplomat Golf Resort & Spa
• The Grand Resort and Spa (Gay)
• Ocean Sands Resort and Spa
• The Spa at The Ritz Carlton, Fort Lauderdale

To book your spa treatment for the month of September, visit Lauderdale Spa Chic. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Ann Taylor jewelry 30% off


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Accessories often make the outfit. Add the right necklace to a plain top and you're more dressed up, more professional.

Ann Taylor can help with its 30% off sale in stores and online on jewelry, belts and sunglasses.

Here's a necklace on sale for $55, but there are others for much less. Some nice choices in belts and sunglasses as well. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Macy's clearance this weekend a blast


If you didn't go today, hurry to Macy's on Sunday (June 21) for its big clearance sale.

First, I found the white leather belt I've been looking, marked down to only $9. Then I moved on to clothes, trying on many 50% off tops. I was about to give up when I spied a black-and-white Alfani dress on the 75 percent off rack.

After trying it on, there was no question: I had to have it. It's that kind of dress that will go anywhere and look great.

When I went to buy it, the Macy's saleswoman began her spiel about Macy's credit card. I haven't had a department store credit card for years -- too expensive. But with an extra 20 percent off on anything I buy over the next two days, I succumbed.

Besides, the dress ended up being discounted by about 80 percent. Heck, it was practically free, as long as I pay off my credit card. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Father's Day specials at Neiman Marcus Last Call


Still looking for a Father's Day gift? Head to Sawgrass Mills on Saturday and check out the specials at Neiman Marcus Last Call.

The store is offering an additional 20% off its regular prices on selected ties, sportswear, golf apparel, men's suits and shoes. And markdowns from 20% to 30% are available though Monday, June 22.

So while you're shopping for your children's father or your father, you can afford to treat yourself! -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds


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Crate & Barrel 50% off summer sale


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If you break wine glasses like I break wine glasses, get to Crate & Barrel's summer sale where a wide variety of wine glasses are on sale for $3.50 to $4.95 each.

I especially like Crate & Barrel's red wine glasses -- the large bowl stemmed kind, perfect for a Cabernet Savignon, Malbec or Merlot.

Crate & Barrel's 50% markdown also includes other housewares and some furniture closeouts.

Cheers! -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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25 percent off at Borders with member coupon


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Membership is free at Borders. Just sign up at any store.

And right now, Borders is offering 25 percent off your entire purchase with a member coupon. The offer is good through Sunday, June 14.

Great place to buy that book, CD or DVD for Dad for upcoming Father's Day (June 21). Here's one idea for that Dad who likes to grill: The Barbecue Bible.

Then you also can pick up that novel on your summer reading list. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

While you are there, have a free coffee with this coupon.

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Viking surfboards on sale


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Hey dudes and dudettes,

Buy a Viking surfboard to ride those waves, on sale at Viking's Warehouse, 5150 SW 48th Way, Bay 609, in Davie.

Clothes and accessories also "must go," according to the announcement. Sale is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., June 15 to June 20.

Hey, a surfboard could be a cool Father's Day (June 21) gift, for certain Dads.

For more information, call 954-321-9266. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Shopping bloggers join Tweet-Up


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Take a break from shopping next Thursday (June 18) and join Sun Sentinel bloggers, tweeters and others at the second Tweet-Up. The first, at Maguire's, was a big succcess. Even the Palm Beach Post showed up.

This is a beachfront Tweet-up at the lovely Bahia Mar, with drink specials and free parking with a bar tab. Starts at 6 p.m.; goes to at least 9 p.m.

So share your shopping bargains and other news face-to-face with other Tweeters. Register here: Tweet-Up.

-- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Olay Prox on sale at Target


Check out Sunday's (June 7) Sun Sentinel for Target's ad offering Olay Professional Pro-X's three piece kit for $41.50, reduced from $61.50.

This is just a starter kit to whet your appetite for the individual products, but also can serve as a travel kit for that summer trip. The regular size containers of lotion are difficult to pack.

Target also is offering 10% off other Olay skin care products.

Or, you could wait for Olay's new Pro-X "Intensive Wrinkle Protocol," which you can pre-order at $10 off for its June 22 release, with lowest price ($61.50) from Target or drugstore.com. Go to Olay Professional.com -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Stay cool with Hunter fans, 30% off


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In South Florida, ceiling fans are essential to keep the price of air conditioning affordable and to stay cool especially in hot summer months.

Home Depot is lending some help, with 20% to 30% off its Hunter fans. Hunter is one of the better known brands. Here's a 52-inch bronze fan for $99 with a light to boot.

Hurry! Sale ends Wednesday, June 3.

Hunter fan sale

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Palm Beach spa girls get-away for $299


Have you had a stressful week? The cure is a girls' get-away.

The Chesterfield Hotel on Palm Beach is offering a $299 package that includes 1 night in a queen superior room, three-course dinner, manicure and pedicure, cocktail in the Leopard Lounge and $100 gift certificate for The Gardens Mall. Oh, and they throw in champagne somewhere, too.

Price is based on single occupancy; for double, it's $454. Offer valid through Oct. 30, 2009.

For more information, call 561-659-5800 or visit Chesterfield Hotel.

So grab your girlfriends and prepare to luxuriate. You only live once. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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New find for women's clothing, jewelry at Mizner Park


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If you visit Mizner Park in Boca Raton tonight for its Cinco de Mayo celebration, stop by the Francesca's boutique near Starbucks. I recently discovered this store, unusual for Mizner Park, in that the clothing and jewelry in the store is different and isn't expensive.

I liked many of the colorful tops, such as the one above, and dresses, as well as $12 belts and two for $20 earrings. Dresses are $34-$44 and tops around $30-$35. The shop has lots of fun gifts as well. I spied a bride-to-be picking up some fun items for her bridesmaids for wedding shower fun.

If you're not drinking $5 Margaritas tonight offered at Mizner's Cinco de Mayo celebration, then check out their clothing online at Francesca's Collections. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Mother's Day ideas from Crate & Barrel


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Crate & Barrel has some affordable ideas for Mother's Day, especially if your mom lives in another state like mine.

This Flora teapot is only $6.95 and morning tea mugs $4.95, for example. My mother's a big fan of tea and everytime I go home, I give up my Starbucks for a cup of tea in my mom's kitchen. Nothing makes you feel more like you're home.

For other affordable Mother's Day gifts, go to Crate & Barrel. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Free personal shopper at Filene's


Can't decide how to accessorize an outfit? Don't know what really works for your body type?

Try the free personal shopping service at Filene's Basement, 17651 Biscayne Boulevard
in Aventura. Filene's says it is offering a "budget-friendly" makeover to shoppers with fashion expert Maysa Barrial, the store's new personal shopper.

Maysa holds a degree in fashion design and is member of the Image Consultants of America.

"Looking great has nothing to do with the amount of money you spend. It's about being creative, finding deals, and styling them well," Maysa says. "This year it's about reviving what you already have and building upon it with bold, versatile, feel good pieces."

All of us can use a little help, especially when it's free. For an appointment, call

Schedule your free session Monday- Saturday at Filene's Basement in Aventura by e-mailing her at personal.shopper@filenesbasement.com or calling 305-936-2497. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds


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CDs, DVDs 50% off at Borders


Just through Monday, April 20, find CDs and DVDs 50 percent off at Borders' clearance sale -- stores only.

In South Florida, there are stores in Boca Raton, Wellington, Coral Springs, Fort Lauderdale, Aventura and Coral Gables.

At 50% off, you can really add to your movie collection or replace scratched CDs.-- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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DSW 30 percent off clearance shoes online


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I can always find great shoe deals at DSW. I especially like their clearance racks. But you can improve your savings through DSW's offer of 30 percent off online. Click here for the offer, good just through Monday, April 13:

DSW Clearance. Enter code SPRING30 to get the 30% discount.

I spotted these Nicole Miller silver sandals for $59.96, for example. Just in time for your Easter finery, if you do that kind of thing. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Ralph Lauren coupon for 30 percent off


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It's spring and time for outdoor activities including softball, soccer and rugby.

If looking fashionable is important to you, check out the rugby line at Ralph Lauren. Better yet, get it 30% off with this coupon online and in stores: Ralph Lauren coupon.

The 30% discount is available at Polo Ralph Lauren Factory Stores, Ralph Lauren, RRL and Rugby stores in the U.S. and online at RalphLauren.com and Rugby.com from March 31 through April 14, 2009. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Borders Rewards Perks worth exploring


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I recently got an invitation to join Borders Rewards Perks, open to any one who is a member of Borders. No membership fee for either club.

I found discounts on South Florida restaurants through Restaurant.com, 15 percent off Bluefly apparel, discount movie tickets, and 25 percent off patio furniture at Home Depot. Some good deals; some not so much. Forty percent off of Nordstrom's, for example, is still often $100-plus pricetag.

But worth checking out. Sign up at any local Borders store. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Bargain brands touted by Today show


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Caught the Today show this morning and a Glamour magazine editor was showing where to find affordable brands from retailers.

One was a military-type jacket that could be worn to the office or anywhere from the Topshop, a British retailer.

There was a strapless red flowered dress for $39 at Newport News, which often has great discounts.

And Madewell, which is owned by J. Crew, but no stores in South Florida.

And Liz Claiborne New York, renvented by Issac Mizrahi. I liked the wear-anywhere $99 dress with a black top and striped skirt from Liz Claiborne.

Bargain fashion worth checking out -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Tommy Bahamas sample sale!


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I love Tommy Bahamas clothes, but they're a bit pricey. The solution? Go to a sample sale.

A Tommy Bahama Sample Sale is being held this Saturday and Sunday (March 21 and 22), from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the Miami Seaquarium on Key Biscayne. I spied this deal on SocialMiami.com.

The site says the sale features men's t-shirts and woven shirts in size large only and shorts and pants in waist size 34. There is no charge to attend the event, and shoppers will receive $7.50 off the price of admission to Miami Seaquarium. So take the kids!

A portion of the sale proceeds go to benefit the Humane Society of Greater Miami Adopt-A-Pet. For more information, call 305-749-1842. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Buy a suit, get a refund if laid off


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It pays to be dressed well whether working or looking for work.

Jos. A. Bank, a men's clothing retailer with eight stores in South Florida, is taking a cue from Hyundai, according to sister Tribune Co. paper The Baltimore Sun:

Buy a suit during its $199 sale March 16 to April 9; if you happen to get laid off from your job, Jos. A. Banks says it will refund up to $199, if you can show proof you've lost your job between April 16 and July 1.

And you can keep the suit!

In January, Hyundai announced a similar promotion, saying would take back cars from people who lose their jobs, suffer a physical disability or are self-employed and forced into bankruptcy. The carmaker said it will let customers return cars within a year of the purchase, and the company will cover $7,500 worth of depreciation.

It's nice to see businesses being responsive to their customers' plights in this job market. It's bound to be a policy that rewards a retailer wih future business.-- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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60% clearance sale at Loehmann's


There it was on a rack with yesterday's fashion news: a dark brown Elie Tahari structured jacket, marked down from more than $200 to $58 with another 60 percent off!

I should have grabbed it and ran to checkout at Loehmann's yesterday in Boca Raton, but my new-found sensiblity caught hold. Do I really need the jacket? Did I have anything to wear it with? Wasn't it really too warm and dark for South Florida?

So, sadly, I returned it to the rack and bought what I went there for in the first place, discount hose.

But the clearance sale goes on at Loehmann's. Hmmm...maybe I should check another store today. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Victoria's Secret coupon


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Get 25% off one item at Victoria's Secret through March 29.

Victoria's Secret coupon

Also get a complimentary bra fitting. Hmm....why wouldn't a bra fitting be for free? -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Talbot's 50%-plus off sale


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I once thought of Talbot's clothing as something my mother would wear, but now I think of it as great career and casual wear. And as Carrie once said on Sex & The City, even at certain age it's time to "cover up."

Talbot's is holding its "One Sweet Sale," with blouses, sweaters, pants, jackets and other items 40% to 70% off through March 31. Here's a geometic skirt on sale for $34.99.

I may come away from Talbot's feeling a bit like Mom, but then she's still pretty sharp looking in her later years.-- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Enter girlfriend getaway contest


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Has your best friend been going through hell because of divorce or was dumped by Jason? If you're Melissa from The Bachelor http://abc.go.com/primetime/bachelor/index? or your hubby is a jerk, you need a chocolate spa getaway from Hershey's!

(Part II, the Final Rose The Final Rose, continues tonight. Could it get any worse? Run, Molly, run!)

The contest is a promotion for National Association of Divorce for Women and Children in honor of "Victorious Women Month" in May.

Women are invited to submit a 300 word essay on why their friend deserves a chocolate getaway. There are no entry fees. Contest details are available at Girlfriend Getaway Contest .

The winner and her girlfriend will receive a chocolate spa getaway on in Hershey Park in Pennsylvania from May 15-17. It includes:
* 2- $300 airfare vouchers (one for each person)
* Limo service to and from the hotel
* Poolside room for three days, two nights at Hotel Hershey
* Spa treatments including a Swedish massage, chocolate wrap, a facial and lunch in the Oasis
* Admission to Hershey Gardens

Deadline for entries is April 6, 2009. The winner will be notified on April 20, 2009.

When times get tough, girlfriends go on getaways -- especially if they're free - Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Wedding dresses for free!


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Free bridal gowns are available for up to 25 women who are serving in the military or are fiancées of men serving overseas. Bridal Couture of Boca Raton is donating the wedding gowns, worth from $800 to $1,000, in a range of sizes.

In order to qualify for a free wedding dress, the brides must be engaged, be on active duty, or have a fiancée on active duty. A copy of deployment papers, orders, an ID, or any other documentation indicating active duty is required for the free gown.

Brides who are enlisted or are fiancés of men serving “are having a hard enough time as it is,” said Nicole Hochman, store owner, in her announcement. “A wedding dress should be the least of their worries.”

Bridal Couture is located at 8212 Glades Road in Boca Raton. Visit Boca Bridals or call 561-470-1140 for more information. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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50% to 80% clearance at Macy's through March 1


jeans.jpgThese DKNY stretch jeans, my fav, are on sale for $29 at Macy's clearance sale through March 1. Jeans, dresses, sweater, jewelry and handbags can be found on the clearance shelves.

If I keep bringing my lunch to work (apparently my key to losing weight), I might even look that good in them. -- Marcia "Not as Many" Pounds

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Macy's sale starts Friday with 40% to 50% off clearance


Macy's must be clearing inventory for spring.

Regular items are 30 percent to 85 percent off and clearance items 40 percent to 50 percent off starting Friday , Feb. 20, (preview day) and going through Saturday, Feb. 21.

Catch the morning specials both days until 1 p.m. Shoes are $10 off for every $50 purchase, but you might find some on clearance for less. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Shoes: Buy new or repair?


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When is it time to hang up a pair of shoes? Perhaps when they turn into tap shoes.

I wore my favorite Ann Klein black slides to the office last week and heard a "tap, tap, tap" as I walked. Sure enough, I had worn my heels through to the nails.

I thought about repairing. Fellow blogger Kathy tells me she just spent $17 to replace that itsy bitsy rubber piece on her heels. While it might be worth it for shoes otherwise unworn, my poor Ann Kleins were goners.

So off I drove to DSW in Boca Raton where I found some replacement Ann Kleins, not sandals but fairly comfortable high heels, on sale for $35. Of course, I still needed to replace my sandals. I found Aerosole's What's What brand, comfortable yet still stylish black slides also on sale for $35.

When do you give up on your favorite heels? Any recommendations on shoe repair? -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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70 to 90 percent off sale at Filene's Basement


No doubt that Filene's Basement in Aventura is having a clearance sale this weekend, though its approach is very confusing.

I got an e-mail announcing "70 to 90 percent off" when its merchandise is 25 percent off. Say what? Apparently this yellow sticker, or e-mail, will get you another 25 percent off:

Filene's coupon

The sale, whatever it is, goes through Monday, Feb. 16, also known as President's Day. In support of our new president, I think a little shopping is in order! -- Marcia 'Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Look for cheap eats


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You've probably heard of Denny's publicity stunt (photo by USA Today): Yesterday it offered a free breakfast and a reported two million people stood in line, even in cold weather, to get their Grand Slam.

I've been writing about taking my lunch to work, but when I do go out now, I look for a deal. Duffy's, for example, is offering its "afternoon break," 40 percent off meals from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. to all its MVP card members year round. Cost nothing to sign up for Duffy's frequent visitor card and you can accumulate points toward free meals.

Check the chains but also don't ignore your struggling neighborhood restaurant. I had a $7 lunch the other day at Japanese Village Hibachi Steakhouse, 350 E. Las Olas Blvd., in downtown Fort Lauderdale. The restaurant is a great place to go with a friend. I'd recommending sitting with others at the Hibachi table and ordering the chicken or steak Hibachi, which is prepared with fanfare by the chef in front of you.

Have you found any great restaurant deals out there? If you operate a restaurant, post your special here. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Ikea offers queen mattress for $400 Saturday only


If you're in need of a mattress tomorrow, Ikea's one-day sale of its queen mattress may be for you.

Saturday, Jan. 31, Ikea is offering its Sulton Hasselback mattress set -- a pillowtop mattress and boxspring -- for $400 as long as supplies last. A nice price for a mattress for that guest room or returning college student.

Plus Friday, Saturday and Sunday, anyone at Ikea before 10:30 a.m. gets a free breakfast with this coupon Ikea mattress sale. Ikea is located on NW 136th in Sunrise, not far from Sawgrass Mall. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Ann Taylor tops: Buy 2 for 30 percent off


Ann Taylor sale spotted on CheapCheapCheap.com

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Buy one top for 20 percent off; two tops for 30 percent off. There are some nice choices for spring, such as this crisp lace-trim top.

This top and another at $49.99 would cost you about $69 for two at a 20 percent discount.

Not exactly "cheap," but not bad for a quality top. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Shopping at the Fontainebleau in Miami Beach


Have you been to the Fontainebleau in Miami Beach yet? I missed the star-studded preview party, but my husband and I went down this weekend to check it out.

Shopping is quite pricey, but Morris & Co. does stock a few affordable items, such as T-shirts with the now iconic FB logo that you have been seeing all over SoFla on billboards. It was only $25 and it makes you look as if you are "in the know" even if you can't afford the room rates. Maybe this is the new cool -- just snatching an affordable bit of the glam. The sleek, modern store also has cigar accessories, frames and children's toys. Name brands include cigar accessories, frames and children's toys. You will find it adjacent to LIV nightclub.

If you want to splurge, there's the embroidered Moon Over Miami pillow with a retro motif for $185.

Other shops have designer duds at designer prices, but if you can't afford them the experience is worth the tab. We went for drinks and two mojitos set us back $33.03, including tip. And valet parking is $18 plus tip.

Jeffrey Beers, president and CEO of Jeffrey Beers International, did a marvelous job of reinterpreting Morris Lapidus' design of the Fontainebeau for 21st century. If you are a fan of design and architecture, it's worth the price of admission.

The hotel is located at 4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 305-538-2000.

XOXO-- Shopper Girl


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Lunch challenge update: the 1st week


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My friend E. challenged me to feed my shopping habit by cutting my lunch bill. This week went well: I brought my brownbag three times, had one free lunch, and grabbed a quick bite for under $10 one day.

The free lunch was courtesy of E., who had an inaguration party on Tuesday. I had some delicious egg white quiche.

My lunches have been healthier, too: turkey or ham sandwich on whole wheat bread and an apple. I added low-fat chips and pretzels to make my lunches more interesting.

So far, I have $31 for my shopping kitty, based on $10 for each lunch I brought to work and $1 for the Starbucks lunch, which cost me about $9 (with coffee).

I'm still a long way from a shopping spree at Sawgrass Mall, but it's a start. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds


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Buy one, get one free at J.C. Penney's


J.C. Penney's is offering a buy one, get one free deal on clearance items. Preview is today and Thursday with advertised sale Friday through Sunday, Jan. 25. So the time to go is today or Thursday before items are picked over.

The buy one, get one is a great time to pick up staples: exercise clothes, underwear, tops that go with everything.

Bring a relative or friend to a clearance sale. It's great fun. I remember one J.C. Penney sale with my Aunt J. from New York, one of the ultimate bargain hunters of the family, and when an item on a sale rack wasn't marked down, she talked them into dropping the price.

I'm betting Aunt J. will be at J.C. Penney's this week. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Filene's clearance sale plus 20% coupon 'til Monday


Now that the brides are gone (what a crazy scene!), I may just be near Aventura today so why not swing by Filene's Basement's clearance sale.

Items are 25 to 70% off with this 20% coupon for any one item:
Filene's coupon

What do you think of Filene's Basement? I love the Boston store, but haven't yet fallen head over heals for Aventura -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Fix that bracelet before you lose it!


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For my birthday I received this lovely Brighton bracelet. I wore the bracelet to a Christmas party and all of a sudden it fell off my arm. I didn't think much of it, but then an hour or so later it fell off again.

Then I got worried: I certainly didn't want to lose this bracelet.

I took my bracelet to a Brighton store. One associate told me to buy a jewelry guard. I went to the nearby jewelry repair kiosk where I was told a guard would help. I went back to Brighton to see if they could send the bracelet into Brighton for repair. No go. "Brighton doesn't modify its bracelets," I was told.

But this associate did make a helpful suggestion: Go to a jeweler and replace to toggle closure with a lobster claw closure.

I remembered an art and custom jewelry store I had visited in Pineapple Grove in Delray Beach and decided to bring my bracelet there. Stacey, the jewelry designer at Spotted on 2nd, chose a lobster claw that matched my bracelet and replaced the toggle in 5 minutes.

The best surprise: Only cost me $4 plus tax. What a deal! Stacey also restrings necklaces and modernizes old jewelry.

Has anyone else had the problem I described with Brighton bracelets?

BTW, Spotted on 2nd gallery is having a 20 percent sale on it jewelry, art and crafts during Art & Jazz on Thursday, Jan. 29. So just don't spend your time on Atlantic Avenue; take a short walk down 2nd to visit Stacey. Well worth your while. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Bloomingdale's towels on sale


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It might be time to freshen up your bathroom with new towels and rugs. If so, Bloomingdale's has put many of its designer towels on sale for 20% to 50% off. These Charisma towels are on sale for $6.39 to $35.99. Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren towels also are included in the sale.

More select items are on marked down 25% to 40% on Bloomingdales.com. But I'd stick the the towels unless you must have Juicy Couture sweatpants. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds


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Closet organizing: How much should it cost?


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If anyone needs her closet organized, it's me. I have literally lost items in my closet. Clothes or shoes I know I have vanish into the far reaches of my closet never to be found again.

Well, that's at least until I clean it. Guess it's time to wade through, weeding out my old clothes. No use hanging on to any piece of clothing I haven't worn in six months, maybe less. And, no, I won't ever fit into certain outfits again.

So I'm investigating closet organization systems, but I don't want to pay the price.

The Container Store in Hallandale Beach and Kendall is having a 30 percent sale on its Elfa system, but that closet system rangers in price from around $400 upwards to nearly $2,000 -- and that's on sale!

Ikea's closet system is another alternative, but also not inexpensive.

I'm going to start slow: throw items out first and then see where I'm at and what I need. Wish me luck. Meanwhile, if you have any great closet organizing ideas, post them. I suspect others have lost shoes in their closets as well. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Chico's travels well


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When my sister had a business trip to India last year, she turned to Chico's travel collection for clothes that would cover tall frame, not wrinkle and look professional.

Besides being wary about travel conditions and restrictions, women need to be careful not to offend the culture they are visiting. Often that means covering up.

Chico's is having its winter sale, up to 75 percent, off on many items: sweaters, buttoned shirts, pants, jackets, and its travel collection. The store's jewelry is also discounted, with some 50 percent off if you buy one item at full price.

The Chico's bright colors and leisure look is not for everyone, but its store on Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale has plenty of choices for the more conservative dresser as well. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Athletic shoes on sale at Kohl's


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If kids wear through anything, it's shoes. They wear that favorite pair constantly and they're running, jumping and doing what kids do.

So if you need to reshoe your children or yourself for active play, check out Kohl's sale on athletic shoes. Sneakers, as I call them, are marked down 20% to 50%, depending on the brand and style. These Fila Sport Durango skate shoes for boys, for example, are $24.99.

Kohl's, a relatively new store to South Florida, is located in Boynton Beach off Gateway Boulevard exit off 95. Just in case you didn't know. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Las Vegas on sale baby!


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Vegas fans alert: Southwest Airlines' flights to Las Vegas are 50 percent off in the next two days, Dec. 30 and 31, for trips through March 11. From Fort Lauderdale, that's as low as $75 one way.

I didn't think I would like Vegas but I was pleasantly surprised. The live shows are great. We saw a Cirque du Soleil show. I understand Bette Midler is performing there now and I've always wanted to see her perform (sing, not in Cirque du Soleil).

So don't waste time thinking too much because these flights will go fast! -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Find that special dress at Macy's Wellington store


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Well, I was really tempted to get that black Anne Klein at Macys.com; it was online for about two minutes for $107. But I hedged and now it's back up to $168.

But that's OK. I found two dresses at Macy's Wellington store today and bought both for less than $100. Neither is black, which is a surprise, but both are more versatile than the Anne Klein, anyway. Each was 50 percent off the retail price plus I got another 15 percent off with Macy's coupon in the Sun Sentinel on Sunday and Monday.

This Evan Picone red dress at right is marked down from $99 to $69 online. I got it for $45 with my coupon in the store.

That coupon is still good through Tuesday, Dec. 30, so don't throw it -- or the newspaper -- away! I left plenty of dresses there for you. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Saks Off 5th slashes prices on seasonal items


Heading to the snowy north? I hope not, but if you are, swing by Saks Off 5th before you go.

From 8 a.m. to noon Friday, Dec. 26, Saks Off 5th is offering 70 percent off cashmere sweaters, outerwear, boots, hats, gloves and other seasonal items.

Saks Off 5th stores are located at Sawgrass Mills and Dolphin Mall in South Florida. Most Saks apparel is too pricey for me, but you do find the occasional jewel on sale. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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J.C. Penney posts coupons, door-busters for after Christmas


J.C. Penney has put up its after-Christmas doorbusters online. The department store's doors open at 5:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 26th. Doorbusters include this guy's fleece hoodie for $17.99.

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Two coupons, $10 off a $50 purchase and $15 off a $75 purchase, are available:

J.C. Penney coupons

The store is advertising online 75 percent off its holiday trim and decor as well as 60 percent off many other items. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Christmas time is chocoholic time


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For chocoholics like me, Christmas is the time to enjoy the best in chocolate. If you're going to eat the calories, you might as well go for most delicious chocolate morsels.

Godiva is on sale everywhere: Barnes & Noble and department stores. You can pick up Ferraro Rocher chocolates in decorative Christmas tree boxes for cheap, too.

But my favorite are the locally made chocolates at Hoffman's in Palm Beach County. Hoffman's Chocolates' Greenacres store also does its annual holiday decorations and light display -- well worth seeing -- through 10 p.m. Dec. 30th. Lights and trains are turned on at 6 p.m. From I-95, drive west on Lake Worth Road. Address is 5190 Lake Worth Road.

For other store locations, see Hoffmans.com.

Of course, the best day to visit any chocolate store is the day after Christmas when everything is marked down. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Salvation Army super sale on Christmas Eve


Salvation Army, which usually is in the business of collecting money for its good causes, is marking down its acquired furniture and other items at all its Broward County stores on Dec. 24.

Everything will be 50 percent off for this one day only at the six Salvation Army Family Super Stores, open from 9 am to 4:30 pm. The stores have clothing, furniture, household goods, sporting equipment, books, electronics and more.

The best reason to buy: All proceeds from sales at the Salvation Army Family Super Store go directly to the operation of The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Centers.

Here are the Broward County locations:

1791 W Broward Blvd. 888 N University Dr.
Ft Lauderdale Pembroke Pines
954 463-3725 954-433-2160

310 N State Rd. 7 7707 W. Commercial Blvd
Margate Tamarac, FL
954 979-6999 954-721-0705

2300 SW 56th Ave.
Hollywood
954 961-7523

451 E Copans Rd.
Pompano Beach
954 782-3925

Shopping and doing good -- now that's a great concept. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds


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$70 worth of coupons at Macy's


Don't go to Macy's in Florida today without the $70 in coupons in today's Sun Sentinel.

If you have last-minute shopping to do, you might as well get a deal: $10 off of every $50 spent and $25 off of $100. That's on regular and sale items so look for the specials and apply the coupon.

Macy's coupons are valid Sunday through Tuesday, Dec. 21-23. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Christmas rush: NY & Co. 50 percent off plus coupon


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We women are certainly done with our Christmas shopping by now (well, almost), so now it's time to shop for ourselves! All the last-minute men will be wandering the malls this weekend -- poor lost souls. (Hey, another reason to go shopping for the single ladies.)

Look for the Christmas rush sales such as New York & Company's 50 percent off everything plus another 10 percent with this coupon:

10% off coupon

Unfortunately, this coupon is only good at Wellington Mall. Fine print says "not Broward Mall." Use it Saturday or Sunday up to 2 p.m.

This, and right after Christmas, is a great time to update your wardrobe for work or play. This is a cute ruffled jacket from New York & Company.

I'm on it. You? Tell me what good deals you're finding out there. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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$10 DSW coupon promotion


Shoe fav DSW apparently has teamed with Chevrolet in a promotion, offering a $10 coupon toward a purchase of $50 or more for anyone who test drives a Chevy Traverse Crossover. More importantly, enter the contest to win a DSW shopping spree worth $5,000.

Has American's automobile industry finally realized women are the ones making buying decisions?

Check out the promotion at Happy Shoe Year Sweepstakes.

Just don't drive in your high heels. Not that it's dangerous; it ruins your heels. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Up to 60% off at Crate & Barrel after Christmas


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If you, like me, have northern residents descend on you in January and February, it's time to spruce up for your guests.

A good way to do that are after-Christmas sales. One that could be good is Crate & Barrel's, which sent out a postcard advertising up to 60 percent off in its "winter clearance" sale starting Dec. 26.

I saw this Marimekko shower curtain that would look great in my guest bathroom, already on sale for $24.95 from $49.95.

So watch out for those after-Christmas sales. I know what I'll be doing Dec. 26. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Seldom Seen returns and other Las Olas tidbits


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I was crushed earlier this fall when I walked past Seldom Seen, one of my favorite stores on Las Olas Boulevard, and there was a big sign of the times: Bankruptcy Sale.

Seldom Seem "reopens under new management," apparently, on Wednesday, Dec. 17, according to a new sign in the window.

All the same great stuff seems to be in the window. Seldom Seen has always been the place to go when you were looking for that perfect gift for someone, but had no idea what to buy. Walk into the store and there it was! Welcome back, Seldom Seen.

In other Las Olas news, I found these great Vera Bradley "Zip ID" case -- just enough room for a license, lipstick and your car keys. Only $10 at Needlepoint Originals. Great holiday present for colleagues or girlfriends.

Other Vera Bradley older styles and colors are 25 percent off at the store (but I'm not supposed to tell you that. Shhhh...) -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Cashmere sweaters for 60 percent off


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Saks Fifth Avenue's Off 5th, located at Sawgrass Mall, is offering the oh, so cozy feel of cashmere for 60 percent off. Sweaters, hats, gloves and scarves are included.

Might be a good last minute gift for the relative up north who doesn't live in paradise.

The sale is only good until noon Saturday, Dec. 13. Off 5th also is offering 30 percent off the entire store through Sunday, Dec. 14. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Give a South Florida gift


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My friends Vickie and Tim had their Flamingo Park home on the Historic Flamingo Park home tour. I was put in charge of answering the door for visitors who came in droves.

Besides ideas in decorating your home, visitors may find local gift ideas on such tours. Vickie and Tim, for example, have put together a cookbook of 149 recipes from the residents' kitchens.

I had the opportunity to peruse the cookbook and it has some mouth-watering recipes that are beautifully illustrated.

The cookbook is $18.50 plus sales tax available by calling 561-758-5227 or e-mailing FlamingoFun@yahoo.com. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Designer handbags a deal at TJ Maxx


I've been to New York City and back looking high and low for the right purse. I needed a plain black purse, but I'm a little fussy. I want one where I can easily access my cell phone. It has to fit a reporter's notebook. It can't be too boring and it has to be well under $100.Kathy%20purse.jpg

Finally, I swung by TJ Maxx at 3722 N. Federal Highway in Lighthouse Point and found a great selection of handbags, many designer names including B Makowsky, Juicy Couture and Steve Madden. I chose a Kathy Van Zeeland for only $39.99; I saw similar purses on sale at department stores for twice as much.

My purse is similar to the one at right, but with a little more bling.

The store also had freshwater pearls for $14.99 and holiday wrapping paper for $3.99 a roll.

So TJ Maxx's motto of "Economize don't Compromise" holds up. And some breaking news:I overheard store managers say they're putting out newer handbags on Saturday (Dec. 6). I just couldn't wait any longer. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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NYC holiday markets beat department stores


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If you're foolish enough, like me, to head to frigid New York City on a winter holiday, at least visit the many holiday markets the city has to offer.

I went to the one at Union Square where I found painted cooper earrings by Bora from Greece for only $20 and a lovely silk-strewn necklace with a cascade of small gems for $47. You'll also find Christmas decor, unique leather goods and lots of fun gifts for children at the Holiday Market.

Similar markets can be found at Bryant Park, where you also can ice skate, Grand Central and Columbus Circle. So, wherever you land in the city, there is a holiday market to shop.

The markets feature booths from stores around Manhattan as well as the outreaches and independent vendors. While I wouldn't count on a return policy, I found the shopping experience more fun and interesting than the overcrowded department stores with faux sales (20 percent off and only $800!).

South Florida retailers might do well to copy this NYC idea. After all, our weather is much more conducive to outside shopping. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Win $2,000 shopping spree at Mizner Park


Mizner Park kicks off a month of holiday shopping events with a fashion show on Thurs., Dec. 4.

The "Holiday Nights on the Town" also features live jazz, wine and food tastings, and the chance at a $2,000 shopping spree at Mizner Park.

A special shopping pass with discounts and specials is available at shops. Go to Mizner Park.com for details and other incentives. I found, for example, 15 percent off at Ann Taylor Loft on Friday, Nov. 28, aka Black Friday. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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A deal for frequent Starbucks visitors


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I just moved to a new office location and I'm already missing my neighborhood Starbucks. But I will seek out new Starbucks to continue my addiction. I can work anywhere as long a I can find a Starbucks. At right is their new hazelnut hot chocolate. Haven't tried it yet, but it looks good.

To ease the financial pain of my coffee habit, I bought a Starbucks Gold Card. The $25 card gives me 10 percent off all purchases for a year. As much a I frequent the coffee hangout, I thought it was worth the price.

I've had a similar card with Barnes & Noble and find it useful for the holidays when I buy books, CDs or DVDs for many friends and family.

It's similar in concept to buying a membership to Costco or BJ's, but I've avoided these. While there are good deals, I know I would buy way more than I should. So I mooch off friends with cards. Now I can repay them with a discounted coffee. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Michael Kors dress meets every occasion


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My friend E. from North Carolina was visiting this weekend for a special event. We had some time to kill so we headed to the Sawgrass outlet mall, of course.

We checked out the 50 percent sale at Coach and then Michael Kors outlet store. Coach has some great buys right now, but even at 50 percent off, their handbags are at least $100 -- too much for sensible girls like us who grew up in the Midwest.

But we soon found our bargain at nearby Michael Kors: The French rosebud dress in cream or red, for only $49.99. We liked the red version -- so we both bought it.

This may be the perfect dress. It fits like a dream and it does not wrinkle. It was wrapped up in a tiny Michael Kors bag and unrolled in perfect form -- great for travel.

Two friends shopping together can rack up deals at Sawgrass. We needed black stockings to go with the dress so we headed to Saks Off 5th. We found Donna Karan "invigorating" stockings for only $4.99. Since we bought them together, we even got half off one pair!

Now a diehard Floridian, I rarely don a pair of stockings. It's just too darn hot. But these were fantastic: I've got to go back for more.

All in all, a successful shopping day. Bring a friend with you: it can pay off in savings and laughs. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Retailers say "Happy Birthday"


It's my 39th birthday again and all week long I've been getting cards from my favorite retailers, or at least those I signed up for discounts by mail.

White House/Black Market sent me $10 off any purchase; I just have to use it by the end of the month. Same offer with Victoria's Secret.

Loehmann's sent me a birthday postcard with a 15 percent discount valid anytime during my birthday month. And DSW sent me a $5 off postcard, but the purchase has to be $19.95 or more -- a little cheaper but I do get discounts from them all the time.

If you're concerned about giving out your birthday when signing up for these offers, use the first day of your birthday month. My friend J does that and then gets a full month to use the birthday discounts. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Designer jeans for $40 at Filene's Basement


I had to go to the place "where bargains were born," Filene's Basement, now that it has opened in Aventura.

It's nothing like the flagship store in Boston. I remember going there with my friend Lynn. It was a mess but a fun mess. Clothes on racks all over the place. I found a slinky black dress for some ridiculously low price.

Aventura is a bit more tame. Clothes are nicely organized on racks sporting designer names. The prices? A bit more steep than I remember in Boston.

Still, there are bargains to be found. The biggest is probably Filene's choice of designer jeans, many for less than $40. A variety of earrings and necklaces are easy pickups as well and designer sunglasses such as a pair of Oscar de la Renta's for $12.99.

Fantastic prices on women's and men's suits, if you're in the market for that.

I fell in love with a wrap dress from Barney's New York, but it was still too pricey for this bargain hunter at $130. But I'll be back. It's worth the drive. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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30 percent to 50 percent off designer shoes at DSW


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Put on your running shoes and sprint to DSW. The shoe store's sales racks are full of designer shoes -- Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Ann Marino and many, many more.

Most are dress-up heels and sandals -- great for holiday events. Get this: I bought two pairs of gorgeous shoes: a marbled shiny brownish black Ann Marino and sexy black pumps from Rampage for $35. OK, I had two $10 coupons DSW had sent me for being a loyal customer -- but still!

So don't wait until you need those satin with rhinestone pumps for the holiday party, go while you can get them el cheapo. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Get in the holiday mood at Crate & Barrel


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Whether it's Halloween, Thanksgiving or Christmas, Crate & Barrel Outlet at the Sawgrass Mills mall is bound to get you in the holiday mood.

I stopped there on Saturday and found a beautiful table runner 50 percent off, only $19.95. I chose the Alexandra red design, but there's also one with autumn colors (see at right).

Then I found an irrestible item for $6.95: fanciful salt and pepper shakers in the design of snowmen. My friend M collects those for her friend M, so I may pass them on to her. If not, one of my sisters' is getting snowmen as part of her Christmas present.

The snowmen design also is available in a sugar and creamer for $12.95, appetizer plates for $14.95, and tapered candles - snowmen with tall winter hats, 2 for $5.95.

What a fun tabletop for the children in us during the holidays! And at a bargain price, of course. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Check out Sam's Club: $10 holiday deal


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Sam's Club announced today (Thursday, Oct. 16) that it's offering a $10 membership good for 10 weeks for families and businesses not currently members.

Consumers can sign up for Sam shopping privileges on two weekends, Oct. 17-19 and Oct. 24-26. Sam's Club stores are in West Palm Beach, Lantana, Coral Springs, Sunrise, Miramar and Miami.

Sam's Club, Costco and other discount shopping stores are likely to be busy places this holiday season when most of us are trying to S-T-R-E-TCH that dollar. Check it out. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds


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Sawgrass starts Black Friday at midnight


No doubt responding to the less-than-cheery retail season expected, Sawgrass Mills outlet mall in Sunrise will open its doors at midnight on Thanksgiving (that's really Friday, Nov. 28).

Sawgrass will have "door busters" and other specials for its midnight opening event.

So if you've had your fill of turkey and pumpkin pie and you need to "walk" it off, try middle-of-the-night shopping at Sawgrass. It will be interesting to see who turns up. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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For love of belts, hats and jewelry


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If you have an overwelming appetite for accessories, For Love 21 is your destination.

The sister store to Forever XXI is at the Dolphin Mall in Miami. As my shopping sister Kathy recently wrote, we had a great time picking up jewelry, belts and other items -- mostly under $10 -- at For Love 21.

I tried on a cute hat and bought some belts, but passed on some really fun boots (why didn't I get those! Only $36.) What's great is that anything in this store won't do too much damage to your wallet.

Great place to find holiday gifts for the young fashionistas in your life. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Brides: Mark your calendars


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My friend and shopping diva Kathy told you about Filene's Basement opening Oct. 15 in Aventura. The other important date she left out is Jan. 16: The annual "running of the brides" sales event at Filene's Basement, this time in Aventura.

Many a movie and TV show have captured the scene: Brides-to-be wading through yards of white to find their dream wedding dress at a bargain Filene's Basement price. It's the only day of the year Filene's has bridal dresses, on sale for $249 to $699. (Yeah, guys, they do cost that much -- usually much more!)

Me? I wouldn't be caught dead there. But, knock yourselves out, ladies. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Filene's Basement opens in Aventura October 15th


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I've heard so much about Filene's Basement. Never been there. I am really excited....I'm finally going to get to shop at Filene's Basement! It feels so...so...what's the word...so very cosmopolitan!!

I saw it on Biscayne Blvd the other day as I drove down to Bal Harbor Shops. Wow, my heart jumped...it looked open...too bad...not yet. A freestanding building on the east side of Biscayne. (17651 Biscayne Blvd, Aventura.)

I live and work in Fort Lauderdale, but it seems there are a few reasons to drive south for discount shopping. Loehmann's is down there, and now Filene's.

What do you think? Is Filene's Basement worth getting excited about? Is it all it's cracked up to be? Have any of you shopped there? Is there a good selection? What kind of things do they sell...Designer dresses...Casual clothes? Which do you like better, Loehmanns or Filene's?

What are your favorite stores for finding bargain clothes in South Florida?


Filene's Basement

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The Dolphin Mall might be our new destination shopping center


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Last week I promised to let you know about the Miami mall a cute hip young fashion writer recommended. We thought we'd check it out first. It's an easy drive if you follow the Homestead signs driving south on the Turnpike. We didn't...don't ask.

Hardly an undiscovered gem, the huge parking lot was full, full, full. But, wow, well worth the drive. It's huge....and doesn't seem as picked over as local Sawgrass Mills.

It has some of the same big flagship stores as Sawgrass: Neiman Marcus Last Call, Off Fifth Saks Outlet, Burlington Coat Factory, T J Maxx, Marshalls, Bed Bath and Beyond. In total there are over 240 stores and restaurants.

Fellow blogger Marcia and I only had a few hours...we could have spent the whole day! Heck, you could spend a week there! We happened to walk in the entrance that took us to For Love 21, the Forever 21 accessory store. Huge selection, amazing prices. I bought a beaded necklace with a cheap charm on it, intending to replace their charm with an old locket I've had. Marked $4.95...scanned in at $1. Like a treasure hunt!

We ran out of time after Neiman Marcus Last Call...walking out for a previous engagement was sheer torture. The store signs were like the mythical sirens summoning us: Michael Kors, Coach, Calvin Klein, DKNY, DSW, Ann Taylor.....

But we'll certainly go back. And soon!

Dolphin Mall



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Spa week at Red Door


OK, I've got my appointment along with my bf "E."

But you gotta run to the phone (can't make an appointment online) and sign up for the Spa Week $50 specials at Elizabeth Arden Red Door Salon & Spa.

You have the choice of a facial, body melt (shea butter wrap and then a massage) or a manicure/pedicure special for only $50.

These treatments, at the luxurious Red Door, are usually $100 plus! Facials were already sold out at the Red Door location at the Bonaventure resort in Weston, but still available at The Galleria in Fort Lauderdale as of Saturday.

We chose the Bonaventure because after pampering, you can hang out for the day at the hotel's beautiful waterfall pool.

Spa week special is only for Oct. 13 to 17. Get your bf, like I did, and go for it. Life is short. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Las Vegas - Shopping or sightseeing?


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Meet my shop-a-holic friend, Indy, a UF friend (she now lives in LA) who I’ve been shopping with more than half a lifetime and all over the world. Indy’s idea of bargain hunting is buying her Louis Vuitton suitcase in Hawaii because the sales tax is lower than in LA. But she can spot and grab the best dress on the rack while I’m still fumbling for my glasses!

Here we are in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. We were supposed to be chaperoning her daughter's spring break trip....a scary thought. If you haven't chaperoned a gaggle of gorgeous college girls on spring break in Mexico, you haven't lived! After a hard day in ‘las tiendas,’ we cured our aching feet with a margarita (or two or three) at Cabo Wabo.

Next weekend, a mutual UF friend’s son is marrying the daughter of a UNLV coach in Las Vegas. We are staying a couple of days after the wedding festivities to explore the sights and hit the stores. I'll be shopping vicariously through Indy, most likely.

I’ve never been to Las Vegas, have you? Anyone have any first hand tips about where to go? Other than the hotel stores? I’ve heard there’s a huge outlet mall, but it’s a long drive and not worth the effort. Suggestions, please.

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There should be an Olympic sport for shopping!


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I promised another blog on my Shanghai shopping experiences.

This woman, Lee, worked in the 'Shanghai Fabric Market.' "Lee, we might not speak the same language, but we sure have a common bond!." Hint: did you read her t-shirt?

So this was the 'Fabric Market,' i.e. 'Shanghai South Bund Soft-Spinning Material Market,' where folks go to get clothes made. A 20 minute cab ride from the center of town, but cabs are cheap cheap cheap in China. Twenty minutes in a cab was between $4-5.

None of the cab drivers speak English, so make sure you get the name of your destination written in Chinese before you leave your hotel.

After ten days alone in town, I was feeling like a deaf mute, silently holding up small slips of paper with Chinese letters, in order to communicate.



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The Shanghai Fabric Market was 4 floors of crowded stalls, loaded with rolls of fabric and sample clothing. No dressing rooms, no English. But I was psyched, thought I would come home with a few fun and original dresses.

Armed with magazine clippings of designer clothes, I dragged out bolt after bolt of silk fabrics. Geeez, could the prints get more loud or garish?! Nothing like the beautiful Italian print in the Vogue ad. Oh well.

Next strategy: I have a classic dress with me, I'll pick a nice plain fabric and have it copied. Can you make it just a bit bigger, this dress is a bit tight?





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After measuring me EVERYWHERE, arms, thighs, knees, you name it, I thought WOW this dress is really going to fit!!

What do you think?

Next day, I feel like Houdini trying to get into the dress without flashing the masses sans dressing room.

Oh goodness, you must have gotten my measurements mixed up with those of Queen Latifah.




If I go back to Shanghai, which I would, don't let my whining discourage you... I would try a different strategy in the Fabric Market.

1) Pack pants or dress that fit perfectly to copy.

2) Pick fabrics from the beautiful mens suit fabrics in the ground floor stalls.

3) Wear a body suit or bicycle shorts and tank top (under your sack dress) on measuring and fitting day.

4) Ask, in your best Chinese, to have a second day fitting, pre-finished product.


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Shopping in Shanghai is not what it's cracked up to be


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I just got back from a 10 day visit to Shanghai China on what I imagined would be the ultimate shopping experience. I just knew I was going to have sooo much to blog about when I got back!! Everyone always raves about their shopping experiences in China!

Twenty five years ago I did a whirlwind tour of China, the last stop was Shanghai. Enchanted with the city, three days were not nearly enough. I left with that nagging feeling that I'd only scratched the surface of a very exciting city. I’ve been following Shanghai’s explosive growth through the media, I read voraciously about the wonderful restored neighborhoods, new architecture, restaurants and museums. I was haunted with the desire to return.

Shanghai is still an exciting city, barely recognizable from the Shanghai I visited in 1984, but it was fun to explore just the same. As for shopping, it’s not a tax free haven like Hong Kong, which is a shoppers paradise. Even the Shanghianese make regular shopping trips across the border to Hong Kong. In Mainland China there is a 33% tax on imported goods. The big shopping streets in Shanghai, Nanjing Road and HauiHai Road are bustling with designer stores, but there are no deals there. For example, a pair of Nine West shoes was $150. Shopping in beautiful stores that are way more expensive than home is not fun for this bargain hunter!!

So I avoided the malls, and hit the markets. The huge black market for fake designer goods keeps these markets bustling, even with supposed police crackdowns. There are aggressive hawkers everywhere shoving purse pictures in your face as they yell the only three words they know in English “Watch bag lady.” I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have a real $20 Target purse than a fake Louis Vuitton for the same price.

Displays of fake Tiffany silver, and every imaginable brand of watch abound. I left my good watch at home, scared by the string of Rolex robberies in South Florida…I didn’t want to get mugged in a country where the police don’t speak my language. I was lost without my timepiece, so when I got there I bought a $15 'Georgio Armani' watch (I hope the cops don't read my blog) which quit working before I got back to my hotel. Kind of proves the old adage "you get what you pay for."

I don't give up easily, and I did manage to buy enough goodies that I had to buy an extra suitcase to get it all home. I have work to do right now, have to get the newspaper out, but I'll tell you in my next blog about my China purchases.

Maybe you have some China shopping tips, in case any of our readers are going!

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Hibiscus Place: Las Olas consignment shop


Where: Hibiscus Place, 1406 East Las Olas Boulevard, Ft Lauderdale. (954) 463-6688

When you're born-to-shop, even a short fix is good one. If I happen to be at the post office on Las Olas (between the Dairy Queen and the Floridian,) there's a consignment shop right next door, on the east side. I can't be within feet of a consignment store and not run though it, can you? They get things in daily, they are one of a kind, so if you don't get there while it's there, you missed your chance. How many times have you asked in a shop for something specific, only to hear,"Oh, we had a really nice one last week." When its followed by some really low unbelievable selling price, that is even worse.

shopping3x.jpg Manny and Paul, the owners of Hibiscus Place, stock lots of ready-to-hang framed art, a very eclectic mix. But they don't buy just any old print. Their things are mostly original or, if a print, they are signed and numbered, like the Richard B Williams 'Regatta' print pictured here. It's marked $200. There are 2 Richard Williams signed sailing prints in stock right now.

If something has been in stock for awhile, they will mark it down, so be sure to ask about that. You are taking a chance, if you wait for the price to come down, but that's all part of the thrill of bargain hunting. I bought a beautiful Baker table here last year because I could finally afford it after the third markdown.

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Did I mention eclectic? They had loads of these Bali masks from a customer who collected them, before they downsized to a condominium. I'm not sure where I would go to find a Bali mask if I was in need of one? But it's all part of the surprise of consignment store shopping. These are marked $35 each, and as of this writing there are 7 left.

There are a few other interesting looking consignment stores on Las Olas west of Hibiscus Place, toward downtown, but I'm usually on my lunch hour when I stop by, so there isn't time to do them all. Why don't you stop by and let us know if they have anything we can't live without.

Hey, the latest dirt on saving money at Hibiscus Place: Go to Valpac.com/coupons, type in your zipcode and you'll find a Hibiscus Place coupon for 20% off. You can print it yourself.

Kathy (Born to Shop) Haines

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Eclectic one-of-a-kind items at 'Decades'


Where: DECADES, 2661 N Federal Highway, Ft Lauderdale 954 564-0454 7 Days 10am-5pm

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I'm not sure I should share one of my favorite shops.....I don't relish the competition from fellow bargain hunters!! Should I just keep it as my little secret?

Obviously not a secret, 'Decades' has grown from one store width to four in the years I've been shopping there. Located at the Crossroads Shopping Center, better known as the 'Egg and You' Plaza, this shop is part consignment, part close-outs, (sale items from expensive retail stores), some imports, an eclectic mix of inventory all priced to sell quickly.

Lots of their items are one of a kind, so you never know when they will get something you can't live without! Things move quickly, so you have to stop in often.

If you are changing your decor or downsizing, Jerry and Chaffi, the owners, might take your things on consignment, or buy them outright, but don't expect top dollar, they price to sell.

The carved mahogany table, right, is handy for the small foyers or halls found in South Florida condos. A friend bought one for her apartment's narrow entryway, was thrilled to find a nice piece of furniture for $59.

They usually have the below decorative magnifying glasses in stock. Made to look like antique silver, these are pretty enough to be left out on display, but handy for reading the fine print.

A nice gift item for $19.



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Decades is open on Sundays, for those of us who work Monday though Friday and run errands all day Saturday.

See you there......

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Get thee to Steve & Barry's


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Looking back at your retail shopping experiences, are there highlights?

First time winding yourself through the rooms at Ikea? Ever been to a Trader Joe’s? Or what about the Gap back in the day when they sold classically cut, moderately priced, decent quality clothing?

Last weekend, I had another “important” retail experience. And not because I left with bags full of clothing.

I finally made it to the low-priced fashion outlet known as Steve & Barry’s on 163rd Street in North Miami Beach, which opened last December. Right now, everything in the store is $8.98 or less.

The fully lined navy blue pea coat is $8.98. The Ben Wallace sneakers are $8.98. The message T-shirts emblazoned with everything from the Ford Motor Company logo to the University of Miami are $8.98. The all-cotton button-down collar shirts are $8.98. The EleVen line by Venus Williams is $8.98.

Obviously, we’re not talking top quality, but has anyone noticed that quality is more or less a thing of the past when it comes to clothing? Put this place on your list of retail field trips if you’re outfitting teenagers. Heck, moms might even leave with a piece from the Sarah Jessica Parker designed BITTEN line. I left with a pair of black pants and a shirt.

All for less than $20. Unbelievable.

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Shopping in Aruba


If you're like me, shopping is a big part of your vacation plans. One of the coolest ways to make a vacation last is to look around your house and see the items you bought that bring back the memories of some faraway place.

Going to Aruba on a cruise on by plane? Check out this video. You will find a shopper's dream -- with everything from skin care products made from aloe to gold and designer fashions. It's also a good place to find native crafts and paintings.

Yes, it is by the tourism folks, but it is still a great preview of what you can find. And it has great advice -- such as many shops are closed from noon to 2 p.m.

XOXO--- Shopper Girl

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For sale - Tony Soprano’s Caddy


tony.jpgImagine driving up to a valet in Tony Soprano’s 2003 white Cadillac Escalade. Or what about the 2003 champagne CTS driven by Paulie Walnuts?

Admittedly, you’ve got be a fan of HBO’s The Sopranos. But these and six other vehicles go on the auction block March 26 through 30 at the sixth annual Barrett-Jackson Collector Event at the South Florida Fairgrounds in West Palm Beach.

All of the cars will be auctioned without a reserve price. Net proceeds will benefit Childrens Hospital Los Angeles.

Two Town Cars, used by rival gangster Phil Leotardo, will be sold as a pair. There are also two 1993 Cadillacs driven by Patsy Parisi. Complete information at barrett-jackson.com.

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Miss Katie's Moves to Aventura


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As you're holiday shopping at Aventura Mall, be sure and check out the new Miss Katie's Charm School. After several years as first a store and then a kiosk at the Galleria mall in Fort Lauderdale, the girly girl's boutique has brought its adorable merch to a much bigger space (two times larger than its previous space) and, as owner Katie Adler says, it's "packed with gorgeous new magical items for girls of all ages." (Alert: Don't miss the new shoe department!) You can also still find stuff at the website.

K.V.W.




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Divine Find: British Marketplace and Tearoom


This week's Divine Find, as featured in today's Sun-Sentinel Sunday Lifestyle section

British Marketplace and Let’s Have Tea English tea room

6919 Stirling Road., Shops at Stirling Place, Davie, 954-584-8888. 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday, noon- 5 p.m. Sunday. Tea room hours are 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 12:30-3:30 p.m. Sunday. www.britishmarketplace.com

Owner: David Williams

Wow factor: The floor-to-ceiling walls of British food — candy bars, tea bags, jam, sauces, and potato chips — strike first. Then you realize that this 750-square-foot shop and the adjoining 750-square-foot tea room are also stocked with football (aka soccer) jerseys, tea kettles, cups and saucers and other oh-so-British items.

Editor’s picks: A David Beckham Real Madrid soccer jersey ($75; pricey, considering he now plays for the Los Angeles Galaxy) or similar shirts (starting at $65) from such premiere clubs as Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United. Tea pots, which start at $19.99 for inexpensive pottery and rise to $180 for collectible bone china.

English for less: Tea pot-shaped tea bag holders ($4.99); Walkers steak and onion or cheese and onion chips (99 cents); Cadbury Flake candy bars ($1.99); Bistro gravy ($4.99); Ty-phoo English tea ($9.99 for 80 bags); McVities chocolate digestives ($3.99) and Sherwood’s korma or tikka masala jarred sauces ($6.99).

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The tea room: Call one day ahead to be sure the 28-seat tea room hasn’t been booked for a private baby shower or 80th birthday. Afternoon tea ($9.95 per person) includes scones, Devon cream, jam, fruit, cakes and biscuits. High tea ($19.95) adds an assortment of sandwiches that might include cucumber and cream cheese or egg salad.

Trivia: Among the food items that sell most briskly are made-in-England cans of Heinz baked beans ($1.89) and Crosse & Blackwell Branston Pickle ($4.99), a kind of relish.

— JOHN TANASYCHUK

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Bombay Co. -- Bargains to come, but not quite yet


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If you’ve ever wanted a Christmas nutcracker for yourself or as a gift, now is the time to find an unusual one at Bombay Co. My favorites are the nutcracker pirate, chef and golfer at Bombay’s Boca Plaza store off Military Trail and near Town Center in Boca Raton. The nutcrackers are on sale for $23.20 to $39.20.

Bombay is getting ready to go out of business. At least that’s what the sign says. In reality, the store is trying to reinvent itself through bankruptcy court. The place to start might be with its prices.

The “big” sale is 20 percent to 40 percent off furniture, glassware, lamps, bedding and accessories.

“When does the real sale begin?,” I asked a sales person.

“They’re going to drag it out as long as possible,” he said. The sign for seasonal help on the door indicates Bombay will be with us at least through the holidays.

I’d watch in the next month or two for the prices to plummet. Right now at only 20 percent off some items, Bombay is no bargain. I’ve had my eye on a deep red duvet, but at 20 percent off $249, I think I’ll wait. Its sleigh beds were marked down, but also still no steal: from $999 to $719.20.

Bombay online operations have been discontinued, but there are eight South Florida stores from West Palm Beach to Miami. Stay tuned.

-- Marcia Heroux Pounds

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A new kind of Wal-Mart


The Wednesday opening of a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market in Coral Springs (4650 N. University Dr., North Hills Square, 954-753-7377) got lost in the Ikea shuffle.

What’s a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market?

It’s pint-sized (52,024-square-feet) compared to the typical Wal-Mart Supercenter (187,000 square feet) with just 29,000 items compared to 142,000.

It’s designed for convenience. So instead of the overflowing shopping carts of once-a-week-shopping families, the Neighborhood Market is designed to attract folks picking up a few things for dinner. This one was built in a former Winn-Dixie and includes groceries, prepared foods, a pharmacy and a big health and beauty department. It’s closer to what we think of as a traditional supermarket. Think of it as a more intimate Wal-Mart, with better lighting, better displays and less hubbub.

This is Florida’s 16th Market and the second in South Florida. The first one is also in Coral Springs. It opened in July at 10635 W. Atlantic Blvd. (Cypress Run Square, 954-345-9513).
Both stores are open 24-hours-a-day, 7 days a week.

The new store will have free giveaways all weekend long. I got handed a loaf of bread on my way out the door.

J.T.

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What do you love about Ikea?


Ikea has opened today! See the Sun-Sentinel's consumer blog to read all about the first day chaos. In one entry, columnist Daniel Vasquez says that most people he's talked to have all been to an Ikea somewhere in the world before.

We want to know: What's your favorite thing to buy at Ikea?

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All things aviation


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This was Shop-o-matic's DIVINE FIND in Sunday's Sun-Sentinel:

HANGAR 63

5320 NW 20th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, Fort Lauderdale, 954-493-8615 Hours: 8 a.m.-7 p.m., Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. hangar63.com

Owner: Don Campion

Wow factor: It’s the ultimate destination for anyone who loves aviation - from hobbyists and professional pilots to kids and adults obsessed with anything having to do with airplanes and flying. There’s even a flight simulator inside a Gulfstream fuselage. The 4,500-square-foot store is part of a three-year $4.5 million upgrade to the Banyan complex, a one-stop service provider for the aviation industry.

Editor’s picks: A classic patch-covered bomber jacket for a little one ($40). Radio controlled toys include an 18-inch long helicopter ($200) or four-foot-long P51 Mustang ($400). There are door mats for airline attendants that read: “A flight attendant and a normal person live here.” ($21.95). Half of the store is devoted to professional pilots where students can purchase books on learning to pilot and mechanics can purchase parts to make repairs. Headsets range in price from $200 to $1,000. Want to dress as a pilot for a Halloween? The store even has pre-knotted clip-on neck ties ($13.95).

Design for less: How about a children’s captain’s hat ($10), an infant-sized onesie printed with the words “Just Plane Cute” ($18.95) or “Fly Girl” T-shirts for young girls? There are also toy helicopters ($4.95) and aviator Teddy Bears ($16.95).

Trivia: Looking for a free conference room to accommodate 20 people? There’s a room overlooking the airport runway at Hangar 63. Call for details.

-J.T.

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Old friends, cool city, bargain shopping


Four female friends celebrating 40 years of friendship.

So, what should we do?

Meet in New York City for four days of fun and shopping, of course.

Which is how our quartet, who met as freshmen at Michigan State University in 1967, signed on for something called Elegant Tightwad Shopping Excursions, which offers various NYC barganista buying treks.

We picked the four-hour guided shopping spree through the Garment District, which took us to private showrooms offering mostly delightful duds at wholesale prices or less.

The tour is the brainstorm of Pamela Parisi, who tolled 20-plus years in the fashion trade before launching her shopping biz theeleganttight wad.com. When signing up, for this shop-o-rama, you complete a questionnaire that gives Parisi an idea of your taste and price range. She tries to match that with the 30 or so showrooms on her list.

One of Parisi’s minions led our trek, which covered about a half-dozen showrooms. The price: $90 per person. (For a limited time, the price is $75. Group sizes range from six to 15.)

We blitzed through endless racks of tops, jackets, sweaters, skirts, pants and leather coats. Prices: from $10 T-shirts to $12,000 leather coats.

You’ll have more selection if you’re closer to a size 4 than a 14. (At one stop, a box of headbands was among the offerings. “At least I know they’ll fit,” someone quipped.)

shopnyc.jpgOur foursome had its share of good buys. One, who lives in frigid Minnesota, snagged a fabulous black shearling coat for $1,200. And the owner shortened the sleeves on the spot. Another, who calls Austin, Texas, home, found a 100 percent cotton, beautifully tailored blouse for $45.

A minor fashion disaster: One showroom gave us snotty Big City attitude. And much of their merchandise was off-limits. Instead, someone rolled out a rack of stuff that looked neither current nor cute. It was like being offered gruel when filet mignon was all round you.

But that nasty taste of the Big Apple didn’t diminish our appetite for shopping - or fun.

We giggled our way through the buying bonanza — and other NYC adventures — as if we were 18 again.

Four women. Forty years of friendship. A million laughs.

I think 90 bucks was a bargain.

-- Liz Doup

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Furniture made your way


This week's Divine Find is...

RUSTIC ROOSTER (1701 W. Atlantic Blvd., Delray Beach; 561-243-1303; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday.)

Owners: Ray and Michelle Mendez

Wow factor: This store has come a long way since it opened four years ago with rustic furniture that could be painted to your specs and samples of custom kitchen cabinetry. These days, the Rustic Rooster carries everything from furniture imported from India and Vietnam to accessories from Palecek and upholstery from Lee Industries. But what makes this store stand out is its in-store customizing. The staff will paint the furniture you bring in or redo what they have in the store to match your decor. They will also restyle wood pieces. Recently a customer liked a breakfront but wanted silverware drawers. They redesigned the piece, adding a pair of drawers.

Editor’s picks: We love the white hand-painted Indian chair ($625), carved wall panel ($2,395), four-panel rooster screen ($375), glass pendant lamps ($129-$189) and bamboo base lamps with beaded fabric shades ($97).

Design for less: Consider the seashell-coated decorative balls ($11.95), funky cottage signs that say “Beach” or “Coastal Living” ($14.95 and $22), conch shell on a black pedestal ($65) and decorative tropical plates to hang on the wall (4 for $120).

Trivia: If he’s around, Mendez’s father, Rolando, will make you a cup of Cuban coffee to drink while you shop. The red barn-like structure reflects the historical roots of the building. This location, alongside the CSX railroad tracks, was the home of the Delray Beach Farm Supply for 46 years until it closed in June 2000.

-- C.V.S.

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About the authors
Doreen Christensen has never paid full price for anything. If there is a way to save on something, she will find it and share how you can save, too. Doreen is a senior reporter covering consumer news, health, beauty and features for the online and print editions of the Sun Sentinel. A 32-year veteran of the newspaper, she previously was a senior copy editor on the universal copy desk. Doreen spends her time off hunting bargains, clipping coupons, gardening and traveling.

Justine Griffin covers retail and marine business for the Sun Sentinel. She is a Tampa Bay native who graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2010. After spending a year covering crime in St. Augustine, Fla., she moved to Fort Lauderdale and made the switch to business journalism. When she’s not writing, she’s riding horses and spending time with her whippet puppy, Josie.

Marcia Heroux Pounds is the Sun Sentinel's workplace columnist when she's not shopping for shoes. She also writes about small business, which allows her to visit many of South Florida's unique shops and boutiques.

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