Tag Archives: shopping


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Did you know that there is no sales tax in Oregon State?  Yes, ladies and gents.  It’s time to start curating a trip to Oregon State where there isn’t sales tax so you can start saving even more of your hard-earned shopping cash.

Since the American Dollar has been horrendous to buy,  I wanted to keep an eye on my spending.  I checked out the shopping in downtown Portland; although there were some awesome things to buy – I wanted to stretch my dollar as far as I could.

After doing some research I found that Woodburn Premium Outlets® in Woodburn, Oregon would be able to help me out with my goal.  No sales tax coupled with 60% – 70% off mark downs was delectable for my pocketbook.

When I arrived to the open air beautiful sprawling layout that is Woodburn Premium Outlets® I knew I made the right decision.  The space was easy to navigate, it held shops I wanted to shop in, there were no long queues of people waiting to make purchases and there were deals to be had.

Think of these 110 Outlet Stores and how they could help you out with your Black Friday Shopping:

Adidas, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Cole Haan, Eddie Bauer, Fossil, Gap, J.Crew, Max Studio, Nautica, Nike, The North Face, Polo Ralph Lauren, Puma, Tommy Hilfiger, Tumi, and more.

As always as you prep for your shopping day I encourage you to pick up a Woodburn Premium Outlets® VIP Coupon Book from the Management Office if you are an AAA member.  This Coupon Book will make your American dollar go even further.

For example, in my Woodburn Premium Outlets® VIP Coupon Book I had Levi’s Outlet Store savings of $15 off purchase of $100 or more and $30 off purchase of $200 or more.  I also found a Cole Haan $50 off purchase of $250 or more and a J.Crew 10% off purchase of $100 or more.  In total there are over 85 merchants participating in the Woodburn Premium Outlets® VIP Coupon Book – all ready to knock off more money off their wares.

The Woodburn Premium Outlets® VIP Coupon Book  has a nice mix of high-end merchants to middle of the road merchants.  Keeping in mind the goal of saving cash – when you shop during Black Friday keep your Woodburn Premium Outlets® VIP Coupon Book close at hand.  Coupled with the no sales tax – you could be saving close to 80% off your total purchases.  That would never happen in downtown Portland, Oregon.

In my store hunt I was able to pick up 3 pairs of Levi’s Jeans, a t-shirt and some accessories for all under $60 using my coupon booklet and saving on the no sales tax.  The total worth of the goods was $200 retail.  That was a huge win.

Last Fall, when I visited Woodburn Premium Outlets® sister, Woobury Common Premium Outlets® in Central Valley, New York; I discovered a new-found love affair with Under Armour.  With our Canadian winters getting even worse – Under Armour on sale is a great investment.

As I ploughed through the sales rack I found a fleece, a hoodie, some yoga stretch pants and some comfy work out tees.  Again using the Woodburn Premium Outlets® VIP Coupon Book and saving on the no sales tax I walked away with goods for a total of $90.  The total worth of the goods was $300 retail.  Another win.

I appreciated the fact that we were outside Portland and it was a tad quieter walking around Woodburn Premium Outlets®.  Similar to that of Woodburn’s sister Outlets:  Woodbury Common Premium Outlets® (in New York), Chicago Premium Outlets® and Boston Premium Outlets® – Woodburn Premium Outlets® was awesome to stroll in and out of shops.  The cool crisp air, fall colours and a no stress to shopping ambiance added to my shopping vigour.

The shops were endless and easy to navigate.  I would encourage you to pick up a map before you start your day and circle the shops you would like to check out.  This will give you an idea on time and also keep an eye on where you want to spend your money the most.

If you are looking for break points to leave your partner and the kids or need a respite from all that shopping there are some great food options on site.  From the cheerful cafes and sit down eateries – again Woodburn Premium Outlets®  has you covered.  Again, all affordably priced.

Lastly, I encourage you to get to Woodburn Premium Outlets® early in the day.  This way you can get a feel of the space and as I mentioned before start some map pre-planning.   It will save you time and you will capture all of your shopping needs.

Keep this Checklist handy before you leave for Woodburn Premium Outlets®:

–          Sign up for their VIP Shopper Club for added discounts or coupons https://www.premiumoutlets.com/vip/

–          Grab a bottle of water, wear some comfortable shoes and be ready to walk.

–          Get a good night sleep the night before so you are clear and ready to search out some awesome deals.

–          Try to keep your normally heavily purse down to the bare minimum.  The less you carry on your upper body frees up hands for purchases.

–          Make a list of things you want to buy for yourself, family and price points that fit your budget.

–          Grab a map and a coupon booklet from the Management Office before you start shopping.  They are located close to the Levi’s Store.

–          Lastly, keep your chin up and have fun.

What are Woodburn’s store hours over Black Friday and the Christmas holidays?


How do I get to Woodburn?


Keep it simple and have fun!  Tell me what you pick up!


1001 N Arney Road

Woodburn, OR 97071

(503) 981-1900


Let’s Shop at Woodbury Common Premium Outlets!

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When I travel I love to find deals – who doesn’t?  Especially when I am in the U.S..  In Canada, there are deals to be had but between the exchange, duty and finding the deal – it’s a lot of work.  I’m all about keeping the Canadian dollar in Canada.  But when you see something that is 60-70% off retail from where the price stands in Canada; tell me – what would you do?  Exactly.

Whilst in NYC I made sure I left some time to head over to Woodbury Common Premium Outlets.  I’m glad I did.  It was worth taking  a breather from the intensity of shopping downtown NYC for a day and be out in the country amongst some quaint cottages holding some wicked labels.

Ann Taylor, Armani, Balenciaga, Banana Republic, Burberry, Chloe, Coach, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Last Call by Neiman Marcus, Michael Kors, Polo Ralph Lauren, Prada, Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, Tom Ford, Tommy Hilfiger are all represented and have bargains galore.

My journey started early on a Friday morning to head over to Central Valley, NY.  I grabbed an early train from Greenwich Village and then jumped on a ShortLine/Coach USA.  ShortLine/Coach USA offers a frequent daily bus service to Woodbury Common from Port Authority in New York City (42nd St & Eight Ave).   For around $40 I was able to kick back and enjoy the scenery as we headed out of the city.  Indeed there are other ways to get to Woodbury; but the coach service was perfect for a single girl like me or if you are venturing out with your girlfriends or partner.  Easy,  safe and affordable.

When we arrived at Woodbury Common Premium Outlets we went to the Tower Building and were able to pick up an amazing coupon booklet for additional savings with our bus ticket voucher.

After that exercise, I was off to the races.  I was keen to check out Le Sportsac for a cosmetic bag, Levi’s, Under Armour (because it was freezing that day and I hadn’t dressed warmly enough) and also perhaps get lost in Diane Von Furstenberg, Dior and Polo.  I liked being able to shop at stores that my pocket book could afford and then also check out the luxury goods that perhaps I could dream I could afford.

The rolling hills of Central Valley behind the outlet beckoned with gold, yellow, orange and red Fall colours.  For a moment I felt transported out of NY State.  Take a moment to enjoy this sight even in the winter with your hot coffee.

The shops were endless and still easy to navigate.  If you are wondering – ‘I don’t want to go all the way up there for a few shops’.  Quit that thinking asap.  Woodbury Common Premium Outlets as the name states is premium in its wares.  Just when you thought you had hit all of the stores a whole other lane opens up for you to get lost in.  Keep your eyes peeled and grab a map before you start.

There is a real culture at these Premium Outlets that I have noticed.  There are a lot of Europeans who arrive at the airport, empty their cases at their hotels and jump on a coach to Woodbury to fill them with goodies.  It’s fascinating to watch.  My job was to keep my shopping to a minimum for necessities as I only brought a duffle bag with me to NYC.  I spoke to a girl from Madrid on my way back to NYC who expressed she had filled her current suitcase and had merrily gone to the Samsonite shop and filled it with Coach, Cole Haan, Polo Ralph Lauren goods.  No shame, no shame.  Just do it well and with class.

If you are looking for break points to leave your partner and the kids or need a respite from all that shopping there are some great food options on site.  From the cheap and cheerful cafes and sit down eateries – again Woodbury has you covered.

I got to Woodbury at 9:30 a.m. and left around 3 p.m..  I had hit my threshold by that point.  I encourage you if you can to try and stick to that schedule.  This way you can get on a non-crowded coach,  avoid traffic and to also monitor you’re spending – ‘Do you really need another pair of boots?’.

Lastly, make some time if you are in NYC for Black Friday to travel up to Woodbury Common Premium Outlets.  You will be certain to grab the lion’s share of savings.

What’s in my checklist before I leave for Woodbury?

–          Sign up for their VIP Shopper Club for added discounts or coupons https://www.premiumoutlets.com/vip/

–          Grab a bottle of water, wear some comfortable shoes and be ready to walk.

–          Get a good night sleep the night before so you are clear and ready to search out some awesome deals.

–          Try to keep your normally heavily purse down to the bare minimum.  The less you carry on your upper body frees up hands for purchases.

–          Make a list of things you want to buy for yourself, family and price points that fit your budget.

–          Grab a map and a coupon booklet from the Tower Building before you start shopping.

–          Lastly, keep your chin up and have fun.

What are Woodbury’s store hours over Black Friday and the Christmas holidays?


How do I get to Woodbury?


Keep it simple and have fun!  Tell me what you pick up!

Woodbury Common Premium Outlets

498 Red Apple Court

Central Valley, NY 10917

(845) 928-4000


Target comes to Cloverdale Mall (Etobicoke)

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I checked out Target at the Cloverdale Mall (Etobicoke) this morning. I was there for 10:30 a.m. and it was heaving. I’m glad I wasn’t there for the 8 a.m. open because I can only imagine the droves of folks waiting to get in. Too much for this gal. 😉

Cloverdale Mall is an interesting mall. It’s been around for decades and in the last few years it has really done a good job rebranding their image to get with the times. Now that they have Target, the out of town relative with the big bucks – I guarantee this mall will be the place to be for a whole new generation of shopper. Times are a changing in Etobicoke.

Now onto Target. Bottom line – I was disappointed. The pricing in store for the majority of Target’s goods was insanely expensive to Canadian price standards. Sales? None. What are we not good enough?

When I have been to Target in the States – I could always guarantee to pick up a couple of tee’s, children’s clothes, jewellery items or a fashion bag all on clearance or at least on sale. Prices would range from $1 to $10 USD. In store today I saw jewellery priced at $10 and a dress at $29.99. Look we are not talking Banana Republic in quality people. This is the Zeller’s ‘Merona’ brand. I can find a dress for $29.99 with a coupon at BR at 30% off which would last me a few years.

The store was neatly arranged and there was a lot of space to move around. I like the small but generously laden grocery section. I went looking for my $1.99 Goldfish (Target USD prices) and found instead $2.99 Target CAD Goldfish. There were a few signs around the food area which stated ‘We’re In the Process of Stocking Up So You Can Too’. Cheeky. Cute. Very Target.

There is a Pharmacy in store and a Starbucks. No Target Food Hall. Boo. I loved picking up a $1.29 hot dog while romping around the store in Buffalo.

The beauty and personal care area of the store was massive. The Sonia Kashuk and Pixi lines were present. Too bad the JK Jemma Kidd line didn’t come over the border to greet us. Nor the Boots line. Its early days I guess. I can’t be that picky. 😉

I liked the home decor section – albeit it was small. It feels like Target is trying to rip off Anthropologie’s design aesthetic. Ok, that’s cool. But again, the prices! I could probably find neater things at Homesense for a lot less.

I found a cool Record Player for $89.99 in the electronics aisle. I will be awaiting this baby’s price reduction.

I also liked the wall of bags in the accessories area of the store. A nice mix of casual and funkier bags that Target in the U.S. has lost its touch on in the last few years. The prices were affordable and I was surprised that there were some styles that looked like quality leather goods (but weren’t).

The gold mine is in the shoe area. The prices again need to be worked on but the sweet sandals, cow boy booties and rain boots were on trend.

There were a lot of sales staff on the floor willing to help. They felt authentically friendly and not pushy. A huge check! I observed them taking people to product on the floor. Refreshing. There was some sales staff working away whilst others stood and greeted shoppers.

I overhead some shoppers say things like ‘Another American retailer?’, ‘These prices suck’, ‘Oooh I love those shoes’ and ‘I’m coming back again!’. There were young families, elderly folk and people in to see what all the fuss was about. It was fun! I may not have bought something today – but I will be back once the dust settles.


Top Shopping Destination: Chicago Premium Outlets

Chicago is a great city to explore, play in and most importantly shop in.  When I first visited Chicago close to 6 years ago now, it was a mecca for this Canadian girl with retail shopping giants Filene’s Basement, Loehmann’s, T.J. Maxx and Nordstrom’s Rack beckoning me from their high street shops on Michigan Avenue.

I got many a deal.  I remember packing my suitcase my last night in Chicago and actually thinking ‘wow I have saved some major cash on clothes, bags, shoes for myself and also knocked off a huge chunk of my Christmas shopping in a 4 day Chicago visit’.  My prize possession was a Cynthia Rowley bag from Loehmann’s for $70 reduced from $345.  I found her in a clearance bin.

This past trip to Chicago – hmmm, let’s say was different.  Times have changed in Chicago.  Filene’s, Loehmann’s are now gone.  Sigh of the economic times.  It was pretty sad to see their signage still up where their Magnificent Mile shops once stood.  Sure there is a plethora of amazing shopping on the Mag Mile still to be had.  But when you have three girls on summer holidays who want bang for their Canadian buck and to also stuff their suitcases with bargain treats…it was abysmal to say the least.

That is until I found the Chicago Premium Outlets.

Chicago Premium Outlets is located just 45 minutes west of downtown Chicago.   Chicago Premium Outlets is home to 120 outlet stores, including Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Calvin Klein, Coach, Cole Haan, Elie Tahari, Gap Outlet, Giorgio Armani, J.Crew, Kenneth Cole, Lacoste, Nike, Polo Ralph Lauren, Salvatore Ferragamo, Sony, Theory, Vera Bradley and more.  A complete list of stores can be found at: http://www.premiumoutlets.com/outlets/store_listing.asp?id=63

The Chicago Premium Outlets is laid out in a village style which is common for their brand of outlets.  It’s very comfy and warm.  The Premium  Outlets can now be found all over the United States and have the best of the best of high end retailers offering their wares 50 – 80% off retail.

I loved that the Chicago Premium Outlets was easy to navigate, clean, a nice mix of posh shops like BCBGMaxAzria and Cole Haan.  The shops speak the language of you and I.  I know I’d feel slightly weird walking into BCBGMaxAzria on the Mag Mile.  But at the Chicago Premium Outlets I was able to walk in, peak at their lovely wares, and check out products that were affordable and still the same amazing quality.

BCBGMaxAzria wasn’t the only shop that offered warm welcomes at the Chicago Premium Outlets.  We loved and bought amazing pieces from Coach,  Banana Republic Factory Store, Gap Outlet, J. Crew, Kate Spade New York, Lacoste, Le Creuset, Levi’s Outlet Store, Lucky Brand and  Michael Kors to name a few.

There were no crazy lines, the sales staff was friendly, helpful, the stores were big but you didn’t need a map to find where you needed to go, and the signage for pricing was always readily available.  Which is helpful when you want to know quickly what you are saving in dollars.

I really encourage you to do some prep work before you go to the Chicago Premium Outlets.  Sign up for the VIP Shopper Club membership from their website.  Shoppers can get access to exclusive discounts as members of the VIP Shopper Club.  It’s free and easy to join just visit premiumoutlets.com/VIP.  You can then get your hot lil hands on their VIP Coupon Book, VIP Shopper Club Information and most importantly VIP Shopper Club Coupons.  You can print these coupons out ahead of time and take them into your favourite shops to use on purchases.

These coupons really helped us.  We were able to layer coupons up onto one another to get even more savings.   This was gobsmackingly amazing!  Where else can you do that????

For example I received a 20% Off Coupon for Kate Spade to be used on any full price handbag or wallet at the Information Centre located in the Food Court.  I applied it to an already 40% off purse and than using my VIP Shopper Club Coupons I was able to get an additional 10% off my entire purchase.  Got that?  70% off my purchases at Kate Spade!  Amazing deal!  I actually felt faint when I left the store.

My girlfriend’s had similar experiences.  We met up half way in our shopping jaunt to see how we were doing.  There were tales of beyond believable pricing, great customer service, easy transactions, helpful sales staff who made recommendations without being bossy and most of all where we needed to go next to pick up similar sales items that one of us had already made that morning.

I bought a dress from Michael Kors for $40 reduced from $295, 8 dresses from The Gap Outlet with my dynamic couponing was reduced to $100, a neat make up purse from Kate Spade and a Kate Spade Thermos bring a total transaction value of $27.

Don’t worry about cool eats at the Chicago Premium Outlets – there is an amazing Food Court with affordable and yummy foods to keep your strength up for even more shopping.  This was helpful, especially when we needed to stop for a moment and take stock of where we wanted to go next whilst also filling our bellies.

How do you get up to the Chicago Premium Outlets?  Easy!  Some suggestions follow.  We opted for Windy City Limousine (847) 916-9300.  They picked us up from our hotel and dropped us off at the Chicago Premium Outlets in less than an hour and returned us on time.  I would encourage you to splurge and get the Windy City Limousine treatment.  You don’t have to worry about trekking with your shopping all the way back to your hotel after a long day on your feet hunting for deals, why not give yourself a lil treat and let someone else take care of the driving.

Now that Black Friday and Christmas is coming up – it’s time to start planning some shopping trips from both the U.S., Canada and overseas.  Getting a cheap flight to Chicago is easy.  If you are looking for savings I would really encourage you to do your research wisely and see which shops will meet your needs in the city of Chicago.  But if you want to try and make a dent in your credit card that will leave your credit company wondering ‘how did they do that?’ – Please visit the Chicago Premium Outlets on your next visit to Chicago and tell me what you buy.  Happy Summer!

Chicago Premium Outlets

1650 Premium Outlets Boulevard
Aurora, IL 60502
(630) 585-2200


Shopping Hours

Regular Hours

Mon-Sat: 10am-9pm, Sun: 10am-7pm  Check out their Black Friday/Thanksgiving and Christmas Shopping Hours here http://www.premiumoutlets.com/outlets/hours.asp?id=63

How to get to the Chicago Premium Outlets?

By Car

Off I-88, exit at Aurora, Farnsworth Avenue North.

From Chicago: I-290 West (Eisenhower Expressway) to I-88 West.
From Northern Illinois: I-39/Rte. 51 South to I-88 East.
From O’Hare International Airport: I-294 South (to Indiana) to I-88 West.
From Northwest Indiana/Stateline Region: I-65 North to I-80/94 West to I-294 North (to Wisconsin) to I-88 West.
From Northwest Suburban Chicago: I-290 East to I-355 South to I-88 West.
From Iowa/Western Illinois: I-80 East to I-88 East.
From Central IL Region: I-55 North to I-355 North to I-88 West.
From Northern Suburban Chicago: I-94 East (South toward Chicago) to I-294 South (O’Hare/Indiana) to I-88 West.

By Bus

Gray Line of Chicago

(800) 621-4153

Round trip bus service on Tuesdays and Thursdays (service operates with minimum of 10 people. Other charter bus service dates available from downtown Chicago for groups of 10 or more). Call for schedule, pricing, and reservations.

Pace Bus #533

(847) 364-7223

Service from Aurora train station

By Limousine

Windy City Limousine

(847) 916-9300

Chicago’s premier ground transportation company, providing the newest fleet of vehicles with experienced and service-oriented chauffeurs. Contact info@windycitylimos.com to schedule your shopping trip.

By Train

From Chicago

Metra Rail

(312) 322-6777

From Chicago’s Union Station to Aurora Station. Taxi service from Aurora station to center.

Taxi service or Pace Bus #533 from Aurora station to center.

All Occasion Transportation

(800) 454-1380

Private luxury shopping excursions to Chicago Premium Outlets.

Target: State and Madison (Chicago, Illinois)

The new Target store on State Street officially opened on Sunday July 29, 2012 in downtown Chicago.  It’s a prime location close to the old Carson Pirie Scott building at State and Madison.

This Target is called a City Target. It’s smaller than suburban Target stores (but still has two vast floors!), and it is designed to be a one-stop shop for commuters and nearby residents. Food and household supplies will be replenished more quickly than at traditional Target stores.

Ten percent of the store will have fresh food. There’s also a special cosmetics department and free WiFi access for shoppers.

The tall pillars with crown mouldings near the front of the store and a wee Pret A Manger for some small eats.  I found it pretty classy for a Target.  Very impressive.  This store didn’t look like the well worn Target store in American suburbs that we are used too.  There was a classier air to this location.

I found the store to be nicely laid out, organized and extremely spacious.  On the flip side…it’s hard to find stuff.  Yes, indeed this is a super store and some items are a bit pricey.  But if you are looking for convenience when it comes to groceries and picking up bits and pieces to carry you through on holiday and to bring home for friends and family as economical and practical gifts – this is the Target to go to.

Check it out!

1 S State St

Chicago, IL, 60603

(312) 279-2133

M-Fr: 7:00AM-10:00PM

Sa: 8:00AM-10:00PM

Su: 8:00AM-8:00PM