Thursday, November 8, 2012

Alabama Bloggers and The Outlet Shops of Grand River

Saturday I had a wonderful opportunity to meet up with some fabulous Alabama Bloggers at The Outlet Shops of Grand River in Leeds, Alabama.  I've been there a few times before, but it was usually when I was on my way home from Birmingham.  Most of the time, Marty would drop me off and he and Jameson would head across the Interstate to Bass Pro Shops.  Because of that,  I really didn't realize how close to home the Shops were.  I was really surprised that The Outlet Shops were only about 40 minutes from my house!  That's no time at all, considering it already takes me 20 minutes to get to my "local" shopping areas.
I was thrilled that the first person I saw was Rachel from Grasping for Objectivity and from Alabama Bloggers.  Rachel is the awesome lady who first convinced me to step out of my comfort zone and go to the Lisa Leonard event a few years ago.  Rachel is also the person who invited me to this very special event!  At that time, I also got to meet Beth from Unskinny Boppy!  (Seriously, if you don't already follow Beth's blog...DO IT NOW!  She's got some amazing things going on!)

As soon as we walked in, we were greeted by a fabulous brunch provided by Olexa's Cafe of Mountain Brook.

Gorgeous (and delicious) salad, quiche, muffins, mimosas, and BACON!  The food tasted even better than it looked!

While we were eating, I enjoyed some hilarious conversation with Jamie from Jamie's Rabbits, Katherine from Grass Stains, Beth from Unskinny Boppy, Stephanie from Plain Chicken, and Sherri from You Got Rossed.  Seriously, these are some of the most hysterically funny women on the planet (excluding me), sitting all together at one table.  Magic, I'm telling ya!

Jamie, Sherry, and Rachel
After brunch, Tracy James, Stylist and Fashion Consultant from Chic Made Simple did a fabulous presentation of the Top 10 Fall Fashion Trends.  Tracy taught all of us, including those of us who don't know a thing about fashion, many things that will help us shop for the right colors and styles for the season.

After Tracy's informative presentation, we split into groups and had a completely insane scavenger hunt through the shops.  It was SO much fun!  I swear some of those shop workers were 5 seconds away from calling security on all of us!  LOL  Stephanie and Beth were my partners and I thought we did pretty good!  Unfortunately, we didn't win, but still had a fantastic time!

Gorgeous fall day at the Shops!

Team "One Short"! Me, Stephanie, and Beth

Stephanie and her hysterical chicken purse!
After our scavenger hunt, we were given a huge surprise....A goody bag filled with coupons, chocolate, brochures, and a $50 gift card to use at any of the shops!  Talk about being EXCITED!

Jamie and Katherine let me tag along and we went straight to Maurice's.  I didn't think I would be able to get anything in my size there, but MAN was I wrong!  They have TONS of incredible plus-sized clothing!  I was like a kid in a candy store!  I think I ended up carrying about 10 pairs of jean into the dressing room.  While I was making some final selections to try on, Rachel comes in to help Kat find a perfect pair of jeans.  Rachel is known in our circle as the go-to person for finding the perfect pair of jeans.  You can read about Rachel's amazing skill in finding the perfect jeans for everyone HERE and HERE. (**warning** Lots of {covered} butt shots)

The benefit of Rachel helping Kat, was that since she was there, she could also help me!  Jamie, having already gone through the "find the perfect jeans to make my butt look good" process, helped Rachel by giving her own opinions and critiques.   After several failed tries, Kat and I both found "perfect" jeans and headed for the checkout.  With the in-store sales going on,  a store coupon, and my $50.00 gift card, I was able to buy an awesome pair of jeans, a fabulous crimson lace tank top, and a super-soft, long-sleeved grey t-shirt, for $5.44!!!  Can't beat that price with a stick!

I was SO excited with my purchase!  My only regret was that with all the time I spent in Maurice's, I didn't have time to visit all of the other shops.  I'm dying to visit Charming Charlie's, Lane Bryant, the Le Creuset outlet, the Coach outlet, and even the Ghirardelli chocolate shop!  So many fabulous shops, so little time!  After I finish my craft show this weekend, I plan on heading right back to the outlets for some rest, relaxation, and RETAIL THERAPY!

The weather was perfect, the food was great, the company was incredible, and the Outlet Shops at Grand River was AMAZING!  It couldn't have been a better day!

Oh, I guess one not-so little thing could make this even better.  As if the Shops weren't already fabulous enough for the incredible day, they also gave each of us a $50.00 Outlet Shops of Grand River gift card to give to one of our blog readers!!!  Isn't that awesome?

So, if any of y'all reading are within driving distance of Leeds, Alabama or if will be planning to come to this area over the next few months, this giveaway is for YOU!

AND, since I've had so many issues and delays in getting this post up, the winner can also choose one of any of the crafts you have seen on this blog that I make (within there is no way I am ever making another ribbon wreath again....too much work and expense.  HAHA!).  If you don't want the craft, you can let me know and I will choose a second winner for that!

So to win this fabulous gift card, visit The Outlet Shops of Grand River on Facebook, and then leave me a comment letting me know which store(s) you want to visit with your $50.00 gift card! 

All entries MUST be on this post!

You don't have to do anything to get one entry other than leave a comment on this post!   For extra entries, follow  The Outlet Shops of Grand River and Alabama Slacker Mama on Facebook and come back and leave a comment telling me you are following.  That is a total of THREE entries for this giveaway!  The comments will be open until Tuesday (11/13)  night at 11:00 PM (CST) and I will draw and announce a winner on Wednesday, November 14th!

Good luck and I can't wait to see who wins!


In exchange for this post, The Outlet Shops of Grand River provided me with a $50 gift card to spend as I wanted.  They also provided me with second $50 gift card to give to one of you.  The opinions stated on this post are my own and have in no way been swayed by The Outlet Shops of Grand River.

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