Saturday, December 14, 2013

Getting my shopping FIX on

Since we live in Tampa, we are fortunate enough to be within a few hours of many amusement parks and attractions. One of the things I love to do a few times a year (every season) is to head to the outlets in Orlando. Did I just call the outlets an attraction?


We woke up bright and early to head out by 7:30 am because the outlets open at 9 am. We wanted to arrive  early to get a great parking space and before the crowds. 

I love fashion and I love good deals. In my mind, an outlet is definitely one of the greatest attractions nearby! My brother would disagree with me...

4 hours into shopping...we had to feed him something because he was getting tired

I made a list earlier this week of what my brother and I needed for our closet. My brother wasn't that excited about shopping but he was picky about what we bought. I normally point at shirts in the same style but he gets to pick the colors. I pick out two sizes that I think will fit him and send him off to try them on. He tells me which one feels more comfortable to him while still giving him a bit of wiggle room to grow.

He ended up buying a new jacket, a few pairs of pants, a pair of shoes, his first wallet, and several tops. His tops consisted of T-shirts, long sleeves and sweaters. He got a few polos in November so he said he had enough. 

We plan on heading back to the outlets again next summer before he starts high school for a completely new wardrobe. He's probably going to grow between now and summer! He's in an awkward phase right now because he's outgrown the children's section but he's a little too small for the men's section. 

For my personal shopping, I went into it knowing I wanted to avoid buying dresses. I always buy dresses and find myself with not enough tops. 

I'm happy to report that I didn't buy a single dress this weekend! (Let's not mention that I have two dresses that I ordered online coming next week :P)

I bought two belts, a pair of wedge sneakers to walk in when we're in Taipei, a pair of black skinny pants, a pair of dark jeans and several tops. One thing I love about the outlets is how big their petite sections are in all the major brand stores. Buying pants is a chore for me because I'm short yet I have wide hips. I have to try on several pairs of pants until I can find a pair that are the right length and fit my thighs, hips and waist. Length can be tailored but I try to avoid it when I can. 

One of the things I can't emphasize enough is TRY ON THE CLOTHES. I know it's a pain in the ass to stand in line waiting for a dressing room but clothes always look different on the hanger versus on your body. Sometimes things you didn't think would work or fit will. Sometimes the size you thought you were is actually too big for you. Don't be afraid of the dressing room. It'll save you the headache of having to return something later or having a closet filled with clothes you never wear.

Also, don't let the size get you down. All shops have a different idea of what an S is. Vanity sizing is a very real thing! Sometimes I'll buy a sweater in size M because I wanted it looser and longer to wear with skinny jeans. 

There was one story of when I was shopping in a store for a semi-formal dress because I was meeting my boyfriend's extended relatives for the first time and the uncle was a pastor. I was on the hunt for a dress that didn't say hi-your-nephew-is-dating-a-skank and maybe accessories to go with the dress but the saleswoman kept trying to get me to buy other things. 

"Let me grab you a size-2 jean to try on."

I replied, "I'm not a size 2."

"In our jeans you are!"

What is this? Some kind of marketing ploy for me to wear their jeans and go around feeling better about myself? I respectfully declined with a smile while trying on the dress I did end up buying along with a red cardigan and two belts (I need choices!). 

Size doesn't matter! What matters is that the clothes FIT you. If clothes are too small on you, you end up looking bigger than you actually are. 

How many times have you seen thin girls with a muffin-top because their jeans were way too tight? Also, I'm trying to remind my mom that baggy clothes don't hide the fat. It makes you look bulky and bigger than you actually are!


There were some fantastic deals at all the shops. I could have stayed there all day trying things on but the boys were burnt out from shopping and needed to eat. 

One of the outfits I bought yesterday. Red Sweater and Petite Black Pants from Ann Taylor. I love the fabric of the pants because it's stretchy and legging-like so it fits like a glove without making my legs feel like sausages. 



We headed to the nearby Panera because my brother has never been. I LOVE Panera and eating there always reminds me of college.

I had their 1/2-1/2 deal with a soup and 1/2 sandwich!
I chose their creamy tomato soup and a 3-cheese turkey Panini.

After lunch, we headed to Disney World for a short game of miniature golf.




First Place: Boyfriend
Second Place: Me
Third Place: Brother

Downtown Disney had major construction going on in the parking lots so they moved parking to a parking lot farther than we were willing to walk so we ended up leaving Disney early.

We did make a detour to Parkesdale Farm Market where I've been meaning to visit for the longest time. 


The farm stand is located in Plant City close to I-4 (exit 19) and they sell fabulous fresh fruit shakes year-round. They are most famous for their strawberry shortcake and strawberry shake so I made sure we got both. I also left with some fresh produce to use up this week. 

I loved all the goods they made from their produce! They had a whole wall dedicated to no-sugar added preserves. To name a few, I saw pumpkin butter (interesting!), strawberry preserves, blackberry preserves, and apricot preserves.



On the side of their market, they had a section selling sundaes, strawberry shortcakes, parfaits, soft-serve and shakes. The shakes flavors I saw included strawberry, vanilla, chocolate, pina colada, coconut, pineapple, and banana.


After we placed our order, we made our way to the tables. (PS. They accept credit card!)


My brother and I both got the strawberry shake.

I also couldn't resist ordering a strawberry shortcake that they just started selling again recently since strawberry season started recently. Their fresh strawberries are covering the buttery biscuit and topped with a large mound of whipped cream. 

The strawberries were delicious with the whipped cream but we left the cake on the bottom largely untouched.


Look at how thick it is!


My boyfriend couldn't finish his chocolate shake and I couldn't finish my strawberry shake. We ended up bringing both home since they were half finished. I stuck them both in the freezer to enjoy tomorrow. 

I can't wait to go back and try another type of shake. I was seriously having a tough time picking between pina colada and strawberry. I had to go with what they were known for but next time....

The rest of the night is going to be pretty relaxing with putting away all our goodies.

Hope you all had a wonderful Saturday today!

2 comments:

  1. Oh, that Outlet Mall is my FAVE! That's the one we went to when we were on vacay! It wasn't a horrible drive since we were on the West side of Orlando. I spent too much money! We have great outlets not far from here (about an hour to Pigeon Forge), but those down there were amazing! I had to really hold back! I bought WAY too much stuff for my nieces. LOL I hope maybe when I lose more weight to go back. Heck, we hope to possibly live in FL or even GA. Guess we will see as time goes on. Glad you all had a great day, though. Did you buy the pumpkin butter? I haven't had the pumpkin, but apple butter is AMAZING. You can get it at Cracker Barrel. :)

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