So, my mom, Siena, and I came back today from our shopping excursion to the greater Phoenix area. I am sad to say that the Nordstrom sale was disappointing. It was our main reason for going, and it was such a bust. We went to two locations even---Scottsdale Fashion Square and Chandler Fashion Center/Mall---and both were disappointing. We purchased not a thing.
On a brighter note, we stopped in at Janeville (http://www.janeville.com/janeville/index.jsp), which is owned by Gymboree (think Anthropologie for a slightly older demographic) while at the Chandler Mall and I did some damage there. We attempted to make it out of the store four times only to spot more things to try on. I came away with two skirts, a sweater, and a really cute dressy tank. Bonus---their clothes are cut for "real" women, ie. not those stick-figures you see out there. The sad news is that Gymboree has decided to close all Janeville locations as of 31 January 2007. I am so sad! I always find something I like there. Their prices are reasonable (think $48 for a merino wool sweater, $78 for a silk blend skirt, and the sale prices are half that, if not less), the clothes are well made, and everything is super cute and looks unique and original. Since there are only 17 locations around the country and the clothing is their own label, you won't see a clone of your outfit on the street. I guess I will have to make another trip up there before they close and hopefully cash in on the going out of business sale.
We also went to Arizona Mills and the super-bright spot is that they have converted the Bath and Body Works there to an outlet! Yes, an actual B&BW outlet. I asked the staff and they said it was one of fifteen locations across the country. Anyway, the prices were amazing---such as $5.99 for their large jar candles and $10 for the higher-end Henri Bendel candles (normally $36 at regular B&BW). I really stocked up on candles. They also had a huge line of Henri Bendel lotions, scrubs, perfumes, etc. ranging in price from $5.99 to $7.99 ($24 to $48 at the regular store). It's like all the stuff that is left over from their twice a year sales or that is off-season. It was truly amazing and I will definitely be making a trip back there.
IKEA, how I love thee. First, they are so family friendly. They provide changing table liners and diapers in their family restrooms, which I think is so nice. Even better, they had their chocolate cheescake at the restaurant. It is so good---I find it far superior to what you get at the Cheescake Factory, and a slice at IKEA is less than half the price. Even better than that, I came home with a bunch of IKEA bags large enough for trash bags. Whee! I ended up getting some ornaments and a kiddie Poang chair for Siena. My mom got one for her too so she has a chair when at Grandma's. She looks so cute in it.
On a somewhat bitter note, I had printed out coupons to be redeemed at Ulta for a free Smashbox wristlet filled with foundation primer, a mascara, and other goodies. When we went to get it we learned that they never received them. I just checked my favorite freebies board (www.freesamplesite.com) to see what experiences others were having and it apparently is a bust. Most Ultas across the country had not received the goodies or they only received a handful and were all out by the afternoon. So I borrowed the advice of one of the other posters and called Smashbox directly about what happened. I left a message and we shall see if they call me back. The other poster said they called her back and were sending her the goody bag so I will try and get the same for my mom and myself.