This post is sponsored by Northlake Mall
The opinions within this blog are 100% my own

It’s that time of year again, summer is winding down and the constant reminders that school will be in session are everywhere.  It’s Back-to-School time!! You get all the composition books, backpacks, lunch boxes, mechanical pencils, crayons and wide-rule paper you can carry. You then turn and look at your kids and see your beautiful offspring standing before you in grass stained shorts, wearing a T-shirt with distorted pictures and holey shoes. You immediately realize you need to go shopping for a back-to-school wardrobe.

LOCATION, LOCATION=Northlake Mall

Normally I would immediately run to my laptop and engage in an online shopping frenzy. However, I know that I need to physically go to brick and mortar stores and shop because children grow like weeds.  So when the staff at Northlake Mall invited me to participate in their “Back-to-School Experience” it was right on time.  A place to shop indoors and avoid the oppressing summer sun; A variety of shops to get clothes, undergarments, shoes, accessories and tasty eats for growing girls all in one place; and DEALS. I was told there would be deals, good deals and discounts – Sounds like a great place to shop! Northlake Mall here we come!

BE PREPARED=What do you need?

Having two girls has taught me that I need to have a plan while shopping. My oldest daughter’s favorite color is “New” and my youngest is distracted by anything that shimmers and sparkles. I need to organize and plan this back-to-school shopping experience so that 1. It does not become a whole day event 2. I buy only what’s needed and 3. I spend minimal moments in negotiations for the platform sneakers that squeak or any other items that will cause me and anyone who spends time with my children much regret.

First, I survey my girl’s closets. See what we have, what do we need? There are many sites out there that provide lists of what constitutes a good back to school wardrobe, as well as, guides to help you organize what to buy, for who and what size. The ones found here and here are two examples I found helpful. Next, since we will be shopping at Northlake Mall, it would be beneficial to visit its website  ahead of time, especially if it’s not a place you frequently shop. You can find the stores that best suit your needs and map out a plan of action.

GET ALL THE DEALS=Oh, So Simple Rewards

While on the website, you can also click on some of the deals currently available and being promoted by particular stores. Even better, Northlake Mall has launched the OH, SO Simple Rewards program where for every $250 you spend on any item in any store in the mall (that includes the food court and the movie theater!!) you get $10 back. Simple right! You can sign up for this while you are online or sign up at one of the kiosks located in the mall in less than 30 seconds like I did.  Now that I know what I need/want and I am all set up to get some discounts and money back – Let’s go shopping!!!

Processed with Rookie Cam

GET IT DONE=Let’s Go Shopping!

Northlake Mall on a Saturday is usually a lively place, this weekend was no exception and I suspect the next two weekends, the air will continue to be electric with the energy and exchange from parents and their kids back-to-school shopping.  There were no outrageous lines or waits at any of the stores where we decided to shop – though H&M was certainly very busy.  I was totally reassured that I made the right decision to come to the mall instead of online shopping when the store clerk at Kids Foot Locker recommended that I measure my daughters foot before we start shopping. Great idea since I thought she wore a size 3 when turns out she wears a size 4.5!!!

In addition to Kids Foot Locker, we went to H&M, Justice, The Children’s Place, Gymboree, Belk and Claire’s. It looks like the trend for this fall for both girls and boys is any and everything EMOJI!! We picked up a few emoji item as long as it didn’t have the “poo” emoji on it! There were plenty of buy one get one free deals and in one store there was nothing over $14.99. Every time I shopped and made a purchase I received an email to let me know how much was added to my rewards total. Once I reach $250 in purchases, $10 will automatically be applied back to my account. BOSS!!

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GIVEAWAY=Bonus for YOU!

We were able to get everything we needed to complete our list. The girls are happy they got some emoji clothes and I am happy I had a stress free shopping experience where I didn’t have to pay full price for emoji clothes and even got a few of my dollars coming back to me!

Now you know how to back-to-school shop like a boss and take full advantage of OH, SO Simple Rewards to get all the emoji pants YOU want and get money back. We are giving away a $50 gift card for Northlake Mall to one lucky back-to-school shopper! Simply leave a comment on this blog post telling us what you LOVE/HATE about the back-to-school shopping experience.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE!!!!!!

 

P.S. — A few more details. The contest ends in one week. You must be 18 years or older and living in a city/town Mecklenburg County, NC to enter. You may only enter once by commenting, but you can gain up to two more entries by visiting Charlotte Moms Blog and Northlake Mall’s Facebook accounts. The winner will be chosen at random and contacted directly to arrange prize shipment.