Thursday, October 24, 2013

Nordstrom Rack getting ready for grand opening Nov. 7

Last week, I was rummaging through the racks at TJMaxx for a last minute blouse to wear to a nice dinner in Disney. Out of the eight shirts I tried on, only two were a good brand name like Calvin Klein or BCBG. The rest: subpar names like XOXO. Not exactly the "designer" brands that their slogan touts. 

I'm not completely ripping the Maxx. I go there, I like it -- especially for CHI hair products and Essie nail polish. But when I'm really in the mood for designer clothes at bargain prices, I wheel over to Nordstrom Rack. 

Today I realized that the new Rack in University Park is opening in just a few weeks and I stepped out of the office to check it out.

The 35,000-square-foot shopping hub, located in the squeaky clean Shoppes at University Town Center at 7978 Cooper Creek Blvd., is gearing up for its grand opening 9 a.m. Nov. 7. Shoppers are encouraged to begin tailgating at 8 a.m., manager Karina Attar-McDonald said.

The store looked nearly perfect, ready to be picked over by passionate shoppers. The Marc Jacobs sunglasses, in all their glory, were neatly displayed at the front. To the right was a sparkling setup of  Kate Spade jewelry. I swooned over these rings.

Attar-McDonald said almost all of the 50 job opportunities have been filled, but she is planning to hire a few more employees. To apply, visit

-- Sabrina Rocco,

Buy a home, get a free boat


Bruce Williams Homes has opened its model home, "The Blue Cypress" in the Winding River community in East Manatee. There are 62 expansive home sites available, but if you act fast, you could get a free boat.

That's right, a free boat.

The first four purchasers will receive a boat from Scout Boats, plus a motor and trailer -- a perfect deal since the community has a private, resident-only boat launch.

The homes will range from 2,600 to 5,000 square feet and start in the low $400,000s, according to a media release. 

Check out the model at 14205 9th Terrace NE, Bradenton, just off Upper Manatee River Road. It's open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.

For more information visit or call (941) 748-8834.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Who's got the scariest scarecrow?

Think you can create a scary scarecrow?

Enter the fifth annual Scarecrow Contest as part of Lakewood Ranch's Boo Fest, the annual free family Halloween gathering, Oct. 25 on Main Street.

You can register your scarecrow online now in order to have it displayed on one of the lamp posts along Main. Judging will be held during Boo Fest, 6-9 p.m., and the winners will receive gift cards from Trattoria, MacAllisters, Ed’s Tavern, Pinchers Crab Shack.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Attention Publix shoppers: This road is closed

Don't try taking the back way into the Lakewood Ranch Gateway/Publix Plaza at Lakewood Ranch Boulevard and State Road 64 right now.

The rear access road from State Road 64 will be closed through Tuesday, Oct. 15 because of construction. You'll still be able to access the Bank of America, however.

The closure is so workers can repair a nearby water main and still supply water to the plaza, according to Billy Pinkston with Manatee County Public Works.


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Fundraiser helps horse have a fighting Chance

In last week's editions of the Bradenton Herald, Lakewood Ranch Herald and on we told you about Chance, a neglected thoroughbred in Parrish who was in need of some help, and Herald photographer Grant Jefferies brought you some fantastic photos and video of the horse and owner, Jovonnie Androy. 

Androy, owner of GoldenGael Farm, was hosting a fundraiser this past Saturday for Chance to help raise $1,700 for his dental bills. Now, she happily reports they rasied more than $2,000. Here's part of her email to the Herald, along with some photos of the event. See a full gallery here, courtesy of Vickie Pierson Crupi:

Wow, what a day we had raising money for dear Chance! It took a village, and a village we had!! So many people to thank! Dana Benedetto and team Chilly WILLY'S for the kettle corn, lemonade, and incredible frozen juice drinks. Brenda Hunt Alcorn for her incredible original works of art that had auction bidding wars going! John Whiteleather of Swamp DONKIE, who provided our live entertainment, and John was our live auctioneer as well. Vickie Pierson Crupi, and Joe Crupi for all of the photographs shown in the album below. Vickie has been a strong and generous supporter of Chance from day one. Team Equisports Unlimited, Niki Demma Pasley, Miss Gia, Tim Pasley. Halle Fischer and Rory Pasley for the Pony rides on Napa. Dr. Dave and Julie Bracciano for their continued support, Dr. Jim and Rita Hillman as well for their continued support. Dr. Mark and Ann Lupo for their generous support and for Mark pulling the winning raffle tickets. Leanne Thomas for her support and keeping the art auction bidding exciting! Randy Sue Wilson Fountain and Matthew Fountain for their exhausting efforts to get the word out and secure not only raffle items, but in securing the band Swamp DONKIE!