Joe & Tell

Another week and more groceries. Which means another browse around the Joe women’s clothing section at Superstore.

The department was packed with so many great things that I couldn’t just limit myself to one item this time.

So what did I find?

These booties came in both black and chestnut.  Wouldn’t they look great with boyfriend or skinny jeans?  The downside?  They are not leather, but they are only $39.

 

I ❤️ slip ons and this pair did not disappoint.  They were only $34!  It’s hard to tell but they are navy blue with little white flecks.  Could easily wear these with boyfriend or skinny jeans all season long.

Lastly…

Cigarette pants!  I noticed these while I was in France this summer and wrote about them here.  I apologize for the lighting – the fluorescent lights at Superstore don’t really lend themselves to great photos!  These pants are more straight than skinny and hit right about at the ankle.  A nice change from the everyday skinny jeans and only $34.

Could you see any of these items in your Fall wardrobe?  Let me know in the comments.

And that’s it for this week’s edition of Joe & Tell!

French Dressing for Fall

Bonjour!

Just last week I stopped into Marshalls and was surprised to find a high end designer promotion in store.  It was called the Red Carpet Event and it was showcasing all the top brands.  Of course, after my summer vacation I’ve still got French style on the brain, so I got a little caught up in finding all the French designers featured.

Here are a few things that I found:

Let’s start off with this Louis Vuitton wallet.  Darling, isn’t it?  It was priced around $199 which I thought was a relatively fair price for this piece. I have seen other designer wallets (Kate Spade and Coach) for similar prices, so this was inline with those brands.

Next up was this Givenchy bag.  Isn’t it beautiful?  Yes, it’s expensive, but I’m guessing it is probably less than if you had purchased it at Nordstrom or Givenchy themselves.  I’m not sure who would pay that much for a bag at Marshalls, but in case you are looking…

I would probably save this colour for Spring, but it is such a beautiful bag I might just carry it all year.

I had heard of Lanvin, but I wasn’t too familiar with the actual brand.  This is one of the first high fashion houses of France and it was founded way back in 1889!  This black quilted bag is such a classic and it’s a piece you could have for years and years.  I can’t remember the price, but I think it was about the same as the Givenchy bag above.

The Saint Laurent items also carried a hefty price tag. Those cute little booties are $700 and the bag was close to $2,000.  Wow.  I’m always surprised when Marshalls has such high priced items, but those for are looking….

A little lower down the price chain and you will find these Aigle boots.  Angle means eagle in French and these little rain booties would be a great addition to your closet for those rainy days.  As you will see they had a floral pattern, a leaf pattern and plain beige all for under $100.

Still in the shoe department I found these:

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These animal print slip ons were over $500 and wouldn’t they pair well with your new Givenchy bag😉

Oh, and if you have a really big budget, you might like these Celine flats in your closet:

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A few rows over, but still in the shoe department and I found this pair:

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I unfortunately forgot the name (oops), but they were a French brand.  Albeit a lower priced one as these brogues were only $70.  These could be fun with jeans or cigarette pants to dress up an outfit.  The blue colour was so rich and that bit of metal really caught my eye.

French dressing wouldn’t be complete without a hat or pair of sunglasses, so I found these:



The hat and glasses were all under $50 and by French brands.  Great accessories to add some French flavour to any outfit.

Lastly, the scent of a woman (did you ever see that movie?)…Ooh ahh!

Four different fragrances of Chloe all for $50.

With all these lovelies, you too can dress en française for Fall 🍁

C’est bon!

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Joe & Tell

Most of the kids I know like show and tell.  What’s not to like about taking your favourite toy or book to school and telling everyone all about it?

So, with back to school upon us, I’m reminded of this tradition and thought I would start a show and tell of my own.

I frequently buy my groceries at Superstore and the good thing about that is….they also sell clothes, household goods and fun things. It’s not Target, but it’s the closest thing we’ve got!

Their house brand of clothing is called Joe Fresh and its carried in stores throughout Canada.  JC Penney used to carry the brand and there was a store in NYC, but it appears you can only order online in the US as of now. Correct me if I’m wrong.

Thus, after today’s shop, Joe & Tell was born!  I’ll try and make this a regular feature and show you something on trend that I think you might like.

Today’s find is this olive green utility jacket.  It’s only $49 and only available in this colour.   I usually wear a small, but this small was still a little big, so I recommend sizing down.

This jacket style is still on trend.  It is such a great piece to wear now and transition into Fall.

What do you think?  Could you see this jacket in your Fall wardrobe? Please let me know in the comments!

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* Reading for Kids *

My kids are pretty voracious readers. My son can pick up a book and be lost in it for hours.  My daughter is just finishing Grade 1 and is also reading some easy chapter books on her own.

Our kids did a lot of reading over the summer break, but that’s not the case for all children.  So, if you need a few books to ease your child back into reading before school starts, this might be the post for you.

I thought I’d share some of the books my son has loved over the past years.  Harry Potter and Percy Jackson are solid favourites and already pretty well known.  Here’s a few you might not have heard of:

Zac Power

This series by H.I. Larry is about a 12 year old boy and his older brother who are secret agents for a government agency.  The chapters are fairly short and easy to read.  Best for kids 8-10.

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Captain Awesome by Stan Kirby

My son received this for a birthday gift when he was 6 and it’s a fun series of books.  The Captain is 8 year old Eugene McGillicudy and he has adventures throughout his neighbourhood with a crazy cast of characters.  Easy to read and probably best for kids in Kindergarten to Grade 3.

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National Geographic Kids

Our family loves these books and pretty much all the National Geogrpahic books.  These are the books that we take to restaurants, leave in the car and bring along to appointments.  Lots of fun facts, great pictures and easy to read.  Also look for Myth Busters, Sticker Activity Books and more from this great organization.

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Ratburger by David Walliams

About 6 months ago, my son (aged 9) received Grandpa’s Great Escape by the same author and since then, he pretty much powered through all the books by David Walliams.  The writing is funny, the characters are unique and quirky and best of all, the kids laugh out loud when reading his books.

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The Circus Ship by Chris Van Dusen

This one was introduced to us by friends about 3 years ago and we still love it!  The illustrations alone are worth it.  The story rhymes and teaches us about friendship in the most fun way.

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Geronimo Stilton by Geronmio Stilton

If you haven’t read this series yet, I highly recommend it.  We started when my son was 5 or 6.  They are chapter books, but they have a lot of colourful illustrations and the type is done creatively in different colours and types.  Geronimo takes us around the world on adventures with his sister and cousin.   My son still loves these books and now my daughter (aged 7) has started reading them, too.

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House of Robots by James Patterson

You may know James Patterson from the crime novels, but he also writes books for kids.  This series is about a boy entering Grade 5 who lives with a house full of robots.  We just picked this one up and haven’t read it yet, but the reviews are great and it looks like a fun read.

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MasterMinds by Gordon Korman

Gordon Korman has written over 80 books!  This series is about a group of kids who think they live in the most boring town in the world.  Until….a friend disappears and the kids have to investigate what is really happening in their town.  Best for middle school age kids.  If they like this series, there are lots of others by Korman to choose from.

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Spy School and Spy Camp by Stuart Gibbs

These books are about Ben a middle school student who ends up in a school for spies.  Super fun series and my son can’t wait to read Evil Spy School next.

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These are just a few of the books on our shelf.   What did you kids read this summer?  Please let me know in the comments!

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Confessions of an Overpacker

Been to Hawaii or any tropical destination in your lifetime? If so, and correct me if I’m wrong, you know that casual is the most common dress code. And, from experience, I also know that, if you are there to relax, you spend a large portion of your time in swimsuits, coverups and flip flops. I wish someone would have reminded me of this a couple weeks ago.

I am an overpacker. Always have been, probably always will be. I like options. A lot of options. My packing job for my most recent trip to Lana’i and the Big Island set a new personal record for the worst packing I’ve ever done.

I could go over all the unnecessary clothing items I brought but showing you the shoe situation will give you a clear picture, I think.

I wore these Vince sneakers on the plane. I love them for running around at home but they have zero give and once my feet swelled they were close to unbearable. Noted.

 

These Vince sandals were probably the best sandal and probably the only sandal I really needed. Comfortable and practical as they went with most of what I’d packed. Check.

 

I’d been searching for a neutral wedge to wear out for dinners but couldn’t find any that didn’t have the jute footbed and I find that really uncomfortable so I brought these. I wear them all the time at home. Never made it out of the suitcase. 

 

These were a good find at Nordstrom Rack just a couple days before departure. Loved the wedge and the leather footbed (see above). I wore these a couple times, once with a  long sundress and once with a pair of black dressy shorts. 

These are really some of the most uncomfortable flip flops I’ve ever worn and I feel like I’ve given them multiple chances to redeem themselves. The straps rub on the tops of my feet and cause blisters. I’ve had them a couple years, maybe longer. They will not be making a repeat appearance. In my humble opinion, nothing beats good old Havaianas.

I bought these a little more than a year ago and have worn them a lot. They have basically no support but are surprisingly comfortable. I wore them to the pool, to the store and to dinners. Two thumbs up, Tory Burch! I would have brought the same pair in black but my puppy ate them a couple months ago.

Finally (I think), I brought these Asics for hiking and working out. I didn’t do either of those activities as often as I’d planned but I always bring a running shoe of some type on vacation.

Any shoes I’m forgetting? Let me know what you bring on a tropical vacation.

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5 things I always buy at Ikea

I haven’t been to Ikea in about six months and yet, within the past three weeks, I have shopped there three times.  Go figure.

Just like at Costco, there are a few staples that I usually buy at Ikea.  They are always in good supply and the price is always right!

Clockwise from top right:

  1. Toilet brush cleaner/holder – it’s only $1 and it gets the job done.  Enough said.
  2. Kitchen dish scrub brush – again it’s about $1, comes in 3 colours and lasts a pretty long time.
  3. Ribba frames – these vary in size and price, and come with a mat.  These frames are frequently used for gallery walls in many of the magazines I read.
  4. Roll of paper – found in the children’s section.  It’s about $5 and we use it for colouring, drawing, making signs, table runners, etc.
  5. Fantastisk napkins – they are fantastic.  Cost is about $3 and I usually buy the standard white, but they often have seasonal colours and a few patterned ones throughout the year.

Obviously, my shopping cart is filled with more than these five items anytime I go to my favourite Swedish home store.  Am I missing anything?  What do you buy when you go to Ikea?

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My top 5 clothes for travelling

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Last month, we returned from a three week trip to Europe, which included stops in England, France and Germany.   We knew ahead of time that the weather was going to be mixed; cooler temperatures and rain in England, but sun and heat in Germany and France. So, as you can imagine packing was complicated as I wanted to make sure I had the right clothes for the right weather and the right cities.  Oh, and I didn’t want to look like a tourist.

Throughout our trip, I realized I was wearing 5 items very regularly.  I was surprised that these items were working for all the cities, countries and weather we were experiencing.

What are they you ask?  Check out my list below – I’ve linked the exact or similar items for reference.

#1 – This denim shirt was great for layering over tanks, t-shirts and dresses.  It wasn’t cold where we were, but often there was a breeze or chill in the air and this denim shirt kept me comfortable.  A linen shirt would have also worked, but this is what I bought as I thought it would transition well into Fall.

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Denim Shirt

 

#2 – I had never taken a scarf when I had travelled in the past, but Pinterest and friends of mine assured me I needed to have one.  So, I packed one along and I am so glad I did!  It added a little interest to my basic wardrobe and was used as a pillow by one of my kids on the flight.  My scarf was in shades of grey and blue and it went with 90% of my wardrobe.  After this trip, I will always pack a scarf on my future travels.

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Plaid Scarf

 

#3 – I wanted a comfortable yet stylish running shoe (sneaker) to wear for our long days of sightseeing, but I didn’t want to wear an obvious sporty shoe.  Converse were an option, but I found the Superga shoe fit better and had slightly more support for my feet.  At the end of the day, my feet felt great in these shoes.  I bought white, but grey was my second choice (surprise, surprise).  This is an Italian brand of shoe and I saw many women wearing these all over Europe.

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Superga shoe

 

#4 – I wanted to have some pants that would be comfortable for travelling, walking and just hanging out and I knew these joggers would be perfect.  I have them in this greige colour and black.  They are 100% cotton, so they breathe and don’t feel too hot when the temperatures heat up. They were easy to style and wear with a tank or t-shirt and made me look less like an obvious tourist.

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Jogger Style Pants

 

#5 – Lastly, a white t-shirt.  I don’t go anywhere without one or even two of these.  This shirt has a more relaxed style and looked great with both my pants and skirts. This is basically my “don’t leave  home without one” shirt.

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Basic White T-shirt

 

What do you think of these choices?   Is there something from your closet that you always pack?  Let me know in the comments below and happy travels!

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