Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sunday at Home: The J Crew order, some Joe Fresh and The Cook-Your-Own-Supper Dinner Party Update

Ah Sunday morning!

Lots of Shenanigans since we spoke yesterday.  Where to begin?

Okay - the dinner party was the last place I was (besides bed!) so I think I will begin there!

Our friends live down river from us on a beautiful acreage right on the St. John River in a beautiful saltbox house that the owners built themselves. By hand.  If that doesn't make one feel inadequate, well you just have good self-esteem and bravo!

When we arrived we all received a piece of paper with the following quotes on it:

The belly rules the mind

Good Cooking Takes Time

Do Vegetarians eat animal crackers?

Below that was the list of the dishes we would be cooking and the person we would be cooking with.  I was paired with the husband of the house, who is a very talented artist.  He and I were each handed a copy of the recipe to study in advance of commencing our cooking duties.  The hostess and her partner went first.  The wine poured freely in the adjoining family room while the chefs each took their turn and it was great fun for the host and hostess, who though responsible for purchasing the groceries, had more time than is typically possible during a dinner party to mix and mingle.

I forgot to mention that we were also each given colourful bandanas to tie around our heads like all the chefs do on television.  I haven't seen the pictures yet, but I think it will be fun to do so!

The menu:

  • baked goat cheese bruschetta
  • sausage stuffed baby red potatoes (this was my course)
  • chicken and asparagus rolls
  • bok choy with lemon
  • greek cucumber salad and quinoa
  • Individual molten chocolate cakes with vanilla ice cream
It was very fun, thought it was a longer dinner party than usual as we would take a break between courses 1 and 2 and then there was a lot of cooking for 3, 4 and 5.  It was neat to find yourself cooking with someone that you would not ever have cooked with in your life.  I would definitely do this kind of dinner party myself sometime! 

The next potential event on this group's list is a vegan dinner party.  None of us are vegans, but they are intrigued that my son is vegan and think it would be neat to challenge ourselves this way too! 

A lot of wine was drunk, many stories were told and a good time was had by all!


As you know, my J Crew Box came this week and there were some winners and a loser (you decide if it is the item or me!).  I also picked up a couple of Joe Fresh items and now that Joe Fresh is becoming so ubiquitous in the US thanks to JC Penney - thought I would share a couple of very inexpensive finds!

You have seen the domini cafe capris in the boho picture shot yesterday.  This was such a great gift; I had purchased the navy version last summer and loved them.  For some reason, the size 6 in ivory eluded me all summer, and I never could catch it!  Then 2 weeks ago, they suddenly popped back in one of those weird J Crew Sunday morning sales updates where you think to yourself:

1) where the hell WERE they since last summer?
2) do I want to know where the hell they were?

I decided not to care about either 1 and 2 and since they were $40 final sale, I felt that I could afford a disaster!

First up, Nora stripe ballet flats:

I had seen these in NYC and really liked them.  They have been on sale for awhile (I think I may know why), and when there was 30% off that, and free shipping, I thought, how great a match would would these be with the ivory and black items I have for summer?

Oh - not so much.  They were dismally wide, and despite ordering my standard 6 1/2, I was walking right out of them - they felt like 7s or even 7 1/2s.  The sizing is so off that I am afraid to even order a replacement pair in a size 6, because those might actually be sized correctly and therefore too tight.  You can see in the picture below that there is considerable toe cleavage and how wide these are.

I still think these are very cute and I wish they had worked as they matched fabulously with the domino eyelet pants!

And then it dawned on me!  I should have known better!  I had already tried the Nora ballet flats in zebra calfskin in December and had the same issue!  ARRGGHH! 

So my bad..

Okay - enough self-reproach!  These pants really make me happy!  I was home alone taking these pictures and the funny thing is that I needed to stand behind this plant in my bathroom to get a full length leg shot and I felt remarkably like this fellow from Laugh In:

Very interesting, Wendy, but dumb....Gold star to those who remember this!
 So I love these pants, I love, love, love them.  I am quite sure that these, their blue counterpart and my white jeans will be the stalwarts of my pants wardrobe this summer.  You will be sick of them soon enough, so let's enjoy them for a moment, shall we?

The J Crew Box also contained two summerweight cotton v neck cardigans.  You will remember the dark cove version I bought several weeks ago?  I liked it so much that I ordered the ivory and the black versions, which are required for me - I love a cardigan in early morning and late evening in summer and while I had some Jackie sweaters, I actually really prefer this style.

Here is the ivory with the new pants:

Underneath is a Joe Fresh tshirt I picked up this week for $10.  100% cotton, lovely little sleeveless textured tshirt:

For that price, a keeper!

I also picked up little sneakers there.  Joe Fresh has various sneaker styles out right now.  One of them is very much in the bensimon style.  Last summer, I bought the ivory and navy versions - I love them and they will see even more wear this summer as I will not be in heels at the office all day!  So when I spotted these coral-y peach ones for $20, well they were coming home with me for sure!

They look really cute with that dark coral-orange Joe Dresh dress I picked up a couple of weeks ago.

On the sale rack by the checkout was a cotton-cashmere vneck on clearance for $6.94.  I scooped it up:

So today, I am mailing back the shoes.  sigh - $15 to try them on.  Other than that, I need to finish some housework and keep reading!  Do you have any big plans for the day?

Have a wonderful day - I have some good posts (well in my opinion!) planned for the week and am looking forward to spending the time with you all! Stay safe out there!


  1. Great finds at Joe Fresh. We have a huge concept store at a mall near Calgary but I have yet to go. Too bad about the ballets. Perhaps you should do like I do and have a "do not buy from J.Crew" list to quickly scan before every order.

    Last week we had planned to visit the meadow where all the spring wildflowers are today. Thousands of crocuses and squills are up this time of year. Unfortunately we have several inches of fresh snow so we will take the XC skis out for a while but it will be mostly another indoor day.

    1. I have always wanted to see that meadow! I find Joe Fresh hit or miss, but honestly, in many cases, the quality is the same as J Crew but for much less!

    2. You can see some of the meadow photographs HERE. Mainly just the pasque flower (crocus) really, but lots of them from Easter 2011.

      I have a Joe Fresh sweater that is similar to J.Crew's Maya cardigan only a bit thicker and a cotton/wool blend that is much more comfortable on my skin and a very pretty berry color. Every now and then I visit the local Superstore, where they also carry Joe Fresh. But it's usually a zoo there so it has to be a planned trip for the last hour of business when the store is nearly empty. I just cannot tolerate shopping crowds.

  2. Thanks for your reviews!
    I love jcrews basic cardigans and you will be so happy with it all spring and summer.
    White is a great color on you and i esp. love it with the orange sweater and the creamsicle orange sneakers!
    I wish we had a Joe Fresh here,because the sweater and tank look like so much more.

    Have a great sunday!

    1. Ina, creamsicle is a perfect word for that colour.

    2. It really is a creamsicle! They are cute! They have matching jeans, but they are low rise and thus they will not see the wendy body! I have been digging out summer stuff and see I do have a bit of coral so I will have plenty of matches!

  3. Your capri pants also makes me happy. I love texture in my clothes (except brocade). I should keep an eye for a popback as it would go well with so many things this summer. I just don't visit the site anymore as I used to. That dinner setup is such a great idea. Working together is a good way to bond over food, I hope I have a big kitchen to make it work. It's "plant" weekend in the household. Last night hubby took me to Orchid Evening at the NY Botanical Garden. We watched the Orchid Show over cocktails, a DJ and dinner nearby. Today we're bringing the kids to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden to check if the cherry blossoms are in bloom. We're having great weather this week and I hope our sunshine will reach you too.

    1. Marie, both of those events sound like a lovely eye-ful, your Canadian neighbours are envious in best possible way.

    2. Marie - I am so jealous! You just had my dream evening!!! That is a bucket list thing for me for sure! I need to take the great garden tour of the world and drop Barry at a pub at each stop!

  4. I agree about the Nora's WMM. I couldn't wear the Nora chain cap toe this past fall either. I wonder if it is that the toe box is too narrow, so the rest poufs out. That Joe Fresh shirt is such a winner. I may have to see if it available near me. I agree that the cardigan you are wearing is an easier style than the Jackie- they can be short- and I am 5'2,too. You will wear those out! As an almost vegan(some cheese) I am intrigued by your Greek cucumber and quinoa salad. Was it tasty?
    Thanks for your kind words on my lonely blog- they made my day!
    It troubles me that companies don't not reward frequent shoppers with free shipping, or at least free returns. If you are ever curious about an item, let me know, and I can check it out for you- although we are polar opposites figure- wise, I can give you an idea about fit, etc. Enjoy your day!

    1. Well I love your lonely blog and that sweater! It is amazing! I will see if I can get the recipe for you - am seeing the host and hostess on wednesday!

      I was kicking myself as I i had taken two minutes to try it on in NYC I would have known it didn't fit or if I had read one of bloody earlier reviews. I have decided that I will make myself google-able now that I am retiring so I can search my own blog!

  5. I looked up Saltbox house - oh what a beautiful style of house, I'm going back to read up on the history of the architecture. I was laughing away at that dinner party, audience participation scares me! The black and white shoes are lovely, shame about the bulgy width.
    And yep, I would live in those white Capri pants in summer with a t shirt, they are adorable.

    1. i know! they really are perfect - just have to keep them clean!

  6. Oh I do believe you are ready for spring. Very nice clothing purchases. I have no luck with j crew shoes although the stripes are cute. Glad you had a great party and the vegan intrigues me also...maybe one meal a month.

    1. we have vegan now at least once a week, which causes husband and daughter distress but is good for them!

  7. Too bad the striped ballet flats didn't work out - they are so cute!

    The party sounds like so much fun! An old boyfriend used to do something similar around the holidays. He'd invite about 40 people over to his tiny little place, split people into teams, and distribute 12 cookie recipes. Each team would jostle for ingredients and oven time, and after about 3 or 4 hours, everyone would go home with dozens of cookies to eat or give out for gifts. Very crazy, but very fun!

  8. I am so going to steal that idea - it is brilliant!

  9. good to know about joe fresh - i'm in nyc this week and can't wait to go to one!

    1. Well Ema swears by it now and my daughter did so well at the flagship store. I got trapped in uniqlo and never got there! Good luck!

  10. Ouuu this is so good to know! I have very wide feet, so for me the stripey flats might be a great option :D Thank you so much for sharing this review :D

    1. Oh good luck Tasia! I am quite sure Nora's run wide and they may be just the ticket for you!

  11. Happy Sunday! Great sartorial finds. I particularly like the pants and sneakers.

    I noticed the other day that most of what I have from Joe Fresh is PJs and underthings. I like some of the other clothes but the fit is usually a tad off.

    This weekend has been unbelievably gorgeous here. Snow last week, short sleeve weather today. So I went on some bike rides and I did a little hike and said hello to the goats and bunnies at one of the local farms.

    1. Oh good for you - I love bunnies and goats! I have some joe fresh pjs - they are quite soft and comfy So glad there is lovely weather somewhere!

  12. Hi WMM, I love your ivory capris as well, and your Joe Fresh picks. I agree that the range is very Crew-like, especially the colourways. Despite reading lots of blogs that feature J. Crew (or maybe because of this!), I just can't bring myself to order online, so Joe Fresh is a good alternative.

    Love the dinner party idea - perfect for a crowd of good friends!

    1. You are the smart one! And I love joe fresh - there is always something! I need new gardening trousers and will just go and buy something for 20 bucks there and be happy!

  13. Love those pants too Wendy. Unfortunately I did not make it to J Crew in Chicago, ran out of time but I had very good luck at Banana Republic (I got some items from the Mad Men collection which I'll post on the blog when I get home) and I got some other finds!

  14. Hi Wendy, you are not the only one who has experienced strange sizing with J. Crew shoes. I tried the Nora leopard calf hair ballet flats last month and was very surprised to find how large they were. My feet were practically falling out of them when I tried walking around. They were more like a size 8 although they were marked 7.5. At least you were able to score the eyelet capris - those look great on you. Joe Fresh is really upping their game - I stopped in last week and came away with a silk blouse and a pair of capris, which were about half the cost of JC capris, and they fit much better. The "cook your own supper" party sounds like it was a lot of fun!

  15. Love, love the eyelet pants on you Wendy, and I follow Ina, looks great with the orange sweater!
    Nothing really special today, I had to study with my oldest boy for the "State test", but it was sunny and beautiful outside and we had a nice walk after some ice cream!

  16. Eyelet pants are fab, Wendy.
    Shame about the shoes. I have wide feet so maybe they'd work for me, although there's no way I'm ordering shoes without having tried them on.
    I think J Crew do some good basics, even though they're a bit overpriced at times.
    I love the dinner party idea - am going to steal it for an upcoming event!
    We sometimes do 'progressive dinners' (or progressively drunker and drunker dinners as they have been known to be called) - Hors d'oeuvres are at one house, then entreés or mains at another house, pudding at another house and cheese and more booze at another house. Each house provides the food and booze for that course. It gets very messy, but is a lot of fun.

  17. Beautiful, beautiful pants! I just on those shoes today. I wondered if maybe they were just tried on too many times, but that's not the case. They're cut wide.


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