Day Trippin’ – Stratford, Ontario

This post begins a series of fabulous places in Southern Ontario for taking day trips. There’s something fun about taking off in the morning, enjoying an adventure within driving distance and back in my own cozy bed at nightfall.

Stratford, Ontario – City of the Swan

swan

Stratford, Ontario is named after Stratford-upon-Avon, England. This charming town in Southern Ontario is home of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, an annual festival that attracts theatre goers and tourists from near and far. There are four theatres in this small town.

The swan is the symbol of the city.

swan2

A stroll along the Avon River is a relaxing way to spend a pleasant afternoon. Paddle-boating and canoeing with the beautiful swans floating around is breathtaking!

 My cousin’s son and his fiance canoeing on the Avon.

canoeing

Shopping is another reason I enjoy going to Stratford. So many quaint shops; so many lovely outfits. I bought a new silver necklace made in England; the links are hearts. My jacket is from Spanner, they always have great sales!

StratfordI tried on an Elisa Caveletti  shirt made in Italy but I didn’t buy it. I bought the polka dot capri leggings made in USA and wore them.

Elisa Caveletti

and a nice place to stop for a bite to eat at the Country Food Co. – delicious, nutritious vegetarian Rattatouille …

Rattatouille

 Have you enjoyed a day trip recently?

the world is beautiful

carmen

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Turquoise and Amber Tie-dyed Boho-chic

In the 60s I made my own tie-dyed T-shirt. I thought tie-dyed clothes were very cool and artistic, mixing colours like an abstract painting.

I bought this outfit a few years ago and I usually wear it once a year. It’s great for dancing and garden parties. Blending turquoise and amber is a beautiful combination and I have a collection of turquoise and amber jewellery to choose from.

turquoise and amber

DSC00038 DSC00043The beauty of the lilacs are a feast for the eyes, and the sweet fragrance delights the senses. Just breathe …

DSC00050lilacsSummer will soon be here and you know what that means? We’re halfway to Christmas!

carmen

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Decisions Decisions Decisions

Decisions have never been easy for me. Deciding what to wear can be a challenge, but it’s easy enough to change my mind; major decisions are another story.

To buy or not to buy

open concept living area

We’ve been looking at houses this spring and found one with a spacious open concept living area and a gorgeous view of a forest, pond and babbling brook. It’s a century old mill converted to a beautiful two bedroom plus den house: hardwood floors throughout with new appliances.

View from the living room

pond View from the kitchen, dining area and two upstairs bedroomsbabbling brook

In life we have choices and decisions to make every day. I don’t have any difficulty choosing between strawberry and vanilla sherbet because if I choose strawberry today I can always have vanilla tomorrow. Deciding what to wear can be a bit more of a challenge and I sometimes put on an outfit only to change my mind and go through the bother of undressing and putting on another outfit.

Choosing this outfit was a quick decision to wear to view the house.

pink jacket Anthropologie

I bought this cute little jacket in NYC at Anthropol0gie in August, but I paid full price–ouch!–so it wasn’t an easy decision to buy it, but I’m glad I did.

I love this kitchen!

Anthropologie

There would be money left over for traveling and clothes, the place is move-in ready–nothing to do. Best of all, a forest beside the house and a babbling brook behind the house. So what’s the problem? No garage AND it’s in another city, that means a BIG change.

It’s the life-changing decisions that scare me! Knowing that what I decide will not only affect me but others as well. Considering the pros and cons can help sometimes but not always, for we don’t necessarily know the outcome and the profound difference it might make.

7-gallery-mail-order-chocolate-1Life is like a box of chocolates … You never know what you’re gonna get.” – Forrest Gump.

Some boxes have pictures and descriptions to help you decide but life does not come with that helpful info. We need to take risks and chances. We need to think and consider the consequences. Will we make mistakes? Will we have regrets? I doubt there are many who could honestly say, “No.”

Even if we don’t buy it, it gives me hope that we’ll find a nice place eventually.

Perhaps sometimes it’s best to just flip a coin!

update

 

I didn’t have to make the decision after all, someone else made it for me. I called the real estate agent last night and the house is SOLD!

 

Sometimes you miss out if you don’t decide fast enough. Has that ever happened to you?

carmen

 

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Magnolia Blossoms

happy spring

One of my favourite things about spring is blossoms; it’s breathtaking to see a magnolia tree in full bloom! Even as petals flutter to the ground, the sight is so romantic. Unfortunately, they are gone too quickly, like bubbles in champagne.

DSC00020

Finally, we had a warm, sunny day and I wore this tunic; it is gathered below the waist.

DSC00022I’m breaking a fashion rule; women over 40 are not supposed to wear sleeveless tops or dresses. Do you agree?

DSC00021I love the black and white pattern, and the little cut-out at the neckline.

close-upI bought these sandals in Costa Rica (made in Costa Rica). I can change the straps: black, beige and dusty rose to match different outfits.

sandals

 

apple-blossoms-1-inese-pogaInese Poga has an amazing talent to capture the beauty of blossoms and flowers in her art. Please take a look at more of her lovely creations, just click the photo of these pretty apple blossoms.

 

Take time to admire the fleeting beauty of blossoms!

carmen

Join the fashion party at Patti’s – always inspirational!

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Lady in Beige

I have been called that. Hopefully, it’s a compliment. Sounds a bit boring but I do love my neutrals. Even though I’ve been adding lots of colours and prints to my wardrobe, and I try to add pops of colour with shoes and accessories, I still gravitate to my neutrals.

neutrals 1

Spring has been fickle this year: with a few sunny, warm days and then cool and rainy days again. That’s ok with me as long as it doesn’t snow … again. Gives me a chance to wear sweaters and jackets that will soon be too warm to wear.

neutrals 2

This outfit has texture: my sweater is a nubby cotton knit with a cotton lace yoke from Suzy Shier, leggings are corduroy (HUE) and my boots are faux suede that I bought in California. They are very comfortable, which is a plus for high heels.

neutrals 3

 Do you love neutrals?

 carmen

 

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Leopard and Lace

I love lace and I love leopard. Animal prints inspired by nature and the delicacy of lace makes an intriguing contrast; I love pairing them because it expresses the romantic side of me and the wild side of me.

leopard and lace

I was happy to find a scarf that combines lace and leopard, just perfect. The unique roses detail on the scarf is leopard print.

leopard and lace scarf

My black lacy knit cardigan is from Le Chateau (Canadian made) thrifted $12. Lace skirt is a shimmery bronze colour. I found these leopard heels at a thrift shop for $6. and can actually walk a few blocks in them.

leopard shoes

Good thing I brought along my leopard ballet flats, so I could enjoy a stroll along the Avon River in Stratford, Ontario.

swan on the Avon

Take time for nature and enjoy the simple things in life!

carmen

Join the fashion fun at Patti’s VISIBLE MONDAY

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Lady in Pink

Perhaps this would not make a great hit song, but it does make a lovely spring colour.

My Mom’s favourite colour was pink. Growing up, we had pink roses on the living room drapes, a pink gingham kitchen, with pink accessories (very popular in the 50s and 60s, I still have her pink hand mixer).

Her bedroom was pink. She had several pink dresses, one was pale pink lace and another one of her dresses matched the living room curtains! Reminds me of the Sound of Music, only my mom didn’t make her dress out of the curtains, like Maria Von Trapp did. And this was a few years before the movie (Sound of Music) was playing in the theaters.

This Mother’s Day weekend, I enjoyed a lovely stroll along the Grand River, a great place for dreaming and remembering my dear mom! I miss her …

Grand River

My dusty pink top is from Sears and I bought the beige lace top at Sirens a couple of weeks ago.

pink roses 1pink roses 2pink roses 3I love lace–another happy memory of my mom. This casual outfit is perfect for a walk, with a touch of pretty because I love a feminine look. My french manicure is like new, it should last a few weeks. I have four of these button necklaces: natural (as shown), dusty rose, turquoise and multicoloured.

lace vest

My skinnies from American Eagle are pale pink and mauve roses on a cream background.

skinnies 1skinnies 3

You’ll see every shade of pink on these lovely ladies in pink at  Share-in-Style: Pink

Have a happy week and think pink happy thoughts!

carmen

 

 

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Like Daughter – Like Mother

My daughter Jean inspired me to start blogging, which has been a fashionable and fun hobby. She influenced me to become vegan and I’m healthier and happier for it. She gave me courage to get my ears pierced (I’m very squeamish about needles and pain – even though I had three babies with no epidural, go figure!).

This Mother’s Day is a tribute to my daughter, my firstborn and the first one to call me mommy. Thank you Jean for the joy you brought into my life just by being YOU!!

Fashionable memories we’ve shared

Jean is the apple of my eye.

(an ancient vegan adage)

Candle 79 vegan restaurant

When Jean was a little girl I used to buy matching outfits for us, but now she won’t wear the same outfit at the same time as me, except as a favour for this photo shoot in NYC. My cousin Marion gifted us with these Grecian-style tops.

Harlem condosJean has her own unique style. However, sometimes we still like the same things and during our stay in NYC we both bought the same blouses and pants at Bebenoir in Harlem. Jean’s photo was taken yesterday as a favour to me so I could post it for Mother’s Day. She’s worn the blouse before and the pants, but never together.

While on vacation in Florida, we bought the same red dresses.

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NYC cookie

To every mom and every daughter

sharing a

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY

with love

carmen and Jean

My boys

 

 

Posted in Art, Beach, Fashion, Flamingo Gardens, Florida, Florida Everglades, Healthy living, Jeanofalltrades, Memories, New York City, Plant-based diet, Restaurants, Seattle, Travel, Vegan restaurant, Vegetarian/Vegan Lifestyle | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

When I’m 64 …

Today my brother Johnny would be 64. Being a drummer in the 60s, The Beatles were one of his favourite groups and had a big influence on him. In the 60s, the song When I’m 64 seemed ancient, but now that I’m 62, it seems like 100 is ancient.

Johnny

Johnny age 14, his first drum kit before he got his Ludwig drums

My cousin Marion called from Germany and we had a nice talk reminiscing when she came for a visit in the 60s. Her memory is so vivid about Johnny and it warms my heart to hear her talk about him. She was 11 and he was 15. My cousin Sylvia called too and it really brightens my day. Thank you so much my dear cousins!!! <3

Marion and Johnny

Marion and Johnny ca. 1954

My last time at the grave site on Johnny’s birthday in Toronto.

Toronto Toronto 4 Toronto 3 Toronto 2

A myriad of good memories …

Unpleasant memories fade like wilting flowers but the happy memories are treasures of the heart and remain vivid in my mind!!!

Any comments today will bring a smile to my heart as anyone who has lost someone dear to them will know. Comforting one another is a great joy in life!

blossoms

Thank you for reading this post and may God comfort all who mourn, and give us hope and peace in our hearts!

carmen

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Muskoka

Once discovered, never forgotten …

A weekend getaway in beautiful, picturesque Gravenhurst, Ontario is a perfect way to spend time with nature and family, even on a rather dreary, rainy weekend. The sun came out on the drive home. Thank you Mr. Sun.

Canadian Shield view from the hotel

bowlStopping along the way to shop at an outlet mall is a good place for a bite to eat and buy a new bikini for the hot tub at the resort. The Villeroy and Boch store is all decked out for spring. I bought a couple of these bowls for my Petite Fleur collection dinner for two.

Villeroy and Boch store 3 Villeroy and Boch store 2 Villeroy and Boch store 1

I wore my genuine FAKE leopard coat because it was a cool weekend. Frederick’s of Hollywood (made in USA) that I got at V.V. Boutique (Value Village) for $14.95.

genuine FAKE leopard coat

Relaxing at the Spa at Sagamo by the lake is always a treat.

at the spaNo flowers outside, but real orchids are in full bloom at the Spa.

orchids

The hotel was luxurious and much nicer than roughing it in a tent in the woods. I love nature in the daytime and a clean, warm bed at night.

fireplace 2 My Covered Perfectly top and these leggings are so comfortable to lounge around and still look stylish.

watching a movie kitchen living room/dining room bedroom bathroom balcony

Ana prepared a delicious vegetarian dinner for twelve. Later we soaked in the hot tub (sorry – no photos!)

bean salad, guacamoli, brussel sprouts vegan dinnerBreakfast at the fireplace was included; I had oatmeal and fruit, and hash browns.

fireplace

On Sunday Ana introduced us to friends who have a gorgeous house on the lake. The house next door is for sale. A little cool today, so I’m glad I brought my cozy sweater, I love the detail of the knit on the neckline.

Kathy's kitchenBeing up north, spring is still lagging behind, especially after this harsh winter. I didn’t see any flowers and there were still some snow piles in MAY!

lake view

Ana gave me a beautiful French manicure. Thank you Ana!

 It’s always interesting to check out what the artisans are selling.

muskoka

Ahhh springtime, rain or shine I love weekend getaways and day trips in Ontario!

Where do you like to go for a weekend?

Have a wonderful week everyone!!

carmen

Join Patti for Visible Mondays!!

 

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