CROSSING THE LINE in Black and White Gingham

police line

Last trip to Seattle I packed only black and white clothes. It was so simple to take a minimal of pieces and yet still have enough different looks to mix and so easy to match. Of course, knowing I’d be on a shopping spree in Jean’s eco boutique had a lot to do with my never-before traveling outfits. I chose black and white again for NYC, but I added pops of red and turquoise.

gingham blousegingham 2

This time I was not on a shopping spree. (Yes, you heard right, unbelievable, but true!) Undoubtedly, I bought a few things (like this cute off-the-shoulders gingham top or mini dress) but this trip was for making memories in one of my favourite cities, to enjoy the sights and sounds of life in the Big Apple.

gingham 3gingham 4

Here again in Central Park in black and white gingham. So many fashion bloggers have inspired me with off-the-shoulder tops; it’s a fresh, summery look.

bridge 1bridge 2

It’s pleasant to leisurely walk through the park in no hurry, no schedule, no stress–under tunnels, over rocks and hills.


You’d think you’re in a forest except for the towering buildings in the distance. 🙂


A little drizzle on this particular day, so I had my umbrella.

Version 2closeup

Leaving the park and strolling along the city sidewalks, everyone knows I’m a tourist, forever gazing up at the magnificent architecture, stopping to admire the rows of houses and taking photos at every chance.

Stuart Little’s House?

little houselittle house 2row houses

Walking all day builds up an appetite, so we headed over to Peacefood Cafe for delicious vegan pizza and the best vegan cheese cake ever!

Peace Food Cafe

Gingham has been very popular this season, just snapped some photos to show you what I didn’t buy.

I’ve always loved gingham. My mom had a pink and white gingham kitchen and I once had red and white gingham in my country-style kitchen. It’s a cheerful pattern with old-fashioned charm.

Do you wear gingham?

gingham carmen


Posted in Active Lifestyle, Fashion, Healthy living, Jeanofalltrades, New York City, Photography, Plant-based diet, Scenery, Shopping, Summer, Travel, Vegan restaurant, Vegetarian/Vegan Lifestyle | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

A T-shirt Dress with Style

T shirt dress 1This comfortable T-shirt dress is made by THREADS 4 THOUGHT, an eco-friendly company. It’s the comfort of wearing a T-shirt and very stylish. The fun black and white ink splattered print reminds me of Dalmatians.

T shirt dress 2

I bought it at DRIZZLE & SHINE in Seattle and I brought it with me to NYC as one of my black and white outfits, this time adding a red belt, red cuff, red sandals and a little red purse.

Version 2

Morningside Park is just walking steps from where we stayed in Harlem, a beautiful park with a fabulous waterfall and pond. Turtles and frogs enjoy this natural setting.


The park is situated on a rocky hill with hundreds of steps to climb.

T shirt dress 4T shirt dress 6T shirt dress 7

When you reach the top of the park, there are lovely spots with flowers and benches to sit and enjoy a gorgeous view of Harlem.

T shirt dress flowersblack eyed susan

Stairs are a great workout.

T shirt dress 8

This dress is casual and comfortable for walking in the park and stylish enough to go to a restaurant in Harlem afterwards.

Seasoned vegan

Thank you Jean for telling us about this fine restaurant.
I highly recommend the Seasoned Vegan if you’re ever in NYC.
❤ carmen



Posted in Active Lifestyle, Animals, eco fashion, Fair trade, Fashion, Healthy living, Jeanofalltrades, Nature, New York City, Photography, Plant-based diet, Restaurants, Scenery, Summer, Travel, Vegan restaurant, Vegetarian/Vegan Lifestyle | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Central Park: the North Woods

bridge 2Right in the heart of Manhattan, a park so big, it feels like I’m in Northern Ontario. Except for the people, it looks like we’re alone out in the wilderness.


Finding the park should be easy, you can’t miss it, right? Wrong–we started walking the wrong way but a friendly New Yorker (Miriam) pointed us in the right direction.

Central Park North

Once in the Park, you wouldn’t know you are in NYC, this Park is bigger than a ranch in Texas, 843 acres of paradise: including ponds, streams, little waterfalls, lovely nature trails, bike paths and meticulously groomed gardens. The first time I saw Central Park from the top of the Empire State Building, I was truly amazed!

DSC00599waterfallswaterfalls 2streamstream 2DSC00609DSC00613DSC09315DSC09322bridgetunnel

There’s wild life …


And lots of turtles!

turtlemore turtles

I love strolling through this park, the air is so fresh and smells sweet.

strolling 1strolling 2

There’s always places to take a rest on a park bench.


Or on a rock.


These schist rocks are all over Central Park and sparkle in the sun.

schist rock

You can actually get lost in the park (I oughtta know because we did). We eventually found our way out with the help of some kind locals.

Note to self: get a map of Central Park next time and bring a compass, flashlight and survival kit.

What’s your favourite park?

❤ carmen



Posted in Active Lifestyle, Fashion, Nature, New York City, Photography, Scenery, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

The Doors

On the way to Central Park we passed some beautiful painted doors in Harlem where we are staying in a brownstone building. Doors make fantastic backdrops for fashion bloggers. 🙂 Black and red doors were perfect for my black and red theme.

This is my second outfit I wore in NYC: a little black wrap dress worn over a red tank top and polka dot capris. My sandals were light brown but my husband painted them red.

black doorVersion 2red door 1red door 2Version 2wall



Next post Central Park

Thanks for stopping by!



Posted in Fashion, New York City, Photography, Summer, Travel | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

Roses in Spanish Harlem

We’re in New York City!

red roses

I wore this dress on the plane. It made me feel like I was back in the 1960s, a time ladies looked like they were on their way to a special event when traveling. Indeed, flying is a very special event for me! It never ceases to thrill me as the jet engines start up and we take to the sky where the world looks a lot smaller and somehow more peaceful.

red roses 2

This is the first of my outfits in NYC: black with white polka dots and big, bold red roses. I wore it to have dinner with friends at the Harlem Tavern.

red roses 3

The Brownstone buildings in Manhattan are charming and a fantastic backdrop for photos. This one is a replica built to look like the original ones. It’s a newer building but very much in keeping with the character of the old architecture.

red roses 4red roses 5red roses 7

A stroll around Harlem in my dress of red roses reminded me of Cliff Richard singing this song and I can imagine dancing a rumba.

First thing on my list of where to go next?

Central Park!



Posted in Active Lifestyle, Fashion, New York City, Photography, Summer, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Black and White Fashion

antique shop

As every fashionable woman knows, black and white is a classic combination: always in style, never out of date, forever chic. You can’t go wrong with black and white, this duo will always be in vogue: takes us through every season without looking dated and makes coordinating a cinch.

Version 2

That’s why I packed black and white clothes for my trip to Seattle last September, knowing I’d be shopping at my daughter’s new eco boutique — Drizzle and Shine. It was so easy to mix and match with only a minimum of pieces to pack and fit into my carryon. It was my first time ever choosing only black and white on a holiday.

Version 2Alki Beach 2Version 2

My white denim vest worn three ways.

With one pair of capris, two pairs of pants, 4 tops plus my white vest and a black cardigan, I was able to put together over 12 different looks which kept me going while I bought a new wardrobe in Jean’s store. I even bought more black and white outfits like these two below.

Left: Synergy Organic Clothing. Right: Threads 4 Thought

Also bought a black lightweight cotton coat with white trim, and a black and white scarf at a thrift shop.

thrifted coat

I decided to pack black and white clothes for my holiday in New York City, this time adding pops of red and a touch of turquoise. I won’t be taking too much because I always leave room for shopping!

I’m really looking forward to our trip to New York.

Happy summer holidays everyone!


PS. I’m in the Big Apple now! This post was written before I arrived in the USA. Next post will be my first one from New York City!  I ❤ NY


Posted in Cruelty-free, eco fashion, Fair trade, Fashion, Jeanofalltrades, Memories, Photography, Scenery, Seattle, Shopping, Thirfting, Travel, Vegan restaurant, Vegetarian/Vegan Lifestyle | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Synergy Organic Clothing

SynergyWhether casual or dressy, I like to be comfortable and classy. Not only do I want what I wear to reflect my personalty, but most important to know what I buy reflects my values and convictions. So I choose eco clothing and cruelty-free fashion.

Version 2

Top: Synergy from DRIZZLE & SHINE
Pants: Ricki’s
Shoes: St. Jacobs Market

Synergy 3

Lovely hand-stitched detail on the front and back with a cute peek-a-boo.back

A curious little dog came to investigate this photoshoot, guess she wanted to be in my fashion blog. She reminds me of Pierre, my white poodle that I had when I was 10 years old.

Version 2

Jean’s boutique is so beautiful, all clothes are organic, cruelty-free and nothing is bought from companies that abuse the workers or animals.




Posted in Cruelty-free, eco fashion, Fair trade, Fashion | Tagged , , , , | 18 Comments

A Crown of Daisies

daisies 1Daisies make me smile! 🙂 For me, they represent the simple pleasures in life!

daisies 2

Roses are elegant, orchids are luxurious and there are a myriad of beautiful flowers to behold, the humble daisy is my choice: simply growing in a meadow, they do not boast to be the most beautiful flower in the world, they have a modest quality that makes them pretty too.

daisies 3

My top has lace across the front at the neckline and sleeves. And lace on the hem.

As a little girl, I loved making delicate daisy wreaths for my hair. I chose a crown of daisies for my wedding day. I carried a bouquet of daisies as I walked up the aisle. This skirt is lace with daisies that I bought last time in NYC that you can see closer here.

daisy skirt


“Gatsby looked at Daisy
in a way that every young girl
wanted to be looked at.”
~ The Great Gatsby

daisies 6

I’ve had my gravitar photo ever since I started blogging and decided to use a new one.

My new gravitar photo.

daisy crown

Do you have a favourite flower?

daisy carmen


Posted in Fashion, Memories, Photography, Scenery, Summer | Tagged , , , , , | 24 Comments

Song Sung Blue

I’m borrowing Neil Diamond’s song for this post.

We’re all subject to the blues now and then, and I’ve got them today in my outfit.

blues 1

This gigantic saftety pin buckle was a purchase in the ’60s and I attached it to a denim blue belt. I decided to wear it with a long cotton top worn over rolled up faded blue jeans and then added this sheer fringe vest.

safety pin buckleblues 2blues 3

Now I’m singing the blues and this being one of my favourite blues song by Neil Diamond.

What’s your favourite blues song?

❤ carmen

Linkup: Turning Heads Tuesday

Posted in Fashion, Vintage | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

Memory Lane: University Village

Meandering around University Village in Seattle last year, I wore my black and white damask design pants that I bought in NYC several years ago in a little boutique in Harlem. We’ll be going back to NYC this summer and will stop by Bebenoir where Jean and I bought some lovely clothes and accessories.

University Village

University Village is an outdoor mall with lots of shops.

carmenUniversity Village 2University Village 3University Village 4University Village 5University Village 6Crate and Barrel is one of my favourite home decor stores.

Crate and BarrelCrate and Barrel 2

We had a super delicious vegan Mac and Cheese at VeggieGrill.Veggie GrillIn the evening we drove across town and had dinner with friends on a covered patio. I had a Chicago-style (pickle and tomato) vegan hot dog. The BEST ever in my life!jengavegan

❤ carmen

Posted in Fashion, Memories, Seattle, Shopping, Vegan restaurant, Vegetarian/Vegan Lifestyle | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments