My daughter: the animal rights activist

Jean has always loved fashion and at a young age decided what she wanted to wear. Influenced by Little House on the Prairie at 4, she loved her little Holly Hobbie bonnet and had several dresses that would fit in with the pioneer days.

Here she is with her Pa

Daddy's little girl

As a teenager, Jean took a modelling course and she always looked like a model, very in vogue.

Jean at 17


Here with her younger brother (left) and youngest brother (right).


In 2011 she started blogging about fashion, art, traveling and whatever her heart desired. Her about page explains more.

“I’m interested in lots of things and I’m always trying something new. I love fashion, art, film, music, literature, decor…”

Jean is a writer and an artist and a photographer. She’s taught ESL and has edited technical computer books I can’t even read.

JeanScreen Shot 2017-11-21 at 8.21.26 PMMarch 2017

Born in Toronto, Canada, now a US citizen living in Seattle where she is owner of an eco-boutique for women and men–everything ethical, fair-trade, cruelty-free, eco-friendly and many items made in USA and jewellery made by local artisans.

Drizzle and Shine


Whether elegant and ready for a night out somewhere special, or casual to relax or enjoy a walk in the woods–Drizzle & Shine eco-boutique has something for any and every occasion.

purple dressturquoise dressblack dress

This practical and stylish coat is waterproof, organic cotton and feather-free. Perfect for Seattle drizzle.


Jean’s love for animals and vegan lifestyle inspired her to write another blog, an excellent resource for all things compassionate.

Sunshine and Slaughterhorse 2017


She’s an animal rights activist and here are a few of the concerns she has been involved in.

Animal advocates in the Walk for Farmed Animals (photo courtesy of Paul Litwin)



Photo by Fernando Cuenca

Peaceful demonstrations in Kent, WA, protesting the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

kent-circusJanuary 2017

Protesting Dolphin Slaughter


Jean joined several hundred demonstrators at the University of Washington, protesting a proposed animal testing facility that, if built, would see a 30% increase in the number of animals tortured and killed at the university.

protesters against animal testing

Jean at the Chimpanzee Sanctuary

“I had a hard time imagining the sad existence these intelligent, curious creatures had to endure for a quarter century. They lived (if you can call it living) twenty-four hours a day in a steel cage like the one I’m standing next to. It’s almost the same as me living in solitary confinement in my bedroom closet.”

chimpanzee sanctuary

Jean is an active member of NARN (Northwest Animal Rights Network).


Happy Birthday Jean!

Thank you for your gift, John RobbinsDiet for a New America – which helped me to go vegan, and I’m happier and healthier knowing I can make a difference three times a day.

Thank you for making this a more compassionate world for people and animals!








Posted in Animals, eco fashion, Fair trade, Fashion, Healthy living, Jeanofalltrades, Plant-based diet, Seattle | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Sweater Weather

This is a wonderful time of the year as we prepare for Christmas!


It’s sweater weather and this one is a cozy cotton knit. I love the asymmetrical design with a blend of pink and burgundy shades. I paired it with jeans and denim sneakers.

sweater 2sweater close upsidebacksweater 4sweater5

We’ve still been enjoying several mild days. We had our first snow flurries in November which made the trees in our forest look sugar frosted (but it melted). Yesterday was warm enough to not even need a coat.

I’ve had this pink faux suede coat with faux fur trim for years.

pink coatpink coat 2pink coat 4

I wore it to the Etsy Christmas Craft Show. So many talented artisans and I will feature a few. I love supporting small businesses.

Cloud Rabbit Designs

Handcrafted bags and accessories. Made in Ontario, Canada

“My vision is to sew unique, quality products that are practical, affordable, beautiful and vegan friendly using my favourite designer fabrics, faux leathers and canvas.” ~ Claire O’brien


Spring Meadow Co

Handcrafted goods made in Canada

A thrill of hope


An assortment of garden markers made with flattened antique spoons. I bought one with lavender stamped on it.

“These spoons are perfect for any garden with any vegetable, fruit, flower or herb! I hammer each spoon nice and flat and then customize them with the plant of your choice.” ~ Jessica Murphy

garden markerslavender spoon

MBM Illustration

That girl who draws cats, dogs, houses and buildings

Maggie draws whimsical cats and dogs (custom orders) and charming houses and buildings.

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Gracie Klutz

I bought a unique fanny pack. Normally I don’t wear them, but I loved the fruit print and will wear it with jeans to carry my cell phone while walking in the woods.

fanny pack

Lacey J. Heels

Original abstract art and prints


It’s always a pleasant surprise to meet friends while shopping, part of the fun is stopping to chat–something we can’t do when we shop online.

Let’s support local venders and small businesses in our area.

Have you ever shopped on Etsy?

pink heart


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Threads 4 Thought: eco-friendly fashion

A T-shirt dress is as timeless as a T-shirt.

T-shirt dress

I wore this simple cotton T-shirt dress on my vacation in NYC, styled for summer.


What I love about it is that I can add a long, cozy cotton cardigan and black tights and it transitions into fall and cooler weather, even winter. That way I get more use of my clothes and don’t need to pack anything away till next season.

It’s fabulous to have a dressing room instead of a closet to keep my clothes, the benefit of having a spare bedroom since the children have moved out. BTW this is not my dressing room, it’s my daughter’s eco-boutique.

T-shirt dress 3T-shirt dress 4

Threads 4 Thought is a sustainable fashion company.

I bought it at DRIZZLE & SHINE eco-boutique.

T-shirt dress 5T-shirt dress 6

It’s perfect for my dance classes. As much as I love dressing up, my lifestyle, teaching dance and most of my activities call for casual clothes, but that doesn’t mean shabby or frumpy.

When you have comfort + style, what’s not to love?

Cotton spelled C O M F O R T

Version 2

This has been a memory of September in Seattle. I’ll be going again soon!



Posted in eco fashion, Fair trade, Fashion, Memories | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments

I Love Paris

Paris 1A city I’ve never been to and dream of going there someday. In the meantime, I was so happy to see we have an Eiffel Tower now. It stands 14 feet tall inside the Cambridge City Hall, Ontario. (The city where I teach dance 5 days a week.)

paris-21.jpgParis 3Paris 4Paris 5

I happened to be wearing my Paris top on this particular day (and my little Eiffel Tower necklace) without knowing about this artistic display made entirely with over 10,000 vintage Meccano parts!

Eiffel Tower necklace and topVersion 2Paris 7


Our home has a Paris theme


The Centre for the Arts had an Attic Art exhibit where they sold previously own art at very reasonable prices. I met Rosemary who had a little purse with an Eiffel Tower.

RosemaryMeccano Eiffel TowerI love Paris

Linkup: Visible Monday

Posted in Fashion, Photography | Tagged , , , , | 21 Comments

Updated Hippy Style

Scrapbook dress

I was a flower child in the ’60s. Two of my favourite fashion trends at the time were flowers and tie-dyed clothes. I dabbled in tie-dying and turned a plain white T-shirt into a work of art.

When I saw this dress on Jean’s Drizzle & Shine website and Instagram, it reminded me of my T-shirt, same colours. Only this dress is far more stylish with bell sleeves and I love the addition of lace and tassels. far out — as I used to say!

Urban Dictionary: far out

When something is cool, you say Far Out! Often used by hippies.

Drizzle and ShineScrapbook Instagram

You can imagine my delight when the dress arrived in a package that Jean sent.

Made in the U.S.A. Scrapbook embraces a free-spirited energy and a true love for art, music, and all things vintage.”

Shop now with the promo code “BLACK FRIDAY”

Scrapbook 3

I wore it with black thrifted booties to go shopping at Hudson’s Bay on the weekend.

jacket and bootiesjacket

I was looking for booties and found this cute pair of velvet (non leather) booties with a floral print.

Scrapbook dress 4Version 2

Silver necklace with flower, butterfly and dragonfly, and peace-sign earrings and rings for a ’60s vibe.


I can’t wait to get back to Seattle for another shopping spree!

Drizzle and Shine

Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends and family!

leaf with heart

Let’s support small businesses and ethical clothing.

blessings carmen


Posted in Autumn, Cruelty-free, eco fashion, Fair trade, Fashion, Shopping, Thanksgiving, Thirfting | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Time flies when you’re blogging

As the old adage says, Time flies when you’re having fun! — I guess that means blogging is a lot of fun because it’s been six years (November 2011) since I began this adventure and it feels like yesterday. Thanks to my daughter Jean who started her fashion and lifestyle blog earlier in 2011 and inspired me, I’ve met some wonderful people in the Blogosphere.

It’s a creative way to journal and keep track of my wardrobe inventory, my travel adventures and memories of my life. It’s fun being my own boss with no dead-lines. It’s wonderful deciding what I want to write about and show.

It’s a bit like writing a book, one chapter at a time. Sometimes I wonder if it’s time to write the final chapter. I’m thinking about posting less often. I’d rather dance than sit at my computer and I don’t ever want blogging to become a chore.

I’ll take you through these six years starting with my first post.

2011 (11 posts) My first post

The photo was taken on the steps of my front porch at the little house on the river. This is where I lived when I started blogging.

first post

My office where it all began.


2012 (40 posts) My 60th Birthday


The year started off with a winter getaway to Florida to meet up with Jean. Seeing my first alligators in the wild was something that impressed me immensely. This fellow was only a few feet away, too close for comfort. Needless to say, we decided to turn around instead of walking by him. He was larger than life–15 feet long!


In November we visited Jean in Seattle after a little detour to San Francisco. The sea lions were so amusing basking in the sun on Pier 39.

Pier 39

2013 (84 posts) Fashion Show

I was one of the ten fabulous women chosen in a contest looking for the most fabulous women over 40, an opportunity to model in a fashion show and be in a magazine–a fabulous experience!


Two travel adventures in 2013, Costa Rica


and a fantastic vacation in NYC with Jean.


2014 (79 posts) Another New York City vacation

I wore this one-of-a-kind dress in NYC (handmade by a local seamstress).



My cousin and her daughter came to visit from Germany. It had been 20 years since I saw her, much too long and too short a visit but we made the most of it, even seeing Niagara Falls twice during their stay.

Niagara Falls

2015 (77 posts) Diane von Furstenberg two-piece wrap dress that belonged to my mom.

It’s actually Jean’s now and she was kind enough to let me borrow it for my 63rd birthday. She met Diane von Furstenberg and wore this dress.


The fun never ends: another escape from the cold to spend January in Seattle


and in the summer I made a pilgrimage to my homeland, Germany. I had not been back since 1994. This is the Fernsehturm (TV Tower) in my hometown, Stuttgart. World’s first telecommunications tower constructed from reinforced concrete.


2016 (79 posts) A gift from my cousin

This dress belonged to my cousin. It’s genuine vintage from the 1960s. She brought it with her when she came to visit in 2015 and now it’s mine.


Seattle really feels like home. 2016 was my 4th visit since Jean moved to Seattle in 2000 and my first time in her eco-boutique.

Version 3

2017 (61 posts) Two-piece dress from Drizzle and Shine

I’m really proud of Jean for following her dream to open an eco-boutique, specializing in clothes and items that are kind to the earth and animals, and that are made by people who are treated fairly.


My oldest son graduated in June and is here with his son (my grandson).


We enjoyed another holiday in NYC this summer. Jean was too busy with her store so our youngest son came with us. Matching father and son muscle shirts are from Drizzle and Shine.

Thank you to everyone who has stopped by and special thanks to all who have taken time to comment and follow! It means a lot to me.

❤️Thank you with all my heart!❤️

Thank you WordPress for making it possible!

A total of 431 posts.

6 years

Much love to you all – MUAH!!!

blessings carmen

My favourite Linkup: VISIBLE MONDAY

Posted in Active Lifestyle, Fashion, Jeanofalltrades, Memories, Nature, Photography, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Autumn Lament


The sunlight is flickering through the leaves as some are dancing to the ground. I watch from my window as the beauty of the glorious colours start to disappear, leaving the barren trees looking naked like skeletons. As night falls, the forest behind my house looks eerie and the coyotes’ howls are frightening, making me feel sorry for the creatures who need to survive in the cold, dark nights.

I feel safe to be in our cozy, warm home, snuggled up on the sofa with a hot cup of herbal tea and lemon.

It’s been an awesome Autumn, with days warm enough to go swimming at Lake Erie in October. (Not that I swim but I love walking along the beach.)

Yet autumn brings a certain melancholy feeling with it despite the beauty of the forest. Not because of autumn itself. I actually do enjoy this season with mild temperatures and many warm, sunny days to enjoy walks in the colourful woods, the sound of leaves crunching with each step and the fragrance of the pines.

Grand Riverforestforest 2forest 3

The problem is that it will soon turn to winter–my least favourite season–and how cold it will get and how long winter will stay is depressing. I do try to make the best of it, but every year my dread of winter worsens and I find it harder to be positive and find anything good about Old Man Winter.

I find myself daydreaming of being a snowbird like some of my Canadian friends who are fortunate enough to fly south to Florida or Texas or Arizona and escape the winter and its furry. I would choose California. *big sigh*

So much for my annual autumn lament.

My granddaughter loves walks in the woods and scootering along the trails.

scooterwalking on log

Here’s how I’ve enjoyed some fall days in my cozy sweatshirt. The artistic feather print and unfinished edges makes it not-just-another-boring sweatshirt.

23feather jewellery

Afternoons at the market …

4sunflowersVersion 2

A day trip to the little town of Elora …

EloraElora 2Elora 3

My thrifted pleather purse is so soft and excellent quality with pockets and compartments inside and out.

gray pleather purse


We had our first snow flurries to remind us that Christmas is on the way!

The best thing about autumn is looking forward to Christmas!


My favourite Linkup: VISIBLE MONDAY

Posted in Autumn, Beach, Christmas, Day Trips, Fashion, flowers, Hiking, Nature, Photography, Scenery, Shopping | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Something Thrifted; Something Gifted

gray peplumThis gray knit peplum top was rescued from a thrift shop. It looked hardly worn and has a place in my wardrobe now. I wore it on GRAY DAY at my dance class. Every Friday this year we’ve had a theme. My dancers are fashionable and we have fun with fashion!

close up

I paired it with my black and gray floral skinny jeans and wore a black cardigan which was gifted to me. It has a silver edging and I added a belt which belonged to my mom. Time to wear booties again. I miss my sandals already but at least there’s no snow … YET!

black cardiganblack cardigan 2black cardigan 3

Fashion is fun!

Happy Friday all my fashionistas!



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

Ruby Slippers

ruby slippersWhenever I do a photo shoot with high heels, you can be sure I have a pair of flats in a bag with me. I do admit stilettos make a woman’s legs look more elegant, but as for me, I will follow Audrey Hepburn’s footsteps and enjoy the comfort of my ballet flats.

little library

However …

having said that, these 2.5 inch peep-toe wedges are as comfortable as flats. Made in USA by oka-B – quality and comfort. I walked the streets and neighbourhoods of Seattle last year when I bought them at DRIZZLE & SHINE.

little library 2little library 3

And this summer I walked through the parks and streets of New York City.


Then when it’s time to go home, I click my heels three times and say,

there’s no place like home!



Posted in Fashion, New York City, Seattle | Tagged , , , , | 18 Comments

Playing Dress-ups

black and red dress 640

I’m not fond of Halloween, but I always loved playing dress-ups! As a child I chose friendly characters like Little Red Riding Hood, a princess, a gypsy dancer, a Hawaiian dancer, Roaring ’20s Charleston dancer, Spanish dancer (guess you can tell I love to dance). I had fun all through the year playing dress-ups with my mom’s clothes.

I’d wear her skirts (so long they trailed on the floor) and high heels (a few sizes too big for me) and I adorned myself with her lovely jewellery. Then I’d look in her full-length mirror–not too admire myself–but to take pleasure in fashion and use my imagination to pretend I was in movie scenes that I had watched on TV.

I have a collection of costumes, some of which I’ll include in this post.

Today’s costume and I also wore this to the Costume Ball on the weekend.

black and red dressblack and red dress close up

Dolly Parton and I showed up in the same dress.


They picked the winning costumes but this couple was my choice–The Captain and his first mate.

Captain and mate

Last week Maggie and I were at a Barn Dance. She’s the prettiest pirate I’ve ever seen and I was a black cat.

pirate and cat

Last year I was a gypsy dancer, just like my childhood days.


A dance where Maggie wore her Roaring ’20s flapper dress and I was Heidi.

Flapper and Heidi

Some of our dancers dressed up today and Monica was the star of the show when she came riding on a horse (man, can that horse dance!). I couldn’t stop laughing! Video to come!

Tuesday beginners

What’s your favourite costume that you’ve worn?



Posted in Dance, Fashion | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments