Fall in love

When Fair November comes to Guelph, I plan a daytrip and I am never disappointed; it’s one of the shopping adventures I look forward to every autumn! Fauxy lady in my faux fur coat; cool without cruel!

Fair November

Fall fashion is fun! This orange jacquard jacket brightens up dreary, rainy days. I paired it with chocolate brown for an autumnal look.

orange jacket and brown faux suede skirt

My friend Jo found this jacket at Talize (a thrift shop). At $7.99 it was an easy decision. I can always donate it back later if I made a mistake. I received so many compliments including from some of the vendors.

orange jacket

These lovely ladies stopped me and asked where I got it. They were at a Christian conference in the area.

Christian ladies

Bella Grey is a unique collection of handcrafted jewellery using natural beach stones!

K.O.O.L. is the innovative and eco friendly creation of Sarah who upcycles animal feed sacks into useful totes and handbags of all sizes. She also uses fabric samples in her designs. (Not biodegradable or recycled by the municipalities — empty horse, bird, dog and cat feed bags.)

Sarah KOOLlarge cat bagsmall cat bag

Jannis, owner of Olio Eco, blends reclaimed materials in her fabulous creations: her line of sustainable, eco and organic clothing is ethical and fashionable!

DSC04807Teresa is a happy shopper who walked by and I had to stop her to admire her necklace. These vintage inspired necklaces and jewellery add sparkles to an outfit and can turn blah into brilliant! Kristin of K. Ross Creation uses antique buttons to make her amazing designs that have a vintage look.


This layered, asymmetrical skirt is faux suede and twirls so nicely when I’m dancing.

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Before heading home, it’s time for a bite to eat. I’m so glad they have vegan options with delicious choices!

I love how festive everything is decorated for Christmas!

Merry Christmas

One month till Christmas. Have you started your Christmas shopping and decorating?

<3 carmen



Posted in Christmas, Day Trips, Fashion, Jewelry, Nutrition, Plant-based diet, Shopping, Thirfting, Vegetarian/Vegan Lifestyle | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Coral top from Vero Moda

I first saw this cute top in VERO MODA at the Gerber Mall in Stuttgart while in Germany this summer.

Vero Moda

Being in a hurry, I did not have time to try it on so I didn’t buy it. The next day, Jean and I flew to Berlin and I happily found a Vero Moda store. Unfortunately, size small was a little big but I bought it any way. (Usually, I wear small or medium).

Vero Moda 2When I got back to Stuttgart I went to the mega mall Milaneo and was able to exchange it for an X small. YAY! Perfect fit! Sizing is strange because sometimes I have to buy large.

MilaneoMilaneo is more than huge, it has horses to ride around!


I love this shade of deep coral and the cutout detail has a lacy look, so pretty. The fabric is soft and cool. It came in other colours and this is a top I would have bought in several colours if I had room in my luggage (and more money in my wallet).

vero moda 2

I wore it to the CNE in Toronto when I got back home.

bootCNEI can wear it with white for a summery look and on the weekend I wore it with my black thrifted velvet jacket for an autumnal look. That’s what I like, clothes that take me through the seasons.

autumn style

Do you ever track down clothes and go out of your way when you like something and need it in another size or colour?



Posted in Fashion, Germany, Shopping, Summer, Toronto, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Gray Jacquard Sweatshirt–United Colors of Benetton

I don’t own a sweatshirt, that is until now. While shopping in Munich, I found a United Colors of Benetton store (we don’t have one anymore where I live) and tried on this gray mix jacquard sweatshirt.

jacquard sweatshirt

It’s comfortable and stylish–no frumpy clothes for me! That’s why I’ve stayed away from sweatshirts and jogging pants because they make me feel sloppy.

by the rock

One of my first walk in the woods this fall–before the leaves changed–was a perfect day to wear this casual outfit. I paired it with black cord leggings and wore red booties for a pop of colour.

Jacquard sweatshirt

These soft leggings are as comfortable as jogging pants but way more style. I’m looking for a gray pair of trousers now.

in the woods

“If you’re ever worried or upset, go through the woods with open eyes. And in every tree, in every shrub, in every creature and every flower, the Almighty God will reveal Himself to you and give you solace and strength.” From the movie Sissi (Empress Elisabeth of Austria). She lived near Munich and I had a wonderful time in Possenhofen by the Starnberger Sea where she grew up.


UPDATE I found a gray pair of jeans in my closet (they look bluish in the photos but they are actually gray).

gray jeansPhotos taken today, the last of the golden leaves in our forest.

close up

Here’s a link to order this sweatshirt online


Posted in Autumn, Fashion, Germany, Nature, Photography, Scenery, Shopping | Tagged , , , , , | 19 Comments

Style Challenge and the Donkey Sanctuary

donkeyVisiting the Donkey Sanctuary near Guelph, Ontario is something I’ve been wanting to do ever since friends of ours told us they volunteer there. The sanctuary is home for 75 rescued Donkeys (plus even more if you count the mules and hinnies). We learned so much about these interesting, lovable animals and how misunderstood they are, often ending up abused and neglected. If you live in Southern Ontario, this is an awesome day trip you will enjoy–GUARANTEED!!

Jean and I bought these black tops at the Boxi Flea Market in Berlin this summer. Here’s how my daughter styled hers; click HERE to see her blog.

Jean 1Jean 2

Her shoes were bought in Munich  – Good Guys Don’t Wear Leather (from Veganista)

Jean 3

I wore all black, a drastic change from my all white looks that I wore during the summer. The tops came with a black cami.

carmen 1carmen 2

This was my first time wearing my black top: the first day of autumn and first time at the Donkey Sanctuary. I brought my little vintage Steiff donkey.

carmen 3

Here I am with CARMEN!  :-)

carmen the donkey

This is paradise for these beautiful, furry animals.

Donkey Sanctuary

My granddaughter brought her little donkey in her backpack.

Donkey Sanctuary

Please check out their website and enjoy a special day trip to Guelph to meet the donkeys and a team of wonderful, caring volunteers.


Posted in Animals, Autumn, Country Life, Day Trips, Fashion, Guelph, Jeanofalltrades, Nature, Photography, Scenery, Style Challenge, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Style Challenge: Turquoise top from Berlin

Jean and I often like the same things, so it’s no surprise that when we found these turquoise tops (fair trade) in a little shop in Berlin, Germany we both bought one. With ruching on one side seam and asymmetrical woven details on one shoulder makes this tank top so unique!


Jean’s matches her new flirty skirt she bought at an art market in Berlin. There were a myriad of various prints and hard to make a choice, all were beautiful.

jean turquoise top

Wish I bought one of these skirts, good thing I can order online.

skirt Karo and Punkte

I’ve had this boho skirt for years. It’s hard enough to match colours, but turquoise has so many shades that I have never found a top to match apart from the tie-died top that came with it.

Lo and behold, this top has the same shade of turquoise!

turquoise topturquoise tank

Makes me feel like dancing!


Our style challenge is not a competition, but rather how to style a piece with a different look.

carmen turquoise

linking up with Visible Monday

Posted in Fair trade, Fashion, Germany | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Black Faux Suede Fringed Vest

Having been a teenager in the 60s, this cool fringed vest caught my eye while shopping in Berlin. It has a 60s vibe and is faux suede. I had one in the 60s but I don’t pay any attention to silly rules that if you wore it the first time, you shouldn’t wear it again. Why not?

black faux suede vest

It’s one of those instant decisions, no time to think about it, because I won’t be able to come back to the store since I would be flying back to Stuttgart the next day.


That’s the problem with shopping while on vacation, you have to think fast and decide right on the spot. Try it on–love it or leave it forever! That’s very extremely difficult for me to do. I like to think about things. If I had unlimited money, it would be no problem.

It’s a fun look so I wore it on a day trip to London, Ontario’s Storybook Gardens with my grandchildren. September was a pleasant month here in Ontario with many warm and sunny days.

Humpty DumptyLondon Bridge Conestoga wagon

I’ve worn it with jeans and boots to go line dancing for a country look. I can wear it to a costume party with bell-bottom jeans, love beads and a daisy head band (a 60s flower child).

Strotbook Gardens

Do you have trouble making instant decisions?

<3 carmen

Posted in Day Trips, Fashion, Germany, Photography, Shopping, Travel | Tagged , , , , , | 14 Comments

Little Pink Dress

Fun in the sun …


but only after 4:00 PM–till four in the afternoon, I stay in the shade.

Port Dover

I bought this pretty, pink shift in Germany (Stuttgart-Feuerbach). First time wearing it was when I got home. I wore it on a day trip to Port Dover, Ontario. Last month was still warm enough to go to the beach.

Port Dover2

I knew when I tried it on in the dressing room that it was made for me: dusty rose, linen, lace detail, feminine, soft, comfortable, pockets AND on sale!

pink dressAn antique carousel in the middle of town.

carouselA little shopping …

Life is but a dream …

life is but a dream <3 carmen

Joining Catherine for PINK linkup

Posted in Beach, Day Trips, Fashion, Photography, Shopping, Summer, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , | 21 Comments


Berlin is the New York City of Germany! This was my first visit to this fascinating city and what made it most special is that I went there with Jean and we got to go to the world’s first Vegan Avenue & Veganz Grocery Store!

<3 a delightful experience!! <3


New York being the largest city in the United States, Berlin is the largest city in Germany. Berlin is the Capital and has so many interesting attractions, both historical and contemporary.

The Hop on Hop off bus made for an easy tour around town before we got off at our Airbnb near Mauer Park. Walking along the path (part of no man’s land) to our condo was rather a strange feeling.

hop on hop offDSC03546Spree RiverSpree RiverArt on Berlin Wall

First night in Berlin we met some new compassionate friends and enjoyed a delicious vegan dinner at a vegan meetup–BERLIN VEGAN DRINKS. The rustic, outdoorsy decor was so unique and perfect for a warm summer evening in the city.

vegan drinks meetupJeancarmen

From vegan clothing stores and shoe shops to vegan grocery stores and restaurants Jean and I made some great purchases and dined in style. (No slave labour–no child labour!)

Dear Goods

Sidewalk cafe at Veganz Grocery store for a bite to eat while shopping at Dear Goods clothing boutique (Fair Trade) and Avesu vegan shoes. (More fashion photos in future posts.)

The trip to the top of the Berlin Tower proved to be worth the long wait in line.

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Shopping, scouting out flea markets, art markets and thrift shops was all part of the fun; we found some unique things to bring home.

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ReichstagStanding on the immense grounds in front of the Reichstag building was eerie.


“The Brandenburg Gate lies at the heart of Berlin, the one remaining of four original city gates which were part of the historical Prussian capital. Like many of the great landmarks of Berlin it was devastated in the Second World War, but has been immaculately restored.” Wikipedia

Brandenburg Gate

Meeting up with my cousin Peter was a double pleasure: chatting with him and enjoying a vegan ice cream treat. He was gracious enough to follow us to some fashionable boutiques and then escort us back to our condo, where we enjoyed going to the nearby Beer Garden.

IMG_9392DSC03743 vegan ice cream

Last, but certainly not least, was Peter taking me on a cruise on the Spree River to view the city from a different perspective.

Spree River

Spree riverI love Berlin <3 carmen

Photos by Jean, Peter and carmen

Linking up with Jess and Nichole

Posted in Fair trade, Fashion, Germany, Healthy living, Jeanofalltrades, Jewelry, Memories, Nutrition, Photography, Plant-based diet, Scenery, Shopping, Summer, Travel, Vegan restaurant, Vegetarian/Vegan Lifestyle | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Munich: Oktoberfest

Munich (the capital of Bavaria) is the city with the largest Oktoberfest in the world. I live in Kitchener, Ontario (once called Berlin) which hosts the biggest Oktoberfest outside of Germany.


My first time in Munich this summer made a memorable impression on me: the amazing state of the art BMW museum (which I will take you inside on a future post) and the fascinating architectural attractions of both historic and modern buildings.

BMWmuseumMunichMunich 2MunichMuinichMunichMunichDSC03426Munich TowerGerman flag

Street musicians are amazing! Click on photo and watch them play!

street musiciansMarienplatz is the city centre since 1158. The pedestrian zone is buzzing with people and numerous restaurants and shops. Check out Jean’s post about the unique restaurant we went to in Munich (specially for cat lovers–you’ve never seen anything like it!! <3 )


Non-leather Lederhosen.

green Lederhosendenim lederhosen

Oktoberfest in Canada starts on Thanksgiving weekend–harvest time, a time to thank God for the abundance of healthy food: every type of vegetable and all sorts of fruit! Here’s the turkey I’m going to serve this year. (I didn’t make this one in the photo, but here’s the one I made last year.)

veggie turkey

These photos of my Dirndl were taken today (not in Munich). I bought this outfit in Dinklesbühl in 1982.

Dirndlclose up

Love my <3 pendant and earrings. The skirt has little red hearts embroidered on the hemline. I like the lacy knit of these knee socks and have them in different colours.

Happy Thanksgiving!! We are blessed!!

vegan Thanksgiving

<3 carmen

Grüße aus München

Photos by Jean and carmen

Visit Sylvia for more BOLD and beautiful looks!

Posted in Fashion, Germany, Healthy living, Humour, Jeanofalltrades, Jewelry, Photography, Plant-based diet, Shopping, Summer, Thanksgiving, Travel, Vegetarian/Vegan Lifestyle | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

I’m in love …

I’ve always been in love with the sea and yet I don’t swim. The sight of water evokes romance in my mind; whether a babbling brook or the waves of the ocean, it makes my heart happy as a woman in love.


A dream come true: Jean and I stayed in Possenhofen for a few days with my cousin and her daughter to relax by Lake Starnberg (Starnberger See) near Munich in Bavaria.

Starnberger Seetoes in the watersitting on the dockLara and JeanJean and carmena walk to the castle

SissiThis is the summer place where Princess Sisi (Elisabeth) once lived. Before my trip to Germany I watched the trilogy of her life the Sissi Collection (three 2 hour DVDs in German) and the movie Forever My Love which is a condensed version (two hours) in English. I highly recommend watching the 6 hours with English subtitles FIRST.

This castle was once her childhood home and favourite vacation retreat. Empress Elisabeth was an avid horsewoman, possibly the best female equestrian in her day.


Unfortunately, the museum was closed but Jean enjoyed a Bavarian pretzel …


And I had my picture taken with Sisi …

statue of Sissi

I love history and although Sisi’s sad life came to a tragic end, she lived being loved immensely and completely by her prince, the Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria. Perhaps the movie romanticized her life somewhat and felt more like a fairy-tale, her real life was miserable without a happily ever after.

Have you seen this classic movie from the 50s?    If not, be sure to put it on your list!

My suggestion: watch the movie first before you read the true story.

Thank you for joining me on my Germany travels and please come back as I take you to Munich next time!

<3 carmen

Note: Sisi was her nickname originally spelled Sisi and later Sissi.

Posted in Fashion, Germany, Jeanofalltrades, Memories, Nostalgia, Photography, Scenery, Summer, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments