White after Labour Day?

When it comes to fashion, I make my own rules. I love all white any time of the year.

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These photos taken before Labour Day in Bryant Park (NYC). It looks like I’m wearing a dress but it’s actually a long blouse to wear over pants or leggings. There are no buttons from the waist down.

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Imitating the mannequins in the window display.

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Walking over to Midtown, Times Square is the famous site of the annual New Year’s Eve ball drop. It’s an electric feeling surrounded by huge LED billboards and towering buildings, you realize you’re in the most visited place in the world! Take a look at my video to get a feel of it.

Time for some more window shopping.

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Browsing through Marimekko, I bought some fabric. The same print of a dress I had in the 1960’s. It’s from Finland and this print is still being made.


Ok, how do we get to the Flatiron Building? This 22-story triangular skyscraper is over a hundred years old and has become an icon of NYC. One of the tallest buildings in its day. Nowadays, skyscrapers are more than 40 stories.

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Everywhere I go I’m experiencing deja vu, like I’ve been here before.

Fifth Avenuered doorLast time in Washington Square was with my daughter Jean.

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Washington Square has a triumphal arch.ArchViolet the Cockatoo was in the park, love how we match.


Back home; great way to dress up jeans.

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Do you wear white after Labour Day?

Violet wears white all the time.

Violet the Cockatoo



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New York, New York; so good they named it twice!

And when I like something, I buy it twice!

black topper

Case in point–these little mesh toppers. First in blue, as I showed in my last post. It was hard to decide which colour, so I went back and bought another one in black. That’s what happens when I can’t decide which colour. They also came in brown and white. I would have bought the white one as well, but they didn’t have my size.

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It’s a great way to layer and adds texture to an outfit. I’ll be able to wear it over other colours as well: red, yellow or turquoise.

No need to wait till next year to wear white because I love wearing white after Labour Day.

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It was our forth time visiting this fabulous city that never sleeps! For the past three times our daughter Jean came too, but now she’s busy with her eco boutique; I’ll have to wait till next time I go to Seattle–the other side of the continent–to see her again.

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Apollo Theater in Harlem


The Apollo Theater in Harlem is where the Queen of Jazz, Ella Fitzgerald, began her career on Amateur Night. She was often referred to as the First Lady of Song and noted for her amazing scat singing.

Many famous singers and musicians have performed at the Apollo, including my favourite jazz singer Etta James, I love her song At Last.

Jimi Hendrix won the first place prize in an amateur musician contest at the Apollo in 1964. 

Other performers whose careers started at the Apollo include Billie Holiday, Pearl Bailey, Sammy Davis Jr., James Brown & The Famous Flames, King Curtis, Diana Ross & The Supremes, Parliament-Funkadelic, Wilson Pickett, The Miracles, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Rush Brown, Stephanie Mills, Dionne Warwick, Bobby Short, The Jackson 5, Patti LaBelle, Marvin Gaye, Luther Vandross, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Ben E. King, Mariah Carey, The Isley Brothers, Lauryn Hill, Sarah Vaughan, Jazmine Sullivan, Ne-Yo, and Machine Gun Kelly.

I bought this cute little jacket in Harlem across the street from the Apollo. It’s a heavenly shade of blue, soft net fabric with a handkerchief hem and two big coconut buttons.

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I wore it over a white top and also with a blue top.

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The front of this top has a keyhole opening and the back has a net detail.

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Harlem has many sidewalk cafes and restaurants. Harlem Burger has delicious veggie burgers.
Lovely to sit outside on a warm day in August.

Harlem Burger

Happy Labour Day weekend my friends!


Earth, Wind and Fire performed at the Apollo. We danced to this song in class today.



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Kimono-style floral dressing gown

“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!”


Blogging definitely inspires me. We are influential beings. When I first saw some of my fellow bloggers featuring vintage Kimono morning robes or dressing gowns, I knew this is a look I would wear.

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My second purchase in NYC was this elegant Kimono with florals on a black background. It’s not vintage but I love the style. Made in USA.

I remember my mother having one that she wore when lounging around the house or at the beach. It even had a similar print.

I wore it to MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) and blended right in with the art.


I wore it to Chelsea Market in Manhattan (the place where Nabisco created OREO cookies in 1912–BTW Oreos are vegan).


Sitting on the loading dock of the old Nabisco Factory.

Chelsea Market 3Chelsea Market 4Chelsea Market 5Next we took a walk on the High Line. Jean introduced us to this  unusual park (former railroad) in Manhattan. I get most of my fashion inspiration from my daughter Jean, I copied her by starting a fashion blog. I miss reading her posts because she doesn’t post as often since she opened her eco boutique in Seattle.

This Kimono is like a duster, lightweight and will make a great beach coverup and perfect for lounging at home and entertaining guests.

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We walked over to Macy’s–world’s largest store–and I had more fun on the old-fashioned escalators than shopping.

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Is this a trend you’ve bought or would wear?
What have you bought that was inspired by a blogger?



Posted in Fashion, Jeanofalltrades, Nature, New York City, Photography, Scenery, Summer, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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 , , , , , , , , , , | 13 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Stairs are a great workout.

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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 , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 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!

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There’s wild life …


And lots of turtles!

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

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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.

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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



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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.

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Next post Central Park

Thanks for stopping by!



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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!



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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.

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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.

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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