Brooklyn Bunny

If you know me, you know I love supporting small businesses and artisans. When Brooklyn Bunny contacted me, I was more than happy to promote this company for several reasons:

♥ designed by artist Johanna Thompson

♥ cruelty-free yarn

♥ made in USA

♥ handmade

♥ a portion of the product sales are donated to animal welfare organizations

Just in time for Christmas, Brooklyn Bunny will ship one of these cute bunnies in your choice of white or bright rainbow colours.

Theo van Chewsburg …

Theo even has a Youtube channel …

A rescue story

My son Jonathan found a little bunny hopping around his neighbourhood in October. He knew it was a domestic rabbit and they don’t have the survival skills that their wild cousins have. It wasn’t easy but Jonathan managed to catch him and I am looking after Bunnykins in the meantime (he already has two birds and three rats to take care of). We’ve called the Humane Society and looked for notices of a lost rabbit, so far no one has reported it missing.

All my boys and daughter have rescued many animals. Countless turtles and birds and also some cats and dogs as well as a chicken.

This is a promotion I am doing for the love of animals!

To make a donation to Brooklyn Bunny please click the Brooklyn Bunny logo.

Posted in Animals, Cruelty-free, Fashion | Tagged , , , , , | 16 Comments

The year there was no Christmas

Don Barton, Pete Hobday, Johnny Czech, John Swainson, Don Simpson.

Fifty years ago today, my brother Johnny was killed in a horrific car accident in Toronto, Canada. I was living in Costa Rica with my dad at the time and literally deathly sick with hepatitis (which I didn’t know I had).

The phone rang in the early morning hours of December 1st and I awoke from a deep sleep to the shock of my mom calling to tell us of the tragic news. (My mother and Johnny were living in Toronto.)

My dad arranged for an immediate flight.

The first thing after landing in Canada and arriving at my mom’s place was that she was alarmed to see me in such a sick condition: she took me to emergency right away, where I was admitted and put in isolation. I remember my mom being angry that my dad had not taken me to a doctor in Costa Rica seeing how sick I was. I had never been this sick in my sixteen years of life!

My parents made the arrangements for Johnny’s funeral and my doctor gave permission for me to go to the funeral and then return to the hospital straight after.

There was no Christmas for us in 1968.

If it hadn’t been for me returning to Canada, so that my mother could take me to the hospital, I would have died, it was that serious according to the doctor.

Through Johnny’s death, he saved my life.

For this 50th year, I received a recording of my brother’s band from one of the band members. Johnny was the drummer and this was an unexpected, awesome surprise! Thank you with all my heart dear Peter!

Christmas 1965

The last Christmas our family was together: mom, Johnny and me (my dad took the photo)

Christmas is a joyful time we celebrate love, peace and hope—as the angel announced two thousand years ago, “… I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord … And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.’ ” ~from Luke chapter 2.

But for many it is a time of loss and pain.

May God comfort those who mourn and suffer.

Posted in Christmas, Memories | Tagged , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

The Years Keep Rolling By

Another year has come and gone since I started blogging. That makes 7 years of writing a public memoir about fashion and my lifestyle. Those who have followed me know that I am interested in more than just pretty clothes.

My compassion for animals, my concerns for our environment, promoting ethical fashion and a healthy lifestyle is what has kept me motivated to write. I’ve enjoyed meeting interesting people from around the world that I would otherwise not have met and who are now friends.

I promote Slow Fashion: organic, fair trade and cruelty-free.

I initially signed up with WordPress in January 2011 so that I could comment on my daughter’s fashion blog. I had toyed with the idea of starting my own blog because I have a passion for fashion and thought it would be a fun hobby.

I always wanted to write a book, so I wrote this blog instead. Guess you might say I have writer’s blog 😉  It feels like I’m adding a chapter every week and one day I will write the last chapter. Till then, I’ll keep writing and sharing my thoughts, hoping to inspire women at any age to be our best.

Staying young is a state of mind. Although we may show a few wrinkles and gray hairs as the years go by, we can stay young at heart. That person in the mirror is still the same, hopefully a little wiser and more confident, but essentially you are still you!

We can make the world a better place with compassion.

Thank you for taking time to read, comment and simply click the like button!

Lots of love and warm hugs!

Posted in Cruelty-free, eco fashion, Fair trade, Fashion, Jeanofalltrades, Thirfting, Vegetarian/Vegan Lifestyle | Tagged , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Dreaming of Christmas

If there’s one thing I love about this season, it’s Christmas! Candles glowing, carols echoing through our home, festive decorations, watching Christmas movies and drinking hot apple cider. Getting ready for family and friends gathering, all brings back happy memories of Christmases past and looking forward to this one.

Part of the festivities and preparation is going to see Christmas lights and shopping at Christmas markets. We have been to three and plan to go to three more. Fair November is an annual craft show we go to, where artisans display their creations at the University of Guelph, Ontario. I wore my faux suede skirt (I have three in different colours: black, brown and this one).

I love purses that are more than functional, and add “accents” to an outfit and puts the FUN in functional. This vegan purse with fringes is made by Jeanne and Jax and bought at Drizzle & Shine. Those who follow my blog have seen it numerous times because it’s my favourite go-to purse.

We always enjoy lunch or dinner in the cafeteria with lots of vegan and vegetarian options; we had vegan pizza, vegan barley salad, couscous with grilled vegetables and curried squash and potatoes. It’s very heart-warming because it shows that many students are choosing vegan meals whether for health, the environment or compassion.

Fair November

Some photos of the Christmas craft show in Elmira …

And the Christmas Bazaar at one of the centres where I work …

Let’s support artisans and local businesses!

Posted in Autumn, Christmas, Fashion | Tagged , , , | 20 Comments

Gone With the Wind

The autumn leaves of gold and crimson looked awesome, but they are gone with the wind and all that’s left are skeletons. We’ve even had our first snowfall. I’m thankful for the pines and spruce trees, at least there’s some greenery around. I’m still trying to find something positive–like Pollyanna does–to cheer me up.

There’s always something to be glad about.

Wearing my almost new (thrifted) beret with my tartan boots and tartan wrap from Scotland makes me smile. Wearing cozy sweaters are comforting. Going to Christmas bazaars and craft shows and decorating for Christmas makes me happy. Hearty vegetable soup on a dark, snowy night warms me up. Going dancing lifts my mood and I can keep my mind off the thought that the long, cold winter is coming.

My tartan rubber boots keep my feet dry, they are so comfortable and fun to wear. Jean had a pair and let me wear hers while I was in Seattle. She was so kind to order a pair for me and when they arrived in a package one day, I was as delighted as a kid on Christmas morning!

What do you do to brighten up, cheer up, liven up November?

Happy Thanksgiving!

P.S. Our first snowfall (12 cm) a magical sight from my bedroom window, but baby, it’s cold outside!


Posted in Autumn, Christmas, Fashion, Jeanofalltrades, Thanksgiving, Thirfting | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Leather is not Fabric

I have heard people use the term “fabric” for leather. Leather is animal skin, but I guess people prefer the euphemism—fabric.

The little bunny on my sidebar lets readers know that my blog is fur-free. I wear faux fur to promote the look without cruelty. I have a hard time now to wear leather. Once upon a time I thought it was a byproduct and it would be thrown in the garbage because the animals (mostly cows and pigs) were killed for meat.

I found out from my daughter, Jean, it is actually a co-product with much money to be made, all at the expense and abuse of these poor animals.

Leather is now like fur to me: the skin of dead animals and it is making me very sad to wear it. I am finding faux leather and canvas shoes that are comfortable, stylish and cruelty-free. I have not given away my leather shoes yet, but I still feel sad when I wear them.

Fur and leather production uses so much chemicals and pollutes the environment. It is not eco-friendly as they would like to pretend.

Thank you Jean! I hope people will take the time to check out the links that will inform them of the needless suffering of countless sentient beings and how we can all help animals simply by not buying animal products.

Thanks for the wealth of information I have read on your blog.

I love how you call it Sunshine and Slaughter, explaining that someday you hope the “S” will be dropped and it will be a world of sunshine and laughter!!

note: Jean’s blog is not graphic

Thank you for caring and sharing!!
For the love of animals ❤️

This outfit has lots of textures: my hat is corduroy, jacket is a shiny leather-look with sparkly buttons and a floral design on the hem with tiny studs.

I’ve added a gray lace scarf for a feminine touch.

Vegan cross-body bag with fun fringes is from Drizzle and Shine.

These are my favourite black faux leather and faux suede pants. Booties look like suede but are velvet and the floral print keeps my outfit looking lady-like and soft.

          “Style isn’t worth the suffering.”                      ~Jean Coburn

We can all make it a better world with compassion. ~carmen coburn

Posted in Animals, Autumn, Cruelty-free, Fashion, Jeanofalltrades, Photography | Tagged , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Christmas Shopping at

SunBloomFashion contacted me to do an interview recently and I am pleased that they are offering my readers (and moi) a discount on their website. They offer free shipping!

SunBloom. A store dedicated to making fashion accessories for women that want to make a statement without breaking the bank.

Time to start Christmas shopping (or find something for yourself) at SunBloomFashion.

The Interview

Please click the link or photo to read the interview.

Thank you for stopping by!

My first linkup at FANCY FRIDAY

Posted in Fashion, jewellery, Shopping | Tagged , , | 26 Comments

Sentimental Journey

My mom and dad’s wedding. Stuttgart, Germany, July 17, 1948

Today is Sunday. Sentimental Journey, a song by Les Brown echos in my mind as I write this post. I heard it often growing up in a home where my mother continuously played her albums on her new portable HiFi. She would stack several albums up and they would automatically play non-stop for hours. No wonder I danced around the house all the time.

Lora and her sister Trudy (you can see the HiFi). Toronto, Canada 1964

It was heavenly because her music was truly uplifting. Everything from Big Band instrumentals to pop music of the day, like Connie Francis and Pat Boone. She let me play my Beatle records; my brother was a drummer and he played Sandy Nelson and the Ventures. Eventually, my brother got the HiFi when my mom bought a beautiful new stereo cabinet that sounded like an orchestra was in the house.

I’m enjoying reminiscing of days of yore. Gone but never forgotten.

Little Lora, age 4

Lora’s school photo

My mom was a fashion icon, she looked like a movie star. In the late ’50s she wore her hair like Kim Novak and in the early ’60s I remember her perfectly styled French roll and elegant updos. Her image changed drastically from when she got married with brown curly hair (typical of the ’40s look) to after her beautician and modelling course, with a complete makeover: blonde and very modern.

Lora and her sister Trudy. Germany, 1956

When I think of my mom, I think of music. When I hear songs from my mother’s collection, I think of her and it evokes feelings of happiness and thoughts of my childhood. This music is like a hug from my mom. She had the warmest and most affectionate hugs!

My loving mother passed away on Sunday, November 11th, 17 years ago today.

I miss her hugs!


Posted in Fashion, Memories, Nostalgia | Tagged , , , | 27 Comments

Summer Reprise

After a few rainy days with cooler temperatures, we enjoyed some wonderful warm weather again in October. It felt like summer was back for a few days. (Photos taken in Cambridge in September.)

During our weekend getaway in August, I bought these gray leggings hoping they would go with this top. I’ve worn the top with capri leggings in the summer and now I can wear it with these leggings. It’s the design and detail that got my attention. They’re very comfortable and great for wearing in my dance classes. These pink booties are from the last century.

There’s something about ruins that reminds me of our time in Scotland. Tantallon Castle, North Berwick (near Edinburgh) was a few km from where we lived. We loved exploring the area. Castles are jaw-dropping, this one being on a cliff overlooking the North Sea with the huge Bass Rock in the distance was magnificent. We had a spectacular view of the Bass Rock from our bedroom window. I will never forget the thrill of looking out at the sea when I woke up every morning to a gorgeous view!

Enjoying this awesome autumn

and looking forward to Christmas!

Posted in Autumn, Fashion | Tagged , , , , | 25 Comments

Autumn Florals

My daughter Jean (Jean of all Trades) wrote an article Floral Dress for Fall and inspired me to imitate her look with my floral mini dress, a denim jacket and red tights, perfect transitional outfit. I get a lot of inspiration from her as well as from other fashion bloggers.

Florals for fall are a way of extending the summer feeling; with jackets and cardigans we can get more wear out of summer clothes. Since my three children have their own homes, I enjoy the luxury of having my very own dressing room. That means I never need to pack away “out of season clothes” and get more wear out of everything.

Jean got her floral mini dress at a clothing exchange. Add a denim jacket with tights and boots, she’s ready for cool autumn days. Read more

Flowers are for the eyes what music is for the ears!

“Do you make ‘out of season’ clothes work year-round?” ~Jean Coburn

Posted in Autumn, Fashion, Thirfting | Tagged , , , , , | 38 Comments