Houndstooth Dress and Houndstooth Coat

Jean and I were walking along the streets of Berlin this summer when this dress called out, “carmen!” It was on a mannequin outside the shop, just waiting for me to pass by.

houndstooth dress

If there’s houndstooth in a shop, I’ll be sure to spot it. If you know me, you know I love houndstooth! This one is a very tiny houndstooth print.

houndstooth dress2I tried it on and didn’t want to take it off. It is so soft and comfortable as well as fashionable! This was my first time wearing it.


I wore it with this coat that I bought a few years ago at RW & Co. It has a similar teeny tiny houndstooth pattern, barely noticeable.

houndstooth coatBig silver buttons on the side …

houndstooth coat2 A flare cut …


A friend saw me on the 6 o’clock news, they were promoting a Christmas bazaar. Can you spot me?

CTV news

Star of wonder

Photos by Sandra

Posted in Christmas, Fashion | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

Meeting Julie in London

London, Ontario–that is.

One of the exciting things about blogging is meeting the author of the blog! I’ve had the opportunity to meet several bloggers in 3D. It feels like meeting a celebrity or a famous person!

Julie from DOSE DEPENDANT is a remarkable and beautiful young woman, with an inspirational story: a woman after God’s own heart! Her genuine smile reveals her love and compassion (she is vegan).

Julie and carmen

meeting Julie in July

I was so excited to finally meet Julie who came to visit from Manitoba. She has family in London, Ontario–which is a fun day trip from where I live in Kitchener.

Julie and sister

Julie and her sister

We enjoyed a relaxing afternoon, feasting on a delicious vegan lunch at a charming  Thai restaurant. I felt like I was meeting a celebrity as well as a long time friend. The experience was very emotional and I’m so happy the opportunity became reality this past summer.

Thai restaurant

Delicious vegan lunch – Thai Restaurant

Blogging is more than writing and reading.

Friendships to build; moments to treasure!

Have you met a blogger/bloggers in real life?




Posted in Day Trips, Fashion, Healthy living, Memories, Vegetarian/Vegan Lifestyle | Tagged , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Happy Birthday Jean!

Another fashionable year 2015!

























Wishing you another fabulous year! Thanks for inspiring me with fashion and compassion!

<3 mom

Posted in Birthdays, Fashion, Jeanofalltrades | Tagged , , | 18 Comments

Real women wear fake fur

WHY? … because they have compassion.

This is the 19th year of Kitchener’s German Christmas market. I have been going to the Christkindl Market every year. I was so happy to spot these fashionable ladies wearing faux fur.

This is Joy, a Christmas angel, with her gorgeous faux fur cape! In her 50s, Joy looks fabulous in her golden leggings and I admire her style. Meeting her was a pleasure and it turns out we have more in common than fashion–she speaks German!

Joy1 Joy2

Here’s a fashionista wearing a lovely leopard faux fur coat. I stopped her in her tracks and asked if I could take a photo of her for my fashion blog, not only to promote fashionable women, but also show that faux fur is fabulous. FASHION WITH COMPASSION!

faux leopard

One of the fun things about the Christmas market is running into friends. My dear friend Sharon has been dancing with me for many years and always looks beautiful. She’s a grandmother (again) and proves that style has nothing to do with age. (That’s a faux fur collar.)


I bought this faux suede jacket with faux fur trim. I love the detail of laces on the pockets, cuffs and back. I always make sure it is fake. There are companies that use real dog and cat fur, please be careful when buying anything that looks like fur.

My grandchildren have a great time at the Christkindl market, too!

Christkindl Market

The miniature train town is a treat for all ages.


carmenfaux fur



Posted in Christmas, Fashion | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments

Style Challenge: STRIPES

My last visit to Seattle included some fashion fun; Jean and I bought these striped tops in a little shop in Fremont.

striped tops

I like the bell sleeves (impractical for doing dishes–I don’t do dishes!) but fantastic for dancing. I wore a beige, ruffled lace scarf that matched with the beige booties I got at the clothing exchange.

bell sleevescarmen striped top

Jean added a black knit eternity scarf and wore black booties.

jean striped top

We love the asymmetrical design.

carmen and JeanThis has been a THROW BACK THURSDAY feature. Happy memories in sunny Seattle. I’m planning another trip to Seattle in the new year.


Link ups: Fun Fashion Friday


Posted in Fashion, Jeanofalltrades, Memories | Tagged , , , , , | 19 Comments


Usually, I’m a happy, fun-loving person with lots of energy and a positive outlook: a Pollyanna philosophy that there’s always something to be glad about. But even Pollyanna had down days. Today’s post I write during the wee hours of the morning with tears blurring my eyes, I feel morose.

December 1st remains a dismal day for me and always will be. Hence, I have called this post 3 – D DAY.

D for depressed
D for discouraged
D for despair

I share this post with all who have suffered heartache of any kind.

December is the beginning of a joyful season, yet for many it is also a time of sadness: loss of loved ones, loss of relationships, loss of animal friends, loss of health, loss of hope.

My brother, Johnny, was an avid hockey player. While visiting his gravesite one day, I found out that he and Tim Horton (the famous hockey player and Tim Hortons doughnuts) had/have a few things in common:

  • They played hockey.

  • They were both killed in tragic car accidents.

  • Their graves are only a few meters apart.

Johnny CzechTim Hortondeath is a sad part of life

Thank you for stopping by. Life is precious!

<3 carmen

Posted in Christmas, Memories | Tagged , , , , , | 22 Comments

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!

DSC04807photo 1-7Teresa 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.

DSC04797 DSC04765

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

 Linking up with Turning Heads Tuesdays


Posted in Christmas, Day Trips, Fashion, Jewelry, Nutrition, Plant-based diet, Shopping, Thirfting, Vegetarian/Vegan Lifestyle | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 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 , , , , , , , , , , | 13 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 , , , , , | 21 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 , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments