Blossoms of Springtime

The world looks brighter with the arrival of May flowers; short and sweet, these tiny flowers have already disappeared like the morning dew on roses. It seems the barren trees sprouted almost overnight as buds popped out, and leaves and blossoms magically appeared since these photos were taken this month.

Just a casual day in jeans and a sweatshirt.

A wonderful surprise!

I’ll be showing this beautiful top in my next post! Thanks a million Jodie!!

Posted in Fashion, flowers, Photography, Spring, Videos | Tagged , | 17 Comments

Happy Anniversary DRIZZLE AND SHINE

It’s been two years since my daughter Jean opened her eco-boutique in Seattle.

“Drizzle & Shine is an eco-boutique that grew out of a style blog. While blogging about fashion, boutique owner Jean Coburn learned about major ethical concerns in the fashion industry. The more she looked for ethical options, the more she wished there was one place in Seattle to find clothes by companies whose values she shares.”

Read more

“It’s kind of a big deal…

We are so excited to be planning our second anniversary! In a fickle world, where a lot of small businesses don’t make it to the first-year mark, we’re happy to be turning two. And we couldn’t have done it without you! Our customers are loyal and are proving that there is a demand for fair, eco-friendly, vegan clothing.

The store wouldn’t be in such great shape if it weren’t for the wonderful staff you see day in and day out. I’m forever grateful to them, especially employees One and Two who have been with me from the start! That’s commitment!”


“We’re an eco-boutique in Seattle. You’ll find a carefully curated selection of women’s and men’s clothing, shoes, and accessories. We specialize in items that are kind to the earth and animals and that are made by people who are treated fairly. We donate a percentage of each sale to nonprofits that align with our values.

We love to showcase local designers, small businesses, and businesses that make a difference in the community—and world. You don’t need to break the bank to do your part. Eco items that are made to last will make you feel great.”

“Doing good has never looked so good!”

This semi-transparent, hooded raincoat will keep you stylish and dry! @skunkfunk_official

The perfect jacket for a spring evening made of organic cotton by @armedangels

We love carrying @tonledesign a family of employees making handmade ethical fashion in Cambodia with zero-waste fashion strategies.

@Skunkfunk Ethical Fashion

Love this soft cotton sweater, ethically made in Bali,  @woodenshipsknits



Jodie (from Jodie’s Touch of Style) and friends shopped at the store while visiting Seattle.

Bloggers get a 10% discount!

Follow DRIZZLE and SHINE on Instagram


Posted in Cruelty-free, eco fashion, Fair trade, Fashion, Jeanofalltrades | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Animal Print and Faux Leather Pants

There was a time I thought animal prints were tacky, but I changed my mind many years ago and now I own dozens of animal print items from clothes to shoes, including accessories like scarves and even jewellery. What I like about this animal print is the unexpected shades of blue. It’s from COVERED PERFECTLY but I don’t think it’s available anymore or I would buy another one for when this one wears out.

I don’t think it’s going to wear out any time soon because the quality is superb, made in USA. So soft and comfortable like everything COVERED PERFECTLY makes.

My pants were gifted to me by one of my dance students, thank you so much Colleen! I’ve always wanted faux leather pants and these ones have a panel of faux suede, which I love!

We are very blessed to have this beautiful forest behind our house with a trail that goes deep into the woods where deer and coyotes live. The heavenly fragrance in the forest was naturally intoxicating!

A wonderful place to rejuvenate!

Take time to walk in the woods!

Evokes memories of my childhood with my mom’s music echoing through our house — A Walk in the Black Forest by Horst Jankowski.

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I love promoting ethical companies and clothes made in the USA. When I had the opportunity to do a review for COVERED PERFECTLY a few years ago, I showed two of the tops I received from them and bought three more! I have 5 Covered Perfectly tops. They are super soft and super comfortable, very flattering fashion for every figure!

It’s a great company founded by a remarkable women with a story that should be made into a movie. Pauline Durban is a breast cancer survivor.

COVERED PERFECTLY has a fabulous collection, be sure to check it out and support an ethical all-American company! I am not paid for this, it’s my honest opinion and I love promoting quality fashion.

My black top goes with everything, so I get a lot of wear out of it. Still looks like new! No wonder Simple Comfort is their #1 selling top: a simple style with a scoop neck and 3/4 length sleeves looks so elegant and it’s long enough to wear with leggings. Easy to dress up or down and perfect for layering. Comes in a rainbow of colours to choose from.

Time to take a stroll through the streets to enjoy the spring blossoms!


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Four Generations of Fashionistas

When I count my blessings, one of my first is my dear mom! It seems like such a long time ago since I felt her loving embrace on Mother’s Day! I treasure the memories, but how I wish I could hear her voice and see her face to face. One of my fondest childhood memories is going to the dressmakers together, just the two of us, where she had the seamstress make us matching outfits.

My mom had a very fashionable wardrobe and this DVF wrap dress (from the ’70s) was one of her favourites. Jean inherited this timeless dress and wore it to meet Diane Von Furstenberg. Jean let me borrow it and I wore it for a dinner date on the top of the Space Needle in Seattle and on my 63rd birthday.

I have three wonderful children and love them all dearly, but only one daughter. She was the first one to call me mommy.

Jean means the world to me, yet we live a world apart because she moved to Seattle in 2000. We keep in touch with chat and phone calls but it’s always a treat when we get together, usually somewhere else in this big wide world: California, Florida, New York City, Stuttgart, Berlin. She’s only been “home” 3 times since she moved out west. We’ve also been to visit her in Seattle 4 times. Hopefully, Jean will be taking a short holiday to visit us in July.

We have some of the same clothes but never wear them at the same time. I’ve enjoyed our Style Challenges on our blogs, where we wear the same thing but style it differently.

These graphic tees were thrifted: Jean wore hers with green capris and I wore mine with white skinny jeans and a straw hat like the girl in the graphic.

We bought these houndstooth dresses on our holiday in New York City: Jean is wearing hers with little black shrug and blue shoes, I’m wearing mine with a black cardigan, black tights and red booties.

A few of our matching outfits …

I have two grandchildren (a boy and a girl, my oldest son’s children) who call me mimi. She’s very stylish with hair like Rapunzel (it has never been cut, only trimmed by her mother). She’s a dancer too and helps me with my children’s dance class.

This was a day we set up my Smurf collection and by chance we wore similar hoodies with jeans and heart socks. ❤

Table is set with my mom’s Shadow Rose Rosenthal china.

Remembering my dear mom, a lady of elegance and style.

Happy Mother’s Day to all moms.

Posted in Fashion, Jeanofalltrades, Memories, Nostalgia, Style Challenge | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Memory Lane: 50 Year Commemoration

What a wonderful surprise I received this year. Right out of the blue Peter Hobday (a friend of my brother’s whom I had not seen since the 1960s) contacted me and sent me these photos of my brother’s band from over 50 years ago. It made my day!

2018 marks the 50th year that my brother Johnny was killed in a horrific car accident in 1968.

❤It made my heart smile to see a few photos!❤

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


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

I was ecstatic to say the least!! I did not have these pictures. 

Peter also sent an audio recording of some of the songs the group played with Johnny drumming – music to my ears as you can imagine!!! I’m listening now as I write.

I was moved to tears and so excited to listen to it! These guys were awesome at such a young age. I truly believe they could have become famous. For me, they are famous and I will treasure this recording all the days of my life!!!

Peter Hobday wrote:

“I still remember his grin after all these years.

I remember your mom fussing about us and getting our “look” just right before shows (straighten vest, roll up sleeves, adjust collar 🙂 .

I played rhythm guitar. John Swainson was the guitar genius and Johnny nailed the percussion.  All the other guys played guitar (no bass back then).”

This led me to check Facebook and I was able to connect with three more of the guys in the group who shared with me some happy memories.

John Swainson sent this photo and wrote:

“Johnny was a huge inspiration in my life and I think of him often. I truly believe he was destined for greatness!  The photo of him on the drums is the only other photo I had. I wish I had more. It was fun following the Moon Beats thread on FB . A real trip down memory lane. The Moon Beats was the first band I ever played in and holds a special place in my heart. I remember practicing in your basement.”       

Don Simpson wrote:

“I also played hockey with Johnny for a team representing North York. In addition to his great drumming he was also a really good goalie.

Johnny really did have a big influence in my life. After a few years when another drummer quit I became the drummer AND when Johnny left the hockey team I replaced him as the new goalie. As John Swainson said, I as well think he was destined for greatness.” 

Don Henderson  (in the band J D and the Lords) wrote:

“Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of the J D and The Lords band. Sure wish I did. We had some great times in that band. I remember Johnny painting the name on his bass drum skin in old English letters at your house like it was yesterday. And practicing at your house on Diagonal Road when you moved from Santa Barbara Road. I do remember your cousin (Marion) visiting and I think I actually stayed over at your place a couple of times that summer. Just writing this made me think of John’s fantastic train set.”

❤  ❤  ❤  ❤  ❤ ❤  ❤  ❤  ❤ ❤  ❤  ❤  ❤ ❤  ❤  ❤  ❤

Thank you ever so much for sharing your memories with me, I am overjoyed! Words are a treasure and bring a smile to my heart! 

Johnny was a popular guy at school. I was at our school reunion a few years ago and it truly warmed my heart to hear the wonderful things people shared with me about Johnny. 

Today is Johnny’s birthday and he would be 68. My dear cousin Marion always calls me on his birthday and she sent this note today:

“Hallo, heute denken wir an johnny-dietmars 68. Geburtstag … 50 jahre hier nicht mit uns gelebt, man kann es kaum glauben.”

A few of the loving comments I’ve received:

Lynda – Oh my, I will always remember Johnny, I had such a crush on him when we were kids. What fond memories, of you and I dancing for Johnny’s band in our go-go boots. He was so handsome and a good friend.

Vicki – Wow, great to see him, he was gorgeous and so nice.

Karen – I remember singing, or lip singing and Johnny played the drums. I looked so forward to those practices because I also had such a crush on him and thought he was so cool and good looking!

Shirley – Everyone who was lucky enough to have known him is missing him as well.

Doug – Every guy was jealous of Johnny when it came to girls. We all knew they were crazy about him.

It’s been heartwarming to read the comments!

As the years go by, I do not miss him less, I only miss him more.

Death is only a breath away.

Cherish every day and treasure your family and friends!


Posted in Memories, Nostalgia | Tagged , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Dressing Up Jeans

Everyone wears jeans and they are easy to dress up. Velvet makes any outfit look regal. My black velvet blazer and white lace peplum top adds a feminine contrast to rugged denim fabric. (My blazer is another great find in a thrift shop, most of my jackets are thrifted.)

Perfect day for a walk in the woods. In this outfit, I can enjoy nature and be ready to go to a sidewalk café.

This black “lace” necklace is actually metal.

Today two of my fashionable dance friends are showing how they dressed up their jeans.

Maggie’s top is thrifted and has a unique print which adds a splash of colours and her sandals are colourful too. I liked them so much that I bought a pair as well. Imitation is the highest form of flattery and I imitate Maggie a lot. Can I help it if she has such great style? We met 10 years ago and she hasn’t aged at all.

Luanne is wearing a top with a bit of bling; anything that glitters adds a little glamour and is great for dressing up jeans. She bought it at a consignment shop. Luanne just joined the 50+ ladies, though you’d never know it. 50 didn’t look like this when I was young.

Velvet, lace, colours and sparkles are ways to make denim look chic.

How do you dress up your jeans?

Linking up with Terri’s 2nd Loved 1st Friday

Posted in Active Lifestyle, Fashion, Hiking, Nature, Photography, Scenery, Spring, Thirfting, Videos | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 35 Comments

Cute as a Button

That’s one of the reasons I love my newly thrifted denim jacket. It has five buttons, each one a different colour. I also like the little multicolour embroidered polka dots. I wore it for our Fun Fashion Friday at dance class and one of my students said it was as cute as a button, hence, the title of my post. Thank you Monica!

Sun is shining, snow is melting, spring is finally here! I decided to wear it with my white skinny jeans and a red top for a tried and true colour combo. Looks like I’m ready for the 4th of July! 🙂

Red, white and blue are a cheerful trilogy of colours.

What is your favourite colour trio?


Linking up with Patti and the fashionable ladies VISIBLE MONDAY


Posted in Fashion, Photography, Spring, Thirfting | Tagged , , , , , | 41 Comments

The Deadly Cost of Fashion

Tragedy in Bangladesh – Five Years Ago

We live in a global village and we all heard about it. Is it old news now? Not for the families of the victims who died and those who were injured.

Devastations like this happen and life goes on, but we need to care, and be part of the changes needed to make the world a safer place for everyone, where workers get a fair living wage. Let’s vote with our dollars.

My daughter Jean opened an eco-boutique two years ago–DRIZZLE & SHINE–everything compassionate: “kind to the earth and animals and that are made by people who are treated fairly.”

Jean has written many articles on her blog about ethical and eco-friendly fashion. She showed this film in Seattle.


As fashion bloggers, we influence each other and our readers, together we can make a difference.

Some beautiful outfits from Jean’s store: organic, fair trade, vegan.


This is the reality of fast fashion: cheap, disposable clothes, factories where employees are exploited.

The Deadly Cost of Fashion

I hope everyone watches this short video, and more importantly, that it changes how we shop. Saving lives is more important than saving a few dollars on a dress.

Let’s not forget what this cost the workers in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

It cost them their lives.

Thank you!!

Fashion with Compassion

❤ carmen


Posted in Cruelty-free, eco fashion, Fair trade, Fashion, Jeanofalltrades | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

April in Paris

You might say I’m a little obsessed with Paris. Not that I’ve ever been to the City of Love, a place that conjures up romance in my imagination and evokes feelings of passion in my heart. The Eiffel tower is a symbol that everyone recognizes as Paris.

How my obsession collection began

When we moved into this house in April, 6 years ago, my youngest son found this large-as-life photo of Paris in someone’s trash on the roadside and brought it home (like-new condition from Ikea). We found the perfect place to hang it in our hallway. It’s like I’m looking out a big window into the streets of Paris with a view of the Eiffel Tower in the distance. April in Paris.

Look closely, this top says Paris tres Chic. 

Next I found Eiffel Tower curtains for our living room right after we moved in and so the collection began and continues … Paris cushions, lampshades, room divider and pictures. Our living room furniture is mid-century teak and I love the nostalgic and romantic feeling of this space.

Whenever I see something in a store with an Eiffel Tower or Paris theme, I buy it, so you can imagine I have accumulated quite a collection, from living room curtains and bed linens to kitchen towels and a bathroom laundry hamper. I recently bought a huge Eiffel Tower wall mural and still need to put it on a wall.

Dining Room

Kitchen – Café Paris

This table is painted by a local artist who takes old furniture and turns it into a work of art. She painted a huge clock on this bistro table and re-covered the chairs with a French-style patterned fabric. Our Kitchen is yellow and turquoise.


This duvet has all the famous cities in the world including Paris. I can dream of any place I desire, travel the world while I sleep! I usually fly, sometimes I transport instantly, I have wild dreams, could be the bed sheets or perhaps the vegan pizza!

La Toilette

Guests need to read French if they want to use the washroom. And they’ll need to read German to install the toilet paper the right way. I bought the little sign in Berlin.

No surprise, I have five tops with Paris graphics.

Not sure if I’ll ever get to Paris and perhaps it’s best that I don’t. It might be a disappointment because it won’t be as I dream it is and I’ll find out it was all an illusion.

If you love this song, then you are as hopelessly romantic as I am.

I can’t be the only one who loves a Paris theme because it’s so easy to find items.

Have you been to Paris?

Linking up with the fashionistas at Patti’s VISIBLE MONDAY

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