Denim and Lace

What I wore for a weekend getaway to Collingwood, Ontario.

For our 50th wedding anniversary, my husband bought me this whimsical lace dress. We were on our Niagara Falls weekend and while browsing through a little boutique Lasting Impressions (near Chrysal beach) he found it and knew it was just my style. I loved it immediately!

I decided to wear it as a duster over jeans. I love dressing up denim for a rough and refined look or what I call rugged elegance, combining masculine and feminine.

Jeans were always boys’ clothes in my opinion when I was young. I didn’t even own a pair of jeans for the longest time. Whether casual or dressy, I like to wear something feminine when I wear jeans.

When we go on road trips, we stop to enjoy the journey whenever we like before arriving at our destination. Collingwood is about a two-hour drive from our house with several small towns along the way. We stopped in Elora and bought some delicious vegan baklava at a bakery.

Last time in Collingwood was for The Elvis Festival. There’s always time for some shopping to support local stores. We enjoyed a romantic dinner for two at a Thai restaurant on their private patio (delicious vegetable stir-fry served with rice noodles).

Hat: thrift shop $2.99
Lace dress: Lasting Impressions
Cami: older than I can remember
Jeans: Hue
Purse: thrift shop $3.99
Non-leather sandals: made in Costa Rica

What better way to end a perfect day than a walk along the beach at sunset. I love how the days linger in the summertime.

Posted in Day Trips, Dress Up - Dress Down, Fashion, Shopping, Summer | Tagged , , , , | 22 Comments

Lavender Field and a Surprise

lavender fieldThe BIG Five-O!

No, it’s not my birthday. This month is our 50th Wedding Anniversary. To celebrate, we are enjoying some wonderful day trips and weekend getaways!

Niagara-on-the-lake is one of those charming towns we go to every year. This time, we were there for the final days of the lavender season.

lavender 3lavender 4lavender 2

Shops are open and the town is in full bloom. What a delight for the senses to stroll along the streets with beautiful flower gardens!

Niagara-on-the-LakeNiagara-on-the-Lake 2Niagara-on-the-Lake 3Niagara-on-the-Lake 4Niagara-on-the-Lake 5gardengarden 2Niagara FallsRoom with a View!

What a wonderful surprise to stay overnight in a fantastic hotel on the 11th floor overlooking the spectacular Niagara Falls! At night, the Falls are lit up with changing colours. Waking up in the morning to this gorgeous view was a dream-come-true!

Niagara Falls

Love and blessings!

mauve heart


Posted in Active Lifestyle, Day Trips, Fashion, Nature, Photography, Scenery, Shopping, Summer | Tagged , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

My Canada Colours: through the years

Maggie and me

IMG_4152I just love my iPhoto feature that pops up and shows movies and memories that make me smile. These are a few of the photos that iPhoto put together for Canada Day through the years.

Version 2IMG_2830DSC04463DSC06663DSC06669IMG_0794Canada DayDSC04470Version 2

Maggie and carmen

Maggie and me – Canada Day 2020

Happy July!


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Shopping Therapy

 It’s no secret that I enjoy shopping. I love supporting small businesses and ethical companies. I love helping the economy. What good is living without a livelihood? People need jobs, it’s an urgent matter.

No surprise, I went shopping on the first day some stores opened. With tears of joy, I bought several things at a thrift shop. Including this asymmetrical grey and pink skirt and some household items.

It felt so good to walk through the doors of one of my favourite Canadian stores (The Hudson’s Bay Company, Canada’s oldest store) I bought this pretty black and white polka dot shrug. I plan to wear it at our next Ladies’ Luncheon.

My shopping outfit is all things I’ve shown before.

Dress: Armour Vert, USA from Drizzle and Shine
Long cardigan: Made in Canada via thrifted
Tassel necklace: Boutique in Collingwood
Leggings: Suzy Shier
Non-leather sandals: Marshalls

Shopping is cheaper than therapy and keeps the economy going!

Posted in Fashion, Shopping, Thirfting | Tagged , , , , | 17 Comments

Redecorating our Summer Place

Can you find my little friend Tweetie?

We finished redecorating our Gartenzimmer (Florida room or treehouse as we call it). The perfect summer place to enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner. Great for entertaining and relaxing. It’s like stepping out of our living room right into a cottage without driving miles to get there.

Here’s the new look in black rattan.

Ready just in time to celebrate my daughter-in-law’s birthday

with our oldest son and grandchildren!

I have fun changing the display.

German blue and gray pottery

Wild Rose China and Pink Vases – made in Germany

White Pottery – some from Germany and Italy

Tweetie likes to get in the action, it’s her debut on my blog!

I still love the way we had it since we moved to this house eight years ago–white wicker furniture (which we moved to the downstairs patio and put the loveseat on our front porch). The wicker set is secondhand and we’ve had it almost 20 years (new cushions twice).

How our Florida room used to look …

With all this time off work, you’d think I’d be further ahead in doing projects around the house and garden. Oh well, why do it today when we can always do it tomorrow?

Tomorrow is another day.

Posted in Spring | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

COVERED PERFECTLY: stylish – flattering – ageless fashion

I have five COVERED PERFECTLY tops. I love the story behind this American company. Founder Pauline Durban is a remarkable woman and talented designer. The styles are fabulous as well as flattering and timeless. The fabric is super-soft, luxurious and comfortable.

“Fashion especially for women over 40
because looking good never gets old.”
~Covered Perfectly

Shop Women’s Tops, Leisure Suits, Jackets, Skirts, Chiffon Vests and more.

I am ordering three more tops, when you buy two you get the third one FREE.

Posted in Fashion | Tagged , , , | 18 Comments

SLOW FASHION: 30 wears challenge

“The goal of the 30 wears challenge campaign is to encourage shoppers to buy less fast fashion and more slow, quality pieces that they will wear over and over again. The less we buy, over time, the less that will end up in landfills.” ~Melanie DiSalvo

I bought this double-breasted blazer about 15 years ago and have worn it more times than I can count. I’ve worn it on my blog several times with different outfits. It’s a quality jacket: a timeless style that can be worn with any skirt or pants, for elegant or casual occasions.

Have you joined the challenge?

Posted in Dress Up - Dress Down, Fashion | Tagged , , | 38 Comments

DRIZZLE & SHINE: eco-boutique

In May 2016 my daughter opened an eco-boutique in Seattle, Washington. Jean has always loved fashion, even as a pre-schooler. She started her fashion blog in 2011.

“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.

She found eco-clothing, but they were often made with wool, silk, and leather. She found clothing free of animal products but didn’t often know how the items were made.

At Drizzle & Shine, we’ve curated collections that are kind to animals, earth, and people.

Everything in the store is free of animal products. And everything is a combination of fair trade, organic, local, USA-made, and/or recycled. We choose brands that think big, have small footprints, and give back.”


The baseline for all the items at Drizzle & Shine is that they are vegan. One of the great injustices in the world is how animals are exploited for their bodies. Animals are mere commodities in commercial industries. Buying vegan products can change things for the better. You don’t have to be vegan to shop vegan. Every little bit helps. And with cotton, bamboo, hemp, Tencel, modal, linen, rayon, recycled poly fleece, and vegan leathers, you won’t miss a thing!


The textile industry isn’t always earth-friendly. The conventional organic cotton industry is a big user of pesticides. It takes hundreds and hundreds of gallons of water to grow the cotton needed to make a single pair of jeans. The reason leather doesn’t decompose is because it’s tanned with an acidic chemical compound that preserves it. By choosing organic, plant-based fabrics, we can help the environment.


Garment industry workers are the backbone of a multi-billion dollar global industry, yet they’re often underpaid and overworked. Additionally, women make up a huge percentage of workers and often don’t have the resources or opportunities to support their families. Buying from companies that treat workers properly is a powerful way to send a message about what we expect from the fashion industry.

Some outfits I bought in the past year from Drizzle & Shine

Wrap tops – made in USA

Wrap dress with cherry print

Grey dress – made by INDIGENOUS–organic, fair trade, ethical and sustainable fashion.

ArmedAngels top – sustainable fashion with the highest respect for humans and nature.

DRIZZLE & SHINE is temporarily closed under Washington State governor’s orders. Please check out Jean’s online store

Masks Made in USA

Fashion with compassion

Posted in Cruelty-free, eco fashion, Fair trade, Fashion, Jeanofalltrades | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

A walk in the woods

We had planned a walk in the woods for Mother’s Day but the weather did not cooperate. It actually snowed in May. Walks through the forest are therapeutic and healthy. Fresh air and nature help us feel better emotionally, physically and spiritually. That’s especially beneficial during this stressful time.

“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.

I wore this blue jacket that I bought five years ago in Germany (made in Germany).

It was delightful to be with my family again after two months!

Days spent together become memories to treasure!


Posted in Active Lifestyle, Fashion, Nature, Photography, Scenery, Spring | Tagged , , , , , | 18 Comments

April Showers Bring May Flowers


floral dressThe only flowers you’ll see here is the pretty calico floral print in this dress I wore for Mother’s Day. I won’t be able to wear it in the summertime because of the long sleeves but it’s perfect for the cold, spring weather we’re having.

floral dress 2

My mother’s favourite spring flowers – Lily of the Valley.

lily of the valley

Mother’s Day weekend arrived with snow pellets. I thought winter was over, apparently not. I went shopping for some new spring decor and found this charming sign (we’re redecorating our Florida room). Buds on the trees will soon transform into lush green leaves and warmer days are in the forecast.

View this post on Instagram

Mother’s Day weekend, 2020. #snowinginmay

A post shared by ❤ carmen (@carmen_4thejoyofit) on


Our daughter Jean had planned to visit us in May and we had booked a trip to Texas with our youngest son. However, with flights and travel across the border canceled, that wasn’t going to happen. It is what it is.

I’m blessed to have three wonderful children.

My three children 2018

My boys

Plans to have breakfast in our Florida room changed to breakfast in bed.

Time to move south!

Posted in Fashion, Jeanofalltrades, Memories, Spring, Videos | Tagged , , , , | 22 Comments