Thirty Years of Singles

In 1992 I saw the movie Singles and I was smitten. I loved the grunge soundtrack and street styles of the characters in the film. At that point in my life, I’d never been to Seattle (and I had no idea I’d end up living there). I simply enjoyed the plot and the aesthetic.

Singles movie poster featuring Bridget Fonda and Matt Dillon sitting on a bench

After moving to Seattle, I’d heard that a lot of the movie was actually shot in the city. There are scenes throughout Capitol Hill, at Gasworks Park, Pike Place Market, and Jimi Hendrix’s grave. When I opened my business in Seattle, every day I would park my car around the corner from the building where the characters lived in the film. A U-shaped brick building at East Thomas and 19th Ave East. It was the closest block that didn’t have a time limit on parking!

Bridget Fonda sitting on steps

I especially enjoyed the style of Bridget Fonda’s character, Janet Livermore, so when I realized it was the 30th anniversary of the film (and that the length and color of my hair aligned with Janet’s look), I drove to the location and did a little photo shoot. Now I’m definitely not the first person to pose on those steps (there used to be a big “no trespassing” sign posted on them). But I might be one of the few to show up in character.

Me, copying Bridget Fonda's pose on the steps

Thankfully, the sign was gone. But thirty years of greenery obscured the address a bit. You can still see that I’m at 1820 though. I should have taken pruning shears with me! It’s funny that I used to have that exact carpet bag. I wish I had kept it.

Bridget Fonda sitting on a park bench

I’m not sure where the iconic bench photo was taken (Pioneer Square, perhaps?), and I suspect the props crew placed it there for the film. So I didn’t worry about tracking down the right location. I simply found a nice (clean) bench near my home for the shot.

Me, copying Bridget Fonda's pose on the bench

Have you seen Singles? It’s been a while since I have. I’m listening to the soundtrack now and it holds up well. Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Screaming Trees, Alice in Chains, Jimi Hendrix. It’s worth a listen if you like heavy guitars. Perhaps I’ll rewatch the film. Maybe it stands the test of time too.

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A family visit

(Originally published at Fashionable over Fifty)

Our family: Jonathan, Jean, mom, dad, Daniel

I recently flew into YYZ – Toronto International Airport for a long overdue visit to see my family.

However, it didn’t feel like I was going home.

You see, since I’d last visited, both my brothers and my parents moved to new houses. When I landed in Toronto, I rented a car and followed my map app to an unfamiliar place: the beautiful town of Kincardine.

My parents’ gorgeous new house could be in the pages of a design magazine. It was decorated in cool, calm colors without sacrificing warmth and personality. As soon as I was beyond the foyer, I felt at home.

I had fun exploring their place and settling in. Of course, in true Coburn family fashion, we had a slight hiccup: a kitten rescue. No, not felines. Did you know that baby squirrels are called kittens too?

My parents and I drove a few blocks over to see my brother Jonathan and the mysterious case of the three orphaned baby squirrels who ended up on his lawn. Later, after we determined there was no mother nearby, Jonathan and I drove the young-uns to a wildlife rehabber.

Jonathan is renovating his home. It’s already a contemporary oasis and, with finishing touches, will be a perfect reflection of his personality and lifestyle. And it has a pristine garage for his most-prized possession: his motorcycle.

While in Kincardine, we took a detour to the beach. Kincardine is a beach town and the destination for many visitors across Ontario. The views of Lake Huron at sunset are world-renowned. Across the great expanse of water lies the state of Michigan.

Of course my mom and I did some shopping too. I love supporting local businesses wherever I am. We found a vegan eco boutique with a surf twist (Did I mention it’s a beach town?). I bought a comfy pair of Lyocell joggers by Thread & Supply that I can dress up or down.

Across the way, we perused gift and homeware shops and I found the most unique hanging planter. I knew it would fit in my carry-on so I bought it. 

I also bought a white linen beach cover-up (O’Neill) and a striped dolman top that’s made in Italy.


I relish my dad’s cooking–and the steady flow of coffee–but we did manager to give my dad a break and eat out. My parents and I had a delicious vegan meal at the Bruce, a local brew pub and the place to be on a Saturday night! The Cauliflower tacos were the highlight, but we enjoyed everything we tried.

view from The Bruce outside patio

Wandering around the quaint town made me realize why my parents ditched the rat race for their new, peaceful oasis. I was on holiday, and it felt like it. Kincardine lets them experience that chill vacation feeling every day. My dad and I explored hiking trails that connect their backyard to the beach. On a nice day, the mile-long walk to the water is effortless. And the wind blowing through the trees is both eerie and calming.

Daniel and his family also live nearby. We visited him and toured his new place too while I was in Ontario. He has a lovely place with soaring ceilings and a peaceful backyard.

I was so happy to see everyone again–including a nephew I had not even met until this visit. I got caught up with what everyone has been up to but I’m already planning my next trip — back home.

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Whidbey Island Getaway

We’re lucky in Seattle. It is a city surrounded by natural beauty. Mountains, lakes, forests, the Puget Sound, and islands.

I recently took a much-needed break and escaped the city with some friends. We took a ferry to Whidbey Island, just a few miles away.


We stayed in a rented cottage on Cultus Bay. So idyllic! We saw amazing birds and had deer grazing outside our window.


The town of Langley has a educational whale museum and cute shops and pubs. Definitely worth a stop.

A fun and unexpected highlight of the trip was visiting the recycling depot. Yes, that’s right. It was a stop on our way home, and we had to drop off our recycling anyway. The depot was also a wonderful, artsy, collection of junk. It would look horrible in my yard but was so interesting at the recycling depot.








We had lunch at a state park before taking the ferry home. A tired bee crash-landed on our picnic table so we revitalized him with some maple syrup. It worked!


If you’re ever in the area, be sure (no pun intended) to visit Whidbey Island!

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Last Post (of the year)

2016 was exciting, challenging, and full of change and opportunity. On a personal level, I’m happy. I followed my dream and opened up an eco boutique. On a global level, let’s just say I hope 2017 is better. 

I hope you have a terrific Christmas/Hanukkah/Holiday and New Year’s. I’ll leave you with a few photos of a dress I love. It’s organic cotton and made in the USA by Blue Canoe. 




See you in 2017!

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Mini Stripes and Thrifted Jeans

I love stripes! They’re classic and timeless. I wore a t-shirt by the ethical, organic company Armed Angels today. It is a mini-striped shirt. No need to be worried about looking wider. Skinny stripes don’t have that effect.


I wore a cardigan by Amour Vert over my shirt because it’s too cold in Seattle now for just a tee. The vertical color blocking effect of an open cardi will offset any worries about horizontal stripes. Amour Vert is made in the USA.


I was lucky to find a pair of pre-loved Current/Elliott jeans on eBay. The boyfriend cut is casual and comfortable, and the length is perfect for showing off my shoes.


I admit I created this outfit around these awesome shoes. I love the black and white theme. They’re by NAE (No Animals Exploited) and are vegan patent.


With the money I saved buying second-hand jeans, I could afford all the eco pieces from my store, Drizzle & Shine. Drop by if you’re in Seattle!

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Cozy and Stylish Fleece

Seattleites love fleece. What’s not to love? It’s warm and soft. It’s not always stylish though. Hoodies are practical but that’s about it. 

That’s why I grabbed one of these fleece jackets when they arrived at the store. They’re warm, cozy, and stylish. No buttons; just a simple tie closure. 


Jacket: Valln

Jeans
: Monkee Genes

Top
: Skunkfunk

Shoes
: NAE


This jacket is made in the USA by Valln. I paired it with my Monkee Genes. Sweatshop-free and organic. Love them! I’m digging the Skunkfunk long sleeve tee too. So simply but the contrast stitching takes it up a notch. 


My shoes are the same pineapple leather sneakers I’ve been wearing all summer. I changed the look of them by swapping out the white laces for black ones. Little changes make a big difference!

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Dress Up, Dress Down: Column Dress

I love my purple column dress! I sell them in my store. They’re made by Synergy, a company that is fair trade and uses organic cotton.

I wore the dress to work with a denim jacket and tall, flat boots.

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Jacket: Thrifted
Dress: Synergy
Boots: DSW
Pendant: Maple & Mauve

I went directly from work to the Farm Sanctuary Gala and the dress transitioned perfectly. I simply ditched the denim (I brought a sparkly cardigan, not shown) and swapped out my flat boots for heels.

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Pendant: Agapantha (available at Drizzle & Shine)
Boots: Novacas (also at Drizzle & Shine)

It’s a simple piece that brings a level of elegance and comfort to any occasion.

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Purse: Crystalyn Kae

 

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The Grand Opening

I opened my store, Drizzle & Shine, a few weeks ago and it’s been quite a ride! I’ve had a lot of fun meeting like-minded people and sharing the store’s mission with people who stumble on the store as they walk to and from work, home, and shopping.

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The grand opening was really busy–just the kick start the store needed. People came by all afternoon and browsed, shopped, and asked questions. We had snacks and raffles and it was a fun day.

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I’m lucky to also have my first employee (with another in the works). I can’t work every day. Even though the store might not be busy enough for a large staff yet, I need downtime too!

I’ll still be blogging, and I will be showing off the wares that I carry in Drizzle & Shine, like the Synergy shirt dress I wore to the grand opening), but I might not blog a lot. Having a brand new store takes up a lot of my time! I enjoy it and hope you can visit when you’re in Seattle.

synergy

 

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Fashion Revolution Week

It’s Fashion Revolution Week. April 24th marks the third anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh that killed 1130 garment workers.

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The people behind Fashion Revolution Week encourage consumers to ask the simple question: Who made my clothes?

Looking for ethically made clothing is important so we can support companies that take care of garment workers. Fashion is a multi-trillion dollar industry funded by us. We consumers and our buying power have a lot of leverage. Let’s ask our favorite brands “who made my clothes?” and demand better treatment of workers.

For Fashion Revolution Week, I’m showing brands I love and I’m also showing my favorite mix: organic, fair trade, handmade, US made, thrifted, and DIY.

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My dress is by Synergy, a company that specializes in organic cotton clothing made by women in Nepal who are paid a living wage.

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My jacket is swapped. I love thrifting, swapping, and otherwise give clothing a little extra life. Plus, it’s cost-effective! I’d rather thrift and swap and save on generic items like denim jackets so I can put my money toward investment pieces like my Nicora shoes.

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My shoes are by Nicora. They are handmade in Los Angeles from eco-friendly fabrics. I’m a Nicora brand ambassador. Contact me if you’d like a discount code toward a pair of their wonderful shoes.

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I made my scarf from an old t-shirt. It was a simple, free project that allowed me to take a t-shirt I no longer wore and turn it into something I do wear.

That’s my formula for a perfect outfit. A US-made item, an imported fair-trade item, a DIY piece, and something thrifted or swapped. Every bit helps to change the fashion industry.

#whomademyclothes

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My Big Plans

Have you noticed that I haven’t posted with the same frequency lately? It’s not that I’m disinterested or that I’ve stopped wearing clothing. I’ve been busy working on a big project for the past several months.

I’m opening an eco boutique in Seattle!

After watching The True Cost and reading Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion I decided to change my buying habits. I love to thrift and swap, but I’m also guilty of getting sucked into fast fashion trends. And while an $8 skirt is hard to resist, as soon as I realized why some apparel is so cheap—and that someone somewhere is paying in blood, sweat, and tears—the urge to buy, buy, buy went away.

I started looking for places to buy clothing that are gentle on the environment, are sweatshop-free, and aren’t made from animals, and I realized there’s no place like that in Seattle. Was I supposed to provide this store? I couldn’t get the thought out of my head. For the past year, I’ve been researching and planning.

Last week, I signed the lease on a space in Capitol Hill and I quit my corporate job!

I have a lot of work ahead of me. I’ll be getting the store space ready for a grand opening in May 2016. If you’d like to follow along with my new adventure, check out www.drizzleandshine.com or @drizzleandshine on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

I’ll still be posting on this blog, but you’ll likely see a lot more eco brands and local designers in the mix.

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My new mantra is to buy less, shop mindfully, buy high-quality, timeless items, and mix thrifted and swapped clothing with new investment pieces. After I make a purchase, I’ll wash cold, hang to dry, and mend instead of toss.

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