Goodbye Summer

Goodbye Summer | Sophster-Toaster Blog

It’s been a strange summer for me. The weather has been very hot and humid with many violent thunderstorms yet very little rain after about a decade of cooler, wetter summers. We bought our first house at the very end of May and had to wait until today(!) for closing so we’ve been counting the days while trying to enjoy summer and not wish away. At the same time, we’ve been mourning the loss of our incredible and much beloved cat, Tori, who passed away in early June at an estimated age of 16. All these things together have made for quite an unusual summer. I’m not sure if it is destined to become a memorable moment of my youth or get swallowed up by my grief.

Goodbye Summer | Sophster-Toaster Blog

It’s been a summer of firsts, a summer of change and a summer of learning. My husband and I bought our first home together just after our fifth wedding anniversary. I did my first summer market. I changed my business priorities and focus a little bit. I learned how to talk to important adults as an adult. I learned how to make shorts. I’m learning how to say goodbye to someone who meant a lot to me.

Goodbye Summer | Sophster-Toaster Blog

Shirt Sophster-Toaster
Shorts Homemade
Shoes Keds
Earrings Craft Arts Market/ Nicole Gagnon
Bracelet Panama Market Vendor

Goodbye Summer | Sophster-Toaster Blog Goodbye Summer | Sophster-Toaster Blog

We’re getting ready to move this Saturday and it feels like I’m saying goodbye to a lot of things. Goodbye to apartment living (woo!) and all its benefits and inconveniences. Goodbye to that notion that I’m not tied down to any place and can make a home anywhere in the world at any time. Goodbye to an apartment filled with memories. Goodbye to all that money I used to have. Goodbye to a pet I rescued on my 16th birthday and who was with me, by my side and in my lap, through so many life changes. Goodbye to summer.

Goodbye Summer | Sophster-Toaster Blog

Help me out and grab a t-shirt so I don’t have to move it!

Get $5 off any tee in the shop (excluding seconds, which are already only $5, by the way) with coupon code TEETIME5. Expires on moving day (8/27)!

Want a pair of my shorts in your size?

Grab a Mystery Item from the shop for one of my learning experiments! Warning, these pairs aren’t for regular sale because I’m not super satisfied with the fit. They run a little large in the waist and small in the thigh, if that sounds like you, or the way you like your clothes to fit, go grab one now for less than wholesale!

All photos by me.

July Favourites

Now that summer is in full swing, we do all we can to beat the heat. It is a dark time of board shorts and sleeveless shirts. I’m here to tell you that you can look great and dress in comfort with some help from my favourite things for July.

1.Vans Surf Shoes

July Favourites | Sophster-Toaster Blog

Van’s Rata Vulc SF Shoes

2.Pineapples, thematically speaking.

July Favourites | Sophster-Toaster Blog

Wild Hearts USA’s Pineapple Shirt

3.Vitaly Unisex Accesories

July Favourites | Sophster-Toaster Blog

Vitaly’s Odak X Matte Black Ring

4. Short Sleeve Button-ups

July Favourites | Sophster-Toaster Blog

LJC Designs’ Men’s Pineapple Party Shirt

5. Starving Artist Waffle Bar. Because who doesn’t love waffles?

July Favourites | Sophster-Toaster Blog

Starving Artist’s Waffle Bacon

All photos courtesy of their retailers.  

Favourite (Budget) Beauty Finds

Favourite Budget Beauty Finds | Sophster-Toaster Blog

For a long time, ever since I started wearing makeup in high school, I stuck to drugstore, budget beauty products. Money was tight, I wasn’t very good at makeup and it was what mom did. Some products were great, and I still use them today, but I suffered through others. I waited desperately for the day they would be nearly used up so I could justify trying something different.

Then I moved to a bigger city. I made an effort to learn how to do my makeup I found wonderful, small, handmade brands online. And then, a Sephora came to town! With a sudden surge in options, and a slightly bigger budget, I started looking for higher quality options that wouldn’t cost me too much more.

Sephora

I started with Sephora. Sticking to the store brand, I picked up some blotting papers. As a person with oily skin who hates wearing foundation, these blotting papers have become an essential staple.

Then during last year’s Christmas party season I decided to splurge and get my first ever non-drugstore eyeshadow palette. At about $31 Canadian, this is one of the most expensive items in my collection but I couldn’t be more pleased with it. I was shocked with how easy the higher quality eyeshadow was to apply the first time I used it. With more colours, more of each colour, needing less and the high quality of the makeup and packaging, I think this palette is definitely worth the price!

Favourite Budget Beauty Finds | Sophster-Toaster Blog

Handmade

After these successful forays into big-girl makeup purchasing, I was confident enough to start seeking out small, handmade brands. There were a few things I was looking for when building my new makeup collection that I just couldn’t find from the big brands. I wanted makeup that was cruelty free and made in an environmentally responsible way with fewer, more natural ingredients.

After years of using strong antiperspirants that weren’t good for me and were damaging my clothing, I decided to look for a more natural/ old fashioned option. I stumbled upon an Etsy shop called Bunny Butt Apothecary that carried natural, vegan deodorant in a dozen amazing scents and fell in love. As it was a few weeks before my birthday, I choose the birthday cake scent and I’ve never looked back. It doesn’t work as well as antiperspirant, obviously, and usually needs at least one reapplication throughout the day but I’m so happy with it! I bought the 85g tube of deodorant two years ago and I’m only just starting to run out!

I then started to wonder if there was such a thing as mascara that didn’t clump and glob up. I soon came across the great (and somewhat local!) Batty’s Bath brand of makeup and skincare products. This is the best mascara I have ever used and I will be a customer for life! It’s a little pricey but the safe, non irritating ingredients (why did I put up with those for so long?), smudge-proof yet easy-to-remove formula, and conditioning elements are so, so worth it! After about a month of using this mascara, my eyelashes stopped falling out as easily and were therefore noticeably longer, thicker, softer and healthier. But the best part: a normal tube and wand the don’t fall out of the cupboard or make application overly complicated.

Favourite Budget Beauty Finds | Sophster-Toaster Blog

Drugstore

There are a few drugstore brands that have stayed close to my heart all along. I have been absolutely smitten with Rimmel Moisture Renew lipsticks since my first tube. They are cheap enough to not worry about hating or losing but still feel indulgently creamy and moisturizing. My go-to, everyday shade is Rose Blush but I love the bold Red Alert for when I feel like getting all dolled up.

Favourite Budget Beauty Finds | Sophster-Toaster Blog

I’ve been around the block with just about every brand of nail polish and my very favourite is still the super cheap, like $2.50 cheap, Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtream Wear. It comes in a rainbow of trendy colours, goes on evenly and doesn’t chip for at least five days. What more could you want from a drugstore nail polish?

My most recent budget beauty find is old fashioned Nivea Creme. I grabbed the classic travel/ purse size tin (now plastic) for a few dollars before my recent trip to Panama. I had never used it before and was shocked by how many jobs it could do. I bought it as a general moisturizer/ night cream but soon found it was also great for putting on a sunburn, removing make-up and softening up hangnails. It’s heavy duty, but not greasy, and, uniquely, still features the original early 20th century sweet floral and citrus scent.

Favourite Budget Beauty Finds | Sophster-Toaster Blog

Some other great budget products I love are drugstore brand Rimmel universal lip liner, cheap amazon buy Real Techniques eyeshadow brush, and gorgeous Ombrelle lightweight SPF 30 face sun lotion.

I’ve found, through my many years of wearing makeup, that I can find most of my essential beauty products at the drugstore. What I save with these budget brands, I can spend on the few things that take a little more money to get a much better product.

Favourite Budget Beauty Finds | Sophster-Toaster Blog

The Details

1) Blotting Papers Sephora Charcoal Blotting Papers
2) Mascara Batty’s Bath Clean Slate Natural Black Mascara
3) Lip Liner Rimmel Moisture Renew Clean Lip Liner
4) Lipstick Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick in Rose Blush
5) Eyeshadow Brush Real Techniques Shading Brush
6) Cream Nivea Creme
7) Nail Polish Sally Hansen Hard as Nail Xtream Wear in Mint Sorbet
8) Eyeshadow Palette Sephora Collection Colorful 5 Eyeshadow Palette in No 10 Milk to Dark Chocolate
9) Nail Polish Sally Hansen Hard as Nail Xtream Wear in Giant Peach
10) Deodorant Bunny Butt Apothecary The Pits Veggie Protein Deodorant in Let them Eat Birthday Cake
11) Face Sun Lotion Garnier Ombrelle Ultra Light Advanced Weightless Face Lotion SPF 30
12) Lipstick Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick in Red Alert
13) Makeup Bag Nara Rha (old)

All photos by me.

The Most Revolutionary Thing You Can Do

The Most Revolutionary Thing You Can Do \\ Sophster-Toaster Blog

I’ve had a weird couple of months filled with news, stresses and experiences both very good and very bad. Three things have been getting me through the bad: my own personal reminders that without the bad, we don’t know when things were/ are truly good; my husband’s similar reminders that good things must always be tempered with the bad; and something a tour guide in Panama said at the end of trip to the rainforest. After telling us all the good and bad things happening in his country he signed and said, “the most revolutionary thing you can do, is be happy”. As someone who struggles with anxiety and depression, this struck me so deeply that I pulled out my notebook and quickly scribbled it down while my mom complained that he had been a real buzzkill.

The Most Revolutionary Thing You Can Do \\ Sophster-Toaster Blog The Most Revolutionary Thing You Can Do \\ Sophster-Toaster Blog The Most Revolutionary Thing You Can Do \\ Sophster-Toaster Blog

I’m very glad I did write this third motto down because I’ve lost and rediscovered it buried in my notebook several times since returning home. I always seem to come across it just when I need a reminder to see and celebrate the good when all I can think and feel is the bad.

The Most Revolutionary Thing You Can Do \\ Sophster-Toaster Blog The Most Revolutionary Thing You Can Do \\ Sophster-Toaster Blog

Choosing to be happy in the face of loss can feel both rebellious and horribly selfish. You can’t ignore your grief entirely, you have to give yourself space to grieve and hurt, but keeping those treasured memories close by, in the bottom of your heart and in the back of your mind will help you stay positive. You need to find a way – your own way – to celebrate the past, and the future without denying the present. Choosing to stay positive and remembering all the happiness that had to be created for me to feel such a loss now that it’s gone, as well as reminding myself to think of the exciting things ahead, is how I am choosing to be happy.

The Most Revolutionary Thing You Can Do \\ Sophster-Toaster Blog The Most Revolutionary Thing You Can Do \\ Sophster-Toaster Blog

Being sad and heartbroken when something bad happens is ok, but don’t forbid yourself from rejoicing in all the good things still happening to you and those you love. Celebrating the things that you and, more importantly, the people close to you are doing and achieving is the key to regaining and sustaining happiness. Celebrate your friends’ personal and professional achievements even more than your own! When you take a moment to look around, you’ll see there’s lots to celebrate. If you can be as proud and happy for them as you would be for yourself, you’ll never run out of joy.

The Most Revolutionary Thing You Can Do \\ Sophster-Toaster Blog The Most Revolutionary Thing You Can Do \\ Sophster-Toaster Blog The Most Revolutionary Thing You Can Do \\ Sophster-Toaster Blog

Dress Sophster-Toaster
Earrings ModCloth (old)
Ring very, very old

Don’t stop planning for the future. Be revolutionary. Be happy. Something or someone may be missing, but the love and bond you shared will never leave you.

All photos by me.