Category Archives: Favourite Things

Small Business Gift Guide – Holiday 2020

It’s been a wild year for small businesses. We’ve had to deal with lock downs, cancellations, overhauls and so much uncertainty. Sometimes it feels like we are facing a new challenge every single day.

We’ve also received a huge amount of support from our networks and communities and found new ways of doing things that will have us ready to bounce back even better.

I want to say a personal THANK YOU to everyone who has helped out their local small business people this year – whether it be by making a purchase, recommending us, resharing us, sending us sweet thank you notes or just letting us vent – you kept us going through the most stressful year of our lives.

Please take a look at some of my favourite items from small businesses.

Bath & Body

Sarah’s Soaps

Sarah's Soaps | Small Business Gift Guide - Holiday 2020 | Sophster-Toaster

Peppermint + Fir Needle Bar Soap

7C Salts

7C Salts | Small Business Gift Guide - Holiday 2020 | Sophster-Toaster

I Am My Sunshine – Solar Plexus Chakra Bath Salts

Marley’s Monsters

Marley's Monsters | Small Business Gift Guide - Holiday 2020 | Sophster-Toaster

Mesh Laundry Bag & Facial Rounds Set

Candles

Wild Serenity

Wild Serenity | Small Business Gift Guide - Holiday 2020 | Sophster-Toaster

Fresh Christmas Tree Scented Wood Wick Soy Candle

Sophster-Toaster

Sophster-Toaster | Small Business Gift Guide - Holiday 2020

Homestead Scented Soy Candle

Accessories

Just a Little This That

Just a Little This That | Small Business Gift Guide - Holiday 2020 | Sophster-Toaster

Pretty in Pink Swarovski Crystal Stud Earrings Collection

Dawning Collective

Dawning Collective | Small Business Gift Guide - Holiday 2020 | Sophster-Toaster

Cozy Fox Necklace

Camp Collection

Camp Collection | Small Business Gift Guide - Holiday 2020 | Sophster-Toaster

Ear Loops Mask 6 Pack in 90’s Colours

Escaping the Ordinary

Escaping the Ordinary | Small Business Gift Guide - Holiday 2020 | Sophster-Toaster

Daisies Roller Skate Accessory

Clothing

Electric West

Electric West | Small Business Gift Guide - Holiday 2020 | Sophster-Toaster

No Thanks Tee

Rosehound

Rosehound | Small Business Gift Guide - Holiday 2020 | Sophster-Toaster

Beer Flower Sweatshirt

Home

Garden City Essentials

Garden City Essentials | Small Business Gift Guide - Holiday 2020 | Sophster-Toaster

Vintage Fruit Beeswax Wrap

Kuishi

Kuishi | Small Business Gift Guide - Holiday 2020 | Sophster-Toaster

Amber Glass Soap Dispenser

Miracle Eye

Miracle Eye | Small Business Gift Guide - Holiday 2020 | Sophster-Toaster

Marigold Woven Blanket

The Outcast Society

The Outcast Society | Small Business Gift Guide - Holiday 2020 | Sophster-Toaster

Cute Kitty Smash Fascism Pennant

DIY Kits

M by M Knitwear

M by M Knitwear | Small Business Gift Guide - Holiday 2020 | Sophster-Toaster

True North Toque Knitting Pattern

Salt + Mustard

Salt + Mustard | Small Business Gift Guide - Holiday 2020 | Sophster-Toaster

Mustard Making Kit

Christmas & Holiday Cards

Brittany Lane Art & Illustration

Brittany Lane Art & Illustration | Small Business Gift Guide - Holiday 2020 | Sophster-Toaster

Together in Spirit

Ostockley

Ostockley | Small Business Gift Guide - Holiday 2020 | Sophster-Toaster

Snowy Pooch

Gift Cards

Don’t forget about your local record shops, book stores and take out places!

All photos courtesy of retailers.

Core Aesthetic

I was compensated for this post. This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Something I’ve noticed, in 10+ years of being a part time glasses wearer plus almost 2 more of being a full time four eyes, is that, more than anything else, glasses really become the core piece of one’s aesthetic. There’s no getting around the dual facts that you have to wear them all day, everyday and they are, generally, the first thing people see when they talk to you. My current big, vaguely 80s glasses came along while my wardrobe was right at the beginning of a natural aesthetic evolution and replaced my sort-of 50s clubmaster glasses – jump starting my shift from 50s/60s fashions to a more 70s/80s style.

For most of my life, I was obsessed with all things mid-century. I loved the perfectly set hair, the fit and flare dresses with big, fluffy crinolines, the clean lines, the red lips and the contradictory understated elaborateness of it all. Mid-century style became trendy and I filled my closet and home with vintage and reproduction pieces. I felt so lucky. I clung to my liquid liner cat eyes and hoped the good times would never end.

Then, one day, I started admiring campy 70s and 80s colours and prints from the corner of my eye. I resisted their call at first. With still vivid memories of all the not-so-great 80s stuff I grew up with and a solid investment already made in my mid-century-meets-modern aesthetic, I didn’t want to fall in love with something new. Nevertheless, things that leaned more towards the end of the mid-century era started slowly making their way into my life. I looked around my home and noticed that all the hand-me-down items I had rescued from the homes of older relatives while helping them downsize; all the things I had picked up at thrift stores; all the things I had collected and saved since childhood, just because I liked the way they looked, were all from the 70s and early 80s. I was shocked to learn that I had already been in love for years.

Now that my style is more broadly all things vintage/retro/nostalgic, and I’m worried about getting new glasses before my prescription expires during this pandemic, I need to chose between my two loves.

Do I follow my first love and choose the more classic, 50s/60s leaning frames from the new Warby Parker Summer 2020 Collection? Maybe get a second pair with blue light filtering for when I’m working at the computer, or some unabashedly bombshell sunglasses for glamorous dog walking.

Esme in Sesame Tortoise

Ida in Marzipan Tortoise

Or lean fully in, commit completely and indulge my new love: upgrading my current pair to an even more authentic 80s look and going whole hog with the sunglasses too?

Alston in Champagne

Rachel in Mesquite Tortoise

Photos courtesy of Warby Parker.

St. Patrick’s Day Green Wishlist

I hope you like these products as much as I do! Just so you know, I may collect a commission or other compensation from the links provided on this page.

1. A cute polka dot top in a flattering shade of jade green.

St. Patrick's Day Green Wishlist | Sophster-Toaster

Collectif

2. Alluring sunglasses in an uncommon forest hue – with or without your prescription.

St. Patrick's Day Green Wishlist | Sophster-Toaster

Warby Parker

3. Emerald green seamed stockings to add a hint of colour and intrigue.

St. Patrick's Day Green Wishlist | Sophster-Toaster

What Katie Did

4. The perfect Kelly green nail polish with holo mirco flakes.

St. Patrick's Day Green Wishlist | Sophster-Toaster

Indie by Patty Lopes

5. A vintage girl scouts polo that’s just waiting to be your new favourite shirt.

St. Patrick's Day Green Wishlist | Sophster-Toaster

Electric West

All photos courtesy of retailers.

Valentine’s Wishlist

I hope you like these products as much as I do! Just so you know, I may collect a commission or other compensation from the links provided on this page.

1. A bright pink 1960’s chiffon and velvet party dress to wear on date night.

Coldfish Vintage

2. Crushed velvet knickers to feel cozy and cute in on those long winter evenings at home.

Jordan de Ruiter

3. A charming and festive tiny heart necklace (available in three colour and length options).

Emery + Opal

4. Glamorous cat eye sunglasses in pink tortoise shell to keep the snow glare, and admirers, at bay. 

Warby Parker

5. An extravagant vintage style bra to make cardigan weather feel a little more fun.

What Katie Did

All photos courtesy of retailers.