Category Archives: Sophster-Toaster Brand

Spooktober

Spooktober | Sophster-Toaster

There is a nature area here, just off the busy highway and nestled neatly between the two larger cities, that the local schools use routinely for field trips. The children learn about nature, conservation and basic bushcrafting. As a result of these regular field trips, small areas of the forest become covered in these eerie, abandoned lean-tos. The effect of coming across them unexpectedly is startling, confusing and a little creepy. Every time I see them, I make a note to come back in October to take some spooky photos.

Spooktober | Sophster-Toaster

Thanks to the pandemic, this is the first time in many years that I haven’t had a busy fall full of markets or taken a short break to go up to the family cottage for Thanksgiving – actually giving me time to execute this plan. However, also thanks to the pandemic, the school children haven’t come out to the conservation area since last fall and only one small lean-to hadn’t been blown over into a scattered pile of branches.

I’ve been trying not to get bogged down by all the what-ifs when it comes to thinking about how different this year could have been and felt lucky that one structure had survived and that I was in the right place, at the right time to photograph it.

Spooktober | Sophster-Toaster Spooktober | Sophster-Toaster Spooktober | Sophster-Toaster Spooktober | Sophster-Toaster Spooktober | Sophster-ToasterSpooktober | Sophster-Toaster

Top Sophster-Toaster
Skirt Steady Clothing
Shoes Keds
Glasses Warby Parker

Spooktober | Sophster-Toaster

Photos by me and Matt Harrison.

Staying Safe and Active

Staying Safe and Active | Sophster-Toaster

This wasn’t a typical summer, so I suppose I’m less sad that it’s ending this year. After being stuck at home in the city all summer without air conditioning, I’m looking forward to getting cozied up indoors during snuggle season.

Of course, I’m still worried about what the changing seasons will mean for life during a pandemic. As Canadians, we aren’t usually ones to shy away from the cold, but it’s so much easier to pop outside to exercise, relax or grab takeout when the weather is warm and welcoming. Staying active during the summer comes naturally when there are so many options. Then the days get shorter, the wind gets colder and the bikes, skates and bathing suits get put away and it can be hard to resist the urge to hibernate.

I’ve found that staying active and being outdoors during this extra stressful time has been vital for maintaining my mental health. Therefore, my goal for the coming season is to continue engaging in my favourite all-season outdoor activities like daily long walks with the dog, playing fetch in the yard and morning hikes on the weekend (before the crowds get there). Soon, the rewarding work of gardening will become the satisfying sweat of snow shovelling and long distance skating will have to become practising fancy footwork in the basement. Maybe the added limitations of this year will be inspiring and I’ll get to try something new, like snowshoeing, before coming home and cuddling up on the couch with some hot chocolate and a movie for a long winter night.

Staying Safe and Active | Sophster-Toaster Staying Safe and Active | Sophster-Toaster Staying Safe and Active | Sophster-Toaster Staying Safe and Active | Sophster-Toaster Staying Safe and Active | Sophster-Toaster Staying Safe and Active | Sophster-Toaster Staying Safe and Active | Sophster-Toaster

T-shirt Sophster-Toaster
Shorts Camp Collection
Glasses Warby Parker
Mask Camp Collection
Safety Gear Impala Rollerskates

All photos by Matt Harrison.

Workspace

Workspace | Sophster-Toaster

I’ve been working from home for years, so my space and routines were already set up when the rest of the world suddenly joined me. I had lots of time to work out the kinks of having my workspace within my home. From starting my business in a tiny apartment, to working out of a larger apartment, to now a house, I kept a few things constant throughout the years to help foster creativity, productivity and work/life balance. Here are my tips for working from home in the long term.

Workspace | Sophster-Toaster

Keep your workspaces and home spaces defined.

For me, my workspace is currently a whole room upstairs and a few shelves in the basement but, in the past, it has been just a corner of a bedroom. Keeping your work stuff in its own place, and not letting your personal things gather there either, will help you keep the spaces separate in your mind and help you avoid the stress of living at work.

Take breaks outside of your workspace.

If possible, avoid working, eating and entertaining yourself all in the same place. It’s easier to be productive at work, and relaxed at home if you can divide these places by activity.

Try to keep your home tidy.

It’s difficult to concentrate in a cluttered space and those chores that need doing will nag you in a whole different way when they’re all around you. It’s best to keep on top of things now so they can’t overwhelm you later.

Set a schedule and stick to it.

Get up at the same time, take lunch at the same time, stop working at the same time, everyday. If you have pets at home, this will also help them get onto an agreeable routine.

Get dressed.

I am my most creative in the morning, so I will frequently start working in my pajamas, but I always feel like my serious work day starts when I’m dressed, brushed and ready to meet the world.

Set goals for how much you want to get done in a day, in a week.

You know when you’re at work, and out of things to do – or out of inspiration – but can’t go home yet, so you just find busy work or distractions to pass the time? Those moments will happen at home too, but you’ll actually be able to do something useful with that time! If you have all your goals plotted out, you’ll know when you can take a break to catch up on home stuff or, conversely, when you really need to stop chasing those distractions.

Set boundaries with friends and family.

People will think that because you work from home, you are always available. Don’t be afraid to say no to random drop-ins or doing things outside of your job, outside of your scheduled working hours.

Workspace | Sophster-Toaster Workspace | Sophster-Toaster

Glasses Warby Parker
Shirt Sophster-Toaster
Jeans Angry Rabbit
Shoes Vans

All photos by me.

In Like a Lamb

In Like a Lamb | Sophster-Toaster

After two cold and stormy springs that had me in mittens until May, it looks like our luck is turning around and we’re going to get a sweet and soft spring this year. March arrived with warm sunshine and gentle breezes and has only had a few dips into wintery weather since. Even this snowy day couldn’t stop me from pulling some choice spring dresses from their spare closet cocoon and declaring it Canadian t-shirt weather.

In Like a Lamb | Sophster-Toaster In Like a Lamb | Sophster-Toaster In Like a Lamb | Sophster-Toaster In Like a Lamb | Sophster-Toaster In Like a Lamb | Sophster-Toaster

Glasses Warby Parker
Earrings Just A Little This That (other colours)
T-shirt Sophster-Toaster
Pants Angry Rabbit
Boots L.L.Bean

All photos by me.