Thinking Outside the Dress

Thinking Outside the Dress | Sophster-Toaster

We have the first of many holiday parties this week and both my husband and I are somewhat stumped as to what to wear. It’s a work party so we need to look professional, but he wants to wear something at least a little nicer than what he regularly wears to work. On the other hand, we can’t go too over the top and risk way overshooting the “business casual” dress code that has been requested. We’ve looked over all of our clothes, and even taken a little trip to the mall to search for something new that could be the missing piece of the puzzle, but we’ve turned up empty. I’m sure we’ll have an epiphany in time but until then, all this outfit work has left me feeling festive and inspired to think outside of the dress.

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Top H&M
Sweater H&M
Pants ModCloth
Socks Roots
Shoes ModCloth
Earrings old
Tie just a ribbon
Suspenders H&M

All photos by me.

Handmade Holiday Gift Guide

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. Unique holiday greeting cards everyone (especially mom) will love.

Handmade Holiday Gift Guide | Sophster-Toaster

Get them from The Critter Co for $6 each.

2. A dreamy necklace for the girl with her head in the clouds.

Handmade Holiday Gift Guide | Sophster-Toaster

Get it from Curious Oddities for $75.20.

3.  A deceivingly warm corduroy jumper for the girl who’s always cold.

Handmade Holiday Gift Guide | Sophster-Toaster

Get it from Mod Dolly for $92.92.

4. A cross stitch kit for your crafty friend with bare walls.

Handmade Holiday Gift Guide | Sophster-Toaster

Get it from Diana Watters Handmade for $35.

5. The cutest little polar bear necklace for the animal lover in your life.

Handmade Holiday Gift Guide | Sophster-Toaster

Get it from Swimming Fox Studio for $23.

6. An effortlessly cool shelf for the new homeowner.

Handmade Holiday Gift Guide | Sophster-Toaster

Get it from Stained Lace for $36.

7. A checklist map of Canada’s National Parks for your most adventurous friend.

Handmade Holiday Gift Guide | Sophster-Toaster

Get it from Ello There for $45.50+, with lots of add-on options.

8. A subtly festive pinecone necklace for the friend who never wants Christmas to end.

Handmade Holiday Gift Guide | Sophster-Toaster

Get it from Emery & Opal for $27.34.

9. A fuzzy friend for your littlest friend.

Handmade Holiday Gift Guide | Sophster-Toaster

Get it from Miso Handmade for $20.51.

All photos courtesy of product makers.

Vintage Christmas

Vintage Christmas | Sophster-Toaster Blog

I bought this vintage dress online during a big sale while up at the cottage at the beginning of summer. It arrived a week or two before the puppy came home and I haven’t been brave enough to wear it around the little nipper before now. I bought it thinking the longer length, sweetheart neckline and red gingham fabric would make it perfect for wearing on Valentine’s Day/ my 30th birthday. I didn’t realize until I was panicking in front of my closet, trying to get ready for my husband’s office Christmas party, that it was a perfect Christmas dress!

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Dress Capsule Vintage
Stockings ModCloth
Shoes ModCloth
Brooch Antique Warehouse
Earrings old

All photos by me.

Dreaming of a White Christmas

Dreaming of a White Christmas | Sophster-Toaster Blog

I once read that we imagine Christmas as snowy thanks to Charles Dickens. All of his Christmas stories feature a cold, snowy Christmas season, even though the holiday is only a few days into winter – and rarely sees more than a slight dusting of snow in reality. Scholars think this is because Dickens’ childhood took place during an unusually cold decade and he grew up seeing more Christmases with a heavy blanket of snow than not.

When I first learned this fact, it remind me of my own childhood, growing up in the snow belt of Southern Ontario. It was normal for us to get a few big snow storms in November, I even remember having snow ball fights with my brother on his birthday at the end of October, and have that snow stick around and build through March and sometimes into April. My mom had a running joke about dreaming of a green Christmas and I remember wondering what that would be like, since I had only known white Christmases. As a teenager, the snow seemed lighter, but it was still always there. Then I moved to where I live now in the Niagara Region microclimate where most Christmases are brown and a snowfall before January is highly unusual. Sure driving is safer and there’s no shovelling to do, but I find myself missing the snow very much at Christmastime. There is just something so magical about a soft, fresh, downy blanket of snow covering the houses with colourful Christmas light glowing from underneath and the way the city seems so quiet and still before people have left their warm homes and covered the snow in footprints.

That’s why I was so excited when we got a big snow storm last week! It’s nearly all melted away now, but I made sure to get out and enjoy as much of it as I could while it was here, starting with grabbing my camera and heading out the morning after the storm to capture the city all done up for Christmas.

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All photos by me.