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.

Dreaming of a White Christmas | Sophster-Toaster Blog Dreaming of a White Christmas | Sophster-Toaster Blog Dreaming of a White Christmas | Sophster-Toaster Blog Dreaming of a White Christmas | Sophster-Toaster Blog Dreaming of a White Christmas | Sophster-Toaster Blog Dreaming of a White Christmas | Sophster-Toaster Blog Dreaming of a White Christmas | Sophster-Toaster Blog Dreaming of a White Christmas | Sophster-Toaster Blog Dreaming of a White Christmas | Sophster-Toaster Blog Dreaming of a White Christmas | Sophster-Toaster Blog Dreaming of a White Christmas | Sophster-Toaster Blog Dreaming of a White Christmas | Sophster-Toaster Blog Dreaming of a White Christmas | Sophster-Toaster Blog

All photos by me.

Classic Hot Toddy with Bourbon & Black Tea

Classic Hot Toddy with Bourbon and Black Tea | Sophster-Toaster Blog

I started experimenting with hot toddy recipes for the first time when the weather turned cold. They’ve been so nice to come home to after taking the puppy for her evening walk on the weekends. Although less traditional, I like to use bourbon over whiskey, rye or brandy because there’s just something so Christmas-y about bourbon to me. I also use black tea instead of plain, old, hot water for added flavour and fortitude.

Classic Hot Toddy with Bourbon and Black Tea | Sophster-Toaster Blog Classic Hot Toddy with Bourbon and Black Tea | Sophster-Toaster Blog Classic Hot Toddy with Bourbon and Black Tea | Sophster-Toaster Blog Classic Hot Toddy with Bourbon and Black Tea | Sophster-Toaster Blog Classic Hot Toddy with Bourbon and Black Tea | Sophster-Toaster Blog Classic Hot Toddy with Bourbon and Black Tea | Sophster-Toaster Blog Classic Hot Toddy with Bourbon and Black Tea | Sophster-Toaster Blog

Ingredients

  • 1½ oz bourbon
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • fresh brewed black tea
  • cinnamon stick

For Garnish:

  • lemon slice
  • 3 whole cloves

Method

  1. Add bourbon, honey and lemon juice to an 8 oz mug.
  2. Top up with hot black tea.
  3. Stir well with cinnamon stick. (Serve with or without stick.)
  4. Pierce lemon slice with cloves, slit part way up the middle, and hang over the side of the mug. (I found it easier to pierce before cut and after making a small slit with a paring knife.)

Classic Hot Toddy with Bourbon and Black Tea | Sophster-Toaster Blog

All photos by me.