Thrifty Hike

Thrifty Hike | Sophster-Toaster

They don’t make them like they used to. My husband and I discovered, a few years ago, that the best place to buy warm, well-made and affordable sweaters is at thrift stores. He’s been lucky enough to find some great vintage pieces from the 70’s and 80’s while I’m still kicking myself for leaving without a matching set of classic 80’s ski sweaters (because my arms were already full of other cute sweaters). We’ve found the luxuriously thick, double knit, wool blend, not-quite Cosby sweater my husband wore today, cashmere cardigans, and the not vintage but classic cable knit + pom pom wool blend sweater I’m wearing with my (also thrifted) flannel. We just can’t find sweaters warm and hearty enough to hike in single digit temperatures like this at the mall or online, and certainly not for $6-10 a pop!

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Sweater thrifted
Flannel thrifted
Jeans Modcloth
Boots old
Hat ModCloth

Thrifty Hike | Sophster-Toaster Thrifty Hike | Sophster-Toaster Thrifty Hike | Sophster-Toaster

All photos by me and Matt.

Fogged In

Fogged In | Sophster-Toaster

I came down with a bad cold while we were up at the cottage for Thanksgiving. I tried not to let it get me down. Luckily the cottage is a great place to rest and relax.

On one cloudy afternoon, feeling my worst, we decided we would make some tea and snacks and watch a movie snuggled up by the fire. We chose a mid-2000’s movie we had never seen before from the stack of entertaining-but-mediocre rainy day movies that seem to collect at cottages. We put some wood on the fire, surrounded ourselves with everything we would need, got cozy under some blankets with our backs to the lake and started the movie. When it finished, we got up and looked out the big windows behind us to see that we could no longer make out the treeline on the other side of the lake. We were completely fogged in.

After having already spent a few days with just one other person and a dog, alone on an island on a quiet lake, it was strange, but not unpleasant, to feel even more alone and isolated than we already did. It was a bit unnerving to not know how long the fog had been there or when it would recede.

Fogged In | Sophster-Toaster

Standing at the window, Pepper waking up and revving up from a quite couple of hours, I turned to my husband and said something like, “want to go look from the dock?” We bundled up, put Pepper on her long, bright orange leash to keep her safe and visible and headed out into the landscape that was now both foreign and familiar. By the time we got down to the dock, the fog had started to lift and we could again see the islands and coast that had been invisible to us just a little while earlier.

We wondered around the woods for a bit, took some pictures and went back into the warm cottage to make dinner and settle in for a stormy night.

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Coat ModCloth
Sweater thrifted
Hat ModCloth
Pants ModCloth
Socks Walmart
Boots L.L.Bean
Gloves ModCloth

Fogged In | Sophster-Toaster Fogged In | Sophster-Toaster

Photos by me and Matt.

Beginner Hygge

Beginner Hygge | Sophster-Toaster

I’ve always lamented the fact the Canada, a cold and snowy country with a long, dark winter, doesn’t have any winter culture to speak of, at least in the part of Southern Ontario I live in. We’re raised to despise winter and long for summer. We’re brought up to believe winter is something that must be endured but it’s worth it for our the summers in our beautiful country. Well, I disagree. I think winter, all 5 months of it here, can be just as charming, enjoyable and looked forward too as the other brief seasons. I don’t think there’s any point to a life spent hating half of the year.

That’s why, this year, I’m determined to embrace the concept of hygge. If you don’t know what hygge is, Alex from Hygge House puts it beautifully:

“Hygge (pronounced hue-guh not hoo-gah) is a Danish word used when acknowledging a feeling or moment, whether alone or with friends, at home or out, ordinary or extraordinary as cosy, charming or special.”

I want to dress cute and cozy, cook healthy, seasonal comfort food, watch movies under soft blankets, play in the snow, drink hot chocolate, spend time with friends, drinking wine by fireplaces, and, most importantly, leave home with a smile instead of a shiver. I want to wake up on gloomy days, to the sound of the heat coming on, under layers of fluffy blankets, with thoughts of tea and a warm breakfast and be happy for another winter day.To get started on these goals, I’ve been sneaking some early hygge in ever since the weather turned cool this fall.

Beginner Hygge | Sophster-ToasterBeginner Hygge | Sophster-Toaster

I spent Thanksgiving up at the family cottage with a small and intimate party of just Pepper and my husband. It was cold and cloudy weather that most people would find unlucky for a vacation weekend, but we loved it. We walked around in the woods, made a tofurky with all the trimmings, chopped firewood, mulled cider on the wood stove, and watched movies by the fire. I wore wool socks, turtlenecks, flannel, denim, warm sweaters and thick nylons throughout the trip. We got cozy and really enjoyed each other’s company. I can’t wait for more of this.

Beginner Hygge | Sophster-Toaster

Turtleneck ModCloth
Skirt ModCloth
Nylons Joe Fresh
Accessories old
Slippers White Noise Maker

Beginner Hygge | Sophster-Toaster Beginner Hygge | Sophster-Toaster

All photos by me.

Road Trip

Road Trip | Sophster-Toaster

For the first time since our first Thanksgiving living together, when we were too poor to travel home, my husband and I spent the holiday weekend with just each other for company. We decided to road trip up to the family cottage to spend a cold and cloudy Thanksgiving cuddled up by the fire together.

We usually try to make the 5-6 hour car + boat ride as efficiently as possible, only stopping for tea, gas or bathroom breaks when we must, but we chose to do things differently this time. With Pepper in tow, and no one to meet at the marina, we decided to take our time and do a little exploring on the way to give Pepper a chance to pee and stretch her legs.

We stopped in Peterborough, ON to visit the highest lift lock in the world. We didn’t really know what to expect. We thought we would walk around and explore a National Historic Site while the weather held out and then hop back in the car once the dog got bored. However, shortly after arriving, we were told a boat would be coming through the lock in just a few minutes! We got to watch the lock work from both the bottom and the top, making for a very exciting stop on our little road trip.

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Coat ModCloth
Pants ModCloth
Boots L.L.Bean
Bag ModCloth

T-shirt ModCloth
Cardigan Modcloth
Necklace Emery & Opal
Barrette very old
Socks Walmart
Slippers White Noise Maker

Road Trip | Sophster-Toaster

All photos by me and Matt.