Rainy Day Nautical

Rainy Day Nautical \\ Sophster-Toaster Blog

I’ve loved water for as long as I can remember. Being near water, whether it be hiking along a river, watching the waves from the cottage or swimming in an indoor pool in the middle of winter, has always made me feel good. However, one thing I’ve never enjoyed is going to the beach. My parents are big fans and used to drag me along every sunny Saturday from May to September. The beach was far away so they liked to make a day of it, but I was ready to go home after an hour or two of playing in the water. I loved the water but hated the rest, even on the rare occasions where we got ice cream afterwards. I guess crowded sand and sunburns were never really my thing.

Rainy Day Nautical \\ Sophster-Toaster Blog

After a few years of living in a city on Lake Ontario, I’ve discovered that I do actually like going to the beach, just not on warm, sunny days. Last February, my husband took me to the frozen beach for my birthday. It was my first time exploring a beach in the winter and it turned out to be one of the most beautiful landscapes I think I will ever see in my life. It was the most fun I ‘d ever had at the beach. Last weekend – the first cold and rainy one of the fall – we layered up and went down to the beach to see the sailboats one more time before they get tucked in for winter. 

Rainy Day Nautical \\ Sophster-Toaster Blog Rainy Day Nautical \\ Sophster-Toaster Blog

This marina is especially neat because it is situated in the mouth of the Second Welland Canal and you can see the old stone walls and remains of the mid-19th century lock.

Rainy Day Nautical \\ Sophster-Toaster BlogRainy Day Nautical \\ Sophster-Toaster Blog

Sweater Bluenotes (old)
Skirt ModCloth
Tights ModCloth (similar)
Shoes ModCloth (old)
Scarf ModCloth
Ring was my mother’s

Rainy Day Nautical \\ Sophster-Toaster Blog

All photos but the last by Matt Harrison.

Winter Layering: The Trick to Keeping Warm

Growing up, I always hated winter. My brother and I really only got new clothing at back to school time. My mother, wanting to beat the rush, maintained a tradition of taking us shopping in mid-August, just before stores put all the fall and winter stuff out for the back to school crowd. She set an equal and very strict budget for my brother and I; enough to buy two or three high quality and much needed items… or about ten terrible, flimsy things that might just be enough to get us through the year. Obviously, I choose quantity over quality. I bought things that had been reduced in price more than once since they first arrived in the spring and summer seasons. Every year I brought home bags of tank tops, thin t-shirts, ankle socks, Capris, cropped sweat shirts and open-toed shoes… that I wasn’t allowed to start wearing until September. This led to me shivered my way through the next five to six months of winter storms in a sliver of the province known as The Snow Belt.

Now that I’ve grown up and realized that I can literally buy warmth, I spend my money more wisely. I buy well made items that will last several winters, collecting them slowly, year by year. I buy wool, cotton and polyester for layering. I couldn’t find a thick, long sleeve flannel shirt in the women’s section, so I bought one from the men’s. I buy winter dresses and skirts, knee socks, knit tights and thick stockings. I’m well on my way to owning a respectable range of cute and cozy sweaters. I’m starting to enjoy winter.

Yesterday evening, I layered up and the husband and I took a walk through the park.

Winter Layering \\ Sophster-Toaster

I moved to an area of the province with an opposing microclimate, -3°C in January is downright balmy to this Snow Belt expat.

Winter Layering \\ Sophster-Toaster

I wore cotton undergarments, a polyester slip, nylon stockings + garter belt, a cotton cardigan, a wool skirt and a wool/polyester blend coat. I like to layer with a mix of natural and synthetic fabrics in the winter. Natural fabrics like cotton and wool feel warm to the touch and are good for wicking away sweat to keep you dry, but they can also be quite permeable to body heat and cold wind, especially cotton. Polyester is light and doesn’t breath, making it good for locking heat close to the skin.

Winter Layering \\ Sophster-Toaster Winter Layering \\ Sophster-Toaster DSC_0073

Cardigan: H&M (old) // Skirt: ModCloth // Stockings: ModCloth //Shoes: ModCloth // Coat: Old Navy (old) // Gloves: ModCloth (old) // Bag: ModCloth // Jewellery: gifts // Hair Bow: Sophster-Toaster

Afterwards, we walked to the pub for a pint of oatmeal stout and some sweet potato fries with sriracha mayo to warm up. He let me double dip.