Morning Frost / Pretty Polly Heatsense Tights Review

Morning Frost / Pretty Polly Heatsense Tights Review | Sophster-Toaster Blog

I’ve had my eye on these Pretty Polly extra thick winter tights since the weather first started turning cold. I’ve picked up a few of the brand’s tights and stockings at my local drug store and they’ve all become quick favourites. The high quality and cute, yet practical, designs are everything I’ve ever wanted in tights. When I saw the entire Pretty Polly rack at my local Shopper’s Drug Mart on clearance this past weekend, I quickly grabbed the last pair of 80 denier Heatsense tights.

These tights claim to be made with special yarn that helps retain body heat in the cold, on top of being luxuriously thick. I decided to test them out on a frosty January morning. Putting them on, I could tell they were unlike other tights. The fabric is very soft and heavy and has only a little less stretch than regular tights. They were almost too warm when I was running around the house all layered up after a hot shower. Stepping outside into the soft winter sun, I barely felt the cold. It was almost like wearing thin jeans. After about 45 minutes of walking around my neighbourhood and stopping by a local park on a frosty, just below zero (Celsius) morning, only my toes were cold. My legs were cozy and comfortably warm the entire time.

When it gets colder, I will probably layer these tights with boot socks or, because they are so thick and opaque, I could probably wear merino wool liner socks underneath and no one would know. I’ve heard tell of 200 denier fleece lined tights made by Pretty Polly. If I ever come across them, I would buy them in a heartbeat!

Morning Frost / Pretty Polly Heatsense Tights Review | Sophster-Toaster Blog Morning Frost / Pretty Polly Heatsense Tights Review | Sophster-Toaster BlogMorning Frost / Pretty Polly Heatsense Tights Review | Sophster-Toaster Blog Morning Frost / Pretty Polly Heatsense Tights Review | Sophster-Toaster BlogMorning Frost / Pretty Polly Heatsense Tights Review | Sophster-Toaster Blog Morning Frost / Pretty Polly Heatsense Tights Review | Sophster-Toaster Blog

Dress ModCloth
Coat Old Navy
Hat ModCloth
Mittens Roots
Scarf H&M
Tights Shoppers Drug Mart
Shoes ModCloth
Camera Bag Amazon
Button Sparkle Collective

Morning Frost / Pretty Polly Heatsense Tights Review | Sophster-Toaster Blog

I sure hope they aren’t going to stop selling these tights because they are truly amazing. It’s nice to see them in person before buying but if they do stop offering them, the tights can still be found online through the Pretty Polly website.

All photos by me.

Resort Wear (Royal Decameron Panama Resort Review)

I had never been to a resort before this April. As a fan of history and exploration, I really didn’t think they would be my style. I would much rather get lost and learn my way around an exciting new city than sit on the same beach and go to the same buffet everyday.

I arrived at the Royal Decameron Golf and Beach Resort in Panama, to spend a week relaxing, recharging and reconnecting with my mom, with fairly low expectations for the resort. We got off the airport connection bus with all the other cranky tourists and were immediately inundated with some sort of alcoholic mystery punch – which I refused because my hands were already full – and a makeshift check-in table. The check-in area had been moved from inside the shaded, beautifully breeze-filled lobby with it’s large counter and velvet ropes to a small, confused tourist swarmed, pop-up table beside the hot and busy parking lot for reasons I will never fully understand. Finding our room was exasperatingly difficult since we were sent off without any directions and every map around the resort featured a large “you are here” icon that did not move as you did. Just when I was starting to worry that I had been dreadfully correct in thinking resorts weren’t for me, I got my first (ever) look at the Pacific Ocean through the sliding glass doors of our small but efficient hotel room and things immediately improved.

Resort Wear \\ Sophster-Toaster Blog

Seeing the beach, dipping my feet into the Pacific Ocean for the first time, and smelling the salt air really lifted my spirits and even started changing my mind about this whole resort thing. Unfortunately, what followed was a very disappointing meal that would, quite appallingly, be one of the best meals I would suffer on this resort. I went to bed early and hungry while the bewilderingly loud, lowbrow, Spanish-only nightly entertainment swelled and surged a few metres from our balcony. This dismal trend of I could get used to this quickly followed by I hate this, I want to go home would continue throughout our stay.

The next few days brought more frustration and poor meals but there was nothing better in the world, to me, than waking up next to that ocean. The breakfast buffet was only decent but it was the best meal the resort provided – and the only thing that opened before 10 am, including the ocean – so I took my time and tried my best to fill up every morning. After all, I knew the horror that was coming with every barf-et lunch and extremely difficult to book a la cart dinner. We spent those early days exploring the few pools and beach bars of the resort that were open and operating, quickly finding our favourites (those with shade and without a DJ) but still giving the others a fair try. We popped down to the small bit of village next to the resort and found the people very friendly and accommodating – something we would learn not to expect from the resort staff. We found that we had to make our own fun during the days, as the resort provided very little, but managed to do so very easily amongst the dazzling and somewhat exotic fruits, flowers, plants and animals.

Resort Wear \\ Sophster-Toaster Blog Resort Wear \\ Sophster-Toaster Blog Resort Wear \\ Sophster-Toaster Blog

We each picked a reasonably priced guided day trip off the resort (“Aerial Tram & Gatun Expedition” and “City Tour & Panama Canal“) and got our money’s worth of enjoyment out of them. My favourite parts were the long bus rides where our guides would tell us everything they knew about the history and culture of the country. I hung on every word while the other tourists tried to sleep the journey away – I suppose they were only in it for the destination. Each tour included a meal much better than what was offered on the resort, to the elation of everyone.

When we arrived back at the resort, we would head to our room to get cleaned up and dressed for dinner: a routine I quickly realized I could really get behind. We would spend our days getting sweaty and sandy and wash it all away at the figurative sounding of the dinner gong. It soon became my favourite part of the vacation; I realized I had missed the company of other women. I envied all the women who were brave enough to pack their fine jewellery and high heeled shoes as we casually promenaded to dinner. I felt like a lady of leisure and I promised myself I would find a way to recapture this feeling when I returned home.

Resort Wear \\ Sophster-Toaster Blog Resort Wear \\ Sophster-Toaster Blog

Top H&M (old)
Skirt ModCloth (similar)
Shoes ModCloth
Necklace Suzy Shier (old)
Bracelet a street market in Panama
Camera Bag Amazon

Resort Wear \\ Sophster-Toaster Blog

The country of Panama is beautiful and complex and I highly recommend visiting, especially if you are a bit of a civil engineering nerd like me and think canals and bridges are about as neat as they come. And I guess resorts are alright too, especially when you are travelling as a small group of women and would like to drink safely in a foreign country and language. I don’t, however, recommend staying at this resort. If you are looking for a quiet, relaxing vacation filled with good food and drink, I suggest taking your business elsewhere. Perhaps in time they will improve: tourism is new to Panama in the last 15 years and it really feels like this resort is still working out the kinks.

All photos by me and my mom.

‘The Crimson Tide’ App Review

Red tide, Aunt Flow, Lady Time, Period, Dracula’s tea bag, Purple Towel Night, Dragontime, Moon Cycle, Fighting the Scarlet Crusade, Defecting to Canada, or maybe Riding the Cotton Pony.

If you aren’t sure what I’m referring to, I’m talking about menstruation.

Many ladies are interested in tracking their cycles to understand when to expect cramps, the highest chance of pregnancy, or just to know when they must purchase more cotton amour. I use and have used period trackers for three years, and although these trackers are sometimes a day off, I find these apps provide excellent insight to my cycle. So, let us move on to two of my favourite cross-platform Moontime trackers! Continue reading

Annual Hard Cider Review 2013

Last autumn, I tasted every cider I could get my get my lips around, which turned out to be an exhaustive 13 ciders from Canada, America, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark and the United Kingdom. This year, I aimed to try every cider that was either new to the market or just new to my area of Southern Ontario.

The autumn of 2013 produced some of the best ciders I have ever had in Pommies Dry Cider and Tempt No. 9 Cider. I’m also happy to say that unlike last year, no ciders have failed my review, the lowest ranking cider (I’m looking at you Somersby Blackberry Cider) scored an adequate 6/10.

Canadian Cider

Pommies Dry Cider

Hard Cider

Pommies Dry Cider

Made in Ontario, Canada

By Southern Cliff Brands

  • $12.95 for 4 355mL bottles
  • 5.0% alcohol/volume

This is my all-time favourite cider. Not only does it come in a lovely bottle with minimalist design that shows off it’s nearly clear colour, topped with a cute red cap, it also presents the most beautiful, sophisticated and delicate dry cider flavour. The soft, elegant carbonation bubbles glide over your tongue and leave you with a taste as clean and simple as the design on the bottle. Pommies Dry Cider is the champagne of ciders. I rate it a 10/10. Continue reading