Keeping Cool

Keeping Cool | Sophster-Toaster

Two summer’s ago, we bought an old house without air conditioning. Our last apartment had central air but all our previous ones, and the house I grew up in did not, so this is nothing new to me. Most days are fine: I dress lightly, the dog finds a shady spot to sleep outside, the cat retreats to the basement and we all stay fairly comfortable throughout the day. I’ve gotten pretty good at keeping the house cool the old fashioned way, without air conditioning, even during this recent heat wave.

Keeping Cool | Sophster-Toaster

The main part of the trick, is to resist the urge and instinct to open the windows when it gets hot out. This won’t cool the house during the day, it’s only going to let more heat and humidity in. What you do is open the house up in the evening, when the sun is low and the air starts cooling off, but you don’t just fling every window and door open and hope the cool breeze will find its way in. If your house is a two story, like mine, you start by opening all the lower level windows on side of the house with the coolest breeze coming in – for me this often tends to be the back/north side of my house – and all the upper windows on the opposite side. If you’ve done it right, and the wind is in your favour, you should soon feel the cooler air coming in, rushing up the stairs and pushing all the hot air out of the upper rooms. I let this convection current do it’s thing until the house has come down a few degrees and then open all the windows and let each floor establish it’s own cross breeze. I leave all the windows it’s safe to leave open over night and return the house to the convection until after breakfast in the morning. Then I close up tight! On really hot days, when the house starts getting stuffy, I’ll run the furnace fan a little bit to circulate some of the cold, dehumidified basement air upstairs. During heat waves, like the one we just had, when it doesn’t get cold enough at night to return the house to a starting temp of 21-22°, I’ll be very careful not to create any unnecessary heat or humidity inside the house. That means showers are short and cool, laundry and dish washing machines are run overnight or not at all and the oven isn’t turned on. We do have a small, old window air conditioner unit in the bedroom – a relic from our tiny one-bedroom apartment days – for when the nights are absolutely unbearable, but as environmentally and budget conscious people, we try to run it as little as possible.

Keeping Cool | Sophster-Toaster

I maintain a comfortable temperature in my house during the summer months just by living the way our grandparents did before air conditioning was invented. All the time, I have friends walk in and say, as I quickly shut the door behind them, “hey! I thought you said you didn’t have air conditioning.” I just smile slyly and say I don’t.

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Head to toe ModCloth
(Find my sandals in all colours here)

All photos by me.

Summer Shopping List

Summer Shopping List | Sophster-Toaster Blog

Aerie swimsuit \\ Tarte eyeshadow palette \\ ModCloth skirt \\ Lime Crime semi-permanent hair colour \\ ModCloth shorts \\ ModCloth pajamas \\ ModCloth sandals \\ Rosehound Apparel top

I feel like my wardrobe is missing several key pieces this season. Last summer, I lived in old clothes that were sacrificed to new puppy nipping, pulling, jumping and playing. I didn’t buy anything new because I didn’t know when I would be able to have nice things again without fear that my new furry friend would destroy them. Now that she’s all grown up and doesn’t see shoes as tasty snacks and flowy hemlines as tug toys, I can wear whatever I want… but oh no! I have nothing to wear.

I won’t be able to pick up every item on my summer shopping list, but here are the fun and beautiful warm weather things I’ll certainly be choosing from.

Summer Shopping List | Sophster-Toaster Blog

Sparkle Collective DIY hoop art kit \\ ModCloth clutch \\ Les Tresors De Claudet vintage picnic basket \\ Coldfish vintage dress \\ Keds shoes \\ Warby Parker glasses \\ American Apparel shorts \\ Urban Outfitters swimsuit \\ Cat Mamola necklace \\ Oh Me Oh My dress

All images courtesy of retailers.

The Life Aquatic Skirt

The Life Aquatic Skirt | Sophster-Toaster Blog

I was late to the Wes Anderson game. I watched one of his movies, Rushmore, for the first time a few years ago. I’m not sure how I avoiding every one of these amazing movies for so long. When I did finally see one, it was only because my brother recommenced it as “something you would like”. After watching Rushmore and loving it, my husband informed me that The Royal Tenenbaums is one of his favourite movies. I’ve now seen them all, own The Life Aquatic Studio Sessions on vinyl and have become quite the fan of Wes Anderson’s signature aesthetic.

The Life Aquatic Skirt | Sophster-Toaster Blog

I love Wes Anderson’s use of simple and consistent colour and structure. I especially love the way he uses pinks and blues. Since my newest skirt is inspired by one of my more favourite of his movies (I don’t think I could ever choose a true favourite) I decided to also plan a Wes Anderson inspired photoshoot to go along with it!

The Life Aquatic Skirt | Sophster-Toaster Blog The Life Aquatic Skirt | Sophster-Toaster Blog The Life Aquatic Skirt | Sophster-Toaster Blog The Life Aquatic Skirt | Sophster-Toaster Blog The Life Aquatic Skirt | Sophster-Toaster Blog The Life Aquatic Skirt | Sophster-Toaster Blog The Life Aquatic Skirt | Sophster-Toaster Blog

Top Sopshter-Toastrer
Skirt Sophster-Toaster
Shoes ModCloth
Earrings Designs by Amber
Necklace gift

All photos by me.

Goodbye Summer

Goodbye Summer | Sophster-Toaster Blog

It’s been a strange summer for me. The weather has been very hot and humid with many violent thunderstorms yet very little rain after about a decade of cooler, wetter summers. We bought our first house at the very end of May and had to wait until today(!) for closing so we’ve been counting the days while trying to enjoy summer and not wish away. At the same time, we’ve been mourning the loss of our incredible and much beloved cat, Tori, who passed away in early June at an estimated age of 16. All these things together have made for quite an unusual summer. I’m not sure if it is destined to become a memorable moment of my youth or get swallowed up by my grief.

Goodbye Summer | Sophster-Toaster Blog

It’s been a summer of firsts, a summer of change and a summer of learning. My husband and I bought our first home together just after our fifth wedding anniversary. I did my first summer market. I changed my business priorities and focus a little bit. I learned how to talk to important adults as an adult. I learned how to make shorts. I’m learning how to say goodbye to someone who meant a lot to me.

Goodbye Summer | Sophster-Toaster Blog

Shirt Sophster-Toaster
Shorts Homemade
Shoes Keds
Earrings Craft Arts Market/ Nicole Gagnon
Bracelet Panama Market Vendor

Goodbye Summer | Sophster-Toaster Blog Goodbye Summer | Sophster-Toaster Blog

We’re getting ready to move this Saturday and it feels like I’m saying goodbye to a lot of things. Goodbye to apartment living (woo!) and all its benefits and inconveniences. Goodbye to that notion that I’m not tied down to any place and can make a home anywhere in the world at any time. Goodbye to an apartment filled with memories. Goodbye to all that money I used to have. Goodbye to a pet I rescued on my 16th birthday and who was with me, by my side and in my lap, through so many life changes. Goodbye to summer.

Goodbye Summer | Sophster-Toaster Blog

Help me out and grab a t-shirt so I don’t have to move it!

Get $5 off any tee in the shop (excluding seconds, which are already only $5, by the way) with coupon code TEETIME5. Expires on moving day (8/27)!

Want a pair of my shorts in your size?

Grab a Mystery Item from the shop for one of my learning experiments! Warning, these pairs aren’t for regular sale because I’m not super satisfied with the fit. They run a little large in the waist and small in the thigh, if that sounds like you, or the way you like your clothes to fit, go grab one now for less than wholesale!

All photos by me.