Crop Top Confidence

Crop Top Confidence | Sophster-Toaster

I’ve always wanted to be a crop top person. I’ve admired the look, and the confidence it takes to pull it off, from the last time they were popular, through now. I’ve always had an urge to tug and tie my t-shirts and button ups at my waist to get a better fit for my short torso but consistently chicken out between checking my outfit in the mirror and leaving my bedroom for the day. I end up tucking my shirt in and having it billow out and fit poorly all day instead. It’s not a lack of confidence in my body that makes me untie my shirt and tuck it into my skirt, I think it’s more a lack of confidence in my style.

Then I noticed, while working my booth at local markets, just how many women – of all sizes and ages – were rocking crop tops this year, how great they all looked and how envious I felt of them. I decided this was the year I would trust myself and my style and start wearing cropped and tied up tops whenever I felt like it. Admittedly, there is a bit of a body confidence hurdle to overcome, especially when summer tan lines make me feel like I’m wearing a big sign that shouts, “hey! this is weird for me,” but the feeling that my clothes fit properly and knowing I’m brave enough to do something that makes me nervous, in public no less, ends up actually boosting my confidence in the end.

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T-shirt Craft Arts Market
Skirt so old and altered, I actually can’t remember
Shoes ModCloth
Camera Bag Amazon
Earrings Claire’s

All photos by me and Matt Harrison.

Swimming with Sharks

Swimming with Sharks | Sophster-Toaster

Pepper has loved water since she was a little puppy having “pool parties” in her water bowl. She loves chasing waves, splashing in puddles and running through sprinklers so we were very excited to take her up to the cottage and play in the lake. She liked putting her paws in the water and playing on the large rocks that stretch out into the lake, just under the water’s surface, but she only only properly swam once and didn’t seem to like the way her thick fur weighed her down. We decided to let her find swimming in her own time and accepted that, although she loves playing in shallow water, she may never like swimming.

Swimming with Sharks | Sophster-Toaster

Since coming home from our weekend jaunt to the cottage, we’ve passed our steamy summer days walking along familiar rivers and taking evening trips to the beach. Pepper dips her legs in the river to cool down and enjoys running down the beach in the shallow water after a long, hot day. During one of our recent trips to the beach, she surprised us and confidently left the shallow shoreline to take a short swim with us as we waded out into the water; maybe her shark fin gave her courage. The next time we returned to the beach, she met another Australian Shepherd and paddled around with him for a little bit while his owner told us that he didn’t like swimming at first either. She dashed in and out of the water, swimming, herding the waves and shaking out the whole time we were there, like it was nothing.

Swimming with Sharks | Sophster-Toaster

The lake at the cottage is a little different because there isn’t really anywhere you can ease in, you just have to jump, so I’m not sure she’ll get in this time either, but I’m so excited to see if she’ll swim while we’re up there again for our summer vacation.

Swimming with Sharks | Sophster-Toaster Swimming with Sharks | Sophster-Toaster Swimming with Sharks | Sophster-Toaster Swimming with Sharks | Sophster-Toaster Swimming with Sharks | Sophster-Toaster Swimming with Sharks | Sophster-Toaster Swimming with Sharks | Sophster-Toaster Swimming with Sharks | Sophster-ToasterSwimming with Sharks | Sophster-Toaster Swimming with Sharks | Sophster-Toaster Swimming with Sharks | Sophster-Toaster Swimming with Sharks | Sophster-Toaster

Bathing Suit ModCloth
Skirt Steady Clothing
Sunglasses ModCloth

Pepper’s Shark Fin Labrashark

All photos by me and Matt Harrison.

Always Sunny

Always Sunny | Sophster-Toaster

We were recently up at the cottage with some of the best weather I’ve ever seen there. I’ve been going up to my husband’s family cottage for almost a decade now and this was the first time we’ve been up during a summer heat wave and not for the cold and rainy spell right before or after. The weather was hot, sunny and gorgeous everyday but one out of the trip, making this regular, water-based ink version of my Hello Sunshine Tee the perfect thing to wear as we lounged by the lake.

Always Sunny | Sophster-Toaster Always Sunny | Sophster-Toaster Always Sunny | Sophster-Toaster Always Sunny | Sophster-Toaster Always Sunny | Sophster-Toaster

Top Sophster-Toaster
Shorts ModCloth
Sunglasses ModCloth
Shoes Old Navy

Always Sunny | Sophster-Toaster

All photos by Matt Harrison.

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.