Winter Mood

Winter Mood | Sophster-Toaster Blog

Winter will be here soon. Although I’m excited to experience the first winter in our first house, I’m also a little worried about how my mood and emotions will fare once the Christmas magic and anticipation have passed. I used to have a really rough time staying upbeat, happy, optimistic and hopeful during the long and cold Canadian winters but I’ve been doing a little better every year since deciding to take preventative action. I’ve developed a few strategies I find helpful for avoiding or coping with winter sadness that I would like to share with you today in hope that you can find something that might work for you.

Winter Mood | Sophster-Toaster Blog

The first big change I made since growing up and not being too cool to wear and hat, scarf and proper boots, was to invest in good, cute and warm outwear. Over the years, I’ve collected a few different high quality coats, boots and accessories so I always have something the works. I have a cute toque for everyday, a gorgeous hand knit headband for when my hair just isn’t right for my tuque, light mittens, warm mittens, a scarves in different colours and styles, a fun coat, a more practical coat, and warm, waterproof boots. Being able to build up layers suitable for any weather, and actually being comfortably warm outside, has made all the difference. It’s no wonder I hated winter when I was standing outsize, freezing in just a coat, mittens and the wrong shoes.

Another important thing I now do during the winter is to go outside and appreciate the sunny, slightly warmer days. Hiding inside all winter just makes me more miserable. Now I try to get out and good for walks, making sure to visit the spots that were summer favourites. I’m always amazed by how beautiful and serene the forest can be on a winter day. Going out and seeing how much activity is still going on in nature, even though all the people have cowered away, can really change the way you think about the season that is supposedly dormant.

Winter Mood | Sophster-Toaster Blog

This time of year can feel like a losing battle when the days are getting shorter by minutes everyday. When all I want to do is put on my pajamas and watch tv from sunset (4:49 pm on the day I am writing this) to bedtime every night, I find it helpful to pick up a hobby to occupy those dark hours. This year I’ve been trying to make fun, healthy, homemade dinners with my husband at least five nights a week. When we put so much focus into preparing a proper meal, it’s easy to forget it’s been dark for two hours before we start eating.

On that note, something I’ve just started doing this year, is trying to keep the kitchen stocked with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. I try to focus on the vegetables that are still in season locally while also mixing in some tropical fruit that is coming into season elsewhere. I ate grapefruit for the first time last week and really enjoyed it! (I know, I assumed I would hate it because I hate grapefruit juice.) I hope to make a habit of grapefruit breakfasts throughout the winter to bring a little bit of summer sunshine to those cold and gloomy days. I hope striving to eat a healthy and colourful diet, while everything outside the dining room window is drab and bleak, will help me stay happy and energetic during the winter.

My last tip seems so simple, but can be one of the hardest to achieve. I find it so crucial to my happiness in the cold months to ignore that desire to hibernate every night and try to get out with friends, family or my husband at least once a week. Just getting out of the house to go huddle with them in theirs – especially if they have a fireplace – and doing the same for them, can make a huge difference to the way I feel. Every year when it starts to get really cold, my husband and I go out to a great, a-little-fancier-than-usual restaurant, just to enjoy the intimate dining room with the huge, beautifully decorated wood-burning fireplace. We look forward to it all year. It gives something special back to the season where it feels like nothing happens after New Year’s Day.

Winter Mood | Sophster-Toaster Blog

Between bundling up properly, and getting excited about it too, getting out to be social or stay active, taking up a hobby, and eating healthy (yay grapefruit!), I hope you can take at least one tip from me and work it into your winter self-care routine!

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Top Oast House Brewers
Jeans GAP
Socks H&M

Winter Mood | Sophster-Toaster Blog

All photos by me.

February Favourites

The days are slowly becoming longer, brighter and warmer and I’m tired of wearing all the layers I was once exited to pull out for autumn. A fresh bouquet of perky pink tulips sits in my kitchen as a promise that spring will soon be here. It must be February. Here are the things that have stolen my heart this month:

1. A pastel serving dish for all the local spring vegetables that will be sprouting soon.

February Favourites \\ Sophster-Toaster Blog

SCULPTUREinDESIGN’s Pink Dish

2. My favourite macaron recipe book, which I always seem to pull out at this time of year.

February Favourites \\ Sophster-Toaster Blog

I Love Macarons by Hisako Ogita via Amazon

3. Every 3D printed cookie cutter from Printmeneer, but mostly this geometric diamond.

February Favourites \\ Sophster-Toaster Blog

Printmeneer’s Diamond Cookie Cutter

4. Spring coloured outwear, because it’s still Canada out there.

February Favourites \\ Sophster-Toaster Blog

Natalie Knit’s Hand Knit Ear Flap Hat

5. Transitional shoes for when winter melts into spring.

Back in a Splash Rain Shoe in Black Dots

ModCloth’s Back in a Splash Rain Shoe in Black Dots

Sweater Weather

Sweater Weather \\ Sophster-Toaster Blog

I fell in love within the first few seconds I saw this fabric. How could I not? It’s a cats-in-sweaters print by my favourite fabric designer, Andrea Lauren, that effortlessly blends the line between quirky and gorgeous. Some of the cats are even wearing winged eyeliner, just like me!

Sweater Weather \\ Sophster-Toaster Blog

The fabric comes in a few colours and print scales but there was a problem. My favourite colour was only available in one scale, and it was much bigger than what I usually look for. I debated for a long time whether I should push myself out of my comfort zone – something I try to do on the regular – or email the designer and ask if she could do a custom scale. I ordered a swatch and put it in the hands of all my friends to get their opinion. Eventually, through a combination of their thoughts and mine, I figured the larger print would, at the very least, photograph better for my Etsy listing and give more variety to my catalogue. So I did it, I took the plunge, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the results!

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Cardigan H&M
Skirt Sophster-Toaster
with ModCloth Petticoat
Tights ModCloth
Shoes ModCloth
Necklace gift
Earrings Claire’s
Tori’s Sweater PetSmart

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Of course, the print did become available in a smaller scale a few days after I stopped doubting myself and placed the order, but I’m so glad I took the chance and left my comfort zone. I definitely won’t be shying away from big prints anymore.

All photos by me.

January Obsessions

January’s almost over. I’m wearing the same boots, same hat and mittens, and one of two winter coats outside everyday. Winter can get pretty boring and repetitive. That’s why I like to fill the apartment with colour and always have a little something special peeking out from under my coat. Here are all the winter brights and pastels I can’t get enough of this month:

1. Pretty Pastel Stripe Skirt

January Obsessions \\ Sophster-Toaster Blog

ModCloth’s Aspiration Creation Skirt

2. Pink Toaster

January Obsessions \\ Sophster-Toaster Blog

Smeg 2 Slice Toaster via Amazon

3. Rainbow Confetti Tee

January Obsessions \\ Sophster-Toaster Blog

Two String Jane’s Colourful Confetti Tee

4. Pink Polka Dot Table Cloth

January Obsessions \\ Sophster-Toaster Blog

IKEA’s Vinter 2015 Tablecloth in Light Pink

5. Colourful Pom Pom Branch DIY 

January Obsessions \\ Sophster-Toaster Blog

Pom Pom Branch DIY from Wayaiulandia Blog