Yes, a few wonderful people in my life offered to do it, but I’m a control freak who likes to make things extra difficult. So I planned it myself, hosted it at my home, and thankfully got help the morning of from 3 amazing women, and my angel of a husband… otherwise I truly might not have made it.
It should be no surprise that I didn’t want to go with any of the adorable baby shower themes that are already out there – with precious decorations and accessories readily available to order. No, I had to go with a theme that I could find absolutely ZERO decorations, accessories, or inspiration for.
Therefore “a very cozy baby shower” was birthed. And I think it turned out pretty dang cute.
Also, as a side note – I do think it’s kind of hilarious and on-brand that THIS was our baby announcement back in June:
But back to the shower – The whole morning was such a sweet, wonderful, blur. My mom drove all the way from Washington to attend. Her, my mother in law, and my best friend all came over to assist me with food prep and set up the morning of, and they worked SO hard. All my lovely friends and family (that I could afford to invite – my house is small) showed up! We ate brunch, had fall mimosas (sparkling apple cider for me), opened gifts, and I had everyone fill out “advice and wishes for the parents to be” cards. It was perfect, and I’m so grateful for everyone’s love and generosity.
Below you’ll see the invites, pictures from the shower, the menus for food and drink, and some fun details about how I pulled it off. If you’re ever looking to host a cozy themed shower, at least this might provide you with a little bit of the inspiration I was never able to track down:
Click the photos to make them larger, and to scroll through the gallery!
On the food menu: * Spinach & Artichoke, and Broccoli Cheddar Quiche * Harvest egg bites * Bacon skewers and turkey sausages * Apple spice glazed donut holes * Cinnamon rolls * Homemade pumpkin muffins * Apples, blackberries, pears and grapes with caramel * Cracker and cheese board
On the drink menu (not pictured): * Apple cider mimosas * Cranberry pear mimosas * Cinnamon sugar rims & apple, pear or cranberry garnish * Sparkling apple cider * Hot chai
Shower Specific Purchases: * The balloons, “advice and wishes” cards, and “sweet baby boy” banner were from Amazon * The BABY balloon was from Target * The card drop box and “Let’s Get Cozy” banner were both made by my sweet mother in law
All the Cozy Little Details: * Played a cozy playlist that I made on Amazon Music featuring artists like Hozier and The Lumineers * Put the Netflix fireplace show on TV * Lit many, many candles * Made sure all my throw blankets, pillows and faux-fur rugs were out and styled * Chose a neutral and earthy color scheme * Kept it simple
I’m still kicking myself for forgetting to get a picture of the “Mom”-osa bar, but oh well! I did my best, tried not to stress too much, and I think it ended up being a really beautiful shower.
Is there anything you would’ve added to amp up the cozy level? Let me know in the comments.
Happy Summer, cozy friends! I know it’s been awhile, but I’m back with another bucket list because hey, why not?
Something dawned on me while writing this post… this will be my last childless summer. This time next year, I’ll have a 6 month old. I’ve been curious for a long time what hygge will look like once we have kids, because I know life will look quite different. I’ve also always wondered if moms of young babes ever read my posts about hygge/coziness, and scoff – “this lady is telling me to veg out for the day as one my cozy bucket list items, honey, can you imagine!?”.
I understand that parenthood can prevent many situations from being cozy. But it doesn’t have to. Like with all things in life, you must simply adjust your cozy rituals so that they fit into your life. But what should never happen is that you quit seeking coziness altogether, because this stuff is important!
Here are 8 cozy things to check off your bucket list this summer:
Take a Nap Outdoors I didn’t discover the joy of this until 1st trimester exhaustion accidentally got the best of me when I was sunbathing on the deck. You see, I’m quite the control freak, so normally I require a strict set of rituals before any type of sleep can commence. But the sun was trickling lightly through the clouds, the birds were singing their hearts out, and there was a gentle breeze… I slid my hat down over my eyes and next thing I know, I woke up. Try it out, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Wake Early & Do Something That Brings you Joy I’m a firm believer in every season serving a specific purpose, and summer is no exception. While I don’t consider it the coziest season by any means (comes dead last, in fact), it does offer a few very hygge features that are worth taking advantage of. One being that delicious morning light. I encourage you to soak it up as much as you possibly can, while you can. Combine that, with an activity you love (writing, reading, watching the birds) and you’ll have a beautiful and very cozy morning, every time.
Have a Fire It doesn’t matter what type! Campfire, bonfire, gas firepit fire, a little table top fire, shoot, even lighting the tiki torches… Flames offer a comforting glow that is impossible to replicate. The warmth and smell add even more to the experience. Just add a marshmallow to a stick, and every worry will temporarily subside. (Don’t roast marshmallows on the tiki torches though, please).
Go for Evening Walks or Bike Rides I know, I know.. “Exercise after dinner? No thanks!”. But hear me out, evenings in the summer are some of the most beautiful and peaceful times there are. At no other point in the year is it as bright and warm at 8pm as it is in summer – and that’s something to be savored. Take it slow and easy, and stop regularly to observe your surroundings.
Find Water and Get In It Science says that water has an almost instantaneous calming effect, which is why submerging in water is almost always on my cozy lists. I don’t care if it’s a lake, river, pool, sprinkler, splash pad, or a kiddie pool in the back yard. Summer is the only time you can take advantage of all of these and not freeze your butt off. If you’re feeling stressed or down, water will almost always turn your mood around. Try running through a sprinkler without cracking a smile, I dare you.
Curl Up in a Pool of Sunlight Cats and dogs have the right idea when they follow the sun spots around the house, so why don’t we follow suit? Find a warm & glowy stream of light pouring in through your window and curl up in it! Even if you have to lay on the floor, and even if it’s just for a few minutes. There’s something magical about soaking in sunlight while you’re inside the safe walls of your home. Bonus points if you read a book or color.
Bake a Summer Treat Cobblers, crisps, sweet loaves made from garden grown vegetables, and light cakes with fresh fruit and sweet cream. Is your mouth watering yet? I know baking is usually reserved for the cooler months, but with all the fresh produce available in the summer, why not take advantage and incorporate it into your baking? We deserve sweet treats in the summer, too! And let’s be real, sometimes popsicles just don’t cut it.
Eat Outdoors Whether it’s a weeknight dinner out on the back deck, a BBQ with the family, an intimate picnic with your partner, or a potluck with all your friends! Eating outside is a unique way to amplify the coziness that already comes with sharing a meal with people you love.
I hope at this point you have some ideas swirling around in your head on how to make this summer much more cozy. But in case you needed a few more options, here are FIVE bonus ideas:
Visit a Farmer’s Marker Buy a sweet treat, or a fresh lemonade and enjoy them while you admire the hard work of your local community!
Go to the Fair Cotton candy, corn dogs, farm animals and carnival rides – nostalgic and very, very cozy.
Make a summer playlist I love R&B personally, but Hozier and The Lumineers offer a sweet and chill summer vibe too. Make a summer playlist and live by it.
Do a mid-summer deep clean of the house Whoa, is it just me or can everyone else tell the windows have been open constantly!? HELLO DUST. Summer is a great time to do a nice deep clean, and having a clean home is very cozy.
Go on a quick road trip There has to be a little town nearby that you’d like to visit, do it! Even if it’s just for the day. Play tourist and visit all the shops and local attractions while you’re there.
I hope you get the opportunity to enjoy all of these simple yet priceless pleasures this summer. Which one are you looking forward to most!?
This article was originally featured in the Heroes Journal, a quarterly magazine published by an amazing nonprofit called Heroes Homestead. To learn more about the incredible work Heroes Homestead is doing for our Veterans, click here.
What is hygge, and how on earth do you pronounce it? Hygge, pronounced hue-guh, is a concept created by the people of Denmark to combat the depression that can set in when you live in a place with long, dark winters. It was a new way of life – a life that encouraged you to embrace the winters, rather than dread them.
The Danes yearned for a way to look forward to the frigid dark season ahead of them, so they created one, and it worked! To date, Denmark is one of the happiest nations in the world, and their happiness is widely attributed to the fact that hygge is a core part of their culture. They traded in their grouchiness and dread, for gratitude and exciting rituals.
To put it simply and impactfully: Embracing hygge means implementing habits and traditions that lead to a calmer, cozier, more intentional way of living. You don’t need long winters or inclement weather to embrace hygge, just the desire to feel more joy and comfort in your day to day life.
When my husband got out of the military and we moved back home, I knew we would need new habits and rituals that would help with the transition. With his panic and anxiety disorder, finding ways to wind down and self-soothe became vital. We turned our home into an oasis where comfort was king. When the sun sets we turn on lamps and string lights, and light candles. When I get home from work we put on our favorite lounge clothes and cook dinner together. And when tensions are exceptionally high, we pull out all the stops: Lights down, a long hot shower, comfy clothes and blankets on, “cup of calm” tea, lavender oil, and word games. Hygge is the perfect lifestyle to help turn chaos into calm.
I know you may still be feeling a little vague about WHAT hygge is, so here’s a few bullet points to sum it up.
Hygge (hue-guh) is a lifestyle focused on:
Doing everyday tasks with magic and intention
Creating fun, comforting rituals
Building environments that are warm and inviting
Embracing connection and friendship
Hot drinks, comfy clothes, hearty meals, blankets, warm lighting, delicious treats, laughter, and joy
Before we go into all the different ways you can embrace hygge in your everyday life, I’d like to show you the guide that really helped put this concept into perspective for me – The Hygge Manifesto (originally created by Meik Wiking in The Little Book of Hygge):
Now that we’re more familiar with WHAT hygge is, let’s cover some real, actionable ways you can incorporate it into your day-to-day life:
Make a habit of paying attention to light. Fluorescent lighting is the opposite of hygge, so think warm, comforting tones. When you plan to spend time in a room: Turn on your warmest lamps, light a few candles, and see how the lighting affects your mood.
Indulge in delicious treats. Drink more tea, coffee, hot cider, and hot cocoa – If you have a hot beverage in hand, you will be forced to slow down. And If you want a sweet treat, have one. Life’s simplest pleasures can be found in a freshly baked loaf of banana bread.
Get super comfortable. When you get done with your daily priorities, change into the most comfortable thing you own. Whatever you’re most comfortable wearing, put it on. And remember the four S’s: Socks, Slippers, Sweatpants, and Sweaters.
Keep things light. Obviously the hard conversations will always need to be had, but make the rest of your conversations light, joyous and positive. Let go of biases, grudges and drama.
Really grasp how wonderful the safety and shelter of your home is. Your home should be an oasis – a calm and cozy shelter that harbors you from the elements. You are very blessed to be able to look out into the wild, knowing that you’re safe.
Be fully present whenever possible. It’s so easy to do everything distractedly, but you can’t focus on savoring sweet moments if you’re only half-there. Put the phone down, take a few breaths to clear your mind of the day’s worries, and be right there, in the moment. Your friends and family need your full attention, and being present is very hygge.
Find ways to be more harmonious. This is exceptionally difficult for those of us with strong views and big personalities, but competition has a time and a place, and hygge-times are rarely them. There’s no shame in mellowing out based on your surroundings.
Create equality in all aspects of life. One must feel equal, to feel hygge. So share the load – Help your husband take out the trash, or do the dishes if the wife usually does. Choose to listen if you normally speak, or give praise if you normally receive it.
Soak in each moment like it’s your last. Maybe that’s a little cliché, but you know it’s true. Play catch just a little longer, scratch the dog’s ears a little extra, linger during the hug goodbye. Find gratitude in each day, in each moment, and let it wash over you. Life is good.
Together is the best place to be. After all, the concept of hygge was birthed to be enjoyed together. Find your people and let them know how thankful you are to have them in your life. Time spent with the people we love is where life’s most special memories are formed.
I’d say at this point, we all have some new ideas and rituals to put into play. I think that hygge is first a foremost, a mindset shift. A shift that could benefit every veteran family, especially those who are newly transitioning into civilian life. The stillness can be overwhelming at first, but once you figure out how to embrace it, the magic truly begins. And if creating a calm, cozy, more intentional life is something you crave, you’ve definitely found the right inspiration. I’ve spent the past few years studying hygge and it has made my husband and I both more calm, grateful and happy.
If you take anything from this article, let it be this: Make small changes each day that bring more hygge into your life, don’t be afraid to say the word out loud (HUE-GUH), and remember this “Hygge is about making the most of what we have in abundance: the everyday” – Meik Wiking, The Little Book of Hygge.
For more hygge resources, I highly recommend reading “The Little Book of Hygge” by Meik Wiking, you can also learn more about hygge from these posts on my blog.