A Cozy Lovers Gift Guide

Hello my friends. I am back with a 2021 gift guide – serving up the coziest present ideas for all those warm and fuzzy lovers in your life. I own and love many of the items on this list, and if I don’t already own it, you bet your cozy ass it’s on my personal wish list. 😉 We’ll get to the goods soon, but first, a little info about this guide.

I curated this list with thought and insight, and before I added each of these delightful items to the graphic, I asked myself the following questions:
1) Will it increase the cozy-factor in the receiver’s life?
2) Is it affordable? (I hate gift guides with $200+ gifts, give me a break)
3) Would I use or wear this item personally?

Asking these questions made these gift ideas a no-brainer, so, without further ado – A Cozy Lovers Gift Guide:

No.1 The Little Book of Hygge | No.2 The Little Book of Lykke | No.3 Starry Night Aroma Light
No.4 Sixty Piece Custom Puzzle | No.5 Boucle Throw Blanket | No.6 Stoneware Candle Holder
No.7 Modern Candle Lighter | No.8 Ribbed Taper Candles | No.9 Soft Knit Socks
No.10 Cozy Beanies | No.11 Lavender Bubble Bath | No.12 Shower Steamer Tablets
No.13 Gooseneck Kettle | No.14 Open Toe Furry Slippers | No.15 Chunky Cable Knit Throw

There you have it, hygge lovers! Fifteen useful, beautiful, no-nonsense gift ideas – suitable for anyone who loves to warm up & get cozy. I hope you all have a stress-free holiday season, filled with delicious food, people you love, and of course a few cozy gifts to exchange. You deserve it, hell, we all deserve it after these last few years!

Now run along and get cozy. ❤

A Very Hygge Fall Bucket List

I recently stumbled across an incredibly cynical article in which the author stated that American’s are “doing hygge wrong” because “hygge is not just wearing fuzzy socks and lighting candles”. While this article absolutely annoyed me (mostly because there’s nothing wrong with putting on fuzzy socks, lighting candles, and calling that hygge time), I was still able to wrap my head around the message she was trying to convey. Which is simply that hygge is a very real, very important concept that Denmark created as a nation, to alleviate the seasonal depression and “winter blues” that came with long winters, short days, and inclement weather.

In other words, hygge is a conscious lifestyle choice where one actively seeks out and chooses activities, habits, and lives that revolve around comfort, coziness, and joy. To this day, the craziest thing about hygge to me is that I’ve been living my life this way for as long as I can remember – always seeking out the coziest environments, finding joy in the little things, looking for ways to make everything more comfy. I didn’t discover the word for it until 2017: H Y G G E ! Thank god for the Danes! Also if you need a refresher on what hygge is, how to pronounce it, or how to implement it, check out my other posts Hygge: Part 1 and Hygge: Part 2!

As for me and my thoughts on “doing hygge wrong” – I firmly believe that as long as your mindset revolves around making every situation as cozy and inviting as possible, you’re doing hygge right. There is no wrong way to do hygge. Last year I got wonderful results from the fall bucket list I created, entitled How to Have the Most Hygge Fall Ever. It felt like my civic duty to make another one this year, with a fresh new set of ideas! Let’s dive into:

A Very Hygge Fall Bucket List

  1. Go Apple or Pear Picking
    Find a You-Pick apple/pear orchard, a family member or friend who has fruit trees, or one on the side of the road (they’re out there!) and pick some fresh fruits. Load them into a pretty wicker basket for extra fall vibes. Then take them home and make delicious baked goods or treats with your harvest. I recommend this Old Fashion Apple Crisp! Hot crock pot apple cider, and apple-pear sauce would be delicious, too.

  2. Do a Fall Specific Craft
    Get outside and forage for real fall foliage. Decorating with real items from nature is a very hygge way to bring the outdoors in, and soak in the beauty of fall that much more! Collect some fallen leaves, pine cones, or acorns, and create beautiful decor with your findings. This real leaf garland would be fun and simple, as would this diy potpourri. You don’t have to forage either, get some real pumpkins and scatter them around the house!

  3. Visit a Fall Festival or Market
    Nothing puts you in the mood for sweater weather quite like attending a Fall Festival or Farmer’s Market. Being surrounded by baked goods, pumpkins, corn stalks, and fall vegetables is the perfect way to soak in all the best things about autumn. Stroll around the market with a hot latte or cider, and check out all the booths.

  4. Make Homemade Hot Apple Cider (& drink it by a backyard fire)
    Have an abundance of apples from your apple picking adventure you already went on!? Hot Apple Cider is the perfect thing to use them all up! Plus, it’ll make your house smell like heaven. For a super easy cider, use this crockpot recipe. Once you’ve made your homemade cider, sip it by a campfire with a friend or loved one, only then will you know what hygge really is.

  5. Designate an Entire Day to Staying in and Being Cozy
    Some days this fall, you’re just not going to want to get out and do anything. We’ve all been there. The beautiful thing about the hygge lifestyle is that days like this are encouraged. So if you’re planning to veg out for the day, make the most of it: Comfort food, hot drinks, your coziest loungewear, fall shows or movies, your warmest blanket, your partner and/or a furry companion, candles and fuzzy socks! (Hah! See what I did there?).

  6. Make a Fall Snack Board and Enjoy with Friends
    Build a fall inspired charcuterie board, pair with wine, hard apple cider, or a fall cocktail (or mocktail), and invite your friends. Because no one wants to put that much energy into making a charcuterie board if no one is going to see it! Check out Pinterest for some amazing charcuterie inspiration.

  7. Watch a Fall or Halloween Movie and Eat Junk Food
    Caramel apples, chips and dip, kettle corn, jalapeno poppers, candy corn, sliders – you name it! Get all the snacks lined up and choose a fun and engaging fall movie. Some of my favorites that I recommend: Harry Potter, Hubie Halloween, Halloweentown, Hocus Pocus, The House with a Clock in it’s Walls, and The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!

  8. Go on a Scenic Drive with Fall Drinks from a Local Coffee Shop
    Going on a scenic drive may have been on last year’s list, but this year I added a fun twist: bring along a delicious fall drink from a local coffee shop. Why a local shop, you ask? A) They make better coffee than coffee chains do, B) Supporting local is good for your community, C) Local shops are significantly less expensive and D) They have better syrup and flavor options. Try asking for a Frosted Maple Latte/Americano: maple flavoring & white chocolate, or a Pumpkin Pie Latte/Americano: pumpkin pie sauce, cinnamon (powder), and whipped cream.

  9. Bundle Up and Go for a Fall Bike Ride
    One of the best ways to see, feel, and smell the fall foliage is by going for a bike ride! The cool wind in your face, cozy clothes and unbelievable sights makes it even more real that fall is here. And when you get home, you’ll feel grateful to warm back up with some hot tea or cocoa and a slice of zucchini bread.

  10. Try Some New Fall Comfort Food Recipes
    In my opinion, one of the best things about fall is the comfort food. Soups, casseroles, rolls, and seasonal flavors. Fall is a great time to try out new recipes, like this Autumn Pear Salad or this Quick and Easy Chicken Noodle Soup. A few of my classic favorites are chicken noodle casserole, garlic and herb chicken with scalloped potatoes, tomato soup and grilled cheese, and balsamic chicken and mashed potatoes.

  11. Visit a Pumpkin Patch and/or a Corn Maze
    Talk about the ultimate fall experience, nothing beats visiting a local pumpkin patch. The wonderful thing about pumpkin patches is that most of them are made for fall fun, so they usually have corn and hay mazes, fall treats for sale, petting zoos, and many more fall activities. Bring the kids out for a very cozy, fun fall day. No kids? Go anyway! There is no shame in embracing your childlike sense of wonder and enjoying the little things in life.

  12. Try Something New
    Last but not least, and it may seem the opposite of hygge, but try something you’ve never done before! Go for a fall horseback ride, take a haunted hayride, play tourist in your hometown. Any cozy fall activity you’ve ever wanted to try – I dare you to just go out and do it!

I hope you found the perfect activity (or two) to try out this fall. If you’re anything like me, you’re probably looking for all the different ways to soak up this magnificent season as best as you can. There is so much beauty in this transition; slowing down from the rush of summer, swapping our tshirts for cozy knits, and hunkering down for the seasons of comfort and slow living. It goes by fast, so make sure you’re taking it all in!

Want more fall inspiration? Check out my All Things Autumn board on Pinterest!

Enjoy fall you lovely, cozy seekers.

November Gratitude Challenge

*This post has been updated with the 2021 Calendar*


Is doing a Gratitude Challenge in November cliché? Maybe.
Do we all desperately need 30 straight days of counting our blessings though? Abso-f*ckin-lutely.

This challenge may be a little, well, challenging. I get it. It’s been a really rough year.
Let’s validate your feelings by going through some of the BULL SHIT we’ve experienced so far in 2020:
1) We’ve been in a global pandemic for 8 months. E I G H T M O N T H S. With no end in sight. Regardless of how you feel about it, hundreds of thousands of people have died from it and that’s horrendous.
2) One of the most turbulent presidential elections of all time is about to go down. There’s a strong possibility that EITHER winner will lead to some form of civil unrest. (Did you vote??? GO. VOTE)
3) Many incredibly influential people have died: RBG, John Lewis, Chadwick Boseman, Bill Withers, Kobe and countless others.
4) Thousands of people are out of jobs, housing, and more.
5) This is getting grim, I’ll stop listing things now.

The point is, no matter how tough 2020 has been, there is SO MUCH we all have to be grateful for. (As long as Betty White holds out for another few months). So with that, I’m issuing you a challenge.
I’m challenging you to write, (or post) an item of gratitude every day for the month of November.
I have provided some prompts to help prevent redundancy and creative blocks, and I will be posting each one of them on my Instagram stories every day from November 1st til’ November 30th.
See the calendar and a few IG templates below to know what you’re getting yourself into.

Whether you choose to write each item in a journal, or follow along on Instagram to screen shot my story each day, is completely up to you. I would encourage you to do both, and to go into more detail about your gratitude in your journal.

The most important thing is that you make expressing gratitude a daily ritual.

I promise, it will change your life.

https://www.instagram.com/lo.ponder/

Now let’s get started with counting all the beautiful things life has to offer.

How to Have the Most Hygge Fall Ever

This year has been a doozy. Seriously, what a whirlwind. SEVEN months ago, I created what would become my most popular blog post ever – “Embracing Hygge During Quarantine“. I think it’s pretty obvious why it exploded; people are more intrigued by hygge this year than ever before.

With everything that has happened, and the election coming up, I feel like it’s my DUTY to make sure you have the most hygge fall, ever.

Fall is already incredibly hygge, but I want to make sure that you take time to slow down, and do activities that will help you feel calm, fulfilled, and cozy.

Here are 10 ways to have the most hygge fall, ever.


Let me expand a little bit:

  1. LEARN ABOUT HYGGE
    Read The Little Book of Hygge, or if a book is too much, check out my original Part 1 & Part 2 posts about what hygge is and why you need it in your life. Once you truly understand the purpose of hygge, you’ll be able to appreciate it more
  2. INDULGE IN TREATS
    We all have a childlike desire to go to town on a caramel apple or a bag of kettle corn, so do it. There is comfort and happiness to be found in having a treat here and there.
  3. PLAY IN NATURE
    When was the last time you jumped in a pile of leaves? Climbed a tree? Picked an apple? It’s probably been a long time, like, since-you-were-a-kid-long. I think it’s time to get outside and do it.
  4. EXPRESS GRATITUDE
    Sure, this can be done anytime of year. But when the busy-ness of summer starts to settle and the days start getting short, seasonal affective disorder can creep in. An amazing way to combat that is to count your blessings, in writing, at least a few times a week.
  5. ADJUST YOUR LIGHTS
    Speaking of shorter days, the sun setting early means it’s time for: candles, string lights, and salt lamps. Seriously. You need to light up your space in a way that brings comfort and contentment. Make it a habit to turn them all on right before the sun sets each evening.
  6. GO OUT FOR FIKA
    If you missed my post about fika, you’re gunna want to check it out. In short, fika means “to go out for coffee and a bite to eat with your friends or colleagues”. As I say in my blog about it “Covid has created this fear of being around our friends and I think that as long as we’re all responsible, aware of our bodies and how they’re feeling, and hygienic, we can (and should) make this work.”
  7. SET UP A HYGGEKROG
    Call it whatever you want; a nook, a nest, the comfiest corner of the couch… All you need to do is pick a spot in your home to spruce up with extra blankets & pillows, a coaster for your hot tea, a reading light, some candles, and whatever else makes you feel ultra-cozy.
  8. HAVE A BONFIRE
    Big comfy sweaters, rainboots, wool socks, orange glowy light from a crackling fire, a bright yellow moon on a crisp October night – nothing’s more hygge than that. Don’t forget to bring the hot apple cider and some friends.
  9. DECORATE PUMPKINS
    Are you catching on to the trend? There’s a reason for the term “child-like sense of wonder”. Doing things we did as children is cozy and nostalgic, but most importantly, fun. No one ever frowned while carving a pumpkin, plus, candles go inside them which is very very hygge.
  10. GO FOR A DRIVE
    Quite possibly my most favorite hygge-fall activity. Look up the most scenic fall drives in your area, or if you’re feeling brave, just hit the road.

Obviously there are so many fall activities you can do that are cozy and fun, this is just a list to get you started.
The most important takeaway is that learning about and embracing hygge is a wonderful way to enrich your life.

If you’re constantly seeking out and embracing things that bring you simple joy, you will always be joyful.

Happy Fall my sweet friends. ❤

August Hygge Challenge

So it’s the middle of summer; the cozy-lover’s nightmare.

It’s hot, sweaty, sunny and busy everywhere… and if you’re anything like me, you’re missing the cozy environments and activities that seem to be present in every OTHER season..

But no one said you couldn’t embrace the hygge lifestyle in the summer. If anything, it’s important to find ways to embrace this lifestyle in the summer, especially if you’re not a “summer person”. Need a little brush-up on exactly what hygge (pron.: hoo-guh) is? Check out a few of my last blog posts Hygge Part 1 and Hygge Part 2!

Here are 8 hygge-centered things that I challenge you to do before the long days and summer heat fade into even longer nights and crisp leaves:

  1. Read a Self-Help Book:
    It’s good for you. It opens your mind to new ideas, new concepts, and new ways of thinking. Plus, we all need a little help. Reading is a super hygge activity in itself, and reading to better yourself makes it so much more rewarding.
  2. Play in the Lake:
    Cold water, hot sun, laughter and play. There’s something surprisingly cozy about a day at the lake. Get out, dry off with a big fluffy towel, have a snack, and breathe it all in.
  3. Deep Clean the House:
    I know what you’re thinking… Cleaning!? How in the F*#k is that hygge? Well everyone knows how good it feels when the house is clean. Ultimate relaxation and comfort often comes after making your environment clean and tidy. Kick those feet up and relax now, it’s alllllll clean.
  4. Do Something You Did as a Kid:
    Run through the sprinkler. Jump on a trampoline. Ride your bicycle aimlessly and curiously through the streets. Write in a diary. Eat a hot fudge sunday. Nostalgia is good for the soul, and very, very hygge.
  5. Have a Pot-Luck:
    Round up your favorite people and tell them to bring their FAVORITE dish ever. No big plan, no theme to the meal. Just eat yummy food and enjoy the company. Unplug and tell stories, and listen to other’s stories. Take it all in. This is where memories are made.
  6. Get a Summery Candle:
    I’m burning “blushing amber” right now. It’s sweet mix of floral and musk, reminiscent of watermelon hard candies, grandma’s perfume and a flower garden. Sweet cinnamon pumpkin can wait until October, I promise.
  7. Go to a Farmer’s Market:
    Just go wander around. People put a lot of work into the unique things they’re selling, appreciate it. Buy a few things, sip a coffee or some lemonade. Wear a big sun hat. Embrace that “day at the farmer’s market” like first-season Jess from New Girl would. Your heart will feel warm and fuzzy, I promise.
  8. Lay Out and Star Gaze:
    Nothing crazy. Throw a blanket down… just for a bit. 5 minutes even. Look at those things up there. Wow. When was the last time you did?

I challenge you to do some or all of these things before the end of September. Even if it’s just one. I’d love to hear how they make you feel.

I do not own most of the photos in this post, you can find the source of most of them here.