10 Important Life Lessons Learned in 2018

Oh, hello there. It’s been awhile. 5 months to be exact.

A lot has changed since I spoke to you last.

I wanted to discuss some important shit that I’ve learned over the past year. Some, more serious than others. All of these things stemmed from real life scenarios, and if you’d like more detail on *certain* ones, email me. Maybe you can relate.. Maybe you can learn from me.. Or maybe you can laugh. We’ll just have to wait and see…

1. Don’t let people walk all over you, seriously.

If you’re giving your ALL to something, and it’s not being recognized or acknowledged, it’s time to move on. Exhausting all of your loyalty, energy and commitment and still being asked to do more and being told you’re not doing good enough is NOT a normal or healthy environment. Move on..

2. It’s really good for your heart & soul to just forgive people.

People don’t always necessarily deserve your forgiveness, but you do. Holding onto that hatred is HEAVY. And more importantly, sometimes the people that hurt you change, and deserve your forgiveness… You won’t know until you give them the chance to show you.

3. Go after shit, even if you don’t think you’re “fully qualified”.

Seriously, just give it a shot. Whatever it is. But go into it confident, and sure-of-yourself, or no one will buy it. You won’t know if someone’s willing to give you a shot unless you try. DUH.

4. Buying a latte or an americano 5 days a week costs a lot of money, stop it.

For real though. Have you ever calculated it? It’s like $850 – $1000 a year… That’s toooo muchhhhh $$$$$$.

5. There are really awful people out there that put on a REALLY good show.

There’s nothing you can do about this, really. Just tell your story, be honest, be transparent, and don’t stoop to their level. And most importantly, recognize who these people are and stay far, far away from them.

6. Step outside of your comfort zone more, like, waaay more.

A phrase I’ve tried to live my life by since I was 17; “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”. It’s the most important quote I’ve ever come across, because it resonated with me, and I put it into effect. It was terrifying to fly across the world alone at 17 to be with Paul, but look at all the love and joy it brought me. It was terrifying leaving my “stable” job of two years to pursue something totally different, but it’s made a massive difference in my life. And the most relevant example; it was absolutely terrifying to find out that I’d won a scholarship to attend a 4 day Marine Dealer conference in Florida, that I’d have to fly to, and attend, completely by myself…. But I did it. And if I’m being completely honest, it fucking changed my life.

7. If you have goals set, laying in bed all the time will not help you accomplish them.

I know this seems disturbingly obvious, but it really hit me hard this year. There were a TON of things I wanted to accomplish & get done, but I spent most of my time laying in bed watching Netflix instead.. I don’t even like watching TV that much… WTF.

8. Smile more, be kind & friendly, and make conversation with people.

I did a lot of this over the past 6 months. But I did it a TON on my recent Florida trip. And I found out that there are a lot of good, cool, interesting people out there that will talk to you about some pretty interesting shit. Listen to them, learn from them, give people a chance to tell you their story. Sometimes having meaningful conversations with unexpected people changes your outlook on life.

9. Take better care of yourself; Skin, body, teeth, health, mental state, etc.

I’m almost 24 and I’m already seeing and feeling the effects of not taking proper care of my body. Without turning this into a New Year’s Resolution, I’ll just leave it at; taking care of yourself is extremely important. Start young. Acquire healthy habits early on. #SELFCARE Understand that there’s only one alternative to being healthy…. 

10. Recognize toxic behavior and cut that shit out.

In yourself AND in others. Knock it off.. Being a bitch to your significant other for no reason other than you’re in a bad mood? Stop. Nitpicking, nagging, being negative? Quit it. Being walked all over and just letting it happen? “Giiiirl, you betta stahhp”. Seriously. Whatever your toxic behavior is that you’re letting consume your everyday life, change it.

That’s it, that’s all I learned in 2018.
Haha, jokes. 18′ was quite a turbulent year for me, these were just some of my top lessons that made the biggest difference.

I have an overwhelming amount of goals I’m setting and going over for 2019. I don’t even care that it’s a cliche. I’ll be spending the day going over these important life lessons (and others); studying them, digesting them, and inserting what I’ve learned from them into all of my goals for the new year.

Booyah.

Did you learn any important lessons in 2018?
What stuck out to you?
What changed you?
What caused you to grow?
Share some important shit you learned this year >

Why ‘Montana Laura’ Didn’t Feel Right Anymore

Changing the name of your blog is a dicey decision, no matter the popularity of it.
People tend to associate blogs with consistency.. as they should.
If you get into a blog, you get used to their schedule. Bloggers tend to have set days that they post, send out emails, post on social media, and they have certain icons and names that are true to them… And all of that can be blurred when said blogger changes their name.

But sometimes we have a change of heart, or life, that makes the current name of our blog unbearable. And in that instance I think it’s more than fair for followers to at least take the time to stick around and understand why.

If you were ever following me because you thought I’d be posting about hikes,  adventures, and typical things that revolve around Montana… you were in the wrong place anyway.

My content, for the most part wont change. But my heart did.

I came to the realization that Montana is no longer the thing I so definitively revolved my world around. For years after moving away, I yearned for it. I dreamt of it. I played scenarios in my mind over and over again of what life would be like when we finally moved home.. But then I had an epiphany. I came to another painful realization that A) It was being close to family and friends that I was yearning for, not the place itself and B) Montana now is nothing like the Montana I grew up in.
I lost my passion for Montana after two years of daily reminders that it was no longer the place I had painted of it in my mind. And that’s okay..

And please don’t get me wrong… I love Montana, I really do. I will forever stand up for it, speak highly of it, and probably live in it. But when you use a specific thing to revolve your name and “brand” around… it better damn well be something you are extremely passionate about. And for me, it’s just not Montana, anymore.

So I’d like to introduce you to A Cup of Lo.
Yes, it’s a play on words in which I replace the word Joe with my childhood nickname Lo. Yes it’s cheesy & punny and if you know anything about me, you know just how well that aligns with my sense of humor (thanks Dad). And yes, it’s a coffee reference, because again, if you know me you know how much I love coffee. Drinking it. Making it. Hooking my arm up to an IV of it. Talking about it. Owning books about it. Taking pictures of it. Dreaming about opening a coffee shop.

Coffee is one of those things that I just don’t shut up about… On a daily basis.
Which made me feel really really right about choosing this blog name.

Thanks for understanding my change of name, and most of all my change of heart. I hope you’ll grab a coffee & stick around.

 

A few of my social media handles have changed, such as the following!

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Facebook is still in the works because Facebook likes to makes everything difficult.

5 of the Best Coffee Shops in the Flathead Valley

If you don’t already know, coffee is really really important to me. No, not just because it keeps me awake when I’m forced to get up in the mornings (not a morning person).
I LOVE making coffee.
Ever since I got my first coffee job at Green Beans Coffee Co. in Hawaii, I’ve been obsessed with making coffee. It’s truly something you have to work hard at to learn, and I appreciate the process. And seeing as 50% of Americans (equivalent to 150 million peeps) drink espresso, cappuccinos, lattes, or iced/cold coffees, I’d say it’s pretty important to most of you, too.
So let’s talk favorites. I’ll take a sit down shop over the alternative any day. There’s nothing more comforting to me than sitting down in a coffee shop, sipping some fine ass bean juice, and reading or blogging. That is my happy place. But I don’t get to do that nearly as much as I’d like, so I had to throw in some of our lovely drive up shops.

5) Montana Coffee Traders  – Kalispell + More (sit down)
MCT is kind of a staple around here. With FOUR sit down locations around the valley, they better be good at what they do! Their espresso is really good, with a huge selection of bagged coffee to choose from as well. Their locations are warm and inviting, with great gift sections and pretty good food. You can’t go wrong.

coffeetraders
Via Instagram

4) Copper Mountain Coffee – Kalispell + More (drive up)
Copper Mountain is an awesome little “chain” in Montana. They have NINE locations in Northwest Montana, which is pretty dang awesome if you ask me. These small drive up “huts” are not so small when it comes to what they offer. Breakfast burritos, bagels, copper mountain moonshine, and awesome coffee. Fair warning, if you don’t like super sweet drinks, ask for ANY drink you order to be made “half-sweet”.

coppermountain
Via Instagram

3) Odd Fellows Coffee House – Columbia Falls (sit down)
This place is as cute as a damn button. Adorned with little succulents and twinkle lights, it’s a must see in Columbia Falls. They have a fireplace, open mic nights, and play great music on the daily. It’s family owned and operated which is always a perk! Great coffee, yummy baked goods and a lovely atmosphere makes this one of my top 3 faves in the valley.

oddfellows
Via Instagram

PSA: I got up halfway through this blog post to go get a coffee from Mountain Mudd. >
2) Mountain Mudd – Kalispell (drive up)
Oh Mountain Mudd.. My absolute favorite drive up shop in the valley. This is a place that you go because it hits your top three needs for drive up coffees; 1) Speed 2) Amazing Beverages and 3) Awesome Baristas. When you pull up you feel instantly loved and welcomed.. The owner, Kim, has truly set the bar for how a drive up should run. Love her, love the Mudd, love that it’s 1.2 miles from my house. Convenient location and extremely consistent! And come on, look at these girls! You know you want them to make your coffee!

mountainmudd.jpgVia Facebook

1) Colter Coffee Roasting – Kalispell (sit down)
Forever my favorite. Forever and ever and ever. This place is what lovely coffee shop dreams are made of. Brick walls, rustic wood tables & seating, back-room couches & a downstairs “living room”.. This place is where it’s at. Not to mention, it’s open until 8 p.m. which is UNHEARD OF in the valley for a coffee.
Imagine; Sitting in a cozy and dimly lit cafe, the strong smell of coffee and cinnamon fill the air, you’re looking out tall clean windows observing the quiet sleepy main street of downtown Kalispell. Time stands still while you listen to soothing indie folk music and the light chatter of people who like to take their time and escape the worries of real life.. While you take in the subtle beauty happening in front of your very eyes, you take a nibble of your freshly baked scone and a sip of your hot caramel apple cider, and you realize that no place has ever felt more like home.
Sounds nice, right? It is.

coltercoffeeVia Instagram

 

Notable Mentions:
Kalispell Koffee – Kalispell (drive up)
Cere’s Bakery – Kalispell (sit down)
Open Road Coffee Co – Errywhere (van)

Shut Down but Deserve to be Mentioned:
The Red Caboose – Whitefish (insert crying face emoji here for the rest of my life)
The Boiler Room – Kalispell

This list is obviously subject to change. All we can hope is that more and more places like this open. There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing local businesses thrive… and hey, maybe one day I’ll own a coffee shop of my own. I guess we’ll have to wait and see. (;
So who did I miss? What’s YOUR favorite coffee shop in the Flathead? Let me know in the comments!

 

montanalaurasig

 

Summer Style Inspo for Tank Top Haters

I have a confession; I hate tank tops. So much. There, I said it…
The freakin’ closet staple of summer makes me cringe.
I hate tank tops for two reasons;

  1. I have terrible skin. Acne, scars, easy bruising, eczema…. I don’t feel like showing that off (yes I know a lot of people have flaws like these, and I should just get over it and feel comfortable in my own sh*t skin, but I’m not there yet, okay?)
  2. Armpits… I don’t like armpits. I don’t want them just, out, you know? Free to the world, free for everyone to judge if I lift my arms and my deodorant decided to ball up or I forgot to shave my spider legs. I don’t neeeeed that in my liiiiife.

So summer is a struggle for me. In the style department, that is. Short sleeves are as close as I get, and I honestly don’t even love those. I rounded up some of my summer outfits that aren’t tank top based, and I think you’ll enjoy them even if you are one of those freaks that bears their shoulders.

L O N G  S L E E V E  &  J E A N  S H O R T S

 

C R E W N E C K   &  H I G H  W A I S T E D  J E A N S

 

T E E  S H I R T  D R E S S  &  A C C E S S O R I E S

 

J U M P S U I T S  &  F L O P P Y  H A T S

 

P A T T E R N E D  J O G G E R S  &  B O Y F R I E N D   T E E S

 

C L O S E T   S T A P L E S

Summer Closet Staples

I really like neutrals and simple staple pieces. Camel, black, white, olive & denim pretty much consume my closet.

I’m honestly really simple (and pretty dang lazy) when it comes to style, if I’m being honest. Throw on a wide brimmed hat or a trendy head scarf when you’re on day 5 of dry shampoo. Rock oversized sunnies all day when you don’t feel like putting mascara or brows on. Hide beneath a frumpy tshirt dress and a cross body bag when you’re too lazy to plan out a multiple piece outfit. Buy staple items that you know you’ll love to wear all the time – it makes life a lot easier.

There are tons of ways to avoid wearing tank tops, trust me. So if you’re anything like me, I hope these suggestions helped you a little bit. And just keep in mind, there’s only a month and a half until Fall. (;

montanalaurasig

How to Keep Things Hygge in the Spring

The hygge way of life was invented to combat the notorious depression that comes with winter. Denmark has long, drawn-out winters with scarce amounts of daylight. Therefore, they needed a way (or a feeling, if you will) to not only get through this time, but to embrace it. So hygge was born.
Hygge, when defined simply by the Oxford Dictionary, is : a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.

Note that the dictionary definition doesn’t really state anything specifically about winter. So who’s to say you can’t “hygge” during every season? If anything, hygge is imperative during Spring.
You’ve just hunkered down for 6-8 months and can’t really remember what green grass and daylight look like.. So now’s the time to truly embrace the coziness that comes with sunshine and a completely fresh and new landscape.

Here are a few ways to carry the hygge lifestyle with you throughout Spring:

1

There’s nothing like fresh flowers and precious little succulents to chase off those winter blues. Bring bright colors and fresh pops of green into your home to brighten it up and make it extra cozy. Plus, nothing says “I have my shit together” quite like a vase of flowers or a well-kept succulent garden! That’s right, look at me, keeping plants alive!

If you’re in the Flathead Valley, your best and most delightful place to get either of these pretty little home treats is going to be Mum’s Flowers in Whitefish! Plus, they have a build-your-own succulent garden station and some of the cutest gifts you’ll ever see.


T I P S  F O R  H Y G G E  S U C C E S S :
1. Start small; buy one small succulent garden or one pretty bouquet of flowers, and watch them transform your room
2. If you’re not going to go local on your flower buying, the next best place is Costco (the best bang for your buck!)

2

Natural light is one of the coziest things nature has to offer. Let those bright yellow sun rays dance across your room, or the cool blue hues cast from a rainy day… No matter what type of natural light you’re letting in, it’s going to instantly create a cozier vibe.

T I P S  F O R  H Y G G E  S U C C E S S :
1. Open up those blinds first thing in the morning to take advantage of morning light.
2. Clean windows and windowsills make for a better experience
3. If you have large windowsills, keep some plants in them (pretty for you, good for the plants)

outdoors

Even if this means just hanging out in your back yard, just get out there. Get a little bit of sunshine, get your feet dirty, smell the rain, read a book on the patio.. Just be outside, and disconnect for a little while. Brownie points if you actually make it out on a hike or picnic. But no matter where you go, if you’re outside and your relaxed, you’ve got it all figured out.


T I P S  F O R  H Y G G E  S U C C E S S :
1. Create a back (or front) yard sanctuary. This can always be done on a budget! You just need a chair or two, a small table, a blanket and some candles!
2. Go the extra mile to have a real picnic. I mean those picture perfect picnics you see in the movies. It will make the experience that much more hygge to have everything set up so well! (it’s like ‘plating’ a meal – making it look almost too good to eat!)

candles

Ah, candles. All the candles! You cannot hygge, without the candles. And if we’re being honest with ourselves, candles just make everything better. Having a nice dinner, add candles. Relaxing at home while reading a book? Light some candles! Bubble bath!? Not without the candles! Candles bring instant warmth, glow and coziness into any situation they’re brought into. I mean, even Satan worshipers use candles! (Hah). But seriously, the Danes constantly have candles going, and for good reason; they just make everything better.


T I P S  F O R  H Y G G E  S U C C E S S :
1. Buy UNSCENTED or naturally scented candles made from beeswax or soy! Scented candles and petroleum based candles release toxic chemicals into your home and that is NOT hygge. Plus, if you have a ton of candles going at once, you’re definitely not going to want them all to be scented!
2. Even when doing mundane, day-to-day activities, light a candle or two! You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the atmosphere something as simple as lighting a candle can create!

All of these tips are just little things you can do each day to create a cozy life. It’s about simplicity, togetherness, and comfort. There are many ways to incorporate this amazing way of living into your daily schedule. The Little Book of Hygge is where I discovered it all. I immediately fell in love, began applying these rules to my life, and then wrote my first two posts about it :
Hygge Part 1 : What is Hygge and Why Do You Need It In Your Life?
and
Hygge Part 2 : How to Embrace Hygge In Your Everyday Life

My life has been more cozy, organized, and full since discovering hygge. And I can only hope that it does the same for each and every one of you.

 

I do not own any of the photos above, all can be found in their original form on my Hygge Pinterest Board.

Merchandising, My New Love!

I was recently promoted to “Head of Merchandising and Inventory” at The Montana Scene.
I have been “head of inventory” for quite a while (making sure all the stores get the product they need on a regular basis), but with my new job I get to spend a lot of time reaching out to all 5 Montana Scene locations, making sure their stores and windows look top notch. It’s been a blast so far, and it’s really sparked in me a love and passion for Visual Merchandising!

For the past few years, I have been casually working on displays and prettying up the Flathead Valley stores each time I worked at them. But now it’s my DUTY to make sure each store looks good. And while I’m really loving it, it has made me realize that I have a lot of learning and growing to do when it comes to my Merchandising skills.  I can’t wait to keep learning and growing and getting better.

Here are a few shots of the Kalispell store merchandising that I’ve done so far!

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Another aspect of my ‘new job’ that I’m absolutely loving is getting the opportunity to style and direct photo shoots once a month. It’s literally like, a dream come true. This is another thing that’s fairly new to me, but styling outfits is already my thing, so the styling aspect of the shoot is a breeze! It’s the directing that’s hard;  Getting models into different outfits, different poses, and ensuring that you can see the logo on each product in every shot, all at the same time, can be pretty stressful! Especially when it’s 17 fricking degrees. 

It’s such a fun thing to do though, and the creative aspect of it really and truly fulfills me. I get to work with the amazing J. Vigil Photography (Jaci, mah girrrlll) once a month, and she’s the absolute shit, guys.

It’s such a blast, too. Not only is Jaci amazing, but the models have all been fun to work with.. And when I’m directing shoots I feel like I can be my true, weird self.
I’ve kind of become “known” for the erratic noises I make in order to get models to laugh, so you can always count on me to do something weird as hell to get the perfect shot.

(all of the following photos were taken by J. Vigil Photography unless otherwise noted.)

Here are some shots from the few photo shoots I’ve directed and styled over the past few months!

Montana 1889 Retro Raglans from The Montana Scene | Montana Laura Blog | J. Vigil Photography

MONTANA ALL DAY Tee Collection from The Montana Scene | Montana Laura Blog | J. Vigil Photography

Life is Better in Glacier Mug from The Montana Scene | Montana Laura Blog | J. Vigil Photography

Life is Better in Montana Flowy Tee from The Montana Scene | Montana Laura Blog | J. Vigil Photography

Home is where the Mountains Are Flowy Tee from The Montana Scene | Montana Laura Blog | J. Vigil Photography

Montana Vibes Unisex T from The Montana Scene | Montana Laura Blog | J. Vigil Photography

Life is Better on the Trail Knit Cowl from The Montana Scene | Montana Laura Blog | Eric Matt Photography
Eric Matt Photography

MT Scene Logo V Neck from The Montana Scene | Montana Laura Blog | Eric Matt Photography
Eric Matt Photography

Car Hang in Montana Scene Apparel | Montana Laura Blog | J. Vigil Photography

Montana 1889 Retro Raglan from The Montana Scene | Montana Laura Blog | J. Vigil Photography

You guys recognize those floppy hats & shades? Ehh?

Aren’t those great? The clothes, the photography, the styling.. It’s all amazing, if I do say so myself!

I love making things look pretty ; and I get to make stores & photo shoots look pretty all the time now!

And if you’re interested in modeling for The Montana Scene, email us with 3 pics of yourself and explain WHY you want to!  >  hello@themontanascene.com

What’s your creative outlet? Do you ever get to use your creativity at work? Let me know in the comments!

montanalaurasig

Styling Adventure Themed Graphic Tees

We all love a good Graphic Tee, right? How about adventure / outdoor themed ones? Now, graphic tees aren’t necessarily my go-to. I’m pretty “plain” when it comes to my style choices; no neon’s, no bold patterns – mostly earth tones, black and denim.
But when it comes to adventure tees, no one does it like The Montana Scene (and I’m not just saying that because I work there).

I also know what some of you may be thinking “I’m just NOT a t-shirt type of person in general”, well FEAR NOT! I’m not either!
But that’s what’s great about The Montana Scene, it’s so much more than just t shirts.

Adorable feminine long sleeves, long and roomy tunics, trendy pullovers, adorable flowy tees, & good old fashioned super soft fleeces – you name it, they’ve got it… And you bet your sweet ass it’s got something cute printed on it.

So while “Graphic T’s” may not be everyone’s thing, it’s SO EASY to dress them up, accessorize them, and really just bring them from “t-shirt and jeans” to the employee at Chik-fil-A telling you how trendy you look! So here I am, eagerly waiting to show you how!

OFFICIAL HIPSTER UNIFORM – FLANNEL & A BEANIE :fe27fe401f2f1005c1118b95b17e0651

|  Beanie, Flannel & Jeans – Target |  Flowy T – The Montana Scene  |

A classic go-to. Any shirt can be adorably accessorized with a trendy flannel & a matching beanie. Bonus points if your nails match your outfit! Not a hipster? Not so into flannels? No worries, we’ve got other options.

MILITARY JACKET FOR THE WIN :IMG_2834 (2)

|  Jeans – Target  | Military Jacket – TJ Maxx (similar)Pullover – The Montana Scene  |

A classic and trendy MUST HAVE piece, the military jacket! I love this item so much. It’s a great closet staple that can be dressed up or down super easily. Layer it over this presh pullover, go get yourself a damn latte, & then explore! Don’t forget the aviators!

RIPPED JEANS & TUNICS & FLOPPY HATS – OH MY! :rsz_first_coffee_long_sleeve_tunic_1_of_1

|  Jeans & Floppy Hat – Target  |  Coffee & Explore Tunic – The Montana Scene |

My personal uniform ^. Ripped jeans haven’t gone out of style yet, so here I am – making one golden-ager at a time tell me “you need to buy some new pants”! (; I love tunics because they are so flowy and can be worn with jeans OR leggings. (I own this ^ one in pink & cement). And of course, the floppy hat, can’t live without it!

POCKET TEES & BOYFRIEND JEANS :113CROP

|  Boyfriend Jeans – Target  | Pocket T – The Montana Scene  |

One of my favorite twists on “jeans and a t-shirt” is swapping out plain ol’ jeans for a pair of boyfriend jeans. Throw on this adorable pocket tee & a pair of strappy sandals and you have yourself a beachy-casual outfit that’s not only comfy, but stylish too.

 

MORE MONTANA SCENE #OOTD’S :

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S H O P  T H E S E  L O O K S  :
Montana Vibes Long Sleeve Ladies Tunic in Grey  |
Let Adventure Fill Your Soul Fleece Pullover in Green  |
Montana Where The Buffalo Roam Tank in Black  |
First Coffee & Then We Explore Tunic in Cement  |

As you can tell (and as I’m sure you already know if you know me well) I am a huge fan of floppy hats.. Wide brimmed fedoras. Adventure hats.. Whatever you want to call them.
There’s only a few days out of the week you’ll catch me without one (day 1 & 2 after washing my hair – duh!)

Try out any of these styles next time you throw on a graphic tee! You won’t regret it. And if anyone ever tells you that you can’t style the hell out of a graphic tee, or a Montana T shirt, or anything for that matter – you show them otherwise! 

Whether you’re rocking that athleisure wear, or getting glam, a Montana Scene shirt can absolutely be included. Not to toot my own horn, but come on, look how cute literally all of that stuff was.

H A P P Y   S H O P P I N G ! 

montanalaurasig

Hygge: Part 2 – How To Embrace Hygge in your Everyday Life

In my last post we discussed what Hygge is and why you should incorporate it into your life. Now that we officially have snow on the ground here in Montana, I feel like Hygge is even more important to learn about, and begin applying to your life!

Candle-lit rooms, fireplaces blazing, comfortable blankets, and hot drinks all seem to be pretty basic life-things. But once you learn what Hygge is, it becomes hard not to view those things as the delightful treasures they truly are.

I had a conversation with a friend after she read my first post and she said “Growing up in Boise area there’s a lot of cool vibes down there. In particular, there was this coffee shop called The Flying M. Still to this day I haven’t found a coffee shop that has the same vibe or came anywhere close to it. There were always local artists selling their art and home roasted coffee beans, daily.. And an atmosphere that made you feel right at home.” and I honestly cant think of anything more Hygge than that. That’s what it’s all about.

While learning about the concept of Hygge and why you need it was a great start, I want everyone to come away from this with a good idea of how to incorporate it into their daily lives. If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on The Little Book of Hygge, you’ll find this delightful little page in there called The Hygge Manifesto.

The Hygge Manifesto is an amazing info graphic containing the basic stepping stones to bringing Hygge into your life. I wanted to elaborate a little bit, and add more description to the 10 main concepts of Hygge.

EMBRACING THE HYGGE MANIFESTO

Make day-to-day activities more Hygge:

Want to make your life more Hyggelit? I know I do. Here are some basic ways to make every day activities cozy, warm, comfortable and relaxing.
Sitting in your bedroom or living room on your computer?
– Light 3-15 candles, it instantly makes a room more warm.
– Plug in that Salt Lamp, don’t have one? You’re missing out.
– Turn off those main over head lights and crank up that fireplace if you have one.
– Grab a blanket, some pillows and some socks or slippers.
– Turn on Pandora, I suggest The Lumineers, Hozier, The Postal Service, or Death Cab for Cutie Radio.
– Been scrolling aimlessly for too long? Ditch the computer and pick up a book, you wont be sorry.

Having dinner with friends or family?
– Opt for a night in! It’s more relaxing and personable.
– Play a game! Nothing is more Hygge than laughing with loved ones.
– Encourage comfortable attire, and make your home more welcoming. (Candles, hello!)
– Serve warm, hearty food and hot drinks. Attempt to create a beautiful table scape.

Going out for a coffee or lunch date?
– Find a local cafe with a great vibe, they’re out there, no matter where you are!
– Bring a book or a friend and just relax. Don’t rush through your coffee or meal, this is an experience!
– Find a spot with great lighting. String lights, big windows and a rustic feel. Bonus points if they play great music.
– Order a pastry or two, I bet you deserve it.
– Chat with strangers! Sometimes they have really neat or funny things to talk about.
– R E L A X

There are ways to make just about any situation more Hygge. (Minus like, Emergency Rooms and Dentist Offices).
Hygge is a way of life. In all instances, seek out a way to make these instances more comfortable.
Hygge is about creating fond memories, having a good time with loved ones, and enjoying every single moment. It’s about great lighting, good food, and feeling comfortable and safe. Hygge is everything comfy, cozy, relaxing and warm, and it’s absolutely wonderful. I encourage you to live your life in a way where you’re always searching for Hygge, because it’s a truly delightful way to live.

How are you going to start incorporating Hygge into your life? Buy some candles? Call up your old best friends for a night in? Invest in a salt lamp or a new cozy blanket? Wherever you start is perfect, because you’ll notice a difference right away.

So go on, get! Get your Hygge on. And don’t be embarrassed to say the word (HUE-GUH). The more you talk about Hygge, the more normal it becomes… and you’ll intrigue and inspire everyone around you!

Did you miss Part One? Find it here:
HYGGE: PART 1 – WHAT IS HYGGE AND WHY DO YOU NEED IT IN YOUR LIFE?

Sources: Hygge Manifesto, all photos on the “Embracing the Hygge Manifesto” graphic can be found HERE.

Hygge: Part 1 – What is Hygge and Why Do You Need it in Your Life?

Pretty recently I came across the topic of Hygge and was absolutely intrigued. Almost immediately after learning what it was, I went out and bought The Little Book of Hygge – Danish Secrets to Happy Living by Meik Wiking. And so began my infatuation with the simple, comforting and beautiful way the Danes live their lives.

Ah, I’m sure you, too, are intrigued and you’re probably ready to know (if you haven’t already blown this post off and just Googled it) :

What is Hygge? And how the in the world do you pronounce it?

Hygge (hue-guh) is, to use Mr. Wiking’s words, “…about an atmosphere and an experience, rather than about things. It is about being with the people we love. A feeling of home. A feeling that we are safe, that we are shielded from the world and allow ourselves to let our guard down.”

Hygge is sipping hot cocoa by the fire in your favorite pair of socks.
Hygge is Christmas, early evening, when the food is almost ready, the lighting is dim and glowy, and everyone’s hearts are buzzing with warmth and comfort.
Hygge is relaxing at your favorite brick walled, dimly-lit coffee shop, listening to indie music and taking it all in.
Hygge is wrapping up in your favorite blanket, bra off, hair up, watching a snow storm consume your neighborhood while you watch from the comfort of the indoors.

Hygge is everything comfortable, warm, and relaxing. It’s togetherness, music, pastries and candlelight. Hygge is, to generalize; happiness.

Why do you need Hygge in your life?

The reason the concept of Hygge struck me so hard, is mostly due in part to the fact that, like Denmark, Montana has long, grueling winters. Part of my research lead me to uncover that many years ago, the Danes came up with a way to combat the notorious depression that can set in when you live in a place with crazy-long winters.
It was a new way of life, a way to embrace the long “depressing” winters, rather than dread them. They yearned for a way to look forward to the frigid, dark season ahead of them, so they created one!

It’s inspiring, if you ask me. And I feel like we Americans, and especially us that live in the North (Montana) could really, truly benefit from bringing Hygge into our lives.

The winters are long, and I know from 18 + years of living in the Flathead Valley that there are still thousands of people here that haven’t found a way to cope with the way a long winter makes them feel.
I want everyone to have the opportunity to find pure and blissful joy by embracing the cold season, rather than trying to escape it or complain about it.

So grab some close friends and family, light a few candles, climb into your Hyggekrog, and delve into the wonderful life that is Hygge.
I encourage you to do some of your own research.
Hop on Pinterest and create a Hygge Board for inspiration and warm feelings.

And I would also like you to keep your eyes out for Hygge Part 2: How to Embrace Hygge in your Everyday Lifewhere we’ll talk about things you can do to make your life more Hygge.

See you soon.

(photo sources: source, source, source, source, source )

S E P T E M B E R

september

Do you ever have those moments where you find a quote online and you think “holy crap, it’s almost like who ever wrote that can see straight into my soul”?
That’s what happened to me when I found this heavenly little blurb by Peggy Toney Horton.

I don’t want to seem cliche, but for me it feels like while everything begins to die in September, I finally come to life.
I know what you’re thinking, “come to life? In what sense were you NOT alive?”.
The 3 endless months of hot dry weather assassinated my soul, okay?

As the weather cools off, the leaves turn orange, and the clouds finally roll in – I settle into my absolute favorite half of the year: fall & winter.
I simply do not belong in 80 degree weather. I hate being hot, I don’t enjoy sweating,  and I hate the fact that I can’t achieve a comfortable temperature by removing layers in the summer, like I can in the fall by adding them. You can only get SO naked, you know? Yeah, you know. You know exactly what I’m talking about.

What I don’t want happening this fall is for me to spend 3 months gawking at the orange leaves from the mundane comfort of home, and not getting out to truly enjoy them.
So I’m making PLANS; if Montana ever stops being on fire… that is.

My September plans will definitely seep into October and November, seeing as the state of Montana isn’t expected to have it’s wildfires under control for quite some time. So for the sake of the entire North West, you all better be praying to the weather god for rain – or whatever you do. (;

Here’s what I’ve got going on…

Farmers Markets:
I’m mostly interested in the the Kalispell Farmer’s Market. It’s close by, easy to access, and there aren’t a million people there. I look forward to a few brisk Saturday mornings, latte in hand, enjoying the plethora of autumn’s harvest: sunflowers, fresh corn, apples and pumpkins. I intend to get out and enjoy one of Whitefish’s Farmers Markets too. (they’re just a little more hectic).

Sweet Pickins Pumpkin Patch:
Now, apparently this place has been around for a long time. I don’t remember ever going to it, AND it seems fairly aimed at families with kids.. But Paul and I are DEFINITELY going. We usually just buy pumpkins the day before Halloween which is great, but how much more enjoyable would it be to go to a pumpkin patch and pick your own, all while getting to enjoy a fricken Autumn Wonderland. I mean, LOOK at this place! Little slice of autumn heaven.

PicMonkey Collage

Much more sitting at Colter Coffee:
This is one of my favorite past times. I used to come to Colter Coffee after school to “do homework” all the time. (I really just sat around with books in front of me, sipping coffee or chai). The vibe inside Colter is really what people are after though. There isn’t anything else like it (IMO), especially not in Kalispell. Now, if you were to head over to say, Portland or Seattle, there would be something similar on every street corner. But we just have one, which makes it that much more special. Colter Coffee definitely has the hygge factor that I’m constantly seeking out. (Side note: We’ll go over hygge in the near future, promise. Just google it for now.)
(Extra side note: I’m not a Starbucks hang out kind of gal, so don’t even SUGGEST that their atmosphere beats out Colter, don’t you dare).

Lots of reading, hopefully outdoors:
I thoroughly enjoy the idea of laying in a wooded thicket, sipping on hot tea, bundled up in a cable knit throw – reading the afternoon away.. That’s not super realistic though, so I’ll settle for a ton of reading, anywhere, anytime. I have a ton of books on my current lineup, three of which I’ve already started.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – Queen J.K. Rowling
You Are a Badass – Jen Sincero
The Little Book of Hygge – Meik Wiking
You Are a Badass at Making Money – Jane Sincero
And a few others, I wont bore you.
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A few fall hikes at GNP:
If the poor park makes it through this damn fire season, I’d love to make it up there for at least a few hikes. It absolutely kills me that it’s on fire. Just one more reason to believe that summer’s the worst. Drought, 80+ degrees every day, & thousands of people crowding our beautiful Glacier National Park = not my idea of a good time. I like to go to the park in the spring and fall. Plus, those mountains are just way prettier when they’re snow capped.

 

So that’s what I have going on for September. Along with the obvious: lot’s of working, sleeping, coffee and studying.
What am I missing? What do you guys do in September?