A Cozy Summer Bucket List

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:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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).

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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!?

Embracing the Calm Found in Hygge

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:

  • Cozying up
  • 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

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. ❤

Coffee Conversations Pt. 1

Today’s the start of a new series: “Coffee Conversations”. I wanted to create this series to give myself the ability to write with a little more freedom. My inconsistencies with writing stem from my innate need for everything to be perfect before I hit “publish”. The writing has to be clear and meaningful, the graphics have to be beautiful and polished, and the timing has to be just right. While I value all of those things, they prevent me from showing up here because if it’s not “good enough”, it’s not making the blog.

Coffee Conversations opens up a casual space for me to post things that are outside of my niche, or at least outside of my normal content. It gives me the opportunity to discuss things that I would, say, with a friend over coffee. So today’s Coffee Conversation is just a little life update, because a lot has happened since we spoke last…

It all started with a Vision Board

In January I made a vision board for my upcoming year. I focused on things like Home Ownership, Gratitude, Family, Friends, Writing, Career Clarity, Hygge, and Money. I understand that I’m putting myself in a vulnerable space by showing you what’s on my vision board, but I’m showing you because many of the things I put on it have come to fruition.

Here are some life events that have happened since I was here last:

  1. I wrote an article for a small Veteran Magazine, and they weren’t able to publish it.
    I poured my heart into an article about how the Hygge Lifestyle could benefit Veterans. Due to covid and funding, they weren’t able to publish it. Maybe I’ll post it here sometime. This was a huge lesson for me in disappointment and bouncing back.
  2. We lost our dog Nana, after 7.5 wonderful years with her.
    The most unexpected and devastating thing to happen. We were blindsided by losing our sweet girl. It’s been a little over 4 months and it still seems unreal that she’s gone. People aren’t lying when they talk about the deep, painful grief that comes with losing a dog. As time goes on, the reality that she’s truly gone sets in and we try to create a new sense of normal, but I’d be lying if I said life wasn’t a little bit empty without her around.
  3. We found our potential dream home, 4 days after we lost her.
    Another incredibly unexpected turn of events. You know how they say “when one door closes, another opens”? This was one of those moments. In the midst of our pain and grief, we got a phone call that a home in one of our favorite neighborhoods was going to go up for sale in the next few months. If you know anything about the housing market in Kalispell, MT, you know that finding that type of sale situation is pretty much the ONLY way for lower-income people to buy a home right now. We were in absolute shock, and completely conflicted on this new sense of hopefulness in the middle of the hardest time of our life. We reached out to the seller and he scheduled us to come look at the house the following day, which just so happened to be my 26th birthday.
  4. We BOUGHT our dream home.
    If you were waiting for a happy ending, you’ll find it right here. We fell instantly in love with the house. We went through the process without a realtor, which proved to be slightly difficult. But after two months of documents, paperwork, inspections, and a TON of patience, we moved into our first home on…. drumroll please…. April 6th, a.k.a 4/06, a.k.a “Montana Day”. If you don’t believe in receiving signs through dates, symbols, and numbers, you should now.
  5. I photographed my best friend’s labor
    I had the absolute honor and privilege to attend and photograph my best friend’s third and final labor. It was intimate, beautiful, and then very, very scary. And although it was slightly traumatizing, it somehow made me feel more prepared for when my time comes (maybe soon?).

There were so many incredible things that happened between all of these major life events. We’re 6 months into this year and it has been one of the most intense, surreal, memorable years of my life. If you refer back to my vision board, you’ll notice that I was able to accomplish multiple things on it already. Which has just proven to me that manifestation, gratitude, and hard work pays off. But it also proved that some of the most incredible things in life come in the most unexpected moments, and that our most valuable and cherished things can be ripped from us at any moment, too.

Wow, that chat got deep. I hope you’re still with me, and I hope you enjoyed catching up like ol’ pals. Please keep checking back for some valuable content coming soon, like hygge summer to-do’s, date night ideas, how to make a hyggekrog in your home, and so much more. Thanks for being here, friends.

Let’s catch up again soon.

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.

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 >

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 but because 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 thoroughly 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 frequently visit some of our lovely drive up shops. The following is a list of MY top 5 favorite shops in the Kalispell area.

5) Copper Mountain  – 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, 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”.

4) Sable Coffee – Kalispell (sit down + drive up)
Sable Coffee is a gorgeous new shop in North Kalispell. It has a beautiful and cozy interior, delicious coffee, and the perk of also having a drive through. Other than Starbucks and 1 tiny drive up shop that I don’t even know the name of, Sable is really the only coffee shop in North Kalispell. They have awesome themed drinks and are absolutely worth a stop!

3) 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.

2) CoPilot – Kalispell (drive up)
Oh CoPilot.. My second 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. Located in South Kalspell, this gorgeous little shop is slightly off the beaten path, on Airport Road. Here’s the kicker – they’re positioned directly in line with the Kalispell City Airport, so while you’re getting your morning coffee, you’ll most likely see small planes and helicopters landing and taking off, it’s quite a treat. Head to CoPilot for amazing coffee, made quickly and for a great price.


1) Flathead Flavor – Kalispell (drive up)
This wonderful drive up owned by the sweetest human on earth (Vanesha!) makes the best coffee in town. Hands down. Located in an amazingly convenient spot in Evergreen right off highway 35, her shop makes for the perfect pitstop on of your Flathead adventures. She also operates a coffee food truck that you can find at all kinds of events in Kalispell and the surrounding areas. Go see Vanesha for your perfect cup of Montana coffee.

This list was updated on 10/16/2021. I hope more and more places like this open up in the future, you can never have too many incredible coffee shops. 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!

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.

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.