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.

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.

Spring Hygge Part Two

We made it.. It’s finally spring. If you’re a fairly normal being, you’re probably FINALLY shaking off the winter blues. Cabin fever is going away, bones are thawing, and there are once again signs of life outdoors..

If you failed at embracing hygge (hoo-guh) this winter, or maybe you started the winter off with high hopes and good intent, but got bitter about the frosty barren world and gave up trying.. I have good news for you, Spring hygge is just as good.
Last year we discussed some really great ways to carry the hygge way of life all the way into spring. This year, I’m coming back with even more great ideas to stay cozy and find joy in the not-quite-warm-yet season.

Not sure what it means to embrace the hygge way of life ? Find that out here and here.

Here’s some inspiration for keeping things cozy and hygge this spring!

INVITE YOUR FRIENDS OVER FOR BRUNCH
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Togetherness is a vital aspect of hygge. Building relationships, making memories, and enjoying time with a select “group” of people that you love is one of the key components to happiness and comfort.

Brunch is the perfect opportunity for hygge because the food is warm and hearty, there’s fresh coffee & hot tea, and bread & butter are a given. Plus, everyone knows that mid morning is one of the best times for natural light.

brunch collage
T I P S  F O R  H Y G G E  S U C C E S S :
1. Make it warm and comfy with open windows or doors, candle light, and some fresh blooms.
2. Keep the convos light, no turbulent topics. This is a time for warmth, joy and light fare.

SPEND TIME AT YOUR FAVORITE COFFEE SHOP
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This is probably my favorite hygge tip. The time I feel this lifestyle the most is when I have a window seat at Colter Coffee; the smell of freshly brewed coffee, the gentle whir of the espresso machine, indie music and light, happy chatter. You can watch the cars go by on main street, and it becomes all too easy to get lost in whatever it is you’re working on.

This type of hygge falls under a few different hygge manifesto (see below) categories; Atmosphere, Pleasure, Gratitude, Comfort.. However you view it, it’s a great place to begin understanding the hygge way of life. Get out of the spring rain and sit down at your favorite coffee shop.

coffee shop collage
T I P S  F O R  H Y G G E  S U C C E S S :
1. Coffee shops are a great place to work on important projects, but don’t forget to pause every once in awhile to take in your surroundings.
2. If you’re not there to work, try truly unplugging and embracing the atmosphere around you. 

MAKE A BLANKET FORT
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There’s a cool spring rain falling outside and you want to make your night-in just a little more cozy. How about embracing your inner child, and building a blanket fort? Think about it… When was the last time you did?

It doesn’t matter how you build it; tacks, chairs, sheets or blankets, sturdy, flimsy, simple or complex… Spending time in a fort soothes our deep-rooted human desire for shelter. It is the ultimate cozy atmosphere.

pillow fort collage
T I P S  F O R  H Y G G E  S U C C E S S :
1. Spend the night in your blanket fort! How fun to wake up in the morning and experience the true child-like wonder of crawling out of your fort to grab breakfast.
2. I know, it’s tempting to grab the laptop or build the fort around your TV, but opt for story telling and card games instead and see how good it feels to have a screen free evening!

READ A SELF HELP BOOK
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Self-care lies at the root of hygge. And how better to care for yourself than to open your mind to life-bettering advice? Reading is good for the mind and the soul.

Snuggle up by the window, curl up in bed, and delve into the world of self-help. Here are some of my faves: The Secret, The Little Book of Hygge, The Little Book of Lykke, and You Are a Badass.

self help collage
T I P S  F O R  H Y G G E  S U C C E S S :
1. Highlight, underline, and mark important pages.. This ensures that you truly absorb the information.
2. DO NOT be ashamed to read self-help books in public, it is inspiring that you’re bettering yourself.

HYGGE MANIFESTO

These tips are little things you can do to create a more cozy life. I hope in doing them you experience more simplicity, togetherness, comfort, and joy.

There are many more ways to incorporate hygge into your daily life. Start with The Little Book of Hygge, apply the practices, mindset and concepts, and watch your life change for the better.

 DO NOT OWN SOME OF THE PHOTOS ABOVE, ALL CAN BE FOUND IN THEIR ORIGINAL FORM ON MY HYGGE PINTEREST BOARD.

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 in the 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 )