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.

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.

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 Life… where we’ll talk about things you can do to make your life more Hygge.

See you soon.montanalaurasig

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