8 Ways to Celebrate National Coffee Day

Happy National Coffee Day my friends. If you hadn’t gathered by the name of my blog, I am a big fan of coffee. I was a barista for 3 years, and to date, it’s one of my absolute favorite things to do. I loved it. I blame my Harry Potter obsession for my adoration of making coffee – being a barista is basically just brewing potions all day. And when it comes to drinking coffee, well, there’s nothing better.

I know I’m not the only one who loves coffee, and National Coffee Day is definitely something to be celebrated! If you needed a few ideas on how to embrace this wonderful day, you’ve come to the right place! Let’s dive in.

8 Ways to Celebrate National Coffee Day (September 29th)

  1. Go to a local sit-down coffee shop, order a butterbeer latte to stay, and spend some time enjoying the vibrant environment a coffee shop has to offer.

  2. Surprise your friend or partner with a coffee, or Venmo them $5 to go get one themselves. Caption it “Happy National Coffee Day. Your coffee’s on me this morning!” and watch how excited they get.

  3. Pick up a pumpkin pie americano from a local drive-up coffee shop, head to the closest park, and stroll around while you sip your hot bevvy.

  4. Head to a main street café or shop, get a brown sugar + oat milk americano, find a window seat, and watch the people and cars go by.

  5. Snag a frosted maple latte from your favorite drive-up, and hit the road for a long scenic drive. Don’t forget to blast your favorite music, turn the heat on, and roll down the windows.

  6. Make a delicious pot of coffee at home by adding cinnamon to your grounds, find a cozy place to snuggle up, and sip your coffee while you read a book, color, do a puzzle, or read a magazine.

  7. Buy FIVE $5 gift cards to your favorite local coffee shop and hand them out to friends, co-workers, or strangers! $5 is just enough to buy a latte or frappe and you’d be surprised how stoked people will be for a free coffee.

  8. Make a to-go mug of coffee with some 100% pure maple syrup, oat milk, and a dash of pumpkin spice, bundle up, and go outside to watch the sunrise.

There you have it, 8 ways to celebrate this holy day. And it was short and sweet, just how I like my coffee! I hope you all have an amazing, delicious, caffeinated National Coffee Day.

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.

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.

A COZY SUMMER READING LIST

This summer is…. Weird. There, I said it.

Not that I ever have extravagant, exciting summer plans… But it feels odd that those things aren’t even an option.

No bars, concerts, festivals or house parties.

2020 is the summer of chill.
And CHILL is synonymous with cozy.
And COZY is synonymous with books.
And BOOKS that revolve around happiness, comfort and joy seem like something we all need right now.

So I present to you a Cozy Summer Reading List:

You may have noticed that this reading list correlates a little bit with my last post “Summer Hygge Challenge” where I challenged you to do things like “Run through a sprinkler” and “Read about something unfamiliar” (see what I did there, that’s kind of like, foreshadowing).

You didn’t think I’d tell you to read about something unfamiliar and then NOT give you my list of faves, did you?

Here’s some info on the books, so you can gauge if you want to spend time reading them or not:

1) The Little Book of Hygge:
“Danish secrets to happy living”. Denmark is one of the happiest countries in the world, and the author of this book literally runs a company called the Happiness Research Institute (dude knows a little bit about happiness).
Read this book if: You love getting cozy, you love fall & winter, you like to find little things that bring you joy, you like hot drinks and warm socks and things like that.

2) Business for Bohemians:
“Live well, make money”. The author of this book has done multiple things throughout his life such as writing articles for popular magazines, running a book store / cafe, and most recently, creating an online learning establishments for adults. The most important thing to know about him is that he does NOT want to work for the man.
Read this book if: You want to learn more about business, you want to start your own company, you want to do these things un-traditionally, you hate working for people, you want to learn the nitty gritty of running a business the way that YOU want to run it, and still have time for life and fun.

3) The Little Book of Lykke
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“Secrets of the world’s happiest people”. Do I really need to say more? No? I will anyway. While the Danes are the happiest people on the planet, happiness isn’t exclusively Danish; cultures around the world have their own unique approaches to leading a contented, fulfilled life.
Read this book if: You like being happy, and finding new ways to be happier, you enjoy learning about other cultures and what brings them contentment, you want to feel inspired.

4) The Art of Making Memories:
“How to Create and Remember Happy Moments”. Do you ever try to think back to some of the best times in your life, only for the memory to be incredibly fuzzy? You know that summer 2013 was one of the best of your life but you can’t even remember why… This incredible book talks about ways to make your memories more… well, memorable. So you can look back fondly and clearly.
Read this book if: You want to remember important things in your life, you have issues with clear memory, you want to recall stories from your life to share with your children and grandchildren one day, you like being happy.

5) Ikigai:
“The Japanese secret to a long and happy life”. According to the Japanese, everyone has an ikigai—a reason for living. And according to the residents of the Japanese village with the world’s longest-living people, finding it is the key to a happier and longer life. You could call Ikigai your passion, your niche, or your dream… but whatever you call it, FINDING it and practicing it every day is what Ikigai is all about.
Read this book if: You want to reassure yourself that finding your passion is important, you want to learn how to live a longer happier life, you enjoy staying busy, you love learning about other cultures.

All 5 of these books have changed my life. Not in some grand, earth shattering way. They just made me slow down and think about the way I spend my time, the things I do, the people I spend time with, and the things I spend my energy on.

They have all taught me how to live a more intentional life.

I hope you read one (or 5) and get all the joy and benefits from them that I know you will.

Please post on your Instagram or Instagram story if you read any of these, and tag me: @lo.ponder I would love to see who ends up reading these amazing books.

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 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 )