Day 2: Drink a Flavored Ice Tea

On this very full day, I could not have drawn a better activity for Day 2 of the Summer Hygge Challenge. I selected this slip of paper:

Drink a Flavored Iced Tea

As a gardener with many fresh herbs available, I knew I’d be crafting my own flavored iced tea. I happen to be writing a health blog post this evening on the versatile bee balm plant. I chose to bring a little ease into my busy day and let this herb pull double duty. I’m grateful I made that decision.

Day 2 Drink a Flavored Iced Tea

You can read about bee balm and its culinary and health benefits HERE.

For this blog post, I simply had to create a cold tea to enjoy while I prepped a quick, healthy dinner.

I gathered two sprigs of bee balm from my garden, where the plant is in full glorious bloom. I patiently waited for a bumblebee to dart to another flower before clipping the one I wanted for my tea. I have an abundance of bee balm growing, so the happy bee had plenty of bright pink blooms to visit.

Day 2 Drink a Flavored Iced Tea

Day 2 Drink a Flavored Iced Tea

I added boiling water to the leaves and flowers, covered the mug, and let the tea steep while I considered what to combine with this fragrant herb. Bee balm is a member of the mint family although it’s scent and flavor are distinctly oregano-like. Citrus fruits pair well with bee balm. After steeping for 20 minutes, I poured the tea into a 16 oz mason jar and added the juice of half a lime.

I let the tea chill in the fridge while I cooked a veggie dinner.

Later, for a splash of color, and a hint of sweetness, I added several freshly sliced strawberries. Ice cubes followed, and my flavored iced tea, made up as I went along, was ready.

I enjoyed my creation with dinner. The earthy bee balm tea, combined with tangy lime juice and sweet juicy strawberries, was very flavorful and incredibly refreshing. I sipped on the iced tea and when it was gone, I ate the leftover chunks of strawberries.

This tea could become a summertime favorite!

Day 2 Drink a Flavored Iced Tea

7 Day Summer Hygge Challenge

Back in March I enjoyed creating a 7 Day Hygge Challenge, to welcome spring without sacrificing the cozy connectedness of the Scandinavian custom. Pronounced hue•gah, this lifestyle that celebrates nature and simple pleasures is one that I’ve practiced my entire life, without realizing it had a name.

I made a decision after the first 7 day hygge challenge to kick off the start of each season this year in a similar fashion. With summer’s official start date on Thursday, June 21, I prepped for the next challenge tonight.

7 Day Summer Hygge Challenge

I used the 15 ideas for hygging in summer (you can read that post HERE) as inspiration for the challenge. I combined this challenge with another fun form of play that I enjoy…randomly drawing activities for each day out of a container.

My task tonight was to write down the 15 ideas on 15 slips of paper, fold them and drop them into a cute ceramic container that my daughter Adriel made for me many years ago. Each day I’ll reach in and select an activity.

7 Day Summer Hygge Challenge

7 Day Summer Hygge Challenge

The activities, which include watching a sunrise and a sunset, play in water, go on a day trip and plant something new in the garden, are all doable in a single day. Some activities are just more challenging than others. Since I have 15 activities and only 7 days in the challenge, not every slip of paper will be drawn.

I benefit from this type of creative play in several ways. I enjoy a challenge. It helps me to grow. The seemingly random order of the activities teaches me trust, for this game is, in reality, played with the Divine. As I select a slip of paper, I am choosing to remain in the flow of life, and I hold to the belief that I will draw out the perfect activity for the day.

I look forward to the summer hygge challenge and seeing how it all unfolds. Play along if you’d like. This will be fun!

7 Day Summer Hygge Challenge

15 Ways to Enjoy a Hygge Summer

It’s time to keep the hygge going during the warm and free summer months. Hygge, pronounced hue•gah, is a Scandinavian custom that promotes a lifestyle focused on coziness, comfort and simple pleasures. Often associated with winter time, hygge can actually be practiced throughout the year.

15 Ways to Enjoy a Hygge Summer

Here are 15 ideas to create that hygge coziness in summer.

1. Stargaze – find a quiet place free from city lights and look up. Lie on a quilt on the ground, stretch out in a lounge chair or sit in a pickup truck bed. Watch for shooting stars and make a wish.

2. Go camping – summer time is all about enjoying the outdoors. Make your camp comfy. Bring lightweight throws and quilts from home. Throw a rug down outside the tent, or inside if the tent is roomy enough. Have fun being outside while enjoying some comforts of home.

3. Grow a garden – a flower garden, an herb garden or a veggie garden all provide beauty and/or food and allow a connection with the earth and growing plants. Get your hands dirty.

15 Ways to Enjoy a Hygge Summer

4. Watch a sunrise and a sunset – bookend the day with the promise of a new day and the satisfaction of a day well spent.

5. Play in the water – cool off at the beach, in a pool, or with a garden hose and sprinkler. Have on hand piles of thick fluffy towels, wide brimmed hats and lightweight cotton cover ups.

6. Drink flavored ice teas – swap out hot teas for cold iced tea. Try new flavors of herbal teas. My current favorite is a blend of rose hips tea and orange juice, chilled before drinking.

15 Ways to Enjoy a Hygge Summer

7. Watch fireworks – celebrate the 4th of July with your own mini fireworks display or attend a big sponsored event.

8. Travel – take a day trip, a road trip or a two week vacation. Go somewhere new. Explore different cultures and cities and meet new people. Create a scrapbook capturing your trip.

9. Build a fire in a backyard fire pit and light candles throughout the yard and garden – candlelight and firelight are important aspects of hygging. Create a cozy evening in your own backyard with a fire and candles. Use safe containers for candles and monitor the fire!

15 Ways to Enjoy a Hygge Summer

10. Watch a movie or attend a concert outdoors – check your local news sources for movies in the park or outdoor concerts. If you are fortunate enough to have a drive in theater nearby, take family and friends to watch a movie on the big screen.

11. Experience a thunderstorm while sipping tea – appreciate nature’s cleansing through thunderstorms. From a safe place, watch the lightning, listen to the rumble of thunder, catch the scent of rain. Chamomile tea is a good choice for a calming tea if thunderstorms make you nervous.

12. Walk barefoot in the grass – and benefit from receiving the earth’s energy as it enters through the soles of the feet.

15 Ways to Enjoy a Hygge Summer

13. Create an outdoor room – turn your porch, your patio or deck into an outdoor room. Add comfy seating, waterproof rugs, cushions and pillows, tables to hold drinks and stacks of books and include twinkling lights or candles. Eat outside, read, daydream, entertain.

14. Make your own ice cream – use an ice cream maker and create your own flavors. For a healthy easy ice cream treat, blend 3 frozen bananas, cut into chunks, in a blender or food processor until smooth. Top with fresh fruit.

15. Slow down – observe life. Listen. Rest. Breathe. Take naps, in a hammock or on a pile of pillows. Eat lightly. Savor fresh fruits and veggies. Take your time.

Hygge is such a beautiful way to engage in life and care for the self and the soul. Connect with others. But most importantly, connect deeply with yourself.

Happy hygging!

15 Ways to Enjoy a Hygge Summer

Day 7: PJ Day

This was the final day in the 7 Day Hygge Challenge. And the perfect way to end this extraordinary week of creating coziness in my home and my life was to have a PJ Day.

PJ Day

Sunday – PJ Day

This was more than a lounge around in my comfy clothes day. The intent was to be comfortable and stay comfortable, without making plans or creating an agenda for the day. This was about self pampering and doing things that I enjoy.

I decided to let it be a go with the glow sort of day. Without making plans, I did what I wanted to do, at that moment.

Here is my day, captured in photos.

PJ Day

After an extended quiet time this morning, I enjoyed a couple of episodes of Big Dreams, Small Spaces, the British TV series featuring master gardener Monty Don. I get so inspired as he helps people create the gardens of their dreams. Look at that gorgeous backyard garden on my tv screen! This is the perfect time of year to be watching this show. My garden is waking up. I look forward to creating in it this season.

PJ Day

This was something that needed doing, but that I could have put off until another day. It felt like the right time to sort through receipts and docs from 2017, in preparation for turning numbers in to my accountant. There’s a portion of my sorting, in the pic above. Maybe because I was in a relaxed state of mine, or perhaps because I was in the flow…this task took far less time than I thought it would. It felt wonderful to get this out of the way. Tomorrow I will email a spreadsheet to the accountant and be done with it.

PJ Day

Two of my three cats, Angel and Shy Boy, joined me as I did my Morning Pages, in the early afternoon, and read for a bit in Under the Tuscan Sun. Cats, I’ve discovered, think every day should be unhurried and unscheduled!

Siberian Ginseng

I write two blogs. I post in this one every day and my health blog at least three times a week. Creating a Sunday/Tuesday/Friday posting schedule for Journey With Healthy Me has helped me tremendously with consistency. Which meant today was a double post day. Before preparing dinner, it felt like the perfect time to write today’s Sunday Supplement post about Siberian Ginseng. You can read that post HERE if you’d like.

PJ Day

Meals today have been simple: celery juice first thing this morning followed by a fruit smoothie, left over veggies and rice for lunch, lemon water, ginger water, hot herbal tea (lemon balm, thyme and fennel seeds), and for dinner homemade gluten free veggie pizzas. I made the crusts from a mix I purchased at Natural Grocers. It is also dairy free. I topped the crusts with organic marinara sauce and sautéed veggies that included onion, green pepper, garlic, zucchini and mushrooms. No cheese needed or wanted. These personal sized pizzas were delicious!

And finally this evening, I have a short stack of books to read in and my writing journal near by. I may draw or color…or not. I may watch a movie…or not. I’m enjoying each moment and responding to whatever my whim is in the next one.

This has been a beautiful week for me. Hygge isn’t a trend for me or an experiment to try. It is a lifestyle. It connects me with coziness, with nature, with other people, with simple pleasures, and it centers me more deeply within myself. I’m excited to continue with this way of life and learn more about hygging and more about myself. The 7 Day Hygge Challenge is completed…and it was most appreciated and enjoyed.

PJ Day

Day 6: Walk in Nature

Today’s challenge got me outside and into the woods. Although we had abundant sunshine this afternoon, temperatures hovered around 60 degrees and the wind had a chilly nip to it. I had already determined that I was walking today, regardless of the weather. I dressed accordingly, in walking shoes and a warm hoodie.

Walk in Nature

Saturday – Walk in nature

The Scandinavian tradition of hygge has a strong connection to nature. It encourages bringing nature indoors, in the form of plants, flowers, leaves, twigs, bark and rocks. And it promotes people getting out into nature by way of walks, picnics, sitting under the stars, and camping. Hygge considers activities outside less important than just being outside, and being present, both with oneself and with nature. It is a centering, awareness raising time of connection.

For my walk I chose one of my favorite trails at Wildcat Park, south of Joplin. This path threads through the woods there and parallels Shoal Creek for a bit. Other people were out, with their dogs or their families, enjoying the sunshine. I walked slowly along the trail, alone with my thoughts, smiling at walkers as they passed me or approached me from the other direction. Other than hearing isolated snippets of conversations and an occasional laugh, the woods were quiet and serene today.

Walk in Nature

Walk in Nature

There were surprisingly few signs that spring is imminent. Our cold February seems to have delayed flowers and trees. However, a few bushes were dotted with tiny green leaves and early flowers such as spring beauty and henbit were popping up. The river gurgled by, unconcerned with whether spring was early or late. I sat on a large boulder and listened to river’s wisdom.

Walk in Nature

Walk in Nature

I brought along a healthy snack to enjoy near the water. The sliced apple, dates and bite sized pieces of celery are great for supporting my adrenal glands and boosting energy. I took advantage of the bright sunlight, tilting my head back to bathe my neck and thyroid with energy as well. Removing my sunglasses but keeping my eyes closed, I sun gazed for several more minutes.

Walk in Nature

As the path leaves the river and loops back through the woods, I begin to watch for my old friend, Oak Tree. I was drawn to this tree in January of 2014. That day I stood alone in the woods, in deep snow, and rested my hands on Oak Tree for the first time. It was a magical experience, feeling the hum of life under the rough bark. I pause by this tree each time I walk at Wildcat, closing my eyes and touching the trunk.

Today I patiently waited for a group of teens to walk on by, and then I greeted this ancient oak by speaking aloud and placing my right hand on its trunk. The tree is showing its age. Large chunks of bark are missing near its base. And there are actually three trunks that rise from the base of the tree, towering over me. A fourth trunk appears to have broken off long ago.

As I stood there meditatively, eyes closed, hand touching the bark, I felt the steady hum of life. A deep red color appeared on my eyelids. Because of its connection to the base chakra, red signifies root energy. It represents the element of earth, and being grounded. Red, for me, represents survival and basic life needs such as food and water. I smiled. This was a good sign. Oak Tree may be old, but its energy is still strong. I patted the tree lovingly and told it I will see it again soon and admire its new leaves.

What a beautiful walk, embracing the hygge belief of connecting deeply with nature and appreciating the gifts offered to my soul. I left the woods, the river and Oak Tree deeply restored.

Walk in Nature

Day 5: Movie Night at Home

Today’s hygge challenge is actually one of my favorite things to do. I love watching movies. And I love that the task for day 5 was to stay in and get comfy while enjoying a film.

Movie Night at Home

Friday – Have a movie night at home

The intent for this challenge was to get into comfy clothes or pjs, create a cozy atmosphere, have treats nearby, and relax while watching a movie. I appreciate the deeper assignment beneath the challenge. This wasn’t just a watch a movie at home night. This was a create warmth and comfort and wellbeing while watching a movie at home night, with the emphasis on the environment part.

I took great care in creating a space that was fun, relaxing and comfortable. I have discovered this about myself this week…I take hygge seriously!

Movie Night at Home

I chose my bedroom as the location for movie night. Repeating the Day 1 challenge, I lit tea light candles throughout the room, leaving off the overhead light, and I lit the essential oils candle that I purchased on Monday.

There was a pile of pillows to get comfy against, and I tossed my super soft blanket on the bed, in case I felt a need for something cuddly.

Movie Night at Home

My treat for movie time was a cup of hot herbal tea, a blend of lemon balm, thyme and fennel seeds, and cara cara orange segments with a sliced Braeburn apple. This snack was satisfying and so good for me.

Following the comfy clothes recommendation, on this warm evening I opted for a soft sleeveless racer back T and low rise briefs, topped by a short, lightweight kimono style wrap. It has exquisite needlework on it, because comfy can also be beautiful.

Movie Night at Home

I was ready for the movie! Earlier in the day I checked my watch lists on both Amazon Prime and Netflix. I have long lists on both. I felt drawn to the sci fi thriller, The Circle, staring Tom Hanks and Emma Watson.

I’ll do a review of this interesting movie another time. That’s not the purpose of tonight’s blog post. I enjoyed the movie though. I thought I had it all figured out, then it surprised me at the end.

Movie Night at Home

What I really enjoyed was the whole evening…the candle light, the healthy snack, the pretty, comfy clothes, and the even more comfy bed with its pillows and soft blanket, which I did use to cover my bare legs when they got cool.

It was the perfect evening for me and I am grateful for it. And I am grateful for this hygge challenge that I happened across on Pinterest. This has certainly been a cozy, comfortable, beautiful week. More hygge in my life, please.

Movie Night at Home

Day 4: Bring Nature Indoors

Day 4 of the 7 Day Hygge Challenge was a great follow up for Day 3. The spring weather held and I was grateful for an excuse to be outside as I shopped for plants. More vignettes were assembled today as well as I moved spring from the front porch into the house.

Bring Nature Indoors

Thursday – Bring nature indoors

Being a gardener, I was excited about bringing new plants into the house today. In spite of the warm temps this week, it’s too early to be planting in the garden. I knew that for today’s hygge inspired activity, I wanted to incorporate living plants in my vignette. I’ve used cut flowers before, tulips or white daisies, in the vignette on my little dining room table. But today, I preferred living, growing plants that I can later transplant into my garden.

Bring Nature Indoors

As I did on the front porch, I cleared away the previous vignette and started with a fresh space. I love this vintage wooden sieve that I purchased several years ago at an antique shop. And I knew exactly what I wanted to place beneath the wire cloches…herbs.

Bring Nature Indoors

Bring Nature Indoors

I picked up a couple of small, but full, oregano plants. Each one fit perfectly within a small container that I then dropped into a bright yellow ceramic basket. They will get adequate light through the large windows in the dining room. When the ground is warm enough, I will transplant these oregano plants into the herb garden.

Into the wooden sieve went vintage Easter décor, made by Leta Moore when she took ceramic classes as a young woman. I deliberately left an open spot in the sieve, for purple hyacinths that I purchased today as well. After trying out several containers for the bulbs, and discarding them, I finally settled on two clay pots. I tucked two plants into the larger pot with the chippy white paint, and a single flowering bulb into the smaller whitewashed one.

Bring Nature Indoors

I liked the final results well enough. However, from the living room, an empty wooden box seemed to call to me. I was creating new vignettes on the entry table as well. I was curious to see how the potted hyacinths would look in that box that Greg had made for me.

As soon as I transferred the pots to the box, it felt absolutely right. That’s where the purple hyacinths in their pots belonged…here, not in the dining room. I learned during my Year of Journeys to go with the flow. I shifted and instead of creating one vignette that featured plants, I created two. When something clicks into place it is easy for me to complete my creative project, with little effort.

Bring Nature Indoors

Into this attractive wooden box went the potted purple hyacinths, a pair of metal birds, with chippy paint of their own, and a white pillar candle. I used a small terra cotta pot as a candle holder. Beneath the box is a little wool runner featuring spring tulips. My cousin Mindy, who passed away in 2015, hooked this piece. The flower pots have trays underneath that will protect both the box and the table runner.

I love how that little vignette looks, and how it came together, even though I wasn’t working on the entry table yet. As the hyacinths grow they will add height and color to the vignette. They too will be transplanted into the garden later.

Bring Nature Indoors

I filled the empty space in the wooden sieve with with a white footed bowl. Shirred cloth eggs, in soft pastel colors, are nestled within the bowl. And now I was pleased with this vignette. The colors within the sieve are harmonious and very spring-like, and the white plates with their herbs beneath cloches are nearby.

What fun to include these living plants in my vignettes today. As I cross the halfway mark in my hygge challenge week, I feel around me the coziness and connectedness that are this Scandinavian tradition’s hallmarks. It truly is a hygge spring.

Bring Nature Indoors

Day 3: Create Something

This beautiful spring-like day presented the perfect opportunity to create outdoors, for the third day of the Hygge Challenge. I knew I wanted to reset the front porch, using a fresh, spring theme. I typically redecorate the porch at this time of year, with items that will take me through spring and summer, to fall. I wanted to change that this afternoon.

Create Something

Wednesday – Create something

I enjoy creating vignettes by grouping items together that fit within a specific theme. I have vignettes scattered throughout the house. My covered front porch gets the vignette treatment as well. I have used a dragonfly theme on the porch for several years. It was time to come up with a fresh look, without buying all new décor. Part of the fun of arranging a vignette is using what I already have, in different ways.

I was in the mood for a unique focal point that I could create around. A trip to Michael’s Craft Store would perhaps inspire me!

Create Something

Indeed, a canvas print of a Henry David Thoreau quote snagged my attention. With its chalkboard look background and soft spring colors, I knew I could pull additional items together to complement it, pieces I already owned. And I love the quote: All good things are wild and free.

I couldn’t pass up three pastel ceramic pots. Michael’s had a BIG sale going on today. I bought them as well, in pale yellow, light pink and soft blue.

Create Something

This was my blank canvas, a bright yellow table tucked into the corner of the porch, near the front door. After clearing away my previous vignette and wiping the table down, I was ready to create.

Create Something

The canvas print hangs above the table. Below it a white table runner with embroidered spring flowers covers the surface. The three pastel ceramic pots occupy the center of the table. I dropped a white tea light candle into each pot.

Create Something

Create Something

Then the fun began. This is a bit of a trial and error process. As items pop into my mind, I retrieve them and try them in different spots, grouped in different ways. I have shelves in a closet full of vintage items and yard sale finds, candles and candle holders, and a drawer full of linens. I keep my theme and colors in mind as I make selections.

For this vignette, I wanted a spring look and soft colors. I used fake speckled eggs, a vintage ceramic bunny, metal in the form of a wire cloche and a bird cage, and a pair of porcelain birds that I have had for years. A candle and spring candle ring fill the birdcage, since those birds are free!

My favorite items are the small framed needlepoint art. Greg’s mother crafted the heart, with colors that reflect those in the large quote. She stitched this piece in 1986. The other stitched art pieces are not her work, but purchased by her about the same time.

Create Something

I love how this vignette turned out. Except for the table runner, none of these items have been used before on the front porch. Initially I felt like the two small framed pieces made the vignette seem too symmetrical. I rummaged in my closet for something else to add, and found the tiny stitched piece with a blue background. Adding it broke up the symmetry.

As I stood back to examine my work, I suddenly realized something…all three of the stitched art pieces contained a heart. That was one of those unintentional occurrences that tickles me and also brings confirmation. These were the right items for this new arrangement.

I had an appointment coming up, but I took the time to light the candles in the pots and take pics. This spring vignette makes me smile and brings joy to my heart. Welcome spring!

Create Something

Day 2: Evening Without Screens

On this second day of the 7 Day Hygge Challenge, I spent an evening without screens. This does not refer to the fine mesh coverings over windows. This was an evening unplugged from screens as in the TV, the computer and my cell phone. The idea was to spend that disconnected time reading, playing a game, listening to music or anything, really, other than having my eyes on a screen.

Evening Without Screens

Tuesday – Spend an evening without screens. No TV, computer or cell phone.

For the purpose of my screen free night, I defined evening as 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm. As it happened, I had some real estate business to take care of late in the day, requiring me to be on the computer until 5:40. And then knowing I would be posting this blog piece late, I used my remaining screen time to take pics of what I intended to do and create my title meme.

And that was when I felt the first minor pangs of being screen free. As a blogger, I am accustomed of documenting what I am doing, by way of photos. It felt strange to deliberately leave my phone in the other room as I retired to my bedroom with a couple of books to read and one of my writing journals.

Evening Without Screens

I admit, I felt a bit out of whack for the first hour. I’m not on the computer much in the evenings, and I don’t mind at all having TV free time. But my phone…that’s a different matter. I keep it near me. I check in on the blogs and on posts that have been pushed out onto social media. I stay connected to family through texts and Facebook. I thought about listening to The Greatest Showman soundtrack as I read, and then realized it’s on my phone. I also considered watching a movie…The Shape of Water released today. But nope, that involved a TV or computer screen.

I eventually settled into a very good book, with a cup of hot herbal tea nearby. I am enjoying reading, for the first time, Under the Tuscan Sun, by Frances Mayes. I love the film. It is one of my favorite movies. The book is transporting me back to sun drenched Tuscany and creating a desire to return to Italy.

Evening Without Screens

I also enjoyed working in It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again. I wrote several pages for the Memoir Task, covering ages 5 – 10 years old, by answering a series of questions about that time in my life. It is amazing how the act of putting words on paper unlocks memories for me. As I wrote I could almost catch the scent of the fuzzy pink flowers that covered the mimosa trees in my neighborhood and hear the sounds of kids laughing as they roamed the neighborhood. I was often part of that pack. And just as often, I was off on a solitary adventure of my own.

I only left my room once to check the time, as I don’t keep a clock in there. I was about half way through the evening. It came to me that I felt compelled to stay in my room, almost like I was being punished. Go to your room. No TV or cell phone for you. I found that intriguing and worked through the thoughts and emotions around that.

Evening Without Screens

Ultimately I very much enjoyed my evening without screens. I think this activity would be a good one for me to practice weekly, or as often as I desire the freedom to pursue other things without the distraction of a screen in my face. The animated movie Wall-E came to mind more than once tonight, and what happened to the inhabitants of the spaceship as they lived with their eyes focused nonstop on their monitor screens. They forgot how to move about, how to think for themselves and how to interact with each other, face to face. That’s not a future I want.

As I finished a task in my workbook, this quote caught my eye.

“The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.” Michel de Montaigne

In light of the evening, the words seemed so appropriate. It is good to spend time unplugged, and on my own, learning more about who I am and what I want to do with the time given to me. I do belong deeply to myself. I am grateful for the time tonight to explore those depths.

Evening Without Screens

Day 1: Light a Candle

Today I kicked off the 7 Day Hygge Challenge with the Monday activity. This day’s challenge seemed simple enough. And yet, as I selected a new candle to purchase at Bath & Body, I quickly fell back into my old habits. It was interesting to watch myself waver between buying a brand new scent and going with a long time favorite.

Light a Candle

Monday – Light a new candle in a fresh, light scent.

To accomplish this first challenge, I browsed the huge selection of candles at Bath & Body, located in my local mall. This store is the ideal place to pick up a scented candle. They had new spring scents in, with candles set up in attractive displays. That should have made my task easy.

Light a Candle

I was particularly drawn to a new line of 3 wick candles. Called Test Lab candles, these jar candles are dye free, with a soy based wax. They are made with natural essential oils, combined into interesting blends. Bath & Body currently has a dozen candles in this collection. I had to give each one the sniff test. Ultimately I selected the Sunny Fig candle. It has a light, clean fragrance that’s just right for spring.

Light a Candle

Bath & Body had so many candles on display. And this is where I almost changed my mind. I knew better than to start sniffing other candles. And yet, I wandered to another display, picked up a vanilla bean candle, and inhaled the sweet scent. I love vanilla. For years I used the Warm Vanilla Sugar line of products from Bath & Body. I don’t now, choosing instead a natural, organic line that doesn’t include chemicals. And I’ve bought many vanilla scented candles in the past as well.

I wanted something different today, something fresh. And yet…now I felt torn. Sunny Fig? Or Vanilla Bean? I actually turned to put the Sunny Fig candle back on the shelf. And then I paused to consider my actions. Of course, I was free to choose whatever I wanted. There was no wrong action here, no judgment on myself. But what was it that I wanted to accomplish?

I examined that. My desire was to try something new, a fresh scent, for this first day of the challenge. I could have bought both candles. However, I upheld my original intention, and made a very deliberate choice to not go with the scent I have bought so frequently in the past. It was time to step away from the familiar, and climb out of the rut.

Light a Candle

Bath & Body had a new product that was my “icing on the cake”. They carry inexpensive magnets that fit perfectly on the candle lid. I left the store with the Sunny Fig candle and a You are Something Magical magnet!

I’m about to get on a webinar. I’m in my bedroom, with my new candle alight, along with eight tea light candles. Is it cozy? Is it hygge? Very. I love the glow of candlelight. I love the intimacy it creates. I am glad I tried something different. The new scent is delightful. I’m not missing the vanilla at all.

Light a Candle