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, get comfy while enjoying a film.

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 meaning 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!

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 were a pile of pillows to get comfy against, and I included my super soft blanket, in case I felt a need for something cuddly.

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 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.

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, thought I had it all figured out, then it surprised me at the end.

7 Day Hygge Challenge

I was inspired last week by a Pinterest post to do this fun challenge. The idea is to keep the hygge cozy going, even though winter is nearing its end. Hygge is a Scandinavian lifestyle, centered around creating connectedness and coziness, and not just a winter tradition.

Without knowing what it was called, I have practiced hygge throughout my life. I realized recently, when my DNA test results showed I have Scandinavian ancestry, that I perhaps have a genetic connection to this delightful way of embracing life.

7 Day Hygge Challenge

The purpose of the 7 Day Hygge Challenge is to do something fun, something different, every day, to keep the cozy element central in my life. The list is below. Play along!

1. Monday – Light a new candle, in a fresh light scent, and/or add strings of tiny white twinkle lights indoors or outside.

2. Tuesday – Have an evening without screens…no TV, computer or cell phone. Read a book, play a board game, work a puzzle or listen to music.

3. Wednesday – Create something…bake, draw, write a letter, sew, knit, paint, color, play your own tune or make a craft.

4. Thursday – Bring nature indoors…plants, fresh flowers, dried twigs. Create an arrangement, display or vignette.

5. Friday – Have a movie night at home, with cozy clothes and comfy wraps, and include a tasty treat and favorite drink.

6. Saturday – Get outdoors. Take a walk in nature, alone or with companions.

7. Sunday – PJ Day. Stay in comfy clothes all day. Have breakfast in bed, don’t make plans, read, watch Netflix, light candles, savor tea time, pamper yourself in your favorite way.

I love this type of challenge. It fires up my creativity and allows me to play. I look forward to focusing on hygge this week, and creating more intimacy, more coziness and more connectedness in my home and life.

7 Day Hygge Challenge

Spring Hygge Ideas

Although spring is still officially a couple of weeks away, it arrived for me yesterday. Already feeling the desire to do a spring cleaning and decluttering, I completely stripped my bed down, laundering everything. As I remade my bed last night, I deliberately left off the woven cotton blanket. That’s all it took to flip my spring switch.

I love this time of year, as the earth and my spirit both experience a reawakening. My creativity shifts into a higher mode as well. I recently shared a post about the hygge lifestyle that I’ve embraced. Hygge, pronounced hue • gah, is a Scandinavian custom that creates well being, connection and warmth. You can read that post HERE. When I think of hygge I think of candlelight and cozy blankets and a crackling fire. But hygge can be practiced and celebrated throughout the year.

I’ll be sharing ways to create a hygge lifestyle during every season. Today’s post celebrates the impending arrival of spring, with 15 ways to keep the cozy going.

Spring Hygge Ideas

1. Bring the outdoors in – Spring announces the earth’s awakening and the return of green plants and colorful flowers. Purchase bouquets of fresh flowers and display them in a white pitcher or your favorite container. Start flower and vegetables seeds indoors, for transferring to the garden, and plant tulip or daffodil bulbs in pots for a splash of spring colors indoors. Try tucking a blooming pansy into a tea cup filled with potting soil.

Spring Hygge Ideas

2. Brighten home décor – It’s time to pack away the darker colors. Freshen the house with lighter colored pillows and rugs, declutter spaces that have accumulated stuff all winter, and take down heavy draperies. Hang white or sheer curtains over the windows. Let the sunshine light in and on mild days, throw open the windows. The breezes that stir through the house cleanse away stale energy and lifts our spirits.

3. Switch out bedding & pjs – While changing home décor, switch out heavier bedding for lightweight cotton sheets, coverlets and quilts. Pile on the pillows. Swap flannel pjs for comfy cotton as well. Hygge is all about cozy layers. Trade heavy throws and blankets for piles of lightweight wraps, shawls and quilts for those evenings when the air is cool and you want to curl up with a good book.

4. Eat outdoors – Spring invites us to venture outside. Enjoy al fresco dining on a patio or porch. Use lots of linens and candles, and serve a healthy meal on your best plates.

Spring Hygge Ideas

5. Read a book outside – Stretch out on a reclining lawn chair or a colorful quilt on the ground and lose yourself in a book. Try a new author or select a book on a topic you’ve always been curious about.

6. Bake something – Hygge encourages nurturing ourselves with good food. Try out a new recipe. Bake from scratch. Create your own recipe. I’m excited to try recipes from my new Thrive magazine.

7. Go for a walk outdoors – Explore new walking trails, look for signs of spring, breathe in the cool air, go for a bike ride.

Spring Hygge Ideas

8. Create a fairy garden – Use a new or vintage container and create a miniature garden, complete with tiny accessories. Home garden stores and craft stores sell items for fairy gardens. And many plant shops offer classes on how to create your own small garden. I will be creating my first fairy garden in a vintage wheelbarrow this spring.

9. Play in the rain – With spring comes refreshing showers to help the earth awaken and growing plants to thrive. Grab an umbrella and enjoy the rain. Splash in puddles, tip your face to the sky, and if it is warm enough, forget the umbrella and experience dancing in the rain.

10. Continue using candles and essential oils – Candlelight isn’t just for the winter months. Use tea lights and white candles everywhere…indoors and on porches, patios and in the garden. Switch to lightly fragranced essential oils, such as lemon and lavender in the diffuser. Hang tiny white twinkling lights outdoors.

Spring Hygge Ideas

11. Do good deeds – Hygge promotes relationships and community and helping others. Volunteer. Practice acts of kindness. Remember to nurture yourself too.

12. Have a picnic at the park – This is another excellent way to enjoy being outside again after the cold short days of winter. Invite friends, throw down a big tablecloth and have everyone contribute to a smorgasbord type picnic. Or enjoy a solo picnic with your favorite foods. This is one of my Artist Date ideas that I look forward to carrying out.

13. Find a new favorite beverage – Winter hygge encourages hot drinks such as coffee, teas and cocoa. For spring try lighter drinks such as herbal teas, freshly pressed juices, flavored waters, and iced coffee. Brew mint tea, let it cool and serve over ice.

Spring Hygge Ideas

14. Keep fresh fruits & veggies on hand – A wide assortment of fruits and vegetables are coming into season. Keep a fruit bowl full of your favorites and try something new. Keep a veggie box or crate full as well. Try meatless dinners, using produce that is in season.

15. Celebrate – Find reasons to rejoice as everything around us stirs. Have brunch with friends, take a family member to dinner, welcome spring with a tea party for one…yourself. Whatever makes your heart sing, go and do that, in a celebratory way.

I hope some of these ideas got your creativity going. Spring is a time of rebirth, of new beginnings, and a promise that life continues. I will be embracing hygge and spring with a Seven Day Hygge Challenge, beginning Monday. Follow the posts and play along, or create your own cozy, comforting traditions. You can’t do hygge wrong if your celebrations create a sense of joy and warmth. May we open our hearts and our homes, and welcome spring.

Spring Hygge Ideas

Living the Hygge Lifestyle

I have my friend Marijo to thank, for bringing this Scandinavian custom to my attention again. I first heard of hygge a year ago. Greg showed me a book called The Little Book of Hygge. He told me, “This is what you do.”

I glanced at the book and thought it was interesting, but I didn’t pursue the topic. This past week Marijo tagged me on Facebook, bringing hygge back into my awareness. “This made me think of you” she wrote. I read the article she had tagged me on. And suddenly, it all connected. I understood myself better, which is always a good thing.

Hygge, pronounce hue • gah, is a Danish word without an exact English equivalent. It is way of life for the peoples of the Scandinavian region. It translates most closely to “creating an atmosphere of warm and coziness”. Hygge promotes peace and happiness, simplicity and togetherness, warmth and home, wholesome food and hot drinks.

Elements of living a hygge lifestyle include:

Surrounding yourself with family and friends and enjoying the simple pleasures in life. It’s gathering with those we love and celebrating life with good food and fun games and lively conversations. It’s backyard picnics and snuggling under thick blankets in front of a fire on a chilly evening, reading aloud or watching a movie. Togetherness is key to a hygge lifestyle.

Living in the present moment and practicing gentle self care. Hygge means relaxing in a hammock, spending an extra hour in bed, walking in the garden, learning a new hobby or soaking in the tub. It’s about journaling, being creative, having a pet to care for, and creating space to think and dream. Because it promotes healthy living as well, it includes cooking nourishing food and pausing during the day for a cup of hot tea or hot chocolate.

Creating a warm, welcoming environment at home. Hygge encourages warming up the home with textured quilts and cozy blankets, a crackling fire in fireplaces or fire pits, soft candlelight, lamps instead of overhead fixtures, piles of good books to read near a favorite comfy chair. Hygge is all about using simple natural furniture and decor, creating a soothing peaceful space. Piling pillows on beds and sofas, using rugs on the floor, letting natural light in, creating intimate spaces, bringing in plants and flowers, lighting scented candles and using calming neutral colors all contribute to a harmonious space.

I realized, as I have further researched what hygge is, that I have done these things all my life. I am naturally drawn to hygge, from my desire to create beautiful, intimate spaces to my backyard paradise to the bohemian style clothes I love to wear to the many candles throughout my home. My inclination to create vignettes is hygge. The way I nurture myself and decorate my home is hygge, as is my love of hot drinks and piles of pillows and linens, and my preference for lamps instead of overhead lighting.

I suddenly understood it all, in light of my recent DNA test results, when I read this statement by Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, and author of The Little Book of Hygge. “Hygge is a defining feature of our cultural identity and an integral part of our national DNA.”

DNA. DNA! My results show that I am 6% Scandinavian, a region that includes Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Hygge is in my DNA! How amazing to realize that. It brought years to my eyes and deep understanding to my heart.

So excuse me. The sun is setting. I will brew a cup of hot tea, turn on a few lamps, light candles, and add a few drops of Young Living lavender oil to my diffuser. My favorite blanket is draped over my chair and there are a couple of books nearby.

I am hygging. My Scandinavian is showing.