Hygge as a Lifestyle – Part Two

Hygge. That has become one of my favourite words. That’s why I decided to write a series on living a hygge lifestyle. Last week, I briefly defined the word “hygge” and shared my first tip for experiencing a hygge lifestyle. If you missed Part One be sure to read it. I have two more points I want to share, and today I will be writing about my second point.

hygge as a lifestyle

So, my second point is:

Evaluate

Evaluate Your Environment

Look around your living environment. How does the “stuff” there make you feel? Do you feel overwhelmed by the mass amount of your belongings? This might be a good time to do some de-cluttering. Maybe your space doesn’t look comforting to you because it is too empty. Your home is a great place to display your mementos, heirlooms, and all the “stuff” you love.

things I love
I fill my living environment with things I love

You might also want to look at the decorating colours you have chosen. I don’t have the space in this article to discuss colour psychology in depth, but studies have shown that there is a definite link between colours and our moods.¹ If you want to experience hygge, you might want to try decorating with browns, greens, and blues as these colours have proven to be the most peaceful and calming.²

We all know how important comfortable furniture is when you want to relax. So that is another great thing to evaluate in your environment. Make sure that you have at least a couple furniture pieces that call your name.

If there are a lot of people who live in your house, you may want to ensure that each person has their own room/space that they can personalize and where they can relax.

Evaluate Your Wardrobe

Another thing to evaluate when attempting to develop a hygge lifestyle, is your wardrobe. How comfortable are your clothes and shoes? I am definitely writing about physical comfort. It’s hard to have a feeling of hygge if your sweater is irritating your skin or your shoes are too tight. However, I also think that your clothes should also be emotionally comfortable. Do you feel confident in your clothes or do you feel conspicuous? We all have a different style so I am a strong believer that we should not merely attempt to blend in with the crowd. But, I think that most of us know what it is like to wear something that makes us feel self conscious and definitely not hyggly.

clothes you love
Keep only the clothes that you love and feel comfortable wearing

Colour is also important in your wardrobe. I have personally found that the colour I wear, affects how I feel that day (or perhaps how I feel that morning determines the colour I wear!). Evaluate your wardrobe and decide what makes you feel comfortable.

Evaluate Your Schedule

Hygge “activities” (such as curling up on the couch and reading a good book or playing a board game as a family) don’t usually just happen. In our fast-paced modern lives, hygge time is something has to be scheduled into our lives.

Schedule hygge “activities”

Next week, I’ll be sharing my third and final point in the series of “Hygge as a Lifestyle.”

Until then, have a hygge day!

Joanna

1 You can read this article about colour and behaviour this in the The New York Times.

2 To read more about colour properties be sure to check out this article from Colour Affects.

 

 

Hygge as a Lifestyle – Part One

There is a term that has been sweeping the internet for the last couple of years and that term is “hygge.” What is hygge?

Hygge is a Danish word made famous by Meik Wiking in his book “The Little Book of Hygge: the Danish Way to Live Well.” He describes hygge as meaning comfort, warmth, and togetherness. It is about finding happiness and comfort in the simple everyday things of life. When I first heard this word and its meaning, I was over-the-top excited. It described the exact lifestyle I have been trying to live. Now I have an actual word to describe it!

That is why I am super excited to share with you my ideas on how to create a hygge lifestyle. I will be sharing these ideas over the next three weeks so be sure to stay tuned for the next two articles on this topic.

My first tip is in many ways the most important, but yet the most difficult. Here it is:

Unplug

So much of our lives seem to be controlled by technology. We use it for work, and we use it for play. While no one can refute that technology can be very useful, studies have shown that technology has a major negative impact on our brain health. The Guardian published an article called Why the Modern World is Bad for Your Brain, in which neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin states the following:

“Our brains are busier than ever before. We’re assaulted with facts, pseudo facts, jibber-jabber, and rumour, all posing as information. Trying to figure out what you need to know and what you can ignore is exhausting. At the same time, we are all doing more. Thirty years ago, travel agents made our airline and rail reservations, salespeople helped us find what we were looking for in shops, and professional typists or secretaries helped busy people with their correspondence. Now we do most of those things ourselves. We are doing the jobs of 10 different people while still trying to keep up with our lives, our children and parents, our friends, our careers, our hobbies, and our favourite TV shows.

…Our smartphones have become Swiss army knife–like appliances that include a dictionary, calculator, web browser, email, Game Boy, appointment calendar, voice recorder, guitar tuner, weather forecaster, GPS, texter, tweeter, Facebookupdater, and flashlight.

….Even though we think we’re getting a lot done, ironically, multitasking makes us demonstrably less efficient. Multitasking has been found to increase the production of the stress hormone cortisol as well as the fight-or-flight hormone adrenaline, which can overstimulate your brain and cause mental fog or scrambled thinking. Multitasking creates a dopamine-addiction feedback loop, effectively rewarding the brain for losing focus and for constantly searching for external stimulation.”

That sounds exactly the opposite of hygge. So if you want to experience a hygge lifestyle, you must deliberately unplug during times when the use of technology is not absolutely required. This could include reading printed paper books, writing in an actual notebook, or playing old-fashioned type games. Maybe it’s time to go back to Grandma’s crossword puzzles, Dad’s paper-backed dictionary, or Mom’s pocket planner.

unplug
Unplugging is an important step in achieving a hygge lifestyle

Unplugging is also vital in reconnecting with others. As mentioned at the beginning of this article, the definition of hygge includes “togetherness.” It is difficult to experience “togetherness” when each individual is swallowed up in their own phone. Though called “social” media, this modern phenomena is anything but social. Real socializing begins when the phones are put down and the computer and TV are shut off. Then we can take time to re-connect in a real, not virtual, environment.

I encourage you this weekend to unplug and experience a little bit of hyyge.

Until next week, have a hygge life!

Joanna

DIY Floral Challenge – Spring 2018

It might only be the middle of February, but I am starting to feel the call of spring. Here in Canada we are currently having a mild spell; the temperatures have risen, and instead of snowing, there is a gentle rain.  So, I got out my current spring decor to determine what changes I wanted to make and what other items I would like to create. I have learned that whenever I am crafting things, it is important to start early. Too often I have been trying to finish seasonal projects when that season is almost over. One of the projects I decided to make is a spring floral arrangement.

diy spring floral challenge

Recently, I was invited on YouTube to participate in a spring floral challenge. This challenge takes place on Monday, February 19. Make sure to look for the video then. In the meantime, I thought I would give you a quick peak at what I made.

spring floral
DIY Floral Challenge – Spring 2018

I really enjoyed the challenge and will post a link to this YouTube tutorial on Monday.

Until then, have happy spring thoughts!

Joanna

A Big Thank You!

Following a very busy week, I am unable to make my weekly post today. However, I wanted to take this opportunity to say a very big “thank you” to all of my wonderful readers!

Until next Saturday, God bless you and have an amazing week!

Joanna

My Favourite Cookie Recipes

Do you love cookies as much as I do? I’ve often called myself the “Cookie Monster” because when there are cookies around, I’m sure to indulge! There is just something about a cookie that I can’t resist, and I assume that many of you have the same problem. So today I am sharing two of my favourite cookie recipes.

When our Harrowsmith Country Life magazine arrived in February 2009, my family couldn’t wait to try this chocolate chip cookie recipe. Both my mother and I have baked this on different occasions. Once we served them at a church fellowship and received raving reviews.

The Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups large-flake rolled oats
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 oz milk chocolate, grated (113 g)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans, lightly toasted

Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Lightly oil two baking sheets, or line with baking parchment.

Place oats in the bowl of a food processor and whirl until very fine.

In a large bowl, combine oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in coconut. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat butter until light and fluffy. Beat in brown sugar, white sugar and corn syrup until well mixed and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, then add vanilla. Using a wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture and grated chocolate. Add chocolate chips and pecans; stir until well combined.

Roll dough into 28 balls; place each on a baking sheet, then flatten to 1 inch thick, leaving lots of space between each cookie. Bake until just golden brown around on the edges, 9 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on racks. Yields: 28 large cookies.


Another of my favourite cookie recipes comes from a Country Woman magazine that my mother received in March/April 2001. I can truly say that whenever I make these, they don’t stay around for long!

Chocolate Cappuccino Cookies

chocolate cappucion cookies
1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
1 tablespoon hot water
1 egg white
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons corn syrup
2 teaspoons corn syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 baking cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a small bowl, dissolve coffee granules in hot water. In a mixing bowl, combine egg white, 3/4 cup sugar, oil, corn syrup, vanilla, and coffee. Beat until well blended. Combine the flour, cocoa, and salt. Gradually add to coffee mixture.

Roll into 1-in balls. Place 2 in. apart on a ungreased baking sheet. Flatten to 1/4-in. thickness with a glass dipped in remaining sugar. Bake at 350F for 5-7 minutes or until center is set. Remove to wire racks and cool. Store in an airtight container. Yields: 3 1/2 dozen cookies.


Now it’s time to head to the kitchen and satisfy your sweet tooth.

Happy baking!

Joanna

Sunrise Cleaning Challenge

I am super excited to be participating in a Sunrise Cleaning Challenge on YouTube hosted by Inspired by Nikki. The purpose of the challenge was get up before sunrise and be ready to start cleaning. That way the rest of the day could be spent doing something else. Face it, we would all rather be doing something other than cleaning!

Watch my video here:

Thanks for watching! Be sure to subscribe to my channel.

Next week, I will return to my Saturday posting.

Until then, God Bless,

Joanna