I've never been quite sure where I belong, but I think I may have found my people, and they appear to be Danish! Let me explain... It was my birthday last week, and I spent nearly an entire week with friends and family, happily doing all my most favorite things. There were no jet setting trips or Michelin star restaurants [though there was most definitely some delicious food!], just relaxed time with the people I care about most.
When I posted photos from the birthday celebrations, I wrote a little blurb recalling all the lovely things I did that week. 'Lots of time spent on the Beltline. Chill time on the porch. Grabbing too many lattes and cappuccinos. Photographing all my lattes and cappuccinos. Eating BBQ. Walks and runs around the neighborhood. Hanging out in the studio. Watching movies. Window shopping at vintage stores. Listening to music and making playlists. Watching random music videos from the early 2000s. Making Sunday breakfast. Drinking copious amounts of tea. Singing karaoke at home. Catching up with old friends. Drinking wine on the deck. Hanging out with new friends. Cozy TV time on the couch with all the pets. Going on a hike. Having a picnic. Going out for a nice Italian dinner. Eating too many cakes and desserts. Singing and dancing until the wee hours. I’ve probably left out a few bits, but there’s a common thread running through it all: I got to spend so much meaningful time with friends and family. Gifts and fancy dinners are all good and well, but it’s spending time with the people I care about that has made my birthday so wonderful. ' What does all of this have to do with being Danish?!
I received a copy of The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living for my birthday. A friend of mine said this book felt like it was written about me. I began reading it Monday night and promptly finished it within 24 hours. In reading this brief description alone [middle paragraph above], my friend was exactly right! I read through my short thank you to friends and family again, I had essentially described the essence of hygge [pronounced hoo-ga]. I quickly realized my perfect birthday turned out to be anything and everything hygge related, and as I read through the book, it resonated with me so deeply. For me, there's nothing more important than quality time with the people I care about and this sentiment is one of the cornerstones of the 'Hygge Manifesto.'
Creating an environment that allows me to feel comfortable, inviting and safe is the other piece of hygge I connect to strongly. If you know me at all and know what I do for a living [if you don't, I'm a furniture painter and interior designer!], curating the spaces I'm in with things that make me [and the people around me] happy and content is vital to my way of life. I've been this way since I was a child [again, was I born in Denmark and just didn't know?!].
As I'm writing this first look into the world of hygge, I'm feeling very 'hyggelig' right now. I'm cozied up on the couch with three of my four pets [Maggie is propped right next to my right shoulder, so she missed out on the photo!]. I'm still in my flannel pj pants and hoodie. It's unusually chilly in Atlanta and spending the morning in my pjs is one of the major perks of working from home.
I've got one of my favorite calming playlists on right now and we're all enjoying the sunshine washing over the living room, a real treat as it's been rather gray and dismal for days on end. I started the morning healthy and made myself a smoothie, but after reading through The Little Book of Hygge a bit more, I've been quickly tempted by a small sliver of caramel cake leftover from my birthday, which tastes particularly divine with my giant cup of English Breakfast tea. When I'm in this exact space, I'm really and truly happy. I know all our time can't be spent in complete and utter coziness, but I do find that being a bit more mindful about these special moments will help anyone bring a little more hygge into their life.
This book is a lovely everyday reference to keep on hand whenever you're feeling a bit down or are in need of some comfort. It's a quick read, easy to follow, and has simple ideas on how to bring a bit of happiness to your everyday. I want to buy this book for all my friends, so we can tuck into the hygge life together! Watson: SO hygge right now :)