Tuesday, April 18, 2017

April Ramblings - Hygge on a Rainy Day

Sorry for the lack of pictures but I'm still trying to find my camera in the remaining boxes I need to unpack.

Spring is finally appearing and I've been enjoying the warmth this past weekend after our harsh winter. Even the native North Dakotans were complaining about how harsh it was. It was truly beautiful this past weekend with temps in the 60's. I spent the weekend reorganizing the pantry and craft/office room. It was an extremely productive weekend. Matt put my clothes line up for me so now I'm ready to start hanging laundry out again.

Today it's cold and raining - two things I hate as the cold just seeps into my bones and I can't stay warm. So, I thought I'd post today about how I try to hygge, or would like to hygge, on rainy days (actually this is the same setting I like for snow days as well).

I'll start this with having a nice fire going in the fireplace to add warmth and light. Unfortunately I don't have a fireplace in my quirky little house but I have been known to put a fireplace video on the TV to give the illusion.

Lots and lots of candles. They don't have to be scented candles either, sometimes just unscented candles for atmosphere are great. Another option are beeswax candles which have a wonderful scent of warm honey. I'm rethinking real candles right now due to the lil man so another option if you have babies/toddlers are the electric candles. These also work great if you're in a hotel or other situation where you can't have anything lit.

Comfortable furniture should be required, preferably some that you love. Soft, comfy couches and recliners are my favorites. A chaise would be awesome too. These need to have throws and pillows conveniently located on them to curl up in and get comfy.

You need to have blankets,afghans and quilts thrown over the above furniture. These are to be used and are not for decorative purposes only. I never have gotten people who have throws for decorative purposes only. Nothing is better than a soft blanket, afghan or quilt that's repeatedly been washed and is soft from use and love.

Pillows can make an uncomfortable or marginally comfortable chair comfortable so having pillows to be used can make the experience much better. I suggest having various sizes so you can find the best one for your comfort. Some days a faux fur one might be divine and other days it might irritate you so having a variety of textures is good.

Nothing is better on a cold day like today than a cup of something HOT: hot chocolate, tea, apple cider, or whatever. So having a cup of your favorite hot beverage close by to sip on is important.  Also having something special to nibble on is important. Depending on your mood it might be something as simple as a muffin, fruit or cheese and crackers or it might be more specific like a chocolate fest of your favorite chocolate candies.

Some people love to live in the pajamas when they want to get comfortable and others have special sweats or sweaters they enjoy wearing. Pick clothes that are comfortable and soft. There's nothing worse than a sweater that itches when you're trying to relax or a tag on a new piece of clothing that keeps pricking at your skin. Warm socks are mandatory for me, preferably a pair I knitted myself.

Once you have your setting established you need to decide what you plan on doing in that location.  I love reading or watching chic flicks like Ms. Marple, Miss Phyrne Fisher Mysteries or anything Jane Austin (sometimes at the same time) and sometimes I knit as well. You might also like to listen to your favorite music and just watch the rain and wildlife outside your window or french door.

Okay so we now have our setting: a nice fire going in the fireplace, you're dressed in your warm sweats and favorite baggy sweater, wrapped up in a comfy quilt or afghan on your favorite couch or chair with pillows tucked around you, there are candles lit throughout the room (possibly giving off a divine scent) with a cup of hot tea or mint hot chocolate and some fruit and a muffin to nibble on as you fall into a wonderful book for the afternoon.  Doesn't that sound divine! If you catnap while enjoying this hygge afternoon it's an added bonus.

So think about your next rainy day and think about how you'd like to spend it. I think the building of the details in our heads can be a small hygge experience in itself when we have kids, jobs and obligations prevent us from enjoying it first hand.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

March Ramblings

This has been a busy couple of months. Many things are transitioning.  When I took my Reiki course, my instructor told us she got a message that we all were getting clean slates. I had an idea of some things that it might pertain to but at that time did not see I'd be single again and starting a clean slate relationship wise. To say the end of 2016 turned into a roller coaster ride would be putting it mildly and 2017 started on the same note, but thankfully has calmed down.

I feel like I'm finally beginning to uncoil and relax - I'm finding my balance again.  I have my own place.  I was living with my son for almost two months so to have my own place was HUGE for me.  I desperately needed "me" time especially with what seemed like weeks on end of lil man having ear infections, teething (breaking 5 teeth in!), a nasty cold and then the flu. Thankfully he's gotten past this now and is the happy lil man again and fully of mischief. I have him overnight several nights a week as my son works nights.

This past week has been absolutely beautiful and warm.  I've been able to walk Lacey a couple times now and she's enjoying being outside as much as I am. I need to get my Fitbit charged up and start using it again. I need to get my table and chairs outside so I can enjoy the sunshine at lunch. I bought a Little Tyke slide that I have at my son's place I need to bring over to put outside. I picked it up on an online garage sale for $10! He has some large trucks he got for Christmas that I plan on taking outside. I'd love to find a sandbox for him. I'm looking forward to wearing some of his energy off outside.

I moved into a very small house. It has a nice backyard for Jasper to play in this summer.  There are fewer steps so it's easier for Lacey to get in and out of the house.  It doesn't look like much on the outside but to find anything nicer looking would have cost me an extra $160 or more per month and after much thought I decided having a "pretty" house wasn't worth another $160+ per month. I can think of a lot of things I can do with $160 extra a month!

What drew me to this house were the old fashioned built in cabinets.  Unfortunately the previous owners and rental company have painted over all the beautiful hardware but I can still appreciate it.  There are arches going from room to room.  It feels like an old farmhouse inside to me and I really like it. When it's just me it feels "just right" but with Jasper it feels way too small sometimes.

I've had to be inventive trying to work with the old house.  There's no shower in the bathroom, just a tub, so I've had to buy a shower attachment.  There's no storage in the bathroom so I'm having to be inventive in ways to store all my bathroom supplies.  I definitely had to downsize and get rid of some items.  I may get rid of some more. I'm pretty much unpacked now. It does have a basement, although, not a very clean one but I can store things down there.

There's one ripped pull down blind in the living room bay window so I've had to come up with window coverings. Of course I went thrift store shopping to see what I could find.  I bought several lace panels for $2 a panel which I thought was a great deal! I'm thinking I may tea stain them. I had the red and tan plaid valance panels I'd used at the other house and I brought those over for the large kitchen window. I did buy red panels for the lower part of the window.  There's an open area so light still gets in but I have privacy.

Ramblings of Thanksgiving

I hope everybody had an awesome Thanksgiving.  We took Jasper with us to Indiana for Thanksgiving.  I'm so impressed with how well ...