Friday, October 14, 2016


I really truly love fall. It is wonderful to watch the world shifting from hot and humid days to a sharp and crispy scene. If summer is languid and slow, then fall is alert and exciting. In the summer when we play outdoors for hours, time seems to stop and everything moves in slow motion, in the fall the time spent outdoors feels invigorating in a different way: there is a buzz and energy in the air. We've been spending a lot of time outdoors lately and the weather seems perfect - not too hot, not too cold. The kids love playing outside with their bikes and putting on dance show and collecting acorns. I've been baking more than I did this summer, which was zero, and the smell of something warm and spicy in the oven combined with the brisk air outside makes me feel like I am reliving all of my past years' a good way. Even so, with all of my love and appreciation in full bloom, there is also a gloom that I can feel descending and spreading over me. It's the knowledge that the sunlight is sparse and everything is colder.  It's a familiar feeling, it happens this time of year, every year, but I've gotten better at planning for it. I know now to make a game plan and to march into the darker colder season with purpose.  

The past couple of years I've been incorporating more of the Danish concept of hygge into the colder months.  If you don't know, hygge means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying good things in life with people, so hygge can be anything that helps make that happen: candle light, the smell of cinnamon and cloves, sitting around a table having good conversation, mulled wine, snuggling under a blanket, drinking tea from your favorite mug.

Here are the things that I am going to do to practice hygge and blast the winter blues this year:

1. Candlelight at dinner: One of the things that make colder days difficult is how dark it is by the time we get home. It's depressing to have the time we spend together be dark, so my way to make the best out of that situation is to light candles for dinner every night. Eating by candlelight always lift my spirits, and it definitely creates a feeling of coziness.

2. Winter aid kit: I'm compiling a little bag to carry around with me everywhere, maybe even a couple of different bags - one for work, for the car, for home.  Often when I find myself feeling extra cranky because I have chapped lips and dry skin, replenishing my skin or swiping on some bright lipstick does wonders. My kit will include things like good quality lotion, lip balm, vaseline, bright lipstick, peppermint essential oil, peppermint candy.

3. Fleece-lined tights: obvious.

4. Drink lots of water: I heard something recently that said the reason why sickness is more prevalent during the winter time is because we don't get as much moisture and water. I don't know how true this is but it seems to align with the more well-known and accepted fact that drinking a lot of water will help your body ward off sickness.

5. Wake-up light: I've been thinking of getting a wake-up light like this for years now and maybe this year I pull the trigger.

6. Get around a fire as much as possible: I love any sort of campfire situation and this is one of those things that is much more appropriate for colder months, so being around a fire makes me feel like cold days are worth it.

7.  Mulled wine & mulled cider: I think an ambitious goal would be to have one of these going on in a slow cooker every weekend, with lots of spices. Just the smell alone is enough to create cozy.

8. Supplements like vitamin C and D: This is what I usually do during the winter, but this year I'm thinking of adding in magnesium and fish oil. 

9. Keep exercising: This is such an important one for me because 1) exercise is when I feel the most attractive and strongest, which seems to be an instant mood lifter, 2) sweating means that I am warm, 3) endorphins!

10. Bake as much as possible: and don't mind the extra layers, it provides warmth

11.  Decorate for the holidays early: Get at it the first weekend of December and keep it up until end of January! It makes all the cold days feel extra purposeful.

12. Tea: When I get stressed or grumpy I tend to turn to wine or bourbon at the end of the day to wind down, which isn't great because of the calories and cost, so instead I've taken to drinking tea for my wind-down beverage. My go-to for colder days is chamomile and peppermint (right now I'm going through Harney & Sons tins). One of my favorites in fall is Trader Joe's Harvest Blend Herbal Tea. I also recently tried this Gypsy Cold Care tea and really liked it. 

We kicked off our practice of hygge the other day with friends, by sitting around a fire, drinking hot cider or whiskey, and having good conversation. I finished off the night by eating a huge slice of apple pie. I'm on my way! 


  1. love this inspiring list! i have a hard time staying cheerful through the dark days which is a huge percentage of the year here in the pnw.

    if you like peppermint and chamomile together, trader joes' "well rested" tea is a cheap option.

  2. yay, Christine! I like to joinyour candle lifht dinner or fireplace.

  3. ah I'm going to steal some of these ideas! feeling some need for R&R :)