Sunday, 6 November 2016

Halloween and how to hygge

We wrote a post over the summer (it was in fact last summer, which shows how fast time goes when you have a baby!) about enjoying time outside wherever you can (even in English weather!), and we recently were thinking about how important it is to enjoy each season for the unique benefits it brings.
So now we are in our favourite season, Autumn, we thought what better time to write about enjoying the seasons, from the view point of a different one!

The Danish word 'hygge' has been rapidly growing in popularity lately, with magazines and newspapers writing articles on it, and it becoming a buzz word in home decor, Sarah's line of work. 
As big fans of Scandinavian and Nordic culture, we had to investigate further. 

But what the heck is hyyge? Ah, well that's the tricky part.
'Hygge' (pronounced hue-gah) is a Danish concept, and has no translation to an English equivalent. It is said that hygge is not meant to be described, it is meant to be felt, but the closest translation is probably 'cosiness'. It is the Danish tradition of enjoying warmth and  life's little pleasures. Curling up by the fire with a good book whilst enjoying a coffee, being bundled up in a favourite scarf arriving at a warm house, enjoying good food sat around the table with family...think along these lines and you're getting the picture!

Autumn, in the U.K., of course brings colder weather, with the average temperature for October being between 7 and 14 degrees Celsius on average, with daylight hours between around 7am and 6pm. So autumn, and winter, in the U.K. are the perfect time to get into the spirit of hyyge. 

Various articles describe 'how to hygge', with an article in InStyle magazine interviewing Mette Hay, co-founder of renowned Danish design house Hay -
“When I think of hygge, I often think of food, wine, or hot drinks. But even though it might be great fun, hygge is not a word to describe a wild party. It's more about quiet evenings or mornings with the people you love and care for. It's also about creating the right atmosphere,” she explains. Hay conjures hygge in her workspace and home by “lighting a candle, turning down the lights, or making a cup of tea—preferably in front of a fire." 
Candles, a blanket, comforting food and drinks, and either happy in your own company, or with loved people seem to be the hyyge way -although of course everyone has their own  idea of cosy! But hyyge isn't about following a list -  Hyyge has no competitiveness, just simplicity.

Our ways of enjoying autumn and winter through hyyge follow this path, although learning about our favourite cultures love for hyyge has definitely inspired us to invest in it more!

Candles
Denmark is the worlds biggest consumer of candles - a nation after our own hearts! We have candles lit most evenings, we love the warm, cosy atmosphere, and favour heavily scented ones. 

Tea & coffee
I'm sure tea and coffee runs through our veins, we love them both so much! 





Walks
We've always loved walks, with nearby Canon Hill Park in Birmingham being a regularly visited space, or just around our neighbourhood. We were joined over the years by our pup and our son! We love admiring the blossom in spring and enjoying the warmth in summer, but autumn brings a refreshing chill and the excuse to wrap up in cosy coats and scarves, and admire the colours of the falling leaves rustling under your boots!

Enjoying the season  
Autumn brings changing colours and falling leaves - there are few things more beautiful in our eyes than golden leaves on every tree. We are extremely lucky to live in a beautiful non vehicle access street that really shows the seasons. We look out only onto trees, and it's impossible not to be cheered up by a view solely of natures colours. 



Cold weather = comfort food!
 Lauren loves making soups, casseroles, bread, and pies from scratch, sometimes we pick the fruit ourselves too! And what could feel more hygge than snuggling up with your loved ones with a bowl of delicous home made food?


Autumn also brings Halloween! We have decorated for many years, and are happy that the rest of England seems to be catching up with us and our love of Halloween! We love everything pumpkin, even visiting a small patch on a farm each year, and watching (not too scary) movies.


 This year was our first Halloween as a family, and it was wonderful to visit the pumpkin patch this time with a little one - Oskar certainly looked the part for the whole of Halloween week! 






There are many other moments that being hygge into our lives - snuggling up on the sofa and watching a box set, Sunday cuddles and coffee, wrapped up warm looking at Christmas lights with a Starbucks red cup, or our families annual party on Boxing Day, but we aim to bring hygge into our lives even more than we do now. Plus it's a great way to turn the cold dark days and nights into something beautiful - snuggly candlelit times with your favourite people. 

Simplicity, comfort, togetherness and cosiness are things we always try and fill our lives with - happy hygge-ing!


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