Tag Archives: thanksgiving

The Hygge Life: Cozy Homes

This is a repost….I love my Hygge home. But decorating is put on hold until Christmas due to finances!

Since moving into my new home seven months ago (hard to believe) – I’ve been almost obsessed with making it feel like home. This is a continuous work in progress. I couldn’t understand my desire or need to make it feel like home. At least until one of my Danish cousins kept saying, “That’s so Hygge!” on my condo photos that I was sharing on social media.

For those of you who don’t know, I come from a family that has a very strong European background. My dad’s family is Danish as far back as it goes. We’ve traced our history back 200-300 years. My mother’s family was English and Irish mostly. We have some German in our background but we don’t know which side – probably dad’s family at some point.

Even though our family has been in Canada since the 50’s, they are Danes at heart. One of the reasons I accepted the volunteer gig as an organist at the Danish church, was to learn more about Danish music and the culture. The Danes love their food, baking, good wine, and getting together with family and friends. Music is also a huge part of the Danish culture and it explains why I’ve always felt passionate about it. My father played the piano and violin as a kid. His dad played all the instruments he could get his hands on. And my grandmother loved to write silly songs and poems for special events. My aunts were all wonderful singers. We have a very talented family.

So, on this Thanksgiving weekend, I thought I would share with you what being Hygge means and how it applies to me. A half Dane living in Canada. I hope you’ll stick around with me as I explore this important part of my culture.

Lighting is still a work in progress. I will be getting some white lights for Christmas and some LED candles.

Updated with fall decor:

What is Hygge

If you’re on TikTok, and you’re into home projects, you’ve probably come across videos with the hashtag #hyggehome. The Hygge lifestyle has become a major trend in recent years. But what is Hygge exactly?

Hygge, pronounced hooga, is sort of a way of life for the people of Denmark and Norway. It’s about being happy, focusing on the simple things in life – and bringing comfort into your home.

“Why not follow the Danish example and bring more hygge into your life?”

Being Hygge is more than a feeling of comfort or coziness, it’s about being present and living in the moment. It’s about enjoying all the little things in life. It’s about finding happiness in every day things like food, wine, and spending time with loved ones. There is no one word in English to describe the meaning of Hygge.

Winters are harsh in Denmark with cold, dark and rainy days. They don’t get snow like we do here in Canada which can make winter really pretty. And since Denmark is so high up north, they get very little sun in winter months. Hygge was created to help the Danes get through the long cold winters.

I realized as I was sitting in my sister’s home yesterday and enjoying her Hygge home, that the lifestyle was something I had always longed for. I just didn’t understand what is was. And the more my cousins brought it up, the more curious I got about learning what it all means.

Hygge isn’t about selling or buying things, it’s not about furnishing your home – it’s about — living. A simple state of just being in the moment and being present.

Being Hygge

“A defining feature of our cultural identity and an integral part of the national DNA. What freedom is to Americans – hygge is to the Danes.” – Meik Wiking

Hygge Homes

Being Hygge in your home, means making it comfortable and cozy for yourself, and for guests. Socializing is a huge part of the culture in Denmark. Instead of going out for dinner, many Danes feel more comfortable being in their own homes, cooking food and spending time with family.

How can you make your home more Hygge? It’s pretty easy – and won’t cost very much. Add some textiles like throw blankets and cushions. Create a library nook – a cozy area for you to read in. Light a fire if you have a fireplace. Replace harsh lighting with soft bulbs, candles and salt lamps. This is going to be my next purchase for my bedroom project!

Wear fuzzy socks on a cold winter day, drink a hot cup of coffee or cocoa, light a fire, bake some fresh bread – and read a book. This here, is the very essence of being Hygge. Listening to music is also a huge part of daily life. I almost always have music on when I’m writing or in the morning as I’m eating my breakfast and reading the daily news.

Just reading these suggestions, you might be thinking to yourself, “Am I Hygge? I do this already!” Well, then you might have just had your aha moment like I did this weekend.

person reading book and holding coffee
Photo by Vincenzo Malagoli on Pexels.com

Candles and lighting

Candles have always been an integral part of Danish culture. As a kid at Christmas time, I remember marveling at the candle shaped lights on my grandmother’s Christmas tree. We would dance around the tree and sing carols on Christmas Eve. That was followed by eating lots of good food, pastries and opening presents.

During long winter months, candles are an inexpensive way to light your home and create a cozy ambiance. I’ve always found bonfires and candles to be comforting. I love lighting candles when I’m outside at night time. It reminds me of simpler times as a child in a Danish family.

Pinterest – 500px.com

Denmark is a country that is obsessed with lighting. Subtle lighting through LED lights, candles and salt lamps are used to make a home more welcoming and create a sense of intimacy. The word candles in Danish is translated to, “living light.”

If you want to get even more specific, there are Hygge candles that have a Scandinavian design with natural and bright colors. A truly Hygge candle is one that is unscented, and made from natural products like wood wicks.

Harsh bulbs like florescent lighting is hard on the eyes and not welcome in most Danish homes. If you can, go for natural lighting where possible. And if you don’t have access to large windows, then use softer lights with orange or yellow bulbs.

This is on my shopping list for my bedroom. My accent colors are coral, orange and pink.

Pinterest – jetsetlust.com

I did some research and salt lamps are a lot of work. I’m going with led lamps instead.

Bring the outside inside

Adding a little more Hygge to your home means bringing things found outside into your home. That means storing things like firewood by your fireplace, filling your living room with green plants and flowers. Starting a small herb garden in your kitchen. Or letting natural light into your home with large windows. You can use pumpkins, pine cones and leaves as part of your decor. You can also add things like pussy willow, wheat and other natural decor to help you connect with nature.

I think this is why I’ve loved having my balcony this summer. There’s a huge tree right next to me and it’s beautiful. The entire area is surrounded by lots of mature evergreen and sap trees. I know it will look beautiful once the leaves start turning color. All my plants and flowers died due to the hot weather this year, so I am looking for plants that can survive the dark winter months. I think maybe a few succulent plants and some ivy might work well. I’m pulling pictures from Pinterest for inspiration. I love this fireplace set up.

Pinterest – Nesting with Grace

Comfort food and family dinners

Connecting with family and loved ones is also part of being Hygge. A common tradition is to eat dinner together as a family. But in these modern times with cell phones and mobile devices, an important piece is to put away the devices during these family moments. Gathering the family together to prepare a home cooked meal is also a great Hygge experience.

Our family used to have weekly dinners where everyone pitched in with cooking. Cell phones were not allowed during the meal. And everyone pitched in with dishes. It’s something I miss deeply about the house and my mum. What I wouldn’t give to taste her pot roast and Yorkshire pudding again. Family dinners were always a blend of Danish tradition and English treats.

Preparing comfort foods like soups, stews and casseroles, or roasts and vegetables are also part of the Danish culture. The Danes have this delicious dumpling soup that my grandmother would make on special occasions. It’s been years since I’ve had it.

Pastries are also a popular tradition in Denmark. Filling your home with the aroma of spices like nutmeg, cinnamon and using ingredients like marzipan is a great way to add a little Hygge to your daily life.

Pinterest – Hurd & Honey

This is one thing I look forward to every fall. Soups, stews and hot casseroles. I think for me it’s more about comfort and remembering my mum in the kitchen.

Bread is a kitchen staple in Denmark. Many of my Danish friends make their own breads. Rye bread is very common to have with open faced sandwiches (smorrebrod). Or you can whip up a batch of scones to pair with your freshly brewed soup.

person holding bowl
Photo by Yente Van Eynde on Pexels.com

Hygge Living

If you want to learn more about the Hygge way of life, then I recommend reading a few of the Hygge books. You can order them from any book store. The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking is a popular book for the Hygge lifestyle. It’s a perfect read for a chilly or rainy fall day. Curl up with a cozy blanket, hot cup of coffee or cocoa, light some candles, and enjoy.

Thank you for reading!

Thanks for reading. I’ll be sharing posts and ideas on how to decorate your home and make it more Hygge. I’ve entered a nesting phase of my life. I’m not able to work due to health issues and a physical disability – and so having a cozy and comfortable home is extremely important. My family is becoming more and more important to me as time goes on. I’m looking forward to cooking dinners and creating new home memories with them all.

I’m excited to share this journey with you. Please follow my blog if you’re interest in learning more about my Danish heritage, my passion projects such as music and art – and recipes for comfort food, healthy baking and more!

I write often – so you can expect almost daily posts from me. It’s my therapy. And part of being Hygge.

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Happy Thanksgiving from me to you

This morning I woke up feeling a little sad and lonely. Being single and living on my own is fine for the most part. But it’s holiday time – Thanksgiving and Christmas that I start missing my family. Especially my mum.

Mum would always get up really early on Thanksgiving day. By 9:00 in the morning, the kitchen would be filled with delicious aromas of turkey and onions for the stuffing. The turkey would be in the oven for 10:00 am. It was always a big bird – to feed an army. Which at twenty people, we almost were army sized.

I’m missing my mum so much this year. Especially with dad in the home. We can’t bust him out. I saw him yesterday and the visit was a disaster as he was not having a great day. They are serving a turkey dinner but it’s just not the same without him. My sister will see him Tuesday. It’s just hard being away from parents this time of year. I tried booking a visit to see him. I really did. What else can you do? I called him this morning to wish him a Happy Thanksgiving and said I’d see him soon and that I loved him.

I was sitting in my recliner, sipping my morning coffee and surfing youtube videos on how to cook chicken perfectly, when I got an invite from my brother in law for dinner. We’re a small group. The four of them plus me. This falls within the rules of family gatherings during COVID.

“It’s nothing special, just ham, sweet potatoes, broccoli. We’ll even pick you up.”

He had me at ham. I was sold.

The rest of the family are all doing their own thing. And that’s okay. We don’t need to get together all the time. As long as everyone is safe, healthy and happy. I just wish my dad could be with us. It feels wrong without him.

And so… my plans for cooking a magical Thanksgiving feast for one, will have to wait until tomorrow. I do have a package of chicken breasts I need to cook up so I will do that for lunch. I’m also going to make another apple crumble for dessert tonight.

I love my family. I’m missing my beautiful mum and her pies this year. I wish just once – I could see her one more time hovering over the kitchen counter with her rolling pin and high heels because she was short. Just once I wish I could hear her laugh and sing along to Bing Crosby and Dean Martin as she baked a million pies and desserts for the family.

Just once… I wish I could see her smile again and hold her tight and tell her I love her. But at least I won’t be alone this weekend. And for that, I’m ever so grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving. Stay safe and healthy wherever you are in the world.

Photo by Anna Tukhfatullina Food Photographer/Stylist on Pexels.com

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Thanksgiving Dinner for One – is all about comfort food

Since our family is opting out of Thanksgiving again this year, I’ve decided to cook up some of my favorite dishes this weekend. This seems like a lot for one person, but this meal can feed me for days. Here’s my plan (what I actually do might change):

  • Roasted Honey Ham
  • Mashed potatoes with cream cheese
  • Roasted butternut squash
  • A can of cranberry sauce
  • Apple Crumb for desert

As usual, I’m relying on YouTube tutorials for how to make this comfort meal really pop. I’m devastated that I can’t eat dinner with my dad. So I’m making the best of it. I’ll see him tomorrow for a visit anyway and my sister will see him Monday.

Now a warning – this meal is not for weight loss. Nor is it low carb. It’s totally 100% comfort food as I’m really going to miss my family. We all deserve treats now and then, don’t we?

Roasted Honey Ham

I have a very small cooked ham from Superstore. You can use any ham for recipes like this.

Roasted Butternut Squash

I’m using frozen cubes for this recipe – it’s just easier and my knives aren’t that good.

Mashed Potatoes with Cream Cheese

I’m cheating with this one and using instant potatoes mix then adding cream cheese. Here’s a good recipe if you want to make it from scratch. Just add in the cream cheese and some milk or cream as you mash them up.

Apple Crumble

I still have a bucket full of crab apples that I need to use up this weekend. I think tonight I will make another batch of apple crumble or perhaps just baked apples and cinnamon. You can read my recipe here from the other week – it’s super easy and takes minutes to prepare.


I might have to fall into a drunken state this weekend just to get by. But probably not since most booze gives me wicked migraines as you know. I do like to indulge in a glass of rum and orange juice on occsaion – reminds me of getting drunk at the bar in my twenties on screwballs.

But for this weekend – I think I’ll order in a nice blush wine. I tend to like the German Rieslings, but they too give me migraines. So, I stick to blush wines. They’re a little sweeter and delicious. I’ll finish the night off with either some apple cider or hot chocolate.

If you’re looking for a really nice wine and money isn’t an object for you – try an ice wine. These are smooth and taste amazing. But at $40-50 per bottle – I think I’ll stick to the blush wines this weekend.

Or maybe I’ll make a sangria. The possibilities of DIY alcohol are endless!

What are your plans this Thanksgiving weekend? As COVID cases are on the rise, we’ve been told by the province that family gatherings are not recommended. So, our family is doing our part by staying home and doing our own thing. Though I will miss family dinner – I understand the risk of stuffing all 21 of us around a table together.

Stay safe this weekend and enjoy some great food! I’ll share pictures as things progress.