Hygge Your Home This Autumn

Will and I have been big fans of the “hygge” trend these past few years. If you aren’t sure what hygge is, it is a Danish philosophy about happiness and enjoying the cozy comforts in life. According to The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking, the word hygge comes from a Norwegian word for “well-being” and has transformed into a cultural movement embracing comfort and coziness.

I’ve never been a big fan of the colder months here in Michigan, but after Will and I started planning hygge nights and creating a more cozy atmosphere at home,  I have learned to love this time of year a little more. Whenever I think about hygge, autumn and winter are what come to mind immediately.

If you think you could use a little more coziness at home but aren’t sure where to start, here are 10 of our favorite {affordable} ways to create more hygge at home:

  1. candles & soft lighting: candles are a quick way to create that warm cozy feeling. We like to use all natural soy candles made without artificial fragrances, and we’ve even made our own with essential oils before! tip: if you live in an apartment that doesn’t allow open flame, twinkle lights can do wonders.
  2. warm sweaters and socks: it is hard not to think about soft warm knits as fall approaches. Embrace the season and cuddle up in your softest sweater. Bonus points if you can knit them!
  3. hot drinks: it is hard to think of hygge and not think of those warm fall and winter beverages, think hot cocoa, tea, hot toddies, or our favorite, mulled wine.
  4. get outside: the more time we spend outdoors, the more we appreciate getting hygge inside afterward. Take a nice long nature walk to enjoy the colors and then come home and get cozy.
  5. play board games: boardgames are a nice way to spend and evening with family and friends without getting distracted by technology. I think Scrabble is the most hygge board game of all!
  6. cuddle with your pets: we always jokingly call our cat Amelia “hygge cat” because she is so warm and fluffy and loves to snuggle with her humans. She is the cat embodiment of hygge, we’re pretty certain.
  7. make homemade soup or stew: comfort food at its finest.
  8. pillows and blankets: get comfy on the couch, or our favorite thing to do is to build a fort out of pillows and blankets and watch some of our favorite old films.
  9. read your favorite book: we love to read Harry Potter books aloud to each other, but you could enjoy this activity solo too!
  10. baking: we just baked a homemade apple pie and it makes the whole house smell wonderful. Treat yourself to one of your favorites!

I think the thing I love most about getting hygge at home is that it encourages me to be very mindful of my surroundings and appreciate all of the wonderful comforts we have here. Take time to cultivate gratitude for the simple joy of being cozy and enjoy.

love and light,

Lena

29 intentions in my 29th year

Today is my 29th birthday! The final year of my 20s has begun and I could not be more in love with the existence I am creating for myself. I am a work in progress, and I am okay with that. I am passionate about so many things and everyday I am astonished at my own thirst for personal growth. I am so very thankful for every opportunity this life has granted me.

It seems fitting that I wrapped up an 8 week Mindfulness Meditation course today. I had tons of clarity in my reflections and it felt like the perfect way to begin a year (and lifetime) of intentional living.

My 29th year will be a year of authenticity and intention. I will be mindful in the way I live. I will be loving in my daily actions. Here is my list of 29 intention for my 29th year:

  1. Be intentional with my time and energy.
  2. Continue to cut down on plastic use.
  3. Become a full-time pescatarian.
  4. Maintain a regular mindfulness meditation practice.
  5. Attend yoga classes regularly with Will.
  6. Make quality time with family a priority.
  7. Buy less.
  8. Write more.
  9. Practice gratitude regularly.
  10. Be resilient.
  11. Pursue zero-waste and circular living.
  12. Only purchase ethically made and sourced clothing.
  13. Breathe.
  14. Walk.
  15. Stretch.
  16. Create a better system of organization at home.
  17. Designate a special spot in the house for meditation.
  18. Be more patient with my littles.
  19. Spend more time in the kitchen.
  20. Practice self-compassion.
  21. Spend more time with the people I love.
  22. Extract joy from every day.
  23. Explore more.
  24. Ask questions.
  25. Make things.
  26. Get to know me better.
  27. Dream far and wide.
  28. Show kindness and compassion everyday.
  29. Be courageous.

This is my list. It covers so much while still leaving such a great deal to seek and explore. I want my 29th year to be a year of curiosity, risk-taking, and growth. I want to spend my time diving deep and falling in love with who I am and the life I am leading.

What are your intentions for the year ahead? Have you thought about it? What would be the first thing you would put on your list?

love & light

Lena

Sale on All-Natural Bug Spray in the Etsy shop!

Today I am sharing a special coupon code with all of my lovely blog visitors! My Etsy shop is filled with homemade, all-natural, toxin-free apothecary items that I adore… But my all-natural bug spray – made with 5 all-natural worry free ingredients – has been used on the regular at our house lately.

We love taking evening strolls as the sun sets, but the downside to that is all the mosquitos start coming out… and they are hungry! I have wanted to avoid any bug bites because I am getting married in less than a month and I definitely do not want to be rocking little red itchy spots all over my arms and legs! So every night I spray my handmade bug spray on and when the mosquitos smell me coming, they fly the other way! And the light lavender, eucalyptus, and citronella scent is not off-putting to us humans at all.. so don’t worry about smelling like chemicals and getting a headache!

My All-Natural Bug Spray is made with the highest quality essential oils on the market so you can rest assured that you are getting a safe product! Just spray it on your exposed skin, clothes, and hair and you can be on your way!

From now until the end of the month you can enjoy your purchase with a 15% off discount when you use the code BUGSBEGONE in the checkout! Each bottle is made-fresh-to-order andcomes in an amber glass bottle so it will last you the whole summer!

love & light

Lena

My summer sun must-haves…

When it comes to summer, I don’t think there is a time of year that makes me any happier! With my fair and sensitive skin though, it is really important that I take care of my complexion so I can enjoy as much fun in the sun as I can.

Because this is one of the biggest outdoor barbecue and beaching weeks of the year I thought now would be a great time to share my summer skin must-have items! For me, it all comes down to keeping my skin safe from too much sun and keeping it hydrated. So here are some of my must-haves for healthy summer skin!

1. Suntegrity SPF 30 Moisturizing Face Sunscreen & Primer – I wear this just about everyday under my mineral make-up. The SPF 30 was the big draw for me when I started using this primer but the orange citrus scent is pretty wonderful.

2. Suntegrity 5-in-1 Tinted Moisturizer – This is my go-to on the days I don’t feel like putting on makeup. The light tint makes me feel put together on days when I will be spending most of my time outdoors without having to worry about my makeup melting away.

3. Herbivore Botanicals Face Oils – I find it impossible to decide whether I like their Orchid Oil or Pheonix Oil more, they both smell amazing and give my skin great moisture! I use Orchid in the evening and Pheonix in the morning.

4. Josh Rosebrook Advanced Hydration Mask – I love facial masks and I have really gotten into them this summer. There are a few that I use regularly but this new mask is the best hydration mask I have tried! I love putting it on and relaxing for 25 minutes while the mask does all of the work. I like that with this mask you can take it off with just a clean towel and not worry about scrubbing with water!

5. SPF 50+ Sunscreen – I know there is a lot of debate about whether wearing sunscreen is worth the health risks. After lots of talking it over with my doctor, she and I decided together that it was more important that I wear SPF 50 or higher sunscreen, my fair skin is considered high risk for skin cancer, but I love to be in the sun so it is really important to protect myself. Lately I have been using SunBum and I enjoy it!

6. Wide Brim Hat and Prescription Sunglasses – I’m a glasses everyday kind of girl, so having my prescription glasses on hand is always important! And I always wear a hat when I am out in the sun all day, I love this straw cloche hat that I found at Target a few years ago! My perscription sunglasses are from Bonlook.

These are my daily items that I just couldn’t enjoy this warm summer sunshine without but I would love to hear the must-haves on your list for the summer season… Please share!

love & light
Lena

It’s okay to not be perfect…

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“Close your eyes, fall in love, stay there” – Rumi

In the winter I attended a 2 day Self-Compassion workshop with Dr. Kristin Neff and Dr. Chris Germer. After coming out of a beautiful meditation they shared this quote and I felt like my perspective was forever changed.

In our social-media-saturated world we are constantly bombarded with images that look so perfect I could cry. One of the big reasons I walked away from blogging a couple of years ago was because I felt my life wasn’t worth sharing because it wasn’t perfect. Not even close. And the few “perfect” photos I shared on my Instagram took me so long to style and to get just right that the magic of the moment really was gone. I didn’t like missing out on life because I wanted my Instagram to be flawless.

Then finally one day while deep in my Loving Kindness Meditation I realized, it’s okay to not be perfect. Comparison and striving for perfection had stolen my sense of self-worth and I let it happen without batting an eye. But the beauty is that now I am ready to reclaim my space here and enjoy sharing it in all of its imperfection.

If you are ever struggling with feelings of unworthiness because your life doesn’t seem as perfect as the blog and Instagram feeds you see everyday, you are not alone. The next time this happens…

Stop – comparison is the thief of joy, so let it go.
Breathe – you deserve compassion, breathe in courage, breathe out judgement.
Embrace – you are worthy of love and celebration, explore the reasons why.

Your imperfect world is perfect to me. My imperfect world is perfect to me. Embrace life for all it has to offer. Don’t miss out just because the lighting isn’t right… In the end it is the moments that matter most, so live them, love them, and rejoice in them.

love & light,
Lena