I recently came across something called Hygge (pronounced hoo-ga). Apparently it is a Danish method of creating or cultivating a sense of cozy intimacy and contentment. It’s about making feelings of happiness, friendliness and well-being as part of your everyday world. I live in a hectic, crazy life, so I am totally into checking this out. I have had two traditional released books this year, plus my first self-published non-fiction book this month, with two more traditional novels later this year. I. Am. Crazy. Busy. I. Desperately. Need. Hygge. (or a straight jacket and meds).
Step 1 is spending quality time with friends and family. I can be bad for letting this get neglected. I get busy, have things to do and places to be. However, to achieve Hygge, I need to dust the cobwebs off my relationships and let these important people in my life know how much I value them.
Step 2 is to simply sit by a roaring fire. The concept is to evoke feelings of coziness and warmth. Well, I like roaring fires, love the ambiance they create, however, I don’t own a fireplace. What I do have is an electric heater that simulates burning wood while it emits heat. I like the look of burning logs while I sprawl on the sofa with a blanket, book and cat. Check, I can do this with modification.
Step 3 is keep things simple. Okay, that sounds simple. Suggestion here is instead of agonizing over complicated recipes, make a wholesome soup or roasted chicken. Simple and just as good, if not better. While I enjoy experimenting with new recipes, I love simple, tried-and-true soups, stews and chicken meals with easy-breey prep. So this one is just a matter of remembering, when I stress the small stuff, to let it go and embrace simplicity.
Step 4 is to dim the lights and use candles. Apparently the Danes love their candles. I do not. They look pretty, flickering with a romantic glow. However, I cannot appreciate any scent they give off and I live in fear of a potential fire. I have pets. They are not a good mixture. So to keep my stress levels down, and error on the side of practicality, I think I need to forgo this step and settle for a picture of a flickering candle.
Step 5 is to decorate the inside with the outside. I am totally on board with this one. I love nature and endeavor to bring as much inside as I can. Houseplants trail their greenery like trees and vines. Water cascades from the aquariums like a waterfall. Blues mimic the sky. Artwork resonates with beachy-y scenes. Hygge suggested exposed stones, wood floors, big wooden tables and those piles of logs you need for the roaring fires in step two.
Step 6 is to bake bread. I no longer bake bread, but I like to bake flavored loaves of banana and lemon bread or various coffeecakes, layered and sheet cakes and on occasion, cookies. Like a loaf of white bread, baking is cathartic as you knead the dough and sharing it fresh from the oven with those friends and family from step one is one of life’s simplest and greatest pleasures.
Step 7 is drink cocoa. Preferably real cocoa, cream and milk, served and sipped from a large, heavy mug. Again, I am totally down with this one too. On a nippy night, home from work, feeling chilled, I love a mug of cocoa. That is one of my simple pleasures as I sit with blanket, book, and cat in a dimly lit room watching my fake fire burn.
Step 8 is don’t deprive yourself. Ah, this one is tough. I can talk myself out of nearly any good thing. Case in point– I had a coupon for a free dessert because of my birthday at a local restaurant, with any purchase no minimum. I was so going to do this and treat myself to a hot fudge ice cream cake. Yep, I liked the restaurant, could think of several nice meals that were reasonably priced and topped off with free dessert. Oh yeah! I even picked out the day I would be in town, timed and ready for my lunch and dessert treat. You know what I did? What I can do? Please don’t yell. I was within one mile of the restaurant, with coupon in hand, and talked myself out of it. Yes, really. Pitiful isn’t it? I said it was just as easy and quick to go home instead, find some leftovers and I certainly already had a chocolate bar or something to snack on. So home I went. Hygge would mandate, or at least encourage, I ignore conventional excuses and Go To The Restaurant And Don’t Deprive Myself of something Good. I need to work on this one.
Step 9 is much easier for me. Get outside. It is the balance and living a good healthy life. We need to be inside, because we decorated our inside with the outside, and we also need to enjoy the outside on walks, explorations, strolls with family and friends, and just keeping the balance of in and out. Yin and Yang. Step away from the keyboard and remote and take Fido for a walk, feel the wind in your face. Come home to cocoa.
Step 10 I really love, it’s pick up a book. Yeah, I am always picking up a book. Sometimes to read and sometimes just to move from one pile to another. However, proper Hygge suggests cuddling under a blanket with a book of your choice and just getting drawn into it. I cannot tell how many hours I have done in my life, and the places it has taken me.
Step 11 is simply put down the phone. Hygge is the antidote to modern life. It’s all about embracing experiences and living in the moment. If we are staring at a screen, whether phone or tablet or television or whatever, we cannot embrace or even see the moment. So the Danes suggest setting the phone aside and enjoy the feeling of the moment.
There you go, the recipe for creating happiness in your life.
Title: It Happened at the Park
Genre: Romantic comedy novella
Publisher: Melange Books
Practical city planner, Cassidy Grant, just inherited her sister’s beloved dogs. Excepts she’s a career girl more into heels and matching accessories. She’s not a dog mom. Worse, she is required to take the furry darlings to the dog park.
Jilted at the alter, Ethan Sheppard finally got a dog. And he loves their bonding trips to the dog park. He’s also the secret cartoonist whose drawings poke fun at the city leadership that might hurt the mayor’s chances at reelection.
After Cassidy and Ethan meet, she asks for his help to manage the pups, and along the way, he learns she will be fired if she can’t identify the cartoonist to her boss. But telling her will cost his job.
BLOG: https://www:summersrye. wordpress.com
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AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/ B00ACOBJ90
Ryan Jo Summers is a North Carolina writer who pens romances with a twist. They may contain any number of elements: Christian, humor, mystery, paranormal, sweet, shape-shifting, or time travel. Her dad is a songwriter and his aunt wrote poetry so writing must be in the family genes.
She makes her home in a century-old mountain cottage, with a menagerie of adopted pets. In her spare time, she likes to gather with family and friends, paint ceramics or canvas, potter in the yard, bird-watching, or read, play chess, Mahjongg or work word-find puzzles. She might take her dog and head deep into the forests and rivers near her home to plot the next big scene or story. Like her dad’s aunt, she writes poetry as a means to cope with life’s pains.
She collects lighthouses, shells, driftwood, and anything to remind her of the shore.
Up Next For Ryan:
In November, Melange Books is releasing another novel of Ryan’s. This is a contemporary romantic suspense mixed with paranormal mysticism, built around the exciting world of horse racing. Here is the tagline and blurb for “Wild Whispers”:
Tagline: Set against the exciting backdrop in the chase for the Triple Crown and filled with mystical surprises. Season is not a witch, but she can make a horse run and Ty’s heart race.
Season Moriarty is part few and part druid. She can see the future and alter it. She welds control over the natural elements of earth, wind, fire and water, as well as manipulating life and death. And she is an accomplished racehorse trainer, able to get any horse to run like the wind. Now Season has landed the dream job that will test all of her skills and abilities.
Ty Masters runs his horse racing business with an iron fist. No one dares to question him. He hires Season based on her reputation. Then they meet. Immediately, she questions him, challenges him, infuriates him, captivates him, and even intimidates him a little.Then she spellbinds him. But can she make a Triple Crown winner out of his willful colt?
Mysterious threats to Ty’s racehorses bring him and Season together in a race against the clock. As the stakes for the Triple Crown rises and the mystery of who wants to destroy Ty deepens, so does the undeniable interest and fiery sparks between them.
Coming November 2017 from Melange Books
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