This fall I have been eager to embrace comfort. And no, this isn't just chocolates and a bottle of wine. Although, that would be a nice way to spend an evening.
Maybe it is because we are grieving the loss of our foster daughter after raising her for two years...maybe it is because I am in need of a deep breath while we a break from foster parenting and all that comes with it, for however long God wants. Maybe because I am just emotionally and physically exhausted. Whatever the reason I have felt a need for slow, mellow, comfort, making my home a place to breathe.
This fall I have started bringing more of the hygge lifestyle into our home through little changes. And it helps. The comfort helps me get through my day, this season of grief.
For those who don't know what hygge (hoo-gah) is, there are many definitions out there but it is a danish way of living, embracing the moment, enjoying those around you and quiet time alone. Hygge is about soaking up conversation in a quiet environment, laughter, warm drinks, the comfort of a blanket or candles. It is a concept that involves cozy contentment and enjoying the simple things in life.
Here are some ways I have introduced self-care: hygge style into my routine.
My master bedroom.
I have been slowly making over my bedroom over this last year after nearly 15 years of marriage and making it more of a place of refuge, rather than the catch all place for the house. With raising littles we always seem to have extra things in our room, storage, furniture, etc. So I became deliberate and careful about what I put in this room.
I updated my night stands~ when Jeff and I were newly married I got these tiny little hotel style night stands and I painted them black to go with what we had. I have been dreaming about updating those, well, replacing those night stands for over a decade.
Here is the BEFORE and AFTER.
I had been dreaming of a neutral color scheme, we have tan walls and I wanted to add whites and neutral colors.
I also wanted my husband to love his side but not have it be too girly. :) So I added some similar colors and he loves it!
My sweet friend made this piece for me, her business is Simply Rustic and Reclaimed, you can find her on Facebook. She is amazing and I got to add this encouraging piece of wood to my room.
This is my perfect spot, between our bathroom door and our closet door. Simple. Refreshing. A breathe of fresh air. Not cluttered.
As the fall came and I wanted more comfort I spent an evening and maybe $20. on supplies to create lights behind my curtains. It adds a sepia glow of sorts to our room. More comfort, more hygge.
My master bath got a little makeover as well.
I wanted to create a spa like space, I made the wood tray across the tub for candles, wine, a book, etc... almost five years ago when we first bought the house. I found all of these things for my bathroom on super clearance and picked them up as I found them.
Hygge, self-care isn't just about decor in your house. But it is about creating a place, being in a space, that brings you joy, peace and comfort.
I have tried to spend more time in the word....more time breathing in God's word and praying to Him for comfort. While self-care and hygge and comfort are important to get us through life, my relationship with God is the first place I try to seek comfort, for He is the only one who can bring me peace and rest.
Self Care: Hair Care
You guys! I cut my own hair! It was so long and this fall I wanted something new. my husband helped with the first cut after it was in a pony tail in the back but with the help of mirrors and crazy impulsive skill I was able to cut my own hair. For those of you who don't know, I am impatient when it comes to hair appointments and want to do something fun right then and there. I watched a few youtube videos and off I went. I am shockingly surprised with how it turned out. Thank you Jesus. So fun to have shorter hair.
So different! Enough to donate.
I was worried about working out with short hair and not having a pony tail but I love it!
This picture was after I curled it and from the original cut, while I loved how straight it turned out I wanted to add some layers and height to it.... so I played around with it. As a mom of many I often put myself on the back burner. I had for a long time.
So here it is a little shorter, with some layers and I colored it dark. It has since faded but it was a fun little self-care evening in my bathroom and music, Mariah Carey all the way!
Self-Care vs. Comfort Food. As women, we often think indulging in good food is bad, something we should avoid. However with the hygge attitude I enjoy my coffee and tea. Not just the drink it self, but the quiet morning on the couch with the fireplace going. It is a moment for me to breathe and warm drinks are soothing. Hot drinks are something you have to sip, slowly. The warm cup in our hand and the creamy flavors are often part of the experience. It isn't about the caffeine. Although some mornings it sure helps me get up and going.
Who doesn't want to do homeschool with a cup of coffee? Yes please.
Hygge means enjoying a cup of tea while on vacation, looking at the ocean early in the morning. (I got to enjoy this cup for all of five minutes before the kids found me on our deck and came to see me.) It is okay, we had a good quiet time looking at the ocean.
Self-Care: Hygge style is enjoying a piece of cake that your eight-year-old daughter made our of pure love of baking and not worrying about your calories and just embracing the sweet moment.
Comfort food isn't all cake and chocolate. This is one of my all time favorite salads, beets, apples, walnuts, and cashew cheese with a vinegrette! It is amazing. You can find it at Blossoming Lotus in Portland, Oregon is one of our favorite date night spots! Such amazing flavors.
Outdoors. I am an indoor girl at heart. But the older I get, the more I really want to be outside. I want to be around trees, oak trees are my favorite. While I dream about a farm some day I have tried to embrace the outdoor space we have.
Here is my middle daughter, who loves slippers and tea in the morning. This fall the weather was warm enough to enjoy some reading on the front porch while I had the window open to our homeschool room.
I think getting outside is super important and has been one of our family goals to be outdoors more.
This was one of our summer projects. We built this deck. I put drilled in over 1500 deck screws!
We added this and now have a place to gather outdoors with our friends and family. I could not be happier with how it turned out. We love having people over and throwing parties and this allows us to have somewhere to be outside while the kids play in the grass. This makes my heart happy. More time with family. Fresh air. Games. Conversation. Good food. Parties, I love parties.
Another way we are connecting as a family, is going on evening walks. This is a photo I took of our foster daughter this summer. My sweet neighbors made this into a canvas for me to hang in my house. It is one of my absolute favorite photos. We have these beautiful pathways near our house and the kids have loved going on our family walks when the weather is nice.
I thought this idea would roll passed my husband but he has really embraced this idea and loves it as well. We have even seen our kids embrace the calm, the simple things, enjoying moments and slowing down. This was a big part of our goal for homeschooling this year, you can read about that on one of my previous posts.
I caught this picture of my son, enjoying the fire after he woke up instead of diving into cartoons. He didn't even ask to put them on or rushed through his morning eager for breakfast. He just woke up and was calm. Such a sweet moment.
We had to give my youngest daughter a bedroom makeover after our foster daughter moved out. She was devastated that she didn't have a bedroom buddy as the other kids do. We moved some furniture around and gave her this little reading nook. Seeing my daughter embrace the quiet and calm moments more has been such a joy to watch.
I hope this glimpse into some of the ways I have been doing more self-care and inviting a hygge style of living into our family inspires you to do the same, however it helps your family. I am grateful for the slow pace, more time with God, more time with family and friends.
Of course my house gets messy in a minute and our kids play loud and jump off their beds and it is not always scrumptious dinners and warm drinks. But I am purposefully trying to add more into my routine as I need with the hope of creating a place where my kids can grow up feeling comfort and loved, a place where we can breathe when life gets hard, and an environment that allows us to embrace each other in love.