Monday, February 1, 2021

Hello Monday and Hello February! I am linking up today with Tanya, Heather, and others here!

Bye, January! Wow – that was fast and slow at the same time, just like 2020, really. This weekend I was in the moment and took hardly any photos. The highlights were Jack coming home Friday night and getting Five Guys take out, Mason coming home Saturday, watching Gilmore Girls, and just spending some down time with all of us in the house. I am having some really good conversations with them and I am seeing so much growth.

When we got our big snow of the year (so far) on Wednesday, it struck me as really sad because it was the first time to not get to enjoy it with my boys. As a teacher, I loved being on the same schedule with them and snow was always so exciting. I would go in and announce delays or snow days to them in the mornings and it was so fun! I still enjoyed it with Tom and Ernie that evening, but you know what I mean!

As you can tell, I am still in a period of empty nester adjustment and I will take any bit of weekend time. I think it is helping them this winter to come home more than last semester, too. I am not putting any pressure on them to do so; they can come as little or as much as they want. I have heard different advice on letting college kids come home or not and I am going with my mom instinct here and what feels right; we are in a pandemic and things are hard. They are always welcome. They are both diligent mask-wearers and their college has a weekly update with testing continuing this semester. They come home to spend time with each other, too, which is hard to do during the week with their busy schedules.

I do like parts of winter, but it just seems harder than the other three seasons, you know? In the last couple of years, I have learned about hygge and it really resonated with me. Last year, through my Swedish friend, I learned about fika. And, this weekend I learned about friluftsliv. Don’t worry too much about pronouncing them; simply live them!

Here is a glossary below and my thoughts:

hygge – a quality of coziness and comfort that engenders a feeling of contentment (Denmark)

I know I’m not the only one who latched onto this. We are all about the cozy pants, sweatshirts, fuzzy blankets, fires and candles. If nothing else, we have learned that our homes are our refuge. No one will ever think their home is perfect, but after almost a year spent mostly at home, we have probably never felt so appreciative. Ok, 2020 – lesson learned!

Some of this comes naturally with age. I think as I have aged I have felt more confident to know what I need and to say what I need to feel content. I no longer feel the need to buy something because everyone else is buying it. If a fabric is scratchy, I’m out. I know myself better and that in and of itself is a feeling of hygge, maybe. Also, I don’t think we are all the same. If you like something, get it. If you don’t like something, don’t get it.

fika – making time for friends and colleagues that involves a cup of coffee, tea, and maybe a treat (Sweden)

I love this. In the American school system there is little time for socializing with colleagues. Even our meetings with our co-teachers are micromanaged and dictated, and usually involve some sort of tedious paperwork to prove that we produced something. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a bit more time to organically hear about what someone else is doing in the classroom and of our own accord, learn from them and collaborate? Teachers’ lounges got a bad rap for being a den of negativity but I think back to my first school where I learned a lot in the lounge and had time to go there! Ha! And, at my current school, teachers used to go there to eat lunch but now it is really empty. Anyone want to analyze what has happened in education in the last 10 years through the lens of the teachers’ lounge. Hmmmmm.

And, I would say I am pretty good about this with friends in my after work hours. Having someone over for just a coffee or a drink is a very low level entertaining goal. Pre-2020 I felt like people were too busy and stressed to do much socializing at home. The pandemic really made simple entertaining possible. Heck, sometimes we would even tell someone to bring their own chair. It doesn’t get easier than that. Even an hour with a friend over a drink fills me up. I am trying to do this once a week. Tomorrow I am excited to go to a friend’s house for a drink and a fire.

friluftsliv – free air life (Norway)

I love this and this is the hardest thing about being a teacher under normal circumstances. I enter the building at 7:00 a.m. and leave between 3:00 and 4:00 without even a scrap of outdoor time most days. I am lucky to have windows which I keep open as much as I can. Hands down, the best thing about teaching from home has been my outdoor time. I have had my coffee on the patio, my lunch on the patio, taken walks at lunch, my afternoon snack on the patio, my evening cocktail on the patio, and it has really filled my soul. I started filling my bird feeders and watching nature more. I found out there is a rooster in my neighborhood – not good!

Have you ever noticed how much better you feel on a day you get fresh air? I think it’s super important to get it in the winter, too, but it is definitely more of a challenge.

I feel like Denmark, Sweden, and Norway might know a thing or two about cold weather!

Another thing I think helps me in the winter are hot drinks. Of course I have my morning coffee, but in the afternoon it is nice to have a warm beverage, too.

Irish Coffee: (also perfect with St. Patrick’s Day coming up!)

1 shot Bailey’s Irish Cream or another brand (this Trader Joe’s is good!)

Mix with a cup of regular or decaf coffee

Add whipped cream if you want to be fancy!

Mocha Joe:

One half to one packet of hot chocolate mix. Did you know they have dark chocolate? OMG!

Put the mix in the bottom of coffee cup, brew as normal, stir, and add a marshmallow or whipped cream if desired. You can also add some milk or creamer.

Bourbon hot chocolate:

Start with one half shot glass of bourbon and mix with the packet of hot chocolate in the bottom of the mug. (One full shot is really strong; ask me how I know.) Then, fill mug to top with hot water.

I find that keeping some whip cream at home makes it feel kind of special. I really don’t miss my coffee shop coffees when I have this on hand.

I always have big and small marshmallows on hand, too.

How was your weekend? It sounds like lots of you got more snow!

Any thoughts on hygge, fika, or friluftsliv? Any thought on hot drinks?


22 thoughts on “Hello Monday with Hyyge, Fika, Friluftsliv and Hot Drinks!

  1. Oh I love this post! I can definitely get behind the hyyge life. I’ve always enjoyed being at home. Growing up, our house always felt cozy and I remember my first apartment and buying a few things from Target when I could to make my apartment just how I wanted it. Same with our first house and so on. This year has showed me how important home is. Hadley helped me put out a few Valentine’s Day decorations this weekend and it made me thing what she’ll remember/do when she’s in her own just based on memories from her childhood. All the sudden she’s seeming 16 to me right now 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I do, too. I had two apartments with a roommate after college and then I had my own. I’m not that good at decor but I know what I like. I love just a tasteful touch of holiday decor. I’m already planning for my March decor that I’m going to put up February 15! Lol!
      They change so quickly but then the next minute she will act like a little girl again I bet. I have another niece turning 13 soon so now there will be 3 teen girls!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Those drinks sound so good, especially the bourbon hot chocolate! I agree – we need more time to socialize and the way my school looked when I left 3 years ago was drastically different than when we opened it 10 years earlier. Fresh air is so good for the soul too! I need to revamp my back porch and make it more evening cocktail friendly!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! See if you can find the dark hot chocolate if you are a fan like we are.
      I have so many opinions on how we do school and I’m sure you do, too!
      I guess I could go outside at lunch but I only have 20 minutes and that includes getting ready for the next class and using the restroom! Lol!
      That would be a good goal for the next month – to make a little area or spruce it up. I like to shop my house and move inside stuff out.
      Have a good Monday! Your weekend looked great – empty nester style.


  3. Love this post! I am not usually a very good entertainer at home – my house is small and not very host friendly – but I want to get better. You are right. Inviting a friend over for a drink is a low stress goal. I’m going to do that more in 2021. I really enjoy your insight with your boys. It feels real to me. Mine aren’t highly active or super easy to connect with always and you give me good low key ideas. Teens are awesome, but can sometimes be tough.


    1. Thank you Paige! Right now you can keep it simple. My house is small, too. I do most of my entertaining in the warm weather outside. But, i am grateful for two patio sessions in January this year!
      Thank you. I get that. Also, you will have different stages with them. Keep trying and it will happen.


  4. I have so many comments on this post. I think you have a great attitude about letting your boys grow up, respecting their space, and adjusting to the empty nest. It must be hard to have it all happen at once (with twins.) I really wish Grace were closer! It makes it hard to have a quick visit, especially with covid. I love all your thoughts on Scandinavian cozy! We don’t have a true winter here in Texas, but I still enjoy the hot drinks, throw blanket, reading etc. Getting fresh air is so important too. When we were in England, I couldn’t believe how different the school was in their approach to outdoor time (even in the rainy weather.) We went from the kids having a 20 minute recess to several recess breaks throughout the day. Even the middle school and high school kids had an outdoor break/snack time during the day. It was wonderful! Thanks for linking up with Hello Monday! Tanya – The Other Side of the Road


    1. Thank you! I also admire how you have handled Grace being so far away. I love so many of the English customs. That is the same in Germany; they would not think of not getting outside. I really think it is the best for the kids! Love that!


  5. I’ve requested a book from the library all about hygge, and I can’t wait to snuggle up and read it. I keep seeing hygge pop up everywhere lately, and I love the concept of it. Happy Monday!


  6. Yep, lots and lots of snow falling right now! But I am not a hot drink kind of gal. The only hot drink I like it hot cocoa and I only have that maybe a couple times all winter long as it’s just so high in calories in sugar (I don’t waste time on those watery versions that don’t taste good; If I’m indulging then I am INDULGING on the good stuff!). I definitely embrace several aspects of Hygge though and know I feel so much better to spend even just 15 minutes outside getting some fresh air.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pretty! That is true – I try not to drink my calories too much. It’s a nice treat every now and then. I love hot drinks but my coffee is just with a bit of creamer and no sugar.
      Yes, even just a quick dog walk helps me!


  7. I think all three of those sound like making the best of winter. I am NOT a winter girl – I love hot weather, humidity, and lots of sunshine! I do find that when I get outside in the winter, my days go better. I’m not a coffee drinker but all of your additions would be delicious in hot chocolate too! We have a snow day tomorrow, so maybe I’ll give one a try. Have a great day!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I LOVED this post!! I am SUPER into making time for coziness at home with soft blankets, candles, fire and hot drinks, even some instrumental music on Alexa!
    We have two recesses for our kindergarten, morning and afternoon! Fresh air is amazing AND the kids love their mask breaks!!!
    My brother and sister in law live in Oslo and they are all outside OFTEN in winter enjoying the fresh air!!

    Nothing better than having a friend over for coffee, tea and a treat and catching up with life!!! We need friendships in our life and we need time out of our lives for meaningful conversations with people we love and care for!!


    1. Thank you, Michelle! Me too! I forgot about music contributing to a cozy feeling! I love that you get the kids out twice. It’s so good for them. I would imagine even more with the mask situation. I think we just don’t put on the right gear and think it’s too cold. It’s all about being prepared.
      I truly value the time with friends even more now!


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