Image Sources || Top L, Top R, Bottom

In the northern hemisphere the days are getting colder and shorter, and at Soapwalla we’re craving hot cocoa, fuzzy blankets, warm fires, and evenings spent indoors in our pjs. SOOOO cozy. This is exactly the kind of cozy turned into a higher artform in Denmark, Norway and Sweden -- places where the winters are long and the sun only briefly peeks above the horizon.  

It goes by many names, but Soapwalla Chef Rachel heard about this winter-defying concept in Denmark where it goes by the word Hygge  (pronounced "hYOOguh”).  "In Norway it`s koselig (noun) and kose (verb), and in Sweden it’s mysigt (noun) and mys (verb) (Source)."

“From what I gather, it means something like "fireplace warmth with candles and family and friends and food, tucked under blankets on a snowy day, cup-of- coffee conversation, scarf-snuggle, squiggly, warm baby love." Or something like that.” –Claire O’Neill

Hygge doesn’t directly translate into English so it’s difficult to define. Hygge is more of concept, a way of being. And it’s a brilliant method to surviving winter. Here are few things we’ve learned from our friends up north and across the pond.

Image Sources || Top L, Top R, Lower L, Middle R, Lower Right

  • Fairy Lights || Turn off the overhead lights, keep it low and dim. Fairy lights create the perfect amount of glow so you’re not in the dark. Candles are great, but often contain artificial fragrances to create the scent. If you have small children visiting or curious pets it can be unsettling to surround your living room with a dozen lit candles. LED candles have come a long way and there are hundreds to choose from.
  • Scarves, Blankets and Blanket Scarves Oh MY! || Cozy blanket love needs no explanation. We love this one from Coyuchi. Blanket Scarves, are great for staying warm while outside but are also an amazing way to carry the cozy with you outside the house. Huge scarves make Sunday afternoon yoga extra snug, and are equally useful to bring warmth into your local cafe for drinks with friends. There are so many blanket scarves to choose from, and if you’re handy around yarn you could knit your own: a pretty hygge activity in its own right, we like this one.
  • Drink || Chai me later, I’m busy sipping on some warm beverages, here are three of our favorites
  • Watch || Watch great films like Princess Bride, Home Alone, Gremlin, or Blandings Builds His Dream House, one of Rachel’s favorites
  • Make || Crockpots make cooking hearty dishes really easy. Here are a few comforting crockpot recipes
  • Human Time (and pets too!) || The essential part of hygge are friends, new and old. We know it’s cold outside, but venturing out to a friend’s house or having people over is the key part of hygge that you already have!

Image Source