Bring the Cozy Lifestyle of Hygge Into Your Day

2017-03-10c The Cozy Hygge Lifestyle

*You can also watch my YouTube Video: The Cozy Lifestyle of Hygge

Images and post by Rain San Martin

Hygge means coziness. It was one of the big trends for 2017 on Pinterest. This way of life naturally combats seasonal affective disorder. Hygge is a big part of life for the Danish people. Because they spend so much time indoors during the winter season they need to make their interiors as welcoming and joyful as possible. This is how they have adapted to the colder climate. Though it is primarily a way of life for the winter, the same philosophy can be used during the spring and summer! Those who practice the minimalist lifestyle will find it is also compatible with the simplicity movement.

Make relaxation stations.

I have three areas that I have set up for when I would like to enjoy comfort: The kitchenette, living room and bedroom. The first is the kitchenette which has a homey vintage style coffee sign. This has a view of the sunrise, making it a great spot for coffee or breakfast. For the living room, we own an antique heirloom rocking chair. This is seated next to a wooden table with magazines tucked away in the drawer. There is a view of the mantel which is perfect for placing glowing candles.

I bring that feeling of “hygge” into the bedroom by having a sturdy back pillow cushion and extra blankets accessible in the closet. White string lights hang above the bed which makes a soft enveloping glow for reading. 100% pure essential oils are grouped together in a tray next to the bed.

Have warm beverages available like hot chocolate, tea, and coffee.

I keep extra tins of Stephen’s Gourmet Hot Chocolate available. Along with a couple of bags of marshmallows for when the mood strikes. For coffee, I stock up on bags of Seattle’s Best Coffee (a subsidiary of Starbucks). My favorite blend is Medium Dark Rich – Level 4. There is no better tasting coffee in my opinion and the price is very good.

2017-01-06 Hot Chocolate Marshmellows

Have cozy robes and socks.

I got a plush robe last Christmas which I love. If you have young children or a spouse they will enjoy snuggling up with you and your robe. My young son hopes to get one as well! Then we can burrow together like a couple of hamsters. In the spring and summer, you could try a cool satin robe for comfort.

Decorate with natural elements.

When we bought our home eight years ago, we were blessed to see it furnished with wooden floors and cabinetry. Rugs give added warmth. I have a carved wooden bowl which is one of my favorite ways to enjoy a prepared meal. A wooden table set creates a homey rustic feel. Iron pans and copper cookware are also timeless.

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Hope you enjoy bringing the coziness of Hygge into your everyday life!

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Decluttering Girls Closet

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Join me on YouTube as I declutter my daughters closet. Sure we want our children to clean up as much of their own bedrooms as possible, yet occasionally jumping in and doing a clean sweep will make it that much easier to maintain. The rooms of our children not only impact them, the whole family can’t help but feel relaxed as they walk past a clean room!

Though my original plan was to spend only 1 and a half hours on the project,  the process ended up taking a total of 3 hours to fully complete. This would be about 2 weeks worth of “Flylady” style decluttering, averaging about 15 minutes per day.

I achieved the following tasks  when decluttering the closet:

*Hung clothes that fell on the floor.

*Folded jeans and shorts.

*Tossed out trash or anything broken.

*Placed unused items in good condition in a box for giveaway.

*Grouped books and art supplies on shelves.

Now it’s your turn to declutter a closet in your home!

My Favorite Homemaking Blogs and YouTube Channels

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Uploaded YouTube video: My Favorite Homemaking Blogs and YouTube Channels

A few of my favorite homemaking blogs and channels include:

Flylady by Marla Cilley
http://www.flylady.net/

Home Living by Lady Lydia
http://homeliving.blogspot.com/

How Jen Does It
https://www.youtube.com/HowJenDoesIt

A Healthy Slice of Life by Brittany Dixon
http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/

How to Have a Peaceful Christmas

2015 How to Have a Peaceful Christmas

Images and Article by Rain San Martin

*You can also listen to my audio version of this article on my YouTube channel.

Do you dread the Holiday’s? Perhaps you have too much on your plate. It may be time to start fresh and keep things simple. Bring back the magic of Christmas and enjoy the wonderment of the season.

As a child and young adult I greatly anticipated the festive holiday season.  The day after Thanksgiving my Mom and sisters had a tradition of going to the Oaks Mall, in Thousand Oaks (Southern California). This was in the 1990’s, when black Friday was only on “Friday”. We would “stroll” through the mall for a relaxed and pleasant light shopping day. Our highlight was to view a mini-nutcracker performance held at the indoor mall as we sipped on our Ice Blended Vanilla’s (my Mom Nancy a strong cappuccino) from the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.  This was when Thomas Kinkade was alive and well painting idyllic Christmas scenes. The truth is, though there are trials in life we can focus on God’s blessings while minimizing stressful activities so that we may live life more abundantly. Thomas Kinkade had personal struggles, yet wanted to capture the essence of joy and wonderment in his eternal paintings.

“The question is not, “Do we experience pain?” Because I think everyone does.  But the question is how God can marvelously take those experiences and shape the diamond that he wants to make out of your life.” (-Thomas Kinkade from the Documentary  An American Artist: The Life Story of Thomas Kinkade

Over time, after I had a family of my own I noticed that obligation creep had set in, making the holiday season one that I would dread rather than anticipate.  I was at a crossroads.  I could choose to go on having contempt for Christmas or I could find a way to recapture the magic and simplicity I knew as a younger soul.  For the sake of my family and the spirit of my youth I decided to scrape everything and start with a clean slate.

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Send Out Christmas Cards Absurdly Early or Even Skip it!

One of my best friends Maria, sends out cards at an alternate time of year. Family and friends are greeted with an updated photo and a warm message. Her annual card is complete. This one tip has greatly eased the Christmas rush. I did reflect on whether this tradition was one I wanted to continue, and decided that indeed I did enjoy the opportunity to update loved ones with a newsletter and photo collage.

Some people have even opted to skip sending out cards altogether. The choice is yours. If the activity brings you joy then by all means send them. However if this activity robs you of peace know that you are not obligated to send them. Women feel the most pressure when the Holidays roll around, those around you will notice if you feel stressed out and burdened. That is why you must cut out any activity possible that weights down your spirit.

Minimize Obligations

Perhaps you could arrange to have family visit at an alternate time of year? Or travel during a less harried season? You may wish to politely decline an invitation to a Christmas party. Suggest getting together in the spring or summer instead. Has Christmas decorating gotten out of hand? A minimalist approach will save time and electric bills.

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Give Simple Gifts

I used to pack and wrap Christmas teas, baked cookies and small photo collage albums into individual packages. Though I thought the gift was lovely, the amount of time consumed crafting these packages was mind boggling.  Instead I opted to create high quality photo albums with Shutterfly and do nothing else for family gifts outside of our immediate household.  They directly ship to all specified addresses at once which saves me ample time.  Though I still invest a large chunk of time on the task, it still is less than before and with far more simplicity.  If you don’t want to create photo albums you could send See’s Candy or Hickory Farms as a time saver. I use birthdays as an opportunity to give individually requested gifts, as I have more time. If we are one day blessed with Grandchildren,  I would expand our gift list to include a few toys or gift cards for them.

Celebrate Your Way

For me the most touching part of the Holiday is when strangers, acquaintances and neighbors wish each other a Merry Christmas at the shopping center, church or other public place. We are reaching out to others with brotherly and sisterly love in a way that we might not otherwise.  Only participate in traditions that you can do in sincerity, with a peaceful spirit.

Do everything in love.”  (1 Corinthians)

May you have a Merry Christmas!

Rain

Finding the Courage to be a Homemaker-Even Without Children!-Audio

Finding the Courage to be a Homemaker

Uploaded: Finding the Courage to be a Homemaker-Even Without Children!-Audio https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=weAMF6WgIZE

Some topics discussed in this episode include:

*Homemakers are Not Just Stay at Home Mom’s – SAHM’s
*Avoid the Real Housewives Reality Show Stigma
*The Application of the Proverbs 31 Wife
*How to Explain Your Homemaking Work to Others
*The Work Ethic
*Don’t Let Society’s Expectation of the Two Income Family Trap You
*Nursing Homes Are a Modern Day Phenomenon
*Homemaking Must be Re-branded as a Noble Career Choice
*It Takes Courage to Be a Homemaker in This Day and Age

 

How Keeping Your Home Creates Room for Dreams

2015-11-20 Keeping Your Home Makes Space for Dreams

Image and Article by Rain San Martin

Our home is not only a place for rest, rejuvenation and celebrations, it is a place where many of us may create a business. Keeping your home reasonably tidy, decluttered and peaceful lays out the canvas for dreams to be born. If your full-time or part-time job is a that of a homemaker you are blessed with the opportunity to create a restful environment which encourages creativity.

1) You will be more likely to purse your side passion.

Clutter and untidy spaces may make us and others feel bogged down. That there isn’t enough time to pursue other goals. One thing that Marla Cilley of Flylady.net teaches is that once you clear your clutter you may possibly find your purpose or passion.  Though your purpose may be to live the role of a homemaker as taught in Titus 2, there may be other goals you have for your life. Perhaps you’ve wanted to design classy Victorian steampunk  clothing and sell them on Etsy. Or you may have wanted to dedicate more time as a volunteer at the Rescue Mission. Maybe you would like to offer your home as a heaven for hospitality, inviting guests over for lunch.  Search your heart and reflect on the dreams of your youth to give you inspiration.

2) Your husband may work on his dream.

If you do your best to make your home clutter-free, tidy and peaceful your spouse may feel encouraged to work on his dream. When he comes home from his day job, ideally he would be greeted with a clean and welcoming home. This fosters not only an atmosphere of rest, it may spark creativity.  A chaotic home and hostile home environment will make those who live with you feel uncomfortable. It’s best to approach interaction with family in a professional manner so you can maintain decorum when interacting with loved ones.  It’s more challenging when doing this at home, yet it is the noble thing to do. It is an act of discipline and love. This will aid in preserving your relationships for the long-term and build your reputation. Think of your legacy. How do you want to be remembered?

Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife. (Proverbs 21:9 )

3) Your children can find their art supplies and you can use them too!

Rather than having art tools scattered about the house, gather them and place in drawers or labeled bins specifically for creating art. Your children can locate art supplies when they are organized, not hidden behind clutter. For most of my life I couldn’t understand why an adult would want to make crafts when it could cost the same to buy a similar item new. Then it occurred to me that it is the process of creation which is an act of celebration. When you make fall or winter themed DIY crafts you are getting into the spirit of the Holiday season, spreading the joy with your family. You may even discover that you want to go beyond simple crafts, making products that you sell online or at a fair.