Brining Hygge to Florida Living

In 2015, I picked up a copy of Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and began what is still an on-going process of deciding which items in my life spark joy. Moving from a tiny apartment and into The Lil House of the Nerdy, it gave me a blueprint to make the move easier, allowing me to begin cultivating a healthy living environment akin to the one I had in Japan. Building upon the concepts in Kondo’s book, my mom surprised me with a copy of The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living by Meik Wiking. If I can’t travel to Denmark, I can at least get a glimpse of how they live as some of the happiest people on the planet!

IMG_8775A wonderfully simple & worthwhile read. 

Several of my friends recommended Hygge (hoo-ga), and each of them thoroughly enjoyed their miniature happiness voyages to Copenhagen. I took myself on a journey across the Atlantic, to one of the countries still on my bucket list. After brewing up a strong cup of coffee and curling up in a cozy throw from Ikea, I read the delicately illustrated book cover to cover quickly.

Hygge in a Hurry

Ten simple elements are outlined in The Little Book of Hygge and the majority of them focus on honing interpersonal skills as key elements in curating one’s own sense of hygge. The history and data presented by Wiking and the Happiness Research Institute are quite fascinating, and more than ever, I want to go to Denmark to learn more about these concepts actively work on a daily basis.

Hygge Highlights

  • Hygge Manifesto (pgs 30-31) – Ten essential pillars of creating hygge in one’s lifestyle
  • Hygge Recipes (pgs 66-79) – Five recipes and a bonus tip on bringing some hygge to dining
  • Hygge Wishlist (pgs 94-95) – Ten things that will make your home more hyggellig
  • Hygge Emergency Kit (pgs 106-109) – 14 essentials for a boost of hygge when you’ve got the blues
  • Hygge All Year Round (pgs 122-133) – Twelve seasonally specific hygge activities in addition to a chapter entirely focused on Christmas (11; pgs 160-181)
  • Hygge on the Cheap (pgs 136-151) – Ten simple and sensible ways to have low-budget fun
  • Dimensions of Hygge (pgs 194- 202) – How to experience hygge via the five senses, building to a development of a sixth sense

How to Hygge in Hot Weather

Th climate in northern Europe is vastly different than that of central Florida, so I devoured “Summer Hygge” (chapter 12). It touches on how the Danes take their happiness building outside, but with Florida’s overall warmer climate, it will challenge me to become consciously cozy while beating the summer heat.

To Do List

  1. Farm Fun – Central Florida is known for various pick-your-own farms, but I’ve haven’t been to one the entire time I lived in here. I used to go to Farmer’s markets, so I need to make time to make the trek across town and get some fantastically fresh fruits and veggies for my kitchen escapades.
  2. Barbecuing – When I purchased my house, it came with a rather commendable barbecue grill. However, I have only fired it up once since I moved in due to a lack of barbe-confidence.
  3. Gardening – I’ve attempted gardening, but I have yet to tap into my inner Poison Ivy, so I’ll be hitting up the farmers market until I can manage to sustain my tiny courtyard garden
  4. Picnics by the Beach – My parents live ten minutes away from one of my favorite beaches in the entire state. I just need to plan, even if it’s just a picnic in my backyard.
  5. Bicycle Repair – I have a beat up, second-hand mountain bike hanging from the ceiling in my garage. It’s been in storage since 2011 and is desperate for a complete overhaul. With a small town center nearby, I could save on gas and work on some corss-training with an update hyggecycle. 

Personal Challenges of Finding Hygge

What I love about reading books about lifestyles in other country, it gives me the opportunity to visit a country without actually stepping away from the comfort of my own home. Conversely, it is also easier for me to dive headlong into all the exciting new concepts presented without actually considering the applicability of them to my own situation. For my journey into hygge to be a successful one, I have to give considerable thought to my circumstances and possible barriers keeping me from achieving this goal.

  1. Keeping cool, yet cozy – I will definitely need to do another closet audit, ideally working toward a capsule-style wardrobe. Most of the year is warm-to-hot, but my office thermostat hovers around 72F. Professional layers which can also be transitioned into my everday lineup would be idea.
  2. Lounge Wear – If it means pulling out my sewing machine and hunting for the perfect pattern or saving up for a rainy day, I want to have a selection of bespoke loungewear to make my time at home equally important.
  3. Hygge in the Office – While I wish I could bring Zelda to the office, bring candles or found an office garden, my best bet would be making my office feel more homey. I have my tea & coffee supplies and some art, but maybe I can do a little more.
  4. Easy to Overindulge – Orlando has fantastic cafes, bakeries, bars and restaurants, so the concept of cakes, sweets, or rich, satisfying means will require a focused attention to budgetary constraints as well as fitness balance.
  5. Dining Solo – Finding recipes which maximize my shopping budget and I can cook with success are two very different things. I also need to revisit the art of dining alone both at home and while I am out and about.
  6. Making Time – I tend to auto pilot my way through the work week, so on my weeknights, I have a routine, but not one that helps me properly relax and unwind. Conversely, on the weekends, operating without a routine lends to burning through my time off minimal productivity. I need to devise a balanced schedule to make my hygge time feel like a properly scheduled pampering.

Naturally, with the proper attitude, planning, and dedication, the above challenges will be beat. Having an action plan will be my guide to success as will reminding myself that I don’t have to do everything at the same time. Phasing hygge practices into a lifestyle should be a gradual process so the good habits stick with you.

Let’s Discuss!

Have you read The Little Book of Hygge? If so, what concepts of the book were easily implemented into your daily living? Which ones did you feel required additional planning and patience before you discovered the sweet spot of including it into your life? Where there any concepts you disagreed with or weren’t practical/applicable?

If you are new to the book or unfamiliar with it, does it interest you at all? Have you read any books about living abroad or daily living in other countries?


Celebrating Harry Potter Turning 20

Yesterday, the Harry Potter series turned twenty! When it comes to literature that shaped my world, JK Rowling’s masterwork of fiction is one of the muses that inspires me to write fiction. Throughout the last two decades, this Ravenclaw has had her fair share of journeys into the world of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Here’s a handful of posts in which I express the importance of Harry Potter, the Pottermore Universe, and it’s very unique fandom.

img_9826At Kingscross Station in London on my very first London layover!

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Gaming Gear Customization with Controller Chaos

Last weekend, I experienced my first eSports convention by attending CEO Gaming in Orlando. Despite years of fan convention attendance, I found myself completely overwhelmed and shambling throughout the ballrooms with wide-eyed wonder. I remember watching kids play games in the arcades when I was younger and seeing crowds gather to watch the spectacle. Attending CEO gave me that same feeling all over again, but thankfully without the need to hunt for a change machine to break bills for quarters!

Every fandom has their own rockstars, athletes, and elite competitors.

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The Handmaid’s Tale 20 Years Removed

[Disclaimer: The following is a review of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and it’s live action interpretation as depicted by Hulu. There are sensitive social and political issues such as sexuality, reproductive rights, and social impact discussed, so if you choose to engage in the discussion, please do so considerately and maturely. There also may be spoilers related to the book/TV series discussed.]

When Hulu announced they were creating a live action series based upon one of Margaret Atwood’s most famed and controversial pieces, The Handmaid’s Tale, I was skeptical because it is such a gritty story to tell. I wanted to wait until I watched the entire first series before giving my thoughts because I wanted to ensure I was reviewing it fairly. My bones are chilled, but my heart is on fire. However, my brush with this particular story started twenty years ago…

the-handmaids-tale-2“Don’t let the bastards grind you down…”

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AHSOKA Release Party [Book Review]

[From the Archives: This event took place on October 11, 2016, but I wanted to incorporate my book review.]

Liz and Danielle are two of my most beloved nerdy gal pals, and when it comes to girls nerding out, two of my truest wing gals! If I could name my Ride-or-Dies in the Rebellion, I’d have these Jedi flying the X-wings next to mine as we race to battle The Empire, First Order, or any other entity out to vanquish intergalactic peace. After a rough day at work, I was on the fence about trying to make the Orlando version of the Kessel Run during rush hour, but they did what friends do best: tell me I am going because I’ll regret it if I missed out. The Force and FOMO is definitely strong with me!

14642191_10108313481168943_2486841518272451269_nLiz & Danielle are a couple of my favorite nerdy ladies in a galaxy not-so-far away!

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