How I'm Embracing Hygge

'Hoo-guh' is the Danish meaning for cosy. It's more a feeling than a direct translation  Think Sunday afternoons under a blanket with a cup of hot chocolate (which is exactly what I'm doing now as I type this). Or sitting by a crackling fire reading a book with thick cashmere socks to keep you snug. Whilst you could accuse me of being Hygge all year round (I have a reputation for rejecting most invites for Saturday night in favour of my dressing gown and some scented candles), this time of year is synonymous with the movement. And what's the benefit of Hygge? It's a means of finding happiness in simplicity and comfort in being kind to yourself. Now that's my kind wellbeing! In this post, I explore how I've made a few subtle additions to my day to embrace more higgelig moments.

From bed to dressing gown.
Living in a new-build means we live in a comfortable, warm bubble with no drafts or large, cold rooms to heat (though this may be all about to change!) When we lived in our previous flat, Mr A was very reluctant to put on the heating and before that we were bracing New York’s snow storms so I acquired some serious thermal wear into my wardrobe (good ol’ M&S). First though, to ease the transition of bed to…not in bed, enter the cosiest, fluffiest, warmest dressing gown. It must be my most-worm item! Whether I’m hood-up whilst meditating on the sofa in the AM or cooking dinner and Netflix binging in the PM, this item is my guaranteed safety blanket. You can find a similar one to mine here.

Getting lit. 
I have a cluster of candles on my coffee table and lighting them each evening forms part of my unwinding ritual. I have a selection of cotton fragranced tea lights and a three-wick candle I received for Christmas last year. I've picked out below some of my tried-and-tested and much-loved candles I’ll be lighting this Autumn:

The White Company Winter Botanical Candle, £36, has kept my Christmas decorations box smelling gloriously festive for the past couple of years. I promise to give it a road-test this year and I know I'll be looking out for a repurchase come January when I'm packaging away the decks again!
My go-to Diptique fragrance is Baies but I’m intrigued by the new lucky charm fragrances they’ve launched, in particular the Lucky Flowers and Blissful Amber, £53.

A brand that I follow on the 'gram and fell in love with is Moments of Sense and Style. There’s an incredible story behind the husband and wife co-founders of this brand, as they live through the challenges of brain injury. Nothing is more coffee-table worthy than these ‘choose light’ matches, £9. With my husband’s family from Lincoln, I especially love the sound of this fig, berries, wood and amber notes of No.3 Doddington on an Autumn morning, £30.

Be a book worm. 
Whilst my bedtime is getting earlier and earlier to make way for my super relaxed mornings route (link), I find myself looking forward to the moment when I get into bed and open my latest book. I stayed in bed until 1pm on Sunday finishing Miss You by Kate Eberlen and I’ve moved onto A Gift in December by Jenny Gladwell. Whilst I’ve earned a reputation as the office bookworm and happily share out recommendations, my to-read list is never-ending thanks to newsletters, podcasts, and instagram accounts. My favourites at the moment are @reesesbookclub @thehelsproject @bookishelise @booksnest. Also my favourite blogger newsletters drop in my inbox from @TheAnnaEdit and @CocosTeaParty.

Head to the Bar(re)
As the evenings are drawing in and it’s now dark in the morning and evening when I would normally go for a run, I’m upping my ClassPass activity. This time of year it takes real willpower to even pack my gym back and especially drag myself there in the dark after a day in the office but my class choices of yoga, reformer pilates and barre feel lovely and restorative. It gets the cold out of my muscles and helps make up a little for all the comfort food I’m craving.


What I'm Reading This Christmas

These books have been gathering dust for some time but I finally got organised with my reading list and made sure I had plenty of festive-themed books to get me even more into the holiday spirit! Without a doubt, Christmas is my favourite time of year and as I type this in mid-October, I confess I've already had my first viewing of Home Alone: Lost in New York City! Sitting on the sofa with the Elemis Joyful Glow scented candle glowing, a cup of hot tea and a cosy blanket is so cliche but I can't help it... I just love this time of year. Sharing with you today my reading list that will be on the bedside table ready for devouring from 1st November.

One Day in December by Josie Silver

What's it about?
Laurie is pretty sure love at first sight doesn't exist. After all, life isn't a scene from the movies, is it? But then, through a misted-up bus window one freezing day, she sees a man she knows instantly is the one. Their eyes meet, there's a moment of pure magic...and then her bus drives away. 

Laurie things she'll never see the boy from the bus again. But at a party later that year, her best friend Sarah introduced her to the new love of her life. Who is, of course, the boy from the bus. Determined to let him go, Laurie gets on with her life. But what if fate has other plans?

The Christmas Stocking and other stories by Katie Fforde

What's it about?
In this exciting stocking of Christmas short stories, you will:
- Help your best friend cook Christmas dinner and end up falling in love with one of the guests.
- Arrive on Christmas Eve dressed as a fairy, all set to wave your wand and give a young family their best Christmas ever.
- Spend an unexpectedly romantic Christmas honeymoon in a small cottage surrounded by the thickest, whitest snow.
- Fall in love with a handsome stranger on Christmas morning - and his badly behaved dog.
- Host the perfect and most romantic Christmas celebration ever, entirely by Candlelight.

Miracle on Regent Street by Ali Harris

What's it about?
For the past two years, Evie Taylor has lived an invisible existence in London, a city she hoped would bring sparkle to her life. But all that is about to change. For winter has brought a flurry of snow and unexpected possibilities.

When Evie overhears that Hardy's - once London's most elegant department store - is at risk of being sold, she secretly hatches a plan. If she can reverse the store's fortunes by December 26th, and transform it into a magical destination once gains he might just be able to save it. But she's going to need every ounce of talent and determination she has. In fact, she might just need a miracle...

And it wouldn't be a reading list if it didn't feature my favourite author...

One Perfect Christmas and other stories by Paige Toon

What's it about?
One year after movie star Joseph Strike swept schoolteacher Alice off her feet, they are spending Christmas together in snowy Cambridge. But despite the romantic setting Alice can't help but question whether life in the spotlight is really what she wants. Will a Christmas provide some perspective? Or will the life she'd be leaving behind be too much to lose?

Paige Toon reunited a much-loved cast from across her fifteen novels, including Johnny Be Good, The One We Fell In Love With and Thirteen Weddings. Fall in love with nine witty and heartfelt romantic stories, published in print for the very first time.

Let me know what's on your reading list this Christmas?


New In The Autumn Wardrobe

After a summer full of online shopping fails and tired from the journeys back and forth to the post office with Returns, I’ve gone ‘old-school’ for some new Autumn wardrobe pieces. In fact, I’ve thrown myself into the lion’s den of Oxford Street…on a SATURDAY! I know, I am a brave woman. But it paid off, you’ll see…

When a hen do in Brighton is in your diary, a new dress is in order. Sending live updates to my bestie from the changing room, this dress got an immediate ‘YES!!’ It's a perfect transitional piece for a warm Autumn's day with sleeves up or paired with a leather jacket for chillier weather. Dress it up with heels or down with trainers. The tie waist is super flattering and the leg-slits make it feel really feminine. I had to size up to get my boobs in and stop the buttons from snagging but didn't seem to affect the rest of the fit. Love. It.

Mint Velvet Polkadot Blouse
Jeans and a blouse is my go-to work uniform so adding another one to my wardrobe is always going to get a lot of wear! I just love the polka dots, the fabric, the shape, the ribbon tie at the back… I could go on!

Now the temperature is dropping, we’re in that limbo period where T-shirts no longer suffice and big, thick, chunky knits are too much. That’s why I’ve been making a lot of use of this little Whistles number. There’s not many slogan items that I don’t love from Whistles and this one caught my eye long ago and has been on repeat weekly ever since!
Fed up of wearing trainers day-in day-out (curse of the commute, I swear), I desperately wanted some flat - that bit was crucial - but smart workwear shoes. Wandering around the basement floor of House of Fraser, I found these cashmere-like soft leather loafers that answered the brief. Slightly concerned they may have been “an older woman’s shoe” I sought back-up and whilst the response wasn’t completely emphatic, I’m glad I made this purchase! Throw on some black jeans, the Bonour Paris jumper and these and it's an easy-to-wear smart-cas get-up for the office or weekend.

In complete contradiction to the above point, the Converse that I have been wearing pretty much solidly for the past couple of months are looking more than battered so I was looking for some replacements. I spotted these on the shelf at Kurt Geiger’s concession store but they were out of stock of my size. Fast forward 24 hours, I’m in the Kurt Geiger store in Wembley’s Fashion Retail Outlet where I found the exact same shoe but £20 cheaper - result! Far more comfortable than Converse due to their cushioned sole, they look a bit smarter too, but beware, they require the same amount of wearing in and blister plasters to get you through the first few outings!

I think that’s enough spending for now… next stop: January sales!

© Rose Tinted Spectacles

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