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LIFESTYLE

ENJOYING THE LITTLE THINGS IN LIFE

As April starts it’s nice to look back at some of the moments shared throughout March. We have now reached over 1000 images which is amazing, I am so happy that so many of you are using the hashtag and sharing your Scandinavian feeling with us! In the build-up to Easter and springtime, you have all been loving spending time at home creating a cozy environment full of joy where you can enjoy those little things in life. Because hygge is not just for winter, it can be enjoyed all year long! We see a lot of white and wood elements in the interior, but colour are starting to pop up more as we now go towards sunny days.

Here in Italy Spring is already in full bloom, with the sun shining through my windows in the mornings spreading happiness and hope. Growing up in Norway, I remember it still being quite gray in this period and that can really dampen your mood when you wake up. Because of that, Scandinavians are used to trying to make the best out of the situation and create a lovely environment at home that we can enjoy. Having lovely, sentimental items around our house as well as fresh flowers and plants helps us getting through the darker days. We are also very good at using this period to invite friends or family around for coffee and cakes or a dinner party to have something to look forward to. And believe me, when the sun comes out and the weather is great Scandinavians are the best at getting out and enjoying every drop of sunshine to the fullest! But when that’s said, we are also pretty good at staying optimistic on a gray day too, because you never know when the sun decides to make an entrance.

I have selected 4 of the images from Instagram to share with you, as well as a quote from each of them about what That Scandinavian Feeling means to them. Be sure to check out the #thatscandinavianfeeling feed for more! Just click on the hashtag below and it will take you to the feed;

1 // ​​@mich.elle.imagery
“​​That Scandinavian Feeling to me translates to curating and living everyday moments with a sense of joy and inner warmth. This little still life is a collection of those moments for me. A little wood horse picked up during a memorable trip. Pictures of quiet moments, white vases to fill with flowers, and the perfect light filtering through a window nearby adding warmth to my Scandinavian feeling.”

2 // ​​@koivu9902
“​​That Scandinavian Feeling is the coziness I can experience at home surrounded by my family and by the objects I love more, it’s white and minimalistic spaces warmed up by wood and spiced up by bold patterns, it’s lighting candles in winter nights, it’s hot tea in nice mugs and homemade bread, it’s sharing food with friends, it’s curling up on the sofa with a good book… in a word; it’s enjoying the little things that everyday life offers.”

3 // ​​@wealllovebeautifulthings
“​​That Scandinavian Feeling is kicking my shoes off after a long winter day, wrapping up in a warm blanket, sitting on my favorite chair, and relax… I’m home…”

4 // ​​@silje_li_
“​Scandinavians spend a lot of time indoors during a year, and to me That Scandinavian Feeling is about bringing brightness, lightness and «hygge» into our home. It’s about getting that cozy and homey feeling, and using delicate colors and different materials to bring light and everyday-joy indoors. To me, it’s also about bringing nature inside. I love mixing materials like wood, concrete, glass and last but not least: plants and flowers. It’s about mixing old with new, like in this picture with my grandmother’s old wooden crate together with modern design objects. To me, That Scandinavian Feeling is about creating your own style, using objects, pictures, and colors that you like and making your home nice and cozy the way you like it.”

What is That Scandinavian Feeling to you? I hope you want to join in and share your images on Instagram too! It’s a great way for us all to get together and spread some hygge while we wait for summer to arrive.

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LITTLE EVERYDAY THINGS YOU CAN DO TO BOOST YOUR MOOD ON A BAD DAY

We all have them, those bad days when everything gets a bit too much and you just feel like crawling under a blanket and hide. On those days there are many small everyday things we can do to feel at least a little bit better, things that will boost your mood and improve your day.

Over the years I have figured out things that work for me, everyday things that will make me happy when I feel blue, and I thought I would share a couple of them here with you. So, here are my top tips on how to make yourself feel happier on a bad day;

When I wake up and feel a bit down I love to take my time with breakfast, after all, it is the most important meal of the day! Starting the day with a little pick-me-up like delicious pancakes or a lovely chia pudding with fresh fruit certainly, sets a good base for the rest of the day. I believe it’s important to create a lovely setting too, so make sure the table is set even if it is just for you.

Lately, my favorite go-to breakfast on those days are these delicious banana pancakes. They are so easy to make and as long as you prepare the batter first thing when you wake up and let it rest while getting ready for the day, they don’t take much time to make either. (This is so that they will rise and get nice & fluffy). To make these pancakes I mix together 1 egg with about 1dl natural yogurt, then add about 70g of flour and half a teaspoon of natron. I also melt a spoon of butter and mash up a banana to add in at the end. If the batter is too thick I also add a bit of milk, but I always play it a bit by ear. So next time you wake up and feel a bit rubbish, try these pancakes for yourself and see!

If I’m feeling a bit down I love browsing through my photos, it reminds me of better days and those little moments that I like to remember. It can either be the photos saved on my phone, tagged photos on Facebook, my Instagram feed or photos and albums I have printed. It is bound to put a smile on your face, and a way to remember for yourself that there are plenty of good days!

And while you’re at it, send a text to a friend to plan your next get-together. Having something to look forward to will make you feel a lot better and will create even more memories to look back at.

I work from home, and I see a big difference in my mood if I don’t listen to music during the day vs if I do. When I need a little extra boost on a bad day I put on my favorite music and sing out load (even if I don’t always know the lyrics..) It’s funny how a little thing like being a bit silly can make you feel so much better.

A walk in the park or in the neighborhood always makes me feel better, the combination of fresh air and exercise seems to always do the trick. I live close to a large park so in spring and summertime I try to get out in the morning for a walk or run after breakfast. Since I do work from home I see it as my “walking to work time” where I can reflect on things I have to do that day, or just clear my mind completely. If I have quite a busy morning a lunch walk or evening stroll is just as good. The change in scenery is something that will boost your mood and make you feel ready to tackle the rest of the day.

It’s important to have little everyday luxuries, something you do for yourself which you know will make a difference. I recently discovered linen spray, and I think it’s such a great way to prepare your bedroom by spraying a bit on the sheets after making your bed in the morning. Those days when I do it, by the end of the day when I crawl into bed it does lift my mood and helps me get a good nights sleep. So find one of life’s little luxuries to start doing yourself, something a bit extra that will spark joy and help you get through the day.

You know the feeling, you are not hungry but you just need something.. Well do it, have a little treat and don’t feel bad about it! Sometimes those little indulgences can be a little mood boost and exactly what you need to feel better. For me, it can be anything from salty licorice, biscuits, some chocolate or a coffee.

If the blues hit you, I recommend getting yourself some beautiful fresh flowers to brighten up your day. While having that walk I mentioned earlier, either pop into your nearest flower shop and purchase a lovely bouquet for yourself or pick some wildflowers in the park. Just the idea of walking down the street with flowers in my hand makes me smile, and when you get home and put them in a vase every time you see them it will for sure lift your spirit. As a matter of fact, I think I will go out and do just that now to make today more bearable…

What little everyday things do you do to feel better on one of those days?

// Photo credit: Ingrid Opstad

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NORWAY IS THE HAPPIEST COUNTRY OF 2017

So it’s official; Norway is the happiest place on earth, at least according to The World Happiness Report just released today on the International Day of Happiness! This report is based on measuring how happy people are and why, and it is great to see that all the Nordic countries are in the top 10. In fact, the Nordic countries have been dominating the top spots in this report for all of the five years it has been published.

Top 10 happiest countries 2017;

    1. Norway
    2. Denmark
    3. Iceland
    4. Switzerland
    5. Finland
    6. Netherlands
    7. Canada
    8. New Zealand
    9. Australia
    10. Sweden

“What works in the Nordic countries is a sense of community and understanding in the common good.” – Meik Wiking (chief executive officer of the Happiness Research Institute, Copenhagen)

// Photo credit: Ingrid Opstad

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CREATING SPECIAL HAPPY MEMORIES

Another month has gone by and we finally say hi to March. But first, let’s have a look at some of the many moments shared through February. I love seeing all of your beautiful images from home or traveling, they really capture that lovely Scandinavian feeling I so long for. Although it is still quite cold outside, we can finally start to see signs of Spring which gives hope after a long and dark winter.

This period is the perfect time to create special happy memories with your loved ones, whether inviting them over for coffee & cakes or exploring a new city together. Speaking of exploring, I am planning a trip to Copenhagen soon and cannot wait to see what this vibrant Danish city has to offer. Do you have any fun travel plans lined up?

I have selected 4 of the images from Instagram to share with you, as well as a quote from each of them about what That Scandinavian Feeling means to them. Be sure to check out the #thatscandinavianfeeling feed for more! Just click on the hashtag below and it will take you to the feed;

1 // ​​@suffolk_wife
“​To me That Scandinavian Feeling is happy times with my family, enjoying comfort food and creating special memories.”

2 // ​​​@veerle2412
“​My bedroom has windows from floor to ceiling and even on a dark and rainy day it’s still bright in there. After a long workday and taking care of my two-year-old, I love to snuggle up there under some blankets with a cup of tea and edit some photographs or read a book. This dresser I got from an old neighbor when I moved out of my parents house at the age of 18. The dressers history combined with a light print and some plants really make my bedroom a calm, fresh and hyggelig place to be.”

3 // ​​​@latazzinablu
“​That Scandinavian Feeling to me means stay at home enjoying the precious moments, buy fresh flowers and light up some candles.”

4 // ​​​@whotookmymojo
“​No one ever said being seperated from someone you love was meant to be easy. You only have to observe the number of times those doubtful feelings come and go. That Scandinavian Feeling to show where she’s coming from, only the sea set us miles apart. That Scandinavian Feeling of her postcards which never cease to amaze me, pulled me back where we departed.

That Scandinavian Feeling I had everytime I set foot on foreign soil, either calling it quits or battling with the law of emotions to realise that achieving longetivity and that long term respect of a fickle world is much, much harder than it looks.”

I hope you join in and share your images on Instagram too! It’s a great way for us all to get together and spread some hygge while we wait for warmer weather. So what is That Scandinavian Feeling to you?

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MY HYGGE MOMENTS // FOGGY PARK WALK

Hygge is not just something us Scandinavian’s do in our homes, the feeling can also be found outdoors. Now at winter simply put on your warm, comfortable clothes and go outside for a winter walk alone or with friends. And although you might think that the feeling is reserved mostly for winter & autumn time, you can still experience hygge during the spring & summer months. Something to look forward to!

Living in Italy I do sometimes miss the Norwegian nature and landscape. There is nothing quite like the view of the fjord or a walk in the many hiking places we have. Lucky for me however, I do live very close to Monza park – the fourth largest park in Europe. Here you can find anything from a farm, a stunning royal villa, race tracks to cute cafés and restaurants. For me this is one of my happy places, especially now this period when it is nice and crisp outside. I love going here for a walk to clear my head and find peace. It is also a great place to enjoy a picnic with friends, outdoor concerts or events and bike rides, which is all very hygge.

These photos were taken on a foggy and chilly but nice day last week when I went out for a little lunchtime walk. The fog made it look so magical and really set the tone!

What is your happy place, where do you enjoy outdoor hygge now at wintertime?

// Photo credit; Ingrid Opstad

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SLOW LIVING & CANDLE LIGHTS

Where did January go? Suddenly February has already knocked on the door, entered and said hi.. I think this period goes so fast for anyone who is a slow living, sweater weather and candle light lover. All of us who enjoy that cozy life and appreciate being inside on dark and cold days. This week has been very grey and misty here, and it was the perfect excuse to cuddle up and watch tv in the evenings. I am currently obsessed with the show the Vikings, I think it must be the beautiful nordic scenery mixed with learning more about Scandinavian history that gets me. If you haven’t seen it already and want to know more about Scandinavian heritage I recommend it, but be warned – it’s very violent!

January was all about getting back into normal life after Christmas, and a period a lot of you have enjoyed spending indoors. I love seeing all your cozy moments shared on the Instagram feed, you definitely know how to hygge! But it has not only been a time to spend indoors, because a lot of you have also captured beautiful images of your travels and snow-covered winter landscapes. I am quite jealous actually, as we have not had any snow this year.. I might have to take a little trip up to the alps to get my snow-fix.

I have selected 4 of the January images from Instagram to share with you, as well as a quote from each of them about what That Scandinavian Feeling means to them. If you haven’t already had a look, be sure to check out the #thatscandinavianfeeling feed for more! Just click on the hashtag below and it will take you to the feed;

1 // ​​@​eleshining
​”​​That Scandinavian Feeling is something intangible, so hard to describe. For me it is the sensation of the Sunday morning light entering through the window, a cup of tea, the forest treasures that you picked up in the mountains, your cat purring, a knitted blanket, a book and of course candle lights. It’s a way of living, a state of mind. If you appreciate the little things in life, if you are able to keep it simple, if you love slow living, if you are constantly in contact with nature both outside and inside your home… then you already know what That Scandinavian Feeling is!”

2 // ​​​@a_hurricane
​”​​To me that certain Scandinavian feeling is being able to find warmth and comfort in the simplest of things, when a few candles are enough to replace the sun or when crisp white walls are enough to replace the light of summer days. When straight lines and noble materials are enough to replace intricate designs and embellishments and still feel like the most beautiful thing because they look so pure and organic.”

3 // ​​@​hjemoghus
​”​​That Scandinavian Feeling is of course about natural materials, great clean designs and craftsmanship. But even more important it is a way of living and a state of mind. Personally I’m very passionate about art and literature and I’m proud of the fact that The Modern Breakthrough was a Scandinavian thing.”

4 // ​​@​lisa_achterkamp
​”​​To me, That Scandinavian Feeling means enjoying the little things in life while being surrounded by my loved ones. During the winter it means a slow start on sunday morning with breakfast in bed, followed by a cold winter walk and getting cosy by a warm fire.”

As this will be a monthly post, I do hope you join in and share your images on Instagram too! Its a great way for us all to get together and spread some hygge. So what is That Scandinavian Feeling to you?

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