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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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MY HYGGE MOMENTS // COZY LUNCH DATE

I am a ferm believer in enjoying those little things in life, appreciate the moment and just be happy. I know there are so many things in life that can get you down (we all have those moments..) and because of that I think it’s important to have times to look back at and say to yourself “in that moment I was truly happy!” It can be things like meeting your best friend for a coffee & a chat, popping a prosecco bottle with a group of girlfriends or as simple as a walk in the park when the light hits the trees in that magical way. It can be laughing so hard that you start crying, getting a smile from a stranger just when you need it, or listening to your favourite music. Those moments are what keeps you going, those moments will lift your mood on a cloudy day and put a smile on your face.

For me one of those moments I will treasure for a long time was a cozy date with my boyfriend when we were in Norway. We decided to take a little drive to a place called Hå Gamle Prestegard, which is an old vicarage that served as the residence of a senior civil servant several hundred years ago. Today, as well as hosting exhibitions and events, you can find a cafe serving lunch as well as cakes and coffee for guests. When stepping inside you get that warm welcoming feeling, its like visiting someone you know and eating lunch in their living room. The cafe has the perfect Scandi vibe and the food is rural and hearthy. We had the chicken soup, which was perfect as it was a very windy, cold day. Sitting there in silence, enjoying the meal and looking out at the view of the pebble beach was one of those moments. A truly happy moment.

// Photo credit; Ingrid Opstad

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