Ways to experience hygge this fall

Ways to experience hygge this fall

I discovered the magic of “hygge” a year ago when I stumbled across the book, The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living” by Meik Wiking. I remembered reading how the Dutch are the happiest people in the world, and I always wondered how. The answer: “hygge” (pronounced hoo-gah), a Danish word acknowledging a feeling or moment that gives you complete happiness. One can experience hygge alone or with friends; the only condition to experiencing hygge is that you are able to enjoy and recognize living in the present.

Some buzzwords that surround hygge are “cozy,” “comfort,” and “charm.” These are three elements that I take pride in when choosing my hygge. Wiking writes: “Hygge is the sensation you get when you’re cuddled up on a sofa, in cozy socks under a soft throw, during a storm. It’s that feeling when you’re sharing comfort food and easy conversation with loved ones at a candlelit table. It is the warmth of morning light shining just right on a crisp blue-sky day.” To “do” hygge is to you create simple rituals without much effort; you make your personal life an art form.

Fall has arrived—the perfect season to try out some hygge practices. Hygge is not just restricted to the colder months, but for someone like me who loves bundling up in blankets with a cup of hot chocolate, this is when I experience the most hygge. Here are some fall activities for you to try to bring some hygge into your life:

Light some fall-scented candles
Candles are already so calming and peaceful, so why not light a Pumpkin Spiced Chai Latte candle and get the full fall effect?

Read a book
As an avid reader, sitting in my comfy chair with a steaming mug of tea or coffee and a great book is ultimate hygge. Since it’s Halloween season, try picking up a horror/spooky book to get you in the Halloween spirit!

Layer up!
Three of the best things about fall: sweaters, scarves, and boots. I love bundling up with scarves and jackets and dressing for cool weather. Did I mention flannels?!

Buy some fall decorations—or make your own!
When the first leaf hits the ground in September, I make a mad dash to the nearest craft store and load up on fall decor. I love crafting; it’s such a fun way to unwind, relax, and spark some creativity! Here’s an example of one of my fall decor pieces this year. I went to my local craft store and bought these pumpkins and leaves, and created my own chalkboard sign:

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Road Trip!
Get in your car with a friend or two and take a drive to a cool town or place and explore. Go to a trendy coffee shop or a museum; or go to a park and take in the views! Everything is beautiful this time of year—get out there and enjoy it!

Have a movie night
Invite a friend over and have a movie night or watch a movie on your own. This time of year, I love to sit on my couch after a long day with a warm blanket and watch Halloween movies—especially classics like “Halloweentown” and “Hocus Pocus!”

Go on a walk/hike through the autumn leaves
Head outside and enjoy the sweet, crisp autumn air. Going for walks gives me the chance to slow down and enjoy the beautiful foliage—and I love hearing the *crunch* of fallen leaves under my feet!

Pick your own apples/pumpkins—and get to baking!
Make your way to a local pick-your-own farm and grab a hot apple cider, some warm fritters, and pick your own pumpkins or apples. Then…make a dessert when you get home! A fall dessert favorite in our home is warm apple crisp with vanilla ice cream on top. Yum!

 

What do you like to do in the fall? How do you “hygge?”

 

 

 

Movie time! 10 Halloween movies to watch this October

Movie time! 10 Halloween movies to watch this October

October is here, and that means it’s time to put on those layers, sit on the couch with a hot beverage (or a cold one!) and watch some Halloween movies! I really enjoyed sharing the spooky books that I love to read throughout the month of October, so I thought it would be fun to also share what movies I love to watch to get me in the Halloween spirit.

As a child at heart, a lot of my movies revolve around those Disney channel classics, but there are definitely some other scary movies that I watch (during the daytime of course) to celebrate one of the best holidays!

So, grab your popcorn and candy and snuggle down to these great Halloween movies:

“Coraline”

“Coraline” just happens to be one of my favorite movies of all time! Dive into the claymation world of Coraline, directed by Henry Selick based on the book by Neil Gaiman.

“Halloweentown” series (1-3)

Because who really liked the fourth one?! I love diving into a warm blanket of nostalgia and watching the Halloweentown series! I love Debbie Reynolds as Grandma Aggie in the movies and her famous quote: “Being normal is vastly overrated.”

“Hocus Pocus”

Of COURSE “Hocus Pocus” is on this list! Who doesn’t love this movie?! A great comedy and classic.

“Halloween”

This is definitely one of those movies that I watch during the day, but really gets you spooked and in the Halloween spirit.

“The Nightmare Before Christmas”

This is Halloween! This is Halloween! My favorite part of “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is its opening number, which really gets you excited about Halloween.

“Young Frankenstein”

Mel Brooks. Gene Wilder. Marty Feldman. Need I say more? “Young Frankenstein” is a great parody of the classic horror film, and will have you laughing throughout!

“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”

What? How does she manage to incorporate “Harry Potter” in everything she writes? Wizards, witches, magic, the one scene with the troll in the dungeon on Halloween. Just watch it!

“Corpse Bride”

Another Tim Burton classic! I love “Corpse Bride” for its storyline and music by the amazing Danny Elfman!

“The Nightmare on Elm Street”

Remember those movies you watch during the day? Yep—here’s another one. Enjoy this classic slasher film to get you in the Halloween spirit…but don’t fall asleep.

“Frankenweenie”

Yes—Tim Burton owns stop-motion Disney Halloween films (and so does Danny Elfman). I love “Frankenweenie”—it’s such a funny, warm, family-friendly movie! Give it a try!

 

What movies did I forget? There are so many!

 

 

 

5 challenged books to bring Banned Books Week to a close

Banned Books week is coming to a close, but I hope you had time to take a look at lists on your own and celebrate the freedom to read and the freedom of expression. Throughout the week, I have shared just some of the many books that have been challenged or banned throughout the country, and thanked those who work tirelessly to ensure that we are able to read and express ourselves freely.

To close our Banned Books Week, I’d like to share just 5 of the commonly challenged books:

  1. “Animal Farm” by George Orwell
  2. “The Diary of a Girl” by Anne Frank
  3. “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” by Harriet Beecher Stowe
  4. “A Farewell to Arms” by Ernest Hemingway
  5. The Holy Bible

 

Feel free to express your views in the comments. Again, I hope that you took the time to research other commonly challenged books as we wrap up Banned Books Week. Thanks for reading!

10 commonly challenged books to commemorate Banned Books Week

It’s Banned Books Week. From September 24-30, bibliophiles, teachers, librarians, publishers, journalists, and all readers will celebrate the freedom to read and the freedom of expression (for all; even to those who challenge these books), and ultimately shed light on the harms of censorship. On Sunday, I shared 20 books that have been challenged or banned from libraries and schools. “Challenged” means that there has been effort to remove or restrict these books from readers. I wanted to continue sharing challenged book titles throughout Banned Books Week to shed light on censorship and thank those who work hard to ensure that these books stay in schools, libraries, and on the shelves to help shape the minds of our youth and beyond.

Here are 10 commonly challenged books (in no particular order):

  1. “A Light in the Attic” by Shel Silverstein
  2. “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger, 1951
  3. “A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeline L’Engle
  4. “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood
  5.  “The Color Purple” by Alice Walker
  6. “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley
  7. “Native Son” by Richard Wright
  8.  “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” by Ken Kesey
  9. “Where’s Waldo?” by Martin Handford
  10. “The Lord of the Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkien

 

Which titles jump out at you? What are your thoughts on censorship? Share in the comments!