Tonight we spring forward which always makes me happy. While this winter was bearable by Canadian standards, the dark days are always a challenge for me and I definitely tend to favour cocooning at home over the winter months.
Long before hygge became the popular lifestyle trend it is today, I learned about the concept after seeing Sharmi Albrechtsen on House Hunters International when she embarked on a move from the USA to Denmark. Sharmi was also featured on the Oprah Life Class on Gratitude that I attended in Toronto. Sharmi’s introduction to happiness and the Danish way of life definitely intrigued me to learn more.
Hygge – pronounced ‘hoo-guh’ – is the art of creating intimacy, fellowship and coziness in the smallest everyday moments. With my Finnish roots, hygge and this way of living appealed to me. I essentially fell in love with this Danish way of life which seemed like a perfect fit for the cold and dark winter months in Canada. In the spring of 2015, I travelled to Finland to see my family and loved being surrounded by their simplistic way of life. This is something I am definitely trying to incorporate back home in Canada. I purchased these beautiful iittala candle holders to help me perfectly capture the coziness of hygge at home. Every time I light them, they are a perfect reminder to savour what is important in life – time with family and friends, to take time to just be and to enjoy the simple joys of living.
Save water, drink champagne. No special occasion required. Bubbles are always in style and life and simple joys should be celebrated.
While champagne may be a splurge, an inexpensive way to enjoy bubbles more often is with sparkling wine, cava or prosecco. One of my favourites is from Bottega.
Celebrate all the simple joys that make you happy.
Happy Birthday Oprah!
Seeing Oprah live was always on my bucket list and thankfully I have been lucky enough to see her twice. Both amazing inspiring experiences after watching her on TV for many years as well as reading her magazine since inception. I always enjoy reading Oprah’s “What I Know For Sure” page ~ the final one in her monthly magazine. On one summer holiday, I rediscovered Oprah’s Top 20 (http://www.oprah.com/spirit/The-Top-20-Things-Oprah-Knows-for-Sure) and that had me pondering what I know for sure so I wrote my own list. I wrote this in September 2010 but it still rings true today. Enjoy!
- That life is not always fair and does not always turn out as you dreamt and imagined but it can still be special.
- Do things for others without the expectation of getting something in return.
- Sometimes people in your life need time to themselves to deal with things on their own and may be out of touch but that does not diminish your friendship and relationship with them. Real connections always just have that special chemistry that picks up just where you last left off no matter how many weeks, months or years go by.
- Cherish those special people in your life because you never know when they might not be with you anymore.
- There is no greater feeling than when one knows who they are, what they value and what their purpose in the world is and are comfortable living their life by their own compass and not the one set by others or society.
- In the modern society we live in, everyone seems to want everything now. It is okay to be someone that takes their time before rushing into things – life, careers, new adventures, relationships or children. You must live your own life by your own timetable. Everyone’s journey is different and for some people that just takes longer.
- Memories are so much more important than material things. I so treasure and cherish all the memories I have and they sustain me when times are challenging.
- A smile, a welcoming gesture, laughter, unexpected telephone call, note or email or a simple hug can help ease the stresses of the day and offer hope to those who need it.
- Spending time with my family and friends, laughter, food, wine and being in nature – these simple things make me happy!
- God never gives you anything you can’t handle.
- Knowledge is power! I am thankful that I love to learn.
- You always need to have something to look forward to. This is where being organized and a planner comes in useful because I am always making plans to enjoy!
- That “me” days are very important – it is okay to want time by yourself or just be a bit lazy – do not feel guilty! When your body needs rest, give it the rest it needs – your health is most important and we all need balance in our lives. When one gives all the time, they need to take care of themselves too – take time to re-store your body and spirit and nourish your soul.
- Listen to your gut, heart and intuition – too many times we try to use our head to rationalize things and I definitely do this. It is hard when one thinks too much but truly if you listen to these three things you will always know the answer.
- That people can be cruel and mean to others but it is really just them trying to cover up their own insecurities. One does not need this negative energy in their lives. Surround yourself with positive people and stop spending time worrying what people think. We should be busy living the life we want because life is short!
- That no matter if you are size 4, 8, 12, 16, 20 ~ your true friends will love you just the way you are.
- Manners, being classy and formal communication never go out of style.
- Being a member of Junior League has inspired, empowered and made me a better person. I know the experiences I have had will enable to me to make an impact throughout my life to my family, friends, my community and anything I choose to involve myself in.
- Emotional intelligence, the ability to build relationships and get along is so important. One can teach a bright person to do anything but attitude and passion come from within.
- On a flight to Vancouver in 1996 just after my great grandmother died, I sat next to an older gentleman and he gave me this insight to life – many people view life as three parts – school, work, retirement where we pursue pleasurable activities. Many go through life like this but to truly enjoy life fully we should have all elements throughout all of our lives. How little did I know at the time that this would prove to be one of the best pieces of advice I ever got. It inspired my blog post New Beginnings ~ https://finnspirit.wordpress.com/2015/09/07/new-beginnings/.
- My dad’s travel rule “If you want to bring it, you had to be able to carry it” made sure I was able to do things for myself and be independent.
- Only YOU determine your attitude, thoughts and actions. I want to live with joie de vivre!
What do you know for sure?