What does hygge mean for you?

Hygge is unique for everyone! The most important part is that you recognize what hygge is for YOU and therefore the ability to cultivate more of it in your life.

So what does it mean for you? Wait, what is hygge anyway? 

Hygge basically translates from Danish language to cozy, home-y, or fun! Hygge is more than a definition. Hygge is more like a feeling. It's the feeling of being cozy in a space, whether alone at home or out with friends - it's the feeling of losing yourself in a moment, unaware of the passing of time.

Hygge is very important to me (I even have it tattooed on my arm!) and it is important around this time of year. The frigid temperatures make being cozy v important. And what's more cozy than coming home to blankets, candles, a book, and a wagging tail?

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While the physical space you are in is important to cultivate hyggeit's also important to cultivate hygge in your everyday lifestyle. Now is the time for New Years Resolutions and this word always, always, always pops up in mine. It will never not be a goal of mine - because to me hygge is a lifestyle that I want to live and breathe, but it can be difficult! Sometimes I work too much, and there are things that can keep me from my personal and professional goals. 

For me, hygge, put simply, is my favorite things with my favorite people. And sometimes my favorite person is myself (teehee). I experience it a lot when I am writing on Simple Sugars, or when I'm baking, styling, photographing or eating a big, buttery, gooey, sugary cake. I also feel it when I'm setting my goals and intentions for the day, month, or even the year. When I experience hygge, I feel light - energetically, spiritually, emotionally. I may feel light, but my stomach is heavy with peppermint schnapps hot chocolate ;)

Now that we have a feel for hygge, how does this relate to food? I like to use the concept of hygge when I am making something or sharing a meal out with someone. I want all of my food to not only look and taste good but feel good too. And no, that does not mean all the healthy bullshit that wreaks havoc this time of year. I want my food to have a purpose for my body and soul. Sometimes, that purpose is eating cheez-it's for breakfast - and sometimes it's a big, colorful bowl of pho that I run to get after running in the cold January evenings.

 

Hygge is the feeling you get when you make an impromptu decision to visit your best friend on the farm she's working on.

The feeling when you start a new painting.

The feeling when you have minimalized your space - where everything in your home has a purpose.

The feeling you get when you find all the ingredients to make chocolate chip cookies without going to the store or putting pants on.

 

So, what does hygge mean for you?


BROWN BUTTER HOT CHOCOLATE

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In a small saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons butter (salted!) over medium heat until browned and nutty in aroma. Add 1/3 cup sugar + 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder + 2 teaspoons cornstarch. Slowly add 2 cups whole milk or cream. Bring contents to a soft boil, whisk for two more minutes. Let stand 1 minute before serving. Serves 2-3.