January Details: Getting Cozy
Happy new year and a happy new decade! After two very nice weeks of relaxing and family time, I’m back at my desk this Monday morning. The kids still have one more week of break, so it’s planned to be a very relaxed work week, still sleeping in and doing a lot of planning for the year ahead.
I’m sitting at my desk right now with a giant mug of tea, wearing a chunky sweater and looking at the cold, foggy sky through the windows. It still feels like Christmas break to me so I’m loving this wrapped-up winter feeling.
We have many more months of winter to go and it can be hard to still relish the cold as the Christmas feeling wears off. It’s important to do as much as we can to make out indoors feel cozy to help us to enjoy the cold and dark months instead of just pining for spring to come.
That is why Cozy Rituals is our first theme for A Year of Details in the new year.
You’ve probably heard of the Danish word Hygge over the past couple years as it has been quite the trend in the interiors world. It’s that hard to pronounce word that translates to something like cozy; intentionally enjoying the cozy moments. There is a reason it has been so popular and why it’s not just a passing fad in northern countries like Denmark. It’s probably why the Danes are one of the happiest people despite their inhospitable weather and dark winters.
Here are a few things you and I can do to get super cozy this winter:
I went on and on about how much I love Glühwein and Gløgg around Christmas, but my enjoyment of this cozy drink is not limited to December. I continue to drink mulled wine, with and without alcohol, throughout the winter. I also love coffee and tea and even delight in hot cocoa with marshmallows on top along with my kiddos. We have a tradition of drinking hot cocoa on rainy days.
Make a point of savouring your morning cup of tea or coffee. Partaking in a warm drink is even more enjoyable in a beautiful mug. It’s the little details that make all the difference, of course. In December I got new mugs from the Swedish firm Vigna for mulled wine. They have also become our go-to hot chocolate mugs, as you can see above. My goal this month is to clear out all the unwanted and mismatched mugs and make space for only the ones I love.
Wearing big cozy sweaters and comfy trousers are essential in my book of winter coziness. And I really like to have lounge-wear that is specifically for the home. If I have a really nice winter sweater, I find myself not wanting to wear it to lounge at home on a Sunday because I want to keep it nice to wear to go out. Then I might wear sports-wear or pyjamas, neither of which makes me feel great at 2pm on a Sunday afternoon or 7pm on a Tuesday evening, especially when the doorbell suddenly rings.
Designated lounge-wear is the answer. Oysho has long been my favorite brand. It’s not expensive so it doesn’t feel too precious to really lounge in it, yet it’s pretty and comfortable enough that I really cherish it.
Candles, fire and dim lighting
Nothing says cozy like fire, but even if that’s not possible in your home, candles also do the trick. Don’t overlook your lightbulbs when thinking about creating a cozy and warm atmosphere. We use Philips Hue lightbulbs (which are conveniently connected to our HomePod) and I absolutely love their dimming capabilities. Of course we need to turn on the lights during the dark months, but there is no need for harsh and glaring lighting. Soft and subtle is so much more hygge.
Super cozy socks and slippers
Never underestimate the power of socks to make you feel snug and safe. Ditto for slippers. Keeping your feet (and the rest of your body) warm can actually decrease your chances of getting colds. And along with the lounge-wear mentioned above, coming home, taking off your shoes and putting on something really cozy and comfortable just feels so nice.
Double up on pillows and blankets
Cozy blankets on your sofa are a must, but consider other places where you sit, like the dining table or other chairs in your home. And your office! I have a fur throw over my office chair in the winter months to keep me warm at my desk.
Embrace easy winter stews
One goal for this month is to introduce some new stew recipes into our weekly routine. I make a lot of soups in the fall and winter and my kids are getting really tired of them so I need to come up with some new ideas to keep things interesting until spring.
Smartphones are definitely not Hygge. Another goal for our family this month is to get back into the habits of having a Tech-free Sunday. We did this a couple of years ago and it was so great, I honestly can’t say why we stopped doing this. Somehow the Smartphones just crept back into Sunday life, as they tend to do. My kids don’t have phones yet, but we also extend Tech-free to include the TV (with the exception of watching a family movie all together). Board games, art projects, reading and cooking/baking together can take the priority at home on Sundays. And I want to go out on more adventures even if the weather isn’t ideal!
Read and write
In January you can always find me curled up in my bed or on the sofa surrounded by books and notebooks. I love to read all year long, but in the winter and on Christmas break I especially love fiction. If you’re stuck trying to figure out what book to choose, check out one of my fave podcasts: What Should I Read Next? with Anne Bogel. It’s also where I get a lot of ideas for books for my kids.
If like me, you also like to set an intention for the year ahead, I can highly recommend the One little Word Program from Ali Edwards. I have been coming up with a word for the year for about a decade, but last year I signed up for the One Little Word program and I enjoyed doing the monthly promts so much that I signed up again for 2020. My word for 2019 was Essential and for this year it’s Reach.
Creating rituals is like creating a habit, but with real intention and enjoyment. Your cozy rituals might have something to do with any of the above. For example, you might start a ritual of changing into your cozy and comfy lounge wear and socks the minute you get home from work or picking up the kids.
Or maybe your ritual is making your tea or coffee in your favorite mug first thing in the morning a few minutes before the rest of the house wakes up. You might even get into the habit of setting things out the night before so it’s ready and waiting for you in the morning.
Another idea is to plan out one cozy winter recipe to make each weekend. This is one of the rituals I plan to start this month.
Wishing you a wonderful start to the new year and lots of coziness! I will be checking back in with you mid month to see how we are all getting along.