This year, summer will in many ways be different then we are used to, but I believe that we can still have a lovely one spent at home by focusing on the small things, practicing slow living and enjoying hygge moments to the fullest. The most important thing now is to stay safe, and I think a staycation is the best way to do so.
First up; what is hygge? Hygge is a Scandinavian word meaning cozy, and it is often used to describe the feeling you get when snuggling up at home. I always say that ‘hygge moments are those small everyday moments that makes you feel happy and warm inside.’ Many of us associate hygge with autumn or wintertime, but hygge can actually be found all year round – not just when it is cold.
If you need some inspiration on how to find hygge this summer, I have written down my bucket list as well as made a video with things to do to create That Scandinavian Feeling while at home. Enjoy your summer and stay safe!
My summer hygge bucket list
Escape inside a book
Hygge is all about embracing the simple things, and a great way to find hygge is to slow down and take time to read. There is nothing like escaping inside a book and mentally go on a little journey – especially now when traveling is not a priority for most of us. Find your coziest spot at home, for me that is my bedroom, turn off your phone and pretend you are on a beach somewhere while enjoying a good read. Many of us are too busy in everyday life to take time to read, so now is your chance to finally catch up on that long reading list…
My reading list this summer is Conversations With Friends (which I am currently reading), The Cactus, The Flatshare & Exciting Times. If you want to read nordic books, I have a post here with my selection of books to get into the nordic mood. And if you need something to read together with your kids (or alone), the Norwegian Folk Tales is a great family friendly way to escape into a fairytale while learning more about the Norwegian culture.
If there is one important thing I have learned from the Mediterranean lifestyle, it’s the power of a good nap – especially now during the hotter months. Siestas are a great way to slow down and boost your energy when the temperatures are high. So this is mine & my dog Bowie’s encouragement to you: take a little nap!
Savour a coffee moment
In many ways, the essence of hygge is coffee – for me the process of making it, the smell, and lastly sitting down to enjoy it brings me comfort and that cozy feeling. I don’t know about you, but in the summertime I really enjoy iced coffees and find it a great way to still enjoy those cozy coffee moments even on a hot day.
I usually make my iced coffee by mixing a cup of coffee with ice cubes and milk. Simple, refreshing and delicious. But if you want something a bit more fancy and haven’t already tried the latest trend Dalgona coffee, check out my little video recipe and I can guarantee you won’t regret it. Yum!
It is important to make sure you take care of yourself, and practicing self-care is a great way to find hygge. Think about your body and your mind, and focus on things that make you feel good. Everything from getting enough sleep and eating healthy can help you, but it is also about the little things like doing a facemask, practicing yoga, or meditating. Find those things that will help you relax and take your mind off the world for a bit.
I have been loving this açai facial scrub mask from Rudolph Care recently. I got it as a Christmas gift from a friend, and find it very relaxing to put on but it also helps my skin feel so soft afterwards.
Whether it is a new hobby or something you used to do when you were younger but never have time to anymore, slow summer days spent at home is the perfect time to get crafty.
I recently decided to get more creative because I used to love painting and drawing, so I purchased a pack of air drying clay to make my own ceramic decor. It was so much fun and I ended up with this decorative piece which I decided to paint. (You might recognise it because it is the same colour that we have in our bedroom). I also got a few paint supplies and my plan for the rest of the summer is to get back into painting, an activity I find very relaxing and mindful.
There are so many craft and DIY projects to get stuck into, and Pinterest is a great source of inspiration. I hope you find something that brings you joy this summer whether its knitting, ceramics, painting or something completely different.
Enjoy a hotel-like breakfast
Hotel breakfast is very hyggelig and luxurious thing I always enjoy when I’m on summer vacation. Even though you might not be traveling this summer, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a long, lazy hotel-like breakfast at home – just make it yourself and pretend you are on holiday.
For me, pancakes are one of those special holiday treats. I love getting up early in the morning and taking my time to make them before everyone else wakes up, and it is always nice to see the smile on someones face when they wake up to that amazing pancake smell.
This time I decided to change up my trusted pancake recipe by adding in ricotta – and they turned out so fluffy and delicious. Let me know if you want the recipe, I will happily share it!
Have an indoor picnic
A picnic is the perfect way to create a hyggelig atmosphere, so why not have one at home this summer? If you have a garden or terrace you can have your picnic outdoors, but another fun and different option is to have one in your livingroom – this way you can enjoy a picnic in the comfort of your own home. Create a cozy corner with blankets and pillows, prepare a few simple and delicious dishes and get a bottle of sparkling wine ready. A pretty picnic basket helps to set the mood don’t you think?
For my picnic I decided to make a simple cold pasta salad to serve along with a Danish cheese, bread and strawberries. It doesn’t have to be too complicated, just use whatever you have in your cupboard or fridge and get creative.
With summer here and the current situation we are all in, one of the activities I really enjoy on slow days at home which brings a lot of joy is boardgames and puzzles. It is the perfect way to get together and have a hyggelig time whether you are in two or a larger group.
Mix your own cocktails
Many of us immediately think of cocktails on the beach when we hear summer holiday, but it can be just as nice to enjoy a refreshing drink at home. Get inspired by the Spirits of the North: Cocktail Recipe & Stories From Scandinavia book where Selma Slabiak shares her elevated bartending expertise and finesse while layering familiar and unusual flavors and ingredients along with Scandinavian traditions and nostalgic stories from her childhood in Denmark. It will be a like a fun, little trip to Scandinavia.
Get fresh flowers
Bring the cheerfulness feeling of summer by adding plenty of blooms throughout your home. What about picking some wild flowers on your walk to bring the outdoors in? You can display them in a vase or even make a summer flower crown in typical Scandinavian style to wear.
Make homemade ice cream
Is there anything better than indulging in a delicious ice cream on a hot summer day? There are so many great recipes online, like for instance this blackcurrant ripple ice cream from Nordic Kitchen Stories. get creative with flavours and toppings and enjoy the fruit of your labour.
Whenever we want to have a movie night we make our bedroom into a little home cinema with a projector to watch films and get extra comfy. It means that it feels extra special since we normally watch TV in the livingroom, and by adding some freshly popped popcorn and sweet treats it feels almost like being at a cinema (even better if you ask me because you can pause anytime for a toilet break without missing something in the film.)
Create a summer playlist
I love listening to music, it brings so much joy and is a great way to create hygge at home. So pick your favourite tunes to create your ultimate summer playlist and play to it loud while dancing and singing along. It will for sure brighten your mood even on a grey day. And if you prefer listening to podcasts, another great way to virtually take a little trip, then check out Nicola from Nordic Notes post Nordic Inspiration – Podcasts You Will Want to be Listening which includes a great list of Scandinavian inspired podcasts to get stuck into this summer.
Get up early to watch the sunrise
I am more of a night owl so I rarely get up too early, but this summer I want to try to get up earlier to not only enjoy the freshness but also to see the sunrise. If you have large windows at home you could even do a little breakfast picnic while watching the sun wake up.
Take a culinary trip
Since traveling is not an option for many this summer, I suggest instead to take a culinary trip. Make a list of food from around the world and places you either have fond memories of visiting or wish to travel to in the future, and learn how to make them at home. This way you will get that vacation feeling at while at home, not only while cooking it but also afterwards when you can enjoy the dish you prepared. And why not make a whole evening of it with a themed table or outfit to go with the country or city you chose? A fun and hyggelig way to get together this summer in a different country without even having to step on an airplane.
Who says candles are just for autumn and winter? I say they are great anytime of the year and really helps set the mood perfect for hygge moments at home this summer. Get inspired by The Best Scented Candles for Summer by Abi from These Four Walls if you are yearning for a bit of escapism in the form of fresh, coastal-inspired fragrances or scents that conjure up travels to the Mediterranean and beyond…
Hope you have a wonderful summer and enjoy the little things! What is on your summer hygge bucket list?
I hope you enjoyed my summer hygge bucket list and if you didn’t already watch the video, please head over to my YouTube channel to give it a thumbs up and subscribe to my channel – your support means a lot and helps me create more hygge content. Thank you!
// Photo & video credit: Ingrid Opstad