hygge home winter window

Bringing Hygge Home

In case you’re not on Pinterest as much as I am, hygge ( pronounced hooga) is the feeling of peace and cozy. Having six kids does not lend itself to much peace or cozy honestly, but I try my best.

how to make your home hygge family momCandles

Obviously, with a three year old getting into literally everything, real candles aren’t usually an option. I’ve been super happy with the tiny tealights you can buy at the Dollar Tree. I also really like Woodwick Candles, which are surprisingly available at Walmart now! I try to having a candle burning/turned on, all the time during the winter.

Blankets

We have about a zillion throw blankets which we store by literally throwing them behind the couch. It’s so very hygge to snuggle up with people you love and share cozy blanket.

Laughter

For me, this is paramount. My chicklets are wonderful and I thoroughly enjoy them. At the same time, they fight, argue, yell, make messes, be loud, interrupt me constantly, interrupt each other, have big feelings, crowd me… all the same things your kids do. I love to be silly and laugh with them. It helps diffuse a lot of the tensions when they arise. Being hggye is about comfort and relationships. I think laughter is component we all need.

Fireplaces

I have a gas fireplace in the living room while it is delightful, it really does use a lot of gas so is impractical to run on a regular basis. The electric one in my room is a good option, but I can only be up there at night. I make do by listening to fireplaces on Youtube. It’s a fantastic discovery for me, because I can get that calming vibe in my ear buds, can still hear the kids, but their happy little (LOUD) cricket voices are dulled.fireplace home hygge winter family mom

Warm Drinks

Warm lemonade made with real lemons and stevia is a simple low carb drink I just love. You could also have hot water and plain lemon, tea, coffee, hot cocoa, a hot toddy, whatever you’re in the mood for.

Fuzzy Slippers

I love to barefoot inside of a pair of cozy fleece slippers. If your six year old picked you out a bright red pair covered with Christmas lights, all the better!

An Attitude of Being in the Moment

A practice I’ve begun this year is to say to myself “I am breathing in.” “I am breathing out.” It sounds a little trite but it is amazing how it helps me stop my racing thoughts and mental to-do list and calm myself.

hygge home family content mom

Hygge is a way of life, not only in the winter, but all year round, of being cozy and content. How are you bringing hygge home?

hygge home winter window

My Book Year in Review

BOOKS. Books and more books!

I love to read. I started keeping track of what I read a few years ago when I started keeping a planner, and I am loving it! Here is a peek of my book year in review.
Book Goal:100

Book Total:105
(and several half done which weren’t worth finishing. My life philosophy is that it’s too short for mediocre books. I rarely finish a book I would rate less than three stars.)

Five Star Fiction:

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Five Star Nonfiction:


My Average GoodReadsRating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

(That’s because I rarely finish a three star or fewer book)

Most popular book I read:
I re-read the Harry Potter series every October. This year I included the kids. It takes me a LOT longer to read aloud. I had them finish the last few on Audible.

Least Popular Book I read:

Book with the fewest pages: with 142

Book with the most pages: with 985

Highest Rated: (Good Reads average of 4.8 stars)

PopSugar Reading Challenge: finished all the prompts, including the advanced, except for “a book containing a heist” I finally finished in January.

Books that took place in Iowa: 3

Audiobooks or ones I read aloud: 6

Most books read in one month: 15 in July

Fewest books read in one month: 6 in June

Books on Kindle or Libby: 46

Murders: definitely more than 100

Goals for next year-Undecided

The average CEO reads 60 books a year so that may be my goal.  My goal of 100 this year was a HUGE challenge. Aiming for almost 2 books a week was hard with my busy life, but  I just wanted to see if I could do it!  Now that I know I can, I will likely back off so I can devote more time to writing (or watching Netflix. )

hygge home winter window

Goal Setting

I am new to goal setting. It just never worked with my brain-I felt like a failure when I didn’t make my goal.

Passion planner wish list goal setting planning resolutions how to set goals achieve in 2019 AdHD

I was the same with a planner. If I didn’t fulfill my plan, I felt like a loser.

In 2016, I discovered a love for “planning”. I could make it pretty, I could write down a to do list but I didn’t have to schedule every single half hour increment. I could make it work for me.

It’s been life changing! I’ve kept it up now for 3 years-which if you know me at all, you know is an incredible testimony. Along with loving the ideas and the planner community I discovered on Instagram, I learned more about goal setting. I’m definitely still learning more than doing but I am trying to be intentional about it.

I learned a bit about goal setting that works for me from the Passion Planner. They offer their “Wish List” in a free PDF from their website and it is definitely worth working through that.

I didn’t even take the next steps of writing down HOW to achieve my goals, or actionable steps, and I kind of forgot these pages were even IN my planner.

Passion planner wish list goal setting planning resolutions how to set goals achieve in 2019
Wish List set in February of 2016 for that year
Passion planner wish list goal setting planning resolutions how to set goals achieve in 2019
Goals set at the beginning of December 2016, looking into 2017

Incredibly, I met several of the goals in the Wish List, simply because, I think, I had written them down and they were fermenting in my brain all year.

I didn’t write as much for 2018. I don’t know what happened. Passion planner wish list goal setting planning resolutions how to set goals achieve in 2019

I sort of met two of these. I never looked back at what I’d written.

I took some time today to look at the big picture of what I’d like 2019 to look like. Tonight or tomorrow I plan to break these down into workable steps and what I need to do on the weekly, and daily, to make them happen.

Passion planner wish list goal setting planning resolutions how to set goals achieve in 2019
I only used water colors because I was cleaning the palette. And also it’s pretty.

My big goal this year is to look at my goals every day and write some affirmations which will help me reach them. My word of the year is SOAR- from Isaiah 40:31

But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.

Goals setting will help us to soar!

What’s in your agenda for 2019?

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Simple Pillow Cover: A Tutorial

Do you want some beautiful holiday pillows but you don’t want to spend the cash? Do you have old pillows that need some new life? If you can sew a straight stitch or work a glue gun, you can make this.

Pillowcase tutorial couch pillow throw pillow cover DIY simple easy
A lumpy old pillow in need of rejuvenating

Materials needed:

Old pillows

Fabric-I got two kinds of cozy plaid flannel 50% off. I bought 1 1/4 yards just to make sure I would have enough.

Sewing machine or glue gun

Pillowcase tutorial couch pillow throw pillow cover DIY simple easy

Measure your pillows. Leave a small seam allowance across. Because my old pillows were rather bumpy, I made mine a little smaller than the actual pillow size because I wanted the new case to fluff it up.

Another tactic if you have flat pillows is to make the width a few inches wider than your old pillows and insert two of them into one case.

For the vertical edge you want it to be several inches longer than your pillow. My pillow is as big as the inside out part of the fabric you see here. The top extra fabric will be a flap you will tuck in.

Try to cut your fabric so the selvage edges will be the place you insert your pillow. This way you don’t have to hem anything.

Right sides together, sew or glue the seams.

Pillowcase tutorial couch pillow throw pillow cover DIY simple easy

Turn your “envelope” or case right side out and insert your pillow. tuck the flap down I side as far as you can.

Pillowcase tutorial couch pillow throw pillow cover DIY simple easy

Voila! You did it!

Now reward yourself with a nice warm drink and an intriguing book!

Easy to make pillow tutorial Easy to make pillow tutorial

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Ridiculously Easy Christmas Decor DIY

Get a jar or a vase.

Take some twinkle lights. I bought a bulk pack of warm white from Amazon for about $2/string.

Wind the lights loosely inside.

Put Christmas balls in amongst the lights. I found a pack with gold and white ornaments for $1 at the Dollar Tree.

Voila! You’re done.

Easy cheap Christmas craft DIY holiday dollar tree

Since this jar had a lid, I taped the switch inside the lid. If you use a vase, just tuck it under a Christmas ball at the top.

Easy cheap Christmas craft DIY holiday dollar tree

This works with anything-colored balls, pine cones, garland, peppermints, cookie cutters. Tall vases in your center piece, Mason jars in kitchen, a fish bowl in the bathroom. Don’t limit yourself!

In other seasons you can fill the jar with other kinds of decor, corn in the fall, flowers in the spring, tiny drink umbrellas in the summer.

Easy cheap Christmas craft DIY holiday dollar tree

Go forth and be creative! I’d love to see that yours look like.

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Christmas Home Tour-Frugal Edition-Living Room

Christmas tree mantel living room decorating decor holiday DIY garland ribbon

We got our 9 1/2 foot Christmas tree from a moving sale. It’s prelit, and may work just fine, but I can’t figure out how to connect them, so this year I used the Tree Dazzler. The children all “help” with the decorating, and then alter I go in and space out the ornaments and add the ribbons.

Our star is from Dollar General, as is the burlap and glitter wired ribbon. The red ribbon is from the Dollar Tree.

Under the tree you can see our fantastic collection of Christmas books.

Christmas home tour Christmas tree living room decor

Our mantel isn’t everything I want it to be this year. I’d like to make all matching Christmas stocking hooks, or have some that don’t show at all. These are all from Goodwill and they do for now.

My amaryllis is sadly just the one leaf, because someone broke off the bloom stem just as it was emerging from the bulb this year.

My dad brought the giant pine cones back front the redwood forest for me. The garland is a hand me down from my sister-in-law.

I’d like the candles tucked in among the garland so you can’t see them, but alas, kids. If you zoom in you can probably also see my half broken speaker and ziplock baggie with ornament hooks in it because I never got around to getting it back upstairs to the holiday closet.

I made the stockings without using a pattern and so I didn’t line them. That wasn’t the greatest of ideas. They all have pieces of cardboard inside them to make them hang straight-ish.

Christmas tree mantel living room decorating decor holiday DIY garland ribbon ceramic vintage tree

The large ceramic Christmas tree I bought at an antique shop before they were popular, and therefore it was a steal. The smaller one was given to us by The Farmer’s mom, and was from her younger days.

Christmas tree mantel living room decorating decor holiday DIY garland ribbon

I found a plain inexpensive garland at Hobby lobby and hot glued the same non breakable many years old ornaments we have on the tree and berries to it. I can’t believe they can charge so much for fancy garland!

Twelve year old wrapped the banister with colored lights. I did have garland over the lights on the newel post, but I also have a three year old.

Christmas tree mantel living room decorating decor holiday DIY garland ribbonChristmas tree mantel living room decorating decor holiday DIY garland ribbon

Holiday pillows I have collected, which never stay on the couch, and a snoozing schnauzer

Christmas tree mantel living room decorating decor holiday DIY garland ribbonChristmas tree mantel living room decorating decor holiday DIY garland ribbon

This is an inexpensive and easy DIY.

I keep my decorating to a manageable amount. Since this is the most decorations for Christmas I’ve put up in years, I felt compelled to record it!

What is your favorite decoration in your living room? Do you love pre-made or DIYs? How do you keep decorating fun and frugal? I’d love to hear in the comments.

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A Wonderfully Simple Christmas Craft

In between milk poured in a kitchen drawer and alphabet beads waterfalling down the stairs, we managed a Christmas craft today. Crafting amid the chaos calls for simple ideas! You’ll love this!

Materials:

  • a stencil—I used a Christmas tree I traced from a simple printable onto a shirt box and cut out.
  • Crayons or colored pencils (markers or paint, if you’re brave.) (I’m not)
  • Musical sheets—I bought an old hymnal at the library book sale for fifty cents.
  • Ribbon or yarn
  • Tape

Procedure:

1. Tear some pages out of the hymnal.

2. For younger children or those needing help on fine motor skills, I taped the pages to the table and then the stencil on top to the table.Diy Christmas tree art Christmas Craft preschool elementary

3. I laid out only greens and yellow because I really wanted this to be a little matchy. Three still managed to be creative in her coloring choices though.

4. Let them color as many as they want.Easy simple Christmas tree preschool craft diy elementary art

5. I laid out yarn across my dining room table and taped the backs to the yarn across the title of the hymn.

6. Then Ten and I taped them to the wall. I had the idea to make a Christmas tree shape with several swags of these, but we ran out of oomphs.

7. Stand back and be proud.Easy simple Christmas tree preschool craft diy elementary art

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The Five Minute, Four Product Fresh Face!

I love to wear make up but I hate to spend time on it. I don’t understand how the YouTube vloggers and beauty bloggers can spend an hour on their make up! They look amazing, but then again, so do I.

Here’s what I use:

Fast makeup easy tutorial and   review concealer eyeliner Hard Candy lip gloss mascara NYX Maybelline MACMaybelline Coverstick Corrector Concealer in yellow to balance out the purple under my eyes (even without getting up earlier to spend an hour on my make up, I still don’t get enough sleep!)

This doubles as a concealer if I wanted to tone down the redness of a blemish or my often cold and frequently pink nose.

Fast makeup easy tutorial and   review concealer eyeliner Hard Candy lip gloss mascara NYX Maybelline MACNYX Jumbo Eye Liner in French Fries. This can be used as eyeshadow or liner depending on the look I’m going for. I just smear it on and blend with my finger.

(Autocorrect just changed my misspelled finger to dog, for some reason. I’m tempted to leave it. “blend with my dog”.)

Fast makeup easy tutorial and   review concealer eyeliner Hard Candy lip gloss mascara NYX Maybelline MACMAC lip primer. I have lots of fine lines now that I’m in my forties and any bright color I love bleeds into my upper lip if I skip this. Not the look I want. Bleeding bright red lipstick always reminds me of my sixth grade social studies teacher who reminded me of Miss Hannigan.

Fast makeup easy tutorial and   review concealer eyeliner Hard Candy lip gloss mascara NYX Maybelline MACHard Candy Wet Ever Lip Gloss in Famous

I love this color. It’s glossy and gorgeous even after several cups of coffee.

Fast makeup easy tutorial and   review concealer eyeliner Hard Candy lip gloss mascara NYX Maybelline MACNYX Worth the Hype Mascara. I’ve been happy with every NYX mascara I’ve tried. This, however, is my favorite. They last all day and most importantly don’t stink like a lot of mascaras. The brush is soft and doesn’t scrape my eyelashes and lids as many mascara wands have a tendency to do.

Is it possible to look good and finished in so few minutes with so few products? I think so, but decide for yourself! Fast makeup easy tutorial and   review concealer eyeliner Hard Candy lip gloss mascara NYX Maybelline MAC

How long do you spend on make up usually? What’s your favorite go-to product?

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The Incredibly Easy Way to Put on a Duvet Cover

I have always loved snuggling up in a down comforter, but I, like much of the middle class, want to also have a catalog type bed with too many pillows. This means a duvet cover.

Duvet covers are stupid. I have watched so many videos on the tortilla roll and rolled and rolled and re-rolled attempting the perfect spread of cover to comforter ratio. I have tugged and fluffed the down comforter inside the duvet cover until my arms figuratively fall off. It seems like every time the comforter falls off the bed it gets smooshed up to one side and you have to redo it or deal with a bunched up comforter inside the duvet cover.

How to Easy way to put on a duvet cover

Who can deal with that? Not this girl. I love my bed like I love my mother! I just want to cozily crawl in and have it comfort me. I don’t want to mess around with messed up blankets.

How to Easy way to put on a duvet cover

Finally I hit upon the perfect solution which always works! Always!

Here’s how to put the duvet cover perfectly on the comforter.

Just lay it on top like a sheet. Seriously. Presto change-o. You’re welcome.

How to Easy way to put on a duvet cover

You can either put it on zipped, or tuck up the zipper.

Here’s what it looks like zipped.

How to Easy way to put on a duvet cover

Now go snuggle in your cozy, comfy bed without having to fuss with the duvet cover ever, ever again.

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The Tree Dazzler: An Honest Review

I bought three boxes of the Tree Dazzler last year on clearance. Living under my rock, I had not ever heard of them. Based on the box, and the after Christmas price, I thought they were worth a go.

They didn’t take any time at all to install, as you just put the ring over the top of your tree.

Tree Dazzler review Christmas lights Christmas tree

The 64 bulbs on each set are guaranteed for a lifetime, which is impressive.

They’re meant for a 7 1/2 foot tree at the maximum. Ours is 9 or 9 1/2 feet, which I didn’t realize and is a bummer. I have to figure out what to do with the bottom gap.

Tree Dazzler review Christmas lights Christmas tree decorating

The lines connecting each bulb are really thick though, and while this protects them from getting tangled, they look ridiculous at the top of the tree where it’s so narrow.

Tree Dazzler review Christmas lights Christmas tree

You can’t even hide them behind the branches, and all the time we saved using this nifty gadget, was wasted trying to achieve hidden wires.

I am going to get some ribbon to make a garland and see if that can hide them. That part is a colossal drawback.

Tree Dazzler review Christmas lights Christmas tree kids decorating

The light bulbs themselves were quite a bit bigger than what I was used to. They remind me a bit of the vintage bulbs we used to have as a child. They also look like white ornaments so this isn’t necessarily a total drawback.

The top of our tree leans a bit, and we can’t tell if it’s due to our 160 year old farmhouse floor, our second hand tree, or the heaviness of the two Tree Dazzlers. I wanted to use all three but they were so heavy I was afraid our top section would topple off.

I like the options of the different light designs. They’re all pleasant.

The plugs are corpulent and oversized. Supposedly the Tree Dazzler is energy efficient so I don’t know why the plugs take up an entire power strip. Since my home is so old, electric outlets are much at the premium, so I’m not excited about this situation. Tree Dazzler review Christmas lights Christmas tree

Overall I can only rate the Tree Dazzler ⭐️⭐️/five stars.