Well, tomorrow is officially the first day of spring but I guess someone forgot to tell that to the people who control the weather.
You see – most of Europe has been hit by a total cold front from Siberia and the temperatures have plummeted to a blistering cold -10 here in Copenhagen. And with the windchill factor that we have for being on an island, we were warned today to expect it to feel like -20 degrees Celsius and I tell you it does feel like that.
So as far as I am concerned – you’d better stay indoors for most of the day and I have compiled a list of things you can do:
GO FOR A BRISK walk and feed the ducks – poor things are starving. Trust me you’ll have rosy cheeks and runny nose afterwards.
BAKE something delicious and warming. Why not get some inspiration here on Simply Danish Living. Our favourite is probably Sticky Cinnamon Buns – find the recipe right here.
Make some fun DIY’s. Well, Easter is coming up right – so have a look at the stunning marbled Easter eggs we made last year. These are so fun to make and they look great.
DRINK hot chocolate or cocoa – I make a killer one with a small dash of cinnamon and whipped cream – yummy:
-All you do is warm the milk in a saucepan, add a spoonful of cocoa powder and sugar to taste (around a spoonful) and a dash of cinnamon and cardamom – soo tasty and warming. The girls love adding baby marshmallows but I prefer some freshly whipped cream.
BINGE watch NETFLIX/VIAPLAY/HBO. I have listed my favourite series & films to watch with or without kids right here. All so GOOD:
COOL SERIES for grown-ups:
LITTLE BIG LIES
THE HANDMAID’S TALE
FILMS to watch with bigger kids
WONDERWOMAN – just a really great story and a really great woman.
Fantastic Beasts and where to find them (Harry Potter sequel).
The Jungle Book (The classic book now as a real film – not a cartoon).
Pete’s Dragon (Oh my so good but also very sad for a bit).
Bring it on (Cheerleaders – what’s not to LOVE).
SPIDERMAN trilogy – just because it is a great story.
There you have it. Plenty to do indoors. If you are braving the cold have a look here for a list of lakes where the ice might be safe to skate on. If not find my Icerink list here. Enjoy and may I just say it out loud : BRING ON SPRING:
It was recently Valentine’s day and as much as I adore LOVE like any old person, I have to remind myself (and pretty much everyone else) that being nice, being kind and doing things for someone doesn’t only have to happen on V day.
Nope, I have compiled a list of small things you can do for someone to brighten up their day. You can call it the happiness list if you like – and remember you saw it here first.
1 // Pen a proper card, and send it to someone – just to remind them that you’re thinking about them. A text would do the job, however, nothing is better than a proper letter or a card in the mailbox.
2// Write your Mum/Dad/Nan/sister 10 things that you remember them for. Things that made you happy. Things that make you love them. Trust me they’ll value that piece of paper forever. You can write it nicely and pop it in a pretty box for them to keep.
3// Bake some delish cookies (find my recipe for the BEST chocolate chip cookies ever here) and give them to a colleague, a teacher, your neighbor – it’s a yummy heartfelt gift and who doesn’t love choc chip cookies?.
4// Put a tiny little note on fancy paper in your child’s lunchbox every day, so when they have their lunch they know you are thinking of them. I call it lunchbox poetry.
5// Pick-up trash when you see it lying on the floor. That is LOVE for nature and self-preservation if you ask me. Nature is spilling over with plastic – you can make an effort.
6// Offer a homeless person a nice hot drink and/or a hot sandwich. You have no idea why they ended up where they are, so treat them nicely and remember some nice food/drink always make you feel better.
7// DONATE any unwanted toys, clothes, unused toiletries to someone who needs them more than you. I used to have bags upon bags in the cellar with stuff I was going ‘to sell’ at the flea market. No more!! – now I give it away. Find shelters and places who accept donations. I always try and pick smaller charities as they are more likely to actually make an effort, and things don’t get lost in ‘red tape’.
8// Feed the ducks / birds / garden animals in the winter. Poor things have a difficult time finding food when the ground is frozen and covered in snow. Help them out.
9// Send a care package to someone far away. Just a small token of appreciation – could be their favorite sweets or woolly socks -something you know they’ll love.
10// Compliment someone. Difficult isn’t it. Or is it? Just do it. It’ll make everyone feel so much better. And if someone tries to compliment you – do accept and say thank you.
See how easy that was? Doesn’t take much effort making someone else’s day better. Now go on and have a FANTASTIC day my friends. LOVE A xx
So after December and a month of fun, fairy lights and festivities the early months of the year are often wet, cold, dull and can feel very long. Back to school, work and getting over the fun is a hard task so I have gathered a few tips that could make the coming months feel a bit easier, lighter and brighter.
Create some everyday magic.
Alright then, what exactly is that? Well, it is all about making a bit of a fuss about the everyday normal things you do. So instead of just making the kids a quick snack when they’re hungry, you set the table, light a candle, put a bit of fruit in a bowl, some almonds and raisins, make some tea and sit together and play a game, read a book or just have a chat about how your day went.
Enough said. You know what I mean. Flowers are a perfect way to brighten any day. Or even better – make someone B U Y you flowers. Win win if you ask me….
Organize your day.
When you rush around like a headless chicken – hygge kinda disappears and you become stressed, the kids become stressed and the whole thing ends up a big mess. So why not pre-organize your day. Have a meal plan at hand, do the shopping on the weekend, make sure the bags are packed the night before and clothes are already arranged so everyone knows what they’re doing and the rush becomes a lot more bearable. Easy Peasy!!
(AD // notebooks are a gift from Notem studios)
Invite some folks over.
You’re bored. It’s pouring down, and you can’t see yourself walking about in the rain. So what do you do? You get busy in the kitchen – bake a yummy cake (remember these beauties – Sticky cinnamon buns), and call a friend, parents, siblings and invite them over You could also organize an impromptu indoor picnic on the floor, and a day lazying on the sofa watching movies. Popcorn is, of course, a must.
Yep, even though I just told you to stay indoors, when the weather is nice – get out and explore. There is nothing more soothing for the heart and soul than a good long walk in nature. See something new. I always live by the rule that if you try something new, see something new, experience something you’ve never done before it is a day well spent. So get out and go explore – you never know what you might see.
The one and only sentence I preach to my kids every day is “If you can be anything be kind.” Be kind to people, be kind to animals, be kind to nature. That is the most important lesson to teach. Don’t be a walkover. Don’t let people trick you and hurt you, but never be the one who starts the fight.
There you have it – my step-by-step guide to a brighter winter. ENJOY – trust me with these tips – blink and you’ll miss it – Spring is on the way.
SO here it is – my Q&A with Issuu as I have been picked to be their publisher of the month. Read the article on the Issuu blog right here.
We’re proud to share that our Publisher of the Month for January is Simply Hygge, a Danish publication focused around the concept of hygge. We’re kicking off the spotlight with a little Q&A with Editor-in-Chief, Anya Jensen. Look out for more Simply Hygge content throughout the month!
Tell us about Simply Hygge! How did you get started? I started Simply Hygge because I had so many hyggelige ideas and wanted to share them with everybody. Hygge is a concept that is very close to my heart. I wanted to show people how it is possible to create everyday magic with very little effort – making the ordinary everyday seem extraordinary.
What is the concept of “hygge”? Hygge as a concept is something the Danes have lived by for ages. I think it is the comfort of being entirely relaxed in your surroundings, and enjoying the moment. Simply being yourself. Of course candles, woolly blankets, hot drinks and good food help, but it is not a necessity.
Why is a hygge lifestyle important to you? Because I like spending time with my family, and I like to believe it is healthy to sometimes go back to basics; leave all the electronic devices at home, and go explore. As far as I am concerned, the more you see – the more you’ll know, and this is the rule I choose to live my life by, and something I try to teach my children. But don’t get me wrong – we are not always running around – another favorite thing to do as a family is to snuggle up on the sofa with a good film and freshly made popcorn.
You are starting a second publication, Tweentown –– what is that about? It is all about tweens. My daughters’ are now what you’d call tweens, and I found it difficult to find any decent stuff for them: accessories, shoes, and clothes that weren’t either too babyish – or too grown-up. So I created something I wished existed – a magazine for people like me – tweens and their adults – a go-to place to find inspiration.
Do these publications tie together at all? Yes, they do tie together because Tweentown will also have exciting places to visit, food, shopping lists, shop recommendations, room tours, crafting and of course loads of hygge too.
What is the best part of editing magazines to you? I literally seek inspiration all the time. My mind works visually, so you’ll always find my eyes darting around taking it all in, and trust me – if I come across a stunning sunset, I will stop the car and make my kids come out and enjoy it. Magic moments are everywhere – you just have to open your mind and your eyes. “You may say I am a dreamer – but I am not the only one” – that quote from the song ‘Imagine’ could easily have been written about me, and that is why I love to share what I see – to hopefully inspire others.
Why do you choose to publish digitally? I used to love buying magazines and had stacks upon stacks of them. I still love magazines but buy a lot less now. People are busy and we all have our heads buried in a screen somewhere. People ‘flick’ and read on the go and I wanted to make my content readily available to everyone everywhere, and that is one of the reasons. The other is that it is very pricey to print and not great for the environment. That said, I might have to make copies of my magazines in print one day just for me to keep.
What inspires you the most? My kids and family of course and the people I meet. I am always in awe of people who create. I love meeting new people, and I love how the internet makes everything so accessible. And also when someone writes me and tells me they cooked one of the recipes I posted and loved it, or went out and saw something due to my recommendation, then I get very proud. That’s what inspires me.
WE love to skate. It is a simple, cheap, and fun way to be together the whole family. When I was small, some winters the lakes iced over and it was possible to ice skate directly on them if they had been declared safe by the police. I can’t remember the last time that happened, and it is probably a not-so-great side-effect to Global warming.
But luckily there are many Ice-rinks in Copenhagen, some outside, some inside.
Here we have listed our favourite ice-rinks in Copenhagen – so all you have to do is wrap up warm. Bring helmet, gloves, scarves and a thermos with hot chocolate and coffee, and prepare yourself for a fun-filled day.
Because remember what they say here in Denmark: “There is no such thing as bad weather – only bad clothing“
As a mother of 2 rapidly growing girls, I have come to realize that there is not much focus on the children when they reach the in-between stage – the tweens – you known when they are too old to be considered a small child, and yet too young to be a teenager.
I have found it very difficult to find clothes that didn’t make them look too baby-ish – or even worse too adult, – and I have spoken to many parents with the exact same problems. My daughters are very aware of the things they like, but it is also something we have to agree on. Most tweens will probably have an iPad or a smartphone – and they are searching for trends on youtube and looking at stars and influencers already.
So I decided to create a magazine that would be full of inspiration for tweens and their adults – or the other way around. TWEENTOWN, is a magazine for you and your tween. It is full of ideas and will be you to-go-to destination for cool ideas. The festive mini magazine is out right now and you can find it on Issuu – the link is here.
We are also in the process of launching a youtube channel – where you can find #ootd inspo, tween tips, food you can make and much more. I am soo excited to hear what you think. So hurry along – much more tween stuff over there. And if you don’t have a tween – don’t fret – some of the things we have selected are soo cool that you could buy them for yourself.
Thanks for reading and do let me know what you think.
On the 13th of December, we celebrate Saint Lucia day with a Saint Lucia light parade. According to the legend, Saint Lucia brought “food and aid to Christians hiding in the catacombs using a candle-lit wreath to light her way and leave her hands free to carry as much food as possible. She devoted her life to God rather than the Emperor, and for that, he had her burnt on a stake.
We celebrate her life and sacrifice, with a Saint Lucia light parade where the children walk whilst singing the Santa Lucia song, wearing white gowns, crowns on their heads and carrying a light. The first girl wears a crown on her head just like the one Saint Lucia wore.
It is a beautiful parade and an event I look forward to every year. When I was small we carried real candles, and the head girl had a crown of real candles. That is still practiced, but usually with older children. The small children carry electric ones.
I love seeing my girls participating, and like most mothers, I do end up a bit teary-eyed, as I think it is a very touching ceremony, and an event the children take very seriously. Afterwards, it is very common to have a small gathering where we usually drink gløgg and eat æbleskiver.
This picture is from when my daughter was 6 years old. She was so proud and trust me – so was I. I almost always end up with a heart bursting with pride. The girls are much bigger now, but every time the perform, or do something my heart
I am delighted to share another favourite Gløgg recipe, one that is suitable for people who do not drink alcohol, and also for children. A delicious hot drink enjoyed when it is cold outside, leaves you with a satisfactory feeling of hygge and it is so easy to make. The flavour is mild, slightly spicy and a lovely hyggelig beverage to enjoy on a wet wintry day.
1 liter of organic apple juice
1 dl water
1 organic lemon
3 tbs caster sugar
2 cinnamon sticks 5 whole cloves
3 cardamom pods
1 organic apple diced
50 g raisins
50 g (split) almonds
Slice your lemon, and put in a large saucepan adding the sugar.
Pour in the water, with the spices, and slowly heat up until it is hot.
Leave to infuse for 1/2 hour.
Pour the liquid through a sieve and put it back on the stove. Discard the spices and lemon.
Add the apple juice and diced apple – and keep an eye on the saucepan so it doesn’t boil.
Add raisins and almonds and serve when the apple gløgg is piping hot.
Enjoy – but do remember to tell the children to be vigilant as this drink is hot!