living with lavender and grace

  • 6 simple ways to bring hygge into your home

    bringing hygge into your home

    It's no secret that I'm passionate about creating a cozy, joy filled home for my family. I read The Little Book of Hygge years ago and it 100% resonated, I've re-read it often and basically force it into the hands of anyone who stays with us!

    Hygge is a Danish term, and means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people. Danish winters are known to be long and dark, yet the Danish people are some of the happiest people in the world- thanks to embracing a hygge lifestyle. 

    It's about taking time to slow down and enjoy the simple pleasures in life: a cup of tea, your morning coffee, a good glass of red, the smell of your children, the joy of cooking dinner for your family, a quiet moment with a good book. It's about tuning your heart to the rhythms of nature and slowing down to notice the small beauties of your everyday. It's about embracing the winter season, not hiding from the cold weather- but bundling up and playing outside with your friends and family.... then coming home and cozying up! 

    And while I make an effort to keep a hygge mindset, surrounding your home with hygge most definitely helps.

    Here are my 6 (simple) tips for creating a hygge home for your family. 

    1. Keep chunky blankets everywhere, bonus points having them in unexpected places. I love the "chunkiness" and warmth a blanket brings to any space. I have this blanket here in the dining room and I love how it softens this space

    2. Add plenty of overstuffed pillows to couches, benches, accent chairs (even dining room chairs). Pillows make any space inviting (and I happen to know a fantastic shop that sells pillow covers!)
    3. Use lamps in lieu of overhead light. Our house has a gazzilion overhead fluorescent lights and we never turn them on. If by accident one of the kids flips a switch and they turn on, the vibe in our home instantly changes and I feel a headache coming on! Seriously, it's awful. The lanterns over our kitchen island and dining table are all Edison warm light bulbs and that, along with a lamp in our living room is all we turn on in the evening. Try using exclusively warm light in your home and see how it makes a difference!
    4. Battery operated candles. Everywhere. Hygge is all about candlelight, I am not about the toxic fumes emitted by candles. I have battery candles all over our kitchen and living room and they are all timed to turn on at 6, when I start making dinner. I also have a couple in our bathroom, timed to turn on a bit later so they're glowing when I take my bath and do my nighttime routine. It's seriously one of my favorite things! 
    5. Use natural elements. Giant woven baskets for holding (faux) fur blankets, natural wood decor, clay pottery. There's something about bringing the outside in, with their natural texture, makes a home feel extra warm and cozy.
    6. Books. Coffee table books used as decor, a basket of books by the couch. Books invite your family (and guests) to sit, grab a blanket out of the basket, cozy up and read- all the while encouraging them to stay off technology!
    I hope this inspires you to create a cozy, hygge home for your family sweet friends. Don't hesitate to shoot me an email or DM with any questions or links needed!
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  • White bean and turkey chili

    White bean and turkey chili

    This dish is a staple in our home. It's based off of Giada De Laurentis' white bean and chicken chili, modified to easily feed a family with different tastes.

     I always use bone broth in lieu of chicken or beef broth for my soup and stew recipes. The benefits of bone broth are innumerable, including being an excellent source of collagen for joint, skin and hair support. Bone broth is incredibly high in nutrients including vitamins A and K, selenium, zinc, and more, it helps flight inflammation, supports the digestive tract and immune system.

    In addition to always keeping a couple cartons on hand I try to make a batch and can it myself at least once a week.

    My husband doesn't love broth-y soups so I just serve his with less broth and extra for the boys and I. The three of us are known to drink the remaining broth from our bowls when we're finished. Seriously, there's nothing more comforting!
    I'll serve it with fresh parmesan, but you can easily omit, making this dish dairy and gluten free.
    - one onion, finely chopped
    - 3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    - 2 tbsp cumin
    - 1 tbsp fennel seed
    - 1 tbsp dried oregano (can easily substitute fresh, just double the amount!)
    - 2 tsp. chili powder
    - 1 tsp salt
    - 1-2 lbs. ground turkey (you can easily use chicken too). I've made this with 1 pound for a more broth soup, or two for a thicker chili. Either absolutely works!
    - 32 oz bone broth (you can absolutely add more if you're like me and like your soup heavy on the broth. Just like the chicken, customize the amount to fit your taste)
    - 2 cups frozen corn, thawed (I add the corn at the end, just to the boys' bowls) Mom hack: add in the corn, frozen to help cool the soup down for littles!
    - One large bunch of kale. I'll add the kale to the bowls right before I pour in the soup, as it will wilt. I go very heavy handed with my kale, less for the boys and J. Keep the kale separated for leftovers and do the same the next day so the kale doesn't get to wilt-y. 
    - freshly chopped parsley, for serving
    - freshly grated parmesan cheese, for serving
    1. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauce until fragrant. Add the garlic and sauce, then the cumin, chili powder, fennel seeds and oregano. "Toast" the spices for just about a minute or so. 
    2. Add the ground turkey and saute, breaking up clumps, until cooked through. 
    3. Add the beans and broth and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. You can add the corn at this point to if you'd like (I prefer to add it in the bowls since I don't want the corn)
    4. Simmer for 40 minutes or so. I've simmered on extra low for a couple hours before. Just make sure to check and add more broth if needed.
    5. If you'd like, go ahead and add the chopped kale to the pot (I prefer to add kale right before serving)
    5. Divvy up handfuls of kale among the bowls, then ladle the soup on top. Stir each bowl a bit to wilt the kale.
    6. Top with freshly chopped parsley and freshly grated parmesan cheese. 
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