Things I ate, drank, and loved in August
August was a whirlwind month. I celebrated my birthday with fancy meals, saw old friends, and caught up on feel-good summer vibes. On days when it was too hot to go out, I sought comfort at home with creamsicles and the AC on full blast (thank you, Willis Carrier). You can say I got a head start on finding ways to embrace cozy moments at home. There was a lot of hygge going on. As summer draws to a close, I feel a bit sad but excited that fall is just around the corner.
Rest and Relaxation
Although I identify as a hyggemeister, I still struggle to take time to slow down and relax. I experience guilt at the idea of engaging in any “non-productive” activity even though I know that self-kindness and self-compassion make me a better person. It’s a vicious cycle that even the most hygge-conscious individuals can find themselves stuck in.
However, the August Hygge Box cracked the code - a "getaway" packaged in the form of a daydream. I found a way to calm the nagging voices in my head and embrace relaxation.
I’d like to think I have a good nose for selecting the perfect scented candle. If you like the candles you’ve received from Hygge Box, you’d probably agree with me. I am an official candle tester. I smell and burn the potential fragrances for monthly Hygge Boxes and select one that gets my stamp of approval. Like most of the scented candles in Hygge Box, Agave Citron is clean, fresh, and well-balanced. It has sweet notes of citrus, agave nectar, peach, and a hint of lime. I’ve been burning this candle during my yoga practice. It transports me to the desert - without the dry heat.
Another way I transport myself to another time and space is through flavors. There are certain foods and drinks that make me feel nostalgic and bring back sweet memories. As a child, I would spend my allowance at the candy store. I loved eating fruit gems – specifically the red and green ones. I would let the sugar dissolve on my tongue before slowly chewing into the jelly candy. I haven’t eaten fruit gems in decades but was reminded of them when I saw Les Gourmands D’ouest’s Strawberries & Sichuan pepper leaves fruit pastes. They’re like fruit gems but fancier and with a sophisticated flavor. I didn’t eat many fruits this summer, so this was a real treat for me. It tastes just like fresh strawberries with a hint of spice.
Also from France - Les Mirliflores' Auguste green tea. It’s a gourmet tea with dried pieces of coconut, pineapple, and marigold flowers. Not only is it a beautiful tea, it also smells wonderful. I smelled the bag of tea and was hit with a pleasant fruity aroma. I steeped one tablespoon of this tea in 8 oz hot water for 3 minutes, let it cool to room temperature, and then poured it over ice cubes for an iced green tea. The flavors had me daydreaming of a beach day on a tropical island.
Take a moment
I’ve been using Tokyo Milk’s Sonoran Bloom hand crème for a few weeks now, and it sinks in like a dream. It’s infused with Japanese green tea, argan oil, and aloe, so it immediately absorbs into the skin and leaves behind a powdery feel. It has a light floral scent which helps me relax before bedtime.
Another product that helps me relax before bedtime is a moisturizing face mask. If you’re looking for a spa facial experience, there’s Super Cactus Glow Facial, a repairing, and hydrating 3-step routine. It’s a combination of a cleanser, sheet mask, and moisturizer for a complete facial. I love the 3-step process; it makes it feel like a pamper session. And I know the experience has given me something perhaps even more valuable than glowing skin: 20 minutes of peace.
I love watching movies and shows from the comfort of my home, on the couch, under a soft, oversized blanket. I subscribe to all the major streaming apps and always have something waiting for me on my watch list. Some shows that I have really enjoyed binging include Ted Lasso, Evil, Dexter New Blood, You, Virgin River, Extraordinary Attorney Woo, and The Umbrella Academy. I like all genres but especially enjoy watching law, horror, and crime shows… dark stuff, that’s my hygge. I used to make a bag of butter popcorn before I went on my show binges, but that stopped when I got rid of my microwave. Now I have an air popper which takes a little bit more work. I wasn’t motivated to use it until recently - when I found the perfect size popcorn bowl, aka mango wood bowl. It’s sturdy and light weight and holds just the right amount of popcorn (for each episode).
The journey to self-care can be pretty pricey if you don’t invest in it regularly. That’s why you need to create a self-care plan. My goals and habits changed when I adopted the hygge lifestyle. My self-care activities ten years ago looked very different from what they are today. I’m no longer going on crazy shopping sprees to make myself feel better, spending thousands of dollars battling burnout with spa appointments and taking expensive impromptu vacations - because I don’t need to. By taking time for hygge every day, I feel calmer and at peace with my life. If you're new to hygge, I suggest you try it out and find out if it's right for you.