Sunday Retreat

Ever found yourself longing to go in retreat? We think you can have a retreat at home and Sundays are the perfect days to do it!

Here are 5 tips to have your own Sunday Retreat!

1. Plan it in advance

It’s so good to have something to look forward to and a retreat should be exactly that. can you arrange to drop children off to a friends or grandparents (even better if it’s an overnight stay?!) If it’s not entirely possible to have the whole day, perhaps you can find a few hours whilst everyone else is out doing something… anything else!

2. Block out the day

Make sure you protect your time and block out the day from visitors, obligations or chores. If necessary, get everything you might be tempted to do, like school uniform washing or weekly shop the day before.

3. Have an idea of what you’re going to do

…but don’t jam pack the time with a crowded itinerary. Have a loose idea, like “read book in bed / go for a walk / swim / pick up that craft you used to like doing.” You could arrange to meet a friend for an uninterrupted coffee and chat. Prepare anything you might need, like a new notebook, favourite foods, bath oils etc.

4. Avoid the temptation to go on your phone

Whilst our phones definitely have their benefits, they can lead us down overwhelming rabbit holes, bombarding us with things we should be doing, news that doesn’t always uplift us and physically, keeps us often hunched over and stagnant. Set yourself the challenge of being screen free for as long as possible and see what impact it has on your head and your breath.

5. Take time at the end to journal

How do you feel? Refreshed? Inspired? Would you like to make it a more regular occurrence? Have you had space to think that has given you fresh ideas? Write it all down so you don’t forget as soon as you go back into the normal day to day routines!

We hope this has given you some food for thought in todays busy world. Do let us know if you try it or if you have other ideas for taking time out to recharge!

No Chop* Pumpkin Soup

On a blustery Autumn day, making a pumpkin soup was the obvious choice for an activity on a Saturday morning with the added reward of a hearty, hyggeligt and comforting lunch.

A quick recipe google revealed a “no chop pumpkin soup,” promising a sweeter, nuttier taste. We gave it a go as it also required very few ingredients and chopping pumpkin isn’t one of our favourite things to do.

Firstly, no chop isn’t actually no chop. The recipe recommends buying a pumpkin cut in half which we’ve never seen for sale. We still had to chop the pumpkin in half and chop up some onions, but it wasn’t an arduous task. After scooping out the seeds, we simply placed on a baking tray and threw in the onions, whole garlic cloves and drizzled with oil and seasoned with salt and pepper. These were then roasted in the oven at 180 degrees for 70 minutes. Half way through we went off piste and threw in some thyme from the garden. We stupidly threw away the seeds too. These would have been great roasted in spices for a tasty, healthy autumnal snack.

Once roasted we simply scooped the pumpkin out, squeezed the garlic out of their skins and added it to the pumpkin and whizzed it all together, onions included in a food mixer. We added milk until the soup was a good consistency, which is a hugely personal thing. One word of warning however; this recipe contained no stock and too much milk would dilute the taste we think. We also added some smoked paprika, which another time we would sprinkle over the uncooked pumpkin.

Once smooth we heated through again in a saucepan, seasoned and served with Parmesan, chilli flakes, parsley and chunky bread.

So, on reflection it was a really easy soup to make and whilst not totally no-chop, it wasn’t hard work at all. As the soup contained no stock, it needed a lot of seasoning and some smoked paprika at roasting stage for a bit of a kick and the Parmesan sprinkling really finished it off.

Most importantly, everyone enjoyed it and it was a hyggeligt moment to sit round the table whilst the wind battered around outside.

The Spices of Life – turmeric lassi

We often include spices in our Hygge boxes because not only are they the variety of life but they can evoke memories, often have health benefits and nearly always smell divine – one of our “Original Hygge Box” rules.

So when we kept seeing turmeric pop up on our instafeeds and in cook books, we knew we needed to give it a go beyond the usual curry ingredient. We set about creating this Turmeric Lassi as featured in Good Vibes cookbook by Jane and Myles Lamberth.

A lassi is a Sri Lankan inspired smoothie where yoghurt plays a starring roll instead of fruit. When loaded with turmeric, the recipe claims it’s an immune boosting powerhouse, anti inflammatory, an anti-oxidant and natural pain killer.

The recipe

It’s really easy. Basically, take one cup of yoghurt or kefir and blend it with one teaspoon of honey, one banana, two teaspoons of fresh ginger, half a squeezed lemon and two teaspooons of turmeric. The recipe recommends fresh which we didn’t have, but we used the powdered form. Blend with ice.

The verdict

It really was a doddle to make in our blender. It looked appetising too with a sunny yellow hue.

First impressions on taste and the jury was out however . A real mixture of yoghurt soury-ness that “tacks” around the sides of your tongue, with the zing of lemon and ginger and the earthiness of the turmeric I wasn’t sure… but a couple of sips later and it became really quite pleasant. That may have been the smugness of feeling like I was downing something quite healthy. I can’t confirm whether it is a natural pain killer and I’m sure fresh turmeric is far better than it’s powdered form but it’s definitely a good way of getting healthy goodness inside your insides. Will definitely have another.

I’m off for a couple of hours of netball training now… the monster munch that I had afterwards are sure to be a winning combo!

Warm Smoked Trout and New Potato Salad

Warm Smoked Trout and New Potato Salad

This is a really fantastic recipe for many reasons. Not only is it great to have up your sleeve for those days when you are tired and you need something quick and filling to eat, it is also nice to have a meal that is a little lighter and isn’t turkey during the festive season. You can easily up-scale this salad if you have lots of hungry guests but would rather spend time with them instead of stuck in the kitchen in front of a hot stove.

We have been using this recipe for quite some time now and love to change the proportions depending on what we have available and also how we feel on the day.

Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
Serves: 4

  • 1kg new potatoes
  • 4-6 spring onions finely chopped
  • 50g melted butter
  • 300g smoked trout filet
  • 60g roughly chopped rocket


  1. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the new potatoes for 15 minutes or until they can be lightly crushed with the back of a spoon
  2. Mix the rocket and spring onions together in a large bowl and pour over the melted butter
  3. Crush the new potatoes gently and add them to the bowl, stir gently until the potatoes are covered in the butter
  4. Roughly tear the smoked trout and add to the salad

Carrot Muffins

Tis the season to be baking fa la la la la la la la la…
Over the next few weeks we are going to be sharing recipes to help you get ready for Christmas. If you have guests coming or simply want to have little treats prepared then help is at hand. From simple muffins to Christmas stuffing we will have recipes to help you this festive season, so let’s start with Carrot Muffins:

Carrot Muffins

Preparation time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 15-20 mins
Serves: 12 muffins


  • 1 egg
  • 175ml orange juice
  • 115g melted butter
  • 100g sugar
  • 190g plain flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1/2tsp baking soda
  • 1/2tsp Salt
  • 1tsp cinnamon (to taste)
  • 100g shredded carrots


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C (400°C or gas mark 6)
  2. Grease or line a muffin tin
  3. Beat egg lightly in large bowl
  4. Add the orange juice, butter and sugar to the egg and beat well
  5. Sift together dry ingredients
  6. Stir dry ingredients into egg mixture and stir only until just mixed
  7. Gently fold in shredded carrots
  8. Spoon mixture into the muffin tin until they are 2/3 full
  9. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 200°C

We hope you enjoy this and all our recipes.

A tale of twelve boxes 

Whilst we have been dreaming of our original hygge subscription boxes since 2015, our idea was twelve months in the making. 

Now, another twelve months on in August 2017 and we’ve completed one full calendar year of sending hygge boxes through the post, spreading (we hope) warmth, inspiration & contentment with every one.

To do that we made some “rules of thumb” as you’ll see below. The price was important. Our boxes couldn’t be expensive. Hygge is not about spending money but being creative, simplified and focussed on what’s really important in life.

We thought we’d spend a few moments reflecting…


My goodness weren’t we nervous! Would we strike the right chord? Would we be able to translate how we felt into a box? Would you like the boxes? 

A twig weaving craft kit to while away an hour and brown paper packages tied up with string, the box felt rustic and a world away from commercial goods. 

The thing that we recall about our first box was just how good it smelt. The scent of rosemary as the box was opened was heavenly (we know this because we had to remove all the batteries from the fairy lights as we didn’t know these were banned in the post!).

And that set our first rule… Everybox must smell beautiful…

Feedback was fantastic; we were told that it felt like a gift from a friend. We were on the right track!


Having hit the right note once, could we do it again? The theme was nostalgia. We found lovely rhubarb & vanilla teas which reminded us of old fashioned sweet shops from Hooglyteas and we couldn’t wait to offer them in our boxes. Partner these gorgeous teas with something sweet and satisfying like the Cornish fudge, we knew would hit the spot without feeling guilty…

Watch Amanda unbox hers here….

Rule 2; there should be something to take time out to relax


I remember November fondly as one of my favourite boxes. As the world was ramping up for Christmas, this was a chance to just step outside of the madness for a little while. With coasters handmade by Samantha & an autumn / winter especially designed picture, coupled with natural wood pencils, this box was perfect for sitting fireside with hot chocolate & marshmallows.

We also hand print our own gift cards & include one in every box as we believe that the art of letter writing is being overtaken in an electronic world…

Rule 3; every box should have a gift card



Now was the time for full Christmas festivities hygge style! With white & red tissue paper, this box smelt divine with orange & clove pomander kits & plenty to spread love & joy throughout the season!

Rule 4; every box should always spread warmth & joy, whatever the month


A new year & the theme was new beginnings. A chalk board to leave hyggeligt messages to loved ones or a helpful memo board to make life easier was in each box, as well as handmade soap, teas & low calorie chocolate.


… was all about self love 💌 knowing that it was ok to put ourselves first sometimes. We know that for most of our subscribers, their hygge boxes are the discipline that they need to give themselves time out, if only once a month.

A little heart pendant on leather to remind ourselves to do this, a copper frame to hold a picture of our nearest & dearest or even a cutting of a favourite flower or leaf as well as candles for light and glow.

The feedback from our subscribers was telling us that we were getting it right!

Rule 5; each box should be about being hyggeligt on our own as well as with other people & therefore scribed with the recipients name for that personal touch


We love hygge with the changing seasons and our thoughts were turning to Spring & this box was a reflection of garden bird decorations, seeds and plant pot for growing beautiful sunflowers 🌻 & chocolate eggs with Easter nearly upon us.

Rule 6; Danes love to bring the outside in. Our boxes mustn’t forget that.


We’d been lucky enough to enjoy some fantastic weather and we’d been thinking about playful al fresco dining. We encouraged you all to invite a friend over for a very British tea party, including jam for mini Victoria sponges, English tea & table ware

Rule 7; hygge isn’t just for Danes & it is great when shared


We live by the sea and know how it makes us feel; inspired, calm, energised & in awe. We combed the beaches for sea treasures that could be crafted into mobile decorations, as well as candles, tea, vintage inspired gift card and a stick of rock.


With festival season in full swing this box was about the spirit of festivity & celebration, making plans & taking time to make and decorate bunting using natural inks. We also included a hurricane lamp to light the way.


Our thoughts were turning to that time of year when everyone it seems is travelling to far off lands. But you don’t need to go away for a break. The theme was travel & escape and one of Deborah’s personal favourites, perhaps because the greetings card was designed from her own personal stamp collection.

And in July we met a real life subscriber! We shared breakfast over a Cornish beach view and chatted away like old friends. It was great to get an understanding of what it was like to be on the receiving end of a hygge box.

She said “each box feels very personal. Like it is made especially for me. And I’ve kept one particular candle on my desk that I can just open up and smell from time to time. It’s beautiful.”

Rule 8; we must love every box and want to receive it ourselves 


Our final box of the year is about relaxing and retreating. Just a sneak peak for now…

It’s been an incredible year. We’ve really challenged what it means to be hygge and conclude that it means something different to everyone. But what can’t be mistaken is what is important and that we all have in common; as human beings, it’s so important to take time out, to recognise the good & to make room in life for contentment, either alone or with others.

Our original hygge subscription boxes, we hope, do just that and if we keep to our own rules, we have many more to come.

If you’ve received one of our boxes, we’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

And if you’d like to Subscribe here 

Day 1: 30 Days of hygge

We’ve been living a more conscious hyggeligt lifestyle now since 2015. I say “conscious” because we always knew how hygge felt, but didn’t have a word for it.

And now, with the turn of a new year, many other hygge conscious people on social media are following #30daysofhygge . We thought it would be rude not to and that we would share our 30 days with you! 

Day 1: Keep a gratitude journal

Now this too is something that I’ve done for a couple of years, although not on a strict daily basis and not always in a journal. Sometimes it has been in a book, now we have a jar and sometimes, in a real emergency and when the need to take stock strikes, I’ve just written a list on a scrap piece of paper.

 I’m at a point in my life where being mindful of gratitudes is one of the best thing I can do for myself so the discipline of doing it daily will be a real tonic.

I’ll share Day one with you :

I am grateful for;

  • the warmth & welcome of my family in their new year celebrations both immediately and more widely and the hugs on arrival & leaving.
  • the health, spirit & resilience of my two beautiful girls
  • the unconditional love from my dogs & the walks that we go on
  • having had two weeks of family visit, from the playfulness of my two nephews to the ever presence of my ninety two year old grandmother & the few days on my own to take stock.
  • my true friends who have “shown up” in the last couple of months.
  • my strength, even though I don’t always believe it myself.
  • the optimism of what might lie ahead in 2017. 
  • there’s also another gratitude but I’m not quite ready to share that one yet, but let’s just call it an unfounded fear.

With the exception of the last, I suspect that many of the above gratitudes appear on most lists. At least I hope they do. As each day goes by, I’ll be digging deeper, beyond the others. To repeat & be grateful for the same things day after day is more than fine but what will make this whole exercise truly rewarding will be the treasures uncovered in upturned stones that on a usual day would go unnoticed.

Slow Cooked Sausage Casserole

Slow Cooked Sausage Casserole

I love my slow cooker. In fact I have a confession: I have two. There is something really satisfying about knowing that when you get home at the end of the day dinner is already sorted and all you have to worry about is setting the table and organising some drinks. “It’s nice to know that you get just that little bit of extra time to spend with family or to relax and enjoy a cuppa .

One of my favourites and all-time go-to recipes is a sausage casserole. I usually have all of the ingredients in the cupboard or fridge, it doesn’t take much time to prepare and it smells delicious as it is cooking. I posted a picture of it a few days ago and after receiving a request for the recipe I am here to share the love. I hope you like it as much as my family do.

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 4 hours on low
Serves: 4


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 6-8 of your favourite quality sausages. I like to use Salsiccia sausages but something like Cumberland would also work
  • 3 shallots, finely sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 8 -10 new potatoes cut in half or quarters, if necessary
  • 400g cannellini beans washed and drained. These can be replaced with kidney, borlotti, butter beans or chickpeas
  • 400g tinned tomatoes with herbs
  • 60ml stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Optional mustard and parsley leaves to serve


  1. Preheat a large pan on medium/low/high heat and add the oil
  2. Pop in the sausages and cook/fry them until they’re browned all over – approximately five minutes (if you know, this helps). If your pan is not large enough, cook the sausages in batches, transferring them over to the slow cooker as they become ready.
  3. Remove half of the oil, add the shallots and cook them for three minutes/until glazed, stirring continuously.
  4. Add the garlic and fry it with the shallots until soft, then place everything into the slow cook over the sausages
  5. Add the beans, potatoes, tomatoes, stock and bay leaves and season with pepper and Worcestershire sauce.
  6. Cover the cooker with the lid and cook on low for 4 hours until the sausages and potatoes are cooked through. Remove the bayleaves from the casserole and season with Worcestershire sauce and pepper to taste.
  7. Sprinkle with parsley leaves and serve with mustard.


Fact! Dragons love Hygge! 

There’s something very hyggeligt about being recognised for your passion & this week, we were one of six lucky winners of Theo Paphitis’ (Entrepreneur & Dragon) #sbs or, small business Sunday competition to the rest of the non-twitter world.

Many Sunday evenings throughout the year we have tweeted Theo telling him about Living Hygge and our #originalhyggebox subscription box. He and his team must have liked what they saw!

Why do we think we won?
Tricky question. We may have been lucky to have caught one of his teams eye, but we like to think it’s more than this.

We have an original, beautiful product that is the right price, with a quality of content where value equals more than the price paid. And when we talk about value, we mean it in a wholesome sense. Subscribing to one of our boxes and you are subscribing to a promise to yourself to take time out & be kind to yourself. Recharge your batteries, connect with others & just ease the pressure of daily life and who can put a price on that? 

We also believe that our adopted strategy of giving back to our community through our #hyggeforhomeless campaign, providing boxes of essential items for homeless people over the Festive period, regardless of religion, shows that businesses can be both successful and kind to society. 

What does this mean for us?

Well! It’s too soon to tell, but within the last twenty four hours our twitter feed has gone crazy and our followers have shot up by over one hundred! (We will never buy followers to make us look bigger than we really are).

We’ve been approached by couriers offering 50% off shipping and had all sorts of lovely small businesses inviting us to collaborate. 

We’ve been invited to join #sbswinnershour tonight which we are really looking forward to.

We’re expecting an email any time soon from Theos team and we understand that there’s a conference in early February 2017 where we may get to meet the man himself.

Within this group we shall seek business advice on upscaling effectively. We believe that we have almost reached capacity and won’t take the next step until we can be absolutely certain that we won’t compromise on quality or the little personal touches that make our #originalhyggebox sparkle with that hyggeligt feeling.

But right now, we are basking in all the attention and are feeling incredibly excited by the journey that lies ahead. 

Thank you to all of our subscribers, friends & everyone else who has supported us!

With hyggeligt wishes

Deborah & Samantha

7 ways to be Hygge in a changing world…

Amongst the uncertainty of #brexit, find some reassurance, peace & stability in the comfort of hygge.

  • Place Make a Hygge Den. A space to escape. This could be a chair, your bed or  another quiet corner of your home. Keep it clear from clutter and every day distractions or select a few special pieces such as photos or objects that spark joy. A favourite spot in a nearby cafe to people-watch might hit the spot too! 
  • Wrap yourself in a blanket. A sure fire Hygge guarantee. Watch tv, watch a sunset, or do nothing! 
  • Switch off from news and media for a while, maybe over breakfast or in the evening. Throw yourself into a book perhaps or write a letter.
  • Play games especially board games, with friends or kids or if it’s really not your thing, make something or colour in!
  • Get outdoors stomp around in the open fresh air, whether that be a town park, country lanes or the coast. Breathe in the air and take notice of the shape of the leaves, the spectrum of colour or the shape of the clouds.Really look. 
  • Connect with friends & family for a roast / a takeaway or even a cup of tea.  It can be so good to be in the company of others and just chat, catch up in the real world. 
  • Candles! Lots of candles! Whether it’s summer and they soften dusky evenings & fill the air with scents of verbena or to add warmth on a winters night, a candle lit place is always Hygge.