Weekend Reads #3: Back from Barcelona and there’s a new Scandinavian buzzword in town

Happy Sunday everyone!

It’s a long Weekend Reads this week. I missed it last week as I was in beautiful Barcelona.

It was my first trip to Barcelona and I booked it as a surprise holiday for Sam’s birthday. I somehow managed to keep it a surprise right up until we got to the security gate at the airport. I was tempted to tell him a few times but I’m glad I resisted – seeing his face when he saw ‘Barcelona’ on his ticket was well worth it.

We had a great time in Barcelona but I’ve got to admit that the weather did put a downer on things. I’m not usually one to let the weather affect my holiday but it was wet and rainy all weekend and I do feel like Barcelona would be a more enjoyable city in the sunshine. But we are in the depths of winter so I can’t really complain!

The main highlight of the holiday was staying at Cotton House Hotel. Oh my goodness, it was gorgeous. It was one of those hotels that was so posh and fancy that it was actually really informal, but in a laid-back glamorous kind of way. We loved it. Full video review is coming soon!

I also have a few posts coming about flying with a tiny baby and travelling to Barcelona with a baby. We took Joseph with us but left George at home with my parents. Joseph was an absolute dream and I really think that the younger the baby is, the easier it is to travel with them! Keep an eye out for those posts next week.

And while I was in Barcelona this week, Elle jetted off to Japan for an incredible press trip. You can catch up with some of her tweets hereI was very lucky to get behind the scenes updates via Facebook Messenger during her trip. Most of her messages went along the lines of, “I’ve just got to my room and I have no idea what to do. I’m pretty sure there’s no bed in here. I don’t know what I’m allowed to touch or wear. I have instructions to put on my robe.”

I was actually laughing out loud at the thought of Elle being in a bedless hotel room trying to figure out how to put on her robe! Actual lols.

But for now, I want to talk about something I’ve been seeing a lot of this week and I think it’s going to be BIG!

 

Introducing Lagom: Move over hygge, there’s a new Scandinavian buzzword in town

If you’re anything like me, your social streams have been filled with ‘hygge’ over the festive period. Log burners and mulled wine, chunky jumpers, knitted socks, cashmere cardigans, scented candles and perfectly manicured hands wrapped around steaming mugs of milky coffee. It’s been warm, cosy and oh so Scandi.

In case you’ve been hiding under a rock or you don’t follow a single lifestyle blogger (because every single lifestyle blogger in the universe has featured a book about hygge on at least one social media channel) then I should fill you in. Hygge is a Danish word and refers to the feeling of cosiness and happiness you feel when enjoying everyday moments. Enjoying a glass of wine while sat next to the fire with a puppy on your lap while chatting to your best friend is very hygge. (I have no idea if I’ve used ‘hygge’ in the right context there. Do you hygge? Are you hygge? Is it hygge? I have no idea.)

I first came across ‘hygge’ during a winter trip to Copenhagen and you really do feel it while walking through the streets. Looking into the windows of shops, hotels and homes and you see candles flickering, cosy knits and people putting down their phones and just enjoying the moment. I then spotted it in other Scandinavian countries and wasn’t sure if it was hygge or if the Scandi’s just really like candles and atmospheric lighting. They do sell nice lights…

I loved it at first. I adored the fact that there was a word for this homey and comforting feeling. Admittedly, I hadn’t realised there was a gaping hole in my vocabulary but I was pleased it was finally filled.

And then hygge took over and it was flipping everywhere so I’ve got to admit that I’m very pleased there’s a new Scandi trend around.

Apparently, hygge is last year’s buzzword and 2017’s buzzword is Lagom. And lagom is something I’m very much on board with.

Lagom, pronounced ‘lar-gohm’, roughly means ‘just right’ and is about having a more balanced lifestyle. Goldilocks had the right idea and it’s about not having too much and not having too little, but having just the right amount. It’s about everything in moderation and prioritising what’s important. It’s about living sustainably and striking that healthy balance in all areas of life.

Lamgom also has an air of frugality about it and is about keeping your spending habits in check.

To me, lagom is about saving money on certain things in order to splash out on the things that really make you happy. That might mean skipping your monthly shopping spree or ditching your expensive gym membership and spending that money on something more meaningful. Something that could lead to long-term happiness rather than a quick hit of joy after buying a new handbag. You know, something like travelling….

I think Lagom is the perfect concept for anyone who, like me, has completely fallen off their New Year’s resolution wagon.

I went at it with all guns blazing with my New Years resolutions. I was planning to cut out chocolate, exercise 6 days a week and get up at 6am every morning to achieve everything on my to-do list. I was basically planning to be an overachieving saint with a gym addiction.

I lasted about 4 hours before I was totally overwhelmed and reached for the biscuit tin.

So from now on I’m planning on being a bit more lagom. Am I using that right?

Rather than trying to do everything, I’m going to try and do the right amount. I won’t try and do everything on my to-do list, I’ll pick out one or two things to do per day.

I won’t try and travel everywhere, I’ll pick out the place(s) each year that I really want to go to and focus on that. It’s not about taking one epic, blowout holiday each year, it’s about scattering the year with little trips – my kind of travel!

 

Here’s what else I’ve been reading/seeing/loving this week…

 

The loss of the relatable blogger? Lorna, Literally

As someone who has been reading blogs for a really long time, I found this post really interesting. Blogs used to be like magazines written for normal people, by normal people. No shiny, glossy, perfect, airbrushed images. Just normal people doing normal things and spending normal amounts of money on very normal lives. But now many of the ‘big bloggers’ lead very aspirational lives. Maybe it’s simply because we’d rather read about people with more glamourous lives than our own?

 

5 tips for capturing everyday moments in your family’s life Digital Photography School

Capturing photos of adults is really difficult – because they move and they look away and they pull weird faces. Capturing photos of kids is about 100 million times harder because they do all these things but faster. This is a really simple photography guide but really useful for photographing anyone, not just kids. I particularly like number 4 about making moments happen rather than sitting around waiting for them.

 

My Minimalist Challenge Side Street Style

I love this challenge Laura has set herself to live a ‘less is more’ kind of lifestyle. She plans to get rid of 50% of her possessions and will be supporting slow fashion and ethical brands. She’ll be streamlining and simplifying her life and I can’t wait to see how she gets on.

 

Why you should start a blog in the New Year Pro Blogger

OK, I’m a little bit late sharing this one but I loved this post few reasons. Almost everyone I know who reads blogs wants to start a blog of their own. If starting a blog in 2017 was your New Year’s resolution but you still haven’t got round to it, read this post for the extra motivation you might need.

 

10 family travel blogs that prove you can work, travel and have kids Travel Break

There are so many awesome family travel bloggers out there and here are 10 of the best who are absolutely rocking it!

 

DIY camera bag purse Travel Fashion Girl

When I read this I had one of those, ‘Why didn’t I think of that!?’ kind of moments. I’ve never been about to find the perfect camera bag because they’re either way to expensive, way too bulky or simply scream, ‘I’m a bag filled with expensive camera gear!’ But this is a very simple solution to the age-old problem.

 

Just start, what are you waiting for? Young Adventuress

This is another one for anyone who set themselves a New Year’s resolution and just hasn’t got their arse into gear and done it. Yes, you know who you are.

 

The end of Girl Vs Globe as you know it Girl vs Globe

Here’s another one about sustainability and shunning this materialistic lifestyle many of us have adopted. It’s also about ethical travel and acknowledging the impact we’re having on the planet by jetting off to the other side of the world. An interesting read and something that’s been on my mind recently too.

 

TheTravelHack

Monica is the founder and editor of The Travel Hack. She began the blog in 2009 when she left the UK to travel around Asia and Australia for two years. She's now a professional blogger and has travelled around the world in search of stylish adventure travel. Monica has recently had her second baby and is determined to prove that travelling with a baby is possible!

SHOWHIDE Comments (2)
  1. It’s hygge 🙂 my partner is Danish and finds this English obsession with hygge hilarious and a money-spinning machine. It’s genuinely as simple as saying ‘det er hyggeligt’ (this is cosy/nice) when you’re feeling happy – you can’t ‘create hygge’ and it’s just a standard part of their vocabulary, not a lifestyle. It really is just their way of saying ‘this is nice/good’…. I’m hoping to see a lot less people jumping on it this year without knowing anything about Danish culture. By the way, do love your blog and certainly not a personal attack! Just adding my view.

    1. I can imagine it’s really annoying for Danish people, especially as I’m sure we rarely use it in the right context! Lagom seems to be another marketer’s dream but I kind of like it. I think it could be a good thing if it encourages people to live more sustainably and do things in moderation – I just hope the Dane’s don’t mind!

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