A Weekend With…. Kristie of North of 49

Hygge has gone worldwide this year. The Great Dane Invasion started in the UK in September 2016, but really only just hit the USA and Canada in January 2017. That doesn’t mean that they didn’t have hygge before. There are enough Danish ex-pats and descendants in the North of America to mean that hygge has been there for quite a while now.

North of 49 Hygge 2

 

Today’s blogger was mentioned to me as somebody who had already blogged about hygge on her own blog, and introduced it to other people as a result. I only met her blog this year, so this weekend will be less a walk through happy memories than a hike through new and uncharted land. Quite apt, really, as she lives in British Columbia and nature, walking and exploring feature highly in her blog. Welcome to Kristie of North of 49.

Hi Kristie. Where are you from?

I’m originally from the U.S. I grew up on a grain farm in northern Idaho, and to this day it remains my favourite place in the whole world. At university I met my future husband, who is Canadian. After graduating we decided to make our home north of the 49th parallel* (the inspiration for my blog title). I now live in a cottage community in the southwestern corner of British Columbia, Canada. I’m surrounded by nearby mountains, streams, lakes and wildlife. There is a kind of deep beauty here, one that flows through the seasons and surroundings, and it never grows old. I feel very fortunate to live in a place that I love so much.

Have you been blogging for long?

I started blogging in August of 2010. My oldest daughter was a blogger at that time, and she convinced me to give it a go. I remember being terrified when I pushed “publish” on that very first post. I had no idea at the time that so many friendships and experiences would come into my life through my blog, including travelling to Shetland with a fellow blogger.

How would you describe your blog?

If I had to pick one word to describe my blog it would be eclectic. I write about whatever I feel inspired by when I sit down at my computer. The important things in my life are my home, family, place (where I live, where I’m from, where I’ve been), food (I love to eat, which forces me to cook), gardening, walking, celebration, and creating (writing, knitting, sewing). I do have the occasional serious post, but generally I try to steer away from heavy or controversial topics. I want my blog to be a place where you can join me for a cheerful chat, hopefully with a cup of tea in hand.

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Do you have a favourite picture on your blog?

This is almost like asking me to pick a favourite child! Tea, along with my knitting and a good book are a combination you would see on an almost daily basis were you to stop by our cottage, and it also represents the tone I hope to achieve on my blog, so I’ll go with this one. And if I’m allowed to sneak in one more, the teapot is also very representative of my life. The nearby provincial park has a trail called Teapot Hill, and I do this hike several times a week. People leave old teapots along the route, and I especially like this crooked one nestled on the moss.

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What’s your favourite post?

I have lots of favourites! Since hygge is the topic of your blog, I’ll go for the very first blog post I did on hygge back in January of 2014. I continued to blog about hygge throughout that year, and they have been some of my most popular posts.

I looked up all your hygge posts: the search page for them is here. They’re lovely reads! So, obviously, you’ve heard about and love hygge. What does hygge mean to you?

I remember the first time I read about hygge, which was at the end of 2013. I was so excited, not because I had discovered a new thing, but because I now had a word to put to something I had known about for my whole life. At first I wondered if I intuitively understood hygge long before I knew the term because my grandfather was from Denmark, and many of our neighbours and friends in the farming community where I was raised had Danish roots as well. But I now realise that hygge isn’t confined to a country, or people group. I think hygge is a deep need of the human spirit, and how one goes about achieving it might look different from one place to another, but the end result is the same.

As for my blog, I hope it shows hygge. My hope is that when a reader opens up a new post they know they are in a safe place, a familiar place, and because of that they will have a hygge experience. And many of the things I blog about come from my own attempt to live a life filled with hygge moments. I also try to keep it honest though. In addition to photos of delicious food and beautiful scenery I’ve also been known to show pictures of things like the huge mound of shoes piled at the entrance to our cottage when all my children and grandchildren are here for a visit.

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Who are your blog heroes? Can you share one or two of your favourite blogs with us?

I read and enjoy many blogs, ranging from eclectic blogs like my own, to specialized blogs about sewing, knitting, and a host of other topics. It would be an impossible task to name favourites. However, I do have a blog heroine. Jean Miles has been blogging, mostly about knitting, from her home in Edinburgh, Scotland for many years. She writes almost daily, which is an amazing feat. Jean was the first blogger I met in person, and that initial meet-up at a pub in Edinburgh back in 2011 led to the trip of a lifetime in 2013 as we journeyed to Shetland together.

Fantastic answers! I am really going to look forward to reading over Kristie’s blog this weekend with a hot cross bun and a cup of tea. Part of the reason I love blogging is because you can always meet people who live in completely different parts of the world from you, but think that if we lived in the same village we’d probably be friends. Blogging makes the world a smaller place. So does social media, really. My blog is on Facebook as How to Hygge the British Way and you can now follow me on Bloglovin as well. I’m personally also on Twitter and Instagram and as a member of The Hygge Nook on Facebook.

My book, 50 Ways to Hygge the British Way  is available in Paperback and Kindle version from Amazon.  If you purchase through the links on this page, I get a couple of pence extra per copy, and if you’ve already read it and enjoyed it, please leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads. I have a Goodreads Author’s Page!

50 Ways to Hygge The British Way Book cover

 

****How to Hygge the British Way Blog isn’t monetised. I have taken the decision that I want to remain neutral and not to promote things just because. I will only ever review items that I have bought myself, or that I think will help to promote hygge in a busy life. To do this, I need support. Even just the price of a coffee adds up to a book over time, and it means I can stay independent. Would you help? Please consider clicking through to paypal.me/HyggeJem and leaving even a small amount. I’d be very grateful. Thank you.***

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