This week’s post comes from Gillian, of Tales From A Happy House. Gillian’s blog hit my feed several years ago, when her stories of family life in Leeds struck a chord. Her house was beautifully scandi in style, and she liked so many of the things I liked…. I think it’s always wonderful when you realise that there are so many people out there whose interests are your interests.
When Gillian moved with her family to a new home on the South Coast, the story of buying, moving and starting again to build… no, to craft a family home had a new location. She writes beautifully, and her enjoyment of life (mostly) shines through. I love it because she’s mad on Scandi as well, and I can lust after her crocheted bedspread and Dala horses from Copenhagen.
Where are you based?
I live on the south coast of Hampshire in England with my husband and two children. We’ve lived here for just over two years, but I know the area well as it’s where I grew up. Before moving back to the south I spent fourteen years living in Leeds.
How long have you been blogging?
I began my blog in January 2012 so just over five years. I’d been thinking about starting it for a long time before then, and read a lot of other blogs, but life was too busy and my children were still very young then. But by 2012 my eldest, Bella, had just started school and my youngest, Angus, went to nursery every afternoon. I felt that for the first time since I became a parent I had some time for myself to do something that I wanted to do. I never did think of a good blog name, but just decided one day to open a blogger account and get going with it all.
What’s your blog mostly about?
The things I enjoy; family, crafting, cooking, interior design, homemaking, gardening, nature, my local area. Other things creep in from time to time but essentially it’s a kind of journal of my life with a focus on my passion for crafting and the home. Also, I really love to take photos and blogging – and instagram – give me somewhere to share these.
Do you have a favourite picture on your blog?
Oh goodness that’s a hard one! No, I have taken so many. There are good-ish ones I took with my DSLR but the ones I take out and about on my phone often capture a moment well. These two (frosty seedhead and bluebells) were phone snaps on days when I wish I’d taken my big camera out with me. I will always love the shot of Molly’s silhouette as she stands on the end of the bed looking out of the window.
What’s your favourite post?
I don’t have one but I love to write the seasonal, newsy ones, where nothing really happens but it’s just about a weekend enjoying life in the middle of winter, or summer, like these two.
Have you heard of hygge? Do you think your blog shows hygge?
Yes, I am a blogger who loves Scandinavian culture and interior design, so I am familiar with the concept! I think that Hygge has become something of a marketing cliche recently, all cake, cashmere socks and open fires. Which is all lovely, of course, but isn’t really how I understand it. I think it’s about people, not things, about friends and family, a feeling of safety and comfort, of warmth and laughter.
For me, it’s also about balance. Hygge is something you earn; it’s the feeling of cosiness and relaxation that follows a long walk in the country, or gardening session, or some kind of activity in the fresh air. I don’t think of it as a wintry thing either – you can feel very hyggelig in the spring or summer sharing a picnic with friends, or eating fish and chips down at the beach after swimming in the sea. I think my blog shows hygge as it’s very centred around family time spent indoors and outdoors.
Who are your blog heroes? Can you share one or two of your favourite blogs with us?
I think the blog I’ve consistently read for the longest time is Alicia Paulson’s Posy Gets Cozy. Alicia lives in Portland, Oregon in the US with her family and she writes about and photographs her life in the most charming way. Also, I think she has balanced the relationship between blogging and marketing her business beautifully, and is a very talented designer and crafter.
I’m delighted to say that Alicia has given me permission to feature her blog as part of the series… expect that in a few weeks’ time!
For now, you can go over to Tales From A Happy House and have a pleasant weekend looking over the archives. I’ve already remembered some stuff I wanted to make inspired by Gillian that I’d forgotten about. And you can find the Happy House on Instagram as well, where the beautiful photography and happy tales always make me smile.
I’ve been smiling about my book on Amazon as well, this week. I have new reviews… 5 star as well! I am enormously grateful for anyone who takes the time to post a review for me. Every star counts at the moment. 50 Ways to Hygge the British Way is available on Amazon.co.uk in both Paperback and Kindle version and Amazon.com. 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!
****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.***