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Knoxville, TN, 37917
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Help You Dwell is a home and workspace organizing service based in Knoxville, Tennessee.

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Practicing Hygge year round

Caroline Smith

Is hygge only relevant for cold weather? It's the end of February but this week it's feeling more like May so we sat down to think about the concept of Hygge and why it makes sense in every season.

We blogged about the concept last year and there has continued to be a lot of buzz about the Danish concept pronounced “hoo-gah” or “hue-gah,”. As a refresher, it's a word that refers to the feeling of coziness, comfort, and well-being. The idea of hygge is nothing new in Scandinavia, perhaps even originating in the 16th century, but the social media following it’s gaining has increased its popularity in the US . In typical Danish homes, you’ll find plentiful fur, wool, or flannel blankets and many candles in every room, but the look and vibe can vary widely, depending on the person, location, and season. Some people are coziest wrapped up in blankets on the couch with candles, others, on a sunny porch with a glass of wine, or some may prefer a yoga mat with tea. Personally, my idea of hygge is being wrapped up in a blanket, drinking coffee, and cuddling with Prints, my guinea pig.

Prints! Image by Erin Halcott

Prints! Image by Erin Halcott

Image by Katie Martin

Image by Katie Martin

But hygge is more than blankets and candles. It incorporates not only your environment but also your mental space. You can set up your room to feel truly hygge, but if your mind is cluttered and stressed, the effect won’t be the same. Our rushed society in the United States makes this part especially tricky. Hygge is a feeling; enjoying the moment, feeling truly present. Some people enjoy journaling during their time, others enjoy listening to music, some enjoy both. I enjoy listening to audio books. It allows me to relax and really settle into the present, without allowing my mind to create ever-lingering to-do lists.

Hygge is simplistic in essence... enjoying the simplest and coziest aspects of your life and being truly present for them. For a minimalist like myself, finding hygge is a great way to slow down, relax, and enjoy the moment.

A very special thanks to Dr. Adrienne Schwarte for her expertise.

For more information, check out https://www.denverpost.com/2017/01/05/what-is-hygge/

-Erin

Have you ever worked with a style consultant?

Caroline Smith

Everyone gets in a style rut from time to time. Often times it's not that you need an entirely new wardrobe, you just need a fresh pair of eyes to help you re-imagine what you have.

Once you've purged and organized your closet, it's time to call in someone who can help you find your style, rework your clothes, and think about dressing in a fun and fresh way. Enter Brianna Lamberson. Bri comes to your home, talks with you about your goals and your set backs, and takes on your wardrobe with an expert eye. Her goal is to help you "find your unique style and reclaim your space." In addition to style, Bri focuses on simple living, natural skin care products and health. 

Over the past few weeks, Bri has had a style consultation with two HYD'ers.

We would love to share our experiences and a few outfits with you! (Pardon my unwashed hair--mom of a 4 month old probs)

Caroline's style rut: I have a 4 month old and have resorted to yoga pants most days. Additionally, I feel like I'm revisiting my closet for the first time in a while since many of my favorite pieces weren't options when I was pregnant. I've found myself many times in the past few months just standing in front of my open closet with a blank look, not knowing what I like anymore.

Caroline's take: I'd never really considered using a style consultant before since I've liked my style and enjoyed putting outfits together for most of my life. When I found out about Bri's mini styling sessions though, I was curious enough to solicit her services. Bri had so many helpful tips that she shared with me about using staple pieces in a variety of different ways. She totally heard my current frustrations with my clothing and helped me think outside of the box and in new ways. I especially loved the ways that she used accessories to rework and transform outfits from basic to funky and interesting. Besides having several new outfit combinations to choose from, she left me feeling way more confident to try things that would normally be a bit out of my comfort zone. I've been rocking neck scarves and jewelry a lot more often since she came!  I would definitely recommend Bri's mini styling session for all kinds of people-- even if you are already feeling good about your fashion sense!

Outfit styled by Bri

Outfit styled by Bri

Outfit I put together after being inspired during our session

Outfit I put together after being inspired during our session

Outfit styled by Bri

Outfit styled by Bri

 

Erin's style rut: I felt like I'd been wearing the same clothes since high school.. not overly feminine, just really bland. Everything felt frumpy and I felt stuck.

Erin's take: I went into the session a little apprehensive. I was worried that none of my clothes would be suitable to keep, but I knew Bri would be very personable and not intimidating. She poked around my closet for a few minutes while we chatted about my goals, and she started to pull a few items for me to try. They were pieces that I had never put together in outfits before, and they worked! I was amazed that my wardrobe, that I had pieced together from thrift stores and hand-me-downs was actually worthwhile and could look great! After talking through several outfits, I felt much more put- together and confident in my options. She was encouraging and knowledgeable and left me feeling good about what I've got, not defeated in what I'm lacking. She even had suggestions for what pieces I should add to my wardrobe including a blazer, ankle boots, and finding a good tailor to alter a few pieces of clothing that I already have. She even offers personal shopping if you are interested!

Outfit styled by Bri

Outfit styled by Bri

Outfit styled by Bri

Outfit styled by Bri

Outfit styled by Bri

Outfit styled by Bri

Thank you so much Brianna!!

To schedule a mini styling session with Bri, check out her services or can contact her here.

 

Pros and Cons of Decanting

Caroline Smith

Image from blesserhouse.com

Image from blesserhouse.com

When it comes to pantry organization, there is wide debate about whether or not to decant your food. We always aim to find out what works best for each client and it works for some people but not for everyone. If you are on the fence or wondering whether or not decanting is a good option for you, this list of pro's and con's may be helpful in determining what's best for your home and your family.

Pro's:

  • If you shop in bulk, you can take your empty jars to the store and skip a box/bag. Often times purchasing food in bulk is cost effieciant AND you have the added bonus of being environmentally friendly by skipping the packaging.
  • Unlike a cereal box or other opaque packaging, in a jar or decanter you can more easily keep track of your supply of food. No more scrambling to the grocery store after discovering that the box you thought was full, is nearly empty.
  • Decanting makes for a prettier, more streamlined pantry. If your pantry is open to the kitchen or highly visible, this is a great option.
  • If you purchase air tight containers, they often keep food items fresh for a longer period of time than the packaging they come in.
  • Decanting often makes it easier to better utilize your space. By eliminating bulky bags and boxes, you can fit more into your pantry. By using different shapes and sizes of containers, you often have the ability to stack items and fit more on each shelf.
Image and containers from Ikea

Image and containers from Ikea

Image from Nordic Bliss containers from Ikea

Image from Nordic Bliss containers from Ikea

Cons:

  • Decanting is nice but it's not necessary. If you are trying to simplify your time, taking food out of original containers to put in matching decanters is an extra step that may not be worth it.
  • Depending on your containers, sometimes glass or large plastic decanters are heavy and harder for children to handle. If you want your little ones to have access to certain items, decanting them may make it more difficult for your kiddos to get their own snacks.
  • Remembering expiration dates becomes more difficult. If you refill a jar before it's totally empty, you will be mixing food with different "use by" dates. While some people opt to write expiration dates with dry erase markers on the outside of the container, it gets more complicated when you mix dates by refilling.
  • You no longer have easy access to ingredient lists, health facts, or directions.
  • Decanters cost money and sometimes a lot of money depending on how many containers and what types of containers you choose to purchase.

We would love to hear from you! Do you decant your food? Have you found any additional pro's or con's?