Sunday, January 22, 2023

My January Hygge


This January has been the coldest and greyest of all the Januarys' that we've experienced since moving to Colorado ten years ago. Instead of our usual bright blue skies and warm sun, we have had frequent snowstorms or flurries and below-freezing weather. When we get snow in our area it usually melts quickly, but so far this winter it keeps accumulating. Snow is the lifeblood of Colorado's ski industry but where I live on the front range we are not used to so much winter weather. Denver actually had the biggest snowfall in January that it has experienced in the last 30 years!


January has definitely been a month when we have been enjoying our fireplace's warmth in the evening.   

I love curling up under an afghan, enjoying reading a good book, with a cup of herbal tea to drink.  To me, winter is "hygge" time -- a Danish word that expresses the feeling of taking the time to relax and enjoy life's quieter pleasures--and this winter has been full of cozy time.


The Personal Librarian is the book I am currently reading and one I recommend. 

This is the Goodreads synopsis for The Personal Librarian:

"The remarkable, little-known story of Belle da Costa Greene, J. P. Morgan's personal librarian—who became one of the most powerful women in New York despite the dangerous secret she kept in order to make her dreams come true, from New York Times bestselling author Marie Benedict and acclaimed author Victoria Christopher Murray."

Years ago I blogged about visiting The Morgan Library and Museum which is described in this historical fiction novel.  It brought back many memories of what a treasure trove of manuscripts, printed books, as well as prints and drawings, that J.P. Morgan had acquired for his spectacular library! 


Cold Winter weather also encourages me to do a lot of cooking, which warms up my kitchen and keeps me busy. These are just a few of the meals I prepared--beef and broccoli stir fry, cast iron streak and broccoli polenta, a savory beet and goat cheese tart, broccoli and cheese pasta, butternut squash soup with cheesy bread, and a hearty vegetable and lentil soup.

Why do I use a lot of broccoli in my cooking? It is one of my favorite vegetables and very versatile, plus I always buy the big bag of pre-cut fresh broccoli sold at Costco, also I usually have quite a bit at hand.  Recently, I have also been happy to find that cage-free organic eggs are being sold at an affordable price at Costco. My last egg purchase there was five dozen for $15.00, which is $3.00 for each dozen. This year a devastating avian flu epidemic has caused the destruction of many chickens, which in turn has caused the price of eggs to skyrocket, so $3.00 a dozen is now a very good price.

Another winter pleasure has been watching our grandchildren excel in their school and recreational activities.  Watching one participate in a spelling bee, another's graceful ballet dance classes, and a grandson winning participation for his STEAM team (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) project in a state-wide "Future City Competition," has made us very happy!

A wonderful surprise this month was winning both the travel edition and full board edition of a Conspiracy Theory game giveaway by supernatural author,  Sharon Wagner, through her email newsletter. 
 I "met" Sharon through her blog a few years ago and fell in love with all her wonderful travel photos. One of her favorite destinations is beautiful and tropical Costa Rica. Her recent photos of beaches and exotic birds are making me dream of warmer destinations during these cold winter days.  
Sharon's new book The Levitation Game will be released in April 2023 and she is doing giveaways through her newsletter to promote her book. 
The Conspiracy Theory game is made by Neddy Games and looks like a fun party game for 2 to 6 players, ages 14 and up. It promises to "test your knowledge of the world of Internet conspiracies."  I have to admit I'm not a believer in any internet conspiracies, so I'm sure I'll get a good chuckle reading the conspiracy questions on the cards.  Our grandsons enjoy board games, so we plan on playing with them when they are on spring break from school.

So while our landscape outside has been white with frozen snow, our hearth and kitchen inside have been warm, and our days full of simple family pleasures. I can't think of a better way to have spent the month of January!  

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Life Images by Jill, West Australia said...

Winter is certainly a time for snuggling up in front of the fire with a good book, and winter warming stews. I have seen some of the results of the huge snow falls in the USA on TV news. For me, in summer Australia, I enjoy seeing snowy pics this time of year! Take care, stay safe and warm. I am joining you at Mosaic Monday.

Jutta said...

Your winter landscape in "Mosaic Monday" shows similar pictures as here in Germany!
And the collage with the delicious food makes you hungry.
Greetings from Germany
My contribution:

Mersad said...

I have visited Denmark and experienced Hygge first hand. You can feel it in every corner there. From homes to the city.

Mersad Donko Photography

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

Sounds like a nice and cozy winter so far. A fire, good books, & family events are all winning activities.

eileeninmd said...

Hello Pat

Your winter snow photos are beautiful, I am sure the ski lovers are enjoying all the snow. We have had the gray skies, but not much snow as of yet.
I like your word Hygge and it's meaning. We should all be taking the time and enjoying life's pleasures. Your meals all look delicious. I am glad your grandchildren are doing well and excel in all their activities. There is nothing more a grandparent could want for their grandchildren is for them to be happy and do well. Take care, have a wonderful week!

Jeanie said...

It does sound like you have settled in and settled well. I'll have to check out that book -- it sounds very good! And Sharon stopped by my blog the other day and I was going to pay her a call. The game looks like a fun one! Happy week, Pat.

Sharon Wagner said...

I feel even warmer today after appraising your comfort food, and my heart is overjoyed by your shout out! You are so kind to do that. It is bound to spread the news. Thanks you. I'm so tickled. It is no theory, it is a fact, you have been busy with photography, blogging cooking, and reading. Carry on!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

The snowy scene is just beautiful. I still watch the Vail webcam and the Flagstaff webcam to see the snow! Love your fireplace and nice activities with the grandkids. The book sounds like one I would like! Happy Monday!

Lorrie said...

Hello Pat,
What a lot of snow you are getting. The photos are beautiful, and I hope the added moisture will help fill the reservoirs and rivers this spring and summer.

diane b said...

Glad that you can keep warm and enjoy your January Hygge. Your January is so so different to ours. Our temperatures are warming up. This week it will be over 30°C/86°F every day. We also have a busy time celebrating Australia Day on 26th Jan and Chinese New Year on 27th Jan. Our grandchildren are on Summer School Holidays but they start a new school year in a week. Fox will be starting High School.
Love your pretty snowy photos and your delicious food. We often have the broccoli and pasta dish.

Veronica Lee said...

Love your photos and collages, Pat.

The game sounds fun and the food looks amazing!

Hugs and blessings!

William Kendall said...

I love the snow.

Lydia C. Lee said...

That game looks quite fun - but possibly a little scary!! #MCoW

stevebethere said...

Nice post and photos I am not jealous about the weather your getting but I am about all that delicious food heheh!

Have a warmertastic week 👍

NCSue said...

At the moment I'm a bit chilly so the fireplace was an especially inviting photo!
Thanks for sharing at

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

I love the concept of Hygge and it looks like you have perfected it. I like to go outside in the cold weather and do what I like doing but I sure like coming back inside to a warm house and getting comfortable.

You are a great cook.

The book sounds interesting but you know so many books and so little time. I only read 23 last year.

Yvonne said...

We lived in Colorado Springs for 7 years, over 40 years ago, and the blizzards in winter are etched in my memory forever. A beautiful state, but it was much work clearing snow, and not easy driving to work. Your cooking looks delicious and love all the photos of snow.

carol l mckenna said...

Love the Hygge theory and gorgeous photos you share ~ Xo

Wishing you good health, laughter and love in your days,
A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)

EricaSta said...

Pat, you do the most right things during January. Yes, I`m on your side... good cooking, exciting reading is a good alternative against the cold weather, I believe.

Thank you being part of MOSAIC MONDAY.

Tom said...

...the snow adds the magic.

Kym said...

I love the concept of hygge and try to practice it.

Spare Parts and Pics said...

Hygge time sounds like a good, healthy thing. Kind of a forced reset and slowdown. I guess all that January snow will help out with the ongoing drought!

Marilyn @ MountainTopSpice said...

Like you, Pat, I love the rest that January brings. Hygge is a wonderful word to describe it! A hot cup of tea, and some time visiting my blogging friends is so lovely. We've had a very gray January also. Our snow keeps melting and then returning. Such is winter here! I do enjoy the quiet days inside. You're menu looks quite amazing! I love broccoli too, and we eat it several times a week also. So wonderful that you get to participate in your grandchildren's activities, congratulations to them for all their achievements! Many blessings to you :)

Joanne said...

Well, your meals definitely look warm and comforting for sure! That book sounds wonderful too and I just added it to my reading list. I was happy to see eggs on sale last week for $3/dozen also and I too bought 3 dozen!

Julie's Creative Lifestyle said...

Yes, January is a very cold and dreary month for many. Those winter scenes are beautiful looking. It's nice to sit by a fire and read a good book. I like to make a lot of soups and pasta dishes in the winter. Thanks for the blog visit and enjoy the weekend.

Lowcarb team member said...

So pleased that you are keeping warm and enjoying your January Hygge :)

It's always nice to spend time with the grandchildren and support them in their school work and activities.

Your cooking looks delicious.

Enjoy these last few January days.

All the best Jan

Rain said...

Pat your food always looks so delicious! My entire life is built around Hygge whenever possible. We also had the grayest month that I remember. We had no sunshine from Christmas until yesterday. I sure missed it! ♥

Angie said...

Pat - it looks like you are making the most of the winter weather. We have been enjoying many of the winter sports, and I have picked up cooking again once a week (mainly to give hubby a break). Cross-stitch, reading, watching football - and much of it in front of the fire - are all activities that make me feel so good!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Your January was just perfect Pat (perfectly hygge!) and I loved sharing it. ... Yummy menus -- and it certainly sounds like we should renew our lapsed Costco membership. You have lots of reasons to be proud of your grandchildren (and lots of reasons to be happy you are nearby to share their precious moments!).

laura said...

Hi Pat, What a fun trip to Disney Land. We took our kids to the same zoo years ago. And great to get out of Denver. Everything you said about Denver weather and the snow and temps is so unusual! But now we need fresh snow to cover the snirt (snow mixed with dirt). I just saved that book The Personal Librarian to my Libby App. I am reading (listening) to the Magnolia Palace right now.

Thank you for blog post suggestions.
I am hosting book club and we are talking about Very Valentine by Adriana Trigiani. I am serving baked ziti. Do you have any recommendations for an easy-ish Italian theme dessert? Remember I am not skilled in the kitchen!

Happy Monday. I was up in the hills showing a house off of Kipling and c470 (Deer Creek)?! I have lived here for decades and had never been back there (even though our pediatrician's office is right there before you climb the hill) ha! Okay if you have any dessert ideas please let me know. BOok club is end of this month! xo laura