Sunday, February 28, 2016

Finding the Warmth in Winter

Sunday, February 28, 2016


On weekends, we strive to visit one new place. With all of the museums, restaurants, and neighborhoods there are to explore, this will be a life-long goal. A few weeks ago, we visited the Garfield Park Conservatory. It was an especially cold day and it was fantastically humid inside. Instead of taking photos there, I compiled some video footage for a seasonal film I'd like to make. The Garfield Park Conservatory has a gorgeously serene fern greenhouse where they do yoga twice a month. A fantastic space for a shavasana. 

A week later, the weather was much warmer (in the 40's) so we decided to visit the Lincoln Park Conservatory and the Lincoln Park Zoo. The conservatory was just as lovely, and we arrived at the zoo just in time for the lions to have lunch. It made us hungry, so we hopped over to the West Loop neighborhood for Mexican food at Cemitas Puebla. We each had a pork sandwich, and paired with a Tecate beer - so good! After that, we succumbed to our food comas and had a great nap on the couch with Mort, the last of the day's sunlight keeping us warm through the window.

This past weekend, we made plans to go to a "Frozen Dancing" block party with friends. While it's usually freezing in February in Chicago, this day it was sunny and in the 50's. It was a beautiful winter day! In years past we heard that people will get bundled up and attend this outdoor event, just to be outside for once in the winter. This year, everyone was out in their sunglasses and with their dogs too.

We started the day with BYOB brunch where our friend brought Sofie for beer-mosa's. It was so refreshing and delicious. We had brunch at Bite Cafe where S ordered the udon noodles and I ordered the breakfast bibimbap. It was our second time there, and their menu always impresses me. Not to mention, all of their ingredients taste super fresh and the meals aren't too heavy where you fall into a brunch coma for the rest of the day. It's perfect!

In all, spending time with friends over a great meal with delicious drinks is the real way to stay warm in winter. Enjoying the company of our friends here strip away all worries of work, of responsibilities, of things that need to be done, and what's left is the comfort of each other's souls. That's where warmth lives.
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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Slow Weekends, Mornings

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

My favorite time of day is the early morning when I walk Mort and the neighborhood is quiet, just before the morning commuters hit the road. After breakfast, we cuddle on the couch as the sun peeks in and I finish my coffee while Mort takes his first nap of [many] that day. I love weekends because we can start our mornings slow, and we can stretch them as long as possible by eating breakfast together at lunch time. Slow mornings and weekends give me the opportunity to live in the moment. My least favorite thing is having to leave these moments.

By living in the moment these days, I'd almost forgotten what we've been planning for our future. We've been taking Chicago morning-by-morning, weekend-by-weekend, one step at a time to really get to know this city's soul. One thing we've been planning for years? Visiting Japan. We've been saving years of credit card miles to pay for our plane tickets. And now, after having put this future goal on the back burner for a long time, we are forced into making a decision soon, before our miles expire. 

Sometimes you're forced into making a decision on something before you're ready. Sometimes you must think about the future, even when you're in the middle of enjoying the present. And sometimes, it takes someone or something else to guide you to making that decision. Just like with our move to Chicago, something else we've wanted for years, we took small steps toward that goal through the years, but it wasn't until there was an incredible job opportunity that really made the decision to move a solid one. With Japan, it's taken some threatened credit card miles (miles we've worked for and saved) in order for us to take advantage of the goal we've been making small steps toward.

In all, Chicago was a goal of ours that we've reached. Living in the present to enjoy that goal has been so very rewarding. But in the midst of it, I'd almost let another life-long goal slip away. 
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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Currently // 6

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

eating // so. many. sweets. With Valentine's Day, our event vendors have been spoiling us with all kinds of treats.

drinking // cairpirinhas. Very refreshing for summer, but also very good for brunch.

making // office blankets! I now have a multi-colored one in mind for my office at the museum. By multi-colored, I mean, multiple neutral colors.

listening // to Sylvan Esso. Such good winter vibes.

reading //just ordered two books by author Joe Meno, who lives in Chicago.

enjoying // spending time with Mort. I really love this pup. He is so sweet, and my favorite part of every week is when we sleep in on weekends and we cuddle in bed for hours. All the extra attention is worth the wait for coffee and breakfast.

planning // on painting our kitchen. It was planned as a winter project, but I couldn't decide on what color would look best in there. I'm thinking a dark, moody blue.

wearing // ankle boots. I've actually been wearing shoes with a bit of a heel lately because I had some tendinitis pain. A slight heel has actually released the pressure from my tendons, giving my foot a chance to heel. Who would have thought?

cooking // salmon, every which way.

traveling // to Florida for a belated holiday and birthday celebration! Escaping a bit of Chicago winter is nice too.

smelling // this moisturizer. I ordered a bottle for my desk, since my hands are often dry in the winter. While the regular Hempz moisturizer is great, there is some ingredient (shea, cucumber, jasmine, chamomile?) that makes the Age Defying one smell incredible!

thinking // about how incredible winter really is. It hasn't been bad, but when I look around and see a layer of white snow on tree limbs and I remember what it looked like full of green, nature is truly a wonderful thing. How can trees so easily go from bare to full in the span of one season?

I originally saw this currently feature on Joy Felicity Jane.
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Sunday, February 07, 2016

A Love Letter to January: Intimacy is Hygge

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Bloggers across the web are all wrapping up the previous month with how much they hate January. After the holidays, people create resolutions that they may or may not keep, which weighs heavy on them. The weather is gloomy and often cloudy, and it's cold days without holiday cheer to keep them warm. Whether people are doing "Whole 30" or "Sober January", they are wishing that the month will be over as quickly as it started.

But me? I love January. After all, it's my birthday month. Although I miss the holiday season, some businesses and homes still have their decorations up. There are less events around town so more evenings are spent at home. It's a nice month to get back into routines of laundry and grocery shopping - the things we neglect during the previous two months of holidays. The colder weather makes us stay inside more, but then that means really hearty dinners and red wine galore. When we do decide to bundle up and head out to a restaurant or bar with friends, the feeling of being greeted by a warm gush of air when the restaurant door opens, after walking against the cold wind to get there - that feeling is definitely hygge. The anticipation of a great meal ahead, of cheerful conversations, and unique cocktails, it's all hygge.

Lately, these past few years I have not had a birthday "party" where all of my friends get together. Normally it's a small thing these days, such as dinner with S at a restaurant I've wanted to try, drinks afterward with whichever friends are free, and it's typically days after my birthday itself. But I really don't mind not making it a big thing anymore. I'd rather celebrate with friends over dinner or drinks throughout the year, in smaller, more intimate groups, rather than trying to round up everyone together. I think that's why I like January, the whole month feels more intimate.

So, January, it looks like it's just me and you. I'll always love you, even when others publicly shame you. I'm okay with that because it's sweeter when it's just us anyway. 
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Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Blog Rebranding

Tuesday, February 02, 2016


Welcome to my rebranded blog, Hygge Home. When I started my online shop, Hygge & Wool, I didn't plan to rebrand my blog. However, it felt right, and I wanted to be able to promote my shop in my every day life. Having a blog with a completely different focus (Tender Roots), felt like I was holding onto too many different things. I want to focus more clearly on my blog as a both a personal space and shop space. A shop that sells cozy home knitwares and one that allows for a blog that lets you into the creators life. I don't mind continuing to share personal stories, travel, adventure, home life, etc. But I do want to also share quality content that can help inspire others to create a hygge home for themselves through home decor tips and perhaps even sharing recipes.

What does a hygge home look like? It looks like a space to share creative home solutions. Getting organized in a tiny home office, or styling vignettes around the home, and even sharing the stories behind some favorite decor pieces. 

You may notice with this change that my social media handles to my name, Yelle. I thought that this would be a long-term solution to any changes in the future.

Lastly, the name Tender Roots no longer felt applicable. We are still renting the home that we live in now, and we plan to rent for a long time still. However, my roots feel more grounded each day. On weekends we get to explore Chicago, and it welcomes us with every new discovery. Thus, I feel like our roots really are grounded now.

Thank you to Labina Studio for her talent in custom web design! 

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Hygge & Wool + BLOG DESIGN BY Labinastudio