Author: Line West

The Beauty of Imperfection

On a Winter walk through a Danish forest, the beautiful sight on the photo above suddenly materialized in front of me. A moss overgrown broken tree limp in a little pond. It was stunning in all its imperfection, a composition no human had planned or constructed, with so many details open for imagination and awe. Nature’s originality left me surprised and breathless in a way that a perfectly manicured yard could not do. This made me think about the beauty of imperfection, the realness of it – because nothing is ever perfect. Like humans. I don’t think anyone would describe themselves as perfect. Most of us would probably feel misunderstood, not fully seen, if anyone called us perfect. If someone called us perfect we would feel that they didn’t see our flaws, downs and failures? Would they really know us, or just see what they wanted to see? Does anyone even want to be called perfect? I doubt it because if people see you as perfect they don’t see the real you. They only choose …

Healthy and Hyggelig Cafe in the Heart of Copenhagen

I have been meaning to write a post about Big Apple Cafe for a long time. It is such a cozy/hyggelig little cafe safely tucked away a little below street level so you can sit and watch traffic go by in a cozy basement environment. It has a charming Italian touch to it with rustic stone walls and olive trees. Together with sheepskin throws, tea candles and meadow flowers the interior is a great mix of Italian charm and Danish hygge. The Big Apple is centrally located, right next to Kongens Have (The Kings Garden). There is a relaxed and homey hygge feel to this environment which can be hard to find in the more touristed and “cool” cafes along or near Stroeget (the main shopping street in Copenhagen). Moreover, the sandwiches are made on delicious wheat-free grilled rye panini and they make the best juices and smoothies there for you. The staff is also super friendly and ready to accommodate the juice or smoothie to your preferences. As a tourist in my old home …

Midsummer Eve Bonfires and Witches

Originally posted on Happy as a Dane:
Sankt Hans Evening (St. John’s Eve) bonfire on the beach in Tisvildeleje, Denmark, 2013 ? Last night the Danes celebrated Sankt Hans Evening (St. John’s Eve) with bonfires and witches! This was originally a pagan celebration of summer solstice and the magical shortest night of the year but after the introduction of Christianity it also became the celebration of John the Baptist’s birthday which is supposedly today June 24th. There used to be a lot of superstition related to this night. Mean witches were scared away and sick people went to holy springs hoping their illnesses would be cured on this night where light was stronger than darkness. As a symbol of chasing evil forces away Danes burned a hay witch on top of the bonfire – a practice that is still very common in Denmark! Danes jokingly say that on the evening of Sankt Hans: “the witches are being sent off to Brocken” (the highest point of the Herz mountains in Germany). Interestingly, this pagan/Christian tradition is…

“Meet the Danes” at the National Museum of Denmark

Here is a great recommendation for everyone traveling to Denmark hoping to experience some of that world famous hygge: The National Museum of Denmark has started a free guided tour series called “Meet the Danes” where you can meet a Dane who will give an insider’s view of the Danes, Danish culture and society. You will get an answer to puzzling questions such as why Danes leave their sleeping babies in prams outside cafes, why Danes bicycle so much, what hygge is all about and whether the Danes really are the happiest people on Earth! On Tuesdays in July you will also be able to enjoy a classic Danish lunch with a Dane in the museum’s historical courtyard. You can read more about these tours via this link: Meet and Eat with the Danes. I am so excited about this initiative at the National Museum of Denmark as the Danes and their culture are not always easily accessible to non-Danes. Many who travel there, or even live there, find the Danes a bit cold and reserved …

Weekend Cake is Back: Kirsten’s Pumpkin Bread

Happy Friday! Weekend is almost here and few things bring more hygge than freshly baked cake so I am happy to bring you a super hyggelig recipe that I have wanted to post for a long time. It is filled with the coziest spices such as ginger, cinnamon and cloves and gives a taste and feeling of hygge that lingers through the day. If you add cocoa powder or chocolate chips, most children are sure to love it too! Take a break, sit down and enjoy it with a steamy brew of hot coffee or tea and you are sure to get a relaxing hygge feeling that will help you through the day. Kirsten’s Pumpkin Bread Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Makes two 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaves. Ingredients 3/4 cup butter 2 1/2 cups sugar 4 eggs 3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon nutmeg 1 teaspoon cloves (ground) 3 tablespoons cocoa (optional) 2 cups mashed pumpkins or pureed …

Find Your Inner “Bad Mom”! “The Perfect Mom” doesn’t exist anyway…

What is it about being a mom that makes us feel like we have to be completely perfect? As soon as you give birth, you are under some sort of pressure that never existed before. Just the title “mom” comes with so many demands, so many opinions and so many critics – most of them probably from ourselves. And not only do you have to be perfect in how you dress your kids, raise them, feed them, interact with their schools and arrange after school activities, no you have to be perfect in every single area of your whole entire life! For example, before I had kids I had no problem having friends over when my house wasn’t just cleaned that very same day. Now, everything has to be almost spotless before I will let anyone in. I even have to convince myself that five year old kids won’t tell on me to their parents if they notice it has been a week since the bathroom was cleaned! We probably all want to look like …