Author: Line West

Things to do in Copenhagen

I am back after a busy Summer of moving to a new state and a new house. In the middle of everything I did get the chance to make a short trip to Copenhagen and even stay in the city for a few days. My, how things have changed since I lived there ten years ago – but a lot is still the same as well. Enough to make me feel right at home again and back to the past. In the following weeks I will post a series with tips on what you can do in Copenhagen in the Summer or Fall. First off, rent a bicycle! You can find a Rent a Bike store on almost every street corner in inner city, or just rent a city bike via a mobile phone app. However you choose, a bike it is the best way to see the city. Walking a whole day makes everyone tired whereas on a bicycle you move fast and experience everything so much more vividly than behind a car or …

Being There for Children During Stressful Times

My family and I are currently going through a big move out of state. This has made good parenting feel at least double as hard as usual and my “Danish Way of Parenting” methods seem to go right out the window in one stressful situation after another. Unfortunately, I can see that this has its effects on my children. Understandably so, their safety net is being pulled away under them and my husband and I are trying to keep the ground from breaking below them. But this is so much easier said than done while we are navigating transfer of school and medical records, buying and selling a house, saying goodbye to our town and friends etc. This has turned me into a different kind of mom, a stressed out mom, a mom who is constantly watching the mess they make because some potential buyer could show up and look at the house in less than one hour. What is interesting though is that this stressful situation shows how much our usually pretty calm, engaging …

Happy “National Hygge Day” Today!

I just want to send some Danish hygge atmosphere out there on this National Day of Hygge with these photos from Denmark! Walking with a looming storm behind you and arriving at a summerhouse just in time for the storm to break out and some Danish pastry awaiting you… That would be a great hygge experience to think of on this National Day of Hygge. Have some great hygge today – and don’t forget it is all about relaxing and enjoying!

Hygge and Mindfulness

In America people are often on the go. Americans are so busy and work so hard it never ceases to impress me. In Denmark people are also super busy and work hard but it is generally accepted to take a “coffee break” during the day where you actually sit down with your coffee/tea/cake, instead of walking around with it and only getting to drink it once it is cold. I think these little breaks help keep the Danes grounded and happier. It is really amazing how much new energy flows through you and from you after a relaxing break. You are ready to meet the world again. Hygge is as a form of mindfulness. A very pleasant one since it usually involves doing or eating something you like. Doing something nice or hyggeligt also makes it much more easy to be mindful – because who doesn’t want to fully enjoy every single bite of that delicious piece of pastry, every sip of that steamy brew of coffee or every moment in the company of a good …

Danish Children’s Carnival/Shrovetide Buns

March  1st is “Fastelavn”/Shrovetide in Denmark. It is a children’s carnival based on pre-lent carnival traditions of the Roman-Catholic church from before Denmark became a Protestant nation. Children dress up, beat a hanging barrel filled with candy (similar to a pinata), eat sweet buns (“fastelavnsboller”) and also get a so-called “fastelavnsris” (twigs decorated with candy, feathers, paper flowers and home crafted masks, see images here Fastelavnsris photos). A lot of this tradition has to do with getting rid of evil powers since the Danes say that “we beat the cat out of the barrel” and originally there was a poor black cat inside. Now there is just an image of a black cat on it. The children stand in line with a short wooden bat and take turns beating the hanging barrel. The child who beats the bottom out of the barrel becomes Cat Queen and the child who get the whole barrel down is the Cat King. Anyway, for adults the main thing is the sweet pastry buns which you can buy in bakeries …

Healthy Hygge Foods and Natural Cold Remedies: An Interview with Superfoods on Main

If there is one place that always makes me feel great it is the Superfoods on Main cafe in Mount Airy, Maryland. And I do not mean the kind of “great” that lasts for about thirty minutes, I am talking about feeling great for days! Superfoods on Main is a cafe with a homey cozy atmosphere that reminds me of some cafes in Copenhagen. Meanwhile, their drinks and foods are mainly raw, organic and vegan which means you get both hygge and healthy energy there. Maybe even better is that my two young children love going there for a colorful smoothie and time in the play corner. So on this cold and snowy morning I decide to venture out to meet raw foods chef, Darlene Union, and nutritionist, Elina Jelena-Kopic Myers, co-owners of Superfoods on Main to talk about healthy hygge foods and how to be healthy in the Winter months. Darlene and Elina always seem happy and energetic – the living proof that a raw or vegan lifestyle really works and I am eager …

Happy Foods

Our January started off with constant colds and coughs and the Arctic blast with many snow days stuck inside. So my hope of kicking off the new year with a healthy and active lifestyle has been on hold. The result is that I feel like “a hanged cat” (a Danish expression) being dragged around from the kids wake up at 6:30 am till I crash on the couch as soon as they go to bed. Being a couch potato was not exactly my new years resolution and I am determined to find a better way to get through the cold Winter months. All the hygge foods I have been advocating on this blog, like cakes and hot chocolate, bring me a sweet momentary happiness. This is why I have decided to give me, my family and this blog a healthy vitamin shot with foods that provide the energy we need to be happy and active all day long. I will also discover healthy hygge foods that won’t send us on a sugar crash shortly after …

Danish Christmas Cookies and Mulled Wine / Glögg

To me, nothing tastes more like Christmas than Danish Christmas Cookies / Brunkager – a crisp, spiced cookie – and Glögg – a mulled hot wine. Here are my family’s recipes 🙂 Danish Christmas Cookies / Brunkager 7 ounces butter 7 ounces sugar 1/2 cup sirup 1 tbsp cinnamon 1 tbsp ginger 1 tsp ground cloves 12.5 ounces all-purpose flour or more 1 tsp baking soda 3.5 ounces chopped almond slivers (optional) 1.8 ounces grated organic orange peel How you do it: Mix butter, sugar, sirup and spices well. In a separate bowl mix the flour and baking soda well. Then mix this into the first mixture. Knead the dough together with almonds and orange peel. Add more flour if needed. Divide the dough into 2-3 equally big parts. Roll and shape them so you have 2-3 fat rolls. Then you wrap each of them in plastic foil and store them in the fridge overnight – or longer. Cut the rolls into 3-4 millimeter thick slices which you place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Leave …