Metatalktail Hour: Everyone needs a hygge January 23, 2022 3:29 AM   Subscribe

For this week's Metatalktail gathering, Jessamyn would like to know "what spots of comfort MeFites have been finding for yourselves, whether it's winter or summer where you are. Phrases, clothing, media, foods, habits. What's a comforting thing for you lately?"

So let glow and tell us of your cozy creature comforts, dear friends ... or just chat about your day or week, or whatever else is on your mind. (but no rhymes-with-bollitics, please!)
posted by taz (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 3:29 AM (52 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

Right now I'm sitting in my comfy chair, watching the snow gently falling, sipping coffee with honey and cream, brought to me by the one I love, in front of the fire he made. In the fireplace he made, come to think of it. And honey from his hives. Feeling so, so lucky. Wishing everyone could have something like this. Sending a warm mental hug to everyone who needs one. Thanks mefi.
posted by evilmomlady at 4:33 AM on January 23, 2022 [9 favorites]

I'm picking up knitting again! I mostly stopped in 2013 after my apartment got burned down, and I'm finally making the time to seek joy in it again. I'm about half way through an entrelac scarf project right now and planning to throw myself at colorwork next. I had forgotten how soothing the repetitive movent and the sense of satisfaction seeing a useful item of clothing emerging from brightly colored string can be.
posted by sciatrix at 6:02 AM on January 23, 2022 [14 favorites]

I don't normally get winter blahs, or SAD or whatever it's called, but this year, maybe it's because I'm getting old, or maybe it's because of Everything That's Going On In The World, or maybe both, but anyway things feel very blah. If I didn't have my cats I don't know what I'd do. I sit on the couch with little fuzzy purring bodies and a couple of books and a glass of ice tea (daytime) or wine (evenings) and with some youtube video of a livestream of someplace that looks nice.
posted by JanetLand at 6:21 AM on January 23, 2022 [10 favorites]

I developed a taste for hoodies over lockdown. The chunkier the better. My SO found me a fleece lined one for my birthday. I like my black no-zip Carhartt but some quality of the material makes it a magnet for my cat's white fur in a way that happens much less for my other hoodies. I'm sure there is some underlying science relating to the cloth which would make for a fascinating front page post.
posted by biffa at 6:36 AM on January 23, 2022 [3 favorites]

My lovely cat, Phoebe, sleeps on my bed with me but isn’t usually much of a snuggler. The past couple weeks have been very cold, and she’s gotten into the habit at night of curling up under my arm (and if my arm is not in EXACTLY the right position she lets me know) and then will let me turn over and put my arms around her so she’s sort of the little spoon. It is warm and soothing and the most relaxing, cozy, comfortable way to fall asleep. She is very, very soft and sometimes has little cat snores. She is wonderful.
posted by bookmammal at 6:55 AM on January 23, 2022 [27 favorites]

I've got a bad case of cabin fever right now. From early May last year through the end of the year, I don't think we were ever home 3 weekends in a row. We were always out somewhere, usually camping. With the Omicron surge, we have only left the house for mandatory errands like grocery shopping, or to go walking in local parks. And it's really starting to grind on me. Omicron appears to have peaked last week in Virginia, so hopefully life will be better soon.

On another note, I discovered the band Lawrence yesterday. I'm sure I'm very late to this, being an old, but holy shit, are these kids good.

Also, operation stop-being-a-sloth is going well. I have worked out before work every work day this year.
posted by COD at 7:12 AM on January 23, 2022 [5 favorites]

Burning the fancy candles. Like, what I was saving the fancy candles for? Re-discovering the joy of hot chocolate. Feeling very grateful to be here and where I am in my life. Of course, the three cats with whom Shepherd and I share our house.

And cannabis. Like, having a dog walker a few times a week before bed is just "pure unabashed luxury," as John Cooper Clarke would put it.
posted by Kitteh at 7:18 AM on January 23, 2022 [6 favorites]

My wife and I have been working our way through the MCU movies in order of release. We just watched Thor last night and enjoyed it. I've never been an action movie guy, I was always too cynical to enjoy something if I could find any sort of flaws in it, but at some point my thinking shifted a bit and now I just want to enjoy something that is fun, even if it might be a bit dumb in places. So now we have movies to watch every Saturday night for a while, most of which we haven't seen. Bonus, I get to learn all these names and references I've been hearing for years without knowing what the hell anyone is talking about.

It's fireplace season so most nights we have a fire. Peppermint tea and a fire is a nice combination.

We've also been doing a lot of puzzles. We started early in the pandemic and stopped after a couple but we've gotten back into them. 1000 pieces is usually our sweet spot. There's a puzzle swap in our town (think little free library but just for puzzles) so we picked up a couple new ones yesterday and will probably start one today.

Walking. It's cold out these days but that doesn't stop us. We put Microspikes on our boots and get outside. I love walking in the winter. Yesterday we were at a local Audubon sanctuary and we found a place in the marsh were there was a break in the ice. There were some ripples in the water and we stood there for a bit and eventually a muskrat came up and started feeding on some plants. It was neat. Last week at the same place we saw a bald eagle flying overhead, which is something we've seen occasionally in the last few years but for those of us who grew up at a time when he eagles were mostly all gone, it's such a treat to see one flying, even if they are kind of a gross garbage bird in so many ways.

It's been extra important to find little spots of comfort where you can find it these past few years. Metafilter is also a comfort spot for me, so thanks for starting this thread!
posted by bondcliff at 7:26 AM on January 23, 2022 [9 favorites]

Like, what I was saving the fancy candles for?
I've had a habit since a very young age of always saving the stuff I really like for a special occasion. Notebooks, clothing, cards, tea, candy, etc. (Food too, but usually there's an objective time-limit for that.) More often than not, it just means that I save things so long that I no longer care about them or they get ruined or wasted. The amount of really cool stationary I had as an 11 year old that got eaten by rats is embarrassing. As is the number of really cool stickers in my life that I've never stuck to things because I wasn't confident it was the best possible use of a sticker. I'm slowly training myself that it's okay to wear the good socks the first day out of laundry, or to use a fancy piece of stationary for some non-ideal task.

The last two weeks my spouse and I have been taking hour-long walks in the morning before work. It's quite nice. The plates of ice on water rubbing together is endlessly entertaining. Where we live it's too warm to get the loud cracks or the booming noise of waves hitting the underside of thick ice. But, even the thin stuff is really mesmerizing.
posted by eotvos at 8:29 AM on January 23, 2022 [18 favorites]

I reread Carry On and it's sequels by Rainbow Rowell recently, in part because there were fanfare threads for them. When I finished them, I thought, y'know, what I really want to do is keep reading about them. So I did. When I felt like that about Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall, Heated Rivalry by Rachel Reid, or Questionable Content by Jeph Jacques, I was a bit disappointed by how few stories there were (in one case, zero) on Archive of Our Own. But the Simon Snow fandom has thousands. Every time I feel like it would be fun to read just about after Any Way the Wind Blows or only read the story reset in university, I can find hundreds of times that people did just that. And it's so lovely. (I'm back in school right now and I think that does relate to having comfort food for my brain like this.)
posted by blueberry monster at 8:59 AM on January 23, 2022 [2 favorites]

Lavender!!!! I put it on my pillow, I splash it on my vest, I burn it in a burner, I tie bundles of it and put it in my car. Recently in the whole food/hippy shop I realised I use so much lavender oil it was worth spending over £20 for the BIG bottle of the Organic one, much to surprise and consternation of the shop guy (are you sure you want to spend this much??, he said). No other smell makes me feel homely and safe and calm, though I do sometimes mix it up with a little Rose Geranium. If I had land I would grow a big lavender farm with all different kinds. Lavender latte, you say? Yes please. Lavender and lemon cake? Why thank you. I can't wait for summer so all the bushes in front gardens in the neighbourhood start producing and I can snag a few stems as I walk past to keep in my pockets.
posted by Balthamos at 10:09 AM on January 23, 2022 [9 favorites]

really cool stickers in my life that I've never stuck to things

Once upon a time I found a group of car window stickers with a specific theme that I thought would be perfect for the vehicle I had at the time. Fortunately I bought multiples of each of them so that not only could I go ahead and apply one right away without guilt or hesitation, I had more for future cars. I've got two of them now (one on the lower passenger-side if the windshield, one in the rear window), and in the event this car doesn't last me the rest of my driving life I've still got a couple more stickers left. Now that's what I call comfort!
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:31 AM on January 23, 2022 [2 favorites]

Hi I am also a recovering "save-this-for-something-special" self-denier, trying to use more stuff.

My bugaboo is pretty paper that I can craft with but never actually do. I just spent a good part of the morning finally embellishing some plain clipboards with some pretty flower prints and washi tape, plus a cool-looking page from a dictionary I found in the street one day. Whether they will be functional clipboards or merely decorative, I haven't decided, and it's not the point.

I also have over the years gotten a couple of food gifts from my best friend, but all too often they were "serves 8" sizes, and you'd have to make the whole thing in one go. One of those things was an "Irish Breakfast for 8"- I got a pack of Irish bacon, some sausages, and one package each of black pudding and white pudding. If I'd been able to cut off a slice and refreeze it that would have let me use it way faster, but no such luck.

This weekend I finally thawed the lot out, just enough to divide everything into four smaller packages; three got thrown back in the freezer, and I made myself a huge fry-up this morning, complete with fried tomato slice and mushroom cap, and even a mini batch of scones.

And pretty much all weekend I have been wearing this new pullover hoodie I found in a shop in Kingston - it is dark gray and fuzzy, and gloriously baggy and floopy and cozy. I have that with some pajama pants and I look like hell but I do not care because fluffy floopy gray hoodie yay.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:05 AM on January 23, 2022 [7 favorites]

My chill-out space for the last couple months has been painting miniatures from all of our various board games... Turns out this is like the only pandemic hobby unaffected by supply chain issues; tiny pots of acrylic paint are pretty easy to come by. I may have also started resorting to ordering more minis from Etsy 3d-print shops to keep a steady supply of stuff to paint. It's a very chill activity; just the right level of focus, a little bit of creativity from time to time. (eg, figuring out a non-awful color scheme for the Nemesis aliens, and learning to make semi-iridescent paint by mixing gold and green...)

Mansions of Madness

I managed to have /one/ in-person game of Call of Cthulhu using the Mansions of Madness minis to good effect, and hope to do that more often once Omicron subsides.
posted by kaibutsu at 11:22 AM on January 23, 2022 [7 favorites]

I knitted this cowl recently, the first project I've actually finished in mumbles. I still need to block it, but I tried it outside and it is so warm and lofty. (Doesn't look as good on me as it does on the [gorgeous] model, but you can't have everything...) It's my first real brioche project and I dig the mechanics, although it's unfortunate that it's hard to correct errors without tinking all the way back to it.
posted by praemunire at 11:24 AM on January 23, 2022 [8 favorites]

I’m listening to a lot of weird/horror podcasts (yeah, there will be a new FPP pretty soon). I have to go into work tomorrow, so Monday is kind of shot, but I hope to get a few critical things done, then work from home the rest of the week. This means that, while the cats won’t let me sleep in, after they’ve been fed and the early morning chores done, I lay down on my bed to do some leg exercises, and the younger cat, who is normally very wiggly, will curl up next to me and shove her tiny body into my side, to really “snuggle Xtreme!” and that’s nice to lie there for 20 minutes and listen to her purr rather than finishing dressing and running for the bus.
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:29 AM on January 23, 2022 [6 favorites]

Wearable blankets with hoods. I have two of those - one leopard, one a more sedate blue - and they are everything I want from a cool-weather lounge covering: not really so long you can sit on it and strangle yourself, closes down the front (we have Snuggies, I don't like them), no sleeves just a snap to make an armhole so that when you're in repose your arms are mostly inside the bubble but you can put your arms completely out to stir something on the stove or make more tea without sleeves in the way.

Cozy Grove. I like it best played on a tablet, so you can get comfy and play your 20-30 minutes' worth of game every day.

I really like a smooth soft sheet, even in the winter, and someone tipped me off to Macy's big yearly white sale (in May) and Martha Stewart Essentials microfiber sheets. I bought several King sets for $19 each (regularly $80, currently $40), and they've held up to constant use for a year and a half. They're not dramatically attractive, but I don't really see that part of the bedding much so whatever, they strike the perfect balance between silky and crisp.

Heated mattress pad, as always. We rarely have a night cold enough in SoCal for the heat to come on, and I almost always have the window open some as well because I need Cool Night Air smell, but the heated mattress pad is enough to keep us cozy.

Mari Life. These are ambient-sound-only 30ish-minute videos made by a Korean woman who goes camping (mostly) alone in her tricked-out Land Rover with very good cameras and a drone. She always cooks the most amazing camping meals and I am envious that in Korea you can just pick up a ready-to-go hotpot, ramyun, or charcoal-grilled meat kit at the store. Occasionally she brings her three little boys and husband with her, but mostly these excursions are for her to decompress alone. Beautiful to watch (and sometimes I just mute them and listen to my own music) and normally very soothing, although alarmingly she released a video this morning entitled "The tent burned down while car camping at -15C | Vlog" and she's never vlogged before so, uh, I think that one may not be as soothing as normal. She also lost her drone in the ocean in the previous video, so she's kind of having a bad run at the moment.

I have been finalizing the arrangements for a van-camping trip for my 50th birthday in two weeks. I've booked a night on a farm where you can pet the animals, a night staying in a winery parking lot where we'll do a private tasting, two nights up a mountain where it will likely freeze and maybe snow, and then a night on a bluff overlooking the Pacific. This is wildly demoted from the monthlong trip to the UK I was planning two years ago, but I think it will be really great and it feels goooood to be working on my trip spreadsheet.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:48 AM on January 23, 2022 [8 favorites]

I've been playing a lot of Wingspan (original flavor) in the mornings before work.

Living in leggings as work-from-home life continues uninterrupted.

Been spending Sunday mornings working on Lego sets. I generally do one bag from a big set a week, to draw it out and have a little thing to look forward to. Currently working on this castle and listening to various early music playlists on Spotify for ambience. Previously did a couple of the options from a 3-in-1 space set, and am pondering some kind of science fantasy freebuild.
posted by curious nu at 12:22 PM on January 23, 2022 [2 favorites]

Hi I am also a recovering "save-this-for-something-special" self-denier, trying to use more stuff.

Seriously! I do this thing for my friends that I call "magic disappearing car" where I show up with my car and you put the thing that you want to go to a good home in the car and then it disappears. You don't ask what happened to it and I don't tell you. For some people, this helps them say goodbye to stuff that has been hard to get rid of.

So.... recently a friend's husband developed some chemical sensitivities to strongly smelling toiletries. So she packed up a big box of this stuff and gave it to me. I gave some away but then kept the rest and.... man it's nice to have a LOT of nice-smelling stuff because I would always cheap out and buy stuff that smelled drug-store-decent and then use it sparingly so I'd have it forever.

Now I have NIGHT CREAM, I am a lady who wears night cream! And some other goo that is good for slathering on my face when I get back from a 2-3 mile walk outdoors (every day this year except for that one below-zero day). And other cream that I can use on my scaly feet. It's been really nice.

Today based on this FPP I made this remix of it which has been a good feeling flexing a "build digital things" muscle that I like. I still need some more offline hobbies but I've been cooking and baking more and now I brush my teeth standing up (before I was so run down by the end of the day I'd just sit on the toilet seat lid to brush) which feels like a tiny but incremental improvement.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:23 PM on January 23, 2022 [9 favorites]

My biggest source of comfort lately is sleeping at my partner's house. Not sure what's up with me, normally I mostly prefer it if we spend the evening at my house and then he goes back home, leaving me to get a good night's sleep, but lately I love climbing the creaky old stairs up to his chilly bedroom and getting under all the heavy wool blankets and listening to him snore and having him bring me coffee in the morning.

I am also experiencing not "comfort" in the usual sense, but freedom from anxiety due to my newfound ability to get shit done thanks to FocusMate. This has been like magic for me. I do the work, then the work is done, and I can enjoy my life. Is this how all you non-procrastinators have been feeling the whole time? Because it's pretty great.
posted by HotToddy at 1:16 PM on January 23, 2022 [5 favorites]

In my necessary and unending quest to find new activities for my kids that are socially distanced and engaging for them and pleasant for me, I started making scavenger-hunt bingo cards for outings in the cemetery up the road. We live near a beautiful cemetery that’s a de facto nature preserve, and walking there is always peaceful to me, and also somewhat cozy—these are neighbors and forebears of a sort, and it’s the quietest spot around. So I’ve been cajoling my family into joining me on rambles there by gamifying it, searching for things like uncommon letters or combinations of them; easy-to-find symbols like anchors and obelisks and stumps and mason symbols, and harder ones like hats and dogs and typographic diphthongs & ligatures; names that are jobs, names that are cities, names that are animals, names that would make a good punchline for a dirty joke (you have to make the joke up too), names that are palindromes; your initials, your birth month, your name, etc. It’s given us a good excuse to be out in a place I find extremely cozy (though not exactly snuggly, especially in January).

Separately: I’ve lived in apartment buildings most of my life, and one small pleasure of that for me has always been coming inside on a cold afternoon to the smells of neighbors’ cooking. Stews, frying onions, maybe coffee or toasted cheese or fresh bread, lots of things with cumin I can imagine but never get to see or taste—it warms me right through to think of all those stoves all around me. Increasingly, I smell pot in the halls alongside all the stews, and I now associate that with the same coziness, which is a real change from how I used to think of it. As a kid I smelled pot all the time, but in very different sorts of places, the surreptitious edges of public spaces—subways, playgrounds, public bathrooms, parking lots, etc. A lot of that was disaffected kids (including me sometimes) trying to get fucked up with a conspicuously smelly and illegal / frowned-upon drug. The legal and cultural status of pot is a lot different now than it was 30-40 years ago, at least where I am, and I love that I am now getting used to thinking of it as another cozy homey smell like onions and cumin and Sunday gravy. It used to smell like desperation to me and now it smells like nourishment.
posted by miles per flower at 1:57 PM on January 23, 2022 [11 favorites]

I have been sleeping immensely better the last couple of months, which has been amazing, but I’ve actually been kind of disappointed that it’s significantly reduced my need for weekend afternoon naps. Well, today I woke up a little earlier than I should, so I was able to pass out in the afternoon on the couch in the sun, with my sweet doggy nestled in between my knees. Bliss. Made all the better by the contrast of how windy and chilly it is outside.
posted by obfuscation at 2:26 PM on January 23, 2022 [5 favorites]

One of those things was an "Irish Breakfast for 8"- I got a pack of Irish bacon, some sausages, and one package each of black pudding and white pudding.

Hold on, this is a thing? For real?
posted by Dip Flash at 5:32 PM on January 23, 2022

I started making scavenger-hunt bingo cards for outings in the cemetery up the road.

This sounds great! You might already be aware of it, but if you're looking for things to do, you could see if the cemetery has any unfulfilled Photo Requests on Find A Grave.
posted by zamboni at 5:54 PM on January 23, 2022 [6 favorites]

Following Pee Wee Herman on Facebook.
posted by y2karl at 6:14 PM on January 23, 2022 [1 favorite]

Our house was built in the 1920s, the windows are complete crap, and there's probably no insulation in the walls. I bought an LL Bean shirt jac earlier this winter and I'm absolutely living in it. December was warm, but January was actually winter, and I am so comfy.
posted by mollweide at 6:25 PM on January 23, 2022 [2 favorites]

I am (playfully) regretting being pregnant in summer, AGAIN- (with corresponding "how do we keep this newborn warm" winter baby issues) but it is what it is. It's hard at the moment to take the toddler out to DO stuff because it's so hot- I might be brave and do some water play with her after her nap today. Actually, thanks mefi that's a great idea- she got a teaset for Christmas and will LOVE using real water with it.

My favourite summer hygge activity- laying under the aircon in front of a TV with the cricket on has been nice- so much so that my daughter will ask for the "weekit?" (No darling, there's no cricket on today. There was supposed to be but the English just played badly I guess). Devastatingly two of the women's ashes T20s - both of which were the daytime ones that she is actually awake and not doing dinner/bedtime for- were cancelled due to rain- which annoyingly hasn't made it over here from Adelaide. I haven't recreated the experience but the other day my daughter 'bowled' to me and I hit it back with a little foam cricket bat we have and it was so nice to be playing a game together in a way that wasn't pure toddler chaos.

On sleep, my husband told me this morning that whenever our daughter cries out in her sleep, I say (in my sleep) "the possums are out again" - something that is apparently a regular occurance but amped up with pregnancy. So while I've been (finally!!) sleeping, he hasn't been, which means he doesn't have the energy to go with us to fun places, and I don't have the energy to go solo.

While I enjoy the heat (when we can go places) cabin fever in summer is starting to get a little unbearable. Looking forward to just a little bit more coolness soon.
posted by freethefeet at 6:52 PM on January 23, 2022 [8 favorites]

After 18 years of my old living room furniture, I donated it all and bought new stuff, including a white (!!!) sectional. So I’ve been spending my evenings curled up in the corner of the sofa, reading, taking naps, and watching Korean dramas. There’s a chunky throw blanket that I curl up under, along with my kitty, Boo Radley. I have clear fairy lights behind indigo blue sheers that flank the front window – so they look a little like stars in the night sky, plus I picked up a set of fake candles that automatically turn on each evening for six hours. I’ve never been great at decorating and it’s entirely possible that my new living room is impractical (did I mention the sofa is white and that I have a cat!) – but it’s super cozy and I’m loving it.
posted by kbar1 at 7:11 PM on January 23, 2022 [5 favorites]

It's summer here and I'm trying to enjoy the small things in life more, so I've been shameless about having ice cream every day. Perhaps not great for my waistline, but it's been good for my sanity. Summer is my least favourite season but sitting on the deck as it's cooling off in the late afternoon, eating cherries and ice cream while the kids run through the sprinkler -- it's really nice!

I've also been bingeing comfort media. After an obsession with Ted Lasso (it was so wonderful to see kind people! and kindness being rewarded! but not smarmy!) I'm now working my way through Stranger Things. Horror usually isn't my thing at all, but it's light enough touch that it's working for me: and the nostalgia and the strength of characters, friendships, and relationships, is really doing me good.
posted by contrapositive at 7:30 PM on January 23, 2022 [6 favorites]

For the last few weeks I've gotten into a wonderful daily routine of afternoon herbal tea and a small, individually-wrapped square of chocolate (I got some great ideas from this Ask by Gray Duck). This is literally the first time in my life that I've been able to keep chocolate around, uneaten, in my home - because I know I will get to enjoy it every single day, I don't have the urge to eat it all in one go. So far the best tea has been a coconut lavender rooibos loose leaf tea from a local teahouse, and the best chocolate has been Michel Cluizel squares, a great suggestion from rhiannonstone in the aforementioned Ask.
posted by rogerroger at 7:53 PM on January 23, 2022 [2 favorites]

I am changing jobs, which is this huge source of comfort. It's not more pay overall, but it is way better hours and will likely be a bit calmer than the work I've been doing, so yay!

It is winter time, so blankets, sweatshirts, heat pad and soft socks are my go to right now. I want to be snorgabicuggled and warm through March.

Organic Indua Sweet Rose Tulsi Tea is the best cup of happiness for me right now.
posted by AlexiaSky at 11:22 PM on January 23, 2022 [1 favorite]

> One of those things was an "Irish Breakfast for 8"- I got a pack of Irish bacon, some sausages, and one package each of black pudding and white pudding.

Hold on, this is a thing? For real?

Yes? It was similar to this: I got the pound of sausage, half-pound of bacon, one black and white pudding each, and a can of baked beans and a small package of sliced bread. I think there was also the tea, but no butter. But you can get Kerrygold in most supermarkets now.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:09 AM on January 24, 2022 [3 favorites]

It's my first real brioche project and I dig the mechanics, although it's unfortunate that it's hard to correct errors without tinking all the way back to it.

Coincidentally I only discovered brioche knitting was a Thing last week and there are SO MANY PRETTY THINGS PEOPLE ARE DOING THESE DAYS. It's really cool!
posted by sciatrix at 5:32 AM on January 24, 2022 [2 favorites]

I’ve never been great at decorating and it’s entirely possible that my new living room is impractical (did I mention the sofa is white and that I have a cat!) – but it’s super cozy and I’m loving it.

Ohhhh, man, actually you've just opened up a whole new way to play for yourself.

I am indecisive with home decor - I can never decide what My Style is, and always want to switch things up. (I changed the position of my sofa this weekend - and only PARTLY because its original position was a little too close to a draft.) I'm limited a bit by renting, but if I were to completely change everything as often as I want I'd go broke... I focus on textiles. I have a white sofa as well, and white walls, and then I went nuts collecting throw blankets, and when I got throw pillows I stocked up on collecting removable covers for those pillows - so "redecorating" for me is simply a matter of "hey, lemme try a different blanket and put new covers on the throw pillows. And having a white couch lets you do that whenever you want.

My current apartment is a duplex, with my roommate in the bottom half - there's a railing around the hole where you have the stairs to his half, and I've been using that as a throw blanket storage spot, draping everything on that.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:44 AM on January 24, 2022 [3 favorites]

These last 6 weeks have been the most emotionally exhausting weeks of my life: I had to fly down to Florida to manage my mother's healthcare after she suffered a TBI. Then Christmas in the ER. Then 5 days of entering the Covid ward in full gear after she caught Omicron. It's been a lot.

I wouldn't be posting in the hygge thread if it all hadn't turned out for the best. She's on the road to recovery and I am heading home on Wednesday! (Cue Mötley Crüe's "Home Sweet Home")

Over this last month and a half I've been in peak crisis and problem-solving mode. Prior to all this,
the "small things" have been putting on a quiet record in the morning, enjoying my coffee, and then heading to a yoga class. I haven't been able to do any of that. They now feel like the most important things in my life. Last night I emotionally broke down after making an appointment at my yoga class on Friday.

At the risk of sounding trite or like a greeting card what I want to say is this:

The "small things" in life are the biggest things. Savor every single one.
posted by jeremias at 7:10 AM on January 24, 2022 [22 favorites]

I got one of those Rumpl blankets, in a crazy color-block pattern. I call it my blankie and I wrap up in it all the time.

It's the low-end version, not the super-warm one nor the fleece one. But it's good enough to cover 3/4 of me while I sit and WFH, or read a Kindle book on the floor with The Open-Box Dog nearby, or watch one of my wife's Hallmark movies with her.

It's not a huge indulgence, but it makes me feel warm. I am going on a short trip this week, and really wishing it fit into my bag!
posted by wenestvedt at 8:02 AM on January 24, 2022 [3 favorites]

I have recently rediscovered Robe. I hate going to bed, and I don't like having to take a shower (I am warm and dry; why would I go get wet? Oh yeah, I have to shower before bed or I'll wake up sneezing+coughing, yay allergies). But, Robe means I am enthusiastic about it. Forget afterpants, this is straightup afterclothes. Consider Robe, it's delightful, especially with a cup of night tea (= anything without caffeine; Sleepytime or Peppermint or just plain Chamomile). Mmm, Robe.

I say rediscovered because my mom first made me a robe when I was 10 or so; I lived in it so much that by the time I was 16 it was too embarrassing to wear even just around my parents. So my mom made me Robe, out of a lusher terrycloth. I took Robe to college, but it didn't get as much use in a dorm environment. I've worn Robe a few times since (particularly after that nasty taxi completely soaked me with dirty city water in Copenhagen, or during the polar vortex in Ann Arbor). And then I moved to Phoenix, a warm enough clime that one might have thought Robe had no place. But I was wrong, Robe's place is everywhere.

Unfortunately I still have to wear actual clothes for zoom meetings and to teach (in person). My students are laid back but I do not think they need to know about Robe.
posted by nat at 8:43 AM on January 24, 2022 [15 favorites]

I try to make time for three important elements: Mind, body, spirit/emotional wellbeing.
For my mind I use grey gloomy days to find a cozy spot for reading, and I'm relearning to play piano.
For my body I try to embrace winter by skiing, playing ultimate frisbee and occasionally swimming after ultimate in the Spokane river. By swimming I mean diving into the current and quickly retreating to a towel and warm clothing, but it's very invigorating, trust me on this.
For my emotional well-being I take great comfort in visiting with my elderly parents almost nightly over the internet. They are in Pa. and have weathered the covid storm so far by getting vaxxed early and exercising reasonable care in distancing and wearing masks. We spend a few minutes or even an hour chatting over facebook messenger or discord, whichever is working best on any given day. Lately they have been revisiting old family photos and sharing stories about relations long gone.
I also speak with my kids, who are still on the west side of the cascades. One is teaching elementary school, the other is applying to colleges.
I am glad the days are getting longer.
posted by OHenryPacey at 9:16 AM on January 24, 2022 [2 favorites]

I have recently rediscovered Robe.

My sister got me one as a present some years ago, and I had it tucked away because I could not see a use for it. Fast-forward to living 98% of my life at home and the combination of robe + sweatpants is leading me to new levels of comfort and DGAFness.

For additional extra comfort, it comes with a hood - I guess it was a bathrobe to begin with? - and I can tell you people, you need to keep your hood on and pulled down low in the morning before you get enough caffeine and food in the system to even begin facing all the fuckity fuck of existence.
posted by each day we work at 10:29 AM on January 24, 2022 [2 favorites]

I made myself a hot pot yesterday. I wasn't 100% in love with the (commercially-made) broth, but it was okay and the rest of the ingredients were good. The key point is that since making it involves leaning over a pot of simmering broth and swishing things around it, then using them to fill up a bowl of spicy goodies over carbs of some form, it's one of the most warming ways to make a meal. The makeshift hot pot for one, when it's just you standing over your stove with a Dutch oven with some tongs, may not be the easiest or the most social, but it's actually probably the steamiest version.
posted by praemunire at 11:11 AM on January 24, 2022 [2 favorites]

I made a batch of tomato-butter-onion pasta sauce last night and used upscale pasta - the kind that's extruded through a brass die, which leaves it with a rough texture that really grabs the sauce (I didn't use this brand but it's pretty good, lots of grocery stores carry it and the price is reasonable compared to some fancy brands). It's now my new favorite comfort food because (a) hey, pasta! and (b) it's quick and easy to make on a weeknight (apart from letting it simmer for 45 minutes, I mean).

As good as it was, I might change it slightly next time by adding just a couple crushed garlic cloves and 2-3 sprigs of fresh basi up frontl. I absolutely love garlic and usually end up using at least double or triple the amount suggested in a recipe, but this sauce is on the understated side and is meant to showcase the flavor of the pasta, so my usual amount of garlic would overwhelm the subtle flavors. Instead I'll save most of the garlic for garlic bread, which is of course de rigueur!
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:11 PM on January 24, 2022 [1 favorite]

I got a pair of fluffy slipper boots (similar to these) as a Christmas present, and thought I would never use them. But omg, they are actually the best thing ever. Comfy and warm, without being constricting. I am a convert.
posted by cozenedindigo at 5:51 PM on January 24, 2022 [1 favorite]

I have always watched a fair amount of horror movies. Whenever I got time to myself, that's what I would put on. But these days, my kiddo is now old enough and inclined to watch them with me. And with the kid on board, my spouse is inclined to humor us. So now I see something like 5-10 of them a week.

What's funny is, a sizable subset of my Gen X friends are also watching a ton of horror, particularly those who, like me, have issues with anxiety. It might seem counterintuitive to watch scary movies to relax, particularly with [gestures broadly at everything]. But--and I'm quoting an actual study here--"anxious people might get better at handling their own anxiety by watching scary movies."

I guess what I am saying is, yeah, I'm probably going to continue to make between a third or more of the movie posts on FanFare, and yeah, they're probably all going to be horror movies. Sorry/you're welcome, depending on your personal tastes.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:31 AM on January 25, 2022 [2 favorites]

(If a day goes by and I somehow don't make horror movie posts on FF, it's probably because someone else already posted what I'm watching and I'm hanging out in their threads. And statistically speaking, it's most likely miss-lapin.)
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:58 AM on January 25, 2022 [1 favorite]

My job sent us all branded hoodies. Normally I hate work swag -- it always seems like they spend a shit ton of money to send us some expensive gadget/bag/whatever that they have then contrived to make as hideous as possible. Like "thanks, I really am going to get so much use out of this NEON ORANGE UTILITY VEST. I guess at least nobody will mistake me for a deer on the subway."

But this is just a normal hoodie that a person can wear. It's also pretty well-made, with a good lining. And most of all, it means I never have to get dressed for work again. Just throw on the Corporate Spirit Hoodie and I am ready for any zoom meeting, even when I have not changed out of my pajamas for ten days.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 9:02 AM on January 25, 2022 [10 favorites]

Apparently in The Before Times my company would cater everyone's lunches 3 days a week, but we had to cancel that because....yeah, having a whole lot of people serving themselves out of the same communal bowl of pasta salad or whatever seems bad.

But! They recently discovered some online group restaurant/catering tool where the company can pick the restaurants and schedule which restaurant is on which day in the future, and we then each log on and pick the food we want - and then the restaurant rocks up with all of our takeout meals pre-packed in a separate box with each person's name on it, and we just go get it from the cafeteria. So they are back to catering our lunches again.

I'm going to miss the flex of the elaborate bag lunches I was bringing, but cutting that down to only 2 days a week will be easier...
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:21 AM on January 25, 2022 [2 favorites]

Hot baths! I feel cold almost all the time and there is nothing is as warming as a hot soak. We don't have a very good bathtub (a standard built-in situation) but I'm delighted to discover that these overflow drain stoppers mean I can fill the bath just deep enough to wallow.

Toss in some bath salts, light a candle, put on a soothing Youtube ASMRish video (phone is in a stand sitting on the bathtub edge), and I'll see you in an hour.
posted by kitkatcathy at 1:57 PM on January 25, 2022 [1 favorite]

I worked out that I can make satisfactory iced coffee without even boiling the kettle. When it is 35C in over a week of uncomfortably hot, sticky days, knowing that I don't have to make coffee because I already did and it's in the fridge waiting for me is a real comfort. I've also been enjoying iced Lady Grey tea but I have to boil the kettle for that, tea just doesn't infuse into cold water as well.

Also mint Maxibons are a thing of beauty. I haven't been getting ice cream for health reasons but in this heat I don't care. Having thus delightful confection which combines both a chocolate covered ice cream bar and an ice cream sandwich is just heaven. And minty cool!
posted by Athanassiel at 10:14 PM on January 25, 2022 [1 favorite]

Oh, and the Great Canadian Baking Show is on YouTube! GBBO is only available on Foxtel here and I refuse even a free trial of Foxtel, so this is great! Plus more Dan Levy!
posted by Athanassiel at 10:18 PM on January 25, 2022 [3 favorites]

I keep trying to expand my media consumption, but lately I keep coming back to Call the Midwife. I've been working my way through it for at least a year and am up to season 7 I think? There's just something about the balance of comedy and drama, the female-centric, non-elite focus of it, and the fundamental likeability of all the main characters, each in their own unique way...
posted by drlith at 6:58 AM on January 27, 2022 [2 favorites]

I gained weight, so I bought new warm clothing - wool sweater, coats, tights, warmer boots. It's been bitterly, seasonably cold, and I can go outside and not be miserable.

Great Canadian Baking Show is on YouTube is excellent news.
posted by theora55 at 7:30 PM on January 28, 2022

Late to the hygge party, but I bought these rechargeable candles which last ages and don't need batteries before the holidays, and liked them so well I bought two more sets ... so I have six now and a friend has three. They have a little remote with a timer and make things quite cosy.
posted by cyndigo at 10:12 AM on February 1, 2022

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