“We shape our buildings,

thereafter they shape us.”

– Winston Churchill

My name is Erica. Erica Ives. Now, Erica Lee. I am the wife to a Nordic man. I grew up in Northern California. It was a little town, with a big reputation. It was fast-paced, luxurious, and well-dressed. We all had to have the next best thing. The biggest house. The nicest clothing. I was a part of it, and it was a part of me. But there was a hole in me. A hole in my soul. And as I grew it widened, deepened. I was missing something that my heart longed for dearly. It was something that I needed desperately.

It was this.

In the summer of 2012, I moved. Different place, different people. I went up to a small town in the mountains, isolated from most of the world. It was there that I met my husband, Nick. His family is Norwegian, but he grew up in Minnesota. He had a good, well-put-together life there. But simpler. His Nordic family ate lefse, drank their coffee more slowly, and spent more time outdoors. It was nice, I thought.

Then we got married in the winter of 2015. It was perfect. He was perfect. Our first year of navigating through marriage, not so perfect. I struggled with depression and low self-esteem. My years of living-fast and keeping up with the constant wants of the world were tugging at me, haunting me. I did not know who I was.

Fast forward, summer of 2016. Our son was born. William. He came into the world for us, unexpectedly. Unexpectedly, he changed our lives. My life. I knew I wasn’t who I wanted to be for him. I knew I couldn’t become the mother that I wanted to be, unless I could grow in confidence, in self assurance. Unless I could build a better life for myself. For Nick. For him.

“Hygge came to me like a tidal wave, washing over me completely.”

And then, only months later, hygge came to me like a tidal wave, coming up ever so quietly, and then washing over me completely. It swallowed me whole. Every fiber of my being was ready to let it in. It filled the holes. It made the stains fade.

You see, hygge isn’t just coziness. It is a lifestyle. It is my lifestyle. It is about finding pleasure in the simple things, like my son’s sleepy, good-morning eyes. It is slowing down to take it all in. Pausing to smell the scent of cake wafting from the oven. It is seeking and creating coziness. It is safety, security, belonging… It is comfort and content.

Now. January 2017. This blog was born to share my journey. To document my experiences. To inspire others to learn about and consider and simpler lifestyle.

A simple, Nordic lifestyle.