• I found hope in Hope thanks to nature and my nieces.
  • Reminder: There is always light at the end of the tunnel(s).
  • Possibilities.
  • "After you have exhausted what there is in business, politics, conviviality, and so on - have found that none of these finally satisfy, or permanently wear - what remains? Nature remains." Happy 200th birthday, Walt Whitman
  • Spring is always the most alive after the darkest and rainiest of winters. #hyggehouse
  • "There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind." C. S. Lewis. Or, as the Secret Sisters sang, "Tomorrow will be kinder."
  • "It was here in Big Sur where I first learned to say amen." Henry Miller

Friday afternoon I decided to take a last-minute trip up the coast. Every time I've driven it, I've  always had some place to be and up against time.

But not this trip.

Friday I spent time in Santa Barbara and Paso Robles.

Saturday I spent time in Steinbeck country (of Mice and Men is one of my favourite books) and finally drove the G16 across to Carmel before heading up for a quick stop to see of my friends who I would literally drive 8hrs for only to spend 2 hours with.

Today I got up super early and got a super big coffee so I could drive down highway 1, through Big Sur and hopefully beat the crowds.

Henry Miller is the author of some of my other favourite books so as I drove though Big Sur I thought of him and Steinbeck and how they wrote about what they knew, what they loved, and what they questioned. I've had this idea in my head for a new project and community that I know will resonate and mean something but just unsure how to begin.

So I made sure today to stop when I wanted to. Linger when I needed. Drive wherever for however long.

And, after all the times driving through Big Sur, I finally stopped at a beach. I spent two hours here practically alone and just was.

People say it but there is something magic about Big Sur and today was the first time I felt it. I felt the shift, the inspiration, the hunger. And I felt wet sand between my toes. 
I'm ready.

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  • That time I wore 👖
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  • Last week I drove through the area of Malibu that was most hard hit from the fires. It was completely devastated only last December but now, life is blooming again in a way I've never seen it before. The scars are there and it will take 20yeara to get back to where it was but life is back. That's the amazing, heartbreaking and beautiful thing about life. #malibustrong #earthday


Decor Ideas Green Living

Buying things the Hygge Way

November 26, 2006
Buying Things The Hygge Way. Image By rebelsaurus-katie-harp

All the furniture I own is really solid, high quality, and expensive pieces. However, I’ve never paid full price for any piece of furniture, ever. I’m a frugal girl who wants the best but lives within a budget so here’s my tricks for getting only the furniture I love, want and works.

The Rules:
1. If I can’t afford to buy it, I wait. I never “make do” with furniture. Why spend money on something you’re not in-love with? Put that money towards what you do love and you’ll find that soon enough, you’ll have what you want without wasting money on what you don’t

2. Make friends with sales people. I know which stores work for me in terms of style and construction. I make friends with the sales people who often offer me employee discounts or friends and family discounts. Also, they’ll let me know when a particular piece goes on sale or when a floor model becomes available.

3. Know what you want, when it came in, and how long it’s been there. This is especially great for stores like Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, Williams Sonoma or any other chain. If I fall in-love with a piece of furniture (as I did with my TV console table), I make note of when it arrived. Certain pieces are “staples” and very seldom go on-sale. But some are seasonal styles so I just keep checking in every couple of weeks to see when they’re getting rid of the styles. I noticed that the TV consoles they had on display were becoming fewer and fewer. So I kept asking how many they had in stock until one day they had just the display model. I said I’d buy it but I noticed a few knicks (on the back). So I talked them down from their sale price another 30%. Original price: $699. My price? $225 including tax.

4. Outlets. Now, be very, very careful about outlets. A lot of stores make products just for outlets and these are usually of lesser quality. Or you get damaged goods or rejects here. However, you sometimes just get last seasons goods. For me, I scour websites of products I like so I know what the original value is worth and when it’s going on sale or not. I bought two beautiful solid benches that were $500 a piece for $125 a piece along with a little setee and storage bench for linens.

5. Floor models. Recently, I found the largest desk imaginable of solid wood and fell in-love because it would doubled as a kitchen table and look fabulous with my benches. The problem? The desk was $1600. However, there was a floor model they said was scratched and had it on sale for $599. I made comments about the size and something else and got another 10% off. Perfect! I also bought my fridge as a floor model – perfect condition but I saved 15%!

6. Cash! I’ve paid cash on a lot of big ticket items such as my couch. I adore my couch; it’s custom maid with down filled pillows in a matalasie cover. It’s also enormous! The store was having a no-tax day event but I offered to pay cash for a 5% discount. I saved close to $700 and it’s been one of the best investments I’ve made.

7. Specials. Usually specials aren’t specials so be cautious. But I recently bought a set of All-Clad cookware which, buying as a set, saved $150. But they offered three bonus products; a grill pan (worth $125), grill cookware (worth $100) and a grill book.

I’ve used all these tactics from bedding to kitchen goods to bedding. I get the very best without the pricetag and I never settle for second best. I’d rather go without than have something I don’t love cluttering up my home. Why waste money? Besides, a home is not about decor but about reflecting you. So be selective about what you put into your home and by using the rules above, you really can have what you love and not a second rate version of what someone else does.

  • Reply
    MagnumVoxNo Gravatar
    November 11, 2006 at 4:16 AM

    WOW! Great advice for even this ol’ West Texan Bengali to know!!
    Think I’ll apply these approaches the next time I want to buy a guitar. :o)

  • Reply
    michele braggerNo Gravatar
    May 31, 2007 at 7:05 PM

    i love all your blogs but especially this one. i have been revisiting to savor your words and pictures, bit by bit as time permits. this post struck a chord, especially. i have been coveting the duvet on the cover of the March 2007 issue of Domino, an ikat fabric costing $400.00 a yard! (minimum 5 yard purchase! i thought this must be a typo but i confirmed it researching it online “Martine Weinrib Ikat ‘Blu’ fabric at ABC carpet and home.” $2,000.00 for a duvet…no sign of a clearance/sale in sight! any strategy suggestions?

  • Reply
    AnnaNo Gravatar
    September 13, 2017 at 1:27 PM

    I would love to know who made your couch! I love the size and slip cover style, the one cushion seat! Ticks all my boxes. Thanks for the hygge shopping tips!

    • alex at hygge houseNo Gravatar
      September 13, 2017 at 3:30 PM

      Hi Anna,

      I got it from I think it’s the Simple Sofa or the Soho one in 96″ in white denim. The only difference is I had them make one long bottom cushion instead of two.

      I also bough the large squishy ottoman from them as well and had it customized so that the height matched the sofa so I could have a t-shape sofa when needed.

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