What Is Hygge, And Why Is It Becoming So Popular?

What Is Hygge, And Why Is It Becoming So Popular?

Hygge (pronounced "who gah") Might Be just What The Doctor Ordered

I remember growing up and sometimes hearing people talk about being busy, and life being too hard, but as I’ve gotten older I feel that this narrative for people who I come in contact with has grown immensely, and taken a major shift towards the negative. I regularly hear people describing their lives as if they’re victims for merely existing. So, in honor of this being Thanksgiving week I wanted to share something that I think is worth considering.

My fiance Mallory has been talking about the Scandinavian practice of Hygge for a while, and for that I’m very grateful because I am not very Hygge most of the time… Denmark has annually been recognized as the happiest country on Earth, and Danish people will usually credit this to Hygge. It’s simple: take care of and enjoy yourself, create a positive/natural environment around you, and nourish the relationships around you. Well that’s my take away from all that I hear – I’m sure there is a fuller answer that you’d probably rather read, but I recommend just checking out some videos online. Below is one of the videos that I found interesting. There is a short bit of political commentary, which isn’t meant to hurt anyone’s feelings, but if you would like to talk to me about that feel free to shoot me a message – I love a good philosophical conversation. I’m sharing this video hoping to encourage people to engage with themselves and their loved ones maybe a little bit differently this year – a little more intentionally.

Working in the real estate industry means coming in close contact with how people feel about themselves and their home environments, and everybody has their own set of personal issues that causes anxieties, I promise. But I do want to support and promote healthy living when I can, and so I hope you enjoy this video, and I’d love whatever feedback you might have.

Oh, and I hope you have a very Hygge day!




How To Winterize Your Home

How To Winterize Your Home

Exercise, getting good sleep, eating well, laughing at yourself – there are some things in life that might not initially feel worthwhile, but we truly know they are. Taking care of your home can feel like a chore (I mean it’s the immediate image in my head when I think of a chore), but the effort at the end of the day will come back to us in spades. It’s important for people to know the condition and health of their home, so winterizing your house is not only a good way to maintain your house but it serves also as a periodic check-up so that you don’t miss something that could otherwise grow into a larger problem. Read over this little list and start putting a few items on your calendar, or in your reminders on your phone. You won’t regret it!


Lowe’s How To Winterize Your Home

Make sure your home is safeguarded against subfreezing temperatures. Our checklist will help you ensure you’re prepared.


  1. Protect Your Pipes
    Depending on the region of the United States you’re in, you’ll need to protect your pipes from bursting this winter.
    Frozen Pipes: Prevention and Repair
    Shop Pipe Insulation
  2. Time to Weatherproof
    Weatherstripping or installing storm doors and windows will prevent cold air from entering your home or heat from escaping it, which will reduce your power bills.
    Install a Storm Door
    Install a Door Sweep
    Weatherstrip Your Doors
    Weatherstrip Your Windows
    Shop Door Sweeps

    Shop Weatherstripping
  3. Check your Fireplace
    Animal nests or creosote buildup in your fireplace can be hazardous. Have an annual inspection before building your first fire of the season.
    Clean Your Fireplace
    Shop Fireplaces and Stoves
  4. Block the Cold
    Caulk around windows and use foam outlet protectors to prevent cold air from entering your home. However, the majority of heat loss typically occurs via openings in the attic. Check to make sure that you have enough insulation.
    Caulk Buying Guide
    How To Caulk
    Insulation Buying Guide
    Install Insulation
    Shop Caulk
    Shop Insulation and Accessories
  5. Change Your Thermostat
    Have you switched out your thermostat to a programmable version? If not, add this one to your list. A programmable thermostat lets you customize your heating so the system doesn’t run when you don’t need it. You can program the thermostat for one temperature when you’re at home and another when you’re away.

    Install a Programmable Thermostat
    Shop Programmable Thermostats
  6. Protect Your Plants
    You’ll need to bring plants and flowering trees inside before the first cold snap. Typically, you should bring your plants in before temperatures dip below 45 degrees.
    Winterize Your Garden
    Understanding Frost and Freeze Dates
    Shop Plant Protection
  7. Bring in the Outdoors
    Cold temperatures, snow and ice can damage outdoor furniture and grills. If possible, store them in the garage or basement. If you have a gas grill with a propane tank, close the tank valve and disconnect the tank first. It must be stored outside. If you don’t have storage space for your items, purchase covers to protect them from the elements. You also need to maintain your grill and cover it before putting it away for the season.
    Clean and Maintain Your Grill
    Shop Grill Covers
    Shop Outdoor Furniture Covers
  8. Maintain your Outdoor Equipment
    Outdoor power equipment such as mowers and string trimmers need to be cleaned and maintained prior to storing them. If you have a snow blower, it’s time to inspect it before the first snowfall to ensure it’s working properly. This is also a good time to stock up on ice melt.

    Why Own a Generator
    Caring for Outdoor Power Equipment
    Shop Outdoor Power Equipment
    Shop Ice Melt
  9. Save on Your Energy Bills
    Call your local power company to see if they conduct energy saving assessments. It’s often a free service in which a representative will identify specific changes to make your home more energy efficient and save you money. In addition to the suggestions above, LED light bulbs and hot water heater blankets can also make a difference.
    Shop LED Light Bulbs
    Shop Water Heater Blankets
Welcome To “Bestie Row”: Lifelong Friends Build Row Of Tiny Houses In The Middle Of Nowhere. #SquadGoals

Welcome To “Bestie Row”: Lifelong Friends Build Row Of Tiny Houses In The Middle Of Nowhere. #SquadGoals

Well, I’ve figured out what my squad goals look like… Who’s with me?!



“Because friendship.”

Welcome To “Bestie Row”: Lifelong Friends Build Row Of Tiny Houses In The Middle Of Nowhere.

By Lighter Side Staff

Some friendships last forever. You hear of lifelong friends often living in the same towns just so they can socialize whenever they wish, be a part of each other’s family lives, and finally grow to be the grey-haired besties who rock on the porch and talk about the “good ol’ days”.

Four couples who had been best friends for 20 years decided they were going to trump living in the same town. No way were they going to let the business of life keep them from enjoying that special connection that they’d grown to love. So they decided to literally create their own “Bestie Row.” They all were fans of the tiny house movement, and decided to build their own little compound based around that idea.

Because when you can say, “We’re going to be grey-haired friends,” you know you’ve found a bond that can only strengthen.

They employed the assistance of architect Matt Garcia to make their dream come true.

Via Alexander Stross

They purchased land along the Llano River, just outside of Austin, Texas.

Via Alexander Stross

At first they considered one large house. However, they realized that personal space is necessary for even the closest of friends.

Via Alexander Stross

Still, they wanted a space to commune together. So they built a 1,500 sq. ft. community building with a kitchen, dining area, and space for guests and activities.

Via Alexander Stross

Their individual homes are 400 sq. ft. cabins, running around $40,000 each.

Via Alexander Stross

Their community, dubbed “Llano Exit Strategy,” was designed to handle the harsh, arid Texas climate.

Via Alexander Stross

These buildings were designed for low environmental impact, and sustainability.

Via Alexander Stross

The solar heat is dramatically reduced by galvanized metal siding and spray foam insulation, which also helps keep heat in during the winter.

Via Alexander Stross

The roofs are sloped to angle rainwater runoff into water catchment tanks. In this kind of climate, every drop counts!

Via Alexander Stross

The “Hill Country” terrain is a beautiful place for raising families.

Via Alexander Stross

The interiors of the homes are designed to look like a cross between modern and rustic. The corrugated sheathing gives the modern feel.

Via Alexander Stross

The rustic, cozy feeling comes from barely treated wood which shows off all it the grainy details.

Via Alexander Stross

The 400 sq. ft. cabins have no trouble containing the needed living space and bathroom. A little creative space management goes a long way in making a tiny home comfortable.

Via Alexander Stross

After seeing a “Bestie Row” like this, I won’t be surprised to see more popping up in the near future!

Via Alexander Stross

Source: Welcome To “Bestie Row”: Lifelong Friends Build Row Of Tiny Houses In The Middle Of Nowhere.

21 Surprising Statistics That Reveal How Much Stuff We Actually Own

Ownership, especially home ownership can be a very good thing. However, as with most anything that we add into our lives moderation can be very important in thinking about how to live a happy and healthy life. Do you find yourself fearing your own home sometimes? You’re not alone. Below there is some information that might help to add perspective in your life in some way or another – that was definitely the case for me. Here are 21 surprising statistics about our clutter that help us understand how big of a problem our accumulation of stuff has become.


21 Surprising Statistics That Reveal How Much Stuff We Actually Own


Most of us know we own too much stuff. We feel the weight and burden of our clutter. We tire of cleaning and managing and organizing. Our toy rooms are messy, our drawers don’t close, and our closets are filled from top to bottom. The evidence of clutter is all around us.

Today, increasing data is being collected about our homes, our shopping habits, and our spending. The research is confirming our observation: we own too much stuff. And it is robbing us of life.

Here are 21 surprising statistics about our clutter that help us understand how big of a problem our accumulation has actually become.

1. There are 300,000 items in the average American home (LA Times).

2. The average size of the American home has nearly tripled in size over the past 50 years (NPR).

3. And still, 1 out of every 10 Americans rent offsite storage—the fastest growing segment of the commercial real estate industry over the past four decades. (New York Times Magazine).

4. While 25% of people with two-car garages don’t have room to park cars inside them and 32% only have room for one vehicle. (U.S. Department of Energy).

5. The United States has upward of 50,000 storage facilities, more than five times the number of Starbucks. Currently, there is 7.3 square feet of self storage space for every man, woman and child in the nation. Thus, it is physically possible that every American could stand—all at the same time—under the total canopy of self storage roofing (SSA).

6. British research found that the average 10-year-old owns 238 toys but plays with just 12 daily (The Telegraph).

7. 3.1% of the world’s children live in America, but they own 40% of the toys consumed globally (UCLA).

8. The average American woman owns 30 outfits—one for every day of the month. In 1930, that figure was nine (Forbes).

9. The average American family spends $1,700 on clothes annually (Forbes).

10. While the average American throws away 65 pounds of clothing per year (Huffington Post).

11. Nearly half of American households don’t save any money (Business Insider).

12. But our homes have more television sets than people. And those television sets are turned on for more than a third of the day—eight hours, 14 minutes (USA Today).

13. Some reports indicate we consume twice as many material goods today as we did 50 years ago (The Story of Stuff).

14. Currently, the 12 percent of the world’s population that lives in North America and Western Europe account for 60 percent of private consumption spending, while the one-third living in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa accounts for only 3.2 percent (Worldwatch Institute).

15. Americans donate 1.9% of their income to charitable causes (NCCS/IRS). While 6 billion people worldwide live on less than $13,000/year (National Geographic).

16. Americans spend more on shoes, jewelry, and watches ($100 billion) than on higher education (Psychology Today).

17. Shopping malls outnumber high schools. And 93% of teenage girls rank shopping as their favorite pastime (Affluenza).

18. Women will spend more than eight years of their lives shopping (The Daily Mail).

19. Over the course of our lifetime, we will spend a total of 3,680 hours or 153 days searching for misplaced items.The research found we lose up to nine items every day—or 198,743 in a lifetime. Phones, keys, sunglasses, and paperwork top the list (The Daily Mail).

20. Americans spend $1.2 trillion annually on nonessential goods—in other words, items they do not need (The Wall Street Journal).

21. The $8 billion home organization industry has more than doubled in size since the early 2000’s—growing at a staggering rate of 10% each year (Uppercase).

The numbers paint a jarring picture of excessive consumption and unnecessary accumulation. Fortunately, the solution is not difficult. The invitation to own less is an invitation to freedom, intentionality, and passion. And it can be discovered at your nearest drop-off center.

Source: 21 Surprising Statistics That Reveal How Much Stuff We Actually Own

Wes Moore to Speak In Norman on Thursday, February 12th! (Video)

Oh Noooo! Wes Moore is someone who I’ve admired for a while, and he will be in Norman, Oklahoma tomorrow!!! However I will have to miss this talk due to a prior obligation to attend a cross-industry event for Real Estate called OwnOK (which I am also very excited about!). Wes will be speaking on Thursday, February 12th at 1:30 p.m., in Meacham Auditorium (which is located on Asp. in the Student Union of OU’s campus). Intellectual conversations are often hijacked by political agendas, and thus not many people can speak to the greater population of our society. Mr. Moore is someone who has proven to be a thoughtful, interesting, and a patriot. If you are capable I encourage you to go to this event tomorrow.

Here’s a powerful TED Talk from Wes on how to speak to veterans about war:


Wes Moore

Army Combat Veteran, National Best-Selling Author and Social Entrepreneur WES MOORE to speak on campus

The Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education’s Cathey Simmons Humphreys Distinguished Education Lecture Series featuring Wes Moore will be Thursday, Feb. 12 at 1:30 p.m. in Meacham Auditorium, Oklahoma Memorial Union, 900 Asp Ave., Norman, Okla. A reception will follow.

RSVP to attend the lecture here.

Read more about Wes Moore here.

News & Events.

A Mudroom Designed For Your Dog

Dog Wash Room

I love dogs…  I don’t have any because I’m on the move a lot, but in a few years I’d love to have a couple of dogs and a mudroom that can help me take care of them.  It might seem extravagant to some people, but it wouldn’t necessarily have to be a big expense, and of course you could still use the room for other things like laundry.  Could you use something like this in your home?



A Mudroom Designed for Your Dog

Is your pet a part of the family? Check out this custom designed room for all you dog lovers.

Managing a family can be hectic, but when you add a couple family pets into the mix your life gets even busier. For those of you who adore your dog(s), but just don’t have enough space or resources in your home to properly care for them – we’ve found a solution.

This home’s mudroom addition was custom built to provide plenty of resources for the family’s dogs. See how this functional space was designed to cater the needs of both the family and their loved pets.

There are many components to this mudroom that are customized to make life easier for both the family and the dogs. The following are a few of the amenities:

S.J. Janis Company, Inc 1

1. Washing Station

This sanding height dog washing station includes a shower base and wall mount hand shower for easy washing without back pain.

2. Retractable Step

A lower cabinet beneath the washing station opens up, exposing retractable stairs for easy access to bathing.

S.J. Janis Company, Inc 2

3. Preparation Zone

Extra cabinet space was made for food/medication preparation and storing of other items.

4. Water Bowl & Drain

An under mount sink for fresh water and easy draining.

S.J. Janis Company, Inc 3

If that’s not enough, the room also includes hooks by the door to hang leashes and an exit to a fenced backyard with an in-ground pool just for the dogs! Get started on managing your home space to fit the needs of all your family members, dogs included!

S.J. Janis Company, Inc 4

What do you think about designing a room dedicated to your pet? Let us know in the comments below!

Image Credit: S.J. Janis Company, Inc