Updated: Feb 20, 2019
Embrace the cold and find your cozy in West Allis Downtown
Ah winter. The time where the holiday feelings are finally going by the wayside, but the bitter cold is still left behind, keeping us in our homes or trudging through snow and ice.
I know it sounds like a bummer, but there is one great thing to come out of winter. Hygge.
What is Hygge?
Pronounced Hue-gah, Hygge is a Danish and Norwegian word for a mood of coziness and comfortable conviviality with feelings of wellness and contentment. In recent years, Hygge has become a popular idea all over the world, especially here in Wisconsin thanks to O&H Bakery and their hygge kringles. The feeling goes deeper than piling under blankets wearing your favorite pajamas. People can find their cozy through food, music, social gatherings, and activities. I’m a big fan of hygge and what it represents, so I decided to skew away from the traditional Danish ways to celebrate, but focused on the same categories to find how to embrace hygge in West Allis Downtown.
Set The Mood
First and foremost, hygge is a feeling above all else. It’s an immersive experience, so having the right cozy tools is essential to the experience. Blankets and comfy clothes are a must, but how about some ambiance?
Music can set any mood you’re looking to create, so stop over at Record Head and peruse their aisles of albums and CDs to find the perfect tunes to put you at ease. Personally, I gravitate towards musicians like the Decemberists or John Denver, but pick whatever works for you.
Little knick knacks and décor items around the home can also add an extra layer of coziness. I’m a sucker for decorative pillows, and Teresa’s interior Designs has a ton of them! Plus, they’re only $15! She also has cute serving trays and upcycled furniture to add cozy charm to any home.
There is something strangely soothing to me about having a physical clock in my house. Maybe it’s because I’ve always had one since I was a kid, or that I don’t always have to check my phone for the time, or that it’s something that can last a lifetime, but I just love the feeling a clock gives a room. The Mecca of all things clocks is Hawkins Clock Center, a West Allis Downtown staple for more than 40 years. Whatever your style or personality, Hawkins has a clock for you.
Find Comfort in Food
Hygge is a time to set those new year’s resolutions aside and indulge in our favorite comfort foods. A majority of my go to comfort foods come from restaurants in West Allis Downtown, and being a Wisconsinite, all of them contain some form of cheese.
My all-time favorite comfort food is just one block west of our office, which is dangerous, and that is the queso fundito with chorizo sausage at Mis Suenos. Melted queso with green peppers and fresh chorizo sausage served with homemade tortilla chips is the perfect food after a long day or just to fill you up. It’s served as a dip, so you can share with friends, or do like I do and order them as your meal and eat them like deconstructed nachos. Either way, you won’t be disappointed. If you’re a vegetarian, you can also order this dish without the chorizo.
Another favorite are the Mmmmac N Cheese balls at Double B’s BBQ. They’ve only been back on the menu for a little over a week, but I couldn’t be happier these deep fried treats are back in my life. These little mac n cheese fritters are perfect for sharing with friends, but you won’t want to.
This last one has become a party snack essential for me ever since I found out Panda Hut sold party trays of all their popular dishes and appetizers. Now, any time I host a party or attend one, my friends expect me to bring a party tray of crab ragoon, and I’m totally okay with that. For $27, you get 50 pieces of fresh, crispy on the outside smooth on the inside crab ragoon and sauce. It beats cooking something and it always goes over well.
A big part of finding hygge is disconnecting from things that stress you out and taking care of yourself. Whether you prefer to do this alone or with others, West Allis Downtown has you covered.
After a long week at work, I like to disconnect through self care and pampering. Mani Pedis at Salon Dovini always put me at ease. Between the massage chairs and the friendly staff, I always feel 1000 times better after a trip to the salon. They also offer hair and skin services if you’re looking for a full spa day.
Since opening in June 2018, my friends and I have been doing a lot of our self care at Yoga is Served. The studio lives up to their #NoStrangers hashtag, because I always feel welcome and everyone is incredibly friendly. My friends and I are also at all different fitness levels, so the variety of classes and variations of poses offered at Yoga is Served is great for us. The best part is, the studio provides self care for your mind, body, and karma through their donation based classes. That’s right, ALL classes are donation based so you can pay what you can and still get a great workout.
Stay in Touch
Maintaining healthy relationships provides an emotional comfort that is sometimes lost when we’re cooped up inside away from the harsh winter. There are numerous ways to stay in touch with your friends and families these next few months.
Fika, or catching up with friends over coffee, is an integral part of Danish Hygge. This is one of the categories I like to keep traditional because I love coffee and we have so many great options for it in West Allis. If you’re a fan of just a straight up black cup of coffee, George Webb seems to be the place. The classic down home breakfasts we’ve all come to know add to the comfort, so I can see why it’s always packed when I come to work in the morning. I need flavors in my coffee, so I catch up with my friends at Urban Joe Café. They always have unique flavor shots and different seasonal drinks that are perfect for a cold day.
If coffee isn’t your thing, how about catching up over drinks? In addition to a menu full of unique cocktails, The Crimson Club offers nights of dancing and parties for you and your friends to enjoy! Friday night salsa has become since their opening in 2017. Another fun night out with friends is ordering a BFF at Benno’s Genuine Bar & Grill. The BFF, or Benno’s Forty Flight, is a beer flight with every beer they have on tap. For $100, you and three friends can take down this flight and enjoy forty craft beers. Make sure you have a designated driver!
Maybe there is someone in your life you want to keep in touch with that lives far away. As old fashioned as it sounds, write them a letter! A hand written letter is always a nice surprise to whoever gets it and is more personal than a text or facebook birthday greeting. Mail your letter at the United States Post Office, and check out the architecture of the historic building and one of a kind oil paintings inside when you’re there!
I hope this blog helped you on your journey to finding your coze and embracing hygee this winter. If you use any of my tips, share them with us on facebook, Instagram, and twitter @dwabid using #hyggewestallis. Happy Hygge!
Businesses Mentioned In this Blog
Benno’s Genuine Bar & Grill 7413 W Greenfield Avenue bennosbar.com
Double B’s BBQ 7420 W Greenfield Avenue doublebs.com
George Webb 7227 W Greenfield Avenue georgewebb.com
Hawkin’s Clock Center 7301 W Greenfield Avenue hawkinsclocks.com
Mis Suenos 7335 W Greenfield Avenue missuenosrestaurant.com
Panda Hut Chinese 7136 W Greenfield Avenue pandahutchinese.com
Record Head 7045 W Greenfield Avenue recordhead.biz
Salon Dovini 7032 W Greenfield Avenue salondovini.com
Teresa’s Interior Designs 7123 W Greenfield Avenue
The Crimson Club 7211 W Greenfield Avenue thecrimsonclub.net
United States Post Office 7440 W Greenfield Avenue usps.com
Urban Joe Café 7028 W Greenfield Avenue urbanjoecafe.com
Yoga Is Served 7143 W Greenfield Avenue yogaisserved.com