Father’s Day With Claire, Cailyn & Chris!

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY TO ALL YOU LOVELY DADDIES! Today we are introducing you to our very fabulous guest blogger Claire. Claire is a keen blogger focusing on open and honest motherhood. Her blog is full of great tips and ideas for all of you mummies out there and is definitely worth a read, click here to head over to Claire’s blog! We stumbled across Claire’s blog and loved everything about it, it’s just so adorable and really makes for a great read! We reached out and asked Claire if she would be interested in working with us and so here it is, a special Father’s Day guest blog post! Here is Claire, Cailyn and Chris’ perfect Father’s Day! (Also check out Claire’s Instagram page @Cailynsmummy it’s truly wonderful!)

Popping Into Father’s Day Like ….. What’s Your Flavour?

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Firstly let’s just give a massive shout out to all the dads out there who are absolutely amazing!

You’re all fantastic & deserve the best day ever!

Father’s Day for Daddy Chris this year was spent doing the things he loves the most. That definitely included driving his car, eating, spending time with his family & being able to enjoy the silly moments in life!

We enjoyed family time in the sun at Dalkeith Country Park, while having one of my famous picnics… (I’ve had a lot of practice & guidance as we used to have them every other weekend as kids.)

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We enjoyed some favourites while talking, playing with Cailyn & laughing together.

Cailyn gave Chris his Father’s Day card that we made for him and a funny poster which she helped me make, as daddy really does eat all the popcorn…

13 bags in one day to be precise.

Chris loves us making him cards, as it’s personal and something he can keep until he’s old and grey! I think the personal touches are far lovelier than just buying a card or gift off the shelf, as it’s rare to find a card that captures your relationship with that family member or person you’re addressing. So make your own card this Father’s Day, either with pens and paper or personal photos, and I’m sure it’ll be the best card they have received to date!

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After eating our sandwiches, Cailyn gave Chris his present of popcorn, which he was obviously over the moon about, but there was only one draw back… he had to share with Cailyn. You see she’s just as crazy about it as he is. It’s so amusing to watch them both sit together and just shovel in handfuls of the stuff while reaching for more and more……Hello hamster cheeks!

Who would’ve thought that Popcorn would be the one thing she would eat with her dad and only with her dad, she will never eat popcorn whilst sitting with anyone else like she does with Chris. Cailyn will cuddle up with him and just sit there until it’s all gone.

With some things, she’s definitely her father’s daughter.

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They really can’t get enough of the stuff, so when Portlebay Popcorn sent over some of their delicious flavours for Chris to try it certainly put a smile on his face and Cailyn was clearly happy too as whatever he eats so does she.

You wouldn’t think that something as simple as popcorn would create such a bond, a memory, a special “thing” with someone, but they really do have that and I absolutely love watching it! Cailyn will always offers you some of their popcorn, while Chris just eats and will only think of you when there’s just the crumbs left at the bottom of the bag.

“oh did you want to try that flavour? Sorry it was too good.”

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After taking Cailyn to the play park, we took a walk along the woodland path that led to a field of wild flowers, myself and Cailyn whipped our shoes off and became one with nature, just enjoying the sun.

Cailyn then took off with the her bag of popcorn and sat herself down in the flowers- the cutest thing ever, as she looked around for Chris to see if he was watching her. She has the most amazing & beautiful little ways, whilst also being such a fierce little Madame. She seems so far from being just a little 18 month old baby – she’s already one hell of a smart, talented & kind little lady who is so head strong, and we just love it!

“Enjoying favourite moments as a family really does great things for the soul”

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Portlebay have an array of different, delicious flavours and I must say that Lightly Sea Salted, Chilli & Lime and Lemon Sherbet are my favourite flavours, Chris is still deciding as he loved them all & Cailyn, well she’ll eat anything too.

What’s yours?  Have you tried them all before?

We will definitely be buying more packs of Portlebay Popcorn, as I for one need more Chilli & Lime in my life. It’s that good that I get cravings for it and I’m not even that big of a popcorn fan (unlike the other two!)

Whatever you’re doing this Father’s Day, I really hope it’s spent doing something amazing & making those family memories matter!

Keep it Magical!!

Cailyn’s Mummy x

Row For The Ocean Q&A!

Ros, Kirsty, Laura and Kate, are the founders of Row For The Ocean, a 3000 mile row of the Atlantic; to raise awareness of the ocean plastic crisis. The girls are working with the charity Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) to establish a Plastic Free Exeter by 2020. Working with SAS and also the charity’s Ocean Schools Programme, the girls want to also inspire and educate the younger community about the future and the environment. 

We were lucky enough to speak with these four very amazing ladies, who told us a little more about their mission! Keep reading to find out more about Row For The Ocean…

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Some of the girls with our popcorn!

Q&A with Row For The Ocean!

Why did the four of you amazing ladies decide to take on this challenge?

I think we see it as the ultimate challenge, once we have stepped on to the boat there is no escaping until we reach the other side. Since starting the campaign, we have also been driven to succeed by the amazing support we have received and the want to create real change in Exeter by reducing single-use plastics.

What was the planning process behind the idea of the row and when was the idea first thought up?

Ros had the idea, she sent us through the link in January 2017 and it took us 6 months to decide to sign up after realising we couldn’t think of a reason not to (apparently the fear of dying at sea isn’t enough to put us off!).  For the past 9 months we’ve spoken to as many people that have gone before us as possible to make sure we’re ready for the race start, it’s a big learning curve, but absolutely worth it! 

What do you hope to achieve through your 3,000-mile row?

 Our aim is simple, we see Exeter as a Plastic Free Coastline Community by 2020; and us winning the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, to ensure we get the most coverage possible for Surfers Against Sewage and the fight against single-use plastics.  We want to raise £60,000 for SAS to go towards their Ocean Schools programme.

 Where will you be launching and finishing the row?

 The row starts in La Gomera in the Canaries and finishes in the lovely English Harbour in Antigua.

 Prior to this challenge how long had you each been rowing?

Kirsty, Ros and Kate had all rowed for 5-7 years before takin on the challenge.  Laura , whilst not rowing in fine boats (think Olympics), has rowed around GB in 2016!

How long do you think it will take to complete the row?

We’re aiming for under 40 days however we’ll be taking food for up to 60! It really depends on the weather we get so we’re hoping for winds – in the right direction of course!

What does your weekly training schedule look like?

3 sessions on the rowing machine and 2 weights sessions is our base training schedule, however some weeks we’ll also add other cardio workouts in to up the workload and mix it up a bit.  Training for 12 months can become monotonous so it’s good to make sure you’re enjoying it!

Have you had to train in a specific way for this challenge?

 We’ve recently been lucky enough to get Silver Olympic rower Guin Batten on board who rowed across the North Atlantic a few years ago.  She’s currently helping us to build up our endurance on the rowing machine so that we’re ready for the 2 hour on 2 hour off shift patterns.  James Parkes from Exeter Chiefs Strength and Conditioning team has also put together our weights programme – it’ll be important to have core strength when getting bashed from all angles by the Atlantic.

Can you tell us a little about the boat that will be taking you across the Atlantic?

We’ll be taking an R45 Ocean Rowing boat built by Rannoch Adventure in Essex.  She’s already crossed the Atlantic twice and weathered a Force 10 storm so we know she’s up to the task! She’s 8.5 x 2m in size and has two cabins at either end that can sleep two people; she also self rights after capsizing (great!).

 How much ‘stuff’ can you take with you on this adventure? What will your packing lists look like?

As we’re aiming to be the fastest women in the race we’re going to be very careful with how much we take.  The race specifies the essential items and equipment we’ll need – Watermaker for fresh water, first aid kit, lots of food, jetboil, suncream, wet weather clothing and about a hundred other items including an anchor (not that useful for the Atlantic which is 5000m deep in places but the risk of hitting the reefs in Antigua makes it a necessity).

What are the biggest dangers/ scariest situations that could occur?

Capsize is always a danger, whilst we’ll be tied to the boat at all times the moments we enter and leave the cabins with the doors open are the riskiest.  If we capsize with a door open the boat won’t self right which has caused crews to need rescuing in the past! Help can also be quite far away so we’ve had to train ourselves to know what to do in an emergency – including getting the liferaft out as a last resort.

 What are you most looking forward to during your adventure?

The simplicity of life will be fantastic – no distractions, no mobile phones, just you and the boat.  There will also be amazing sunsets, wildlife, and views hardly anyone else have ever seen!

What will you miss the most?

 We like to answer this one with family and friends excluded – of course we will miss them!  A good shower will be missed,  a coffee in bed,  and also just some alone time – whilst we’re all good friends a 8.5x2m boat doesn’t allow more much personal space!

 Will supporters be able to track your movements somehow?

The race is tracked by Yellow Brick – they have an app that updates every 4hours so you can see how we’re getting on.  I always say it’s good to leave it a day so it looks like we’re moving faster!

 What are the different ways supporters can get involved?

We will be launching a Crowdfunder campaign for some of the final items of equipment on the 19th May 2018 so we want as many people as possible to support and spread the word! We’ve also got the opportunity for businesses to become a Row for the Ocean partner, here they’re able to get their logo on the boat and receive coverage through our social media, the press and the race media! You can visit www.rowfortheocean.co.uk for more details or send us an email at rowfortheocean@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

 

Vessel Beer Shop- Plymouth

Vessel, located just outside the heart of Plymouth’s city centre, is a seriously cool spot for those of you that are looking for a different evening venue. With over 100 varieties of beer, from some of the best breweries around the world and regular events that allow you to experience various beer styles, what’s not to love?! (Just in case you aren’t all about the beer, Vessel do also have a lovely selection of cider, spirits, wine, soft drinks, tea and coffee too!)

Who are the geniuses behind this beer-illiance? The fabulous Sam and Katie! With a shared passion for beer, their interest in breweries grew, leading them to sample a great amount from across the globe. Now the lovely pair are sharing their beer knowledge with us all through Vessel!

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Not only does Vessel allow you to indulge in delicious drinks in a charming setting, it also offers the option to take your beverages home, to continue enjoying in growlers. A growler is a reusable glass bottle that prevents the air from coming into contact with the contents of the bottle, so your beer can remain fresh up to two weeks!- If you haven’t already drank it all that is!

Our Portlebay team heard all about Vessel when they recently became a stockist of our popcorn (and Sean our Sales Magician also LOVEEES the place and can be found there regularly) and of course, we just had to check it out! We made use of an evening one weekend and a handful of us popcorn lovers took to tasting some beers, gin and cider! We have to admit, we absolutely loved the place! With it’s modern interior and gorgeous display of bottles from around the world and not to mention the incredible drinks, how could we not have had a marvellous evening?!

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The specials menu from the event we attended!

The 10th June 2018, is the next great Vessel event! Sam and Katie recently visited Cascade Brewery whilst they were away in Portland, Oregon and decided it was certainly a brewery worth showcasing! Cascade Brewery specialise in barrel aged sour beers using fruit grown locally in Oregon. Tickets are quite limited for this event so make sure you snap them up and pop it in your diaries! (Here’s the Facebook event for more info!) Also, here’s a clip of Sam tapping one of the Cascade Brewery beers!- just click here!

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Our popcorn making an appearance!

Mental Health Awareness Week: About Amy

As this week is Mental Health Awareness week, we have an amazing blog post to share with you, written by Amy, the author of the blog ‘Surviving Now Thriving‘. Amy has had a very incredible and inspiring journey that she has shared with us and we think she is truly spectacular! YOU GO GIRL!

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Who am I?

Popcorn addict, Plant-powered, Positive, Passionate Psychology graduate – think that pretty much sums me up (I do love a good bit of alliteration).

I maybe should have started with my actual name, but that’s not half as fun – I’m Amy (not Surviving as I laugh about being called) and I started blogging on Instagram last year at www.instagram.com/survivingnowthriving.

From numerous failed suicide attempts to now living every moment as if it’s my last, I created my blog to inspire others to do the same. Struggling with anorexia, binge eating disorder, depression, anxiety, acne, trichotillomania, and a make-up addiction, I know that my past struggles put me in a unique position to truly be able to help those currently struggling. And that is exactly why I do it. Because I don’t want anyone else to have to go through the torture that I did. My past does not define me, but it has certainly shaped me into the warrior of a woman I am today.

My blogging is extremely diverse covering a whole range of topics, but one of my main passions is mental health. I actually think it is becoming more normal to have suffered or to currently be suffering from some form of mental illness than not. Therefore, it’s of vital importance that we talk about it! In my experience, openness encourages openness. From sharing my story, this has inspired so many others to tell their own and also to seek help. In addition, it assists in improving awareness and understanding, and also to decrease the stigma around mental health that still prevails.

I could write a book (and I actually have been asked to) on my advice on recovering from mental illnesses. But the truth is, everyone is different. Mental health is not a one-size fits all approach, and what works for one will be highly detrimental to another. I have experienced this first-hand in that reccommendations from mental health professionals have made me a lot worse. For example, last year, in the roots of my depression and anxiety, I was told that I had two options – take anti-depressants or go into hospital. Otherwise, I couldn’t expect to get any better. And that was traumatising for me to hear at such a vulnerable time of my life, because I didn’t want to do either. I ended up sectioned in a mental health hospital against my will. I had been hiding away from the world for almost half a year and was forced into this place where I would have to be around so many people. It was a mixed ward too which meant there were guys asking me questions, and the last thing I wanted to do or felt comfortable with was talking to anyone.  Thankfully, I was discharged after 2 weeks and was able to make a full recovery all by myself.

But how did you do it?

Well, mental illness is not a choice, but recovery is. Both myself and my family had accepted that I was going to be this way forever. Locked away in my home, never seeing anyone ever again. I decided to fight, and here I am writing this now, living and THRIVING.

Here’s 10 simple tips on how to thrive:

  1. Love yourself like your life depends on it.
  2. Boring but important – nutrition – Food affects your mood so nourishing your body is a massive help.
  3. Move your body in a way that you enjoy, and also make sure to rest.
  4. Surround yourself with good people ONLY, and cut the rest – choose radiators over drains.
  5. Find what you’re passionate about, follow your dreams and never stop until they become your reality.
  6. Write down what you’re grateful for every single day.
  7. Never stop learning.
  8. Learn from the past, live for the present, and believe in the future.
  9. Train your mind to focus on the positives in everything.
  10. Spend time visualising your life exactly the way you want it to be, and watch it materialise (this sounds crackers I know, but I have manifested A LOT through doing this).

If you are currently struggling with your mental health, I want you to know that you are not alone. Be gentle with yourself and know that you can get through this. You can get through anything. Never give up. And remember, difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations. A life filled with technicolour is awaiting you.

If you enjoyed this, have a read of our Give Yourself a Break, You’re Doing the Best You Can!’ post too!

Behind The Scenes: 5,000 Followers Photograph

We are over the moon that we have reached 5,000 followers on Instagram! We would like to say a hugeeee thank you to all of our wonderful popcorn fans from far and wide and high and low! Of course we wanted to mark the occasion on our Instagram page and so we decided that a group photo with our trusty mascot, Bob, (on our logo) was in order!

As with anything, when the Portlebay Team gets together it is always a raucous affair, with a great amount of laughter and hilarity, and this photo-taking occasion was no exception. For those of you that have ever tried to organise a group photo, we are sure you can understand the difficulty of trying to get everyone positioned, looking and smiling in the right direction, along with the ever unpredictable weather conditions that add a whole new level of challenging to the situation (for us it was a rather blustery day)! With everyone happy to pause their popcorn-related tasks for a short period and jump outside into the sunshine, there was extra excitement and so this simple task became, well…. tricky (but of course it was still wonderfully entertaining for all!)

With this entertaining afternoon turning into a hopeless photoshoot, we managed to capture a range of unsuccessful but amusing snaps, that we thought we would share with you! Have a peak below at a small selection of our not so triumphant snaps…

 

You may have guessed that we attempted the classic jumping team snap, however after a long while of trying, we gave up and settled for smiles and happy arms! It was for the best.

 

A Lidl Bit of News…

Dear readers and popcorn lovers,

We have some exciting news to announce! Come the 3rd May 2018, our bags of 75g popcorn will be available, nation wide, in Lidl stores! Can you give us a whoop whoop?!

The stores will be stocking our four main flavours:

-Lightly Sea Salted

-Crispy Bacon & Maple Syrup

-Sweet & Salty

-Chilli & Lime

The stores will be selling our little clouds of loveliness for the very special offer of £1!

We hope this news has brought a little bit of extra happiness and delight to your day! Happy popcorn munching!

Roxy Hempel: 5 Ways to be More Eco Conscious…

5 ways to be more eco conscious…

The very inspiring Roxy Hempel from the Eco Edit tells us 5 ways to be more eco conscious. The Eco Edit is a lifestyle platform for the eco conscious, exploring brands that have a positive impact. This includes eco and socially conscious fashion brands, green beauty products and philanthropic lifestyle brands.

 

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Roxy Hempel

 

1. Give up or cut down on animal products

Cutting down or avoiding meat altogether is the most effective way you can be more eco conscious, and the great news is, it has an immediate impact!
Following a plant based diet is healthy, budget friendly, and limitless – all of your favourite meals can be veganised, its easy once you know how!

If you are giving it a go there are lots of resources available online, try the #veganuary hashtag on Instagram, of search for your local vegan group on Facebook for support and tips on eating near you.

Still not sure sure of the reasons why? The movie, Cowspiracy is a good place to start, or Earthlings and Forks over knives.

 

2. Plant trees for free everytime you use the internet.

Ecosia is a free browser and app you can download for your computer and devices, that plants trees on your behalf every time you use it. So far this initiative has planted over 18 million trees in developing and rural communities! It is completely free for you and works just the same as your current browser (Google, safari, etc). You can find out more and get the links to download the browser for your computer and the app by visiting the website.

 

3. Choose sustainable fashion brands

Fashion is a hugely polluting industry. From the textile production to the dyeing process, to the overwhelming amount of wastage, there are huge enviromental issues which we don’t even know the full extent of yet. The good news is there are tons of great sustainable fashion brand out there that do things differently. Brands that use eco friendly fibers and dyes, recycled textiles and support fair trade principles. Follow me over on Instagram, and sign up to the newsletter of my lifestyle platform Eco Edit, and receive weekly edits of the best sustainable fashion brands.

 

4. Say not to plastic

There is no doubt about it, our plastic consumption is out of a control and is having a devastating effect on the enviroment. There is more than 8 BILLION tons of plastic on this planet, and the majority of that is waste that will take around 450 years to decompose. If laid out flat, 10 inches deep, it would be enough to cover the whole of Argentina, the 8th largest country in the world. Join our Facebook group ‘Less plastic is fantastic’ which we update with tips and ideas for reducing single use plastic consumption.

An easy one you can utilise right away – when choosing drinks, if you’re not using your own reusable cup, opt for aluminium or glass – either of these can be recycled an infinite number of times without losing their quality, unlike plastic which can only be recycled once.

 

5. Go green on your energy source

Check out Bulb – they offer 100% renewable energy, they pay your exit fees from your current energy supplier AND they save you on average 20% on your energy bills a year, they will also switch everything over for you, making it completely hassle free!
Saving the planet and saving money – what’s not to like?!

For more ideas on how to be more eco conscious, see a blog post 10 practical and positive things you can do, here http://www.theecoedit.co.uk/10-practical-positive-things-can-make-world-better-place/

You can find me either at Eco Edit http://www.theecoedit.co.uk or over on instagram here https://www.instagram.com/_theecoedit/