Happiness, Home and Hygge

Hygge who? 

It’s almost the official start of winter and in these chilly, dark months some find it hard to maintain their cheerful summery attitude and slump into these groggy, drizzly days with a harsh case of the winter blues. But here at Portlebay we like to see winter as one of our favourite season. Why? you may ask- because it’s the perfect time for a lil hygge!

Hygge (pronounced hoo-guh) is a phenomenon that has been blissfully introduced to us by the Danes and captivates their obsession with cosiness and contentment. Hygge isn’t as much a physical thing as it is about the way you feel and is most commonly described as a feeling or moment that is charming, special or cosy.  Hygge can be embodied through candle lit rooms, mindful moments, good books, campfires with friends and taking life one cup of tea at a time.

For us there’s no better way to spend the winter than snuggled up with a bowl of popcorn watching our favourite movie, tucking into a sweet packet of Cinnamon swirl popcorn whilst playing a board game on a rainy day or making pretty decorations for the Christmas tree out of this tasty snack!

According to the telegraph news paper the countries that are most devoted to the hygge lifestyle (Finland, Denmark and Norway) are the top three happiest countries in the world! England is humbly placed at number nineteen in this list, and whilst that certainly means we aren’t miserable we believe there’s a thing or two we can learn from slowing down, enjoying the present and soaking up a little more hygge.

With this in mind we decided to kick of this beautiful frosty season with a hygge inspired blog post, influenced by a few quotes that truly promote that hyggelig feeling!

Here’s some tips on how to plan your very own wintery hygge weekend! After all weekends away are the best way to create hygge memories which are simply worth their weight in gold (go on, give it a try!).

Step 1 -C’mon lets get Hygge with it! 

First of all, to fully indulge in hygge, you have to take a step back, grant yourself some time off work and choose a weekend to get away from all the hustle and bustle of your every day life. Planning a weekend away is a wonderful process in itself. There is something truly satisfying about the little spark of excitement you get from finding the perfect venue and contemplating all the fun things you can do there (for us this involves dreaming about the large amount of popcorn eating that will take place- YUM!). Looking for a location ripe for hygge means you want somewhere rural and relaxed where an opportunity for campfires, long walks or log burners is a definite possibility. Saying this however, it is arguable that hygge is less about where you are and more about who you are with. Therefore, ensuring that a few candles, board games, books, tasty snacks and good friends are on your packing list means you cant really go wrong!

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Step 2- A little means a lot

A hygge weekend is all about doing wonderful little things with the people you love and all the little ways you let the people around you know you love them. For this we would recommend cooking meals together or lending your cosiest jumper to someone who forgot theirs (There’s always one!). Here are a few other perfect little hygge gestures-

  • Making friendship bracelets.
  • Putting fluffy socks on the radiator to warm them up before you all put them on.
  • Bring someone coffee in bed in the morning.
  • Baking some sweet treats to enjoy after a long walk.
  • Reading a book out loud together (we would recommend something spooky or a childhood favourite!)

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Step 3- who’s up for an adventure? 

Nothing quite screams cosy and content over the feeling of stumbling back into a warm house after a long walk on a crisp winters day.  The way the warm air hits you in the face and turns your cheeks rosy and gets your mouth watering for a delicious hot chocolate is simply perfect! The best way to find a beautiful countryside romp is to look up the local area online or pick up some local hiking brochures! Picking somewhere with pretty views and preferably a couple of pubs along the way makes the adventure even better. However, no matter how long and lovely the walk will be the best part is getting home and collapsing onto the sofa; achy feet, red nosed and above all happy.

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Step 4- the realisation

So by now the question you are probably asking is ‘how will i know if i managed to achieve a hygge weekend?’. This daunting question is one that you shouldn’t let press to heavily on your mind, after all the aim is to relax, slow down and be comfortable in your surroundings not spend the whole time worrying if your hygge enough! Either way here are a few bench marks that we tend to go by;

  1. You will feel truly cosy to your very core.
  2. You’ve made memories to last a life time.
  3. Your loved ones feel just that little bit closer to you.
  4. You’ve never felt more grateful for the little things in life.
  5. you’ve eaten your body weight in popcorn.
  6. And you feel like you have truly had a well earned break!

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What to pack for the perfect hygge weekend 

  1. Cosy Socks
  2. Candels
  3. Books
  4. Board games
  5. Lots (and lots) of popcorn
  6. Comfy clothes only!
  7. Fluffy blankets
  8. Comfy walking shoes
  9. Plenty of warm hats, scarfs and jackets
  10. Tea, coffee and hot chocolate (and mini marshmallows if your really cheeky)
  11. Essential toiletries (forgetting this would make a stressful weekend)
  12. Face packs, hand cream and bubble bath bits for a DIY spa night
  13. One or two good movies
  14. Craft materials
  15. Recipe book

Sources:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/discovering-hygge-in-copenhagen/eight-ways-to-be-happier/

https://www.hyggelife.com/blogs/news

The Portlebay Team go to Clip n Climb

In an attempt to start the year right our Portlebay team decided that we would chose an active and energetic team building activity. Living in beautiful Devon, surrounded by beaches and water based activities, our team couldn’t quite reach a consensus to jump in the water during this cold, drizzly winter period, and so, we decided Clip n Climb was the perfect group activity!

 

 

If you aren’t familiar with Clip n Climb then you certainly need to be! A bright and colourful world of climbing challenges, which although has been designed for the youngsters of today, is a truly great and enjoyable challenge. With over 30 climbing walls and obstacles to chose from and more than 35 Clip n Climb centres in the UK, this really is something we would recommend for all adults and kids (even if you don’t have little ones!). If you are also looking for a holiday activity when abroad look out for Clip n Climb, as the centres which started all the way over in New Zealand, are now all over the world! Ohhhhh, cool!

Our team pulled on our favourite Portlebay tops, laced up our trainers and very excitedly headed to Clip n Climb. Once we arrived we were greeted by the marvellous array of colours and very friendly smiling staff! After a quick briefing, we hopped into our harnesses and were let loose! Straight away there was an intense air of competition between all of the staff. We battled against each other on the timer, speed wall, the see-through, Face To Face wall which allows you to see your component on the other side and the ultimate, The Stair Way to Heaven. The Stair Way to Heaven (in the picture below) was our favourite climb.

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Stair Way to Heaven

Although it was a climb that only one person could do at a time, we each watched and cheered each other on, as we conquered the very intense green poles. One by one we took a deep breath and marched (or bum shuffled) our way to the top pole, where you then have to jump down to be reunited with the floor.  This really highlighted who was a brave Portlebay warrior and who was… less of a warrior.

As you can tell we all had such a great time, even those that were a little unsure at first, and we will definitely be returning to improve our climbing skillz.

It’s a Postbox Party with Portlebay

Christmas is a time of year we all can’t help but love, as it prompts December to consist of glitter, presents and freshly baked goods! As well as a time for family, Christmas is also the perfect excuse to PARTY! If you are looking to spice up your usual celebrations, it’s time you met Postbox Party!

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A Postbox Party Advent Box

Postbox Party is a little team of party lovers who offer celebratory products, stocking everything from room and table decorations to photo props, games, personalised extras and even complete party boxes. Whatever your event, planning, sourcing and hosting a party is as easy as opening a box and letting the fun begin!

To be in with a chance of having a Postbox Party parcel delivered to your door and a box of our Portlebay Popcorn, make sure you head on over to our social media pages (Instagram, Facebook or Twitter) and follow the instructions! (This competition launches at 5pm tonight)

 

 

Our Christmas- The Portlebay Team’s Traditions (Part 3)

 CHRISTMAS IS SO CLOSE NOW! 5 days to go, 5 days to go! Here is the last part of our festive traditions and tales, we would love to hear all about yours too so do pop us a message!

Introducing Neil, our other Chief Pop-Miesters!

Do you have any Christmas traditions? It’s my birthday on Christmas Eve so double present is a bit of a tradition! I also like to fly off to somewhere for Christmas- usually somewhere cold like Prague or New York.

What is your fondest Christmas memory? As a child, Christmas with my grandparents

What do you normally have for Christmas dinner? Usually a traditional turkey dinner but I once had to settle for a burger at the Hard Rock Café in Amsterdam

Real Christmas tree or fake Christmas tree? Fake

Favourite Christmas film? National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Are you super organised and buy your Christmas Present early or are you a last minute shopper? Last minute but I’m getting better!

What’s on top of your Christmas tree? Angel

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Next up we have the mighty Mark from sales!

What is your fondest Christmas memory? Christmas dinner- my all-time fav meal for the year!

What is your favourite part of a Christmas Dinner? Everything! Lots of veg, turkey, stuffing, pigs in blankets, gravy- it’s all just the best!

What is your favourite Christmas activity? Sleeping after lunch!

Real Christmas tree or fake Christmas tree? The fake trees with the changing lights!

Favourite Christmas film? Goonies- it’s not Christmassy but it’s always on at Christmas

Are you super organised and buy your Christmas Present early or are you a last minute shopper? Last minute

What’s on top of your Christmas tree? An angel that one of my siblings made when we were children

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Finally, we have Diane our fairy god mother (we need her)!

Do you have any Christmas traditions? As children, our presents were in our pillowcases, on the end of our beds. We also saved one present from under the tree to open on boxing day! Nowadays- it’s anything goes!

What is your fondest Christmas memory? Waking up and moving my feet to see if Santa had been and left presents in my pillow case.

What is your favourite part of a Christmas dinner? Setting the table and the gravy and cranberry sauce

What is your favourite Christmas activity? Putting up the tree and writing Christmas cards

Real Christmas tree or fake Christmas tree? Real

Favourite Christmas film? Love Actually and Elf

Favourite Christmas song? Last Christmas- Wham

Are you super organised and buy your Christmas Present early or are you a last-minute shopper? A bit of both

What’s on top of your Christmas tree? Normally something my son has made in school!             

That’s all for now folks, but there is more to come! YAY!

Brilliant Bookishly: Pages and Portlebay Popcorn!

It is officially 6 DAYS TILL CHRISTMAS! With the big day fast approaching, we are all busy using up miles of wrapping paper and sending our festive wishes to all our friends and family. To bring a little extra Christmas cheer why not pop over to our social media pages (Instagram, Facebook and Twitter) to enter Day 6 of our Christmas Advent Competition, and be in with a chance of winning a box of Portlebay Popcorn and a gorgeous gift from Bookishly! (This competition launches at 5pm tonight)

Bookishly create gorgeous prints with quotes from classic literature, movies and songs. Each print is created using an original and vintage book page, making each one a little bit unique and very special. Each print also consists of the wonky old font that is exclusive to Bookishly and is based on hand drawn lettering. You won’t see it anywhere else!

Louise Verity is the owner of Bookishly, and lives in Northamptonshire with her husband and young children. She likes John Hughes movies, cake and the smell of new books. She dislikes Marmite and ironing.

Bookishly was first established in 2009 as Wall Envy Art, and rebranded in 2013. It all started with an antique French dictionary and owner Louise’s, grandfather’s set of water colours. As time progressed, so did the range of products. The signature book page prints are still popular but you’ll now find a number of new items thrown in to the mix: personalised star chart prints, book club subscriptions, and various stationery pieces to name a few.

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Bookishly designs have been featured in a number of national and international magazines and blogs, including Stylist, The Huffington Post, Apartment Therapy and Ideal Home among others. More recently, their products have been shown on ITV’s This Morning and featured in the YouTube videos of Zoella and Meg Says.

 

Sandy Toes and SeaKisses

Oh we do love to be by the seaside, and so do Jo and Sue! Jo and Sue are the proud owners of the Cornish company SeaKisses, a lifestyle brand which creates seaside inspired homeware and accessories!

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SeaKisses Products

This lovely pair both have backgrounds in Media and Graphic Design; Sue used to publish swanky magazines in London, and Jo worked for a company making lovely stationery products. At the beginning of the 21st Century they both found themselves in Cornwall, and discovered a shared love of life by the seaside.

By 2011 they began making framed prints with lovely words about the places they knew in Cornwall. A few kind retailers agreed to sell them and people loved them. Within a few months they realised they had a business with potential and SeaKisses was born!

Living close to the sea means that Jo and Sue see the damage that 21st Century Living has on the marine environment. As a result, they try to seek out alternatives to plastic, with their Travel Cups and Dog Bowls being made from Bamboo Fibre instead! All their linens are also made in Cornwall and they only use water based inks to minimise the effect that they have on the environment.

For a chance to win some SeaKisses goodies and a box of Portlebay Popcorn, head over to one of our social media pages (Instagram, Facebook or Twitter) and follow the competition directions for Day 14 of our Christmas Advent Competition! (This launches at 5pm tonight!)

 

 

 

Long Reign Coconut Lane

Best Friends Charlotte and Jess are the co-founder of the absolutely gorgeous online shop Coconut Lane. Best friends since they were in Year 7, they then went together to Bristol University, before starting their exciting business venture in the world of Homeware and Fashion.

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Charlotte and Jess

Working with your best friend, creating beautiful products sounds truly amazing to us! Jess had this to say about working with her number 1 gal pal:

“Having a business together was a venture Charlotte and I always dreamed about, even when we were at school. After some short experience in the industry after finishing Uni and some debates as to whether we were too young and inexperienced to start our own business – we decided to take the plunge and we haven’t looked back since. Coconut Lane was created in 2015; our vision was simple – to inject some fun and sass into the world of homeware and fashion accessories.”

Here is the coconut Lane life motto: In the words of Regina George – “Get in Loser, we’re going shopping.” Coconut Lane brings shoppers the ultimate chic homeware and fashion accessories, which aim to inspire and motivate and turn the dreams of every #girlboss into a reality.

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One of Coconut Lane’s gorgeous goodies

We are very excited to announce that Coconut Lane have partnered with us for our Christmas Advent Competition (Day 12), so make sure you head over to one of our social media pages (Instagram, Facebook or Twitter) and follow the directions for a chance to win some Coconut Lane goodies and a box of Portlebay Popcorn! (This competition launches at 5pm tonight)