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

A Typical Day at Portlebay

Our little team tends to be busy, busy, busy when we are at The Poppery. Although we all have our own roles and tasks, our mutual overall goal is to pop the popcorn and get our little bags of sunshine out and about in the world! We’ve taken a few snaps of a typical Portlebay day, so you can all see what we get up to!

9:00- Roll up to The Poppery

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By the time the clock strikes nine, our team have rolled out of bed, had a scrub and some grub and have rocked up to The Poppery. Each day we are greeted by Bob (our mascot on our logo) as we reach our second home, who can look rather glorious in the morning sunshine- as you can see in the snap!

 

10:00- In The Poppery

 

By the time ten o’clock comes round, our lovely team in The Poppery have been popping, seasoning and packing popcorn for two hours and are deep in the popcorn making zone! The popcorn making team tends to consist of seven lovely ladies and gents, that are seriously good at popping popcorn to perfection!

 

11:00- Office Tea Timeee!

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We are a typical office when it comes to tea and coffee. We all love the stuff, but no one wants to be the one to make it. As, anyone that works in an office environment will know,  the person that makes the drinks always gets burdened with a biggggg order, enough to cater for an army (or so it feels). In the mornings we each sneakily make our own cuppa and manage to avoid getting hit with the list of complicated requests, that seems to go on for a life time, but by eleven o’clock our tea and coffee cravings start to kick in and the game of waiting for the first person to crack begins. As you can imagine the person that folds and heads to kitchen to make a drink is bombarded with the orders. No place for the weak.

 

12:00- In The Office, Doing Office Things

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By noon we have all got stuck in to many of our popcorn related tasks- Faye from finance playing with her numbers, Diane our office mother sorting all of our so-called problems out, Steve in the warehouse playing around on his forklift, etc. On this particular occasion, twelve o’clock in the office consisted of prepping the Royal Mail post for our wonderful consumers that ordered directly from us (yes, you can order popcorn straight from The Poppery!) This involves bagging and labelling the boxes of popcorn, ready to be picked up by the post lady/man. Shortly after this lunch commences, YES!

 

13:00- Still Popping in The Poppery

 

At one o’clock, it’s still go, go, go in The Poppery. The people love popcorn and we want to make sure the people get what they love! Roddy our Grand Popping Maestro is in charge of  poperations, making sure that the flavours are just right and that each kernel is popped at the correct temperature, he also loves a photoshoot if given the opportunity (see image above).

 

14:00- What’s Going on in the Warehouse?

 

Steve our wonderful warehouse manager will have spent many marvellous hours whizzing around on his fork lift by two o’clock; loading and unloading lorries, shifting pallets of popcorn to organise the ware house and transporting the freshly popped popcorn from The Poppery to the warehouse. He also is in charge of sorting all orders and making sure that they are ready to be sent out to the big wide world!

 

15:00- Feeling Peckish? You’re in the Right Place!

 

With the wonderful aroma of our freshly popped popcorn floating around in the air (you can smell it at the end of our road!), it’s quite common for us busy bees to feel a little peckish by three o’clock. Fortunately, we are in the right place to seek out a snack! We like to make sure our popcorn is super tasty and so at three o’clock we often partake in a taste test (not an official taste test but we deem it essential).

 

16:00- Keep the Popcorn Coming!

 

The operation of popping popcorn can be a long and busy process, as we endeavour to pop the equivalent of 66,667 ping balls worth of popcorn every hour! Some days our popcorn team can be popping from 7:30am-4:00pm, that’s the equivalent of 566,670 ping pong balls! Oh la la, that’s a lot!

 

17:00- Bye Bob, See you Tomorrow

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At five o’clock we wave goodbye to our mascot Bob the seagull and leave him in peace for the evening.

Tickled Pink by teapigs

Who are our first partners for the advent competition do we hear you say? The answer is TEAPIGS, and we are tickled pink about it! If you don’t know of teapigs and haven’t already guessed , they create wonderful tea!

Five Things Worth knowing about teapigs

  1. Their co-founders, Nick and Lou, set up teapigs in 2006 with a mission to get the nation drinking real tea. They’re not married (shock horror), just great friends.
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Nick & Lou
  1. Louise is a trained tea taster (and has been sourcing and slurping tea for over 15 years). She’ll only choose the very best quality whole leaf teas, whole herbs, berries, flowers and spices for their blends – real tea, not the dusty stuff you’ll find in regular tea bags.

 

  1. Their teas come in tea “temples” so you can drink loose tea without the fuss! They’re fully biodegradable and contain no plastic.

 

  1. They’re committed to giving back to the communities that bring this amazing tea. They make a donation to the Point Foundation in Rwanda with every pack of everyday brew they sell (it’s sourced from Rwanda!). The donations improve the lives of vulnerable people in the area. Discover more at www.teapigs.co.uk

 

If you would like to be in with a chance of winning some of this fabulous tea and a box of our Portlebay Popcorn, then pop over to our social media pages (Facebook, Instagram or Twitter) and follow the instructions! (This competition commences at 5pm!) Good Luck!

 

 

 

 

 

How to Beat Those Winter Blues

Although winter is the fun and festive period of Christmas (EEK), yummy food, cosy nights and delicious hot chocolates, winter can make us all a bit down and miss those wild summer adventures! So, we have some handy tips to keep you (and us!) as chirpy and cheerful as possible!

Keep active

Although it’s super tempting to snuggle up and indulge in those tasty treats, getting out and about, and running around (walking works too!) has proven to raise spirits and keep us happy, happy, happy! Not only does staying active reduce stress, anxiety and depression, it also helps us with weight loss too- woo!

Here are a few fun ideas to get you moving:

  • Get walking and enjoy the crisp winter season
  • Convince your friends to get involved and do some fitness classes together- get competitive
  • Jump into the swing of Christmas and take to the skating rink- Ice Ice Baby
  • Remember that everything counts- run up those stairs, walk to the shops, have dance and a jiggle while the kettle is boiling
  • Get your family involved and go on a mini adventure- Castles, beaches, National Parks
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Getting involved in a fitness class at our local Super Tramp!

Make sure you spend time your friends and family

The winter is typically a time that you spend with your nearest and dearest, they know how to make you smile and will brighten your day! Socialising has a super positive effect on mental health, so get chatting over a good ole cuppa!

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Take up a new hobby

Taking up a new hobby can be a great way to keep you busy! If you choose something creative you could even busy yourself with making your friends and family Christmas goodies- cards, decorations, cookies, wreaths, there’s so much to make!

If you aren’t the creative type perhaps look to get involved with a sport. Team sports are great and there lots of sports that aren’t only for the summer periods!

Eat Happy Foods

Before the times of flicking a switch to heat up our homes and the wonderful technology we have today, keeping warm was far more difficult. As we have evolved and can keep cosy all through the chilly season, we must not forget that it is super important to maintain a healthy balanced diet. Along with our wonderful Christmas treats, we also need our good old greens! A healthy diet will help prevent that winter gloominess taking over!

Here are some foods that aren’t just healthy but have also been proven to make us happier (YES PLEASE):

  • Bananas
  • Berries
  • Quinoa
  • Dark Chocolate- (HOORAY)
  • Green tea
  • Apples
  • Spinach
  • Mushrooms
  • Coffee
  • Oranges
  • Eggs

Checkout our blog post from September for a super healthy banana oat pancake recipe, to inspire your healthy (but still yummy) lifestyle!

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Our scrumptious banana oat pancakes! 

Let’s not let the grizzly winter get the best of us this year and make the most of what those cold and winter days do bring! Happy winter from us all at Portlebay Popcorn!