Save our Hedgehogs!

If you’re anything like us, you just LIVE for this time of year. Crisp Autumn nights are made nice and cosy with hot chocolate, sticky toffee puddings and of course a bloomin’ big bonfire that lights up the sky and warms you down to your little cotton socks.

But we’re not the only ones who love to kick up some leaves this time of year – hedgehogs come in a very close second! Right about now, they’re gorging on slugs, spiders and other creepy crawlies so they can have a nice, long snooze. Or in science-y speak, they’re about to hibernate. Unfortunately, us humans have made it pretty tricky for these balls of prickles to find the perfect bed for themselves, or do very much at all!

Right now, there are just under a million in the wild; that may sound a lot, but in the 1950’s there were 30 million of these critters running around. 30 million! There isn’t one specific cause, but loss of habitat, increased farming, busier roads and a rise in the number of badgers definitely doesn’t help.

So what can we do to help our spiky little friends? We went to Prickly Ball Farm, a farm dedicated to caring for injured or sick hedgehogs, to find out!

Build Your Bonfires Last Minute

The one time being prepared is a bad idea! Stacking all your burnable items right before you set it alight will unsure an unsuspecting hedgehog hasn’t had time to make a nice little nest in amongst the bonfire! If you really MUST be organised, make sure you give the ground underneath a gentle poke to wake them up in time!

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Keep Your Garden a Little Bit Messy

A hooray for lazy gardeners everywhere! The advice from wildlife experts is to look at your garden as a mini nature reserve – twigs, leaves and bushes are a hedgehog’s paradise. Or, if you want to give your little garden lodgers the V.I.H experience, you can make up you own hedgehog house to make sure they are completely undisturbed!

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A hedgehog oasis

Have Holes in Your Fences 

This may sound like we just want you to have a really shabby garden, but these little Tom & Jerry style holes will make sure a hedgehog can take refuge in your lovely garden! Hedgehogs travel 1-2 miles a night searching for food, shelter and mates, so the easier they can get around, the more likely they’re to survive.

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A hedgehog nightmare!

If You Find a Hedgehog…

Rejoice! You’re one of the lucky ones to have spotted one this year! It may be peckish, so offer it cat/dog meat or cat/dog biscuits, or you could also use bird seed, sunflower hearts, meal worms, unsalted peanuts, raisins and dried fruit, and only offer it water to drink!

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Donate to Your Local Hedgehog Hospital 

There’s no such thing as an NHS or private healthcare for hedgehogs unfortunately, so donating to places like Prickly Ball Farm ensure they can get the care they need if they do become ill, or lose their homes and habitat! Olbas oil for sniffly hedgehog noses, newspapers, cat food and blankets are all greatly appreciated at hedgehog hospitals up and down the country. If you do want to make a donation, you can find their info here!

We would just like to say a massive thank you to Prickly Ball Farm for letting come to visit, and in particular Danielle who is a hedgehog genius and answered all of our many  questions! The hedgehogs are lucky to have you!

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The lovely Danielle and adorable Gary

 

Halloween Face Paint Inspiration

As the spookiest time of the year is fast approaching, our small team of popcorn enthusiasts are all starting to wriggle with excitement, as we truly love any excuse to throw on some fancy dress! Halloween, is of course,  one of our favourites! How can we not love dressing up as gruesome creatures, that are also draped in glitter and it be totally acceptable?!

As we utterly adore the silliness of Halloween, this year we have decided to run a competition to win a not so spooky (but very cool) Halloween bundle! We have teamed up with Peach Blossom, who make seriously gorgeous party decorations, and EcoStardust, the very cool creators of biodegradable glitter, to give you all the chance to win these goodies (of course along with a box of popcorn) and have the best Halloween ever! (Hurry on over to our social media pages to enter the competition!)

Find our competition on Facebook!

Find our competition on Instagram!

Find our competition on Twitter!

As the wonderful team at Ecostardust were very generous and gave us some extra sparkles, we could not pass up the opportunity to practice our own Halloween looks! So, here are two easy looks if you don’t want to be too ghastly or haven’t quite mastered the art of face paint and make up (like us, we are true amateurs in the department!).

 

The Galaxy Girl

The Galaxy girl look is just too cool. Everyone is intrigued by life beyond Earth- there’s galaxy cakes, galaxy nail art, galaxy hair, galaxy everything! We can’t help but love that shining and twinkling in the sky, so why would you not want to be a galaxy girl?!

For this look you will need:

  • Purple and white shimmery eye shadow
  • Blue, purple, black and white face paint
  • Vaseline
  • Purple, blue and silver glitter
  • Some face paint sponges
  • A small paint brush

Prior to starting the face painting, this look commenced with some bright and bold eyeshadow, that rather resembled the look of Ursula from The Little mermaid! To achieve this, coat the eye lids with the white eye shadow and then add the purple on top. In order to fit the look of The Galaxy Girl, the eye shadow was dramatized and exaggerated more than your day to day eyeshadow, with it reaching right to the eyebrow and intertwining amongst the brow hairs for a really out of this world look! Finish with a generous coating of mascara and liquid eyeliner for a stand out look.

Now you are ready for face paint! Firstly, we mixed some white, black and blue paint, to create a cool blue/grey. Then we carefully sponged it around the eyes and across the nose, a bit like a fancy burglar’s mask. Following this we mixed some of the purple paint with some white to make a light purple and irregularly sponged it over the cool blue, like a galaxy!

But what else can you see when you look at a galaxy? Stars! To create some twinkling sky diamonds, take a small paint brush and sporadically paint some teenie stars (beware this is the trickiest part!), then add some little dots between the stars to make them look like glistening constellations!

Lastly, it’s time to shine! Using your finger apply Vaseline on top of your face paint art work (but be careful not to smudge your masterpiece!) then lightly dab your glitter on – Voilà! You are now transformed into a Galaxy Girl!

The Shimmering Mermaid

Mermaids are underwater goddesses and we totally love their style! This look could be made more extreme with the face paint scales continuing further around the face and body, if you’re wanting to truly go all out mermaid!

You will need:

  • Turquoise and white shimmer eyeshadow
  • Purple, blue and white face paint
  • Some face paint sponges
  • Fishnet tights
  • Vaseline
  • Glitter

Similarly to the Galaxy Girl, the first step to transforming yourself into a mystical mermaid is to work your magic with that eye shadow! Create a base layer with the white eye shadow, applying right to the corner of the eye and then take your turquoise eye shadow and apply it on top of the white. Easy-peasy! Add eyeliner and mascara to finish the look.

Now here is the most wonderful and hilarious stage of becoming a scaly sea queen! Take those fishnets and pull them over your face! This really did make us giggle! Dab your sponge into the blue face paint, and sponge across your fishnet forehead,. and down each side of your cheeks. Once your blue paint has dried sponge some purple along the edge of the blue paint and just like that you have scales!

The final step to achieving the perfect scales is to add some sparkle! Using your finger delicately apply Vaseline to the areas of your scales which you would like to glisten and then dab the glitter on top! Now for the exciting part, slowly remove the fishnets from your face and reveal those mermaid scales!

All you need to perfect both of these looks is a funky fun outfit!

Happy Halloween from us all at Portlebay Popcorn, we hope you have the spooOOookiest night, and don’t forget to enter our competition!

 

Portlebay Glitter Gals

This summer, we’re wanting to give away as many bundles of love and joy as one popcorn company possibly can. Why? Why not! Everyone needs a pick-me-up every now and then, and sometimes a little package of popcorn can do just that.

But for when popcorn doesn’t cut the mustard, we like to team up with companies who love sprinkling a little happiness as much as we do. Enter: Wish Upon a Sparkle.

This lovely lot have given us not only enough glittery goodness to send out to a lucky winner of our Summer of Love competition, but lots of pots of fairy dust so we can show you all how to make yourself into a bona fide Tinkerbell.

We’ve created three signature looks for you to recreate yourself for your next big gig, or just for the hell of it at home! Inspired by three of our popcorn flavours, Sea Salted, Wasabi & Ginger and Very Berry, it could not be easier (or messier) to recreate yourselves.

 

All you really need for these looks is a good, trusty pot of Vaseline, some sort of make-up or paint brush you don’t mind using, some glitter and idea of where you want to put it. It will come off (relatively) easily, but there is a reason people loved Glitter Bombs so much – it gets absolutely everywhere and you better have a decent hoover, as adorable Henry doesn’t always cut it!

Sweet & Salty Goddess

Lovely Faye, usually in Accounts, got hurtled into the world of being a mesmerising glitter creature, through the magic of Vaseline and glitter nonetheless! We created this asymmetric look by pulling Faye’s locks to one side and then pinning into place, leaving us a lovely canvas to spread some magic on the one side. Definitely the most dramatic look of the three!

Very Berry Fairy 

Millie? Who’s Millie? This is our new office sugar plum fairy, who used to be our Marketing Intern. Long hair is best for this look, and Millie’s is so long we curl it from one side of her head round to her shoulder, and then smother it in glitter of course! Incredibly easily, and put as much in your hair as you like, but be faced with a very messy shower later.

Wasabi & Ginger Mermaid 

Lucy has graciously stepped down from her life as Marketing Manager to become a part-time mermaid, but without the gills to her relief. We chose this flavour look, yes for the comic relief, but also green does go with red heads really rather well. Short hair looks are a little tricker, but if you or a pal is good with plaits they can work really well.

If you’re wanting to transform yourself into a glitter gal yourself, it really couldn’t be easier to do, and Wish Upon a Sparkle have a dazzling collection to choose from! If you want to enter the competition where you could win Portlebay Popcorn, glorious glitter AND amazing glowing jewellery from Cornwall based brand Disco Beads, you have until Sunday to enter! Check out our Facebook page for the details!

Get Healthy the Fun Way!

By this time in January, you’re either powering through your New Years resolutions like a determined stallion, your fridge is full of courgetti spaghetti, or you’ve decided you’re actually pretty awesome, so no need for #NewYearNewMe. To be frank, you can be healthier at any point in the year, but it does make things easier when yoga mats and gym memberships are on sale.

For those who’d like a little fitness inspiration, we’ve been trying out a mix of healthy snacks and quirky exercise classes to see the lighter side of being a healthy bean in 2017! Exercise never has to be a seasonable thing, so expect our active investigations throughout the year 😊

 

The first activity this year to tick off our list: Trampoline Aerobics at Super Tramp Parks! 

Apart from the most obvious benefit of bouncing up and down like a giddy toddler (or maybe that’s just me?), trampolining is also an extremely low impact sport for your joints, especially when compared to jogging or tennis! Repeated classes can also lead to stronger bones, a faster metabolism, and a pretty good bum if your fitness instructors make you do enough lunges.

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I look entirely too happy to be doing a lunge

I unfortunately didn’t finish the class, as I was busy Snap Chatting and Instagramming a lot of it…and that was the biggest mistake of my week.

If you work through all the exercises, the bouncing from one trampoline to the other and the 50 or so sit-ups, you’ll end the class with a nice relaxing series of yoga style moves to gently work through, demonstrated here:

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Notice the missing redhead? 

Without this essential part of the work out, you will be guaranteed to be aching for DAYS. Literally DAYS. For complete transparency, we attended this class on Monday evening, it is now Friday, and only today have I felt comfortable enough to crouch down and stand up again without the aid of a chair or nearest person to grab on to. The cool down part of any exercise class or activity should never really be missed, but with classes that don’t feel too intense on the surface, it’s probably even more import to do them. Lesson = Learnt.

This is not your standard trampoline jaunt; this will leave you feeling like you just bounced up a mountain, and lunged all the way down again, but you feel all the better for it. If you’re looking to brush away those Christmas cobwebs, or you want an exercise class that feels more like fun than work, or you just want to see what Buster the Boxer was so excited about, this is definitely the class for you.

In the Spotlight: Our Popperations Manager

Meet the captain of our poppery ship: lovely Ian. He’s been our Popperations Manager for the past three and half years, and he’s the chap responsible for all the whizzes, bangs and pops that go on in the factory.

As we’re lucky enough to make all of our popcorn ourselves, we can actually have a sit down and hear all about the guy that makes our little packets of sunshine a reality.

Why did you want to work for Portlebay?

“Well, I was headhunted by Jonty and Neil when they first started, and haven’t been allowed out since.”

What is you favourite thing about working here?

“The popcorn, and the people…but mostly the popcorn”…ouch

What is your favourite flavour?

(Speaking as a part-time vegan) “Crispy Bacon & Maple Syrup” – it’s just that good.

Where is your happy place?

“Start Point Lighthouse; whenever I have friends or family down we go down and you can see the whole bay from there. It’s also the place that reminds me of home, so when I’ve been away for a little while this is where I like to come back to”

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This is Barney, Ian’s best walking buddy at Start Point 

 What about your favourite thing to do in the sunshine?

“Cycling in the countryside”

What is on your bucket list?

“I want to see the Victoria falls in Zimbabwe – we got very close to visiting when the wife and I were in South Africa, but we didn’t quite get there”

If you could make your own popcorn flavour what would it be?

“Well I really do love bacon, but if I had to make a new one, it would be Thai Green Curry”

Who would play you in a movie about yourself?

“Sean Connery”

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“The name’s Michelmore…Ian Michelmore” 

 

What’s your favourite tipple?

“Real Ale” – a true West Country guy answer.

What is your best feature?

“My wife says it’s my legs, and she’s never wrong!”

How old were you when you had your worst haircut, and what was it?

“I think I was 8 or 9, and I got a crew cut. It was only bad because before that it was down to shoulders!”

 

 

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For some reason Ian didn’t have a picture, so we’ve made a recreation! You’re welcome Ian

What is your biggest fear?

“Probably being trapped in small spaces. It all goes back to when I was a kid, and I climbed into the fridge. This was only a little fridge that was on top on the counter; being little I made it fall from the counter and on to the floor with me inside it, straight on to the door. I only got out after rocking the fridge from side to side”

What is your greatest achievement?

“I always said I wanted to be able to see the sea from my house, and now I can. It’s what I miss the most when I’m away from home, but now I’ve always got that view to come back to.”

If you’d like to hear from Ian first hand, our poppery is always open for tours! Just drop us an email at letspop@portlebaypopcorn.com, or use the contact form on the blog.

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The view working for Portlebay Popcorn gets you! (This may or not be a little fabricated by just a smidge…)