We theme our parties around our favourite things, like our birthdays, Christmas, and popcorn! Here are our five tips to throwing a party truly worthy of the popcorn-obsessed.
1. Get the snacks in…
If you’re handy in the kitchen, these popcorn blondies will make you friends and make sure you’re the host with the most:
2. Make lower-cal cocktails!
Even better, give your guests the tools to make their own cocktails. Mess = fun, right? Here’s our favourite mojito recipe:
Oh, and – not to nag – but we reckon that you’re better off if you drink aware.
3. Get a photo booth!
Because if you and your friends put on funny hats and nobody took a picture of it, did it even happen? We love a good photo booth. More and more as the night goes on, in fact!
For our Summer party, we’ve got a Showtime Photo Booth on hand to capture those need-to-remember moments.
4. Get the music right
This isn’t a rave, and it’s not a silver platter soiree. Pick the music volume appropriately!
As well as how loud it should be, you’ve got to think about the kind of music you’ll be playing. You might love the latest album from that indie band that loves to gaze at their shoes and shuffle about stage, but if it doesn’t get your mates in a happy, chatty mood it shouldn’t make the playlist. We’re going to have to put our foot down on this one 😉
5. Get more snacks in…
No one likes soggy buffet leftovers, so a store of snacks for your guests to take home is always a good idea. Just a few subtle suggestions…
We’re loving this naughty treat for binge watching a new series… it’s better than anything Red could whip up (don’t tell her we said so!) Check out this amazing creation from our friend @thatcakeguyldn
170g salted butter (melted)
170g light brown sugar
110g granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
350g plain flour
200g caramel or white chocolate chips
150g honey roasted peanuts (optional)
Metcalfe’s salted caramel popcorn
Salted caramel sauce (shop bought or homemade)
Combine butter and sugars.
Add the egg and vanilla.
Fold in the flour, followed by the chocolate chips (and peanuts).
Pour batter into a lined 8″ square tin.
Cover the surface with salted caramel popcorn, push down slightly.
Drizzle with caramel sauce.
Bake at 160 degrees for 20-25 minutes until just golden.
Allow to cool before serving OR serve warm with vanilla ice cream and extra popcorn!
I had just graduated from my performing arts degree in Cambridge when I was diagnosed with a rare type of ovarian cancer. I had my heart set on establishing my career and meeting new people, but everything had to go on hold as I recovered from surgery and focused on my health.
It was a very hard time, but one of the first people to support me was CLIC Sargent, who gave me a grant to spend however I wanted. It really made me emotional to see such pure generosity and trust.
Then I got involved in the charity’s music programme, travelling to a residential trip in Wiltshire. At first I wasn’t sure about going to events with other people who’ve had cancer, but it was really worthwhile. I enjoyed every moment – we can joke together about cancer because we understand it. There isn’t that awkwardness.
I was very excited when the music programme organisers offered me the chance to be one of the CLIC Sargent singers, touring a series of gigs across the UK at Christmas, including performing at the Royal Albert Hall.
The support, encouragement and overwhelming feedback we received after each performance was incredibly moving and I could feel that we were a part of something truly special and inspiring for everyone who came along and showed their support.
Speaking publicly about my own experiences with cancer has always been difficult for me. I was in complete denial at the time I was diagnosed in 2013 and refused to tell anyone around me. The last thing I wanted was for my new life in London and all of the friends I had made to associate me with cancer and see me as an ill person, someone to pity.
Over time, I have become more confident with this part of my past. I feel so proud and fortunate to have achieved what I have with my health and career, despite the hurdles thrown at me. I feel empowered and empathic to others who have gone through similar experiences, connecting paths with so many inspiring people.
I want to thank everyone who has supported this charity, making it possible for CLIC Sargent to do what they do, and they certainly do amazing things.
I was 20 years old when I was diagnosed with testicular cancer. I had been uncomfortable for a while and a part of me knew that it was likely to be something serious. But when I got the news it was still a real shock.
After going through surgery I was told that the cancer had spread and I was going to need intensive chemotherapy treatment. They gave me some really heavy stuff and it really hit me hard. I was being ill so often and I couldn’t get out of bed for long periods of time.
It was a really hard period of my life. I was just about to go to university and this was supposed to be the prime of my life. Everyone around me was enjoying their lives and going out and having fun and I couldn’t do anything at all. I could just go to the hospital or lie in bed.
Music ended up being my way out. I would listen to some heavy music when I was going through a bad patch and it helped to keep me level. But then I found out that the chemotherapy hadn’t been as successful as they would’ve liked, meaning I was going to need a major operation. That took a long time to recover from. Then it was case of getting back on my feet. But that wasn’t so easy.
The hospital felt like the only world I knew. I had been surrounded by treatment and support for two years. Suddenly you have to just step out of this bubble and that is a very hard thing to do. The support I received from CLIC Sargent staff was always great. They were always there for you and happy to help in any way they could.
I was directed to the CLIC Sargent Music Programme. I was invited along to a workshop, where I could meet different musicians who had been through something similar to me and work on songwriting and performing. It was just a brilliant experience.
Having cancer has certainly changed me as a person. I appreciate things a lot. I say yes to things that I might not have said yes to before. Most importantly I’m loving life now. I have to thank charities like CLIC Sargent for helping me get to that point and thanks Metcalfe’s for supporting them.
Feeling fitter than ever and hearing the words “You have Hodgkin’s Lymphoma” was one of the most confusing moments of my life. How could this be? I was 23, a complete fitness fanatic and full of life. On Wednesday 16th March 2016, I made a promise to myself that I would stay strong and fight this nightmare until I was well again.
Cycle two of chemo I sat on the ward at St Bartholomew’s Hospital glaring at the top of St Pauls from the huge window, the sky was blue with only a few clouds and the only noise was from the nurses calling their patients into be seated. As the patients came into the room I would always wonder what cancer they had? Was it curable? How did they get to the hospital? Were they looked after when they returned home? I felt concerned for them or was I just being nosey?
On this particular day I was feeling fed up. Fed up of chemo, the pain, the sickness and the dreaded hair loss was underway at this point. My boyfriend and I were discussing the amount of money we had already spent travelling to and from the hospital as well as paying for the parking expenses. Unfortunate for me the hospital was quite a distance, but I was willing to do anything to get myself well again. Travelling on a train would have been cheaper, however I couldn’t face the public and could never predict the next lot of sickness.
Coincidently I was introduced to Laura from CLIC Sargent on the same day. After explaining my financial situation she explained I could be entitled to a small sum of money that could help with petrol or parking. She also put me in contact with other charities that support young adults with cancer financially. Not only did Laura take a weight off my financial concerns, she was always a phone call or email away and encouraged me to attend events held by CLIC Sargent and other charities including Look Good Feel Better make-up workshop held at UCLH.
I am truly grateful for the support CLIC Sargent provided me with at such a challenging time of my life. You can never put a price on your health, but having a little support to get me to my appointments helped a great deal.
I was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma Cancer last September at the age of 23. It felt so cruel, but once I remembered how much worse It could have been I decided to buckle up my shoes, put on my big girls blouse and get on with it.
Fortunately I’ve never experienced a serious illness before so didn’t really know much, this is where I met superwoman who also goes by Jude Rowlands, what a hero! She made sure I wasn’t too afraid to get out and about, she arranged my wig fittings and pointed me on my way to a lot of things I wouldn’t of even thought twice about. She has also helped me make new friends who are in a similar situation as myself.
I would like to say a HUGE thank you to CLIC Sargent for everything they have done and continue to do for me. I would also like to say thank you to Metcalfe’s Skinny as without generous people like them charity’s like CLIC Sargent may cease to exist, which for me would have made a massive impact in how I coped with my cancer.
Being diagnosed with cancer as a young adult is shocking to say the least. One minute you’re worrying about a-levels and university and whether or not that bright blue eyeliner really suits you; the next you’re thrust into a world of blood tests, hospitals, and what seems a revolving door of medical professionals all looking at you like you’re a brand new baby panda at a zoo.
I had been initially diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia when I was 12 but after 3 years of remission and ‘normal life’ I suffered a relapse at the age of 18, just on the cusp of adulthood. Because my cancer was blood related and I needed a bone marrow transplant I had to spend up to 6 weeks at a time in hospital. Luckily this turned out to be a less scary and daunting environment to be in than what I expected. Due to the advice and support I was given by CLIC Sargent. My CLIC Sargent social worker at Belfast City Hospital: Laurena Kane simply couldn’t do enough for me, she was so friendly and understanding it almost felt like I had a second mother! Through her and another of the social workers – Simon Darby – I found out more about the organisation and all the great work that CLIC Sargent does for children and young people with cancer right across the UK.
Since then I have stayed active with the charity by being a part of their ‘Young Persons Reference Forum’ where we give our opinions and discuss the directions in which the charity is heading (the meetings are usually in London so it’s a nice experience to get to go over.) I am also a part of their online community where young people who have had cancer can talk to others in a similar situation which is great as it helps to know that you are not the only one going through it, even though it may feel that way. I have also helped with naming and planning ‘Amy’s House’ CLIC Sargent’s ‘home away from home’ in Belfast.
CLIC Sargent have helped me develop and grow as a person in so many ways and I would really like to thank Metcalfes Skinny for all their support that they give to the charity as they really do help children and young people through most likely the toughest time of their life.
We’ve teamed up with pug loving puntastic illustrator Gemma Correll to create a bespoke print. You may recognise Gemma and her merry band of misfits from her Instagram or one of the myriad books, zines or greetings cards she has appeared in. Now it’s time for you win one of Gemma’s hilariously brilliant prints! We promise it will only require a small bit of pop-participation!
It’s very simple, all you need to do is tell us the most wackiest way you would pop Metcalfe’s kernels. The adorable Brian won the first print but don’t worry! There’s one more illustration up for grabs and to get you inspired here’s Brian’s winning entry – how cute!
HOW TO ENTER:
So you need to think about how you would pop it, we mean reaaaaaaally think about. Remember the more off the wall and outlandish, the better. It could be a fantastical flying contraption that pops kernels, or roller coaster g force or maybe it’s through the power of emotions or like our ad, the power of song! You tell us and we will pick the best entry for Gemma to illustrate.
We’re throwing open the doors and giving popcorn fans a little glimpse of how our Popping Experts do their thing!
Our bouncy butterfly popcorn is made using VERY unusual energy sources… check it out:
You can see our ad on TV, social media and video on demand! Plus, you can win an amazing signed print by artist Gemma Correll if you can come up with the most inventive way of popping our Metcalfe’s kernels. Mosey on over to the competition here.
Today is pancake day! Before you mix, flip and smother your pancakes with delicious toppings, we have an indulgent rainbow recipe from our friends Healthy Chef Steph and Chessie King that will tantalise your tastebuds and make your culinary creations the envy of Instagram!
Here’s Steph and Chessie’s guide to creating a stack of delicious rainbow pancakes – full ingredient list below.
Ingredients (makes 6-7):
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
2 tsp baking powder
A pinch of salt
2 tbsp white sugar
3/4 cup almond milk
1 large egg, beaten
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
Good quality food colouring
1 – 2 meringue nests
Metcalfe’s Skinny Sweet ‘n Salt
Steph and Chessie aren’t the only ones getting creative for #pancakeday, check out some of your pancake creations using Metcalfe’s Skinny popcorn:
We’re completely over the moon, totally delighted, super pumped and really excited to be able to say: We did it!
With your help – you popcorn-loving lovelies! – we’ve smashed our fundraising target for CLIC Sargent and will be working with them for another 2 years.
We’d aimed to raise £30,000 for the charity starting in 2014, but instead raised a monumental £51,839.
CLIC Sargent are the leading cancer charity for patients aged under 25, and money is raised from sales of of Metcalfe’s Sea Salt popcorn – charity packs which carry the CLIC Sargent logo.
Our Managing Director, Ashley Hicks said “At Metcalfe’s we feel passionate about giving something back and are delighted to support CLIC Sargent and the vital work they do for young cancer sufferers. We look forward to continuing our partnership and raising even more funds for them over the next two years.”
Rachel Kirby-Rider, Director of Income and Engagement at CLIC Sargent, said: “Everybody enjoys a snack, but to eat a bag of popcorn and know you’re helping to fight for lives struck by cancer is even better. We are over the moon that our partnership with Metcalfe’s skinny is set to continue.”
As if you needed another excuse to snack on popcorn!
If you wanted to donate directly to the wonderful guys at CLIC Sargent, you can do so here.
“Disco Yoga, the most fun I’ve had when wearing gym gear possibly ever”
So says Liz Darke, our intrepid and bendy reporter, who went to check out the exercise class that’s firmly planted itself on our list of ways to own 2017.
Here’s how it went down:
“Walking into the wood-panelled space at the Soho private member’s club, I could tell that this exercise class was going to be nothing I’d ever done before.
Sure, I’ve tried yoga, and I’ve attended Zumba, which prides itself on participants working up a sweat to a soundtrack of top party tunes, but with a ceiling decked in disco balls, yogis “glittering up” on the sidelines, and party lights swirling the room, I knew I was in for something special here.
Run by yoga instructor Sarah, who’s been teaching traditional yoga classes for a decade, and her DJ friend Rosie, Disco Yoga is the perfect mix of powerful yogic stretching and feel-good fun. The classes take place at different venues across the capital throughout the year, as well as at a handful of UK festivals in summertime.
As a total newbie to the concept, it was interesting to hear Sarah (dressed in a shimmering metallic silver catsuit, may I add!) explain how the idea first arose. The workout was born during one of her regular classes, when the playlist accidentally jumped to a disco banger.
The accident was, however, received with great excitement by her students. As a result, Disco Yoga dawned. Sarah teaches every session, and Rosie is by her side spinning the songs throughout.
The class begins with some slow songs as a warm up, but the pace increases and all of a sudden we’re downward-dogging to the likes of The Bee Gees, Sister Sledge and Chic. Lots of the moves are modified to include a few claps and John Travolta-esque finger points, and Sarah encourages partakers to “get their wiggle on” and “shake it” as much as their heart desires.
Singing along is recommended too – trust me, you won’t be the only one bursting into song as the chorus to ‘Car Wash’ kicks in. The class is perfect for beginners, whilst seasoned yogis will still enjoy its fun factor and have the option to increase the intensity for many of the positions involved.
To wind things down, the music drops its pace once again, which, in all honesty, is greatly welcomed after forty minutes of simultaneously bending, bum-wiggling and belting out lyrics. The class then finishes with a relaxing meditation, but that doesn’t mean the party’s over.
Once back on your feet, it’s then time to hit the bar for a superfood cocktail. Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks are on offer, and each one goes by a puntastic title such as ‘Raining Zen’, ‘Kale and The Gang’ and ‘Blame It On the Blueberry’. In the mood for a little booze, I opted for a delicious ‘Goji Yogi’ packed with goji berries, orange juice, carrot juice, lemon and a pouring of vodka.
After sinking my cocktail, the boogie night had finally come to an end. But feeling the buzz of endorphins (and a little alcohol), I was ready and raring to do the hustle all the way home.”
Follow the girls on Instagram at @discoyoga.uk for their upcoming events and daily disco musing.
Are you looking to jazz up your Christmas tree or create a unique gift for a friend? Why not create your own blingtastic gold leaf popcorn tinsel?
Over the years we’ve seen everything from gold leaf walnuts, cherries, strawberries and now popcorn! YES! Gold leaf is no longer reserved for decadent interior designers (we’re looking at you Laurence Llewelyn Bowen) or bourgeoisie TV chefs who want to add a splash of decadence to a dish.
Now it’s your time to (sparkle and) shine.
So here’s what you need:
2 sharing bags of your favourite Metcalfe’s Skinny (one to eat, one to make gold leaf tinsel!!)
Edible gold leaf
Gold thread or cotton
2 x small craft paintbrushes
1) Load up your favourite box set or Christmas film (suggest Home Alone) and pop open a bag of Metcalfe’s Skinny.
2) Thread the needle with gold cotton and carefully thread the popcorn until you have your desired length (Hint: The bigger the tree, the longer the thread!).
3) Lay the length of popcorn out, every five to ten kernels pick a single piece of popped corn on the string and carefully apply a light layer of sugar water with your wet brush.
4) Take the other dry brush and gently press on your gold leaf – leave to dry for two hours. Voila! Your tree is ready to be dressed.
You can also use the method to create gold leaf popcorn for cakes and confectionary 🙂
No-one ever expects to be diagnosed with cancer, but it can seem a little harder to swallow when you’re still a teenager. At this time of your life, your biggest dilemma should in theory be what to wear to tonight’s party, or maybe on a slightly more serious level, when to fit in revision for your GCSEs. But some teenagers have to deal with issues that affect their future even more than exam results do.
In 2011 I was 15, and was also told I had Hodgkins Lymphoma. Straightaway the hospital environment became my new routine, but thanks to CLIC Sargent this didn’t end up being as daunting as it so easily could have been. Birmingham Children’s Hospital’s social worker, Orlando Fuller, was permanently positive and approachable, and as I found out more about the charity as a whole I realised he represented everyone who works there.
I’ve recently been involved in CLIC Sargent’s One Day campaign, where young cancer survivors talk about their future hopes and dreams. I have plenty, and thanks to CLIC Sargent have found more platforms in which to achieve them. I’d love to thank Metcalfe’s skinny for their support, as it really does help young patients and survivors like me and so many others.