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By Her Next Smile, Oct 31 2017 07:33PM

During the autumn months, we are given the first signs that winter is on its way. It's a time for snuggling up by the fire with a cosy blanket, winter pyjamas, fluffy socks, a chocolate selection box and, of course, a marshmallow-topped hot chocolate. Get into the spirit of the season with a little creativity and a lot of warm clothing!


Pumpkin Treats

Don't forget to collect a pumpkin or two to carve in time for Hallows Eve from a local supermarket or a pumpkin patch. For those that enjoy making the most out of the contents of the pumpkin, try roasting some pumpkin seeds or bake some pumpkin bread for the perfect treat! Before the season is over, spice up your days with a pumpkin seed latte from a local cafe and find out what pumpkin-spiced treats your local supermarket has to offer!


Get Spooked at a Haunted House

Test your speed (and your vocal chords!) with a trip to a haunted house and see how many spooky characters you can avoid! If you love the idea of being terrified by people in gory Halloween makeup and costumes will have a great time running from saws, machetes and other horrifying weapons then this is the perfect activity for you!


Enjoy the Outdoors

Before the winter weather takes over, don't forget to rescue last years winter boots from the back of your wardrobe and wrap up with your favourite gloves, scarf and winter hat to take a long, cold woodland walk to witness the magic of the changing leaves for yourself. Relax and breathe in the crisp chill of the air and hear the crunch of the colourful leaves beneath your feet. Don't forget a big umbrella, just in case!


S'more Bonfires

It's too cold for sweating and too warm for frostbite - what could be better?! Make the most out of your garden or other outdoor space and decorate it with some twinkling fairy lights or lanterns and a warm, comfy seat. Wrap up with your dressing gown, woolly boots and a (very) warm blanket and spend some time in nature with a good book and a lit bonfire. Or why not invite some friends round for spooky Halloween stories and roast some marshmallows over the fire. Don't forget to indulge yourself with the perfect autumn treat - s'mores!


Bringing the Outdoors Indoors

Decorate your home with seasonal charms, from pine cones (which look adorable when painted by the kids!), to acorns and conkers. Wash everything properly before using them around your home and arrange them in a decorative bowl for a perfect centrepiece. Why not create a vanilla-bean and candle decoration is perfect to make your home smell luscious. Cinnamon and red berries are other great scents to get you ready for winter!


Sweet Treats

Toffee apples are the perfect treat at this time of year! Just poke a stick into each apple, put them upside-down on a tray and cover with melted toffee or caramel. Leave to chill in the fridge and enjoy! Why not visit a local farmers market or even collect the apples yourself at a fruit-picking farm for a lovely day trip. Another tasty treat to use any leftover apples is to make an apple pie!

Try a new drink this season. From warm apple cider to mulled wine and egg nog, you won't be short of choice and there is something for everyone. Why not jazz up your hot chocolate with a splash of Baileys to give your taste buds a treat!


By Her Next Smile, Aug 17 2017 11:12AM

València: the home of the Mercat Central, the home of the Holy Grail and the home of incredible sights and delicious tapas. It was the perfect place to spend a long weekend and despite being a little concerned about how long I would last in the heat of the busy city, I knew this wasn’t an opportunity to miss. And little did we know that we were about to venture there during the busiest month of all: the Gran Fira de Valencia (also known as the Feria de Julio) was taking place!


Arriving on Friday night, we found a delicious tapas bar near our hotel and had a taste of their sangria, a Spanish red wine and fruit punch. Calamares (fried squid rings), potatas bravas (potatoes with tomato sauce), plus a variety of succulent chicken and fish dishes, cheese platters and so much more. We began our Saturday outside one of the countless eateries with tasty croissants and glasses of fresh orange juice we watched the staff make especially for us. There were many exciting options including cheese and ham filled croissants plus mini breakfast pizzas! After breakfast, we visited the Mercat Central which is the main market of València and is simply amazing - it cannot be missed. It is open between 7am and 3pm every day except Sunday. Full of beautiful stalls, we found everything from souvenirs to meats, herbs and an entire section just for fish, along with some huge octopuses and squids! We enjoyed a refreshing drink outside a nearby restaurant as we watched the world go by. Whilst visiting, don't forget to look up - the centre of the market features a stunning stained glass ceiling.


During an exquisite Valèncian lunch outside a beautiful little restaurant in the Plaza de la Virgen square, we watched as a stage was erected in the busy space and agreed to return later in the evening to find out what the entertainment would be. After an exhausting climb up the Cathedral's 207 stair spiral staircase, we witnessed for ourselves the incredible sights of the city from the highest accessible point in València and were taken aback by the view. I would recommend making the climb close to a change of hour – as long as you can bear being close to the huge (and very loud!) Cathedral bell as it chimes. The Holy Grail is also available in the Cathedral building with a history of how it arrived in Valencia.


Returning to the busy square later that night, we couldn’t have expected to see what we did next! Singers and musicians sat on the stage playing flamenco music while hundreds of locals and tourists watched the central space eagerly. The space was filled with Flamenco dancers! It was easy to tell who was local as they danced with clappers in their hands and were incredible to watch. Fortunately, enough people didn’t know what they were doing for me to get involved and join in without feeling too embarrassed! The music ended at around 12.15 and we got ready for the firework display we had seen being prepared behind us. A lovely local woman explained to us that they were 'stick fireworks', as they couldn’t reach the sky due to the surrounding buildings and risks involved.


The Festival combines numerous events across the city of Valencia, most of which are music-centered live concerts. Other attractions include wine fairs, comedy nights, sports competitions and childrens activities and workshops to give both locals and tourists a chance to get involved with the festivities. Valencia is definitely a place to add to your bucket list: especially if you can visit in July! Events programmes are available in languages including Spanish and English and can be found online at https://granfiravalencia.com/es/ if you wish to plan your trip around the Festival! For those who wish to get involved with the Flamenco dancing night in particular, these events are listed under the term: 'Fair Soirée: Valencian dances in the open air' and honestly was an incredible and uplifting experience I will remember for a lifetime.



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The Ultimate Ways to see Her Next Smile

Here at HNS, our primary objective is to make people smile. Find the perfect gift for yourself or someone special and show how much you care. This blog will feature details on our collection of designs, special sneak-peeks of the creation processes, upcoming items, giveaways and more.