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Wake up with springtime to feel it skin-deep

Spring is the time of the year when everything seems to come back to life. We leave behind days of cold and dim light to enter the season of colors, the outburst of nature, the impulse to make new things and to explore the world around us. In all these moments the senses are the main focus, we live each experience getting in touch with one of them: smell, hearing, taste … our experience is more intense when we intensify the senses. It is exciting.

For this spring we propose some activities for you to feel and to live this moment of the year, in all the senses.

 

Wine tasting
With the spring breeze there is nothing better than having a glass of wine in a sunset with good company. And, although we are demanding with the palate, why not learning a little more of this drink that has been with us for thousands of years?

The wine tasting, apart from pleasant, is interesting. There are many characteristics that influence the good result and flavor of a good wine. If you do not know them, the experience is even more enriching. Furthermore, if you accompany the wine tasting with a cheese tasting, the moment will be sublime.

 

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Henry Fournier

 

 

 

Opera concert
Music is one of the art disciplines that are lived more intensly. It can arouse intense emotions, let the tears fall or make us smile, we can listen to it in solitude or with company. Our day to day is full of moments with music, but for this time of the year we propose you to dedicate a whole afternoon or night, with intention. Focus on what the melody conveys and get in and merge with all the notes.

 

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Radek Grzybowski

 

 

Massage
Touch is often one of the senses that we have less present but that unconsciously gives us a lot of information: “coffee burns or the scarf is soft” are perceptions that we get thanks to the touch. But not only the activities of our day to day connect us with touch, with a single caress we can have chills all over the body. To awaken this sense we propose a massage session or a visit to the Spa  so that, in addition to relaxing, it will help you to enter into consciousness with the touch and your body.

 

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Roman Kraft

 

Smell fragances
The fragrances have a lot of presence in our society but also, the smell is one of the senses that awakens the memories: moments of our childhood, places and even people. Smell has a magical power. At this time of year we would like you to refresh smells and relive memories through the fragrances so that you smile when relating a smell with a moment, a very special bond of ideas.

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Pixabay

 

 

Go to the cinema
This is one of the activities that we have more assimilated but often we don’t consider that, leaving aside the sound and the soundtracks, in the cinema we work intensely the sight. The visual strenght that movies have and the impact that a poweful image involves has a lot of weight. For this Spring, we propose you to go to the cinema and delight you with well-crafted scenes and images.

 

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Donald Tong

 

 

 

Go out and live the spring!

 

 

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In Saint Valentine’s Day, believe in love again: 7 tips for your first date

What do singles do on Valentine’s Day? Very good question. We have been inquiring and we have discovered that there are many ways to spend the 14th of February when you don’t have love commitments. There are those who lock themselves at home so that they can’t see couples walking their happiness around, others go out to reaffirm their conviction that they live better alone, others take advantage to stay with their other single friends and there are those who think it is a good day to have a first date.

If you are single and the option that convinced you the most is the last one, continue reading this post, because there are 7 tips to help you know what to do in any situation of a first date:

  • First: always greet with two kisses. Do not let prudence take you to lengthen your arm, because a handshake is the worst start for any date.
  • The most important thing in a first date is to avoid the awkward silences. That’s why it’s better to leave the house with prepared conversation topics: a nice anecdote in the restaurant where you are having dinner, some funny comment about the waiter, questions – never too personal – that show some interest or a selection of three or four short stories about your life.
  • An important clarification: it is not necessary that all the anecdotes you tell are strictly adhering to reality. In a first date, hyperbole for comic or dramatic ends is socially accepted.
  • PROHIBITED topics: religion, politics and football.
  • Never propose to share dishes. You don’t know the tastes of the other person and, if they are different from yours, you will spend time trying to find something that you both like – that’s in case you find it. It’s better that each one has its own food and focus the conversation in topics which you may share.
  • If you have the date in the restaurant of Crowne Plaza Barcelona, you can count on our waiters to accelerate the moment of the desserts and the bill in case something goes wrong.
  • And last, but not least, do not improvise the farewell. Excuse a moment and reflect for two minutes in front of the mirror if you want a second appointment or not. And whatever decision you take, be direct: it’s the only way to avoid the dangerous “we’ll see each other …” that ends with everyone waiting for the other to call and nobody ever calls.

But above all, if you want a first date to go well, dare to believe in love again! With the right attitude and our advice, your Valentine’s date will be exactly as you had dreamed it.

 

 

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Welcome February. How happy we are that you are already here!

The shortest month of the year of long nights and cold days hosts one of the best parties to let the imagination fly and become the character you want to be: Carnival. This pagan feast began 5000 years ago and seems to have no end. Many people love it!

In this post we give you some ideas to disguise yourself individually or in group, creating your own design in a fast, easy and with an original and attractive result. Here it goes!

 

Thief
One of the most fun and suitable for all audiences. The costume is simple, you just have to dress in a horizontal striped shirt and dark pants and shoes. Put on a mask to hide your eyes and carry a bag or a sac where you take your loot!

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Emmy Glover-Voss

 

 

Gourmet cook
An original costume to disguise yourself with your family. The clothing is simple, you only need a cooking jacket or a robe (black or white are the most common colors), and a toque blanche, the traditional chef’s cap. For the youngest ones, you can use the same clothes or, if you want to make it more likeable, you can dress them of some ingredient you use for cooking. They will look delicious!

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thehouseofcornwall.blogspot.com

 


Indians

The key element is the feather headdress, an accessory that you can easily do following the guidelines of the video below/above. The most common thing is to place the feathers on the head, although you can also wear them as earrings, as a necklace or hanging from the shoes. For her, a top and a skirt with a fringe finish is very much in line with the theme. For him, a waistcoat and long and wide trousers fit perfectly in the style of the constume. Other accessories that complement the outfit are leather boots or an arrow bow and, as a last touch, stripes or painted designs on the face.

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 Cristian Newman

 

How to make Indian feathers

Papelisimo

 

 


Prince and Princess

One of the most dreamed costumes by all, children, but adults too! To be the main characters of the castle, or the hotel,  you do not need many elements. Less is more. For her we propose a simple outfit, with a long, elegant and not very striking dress to highlight the accessories: a crown, big and shiny earrings, high heels or a bracelet would be the most suitable. For him, a suit with vest, wide pants and long boots, a velvet cloak and a sword also go according to the outfit.

 

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windnstorm.devianart.com

 

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Sweet Ice Cream Photography

 

 

Steve Jobs
We love the simplicity of the disguise and the character it represents. The father of the brand Apple has become one of the most representative celebrities of the 21st century, even if he is no longer with us. The clothing is more than easy: a black sweater with a turtleneck, gray metallic round glasses and pants of a neutral color. If you accompany this with an Apple accessory or print the logo, you have won the party!

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Parenting

These are just a few ideas to make your Carnival costume original and easy to prepare. But they are not the only ones! Take your creative side and unleash the scissors, we are sure that you have some rags at home to which you can give life to. It’s time to cut!

 

 

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Different destinations for an unpredictable 2017

Routine is surely the worst enemy of our time. In other posts in this blog we have given you ideas to make your day to day more fun and entertaining, but today we want to cross a few borders. We want to propose that you give yourself the opportunity to live real adventures, far from the comfort of your home, your city and your country, in places and cities that everyone should visit at some time in life.

 

We have prepared you a list of different places to know, which are not necessarily difficult to access, but which guarantee incredible experiences.

 

Crater Lake, Oregon, USA

On the west coast of the United States, in Oregon, you can enjoy nature as in few other parts of the world. One of the must-see destinations if one day you pass through this wonderful state is Crater Lake, a lake located in a crater whose water is a blue that is impossible to describe with words.

 

Ubud, Indonesia

Ubud is one of Asia’s premier spa destinations, the perfect place to try the famous Balinese massages. But it is also the cultural and artistic center of Bali, and in it there are endless museums and galleries. Relaxation and culture in equal parts.

 

Island of Samothraki, Greece

More well-known in Spain as the island of Samotracia, this small island located in the north of the Aegean sea – very near of Turkey – is a different corner of Greece, an island that has nothing to do with the Cyclades. The peace that is breathed in Samothraki will make you consider many things of your day to day.

 

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Known by many as a “little Prague”, Ljubljana is surely the great unknown of the European capitals and there is much to discover, such as its Castle and the Cathedral of St. Nicholas. A perfect city to escape at any holiday in 2017.

 

Playa Blanca, New Mexico, USA

Dunes made of gypsum crystals. That’s what you find 25 km southwest of Alamogordo, at more than 2000 meters above sea level, in New Mexico, in the southern US. A unique natural spectacle in the world.

 

Goa, India

If you are traveling in India and want a few days of sun and beach, Goa is the ideal destination. Located on the west coast, about 400 km south of Bombay, it also houses magnificent churches and convents which have been declared World Heritage Sites by Unesco since 1986.

 

Or maybe, at the end, you do not go to any of these places, but we’ve got you to remember all the trips you have pending. Go anywhere you want, but make 2017 an unforgettable year!

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New year, new life (but truly)

You don’t need to dissimulate: with the entrance of the new year, we ALL have thought that we should change some habits to lead a healthier life, physically and spiritually. At these times, planning to do things a little better is the most normal thing in the world. But, unfortunately, it is also very common for all these goals to end up in NOTHING.

 

However, at Crowne Plaza Barcelona we have detected that if we fail achieving our goals is because in general we are too ambitious. Maybe we have to assume that we will never go 4 days a week to the gym, that we do not like tofu and that we weren’t born to read Proust. Perhaps we have to set more realistic goals.

 

Thinking about all of this, we have come up with a list of small daily gestures which we have called “Healthy 24 hours”. Because if you look, there is time to do everything since the time you get up until you go to sleep!

 

  • Have a glass of water with lemon just getting up.
  • Say good morning to your neighbor.
  • By mid-morning, eat a few pieces of fruit. Those that you like the most! We aren’t in this world to suffer.
  • Keep your workplace somewhat tidier, which is proven to perform better.
  • Ask a colleague to warn you each time you find yourself in front of the computer and the curvature of your back is defying the laws of physics.
  • Call that friend you haven’t seen for a while.
  • Run for 30 minutes, no more, as at this point you will not become an elite athlete.
  •  Tell your brother something nice, it doesn’t cost so much.
  • Visit the White Wellness Spa and give yourself a relaxing time just for you.
  • Actually, if you stop and think about it, on winter nights a vegetable dish feels great. Or not?
  • Go to bed earlier and read for a while (first ask your partner to turn off the light after 15 minutes because reading, as a sleeping pill, is infallible).

 

Maybe you can’t do everything we propose, but do something! The best way to lead a healthy life is to be happy with yourself and it is very difficult if you let yourself be overcome by laziness.

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The best jokes for surviving after-dinner chitchat

Christmas… the time of year when we stay at home, spend time with our family, do good deeds, and, let’s face it, try to survive the after-dinner banter at the table. There are all kinds of after-dinner conversations: noisy, boring, absurd, tense… but they all share one thing: they’re never-ending.

So, to help you survive the after-dinner chitchat common to this season, we’ve come up with a list of jokes that may help to tone down the atmosphere and make your loved ones chortle:

For starters, here are some one-liners to break the ice with:

 

– My brother’s been riding a bike since he was 3.

– Wow, he must have gone pretty far by now!

 

– Me and Carlos were going to…

– No son… “Carlos and I were going”

– How do you mean? What happened to me then?

 

A man goes to visit a seer and knocks on the door:

– Knock knock.

– Who is it?

– Not much of a seer, are you?

 

Since it’s dinner time, here’s this one: “How does Batman’s mother call him to dinner? [To the tune of 1960’s theme] Dinner dinner dinner dinner dinner dinner dinner dinner Batman!!!”.

Or we can resort to the classic jokes that begin with the famous, “Do you know the one about…?” Here’s one we like:

”Do you know the one about two guys sitting around and one says to the other: -Do you know what the people of San Sebastian are called?” -“Well, not all of them, no…”

And on a final note, here’s another classic that’s particularly apt for when you’re going to visit your in-laws for the first time on Christmas Eve: “

 

– Hi, how are you? Nervous?

– Yes, a little…
– Is this your first time?
– No, I’ve been nervous before…”

 

As we know, at all family gatherings there’s always someone who starts telling jokes, most of them terrible. So our advice is that you start telling your jokes first: with a bit of luck you’ll impress the family jokester and he won’t dare start telling his own. And if you’re not big on jokes, you’d better start practising your fake laughter…

 

We’ll leave you so you can start working on your jokes. Or your fake laugh.

 

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Tricks for pretending you like a present when you don’t

Everyone spends Christmas in their own way. Some prefer family gatherings, others run from any kind of commitment, and still others seek the warmth of the southern hemisphere, or would rather swap quiet meals at their grandmother’s for an adventure on the other side of the world.

 

But there’s one thing nobody can avoid: every Christmas we all receive a present we don’t like. Those really kitsch or weird gifts that leave us speechless or lead to rather uncomfortable situations. To avoid those moments, Crowne Plaza Barcelona has drawn up a list of ways to pretend you like such gifts:

 

  • The trick that provides the best results is to have a few comments up your sleeve. And to rehearse them beforehand, so as to utter them with the required enthusiasm:

– “Why, I was looking for individual place mats on the Internet just the other day!”

or

– “I can’t believe it! How could you possibly have guessed I needed coffee mugs with photos of kittens on them?

  • Of course you can always resort to a loud guffaw, followed by a “Nice one!” which is what our grandparents’ generation used to do.
  •  Sometimes you don’t even need to open your mouth. If we just look at the person who gave us the present lovingly after opening it, smile and give them a hug, we will have overcome that awkward little moment in style.
  • Another old trick is to pass the buck and let someone else do the talking. Once you’ve opened the present, you turn to your nearest relative and ask them, with a broad smile, “How about this then?”
  • And for those of you who want to do humanity a favour by helping put an end to that incomprehensible habit of gifting flannel pyjamas with teddy bears all over them, if that’s what you’re given, we recommend that you try them on right then and there. With a bit of luck they’ll stop giving us the blasted things once they see what we look like with them on.

 

And if none of those tricks work, you can always drop by the Crowne Plaza for a relaxing time at The White Wellness or to sip a leisurely cocktail at our Scrupples Bar: anything and everything you need to calm your nerves is right here at the Crowne Plaza Barcelona.

 

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Crowne Plaza Barcelona, a committed hotel

Those of you who know us are aware we strive to make your stay here at the Crowne Plaza as comfortable, relaxing and peaceful as possible. What you might not know is that we also devote part of our time to social and environmental causes and when you stay at the Crowne Plaza Barcelona, you too are helping to further all these initiatives.

Ever since we opened our doors, we have sought to be different by being committed to our milieu and to a collective social awareness. That is why we regularly help out in the struggle against various forms of social injustice, and why we take pride in being an eco-friendly hotel.

What kind of causes do we work with?

Our El Mall restaurant has taken part in many food-collection drives and other initiatives to prevent child malnutrition. Acting in collaboration with “Restaurants against Hunger”, we recently added a new dish to our menu and are setting aside part of the proceeds from it to Action against Hunger. Every Monday we also work with ALPAN (Food for the Needy), a Rotary Club project that donates food to soup kitchens.

We’ve also taken part in other projects to ensure food is not wasted, such as Nutrition Without Borders’ “BCN Shares Food” programme, whereby we donate the hotel’s food leftovers to soup kitchens. Another initiative is La fam no fa vacances (Hunger doesn’t go on holiday) in which last year, acting in conjunction with @Fira Barcelona, we collected a total of 175 kg of food with the help of the hotel’s entire staff.

In addition to those food-collection initiatives, last 11th November the Crowne Plaza Barcelona hosted the Esclat 2016 Solidarity Dinner, the proceeds of which went to Esclat’s Association for People with Cerebral Palsy. We have also joined forces with the “IHG Shelter in a Storm” programme, which organised a cycling and walking tour of Montjuic to aid efforts to address the effects of environmental disasters. Walking a little farther, a team of Crowne Plaza employees played their part for the Oxfam Trailwalker drive, held in Girona in 2015. We are also involved in many other solidarity projects too numerous to mention in a single blog post.

The sustainable management of the Crowne Plaza Barcelona is another of our major concerns. That is why, thanks to the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) Green Engage programme, all our facilities are designed and managed following sustainability parameters, which enable us to track the environmental impact of our activities down to the last detail.

In short, at the Crowne Plaza Barcelona we believe small actions generate great changes, and we strive to help as much as we can to make this world fairer and more sustainable.

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4 apps to make your life easier

“I get up, take the kids to school, go to the office, drop by the supermarket on the way home, collect the laundry I put out to dry yesterday, have dinner, do the dishes and fall asleep on the sofa reading the same chapter for the fifth time. I get up, take the kids to school…”

We know we’re not telling you anything new by stating that daily routines can be exhausting. What may not be so familiar to you, however, is the slow movement, a cultural trend that encourages us to cut back on our frenetic lifestyle and take time out to relish everyday activities like going for a walk, eating or socialising.

But let’s get to the point, since we don’t have all day. What we wanted to talk about today specifically concerns 4 apps that have joined the slow movement and are designed to make your life easier:

 

  • There’s no denying that grocery shopping is a very personal thing. Wouldn’t you trust a mother who’s been doing it forever, though? Well, that’s exactly what Deliberry is all about. All you have to do is place your order on your mobile and in less than an hour you’ll have your groceries on your doorstep, with the brands and fresh produce you asked for, all selected by a shopping mum.
  • Everyone has their little obsessions, but one of the least exciting household chores has to be doing the laundry (and of course drying, ironing, and folding it…) That’s the idea behind Washrocks, a new take on doing the laundry: it picks up your stuff at home and brings it back squeaky clean a day or two later. A fast, clean job.
  • Whatever you want, wherever you want it, all in less than an hour: that’s the idea behind Glovo. This app will bring whatever you want right to your home or office: anything from noodles or chocolate to a bouquet of flowers or a set of coloured pencils. That way you can save time and concentrate on doing whatever you enjoy doing when you’re not busy running errands.
  • Ever noticed how brilliant we are at avoiding any kind of cleaning work? Funny how we can think of a million better things to do than rolling up our sleeves and grabbing a broom. Well, now you can think about everything and anything under the sun if you order a cleaning service called Clintu that lets you give free rein to your endless cleaning-free creativity.

And if what you’re hankering for is some nice, slow time out to unwind and pamper yourself, the Crowne Plaza Barcelona has everything you need to relax and recharge your batteries.

So join the slow movement as fast as you possibly can! Life becomes easier when we tone down the pace a little.

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What does autumn sound like?

We often talk about the colours of autumn and how the yellowing treetops turn into the brown of fallen leaves. Or the smells of autumn – the smell of wet soil, for instance– which permeate parks and woods after the first rains. But what about the sounds of autumn? What do October, November and December sound like?

 

Discover the soundtrack of autumn this October with our list of options for listening to and enjoying the season’s sounds. Does that sound good to you?

 

  • If it starts to rain, which is pretty likely in October, you can snuggle down with a blanket at home or in one of our suites and listen to the pitter patter of the rain on the windowpanes. Nothing’s quite as relaxing as the sound of rain!
  • Come on, own up: after summer’s over you’re really quite partial to staying at home on a Friday night once in a while. Don’t feel guilty about it though, because it can be a good time to get into a sound you hadn’t heard for months: the sound of the popcorn you’re gobbling as you watch a film.

 

Autumn’s definitely a season to take in with all your senses including your ears, because it’s only common sense to enjoy every last detail of what life has to offer.

 

Now October’s almost here, listen to what autumn has to say!

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