Following on from part 1, this is the second and final part of my Equestrian and Country Advent Calendar ‘thank yous’. I always meant to do this in the period between Christmas and New Year, and while I know I technically made it, a day to spare is not ideal. But still, we’re here. So, now to thank the brands who donated prizes for days 13-24. As I said it part one, I really am very, very grateful to the brands who supported the Equestrian and Country Advent Calendar Giveaway, but I am also incredibly grateful to all of you. The people who liked, shared and commented on the Facebook posts each day… because I am sure you had more than enough on your plate in December! I have LOVED receiving pictures and notes from the winners and seeing the prizes in their new homes. So a big thank you to you too.
Before we crack on with days 13-24, I also wanted to take this opportunity to wish you an incredible 2018. See you on the other side…
The Equestrian and Country Advent Calendar Giveaway – part 2
Day 13 – Hold Fast Mug – Doris & Co. As a very proud brand ambassador for Doris & Co, I have a bit of a thing about the brand. Since the first British creamware mug entered my life, I’ve been hooked. Not only is this beautiful handmade creation made in the UK, it’s hard as nails. You can dishwasher it (is that the right term?), it’s robust, it’s lovely to hold and use… and the designs are fab. All the pieces in the collection have an exclusive design. In the case of ‘Hold Fast’, this has an equestrian theme, but many don’t. Everyone who meets Doris loves her, so when the company said they would like to donate a ‘Hold Fast’ mug to my giveaway, I was pretty delighted.
Day 14 – Stock – Caracal Equestrian. Ailsa, the lady behind Caracal Equestrian is a seriously talented designer and seamstress, and I have loved watching her brand grow and expand over the last few months. The company is best known for its beautiful riding shirts (do check them out, seriously!), but it also makes stocks. Like the shirts, the stocks use more unusual fabrics to create something truly stunning. Traditional shapes and design touches meet pretty fabrics and lace and more. The stock is a great example of this, so I was thrilled when Ailsa kindly donated one to the competition. Thank you Ailsa and Caracal.
Day 15 – Heavyweight Bobble Hat – Apt Cavalier. I first met this bobble hat when I was putting together my Christmas gift guides. I was due to send all the gift guide products back to their ‘owners’ after filming. But there was an issue. I loved this one too much and felt I really needed it in my life. The colour was ‘my’ colour, by which I mean the burgundy/plum that has made up my logo for years. And I made the fatal mistake of trying it on and it was so snug. As I walk the dog in all weathers and spend time outside with the horses (and, OK, have pretty crazy hair), it ticked so many boxes. And at just £12.50, it was a bargain. So I treated myself. And I am in no way disappointed. After this, I got in touch with Sarah at Apt Cavalier about the competition and she very kindly said she’d donate one for it… so thank you Sarah!
Day 16 – Stationery Bundle – Sainsbury’s. This was a prize I bought, because I am nothing if not a stationery addict! I do like Sainsbury’s stationery, and the ‘You’ve got this’ embossed in foil on the notebook sold it to me!
Day 17 – Haynet Saddlecloth and Mug – Haynet. I have the privilege of working with Sam at Haynet on her fabulous podcast. I love being involved with this and am very excited about 2018 too. Anyway, I digress. Haynet is a fabulous website, well, a lot more than a website, a community, that offers support for equestrian and country bloggers. Some of these bloggers blog for business and some just for fun. But why they blog matters not, Sam supports them. I was really thrilled when Sam offered a branded saddlecloth and mug for the advent calendar competition. I’m looking forward to seeing them pop up on social media soon, to help spread the Haynet message. Thank you Sam for the donation.
Day 18 – Stable Hands & Muck Off – Hawkins Organic. Hawkins Organic is run by the same people as Annabel Brocks, and you’ll know by now that I am a big fan of Annabel! The Hawkins collection is really lovely, and I was delighted to feature products for dogs, horses and humans in the Christmas Gift Guides. I wanted to share a bit of Hawkins loveliness in the advent calendar and opted for Muck Off (hand wash) and Stable Hands (hand cream) as I felt these had the most universal appeal. Made with green fig, they smell lovely, and they’re beautifully branded too.
Day 19 – The Million Dollar Blog by Natasha Courtenay-Smith. This is another book I bought as I recommend it to SO many people. If you’re thinking of starting a blog or you’re feeling a bit ‘meh’ on the inspiration front, head to Amazon now if not sooner! The Million Dollar Blog is not very expensive, it’s really easy to read and full of useful info, case studies and more.
Day 20 – Bubblegum Pink & Faux Fur Headwarmer – Annabel Brocks. This was another competition prize that people loved… and especially with the chilly weather we were experiencing then, it’s not a surprise! I have the pewter velvet version of this and it is lovely, so I wanted to get one for the giveaway so someone else could enjoy a little head based luxury. The fully reversible headwarmer combines bubblegum pink tweed with luxurious faux fur, is made in Britain and is so snug. I know the winner was very excited to be picked!
Day 21- #AskGaryVee by Gary Vaynerchuk. Another book? Yes, but the last one for this competition, and I wanted to end with a good one. I am very fond of Gary Vee because he’s right on the money on so much. I have every book of his and have pre-ordered his new one too. He doesn’t sugarcoat things and his knowledge and insight is incredible. This book is nothing short of an education and one I really think anyone in business should read.
Day 22- Exclusive Snaffle Friendship Bracelet – Hiho Silver. This little bracelet is SO cute and this new version has two very special new features. The Exclusive Sterling Silver Snaffle Bracelet is not new to Hiho Silver, but this version is. On the original, the toggle that allows for adjustment is a round Hiho engraved toggle, but on this one IT’S A TINY SADDLE. And just when you didn’t think it could get any better, the beads have been replaced by teeny sterling silver stirrups. I love it. And when Hiho donated one to the competition, I did a happy dance. There. I told you.
Day 23- Wimpy Bundle – Diary Of A Wimpy Eventer – Victoria Brant. Victoria has just released her second book, and I originally spoke to Victoria about buying book two for this competition. Well, she wasn’t having that, so she donated book two, a Wimpy Calendar and a Bravery Band instead! Thank you Victoria. The whole bundle is lovely – the calendar was created with her fans, the Bravery Band gives a welcome reminder that all will be OK, and the book. Well, if it’s anything like book one, it’s bound to have the reader crying and laughing! The second book ‘How to stay on top’ is out now (and I am reviewing it too) and book one ‘How to get your leg over’ is genuinely great. Victoria is as open and honest as she is on her Facebook page and manages to help the reader feel inspired and motivated by sharing her story.
Day 24 – Seaside Stroll Candle – Zoella Lifestyle. Is it odd to end on something from Zoella Lifestyle? I’m going to say no. And here’s why. In the equestrian and country industry, there’s an increasing surge towards vlogging, as there should be, because it’s a great tool. I watch quite a few vlogs and Zoella is one I watch. I know I am nowhere near her target demographic, but with over 13million subscribers, anyone looking to harness video to promote themselves needs to pay this lady some respect and have a look at what she does. The candle is testament to the power of video. No Zoella Lifestyle range would exist without the Zoella brand. And the brand would not exist without Youtube and video. Simples.
So that’s it, we’re at the end of the thank yous (if you’ve stuck with me to this point, thank you again!). A big thank you to everyone who’s been part this. See you in the New Year!