What I Got For Christmas 2016

19:59

You asked for another what I got for Christmas, so here it is! I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and are looking forward to the new year! Once again, I am mostly just sharing the more country themed presents with you as those are most likely what you want to see but a big thank you to everyone who got me something, I love all my presents!

My main present from my parents this year was a new pair of boat shoes. I had bought a cheaper pair of boat shoes last year in America but I wanted a pair of real leather ones with leather laces. I put this pair from Orca Bay on my Christmas list and they are really nice! They feel like really good quality and they are comfortable too. They come in two more shades, one lighter and one darker than the colour I chose. I would definitely recommend these shoes as they look like they are really going to last.



I also had a Joules Harbour Top from my parents, I have been looking at these for ages and I keep meaning to order one. I got the navy and white stripe top, I have always found Joules really good quality and this top is really nice. I think it will be good for layering under a Schoffel and a coat as the weather is still cold. I will definitely look into picking up a few more of these in the future.


My one sister has booked us all to go on holiday to Bluestone in Wales in the new year, so that was our big present from them. I’m really excited to go as they have been before and had a great time so it should be really good! They got us all something to open on Christmas day though and I got this great fur pom-pom hat from Rydale. I have been wanting one of these for ages so I’m really pleased with it. Rydale is such a great quality brand and they make some lovely stuff!


My other sister got me a curling wand which I had asked for and it's brilliant! It makes really nice curls so I’m looking forward to messing about with it a bit more. She also put together a little bag for me and my other sister asking us to be her bridesmaids as she’s getting married in Summer 2018. They were lovely and even had little prefect style badges in them that said ‚Bridesmaid‘. She put some nail polishes in the bag to reveal the wedding colours to us and gave us each a little present. I got this lovely gold K mug which is from Marks and Spencers. Perfect for a cup of tea!


My Aunty has ordered me some new Ariat steel-capped toe work boots which she has dubbed my ‚Vet Boots‘ for my work experience and future ventures, but they are coming from America and haven’t made it over here yet... I’m really looking forward to seeing them and hopefully doing a review on my blog. She bought me this lovely navy, cable knit jumper from Crew Clothing and I think it looks great over a country shirt and under a Schoffel.


My Mum and Dad also got me this faux hunting horn which I thought was a really funny present. I think I am going to hang it up on my bedroom wall as a decorative piece. They also got me some new car mats which are great because I only had 3 originally so it’s good to have one on the driver's side!


I’m chuffed with all my presents this year and I hope you enjoyed reading what I got for Christmas.
**All Opinions are my own

1 Year Blog-Aversary & 2016 Round-Up

21:07

Today is my one-year blog-aversary or woesofwellies.com’s 1st birthday... My sister pointed out today that this time last year, my Dad was fixing the car with her husband and my Mum was looking after her daughter Sophie, while me and her sat down and she drew out my blog header. I thought that it would be a nice idea to do a post to round up some of the exciting things I have done this year to commemorate 1 year of blogging.
I decided to pinch this idea from Cesca (her blog is here) as I thought it was a lovely post and I really enjoyed reading hers and seeing all the things she has done this year. I don’t think mine will be quite as exciting as hers, as I haven’t been running any dairy farms solo, or flown to Portugal, but here it goes anyway...

  •          I went shooting for the first time (properly).
  •          I went point to pointing twice! (One outing was kindly sponsored by Subaru.)
  •          I did my first bit of lambing – and saved a newborn lamb!
  •          I competed in my first ever YFC  stock judging competition – breeding ewes.
  •          I did my first YFC junior exhibit box all on my own.
  •          I came 2nd in the WFYFC junior cookery competition.
  •          I learned to weld and produced a weathervane (with a lot of help from my Dad.)
  •          I did my GCSEs and came out with 1 A*, 8 A’s and 2 B’s. (and a new Schoffel & a pair of Le Chameaus!)
  •          I went to Canada for what I’m pretty sure was the 27th time (genuinely) and spent my first Canada Day in Canada.
  •          I competed in the YFC junior cookery at the Royal Three Counties Show and came 4th.
  •          I spent a week doing work experience with a large animal vet.
  •          I went to my first ever young farmers doo.
  •          I went to my first ploughing match.
  •          I went to Cambridge University on a residential.
  •          I started sixth form and a-levels.
  •          I got my provisional driving license & started driving lessons.
  •          I won Best Junior Member in my YFC club and the stock judging cup.
  •          I went milking for the first time.
  •          I bought my first car.
  •          I went to my first young farmer's ball/black tie event.
  •          I went to the NFU Headquarters with #studentfarmer.
  •          I competed in my first public speaking competition with YFC and won WFYFC Junior Member of the Year.

There are probably some more things that I have forgotten to mention, but these are the things that have stood out to me the most looking back on this year (in approximate chronological order).

Hopefully this time next year I will still be blogging and can do another post to commemorate my 2-year blog-aversary! Thanks to everyone for reading my blog & supporting it. I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and I wish you all the best for the new year!

NFU #StudentFarmer Student Forum

20:25

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to the NFU Headquarters at Stoneleigh Park for a forum/feedback session about the NFU publication #StudentFarmer and some of their other publications, with the main focus being on Student Farmer. I was very keen to go as I recently signed up for student membership with the NFU – this is a free (yes, completely FREE!) membership option from the NFU which you are entitled to as a student or YFC member aged under 26. With membership, you get sent copies of #studentfarmer and B F & G magazine from the NFU, you also have the opportunity to visit lots of conferences and meetings so you can help to shape the future of farming, there are also plenty of discounts on offer to members ranging from discounts on trailer tests to savings at Merlin Entertainments (Alton Towers, Warwick Castle etc...). You can’t afford not to be a member!

In the week before the forum, I was sent a package of past editions of NFU publications to browse through and familiarise myself with on preparation for them to get our opinions. I really enjoyed reading them and seeing the variety of content through the publications.

Finally, the day came and we drove into Stoneleigh Park for the forum. I was the youngest person there (this happens to me all the time!), and there were only five of us. We all sat down in the conference room and were briefed on what we were going to do and who was going to come and talk to us, and then it was time for lunch. The infamous NFU lunch... There was a lovely spread of sandwiches, pastries and sausage rolls, as well as cakes and a fruit platter. Everyone loved it!

We spoke about the #studentfarmer magazine and then had editors from B F & G, NFU Poultry, Countryside Magazine and the NFU Comms come to speak to us about the publications and how they could be improved, what we like etc.

I had a really good day and I want to thank the team at the NFU for having me, especially Vicky who made me and everyone else feel very welcome. 

The Ultimate Country Christmas Guide - Country Gift Guide

18:00

Christmas is just around the corner, there are less than two weeks to go, so for all you last minute shoppers I thought I would compile a list of country related gifts to put on your Christmas list. Ruth from Farmer Ruth has also done a country gift guide for our Ultimate Country Christmas Guide so you can find that on her blog here. Here are my top 5 favourite country gift ideas for Christmas time!

1.      A Schoffel Lyndon/Oakham
This is the perfect gift for anyone who loves spending time in the countryside. It’s a classic piece that everyone needs in their wardrobe. I love to layer mine over a country shirt and under a tweed coat or something similar. They can be smart or you can wear it down to the yard or on the farm. I have the Lyndon in Ruby and in Navy but they come in loads of lovely colours! You can buy them direct from Schoffel or from any good country retailer...



2.      A Shotgun Cartridge Letter
This would be the perfect gift for someone who shoots! These letters are from Country Plum and are absolutely gorgeous... It would be a lovely thing to display in your home and its such a unique gift. You can get them here. Country Plum make lots more shooting related pieces that would make great gifts, like their festive feather baubles.


3.      A Magazine Subscription
Who doesn’t love getting post? I do! So why not give the gift of a magazine subscription to your friends and family... There are so many great country and farming magazines out there such as Farmers Weekly, Countryside (by the NFU) , Horse and Hound, The Countryman and much more.

4.       A Pom-Pom Hat
Pom-Pom hats are great for the winter and they’re so cute too! Lots of great brands are doing them now with real and fake fur pom-poms, some of my favourites are from Holland Cooper, Joules and Rydale. The one on my Christmas List this year is from Rydale, it's their grey one and I think it's really lovely so fingers crossed! Rydale is currently doing the 12 Deals of Christmas where a different one of their products is being offered with a great deal every day for 12 days! You can find these deals here on their website.


5.      A Pair of Le Chameaus
Le Chameaus are the Louboutins of the countryside, so what better to treat a loved one to than the finest wellies on the market? I would recommend the Le Chameau Vierzonord wellies which are neoprene lined and great for the cold weather. There are lots more wellies in their range, short wellies, zip up wellies, leather lined wellies and more – so there’s a pair of Le Chameaus for everyone!



I hope this has inspired your Christmas shopping, I look forward to seeing what everyone gets up to over the Christmas holiday! Me and Ruth would love to see your Christmas photos so you can share them on Twitter or Instagram using #UltimateCountryChristmas. 

**I have not been sponsored or asked to write this blog post, all views and comments are my own. 

YFC Public Speaking Competitions

21:07

On Sunday I was at Droitwich Spa High School with my young farmer's club for the Worcestershire Federation YFC public speaking competitions. I had been roped into the Junior Member of the Year competition my our chair lady this year, which is something new for me. I was also entered into the Brainstrust debating competition at the last minute. I’m not usually one for public speaking much to the surprise of my friends and family! At school I have always been criticised for being too quiet in lessons, but out of school it never seems to be a problem... When I was thirteen, working at the riding stables, I was given the Little Miss Chatterbox award at our Christmas party, so I suppose it was no surprise that they picked up on this at young farmers and signed me up for the competitions.
For the Junior Member of the Year competition, I had to prepare a CV and Personal Statement in advance of the competition day. This had to highlight my activity within YFC in the past 12 months, my qualifications and awards, my aspirations and my hobbies and interests outside of YFC as well as some general information about myself. This was sent off to the judges and then I had to prepare a presentation for the day. This was to complement my CV and personal statement, I also included some photos to make it more engaging. It is important not to overfill your slides with information, you should include only key points and give more information through the presentation of the slides. I prepared key note cards to prompt myself while I was giving my presentation without scripting it so that I could engage with the judges more, rather than just reading out information. After the presentation, I sat down for the formal interview. The judges first asked me some questions about my presentation, and then went on to the set questions about YFC. Competitors should definitely brush up on their YFC facts and figures for this part of the interview. My judges were both lovely and made it a really pleasant process to be interviewed.
The brainstrust competition is a structured debate in which four members compete in a team. One person is the chairman of the debate and receives a list of 6 topics just before the debate. They then select three of the six to offer to the panel of young farmers. The young farmers must listen to these topics and come up with their viewpoint on the spot, with relevant information to back it up. However at least one member of the team must agree with the motion and at least one must disagree. The brainstrust was an interesting competition and definitely a challenge.
I watched a few more competitions throughout the day, after dinner speaking being one of them, and street dance another that was particularly entertaining.
At the end of the day, all of the competitors gathered in the auditorium and the judges gave some feedback from the competitions. Then the national chairman of young farmers, Chris Manley, presented the awards for the day. We had had no indication as to how we had performed so it was all quite tense when they started to read out the results. There were four competitors in the Junior Member of the Year section, and they announced that there was a joint 3rd place which sparked excitement in my club that I had definitely placed! They called out the third place competitors and neither was me, which sparked more excitement that perhaps I had won. They called out second place and it wasn’t me. We all realised at the same time that I had won! It was great to win it for myself and for the club as we haven’t had a winner of Junior Member of the Year before! I was quite shocked I had managed to even get through the day as I had barely got a voice and I still hardly have one... The public speaking was a great experience and I would recommend it to anyone to have a go!


We ended the long day of competitions with a club trip to McDonald's where there was a lot of chat about the day and a general buzz of excitement and achievement despite how tired we all were. 

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