Thoughts on Freebies & Giveaway Day 8

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Am whooshing along on 4 hours sleep a night and copious mugs of strong coffee. Perhaps tonight I'll get to bed early. I should be writing Christmas cards but that can wait, right? I'm sure last posting date isn't for a little while yet.

I've been having meandering, tired girl thoughts about the blog and my stance on advertising and marketing on it. I did get asked by Next to join in their 12 Days challenge as they spotted I was running a similarly themed giveaway but I didn't want to do it in an in-your-face kind of way. I went for the subtle option so tucked in a link on one of the weekend posts. No reflection on Next; I was really pleased to be asked and quite honoured that they considered my little blog worthy of notice, I'm just a bit wary of making things sound all corporate and sponsored on here. I know some blogs do it beautifully but I've seen others that constantly regurgitate press releases and I don't want to bore you all by doing that! I like to blog about stuff that interests me and I really don't want my posts to be contingent upon getting freebies. Anyway, Next were going to get a mention in Saturday's post anyway and if you want to click through to their site via my link, please feel free. If you think I'm a massive hypocrite for going for the subtle option and then writing a massive paragraph about it here, I care not. Look above, am running very low on sleep and very high on caffeine and you're lucky I'm even typing in coherent sentences!

Anyway, that's a very rambly way of saying that today's dress was sent to me by Clothing at Tesco as part of their Post It On campaign. It was an easy decision to accept it, mainly because there were no strings involved - it was a present from Nicola who very kindly picked me to receive a gift. V. bad manners to refuse a gift so naturally I said yes please. Thank you again Nicola, it really was ever so kind of you. My first choice was actually a pair of pyjamas (and yes, I would definitely have blogged them. I love my pj's) but alas they were sold out so it had to be a frock.

(do excuse the tired, unmade-up face)
Dress - F&F Limited Collection
Tights, belt & ring - Primark

So speaking of free stuff, what's on offer in the giveaway today?
On the eighth day of my giveaway, I will give to thee...

Ha, bet you wondering what weird milk related item I would come up with today! I went off on another tack altogether. Milkmaids wear gingham and I found GREEN gingham in the fabric shop so it just had to be bought. I've made two lavender hearts trimmed with decorative bits found in the button box - pretty but also v. useful to keep in the wardrobe or drawers to keep things smelling nice. Oh and some mini bunting which I made up from some fabric scraps. I am notoriously bad at sewing straight lines so it's not exactly perfect but it was made with love (and quite a bit of swearing) so hopefully that makes up for it.

Great big thanks are in order to lovely Lisa from Kandipandi's Pad who provided the lavender and much helpful advice!

ps - was busily writing this post late last night whilst catching up on comments and from one of the several tabs I had open came forth the sound of an advert. A Durex advert. Durex with extra lube. I haven't worked out which naughty blog was responsible for that one...


  1. Oh that dress is so pretty, Alex and it suits you fabulously!!
    And omg well done on the handmade bits, all so pretty ;) xx

  2. HAHA the thing with the Durex made me actually lol!

    I haven't decided what to do with the Next thing yet, I could really do with the vouchers but have recieved emails before thanking me for not 'selling out' on the last Next project among other things. It's pretty clear to me that my non-blogging readers don't really care about it. On the other hand, not sure how else I'm going to afford all the Christmas presents I need to buy...

  3. pretty dress, and pretty bunting and i love the bits added to the hearts, it makes them extra pretty. x

  4. Thanks for drinking all that caffeine for us,your readers!
    Not sure about the dress but I love the ring!!

  5. Haha! Really Durex ads? Not me I have to say.

    Gorgeous dress, I've seen the Tesco thing running on a few blogs, such a good idea.
    The next thing isn't selling out, you can clearly promote it as much as you want, some are sticking to the 12 days, some like you throw a mention in quickly. I wouldn't worry, there are a lot more obvious blaggers out there.


  6. Alex that dress looks fab on you. I noticed it when browsing Tesco clothing and its great to see it on someone. I might have to make a little purchase!
    Lovely gingham goodies too.

  7. I don't know how you can say you're not creative - your little makes are brilliant!

    I love that dress, I never see anything nice in Tesco, maybe I'm not looking hard enough!

    I have to say I find it off-putting when every or every-other post in a blog is "Ooh, look what the kind people at XXXXX sent me!" - I'm just not interested, I want to know about the vintage dress you got in a charity shop and how you shortened it/added a belt/changed the buttons to give it a new lease of life. That said though, I don't mind the occasional 'advertising' post and would jump at the chance to get a freebie or two on my own blog! :) x

  8. I love the idea of this giveaway - awesome! I cannot believe you're surviving on 4 hours of sleep a night. I have trouble sleeping but luckily I can still afford to sleep late into the day even if I can't get to sleep until the early hours. Do NOT know how you're coping! :-)

  9. Gorgeous dress, looks amazing on you x

  10. That dress is gorgeous, I loved the 'post it on' blogger challenge :) I decided to do the Next 12 days challenge as I liked how you could post as much or as little as you liked, and the posts didn't have to be 100% sponsorship focused!

    Your sewing skills are fab Alex, much better than mine! Though I am loving the John Lewis sewing machine!!

  11. Polka dots are so effortlessly timeless, I think you chose a great piece, despite missing out on the pj’s you have gained a wonderful frock that suits you perfectly.

    Your handmade gifts are lovely; the gingham fabric is calling out to me. I think you made a good job of the bunting x

  12. Lovely dress. I worry about advertising too - not that I am against it at all, but that the only approaches I have had so far aren't for things I would want on my website (comparison price shopping doesn't quite fit in!). Hopefully one day I'll be able to make a little money from the blog, but it would have to be with the right companies definitely x

  13. Haha oh dear :X That dress is lovely and since you were chosen by your friend.. :) I know what you're saying though, blatant in your face advertising is no fun.. Love the little gingham hearts you've made! (hope you sleep better soon) xx

  14. I knew you could do it - they are lovely!!
    That frock is beautiful too I will have to give one a try next time I am in Tesco!
    Kandi x

  15. That dress is lovely on you- your waist is TINY!
    I agree with Lucy- i'm starting to find the constant "ooh, look what so & so sent me today" posts by a lot of bloggers a little annoying but I'm not gonna lie- I am still envious!
    You in no way fall into this category though so don't even worry about it.
    That gingham is lovely- loving the bunting, too.

    xxx Maddie

  16. That dress is to die for. It really suits you. Gorgeous as ever.

    And *this* is why you should never even think that your prizes are the tiniest bit inadequate by comparison or otherwise. I love that they're so very personal.

  17. this dress is gorgeous:) even better that it was provided by clothing at tesco. these gifts are gorgeous! eek everything on your giveaway is right up my street xx

  18. I was wondering where you'd bought your giveaway things from - homemade is amazing! That dress looks lovely on you, bet if feels even better for being free! x

  19. You look gorgeous in that dress Alex. How are you managing on so little sleep though? Here's a ((hug)), now swap the coffee for hot chocolate, wrap up warm and snuggle down to relax a little. By the way your lavender hearts and bunting are just beautiful - well done. xxx

  20. Haha, not guilty here on the Durex advert I promise!

    Your bunting is so pretty. It's going to be one of my New Years Resolutions for 2011 to finally figure out how to use my sewing machine.

  21. That's a lovely dress that you chose, I hope it's cheering you up in these dark times! I seriously thought about choosing a dressing gown, but thought that Tesco might find that a bit weird...

    I love that you're giving away something that you've made yourself. I've been thinking a lot about handmade gifts because I'm planning on giving some for Christmas, and my conclusion is that they're filled with love and are closer to my idea of Christmas than getting an X Box is. I've been teaching A Christmas Carol for the last couple of weeks and that plus Carol Ann Duffy's 'Mrs Scrooge' (it's available on the Guardian website, it's the first result that comes up if you Google it) have really helped to solidify my thoughts on what Christmas means to me.

  22. That's a sweet frock!I love spots,and you look lovely in it!I'm liking your hair very much!
    Green ginham!!MMMMMM,love it!
    That's rather amusing about the Durex music!!! Wasn't me!
    Yeah,I'm not into having advertsing.I once got an email asking if I would advertise diamond rings.DIAMOND RINGS?! I really can't think how anyone would get the idea that diamond rings are anything like me or my blog.Weird.
    Love! xxx

  23. That is a gorgeous dress! I've been astounded at some of Next's items lately, they're never usually a store I frequent in to be honest. I think they're trying to promote themselves to us cool kids, good choice of frock :) jazzy ♥

  24. Dear Alex, love the dress on you!! What a lovely present.

    I constantly get approached about advertising but I turn it because I use a lot of photographer's work on my blog and have no money to pay them. You make very little from click through's and Google ads.

    Hope you're having a good week xx

  25. Eek.. HOpe that's not what MY blog is like... I try not to be all "look what I got!"

    Anyway, LOVE this dress on you!! Seirously, my fave outfit. Seriously.

  26. I hope you have managed to get to bed earlier tonight and caught up on a bit of sleep.

    Your gingham hearts look lovely, especially with the lacy bits on.

  27. You look soooooo gorgeous in that dress. I love it! It would be so pretty for a party or night out too.

    On the advertising/freebie issue I think you have done it nice and subtly. And it's only one thing. The ones I personally don't like are the ones that are advertising anything and everything or are passing it off as something they've researched when clearly they haven't. Just my opinion though.


  28. I posted a comment before but i dont think it worked!

    I dont think your sewing skills are bad at all!

  29. That dress is gorgeous. Gotta say, I'm rather jealous! I am a big fan of Clothing at Tesco, & have been for a while now - have got rather a lot from them (although nothing for free sadly!)

    I'd love to be entered into your giveaway please - it's lovely :)

    Loving the bunting & hearts & they actually feel quite festive too, in that colour scheme - clever you!

  30. Think the dress looks great!
    Can I put myself forward for the HANDMADE goodies please. (What a special prize).
    Z xx


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