One of the coolest things about "sweeping" is that in the process of entering to win things, you learn about products you didn't know about, and if you're lucky, you get to try them for free! And if not, you often go and buy them, anyway! (The down-side is you learn about new products you really want- things you didn't even know existed 5 minutes before. LOL)
And so on to this year's Thank Yous:
The Absolute BIGGEST win of all this year was the Elkhorn Inn & Theatre winning the SCORE Business Championship for West Virginia! I only learned of the contest about a week before it ended, and right before our February vacation! I wrote up the story of our Inn and why I believed it to be a unique business, and submitted it, knowing that our entry had to get 100 votes to even be considered... and while Dan drove us to Florida, I Facebooked and Tweeted on my mobile incessantly, urging people to please vote for us, in the hope that I'd get that 100 votes! Amazingly, in one week we had over 10,600 votes- and we won! The Elkhorn Inn was awarded a $1000 gift certificate for Sam's Club, and we used it to get Chef Dan a brand new refrigerator, and I received an all-expense-paid trip to Houston, Texas to attend the SCORE Business Champion Awards Ceremony and Training, as well! The day the winners were announced, WVVA News television turned up at the Elkhorn Inn, and the amazing outpouring of wonderful media coverage for the Inn, and for our 15 years of promoting McDowell County, West Virginia tourism, has been nothing short of fabulous! We were covered by WVVA News television five times, for everything from planting our Sunflower Meadow, to having Mark Twain at the Inn this fall; we were featured on Hoppy Kercheva's Talkline Radio (thanks, in great measure, to Homer Hickam), there were articles on the Elhorn Inn on the Trains Magazine Blog and ATV Illustrated, features on the West Virginia Tourism website, and the Inn was featured as one of the Top Ten Most Romantic Getaways for Seniors, and one of the Top Eight Fly Fishing Getaways, too! I even got myself a "Business Champion" Pink Satin Sash to celebrate! :-)
|Elisse receiving the Business Champion Award|
|Elisse & Chef Dan at Sam's Club, Bluefield, VA|
|The Business Champion Award Winners in Texas|
|Chef Dan taking delivery of our new fridge!|
|Elisse in her "Business Champion" sash!|
Last year I wrote about my mother having successfully beaten breast cancer more than 20 years ago for the "Tough Enough To Wear Pink" campaign for breast cancer awareness, and this year I was gifted with a gorgeous pair of "Tough Enough To Wear Pink" Cowboy Boots by Twisted X Boots. I wore them in Texas on a FEMA disaster response deployment, and, amazingly, a lot of big, tough Texas men complimented me on my "great boots"- and they ALL knew they were for Breast Cancer Awareness!
|Wearing my Twisted X Boots in Texas on a FEMA deployment|
I won a delicious Bokksu Box of Japanese treats and teas, including the fabulous Green Tea Kit Kats I'd been Dyyyying to try! Bokksu is unlike any other Japanese snack box! They are totally in love with Japanese snacks, and they craft truly authentic Japanese gourmet experiences for Members around the world. Their collections are sourced directly from artisanal producers in Japan, and you won't find their delicious snacks and teas anywhere else! If you love all things Japanese like I do, you will LOVE Bokksu!
This year I won a number of fine beauty products and cosmetics, and perhaps there's a message in there somewhere... LOL
|Kerasilk from Elle|
|Revlon Matte Lipsticks also from Elle|
|Vichy Winter Skin Care|
|Beessential Body Care|
One of the loveliest things I won this year was a Body Care Gift Tin from Beessential and having now discovered them, these are Definitely products I'll be buying again, both for myself and gifts! Beessential makes natural skin care products by hand from start to finish, from their own bee hives! They uses fresh, pure honey, beeswax and Propolis from their family farm in Ohio, and blend them with other natural ingredients, such as Coconut, Olive & Virgin Hemp Oils. They make everything themselves, and all their natural body washes, body creams and hair care products are free of harsh chemicals like sulfates, parabens and PEG.
|Vera Bradley Backpack|
Thanks to being a "Crowdtapper", I often get to try new products, many of which I've grown to love. This year my favorite was Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Honeysuckle Essential Oil Body Wash, which smells and feels DIVINE! Mrs. Meyers makes bath and household products with essential oils from flowers and herbs that not only smell fabulous, they really work! They have a gazillion garden-fresh scents, too, include Lavender, Lemon Verbena, Basil, Geranium and many, many others!
|Mrs. Meyer's Honeysuckle Essential Oil Body Wash|
I was sent a stylish Vera Bradley backpack from Vogue, for being an "Influencer" :-)
Most recently I won a really fabulous $250 gift certificate for custom-made pillows from The Pillow Collection thanks to Havenly, and I am truly excited about this, as I have wanted outdoor pillows for the Inn's front porch for a long time! This was a Great Hanukkah present, and picking out pillows will be my Spring Decorator Fun!
|PUR "Love Your Selfie2" Makeup Palette|
I won a Fabulous "Love Your Selfie 2" makeup palette from Pur Cosmetics!
This was a GREAT win for a gal who travels a lot- both for business, such as FEMA disaster response operations, and for pleasure with Dan when I can! Flight 001 is, literally, a one-stop shop for the traveler, with luggage, bags, adapters, in-flight comforts, bottles, containers, Spacepaks, Go Clean, Seatpaks, and other cool travel things! I won Spacepacks, among other things, and they are so great!
I also won a YETI tumbler- and let me tell you, this is No Ordinary Tumbler! This is a $30 Tumbler with a captial T and a BACKSTORY! This Tumbler is a LIFESTYLE! This Tumbler is an Aspirational Tumbler! It's the Entry Level Product on your way up to the $1299 Yeti Tundra Cooler! While I was deployed to Texas, I had the chance to visit the "home" of Yeti, their Official Flagship store in Austin, where I got 2 hats as an award for having eaten my sticky-fingered way thru Texas, getting stamps in my "BBQ Passport" along the way!
|Me, doing the Yeti Beer Thing in Austin!|
|Arrow Rivet Gun|
And finally, I managed to win something for Dan- and at Christmas time, too: an Arrow Rivet Gun! And it even came with rivets! This is probably THE ONLY TOOL that DIY Dan didn't have, and he was thrilled!