This week –
- Flying high – defying gravity – sort of!
- Mother’s Day fun with Brad and Lauren
- Getting nostaligic – look at these old clips – do you recall life like that?
- Funny blooper – model Epic Fail!
- And sneaky peeks at Red Carpet Manicure, iPad TSV, L’Occitane and Luggage set
First, congrats to the winner of last week’s competition winner Helen Murphy from Ashford – who won the Mally, Liz Earle and Instyler goodies. Watch out for next month’s big comp too, including Flora Mare!
Airkix Skydiving Indoors – again!
Ok, so we went, again, Gill Gauntlett and I, to Milton Keynes Airkix centre for indoor skydiving – in case you didn’t know, it’s like leaning on the airflow of a giant fan and simulating falling out of a plane! Hah! This time we were accompanied by my brother Glenn, and sis Linda the Red Carpet Manicure guest (more about that below – exciting!) And this time we also flew right up in the sky! It was… well weird. So weird I’ve booked to do it again. But OMG did my haunches ache the day after! But not my arms or shoulders this time round – I think the Bodyblade has been doing its job to make them stronger! (More about Bruce below).
This is me doing a bit of mid air wobbling – I only worked out afterwards I was sticking out my bum instead of pushing forward my hips. It’s a subtle distinction, which resulted in a not so subtle ‘flies like an albatross’ effect! Lol! Good fun tho’ – to be recommended!
[Having trouble viewing this video? See YouTube’s Help page]
And this is where I went to the rafters, courtesy of Tom the instructor – must go back within three months to use up voucher! It’s highly recommended too, as something quite daring, without being actually very risky – give it a go! Or have you already done it? It’s a good TiFFT* for sure!
Whooohoooo! I felt a bit dizzy and panicked a little till I realised he was in total control, so relaxed into it and it was fine!
And it was part of a VERY busy week – here’s what else I did – all happened this week! –
Mothers’ Day Get Together
Had a loooovely day with my kids – didn’t matter that the sun didn’t shine lots, they bring the sunshine with them! They made me breakfast (well, brunch – you know me, never fully awake before midday! Lol! Then after doing a bit of planting in the garden, we went for a loooong dog walk over Ranmore Downs followed by a warm up with a nice cuppa, a chat, and a lovely back rub from my girl. Then it was time for dinner at a lovely pub in Shere – as in the top pic. All in all a wonderful day. Am seeing my own mum at Chessington garden centre for belated lunch too, and she got an AirFryer from me! (Which I used this week to make some tasty sweet potato wedges – very speedy – and cooked really well – you just have to toss them lightly in oil first!)
Swan Lake – ROH live – via the Odeon
Sis Linda and I also went to see another ballet – never been till this year and now I’m making up for lost time! One thousand cinemas around the globe simulcast the live performance of ‘Swan Lake’ from the Royal Opera House – complete with intervals and someone at the front selling ice creams – and only £16 or so instead of a hundred! We saw it complete with amaaazing Odette/Odille ballerina Natalia Osipova. Definitely to be recommended. I loved it – so relaxing – more than opera could ever be, ‘cos your brain doesn’t have to read the ‘surtitles’ which appear above the stage, translating the singing. So ballet it is, for me – what shall we see next? Any suggestions? What’s your fave?
Fortieth Birthday Do with Claire and co
On Saturday I went along to my old pal Mark’s 40th ‘do’ – he went to school with my brother Glenn so I knew him even before he started working at QVC, and rose through the ranks to become a Presenter Manager. Now he runs a fab Bed and Breakfast, the Mayfair in Southampton with his hubby. It was a lovely do with some very unusual ‘entertainment’ called Topping and Butch – in a beautiful hotel in London. Lovely to see Marky, some old QVC faces, and of course my colleague and pal Claire Sutton! Happy Birthday to Mark!
Went to the Romantic Novelists’ Awards Event – RoNAs
My first industry event as a published signed author was Monday night – felt very different, I must say! This is the grand library at One Whitehall Place – can you just about see none other than Barbara Taylor Bradford in the background?! It was a great night, had some lovely chats, including with two of the beta readers, Vanessa and Mary – Vanessa told me she loved Liz Earle. No wonder with sets like this – still on EZ pay if you’re quick!) And – can’t get away from it – one of the lovely category WINNERS was Lucy Dillon herself, who told me she leaves QVC on at home for her Bassett Hounds to watch! Lol!
Fab night and loved being part of it. Who knows, maybe one day one of mine will be nominated! Julie Cohen’s was, here she is with me, another author Jean Fullerton (who writes the ‘Call Nurse Millie’ sagas) and Alison May, also with Choc Lit (my publisher).
See – told you it was the busiest week ever!
Book of the Week – A Hundred Pieces of Me
So naturally my ‘Book of the Week’ is one of the winners. Lucy Dillon’s lovely story takes her through the memories associated with the trinkets she is clearing out to make space in her house – with unexpected consequences. The judges loved it and she won the hotly contested Contemporary Romantic Novel category. To find out more about it and the other winners – in case you want to add some new authors to your collection, go to my ‘Read it Write it Sell it’ blog on my website, where you’ll also find my beginners’ guide to self-publishing – click here for more. Incl links to the RoNA winners.
More memories now, and you have to watch this if you remember having no fridge! Watch Back in Time for Dinner – 1950’s – a life before a fridge? What did people do? Click here to watch on iplayer.
In 1950 only 3% of homes had a fridge!!! (They cost the equiv of over £4500 today!) But almost 20% had a TV set. In 1951, 60% of men came HOME for their midday meal – often meat and two veg, often the biggest meal of the day. But meat was rationed to 5oz per person per week due to supply issues with imports amongst other things, till 1954 (after 14 years!) Cars – only two and a half million on the road compared to thirty-five million today! By 1956 the average wage had nearly doubled – Brits had disposable income for the first time. And Mary Berry makes a special appearance since she worked as a demonstrator for the electricity board in the 1950’s including telling people about the electric oven in village halls – a kind of embryonic QVC! Included recommending people to use the new Hire Purchase, which had just taken off when rules about finance were relaxed. People bought dish washers, floor polishers, new ovens, and Kenwood mixers/processors, which were advertised as the reason why ‘American housewives look so young’! We wouldn’t be able to get away with that nowadays would we?!? Fascinating show – and more next week, from the ‘60s, available after 25th.
Nostalgia 2 – kids TV reminiscing
Talking of such times, remember these? OMG following on from my Children’s BBC blog recently, and talking on Facebook about what made us feel dated – here’s something else that will suuuuurely do it! Remember these from the earliest days of kids’ TV?
Kids TV Nostalgia – #1 – Fifty years ago, 1960’s Watch with Mother slots began with the distinctive ‘doh, ray, me, far, so , lah, tee, doh’ sting at every intro. Then you might see:
‘Pogles Wood’ – more here on YouTube – see how dated the plot is even in the first two mins! Lol! Early Oliver Eastgate stop-motion kids show – see what we ended up watching and how magical did it seem back then! C1966.
‘The Woodentops ‘– 1955 first aired – All soooo posssshhhh! More here.
‘Bill and Ben’ – flobbadob dob! Weeeeed! 1953 more here.
‘Andy Pandy’! First aired 1952 – Andy Pandy’s coming to play, la-la-la-la-la-laaaa! And don’t forget to spin to the end – ‘time to go home, time to go home…!’more here.
‘Rag Tag and Bobtail’ – More here. Was actually from the early 1950’s – kids telly didn’t change much for many years, right?
And finally, ‘The Picture Book’ – incl the famous sausage dog marionette. C1963 – soooo posssshhhh! Which storih shell we hev todeeeh? NB – we made these lanterns for years!!! More here I loved Bizzy Lizzy and the episodes where she would bring her little eskimo doll to life – I loved Little Mo! I made mum buy me a dress with a big daisy on which could be MY ‘wishing flower’! Lol!
What other VERY early kids shows bring back lovely warm waves of nostalgia for you? (leave me a comment below – go on, even if you’ve never done it before! Just let me know it’s your first one! Your very own TiFFT!*) Next week – Kids TV Nostalgia #2.
Andy and Stephen for Comic relief – Comic Relief excelled themselves this year, don’t you think? David Wallliams’s Andy got a well-deserved comeuppance courtesy of the cosmic genius that is Stephen Hawking himself – here’s the sketch if you missed it – and don’t forget to donate at the end! Watch out for Catherine Tate going ‘up in the world’ too! And see my charity event news below!
Watch – The Love Punch on DVD or online. Ohhhh bless Pierce Brosnan – still playing a sex symbol – kind of. And Bless Emma Thompson – one of our British institutions. Buuuut – OMG don’t watch this film unless you’re prepared to regard it as a jolly old jape and to hell with the plot holes! Worth a watch if you like the actors, incl Timothy Spall and Celia Imrie – always great whatever they’re in, even if the parts are greater than their sum… 6 out of ten but fun.
Back to You Update
How happy was I this week to read this from one of our regulars on the Facebook group ‘Till the Fat Lady Slims’. One of the members is finding my book ‘Till The Fat Lady SLims 2.0′ – available on QVC, 704285 - really helpful, as are so many people and it makes me so proud. Read this review she’s posted on our website and if you’d like to get yours, the hardback is available still (what’s left of the stock! I’ve been resisting going back on air to sell the rest out so that there’s some still in stock!) – it’s got more content than the eBook that’s on the internet, more info about it all can be found on my website here too.
This is her review –
” I have always been on a diet since around the age of 8 and nothing has ever been successful for me. After having 7 children I never thought I’d even get chance to try to lose weight and get a bit of me back again. So after reading many reviews and taking advice I bought this book and I have and will never look back. This is the first time I have lost weight without being on a restricted diet. Thank to Debbie, I am working my way back to being me again and enjoying it every step of the way! Another thing is if you join Debbie’s Back To You Facebook page, the support on there is AMAZING! Not only from other members but from Debbie herself who takes the time to give you advice and talk to you.”
Well it IS the support system which makes it so different and as we passed the One Month mark, of the Three Month Challenge, (more here) we reached 3000 members on the Back to You QVC group, where this week’s Monday web chat 8-9 pm was with Steven from Yankee Candles and the lovely Make-up Queen Mally herself! To read all about their Q&A – I’ve put it on my weekly Back to You blog on my website as usual – just click here to read it. And find out more about more articles to help you cut right back on sugar. (and press Alt-tab together to get back to here afterwards.)
Ps I’ve got a two-hour Mally special on Sunday 29th at 5pm too – put it in your diary!
Getting fit for the Moonwalk
Needless to say I’ve been upping my game with the old fitness, in advance of taking part in this year’s London Moonwalk – the through the night charity event. Jackie’s set up the donation page now – many of you have been asking – feel free to be one of the first, even if it’s just a fiver, anything’s fine. More info here – on the TeamQVC Moonwalk sponsorship page.
I’ve been out walking a lot lately with Daisy – the ‘dog on a mission’ – striding out ahead of me bless her! Let’s hope the weather keeps up in the next few weeks so I can continue upping my hours spent striding! I will of course have to practise a lot whilst I’m away. But where I’ll be staying – on official QVC business – it will have a huge gym so I can spend some time on the treadmill, getting my body ready for 6-7 hours of through the night walking on 15/16th May. It’ll be good for dropping a dress size too I’m sure! Watch this space…
Drop a dress size – like these people have
Now those of you who follow me regularly know that it’s a bit of a passion of mine to get the message across about how bad sugar is for you, and how good it is to cut right back. We’re human and most will have indulgences now and then, but as I say in my book, give it up so your body can give you genuine signals about what to eat – then you can listen to it properly. Principle 6 is all about learning and adjusting and observing not beating yourself up, and that’s where videos like this one below come in – do have a watch, it certainly puts it in perspective. NB skip past the bottles and cans part if you get the message fast, since the best bit is the second half. He’s a clever man, is Dr Eric Berg. People on the Facebook group ‘Till the Fat Lady Slims’, are reporting the best losses – including several dress sizes and inches galore – once they get off the white stuff. And watch out for the film I’ve been flagging for a while – ‘That Sugar Film’ hitting the news soon – it’s just gone on release down under.
Vogue Magazine’s Catch of the Year – Merumaya is back!
Well on our ‘Friday Night Beauty show, Jilly welcomes back the clever Maleka who brings us the skincare brand a lot of beauty journalists are raving about including Vogue Mag – ‘Merumaya.’ Just look here to see why it’s so fab, Woman Mag raved about it in Feb – no wonder it had lots of sell outs last time it was on, so do watch if you can 9pm Friday 20th. I do love their smells and the overnight iconic serum and recharge cream do leave my skin very soft in the morning, even after just a few days’ use. Keep an eye out for the Merumaya skincare set  which is £36 (excluding p&p) which saves tons – one, the youth serum, on its own is £35.50. That’s the one that Vogue called ‘Catch of the year’. Go for it now! There’s a video on that link too. If it’s gone by the time you read this, do go on waitlist or try the others on that page.
Debbie Does Dinner
Yummmm – again! This butternut squash with giant couscous, rocket and lemon-tahini sauce was delish – as usual, courtesy of Hello Fresh. Not such a fan of the couscous – it is, after all, from the semolina family, made from Durum wheat, a la pasta. Didn’t know that either, till someone told me! And I do wish they’d send gluten-free organic pasta when they do a pasta dish. But then I wish they’d send me a knight in shining armour but there ain’t much chance of that either! Lol! So I just substitute with my own. Previously I haven’t felt like eating that kind of carb dish much, so I’m gonna cut down or just leave it out for the next few meals – my body’s not that much of a fan and if I’m Freedom Eating properly, I mainly go for the veggies most of the time! Will be interesting when I’m away – lots of stir fries… ; – )
A TiFFT * for Richard Jackson and QVC Extra Goes Live
How exciting for Richard Jackson my lovely publishing buddy (Rich both advised me and supplied my hardback book), who not only has his annual Garden Re-Leaf show on Monday (it’s with me at 9pm, 23rd ) but also straight after, presents our first ever live hour over on sister channel QVC Extra, where he’ll present the charity with their donation, and also bring even more garden bargains – do watch it if you can! Full info of our channels and where to watch is here, but you can always watch online or on the app! This year, products will include outdoor plants from Unwins such as Impatiens, Roses and Rhododendrons with £1.50 donated from each unit sold. More about Garden re-Leaf here.
Facebook Fab – uptown funk treadmill dance from Carson Dean – 2m views and 800,000 shares!
Blooper – funniest Marla Wynne hour, she’s a hoot! And best #EpicModelFail – just watch this – good old Sally! By the way, that fabulous big chunky long length necklace they were all wearing is here!
Sneaky peek! Kipling & Red Carpet Manicure News – Kipling fans? Watch out for theIR Taube medium bag on Thursday (26th).
AND – look what’s back – RCM! But, advanced warning – the new Disney Cinderella movie – out here Easter weekend – will be accompanied by a Red Carpet Manicure limited edition set – on air with my sis Linda Bignell on Thursday 9th April in The Morning Show for ten mins. More here. Meanwhile, if you love the fab long lasting LED light manicure, just take a look at this professional time-saving lamp – did my nails in half the time – it’s huge – all fingers and thumb all at once – and feet – easy! It’s item 400838 and is available now. And here’s that lamp :
Sneaky peek #2 – Ultrasun x 2! Also – don’t miss Will’s chat with Abi Cleeve about the April 2nd Ultrasun Today’s Special Value (TSV) – it’s a good ‘un! AND – if you’re a fan, you simply MUST watch Dale’s show on Saturday 21st at 9pm for one of those one show only type mahussive bargains! In the meantime, go here for a video explaining what it’s all about, and the discovery set that’s under £15. Great for handbag emergencies, travel bags, and to give to friends. Be prepared – get it now!
Shhhh! – Decleor ‘reveal’ from Fiona! Oooo don’t you love their gradual glow? Fiona’s been sneaking her own peeks on Facebook – Full TSV Saturday 28th – yay! PS – oh and Birkies are back with a new ‘stripes cross metallic sandal’ but its last airing will be 7pm so beware an early sell out so put it in your diary to watch the launch at midnight on Tues 31st!
This weekend on QVC –
Yes it’s luggage time! Means summer’s nearer and nearer, yay! I’m bringing you the new Antler cases set of two Sunday night, (22nd) at midnight and if it doesn’t sell out it’ll be on all day Monday. And my telly hubby Lee Hohbein will give all grans the gift of getting on the internet easily and being able to watch QVC on the app, with Sunday’s Today’s Special Value which is the new iPad A 2 bundle. Saturday’s is the fab five piece L’Occitane set. I’m off on Saturday – I have tons of writing to do before I go away… for my long trip. Did I tell you? Lol.
Next weekend (27-28) – Bruce and his Bodyblade will be back in stock this week in preparation. It’s been sold out for a while so do get one while you can! Click here to buy yours as soon as it’s back in stock. And don’t miss his last show of the visit at 8pm on Saturday (28th) with me. I’m aiming to meet up and do another Super6 routine as a variation for all those loving it, on his Bodyblade QVC Facebook group (do join – link below.) Meanwhile here’s another look at the most popular one of all – over 5,600 views – the Bodyblade Beach video we did in November in LA.
Have a great week! Looking forward to lunchtime treats with mum and ‘the girls’ this week, plus seeing ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night time’ at the theatre for his belated birthday treat – whoo hooo! Plus getting ready for my long trip – I’ve been chosen to go help train QVC presenters in China for a fortnight in April! Whoo hooo! Plus I have lots of leave I’m supposed to use up too, so – as happened last year – I’ll be off quite a lot between now and the end of May! Lots of jobs to do though, and stories to write, and places to go – I’ll be busy! I’ll keep updating on here and on my website though – so do click here to subscribe to my email newsletters (which anyone can get – you just have to enter your email where asked) so you don’t miss a thing! Plus I’ll be reporting back from a talk given by one of my fave authors, the ‘Outlander’ creator, Diana Gabaldon, as part of the Oxford Literary Festival. And, Kids TV Nostalgia #2 – all next week!
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