We are now officially in the year of the Fire Monkey. As I mentioned on last week’s blog the New Year started on Monday. We celebrated by having a cashew nut in black bean sauce stir fry, with spring rolls, spicy rice noodles and kale baked with sea salt and garlic. We normally buy the tubs of seaweed but it had sold out, so we improvised with the kale and I think I preferred it. We cooked ours in the oven but I reckon Today’s Special Value offer from Cook’s Essentials (Air fryer) would do a pretty good job of it too.
Sophie came home with a present for me, the cuddly monkey pictured above. I was just about to thank her when she told me she had rescued it from the rubbish bin at work!!!! I thanked her anyway – kind thought. The other monkey is jade and was bought in Hong Kong years ago. He is a typical monkey sign in Chinese astrology with his knees buckled under the weight of carrying the world on his shoulders.
I had a tweet on air during the week saying that the monkey year is unlucky. It is certainly changeable but there will be lots of new opportunities and you just need to keep your eyes open for them and grasp them with both hands. America was born in the year of the Fire Monkey – make of that what you will.
My monkey New Year got off to a really good start with ‘Life’s a Beach and Then…’ being selected for a Valentine kindle promotion in Australia. Check my website www.juliarobertsbooks.co.uk for the link if you would like to share it with friends and/or relatives living ‘down under’. It has pushed my book into the top 100 of women’s fiction in Australia – I’m so chuffed. The promotion ends on Sunday in Australia and while we’re on the subject of things ending, we now only have single figure stocks of signed paperbacks online the QVC website, and this is definitely the last available stock if you have been thinking of getting a signed copy. The latest book will not be sold on QVC but again check my website for details of how to get hold of signed copies through a bookshop called Chapter One.
Speaking of my website, my other half is running it and he has been experimenting with pictures. He created this one, which some of you may have seen on my Twitter feed. He’s also been playing with special effects and I love this pencil drawing effect he did on a picture of my lovely old cat Poppy. She’s a good girl but the boys, Milo and Wilfie, have been ‘little monkeys’ this week!
Firstly, Wilfie got into the cupboard under the sink where we keep their food. Unlike Milo, he doesn’t try and eat the food, he climbs behind the boxes and pushes them out onto the floor. The cupboard was quite full this week so he had climbed right to the back and come out with cobwebs on his head – I guess a spring clean is on the cards!
A couple of days later, Chris sent me this picture of the pair of them. They had somehow managed to knock over and break their very sturdy scratching post. Fortunately we have two as I bought them one each for Christmas last year so they still have that to claw in preference to the furniture – funnily enough, they have also been clawing the one lying prone on the floor.
Whilst on the subject of cats, this is the February Yoga-cat pose from my calendar. I’m definitely going to give yoga a try this year – I reckon I could manage that!
This week’s Fashion Focus
I want to draw your attention to a couple of TSVs coming up this week. I was in the TSV meeting when the Lulu Guinness bag was presented. Personally I LOVE the confetti choice – it reminds me of a Dalmatian. I have a feeling that option may go quite quickly.
I’m not actually working on Tuesday so will not be presenting it but I will be in on Thursday when we have the Attitudes by Renee offer. I love working with Renee, she has a slightly naughty streak to her. You probably already know but she also has the range Women With Control. From now on you will see pieces of WWC featured in ABR hours.
For this visit she is bringing a great pair of jeans/jeggings (158015) in her wonder jean fabric. They are slim leg, cigarette pant ankle grazers (probably full length on me!) and they have the tummy control panel. I have a feeling they’re going to be very popular so maybe order early online. They will be a great bottom to wear with all the ABR tops, including the TSV. On next week’s Fashion Focus I’ll be giving you a preview of the Fashion Week Runway shows which coincide with London Fashion Week from the 19th to 23rd February.
Fashion on Friday today is Coco Bianco, as mentioned on last week’s Fashion Focus, so I hope you will join me for the latest collection, after which today’s Spotlight on Jewellery features Butler & Wilson. It was lovely to catch up with Simon last Friday and can’t wait to see him again tonight.
Talking of jewellery, you won’t want to miss the latest collection from Lisa Snowdon, who was a guest during my last series of Spotlight on Jewellery.
There are some beautiful pieces, my favourites being the arrow ring that wraps around the finger and a stunning love necklace (very appropriate for Valentine’s Day) but, rather than trying to describe them to you, see for yourself on this video that Will Gowing shot at the press preview of the range at Sexyfish in Mayfair last month…
[Having trouble viewing this video? See YouTube’s Help page]
If that has whet your appetite, tune in at 3pm on Sunday when I’m sure Lisa and Craig will keep you entertained.
This is my weekend off so sadly I will be missing the Elemis TSV and more importantly Keeley – it launches our Customer Favourite event at midnight tonight. I’ll also be missing Sunday’s Flower Power TSV from Richard Jackson. If you love your gardening stock up, it’s great stuff. I don’t have much in bloom in the garden just yet but thought I would share these white camellias with you – they’re real, not Peony!
I hope you all have a ‘LOVErly’ weekend – I will be spending it writing as I need 10,000 words before I’m back on your screens next Thursday at 3pm (Attitudes by Renee) and 5pm ( Murano Italian jewellery)