Dressing room/study

My 50th birthday gift to me!



I can’t believe we’re almost at the end of May already! Time definitely seems to speed up the older you get, doesn’t it? Anyway, the final part of my big birthday celebrations has now been completed – my 50th birthday gift to myself, a new dressing room/office at home.

We have a three-bedroom house so obviously hubby and I have the big master bedroom, and when we moved in a few years ago we decided to make the second-largest bedroom the spare room and the smallest room my office (hubby has his own office area in another room). But recently I’ve felt really squeezed for space, and when we were out for dinner one night we were chatting about how we could rearrange things and had a brainwave.

Why on earth did we have a lovely big, bright spare room which was empty ninety per cent of the time? We don’t have people to stay that often, and when they do stay they just use the bedroom for sleeping, so it really doesn’t need to be so big. It suddenly seemed such a waste of a lovely room, which we could be using ourselves every single day. So we decided to swap the two rooms. The small one which was previously my office is now still a perfectly lovely spare room, just a little more bijou! And I’m absolutely delighted with my new space.

Dressing room/study

I now have a wall of open rails, shelves, drawers and shoe racks where I keep my everyday clothes and footwear, plus two big wardrobes for dresses, coats, handbags and lots more. I’ve also been able to get a much bigger desk and a huge noticeboard where I can pin all the notes for my novel writing (more on my new book in a moment!). There is so much more room, and two windows so it’s lovely and bright. It was such a good decision – I love it! You may spot some QVC touches in there – there’s a purple Peony flower on one of the window sills and some of the fab storage ottomans too.

Dressing room/study

New book coverSo – my new book! I signed a three-book deal in 2014 and The Dead Dog Day, my first murder mystery novel, was published last October. It became a bestseller, getting to number 21 on a major book chart, and number 2 on a crime, mystery and thriller chart so I was beyond thrilled. The second in the series, The Deadline, will be released on 20th October this year, and the cover has just been finished. Here it is – pretty, eh?

The paperback version is now available for pre-order on a well-known book seller’s website, with the e-book to follow soon. I’m getting nervous already, and I still have five months to wait until publication day!

Oh – one more quick mention of my big birthday, then I promise I’ll stop talking about it! Clare, one of our lovely producers, gave me the most FABULOUS gift. Do you remember Fuzzy Felt? I used to adore it as a child and I didn’t realise it was still around. Well, it is, and she gave me a Farm Animal set for my birthday (don’t ask me why…!). I got it out the other night and made a picture – oh my goodness, so much fun! It was very therapeutic too – I reckon it could take over from adult colouring books as a mindfulness tool. What a brilliant present.

Felt play

That’s it for now. I always love to hear from you – you can get in touch by leaving a comment below this blog, by saying hello on my Facebook author page or by visiting my website.

Have a lovely week.

Love Jackie xxx


  1. Nikki May 24, 2016 at 1:34 pm -  Reply

    Hi Jackie,

    Thank you so much for pointing out to me what has been staring me in the face for years! Once I am fully recovered from my recent operation, I shall be making a start on making my third bedroom a dedicated spare bedroom for guests (one night every three or four months!) and the current spare room which I currently have to completely rearrange for guests can then become my dressing room for my overflow clothing, bags and shoes and all along one wall will be my bookshelves, with a desk in the bay window, facing out to the street and getting fabulous light.

    I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before but I am so glad that you and your husband did and have shared this with us. This will also be the perfect excuse for a cathartic clear out of all the stuff that I still have squirrelled away that just reminds me of the past and clutters my vision of the future.

    I’m glad you enjoyed your various 50th celebrations, the pictures look like you had a wonderful time; I loved mine (now 53) although not quite on your scale but regardless, the milestone should be marked with happy celebrations.

    Looking forward to seeing you on screen again soon.

    Best wishes,


    • Jackie Kabler May 29, 2016 at 10:20 am -  Reply

      Hi Nikki,
      I know, it seems so obvious when you think about it, doesn’t it? I have no idea why I didn’t do it this way when we first moved in, but I’m glad I came to my senses eventually. I feel like we’re using the space in our home properly for the first time! Your plans sound lovely, and I hope you recover from your operation fully and quickly. I agree with you about the clutter too…I feel renewed having had such a clear out when we rearranged the rooms. Good luck with everything!
      Love Jackie x

  2. Denise May 24, 2016 at 8:49 pm -  Reply

    Jackie I love your bedroom and am green with envy! That’s just what I could do with. Like you there’s the 2 of us in a 3 bedroom house. My husband has the smallest bedroom for his office. The other bedroom belonged to my son and when he left for Uni we said we’d sort it out. That I’m ashamed to say was 10 years ago and it never got done. Over the years it’s become a dumping ground for excess clothes,exercise equipment, cases, you name it!! My son is now married and we have just found out we are to become grandparents so now it definitely needs sorting so that we can do overnight babysitting duties!! Oh well we have till the end of the year to get it done.
    What a great idea for a present the fuzzy felt. I used to love them when I was small. I have one of the colouring books but perhaps I should move on to fuzzy felt!
    Denise x

    • Jackie Kabler May 29, 2016 at 10:22 am -  Reply

      Hi Denise,
      So many people have said similar things to me about their spare room since we rearranged ours – seems to be a common problem! The very best of luck with your new grandchild, how exciting and a great motivation to get your spare room sorted! And yes, I’m loving the Fuzzy Felt – never grow up, eh!
      Love Jackie x

  3. Mary Morphy May 25, 2016 at 6:25 am -  Reply

    Hi Jackie..i haven’t written much before however i do read your blogs.. your birthday celebrations made me smile! I was 50 on March 26th and along with my identical twin had a birthday party that evening which I am told was fantastic..i do not remember much after the first hour but apparently i drank like a fish, danced all night in my 5 inch heels and was very skillful with a pink feather boa curtesy of two my best friends who had taken me to see Priscilla Queen of the Desert the night before. I was however up at 8.45am the following morning, to my husband’s utter surprise,making blackberry and apple crumble as i had 12 for dinner that day, Easter Sunday!! My other bestie bought me a red Kitchen Aid..i cried loads when i opened it. I have known my three besties since i was 18 and they are all incredibly special. New York is on my wish list but finances do not allow so my twin and I are saving £20 a month and we are going on our 60th..a fab bit of forward planning that won’t break the bank. My pressie from hubby is a three night stay in London during October half term with my twin sister and my daugter who was 16 in January. I lived in London until moving to Westgate in Kent..three miles from Margate..when i was 9 but we love visiting and doing the tourist thing and i live Covent Garden. We have a rib boat trip on the Thames booked, will do the Tour bus..sitting on the open top deck is obligatory and hopefully catch a show. I love being 50 and thanks to QVC and their great skin products look, i am told, so much younger!
    Goid luck with the new book. Love Mary

    • Jackie Kabler May 29, 2016 at 10:25 am -  Reply

      Hi Mary,
      Wow, your birthday celebration sounds fantastic – you did it in style! Hope you’ve kept the boa! My hubby has a Kitchen Aid (he’s the cook in our house) and he loves it so I hope you do too. And what a great idea to do New York for your 60th, its definitely worth the wait. I hope you have a wonderful time in London too!
      Love Jackie x

  4. Louise Hollow May 25, 2016 at 10:49 pm -  Reply

    Love the room x I would love something like for all of my clothes and shoes x I love the fuzzy felt too that used to be ones of my favourite toys when I was little 🙂

    • Jackie Kabler May 29, 2016 at 10:26 am -  Reply

      Hi Louise,
      Yes I’m very lucky to have a spare room to use, I’m delighted with it. And the Fuzzy Felt is brilliant, I can’t believe it’s still around but it’s just as much fun as I remember!
      Love Jackie x

  5. karen May 28, 2016 at 7:20 pm -  Reply

    Oh enjoyed reading that Jackie . Welcome to the 50 club!
    And fuzzy felt took me right back , loved it.

    • Jackie Kabler June 1, 2016 at 11:46 am -  Reply

      Hi Karen,
      Thank you! And yes, Fuzzy Felt is ace!
      Love J x

  6. Susan June 2, 2016 at 2:43 pm -  Reply

    Love your room Jackie!! Now I really don’t feel guilty anymore for trying to squeeze my life into 1 room! Thanks for that! You have an amazing wardrobe(s)!! Lucky girl! How brill you got s New York trip and a lovely evening with your friends for your bday. Love your book cover by the way x

    • Jackie Kabler June 3, 2016 at 10:18 am -  Reply

      Hi Susan,
      I love it too, I’m very lucky! Yes my birthday was fab. Glad you like the book cover!
      Love Jackie x

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