I love colour, which is probably strange to hear from me considering I have painted my entire house grey! Most of you know I always say my favourite is purple – which happens to be the pantone colour for 2018 (well, ultra-violet to be more accurate) and of course that is the classic colour of Amethyst, this month’s birthstone, but more of that later.
I also love yellow, red, blue, emerald green, pink and a nice bright orange to cheer up miserable grey days. That leads me nicely into the colour of a soup I made earlier in the week. I posted a picture of it on my Instagram, @juliagroberts, and promised I would pop the recipe on here, so here goes…
Tomato, carrot and pepper soup
– 5/6 plum tomatoes
– 2 medium carrots
– 100g chargrilled peppers
– 1 tbsp tomato puree
– 1 tsp of garlic-infused oil
– 500ml vegetable stock
– Sprinkle of onion granules
– Sprinkle of dried oregano
– 6 basil leaves, torn
– Black pepper to taste
1. Score and core tomatoes and immerse in boiling water for 2 minutes before skinning and roughly chopping. Roughly chop carrots then add both to garlic oil over a low heat for a few minutes to soften
2. Add chopped chargrilled peppers and the remainder of the ingredients except the black pepper and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 minutes
3. Blend with stick blender or pour into blender until as smooth as required. Taste and add pepper if neededIt really is very quick and easy and if you don’t have a stick blender you could carefully pour it into your Vitamix or Nutri Ninja. I’ve been making good use of my Nutri Ninja to chop nuts and breadcrumbs for the nut roasts I have been making lately – it’s brilliant! I haven’t bothered with nut roast for years as I usually find them a bit bland but I’ve been experimenting… I’ll have to share that recipe another time. Maybe I should do a recipe of the month on my blog – what do you think?
Back to orange for a moment, there are some decidedly orange/coral shades in one of the options of the OPI TSV today (Monday), the other option is more pinks and both have the fabulous original Nail Envy in which I couldn’t be without particularly the older I get!
I wonder if any of you ordered the new GTech TSV yesterday? I had the original, which I really liked but, being a caring mother, I let Sophie have it as all the ‘normal’ vacuum cleaners she has had get blocked with her cat, Milo’s, fur – he does seem to moult a lot more than Wilfie. Maybe it’s something to do with being ginger? To digress a moment, we took this picture of him lying on the Bose Wave after managing to turn it on!!! Wilfie does it too and it’s very funny to watch them trying to work out where the music is coming from! In this case, it was the soundtrack to the musical we watched on Broadway, A Bronx Tale… maybe it should be A Bronx Tail!!??!!
Back to the GTech – you may have read about the saga with our lounge carpet in my blog just before Christmas? We ended up getting a very luxurious New Zealand wool carpet which, although sumptuous under foot, creates a lot of loose fluff and has blocked our upright vacuum twice. The GTech is perfect – it isn’t transporting dirt, dust and fluff up any tubes so there is nothing to get blocked. The suction is even better than the old one too so I won’t be passing this on to Sophie, despite it being ‘purrfect’ for cat hair! Let me know what you think if you ordered it.
So, back to the colour purple and the beautiful amethyst gemstone. You may already have seen me wearing some gorgeous pieces from our amethyst collection which I’ll continue to do throughout February and you can check out the feature on the stone on our website. I thought I would give you a heads up on a couple of pieces I particularly like. This ring, (pictured below) with its beautiful oval cut centre stone in a gorgeous rich colour, flanked by diamonds and set in white gold is my favourite. It’s classy and understated… simply gorgeous.
I also like this elegant friendship style bracelet (pictured below), but as I mentioned, do check out the feature on our website to get a better idea of the whole collection if you love purple as much as I do. Incidentally, did you know that amethyst is found inside geodes which look like giant avocado pears. Apparently it’s difficult to know the quality of the stone until the geode is cut open and although the deeper colour is most desired, clarity is a consideration too. Geodes can be huge; in fact when Alison Keenan and I visited China and Hong Kong with our buyers a few years ago we saw one in a collection which was much taller than the pair of us! Amongst other claims, amethyst is said to be good for clearing the mind – ideal for a writer then, I always need ‘room to think’!
These days, I have a room to think/write in but there is just one problem. It is up at the top of our house so if I’m ‘home alone’ and someone comes to the door I have to go rushing down two flights of stairs. Well, I’m not going to have that problem any more after installing the Ring doorbell, it’s our Today’s Special Value offer on Thursday and it’s available in 4 Easy Pay instalments. Once you’ve downloaded the free app onto your phone or tablet (or both), set up an account and then follow the set-up device instructions.
A little tip; make sure your location is ‘on’ on your device so that it can find your address. You can speak to the person at your front door via your phone even if you’re not in the house – I had an alert on my phone yesterday when I was actually at QVC waiting to go on air.
You can do a ‘live view’ at anytime to see what’s happening outside your front door – again, I was at work when this footage (video 1) was taken. I’ve recorded a little video (video 2) using the Ring doorbell camera to give you an idea of the quality. It really is a very clever idea.
[Having trouble viewing these videos? See YouTube’s Help page]
Apologies that this didn’t go up on Friday – I was told there were ‘technical problems’.
I hope you enjoy the soup if you make it.