A Summer Spruce-Up at My House


Hello everyone!

Thanks for joining me for another blog. How have you been? Well, I hope. It has been all systems go for me lately as we’ve really kicked back into renovation mode now there are no weddings to pay for. I say “we” when really I mean mostly I!

To start with, we have had our big flower bed in the garden cleared. We have VERY heavy clay soil and the big bed at the end of the garden had so many old and overgrown shrubs etc in it that the only real thing to be done was remove it all and start again. We have attempted several times to do it ourselves but even Lawrence wasn’t strong enough to remove the roots/stumps of the bigger shrubs out of our stubborn soil. So, I bit the bullet and called up a gardening company. They brought a mini digger!! So almost everything was removed apart from our tiny little pond and the holly tree in the middle. We also had them make the bed itself about a foot deeper so we can put some more plants in. Wow! What a difference it has made – strangely, even though the bed has been made bigger, the garden looks twice the size! Here’s a before and after – not very good I’m afraid, but you get the idea.

I am so happy I’ve finally had it cleared. Naturally I had some plants on standby to go in! I put some around the pond immediately because we have frogs and newts in there and they need to have some shelter by the water but it took another week or so to do the rest. I have dug several bags of sand in and I am planting everything with loads of grit too in a bid to beat the clay! Roses and Phlox are some of my absolute favourite plants and I have added a few of those in, but there is plenty more room and what a treat to be able to fill it up as time goes by. What I need now is a few plants that will stay green over winter as everything that’s in now will die back and it will all look rather bare! Here’s what it looks like so far.

So that was outside, but inside has been getting some work done too! I have FINALLY painted the hallway… it has taken so long wallpaper stripping, filling, sanding to prepare the walls but I have now got the white basecoat on and it looks so much better. We are debating whether to do any more for now as we still have rooms to do upstairs, including the bathroom, so we think that finishing the hallway and stairs may be a little silly as we’ll have to be more careful when doing upstairs. We may just paint and perhaps tile the small space downstairs and just leave the stairs uncarpeted until everything else has been finished though; we just can’t decide yet.

Unfortunately, the wallpaper stripping isn’t over yet as I’ve moved onto the dining room which is also (Lord help me) WOODCHIP! But, have no fear, I am now an expert in removing the stuff. It still takes ages, but I know how to get it off most effectively and I suppose it’s a good work out for the arms. We’ve taken up the horrid old brown carpet in there too so it’s looking a bit cell-like with its scruffy walls and concrete floor but hopefully that won’t be for too long. It is going to be a bit of a bigger job than the hallway as we need to remove an old gas fire, take a radiator away and get a new one in a different location, remove a door and its woodwork and probably have the walls skimmed, as there are just too many cracks and bodged brackets/holes in there. We have two really big cupboards in there that are under the stairs and they are wallpapered too… I’m dreading that bit!

Monty is totally fed up with it all so I’ve been trying to give him some good walks in between. Here’s a photo Lawrence took of him on a walk recently. I know I’m biased, but gosh he’s handsome!

I’ve plenty to keep me busy as you can tell and I’m determined to keep going and get as much done as I can. It is both exciting and exhausting! I’m a huge fan of listening to audiobooks and I am getting through them pretty quickly doing all the work, so if you’ve read any good books lately then I’d love your recommendations. Nothing too scary or too sci-fi! Ha!

It has been bust at QVC as always too. Did you catch any of jewellery day? I was in my element. I had two days at Q where I did nothing but jewellery shows. Now, of course, I love doing a variety of shows but for a jewellery lover like me, that was a real treat. I even got to wear to a FULL CARAT of Paraiba Tourmaline. This stone is incredibly rare – something like ten thousand diamonds are mined to every one Paraiba! Wow! There are still a small number available I think and it is obviously a more considered purchase, but a serious collector’s stone. I was very impressed by the quality, particularly the colour – it is a true Paraiba blue.

The Great Jewellery Event is still running online, so do check it out as there are some beautiful pieces to be had, including some new ranges (did you see Annie Haak? Stunning silver jewellery and a really lovely lady).

There are more exciting things coming up too, of course. This Sunday we have a Todays Special Value from the LAB girls. Now, we’re used to seeing beauty tools from them for our faces but they’re bringing us a device for our bodies this time. It is the Smooth Out and Firm Up Body Tool and it comes with their Body Firm Gel too. It has four different functions and can be used over the whole body, so whether you want to target your thighs or your arms or anywhere else, this is perfect for you.

I have only had mine for a day or so but I tried it out last night whilst watching the telly after being on my feet all day stripping wallpaper and it was lovely. It felt so lovely on the massage function and helped me relax before bed and my skin felt so much softer and smoother afterwards, especially on my thighs. I would recommend it – after just using it once, I am going to keep up with it on my legs for sure, as I think it is going to make a real improvement. So make sure you are watching on Sunday 14th for that one – remember the new pre-launch time is at 9pm the day before too.

Bareminerals are also bringing us some new products on the 14th, 15th and 16th, so if you are a big fan of them, which I know a lot of you are after mentioning them on previous blogs, keep your eyes peeled for those shows too.

Now, I don’t have much room left but I just want to mention a couple of the Big Deals we have running this week (remember it is four every week now). The first is for my fellow jewellery fans and would make a great gift – it is a travel roll for your jewellery that comes with two pairs of Diamonique stud earrings.

What a fabulous bundle for the price. You can choose whichever metal plating you’d like over the sterling silver and the roll coordinates with it too. Very handy for those of you like me, who wouldn’t dream of going anywhere without taking some jewellery with you, for all eventualities but, if you just like the earrings as I say, save the roll as a gift for someone.

The other Big Deal I want to mention quickly is this Cotton Biker Jacket from Helene Berman. We know Helene brings us beautifully designed coats in the winter and this cotton biker is perfect for this time of year and either side of summer too. A few colours to choose from with this, but it looks like the red might already be gone. I’m a huge fan of almost everything Helene Berman brings us and I think this is fantastic too. Designer at a fraction of the price.

That’s it from me although, before I go I wanted to share a photo of my lovely cat Wotsit – the dogs get a lot of love on here but the cats get left out a bit and she is a real beauty.

She’s about 11 years old now I think and she lives with Mum and Dad and her son Gizmo, who is at least twice the size of her. Here she is strolling along the pergola as if she owns the place. I will try and get one of Gizmo for you soon too, although that can be tricky as he is the definition of a scaredy cat!

I hope the rest of your week is wonderful and, as always, take a look at my social media for all the in-between bits.

Kathryn x


  1. Marie July 10, 2019 at 5:57 pm -  Reply

    Hi Kathryn Good luck with all that DIY you are braver than me! I didn’t realise you had cats as well as a dog I also have a dog and a ginger cat who looks just like Wotsit and I expect is as much of a character. I love to see cats and dogs living together they can be great friends if introduced correctly. Enjoy your decorating!!
    Marie x

    • Kathryn Goldsmith July 14, 2019 at 10:27 am -  Reply

      Hi Marie. Thank you…I might need that luck…running out of steam! And Wotsit lives with my parents so she lives with 3 dogs and my Monty when he goes there to stay. She used to properly play with their old dog Fudge as she new him from a kitten but she mostly jist stay out of the dogs’ way now. Sure you know as well as I do that the cats are in charge! I’ve always loved both cats and dogs and I would have one at my house but we live on a busy road and I don’t want to risk it! Thanks for reading. Kathryn x

  2. Karen B July 10, 2019 at 7:02 pm -  Reply

    Hi Kathryn, great blog. You have been busy and yes you are absolutely right Monty is most definitely handsome – what a gorgeous pic x

    • Kathryn Goldsmith July 14, 2019 at 10:29 am -  Reply

      Hi Karen. Thank you for reading and I’m glad you enjoyed it. And I can’t take credit for the photo..my clever husband took it. Handsome looks are the dog model’s own!! Kathryn x

  3. Judith White July 11, 2019 at 1:53 pm -  Reply

    Hi Kathryn, Please in your next blog can you share the tip about removing WOODCHIP paper we are just about to go into a house like yours where every room has woodchip on it, and we can use all the help we can get.xx

    • Kathryn Goldsmith July 14, 2019 at 10:41 am -  Reply

      Hi Judith. I’ll tell you now…it’s nothing fancy but does the trick. I don’t use a steamer at all. I use a scraper to try all the edges and see if there are any loose bits….some of ours will come up that easily but only small areas but this gives you an “open edge” as it were. Then I take the scraper and run it over the surface of the paper and that catches the little wood chipping and pulls a few of them off. Basically it makes little holes that then get you past the top layer of paper. Then I use a liquid concentrated wallpaper stripper and mix it a bit stronger than the instuctions say and I brush it on liberally (and I mean LIBERALLY). Leave it ten mins or whatever instructions say and then get scraping. The exposed edges will come away easier as the liquid can penetrate better there and hopefully scraping a few bits of the chippings off has helped with this too. As soon as you are struggling again to scrape it off, slosh another layer of the stripper liquid on and just keep going with that method. I tend to move round the room as I go so once I’ve exhausted one wall and put more liquid on it, it will have soaked into the next ready for scraping. It is still very time consuming but I find it much better than steaming or scoring etc etc. I us about ome 1L bottle of concentrate per room so I really don’t hold back on it. I really hope that make sense and helps you out a bit. And my top tip is book yourself a massage after!! My shoulders are killing me! Massive good luck and congratulations on your new house! Kathryn x

  4. Meryle July 23, 2019 at 4:04 pm -  Reply

    Monty is very handsome having had six flatcoats throughour time I may be a little biased beautiful breed very clever and funny so much fun
    Meryle X

  5. Too hot today July 25, 2019 at 8:36 am -  Reply

    Hi Kathryn

    I think you asked about book recommendations I have recently read the cormoran strike books by Robert Galbraith aka jk Rowling. Some danger but bearable. There are 4 books so far and I can’t wait for the next one.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Cast your vote!

Never miss a post!

Sign up to our QGossip feed to get the latest posts in your mailbox.

QVC uses first and third party cookies to enhance your use of this website and provide you with a personalised browsing experience. We do so in accordance with our Privacy Statement and our Cookie Policy. To learn more and change your preferences click here. By actively continuing to use this website, closing this banner or clicking the OK button below, you consent to our use of cookies.

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.