What is the saying? “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Well, I wouldn’t want people to think Julia is a ‘dull’ girl so I ventured out on Saturday evening to my first (and potentially only) party of the season. It wasn’t actually a Christmas do, it was to celebrate my friend Natalie’s 40th birthday. Natalie used to work at QVC, so a few current staff members were there along with former employees, including Claudia Sylvester and Rob Locke! It was lovely to catch up with them, albeit briefly, and I suppose technically Claudia is now presenting on QVC again as she is the guest for natural make-up range Nude By Nature, the next show of which is this coming Monday at 11pm.
We were the first there as our intention was to leave early… I don’t really call 11.15 early, but we were having too much fun. We didn’t get home until half past midnight, but we forced ourselves to watch Crystal Palace v Burnley on Match of the Day as our performance had apparently been Brazil-like! We were excellent, with twenty-nine shots on goal, a performance we couldn’t repeat on Tuesday night against Brighton, unfortunately!
So, having had a night out, I got down to the serious business of finishing my Christmas novella, Carol’s Singing, the sequel to Christmas at Carol’s, which released around this time last year, and sending it off to my copy editor, Justine. This is nothing to do with my publishing deal and is a very different genre (Romantic Comedy) and is also written in the first person. If you haven’t read Christmas at Carol’s, look out for a special deal just before the new one is released. They are both quick reads, under 20,000 words, and are ebook only.
The manuscript went off to Justine on Tuesday afternoon, which is when I finally got around to making my Christmas cake. It’s the first one in the new oven so I hope it’s as good as usual – it certainly smelled very appetising! Talking of baking, I’ve started making bread again. I’m not really a fan of ‘gadgets’ in the kitchen, preferring to do everything I can by hand, but the bread-making machine is worth its weight in gold in my opinion.
The bread is absolutely scrumptious, particularly with home-made soup. This was a minestrone I made a couple of weeks ago when the weather had turned really cold. It really is a shame that I don’t do more cooking shows on QVC, but I’m not good around meat unfortunately, having been a veggie for thirty-three years!
I did bump into Andi Peters though, yesterday prior to his Festive Food finale show with Dale! As well as telling him about the Snowdonia cheese truckles (which Dale says is the best cheese he has ever tasted) and Laithwaites wine I had ordered, I also asked him who he thought would win ‘I’m a Celebrity’ this year. He wouldn’t commit, but he did say who he thought would be voted off last night. He was incorrect, but I guessed correctly, as Nick’s time in the jungle came to an end. I think Harry Rednapp will win – he has been so entertaining but also showed true grit and determination on the trials and patience when partnered with Emily. Or, it could be Fleur, who has also been phenomenal.
As well as ‘the jungle’, I’ve also been watching ‘Strictly’. I love seeing the judges bedecked in Butler and Wilson jewellery. I have a top three who I hope make it to the final. In no particular order; Ashley, Faye and Stacey. If you’ve been watching either of these shows, who are your faves to win?
Talking of jewellery, we are now in December, so time for a look at the birthstone of the month, which I’m sure most of you know is Tanzanite. It was only discovered in 1967 in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and although it is technically blue zoisite it was renamed Tanzanite. You can buy ungraded pieces, which are still beautiful and tend to be paler in colour, but we sell mostly AAA or AAAA with AAAA, being the very best quality. Him indoors asked me this morning what I would like for Christmas (apparently I’m difficult to buy for – really?) and I think I might ask him for these earrings, which are similar in style to a little ring he bought me years ago. The central stones are a carat per earring of cushion cut AAA tanzanite framed by 0.16 of diamonds across the pair and at £549, I think they are really good value.
If you’re looking for a ring, we have many to choose from but these two are quite different from each other and both are at hugely reduced prices. This ring is a whopping 3.4 carat oval of AAAA tanzanite or, if you prefer a halo style, this ring is again AAAA tanzanite. It has a 1.5 carat central stone framed by thirty points of diamonds and is just under a thousand pounds.
Tanzanite is said to inspire compassion and calmness, qualities I admire, and is also said to transmute desires into reality… we could all do with a bit of that!
I expect many of you will have finished your Christmas shopping by now, but if you haven’t, we still have some fantastic offers which you can order for pre-Christmas delivery until the 20th December. And do remember to redeem your £15 or £25 off vouchers if you earned them, again prior to 20th December.
Things to look out for this weekend are the Gatineau TSV, which is a radiance perfecting skincare collection, ideal at this time of year when our skin can look so grey and dull. I’m on with Andrew at 5pm tomorrow.
There is also the Amazon Fire 32GB tablet (517857), the TSV on Sunday, which would be ideal for downloading eBooks (if you get my drift!) amongst many other things.
Do join me for a double helping of Fashion on Friday today at 5pm on the main channel and at 6pm on Style Live.