August?! Already?


Are we really almost in August? This year seems to be flying by. As well as a very important birthday for my mum in a couple of weeks’ time, it’s an exciting month on QVC as we have our first ever Fashion Month in our (almost) twenty-three year history, which I will tell you more about later. First though, I thought I would update you on our home improvements as ” ‘im indoors” has been working so hard.

StairsA couple of months ago, I mentioned that we were getting a new central heating system. It’s a combi boiler which meant we could get rid of the old airing cupboard housing the hot water tank (which was taking up quite a chunk of our spare bedroom). I wish I had taken pictures of some of the interesting layers of wallpaper that Chris unearthed during the removal process!

We have created an airing cupboard under the new staircase leading to the second floor of our house which we had installed earlier in the year. One slight problem, we needed a very tall door.

Rather than going to the expense of having a bespoke door made, Chris utilised some old cupboard doors we already had and stuck them together. It really fits in well with the rustic look of our cottage and it was free – apart from the cost of the glue!

Chris has worked really hard plastering, papering, painting ceilings and walls, and putting up a picture rail to minimise the look of the very high ceilings; I think he has done a great job. It would appear that Wilfie the cat agrees as he loves to sit on the window ledge in there.

Life's a beachWe are just waiting for the arrival of a new bed and a couple of other bits of furniture to complete the look. That was my domain in this project. Choosing the wall colour, curtains and furniture that didn’t overcrowd the small space, but didn’t look too small either. Hopefully we’ve got it right and we’ll be able to move on to the other bedroom.

I was really pleased to finally put one of my birthday presents up on the wall too. The ‘Life’s a Beach’ heart was a gift from my friend Teresa whose partner, Stretch, I dedicated my first novel to.

As always, if you are interested in hearing more about my books head over to my website – I’m planning on launching a monthly newsletter soon, so do keep watching this space.

After Wilfie had posed for his photo on the window sill (pictured at the top), he jumped down and did a yoga type stretch on the carpet.

It reminded me that you haven’t seen the Yoga Cat calendar pose for July and, as mentioned previously, we’re almost in August, so here is Davey. I’m not sure Wilfie could do that but I think it is a bit like ‘short spine’ one of my favourite exercises on my AeroPilates machine.

Wilfie yogaSo, it’s a bit of a drum roll moment as Focus on Fashion today is a kind of preview for our forthcoming August Fashion Month. The event will be topped and tailed with two hour Style List shows, the first of which is at 7pm on August 1st. The shows will be a kind of live version of the Style List feature on our website. I love this Ronan Chen Mitzi Pleat Back dress – it will be featured in the line-up.

There are five fashion Today’s Special Values during the month:
Kim & Co (pictured below)…  1st August
MarlaWynne… 12th August
Lulu Guinness… 13th August
Together… 18th August
Centigrade… 30th August

Kim & Co Today's Special Value

You may have noticed that we have two Today’s Special Value back to back on the 12th and 13th – this is because it is a two day fashion event – I’ll talk more about that in next week’s blog.

We are also launching two new brands during the month and I’m delighted to say both will be featuring on Fashion on Friday. Label Lab, pictured below and currently only available at House of Fraser, is coming to QVC. The clothes have an ‘All Saints’ feel to them with drapey tops that are slightly over-sized, with a relaxed fit and organic prints.

Label Lab

The other new range is Betty & Co. – described to me as Betty Barclay’s younger sister. The range only launched in Spring this year so it’s great to be one of the prestigious outlets selected to stock it. It’s more affordable than Betty Barclay and is sleek, stylish and muted. I’ll tell you more about both of these brands closer to their launch dates.

Today’s Fashion on Friday is Together, which should be fun, then followed by Spotlight on Jewellery at 6pm.

Tonight we are launching a range called Ottoman Hands – not to be confused with Ottoman Sterling Silver. The brand began on a stall in Portobello Market in 2009 and we’re delighted to be able to introduce it to a countrywide audience. It is artisan styling, big bold pieces featuring semi-precious stones set in a textured gold-coloured metal.

I hope you can join me for these two shows and Kelly Hoppen Home Designs at 3pm this afternoon, then I’m not back in until next Thursday for Alison Cork at 3pm and Slim’n’Lift at 5pm.

Have a fabulous weekend,

Much love,
Julia xx


  1. Elizabeth Keenan July 29, 2016 at 9:42 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    That’s what you call a tall door Chris did well to sort that one out very clever stuff.
    Great blog as usual, the cat pose hilarious. Loved your life’s a beach ornament I have lots of heart stuff about the house.
    Take care.
    Much love
    Elizabeth X

    • Julia Roberts August 3, 2016 at 5:11 pm -  Reply

      Hi Elizabeth
      I must admit the door looks taller in the picture than it actually is – probably about 7ft in actuality.
      Wilfie is a proper little poser isn’t he?!
      I also have a Life’s a Beach notebook – nothing in it yet, but I have been busy this week writing a short story – 5000 words so far.
      Speak soon
      Julia x

  2. Linda Burton July 29, 2016 at 11:15 pm -  Reply

    Wish some of your fashion did smaller sizes. How clever your Chris is to make that doe for your house.. A real handy man lol. Hope your mum is going to let you publish her books, would love to read them. Plus I can’t wait to read the one you were telling me about, about your grandad. Keep me informed. Take care.xx

    • Julia Roberts August 3, 2016 at 5:14 pm -  Reply

      Hi Linda
      My mum needs to finish her short stories first – I’ll keep badgering her!
      Is 8 too big for you? Some of our ranges do 8 now but you are quite slim.
      I’ve been writing a short story this week loosely based on my mum! Gran dad’s book may be a while yet but will keep you posted
      Julia x

  3. LindyLou July 30, 2016 at 10:35 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia, your blogs are always so informative & interesting. So much varied info packed into a few paras. Love seeing the cat pics as am a mad cat woman! Good luck with the work on the house…..can be stressful. Look forward to seeing you soon on air as my fav presenter. LindyLou x

    • Julia Roberts August 3, 2016 at 5:17 pm -  Reply

      Hi Lindylou
      Thanks for your kind comments – I’m back on air tomorrow (Thursday) at 3pm.
      Really pleased with the spare bedroom – the bedside tables & chest of drawers arrived today so now just waiting for the bed in a couple of weeks. Starting on Daniel’s room next but not so much to do in there thank goodness, then hopefully the kitchen extension.
      Love my cats
      Julia x

  4. TINA S July 30, 2016 at 2:02 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    I’m looking forward to the new fashion ranges you mentioned. I always have problems finding loose fitting top’s that are long enough to wear with trousers or leggings. Everywhere I look they seem to be the short top’s which are no good for trousers. I’m still on the look out for something for our hospital reunion. It’s only a month away now!
    We’ve just come in from an emotional look around of our old school which has closed. We live quite nearby so went to take photos as it’s being demolished in October. There are several schools in the area which are amalgating into a ” super-school”). It’s so sad as I have such fond memories of those days.
    Hopefully the roof will finally be sorted this weekend. It’s been 2 years!!
    Love seeing the photos of Wilfie. There was a lovely programme a few nights ago of people being reunited with the animal’s they had cared for. It showed the carer looking after orphaned elephants and someone else who looked after chimps etc. I was in tears. They are so intelligent and feel emotions like we do.
    Well , hope all your latest tests have gone OK. Take it easy- there’s always something that needs doing with the house.
    All the best, Tina S x

    • Julia Roberts August 3, 2016 at 5:28 pm -  Reply

      Hi Tina
      Have you tried Marla Wynne? They have some really stylish longer tops.
      I wish I had seen the animal programme you mentioned – I love animal shows although I do spend half of Supervet with my eyes closed – I could never have been a nurse!
      I’m still waiting on my latest test results, it’s been almost four weeks so you’ve prompted me to ring and remind them – I hate the wait every three months but I’m sure they would have been in touch if something was wrong.
      Speak soon
      Julia x

  5. Linda Watkins July 30, 2016 at 5:19 pm -  Reply

    I love reading your blog Julia, look forward to it and you never fail to update! I have read your first book and looking forward to reading the others.

    • Julia Roberts August 3, 2016 at 5:19 pm -  Reply

      Hi Linda
      I’m so pleased you enjoy my blog – I try to do it every Friday with occasional exceptions.
      I’m pleased you enjoyed Life’s a Beach and Then… & hope you will like the other two books in the trilogy when you have a moment to read them – thanks for your support
      Julia x

  6. Chris Davey July 30, 2016 at 9:08 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia, I now have 2 sets of Kelly Hoppen bedding and after hearing you comment about your new bedroom décor, I was wondering what curtains have you to match her bedding and where did you buy them from. Would be very grateful for a reply, Thanx Chris

    • Julia Roberts August 3, 2016 at 5:23 pm -  Reply

      Hi Chris
      Can you believe after telling everyone they need to confirm orders in their shopping basket, I forgot & consequently missed the OTO bed set – not happy BUT there is a Northern Nights TSV on Saturday so I’ll have a look at that.
      My curtains are an M&S online exclusive – they are white & duck egg blue stripe in cotton with a black-out lining. Hope that helps
      Julia x

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