Christmas Chez Nous


Julia's Christmas dinnerI hope you all had a fabulous Christmas. We had Chris's Mum down over the festive period and we all had a really enjoyable time, particularly when we played the word game. I wonder if you have ever played it?

You all write 6 or 12 names of famous people on little slips of paper and put them into a 'hat'. Round 1 is the description round, round 2 is the describing with one word round, and round 3 is the miming round 'a la' charades. You are in two teams and there is a describer and the rest of the team guesses.

Julia's Christmas crackersNana was very funny as she kept shouting out the names for the wrong team. She was playing with Daniel and Sophie and it was just as well she was shouting out, or Chris and I would have been even more comprehensively beaten!

Not that I minded as I had already indulged in a couple of 'Baileys on the rocks' although I forgot to buy hot chocolate so I couldn't try Baileys in hot chocolate which I had been looking forward to. Mind you, after the indulgence of our Christmas lunch, I'm not sure I would have had any room left.

Sophie took some photos of our Christmas table, one or two of which were very arty – perhaps we should print them to use as decoration next year. Sophie and I were both working Boxing Day and the day after, but we are off for New Year so we have come out to Spain with Daniel to celebrate New Year Spanish style.

Julia's Christmas dinner tableI think I heard that there's a tradition to eat a grape for each of the bell chimes at midnight – not much fun if you don't like grapes! Poor Chris had to stay home as he has a New Years Eve gig … well someone had to look after Poppy!

Happy and Healthy New Year to you all and if your New Year Resolution is to drop a few pounds, join me at midnight on January 5th for the launch of the Diet Chef TSV with some new recipes. Thank you for all your lovely comments throughout 2011 and here's hoping for lots more communication in 2012!

Much love, Julia xx

P.S. I am now on twitter @JuliaRobertQVC if you want to follow me… very much a novice at it though!


  1. Annette Roberts December 30, 2011 at 8:52 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Wishing you and your family a very Happy New Year!!
    Pleased to hear you had a lovely Christmas Day with your family and Poppy too!
    We had a fairly quiet Christmas day, left the turkey in the oven whilst Chris took me to put a wreath on Mum and Dad’s grave. I was surprised how busy it was…Chris took Bobby for a little Christmas walk, then we headed home to save the turkey, only just mind you, it fell to bits literally LOL!
    My sister came on Wednesday and Chris’ parents and grandad on Thursday…we are now eating all the leftovers, well as much as we dare!
    Just read my comment on your previous blog…my, don’t I sound like a grumpy old woman LOL!
    My replacement Gatineau arrived yesterday and I’m very impressed, not having used any products, apart from Floracil, for a number of years.
    Lets hope the New Year will be even better than the last one for everyone!
    Annette x
    p.s. can’t believe you’ve given in to ‘Twittering’ now…please don’t desert this blog…some people prefer twitter, but I’m afraid I’ve not got there yet!!

  2. Tina S. December 31, 2011 at 12:37 am -  Reply

    Dear Julia,
    I have just read your blog concerning the forthcoming Diet Chef T.S.V. I would like to know if they could bring out a Diet Chef option for people like myself who cannot eat spicy food? I have a condition known as Oral Lichen Planus which means I am unable to eat spicy foods and a whole range of certain foods which cause flare-ups of this condition despite loving spicy foods! I noted when I saw the list of foods it contained there were a lot of spicy foods such as curries and chilli concarnie etc.I would like to have tried the Diet Chef but about 60% of it I would not be able to eat. I’m sure there must be others that may have the same issues as I do.
    Tina(South Wales).
    P.S. Best wishes for 2012.

  3. martin forbes December 31, 2011 at 4:02 pm -  Reply

    glad you had agood xmas julia as did myself .
    Happy new year when it comes in spain enjoyb your holiday .my aunt is coming to hogmanay supper .

  4. Susan December 31, 2011 at 5:13 pm -  Reply

    Happy New Year Julia! How lucky are you being able to jet off to Spain! We had a fab Christmas – lots of family fun as I had said I was was looking forward to!! There were 10 of us and then we did Take 2 on Boxing Day! Going to more family tomorrow for some more fun! It does exhaust you though lol!! Lots of food eaten..but then it is Christmas!! We’ve done the eating of 12 grapes when we had Spanish friends staying with us one New Year…and ALL the neighbours and friends joined in!! It was VERY funny!
    Happy New Year,
    Susan x

  5. Marian Bolton December 31, 2011 at 6:04 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    We’ve had a lovely Christmas, mostly catching up with family and friends, eating too much, drinking too much and not getting enough sleep! Good job it’s only once a year eh?!
    I can’t quite believe it and I probably shouldn’t speak too soon but the tree has stayed up! We bought a new one this year and it seems Casper approves!!!
    New Years Eve and we’re having a quiet night at home. We’re quite worn out actually so not fit for much else. We’ll be opening a bottle and watching Ali for three hours. Well at least I will anyway. Chris will probably be watching ‘Wheeler Dealers’ or some other rubbish!!
    A very Happy New Year to you and yours.
    PS. When’s that book gonna get finished????!!!!!!!

  6. Jean Pugh January 1, 2012 at 8:41 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    Glad you had a good Christmas, table looks really nice. No I have not played the word game you mentioned, it sounds great fun. Bet you are enjoying your rest in Spain, my daughter Heidi showed me the picture you put up on twitter, lovely view. No my resolution is not to drop a few pounds, I do not need too, lucky me. I am going to have more me time, I am always working and doing for other people, not anymore. Anyway a very Happy and Healthy New Year to you and your family. Hope you enjoyed the grapes.
    Love Jean XX

  7. Steven January 1, 2012 at 11:34 am -  Reply

    All the best for 2012 Julia. Wish the keyboard would stop making so much noise!!!
    Your sis will be wanting to speak to you about football again now. Celtic are 2 points ahead. We have had a shocking run lately. On a bright note they have been in front for the last 3 years at new year and we have won the league. Here’s hoping that trend continues.
    I saw that Palace beat Millwall yesterday that is a big result for CP in a derby. Good end to the year for your team
    Good luck to you and your team in the coming year and no doubt I’ll be on here to speak to you about it all!
    Its not the diet chef I need – its the exercise or the pilates. Going back to that gym is going to be hard!!

  8. Denise January 1, 2012 at 7:12 pm -  Reply

    Happy New Year Julia – hope you have had a lovely time in Spain. We did the Spanish New Year a few years back and had a great time there. Re the 12 grapes tradition we went to a bar to celebrate and everyone was so friendly. There was a chap on the next table who said to us he wasn’t eating his grapes as he had had a rubbish year and offered them to my other half. Of course he ate them and guess what – coincidence or not but that year 2006 was a terrible one for us too. Thankfully its all behind us now. Incidentally we are off to Spain for a few days on the 14th – I am so looking forward to a nice relaxing breeak after the festivities.
    Denise xx

  9. Jayne January 1, 2012 at 8:09 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    I just wanted to wish you and your family a very happy and healthy 2012.

  10. martin forbes January 2, 2012 at 11:04 am -  Reply

    happy new year julia hope you are enjoying your holiday in spain

  11. Marion Davies January 2, 2012 at 1:26 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia I have been a shopper with QVC since the very early days Bought many things and have always been happy with my purchases.
    Over the Christmas period you wore a lovely top it was pink with beautiful embellishment round the neck. I would love to know where I can buy this top. Hope you can help.

  12. Linda, Glasgow January 2, 2012 at 6:17 pm -  Reply

    Glad to read you and the family had a lovely Christmas – my family and i had a lovely time too. I have welcomed two new additions to my home – Mac and Mabel(two white west highland terriers,a boy and a girl,sister and brother) they are truly gorgeous and i already love them madly,they are like new born babes and i love looking after them and -trying- to train them(i’m constently steam cleaning the wooden floors and rugs-but i dont mind). Your MiL sounds like a fun lady. How is Tabatha keeping – from your last piccies – she looks a little minx(but a lovable onexx)- is your mum enjoying having her around – i’m sure she does as,from my experience,animals enrich a home. I’m loving using my Clairisonic face and body cleaner – i thought my skin was clean(i use premium beauty products and exfoliate regularly)but since using the Clairisonic my face is so much brighter – i love it and the feeling(and look) it gives my skln. I’m looking forward to the Elemis TSV coming up on the 7Jan – i received a card telling me we are getting a full size skin bliss caps and a 400ml cleanser/toner and from Keeley’s Facebook page i find that we are also getting a 30ml Oxygenating night cream and a pink makeup bag!! Whoo this has got to be another great value Elemis TSV – i use all these products so may go for a few(great value and saving on the p&p ha ha(as Leighton Denny(i’m looking forward to his TSV too) is always telling us eh!!). I’m loving all my Christmas pressies and i’ve ordered another pair of the EMU slippers(in blue) – i never want them to become old or worn!!(silly i know). Was Santa good to you Julia – is there anything you can share with us? I hope he wasxx By the way remember last new years day(after your midnight shift) you and your family sent chinese lanterns up into the skies with your wishes – you dont need to go into detail but did any come true? I do hope 2012 is a good year for us all – things sound a little bleak at the moment – but i’m ever the optomist and know things will brighten up with the ecomomy,Europe and life in general -here’s hopingxx I hope you enjoy Spain and looking forward to seeing you on QVC soonxx A very Happy New Year Love Linda,Mac and Mabel,Glasgowxxx

  13. kay salisbury January 3, 2012 at 12:41 pm -  Reply

    Happy 2012 Julia-although I don’t often ‘blog’-you-back I do read all yours with enjoyment-esp the recipes—-which rarely end up as enjoyable as yours sound!!!!!!:-( Hope everyone has a good year ahead. Love Kay.XXX

  14. julia roberts January 3, 2012 at 5:52 pm -  Reply

    Hi Annette
    To be honest you had every right to sound grumpy and anyway I don’t mind you sounding off occasionally if it helps to get it off your chest!!
    Don’t you worry I won’t desert my blog in favour of ‘tweeting’- QVC are now on Twitter and were keen for us all to be involved so thought I’d give it a go. It can be quite good fun but don’t think I’ll be doing it as often as some others. I’m still a bit of a novice with it as anyone who has read my ‘tweets’ can attest to!!
    Glad to hear you had plenty of family fun over Christmas – all the leftovers gone now??
    Love to Bobbie and Chris
    Julia x

  15. julia roberts January 3, 2012 at 5:58 pm -  Reply

    Hi Tina
    Maybe you could write to Diet Chef care of QVC and see if they could come up with a less spicy option – I agree, a lot of the recipes are very spicy, particularly the Tagine and the Curry, so it seems a shame that you can’t participate if you want to.
    Hope you have a happy 2012 too
    Julia x

  16. julia roberts January 3, 2012 at 6:02 pm -  Reply

    Hi Martin
    I’m pleased to hear you had a good Christmas and hope you enjoyed your Hogmany supper. We had a great time on New Years Eve partying and then sitting in the sun New Years Day to recover – not that I had much to drink as I was driving – just a glass of Kir Royale early in the evening then sparkling water!
    Julia x

  17. julia roberts January 3, 2012 at 6:09 pm -  Reply

    Hi Marion
    I often have a quiet New Year at home as Chris always works New Year and if I’m not working I am usually on my own, so it made a really nice change to bring Dan and Sophie and a friend of ours Natalie out to Spain – the sunny weather was un unexpected bonus.
    Glad Casper approved of your tree this year – Chris rang to say he had to take ours down early as it had drooped so badly that the lights were dragging along the carpet!!
    I was supposed to get a little writing done on this break ( I usually write a lot in Spain which is why I come so often ) but I’ve been a bit to busy enjoying myself!! The book will be finished SOON I promise!
    Julia x

  18. Carole cooper January 3, 2012 at 6:17 pm -  Reply

    Happy new year Julia and your family, my brother went to lanzarote for newyear he said it was warm take care Carole Wigan x

  19. julia roberts January 3, 2012 at 6:19 pm -  Reply

    Hi Jean
    I think that is a very good New Years Resolution – sometimes you can spend so much time on other people that you neglect yourself – make sure you stick to it though!
    We are very lucky with our beautiful view – it certainly is a place to relax and get away from all the stresses and strains of everyday life!
    As for the ’12 grapes’ tradition ………….. impossible!!! I only managed 6 and spent the next 15 minutes picking pips out of my teeth! I think it would have been easier with seedless grapes LOL!
    Julia x

  20. julia roberts January 3, 2012 at 6:25 pm -  Reply

    Hi Steven
    Hope you had a Happy New Year? It is my sisters birthday on Thursday so at least I can ring her and she will be in a good mood!!
    Palace lost to Leicester at home yesterday but we were without our keeper and both central defenders as they had a virus so I guess it was to be expected. We have slipped to 11th but still only 3 points off the play-offs … it’s all very tight!
    You’ll soon get back in the gym and once you start and see the results you just want to keep it up – at least that’s what I keep telling myself!!
    Good luck to your team too
    Julia x

  21. julia roberts January 3, 2012 at 6:31 pm -  Reply

    Hi Denise
    After your grape story I’m kind of glad I only managed 6 out of the 12 grapes – I certainly don’t need another year like last year!
    I hope the weather stays nice for you – it has been wall to wall sunshine with barely a cloud in the sky. It does make me laugh though – I am in a bikini or shorts and vest and all the locals are in woolly jumpers and hats and gloves. It’s called Winter so they dress for Winter even though it’s hot …. they should try Winter in the UK!
    Julia x

  22. julia roberts January 3, 2012 at 6:32 pm -  Reply

    Hi Jayne
    Thanks for the good wishes for me and my family for 2012 – I wish the same for you
    Julia x

  23. julia roberts January 3, 2012 at 6:58 pm -  Reply

    Hi Martin
    We are having a lovely time thanks – back to rainy windy England tomorrow though! Happy New Year
    Julia x

  24. julia roberts January 3, 2012 at 7:30 pm -  Reply

    Hello Marian
    I’m pleased to hear you have been with QVC for such a long time and are happy with your purchases.
    I know the top you are talking about – unfortunately I have had it some time so I don’t think you would be able to get one but you could try – it is from Aftershock.
    Julia x

  25. julia roberts January 4, 2012 at 1:28 am -  Reply

    Hi Linda
    Congratulations on your new arrivals – wasn’t Mac and Mabel a show?? You are right about pets enriching a home – my Mum is totally besotted with Tabitha, she should probably have taken the plunge to get a new kitten a couple of years ago, but heyho, better late than never!
    Santa got me some tickets to go and see Barry Manilow in concert which I am really happy about as he is a great showman – just wish he would stop with the facelifts LOL!!
    We did do the sky lanterns last year – some wishes came true. This year there were none to hand, so we let our New Years Party balloons go on the beach and made a wish instead.
    The Elemis TSV is a goodie – see you Saturday I expect
    Julia x

  26. julia roberts January 4, 2012 at 1:31 am -  Reply

    Hello Kay
    Thanks for the New Year good wishes and the same is wished for you. So pleased to hear you enjoy my blogs but sorry to hear the recipes don’t always turn out too well. I’ll have to post some new ones – maybe a couple of ‘healthy’ ones to get the year off to a good start!
    Julia x

  27. Steven January 4, 2012 at 1:58 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Yip had a great New year thanks and not back to work until Monday so all is good!
    I saw the Palace score but didnt realise you guys had so many players out. Was it not Danns that scored too – an ex Palace boy. We beat Motherwell 3-0 at Ibrox and played much better so heres hoping its a sign of things to come. Heres to 4 in a row and a Palace promotion in 2012! How does that sound?
    Take care
    Much Love
    Steven x

  28. Helen Magowan January 4, 2012 at 2:40 pm -  Reply

    Love the pics of the Christmas table. I’d a great Christmas & New Year. My Son celebrated his birthday on your blog date ie 30th Dec! He also moved house on the same day, so it has been all go – I was packing boxes into my car on Boxing day – (as you do on ‘Boxing’ day! lol!) I hope to join you at midnight Jan 5th though depends whether or not they deliver to N. Ireland. The last time I ordered Diet Chef the order was cancelled due to non-delivery to N.I. I wonder will they be doing deliveries this time? Happy New Year to you and your family, Julia! Hope 2012 is a fantastic year! Love Helenx

  29. Magda Chetty January 5, 2012 at 12:28 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Happy new year. Glad you enjoyed the new year in Spain and the weather was good. We spent it in Devon, God how we forgot how cold it is here in the UK. Still we had a great time in England and we go home to Mallorca tomorrow.
    About the 12 grapes, I usually buy from El Cort Ingles a small tin that has 12 grapes, no pips, and no skin, and they are small which makes it easy to eat. But this year being in England, I hope it will be a better year.
    Sorry I did not manage to see you this time, but I hope to visit again soon. Have a great 2012.
    Much Love.

  30. steve January 7, 2012 at 10:46 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Hope all is ok, happy new year! All the best for the coming year.
    Steve x

  31. julia roberts January 9, 2012 at 10:21 am -  Reply

    Hi Steven
    I guess you are back at work today so hope you enjoyed your long break.
    Palace lost again on Saturday at Derby so we are out of the FA Cup but in truth Dougie virtually played a Youth Team. I think he is going to try and concentrate on the Carling Cup and the league. First leg of the semi is tomorrow night and I am at work – bad planning!! – but hoping I can get to see some of it as I’m not on until 10.
    Keep everything crossed for us
    Julia x

  32. julia roberts January 9, 2012 at 10:29 am -  Reply

    Hi Helen
    I’m glad to hear you had a good Christmas and New Year – sounds as though you were very busy too ‘moving’ your son, hope he has settled in OK?
    The Diet Chef was only available for UK Mainland delivery – does that include N.I.? I thought it was only ‘islands’ within the UK we couldn’t deliver to when we stipulated UK Mainland – do let me know.
    Hope 2012 is a good year for you
    Julia x

  33. julia roberts January 9, 2012 at 10:36 am -  Reply

    Hello Magda
    I can’t believe I’ve only been back in the UK for 4 days – it seems much longer. Mind you it has been a bit hectic – straight back to work for three days and then Sophie’s birthday yesterday.
    Thanks for the tip about the El Cort Ingles tinned grapes, I’ll remember that if we are ever back in Spain at New Year.
    I truly wish you a MUCH better 2012 and maybe catch up next time you are over
    Julia x

  34. julia roberts January 9, 2012 at 10:38 am -  Reply

    Hello Steve
    All is good thanks, just very very busy! Happy New Year to you too – hope it’s a healthy and successful one
    Julia x

  35. Steven January 10, 2012 at 9:59 pm -  Reply

    Great result for Palace Julia! Its only half time but fingers crossed for the 2nd leg.
    I feel like I have never been off my work now that I have been back a couple of days! Back in the gym today too. I actually enjoyed it which is a good sign
    Take care and dont work too hard!

  36. julia roberts January 11, 2012 at 11:37 am -  Reply

    Hi Steven
    Very good result for Palace seeing as most of the team haven’t been training together for a couple of weeks down to this virus they’ve all had. We haven’t been fantastic at home this season but our away form is good so we might just do it! – can you believe I was working? I forgot to take the day off, but I did manage to see most of the second half after I’d done all my preparations to go on air. All my guests in the 22.00 show were very pleased Palace won too LOL!
    I’ve started my ‘healthy’ eating programme again and upping the exercise until I drop the pounds gained over Christmas. Check out tonight’s TSV – it is the Abrocket Twist, good for whittling away the middle section.
    Crikey that was a long msg, you can tell I’m in a good mood!!
    Julia x

  37. Steven January 11, 2012 at 7:43 pm -  Reply

    Ha Ha I thought you would be in a good mood Julia! Very fast reply too lol. I couldnt believe when you said you were working either I thought you would have been a certainty to be there. You can go to the Final eh!!! Its a couple of weeks til the 2nd leg isnt it? Who do Palace play at the weekend?
    Thanks for the heads up and also you still look to be in great shape to me the last few times I have seen you on QVC.
    Thanks again as always for your reply

  38. julia roberts January 13, 2012 at 12:03 pm -  Reply

    Hi Steven
    Yes still smiling – pleased that we only have the one goal advantage as we will be less likely to sit back and try to defend a one goal lead……………. bring it on. I’ve have managed to swap my shift for the second leg so at least I will be able to watch the game from the comfort of my living room – not that it will be a very comfortable 90 minutes, I will be on the edge of my seat! Hoping your former player Kenny Miller doesn’t score ( or doesn’t play would be better! )
    We have Leeds at the weekend and hope that the distraction of the cup semi won’t affect us to much. Who have Rangers got?
    What did you think of the Ab Rocket TSV? I don’t have too many pounds / inches to shift, but it is a slippery slope once you start to put back on weight lost. Day four of my week without bread, and it’s not been too bad so far.
    Julia x

  39. Steven January 13, 2012 at 7:06 pm -  Reply

    Mr Miller was a big danger in the first leg Julia and is undoubtedly Cardiff’s biggest threat. We should have signed him back for a 2nd time in the summer then you guys wouldnt have needed to worry!
    Rangers travel to Perth On Saturday to play St Johnstone. My first trip to the stadium there. I have been to most grounds in the SPL now but this will be a first so looking forward to that. The Ab Rockt looked great. It looks as if it would be a good purchase for the qvc viewers including me!
    Yes thats true Julia about putting weight back on especially roundabout this time of year but as I have said before you look good to me.
    Take care and good luck with your fitness regime
    Love Steven

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