Christmas cakeIs it just me or did Christmas seem to go very quickly?? One minute I was icing the Christmas cake on Christmas Eve and the next we were dropping Nana back in Spalding after a five day stay!

It might have passed by too quickly but we had a really enjoyable time with Nana, Sophie and Oskar the kitten, all in residence for the duration. We had lots of lovely food, a little bit of drink, plenty of presents and fun playing 'The Word Game', 'The Chase' and 'Tension'… well Daniel, Sophie and I had fun, I'm not so sure about Chris and his mum!

My mum couldn't be with us for Christmas this year so we went to Nottingham to see her after dropping Nana back in Spalding on Friday. She loved all her gifts and looked great in the Bob Mackie jacket I gave her. We even took our own dinner of homemade quiche, new potatoes and broccoli, although Mum had made a delicious apple crumble for pudding.

Christmas cake almost gone!I was a very lucky girl with regard to presents, my main one being a new compact camera so that I can take some even better pictures for my blog. I tried it out on the Christmas cake… Christmas Day to December the thirtieth, I think we did pretty well to make it last that long with six of us tucking in.

Just as we were finishing our cake, I was marzipaning and icing the one I always make for Tustie, one of our Producers, and the backstage staff. That will go into work with me today and I am under strict instructions to save a piece for our Presenter Manager.

I am on a bit earlier today, 1pm and 2pm, and then a night in with the telly looking back over the highlights of the year and boy has it been an amazing year, with the Olympics and the Queen's Jubilee. For me personally it has been a year of highs and lows in almost equal measure so I am hoping 2013 might be a little kinder to me.

My main New Year's Resolution will be to get back into a regular exercise routine… what's yours???

Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2013,

Much love, Julia xx


  1. Joanna Downey December 31, 2012 at 2:29 pm -  Reply

    Happy New Year Julia, I agree with you that Christmas did seem to go really quickly – all that cooking, planning and spending over in an instant but I also think it comes around quicker every year. I’m sorry that 2012 was a mixed year for you, generally it was a good one for us; we visited Sicily for the first time and I’ve fallen in love with her and my wonderful man has changed career and is relishing not having the pressure that he faced in his previous job. I’m at a crossroads because our younger daughter moved out at the beginning of December and I know that she and her boyfriend did really well to buy their first house, they are both only 23, but the Empty Nest Syndrome is horrid. With that in mind my New Year resolution is to find a project… I always go without alcohol for January and February but I need something else for the first few months of 2013 at least. Unfortunately my idea of learning to play the violin was met with hilarity so I’m still thinking. Love from Jo x

  2. barbara q December 31, 2012 at 7:34 pm -  Reply

    Happy,Healthy and hopefully stress free 2013 Julia. I agree with you, this Christmas has come and gone so quickly, too quickly. Like you i had a lovely time and presents spent with my family at my granddaughters home with her and 4 great grand children my other granddaughter and both their partners, my daughter and son-in-law. My 2012 has had it’s highs and lows. I think the older we get the more things happen in our lives, personal things things we have no control over but lets hope 2013 has more ups than downs. I will raise my glass to you, Happy New Year. Love from Babs xx

  3. Mrs Jean Pugh January 1, 2013 at 8:51 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    Yes I agree Christmas did seem to pass quickly, but then there is such a build up to it and it is over just like that. We had a quiet Christmas, one of my brothers came to lunch and my daughter and her husband, sadly my Mum and Dad are no longer with us. I lost my Dad when I was five years old, thanks to a drunk driver.
    You seemed to have fun, it is nice to have the family round, glad you got to see your Mum.
    Christmas Cake looks good, I love fruit cake, that is the only cake I ever eat.
    My New Years resolution is to not spend so much time in the business, sat at the computer doing Accounts etc. I want to spend more time training my dogs and doing more with them. We have two 9 week old black labrador puppies, and I want to spend time with them. They are like children they grow up too quickly.
    Happy New Year to you and your family.
    Love Jean X

  4. Steven January 1, 2013 at 12:36 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Happy New Year and all the best for 2013!
    My new year resolution is the same as yours. Mind you considering I feel like this room is spinning maybe that went out the window on the 1st of Jan lol xxxxxxx

  5. Kathryn Sheehan January 1, 2013 at 3:44 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,Hope you had a good Christmas and New Year.
    Our Christmas was not so good,as my husband Ian lost his dear mum two days before,we thought she had got over an illness she had earlier in the year, but unfortunatly not. So a very sad time for us all at the moment.
    Lets hope the new year will bring good things to us all.
    I did watch the begining of Pilates show noticed you had a long t-shirt on, think we will all be wearing non fitted tops for a while, don’t you.We are ready for a holiday somewhere warm, Spain isn’t yet, some good deals around at the moment,will look into it in the next 3-4 weeks or so when the Resturante has become less busy. All the best for the book i’m sure QVC customers will buy in there thousands.
    Speak soon.
    Kathy x

  6. candy waites January 1, 2013 at 9:50 pm -  Reply

    dear julia happy new year and a big thank you to you why, well do you remember putting your christmas cake recipe on your bog a few years ago well, i made your cake for the first time and i have to say it was a great success. hubby was first to try and believe me he is a hard nut to crack especially where christmas cake is concerned. we started ours on the friday after christmas and today is new years day and there is probably another four slices left. i used the ready rolled icing but would love to know how you made your icing it looks lovely. once again many thanks oh before i go i have also made the chocolate chip and pecan nut cookies scrummie all the best candy.

  7. Paula Joy Williams January 2, 2013 at 5:35 am -  Reply


  8. Yvie Gillman January 2, 2013 at 7:26 pm -  Reply

    Hi, Julia, the run up to Christmas was as manic as usual, all that food shopping and gift shopping, making the house look chrismassy etc etc….I always have most of my very large family over for the day, and I must admit the older I get the more tiring it becomes! Don’t get me wrong we always have a great time,and I love my family dearly but next year I WANT THE DAY OFF PLEASE!!!! My heart wasn’t in it this year , first year without my mum being here, sat across the table from me with a silly hat on, and a bit tipsy from the sherry!!Miss her.New year come and went, and I really hope this year will be a better one too. love and best wishes Yvie x

  9. Denise January 2, 2013 at 9:03 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia, Yes Christmas did seem to pass by really quickly. I’m glad you had a nice time with the family. Our’s was lovely too and I’m pleased to say I even managed to get to church for the Christmas Eve service which was magical.Spent the day with hubby,son and girlfriend. As for presents isn’t it funny how some years you seem to get an abundance of the same thing? For me this year it was 3 scarves,2 handbags and loads of smellies. We also spent a quiet New Years Eve as the day before I succumbed to the flu/cold lurgey that hubby has had for a couple of weeks. So we had an Indian takeaway,champers and watched the TV.
    Your Christmas cake looks very tasty. I didn’t make one this year. Like you I was going to do a last minute one but then hubby came home with a lovely luxury hamper he’d been given by one of his clients. It contained a Christmas cake so no need to bother I thought – how wrong I was. Very disappointing. I’m feeling so deprived that today I was stood in M&S tempted to buy one of the reduced ones? Mm shouldn’t really though!!
    Like you my only resolution is to go to more classes at my gym. I do Zumba twice a week,a Bodyvive class as well presently. Last year I tried Pilates enjoyed it but never went back – don’t know why but am going to rectify that for sure.
    Happy New Year
    Love Denise xx

  10. Annette Roberts January 3, 2013 at 10:18 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Glad you had a lovely Christmas and lets hope this year will be a better one for everybody!
    Love the Christmas cake, good little camera you’ve got there, lucky girl!!!
    I was going to do similar with my icing, but decided to to buy the ready rolled sheet, which I was able to do myself, then Chris mixed the icing to go on the top, which was like yours and the rest went in the icing bag and I iced round the bottom edge, resting the bag on my left hand and sqeezing with the right and finished of with a dusting of edible silver shimmer on top. I was quite chuffed with my attempt this year and we didn’t cut into it until last Friday, which I was loathed to do so, but…it had to be done!
    Must say, Christmas day was pretty good with Chris doing most of the lifting and cooking and me directing things when needed and he did a pretty good job…I did have to make the gravy though!
    Saw the show this morning and the coral jacket really suited you, I have a similar one with a cream collar by Regatta and I live in it…it brightens up these dreary wet days, plus because I’m 5’2″ and Chris is 6’2″, he can spot me in the shops LOL!!!
    My New Year resolution as always is to loose weight, stepped on the scales yeaterday and I’m pretty sure they’re broken, if not yikes!!!!!
    Annette x

  11. Magda Chetty January 3, 2013 at 5:36 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Happy new year and hope 2013 is a better year for us all. I can not believe that it is January the 3rd, where did the time go.
    Egypt was ok, but could not do much in Cairo because of the trouble, still the weather was nice and warm. Got back home December 13th to a mad rush to get ready for Christmas.
    I was lucky and got a B&W earring, Necklace and bracelet which I love, and my husband got a great camera too, THANK YOU QVC.
    Like you in the new year I need to get fit again, so just ordered from QVC the Zumba dvd and will start soon.
    Stay well and be happy for 2013. My husband just seen your blog and said WOW what a cake, if only he can get one like that here! Iam really bad at making cakes.
    Much love.

  12. Marian Bolton January 3, 2013 at 5:38 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Did you get the Bob Mackie TSV jacket for your mum? I got the grey one for Chris’ nan and the scarf to match and she was made up with them.
    My friend and I were discussing New Year’s resolutions over washing the dinner pots on New Year’s Eve. I said to her “Turn the telly on, I think there’s a beauty show on and Ali Young is back”. She said, “You should make your resolution not to buy as much off QVC” (LOL Julia…… as if!!) Back to my silly friend then ….”If you didn’t watch it as much, you wouldn’t buy as much.” (Blah, blah, blah Julia!) “When you watch it, you start to think you need things you don’t need at all and before you know it, you’ve ordered it.” “Well, it’s still 2012” I said, “so switch it on”!
    After switching on, my friend immediately became engrossed with a mini chopper (the kitchen variety Julia)! Yes, you’ve guessed it Julia, quicker than I could say “I’d rather have a big chopper” she had me on the phone ordering it for her cos she couldn’t remember her membership number!
    A very Happy New Year to you and yours and I hope I’ve started it off with a LOL!!

  13. martin forbes bucksburn aberdeen January 3, 2013 at 6:52 pm -  Reply

    happy new year julia

  14. julia roberts January 4, 2013 at 12:35 pm -  Reply

    Hi Jo
    I hope you will soon feel less ’empty’ at home and start to enjoy the freedom it brings – I’m sure you will still see your daughter if Sophie’s regular visits home are anything to go by!
    Not sure about learning the violin – I tried as a ten year old and it constantly sounded like a cat being strangled!
    Happy New Year
    Julia x

  15. julia roberts January 4, 2013 at 12:38 pm -  Reply

    Hi Babs
    Sounds like it was a bit of a house full for you over Christmas – exhausting but lovely to be surrounded by the people you love.
    Hope you have a happy and healthy 2013
    Julia x

  16. julia roberts January 4, 2013 at 12:43 pm -  Reply

    Hi Jean
    Stick to your New Years Resolution and spend more time doing the things you enjoy. It was a crazy busy year for me last year, what with the book, the house move, selling the house in Spain not to mention the QVC move …… I could go on! This year has started off in the same vein with the final things I need to do for the book before it goes to the printers in a couple of weeks time. After that I hope it all calms down a bit.
    Happy New Year to you and yours
    Julia x

  17. julia roberts January 4, 2013 at 12:45 pm -  Reply

    Hi Steven
    Sounds like you saw the New Year in in style!!!!
    Hope the only spinning you’ll be doing for a while is at the gym!
    Happy and healthy 2013
    Julia x

  18. julia roberts January 4, 2013 at 12:49 pm -  Reply

    Hi Kathy
    I was sorry to hear your sad news, please pass on my condolences to Ian …….. what a terrible time to lose someone so dear.
    I have had a few issues this year so have been unable rather than unwilling to do as much exercise as I normally do – hoping I will be able to shift the unwanted pounds if I can step it up again.
    Have a nice break and hope your New Year will improve
    Julia x

  19. julia roberts January 4, 2013 at 12:53 pm -  Reply

    Hello Candy
    I am so pleased the Christmas cake recipe worked for you. I think it may be the treacle and the brandy that helps it along! The icing is just three egg whites whisked with a balloon whisk and then gradually adding icing sugar until you can’t mix anymore in ….. simples as the meerkats would say!
    Happy New Year
    Julia x

  20. julia roberts January 4, 2013 at 12:56 pm -  Reply

    Hi Paula
    Get well soon – there has been so much illness around as you have probably noticed with the constant changes to the Presenter schedules on QVC!
    I saw the New Year in with a glass of water, but we did open the Prosecco on New Years day when the family were all together for dinner.
    Keep up the good work and Happy New Year
    Julia x

  21. julia roberts January 4, 2013 at 1:00 pm -  Reply

    Hello Yvie
    I think the first Christmas when a loved one is missing from the line-up is always the hardest …. happy memories keep flooding back. Next year drop subtle (or not so subtle) hints that you wouldn’t mind a change from the normal routine – someone else in the family might just relish the chance to host?
    Hope you have a better 2013
    Julia x

  22. julia roberts January 4, 2013 at 1:03 pm -  Reply

    Hi Denise
    Sensible choice not buying the reduced price M&S Christmas cake – it would probably still not have been as good as your home made one!
    Sounds like you already do a lot at the gym but you should give Pilates another go if you enjoyed it ….. don’t know what i would do without it!
    Happy and healthy 2013
    Julia x

  23. julia roberts January 4, 2013 at 1:08 pm -  Reply

    Hi Annette
    I know the feeling about the scales – but I think that is the majority of the country after Christmas and it doesn’t take long to drop a few pounds once you get into the groove.
    You Christmas cake sounded really pretty – I always let the children decorate ours. Sophie was a darling and bought me some new decorations this year which I had shown an interest in when we were all out shopping together.
    Hopefully a healthier 2013 lies ahead for you
    Julia x

  24. julia roberts January 4, 2013 at 1:12 pm -  Reply

    Hi Magda
    Glad you got a little sunshine in Egypt even though you couldn’t get out much. Tell your hubby that the cake tasted as good as it looked – VERY easy to make if you follow the recipe so no excuses for next Christmas LOL!
    Really hoping that 2013 will be a healthier year for you and happy goes without saying
    Julia x

  25. julia roberts January 4, 2013 at 1:15 pm -  Reply

    Hi Marian
    Your story made me laugh, although I didn’t quite understand your obsession with a children’s bike?????
    I can’t imagine you will take your friend’s advice you enjoy your beauty products too much!
    Happy and healthy 2013
    speak soon
    Julia x

  26. julia roberts January 4, 2013 at 1:16 pm -  Reply

    Happy New Year to you Martin
    Julia x

  27. jeanette January 4, 2013 at 1:59 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    happy new year to you and your family . I agree Christmas does go very quickly indeed. New year,s resolutions are ; to declutter our garage and maybe do a car boot? to do more exercise and get fit and to grow my nails after many years of nibbling ! I noticed on a show earlier that your nails looked lovely any secrets as to what you use on them? using leightons crystal file at the mo to get them stronger, decided to take care of hands and nails at last as at 44 my hands look much older
    love Jeanette x

  28. Marian Bolton January 4, 2013 at 6:45 pm -  Reply

    Touche Julia, LOL!

  29. Jess January 11, 2013 at 3:02 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    Been meaning to say……your nails are looking good lately, what have you been using? Mine are awful and nothing I use makes any difference at all.

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