Well what a year! A pivotal part of it was my new Back to You show, debuting in January. Who knew how many lives it would touch by the end of the year – read on for some amazing stories. And looking back, it’s been one of the most momentous if not tumultuous years in my history at QVC – both first time round and second time round!** Here, as usual, is my annual Review of the Year – 2014; enjoy just a few of the highlights from a very special twelve months, both on air and off.
A YEAR OF FIRSTS
Indoor skydiving One of the biggest firsts for me this year was to go sky diving indoors – with Gill Gauntlett. It was superb fun – we’re off to do it again in January! Never ‘flown’ like this before!
Ice Bucket Challenge Charities loomed large for me as they always do – including my contribution to the ice bucket challenge in the middle of a downpour in daughter’s new back garden!
On Stage in Happy Days They do love a walk on! So here am I doing the ‘announcer’ cameo as the Happy Days Musical tour reached Milton Keynes. Now you see why I never became an actor! Talk about overacting! Haha! Fun though! This was the rehearsal. And thanks to co-producer Amy from No!No! for making it possible for me.
Hula hooping – I know this might not amount to much, for some people, but for me, believe me, it was a milestone moment! I’ve never been able to do it before. And at our December family get together, I discovered my core was strong enough to do it – must be all that bodyblading! Made my month!
This was just a few. There were so many more. Why don’t you try making a habit of doing something new every month, that you’ve never done before? Then you’re a member of the TiFFT club!*
Cruise – My first ever cruise holiday took place in July, with Mummy. Had an amazing time – tons of pics and a full run down of the week on board the Thomson Celebration on the blog from July – read it here. Plus, here’s a snippet of another first – karaoke on board a cruise ship!
Isle of Wight with Craigy and Claire The lovely Liz Earle team hosted a weekend in Ryde including some fab tours of their offices and grounds. The night before, Craig and I had a super beach walk and took one of my favourite pics of the year! Then we were taken to a lovely lunch on one of the hottest days of the year, with my lovely Craigy and Claire. We learned a lot too, but the best part was spending time with my lovely mates.
LA Holiday Ohhhh I discovered Air B&B in November, and stayed in someone’s house – much cheaper and nicer than a hotel. The apartment complex, built on the old MGM Backlot 3, is called Raintree Circle and is filled with greenery and wild-life – so unusual in Culver City! The man-made lake in the middle was used in Hollywood movies – it’s actually Tarzan’s lake. Plus, lovely Kate, my hostess, had some amazing visitors – I’ll never forget the noise their little wings make as they flit to and fro! A true first – hummingbirds just an arm’s reach away on her balcony. Am DEFINITELY going back again!
If you didn’t know, I’m an author and not only was my year filled with the self-publication on Amazon of no less than five new titles, (more info here) but I also achieved something amazing. Almost making it as the proudest event of my year, was getting a publishing contract with a ‘proper’ publisher. Choc Lit signed me in the summer. They’ve signed up my first steamy romance, Hawaiian Affair. Revamped and reissued, it will be their first one in paperback from me, due in independent bookshops and hopefully WHSmiths travel around Spring, early Summer next year.
Hawaiian Affair, the first in the Hawaiian Trilogy, also gained a ‘BRAG’ award – for self-publishing excellence and over 100 five star reviews on Amazon. Plus there was a short story, a spooky anthology and two full-length novels! Busy year! And 2015 looks like being even busier! If you can, do leave me a review for my titles!
BACK TO YOU, TTFLS & BODYBLADE, AND MY PROUDEST MOMENT OF THE YEAR
Some of my proudest, most memorable moments this year have been connected to my well-being show, Back to You. Begun in January, and resuming in September, the weekly Monday night 9pm slot generated a huge following on Facebook on the group ‘Back to You QVC.’
There’s also Bruce’s Bodyblade QVC group, plus for Freedom Eating fans, the ‘Till the Fat Lady Slims’ group and page, for inspiration, support and ongoing motivation. (Hence the top pic above.)
Many people have loved being part of it and it’s spurred me on to keep at it, knowing my work is helping so many. On my B2U blog, you’ll find some of the feedback from members, that makes it all worth while.
In fact, my proudest moment of the year was when my nephew’s girlfriend Chloe H told me she’d lost five stone using my TTFLS and Freedom Eating system. Well done Chloe – she says her life will never be the same again. Awesome feeling, to have helped that happen, eh?
My semi-autobiographical weight loss book, Till the Fat Lady Slims 2.0 – the ‘When’ Diet, was ordered by QVC for this January (tbc but should be on advance orders, appearing on Back to You shows on Mondays 9pm) in hardback, following the success of the original book and then the revised version 2.0 released in September. I added the supersix principles which create the ‘When Diet’ part of it which means it can be used alongside ANY formal diet plan. More info will be on the next blog (coming out Friday 2nd). But the QVC one will be in hardback, signed by me, and limited print run.
Plus, I had the most fabulous time out in LA meeting up with Bruce from Bodyblade. Our favourite exercise device grew a huge army of devotees in 2014, and they all loved the little informal video he and I did on Marina Del Ray beach. Here it is – and what a TiFFT to look back on – when I do my Super6 bodyblade routine alongside, time flies! We will so have to do some more like this sometime! (Bruce returns to QVC incl on Back to You, around 12th January.)
READ IT WRITE IT SELL IT
My weekly look at all things book built itself a nice following, particularly because it brings links and useful info about writing and self-publishing, as well as a weekly book recommendation. My best books of the week have to be the PC Peter Grant Rivers of London series – five audio books kept me company on my long car journeys and I got through them all in less than two months! Well done to Ben Aaronovitch and a special mention to ace narrator Kobna Holdbrook-Smith on Audible. Highly recommended.
My favourite film of the year has to be The Theory of Everything – bound to win awards in the upcoming Oscar season. Superb acting and utterly compelling, it made me come out feeling differently about my own life, given how Stephen Hawking overcame adversity in such an extraordinary way. What a man, what a film.
And finally some fabulous family firsts. Apart from the hol with my mum, I welcomed a new niece, little Evie Pumpkin, my brother Derek’s fifth girl (!).
And my own daughter Lauren and her talented boyfriend Nick bought their own first house and moved in in the late Autumn. So proud of them. And also of my son Brad who bought his own first wholly owned place with his wife Kari too.
Yes it’s the one which made It’ll be Alright on the Night a second time, the bottles cascade! Trust me eh! Lol x
I hope you’ve enjoyed my Review of the Year! Next week, the first blog of 2015 brings you some of my biggest QVC news ever! For me, anyway! Join me again – it’s out on Friday 2nd!
Have a fab new year.
PS *TiFFT = Try it For the First Time Club
PPS **I was at QVC 1994-2000 and returned in 2009 to stay.
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