Dos amigos!


Pencils from CorsicaLast week I was telling you about my holiday in Corsica, but I omitted to mention that my daughter Sophie was also on holiday, with her friend Sarah, in Cuba.

They brought us these crazy pencils back in return for the 'sheik' pens we brought them home from Dubai!

Because we were away at the same time, we all agreed that it wouldn't be fair to have Oskar, Sophie's cat, staying at our house as he and Poppy don't really get on too well. Besides, Daniel is working very long hours at Crystal Palace FC.

That meant that both he, Oskar not Daniel, and Sarah's cat Lexi had to go into the cattery, or should I say cat hotel, for a weeks holiday too. I'm sure they treated them very well but I have never seen Oskar so affectionate as he was when Sophie brought him round on Saturday.

Sarah didn't bring Lexi. She has only visited us once, when she was a tiny kitten. She looked like a little ball of fluff and she was absolutely fine with all of us except Daniel. He had reached down to rescue her from behind the sofa and she was growling at him.

"It's alright," said Sarah, "She won't bite," as Lexi sunk her teeth into Dan's arm not once but twice, drawing blood!

Lexi watching Julia on QVCSince then, although apparently she is adorable, we have always called her the 'killer' cat! You wouldn't think so to look at her would you? This was a photo that Sarah tweeted last weekend, when I was on air with Jilly Jones and EasiYo Yoghurt.

Apparently Lexi had pounced on their TV remote control and turned the television on to QVC. Is she deciding which one of us to bite I wonder?

I love working with Jilly Jones as she always has brilliant recipe ideas… I particularly liked the one where she had strained the greek yoghurt to make cream cheese and added garlic and chives, absolutely delicious!

 Talking of recipes, I promised one of my blog readers that I would post my coffee and walnut cake recipe, so here goes (I wouldn't want to upset Marian!).

Coffee & Walnut Cake

6 oz self raising flour
6 oz golden caster sugar
6 oz soft marg
3 medium eggs
1 – 2 oz chopped walnuts
1 – 2 teaspoons instant coffee powder

8 oz icing suger
3 oz soft marg
a little skimmed milk
1 -2 teaspoons instant coffee powder

Coffee and walnut cake1. cream the sugar and marg, beat in the eggs one by one, then fold in the flour. Add the coffee powder to taste and mix until grainy appearance has gone. Fold in walnuts amount determined by how nutty you like it … I use 1 oz

2. Spoon into heart shaped tin or 7 inch round tin. Bake for 30 – 35 mins at 175 degrees. Allow to cool and then split into two.

3. For the icing, mix all the ingredients together, the milk a little at a time until it is a soft consistency. Use half to sandwich the cake together and half for the top and sides.

4. Decorate with walnuts and enjoy!!


It was good to see Sara Griffiths back on QVC yesterday… she is filling in for Pipa while she takes a sabbatical. She confessed to me that she was really nervous before her first hour… she'll soon get back into the swing of things!

Watch out for all our TSVs over the next ten days being on Easy Pay as we lead up to the 20th birthday on 1st October. I will be taking you on a trip down memory lane on next week's blog!

Have a good weekend
Julia xx


  1. Jean September 21, 2013 at 8:36 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    What unusual pencils. I guess they enjoyed Cuba.
    You mentioned that Sarah’s cat was more loving since being in the Cat Hotel, some dog’s cat’s react like this, it is because they have been separated from their owner’s. I do believe she has her eye on you where she is watching the TV. Cat’s are very independant arent they, I will do what I want to do not want you tell me to do. Poor old Daniel, when they bite they bite and it hurts, I guess he will keep his distance now.
    You seemed to be enjoying the EasiYo Yoghurt, my daughter Heidi has made a cream cheese with the Greek Yoghurt and added herbs, she did say to me to make some, must do it, one more thing to add to my list.
    Glad you mentioned the Coffee and Walnut Cake, must make another one as my husband eat the last slice yesterday. I have some sponges in the freezer, but not the Coffee one which is his favourite. I often make up a batch of cakes, using my fantastic Kitchen Aid Mixer, and then freeze them, ice them when I defrost them. I do not eat cakes like that, too sweet for me, it is like Chocolate, which I love like most people, it has to be a good one, nothing to sweet. (Did someone mention Thornton’s).
    Looking forward to your next blog.
    Have a great weekend.
    Love Jean XX

  2. martin forbes September 21, 2013 at 10:35 am -  Reply

    julia will you be wearing your blue coat on ist october for qvcs 2oth birthday day.glad you had agood holiday hiope sophie dan and chris are well/

  3. Christine Margaret Hindle. September 21, 2013 at 9:42 pm -  Reply

    Julia Hi! I have been with QVC for the 20 years you have been on air. Steve Whatley; Dave Bradford; Paul Lavers; Katie ?? cannot remember her sir name. Kara Tritton, lovely Kara. I met her at Kensington South Hotel with Suzi Bjontegard and her Mother. I also came to QVC Towers at the first party meeting Jenniefer Kirk, that was where I met Steve Whatley. Happy Memories and I feel QVC is my family which I always watch every day and dread to think how much I have spent over the years. May I take this opportunity to congratulate everyone on 20years of Happy shopping.

  4. Annette Roberts September 22, 2013 at 6:05 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Afraid I would have to make Chris a Chocolate Fudge Cake, warmed with ice cream. We are into EasiYo at the moment and our favourite one is Greek and Coconut. Must have a look at the With Sleeves dress you mentioned.
    Did you manage to see the Tour of Britain final today in London, you are quite right about ‘little hold ups’, we were very impressed with the way in which the Police and officials worked together…they rode ahead stopping traffic and minutes behind them came the riders, lead by the Sky train, with Cav not far behind. Didn’t see Sir Bradley, until further back talking to the team car, he did glance over as we shouted at him “C’mon Bradley”, with Chris holding Bobby in his arms.
    We watched just over the Welsh border, there was about 6 of us there and they were past in minutes and as soon as they had gone the road was open again. Chris decided to go further and try and catch them again, but we ended up at the Finish in Llanberis. Got there 10 mins before the barriers were closed and 1/2hr before they sped towards the Finish line…really enjoyed being part of it and seeing them in the flesh. To think that we had travelled all that distance by car, with a 10min butty break and they arrived 1/2hr after, a-ma-zing…even the 52 miles for charity you mentioned previously, was a feat in itself.
    Little set back with my leg, which I may have to have looked at…I haven’t done anything strenuous, or different to before, but went upstairs and as I put my right foot on the next step I had the most excruciating pain shoot up my leg, maybe a nerve thing, but if it’s no better, I’ll get it looked at…it has been very good before that.
    Annette x

  5. Marian Bolton September 22, 2013 at 6:06 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Thank you for posting the recipe, although I don’t know what you mean “I wouldn’t want to upset Marian” …… you know I’m a pussy cat!! Will report back when I’ve had chance to make the cake. The Relax Master bed is just fantastic. You must get one when you find a house. It’s incredibly comfortable. Although I’m still waking up a few times, it’s now only when I’m hot!! Not that kind of hot Julia ….. although I am that as well!!!!! Not waking up with pressure pain at all now and getting back to sleep much quicker. LOVE it and will be writing a review soon to say as much.
    Return of Downton tonight …. can’t wait … although I wish they hadn’t killed Matthew off.

  6. Julia roberts September 23, 2013 at 4:39 pm -  Reply

    Hi Jean
    I have often wondered whether I should treat myself to a Kitchen Aid but I think I would just be too tempted to make too many yummy things.
    You really should try the cheese with the Greek yoghurt it was very very good!
    I’m a fan of good chocolate too particularly the dark varieties.
    Lots of trips down memory lane on my next blog and some old publicity photos I think
    Julia x

  7. Julia roberts September 23, 2013 at 5:12 pm -  Reply

    Hi Martin
    Not sure about the blue jacket … Maybe.
    We’re all good thanks
    Julia x

  8. Julia roberts September 23, 2013 at 5:21 pm -  Reply

    Hi Christine
    Thanks for the QVC birthday wishes and also thanks for shopping with us for all these years. Katy’s surname was John …. we used to share a dressing room.
    Have you had a go at entering the Mauritius holiday competition yet?
    Enjoy the birthday
    Julia x

  9. Julia roberts September 23, 2013 at 5:39 pm -  Reply

    Hi Annette
    Sorry to hear you’ve had a bit of a setback with your leg and hope it’s nothing serious … keep me updated.
    Crikey you really are into your cycling aren’t you. There was some bike ride around here (Epsom) on Saturday but I didn’t see any of the riders. You know me, my sport ( for watching) is football ….. my team didn’t do very well at the weekend I’m afraid but early days yet!
    Speak soon
    Julia x

  10. Julia roberts September 24, 2013 at 10:21 pm -  Reply

    Hi Marian
    I know you’re a pussycat ……… really! I have to admit I’m not really a Downton fan. It’s not that I don’t like it it’s just that I rarely get to watch it although I did tach it on Sunday … very good.
    Hope you will enjoy the cake when you make it ….. Ali Young is a big fan!
    Sweet dreams
    Julia x

  11. Diane gilbank September 24, 2013 at 10:59 pm -  Reply

    Hi julia love reading your blogs! They always make me smile, and your piece about the cat switching on qvc on the remote made me laugh out loud, as Martyn tells everyone that my tv has a default setting which is of course… Qvc!!
    Can’t remember if I told you how lovely you looked in that purple top you wore for your Madison ave diamonique show.
    Am sure you must be excited about the 20th anniversary, you have done so well to see how massive qvc has become. You are a great figure head and I mean that with great sincerity.
    Much love Diane xx

  12. Julia roberts September 26, 2013 at 9:01 pm -  Reply

    Hi Diane
    Just on the way back from Liverpool from a QVC 20th birthday tea party … it was really lovely to meet so many people who have been shopping with us from the first year. I think we all agreed that there have been lots of changes but mostly for the better.
    Yes you did mention about the purple top thanks – I’m sure I replied to your post.
    I hope you will enjoy this week’s blog …. lots of old photos and a trip down memory lane!
    Glad the Lexi story made you laugh
    Julia x

  13. Annette Roberts September 27, 2013 at 2:44 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Sorry your team hadn’t done very well at the weekend, as you say early days.
    Cycling has taken over of late with both of us, Bradley did very well in the Tour of Britain and now the World Time Trials in Itlay, winning Silver, especially having had a terrible year with knee problems…looking forward to the Final on Sunday. Must say, sad to hear he has decided to return to the Veladrome…he is such a good road cyclist.
    Ankle is much better again, touch wood, saw the GP on Tues and asked if I should go back to see consultant. He said it sounded more like a nerve things and it’s only 8 weeks and will take at least 6 months to settle down.
    Just tried my Bear Paw boots on for the first time and they are soo comfy without that pesky metal bar and pins…couldn’t wear any boots before because of them rubbing, next the 1 1/2″ heeled Markon’s…then when much better the higher heeled ones like yours, hopefully! Be nice to feel a little more feminine, rather than always wearing trousers and trainers…little things eh?
    Annette x
    P.S. So sorry to see Jules and Debbie G go (Thorntons comes to mind), they were such fun when on and I hope Jules’ ‘Ology’ stands him in good stead, as they say…always thought that was funny!

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