Guess Who’s Coming to Town?!

6

I know what you are all thinking… Santa Claus! Well, yes, he is, but someone else very special is arriving on QVC today. I’ve long been an admirer of fashion designer, Ben de Lisi, particularly in terms of cut and, after over a year of talks, he is finally launching his collection on QVC in Fashion on Friday tonight. I am so looking forward to meeting him and showing you the designs he has created for us. My first ever Ben de Lisi dress was a bias cut maxi in a beautiful pink burnout devore fabric. I wore it for one of the early live broadcast Breast Cancer Care shows. Although American born, he moved to London in 1982 where he showed his first capsule collection. In the nineties, he won the coveted British Glamour Designer of the Year in two consecutive years and began showing his collections at the prestigious London Fashion Week in 1995. I’m so pleased he is joining our ever expanding range of fashion designers on QVC.

Also coming to QVC this week is the nail brand Jessica Nails. If you were admiring my nails on air yesterday, an eye-catching lilac/mauve colour, it is one of the shades we will be launching with. My local salon, like many up and down the country, choose to use Jessica Nails products because of the professional results they deliver. The first show is on Tuesday at 9pm with our beauty expert, Ali Young.

It’s been another busy week both on air and off air for me. I finished the edit on my Christmas novella and sent it off to be formatted. I hadn’t heard from my usual cover designer, so a huge thank you to Debs Flint for her list of contacts and also to my daughter, Sophie, for finding the font I wanted for the title. What do you think? It will be out as an ebook at some point this coming week.

After work on Wednesday, I made my first batch of mince pies for this season. I brought a couple in to work for one of our make-up girls, Rachael, as she had very kindly got me a Green & Blacks advent calendar… it’s the nicest one I’ve ever had, by the way!

My mince pie recipe is very simple:

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz self raising flour
  • 4oz spelt flour
  • 2oz butter
  • 2oz Trex (white vegetable fat)
  • 3 tablespoons of cold water
  • pinch of salt
  • mincemeat (I used Waitrose)

Method:

1) Rub the fat into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.
2) Using a knife, add the cold water and mix until it starts to bond together, then press into a ball.
3) Roll out fairly thinly on a floured surface and cut out 12 bottoms (larger cutter) and 12 tops (smaller cutter).
4) Line bun tin with the larger pastry rounds and add a generous teaspoon of mincemeat. Wet the edges of the small rounds and place on top (wet side down – this is my tip to seal the mincemeat in) then press the edges firmly together.
5) Sprinkle lightly with sugar and bake for 20 mins on 200 degrees/ fan-assisted 180.

The pastry has a bite but is lovely and crumbly and buttery without being too rich.

I’ve also been doing a bit of painting this week but to be honest, not much, as I’ve been at QVC every day except Tuesday. However, the conservatory is now no longer green, thanks to the boys mainly, and the underfloor heating is being done this weekend.

I’m not sure if the floor tiles in there will get done pre-Christmas, but the decking is now finished and looks amazing. Thanks again to Clare Sutton’s husband, Dan, for recommending Millboard – it looks exactly like wood but without the maintenance issues.

Before…

… After!

So, this is our final Christmas Shopping Weekend for delivery prior to the big day. We have two fabulous beauty TSVs; Saturday is the Bareminerals 6 piece Moonlit Magic Make-Up Gift Collection and on Sunday, Lulu is back with a 5 piece Get The Glow Collection.

Both are on easy payments, as all our TSVs will be, until the 20th December, the cut-off date for pre-Christmas delivery. That is also the date you need to use your vouchers by if you earned them – check our website for full Ts & Cs. We also have a four day ‘Not Too Late For Christmas’ event starting on Monday with loads of great present ideas.

Tonight is our QVC Christmas Party, but sadly I won’t be going as I’m on air until 7pm. This photo appeared on Catherine Huntley’s Instagram earlier in the week and is a throwback to 2003, the last time the party was held at this venue. I hope everyone who is going has as much fun as I did that year!

Congratulations to ‘King Harry of the Jungle’ and may the best dancer win ‘Strictly’, although she probably won’t. It’s such a shame that Ashley is being ‘judged’ by the public, because she has been a professional dancer. Trust me, the techniques in ballroom and Latin are very different from what Ashley is used to and sometimes unlearning something is harder than picking something up from scratch! At least we will get to see her wonderful dancing again even if she doesn’t win, but surely it must be a Dancing ‘Queen’?

Right, I’m off to buy our Christmas tree now – pictures of it decorated on next week’s blog!

Much love,
Julia xx

6 Comments

  1. Elizabeth Mc Carrison December 14, 2018 at 5:15 pm -  Reply

    Could not agree with you more Julia on Ashley to win Strictly she is brilliant my and your winner by a mile anyway

    • Julia Roberts December 19, 2018 at 10:11 am -  Reply

      Hi Elizabeth
      As expected, Ashley didn’t win but the fact that the judges gave both her and Faye straight 40’s would imply that they agreed with us – they were both sensational! Still pleased for Stacey & Kevin though
      Love
      Julia x

  2. anne graham December 14, 2018 at 7:53 pm -  Reply

    can I ask why you use spelt flour with self raising? I love your tip for wetting tops to seal mince pies

    • Julia Roberts December 19, 2018 at 10:13 am -  Reply

      Hi Anne,
      To be honest I’m not sure! I use spelt flour to make scones and they are very light so I tried a mix in this year’s mince pies and it’s the best pastry I have ever made!
      Love
      Julia x

  3. Chris Moran December 14, 2018 at 8:34 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia, I am absolutely with you and also Alison Hammond who was on ‘It Takes Two’ tonight who also said she was rooting for Ashley….Ashley is a fantastic dancer and has been unfairly judged by the public for her dancing experience…I hope that she and Faye go out and dance for themselves and In the process show everyone that they are worthy of being In the final.

    • Julia Roberts December 19, 2018 at 10:16 am -  Reply

      Hi Chris,
      I think we can safely say that Ashleyand Faye were simply sensational on Sunday – breathtakingly good at times. That said, I am still pleased for Stacey & Kevin
      Love
      Julia x

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