Keep Calm mug

The BIG six-0!!!


I couldn’t say too much about Chris’s birthday on here last week because he reads my blog and it would have spoiled the surprise I had organised for him. He had particularly said he didn’t want any fuss and definitely no party but I couldn’t let a milestone birthday pass by completely unmarked, could I?

Soooo … I secretly arranged for our friends Denise and Steve to come over for a garden party, along with friends Teresa and Natalie and, of course, Daniel and Sophie. He had no idea anything was going on, even though I spent the morning cleaning and tidying before going to the supermarket and buying double the quantity of food I would have needed for the four of us!!!

Birthday cake Birthday presentsI had also decorated with a few balloons while he was out having a spin in Sophie’s new car … tell you more about that next week! The only downside was that the weather wasn’t nice enough to be out in the garden but we still enjoyed a barbecue (veggie of course) followed by chocolate birthday cake, all washed down with a few glasses of wine. I think he enjoyed his big day and absolutely loved his new Vionic shoes that were part of his birthday present.

Daniel stayed over with us on Saturday night, with Wilfie of course, so on Sunday we went for a walk around Virginia Water lake. It was further than I thought but worth it for the beautiful scenery. We came home to a salad lunch and a bottle of Bollinger! On Monday the celebrations continued as I had booked a two-night stay at Charlton House hotel in Somerset, which included a complimentary treatment for each of us in the spa.

Elemis displayIt was overcast when we arrived but not cold so we decided to have a dip in the outdoor hot tub. The only problem was we couldn’t find the button to make the bubbles work! A lady very kindly interrupted her reading to show us how to do it. Her name was Xena and I only know this because she posted on last week’s blog … next time say hello!

We had our massages booked for the following morning. I walked in to the spa and it was like being backstage at QVC. Elemis, Leighton Denny and bareMinerals were the brands on offer. My therapist was called Laura and she gave me a fabulous massage using Elemis Japanese Camelia Oil because I have sensitive skin.

We chatted almost the whole way through the treatment with her giving me a few tips and me suggesting a few QVC products to try!

Elemis TSVSpeaking of Elemis, I am really looking forward to launching the Elemis TSV tomorrow night with Keeley. It’s a four-piece collection called the Ultimate Pro-Collagen Anti-Ageing Regime and features both Pro-Collagen Marine Cream and Oxygenating Night Cream, which won the QVC Customer Beauty Award in the Best Moisturiser category as a duo last Friday evening. I LOVE Oxygenating Night Cream and, although I do slot in other things from time to time, I always come back to it as my preferred night cream.

What I hadn’t tried before is the Pro-Collagen Super Serum, which is in a 15ml pump size exclusively for QVC. It leaves my skin feeling very smooth and really minimises the look of open pores. And there is also a full size of the Pro-Collagen Advanced Eye Treatment, all for less than the normal price of the night cream.

I hope you will stay up to join Keeley and I for the launch. So, on Wednesday we enjoyed a ploughman’s pub lunch in a lovely little place called Castle Carey, as recommended by former QVC presenter Paul Lavers. Paul and I met exactly twenty one years ago yesterday when we turned up for the photo shoot for the original seven presenters that started QVC UK. I guess it was technically my 21st birthday yesterday … wink wink!

Baby meerkat toy Cat in a boxWe arrived home Wednesday late afternoon to find a parcel addressed to Daniel. Chris texted him but Daniel had no idea what it was … then we realised … finally Baby Oleg meerkat had arrived. I organised Daniel’s home insurance through a particular company just to get the toy!! Milo wasn’t overly impressed with Baby Oleg. He did, however, take a shine to the box it came in.

Well I cannot finish my blog today without paying tribute to Joan Rivers who sadly passed away yesterday. I had the immense pleasure of working with her many times on QVC and although she kept you on your toes, as you never knew what she was going to say next, she was one of the most professional and inspirational women I have ever worked with. My thoughts are with her family and close friends at this time.

I’ll see you all a little earlier today for Ultrasun at 3pm. Have a great weekend.

Much love, Julia xx


  1. martin forbes bucksburn aberdeen watching via sky tv September 5, 2014 at 6:06 pm -  Reply

    sad news about joan julia hope you and family are well
    belated bday to chris.

    • Julia roberts September 11, 2014 at 11:11 pm -  Reply

      Hi Martin
      Thanks for the birthday wishes for Chris, will pass them on. We’re all well thanks
      Speak soon
      Julia x

  2. Tina S. September 5, 2014 at 6:27 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    I’m so jealous of Daniel getting Baby Oleg!! I think he is adorable. Me and hubby always have a giggle when the meerkats are on in between”Corrie”. Unfortunately I have already renewed my car insurance so can’t change my insurers to get one. You can buy them though on Ebay.
    I was also saddened at the loss of Joan Rivers. I used to enjoy her appearances with you. Some of her brooches were stunning.
    Well the weather has been glorious the past few days and I have been back in my summer wear again! I love this time of year when the weather is not too hot but its still lovely to sit out having coffee on the sea front. We used to get nice weather this time of year as I remember my birthday parties and it being nice and sunny. We are hoping to go somwhere for a couple of nights now that the school hol’s are finnished. If we don’t go soon though they’ll be off for 1/2 term!
    Glad your birthday plans for Chris went to plan and he enjoyed.
    My battery is running low so I’d better go and plug in.
    Best wishes Tina (S.Wales)

    • Julia roberts September 11, 2014 at 11:21 pm -  Reply

      Hi Tina
      I feel I should explain that although it’s Daniel’s insurance policy I have kept Baby Oleg!! He is very cute. I agree I think theTV commercials are brilliant.
      I was very sad to hear of Joan’s passing but she had a long life and has left a legacy, particularly for comedienne’s.
      The weather has been warm but a bit mixed here … sunny some days and cloudy others. At least it stayed dry for Chris and I to paint the newly erected shed in a deep green shade. He has also put up a lovely wooden arch – the garden is starting to really take shape now.
      How’s the house sale going?
      Hope you manage to get away for a few days
      Julia x

  3. Rose Gould September 5, 2014 at 7:30 pm -  Reply

    Oh Julia i am so pleased Chris had a lovely 60th,mine is fast approaching 18th Sept,i am excited to be honest not dreading it after all it is only a number,i feel much younger and have been told on numerous occasions i act very much younger lol!!!
    So sad about Joan Rivers what a fabulous lady,who will be sadly missed by one and all.
    Hope you are keeping well and everything is staying possitive with your health.
    love to you all

    • Julia roberts September 11, 2014 at 11:28 pm -  Reply

      Hello Rose
      Happy Birthday for next Thursday – I hope you enjoy any celebrations that are planned. You are right it’s only a number, but I wonder if I will be saying that in a couple of years when it’s my turn!
      Very sad about Joan Rivers. Sophie and I were looking through some photos from my Red Carpet interviews in LA a few years back and there were some really funny of Joan and I together – she will be missed.
      Everything is pretty good with my health – next big test at the end of October so fingers crossed for remission.
      Speak soon
      Julia x

  4. Sue Lee September 5, 2014 at 8:39 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julie,
    Am very jealous of you having that cute little meerkat toy!!!
    Phil & I went to London for a few days to celebrate his 65th birthday.He promised me that he would take me to see Simon Wilson’s Fulham Road shop!! As we arrived, guess who came out of the door from the flat above????? The man himself!!!! I just shot foreward, graped his hand & introduced us!!! He was SO charming &so funny just like on QVC!!! He introduced me to some QVC ladies who were lovely & said they were looking into vouchers to send as presies.I can’t wait!! Phil did go a little pale when they said that things for men werecoming soon!!! Simon does look much younger in real life than onTV!!! It made my day!!! He was joking away with Phil, so good to to meet someone you find as briilliant as you thought they would be!!! Went to recover in Liberty’s which was, like Simon, even better than I expected!!!
    Are you using Wen hair products on your hair? – it is really shiney & healthy.
    Enjoyed your first book – looking forward to the novel!!
    Best wishes Sue Lee x

    • Julia roberts September 11, 2014 at 11:38 pm -  Reply

      Hi Sue
      I hope your Phil enjoyed his 65th birthday? Very kind of him to take you to Butler & Wilson. Simon is fun to be around and you’re right he looks younger in real life.
      I have used the Wen products a couple of times but I must be truthful,I till use a lot of Aveda and also the Liz Earle conditioner which is very moisturising. I think my hair always looks glossier when I’ve jut had my colour done.
      So pleased you enjoyed One Hundred Lengths of the Pool. I have been hard at work on the manuscript which came back from the copy editor on Monday, so not long now until it’s ready to be unleashed …. I hope you will like it.
      Julia x

  5. Jean Pugh September 5, 2014 at 9:27 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    It sounds as if Chris had a nice birthday and my favourite cake Chocolate.
    Charlton House is that the one owned or was owned by Duncan Bannatyne, it sounds as if it was very relaxing, I knew they did Elemis there. I love the Japanese Camelia Oil, I have used it for a long time now, I remember putting up a review, and asked the question why did my cat always want to lick my arms after I had used it, normally they run away from smelly things, I mean nice smelly things. So I don’t only have to hide this from my husband but from the cat as well, don’t worry I do not put it on the cat.
    Yes Castle Cary is nice, in fact Somerset is, I say that because I live in Somerset .
    Yes looking forward to the Elemis TSV, I love the night cream.
    Cats are funny aren’t they, something about a cardboard box that attracts them. Milo is lovely. The meerkats make me laugh. The thing in the box with the baby meerkat I am sorry to say reminds me of a big maggot, sorry about that.
    Yes it was very sad about Joan Rivers, she was always so full of life.
    Take care.
    Love Jean X

    • Julia roberts September 11, 2014 at 11:45 pm -  Reply

      Hi Jean
      You are right, Charlton House is a Bannatyne hotel & spa (not sure that he still owns them though?) How weird about your cat and the Japanese Camelia Oil! Did you get the Elemis TSV?
      Somerset is very pretty although unfortunately we weren’t blessed with the greatest weather.
      The thing in the box with Baby Oleg is a giant maggot – I guess that’s what they feed on in real life.
      Julia x

  6. michelle September 7, 2014 at 12:37 am -  Reply

    happy birthday to chris, he doesn’t look his age. just ordered elimis tsv looking forward to using the products. nice to see molton brown back.

    • Julia roberts September 11, 2014 at 11:48 pm -  Reply

      Hello Michelle
      Thanks for the birthday greetings for Chris. You will probably have received your Elemis TSV by now so hope you are enjoying it?
      I have the next show of Molton Brown at 4 this afternoon (Friday) if you’re around?
      Julia x

  7. Beth September 9, 2014 at 8:26 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia, Great to hear that Chris had a great Birthday celebration! I can relate to him not wanting to have a big ‘Do’ and your close gathering and then the lovely hotel stay sounds perfect! I made the mistake of celebrating my ’30th’ and then my ’40th’ doing celebrations which I thought I should do – I’ve decided for my 50th, it’ll be how I want it – myself and Ian hopefully away somewhere!
    I LOVE the Meerkat adverts – every time they come on, I turn up the volume and try and catch something I’ve missed as there’s just so much detail in them. Lucky Daniel to have Baby Oleg – does he know he’s quite high maintenance?!
    Thank you for mentioning Joan Rivers – what you’ve said about her is wonderful to hear. She went too soon but she certainly lived life to the full. I remember watching her on a show with Charlie Brook and she kept him on his toes!!
    Well done on achieving 21 years with QVC – you’re a natural on television and always look like you’re enjoying yourself.
    Have a good week,
    Beth XXX.

    • Julia roberts September 12, 2014 at 12:00 am -  Reply

      Hi Beth
      I think Chris really enjoyed his birthday – it already seems ages ago although we are still ploughing our way through the various bottles of red wine he received as presents! I had a party on my 40th and my 50th and fully intend to have one on my 60th … Lots to celebrate after surviving my scare! Funny how different we all are.
      The Baby Oleg toy is for me … I arranged Daniel’s insurance through that comparison website just to get him! He’s been very well behaved so far.
      I only spoke the truth about Joan Rivers from the many times I had the pleasure of working with her – a true professional.
      I can’t believe I’ve been with QVC 21 years – crikey, where does the time go? I do enjoy being on TV – beats working for a living (joking of course).
      Speak soon
      Julia x

  8. michelle (javea) September 9, 2014 at 11:59 pm -  Reply

    just watched elemis programs from sunday that i recorded, do you know when in november elemis tvs will be shown as we are going on holiday for twenty four days from 31st october and i always order the tsv and i don’t want to miss this offer.i really enjoyed the elemis shows you did today.take care have a great week.hope all your family are well xxx

    • Julia Roberts September 12, 2014 at 10:00 am -  Reply

      Hi Michelle
      The Elemis TSV is planned for the 14th November so you will be away – maybe you can order online? Are you going anywhere nice?
      Glad you enjoyed the shows last Sunday – I love working with Keeley.
      Speak soon
      Julia x

  9. Dee September 10, 2014 at 11:08 am -  Reply

    glad you had a good time, the spa sounds fab, unfortunately that poor lady xena was attacked on the facebook page by people who said she was making it up about seeing you!!! I have to say I was rather pleased on her behalf when I saw this blog!

    • Julia Roberts September 12, 2014 at 10:06 am -  Reply

      Hello Dee
      I am shocked and disappointed to read that there were nasty comments on our Facebook page directed towards Xena – at least she has been vindicated. It is one of the reasons I don’t look at it. There is an old saying, ‘If you don’t have anything nice to say keep quiet!’
      Thanks for telling me Dee and Xena if you’re reading many apologies when you were only being helpful.
      Julia x

  10. Annette Roberts September 10, 2014 at 12:26 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia

    What a lovely surprise for Chris’ Birthday, friends, family, chocolate cake (dribbling, as I write lol!), new mug to wash everything down with and a Spa break. Like your thinking there Julia, getting in on the massage too!

    Love Baby Oleg and the adverts are hilarious…did you know that it is Matthew Kelly’s son who does all the voices and have you seen them together, spittin’ image or what!

    Well as you can imagine it’s been cycling heaven for Chris and I with the Tour de France, La Vuelta A Espana (still going) and now the Tour of Britain. We decided to follow the Tour of Britain on Monday, as we did last year and caught 2 stages, the first outside of Wrexham, then at the Finish in Llandudno, arriving there with about 15 minutes to go before the cyclists…how they do it I don’t know, we were in the car!

    Took some lovely video on my phone and it was nice to see Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish, who has done well following his shoulder surgery. Then watching the Vuelta with Chris Froome and Alberto Contador, both of which were out of the Tour de France with fractures, as Chris puts it they are very hard bitten to come back so soon.

    Was hoping to buy some WWC trousers today, phoned CS to see if they could hold the delivery because we’re away, but not able to, so will have to miss them this time and hope there will be more later in the year.

    How is your book doing, any further forward with it yet?

    Annette x

    p.s. miss the preview function on the blog page.

  11. Hefina September 11, 2014 at 12:28 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    hope you are keeping well,glad you enjoyed you’rChris birthday,also the spa.
    could you recommend an exfoliator for my face there are so many on qvs
    thank you
    Hefina x

    • Julia roberts September 12, 2014 at 10:45 am -  Reply

      Hi Hefina
      You are right there are lots of exfoliators on QVC and it really depends what you want. If you’re after a granular exfoliation the 2 I use are Elemis gentle rose (good on sensitive skin) and the Liz Earle which is slightly more granular. If you want one without grains Decleor phytopeel s good but a bit messy or Elemis papaya enzyme peel. These re only m preferred choices so others may be better for you.
      Julia x

  12. Julia roberts September 12, 2014 at 10:40 am -  Reply

    Hi Annette
    I have to say the chocolate cake was pretty delicious and Chris absolutely loves his mug … He threw his old one away!
    I didn’t know it was Matthew Kelly’s son doing the VoiceOver – brilliant. It’s funny you should mention how similar he is to his dad because I came across a picture of Gary Lineker’s son George on twitter this week and they are the image of each other too!
    Glad you’ve been enjoying the cycling. I haven’t been watching so much sport since Dan moved out but still love my footie of course!
    I had the manuscript of my book back on Monday so I have been hard at work all work ok’ing (or otherwise) suggested changes and corrections to punctuation and grammar – things have changed a lot since I studied English at school. I need to get it back to the copy editor by Monday and I’m about halfway through so it’s a good job I’m not working this weekend! She made some lovely comments about my writing style which gave me a boost as I am a ‘rookie’ novelist.
    I quite like the layout of the blogs now being able to post my reply under the relevant comment.
    Speak soon
    Julia x

  13. kay November 1, 2014 at 9:27 am -  Reply

    Love reading your comments Julia but it would be nice to see pictures of Chris now and then especially enjoying celebrations like his 60th.

  14. kay November 1, 2014 at 9:28 am -  Reply

    Hi Julie. I love reading your blog but it would be nice to see some pictures of Chris now and then especially celebrating his 60th. xxx

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