How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…


Liz Earle EssentialsElizabeth Barret Browning got it just very right when she wrote these words. You see, what she realised was that when you love someone, or something, it's often hard to give just one reason. It is, most likely, an accumulation of many elements or experiences that go into creating that feeling of love or adoration.

It is no different with how I feel about QVC. You see, and I will be totally honest with you, before I came to be introduced to the Q, I was what I call a cautious shopper. I tended to only buy brands that I was already firmiliar with, rarely bought on impulse, and always tried clothes/shoes on in a shop, even if I knew they were my size. Heaven forbid I should just go to the checkout, buy them and try them on at home.

Many hours have been whiled away standing in the aisles of shops sniffing colognes, deodorants and creams, rubbing things into the back of my hands, touching fabrics to feel what they might be like to wear, comparing and contrasting 3 different options of the same product only to leave the shop with absolutely nothing to show for all of my dithering! Sound familiar to any of you?!

What I have come to learn, and love, through shopping with QVC is that I can just order something if it takes my fancy (after listening to the expert guest on-air or checking out the details online of course – I haven't changed that much), get it home and not just try it but use it the way it has been designed to be used. I love that there is a 30-day Money Back Guarantee and most of all I love that we have Easy Payments to spread the cost.

As a result of this I have become a more adventurous shopper and consequently a happier one, because I have started to discover products that finally resolve some of the issues I have had with the products I have been using for years. There are so many products that I have discovered on QVC that there just isn’t the time or the computer memory capacity to write about them all. What I did though was have a look around my home and see what products I have from QVC that are always there ready and waiting when I need them. To my amazement there were quite a few, which I hadn't realised. Here are the ten I use most often:

1) Northern Nights

 Nothern Nights duvet set and pillows dual TSVNorthern Nights were the first products I got at QVC, because they were the first ones I learned about. Again, I will be honest with you, before I started learning about Northern Nights I didn't really think about my pillows and I actually had no idea what a featherbed was! So having completed my training I got myself some decent quality pillows, a featherbed, a down duvet and some quality high thread count sheets. What I realised was what a shame it was that I had completely neglected a third of my life, the third that happens to be spent in bed that is.

When we get dressed in the morning we think carefully about what we are going to wear. I mean you don't put on clothes that are uncomfortable, irritating or make you sweat. Why then would we get into a bed that was not entirely comfortable, or sleep in sheets that don't allow your body to breath or are scratchy? Once I realized this I was sold on Northern Nights. Not only do they provide the quality, whether in cotton sheets or feather and down bedding but they do it at an affordable price too! What's not to love?

2) Easiyo

 Like most of us I try to be a little bit healthy, watching what I eat, not drinking too much, trying to get enough exercise. All of these provide their own difficulties. I am the first to admit, it's not easy. Eating right has always been the biggest challenge for me. I want to eat healthily but I also want it to be convenient and good to have on the go (and a little bit naughty as well if I'm honest – I have a terrible sweet tooth).

It's for all these reasons that I really fell in love with Easiyo. Its quick and easy to make, as our own Jilly Jones says, it's as quick to make as a cup of tea. It is free from colours, preservatives, additives, flavourings, artificial sweetners and it is suitable for those who are lactose intolerant and on a gluten free diet and it is lower in fat than many of the yoghurts you will buy in a supermarket.

Oh, and let's not forget the millions of friendly bacteria it has in it as well – all fresh made and from your fridge! For all of you out there who, like me, always crave something sweet after your dinner, Easiyo is great to have in the fridge for just those moments because with flavours like Strawberries and cream, coconut or toffee you really will feel like you have been a little bit naughty, when actually you have been very good!

3) Jack La Lanne's Power Juicer Express

 Jack La Lanne juicerContinuing on the theme of trying to eat better, be healthier and have more energy, this is just the ticket! It's really very simple, if you want to get more fruit and veg into your diet but don't have the time to peel it, chop it, prep it and eat it, then just juice it!!It's like having liquid health, energy and sunshine in a glass. As a juicer it is so quick and easy to use and personally I put everything in with the skins on and the cores in. It seems to cope with whatever I put in there from whole beetroots to apples, raw ginger and even whole oranges!

4) cook's essentials

Not being the greatest cook in the world I do rely on every trick in the book in the kitchen for everything from preparation to presentation. I hold my hands up and I admit that I am prone to a few mishaps in the kitchen like, getting distracted and leaving food to burn (usually sauces) and using metal utensils in non-stick pans. Please tell me I am not alone in this? So it was with relief that I discovered the cook's essentials range of pots and pans with their even distribution of heat because of their impact bonded bases and their Scratchguard non-stick coatings. No more will I spend hours scrubbing burnt food off my pots instead of eating it off my plate where it should be, and the next time something needs stirring I won't need to worry about whether the spoon I grab is metal or wooden!What a blessed relief (especially for those I am cooking for!)

5) Liz Earle

Cleanse & Polish in the showerWhat can I say about Liz Earle. She's a life saver, or should I say, a skin saver, naturally!I do not have good skin, I never have. It has always been problematic. I have sensitive, reactive skin that doesn't like to be messed around with too much, but still needs to be cleaned thoroughly otherwise it becomes congested.I get razor rash when I shave and I get spots and dry patches no matter what I do.

So as you can see finding the right skin care products is not easy  but it is something I have to do because not only am I on the telly but I am a person who has to be out in the real world like everyone else meeting other people and I need to feel good about myself when I do!

So I tried Liz Earle's Cleanse and Polish. I was concerned for all of the skin issues mentioned already. Was this going to irritate my skin, inflame it, cause it to break out in a rash or spots? The answer was NO! What a relief. I have used this every day since I got it. I have one in my shower and one by my sink. Using natural botanicals that are kind to the skin means that it is gentle yet effect. I love it, and because I love it so much I can't help using other products from the range now either!

6) HIM – John Barrowman

HIM - John BarrowmanThis is the perfect men's grooming range, especially the anti-bacterial post shave balm. I have tried many of the post shave balms and healers out there on the market because I have such sensitive, reactive skin and none of the big brand names I have tried come close to this in my opinion.The moisturiser is perfect for my skin as well, a great consistency that is easily absorbed but doesn't clog. I can't say enough good things about this range. (In fact I have just remembered I need to order some more!!)

7) Elemis Time For Men

Elemis - Daily Moisture BoostThe Time for Men range from Elemis really does give you that fresh clean feeling. I use this when I am on the go, like at the gym or if I am in a hurry after I come off-air. The moisturizer is light and fluid and is unscented so great for men. The S.O.S cream is the best for when your skin is adamant that it just isn't happy and needs some T.L.C stat!


8) L'Artisan Parfumeur

L'Artisan ParfumeurWhat can I say, one of the premiere creators of fine fragrances and they are available on QVC. I got the triple set of men's fragrances from QVC at Xmas.

Fou D'Absinthe (The craziness of Absinthe): I think I am right in saying this was the first male fragrance that L'Artisan produced. With notes of Absinthe, star anise, pepper, clove, nutmeg and ginger this is a wonderfully warm fragrance.It has a cool, dry alcohol top note, like a fresh made Gin Martini served up at The American Bar at The Savoy. These initial notes are then warmed up with the herbal spice notes which have their edges softened even further with the fruitiness of blackcurrants. A clean elegant fragrance with just a hint of a cool edge to it. Wonderful to wear every day.

Timbuktu: This is a big powerful fragrance that stands front and centre with its head up, it makes no excuses for itself at all. A fragrance to wear when you need that little bit of extra support, whether your making that important presentation or asking the boss for a raise, this scent says all you need them to know!With its warm spicy frankincense and its notes of Vetiver and Patchouli – it's part soapy, part floral and has staying power! A fragrance that will see you right through the day.

Coeur De Vetiver Sacre: For me there are unmistakeable hints of Bergamot, like sweet Earl Grey tea, infused with berries and Vanilla with a light muskiness that allows it to linger on the nose. A unisex scent that should be worn when you feel a little devilish!!

9) Scented Candles

Yankee CandleTo be able to change not just the mood of a room but your own mood with one strike of a match is one of the key benefits of quality scented candles. Fragrance has such an impact on our mood and wellbeing and we underestimate the power of it at our peril. At the end of a long day the quickest way for me to unwind is to light a candle. For that matter the quickest way to get going at the start of the day can be with a scented candle too, it just all depends on the fragrance.

All of that and your home smells great too. It's a win-win! For quality scented candles it is hard to beat Yankee Candle, the largest producer of fragranced candles in the U.S. and a firm favourite on QVC too.

10) Camouflage Co.

Yankee CandleTrying to have all the bits and pieces that I now consider essential to everyday life around me without feeling like I am living in a sea of remote controls, newspapers, comforters etc. whilst still maintain a look of minimalism is not an easy task. Not, that is, until you discover the joys of the camouflage company. Their small trays are great as little counter top organizers or lvingroom tidies for discreetly keeping remote controls and mobile phones in, I even use one for keeping all my recharging cables in.

I also use a larger storage box for keeping extra blankets and comforters in at the bottom of the bed, in case I fancy sitting on the bed and haing a read or if I get too chilly in the night (see pic), they are also great for keeping all the Sunday newspapers and supplements in as you plough through them all week. They really do 'make mess look less and glam up clutter'. No home should be without them!

Sorry here a few of my favourite things to celebrate Share the Love on QVC – I hope you enjoy them!

Miceal x

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