They do say “better late than never” so I hope you’ll forgive my tardiness in wishing you and yours a very happy New Year! I’m hoping to make it even better for you with a HUGE prize giveaway worth £300 that you can enter here on the blog – but more on that later.
How were your Christmas and New Year festivities? I do hope they went to plan and that you managed to avoid Covid and all the restrictions? Unfortunately, Colin and I weren’t that lucky and having tested positive just prior to Christmas, all our celebrations that I wrote about in the previous blog were scuppered with both of us feeling pretty poorly for the best part of 11 days!
At least we had each other for company though and of course, plenty of food in the house, although we didn’t feel much like eating for the first week. I can imagine it was really heavy going for those on their own – and such a disappointment especially after last year. If that was the case for you then I have everything crossed that you will be able to see those you love in the not too distant and it will be all the sweeter for having waited.
I have heard that some folk feel nothing more than minor cold symptoms with Omicron but unfortunately, Colin got a rotten chest infection and we both had all the aches and pains and awful cough that were associated with the very first variation! We sounded like a couple of old boilers and felt very tired so we stayed in the warm and watched a great deal of TV!
There were a couple of beautiful films we saw that I’d definitely recommend the first being ‘Summerland’ with Gemma Arterton who plays the reluctant carer of a young boy who’s been evacuated from London during the Blitz. Beautifully shot and very well acted, there is a tenderness and poignancy to it that I really enjoyed.
The other film starred Timothy Spall – The Last Bus – but be warned, you will definitely need something to wipe away the tears for this one. I loved the storytelling and it does have a happy ending but there’s a lot to take in – a cracking performance by Mr. Spall! We did watch a fair few comedy and quiz shows too but our ‘go to’ are the cookery programmes. We’re currently enjoying Rick Stein’s Cornwall and Colin is a huge fan of Masterchef.
Ready, steady, cook
Being home and not working has meant I’ve had more time to cook and made a fab soup from one of my many Gino De Campo recipe books – Zuppa Di Cipolle E Pancetta! An Italian version of Onion Soup – absolutely delicious and very easy to make using onions, chicken stock, tinned tomatoes and chopped pancetta. Dress with parmesan and fresh basil and serve with warm bread – it is SO tasty. If you don’t have any pancetta swap it out with smoked bacon. I’ve also made a spiced pea and leek soup but I’ll give you the recipe for that next time.
I think it’s probably a good juncture for me to tell you more about the very special prize I have safely stashed away from the supremely successful kitchen brand Ninja! It is their 7.5 litre capacity Ninja Foodie Max – a 15-in-1 Smart Lid Multi Cooker. It’s worth £300 but you could win it simply by telling me what would be the first thing you’d cook in it! And just in case you weren’t aware, this cooker will enable you to pressure cook, air fry, grill, bake, dehydrate, prove, sear/saute, steam, slow cook, steam meals, steam air fry, steam bake, steam bread, steam roast and even make yoghurt! You can serve up to six portions in one go and it cooks 70% faster than the more traditional methods. Think of the reduction in gas and electricity usage too? And, you do all this without needing to change the lid or controls!
We had it as a TSV some months back and it sold out by early afternoon. I’ve managed to get my hands on this sample and thought the competition would tie in rather nicely with our Winter Warmer feature on QVC – don’t just think fashion, there’s so much more on our website @qvcuk.com. Ninja will actually be featuring at the weekend with an impressive TSV but why wait?! You can take part now by telling me what you plan to cook in the comments box below – T&Cs available at qvcuk.com – and I’ll be making the draw this Friday 14th. GOOD LUCK!
Obviously having not been anywhere or seen anyone I don’t have many photographs to share this time, but I did get out for my first walk last Thursday, spotting my Hellebore Christmas Rose in the garden that is now in full bloom.
Roz and Chris bought it for me years ago and I hadn’t even realized it was there until I went outdoors. But I so enjoyed the fresh air and just look at the blue skies and the sunshine! It is absolutely my kind of happy and such a tonic for the soul. What do you do to lift the spirits and escape the world for a while?
Normally I’d be exercising indoors while the weather is bad on my cross trainer or the AeroPilates Reformer with the rebounder, but both are in the enormous container on our drive as we grind through the house refurb so I was so glad to have the chance to stretch my legs outdoors. I should alert you though as we currently have the AeroPilates 4 Cord Reformer 435 with the cardio rebounder and a full DVD Library on sale NOW for £449.95 – the first of 5 Easy Pay instalments just £89.99 – as opposed to the RRP of £600, saving you £241.10!
I started using my Reformer about five years ago and it has helped me enormously with core strength, flexibility, improved posture and tightening of the tummy muscles! Give yourself the chance to experience all it can do for you with our 60-day money back guarantee and we’ll pick it up if you decide not to keep it.
There’ll be more exercise opportunities on Saturday 22nd January when I will be joined by Davina McCall who has something rather special from her Fitness at Home range to help us all be our best selves! Hopefully, there are a few ideas here that you’ll make good use of. By the way, if you’ve not seen Davina in ‘The Language of Love’ that began last week on Channel 4, treat yourselves. It’s a really clever concept; interesting and highly entertaining to watch.
A Covid Christmas
Something that I am definitely going to be making good use of is our Christmas present from my son Sam and his girly Elise. This beautiful pottery is handmade by a lovely Frenchman called Marius Roux who owns and makes everything he sells in ‘Trecarne Pottery’ in Mullion, Cornwall. We discovered it the year before last when we went to Cornwall and I bought a few pieces. I really want to collect more and so I put it on my Christmas list. It was made to order and now has pride of place in my kitchen. I’m hoping to start a collection :).
We’re hoping to recreate Christmas lunch for the family in the next few weeks, as it’s been really sad not seeing everyone – particularly the grandchildren. I did though have a hilarious couple of hours FaceTiming Honey where we did everything together – drawing, playing Articulate (she’s really good at this) reading stories and even tidying her room! All remotely, bless her.
So, as we move full steam ahead into 2022 let’s hope that we’re through the worst of the Covid bugs and that we will have a healthier year to enjoy.
I’ll be back with my Diamonique Jewellery show at 8pm on Tuesday and then I have an hour with cosmetician Judith Williams at 10pm who will hopefully have a few of her Deluxe Life Long Beauty TSVs left that includes two supersizes and a brand new product! If your skin is a little more mature and needs some TLC then these original and active formulas which include sweet almond, rose and argan oils will give you all you need to cleanse (with a new product Cleansing Water), to hydrate, smooth and treat your skin. It’s perfectly timed for use during the colder weather, and extraordinary value at £42.98 plus p&p – if you bought it directly it would be £268! Save yourself over £220 and buy it while stocks last.
With my love,