Elf and beauty

You may be thinking that’s a strange title for my blog, but all will be revealed later!! First though, I’m looking back to my son Dan’s birthday last Friday – was that really only a week ago? You may well have picked up the hint that we were doing an American themed dinner for him after I posted the picture of the coffee cup cakes on last week’s blog – they were ‘deeelish’ by the way. It all stemmed from his girlfriend, Katie, asking him where he would go for his birthday if they could be anywhere, and he answered New York. After my contribution, I went into work leaving Chris and Katie to decorate and cook – I was very impressed when I got home.

I’m not sure how clear it is, but we had some photos printed up of our two trips to New York and Katie also had some great shots to add, which were dangling from strings and stuck to the beams along with the bunting and streamers. Dinner was burger (veggie) and truffle oil chips, with salad and corn on the cob, after we’d all had a glass of the red, white and blue gin-based cocktail Katie had made.

It was all very tasty, but I have to be honest and say that we were really waiting for the chocolate and orange birthday cake that Katie had made – how fabulous does this look? And I can confirm it tasted amazing too! It was only the second time that she had used the KitchenAid, which she got from QVC when it was a Today’s Special Value recently, having hankered after one for a while, but I’m sure it will get a lot more use once they have a home of their own.

Obviously, as we were in lockdown, Sophie and her family weren’t allowed to join us for dinner, but she did drop her brother’s presents off on the doorstep and he opened them there so at least she felt included.

So, having celebrated Dan’s birthday, it was time for me to make the Christmas cake, which I did by hand rather than ‘borrowing’ Katie’s KitchenAid as that’s the way I’ve always done it. There were just the four of us giving the mixture a stir and making a wish this year. Obviously, I can’t tell you what my wish was, or it might not come true, but I will admit to being a little more selfish than usual this year rather than using my wish for other people – please keep your fingers crossed for me! The cake is now wrapped in a double layer of tin foil, upside down in the cupboard, having had a generous dousing of brandy, where it will stay until the 23rd when it gets its coat of golden marzipan!

On Monday, I put the final item in my Reverse Advent Calendar box – we added a few Christmas treats towards the end – and a big thank you to our neighbours who joined in and also to Mrs Pietersen (yes, that one) who collected all the offerings up and took them to the local food bank where her mum helps out.

On Tuesday, it was our turn to start opening the doors on our advent calendars. Dan had a Brewdog beer one, Chris his usual cheese, me the traditional chocolate and Katie a reusable cloth one, whose pockets had been filled with goodies ranging from tea-light candles to chocolates to lipsticks. I deserved my chocolate treat as I’d spent the day working on my next book – no, not the one that comes out next month, ‘My Mother’s Secret’ for those who may be interested, the one that is due out in summer 2021! I’m already on 7600 words so I should make my mid-February deadline easily, even with Christmas in the middle.

Speaking of which, we haven’t put our decorations up (next weekend I think) but I’m starting to feel a bit more in the festive spirit now that the Christmas cake is made, so I thought I would share this with you… What’s Your Elf Name? I’m Sugarplum Pointytoes – quite appropriate for an ex-professional dancer! I was reading out Chris, Dan and Katie’s elf names last night in the ad breaks of ‘I’m a Celebrity’ (I so hope Vernon wins, but I really like all the final three) and I’m guessing that might have inspired Katie to create this little video. It had me laughing out loud this morning – worth a watch if you’ve got a minute to spare.

Well, obviously that’s the ‘elf’ side of my blog covered, but what about beauty? There are two lovely beauty Today’s Special Values to draw your attention to in the coming days, one from Doll 10 and the other from Nails Inc (not forgetting the Skinsense Today’s Special Value today, of course). The Doll 10 Today’s Special Value features the brand new formulation T.C.E. Foundation and Concealer, along with a buffing brush, lipstick in the shade ‘Dedicated’ and the Effortlash XL Mascara. T.C.E. stands for ‘This Covers Everything’, so if you are looking for a full coverage foundation that doesn’t feel heavy on your skin, you should maybe give this one a go. It’s already on pre-sell so you can check out the eight shade choices on our website. I’ll have it in the Sunday Morning Show at 9 a.m. if you want to see a live presentation and if you’d like to hear more from brand founder, Doris Dalton, she is the subject on this week’s QVC podcast.

Then, next Wednesday we have the Nails Inc Christmas Today’s Special Value. There are six colours, perfect for the festive season, which would cost £105 bought individually directly from Nails Inc, plus the Kensington 45 second topcoat with retinol and all packaged in this sparkly box for just under £30. It would make a really lovely present for someone who is ‘into’ their nails, or you could do a bit of ‘sift and gift’ and maybe break down into smaller presents with a lip gloss perhaps. Either way, great for Christmas gift giving.

Speaking of which, QVC’s Christmas shopping countdown starts today with 17 QVC shopping days to Christmas – if you’re good at maths, you’ve probably worked out that the final shopping day for Christmas delivery is December 20th, so the Elemis Today’s Special Value will just creep in under the wire.

That’s me done for today, as I’m on air with Tova at 3 p.m. and of course Fashion on Friday at 5 p.m. – see you bright and early in the morning too for The Saturday Morning Gift Show.

Much love,
Julia xx

9 Responses

  1. Loved your show with Jenny tonight it was such fun and all you QVC team have certainly helped with lockdown, love the shows especially fashion,And my Elf name ie Sugar Plum Cinnamon Stick😂😂 Your Christmas Cake looks Yummy 😊

    1. Hi Jean (or should I say Sugarplum Cinnamonstick 😉)
      Thanks for your comment – it’s lovely to hear that we’ve helped you through lockdown… such difficult times for us all.
      Hoping the cake will be as good as usual
      Julia x

  2. Hi Julia,
    Just scrolling back and it was July when i last wrote on your blog, the one with the wall plaque. !
    Well hope all’s well with you and you family during this strange time. Lots happening, Ian’s dad was taking ill during the first lock down i didn’t mention it before as waiting for results and making sure medication was working etc. Well he has been diagnosed with CLL which is Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia, to date after a several months and stays in hospital they seem to have found the right balance with the meds but has to have regular blood tests like you have to. All very worrying for someone in his late 80’s and he still gets very breathless. Ian is back at work now, business is picking up again slowly and Christmas bookings are on the up. I did manage to get to our home in Cyprus for a few days in October, the plane was only half full so i did feel safe. and bought a few gifts out there. Mexico at the end of Feb is still going ahead so far but we will see. I had my 64th birthday in August, hopefully plan something for 65 th next year…. My son is 40 on Jan 5th, Ian is 60 at end of Feb, busy start to the year…. All Christmas shopping done early this year just have to write a few cards, had 2 through the post so far but i don’t expect many with the situation. I did buy the Centigrade TSV in the Bone colour makes a change from the dark colours i all ready have. I also bought the green for my son’s girlfriend for Christmas. I don’t make Christmas cakes as no one likes it , but this year i plan to make a Raspberry Roulade for dessert. I made one years ago and it turned out well. so fingers crossed.
    Thats all for now Take Care.


    1. Hi Kathy or should I say ‘Bubbles Angelears’
      Nice to hear from you and sorry to hear about your father-in-law… as with most blood cancers these days it is manageable once they get the cocktail of drugs right. I do remember when I was diagnosed with CML that the experts said mine was the ‘best’ one to get as it was the easiest to treat if caught early … if there is a best leukaemia to get which is questionable. Anyway, good to hear they’ve got it under control.
      I hope you make it to Mexico – are you going to Akumel? Funnily enough, the latest book I’m writing (not the one out in January) was inspired by something that happened in Akumel & is partly set there.
      I hope you manage to have a good Christmas
      Julia x

  3. Julia loved the family picture. Caked looked very more’ish🤣💚can I ask you if the box above the window is air con which I would love, but don’t know where to enquire before summer?

    1. Hi Annette
      Yes, it is aircon – also heat in the winter. You should be able to find a local installer and it’s really not that expensive although we don’t have it on much, to be honest – but we’ll worth the investment
      Julia x

    1. Hi Gabrielle,
      I always used to use Decleor, but now I now mix & match a bit more as the formula is slightly different. I still use Decleor, but also Elemis, Gatineau and at night L’Occitane ultra rich – I dip into others occasionally but these are the main ones
      Julia x

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