The reverse advent calendar…

While scrolling through Instagram on Monday, in my lunchbreak from copy-editing (more on that later), I spotted a post from a book blogger who I follow about a ‘Reverse Advent Calendar’. It’s something I haven’t heard of before, but I think it’s a brilliant idea, particularly this year. For the month of November, you add one non-perishable food item to a box each day then at the end of the month you take it to your local food bank for them to distribute pre-Christmas. So far, my box has: baked beans, jam, pasta, tinned tomatoes, coffee and biscuits. I’m sure you could play catch-up if you wanted to join in – I only started on the 3rd with three items going straight in. As you can see, Wilfie wanted to join in too, so I’ll have to check the box carefully before sending off to the food bank or someone might get more than they bargained for! Thanks to Kaisha for her post alerting me to this and to those who’ve already said on my social media that they are going to do it too – it can make such a difference.

Talking of Wilfie, it was lovely to do a Charlie Bears show yesterday, my first show back after my regular five-day break. Will and Charlie guested via video link and, for those of you who don’t know, Will’s nickname is Wilfy… hence the connection! We had a fun two hours together and isn’t it amazing who you can train to operate the cameras these days.

That’s Malibu, who I think sold out along with lots of the other bears, but you can check out who is still available on our website if you missed the show. Big thanks to Ben and Liv, our studio staff for the show, who spent ages ‘dressing’ the set!

So, most of the previous five days had been spent working on the copy edit for my next book, My Mother’s Secret. I received the file last Thursday, but was too busy with work at QVC to open it until Saturday… so how had I managed to finish the copy edit by 3 p.m. Wednesday, a full week ahead of schedule? This has never happened with my previous books, so I’ve decided to hang on to it and have a third read-through, as I keep thinking I must have missed something. I also need to write my ‘acknowledgements page’ where you thank people for their input to your book; cover designer, editor, copy editor etc. This one will include a mention for ‘Teddy’, Chloe Everton’s gorgeous dog, as I borrowed his name for a cavapoo puppy who features in the book. Maybe I should also thank my ‘roomie’, Katy Pullinger, for the use of her surname for one of my characters, Ray. It’s funny how you draw on people and things you know for inspiration when writing, even if you don’t realise it at the time.

I’m sure it can’t have escaped your notice this is the Elemis Christmas Today’s Special Value weekend – seriously, I’m hoping there will still be some stock left to talk about for my 11 a.m. show on Sunday morning. It’s a beautiful gift-boxed collection comprising of five facial skincare products and three body products. There are three fragrances to choose from in the body products and also the cleansing balm, although the Warm Tonka & Vanilla option has the Original cleansing balm rather than a fragranced one. The other two options are Modern English Rose and Neroli Blossom, which is the option I selected as you can see in this short video, because it’s the ‘new kid on the block’ and I like to be able to talk about things from experience:

The collection has a 30ml size of Pro-Collagen Marine Cream, which is usually £55 on its own, so the £51.96 price tag is excellent – in effect you’re not paying for seven of the eight products. The ‘freebies’ are: 50g Cleansing Balm, 200ml Balancing Ginseng Toner, 30 ml Papaya Enzyme Peel, 4ml trial-size Pro-Collagen Eye Revive Mask, 300ml Bath & Shower Milk, 100ml Body Cream and 20ml Hand & Nail Balm. I heard someone say on-air yesterday that over one hundred thousand units have already sold, so please don’t leave it too late and miss out on this offer.

Fragrance-wise, the Neroli Blossom is a zesty, fruity floral, which is quite fresh and uplifting with more fruitiness in the base notes of dates, fig and vine leaves. I like it, but if I’m honest my personal favourite is the Warm Tonka & Vanilla – it’s like a hug from someone special, which a lot of us are sadly missing at the moment.

Speaking of gorgeous aromas, I have already ordered my Yankee Candle Today’s Special Value, in Snow in Love, my absolute favourite fragrance of theirs, which went on pre-sale this morning. Considering they were going to discontinue this fragrance, it’s amazing that it was chosen as one of our Today’s Special Value options. There are seven in total, five single fragrance options and two mixed – check for full details on our website, where you’ll see that it’s also on Easy Pay if you want to take advantage of our interest-free instalments and get more than one set, perhaps for Christmas presents?

Also, just to mention that we are celebrating having Ruth Langsford on QVC for three years by offering you the code RUTH3Z to use at checkout throughout the month of November for all items from Ruth’s own brand. And on the subject of fashion, these Skechers boots are launching as the Today’s Special Value on-air tonight at 9 p.m. – they are very comfy and have the instep support insole, which I really like.

Well, as usual on a Friday morning, time is running away with me. I’ll see you on-air for some Mr Max fashion at 3 p.m. today and Artscapes at 5 p.m., plus an hour on the Style channel at 6 p.m., which you can now find on Freeview 37.

Do join me at 8 p.m. on my juliagroberts Instagram and JuliaRobertsTV Facebook page when I’ll be asking for chapter numbers to read out from my first ever book, One Hundred Lengths of the Pool, which some of you may well have purchased from QVC back in 2013.

Much love and stay safe,
Julia xx

8 Responses

  1. Hi Julia You always have really interesting blogs, the reverse advent calender idea is brilliant!! Can I just say, in case anyone else is thinking of copying your kindness, most food banks have lots and lots of beans, tomatoes, pasta and rice. It may be worth ringing your local centre and asking what they are short of. I did a similar box last year and tried to include “Christmassy” things to help, especially for children. Keep up the good work and more recipes please–I’m not vegetarian but I’m always ready to give a try to a tasty dish!!

    1. Hi Joyce
      Apologies for the late reply. My reverse advent calendar has gone off to the food bank. Thanks for the suggestion for a few Christmassy things along with the basics – good idea.
      I’m glad you like my recipes
      Julia x

  2. Hi Julia, Its been quite a while since I have been on line. The past few months have been horrendous. My husband passed away in September after a very short illness. I am still reeling by it all. I nursed him at home. I don’t know how I would have coped the past few weeks without some very good friends. One of them I have known since senior school. So we’ve known each other for over 50 years. She has been truly wonderful. I have been meeting her nearly every day for a walk with her little Yorkie called Poppy. I know its still early days and this time of year is making it even harder. I am on the look out for a little rescue dog myself. Hope you are keeping well.
    Best wishes Tina S.

    1. Hello Tina
      I’m so sorry it has taken me a while to get back to you and really saddened to hear your awful news. It’s going to be a tough Christmas for you, but hopefully your friends will rally round.
      Did you get yourself a little rescue dog? Having a cat certainly helped my mum after my dad died.
      Much love
      Julia x

  3. Hi
    I always read your stories on QVC. I think the Reverse Advent Calendar is an excellent idea. I have started ours today
    with 6 items, I am going to do a mix of staple foods and some Christmas goodies.

    Kind regards

    1. Hi Moira
      I’m so pleased you decided to do a reverse advent calendar – like you, I did a mix of staples and Christmassy treats and hopefully our boxes will bring smiles to people’s faces
      Julia s

  4. Hi Julia I do enjoy reading your blogs and I love the idea of the reverse advent calendar and will start one myself. Like you Snow in Love is my absolute favourite from Yankee Candles but must say I was tempted to get the Christmas Magic which comes a very close second but my favourite won out can’t wait for it to arrive. I also bought the Skechers Chugga boots I adore Skechers and have quite a few pairs of their boots but needed a new pair of ankle boots and these were just the ticket. I hope your foot is now well on the mend and you and yours are keeping safe and well.

    1. Hi Linda
      So glad you enjoy my blogs & apologies for the delay in replying – our reverse advent calendars are all finished now and hopefully raising smiles on people’s faces.
      I have Snow in Love in my lounge, on the dining table and at my bedside at the moment!
      I’ve just got some new Skechers trainers with arch supports which are really comfortable and are supporting my ankle. I’m getting there…but slower than I’d hoped 😕
      On a happier note we’re all well thanks
      Julia x

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