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    Greetings, Denim and Company Divas!!

    Carolyn here, with all the reasons why I LOVE our new Clip Dot Tunic and Tank Today's Special Value!!

    First, are you not SO ready for SPRING to be here?!?  I know I am!! This beautiful set is not only a welcome change, with its vibrant spring colors, but it's also a tremendous value, as ourDenim and Company Sets always are!! I love that I get two separate pieces to wear together or separately! In fact, by picking up more than one color, you can have instant color blocking and expand your spring wardrobe quite easily!!

    I love the tunic length of the clip dot top....VERY figure flattering and versatile! I love the clip dot look itself!  Dots are a huge trend and all the rage for this Spring/Summer season, and this tunic set is a way to wear dots without "seeing dots", if you know what I mean. It's a very pretty, feminine and subtle design effect!

    The colors are outstanding and so cheery and fun to wear!! This is a set you'll find you reach for often...for work, luncheons, traveling, weekends, and ANYTIME you want to easily feel pretty and pulled together!!

    Now, I just have to get to work deciding which fun and colorfulDenim and Co bottoms to pair this set with! Oh, yes, and handbags, bracelets, etc.  THIS is going to be a great SPRING, thanks to Denim and Co!!

    See you soon on a Tuesday at 11am!! AND watch for our next Designer vs Diva Viewer Poll coming soon in April!!

    Love,

    Your fellow D&Co Diva,

    Carolyn 


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  • 03/10/14--14:49: New Designs!
  • Is everybody warm?  This is a winter to remember!  We are still buried in snow and ice (in Vermont).  In spite of the cold, it is radiantly beautiful and the trees are sparkling.

    Since I will not be on air for quite a while, I thought I would share some of my new designs with you.  These are all available on the Dominique Dinouart Designs page, even though they have not appeared on air.  It is fun having the time to create new pieces for this extended assortment selection.  Let me know what you think!

    J316318:

    J316322:

    J316324:

    J316320:

    I am headed to Europe to QVC UK and QVC Italy this week.  My husband and I are taking advantage of this trip to Europe to spend a week in southern  France.  Needless to say, I am looking forward to great food and wine which will result in strict dieting when I return (right!).

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day and Happy Easter!

    Peace,

    Dominique


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    Hello, foodies..

    Last Thursday I went to the Philadelphia Flower Show with the In the Kitchen with David team and I wanted to take a moment to share my demonstration.

    First, the recipes—and a little sidebar on fresh ingredients. I’ve always been an advocate of using fresh food when you’re cooking—it’s so easy to buy premade meals and bases, but what are you really eating? As often as possible, buy fresh and buy local ingredients, if you don’t have your own garden. I don’t tend a garden of my own, so I make a diligent effort to support my local farmers and farmers’ markets. The food is fresher, often times grown without pesticides, and even sometimes cheaper. On Thursday we made three recipes that call for fresh produce: my Fried Green Tomatoes with Garlic-Basil Aioli, my Mandarin Spring Salad with Grapefruit Dressing, and Fruit Pizza. You can find all three recipes on my recipe page QVC.com and I urge you to give them a try.

    And now, the power of presentation. Think about the last time you went to a nice restaurant. How did your food look when it arrived? Was the plate clean? I’m sure it was. Were there garnishes of fresh herbs or mixed greens? Adding a garnish to dishes you’re serving is probably the easiest, fastest, and least expensive way to elevate a dish from yummy looking to restaurant quality.  Here are a few tips on how to add those important extras:

    • If you have a mandolin, making very thinly sliced veggies to fan out on your plate is a quick way to add some art to your plate. Lemon slices or wedges are other ways to add some bright color to your plate.
    • Use herbs that you actually used in the recipe to really incorporate your garnish into the dish. For example, if you’re serving rosemary crusted pork loin, scatter some whole rosemary springs around the cut of meat just before you place it on the table. Even just a sprinkle of chopped parsley adds a welcome burst of color to any dish.
    • Desserts are easy targets for fun presentation tips. Get creative with strawberry, chocolate, or caramel sauces, and drizzle them over your dessert. For an even more professional look, create spirals or flower designs with the sauce.
    • Any extra flourish makes your dish that much more appealing. Just make sure whatever flavor is being incorporated into your dish with a garnish doesn’t take away from the food.

    That’s it! Yes, plating (as it’s formally called) may take a little extra time, but when you’re hosting those special dinners or trying to make an impression, it will make a world of difference.

    Here are a few photos from Thursday—a great big thank you to the Philadelphia Flower Show and all the convention center employees—for being such wonderful hosts. See you next year!

     

    Keep it flavorful!
    —David


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  • 03/11/14--07:21: Time to Think Keurig!
  • Daylight savings came at us hard and fast!  You wouldn't think one measly hour would make such a difference, but in a household where every moment counts - it sure does!  We had to get creative and find a few fun ways to get the little ones out of bed and to the bus stop on time.  Dare I say mornings have even been a little fun?  Here's what has been working for us - and all of these ideas are Team Epps (Cassidy, Chloe, Lily, Brady and Cole) approved.

    And the BEST (fastest) Dressed Goes To…Set a timer and whoever gets themselves ready first wins.

    This means teeth brushed, clothes on, and hair brushed is the quickest…and they have to be presentable!  Winner gets a small prize they pick after school or a special activity we will do together.  A little competitiveness really gets them going in the morning.

    Wake Up Dance Party…Music and pulling them out of bed in a full on dance party works wonders.  We've started setting the alarm clock to their favorite stations.  We grab flashlights and dance around like crazy for three minutes. 

     

    It's impossible to not be in a good mood after that.

     

    The Dog Lick Wake Up…The kids adore the dog.  So for fun we send in Tana (our 100 pound rottie).

     They can't resist the dog slobber.  The kisses that accompany it are priceless.  As are the giggles.  Happiness is guaranteed. I mean really, could you resist this face?

     

    Here's a fun fact - Tana is aunt to Jill Bauer's beloved Rottweiler, Brosky :)

     

    Warm and Cozy Robes…nothing like warm robes to lure cold and sleepy kids out of bed.  Our crew is not fans of cold mornings or of leaving their snuggly covers.  They make 100 excuses to stay in bed.  Being cold is always a big one. 

    So, I run the robes to the dryer and bring them up warm.  They love it!

     

    A Special Treat to Go With breakfast…how about enticing them downstairs with the promise of a Keurig "S'mores Hot Chocolate" to go with breakfast?  I tried it earlier this week.  The kids were downstairs before I knew it.

    Look over the recipe below and you will understand why.

    No judgments please…every once in a while it's okay, right?

    Keurig to the rescue again!

     

    We hope you will join us all day Wednesday as we celebrate our Today's Special Value on QVC!  Your favorite k-cup brewer, the K79 Platinum Plus, made just for our QVC customers in mind, with the special hot water on demand and rinse cycles that YOU have asked for.  Great colors - Black, cinnamon, platinum, mocha, steel blue and eggplant.  NEW flavors are included with this offer; a brand new variety pack and for the first time EVER at retail in the marketplace Cinnabon is included- special for QVC customers!  Cinnamon, brown sugar, and icing all in one cup?  It is perfection. Wait until you try it.  You won’t be disappointed.  

    We will be on our Facebook page all day and LIVE chatting on the Facebook page during our Keurig hour-long shows at Midnight, 10am, and 6pm.  Please stop by and say hello at Melissa Epps Keurig for QVC and ask any questions or provide any feedback you might have!  We will also be posting great recipes throughout the day - so be sure and check us out.  Give us a "like" to stay up to date with great Keurig offers, news and recipes to enjoy.

     

    This is what I am currently enjoying in my cup - it is also included with the terrific Today’s Special Value 

    (insert pic of Starbucks Pike Place k cup)

     

    I add a little chocolate syrup on the bottom of the cup and brew the k-cup pack into the mug over the chocolate syrup.  Delish!

     

    HOW DO YOU TAKE YOUR COFFEE?  Do tell...we want to know!

    Post your answers here on the blog and you will be automatically entered to win one of our Today's Special Value. (insert details on contest)

     

    Happy Spring and Happy Brewing!

     

     

    XOXO,

    Melissa Fleming Epps


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  • 03/11/14--12:42: Afternoon Wake-Up Call
  • Every afternoon around the same time (ask my team!) I get a serious hankering for something sweet. Lucky for us, we have so many amazing pastry and cake shops in our immediate neighborhood, satisfying my sweet tooth is never further than a five minute walk away.

    I thought you all might enjoy coming for a tour…but prepare to drool! These places don’t joke around when it comes to dessert.

    40th street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues could be called the Magnificent Mile of sweets. There are three amazing stops with so much heavenly goodness, it’s almost unreal.

    Maison Kayser

    First off, take a peek into Maison Kayser a beautiful little boulangerie literally bursting with pastries, tarts and everything in between. Their croissants are to die for and their delicate tarts made with so much care. It takes all of my will power not to buy one of everything when I’m in here.

    Lady M

    The next stop is Lady M, an immaculate cake shop fit for Marie Antoinette. One of my favorite cakes here is the layered crepe cake with strawberry. In between the delicate stacked crepe is an airy cream that is utterly delightful. The best part is, after eating, you don't feel overwhelmingly gluttonous. Yes, it's all cream, but it’s not a hefty cake, it's simply rich and fulfilling.

    Lady M

    Can you believe how beautiful these are?!

    Finally Le Pain Quotidien, which I like to call LPQ for short, is a lovely café with a very extensive pastry and bread selection. Sit down for one of their open-faced sandwiches or stop in for a cookie that is literally as big as your face!

    LPQ

    So there you have it. A window into our little neighborhood and the best pastry shops a girl could hope for. They may be located a little too conveniently though… Where do you get your sweet fix? 


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    Spring is such a refreshing time, perfect for new beginnings. Each day that’s even one degree higher than the last I’m more inspired to clean and clear out! It may be the only time of year that I actually don’t mind chores, because it just feels so good to be in sync with the season.

    You know that on You’re Home with Jill I’m all about simple solutions. In order  to make spring cleaning easier, I told you about my 15 minute plan and we tackled the closets with those beautiful soap sachets. It’s not about making every room perfect, but making little efforts each day to improve how the space feels.

     

    The kitchen can be tricky—it’s a frequently used area, and therefore cleaned frequently. However, deep cleaning is the name of the game in this area of the house. How often do you really clean your oven? Or scrub down your stainless steel fridge? Then there’s the issue of organization. How many times have we all just thrown something into a drawer where it doesn’t go during the rush to get dinner on the table. Together, all of this can seem like a lot. Enter the 15 minute plan! Now, let’s take it one task a time.

    The kitchen is filled with so different materials: glass, metal, stainless steel, granite, wood, and more. To break the cleaning into pieces, clean only one material each day. If you’re using the wood cleaning oil, make sure you do everything that’s wood. This way, you don’t have to pull out all of the different bottles at once.

    To-go containers can stack up like weeds over time. We always save the good leftovers containers, and before we know it, we have ten times as many pieces as we actually use. In 15 minutes, you can go through and get rid of any broken or warped pieces and toss them. Then look for duplicates, and only keep what you really need. I like to put all of the lids on their matching container, so you’re never searching for that missing piece. Have lids that don’t fit on any of the containers? Toss ‘em!

    Pots, pans, and their lids can take up a lot of space. Many of the lids are breakable as well, which makes storage an even more difficult task. A great idea is to install a magazine rack where you keep your pans, and use it to organize the lids!

    Now, for the pantry. By the time spring comes around, it’s almost inevitable that you’ll have at least one old bag of brown sugar that’s hardened or a couple bags of flour with just a cup left in each. Go through everything that’s expired and throw it away. Next, make a pile of things that are still edible but need to be used now. Then, find all your bags and boxes of crackers, cookies, and cereals and pour them into clear plastic containers with labels. This keep things organized and fresh! But what to do with that pile of ingredients that you need to use now? How about a Dump Cake! Everyone and their grandmother has a recipe, and that’s the beauty of this—you can make it based on what you need to get rid of! Here’s my recipe:

    Grandma's Dump Cake

    Ingredients:

    • 2 (14.5-oz) cans apple pie filling (you can use cherry instead, if you prefer)
    • 1 (28-oz) can crushed pineapple, drained
    • 1 box yellow cake mix
    • 1-1/2 cup sweetened coconut, shredded
    • 1-1/2 cup nuts (pecans or walnuts)
    • 2 sticks of butter, melted

    Preparation:

    1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the pie filling over the bottom of a 9'' x 13'' pan. Spread the pineapple over the filling. Sprinkle the dry cake mix over the other layers, and then add a layer of coconut over the cake mix. Finally, sprinkle a layer of nuts over the coconut. Pour the butter over the entire mixture and bake for one hour.

    This item is prepared with the 9'' x 13'' rectangular pan from the Rachel Ray 5-Piece Bakeware Set (K126940).

    Still have some leftover ingredients? Check out my recipes page to see if anything works with your need-to-get-rid-of pile. Can’t wait to hear how your spring cleaning is going!

    From my home to yours,

    —Jill

     


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  • 03/12/14--09:15: Ottoman's blog
  • On recent cold winter weekends I've been cleaning out closets and organizing...

    Last weekend, I thought, “If it were warm outside, I’d be in the garden".  But since it’s wasn't and I don’t sit still for long….kitchen cupboards, disorganized closets and family room cabinets receive my attention.  There’s something satisfying about putting your house in order - opening a cupboard or closet and knowing where things are.  Granted, this is much easier as the body count in the house diminishes!  When the boys are away, their rooms are “fair game” and I can leave a mess mid-stream and no one minds.  

    A good rule of thumb to follow in deciding what to keep and what to toss is - If you haven’t used it or worn it in a year or two, it can go!  There are lots of charity-based re-sale shops that would be delighted to receive your gently-used items.  

    Because there never seems to be quite enough closet space, I love using “decorative” storage to satisfy additional storage needs.  Whether it’s attractive suitcases, fabric covered boxes or ottomans with removable lids, it’s nice to be able to store things in the room in which they are used.  For instance, in our family room we have four ottomans - everyone gets one!

    Inside, I've stored the boy’s video game accessories, some exercise equipment (a new year’s resolution that I’m trying to keep!), needlepoint projects and unread magazines and catalogs.

    Do you have household organization tips to share?   What are your favorite storage pieces?  Please share your tips and tricks that keep your home organized and running smoothly.


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  • 03/12/14--11:06: Trendy Terrariums
  • I had such a wonderful time at the Philadelphia Flower show this past weekend! This year's ARTiculture theme was very interactive and also very inspiring for me as I had the chance to create this really fun terrarium (I actually made two). lol.. Remember when we made these back in the day!?? 

    One of the "HOT ITEMS” this year on the PHS Garden Trends report is Indoor Gardens, so I thought I would be "Trendy" and make one.. you too can get inspired by checking out our “Hot List”. 

    I hope to encourage you to make a terrarium for your window sill or as a fun way to make a great craft with your kids and grand kids.

     

    Supply list:

    • Container
    • Tiny stones
    • Container soil
    • Sand
    • Plants-ivy, succulents, etc...(1 plant per inch)
    • Tiny decorations (I used a flamingo and turtles)


    )

     Directions:

    First you must pick a container which gives you so many options- canning jars are inexpensive and even come in colors, fish bowls, a liter soda bottle or gallon of milk container will work.
    .

    Add a generous layer of tiny stones for drainage..

    Next layer put in good quality potting soil..

    Add your plants-great tip for thorny cactus is handle with a paper towel so no ouches.!

    Arrange the plants, water gently add sand and tiny stones..

    Have fun with tiny decorations (turtle, etc...).  Make sure you share your pictures with me!

     

    You can find me on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/PatJamesDeMentriQVC

    Twitter: www.twitter.com/pdementri

    Instagram: www.instagram.com/patjamesdementri

     


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  • 03/12/14--11:45: An Irish Love letter
  • Most people blogged about their love story on Valentine's Day, for us it's St. Patrick's day that is the perfect time for a love letter! Ireland brought my husband Sean and I together.  After coming back from a trip to Ireland with my Mom, my casual co worker friend, Sean Treacy, mentioned his cousin from Ireland was visiting and would I like to have lunch??  Not only did I say yes, I came home and told my Mom I was about to have lunch with my future husband, the cousin of my co-worker Sean. So I went to lunch and the cousin never showed up, four hours later I came home with stars in my eyes, four months later we were engaged!  We started planning the wedding and my Mom suggested that we give out Irish and American flags at the end of the nuptial Mass so we could show our heritage as Sean and I walked down the steps outside the Church. She remembered JFK's visit to Ireland in 1963 and how everyone waved Irish and American flags. Oh, and by the way, the cousin who never made it to the lunch was the best man at our wedding!!

    So, our marriage began with a strong tie to Ireland, thanks to Sean's heritage (most of his family is in Ireland to this day) and my Mom's love of this country.  We were still newlyweds when QVC asked us to travel to Ireland for the first ever Irish show, four hours on a Saturday planned for March 17. So instead of a planned ski trip we headed over to Ireland, meeting for the first time, Irish guest Matt Doolan, and once again falling in love with this country. It was our first trip to Ireland together, and ended the jaunt with a stay in Dromoland Castle.

    We got back to Ireland many years later, with a little Irish lass named Cara at age two. We stayed in Galway where Sean's parents owned a condo overlooking Galway Bay. We thought it was hilarious that Owen, his Dad, would convince some of his friends back in America that "on a clear day, you can see Boston Harbor!"  We thought it was an Owen Treacy original.  Delivered with his brogue and a twinkle in his eye, he actually had a few  people convinced it was true!  

    Fast forward about 12 years later and we got back to the Old Sod, this time with Deirdre who was thrilled to see her name on many businesses in Ireland. And for the start of our trip we stayed in Dromoland, happy to be returning with our daughters so many years after our first visit.

    One of our favorite Irish memories occurred here in the United States. We were lucky to visit the archives of the JKF library. It was a great honor to stand by President Kennedy's rocking chair. During the visit we thought about our parents and how much it would mean to them. Afterwards, we went to the JFK library, and were amazed to see there was an exhibit, for a limited time, about John Kennedy's trip to Ireland. We saw them waving flags just like my Mom told us, and saw a gift from the Gaelic Athletic Association that was based in Conemarra marble! Sean's Dad was the president of the GAA in America for many years. We were both overcome with emotion at the bond Ireland played in our lives and our love.

    When Sean's birthday came around about a month later, I did a JKF in Ireland theme, with a book and a video.  We sat down to watch the video and there was a scene of President Kennedy addressing the adoring crowd and speaking of the link in his life between Ireland and the United States. He smiled, looked down and said, "You know, on a clear day you can see Boston Harbor!" We both were in tears, never knowing his Dad was quoting JFK, and knowing that this love was meant to be!

    -Jane

     



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    This week on "The Lisa Robertson Show" we are introducing a new texturizing spray from Alterna. I am familiar with root lift sprays, hair sprays, etc, but wasn't sure about a texturizing spray. I thought I'd "Phone-a-Friend" and had Alberti come in and discuss the "what" and "why" of a texturizing spray. So if you're not sure either, here you go! :)

    See you soon!

    —Lisa


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    And the award goes to…QVC! Another INCREDIBLE QVC Red Carpet event down in the books! The stars were studded, the lights were flashing, and the excitement was absolutely palpable as QVC rocked and rolled out its best looks in the City of Angels.

    It's one thing to be an honored guest of this prestigious and innovative event, but quite another to be lucky enough to be a part of the team that makes it happen! Every QVC show and event takes an army, and this one was no exception. We had men and women working around the clock to create a literal Garden of Eden - the perfect picturesque backdrop for our Red Carpet show. From the extravagant tent, to the lighting, to the "InstaGlam" booth, to a plush Red Carpet fit for a star – no detail was missed in the making of our own Red Carpet Party!

    Hosts Lisa Robertson, Sandra Bennett, and Courtney Cason made this night one to remember as the doors opened up to the prestigious Four Seasons Hotel, and our amazing friends and celebrities strutted their stuff down the Red Carpet and into the party. And what a party it was! Hosted by our very good friends, Tarte cosmetics, there were cocktails and couture aplenty as our guests mingled and took in what our amazing QVC crew had put together in a matter of days. Not only did celebs come to share in this wonderful night with us, some even joined the fun on stage and offered sneak peeks at some brand new fashion pieces!

    As expected, the show was an absolute hit. Ironically enough, Los Angeles had one of the worst rain storms it's experienced in recent memory on the night of the big show.  We showed L.A. that Mother Nature's bad mood wasn't going to stop up from celebrating such a momentous occasion…after all, the East Coast knows a thing or two about bad weather!  

    Thank you again!  You, at home, make all of these incredible events possible. We hoped you were able to catch the show, or at least some of the highlights, from the comfort of your own (perfectly dry) couch! As they say, that’s a wrap!!

    Lauren – Studio Scoop Team

    #StudioScoop on Twitter and Instagram


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    Dear QVC friends and the Nature’s Code ONE World,

    If you watched our Nature's Code ONESupplement Your Health show in January or February, then you saw our display of the foods you need to eat on a daily basis to obtain all the nutrients you need to maintain your good health.

    Many of us (me included!) just don’t eat like that every day, so taking multivitamins are a simple way to help fill nutritional gaps.

    I may not always eat right, especially when I’m on the go, getting my kids to school or traveling for business, but I do know one thing: breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. I try to make mine count as much as possible.

    So, in addition to taking my Nature’s Code ONE multivitamin daily, I always start my day with a delicious bright green good-for-you juice containing:
    • Kale (a handful of leaves)
    • Spinach (a handful of leaves)
    • Cucumber (half)
    • Celery (half stalk)
    • Green apple (half)
    I just pop all of these items into my Vitamix blender, blend for about a minute, and it’s good to go. I pour it into a to-go cup with a straw and head out to the office. I never miss a day, and this terrific, all-natural yummy juice makes me feel just great. It gives me the energy and nutrition I need so I can go full speed every morning.

    If you’re not quite ready to dive into a daily "green" drink routine, you can start a habit that’s as simple as taking your Nature’s Code ONE Optimal Nutrients Everyday multivitamineach day.

    Here’s to Your Good Health!
    Naomi Whittel


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    St. Patrick's Day is almost here! Even the local donkey is all ears to hear about QVC's 25th St. Patrick's Day Celebration!

    All our friends will be at QVC on March 17th, and I can't wait for the big day. I will be heading for the US shortly, accompanied by John Cullen, and between us we will have a sack full of great new items from Connemara Marble and Aran Craft.

    In fact, you can have a sneak peek already on QVC.com.

    See you soon!

    Stephen


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  • 03/14/14--09:38: Goodbye snow?
  • Hello Friends!  The family and I decided to enjoy a little snow before it’s all melted away.  We did a long weekend ski adventure to Vermont.  Even the little ones were out on the slopes.  They did very well.  You can see here that we had gorgeous weather and a beautiful view of the mountains.

    The ski helmets are a great safety feature, but not the best fashion statement… maybe I could get Bob to design something festive for me.

    Tubing was another fun activity on our trip.  My daughter is a giggle machine all the way down the slopes.

    We had a blast, but it was nice to get home to find that most of the snow that covered our front lawn was gone due to a wonderful 65 degree weekend.  We still have some chilly weather ahead but I think we are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel with the promise of spring.  We certainly see lighter days with the changing of the clocks.  Did you all remember to turn your clocks ahead this past weekend? 

    Now that we know the warmer weather is coming, are you ready for it?  How is the wardrobe for spring/summer 2014 shaping up?  This is the time to assess the situation and get the things that you need to freshen things up.  A great way to add to your existing wardrobe is something that can work with many of the things you already have in your closet.  A button down cardigan is always a winner and this one brings in a ton of personality and color for the season:

    This is Bob’s Summer Harvest Cardigan in my favorite choice of lime.  The contrast trim and matching buttons is the framework for gorgeous and colorful artwork of fruits and flowers that just make you smile!  It’s a 60% cotton 40% poly blend with 5 other wonderful:  red, black, pink, blue and navy… what color will you choose?  Click here to pick out yours!

    What are you looking forward to most this spring?  Share your thoughts with us!

    Enjoy your week,

    Margaux


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    I am going to come down to QVC the day before St. Patrick's Day to meet my childhood heartthrob, the lovely Miss Piggy.

    I'm so excited that the Muppets will be at QVC on March 16th as I've been a fan since they first came to fame in the 1970's.

    What are some of your favorite Muppet memories? I’d love to hear!

    See you on St. Patrick’s Day!

    Stephen, Connemara Marble

     

     

    Get a sneak peek of our St. Patrick’s Day Celebration on QVC.com.


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    We’ve arrived at QVC, and we couldn’t be happier to be here for the St. Patrick’s Day Celebration!

    Tune in beginning at midnight ET on Monday, March 17th, and shop all things Irish on QVC.com.

    Celebrate along with us! We will be chatting live with you throughout the day right here on our Irish Insights blog! Many of our Irish guests will be taking turns chatting with you today! Want to know what goes on behind the scenes? Have a question about our Kilronan Merino Wool Tree of Life Cardigan Today’s Special Value? Check back here throughout the day today to find out! We’d love to hear from you, so comment below and we’ll try to answers as many of your questions and comments as we can!


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  • 03/14/14--13:10: Green Drinks
  • My friend Erika was telling me about a delicious smoothie she made with spinach, pineapple and peanut butter. She said in spite of what you might expect with dark green veggies and other ingredients, the smoothie was a bright shade of green. Oh, and she said it was delicious!

    With St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner, it got me thinking about “green drinks”. Some of the most enjoyable beverages are green. Now “green” can mean healthy and “green” can mean fun. As long as the color is right, the rest is up to you!

    So happy St. Patrick’s Day, I hope you enjoy a little Green!

    Here are recipes for three of my favorite “green” drinks in no particular order of preference. :-)

    Enjoy,

    Leah

     

    Good Green Smoothie

    1 green apple cored and cut into chunks

    1 cup of green seedless grapes

    1 banana cut into chunks

    1 6oz container of vanilla yogurt

    1 cup of fresh spinach

    1/2 cup of ice

    Place all of the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.

     

    Mint Chocolate Chip Milkshake

    1 cup milk

    2-1/2 cups French vanilla ice cream

    1/4 cup dark chocolate chips

    1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

    drops of green food coloring

     

    Mix ingredients in blender until smooth.

     

    Green Apple Martini

    1 shot of vodka

    2 shots of apple juice

    2 shots of sour apple schnapps (my favorite is Dekuyper)

     

    Pour ingredients into shaker, add ice, shake, and serve in a chilled martini glass.


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  • 03/14/14--13:45: Johnnie, We Hardly Knew Ye
  • A couple of days after our dog, Johnnie, passed, following a brave, hard-fought battle with cancer, the vet's office called me. It was one of the receptionists on the line, asking what inscription I would like to have engraved on his pawprint urn. She said they had forgotten to tell me that an inscription was included in the price. Three lines total....25 letters maximum.

    "Wow", I said, "I will have to think about that and get back to you."

    How could I possibly choose a proper inscription for him, with only 25 letters and three lines? He was one of the finest spirits we had ever known. He packed so much joy and fun and loyalty and sharing and unconditional love into 14 short years, that flew by at lightening speed. He taught us how to be better humans (as all dogs do). He was the first dog, along with his brother Jimmie, that my husband and I made a part of our family. We both had dogs as kids....but neither of us had owned a dog (or had a dog own US) as adults until that day I spotted the two of them, left-over pups at 14 weeks old, at a little shop in South Pasadena.  It was across the street from my nail and hair salon and I wandered in one day to pick up some supplies for our rabbits and birds. I had no idea they also had puppies for adoption inside. All of their littermates had been adopted a couple of weeks earlier, and these two little guys, buff Cocker Spaniel brothers, were the only two left. At 14 weeks, they were getting to that stage of being "too big" to be for folks who wanted little puppies, but my gosh, they were still the cutest puppies I had ever seen. At first, I was only going to adopt one of them....but when I picked Jimmie up, Johnnie made SUCH A FUSS at the thought of being left behind, that I could NOT leave him behind. I never regretted that decision for one second. Although they were brothers, they couldn't have been more different from each other. Jimmie was (and IS) SO independent, and a free spirit, always. Johnnie, on the other hand, wanted only to please, always obeyed the rules, always walked by my side, never pulling forward on his leash. In fact, on one of our first "training" walks after I brought them home, my husband and I were teaching them to walk on a leash and I took the lead, walking down the sidewalk with Jimmie. My husband was right behind, walking with Johnnie. Well, I walk faster than my husband and had soon put a nice little gap between us, with Jimmie trotting happily along. I heard a loud crying bark from behind me, and saw little Johnnie trying desperately to catch up to us, while being tethered to my slow-strolling husband. Johnnie got so upset he just sat down on the sidewalk and howled. I knew then that he was "mama's boy" and  he remained so for the rest of his life.

    As we adopted other dogs and cats, Johnnie was clearly the "alpha" with the pets. It was "Johnnie in Charge" and he was always the first to eat, the first to try out the new toys and the one to show the newer dogs the ropes and the rules. 


    However, he was quite deferential to humans, and always polite, always trying to please and do the right thing. He was a dog you could take anywhere the dogs are allowed to go. Pet friendly B&B's, dog-friendly restaurants, the beach, the boardwalk, the dog park. He loved to go for rides in the car or truck and especially loved our big trek across country in 2004 from Los Angeles to Philly, when I was hired as a QVC Show Host.  When Cesar Millan met Johnnie and Jimmie  at QVC, he told me he thought they were two of the most well-adjusted dogs he had ever met. Tamar Gellar adored them too.

    They were a familiar sight at the Q until they turned about 11 years old, and it was too much of an ordeal for Johnnie, who had become somewhat arthritic and could no longer do the long walks through the QVC halls to get backstage.  While he could still get around fairly well, Johnnie loved to chase birds in the front  yard, never once thinking THIS time he would catch one!  He tried only once to chase the horse and rider trotting down our lane, and discovered rather quickly that the horse was much larger that him at close range!  His two favorite things in life were taking naps and  to have a bite or two of whatever WE were eating, and he would patiently wait exactly two minutes, and then politely BARK until given a taste. Our dinner table is strangely and sadly silent now. We never thought we would miss that "John-John bark" at mealtime....but oh, how we DO.

    When you lose a pet, it changes the dynamic of your household. Our other pets were abnormally QUIET for the first couple of days. They knew something was different. They picked up on our sadness and they mourned him too. But they also have been especially helpful in letting us know that life continues, even though it will never be the same. Jimmie trots around the house, Monty does his "happy dance", Eliza sits extra close to me in the evening watching TV, Betty,the Grey Parrot, has stopped saying "Hey John Hey John!"....but still calls the other dogs by name.

    We will be creating a special memorial garden area for Johnnie this spring, under the maple tree where he used to try to sneak up on the birds, in classic Cocker Spaniel style. I know he is still around and will always be with us. We will never forget him, his big brown eyes, his long silky tail (which we never had docked....we think Cocker tails are beautiful!) and his sweet, gentle ways. I know he must have been VERY brave to go on ahead without us, without mama, for the very first time. He never wanted to take the lead, but this time, I knew as he breathed his last breath that he had taken off, running over the golden fields to meet his brother Henry and MY brothers Matt and Johnny, at Rainbow Bridge, young and healthy once more, to wait for us there. 

    Meanwhile, I sat at my desk yesterday, with a scratch pad, crossing out letters and words and trying to come up with 25 letters to inscribe on the Pawprint Urn.  And as I looked out the office window on a finally, sunny day, at the green lawn where Johnnie used to play, at the stone angel statue holding one of his precious birds, it came to me: 25 letters. Johnnie Forever In Our Hearts.

    Thank you for all of your kind thoughts, words and prayers for Johnnie over the past few months.  We so appreciate your friendship and support.

    With love, Carolyn, Mike and ALL of our wonderful pets

     

     


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    Do you all agree that it’s not easy eating green? I’m hoping that our March recipes are givng you some green-sipration! Salads often fall short of our flavor expectations, and leave us craving something more substantial. I challenged myself to come up with a green salad recipe that would satisfy even the most skeptical salad naysayers. My Chef Salad with Green Goddess Dressing is as green as it gets, thanks to the avocado and herb-based dressing. With six different proteins—turkey, ham, Swiss, Cheddar, egg, and bacon—I dare you to not fill up after eating this!

    Chef Salad with Green Goddess Dressing

    Serves 6

    Ingredients:

    Salad:

    12 cups salad greens, washed and torn into bite-size pieces

    10 cherry tomatoes, halved

    1 medium seedless cucumber, sliced

    3/4 cup grated carrot

    6 oz turkey breast, cut into strips

    6 oz ham, cut into strips

    1 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded

    1 cup Swiss cheese, shredded

    3 hardboiled eggs, quartered

    6 strips cooked bacon, crumbled

    Dressing:

    1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and quartered

    1/4 cup mayonnaise

    1/4 cup sour cream

    1/4 cup buttermilk

    5 anchovies

    1/4 cup lemon juice

    1 clove garlic

    1/2 cup flat parsley leaves

    1/4 cup tarragon leaves

    1/4 cup chopped chives

    1 tsp salt

    1/4 tsp black pepper

     

    Directions:

    To assemble the salad, toss together the salad greens, tomatoes, cucumber, and carrot in a large bowl. Top the vegetables with the turkey, ham, Cheddar cheese, Swiss cheese, and eggs in large piles. Sprinkle the bacon over the top and serve with the Green Goddess dressing.

    To prepare the dressing, place all the ingredients in a food processor and puree until the dressing is smooth.

    This recipe is prepared using the KitchenAid 13 Cup 3-in-1 Wide Mouth Food Processor with Accessories (K35182).

    Go to David's Recipe Item Page for the full list of items that David has used in his recipes.

    Have you ever tried Green Goddess dressing? It’s a dressing that originated in San Francisco in 1923. The Green Goddess salad was made famous at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco as a tribute to George Arliss, the star of the play, “The Green Goddess.” Its unique flavor is a perfect match for a hearty salad like this one—and I absolutely LOVE it. Now I want to know, what’s your favorite salad dressing? Do you like something creamy like Caesar, Ranch, or Blue Cheese? Or do you prefer something simple like oil and vinegar? Do you go with the kinds named after their countries of origin—Russian, French, or Greek? Or do you know of some unique dressing recipe?

    Don’t forget, this Sunday at Noon ET is a do-not-miss episode of ITKWD—we’re going to have some VERY special guests! Be sure to check in with me on Facebook and Instagram—I might just have some backstage bloopers for you…

    Keep it flavorful!

    —David

     


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    Whenever I meet people who watch QVC, they’ll often ask “What’s it really like to work here look there?” They’ll ask questions like “It looks like you guys are having a blast. Is it really that much fun?” After recalling fond memories like Broadcasting from the Oktoberfest in Munich Germany, climbing the Great Wall of China, and doing a promo with one and only Joan Rivers, my immediate response is… “Yes, it really is that much fun!!”

     

    And just when you think it can’t get any better, who decides to pay a visit to our QVC Studios? The Muppets!

    I grew up watching the Muppets on Television, and had always admired the work of Jim Henson. The Muppets had that rare gift of appealing to young people, yet had a smart sensibility that made adults laugh as well.  And when my wife Amy and our two boys, Nicholas and Joshua, we rediscovered the Muppets all over again. From children’s books to VHS Videos (remember those?), we spent hours and hours enjoying the antics of Miss Piggy. They helped our kids learn to read, and made them laugh out loud.

     

    So when  I was told I’d have the opportunity to work (I mean, play)  with the actual Muppets, the real Muppets, I was over the moon! The Muppet crew of people could not have been nicer, could not have been more playful. And Link Hogthrob? A true professional! Bobo? A little clumsy, yes, but I feel I’ve met a friend for life!

    It’s obvious they love what they do. And my family and I can’t wait to see the new movie, Muppets Most Wanted, in theatres March 21st!

     

     

     


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