I’m really excited to be taking part in the Strictly Christmas Special this year. I absolutely LOVE Christmas and I love Strictly so it’s a perfect match. I’m so lucky to have been paired with Pasha again who was my partner when I took part in the main show 5 years ago. We’ve started training this week and it’s definitely been a shock to the system as I haven’t danced for so long. It’s like a Strictly bootcamp to get ready for the Christmas show but we’re working really hard so hopefully we’ll get there! Doing the Christmas show is just pure fun without the pressure of the real competition so I’m gonna just enjoy it. It’s gonna be fun for Bobby to watch on Christmas Day cos he’s never really seen me perform. I’ve shown him a few videos and he watches Strictly with me on a Saturday now so he’s gonna love it.
It’s gonna be strange getting back into a Strictly costume after so many years. I certainly won’t be rocking the shorts and crop tops that I wore five years ago after having two children that’s for sure! I’m really excited to get all dressed up though and get some sequins on for Christmas. I think Vicky Gill who does all the Strictly costume designs is amazing. We actuary worked with Vicky on the Girls Aloud tours, she did all the sparkly numbers for us so she knows my body shape and what I’m comfortable with so I’ve no doubt so she’ll come up with something fabulous!
Cole is almost a year old now and this week is my final blog. It’s been lovely documenting his first year and sharing my life with you all. The year has gone so incredibly fast and Cole is growing up so quickly. He’s close to walking now and getting braver every day so before long he’ll be running around with Bobby. I can already see his character coming out and what a cheeky little personality he has, I’m definitely gonna have my hands full for a few years but I absolutely love being a mum and all that comes with it.
Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!
So literally the day after I wrote my last blog Cole started crawling and it really is a game changer! He’s totally loving his new found freedom and isn’t content with just crawling, now he wants to try and pull himself up too. He’s definitely a very determined little thing and when I tell him to stop doing something he gives me a cheeky face and just carries on doing it. Thankfully I invested in a huge playpen when Bobby was at that stage which is a life saver. It’s completely takes over my living room but it’s worth it to know he’s safe. There’s just too many dangers when they start crawling so at least he can have some freedom in there.
Bobby is gonna be 3 in two weeks and I can’t actually believe how time flies! He’s decided he wants a Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf themed party so I’ve turned party planner to organise that. It’s not the easiest theme to be honest as there’s nothing in the shops already so I’m having to get quite creative! I’m looking forward to making his birthday cake though cos I really love baking, I do lots of it with the boys. I have got some ideas for decorating it too and I’ve looked on Pinterest for some help to make the Three Little Pigs houses so hopefully it will turn out ok. I’ll have to draw on my Celebrity Bake Off experience for this one! I’ve set Justin the task of making some large Little Pig houses for Bobby and his friends to play in so let’s hope he delivers! Bobby has also requested for the Big Bad Wolf to come to his party so I’m probably gonna have to bribe my brother to make an appearance in a Wolf costume which will be highly amusing! Lots of planning to keep me busy.
I’ve had lots of great meetings about my children’s clothing range Kimba Kids over the last few weeks. I’ve had some offers from some big retailers that want to take the range which is great! I’m really hoping that our factories can make all the deadlines for autumn/winter this year so I can finally get it out there but we keep running into a few little teething problems as we are a new company. The most important thing is that everything is perfect and that we are ready. If that means we have to delay the launch a few months then that’s what we have to. The whole process has been so different to anything I’ve ever done before and has been a huge learning curve. I really do feel like I’ve put my heart and soul into the range. I’ve only ever endorsed brands before which is very different to creating and launching your own product from an idea I had one day. I’ve really loved being part of every aspect of it though and I really can’t wait for it to be out there for people to buy!
It was lovely to catch up with HELLO!’s editor Rosie Nixon at her book launch for Amber Green takes Manhattan at The Fleming Hotel. I’ve already packed it in my suitcase for my holiday read next week. I had a good chat to Giovanna Fletcher and Izzy Judd about all things motherhood. I’ve met them both briefly before but never had a chance to chat properly. It’s always nice to compare stories as we all have kids of similar age and their partners were both doing the whole promo trail in McFly at the same time as Girls Aloud so we have lots in common. Izzy has also just released her book Dare To Dream following Giovanna’s book Happy mum, Happy baby. Izzy’s is an account of her struggle to conceive her first baby. She has now fallen pregnant a second time naturally which is so lovely. I love how honest they have both been in their books on motherhood. I think it’s so refreshing and great for young mums to be able to read their books and find comfort in them.
We took Bobby and Cole to the new CBeebies hotel at the weekend. It was a real family trip as Justin’s daughter Chloe also came. The hotel was amazing! Every room was themed and fully equipped with everything you could possibly need for young children. We stayed in the Postman Pat and the In The Night Garden rooms and Bobby couldn’t believe his eyes. He also met Mr Tumble which as most mums with young children know is like meeting royalty to kids!
Bobby was chatting away to all his favourite characters from the show and wasn’t fazed in the slightest. He was completely wired by the time he went to bed but it was a such a fun night for him. Justin took the boys to CBeebies Land the following day with Chloe as I had to be up crazy early to travel to Liverpool to present British Style Collective.
I managed to get myself up and out of the hotel at 5am so the car could take me to the Liverpool Echo arena and start hair and make up for the press call at 7am! It was such a fun event to host. British Style Collective is made by the creators of The Clothes Show that was in Birmingham for years and years and it has been revamped, renamed and made its debut in Liverpool this weekend. It’s a huge celebration of British fashion with catwalk shows and fashion talks. It was such a fab event to be a involved in, I really loved it. I presented the two main catwalk shows at the Echo Arena and took part in a fashion discussion at the St George’s Hall with Jo Elvin, Caryn Franklin and Lisa Snowdon which was really interesting.
The discussion was about dressing for success and how much what we wear actually impacts our confidence and how we feel. I don’t usually think that deeply about these things but it really is true that clothes really do massively effect how we feel. It was a buzzing weekend in Liverpool but I was glad to get home to my boys after an 18-hour day. We off on our holidays today so it’s been a mad rush to get everything sorted as you need to think about so much when you take a baby away but I’m so excited to take Cole on his first summer holiday!
I took Cole on his first flight last week. I was working on a new project that I’ll be announcing in May and had to travel to Belfast for a few days. I took my mum along with me to look after Cole and Bobby stayed at home with Justin. I was only away for two nights but I was actually anxious about leaving Bobby because I’ve actually never left him for that long before. I got very emotional as I left and Bobby was absolutely fine, bless him. He just said “Don’t cry mummy, be back soon” and that was that. Of course I was glad he wasn’t bothered about me going, he had a lovely time with his Dad while we were away.
It’s always daunting flying with a baby but it’s another thing that bothered me a lot less as he’s my second and I know what to expect. Cole was such a little star we didn’t hear a peep out of him the whole way there and back. He slept and fed on both flights and slept through most of the car journeys too so I’m glad I didn’t worry. Having said that, he’s full of cold at the moment and coughing so there wasn’t much sleep going on in the night. That was hard as I was then having to work during the day. Not a lot you can do though so I just put some eye masks on and survived on large amounts of coffee and sugar!
On my trip to Belfast I used a new car seat/pushchair called a Doona which was an absolutel game changer for travelling with a baby. It’s an all-in-one car seat that can change into a pushchair. It’s amazing because you always worry about being able to get decent car seats when you’re travelling in taxis and this takes that worry out of the equation. It also means getting the baby in and out of a pushchair and car seat so many times as they can stay in it when you collapse it into a car seat. You can also take it right up to the gate of the aeroplane as it’s in one piece which is great! Definitely worth investing in if you go on holiday lots or to make the school run a lot easier in the mornings!
My little sister Amy turned 30 last week. This was a big milestone in our family as she’s the last of four siblings. We arranged a surprise family birthday party for her on the Sunday before her birthday and she was totally shocked! We had the party at my older sister Sally’s and fooled her into thinking she was just calling in to see my mum for Mother’s Day. She burst in to tears the minute we all jumped out to surprise her, she had absolutely no idea. She was so happy as she works up north now in Emmerdale so she wouldn’t have got to see her nephews for a few weeks if we hadn’t planned the surprise and hates not seeing them. She loved all her presents and I made her a chocolate overload birthday cake which she loved too. I love it when a surprise party goes to plan!
Mother’s Day, my first as a mother to two, took a back seat this year but I still got a lovely breakfast in bed and sleep in from my boys and some gorgeous flowers. It was lovely to spend it with all my family too, 3 of us are mothers now, so it worked out perfectly.