October, 2013

29 October
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How you can own Union J’s faces, my YouTube channel launches and find out which male celebrity wears panty liners.

Hi everyone,

Once again it’s been a busy week…

Claire’s Accessories party

I kicked off the week at the Claire’s Accessories Halloween Ball. To me, Claire’s brings back fond memories of friendship bracelets, accompanying my friends to get their ears pierced and 3-for-2 kirby grips, but this party was much more glamorous than that. Boyband du jour Union J performed some tracks from their new album and intriguingly (and somewhat disturbingly) they were also promoting their paper party face masks – a must have! The beautiful Dionne Bromfield and my ‘spiritual guide’ Nanna Pat from TOWIE were also there. I also had a good old natter with the lovely James Arthur (I never realised he had so many tattoos!). MIC‘s Ashley James was there interviewing the guests and she asked me, if I was to have the party paper mask of any Union J member who would it be and why? Obviously I said George because there’s something about him that reminds me of Harry Styles – anyone else think that? No? Just me?!

The lovely James Arthur and AJ Odudu

The lovely James Arthur and me

Fake Reaction
I recorded Fake Reaction for ITV2 on Friday. On this show I joined the likes of Brian Bello, Made In Chelsea‘s Ollie Locke, and comedian David Morgan, and it was great to hang out with the Fake Reaction family, Joe Swash and, of course, Matt Edmondson. The show doesn’t broadcast until January so I don’t want to spoil anything, but let’s just say that things got messy! WARNING: watch this show with a sick bag! I was teamed up with Jo Swash and I can exclusively reveal to you that he does indeed wear panty liners under his armpits as a form of sweat catcher – innovative!

The Fake Reaction crew

The Fake Reaction crew

Fitness
After a disastrous week last week, where I over exerted myself, I was back on form, working on… my form. Hallelujah! Last week I didn’t stretch, this week I certainly did with a session of bikram/hot yoga, circuit training at the gym and multiple runs. I even downloaded an app on my phone called RunKeeper, which is my new fave. You can set yourself goals, keep track of your personal records, calculate how many workouts you’ve done each week and see how you stack up against your mates on a leader-board. I love it – it’s definitely a keeper!

The fab RunKeeper app

The fab RunKeeper app

YouTube Channel
I’m so excited this week as today I am officially launching my own YouTube channel called, drum role please… “AJ Odudu”! Original, I know. If, like me, you’re interested in fashion tips, make-up ideas or just want to keep up-to-date with my news then please check it out. Today you can even find out 50 facts about me, including my fear of crumbs in butter – YUK! For more breathtaking exclusives check out my YouTube channel – and don’t forget to subscribe!

In other news, can you believe Orlando Bloom and Miranda Kerr have broken up? Poor things, I hate breakups.

Tarah for now!

AJ
XX

22 October
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Music and Burberry, asos and pulling!

This week I had music and Burberry, I partied at asos HQ and I pulled!

Burberry ‘This Is Brit’ Party
Last week started off with a bang; I was having a cocktail night at a friend’s when the lovely Ashley James from Made in Chelsea invited me to see her mate’s band, The White Lies, and the gorgeous Laura Mvula. I’m a big fan of both and hadn’t had chance to see them live, so naturally I politely ditched my friends and headed to Shoreditch. When I got there I realised it was a Burberry party which was pretty awkward, I was dressed head-to-toe in Warehouse and everyone else was head-to-toe in Burberry! (And I’m talking the band, the bar staff and even the cloakroam attendants!) Nevertheless, the night went from slightly awkward to brilliant as we got to hang out backstage after the performance (I always get excited about going backstage) and the guys were just as cool back there as they were on stage. The night finished off in the glamorous way it started (with cocktails) and, what’s more, I finally bagged myself a Burberry accessory, a wristband – it still counts!

 

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Monica Vinader to ASOS HQ
Diamonds really are a girl’s bestie and there were loads at the Monica Vinader jewellery event which showcased gorgeous bling and provided guests with the sweetest, prettiest vanilla biscuits of all time. To be honest, I’d be happy just wearing the biscuits! The Esencia Friendship Collection was my favourite, absolutely beautiful.

 

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With biscuit in hand, I hopped, skipped and jumped to the ASOS party, where I caught the end of the set from their house band Man Like Me. I remember interviewing that band from my old presenting gig on BBC2 on a programme called The 5:19 Show. They were still really nice and, since then, they have gone on to star in an IKEA advert (one of my life’s ambitions too) and, interesting fact, their front woman used to be none other than Miss Jessie Ware! Chatting to them, they complimented my dress and I complimented their massive ASOS billboard.

 

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We meandered over to the canapé table and tucked into what we believed to be meaty burgers but, to our surprise and delight, they turned out to be mushroom burgers. Delicious yet deceiving, I canapé- leave it! I also spotted Millie Macintosh looking mighty fine, Professor Green you lucky devil!

 

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Witness the Fitness: Get ya coat love. You’ve pulled (a muscle)!

Not a successful week on the fitness front I’ve got to admit. Recently I’d been on a roll: exercising well, sticking to a healthy diet, I was raring and ready to go. Howeber, let’s just say that perhaps I went into my Body Pump class a little hot headed and over enthusiastic…

Body Pump is my favourite gym class because it uses barbells and adjustable weights to tone and condition muscles while raising metabolic rate for rapid fat burning (geek). It’s so good for a full body workout, but without stretching I pushed myself to the limit and woke up feeling pretty immobile. Yes, I pulled muscles I never even knew I had and as a result I had to give myself the week off to recover! Let this be a lesson: Stretch people, always stretch! Please!

And on that life-changing note, it’s a ciao for now from me.

Cheerio!
AJ xx

17 October
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Big hair, lobster dining and a spot of army training

Phew what a week it’s been. Big hair, army training, a children’s premiere… I’ve literally done it all!

Hair today, gone tomorrow
My wonderful hairdressers in Bermondsey have photoshoots every once in a while to show off their new styles for next season, and they very kindly invited me down to model for them. It was all about big hair and lots of it! Keep those ears and shoulders warm girls. My motto: who needs a scarf when you’ve got a four foot weave?!

Motto aside we did 3 looks:
1. Bunched up afro – a strong, power daytime look
2. Long and curly – for when you want to feel lady like or girly.
3. Long and crimped with a centre parting – perfect for the Christmas party season (and yes I am thinking about Christmas already – just 71 more sleeps to go!)

Here’s a cheeky look behind the scenes. Sshhh…

 

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LobSTAR
I took my boyfriend out for a meal this week (lucky devil) and we ate at LobSTAR, one of those trendy restaurants in London where you have to queue to get in the queue and when you finally get in there you’ve only got two blooming options: burger or lobster! An hour and a half later we were sat down. Luckily for us it was worth the wait because their lobster is delicious. Who knew?! We chatted up the waitress so she even knocked off a few bottles of vino – thank you very much! I highly recommend visiting this Dean Street gaff in London (and chatting up the waitress/waiter!).

 

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Witness the (Military) Fitness
Exercising has become so much easier since I got some new gym clobber. I’m not being funny, but if you chuck on brand new leggings, a tight vest and a pink sports bra you actually feel like ‘going for it’ (or is that just me?!). To me, new, tight gym wear (in breathable fabrics) feels just like I’m wearing a giant pair of spanks and that makes me want to suck in that stomach and squeeze those gluts, which is what you should do when exercising… anyway, I digress.

 

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This week I did a group workout session with BMF, AKA British Military Fitness. Yes you are trained by ex-military instructors of the actual Army and yes it is hard work, but you’d be fooled if you’re thinking (like I did) that it is just paying money to be shouted at while you crawl through mud crying and run until you throw up. OK, so crawling is involved but, if it’s any consolation, you go at your own pace (sort of). There’s a lot of team work involved so great if you want to meet new people and it’s all outdoors so it’s perfect if you hate the gym. Also, on average you burn a whopping 650 calories per session and the first session is absolutely free, so you can try before you buy. Result! Find a class near you by visiting britmilfit.com

Nickelodeon
I treated my younger sister by taking her to a fancy UK premiere. I say ‘younger’, she’s 24 and this premiere was for a new kids TV show on Nickelodeon called Sam and Kat! But hey, she loved it! We bumped into the lovely Ashley James from Made in Chelsea, who was looking incredible (particularly for first thing on a Saturday morning), and MTV’s Lilah Parsons was also there, showing off a bit of tummy – well toned I may add. We shared a breakfast of popcorn and fizzy drinks – not particularly part of my healthy routine but hey, this was a show for kids so we might as well play the part I thought!

 

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On the orange carpet on the way into the cinema I was asked what my favourite Nikelodeon programme was growing up…err I grew up in a deprived area of Blackburn – we couldn’t even get Channel 5 on my street, so my sister and I had a little giggle about that. Ah how far we’ve come… we’ve got a Digi box now!

Ta-rah for now!

AJ xx

10 October
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A busy week of awards, fitness and beauty!

LSBC Awards
What a week it’s been. I was hugely honoured to be presenting an award at the London Schools & Black Child Awards. The award ceremony was founded by MP Diane Abbott and is part of an initiative to help raise the achievement levels of black pupils nationwide by recognising and rewarding their outstanding academic achievement. I couldn’t wait to present an award to real life brain boxes and also, what person wouldn’t want to dress up nicely and prance around the House of Commons?! What a step up from my high school assembly hall! Who knows, I could have been handing out an award to our future Prime Minister. At the thought of networking in high places, ‘Downing Street here I come!’ and off I went. I even dragged my parents along who, despite the fact that I was merely handing out an award, acted as though I was receiving one – they were so proud! Arrh.

 

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Sol Campbell and I gave the award to the best GCSE girls, straight-A* pupils who in their spare time mentor others, help the local community and are all round good eggs. After the awards ceremony there was a performance by the beautiful VV Brown and comedy from Eddie Kadi, and I got to mingle with the brainiest young adults ever. From talking quantum physics, the conversation naturally turned to my hair and beauty tips so I was glad that I could contribute to their education in my own special way!

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Pride of Britain Awards
On Monday night I attended the Pride of Britain Awards, a fantastic ceremony rewarding and celebrating the most deserving of our British public. I am a fan of the prestigious event anyway, so I knew to go prepared with my waterproof mascara and pack of Kleenex. Good job too, I was a blubbering mess!

I shared oxygen with David Cameron, who was in a stylish suit, and Labour MP Ed Milliband (doing their best to ignore each other), X Factor judges, Strictly Come Dancing crew, Dragons Den - everyone was there! It was the biggest star-studded event I’ve been to in a while and everyone looked divine in their posh frocks. Celebs really do scrub up well (and I tried my best too). I hung out with the lovely Christine Bleakley (who has incredibly long arms – her confession not mine!) and Vanessa White of The Saturdays, who looked amazing.

 

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Aside from learning about the wonderful things that the public do for one another, my personal highlight was meeting Professor Stephen Hawking. Yes, THE Stephen Hawking. The whole evening was fantastic and made my year!

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Nosh
I knew the Pride of Britain awards night was going to be a one to remember and I wanted to have the energy to rise to the occasion. That’s why I had a fresh Nosh detox to boost my energy levels. It’s my go-to healthy eating plan as their detox packages are individually designed to suit you and better still, it comes ready to eat (or drink or both) right to your door and even better still, it’s yummy (which helps). After the diet I always feel great (even after just three days) and I always sleep better which naturally increases my energy levels. Because I exercise a lot I tend to select the ABC plan which combines solid foods as well as the juices. Is it possible to OD on vitamins and healthy nutrients….? I hope not!

 

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Witness the fitness
As the days are getting shorter, darker and colder I’ve decided to slowly move my workout routines from the great outdoors to the warmth and comfort of my local Lewisham gym. Glamorous, I know. This week I’ve been focusing on my legs, bum and tum and, to combat the jiggle, I’ve been squatting, skipping and lunging, as well as doing interval training on the treadmill. Just 20 minutes alternating between a jog and a sprint gets your heart rate going and your whole body sweating, and interval training is one of the most effective ways to stay strong and lose weight. A perfect way start to my day, three times a week! AND (FYI technology geeks and lovers) my gym has this super cool TV where you can select a virtual run – you no longer need to dream about running along the beach in New Zealand, or jogging through the city in Denmark, you can just press the button and literally be on your way…well kind of. Get your comfy running kicks on and just do it! ;)

 

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Skin Deep
I’ve been healthy inside and out this week but the weather is making a slight turn for the worst, causing my skin to turn dry. I usually cake on the make-up for events, blocking my pours and so, when I’m busy, my skin looks dull and tired. To combat this, I’ve been looking for the perfect skin product to look after my skin from head to toe and I’ve recently come across Balance Me Super Toning Body Oil. It’s good at restoring tone to those areas that might wobble, great for all skin types and it oozes in fatty acids and vitamins to help keep the visible signs of ageing at bay. Did I mention it smells nice too?! Well it does, and for such perfection the price is good too. If you’re interested, get involved with my new skin care essentials by visiting balanceme.co.uk.

 

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In other news I’ve been spoiled with a new necklace from myflashtrash.com, this jewellery is far from trashy but it is definitely flash. I. Am. Lusting!

 

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Peace out!

AJ

XX

02 October
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Red carpet fashion, White Cliffs, Brandy and more!

Hi everyone!

I have been struck down. Down, I tell you! Laryngitis, chest infection, allergies to antibiotics of all things – you name it, last week (and the week before) I had it. Firstly, London Fashion Week was a write-off, then I missed out on a load of swanky parties, and THEN, worst of all, I had to cancel my appointment with my hairdressers (and trust me, that was a much needed appointment). Nevertheless I’m back and raring to tell you all about life after mucus, nasal sprays and a shedload of prescribed drugs.

Marie Claire
I attended Marie Claire’s 25th anniversary and WHAT a way to resurrect myself from my sickbed. We’ve both been around for a quarter of a century and, dare I say it, we’ve both endured quite well (although I don’t get airbrushed inside out every month). I styled my hair with a tight, high ponytail – it gave me a headache, but went so darn well with my AQ/AQ outfit. AQ/AQ is a British brand I’m rather fond of right now. Why? Because it has funky patterns, matching two pieces and, thanks to the transparent back detail, it gave me the perfect excuse to go braless. Naughty!

 

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I hung out with White Lies bassist Charles Cave and Made in Chelsea’s newbie, Ashley James. Drinks were drank, songs were sung and somehow the three of us managed to tumble into a photo booth to capture a moment of impromptu prosperity. What a way to celebrate  - Happy Birthday Marie Claire!

 

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Time Away
Hmmm, never party when you’re not fully recovered. Marie Claire completely and utterly broke me. When you’re ill sometimes it’s best to walk out of the party, drop the oyster card, leave the dishes, forget the hustle and bustle of London and escape to somewhere exotic. That’s why my boyfriend swept me off my feet and whisked me away to… the White Cliffs of Dover! OK, so it’s not Barbados but that’s where he’s from and for me that fresh gust of sea air is unbeatable. Besides, The White Cliffs, although scarily high (the health and safety inspector inside me says there needs to be a fence), are beautiful. If you want to avoid roaming charges when innocently plodding along the cliffs then here’s a useful tip: switch off mobile roaming as you can (and you will) pick up French phone networks. I wish I’d known that before I went!

 

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Going to Dover was actually like a short journey of adventure and discovery. I witnessed a caterpillar dodge death by foot (I almost stood on the cutie), I found local honey (which in fairness, wasn’t difficult as my boyfriend’s mum is a beekeeper), but my top Dover find was The White Cliffs Hotel, where I stopped by for Pimmsecco (Pimms with Prosecco? GENIUS!) and afternoon tea.

This spot had all the things the kid in me loves: a fancy dress box, a disco ball and a giant teepee in the garden. What’s not to love? If a giant teepee does not recharge your batteries, then you’re screwed.

 

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Brandy is back
And I’m not talking about the drink but THE Brandy, as in ‘Monica and Brandy’, Brandy! But, err, without Monica. I may be a little over excited about this but it’s only because I was such a huge fan growing up. Come to think of it, I still have her original CD singles – thank you Woolworths and your Bargain Bin (R.I.P)!

 

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Last week I was lucky enough to see Brandy headline the Musicalize event at the Indigo o2 Arena in London, and it was packed. In fact, I spent most of my evening uncomfortably sandwiched between the sweaty armpits of an over-enthusiastic fan. I quickly got used to the confinements of this damp spot and saw Brandy take to the stage in an embellished, leather, chainy playsuit (it was a busy outfit).

She sang the songs that helped her gain her iconic status: ‘I Wanna Be Down’,’ Sittin’ Up In My Room’, but (and this is a big but) only a tapas amount of ‘The Boy Is Mine’. I’m sorry, but that’s not fair. That’s my favourite Brandy hit! I’m not going to lie, my disappointment was plain to see (huffin and tutting… I’m not proud of it, but it happened) but, before I actually booed, I remembered the night was still young and I could go off with Sarah Jayne Crawford (of BBC Radio 1Xtra fam) and have a real Brandy… minus the armpit. What a consolation.

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Witness the fitness
The thought of sweating out all of my unhealthy bacteria by lifting weights and running on a treadmill to nowhere was daunting to say the least and, when I’m not feeling 100%, the gym is the last place I want to be. That’s why these past couple of weeks have been all about hot/bikram yoga. Great for all levels of fitness, this form of yoga is designed to help flush away toxins, tone, help weight loss and, you guessed it, it all takes place in a hot room!

Now I’m not going to lie, a hot room full of people sweating absolutely stinks but I pinky promise you soon get used to it. I personally struggle with it being a 90 minute session, as that’s a painfully long time for me to remain silent, but there are other things to focus on, such as, err, the yoga of course. It’s a series of 26 poses but I’m going to share with you my top 3.

 

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1. Standing separate leg stretch – it’s not the most graceful of poses with your head down and ass up but it stretches those thighs unbelievably well and your arms will be toned in no time. Be careful standing back up though. You’ll definitely have a head rush if you’re too hasty.

2. The wind removing position - it’s essentially squatting whilst lying down, you’re curled up in a ball on your back. This makes me giggle because, when done correctly, well… it’s like a human orchestra in there.

3. The ‘dead body pose’ i,e. lie down – people often consider this to be unimportant but no, Bikram says it’s essential. Rules are rules.

For now, it’s a namaste from me, back soon…

AJ
xxx

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