Getting my mojo back!


As I write this I’m in the cab on my way to the ITV studios for This Morning – I’ve been judging a baby competition and it’s been really hard to do! It’s so tough to choose your favourite babies when they are all so adorable in their own way! The winner features on Mother and Baby magazine cover and gets a modelling contract with Kiddiwinks too. This is my final blog for Hello and it’s been lovely looking back through them and reflecting on my journey so far.

Having my own baby has been the most beautiful thing to ever happen to me – I feel a love and contentment I’ve never had before and have a renewed sense of vigour for my career and passions in my life.

Rafferty is now 4 months old and is a source of wonder everyday. He’s such a happy little boy and a gentle soul – I’m not a morning person but his little laughs and smiles melt my heart and get me beaming within seconds.

My Boys - My world x

My Boys – My world x

Being honest, I had no idea how I would react to being a mum – would I give up everything else? Would I be able to cope? Who would I become?! What would happen to me and Jack when a very close knit two became three? After battling with such a severe illness like M.E and depression where I was left disabled physically and mentally for many years  I was so wary of the outcome of everything – I had “The Fear” as I call it – the overwhelming emotion of being frustrated, in pain and petrified of all the limitations the days would bring due to the illness – I had slowly bit by bit lost all my confidence and self esteem  – I had no idea of who I was without my work – Would a baby exacerbate those feelings?

The only way I can describe my overall experience of motherhood so far is that all the limitations and “No’s” in my life have been spun on their head and have become big fat yes’s!

My body has changed for the better health wise – I still have to pace myself but since pregnancy, my body seems to have less M.E symptoms – less aches, pain and fatigue and my depression issues have lifted enormously.

As a result I feel more human and able to cope with everyday situations – I have slowly seen what I’m capable of and the confidence is returning and guess what? I’m finally feeling like I know who I am and what I really want.

The mixture of the physical and emotional side of my long journey to motherhood has taught me so much. Would I want to go back and re live those lessons? No. But has it given me the strength, knowledge and confidence I need to go forward with more clarity of what really matters – oh god yes!

I’ve fallen in love with singing again and feel great singing live. In fact Jack and I decided to do a project together and we did our first gig as STARGAZER at the half moon in Putney to raise awareness for the charity Action for M.E.

Me pulling my sexy Rock Star pose… With loads of baby stuff around me! :)

Me pulling my sexy Rock Star pose… With loads of baby stuff around me! :)

The show was brilliantly received and caused a bit of a stir so we are performing at the Cornbury Festival on Sat 11th July.

I feel like I have my mojo back but mostly I feel so excited to get back home to my baby boy when each day of work is over as when all is said and done he is my proudest achievement and he puts all of my crazy twists and turns in my work life into perspective!

I have felt something shift – work is busier than ever but it has it’s place and isn’t my whole life anymore – and I’m so much happier for it.

It took me a while but I have found my feet at last and I feel so grateful everyday.

New band Stargazer. Raising awareness for Action For M.E

New band Stargazer. Raising awareness for Action For M.E

I have loved sharing my baby journey with you till this point and explaining how it’s affected me as a woman – it’s been cathartic! your support and encouragement has been immense and I thank you all for your lovely words, tweets and messages.

Anyway I’m off to do my showbiz bit and then get home to whack my sweatpants on and have fun and giggles with my boy – and maybe even have a sneaky snooze!

Please feel free to follow me on Twitter and Instagram etc!

Lots of love to you all!

Martine xxxx

Welcoming Rafferty and adjusting to motherhood

Hello everyone!

Wow, where do I begin?! So much has happened – and my life has been turned upside down in the most wonderful of ways by my beautiful baby boy Rafferty Jack McManus.
He was born 8 weeks ago on the 4th of February in Frimley Park Hospital on a cold snowy morning.

I had a C-section and Rafferty arrived with the The Eagles playing in the background on my Ipod! I felt so happy to meet him. He has a mop of dark hair and the cutest little face that really is a mix of me and his daddy already. Unfortunately Rafferty had fluid on the lungs when he was born and so I was without him for 3 nights – it felt pretty upsetting and strange but when I went to visit him in his special unit, the connection was so beautiful and I will never forget his little face looking at me like I was his whole world.

Since I’ve been back home it’s been all go!

 At last the little prince sleeps!

At last the little prince sleeps!

I started off with the baby blues for the first 2 weeks – it was horrid. I was just really emotional and raw. I thought about how this little baby boy had filled my heart with so much emotion and love and the magnitude of my feelings frightened the hell out of me! I questioned everything – the meaning of life, would he be safe? Could I protect him? What would he do without me? And just morality in general. I couldn’t watch the news as it was all so dark and scary and God forbid a sad scene of a movie came on! I would fall to pieces! Thankfully this soon subsided as the drugs of the C-section left my system and I got back to my old self.

Getting out to the park or a cafe was my salvation – seeing everyone getting on with their lives and babies put things into perspective. Bit by bit, normality – albeit a new normality stared to set in.
Whilst in hospital, Rafferty had to have some formula milk in the special unit – so whilst I have to say that breast feeding is amazing and it’s my bonding time with my son – those tiny little disposable aptimal bottles have been a god send to me!

They kept me sane – Jack has been able to bond with Rafferty whilst feeding him too and sharing the night feeds gives me some sleep which in turn helps me string sentences together hahaha! It’s so true that you get baby brain!

These little bottles have been a lifesaver!

These little bottles have been a lifesaver!

Most family and friends have now met him – I found doing coffee mornings, lunches or dinners in big groups out of the home was the best way forward for me – when I felt exhausted I could say my goodbyes to everyone when I was ready and get home to rest – there were no lingering guests or screaming kids messing up the house and my home didn’t have to perfect for visitors – it seemed to be a win win for me. I definitely recommend it!

My life is changing all the time with my new arrival – it’s 5.30 am and instead of sleeping, I’m writing this blog whilst dangling a toy monkey in front of my little mans face… He’s impressed…. But for how long?!!!!!

He is like me – nocturnal! And he also seems to suffer with trapped wind more at night… His little face crumples in pain and I would do anything to ease it – I’ve sung to him, danced, driven him around Surrey and chatted in silly voices – Anything to make him better!

Everyone tells you that your life changes, that you live on coffee and adrenalin and that your life is never the same again – they tell you that you feel a huge responsibility and that babies are cute and fun and smelly – they even warned me that it may take time to bond with my baby… but no one warned me that the love you feel for this little human being is petrifying – but also the most unique and wonderfully fulfilling feeling in the world.

Rafferty has already been to his daddy's  favourite Indian restaurant a few times!

Rafferty has already been to his daddy’s favourite Indian restaurant a few times!

Someone tweeted me that their baby answered all their questions about life… I thought that was lovely way of putting it and I have to agree.

I must admit that I’m already exhausted most of the time and I know I have a long road ahead of me – juggling being a performer, a wife and a mother won’t always be easy. I already find myself thinking the world has ended when milk bottles and dummies aren’t sterilised or I forgot nappies or a Muslin for the baby bag! But it’s a road I wanted to travel for so long and I’m so grateful for the journey. It’s already the best feeling ever.

It’s now 6am – my eyelids are sealing themselves shut but Rafferty is no longer amused by the monkey and I have a splitting headache so his daddy is blowing rasberrys on his belly whilst I finish this – and I really wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

I’m so excited for the year ahead… Till next time!!

Mummy Martine xxxxx

My last post before my baby boy is here!


Ok so I’m not going to lie I’ve been well and truly fed up of being so uncomfortable in the latter part of pregnancy. You may well have seen my tweets at all hours explaining lack of sleep, restless legs, feeling hot, backache and painting my nails over and over to take my mind off of symptoms.

I’ve had more baths than the Romans and swimming has definitely been a saviour!

I’m like a vampire – I’m wired at night and feel like I have the worst jet lag during the day so I normally give in and sleep!

I’ve watched everything on TV through the night and thank god for catch-up TV! I now feel I know Kirstie Allsopp personally and I want her to find me a house!
I’ve learned that the shop assistants on “I found the gown” deserve medals with all the bridezillas they deal with and I know more about criminal minds than I ever wanted to know…

Have you seen Bring Back Borstal? It is such a great programme capturing the complexities of reforming young men from violence and crime to a better way of life the old school way. There are real characters on the show and it’s interesting how the volunteers all say that Borstal is much harder than prison but yet it had a higher success rate with criminals not re offending.

I found myself willing some of them to move on and feeling sad that some of them just won’t ever know anything different. If you haven’t seen it – check it out.

Baby boy’s nursery is all done apart from curtains, our baby bath arrived for him and my bags are packed and ready to go. I treated myself to some lovely slippers and dressing gown and a comfy little dress from Next for the hospital.

 Baby boys friends are waiting for him!

Baby boy’s friends are waiting for him!

I went to hospital today for one of my last checks – I was worried the baby wasn’t moving enough – so I was wrapped in Velcro monitors and heard baby’s heartbeat and lots of moving around -hurrah all was well!! I was meant to press a button every time I felt him move but I was so tired from no sleep that I kept nodding off!! The staff are so pleased and excited for me and I feel like I’m in the best hands.

 Listening to my little boys heartbeat but feeling rather big now! :)

Listening to my little boy’s heartbeat but feeling rather big now! :)

Mum came over again to disinfect the house for me (she knows I’m OCD with it right now) and she did such a great job!! Better than the pros!! She was singing away in the bathroom with all her buckets and sponges and making that mummy magic that only mums can create to make you feel like everything will be alright.

Right I’m off to bed to try and sleep… (Who am I kidding?)

It’s very likely that next time I write my blog I will have a little bubba next to me!!

Wish me luck!!

Martine xxxx

A matter of weeks until Master McManus arrives!


So, it’s all feeling very real and exciting now – it’s a matter of weeks till Master McManus makes his appearance into the world.

His nursery furniture arrived this morning – much to my dismay as the handymen were banging and smashing about to the point it felt like the walls were going to cave in and I hadn’t slept a wink!

Getting my bleach fix!

Getting my bleach fix!


Baby boy was wriggling like crazy and my lower back was really hurting – on top of all that my restless leg syndrome was clanging and I feel shattered.

My love for bleach and dettol has only increased and I was scrubbing floors inhaling the chlorine smell with a big smile on my face – Jack thinks I’ve list the plot but it makes me so happy I don’t care!

My Bugaboo Cameleon arrived this week – I love it! I ordered the cream and black colours with sheepskin inserts as it’s so cold and it’s looks so luxurious.


My lovely Bugaboo Chameleon arrived!

My lovely Bugaboo Chameleon arrived!


A lovely lady came to demonstrate how it all works – it’s a real gadget to master with all its different options but they really do think of everything and they truly are brilliant.

I ordered some amazing skin care – I want to feel as nice as possible for my little arrival. Linda Meredith used to do all my facials when I lived in central London and I still adore her skin care. It’s so great when through all the hype of beauty these days, products actually make a difference – and hers do. She is the best mix of old school with new developments in skin care combined.


Linda Meredith Gel Cleanser. I love the cleansing gel and the hydrating mist from the Linda Meredith skincare range

Linda Meredith Gel Cleanser. I love the cleansing gel and the hydrating mist from the Linda Meredith skincare range


As soon as I can I’m going for a bespoke facial with her – everything tightens and glows and as a tryer and lover of all things beauty I still don’t think you can beat a good firm, thorough facial -bespoke to your personal skin for fantastic results.


Linda Meredith Hydrating mist.

Linda Meredith Hydrating mist.


I’m off to buy some industrial strength bleach! And I’m really excited…. Is that normal? What HAS happened to me?????!!!!!

Till next time!

Martine xxxxxx

Christmas celebrations, pregnancy pampering and my wishes for 2015

Hi All!! Did you all have a Merry Christmas?
Hope you enjoyed the festive season!
I tried to plan things perfectly but a lot of it went squiffy so I decided to just go with the flow and embrace the uncertainty…
My baby bump is starting to feel so heavy now! And my bladder has definitely been affected! Even walking can sometimes affect things! I feel like I’m a hippo trying to get in and out of bed and the baby is so active at night that I often find myself going downstairs to watch TV and take my mind off things… Im really into Rice Krispies at night too, Yummy!
My hubby Jack was writing with some producers for a new music project and the guys told him how great the hotel Chewton Glen is… I felt quite tired and Jack suggested I go there with him as the studio was near by and I could be pampered… Realising that this time really is the calm before the baby madness I instantly took him up on the offer!
I stayed in one of their tree houses – it was so beautiful and peaceful. I had a log fire burning and soaked in the steaming hot tub on the balcony, exhaling in to the crisp cold air whilst looking at the beautiful view of dense forest and twinkling fairy lights. Heaven!
I indulged in the most amazing hot chocolate and cookies and the spa was wonderful for mum to be massages. I had some lovely swims in their huge pool and generally relaxed.  Everyone was so lovely and discreet – the golf buggies that transport you around were great fun too – I would definitely go back.
Now I’m nesting more than ever – I just want to scrub the floors and I’m obsessed with the smell of dettol – I keep filling up the sinks and baths with it and cleaning everything I get my hands on! I know it’s a bit odd but I can’t stop myself and my perfectionist attitude is making me a bit grumpy when things don’t go to plan but I’m blaming it all on the baby!!
I have one of my last appointments with my doctor in the New Year… I’m scared and excited now!
I have no New Year’s resolutions but a wish for my baby boy to be healthy and happy! I just want to say thank you all so much for all your kindness and support through 2014 and may 2015 be your best year yet!!!
Lots of love
Martine x

My amazing baby shower and filming with Keith Lemon

Hello all!

Hope you are well and aren’t freezing your bits off in this change of weather.
I personally love this time of year and since I’ve been pregnant I’m always really hot so it’s nice to balance my body temperature out with the cold, crisp weather!

As you may have seen in the press or on my Instagram I had an amazing baby shower!


To be honest I really wasn’t bothered about doing it as I felt it was all added pressure leading up to Christmas – but I’m so glad my friends insisted and it all went ahead. A couple of my dear friends suggested I do something small and a bit different and knew someone at the restaurant China Tang at the Dorchester who could arrange a private room and some Chinese finger food along with afternoon tea – they bought me some big gold balloons spelling baby boy and dressed the room beautifully with candles and red roses.

We listened to a mixture of old 80s songs and Christmas favourites and I was bought so many presents I felt overwhelmed! It was such a lovely day – thanks to my friends for arranging something so special.



I’ve been filming a bit this month – I’m making a small appearance in a new Keith Lemon project that is of course very funny and naughty! But I’m not able to say much more at this point – after all it’s not my project, but I laughed lots and Leigh Francis is such a lovely and clever man. I felt pretty mahoosive in my outfit – it wasn’t my best look but at 8 months pregnant I can’t grumble too much!!




I also filmed for one of my favourite music channels this week – Vintage TV – I found it so hard picking my favourite songs!! I’m so passionate about music and I loved recording every second. The videos brought back such great memories. I’m so lucky I was a child of the 80s!




I went to see my homeopath again last week. She has helped me so much with my m.e symptoms and my pregnancy. It’s all a work in progress but I feel remarkably well all things considered. I’ve been swimming lots – it’s heaven as you feel weightless and it’s really energising. I still don’t understand exactly how homeopathy works… All I know is that it works! I’m always amazed how nature has so many answers for us.

I’m getting irritable legs at night- it’s driving me bonkers as I can’t sleep and I need the loo more often! Oh the joys of pregnancy! Not long left to go now!

Sending you all lots of love and festive cheer!

Martine xxxx

Picking the perfect nursery and my latest photoshoot

Can’t believe how quickly time is whizzing by!!! I’m now 28 weeks pregnant… And I still don’t have any practical baby stuff ready for my little prince – BAD MUMMY!!

Seriously though, I do have my eye on some beautiful baby nursery furniture – I really love that French/Italian decadent style for when the baby’s are young – it feels like their own little palace without being too gauche!


I went to see my obstetrician last week and apparently my pregnancy is text book – hurrah! Baby boy’s heart was beating loud and clear and my measurements match up with my time of pregnancy perfectly.
I’m in the middle of deciding whether to have a natural birth or a caesarean as due to my M.E a natural birth could be a huge strain on my strength and a couple of new mums I know with the M.E illness have wanted to go down the natural route only to have a relapse after the birth to the point they struggled to even pick their babies up – it’s absolutely heartbreaking.

What I’m discovering with pregnancy is that everyone has an opinion but ultimately no two pregnancies are exactly alike and you have to follow on your own gut instincts regarding your own personal journey ,your goals and your limitations. I’m quite nervous about the birth – I want to make the right choice for me and my baby but I know in the end the right thing will reveal itself to me!!

I went to Chester last weekend to see my cousin Carrine and family – some of them are in Switzerland for Christmas itself so we decided to celebrate early – any excuse!

Chester is such a beautiful and friendly place – it feels like a second home to me now as I’ve been visiting since I was 8 years old. The historic buildings draped in decorations looked beautiful and the whole weekend was magical.
Carrine has always been such a source of stability for me – she’s extremely bright and funny and has wonderful morals.
She’s watched the roller coaster journey I’ve had with my career and whenever I’m with her I just feel like we are normal teenagers in love with wham and practising dance moves in the mirror! Carrine is a teacher and mum and doesn’t get much time to pamper herself so I took us to get our nails done, we shopped and ate and drank before we exchanged secret Santa presents with my Aunty Kimmy It was really magical – I kept thinking how even more exciting it will be with my own son around soaking up the excitement of it all.


I also did a photoshoot for my friend Gary Cockerill – he is mostly known for his celebrity work but he truly is the most amazing make up artiste. He can transform me to the point I’m un recognisable in a good way!
He’s been asked to do a beautiful make up book and I’m one of his subjects. The team and I had such a giggle and the end result was stunning! I’ve done lots of shoots but the whole idea was brilliant. Sadly I can’t show you the pictures as they are exclusive for Gary’s actual book but here’s me behind the scenes with the team being glammed up!


Anyway I Hope YOU are all well and getting organised for Christmas! Where HAS the year gone?!

Till next time

Lots of love
Martine xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Nesting and preparing for Christmas!

Wow, I think I’m getting the nesting bug big time! I want lots of new things and everything in its place yesterday! I feel this overwhelming urge to make everything perfect in the home for Christmas – I do like to sort things for Christmas every year (I love it) but I’m on an another level I assure you! I’m trying not to stress out or get too frustrated.

I’m addicted to looking at all things baby online and I’m making lists about lists and and re organising things when I can…. Who have I become?! Haha!

I am finally looking properly pregnant at just over 7 months! I’m enjoying strutting about proudly showing off my bump. Mostly I’m eating healthy and walking lots but I’m also enjoying relaxing about everything and having a little of what I fancy – it’s really liberating actually!

I am still feeling pretty tired, so I’m thinking of getting some juices from Jason Vale delivered – after a couple of days I always feel so great on them! It’s like having the best supplement pill in the world and it’s all natural and organic. I do make juices myself but I do love the simplicity of the delivery. This time last year I went to Jason’s retreat in Portugal for a week – it was wonderful – the first 3 days I felt a bit fatigued but I got through the week and by the end of it I felt like I was flying! I am definitely going to give him a call!

I would like to thank JoJo Maman Bebe for the beautiful gifts they sent for both me and my baby boy. They are so gorgeous.

I am meeting producers over the next two weeks regarding a couple of film roles… One part is extremely sexy and it feels so weird going to meetings with my big bump! What on earth will I wear?!

I’m off to meet my best friend who is back in the uk after a long time abroad with work and she wants to help me sort out my baby shower… All rather American but I’m up for being made a fuss of!

Hope you are all keeping well in the cold and rain… Speak soon!

Martine xxxx

I love this soothing living Room. I really want a sofa like this!

I love this soothing living Room. I really want a sofa like this!

Thanks for the baby treats guys.

Thanks for the baby treats guys.

Aaaah a little jumper for a little man.


As I’m nesting I even got this great make-up case to organise the bathroom Kardashian style! I love it!


Time to banish fatigue and get juicing baby!


I’m officially six months pregnant – not long to go now!

Hi all!

Well, my vegetarian days are over – I like chicken and roast beef again – admittedly I’m still not as into it as I was but I had the most amazing roast at the weekend – I loved every bit of it!
It’s so strange how dramatically your taste buds change during pregnancy! I’m still craving alcohol big time… It’s unusual as Ive never been a big drinker – knowing I can’t have it makes me want it more of course but I often day dream of the bitter/sour taste of vodka and beer… Oh well I can dream!


A roast for 2…. Or maybe just me!

I am officially six months pregnant this week – Not long to go now!

My belly is still pretty small but when I eat, it can triple in size! No one tells you that! My friend Sam took me for dinner at the Buddha Bar and by the end of the evening I looked like I swallowed a beach ball! My dress felt so tight that I was convinced it would split! I had a few people asking for pictures and getting up and down with the with the belly and high heels was definitely a challenge – I never realised how a bump can throw off your balance…

I’m starting to feel uncomfortable sleeping on my front and although my baby bump is fairly small I can still feel it getting in my way whilst bending to do up my shoes! Baby boy is definitively getting more active. He loves moving about lots at night! I feel lovely when I know he’s jigging about but sometimes I get embarrassed as he jolts me when I’m on my own and I jump or whince slightly and look like a nutter!


Me and Samantha after Buddha Bar – I couldn’t fit my bump in!

Its also definitely time to get some stretchy clothes or go up a size!

I didn’t think I’d be a maternity clothes girl but I’ve been looking at the Seraphine website and it’s brilliant. I love the fact the clothes are still classy and cool despite catering for mums to be…. No frumpy bits! I’m definitly going to treat myself soon.

I’ve been looking at the cutest little outfits for boys and bought a little white and baby blue hooded towel. As I unwrapped the packaging I felt choked and tearful – It’s truly happening! I’m bringing a baby into the world! At that moment I felt an overwhelming love and protection for a little person that I haven’t met yet… It was such a beautiful moment and I often pop into the baby room for another snuggle with the soft towel!


I want this outfit from Seraphine so much!

Talking of tearful, I must admit I’ve been very emotional! I’ve been sobbing at TV shows (even funny ones) and at life in general! I’m sensitive and find I want to be around Jack more than ever. I feel I need my friends and family more and I’m craving a bit of love and support all round. God help them!

In the next few weeks I’m getting the nursery ready – I want it ready before my favourite time of year – Christmas!!!!!!!!! Time is flying and I’m a mamma on a mission!

Lots of love to you all!

Martine xxxx

I’ve already started nesting… !

Hello you lot!

Hope you are all well and dealing with the changeable weather.I don’t mind admitting that I’ve been looking like a crazy eccentric woman with my outfit choices at the moment- summer dress with warm padded coat and sandals?! NOT a good look!

But I genuinely wasn’t sure what to do as four seasons in one day isn’t easy to dress for – especially whilst pregnant! I got a few funny looks – but hey ho!

I think I’ve already started nesting – I’ve been loving rearranging the house and I’m wanting to redecorate the whole place! Jack thinks I’ve gone mad…




I finally went to meet my midwife last week and she was lovely! We went through all my medical history and she was very gentle with my blood tests so that was a relief – I hate needles!

She told me to book in for antenatal classes now as they get booked up and that I may well meet new mummy-to-be friends there – I got a pang of the reality of it all and felt nervous and excited.

Unfortunately my cold turned out to be a nasty chest infection – I prefer not to take medication but they strongly suggested it in case the infection led to more complications for me and the baby.

I’ve been looking at so many labels and there is so much you can’t take whilst pregnant… Just goes to show how bad some of the things we take can be!

This week I did some filming and a little piece to camera for Hugh Grant – he’s promoting his latest movie and ITV wanted me to ask him a couple of questions as a surprise during his interview.

Did any of you see him on The Graham Norton show with Emma Thompson? Weren’t  they hilarious together? That was the closest to the real Hugh I know that I’ve seen on TV – fabulously wicked, self deprecating and funny.



Whilst watching it, I felt a bit sad that I got unwell with the ME illness when I did – I could’ve have filmed so much more and part of me missed being on that sofa with such amazing talent, but I soon pulled myself together and realised that I’m so lucky to have recovered as much as I have and I achieved so much so young and now the present and the future is what really matters – not the past – and the future does look rosy!

I was in the studio this week and worked on some new material for my album – I’m SO proud of it so far.

I’m not just saying it – but my husband Jack is truly a great talent and with his friends being such world class musicians and writers, I feel spoiled to hear and record such quality work.

Baby boy seems to love it too as he has a little jig whenever he hears music already!

That’s it for now! Over and out and I will have more news in 2 weeks!

Big kiss,
Martine xxxx

Featuring WPMU Bloglist Widget by YD WordPress Developer