Thank you so much for reading my blog! As usual it’s been a pretty hectic few weeks as I had the most lovely birthday followed by an amazing trip back to Barbados with James and Freddie which was just fantastic. I also filmed several pieces for This Morning, including a very special item for Text Santa that will be aired on the show in December. It was such a wonderful piece to be part of and I can’t wait to see the final edit.
I’m one of those really annoying people that celebrates their birthday for as long as they possibly can! And so the festivities began with a little catch up with a couple of the Emmerdale girls; before having friends over to stay for my actual birthday; a family party the following day; and then leaving for Barbados the day after that. It was a bit of a party marathon and I was definitely ready for the rest I can tell you.
We flew to Barbados with Virgin Atlantic who I’ve never flown with before but had heard great things about. As a nervous flyer I can tell you the experience was fantastic! Not only because Freddie was an absolute dream for the whole nine hour flight (he fell asleep for just over an hour and then watched movies and played with his trains for the remainder) but because the staff were brilliant and the aircraft felt really spacious, which allowed you to actually relax.
The experience was the same on our return journey, flying on the A380 airbus I actually enjoyed the flight which really says something coming from me. The staff were so accommodating, the food was great and the selection of in-flight entertainment had me laughing my head off as I chose to watch Spy starring Melissa McCarthy (anyone who’s a fan of Bridesmaids will love this film!) I would definitely choose to fly with Virgin again and can completely understand why I’d heard such great things in the first place.
It was amazing to be back in Barbados as I’d had such a brilliant time with the team at This Morning back in August, however this trip was even better as I had my family with me. I couldn’t wait to show James and Freddie all the great things about the island.
Whilst in Barbados we stayed at the Tamarind by Elegant Hotels which was gorgeous. Situated on one of the most beautiful bays in Barbados, the Tamarind benefits from stunning white beaches which fall into turquoise waters, incredible views and in particular some of the most gorgeous sunsets I have ever witnessed in my life! Paynes Bay also houses Number 1 Sandy Lane, an exclusive property that is frequently inhabited by Rihanna. The hotel itself is relatively intimate having two pools each with their own bar and three restaurants which serve from an all-day menu.
The food was fantastic! One of my favourite things about Barbados is the food, I love eating fresh shrimp with rice and peas or blackened fish with caesar salad which you can pretty much get at most eateries as the fish, shrimp and lobster are freshly caught every day. The hotel has a really relaxed vibe and is fantastic for families – one of the reasons we chose it in the first place.
Pretty much all of the staff knew Freddie’s name by the end of our trip and even made sure he was never parted from his new BFF Woody (from Toy Story) who was nearly left behind several times after finishing up meals. It would have been an absolute disaster given that they are almost inseparable! Woody even made it onto the beautiful catamaran we took around the island.
Speaking of sailing around the island we had the most incredible time aboard the Cool Runnings luxury catamaran. With its private chef and fantastic crew, it’s definitely a treat I would highly recommend to anyone visiting the island. The crew – in particular chef Mariel – were amazing with Freddie, allowing him to steer the boat, draw pictures in the beautiful air conditioned cabin and finally introducing him to the wonderful sea turtles….he absolutely loved it, as did we! We sailed back to our hotel just as the sun was lowering in the sky which created a beautiful backdrop to what had been an amazing day that I felt incredibly grateful and thankful for.
It was an absolutely fantastic holiday which ended with a cocktail party and BBQ held by the Tamarinds management and included live music, stilt walkers and a little audience participation during the limbo act…yes I did partake in a little limbo action. It was also a trip where Freddie really progressed with his swimming, spending pretty much all of his time in the pool and finally conquering the doggie paddle…hurray! We had such a great time and a really unforgettable holiday.
Prior to going away I attended the RSPCA Animal Heroes awards in London with one of my best friends, Sharon, which was a fantastic event.
I had been asked to present an award alongside Danny-Boy Hatchard from Eastenders, who brought his beautiful dog along. There were many animals at the ceremony which was really lovely to see and it was amazing to hear their stories, from abandonment, to bravery, to intelligence and companionship, these animals were truly remarkable.
Hosted by Amanda Holden, there were many other famous faces also in attendance, including Ricky Gervais and Brian May who were both awarded with accolades for their campaign efforts of animal rights and welfare.
Although difficult at times due to the video montages and stories of horrendous animal cruelty, it was primarily a night of celebration and recognition for our beautiful animals and their amazing owners. We had a wonderful evening and it was lovely to spend some quality time with Sharon as she has been on tour with Love Me Tender the Musical.
To attend the event I wore a black midi dress with sheer panelling from BCBG Max Azria and my trusty Asos stilettos.
I’m a real fan of the little black dress as I think that it’s a real investment piece that can live in your wardrobe and be recycled year after year. It’s also a great piece for the festive season as you can use accessories to either add some sparkle or keep it cool and classic. Below is an edit of my fave LBD’s which are available to buy now ranging from high fashion to high street.
Clockwise left to right:
Bandeau Prom: River Island £86
Clutch Bag: Coast £49
Belted Mini Dress: Balmain £2305
Sheer Panelled: TFNC £23
Shoes: Kurt Geiger £120
Feather and beaded mini: £490 BCBG
Feather dress central: Alice and Olivia £655
As I said at the beginning, no sooner had I got back from Barbados I was straight back to work for This Morning on a special piece that will be shown as part of a series for ITV’s Text Santa Appeal. It involved me heading up to Edinburgh to meet with the wonderful Neilson family. This years’ Text Santa’s chosen charities are, the Make A Wish Foundation, Macmillan and Save the Children.
We were there to witness a very special wish granted by the Make A Wish foundation to the Neilson family and in particular their nine-year-old daughter Morgan. I don’t want to spoil the surprise so I won’t go into any more detail. Hopefully you’ll be able to catch the piece when it airs, but it’s safe to say it was a huge honour and privilege for me to witness it and I really had a job keeping my emotions in check.
As we’re nearing Christmas I’ve been keeping a look out for some of the best festive make-up lines, and coming in at the top spot is Chanel’s new take on their old classic rouge noir nail polish, Le top coat lame.
Originally made globally famous for being the stand out beauty look of Uma Thurman’s Mrs Mia Wallace in cult classic, Pulp Fiction, the line has been given a festive update with the addition of gold lame.
Now as far as I’m concerned every lady needs a bit of Chanel in her life and at £18 for the polish it’s the best place to start. I indeed did that very same thing at the tender age of 15 and it has been my go-to shade of cool ever since. I’ve also put together some other festive beauty buys that would either make a lovely gift for someone else or indeed a luxurious treat for yourself.
Clockwise left to right:
YSL Touch Éclat Christmas set £25
Bobbie Brown Bellini mini lip and eye palette £26.50
Lancôme Vernis in love 555 £13.50
Chanel Camelia de Plumes £42.30
Burberry Lip Mist in Oxblood £22.50
Well I shall say goodbye for now as I’ll be heading off to London later this week to present a Christmas item on This Morning followed by a quick stop at the X Factor studios. I’m very excited as I feel the competition is really hotting up now, anyway I’ll let you know how I get on and as always if you need any more information on anything I’ve posted please just let me know.
Love Natalie Anderson