I had the family holiday I’d always imagined…

Hello Everyone!!

 Hope you’re all well and enjoying the sunshine!!

Well following on from last week I managed the 7 hour flight to Dubai unscathed, I only wish I’d’ve been as chilled out as my son, who totally put me to shame as he lay in his PJs watching films before casually falling asleep, whilst I routinely sat with my hands gripped on the arm rests awaiting the slightest bump and so for me it was a VERY long flight. Oh to have no fear!!

image (1)

It was so hot this year and so I was very grateful that Freddie took swimming classes last year as thankfully he spent most of his time in the pool with us splashing about and marching up and down the shallow end singing ‘The Grand Old Duke of York’ at the top of his voice. Consequently I’m also very thankful for the invention of headphones as most of the other holidaymakers were oblivious to his very loud performances which varied between him singing lovely little songs and screeching like a banshee when he didn’t get his own way.

image

We really had the most incredible time and there were moments when I felt a bit overwhelmed as I was having the family holiday I’d always imagined we’d have when James and I first got married. It was also really lovely as whilst we were there we celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary. We’d chosen to stay at the same hotel as where we’d honeymooned and so it brought back lots of very happy memories whilst creating new ones with Freddie.

He really came into his own whilst there, I felt like he turned into a proper little boy as I watched him chatting to people and playing games with James in the pool, in particular ‘let’s pretend to be crocodiles and get mummy’. I loved it!! Listening to his laughs and squeals as they got closer to me was so wonderful as I’m away at work so much I don’t get to hear them so often.

We also paid a visit to the Dubai Mall which was amazing as it hosts the largest indoor Aquarium. Freddie’s face was such a picture when he saw all the amazing creatures swimming around. All in all we had a really fabulous time, in fact I was quite sad when we came home. Oh well I’ll just have to book again for next year!
So no sooner had I unpacked my case from Dubai I had to pack again for a little trip to London with the Emmerdale gang as we were nominated for Best Soap at the Freesat Awards. Even though sadly we didn’t pick up the prize (that went to our Corrie cousins) it was a really fun night. As I’d been away it was lovely to catch up with people and see what everyone had been up to. Most people had taken part in a huge charity event in Aberdeen which takes place every year. This year was particularly successful as the Emmerdale team helped to raise over £100,000 pounds for the Funding Neuro charity. http://fundingneuro.com
image (2)
I’m really proud to be part of Emmerdale as I feel as a collective we try so hard to raise funding and awareness for so many different charities. We have a cycling time, a running team, a charity band, a football, cricket and netball team, everyone tries to get involved in whatever way they can.
I’m heading off to Royal Ascot this weekend, which I’m so excited about! I love having a little bet on the horses and Ive been quite inspired by my Ascot themed Hello shoot for my outfit choice. I normally choose monochrome but I’ve gone for quite a striking colour this year. No doubt I’ll post some pictures in next weeks blog and let you know if I had any big wins. Fingers Crossed!!
image (3)
Bye for now!
Love Natalie Xx

Fun on BGT and my super glamorous HELLO! shoot

Hello Everyone!!

As always thank you so much for reading my blog and for leaving your comments.

It’s been a manic couple of weeks with a trip to Britain’s Got Talent, filming Emmerdale and a super glamorous HELLO! shoot, and that’s at the same time as trying to pack up my family for our holiday to Dubai!!

image

Britain’s Got Talent was so much fun and I am so pleased that my favourites Collabro were the winners of the whole competition. I’ve championed them from the start as I thought the were all individually very talented but as a collective they were amazing!! Their vocals were beautiful and complemented each other wonderfully and I felt they were different to anyone else on the market as they were a musical theatre harmony group as opposed to opera or swing which we’ve already seen before. I think my opinion was also helped by the fact they chose songs from one of my favourite musicals ‘Les Miserables’. I went to watch the last semi-final with my lovely friend Nikki as I was appearing on Britain’s Got More Talent alongside the super gorgeous and glamorous Laura Whitmore and Jason Gardiner. It was a really fun show which saw me not only giving my opinions on the acts of the night but also dancing away to the Klaxons and playing ‘Give us a clue’ with its original host and legend Lionel Blair! I absolutely loved it and I think Stephen Mulhern was even more brilliant than normal, this years slightly different format really suited him. All in all Nikki and I had a brilliant night which ended with super late night food in soho and a rickshaw back to our hotel! Only the best for us!

image

Last week I flew to London to do a gorgeous ‘what to wear for Ascot’ shoot for HELLO! I’ll actually be attending the meeting on the 21st of June so it was fantastic to get some tips and advice as the rules for the dress code can be really strict. It was a fabulous day albeit absolutely freezing! None of us could believe it. There we were shooting beautiful summer clothes and it felt about 2 degrees. Nevertheless it was still a really fun day and definitely one of the most glamorous shoots I’ve ever done. The team on the shoot were so lovely and really helped me feel at ease as obviously I’m not a model even though I do really enjoy dressing up. I loved how daring the stylists choices were as it made me feel even more distanced from myself, I felt like I was a 1950’s Parisian socialite in some of the outfits! I loved it! Diana, the photographer really helped me to get into character too as she has the most gorgeous Venezuelan accent that made me feel a million miles away from London and she was also really helpful at giving me lots of direction so I could get into character otherwise it’s very easy for me to become really self conscious as obviously I’m an actress and not a model. I can’t wait to see the final pictures, fingers crossed they look as glamorous as I felt doing them.

image

After the Ascot shoot I hopped back on a flight to Leeds, which was actually quite a big deal for me as I absolutely hate flying and yet there I was on a 40 minute flight home all by myself!! I’ve found the best thing for me is to actually get a window seat so that I can see exactly what’s going on outside and almost convince myself that I’m flying the plane in a kind of Krypton Factor way, otherwise I get freaked out quite easily, the slightest bump has my heart beating ten to the dozen. The flight was also good practice for the 7 hour flight to Dubai I was about to embark on the following day. Eeeek!!!

image

Anyway I can tell you all about that next week as I’ve probably waffled on as always, so I’ll say goodbye for now and speak very soon.

Lots of love

NatalieXx

Seeing my dresses on the British Soap Awards red carpet was amazing!

Hello everyone!!

Thank you so much for reading my blog. It’s really lovely to hear your thoughts so please feel free to leave your comments.

What a weekend!!! After months of planning and preparation the day of the British Soap Awards finally arrived and more importantly for us, we launched our ‘Enais Chapman’ online boutique. I was so nervous I could hardly breathe.

Untitled-1

Although it was quite a stressful weekend it was also so much fun. I loved being with the Emmerdale gang. There’s only a few occasions throughout the year where a lot of us can get together as our work schedules are so hectic, people generally need to spend their free time with their families. However this weekend the majority of the cast and crew came out to play and despite only picking up one award at the ceremony, albeit a fantastic award (we won Most Spectacular Scene) everybody really seemed to let their hair down. I think what’s really lovely about our cast is that we are incredibly supportive of the other soaps as we know how tough it can be working on what at times can feel like a treadmill of never-ending episodes and so we were really pleased for Corrie and particularly Julie Hesmondlaugh and David Neilsen (Hayley and Roy) on picking up so many awards for their excellent portrayal of the ‘Hayley’s cancer storyline’. I personally was also absolutely thrilled for Hollyoaks and their Best Soap award as like us they tend to be the underdog and so it was a wonderful achievement for all involved.

nat2

The weekend was also a huge achievement for all of the Enais Chapman team as four of our dresses were showcased on the red carpet and our website and online boutique were officially opened. As I said I have been so nervous these past few weeks as obviously we are opening ourselves up to criticism and opinion however we have received some really positive feedback about the collection which is amazing. Our Harlow gown (the dress I wore on the evening) has even made it onto several of the best dressed lists which is absolutely amazing!! It was such an wonderful feeling seeing the other girls in their dresses too. To watch them evolve from sketch to toile to production and then finally gracing the red carpet was incredible. Laura Norton who plays Kerry Wyatt opted for a bespoke apple green creation which we aptly named the Laura gown and Roxy Shahidi wore our Cate gown which will be available later in the year and Michelle Hardwick wore our Bergman gown. Anyway it’s back to business for us now as alongside working on our next made-to-order collection we are also developing the Ready to Wear side of our label which will be available online in the autumn. No doubt we will be buried in sketches and swatches over the next few months, however as always I’ll keep you all posted with how it’s going.

nat3

nat4

This week I also revealed my inner minx as I took part in playing an epic trick on my on-screen husband Matthew Wolfenden for ITV2 show ‘Tricked’. If you’ve not seen the show show before it basically sees magician Ben Hanlin play tricks and perform illusions on famous faces. Our trick was incredible and we really got Matthew good. He had absolutely no idea that he was being tricked which I found hilarious as he’s always poking fun at me and telling me how gullible I am. Unfortunately I can’t give away any real details about the trick itself however I can assure it’s one you won’t want to miss when the new series airs in September!!

nat5

Matthew and I with magician Ben Hanlin.

I’m absolutely loving Britain’s Got Talent this year and so I’m incredibly excited to be going to the live finals this Saturday as I’m appearing as a guest on Britain’s Got More Talent. I think BGMT is having it’s best series ever as everyone looks like they are having so much fun although having watched last night’s first live show I’ll admit I’m a little worried about what the lovely Stephen Mulhern has got in store for me as last night it was games galore…oh well I just need to remember I was once Justin Beiber on national TV, I don’t think anything will ever beat that in terms of making a fool of myself. I’ll be sure to fill you in on all of the fun and gates.

Untitled-6

Anyway I’ll say bye for now and speak soon.

Lots of love

Natalie X

P.s. We celebrated my lovely hubby James’ birthday too this weekend. I think Freddie enjoyed the chocolate cake don’t you….look at his mouth!

I’m so inspired by the red carpet gowns at Cannes for my own dress line

Hello everyone!!

Thank you so much for reading my blog and for leaving your comments, they’ve been so lovely to read, especially the recent ones about our dress line. They’ve been extremely encouraging, particularly as I’ve been feeling a little frazzled over the last week and so in need of a good energy boost. As my mum would say I’ve definitely been burning the candle at both ends, learning lines, performing with the Emmerdale band, travelling to London, having dress fittings and design meetings and trying to build our business, whilst of course being a wife and mummy. Oh the perils of being a modern day woman! I’m starting to feel really ready for my holiday to Dubai, which thankfully is only a few weeks away. I’ve splurged on a few nice treats for my trip as since I went on honeymoon (a whole 6 years ago) I now have a thing where I can’t go away without a couple of shiny new bits and bobs e.g. make up, handbag, bikinis, beach wear etc AND I have to dress appropriately for the airport and plane, which for most sensible people is comfortably, however for me it’s anything that Joan Collins would deem to be acceptable i.e. heeled shoes, huge sunglasses, smart/casual dress and a little pashmina (in case I get a bit chilly…of course). In my head I’m totally sashaying around like 1950’s Elizabeth Taylor, however in reality I probably look a little bit worse for wear with grubby hand prints all over me, baby wipes hanging out of my pocket and shin and heel bruises from where I’ve walked into Freddie’s pram, still I refuse to give in to dropping my standards of Joan Collinsness and so will persevere with trying to be incredibly glamorous….(I’ll let you know how I get on with it).

natalie1

As I said it’s been a manic week or so, with the highlight being seeing Eden Taylor-Draper (Emmerdale‘s Belle Dingle) in our first Enais Chapman gown. It was an incredibly special moment as Eden had chosen us to design her prom dress, which I felt was a real privilege as proms have become extremely popular in the UK over the last 10 years and choosing the right prom dress has become nearly as important as choosing the right wedding dress. I suppose you could say the prom dress is a ‘coming of age dress’ and that’s exactly what it was for Eden. I along with the rest of the country have watched Eden play Belle Dingle for the last decade. She’s grown from being a tiny, cute little girl with a cheeky smile into a beautiful, elegant and truly talented young lady and so to be part of that moment in time when she’s saying goodbye to her schooldays and embarking on the next chapter of her life was truly special. Needless to say we all had a little tear, and I have to say it was the most lovely, rewarding feeling when she said how much she loved the gown and how amazing she felt in it. It was also wonderful to get such a positive response from her parents as designing for a 16-year-old can be a little daunting. Obviously you want to keep the client happy, but at the same time reassure the parents that you’re not going to put them in something more appropriate for the Moulin Rouge. I hope you’ll agree that Eden looked absolutely stunning and we were all very proud of her.

natalie2

As the Soap Awards are drawing nearer we’ve also been doing numerous fittings as we are dressing a few girls (including myself) for the event. I love doing fittings as that’s when you see a dress really take shape and work with a person’s body. It’s so important to get the right fit, that extra half inch really does make all the difference and you can always tell the moment the perfect fit happens as suddenly the person who you’re fitting totally changes the way they carry themselves. They become more confident and they stand upright with their spine elongated which looks really elegant. Essentially this is what Kate and I want to capture as we want every woman who wears one of our dresses to feel – strong, confident and elegant. I really can’t wait until we open our online boutique and present our collection to the general public. Only 2 weeks to go!!

natalie3

It’s an extremely glamorous time of year as obviously we’ve just had the Met Ball held in New York and now the Cannes Film Festival is under way. I’m really looking forward to seeing all of the beautiful gowns that will be showcased on the red carpet over the next few days. Kate and I will be watching with an extremely close eye as these events provide us with so much inspiration when designing pieces for our collections. I think my favourite look from last year was Cara Delevigne at the premiere of The Great Gatsby movie. I thought she looked incredible, the jewels, the dress, the make-up were all perfect and really channelled old Hollywood in an extremely modern way. Everything that I like!

natalie4

Whilst obviously prepping for the Awards with Kate and overseeing the art direction for our branding, I also travelled to London this week for a couple of meetings regarding the development of the label into next year, which was very exciting. I really enjoy the business aspect of building a company and admire women like Karen Brady and Michelle Mone, who are incredibly strong, intelligent women who built their own hugely successful companies at a young age and are now incredibly influential in the business world. This is definitely my kind of girl power and something that one day I hope to have myself. Speaking of girl power I’m also a huge fan of Victoria Beckham and find her transition from pop star to fully-fledged designer incredibly inspiring. Building a company whilst being a mother to four children is an amazing achievement and so I have huge admiration for her.

Anyway I’m going to stop talking now and say hope you all have a lovely weekend and speak again soon.

Love Natalie Xx

An exclusive glimpse of my first red carpet collection

 

Hello Everyone,

Thank you so much for reading my blog. Its been lovely to read your comments, please keep them coming.

First things first. I am absolutely loving the longer evenings and milder temperatures, in fact, it’s been that warm in Leeds I was actually able to sit out in my garden and I even had to apply sun cream as the sun was so strong. I definitely feel like summer is here and more importantly HOLIDAYS are on the way!! Hurray.

Last weekend, myself and the Emmerdale band “The barmaid and the vets” performed at the Lucy Mai Sanderson spring ball in Leeds. We had a fantastic time and it was so lovely being back on stage together, as our last big gig was in the autumn. We had a rehearsal early on in the week to brush off the dust so to speak, and thankfully we weren’t too rusty!! A wonderful night was had by all.

 

emmerdaleband2-z

 

This weekend was absolutely manic as we were shooting the images for our Enais Chapman debut collection lookbook and website. It was an absolutely fantastic day and we had an amazing team including photographer Rob Evans and international make-up artist Scott Beswick. In keeping with the whole theme and ethos of our brand, I wanted the images to have a very vintage Hollywood feel whilst still being quite modern, which I think Rob captured excellently. The make up was also divine. Scott created the Great Gatsby esque/ Hollywood starlet look absolutely perfectly, i got so excited seeing the models and that was before they’d even stepped into our gowns. When they finally did, my heart was in my mouth and I felt overwhelmingly nervous as it was the first time anyone else had seen or worn our collection. Upto now it had only been Kate and I working on them on either mannequins or me. I felt incredibly relived when each model said how gorgeous the dresses were and how they felt really beautiful in them!

 

dressshoes3-z

 

It was also extremely encouraging when the rest of the team also commented on how gorgeous they were. Nevertheless I still don’t think I actually breathed properly until the end of the day when I felt we’d captured everything we needed too.

 

dressshoes4-z

 

Our dresses were beautifully accessorised with stunning headbands and bracelets and necklaces from bespoke jeweller Victoria Walker, who is incredibly talented and hand makes vintage inspired pieces. With a pumping soundtrack in the background and Rob snapping away, the models worked both the dresses and the gowns brilliantly. It felt quite strange to be on the other side, making decisions about set ups, styling and hair and makeup as I’m so used to being in front of the camera. However, I thoroughly enjoyed it, when I could breathe that is. It was incredibly satisfying for both myself and Kate to finally see the collection on people and we are so excited to open our made to order online boutique at the end of the month. I can’t wait for you all to see the final edit of the images. Also keep your eyes peeled at the British Soap Awards as you may well be seeing a couple of our bespoke gowns on the red carpet. Needless to say I’m very excited, albeit incredibly nervous.

 

Screen grabs and behind the scenes

Screen grabs and behind the scenes

 

Anyway as always I’ll say goodby for now and speak very soon.

Love Natalie xx

Ps had a slightly worrying experience at the hairdressers, I thought I was being attacked by darlecks!! It all turned out fine in the end though! Xxx

 

hairdressers6-z

 

Easter was the perfect family weekend – Freddie looked so cute trying to be a big boy!

Hi everyone,

Thank you so much for reading my blog!! Please feel free to leave your comments.

I hope you’ve all had a wonderful Easter and are not feeling too stuffed full of chocolate! I was lucky enough to have most of the bank holiday weekend off which was amazing and a real rarity with our schedule at Emmerdale and so I spent it having some quality time with my husband and family.

nat2

Firstly James and I took ourselves off to the gorgeous Titanic Eco spa in Linthwaite in Huddersfield for the day which was lovely. When we arrived we had lunch and a glass of champagne before changing into the comfiest robes I have ever worn and slippers. I absolutely loved being able to wonder around in a dressing gown without anyone batting an eyelid as I spend so much time in Alicia’s tiny Lycra outfits, holding yourself in all day is a workout in itself!! We then enjoyed the Heat and Ice experience, which consists of visiting several different treatment rooms of varying temperatures one after the other, well I say enjoyed, standing in a freezing cold room and rubbing ice into your body most definitely wasn’t a highlight however was much needed after spending 10 mins in the steam room which felt as hot as Dubai. It’s fantastic for your circulation and getting all of the toxins out of your body apparently, I definitely felt better for it and was ready for our decleor hot stone massage. The massage was bliss!! Beginning with an aromatic exfoliation treatment and mask, the therapist then applied hot stones to my back and shoulders, which felt quite strange at first but then was amazing as the heat began to penetrate into my muscles. I really suffer with tension in my upper back and shoulders and so I can be quite sceptical with treatments as more often than not I find that although they can be lovely and relaxing they don’t tend to actually alleviate the tension, however this treatment definitely did as it was quite intense. Afterwards I was so relaxed I thought I was going to fall over! However we were then lead into a gorgeous chill out room with low lighting and huge bean bags where we preceded to fall asleep for AN HOUR!! An absolute luxury for any parent, is being able to have an hour’s sleep during the day. All in all we had a fantastic time and I would definitely recommend it to anyone in need of some chill out time!

nat3

We then headed off to Whitby for the rest of the Easter break to spend time with our friends and family. It was fab!! All together there were about 10 of us there for the weekend, including my mum and her friends, our friends and us. It was so lovely as it reminded me of my own childhood holidays at the beach. My mum used to invent games for us to play when the weather was bad or she’d march us all down to the the beach armed with wind shields, towels, deck chairs and some form of bat and ball, ready to brave the English weather and make the most of our day by engaging in competitive sports and building sand castles. We’d then have a little picnic, which would always include sandwiches and biscuits and a huge hot flask of tea. We would eventually round of the day eating fish and chips out of paper bags before heading back home and falling fast asleep due to the amount of fresh sea air we’d had. Well we pretty much did all the same things except this time there was much more wine involved!! Freddie absolutely loved it!! He ran all over the beach, built sand castles and tried to join in with a very competitive game of French cricket! He’s becoming so independent he insisted on walking pretty much everywhere, up hills, along the sea front, around the marina. He looked so cute, bless him taking everything in and trying to be a big boy. It really was the perfect family weekend.

nat1

Whilst we were there we also did a little Easter egg hunt for Freddie, which he enjoyed so much. The surprise on his face when he found each egg was priceless…”ooh there’s another one mummy!” “Basket please”. He did so well, he found every one! However now I’m stuck with about 10 Easter eggs!! Oh well. Yummy!!

Well as always I’ll say goodbye for now, I hope you had a lovely time time too!!

Love Natalie

I’m really excited about my Emmerdale storyline that airs soon!

Hi everyone,

Thank you so much for reading my blog!! Please feel free to leave your comments.

As I said last week, I’ve been pretty busy filming at Emmerdale for a storyline that airs at the beginning of May. I’m really excited to see the finished product and how everything pieces together as we’ve all had so much fun working on it over the last month. Everyone at Emmerdale works incredibly hard and I would really love to see us recognised at this year’s British Soap Awards. We’ve had an amazing year and there’s been some fantastic performances/episodes from our actors and production team. The heartbreaking moment when Lesley Dunlop had her head shaved as part of Brenda’s brain tumour story, Charlie Hardwick and Chris Chittell’s emotional portrayal of Vals HIV discovery and of course the edge of your seat, high octane scenes between Charley Webb, Lucy Pargeter, Mark Charnock and Dominic Power during our epic Storm and Siege week in October are just a few examples of how incredible Emmerdale has been over the last 12 months.

nat1

I know I’m biased and fiercely loyal but I really am keeping everything crossed that we pick something up this year as I feel we deserve it more than ever! If you feel the same then you can visit www.britishsoapawards.tv to vote for us. This year’s outfit choice however will hopefully be much less stressful as I will be wearing a dress from our new Enais Chapman collection, which is extremely exciting. The only trouble I am having is deciding which design I’d like to wear as I absolutely love them all… ah decisions, decisions!

nat2

I’ve been on the go quite a lot recently and so I have absolutely loved having a gorgeous, chilled out weekend at home with James and Freddie. Well I say chilled out, Freddie had me in the garden chasing him around with a rugby ball before I made the mistake of doing a showy off cartwheel, which then resulted in me having to go on to perform 7 more in a row!!! This I could do quite easily 15 years ago when I was a cheerleader, however now I’m afraid it’s a huge task, that requires the energy of a sugar crazed 6 year old or 5 consecutive red bulls. Needless to say I’m not a 6 year old and I hate red bull and so by the end of the seventh cartwheel I thought I was going to be sick. Definitely a party trick that is going back into the box, not to be brought out for a VERY long time! We also took Freddie to a lovely little country pub near our house where you can watch the aeroplanes taking off from Leeds and Bradford airport. He absolutely loved it and got so excited whenever one set off he shouted “Goodbye aeroplane, see u soon!” which thankfully the other diners found endearingly amusing as opposed to incredibly annoying… well it seemed like they did anyway.

After all that jumping about, I was definitely in the need for mummy’s treat time! This normally consists of a lovely relaxing candle lit bath with a glass of wine, followed by applying some gorgeous lotions and potions, (my faves being my Chanel Coco Noir perfume, Neostrata face wash and Elemis skin bliss capsules) then heading off to bed before 9.30pm… bliss!!

nat3

This weekend also saw the return of Britain’s Got Talent, which I absolutely love! I’d even go as far as to say that it’s probably my favourite of all the talent shows as each year you just never know what you’re going to get. Last years winners Attraction, were absolutely incredible and had me in tears with their moving piece of shadow theatre and this years show opener definitely didn’t disappoint. Back were the fantastic four judges, Simon, David, Alesha and Amanda ( this is my favourite judging panel line up) alongside Saturday night faves Ant and Dec, who witnessed both the crazy and sublime from a vast array of auditionees. The acts ranged from the wonderful to the very weird and had me both crying and laughing in equal measure. My favourite acts from Saturday night were, gorgeous classical boy band Collabro who performed Stars from Les Miserable so beautifully, Soprano singer Lucy Kay and my absolute favourites Paddy and Nico, a 79 year old Latin dancing grandma and her somewhat younger dance partner. My eyes nearly fell out of my head, firstly at the unbelievable acrobatic moves they performed within their routines and secondly at how incredible Paddy’s legs were at 79 years old. She puts most 20 year olds to shame. She lost her husband when she was 70 and turned to dancing to fill the void. She is an absolute inspiration and a real testament to the fact that Britain really does have talent… of all ages!

Anyway I’m going to say goodbye for now and speak very soon.

Lots of love

Natalie Xx

I’ve got a big story line on Emmerdale – stay tuned!

Hi everyone,

Thank you so much for reading my blog!! It’s been another busy couple of weeks with filming, developing the dress line and of course being a mummy, I feel like my head’s in a spin.

The highlight though was definitely Mother’s Day. Freddie woke me up with the words “Happy Mummy’s Day”, whilst holding (very carefully with both hands) a plate of toast and jam. He’d obviously been practising with his daddy and was so proud of himself that he’d got it right that he kept repeating it at the top of his voice. It absolutely melted my heart, to hear my little boy speak so clearly in his little voice was so lovely, it made me cry! I had such a gorgeous day.

After having breakfast in bed and opening my cards, my favourite being one that Freddie had made at Nursery, I came downstairs to find a present waiting in the kitchen. I opened it to find a gorgeous framed poster that had all my favourite things written on it. Old Hollywood films, roses, and Audrey Hepburn were just a few of the things featured in there. It was so personal to me and so thoughtful… I absolutely loved it! We then paid a visit to both my mum and James’ mum before heading off to one of our favourite restaurants in Ilkley, which again was another surprise. It was the perfect Mother’s Day, James definitely earned brownie points for his efforts this year ha ha!!

Untitled-3

I’ve also been very busy filming at Emmerdale over the last month as I’m part of quite a big storyline that airs in May. As always because we are filming quite a few weeks ahead I can’t give away too many details but I can say that’s its very funny which has been so lovely as the last year for my character Alicia has been very dramatic. I’ve also been working with my fantastic on-screen family, Roxy Shahidi, Joe Warren-Plant and Matthew Wolfenden, which to be honest doesn’t feel like work at all as we have so much fun together. We’ve also been filming quite a lot on location and thankfully the weather has been relatively good with even a few sunny spells. As the village at Emmerdale seems to be at a permanent 0 degrees, I can’t tell you how much of a blessing it is when the sun finally shines. Nevertheless I always love filming on location as quite often we have all the big filming rigs, lights and cranes and you’re really reminded of the fact that you are making a TV programme. It’s really easy to forget when you are in the studio a lot as everything is filmed so quickly and it runs like clockwork, there’s hardly any downtime. As I said the episodes we’ve been filming will air in May and I can’t wait to see how it all looks as we had so much fun filming everything.

Untitled-4

I’ve also been busy with our Enais Chapman dress line. Our first collection of dresses is currently in production and we are shooting the images for our first lookbook in May which is incredibly exciting. As all of our dresses are “made in Britain” by our team of seamstresses and pattern cutters it means myself and Kate have been able to oversee every step. I have absolutely loved the whole process so far, as dress design has always been a passion of mine. So much so that when I was 8 my mum bought my a mini singer sewing machine and gave me an old pair of net curtains with which I made wedding dresses for my Barbie dolls!!! It’s amazing to see the dresses come to life, from sketches to toiles and in a few weeks the final versions that will eventually go on sale in our online boutique….eek!!!

nat3

Well anyway I’ll say bye bye for now and speak again very soon.

Love Natalie xxx

P.S. I still managed to find the time for the odd girls’ night and date night with the hubs!!! Well, work hard, play hard I say ha ha!! Xx

nat4

nat5

The Mum of the Year awards was so inspiring – I can’t wait for you to see it all

These last few weeks have been super busy!!

Firstly myself and a few of the other Emmerdale girls went to the Harvey Nichols Spring/Summer fashion show in Leeds and it was brilliant!! As I’m working on the Enais Chapman line at the moment it was a bit of a school trip as I was able to observe not only the clothes but the production as a whole. The models, set, choreography and music were all fantastic and definitely gave me some food for thought as we are obviously in the very early stages of planning our first showcase.

1

However it wasn’t just an evening of learning it was definitely an evening of fun too as me and the girls enjoyed a gorgeous post-show dinner followed by some very lovely and decadent cocktails. I seem to have developed a thing for French martinis at the moment!! In fact I seem to be going through a whole French phase as my favourite saying for everything I like is “Oh it’s very French”!! Needless to say I’m extremely excited to be going to watch YSL, the Yves Saint Laurent movie with Roxy Shahidi next week as firstly it’s all about the world of fashion and secondly it’s in French!!

2

3

This weekend I was thrilled to be invited to the Tesco Mum of the Year awards held at the beautiful Savoy hotel. It was an absolutely wonderful day and I met so many amazing and inspiring women. All of the winners were so deserving and had overcome so much in their lives from beating cancer, campaigning for change within European law, channelling profound grief and selflessly giving to others who need the most help, I felt truly privileged to have spent the day with them. I was also extremely honoured to have been asked to present the Lifetime Achievement Award alongside my cast mate Jason Merrells (Declan Macey) to a wonderful Yorkshire lady. I don’t want to give too much away as the awards will be screened on Channel 5 on Mother’s Day and so you can see for yourself just how special and inspiring this particular lady is. Nevertheless I can say I was absolutely thrilled to be able to give her the award and to have had a lovely chat with her and her husband. She definitely had a few lessons for me!

4

The event was absolutely amazing and highly emotional topped off by a stunning performance by third time mum-to-be Sam Bailey. She performed her version of Shania Twain’s From this moment (one of my all-time favourite ballads) and Jennifer Rush’s Power of love. I shed quite a few tears as Sam’s voice is just so powerful and emotive and she gave one of the most incredible vocals I have ever heard. Needless to say the audience were up on their feet for standing ovations after each song!!

We’ve had some really gorgeous weather over the last week or so and so Freddie and I have taken advantage of it and got out in the garden and to the park. I can’t believe how big he’s getting so quickly!! He’s nearly 20 months now but it seems like yesterday that he was a little tiny baby. James was trying to teach him how to play rugby in our garden and I managed to get a picture of him. I couldn’t believe it when I looked at it though as he looked about three!!! Far too grown up for my liking!!

5

Anyway I’ll speak to you guys again soon!!

Love Natalie Xx

It’s all about the Oscars!!

Last night saw the 86th annual Academy Awards and with Ellen DeGeneres holding the fort it was sure to be an entertaining evening. Pizza delivery, selfies, fancy dress and Pharrell, it seemed like an awful lot of fun and somewhat less formal than previous years. There were some big winners and losers on the night. I was absolutely thrilled that Matthew McConaughey took the prize for best actor for his performance in Dallas Buyers Club as I’ve always been a huge fan of his, but at the same time so disappointed for Leonardo DiCaprio who lost out on the accolade for the fourth time despite being what I believe ‘one of the best actors of his generation’.

Cate Blanchett won the Oscar for Best Actress for a second time for her role in Blue Jasmine and looked absolutely stunning in a nude embellished creation by Armani. It was a huge night for newcomer Lupita Nyong’o who after being beaten at both the Golden Globes and the Baftas by American Hustle star Jennifer Lawrence, took home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for 12 years a Slave. Former teen heartthrob Jared Leto (anyone over the age of 30 will forever be in love with him after he played the role of Jordan opposite a very young Claire Danes in 90s teen angst series My So Called Life) won the award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in The Dallas Buyers Club. The oscar for Best Picture went to British director Steve Mcqueen’s 12 Years a Slave which was also produced by Brad Pitt and depicts the true story of Solomon Northop, but the biggest winner of the evening was Gravity which picked up 7 awards including Best Director for Alfonso Cuaron.

I personally feel that the Oscars is traditionally the most glamorous event of the awards season and as I’m launching my own design label this summer with my friend Kate Chapman I couldn’t wait to see what everyone was wearing. I have to say I felt most people played it quite safe on the red carpet last night as there were lots of column dresses, black, navy and nude and very few what I would call show-stopper gowns. I’m so old fashioned, I love to see a huge dress on the Oscars red carpet a la Oscar de la Renta, Christian Dior and Givenchy. My personal favourite from last night was Kate Hudson who looked absolutely stunning in a vintage inspired Atelier Versace creation, with its plunging neckline, exquisite beading and soft cape. Kate definitely channeled the old school Hollywood glamour that I’m a huge fan of. Kate clearly gets her style from her mum Goldie Hawn as I thought she too looked fantastic in a classic gold satin gown. My other favourite was Lupita Nyong’o custom made baby blue, pleated Prada dress which showcased her amazing physique.

1

Our label ‘Enais Chapman’ has its roots firmly set in the golden age of cinema and combines the elegance of a bygone era with modern femininity. All of our dresses blend traditional techniques and luxury fabrics with classic tailoring. My friend Kate and I are inspired by the red carpet dresses of the 30s, 40s and 50s and have designed all of our dresses with the screen icons of this era in mind. I’m a huge lover of Audrey Hepburn and Joan Crawford and Kate adores Marilyn Monroe and so our dresses combine both sexiness and subtlety. I hope that anyone who wears our dresses will feel super glamorous and like they are walking their own red carpet.

2

Kate and I are real perfectionists so it’s a good job we are such good friends as we both have very definite opinions about our designs, however nine times out of ten we completely agree on everything as our inspiration totally comes from the same place. I’m so excited to launch the collection later this year as we’ve worked so hard on all of the designs.

Anyway as always I’ll keep you posted with how everything is going.

Lots of love,

NatalieXx

PS Freddie decided he’d like to join the likes of David Beckham and get a tattoo!! What do u think?

3

And I celebrated my sister Leah’s 26th birthday!!! We had a night of fun and French martinis!!!

4

Featuring WPMU Bloglist Widget by YD WordPress Developer