September, 2013

27 September
0

Comments

‘Why I’m a great believer in fate’

Hey lovely readers,

Hope you’ve all had a good week.

I’ve had some really lovely feedback about the shoot I did for Fabulous magazine which came out last Sunday. It was a very different look for me but it’s always good to try new things and mix it up a bit.

I felt like it was the right time to talk about the underactive thyroid problem I suffer from, Hashimoto’s hypothyroid. I actually found out about it before I got pregnant with Aoife but didn’t want to focus on it back then. I’m lucky in that it doesn’t hold me back in life. Apart from the daily medication, of which I take quite a low dose, I lead a very normal existence.

I had heard of it before I was diagnosed because I had a really husky voice and it turns out that that can be one of the symptoms of the disorder. It sounded really scary at first and I was worried when I heard that it can affect your ability to conceive or could make you miscarry. Ben and I talked about it and decided that if I did get pregnant it would be a good thing, so we stopped trying not to get pregnant – and I got pregnant pretty much straight away! I had started taking the medication at that point which was lucky because otherwise getting pregnant might not have come so easily.

 

una-shoot

 

I’m glad to be raising awareness about the disorder. It’s good to get checked if you’re suffering from any of the symptoms like hair loss, low heart rate, feeling really cold, feeling depressed or gaining weight – they could be side effects of a thyroid problem.

I’ve been catching up on some TV on my days off. I’m pretty hooked on X Factor at the moment, it’s so entertaining.

I think the judges are in a very important position on a show like that. Of course there are the contestants who come along for a laugh and to provide entertainment knowing that they will never really make the grade. But there are also people on these shows who are so desperate to get into the industry and it’s very easy for them to have a negative experience that could shatter their hopes and dreams forever. Nerves can get to people and they could end their chances really quickly. I remember when I was starting out, I would go to auditions and nerves would sometimes take over my whole body, my voice, everything!

I was lucky never to have a terrible experience. I do remember auditioning for the Irish Pop Stars when I was 19. I got down to the last 32 and we all went away to a secret location. Louis Walsh was one of the judges and they told me that they saw me as more of a solo act – which obviously didn’t happen in the end! It took me a while to get my confidence back after that because I’d been very close to getting my big break. Fate took a hand and now I can see that it just wasn’t the right time for me. The group didn’t end up doing so well so I can be glad that it took me that little bit longer to find my feet in the industry.

We’ve got a gig at the Bullring in Birmingham on Saturday then we’ll be in Brighton performing at a festival on Sunday so I’ll be sharing my photos and stories with you next week.

Speak soon.

Love Una xxxx

26 September
2

Comments

My heart melted when I found out Aoife recognised me singing on TV

Hey everyone,

Did you catch Mollie, Rochelle, Vanessa and I performing on Stepping Out on Saturday night? I’m so happy to say the performance went really well. It was a huge production with all the dancers and skaters so it was great to pull it off. It’s funny because you spend what seems like ages rehearsing for a performance like that and then it’s over in a flash.

 

sats-1

 

You might have seen a photo on Twitter of us meeting Mel B. Mollie and I were properly starstruck. She walked in to our dressing room and said hi and we were trying to play it cool, and then as soon as she left me and Mollie were so excited and screaming ‘Arghh! We’ve just met Mel B!’ We couldn’t believe that someone who was once on our posters on our bedroom walls had just walked into our dressing room!

 

mel-b

 

I absolutely loved the Spice Girls when I was younger. I was the sporty one in my group of friends when I was younger so I was often likened to her. I never had a favourite though – I just loved them all and the fact that they had their own individual characteristics.

 

una-lippy

 

We managed to catch some of the performances before we went on stage and we were so impressed. The level is so high, their performances were flawless. Oritsé Williams and his girlfriend AJ Azari blew me away with their performance, they were just outstanding. Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and his wife Jackie were great, as were Brian McFadden and his wife Vogue but I do think Oritsé and AJ will pip them to the post in the final next week.

 

sats-2

 

I posted a little video of Aoife watching me and the girls performing on Saturday night. Our nanny Ruth videoed her in front of the TV in the kitchen in her highchair. At the beginning she’s leaning on her elbow, hand on her head and she’s not really bothered or watching properly. Then she starts getting in to the groove, and then she spots me and hears my voice – which is so cute to think that she’s getting more and more intelligent and recognising me and she’s just screaming ‘la la la’ and it was so cute. I couldn’t believe it when I saw it myself, my heart melted!

Speak to you all soon.

Lots of love Una xxx

24 September
0

Comments

The children I met on Una’s Dream Ticket were inspirational

Hi everyone,

Hope you had a great weekend. I’m writing this blog on my first day off in two weeks! The Sats had an exciting couple of weeks, but it was very intense. At the beginning of it I felt a bit overwhelmed about how busy it was going to be, but of course we ended up having a great time.

I finished filming my TV show Una’s Dream Ticket last week. I’m really looking forward to the show coming out. Presenting solo is something totally new to me and it was a very enjoyable experience.

 

una-dream

 

The children I interviewed and met were a real highlight of the experience.

They were all so lovely and inspirational and it was wonderful to listen to their dreams – I really fed off of their amazing energy

The Sats joined me for a day and we recorded some performances so you’ll get to see some of Vanessa, Mollie and Rochelle in the show too.

On the second day of filming, a group of around 100 girls from my hometown Thurle showed up and it was incredible to meet them. They were all very excited and they’d made some really lovely banners. Their support meant a lot to me.

 

una-girls

 

Last year I did a show called School Around the Corner where I went back to my old school and saw all my old teachers as well as the current students. It’s important to me to keep in touch with my roots. I’ve got a school friends coming over in November to visit and I love to go back when I can and see everyone Actually it was a real pity because on Saturday there was a huge reunion in my school and I missed it – but I can’t complain because I was performing with the girls on Stepping Out.

I’ve got really happy memories of my school days. Back then I thought my subjects were really boring – I’d love to go back and study history again, I’d find that fascinating now. I loved home economics, music and art. I was quite outgoing at school and we made our own fun so it never got boring.

 

una-flowers

 

I was quite involved in the drama and music side of things at school and I remember having a great time playing the Duchess in the musical Me and My Girl. Although I didn’t learn guitar at school, I played it there a lot in music classes, on open days and in my exams as well as in other people’s exams to help them out too.

I’ve got a few photos from Stepping Out to share with you in my next post so keep your peepers peeled!

Love from Una xxx

21 September
5

Comments

Lots of surprises in store for our first-ever performance of the new single Disco Love

Hey lovely readers,

Hope you’re enjoying your weekend – the Sats are building up for an exclusive, first-ever performance of the new single Disco Love tonight. We’re going to be singing live on Stepping Out on ITV at 6:30pm and we’d love you to tune in.

The Saturdays have put loads of energy into perfecting the performance this week and we’re really happy with the way it’s turned out and can’t wait for you to see it. The cover of the single gives you a little hint of what you might see but I can’t give away too much before the show starts – just know that it’s going to be really spectacular.

 

una-rehearsal

 

We’ve got lots of incredibly talented dancers involved and other exciting people there. We learnt the choreography for the dance one day last week then put it together with the dancers the next day. I love learning new routines and we always have fun when we’re in the studio.

I’m so happy to say that the Sats have had some really great feedback about our new Living For The Weekend album cover. Although the album has a very pop party vibe, we wanted to go with a more classic cover. We’re always very much involved with all the covers of our singles and albums and thought the all black outfits reflected a more sophisticated vibe.

I always read your comments and love hearing what you thought of our performances and outfits so be sure to leave your feedback on my blog.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Love from Una xxxx

 

 

19 September
2

Comments

Filming my new TV show, missing my little girl and buying gifts for Frankie’s baby boy

Hi everyone,

Thanks for reading my blog – hope you’re enjoying it.

I’m writing this post on my way back from Ireland this week. It’s so great to be working over here. I’ve been filming for my new TV show Una’s Dream Ticket. I’m presenting the show which grants under 16s their dreams and wishes so it’s a really warm, light-hearted programme and I’m loving the experience. On Monday I had a day of back to back interviews with some of the lovely contestants. They’ve been telling me about their dreams – people they want to meet or jobs they’d love to do – and they have been really sweet. It’s an RTE production so it’s only going to air in Ireland and it’ll go out towards the end of this year.

 

una-rte

 

I’m really missing my little girl Aoife this week. It’s the first time that both Ben and I have been away from her for a few days and we’re both suffering, as well as missing each other. But we know she’s being very well looked after by Ben’s parents in Cheshire and is having an amazing time. We’re checking up on her all the time and her grandmother has been telling me how she’s loving their cats and dogs and spending time with her cousins. Hopefully she’ll be calling for her Mama in a couple of days – it’s funny how you really want your children to miss you. Ben is going to pick her up today so that she’s there when I get home. I can’t bear to be apart from her for too long so I’ll be taking her with me to the Sats’ rehearsals at the end of the week.

The Sats flew over to Ireland for a couple of days because to film a performance for the show and it’s been great having them here. We’re missing Frankie of course – I saw her last week and she said she was getting a bit bored which is unsurprising given how busy life usually is as a member of the Saturdays. I told her that once her little baby boy arrives she will never, ever say those words ever again and she was happy to hear that! She’s due next month and we’re all very excited about her new arrival. It feels like Frankie’s had a bump forever so it’ll just be wonderful to meet him and I can’t wait for Aoife to meet him either. I’ve already bought a couple of baby gifts and want to get a few more bits once he’s born. It’s best not to get too many newborn outfits because they outgrow them so quickly. I want to get him some clothes for when he’s around six months old and some toys that I think he might have fun with.

I can’t believe how cold it has got recently. It’s a real shock to the system and I’ve gone from summery dresses back to tights overnight. Although I love the sunshine, there are definite advantages to the colder months like if you haven’t got time to fake tan or, dare I say it, shave your legs!

I bought an amazing Reiss coat in the sales at the end of last season that I can’t wait to start wearing. It’s a sheepskin coat and although it was a real splurge, it’s a classic investment piece that I’ll have forever. It looks so cosy and I think it’ll be really versatile too – so expect to see me wearing that a lot this winter. I’m also looking forward to digging out my favourite studded Chloe ankle boots. When it gets really cold I’ll be popping my Uggs on. I know they’re not so fashionable anymore but they just can’t be beaten for toasty feet in the winter. Aoife’s winter-ready too – I’ve got her a pair of dinky red wellies so she can splash in puddles to her heart’s content!

I can’t wait to tell you more about the Sats’ rehearsals which are taking place tomorrow… very exciting!

Speak soon.

With love, Una xxxx

18 September
0

Comments

I loved doing TV appearances for Club Penguin’s online safety campaign

Hey everyone,

I’m over in Ireland this week filming for my new TV show Una’s Dream Ticket – I’ll tell you more about that next time.

Last week I was on Daybreak and Sky News promoting Club Penguin’s online safety campaign. It’s called ‘It Starts With You’ and the idea is to get parents more involved in knowing what their kids are up to online, getting familiar with the new lingo that they’re using and encouraging children to treat each other with respect.

 

una-sky

 

I’m really glad to be an ambassador for the campaign because it’s fun as well as educational. It struck a chord with me too of course knowing that my daughter Aoife will be going online in a few years’ time. The Sats’ fan base is also quite young and very active online so I hope the campaign encourages them to use the Internet safely too.

I really hope that it’s a message that we can take forward in the future because the internet is such a fundamental part of our lives now. There are an awful lot of horror stories out there about the Internet but it shouldn’t be a scary place. The campaign wants to put a really positive spin on the opportunities that there are online and enable us to benefit from those as much as possible.

 

una-daybreak

 

Club Penguin is the perfect training ground for introducing your children to the Internet. They’ve got human moderators on there who filter anything inappropriate or negative so you have the peace of mind that your kids are interacting in a safe, positive environment.

I loved doing the TV appearances. I’m so lucky in this job that I can get involved in campaigns like this. It’s great to feel like I could be making a real difference and inspiring people.

I’m really passionate about this campaign so speaking about it came very naturally to me. I often appear on TV with the girls but not so much on my own – it does make the experience slightly more nerve-wracking but it’s important to have the confidence to stand on your own two feet and speak up for what you believe in too.

 

una-club-penguin

 

I went for quite a sophisticated look for my TV appearances – they were both high street mixes of Dune shoes, Topshop and River Island. I wore my hair loose and wavy – it’s a style I really like in the daytime.

Speak to you soon.

With love from Ireland, Una xxxx

13 September
2

Comments

Ben was ‘man of the match’ in the first game I watched

Hey everyone,

Hope you’re enjoying the weekend!

Rugby season has started which is really exciting as I got to watch Ben in his first game back. Aoife came up with me too and we cheered Ben on from the box. We sat with all the other wives and girlfriends who brought their children along so it was a really nice social thing to do. It was the second game Aoife’s watched and our team won so we were really happy. It’s really nice for Ben as well to know that we’re both there supporting — he loves that.

 

bernie

 

Aoife got to meet Bernie the team mascot and had her picture taken. It was really funny, I could tell she was trying to figure out what Bernie was, and thinking, “Is this a human? Or a giant teddy?” She realised it was a dog though and started saying, “doggie, doggie” — it was really cute.

I don’t get to watch Ben in many games because of my work schedule. The first one I ever watched was actually on Valentine’s Day. We’d only been dating a couple of months but we were quite serious from the word “go”. I remember he was “man of the match” — he was obviously trying to impress me that day! It was quite romantic really.

After the rugby we all went up to Cheshire where Ben’s family is from and went to his friend’s 30th birthday party. We ended up getting there a bit late and missing the BBQ during the day but we still enjoyed it! Ben’s mum looked after Aoife for the night — they’ve always bonded really well. I’m actually going up to Ireland next week for a new project that I can’t wait to tell you about soon, so I’m leaving Aoife with her grandparents in Cheshire again. It’s nice for her to see Ben’s family because she’s spent a lot of time with my mum in the past, so it’s important she gets to know both sets of grandparents.

 

corporate show

 

Apart from spending hours in rehearsals, The Saturdays also went up to Manchester to do a corporate show for the Co-op. It was really fun because we had two dance floors and got to work the stage differently to how we normally do. We danced around the whole room so as not to leave anyone out and they loved it. They requested Just Can’t Get Enough for the last song! I love doing all the different festivals, concerts and corporate shows. Every gig is different and when the audience is really up for it, that’s the best feeling.

My dress was from Finders Keepers — they’re an Australian brand. They do some really cool dresses and I just loved that one. It had a really nice shape to it. We always do a fitting before shows with our stylist and have rails and rails of clothes to try from. The girls usually have fittings at different times though so we don’t always get to help each other choose our outfits — it’s a bit more individual. Our stylist has an idea of what he wants us all to wear, but he won’t force anything on us of course!

I’m off to Ireland soon but will keep you updated.

Thanks for reading!

Love Una xxx

11 September
5

Comments

Aoife was in need of a haircut!

Hi everyone,

Thanks for reading my blog.

The Saturdays have had a very busy week! We’ve been learning a lot of routines for our new single Disco Love and they’re all slightly varied, so it’s meant spending a lot of time at rehearsals in the studio.

 

haircut

 

I managed to fit in time for Aoife’s haircut though. She was in need of a trim! Just a trim because I like her to have long hair, but it was getting a little uneven so she definitely needed it. I took her in to see Nick, The Saturdays’ hairdresser, and he was saying that it can be really hard to cut some kids’ hair, especially when they’re jumping around in the chair and you’ve got scissors in your hand. But Aoife was very well-behaved. She’s only little but she wasn’t any trouble — she just sat still in her chair.

I’m quite sentimental and I like to remember these moments when she’s growing up. I’ve kept her little locks from her first haircut, and when her first tooth falls out, I’ve got all the little boxes prepared for those too!

 

princess set

 

I’m not sure if you saw the picture I posted of Aoife’s new Little People Princess Palace. I’m doing a campaign for Fisher Price as she just loves playing with their toy sets. We’ve had a pretend farm set, houses and now this princess castle. Aoife loves pressing the buttons where you put the princesses down and they tell you who they are — she has it all figured out! She loves all the music and the colour. She’ll imitate the sounds from the play sets and a lot from what she hears on TV.

Did you see the video I posted a few days ago of Aoife singing along to the Lion King? She tries to roar and actually does it on time. She can’t sing yet, but that’s the closest she’s got to!

It’s great because she isn’t getting bored of her toys too quickly. Her favourite ones are definitely the play sets — she gets hours of enjoyment out of them. But she’s also quite attached to her bunnies and blankies too. She can’t really go to sleep without them.

I’m off to Ireland in a few days but have some fun things planned before then.

I’ll keep you posted.

Love Una xxx

07 September
0

Comments

My favourite bonding moment with Aoife is tucking her into bed

Hey everyone,

Hope you’re enjoying my blog.

It’s been really nice to spend quality time with Ben and Aoife lately. I know just by looking at the weeks ahead my schedule’s going to be really full on, so it feels a bit like the calm before the storm! Ben and I have loved taking Aoife out with us. We often go out for dinner once or twice a week and it’s great. We can take her everywhere because she’s so well-behaved —she’s such a good girl and very sociable!

Some days I’m really busy but if I can, I always try to get back around 9 o’clock to put Aoife to bed. I’m always delighted if I can do that after being away for the day, because at least I can see her while she’s at least half awake. It’s one of my favourite bonding moments with her, putting her to bed.

 

aoife split

 

I’ve had a few quiet nights in and there’s lots of great TV on at the moment. I’ve been watching X Factor on catch-up and I have to say my favourite judge is Louis, and not just because he’s Irish too! I know Louis personally — we go back a long way. He’s been around since the start and was always very encouraging. Before he did pop music he managed show bands and my uncle Declan was in one, so Louis knows the family well. He always told me never to give up — he’s such a sweetie, exactly like he is on TV. Sharon’s great too, she’s really good. I think everybody missed her a bit so it’s good to see her back.

The X Factor wasn’t around when I was starting out but I did audition for similar shows in Ireland. With those kinds of shows, they’re a great platform and give you a leg up in the music industry, but it’s also about not putting all your eggs in one basket. If you don’t get through the auditions, it doesn’t mean you aren’t going to make it.

 

aoife small

 

Mollie auditioned when she was quite young and she was really good. I’m so glad they didn’t snap her up then otherwise we wouldn’t have the Saturdays! Ben made it through to auditions too on Pop Idol, but he didn’t go back for the second day because he had training. He knew his priority was rugby. He kind of went for a laugh but he’s actually really good. I quite enjoy the audition stages when you see all the funny acts. Some of them are just so funny and so talented at making people laugh. They’re just born entertainers and all part of the show.

Hope you have a great weekend!

Catch up next week.

Love Una xxx

04 September
1

Comments

The Sats loved all the cheers at Fusion Fest

Hi everyone,

Thanks for reading my blog.

The Sats had a great weekend performing at Fusion Fest. We went up to Birmingham for the day and us girls put on a good show! There were loads of different acts on — The Wanted were there, Ne-Yo, Labrinth and more. The crowds were absolutely loving it. I gave shout outs, so I asked, “Who’s looking forward to seeing Ne-Yo?” and the fans all gave a massive cheer. Then I said, “Who’s looking forward to seeing The Wanted?” and they all gave a cheer. And then I was a bit cheeky and asked, “Who’s looking forward to seeing us?” and they gave us a big cheer too so that was good!

We had such a great response and got to meet some of our fans before the show. It’s always lovely seeing how much support we have and it’s so sweet when they go out of their way and bring us presents. I remember I once mentioned that I love tea bags, and at one point I was getting loads of boxes of tea! It was really nice.

 

una-NEW

 

We always get really sweet letters too — I love the fan mail. It’s quite old school but some of our fans really make an effort to write nice words down on paper and I love holding onto the letters. Every year the nicest gift we all receive is a “birthday book” and I know an awful lot of planning and preparation goes into that. They’re compilations of messages and pictures. I have all my fan books from four or five years ago. I hold onto them because they’ve literally got pictures of everything we’ve done that year and things the Sats have said and it’s just lovely, such nice memorabilia — I feel so lucky.

I hope you’ve all had a chance to get out and enjoy this gorgeous weather! I hit the driving range with Ben to practise my swing and was loving the sunshine. Marvin (Rochelle’s husband), Niall (from One Direction) and Marvin’s friend Tom were there too so the boys went off and played on a separate golf course. I’m hoping that soon I’ll be able to join them and actually play a round, but at the moment I’m just a beginner and I’m learning how to play the game properly. I think I’m getting better but I’m definitely still a beginner!

 

una golf

 

Ben got me into it because we just went once for fun and I really enjoyed it, so it really took off from there. You do need to dedicate time though and what with being a mother and taking care of Aoife, when I do have a bit of down time I like to play golf. The boys are all of a similar standard really — I’m not being biased! Ben and Niall won that day, but they often switch up teams. They just love doing it for fun.

Hope you all have a good week.

Speak soon.

Love Una xxx

Featuring WPMU Bloglist Widget by YD WordPress Developer