March, 2014

30 March
0

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Aoife’s really started getting into music…

Hi everyone,

 

Hope you’re having a lovely Mother’s Day! I’ll be doing a Twitter chat tomorrow (Monday) and answering all your questions so make sure to follow @hellomag and send them with #HELLOUna!

 

Ben’s Mum was down for the weekend to look after Aoife when we went to Rochelle’s birthday party, so we’re spending today having a ‘3 generations’ meal together – Ben’s taking his Mum and Aoife’s taking me!

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I always send my Mum flowers for Mother’s Day, she loves them. I think the best thing I ever gave her was Aoife – she absolutely adores being a grandmother. I think she loves Aoife more than she loves me! I can’t wait to be a grandmother one day, but at the moment it’s far away. First, I want Aoife to have a little brother or sister. I don’t really mind which, I just think it will be lovely for her to have a sibling.

 

My Mum joked the other day that being a grandparent is better than being a parent, because you love the child and can spend time with them, but at the end of the day you can give them back to the parents!

 

Aoife’s really started getting into music – any time a song plays she gets up to dance. She’s been trying to play the guitar lately, but she’s so small she has to play it like a harp. I’ve got her her own mini guitar, so she loves to play with that. I’ll definitely get her to take piano and guitar lessons when she’s a bit older, I think she’ll really love it.

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She goes to a dance class at the moment but it’s for babies and toddlers, just to get them playing and meeting other children. As well as dancing, she loves swimming and splashing around in the pool, but I won’t be taking her armbands off any time soon, she’s still much too young.

 

Speak soon,

 

Love from Una xxx

28 March
0

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I’ll be doing a Twitter chat on Monday…

Hi everyone,

 

Hope you all had lovely weeks and are looking forward to the weekend! I will be doing a Twitter chat on Monday and answering all your questions so make sure to follow @hellomag and send them with #HELLOUna !

 

The girls and I were working on some choreography the other day, but I think we ended up being a choreographer’s nightmare – we just had no attention span! It was the first time since Frankie had her baby that all 5 of us were back together learning a routine, so we kept talking and joking. We’d be in the middle of starting to learn it all and then one person would blurt something out and it would start all over again.

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Luckily, our choreographer Aaron is a good friend – he was in S Club Juniors with Frankie and Rochelle – and knows that when it comes down to it we buckle down and learn it properly. I often go home and practice – poor Ben has no interest in dance but I make him watch it. The funny part is our routines are meant for 5 people, so it looks weird when you do it on your own. Aoife often tries to join in – any time any music plays, she loves to dance.

 

My friend nominated me for a no make-up selfie the other day –  it took a few attempts before I had one I liked, but I think everyone does that when they take selfies! It can be a bit daunting to go bare-faced but I think it’s a great cause, so I fully committed (no filter or anything!). I then nominated our hairdresser Nick, so he had to do one with make-up on. I got to do his make-up which was hilarious, he was such a good sport.

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I’d just arrived at a shoot and had no make-up on, so it was meant to be. I donated too – it’s such a great cause, the charity does amazing work and it’s nice to think that selfies are actually helping someone. It’s spread over to Ireland too, they’ve raised over 1million euros. And that’s just a small country like Ireland, so it shows you how huge the campaign has become.

 

This weekend I’ll be going to Rochelle’s fancy dress birthday party which will be really fun as she’s been getting so excited. I’ve made my costume which could make for an interesting outfit….

 

 

Speak soon,
Love from Una xxx

21 March
2

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Aoife is starting to know a few words in Irish…

Hi everyone,

 

Hope you’re all well!

 

I’ve had such a lovely, family-filled week. Everyone came over for Aoife’s birthday and St Patrick’s day, so it was lovely to spend some quality time with them. We ate out a lot – Aoife had three meals out and she absolutely loved it. She’s very well behaved when we go for dinner. It’s so nice because she’s at the stage where she knows their names so she can start properly getting to know them all.

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I make sure to stay in touch with my family and friends in Ireland, so that I’m not away long enough to miss it. I go back a lot – I definitely want to have a house there some day to spend summers in. At the moment though my job is here, so it’s not the right time, but I’d love to live there again one day. I do miss my Mum’s homemade brown bread, but she always brings it over when she visits, as well as Irish teabags (Sorry, I still think they’re the best!).

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It’s very important for me that Aoife be in touch with her Irish heritage. She knows a few Irish words: the word ‘Gaeilge’, which means ‘Irish’, is her favourite because she finds it so funny, it always makes her giggle.

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When I first started in the Saturdays, the girls loved when I used random words – instead of hello I would say ‘well’, like we did in my hometown. The girls love it when I use the random words so they’ve started repeating them. When we go to Ireland they always try them out!

 

Speak soon,

 

Love from Una xxx

17 March
0

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Double celebrations: Aoife’s second birthday and St Patrick’s Day…

Hi everyone,

Happy St Patrick’s Day!

Hope you all had a great weekend. We had a double celebration this week, with Aoife’s birthday last Thursday and my family over for St Pat’s.

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Ben and I got Aoife a mini trampoline which she absolutely loved! She’s been jumping up and down non-stop. I don’t think she really understands what her birthday is, but she seemed to love all the attention. She got a little teddy bear, an adorable frame and we had balloons, bunting and all that in the house, and my mum came over especially from Ireland.

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We had a nice dinner, just the family. I didn’t really want to do a big children’s party – I’ll wait for next year. I think when they’re that young, the kids and babies don’t really know what’s going on and children’s parties are more for the adults.

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It feels like Aoife’s growing up so fast. She’s a proper little girl now. I’m going back to Ireland in April for Easter and when I was booking flights I realised she’s not an infant anymore – she falls under the “children” category. She’s a proper little person and she’ll get her own seat, whereas she used to sit on my lap.

Her speech has really come on now even in just the past few days. She knows a lot of words and her counting’s always been great. Ben and I go through a lot of the flash cards with her and she’s getting to learn all the colours, shapes and that kind of thing. Her personality is really coming out too – she likes the word ‘no’! She likes to say it quite a lot!

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On the weekend we had a proper family reunion. My dad, my sister and her boyfriend were all over for the final of the Six Nations and they’re all massive rugby fans so they were really happy to see Ireland win! We also celebrated an early St Patrick’s Day celebration. Back home when I was growing up I always used to take part in the parades and wear fancy dress and then as I got older it was more about going down to the pub.

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I used to travel to America to sing at an Irish bar that my friend owned called Mickey Quinns, and I used to perform Irish songs all day. I went for three years in a row. I loved it – those were my favourite St Patrick’s Days. They really put on a great spread at the pub too – all Irish food. Everyone would get dressed up and they’d dye the beer green!

Anyway, hope you all have a good week.

Speak soon.
Love Una xxx

12 March
1

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Seeing Beyoncé and Ellie Goulding live was just brilliant…

Hi everyone,

Hope you’re all enjoying the bit of sunshine.

This week’s been quite busy with concerts which is great because I don’t get to go out to many gigs, but I went to see Beyoncé and Ellie Goulding. They were two completely different shows but both amazing!

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Beyoncé was just incredible and it was such a high energy show – she’s got her dancers, her costume changes, so many routines. Her voice was flawless and I loved hearing her hits like Halo and Crazy in Love. Jay Z came out for about a minute to sing Drunk in Love with her and the audience just went wild for him! She really does have everything.

Ellie’s show was a whole different style but she was brilliant too. She’s got really good stage presence and I didn’t realise how many big hits she has – she’s got an amazing collection. Ellie’s voice was so unique, I was so impressed with her. I have met her before a few times and she’s a really nice girl. I saw her after the show and she was talking about her nerves, but I said she really didn’t seem nervous at all.

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It’s got me really hungry for The Saturdays to go on tour! We haven’t been on one for a couple of years but we’re touring in a few months. I won’ take Aoife along with me. It’s a bit intense for two weeks and we’ll be living in the cars between shows so it’s not really healthy for her. We’ll have pit stops in between so hopefully Ben will be able to come along and take her to some of the venues.

It’s Aoife’s birthday tomorrow so I’ll keep you updated on how it goes! She doesn’t really understand what it is yet but I think she’s excited!

Una3

I’ve also been in the studio this week doing a lot of writing. My New Year’s resolution was to write 40 songs in the year and I’ve written six so far. I usually get my inspiration from everything, from life. It’s sometimes easier to write when you’re in a bad mood or when things aren’t perfect but I’ve been doing a lot of summery, happy songs and some are quite dancey. I just love writing so much.

I’d like to go on a writers’ retreat, maybe sometime this year. I used to go to a few in Ireland and one of my best friends I actually met there, Amy. We wrote a song together called M.E.M. which was quite funny.

Hope you all enjoy the rest of the week.

Speak soon.

Love Una xxx

10 March
0

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Ben and I love to do television marathons…

Hi everyone,

 

Hope you are all well and have had lovely weeks! When I’m not songwriting or recording with the band, I’ve been catching up on television shows I’m obsessed with.

 

I used to be a huge cinema fan, but since having Aoife I haven’t been nearly as much as I used to. However it’s meant that Ben and I have started being glued to television series. We spent so much time watching all three series of ‘The Killing’. We love to do television marathons – we once watched about 7 episodes in one day!

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I’ve also been obsessing over an Irish drama called ‘Love/Hate’ – I like to follow Irish television because it feels like being home!

 

Ben and I were a bit stuck on what to watch next, but someone recommended ‘Luther’ so we’ve got the box set – I’ve heard such good things so I’m quite excited! What do you all like to watch?

 

Ben absolutely loves ‘Game of Thrones’ so I’ve been watching it a bit, although I drift in and out a bit. There’s always so much happening that it’s easy to lose track, plus characters keep being killed off and replaced so I sometimes forget who is who! Ben’s very excited that it will be back on television soon though.

 

When it comes to films I don’t really have a favourite – there’s so many options now, I feel like we’re all a bit spoiled for choice. I miss the days when as a child, you opened the TV guide and you had to pick one of the few films that were showing. It made it so exciting to choose, but nowadays with things like Netflix you have thousands of choices! Still, it’s nice to know there’s something for whatever mood you’re in.

 

Speak soon,

 

Love from Una xxx

06 March
0

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I definitely want more children in the future…

Hi everyone,

 

Hope you’re having good weeks and looking forward to the weekend! I had a great time last weekend with Ben – he was back playing rugby which was so exciting, I took Aoife with me to cheer him on!

 

After the game we went up to Cheshire for Ben’s brother’s birthday, which was lovely. I’m quite close to Ben’s family so it was nice to catch up with them. It was so lovely and relaxed, but we got there a bit late because Ben’s game held us up.

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I’ve been really busy with songwriting which has been brilliant, but it meant that I didn’t get to make pancakes on pancake day! Usually I make them from scratch using my father’s recipe – he adds a bit of sugar when he makes the batter, it’s delicious. His recipe makes American-style pancakes, it’s so good. This time though, Ben made the pancakes but he used a ready-mix batter.

 

I’m not massively into baking – I can make the odd thing like an apple crumble or madeira cake, but I prefer cooking. Aoife doesn’t really have a sweet tooth either, she loves savoury stuff. It’s so easy to get her to eat healthily because some of her favourite snacks are broccoli and olives.

 

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Aoife’s been getting more confident – she’s very shy if she’s on the phone, but when she sees people she’s very sociable. If it’s a stranger she hides behind me a bit, but as soon as she gets comfortable around them she starts asking to be picked up, or happily clambers on them to sit on their knee. Kids need to be cautious, but I don’t think it’s a good thing when they hide behind their parents a lot. They need to be able to become their own person – I like to see Aoife run up to my friends and give them hugs, I want her to be sociable.

 

I definitely want more children in the future so she can have a sibling to play with, but at the moment I don’t have any plans to have another one soon.

 

Speak soon,

 

Love from Una xxx

04 March
2

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Aoife has started getting into fancy dress…

Hi everyone,

 

Hope you are well and enjoying the few bursts of lovely weather!

 

Last week I went for lunch with Anna and Pollyanna, who were also on Splash. We’ve become good friends which is really nice, we’ll definitely meet up again. The restaurant was American-style, and the cocktails were amazing. I love going for food – it’s nice to chat over dinner and properly catch up.

 

I love Fashion Week, but I didn’t get a chance to go to any shows this season as we were working. I always love Julien Macdonald’s shows, they’re always amazing – we went last year and it was so much fun. I love his clothes, and wear a lot of his stuff. He does beautiful dresses.

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Burberry is another label I love – I think their clothes are a great staple to have in your wardrobe. Their coats are so beautiful and timeless, you just can’t go wrong with a good Burberry coat. I have a duffel-type one from there which is so cosy, and I also have a slightly more fitted coat when I want to be a bit more dressed up.

 

For shoes, I love that French, edgy kind of look. Saint Laurent does amazing boots, I actually just bought a pair from there the other day. Isabel Marant is really cool as well, the shoes are amazing.

 

When I buy clothes for Aoife, I usually go to Monsoon. I’ve been buying her clothes there since she was born – Monsoon Baby caters for all ages from 0-12, I think they’re brilliant. There’s so many colours, Aoife loves her dresses from there. I also dress her in a lot of Baby Boden, I think the clothes they do are adorable.

 

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She’s started getting into fancy dress now – she’s at the stage where she wants to be a fairy, or a princess. She loves Disney’s Sofia the First, but she’s also got a little Minnie Mouse outfit I’ll definitely be dressing her up in! I’d love to take her to Disneyland, I think she’d love it – her first birthday was Disney themed.

 

Speak soon,

Love from Una xxx

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