Posts Tagged: Family

01 October
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Ben and Aoife enjoyed some daddy-daughter time while I was performing at the weekend

Hey everyone

Hope you’re all well. The Sats had a busy weekend with performances in Birmingham and Brighton. We caught up with The Wanted backstage in Brighton – a couple of them had just flown in from Malaysia but they were glad to be home and were all on great form.

I made it back home just in time to put Aoife to bed on Sunday night. Ben had been on ‘daddy day-care duty’ all weekend and they had a lovely time together.

 

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He really loves to get out and about with his little girl so they went to the park. Aoife loves the baby swings but that’s as adventurous as we’ve got with her at the moment because she’s still really small. She goes on the slide too but we have to keep a hold of her so she doesn’t wobble off. She goes to Baby Gym and Monkey Music every weekend too so Ben took her to those. We’re looking into Baby Ballet for her at the moment too. I got to try loads of different activities when I was little and I want her to have the same opportunities to find something she loves like I did. I also think it’s really important for her to socialise with other children at least twice a week.

Ben allowed himself some downtime too. He’s got a really good set up actually – we’ve got a room in the house which used to be his ‘man cave’ before we had Aoife. Now it’s partly Aoife’s playroom where she has her day cot but also still partly Ben’s ‘man cave’. There are two TVs in there – one is especially for Ben’s computer games and another for whatever anyone else wants to watch. So while Aoife had her day time naps, Ben had a couple of hours off and played computer games. There were toys strewn all over the room when I got back so I could tell they’d been having lots of fun together.

Speak soon!

Love from Una xxxx

27 September
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‘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.

 

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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

19 September
2

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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.

 

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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

07 August
7

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Kate Middleton inspired my polo fashion choices!

Hi everyone,

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Ben and I went to the polo at Ascot on Sunday which was really good fun. We don’t get the chance to go out as a couple very often so it was lovely to have a trip out with just the two of us.

 

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We had a brush with royalty too! Prince Harry was playing and scored a hat rick – very impressive! We had a fantastic view of the pitch so we got to catch all the action. I’d not really watched polo properly before – it’s a very fast paced game, loads going on and you’ve got to concentrate to keep up. There are four chukkas and little breaks in between to swap ponies but that’s about it. When your team scores a goal, your goal is then at the opposite end so there’s lots of galloping going on and quick changes – great fun to watch, I’ll definitely be going again.

 

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There was a fantastic cocktail bar there too. I enjoyed a couple of lychee mojitos – they’re the perfect summer tipple!

I checked out the dress code for polo beforehand – and looked to Kate Middleton to check out polo fashion protocol! I wasn’t sure whether or not to wear a hat but as Kate doesn’t wear one when she goes to watch the polo, I knew it wasn’t the done thing.

 

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My dress was a lovely floaty number that was perfect for the occasion because it was really comfortable and not too short – a really good daytime dress. I’d had it in my wardrobe for a while but hadn’t had the opportunity to wear it. It was by a label called Milly by Michelle Smith. Rochelle, Vanessa, Mollie, Frankie and I sat in the front row of the spring/summer 2013 show in New York last year and loved the designs. We were very kindly sent a couple of dresses each and it turns out I wore them both this weekend!

My polo dress was quite simple with just some monochrome stripe detailing so I had the perfect opportunity to use the bright orange bag that Ben had won for me the night before in a charity auction. We were at the gala dinner for the charity of which Ben is a patron, Niamh’s Next Step, on Saturday night and he bid for it for me. It’s a Michael Kors bag and I love it!

 

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At the charity dinner on Saturday night I wore my other Milly dress which was more suited to an evening event. It was a peplum dress made from really soft silky cotton. The vibrant colours were great for a balmy summer’s night and the bright lemon yellow and violet print really set off my tan.

I wore Jimmy Choos on Saturday night and some Ted Baker heels on Sunday – I can’t handle towering heels but these worked for me just fine – and I accessorised with some glittering Swarovski jewels on both occasions.

I’d love to know what you thought of my outfits – I always read your comments and tweets and it’s always great to hear from fans.

Love from Una xxxx

04 August
2

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Aoife’s in the ‘wow’ phase

Hi lovely readers,

Hope you’ve all had a lovely weekend.

I’ve got some really cute photos of Aoife to share with you all. She turned one in March and she’s really coming into her own now. She’s at that age now where she’s discovering new things every day and is really intrigued by what’s going on in the world around here – everything is ‘wow!’ at the moment. I’m not sure where she picked the word up from but it seems like it can be applied to just about everything in her world at the moment! Even really little things like she’ll notice flowers in the garden and she’ll point at them all wide-eyed and amazed.

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She’s still woofing at every dog she sees – whether it’s on the TV, in a book or in real life – she just woofs! I can’t take my eyes off of her at the moment because she tears off. She’s learnt how to run and there’s no stopping her. She runs for a bit then stumbles, we say she looks like a little drunken sailor when she’s running around.

The photos are from when I took Aoife to work with me. I’m doing some work with the children’s toy company Fisher Price for their new range called ‘Little People Big Discoveries’. It’s aimed at Aoife’s age group and the idea is that they have toys that they grow up with.

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They’ve been a real hit with Aoife – so much so that she climbed into the box for Princess castle when it arrived! The little farm is a favourite of hers too – she’s worked out how to press the buttons to make the animals make their noises. We ask her ‘what does the cow say’ and she goes ‘MOOOOO!’. Animals are a big favourite of hers, I think we might hold off on getting a pet for a while though!

Speak to you soon!

Love Una xxx

31 July
2

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Prince George and post-pregnancy dieting

Hello everyone,

Hope you’re having a great week. The Sats were shooting the video for the new single Disco Love last week which was lots of fun. I’ve got a couple of exclusive photos to share with you next time to give you a sneak peek of what’s in store.

Ben and I watched the live coverage of when Prince George was introduced to the world – we were really wrapped up in the whole thing and got quite excited! Of course we were over the moon for William and Kate, who are such a gorgeous couple, when we heard the happy news of the safe arrival of their little boy. It seems that people not just from the UK but from all over the world enjoyed hearing that they’d had a baby.

 

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Being in the public eye I’ve come to expect people to disagree with me and my views and I accept that I will never please everyone. For example, a few people said that I’d turned my back on the Irish by getting excited about the birth of George. That really isn’t the case at all. I’m so proud to be Irish and i’m very patriotic but that doesn’t stop me from celebrating their baby being born – I think it was the same for lots of people worldwide.

I’m sure Kate and William are having a great time getting to know baby George. I didn’t feel under any pressure to ping back into shape when I had Aoife. It takes a few weeks for the body to get back to normal. Your tummy is still swollen because your uterus hasn’t contracted yet and there’s no amount of dieting that will change that. It’s a very natural process.

After I gave birth to my little girl, I wanted to get back into shape quite quickly but also safely and I think that would have been the same regardless of whether I was a member of the Saturdays. I actually followed a diet for about six weeks which involved having really freshly prepared food sent to me. It wasn’t a weight loss plan – it just involved lots of healthy, nourishing food that was perfect for me as a busy new mum. The food deliveries made mealtimes very convenient – they sent three meals a day and two snacks. It wasn’t a case of going hungry at all – I’m a big eater so it’s important to me to eat well and sensibly.

 

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Like many women, my weight tends to fluctuate. Even since I was about 16 years old, I’ve weighed around eight and a half stone – sometimes three or four pounds more or less. I’m lucky in that that is my natural weight and I don’t have to diet to maintain it. Often if I’m very busy, my eating patterns slip and I tend to lose a few pounds – people tend to comment and it’s quite noticeable.

While I was on holiday, I put on about half a stone but I’m not too bothered about that. A holiday isn’t a holiday to me if I’m counting calories and worrying about my weight. Ben is watching what he eats at the moment because he’s started pre-season training so that suits me quite well because we’re both eating lots of protein and going easy on the carbs so I’ll lose those extra holiday pounds soon.

Thanks for reading – I’m really enjoying reading your comments on the blog and your tweets.

Speak to you soon.

Love from Una xxx

26 July
7

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Aoife Belle’s first summer holiday photo album

Hi lovely readers,

Thanks for checking out my blog. I’ve got some really cute photos of Aoife on her first summer holiday in Portugal. It was the first time we’ve ever had a proper family holiday because it’s so tricky with our work schedules to find a couple of spare weeks that coincide!

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The place we stayed, the Martinhal Beach Resort and Hotel, was perfect for us as a young family. Everyone there had children – from tiny tots to teenagers. When you think of family resorts you imagine lots of excitable, screaming children but it wasn’t like that at all – they made sure it was fun for the adults too! There’s a great creche there too if you need it.

 

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There were three fine dining restaurants and because it’s right on the coast, the seafood was incredibly fresh. We splashed out on the most beautiful lobster on the first night – lobster is one of my favourites and it always feels like such a treat – so we kicked off our holiday in style!

 

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We enjoyed lots of family meals and the hotel made sure kids were well looked after with a really yummy children’s and babies’ menu. There was also a play area right by the restaurant which was a really good idea.

 

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Aoife’s Water Babies classes have really paid off. She’s got no fear at all when it comes to water and loves splashing about. She made lots of friends too with children her age and some older ones too. It was fun to see them all interacting and they really doted on her.

 

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When Rochelle came over with Alaia there was such a contrast between her tiny sleeping baby daughter and my very active Aoife! They were both gorgeous though in their cute little swimming costumes in the sunshine.

But it’s back to work now. The Sats have got a few festivals coming up from now until autumn – the V Festival, Fusion Festival and the SD2 Festival – plus a few shows too.

Hope to see some of you there!

Enjoy your weekend.

Love Una xxx

24 July
8

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Welcome to the world Prince George!

Hi everyone,

Ben and I are so thrilled for William and Kate’s new arrival. A little baby boy – welcome to the world Prince George! I hope they’re enjoying some downtime and peace to get to know their baby. Those first few days are so precious.

I’ve been dying to tell you about our amazing holiday in Portugal. We went a hotel called Martinhal Beach Hotel and Resort which is in Sagres, at the furthest south western point of the Algarve. As you can probably imagine it was absolutely gorgeous.

 

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It’s really child-friendly – literally everyone there has children – but they’d done it really well and that didn’t ruin the magic of the place at all. You still felt like you were having a romantic, luxurious experience. I’d recommend it to anyone wanting for a family-friendly holiday while still feeling indulged and pampered. Of course you want to spend as much time as possible with your children while you’re on holiday but there’s a brilliant crèche if you need it.

 

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We were there for about ten days and spent most of it chilling by the pool and on the beach. Ben and I did a spot of paddle boarding in the sea. The first time we did it I did really well but on the second occasion the currents had really picked up and the tide was going out quickly.

 

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I’m a really strong swimmer but I just couldn’t get myself back into the shore – it was like taking one step forward and two steps back. It was a bit scary for a couple of minutes but I had a life jacket on so I was safe. Ben was great and started to tow me in and then the hotel speedboat came to our rescue!

 

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Ben, Aoife and I saw Rochelle, Marvin and Alaia while we were out there too. They were on holiday in the Algarve too. They were in Quinta do Lago which was about an hour and a half from our hotel. The Algarve is a golfer’s paradise so Ben and Marvin were kept entertained!

Our husbands teamed up together and played against some of Marvin’s friends and they were very proud to win. While they were out on the golf course Rochelle and I had a girly catch up by the pool with Aoife and Alaia. Once the boys were back we went out for a really delicious dinner together.

 

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We flew back to the UK and headed straight up to Cheshire to a wedding. It was one of Ben’s best friends who was tying the knot and Ben was best man. He made a great speech and it was a fantastic weekend.

It was good to be back to work on Monday. It’s always tough after a relaxing break but it’s always great to see the girls again and catch up. We’d all been away so there was lots of chatting to do and of course some work to crack on with as well.

I’ve got some more photos to share with you from our album ‘Aoife’s first summer holiday’ next time.

Speak soon.

Love from Una xxxxx

22 July
3

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We’re so swept up in royal baby fever!

Hi everyone,

We’ve come back from our lovely holiday in Portugal to gorgeous sunny weather and royal baby fever!

We’re all so swept up in it and excitement is at an all-time high which is lovely to see. I keep checking the news to see if the little Prince or Princess is here yet – it’s like a relative having a baby!

I’ve got no real inkling as to whether it’s a boy or girl. In terms of names, I think they’ll go for something very traditional. Alexandra seems to be a favourite but I don’t think they’ll go for that. Maybe Victoria if it’s a girl. It’s got to be a name that’s in keeping with protocols.

 

Can’t wait to share more holiday photos with you all next time!

 

I met both William and Kate at Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall’s wedding in Edinburgh in 2011. They’d just got married so it was a really exciting time for them. They were great and they fitted in brilliantly, Zara is obviously very down to earth and they were just glad to be there and enjoying the celebrations. Charles and the Queen were there too – I was very star struck that day!

I’ve got lots of memories of my experience of childbirth. We made sure to get lots of photographs of the whole thing so that the memories will never fade. I think it’s a great way to document things. We did the same for our wedding.

I saw the amount of paparazzi camped out the Lindo Wing waiting to get that first picture of the baby. Obviously my experience was very mild compared to that but I do remember being followed around for a while before and after having Aoife.

The photographers hung around my house desperate to get that first photo. We live in a really rural community and my neighbours are all very protective so they were shooing them off if they tried to come up the drive. I eventually ventured out of the house after about two week to go for a walk with my mum and remember them being there.

If the baby’s born today he or she will share their birthday with Ben. I’m not a big believer in star signs because Ben is a Cancerian and I’m a Libra and apparently we’re not compatible at all!  I’m not a typical Libra at all but Ben fits the traits of his star sign a lot better than I do. They’re quite homely and nurturing and he definitely fits that.

The Sats have got a busy day back at work today, we’re getting prepared to shoot our next video later this week. It’s a really fun one with three outfit changes so we’ve got lots of fittings. I’ll be keeping an eye on the news to see when William and Kate’s baby arrives!

Can’t wait to show you all our holiday photos from Portugal.

Speak soon.

Love from Una xxxx

26 June
6

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Photos from our family weekend in Cheshire

Hello lovely readers,

Thanks for checking out my blog.

I was away for the weekend with Ben and Aoife with his family in Cheshire and got back on Monday evening.

 

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Mummy, Daddy and Aoife

 

We were lucky to have a few days up there and spent time with friends and Ben’s family. Ben was away in Argentina for three weeks with the England rugby team recently and we’d all really missed him so it was great to catch up with everyone.

 

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Aoife loving the swing!

 

Aoife is really lucky in that she has two sets of doting grandparents as well as great-grandparents on Ben’s side of the family.

 

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Aoife with her great-grandmother

 

One of Ben’s sisters has three kids and they have lots of fun with little Aoife even though they’re quite a bit older than her. I’ve got quite a small immediate family because I only have one sister but I’ve got an amazing 60 first cousins! My dad was one of fifteen children which resulted in lots of cousins for me so it’s weird that Aoife has just three.

 

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Aoife is well looked after by her big cousins

 

One of Ben’s friends threw a housewarming barbecue on Friday afternoon and luckily it was quite sunny. They all discovered beer pong in the States a few years ago and now take the whole thing very seriously which is quite funny to watch!

 

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Ben loves a bit of beer pong!

 

Our single Gentleman is coming out on Sunday so it’s like the calm before the storm at the moment because we’ll have lots going on to promote the new track.

 

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I went straight from meeting Prince Charles at the Marie Curie opening to the BBQ

 

I’ve made the most of this quiet period and have been playing lots of golf. I played my first nine holes last week with Ben – I think I’ve caught the golfing bug and now I want to play all the time.

He’s got great patience and he’s a lot more advanced than me. My coach doesn’t want me to learn from anyone else and as Ben is self-taught I don’t really go to him for advice. But he gives me the odd tip which is handy.

Hope you like the photos!

Speak soon

Love from Una xxx

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