I'm ready to Jump-start new year after tough '16
I usually don’t care about New Year’s. The night would mean nothing to me except a long wait on a taxi. But this year it feels quite important and poignant.
I say that because for the first time in quite a few years I feel like I’m in really happy place and I’m looking forward to what next year brings. I’ve loved 2016, it was one of the toughest but most amazing years of my life.
The beginning of the year was tough and I struggled with my anxiety more than I ever have in my whole life. It was a constant flow of sleepless nights and feeling panicky but I really worked on it and although I still get it now it’s so much better.
I really noticed over Christmas how lucky I was, I mean I’ve always felt lucky but I think it’s easy to forget what a nice life you have until you witness how difficult it is for other people.
That is especially noticeable over Christmas. I was lucky enough to spend it with my family in Spain but so many families struggle at this time of year.
On Christmas Eve my mom always cooks us a big Christmas dinner.
She is such an amazing cook, I love her Christmas dinners. We helped out a little with the cooking but my mom likes to do the majority of it.
It was a really fun night on Christmas eve, my sister Amber and I always have a few drinks and were the last ones standing but were still in bed by one which is well behaved for us!
We give out our Christmas gifts on Christmas eve too.
Christmas day was a lot of fun, we went to a drinks party at my parents’ friend’s house and then went to the golf club where we were having dinner.
There’s usually a good group of us for dinner so by the end of the day we end up dancing on the tables!! My mom insists on bringing her iPad and speakers so we have good music to dance to.
It was Amber and I left standing once again so we stayed up having drinks and watched the Ab Fab movie which was hilarious.
Stephen’s day was so chilled, I was really tired so I just went to the gym and chilled for the rest of the day on the sofa and I think that’s what you’re supposed to do on the 26th!
I never like to do New Year’s resolutions as I never think they work but if you set yourself goals to achieve you can work towards them all year.
I support a couple of charities but next year I want to do more, particularly for the homeless and the stroke association as these are causes quite close to my heart.
I do think people should support charities as much as they can and for me there’s even a little selfish reason in why I support them. It genuinely makes me happy to help out with something I feel is so important.
I have about three goals I’m hoping to achieve next year and it actually makes me really excited to go into 2017.
I’m starting out the year doing the TV show The Jump which is something I’ve wanted to do for so long so to me I’m starting the year on a high.
I hope you all had a lovely new year and I want to wish you all best wishes going into 2017.
New Year’s party was a posh affair
I flew back to London on the 27th and decided to go to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park because I’ve never been before and thought it would be quiet after Christmas.
No such luck, it was insane!
I still had a lot of fun at it but it was just so busy. I was kept going for the rest of the week getting organised to go away for The Jump.
We leave on the 3rd of January but I have to go and stay at the airport hotel on the 2nd and I am planning on drinking on New Year’s Eve so I wanted to be all organised before all that!
My friend Rhona came down from Glasgow for New Years and I had to work on a show for RTE so I dragged all my pals along with me.
The show was filmed in the Irish Ambassador’s house in London which is amazing. It was a gas show chatting about all things Irish.
Although I live in London and have done for almost four years I still feel 100% Irish and always will, I’m so proud to be Irish so it was nice to sit down and chat about how it feels to be Irish.
We rang in the New Year at the Ambassador’s house but once I finished filming we headed back to my house for a party.
I always think New Years can be quite a let-down so I either like to go away or have a party at home.
I want to wish you all a very Happy New Year, I will more than likely be watching movies on the sofa feeling very sorry for myself with a sore head by the time you’ll be reading this!
We should all consent to manners
I was reading an article last week about a New Zealand social services agency after they made a big statement regarding embracing children.
They show a picture of a young girl and written beside her is “I am five. My body is my body. Don’t force me to kiss or hug. I am learning about consent and your support on this will help me keep myself safe for the rest of my life”.
It was attempting to highlight how we force children to hug and kiss relatives around Christmas.
When I was a child we greeted our family and people we knew well with a hug and kiss because it was manners.
I never felt forced but it would be something I would teach my own children.
I would expect them to greet relatives warmly without feeling like I’m taking away their right to consent.
Still to this day I greet people with a hug and a kiss on the cheek if I know them well; if I’ve just been introduced to them I shake their hand.
It’s a very simple thing to do and its manners. I think there should be a line drawn at kissing someone on the lips.
My niece isn’t even one yet but I wouldn’t kiss her on the lips as she’s not my child.
I doubt my brother or his wife would care but I would rather kiss her on the cheek and give her a big hug.
I wouldn’t want my child kissing everyone they meet on the lips because it’s not something they will do in later life.
I think it’s more than acceptable to kiss your own child on the lips and I know that I kissed my mom and dad on the lips as a child and there’s nothing wrong with it.
I’m all for children making their own choices on certain things but I think manners are a very important thing to teach a child and greeting someone with warmth and respect is an important thing to learn.