Celebrating CBE

I can’t believe this is my last blog of the year! It’s cliche’d I know, but it really does feel like yesterday I was writing my new year’s resolutions for January 2012… and we won’t say any more about how many I’ve kept…  

So I’ve been back in London for a week now, and had the most wonderful Christmas. Everything from the tree, the decorations, the incredible lunch, my beautiful presents, has all just been perfect. Of course the best thing about being home has been my family, who I have missed more than words can say.  

Speaking of missing things, I do have to admit there are a couple of things I am missing about Toronto, most notably, the Marble Slab Ice Cream Parlour… Plus the audience reaction to the show has been so overwhelming, if I could hear clapping and cheers like that on a daily basis I wouldn’t have a care in the world. Of course I’m also missing my ‘gang’ I spent so long working with, so we’re all having a big knees up at my house in the new year!

Looking back over my year, it’s been a complete whirlwind of ups and downs, and yet what a way to end it, with being awarded a CBE in the Queen’s New Years Honours. I can hardly begin to express my excitement, or my immense gratitude for all your wonderful messages of congratulations, it really has meant so much to me. I did an interview on Saturday morning at Sky News about it, where I bumped into gorgeous celebrity trainer and longtime friend Kevin Adams, who has promised to kick my butt into shape this year so I’ll be looking fabulous for my trip to the palace! Actually, thank goodness no more Marble Slab…  

Image

 

I mentioned in my last blog about my upcoming Twitter Tip of the Day, which starts tomorrow! Positive advice, tips, things to do, see, feel, the list goes on! I don’t want another year to slip by and think I could have made more of a difference, so if you do follow up on any of my tips, please do let me know. I love hearing from you all, and if there’s any tweet tips you have for me send them my way @arlenephillips. So many wonderful things have happened this year, but as with all years, also so much tragedy, and although it’s important to remember, let’s all go into this next year with a positive mental attitude, and an excitement of what’sto come. Remember, charities will need your support more than ever in the coming year. 

Image

I want to wish you all very Happy New Year, with all my love,

Arlene x

Caught in the Flashbulbs

Hello!

 

So as I mentioned last week, I hopped over to London for a crazy few days before my last week in Canada where I’m currently in the preview stages of the show.  Working on this production of the Wizard of Oz has been such an incredible experience, but I’ll tell you all about that next week when I’m back, and knee deep in turkey and presents.

 

My week as always was a whirlwind of meetings, emails, fabulous parties and trying to catch up on sleep and family time, which I have literally had none of for almost three months!  The first fabulous event I attended was the opening of Viva Forever, the Spice Girls musical, produced by my good friend Judy Craymer.  Sally Anne Triplett and Sally Dexter were phenomenal.  The party was incredible, in a huge opulent marquee, with a full roast dinner being served, at least twenty different desserts, cocktails, music and more.  All the Spice Girls were there, and Posh definitely stole the show in a beautifully tailored pair of cropped trousers and a classic white shirt, it was understated and total perfection.

 

Another wonderful event I attended was the Queens Jubilee Volunteering award, and as the ambassador and champion for Big Dance, I was delighted to join Jacqueline Rose and a volunteer in receiving this award for Big Dance. I saw Dame Kelly Holmes, and we had a great chat all about how she stays looking so fit!

AP & Dame Kelly Holmes

As always I found myself dashing home and out again, this time to a special Christmas party and showing of the Nutcracker at the Coliseum.

caught in the flash

I go every year with my girls, and every year it’s just as magical.

AP and girls at nutcracker

The ballet was beautiful and the performances breathtaking, and it was lovely to catch up with so many friends at the party.  I had a great chat with Hollywood superstar Luke Evans, who I auditioned for Danny in Grease many years ago, and who I’m proud to say has just opened in the new Hobbit movie!

AP & Luke Evans

I also met the gorgeous actors Luke Treadaway and Robert Sheehan, and had a gossip with Samantha Janus of Eastenders fame, who was my Sandy back in 1995… How time flies.

AP & Sam Womack

 

And on that note, the week flew past, and before I knew it, it was Friday and the big day I’d been planning with British Airways for months had arrived.  Twenty of their staff won a place to compete in a special dance day, where they learnt a routine in the morning from Latin and Ballroom champion Shem, had a glamorous makeover from Alana and her glam squad, and then got to perform the morning’s routine to be judged by none other than me.  As well as a Q&A session over lunch, and being styled for their performances by stylist to the stars Sophie Robinson, the day was absolute success.  However, I think more than anything, everyone was most excited about the huge display of Eyelure eyelashes on Alana’s table! They were literally queueing up to wear them, and then parading around batting their lashes and pouting in the mirror. It was such a wonderful day, and the response and thank you’s I received was more than I could have dreamed.

 

I also hope all involved in the opening night of We Will Rock You in Basel that Friday night had a wonderful show, and continue on to a happy and successful run.

 

So it’s back to Canada for the last time, I can’t believe the last three months are coming to end, and I’ll finally be home for Christmas.  I’ll miss everyone there so much, and the hard work and creativity I got to experience and work with was really overwhelming. So off I go to open the show… and I’ll be back and checking in before the new year, to share my final week and new years resolutions.

 

Have an wonderful Christmas, love to all

Arlene xx

Nearly There…

So firstly I have to apologise for not checking in sooner, I have been in rehearsal lockdown. Not only have I not seen the light of day for the past few weeks, I’m afraid nothing remotely interesting has been going on either – unless you count watching flying monkeys and sparkly red shoes…!

However, I just wanted to check in, say hi, and also give you an introduction to what’s going to be my new ‘thing’, The Daily Tweet Tips! Starting from January 1st, I shall be doing a daily tweet tip on anything and everything you can imagine. It’s going to be interesting, inspirational and insanely fabulous. For example, if you do one thing today make it a selfless gesture. It could be helping out the person in front of you in the que who might not have the right change, or giving up your seat on the bus, just a small thing that might really make someone’s day. Or another example could be, wear something that makes you feel good about yourself – like heels or that gorgeous dress you only save for a special occasion. It could even be a simple as bake a cake! So make sure you’re all following me @arlenephillips for your daily dose of how to brighten up your day.

I’m so excited that this week I’m back in London – even if it’s only for five days – and even if it’s jam packed with exciting meetings, interviews, photoshoots, opening nights and more, at least I’ll be able to give my family cuddles, and at last sleep in my own bed. It also means I’ll have plenty to write about and fill you in on next week…

Has anyone started or even finished their Christmas shopping? I’m having to send the elves out for mine this year, as I haven’t had a minute to even so much as glance in a shop window. I’m loving the gorgeous gift guides in all the magazines this month though, climbing into bed flicking through pages of snuggly cashmere cardigans and beautiful bottles of lotions and potions has given me very sweet dreams indeed.

I’ll be in Toronto again next week for the final rehearsals before previews, so I’ll be posting my next blog from there before I’m back for christmas, and finally back for good!

Much love,

Arlene x