For her first Christmas as a struggling teenage single mum, Stacey Solomon was dwelling at house, the place she needed to share a bed room together with her new child child and her brother and sister as a result of her dad and mom have been so ‘arduous up’. It didn’t make that Christmas in Dagenham any much less particular, although, as a result of she and child Zachary had a house, meals on the desk and have been surrounded by the love of their household. 

The TV presenter, X Issue finalist and I’m A Superstar winner might by no means have imagined that sooner or later she wouldn’t solely stay in a £1.2 million mansion with a loving husband and surrounded by her personal blended household, however that she’d even be internet hosting her personal present with them about crafting the proper Christmas in her house. 

‘I’ve lived in excessive privilege all my life,’ she says. ‘Folks suppose monetary conditions dictate your privilege, however I feel the folks round you dictate your privilege. 

‘I’ve probably the most unimaginable household. For Zachary’s first Christmas, my sister, my brother and Zachary have been sharing a bed room but it surely was magical as a result of I had my household. 

Stacey Solomon (pictured) spent her first Christmas as a single teenage mum at home. The TV presenter would never have imagined how her life has turned out

Stacey Solomon (pictured) spent her first Christmas as a single teenage mum at house. The TV presenter would by no means have imagined how her life has turned out

‘We didn’t have something, however I didn’t have a clue. I don’t keep in mind not having something. 

‘I used to be so fortunate as a result of though my mum and pop divorced, they remained nice buddies and would spend Christmas Day along with us.’ 

Her dad and mom have proved wonderful function fashions for Stacey, 33, and her husband, actor and presenter Joe Swash, 40. The couple stay with their one-year-old daughter Rose, three-year-old son Rex and Stacey’s two boys from earlier relationships, Zachary, now 14, and Leighton, ten, in Pickle Cottage, a part-Tudor mansion named after their youngsters, who she refers to as ‘pickles’. 

Joe additionally has a son, Harry, 15, from a earlier relationship, they usually juggle the calls for of parenting surrounded by 2.5 acres of land within the Essex countryside. Of their enjoyable and festive one-off particular, the Solomon household, together with Stacey’s dad David and sister Jemma, get artistic, sharing intelligent methods to chop prices, upcycle and unfold some selfmade cheer at Christmas. 

‘I pinch myself on daily basis,’ says Stacey. ‘I didn’t develop up considering I’d have a job like this and that sooner or later I’d stay in a cottage like this. 

‘You by no means know what’s going to occur, so we’re having fun with it whereas it’s good, and the actual fact I’ve been requested to do a “craft your personal Christmas” with my household at house is a dream come true.’ 

Stacey with and her husband, actor and presenter Joe Swash, 40 and her boys outside Pickle Cottage

Stacey with and her husband, actor and presenter Joe Swash, 40 and her boys outdoors Pickle Cottage

This wasn’t at all times her dream, although. Stacey shot to fame because the struggling teenage mum who reached The X Issue last in 2009. 

She’d solely realized at 24 weeks that she was having a child, fathered by childhood sweetheart Dean Cox, after her stepmum labored it out when she obtained nauseous on the odor of onions that weren’t there. 

It was the bodily and psychological trauma of getting Zach at such a younger age that gave her the steely dedication to battle again in opposition to the chances. So at The X Issue auditions, when organisers advised her and Zach to go house as they’d run out of time, Stacey protested, and the producer modified her thoughts as she’d additionally had a child at a younger age. 

She ultimately completed third and launched an album, Shy – but it appeared that Stacey was destined to be simply one other flash within the pan. 

Stacey with her hands down a dirty sink. She is launching a new programme where she helps people declutter their homes

Stacey together with her fingers down a unclean sink. She is launching a brand new programme the place she helps folks declutter their houses

However she’s gone on to construct fairly the profession, incomes herself a £5 million fortune as a social media sensation and TV star from her different ardour – tidying and organising. Her on-line marketing campaign Faucet To Tidy, during which she posts before-and-after photos of her personal reworked rooms, has earned her greater than 5 million Instagram followers, and the accompanying guide, Faucet To Tidy: Organising, Crafting & Creating Happiness In A Messy World, topped Amazon’s non-fiction chart. 

She’s a daily panellist on Unfastened Ladies, and the pilot of her BBC present Type Your Life Out was so common that it was commissioned for a full collection. 

Within the present, Stacey and her staff go to households overwhelmed by muddle, and assist them determine what to maintain, promote, recycle or bin. It’s an emotional watch, and one which resonates with Stacey herself as her obsession for organising stems from a lifelong battle with nervousness and panic assaults that began on the age of six. 

When she will be able to’t sleep she’ll clear the home at 1am. Lately her panic assaults are much less frequent however, regardless of attempting yoga and numerous therapies, it’s her ardour for construction that’s the best assist.


  1. If final 12 months’s decorations don’t match your color palette for this 12 months, attempt spray portray them. This works particularly effectively for baubles. 
  2. You should buy embellished chocolate slabs within the retailers however they are often fairly costly. They make very nice presents, and you may make your personal! Soften down some low-cost chocolate bars, add a few little toppings…Bob’s your uncle! 
  3. A wood-burning pen (from craft retailers or Amazon) is an effective way to personalise picket presents – etch a candy message on an image body, a chopping board, or a rolling pin. 
  4. Previous, leftover nail varnishes can be utilized to create a marbled design in your baubles. Gently swirl some drops right into a bowl of water, dip a bauble in, and watch because the polish adheres to the floor. I did this with Rex – he’s solely three and it saved him occupied for hours. 
  5. I like utilizing pampas grass to brighten. I’m making my Christmas tree from pampas grass this 12 months. 

‘When my nervousness was actually dangerous, it was largely concerning the worry of dying. I feel it’s a few lack of management,’ says Stacey. ‘I used to consider it on a regular basis and I couldn’t swap my mind off from catastrophising each scenario. 

I’d make up issues in my thoughts and I’d panic over one thing I’d imagined. Then I realised the one time my mind shut off was after I was centered on a activity, like cleansing the sink. 

That enables me to place a barrier between issues which might be scaring me, as a result of I’ve to actually focus on what I’m doing in that second. 

‘There’s additionally an endorphin rush from finishing the duties. I’ll present Joe a clear cabinet and say, “Look what I’ve simply executed.” 

‘It feels good. Then I really feel I can do something subsequent.’ 

Whereas having her first child aged 18 led to horrible post-natal melancholy, Stacey says Zach was the making of her. She went again to school and needed to go away him in a crèche which meant she might by no means be late. 

She might by no means miss courses in case she failed her exams, and by no means miss the Submit Workplace run to gather her giro cheque or miss cashing in her tokens to purchase child milk. 

‘It made me push myself arduous. I’ve at all times been organised – as a bit lady I’d place the meals on my dinner plate into sections and nonetheless do – however after having Zach I started to change into extra organised as a result of there was no room for error in something.’ 

Profitable I’m A Superstar in 2010 was what actually turned issues round for Stacey. Her modesty and self-deprecation made her extraordinarily common, but in addition cynics who’d questioned her intelligence due to her broad Essex accent and fixed smile began to grasp she was sharper than they thought. 

‘Whenever you’re pleased or come from a background that’s much less posh, and also you’ve obtained what’s classed as a standard accent, then very often folks will solely take you at a sure degree as a result of they suppose that’s your intelligence capability,’ says Stacey. 

‘There’s positively a sort of one who would underestimate me. As I’ve obtained older I really feel that’s a pleasant factor, as a result of it means I can say something and it’s going to sound genius!’ 

It was due to I’m A Superstar that Stacey met her future husband – when she was topped Queen of the Jungle, Joe, the 2008 King of the Jungle, gave her a congratulatory hug. Though she was with Leighton’s father on the time, they break up in 2014 and in 2015 she started courting Joe. 

Seven years on, Stacey is on a roll. She gave beginning to Rose on her thirty second birthday in October final 12 months and married Joe in July this 12 months. 

Her new guide, Faucet To Tidy At Pickle Cottage: Crafting & Creating A Dwelling With Love, impressed by her home renovation, is flying off the cabinets. 

Regardless of her organising methods – even her hairbands are organized in pots by color – Pickle Cottage is heat and welcoming. At this time there’s a contented mess of Christmas decorations which were trampled by Rex as he bombs round the lounge whereas Joe ‘hoovers’ up leaves within the backyard. 

Peanut the sausage canine and Teddy the cocker spaniel are snuggled up with Stacey on the couch.

On the brand new present, she groups up once more with skilled organiser and Type Your Life Out co-star Dilly Carter to remodel a neighbouring barn right into a Christmas grotto for a festive occasion together with her local people, and reveals us how you can rustle up DIY Christmas crackers, garlands and a cheat’s Christmas cake. 

The time-saving strategies are important for Stacey. ‘Each Christmas I look ahead to the identical factor: stopping from Christmas Eve to Boxing Day. No deadlines, no stress.’ 

It’s aggravating managing their massive household and she or he admits there are stress factors. ‘It’s wholesome in any relationship to have factors the place you’re pissed off or at loggerheads. 

‘Joe and I will be like ships passing within the evening – after I work he takes care of the youngsters, and when he works I’ve the youngsters. We’re very totally different folks however once we strip every little thing again what all of it comes right down to is our household and having the identical core ethical values. 

‘Joe doesn’t stay the way in which I stay and doesn’t perceive my mentality. So he has areas in the home which might be the other way up as a result of that’s what makes him comfy, not like me who desires to fold my knickers into little squares,’ she laughs. 

However on Christmas Day, he takes over. ‘He cooks, makes the toys and even clears away the wrapping paper. 

‘The primary 12 months I didn’t know what to do with myself, however now I can completely let go on this sooner or later of the 12 months.’ 

  • Stacey Solomon’s Artful Christmas, Thursday 15 December, BBC1