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24 August
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A mummy pen pal…

I can vividly remember being in school and wanting a pen pal. They always sounded so fun whenever I read about them in books – someone to share all my thoughts with in almost diary form without worrying about being judged. Almost as though you’d verbally exploded onto the page and suddenly shared all your hopes, dreams and fears…

Well, it’s dawned on me that I have gained a few pen pals during mummyhood. I mean, swap the pen and paper for long detailed whatsapp messages though, because what mum is able to quietly sit and write a perfectly inked letter, let alone find time to actually post the blooming thing? Nope, whatsapp or texting is the way to go because sometimes when words fail you and your brain just can’t be kicked into gear (it happens) the emojis are there, filling in the blanks.

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I know it might be hard to imagine when you see mummy groups continuously out having tea and cake while their children play idyllically by their side, but not all of us like to mingle OR have the time to. I think this pen pal way of communicating is really interesting and extremely useful. Why? Well, part of me thinks that you’re able to drop any pretence when just typing away and it’s incredibly important to talk and realise that we’re not alone in our crazy mum thoughts… Obviously, this doesn’t work for all mummies – but it works for me.

I have a few mummy friends who I message on a regular basis but have never actually socialised with. This doesn’t mean I avoid spending time with them or don’t want to – but rather that life is hectic and the days and weeks quickly dwindle away. However, it’s great to have some support from other mums without the pressure of squeezing more into an already jam-packed schedule. Our babies have never met, even though we swap pictures and our stories of the chaotic and tough days, but that doesn’t lessen how much I value the interaction shared. I blooming love my pen pal mums.

Also this week…

…Well, this is a tough one as it’s been extremely busy but I’m not allowed to tell you why yet. I said that in a recent YouTube video and people started insisting I’m doing Strictly. Well, I’ve two left feet and an appalling memory when it comes to dance moves, so I won’t be donning those beautiful sequins any time soon – but I promise I’ll be able to tell all very soon!

…Me and Buzz had a weekend of socialising. We spent Saturday with my mum, Izzy and ‘the bump’ and had a lovely little lunch and walk in the sunshine. Then on Sunday my dad, Mario and friends Savannah and Nate all went out for lunch at The Dolls House on the Hill in Harrow and ended up eating lots of yummy cake.

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…I decided to plant some sweetpea seeds and they’re already growing! I usually kill plants, so it’s nice to see them thriving for once. Please send good plan growing vibes my way!

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…I received some wonderful theyesmum ‘positive thinking’ cards from my friend Hollie De Cruz. You might remember that we did hypnobirthing with Hollie (I’ve not been shy of declaring my love for her), but now she’s made these gorgeous cards that are nothing short of genius. I think, as mums, we just need to trust we’re doing a good job. These new cards help to de-fog brains of the rubbish we throw up there and help, instead, to provide a much happier way of thinking. Get rid of the doubt!

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Hope you all have a fab week!

Big love,

Gi. Xx

17 August
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A Night Away For Two… In a Zoo!

This week me and Tom went on a little adventure as a duo. Yep, while Buzz went to stay with his Nana and Granddad, me and Tom headed up the M1 to Whipsnade – where Tom had been treated by my family (for his 30th) to a night sleeping IN THE ZOO!

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First things first we headed round to the Africa section of the zoo where we got up close and personal with their Lions, with Tom even feeding them little pieces of meat on a stick. I always find lions ridiculously impressive up close. They’re such beautiful animals and the power and strength of them is astonishing. And their growls… well, I crouched down to get a better view of one of the lionesses and she instantly let me know that she would rather I stood up. Needless to say, I complied with her request. Immediately. Another thing the pride did, and kept doing throughout the night, was roaring and calling out in unison, as though giving a group chant. It was mesmerising to watch and sounded nothing like what I’d thought it would – funnily enough they sounded more like a louder version of how our cats at home sound when they’re coughing up a fur ball… although the depth and earthiness of their calls made even the thick windows of part of their enclosure vibrate.

Interestingly, away from the public and behind the scenes, a pride of Asian lions are camping out and having a little summer holiday from London Zoo while their home gets renovated. And the two prides were definitely aware of each other as throughout the early evening the two sets of animals would answer to each other’s noises across the vast space.

Once we’d said goodbye to our new friends (although we’d see and hear them a few times more that night) we headed over to Look Out Lodge camp to start the rest of our adventure and be given the keys of our accommodation – a cosy little wooden building situated next to the reindeers and rhinos. Seeing as me and Tom left it late to book we could only book a twin room. Now, some might think this was a shame seeing as we were away from home for the night, but seeing as Buzz has been teething badly lately and in our bed (and hogging the majority of it) I think we both looked at our singular beds and marvelled over the space that we were going to have total control over. What bliss.FullSizeRender

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Once our bags had been dropped off and our shoes changed, we started our first tour of the evening in a safari truck and heard all about the lions, rhinos, bongos and a few different species of antelopes, elephants and other animals we passed – getting off the truck at various points so that we could be told even more.

After a yummy dinner, it was time to head out on foot for our torchlight tour. Here we headed around to the tigers, pelicans, flamingos, cheetahs, lions (again – it was very interesting to seem them in the dark), wolves (the only animals that decided to hide from us) and the moose. Catching glimpses of them all through torchlight was a lot of fun. Bizarrely I didn’t feel scared of being in the zoo in the dark, it just helped to make it all the more fascinating. I STILL wasn’t frightened when we went to bed in out little huts or when I had to walk to the loo at five in the morning in the darkness (on my own). There was something so still and peaceful about the place, and that’s something I really didn’t expect. I thought we’d be woken up throughout the night by a whole variety of noises and squawks, but it was the opposite… or maybe I was just so happy to be sleeping in a space of my own. Ha!

After a good night’s sleep we were treated to breakfast – a blooming big fry up. From there we headed to feed the chimps, brown bears and wild boar, and also got up close with the penguins and Lynxes. The chimps were incredibly entertaining, especially with naughty Elvis running around and winding up all of the other males. There was so much to do in their surroundings and it’s clear to see that they’re incredibly intelligent animals. Our guide told us that when given bottles of cold fruit tea on hot days, Coco (the granny of the group) keeps the bottle she’s given and refills it for later, even screwing the top back on – completely different behaviour to the younger males who just bite the lids off and discard the whole thing after the first drink. I loved being told little bits of information like that.

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I must say, the tour guides for both the evening tours and then the morning one, were amazing and full of knowledge about all of the animals. I don’t think anyone asked a single question they didn’t have an answer for. It was really interesting to hear of the observations made by the keepers of the animals living in captivity and how they use that knowledge to keep numbers growing and thriving in the wild – but, more impressively, how organisations like this have managed to boost the numbers of certain endangered species through education and also by releasing animals raised in captivity back into the wild. It’s truly inspirational when you compare it to the stories we hear far too frequently of the heartless morons of the world who go out and shoot these beautiful animals for sport…

We had a wonderful time being explorers – so a big thanks to my family and Whipsnade Zoo for making it so memorable.

Hope you all have a fabulous week!

Big love,

Gi. Xx

10 August
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I got to hold a baby PENGUIN!!!

We’ve been meaning to go to London Zoo for some time. Buzz is getting great at making animal noises and so we figured a day out where he can see them in the flesh would be really enjoyable for him. Although, I’ll admit, I was quite surprised to see him utterly mesmerised by the line of working ants in the BUGS centre – it was so funny to see him staring open mouthed at the little things carrying around their bits of leaves. Bless him. He also had a really cute interaction with a monkey, where they were both looking at each other and up close through the pane of glass separating them. It was incredibly cute. Unfortunately the lions were on holiday while their new enclosure is being built, but thankfully Buzz didn’t know any different and still enjoyed roaring at the pictures of them. Phew!

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When we’d already been there for a few hours lovely Rebecca from their media team asked if we’d like to go and meet the baby penguins… Well, she didn’t have to ask me twice! Having played a penguin at drama school (it’s a long story) I’ve always had a fascination with them, so being able to see one of them up close was an exciting prospect in itself – but being able to not only SEE a baby penguin, but also hold it?! Well, I was ecstatic!! It’s a wonder I didn’t wet myself with excitement (written for comedy value, I assure you).

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Needless to say, they didn’t disappoint. They weren’t fluffy as I’d imagined, they were actually more wiry than that, but they were incredibly beautiful. One was only eight days old and nameless, so the keeper decided to name it Buzz after our little dude, which we thought was rather special. We also got to see a few other animals up close including a rather frisky armadillo who was running around after his female companion – again, thankfully Buzz was too young to understand that one so we didn’t have to explain it. Although we better get practicing our responses for when he’s a bit older.

We had a wonderful day – one that was made even more special by the brilliantly friendly team at the zoo! Thanks London Zoo!

Also this week…

…I announced that I’ve written another ebook Christmas novella for the festive period. This one follows on from my last novel DREAM A LITTLE DREAM and is aptly called DREAM A LITTLE CHRISTMAS DREAM. Like what we did there? In a nutshell – we basically join Sarah and ‘the gang’ ten months after we left them and see what they’re getting up to in the lead up to Christmas. It’ll be available on all ebook devices from 8th October. I can’t wait for readers to download this one as I’ve loved writing it. I’m now very excited for Christmas.

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…I went to my friend Charlie’s surprise baby shower in Kensington’s Candella! What’s better than a normal baby shower? A surprise one where you secretly hope the preggers lady is going to go into labour at the shock of unexpectedly seeing you all. Haaaa… Luckily the last bit didn’t happen but it was lovely to shower our friend Chuck with some love while munching on delicious cake and enjoying a little adult conversation.

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…To celebrate the release of their new flavours (golden and peanut butter), Oreo sent us a portrait of Tom and I – made from the new Oreos! It’s quite spectacular. My brother is coming to stay this week so I’ve no doubt we’ll start devouring it in the next day or two.

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Right, time to get on with the mammoth list of tasks I have to do today (ending with making a lovely homemade pie for dinner). Ooh, talking of cooking – who else is thrilled that The Great British Bake Off is back on the telly? We’ve made a vow to bake treats to increase our viewing pleasure (rather than watching it hungrily) – I’ll keep you updated on our progress.

Hope you all have a brilliant week!

Big love,

Gi. Xx

03 August
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Sad to hear Cilla passed away…

I was deeply saddened yesterday when I heard Cilla Black had passed away. When I was 11 years old I played Cilla in a school play and sang two of her biggest hits Anyone Who Had a Heart and You’re My World. They were two songs that moved me in a way that no other songs had before – the heart and emotion with which she delivered them became, for me, what all songs should be about. Music should tell a story and move people – it should transport them to another time, place and emotional state… not always in a sad way, but certainly those two songs had a melancholy feeling that I hadn’t experienced to such an extent before. I still listen to her greatest hits album now and even converted Tom into a fan a few years ago.

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Then there was obviously the other side of Cilla – the TV personality who many of us will feel we grew up with. I didn’t realise back in the nineties that the happy lady we saw on the telly all the time had such a heartbreaking story, or that she actually turned to presenting after her music career had dwindled.

Cilla was made for prime time Saturday night viewing. Her charm, humour and heart pulled in the nation and left us with a feeling of warmth… I find it crazy that she had that affect over people in a career that she was originally hesitant to pursue. For that reason I find her story amazingly inspiring. We can achieve everything we could possibly want in life and then have it snatched away from us unfairly, but it’s what we do in those testing times with the opportunities that present themselves that really shape us as humans. Because of the choices that Cilla made she ultimately became a national treasure and burrowed herself deep in our hearts. So rest in peace, Cilla – and thank you for filling our Saturday nights with laughter and magic… And for the music that will stay with me forever.

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Also this week…

… Firstly Tom and me went to YouTuber Marcus Butler’s launch for Hello Life!, a book that’s largely about Marcus and his inspiring and healthy take on… well, life. It was lovely to see Marcus and his lovely girlfriend Niomi and celebrate his creation being out there for people to read.

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…As usual, me and Tom seized the opportunity of time away from the house (and parenting duties) and went to STK for a romantic little meal afterwards. Which, I have to say, was possibly the best meal I’ve EVER eaten. It was all scrummy and I’m actually sat here salivating at the thought of it.

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…I attended another book launch for Eleanor Moran’s A Daughter’s Secret. I met Eleanor through Dorothy Koomson a few years ago, and then we randomly found ourselves sat next to each other on a flight over to LA a few months ago. I haven’t read her latest book yet, but, having listened to Eleanor read the first page of it I’m sure it’s a corker.

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… We spent a lovely day in south London celebrating my bestie Katy’s birthday – she’s joining the 30 club this week. Katy has been my rock for the last twelve years and I find it hilarious to see how our method of celebrating birthdays has changed over the years. Gone are the alcoholic shots in questionable nightclubs – this year we were sat in a very civilised and chilled out manner, in a big open space, surrounded by bunting, eating homemade delights and singing silly songs to keep the children entertained and happy. It was a very funny afternoon.

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That’s all from me – time to get cracking with a week of writing.

Big love,

Gi. Xx

27 July
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Family day out and a wedding!

Morning!

Well, the start of this week was fairly miserable. As I said in last week’s blog, we managed to catch a bug and that fully unleashed on Monday and meant a full day on the sofa feeling sorry for ourselves. Yes, with Buzz with his Nanny it meant that me and Tom could allow ourselves to really feel ill and gloomy. I hate letting Buzz see us poorly, so it was nice to not have to put on a brave face and just relax in our discomfort. It lingered around and dampened most of the week but, fear not, some fun was still had…

Midweek we headed into London for a family adventure. We were hoping to go to the zoo but an interesting meeting got scheduled in last minute (hopefully I’ll be able to share more on that soon), meaning our plans changed. We ended up strolling around Covent Garden and the Southbank with a grumpy, teething toddler… not fun.

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Actually, talking about the difficult moments of parenthood – we have experienced one area of family life that’s a tad troublesome when we’re out. And that’s when we get to a restaurant, order our food and have to wait… Buzz gets very confused as to why the waiter isn’t bringing out his food instantly – after all, he’s in the highchair, we’re sat at a table… what’s the hold up?! Fair to say he gets vocal in his hunger… I think his huge appetite is something he gets from my Italian side of the family – and, unfortunately, no distraction will work to tear him aware from his desire to stuff his face with goodness… We end up giving him rice cakes to tide him over. Yes, yes, yes, I know – we’re awful parents (and try not to) but he has learnt how to say ‘snack’ and ‘more’ – two words he says with absolute conviction. Bowing to his diva-ish demands is all we can do to keep the other diners happy… not that it’s hurting anyone – he still eats his proper meal when it arrives.

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Also this week…

…An old friend of ours, Duncan Wood (aka Woody), got married to the gorgeous Loli at Fulham Palace. We met Woody through Harry at the start of McFly and we’ve had many drunken adventures together – he’s hilarious. What was particularly wonderful to see on his wedding day was his romantic side – I knew I’d laugh at his groom’s speech, but I had no idea I’d find myself weeping. Speeches are SO important at weddings and Woody smashed it. My advice to anyone having to talk at a wedding is to speak from the heart – it’s your one day to do so without anyone thinking you’re soppy, weak or any of the other stupid and crappy connotations that come with opening up your heart and expressing love… I love declarations of love and hearing how lives have been changed from finding their special someone. So congratulations Woody and Loli – I hope you have a lifetime of happiness together as Mr and Mrs Wood.

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…While we were at the wedding some special guests made an appearance as the wedding band – McFly, of course. Having played at the three McFly weddings before, I have to say that I love, love, love seeing them play in those intimate settings with family and friends around. The best bit is that it’s a chance for all us wives to get up close and scream along. And yes, by close I mean front row. Ha…

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…The best part of the week was seeing Harry and Izzy Judd announcing their baby news with a gorgeous snap of them both on Instagram. I’m so excited for the pair of them to start this whole new adventure together – they’re such a caring couple and I know they’ll make wonderful parents. So, come on, Baby Judd – we can’t wait to meet you.

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Big love,

Gi. Xx

20 July
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Tom’s Disastrous 30th…

Firstly, sorry for my lack of post last week. It was a manic working week and, to be honest, you didn’t miss much – it was pretty boring otherwise. Hahahaa… So, on to this week!

The main thing to happen this week is that Tom’s joined me in the 30’s club. Yes, that milestone that had always felt like it was miles away suddenly caught up with him and landed him in a new decade of his life. I know I’m his wife (and possibly slightly biased) but he’s achieved a huge amount in that time – more than some do on their entire lifetimes, so I’m hoping hitting 30 hasn’t affected him in the panicked way I hear of… he seems fine with it so far.

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To celebrate Tom’s birthday we had planned a gorgeous day with our families and friends – a nice and chilled BBQ at ours. My first worry was the weather as, in the few days leading up to it, light rain was predicted – but when we woke up that day I was thrilled to see the sun shining and it looking fairly glorious. Hurrah! So with the sun shining, balloons blown up and a fridge stocked with goodies we were set to go… Right?! Wrong! Tom had been feeling rough since the day before (feeling like he as going to pass out on stage) and felt extremely ill when he groggily woke up on his birthday party morning. After debating for an hour we sadly had to cancel the party just as my family turned up from Essex with a gorgeous Mickey Mouse themed birthday cake made by the extremely talented Juliet Sear (she also made our wedding cake and my amazing Nutella Jar cake in January).

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Deciding that our families wouldn’t mind if he had to go off to bed for a few hours, they stayed, but we explained to our lovely friends that Tom wasn’t in a party mood… What an epic fail of a birthday celebration. With a huge birthday cake and double the food and drink necessary, we munched our way through the day and still sent everyone off with huge mountains of food to see them through the week.

And it’s a good job we cancelled – during the afternoon I also started feeling awful and we both ended up leaving Buzz with everyone else so that we could have a lie down. Looks like we saved our friends from catching a bug, as we both still feel awful now… Blurgh!

Also in the last two weeks…

…Tom and I had a little date night and went along to the amazing Juliet Sear’s book launch for Cakeology. The cakes that were on display were just incredible – burgers and chips, a beach – a majestic woodland setting – all made from cake. Such a talented lady and the book in filled with plenty of great ideas.IMG_0646

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…I got my hands on a gorgeous Maasai Colour bag. Yes, bored of having to take changing bags everywhere, I decided I was due an upgrade away from the nappy carriers – especially for those times when I’m not with Buzz. Well, this bag is beautiful and has a rather lovely and inspirational brand story to match. They work with a skilled team in Nairobi who handcraft all their bags and they endeavour to make their business as ethical as possible whilst giving back to the local community in Kenya.

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Right, I’m off to curl up under the duvet. Let’s hope this bug scurries off quickly!

Big love,

Gi. Xx

06 July
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Wimbledon, Book signings and becoming a CoppaFeel! Boob Ninja!

This week it has been revealed that I am a Digital Boob Ninja for the wonderful team at CoppaFeel!. I’ve spoken lots about CoppaFeel! and Kris (its founder) in previous posts, but now I’m actually on board as an official part of the team and I’m blooming thrilled. My job is to remind people (females AND males) to regularly check their baps. Let’s face it, a lot of us forget, but it’s such a simple thing to do and can easily be done in the shower once a week.

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I find boobs fairly fascinating. Noticing the change over the last couple of years during different parts of my cycle, during pregnancy and then breastfeeding has opened my eyes to just how much those bad boys can change – and how quickly. It’s a marvel to witness. So I’m urging you all to stay in tune with your boobs and the rest of your bodies, and to get checked out by your doctor if you’re concerned. Also, if you get told its nothing without a scan but you’re adamant that something doesn’t feel right – ask for a referral. You know your body.

Our aim is to get younger people realising that cancer isn’t just something old people get. It can happen to any of us – and, sadly, it does. In our lifetime, 1 in 8 of us will be directly affected by breast cancer – but if we catch it early enough we severely raise our chances of survival. So yes, I’m going to be reminding you on a regular basis to check your bazookas – but I feel it’s important. If you want to hear more about CoopaFeel! please go to www.coppafeel.org. I also made a rather hilarious YouTube video about my new Ninja status, which can be found on my channel.

Also this week…

…We went to Wimbledon! Yep, that’s right – this mumma got dressed up in a gorgeous outfit from Coast and had a day out with friends. I’ve never been to Wimbledon, and I’m be totally honest and say that I’ve only recently become familiar with the rules – but when Robinsons asked us if we wanted to attend I know it was an opportunity not to be missed. All I can say is that watching it at home on the TV screen does the speed of those balls no justice. They fly by!

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…I had a signing in Bluewater for Dream a Little Dream. Whereas my other book events were ticketed and kicked off with a Q&A, this was just a straight signing – meaning I had absolutely no idea if anyone was going to turn up. I was worried I’d be sat in the store on my own, but on the way there I was astonished to hear that people had started queuing hours before the event! It was such a lovely day – thank you to everyone who came along and made it special!

…Our lovely friend Carina got married to John and became Mrs Bowers. Tom’s known Carina since he was just six years old and it was lovely to be able to share a part of her special day with her because she’s such a wonderful girl inside and out. Congratulations Mr and Mrs Bowers!

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Other than that there’s been a sprinkle of family time and lots of playing in the sunshine for Buzz – who’s discovered he loves to sit in buckets of water… bless him!

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See you next week!

Big love,

Gi. Xx

29 June
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Lovely Buzz and Mummy time

This week it was time for me to scurry away from my desk and attend some book events – both with a Q&A set up followed by signings. The first was held in the Covent Garden store on Tuesday night and hosted by the gorgeous Anna James, and the second up in Liverpool, hosted by the lovely Caroline Smailes. I’ll be honest, I can get nervous having just one on one chats sometimes, so the thought of having to make coherent sentences in front of so many people always scares me. What if my words decided not to come out? What if I made no sense? What if I came across as a total idiot?

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Well, I’m happy to report that my words did come out, that I did make sense and that I wasn’t a total idiot… OK, I might’ve been a bit of an idiot, but I’m totally fine with that. I had so much fun doing the Q&As – it was wonderful to hear people laughing along and enjoying themselves. I’m heading to Waterstones in Bluewater this weekend (Saturday 4th July at midday) for another signing. There’ll be no Q&A this time, but I do love a good natter so will be chewing ears off while signing books. Please come and say hello if you’re in the area!

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Also this week…

…I had afternoon tea at the Haymarket Hotel with my sister-in-law Carrie and the gorgeous Kris Hallenga from CoppaFeel! I wrote about the inspirational Kris a couple of months ago, now it was time for her to spread her message to Carrie. After lots of boob chat and endless cake, it’s fair to say we were all fired up to get spreading the word and making sure people get to know their bodies, regularly check for anything they consider to be abnormal, and seek medical attention if concerned. It’s an important message – one that needs to be heard and can ultimately save lives! Please go to www.coppafeel.org to find out more.

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…I have finished my marathon watching of Lena Dunham’s TV show Girls. Although I was sad to be late to the party, it’s been great to absorb the whole thing in one mammoth chunk. I have to admit that I’m also a little relieved that I can now continue with all the other pending tasks on my rather full plate, without the constant pull of seeing what my four NYC friends are up to.

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…Buzz has mastered the art of multitasking and (as the photo shows) has learnt to mow the lawn and hoover at the same time… I feel like a very proud mum. Hahaha… Seriously though, I’ve had some lovely Buzz and mummy time this week. Just what I need before the acceleration of ‘mummy-work-mode’ that’s about to go into full-force over the next couple of months.

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Right, I hope you all have a fabulous week. I have a week of writing ahead – as well as a trip to Wimbledon (I’m so excited) and my Bluewater signing. I’ll tell you all about it next week!

22 June
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Dream A Little Dream Gets Published!

Writing a book can be a lonely experience. You spend months on end sat on your own at your desk (or sometimes in bed) living in your imagination, and doubting everything you type, until finally the pieces of the puzzle you’ve created seem to bash together and miraculously make magic (well, that’s the aim). Weeks, sometimes months, follow before that book hits the shops and you hear feedback from your readers… Well, that time came this week with DREAM A LITTLE DREAM finally hitting the shelves of all good bookshops and supermarkets.

I guess this time round it doesn’t feel like I’ve been away from the book for too long as it was only completed a couple of months ago, but it was certainly a book that demanded far more from me than the previous two. Writing as a mummy brought along different pressures, however, it also made working days far more productive. As a result of that I found myself so immersed in the team of characters from my imagination and the world they live in, that having that work now out there for the public to buy and read has been extremely emotional for me. Having readers tweet or email me with their reactions has been so overwhelming and heartwarming. Quite simply, it’s been a huge deal and I’ve been on the cusp of tears for the last few days.

But let’s break my publication day down…

– First off I was up ridiculously early to appear on Lorraine. I’ll admit I was quite nervous, but it was over before I knew it. Lorraine Kelly is always such a friendly lady. She always seems so chilled out and relaxed that it’s impossible for a little bit of that not to rub off on you. A few people have already asked about my lovely tea-dress with all the birds on it. Well, it was from Joy and I flipping love it too.

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– Then there was a quick interview with Dusty from Sugarscape. They got me to play a really tricky game about celebs and dreams. It was really funny because my brain just wasn’t functioning clearly. I’m sure it’ll be on their website soon.

– After a quick juice stop, we then trotted into Magic FM for an interview for their book club. I was really excited about this one as I love listening to Magic on the radio. Nothing like those love ballads to sing along to when you’re driving on the motorway…

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– Finally, Penguin threw a gorgeous party for me overlooking the Thames with lots of inspirational folk (my family, friends, favourite authors and wonderful people who have shown me support), while surrounded by gorgeously colourful flowers, yummy cupcakes, jars of personalised Nutella and towers of Ferraro Rochers. Basically all my favourite things in one room! How lucky am I? I was also wearing the most stunning dress ever! I found it online at www.littleblackdress.co.uk and it’s from Eden Row… I’ve had so many comments about it. It’s super flattering and hid almost all of my lumps and bumps. Hurrah!

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– An hour into my lovely party, my editor Maxine Hitchcock gave a little speech and said some amazing things about me (while I stood by her side all embarrassed) before saying a few words of my own… Well, I suddenly became so overwhelmed. I got a lump in my throat, tears sprang to my eyes – my voice even did that thing where it goes up a few octaves and squeaks… I think I was just hit with the realisation that life is flipping great, and that I am so unbelievably happy to be doing something I adore while receiving unconditional love from the people I love and admire. I felt a bit of a plonker for my emotional outburst, if I’m honest. I would totally have been mocked if I was at the Oscars. Ha! Thank goodness I had only lovely, kind, sweet people in attendance who totally understand me and my bonkers ways.

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Also this week…

– I went for lunch with the brilliant Adele Parks. She’s superb and I can’t wait for more adventures with her in the future!!

– Me and Buzz went to a children’s fancy dress party. I went as The Snowman (again) and Buzz went as Woody (oh the irony).

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– I bought Tom, me and Buzz the cutest shoes from Vans… they’re from their Disney collection and I simply couldn’t resist.

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– It’s been Father’s Day! Buzz and I are extremely lucky to have three extraordinary men in our lives, dishing out their love, encouragement and wisdom: Tom, my dad and my father-in-law. We celebrated with a little meal all together in Essex. A lovely way to end the week.

Ooh, next Saturday I’m doing a signing in Waterstones Bluewater from midday. It’s not a ticketed event so if you live locally, come along and see me. I’d love to meet you!

Hope you all have fantastic weeks!

Big love,

Giovanna. Xx

15 June
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Time to give my body some love

As you know, I’ve decided to stop watching my weight climb higher and get cracking on getting my body back into something I recognise as mine. Not that I’ve started hating on the wonderful body that grew a human and then nourished him for thirteen months afterwards. Not at all. I just think it’s time for a spring clean… Or a bit of redecorating. FYI, Body – if you’re reading this – I love you long time.

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As I’m already away from Buzz for work I don’t like the idea of having to leave him to go to the gym – so I’ve been looking into other ways of giving my body some love. First up I started with Jason Vale’s juicing plan which made me feel great, energised and even more determined to work hard for the result I’m after. While doing this I did some online ballet classes with Sleek Technique as soon as Buzz went to sleep at night. I was then handed the T25 DVDs by my sister Giorgina. Last Monday I decided to give it a bash and consequently turned crimson while sweating like a big sweaty red thing… Needless to say the workout pushed me. And so all through the week I’ve taken twenty-five minutes in the evening to be coached along by the marvellous Shaun T. I’ve moaned, groaned, puffed and sworn – but at the end of each session I’ve felt fantastic. I’m hoping this is the start of something great! Fingers crossed… Actually, the reason I love posting pictures of me post workout (in my hot sweaty mess) is not to give myself a public high five, but actually to jeer me on to continue. If people know you’re doing something it’s harder to give up and quit… Right? So, if I don’t post a sweaty red picture next week on Instagram please feel free to message me. I’m sure I’m not going to lose focus at this stage – but a kick up the butt would be appreciated nonetheless.

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Also this week:

…I’ve had another couple of photoshoots! It’s so lovely getting my hair and makeup done for me and being beautified! The first was a fashion piece for S Mag (out in a couple of weeks) and the second was for something I’m working on with Coppafeel… I can’t tell you more than that at the moment, but I’ll share more information on our collaboration very soon!

…I remembered how joyous rolling down hills was…and is! That carefree feeling as your body cascades downhill with gravity is so brilliant and reminded me of my childhood. I think I’ll do it more often… Although I got far dizzier than I ever remember getting as a kid! My head was truly spinning.

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…I made Nutella. Yes, that’s right – I’ve shunned my naughty treat for a blend of roasted hazelnuts, maple syrup and cocoa powder. I’ll be honest, it’s not the same – BUT, it’s better than nothing and means I can have a spoonful without feeling guilty.

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So, my latest novel Dream a Little Dream is published his Thursday!! A huge thank you to everyone who’s already preordered – and a huge advanced ‘thanks’ to anyone who heads out and bags a copy this week. Your support brightens my heart – I hope you enjoy what I put so much time and love into creating!

Big love,

Gi. Xx

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