La La La La La La La Manga…

Hi guys,

This week I’m reporting for duty from La Manga not LA. This place is a popular place for many sporting teams to visit – although saying that I haven’t seen any famous footballers yet!  The La Manga Club Resort is about 30 minutes from Murcia airport.  It’s an upmarket place with large villas, some nice bars, a few restaurants, golf courses and an abundance of tennis courts.  I’m only staying in the area until Friday when I move further South for my last week abroad, but I’m tempted to stay for the weekend when Alex is visiting for our second anniversary.

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I can’t believe we have been married for two years.  The time has flown by and Alex and I will have spent both our first and second wedding anniversaries in Spain as I have been away filming on both occasions.  I’m not complaining though, it’s not a bad thing getting to celebrate in the sunshine! Happy 2nd Anniversary Alex and thank you to HELLO! for following our journey…

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So there has been a lot of baby news over the last couple of weeks.  My agent Jayne and her husband Matt welcomed their new son Cody George in to the world – a whopping 10lb 2oz!!!  Lots of love to them all and well done Jayne.  Congratulations to The Saturdays singer Una Foden who is expecting her second child.  And of course congratulations to William and Kate who announced last week they are expecting another baby.  Unfortunately Kate is suffering with severe morning sickness again (as she did with George) so I hope she gets over this soon.  I was lucky enough to escape this when I was pregnant with Rocco and I can’t imagine it is nice.

Little Rocco is now 10 months old.  He has four teeth, is close to walking and is pretty confident in the water which is brilliant to watch given that when I took him to ‘Water babies’ when he was 12 weeks old, he was the only baby who screamed the place down when he went under water.  Now he is happy to splash about and isn’t phased at all.

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It’s less than 2 months until his 1st birthday so I am starting to think about planning a little Peppa Pig themed party (who he seems to love). He is pretty pleased with his Peppa Pig towel that his Nana bought him in Spain!

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Whilst I am on the road I have a few travel necessities with me, that I highly recommend you invest in if you are going away.  I have the Totseat (a great portable highchair). Rocco loves this as he gets to sit in a proper chair, AND it’s machine washable so when it gets covered in Weetabix it can be cleaned easily.


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For bedtime I brought the Puckababy 4 seasons sleep suit. This sleep suit works for each season of the year so I’m obviously using the summer version of it.

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I’ve packed my Doona Car seat/pram.  I know I constantly bang on about this product but it is a revelation.  In fact, whilst I have been in Spain I’ve had 6 people take photos of it and ask me where it’s from.  Having a car seat that turns into a pram is great for space saving.  It’s also really handy if Rocco falls asleep as I don’t have to disturb him when I get him out of the car.

I’ve also recently invested in a Maclaren pushchair so I have that in Spain too.  These are probably one of the best pushchairs for travelling.  They are good value for money, light, easy to use and pretty robust.  Rocco likes travelling forward too.  Finally one of my other travel must haves is the SnoozeShade.  I’m using the pushchair size one now for my Maclaren.

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Well that’s it from me for now.  Have a great weekend all.

Lots of love

Laura xxx

Hola! from Spain…

Hola! como estas?

This week’s blog comes to you from Spain where I’m working for the next four weeks.  I’m going to be based on the Costa Blanca filming the new series of ‘A Place in the Sun – Winter Sun’ and I’m currently filming with a lovely couple, Gary and Kevin who are looking to relocate to Altea.  It’s a stunning area and it’s so hot.  Its actually 39 degrees at the moment so now would probably be a good time to do the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ that I have been nominated twice for.

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Just before I left the UK, Alex and I had Sonos installed in our house.  If you are looking to install a home entertainment system, Sonos is pure quality.  It’s completely wireless and you can operate the system through your iPhone, iPad or computer though a simple app which is free to download.  Our system includes an amazing sound bar below our television which I highly recommend and we also purchased 12 Bowers and Wilkins Speakers (which are in the ceiling throughout the house).  We have quality sound in the kitchen, lounge and dining room, so now we just need to host a big party.

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Just a few days before I flew to Spain, I went to a beautiful wedding in Surrey.  My friends Vicky Ogden and Sam Attwater tied the knot.  It was a lovely day with lots of the Dancing on Ice pros in attendance, along with Jayne Torvill, Karen Barber and Robin Cousins.  My friend Steve from Nouveau Beauty Group did my make up and glammed me up.  I wore a cream and black lace dress for the occasion and the pants that pull you in and make you look slim – they work wonders!

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Vicky and Sam are a great couple and I wish them many happy years together.

I had another opportunity to get glammed up the day after their wedding when I had a really exciting photo shoot for a jewellery brand I am working with.  I should be able to tell you more about this very soon so make sure you keep an eye out on my blog and on twitter.  What I am able to tell you at the moment is; I am the face of one of their collections and the photo shoot involved getting to wear lots of amazing pieces of jewellery.  Every girl loves diamonds and I was in my element!  Here’s a sneaky photo from the shoot…

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Now I am in Spain, I of course have Rocco with me.  His top two teeth are starting to come through and he is gabbling away making lots of noises trying to speak.  It’s fantastic being able to take him swimming everyday and I’m sure when Alex sees him in a few weeks (and comes to visit me for our two year wedding anniversary) he will really notice the difference.

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Well that’s it from me for now, I had better get back to filming in the sunshine, someone’s got to do it!

Have a great week

Laura xxx

Who knew visiting a furniture factory could be so exciting!

Hi guys,

How are you all doing?  Good I hope?   If you are a parent of a child who has recently received exam results, I hope it went well, and if you have received exam results yourself I hope you were happy with them? I remember all too well when I got mine (a good few years ago now), and it was all very stressful.  If you didn’t achieve what you wanted, remember it’s not the end of the world and it is still possible to pursue the career you want to.  I’ve always known I wanted to work in television so when I completed my A-Levels I decided to apply for a job as a runner and defer my university placement for a year.  As a result I never ended up going and 12 years later here I am…

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The last couple of weeks I have been on the road filming in the UK.   When I was filming in Lincoln recently I was able to meet up with a good friend of mine, Joanne Heywood from ‘When you wish upon a star’.  I have been involved with this amazing charity for a couple of years now and not only do they offer invaluable support to families with children who are very poorly, they also make their wishes come true.  I had a lovely evening catching up with Jo and talking about some exciting things the charity has coming up.  You can check out the amazing things they do here www.whenyouwishuponastar.org.uk and if you can help in any way make sure you get in touch.

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As you may well know from my blog, I am currently furnishing the house Alex and I have been renovating for the last 9 months.  I’ve been sourcing some great bits online and I recently found a brilliant company to make house signs: www.somervillestone.co.uk.  They are worth checking out.

One of the biggest pieces of furniture we buy for our homes are our sofas and this past week I had a very interesting experience. Never before did I think I would get so excited about visiting a furniture factory but after ordering two Loch Leven sofas from the Country Living range at my local DFS store on the Purley Way,  I was fortunate enough to get invited to one of their factories.  I was really impressed seeing the team hard at work and not only did I watch my furniture being made, I actually got to help make my sofa too.

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It really was incredible watching the production line from start to finish from the fabric being cut, the machinists working lightening speed, the upholsters covering the furniture to seeing the ladies checking the pieces it in quality control.  Most of DFS’ furniture is made in the UK, by highly skilled craftsmen and women (some of whom have been working in the trade for over 35 years), and so much work and effort goes in to each item.  Philip Watkin their Design Director (the man who was responsible for designing my new sofa!) gave me the guided tour.  It was a real pleasure meeting him and we made a little film that hopefully I can share with you very soon.

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On to seats for Rocco… As much as I love my little boy, I won’t be letting him get his sticky hands over our lovely new Loch Leven sofas!  If you are a style conscious parent and are looking for a practical yet stylish high chair, check out Baby Bjorn.  A few of my friends own this cool highchair and I’ve just invested in it too.  As you can see Rocco is a big fan…

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I am now prepping for a 4 week trip to Spain where I will be filming more episodes of the new series of A Place in the Sun.  I head abroad again in a week’s time so Rocco and I had a little shopping spree in one of my favourite children’s clothes shops,  ‘Childsplay’.  Whilst we were shopping we also featured in a documentary being made about the shop for ITV which will be on screen a bit later in the year.

As I prep for the trip, I’m packing Rocco’s little suitcase.  He now has his own little case in the form of a fire engine ‘Trunki’.  These little suitcases for children have become somewhat of a ‘must-have’ and they now have a great range of other accessories available for travelling too.  Rocco has a travel pillow and blanket to match which will be put to good use and I’m sure, as he grows he will have a lot of fun wheeling around airports on his ‘Trunki’ as I see lots of other children doing.

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Well that’s  it from me for this week.  I hope you all have a great back holiday weekend.

Lots of love

Laura xxx

Little Rocco is almost nine months old!

Hi guys,

Well another week has passed and I can’t believe it’s August already… Every so often I get an email from Baby Centre and today I got one saying ‘Your Baby – 8 months and 3 weeks’. So almost 9 months on and little Rocco is pulling himself up on the furniture and saying ‘up, up, up’!  It’s also really cute when I say clap your hands and he does.  Babies really understand everything and he is certainly taking it all in.

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So talking of milestones, Prince George reached a big milestone, his first birthday on 22nd July.  I spent the royal celebrations just a stone’s throw from Buckingham Palace with Rocco and his friend Faith, (Michelle Heaton’s gorgeous daughter).  Rocco and I were honoured to be part of the ‘Royal Ride’ that was sponsored by SmarTrike.  I’m a big fan of their bikes which are suitable for children up to the age of three.  The great thing about them is; for now I can push and control Rocco, but as he gets older he will be able to steer the bike himself.  He really loves it and thoroughly enjoyed his day in London.

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Something else Rocco is really loving at the moment are his wooden toys from Boikido.  His favourite thing is playing his xylophone.  He seems to enjoy music a great deal, and my dad (who was once Uncle Bulgaria in the Wombles) is planning on teaching him to play the drums when he is old enough… so we have all the noise to look forward to.

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Last week I had a bit of beauty pampering.  I had a little photo shoot with Fresh Minerals Make up, which will be in HELLO! magazine soon and I also had a lovely calgel manicure and pedicure with my favourite colour!  The gel polish lasts for 3 to 4 weeks, and it doesn’t chip or damage your nails.  The lovely Robyn came to my house and did my nails whilst Rocco had a nap.

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This week (as I write this) I am back on the road filming. I’m currently in Exeter and later this week I will be in Leeds so if you see me out and about come and say hi!  The shopping in Exeter is brilliant.  I’ve purchased a few dresses in Oasis for my next stint of filming abroad with A Place in the Sun and I have also purchased some great dresses from Lipsy that have gorgeous prints.

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Whilst I’m away from home, I tend to relax in the evening and watch TV as I can’t do any work on the house… Relaxing and switching off is a rarity for me so it was great last night getting to watch one of my favourite TV shows Long Lost Family.  It was a pretty emotional evening in my rental apartment to say the least…

Right I had better get back to filming now,  I’ve got properties to view and people to meet!  I hope you have a great rest of the week and as always, thanks for reading my blog.

Lots of love

Laura xxx

Juicing, pram revelations, unpacking boxes and the ITV summer party…

Hi Guys,

Hope you are all well? It has been a few weeks since I last blogged and as always I have been all over the shop; North Wales, Cornwall and Yorkshire in just 10 days!  The weather has been great whilst I’ve been filming ‘A Place in the Sun – Home or Away’ and if you have never been to North Wales – Abersoch is such a beautiful place.  The beach is incredible, and despite being a 6 hour drive from London, it is well worth it.  If you are looking for a great place to invest in property in Cornwall, Loos is a good option.  I looked at some amazing places overlooking the water.

Whist I have been away working and Rocco has been with me, I have been making the most of a new product I have discovered; a car seat that turns in to a pram.  It is called The Doona and it has literally changed my life!  The product had been in development for 7 years and it’s been worth the wait.  I think it is quite possibly one of the best things I have ever used.  It retails around £300 and a word of warning, people will stop you in the street if they see you using it as they will be so impressed.  It’s suitable for children from birth up to 12-15 months so I am able to get a fair bit of use out of it yet.  You can find out more about here www.cuddleco.co.uk  As you can probably tell, I am a huge fan.

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Aside of working, you may remember a few weeks ago I tried two juice detox diets; JuicetoU & Just Juices.  Juice detoxing seems to be a popular thing so do right now and I was really impressed with both of these.

The idea is you literally drink juice for three days.  You can have water, fruit teas or hot water and lemon but nothing else can pass your lips.  It made me realise when I was detoxing, as a new mum, I am often having a spoonful of what Rocco is eating which isn’t great.

So first I tried JuicetoU.  I weighed in at 9st 8lb and I lost 5lb after the three day juice detox so I was pretty happy.  The juices were well labelled and the detox was easy to follow.  They didn’t taste at all sweet which I was surprised by (given the amount of fruit they contained), but I really liked the flavours despite of this.  Day two was the hardest, especially as I had a day filming and the crew all ate a huge meal in front of me. I didn’t cave in and I’m really glad I didn’t because on day 3 I felt amazing with loads of energy.

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I tried the Just Juices detox 3 days later with my mother in law.  They offer a ‘wake up shot’ and hot lemon water before you have your first juice of the day.  We really liked this as it was a great pick me up first thing.  The other thing I really liked about this detox is that it was delivered in a cool bag.   Although it’s recommended to keep the juices refrigerated during the day, if you can’t,  you can put some ice packs in your cool bag and take them with you – a nice little touch I thought!  This time I managed to loose 4lbs so again I was extremely happy with the results.  I felt full of energy after and my skin looked great.

I would highly recommend trying either of these juice detoxes. They offer a great kick start to loading weight as well as make you feel amazing.

We’ve now officially moved in to our new home after our 8 month renovation.  I thought I’d share a little before and after photo of our kitchen from Handmade Kitchens Direct.

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We painted the long run with a Farrow and Ball colour (Dove Grey), but used crown paint as a more cost effective option.  The island is painted in a colour called Skimming Stone.   If you are looking for a granite work surface: Russell Stone Fixing are fantastic.  We opted for a Silestone product and we think it looks fab.  Flooring wise we chose a relatively new product that Carpet Right sell called Tegola.  It is a grey/white, vinyl, water proof floor that is extremely hardwearing and durable, perfect in a kitchen especially when you have little ones. I sourced the two lights over our island from a lighting shop in Reigate and I found our kitchen clock in a little shop in Collioure on my travels which I managed to get home on a flight undamaged.

There is a lot of interior styling to do now and I’ve found some amazing wallpapers from Anthology and Zeppany.   Alex and I painted most of the house ourselves with a little help from friends but I’m using a great decorator called Matt Jackson from @mattsfinish to hang the wallpaper.  He is extremely tidy and a real perfectionist which I like!

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I’ve also been discussing soft funishings with a family run business called ‘The Harper Collection’ who I am really impressed with.  You can check them out on www.theharpercollection.co.uk.

I love all stages of a house renovation but when it comes to the interior design I really enjoy it.  As the house gradually comes together I will of course share some more photos with you.

I had a night off being a Mummy, painting and working for a few hours last week when I attended the ITV Summer Party.  It was lovely to let my hair down, have a few cocktails and chat with Paddy McGuiness and Leigh Francis (AKA Keith Lemon) about our children of course!  I wore a lovely black and blue dress from Bernshaw, with silver shoes and a silver clutch and my favourite matt red lipstick ‘Ruby Woo’ from Mac.

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Well that’s it from me for now.  I hope you all have a great rest of the week…

Lots of love

Laura X

One of my favourite weeks of the year…

Hi Guys,

How are you? This week I have been in France filming another series of Fort Boyard Ultimate Challenge.  It’s one of my favourite weeks of the year.

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I’ve been part of the team since the show came back on UK screen 4 years ago and I absolutely love it.  Ever year when I return to the Fort, it’s great catching up with the crew (most of whom have worked on the show for the last 25 years in France).    Travelling to the fort on a boat everyday is pretty special and this year the weather has been fantastic.

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Zoe Lem styled me for this series and I was really happy with my look; a bright blue top from Karen Millen and some dark ankle cropped trousers with a subtle print. I kept my jewellery simple with some silver hoops and as I’m loving wearing bright red lipstick at the moment, Sylvie the make up artist on the Fort used Mac’s Matte Ruby Woo on my lips.

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Since I started presenting the show a few years ago, I’ve married Alex and had Rocco.  The crew have followed my journey which is sweet and this year Sylvie and Celine, the two wonderful makeup ladies, bought Rocco some cute little clothes.

Each year I have an enormous amount of respect for our contestants.  Some of the challenges they compete in push them to their absolute physical limit.  For most , taking part in the show is an opportunity for people to face some of their biggest fears.   This year was no exception and with brand new challenges (even if our contestants had watched the show previously), they didn’t know what to expect.  Andy Akinwolere (my co host) and I tried a few of the challenges ourselves off camera so we both really appreciate how hard taking part is.

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Talking of Andy, he has just signed up to an exciting new project with the BBC called ‘Inside Out’.  He starts filming next week and I’m sure he will be fab.  Good luck Andy! He is a top guy and a brilliant presenter.

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The new series of Fort Boyard – Ultimate Challenge will hit screens later this year and it’s going to be a good one.  Make sure you don’t miss it.

I’m flying back to the UK today and I am looking forward to seeing how the house renovation has progressed.  On Sunday I’m travelling to North Wales to film there for a few days then at the end of the week I’ll be in Cornwall filming but before all that, I can’t wait to celebrate some of our best friends’ birthdays in Clapham tomorrow night.

I hope you have a lovely weekend all.

Thanks for reading

Laura xxx

Never a dull moment…

Hey guys,

Wow it sure feels nice to be home and sleeping in my own bed. Although saying that, time at home is actually more frantic than when I am working away at the moment.

I took Rocco to a local little play group on Wednesday morning and it was lovely seeing him interact with lots of other children his age.   It was funny watching a little girl try to take a toy from him, he held on to it so tightly she couldn’t snatch it.  He seems to be growing so quickly, hardly any of his clothes fit!

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With everything else to think about, I never really considered the time differences when travelling.  However with only an hour’s difference between France and the UK, Rocco has easily settled back in to his routine UK time!  He is a bit of a fidget in his sleep and seems to keep hitting his head on the side of his cot so it’s time to invest in some soft cot bumpers.

This week has been a particularly busy one.  I attended the Freesat Awards with Andy Akinwolere (to represent Fort Boyard which was nominated for an award), and I had unexpected last minute trip to Spain for a day to film some pick up pieces to camera.

The Freesat awards were brilliant and despite not winning in our category, it was great to see Andy and catch up with my friends from The Jump; Graham Bell, Marcus Brigstocke and Henry Conway.

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I was lucky enough to wear a beautiful Bershaw dress to the red carpet event, and the lovely Marie Maveric painted my hands and feet using Calgel.  Their selection of colours is unreal and it was lovely to have a bit of much needed pampering!

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I have half a stone of pregnancy weight left to loose so I have decided to try a juice detox.  Over the next couple of weeks I am trying two so I will report back on my thoughts and if I have shifted anymore post pregnancy pounds.

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When I look back at the last seven months of my life, it has been pretty crazy to say the least; the arrival of Rocco, moving house, taking on a renovation and learning some new winter sports on ‘The Jump’.  I’m really not sure how I have managed to fit it all in…  To say Alex is understanding it is an understatement!  Hopefully things are going to calm down a little now.

With our house renovation nearing completion, we are starting to unpack boxes and get things organised.  Upstairs is now carpeted and looks fantastic.  The guys from Carpet Right have really done an amazing job.  We chose a carpet called ‘cloudy bay’ (a pretty decent white wine too!) and downstairs we opted for Tegola flooring in the kitchen, hall and utility.  The house renovation has taken around 6 months and it has been a mammoth project.   We are at the exciting starting stage of furnishing and I’ve found some great bits and pieces including dining room chairs on www.londoncows.co.uk.  I discovered a great company who make bespoke headboards, www.theheadboardworkshop.co.uk  and an online light shop www.homelightingstoreuk.co.uk where I sourced a great chandelier.

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I particularly enjoy this part of a house renovation project as the house is no longer dusty and I love interior design (hence my new property blog on my website).

We are aiming to be settled in the house mid July but before then I am off to film the fifth series Fort Boyard with Andy Akinwolere and I have two weeks of filming another show in the UK.  Andy and I are flying to La Rochelle for Fort Boyard this weekend and we can’t wait to be back on the Fort and meet this years contestants.

Well that’s it from me for now, it time to head to a voice over – there’s never a dull moment!

Thanks again for reading my blog and supporting me.  Don’t forget to leave your comments below as it’s always nice to hear from you.

Laura xxx

I really love travelling, but I am really missing home…

Hi Guys,

I hope you are all well!

I’ve now been away from home for 5 weeks and it feels like such a long time.  I really love travelling, especially when I am with my family, but I am really missing home and I can’t wait to be back in my own bed.
I’m sure Rocco can’t either.  I’ve just about had it with my travel cot and find it such a nightmare to collapse.  I don’t think I will bother bringing it back to the UK. Surely there must be one out there that is simple to use…

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Collioure

I have now moved up from Spain in to the South of France.  At the start of last week I filmed an episode in Collioure which was picture postcard perfect – try saying that after a few glasses of vin rouge!  The pedestrianised streets were cute, there was an amazing tapas bar called Casa Gala, as well as some lovely interior shops too.  It was a little touristy and likely to be packed in the Summer but it is a beautiful place and worth a visit.  I am now in a place called Martel, staying in a little chalet at the Soulliac Golf and Country Club.  If you are a keen golfer it’s a lovely course and it’s quiet as it’s not yet peak season.

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Me in Collioure

I’m finishing my last episode in Carcassone, one of my favourite locations in France.  It’s such a magical, romantic place and reminds me of a huge Cinderella castle.  I think it was actually used as a filming location for the film ‘Ever After’ starting Drew Barrymore.  I’ve had the opportunity to visit Carcassone several times; a couple on holiday and once previously with ‘A Place in the Sun’.  This time my Mum is with me (as she is looking after Rocco now) which is great as it’s a place she has always wanted to visit.

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Me in Carcasonne on a previous visit

Rocco’s first tooth has now made an appearance and he is also very close the crawling.  It’s amazing how quickly he is developing now.  He’s had a couple of nights where he has had broken sleep but this could be down to the fact he is teething and also that he is approaching some big developmental changes – well that’s what ‘baby centre’ (an online source I use regularly) said!  Whilst Rocco has been away with me it has been fantastic but when I get back home I am planning on starting a few classes with him where he can interact with other babies as this is where I feel he had missed out a little.

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Rocco teething using his Tommee Tippee toy

If you are going away with your little one anytime soon and you are going on a long car journey (I’ve had quite long drives between locations), I’ve found the ‘Babycademy Music Time’ CD very useful.   When Rocco is crying he immediately stops when he hears this music.   I find myself humming the songs too when I’m on location filming.  The crew think I am a little strange but the songs are so catchy they just stick in your head!

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The Tummy Tub

Something else I have discovered whilst being away is the ‘tummy tub’.  I’ve stayed at several properties that didn’t have a bath and Rocco has a bath as part of his bedtime routine.  One of the owners of a property I stayed at loaned me a tummy tub as an alternative.  You fill the water to the marked level and sit your little one in the tub.  Rocco loved it and apparently it is like being back in the womb.  I’m not sure how practical they are to travel with but if you need a bath for your baby and you know your accommodation won’t have one, it’s worth packing if you have the space.

The next time I blog I will be back in the UK.  I’m only there for a week though before I return to France to film Fort Boyard.

Have a lovely week,

Laura xxx

Hola from Valencia!

Hey guys,

How are you all doing? I’ve been hearing reports that the UK has been experiencing some lovely warm weather. Great news! I’m still in sunny Spain and I am currently filming in Valencia. It’s about 26-28 degrees so very warm to be filming in but I am not complaining. Below is a little photo from my most recent episode when I was wearing one of my favourite dresses from www.theprettydresscompany.com.

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Out of all the places I have filmed A Place in the Sun, I have never visited Valencia before and I love it. The city has a real buzz about it, the architecture is amazing, property is cheap and the beach is beautiful too (it’s only 3 miles out of town). It feels a little like Barcelona but there are fewer British tourists and not many of the locals speak English which is a rarity in Spain.

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Alex has now arrived and Rocco is very pleased to be reunited with his Daddy after two weeks apart. I’m really glad that he is with us for the next two weeks of my filming block so he will get to spend some quality time with his little boy. Given that we are staying so close to the sea, it’s lovely being able to spend time on the beach altogether on my days off.

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It was really interesting taking Rocco to the beach for the first time. He was fascinated with the sand but thankfully he didn’t put any in his mouth, he just enjoyed picking it up and letting it run through his fingers. I always make sure Rocco is covered in a high factor sun cream whenever he is out and I really love the organic children ‘Green People’ products for him.

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If you are planning a trip to Valencia, Patacona beach is definitely worth a visit. ‘La Mas Bonita – Beach and Food’ seems to be a real favourite with the locals and Alex and I are big fans too! We have visited it for breakfast, lunch and dinner all in one day – I think the waiters and waitresses must think we are mad but the food is really good and their selection of cakes is amazing. I noticed they have a website too so you can check it out on www.lamasbonita.es.

Unbelievably Rocco is now 6 months old. He is having three bottles of milk a day to compliment the food I am giving him (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Thankfully I have brought lots of the Ella’s kitchen pouches with me and I am able to buy Aptamil (the brand of milk I am using in Spain). It’s given a different name but the packaging looks the same so it’s handy to know you can purchase it abroad if need be!

I have also discovered some great new toys for him. He is particularly fond of his monkey from the ‘breathablebaby’ company. They sell a good selection of toys, cot liners and sleep suits all of which are lovely. If your little one is teething, I have discovered ‘gumigem’. They sell toys that are safe for your little one to put in their mouths to chew on. They also sell jewellery for the same thing which is a genius idea. Rocco loves his keys and credit card!

I actually have a day off today so we are off for a swim so that is it from me for now.

Have a great week.

Lots of love

Laura x

A weekend away in Cyprus with Alex and Rocco

I hope you all had a lovely Easter break? It seems like an age ago now. It’s been three weeks since my last post as I’ve been really busy prepping for my six week trip with A Place in the Sun. I am now in Spain filming and I will be abroad until 13th of June.

As I mentioned in my last blog, I spent the Easter weekend in Cyprus in the sunshine. Although Rocco has travelled with me previously for work, this was in fact his first holiday and it was fantastic.

Alex and I are a couple who enjoy spa treatments, adventure activities and fine dining, however when you have a little one, things certainly change when it comes to holidays. Gone are the days you can relax in the sun for 30 minutes and enjoy a few spa treatments, or are they…?

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Our five night trip to Le Meridien Limmasol was a real treat. The hotel with 329 rooms is located on an estate of over 10,000 square metres and the gardens are stunning and immaculately maintained.  With eight restaurants, five bars (including a sheesha bar with every flavour you can imagine), three swimming pools, a bowling ally, tennis courts, football pitches, an award winning spa and a kids club/crèche facilities, there really was no need to leave the resort – the hotel have really thought about everything.

The children’s crèche was absolutely amazing. Erhan Gota who runs it (and has done for the last 20 years) was incredible. His team of staff do a fantastic job of keeping the children entertained and we felt very confident and comfortable that Rocco would be well looked after whilst we got to enjoy some spa treatments.

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Le Meridien Limmasol prides itself on it’s award winning spa. The spa is voted one of the best in Europe and their Thassalotherapy treatment is very interesting. The 40 minute treatment consists of visiting seven different pools (with different ingredients) that repair and treat your skin. Floating in a pool with a high salt content was an unusual experience. If you have ever been in the Dead Sea you will be no stranger to this. Personally I preferred the massage treatments in the spa, but it was nice to get the experience The Thassalotherapy pools and my skin did feel amazing after.

It came as no surprise to me that most of the guests we chatted to were returning clientele. Most of them had been visiting the hotel with their children (each year), for the last 18 years. They return to the hotel to not only enjoy the facilities, but also to visit the staff, many of whom have been working at the hotel since it first opened. The sommelier Miroslav Kalinic really stood out to us.  Although the wine list was a little pricey, he had an excellent knowledge of the wines and we were particularly impressed to hear he spoke seven languages!

Our favourite restaurant was the Japanese restaurant Kojima. I struggled to choose from the extensive menu but was never disappointed. Considering the size of the hotel, the quality of food in all of the restaurants was outstanding and we were spoilt for choose.

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We stayed in an Imperial Suite and although the decor of the room could have benefited from a little updating, the space was perfect for our growing family! The hotel is actually having a big renovation (it will be closed from Nov ’14 to April ’15) so all of the bedrooms will be getting an overhaul. Once the renovation is complete, the rooms will compliment the hotel’s top class service.

We really enjoyed our stay in Cyprus and would thoroughly recommend Le Meridien Limmasol to anyone, particularly those with children.

As I mentioned, I am now in Spain filming so Rocco can add another country to his passport. I am filming  very close to Marbella and this week my mother-in-law is looking after him so he is getting to enjoy a nice bit of time with his Nana.

That is it from me for this week.

Adios from sunny Spain.

Laura xxx

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