October, 2013

29 October
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Not long to go, so I headed to The Baby Show

Hi everyone,

How has your week been? Hopefully you weren’t affected too badly by the storm… There were a few fallen trees close to where we live in Surrey, but I think we managed to avoid the worst of it. As I could potentially go into labour at any point, it did cross my mind: would we be able to get to the hospital if it had all started during the storm? Needless to say I was worrying unnecessarily and everything was fine.

With less than two weeks to go, my baby bump has dropped and the head in now ‘engaged’, which is great because it’s a sign that things are starting to progress. This week I experienced my first nose bleed during my pregnancy. Apparently some people experience nose bleeds from their second trimester due to an increase in blood flow. Having the nose bleed didn’t particularly worry me and it stopped after a few minutes.

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Last Wednesday I was invited to the Chicco press event, where I was lucky enough to have a little look at some of their new products. A few things that caught my eye were the Jolie Bouncer, and the ‘Next to Me’ cot, which will be available in a few months. I also saw two fantastic pillows in the Chicco ‘Boppy’ range. You can get ‘Boppy’ as a full sleeping pillow or a breastfeeding version. I wish I had invested in the full sleeping pillow earlier on in my pregnancy as it would have helped me get into a more comfortable sleeping position at night, though I am sure it will be useful for next time around!

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Despite feeling pretty big and slightly uncomfortable, I am still fashion conscious when I’m attending events and being photographed. I decided to wear a gorgeous cape and some skinning jeans from the maternity brand Seraphine – perfect for the blustery winter weather!

 

On Friday I visited the Baby Show at Kensington Olympia. It was absolutely brilliant looking around all the stalls and I bought some great bits and pieces. At the Tommee Tippee stand I invested in one of their Closer to Nature thermometers, these come highly recommended. I loved the Little Green Sheep stand too, they make the most beautiful Cot beds and, according to Tina (a new friend I have made who owns the company/website lovedbyparents.com), “their mattress protecters work like magic!” I personally loved the look of their little sleeping bags and their fur pram liners – check them out thelittlegreensheep.co.uk.

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The Kiddy Evolution Pro baby car seats from Germany look fantastic. They have a great rocking function and they allow the baby to lie back in a healthy sleeping position for longer periods of time. The Stokke prams really caught my eye too. Bearing in mind Alex is 6’4, I think they would be ideal and they also look cool. There really is so much choice when it comes to all this baby stuff so ultimately it’s down to you and your preference.

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It was lovely seeing Sarah Jane Honeywell with the ‘Bababoogie’ team. They have a great DVD that you can use with a newborn baby to work out to ‘Bounce, Bond and Burn Off’. It goes without saying, I will be trying this out when I’m ready to start getting back in shape after the baby arrives!

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I spent some time at the Mama Baby Bliss stand and purchased a birthing ball. I also chatted with Holly Matthews, who is the face of their new massage and yoga pregnancy CD. Her husband Ross was there and he offered some really great advice that I have passed on to Alex. He suggested that, when the time comes and labour begins, it is important to let the parents know but noone else – no Twitter or Facebook updates, because people will constantly be asking for news. This time is precious and your partner needs to focus on YOU! Ross also mentioned that, when the baby has arrived and it is time to go home, it would be useful for Alex to be in charge of ‘scheduling visiting times’. As much as it is nice for people to visit, it is crucial that, as parents, you get some time alone with your newborn (who will become over tired if he or she is passed around all day for cuddles). You don’t want to be entertaining visitors and making tea the whole day. Ross and Holly (who have two daughters) were quite passionate about sharing all of this information and I loved chatting with them – thanks guys!

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So what else do you do two weeks before you are due to have a baby? Sell your house and buy a renovation project of course! Yes, it is all slightly crazy but I absolutely love property renovation and interior design and I’ve been buying houses and developing them since I was 19. I have moved around 9 times in the last 11 years. My new property show ‘Beat my Build’ starts on Channel 4 at 11am on 4th November and I hope its a success. If you get a chance to watch it, let me know what you think.

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We probably won’t move in to our new place until the new year, and it is certainly going to be interesting looking after a newborn baby, working and renovating a house. Having said that, it is going to be a very exciting journey and I can’t wait to share everything with you.

That is all from me for this week.

Lots of love,

Laura xxx

22 October
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What will our little one look like? Pre-labour beauty prep and men that can cook…

Hello everyone,

So I’m getting to that point now… I want the little one to arrive! Sleeping is becoming very uncomfortable and I constantly have an acid taste in my mouth… I’m drinking A LOT of milk to try and rid the acid taste, but it is only a quick fix! I’ve also started to question, how will I actually know when I’ve gone in to labour? Apparently this is common when you enter the 37th week and, according to what people have told me, ‘you just know’! I’m unbelievably excited to meet our little one and can’t wait to see what he or she looks like.

 

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How many people will admit to wanting to beautify themselves before their baby arrives? A lot of my friends who have children have all admitted to having a bikini wax before giving birth. This week I have been enjoying a bit of beauty prep myself! Before I fell pregnant I regularly had my eyebrows and eyelashes tinted, as well as lash extensions by Nouveau Beauty Group. It is advised not to have the lash extensions or tinting when you are pregnant in case of a reaction so I had a nice brow wax and shape instead. I’ve also started using the Billion Dollar brow pencil (which I’ve recently discovered) to give my brows a bit of definition too.

 

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On Friday I visited Marie Reynolds to have the amazing ‘Fifth Concept’ treatment. You may remember I have talked about Marie previously. She is a well-being therapist and she suggested that about now I should be drinking raspberry leaf tea. Marie also advised that I should grind up two table spoons of sunflower, pumpkin and linseed seeds to sprinkle onto yoghurts and on salads throughout the day, as this will help prepare the uterus for labour. She also advised getting some arnica tablets to take as soon as I have given birth because this will help with healing and bruising – top tips I thought!

As well as ‘The Fifth Concept’ treatment, Marie creates her own luxury, organic candles. After they have been burnt the wax can be used as a massage oil, which I will get Alex to rub on my back during labour! Marie has recently created a new candle called ‘Honour’ and she is donating money from each candle sold to a charity called ‘Honour British Forces’. The charity raises money for the homeless, many of which are ex-military and you can find out more about what they do here. If you are keen to get involved, they are always looking for volunteers, you could buy a beautiful candle or even sponsor Marie who is doing a skydive!

 

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This week also I discovered some other lovely beauty products for both mother and baby. Mama baby bliss have a gorgeous ‘bliss stick’ that you dab on your pulse points when you need a bit of a boost and The Green People company have some gorgeous organic products safe for baby, including soothing baby oil and nappy baby balm – both are worth checking out.

 

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At the weekend Alex and I caught up with some of our good friends: Matt, Michelle, Ali and Sarah. The six of us regularly meet up for ‘Dinner Club’. We take it in turns to go to each others houses and cook for each other Come Dine With Me-style. We don’t actually mark each other but it’s all good fun. On the last couple of occasions the men have cooked, which has been lovely. It is Matt’s turn to cook next and I think he is feeling the pressure!

This week I am looking forward to attending the Chicco press day and also attending the Baby Show so there will be lots to report on.

I hope you have a great week and I’ll be back next week.

Laura x

14 October
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A eventful week of evenings out and helping to try and turn a friend’s breech baby

Wow, have you been to the top of The Shard? On Tuesday I had a lovely ‘business lunch’ in the restaurant Aqua and the views were incredible, I would most definitely recommend visiting. The food was good too, but for me it was more about the setting and the location, absolutely amazing!

It’s been a busy week attending all sorts of events. At the start of the week, I went to the press night for Seven Brides for Seven Brothers at the Wimbledon Theatre and watched my friend Sam Attwater, who is currently on tour with the show and playing the lead role of Adam. The dancing was fantastic and it was lovely to see Sam in action.

 

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On Wednesday morning I went to the opening of Hanro’s first ever London store – Hanro is a Swiss brand famed for it beautiful and simple luxury loungewear and underwear. Throughout my pregnancy, I have been able continue to wear Hanro’s cosy vests and briefs. My absolute favourite is their touch feeling boyleg shorts, they have been perfect for pulling over my growing bump. Alex is a big fan too, he wears their cotton sensations vests and their silk modal pants. Jennifer Aniston and Nicole Kidman love the brand too, and even Marilyn Monroe was a fan back in the day, so we are both in good company!

 

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On Wednesday afternoon I headed over to ITV for a bit of filming with my Fort Boyard co-host Andy Akinwolere. Last year I was part of the Text Santa presenting team and this year it was lovely to be asked back with Andy. ITV are hoping Text Santa will eventually become the channel’s biggest annual fun raising event. Comic Relief is famed for the red nose, and Text Santa is all about the hat! This year Ant and Dec have each designed one and Paul O’Grady has even designed one for pets.

 

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The hats will be available to buy in many stores around the UK and there are loads of great suggestions of ways to help raise money for the 6 different charities who will benefit. Last year over £5 million pounds was raised and hopefully this year even more will be raised. Text Santa will be on ITV in December and mine and Andy’s little shows will be on CITV continually from the middle of November leading up to the transmission of the main show.

 

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On Thursday evening my agents held a 3rd birthday party for their company ‘Champion Talent’. Despite feeling under the weather I made a quick appearance at the event held in the London Cocktail Club just off Oxford Street. The cocktails did look fantastic so maybe it is somewhere to try after the baby is born!

 

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On Friday I treated myself to some much needed rest and relaxation. My friend Jasmine and I (who is due to give birth a week before me), booked a spa day through Spa Break Direct and headed to Grayshott Manor. It was absolutely perfect as we have both been so busy with work. As well as enjoying the spa facilities, we enjoyed a lovely lunch and a couple of relaxing treatments.

 

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Jasmine has recently discovered her baby is breech so is currently trying everything possible to turn the little one around before her due date. Apparently at 28 weeks of gestation, 25% of babies are breech and by 36 weeks there really isn’t much room for the baby to turn. There are several methods that can be tried to help turn a breech baby, these include; having an ECV (external cephalic version) which is when an obstetrician applies pressure on the abdomen to try and turn the baby (this has a 58% success rate), adopting a knee to chest position where you kneel on a bed with your bottom in the air to help tip your baby up and out of your pelvis, OR using a form of acupuncture called Moxibustion. Using Moxibustion is supposed the be the most effective method of all (with an 80% success rate). The idea is to burn a stick of this herb close to a pressure point on your little toe to produce a warming sensation for at least 10 minutes on each foot. This is completely safe and it is suppose to increase your babies movement. It is difficult to do this treatment by yourself with a big bump so I helped Jasmine out when we were at the spa and I really hope it works for her…

 

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On Saturday I visited the Children’s Trust in Tadworth (the UK’s leading charity for children with brain injury), to support the Twilight Walk event that was taking place. Over 200 people were taking part in a night walk to help raise vital funds. Had I not been 36 weeks pregnant I would have taken part myself, however it was lovely to be able to see the walkers on the starting line and wish them luck!

 

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On Sunday, Alex and I were lucky enough to be invited to a special performance by The Illusionists at the Hammersmith Apollo. The show was filmed by ITV and will be televised on 21st December. The performers are truly incredible and the show is a MUST SEE!

In other news I am now able to announce that the forth series of Fort Boyard will be on ITV from 20th October every Sunday morning at 8:30am in the run up to Christmas. My new property renovation series Beat my Build will be on Channel 4 from 4th November which is really exciting!

So that is all from me for this week! I hope you enjoy some of my photos. If you like some of the posh frocks I’ve been wearing this week and you want to ‘get my look’, you can purchase Tiffany Rose’s dresses through a website called maternitysupermarket.com (where a percentage of the sales made are donated to the Lullaby Trust). I would also suggest checking out Seraphine’s website and looking at their Luxe collection, they have some lovely cosy knits and jumpers which will be perfect for winter!

Until next week…

Laura xxx

07 October
5

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Vaccinations, Braxton Hicks, Gousto and a little bit of fashion

Hey Guys,

How has your week been? Good I hope. Thank you to those of you who contacted me about pets and newborn babies, the advice was really useful and I always appreciate any feedback and comments about my blog.

This week has been less frantic for me compared to usual! I went up to Birmingham for ‘The Place in the Sun’ exhibition and it was lovely comparing bumps with my fellow pregnant presenter Jasmine Harman.

 

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On Wednesday I had my whooping cough jab. This is something the hospital recommend all pregnant women should have between 28-36 weeks of pregnancy. It’s a relatively new thing that they are giving to those who are expecting and it’s supposed to protect you, as well as your newborn. As important as it is to vaccinate new babies, when OUR little one arrives I’m keen to investigate the possibility of vaccinating him or her with individual measles, mumps and rubella jabs because my younger cousin had a severe reaction after having the combined MMR jab. Many years later, the combined vaccination has been blamed for other complications she has developed in later life. Of course there is no proof that the vaccination is the cause of these complications, however there is definitely some controversy surrounding the MMR jab and it is something I feel I need to look into further.

 

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This week I have starting experiencing Braxton Hicks. Apparently you can start having Braxton Hicks (practise contractions) from when you are 16 weeks pregnant, but most people are blissfully unaware! It basically feels like your growing belly is getting tight and there is a dragging down feeling. It’s not painful but it feels as though my body is preparing for labour.

Besides my pregnancy, a few weeks ago I discovered an idea that I have been wanting to share with you… It’s something that I think will make my life a little easier for a good few weeks (or even months) after our baby is born, and its something that I think is a fantastic idea even if you aren’t expecting a baby…

I first came across Gousto when I saw Timo and his business partner James on Dragons Den. The idea is, every week you choose three to five recipes online from a selection that have been specially created by their chefs. The fresh, organic ingredients needed to make the meals are then delivered to your door, along with the recipe card, and all you need to do is ‘simply cook’. There is no waste since the ingredients have been measured out perfectly,the food tastes delicious and it saves time shopping. It’s super convenient and definitely worth checking out (gousto.co.uk).

 

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I’m still trying not to purchase too many baby clothes until the little one is here, however I couldn’t resist buying this cute little unisex cashmere set from ‘Susie and Toto’.

 

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Instead of going crazy buying baby clothes, I am treating myself to some nice pieces instead! I’ve recently bought this gorgeous scarf/wrap from Gushlow and Cole, which will be perfect for winter and might be nice to wear when I leave the hospital after having the baby! Apparently Angelina Jolie is a big fan of the brand.

 

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I have also discovered some beautiful maternity dresses from a brand called Tiffany Rose. The dresses are all made in the UK and will be perfect for some upcoming events I am attending this week! I will make sure I take some photos to feature on next weeks blog!

Well I hope you have a good week. Thank you again for reading my blog! Make sure you check back next week to read all about what I have been up to…

Laura xxx

03 October
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6 weeks to go and counting… How will my dog Alfie cope with the newborn?

Hi everyone,

After a spending most of September abroad I’m now back in the UK. I had a brilliant time away filming A Place in the Sun and I always love being able to pass on my property knowledge and experience, particularly to first-time buyers.

Last day in Granada. Me with the Crew and David and Toby the first time buyers.

Last day in Granada. Me with the Crew and David and Toby the first time buyers.

I now have just 6 weeks until my due date, which means 6 weeks to ‘nest’ and get home ready for the new arrival!

Well, actually, first I will be doing a few voiceovers and a bit of filming for ITV (which includes presenting a series of links for their big charity event ‘Text Santa’), so I’ve not quite finished working yet… But then I will be ready to get into full ‘nesting’ mode!

Since I have been home, I have packed my bag ready for hospital and Alex and I have got the last few bits we think we need! I’ve invested in the Tommy Tippy electronic breast pump, as I’ve been advised they are much easier than manual ones. We purchased a nappy wrapper bin that stores 28 dirty nappies, each of which are sealed in a cassette to stop smells escaping, and I’ve bought some great bits from breathablebaby.com including a breathable sleep suit, a breathable blanket and a breathable cot liner – all in cream. I realise the baby won’t sleep in the cot for a few months, as he/she will be sleeping in a moses basket, but everything is ready and I always like to be organised!

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Another purchase we’ve made is the great ‘Nuna Leaf Chair’, which will be great for the baby to sit in during the day. It’s supposed to help calm the baby, as well as induce sleep with its gentle battery-free rocking movement.

 

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 A major concern I currently have is how our dog Alfie is going to cope with the new arrival. Alfie is a long-haired chihuahua and, although he has been around lots of children, he isn’t used to living with a newborn baby. He is not allowed upstairs in our house so he won’t be able to go in to the baby’s room. He has plenty of his own toys but I’m not quite sure how he will learn that the babies toys aren’t his to play with, especially when they squeak! I am going to start playing a baby crying noise around him so he can get used to the sound, which I am hoping will help but I’m not really sure what else I can do. If any of you have a dog and a newborn baby, I would love to hear how it has been? Any tips would be gratefully received…

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 As I mentioned in last week’s blog, I’m really going to try and relax over the next few weeks – this is something I’m not very good at! I’m looking forward to a spa day at Imagine Spa, as well as a pregnancy massage at The Beauty Boutique Banstead (who came to my baby shower and treated everyone to a bit of pampering). I am going to start looking into some baby clothes bits and pieces, as I really want a few nice bits before the baby arrives. I have already discovered a beautiful brand called ‘Susie and Toto’ who have some very chic and trendy pieces on their website, definitely worth checking out – susieandtoto.com.

On Saturday, Alex and I have a tour of the birthing centre and labour ward at the hospital we are planning to have the baby at. It’s all starting to feel VERY real that soon we will be three and it is so exciting!

Please don’t forget to leave any tips regarding newborns and pets.

Until next week.

Laura xxx

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