March, 2014

30 March
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Being apart from Rocco, my fave TV and your own Place in the Sun!

This week I have been on the road filming…and it’s been chilly to say the least…

I’ve been filming some episodes of A Place in the Sun – Home or Away and this time I’ve been on the home leg. We’ve filmed in Tamworth and Lyme Regis and the majority of the time it’s been blue skies but just freezing. As always, we’ve looked at some really interesting properties and Lyme Regis is a particularly lovely part of the UK. Does anyone remember going fossil collecting there as a child? Being there it bought back a few childhood memories for me.

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I’m doing a few episodes in the UK before a six week stint abroad in May and I can’t wait for the sunshine. Six weeks abroad with Rocco will be fun but I am going to need to be very organised. Having spent four weeks abroad with him in Austria on The Jump I think it will be fine, however the difference this time will be that we are moving every few days. I think we are filming in France and Spain so Rocco will be able to practice his French!

This week is the first time I’ve been apart from Rocco whilst working. Alex and I made the decision for him to stay at home so they have been enjoying some Daddy/Son time and spending some quality time together for a change. It hasn’t been easy for me but Alex is amazing with Rocco and I now understand how he feels when he hardly gets to see him during the week. As hard as it is, I think it’s really important to leave your partners in charge of your little ones every once in a while. Not only do they get to spend some fantastic time together but your partners realise just how busy your day is with a little one!

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So being apart from Alex and Rocco has meant I have watched some evening television… I don’t usually write about watching TV in my blog but I am hooked on the ITV real life drama The Widower. The first two parts of the three-part drama have aired so if you’ve missed it, it’s well worth watching on ITV Player. I won’t give away too much but it’s compelling and shocking. The last episode is on next Monday and I can’t wait to see what happens.

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This Sunday it’s my first Mother’s Day as a new Mummy. I’ll be making a quick appearance at the Place in the Sun Live exhibition, then I’ll be spending the rest of the day with Alex and Rocco. The show are currently looking for people to take part so if you are looking to buy somewhere abroad they will be casting all weekend. Even if you don’t want to come on the show, you can always come and say hi.

I hope all the new Mummy’s out there have a fab day on Sunday (and all the ones with older children too). I’d like to wish my Mum (Lynn) and my Mother-in-law (Myra) a very happy Mother’s Day – we couldn’t do it without you. Love you both!

Have a great week all,

Laura xxx

23 March
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Fundraising, music time and my new ‘Doo’

This last week it was brilliant to do my bit for Sports Relief. Cycling with Nick Grimshaw in the Perspex box outside broadcasting house for 20 minutes might have only been a small contribution in comparison to some of the amazing things others have done to raise money for this fantastic cause, but I was really happy to be able to help. Nick Grimshaw did fantastically well and I think that whatever you can do whether it’s big or small, it’s all greatly appreciated. If you did do anything to raise money for Sport Relief I’d love to hear what you did and how you got on.

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There are several charities that are close to my heart and as and when I can help, I love to do so. I am an Ambassador for Reach, The Association for children with Upper Limb Deficiency (www.reach.org.uk) and also for Wellchild (www.wellchild.org.uk). The charities are very different but need as much help equally. On Thursday Alex and I attended Wellchild’s ‘Helping Hands’ fundraising event. Throughout the evening guests were treated to performances from Tenor David Webb, Alexandra Burke and stand up comedian Sean Collins. Over £100k was raised which was fantastic and the money will go a long way to help the charity.

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Also last week Rocco was treated a music time gift box from Babycademy. I think it’s one of the best things he has. The box consists of a music cd, ten lessons, a story book, Wilson the frog (a puppet), a maraca and a bright orange gauze. The box is suitable for children 0-12 months and I hope in time there will be other boxes suitable for older children. It’s a fantastic idea and I am really enjoying using the set with Rocco, so much so I have invited a group of girls over in a few weeks to join in. www.Babycademy.co.uk is worth checking out.

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On Friday I decided to treat myself to a new ‘Doo’. I have never dyed my hair before and I really fancied a bit of a change. My hair has always lightened naturally in the sun but with the lack sunshine it had started to look dull and I felt like I needed a bit of a pick me up. I always go to FOUR London in Mayfair for my cut but this time Lucy lightened my hair too. It’s now platinum blonde and I love it! Thanks Lucy and to everyone at FOUR London. I start filming A Place in the Sun – Home or Away this weekend and I am on the UK leg for the next two weeks so my new ‘doo’ should look great on camera!

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That’s it from me for now. I hope you have a fantastic week.

Lots of love,

Laura xxx

16 March
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The last ever Dancing On Ice and weaning Rocco

Hi all,

I hope you have had a lovely week, mine has been relatively relaxed which is a rarity for me!

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Last Sunday I was lucky enough to be invited to the very last Dancing on Ice show and it was very emotional to say the least. Watching Chris and Jayne skate their very last Bolero was incredible. They are sensational to watch and they make it look effortless. Anyone who has had a go at ice skating will realise just how hard it is… I’m sure it won’t be the last we see of them on our screens.

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Ray Quinn was a well deserved winner and could have been a pro. I really loved Hayley and Dan’s chemistry on the ice and would have loved to see Hayley crowned champion but she did amazingly well against Ray. Hopefully I will get the chance to go and watch the tour and see them all perform again.

One of the nicest parts of the evening was getting to see my professional skating partner and great friend from the show Colin Ratushniak. I would loved to have seen him in action on the ice but Colin is now working behind the scenes in TV so although he is still skating his career has taken a slightly different turn and he is loving it.

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On Monday this week, Rocco and I attended the Mother and Baby ‘Big Heart’ awards at The Dorchester. Much like Dancing on Ice is was yet another emotional afternoon but for a very different reason. There were some incredible stories about people who have gone above and beyond the call of duty for their friends or families children. A tear or two was shed followed by a yummy afternoon tea and it was a lovely afternoon.

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I’m pleased to say that Rocco is now sleeping from 7pm through to 6:30am which is fantastic. He is requiring lots more attention during the day and he is desperately trying to sit up. I bought a great little chair called the Bumbo. It’s almost like a potty but with a supportive back and it’s soft. It also has a little tray that can be attached and I think this will be very useful for weening. I am planning to start weaning Rocco in three weeks time when I am back from my first filming block of A Place in the Sun. I can’t wait to slowly start introducing food but I am a little nervous about where to start. If any of you have any advice I would love to hear from you!

On Friday I spent the day with the team at Fresh Minerals Makeup. They are putting together some tutorial lessons on their website for their makeup range and I was honoured to be asked to model for them! I’ll let you know when they are up on their website. Their makeup is fab.

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This weekend Alex and I are planning to spend a weekend with a big push on our renovation project. Our kitchen is arriving and Carpet Right are coming out to measure up our flooring – it’s really taking shape.

I hope you’re all enjoying the weekend.

Lots of love,

Laura xxx

07 March
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House renovations and Mummy duties…

Hi everyone,I hope you have all had a brilliant week?  What a difference it makes when the sun shines!As many of you may know (and lots of you probably don’t), my life at the moment is involving juggling being a Mummy whilst continuing with my TV presenting career AND managing the renovations of our new house.

This week I featured in the Metro newspaper talking about property so I thought I would share some details about my own current property renovation.

http://metro.co.uk/2014/03/06/a-place-in-the-suns-laura-hamilton-first-time-buyers-should-rent-cheap-and-save-hard-4282437/

This is now my 10th renovation and I love everything about these kind of projects.  Turning an unloved, run down wreck in to a special home is something that I really enjoy.  It’s also a great way to make money but ultimately the amount you stand to make will depend on whether you bought the property for a good price.  I’d like to think I have a pretty good vision when it comes to seeing the potential a property has.  I’m not phased by having to remodel the house internally and knock walls down.  You can’t just knock down any wall as you please, before you do anything you should check it is not load baring because if it is, it will need a steel to support it.  I have a fantastic team of builders who work at an unbelievable pace (when the weather allows it), and the quality of their work is brilliant.  Finding a good builder that you trust is key to these kind of projects.

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Whenever you are taking on any kind of building work, I can’t stress enough how important it is for you to get several quotes.  Also make sure you inspect your prospective builders work.  Keeping a spread sheet of your quotes and actual spend is important too because it can very quickly, and easily spiral out of control.  You can source some fantastic bargains online so it definitely pays to shop around.Our project is pretty big.  The house was built in the 1930′s.  It needed a complete rewire and replumb.  It was sold as a three bed house but the third bedroom could only be accessed through the second one so with a bit of reconfiguration and raising the roof of the room (to give us full ceiling height), it is now a proper bedroom that can be accessed from the landing.

 

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Part of the property also had a flat roof.  We submitted planning permission for an extension and we have now created our fourth bedroom.  Planning permission usually takes around  8 weeks to come back.  We submitted our planning permission before we completed in the purchase of our house which is totally legal.

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Our house is still a building site and completely unliveable.  We have ripped it apart but we now putting it back together and we are making some exciting progress.

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Hopefully the photos will give a clearer idea of what it’s like and what we are trying to achieve. We are aiming for it to be finished by the Summer so I can’t wait to share some photos of the finished product with you…

This week Rocco and I had a lovely photo shoot with Mother and Baby magazine.  The article won’t be out until May by which time Rocco will be 6 months.  That sounds completely crazy he will be 6 months old in May…Time is flying so fast.  He was such a good little boy on the photo shoot and he is somewhat of a little poser.  I can’t wait to see the finished piece.

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Rocco and I also visited a lovely place called Heaven in Nutfield.
It’s somewhere that mummy’s can be pampered and children can play.  They have yoga classes for adults and dance classes for the little ones and there is a nice cafe for a bit of lunch too.  If you live in the Surrey area, I would recommend a visit.  I went with a few of my friends who also have little ones and we had a great time.

At four months Rocco loves looking in the mirror.  He is also trying to hold his own bottle which is a bit tricky.  I have discovered that Tommee Tippee do some great little mirrors with teething handles and they also have a great non drip ‘first cup’ with handles either side. Rocco is getting on really well with this.  It’s amazing watching him trying to put the teet into his mouth.  He pushes my hand away if I try to help him too so I think he is going to be stubborn like his mum.

Well that’s all from me.  Have a lovely weekend and enjoy the week ahead.

Lots of love

Laura xxx

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