August, 2014

24 August
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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

06 August
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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

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