Laura Hamilton Laura Hamilton

Salmonella poisoning, my last trip abroad before Christmas and preparing the children’s stockings

If you have ever had salmonella poisoning you’ll know just how bad it is… Poor Rocco was extremely unwell just before we returned from St Lucia. Before I headed to Tenerife to film my final episode of A Place in the Sun before Christmas, we took him to hospital. A week later when the results came back we discovered he was infected with salmonella. Let’s just say it was horrendous and I wish I had got it rather than having to watch my little boy feel so ill and be violently sick. The NHS have been amazing and thankfully now he is on the mend.  

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I’m glad I made the decision for the children to stay at home rather than to come with me to Tenerife last week particularly because Rocco was so poorly. However the climate was actually better than it had been the previous week in St Lucia and the children would have enjoyed it had Rocco felt better.

I really like Tenerife. It’s extremely family friendly and with temperatures reaching 27 degrees on 8th December it’s a great place to soak up some winter sun and buy a property.

I spent a lot of the week around Los Christianos and Playa de las Americas which has some excellent shopping – very handy for Christmas! I also visited Los Gigantes which was really nice and less ‘touristy’ than PDLA. I’m about to add some new recommendations for Tenerife on ‘Hamiltons Hotspots’ that are worth checking out.

For this episode I wore a white lace skirt from Darling Dresses and a top from Oasis. I then changed into one of my favourite tops from New Look (that I purchased in the summer) and a pretty grey skirt from Hybrid fashion – perfect for the festive party season.

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Now that I am back in the UK, I am putting on my Christmas jumper and feeling festive. I’m getting everything ready for one of my favourite times of the year, even more so now because of the children really understanding it all. I’ve bought some personalised Christmas sacks from Not on the High Street for them both and I’m enjoying finding some lovely gifts to put in them.

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My first Christmas stocking filler present are some cosy new pyjamas for them. Who doesn’t love new Jim Jams at this time of year? I really like the brand Cyber Jammies and was pleased to see that they have now started selling PJ’s for 2-3 year olds. I’ve ordered Rocco a cute set that says ‘I get all my looks from my daddy’ and I think Tahlia is going to love her little great and orange/red flower jammies.

You can buy Cyberjammies in John Lewis but also online at www.cyberjammies.com.

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Clothes are always a great present for children and St Berts Clothing is a newish brand that I’m a big fan of. Perfect for both Winter and Summer, they have some lovely hoodies and tracksuits as well as t-shirts and shorts. Set up in early 2014 by a husband and wife team, Ben and Sarah Godwin founded St Bert’s in early 2014 after they noticed that their kids lived in sweats and tees. They struggled to find clothes that we liked and they liked and also took a battering and survived regular washing, hence they created St Berts. The clothes are trendy, excellent quality and brilliant value for money. I’ve treated Rocco and Tahlia to some hoodies and tracksuit bottoms – cosy and snuggly. I wish they did them for grown ups.

You can find St Berts Clothing online here www.stberts.com. There is still time to order before Christmas!

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Books are always brilliant gifts for children and I love reading to both Rocco and Tahlia so I’ve got them the fabulous new children’s book James and the amazing gift by Nicola J. Rowley. James has an amazing gift. He loves to smile. He also has an incredible ability to make everyone he meets, smile too. It’s a wonderful story and the author Nicola is helping raise awareness of the loneliness of elderly people, especially at Christmas time. For every book sold, £1 of the proceeds will be donated to the UK charity Contact the Elderly. I think it’s the perfect gift for a Christmas stocking.

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Rocco loves taking the throws off our sofa and building a den, so I’ve decided to get him a ‘Den making kit’ from Hippy Chick. I think this present is going to be a serious hit in our house and it will certainly make me happy that the throw will stay on the sofa. HippyChick offer three different types depending on your budget and have with lots of other great gifts online. I’ve treated Tahlia to a xylophone so it’s going to be a noisy morning.

Both my two love to make cakes and help out in the kitchen so as a special treat, my parents have treated them to a new mini kitchen. They found it online and left it to me to build it. I love a DIY challenge and managed to complete it in 3 hours. I think the children are going to LOVE it and when they see the new playroom on Christmas morning, complete with the Alphabet interlocking floor they are going to be very excited. Needless to say the stocking has been filled with some ‘pretend’ food for the kitchen and a little tea set which I have purchased from The Gift and Gadget store online.

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Finally a Fairy Door from The Irish Fairy Door company will add a touch of magic to Rocco and Tahlia’s Christmas stocking this year. Alex and I recently had a naming ceremony for the children at Chewton Glen (which was featured in Hello magazine last week), and Fairy Clodagh came and entertained all the little ones. Every child left with a magical Fairy Door that included a gift of leasing your very own Fairy that writes to you each week. It’s a fantastic idea and lovely gift that the children can enjoy throughout the year.  

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I’m sure I’ll end up adding a few bits and pieces to their stocking bags but the most important thing of all is we will all be together at Christmas and hopefully all in good health.

I hope your Christmas shopping doesn’t stress you out too much over the next week and maybe you’ve got a few little ideas from me.

Until next time.

Laura xx

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