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17 April
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It’s fantastic seeing all the photos of Prince George in the press this week…

Hi everyone,

Hope you’re well.

What shocking news last week about Peaches Geldof. I followed her on Instagram and Twitter and she seemed like a lovely person and great mummy. I would like to send my sympathy and best wishes to her family and friends and also send lots of love to her children – I’m sure they are going to miss their mummy…. RIP Peaches.

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I’d also like to send lots of love to (my friend and fellow mummy) Michelle Heaton and her husband Hugh. Their new son Aaron was recently taken ill and I hope he gets well soon. Being a parent can be so scary sometimes, our little ones are so precious and when they are unwell it is extremely upsetting.

It’s fantastic seeing all the photos of Prince George in the press this week. Can he look anymore like William?! Kate looks amazing too and has sure pinged back to her pre pregnancy body. I hope she doesn’t become too skinny though. She really is a inspiration to all new mums and it was great to hear they had taken George on a long haul flight and it all went smoothly.

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I am actually writing this week’s blog from Gatwick airport. Alex and I are taking Rocco on his first holiday to Le Meridian Limmasol in Cyprus. The hotel looks fantastic and as mentioned last week I will be reviewing the trip in the Mail on Sunday. Travelling with a little one really requires a lot of organisation. It’s about a 4 hour flight to Cyprus so I’ve made sure I’ve packed enough bottles, some changes of clothes (incase of accidents), and a few toys to keep Rocco entertained. I’ve put together a little travel must have list with a few of the things I think you might need incase any of you are going away on a summer holiday soon. I hope you find it helpful…

1. A bath cradle
2. Snooze shade with UV protection to put over your car seat/pram
3. Plenty of high factor sun cream
4. All in one swim suit and hat with protection at the back for your little ones neck
5. Insurance for your little one
6. Waterproof nappies as well as normal nappies
7. Babybjorn carrier – fantastic to be handsfree when walking to the gate if your pram is in the luggage hold
8. Travel cot (if the hotel can’t provide one)
9. Milk formula (if you aren’t breast feeding)
10. Some jars of food if your baby is on solids
11. Some toys and books for the flight
12. Car seat and buggy – I use the bugaboo bee and I have the travel bag which it all fits in perfectly and goes in to oversize baggage on a flight.
13. Tommee Tippee travel steriliser
14. Bottles, bowls and spoons

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This past week has involved painting, painting and more painting. In fact I really can’t wait for a holiday and a few massage treatments in the hotel spa as my neck, back and shoulders are in bits! Colin Ratushniak (my dancing on I’ve partner) has been helping me with our house renovation and he has been absolutely brilliant. I think I need to treat him to some spa treatments too! We have now mist coated the whole house and this is basically the first coat of paint on new plaster whereby you water it down. I love to get involved as much as I can when I’m renovating properties and I really enjoy painting however, I always seem to cover myself in so much paint. When Colin and I popped to the shop to get some more supplies, the man joked with me and said ‘you are supposed to paint the wall love!’

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We are now hoping our renovation will be complete by the end of June so it will have taken 7 months from start to finish. We hope to move in after my 6 week trip away with A Place in the Sun and also after I have finished filming the next series of Fort Boyard. Yes – exciting news it’s back and they will be casting soon.

Just before I sign off, I want to tell you about a great little competition. You may remember in a recent blog I talked about Babycademy. It’s something I’ve been using with Rocco.

Babycademy’s Music Time has been designed especially for babies aged 0-12 months, with the help of Dr Brenda Todd, and it’s aims are to stimulate and engage through sensory play and music. This is perfect if you want your little one to experience creative musical play but cannot afford to attend supervised sessions. Babycademy equips you with the resources needed to bring the sessions into your own home, fitting in with your own schedule.

You can find our more here… www.Babycademy.co.uk or check out their fab video: http://bit.ly/1gIUV3W

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Babycademy, are offering you the chance to win TWO exclusive Musical Play activity sets (worth £50)! The deadline is midnight Easter Monday and the winner will be announced on my Twitter page.
To enter the competition simply tweet the message below telling me your little one’s favourite song!

“@Laurahamiltontv @Babycademy I would to #win love #Musictime my baby’s favourite song is……..”

Anyway good luck, they are calling us to board the flight. I hope you enjoy the Easter break.

Lots of love

Laura xxx

11 April
3

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Juggling being a Mummy, working and house renovations

Hi everyone,

Hope you’ve had a lovely week! For me, it’s been a busy week as usual juggling being a Mummy, working and the house renovation.

As I mentioned in last week’s blog, I’ve been trying baby led weening with Rocco and also feeding him puréed food.  I’ve recently purchased a few of the Ella’s kitchen pre prepared pouches and so far the mango and apple porridge seems to be a hit!  The pouches are certainly quick and easy but I think they are a little on the expensive side and it’s probably cheaper to purée vegetables yourself!  Ella’s kitchen do a fab range of different pouches and Rocco loves them.  Because I am going abroad for 6 weeks in a few weeks time I think these pouches are very handy when on the road and for anyone who is going on holiday.

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I personally think that when babies are being weened they should sit at a high chair with a tray.  Then as they get older, they learn that food should be eaten at a table.  It’s really important to Alex and I that Rocco develops respect for food as well as table manners.  Even at just 5 months babies start to learn this.  Rocco has sat in his Chicco Polly Magic chair since he was a few weeks old.  Now I am attaching the tray to it so it can be used as a high chair.  It’s great he can grow with it!

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If you follow me on twitter you might have seen me recently tweet about a great little gadget called the ‘Door Jammer’.  I spend so much time away from home, staying in hotel rooms and when I discovered this gadget I soon realised it is the perfect travelling security companion!

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If you have ever had an unexpected visitor let themselves in to your hotel room (as I have on a couple of occasions), this great little gadget gives extra security and peace of mind so you can get a better nights sleep.  I only wish I had one when I was travelling.  The Door jammer will also be great for when Rocco is more mobile and I want to keep him out of certain rooms in the house.

On Wednesday I was a guest at The Gadget show in Birmingham on behalf on the Door Jammer.  I had a great time with Mike and Joseph who are part of the team and I really enjoyed seeing some of the amazing new gadgets that are soon to market.  If you know anyone who is going travelling soon or you personally stay in hotels regularly and want an extra bit of security at night check out http://www.door-jammer.com for more information.

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This week the house has really moved on.  Upstairs is now plastered and we are starting to paint.  My lovely friend and Dancing on Ice Partner Colin Ratushniak (who loves renovating houses) is helping do some painting this weekend. Carpet Right are laying our Tegola flooring in our kitchen and I can’t wait to share some photos with you soon. Our house renovation is turning in to a home – finally…

Next week we are taking Rocco on his first holiday to Le Meridien Limmasol Resort and Spa in Cyprus for Easter and we can’t wait.  I would love to hear about your first holiday experiences with your little ones or what you are up to at Easter.  Don’t forget you can always leave your comments below and I will always email you back.

 

I hope you all have a lovely weekend and until next week,

Lots of love

 

Laura xxx

04 April
0

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Shifting a few post baby pounds…

Hi Guys,

I’m writing this week’s blog from Scarborough!  I have just finished my  UK filming of A Place in the Sun for now and it’s been great fun.

This week on the road I had a big focus on fitness as I am trying to shift a few pounds of baby weight.  I have 10lbs to go.  One of the best tips I have been given when you are trying to lose weight is not to weigh yourself everyday.  It’s best if you can do it weekly as you are more likely to see results.  Counting calories and exercise seems to be the most effective way for me.  I use a great Iphone app called ‘My Fitness Pal’ which sets targets and allows you to monitor what you consume each day.

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Sometimes I am lucky and the hotels  I stay in (whilst I am on the road with the film crew) have gyms.  On occasions when they don’t, I use a skipping rope and workout in my room.  I skip to music and find it’s a really great way to push yourself.  Some tracks can actually motivate you to push harder.  Chicane’s ‘Offshore’ is one of my favourite tracks.

I’m also a big fan of Tabata training.  There is another great Iphone app called ‘Tabata timer’.  It’s a basically an intense mini circuit where you pick 4 exercises that you do in rotation for 20 minutes.  You do the exercise for 20 seconds then have a 10 second rest and then repeat it x10.  You then move on to the next exercise.  I love it and it’s supposed to be a more effective way of exercising and you don’t need to go to a gym to do it.  If your baby naps during the day, it’s the perfect opportunity to do it.

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When I get home I am going to be trying out the ‘Techno Shape’.  It’s best described as a pressure belt that you wear around your stomach area whilst you are either running, cycling or using a cross trainer.  The machine has pressure chambers that inflate with air and then deflate as you are working out.  The idea is that it will increase blood flow to stomach area which will help with weight loss and tone up the abs.  I will keep you updated on my progress and who knows I might be able to post a photo of my toned tummy soon!…

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In other news this week, my son Rocco has discovered that he can poke his tongue out!  I thought I would share the pic with you!  I am introducing various foods to him and  trying a bit of baby led weening as well as feeding him puréed vegetables.  Baby led weening is basically when you put various foods in front of your child and they pick them up and try them independently.  A word of warning… It’s very messy.  It is however fun watching Rocco discover the different textures and tastes.  If anyone has tried any good puréed baby recipes I’d love to hear from you.

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Anyway that’s it from me for now.  I have a 5 hour drive home.

I hope you all have a great weekend.

Lots of love

Laura xxx

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
1

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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
0

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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
0

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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

19 February
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Rocco really is a little chatterbox – every day he does something new

Hi guys,

I hope you have all had a lovely week?

I’m really enjoying the Winter Olympics and it was fantastic to see Lizzie Yarnold take Gold in the Skeleton and Jenny Jones take Britain’s first ever Olympic medal on snow. I also want to say a huge congratulations to Davina for completing her Sport Relief challenge last week. I seriously don’t know how she did it. Absolutely incredible…

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This week I’ve been in and out of meetings for work as well as trying out some new classes with Rocco. First off I tried ‘Tiny Talk’. This class encourages little ones to communicate using sign language that you demonstrate to them whilst singing songs. Many people swear by this. They say that it can help enormously before a baby is able to communicate through speech. For example if a baby can sign to ask for their milk/food, it is less frustrating for both the parent and child when previously they might have just cried. The idea is, at the end of the eight week course, your little one will have learnt a couple of the signs they will help them communicate to you. I really enjoyed the class probably more for the fact of meeting other mums and also seeing Rocco react to the other babies. If he can learn a few signs then great but if not then it doesn’t matter!

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My favourite class this week was ‘Waterbabies’. Alex and I have started a ten week course with Rocco and after the first session we were really impressed. I must admit I was a little nervous of the fact that you let your baby swim underwater but as we learnt, all babies are born with a gag reflex so until the age of 9 months they can hold their breath underwater. The aim of the class is to teach them to hold their breath as they get older and encourage them to be more confident in the water.

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What I particularly liked was the fact that the class was small. There were about ten other babies and the tuition from Carly our course teacher was brilliant. The pool was 34 degrees so it was nice and warm and after a 30 minute session Rocco was exhausted. I’m really excited to see how he develops over the next ten weeks. ‘Waterbabies’ run classes all over the country and you can find out more about classes local to your area on their website www.waterbabies.co.uk.

Rocco really is a little chatterbox – he is cooing lots and I think he looks a real cutie in his lovely collection of clothes from the online boutique Susie and Toto. It’s amazing how each day I notice that he is doing something new.

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On Friday I did a little bit of filming for Daybreak (which will be on in a couple of weeks). The weather was absolutely appalling and we had to film most of it inside. We were in a great location and I took loads of photos of the house as inspiration for our house renovation! I really feel for all the people who have been affected by the bad weather. It really is quite worrying and hopefully the rain and wind will let up soon. We are having a few issues ourselves because of the weather. Our builders are unable to carry out work on our house. Part of our renovation requires some of the roof to be stripped so we are having to wait until we have a few dry days.

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Let’s hope the sun shines soon – particularly for a wedding I am going to on Friday.

Until next week,

Laura xx

10 February
0

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An epic month on The Jump, baby Rocco and Davina McCall

I’m finally back in the UK after an epic month…

Well after what seems like forever, and much to Alex’s delight, baby Rocco and I are now back in the UK. The Jump has finished and I can honestly say I’ve had one of the best experiences of my life. I’ve made some amazing new friends and even though some of the Olympic disciplines I competed in terrified me, I feel extremely fortunate that I’ve had the opportunity to try them and was coached by the best! Of course, I have to say a big congratulations to Joe McElderry who won the show… He was a complete natural and is such a lovely down-to-earth guy. Now that the show is over, it’s great watching the winter Olympics and seeing some of our trainers presenting in Sochi. It just makes me appreciate my experience even more.

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One of the friends I made while competing in the show was Kelly Simpkin. Kelly is a fashion designer and celebrity hairdresser. She also happens to be Nicky Clarke’s girlfriend. Kelly always looks fabulous and wears a lot of her own designs. Her label She Wears a Crown is beautiful and definitely worth a look!

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Rocco is now three months old and I feel like he is becoming an extremely sociable baby. He has spent almost half of the first part of his life in Austria having lots of cuddles with all the other celebrity contestants on The Jump as well as the show’s host Davina McCall. Davina is a real inspiration to me, not only is she a working mum, but the Sport Relief challenge she is embarking on is so extreme it makes ski jumping look easy. Davina had to helped out of the water after a gruelling one-and-a-half mile swim in Lake Windermere. It looks like she is doing okay now, thankfully. Davina is amazing, so I am sure she will do well.

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While I was in training in Austria, I started reading to Rocco every day as well as playing him lots of French nursery rhyme videos. I’m really keen for him to be able to speak some other languages as well as English. I spent a fair bit of time with Sinitta whose children are fluent in French, and it was incredible hearing them speak to Rocco. A lot of people keep telling me babies are like sponges so the earlier I can start speaking other languages with him the better. Now that I am home I want to take him to a few classes too. I want to try Sing and Sign and Water Babies. Watch this space…

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Now I am back home, our house renovation is well underway. Our new windows are installed and our planning permission has been approved – now the real work begins!

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This week I have several meetings as well as filming for Daybreak. Rocco has his Sing and Sign class on Wednesday so I’ll let you know what it’s like!

Have a great week…

Laura xxx

29 January
0

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Loving ‘The Jump’

Hey guys,

So ‘The Jump’ is now on screen and love it or hate it, it’s rating really well and everyone is loving being part of the show.

We are all pushing ourselves to our absolute limit, we are facing our fears as well as some of the biggest challenges of our lives.

I was genuinely petrified of going on the skeleton course.  Crashing in to side at speed really hurts and I have a lovely collection of bruises over my body.

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One thing that is fantastic for sure is that my baby weight is coming off and I’m gradually getting my shape back.  I’ve still got a stone of baby weight to go but I am getting there.

Davina is one of he nicest people I have met.  It was really sweet of her to praise me for wearing Lycra on screen so soon after having a baby.

With just under a week to go there is A LOT of drama and excitement to come.

All I can say is stay tuned!

Lots of love

Laura x

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