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24 November
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Our worst nightmare before a week in the most beautiful place on earth

Having touched down from the US last weekend it was nice to spend a few days in my own bed. Sometimes I think I’m a little crazy because I almost have this ritual that I have to clean my whole house as soon as I’m back for a trip and then again just before I go away. There is something about getting in to nice clean bed sheets as soon as you are back from a trip – no?

Moving on before you all think I’m strange… I can’t believe our little boy Rocco is now two. It’s official he has hit the terrible twos and we are potty training. I have made a couple of attempts previously but it hasn’t really worked because he hasn’t been ready. We are now seriously giving it a go and hopefully it won’t be long before I only have one lot of nappies to change. I’m keeping a little sticker reward chart, so he gets a sticker each time he uses the toilet/potty. People say boys are usually slower than girls so we shall see. If anyone has any tips they are most welcome to share!…

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For Rocco’s 2nd birthday (13th November) and Alex’s earlier in the month (5th November) we were abroad so the weekend we returned Alex arranged a little party. Although it was a success we also had an experience that is every parents’ nightmare…

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The party included a lovely lady who did some face painting which was a huge success as well as a soft play bus. It was basically a double decker bus that was kitted out both upstairs and downstairs as a softplay centre. It can pull up outside pretty much any property and it is brilliant if you don’t have a huge space inside your home, or you don’t want it to get trashed…

So after the hour and half hire finished and the members of staff told us the all children were all back in the house we presumed they were. However less than 5 minutes later we realised one child was missing… Where was Rocco?

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Alex and I thought one another had checked him back in but neither of us had and there was utter panic as we tried to find him. My brother-in-law was half way down the street looking for him but Rocco was nowhere to be seen. ‘He couldn’t still be on the bus?’, one of the guests shouted. Yes that’s exactly when he was, on the top deck happily playing. The organisers were disgusted that they hadn’t cleared the bus properly. Rocco was still there playing as the bus was moving along and Alex and I felt sick. Apparently it had never happened before and it CERTAINLY won’t be happening again. Rocco was completely oblivious but it was a very scary experience and something I never wish to repeat.

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Just two days after our little drama, Alex and I boarded a British Airways flight to the island of Mirihi in the Maldives. It would be our first trip away without the children.

Some parents might question this, then many others suggest that a short break away as a couple without your children is a healthy thing to do for all parties. Alex and I obviously fall in to the second category and the fact that we have a doting family back home who wanted to look after and spend time with Rocco and Tahlia put us at complete ease. Of course we are missing them but we know they are having a great time and they aren’t actually missing us at all.

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The Maldives is one of my favourite places on earth. The islands are like beautiful gems that are scattered in the Indian Ocean. It’s the perfect place to rest, relax and recharge and there is simply nowhere else like it.

My full report on Mirihi will feature in my next blog and I will also be writing a travel feature for a national publication. In the meantime below is a little taster of what it’s like… www.mirihi.com.

That’s it from me for now, the hammock is calling!

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Love,

Laura X

www.laurahamilton.co.uk
@laurahamiltontv

12 November
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An amazing American adventure

Anyone who follows me on Instagram and Twitter will know from my posts that for the last couple of weeks I’ve been filming in America. It has been a pretty special trip because whilst I have been filming, the children have been visiting the Disney parks with Sarah our nanny. On my days off I have squeezed in a few visits too so I’m not complaining.

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This was a first for me, taking both children on a long-haul flight. Rocco has done it previously but this was Tahlia’s first trip to the US. It was better than I had anticipated partly because Rocco can now travel on his own seat. He can be entertained more easily and he will sit still and watch a film (so that’s a couple of hours sorted). He did of course want to walk about too, so I found myself walking up and down the aisle of the plane a few times making new friends. I guess it can only be expected from an almost 2 year old on a 9 hour flight. Tahlia was pretty happy and not being mobile yet made it easy. All in all it was a success. It did take 4 days for both of them to settle in to their sleeping routines, but with a 5 hour time difference from the UK I didn’t think that was too bad.

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Rocco is two on Friday 13th November and this trip has been an incredible birthday treat! Although he might seem a bit young to be going to theme parks, he talks so much and is a pretty outgoing little boy, that every day he has been so excited about his new adventures. Over the past two weeks we have managed to go to all four of the Disney parks; The Magic Kindgom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Epcot. Each and every one of them has had suitable shows and activities for both the young and old!

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The Magic Kingdom is probably the best of the lot. As you take the boat ride over to the island, you can see the famous castle in the distance and it feels every bit as magical as you would expect. I loved meeting Mickey and watching the shows on stage just as much as Rocco did and we all loved the street parties where we got to dance away with all of our favourite characters and some of the rides were great too.

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We arrived at the park at 8:30am to watch the welcome show and didn’t leave until 8pm after the firework display. It was a long day but completely worth it. At night the castle is even more magical.

The Animal kingdom and Hollywood studios were quicker parks to get in and out of compared to the Magic Kingdom (as there was no boat ride to take), and they were both brilliant. At The Animal Kingdom Rocco went on a safari adventure which was a big hit. At Hollywood studios he particularly enjoyed the ‘Honey I shrunk the kids’ play area and the ‘Frozen Singalong’ theatre show. The Disney live show is worth going to but best of all he loved meeting Woody and Buzz from Toy Story and having his face painted as a pirate.

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Epcot was probably the most ‘educational’ out of all the parks where you got to walk around and explore different countries of the world. All Rocco really wanted to do was go on ‘The Seas Nemo and friends’ ride. It was a colourful interactive experience and worth going on. He enjoyed it so much that he wanted to go on several times and then kept asking to see Nemo when we got back to the hotel.

I found the best way to explore each of the parks (and the best value for money), was by having a five day hopper pass that is valid for five days over a two week period. With this pass you have access to two water parks and can also experience the game zones and play mini golf at Disney Springs where the parking is free. I thought it was fantastic that I could create an account online through the Disney website. I was able to plan each day’s itinerary, make restaurant reservations, book shows and also use a fast pass for three things each day. This basically meant I could go straight to the front of the queue for the three things I chose.

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I would 100% recommend taking the family to Orlando. If you have young children pushchairs are a must! You can hire them at the parks if you don’t want to travel with them but I couldn’t get by without my Egg double stroller. Loads of people actually kept coming up to me and commenting saying it was the best they had ever seen. A little strange but interesting to hear! The Baby Bjorn carrier was also a bit of a necessity even though it was incredibly hot to wear.

If you are planning a family holiday to Orlando, make sure you have a few days to rest. You will walk A LOT and if you do everything at the theme parks it can be pretty tiring. You need to factor in some time to shop in the discounted designer malls if that’s your thing, and also to relax around the pool at your hotel or villa if it has one.

Whilst the children have been having fun, I have of course been having fun working in the sunshine. I have been wearing some of my new dresses from a great brand I’ve discovered called Chi Chi Clothing. I love their styles and fit. Their dresses are 50’s inspired and they work really well for a curvy shape, pinching in at the waist and then flaring out. I also really like their below the knee length which I find flattering. I’ve also been wearing some pieces from Blue Vanilla.

Here’s a sneak peak of some of my outfits below that will be on screen in the new year.

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I will be returning to America for a couple of weeks just before Christmas so I’m planning on doing my Christmas shopping then! Before that I’m actually going on holiday with Alex to the Maldives to a small island called Mirihi. It’s only 350 metres long by 50 metres wide. It’s one of our favourite places in the world and, the perfect place to switch off, unwind and relax.

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I’ve been working so hard in the gym and with my personal trainer John Beeby trying to shift my baby weight so I hopefully I look ok in my bikini for Alex. The big portions in America haven’t helped…

Until then,

Laura xxx

03 November
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Peppa Pig’s surprise and terrible twos‏

A lot of other parents say to me when you have children you constantly question if you are doing a good job. I’m always asking myself is it okay to be travelling so much with my children, and am I doing enough with them when they are back in the UK? I know it’s not always about doing things, it’s often about spending quality time with them, but I think it’s great for them always to be busy! This week has been a fun filled, action packed week for Rocco with a film premiere and a trip to the theatre and he has loved it.

We were lucky enough to be invited to the UK premiere of the screening of some of the new episodes of the Teletubbies at the BFI on the Southbank. If I’m honest I was never too sure about this television programme, I questioned whether it’s was good for children’s speech development. However the new series seems to have improved upon that somewhat.

The Teletubbies still say ‘ehoh’ for hello but there seems to be more about it that is educational, and in HD it looks pretty special when you compare it with the old episodes.

Rocco was so excited in the lead up to the screening that when he actually saw the Teletubbies in person he had a bit of a meltdown and became completely overwhelmed and burst into tears! Nevertheless we had a great morning.

It’s just two weeks until his 2nd birthday and it’s almost like a switch has flicked – it’s time for the terrible twos! I would have never have believed that when he can’t get his own way he would just lie on the floor and scream. Where did he learn that? Not from me that’s for sure and I can’t recall the last time Alex did that! Ha!

For a little boy who has always had a good appetite he is starting to become tricky and fussy with food. On a daily basis I hear “no, I don’t want it.” But, interestingly, his nursery say he has a great appetite and eats loads, so clearly he is testing us and it’s certainly a challenge time.

We aren’t giving him options and if he doesn’t eat what we offer, then fine. He isn’t going to starve and hopefully it is just a phase. Has anyone else encountered this with their toddlers? What did you do?

As a bit of a birthday treat (and before I took the children abroad again!) Alex and I took Rocco and Tahlia on their first trip to the theatre.

I love going to the theatre and given that I have performed as Cinderella eight times its always been a big part of my life. I was really excited when I heard the live theatre show of Peppa Pig was going back out on tour and was coming to Fairfield Halls in Croydon (just down the road from where I live).

Peppa Pigs Surprise is a really good production with simple sets that kept Rocco transfixed for the two 35 minute halves. The theatre was packed and the children were all absolutely loving the show.

The story is told by Peppa’s friend Daisy (actress Emma Grace), who interacts with the audience effortlessly. The actors who operate the popular children’s characters on castors around the stage were dressed in black and impersonated the voices of the characters superbly.

Peppa, George, Danny Dog, Pedro Pony and Suzy Sheep all feature in the show with Mummy Pig, Daddy Pig and Mr Potato performed by actors in full size skins. The story is sweet and Rocco’s favourite scene was when Peppa and George had a bath and Daisy created some pretty impressive bath bubbles.

If you have children who are fans of the TV show the live theatre performance is really worth watching and makes for a great afternoon out with the children. You can find out more about the tour here.

Over the next couple of weeks Rocco and Tahlia are going to be extremely busy in Florida. Whilst I am filming, I have planned lots of exciting days out for them with things to do at the Disney Parks. It’s brilliant that you can create an online account and literally book everything in advance.

If you are thinking of taking two young children on a long haul flight, there are a few things you need to consider; like dealing with jet lag and how to keep them entertained, but don’t be put off. I’m just thinking I can’t wait to see Rocco’s face when he meets Mickey Mouse. Dealing with a couple of days with early mornings will be worth it.

So my next blog will be coming to you from the ‘Sunshine State’, Orlando and the home of Mickey. I think Sarah our nanny is the most excited of us all!

 

Until then, lots of love

 

Laura xxx

22 October
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Travelling to Crete and Cyprus with Rocco and baby Tahlia

It feels like forever since I last blogged so apologies to my regular followers… I’ve been abroad filming for the last three weeks in Crete and Cyprus.

Being away from home for three weeks is usually particularly hard, but I’m so lucky that I am able to travel and work whilst the children are with me and, without sounding too smug about how gorgeous the weather has been (32 degrees) compared with the UK, I am definitely not complaining.

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Since my last post (and before flying abroad to film) I went on a lovely little girlie shopping trip to Oasis in London with my good friend Hayley Sparkes. It’s quite odd buying winter clothes when for the next couple of months I’m away a lot in the sunshine, but there were some lovely bits in store.

By the end of our spending spree our shopping baskets were almost identical! I picked up a lovely winter black coat and a smart nude jacket which I ended up wearing later that evening to the Children in Need Book launch Fi-Rex.

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Hayley and I attended the event together and the book has been written by a variety of celebs and a portion of the sales will be donated to Children in Need. It’s a lovely book and Rocco is enjoying it when I read it to him.

A few days after the event my cases were packed again and little Rocco was very excited to be going on another ‘herroplane’. Tahlia is settling well in to the travelling lark now too. She’s growing fast and I don’t think it will be too long before she is crawling. I’ve started weening her with the brilliant Ella’s kitchen pouches that I used with Rocco. I can’t recommend them enough for when when you are travelling.

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Rocco is currently going through the ‘it’s mine stage’ where he doesn’t get the concept of sharing. He often takes Tahlia’s toys from her, but despite of this she still adores him and my heart melts when she smiles at him. I captured a great little video of the two of them when I was in Crete.

Filming in Crete was lovely. I was based in the old town of Chania and the area around the port was beautiful at night. I was impressed by just how family friendly the restaurants were. In fact Cyprus was the same, so many of the restaurants have softplay areas and it’s totally acceptable to take your children out in the evening when you eat. It makes such a difference when the temperature is so warm in the evening.

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For this episode I wore a dress from www.darlingclothes.com with some tan leather sandals from Dorothy Perkins. For my closing chat I managed to squeeze in to my Love jumpsuit. My baby weight is still coming off and I think I have around 10lbs to go so it’s nice being able to fit into the clothes I love again.

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After our week filming, we had to take two flights to get from Crete to Cyprus (via Athens). I thought it would be a nightmare but thankfully it went really smoothly and the children were fantastic. Tahlia was a bit of a hit with the airport staff and they all wanted cuddles.

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We arrived in Larnaca and had a much needed weekend off. What better way to treat ourselves than with a visit to the country’s most famous water park ‘Waterworld’ in Ayia Napa. They have a couple of areas for younger children and some pretty impressive slides for the adults (or bigger kids!). If you are visiting the area with family and want a guaranteed fun day out, visiting is a MUST! Sadly for us after the weekend was over, it was time to get back to work.

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The property market in Cyprus is really interesting. There are some UNBELIEVABLE bargains around, and despite not a lot of places having title deeds buyers shouldn’t be put off. The government are currently putting schemes in place to rectify the situation and they are currently working through the back log of applications. The climate is fantastic so much so I had to keep reminding myself it’s almost November.

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I filmed two episodes near to Protarus and although I can’t give away too much about what happened, they are both going to be great shows. The shows will both be on in the new year but in the meantime I thought I would give you a little sneak peak of the outfits I wore in Cyprus.

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I’m seriously looking forward to sleeping in my own bed this weekend and I am sure Rocco and Tahlia are too. Although saying that we are only back for a week before we head to Orlando and I will be filming and blogging from Disneyland.

That’s all from me for now. Don’t forget we get an extra hour in bed this weekend. Well I probably won’t!!

I hope you have enjoyed the read and I hope not to leave it so long next time.

Over and out…

Laura xxx

28 September
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New hair, family outings, events and a week in Tuscany!

I can’t believe it’s almost the end of September. Seriously where has this year gone? I’m going to be starting my Christmas shopping before I know it.

As always it’s been a fun-filled couple of weeks. If anyone has thought about going to the Shrek experience in London’s County Hall, DO IT! I took Rocco and Tahlia recently and although Rocco was too young to go on the bus simulator ride, he absolutely loved the experience. In fact he hasn’t stopped talking about the Muffin Man, the Gingerbread Man and Shrek since we left. He is completely hooked. The experience is actually a little scary at times (so I would suggest it’s better for children over 5). Even I got a little freaked in the mirror maze…

No expense has been spared, the sets are fantastic and the actors who guide you through the tour are brilliant. If you have children and are looking for a fun few hours in London, I highly recommend going.

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After taking the children out for a fun-filled experience, the following evening I went to another fun experience myself. I was lucky enough to get two tickets to #Friendsfest in East London, the pop up in Brick Lane (that was being put on by Comedy Central) featuring some of the sets from the hit American show. Hosted by Gunther himself, I could resist getting a pic with him in Monica’s apartment. The event was a great idea and I wouldn’t be surprised if they do more of the same with some other hit shows. I took our nanny Sarah to the event and she said it was one of the best evenings of her life which was really sweet.

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Although I went abroad to film in Tuscany during London Fashion Week, I did attend one event just before I left. Showcasing my new lobb (long bob!) I worked the red carpet at the award winning make-up artist Lan Nguyan’s book launch. I decided to wear a pink floral skirt from SkeenaS and teamed it up with a simple black jumper from Zara. I finished my look with a gold bee necklace from River Island and a pink lipstick called ‘Relentlessly Red’ from Mac. My make-up wasn’t a patch on some of the creations in Lan’s book but I hoped she approved of my lippy!

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So on to my new hair… Yep I decided to go for a chop. Amy at FOUR London (and Claudia Winkleman’s new hair stylist on Strictly), gave me a little hair and I love it. I’m still learning to style it but I think it’s easier to manage when it’s a bit shorter. I’m also hoping that I will be able to avoid Tahlia being sick in my hair on the left side! Does anyone else ever have that? The constant ‘sick left shoulder!’ Both Rocco and Tahlia have been sicky babies but hopefully she will grow out of it soon.

With my new look and feeling good (I still have 16lbs of baby weight to go), I boarded a plane with the two children to film in Tuscany for the week. I had never visited this part of Italy before and I totally fell in love with it. I was based very close to the city of Lucca which was packed with loads of great restaurants and wine bars. The atmosphere was fantastic and the cobbled Amphiteatro was my favourite place to sit and people watch. A couple of evenings when I finished early I took the children to Pisa and Florence. Rocco kept telling me he was being the leaning tower of Pisa.

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I’m back home in the UK for a week before jetting off to Crete and Cyprus. This week I’ll be catching up with my old ‘Jump’ buddy and Masterchef champion Kimberly Wyatt as we are going to lunch in The Shard. I’m really looking forward to seeing her.

I hope you have a wonderful week.

Over and out,

Laura X

14 September
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Red Carpet Glamour and Remarkable Pull in Pants!

Hi guys,

I hope you’ve had a great couple of weeks? Mine has involved a couple of red carpet events, judging ladies day at Kempton race course, personal training sessions, a week filming in Spain and organising a baby shower! I’ve also been trying to persevere with the Gro Clock to try to stop Rocco waking up so early. Here I am going to report about it all…

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I was privileged to be invited to the launch of Ella Jade Interior design show room in north west London. The event dress code was ‘Black Tie and Cocktail dresses’ so what better excuse than to wear a beautiful floor length black and lace gown from ‘Cristallini’. It was absolutely gorgeous and with some trusty pull in pants, my stomach looked reasonably flat… We can’t all look as fabulous as Abby Clancy did just 12 weeks after giving birth! Did you see those photos? It certainly made me feel pretty awful about my post baby body, and I’ve literally been working my butt off with John Beeby for two months. Some of us (or possibly most of us) just aren’t that lucky… anyway I digress, the dress was gorgeous and I felt fabulous. Their collection is totally worth checking out.
www.cristallini.com.

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Immediately after the event I drove to Bristol to film my last two episodes in the current series of ‘Cowboy Builders & Bodge Jobs’. I’ve really enjoyed filming the shows. We’ve managed to help some really deserving families by completing some incredible room make overs.

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After making over two houses in Bristol, it was then time for me to get ‘made over’ myself as I headed to the races at Kempton to judge ‘Best Dressed’ for Ladies day. Feeling the pressure to look good myself (as I knew I would be being judged), I decided to wear a long black and white dress from MIMI Tran Design. I teamed it up with a simple black fascinator from ‘Lucindas’ (one of my local shops), and some beautiful diamonds from www.diamond-boutique.co.uk. My lovely friend (hair and make-up artist) Catherine Legg put my hair up in a messy up do. Here are a few pics of me at the event…

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The winning lady had travelled all the way from Liverpool and I thought she looked fabulous in her outfit which she told me was from Coast.

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I bumped in to Toby Anstis from Heart radio who was DJ’ing at the event. He is such a lovely guy.

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The following morning the passports were packed and myself, Rocco and Tahlia headed to Spain for another week of filming in the sunshine.

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I actually think because I am abroad filming every other week at the moment I’m not having much luck with the Gro Clock. Rocco doesn’t wake until 7am when we are abroad because we are one hour ahead, but then we come back to UK and it throws him. All the travel with the children does have other benefits though. Rocco has starting to pick up some Spanish and really impressed Alex when we came home and said “Hola, Como estas! Gracias”.

I can’t believe in just two months he will be two and I already got a great little birthday party planned.

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After my week in the sun (well actually we experienced some torrential rain), I landed back in Blighty and hosted a baby shower for my friend who is due to have her first baby in 4 weeks. Having hosted two myself, I had a pretty good idea of what to do. I organised a vintage afternoon tea for everyone, and had a beautiful cake and cup cakes made. Everyone enjoyed drinking Shloer all afternoon which was the perfect non-alcoholic drink! I also organised for a massage therapist to treat everyone to a hand and foot massage, and we played the baby food game guessing the flavours. The afternoon was a success and the mummy to be enjoyed herself.

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As I left the baby shower, I was excited to see the launch photos of the Bizzi Growin blankets at a baby trade show in Europe. As you can see the stand features two ladies who you might recognise?

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This coming week I am in the UK, so I will be training hard with John Beeby, on my mission to loose my last 1st and 3lbs. Then at the weekend I am off to Tuscany to film so hopefully next time I will be reporting from the sunshine!

I hope you all have a brilliant week.

Laura xxx

01 September
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Filming, Fashion, Fitness and some frightfully early mornings!

I hope you all had lovely bank holiday weekends?

After another manic few weeks travelling abroad as well as around the UK filming, we are having a relatively quiet one. I say quiet, it’s never really quiet with two under two but we are spending time together as a family and catching up with friends at home.

Last week I took Rocco and Tahlia to one of my favourite places in Spain, Mojacar. It’s on the Costa de Almeria and it’s nice low rise Spanish holiday town that is family friendly. The weather was beautiful and whilst I filmed in the pretty old town (The Pueblo), Rocco and Tahlia got to enjoy the swimming pool back at the hotel.

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I finally got to wear my beautiful peach Elie Tahari dress (which was a great pick as it was nice and cool.) I teamed it up with my Aruna Seth Sandals.

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For my closing chat of the episode I wore a bright yellow, skater style dress from the high street, designed by Gok Wan and I finished my look with a side updo and my MAC Russian Red lipstick. I have noticed Gok has designed some nice pieces for the highstreet recently so it’s worth checking out!

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Another product I have discovered is Bouffe Spray. Yep it does exactly what it says on the tin – If you love BIG hair, this product is a MUST have. My hair is usually quite fine and this dry spray gives it loads of volume. It comes in different shades so you can match it to your colour and it’s really effective.

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Being away from home meant I was unable to train with John Beeby, but he was sending me regular workout plans and I managed to do a 3k beach run. I really hated not being able to workout with John as it helps motivate me and I’m starting to see results.

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A week later we landed back on UK soil and I had three training sessions with John. He weighed me and I’m now down to 9st 9lb so I have 1st 3lb to go. I’m still following the 5:2 diet which is going well and my fast days are particularly easy because I eat the meals the the Fast Diet Kitchen send me. I was pretty proud of myself when I told john I had completed a 3k run and a 5k bike ride and burnt off my 500 calories on my fast day but he advised me to be careful. He told me that “stores of calories/energy are stored in muscle, liver sugar stores. You eat into the first available store that your body can use then into the longer term stores that will include the fat stores in the body. You are then in a surplus on a fasting day and then the body will recruit the energy or slow down. So working out on a fast day isn’t a good idea – slapped wrist Laura!

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Moving on to my gorgeous children – I can’t believe Tahlia is already 3 and a half months. She is a little angel who now sleeps through from 7-7 much like Rocco did. We have been very lucky! However, it’s Rocco who seems to be the one waking early. At 5:30am he comes running in to our room saying ‘I just want a cuddle’ – it’s completely adorable and of course you can’t resist his request but, in order to put a stop to this early rising we are trying the Gro Clock. We read him a story that is associated with the clock and hopefully it won’t be too long before he learns that he can’t come in to Mummy and Daddy’s room until the sun is up on the clock. I think it will take a few weeks for him to understand but it’s got to be worth a try!!

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Next week, as well as filming in Bristol, I have two big red carpet events, one of which involves judging ‘best dressed’ for ladies day at Kempton Race course on 5th September. I’ve found a beautiful dress, hat and jewellery but I still need to sort my shoes! I will of course share lots of photos with you next week.

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Well that’s it from me in this blog. But before I sign off I have a little bank holiday treat for you. As you know I love property and interior design and I’m a big fan of candles. One of my friends found it particularly funny that it was one of Rocco’s first words! Anyway the guys over at Heir and Grace have kindly offered all my followers a 25% discount and free UK shipping. All you have to do is enter the word ‘Laura’ at checkout.

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Enjoy guys!

Laura xxx

11 August
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Multi tasking on a new level…

Any of you who are regular readers of my blog will know I recently gave birth to my second child, a little girl named Tahlia. Anyone who is new to my blog – hi! Thanks for reading… I hope you enjoy my ramblings.

Before I had children I crammed as much in to one day as I possibly could, but now that I have two under two, it’s takes the word “multi tasking” to a completely different level.

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Whilst I’m still trying to organise renovation bits to our house, I’m also a wife, a mummy, am trying to lose baby weight (working out with John Beeby at least 3 times a week), and I’m filming two TV projects. Alongside of this I am trying to keep on top of my beauty bits like having my Calgel Manicures and my lash extensions. Alex my husband tells me I never switch off or relax but I just don’t have the time to!

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Because it’s slightly full on, after 11 weeks of breast feeding I have decided to stop. I felt a little sad about my decision because we aren’t planning to have any more children, so I won’t be doing it again. That might sound odd but apparently a lot of people feel this way when they stop. I feel like I’ve given Tahlia a pretty good start in doing it as long as I have and now she’s taking formula milk I have been able start the 5:2 diet as part of my baby weight loss program. I’m basically eating normally for 5 days and then I limit myself to 500 calories for 2 days. The Fast Diet Kitchen sends me my meals for my two fast days which makes it pretty easy to follow and so far, after following the program for two weeks and training with John, I’ve managed to loose 5lbs.

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John is a fountain of knowledge. Initially I told him I was disappointed I wasn’t losing anything but he advised me that after having a baby it can take our bodies a little bit to readjust. I’ve quizzed him about shakes, and all sorts of faddy diets but he said I have to do it slowly and ‘the right way’. He is happy that the 5:2 is a good way to think about portion control and make me more aware of what I am consuming and I agree! My stomach is starting to get flatter and at the moment we are building on cardio fitness. By getting my fitness back, the weight will naturally drop off and then we can focus on tone.

I’m definitely not one of those people who just pings back in to shape after giving birth. I’m having to work hard at losing the weight and it takes an enormous amount of will power to resist the temptation of ‘naughty snacks’ when I’m on set filming and everyone is eating sweets.

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I am determined to stick with it because I want to look and feel fab in my clothes. Saying that I did feel fab in the clothes I purchased from the Elie Tahari concession in Harrods recently. I picked up a beautiful floaty peach dress for filming in, some cool black skinny jeans for day to day and a great fitted coral dress that I wore on a ‘date night’ with Alex to The Chiltern Firehouse (yes we are making sure we still fit those in to our busy lives too!)

I teamed the coral dress up with a cute jacket from Joseph Ribkoff (another brand I’m a big fan of at the moment – www.josephribkoff.com). They’ve got some beautiful pieces in their autumn/winter collection and I’ve invested in some staple pieces for my wardrobe.

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I finished it off my look with some statement earrings and bracelets from Merola Jewellery (www.merola.co.uk) and my new bright pink Mac Lipstick.

The restaurant was brilliant and it’s worth a visit. The crab cakes are tasty as is the steak tartare.

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So date night came and went but I had a few more excuses to get glammed up when I had a couple of filming days in Worcester and then also for a photoshoot I did at home with Bizzi Growin the Childrens brand. I am currently helping them to promote their gorgeous blankets.

I’ve attached a few little snaps of the shoot below so you can see a sneak preview.

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Rocco wasn’t part of the shoot and I think he was looking over myself and Tahlia whilst Tony the photographer took photographs. He is such a caring little boy but I definitely think he is starting to show signs of wanting more attention and is perhaps a little jealous. He can see I can’t completely focus on him and he no longer has my sole attention. If any of you have any advice or tips I’d love to hear from you…

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This weekend I am taking the children abroad again whilst I film. I’m going to continue with my dieting and John is putting an exercise regime together. I won’t have any shirts to iron, or cleaning to do but I’m sure I will be doing a million other things…

Have a great weekend guys,

Laura xxx

24 July
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Family Time, Fitness and Fairy Doors!

Time spent together as a family is precious, and our family holiday, a week in Sardinia at Forte Village was no exception.

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When I was given the opportunity to visit the hotel and write a travel review for the Daily Mail I was extremely excited. From what I had read about Forte Village it had received glowing reviews. When we arrived, Alex and I were pretty impressed by our room in the 5* newly renovated hotel Il Castello. It was spacious with a large terrace and there was an adjoining door to the children’s bedroom. We were welcomed by Marcello the general manager who gave us a quick tour and overview of the facilities, they were extremely impressive; 8 hotels in 47 acres, 21 Restaurants, the Chelsea football academy, a rugby academy, netball academy, boxing academy and dance academy (all run by www.superskillsexperiences.com), designer clothes and jewellery shops, a pharmacy, a tennis academy, 9 swimming pools, a children’s club, a nursery and a weekly programme of evening entertainment. We were lucky enough to look at the Royal penthouse suite and it was something else… just a little over our budget!

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Alex and I really wanted to spend some time together going out in the evenings so we made the most of the babysitting facilities that the hotel offered. Francesca, a local lady and mum (who has worked for the hotel for 12 years), came to look after the children every evening from 8pm until 11pm. Thankfully they were both well behaved and slept! It was really important to us that we kept the children in their routines, so they both slept for two hours each day which meant Alex and I could spend some time relaxing in the sunshine and then in the evenings we got some ‘us’ time. Our favourite meal was at ‘Schuhbeck’s’ Michelin star restaurant. We also really enjoyed eating at ‘Trattoria’ and in the ‘Wine Cellar’ where we treated to a meal cooked by the top chef Chris Wheeler from Stoke Park in the UK. It was fantastic.

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It’s fair to say Forte Village isn’t cheap, but with amazing facilities for families and a world class spa, it’s a special place to visit. As you wander around the grounds it’s a bit of a celeb spotting place too… We bumped in to rugby players Will Greenwood and Ben Kay as well as ex Crystal Palace football player Andy Johnson all of whom were really lovely…I will let you know when my full review hits the press so you can have a read but in the meantime if you want to check out the hotel you can visit their website here www.fortevillageresort.com or even download their phone app!

As soon as I got home I hit the ground running with work and working out! I’ve been having some really exciting work meetings, I’ve managed to fit in 3 personal training sessions with John Beeby, and I’ve been filming in Southport this week. Holiday seems like a distance memory.

In my training sessions I have been boxing with pads (which I love), and John has had me doing squats and lunges with a medicine ball (a weighted ball). He said he is easing me in gently but I definitely got a sweat on and worked hard. At the weekend I’m going to start my diet plan with www.fastdietkitchen.co.uk so hopefully by next week I will start seeing some results in terms of weight loss. #mrsimpatient!

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When I’ve been on location filming in Stockport this week, the children have been staying with me. Our nanny Sarah planned an amazing day out with both of them at Chester Zoo. It was great for Rocco to visit this zoo because it’s somewhere Alex’s grandparents took him regularly as a child and he loved it. The zoo was also voted the best in the country this year so it’s a top place to take the kids this Summer. Check out the little video Sarah took of of Rocco below.
www.chesterzoo.org

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Whilst Sarah has been with me (and when she visited the zoo), she was ‘test driving’ the brand new tandem Egg pram which is like the Range Rover of tandem prams! Tahlia is on the bottom in the carrycot and Rocco is on top in a forward facing seat.

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I have been lucky enough to test a few prams and the Egg is certainly one of the best. It looks fab, is really solid and its especially easy to use. The frame collapses down and fits in to a relatively small space and it’s not too heavy! Sarah loved using it and I think it’s brilliant too. It make life a little easier being out and about with two under two. www.eggstroller.com

This weekend I’m really excited to be going out to dinner with Alex at the Chiltern Firehouse. I’ve heard it serves great food and is a bit of a trendy hang out. Date nights are SO important when you have children and I love it when I get to experience new restaurants with my husband.

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Before I finish up this week’s blog post I just wanted to tell you about another fun thing that I have recently discovered for children. A few weeks ago I attended an event being run by The Irish Fairy Door Company. www.theirishfairydoorcompany.com. When you buy a fairy door, you get a little booklet that explains how it all works. You go online to register your fairy and then every so often your child gets up dates and little surprises from their fairy. It’s a really sweet idea and they make such lovely gifts, worth checking out.

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Now what should I wear for date night?

Have a lovely weekend.

Laura xxx

17 July
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Holidaying in Sardinia

Hi guys,

Hope you are all having a good week?

I’m writing this week’s blog from sunny Sardinia where I’m am visiting and reviewing Forte Village. It’s a very impressive place that has excellent facilities for families. It is our first holiday away as a family of four and and we are having such a great time. It’s already Tahlia’s third trip abroad and she is not even 10 weeks yet!

laura-hamilton2Rocco having a blast and I’m really enjoying watching Alex get to spend some quality time with him, playing with him in the swimming pool. Rocco is extremely confident in the water which is fantastic but also a little worrying at the same time.

laura-hamiltonWe’ve met lots of great people including Will Greenwood (whose son also happens to be called Rocco!) and Anthony Campos from the ‘Superskills Experiences’ team who run the majority of the sports academies at the hotel. They are a really lovely group of people.

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I will be revealing more about my stay at Forte Village in next week’s blog and also how I’m finding it travelling with two under two, but in the mean time you can find out more about ‘Superskills’ here www.superskillsexperiences.com

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In my last post I mentioned I am starting a fitness regime to try to loose 2 stone of baby weight. I’m certainly feeling the pressure because of being on screen and I’m a little impatient when I don’t see results immediately. I’ve started working out with John Beeby, a personal trainer who I am aiming to workout with at least twice a week, work permitting. It’s early days and he is putting a program together for me. Although I state I want to loose two stone, I’ve said that because I’m aiming to get back to what I weighed when we got married. The number on the scales isn’t actually that important, it is what I look like and how I feel in my clothes. I have a photo of myself that I’m working towards my body being like again. Many people say that after having children your body is never the same again and after having two c-sections it is supposedly harder to get back in shape. There is also the c-section overhang that a few people speak of. This is basically the area above where they cut. Getting it completely flat can be tricky. John Beeby is going to be helping me train the correct way after major surgery and I will be sharing this information with you along my journey. My first training session involved John assessing my strength which he seemed pretty impressed with.

laura-hamilton3 My real training starts next week and I’m raring to go. Whilst I’m training I’m going to be following a diet program too. www.Fastdietkitchen.co.uk will be sending meals direct to my door. I have decided to do this because as a busy working mum, I am always making sure the children have everything they need and are eating well that I sometimes forget about myself, or I snack on food I’ve made for Rocco which isn’t good. I need to be eating well to train properly so I’m giving it a go.

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Before we came away I had my first evening out alone since Tahlia was born and I didn’t feel guilty! Alex looked after both children whilst I attended the annual ITV Summer party. The party is held at the Director of ITV’s house and it’s always a great event. Everywhere you look you are surrounded by familiar and glamorous faces from ITV. This year I wore a burgundy colour dress from The Pretty Dress Company. I decided to go for a colour clash with my footwear and wore red suede shoes from LK Bennett. As always I was beautified by Jo Adams and I felt fab. Here is a sneaky pic from the event when I was papped outside!

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Anyway that’s it from me for now. Better get back to enjoying quality family time. I hope you have a good weekend guys.

Laura and family from Sunny Sardinia! X

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