Feeling upbeat, first film premiere and getting your ‘wiggle’ on

Hi All,

In my last blog I mentioned I was feeling the strains of having to juggle everything whilst being pregnant, so this week I tried out the Upbeat drink (www.feelingupbeat.com) which is described as ‘a bit of extra willpower in a bottle’. It’s a dairy protein drink, with half the sugar of most fruit smoothies, high in protein and only 150 calories. I tried the blueberry and raspberry drink and it was delicious! The drinks are a great snack mid morning or mid afternoon and although I’m obviously not dieting given I am pregnant, I am still health conscious so these drinks are perfect. I definitely recommend them.

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If any of you follow me on Twitter (@laurahamiltontv) you may have noticed this week I tweeted some photos of Rocco and myself at the launch of ‘Action for Children’s- Giant Wiggle Campaign’. I’ve been involved with this charity for a number of years now and when they asked me to help front this campaign I was delighted to be able to lend a hand. The Giant Wiggle is a sponsored walk for Children around the age of 5 but literally anyone can get involved. You can find out more about this wonderful fundraising event and the charity at www.actionforchildren.org.uk

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Rocco’s eyes literally lit up when he saw the hungry caterpillar. He had such a fun morning and it was even more special knowing it was to support such a good cause. Make sure you get your ‘wiggle on’ on the 19th March.

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Also this week I was lucky to have a very special visit from Matt Newton from iCandy. Bearing in mind in just three months we are going to have two under two I figured we are going to need a double buggy. iCandy were actually the first company to develop the double pushchair with the children on different levels (‘The Peach’), rather than side by side – how do they ever fit through a door? Anyway Matt’s demo was brilliant. He showed me how the single pushchair ‘The Raspberry’ works and is pretty nifty! It’s light, compact, sturdy and very easy to collapse and erect. I’m going to be test driving it until number two arrives in a few months so I’ll let you know how I get on! www.icandyworld.com

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Finally this week, Alex and I took Rocco to his first film premiere of ‘Peppa Pig and the Golden Boots’. Rocco loves Peppa (probably like most children his age), and the screening of the film at the Odeon in Leicester Square was brilliant. Below are a couple of photos from the weekend of me and my gorgeous boys at the screening!

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Have a great week guys.

Lots of love

Laura xxx

A stressful few weeks…

Hi Guys
Hope you are all well?
You know sometimes you have one of those weeks? Well the last couple of weeks have been somewhat stressful.  Thankfully Alex and I managed to have a bit of R&R at Hanbury Manor in Hertfordshire which was much needed… I’m the kind of person who never lets  things get on top of me but juggling everything recently has been tough, organising childcare, being a mum and a wife, filming crazy long hours, oh and the fact I am now 27 weeks pregnant!
When my filming day came to an end last Thursday, I had a call from Alex to say he was in hospital with Rocco again, this time with a very nasty rash that appeared shortly after he picked him up from nursery.  Alex wasn’t sure if was an allergic reaction to something he had eaten or if it was something more sinister.  He called 111 and they advised him to go straight to hospital.  Thankfully we were both put at ease when the doctor told Alex it wasn’t meningitis, it could just be a rash from a virus or a reaction to something Rocco had eaten. Okay so it would be good to try and eliminate what exactly caused it, but the doctor said we might never know…a bit frustrating but the main thing is Rocco is fine.  One thing for sure that has seriously impressed both Alex and I is just how good our healthcare system is, particularly when it comes to young children and babies.  In the last month Alex and I have been to hospital twice with Rocco.   The emergency services and hospital staff have all been amazing.
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In a couple of weeks’ time I have to have a meeting with the birth choices team at the hospital I am due to give birth in.  The likelihood is I will have a C-section again.  It wasn’t out of choice the first time, it was an emergency after the midwife discovered Rocco was breach 5 hours into my labour.  Unfortunately my scar is keloid and I hate it.  I am hoping that with a planned C-section next time this can be avoided as it still looks really red and I have never had a keloid scare before so the fact I have one now is a bit odd!  I have compared my scar to other people who have had a C-section at the same time and mine really looks a bit of a mess…fingers crossed it can be sorted.
Aside of hospital visits we have been having our ensuite fitted out in our house.  I should be able to share some photos of it with you next week when it’s finished. We bought a beautiful vanity unit from www.portervanities.com which makes it feel like a hotel bathroom and if you are looking for a ‘special’ vanity until for a bathroom these pieces are pretty amazing.
Talking of hotels, Alex and I spent our first night away from Rocco on Saturday. Our first lie-in for a year! We were treated to a little visit to Hanbury Manor in Hertfordshire http://www.marriotthanburymanor.co.uk/ and we had a really lovely afternoon and evening.  The grounds and building of this hotel are beautiful.  Sitting in the panelled Oaks Bar by the roaring log fire was gorgeous. The service was brilliant and the room we had was beautiful, over looking the grounds.
We were treated to a facial and massage.  I opted for the facial as unfortunately  a pregnancy massage wasn’t available and, although Alex’s massage was a little rushed (as they were fully booked) we both needed a bit of pampering. What impressed us most was the food served in the restaurant.  Not only did it taste great it was presented really interestingly.  It was the perfect date night and the trip came to an end with breakfast in bed – bliss!
So next week I will be reporting back about my my pram demo with iCandy who very kindly ran me through how the raspberry and peach (their double pram) work.  I will also be able to tell you about my involvement with Action for Children’s Giant Wiggle campaign. I have an exciting photo shoot with them next Tuesday. www.actionforchildren.org.uk
My new YouTube channel will be online imminently and if you have an upcoming wedding why not check out ‘Just Weddings’ Magazine this week where I am their cover girl showcasing www.raijewel.com.
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I hope you all have a good week.
Laura x

New Year, new projects!

Happy New Year guys. I hope you all had a good one whatever you got up to?

I celebrated the first day of 2015 in the family place in Spain with Alex and Rocco and we had a fab time. It was slightly odd when I turned the TV on I saw myself on ‘A Place in the Sun’ filming in Spain on the Mar Menor. I was there only a few weeks before Christmas and it’s brilliant to see the show is now playing out on Channel 4 in an evening slot.

 

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New Year in Spain

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Since being back in the UK it has been all go. The day I got home I had my nails done by Alison from Calgel and my lashes and brows done by Emily Ponte from Poeme Beauty in preparation for my new tv project. I’m excited to tell you I have joined the team of ‘Cowboy Builders’. I will be filming the show all throughout this year as well as continuing with ‘Fort Boyard’ and ‘A Place in the Sun’ which is really exciting. I am also going to launching my own YouTube channel very soon with lots of hints and tips on property renovation and interior design as well as keeping you up to date with everything else I am up to! Watch this space… My first filming day is Friday.

Rocco and baby bump are both doing well. We still don’t know if it’s a boy or a girl and I’m really glad we don’t know. I have to admit sometimes I actually forget I am pregnant because I’m busy working and running around after Rocco. Then I look down at my tummy and think how can I forget? I’m passed that stage of just looking like I have put on a few pounds over Xmas and now I actually look like I’m pregnant!

I’m currently teaching Rocco to feed himself using ‘combination feeding’ (a mixture of baby led weening and letting him feed himself). I am a bit obsessed keeping everything clean/tidy in the house so this works best for me. Tommee Tippee have some great little first cutlery sets and Rocco really likes the ‘little dish’ meals at the moment. I don’t give them to him every day but they are really handy, with not much salt and lots of veg. I’m a big fan.

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I can’t believe I only have 4 months left until baby number two arrives. I’m loving getting in to maternity fashion again and one of my favourite dresses is the Avalicious in red from www.babeswithbabies.co.uk. You can really dress this outfit up or down and it’s so comfy too.

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For casual looks I’m loving these outfits from www.seraphine.com. Perfect for filming ‘Cowboy Builders’!

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If you managed to catch ‘Minors in Designers’ on ITVbe between Christmas and new year, you will have seen Rocco is in to his fashion too! I found a really lovely boutique on Instagram called monsweetboutique and recently got him this little outfit. I think he looks pretty cute in the little red hat!

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This coming weekend Alex are having our first night away together without Rocco which we have never done before. Alex said the only thing he misses from pre Rocco days are his lazy mornings and waking up late and although I have always woken up early I would agree with him. We are really excited to be spending a night at Hanbury Manor in Hertfordshire where we will get to enjoy some massage pampering too. I’ve never visited the hotel before but I’ve heard great things about it.

Before I sign off I have to quickly mention Celeb Big Brother. I don’t usually watch the show but I have tuned in this time and it crazy to see some of the behaviour going on. I really like Nadia Swahala. She appeared in my series of Dancing on Ice and I think she is coming across really well, fingers crossed she is there until the end – I think the other housemates need her.

On that note, I hope you all have a great week.

Laura xxx

Happy Christmas Eve!

Happy Christmas Eve! This is my last blog post of 2014. First off I want to say a big thank you to everyone who has followed and supported me over the last year, whether you read my blog or support me in my TV career (or even both), I really appreciate your continued support.  I feel very lucky to be blessed with an amazing family and incredible friends and I couldn’t do what I do without them…

So Caroline Flack was finally crowned the winner of Strictly 2014.  It was a fantastic series and tough to call who would win in the end.  Having been part of Dancing on Ice a few years back I know just how hard it will be for everyone who took part now that the series has finished.  The training becomes such a major part of your life for a good few months and it’s a little weird to adjust.  I’m sure Caroline will be on a high for sometime but I want to say a BIG well done to her. She was fab even though I do have leg envy (probably like most of the nation)!

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With just one day until Christmas have you finished your Xmas shopping or are you one of those people who leave it right to the last minute?  I have just one last present to pick up and as I’m only cooking for 4 people this year, so I feel relatively stress free.

Thankfully we are all now over the sickness bug we had in our house and Rocco is a back to his normal self after 7 days of sickness and back on his Wellkid vitamins!  I am particularly excited about Christmas this year because Rocco has more of an understanding of what is going on.  He has mastered the words ‘tree’, ‘bauble’ and ‘star’.  In fact he is saying a lot of words including his own name, but the word Mummy/Mama is currently missing from his vocabulary.  The other day I asked him who I was and he said ‘dog’ – how nice!

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It’s amazing to see him walking all over the place and crazy to see how quickly he progresses each day.  He visited Clarks the shoe shop and had his feet measured so he now has his first ‘proper’ pair of shoes – although he doesn’t seem to be too keen on wearing them…talking of shoes for Rocco and linking to fashion for children, Rocco and I will appear in ‘Minors in Designers’ on ITVbe next Monday evening at 10pm.  The show is based around an amazing children’s clothes shop in Essex called ‘Childsplay’ and Rocco and I took part in the documentary when we visited there earlier in the year which was great fun.

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In terms of my pregnancy fashion, with my new growing bump I’ve found a great website called www.babeswithbabies.co.uk.  I received a beautiful grey Poncho as a Christmas present from them which I love.  They have some great bits online and are worth checking out.  The other site I am big fan of is www.seraphine.com – definitely worth a look if you are a fashion conscious mum to be!


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Just like with my previous pregnancy, I am struggling with some nice maternity lingerie.  Www.cakematernity.com seems to be my only saviour but www.hotmilklingerie.com have a lovely range if your size permits!

So today Alex and I went for our 20 week scan and the great news is all seems to be well which is the best Christmas present we could ask for.

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I hope you have a fantastic Christmas and new year!  Thank you again for all your support.  Let’s make 2015 even better!

Laura, Alex, Rocco and Bump xxx

Any advice for having two babies under two?

Hi guys,

So if any of you picked up a copy of HELLO! magazine last week you will have seen our exciting news. We are expecting another baby at the beginning of May and Rocco will be a big brother.  The thought of having two under two seems a little crazy but I have always wanted to have two children close together because I like the idea they can grow up together. Our second scan is in one week’s time and we have decided to keep the sex of the baby a surprise again…

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It’s exciting that we have to decorate and furnish another nursery. We are also going to have to think about double prams. If any of you have tried and tested any I would love to hear your thoughts and advice. Have any of you got two under two? How is it? Honestly? I’d love to hear from you!

Since the HELLO! photo shoot Alex and I attended the Snowman Ball in Brighton. It’s a huge fundraising event for Chestnut House Children’s hospice and they raised almost £500,000 which is fantastic. It was a great night. I wore a lovely black and cream lace dress from Lipstick Boutique (showing off a little bump) and some Rai Jewel earrings really finished off the look. Jo Adams my make-up artist recreated a look with my hair that Cheryl had in Cannes and I loved it!

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The last week or so has been a bit of a nightmare to be honest because the sickness bug struck our household. I think Rocco picked up a bug from nursery which he then passed to me, and then Alex caught it too. Being pregnant and sick isn’t good and I’m really concerned for Rocco as unfortunately he is still unwell which is a bit of a worry. He was taken to hospital by ambulance on Friday and we still don’t really know what is wrong with him. Hopefully we will get to the bottom of it very soon. Seeing him ill is heartbreaking and what makes it worse is he can’t communicate with us and tell us where he feels pain. I hate it.

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Being sick and homebound this weekend has meant I have actually sat down and watched television (a rarity for me!). I managed to catch the X Factor final and although Fleur and Andrea were incredible, l had to support Ben, a guy who lives locally to me. He comes across as such a lovely man and is a well deserved winner. Congratulations Ben!

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So from a poorly household, it’s short and maybe not so sweet from me this week. Please don’t forget to leave your comments and any tips about coping with toddlers and new borns… All advice appreciate!

Love,

Laura and Bump #no2

Switching on the Christmas lights and buying our tree

Hi guys,
Hope you are all well?
So this week Alex, myself and Rocco have a very exciting photoshoot out in HELLO! magazine with some photos of our recently renovated house and also some other news…  I won’t spoil it for you in my blog but I’ll leave it to you to pick up a copy and check it out…
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Following that little tease… this week I had to take Rocco for his 1 year check up and some injections. It really was awful seeing him scream after having them. As a parent you feel totally useless but can only hope you are doing the right thing. Alex and I decided that we didn’t want him to have the combined MMR injection as there is quite a lot of controversy surrounding it. We think we will let him have the injections individually which some people suggest is safer. Has anyone else done this? I would love to hear your thoughts…
After feeling incredibly guilty about seeing Rocco scream after being jabbed, I felt even more guilty about looking for a nursery for him to go to. This week I started filming an exciting new TV series, so Alex and I have decided that Rocco will go to nursery one day a week. We were questioning ourselves so much, ‘Is this the right thing to do? And will he be okay?’.  We shouldn’t have worried. We found a brilliant day nursery and Rocco had a great time. I think Alex was more emotional dropping him off more than anything else.
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At the weekend I switched on the Christmas lights on the high street in Purley.  There was a pretty good turnout and it was really nice to do something for the local community given the fact I’m not usually around. Because I was in the Christmas spirit I couldn’t resist to buy a Christmas tree on Sunday and decorate it. It might be a little early but Christmas does seem more exciting when you have a little one. Now we just have to teach Rocco that the decorations are to stay on the tree and they aren’t his toys – easier said than done!
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We are planning to do a lot of entertaining over the festive season so I’ve invested in a great little fridge for all the extra drinks and extra food.  It’s from Husky’s Retro range and it looks very sleek under the counter! I took delivery of if this week and I absolutely love it.  I chose the cream one to match the interior of our kitchen but they come in a range of other colours too.  You can check them out here www.husky-retail.com.
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Well that’s it from me this week.  It’s only a short one because I really hope you can pick up a copy of the magazine to read our news…
Lots of love
Laura x

Filming in sunny Barbados

Does anyone else make lists?! I honestly don’t think I could get everything done without writing a list of ‘to do’s’ in my diary.  There is something really satisfying about ticking them off as they are done and I really think it helps me keep on top of what I need to do. Working through my ‘to do’ list is exactly what I did last week whilst filming in Barbados. I missed my little man (and my big man of course!) like crazy but it was good for the two of them to spend some quality time together especially when Rocco has been away so much with me this last year.

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Looking at houses and filming in Barbados was brilliant and made a bit of a change for me as I am usually filming in France or Spain. The properties are so colourful and although Barbados has some seriously expensive properties on the west coast (with the likes of Mr Cowell owning on the island), there are lots of affordable ones on the south coast. With a budget of £150k you can get yourself a 3 bedroom detached house with a self contained 2 bedroom annexe about a mile from the beach. Since the property crash, properties are around 25 per cent cheaper than they were back in 2007 so there are some great bargains to be had. As purchaser the fees are only 1-2 per cent and the whole buying process is pretty straight forward. If you are thinking about buying in the Caribbean, Barbados is a stunning island. The people are friendly and the beaches are idyllic.

When I returned to the UK not only was I excited to see my men, I was excited to finally be able to hang my clothes up in our new walk in wardrobe. Sounds crazy hey but since renovating our house, my clothes have been piled up on the floor and a complete mess. It’s great I can now get everything organised. We used a company called Hammonds (www.hammonds-uk.com) to design and install it all and I have been really impressed by their service. The bespoke design is so solid and is almost a little industrial looking with the metal beams securing everything in place. Hammonds were extremely accommodating when it came to choosing the materials too. I wanted the wooden shelves to match the colour of our internal doors and nothing was a problem for them. Now that I’m feeling like Carrie Bradshaw, here are a few pics of Hammonds creation. I would thoroughly recommend using them.

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If any of you follow me on Twitter or Instagram you may have seen me post some photos modelling some jewellery. I am now able to tell you I am the ‘face’ of the English Rose collection for Rai Jewel.  The jewellery is stunning and I am loving being able to showcase some of the pieces. With Christmas around the corner, the jewellery is an ideal present for someone special! You can find out more about them here: www.raijewel.com.

I actually wore a few pieces of jewellery from the Rai Jewel collection last weekend. On Sunday before attending the Children’s BAFTAS,  I had a photo shoot at my house with HELLO! magazine and wore some of the jewellery for the shoot.  The article will be out in a few weeks time so I will tell you when to look out for it!

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On Sunday evening I attended the BAFTAS on behalf of Fort Boyard. I wore a gorgeous red dress from Ghost, some amazing Ursula Mascaro shoes and accessories were my LK Bennett bag and some earrings from Rai Jewel. I had a top glam squad who made me feel like a Hollywood movie star so I want to say a big thank you to Arabella Boyce for styling me and to Jo Adams for my gorgeous hair and make up.

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This week I have to take Rocco for his 1 year check-up and his booster injections which I’m not particularly looking forward to. I will also be starting to film my new TV project which I will be able to tell you more about soon.

I hope you have a great week.

Love

Laura x

The lead-up to Christmas and celebrating Rocco’s first birthday party

Hi guys,

So we have just over five weeks until Christmas and I am really looking forward to spending my first Christmas in my new house. What have you all got planned, I’d love to hear from you?

I haven’t even started my shopping yet but I plan to very soon especially after I appeared on The Wright Stuff last week and one of the news topics was a warning that there would be a lorry shortage over the festive season and Christmas deliveries wouldn’t be made!  It was great fun appearing on the Channel 5 show hosted by Matthew Wright.  I’m ashamed to say because I am away so much, I sometimes  feel a little out of touch with lots of the smaller news stories in the press, nevertheless it was great to be part of the panel, to be able to voice my opinions and talk about Fort Boyard which has been nominated for a BAFTA.

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I appeared on The Wright Stuff wearing one of my favourite mustard yellow dresses from Oasis and the lovely Alison Dowse from Calgel painted my nails. I am a huge fan of Calgel (www.calgel.co.uk). They have lots of great new colours for the winter season but Alison always knows that I end up choosing a bright red gel paint which is becoming my signature colour! My new friend Emily from Poeme Beauty (www.poeme-beauty.co.uk) treated me to some semi permanent lash extensions which are superb.  Being so fair, I now wake up in the morning and look like I have eye makeup on and they should last around 3 weeks. Best of all, Emily was super quick and she came to my house for the treatment, two huge benefits when you have a one-year-old!

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Speaking of my one-year-old, we held a little birthday party for Rocco last week. He is becoming a bit of a Peppa Pig fan and can just about say ‘beppa’ which is cute. We booked a lovely little Softplay called ‘Bouncing Bunnies’ in Banstead and invited 30 other children. It was chaos as you can imagine, but Rocco loved it when everyone sang happy birthday to him and Alex helped him blow out the candle on his cake.

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Moving on to something a little more glamorous than a Peppa Pig party, last week I had a photoshoot at my house for a feature in the Christmas issue of First Time Buyer magazine (out on 25th November). I’m actually going to be the ‘Cover Girl’ which is exciting and it was great to be able to talk about some of the work I have done to my house over the last seven months. Here I am below in two of my favourite outfits from the shoot; a cute leopard print jumper dress, and a chunky grey winter knit (both from Oasis).

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Finally there was another opportunity to glam up last week in a beautiful Bernshaw dress. This time however it was for an extremely worthy cause.. on the evening of Children in Need, it was a pleasure to be invited to the Alex Bolt charity day at Wentworth Golf Club. Darren Gough, the Talk Sport host and much loved ex England Cricketer who became a friend of mine after I took part in The Jump earlier this year organises this annual event to raise vital funds for The Brain Tumor Charity. Attended by Kevin Pieterson, Jessica Taylor, James Jordan, Nicky Clarke and Henry Conway, the evening was somewhat of an emotional one. Not only was it an honour to attend and support Darren it was brilliant to be able to raise some much needed cash for this charity, which you can find out more about here – www.thebraintumourcharity.org. 

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This week I’m back in the Caribbean, filming in Barbados for the next 5 days. It is my last trip abroad before Christmas and Rocco is at home being looked after by his daddy. Usually he is with me so it feels very strange and I’m missing him lots already. I think I’m going to make the most of the week on my own, start the Christmas shopping online. And try and find a dress for the Children’s BAFTAS which I will be attending the day after I return!

I hope you have a great week.

Love

Laura xx

A trip to Curtain Bluff in Antigua with Alex and Rocco – coping on a long haul flight and jet lag with a one-year-old

Hey all,

I hope you are all well?

Since my last blog I have completed another 4 week stint of filming in Spain which has been brilliant. We’ve had some great house hunters in the new winter series of A Place in the Sun with lots of people buying and the new shows start transmitting very soon.

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Those of you who read my blog regularly will know Rocco has now been travelling with me for 11 months. As he is getting older it’s starting to become tricky keeping him occupied on flights; he wants to climb and crawl everywhere and even Peppa Pig on the iPad doesn’t keep him entertained! I have always flown to short haul destinations with work, so he has never spent more than 4 hours on a flight. Earlier in the year however, Alex and I decided to book a family holiday to Antigua with him. I must admit at the time of booking I was slightly apprehensive; how would Rocco cope on an 8 and a half hour flight? And more importantly would the other passengers hate us by the time we landed in the Caribbean?

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On Alex’s birthday (fireworks night) we boarded a British Airways flight Antigua bound to the laid back and charming, all inclusive resort, Curtain Bluff. Rocco’s fire engine Trunki was packed with plenty of books and toys, as well as his Trunki travel blanket and pillow. These hard wearing, sturdy mini suitcases are a must have and the travel pillows and blankets are extremely handy too. I see so many children sitting on them and riding around on them in airports so they are extremely handy if you check your pushchair in with your luggage.

My new Pacapod bag was stocked with plenty of nappies, a couple of changes of clothes, a few bottles of milk and lots of Ella’s kitchen snacks. The Pacapod is actually three bags in one (a main bag with two little rucksacks inside) so it’s brilliant for helping keep things organised and it looks nice too. It was super handy.

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British Airways were brilliant at looking after us in World Traveller Plus. The first officer came and asked us on several occasions how Rocco was coping, and the cabin crew were very understanding of the fact he wanted to crawl up and down the plane continuously.  Rocco had a great time but I’m not going to lie, it was pretty exhausting for me! Especially as none of the passengers were willing to let us sit in the basonette seats that are supposed to be priority for adults with babies! However, after arriving at Curtain Bluff (and being greeted by the owner Chelle Hulford and resident manager Wendy Eardley) we were immediately offered a cocktail, and the challenging journey was completely forgotten.

Curtain Bluff is set in the most beautifully maintained gardens, 30 minutes from the airport. Given its name in the late 50’s by the late Sir Howard Hulford (Chelle’s husband), this man had the most incredible vision to create this charming, family owned and run hotel. Sat on a bluff (a coastal headland), Howard said when the rain fell, it reminded him of a curtain. The hotel is unique because unlike many large chain owned hotels, this place has benefited the local community enormously. Some of the staff (most of whom are locals from the village) have worked at the establishment for over 30 years and Howard and Chelle set up ‘The Old Road Fund’ scheme where the local village benefits financially from guest donations. They also set up a tennis academy for the younger generation, and some children who have been involved have gone on to receive scholarships at training academies in America.

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If you are a big tennis and watersports fan you will love this hotel! The tennis courts are fantastic and you can make the most of water skiing or riding the banana boat as part of the all inclusive package! Andrew Castle and Annabelle Croft are there next week offering a tennis coaching week so I was a bit gutted I missed them.

With a four hour time difference between the UK and Antigua it took Rocco 2 days to settle in to a good sleeping routine. For the first two mornings he was up at 04:30am so I found myself walking the hotels gardens and playing on the beach after sunrise – not exactly a hardship!

My full travel review of Curtain Bluff in Antigua will be in the Travel Mail soon so I will be sure to let you know when it’s out.  I think it certainly says something that the hotel has a return rate of 85%.

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I’ve got an exciting few weeks ahead with some big meetings and events. I’ll be on The Wright Stuff on Friday and Daily Brunch in a few weeks. I’m meeting up with a few of my friends from The Jump on Friday at Darren Gough’s charity ball in Wentworth and I will be attending the BAFTAS with Fort Boyard later on November. I’m also flying back to the Caribbean on Sunday (but this time to Barbados) to film my last episode this year of A Place in the Sun! It’s not a holiday honest.

Finally I want to sign off this week’s blog with a BIG happy birthday wish to my beautiful little boy. Rocco is 1 today. Being a parent is one of the most challenging and rewarding jobs ever and I wouldn’t change it for the world…

Laura xxx

Parent worries, sightseeing and my filming look

So am I turning in to ‘that’ parent who wants their child to walk and talk already, almost wishing his life away?  Rocco is approaching his first birthday in a couple of weeks.  He isn’t walking just yet and I have been thinking ‘why not?’  He is walking around holding on to the furniture as well as holding on to my hand but he doesn’t seem to be showing any signs of walking unaided yet.  I speak to Alex on a daily basis whilst I’m away from home and even he keeps asking ‘is Rocco walking yet?’…

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Having googled ’12 month old walking’, I have been put at ease that this IS normal.  Some children walk from 10 months and others don’t walk until a little later.  One of the hardest thing as a parent is not comparing your child with others.  Alex walked when he was just 10 months so I keep thinking why isn’t Rocco? I have to keep telling myself, Rocco will walk when he is ready and then when he does I will probably be wishing he wasn’t!

Something else that working Mums often talk me about is feeling ‘guilty’ about being away from their children during the day.  They seem to question whether they are being a ‘good enough’ parent.  I too have also been thinking that, but I strongly believe that if I am not with Rocco all the time, it is good for both of us.  The two things I feel most guilty about is 1.) the fact I’m away from home with him so he is apart from his Daddy, and 2.) I am unable to take him to regular classes like other parents.  However, I justify it by telling myself he is enjoying some fantastic experiences; hearing other languages and seeing and being exposed to different cultures and sites.  Whether he will remember it all is another matter… but I guess the real point I’m trying to make is, if you are a working mum you shouldn’t feel guilty.

Last week I took Rocco to Spain’s most visited tourist attraction; The Alhambra Palace in Granada.  I had never been there before and it was an incredible place to see.

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The best thing of all though was at the weekend when Alex came to visit us on location.  We had a lovely weekend together and I thought I would share a couple of my favourite photos from our time together.

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This week I’m filming in an area on the Costa de Almeria (Southern Spain) called Mojacar.  It’s around 30 degrees which is pretty incredible given it’s almost November.  Sorry I don’t mean to rub that in when it’s really chilly back in the UK, but I’m still wearing summer dresses.

I wore this great animal print dress from Lipsy, with some black wedges from www.very.co.uk last week when I filmed in Granada. Make up wise I went for a pretty natural look using my Chanel Les Beige healthy glow sheet powder and my favourite Clarins lip protector.

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This week I’m wearing a black pencil skirt from Karen Millen and a bright yellow top from Warehouse with my black wedges and my coin necklace from @sparklingrings.  I’m making the most of it as I know when I’m back home in just over a week I will be in winter coats!

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Saying that in just two weeks time I will be heading to Antigua to the resort Curtain Bluff (www.curtainbluff.com).  I’ve never been to Antigua before so I can’t wait to report back on the resort.

Have a great weekend all.  Don’t forget the clocks go back so you get an extra hour in bed! Enjoy.

Laura xxx

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