Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Life in the World Unseen

Good morning world... sorry I haven't written in over a week - a very dear family friend unfortunately passed away on Friday. She was my mums best friend and my sister and I grew up with her girls. Anita was only 51 when she passed, and it was all because of complications from an operation that she didnt want to have. I won't go into detail but it has brought up again - which is what usually happens in these situations - the subject of life after death.

When a loved one has passed away, it is very interesting to see how each of the family members deals with it differently. Some cry uncontrollably, some ask lots of questions for reassurance and clarification that that persons life had meaning, some show no emotion whatsoever and some shy away in denial, not believing that this attrocity could possibly have happened to their loved one.

One thing seems constant though, and that is the need to believe that the person they loved for so many years hasn't just been buried 6 feet under and that is the end, but that somehow she is out there somewhere, in a better place where there is no pain, hurt or bad feelings.

My mum and I used to belong to a spiritualist circle, as did my grandparents many years ago. My mum has always felt a very strong connection to spirit and so have I from the age of about 7 when I started healing. During hard times in my life I learned how to meditate and channel my thoughts and after my nanna died I had some very strange experiences indeed which led us to the spiritualist circle. There we learned a lot about spirit - how they communicate with us and why they do it.

From there on I set about searching for clarification myself and the answers I got were all too real. I did in fact make contact with spirit and I found out some wonderful things, but what I could not find out was where they really were... This is the question that baffled me for years. Yes I always believed in Heaven but how real was it? and WHAT was it? I saw many mediums but never really got that answer I was looking for until I came across the book 'Life in the World Unseen' by Anthony Borgia. It is a hugely in depth description of where you go when you die, dictated by a spirit to a medium who wrote it all down. You can read it online here:

The other thing that helped me a lot were 2 books in particular by Dr Brian Weiss. 'Many Minds Many Masters' and 'Only Love is Real'. I felt for a long time that I was looking for real reassurance that after we die we go somewhere and we don't lose the people we love. Dr Brian Weiss was a hypnotist - originally trained very conventionally and was not at all into life after death - who began regressing his patients into past lives unintentionally. Through regressing many patients he realised that anxieties and illnesses we have in this life may well have come due to events we did not deal with in past lives. All his patients also noticed that people they were seeing in these past lives were people that were still in their present lives. What that gave me was clarification that we all have 'soul families'. People who you feel strong connections with in this life, whether it be family members or very good friends, may well have been with you in past lives and will probably be with you in your next lives.

At the moment I am trying to console my friend who has lost her mum at only 25 years old and these are the only things I can tell her that I feel will make her feel just that little bit better. For her to believe that her mum is still out there, looking over her and to know that she will see her again is one of the only things that will get her through this hard time.

People ask many questions at times like these and though I do not know all the answers, I truly believe that the answers I have learned for some of them are the only explinations. One of the most common questions is 'Why do people die so young when they have everything to live for?' The life we are living now is just a blip, a blink of the eye in a spirit world and our souls choose to come into our bodies to learn lessons. Our souls/spirits have to progress and we can only do this by learning the meaning of life. By making mistakes and learning from them and by being good people. Because of this many people ask 'If we choose to come back then why would people choose to go into the life of a starving child in Africa? Or a child of an abusive family?' The answer for this is simple. As souls we can only progress to the next level by experiencing situations that make us learn. We have to learn compassion, understanding, selflesness and many more emotions and we can only learn these things by being in bad situations. If the world was perfect and we never had to strive for anything we'd never learn any lessons. I believe this is the reason we choose to come back.

Many people do not believe in any of this and each person is entitled to his own opinion, but I believe that these positive thoughts and beliefs give hope to people who have lost love ones and if it gives hope, how can it be a bad thing to believe in?

If you are looking for hope or reassurance, give those books a go and see what you think of them. Dr Brian Weiss books can be purchased from Amazon and Life in the World Unseen can be read online by clicking on the link I posted above.

The native American people were a group of very spiritual people who believed in spirit life. I will leave you with a beautiful prayer of theirs which I found through Sara Leslie, a wonderful medium:

I give you this one thought to keep
I am with you still - I do not sleep
I am a thousand winds that blow
I am diamond glints of snow
I am sunlight on ripened grain
I am the gentle autumn rain
When you awake in the morning's hush
I am the swift,uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled ...f...light
I am the soft stars that shine at night
Do not think of me as gone -
I am with you still - in each new DAWN

Saturday, 9 January 2010

My Lovely Nanny

Happy Saturday everyone!
Recently, the Government were talking about taking The Holocaust out of the school curriculum as it may offend Muslims... luckily for every sane person in the country, the campaigns against this won and The Holocaust will not be taken out of the curriculum. It got me thinking though, in ten or fifteen years from now, there will be no World War II survivers left, no one who was there to tell us the stories first hand and that is such a shame. I am only 25, but I want to make sure that I know all of the stories and I want to one day pass them onto my children too.. I hope others of my generation feel the same as I think it is so important to keep the legacies of all these wonderful fighters going.

A few weeks ago I was sat with a friend of my parents whose father was one of the Schindler Jew's (if you don't know what Im talking about I urge you to see the film Schindlers List as soon as possible!). Unfortunately, he died a few months ago but his son knew all of the stories and was only too happy to relay them all to me. I found the stories fascinating - the day to day struggles they endured in the Ghetto and the concentration camps were beyond anything you and I can imagine, yet they had such strength and determination to survive. Every story from every Holocaust surviver has depth and meaning and no matter which films you watch or books you read, by doing so, you are helping to keep the legacy of not only the last few survivers alive, but also the legacy of the more than 6 million who died during the war.

After hearing Arie's story, I started thinking about my own grandparents and their war stories. Luckily for me, I was a very inquizitive child, so I managed to get many war stories out of my grandparents. Fortunately, my maternal grandparents were from the East End of London and there they lived during World War II. This meant a lot less anguish (and anti-semitism) than those Jews who lived in Eastern Europe, but they too saw their fair share of destruction, mainly caused by air raid bombs.

During the war, my nanny - Julie - worked as an accounts clerk for the war firemen in County Hall while my poppa - Davie - was shipped off to India for four years. With their men shipped off to fight all over the world for the British army, it was not just the Eastern Europeans who came out of the war with fascinating stories...

My nanny passed away nearly 6 years ago but she left behind her a wonderful legacy. A story of love, loss and sacrifice, and thanks to the pictures she has left behind and the research I have managed to do over the past few years with the help of my mum, my second book will be about the wonderfully gripping account of what it was like for the women who were left behind during one of the most brutal wars in human history.

I have posted pictures of my Nanny throughout the years and I hope you enjoy them!
The pictures are as follows: Julie in her uniform, Julie at a dinner party during the war, my Poppa acting silly as usual with my Nanny and her sister by his side, a family holiday with Nanny, Poppa, my mum - Marsha and my uncle - Harry, on holiday with the family and some friends and one photo of my mum and Nanny about 2 years before she died.

My nanny was one of the most wonderful, caring, generous people I have ever met and my life was blessed for having her in it for a remarkable twenty years. Julie Zeegan deserves to be remembered.

I hope you enjoyed this brief insight into my grandparents lives and I will keep you updated on the progress of the book which I promise will be a gripping, nail biting tale of life in the East End of London during World War II.

Have a great weekend.. keep smiling and loving!

Love always,
Lauren V xoxox

Friday, 8 January 2010

White goes with everything!

Though I like to think of myself as Miss Positive, I have a positive and negative view on the topic I am about to discuss... THE SNOW! Lets start with the moan to get it out the way... here goes: Why oh why is it so impossible for this country to function when it snows? I would understand if this was Hawaii and we were not at all used to snow of any form at any time of year, but most years it snows at some point or another in Britain so why are they not prepared for it when it comes?? The forcast had been predicting snow for a week, so the councils had all that time to prepare themselves with grit and all the other things they needed to avoid disaster but lo and behold, Wednesday arrives and it was no longer just 'Wednesday' it was 'Snow Day'. Schools were off, people didnt go to work and lots of companies closed early... Credit to John Lewis who closed all their stores on Wednesday evening at 4pm to let their staff get home early - I thought that was very noble of them. Now, what happens in countries like Sweden knowing that it snows a vast amount during the winter?? Nothing, the country keeps going because they are prepared and they have ways to make sure the snow doesnt affect how the country is run... so why can England not adopt these methods??? How many more years of people getting stuck in their cars for 12 hours and elderly people not being able to get food is it going to take until the government do something?? Oh, I'm sorry, I forgot that Gordon Brown had much more important things to worry about other than the welfare of the country... that is, he had to worry about his party arranging a secret ballot to choose a new Prime Minister, as well as sorting out this damn expenses row that has gone on for far too long. Basically, all of the MP's' time is going on sorting out what the MP's are doing... so who is caring about the attrocities that are occuring right before our eyes?? ASBO thugs beating up a woman and her disabled son as she gets in her car, terrorists preaching hate for the western world, claiming that they want to 'bomb us all', meanwhile there is nothing we can do about them because of 'freedom of speech' and their damn 'human rights', and poor farmers loosing thousands of pounds as their produce goes off because they have no way of getting through the snow to transport their produce to market. Er, hello... Gordon Brown... anyone there?!?!? We dont care whether you stay or elect someone else, or pass over to David Cameron (which would be my choice) just do the job you were put here to do and look after the bloody country! Oh, and heres an idea for our ever so observant councils... how about gritting the roads BEFORE the snow starts - seeing as it has been forcast - instead of waiting UNTIL it starts, therefore causing chaos on the roads as the snow clogs up the roads and makes it even harder for the gritters to get by, which in turn causes hours of traffic. Ok rant over!

Onto the POSITIVE... SNOW IS PRETTY!!! :) and white goes with everything doesnt it?!? I have posted a few pictures of me and Milo in the park yesterday because the usual dreary park down my road just looked like a winter wonderland. It was beautiful and made me wonder whether I was in Kenilworth park or Narnia! I love the way the snow sits on the branches of the trees so that half the branch looks white... The cold weather also meant that the lake in the park had iced over. I looked at the ducks which Milo usually chases wondering if they were cold or not.. they had congregated within the one area of broken ice where the water was visible. Poor ducks! Milo seems to like the snow when he gets the chance to run around in the park. Hes so small that when the snow is so deep, it goes right to the tops of his little legs!

Another nice thing about the snow is people seem to be so much nicer! People on the roads have been really considerate of one another, driving slowly and carefully (apart from the odd boy racer) which I really appreciated. I have seen on the news that in smaller communities where many people cannot get supplies they need, neighbours have been helping each other out and owners of family businesses have been opening their shops and taking food and water to elderly people. It is nice to see that in some communities people still care about their neighbours. I dont see that much in London though! My mum kindly took some soup that she made to the old man that lives opposite us whose wife died a few months ago - Im sure he appreciated it. And speaking about neighbours, the boys a few doors down from me have built an ACTUAL igloo! I will get a picture of it and post it as soon as I can. I am so impressed!

Right, Im off to kiss my puppy until he cant take it anymore and then get ready for a big Jewish friday night dinner...

Have a great weekend, keep smiling and loving - love makes the world go around! (yes yes money helps too but what would the world be without love??)

Lots of love,
Lauren V xoxox

Thursday, 7 January 2010


This was a design blog i wrote in September:

Yesterday I took myself along to Decorex 2009 - as I do every year - and I was amazed at the wonders I saw this year so I thought I would share it with you.

In design, one style can tend last for years on end, but as we approach 2010 I feel that design is changing majorly. The reason I think this is because there are so many styles evolving or returning at one time. For me, this is perfect as I think that the most beautiful interiors incorporate different looks mixed together in a tastefull way. In order to bring character and presence to your home you must choose pieces that have those same qualities.

The main styles I came across were as follows:
Style Number 1:
Firstly, a strong revival of art deco. Art deco was first introduced in the 1920's and then revived again during the 80's but this time, though it remains elegant and classy, it has a slight 60's twist to it that makes it just that little bit more fun. A classic example of this is furniture by a fabulous Portugese furniture company I met called Boca Do Lobo. Check out their website at and click on Limited Edition to see their most fantastic zebrano wood drinks cabinet among other beautifully made creations.

The great thing about art deco for 2010 is that you can customise it to your own individual taste. It can be incorporated into a moody colour scheme if you prefer deep, moody colours like warm dark greys and blues - which looks sharp, classy and masculine for this scheme - or if you are a fan of brighter colours, you can inject some colour into the scheme by making the most of the gorgeous fabrics that are available at the moment. My favourite fabric companies - such as Harlequin, Cole & Son, Kate Forman and Sanderson - are still stocking beautiful fabrics and wallpapers, but I also came across some new companies to whom I've taken a liking.

Impala are a company that have created a new texture altogether. From far away it looks like leather or suede, to touch, it could be suede or moleskin but it is in fact made from a mixture of fabrics including cotton and polyester. It is near impossible to get dirty. The wipe of a baby wipe will get rid of a red wine spill. Perfect for a family home as it is beautiful and luxurious yet durable.

Other great fabric and wallpaper companies I came across were Interior Design Wall Coverings and Thibaut. Both companies, and in fact most of the fabric companies this year, were showcasing a new (but also revived) style of nature within design, which brings me to my next style:

Style Number 2:
This year we are seeing a lot of nature inspired furniture and fabrics. Cole & Son's 'Woods' wallpaper - which is true to its name by being prints of trees in a wood - was actually made in the 50's but has become a lot more popular this year. We are seeing prints of leaves, trees, birds and even bugs on a lot of fabrics and wallpapers and even the furniture is organically inspired. Ann Coston accessories were a perfect example of this. Her table placements, being napkin holders, cutlery holders, cake stands and other items were all held in place by silver dragonflies, butterflies and other bugs. They are all made from real siver and exotic shells.

Style number 3:
Best of British! Need I say more?? Retro, funky, colourful and eclectic. You only need to take a look at Andrew Martins Beatles fabric to get the gist. An image of the 4 Beatles members printed on a hard linen fabric which could line a chair or small sofa. Add to this union jacks, strong reds, blues and sprinkling of white with a collection of rock star photographs framed on the wall and Bob's your uncle!

There were so many more amazing companies at Decorex this year and so much more beautiful furniture that I would love to spend hours and hours talking about but it would surely take you all too long to read so I will leave you with this information about all the exciting design that you will be seeing around this coming year.

Dont forget to get in contact with if you want to revamp your home with a brand new look. 2010 is the time to do it as great design is at its peak! Check out my previous projects at

Much love, keep smiling - and remember, a beautiful, peaceful surrounding, means a beautiful, peaceful mind :)


CBB or Celebrity Big Brother.. or.. they could also try calling it 'i've slept with a celebrity big brother' because half of the people in that house are in there because of relationships they've been in with famous people - not because they have done anything significant themselves. Saying that, I have not been so into big brother since series 3 of normal big brother when Jade (RIP) was in it. Ever since then its been slightly mundane and repetative. I am hooked on this, the last season for some reason though.

My verdict on the housemates (because I cannot call all of them celebrities):
Vinne: I'm absolutely loving Vinnie Jones - he always reminded me of Dave, a good friend of mine - and I want him to win for sure. Hes real, down to earth, a hard worker and theres no bull**** with him. Much love for him!
Stephanie: : Not too sure about her yet. I am all for having a 'real' actress in there, especially someone who has something to talk about other than footballers, boob jobs and Jordan but she seems a little condescending and Im not a fan of that.. lets see if she grows on me.
Dane : What a sap... sorry Dane, but everyday you remind me more and more of a wet fish!
Sov : Love her or hate her?? Lady Sovereign.. hmm, by the looks of it she has come to realise what a chav she was and doesnt even like her alter ego anymore. She actually seems ok, quite down to earth and not as annoying as I thought she would be. Still waiting to see some intellegence come out of it though...
Katia : Im all for girls being 'one of the boys' but being a slight prudish myself, Im not really into her farting all the time. She'd been in there for 1 day when she let one rip on purpose. Its a bit of a turn off, i mean, any guys actually find that attractive?? which leads me to...
Jonas : Seems to want to talk about farting for at least 40% of the day. not quite sure what thats all about. maybe hes trying to justify farting so that he can fart to his hearts content when he needs to. Eugh, that bedroom must stink! He is also in love with Katia by the way! But she has a boyfriend so lets see what happens there!
Heidi : for someone with such a strong character she is a bit quiet. but it seems as though she really regrets her past and it haunts her. Stephanie thinks she is a 'good business woman', she just made some wrong choices to start. I hope she comes out of her shell a bit. If there are going to be any arguments it will definately start with her... maybe with Steven..
Steven : Dont get me wrong, religion is great and I am a lover of God myself but i dont believe in preaching. he could be a bit more subtle with his bible bashing i would say... a bit annoying and it seems as though the housemates are also getting annoyed with him.
Alex : WHO CARES!?!? A fame hungry, cross dressing cage fighter with a squashed face. is there anything else to say?
Nicola : She actually seems ok, a bit thick maybe, but inquizitive all the same and that is important. I also think she is quite pretty.

OK, if I could choose 10 celebrities to spend a month in the big brother house, they would be:
Russell Brand
Stephen Fry
Ray Winstone
Perez Hilton
Tom Cruise
Amy Winehouse
Merly Streep
Lil Kim
Nicole Richie
Princess Beatrice

I think thats a great mix! What are your views?? Comment and let me know.. Happy Thursday people... its a great day! the day of Greys Anatonmy, Eastenders and the day that the Jewish Chronicle is printed and posted around the whole of North London so nosey Jewish girls like me can turn straight to the 'Social and Personal' pages to see who got engaged! Like I said, happy Thursday! Oh and if you're on twitter, follow me.. mislaurenv

Love life, keep smiling!

Lauren V xoxox

Welcome to Living with Lauren V!

As I sit here eating my extremely delicious barley soup that Marge (nickname for my mum) made last night to warm us all up during the coldest winter in 100 years, I decided it's time to start writing a blog. Thing is, I have so much going on in my life all the time that I feel I should now start sharing!

Living with Lauren is just gonna be an insight into my life... things Im doing, things I like, things I dislike and generally whats going on in the life of Lauren V. So for those of you who dont know, I am a radio presenter and interior designer, and I have also just finished writing a book called 'My Enemy, My Friend' - which will hopefully be published by the beginning of March.

I opened my own interior design business 2 years ago after working professionally for another company for 2 years and travelling all over the world with them. You can check out my interior design website at (JayLa is the name of my company - Jay for Julie - my late nanna, and La for Lauren - duh!) Before studying interior design, I was at performing arts school. I liked to think I was a bit of a thespian... I studied and performed some great plays from Arthur Miller to Diane Samuels and Shakespeare. I did a couple of movies and tv bits which led me to presenting. It all just kind of fell into place and I have now been a radio presenter for 2 years on Westside Radio. So you can follow my struggle of trying to break into the mainstream.. I will keep you updated on my progress at all times! Right now I have been in and out of meetings with 2 different commercial stations for a few months, so we will see who decides first that they desperately need me and cant live without me!! You can listen to all my demos at

In the meantime I am designing houses and loving it - but hating AudoCad. Cad is the computer programme where you can create floor plans and drawings of houses. For me it takes all the fun out of being an interior designer but in this day and age we all gotta keep up to speed with the latest technology! boo hoo...

The book I just wrote is about my life growing up with Arthritis and how I overcame it to live a normal life... I got offered a publishing deal (after a lot of work!) but they didnt want to give me the control I wanted... after all, I've put my heart and soul into this book so I want it to end up the way I have always envisaged it. So I am opening my own publishing house at the moment and I am going to publish it myself. This of course needs funds - so I have applied for a grant from the Princes Trust. I am waiting to hear back from them at the moment but as soon as I get the grant Im ready to go. I have a lovely editor who is working with me called Jane and a wonderful lady called Suzi is helping me with the layout and the book cover. Once the book has been published, 50p of each copy will go to my charity - which is also being put together as we speak (I told you I have a lot going on!) I want the money to go to where I personally feel it is needed so I had to open my own charity to do this as none of the other Arthritis charities have the same ideas as me. Again, I'll keep you updated!

I promise the blogs to follow will be a lot more interesting! This one was just to give you an insight into my life so that when I start talking about things in blogs to come, you dont wonder what the hell I am talking about!

In my opinion, the key to life is love and positive thinking - so I will leave you with this thought:
'Only as high as I reach can I grow, only as far as I seek can I go, only as deep as I look can I see, only as much as I dream can I be' - you can be whatever you want - as long as you believe in it!

Love life, keep smiling :)
Lauren V xoxox