My Sunday Photo – January 22nd, 2017.

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Taking her own photos of the sunrise while dressed as a princess.

The cold mornings have brought with them some amazing sunrises this week and I couldn’t resist taking a billion photos (don’t worry, I’ll only share a couple for My Sunday Photo).

This is the one behind Freya.

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And this was the next day.

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What a busy sky.

Wishing you a brilliant week ahead.

Why not check out what other people have been photographing this week by clicking the camera below.

Photalife

Book Review: The Spark.

thespark.pngFun, fulfilling and fast-paced, Sylvie Stewart’s latest book, The Spark, is also a masterclass in how to write a strong, sexy heroine with a hint of vulnerability that a reformed playboy hero simply can’t resist.

The story moves along at a cracking pace and while it takes a while for Fiona and Mark to actually meet, we learn a lot about their backgrounds in the meantime – and it really helped me warm to them.

I did struggle at first with the book’s bright and chatty style but that could have something to do with the last book I’d read, which was a bit more serious than I was used to.

I soon got into the swing of it – and when I did, I couldn’t put it down.

Here’s the blurb:

When your back is against the wall, can you change the person life’s experiences have molded you to be?

Fiona Pierce is many things to many people. Dutiful daughter to her loving parents, fiercely loyal friend to her very tolerant bestie, half-assed employee to her laundry list of bosses, and dedicated fashion goddess and spreader of good cheer to the world at large. But Fiona is hiding something behind her irresistible smile – something she’s determined to keep to herself.

Mark Beckett doesn’t do complicated. Saddled with lingering baggage from his childhood, Mark sails through life one girl at a time – with frequent gym breaks in between. He likes his life just how it is and doesn’t see any need to change his work-hard/play-hard attitude.

When an unexpected blast from the past threatens to turn his family’s life upside down, Mark finds help in the unlikeliest of places – specifically the pint-sized princess who has a knack for pushing his buttons.

Can you overcome your fears and embrace the happiness you might just deserve? And, perhaps more importantly, can you really fall in love with someone who is so damn insufferable?

If you’re looking for a quick fix of romance, this is for you. The chemistry between Fiona and Mark is irresistible – and the spark soon bursts into flames. It was such fun witnessing them get together. There are some great scenes that genuinely made me chuckle.

It’s the second book in the Carolina Connections series – although works as a standalone. The first has definitely won its place in my “To Read” pile.

Format: Kindle.

Price: £2.46.

My rating: Four stars.

With thanks to Sylvie Stewart for the ARC (via NetGalley) in return for an honest review.

Have we lost the ability to stop in a busy world?

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How my friends with older children didn’t laugh at me I will never know (other than they are lovely).

“I’ll have plenty of time soon,” I said confidently. “When Freya’s at nursery two mornings a week.”

What they already knew, of course, is that there is never enough time. Fast forward four months and I’m laughing at myself.

Sometimes I feel like I’m on one of those challenge programmes, you know, like 60 Minute Makeover, where I have a set time to get everything done and always, always, just about scrape by.

When she’s not with me I feel the need to do ALL the jobs. Shopping, cleaning (especially all the bits I’ve previously ignored *cough* skirting boards), prepping, admin. You name it, I cram it in so there isn’t a minute spare.

The first few weeks I purposely kept myself busy so I wouldn’t think about her sitting alone crying my name in the corner of a classroom (which couldn’t have been further from the truth) but I seem to have just carried on.

The lists in my bullet journal get longer and longer each week.

It’s like I feel the need to justify my existence, if I’m not working or looking after Freya, by not sitting down at any point during the 2.5 hours she’s away.

I seem to have forgotten how to just…be still. And I have that Ferris Bueller quote buzzing about:

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Even with the luxury of time (I mean maybe 15 minutes or so not the entire morning) I just can’t stop – even though I’m sure the skirting boards could hold the weight of dust for another couple of years, at least.

I’m not sure who I’m trying to prove myself to. Mark would be the obvious choice, as he is the one “at work”. He’s really not bothered and in fact said I deserved a break after a pretty full on few years.

I know we all have busy lives, a never ending “to do” list but somewhere in the back of my head, tucked behind the sleep deprivation, it feels like I’m missing the point.

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