I am so sorry for the lack of activity on my blog recently. To be fair, I don’t really know what happened. I have so many ideas for new blog posts, but have somehow not been able to put them into action. Whenever I started to write a blog post, I came as far as a few sentences and then deleted everything again. Somehow my heart just wasn’t in it. I have just dropped our oldest girl at school (where did the 6 weeks school holidays go???) and whilst our little one is having a nap, I thought I’ll try again.

August has been such a wonderful month for us. I absolutely loved the school holidays. Having both girls home with me was amazing (yes, I did have a little tear in my eye, dropping Morgan off at school this morning).

Meeting my new nephew

We spent the first two weeks of August in Germany (my parents and my sister live over there). Spending time with my family was fantastic and Morgan very much improved her German (I should really raise her bilingual, but I really struggle with this – I am planning a blog post on this in the near future). We explored quite a bit whilst we were over there and had brilliant days out, but the highlight was definitely the birth of my first nephew. Our timing couldn’t have been any better as he was born just a few days after we arrived in Germany which meant, we had plenty of time for those lovely newborn cuddles. Isabelle is only 8 months old, but already I had forgotten how small and fragile newborns really are.

Splashing in the tub

Another August highlight was (and still is) bath time. We started bathing our girls together a few weeks ago, but only during the last few days Isabelle discovered that she is able to splash about and get her sister and herself completely wet. The squeals and delights that are coming out of our two are so heart-warming and make me look with absolute admiration and pride.

Baby wearing

I used to do quite a bit of baby wearing when Morgan was little, but this time around I didn’t really get into it. We used a Baby Bjorn with our oldest daughter and I tried the exact same with our baby girl too. But somehow it didn’t feel right. I was always uncomfortable and too hot and Isabelle didn’t seem to be too keen either. And then, I discovered a wrap. I can honestly say that the wrap changed my whole approach to baby wearing. I LOVE it! And most importantly, our baby girl does to. After a bit of practise, it is super easy to tie the wrap. My back no longer aches and having my baby girl so close to me is such a lovely feeling. I don’t get all hot and sweaty either as the wrap has such a lightweight texture. The other day, we went to Sissinghurst Castle (a gorgeous National Trust property). We only found out when we arrived there, that prams were not allowed in the garden. Luckily I had my trusted wrap with me :-). The one I am using is from Fornessi and I can honestly highly recommend this product (this post is in no way sponsored by Fornessi – we bought the wrap ourselves, but I wanted to give them a little shout-out on here as I am so very happy with this purchase).

So this is basically it, our August highlights. What have you been up to during the school holidays?

PUBLISHER: Head of Zeus

PAGES: 352

PUBLICATION DATE: 10th August 2017

I am a huge fan of Jane’s books and haven’t missed a single one yet. When I was offered the chance of reading Behind Her Back ahead of its publication date, I immediately accepted. Behind Her Back is a follow on from Woman of the Hour, but could just as easily be read as a standalone. However, I can pretty much guarantee you that you will want to read both of these books as they are both fantastic and utterly addictive.

Set around a busy TV station, our heroine Liz, once again faces hard challenges – not only on a professional level, but also personal ones. Dealing with the tantrums of her teenage daughter is just one example.

I very much love the fictional TV world the author has created. I was already complety sucked in the first time around and couldn’t wait to return to this highly competitive, egocentric environment. And let me tell you, there are some huge egos in this story. I am just glad, my work is nothing like this (but it obviously makes for excellent reading material!).

When Liz returns from her holidays, she finds out that a new team member has been added. But what exactly is Lori’s agenda? Fairly quickly, Liz starts to questions a few things. Can she trust the people she thought she can count on?

I cannot praise Jane’s writing style and creative talent enough. Behind Her Back is a fast-paced and entertaining read that captured my attention until I turned the very last page. I sincerely hope that this was not the last we have heard from Liz and her adventures at StoryWorld. 

PUBLISHER: Sphere

PAGES: 368

PUBLICATION DATE: 13th July 2017

The Summer of Serendipity is a charming and engaging read set on the west coast of Ireland. Ren, short for Serendipity, and her assistant/friend Kiki embark on a journey to Ireland in hope to find the perfect house for a client (Ren runs a property business finding THE perfect house for each of her clients). After a few unsuccessful viewings, the two find just what they are looking for. The only problem is that no one seems to know who the owner of the house is.

The story quite quickly moves away from the actual property find to the enigmatic Welcome House. The house and the whole setting itself are beautifully described and the author made it incredibly easy for the reader to feel part of the chase for the owner of the Welcome House. I don’t know an awful lot about Irish legends, but if I could hazard a guess, this book is exactly what I would imagine them to be like.

Ren and Kiki are very likeable characters – in fact the whole character cast of the charming village of Ballykiltara is fantastic. Each and every one adds more mystery and sparkle to the storyline. And of course, it wouldn’t be a true Ali McNamara book without a fair bit of romance thrown into the mix.

The Summer of Serendipity was a very enjoyable read. I’d love to read a sequel to this book to find out how Ren’s (and also Kiki’s) further life pans out.

PUBLISHER: Harper

PAGES: 432

PUBLICATION DATE: 20th April 2017

The A-Z of Everything is such an emotional, moving and yet uplifting story. In true Debbie Johnson style, she presents us with lots of humorous and witty moments all wrapped up in a rollercoaster of emotions.

Andrea is dying without having had the chance of seeing her daughters, Rose and Poppy, who have fallen out over a decade ago, re-united. On her deathbed she carefully lays plans on how to bring her daughters closer together after her death.

I truly loved everything about this book. Each letter of the alphabet takes the storyline to another level as we get to learn so much more about the sister’s and also Andrea’s life. The focus of this book is very much on family and relationships. Debbie’s writing style is just amazing. It is clear to see how much research and thought she must have put into this book to create such an easy-flowing and natural storyline.

I’ve read most of Debbie’s previous books and very much enjoyed all of them, but The A-Z of Everything is my favourite yet.

PUBLISHER: Penguin

PAGES: 352

PUBLICATION DATE: 6th July 2017

Do Not Become Alarmed is a page-turning, mind-blowing and thrilling read that put me on edge more than once whilst racing through the pages. A cruise, which should have been a relaxing family holiday for our main characters, turns out to be a complete and utter nightmare for all participants.

Liv and Nora, their respective husbands and children quickly befriend an Argentinian family onboard the cruise ship. All is well until a fateful land excursion in Central America turns their lives upside down when the children go missing… As a mother myself I don’t even dare to imagine the panic that must run through the parent’s veins as they discover the absence of their children. I literally raced through the pages in hope for a quick re-union between the parents and the children.

I thought that Do Not Become Alarmed was well written. The author creates such suspense and chill that is easily felt by the reader. The perspective changes between the children’s and parent’s point of view which I thought was cleverly thought out and adds a lot of depth to the storyline.

For me, Do Not Become Alarmed, is one of these books that completely grips you and plays tricks on your mind as you are rooting for a positive outcome from this whole misery. A thrilling read that I can easily recommend.