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REVIEW: Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella

I wrote this review waaaay back in July, forgot about it, rediscovered it, and am now posting it. 

Synopsis: "After being together for ten years, Sylvie and Dan have a comfortable home, fulfilling jobs, beautiful twin girls, and communicate so seamlessly, they finish each other's sentences. They have a happy marriage and believe they know everything there is to know about each other. Until it's casually mentioned to them that they could be together for another sixty-eight years... and panic sets in.
They quickly decide to create little surprises for each other, to keep their relationship fresh and fun. But in their pursuit of Project Surprise Me - anything from unexpected gifts to restaurant dates to photo shoots - mishaps arise with disastrous and comical results. 
Gradually, the surprises turn to shocking discoveries. And when a scandal from the past is uncovered, they begin to wonder if they ever really knew each other after all..."

This book feels different from Kinsella's other work. The twist is darker than expected, and nowhere near as fluffy as her other novels. 

I gave this book 3 of out of 5 stars on Goodreads (link to my profile here). And overall, I did enjoy the book. 

HOWEVER, if you had told me the twist was going to be darker - I would've been really interested in the book. But, in reality, I found the twist lacking because it took SO long for the twist to come and for anything exciting to happen. The first 200-ish pages were a bit naff. The last 150 had me hooked though! 

The basic plot of the story:
The story is based around Sylvie (side note: Sylvia is one of my favourite names) who is married to Dan, and they have twin girls together. An event happens that causes them to question the longevity of their lives and relationship. There is a load of secrets between them, which leads to the main story and twist. 

I bought the book for less than £4 in Asda. And do not regret buying it, nor reading it. But if you've never read Sophie Kinsella this is not the book I would recommend you read first. But if you're a Sophie Kinsella fan, then go for it!


If money were no question...

Please note that this post is inspired by Rebecca (From Roses) recent post. 

My whole life this question/topic has been coming up. Even in university, Lecturer's would ask "If money wasn't a problem, what would you do after uni?". I've heard friends & family discuss what they would do if they won the Euromillions tonight. As a species, we're a little obsessed with thinking about the 'what ifs'. 

In general, I try not to think about the lottery and think too much about the difference money makes in my life. But every so often, it's difficult to avoid the subject and you just have to give in.

So, what would I do if I money were no question...

01. Open a pet boutique/playfield/cafe
Firstly, my dog has a better wardrobe than me - it's no secret that Keira owns a lot of sh!t. Secondly, I love nothing more than seeing doggos running around and living their best lives. Thirdly, I would consider living off coffee & cake until the end of time. 

02. Adopt ALL of the dogs 
The older dogs who get forgotten about, the dogs who need a little more love and care. The dogs who don't get adopted. I want them all to be spoilt and loved. (Side note: I'm 90% sure that the next dog I adopt will be an older doggie, looking for a home to peacefully enjoy retirement in.)

03. Photograph Everything 
Without fear of clients not paying or no-one wanting my services. 
The scariest part of deciding to pick up more freelance work is the fact that people may not want to pay for my work. Or, even worst, not like my work. If money wasn't an object, it wouldn't matter, I could just mooch around with my camera all day and every day. 

04. Own my house
Not necessarily the one I'm living in right now. But the luxury of not having to worry about paying rent or a mortgage. (Ideally, it'll be by the sea, with a LARGE garden, big windows, lots of light, a cosy fire, all of the blankets & cushions!)

05. Travel
Not specifically out of the UK. I would be happy going for a weekend away once a month. I just love exploring new places. And I'm certainly not the person who dreams of migrating to Australia to start a new life. 

06. Go to my shows/gigs
Art/music/comedy/musicals - all of them. I'm always so disappointed that none come near me, and if they do it'll be when I'm too short on funds to justify the cost. I think experiences are so much more meaningful, but you do need some money tucked away to enjoy them!

So tell me, what would you do if money were no question?

Kay xx

November Goals

Remember how in this post, I said I was going to post every Sunday? That went... well? horribly? awful? It just didn't go anywhere.

Let's have a restart on 'getting back into blogging'!

My goals in October were:

01. Blog again. Failed.

02. Make a routine. A success. Hurrah.

03. Photography. Half and half. I started creating still lifes, but I need to work on carrying my camera with me again.

04. Read. Didn't read a single book.

05. Enjoy Autumn/October. Nailed it.

Although it wasn't an awful month, I would say I completed 50% of my goals. Some of this is coming across to November, other stuff is being forgotten about and swept under the metaphorical rug.
Admittedly, I'm writing my goals on the 8th November. But they're still valid - I've decided. 

November Goals:

01. Blog, again, again. 

02. Freelance Photography. Open those books up again to bookings and commissions. 

03. Take the camera out with me. 

04. Start planning Christmas.

05. Be more aware of where my money is going. Not my spending habits, but where I'm spending my money. Buy secondhand/independent/etc. Find ways to buy locally for Christmas presents. 

06. Alongside being aware of where I spent my money and buying indie. Be aware of my impact on the planet. Buying secondhand means the clothes aren't being made specifically for a shop. (Watch THE Stacey Dooley documentary.) Buy wrapping paper that CAN be recycled. Buy Christmas cards from individuals instead of a big ol' pack of 50 from Tesco. Donate to charity. 

07. Decide what is important to me. And work towards those 'things'.

What are your goals for November? 

Follow along with our adventures here: @thecornishstaffy

Kay xx

Postcard from Porthtowan, Cornwall | The Cornish Staffy

Took me a few too many weeks to gather these photos together. But here's a collection of snapshots from Keira's weekend away to Porthtowan, Cornwall.