Posted in Films, Lifestyle, TV

Looking back

Once again, another month is over. Today I’m travelling back to the oh so delightful land of Northern Ireland where the only exciting thing will be seeing the animals again (Baron and Maisie).

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Baron looking pensive

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Maisie holding my finger
I cannot wait to see these two fluff balls again tonight! Travel is always boring and so today I have made sure to have my dvd player and a few dvds handy to watch – The Lady in the Van, and season 1 of Scandal. Mary keeps recommending Scandal so I thought I should give it a go, plus this way I can get Mum to watch it with me since it’s a dvd and she can keep it if I finish it!


 Just thought, the last 2 summers have been spent watching 24 but now that we’ve finished it I have no idea what we can watch as a family… Will have to think about that and find something different that everyone will enjoy!

The main reason I’m posting now is to give you a chance to look back at the goals for May before tomorrow’s post includes new goals for June! This can be found here – Another month goes by. Still can’t believe we’re actually so close to half way through the year. Soon it’ll be my 21st birthday then Rachel’s 18th! Still thinking of her birthday present… Is a holiday away together a bad idea?

 

Speak soon! I’ll let you know what I think of my new dvds when I get them watched.

 

Ktkinnes xx

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Posted in Lifestyle

Confidence

Tonight I took part in my first ever Twitter chat on @TheGirlGangHQ with some of the most wonderful people I have ever had the opportunity to talk to. Apart from knowing the topic was confidence, I had no idea what to expect or how to participate. However, my questions were quickly answered with the appearance of the first question of the night.

Q1. Firstly, would you describe yourself as a confident person? …and why?/why not? #thegirlgang ✨ 🙂

Now I immediately knew how I wanted to answer this particular question. I’m not at all confident. Well that’s a bit of an exaggeration now but before coming to university my confidence was way below that of even a typical teenager with low self confidence and self esteem. It may be wrong of me but I put a lot of that down to the way my mum talked to me as I was growing up. 
I always knew I was heavier than the other children my age, and I knew that, when compared even just with my sister, I’m not most people’s ideal person in the looks category. But for some reason, I don’t remember it actually affecting me until I was about 11 years old. One night I stood in front of the mirror in our hallway and sobbed to my mum that I hated myself – I was fat, ugly, spotty, had glasses, hated my hair, and never felt I looked at all presentable. I remember crying for what seemed like ages while mum promised me that I could lose the weight if I tried, we would look into contact lenses, everyone gets spotty, and it was always easy to change your hair if you don’t like it. What she didn’t do was tell me that I was pretty and it didn’t matter what I looked like. 

At the time it didn’t bother me, but looking back at it now, I’m slightly annoyed that she didn’t at least try to boost my confidence. Instead, she fed into my lack of confidence. And from then it’s been a continued stream.

I know I need to lose weight to be healthy. I understand now that my acne is due to an imbalance of hormones and can be controlled if I stay on medication, but I didn’t like the side effects. My hair is slowly becoming my favourite feature, when it’s been dyed and is sitting nicely. I alternate between glasses and contact lenses, depending on how I feel, but my glasses are finally ones I like and I feel more confident about my rubbish eyesight. Finally, I accepted I don’t have to dress for anyone apart from myself.

This however doesn’t mean I am confident. It means that I have great friends who are helping me realise it doesn’t matter what I look like as long as I’m true to myself. My confidence was beginning to really build recently, until one person I really look up to for their confidence knocked me back a bit by making a comment about how I only ever talk about TV shows. I didn’t tell them at the time that what was said hurt, I don’t intend on telling them that it still hurts. However, I’m using their comment to push myself to try new things (she says watching Gogglebox and blogging).

Another factor that really knocked my confidence was coming to terms with my sexuality. Most people find that finally accepting themselves boosts their confidence. For me, it had the opposite affect (effect? I never know, sorry!). With homophobic parents, and a genuine fear of ever having to talk to them about my relationships, I became even more withdrawn from my family (apart from my amazing sister, Rachel) as I didn’t know how to be myself around them. In November last year, Rachel accidentally told them. It turns out my dad is okay with talking to me about it openly, Mum is another matter all together. But we’ll worry about that if/when I actually end up in a relationship. 
Wow those were rather depressing paragraphs, sorry! Onto question 2.
Q2. Are there specific things that help boost your confidence? Do you try put things into practise to help yourself? #thegirlgang ✨

When feeling extremely lacking in confidence, I take a me day. I spend as long as I want in the shower/bath and take the time to work on my hair until it sits perfectly. Then I put on either Bridget Jones’ Diary or another feel good film/TV show, and eat my body weight in whatever food I can reach. While the food normally ends with me slightly regretting it and feeling guilty, I also use that feeling to remind me that it’s okay and good to enjoy the things I love. 

If this doesn’t help, I end up going to sit with friends and they quickly bring me back up! One place I will always feel confident is here, where I can blog in peace and know that if people aren’t interested they just won’t read. I’m so used to people putting me down because they don’t agree with or like what I’m saying, so it’s freeing to know that here I will always be able to talk openly to you.
Q3. Can you share something that reaaallyy doesn’t make you feel confident? #thegirlgang ✨ *hugs all round, & give tips to others if poss!*

Here, I listed everything I’ve mentioned under question 1. What was interesting was the fact that a lot of us felt the same about our looks – we don’t fit into society’s “norms” and that other girls judge us more than guys do. This intrigued me because although we’re aware of it, we don’t do anything to try and fix it for ourselves and others. If I go on Twitter now, I’ll see multiple posts regarding weight loss, make up techniques and anything else that will help us look “better”. And while I can’t say that looking great doesn’t feel great, I feel like there’s a lot of stress for us all to look a particular way.

Public speaking also came up quite a bit under this topic. Thankfully, GCSE drama helped me with this aspect of life – doesn’t mean I feel confident with it! My technique when having to speak in front of people in university is to dress comfortably rather than smartly. Dress comfortably and you’ll gradually feel more comfortable in front of these people.
 I’d love if everyone told us something that makes them AMAZING ^__^ (bc we all have something) #thegirlgang ✨

This one was great. Everyone was able to list something that they liked about themselves. Here, I said I’m loyal to my friends. If there’s one thing that’s important to me, it’s my friends. I will stand by them when they’re going through problems, and I will do anything to be there for them when they need me. 

Q4. When around other confident people, does it help encourage to be the same? Or do you tend to shy away? #thegirlgang ✨

I find there’s a bit of a balance to it here. I had one friend in school who always had excess confidence, bordering on arrogance. She intimidated me and was one of the few who brought me down during my school years. Now at university, I find it encouraging to be around confident people, especially a few certain people who I’ve talked to about their confidence before. Without them, I don’t think I’d have even this little confidence I can claim.
And lastly, if you have a photo that makes you feel confident, or was taken of you at a confident time – please share! 🙂 #thegirlgang ✨


I felt so confident the day I took this picture, as my hair, makeup and hat were sitting perfectly. And the lighting hid all my spots! However, this picture of us in Paris is now one of my favourite pictures, taken with my favourite people who make me feel confident and happy with them.

To finish the chat, TheGirlGang tweeted You may be kind, beautiful, funny, creative, thoughtful – you are something SPECIAL ❤ Focus on your good qualities #thegirlgang ✨

And that’s what I wanted to remind you all today. No matter what you dislike about yourself, or what causes you to be anxious, there will always be the good qualities to keep you going!
Keep strong

Ktkinnes xx

Posted in Lifestyle

Upcoming Wedding

So I have a wedding coming up in less than 2 weeks and amongst finding a dress and shoes that won’t kill my feet I completely forgot about hair and accessories!

This is where you come in if you so wish – what would you suggest with this dress?

Not my most flattering picture.

These are the shoes I’ve got to go with the dress:


I still need hair, jewellery, make up and a bag – help!
Ktkinnes xx

Posted in Lifestyle

Paris Part 2

Hello again! So if you haven’t already seen it, Day 1 of our flat trip to Paris went up a few hours ago and can be found here! I’d definitely recommend reading it before reading this post, even just to have everything make sense. Anyway, on with part 2!

 

Wednesday

My alarm went off at 8:15 and it was hard to conceal my excitement – today was the day I was finally getting to Disneyland! It’s probably wrong of me to still be bitter about it but when I was 7 years old, my parents promised to take us to Disneyland when I was 10, three years to wait and save up my pocket money (£1 a week seemed so much money back then!). I turned 10 and the year came but we didn’t go to Disneyland. So here we are, nearly 11 years later – I’ve finally been! But yes, this is me getting sidetracked. Back to the actual information.

Breakfast in the hotel was decent, nothing compared to Ibiza but to be honest I don’t think anywhere will compare anymore. Everything was mini – mini toast, mini sausages, mini bacon, mini pain au chocolat, I think you get my point. We ate as much as we physically could before gathering our bags and tickets, and waiting for the bus into the magical promised land.

There are so many pictures I haven’t included but I didn’t want to bore you all.

The first thing we tried was the haunted house, it actually wasn’t too bad! When we got inside, we were directed into a room and made to stand as close to the centre as possible while the voice over (in French) told us the story of the mansion. Thankfully I didn’t understand a word of it otherwise I would’ve been more freaked out than I was. Next, we went on the Indiana Jones roller coaster. I kept my eyes shut the whole time as heights really are not my thing, but it was exciting and I actually really enjoyed it! Next was the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, a nice calm water ride that was very pleasant. I can’t actually remember what we did next but there wasn’t a minute of boredom! For lunch, we went back to Frontier land, as Nuala had spotted somewhere that was more likely to have gluten free food that wasn’t just a salad. She was presented with 5 menus and the rest of us picked just whatever from the main menu. It was so good and actually quite cheap! Everyone had said to expect it to be expensive but less than 10 euros for lunch was pretty acceptable when we saw the portion sizes. After lunch, we did a bit of browsing through the shops to let our food go down before going back on the rides. After the others had a few more turns on whatever the Space based roller coaster is called, while I sunbathed, we started to walk back towards the Indiana Jones ride, hoping to go on it again. On our way though, there were a lot of people standing watching something – the Magic Parade! I honestly felt my heart swell as I stood and watched all my favourite Disney characters come past, singing and dancing and being just generally wonderful. You can watch my snapchat story of it here hopefully. If it doesn’t work, you may have to send me a quick friend request!

Afterwards, I was so happy I could’ve burst. Emotion overload! Another few rides before we started shopping and my bank account took a bit of a hit but it was definitely worth it. We headed back to the hotel and just ate in the bar. Mary and I took a walk after dinner before bed and we all fell asleep so quickly!

 

Thursday

We headed back to the park, this time planning on seeing the Walt Disney Studios. I was less excited on Thursday, and I’m not really sue why. It was a great park! There were fewer rides but I think this park is slightly more aimed towards adults. We went on the Tower of Terror and I swear I will never go anywhere near that thing again. The number of sobbing people getting off the ride should’ve been enough of a warning!

As you can see, I didn’t take as many pictures on Thursday. The only downside was the park closed at 6pm and so we got back to the hotel earlier than the day before. We got organised for dinner and went back to the bar. That night though, we didn’t go straight to bed. Mary, Jason and I put our shoes back on, regardless of how sore our feet were, and went back to the park for the show of Disney Dreams. I didn’t video it or take any pictures of the actual show as I just wanted to live in the moment instead of trying to capture it. I don’t think my phone would’ve done it justice anyway. If you really want to see it, search on youtube for Disney Dreams May 2016. They change it every now and again. By the end of the show, I was beyond words and ready to cry tears of happiness. Jason actually did a happy dance and was more excited than I was!

Friday was just spent travelling and sleeping, my feet were aching! To be honest, I think they’re only really recovering today.

 

I hope you enjoyed my recollection of the brief holiday. Have you been to Disneyland Paris? What did you think of it?

 

I’m considering scrapping the plans for Rachel’s birthday present and booking us a weekend in Disneyland so she can experience the magic. What do you think?

 

But for now, I had better go shower and start packing for going home! 48 hours until I board a bus to leave Glasgow for at least 2 months. I’m going to miss the peacefulness of the flat…

 

Ktkinnes xx

Posted in Lifestyle

Travel in the land of Bread, Wine and Cheese

Bonjour mes amis! Firstly, if there’s anyone French or from a French speaking country – I would like to apologise if that first sentence is spelt wrong in any way. I keep just making up phrases in my head without knowing if they’re grammatically correct.

Here’s the long promised update on our trip to Paris, more specifically Disneyland Paris! I’m still coming down from the high from being there.

 

Tuesday morning had us all awake early and ready to leave the flat by 9am. Our taxi driver was great, full of life and willing to have a conversation with us. Don’t think I’ve ever laughed so much at a conversation! When we got to the airport, Jason and Nuala were ready for their second breakfasts of the day and so we sat in Frankie and Benny’s until our gate was announced.

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I promise Nuala was happy and excited…

While we ate and had a laugh at Jason’s money belt that he had bought en route to the airport, our gate was announced but we were going to be delayed. Not my idea of fun but it seems I can’t fly anywhere without there being some sort of delay! Eventually we got to board the plane and we were off!

Almost an hour and a half later than expected, we got to the hotel and stood in awe for a second before we walked in. Called the Vienna House Dream Castle, it certainly was a dream castle!

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Doesn’t it look so pretty?

And that was only from the outside. We went and got checked in before snapping a few pictures of the reception area. Mary got some better photos and hasn’t sent us them yet otherwise I would share them but for now, here’s Jason and Nuala having a bit of fun.

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King Nuala, looking pensive, and Queen Jason, being dramatic as ever.

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We got some directions from two members of staff as to how to get in towards the city centre and the tourist destinations, forgetting just how big Paris is and expecting to be able to get around the main things you think of when someone says they’re going to Paris. In the end, we settled for heading towards Chatalet-Les Halles so we could see the Notre Dame across the water and maybe have some good food since by now we were all starving – it was 5pm before we knew it! The hotel ran a shuttle bus to Disneyland and the train station beside it and so we jumped aboard with all the lucky people going into the land of dreams. Leaving those fortunate people, we walked into what was possibly the biggest train station I remember ever having been in! Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure hte stations I was in in London are bigger but this one felt massive. Especially with it being my first time abroad without an appropriate adult, this time I was the responsible adult – scary stuff! At this stage, Nuala took charge and managed to lead us to a ticket desk and onto the train, she actually seemed to know where to go!

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We made it onto a train!

Jumping onto a train, we were all delighted with ourselves for actually getting this far. The only thing was, travel is very tiring. At this time, I’d like to say that Mary was actually there, I just don’t have any pictures of her until later in the trip. Oh, before I forget, did you know that French trains have 3 floors?? You get on and can either go up stairs or down to get seats, it was so confusing and yet brilliant at the same time. Just think how many more people could fit on our trains if we did this! It didn’t take long for Jason and Nuala to start trying to nap on our journey.

After almost an hour on the train, we arrived at our destination, not really sure of where we were, how we got there or even how to get out of the train station! Following the crowds, we found a M&S Simply Food and then sussed out an exit that took us into a big shopping centre with a cinema and swimming pool. Looking at a map, we now know we arrived in the Nelson Mandela Gardens and set off in the hunt for food and somewhere that would actually be able to feed Nuala – being a coeliac in Paris doesn’t seem like that fun an adventure. However, we did find a bakery that sold gluten free cakes and cookies – look at how happy Nuala was!13256148_10209105763258313_8175723479031669590_n

After a while, we gave up finding somewhere with gluten free meals and settled for somewhere Nuala could have a salad and the rest of us could eat for a reasonable price, and boy did we find it! Three courses for 30 euros? Yes please! We tried our first ever snails, drank good cheap wine, ate a load of cheese and finally were satisfied. 13237703_10209105763818327_2723826117319200322_n

After dinner, we found a bar serving cocktails for 5.50 euros and they were that strong even Jason had difficulty drinking them quickly! Two drinks later, we decided we should start heading back so as not to be completely drunk and lost in a new city. As expected, the journey home was a lot more simple than the journey there. That night, we all got into bed and crashed as quickly as you could imagine.

 

Wow that was a lot longer than I anticipated, maybe I should stop here and give you all a break… Yes, that’s what I’ll do. Come back later for the news and pictures of Disneyland, Walt Disney Studios and our journey home!

 

 

Ktkinnes xxx

Posted in Lifestyle

Too much to do

Success in life is a matter not so much of talent or opportunity as of concentration and perseverance. – C. W. Wendte          

Today I woke up feeling like I could lie in bed forever, but here’s why I can’t. 

  • I’ve still to unpack from Paris. I am the world’s laziest traveller. Most of the time, everything ends up back in the laundry basket so I can have a few more days of doing nothing. But this time I’ve to unpack so I can repack to return to Northern Ireland. Great…
  • I need to wash my hair. It hasn’t been washed since Wednesday night and looks a state right now, so I’ve tied it up in the hope I can leave it until tomorrow.
  • My Paris blog post needs to be written. Except I’m waiting until my external hard drive arrives so I can save all my photos to it before writing the post. 
  • I need to start packing for going home. Normally packing takes me 3 weeks, now I’ve to condense it to 2 days!
  • Dinner needs cooked at some stage…
  • My bedroom is a mess and the kitchen needs sorted
  • I’ve too much food and no idea if it’ll freeze or not.
  • Shopping needs done since I’ve got parts of meals but not actual meals

And probably so much more that I can’t think of right now! The first step will be getting out of bed. Wish me luck!
Ktkinnes xx