Posted in Christmas, Lifestyle

Christmas Card Swap 2017

Hello everyone! Now I know the title of this post has probably put The Fear into a lot of you and for that I’m sorry! But it’s coming up to that time of year again. Heck, I’ve even had blogmas posts in my drafts since March! However we won’t go there yet.

Do you love receiving Christmas Cards? Does writing them fill you with the Christmas Spirit? Well, how would you like to get involved in my Christmas Card Swap?

My plans to spread some Christmas Cheer in 2017 is quite a large one, and a major part of it is this Christmas Card Swap. The plan? Simply fill in the form by clicking the link below to take part! I will then combine all the addresses to be sent to the correct groups of people and will email them to you. Of course, if you’d rather not have your address sent to others that’s perfectly fine! Let me know below and I’ll keep your address to myself. You are free then to send Christmas Cards to as many people as you wish from the list I send you. I, myself, will be sending a card to everyone taking part so you are going to receive at least one card!

This worked really well last year, with almost 30 people involved. Of course, if you took part last year and would like to be involved again this year then please do let me know by filling out the form! I won’t just assume that you’re continuing to take part.

Unfortunately sign up has now finished, and I will be in touch with all those involved as soon as possible

Sign up closes on Sunday 12th November 2017, and I will be in touch with the relevant addresses by Monday 20th November 2017!


Posted in Blogmas, Book reviews, Christmas, life

My Reads of 2016

Well, as the year comes to an end (and before I start to consider my New Years Resolutions) I thought I’d share with you the list of books I’ve read this year, all in the one place with their review where appropriate.

  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling
  • The Freedom Writers’ Diary (review found here)
  • Carol by Patricia Highsmith (review found here)
  • Room by Emma Donoghue (review found here)
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (review found here)
  • The Housewife Assassin’s Vacation to Die For by Josie Brown
  • The Housewife Assassin’s Recipes for Disaster by Josie Brown
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
  • The Dog Who Dared To Dream by Sun-Mi Hwang (review coming in the new year)
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them (Original Screenplay) by J. K. Rowling

Now I’ve to try and plan my books for the new year. Did you read anything you would recommend? Or did you read any of those books above – if so, what did you think of them?
I can’t wait to see what books 2017 will bring into my life!

Ktkinnes xx

Posted in Blogmas, Christmas

My Christmas Day

Hello everyone! How have you been? Hope you had a wonderful Christmas! Was Santa good to you all?
Unfortunately we’ve finished the Christmas Song Countdown! Will you miss them?

Today’s post is going to be just a photo diary of our day so there won’t be much talk from me. But hope you enjoy the view into my family Christmas! 

Prawn and Leek quiche starter!

Ktkinnes xx

Posted in Blogmas, Christmas, Lifestyle

The Big Day


The big day is finally here! I have now been up for 2 hours already and am so excited to get through the rest of the day. Anyone who’s been lucky enough to get an advent calendar that gives you a chocolate, or whatever type of advent you’ve been getting, today – I am very jealous. Today is the last in our song countdown and well done to any of you who managed to correctly guess what the UK voted as our favourite Christmas song of all time. In my mind, The Fairytale of New York is the perfect description of life – we slag each other off, complain, and just genuinely have those days when we want to turn into a loner and hide from the world. But then Christmas comes and we accept that we do really love each other anyway!


So I’ll go into all about my exciting presents in another post, but for today’s day 25 of Blogmas I thought I would share my tips and tricks for surviving today. This is the day that most students love and hate. We’re warm, well fed, surrounded by family, and there’s no question over who’s in charge of buying the next lot of toilet roll. However, we’re subjected to questions, we have to wake up at a normal time, we’re surrounded by family and still being in pyjamas at 6pm is generally frowned upon. There will be those certain questions we don’t want to be asked, things we don’t want to do, and very few hiding spots. Even worse when you’re expected to help out with the day! So how do I plan on surviving today?


For some reason, the older ones in the family often love to ask me when I plan on finding myself a boyfriend. Now, please trust me when I say I would love to tell them the full honest truth, however it would cause a lot of problems and this probably isn’t the right day to start explaining to my 85 year old granny that I am never going to find myself a boyfriend.

Another standard question is “How is university going?” Please be aware, this is more often than not just a casual question. Don’t go into how much you hate your course, are struggling with the workload, hate the flatmates, or any of that. A simple “Yeah, it’s good thanks! Just glad to be home for a change” will suffice. If they continue to question you then go for it and tell them everything!

“Have you put on or lost any weight?” Surely I’m not the only one who gets asked this? It drives me insane. I know they’re often asking because they’re worried, however I quickly learnt that the correct response to this is “Probably as much as you have”… instead, the safest option is “I have no idea, no scales at uni.” Then they can be left to decide for themselves.


After a few days in your family’s company, you may find yourself dying to be back in your cold student flat, on your own, listening to depressing music and eating ice cream from the tub. When these moments happen, take yourself to the bathroom for 5 minutes. Read some blog posts or tweets, take a deep breath, splash your wrists with some cool water (proven to help cool your skin and calm you down) and then rejoin the celebrations. Either that, or go wash some of the dishes in the kitchen! Not only do you get some time to yourself, but you also get praised and thanked for helping out.


The main thing to remember is that you’re only there for a few days. It can be hard, but remember just how excited your family are to see you again, and try and put on a brave face. Worst case scenario? You’ve ‘accidentally’ booked an earlier flight home than they were expecting!



Merry Christmas everybody. Have a lovely day, and may your day be filled with peace, joy, harmony, and lots of wine! Oh! And congratulations to 1weekmary who has won my giveaway! 


Ktkinnes xxx

Posted in Blogmas, Christmas, Lifestyle

Last minute shopping

Every year. Every year Dad manages to leave buying something until Christmas Eve and so there’s a mission task sent out to Rachel and me for the day. As if it isn’t hard enough trying to get everything else sorted, staying calm enough to attempt shopping on the one day shops should be empty is not one of my skill sets.


Today’s song? All I Want For Christmas Is You! Quite appropriate given the last minute shopping expedition I am already away out on. Yes, as this post goes live at 9am, I will already be in the town centre running around the shops. But before I continue, let’s all admire the penultimate song in our countdown!


Dad loves to try the trick of “In two days time, this will be on sale. Why don’t you sell it to me for the sale price now?” It is honestly the cringiest thing ever. So today’s blogmas is all about how to survive the shops today!

  1. Get up and out early. The sooner you get to those shops, the sooner you get to come home again. Plus, the early bird catches the worm. Want to beat the crowds and get the best parking spaces? Be there the minute the shop opens.
  2. Have a list. This is a standard of mine, but it is essential on Christmas Eve. You do not want to be roaming from shop to shop with no idea of what you’re buying. Know what you’re looking for and don’t get distracted.
  3. Set a limit. This applies to both price limit and time limit. You don’t want to overspend, and a few places actually up their prices on Christmas Eve in the hope of catching you out. Similarly, if you get into town for 9am, you don’t want to spend all day browsing. Set a time limit and stick to it.
  4. Be nice to the staff. Trust me, they don’t want to be there any more than you do. Most places no longer give one and a half or double pay to people working Christmas Eve and Boxing Day. It’s not their fault you left shopping until last minute, just like all those people in the queue in front of you.
  5. Have patience. Queues and traffic are going to be a nightmare. What did you expect? Take a deep breath and try not to swear under your breath unless the person really deserved it. Then you have my blessing.


I think that’s all I can think of. Do you have any tips? How many of you are heading shopping today?
Before I forget, come join Jordanne, Francesca and me on the GRLPOWR account from 11pm for anyone who’s excited for Christmas!


Ktkinnes xx

Posted in Blogmas, Christmas

The Nativity: What The Donkey Saw

Good morning one and all! How are you all today? I actually can’t believe it’s Friday 23rd December! Little did I think when I started planning my Blogmas posts that I would actually manage to get this far! Now I will be honest and say that this post was written last night after several glasses of wine so please be kind to me. My head won’t be kind!

Again, another very traditional song in our house. Although a couple of days ago Rachel thought that Merry Christmas (War Is Over) was Bandaid and so we spent a good few minutes correcting her. And yet she says I’m the thick one??
But anyway. Last night, Mum and Dad took the four of us to the theatre to see a comical take on the nativity story. Set in Belfast (of course) the cast was made up of 6 people and then a seventh on the keyboard in the corner. All I can say is – it was hilarious! 
They changed the words to some well known Christmas songs, and all of them were pretty good singers! They also managed to throw in a few topical references (Honey G was even referred to) and the audience were in stitches. In one particular scene, two actors were putting on American accents of some kind and one of them randomly returned to his Belfast accent which caused the other actors on stage to corpse (come out of character and laugh, thereby killing the atmosphere they had created – GCSE drama for ya!) and ask what accent he would like. They composed themselves and tried to continue the scene, until the same guy suddenly went to an Australian accent, so of course we were in stitches at it all!
The interval came and when we got to our pre-ordered drinks, there was almost triple what we had ordered! And so Mum and I ended up drinking a lovely total of 750ml of red wine each… no wonder my head felt funny getting into bed last night!
Act 2 started up with the great music again, and the three wise men appeared on stage. Just as Balthazar was about to share his divine knowledge with his brethren and the audience, the actor looked straight into the face of a woman in the audience and called her out for being on her mobile by simply saying “Words of wisdom! Turn that phone off, madam!” 
The rest of us in the audience laughed and cheered, but it got me thinking. Why is it considered difficult for us as a society to function without the mini computer in our pockets for the duration of a 2 hour play? 
Ktkinnes xx

Posted in Blogmas, Christmas

My Christmas Card Swap

Hello again everyone! With only 3 more sleeps until the big day, I have to ask you – should I continue daily blogging into the new year, or should I stop on Sunday? Let me know!

Today’s song is definitely one of my absolute favourites and I take pride in the fact that I know every word to this! Last Christmas is a true classic, and I couldn’t imagine a Christmas playlist without it.
Now, you may or may not be aware that I tried to organise a Christmas Card Swap between here and Twitter for other bloggers who love Christmas as much as I do! The response was great, especially considering how few followers I had when I started! 
I’ll admit, I got rather stressed when compiling the list of addresses to email to everyone, and there were a few typos I needed to correct. But once the wrinkles were ironed out, everything went very smoothly! I sat down on December 1st to write all of mine, and posted them as soon as I remembered to! So if you haven’t got one from me yet and you were on the list – sorry! It’s on its way! 
I unfortunately was stupid and left my cards in Glasgow, otherwise I would’ve included them here. But I would just like to say a massive thank you to everyone involved! I’m considering running this again next year with a little bit more organisation, so if you’re interested then please let me know!
Ktkinnes xx

Posted in Blogmas, Christmas


Okay okay okay, we are officially nearing the end of blogmas 2016, and yet here I find myself considering continuing through until the end of the month. Am I wise??


Today’s countdown song is Santa Clause Is Coming To Town – the perfect song to have on the 21st! Children everywhere are beginning to get so so excited to see what will be left for them this year, and I just loved this video so much I had to share it!



But thinking of the children who’re currently getting really excited for Christmas Day actually reminded me of one of my proudest achievements to date – and you’ll laugh when I tell you about it!
Back in 2001, I lived in a tiny town on the east coast of Scotland. Every year we got snow at Christmas – it started to fall in November and continued until Easter some years! Now the particular year we’re talking about was brilliant for the snow. It was the perfect consistency, and Dad made us an actual igloo! I remember thinking just how awesome that was.
A few of my friends and I were sitting drinking our hot orange juice inside the igloo, when one of the women from further down the street (there were 20 houses) came up to tell us that she was running a snowman competition and there was a trophy for the winning house! So, of course, all my friends scattered – everyone dashing off to their own gardens to make the perfect Snowman.
Now unfortunately I don’t remember what ours looked like or anything, but Dad and I had great fun building him up! Rachel wanted to join in but she was only 3 years old and seemed to be intent on destroying him.
Judging time came, and I remember standing proudly beside my Snowman, and looking up at him thinking about just how tall he was. And then, to my delight, Dad and I were announced the winners! We even beat the teenagers down the road from us who had stuck googley eyes on their Snowman!
To this day, I still have our trophy in my “special drawer” (along with all my other memorable things).

Do you have any specific memories you’re proud of? Or any pictures of snowmen you’ve built?
Ktkinnes xx

Posted in Blogmas, Christmas

This Time Next Year Tag

Days are passing quicker and quicker. I swear there aren’t 24 hours in every single day. At least, they aren’t being overly helpful – so much to do, so little time!


Today’s the 20th December, and we’re watching the days slip by. I can’t be the only one panicking slightly about how close we are now? Rachel and I are going last minute shopping today to pick up stuff for Dad and Granny B  but hopefully that will be quick and relatively painless. However, today’s song is a disappointing one, especially considering how close we are now!



Now today’s post is the This Time Next Year Tag, created by Sarah, and I was tagged in it by Claire! The rules of the tag are as follows:

  1. Thank the person who tagged you.
  2. Write your goals for next year
  3. Write how you’re going to achieve these goals
  4. Tag at least 5 blogger friends
  5. This last one is optional, but in 365 days, write a post about whether or not you’ve been successful!


So to begin, I really have to say a massive thank you to Claire. I was struggling for a post to write for today. Well, I had one planned but when I sat down to write it I found I had no motivation whatsoever and so decided that this would fit in perfectly here. Sorry it’s late, but here it is! But yes, a massive thank you to the wonderful Claire for tagging me. You all should go check her out now!!


My goals for next year… I haven’t overly thought about them yet. I probably will have some proper New Year’s Resolutions, but they’ll be coming later in a post all of their own. So here, I’m going to outline my goals for my blogging for 2017!


This time next year…

  • I will have 350 followers here on my blog.
  • I will have reached 2500 Twitter followers
  • I will post at least once a week.
  • I will take part in more Twitter chats


So there we have the 4 main goals for my blog. To achieve these? I hope to just become more organised and produce more and better quality content that you all enjoy reading!


I would like to tag

Francesca –

Zoe –

Tarnya –

Holly –

Alice –



Remember though, you don’t have to be tagged to take part! Hope you’ve enjoyed the post!


Ktkinnes xx

Posted in Christmas

Whatcha Listening To?

EEEEK!!! We’re into the last few days and I am beginning to really stress! Today, I’m going into town in the hope of seeing something somewhere to buy for Rachel’s final part of her Christmas present. Mum’s officially off for Christmas, and I think she had a good day on Saturday celebrating her birthday. Don’t think my liver will recover on time for this weekend though!


For once, I’m actually getting to listen to Christmas music on the TV while writing this post. It’s quite rare that I can have a TV show on while blogging, so the novelty is making me feel even more festive! While today’s post is all about my Christmas Playlists, we can’t have a blogmas post without the Christmas Song Countdown – have you been enjoying it?



I’ve found as the years go on I enjoy this song more. Can’t really explain why for years I didn’t like it, but it is slowly growing on me. I’m one of those people who stereo-typically likes sad, slow songs – unless it’s Christmas. Then it’s a case of the livelier the better!


So for today’s Christmas Playlist, I have included a list to my Spotify Christmas Playlist for you to listen to if you’d like, but also here are my must-have songs for a Christmas Playlist. Only another week of it being socially acceptable to listen to them!


My Spotify Playlist –


  1. The Fairytale Of New York – The Pogues
  2. All I Want For Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey
  3. Do They Know It’s Christmas? – Band Aid (the original one of course)
  4. Last Christmas – Wham! (Or Wham UK for any of our American friends)
  5. Happy Christmas (War Is Over) – John & Yoko
  6. Wonderful Christmastime – Paul McCartney
  7. I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday – Wizzard
  8. Merry Xmas Everybody – Slade
  9. Merry Christmas Everyone – Shakin’ Stevens
  10. Driving Home For Christmas – Chris Rea
  11. Rockin Around The Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee
  12. Step Into Christmas – Elton John
  13. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) – Michael Bublé
  14. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! – Dean Martin
  15. Stop The Calvary- Jona Lewie
  16. White Christmas – Bing Crosby
  17. Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) – The Nat King Cole Trio
  18. It’s The Most Wonderful Time of Year – Andy Williams
  19. Santa Baby – Eartha Kitt
  20. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – Frank Sinatra
  21. A Winter’s Tale – David Essex
  22. Cold December Night – Michael Bublé
  23. Mary’s Boy Child – Boney M
  24. Blue Christmas – Elvis Presley
  25. Winter Wonderland – Perry Como




What’s on your must-have Christmas song list?


Ktkinnes xx