Posted in Book reviews

The Dog Who Dared To Dream

Wow I actually read a book and am reviewing it! Allbeit a small book, but either way, this is one for all those dog lovers out there.

The blurb is simple. 

This is the story of a dog named Scraggly. Born an outsider because of her distinctive appearance, she spends most of her days in the sun-filled yard of her owner’s house. Scraggly has dreams and aspirations just like the rest of us. But each winter, dark clouds descend and Scraggly is faced with challenges that she must overcome. Through the clouds and even beyond the gates of her owner’s yard lies the possibility of friendship, motherhood and happiness – they are for the taking if Scraggly can just hold on to them, bring them home and build the life she so desperately desires.

Now, truth be told this probably is aimed at younger readers, or people who find they can’t sit for the length of longer books. However, it was easy to read and told the story in such a way that I refused to put the book down. 

Without wanting to ruin the story, here’s my mini synopsis. Scraggly’ story begins as a pup, the oddball of the litter, and she is frequently reminded of the fact that even her own mother considers her an outsider. From the start, Scraggly is taught that life is cruel to so many of us, and she begins to associate this with the winter months. As the chapters flow, we see Scraggly and her owner grow older and watch their relationship flow the way any relationship does. 
This book is written from Scraggly’s point of view, and so it was easy to imagine my own dog having these thoughts at different times. In fact, it was hard at times to read without thinking of Baron. You don’t have to be a dog person to feel the pain and turmoil that Scraggly goes through at different stages in her life.
I would definitely recommend this to anyone who asks, however I would strongly emphasise the fact that it is probably aimed for younger readers. 
Hope you enjoy!
Ktkinnes xx

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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, Lifestyle

My Favourite Things

Okay, I won’t pretend this is a post I’ve written today or last night as I am currently in London. Well, I’m actually not, this is scheduled. In fact it was written back in October… But for you reading this, I haven’t written it live due to London. That was more complicated than it needed to be.

 

Today’s Christmas Countdown song is Step Into Christmas, and what better song for the day I go to Winter Wonderland for the first time ever?? You can probably guess just how excited I am for this, I’ve only been planning it since 23rd August! A little bit of Elton John is good for everyone.

 

Today’s Blogmas (Day 10) is all about why I love this time of year. Just in case you missed it, I love Christmas. Absolutely adore it. I think Mary, Nuala and Jason are well aware of this, as are quite a few of you on Twitter… but just in case anyone missed it, I truly do think Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year!

 

The clock strikes midnight on the barrier between 30th November and 1st December and it’s like my body goes into action without me even being awake. The music starts that morning (who am I kidding, the music has been around for ages but now it’s acceptable to play it out for everyone to hear), the decorations come out of hiding, and I can put my Christmas pjs on. All this before I even hit proper Christmas spirit!

Everywhere you go, multicoloured lights line houses, roads, shops and everywhere else you could think of! Whether they’re warm white, bright white, all one colour, or multicoloured, they just add a sense of excitement that isn’t around the rest of the year. Why do we only put these up for Christmas? They’re gorgeous, and make everything so much more pleasant to look at. Stuck in traffic? Enjoy looking at all the lights around you! They’re fun, bright, and are a trademark of Christmas.

As I said yesterday, a lot of children associate the turning on of the Christmas lights in their towns and cities with writing their Santa letters. Watching children get excited for what Santa may possibly bring them, queuing for their local grottos in the hope of seeing the big man and asking him in person for their most desired present. If you have any young children in your family or friend groups, ask them what they’re asking Santa for this year! It’s heartwarming to know that this still continues even though time has progressed and so many more children are getting technology related presents, they still want to ask Santa to get it for them.

Let’s take a minute to just appreciate the music at this time of the year. There are so many different Christmas songs, and so many of them have multiple covers of them! You could never get bored of them! I personally alternate between Christmas Carols or Hymns and the usual pop songs we get at this time of year. Hopefully during my song countdown to Christmas your favourites will appear but please feel free to comment with your favourites and whether or not you agree with a day’s choice! In my mind, there’s something for everyone in a Christmas playlist. Even those of you may not celebrate Christmas can surely appreciate some of the music?

The cooler air brings in yet more jumpers and boots – and it’s finally acceptable to wear my Christmas jumpers around university! New scarves, with matching hats and gloves, become must-have accessories. You can see your breath in the air, and it becomes even more difficult to get out of bed in the mornings. Everywhere sells fluffy pyjamas and socks and thermal clothing becomes a necessity. There’s a chance of snow, even if it is a small chance! I’m dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones we used to know back when I lived in Forfar. Global warming has a lot to answer for!

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Shopping now becomes a case of every man/woman/child for themselves – survival of the fittest if you like. People dash from shop to shop, muttering under their breath when they’ve to wait in yet another easily avoided queue and questioning whether they really need to get their second cousin once removed a present this year before deciding yes and buying yet another pair of Christmas socks.

Christmas markets spring up all over the place, their stalls filled with exciting food, drink, and other such things. The mix of smells, the sound of music mixed with happy conversations, it’s all just brilliant! Plus, they always seem to be in the cute little cabins. To be honest, I’m so excited for today’s trip to Winter Wonderland. Hopefully you’re all following me on snapchat to see what it’s like!

 

Overall though, I would have to say my favourite thing about Christmas is the fact that families make an effort to see each other and spend time together, even if just to watch Home Alone for the umpteenth time as it’s shown on TV. Children everywhere begin to listen out for Santa and have their eyes peeled for any sign of snow. Christmas day arrives and families around the world try to put any arguments on hold until we all celebrate this time of year – some for religious reasons, others just because of the symbolism of peace, love and giving.

What do you love about this time of year?

 

Only 15 more sleeps!

 

Ktkinnes xx

Posted in Blogmas, Christmas, Lifestyle

A Girl Can Dream

So this wasn’t an original Blogmas post, and while writing it I had no clue what day to put it on. But I was listening to Christmas music, and having a moment of pure Christmas spirit, when I found myself daydreaming about my dream house at Christmas. I’m very aware I have never described my dream house to you, but trust me when I say that it would be incredible at Christmas.

As I’m sure you’ve realised now that you’re reading, this post is Day 5 of Blogmas! And in keeping with our Christmas Song Advent Calendar (I should really think of a catchier name for this…) today we have one of my favourite songs of the season. It’s bouncy and sounds so happy, and it distracts you from its anti-war message that actually never is out of touch with modern day life. There’s always some war somewhere with soldiers wishing they were at home for Christmas!

 

But now, onwards with the dream decorating!

To start with, I would love a white pebble-dashed house with a red front door and a stained-glass window above it in the shape of a semi-circle. It would also have a large door size window beside it to allow light into the hallway. So to decorate the outside, I would put up a light up snowman something like the one below (found here) beside the front door. Another simple thing that can’t be ignored at Christmas is the wreath on the door. Now, I am actually very fussy about my wreaths so I’d probably go for one like this.

 

Now, I would love a big hallway that I could put a tree in. I don’t mind whether or not it’s a real tree, but the one in my hallway would be a very traditional one. Think warm-white led lights, gold and red baubles, pine cones, some fake snow, and a fairy sitting on the top of it, and the tree would be on a white, glittery, circular sheet to give a snowy effect.  Under here, I would store presents to give to friends and extended family so that as they left after visiting, I could hand them their presents on the way out. I’d then replace them with any presents I received. The rest of the hall would be decorated with a string of fairy lights around the top of the room that I could hook Christmas cards over! Although, thinking about this, I would probably have to hole-punch the cards and hang them from ribbon (again, gold and red to match the theme) so that they weren’t a fire risk and so they could be read slightly easier. Any pictures in the hallway, and the large mirror I would have up, would have a sprig of mistletoe or holly above them just to add a bit more festivity to the area. The hall table under the large mirror would have a nativity set sitting on it, and there would be tinsel intertwined around the legs of the table.

In the living room, the bigger of the two and therefore the one kept mainly for hosting, would have a tree in the window. This tree would have all the other colours of baubles on it, multicoloured fairy lights, and a star resting on top. Of course, this one would also have the candy canes, chocolates, and crackers on it too. I can’t even begin to list the variety of novelty decorations I would love on it but basically anything that didn’t count as a ‘classic’ or traditional decoration would be on this tree. Here, I would keep some fake presents just for decoration, as well as any presents for unexpected callers. Did someone mention unwanted presents? It’s not regifting, it’s recycling! The fireplace would have a long garland draped over it, and a bowl of my homemade potpourri in the middle. Of course, what fireplace would be complete at Christmas without stockings hanging from it? Little snowglobes and other ornaments would sit on the tables. I’ve included a few links at the bottom to the room decorations shown below.

In the smaller, cosier living room, I would have my Disney tree. Now. My parents, when they first got married, collected a lot of Disney Christmas decorations (look out for some of them in a later post) and I have always looked at them longingly. I am well aware that Rachel and I are going to have to split them when the time comes to divvy up our parents’ things, but in my dream home, and on this tree in particular, I would have every hanging Disney decoration ever invented. Again, this tree would be covered in multicoloured fairy lights, but underneath it would be all sorts of Christmas toys and teddies. In both this room and the previous one, I would have fairy lights strung around the room to hang cards from. This would also be the room where I would proudly display all my advent calendars! A girl can never have too many, can she? And since money is no object, you can bet I would have as many different calendars as I can possibly put up. However, I would have one refillable calendar that I would put an activity or task in so that each day I could aim to do something either for someone else or Christmassy. Again, I would have a garland and stockings on the fireplace in here, and more little ornaments resting on coffee tables, but I would also have mistletoe and holly hanging from the bookcase in the corner.

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My study, well technically it’s just a mini library but shush, would have a small tree sitting on the desk, and just little ornaments dotted around the place. I’d have Christmassy throws on the seats, and Christmas cushions on the window seat that I would of course have. The dining room would have a Christmas tablecloth over the table, and festive cushions on the seats. There would be more fairy lights around the ceiling, and lots of little candles everywhere in both these rooms. I would have a yule log centrepiece with a long advent candle in it. The placemats and coasters would all be Christmas themed, and there would be more little ornaments dotted around the place. In the kitchen, all the crockery would be replaced with Christmas themed crockery. Cutlery would all be either plain silver or have red plastic handles. Again, there would be a festive tablecloth, and Christmas tea-towels around the room. I’d have little baubles dangling from the cupboard handles, festive smelling washing up liquid, and Christmas cookie jars would replace the standard utensil jars on the counter.

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In the bathrooms, I would have Christmas toilet roll, and festive hand towels to match the festive soaps. I would definitely have the Santa toilet sets that you can now find in all the random shops and online, and in any bathroom with a shower curtain, I would replace the curtain with a Christmas one! Is there anything else you can do to decorate a bathroom? Each bedroom would have a mini Christmas tree, either on the windowsill or on the dressing tables. Of course, there would be festive bedding and curtains to match, and fairy lights around the ceiling again. Finally, outside I would have a snow machine, creating my dream of a white Christmas daily.

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How would you decorate your dream house? I feel like I’ve missed so much but I genuinely can’t think of anything else right now!

 

Ktkinnes xx

 

http://www.marksandspencer.com/frosted-christmas-arrangement/p/p60056219?prevPage=plp&pdpredirect – flowers and candle

http://www.marksandspencer.com/noel-letters/p/p22473126?prevPage=plp – noel letters

http://www.marksandspencer.com/santa-snowglobe/p/p22473594?prevPage=plp – snow globe

Posted in Films, life

My Must Sees

Since it’s now officially my summer and I can stop revising for resits, I can lie in bed watching as many films as I want! Or at least as many as possible when I’m not doing family based things. So before I go any further, let’s take a second to appreciate that my summer has officially started! And I’ll be back in Glasgow in less than 4 weeks! Who knows what the plan is at this stage but I’m working on it.
Summer means long lie ins and hopefully getting a bit more reading done too, so here’s a list of my 10 must see movies. For the sake of making things simple, I’m going to count series/trilogies as one, I know it’s cheat but ah well. Please note, these are in no particular order.
1. The Little Mermaid 2: Return to the Sea

Just so you all know, that’s my all time favourite kids movie and there’s nothing you can say or do to change my mind. As you can see, Ariel and Eric have a daughter who dreams of spending all her time in the sea. As usual with Disney films, nothing is ever simple and so Melody takes it upon herself to find out why her mum is so against her being in the water. Cue some fantastic songs, great laughs, and of course the fun that comes with mermaids!
2. The Lord of the Rings

My dad first introduced me to The Fellowship of the Ring when I was 8 years old and since then I’ve been in love with the story. Yes, Frodo annoys me more than words can ever express. My favourite of the three films would probably have to be The Return of the King because of the ending, however my least favourite is definitely The Fellowship of the Ring. Once you’ve seen it once, you can skip it and just watch the other 2 on repeat. For 3 months. Not that I ever did that… Shh stop looking at my like that.
3. The Harry Potter series

Do I really need to explain this? Okay those of us who read the books have a certain amount of trepidation when it comes to the films, I’m yet to find a reader who loved the films as much as they loved the books. However, the cast can make you forget you ever read that book. And who can honestly say they grew up not wanting to either be or date Emma Watson?
4. The Birds

This film terrified me when I was 14 to the point that even now if I walk past a group of 3 or more birds, I’m on edge and try to get away as quickly as possible. If you’ve never seen any Hitchcock films, I would definitely recommend this one to start with. 
5. Lady and the Tramp (1 and 2)

Having loved Lady and the Tramp, I’ve always had an obsession with golden cocker spaniels and so when I was asked which type of puppy I wanted for my 7th birthday I immediately said either a cocker spaniel or a Dalmatian. Unfortunately a Dalmatian was apparently too big, and now having had Baron for so long I couldn’t honestly imagine having any other dog. Whoops I’m getting off topic! Yes, these two films are fantastic. Watch them. Go. Now!

6. The Hunger Games trilogy

Considering the books got progressively worse as the series continued, the films actually weren’t too bad! Of course, Jennifer Laurence does help the series.
7. Bridget Jones’ Diary

For all girls everywhere, this is one of the best rom coms you will find. Plus, Colin Firth and Hugh Grant are in it so what more could you want?

8.  Pitch Perfect 1 and 2

Okay, I really shouldn’t have to explain why this film is on this list. Take one look at the cast and the soundtrack and you’ll understand me. Yes, Becca is one of those irritating main characters who can’t appreciate how great her life is but you still fall in love with her and feel everything she feels.
9. Pirates of the Caribbean 

Pirates, gorgeous scenery and more great music.
10. Shrek

“Get outta my swap!” This film was great for quotes and little quips for the parents to laugh at. Honestly, rewatch it tonight and you’ll see what I mean. And did any of you ever question how Donkey and Dragon had kids? No, just me? Whoops.
What would you list as a must see film?
Ktkinnes xx

Posted in Lifestyle

My Blogging Routine

Now before you ask “What blogging routine? These posts come sporadically!” I actually have a mini routine for when I blog. Everyone does it differently, and there is are a wide range of posts on the topic giving suggestions for how to improve or stay on target.

As I’ve said before, I started blogging for the simple reason that I wanted to have something I could look back on in years to come and treat it a bit like a diary. In the last year, I have gone from 30 followers to 138 – never in my wildest dreams did I think I would reach that! Nor did I really plan to, it just sort of happened. Not that I’m complaining! I love you guys, and the community you’ve created both here and on other social media platforms. 
I’m sure you’ve noticed, my posts come at random stages of the day. While I tend to prefer blogging first thing in the morning or just before bed, it’s not uncommon for me to write a post and send it the minute inspiration strikes. However, before posting anything I have a basic routine:

  1. I always read through my Twitter feed before doing anything. I follow so many bloggers and the likes that inspiration is never far away when I’m scrolling. 
  2. Timehop is another app I read through before I post anything. It’s been great for showing me posts from the last year, and I’ve loved watching my writing style (such as it is) develop over the last 2 years.
  3. I then check what I’ve recently posted on my blog – I don’t want to bore you with the same old thing over and over!
  4. Finally, checking that the pictures I want are already saved and ready to go, I settle down to write. Whether it’s on the WordPress app or on my laptop, I always make sure I’ve read through it before clicking “publish”. 

It’s a short and sweet routine but it allows me to gather my thoughts clearly. As you know, I have certain posts for certain days and therefore it becomes easier to generate content, however I’m not at all against my ramblings and extra posts – they’re the main reason I started blogging!
How do you settle down to write your blog posts? Let me know! Or if there’s anything you think I should be doing differently, again feel free to comment or email me. Have a lovely day!
Ktkinnes xx

Posted in Tags

How Well Do You Know Me?

After yesterday’s rather ranty post, today I wanted to be a little more lighthearted today! And do you know the funny thing? I spent about 20 minutes staring at that flashing cursor taunting me with the fact that my brain was blank. It’s weird whenever all you want to do is write but you can’t actually decide what to write. Continue reading “How Well Do You Know Me?”

Posted in Friday Favourites

Friday Favourites: Katie

It sounds a bit silly but it feels like all I’ve done recently is write book reviews or My Dream (insert room here) posts, or I’ve taken a massive blogging break since starting work and that is killing me, and so when I sat down to write this week’s Friday Favourite (not on a Friday, again, sorry) it was actually a relief to be doing something slightly different. So shall we find out who this week’s favourite blogger is? Well okay it was kinda given away above but shh…

Continue reading “Friday Favourites: Katie”

Posted in Lifestyle

Looking Forward

Hey there everyone! I’m actually a little in shock at how fast Monday has come again, even with all the things going on here at the minute! I’m down into the last 10 days of living in this flat and it’s full steam ahead with getting ready to head home for the summer.

 Leaves in sun

Exams are now over, and while I had hoped to be able to dedicate more time to you all here, on Twitter, and on Instagram, I’ve found myself meeting up with friends, catching up on some much needed sleep, cleaning, packing, and just generally lying on my bed staring at the ceiling wondering how I ended up there again – seriously, it’s like a magnet that just pulls you towards it!

 

However, I have my annual boat trip home soon so I’m sure I’ll get some posts written up and maybe watch a few films on Netflix during that journey. I’ve already started my last few My Dream Flat posts and can’t wait to share them with you! Actually, one would’ve gone live today if my laptop hadn’t randomly restarted and wiped everything I’d been writing last night. Major eye roll. Can’t trust technology these days!

 

One thing I’ve found myself thinking more and more over the last few days is that I am ready for change. A change of flat, change of scene, maybe even change of hair! That one will take a little longer to persuade myself to do. My most recent thoughts on this are would I suit a proper fringe in a sort of Rebel Wilson kind of style? Do I change the colour again? Who knows, to be honest I’ll probably sit down in the chair and get the usual trim before skipping off again. But there I go getting off topic again oh so easily. Change. Yes. I’m getting very good at the whole talking about doing something but never actually doing it, and that’s beginning to bug me. Even I don’t believe myself anymore when I say I’m going to do something, so why should anyone else?

 

Truth be told, the change I’m most excited for is the change from university life to actual work, even if it is a few years off. Okay yes the holidays are less fun to try and deal with – when else am I ever going to have a 4 month summer? – but there’s a certain structure to working life that I feel I’m lacking at the minute, and even a part time job will probably be the same. As the days pass by faster and faster, I’m certainly not wishing my life away – those real life adult responsibilities are getting too close for my liking – but I am beginning to think about the future a little more now.

 

But I should really get out of bed now and get back to boxing up my bedroom. There’s stuff to be packed, furniture to be dusted and given a good clean, and then there’s the rest of the day to organise too. I wonder if anyone is up for doing something today… Might see who’s around and if they want to go on an adventure! I would actually love to go to Forfar and take a walk around the Loch but it’s a nightmare trying to get there by bus by the looks of things. Too many changes and it really doesn’t look like it would be worth the hassle weather-wise, or the money. I mean, £35 for a return ticket? I know a tank of petrol costs more but at least in a car I would be comfortable!

 

So instead, I’ll probably spend today getting more things packed, put on a couple of washes, and just have another day in the flat.

 

 

What are you up to today?

 

Ktkinnes signature

Posted in Tags

This Time Next Year: Take 2

Hi again everyone! How are you all doing at the minute? Now, some of you may remember I did this tag as part of my Blogmas 2016 series but I feel I didn’t give it my all. So when both Jordanne (The Life of a Glasgow Girl) and Jordan (Sweets and Mascara) tagged me in this (in her defence, Jordanne tagged me back in January and I finally got round to writing it last night) I jumped at the idea. Thank you girls!

 

What are the rules? I hear you asking – well let me get to them now!

 

The rules:

  • Thank the person who tagged you.
  • Set yourself goals for the next year.
  • Write how you’re going to achieve these goals.
  • Tag at least 5 of your blogger friends to do this tag
  • In 365 days write a post reflecting on your goals and what you achieved.

 

So part one is completed! Now to think of my goals…

 

  1. This time next year…. I will be happy being me.
    I’ve spent so many years trying to change myself in the hopes of feeling better about me. So I’m going to spend the next 365 days learning to love me for me, and accepting my ‘quirks’.
  2. This time next year… I will be finishing up my undergraduate degree and getting ready for a postgrad!
    I’m going to throw my heart and soul and every little bit of motivation I can scrape up into passing my exams and doing well over the next 365 days at university. Becoming a teacher has always been my dream but now I’m the only one standing in my way!
  3. This time next year… I will be more organised in my blogging.
    I’m going to start properly planning my posts, get pictures taken in advance, and remember to actually promote my own work!
  4. This time next year… I will have rediscovered my love for music.
    I used to love music and over the last few years I’ve let it slide. So over the next 365 days I will get back into playing either piano or guitar. Who knows, maybe I’ll start singing properly again??

 

 

And now onto the tagging! I would like to tag:

 

  1. Annaleid
  2. Cassidy
  3. Tiffany
  4. Chelsea
  5. Claire

 

Now just to remember to write an update in a year’s time! Enjoy girls xx

 

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