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

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Posted in Lifestyle

Uni and Blogging

For so many of us, there’s that constant choice between university stuff and taking time out for our blog. I mean, I planned to have this post written on Sunday so I could focus on university this week, but I spent so long doing university work that I ended up not getting to spend as much time blogging as I would’ve liked. Sound familiar?

 

Everyone makes promises to themselves that as of the new academic year we will do our best with our workload, and try and keep to the blogging pattern we’ve fallen into over the summer. In fact, it may take me another 3 months to figure out how frequently to post! Honestly. Did a blogging challenge last month and had amazing stats (well, amazing for me anyway, I’m no big blogger) and then this week hits and I’ve noticed a decrease. Is it because everyone’s back to university and school now? Or has my writing actually just gone downhill recently? By the way, these are rhetorical questions.

 

Also, I must apologise, my wifi is misbehaving tonight and the GRLPOWR girls and I are trying to organise Christmas on the account – exciting times ahead so make sure you’re following us on @GRLPOWRCHAT!

 

But yes, I’m getting distracted. As is often the case when blogging. It’s a hobby, somewhere to relax and something to do to pass time, which is why – for me – it’s important to keep it up while back at university. But the struggle of balance is hard.

 

It’s important to find that balance. You don’t want to risk grades dropping, nor do you want to lose any followers or stats. I mean, here I am on my 5th day in a row posting and I’ve got a planned break tomorrow, but I couldn’t not post today otherwise I’d have ruined my posting streak. See what I mean?

 

It’s for this reason that blogging is now what I do just before sleep. I’m really trying this year with university, doing all the extra work and making sure I know everything I’m being told. We’ll see if it’s made any difference come Christmas exams. Even today, hungover as I was from the GULGBTQ+ Launch Night last night, I dragged my rather sleepy and nauseous backside to my lectures and I actually felt better having been to them. I wasn’t lying moping in bed. Instead, I got a good walk, I saw friends who really should’ve been equally as hungover as me, and I felt if I had achieved that then I could achieve anything today!

 

So, while this isn’t a great post on how to juggle the two (yet), I hope you understand now why I may disappear every now and again, and if I don’t make a 9am post I will try and get one up asap.

 

But yes, advice. All I can advise is have a bit of a routine when it comes to how many hours of university work you have to do before you can blog, and keep a diary or planner of what’s happening when so that you can try and move things around better if you need to change plans last minute. I also find it helpful to always have one spare post saved as a draft for if I’ve forgotten to write one or haven’t had time to write the planned one for that day.

 

Now, if you’ll excuse me, there are several blogmas posts needing written!

Ktkinnes xx

Posted in Lifestyle

21st

Hi everyone! Sorry to have to try picking your brains but I decided to come and ask you a question.
For the last few weeks, Mum and Dad have been asking what I would like for my birthday. I’ve given them a few hints, such as a charm bracelet or a pearl necklace (these are both things I’ve wanted for years but never asked for until now) but they’ve decided they don’t like my suggestions. I half-jokingly asked for tickets to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by myself and they seemed to consider this on the condition I got myself to London and found myself somewhere to stay, but, since she’s continued to ask me for ideas, I don’t think they want to get me the tickets. 
So my question to you lovely friends is – what should I ask for? I don’t know their price range but nothing too expensive – we tend to go for about £100 maximum, sometimes more if there’s something we desperately want or need. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated! Comment below, tweet me, or email katiekinnes@msn.com!
Ktkinnes xx

Posted in Lifestyle

Okay, I’m Angry

Maybe angry is a bit strong but I can’t currently think of the right word and so it’ll stay as ‘angry’.

Anyone who’s been following my blog and twitter recently will be aware of the fact that I’m currently preparing a plan B for when (possibly if) I fail these resits and don’t make it back into university. Having come out of the 4th paper this morning, I decided to do the smart thing and look at full time jobs in Glasgow, college courses, and anything else I might be able to do instead of continuing along my current academic path. Now, I’m aware this isn’t giving you the reason why I’m angry but that bit of background knowledge was important to put in before I move to the main point of this post.

 

I did the usual, log in to the laptop, open up chrome, and search ‘jobs Glasgow’. This took me to indeed.co.uk where I set my preferences and started opening the links to see what I could apply for. The very first link was for Silverbean Coffee. I’ll share the ad with you here actually, sorry for the bad quality photo:


 Did you see it? The reason I’m so annoyed? No? Let me help you. Take a look at ‘Required Education’. Can someone please explain to me why it is necessary for me to have a bachelor’s degree to be able to make cups of coffee?? I mean, yes okay the coffee I made for myself yesterday wasn’t all that great but doesn’t mean I need a degree to be able to make coffee!!
Sorry, calming down a little now. I just don’t appreciate the fact that there are 16 year olds in this country who would do anything to get a part time or full time job, depending on where they are academically. Nowadays you can’t get anywhere without experience but you can’t get the experience because companies do things like this and block a lot of people from even considering applying.

Part of the reason I am so wound up about this is the implication that my £6750 a year course is only good enough to get me into a job at a coffee shop – God help me if I want an actual Grad job!

 

I’m still going to apply for it. I’ll let you know if I hear from them with a rejection or an interview but one thing is definite, if I’m lucky enough to get an interview for this position I will ask them why they feel the need to exclude those of us without a degree. I’ve also sent them an enquiry as to why this is their only listed requirement:


 

Have you been in a similar position or seem something equally as infuriating? Let me know!

 

Ktkinnes xx

Posted in Life, Lifestyle

Well then

So this is a last minute post and I’m not sure how I feel about sharing it yet as I’m still forming my thoughts but then I remembered that that was one of the reasons I started blogging – to talk through my thoughts and ideas and possibly (hopefully) receive feedback from you lovely people. All I’ll say is please forgive me for the lack of continuity as my brain bounces from one thought to the next.
In the next 48 hours, I have exams 3 and 4 of my 5 resists. I’ve done the revision, I’ve completed past papers and tutorial questions and all the stuff you’re meant to do to prepare for an exam. And then today I hit the wall. You know the wall, don’t you? That one that sits there and you physically cannot break through it to continue. 

I woke up this morning asking myself why I was still trying. Yes, okay, today’s a bad day for a number of reasons that I can’t get into right now without crying and starting a pity party. You shouldn’t listen to your mind on a bad day, right? Except today isn’t the first I’ve felt like this. 

Ever since last week’s disastrous Physics paper, I’ve been seriously thinking about just leaving university. Unguided learning just isn’t for me. I’ve admitted that to myself in the last few days. I lack the motivation to complete simple homeworks. I struggle to persuade myself to get out of bed regardless of how much sleep I’ve had. There’s a complete lack of routine in my life and therefore no structure. Now, I know I’m the one who can fix that but I don’t think university is right for me.

I’ve been proud of myself for being at university. My cousins either didn’t go or dropped out quickly and I was always proud of myself for even just making it to second year. But I didn’t feel like I wanted to be here for any reason other than it’s what was expected of me. Yes, I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. But I’m not sure now that I do. To be honest I don’t have a clue what I want to do with my life. I’m 4 weeks off my 21st birthday and I still feel like the 13 year old who’s floating along as if she hasn’t any responsibilities. 

But I know tomorrow’s exam won’t go at all well. Even having gone to lectures and studied for ages last exam diet, I got a G2. To be honest, that’s better than I remembered. Could’ve sworn I got an H2 but there it is in black and white for you.


Seeing my grades displayed like that, surely you can now see for yourself why I’m considering just dropping out of university. 
To be honest, I’m even considering not showing up to tomorrow’s exam… Or Friday’s for that matter. But I know that would be stupid. Do I email my adviser and ask to meet him in the morning and explain to him how I’ve spent the entire summer revising but I know it’s not going to have made any difference? Do I tell him that I just want out but can’t face telling my parents that I dropped out? Yes. The truth is I would rather be kicked out of university than tell my parents I chose to walk out. It’s not like they’re paying for me to be here or helping me in any way. Apart from paying my phone bill and feeding me when I’m home, I’ve been completely financially independent since I started university in 2014. Big wow I hear you guys say, that was using a student loan and a maintenance loan. Those need paid back the minute I start earning. But if I can get a full time job and earn roughly £500 a month, I’d be pretty much where I am now. That’s 75 hours a month so not even 20 hours a week at minimum wage. That’s reasonable, right? 
To be honest, I don’t know why I’m asking these questions. You know as well as I do that I’ll go in tomorrow and Friday and sit those exams. I know I’ll fail them, you may have more faith in me but I’ve given up hope. Friday morning at 11:30 I will be beginning to look at full time jobs here in Glasgow. Who knows, maybe when I’m working I’ll be more involved in my blog. And maybe then I’ll be happier.
I don’t even know what I’ve said in this post, I’m just going to hit post and hope that you guys can give me some advice. If you don’t want to comment below, find me on Twitter (@kvburton657) or email me at katiekinnes@msn.com.
Thanks
Ktkinnes xx

Posted in Life

10 Things I Wish I’d Known At The Start

Having had a few days of not a lot of blogging, I decided to make a list of the 10 things I wish I’d known at the start of blogging.

  1. Twitter is your friend. There are so many amazing bloggers out there who can support you in every little thing. Sometimes you find these amazing people completely accidentally and find yourself getting really excited when they simply like one of your posts – this person is the one you owe a lot to. Be their friend and support them back in whatever way you can.
  2. It’s okay to not post daily. I struggle to actually post daily, sometimes I remember to schedule posts, other times I’m so far behind posting that I feel guilty for not being online 24/7. This guilt is completely unjustified.
  3. You don’t need to have a specific genre of a blog. Yes, it’s great to be so invested in a specific type of blogging but this doesn’t mean you can’t diversify and cover a wide range of things! Take a look at me, I review things, post ramblings, and rarely ever branch into fashion or beauty. I suppose you could say that I do have a genre then, but it’s an open one – one in which I can be as diverse as I want!
  4. Followers will stay if you disappear for a while. Everyone needs time off. I took a year away from the blog and came back to still find I had followers! This was great motivation to continue.
  5. Your statistics will fluctuate a lot, unless of course you’re a professional blogger, and this is 100% okay. Even last week, I went from 59 views one day, to 6 a few later. 
  6. Scheduling Tweets makes life so much easier. Got a post that didn’t get as much attention as you think it deserved? Get it back out there! I use Hootsuite and its so easy to use. You should consider it!
  7. Try and have your photos preprepared for any posts that might need them. Pictures really liven up your blog and so having them handy is always a help.
  8. If you’ve got a list of blogging ideas, you don’t need to worry about writers block. I try and keep a list on either my phone or laptop as these are the 2 things I have near me when blogging. 
  9. Join as many chats and groups as possible, through whatever platforms you can! There are always great people out there to give advice on anything and everything blog related. 
  10. Blogging is addictive. Once you get the bug for it, it takes over a lot! So enjoy it and always hold onto the reasons why you started blogging. 

Any other advice? Good luck to anyone just starting out!
Ktkinnes xx

Posted in Lifestyle

5 things I learnt at university

As I’m finished my second year, I thought I would give you some advice on things I learnt at university. Two years out of a possibly 4 year degree, you’d like to think I’d learnt more than just 5 things. You would be right, but here’s the five that were important to me.

  1. Sleep is really important if you don’t want to spend your entire time in bed sick. I don’t mean it’s okay to skip uni to catch up on sleep though!
  2. Not everyone comes to university knowing how to cook and clean. Someone told me off in halls for bleaching the sink because they didn’t ‘want to eat off plates that have been in a bleached sink’. Sorry darling but ask your mother how she cleaned your kitchen sink at home.
  3. If you have a small problem with someone, speak to them about it. I know 2 people who didn’t get on at all for the first semester and so after Christmas they sat down to talk about what was annoying them. They ended up best friends by the end of the second semester.
  4. Try everything at least once. Clubs and societies are a great laugh and there are so many to choose from! Why limit yourself to only 3 from the start?
  5. There’s nothing wrong with leaving a club early and getting the good food from the kebab shop on your way home. You’ll certainly feel more alive the next day!

So there you have it. I could’ve continued, but I’ll save that for another day.
Ktkinnes xx

Posted in Lifestyle

Honestly….

Honestly, today hasn’t been the productive day I was hoping for. If you’ve been following my blog or Twitter recently, you may have noticed that I have resits coming up. These resits decide whether or not I get to continue university and become a teacher – the one thing I’ve thought about for years. And yet, here I am with absolutely no motivation to revise or be proactive about it. In fact, the only thing I can build up the energy to do today is eat, watch Netflix or blog. None of these are what I’d planned.
I came back to the flat last night and the place needs a good clean. Then again, what do you expect when the people living in it are in work during the day and crash into bed the minute they come back? When I saw it last night, my immediate thought was “right, I’ll clean first thing in the morning”. Still hasn’t happened. 

I wanted to blast through my notes for Wednesday’s exam so that I can dedicate my time tomorrow to Tuesday’s paper. The notes are in front of me but I can’t get past the first page. Hell I can’t even bring myself to read The Cursed Child which arrived today in the post! What sort of Harry Potter fan am I?
The final, and probably biggest, disappointment is that I want to be healthier. I want to look at chocolate and crisps and takeaway and say “no, I’m not having that” but instead I’ve binged out and already ordered dominos for 6pm today. Is this just because I’m having a lazy day or is it I’m simply a lazy person?
I think it has to be the latter unfortunately. I’ve always known I lack the get up and go gene that my sister has but I’ve never really accepted it. I’ve found myself today looking around my bedroom in the flat thinking about how to personalise it and make it somewhere I actually want to live. All of this probably isn’t helped by the fact it’s cold and grey outside when all I can think about is the heat and sun of Ibiza, my mind going back to this time last week. 
If you have any advice on what to do or how to sort my life out, I’d really appreciate your help. Anything is better than sitting here wallowing in self pity for a situation I’ve got myself into.
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 holiday, Lifestyle, TV

Holiday thoughts

Once again, my mind has been drawn to the upcoming holiday to Ibiza however today I haven’t been as excited as in previous years.

ibiza-clubs-map
Map courtesy of http://www.keyword-suggestions.com/aWJpemEgbWFw/

Looking on TripAdvisor for the hotel (link included), I’m beginning to be a little apprehensive about booking half board. According to the recent reviews, not enough diners were staying for dinner and so the dining room has been closed and meals are being served from the restricted Pool Bar menu… Not what you’d expect for over 30 euros per person per night! Fingers crossed this isn’t the case with us. Another thing is no one here seems excited. It may be down to the fact we still have our ever present house guest of my uncle, but part of me feels it may be more than that. Any ideas on how to pick up the mood?

 

To distract myself from the lack of holiday spirit, I decided to go back and repack my hand luggage. What I really can’t decide is whether or not to take my laptop… If I take it, I can watch DVDs on the plane. However, I don’t think I would use it any other time. So what do you think? I tend to blog from my phone so that’s not really a problem, and I’d be leaving it in the safe during the day. Let me know what you think!

 

Now, before I go away, I must finish Season 5 of Scandal before we go. Being on episode 15, that shouldn’t be too hard! Last year was 24, the year before was Orange is the New Black  – there’s always some TV show I’m trying to finish before we go! What’s on your summer watch list?

 

Speak soon!

 

Ktkinnes xx