Posted in 30 Days of Gratitude Challenge, Lifestyle

Day 24 – Seasons

What is your favourite season and why?


Okay so firstly I’m going to apologise because I wrote this actually on the 24th but for whatever reason it never saved as either scheduled or published so now it’s late and I have to try and remember what I put here. Actually, anyone who has me on snapchat (which of course you all should – lifewktkinnes) will have seen me starting work on this post the other day!

Picking a favourite season is hard! I have different reasons for loving all four seasons and so I’m going to list them all below. Isn’t that what the gratitude challenge was about, taking time out to be grateful for things? So without further delay, may I present ‘The Four Seasons, and Why I Love Them’.

 

Spring. The birds start arriving home again, there’s a freshness in the air as everything begins to come back to life, trees begin to bud again and the weather, generally, is getting warmer. Days start getting slightly longer, Easter holidays and all the chocolate that comes with that! I say the weather is generally getting warmer as those two pictures are of the same part of Lisburn Train Station, taken just one week apart in March a few years back. Everyone starts to look towards summer and plan holidays, and lectures end to make way for exams then the summer holidays so there’s always plenty of time to sleep! As long as you revise when you aren’t sleeping of course. I’m particularly looking forward to spring 2017 because Rachel and I are flying off to Lanzarote for a few nights away together!

 

1baa1t
Beach in Ibiza, photo courtesy of Dad

Ah summer… the hottest time of the year! Unless you live in Scotland or Northern Ireland. Then summer is essentially just one or two days, and if the temperature goes above 17 degrees for 3 consecutive days we call it a heat wave. But this is the time of the year that we all go crazy for the sun and heat! Girls can walk around in shorts or dresses without worrying about tights, beachwear in your back garden becomes totally acceptable, you can lie around all day and no one will judge you if there’s sun in the sky! Family barbecues and road trips to the coast take up a lot of the holiday, and there’s plenty of time to relax, given that for most university students, summer is 16 weeks long! Unless of course you have resits… but even then it’s a chance to see your university friends any time! The days are long, people generally feel happier anyway, there seems to be a never ending supply of ice cream and ice lollies around, and of course the cocktails come out! Can never say no to a mojito, especially during the summer.

1baacg

Ah Autumn… What isn’t there to love? I’ve actually seen quite a few posts over the last week on why people love autumn and the trend seems to be the same.

The colours begin to change to that of a warm fire. Trees everywhere become even more majestic in this stage, before shedding their leaves for us to jump in. There’s a slightly colder feel to the air, you know winter’s coming. Out come the comfy jumpers, the boots, and the jeans. Girls everywhere seem to embrace the fact that legs are now to be hidden for the next few months and the razor can have a bit of a break! Starbucks brings in the autumnal drinks – please don’t hate me but I’m not actually a fan of Starbucks – and everyone everywhere starts carrying a thermos of coffee or tea around. Our thick fluffy scarves make an appearance once again and we embrace our darker eye shadow and lipsticks. All this is before you take into account that schools and universities start back and so it’s the return of routine! An excuse to see your friends daily, what more could you ask for? Well I suppose it does help that my birthday is also in autumn! October hits and the shops fill with a mix of halloween and christmas decorations – what more do you need for a shopping spree? Halloween arrives with the excuse to welcome back your inner child and dress up with as much or as little makeup you want – whatever is scarier! Only a few days later and there’s Bonfire Night – a night that I both love and hate. While the loud bangs and whizzes of the fireworks terrifies me, I adore watching their bright lights illuminate the dark sky. The smell of the toffee apples and candyfloss, as well as writing your name in the air with sparklers… There’s nothing I love more than wrapping up in my thermals, hat, scarf and gloves, and going with friends to watch these spectacular lights, surrounded by little children with faces lit up in wonder. And as November draws to an end, we approach the most wonderful time of the year…
1baagy

Winter kicks off with the best celebration of the year. Yes there are exams to contend with, but they don’t overshadow the excitement of Christmas. December 1st, the tree goes up and all the decorations come out of there boxes. Roads and houses are lit up in technicolor and children everywhere begin writing their letters to Santa. Everywhere is playing Christmas music, the air is cold, and there’s a general sense of excitement in shopping centres – hidden well behind the aggravated faces of parents who just want to get their shopping done and get home. Mulled wine and hot chocolates, Christmas Markets attract people of all ages and nationalities as we all prepare to celebrate together. Fires are lit, and 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. Once Christmas ends, we all welcome in the new year with resolutions and parties! Once these are done, however, there’s the realisation that there’s another 358 days until the celebreations come around again and we have two of the longest, darkest, coldest months in our year. While February is technically the shortest month, it does seem to drag a little.

 

 

In conclusion, I would have to say that Autumn is my favourite season! Only because Christmas isn’t a season… Only 87 sleeps!

 

Ktkinnes xx

Advertisements
Posted in 30 Days of Gratitude Challenge, Lifestyle

Day 13 – The Gift

Now this one is difficult to write. I recently had my 21st birthday and received so many incredibly thoughtful and meaningful presents from friends and family! For this post, I’ve to talk about a gift that I cherish and why – but it’s so hard to pick just one!

 

Not going to lie, my friends bought me an amazing gift this year – one I will have forever. They got me a personalised calendar with pictures of us and other friends in it, as well as a picture of things I like. Of course, their names are on it in prime positions, but it just goes to show that they know what they mean to me. It’s going to be something I’ll always have, and I’ll definitely always remember who gave it to me!

 

Ktkinnes xxx

 

Posted in Book reviews, Lifestyle

22 Books to Read Before I’m 22

Hello again! I’m trying to get back to blogging and, to do so, I wanted to post something I would enjoy writing. I will try to get back to the blogging challenge, I promise I will try. But for now, here are the 22 books I hope to read before my 22nd birthday – only 354 days to go!

 

  1. Les Miserables by
  2. The Thirty-Nine Steps by Richard Hannay
  3. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
  4. According to Yes – Dawn French
  5. The Colour Purple
  6. The Great Gatsby
  7. Life After Life – Kate Atkinson
  8. The Danish Girl
  9. The Casual Vacancy
  10. Before I Go To Sleep
  11. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
  12. A Brief History of Time
  13. Jane Eyre
  14. The Book Thief
  15. Animal Farm
  16. Peter Pan
  17. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
  18. Bridge to Teribithia
  19. Angela’s Ashes
  20. Poirot’s Last Case
  21. Me Before You
  22. The Well of Loneliness

 

What would you out on your list?

 

Ktkinnes xx

Posted in Lifestyle

Rachel’s presents

Wow okay sorry this is late! As you may have noticed, I kind of stopped blogging last Friday after my birthday before trying again on Thursday. Unfortunately I’m just in a slump where even though I know what I want to write, I just can’t make myself sit down and write it. Sunday (yesterday) was my sister’s 18th birthday and so I went all out. Check out the planning post here!

As my friends have learnt, I love putting thought and effort into birthday presents and so I started with the intention of buying her 18 presents that would all be given to over the course of the day. Unfortunately this would include starting super early so instead I decided to give them all to her in one go.

In the end, I managed to buy all 18 presents and numbered them for giving them to her! So here they all are, listed and shown below. Technically it’s 19 presents but shhh…. These aren’t in the order she opened them in by the way, I forgot to make a note of what was what.

a travel toothbrush
A travel washbag and miniature bottles
A book on how to adult
A CD containing the top songs the year she was born
Travel adaptors – now she can stop stealing mine!
A passport wallet for her travels
A travel wallet for her boarding passes
Her favourite chocolates
Soap and Glory Birthday Set – her favourite stuff
An 18th birthday survival kit
The makeup brushes she’s had her eye on for months – Real Techniques
A shopper so she always has a bag handy
A small set of eyeshadows – she asked for eyeshadow but I don’t think these are what she wanted
A Smuggle your booze umbrella hipflask – perfect for that night out!
A percy pig cup with straw – she loves Percy Pig, and has recently become obsessed with only drinking through a straw
A Swarovski crystal statue of Tinkerbell – After Dumbo, Tink is Rachel’s favourite
A scrapbook for her to keep the cards and photos from her birthday weekend
A real leather hand luggage case – not what she asked for but I’d bought it before she specified what she would like…  Whoops!

The final present was that I am taking her away on a mini break to Lanzarote in March, just the two of us, to an all inclusive adults only hotel. I’m actually so excited to get away – here’s the hotel we’re going to!

 

What do you think?

 

Ktkinnes xx

Posted in Lifestyle

My pre-21 bucket list

Okay so I’m slightly panicked now as 2 weeks today is my 21st birthday and I just don’t feel old enough to be 21. Don’t get me wrong, 21 isn’t old. But it feels it to me. It’s the oldest I’ve ever been! Obviously, Katie, it’s a celebration of surviving your 21st year on this planet…

With only 2 weeks to go, I thought I’d have a sit down and decide what things I want to have achieved by my 21st birthday. Now, remembering I only have 2 weeks to do this, I set to work on creating this list:

  • Read a classic. Any classic whatsoever. 
  • Get rid of all unnecessary/unwanted clothes.
  • Finish Rachel’s birthday present.
  • Light the candles in my bedroom at least once.
  • Apply for at least 20 jobs in Glasgow.
  • Catch up with Pretty Little Liars.
  • Sort my makeup etc and have a clear out.

What do you think, can I achieve all this? 
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

Sister’s 18th Birthday

Rachel, if you are reading this, stop reading now! 

Otherwise you’ll ruin your surprise!

 

 

This September (2016) my younger sister turns 18 and I have never felt so old. Anyone who’s been reading this blog for a while knows of my love-hate relationship with Rachel but they also know I’d do anything for her. And now she’s turning 18, a legal adult. What on earth does that make me?!

 

A person’s 18th birthday is one they will remember for years to come. It’s special and so needs to be celebrated in such a way. My 18th birthday didn’t go the way I expected it to however it was one I will remember for a long long time, even if only for the wonderful cake Rachel baked me!

20130909_174607
Rachel with me on my 18th and the delicious cake she baked!

So, as I will be back in Glasgow for university (hopefully) on the day of her birthday and therefore won’t be baking her a cake, I have decided to go to town on her birthday present this year.

 

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I wanted to do an ’18 for 18′ themed present, i.e. 18 presents for her 18th; mainly 17 smaller presents and 1 main present. Now, Rachel used to be really easy to buy for. Even as children, I set myself a budget and tried to buy her as many things as possible that I knew she would like. This year, for some reason, it was more difficult. Finally, I settled on her 18 presents:

  1. A scrapbook of pictures and memories, something she can look back on for years to come.
  2. A book – Adulting: How To Become A Grown-up In 168 Easy(ish) Steps by Kelly Williams Brown.A lot of people recommended ‘Oh! The Places You’ll Go’ by Dr Seuss but I wasn’t too sure whether or not this would be a good idea.
  3. A C.D. – I’m going to make her a C.D. of 18 songs that mean either something to the 2 of us or to her. This way, she can put it on her phone or something and listen to it. Unfortunately, the car we borrow from our mum is that old there is still a cassette tape slot in place of a C.D. player, otherwise she could’ve put it in the car.
  4. A smuggle your booze umbrella. Pretty self-explainitory, every teenager loves alcohol and so this way she can take some with her pretty much anywhere!
  5. Alcohol – to go with the above. I’m thinking of getting her bacardi as I know she drinks it but should I buy her something different?
  6. Sweets. I saw recently a retro jar of sweets that I can customise the label on and so I’ll get them for her.
  7. Portable charger. Having been stuck walking home alone in the early hours of the morning through Glasgow city centre with no charge on my phone, I know how important these can be. Hopefully she’ll never have to experience a 2 hour walk home at negative 4 degrees Celcius in only a t-shirt!
  8. Soap and Glory Birthday Washes gift set. This holds a travel size shower gel and body lotion – perfect for present number 18! As she likes it and doesn’t use anything else, hopefully she’ll appreciate it.
  9. Pyjamas – a set to again go with present 18. Something cute and comfortable, that she’ll wear frequently.
  10. Earrings. Every 18 year old gets jewellery and, as it’s something I always buy her anyway, I want to get her a nice set of earrings that she’ll always have to remind her of her 18th birthday.
  11. Compulsory ’18th’ wine glass. While she doesn’t really drink wine, this is something I’ve always planned on buying her.
  12. A bikini – again, all will make sense with present 18. Also, everyone likes having a new bikini for the next holiday.
  13. A birthday survival kit in a tin. You can get these online and they look really cool! When it arrives I’ll post a picture of it.
  14. 18 pairs of either pants or socks. Something light and jokey for the lead up to the final presents.
  15. A passport wallet. I always envied anyone who had a passport wallet and so I’m going to buy one for Rachel.
  16. A holiday document wallet. This will have to match the passport wallet as usually the two are given together. It holds your boarding passes, extra money for at the airport, travel insurance etc. I recently got one because as a single traveller it’s always useful to have somewhere safe to keep everything together.
  17. A leather hand luggage bag. Now this is something she actually asked for and believe me it was difficult to trace. Well, not difficult to trace but they’re flipping expensive! So to find one that wasn’t over the top in price but still real leather and looking lovely. I found one on ebay for £35 and it looks great! I’ll post pictures of it with the final collection of presents.

 

My final present to Rachel will be tucked inside her birthday card, which she’ll of course be made to open last (Mum and Dad will be given that instruction). I have booked for the 2 of us to go on holiday to Lanzarote for 3 nights in March when she’s off school for half term. It’s an all inclusive weekend in the sun for the 2 of us to relax and enjoy ourselves. I’ll be flying back here to Northern Ireland for a night before we fly to Lanzarote for 3 nights and then back to school and lectures the next day. Do you think she’ll like it?

 

 

Let me know what you think, would you appreciate this sort of present?

 

Ktkinnes xx