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

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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

I blog because…

I’ve heard a few people on Twitter this week talking about #Iblogbecause… And I decided to write a post based on this hashtag.
When I started lifewithktkinnes, I never ever imagined having this many followers or being as invested in it as I now am. Starting out as a place to vent and share everything that was going through my head during a very confusing few months. I was blogging because I was beginning to figure out who I was and because I had no friends. 

If you’ve been around from the start, you’ll be aware that I took a seriously long break from blogging after I returned from that first holiday to Ibiza. I can’t even remember what I shared with you about that holiday… Probably a good thing as too many people know about my embarrassing experiment that happened that summer. I then picked up blogging again coming up to exams during first year at uni. I was getting ready to say goodbye to some amazing people before heading home to a family I knew I wouldn’t cope being with. In case you haven’t realised, I don’t really get along with my family all that well.
My blog then became an escape. A way to stay in touch with like-minded people who knew what I was experiencing. Suddenly I was back at university and I found myself going from 30 followers to almost 100 followers in a matter of months. Here I am with over 150! 
At this point, I was blogging because I enjoyed it. It’s a habit that I really enjoy indulging; the way a smoker enjoys that first cigarette after a transatlantic flight, I’m addicted to my blog. If I’m not posting, I’m on Twitter publicising posts or checking on my stats for the day. At this point I’d like to note that I read somewhere that you should only check stats once a week otherwise you’ll be disheartened and lose interest. This is actually the opposite to me. I see low statistics and find myself trying to think of ways to increase the traffic on my blog. I don’t want to do what some people do and spam you all with constant new posts, but I do want to share as much as possible with you! 
So to answer the question; I blog because I enjoy escaping into a community where I feel 100% comfortable being myself with little or no judgement for who that is.
Why do you blog?
Ktkinnes xx

Posted in Lifestyle

Trying again

Well today marks the first of the month and today a few other firsts. Bethany Jane (@adventureanx) and I were chatting on Twitter and have both decided that this is the month we are going to be successful in diets and exercise and all other aspects in our lives. Check out her blog over at Adventure and Anxiety and give her a follow! There’s always something great to read on her blog.But before we get ahead of ourselves, why don’t we look back at last month’s goals? 
Read one new book? Done! In fact, I read 3 and started a fourth! Still no reviews though, sorry. I really am so lazy at the minute, please forgive me.

Blog twice a week? Success! I’ve actually been quite in touch with my blogging this month, even if they haven’t been top quality posts.

Cook 2 new meals? Well I made a delicious Caribbean Pork dish at the beginning of the month, and then I forgot about this goal for the rest of the month… Sorry! 

So that 2 and a half, right? That’s not so bad! So this month’s goals are:
Read The Cursed Child. It arrived yesterday morning and I honestly can’t wait to start it.

Get to a place where I’m happy in myself. I’m not really sure what’s wrong with me at the minute but I need to take the time and figure out what’s going on in my head. So give this one some time.

Develop a healthier lifestyle. Preferably one that doesn’t include me sitting watching Netflix all day…

So there you have it! Do you think any of these will work? What’re your goals for the month?

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 Lifestyle, Sunday's Summary

Hello from The Island!

Hello my lovely friends! How are you all? If you haven’t already guessed – I’m in Ibiza!  Well I’m actually not there yet, I’m scheduling this post in case I get too tired and fall asleep without blogging tomorrow… But by the time you’re reading this I’ll be in Ibiza!

Unfortunately, I didn’t win the euromillions on Friday night so after 11 nights I will need to go back to Northern Ireland again. But enough of that, I’ve only just arrived and I plan on making the most of this holiday. So instead of boring you with why I want to stay, shall we have a look back at the last 7 days?

Sunday, Rachel returned from Romania and woke us all up around 4:30am when she arrived in with her McDonald’s cheeseburger and fries which she proceeded to eat in front of us, offering us a bite while we were still waking up. No thanks. To mark her return, and the final of Wimbledon, Granny H came up for dinner and a good night. We were fed and watered before settling down to watch TV – Dad watching the football, Mum and I watching Les Misérables. Could there have been a more perfect way to end the week? Oh! And I almost forgot, I actually managed to take part in the Teacup Club’s Twitter chat on Sunday! 

Monday, I did a bit of revision before going on a shopping spree in Boots for some last minute holiday purchases. Would you like to see a haul post from it? Monday was quite quiet. I can’t really remember it all that well to be honest! Can’t have been anything important.

Tuesday marked the 12th of July, something of a public holiday here in Northern Ireland. To celebrate the Battle of the Boyne, there are parades and marches and the like and so we made our way down to watch them for half an hour or so. We got a good walk though, and it was a lovely warm morning. Considering I have something against loud noises (always have, always will. Couldn’t even have windows open while someone was cutting the grass) half an hour was long enough for me to cope with the Lambeg drums and loud music. Rachel’s boyfriend and his mum came around for an all afternoon barbeque, even though the rain was pouring down, and it was actually a good day. 

On Wednesday we took a road trip up to the north coast, Portrush and Port Ballintrae, for a different afternoon. It turned out to be a glorious day, and we finished it by having dinner in the Ramore Wine Bar. 


Thursday was spent revising, cleaning, and packing. Rachel was at her boyfriend’s, and I ended up having an argument with Mum so sat in my room the majority of the night.

Friday I saw Granny B and said goodbye to her before the holiday. The rest of the day was taken up with making her a list of instructions for while she’s cat-and-dog-sitting, teaching Mum how to download podcasts, painting nails and collecting our travel money. 

Saturday, holiday spirit began to take over. The kitchen was cleaned, Rachel went to her first “day” of work (it was only 3 hours and she complained after that she was exhausted – come back to me when you’ve worked 3:30-11:30pm one night and been back in 6:30am-3:30pm the next morning). The afternoon was spent at Granny H’s house before she took us out for dinner at a little restaurant on the Lisburn Road. It was lovely but boy does she talk… I swear she didn’t shut up for longer than 30 seconds in the 6 and a half hours we were with her. We went home and I curled up in bed to watch The Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest. Love it.
And that brings you up to date! I’ll probably blog about our travels while we’re away so keep an eye out for my posts!
Hope the upcoming week is good to you all!
Ktkinnes xx

Posted in Lifestyle

Late night ponderings


Before I start, I just wanted to direct you towards my Twitter account (@kvburton657) where I am a lot more active at the minute, just in case any of you are missing me and wanting more of my ramblings! But yes, on with the post.

Once again I’m still awake in the early hours of the morning even though I promised myself an early night. Does it ever happen with you? Dinner was over before 8, I’d planned a movie night with friends and hoped to be in bed and asleep by midnight. Instead it was 12:30am when our friend left and I’m still awake. So here I am!
How do you get to sleep on those nights when it just seems impossible? Reading used to be my cure, however recently it hasn’t helped at all. Mary likes to fall asleep watching a film, but to me that seems impractical – you end up missing the film! Jason uses music, something I occasionally do but a lot of the time it makes things worse. I know the golden rule is to eat earlier and stay off my phone or away from screens but I’m a 20 year old student – these aren’t really options.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Ktkinnes xx