Posted in Christmas, Lifestyle

Christmas Card Swap 2o17

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.

 

So yes. Here’s the link –> https://form.jotformeu.com/70667472294364 , and I look forward to hearing from you!

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

 

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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!

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Posted in Blogmas, Christmas, Lifestyle

The Big Day

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

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

Flashback!

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 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 – https://open.spotify.com/user/1173089764/playlist/1DcTiCc5l3suS9Meb6fFwk

 

  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

Posted in Blogmas, Book reviews, Christmas, Lifestyle

Reading At Christmas

Well, this weekend is definitely a busy one! And there’s only a week left until the Christmas Eve craziness! At this stage, today’s song is one of the few things lifting my head from the chaos of getting ready for the big day.

 

 

Today, I wanted to share my favourite Christmas reads with you. No matter how old I am, I love these stories and often read them in the early hours of Christmas Day when I can’t sleep because yes, I am a big child who still finds it hard to sleep before Christmas.

 

  1. How The Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr Seuss.
    Who couldn’t love this book?? Not only do I love the book, but I recently watched the film for the first time ever and can’t wait to join in when Cesca hosts the GRLPOWR movie night for it this coming Wednesday!
  2. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.
    Another classic tale that has had so many movie adaptations that I’ve lost count! It gets me thinking about Christmases past, present and future every year. Hopefully I’ll never be like Scrooge!
  3. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg.
    Actually, it was only when the film first came out that I realised this was a book first. Either way, the story of the little boy who struggles to believe in Santa is so reminiscent of growing up. Anyone else wish they still believed?
  4. The Snowman by Raymond Briggs.
    Just because there are no words does not mean this isn’t a fantastic book that takes me back to my childhood any time I flick through the pages!
  5. The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore.
    Yes, okay, technically this isn’t a story, it’s a poem, but then again who can have a Christmas without it? Can you?

 

What Christmas books do you simply have to read?

 

Ktkinnes xx

8 more sleeps!

Posted in Blogmas, Christmas, Lifestyle

Family Decorations

Does it scare you that we’re currently 9 sleeps away from Christmas Day? I’m so excited and yet scared at the same time! What am I meant to do with myself when Christmas is over? I never think about that until it’s too late. Almost makes me lose my Christmas spirit before we’ve even reached the top of it.

Day 16 of Blogmas brings us one of my all-time favourite songs and I genuinely will cry if someone insults it. Christmas just wouldn’t be the same if it wasn’t for Slade and Merry Christmas Everybody. Hope you enjoy listening today!

 

 

Today, I wanted to take you on a little tour of my family’s Christmas decorations, so I hope you enjoy them! I could only include some, however I will (hopefully) let you see them all soon!
 

 

Ktkinnes xxx

Posted in Blogmas, Christmas, Lifestyle

Christmas Tag

We’re so close to the big day now I can practically smell the turkey roasting in the oven! On this lovely 15th day of Blogmas, I thought I would do a Christmas Tag! However, before we get into it, we have to tick today’s song off the Christmas Countdown! Today’s song is Merry Christmas Everyone! When I was younger I didn’t realise the difference between this one and tomorrow’s but I feel like it’s important, especially when going through the nation’s favourite songs in the way of a countdown. It was only when getting the link I realised I’ve never actually seen the music video for this song before!

 

 

So yes, Christmas Tag. I’ve actually never done one of these before and I’m so excited to answer the questions. Have you ever done the Christmas Tag before? Let’s begin!

 

  1. What’s your favourite Christmas film?
    Wow this is a difficult first question! To be honest, I actually had to come back to this one. It was a lot more difficult than you would expect! It varies from year to year, although I have 2 films that I simply have to watch every Christmas no matter what. I refuse to choose between them! The first would be The Santa Clause starring Tim Allen – Charlie is an adorable child and I think all of us at some stage have wished our dad would become Santa magically so we could travel the world with him on Christmas Eve. My second choice is Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmas. I can’t remember how old I was when I first saw this, but it’s the one film I remember watching as a child. There’s something magical about combining Disney and Christmas, am I right?
  2. Have you ever had a White Christmas?
    Yes! When I was younger, and lived on the east coast of Scotland, we had so many White Christmases! Well, I say that, we only lived there for 5 years. I don’t really remember much about them, like I remember the odd fact. One story that we get reminded of frequently was one year my dad’s parents came across to spend Christmas with us. I would’ve been anything between the age of 3 and 8, and my Granda was taking great delight in winding us up on Christmas Eve – pretending he could hear Santa etc, you know the usual stuff to get kids excited and make them go to bed early. We got up the next day to find that Santa’s reindeer had left hoof prints and sleigh tracks in the snow on our driveway! We didn’t have a chimney or fireplace so we used to leave the door unlocked for Santa to come into the house. Turns out Granda had just used his walking stick to make the marks but it was the coolest thing ever!

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    Our house when we lived in Forfar – this picture was taken years after we moved out
  3. Where do you usually spend your holiday?
    Normally, we spend it in our house in Lisburn. There have been the few times we’ve been in my mum’s Mum’s house, just for simplicity when Dad has been involved in the church on Christmas Day, and then last year we spent the holiday’s at my aunt and uncle’s in Dundee! Rachel doesn’t like being away from home on Christmas Day as she feels it just isn’t the same.
  4. What’s your favourite Christmas song?
    Noooo! I refuse to answer this one. I can honestly say I don’t like “I Want A Hippopotamus for Christmas” however I love the rest of them! If I really had to pick one, I’d have to vote for ‘White Christmas’. It’s such a classic!
  5. Do you open any presents on Christmas Eve?
    No, we don’t do this. My parents always tried to keep it as only presents on Christmas Day. The only year we got to open a present on Christmas Eve was the year we got our Christmas jumpers! We were given them half an hour before we went to the midnight service at church. I’ve never been so excited! It was red and I loved it.
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  6. Can you name all of Santa’s Reindeer?
    Rudolph, Dasher, Prancer, Dancer, Comet, Donner, Vixen, Blitzen, and Cupid! Course I can, silly question 😛 I’m obsessed with Christmas!
  7. What holiday traditions are you most looking forward to this year?
    Since we’re at home again this year, I’m really looking forward to our standard routine! Christmas Eve morning is spent polishing cutlery, setting the table, cleaning the house, and preparing whatever food can be sorted the day before. We make sure the tree is lit all day and have Christmas music blaring through the house. Around lunch time, we all rush through the shower so we can get down to see Granny and go to the rugby club for drinks, nibbles, and music. The atmosphere is buzzing! Around 6pm we head home again for a slow cooked lasagne or something similar that can be left in the oven while we’re out. We wash up and then curl up on the sofas to watch It’s A Wonderful Life, before preparing to go to the midnight church service! To this day, even though we know the truth about Santa, Rachel and I are awake early and sit with each other until it’s acceptable to go wake Mum, Dad and Granny up to open presents! We have so many other traditions but this is what I missed last year with us being in Dundee. I can’t even really remember Christmas Eve last year, but it wasn’t right not having to clean and prepare for the day.
  8. Is your Christmas tree real or fake?
    Fake unfortunately. When I have my own house (not flat) I want to have a real tree and a fake one so I can have a themed tree and then a fun one! To be honest though, it doesn’t matter to me whether the tree is real or fake – as long as there is a tree!
  9. What is your all-time favourite food/sweet treat?
    At Christmas? Gotta be Christmas pudding! I know a lot of people will disagree but I adore it!

    xmas
    Rachel’s homemade Christmas Pudding
  10. Be honest: do you like giving gifts or receiving gifts better?
    I love giving gifts the most! It’s so much fun shopping and trying to think of what the other person would love to receive. Every year I go a little overboard, but if we can’t treat the people who’re always there for us then who can we treat?
  11. What is the best Christmas gift you’ve ever received?
    I actually have no idea… Is that bad?  In fact, I’m sitting here trying to remember what Christmas presents I’ve received in the past… I can’t even remember what I was given as a Secret Santa present back in first year of university! That’s quite shocking actually… However, one of my favourite Christmas presents ever was actually what Nuala got me for Secret Santa last year. It’s a mojito making tool! You can get yours here.

    mojito
    My Mojito Master – it’s actually brilliant!
  12. What would be your dream place to visit for the holiday season?
    Oooooh another tough one! I would love to visit somewhere cold where there is definitely snow on Christmas Day!
  13. Are you a pro-present wrapper or do you fail miserably?
    Hahahahahahahahaha I fail miserably every time! I’m the queen of sellotape when it comes to presents.
  14. Most memorable holiday moment?
    Two years ago, my Scottish cousins and my aunt and uncle travelled over to Belfast to spend Christmas with us. There were a few ‘incidents’ that made it a memorable time but one thing that will stick in my memory for quite a while is after dinner. We’ve always played games after dinner – our usual one being Tennis Elbow Foot. It’s an associated word game that’s been in the family for a long time (someone starts with a word then going clockwise you’ve to either say a word related to it or rhyming with it e.g. bat, cave, man, ban, forbid, disallow, allow, etc). There were 12 of us all playing, and after the amount of alcohol consumed, there were some very funny answers! It was also the last Christmas we had with Dad’s uncle Tom, so it stays with me a lot more.
  15. What made you realise the truth about Santa?
    My neighbour decided when I was 9 and Rachel was 6 that we needed to know the truth about Santa. It was crushing. I refused to accept it until I had left primary school though!
  16. Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? Do you stick to them?
    I always make them, but can rarely stick to them. I’m going to try really hard in 2017 though, I promise!
  17. What makes the holidays special for you?
    Just being able to spend time with family without the arguments. Everyone knows I love Christmas, but the main reason behind it is it’s the one time of year my parents tried to hide their arguments from us so we could enjoy the holidays. It’s just so magical, and I hope someday to be able to make it this magical for my children.

 

Ktkinnes xx