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!

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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

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Posted in Lifestyle

Monday Musings


Do you like my photo for tonight’s post? I took it on our last morning in Ibiza last year, probably around 5am, overlooking the sea and the swimming pool. It’s hard to believe this time 5 weeks I’ll be back there!

Tonight’s thoughts are on work and jobs. Now, if you follow me on Twitter, you’ll have seen that I had a job interview back on 3rd June. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the job. However, last week I received a phone call asking me to an interview for TEPO Consultancy Belfast. The interview was the morning and…. I’m back for a second interview tomorrow! Well I think it’s tomorrow, the email said (and I quote) “…on being invited back to spend the day with us on 14 GIUG 16 alle 11;45…”

Now is it me or is that in a different language? Getting distracted, sorry. The main point in this was to ask, is it bad that I really don’t want to go for the second interview? I know nothing about the company, or the position I am applying for. It’s in an awkward place to get to. I don’t know if I should really be complaining, I mean a job is a job but really I could see this one far enough. Why can’t I just get work in a simple shop? 

After my interview today, I was walking back to the train station when my ankle gave way and I fell to the ground. Everyone around me carried on their daily business except for two homeless guys who immediately rushed over to help me to my feet, insisting I sit down until I’m sure I’m okay again. The worst part was, as I stood up, I realised I had no way of thanking these two men for their help. I had no cash on me, and there was nowhere nearby I could even offer to get them a coffee or soup from. Even now I feel horrible about it. If they’re still there in the morning then I’ll buy them a breakfast roll or something… Just a shame we don’t have a Gregg’s nearby, and none of the coffee shops offer a “pay it forward” system. Maybe that’s what I should do if I fail university, set up a small independent coffee shop that either offers a “pay it forward” scheme or a buy one give one free system. Would you go to an independent shop if they offered this? Let me know in the comments below!

Ktkinnes xx

Posted in Lifestyle

Secret thoughts shared

Good evening fellow bloggers and anyone else popping by to have a nosy at my blog 😊 I suppose it’s well and truly night time but then when am I ever following a schedule? My aim tonight had been to talk to you about tonight’s Twitter chat theme (writer’s block) however I missed the chat and so didn’t get to experience it. So instead tonight, I thought I’d share something slightly more personal with you all.
Last year, I gradually came out to my uni friends and while I’ve generally no memory of it I count this as a blessing. Everyone was relaxed about it, as you’d expect in a group of 17-21 year olds at uni! However a lot of the time, my sexuality bothers me a lot. For example, when in Paris I downloaded Tinder just to have a browse through the girls. Our waitress came over to give Jason his cheesecake and she happened to glance at my phone, leaving me feeling mortified that she’d seen what I was doing. Surely that isn’t normal?
Moving on to what I mainly wanted to say though, I have always dreamt of having kids. The idea of being a mum sounds perfect to me, heck I already know I would opt to be a stay at home mum if the opportunity was there. Now I know that it’s well and truly possible for me to have kids regardless of relationships, I still sometimes feel like the opportunity isn’t as open as it could be. Now before I go any further, this isn’t me saying I want kids now. I’m happy at uni and being young, I’m just talking about in the future. 
There’s fostering and there’s adopting of course, these are the most obvious options. However, here in the UK I’m more likely to be allowed to adopt as a single woman than I am if I was in a same sex relationship. A bit unfair, am I right? So then there’s the IVF option, which costs a mini fortune. Plus there’s the added stress of picking a number to be your kid’s biological dad. This is where my story really begins – it’s a brief one, promise!
A few weeks ago, I was sitting drinking with a few friends in our flat. It was a casual afternoon or evening and we were chatting about who knows what and somehow we ended up on the topic of me having kids and how I wasn’t sure if I’d ever actually have them even though I would love to. At this point, my two friends (both male) decided to announce they’d be happy to help with the IVF process by removing the picking a total stranger aspect. It sounds stupid but since then this idea has sort of stuck a bit. Not necessarily either of the two from that conversation but someone I know and trusted. Both guys said they’d be happy to have no part in the child’s life or whatever (I wouldn’t do that though, they’d be involved as much or as little as they wanted) and it’s just been in the back of my mind ever since. I know that right now I definitely couldn’t have a child. Couldn’t even think of it, even though so many people are getting engaged/married/pregnant at the minute! I even found myself trying to figure out how I’d bring the topic up with them again in 10 years or so if it came to that… From a lot of thinking, I know which of the two I would prefer (nothing against the other) but let’s face it, a lot can change in 10 years. All I know is I’m abnormally broody and felt I had to share it with someone!
Ktkinnes xx

Posted in Lifestyle

Monday’s review


Here is the promised update on the last week! It hasn’t been the most exciting so I’ll apologise in advance.
Monday saw me sit my last exam of this exam diet. Whilst it could’ve gone much much better, I didn’t care because I was free! We then spent half an hour at a Paws for Stress session in the union – people brought in their dogs for you to stroke and play with. They go around universities, care homes, hospitals and more. It was the perfect way to start summer! A few drinks later, we went out for dinner and then ended up at a friend’s flat party. It was Kelsey’s last day with us so we wanted to make the most of it!

Tuesday, I woke up to say goodbye to Kelsey, we’ll hopefully get to see her again soon! Just a case of saving up and getting organised. After she left, I went back to bed for a while before getting up and spending the day with a friend. We went for lunch, headed into town to go shopping and then ended up back at his for dinner and to watch Big. It was the perfect distraction to be honest! 


Wednesday, Jason and I went into town to collect our euros and do a bit of shopping for our holidays! Getting extremely excited now! 

Thursday, Mary and Nuala finished their exams before Nuala headed to London for a few days. I invited round another friend and the rest of us all had dinner together – a lovely homemade lasagne with salads and garlic bread. We then went on to watch Deadpool, definitely think you should watch it if you haven’t already!

The last few days though I’ve actually done very little. I went into town with Mary on Friday and have just spent the last few days moping around the flat, packing and tidying. One exciting thing from the last few days has to be my collab with Rach over at thelifeofaonesiewearer.wordpress.com – head to either of our posts for some advice on university life! 

But now I’m getting ready for bed. It’s an early start in the morning and I’m way too excited to sleep a full night. My toenails and finger nails are all painter, legs all nice and smooth, and the bags are sitting by the door!

My ugly feet are slightly less ugly with nail polish on!

Speak to you all soon when we get back!
Ktkinnes xx

Posted in Lifestyle

Easter day

Hello everyone 😊 normally by now I’ve written my Sunday review but unfortunately it’s a tad later this week. Also, it’s probably not going to cover the rest of the week, only the last 3 days!

Well it’s been a strange Easter weekend, I’ll give you that. Friday, we drove to the beautiful countryside of County Fermanagh and got lost trying to find Crom Estate so eventually gave up and found a pub. Met up with family from down this part of the country which was quite nice – actually saw my uncle for the first time in about 3 years! The night ended with a lovely meal in the chalet and just family time. 

Saturday we were up at the crack of dawn (some of us earlier than others thanks to a certain dog) to get ready to have coffee before a walk. Only 2 hours after we all got up, we were on our way to Castle Coole (not sure on spelling) for a walk around the lake. Of course, what with living in Northern Ireland, it was raining quite heavily for the majority of the walk. So we spent the afternoon playing board games and yet more talking. Saturday was rounded off with a lovely dinner in Café Merlot in Enniskillen where the most intriguing part of the menu was a fillet of cod served with beef bourguigon. Apparently it was lovely but I do wish I’d taken a picture for you!

Today, with the hour change, we had a bit of a lie in before taking a walk around a small bay just on the outskirts of Kesh. It was lovely since we haven’t been there in years but Rachel and I used to go quite frequently with our granny. Back to the chalet and time for lunch before once again we all piled into the car for a trip “down south” to the Republic of Ireland. Well we drove down through Pettigo, into Donegal, to Murvagh beach, a slight detour somewhere I can’t remember the name of, and finally into Belleek. I’m now sitting on the sofa bed after a decent Chinese takeaway at my aunt and uncle’s – too full to sleep!
So I think all in all it’s been a good time away. Yes I complain about having to spend time with family but at the same time it was good to see Peter, Linda and Sarah. But for now I’m going to have to try and sleep. Up early to clear out of the chalet, need to be out by 10am…
Good luck for the upcoming Monday!
 

Lovely day for a walk on the beach
 
Ktkinnes xxx

Posted in Lifestyle

Productive Monday mornings

  

It may be only just after 9am, but I feel like today will be a productive one. Awake at 7 this morning, I’ve so far stripped my bed and put a wash on and finally started on revision notes. An hour into the notes and I find myself asking why did I once again leave them so late? Of course this lead to quite a few philosophical thoughts and questions that seriously added to the procrastination…

  
A lot of us find it hard to get the motivation to do anything. I read an article on the BBC news a few weeks ago stating that we all have the same hours in a day as Beyoncé – questioning why there are some people who can succeed and achieve everything, and then the rest of us who struggle to even attempt our basic tasks for the day. While I can’t pretend to know the answer, I can share with you one or two thoughts on it. Firstly, Beyoncé is one of those people who has a team behind her, helping with everything as she goes along. This may sound like I’m making excuses but honestly if I had someone who could do my hair and makeup for me daily then I certainly wouldn’t be sitting in tea stained pjs with 3-day-old bed head. 

Secondly, she’s being paid to be productive. I know I’m not! I’ll allow arguments here that say if I was working in a job I’d be paid to be productive, or my education will pay off in the long run, however right at this moment in time I’m not making any money for being out of bed at 7.

Thirdly, she’s Beyoncé. Everyone has heard of her, knows who she is and what she stands for. I’m just that girl who talks more than is necessary and people try to avoid when at a party. And I’m 100% okay with that! Means I can put less effort in than others. 

  
So yes, in my attempt at having a productive morning, I have somehow ended up on WordPress, procrastinating and explaining why this is okay. Having already covered 3 lectures worth of notes, I’m quite happy to procrastinate. Might even have breakfast now… So it’s over to you, what makes a day a successful/productive day for you? Or the opposite, what makes you feel like you’ve had a relaxed or lazy day?
I suppose I should get back to work. These notes won’t write themselves. Have a great day everyone and stay positive! Remember, you don’t have to be as successful as Beyoncé to count as being productive.

  
Ktkinnes xxx

Posted in Lifestyle

Eugh. Sunday.

I love Sunday’s. The relaxation, the preparation for the week ahead, and the ever present desire to hide in bed for an eternity.

  
After a busy week of what felt like doing nothing, I’m exhausted. And I’ve somehow developed a cold. Monday was hectic, writing a presentation due in on Tuesday, and accompanied by a trip to the park. Tuesday then saw a day of shopping, spending money unnecessarily but it was fun. Wednesday came with a presentation in physics that I think went well, and then a fab night out with my new friends at lgbtq+. Thursday should’ve been a day of recovery except it was St. Patrick’s Day and so the drinking continued – the day ending with me attending my first ever ceilidh. Friday saw me tidying and beginning to get my life organised again before watching Freedom Writers, a fantastic film. My review can be found titled “Freedom Writers”. Saturday was super Saturday, 3 rugby matches and once again alcohol was consumed. With the cold I wasn’t drinking much and so it was fun to watch Nuala and Charlie get incredibly drunk.
I’m now currently in bed, dosed up with painkillers and cold and flu medicine, watching Criminal Minds and considering making a revision timetable. 37 days until the first exam!

  

Tonight’s plan is a quiet night in. Maybe a film with Mary. I’m heading home for a few weeks as of Tuesday so tomorrow will probably be spent packing along with meeting up with one of said lgbtq+ friends for coffee. Hopefully this week will be less hectic with a lot more sleep involved! Coughing stops me from sleeping…
Anyway, I’m going to go and pay attention to the tv. Remember, make the most of what’s left of your Sunday night freedom!
  

Ktkinnes xxx