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 Blogmas, Christmas, Lifestyle

What’s on my shopping list?

Wow okay time is flying by now and we’re fast approaching the big event, yet my shopping list doesn’t seem to be getting any smaller. Anyone else with the same problem?

It’s for this reason that I start planning extremely early. In fact, the book I now use for jotting down blogging ideas used to be my presents book! During the year, if I thought of anything I could buy for anyone, I would write it down on their page in the book. Anything I had done would get highlighted so I couldn’t accidentally double up on presents.

 

But I’m getting sidetracked… again… Who’s ready for today’s Christmas Countdown song? Today we have Sleigh Ride – the original version without singing! Maybe something to leave on while you continue reading?

 

 

The images are lovely!

So, where was I? Oh yes, presents! I suppose it’s now safe to say I had Nuala for Secret Santa (since we exchanged presents back during our Christmas dinner), and I’ve now got a rough idea of what I’m buying everyone else.

 

Rachel has been asking for a mermaid tail blanket a lot recently, and with no one else in the family having a clue where to buy them or how I decided I would pick one up for her. I bought her this in purple and in the biggest size possible so it came to a total of £15. Now normally I would go all out on Rachel but this year I plan on keeping it simple so have bought her some Tinkerbell pyjamas.

 

Mum is always difficult as her birthday is exactly a week before Christmas. She dropped a few hints that she would appreciate some new pyjamas and so Rachel and I have got her some nice ones from Marks and Spencer. I would show you them, however Rachel is doing the purchasing and I am giving her money when I get home tonight!

 

Dad is another difficult person as he never actually gives you any help with suggestions. This year, we’re getting him hard soled slippers as these are the only type he wears and his current ones are wrecked. Again, we’ll put something with these, but he is banned from getting chocolates or sweets from us since his winter wardrobe seems to have come down from the attic about 3 sizes too small! In fact, maybe we should get him a new shirt that actually fits…

 

Granny H is always at ours or at least with us on Christmas Day and so for years Rachel and I have joined together to buy her a present. Like Mum, Granny’s birthday is in December so we tend to leave her Christmas present until after her birthday but this year we were prepared. Rachel went shopping with her to buy stuff for Mum, and Granny spotted a bag that she really liked so Rachel managed to sneak back and buy it.

 

Granny B is simple and yet difficult. You know those people who are happy with anything to the point that you don’t actually know what to buy them? Well we’re still struggling to think of something so please please please if you have any suggestions for an 85 year old woman then they would be greatly appreciated!

 

Nuala‘s secret santa present was a fruit infusing water bottle and an artist sketching set. Nuala’s brilliant at drawing or sketching or whatever you call it, and I would love to be able to showcase some of her artwork for you all sometime, but that’s why I went for these two.

 

Wow that’s a small present list this year. The past couple of years we’ve have my aunt, uncle and cousins with us so we’ve have another 5 people to buy for so this year looks a little strange. I have bought presents for Jordanne (and Leon) and Cesca but I went a little crazy and have actually forgotten what all I bought!

 

What’s on your present shopping list?

 

Ktkinnes xx

 

Posted in Lifestyle

What To Take To Uni – Part 3

The Food Edit

So this isn’t really a list of things to take with you, more things you should get when you arrive.

Everyone knows, student loans don’t last long when rent and bills are taken out of them! So it becomes important to have some basics in your cupboard and fridge, just so you can make everything taste a little better when money gets tight. Here’s my list of what you should get at the start of the year and try to keep topped up throughout!

  1. Pasta
  2. Rice
  3. Salt
  4. Pepper
  5. Chilli powder
  6. Cumin
  7. Mixed herbs
  8. Tomato purée
  9. Garlic
  10. Olive oil
  11. Tabasco sauce
  12. Stock cubes – vegetable, chicken and beef!
  13. Butter
  14. Lentils
  15. Teabags
  16. Coffee
  17. A tin of soup
  18. Chopped tomatoes or passatta

There you have it! Have I missed any of your essentials? Let me know below!!
Ktkinnes xx

Posted in Lifestyle

What to take to Uni

The Stationery Edition

Well, it’s that time of year again when teenagers across the country begin that mad search online to figure out what to take to university. If you’re anything like I was, you won’t care about the practical stuff like pots and pans, you’ll be as excited as I was about going stationery shopping! So before you begin to panic, I’ve made a brief list of my uni stationery essentials. Feel free to add anything I might’ve missed in the comments below!

  • Notebooks or file blocks. You’ve no idea how much paper you’ll go through between notes in lectures, revision notes, and making that all important shopping list to keep you within your budget.
  • Comfortable pens. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be writing a lot of notes at a fast pace and so pens that are comfy in your hands are a must. Of course this doesn’t mean they can’t be cute! 
  • Colouring pens/pencils can be useful for your revision notes, and they’re also great for the anti-stress colouring books you can get everywhere now.
  • Something to hold all these in. I personally used an old makeup bag, but just because you aren’t in primary school anymore doesn’t mean you can’t get a cute fluffy pencil case!
  • A usb stick or external hard drive. Whatever intranet system your university uses, you’ll want to have somewhere to store past papers and your lectures for easy access. I got a great external hard drive (2TB) from Amazon during some of their sales, but remember to shop around as often you can get great cheap stuff at the beginning of September.
  • Ring binders. I used one per subject as in Scotland we take 3 subjects for the first 2 years. A lot of people would recommend one per module or at least one per semester as there is a lot of information covered. Saying this, you may want dividers, I chose to just use post it notes. Which reminds me!
  • Post it notes are your new best friends. They work for everything.
  • A planner of some kind. I tried both the Palgrave student planner and the Pearson student planner, however I found a simple calendar worked for first year deadlines. Second year I invested in a magnetic whiteboard that I could write everything on!
  • Highlighters are helpful, even if it’s just for highlighting key dates in your planner. 
  • Drawing pins. The likelihood is your student accommodation will have a cork board of some kind so these are great for making it feel a little more homely.
  • Washi tape. Again, your student accommodation probably won’t let you hang things with blutac or pins as these can leave marks and cost you your deposit. If you’ve never used washi tape before, it’s like fancy duct tape that looks really pretty and doesn’t leave any marks.

Have I forgotten anything important? Or is there something you actually think isn’t important? Let me know below! And good luck for university!
Ktkinnes xx