Posted in 30 Days of Gratitude Challenge, Lifestyle

Day 20 – Emotions

What brings you joy?

Rather than telling, I decided to show you. Enjoy my pictures!

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Posted in 30 Days of Gratitude Challenge, Lifestyle

Day 15 – The Trip

Haha okay so this one is really easy to pick. What is my most memorable trip and why? Obviously Ibiza!

 

The summer between finishing school and starting university, I went to Ibiza with my parents and my sister. We stayed in an adult’s only hotel and it was the first holiday in 8 or 9 years that we didn’t have Mum’s mum with us. Rachel was the youngest guest there and so we got a lot more attention than other guests – although I think her looks might’ve had something to do with that. It was the first holiday we went on that I actually felt 100% comfortable and like I could’ve stayed longer than our two weeks.

 

As a result, we went again the next two years! However, they have seriously upped the prices due to a recent refurbishment – who pays over £2000 per person for two weeks half board? I can cruise for less than that. It upsets me that I won’t be able to go back next summer, we’ve made some real friends in the staff there, never mind some of the other guests. If you have the money, I would seriously recommend Sol Beach House Ibiza, however I won’t be back for quite some time now due to the sudden increase in price.

 

Ktkinnes xx

Posted in Films, Life

My Must Sees

Since it’s now officially my summer and I can stop revising for resits, I can lie in bed watching as many films as I want! Or at least as many as possible when I’m not doing family based things. So before I go any further, let’s take a second to appreciate that my summer has officially started! And I’ll be back in Glasgow in less than 4 weeks! Who knows what the plan is at this stage but I’m working on it.
Summer means long lie ins and hopefully getting a bit more reading done too, so here’s a list of my 10 must see movies. For the sake of making things simple, I’m going to count series/trilogies as one, I know it’s cheat but ah well. Please note, these are in no particular order.
1. The Little Mermaid 2: Return to the Sea

Just so you all know, that’s my all time favourite kids movie and there’s nothing you can say or do to change my mind. As you can see, Ariel and Eric have a daughter who dreams of spending all her time in the sea. As usual with Disney films, nothing is ever simple and so Melody takes it upon herself to find out why her mum is so against her being in the water. Cue some fantastic songs, great laughs, and of course the fun that comes with mermaids!
2. The Lord of the Rings

My dad first introduced me to The Fellowship of the Ring when I was 8 years old and since then I’ve been in love with the story. Yes, Frodo annoys me more than words can ever express. My favourite of the three films would probably have to be The Return of the King because of the ending, however my least favourite is definitely The Fellowship of the Ring. Once you’ve seen it once, you can skip it and just watch the other 2 on repeat. For 3 months. Not that I ever did that… Shh stop looking at my like that.
3. The Harry Potter series

Do I really need to explain this? Okay those of us who read the books have a certain amount of trepidation when it comes to the films, I’m yet to find a reader who loved the films as much as they loved the books. However, the cast can make you forget you ever read that book. And who can honestly say they grew up not wanting to either be or date Emma Watson?
4. The Birds

This film terrified me when I was 14 to the point that even now if I walk past a group of 3 or more birds, I’m on edge and try to get away as quickly as possible. If you’ve never seen any Hitchcock films, I would definitely recommend this one to start with. 
5. Lady and the Tramp (1 and 2)

Having loved Lady and the Tramp, I’ve always had an obsession with golden cocker spaniels and so when I was asked which type of puppy I wanted for my 7th birthday I immediately said either a cocker spaniel or a Dalmatian. Unfortunately a Dalmatian was apparently too big, and now having had Baron for so long I couldn’t honestly imagine having any other dog. Whoops I’m getting off topic! Yes, these two films are fantastic. Watch them. Go. Now!

6. The Hunger Games trilogy

Considering the books got progressively worse as the series continued, the films actually weren’t too bad! Of course, Jennifer Laurence does help the series.
7. Bridget Jones’ Diary

For all girls everywhere, this is one of the best rom coms you will find. Plus, Colin Firth and Hugh Grant are in it so what more could you want?

8.  Pitch Perfect 1 and 2

Okay, I really shouldn’t have to explain why this film is on this list. Take one look at the cast and the soundtrack and you’ll understand me. Yes, Becca is one of those irritating main characters who can’t appreciate how great her life is but you still fall in love with her and feel everything she feels.
9. Pirates of the Caribbean 

Pirates, gorgeous scenery and more great music.
10. Shrek

“Get outta my swap!” This film was great for quotes and little quips for the parents to laugh at. Honestly, rewatch it tonight and you’ll see what I mean. And did any of you ever question how Donkey and Dragon had kids? No, just me? Whoops.
What would you list as a must see film?
Ktkinnes xx

Posted in holiday, Lifestyle, Sunday's Summary

End of the week, end of the month!

Wow okay so I’ve actually got both of these to write up today, please be patient while I try and remember the last month! Or will I start with the week’s review? Yeah, let’s do that first and then come back later for a round up of the month. Here goes!
Monday, I was an abandoned child while Mum, Dad and Rachel all went to the beach. I lay by the pool and read to my hearts content, and yes I still have that review to write. I’ll get on that as soon as I’ve finished these two posts, I promise. When they came back, we had our usual dip in the pool followed by a pre-shower drink so that we could go get ready for the night ahead. As was our usual routine, we got changed in our respective rooms and then Rachel and I moved through to Mum and Dad to chat while they finished getting ready. As we started down for dinner, Rachel somehow managed to kick the door frame and ended up with a bleeding toe. Now, while this doesn’t sound funny here it was hilarious at the time. To be honest, her toe is still sore so maybe it isn’t funny… But it definitely was at the time. After dinner that night, we met José in Es Canar for a few drinks with Mum and Dad. It was a good night and we got back to the hotel around 2:30am.
Tuesday was more of the same, just lying by the pool and getting some sun while reading and revising. I accidentally fell asleep for an hour and woke up completely sunburnt on the back of my legs to the point that it hurt to walk. That night we said goodbye to 2 of our friends who had been going to the hotel for 10 years but they have decided that this year wil have been their last. There were quite a few tears, and the night ended reasonably early given the circumstances.
Wednesday marked our last full day. We said our goodbyes to some of the staff in the afternoon, making them promise to come visit us if they’re ever in the UK. That night there was a party of some kind in the hotel and everyone was invited however we felt extremely underdressed, even in some of our best clothes. There were people from Chanel there… Rachel and I were then to go on and meet José in Es Canar again for a few drinks and so we said farewell to yet more staff – it was painful, especially knowing they mightn’t be there the next time we go if and when we next go. After a few drinks in one bar, we went on the dodgems (I’ve a serious bruise on my knee to prove it) before having a few drinks in another bar and then on to a club after. As per usual, we ended the night on the beach before getting a taxi back to the hotel.
Thursday had us doing our last minute packing and soaking up the sun. It was also the worst day for goodbyes as we were properly saying goodbye to José and I honestly didn’t want to. I could have a platonic marriage to a 39 year old and live in Ibiza, right? We got on the bus and went to the airport and finally got home around 10pm on Thursday night. 
Friday brought about a mad scramble to unpack and then repack for me. I got a new phone in the middle of it all, and then Granny H came up to the house for a Chinese takeaway and a catch up. It was a quiet enough day considering we were adapting to the delightful summer weather we get here in the UK.
Saturday (yesterday) was then a case of up early to finish packing and get across to the hairdressers. I was furious when I came out though. The prices have gone up to £34 for a cut and blow dry, my hair looked nothing like what I’d asked for, and when I voiced that concern the response was “well I did what you asked and there isn’t anything else I can do”. My hair looked like it hadn’t seen shampoo in a month it was that limp!!! So I came home and restyled it myself to look semi reasonable. We then went and visited Granny before taking me to the airport. I then flew back to Glasgow, arrived into the flat, and collapsed into bed. It had been a busy couple of days!
So today I’m going to revise and write a few more blog posts. Have a great Sunday!
Ktkinnes xx

Posted in holiday, Lifestyle

Ibiza 2016

Hello my lovely friends! How’ve you all been?

If any of you follow me on Twitter, you’ll be well aware of the fact that recently I’ve been completely AWOL from all aspects of my blog, so please don’t feel abandoned.
Ibiza this year was good. I can’t say it was great, I can’t gush about it, but I can 100% guarantee that I didn’t want to come home again. We had an interesting flight out to Ibiza with Jet2 to start – firstly we were delayed by about 45 minutes with no explanation or apology. This really irritated me because we were already going to be arriving late enough, never mind a delay. Plus, have you ever been delayed on a plane predominantly filled with drunk Northern Irish people who’re excited for their trip to Ibiza? Let’s just say it was noisy, cramped and embarrassing (I mean, really. Have you heard our accents??). Finally we got up in the air and I plugged in my headphones to watch We’re The Millers – I still haven’t seen the end of the film so review will be up eventually. Mum and I had some prossecco and we relaxed into holiday mode. 

Drinks on the plane
About half an hour after the seatbelt sign had been switched off, I looked at Dad (who was sitting beside me) and asked could he smell smoke. Turns out one of the drunken a*******s had decided to light up in the toilets just behind us. He then proceeded to claim that the stewardesses has said he could. His passport was confiscated and he was told he would be arrested when we landed as smoking on an airplane is a serious offence. We could’ve all died! We settled back down and eventually the plane started to land in the country I’ve now adopted as my 3rd home (order being Scotland, Northern Ireland and then Ibiza). It was at this point that a delightful friend of Mr Smoker decided the seatbelt rule didn’t apply to him and so, as the wheels hit the tarmac, he stood up and opened the overhead locker to retrieve his belongings. Well we don’t know how he was aware of it but the pilot slammed on his brakes and yelled over then intercom “SIT DOWN NOW!” as the rest of us watched this eejit stumble to the ground. Finally we stopped and that was all fine, we began to gather our stuff and make our way into the aisles to disembark (can I use that for a plane or is it only used for a boat?) when once again we were instructed to take our seats. The Guardia Civil were coming on the plane to arrest our two idiots. Great start to their holiday! This however meant a further 30 minute delay in getting off the airplane. 
Arriving at the hotel felt like bliss. Someone came out of reception to help us lift our cases up, and checking in was straightforward as ever. We started downstairs to grab some dinner before the restaurant shut where we were greeted by staff we consider old friends. Hugs and kisses all around and a lot of talking later, we finally got something to eat around 9:30pm… I was starving!

So, instead of boring you with a day by day account of the trip, I’ll give you the interesting parts, or at least the bits I would find interesting.
Once again, there were a few changes to the hotel. Due to last year’s slating of the changes, a lot of the guests were around my age and only staying for bed and breakfast, not half board. This meant that management had decided to close the main restaurant and have us eat dinner at the pool bar. Here we were given a choice of 2 meat and 2 fish which were served with potato and vegetables. Now, we aren’t a stereotypical family from the island of Ireland. We don’t like potato. The thought of 11 days of meat, potato and veg was already quite daunting. It was then quickly explained to us that, for no extra cost, we could order something from the pool bar’s lunchtime menu. Considering the lunch menu from the pool bar was more a dinner menu anyway, we did this for a few nights. On our 6th night, José (who had gone out with Rachel and me for drinks the previous 2 years and had received a promotion this year to head of the restaurant – I felt like a proud parent!) came over to us and said that the next day we would be moving back to the main restaurant for dinners as numbers were increasing again. The cheer we let out! So note, if considering booking Sol Beach House Hotel Ibiza, go for it! It’s brilliant.

The other change was a lot of staff from last year had been dropped and a lot of new faces were introduced. However our main favourites were still there and we were able to continue our friendships with them all, we’ve even invited some of them to come visit us here in Northern Ireland if they’d like to come and practice their English for a week or so. 
We did venture out of the hotel a few times. On the first Wednesday, we went to the hippy market in Es Canar where we got a caracature drawn of us as a family – picture soon to follow! We spent a good amount of time browsing the stalls and it was good to experience however I don’t think I’d rush back as so many stalls were over priced. 
We also took an evening out to go to Ibiza Town and see what it was like in the evenings. Unfortunately we missed the parade and a lot of the shows as we ended up going shopping instead. However we did go up into the old town a bit and got some lovely photos of the port.


Those pictures don’t really do it justice but I felt I had to share them. 
The next night, Mum, Dad, Rachel and I met José for drinks in Es Canar, this was Mum and Dad’s way of saying thanks for everything over the last few years. We went to the bar that he’d taken Rachel and me to over the last 2 years and there was a Robbie Williams tribute act so it was a good laugh singing along and dancing when conversation was avoiding us. It was a good night but mum and dad dragged us back to the hotel before we could go to the nightclub or anywhere near the beach and so on Wednesday night we went out with him again.

This, of course, resulted in him getting very drunk and Rachel and I were semi drunk. As Wednesday was our last full day, we decided to treat ourselves to a cocktail before going to our rooms to get changed for dinner. Mum and I had some lemon gin thing that tasted delicious, Dad had a Bloody Mary and Rachel had some weird take on an amaretto sour. Except, it was one of our friendly waiters who made it and so she was drunk before she’d even half finished the drink. Considering this was followed by more predinner drinks, wine with dinner, and drinks at a party the hotel was having, it wasn’t really our fault that we were so drunk by the time José took us to the nightclub and we were dancing with him. After dancing for an hour, we decided to go to the beach – yes, that’s what you do at 2am. Rachel as usual wanted to go swimming in the sea and so we all ended up soaked. José at least had had the sense to strip down to his underwear before joining us in the water. We all walked a bit to dry off but José was complaining that he’d need a shower before bed. However, as he’s now living in the hotel and sharing a room with another member of staff, he couldn’t use their bathroom at 3am, so Rachel offered him our bathroom. We had a bit of a laugh after he’d showered off and then the 3 of us all tried to share the small double in the room until he decided he was too uncomfortable and also realised he needed to get up for work the next morning without being seen by any other guests or members of staff and so he snuck out again around 4:30ish. Needless to say, he didn’t make it in to start his shift at 10am.

Goodbyes are always the worst and suffice to say I was crying a lot as we left. With the cost of the holiday, there’s no way we’ll be back any time soon and we have no idea if or when we’ll next see our friends. I’d like to hope that we’ll go back in a few years, but the cost needs to come down and our friends most likely won’t still be working there.

So for now, I’ll just keep looking at the pictures and focus on the memories from this year. Who knows, maybe I’ll go by myself next summer?!
Ktkinnes xx

Posted in holiday, Lifestyle

Taking off!

We’re finally in the air! After an half hour delay (not long, I know, but annoying as no information given) we finally took off. You probably won’t get reading this until tonight but I felt the need to blog and update you, even if you aren’t interested.

This morning, I woke up at 5:30am. No need to get up until after 9am… Those were the longest 3 hours of my life. Eventually, I jumped through the shower and got through the whole legs, arm pits and hair washing routine. With nails painted, all I had left to do was pack my nail polish and final few toiletries! Eventually we were organised enough to load the car. At this point, I was banished to walk Baron as he gets very anxious when we leave for anywhere and so we’ve been hiding the suitcases from him for the last week.

Quick walk around the block, I actually got to go hunting for Pokemon! Have you downloaded Pokemon Go? It’s so addictive! We then all bundled into the car and drove to the airport. Security and bag drop were speedy enough but just the usual nerves of “have I any liquids in my hand luggage that I forgot about?” Thankfully the answer was no and we went to have lunch in The Lagan Bar. Now I know it was lunch time and the place was packed, especially with Belfast International Airport having so few good places, but when we went to order we were told they’d run out of all 3 platters, all fish except tuna mayo, all sausages and several other items. So we ended up having a cold baked potato with a spoonful of not the nicest chilli in the world. However, we didn’t care – we’re going on our holidays!

Eventually we were called to the gate but at the last second they changed us to a different gate. Then we were boarded quickly but sat for over half an hour with no explanation as to why we weren’t moving. I’m now sitting with a bottle of prosecco, listening to Taylor Swift and ready to have a nap! I’ll speak to you all soon!

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

A day behind

Well this song has been stuck in my head for about 24 hours and it definitely has to be on my playlist for tomorrow afternoon. 
With the craziness of the last couple of days, I forgot to post my Fortunate Friday post last night and so decided to go for now. This week has given me a few things to be grateful for.
I’m grateful to be alive, after the loss of life in Nice. I’m grateful to live in a democracy that is honoured by the people, military and government, especially after Turkey’s Coup. I’m grateful that this time tomorrow I will be drinking a mojito surrounded by old friends who are now considered family. I’m grateful for the bed I’m sleeping on tonight, the dinner I’ve eaten that has me so full the idea of breakfast is killing me. So so much to be grateful for.
How about you? What are you grateful for this weekend?
Ktkinnes xxx

Posted in holiday, Lifestyle, TV

Holiday thoughts

Once again, my mind has been drawn to the upcoming holiday to Ibiza however today I haven’t been as excited as in previous years.

ibiza-clubs-map
Map courtesy of http://www.keyword-suggestions.com/aWJpemEgbWFw/

Looking on TripAdvisor for the hotel (link included), I’m beginning to be a little apprehensive about booking half board. According to the recent reviews, not enough diners were staying for dinner and so the dining room has been closed and meals are being served from the restricted Pool Bar menu… Not what you’d expect for over 30 euros per person per night! Fingers crossed this isn’t the case with us. Another thing is no one here seems excited. It may be down to the fact we still have our ever present house guest of my uncle, but part of me feels it may be more than that. Any ideas on how to pick up the mood?

 

To distract myself from the lack of holiday spirit, I decided to go back and repack my hand luggage. What I really can’t decide is whether or not to take my laptop… If I take it, I can watch DVDs on the plane. However, I don’t think I would use it any other time. So what do you think? I tend to blog from my phone so that’s not really a problem, and I’d be leaving it in the safe during the day. Let me know what you think!

 

Now, before I go away, I must finish Season 5 of Scandal before we go. Being on episode 15, that shouldn’t be too hard! Last year was 24, the year before was Orange is the New Black  – there’s always some TV show I’m trying to finish before we go! What’s on your summer watch list?

 

Speak soon!

 

Ktkinnes xx

Posted in Lifestyle, TV

That Friday Feeling

I woke up this morning with this song blasting through my head. It’s cloudy, been raining and feels cold but I don’t care because in 48 hours the car will be packed and we’ll be on our way to the airport!

Today will be spent running around gathering spending money, tidying and cleaning, and making sure we leave a list of instructions for Granny while she’s here looking after the animals. After Baron’s close shave at Christmas, when he nearly died from a stomach ulcer due to the stress of being left, we decided we couldn’t put him in kennels again and so Granny offered to come around and look after him for the time we’re away. Hopefully it’ll be okay!

On top of this, today I’ve also to get some revision done but thankfully my work ethic seems to have bounced back a little! If I can get through the Physics of Solids module today then I’ll be pleased, it’s a long module and isn’t all that interesting. But then, what physics is overly interesting?
Now, I’m sitting having breakfast and watching The Royal, a tv series set in the 1960’s and following the doctors at St Aiden’s Royal Free Hospital. It used to be shown on a Sunday night, but now it’s on between 8:30am and 9:30am on weekdays on ITV3. We used to love it, and there isn’t too much blood and gore as some hospital dramas can have! But that’s not really the point of this. While it was on an ad break, I saw an ad for Brief Encounters – shown on a Monday night at 9pm on ITV. As is so frequently the case nowadays, these ads managed to spoil one of the shocking twists at the end of last week’s episode. Don’t you hate when this happens?
Now, I’m going to have to run on and get through the shower etc. Enjoy your day, whatever you get up to, and have a great weekend!
Ktkinnes xx