29 Feb 2016

Life Happens When You're Making Plans

Life Updates | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

It feels like forever since I sat down and wrote an update post about life in general... I suppose it's because I usually save this sort of thing for outfit posts and I haven't shared one of them in a while now! I do have a couple planned, it's just waiting for the weather to play ball that's the problem. I miss Summer! Anyway, a fair bit has happened since my last general update so I figured I'd share the highlights as a bit of an explanation as to why things have been a little big higgeldy piggeldy around here as of late.

I suppose the biggest thing to mention is that I have a new job! I started a couple of weeks ago and I'm really loving it so far. It's been a very much needed change, and although the role itself isn't that far removed from my past job it's a whole lot more suited to me in more ways than one. Adjusting to a new work schedule after nearly two years has been a fair adjustment and I still feel like I'm constantly chasing my tail, but now that I work more hours I find myself feeling a whole lot more motivated to spend my spare time productively which I can already see making a difference.

So far I think I've done okay at keeping up my usual blog schedule alongside the change in routine, but I'm not sure if I'll be able to keep it up at this kind of level for much longer and I'm considering cutting down the amount I post per week to try and help me keep on top of things. Or I'll just need to spend a couple of days writing as many posts of possible to try and get ahead of the game, who knows.

It's been all change on the appearance front this past few weeks, with a fresh cut and an updated colour for my hair as well as a spruced up blog to match. My hair is a little bit shorted and a bit lighter, not drastically so but enough to feel like it's new which is nice! The new blog layout came as a result of becoming disheartened with the content I was producing, and as much as I adored my previous header the updated look has been a real motivating force for me. I like to think it's a sleeker version of the blog, but still stays true to me.

In exciting news, I've mentioned before that my best friend moved to New York earlier in the year, and I am very glad to say that I'm officially going out to meet her in May! We're going to be spending five days in the Big Apple and I'm already buzzing with excitement about experiencing it all for the first time. It pains me to think about how much it's costing me, so excuse me if I spend the next few months living like a hermit to save all my pennies for Sephora and Kate Spade...

Finally, I've decided that I'm going to be posting weekly vlogs throughout March! I really enjoy putting together little videos of my week, even if they're not very exciting, and the combination of not being able to finish Vlogmas due to my health and having a new camera has spurred me on to post them throughout March instead. Make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel so you don't miss them and the other *fantastic* videos I post!

What's been going on in your life lately?

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27 Feb 2016

Saturday Share #21

Saturday Share | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog


  • Perplexed by Pinterest? This post by Jasmin covers all of the basics and is really useful for newbies
  • I'm so guilty of letting my blog get on top of me, despite it being a hobby, so this post by Sarah came at the right time: 5 things not to stress about when blogging
  • It is totally possible to have cool coloured hair that is in good condition, Ayden explains how
  • It can be difficult feeling like you're not "good enough", but this post about being average shows that you're not alone
  • I feel like dark circles are the bane of my life right now so I loved this post about colour correcting makeup
  • Snapchat is all the rage in the blogosphere right now and I think this post sums up it's popularity perfectly
  • Fallen out of love with your blog? Here's how to rekindle the relationship 
  • Blog events can be so daunting - I've been attending them for years and they still scare me! Beki shared 10 ways to prep for your first blogger event which I'm still going to be using despite my first event being many moons ago...
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26 Feb 2016

Four Easy Spanish Recipes with Alpharooms

Easy Spanish Recipes | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Food is my thing. Eating it, looking at it, thinking about it, talking about it... I've got them down. Making it? Not so much. I'm an alright cook, but often find myself getting quite stressed if I have any time constraints. I'm also not the most adventurous in my cooking - but anything with cheese I'll most likely have nailed. One of my favourite things about my new job is that I no longer work till 10pm, therefore I actually have time to make myself a proper dinner as opposed to grabbing whatever I can in the staff canteen.

When Alpharooms challenged me to try my hand at some Spanish recipes I couldn't quite resist the lure of chorizo - which is probably one of my favourite things at the moment - and after a few hours perusing Pinterest and the supermarket aisles I had come up with a fair few ideas of what I wanted to cook. I, in typical fashion, couldn't decide on just one dish to make and instead decided to make four. Remember that part where I said I get stressed in the kitchen? Yeah. Making a Spanish tapas feast for five people is apparently pretty stressful...

In the end though, the result was pretty damn delicious. If I'd had time to prep it all during the day the whole experience would have been a lot easier, so I know that in the future I need to give myself a bit more time. To make my life a bit easier I picked up a few extra sides from the shops that needed very little preparation, like oven-ready potato croquettes and a gorgeous soft loaf of ciabatta. I focused all of my energy in to four main dishes, and I thought I'd share my recipes with you.

Easy Spanish Recipes | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Patatas Bravas is one of my favourite dishes to order when I'm out for tapas. It's flavourful and makes perfect comfort food, plus it seemed pretty easy to make, so it was an easy choice when it came to adding it to my menu for the night.

Ingredients
Potatoes (obviously)
Olive Oil
1 small chopped onion
Parsley
Paprika
Chilli Powder
A pinch of sugar
2 crushed garlic cloves
250g can chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato purée

Method
Cut your potatoes in to small cubes and pat dry with kitchen towel. Grab a large roasting tin and spread the potatoes evenly then toss in the olive oil and season with salt & pepper. Roast in the oven at roughly 180 degrees for about 40-50 minutes, or until they're crisp and golden.

To make the sauce, heat some olive oil in a pan and soften the onions by frying for a few minutes. Add all of your other ingredients - tomatoes, garlic, spices, sugar and salt - then bring to the boil whilst stirring. Let it simmer for roughly ten minutes and you're done! The sauce can be made up to 24 hours in advance, so if you're more organised than me this could be a good idea.


Easy Spanish Recipes | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Chorizo & Black Pudding was most definitely the easiest dish of the night, as it's pretty much what it says on the tin. I cooked some sliced chorizo in red wine with a touch of garlic and paprika for a few minutes before adding in the black pudding and cooking for a further few minutes. This can easily be done without the black pudding too, in case it's not to your liking, but don't forget that black pudding is a superfood so it's basically super healthy... ;)

Easy Spanish Recipes | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Easy Spanish Recipes | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

The spiced tortilla was a last minute addition to the line up, because for some strange reason I felt like I wasn't stressed enough, but I think it was one of the show stoppers on the night. We had lots leftover, and this makes a delicious lunch served cold or reheated! I decided just to use tomatoes in mine, but you could very easily add any leftover veg you've got hanging about in the fridge too.

Ingredients
8 eggs
2 small onions
Chilli powder
Dried coriander
Cumin
Turmeric
Cherry tomatoes
Potatoes
Sunflower oil

Method
Boil your potatoes for 15-20 minutes until softened then slice in to thin discs. Heat up some oil in a large frying pan and soften your onions with a touch of the chilli powder. Add the rest of the spices and fry for another minute before adding the sliced cherry tomatoes and potatoes. Beat the eggs and season with a touch of salt and pepper before pouring in to the frying pan and leaving it to cook for 10 minutes until it's nearly set.

To finish, heat the grill and set the tortilla underneath for a couple of minutes to allow the top to cook properly. Cut in to slices and devour as you wish!

Easy Spanish Recipes | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Easy Spanish Recipes | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

It would hardly be a Spanish feast without some take on Paella, right? I decided that this Chicken and Chorizo rice pot would be a great alternative as well as being a crowdpleaser in my house. This one takes the longest out of all the dishes so it's best to get this cooking away whilst you prepare the rest.

Ingredients
1 chicken breast per person
3 small onions
3 crushed garlic cloves
A whole load of sliced chorizo
150ml white wine
1 tablespoon oil
850ml chicken stock
1 tablespoon tomato purée
Dried thyme
Dried parsley
400g long grain rice

Method
Cut your chicken in to large chunks and brown using a large frying pan with a bit of oil. Set this to the side and use the same pan to soften the onion for ten minutes before adding the garlic and chorizo for a further two minutes. Stir in the tomato purée and leave for another minute, before returning the chicken pieces to the pan alongisde the white wine, chicken stock and herbs. Bring this to the boil and cover with a well fitting lid and leave to cook for half an hour or so.

After 30 minutes, add your rice and stir it all together. Cover again and leave to cook on a low heat for roughly 15 minutes or until the rice is fully cooked. Remove from the heat and leave the dish to settle for a few minutes before serving.

Easy Spanish Recipes | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

As much as I love cooking, I think in the future I'll leave the tapas to the professionals apart from *very* special occasions. I'm definitely going to be making all of these dishes again at some point, especially the tortilla as it makes such a great lunch option and is an easy way to use up any leftover veg in the fridge. Having my evenings back has made me so excited to be able to cook again, so keep your eyes peeled for more recipes in the future.

Find more Spanish recipes over on the Alpharooms blog and be sure to let
me know if you try any of these out for yourself!

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25 Feb 2016

Dropping Out of University: One Year On

Dropping Out of University | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

It's been roughly a year since I decided to drop out of university, so I thought I'd share a little update about how things have changed since then. I don't know why, because there isn't really all that much to share... I suppose I just felt like writing about my feelings again. It's better than eating them, right?

Anyway, half way through my second year I decided that the path I was previously pursuing at university wasn't for me. I was living in a city that made me miserable which, alongside a degree that wasn't quite right for me, was having the most negative impact on my life. I had pretty much always felt this way since starting university, but something had snapped and I decided to change course.

This was entirely the right decision and I can't even begin to imagine any other outcome, but that doesn't mean it's not been difficult. I've been so much happier since leaving, but at the moment the seeming lack of direction has been getting to me.

I had hoped to start back on a new course at a university in Glasgow last September, but by the time I had decided to drop out of university and start a new application I had missed the UCAS deadlines and in the end the places available on the course had been filled before they even had a chance to consider my application. I was pretty bummed about that, but I couldn't change anything about it. I've since sent off an application to start this coming September and have spent nearly four months waiting not-so-patiently for a response.

If you've been through the UCAS system before then you'll be well aware of how stressful it can be, which is why I never imagined myself having to go through it three times so far. I think I'm in with a good chance of getting back in for this year, I have the grades and I'm hoping my personal statement helped convey my passion for the courses I've applied for, but with every passing day a new doubt forms in my mind.

The universities that I applied to have until the beginning of May to get back to me, which feels like forever away. I hate the uncertainty, it makes me doubt myself in ways I never knew I could. I see people post about their successful applications on social media and can't help but feel a pang of jealously for their futures.

If I don't get in it won't be the end, I'll figure out my plan B, but I just want to know. I hate this limbo that I'm stuck in. I had all these plans of things I would spend my gap year doing, and to be honest I've not done all that much. Fair enough, my health did have a big impact on that, but each day feels the same. My new job is helping me move past this feeling of wasting time, but I still can't help that feel like I've been incredibly unproductive in the year that was supposed to help me change my life.

So that's about it, that's how things have been progressing since my decision to leave. I don't regret it at all, not even one tiny smidgeon, but so far things haven't quite gone to plan. Let's just see how the next few weeks play out and keep everything crossed that I hear some good news soon!
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24 Feb 2016

Blogger Beauty Box February

Blogger Beauty Box February | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Blogger Beauty Box February | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Blogger Beauty Box February | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

If you follow me on Twitter, which you really should, then you might already be aware of my love for those quick little competitions where all you need to do is retweet a post. I haven't won much, but I've had a couple of lucky shots and my most recent win is probably one of my favourites so far. Blogger Beauty Box was launched by the amazing Vix Meldrew last year and I was lucky enough to win the February box through Twitter.

I'd seen lots of other bloggers raving about this box, but as per usual I kept forgetting to try it out for myself, so I was pretty damn excited to actually win this. Costing a mere £10, including postage, the Blogger Beauty Box is a brilliant way to try out some up and coming brands that have been lovingly curated by Vix.

Blogger Beauty Box February | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Blogger Beauty Box February | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Blogger Beauty Box February | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

When the box first arrived I was surprised by just how much had been packed in to such a low cost box, and straight away I knew why the Blogger Beauty Box was becoming a game changer in the world of beauty boxes. Unlike other contenders, the Blogger Beauty box had a decent mix of mostly full sized products with just a couple of little samples, with a total nearing a whopping £100. Incredible!

The first three products out of the box were the Madame LaLa West Coast Facial Bronzing Serum, the Merumaya Bi-Phase Plus Eye Make Up Remover and the DHC Mineral Mask. Merumaya and DHC had both been on my radar for a while now so I'm so excited to have some to try out for myself. From initial testing, the Merumaya eye make up remover is one of the better removers that I've tried recently so I'm really enjoying using it! The Madame LaLa bronzing serum is definitely going to come in handy when applying fake tan as I'm always eager to make sure my face matches perfectly, so it isn't a dead giveaway that I've not actually been away bronzing on a beach!

Blogger Beauty Box February | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Blogger Beauty Box February | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Blogger Beauty Box February | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

The box also included a Lip Treat by Puriskin in a cool toned, red tint which has been a saviour for when I still want a wash of colour on my dry, winter lips. It isn't a colour I'll be wearing every day, but it's nice to have a lipstick that is more on the nourishing side!

With my growing love for false eyelashes I was really excited to see an eyelash brand I hadn't come across before in the form of Threads Be-Bop lashes. I'd have never picked up this style of lash myself, which is exactly why I love this sort of box for introducing me to new things! Threads lashes are handmade in the UK and I'm looking forward to giving them a go.

Finally, the Blogger Beauty Box included a couple of little samples from JR Naturorganics Mandarin & Chamomile range, with my samples being a cleansing milk and a facial mist. My skin seems to love chamomile, so I think these will go down a treat!

I think it's hard to deny the amazing value for money the Blogger Beauty Box provides, it's seriously impressive. When payday eventually rolls around I think I'll be treating myself to the March box, I can't wait to see how Vix tops this one! You can follow Blogger Beauty Box on Twitter for updates here.

Do you think monthly beauty boxes are worth investing in?

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23 Feb 2016

It's Not Me, It's You by Mhairi McFarlane - #SassyBooks February

It's Not Me It's You Mhairi McFarlane Review #Sassybooks | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

It's Not Me, It's You by Mhairi McFarlane - available here


This month's choice for #SassyBooks is actually a book I've read, and loved, once before. Back in my original review I decided it would probably be one of the best books I read in 2015, and that didn't change. I don't often find myself rereading books, but as I'd enjoyed It's Not Me, It's You so much the first time around I was actually excited to pick it up again nearly a year later.

It's Not Me, It's You is cited as being the story of how to be your own hero when your life is turned upside down. It's chick lit, there's no denying that, but to me it's chick lit with a twist. Delia is thrown in at the deep end when she proposes to her long term boyfriend only to find out that he's sleeping with someone else. Step by step, she finds the life she thought she knew unravelling around her, but she makes a spur of the moment decision to turn things around and moves to a new city to start a new job, and ultimately find the Delia she left in the past.

What I love so much about this book is that it has everything. It has the mystery, humour, romance, relatability and a good ol' dose of heartache too. Obviously, reading it the second time around I knew exactly what was coming, but that didn't stop me crying on multiple occasions. Mhairi's writing style is magnetic, I struggle to put any of her books down, and despite knowing the plot already I still had to keep on reading till the early hours. 

It's Not Me, It's You is packed full of wit and charm, with plenty of giggles and heart-wrenching moments that leave you aching on Delia's behalf. It's a beautiful read, and pretty easy to get through too, so once again I'll be giving it a full five stars. 

Next month, we're going to be going back to non-fiction and reading the book that everyone's been raving about - The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo - which I'm sure my mum will be delighted about. I'm eager to see why it's been dubbed as a game changer...

If you want to find out more about #SassyBooks then check out this post. You can find everyone else's reviews over on the hashtag or join our Facebook group for more updates if you fancy taking part!
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22 Feb 2016

How To Make the Most of Twitter Chats

How To Make The Most of Twitter Chats | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

It feels like there isn't an evening on Twitter without some sort of blogger chat going on, and I can totally see why. These chats are incredibly useful tools for building your network, and in turn your blog, whilst also being a bit of fun and providing a chance to chat to some new people.

Twitter chats happen using one dedicated hashtag and typically cover a specific topic, mostly lasting for an hour. There are hundreds of chats on the go nowadays, and I've shared a few of my favourites at the end of this post in case you fancy trying out some new ones! To join in, all you need to do is tweet about the topic or respond to the question using the hashtag, but you can take it so much further than just a general question and answer.

Tools


Although I'm a big fan of Tweetdeck for my scheduling, I much prefer to use the actual Twitter website when chatting. This is purely personal preference as I like to be able to refresh the timelines at my own speed, so I like to open pages in new tabs and flick between them as needed. I usually have a tab for my notifications - so I can see who's chatting to me - a tab for the hashtag - so I can keep up with everyone else's tweets - and a tab for the chat host so that I can keep an eye on the questions as they come in. Tweetdeck offers a much more streamlined version of this, as you can choose your columns to show on just one screen as opposed to flipping through individual tabs. It automatically updates these columns in real time, which can also be turned off if you struggle to keep up with it like me. Other useful tools include websites like TweetChat, Tchat and Nurph - it all just boils down to personal preference. In an ideal world, I'd have a three monitor set up... or maybe four so I can have Netflix on the side too.

Engage


Now, this is probably the most important part of chats. Interaction is key when getting involved, in fact, it's kind of the whole point. Sure, you can go in and just tweet whatever you want, but if you want to make it work then you need to encourage engagement. This doesn't just apply to your own tweets, because as nice as it is to get a few retweets or a reply, it's also great to build relationships with other people too. Keep an eye on the hashtag and reply to tweets that catch your eye, strike a conversation, follow some new people - it makes a big difference. Try to keep this relationship up after the chat too, maybe head over to their blog and leave a comment on a post you enjoyed, or give them a follow on Instagram. I've found some amazing blogs this way, as well as making a fair few friends along the way too.

How To Make The Most of Twitter Chats | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Etiquette


With hundreds of people getting involved, Twitter chats can get a little bit chaotic at times. Therefore it's pretty important that you follow the rough code of etiquette for chats. It's not really a set of steadfast rules, more guidelines, but it will make a difference both to your chat experience and how others view you. One of the key points in chat etiquette is link dumping. It can be pretty frustrating trying to join in a chat on a topic you feel passionately about when there's someone posting links to their blog every few seconds. Sure, if you have a relevant post to share then do so, but no one wants to crawl through hundreds of "Hey, check out my blog!" tweets when there's GIFs to post and discussions to have. There's more often than not a dedicated time slot to share links at the end of the chat, so save your blog promotion for then. As in the real world, it's important to be polite and respectful when chatting. People will always have different opinions, but if you're clashing with someone on a particular topic then try to approach it in a less abrasive way, or take it to a private communication instead of allowing the world to see your bickering. 

My Favourite Chats


As I mentioned earlier, there are hundreds of chats on the go on throughout the week and on any given evening you'll more than likely find a topic that suits you. As a fashion, beauty and lifestyle blogger I tend to hang about in chats geared towards these topics when I have the chance such as #fbloggers, #bbloggers and #lbloggers, but I also enjoy more general chats such as #TheGirlGang and #bdib. You can find handy timetables of most of the chats over on Becky blog, or just keep an eye out on Twitter!

If you fancy giving a Twitter chat a go, then why not try tonight?
I'll be hosting #BDIB at 7pm and the topic will be announced later today
Follow me on Twitter - @colourscarousel - and the #BDIB account to take part

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20 Feb 2016

Saturday Share #20

Saturday Share | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
(T-shirt from Primark)

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19 Feb 2016

Workspace Tour

Workspace Tour Office Inspiration | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Workspace Tour Office Inspiration | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Workspace Tour Office Inspiration | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

As the owner of a somewhat excessive office inspiration Pinterest board it may come as a surprise that my workspace isn't all that "Pinterest-y". A quick scroll down my board makes it clear that I enjoy bright spaces and a bit of clutter, but as I'm currently sharing a desk space with my brother - hence the Star Wars posters - it'll be a while before I have the dedicated office space of my dreams just yet.

I'm too attached to clutter to have a style that even resembles minimalist, but I really enjoy having all my little trinkets on display. I spend a fair bit of time at this desk, working on my blog or otherwise, so it's important to me that I have a space that makes me smile and doesn't drive me crazy!

Workspace Tour Office Inspiration | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Workspace Tour Office Inspiration | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Workspace Tour Office Inspiration | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Getting the more practical pieces out of the way first, with a quick round up of my technology. I'm really lucky in that one of my brother's hobbies is building computers, therefore when my laptop decided to bite the dust a few months ago I was able to hop on to one of his custom built spares until I've saved enough to invest in a new desktop. Much to my delight this computer is perfect for running The Sims, as it was pretty much built for gaming, so I've been able to log a fair few hours of gameplay. Maybe too many...

My current headphones are the Hesh 2.0 by Skullcandy with mint accents which I adore. These were a Christmas present after my previous headphones had been involved in an unfortunate accident and crushed under my feet, so it's been amazing to have a nice pair of headphones. For all my Sims playing... Heh. I sometimes do stuff that isn't playing The Sims, I promise.

One of my favourite pieces on my desk is my LED Letter Wall Light from I Just Love It. I had wanted one of these fancy carnival style initials for soooooo long and absolutely adore the rusted finish of this one. I'm well aware of how easily I'm sucked in by personalisation, as despite my hatred of Coke I was desperate to find a bottle with my name on, so I also have my personalised Terramundi pot on my desk to encourage me to save some pennies, as well as a personalised name cushion chilling on my desk chair. Honestly, show me something with my name or initials on and I will most likely want to buy it.

Workspace Tour Office Inspiration | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Workspace Tour Office Inspiration | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Workspace Tour Office Inspiration | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog


I'm in the process of building up an "inspiration wall" behind my desk for an added touch of prettiness, which at the moment is looking a little bare. My current prints are from A Beautiful Mess and That Lame Company, alongside my framed Jammy Heart foil print from Nikki McWilliams. I've got my eye on a fair few prints to add to this, so I'm excited to see it grow!

As an excessive tea drinker I will nearly always have a mug from my extensive collection on my desk. I couldn't resist buying this Little Miss Blogger mug from Truffle Shuffle - it just makes me smile! I'm not even exaggerating when I say I have a huge collection of mugs, I just cannot resist a funny slogan or a cute pattern. Another current favourite is this adorable Marie Mug from The Disney Store which is not only extremely cute but also absolutely huge, making it perfect for my massive morning cuppa.

Stationery wise, I will always have my blogging planner and my to do list pad on hand as they help me keep everything in check. I keep my pens and highlighters in a little glass from Ikea as they used to roll about my desk like nobody's business, and I keep a stash of notebooks and blank paper on hand for when I'm plotting out my social schedules or just feel like doodling.

Is your desk Pinterest perfect, or do you like a bit of clutter like me?


This post contains a press sample - read my full disclaimer here
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18 Feb 2016

Fitness Update: February

Fitness Update | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Since first posting about my fitness journey a little over a month ago, I was hoping that I could come back one month later with tales of how I'm a completely changed woman who exercises every single day, come rain or shine, but for the sake of honesty that's not really the case.

Whilst I wasn't the fittest pre-surgery, I was at a relatively decent level and had built up a reasonable amount of stamina compared to the past. One of the most frustrating things for me at the moment has been having to come to terms with the fact that I'm pretty much starting from scratch again. I do feel like my stamina is building up a bit quicker now, and I finally feel like I'm at a level close to where I was before, but the baby steps have been difficult to get used to.

Fitness Update | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

As you'll more than likely know for yourself, the weather has been pretty dismal lately. Wind, rain and snow have been punctuated with fleeting moments of freezing sunshine, and I've been totally unprepared. I like to run outside, but I really hate being cold and wet, so the weather has had a bigger impact than I would like on my routine. Since adding this lightweight running jacket from Tu Clothing to my growing collection of fitness gear I've been able to get outside a bit more, which has been making a difference to how I'm feeling.

A few weeks ago I decided to download My Fitness Pal once again and start back at the (somewhat tedious) task of logging my calorie intake. It worked for a few days, and I found myself settling in to a habit of sorts, but then after one slightly unhealthy day was followed by a more than unhealthy week I found myself having lost all desire to even think about calories. I'm still trying to make healthier choices, and I've started logging my food diary in the app again, but I've been trying to put a bit less emphasis on the calories and think more about the nutrients I'm getting.

One of the things that seemed to be throwing me off track was my work schedule, as I spent my weekends working till 10pm and didn't always have much time to grab anything resembling a decent meal on my breaks. I'd then get home, usually grumpy, and console myself with some sort of junk food. Now, I'm very happy to say that I've just started a new job with much more sociable hours and because of that I've even gone out and joined the gym. What?!

I think I'm slowly settling in to a better frame of mind when it comes to fitness, and I'm realising that it's going to take a bit more time than I had expected. After a bad week, I'm finally feeling a lot more energised and really looking forward to getting back in the gym. I decided to treat myself and went for the full shebang with swimming and fitness classes included, meaning I've got a lot more options to keep me interested which I think will help a lot!

I'm also considering going down the route of purchasing something like a Fitbit, but I'm a little bit unsure of how useful it would be for me. If you have one, or similar, then I'd be really interested to hear what you think of it and if it makes a difference to your activity levels!
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16 Feb 2016

Glasgow Burgerthon: Meat Bar

Meat Bar Glasgow Burgerthon | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Meat Bar Glasgow Burgerthon | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Meat Bar Glasgow Burgerthon | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

It's been a fair few months since the last Glasgow Burgerthon outing to Ed's Easy Diner, but having taken a short break it's now back and raring to go. If you want to find out what the Glasgow Burgerthon is all about then be sure to check out the introductory post before getting stuck in!

For our fourth venue we had originally decided on visiting Jacker De Viande, which was supposedly a fierce contender in the race for Glasgow's best burger, however upon arrival we discovered that they were apparently closed for good. Pretty disappointing, as I'd been dreaming about it all day, and there was no information about this on their website or any of their social platforms. Ugh! Instead, we decided to make a last minute substitution and headed across the street to Meat Bar, who had just missed out on making the shortlist for the Burgerthon anyway.

Meat Bar Glasgow Burgerthon | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Unlike some of the venues chosen for the Glasgow Burgerthon, Meat Bar is not just burgers. As the name suggests, their options are predominantly meat based which extends even to their cocktails. A chorizo cocktail isn't something I've tried before, but it certainly caught my eye... Maybe one day when I'm not driving I might be brave enough to give it a go!

We visited on a relatively quiet Tuesday evening, but by the time we were leaving the majority of the tables had been filled. The staff were quick and attentive, which is never a bad thing, and their music choice was impeccable. That's a big deal for me!

Meat Bar Glasgow Burgerthon | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Meat Bar Glasgow Burgerthon | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

On the day, I hadn't really intended going for a starter, but then again I never do. It just kind of happens. I love food, okay? However as soon as the server highlighted the Haggis Bon Bons on the specials menu Paddy knew he had to have them, and so I decided to give the Ham & Chorizo Croquettes a whirl. We both thoroughly enjoyed our choices, as well as having a wee nibble from the other person's plate as per usual... I did think the croquettes could have benefited from a touch more Manchego, but don't I always? Regardless, the accompanying tomato jam was the perfect level of sweetness and worked brilliantly alongside both the croquettes and the haggis.

Meat Bar Glasgow Burgerthon | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Meat Bar Glasgow Burgerthon | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Now for the main event! True to form, I opted for a classic burger with cheddar cheese - minus the pickle. Whilst the burger was beautifully seasoned, it leaned on the drier side which isn't really my cup of tea. I like my burgers juicy and dripping! It was really flavourful though which did pull it up a bit in my estimation, and again the tomato jam worked perfectly as an accompaniment.

In a slight twist of events, Paddy decided to go for the Grinder Burger, which consisted of a paprika dusted beef patty, grilled chorizo and Manchego cheese. Much like myself, he agreed it was a great balance of flavours but again a bit too dry for his liking.

I don't mind having to order chips separately, which was the case in Meat Bar, as it usually means I can try some more exciting options. For some reason, my imagination got the better of me and I decided to opt for the Swine Fries with pulled pork, chipotle sour cream, red onions, peppers and jalapeños. They were really delicious, but cost nearly as much as my burger for a relatively small portion. The same could be said for the plain fries which seemed a tad overpriced for a small portion. When the burgers themselves aren't the cheapest, this was a bit of a bugbear for me.

Meat Bar Glasgow Burgerthon | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

In a very similar fashion to previous venues for the Glasgow Burgerthon, Meat Bar didn't *quite* blow me away. It was by all means enjoyable, and I'd most definitely be back to try some of their unique cocktails and maybe one of the steaks that seem to be their "thing". The main issue for me was the pricing, which had been slightly unexpected for us.

She thought: Quality of burger 3, Variety available 3, Atmosphere & service 4, Value for money 2
He thought: Quality of burger 3, Variety available 4, Atmosphere & service 3.5, Value for money 2.5

Overall, Meat Bar scored 25 out of a possible 40

Check out the rest of the Glasgow Burgerthon to see how it compares

Meat Bar is located at 142 West Regent Street, Glasgow
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13 Feb 2016

Saturday Share #19

Saturday Share | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog


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12 Feb 2016

Flawless False Lashes with Jenni's Beauty Lashes

How to apply false lashes Jennis Beauty Lashes | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

For a long time I just wasn't fussed about false lashes. I thought they were fiddly, messy and they always ended up looking ridiculous on me. At some point last year I decided enough was enough and that I wanted those super long, fluttery lashes packed with volume that I was always poring over on Instagram or YouTube, so it was about time that I tried my best to get the application nailed.

Fast forward to nearly 12 months later and I finally feel confident enough to wear lashes on a regular basis, without needing to dedicate 40 minutes of my precious getting ready time to applying each strip. Over the past few months I've read countless blog posts and articles, and spent many an hour trawling Pinterest looking for the latest and greatest tips when it comes to applying false lashes, so now I actually find it a relatively easy process.

False lashes can be pretty intimidating at first, so I thought I'd share some of the more useful information I've come across through my research, as well as introducing you to one of my favourite brands at the moment.

How to apply false lashes Jennis Beauty Lashes | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Glue


One of the big factors in me overcoming my hesitations of false lashes was the glue. A lot of the time, the glue that comes alongside strip lashes isn't quite up to scratch, so I decided to pick myself up a tube of DUO Eyelash Glue from Boots. I find that DUO has a much longer lifespan, helping my lashes to stay put all day without my eyes feeling like they're absolutely smothered in horrible sticky glue! I steered clear of the black glue on offer and went for clear instead as I haven't quite got the perfect application technique and so didn't want to smear my eyelids with sticky black gloop in the process. It's impressive stuff, especially in comparison to the sachets typically included when buying lashes. It also means that I can make the most of being able to buy eyelashes that don't include glue, meaning I've been able to try lots of new styles and brands.

How to apply false lashes Jennis Beauty Lashes | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Styles & Brands


Speaking of styles and brands... Jenni's Beauty Lashes recently sent me a few of their styles to try out and they have totally converted me. I used to stick to the main contenders like Eylure and Ardell, but since trying out the styles available from Jenni's Beauty Lashes I've realised just how many amazing independent eyelash brands there are out there. It's incredible! 

I like a variety of styles of lashes depending on the occasion, and at the moment I find myself reaching for the Jessica Lashes nearly every day. These beautiful lashes are lightweight and super flexible, meaning they fit to my eye perfectly with no discomfort so I can easily wear them all day. The clear band helps them blend in with my natural lashes and they add the perfect amount of length and volume to my natural lashes for every day wear. For special occasions, I like to go all out. We're talking long, fluttery lashes with lots of volume. The Jennifer Lashes are perfect to pair with a shimmery smoky eye for some full on glamour without being ridiculously over the top and spidery like some other styles can be.

How to apply false lashes Jennis Beauty Lashes | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog


Useful Tips

  • Make sure to trim your lashes from the inner corner so as to ensure they fit your eye perfectly without losing any of the shape and flick from the style
  • Allow the glue to set for 30 seconds - 1 minute and become slightly tacky before applying your eyelashes to prevent them slipping all over your lid
  • Curl your natural lashes and apply a thin coating of mascara before adding falsies to help them blend together seamlessly
  • Wrap your false eyelashes around something like a makeup brush before applying to ensure they are as flexible as possible
  • After applying, use a black liner to help blend the strip with your natural lashline
  • If you struggle lining up the band of the lashes with your natural lashline, try looking downwards in to a mirror when applying - it helps more than you'd expect!
  • Be patient - it takes time to master the perfect application, but practise makes perfect


Do you have any little tips and tricks when it comes to applying false lashes? Let me know in the comments!


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11 Feb 2016

My Valentine's Day Beauty Picks & Ernest Jones Giveaway

Valentine's Beauty Ernest Jones Giveaway | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Valentine's Beauty Ernest Jones Giveaway | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Valentine's Beauty Ernest Jones Giveaway | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

For the past few years I've been working till late or travelling home from Aberdeen on Valentine's Day, so getting ready for any date plans felt rushed and stressful as opposed to the fun it should be. Luckily, this year I'm not going to be working the Sunday and so I'm very much looking forward to having ample time to get ready. Playing with makeup & beauty is one of my favourite things to do - if you couldn't already tell - and the prospect of planning out a look for the evening fills me with nearly as much joy as the thought of the food that awaits.

Whilst I've not quite nailed down the look I'm going for yet, I do have a rough idea of the products I'll be reaching for on the day, so I thought I'd share a few of my Valentine's Day beauty picks with you all... as well as an exciting Valentine's giveaway if you stick around till the end!

Valentine's Beauty Ernest Jones Giveaway | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Valentine's Beauty Ernest Jones Giveaway | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Face

My skin is behaving surprisingly well at the moment, so I'm not planning to go for any overly heavy coverage, but I'll definitely be reaching for my beloved Nars Sheer Glow for it's natural finish. I always feel a bit more made up if I have a bit of contour action on the go and so the Sleek Contour Kit will undoubtedly be making an appearance!

I'm losing track of how many times I've mentioned my current obsession with highlighters, so it's no wonder that one of my main focuses for my face this Sunday will be the highlight! I feel like going for a softer, quite girly look and so I think Benefit's High Beam will be perfect for this with it's peachy tone and subtle glow.

Eyes

As much as I wish I had the Urban Decay Naked 3 in my collection at the moment I'm going to make do with the fantastic value of the Makeup Revolution Iconic 3 palette instead. These rose toned neutrals are perfect for pretty much any occasion and I'm excited to pair them with some super fluttery false lashes! I never used to be a big fan of false lashes, but over the past year they've become an essential part of my beauty arsenal. If you struggle with falsies, like I used to, then be sure to tune in tomorrow for a few tips and tricks!

Valentine's Beauty Ernest Jones Giveaway | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Valentine's Beauty Ernest Jones Giveaway | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Lips

Recently I've found myself reaching for some new shades for my lips, taking a tiny step away from the dusky pink shades I typically favour. Whilst I doubt I'll ever get over my love of a dusky pink, I have been enjoying some slightly bolder pinks and I think Valentine's is the perfect time to experiment with them a bit more! I've already raved about the Kiko Milano Creamy Comfort Lip Liners this week, and as I'm going to be indulging in plenty of food on Sunday night I think a good lip liner will definitely be needed. I'm thinking about going for the fuschia liner with a bit of balm over the top for a pop of low fuss colour.

Perfume

I've managed to amass a considerable perfume collection recently, with lots of deep, luxe scents that would be perfect for a cosy date night. At the moment I'm finding myself reaching for Cherry Blossom from The Library of Fragrance most days and despite it being one of my fresher offerings I think the sheer floral with the hint of fruit makes it a beautiful choice for Valentine's. Plus, the sturdy yet small bottle means it's perfect for popping in my bag in case I fancy a little spritz on the go. Always a bonus in my eyes!


Ernest Jones have very kindly offered the chance to win a gorgeous charm bracelet from Chamilia worth £150 to celebrate Valentine's Day! Jewellery is always a popular choice come Valentine's day and it's safe to say that Ernest Jones have a brilliant range of Valentine's gifts to choose from this year. So if you fancy winning this beautiful bracelet to treat someone special, or even just as a special something for you, then check out the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

Terms and Conditions


  • This giveaway is open to UK entrants only
  • One winner will be chosen at random via the Rafflecopter widget below
  • Entry is via the Rafflecopter widget below and the winner will receive a Chamilia Charm Bracelet from Ernest Jones
  • Entrants under 18 must seek parental permission before entering
  • No purchase necessary
  • Once drawn, the winner will be contacted via the email provided and has 28 days to respond before another winner is selected.
  • All entries will be moderated and duplicate, false or incomplete entries will be deleted
  • The giveaway will run from 11.2.16 to midnight on 15.2.16

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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