21 Dec 2017

Reflecting on 2017

2017 Reflections My Year in Blog Posts | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
2017 Reflections My Year in Blog Posts | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

The End is in Sight

This year, I'm planning on doing something a bit novel for me, and I'm going to actually take some time off over Christmas. It's been years since I properly stopped working over the festive season, and to be honest, I think I really need it. This year has been a bit of a roller coaster, to say the least, and it's taken its toll. As a result, this is going to be my final post of the year, and what better way to wave goodbye to 2017 with a look back at everything it's brought me?

I can't even explain how relieved I am that this year is coming to an end. It's been pretty rubbish, from start to finish, and when I look back I feel genuinely amazed that I'm still standing. One of the most valuable things that I learned at CBT earlier in the year was to look for the good things to come out of bad situations, and now that I'm able to sit down and take in the year as a whole, I'm coming away with a sense of pride and overwhelming gratitude for those who've been there for me when I needed them most.

This is probably going to be a long one, so let's get stuck in... You might want to grab some snacks. Without further ado, 2017, here are your best bits.
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19 Dec 2017

Dinner at Chez Mal, Glasgow

Malmaison Chez Mal Glasgow Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Malmaison Chez Mal Glasgow Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Malmaison Chez Mal Glasgow Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

A pre-Christmas treat at Malmaison Glasgow

Back in August, Lis took me for afternoon tea at Malmaison Glasgow and it was the perfect post-birthday treat. I'm a huge fan of afternoon tea and love trying new places, with Malmaison leaving me suitably impressed by their alternative take on the standard sandwiches and scones affair. The Chez Mal brasserie opened in the Glasgow hotel a couple of months ago, and I'd been drooling over reviews ever since.

The festive season is always full of lots of good food, and at the weekend I kept up my tradition of an indulgent December with a trip to the Chez Mal Brasserie to sample some of their mouthwatering menu for myself. Geraldine had recently arrived home from Manchester for Christmas, which is the perfect excuse to catch up over cocktails, and made a nice change from our usual tapas adventures.

Much like the rest of the stunning hotel, Chez Mal is an incredibly stylish setting, with a cosy atmosphere that makes for the perfect mealtime venue. Having never stayed in one of the beautiful Malmaison hotels before (as much as I would like to!) I wasn't too sure what to expect in terms of the restaurant experience, but my visit on Sunday has solidified my desire to indulge in the full Malmaison experience in the future.
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15 Dec 2017

Defining Success as a Blogger

Defining Success and Setting Goals for your blog | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Defining Success and Setting Goals for your blog | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Defining Success and Setting Goals for your blog | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

How do you define success?

Success is such a personal thing. What matters to you might not necessarily matter to others, and whilst you might feel fulfilled by measure of your career goals, others may look to things like the way they live their life or the people they surround themselves with. There is no one size fits all definition of success, and there certainly isn't any one path to find it either.

Success, as a blogger or otherwise, is really just what you make of it. Wanting to be "successful" is a completely understandable goal, but it's important to have a clear understanding of what success actually means to you. Your idea of success might not be the same as that other person you admire, but you could easily feel equally as successful in different ways.

Honestly? The way I define success can change so much as the days go by. Success is ever-changing, which has become glaringly obvious to me this year! At the start of the year, I thought that success for me would be blogging full time, having my own place and being a dress size smaller. Right now, I would happily say that I do feel pretty successful, but I haven't achieved any of these things.

For me, success mostly looks like being able to do my own thing. Going freelance was a huge deal for me, and something I hadn't anticipated happening quite so soon either. I love that I can help other people out by doing something I actually find fun. I don't have to give up my weekends to retail and can work in my pyjamas if I so wish.

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13 Dec 2017

Five Bloggers You Should Be Reading Right Now

Five Best Smaller Bloggers 2017 | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Five Best Smaller Bloggers 2017 | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Five Best Smaller Bloggers 2017 | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Five brilliant bloggers to add to your reading list for 2018

I've loved reading other blogs since before I even started my own all those years ago. There's something about reading about things people are passionate about that makes me so happy. I have a lot of favourite blogs that I return to day after day, month after month, year after - you get the gist. Although I have my long-standing favourites, there have been a few blogs I've become slowly obsessed with over the past twelve months that I just had to share.

I guess you could say I have varied taste, because I like a lot of different blogs, but at the core of it all, I seem to lean towards blogs that feel like you're chatting with your best pal over a cuppa. I'm a nosey person, so I love learning about other people's lives and the things they care about. Be that a lipstick, or a book, or a cosy jumper from Primark, or a holiday or a person - when people are passionate it shines through and that's what draws me to a blog.

So whilst these blogs may not be brand new discoveries for many of you, they've been the ones that I've found myself going back to each and every week to get lost in a brand new blog post. They're the people I've been loving on Twitter, stalking slightly on Instagram (some in real life, too, because I'm awkward like that) and are generally just five amazing people worth adding to your reading list for 2018.

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11 Dec 2017

Finding Your Style Comfort Zone - and Going Beyond It

Boohoo Christmas Skater Dress Metallic | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Boohoo Christmas Skater Dress Metallic | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Boohoo Christmas Skater Dress Metallic | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Dress - Boohoo; Jacket - Dorothy Perkins (old);
Boots - Quiz (old); Earrings - Lovisa

Stepping Out of my Comfort Zone

I think 2017 is the year I discovered my comfort zone when it comes to fashion. I've finally figured out what I like (comfort) and what I don't love quite so much (crop tops and cold shoulders - hello I live in Scotland?). I expanded my collection of trousers and I finally started to pick up a few more staple pieces, instead of going for very fashion led bits and bobs that I'd wear once and never look at again.

It's safe to say, however, that this dress is not something I would have considered as being very "me". I used to wear dresses pretty much exclusively, but for some reason, I fell away from that habit and started leaning towards trousers or a skirt at a push. But, when Boohoo asked me to style their signature "dress of the month" for December I decided to push my boundaries a little, just to see if I could still work out with my comfort zone.

It's party season, and I'm mostly a jeans and a nice top kind of girl, so this metallic skater dress was unexpected, to say the least. My first instinct was to try and dress it down, instantly wondering how I could make it work with my beloved trainers, but then I decided to lean into the challenge and actually dress up a bit for once.
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8 Dec 2017

The Perfect Cosy Christmas Night In

RumChata Cosy Christmas Hot Chocolate Cocktail Edinburgh Competition | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
RumChata Cosy Christmas Hot Chocolate Cocktail Edinburgh Competition | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
RumChata Cosy Christmas Hot Chocolate Cocktail Edinburgh Competition | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
RumChata Cosy Christmas Hot Chocolate Cocktail Edinburgh Competition | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
RumChata Cosy Christmas Hot Chocolate Cocktail Edinburgh Competition | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Sometimes, this time of year can be a bit overwhelming. Places to go, people to see - you know the drill. I love catching up with friends whilst they’re home for Christmas and as much as I love soaking up the festive atmosphere in the city centre I’m definitely the sort of person that needs a balance. As Christmas draws nearer (scarily fast, might I add) I’m finding myself craving cosy nights in with my nearest and dearest sitting by the fire enjoying a tipple or two. Baby, it’s cold outside, and all that jazz...

I adore nights in, where I can chill out in my pyjamas in the comfort of my own home surrounded by piles of fairy lights. There’s something so cosy about this time of year, with the fire burning, candles as far as the eye can see and plenty of good TV to get stuck into on these dark nights.

When planning the perfect cosy Christmas night in, there’s a lot to consider. Are you going it alone, or inviting your pals round for a chinwag over a cocktail or two? Personally, I like a bit of both. I relish in some alone time, where I can cosy up under a blanket and get lost in a good book, but I also adore a bit of company too – be that in the form of the cats or actual humans. As I’ve grown older and friends have moved away, Christmas has become a time for catching up whilst we’re actually in the same place again for once, which makes this time of year extra special.

The best thing about the festive season, though? The food and drink. Did you really expect anything less from me? I’m a pretty big cheese and chocolate fan all year round, but my consumption reaches new levels at Christmas time. There are too many treats – both sweet and savoury – on the shelves to ignore at this time of year. A cosy night in is the perfect excuse to stock up on some festive snacks, be that a huge box of Celebrations or a big wheel of cheese.

RumChata Cosy Christmas Hot Chocolate Cocktail Edinburgh Competition | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
RumChata Cosy Christmas Hot Chocolate Cocktail Edinburgh Competition | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
RumChata Cosy Christmas Hot Chocolate Cocktail Edinburgh Competition | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
RumChata Cosy Christmas Hot Chocolate Cocktail Edinburgh Competition | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

For an extra special cosy night in I like to go the extra mile and make some festive hot chocolates piled high with cream and marshmallows to indulge in whilst watching a good film on a Friday night. I love a tipsy hot chocolate, usually favouring a bit of Baileys or maybe some Malibu to spice things up a bit, but this year I discovered quite possibly the perfect festive addition to my drinks cabinet. I’m a rum fan as it is, but RumChata is honestly something else entirely. Cream liqueurs are a bit of a staple at Christmas time, but this delicious rum-based concoction with a sweet dose of vanilla and cinnamon works brilliantly in a White Russian, a CinEspresso Martini or even just on its own over ice.

To make my ultimate RumChata hot chocolate, simply melt some luxury hot chocolate buttons into hot milk, pour into your favourite glass, swirl in 2 x 25ml shots of RumChata and finish with as much whipped cream, marshmallows and sprinkles that you can handle.

Want to try a RumChata hot chocolate out for yourself? Luckily for you, I’ve got a competition running on my Twitter where you can win tickets to Edinburgh’s Christmas and two RumChata hot chocolates – check it out here!


Once you’ve got your sustenance sorted, it’s time for the fun to really begin. The perfect cosy Christmas night in can take many forms, be that a pamper night with the girls or sticking a cute film on and cosying up on the couch with the cats (or maybe Paddy…). The beauty of bringing the Christmas celebrations home is that you can do whatever you damn well please – and that’s what I’m all about. My own plans on my own terms, ideally in my pyjamas. Does it get any better than that?

RumChata Cosy Christmas Hot Chocolate Cocktail Edinburgh Competition | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
RumChata Cosy Christmas Hot Chocolate Cocktail Edinburgh Competition | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
RumChata Cosy Christmas Hot Chocolate Cocktail Edinburgh Competition | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

 Now that things are starting to wrap up ready for the heart of the festive season I can’t wait to make the most of these dark nights for some chilled-out evenings on the couch. Having worked in retail alongside studying, working freelance and running my blog for the past few years I very rarely take “proper” time off, especially at Christmas, but this year I’m determined to make a chance and actually take time to do something other than working. So, if you need me, I’ll be working my way through the entirety of Netflix’s Christmas collection with a hot chocolate in hand and a huge tub of chocolates at my feet.

Terms & Conditions:
  • Giveaway runs from 8th December 2017 and closes at 11:59 on 11th December 2017. Winner will be announced at 8pm on 12th December 2017. 
  • Competition only open to participants ages 18 or over.
  • Competition winners will be chosen by myself.
  • Competition winners will be contacted by myself within 2 working days after the competition has ended.
  • Winner's name and contact details including full name, email address and contact telephone number will be taken from me and passed onto the promoter for the issuance of tickets.
  • Winner will receive a confirmation email from the promoter which must be printed and presented at the Edinburgh’s Christmas Box office located on Junction of Castle Street and George Street, Edinburgh, along with proof of ID, showing that he/she is 18 years or over
  • Tickets and voucher valid from 17 Nov - 24 Dec 2017 and must be redeemed during this timeframe.
  • This competition will issue a maximum of 1 competition prize, consisting of x2 tickets to either Shark in the Park, La Clique Noel or any of the attractions listed here at Edinburgh’s Christmas (subject to availability) and x2 complementary RumChata hot chocolates from the RumChata bar on George Street beside the light sculpture, just off the corner of Castle Street and George Street. (Please note, that proof of age may be required by bar staff upon redemption)
  • This promotion has been issued by Whyte & Mackay.
  • There are no costs associated with entering this competition.
  • Please note travel to and from Edinburgh’s Christmas is NOT included.

Post produced in collaboration with RumChata – read my full disclaimer here
Please remember to drink responsibly. 
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6 Dec 2017

4 Festive Things to Do in Glasgow This Christmas

Things to do in Glasgow Christmas 2017 | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Things to do in Glasgow Christmas 2017 | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Things to do in Glasgow Christmas 2017 | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

 It's the most wonderful time of the year - especially in Glasgow. There's something really special about Christmas time in my city, and this year I wanted to share another round of suggestions for things to do in Glasgow at Christmas. There's always plenty going on in Glasgow, but it really comes alive at Christmas, with countless shows, markets and plenty of good food and drink to be had across the city. I've touched a bit on where to do your Christmas shopping in Glasgow, but I wanted to expand on that and bring in some more of the experiences that are taking place around the city, instead of just the shops... as much as I love shopping! It's the time of year to spend time with those you love, and here are some great ways to spend your time in the run-up to the biggest day of the year (that isn't my birthday).

Christmas Markets

This year, Glasgow's Christmas Markets have a new organiser at the helm, and whilst on the surface you might not be able to tell, the experience as a whole is a lot more enjoyable. Don't get me wrong, I always love the novelty of the Christmas markets, but this year there's just a lot more space and the whole thing flows better as a whole. There's a brilliant selection of stalls on offer - including some unmissable dutch pancakes - and you really could spend an afternoon or an evening taking it all in. The classic M&D's Big Wheel has taken its place overlooking George Square and is the best place to take in the festive atmosphere enveloping the whole square. Grab some mulled wine (or even some delicious mulled cider) and one of the bars in George Square and St Enoch Square before meandering around the stalls taking in the wonderful sights - and smells!

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4 Dec 2017

On Fitting In

Fitting in as a Blogger  | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Fitting in as a Blogger  | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Fitting in as a Blogger  | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Jumper - New Look; Trousers - New Look; Trainers - Adidas via ASOS;
Initial Necklace - Kate Spade (old); Four Leaf Clover Necklace - Thomas Sabo

I've always felt like a little bit of an outcast in life. It's weird, I just feel like I have a bit of an "eclectic" personality and it's rare that I feel entirely comfortable in any one group or situation. It happens a lot in blogging, and its rare for a day to go by where I don't feel like some sort of outlier. Sometimes I get frustrated with not being invited to events (that I probably wouldn't have gone to anyway) or not working on a certain campaign, struggling to grow my Instagram or just not getting those effortless candid shots that look like they belong on the pages of a magazine. It probably ties into the whole self-doubt thing that I've been chatting about lately, and I know I'm getting better at caring less, but it can be difficult in a world where you're constantly exposed to other peoples' highlight reels on social media. 

Blogging can feel very cliquey at times, much like most aspects of life, and that can be difficult. I'm an awkward person, offline and online, so it's no wonder that I don't feel like I really slot nicely into the community like I'd like to. The whole thing is a bit of a popularity contest, unfortunately, and I've never come out trumps on that front. But you know what? I'm quite happy not fitting in. I'd rather be me than spend my life forcing myself to play pretend. Can you imagine how exhausting that must be?
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1 Dec 2017

Shop Scottish Gift Guide: Home & Other Gifts

Shop Scottish Gift Guide Christmas Ideas Home  | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Shop Scottish Gift Guide Christmas Ideas Home  | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

When I first started writing these gift guides I had no idea how intense they would be. I'm kind of glad this is the last one. Don't get me wrong, I love shouting about the people, things and businesses I love, but writing and promoting five posts in one week is tough going. I honestly don't know how I used to blog every single day! For my final gift guide, I'm focusing on all of the lovely homely bits and bobs I've come across recently. I know that at this time of year I tend to have a little nesting phase, favouring purchases for the house as opposed to other pieces. You just can't beat a nice candle in the winter! A couple of the shops are just general gift shops, but I figured I'd include them in this guide as a nice little all-rounder.

Missed the first four Shop Scottish Gift Guides? Check them out here

I hadn't heard of Last Winter Crafts before I started researching for these gift guides, but yet again it was love at first sight as soon as I stumbled across the Etsy store. Last Winter Craft sells absolutely stunning handmade pottery, with beautiful tealight holders, pretty ceramic pots and lovely little trinket dishes. This is exactly the kind of thing I love, but very rarely treat myself to, so I think their products would make brilliant Christmas gifts. Feel free to pick up one of these Ceramic Mountain Tealight Holders for me, if you're feeling generous...

Candles make great gifts at any time of year, but there's something about the dark nights in the run-up to Christmas that get me stocking up on candles like they're going out of fashion. Coast Candle Co candles are inspired by the beauty of the Scottish Highlands, using high-quality oils and soy wax to create gorgeous scents like Seaside Tea Party and Big Sky Morning.

Shop Scottish Gift Guide Christmas Ideas Home  | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

I came across Candelle and Co took part in a pop-up shop just down the road from me earlier this year (or maybe last, time just gets away from me these days) and was instantly drawn to their clean, crisp packaging. Obviously, my first thoughts were how good they'd look on my Instagram, and I'm not even ashamed to admit that.

Speaking of Instagram... that's how I discovered, and fell in love with, Mud Urban Flowers. Chances are, you'll have seen their beautiful blooms floating around on Instagram lately, and for good reason. Their bouquets are all absolutely stunning and start from just £19. Unfortunately, they don't deliver to my postcode at the moment, which is probably a good thing for my bank balance. If you're buying for someone in Glasgow who appreciates a good bunch of fresh flowers, then you need to be buying from Mud. They also offer a subscription service, for a regular dose of floral joy!

Jenni Douglas Designs is an Edinburgh-based printmaking and design studio with a selection of handmade gifts and trinkets that are perfect for presents. It might sound weird, but I love their lampshade selection, even though I own zero lamps. Jenni Douglas stocks a really beautiful range of gifts, and if your recipients are fans of a bit of DIY fashion then their unique fabrics are not to be missed.

Shop Scottish Gift Guide Christmas Ideas Home  | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Seeing as it's coming up for Christmas, it's only right that I mention some festive decorations to pop on your tree. I came across Nicki Bradwell Design on Facebook yesterday and was instantly struck by her simple yet stunning decorations. She's also just started selling mugs (aka my favourite thing to buy) with beautiful patterns inspired by Scottish flora and fauna - have a nosey!

Shearer Candles was founded in Glasgow in 1897 and is the UK's longest established lifestyle candle brand - how cool is that?! Their candles contain the highest quality ingredients and can be found in hotels and restaurants all over the country. I'm a big fan of their Vanilla and Coconut scent, with Tropical Watermelon coming in a close second.

And last, but certainly not least, is The Bellwether. Claire designs cross stitch kits with a modern twist, and alongside her cross stitch products, she also stocks a variety of gifts including keychains, badges, zines and more. She's going to be exhibiting at Etsy Made Local this Saturday and I can't wait to see her offerings in person!

Looking for some more Christmas gift inspiration? Click here to read the rest of my Shop Scottish Gift Guides


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30 Nov 2017

Shop Scottish Gift Guide: Art & Stationery

Shop Scottish Christmas Gift Ideas Stationery Art Designers | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Shop Scottish Christmas Gift Ideas Stationery Art Designers | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

It's December tomorrow and I'm feeling very festive today. Which is handy, because I have a lot of Christmas content to write! This part of my Shop Scottish Gift Guide is actually the part that got the ball rolling in the first place, as I wanted to showcase some of my favourite Scottish makers just in time for the height of the Christmas shopping season. I love supporting Scottish talent by shopping from them on a regular basis (basically, I'm a bit of a shopaholic) and I wanted to share some of that love by shouting about them on my blog, too. It was hard to categorise this one, as a lot of the designers included have many talents on show, but the main focus is their incredible artwork - be that on stationery, prints, jewellery, pins or mugs and more - so that's the route I've decided to take.

Not seen the previous gift guides yet? Check them out here

I'll get the most obvious out of the way first, shall I? There was no doubt in my mind when it came to including Claire Barclay Draws, one of my all-time favourite makers. Claire features in a lot of my posts, and over the past two or so years I've built up quite the collection of her work. She's my go-to gal for gifts, with sassy Scottish slogans and the best of Weegie humour being a regular feature in her prints, totes and jewellery. I buy my Christmas cards from her year on year, and they always get hundreds of compliments in return! I may have made another order from her just last weekend, but I'm also really looking forward to paying her stall a visit at Etsy Made Local on Saturday too.

Another designer I have loved for years is biscuit queen Nikki McWilliams. Chances are, you've seen her incredible biscuit designs at some point in your life, with her iconic cushions taking the likes of Instagram by storm. Nikki stocks the most amazing range of biscuit themed bits and bobs, including pins, patches and passport covers. I have quite a soft spot for biscuits (read: I eat way too many biscuits) so it's no wonder that I love Nikki's work. She's also excellent on Instagram and I genuinely look forward to seeing her stories pop up in my feed.

It was Instagram that first introduced me to Hand Over Your Fairy Cakes, and I fell for Sally's mix of sassy pop-culture references and the perfect colour schemes. Her Feminist Killjoy collection is all sorts of heaven, and I'm eyeing up more than a few of the Self-Care stocking fillers, too. HOYFC just sums up my aesthetic in one handy shop, what more could a girl want?
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29 Nov 2017

Shop Scottish Gift Guide: Food & Drink

Shop Scottish Food Drink Gifts Independent Businesses Scotland Christmas | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Shop Scottish Food Drink Gifts Independent Businesses Scotland Christmas | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

I always gravitate towards foodie gifts at Christmas, which I think says a lot more about me than anything else. Food is great all year round, but there's something about the festive season that has sweet treats and good grub on my mind even more than usual! There are so many great gifts for foodies out there these days, from gorgeous hampers full of luxury treats to independent coffee brands, food experiences and plenty of bespoke booze, too. You're spoilt for choice, really, but here are just a few of my go-to's for food and drink gifts.

I'm not a huge coffee fan (yes, I know, I just cannot handle caffeine okay), but Dear Green is always recommended to me by those in the know as being one of the best to buy from. You can buy individual bags, essentials for your coffee brewing kit and even regular coffee subscriptions on their website, which is perfect for your coffee loving pals out there.

If the person you're buying for (or you!) has a sweet tooth, then tablet is always a good purchasing decision. Tablet by Una has a gorgeous range of luxury tablet in unique flavours such as Baileys, Chocolate Orange and Lemon, alongside good ol' vanilla, too. If you've never had tablet before, you haven't lived. Go order yourself some of this and spend an afternoon on a sugar high like no other!

As much as I love tablet, I'm more of a fudge girl myself. My cousin Zoe runs Homemade Fudge Annan and makes some of the most incredible fudge I've ever seen. I ordered a tray of white chocolate and cookie dough fudge from her a couple of weeks ago and demolished an entire tray to myself over the space of a weekend, it's incredible. She has so many flavours, including things like Oreo, White Chocolate and Peppermint, Baileys, Peanut Butter and Salted Caramel. I'm drooling just thinking about it, I think I need to order myself more of the white chocolate and cookie dough come payday...

Continuing with the sweet theme, Coco Chocolatier is an artisan chocolate maker who makes some of the best looking chocolate I have ever seen. You can get all sorts of flavours, including a beautiful dark chocolate gin & tonic bar, which all come in stunning packaging and make the perfect addition to a gift. I can highly recommend the Raspberry and Vanilla bean!

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28 Nov 2017

Shop Scottish Gift Guide: Fashion, Accessories & Beauty

Shop Scottish Christmas Gift Guide Ideas Fashion Beauty Accessories Independent Small Businesses | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Shop Scottish Christmas Gift Guide Ideas Fashion Beauty Accessories Independent Small Businesses | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

So next up in my Shop Scottish Gift Guide, after yesterday's guide to Christmas shopping in Glasgow, is a selection of my favourite fashion, beauty and accessories businesses. Scotland is renowned for its textiles, so it's no wonder that we have some incredible emerging fashion brands creeping onto the scene. I like to think that I've pulled together a pretty good selection of small businesses to buy from this Christmas, but in all honesty, I've barely scratched the surface. There are so many amazing independent makers around in Scotland, but here are just a few of my favourites...
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27 Nov 2017

Shop Scottish Gift Guide: Where to Shop in Glasgow

Shop Scottish Glasgow Christmas Markets Craft Fair Hypermarket Gift Shop | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Shop Scottish Glasgow Christmas Markets Craft Fair Hypermarket Gift Shop | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

This year, instead of my usual high-street gift guides, I wanted to focus on showcasing some incredible Scottish talent just in time for Christmas. I love thoughtful gifts, and shopping small is such a brilliant way to find the perfect present for the special people in your life. Originally, I was planning on one bumper post, jam-packed with all of my recommendations, but when it started to creep towards the 2000 word mark I realised I had to rethink my approach. Instead, this whole week will be dedicated to my Shop Scottish Gift Guide, with five separate posts covering five rough categories of independent makers from Scotland.

As easy as online shopping can be, sometimes it's just that little bit easier to see what you're buying in person, especially if you don't have a concrete idea of what you want to buy just yet. So to kick it all off, I'm sharing a quick round-up of some of the best places to shop small in Glasgow this Christmas, with a mix of quirky little gift shops you can visit in person and some craft fairs you cannot miss in the coming weeks.

Glasgow has a brilliant scene of independent businesses, with fantastic restaurants and coffee shops across the city, but it's also home to some great gift shops too. In the east end, you can find the Braw Wee Emporium at the iconic Barras Market, which operates as a not-for-profit passionate about regenerating the market and promoting Scottish talent. Braw Wee Emporium is home to products by over 70 Scottish makers, including my favourite Claire Barclay Draws.

Head west, and you'll find a treasure trove of trinkets in gift shops like Gie it Laldy, where you'll find mugs and other assorted gifts featuring iconic Weegie slogans such as "yer da sells Avon", "fanny baws" and "here we fuckin' go" to name just a few. You'll find some absolute belters here, that are sure to grab a laugh from the Glaswegians in your life.

Another gem of the west end is the Glasgow branch of the wonderful Liquorice Tree, with a range of gorgeous gifts for all occasions. They have a brilliant selection of Scottish inspired gifts both online and in-store, so it's well worth paying a visit if you're passing by. Little gift shops like Liquorice Tree are absolute treasure troves when it comes to finding thoughtful Christmas gifts to show the ones you love that you care.

If you head to the burgeoning south side of Glasgow, you just might stumble across Sunshine No.1 in Mount Florida. Another fantastic independent gift shop, Sunshine No.1 showcases the best gifts from makers across the country. Since their birth in 2015, the shop has grown to host work from over 60 Scottish designers from all corners of the country.

Shop Scottish Glasgow Christmas Markets Craft Fair Hypermarket Gift Shop | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Shop Scottish Glasgow Christmas Markets Craft Fair Hypermarket Gift Shop | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Shop Scottish Glasgow Christmas Markets Craft Fair Hypermarket Gift Shop | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Photos of Etsy Made Local 2016 from the Glasgow Etsy Team

This weekend sees one of my favourite events, Etsy Made Local, return to Glasgow once more on the 2nd and 3rd of December. For the third year running, the Glasgow Etsy Team have pulled together a selection of some of Glasgow's best and brightest Etsy sellers under one roof for the weekend. Taking place at The Briggait, just behind the St Enoch Centre, Etsy Made Local is the perfect place to pick up some beautifully crafted presents for the special people in your life. It runs across the Saturday and Sunday, with different sellers on each day, which is a great excuse to visit twice - if you ask me! I'm hoping to make it along to both days, but I know I'll definitely be there on Saturday to shop from makers like Nikki McWilliams, Hand Over Your Fairy Cakes and (again) Claire Barclay Draws. You can find a list of the Saturday sellers here, and the Sunday lineup here.

Also on this Sunday is the Glasgow Independent Market (Christmas Gift Special) at Barras Art and Design. BAaD is a relatively new addition to Glasgow's scene, but it sure has been popular ever since it opened. BAaD helps celebrate the significance of the Barras area in Glasgow heritage, with a truly unique space that's home to a variety of events and an award-winning restaurant, too. There's another BAaD Christmas Market later on in December on the 17th which I've popped in my diary in case I need any more bits and bobs when the time comes - or treats for myself, who knows.

Shop Scottish Glasgow Christmas Markets Craft Fair Hypermarket Gift Shop | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Shop Scottish Glasgow Christmas Markets Craft Fair Hypermarket Gift Shop | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Shop Scottish Glasgow Christmas Markets Craft Fair Hypermarket Gift Shop | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Shop Scottish Glasgow Christmas Markets Craft Fair Hypermarket Gift Shop | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
 The beaut Frenchie is my friend's dog, Dwight, and you should follow him on Instagram
(photos thanks to the SWG3 Hypermarket team)

This coming weekend is jam-packed with Christmas shopping events, and after I hit up Etsy Made Local I'm going to be heading over to spend the afternoon at the Christmas Hypermarket at SWG3. The Hypermarket is a two-day event, with an exciting array of local lifestyle, fashion and design businesses. You can shop the curated craftspeople's products at event prices, all whilst enjoying the selection of street food stalls that'll be offering plenty of scran and some cocktails too. It's perfect if you can't face the thought of trekking up and down the high street, but still want to pick up some of the best quality gifts from independent Scottish businesses like Trakke, Banton Frameworks and Oh So Hygge.

Plus, if you head along on the Sunday, you might catch an exclusive acoustic set from the babes that are Frightened Rabbit.

Shop Scottish Glasgow Christmas Markets Craft Fair Hypermarket Gift Shop | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Shop Scottish Glasgow Christmas Markets Craft Fair Hypermarket Gift Shop | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Shop Scottish Glasgow Christmas Markets Craft Fair Hypermarket Gift Shop | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Shop Scottish Glasgow Christmas Markets Craft Fair Hypermarket Gift Shop | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Shop Scottish Glasgow Christmas Markets Craft Fair Hypermarket Gift Shop | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Shop Scottish Glasgow Christmas Markets Craft Fair Hypermarket Gift Shop | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Shop Scottish Glasgow Christmas Markets Craft Fair Hypermarket Gift Shop | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Shop Scottish Glasgow Christmas Markets Craft Fair Hypermarket Gift Shop | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Excellent photos courtesy of my bae

And last, but certainly not least, is The Hidden Lane. Sitting just off of Argyle Street in Finnieston, The Hidden Lane is home to over 100 makers, studios, galleries salons and more. You can grab a bite to eat at the Tearooms, and shop quirky gifts from brilliant Scottish businesses like the effervescent Bonnie Bling. There's everything from antique shops to yoga studios - with plenty in between - so you're sure to find some brilliant gifts at The Hidden Lane this Christmas. It's also super Instagrammable, with brightly coloured walls and an array of cute trinkets that will catch your eye at every turn - a blogger's delight, really. The Hidden Lane is a hub of creative businesses in one of the brightest areas in Glasgow at the moment, so is well and truly worth a visit no matter what time of year.


Up next: Fashion, Beauty and Accessories - coming your way tomorrow!


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