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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23 Nov 2017

Brand Focus: The Ordinary

The Ordinary Deciem Brand Focus Review Skincare Make Up | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
The Ordinary Deciem Brand Focus Review Skincare Make Up | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
The Ordinary Deciem Brand Focus Review Skincare Make Up | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
The Ordinary Deciem Brand Focus Review Skincare Make Up | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

The Ordinary is one of those brands that every blogger and their mum seems to have been talking about for an age now, with purse-friendly prices for an array of skin types and tones. It's nice to see so much variety from a brand that doesn't cost the earth, and now that they've opened a brand spanking new counter in Glasgow's House of Fraser I feel like they're going to be quickly taking over my collection. The counter is home to products from both The Ordinary and their sister brands, all of which fall under the Deciem umbrella. I've become more inclined to shop online over the past year - which I'm putting down to my laziness - but for the most part, I feel much more comfortable seeing things in the flesh before I buy, especially when it comes to things like foundations! I hadn't expected to see Deciem bringing their brand to Glasgow so soon, but I'm really excited that they have.

I was very kindly sent a selection of products to try out from The Ordinary in celebration of their arrival in Glasgow, but true to form, I couldn't resist picking up a few bits myself too! I'm a big fan of the clean, crisp packaging and love how the overall brand flows throughout the range. In some cases, the consistency can be a bit annoying, as the packaging is nearly identical on many of the products. This can be a tad confusing if, like me, you're not a morning person and don't pay enough attention to the bottles you're picking up in the dark winter mornings. I'm the kind of person who has accidentally used hairspray instead of deodorant, or vice versa, so it would be handy to have a way to clearly differentiate the products.

Apart from that minor niggle, I'm pretty impressed. Let's dive in and have a look at some of the products I've been trying out recently...

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21 Nov 2017

A Street in a Strange World

Student Style Blog Glasgow LOTD Missguided ASOS Stan Smiths | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Student Style Blog Glasgow LOTD Missguided ASOS Stan Smiths | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Student Style Blog Glasgow LOTD Missguided ASOS Stan Smiths | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Student Style Blog Glasgow LOTD Missguided ASOS Stan Smiths | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Top - Missguided via ASOS; Jeans - LOTD; Trainers - Adidas via ASOS;
Jacket - JDY via M&Co; Bag - Oasis (similar); Ring - Pandora;
Sunglasses - Primark; Belt - ASOS

I feel like I should call this post "yes, I did buy half of my winter fashion wishlist". Hey, ASOS had 20% off and I'm not one to resist a bargain, plus that new buy now, pay later is waaaaay too tempting, so here we are. Really though, I was never going to be able to ignore this top for much longer, those sleeves are too good to resist. I have a bit of a thing for sleeves at the moment... sleeves and polka dots. I paid off my credit card a couple of weeks ago, so logically I felt like I deserved a couple of treats to celebrate.

I've been trying to move away from my standard black skinnies recently and bring some new denim styles into my wardrobe, starting with these jeans from LOTD. There was something about them that caught my eye, and I've ended up loving them. They have a really cool stepped hem, but as I am a tad short I need to take the length up a bit before I showcase them in their full glory! I'm not quite feeling brave enough to move away from ankle grazing lengths yet, but we'll see how that goes. Seeing as I've ended up liking these jeans so much, I think I'm going to buy a second blue pair in more of a mom style, and fulfil my inner 80s fashion dreams.

It's been a little while since I shared one of my standard rambling life updates, which are probably my favourite posts to write, so let's catch up. The past few months have been slightly hectic and I'm only just catching my breath now, but it won't be long before the festive season sets in and Christmas chaos begins. In the midst of everything that's been happening, I somehow managed to miss my thousandth blog post, and this is actually post number 1,003. How amazing is that? God knows how many hours I've spent typing away here on this screen, it's an addiction that I'm yet to break.
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16 Nov 2017

Planes, Trains and Automobiles with TransPennine Express

Transpennine Express Glasgow to Manchester On Board Entertainment | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Transpennine Express Glasgow to Manchester On Board Entertainment | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Transpennine Express Glasgow to Manchester On Board Entertainment | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Having grown up just outside of Manchester, with family still living there, the journey there from Glasgow is a pretty regular occurrence for me. It’s one of my favourite cities, and with my best friend moving down there for her masters I can see myself travelling down even more over the coming months. When travelling back down Mancunian way, there are plenty of transport options with planes, trains and automobiles heading south every day. In the past, I’ve travelled by car, train and even made the five-hour coach journey down on occasion, so I’d say I’m well versed in the route. That’s why, when TransPennine Express wanted me to take part in a fun experiment to compare the travel experience of driving, flying and taking the train between Glasgow and Manchester, I jumped right on board.

As a bit of an anxious traveller, no matter how comfortable I am with the journey, I was excited to see just how stressful I found each mode of transportation. For the sake of science, I was hooked up to a heart-rate and stress level monitor for each journey, to properly measure exactly how I felt throughout the experience.

The Drive

I set off towards Manchester in the car, leaving Glasgow not long after 8am. The journey was relatively straightforward to start with, as by some miracle there was very little traffic for the majority of the trip. Driving to Manchester takes the best part of three hours and once you’re on the motorway that’s you sorted for the bulk of the trip. Like most motorway driving, the three-hour journey can be a little monotonous, but with a quick pit-stop to stretch my legs at a service station to break it up it wasn’t too bad. As I got closer to Manchester, however, that’s when things started to change. Traffic started to build up on the motorway for the last 45 minutes or so of the journey, and the addition of some very heavy rain made for some pretty tense moments. Road closures in the city centre meant diversions aplenty, and as someone who doesn’t really like driving in big cities, this was seriously stressful. I was relieved, to say the least, when I managed to navigate the city centre roads and eventually find myself a spot to park my car!

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14 Nov 2017

5 Things I'm Looking Forward to This Christmas

Christmas 2017 Harrods Hampers | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Christmas 2017 Harrods Hampers | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Christmas 2017 Harrods Hampers | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Christmas 2017 Harrods Hampers | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Christmas 2017 Harrods Hampers | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Christmas 2017 Harrods Hampers | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Halloween is over, and Bonfire Night is out of the way, so it's time to get Christmas on the road. Yup, this year I'm being one of "those people" who jump on the Christmas bandwagon nice and early. You see, the thing is, this year is my first Christmas where I'm not working in retail - and that is a big deal for me. Christmas is completely different when you spend every waking hour trapped in a building full of blinding fluorescent bulbs with the same six Christmas covers on repeat, prepping for the Boxing Day sales and giving up the precious time spent with family over the festive season to deal with people who just have to exchange their unwanted gifts first thing on the 26th. This year, Christmas is feeling a lot less stressful, and I'm pretty damn excited about it.

And who wouldn't feel festive, when greeted with this stunning Food Halls Collection Hamper from Harrods? I find that at Christmas I tend to be in quite a generous mood - both with presents and with treats for myself - so I love to indulge in something a little bit more luxurious. The Food Halls Collection Hamper is just one of the many Luxury Christmas Hampers on offer at Harrods this year and is packed full of delicious treats from their iconic food hall. With a selection of delectable biscuits, both savoury and sweet, alongside luxurious preserves and that all important wine - this is the perfect hamper for a festive night in with your nearest and dearest. The parmesan and poppyseed biscuits are just beautiful when paired with the ale and apple chutney! And they aren't too shabby when paired with a good cheese (or three) either. This hamper would be the perfect gift for someone who's a bit of a foodie, and if anyone fancies treating me to The Christmas Carol hamper I would be your best friend forever.

I'm ready and raring to get festive, with a good few weeks ahead to fill with fun Christmas activities. My diary isn't actually all that full yet, but I'm sure that will change, as I have a lot I'd like to tick off of my festive to-do list! My first semester of college finishes up at the end of November, too, and despite having classes in December I'm feeling a lot more relaxed about coursework at the moment - which makes for an all-around happier me! So, in the spirit of Christmas, here are five of the things I'm most looking forward to this festive season...

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9 Nov 2017

Brunch at Gleneagles Hotel

Gleneagles Hotel Birnam Brasserie Brunch Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Gleneagles Hotel Birnam Brasserie Brunch Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Gleneagles Hotel Birnam Brasserie Brunch Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Gleneagles Hotel Birnam Brasserie Brunch Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Gleneagles Hotel Birnam Brasserie Brunch Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Gleneagles Hotel Birnam Brasserie Brunch Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Gleneagles Hotel Birnam Brasserie Brunch Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Gleneagles Hotel Birnam Brasserie Brunch Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Gleneagles Hotel Birnam Brasserie Brunch Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Do you ever have one of those pinch-me moments, when you're standing in front of something and you just can't believe that you're actually there? That pretty much sums up how I felt as I wandered up the drive of the Gleneagles Hotel towards the towering building. It didn't help that I had just painstakingly parked my car in possibly the fanciest car park I've ever been in - with the most Range Rovers I've ever seen in my life - and that just in front of me there was a couple donning fancy hats exiting their chauffeur driven vehicle to bagpipes. Yeah. It was a pretty surreal moment.

Gleneagles is situated in Auchterarder, a small Perthshire town that's about an hour's drive from Edinburgh and just short of an hour from Glasgow. The sprawling five-star hotel is the height of luxury, which is apparent from the moment you step through the door. Home to no less than three championship golf courses, a spa deemed worthy of multiple awards and the only restaurant in Scotland to hold two Michelin stars, Gleneagles can talk the talk and walk the walk when it comes to high-end travel. It's a seriously stunning place, with jaw-dropping views of the Perthshire countryside, and I can only dream of staying in one of their 232 luxury rooms.

If you follow any Scottish bloggers on Instagram, like I do, you've probably noticed one of the newer additions to Gleneagles' dining repertoire - The Birnam Brasserie - and perhaps more noticeably, their brunch. Last Sunday, Lis and I took the beautiful journey up the A9 to pay The Birnam Brasserie a visit and see what all of the fuss surrounding this brunch was about. Upon first entering the Brasserie, I was instantly struck by the Parisian decor, with beautiful tiled floors and an abundance of greenery. The main room is dominated by the central island, where the main buffet and bar is situated, and the seating sprawls out from here. My favourite part was undoubtedly the dessert room, but we'll get into that later...

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7 Nov 2017

Rediscovering My Confidence

Rediscovering confidence after a set back | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

It's been a tough year. You're probably sick of hearing that, but it has. I am so ready for 2017 to be over and, as much as I don't want to wish my life away, I'm kind of counting down the days till January 1st. To be fair, the last couple of months have been considerably better than the first eight or so, and hopefully, the tail end of 2017 will be a fair bit kinder to me. I started out this year on a high, thinking it was going to be my year, but instead, I was met with countless challenges that made it seem like the world was insistent on throwing a spanner in the works. Health issues, giving up on one-sided friendships, long-distance relationships, a car accident and losing my childhood pet have all had a slightly detrimental impact on my self-confidence, but after overcoming a quarter-life crisis I can feel that doubt slowly trickling away, only to be replaced with that unfamiliar sensation of actually believing in myself. Self-doubt is one of my biggest strengths, ironically, and I'm regularly told that I don't give myself enough credit. No matter how many times I hear this, I still struggle to believe it, but that's changing...

How? Well, I've started cutting myself some slack for a change. I know that I haven't achieved anywhere near as much as I wanted to this year, but that's okay. Things don't always go to plan - I get that now. I've learned that I need to be kinder to myself and allow myself time to recuperate and recharge. I have a bit of a bad habit of piling way too much on my plate at once and realising this has been an absolute gamechanger for me. I'm no longer juggling 101 projects at once, instead, I'm being more realistic about my capabilities and appreciating the need for downtime. 

I've also taken a really big step, that I haven't talked about all that much on here yet. A couple of months ago I launched my freelance business, Content by Charlotte, which has been a bit of a rollercoaster. Going freelance was something I never thought I'd be capable of, but here we are. I absolutely love it, and it's been a huge confidence boost! I'm still learning every day, but I am so proud of what I've achieved so far. Putting my skills into practice for new clients has been so much fun, and I really really really really love it. 

I'm in a very fortunate position right now where I can really spend my time focusing on the things I love. As a result, I've given up on YouTube for the time being, as it had turned into a drain on my energy that I just wasn't enjoying anymore. Now that I no longer work weekends, I have a bit more time free to spend on the things that make me happy, and even though I definitely work harder now than I did before, I get to spend my working hours doing things that leave me feeling fulfilled. 

And on my really down days, I simply take a look back at how far I've come, despite all the challenges life has thrown in my way this year. It was actually my counsellor who encouraged me to do this, and it was one of the most valuable things I learned from CBT. Even with everything that's happened so far in 2017, I've come out at the other end stronger than ever before. I smashed my first year at college, with great results, I've launched my own business and my little blog has been on the go for over seven years. I paid off my credit card (woohoo!) and I've become more comfortable with who I am as a person, too. I need to appreciate my own strengths more, and if I'm being honest, I'm really proud of myself for making it through this year.


How do you tackle self-doubt?


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