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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