22 May 2018

Comparison: Misery or Motivation?

Comparison as a Motivator | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Comparison as a Motivator | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Apparently, comparison is the thief of joy

And if you'd asked me what I thought about that a year ago, I would've agreed. Comparison was this soul-sucking part of life that I couldn't quite escape, spending my days looking at how well my peers were doing and how I was faring in relation.

Social media probably plays a pretty big part in this - with people putting their lives on display for all to see. We forget that it's a highlight reel, and instead, we're surrounded by everyone's picture perfect lives and find their latest achievement at every turn. It's a difficult environment to navigate, particularly as a twentysomething who's still trying to find her place in the world.

It doesn't help that I've always had a lot of older friends, who are at different stages of their lives than me, so as I work my way through exams and lectures they're off working full-time jobs and doing "grown-up" things. I often forget that I'm 22 and that I don't need to have my shit together quite yet.

Another popular "motivational quote" is the idea of comparing your chapter one to someone else's chapter twenty - which was a gamechanger for me. Everyone's journey is different, people want different things and have different approaches. It might look like they've got it all together on the surface, but that might not be the case.

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17 May 2018

First Impressions: Urban Decay Backtalk Palette

Urban Decay Backtalk Palette Review UK | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Urban Decay Backtalk Palette Review UK | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Urban Decay Backtalk Palette Review UK | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Urban Decay Backtalk Palette Review UK | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

The latest release from Urban Decay is here...

And somehow, I nearly missed it. I'd seen the reveal on social media back at the start of the year and made a vague mental note of the UK release which was set for mid-May. I imagined, like most Urban Decay releases, it would be all over the blogosphere and that there was no way whatsoever I would forget that it was coming out - but I did.

For some reason, I've not seen many people talking about this beautiful palette, and I can't figure out why. As soon as I saw it at the turn of the year I knew I had to buy it, despite me rarely reaching for pink shadows, and the second I realised it was available on the website it was in my basket and on the way.

Like many bloggers, I don't like using shiny new makeup until I've had a chance to photograph it, and a palette as pretty as Backtalk was no exception. It arrived last Friday, so I've only had it for a week now, but I've used it most days since and feel like I can give a decent rundown of my first impressions.
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14 May 2018

Stress, Success and a Good Night's Rest

This is a sponsored post
Stress Success Sleep and Mental Health Tempur | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Stress Success Sleep and Mental Health Tempur | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Stress Success Sleep and Mental Health Tempur | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Sleep is my favourite thing

It's no secret that I love my bed. The feeling of climbing under the duvet and drifting off to sleep is one of my favourite things to do, therefore it's something I do a lot. If I don't reply to your message after 9pm, chances are I'm tucked up in bed. I've always loved my bed, but I used to be much more of a night owl and slept my afternoons away instead of having an early night, but the tables have certainly turned over the past few years.

You see, sleep is my solace. I'm much better placed to face a stressful day (or week, or month, or year) if I've had a decent kip, and am pretty much unbearable to be around if I've had anything less than 7-8 hours. If you've been around for a while, you'll know that I'm a perpetually stressed person, as per my last blog post. In some ways, stress fuels me, when I'm stressed I end up on autopilot and just fire through everything that has to be done - albeit with a few minor freakouts along the way.

No matter what's going on, I will not sacrifice sleep. I'm not the kind of person who can pull an all-nighter, as I desperately need sleep to function. I honestly believe that sleep is the key to my ability to just keep going, no matter what life throws in my way, and I'm a passionate believer in the power of a good night's rest.

I've got my bedtime routine down to a tee these days, but I know it's not easy for everyone, so here are some of my top tips for making the most of your sleep.
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3 May 2018

Breaking Point

Work Life Balance Burnout Student | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Work Life Balance Burnout Student | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

 How do you manage it all?

A phrase that I hear on a regular basis, and a question that I have no answer for. Balance is the "holy grail" of the modern working world at the moment, and it's probably one of my greatest struggles. I am painfully aware of it, and the people around me are too. I've got this stupid habit of piling things on my plate - when I already had plenty on there, to begin with. This is both a metaphor for my life and my approach to all-you-can-eat buffets.

If I could sum up life right now in one world it would be hectic. My world has been flipped on its head over the past few weeks, pretty much since the moment I got home from my trip to Barcelona. This time of year was always going to be hectic for me, with the end of college fast approaching and a mad rush ensues to get my work handed in on time so that I can get the grades I need to go to university. April and May are nearly always stressful months, thanks to the joys of education, but this year a spanner was thrown in the works.

I don't want to go into it too much, because it's not really my story to share, but my dad isn't well at the moment and hasn't been for a while. He was hospitalised mid-April and will hopefully be home by the end of May. It's been difficult for my family, and fitting in our daily visits into what was an already packed calendar has been a bit stressful.

Work Life Balance Burnout Student | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Work Life Balance Burnout Student | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog


Despite this, I've still been throwing myself into anything and everything that comes my way - to the point that I'm probably moments away from burnout. For some reason, unbeknownst to me, I thought it was a good idea to launch a brand new website before my busiest two months of the year - instead of waiting for my summer break from classes - whilst also writing this blog, running my business, finishing my degree, keeping my own health in check and dealing with the change in my family situation. Yeah, I don't really know why I do this to myself, either.

I do this a lot, and I think it's a kind of distraction method that I attempt to use when I'm feeling particularly anxious about things. Whenever things are getting that little bit more stressful I try to distract myself by throwing myself into something new and exciting, whilst simultaneously ignoring all of my more pressing responsibilities to the point that I get even more stressed out about them.

It's a habit I'm trying to kick, and in an attempt to start reigning things in a bit I made the decision to go to my doctor to discuss going back on medication for my anxiety. It was hugely terrifying, but I'm really proud of myself for recognising my own behaviours and having the strength to admit that something had to change. Being back on medication has been weird, but I think it was a necessary step to get me through this period of my life without a full-on breakdown like I had last year.

The next part of my "journey" to balance is recognising when I need to take a step back, and unfortunately, I realised that my blog had to be pushed to the bottom of the pile for the next few weeks whilst I prioritise my degree - for my own sake. I need to focus on the crucial things right now, so that I can still have time for myself without forcing myself to sit at my desk and fire out a blog post after spending my day writing essays or finishing up client work.

Work Life Balance Burnout Student | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

I don't think my habit of putting undue pressure on myself will ever change - it's hard-wired into my brain now - but my approach to dealing with it certainly has so far. I'm the kind of person where as soon as I have an idea that I think is viable I rush into bringing it to fruition, but I've realised that as impatient as I am, this has to wait for the moment.

So, whilst I may be desperate to bring all of my ideas to life right this very moment, I'm trying to teach myself that I need to wait until I have the proper time to dedicate to things in order to make them the very best they can be. Yes, the next month or so will suck and I'll be moaning about deadlines all the time, but then I'll have a glorious two months of freedom from classes and lectures which I can use to bring my passion projects to life.

Basically, what I'm trying to say is, being busy all of the time has taken it's toll on me in the past and is trying to do a number on me right now. But I've grown. I've become a stronger person in the last year and I'm trying to put myself and my sanity first. I love working hard and seeing the results of said effort, but there's an invisible line that I need to be aware of so that I don't push myself past breaking point yet again.

I cannot wait for the end of term. How will I cope in the "real world" when I don't get summer holidays? I mean, I'm going to be working all summer, but at least it's on projects that I am genuinely excited about.


What steps do you take when you feel yourself reaching breaking point?


Photos by Claire White | Post contains gifted items - read my full disclaimer here
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1 May 2018

Beer & Skittles, Edinburgh

Beer and Skittles Edinburgh Sports Bar Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Beer and Skittles Edinburgh Sports Bar Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Beer and Skittles Edinburgh Sports Bar Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Beer and Skittles Edinburgh Sports Bar Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Beer and Skittles Edinburgh Sports Bar Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Beer and Skittles Edinburgh Sports Bar Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

My quest for good food leads me to some random places...

A sports bar isn't my usual choice, unless it's been Paddy's turn to pick our venue, but there was something about Beer and Skittles that drew me in. I don't know how I hadn't noticed it before, seeing as it's in the area of Edinburgh that I spend the most time in - right next to the Playhouse - and the fact that I'd been to the restaurant above, which shares an entrance. I'm not the most observant of people, it would appear.

Beer & Skittles has recently had a refurbishment, with a snazzy beer garden and huge 4K TVs alongside a brand new menu and pool tables to boot. Honestly, if I was a big sports fan, it would be a great place to catch up with friends whilst also catching the action on the big screens. Even as a self-professed non-sport fan, Beer & Skittles is the kind of place I could happily sit and enjoy with people who do enjoy it (aka, Paddy) without complaint.

It just has a cool vibe. I feel like a bit of a dick saying that, but it does! The sleek black tiling paired with neon signage, retro arcade machines, pool tables and something happening on every screen made for a more welcoming environment than I find in most "sports" establishments. Not that I've been to all that many, really. I think it makes for a good compromise when your group is a mix of sporting types and the uninitiated who use terms such as "sports fan" like me.

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