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Review: Love Watercress [Gifted]

Review: Love Watercress [Gifted]


As far as vegetables and herbs go watercress hasn't really ever been on my radar. I grew it on my parents' kitchen windowsill as a kid (didn't we all?) but I can't say I've given it much thought over the years (I'm foodie, so I think of food a lot - more than most people would). 

Apparently, though, watercress is extremely healthy for you. According to Love Watercress, the benefits of eating watercress include: 
  • Helps stop and slows skin ageing
  • Helps Lower Blood Pressure
  • Helps fight Breast and Colon cancer
  • Improves Eye health
Love Watercress is a website set up by The Watercress Company who grow and sell watercress from their farm in Dorset. Their customers include restaurants, caterers, individuals and the NHS. Recently they got in contact to offer me a few bunches on them and try out the recipes on their website. Here's how I got on. 

Red Onion Tart with Watercress Pesto



I love a simple tart recipe, where the tart is just puff pastry with ingredients on top. Looks a lot more impressive than it actually is. This red onion tart was just as lovely as any others I've tried, and the pesto was my favourite use of the watercress. 


Black bean & watercress burgers



This was the most labour intensive recipe out of the three I chose, still very lovely though. You don't really taste the watercress as much with this one; it was the spice from the chillis that my taste buds were picking up on!


Pasta primavera



This was the only recipe I wasn't as keen on - only because the overall flavour was just a little bit too sharp for my liking. Between the fennel, the lemon and the parsley it was maybe just a tiny bit too much for me.  


Watercress Jacket sweet potatoes

This was such a beautiful combination of flavours. There were chickpeas roasted in paprika, tahini and soya yoghurt in the sauce and watercress sprinkled amongst it. 


Having cress delivered to your door is a really great idea if you have a lot of mouths to feed. Admittedly as a single person, I had to really rush to get through it all without waste. You're also given instructions on how to store it so that it can last as long as possible. You can have a look on their website for where you can order your own bunches from. 

What's your favourite recipe to use cress in? 

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June Linkables

June Linkables



I think we can all say that 2020 has been a failure of a year. There was Brexit (remember that?), a pandemic, a civil rights movement, Australian bush fires, and just last night there was a tornado going around my home of Aberdeenshire! I'm past the point of being surprised by anything anymore. As a distraction, here are some of my favourite internet links!

First off: I released a new episode of my podcast, The B Agenda. This one is on Online Dating! 

American friends: 5 popular companies funding Trump's campaign.

Bookmarked for when we can travel around Scotland again: vegan-friendly places in Argyll.

The police forced have regularly oppressed the LGBTQ+ community. 30 Infamous Police Raids of Gay Bars and Bathhouses

I visited Berlin a few years ago and the city doesn't hide its dark past. The UK (and Scotland) does ignore its dark past and it's about time we stopped it. 

Related: Glasgow Celebrates a Slaver Once a Year (yep, it's the Orange March).

What it's like to exercise while black. 

How Glaswegians can support the Black Lives Movement.

A large part of being an ally is knowing when to be quiet. This article sums it up nicely.

I've just finished Season 3 of 13 Reasons Why and Ani was SO ANNOYING! (spoilers). 13 Reasons Why Needed To Invest In Its Black Girls — But It Didn't Need Ani

If you spotted the vegan German Chocolate Cake I baked at the weekend and fancy trying it yourself, here is the recipe. 

I had a Twitter rant recently about Nessie being the only Loch Monster anyone ever knows about (including Scottish people!). Here's a wee guide from the BBC if you don't know anything about Nessie's cousins!  One of them is a fellow Mòrag!

Related: Have scientists finally killed off the Loch Ness Monster?

Melissa A. Fabello is my favourite online writer and she just hit it out of the park again with this article on the friendzone. 

My sex drive has dropped during the lockdown - and I'm not alone! 

Social skills were something I had to work hard at over the years and I am worried that while in lockdown I might have lost them, so it's worth a re-cap on how to improve social skills.

A few weeks ago I found myself researching how the Brexit campaign used social media to win the referendum. It's very interesting!

I hope you're all keeping safe, and I'll see when we're allowed to mingle again.

Love Morag x
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Mini-reviews from my latest Lush haul

Mini-reviews from my latest Lush haul




Like a lot of people, I've been finding myself in need of extra self-care during the lockdown. For me personally, this has partially shown up as ordering in some extra Lush goodies to help me feel a little bit more glamorous while stuck inside and bring some extra aromatherapy into my life.

I've been seeing a lot of people on Twitter saying that they've been struggling with their body image while inside - and I get you! Being stuck inside has led my brain to nitpick at everything I don't like about my flat, my life, and my body! My Lush order did help a little bit with this as I've been maintaining a stricter skincare regime while in lockdown than I did before - and my skin is thanking me for it.

I did however like some products more than others and have rounded up my thoughts below.

Caca Rouge Henna Hair Dye


If you've been following me for a while, you'll know that this is my all-time favourite hair dye. I started using it in 2011 and even though I've occasionally strayed, I always come back to it. The auburn tones it adds to my hair are very realistic and you aren't left with harsh root lines.

I have a story over on my Instagram of how I use it.

Cup O'Coffee Face Mask


My favourite Lush facemask of all time is Cupcake, but it was out of stock so I decided to give this one a shot instead. As a warning, it really smells like coffee but my skin was incredibly soft when I washed it off. If you can stomach the smell of strong coffee, then this facemask comes recommended by me.

Jade Roller Cleansing Balm


Not going to lie, I was sceptical about using a solid cleansing bar as opposed to my usual favourite Herbalism (which was out of stock). While this was weirder to apply (I was rubbing a solid cleanser across my face after all) my skin has been looking a lot better since. Was it because of the facemask, or the cleanser, or a mixture of both? I don't know, but I do have clearer skin now.

Sea Vegetable Soap


I love this soap! Generally speaking, soap isn't the easiest thing to review because, you know, it's soap. But I love its beach-side smell and how well it lathered. I definitely see myself repurchasing this.

Magic Crystals Shower Scrub


If you're looking for a shower scrub with a smell so strong that it will definitely wake you up, then look no further than this. It is minty and tingles on the skin. I'm not usually a fan of minty scents but I'd love to buy this again simply because I become so alert after I've used it.

Argan Dragon Shower Oil


This is the only product that I don't really rate. In fact, I've used very little of it since I bought it. It smells a little artificial, it doesn't leave my skin softer than it was before, and you have to rub to get the purple off of your skin. Meh. I don't see myself ever repurchasing this.

--

All in all, I really loved my latest Lush haul. The shower oil was a bit of a dud, but the Sea Vegetable Soap and Magic Crystals shower scrubs are likely to be repurchased. And the Caca Rouge Hair Dye is as lovely as ever.

Hope you're all okay xx
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April Linkables

April Linkables



Well, the last few weeks have been a ride. I've been on furlough and in between managing existential fear and struggling to sleep, I've been throwing myself behind creative projects, baking, learning French on Duolingo, and making my way through everything on Netflix. I've also apparently been reading a lot of articles online! Here's a round-up of the best things I've read recently.

First off, did you know that I've started a podcast? It's called The B Agenda and it's just a bunch of bisexuals talking about any topic beginning with B. You can listen to our first episode, Bisexuals on Blink 182, here.

You might have noticed the drama on Twitter over the 'Karen' meme. Here's a great overview of the meme and why it is definitely not a slur. 

Co-signed: If You Don't Want Kids, You Don't Need to Want a Career Instead.

As an LGBTQ+ person, I can assure you that sapiosexual is not an orientation.

Have you noticed that the countries that are successfully fighting coronavirus are lead by women?

5 Virtual Tours That Allow You To Visit The Scariest Places On Earth

Important: Please Don't Be Guilted Into Being More Productive During The Coronavirus

I recently low-key updated my pronouns to she/they, and this is just a reminder that Gender Variations have been around for years. 

I pay attention to Scandanavian politics a bit more than the average person as they've already implemented a lot of the progressive policies that I campaign for. Here's how Helsinki has eradicated homelessness. 

Solidarity to men who have been victim to sexual coercion. Here's a quick look on Psychology Today on how men react to being sexually coerced. 

Tips on isolation from an astronaut who spent a year in space!

If I was to meet a partner, I'd only agree to live with them if we could afford a flat with multiple rooms. Here's an article about couples who don't sleep in the same bed.

I've not watched Love is Blind because I think it would annoy me. If you do watch it, here's a guide to the psychology behind the show.

Personally, I don't do friends with benefits. It really isn't for me. But if you are curious here's a guide to getting it right. 

I've been using a lot of my downtime to research Instagram tips. Here's a Later blog on improving your Instagram Stories game that had a lot of advice I'd never thought of. 

You don't need me to tell you that blogs are not nearly as popular as they once were. If you run a corporate blog, here are the top three reasons why people might still be reading.

Over on Youtube I really rated this video on the Scots language.


And this unaired Buffy Pilot from 1996 which doesn't include Alyson Hannigan?!?!



I hope you're all staying safe and staying inside. Much love to everyone x
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25+ things I've been doing during lockdown to keep myself occupied, healthy and entertained

25+ things I've been doing during lockdown to keep myself occupied, healthy and entertained




First off, I hope everyone is coping as best as they can in these trying times. This post is only an overview of what I've been doing and I have zero expectations placed on other people. This is meant as potential inspiration only. 

As an introvert, nerd, only child and hayfever sufferer, being inside all the time didn't sound particularly daunting.

But then I was forced inside for weeks, alongside having to give up my extroverted hobbies (I miss restaurants) and not be able to see my friends. 

Then two weeks ago my flatmate came down with several symptoms and we had to stay inside for two weeks (tomorrow is my release date) and rely on other people for food. This has been challenging and that's when the severity of the pandemic really began to hit me. I'm okay at being inside because I did a lot of that anyway, but not even being able to nip to the shops did rock me and forced me to step up my self-care routine.

There is no correct way to handle this situation. In the grand schemed of things, I've coped fairly well. And a lot of that is tied up in privilege. Everyone needs to do what is right for them, and this list I've compiled is just what has worked for me and could be of use to other people. Leave me a quick note with what you've been up to to see if it can inspire anyone else!

Self-Care & Comfort

I'm starting here because self-care is important - especially during a pandemic. Two weeks in I began to struggle to sleep - but with a few tweaks, I managed to start falling asleep again. Here's what I've been doing to keep myself emotionally healthy.

Open all the windows

As soon as I'm dressed I open my bedroom and living windows and let all that fresh air breeze in! If you're living in a flat, remember to stick your head out occasionally and feel the fresh air and sunshine on your face!

Keeping some structure to my day

I'm not jumping out of bed at 7am ready to start 'work' at 9am. But by midday, I'm usually dressed, showered and working on my laptop. Because I'm furloughed I have zero actual work to do but I'm choosing to concentrate on my creative projects during the same hours that I'd usually be at work. Then leaving my evenings and weekends free for things that are strictly just hobbies. This has also helped me stay quiet while my flatmate works from home.

Only using my bedroom for sleeping

After one week in lockdown I began to have trouble sleeping. I'm thankfully out of that funk now and the one best thing I did to combat it was using my bedroom only for sleeping and changing.

My flatmate is working from home while I'm on furlough, so we did need to come to a few agreements. As we speak right now she's working with headphones on at the kitchen table and I'm typing this on the sofa. We're also repainting the spare room and once that's done I can lounge about in there too.

Not wearing a full outfit, but not wearing pyjamas either

It's perfectly acceptable to put on a full outfit to stay in your own house (my parents are doing it!) and it's also acceptable to lounge around in your pyjamas. I personally have been opting for something in the middle. My day outfits now consist of leggings, baggy t-shirts (those weird t-shirts I accumulated while at university are now coming in very handy!), and socks.

Putting a bit of effort into my beauty routine

I'm not sitting at home with a full face of make-up on (unless I'm filming) but I've not thrown my beauty routine out of the window either. I'm still showering daily, washing my hair every two days, facemask once a week, plucking my eyebrows, and moisturising my body. I also apply a tiny bit of winged eyeliner every day.

Creating an at-home spa

I put in an order on Lush a few days ago and I can't wait for it to arrive. I've ordered some body oils and shower bombs to help create a calming environment in my bathroom. If you're out shopping for food, Holland & Barratt usually have some vegan spa-esque products you can pick up.

Aromatherapy

I know people laugh at me for ironing my bedsheets, but hear me out. Two weeks okay I filled my iron with water mixed with lavender Zoflora, and it was the first night in over a week where I slept smoothly. I also found a lavender sleep balm in my cupboards that you rub into your temples before bedtime. My mum has also had some luck with a lavender pillow spray she found in her cupboard.

Tidying up my space

I don't know about you, but staying inside has made me notice every mark on the wall and narrow in on the ornaments I don't really like. So I've done some work to improve my space. I've painted the skirting boards so they're now sparkling white and I had a mini clear out* of both my bedroom and the spare room. I've also been eyeing up some candles online, but I've not decided on which ones to buy yet.

*the only things that have been chucked are things that were broken, I've filled a bag with stuff to take to a charity shop once this is over.

Snacks!

It didn't take long for me to start getting hungry. Estimating how much food to buy when I'm relying 100% on homecooked meals wasn't easy. To be honest, I'm still not great at this. But one thing that has helped has been buying more snack food! Next time you're shopping treat yourself to some snacks to munch on during the day. Oreos, Doritos Chilli Heatwave, and Bourbon Biscuits are all vegan!

I've stayed sober, sort of

When lockdown started I began drinking wine on the daily, which is not my usual behaviour. I stopped after a week and have been spending the last two weeks stone-cold sober. Everyone's relationship to alcohol is different, and if someone wants a wee bevvy to get them through, that is fine by me. Personally, I've preferred to stick to my usual routine of barely touching the stuff, despite initially falling off the wagon.

Standing on my balcony

I have a balcony, which is on the small side. It's not big enough for lounging on but I do make sure I take some time to stand outside for about ten minutes every day. If you are lucky enough to own a garden, remember to get outside for a few minutes every day.

Accepting my weight gain

There's been a lot of fatphobia online recently, with excessive jokes about gaining weight in lockdown. I've gained weight since lockdown started and I'm planning to do fuck all about it.

I know the feelings that can be triggered by gaining weight might be difficult for some. If you want to do fitness classes in your living room to prevent it, then you do you. But know that there is nothing wrong with gaining weight, especially in the middle of a pandemic.

ASMR

I am a big fan of ASMR and have been watching more than usual during the lockdown. I wrote a blog post a few years ago about my favourite ASMRtists.

Not spending too much time outside

Wooahhhh there! Are you suggesting we don't go for our daily walks? Sort of. Even before I was forced into 14 days of isolation, I was still only really leaving the house to buy some food every few days. My mum (who is a psychiatric nurse) suggested that not witnessing the outside world first hand was probably why I was so calm. Ignorance is sometimes bliss.

Not watching the news

I don't watch the daily updates. I just trust that Twitter will tell me if there's something I definitely need to know.

Hobbies & entertainment

I'm pretty introverted so I already had several inside hobbies prior to lockdown, and I've been taking my extra time to indulge in them. Here they are.

Reading

Everyone knows that I love a book, and I've been using my downtime to get through my reading pile. Unfortunately, finances have permitted that I can't afford more books than usual (boo!).

Films & TV

I already had Netflix and NowTV subscriptions before lockdown, but I've now added a cheeky Disney+ subscription into the mix too! Oft!

Podcasts

Despite starting my own podcast in February, I don't actually listen to that many podcasts. They just don't hold my attention unless they are really good. Two podcasts that I have been listening to during lockdown are Diminishing Returns (a film podcast) and Angry Scotland (politics).

Baking

I used to love baking (I even founded my old university's Cupcake & Baking society back in the day!) and I've spent my Saturday's exploring my old hobby. So far I've made a Red Velvet Cake (which turned out very badly), Focaccia (which turned out okay) and some Tiramisu (which turned out amazingly well!). I'm working my way through Sweet Vegan  and Taste.Baking (I can't find the second one online, aside from eBay)

Growing my own food

Every year I try (usually unsuccessfully) and grow food on my balcony. When lockdown started I got to work on this year's attempt: with rocket, raspberries, lettuce, cress and tomatoes. Top tip: rocket grows really well and is a great place to start!

Mini-home improvements

I've touched on it slightly already, but I've been making some changes to my flat. Mainly repainting my bedroom, spare room, and hallway. These rooms were in need of a freshen up and it has been so satisfying painting over the dark marks.

Duolingo

I first downloaded Duolingo in 2012 (!!) and spent most of my unemployed life between graduating university and moving to Glasgow on that app. Since then, I'd dip into it occasionally but in the large scheme of things, maintaining my high school French wasn't big on my agenda. Since lockdown started I've been really getting into it. I had also previously downloaded Italian, Swahili, German, Greek and Valyrian - but lol fuck learning five languages from scratch during the lockdown.

Creative projects & career-related stuff

I want to make something clear: if you aren't up for being productive right now, that's okay. This is a pandemic, not a productivity contest. If you want to wrap yourself in a burrito blanket and stay there for the next three weeks, you do you.

Personally though, throwing myself into my projects has been keeping my brain occupied and helping alleviate any job security worries (I work in an industry that has been badly impacted and I want to make sure that I'm all set if I need to job hunt). If like me you're a social media-y creative type, then here's a little insight into what I've been working on.

I finished my online writing course

Back in December, I signed up for Melissa A Fabello's Breaking into Freelance Writing course. It's very comprehensive and it takes a bit of time to finish. I highly recommended the course if you want to learn more about building an online writing career.

Developing my podcast

Back in February, I launched my very first podcast, The B Agenda. Admittedly I flung myself into the project with limited research, but this week I took some time to sketch out a longterm plan. I've also planned out my next episode, me and my guest just need to decide when we're recording. P.S. The B Agenda is now on Tumblr.

Planning a few website re-designs

I (because I love a project) have two websites that I would like to re-design and two others that I would like to create from scratch! One of them is mo'adore itself, as I've been unhappy with it for a while and want it to be *more* than just a blog, with more space to advertise my other projects. At this moment in time, I've only begun planning and researching each project, but hopefully, it'll be completed soon!

Gave my Instagram a makeover

Over on my Instagram, I've been doing a bit of work. I've made story templates for people to fill in, bought some new presets to edit my photos with, made new story covers and researched new hashtags. I've also been making my way through the Later.com blog to see if there are any tips I've missed!

Life Admin

How boring! But to be fair, most millennials have a ton of life admin. I've been using the lockdown to check things off my list. And by things, I mean upgrading my phone and clearing out my e-mails.

Most importantly though, look after yourself


Everything I've listed above works for me. It might not work for you. We all have different needs, emotionally, spiritually, sexually and socially. How you get through this pandemic will be personal and never let anyone tell you that you're handling it wrong. You do you boo, and I'll see you on the other side.
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