The Linkables

An anecdote on hiding your real gender and the first person to accept you.

Is the East End of Glasgow the new West End?

Ever wondered what is vegan on the Yo! Sushi menu? (Also, really good Glasgow-vegan hybrid blog on the whole)

The first Instagram photo ever.

A Twitter chat (that isn't on a fluffy topic) I discovered this week #YthEmpChat 

Sunday will also be the #BigGreenChat

There’s an event at the end of August around gender equality and the referendum.

The awesome Thora Birch has given her support to banning animal testing for cosmetics in the United States.

A handy chart to know when you are owed sex.  

The 2015 Eurovision has been confirmed for May 23.

On that note: more vegetarian food.

(How amazing does the charred corn and avocado pizza sound?)

If you’re in about the Newcastle area, their vegan festival is happening this Sunday.

I find the idea of emotional intelligence really interesting and think it is a useful skill but I do agree with what is written here.

Harsh critiques of famous buildings

If you live in the Hull area Katy of Little Miss Meat Free will be doing a cooking demo at the Yum! Festival of Food and Drink

12 fonts to use for headlines

A caf√© in Cheltenham which encourages breast feeding. Go support them with some dollars!  

I’m not really sure I agree with this study as most of the kids that were considered ‘cool’ at my school are doing okay as adults, but it’s an interesting read. 

22 young influencers reveal the secret to marketing to millennials.

Finally, why is the internet so blue?

Morag x

Tea, veggie food & sishas at Tchai Ovna, West End

tchai ovna rolling clouds tchai ovna vegan food glasgow tchai ovna carrot cake tchai ovna entry tchai ovna glasgow menu tchai ovna exterior Tucked into a small cobbled lane in the West End of Glasgow lies a small tea room with over 80 teas from around the world, a completely vegetarian menu, occasional live music and a selection of sisahs. The setting and decor is relaxed and surrounded my tress, and when me and my friend popped by on a warm July night recently we struggled to believe we were sitting in Glasgow.

My friend had wanted to stop by here because she had heard they sold a tea she drank during a Nepal adventure a few years ago. She didn't find anything that hit the spot the same way that tea did but we both ended up reminiscing about some of our travels and remarked on  how this place both reminded us of our trips. For her it was Nepal, for me the decor both inside and on the balcony was startlingly similar to a hostel I stayed in during my month in Peru back in 2007.

I've said before that I am a big tea snob and I am very particular about it. I went for the Rolling Clouds which was a very gentle tasting tea which was brewed from leaves mixed through boiling water, and was brought to me in a cute teapot with a small bowl to drink it out of. Food wise I went for a platter with hummus, vine leaves, olives, pitta bread and falafel (and what good falafel it was). It's a fully veggie menu, and all vegan options were marked out (there were also a few curries on the menu if you're after something substantial, but I wasn't after anything spicy). My friend went for the carrot cake, which she stated several times was delicious!

Tchai Ovna is not for everyone. Between a fully veggie menu, a decor that reminds me of hostelling in South America and the sishas (you'll notice one on the table, it was bubblegum) I can understand why some people wouldn't take to the place. But for me it was such a lovely place for a summer evening to drink some tea and have a natter with a pal. It was the correct level of busy (not creepishly empty but not so busy you can't move) so I'm not the only one who liked it - I spotted a few tourist (bear in mind we're in Commonwealth season right now) and even a pair that looked like they were on a first date.

Beautiful setting, beautiful tea. Easily one of my fav places in Glasgow so far.

Morag x

Updates to my cruelty-free brand list

Antonia Burrell

A company that makes a clear statement on their website about using sustainable materials and non-harsh chemicals but then makes no reference to animal testing always fires off alarm bells for me. (By making such a big deal about other ethics - which are still important - you're highlighting the ethics you're not making a big deal about). I did e-mail in June and as of yet have had no response.

Added to: no statement 

Barefoot S.O.S

On their website they claim that everything is suitable for vegans however there is no animal testing policy (and you can't be vegan if you test on animals, regardless of ingredients) and when I e-mailed to ask for a statement I received no response (and it's been three weeks).

Added to: no statement.


I decided to check in with one of my favourite brands again, and I am glad to report that everything still looks fine. They have also been added to my vegan beauty brand list as they sent over their vegan list without any issues (and I am yet to know of a vegan/cf blogger who has had trouble getting their hands on this list).

Added to: vegan beauty brands/remains on my cruelty-free list.


This brand does have a statement on the website however it is the weak 'we test our products on human animals only' so I sent an e-mail to get clarification on ingredients/finished products and ask which countries they sell in. So far I have not had a response. 

Added to: ambiguous statement


Superdrug haven't had a change of heart however myself and a few of my cruelty-free pals didn't realise they were owned by the A.S. Watson Group, who sell on mainland China. Superdrug still has autonomy on their operations and testing methods but if you wish to avoid cruelty-free companies with testing parent companies that you may wish to consider this. 

General additions to testers

I, for some reason, forgot to add some brands that are owned by Procter & Gamble, Unilever or Coty to my testing list when I first made it and for that I'm sorry. But the additions have been: Wash&Go, Wella, Sure, St Ives, Stella McCartney, Simple, Shockwaves, Radox, Nice-N-Easy, Lynx, Impulse, Head & Shoulders, Darphin, American Beauty and Adidas.

Also added Lancome, who sell in China (who I, for some reason, had also previously forgotten about).


Currently the brands Inika and Love Soap have e-mails from sitting in their inbox. Both have ticked a few positive boxes already (website statement, approved by other bloggers etc) however the final nod of approval from me is when brands are willing to have a dialogue with consumers about animal testing. When I write another update next month I should hopefully have an answer (and a few more brands on the pending list).

Do you have any other information on these brands? Have you had an e-mail? Any other brands you want me to look into for next month?

Morag x

My Cookbook Collection 2

veggie cookbooks uk

Once upon a time (two years ago, even) I wrote a blog post showing off some of my cookbook collection. It can take a while to get through an entire - or most of a - cookbook so it's only now I'm getting around to showing off some of my newer additions.

The Allotment Cookbook
This was purchased back at the start of 2013 to work in with my goal of growing my own food as it does contain information on what time of year is best to grow certain types of vegetables, with some other advice as well. However this isn't a cookbook I find myself reaching for too much despite the lovely looking recipes mainly because most of the recipes require more ingredients than my other cookbooks and a lot of the vegetables aren't ones I either grow myself or can find in a local Metro (if you can shop in an actual supermarket this may be more up your street). This isn't strictly a vegetarian cookbook so meat eaters may like it too, however because it is based around food you can grow on an allotment meat is used very sporadically anyway.

The Vegetarian Cookery Bible
If you follow me on Instagram you might have noticed a lot of my recent dishes have an open cookbook in the background. This comes from this cookbook which was a present on my 23rd birthday. I find myself reaching a lot for this cookbook a lot - though I do have to veganise a lot of the recipes as cheese is used quite heavily throughout. Whilst I use this cookbook a lot I wouldn't say it's suitable for a vegetarian learning how to cook and it's more for people who already know their way around a kitchen.

The Cupcake
The easiest and simplest baking book I own - most of the recipes don't have more than seven ingredients and are simple to make. However this does mean the final cupcake isn't of an impressive nature and would be more suited for someone who is just getting started with baking rather than for a serious baker who is looking for recipes to really impress someone with. All recipes are vegetarian however because the recipes are simple I find they are very simple to make vegan.

Do you own any of these cookbooks? Any cookbooks you think I should add to my collection (I am looking for new ones)?

Morag x