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"How are you still happy being single after all this time?"

"How are you still happy being single after all this time?"

That's the question I regularly get when someone finds out just how long I've been single.

For those of you who have been reading my blog for a long time (or even from the start) you'll notice that I've never mentioned a relationship. If you subscribed a bit more recently and don't know when I started my blog, well, it was January 2011 - so you can do the maths.

While it does feels weird to acknowledge that it has been seven years since I've had an official relationship, it's not something I think about much or am particularly concerned about. The only time I ever mention it is when someone asks me about it (or, eh, when I decide to write about it openly on the internet).

The people who ask me the most about it aren't even family members (I used to get those invasive old-fashioned questions, but I think my family have got to the point where they expect cats instead of children) or rude strangers - it's actually girls who are newly single or women who can't get comfortable in solitude.

And I get it. I might be nonchalant about it now, but it took me years to get honestly comfortable with singlehood - especially the prospect that I might single forever. When my last official relationship ended I found myself lost in a sea of internet advice about learning to live as a single person, while convincing myself that being by myself was temporary. It maybe took three years for me to finally settle in and not wonder if every new guy I met would be my next boyfriend.

But when I did get comfortable I discovered something wonderful. When I lost the fear of dying alone I felt powerful. I now no longer date guys I don't really fancy just so I can have something. I shape the life I want. And I'm comfortable in my own company, and lead a great life. Only a really terrific guy who I was madly in love with would realistically stand a chance.

While I can't give you advice on how to find love, I can give you advice on not being too sad if you haven't found it. So if you're still not okay with being sans-partner here's my guide on how to be single and not give a damn.

1. Shape your life
The number one benefit of not having a partner is being free to carve out your own life. Want to relocate? Go ahead. Thinking of buying a flat in a loud city centre? There's not a second person moaning about the noise. Fancy altering your appearance in a noticeable way? You don't need to fear that your partner won't find you attractive anymore.

Think about how your ideal life looks (even if that ideal life involves a partner) and begin looking at a way to shape that. I think there's a proverb somewhere that you're more likely to attract like-minded people if you live your most authentic life...

2. Be honest with yourself about why you are single
Time to get blunt: some people are single because....well, no one with standards would want them. Can you confidently say that you are single (either short term or long term) because the right person never came along? Or is there a deeper rooted issue? There's no shame in the latter, but it something to think and deal with head on if there is.

3. Don't stop dating
I've not been sitting around for seven years like a nun. As you might have predicted by my fascination with dating apps, I still have an active romantic and sexual life. It's very personal and I know some people really aren't into hook-ups and, if that's you, I am not suggesting you get yourself into situations that you're uncomfortable with. But it's certainly not hurt me...

4. Build a great social and friends' circle
I'd argue that platonic relationships are just as important as romantic ones, single or married. But when you don't have a life partner you'll find yourself very lonely if you don't have strong ride 'til you die friendships.

5....but don't be friends with people who judge your singlehood
I still receive patronising comments from strangers and elderly family members, but I don't put up with them from friends. Being woke and modern are essential qualities I look for in friends, which includes not assuming single people are automatically unhappier than those that are taken. You don't need people in your life who make you feel shitty about your life choices or things you can't control.

6. Remember that it's better to be single than settle
This statement is a little cliche but anyone who has ever been in a relationship that was unhappy, unhealthy, unfulfilling, toxic or abusive will tell you that it holds truth. I've wasted time in dead-end relationships (or held out for the idea of a relationship with someone for too long) so I know first hand that it's better to have nights with no one to snuggle than to put up with the wrong person.

If you've never had the misfortune of being in a shitty relationship, you might lose your sense of realism on this one. But surely you know a couple who are just so wrong together and should call it quits? They are your muse.

7. Invest in something and create your safety net
Time for some boring and very unromantic chat. I am on track to buy my own flat before I turn 30, which is obviously exciting. While I could have saved up money quicker if I had a partner, I also think of this as my silver lining. My current flatmate is a lawyer and explained to me that if I buy a property prior to marriage, it is mine and a partner cannot take it from me in the event of a messy divorce. I've known people who have split up with long-term partners in their 30s and are forced back into flatshares and I'm so grateful I'm not in their situation - and never will be.

8. Moving on doesn't have to mean moving on with someone else
When someone you care about goes through a break-up or divorce, it's tempting to say "here, here you'll find someone new". And while your heart is in the right place, it's problematic in the long-run because it reinforces the societal brainwashing that being single is a bad thing, and should only be temporary.

I can assure you that I stopped mourning the end of my last official relationship many years ago, despite never having found a 'replacement' for my ex-boyfriend. Moving on simply means that you've closed that door, and are building a new life.

9. Don't keep tabs on your exes
I've dated many men over my time, and I think only three of them are still on my Facebook (I even have a few blocked on social media). A friendship with an ex is possible but unless you have children together, there's no obligation to keep each other in your lives. I do have an active friendship with a guy I met on Tinder two years ago (and ended up casually with for almost a year) but we ended on very good terms, the split was somewhat mutual and he's not an ass-hat. But most importantly: I wouldn't be jealous if I seen him with someone else.

As much as you can tell yourself that it's not a competition to see "who moves on first" (see point above) it's very hard to not feel a little blue when you spot your ex with someone new, especially if things didn't end well. Find somewhere new to drink, stay away from their end of town for while, stay off their social media profiles and leave them where they belong: in the past.

10. Date yourself and take care of yourself
I always shave my legs, moisturise my body and paint my toenails - even though no one else sees me naked on the regular. And you know why? Because I still have to see me naked and I deserve to look good for me. 

Dating yourself can invovle so many things. From keeping your house clean at all times, even when you live alone. Or buying yourself flowers. Or having a solo bubble bath with music, candles and wine. Or even going to the theatre yourself.

11. But be honest with yourself if you want a relationship

While being single has worked out for me, it's not necessarily for everyone. I've always been very independent, I don't want children and I'm introverted. But some people are highly monogamous, love the company of others and consider having children to be one of their big life goals. If you're the latter, be honest with yourself and make the effort to find The One (without settling). There's no shame in preferring a relationship - just make sure that it's the right relationship.

Later that day I got to thinking about relationships. There are those that open you up to something new and exotic, those that are old and familiar, those that bring up lots of questions, those that bring you somewhere unexpected, those that bring you far from where you started, and those that bring you back. But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love the you you love, well, that's just fabulous.
A bit of musing from Carrie Bradshaw will always make you feel better.

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morag | mo adore
Trying Violife Vegan Cheese at Pizza Hut

Trying Violife Vegan Cheese at Pizza Hut

If there's a vegan food variation that I'm always on the hunt for, it's vegan pizza (it's even on my Instagram bio...).  
Long before I was even vegan, pizza has always been my favourite food. It's tasty but also simple and gets the job done when you're hungry. When I first went vegan (or when I made lots of little stop-and-start attempts) vegan pizzas weren't all that common. But in the last few years we've seen them pop up all over the place. Pizza Express, DiMaggio's, Paesano, Zizzi's, Pizza Punks and Italian Kitchen all have their own vegan pizza offerings. 

And now Pizza Hut have added vegan cheese to their menu that you can upgrade to for £1. 

Yeah, yeah, I know you everyone knows that Pizza Hut now have a new vegan option and I'm late to the party blah, blah. But I managed to blag mine through their PR company so it was worth the wait because, you know, free pizza is the best pizza. 

Admittedly, I hadn't been to a Pizza Hut for years and can't even remember what their pizzas are like. From what I remember they've always been no fuss and their restaurants are great for casual catch-up with friends - especially if you're young or have young ones in the family. 

The vegan cheese upgrade is used to replace mozzarella, which leaves two choices: Margarita, and Veggie Supreme. I don't normally eat much in the evenings so I opted for the lighter option of Margarita, while Gail went for the Veggie Supreme. 

As with all Pizza Hut options, this was no-fuss and did the job. At the table next to us were two teenage girls, and I honestly think I was their age the last time I was ever in a Pizza Hut. And across the room was a mother and her daughter, who looked like she was 10-ish. Pizza Hut has definitely stayed true to its brand and target audience for many years. 

While Pizza Hut's offering was the most simple of the vegan pizzas I've tried it's great to know there's another option out there - especially for vegan parents who need somewhere to take the kids, and for teenager vegans looking for an after-school place to hang out. 

Have you tried the vegan option from Pizza Hut? What did you think? 
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morag | mo adore
Tabletop games that I've played recently

Tabletop games that I've played recently

If there's anything that makes the geek police issue me a warning, it's not being a massive fan of computer games. Don't get me wrong, I like them but it takes a lot for me to become immersed in a game for hours (Portal 1/2 and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince are the only three games that have ever had that effect on me).

So even I was surprised when I discovered a new hobby in the world of board and card games. I've been drawn to this hobby for years, but it's not exactly a solo activity that you can randomly pick up yourself. It was only near the close of 2016 that one of the girls who runs the vegan meet-up group I regularly attend mentioned that she was a massive fan - and then arranged a vegan meet-up in the Saramango Cafe where we could all try her games (while munching on delicious vegan food). She then told me about Dice Roll Cafe (a fortnightly games event in the CCA) that she regularly attends and assured me it wasn't full of those sort of geeks (back in my former Dundee life, I did stop by a gaming shop with an ex and it was full of creepy guys who kept staring at me).

I've now become a bit of a regular at Dice Roll Café and below I've compiled a quick round-up of what I've played over the last few weeks. I'm still no expert on board games, and there's definitely better bloggers out there who could provide more in depth reviews, but I thought I'd just give a little snapshot of what is out there.

Sushi GO! Party

I only played this for the first time recently but I think it's one of the best games for beginner gamers (it would also be good for older children). A mat is placed in the middle with cards that represent different Japanese foods, with varying levels of points. Each player is given a set amount of cards that match the foods on the mat. Each player then picks one card to keep and passes the rest on. The winner is the person who scores the most points after three rounds (effectively the person who's cards match the mat most closely).

DC Monopology

Monopoly isn't a serious game yadadada. Whatever. I like it. Especially when the London streets are turned into DC superheroes (even if they did stick Batgirl on Old Kent Road - what?!). The concept is exactly the same as the original game (and yes, I play by the proper rules) but just with an extra nerd-out for us DC fans.

Ultimate Werewolf

This was my first venture into an elimination game where players need to take on a persona and convince the other players of their innocence. In Ultimate Werewolf most of the players will be either a werewolf or villager, though other characters can be brought in depending on how big your group is (both times I've played I've been either the Witch or Sorcerer). I enjoyed it but given that I'm the worst liar ever I wouldn't say I was very good.


This was a very similar concept to Ultimate Werewolf except it is witches versus villagers and the game has more components. Each player picks a character (who has unique special abilities) and is given five cards to sit face down in front of them. Some of these cards (the number will depend on the amount of players) will have the word witch on them, but only the owner will know (with the ultimate aim of the game being to find out who has these cards). Plus, on each round every player can either draw a new "action" card or play one from their hand. Primarily these action cards are evidence cards that you can put down in front of other players - and when a player has seven evidence cards in front of them, they have to turn over one of their cards (potentially revealing them as a witch).

Marrying Mr Darcy

I laughed when I picked this up, and I knew I had to play it. The aim of the game is to marry somebody, which gave me severe eye roll (I know it's meant to be tongue in cheek, but meh). The game has several elements: the suitor cards are placed up in the middle, each player picks a female character card, and every player picks up an event card on their round. Throughout the game players also collect reputation cards and cunning cards (effectively the person who collects the most cunning cards and the best reputation cards will get first choice of suitor). Tbh, if you couldn't tell, this was my least favourite of the games I've played so far.

Cards of Humanity

But you knew about this game already though?


If you want to get into tabletop games but you're friends aren't interested, I really recommend Dice Roll Café. I can assure you it's not like other game shops full of 'proper' nerds or smelly boys. And if you're scared of going along - give me a shout and I'll let you know which one I'm next free for.
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morag | mo adore
2018: a year where I concentrate on being, rather than doing

2018: a year where I concentrate on being, rather than doing

They say resolutions aren't meant to be kept.

And, you know what? I kind of agree with whoever 'they' are.

While I have made resolutions that went onto become major lifestyle changes (go vegetarian, stay single until the right person comes along, start a blog) I have made plenty more that have failed. Learn sign language? I can only spell my name. Get a tattoo? Eh. Complete the French Duolingo course? LOL.

But last year was different. At the close of 2017 I had a look at my goals post from the start of the year and was pleased to notice that I stuck to everything. I now have adult finances, I have become better at the difficult conversations, made (mostly) ethical clothing purchases and took it easy.

So what was different? Firstly I only made six goals, which is a lot more attainable than ten (which I have attempted in the past). I also thought wisely about why I wanted to achieve each goal. But mainly: I focused on being rather than doing. 

My goals last year were set on self-improvement and being a better human/friend/family member rather than achieving something impressive. Don't get me wrong, I still did achieve things. I took multiple online courses. I have ROI stats from work that show me putting my new knowledge into action. I travelled to both Berlin and Kenya. I have a pretty impress Batgirl collection now (hey, it's my goals!).

So while I was pondering my goals for 2018 I only shortlisted the goals that met this three-point criteria:

  • The goal slots nicely into my bigger picture. I've known for many years what my ideal life looks like, so I'm concentrating on goals that will move my reality closer to this. If it doesn't improve the wider picture, it's not going on the list. 
  • It's not ridiculously unattainable. It's good to push ourselves, but be honest with yourself. Diets don't work long term. You can't teach yourself another language to the point of fluency if you don't enjoy the process. If you hated the gym for years, you're not going to start loving it now. 
  • Any doing goals will be flexible, and my focus will be on what really matters. I have made some doing goals, but I'm allowing myself permission to change these throughout the year as circumstances evolve. The goals that I'm holding myself to will relate to what really matters - values, personality, heart - and don't rely on circumstances. 
(I realise I have some privilege saying all this. I am 27, have been graduated for five years and I am already working in my chosen field, so I don't need to make many career-orientated doing goals. To any younger readers: keep going with the doing and hit those targets). 

So here it goes. 

1. Don't get complacent when life is going well
If you were to ask me what my favourite personality trait about myself is, it's my ability to treat life's curve balls as a door to something better rather than setback. Nothing gives me more fire than some of life's shittier moments. However, on the flip side, when things are going well for me I put my feet up and everything goes on the back burner. 

And in 2017, that attitude kicked me in the ass both professionally and romantically. 

So, no matter how life is going for my 2018 I vow to never get complacent (but I might need someone to hold me to this). 

2. Work on buying my own home by the time I'm 30
I turned 27 last year and a fear ran over me: what if I'm still in a flat share by the time I'm 30? I have been actively saving/thinking about areas in Glasgow for two years now and, realistically, I won't be in my own flat this year - but I need to make sure I stay on track. 

3. Ditch shitty friendships / think about who my main people are
Years ago (not long before I started my blog) I went through a bad break-up with a shithead and swore to never let my standards to slip so low again. But it was only in the past year that I began to apply the same sort of thinking to my platonic relationships. I'm no longer accepting male friends who make me (or other women) uncomfortable, anyone I feel I have to chase, anyone I don't feel comfortable being my true self with, or anyone who doesn't show the fuck up when life goes to the tits. Plus: quality over quantity. 

4. Find my final few holy grail vegan beauty products
I've been cruelty-free since 2012, which is a massive achievement. And over the years I have found some amazing products that tick all my ethical boxes, but I still have a few holes in my routine. 

If anyone has recommendations for vegan eyebrow products, a day foundation, hair removal, contouring, liquid eyeliner and make-up brushes - hit me up.

5. Be generally better at make-up
This is a doing goal that I have been working on since about, say, September (and it's going well). My make-up skillz are already a jump ahead of what they were at the start of the year (largely because I have now discovered beauty sponges and contouring).

6. Body modifications
When I was 22 I finally decided to screw my parents' opinion on body modifications and got my tragus pierced. Then my bellybutton, and my helix, closely followed by my forward helix. Then I stopped.

There were a combination of reasons, but I never lost the desire to have more piercings. Two weeks ago I got my first piercing in two years (my rook) and hope to add to my collection this year. I might need nudged on this (and who knows: maybe 2018 will be the year I finally do something with the multiple tattoo ideas that have been running around my head since I was 21).

7. Concentrate on high-quality blogging
You might have noticed that I used to blog three times a week, and now only blog when I can. The decision to do this wasn't really a conscious decision; it was just the way life unfolded. But it's worked out well for me, and some of my proudest (and most well-read) posts have been written in the past two years when I was no longer pushing posts out just to tick a weekly quota. I'm definitely going to continue concentrating on creating content that I take my time on and push out when I feel ready.

And by high-quality, I also mean different to what is already out there. I 100% believe that you should blog about what you want to blog about, but if you're blog is a carbon copy of everything else out there I probably lost interest somewhere in March. Personally, my goal with my content this year is to bring something new to table.

8. And I'm going to bring dating, sex and relationships into my blog
I have been fascinated by the topic of sex, relationships and dating since before I even hit puberty. But I was embarrassed and bashful about my interest. I'm saying no more to that and I'm planning to bring in some more content relating to the subject in the next 12 months.

9. Get back into sewing
I debated this one. Sewing is an expensive hobby and I can't always afford to make something new every month, but I'm damn good at it (humble brag). The last time I partook in a big project was my Fifi Pyjamas in 2016 and the results were impressive considering that I didn't have much experience. There's a feeling hovering around me that I could actually have way more skill in this area than I realise, and I could be wasting away a potential talent. We'll see.

10. I don't actually have a tenth goal
But I wanted to round my list up to 10. Symmetry, y'all.


I love a goal and new year's resolution, so let me know in the comments what yours are! 

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morag | mo adore

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