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Sunday Reflections 12

This week: the HTC EVO 3D, nerves kicking in, new notebook for social media & moving completely out my old flat. 

As mentioned in Things I Love Thursdays I finally moved out of the flat that caused me more hell than anything else. Words cannot describe how relieved I am about this. I can finally say goodbye to flatmates, unpaid bills, unwanted noise and keeping everything in my bedroom. The only thing I am going to miss is the location as it is just round the corner from my university. 

Something that had been left by previous tenants that I nabbed. 

One of the smaller headaches of my last flat was that the letting agency had failed to clean out the stuff left by the previous tenants (or at least leave it tidily in the living room). Thankfully this also meant that I could get some free stuff. This picture was one of them. Whilst I am not a fan of spiders I still find this painting eerily beautiful. It's now in my new flat though it doesn't exactly fit the country decor that seems to going on. (I went through the streets of Dundee holding the painting - I certainly did get some looks). 

Once all that was over with I came back home to my parents house to find my new phone sitting waiting for me ^_^. So far I am absolutely loving it. Yes, the 3D is a gimmick but it's a very cool gimmick in my eyes. I love it! Other than the 3D it's super fast, takes reasonably good photos and I already have some great apps. 

My small (and only) purchase for this week. 

Despite payday having been Friday I kept my pennies tight to me and only bought a new black notebook. I'm a big notebook hoarder and this one will be for my social media notes for work. I did take it on the train with me and the train still shook too much for me to work properly. 

Morag x
morag | mo adore
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Things I Love Thursdays #17

A fairy cat? Why not?

You know that time last week when I blogged almost every day? That's kind of not happened since. Even though I'm wearing loads of new clothes and outfit photos should be splattered across my blog. Between moving flats, working almost full time and flying in some last minute practice before my driving test next week time has been short (despite loads of drafts piled up in my dasboard).

So what are you grateful for this week?

My new phone. It's the HTC EVO 3D I'll have you know. The 3D feature is pretty sweet but ignoring that it's a pretty snazzy phone all round. Fast, does so much and should help make my life way more organised.  Been playing with new apps already and hoping it will help me organise my online life more (how many social accounts do I have that don't get used? Many).

Being able to use location-based marketing. Eh, what? You know Foursquare and the like. Not being able to tweet on the go or upload photos straight away never bothered me too much to make me get a smart phone. But when I discovered a few of my friends making use of Foursquare I just knew it was time to make the switch. N.B. I work in social media so being ahead of marketing opportunities is important. That's what I tell myself anyway. 

Being in the overdraft clear. I paid off my overdraft sometime ago but it was this week that I have become very much in the clear. A few hundred in the clear. I'm generally good with money but in my previous year at uni I partied too much to deal with horrible horrible circumstances and then got a job which made me think I could splash loads of cash again. I'm going to try and not make that mistake again. 

Finally saying goodbye to that year. Let's just say that last year was a a bit crap. This time last year I was just about to become homeless through actions that were not my own fault and my then relationship was practically in tatters. I moved out of my old place this week, handed in keys and have finally and completely said goodbye to everything that happened. And I'm not in a much better place. 

So new flat, new me? Maybe. Hopefully with more than just a room to myself I should be so much more productive with an actual study area in the living room instead of a bedroom which is study/sleeping place/dressing area. 

Morag x 

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Sunday Reflections 11

So who wants an out-stretched arms photo?

This week: Topshop, cottage cheese and rice pie, more Tesco clothing, hairline problems and Grand Theft Auto. 

My hair is absolutely killing me right now. I recently finally gave up with the whole sweepy fringe look as my hair line is too far back at the sides and it makes my head look much bigger than it is already. But middle fringes don't do me much justice either. Part of me just wants to rip my hair out and let it grow in all over again. (Moan, moan, moan....)

What I've Been Buying

Cardigan: Tesco
Flower Mustard Dress: Topshop
Black and Pink Polka dot dress: Topshop

I spotted the white version of this dress over on milkteef a while back and always showed some curiosity over it. I've never been a big Topshop fan because, as nice as their clothes are, I don't think they're worth the money they charge. But then I spotted the sale and low behold there it was. I decided against the white in the end due to my mega-pale skin looking dead right next to white clothing. The dress was a lot more mustard in real life (I never buy online because of things like this) but I still absolutely adore it. I wore it out for driving practice last night and it was also quite comfortable. The other dress was impromptu but it is lovely even if sits quite close to the body in real life (I imagined the skirt part being more bouncy) but I still like it nonetheless. I also bought the top I am wearing today (as seen in the picture) but I'll show you it properly some other time. 

Finally getting somewhere with the tattoo design

I've been playing seriously with the idea of a tattoo since the beginning of the year. At first I thought of getting my favourite quote on my tricep ("Those who won't believe in magic will never find it") but eventually grew to something more private just under my arms on the side of my chest. The photo above only slightly shows it as it would be possibly three daffodils. It's a reminder to myself to be more creative because as a child I was creative and always praised for my drawing ability but as an adult I got stuck into academia and began to reject my creative side. Daffodils were one of my favourite things to draw (and I could once do it from memory) and my design for an imaginary flower got put in the gallery beside the school cafeteria. It was pink daffodils which smelt of strawberries! I might also incorporate strawberries into the design somewhere. 
HTC EVO 3D: By this time next week I should be reviewing this for you

After what was a complete pain to order I finally got my hands on this bad boy! I tried to order it as soon as it came out in the UK but my credit was denied (probably 'cause of my age! I personally know I have the money to pay it). Thankfully my mum came to the rescue and took the phone out in her name (though it will be my money) as you know being a homeowner and all that means she's trusted to pay up :p Should be here tomorrow and if it is I should be Foursquaring my way down to Dundee. ^_^

Morag x
morag | mo adore
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How I Looked: Vests and Checks

Shirt: New Look
Vest: Quiz
Badges: Camera Obscura

As mentioned in yesterday's Sunday Reflections I moved into my new flat yesterday. One of the main features that made me go "Yeah, I'll take it" was the white wall with almost direct sunlight and enough space to fit a tripod across from it. Unfortunately by the time I was moved in and settled it was evening hence the slightly darkish tone of the pictures. I'll also need to move a chair which was placed opposite so that I can place the tripod right back so you can get more of a view of my legs to prove I'm not just a torso. 

But I am very happy with this new flat! It's amazingly small and cosy but has some clever storage so I can fit everything in neatly. Check me talking like a 30 year old with my clever storage solutions. 

Morag x
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Sunday Reflections 10

This week: almost all week off work, adding away to my custom Blogger template, nut loaf, wearing my new hat, vlogging, moving into my new flat and Dare ProtoPlay 2011!

A car I passed by on Friday - had more but privacy has to be respected. 

For those of you who are too cool for video games Dare To Be Digital is a Computer games competition for those studying in a relevant field and this past weekend was where the teams got to display their prototypes! The picture above shows off the game by Tea and Techno who were my personal favourites. They unfortunately didn't win anything but their game was my favourite and I would definitely pay money for the full version.

And how about a Vlog of me complaining about how much stuff I have? It's very #firstworldproblems

Morag x
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Things I Love Thursdays #16

This is a quick one as I am heading down to Dundee tonight to 1) move into my new flat and 2) to attend pretty much the biggest games festival in Scotland!

And the theme for this week:

Insane excitement! 

I am mega excited to be attending DareProto Play tomorrow, to be moving into my new flat - which I will get to live in alone - and some mega exciting career development opportunities. Unfortunately I don't want to say too much too soon as nothing is yet set in stone. But happy and excited and fulfilled barely begins to explain it!

Morag x
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How to Write Better Essays

Wait, what, better essays? Yesterday's post was on going shopping dressed as a Superhereo and today you're giving me advice on academia? What the hell is going on with you Morag? Well, the truth is this post is for a give away being hosted by Megan of Charade for a free place on her happiness eCourse. There was a toss-up between Halloween Hijinx (but it's, huh, not Halloween) or Ultimate Amsterdam on a Budget Part 2 (I have never been to Amsterdam and only would have picked that because I asked her question in Part 1 and she answered it in Part 2). This may not be an exciting topic, though this article, when originally written, helped me develop a new (and much needed) approach to essay-writing! 

Image thanks to net_efekt

Whoever invented the essay was a cruel, cruel being but, unfortunately, those little slithers of paper and ink are now a fact of student life and we must learn to deal with them.

But what if we could learn to do more than just deal with them? What if we could ace them every time? What if we could get essay structure down to a fine art so that they would be so easy to churn out, our stress levels could come back down where they belong?

Let’s try it.

♥ Brainstorm. Write down every idea you have, even if it might seem stupid, no one has to see this scribbling, you’re simply organising your own thoughts. Once you have a couple of ideas group them on a new page to form the basis of your paragraphs.

♥ STOP! No writing yet. Talk about your ideas with someone. You should have a clear argument before you begin writing, not expect it to arrive whilst you’re staring at a blank word document. Speaking your thoughts aloud is a great way to develop your argument. If you take this seriously enough, you’ll have the essay formed in your head before you sit down to write it.

♥ Wait! Don’t start writing just yet. Plan, plan and plan some more; the more you plan the easier the writing process. Know exactly what you’re going to say and when you’re going to say it, using bullet points in a rough plan as a hard copy to refer back to. Break each point up into small 150-200 word chunks so the whole thing seems less daunting. Aim to blitz each segment individually, not the whole essay in one go.

♥ Now is the time to just write, no pressure, leave the introduction for now if you want, start anywhere you can. If you’re at a place where you’re thinking ‘I have an idea, but how am I going to make x amount of words out of it?’ then start with a killer conclusion and work backward. This should be easy for you and hopefully, as you write it, further ideas will emerge. If you’re thinking ‘I have no clue what I’m supposed to say about this' then start somewhere in the middle, start with anything you have, spew some keywords that sound clever into your word document and then start linking them somehow. Think of your initial writings as merely a first draft, we want words on the page that’s all; we can play around with them later.

♥ If you get at all stuck, immediately move on to the next point. Don’t run the same ideas around in your head thinking ‘crap, crap, crap’ or you’re just going to completely bum yourself out. You’ll probably find the best ideas about one point come to you when you’re supposed to be focusing on another point!

♥ Have the question or guidelines in your sight at all times and stop after every point to review and make sure you’re on track. This is essential because it's all too easy to run off on a tangent and end up wasting your own time because you'll only need to cut it later.

♥ Got a first draft? Now be your worst critic; admit what’s bad. Cut it. Then be your best critic; admit what’s excellent. Go get yourself a treat.

♥ Come back. Review, rewrite, reassess. Cut and paste, move points here and there so that your argument develops coherently on the page. You could even print a copy, snip it up into paragraphs and key sentences then rearrange to your hearts content, a really practical option for organising your argument.

♥ Where necessary, back up what you're saying. Rarely are you allowed to make big, sweeping claims without some kind of reasoning or proof. Be sure to check if quotes come under your word count.

♥ Got a second draft? Try getting some outsider opinions, ideally from your tutor, but classmates are also great if you can coax them away from their own essays.

♥ Tighten your writing: check grammar and turn sloppy turns of phrase like ‘much more bold’ into ‘bolder.’ Lose excess adjectives; as a rule of thumb, one per noun should be sufficient, don’t let yourself say the same thing three times just to appear eloquent e.g. ‘as a writer he was eccentric, unconventional and incredibly original’ this will just annoy your tutor, eat up your word count and make your argument sound too flowery.

♥ Most importantly: try and learn something! Don’t think of your essay as merely an inconvenience – what can you learn from the specific topic? What is interesting about it? What makes you go ‘hmm...’? What original ideas can you bring to the subject that might just make your tutor sit up and think ‘hey, they're on to something there’? Step back from the assignment and remember why you’re at University. This is your topic, this is why you’re here, you have incredible potential waiting to be unlocked or else you’d never have got this far. Take the essay between your teeth and ace it; deep down, you know you can.

What tips do you have for writing better essays?

Post originally written by Megan. Part of 'Archive August' on Join in the fun and win!
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Popping to the Shops as Wonderwoman

Let's not lie, I'm pretty big on themed parties and fancy dress. I look for excuses to do so and always scoff when I see people dressed up as a school girl (again!). I would wear fancy dress outfits everyday if I could. Wonderwoman for a driving lesson? Batgirl for the local shops? How about some Cleopatra for a trip to your grans?

Maybe not. At least not full throttle. Maybe lady Gaga can get on-board a plane with a lobster on her head, but the rest of really can't. The rest of us have to tone it down a bit and just include elements.

And this is where Polyvore enters. And truthfully this is where I get a lot of my fancy dress inspiration from (you know the long promised fancy dress series where I show you all my outfit glory).

None of these were made by me, btw, I just scour Polyvore constantly.






I'm a SuperGirl



Original Rogue - Revamp

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Sunday Reflections 9

What I've Been Buying:

Floral dress by  Tokiyo (bough at TK Maxx)

Mesh hat by Billy Bag London

Bright yellow frying pan by Spring Lifestyle and mini-frying pan and mini-saucepan by Chefology (I cannot find any official sites though they were bought from TK Maxx)

Within the few hours before this post was written me and my mum made a dash to TK Maxx (whilst on a practice driving lesson) so she could pick out an evening dress for that over-indulgent cruise my parents are away on come September. Obviously seeing this as an excuse for some of my own shopping, I scouted out the hat section to fulfil my current fashion want of owning more hats!  The floral dress was picked out by my mum and believe me it looks a lot better on the body than on the hanger - though I think it may need a thin brown belt in order for it to sit properly. 

And the colourful cookware? Well, that was just a bit of a whim, really. Promise! It's not like the cookware section is the first place I scout out in these shops! But who wouldn't smile first thing in the morning if they got to fry their eggs in a pan coloured like sunshine? That's my theory though. 

What I've Been Listening To:

What I am honestly listening to as I type this blog post. And impressing people with my knowledge of 90's pop culture.

On a slightly more respectable note: what my favourite song is right now 

What I've Been Playing:
007: Quatum of Solace PC Game

Please note: this is not me playing the game! You don't even want to see me gaming - you'll only laugh, as will I. I'll also maybe stop it with the PC talk soon. Probably 'cause when I go back to university I won't have time to play games. While this blog may be non-niche I realise that gaming just isn't sitting correctly amongst the floral dresses and posts about period pains. Though a gaming/technology blog itself would just result in comments along the lines of "you suckkk!1 You make girl gamersss loookk baddd! kthandie!"

Hope you've had a lovely week! Next week should be exciting for me with almost the whole time off and a trip to Dare ProtoPlay (I know I'm now giving of the impression that I live in my mother's basement and kill people, but I don't) and moving into my new flat!

Morag x
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Things I Love Thursday #15: Really exciting news

No I didn't get new cameras, but still something amazing has happened!

Remember that job I went on about last semester? You know the one I loved? The one I woke up to each day not dreading going to? Well, I've got it back baby!

Yesterday afternoon after a day where me and my dad spent with our heads physically inside my PC trying to get my new sound card to work (long story short: we did it) I came across a nice e-mail. The e-mail I had been waiting for all summer. The one that told me I would be working back in the careers centre again updating their social media.

And after reading the first paragraph I got up and did a dance and wondered about the first floor of my house in excitement. I ran into my dad who told me I needed to read the whole email before I start commerating the moment with a dance routine (thanks for the level-headedness dad!). I did and the rest just told me the ins and outs of the hours and contracts, legal mumbo-jumbo.

I was pretty much always expecting to get this job back. They need a student to updates these profiles. And they had said they'd like to get me back.

So why was I so excited?

Flattered might be more to word. The first part of this email informed me that many of the other departments within Student Services were also keen to take me on to help me with their social media sites. Like, woah?!?! Blushing alert! It's always great news to know your job application was successful. But not even having to do a job application anyway because they sought out you? That's pretty bewildering.

I am so extremely grateful for this opportunity. Getting that job back in January was amazing and to know that it's expanding and creating new opportunities for me is amazing news. This job has been the highlight of my year and something that I'll always hold dear for helping me find my path in life.  Life was pretty bad when I got my hands on the job advert and I was still struggling to face the world when I applied. But this job application perked me up and it was one of those "you can do this" moments. Getting that job after some horrible exhruitating months of homelessness and heartbreak gave me something to get excited about. A project. Something to be proud of.

I will never forget this opportunity. The starting point of me working out what I wanted to do and the end of a horrible chapter of my life.

Words cannot describe my gratitude.

Morag x
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How I Looked: Zahara Chic

Playsuit & belt: New Look
Vest top: H&M
Shoes: Primark
Purple bra: Primark
Bracelets: from years ago

This is the playsuit that I bought back in early July which I am now getting round the posting! As with my other posts, because I've left my tripod in Dundee I've had to become creative with where I place my camera. This time it's on the wheelie bin! Rock and roll, people, rock and roll!

I picked this up in the New Look sale and am so glad I did! It's a bit different to what I'd usually wear but I've been wanting to give my warddrobe a bit of a shake-up and get out of the jeans and t-shirt outine I found myself in. And I think playsuits are a great way to get out of that. I'm going to be sad when winter comes and the shops stop stocking them :(

I could have probabaly worn better shoes than this but these are what I owned (plus I think I had a driving lesson that day) and my foot is currently inhabited by a loving rash! Which sounds just as pleasant as it is!

Morag x
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Why It Took Me 20 Years To Give Up Meat

Most vegetarians will get asked questions about their choice to live meat free. Either out of general curiosity or just plain judgement. One of the ones I get thrown most often is "why so suddenly, we didn't realise you wanted to give up meat?" which can translate to "dude you've been around for two decades, why now?" Which is very much a fair point. I grew up in a meat eating household, my mum and her siblings were raised on a farm that slaughtered animals and I used to be a McDonald's addict. It seemed odd.

I think the part of the story that many of them can't see is that I didn't wake up on my twentieth birthday and discovered a great distaste to meat. It had been along time coming. 

I first entertained the idea of vegetarianism back when I was thirteen. Though I had also been slightly fascinated by meat-free diets (and gluten-free diets, and diabetes) for most of my youth. I was quite the little animal-rights activist when I was younger; argumentative essays against wearing fur, refusing to wear leather, you know that kind of thing. We all develop some sort of passionate stance at a young age and that was mine. 

I however didn't follow through with it. Between being raised in a meat-eating household, taking Standard Grade Home Economics where meat was all around, very little sand which choice at lunch and not knowing any vegetarians it wasn't easy and I didn't have many roles models. 

As I moved on I continued eating meat and my passionate stance swerved more to women's issue's and LGBT rights. I also became a fast food addict at one point when I took classes at a school which was around the corner from a McDonald's. But as I moved on I met more vegetarians. And when I met more my heart sank. It reminded me of what I had once wanted to be and had not fallen through with. They were what I wanted to be. Not because of natural talent or better luck; but because I hadn't stuck to my guns.

September 2008 was when I moved out of my parents house and into student halls. Now I was cooking for myself and could have switched. But this is when I met my first boyfriend. A meat-eater. And he was a real meat-eater. If we went to a restaurant you could bet money he'd take the meatiest thing there (rack of lamb was a favourite) and he dubbed trips to McDonald's a "tradition" within our relationship (I never visited a McDonald's restaurant if he wasn't about).

This relationship ended but not long after that came another (one day I'll speak of the importance of a relationship gap) and he actually said, direct quote: "vegetarianism isn't natural". May I add that this ex was a smoker? My mind stayed on meat. 

Still all the time meeting vegetarians and feeling a pang of jealousy.

Come October 2010 I became single for the first time in two years. And this break-up was bad. Public spats. Crying through the night. Banging on doors, being reported to uni and use of the Facebook block function. I was a mess. I spent the rest of the semester trying to get decent grades and living out the "oh-so-awesome-social-life" routine that we hope our exes will spot.

Come New Year I decided to pull myself up. Being at home for Christmas had given me a much needed break from university, the chances of seeing him and the stress it had taken on me. I went back through all the "How To Get Over A Break-Up" articles that had helped me through the initial stages and came across this little gem which, as most of them do, talked about watching your food intake and overall health. However this one talked about reassessing your diet as a whole, suggesting maybe vegetarianism or raw food may be better.

If you feel your current diet isn't working for you, try a new way of approaching food - would vegetarianism or more raw food work for you? Trial a new style of cooking and eating, even if only for one day a week.

It clicked. It was now or never.

I was now for the most part living away from my parents with almost non-existent flatmates. I was also now single. These two factors meant that compromise wasn't a huge part of everyday life. No being offered that extra slice of pepperoni pizza. Or having a big dinner with flatmates. Or romantic meals to McDonald's. Time to go!

I began slowly cutting the meat slowly out of my diet right after January. I finished off the last of my frozen chicken and any bacon I had left (these were the only meat I really ever ate). From that moment on my grocery shopping was strictly meat-free. I danced past the meat isle before twirling down the fruit and vegetable isle. I've always been a big fruit and veg fan and the lack of meat in my diet meant that I had more money to spend on vitamin C induced goodness!

Out and about publicly I was still a meat-eater. Being vegetarian in the real world requires work and I wasn't quite there yet. Though I'm not huge on eating out due to money restrictions which released some pressure. It was just snacks at lunch where therein lay a problem.

Coming up to moving back home for summer I was near enough vegetarian. I decided to go public whilst at home and not in close contact to my social groups.

I'm now publicly vegetarian to anyone who has asked or the conversation of meat has come up. There are still many who maybe don't realise and will seemed confused at why I oh-so-suddenly changed. But it's done now and my decision is final and I have been meat-free for months now.

So there it is, why I so suddenly became vegetarian after being alive for two decades. Which wasn't so sudden when you know my past and the thought process behind it.

Morag x
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2011 So Far: July

Month in Review is the part of the month where I sit down and reflect on those pesky resolutions I made at the beginning of the year. I'm a big believe in resolutions and also a big believer in sharing them as a tool to keep them up!

As I roughly mentioned last time (and by last time I mean April) my resolutions now feel somewhat obsolete. My sleeping pattern is doing fine, I'm now happy being single and I'm taking blogging somewhat seriously again. But what about those Summer plans I made at the beginning of June? How are they getting along? Let's find out!

Let's just say badly. Or as I like to call it 'real life getting in the way'.

The only things that are going well are experimenting with vlogging and testing out my parents DLSR. And by going well I mean taking loads of pictures and videos but uploading very few online. And by very few I mean the photos you see on this blog and the one video about a watering can I uploaded on Youtube. Though plus points for creating a new YouTube account for my new videos? Maybe?

Real life really has got in the way, from not having as much money as I'd like, to working a lot of hours in order to gain some money. 

And another reason? Priorities changing. I think joining Google+ has reminded me of my true passion in life: social media. And that led to me to decide that other things were more important to me personally. And what are these new goals, let's review. 

Make my own blogger template
Very much in the works. All basic coding has been done and next I am to work on my graphical skillz so it's all picturesque. Then some final tweaks!

A blog overhaul
Again in the works. Aside from it's own theme my blog will also be getting some pages! I know how revolutionary! About and categories and links out, oh the excitement! Also I will be sorting out my categories and even making images for my regular feature such as Month in Review and How I Looked. I've also been writing drafts behind the scenes which will be getting churned out for more regular posting and more varied content!

Other social media plans
Obviously once the blog has been overhauled then it will make sense to match my twitter to it. And I'm also planning to sit down on a date with Tumblr and create a template there too!

My professional blog 
You know, to talk about professional things. And professional things in my world are Facebook and Twitter not merges and acquisitions like many other business studentsNothing practical has been done for this yet aside from some scribblings but by the time I graduate/start applying for graduate jobs I should have two full working blogs. Hopefully with the times to keep these up.

Exciting but busy times lay ahead!

Morag x
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