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Birds of Paradise


Dress: New Look
Rings: Accessorize (old)
Nail Polish: Barry M

This was the dress I wore out to a friends birthday on Saturday night. It was bought Friday night in New Look after trying on about four dresses in the changing room to determine this was the one. I hadn't bought any new (non-essential) clothes in a while so I treated myself to a dress somewhere within the £20-£30 range. I noticed birds seemed quite "in" right now and also pastels. However pastels aren't quite my thing :/ I'm also not usually a red person due to my hair colour however this felt right. Also the zip for the dress was extremely well camouflaged into the design which is always a plus :)

The only thing I'm not keen on is the slits at the side. Trying it on I just thought it was due to one of my few body hang-ups being my stomach area however looking back at these photos I reckon no slits would have been a better design for the dress. The top half is also a big baggy on me cause but as I collect most of weight at my waist I couldn't go down a size. So I wore the most-padded bra I owned to try and fix that.


Morag x
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In This Week




1. Make-up for a friends emo themed birthday! Great mirror picture to go along with it! 2. My Lemon bag from the Lush Dundee store re-opening. 3. New mascara. 4. Morgan Stanley careers talk. 5. Lush Caca Rouge hair henna. 6. Irn-Bru Cupcakes (which could have been loads better).
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Lush Dundee Re-Opening




In the past fortnight the Lush Dundee store got a bit of make-over, and Thursday they opened it up to the public. In between my two classes (you know, when I should have been printing off lecturer slides for my second class) I pondered down there (and by pondered I mean rushed) to see what had all changed.

I was greeted at the door by always-smiling lush staff with some fruit and free champagne, always a tactic that will encourage me to buy more products than usual. Admittedly I was cynical about how much you could change about a Lush store but the new design was lovely. The store has now gotten rid of the yellow/green logo and the front door now has the more elegant black and white LUSH logo. Each section of shop is now in clear areas, which it was before, but it's now clearly. I distinctly remember a member of staff (who was dressed as a banana) talking me through the 'mouth' section of the store, which was lovingly placed next to the champagne and fruit table.

Nothing was on offer this day with everything on full price, but because I had the galls to stand up to a former landlord I had some extra money come through a week earlier. I picked up a new block of caca rouge henna dye (Which I used Friday and oh my god my hair is bright!) as well as picking up some new skin care stuff. I've already loved the Cosmetic Warrior Facemask but just had to give the Cupcake one a try, purely because of the adorable name.

A little gift from the store that I knew was coming was a free canvas bag. Admittedly you needed to buy something to get this away with you. But I love it. I have to carry a lot about with me on a daily basis but for popping to the shops a canvas bag is just perfect! And it has a lemon on it. But anyone else could have picked a pineapple or a strawberry or an apple. Though it appeared there no cherries.

Also, today I have been digging through the archives of Beyond All Sorts a blog that belongs to a Lush Dundee employee. Being the usually creepy individual that I am, upon meeting Blair something told me that she was a blogger. Yes, we can sense each other. And by stalking the Lush Dundee Twitter feed I discovered she was. She hasn't updated since late last year but what's in her (small) archives is superb! So many pretty photos from her design course.
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Things I Love Thursday #23


Source: Will Smith. 


Reaping the rewards from standing up for myself
My main resolution from this year was to stand up for myself more (and by more I mean actually try in the first place). And so far this has been going well with me discovering that I won't be shunned from society if I have the cheek to stand my ground. If anyone has heard of Grant Management then you'll probably imagine vividly the hell I had with them getting deposits back from my last flat. So I left it. And then new year came and I decided if I could stand up to them I could probably stand-up to anyone. And it worked.

People sending you jobs they think would you like
And by people I mean people that you only half know and didn't realise they took much notice of you. Like lecturers who've taught you in three classes and someone else who left university a year ago (and didn't even ever add you on Facebook). 


Watching an arrogant person fail
Admittedly born out of bad place. But when someone mouths off saying you should have done this and that and this why you only just managed to break-even on ticket sales, then only for them to organise almost the exact same event a year later (in the same venue to boot!) and watch them sell two tickets! Well, part of me chuckles. 

Morag x


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My Cookbook Collection


You might have noticed that I love to cook, you know with the baking every weekend and being so anti-processed foods! However the thing that differs me from a professional chef is that I can never work without a recipe. And I seem to lack the ability to create my own. Adaption, yes. Creating, no. 

 Say hi to cookbook collection everyone!

 

Vegetarian Nosh for Students: A Fun Student Cookbook


My go-to cookbook! Almost every home made dish you see on this blog probably came out of this book. The majority of the ingredients are foods that I imagine most people would have in their kitchens (unless you're all about the processed foods!) and even if something extra needs to be bought it's all stuff should be easily available in a local shop.



From Pasta to Pancakes: The Ultimate Student Cookbook


I bought this little gem back half way through my  second year of university (so early 2010) to help fulfil my then new year resolution of "eat more real food". I bought this pre-vegetarian days so meat is still mentioned in a few recipes however the author realises that not everyone eats meat and there are a few dedicated recipes. Plus a lot of the meat dishes (such as the stir-frys) are easily adapted.



The Newlywed's Vegetarian Cookbook


I bought this in the most recent Boxing Day sales. It was the vegetarian part that caught my eye not the newlyweds part and truthfully the name confuses me a bit. Do newlyweds eat differently from non-newlyweds? Awkward name choice aside the recipes in here are easy to follow and aren't that far out of the average price bracket. However I've not tried that many, as even though most ingredients are easily found in any shop, they aren't the sort of foods I have randomly in my cupboards (and I don't think many people would). It's a book for when you have someone round and want to impress!



Baking (Taste): 2


My go-to baking cookbook! This cookbook is nicely set up into different sections, with muffins at the start moving through to bread and also into savoury grounds for anyone that just doesn't want yet another damn cupcake! Aside from the simple strawberry muffin recipe you've also got every type of bread you can ever imagine along with dinner ideas such as toad in the hole and vegetable strudel. Nothing in here is overly complex but I wouldn't recommend it as a "my first baking" book



Sweet Vegan: 70 Delicious Dairy-free Desserts


Unfortunately I have never managed to use this cookbook despite my great desire to do so! Mainly because it's not just about omitting dairy ingredients (like some recipes I have found on the Internet) but instead about using replacement ingredients that I just can't find in my local shops. Unless you keep Egg Replacer in your house then you might want to move on. You need to be quite committed to the vegan cause!



This book contains some really sweet ideas for cake pops! And shows you where to press the cake pop to make the different shapes. But cake pops are much trickier than I had originally imagined! After my failed attempt at Pudsy Cake Pops the night before Children In Need I haven't touched this book again as I am convinced I'm just not made for the cake pop world!

Have I convinced you to buy any of these, or do you have your own favourites? 

Morag x
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In This Week



1. My mum playing with my new camera. I never know how to pose when my mum takes photos of me - obviously I don't want to pout but I don't want to put on a big cheesy grin either.

2. Two-cupcakes in one :) Unfortunetly this was the only mini-cupcakes that turned out in a good shaped so all my other cupcakes were just a big one with a strawberry on top. They were delish though being strawberry and almond flavoured and all that!

3. And I made banana and almond muffins last night which became breakfast this morning! They were also amazing (yes, that is the sound of me tooting my own horn!) But I forgot how quickly banana can go off so the ones I ate this evening weren't ideal.

4. And a mango noodle dish from the week. Absolutely amazing! For some reason my mum brought a mango with her when she came to stay last weekend so I was finally able to try out this recipe (Mango generally isn't something I have lying around!).

Morag x
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Favourite Tumblr Blogs Take 2


In April of 2011 I shared my favourite Tumblr blogs. And nearly one year on I think we can assume that I've come across some just as excellent examples of successful Tumblring!

Oh and btw, it's still primarily food blogs. Which shouldn't be a problem unless you don't like food? 


PHOODS (Photography + food = PHOODS)
Food is amazing. And you know what else is amazing? When people take great pictures of food and post it on the internet. We're not talking instagram here folks! 


I am certainly not one of those girls that has pink everything (for example, the shed above) and firmly believe that bright pink is best left as an accent colour (unlike the shed above). However a blog dedicated to pink objects whether carpets or cupcakes still gets my vote. 


I am a foodie. Albeit a very healthy foodie. Who doesn't eat meat. So by a lot of people's standards fussy. However if you're all about feeding yourself but in a low fat, small portion kind of way that you might like healthy alternative too! 


And my diet just got fussier! No, I am not a vegan however I am fascinated by the options available to vegans and the possibilities that vegan chefs come up with! 


Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day. I won't get all nutritionist on you and inform you for the 400th time why it's important. No, I'll just say that a lot of my favourite foods are traditionally breakfast foods. Cereal before bed? Yes please. Toast at various times throughout the day? Give me some of that. 


Bread Love
With breakfast foods being right up my taste bud's alley it's no surprise to find out that I count bread as one of my favourite foods. Doughnuts, poptarts and croissants = love. 


A nice blog that  take people's wishes for this year and puts them together with uplifting photos and nice fonts. Spent ages looking through the posts when I found this on New Year. (Yes, my New Year Eve was spent on Tumblr). 


Again another goal setting Tumblr. Admittedly a lot of these goals were clearly made my high school students (who are also American!) but discussing plans and goals is one of my favourite pastimes (really!). I don't connect well with people that don't have goals. 

Morag x






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Things I Love Thursdays #22


Pop Hive: Episode 1 from Pop Hive on Vimeo.

My newest favourite Internet thing
Admittedly I'm not all that nuts about vlogging and YouTube however when the editor and founder of one of my favourite online magazines, BitchBuzz, started her own online TV show I just needed a look. Pop Hive is just so many things I love rolled into one: pop culture, smaller known artists, quirky fashion, non-angry feminism and bright colours. Only bad thing is that I uncover some seriously bad hair envy.

Getting through another single Valentine's Day in one piece
'Cause this was just the worst thing when I was sixteen....

Still encouraging love on V-Day 
Instead of sitting at home with five bottles of wine on Valentine's Day I put my free time as a singleton to use and held a Valentine's bake sale in support of LGBT charity Stonewall. Just because I'm alone and bitter (lulz) doesn't mean I need to spite the loved-up couples of the world. Whether that loved-up couple is a man and a woman, a man and a man or a woman and woman. It's all love and that's beautiful.

Having an awkward conversation with someone
But walking away feeling good and relieved. This is someone who is good friends with someone I want nothing to do with anymore. But he was nice (I had cake) and I walked away feeling good that things were being left behind us all.

Hope you all have things to be grateful for this week!

Morag x


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In this week








This week has basically been baking for valentine's plus a glass of wine at the end of it all.

The brownie in the bottom picture is still in the oven. STILL! My oven is bad for burning the outside but leaving the inside soggy. I've already scrapped off a top layer of brownie because of it. Next flat I move to I demand to inspect the oven!

Oh and btw, that wine? LOVELY! If you like delicately tasting wines, with a slight fizz then this is for you!

Also picked up one of my favourite facial moisturisers again.

Currently waiting on a bath cause today has been busy with my mum coming down and loads of baking and my dad ending up in A&E (don't worry it's okay now - just a nose bleed that wouldn't stop!).

Morag x
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How I Do So Much & Don't Go Insane




If you follow my blog all you'll have probably realised that I am in my final year of university, run a Cupcake Society, have a part-time job, live by myself (so need to do it all myself) and regularly cook my own food, whilst being active on many, many social media mediums.

However if you know me in real life, you'll probably know it's a bit more extensive than that. Aside from the above I also (actively) play class rep for my course, act as Head of Social Media for my uni's business society, am a member of a dance team, go above and beyond my seven hour a week job, am currently applying for jobs, take part in a few extra-curricular award schemes, currently sorting out the atrocious marketing of a mental health association, volunteer for my local Rotaract (and sort out their social media) and I've just taken on another role: Treasurer of the Vegetarian and Vegan society at my university.

Yeah, so I am busy person. I was filling in a job application yesterday and realised just how fake it all sounded. Surely not one person could fit this all in? Well, they can. And I know 'cause I do.

So how on earth?

I genuinely enjoy what I do
Whilst it does get on top of me occasionally, I enjoy all-round all the activities I partake in. I generally like my course. I enjoy my job where I get to practice specific skills for my future and feel valued. I enjoy being active within my student body and I like all the societies I am actively involved in. There have been other parts of my life where I was busy but felt drained and it was because I was busy for the wrong reasons.

I can see how this builds into my future
I want to work in social media so all these projects clear an obvious path towards a goal. I also entertain becoming self-employed/freelance at some point so running a university society is like mini-practice at being a a manager. In short, because I have a clear goal in mind it's easy to stay motivated.

I still make "me" time
Despite all this I still find a way to get away from it all and be with my own thoughts One of the major benefits of living alone is that when you have a day when everyone is being a plank you can just come home and not have to deal with more people. Also my Sunday night bath is more enjoyable without anyone hoovering right outside the bathroom door (genuinely happened whilst living at my parents).

I take good care of myself physically
No matter how busy I am I always get at least nine hours sleep (seven at exam periods). You can never do great work at 3am. I also eat well. However a luxury I also have is that I am as able-bodied as they come. I'm not allergic to anything, I don't need to inject anything or take pills daily and all my limbs are in tact. This certainly helps.

I surround myself with people in the same situation and are supportive
My closest and favourite people are those who are also the same: they like to keep busy & have ambitions too. Not saying that I wouldn't talk to you if you weren't (I do have friends who don't do much on top of uni work) but the chances of us becoming really close or me turning to you after a long day are slim. The person I spend most time around throws ideas around with me, calms me down when I over-do it and has stepped in for me when I've doubled booked myself.

I'm organised
And before anyone asks for organisation advice, I'm naturally organised. I've always been punctual, on top of things and control. No further advice here.


My job is flexible
Like the whole able-bodied thing is a luxury mostly out with most people's control. I only work office hours once a week and they don't complain when I have to miss one week. Obviously if I missed three weeks in a row I'd get the boot, but being able to change my shifts each week works well within a busy lifestyle.

I walk away from jobs that leave me drained
Not saying I would walk away half way through a project but once the project is done - I'm gone! There have been societies that I didn't feel I fitted well enough into and projects where I felt undervalued so I never returned. And from somewhere I plucked up the courage to say no second time around.

Morag x

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Charity Shop Hobo



Right guys, so I'm guessing you're wondering wth is with the curtains?

Well, let me break it down for you!

It was for charity. We had to take £10 of our own money and buy the tackiest thing we could find in various charity shops. This dress came from Children 1st and the bag from the British Heart Foundation.

And then we all went and got drunk in stupid outfits.

Top night.

Morag x
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Things I Love Thursdays #21



Being in good health
Which truthfully I'm not in right now. But raise your glass to the times when you are!

Being confident that you have a good group for your project
Part of my final year honours project is 30% group work and a few months ago I was dreading starting it 'cause I was convinced I'd end up in a group with people on my course who appear to not know what a calender is. Fortunetly however the same project is shared amongst a few different management courses and I've ended up in a group that seem to really care about their degree classification. 

Good food
Last week I was skint/disorganised and ended up eating my emergency food such as baked beans. Thankfully money came through this week so I was able to purchase ll my favs from the fruit and veg idle! And some Greek yoghurt! Because that's always fancy! 

Really, really laughing
I was out last night on a "charity shop pub crawl" which involved using a tenner to purchase the weirdest things you could find in a second hand charity shop. Oh, some of the stuff people found! We had boys in fur waistcoats and girls in high-waisted granny trousers! Photos of my outfit should be up tomorrow! 

Lots and lots of love!
Morag x




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In This Week




This week was quite a "regular" one with no much happening. The first photo is from a leaving night for my friends Rachel's (as she does upload photos and publicly tweets she can get a photo up!) leaving night before she goes back down to Edinburgh. I got into a panic as I remembered I had lost my false eyelashes on a previous night out and thought for about two minutes I could pull off my fuller set that are usually reserved for fancy dress. As the second photo shows - I could not! The final picture is a home-made mushroom stroganoff! It was nom!

Morag x
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Bows & Satin




My photo form a night out I went on last night. All these pieces are fairly old but "classic" so similar things will still be in the shops. Because I bought my DLSR camera this month (and as these photos show still need to practice with!) I haven't had any money to spend on new clothes. So this outfit was put together last minute during a week where I just hated everything I owned. 

I bought the blouse back in October because I needed some "smart/casual" clothes to wear whilst I assisted in a Apprentice style competition. And honestly it's been sat at the back for a while. The dress is from the new year period of 2008-09 sales and was back when body con dresses were all the rage! You can't tell from the pictures but it is satin and is very fitted. I had to be careful how I sat in it. 

Still getting used to the Nikon D3100 camera but having real difficulty with self-portraits. Been reading up on lenses and found some that are best for portraits, so might save up. But otherwise the colours in these pictures are lifelike! 

Morag x
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Things I Love Thursday #20



My New Glossy Box!
I was seriously considering unsubscribing to Glossybox at the start of the year but after hearing whispers of a special Valentine's Box I kept my monthly payments going. I am so glad I did! All the products here managed to excite me! I am big fan of "natural products" so finding two Davines products in here made me squeal! Admittedly I imagined a St Valentine's Day box to be hair removal and red lipstick (being honest) but this was just as lovely! (Note to self: turn the labels upwards when taking these beauty box pictures :/)

When someone seems really grateful for your time
As mentioned in my In This Week post: I helped rebuild the garden at a children's hospice at the weekend and the same night I helped someone work their way around a buddy and sluggish content management system. I think not thanking people is the height of rudeness but these two people were really grateful for the time I took out of my schedule to perform tasks that had very little in them for me. 

Classes at university I actually like
One of my geekier interests is the European Union. And in my final semester of university ever I have entire module dedicated to Europe! And it's taken by my favourite lecture, so double win. Part of the assessment is group work and today we had a big brain storming session on what we might like to do our presentation on. I walked away feeling fuzzy. 

Hope you all have things to be grateful for too, lovelies! 

Morag x


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Month In Review: January 2012


The closest you'll ever see inside my flat ;) 

Well, well, it's take two at this series. Last year I gave up some point around July time 'cause I had outgrown many of my resolutions. This time however I came up with something a bit different in hope that this could become a regular series. 

My plan this year was to make a goal for each month, only for the first six months so that the last six months have new resolutions based on how my life pans out come mid-year. 

So what was January's plan again?

It was to sort out my living space!
Which was oh-so eloquently worded: "I've moved flat every year I've been at university and by the time you get to your fourth flat you just can't be bothered decorating and organising because you feel you'll just have to lump it away again. However, as much as I don't want to jinx it, this flat may become a bit more permanent for me, and that means I really need to make it home. Don't get me wrong it's not like I haven't unpacked it's more like I don't have any personal belongings on the walls. I want to feng shui my living room and bedroom (leaving the kitchen and bathroom out as they are mega small). I also want to add more decor to my bathroom as bringing a Sunday night bath into my routine was a mega-brilliant decision! Also within this month I want to throw out clothes that I won't/don't wear and any personal possessions that remind me of bad memories, no matter how much I once thought that I would 'get over it'."

So how has this come along then?

Well I have: -
  • Thrown out all old make-up from my bathroom
  • Any products (shower gel/shampoo) that I am currently not making my way through got put away in a cupboard
  • Re-arranged my airing cupboard (this was one serious clean out I tell you!) so that my new suitcase could fit in
  • Moved my bed so it was now feng-shui savvy and so that the heat from the radiator wouldn't bother me at night 
  • Put up new posters
  • I now have a drawer in my kitchen dedicated to cake decoration!
  • My cupcake cases are now all neatly displayed in a cupcake stand
  • My entire kitchen has been de-cluttered and re-arranged!
  • All personal files have been sorted and those that are no longer relevant have been scrapped
  • Have a dedicated "hair area" as in my last flat
  • All books are lined up at the front
  • Finally got around to throwing out some out-of-date lube (ahem!) that I hadn't touched since my last relationship ended

What haven't you done?
  • Thrown out that bag
  • Sorted out all the random cables that exist under my desk
  • Defrosted my entire freezer
  • Got into a regular cleaning routine. 
But pretty good, really? More so than most students do! 

Buying a camera this month which was circa £500 has put me back a fair bit and resulted in me not being able to do a thorough spring clean which I really wanted to do! (Number one rule when trying to make a rented place look homely: clean every last piece of dirt out of it!)

The lack of pictures this month is larger due to privacy issues! Showing you where I sleep at night is a tad creepy.

Morag x 


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