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2013 highlights


Admittedly 2013 had been a mellow year for me. It was my first year where I was in full-time employment throughout the whole year, which didn't leave for much time for much else. But I thought I'd put together a few pictures that show some highlights of my year (no Africa this year haaaa).





Made my first Bonnie Bling purchase
Which barely goes with anything but I proudly display it in my room.

Met Lauren Goodger
I didn't know who she was but I still like to impress Towie fans with this haha


Stayed here for free
It was nice.


Did this for Halloween
And turned 23 a week later.





Watched far too much of this 
And I'm still not finished.


Met an online friend in real life 
And she was a babe ;)



Made use of Glasgow's (and partially Edinburgh's) music scene
And seen some of my main men live.

Got my forward helix pierced
About two days ago

Hope you all had a lovely 2013 and are looking forward to 2014.

Morag
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Favourite cruelty-free products of 2013



Last July marked my one year anniversary of my decision to boycott animal testing make-up companies, and 2013 was my first full year as a cruelty-free blogger. I've been living this lifestyle for 18 months and despite some of the hurdles and set backs (in 2013 we lost Stila cosmetics) this is by far one of the best decisions I've ever made and is easier now since I've had plenty of time to do my research.

I've been introduced to so many more brands in these past 18 months than when I was content with buying whatever was in Boots, and I've decided to put together my top bunny friendly products of 2013.

The Scottish Fine Soaps Company Au Lait Shampoo
I received this in a pamper set last Christmas and wasn't expecting to like it, but what I discovered was the best shampoo I have ever used. I've also tried out the Sea Kelp and newer Arboria shampoo's but the au lait still gets my gold star every time.

Arbonne Primer
I've never had much luck with primers, but after discovering this gem my primer worries were over. I have since tried the Too Faced primer which is also good but the Arbonne primer still stood a cut above the rest for me.

M&S deodrant
Not exactly the most exciting beauty product ever (if you could even consider it beauty) but finding a cruelty free anti-perspirant was becoming the bane of my life. Enter the good old British company of Marks and Spencers who have leaping bunny approved deodrants in a range of fragrances.

Arbonne It's a Long Story Mascara
The second entry from Arbonne. The original mascara was admittedly not all that but that cry was listened to and this was released, to very good results.

Soap & Glory Hand Food
Most bloggers own this but thought I'd throw this in.

Pixi waterproof eye make-up remover
Removes make-up easily, doesn't sting the eye and isn't oily. Not much to dislike, really.

Bourjois Rouge Edition lipsticks
I hang my head in shame to say I had never owned anything Bourjois until this year, however they have now entered my highly rated list. I've yet to be disappointed by any of my purchases but the lipstick range is the star buy for me.

What have been your favourite beauty products this year?

Morag
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Christmas 2013










I've been hiding away from my blog land for almost a week (aside from yesterday's Linkables) but I thought I pop by and share pictures from my Christmas. I didn't take as many as previous years as it was really busy (despite it being the smallest head count at Christmas for a number of year) trying to get everything co-ordinated on time.

I ended up not making my butternut squash soup as my cousin, who's a professional chef, decided to spend Christmas at his dad's and he prepared a vegetarian sweet potato soup (which was lovely), but I did still cook the apple and walnut roast I had been planning. It was a much more complicated recipe than I had anticipated and it ended up being a sweet dish rather than savoury but it was still lovely. I also ended up drinking a bottle of wine to myself plus countless vodkas after my parents had left me with my uncle and cousin, which resulted in me doing no sales shopping and feeling sorry for myself the next day instead (whilst pretending I wasn't, having moved out prior to 18 means I've never adjusted to idea of being drunk in front of my parents).

I hope you all had a merry Christmas, or if you don't celebrate than a happy public holiday and that you have a charming new years eve.

Lots of father christmas love!


Morag
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The Linkables




The issue of cultural appropriation has gained mainstream focus, but if you're still confused by it this article is one of the best I've found: The Difference Between Cultural Exchange and Cultural Appropriation
"Because for those of us who have felt forced and pressured to change the way we look, behave, and speak just to earn enough respect to stay employed and safe, our modes of self-expression are still limited."

I never thought Coronation Street had enough fan girls to have it's own Wiki but apparently I was wrong.

When dogs get punished hahahaha.

Constellation tea towels.

Make your own birthday candles.

26 women share their abortion stories

I love Rose's review on a really fancy camera.

Teenagers imagined by 8 years olds in 1991.

Just what I've been looking for: 100 Photoshop Tutorials.

A cheat sheet of character codes.

A beautiful food blog to oggle.

Are you a chronic vague-booker over the age of 20? Fucking stop it.




 Morag
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My veggie Christmas menu (and what almost made my menu)


It feels like last week I was blogging about my menu for my first ever vegetarian Christmas and now I'm here pattering on about my third plant-based Christmas. How time flies!

I'll be honest: I've never been a big Christmas food fanatic. Even when I ate meat I was always nagging at my mum to do something more interesting or just even make some stuffing that involved some fancy cheese (I think one year I petitioned for a lobster instead of a turkey). And even though Christmas can be difficult to navigate as a vegetarian I love being left to my own devices instead of eating what is put in front of me.

So what have I narrowed it down to this year?

For starters



Butternut squash, chilli and crème fraiche soup

For main



Glazed lentil walnut and apple loaf

I would love to cook more but I am doing my commute from Glasgow to my parents' abode in Aberdeenshire on Christmas Eve so will only have the morning to prepare (though I am getting my parents' kitchen to myself whilst my uncle deals with the turkey).

But if I did have the time this is what would have also happened:



Christmas Quiche



Whole roasted cauliflower with cheddar and spring onion sauce


Lentil Mushroom Walnut Balls with Cranberry-Pear Sauce




Is your menu set? What are you eating, vegetarian or otherwise? 

All my Christmas vegetarian love!

Morag
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The Linkables



Everyday sexism project hits 50,000 entries.

15 things you (probably) didn't know about Silence of the Lambs (I do dispute the Valentine's Day thing though)

Metallica played in Antartica recently

A new Facebook page for all you word fanatics: word porn

A personal memoir on living with a mental health problem

10 Ways We Body Shame Each Other Without Knowing



10 simple ways to boost SEO - I did know everything on here, but I did finally learn how to fix Blogger page titles.

Dyson engineers held a fancy dress competition

30 times Liam Payne was the most perfect member of One Direction  - every member has a list but Liam in my favvvvv. 


If you're looking for some new music Make That a Take records in Dundee asked various people in the Dundee music scene to provide their top ten albums/bands/etc of 2013. 

Without going too far into my life, someone close to me was affected by miscarriage this week and I just want to give the issue some attention by sharing the charities that cover this: The Miscarriage Association, Tommy's, Charm UK and Sands


Morag
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Christmas dinner at The National Piping Centre


As mentioned yesterday, Thursday night me and the rest of my work popped along to The National Piping Centre (which is also a client of the company I work for) for our Christmas din dins and some ceilidh dancing. The centre has a small restaurant alongside a few bars, a small bagpipe museum and a dance hall.

Excuse my blurry phone pictures, didn't want to interrupt our Christmas doo with my insistence on turning my plate round for the perfect picture before I actually bothered to eat anything...

(I also have no pictures of the room in order to conceal workmates/which company I work for).

Goats cheese salad, pumpkin ravioli, and Christmas pudding

Christmas can be a difficult holiday to navigate as a vegetarian, but the menu was just fine for me (there was also the option of vegetable broth as a starter) even though I did have to ask if the pumpkin ravioli could come without parmesan (which they nicely agreed to). If you read my blog a lot you know I like bars and clubs a little rougher around the edges which you could image this place isn't. The food was lovely though and wasn't too posh where you were scared  to accidentally cackle but it certainly isn't where you'd go for a rowdy meal with some girlfriends. The food was nice but simple, but not so posh it came in tiny portions. 

And actually I do think you need to be part of an event to eat there anyway ;)

 Morag
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Scottish Bloggers Christmas Party




Last Tuesday was the Scottish Bloggers Christmas Party hosted by Paula and Scott. It was was held in October (previously November) in Princes Square. The night had some fantastic goody bags, a large raffle (I won two fabulous gifts), some excellent cocktails (that picture is a chilli and mango martini) and plenty of giggles. I didn't take that many photos as I was running about saying hi to old bloggy pals, meeting some Twitter pals in the flesh for the first time and also get chatting to whoever else showed up. It's so weird to think it has been two years since my first blogger meet-up and how they're so big now it's so hard to move around and say even a brief hi to everyone there.

I did find some photo time after some of the other bloggers starting clearing out though haha




Ho ho ho ho!

Morag
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The Linkables





I'm hungover today so we'll make this quick:

The best thing on Etsy ever - a Weegie Board (for finding dead weegies).

A very interesting piece on someone who is mixed race and gay, but appears white and heterosexual.

All the terrible ways the media treated women in 2013

A gift guide for a cocktail enthusiast

10 ways to dazzle at a meeting

15 Jolly Christmas Cocktails

Avocado mac and cheese

Place cards that bring nature to the table

A love and relationship magazine for nerds


Morag
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Gift guide for a Scottish fashionista




Bonnie Bling
A personal favourite - my Ecosse necklace may not go with much but it's still one of my favourite pieces. If having Scottish slang hanging from their neck isn't in your receivers lookbook they also sell flowers, other random slang and a certain Glasgow statue with a cone on its head.

Obscure Couture
With gothic leanings and Wonderland-esque lines this is for the more flamboyant fashionista. But if you're gal is brave enough to head out in a see-through skirt than this here is the brand for her. Their site is still in construction but you can still buy their tremendous pieces from ASOS marketplace.

Hayley Scanlan
Waving the Dundee fashion flag high is Hayley Scanlan who offers a small but wearable collection including studded and PVC numbers, but also stripy off the shoulder pieces.

Karen Mobon
If your receiver has a bit of a scarf fetish then this is the designer you should wish to get pally with.

Common People
Something for the other 50% of the population, this Edinburgh based brand combines mens clothing with short sleeved shirts, knitwear and hipster tendencies.

Other honourable mentions: Abandon Ship Apparel // Saunt & Sinner // DIY Nails // Lucky Edge Decks // Catherine Aitken // Rebecca Torres // Bebaroque // Deetz // Henrietta Ludgate 

Morag
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Mop lemongrass shampoo and conditioner



If you're looking for a new cruelty-free hair care brand to try, then Mop Hair may be one you haven't heard of. I only knew about this brand because I had spotted their products in John Lewis and something about the branding drew me in (doesn't the bottle just say 'clean' and 'refreshed'?) and after some animal rights research I discovered it was a cruelty-free brand that carries a few vegan products.

There were a few products that caught my eye but given how stubborn my hair can be I'm usually cautious when dipping my toes into a new brand, and usually stick to one or two products.

Both of these products were of a very light consistency given how they are meant to volumise the hair, and both of them have a lovely clean smell. My hair does have slightly more bounce than usual but I wouldn't say it has taken on new heights of volumity (and I may have just made that word up). I honestly prefer a much thicker conditioner as due to my hair's lengths I need a strong conditioner for the ends (given that it may easily be five years old) and I have to use a fair bit of this in one go to get my desired result.

I do hate leaving a review on this note as I like to have a firm 'yes' or 'no' opinion, but this is going to get swished with the 'okay' brush. I would possibly consider buying the shampoo again but the conditioner just wasn't thick enough for my tastes but it's not the sort of product I would warn people away from as I can imagine it working for some other hair types.

Morag
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Stocking fillers for a kitschy gardener




As you may now, I've been attempting to the be the grower of my own fruits and vegetables for, erm, quite some time now. But the truth is kids, gardening is an expensive hobby and whilst I have collected bits and bobs for my balcony garden over the past year - compost, seeds, one of those big fork things - I still don't have enough to fully turn my back on the the Tesco fresh veg isle.

So if you also have a gardener in your life, consider saving their purse some weight loss and get them something garden related. And because I'm a magpie this will be gardening furniture that can be doubled as an ornament.

1. Seed markers - The Thoughtful Gardener
2. Green Wooden Garden Tidy - dotcomgiftshop
3. Potting Shed Tea Mug - dotcomgiftshop
4. 2014 Calendar With Seeds - Seedlings
5. Sage Green Compost Bin - Freshly Forked
6. A monthly seed subscription - London Herb Garden
7. Grow your own Christmas dinner - The Urban Farmer
8. Brightly coloured twine - Pinks and Greens
9. A personalised swing - Oak and Rope Company
10. Food maker for your plants - Ellen Mary Gardening
11. Garden Twine Dispenser - Boots

Happy gardening!

Morag
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The Linkables




If you read and share anything after this post, make it this: intersex women speak out to protect the next generation

Develop magazine have honoured their 30 programmers under 30 many of which have links to Dundee.

More Dundoanian stuff: The Rusty Hip Collective have started an advent calender. 

Blink-182 to release new album ahead of Reading and Leeds Festival headline appearance

A great band I discovered this week: A Plastic Rose

Portraits of children from around the world and where they sleep

Some Christmas gift ideas for the rocker in your life

I'm an advocate of working out because you enjoy it/for your health not because you're desperate to have a perfect bikini body

A fantastic nail art blog I found this week: one nail to rule them all 

21 Disney employees tell us about the craziest thing they've witnessed at work

A university studied Santa's carbon footprint (and it's not good)

What Native Americans want you to know on thanksgiving

Here's what a really famous marketer had to say about Black Friday

The Radical Politics of #selfies

Because yolo is so passe: 56 Victorian slang words you should be using 

And finally, Katie Morag has been turned into a television series and you can catch-up on iPlayer

 Morag
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The Gig Audit: Nickelback & Skillet




Just over a week ago I landed myself a free ticket to the Nickelback concert in Glasgow. I only got to go because my friend's friend pulled out and I was given the spare ticket but I pair a lot of Nickelback songs with certain memories from my pre-twenties days.

There was all the classics such as Rockstar, Photograph (an all-time fav), Gotta Be Somebody, How You Rewind Me and then some more I hadn't heard of (I'm not a super-fan okay?).

And they also played Far Away, as the perfect accompaniment to this...


Because if you're going to get someone else to propose for you it might as well be Chad Kroeger (and your sister).

(Katie said yes btw)

And then the Daniel Adair did a solo on the drums...




And much props to their support act Skillet. I had never heard of them before but apparently they had a really famous song in The Transformers (which I've never seen, cause I'm uncool) but they delivered a really impressive set. Operatic metal (or Christian Rock as their Wikipedia goes with, but I'm sticking with the metal/opera hybrid) isn't really the kind of thing I'd jam about my bedroom to but with that much energy and stage presence I'm not complaining. If you're a fan - even a minor one - I'd say put seeing them live on your bucket list.

Also: I leaned that Chad Kroeger looks different in real life. And doesn't really have much of an accent.

Morag
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