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An Evening at Strata Bar & Restaurant


As it was mentioned in last week's Sunday post my parents came down to Glasgow for a visit and treated me to a meal at Strata Bar & Restaurant situated on Queen Street (or my mum got vouchers valid for the day they were planning to come down).

The place was a bar with some tables lined up the side by the window. There was also an upstairs though I didn't venture into that part. It was quite lively and having our meal at 7pm meant that there were already people having their Friday night drinks after the 9-5 hog!


For starters it was veggieness all round despite my parents being firm carnivores. The vegetarian cred of this restaurant wasn't high but the options of starters included my brushetta, my mum's sweetcorn soup (which was the soup of the day) and my dad's halloumi salad. I did have reservation about ordering as there weren't any 'v' symbols on the menu and I had to make my decision as to which looked veggie - and I have to admit I was suspicious that the dressing round my bruchetta possibly contained Worcester sauce, though it could have been something else - been a while since I had Lea and Perrins! (Or I could have asked)


For main course my parents went back to being raging carnivores whilst I sat down with my mushroom risotto (it was either that or a bean burger). This was absolutely delicious; it was absolutely creamy and had so much flavour (let's be honest mushroom risotto's are not the most flavoursome thing ever!). My only compliant was that the portion was really small which was a shame as I could have eaten about 10 more portions. 

I was at the toilet whilst the waitress was asking about desserts so my parents flipped the coin and decided we weren't having any. Boo! But I did finish off the meal with one of their fancy cocktails. I honestly cannot remember what was in this but I seem to remember it caught my eye because it mentioned herbs which I thought was weird (and I normally always select the oddest cocktail on the menu, or one that contains rum).  


Overall the Strata was nice. I've bitched about the vegetarian friendliness of the place in this post however it really was quite nice. My main reservation (even if I did eat meat) was that I much prefer to get a big portion of okay food rather than a small portion of what was simply amazing. It was amazing but really - I'm a hungry person a lot of the time and need my munchies. My parents thought there's were filling, but they did order a meaty main. 

The main highlight was definitely the drinks selections (my dad was spoilt with whiskeys), so whilst I might not fall over myself to return for a meal I imagine this would be a really nice place to go for a drink (or several) with some friends. 


Lots of herby cocktail love!

Morag
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The Linkables - Hipster Wedding Special




Courtesy of Refinery29 

It's late and I'm tired but this really is so much of a gem it deserves it's own blog post. 



Morag
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Beauty Review: Sukin Cleansing Hand Wash




I'm always on the look out for new natural and animal-friendly products so when Australian brand Sukin released their products in the UK and offered to send me a product of my choosing, I was all over it. 

Admittedly I don't have dry hands (or body, or face) but for me using body butters, hand creams, exfoliators is about enhancing what I consider one of my best features. I've used moisturising hand washes/soaks before and love having one there though admittedly it's not something I would go out of my way to buy. With an office job my hands don't (normally) come into contact with anything harmful or drying but since I'm planning to take up gardening this Spring (rock and roll!) my hands might lose their normal suppleness. 

I have kept this bottle in my shower since I received it not long before Christmas. You're probably meant to keep this on your sink but as mine is already brimming with stuff as my flat is still very sans-mirrors in anywhere but the bathrooms I decided to incorporate it into my shower routine.

After first use of this product I did notice a different in my hands. As I said my hands are naturally soft but this took them up to baby soft. And my hands have been obviously touchably softer since. This product smells like a typical natural product - like a strong smelling plant, which does nauseate me a bit when I smell it straight from the bottle. However the small pump I take for doing my hands in the morning doesn't leave a lingering scent.

Sukin hand wash is being sold at £8.12 (via Cress UK) which at first can seem like an eye-popper of a price for a hand wash but you get 250ml and believe me when I say I'm only one tenth of the way through my bottle after a month - it works out at good value. Weather or not I re-purchase will remain to be seen; maybe I'll need something stronger once my balcony garden gets underway. But this is a product I am giving the thumbs up to!

Morag

*As mentioned this product was sent to me for review. However opinions are my own and I have received no payment for this post. I'll also state that in terms of animal testing I am taking the word of the company and performed no further research into their policies. 
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How I Looked: Shorts to Work



It's been a wee while since I put up a post about what a prissy fashion blogger puts on to go to her office job hasn't it? I actually took these pictures in early December (I certainly didn't stand outside like this in the recent weather!) but all the Christmassy posts prevented it from going up. 

This still worked for the office as it is mainly black (though it still has studs, fur, jewels, pleather and checks) despite the shorts that don't even come half way down my thighs. But considering I was interviewed wearing a short black playsuit I'll go with the assumption my employer doesn't think it is strange to not put on a pair on trousers when the half the country is on a severe weather warning. 


The jacket was an old one from New Look a few years back so we'll take that off already? Yes? Okay. The  cardigan was bought from Primark as winter came in and I needed some fancy new layers plus something warm to wear in the office that wasn't a full flung jacket. Admittedly this jumper needed to grow on me and the reason, seriously, is because even with fur and wool I still reckon it's too plain for my taste. 



And now we move on to one of my favourite pieces right now. A white shirt is very essential addition to a work wardrobe and I wanted to find one that was just right. It was at some point in a shopping trip that I decided I wanted a studded collar and it was only in H&M that I spied this but unfortunately they didn't have my size. Later that week I hoped into the other Glasgow H&M and picked up my size and it has been a staple piece since. I also picked up a skin coloured vest and a white vest from Primark to protect my modesty, but I've been wearing the skin coloured one as I think it looks a a bit classier (and invisible) than having a white vest top show up through a shirt. 

The shorts were bought over a year for a bit of pub golf (and I actually wore them to my first ever Scottish blogger meet-up) and they rarely seen the light of day again until I started the 9-5.   

Also we already know the shoes came from Primark

Lots of back outfit love!

Morag
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The Linkables


I re-watched this recently and still cried with laughter like when I first seen it.

TGIF! I've had a long week and cannot welcome to weekend enough right now. Plus I'm going to IKEA tomorrow. And Dobbies. Nothing gets me more excited than homeware shopping. Can someone say grown-up?

Catherine posted her Sunday night regime and I'm giving it a high five. Probably because it's quite similar to my own.

Some of us achieve goals better if they are written down. Ella has created a little book of food to help with her healthy eating.

I'm still in home decor mode since my move in October and it looks like me and Cara have the exact same taste.

Columbia Road in London looks like my kinda place.

As someone who lives the single life happily and has never been fussed about marriage, the concept of being 'single at heart' is very interesting to me. Though I'd personally say I'm more the type that refuses to settle.

On that note, child-free ftw! Eating out with kids vs without kids.


Morag
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The Linkables




This week was my first full week back at work since the holidays so I haven't managed to quite get myself back into the run of things so this will be a short Linkables. 

General Fiasco, video above, have been on repeat for the last week. So many songs have been starred on my Spotify! 

One of my favourite vegan bloggers, Tashina, posted about finding out if sugar is vegan - never knew it couldn't be!

I know I link A Beautiful Mess every week but I totally agree with recently-engaged Emma's thoughts on love

I've been really lovely nail art blogs recently and manicure addict has been added to the growing list. 

A brand spanking new Pinterest account for my addiction: Babble!

Any more links you've been loving this week?


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mo'adore is two!



Today me & my blog celebrated our two year anniversary together. And by that I mean I wrote this blog post and baked a cake after coming home from work. Yes, I baked a cake for my blog - haters to the left!

I've gushed before but I'm going to gush again. I love blogging. I love the brands I've discovered through blogging, the inspirational posts, the beauty products, the blogger meet-ups but most importantly I love how it has changed me for the better and I can see how far my life has come. If you've followed my blog for a long time you'll know that I started my blog right after a difficult couple of months and my first couple of posts have become such a contrast to where I am now. There were other events that led me to becoming this happy after all that happened in late 2010 but my blog was an amazing part of that change, leading to some amazing personal changes and experiences. I honestly owe so much of my happiness to blogging. <3

I love you mo'adore. Many more years, yeah?

Morag
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Review: Dentyl Active Mouthwash


Whilst I've never documented it on here: I am a huge teeth person. I think it comes from having had braces on for three years and that oddly proud feeling of not having had a single filling in my 22 years. Teeth is also something I'm quick to notice on another person. Therefore I take care of mine. 

I was offered this as PR sample (but received the full sized product) and after some Googling discovered that Dentyl Active is a cruelty-free brand.** I had seen this mouthwash before but usually I stick to cheaper brands as I don't view mouthwash as the most important part of my regime. 

Admittedly I wasn't overally impressed. Shaking the liquid together made me ask myself in bathroom "why can't Dentyl formulate it differently so I don't have to shake bottles at 8am?". Also I was expecting it to be minty but it wasn't. I can't really describe what it did taste like, but it wasn't the minty freshness I expect from tooth products. I think the only thing I liked was the colour. 

Sorry Dentyl thumbs down!

  Morag

* Was sent to my for free for consideration. My opinion is my own. 
** My confirmation of this being cruelty-free was Google - I have never contacted the company. 
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Stuck for resolutions? Here are my previously successful ones




We're now 5 days into 2013 and by now you've probably all seen a gazillian resolution posts. I put mine out there on new years day itself (oo, organised ) but some people may be sitting scratching their heads at what they could possibly do with this year.

As a chronic resolution maker I have plenty of experience in goal-setting and achieving all the things. In fact I'm pretty adept at seeing my resolutions through.

Okay so I don't keep them all. Do yoga every morning? I'm getting my extra five minutes. And I'm still not that good at letting go of the past. Plus I still didn't see anymore of Dundee in the months prior to leaving last July. But I do tend to keep them.

Here are some of the goals I've followed through on:

Go vegetarian
Probably one of the most notable changes I've ever made (given the amount of questions I get asked about it...) and one of the best I've ever made. I've said before that I would never force someone to give up meat but I've had so many questions from people who say they would like to become veggie but don't feel they can, or even someone who said they would put the beef aside if they thought about it too long. A large part of this blog is now dedicated to vegetarianism and is therefore proof that it isn't some impossible feat. I'm not going to say it's easy as it may occasionally invite unsolicited questions, cause you to pull out of someone's birthday at a steakhouse or explain why you can't drink a martini.

Learn to cook
All those fancy Instagram photos of my daily meals? Until the start of 2012 I was mainly living off cheese pizzas. Specifically my goal for 2012 was 'become more interestingly vegetarian' and judging by the amount of likes I get on my food photos I'm going to say I've achieved it. This goal applies for both veggies and meat eaters as I know some meat-eaters who make my diet look varied and exciting. I've said before but one of the best beginner cookbooks (and my daily go-to) is Vegetarian Nosh for Students. Go buy it! There's also a 'normal' one...

Switch up my beauty regime to include more natural products
Prior to 2011 I had owned about three Lush products ever. Fast forward to the end of 2012 I know the range as well as some of the staff. If you're a spotty acne sufferer like myself switching up your products to natural ones may be your holy grail too.

Enjoy being single and remain so until the correct person comes along
Anyone who has met me within the past two years may think I'm ridiculously hard to take off the market. Anyone who has known me longer than two years probably knows why. I used to be a settler and it took a really bad break-up in 2010 to realise this. Since then I promised myself I'd only get into relationships with someone who truly deserved me. I've been single so long now that I'm so used to it I am becoming genuinely difficult to take off the market. 

Don't stalk people you used to date or those you hate
For some reason it seems to be human nature to take note of what our exes or those we dislike are up to. Exes I understand, but people we dislike? For some reason we do. At the start of 2011 I decided the only person this was hurting was myself and the time I was wasting on these people's Facebook was time I could be using making myself happy. We all have people we dislike and it's best to stay out their way. We can't delete people off Facebook without some drama but did you know you can play with your settings so certain individuals won't show in your news feed? In my experience if you can control yourself not to look at someone's profile for two weeks then you're in the clear and you're habit is broken.

Stop moaning on Facebook and posting pointless statuses
It is your Facebook account and as long as it breaks none of the company's policies you are free to post what you like. But don't question why you're not being overcome by party invites if you feel the need to bitch about being stuck in traffic or publicly slander your ex. After a bad day pick up the phone and have a good whine to your mum/sister/best friend/boyfriend, then have a long hot bath.

Stand your ground & stick up for yourself
Admittedly I'm still no fierce individual. But in comparison to last year I've seen an improvement. Honestly, it's still only situations in which I have to stick up for myself such as nagging a landlord for the return of deposits or telling that guy who has been chasing you that you know he has a secret girlfriend. I still have to give myself a pep talk or receive one from someone else. And I'll usually choose the medium of writing rather than in person.

Develop a good relationship with oneself
When I entered 2011 I was ringing in the bells as a single person for the first time since the eve of 2008. And I was a long way off becoming ready for anything new and I certainly wasn't fulfilling the 'love yourself first or no one else will' matra. Plus I was reading a lot of Gala Darling at the time. It was a crucial time to sit down for a one-to-one with myself and figure out who I was, what I liked about myself and what I really wanted. There's no quick fix for this but fast forward to the close of 2012 and I like how I look, am confident in my abilities, and believe I lead a magical life. You could be here with me in 2013.

Own your own life
Possibly the most important decision I have ever made, and the most important you'll ever make, if you choose to make it. If you choose to dedicate 2013 to loving yourself you'll have to take control of your life. I'm a firm believer in not judging other people's life choices if they are no harm to anyone else. I long to live in a world where nobody is judged for their own personal decisions, but if people keep hiding who they are or don't do something due to fear of judgement how will that ever happen? Whether you want a quiet life, a big noisy 100mph life, blue hair, a massive tattoo sleeve, your first baby by 25, or to never have kids, go straight into the workforce after school or get three degrees. It's your life, own it. 

Much love to whatever 2013 takes you!

Morag
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The Linkables


How cute is that ring finger? tutorial here.

Welcome to the first installment of my 2013 Linkables! I started this feature twice in 2012: once called Morag Loves.... and then again near the end called Weekend Web Links. I was in two minds about changing the name again but I think we shall roll with it, won't we?

First off, some resolution love! Much kudos to fellow phobia sufferer Katie Snooks who is going to make 2013 the year she beats it! Much braver than me who keeps using the expensive excuse.

Another new year post I love came from Coffee and Heels who decided to keep things simple.

If you're needing a way to make sure you keep your resolutions how about making your own wall prints?

Also, to make sure you record all of 2013, a memory jar is a mega cute idea.

Mushrooms are one of my favourite vegetables so my mouth totally drooled when I seen these portobello mushroom burgers.

Another food that gets my drooling is red velvet anything. So how about some red velvet fudge? I'll be having some of that.

I recently met Juliet at the Christmas blogger meet-up and this week I sat down with her blog and ended up going through most of the archives. A mixed-bag lifestyle blog is my favourite type of blog and Juliet gets it spot on.

Ever spent so long planning something only for it to last hours in the end? Christmas can feel like that and Rosie agrees.

I wouldn't exactly call roller skating a hobby of mine, but the Topshop collection of roller skates are giving me summer ideas.

Do you ever assume you can't do something before you've even tried? Dana has some words for you. (As a side note: I forget my manners when someone asks a question that could easily have been Googled).

On that note, if you've ever wondered how to knit with your hands then here is your first tutorial.

Some feminism now! Do you agree with Jezebel on why guys hate being called creeps? I think the writer makes a good point.

If like me you're always looking for new blogs then Suzie put together a big list of her fav bloggers of the last year.

Happy Reading!

Morag
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How I Looked: Rolling in 2013



Whilst I am someone that is big on new starts at new year - and generally celebrating all annual events with a bang - this is the first New Year since 2011 I rang in with a drink in my hand. Some friends from Dundee attend The Cathouse celebrations every year in Glasgow and since I am now living in G-town I decided to come back from family time early for some rock club fun. 



For my my dress I knew I wanted something fun that said "HELLO THERE NEW YEAR" but when shopping with Gillian in Aberdeen neither could find that perfect dress. The day before New Year's Eve I headed into Glasgow city centre to find something and just managed to find this in River Island in the Galleries, which was lucky since it was one of the last shops I went in to. I think it really is a very Christmassy and New Years dress - don't think there will be many other occasions I'll be able to wear it; though I did feel a bit like I was heading to a wedding. Also, at £20 down from £70 it was an amazing bargain.



The dress obviously is already quite ta-da but I did feel like there was something missing from the neckline. However I didn't have time to purchase any new necklaces so dug through my collection (which was mainly compiled as a teenager) and pulled out a Swarovski necklace my uncle gifted me before I went to university in 2008, then teamed with an old fav with birds on a chain, which was left in the junk room by previous tenants of one of my older flats. So mega bargain then?


The Primark shoes I originally bought a few weeks back as part of a task to buy clothes that could be taken from work to play, if I needed to meet someone straight after work. I first wore them to the staff Christmas dinner and they have become my staple going out shoe since. I am terrible at walking in heels but have discovered that wedges don't take any balance away from me. 

Lots of bow, sequins and wedges love!

Morag
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