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Badger Lavender Sleep Balm



Recently I was contacted by Big Green Smile* asking if I wanted to review any of their products. Obviously being a lover of natural and organic hippy beauty I was made-up. Their site has loads of products, not just beauty ones, and I honestly considered asking for some cleaning products but decided to keep with the cruelty-free beauty theme as it was intended for the blog. 

I had been considering purchasing something to help me sleep (having looked at This Works and The Body Shop already) so was drawn to the Badger Sleep Balm. I'm not a terrible sleeper which is probably because I've stuck to some rules for so many years however since being in the 9-5 my sleeping pattern hasn't been great. I ideally need 9 hours to function properly but usually don't feel tired at 10pm at night during the week and I usually drink a can of Relentless at lunch in order to get loads of shit done so I don't have to stay late. So yes, my pattern went to fuck so I was in the market for something to help me sleep. 


Badger was a brand I was vaguely aware of but not being that much of an online shopper and not having yet located the perfect health store in Glasgow it wasn't a brand I had tried anything of before. Something that did raise my eyebrow before I tried it was that it was lavender fragranced. I don't like lavender scented stuff (weird, I know) so was concerned about this however when I received it & took my first whiff it was a very gentle lavender scent. I also wouldn't haved guessed there was ginger in it had I not read the label, so fellow ginger haters should not be put off!


As for the balm itself there is first of all a lot in the tin - so should do anyone a long time. It's is also very solid and only a thin layer comes off when you rub your fingers on it so you can never accidentally use too much. And as for that brown-yellow colour it comes off completely transparent on your skin so don't worry about a flatmate/lover/family member seeing you with yellow on your face! I personally put it most of the way over my face and also on my wrists - so all the pressure points. 

My general advice/opinion on using this is that it works in the same way a relaxing bubble bath would. It helps you relax and unwind but won't send you straight to sleep. I found that applying this around 8:30pm would slowly help relax my brain so when 10pm did come around I'd begin to easily hit the pillow. My main sleep problem is that I wake up in the middle of the night (especially on a week night when my body knows it will be work soon!) & it didn't stop that from happening. However it did help me fall back asleep on those 4am wake-up calls. 

As for using this in the future/re-purchasing I am going to continue to use this well into the future (as you get so much of it!) but think I'll buy one or two other sleep products to try alongside it (such as pillow spray) to help correct my sleep pattern (and maybe buy a duvet cover - that might help with the sleep thing). Sleep products are something that are quite new to me so I still want to try more to create some sort of benchmark as to what is a good sleep aid. But this has helped. 

  Morag

* I was given this by a PR company working on behalf of Big Green Smile. I was allowed to pick my own product to review from their site and wasn't gifted this product specifically. Opinion is always my own.
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The Linkables



I've been recently making a serious effort to work something into my routine that I've been meaning to do for ages: make and drink smoothies regularly! Thankfully Mandy is doing the same and coming up with some amazing recipes!

If you spotted my butternut squash risotto on Instagram last night it was this recipe I roughly followed.

More food links: 27 ways to make your groceries last longer.

It's only after I moved away from Aberdeen that I spot loads of other Aberdonian blogs popping up! And apparently there's now a trend of leaving padlocks around the city!

Another recipe to add to my to-cook list: pizza casserole with biscuits.

Let's be honest the Blogger app is balls - if I wasn't such an Android fanatic I'd download this straight on to my imaginary iPhone.

I'm still on the look-out for funky home wares and Kloe is helping.

I'm currently in the market for DLSR lenses and one of the best 'taking-your-own-outfit-photos' bloggers there is has some excellent advice.

This is the sort of guy I could marry: skateboarding through Tibet.

Very important stuff: Which musician should be Pope?

Morag
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How I Looked: Bonnie Bling & a Black Dress


I first found out about Bonnie Bling through Claire's blog (I have discovered so many indie brands through her blog) and first mentioned the company on my own blog as part of my Christmas gift guide for redheads and gingers. I was ooh-ing and ahh-ing over their jewellery since then but couldn't decided. The ginger necklace I never bought for myself as I am more red/auburn and not even natural so obviously it would have been fraudulent to wear. Then there was the Aberdonian slang necklaces that I loved but us Doric quines may as well speak Martian to the rest of Scotland so a FIT necklace would just make me look arrogant in Glasgow.

Then I spotted the release of the Ecosse necklace on their Facebook page and just knew I needed it in my life! So I bought it. And debuted it (yes, debuted it) on a trip back to Dundee last week.

Needless to say I love it. Anyway on to the rest of the outfit.


It's not usual to see me in an outfit that is 80% black but it's not too normal to work an outfit around a necklace either. When I rocked up to Dundee in this number my friend said to me "What is with the black? You're usually colourful!" which pretty fair enough if you consider that I graduated in a pink neon dress.

I am trying to introduce more subtle pieces into my wardrobe as I have so many accessories and bits of smaller clothing adorned with lovely patterns and sparkly bits but would clash with my main clothing items, which also have bold colours, lovely patterns and sparkly bits. You see my dilemma? I'm trying to balance it all out so there aren't beautiful scarfs that go unworn anymore. It's economical, see?


I had originally tried this dress on in Primark about two weeks earlier searching for a smart black dress for work (to pair with a leopard print blazer) but decided against it because it was floaty and really wasn't work attire. But went straight back to buy it for this necklace ensemble. It also has some lace detailing across the back of my shoulders which is a lovely touch but the jacket (which I have owned for about a year from New Look) covers it in this situation.


I first spotted these style of shoes in a Fleurdeforce video and I really wasn't sold. They were the type of clothing that when you see by themselves you think "who would wear that?" but when I spotted them worn and styled on someone else (I believe it was this picture of Nubby, Gala and Kat) I decided I did really 'need' a pair. 

But be warned - I bought these in a rush as the clock was ticking for my Dundee trip so didn't shop around. These Primark babies aren't comfortable so search out a different pair. My feet were killing after the nightclub (okay so I did jump about and do air guiter on the floor, but shhhhh, it was all the shoe!) and ended up sitting down in the ground outside as people said their drunken goodbyes to each other (classy lady that I am).

Morag x
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Amie Skincare: Morning Clear Wash & Morning Dew Moisturiser


Amie Skincare via Beauty without the Beasts*

Just before the end of last year Beauty Without the Beasts sent out a request for anyone wanting to review three of their skin care ranges. I jumped on it and they selected me to one of the people to review the Amie range which I selected as it is meant for oily skin. I'm big on skincare and I am always on the look out for products that might be the holy grail for my spotty skin.

First off this is a fully natural product which is a huge selling point for me (we knew that though?) and was created by a mum for her daughter who couldn't use harsh perfumes and the like. I don't have sensitive skin but I've always found that natural products have always kept my 'teenage' skin in its place more so than, say, anything from the Clean & Clear range. Even though it's rare for perfumed and non-natural products to cause irritation I did notice that this felt very soft on my skin when applying it and caused no redness after washing (which can happen). At first use the softness of the wash felt really weird as it a cream which I'm not used to and had no form of exfoliators in it, which again is different from most products suited to oily skin. 

The facial moisturiser was also similar when I first used it. Really creamy which was surprising for a matte-finish moisturiser. But it certainly did leave a matte but a super soft skin effect - an amazing balance! The moisturiser was definitely more of a hit for me - the facial wash was good but not groundbreaking. However the only thing that would be stop me from buying this with my own money is that there is no SPF. I don't think I've ever reviewed anything suncare based so you might not be aware that I take sun protection ultra seriously - if like me you have some kind of scar on your face (or any skin that is a bit thinner than the rest of it) then using SPF daily is one of the best things you can ever do for minimising it. 

As for the condition of my skin I found that it made my skin really baby soft. I've said before that my skin has a lot of natural softness but I like to use moisturisers to make it absolutely beautifully soft and these products have definitely delivered that. As for breakouts their occurrence remained similar to normal and I've seen not much change either way. 

Overall the facial wash was really soothing to use but as I seen little change to my break out levels I'll just say it was okay. Not terrible but nothing worth shouting about, however the moisturiser ticked so many boxes aside from that SPF one. I tell no lie when I say that using an SPF was one of the best decisions I ever made for my skin - it calmed redness down as none of it was now being brought on by sun damage and my operation scar (my right cheek bone if you want to really stare) went from you could see it if my skin went red for some reason (sunburn!) or you looked at me from the correct angle to other people only spotting it if I pointed it out. If it wasn't for that I would seriously look into re-purchasing it. 

Morag
* These products were sent to me for free by Beauty and the Beasts for review.
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The Linkables


Found here

In serious news, can we all not agree that the tragic death of Reeva Steenkamp has been handled really badly?

The lovely Lynne has put together a post on her style history with the help from some 90's girlbands!

Did you know the mega-babe Kate of Gh0stparties has released a new site Nouvelle Daily? You do now.

One of my dorky old-lady hobbies is recycling - Rosie loves it too and has posted some her favourite recycling websites.

I keep my relationship status off Facebook but some people pay someone to be their other half. Okay then.

Morag
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More than flour & milk: having fun with pancakes



Happy Pancake day! And you know what that means? An excuse for cooking! And celebrating something! Two of my favourite things to do!

I spent tonight making my (vegan) pancakes which I teamed with banoffee (essentially toffee sauce and mashed up banana) and it got me thinking about how much I would hate to eat a plain pancake and all the options available in the world of pancake fillings. 

I think we've established that I don't really do plain. Food is no exception. I'm always throwing spices or herbs into everything. Ask my what my favourite food is and I struggle - but ask me what my favourite flavours are and my mouth waters. Condiments, sauces, herbs, spices and powders make up about 70% of my food collection. It's the most exiting part. 

I did start a Pancake Day board on Pinterest but it only got two pins. One of them was a macademia pancake which is only slightly above a plain pancake but the other was a ricotta pancake. A ricotta pancake? Oh wowzee. If I wasn't on a dairy ban I'd have been nabbing that one up! 

If you're still to make today's pancakes then add more into that mix than just flour and milk (or eggs). It can by anything you like. I used to add shredded coconut to my pancakes. Today I added banana and toffee sauce. How about some passion fruit? Or stilton? French fries? Or beef if you eat meat? Seafood? You only live once so why not make prawns and pancakes!

Go have fun and eat whatever you fancy with your pancake. I don't want any plain pancakes out there!

Lots of pancake experimenting love!

Morag
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The Scottish Fine Soaps Company: Au Lait Pamper Kit


Scottish Fine Soaps Company - Au Lait Pamper Kit

Way back at Christmas time (it's nearly Valentine's Day!) my uncle gifted me the Au Lait Pamper Kit from The Scottish Fine Soaps Company. Admittedly I don't think this was a product I would have picked up myself as the white packaging and the traditional branding strategy makes it appear a bit...boring. I think we all know I love me some bright colours and sparkles by now!

But as the photo caption says I did discover quite the little beauty secret in this kit. And it was....drumroll!

The shampoo! 

The other products were nice, but there wasn't anything that made them stand out from other body butters and shower creams I had already tried. Not being long since Christmas I still have a plentiful amount of shower gels and body butters at hand and the two in this kit aren't the ones I find myself reaching for. They are nice, don't get me wrong, and certainly do moisturise the skin but they aren't really my cup of tea. I prefer my shower creams to have gorgeous scents (I'm still savoring the last part of my Snow Fairy bottle) and to really froth up in the shower. If you prefer your shower gels and creams to have a minimal scent then these might be just up your alley.

And onto the shampoo. I was cynical about trying this as so many shampoos don't work for my greasy hair and I only started using it (on a weekend in case I ended up with greasy hair for work) because I had ran out of what I was previously using. But I was really surprised. It left my hair with volume but a really light volume that was quite bouncy and my layers could be picked up on. Plus my hair was non-greasy but still really soft - the perfect balance!

Hair care is extremely subjective in my experience but if your hair is like mine (greasy, coloured, quite flat) then you might just love this too. February is set to be quite a tight month for me financially so I'm keeping to drugstore - but come my end of February pay check I believe the shampoo might just make my re-purchased products list.

Morag
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V-Day gifts for my (imaginery) boyfriend


I've spoken about my love for Halloween. And all the effort I put into Christmas presents. And the Eurovision party I plan every year. But another holiday that I absolutely love that I haven't give much blog space to is Valentine's Day.

Mainly because I have been single during the entire time of this blog existence.

But that doesn't mean I don't love the 14th of February, and if I did have a special man in my life he'd get spoiled rotten! I'm not one for cheesy gifts most of the year (listen up ideal man: my birthday is for practical gifts) but with Valentine's I think something a tad cheesy is perfectly acceptable.

And because it looks like I'll be single on V-Day 2013 I'm gonna let you have my ideas. Because I'm kind like that! 



Product Details:
I Love You Bean -  Not On The Highstreet
Fold & Play Card - Urban Outfitters
I Love you every Day, Today I just decided to Reinforce It - Paper Society Co.
You Are My Lobster Print - Not On The Highstreet
USB Cufflinks - Amazon.co.uk
Record Player - Chums.co.uk
I Think You Are more Perfect Than Helvetica - Tumblr Picture

Happy Valentine's whether you're sharing it with someone or rocking it single!

 Morag
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The Linkables


My new song discover this week. 

You learn something new everyday: 25 Lesser-Known Dorito flavours.

Do I spy some tomato shaped earrings? Fashion for foodies.

I found Rose's blog near the beginning of the year but this week I've found myself procrastinating by going through her archives.

I'm beginning to curate a big list of marmalade and jams I'd like to make and pomegranate, apple and vanilla marmalade has been added to that list.

It's been hitting me recently that I used to be a very athletic person and now I only go for weekly runs, and Katy's post on Tips for cycling Newbies has inspired me slightly. Slightly.

And because a bath and natural stuff are two of my fav things: My Top 4 DIY Detox Baths.


Morag
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