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In This Week



I'm now snuggling down to my Sunday night blogging after a lbloggers chat about photography. As usual I've been working away at the 9-5 and trying to jam pack as much stuff in around those hours as I can. I'm back into my running again and now that that nasty council tax paying is finally beginning to get paid off I can spend less time worrying and more time doing stuff I enjoy (I saved £150 in June, now to pay off some more this month). And this money has mainly went on food. This week I've made tortilla pizzas (I seen this on a blog but have forgotten, if it's you hit me :P), garlic bread earlier today (the crust is really hard though) and some coconut curry burgers which, even if they were a little burnt, were a marvelous flavour combination. You can find the recipe here.

I also did some payday shopping yesterday but unfortunately I'm really not liking a lot of what is in the shops right now. And then when you consider that I'm usually looking for office appropriate clothes my choices become very limited and I ended up just picking up a new 'evening' bag and another pair of flats (and tights). I usually love summer clothes more and last summer I was usually in a changing room somewhere trying to narrow down my choices to my budget. Boo!

I'm away to give myself a Sunday night pamper with a facemask and some nailpolish.

Lots of Sunday love!

Morag
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Playlist: Best Worst Music Ever




Whilst I may like to hold up a former MySpace kid panache anyone who knows me well knows that I am a die hard fan of boybands, girlbands, the 90's and anything else deemed somewhat uncool. I get annoyed when DJ's yet again refuse to play Savage Garden (or just never have it) and my last.fm still has Paris Hilton quite far up my all time artists. (aye, Paris Hilton, so sue me!)

This playlist is huge as I am always adding to it but a few notebale appearances:
Girl Thing (if you're memory is weak, all you need to know is that Debbie Dean from Hollyoaks is a member)
allSTARS (featuring Darren from Hollyoaks)
Time Warp
Aaron Carter
Crazy Frog
City High
Baha Men

It's bad, believe me, but it's so bad it's actually good.

Listen to my full playlist: the best worst music ever.



Morag
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The Linkables




The best news of the week: India bans animal testing!!!!

Why naming welfare claiments is a bad idea

10 things you should know about food bloggers  (or why you should think twice about eating out with us)

Please keep Instagramming your perfect life 

Layered Oreo & Nutella Popsicles

I reckon one of my American readers should post this 'donut' ring across to me (or the watermelon one, or the snake one)

My new favourite thing: how they blog.

How to grill pizza dough.

This is how easy it is to make your own almond milk.

I am British and really do love a good queue. In fact I really do get quite appalled by the lack of it whilst abroad!

Honestly WTF is a new favourite of mine.

If you're big in wind power then there's a new certification for products produced with more than 75% wind power.

21 actors who almost got the part. (I can't even fathom that Patrick Verona was almost played by someone other than Heath Ledger. Just can't.)

What the voices of Disney characters look like.

I don't know how I got this far in life without knowing this: how to wrap a burrito

Watermelon Soda Float

If you're USA-ing it this summer (or are American anyway): The 10 best farmers' markets in America.

Matilda (or, you know, the girl who played Matilda) has written about why child stars go crazy.


Morag
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Things I Love Thursdays: a feminist thank you




Being a lifestyle blogger writing about a whole range of topics does mean that a lot of commenters will only pop up on occasion. Some want some cruelty-free beauty, some only want to look at pictures of food, some only want updates on my life and some only want to see what I've been wearing. And as a mixed-niche blogger that has always been expected. 

But there has been one type of post that I write that has always been most popular. And out of all the topics I write about I am really happy that it this one that gets my readers to sit up and respond.

And that's my pro-women posts.

Last week I wrote the first post in my anti-diet series that spoke about motivation, and the correct motivation at that. How focusing on your health should be the priority when adopting a healthy lifestyle, not a twisted obsession with how many millimetres there are between your thighs. Whilst it wasn't in yo-face-feminist my belief that skinny and healthy are not the same thing stems not just from scientific fact but also from my feminist ideals. And it made my grin that many of you spoke up to agree. 

But that was little compared to the response I got back in early March when I put on the Internet my reasons for being a feminist. And whilst I haven't checked my stats, on the face of it that is my most commented post ever. To know that other bloggers agree that feminism still (unfortunately) has a place in this society makes me want to do several large fist pumps.

Look, I love my foundations, and I love my statement rings and I love rambling on about vegetarianism and I love when people respond. But if there's any type of post I want to be 'recognised' for it's the ones that encourage women to dump the creepy boyfriend, wear that short skirt if she wants or choose when she wants to be a mum (or not become a mum at all). And use my voice to say that nobody, man or woman, should ever work out or diet to keep up with some silly ideal of beauty. And it make my heart do a dance that you agree!

Now only if the rest of the world would agree.

Lots of pro-women love!

Morag

P.S. I have a post burriedied in my archives from when I didn't have many followers called A Baking Feminist OMGWTFBBQ!
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How much does my every day face cost?


I'm not really a huge make-up person so have always refrained from doing these types of posts because I didn't think there would be a particularly shocking price tag for my daily make-up (I can however spend hours getting ready for a special occasion). However the pieces of make-up I do wear are 'premium' so maybe this could actually be quite interesting.


Above is a nice wee family portrait of my daily make-up. As you may know the high percentage of Arbonne make-up is due to me being an Arbonne Consultant so I get a 35% discount so the high price tag is removed slightly for me :P

Arbonne Primer - £16.90 (£26 normally)
Arbonne Foundation in Alabaster - £21 (£31 normally)
Arbonne Foundation in Soft Blush -  £21 (£31 normally)
Illamasqua Concealer in 210 - £13 
B. Under eye concealer in light - £5.32 *
Arbonne blusher in Apricot - £13 (normally £20)
Soap & Glory supercat eyeliner - £6.00
Hd Brows (may or may not be cruelty-free - they ignored my e-mail) - circa £17 (I got mine in a Glossy box)
No7 mascara (not pictured because I'm a pleb) - £11.00 (I have a 'gift' sample though)

Total = £171.32 (though I paid £92.90)

So yep, even the simplest everyday face can add up! But one of the reasons I prefer high end make-up as it does so much longer! I have already owned that HD brows pallette years and some other products have been going months and don't look close to running soon. 

Lots of premium make-up love!

Morag
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Bulgar wheat avocado wraps






I've seen quite a few fish taco recipes going about (such and Gillian's and Rose's) but even though they look mega tasty there are, well, not quite my thing. But I've become quite the master of adapting meat recipes to fit a veggie diet. I'd usually go for chunky veggies or kidney beans to replace meat but because I need something that could be wrapped up, and also summery, I opted for bulgar wheat. Yes, I see your raised eyebrow as you question what this is (even the spell check is asking questions). You can find bulgar wheat in the cous cous area of Tesco (if you really don't want to try a new food, then cous cous would also work) along with the dried fruit (essentially the mega healthy vegan section). Before you knock this food before trying it it is brilliant at soaking up flavours. 

The same goes for avocados, which seem a popular choice for people to turn their noses up at. Avocados are full of good fat (the type of fat your body needs - and they're a super food, dontyouknow) and that helps this feel super greasy but healthy at the same time. This is hangover food. 

Anyway, on to the recipe!

You will need:
four tablespoons bulgar wheat
one vegetable stock cube
a few teaspoons mix of paprika and cayenne pepper
one avocado
half a red onion - chopped
four cherry tomatoes - quartered
one small can of pineapples chunks drained ('small can' seems standard in the UK - sorry if you're international)
one tablespoon coriander (can add more if you're a fan - I'm not :p)
some lettuce leaves (you can prepare your own or buy the pre-made bag like I did)
some cucumber, chopped
mayola to taste (or mayonnaise, whatever)
tortilla warps

Method:
1. Add the crumbled stock cube and your spice mix of cayenne and paprika to a pan of boiling water. Add the bulgar wheat and simmer for 5-7 minutes (or more you can't accidentally 'over-do' bulgar wheat)
2. Peel the avocado and mash it up in a bowl until it is no longer solid but still lumpy
3. Add your chopped onions, then cherry tomatoes, the very well drained pineapple chunks and then the coriander. Then mixed this together.
4. By now your bulgar wheat should be ready. Let it cool/run it under cold water and drain it thoroughly
5. Mix the bulgar wheat in with the avocado mix.
6. Prepare your salad. Mine is just a pre-maid lettuce pack from The Co-op with some chopped cucumber and some egg-free mayonnaise.
7. Open your tortillas, spoon on the salad, add the avocado mixture and wrap it all up.
8. Nom it up in the sun, or in your bed on a hungover Sunday morning, that too.

Lots of avocado love!

Morag
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In This Week



And that is us about to hit the final week of June. How mentally quick has this year went? It feels like last monthI was ringing in new year at The Cathouse. As with most summers I always feel more inclined to push myself and this weekend I have. I've began to get back into the habit of running each weekend though I need to make the commitment to find a sport in Glasgow (a non-serious team in netball or dance anyone?). I've also really gritted my head back into my French goal and finished some lessons in adjectives today. And most importantly, I've made a serious effort at veganism again having let it slip off the bandwagon when I came to the realisation that soya makes my belly go in a huff. However I was in the Holland & Barratt store on Queen Street and picked up a soya free vegan cheese (yes, it's one of those foods that seems free from everything) and some cream that has oats as its base. And I like oats so it is such a win! 

Lots of oaty love! 

Morag
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The anti-diet: motivation for a healthy lifestyle





Today I sat down to write up a guide on what has worked for me when it comes to food and exercise (and thus maintaining a figure) but I left it because it was getting longer than most magazine articles with more points still to come. Apparently I have a lot more to say on the issue than I thought I did. 

Therefore I've decided to break it up into a series. And I'm going to start with motivation!
I am going to start this off with saying this 'series' will be on healthy living for which a slimmer waistline is a nice benefit but isn't the main motivator. I am a healthy person and live such a lifestyle but I also believe that life is too short to count calories. 

This being said if you really do need to lose weight (as in doctor's orders) than maybe calorie counting is for you. I cannot speak for you. I have slimmed down in recent years but I have never been 'overweight' so this guide is for average sized girlies who just want to drop a few pounds or not get out of breath running for the bus. 

So motivation! As with all new habits we need strong motivation. And because we're concentrating on a healthy lifestyle your motivation shouldn't be 'look hot in a bikini' because 1) it's not healthy on your mind to fixate on a thigh gap and 2) what is going to happen when you come back from holiday? If you find new motivation you might continue, but if you don't, you might just revert back to your old ways. 

You need solid and permanent motivation. Something lifestyle related. Maybe you're genuinely unhealthy and that needs to change. Maybe you have a niece or nephew on the way and you want to make sure you can play with them whilst their parents take a well deserved nap. Maybe you're thinking of becoming a dad soon so need LOADS of energy. Or maybe you're thinking of trying for a baby and want to ensure your body can cope. Maybe you have dreams and ambitions and require extra energy to fit more into your day. Maybe you get out of breath climbing the stairs. Maybe you're always ill and need to work on a kick-add immune system. 

Aside from these motivators requiring a permanent lifestyle change, they also don't fixate on the superficial. Your physical health and your mental health are interrelated and focusing on a tinier waist rather than your new found lung capacity will drive you mental and probably attack your self-esteem more than the reason you're behaving like this in the first place.



Know the difference between skinny and healthy. They are not always the same thing. We all know a skinny person who eats two McDonald's a week and a bigger person who runs every weekend. Our genetics will always play a bigger factor in our figures than any diet ever will. It used to wind me up as a teenager but I've come to accept that all my weight falls on my stomach, occasionally making me look like a pseudo-pregnant woman. I have previously worked it off but that was after a month of hiking in Peru so unless I make habit of that (no) then that extra stomach weight is here to stay. And I've accepted that.

Cellulite isn't unhealthy. Thighs touching isn't unhealthy. Some puppy fat isn't unhealthy. Size isn't the sole determinant on how healthy someone is. So don't fixate on it - know you're getting healthier when you can run a big longer each time or when you feel less bloated. Measure it by that - not by your waistline (or god forbid, the scales!). 

And seriously, who wants to tell their grandkids they ate a salad for lunch every day? 

Love food and love you! 

Morag

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The Linkables





Classic structures dressed as hipsters

This week there was a disgusting project on Kickstarter but with enough screaming and shouting something was done about it.

Hilary Clinton's former press secretary wrote a letter to his daughter apologising for being a former sexist.

If you're a man who would like to receive catcalls walking along a street, then this piece explains why you are wrong.

From the same author as above, why you shouldn't tell that random woman she's hot.

Deep fried strawberries with dipping sauce. You're welcome.

Strawberry & Meyer Lemon Marmalade.

More strawberries: strawberry iced tea.

Some interesting words on travelling whilst working freelance.

Something I nodded along to: catch-ups are overrated.

It's Sascha's one year vegan-versary!

As a female with a bucket-load of male friends I welcome this pro-platonic male/female friendship piece. (I've seen a lot of hateful posts towards females who have lots of male friends and am really tempted to write my re-butle).

Christy wrote up a great review of Musa in Aberdeen.

New food for my lunch box: pizza made from tortillas.

Paris Hilton cries during a viewing of The Bling Ring (as a fellow burglary victim my heart is with Paris 100%).

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Things I Love Thursday: that song, at that moment



I think we would all agree that life would be better with a soundtrack. Like in the movies when the right song just comes on at the right time without you even having to press play. Your first kiss with that guy (in a pool or not) and happy bubblegum pop comes on. When you're wallowing and a song that puts into words what you can't hits the record player. Or even being one of those girls who gets an symphony just when she walks down the stairs in her prom dress. 

You know you want a soundtrack too. 

So it makes me fuzzy in my abdomen area when a song comes on just at the right moment. Or an old favourite you have forgotten to listen to for a while makes an appearance whilst in a shopping centre. Like today when I was in Boots buying mundane everyday toiletries and could hear Gabrielle's 'Dreams' somewhere in the distance. Or a more poetic example was not long after I moved to Glasgow and was walking down a Buchanan Street lit up for Christmas and decided to pop into Lush and was welcomed by All Saints' Pure Shores. 

That feeling. Priceless. 


Morag
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Papa Tony's at Springfield Quay




As I mentioned, my ma and pa were in Glasgow for a visit last weekend. As per their visits we went out for a meal however this time they requested we didn't stray far from base so I grudgingly decided to take them to Springfield Quay since I'm a south side dweller but generally not a fan of the restaurants you tend to find in these areas. 

I was originally going to take them to Panda however when we were wondering through I spotted Papa Tony's which I had never spotted before and decided I was much more in the mood for Italian than Chinese. The big ice-creams I seen the waitresses carrying to the outside diners certainly helped sway me too!


The menu was large and contained plenty of  veggie options however there wasn't anything particularly different for veggies or meat-eaters. My mum selected her usually favourite of breaded mushrooms (and these were delicious breaded mushrooms) whereas I picked out the vegetarian platter, and boy, what a platter it was! The menu didn't specify how big this platter was but when I received it was certainly bigger than for one person. Thankfully my parents helped me get through it alongside their own dishes.




And then we had the decision of main course, which took all of us a long time! I ordered the Tortelloni Crema e Salvia (first picture), my mum picked out the Cozze alla Marinara(second picture) whereas my dad selected the Quatrro stagioni pizza (third picture). I can't speak for my parents food (though they did gobble it up) but my dish was absolutely delish however it did have a very rich flavour with the combination of spinach, ricotta, cream, lemon and sage. To die for but I couldn't eat a lot of it in one sitting.

I did mention that Papa Tony's had a big selection of drool worthy ice-creams however after all that we were pretty stuffed! Maybe another time we'll skip starters and go for dessert.

Overall, I would say Papa Tony's is what you would expect from the kind of restaurants that tend to congregate around Quay's and beach front areas (or Union Square in Aberdeen). Whilst these places aren't my usual scene I would say Papa Tony's was a cut above, so if you do like these kind of places I'd completely recommend it! 
Morag
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In This Week




I'm currently sitting in my flat with my OMG mug (which I only Instagrammed to get the photos even, whatever), some home-baked apple streusel cupcakes, which are gorgeous even if I do say so myself, and some Twin Atlantic. Whilst this week hasn't been overly exiting I have found that I am slowly getting into the habit of fitting things around a full-time job. It's not even 9pm yet and I've already  managed to go for a run, do a Tesco shop, make tomorrow's lunch, take part in #lbloggers and bake some cakes. So yeah, thumbs up for adult productivity! 

The only thing left to do is put on some laundry and research what phone I'd like to upgrade to, which cannot exactly be described as a chore. If any of my fellow Android fanatics would like to jump in with a recommendation then I'd be ever so grateful! 

Hope you all have a fun adult week! 


Morag
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The Linkables



45 Pinterest boards for designers.

I find this interesting, but I agree with a offline/online divide: the internet is real life.

10 DIY plant pots (or planter, if you're American like the author).

Top 10 hard to kill houseplants

46 places to go in 2013.

Lynsey went to Dundee!

YES! The Cinderella Slayer.

A petition I signed this week: stop the creepshots on social media!

I can get behind this. Why Finnish babies sleep in boxes (not as morbid as it sounds).

Do you want to be an IT Crowd special? Erm, yes.

MPs urge UK to eat less meat to help global food supplies

And finally, induction hobs could save you money! (Okay, I'm plugging a post I wrote for work).

Morag
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Things I Love Thursdays: being settled




Dundee summer sky in 2010, when I went to a fair.

Last week, during the glorious sunshine, I found myself feeling a bit different about summer this year. I love sunshine, I think that moment when day hits night is at its best in summer and I hate wearing a jacket. 

For the last few years I have welcomed the sun and soaked up the increasing summer nights. However as much as I anticipated it I was also dreading the weeks passing by as I attempted to hold on to that university year, my current flat and put off returning to my parents house in Aberdeenshire and resuming my summer job as a waitress. 

And it hit me whilst I was looking out of my big window last week: this summer feels different because I'm not trying to hold on to the days. I'm not going back to Aberdeen, I'm not switching flats and I'm not leaving anything behind. This is the first summer since 2007 where I'm not moving somewhere. And it feels strange and part of me feels as if I should be going somewhere. 

The fact that it is also now one year on from one the biggest months of my life is probably adding to my weird feelings. June 2012 was a big month for me seeing me move half my life away from Dundee before my final move in July, touch down in Africa for the first time, find myself falling in love only to fall out of it by the end of June on less than amicable terms, as well as someone who had been in my life for years proving to me they had no place in my future. 

So yeah, big times. And now I'm settled. As well as not moving away or moving flats, I have no boy drama, my friends circle is secure and I'm not leaving one job and moving to on to another one. 

It's nice, but weird. 

Morag
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Travel Exclusive Vodkas to look out for



If there's something I really love about passing through an airport (okay the only thing) then it's rummaging the duty free. I may be a girl who loves her beauty but as we all know I'm a lover of trying new things so for me I shun the reduced high end-up make-up for something a bit harder to get on the high street. And that is the alcohol.

When I headed across to Africa last summer (and returned) I moved through six airports which gave me a good chance to nosy at all the wines, spirits and liqueurs. I would have bought the lot but I was in that unemployeed graduate stafe of my life, so I only picked up two bottles which I settled on due to their travel exclusivity. 

(As a side note to this post, I haven't been able to find out if these vodkas remain travel exclusive but I haven't spotted them in Tesco so I assume their still at least difficult to get your paws on. Or they've been discontinued, so apologies if you like the sound of them and they are). 

Absolut Flavor of the Tropics

I picked this up in Lusaka airport in Zambia so if you do happen to be there this summer then have a good nosey. However Absolut being a Swedish vodka I imagine a European airport has to have it somewhere. Tropical is my favourite flavour of juice so gravitated towards this vodka which is a mix of mango, orange, lychee, pineapple and melon vodka. I have to admit it's hard to describe this flavour of vodka (helpful as always Morag) and was different to what I expected. It isn't overly fruity and actually tastes quite 'natural' and not as though it's full of flavourings. It became my default vodka for the past year after a long day at work (you come home to vody too, don't lie) and right now there is maybe four bar measures left so I'm now trying to preserve the very last of it.

Smirnoff Gold Collection

Whilst I was perusing the alcohol section of Terminal 5 (which is Disneyland for a spirit drinker) I spotted this beautiful creation. Vodka that essentially glittered. After gawking at the bottle (and others) I headed further through to discover Smirnoff were sampling. The girl gave me a shot glass of the vodka with mixed with apple juice and it was heaven. I left it because as much as I wanted it I couldn't lug it through Africa but I rushed to buy it on my return flight. I did however drop it in Aberdeen (erm, oops) which I was gutted about (it was also meant to be a romantic gesture for the guy I was dating at time because he used moisturiser with gold in it haha) but my parents were heading through to Australia/New Zealand later that year so picked me up a new bottle. 

And I'm guessing you want to know about the vodka? It's a cinnamon liquer with gold bits and if you're thinking it would be like Goldschlager then you would be right. However for me it's a cut above. No matter what position the bottle is in the flakes continue to float whereas the Goldschalger flakes fall to the bottom. Plus the Smirnoff has less of an obvious alcoholic taste and goes down a lot smoother (one measure of G-schlager and I'm tipsy). I still haven't opened this (second) bottle as I want to preserve it for a very special moment, plus I'm scared of smashing the bottle. 

Have any of you guys found a travel exclusive drink you just love and recommend to holiday makers? 

Morag
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The Chocolate Factory Glasgow




Yesterday I mention that ma and pa visited me in Glasgow, however the female half of my parents was down two weeks earlier and during our small tour of the West End we stopped by The Chocolate Factory which is situated just before you would re-meet the city centre, near the Suchiehall Street end. 

We weren't planning to be go here but were in the area anyway so I could visit Grassroot Organic before it shut down and after leaving my mum piped up that she would like some lunch. I had walked past The Chocolate Factory before and whilst it had initiated some some curiosity in me I had never popped in, so I suggested it. 

Me and mum weren't overly hungry so we didn't order half the menu and both instead ended up with the same brie and cranberry panini (so much for a thorough review). We did however get different drinks: despite the sunshine that day we both opted for hot drinks, my mum a latte and myself a white hot choc. 

The food also came with some carrot and celery sticks and some dip (which if my memory serves me was chive) which beats a panini flung on a plate (which I was expecting!). The paninis themselves were also lovely and my hot chocolate was nom nom nom. 

The atmosphere was quite, kid-friendly shall we say. I didn't pop my head too far round the corner but their did appear to be a kids area so I wouldn't go here if you like quiet grown-up spaces. Even if kids are fine and dandy by you this did feel like the kind of place you would still need to come with someone - not really the kind of place you could settle into the corner and enjoy a book with. 

Have you ever been to The Chocolate Factory?
Morag
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In This Week



I'm going to be a stereotypical British person and comment on how lovely the weather has been. For me, good sunshine puts an extra oomph in my step - I'm generally happier, I get more done, I feel more creative and everything just seems more swell. With the fantastic weather this week I have found myself admiring the big windows in my flat. I have a balcony which the patio doors have been open onto all week and also a big window in my bedroom which I can look out of whilst lying on my bed, whilst Spotify spins out some summer loveliness (the Naked and Famous sound great in the sun btw). 

This week my ma and pa also swung by Glasgow before they headed out to some Scottish islands for a holiday and I spent today adventuring with them. Me and my mum are big into houses (you can tell where I get my coolness from) so we decided to have drive up to Milgavie to perve on some posh homes. Whilst there we drove into East Dumbartonshire and stopped by one of my favourite stores ever - Dobbies (if you ever thought I was slightly cool, you don't anymore). As you may know I've been trying to work on a balcony garden but whilst there my mum refused to answer my gardening questions and told me with my small amount of knowledge I really shouldn't be considering buying mandarin trees (pfffft). But I did buy two house plants with my mum's guidance which I can practice caring for (she's probably right). Also gardening? Expensive! 

We finished tonight off with dinner at Papa Tony's at Springfield Quay which I'm sure I'll blog about this week.

Lots of summer open window love!

Morag
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The Linkables




Some feisty feminism for you!

A wunderlust inspired mixtape

A brand spanking new book blog: Boo's Reviews.

A video parody of Instagram using Nickelback. I likey.

Recipes in illustrated form.

Last week I attended an event at Rox and Clare look amazing in her jumpsuit

If you're a small business looking marketing advice here is some advice I agree with.

I don't think I'd even like rose lemonade but the thought just seems so delicate and feminine.

A British blogger's guide to the best places to eat in New York.

I don't have the bravery (or the bank balance) to wear this dress (but will admire its beauty on Amy).

Iced Coffee lollies with chocolate nibs.

I love Suzi's take on blessings in disguise. So positive.

Some tips for finding gems at a car boot sale.

I have a weakness for salty foods so a food blog called Not Without Salt gets my attention.

If you want to date someone great, be someone great (My favourite quote from this piece is: "you can't control who you meet but you can control who you are when you meet them").

Don't let anyone tell you to stop daydreaming.

Morag
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Things I Love Thursdays: a new skill (and a weird graphic)



This is going to be a boring work post; so I'll forgive you if you stop reading right now (or didn't even make it to this paragraph).

My work involves me doing everything and anything marketing - PR, web design, web content, blogging, case studies, brochure making, you get the drill. Whilst it can definitely help me decide which types of marketing I think I could do in the long term and what kind of marketing I should place in the 'I'm shit at this' pile and avoid any jobs that involve that in the future, I am here for the time being and thus need to do it all. 

And doing it all means having to learn a lot. And when I started this job last October as a graduate who decided to chance her luck at marketing without a marketing degree there was a lot I didn't know. I had a blog which I had convinced some people to read and I had held a part-time job in social media for a year and half - but that was really it. Quickly I realised I had to subscribe to some more marketing blogs and get reading some books if I was going to do well. 

Some of it has been absorbed easier than I thought it would, but other parts haven't. But the point of this post is to tell you a new work/marketing skill I have been concentrating on this past fortnight which I have made strides in. 

I'm guessing you've all heard of Photoshop? But have you heard of of its sister programme Fireworks aimed at web graphics? I hadn't until I started this job and found the full Adobe Design package on my PC. My work has been busy busy busy since the start but recently I found myself with not so many deadlines and a new micro-site that needed a logo so decided it would be the perfect time to settle into some tutorials and learn my way around a new design programme. 

Graphic design is something I've always been interested in, but unless you're parents are crapping money or you went to a school with an awesome art and design department (or you're into illegal downloads) then owning the Adobe Suite is something of a dream. I had PSP growing up which certainly did help me master some basic graphic skills but Photoshop skills is what they ask for on job adverts. I bluffed my way through interviews pretending I had owned Photoshop for longer than a 30 day free trial believing I could pick it up easily which, thankfully, I did (I'm setting such a brilliant example to the soon-to-be-graduates reading my blog, aren't I?).

However when I excitingly opened the rest of the package in my first week (Flash! Illustrator! InDesign!) I was completely lost when looking at these programmes I had longed to own when I was a geeky teenager.

So back to what I was saying pre-tangent, this past fortnight I had stuck on some headphones, watched YouTube tutorials and found my way through Adobe Fireworks. I now know all the basic features and what toolbars exists and where to turn them off and on. And how to make animations I can put in a PowerPoint presentation if I'm sick of the default Microsoft ones. And draw some quirky shapes for a blog post (I didn't say I was an expert quite yet). 

Lots of love and reminder that there's a YouTube tutorial for almost anything.

Morag
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