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© 2015 mo'adore | Content and design by Morag Lee | Powered by Blogger.

A love letter from the Dundonian piece of my heart




It is now a year since I said my final goodbye to living in Dundee. Roughly this time last year I handed back my keys to my flat near the football stadiums and headed back up to my old life in Aberdeen, just days after I shot ouzo on my leaving night and didn't even make it out (to the award winning student union).

It is also one month past that Dundee was shortlisted for the UK City of Culture Award 2017. Which many not familiar with the city found shocking with someone even calling it a "token Scottish dump". But for anyone who has lived there and experienced it hands on you'll know that this city has a lot more to offer than someone asking you for 50p at the bus station.

I love Glasgow and still consider myself an Aberdonian, and even though it would have been nice if my home city had been shortlisted after putting forward a bid, truthfully I do believe that Dundee deserves this award more.

And if you still need convincing, let me list the reasons. Dennis and Gnasher were born here and I've taken many a drunken photo next to the Desperate Dan statue. In two weeks I'll be heading through to attend one of my favourite yearly events where the computer games industry (one of Scotland's strongest industries, with Dundee as its centre point) shows off some of its upcoming talent (many of which studied at Abertay - rated one of the best universities in the world for computer games courses). My favourite nightclub ever is still situated down a Dundonian alleyway, which is now becoming a popular gig venue. I spent my very last St Patrick's day as a student at an Old English play (as you do) acted out by Dundee University students. I was a member of the Abertay Dance team who last year became winners at an Edinburgh dance competition. There is Dundee Contemporary Arts, which even did some blogger outreach, and also the Dundee Rep Theatre which, along with the National Theatre of Scotland (and a few other people), produced Other Dundee which I would have totally took part in if I had been still living there. And there's also The Rusty Hip Collective. Then there's the universities: Abertay which produces computer gaming talent and allows students to graduate in pink dresses and Dundee University who's rector played my favourite film villain before that Welsh guy (we're talking about Hannibal Lector).

Don't tell me Dundee doesn't have fucking culture.

To Dundee, City of Culture 2017 and somewhere that will always have a place in my heart. ♥

Morag
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The Linkables


Such a cute (and realistic) office!


Wedding Magazine are hosting their first Wedding Blog Awards.

My mum had me at 33 because women's fertility doesn't decline as quickly as you think.

Why I love my bitchy resting face

My new favourite travel YouTuber: Travel with Kate.

Her Packing List is the most informative/interesting/must read every post blog I've found in a long time (though I will dispute that you require two pairs of jeans in Peru).

I found this article from Thought Catalogue interesting on the way society treats lesbians who don't actually look like lesbians.

An introduction to taking your DLSR off auto mode.

You learn something new everyday, and today it's going to be medieval pet names.

The best 404 pages on the internet.

Some etiquette on dealing with dietary restrictions.

Roasted Cherry Bourbon Milkshakes with Hot Fudge

Mouth.actually.watering: Broccoli Cheese Patties.

Chilled tomato peach soup.

Blueberry mojito for your BBQ perhaps?

Book titles with one letter missing.

An the best YouTube I've seen in FOREVER - Blurred Lines gender roles reversed


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My favourite hotels in the world





Courtyard at Ngolide Lodge, Zambia.

I've stayed a in a few hotels in my time. Some I forgot about pretty quickly, some that were okay and these ones, which have stuck out in my memory for some reason or another. I've stayed in plenty of hotels I'd recommend (in fact I've stayed in few I wouldn't recommend) but these hotels stood out to me without having to think about it, and would really consider staying in again if I returned to that area. 

Barcelo Hotel Ponent Playa

Along with your average British person I've been to Majorca several times and out of the three locations I've been to, Cala d'Or was the one that stood out. There were some really gorgeous hotels in the area (there were some hexagonal apartments near by) but if you're looking for a three star hotel that goes all out then I'd recommend the Barcelo Hotel Ponent Playa. It was on the beach front with shops on the other side of the building. Plus the hotel was beautiful, had a pool, an indoor pool, four bars (from what I can remember) entertainment nightly, a tennis court, a games room and the biggest all you can eat buffet. It was back in 2001 I went which means things may have changed (it was finding this hotel in the First Choice brochure which inspired this post so it does still exist!) but the fact this hotel still stands out a decade later really says something!
Website | Trip Advisor | First Choice | Thomas Cook


Ngolide Lodge

This hotel has already been mentioned on mo'adore a year ago when I wrote up my Zambia travel guide. It definitely appears well-to-do but because the British pound goes very far in Zambia it was the cost of what would be a three star hotel in Europe. Ka-ching! It was owned by a lovely Indian woman who was still very hands on with the running of the place and, fittingly, a delicious Indian restaurant was attached to the hotel which was beyond amazing. Especially for a veggie like myself in a country which isn't all round veggie friendly.
Website | Facebook | Trip Advisor 

Sumac Chaska Hostel

As a disclaimer I'll start out and say I did have to load up Google Maps to rediscover the name but I am 99.9% sure I found the correct one. But on to the review. This place is situated just off the main square in Ollantaytambo which, if you're planning a trip to Peru any time soon, didn't have a lot there but was the place people would stop by for one or two nights to break up their journey. What I do really remember about this place was the service here was outstanding. The woman who was serving whilst we were there went all out to make sure we were all okay (she even did our laundry) and, whilst I maintain that we should speak the language of the country we're in, she did speak really good English.
Facebook | Trip Advisor | Hostel World

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Kopparberg happenings Glasgow



Two weeks ago I received an e-mail asking if I wanted to attend an event where I would get to sit about drinking cider.

To which I said yes.

The event was part of the Koppaberg happenings competition which have taken place in London and Manchester (I believe?) and in early July it was Glasgow's turn! I headed along on a Thursday night with my pal Louise to their branded van situated outside the Buchanan Galleries where we were greeted by the staff who had driven up to Glasgow from London (and were adjusting to our weather!) and got to sample some of their ciders before the winners of the competition came along.




A main part of the campaign is to promote their lesser know variations of cider so the two options available that night were elderflower and cranberry. Both were delicious but for the rest of the night I helped myself to maybe about five elderflower ciders. Like a lot of flavoured ciders these two go down really easily and if you weren't told they were alcoholic you might believe they were just simply juice (could cause a lot of mischief with that...).

But they were still alcoholic so my bladder filled quickly and had to dash to the cinema to pee (and run home at the end of the night) and had that 'feeling drunk when you're alone in a toilet' feeling. (I'm really glad I can share this stuff with you guys)

Maybe it's the eternal students in me speaking but I still don't think there are many other ways to spend any night than drinking cider out the back of a van with some friends. However, cider is admittedly usually associated with poor young people but Kopparberg does a good job of making it feel grown up and I would completely recommend these flavours rather than the simple pear or cider variants.

Morag x

P.S. I attended this event as a PR request and received the numerous bottles of cider for free however I have not been paid to write about it.

[Edit June 2014: I've began being a lot more serious about veggie alcohol choices, and now know Kopparberg isn't one of them]

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The Linkables



I'm not sure I agree with everything in this piece but I believe it is interesting nonetheless: Cory Monteith: the Glee's stars death is an all-too familiar teen idol plotline

I consider myself more a cohabiting person so this was a nice read: To have and to hold – but not necessarily to marry

Linguistics is one of my nerdy interests and my new blog find this week which isn't fashion but is about dialects (which I found Googling South African accents because despite having travelled there last year I really can't hear an accent).

As a girl who loves the ocean and pool but wants to keep boobs and bum firmly hidden the Kelly Brook swimware range is right up my street.

How to pack a suitcase like a flight attendent.

If you want off-beat travel then maybe you might consider Wild Frontiers

If you want to take the piss out of desperate Facebook marketing then this Facebook page is for you.

Advice on supermarkets and their vegan product lists.

15 celebrity photobombs 

A blog-find this week I've been loving: Brighton Dream.

Nubby wrote a great post about the clean programme

Ten things I learned after having lunch with Kate Moss. 

How I feel about nice guy syndrome and the friendzone

My new favourite YouTubeer: ModPirate



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The Linkables



Along with several newspapers, David Cameron wrote Virgina Wade out of history



If I had an iPhone I'd install this app

I was crying with laughter at the reviews for Bics female only pens

My next holiday will be in a prison converted into a hotel


It's primarily american but Small Business Bodyguard provides plenty food for thought for bloggers. 

I read the men's privilege checklist years ago but here is a round-up of all the privilege checklists.

Every ideology has those who will take it too far (as a side note I actually was a member of the Facebook group mentioned, and I'm trans-pro!) 

Maybe it's just Shauna's photos but I reckon Minneapolis should be added to my travel list



If you're a fan of Silence of the Lambs you might just enjoy this menu

Remember in this hot weather dogs shouldn't be left in hot cars

If you're into alternative fashion then the #altblogger tag is coming.

Toodle pip!

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Dundee Delights: Maggie's Farm



A part of my appearance I get complimented on a lot is my love of a statement ring. Even my geeky male friends can't help but touch some of the weird creations on my digits. But if you were thinking I buy them online or had an extra stocked Primark near me you'd be wrong.

I actually buy them at the place above, a small boutique in the city centre of Dundee, called Maggie's Farm.

I can't remember in detail the first time I discovered Maggie's Farm but I can remember feeling 'where has this place been my entire fashion loving, quirky life'. The window shows off quirky clothes and interiors, and the shop inside is just as beautiful. Laurissa, the owner, has clearly put in so much time and attention to detail. I don't have any photos of the interiors but this blog post shows off the gob smacking vintage look (look out for  picture of the g-orgeous Laurissa herself - she's just as beautiful in the flesh btw).

And for examples sake here are some pictures I snapped this morning of rings purchased at Maggie's Farm:



But I would like to point out that Maggie's Farm isn't just for the quirky ring enthusiast. Maggie's Farm sells dresses, necklaces, jackets, skirts, tops and also chairs! As much as I do love a dress I gravitate towards the rings every time as the high street just cannot provide me with a knuckle duster of the seven dwarfs. I did almost buy a satchel bag the last time I was in but I picked up that skeleton ring instead.

And one of the best freaking parts about Maggie's Farm that sets it aside from its competitors? For something so unique the price ain't too ridiculous. The rings I buy are usually £10 and the dresses I have tried on have been circa £25 whereas the chairs with the quirky designs tend to be £125. Along with the price tag the boutique has a relaxed atmosphere - I find a lot of boutiques a bit 'too posh' but Maggie's Farm is just lovely and doesn't make this former MySpace kid feel as though she should get out. 

I could rave so much about this place but I'll just say it is well worth a visit if you're in Dundee. It's situated on Union Street near the train station and also near the big Overgate shopping centre. I give it a visit every time I'm back in Dundee and when I'm over next weekend for a pals birthday I will be having nosey at any new stock (rings or otherwise). 

Morag

P.S. You can like the Facebook page here. And if you're a Fife dweller you should make your way to the Dunfermline store.
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A new food blog I've been drooling over: Apartment Dining

As someone who wasn't breast fed and turned out fine I really appreciated this post (and for the record I support what is best for the mother and child, whether that is breast or formula).

I call bullshit to having things under your belt by a certain age, and this post agrees with me.

Reason 101 I love Ellen Page: why are people so reluctant to call themselves feminists? 

I don't struggle to fit my breasts into dresses but I have a friends (and a mother) who does and I'm sure a lot of them would love the stuff on offer at Made in Preston.

Tips on saving energy in your house (okay so this is the domestic project at my work, but I would appreciate it if you'd like it, and I will be genuinely sharing energy advice on it).

Honest Disney movie posters.

Pink Port Punch Recipe.

Strawberry Shortcakes.

10 things I learnt from Sex & The City. Extra love for this link as Samantha is also my home girl.

Save the date magnets.

If you're in Dundee tonight with no plans may I suggest the Rusty Hip Zine Launch?

21 things to look for in a boyfriend. And before you roll your eyes, like I did, read the last point.


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My one year as cruelty-free




Since my blog very strongly focuses on cruelty-free beauty and I show a large dedication to learning more about the topic, it might surprise a lot of people that I only went cruelty-free one year ago. I don't have an exact date as to when I made this conscious consumer choice to boycott all animal testing companies, but I can tell you it was roughly this time last year.

I first became aware of the cruelty-free lifestyle when I stumbled upon Louise's blog (which she had only just started writing at the time). I made a few notes on the topic and I did begin avoiding Superdrug at this point but it was only when I wrote up my mid-year resolutions that I decided to embark on a dedicated journey towards animal friendly make-up and toiletries. From that day on I made a conscious decision to not buy any product from a company I had not previously researched. 

One year on I would say my new lifestyle choice has been a success. My recent daily make-up post only uses cruelty-free products (aside from possibly the HD Brows palette) and the only product in my shower that comes from an animal testing company is my razor. 

Admittedly it was made slightly easier for me as my commitment to wearing make-up only really began as I made my cruelty-free commitment and I had never tried many animal testing brands in the first place. Estee Lauder Double Wear? Never bought it. Mac lipsticks? Only ever swatched them in a shop. The only brands I really had to boycott as such were L'Oreal and Benefit (and some other non make-up ones such as Pantene). 

Saying that it was active process. But with all new habits if you force yourself to do it long enough it'll eventually become natural. Just like giving up meat, I had to be strict with myself at first but now avoiding the Maxfactor section is just as simple as avoiding bacon in a supermarket. 

And there's the moments when you're not organised and I just really need to buy shampoo. 

One year on I'd say going cruelty-free was one of the best decisions I have ever made. It isn't difficult as you might think - I have been introduced to so many new brands, given my blog a new focus and bonded with some amazing people over this shared interest. Wouldn't retract my decision no matter what shade of lipstick Mac release next. ;)

Morag
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