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The Linkables


 
Because the BBC aren't going to tell you, are they?

Are you living your eulogy or your resume?

I fan-girl squeed when I noticed that one of my all-time favorite bloggers NubbyTwiglet is now launching a full service design studio.

Always Autumn is a fantastic vegan blog I discovered this week. 

Why Apple fans like queing in lines.

Jack Osbourne has been diagnosed with MS and BBC News have a ran a FAQ on the condition (My aunt was diagnosed a few years ago so this is a cause close to my heart).

Greenhouse gas emissions from livestock can be cut by 30%, says FAO

Pepsi makes a big font fail (comes with a surprise trigger warning).

Door sixteen is my new favourite blog.

That weird thing we do, which we shouldn't (which I even made a new years resolution not to do) called looking at the Facebook of someone we don't like? Here is some psychology on it.

Rock my wedding is a brilliant UK based wedding blog with quirky ideas for the big day.

I've been meaning to add a posture post to my anit-diet series but Alle sums it all quite well anyway

Street harrassment in an ideal world.

How to tell the Olsen twins apart. (Because who doesn't need to know this?).

P.S. I could already tell them apart. As long as they were standing beside each other.

Toasted pecan and blueberry couscous salad.

Coffee and espresso drinks explained.

Five bread recipes for fall and how to write on bread (this blog is also heaven as a whole).

Hot cocoa ornamnet favours.

26 things Summer Roberts wore in the first OC that were so 2003 (2003? I can remember watching the first ever episode).

Morag
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Marks and Spencers anti-perspirant deodorant




When making the commitment to a cruelty-free lifestyle, one of the hardest products to re-direct your moolah to is that of a good sweat blocker. 

Thankfully the great British department store Marks & Spencers has come to the rescue. Along with Superdrug and The Body Shop (read my review here) this is the only brand I know definitely does a cruelty-free anti-perspirant. I was informed that Holland & Barrat also sell one but when I've had a look I could only find a deodrant, which as nice as they can be to cover the smell I'd quite like to not have sweat patches...

When I was in Markies picking up the vegan labelled food I headed up to the beauty department and was very surprised by their selection. I bought four ones to try out (as you might have guessed) but there were a few other scents available (there was cocoa butter, which I think is a weird smell for underarms to have). Because Marks & Spencers is regularly seen as middle-class havana I expected the products to be £10 each, but alas they were £2.00 each (aside from the coconut one, which was £1.50). 

Out of the four I bought, the one I have found myself reaching for the most has been the aloe vera roll-on. As much as I love the smell of coconut I'm not convinced it belongs on the underarms and the roll-ons just kept me somewhat drier than the sprays. And let's be honest, the Magnolia and Rose deodorants would make a good birthday gift if you're gran was looking to go cruelty-free. 

Obviously, make up your own mind about the scents (maybe you're not a weirdo like me who likes unscented products) but in terms of providing a blockage for sweat whilst still keeping your moral high-ground, then hands down Marks & Spencers all the damn way. 


Morag
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Hamptons By Hilton Birmingham


Last week I was in Birmingham for the Arbonne Consultants UK conference. For the weekend me and my team decided to stay in the Hamptons by Hilton on Broad Street. This was the second time I was staying in a Hilton this year (not bad for a recent graduate) after having stayed in the Dunblane Hydro earlier this year for the #rediscoverhilton campaign, and this stay was also just as lovely.

The location was really good for us as it was just over a 5 minutes from The ICC where the conference was taking part. It was also a ten minute walk from New Street Station though I do tend to walk really quickly! The route was simple enough to walk, though the station itself was quite big and I did walk out two exits before I finally got the correct one!

The Hotel has a really simple but lovely decor. It felt quite businessesy though some of the visitors did seems as though they were visiting for something other than business reasons. One of the other consultants informed me that there was a hen party in the room opposite her haha! So take that memo as you will! The hotel is also situated on a street with more clubs and bars then there may possibly be in the whole of Scotland (okay I am exaggerating, but it was the Suchiehall of Birmingham it seemed). 




The room I stayed in a had a big double bed and a double sofa bed which had been made up before our arrival. It also came with a desk, a view of a parking lot (hah!) and an en-suite with a shower, towels and some toiletries included. The only 'flaws' I seen with the room was the shower didn't have a full door so the floor got wet and the wardrobe door doubled up as bathroom door - it was a slide door that sat in front of the wardrobe but was pulled along to cover up the bathroom when needed (if that makes sense).

The room also had unlimited wifi included, which wasn't a big faff to get on to. We all know this is the most important part. ;)




The breakfast (because we obviously has to discuss food) was brilliant. A help yourself unlimited with hot and continental foods. I was hungover the first morning (and was still queezy from the journey) so kept to cereal and fruit, but the next morning I helped myself to beans on toast, a bowl of coco pops, fruit, yoghurt and croissants. Full I was!

We booked somewhat far in advanced so it was £40 something pound each, but would have been cheaper if all beds had been full (we booked three rooms) and would have been even cheaper if we were sharing beds. but we did book this quite far in advanced so made use of 'book now' prices!

The reception area also had a bar but it wasn't me paying so I can't comment on prices, haha. But they did run out of vodka and gin, so we were waiting a bit ;)

Overall, I'd recommend it if you have a few extra bob but there was a travel lodge on the same street if you wish something simpler but still wanted to be right in the heart of Birmingham. 

Lots of B-ham love!

Morag
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The Linkables




Some hilarious examples of British people being too polite. And I have done more than half of them within my life.

Why I chose state education over private x1000000

27 survisors of sexual abuse quoting the people that attacked them.

Some accounts of people who knew serial killers and some who were almost the victims (there's quite a few Ted Bundy's in there - not for the faint hearted)

A shout out to a cancer charity run by a lovely women I know: Rainbow Valley

Apparently a study popped up on only children in August which I didn't spot, but some of us onlies have taken to defend ourselves (and our parents).

Another resource for finding hidden Glasgow gems

12 quotes from comedians about work.

According to the comments, this is not completely factual but still interesting: unstranslatable words from other languages.

People who switched careers at 50 and thrived!

Making your date reference on blogger a little more fancyyyyy!

Trans teen challenges school to let him run for homecoming king.

I thought I had seen it all on Tumblr, but not this: men taking up too much space on the train.

Get The Funk Out (and as a consequence Kage Nightclub) got a mention in The Skinny Magazine

101 Halloween costumes to make on the cheap. Thankfully my idea isn't there, so no stealing ;)

8 vegetarian chilli recipes.

A great idea for Halloween party favours.

A delcious food blog I came across: hint of vanilla.

31 signs you grew up in Aberdeen.

There's a village in England called Quorn

A Chrome app for vegans

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My favourite non-city places in Scotland


Uath Lochan near Aviemore (or in a drivable area) 

Aviemore 

Probably my favourite non-city place is this town south of Inverness (which is one of the more 'touristy' cities in my opinion). I used to go camping a lot here (as did Gillian of elevatormusik who was recently there with her family) and reckon Rothiemurcus is the prettiest campsite ever and would make a great romantic back-drop. If I had someone to be romantic with...

Ullapool

Another one I spent a large chunk of my childhood at, and then some of my high school years as part of my training to go on an expedition to Peru. And then later in my uni years as I held down a long distance relationship with a boy in Stornoway (true story). It has a nice sea side town feel and an award winning chip shop which in my non plant-powered days I always made time to pick up a chicken burger and ice cream between the bus and ferry.

Balmedie

Balmedia was probably only recently put on the map because of a certain American tycoon plonking a golf course on the sand dunes. But it has long been on my map as I grew up only about four miles away (fun fact: my driving test was me driving from Aberdeen to Balmedie and back) and was a regular visitor growing up as my cousins spent their teenage years there and the beach was perfect dog walking fun (plus the play park was amaze!). It was where I said I'd live when I 'grew up' and had a family. But then I moved to Glasgow and my ovaries still don't pound when I see a kid...

Arbroath

I mentioned this place in one of my earliest ever blog posts in 2011 upon my first ever visit. It's a place that Dundonians tend to head to when they want a bit of a day trip. I remember some students I knew in first year halls heading up for days out but alas I didn't have a friend with a car until my third year. We headed through during nightfall and it was beautiful and I reckon part of my love is being based in a lovely memory. ♥

Morag
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The Linkables




Is organic too expensive?

Sainsbury's debuts world's first naturally refrigerated truck.

I was surprised that I had never seen this article as 1) I'm Aberdonian, 2) I'm totes against animal testing and 3) Kimberley Wyatt it totally my dance idol and favourite pussycat!

My new favourite Twitter account is HollyoaksPanda - hilarious to have running when catching up on Chester's hotspot.

Five surprisingly hipster cities.

The least hipster cities in the world

A hipster guide to Brighton.

(I'll stop with the hipster Googling now)

This week was suicide prevention week in Glasgow.  Don't suffer in silence. <3

The social costs of being different.

Men with long hair get female hair styles.

I've always found asexuality facinating and loved this interview with an asexual woman.

So, Greenpeace will be marching a people-powered polar bear through London

An interesting read about anominity in rape cases (using the Le Vell case as an example throughout - Trigger warning comes as standard)

Your tip doesn't always go to the server (from my waitressing days I can confirm that many older customers don't realise tips get shared)

Scottish Eats is a great Facebook page for north of the border foodies.

A blog dedicated to the social construct of beauty.

An amazingly bittersweet piece on growing up ugly.

Track your efforts, not your success.

Morag
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The Linkables




One of my favourite jewellery companies, Bonnie Bling, has released a new range named Bonnie is a Vampire Slayer.

More reason to watch your spending habits: major skincare companies linked to the destruction of tropical rainforests.

I've seen this post on getting home quicker when your flight is delayed several times, but like a lot of the commenters I'm going to call it out as arrogant bullshit. I've known people to get flight and room upgrades simply because they were the first person to be polite to the person at the desk all day.

Unreliable people make my blood boil - and I love Ash's post on successful people do what they say they will.

A natural beauty blog I discovered this week: NatuRia

If I ever just happen to find myself at Brighton and Hove (you know, on the off chance) this seems like such a nice little coffee place.

There's a charity vegan bake sale the same weekend as I'm in Birmingham (but I'll probably be too busy, but maybe you're not!).

A great Scottish music blog focusing on lesser known barely known acts: Song, By Toad

According to statistics vegans are only 1% of the popukations The Big Vegan Count aims to work out if that is actually accurate. There is the option to be counted as someone who is considering it.

A Glasgow blog for all the Southside dwellers: Southside Happenings.

How to be a polite houseguest from an eco point of view.  (I know there are loads on the internet, but this one covers a pet hate of mine that most posts miss out: not being mindful of my utility bills)

Some funny advice on going to a gig alone

Stop embarassing yourself: how to know when your crush doesn't want you (ouch, but we have all known someone who just doesn't get it and we're all like OH NO NO NO stop it already).

I'm convinced I'm going to find my photo on here: pictures of hipsters taking pictures of food.

The Weegie Hipster Tipster was such a good short lived blog which I hope comes back to life.

And finally, from a rape trial in the US Navy: was the victim wearing underwear on the night of her assault?   Because what's a link round-up without a rape apologist?

Morag
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University: decorating a dorm room


This September will host the half decade anniversary (!!!) of when I packed up my life in Aberdeen and made my first move to another city. And this move seen me move into a ratty old student flat shared with seven other teenager girls and a dorm room which was literally a box with plain walls, a bed, a desk, a bedside chest of drawers and a wardrobe. Sexy, no?

But unless you're parents are gangsta earners who can put you up in a posh private student accommodation then you're probably gonna get much similar. 

But despite the basic decor in a 1970's building, I think I did not too shabby (see picture above). 

I also did much better in my second year of university but I never actually took a freaking photo so you'll just have to believe that my bedrooms got better from then on. 

Here's my dorm room tips:

Move furniture around
My room was quite rectangular with most of the furniture down the long sides. If you're slightly better at geometry than me you might realise that if this is the shape of your room and you want more floor space, put you bed (or desk) along the short end. Voila, instantly bigger room. 

Buy extra furniture (only after you've arrived)
Unless you're moving into fancy private halls, the marketing brochures generally lie. The photo showed a desk with drawers but I didn't get that and I turned up to my second year halls with a mirror (because my first year halls didn't have one) to find that my new en-suite (fancy!) had a large mirror. Standard. However extra furniture I did buy which came in super handy was my own shelving (which I kept until fourth year) and an old foldable coffee table my parents never used with a fancy tablecloth from Nepal thrown over it. And a pop-up laundry basket.

The hooks you see over the top of my wardrobe actually didn't fit over the wardrobe in my second year halls.

Tablecloths
It was my mum who brought down a tablecloth for me to throw over my desk and it gave my room some much needed vibrancy. Next year it wasn't on my desk but on the aforementioned foldable table, which acted as a bedside table. 

A mini-office
Your university stress levels will be managed so much better if you can afford to set up a mini-office. My first year I didn't have anything until my boyfriend of the time gave me a PC he had lying about (as you do) and everything went so much smoother after that. The money from my summer job, between first and second year, went on buying a new PC, a printer (with a scanner included cause I'm fancy), a netbook and a shredder. Also, get internet (proper internet, dongles are a tad shit).

Saying this, once I moved into private non-halls accommodation I could only concentrate in the library.

Take advantage of all inclusive electricity
As a general rule, most halls have utility bills included within the rent. My first year halls didn't (and second wasn't meant to, but we discovered the meters never ran out haha) but students I knew who were in all-inclusive halls had fairy lights and net lights scattered about their room.

Try and minimise your belongings
Generally speaking, dorm rooms aren't huge so try to minimise your belongings and don't bring the kitchen sink. Leave clothes you never wear behind and don't bring loads of framed pictures of you and your bezzies (take the normal photo and blue tack it to the wall). Bare in mind - depending on who you live with - you might also need to make room for your own kitchen stuff in your bedroom (you'll probably only get one cupboard each in the kitchen and if you have the same luck I did in first year you might think your flatmates were raised by wolves).

It's part of the student experience to collect bottles, free t-shirts from club nights and random inflatables, and within time these will become your primary room decor. I wouldn't use hand-made posters from a superhero night out to decorate my room these days, but I honestly have no regrets that I once did. ♥

Morag

P.S. For anyone going to study at Abertay, this is a basic room in Alloway Halls.
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