mo'adore: cruelty-free beauty ∙ vegan food ∙ glasgow/dundee lifestyle: April 2013

28 April 2013

In This Week

I'm not one for taking lots and lots of photos but if you think two pictures is minimal (even for me) then you'd be right. Friday straight after work I headed up to my parents in Aberdeen for some home and family time. I forgot to pack my DLSR so you'll have to put up with photos of my new business cards and my after work snack (don't judge me). 

I have tomorrow and Tuesday off work and will be heading back to Glasgow tomorrow for the Scottish Hair and Beauty Awards nominees announcement so will get to see some of my fav blogger girls. Gillian is staying over at mine and I was wondering if any long-term Glasgow based bloggers know a good place for a Monday night rave? We may just tuck up in bed because we're old or we might pull ourselves out, we'll see.

As for the Arbonne business I'm setting up a page right now for my blog on how you can buy from me :)

All my love!


26 April 2013

The Linkables


In keeping with the first link last week being about a dog's birthday party, here is another post on a dog's birthday party.

I've never bought anything Korres, but if you're into natural beauty Sarah suggest you shouldn't buy it.

Cruelty-free online shopping guide

Lynne has another diary extract - this time it's on crushes!

We're an odd bunch bloggers but it's that oddness that makes us come together online

Switching to natural beauty products was one of the best things I did for my skin: 3 Reasons Why Using Natural Skincare Can Transform Your Skin.

I like keeping things upbeat on social media, but Sarah has a point.

New food blog discovery: Garden of Vegan

New creative/design blog: Waterfall Creative.

If you know a man who would wear superhero cuff links on his wedding day (or anywhere really) then please introduce us. 

Healthy home-made gummy bear recipe (still contains gelatin though, boo!).

Need to brush up on vocabulary? Kristin has started a vocab-building series on her blog.

I don't have any tattoos but found Gala's tattoo regret post interesting.

I need this bag in my life.

If you aren't quite as appreciative of the West as you should be then maybe Trial by Timeline will force you to count your blessings. 

If cats had Instagram

Did you know Sally Hensen wasn't an actual person

13 things gay men have in common. (This doesn't mock gay men, it mocks the people who mock gay men).

On that note, anti-gay MP accidentally votes in favour of marriage equality.

Life in your Early Twenties Vs your Late Twenties.

Veggie chilli mac. Nom nom nom. 

Something to send to mum's everywhere: the best 7 soups for getting over a cold.

An amazing post on escaping an arranged marriage.

I loved seeing Nubby's first ever design project. (I secretly miss the graphic style of 2004)

How about some carbon-neutral cheese. No? 

I spent too much time on the internet.


22 April 2013

My filling daily breakfast smoothie

Drinking a smoothie every morning has been a goal of mine for a long time. For the last three years. But really who has time to create a smoothie every morning? And blenders are aren't common in student kitchens. Roll on living in Glasgow with a 'grown-up' kitchen and the realisation that smoothies that can be made the night before and I can now say I am a dedicated smoothie drinker.

I'm going to get cheesy and health-nutter on you and say that I feel so much better on mornings when I have my breakfast smoothie in me. This isn't a breakfast within itself but I feel fuller longer when I compare it to mornings with a different smoothie or no smoothie at all. I also concentrate longer at work and can go until lunch time (which can sometimes not be until 1pm).

For this smoothie I use:
  • hazelnut milk
  • raspberries
  • blueberries
  • one banana
  • porridge oats
I don't use exact measures and if you make this you can change the measures around what you prefer. I personally love blueberries so they outnumber the raspberries but you may be different. The porridge oats are also just a quick dessert spoon before you hit blend. Remember to cut the banana, but you knew that, right? 

The only measurement that is important is that the milk must come higher than the fruit in the blender, like such: 

This is important because when leaving it to sit overnight it will thicken and possible separate (do not use yogurt because that will separate and be disgusting!) so you want the milk outweighing the fruit.

Press the buzzer, pour into glass, cover in clingfilm, pop in the fridge, go to bed, wake up and enjoy (along with a proper breakfast).


21 April 2013

In This Week

Howdy bloggers! How has your week been? You might have guessed that mine was full of excitement, nervousness and a lot of travelling. Friday night was my Arbonne launch in Dundee and despite all my swallowing the fear type of talk this week in the end it was more amazing than I could have ever thought. My friend's were pleased for me, took away products to try and some were interested in becoming consultants themselves! 

I had to rush back to Glasgow that night due to a Kilmarnock trip to see my Grandad's family. I seen some of my ageing relatives who may have zimmer frames but still like a good drink! The alcohol didn't quite hit me until I was doing my shop in Tesco on the way home. Don't say 80 years old can't party. 

This was an absolutely amazing weekend and tomorrow I have to return to my 9-5 'real' job. But I feel happy and excited that a new chapter in my life is unfolding. I still have no words to use to describe some of the feelings I'm feeling. 

I'm also planning to do a Glasgow launch near the end of May/beginning of April, if any bloggers are interested in hearing about Arbonne?

Lots and lots of squeely happy love! 

19 April 2013

The Linkables

Beigel is by far my fav blogger pet and I love how Emma makes such an effort on his birthday

One of my long term blogger buddies is moving to Glasgow - weegie bloggers go give her some loooovvveeee!

Lynne's teenage diary shows she was a blogger in the making even back then. Funny the way things work out?

Lovely hearing about how lovely your home country is from an outsider. 

Things to eat: spelt focaccia with goats cheese and caramalised onion, mint areo cupcakes,  and Orange, Blueberry and Banana Smoothie.

I'm all for looking how you want but I do cock my head when girls go overboard on the fake stuff.

Another cute dog alert

My GHD's failed on me last summer and I haven't yet since saved up for a new pair - but apparently Babyliss have a pair just as good.

Laura echoes my views on benefits.

Agreed: four agreements to live by

I don't have a proper desk, but if I did I'd want it to look like this.


18 April 2013

Things I Love Thursdays: not knowing something will work, but doing it anyway

Recently I signed up as an Arbonne Independent Consultant. It's been official for some time but I remained quiet whilst completing my training. However tomorrow night I am heading through to Dundee to make a bang with my launch. 

And by launch I mean six of my closest friends will be coming round to my other friends flat to listen to me and try out some products. But still my nerves are now kicking in. What if I spurt some incorrect information? What if the only attendee is the friend who's living room its in? What if no one likes the products? What if everyone roles their eyes? 

Oh chill, isn't this like Avon?

If you're not familar with Arbonne and its network marketing structure you might assume what I did when I was first approached that it is like being an Avon lady or an Ann Summers party planner (which I did almost become once). But it isn't. I could go round my neighbours with brochures if I wanted but the Arbonne opportunity is essentially having your own business. And like any business you have to work really hard at and put resources into it. And it could fail.

So you now understand my fear. I have put time and money into this. I am living in a way right now that most people refuse to (little money, little time) in hope that this opportunity allows me to eventually lead a life that most people can't. I believe in myself - and have demonstrated that plenty of times - but this is by far the scariest thing I've ever done and I'm feeling the fear. 

But I am choosing to swallow that fear.

This opportunity came to me after a soul-crushing week. At the risk of the wrong people reading this I am not going to put out there the details of why receiving the offer in my inbox just felt right, but I'll say I couldn't quite comprehend my thoughts at the time. I don't want to speak like some psychic voo-doo woman but back when I was 15 I was hitting myself for ignoring signs of 'fate' before it was too late. It may seem trivial because it involved a boy and I was a hormonal teenager but from that day onwards I promised myself if something feels like fate grab it with both fucking hands. And that's what I'm doing. 

If this doesn't work out, at worst I've lost the money I spent on business cards. If this does work out, at best I could be driving a Mercedes-Benz in a few years and have enough income to retire in my 20's.

I'm taking a deep breath and taking that chance...


17 April 2013

Soap & Glory Hand Food

Soap & Glory Hand Food pump and travel size

If you've been a reader for a while you will know that 1) Soap & Glory needs its own category on mo'adore and 2) hands and nails are an area of my beauty regime I spent an inappropriate amount of effort on. Put these together and you get Soap & Glory Hand Food.

Hand Food describes itself as a "non-greasy hydrating hand cream with shea butter, macademia oil & marshmallow". It doesn't say what the scent is supposed to be but it smells exactly like The Righteous Butter for comparison which admittedly it is a bit too fruity for my liking but scent is such a personal thing that I'll say it smells quite grapey and let everyone else decide for themselves. Either way the scent doesn't lingeer on the skin for too long.

As for moisturising it does the job just nicely! The claims of it being hydrating whilst at the same time 'non-greasy' are very accurate and aren't arrogant claims to make. I also only need a small pump of the stuff for both my hands and despite having received this for Christmas the lotion still comes up as far as the word 'hand'. I'm certain this will do me a long time.

Soap & Glory Hand Food is definitely a product I 100% recommend. If you aren't one of the girls I know who love this product then I strongly suggest you get your gorgeous mitts on it.


16 April 2013

Mini-Travel Guide: Double Tree by Hilton Dunblane Hydro

Over the weekend I made a small trip to Dunblane for a nights stay at the Double Tree by Hilton Dunblane Hydro as part of the #rediscoverhilton campaign. My good pal Gillian was one of the bloggers invited to the hotel and she kindly asks if I would be her plus one. How could I say no? 

I got the train along to Dunblane (which involved a stop off in Stirling) and played tourist while waiting for Gillian to make it across from Edinburgh. Dunblane felt really 'Scottish' - for a lack of better term - and had a really cosy small town feel. I am a city girl through and through but I did grow up in a village (albeit 3 miles away from a city) so do enjoy moments where I can breath non-polluted air.

After Gillian arrived we began our journey to the Hilton which we found easily after a 10 minute walk. But there was quite the hill to get up which made me really wish I could afford a car, but the views were so beautiful that we sort of didn't completely mind.

The interior was just as beautiful with a deep purple and dark wood decor running throughout the hotel. Our room was a Junior Suite (if I remember correctly) which had a separate living area as well as the bedroom and en-suite. The room also came with complimentary wine, bottled water and chocolates. And a mini-bar but that wasn't free (thankfully there was no Morgan's otherwise I would have struggled to refuse). I know I travel a lot but I've not stayed in many posh hotels (my parents usually favour self-catering when abroad) so this felt surreal and I remember saying to Gillian 'I don't feel posh enough to be here'.

The Events Manager had kindly put on a cocktails master class which we headed down to early evening along with some fellow bloggers and their partners. We were shown how to make some classic cocktails Hilton style! I love cocktails but I especially love them when the bar staff make them properly instead of just pouring the drinks into the glass - you can tell the difference when drinking it if they decided to shake or stir it. Some other bloggers even attempted to make some themselves but I just sat and enjoyed the cocktails coming my way.

We headed through for our dinner in The Kailyard Restaurant. The menu was fairly extensive but I had to request the 'dedicated vegetarian menu' (what?). The food I ordered was still absolutely devine however with a starter of pepper crusted goats cheese, a main of gnocchi and a dessert of olive oil and polenta cake, citrus salad and pistachio ice cream (apparently not a lot of people order the cake because olive oil puts them off - I can confirm it tastes nothing like olive oil and is absolutely delicious). We also ordered a cheeky bottle of pinot grigio which came in a standing ice bucket and the waiter even poured it for us. Glamour!

After dinner we headed through to the bar to have a catch up and some strawberry daiquiris with Ayden and Charlene. We were pretty knackered after our big meal however and headed up to bed but not until we cracked open the bottle of the red wine supplied with the room and managed to restrain ourselves from digging into the mini-bar.

The next morning it was time for breakfast. I love breakfast food and providing a full all-you-can-eat continental is one way to my heart. I had several croissants and was excited to spot sachets of Marmite beside the toast (it's the simple things, isn't it?). The hot breakfast was again not the most veggie friendly I've ever seen but they did have potato scones which is one of my fav breakfast foods ever and they were damn good potato scones so that kept me quiet.

By 12pm it was time to stubbornly hand over our keys. Me and Gillian didn't check train times and this being a Sunday and a village we had to wait ages for the next train whilst nothing but the Tesco was open. By this point I was ready to head back to city life.

I had a lovely time and I really needed a weekend away. Admittedly I won't be paying to stay at a Hilton on my paycheck anytime soon but if you can stretch to it I would highly recommend it. The room was amazing and comfortable, the staff were highly professional and well-trained, the food was delicious and the cocktails were right up my street. My only suggestion would be adding the veggie options to the main menu so I won't have to feel so awkward being a non-meat eater.

I took loads of photos but didn't want to make this post too image heavy but I've uploaded all of them to my Facebook page.

Also, I am a numpty who forgot to take photos of the whole bedroom/bathroom/living area/hotel hallway and instead opted for just the details. Gillian wasn't quite as silly and her post has loads of images on what the place looked like as a whole.


Gillian of was invited along to the hotel for free and was allowed to take a guest, also for free. The only parts of the stay we paid for were our evening cocktails.

14 April 2013

In This Week

Howdy bloggers! As you may know from my tweets and instagrams I spend last night in the Hilton in Dunblane. I had a lovely time but I'll be doing a proper write up in the next week. For the time being here is a picture of the river in Dunblane, an advertisement for a husband creche (!!!) and a picture of my face because that's what bloggers do. 

The rest of last week has been preparing for my Arbonne launch next Friday and will no doubt be keeping this next week exciting and nerve-wracking. 

Love yous!


12 April 2013

The Linkables

Summer is slowly getting here and I love Rosie's seasonal to-do list.

Dublin is one of my favourite cities so I can't wait to see Leanne's Best of Dublin series grow.

#Scottishbloggers we require a blogger bake sale!

I say hell yes to men taking more care of themselves!

Awesome house alert!

I certainly understand what Charlotte is saying about Facebook.

I'm not a big rap fan but I've always loved Nelly and Hey Porche has been my song of the week.

Marianas Trench - Stutter has been the other song of my week.

Looking for some quirky hotels?

And finally, the only real way to learn about blogging.


11 April 2013

Things I Love Thursday: Some forced bed rest

Do not let that little plaster full you. Beneath it lies a hefty cut that has had me resting instead of being my normal 100mph self. 

On Tuesday night I forgot to check that a hand blender was off before trying to dish out some stuck chickpeas. Needless to say that wasn't the best decision I've ever made and resulted in a loss of blood, a lot of pain and the biggest fear ever that I no longer had a full index finger. 

Thankfully I still have my finger though the lack of feeling in it did make me really scared to initially check. And then I had to lie down with some kitchen roll due to shock and blood leaving my system. Two and half hours later I was standing again. But I did spend most of Wednesday feeling weak. 

So I've been taking it easy. But chilling and staying still aren't my strongest points. I have been going to bed at 9pm each night but I have discovered these early nights make it easier to get up in the morning. I believe I must keep this up even once that pesky cut on my finger closes up.

This may have been not the worst thing for a lot of people but I can't give blood because my body doesn't cope well with the process. What is a drop for some people is like a gallon for me. How I've been feeling these past two days is similar to the way I felt when I first tried to donate blood (which ended in bandages and bed rest). 

So this week I am grateful that 1) I still have ten fingers and 2) I've gotten some rest because whilst I like to pretend I'm half-robot, I'm not.

Lots of love, and a reminder to not put your finger in a hand blender. 


8 April 2013

The Body Shop Aloe anti-perspirant deodrant

Finding a cruelty-free deodrant is difficult. I am never organised enough when it comes to ordering (and re-ordering) beauty products online which leaves me looking to the high street every time I run out. And the only cruelty-free brand on the high street who I know sell deodrant is The Body Shop

You might have spotted that I tend to give Body Shop products negative reviews and then there is the whole issue about how some consumers might feel about parent companies (and The Body Shop is owned by that lovely French company who we all know never tests *sarcasm*). But I needed a new deodrant and I was sick of buying stuff I knew was directly tested on an animals so grabbed the Aloe Anti-Perspirant Deodrant Plus, I am a long-term buyer of their deoderising foot spray so I thought I would take a gamble that this was one of the good products. 

First off, the Aloe deodrant smells of very little. I do admittedly have a weak sense of smell but I'm pretty certain that this really had no smell at all. I did sniff the other deodrant in store which was the White Musk deodorant but I have a distaste for musky smells so chose this one (there's was a male one too, which I surprisingly didn't pick...). So if you like your deodrant to smells of ziltch you may well like this. 

And as for sweating. My first day wearing this was when I was attending The Gaslight Anthem gig after a full day at work. And much to my surprise it held up. Okay, so I was only two rows back at a gig that had about 12 crowd surfers so I did still sweat a bit but it held up much better than I anticipated. 

As for day to day sweating it has held up nicely. My day generally consists of sitting in a office, then coming home to cook, blog, do some freelance type work and then watch whatever I fancy on TV so admittedly my body isn't being challenged much. If your day is a lot more active than mine then I can't make you any promises. I would also say it works much much much better on shaved underarms. I kept forgetting to buy a new razor/ bottle of shaving foam (ahem) and I did find myself getting paranoid about other people standing too close. But now that my underarms routine is back I have experienced no sweating or BO smells. 

I am not yet aware of any deodorants on the high street which are cruelty free and unless I do hear of any others then it is extremely likely that this will become a re-purchased product! Thumbs up Body Shop, thumbs up. 


7 April 2013

In This Week

I've been in big full work mode this week. Not just with my 9-5 job but also getting my second job started. I'm not completely saying whats-what until I go through all the training stuff but I essentially will have my own little franchise. My friend Laura, who I am doing this business with, came over on Saturday and I was left with a positive attitude and ended up making major strides on my marketing blog, and by strides I mean making time to write some new posts for it.

Then today I stayed in bed until 1pm and haven't done anything remotely productive. Except watch the TV that my flatmate bought.

Hope you've had a lovely week!


6 April 2013

Nails Inc Kensington Cavier Top & Base Coat

As you may know nails are one of my beauty obsessions: an area of my beauty regime I give that extra bit of effort. Up until recently Nails Inc weren't a brand I had any experience with but I was in need of a new base coat when I was shopping in Boots and had recently decided to give up on Salley Hensen after coming to a dead-end with researching their cruelty-free status. So to the Nail Inc counter I headed and picked up the Kensington Cavier Top & Base Coat for £18.  

I've never had much luck with top coats; usually not finding any real benefit to the ones I have used. But since Nail Inc had box sets that allowed me to purchase one alongside a base coat - which I completely recommend if you want to wear dark or bright nail polish - I decided to go ahead.

The Kensington Cavier base coat is your average base coat with nothing to report on. My nails are naturally strong so I've never been in the position where conditioning is a necessity and I can't comment on whether or not this would make a huge difference for anyone with weak nails. I have continued to use this since I bought it in order to stop my nails from getting stained.

The Kensington Cavier top coat however was a slight catch-22, as it has a really good reason to use it but also a really good reason to never use it. It claims to dry in 45 seconds which is a complete exaggeration. However it does dry much quicker than any other nail polish I've ever tried so I'm free to do something other than sit my hands flat on a table for half an hour. It dries to a very smooth with a perfect finish which looks so professional and is perfect for an event when you want to look 100% perfect. 

However my negative point about this top coat was its staying power. I've found that top coats can make nail polish more likely to peel rather than chip. The way this top coat would cause my nail polish to peel was ridiculous - I'd take a slight chipping over complete peeling any day! 

Casing point:

Just fell off my nail. Boo!

The base coat I am still using and will continue to use until it's through however afterwards I think I will go back to a cheaper brand as I see no benefit to this slightly more expensive one. The top coat I use for special occasions when I want a really professional finish but don't need it to last any longer than that one night.

Both are clear once applied to the nail btw!


5 April 2013

The Linkables

Some of my blogging BFF's have opened a collaborative YouTube channel Paperbacks and Beauty Facts.

One of the girls involved in Paperbacks and Beauty Facts has has also opened an Etsy shop. What a busy bee!

When will people realise what is on the internet isn't free? A fight against bullying over copyright.

I have oily skin so can offer little advice for foundations suitable for dry skin but Essie-button can.

Now, this is nail art!

Christina Aguilera was my first introduction to feminism and Charlotte appreciates this mad bitch as much as I do.

In case you haven't heard Iain Duncan Smith think he could live on £53 a week. Make him prove it.

I love day out blog posts and Kate's trip to Cirencester looks lovely (her lovely photography helps).

I used to kid myself that I was a camping person (hah!) but if you are a proper camping person then here are some beauty products to take with you.

As a traveller and eco-warrior I am glad to hear about the sustainable in-flight meals at Virgin Atlantic. Now if they would have cheaper prices...

Getting stuck with HTML? Get yo some cheat sheets!

Finally, my newest blog discovery: adulting! A blog about being an adult. But in a good way, not the 'by 25 you should have a mortgage' bull-crap.


4 April 2013

Things I love thursdays: light nights

Unless you're yet to be corrected on your lateness I'm guessing everyone has realised the clocks jumped forward last weekend. Yes, it meant one less hour in bed and the banking computers to yet again fail when you're trying to get money out to pay yourself into a club (cougghhhh) but hello lovely evenings!

I am a summer baby and even though the temperature still isn't quite 'summer' (even by British standards) I get to feel like it is, from inside my faux fur coat.

I'm not exactly lounging on my balcony but my living room has huge windows which go all the way up my living room wall (which you can half see in the picture) and allows the evening sunshine to fill my flat up with summertime. I was lounging on the sofa after work this week and even though I moved into my flat six months ago I was still amazed at my luck at finding this place.

I hope it's sunny at the weekend to I can fully enjoy the sunshine from inside my flat. A moment I'd like to freeze in time for sure.


1 April 2013

Month in Review: March 2013

Morag in British Sign Language

That's Spring now officially in! Today has been pretty sunny in Glasgow but it's still really chilly. I am a complete summer baby so cannot wait for the full on Scottish 'summer' to arrive, even if I am still waiting until June!

Anyway, we have self-improvement to discuss! In case you're new around these parts 'Month in Review' is when I sit down at the end of each month and see how well I kept to my resolutions. I've been doing this every year since my blog began and whilst I generally keep resolutions this feature tends to survive only until July. But I made my list pretty big this year so hopefully I'll always have loads to discuss!

This month I took big strides forward on my language goals. I'm charging through my French lessons at quite a face pace and find myself translating French business names and menus in European restaurants. I can now also finger-spell the entire alphabet in British Sign Language, as opposed to just my name, as well as picking up some new hand actions such as house and thirsty.

Bookwise I am now about a quarter of the way through the final book I already owned prior to the start of the year, allowing myself to start on my 'to read this year' list after I turn the final page. I have already purchased The Perks of Being a Wallflower and the first Vampire Diaries book, with the first being the one I'm likely to start reading first.

I've been pretty poor recently (apparently a graduate income and a council tax bill delayed by six months doesn't go well together, who knew?) so this has effected my ability to do a lot of my resolutions, whereas my new second job I have just landed will no doubt bring in money but leave less time for resolution keeping. We'll see how this all pans out...

It wasn't on my original goal list in January but this month I have found myself watching a lot of the TV shows I said I wanted to watch a long time ago, but never did. Right now I am re-working my way through Buffy and Sex & The City, both shows I have always been a fan of but have never managed to catch every single episode ever. Thus, you can't really say you're a big fan if you haven't seen every episode. I know how both of them end up but glad to be finding out exactly how it happens (I had never seen the episode when Angel becomes Angelus until last night - I'll never whine about my own boy problems again!). 

Lots of love & loads of happiness for April!