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

29 July 2013

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

28 July 2013

In This Week


free pr goodie // free wine voucher // street food event at Sloans // pasta dish // nutters on the Tradestone bridge // final of the women's football

Currently I'm sitting on my living room chilling with my blog (as if it's a person...) and some Jurassic Park (erm, yes) after a relatively busy week involving food, friends, cocktails and the women's European league. 

You might have spotted on Twitter and Instagram but the women's European football has been taking up a lot of my attention this week. I'm not aware of any bloggy friends sharing my interest but I was kind of hoping for a win that wasn't Germany, only for someonea bit different; I haven't got anything against Germany. Truthfully I was hoping it would go to Denmark to carry on a streak after winning Eurovision ;)

On Thursday night I headed out with three of my favourites Hayley, Louise and Charlotte to the Sloan's Street Food market. We were brought along as Charlotte's guests as two little veggies such as me Louise were a bit awkward haha. We were left to pick at the chips for the first round but got our paws on the macaroni cheese with came with onion rings, salsa and some chips layered underneath. And that so made up for watching people much on chicken! 

And of course well all know that Saturday night was a time for the Scottish bloggers to meet up for some cocktails and a little chat. It's hard to remember who all you've met before and I ended up thinking I had met Laura before but turned out we hadn't. Never the less we still had a good wee chat about Home and Away, the Hive and awkward PR stories. 

Hope you all had a good week!

Morag

27 July 2013

The anti-diet: thirst-quenching and hydration



I know, I know. We are constantly told by beauty magazines, our parents and the doctor that we need to drink plenty of water. And today, I am going to add myself to that list.

Out of everything I have ever done for my health, drinking more water was one of the best decisions I have ever made (it's up there with stop going to effing McDonald's).

The health benefits to drinking water are always endless but for me I have personally found that my hair got glossier, I felt a hell of a lot less bloated and it could help keep hunger away.

And on that note about using water as a way to keep hunger away: water is not a substitute for food. What water can do is help you know when you are actually hungry, and when you're actually just dehydrated. Back when I was a waitress and I couldn't just scoff my face when there were customers to attend to, I would drink water whenever hunger was setting in but my break was far off, which definitely would relax my stomach but I'd still hit the food when my time came.

Allowing water drinking to become part of  our routines can be difficult. I work an office job now which means having a continual supply isn't difficult. However before I even leave my house I commit to drinking two glasses before I head out on my journey to work (I walk so I need a good amount of water for the exercise I'm doing) but this is a tip non-desk workers can use too.

Drinking water was very important during this past month when Southern Europe appeared to lend us Brits their sun. Even though I drink plenty of water I still found myself showing signs of dehydration in the past few weeks: feeling really thirsty and finding my really easily agitated. So remember when the heat goes up you need to down more water.

However, you can drink too much water and for each individual the ideal amount can be very different (even NHS GPs dispute the 8 glasses a day recommendation). The confusing thing is that a lot of the symptoms of over hydration is the same as dehydration such as dizziness, irritability, headaches and confusion. However (and I'm not a trained nutritionist so you take this at your own risk) my research has shown that your pee should always have some colour - if it does not then you are actually drinking too much.

I'm not a particularly science-y person (which is the reason I never chose to study nutrition despite my strong interest) but my research as shown that water intoxication is linked to a lower sodium concentration (which is salt, which your body does need).

I know this is all advice you have heard before and you might have rolled your eyes, but it is important advice. Drinking a healthy amount of water each day is essential to your health and I personally have seen great benefits to having a good amount of water in my system.

Morag

26 July 2013

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


Morag

23 July 2013

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

Morag

21 July 2013

In This Week


Coconut curry // mushroom and pepper soup // wine at work // river Clyde // really soft fudge // summer playlist

How are we all after our days of Spanish-like weather? You might have spotted me moaning on Twitter earlier that I had been invited to the beach today but didn't see the message until 3pm. Instead I had an afternoon wonder through Merchant City and spied up loads of cafes and restaurants that are now so on my to-go list. Then I went to Tesco, which was obviously a barrel of laughs. 

Though saying that the weather has been a tad too hot for me. Yesterday I was tempted to use initiation and call some people I know to go sit in Glasgow Green. But after being out on my balcony for all of five minutes I decided the heat was too much so retreated to the shade. Which was great because Mamma Mia was on. Old lady at 22, oh well. 

How was your week?

Morag

20 July 2013

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]

19 July 2013

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



 Morag

17 July 2013

Career Advice: get some interview swag



I mentioned two weeks ago that for a graduate in this job market I haven't done too shabby, and with a 2:2 in the wrong degree this is something of a feat. 

You could put it down to luck but personally I put my success down to effort, hard-work and a good dose of interview swag. 

Yes, swag

Because even with a first class in the career you want to pursue knowing how not to piss off a potential employer goes a long freaking way. 

I only had to do three graduate interviews before I convinced someone I was worthy of a monthly paycheck, and I've learnt a wee bit about charming someone. 

Fight or flight
First of all, I'm actually not an overly cocky person and I'll usually run from confrontation. I'll only be the bitch if stuck in the opportunity when I absolutely have to be. And in an interview my fight system kicks in (similar to have exam) because I have no other choice. Get in that mental state. 

Look the interviewer up
With the rise of LinkedIn and 'humanising' your company it is now much easier to look up the person who will be interviewing you and prepare accordingly. Boring old stuffy person or someone quite young for that position? What degree do they have? How do they appear to dress?

Dress the part
Obviously. But this doesn't necessarily mean you should dress in a stuffy business suit. During your research of the company you should work out if its corporate (shirt, and smart skirt) or creative (smart but maybe wear a green pencil skirt). Also guys: a tie is a bit much if it's not a corporate joint. 

Look over your CV and practise expanding every point
In every interview I've had, the employer took a point on my CV and said "tell me more about this". Practise your answer for every single point you have. "Tell me more about your degree". "Tell me more about your honours project". "Tell me about this society your started". "Tell me about your blog". etc. And answer it in less than two minutes. 

If you are argued, stand your ground
The fact my degree wasn't marketing was bound to come up in a marketing interview. I could have flustered and looked at my feet but I stood my ground and said "marketing is continuously evolving and marketing courses go out of date quickly. Digital marketing practises and social media are not yet taught in traditional academic courses, and if a someone with a marketing degree knows about SEO, PPC, blogging etc then they have learnt it in their own time". To that affect anyway, with maybe some more mmhhss or ahhs. (When I was offered the role the employer said, I quote, "you were one of the less experienced but we seen a young confident woman with potential")

Look at their website (especially if it's a marketing role)
In every interview I was asked questions that were designed to tell if I had studied their website. These questions were not "Have you been on our website?" but more "what did you think of our staff photos" or more dauntingly "what would you do differently?" Would have been a bit embarrassing if I hadn't had a look. 

When you don't know how to do something...
You'll be asked whether you know how to do certain tasks associated with the job. It has been said never ever lie, and I agree but I have lied and never got found out. In each situation in which I lied it was a skill I believed I could still pick up quickly (such as Photoshop, as I already knew how to work PSP and Picmonkey). Your call. 

Listen to go-get-em songs on the way
On my trips to Glasgow from Aberdeen (remember I used to live there...hah) to visit for interviews I listened to Lady Gaga and Bon Jovi the whole way down. 'Cause it gets me in a fist pumpy mood. 

Act as though you'll be a long term employee
At heart employers know their employees might hand in their notice in at any given moment, but they like to employ people who probably won't. I know recruiters who look for signs that someone won't be committed and may take off less than a year later. Keep your business plan or desire for a PhD to yourself. 

Accept tea or coffee
Admitting you don't drink tea or coffee can raise eyebrows in a corporate environment, so if you're a freak like me who dislikes both just suck it up and swallow it down.

Watch your body language
My natural state of posture is to cross my arms but in an interview I correct that and don't put forward any perceived "psychological barriers". I also maintain eye contact without being creepy (I hope) but could probably work on not being so expressive with the hands. Talk to your camcorder and see what subconscious body movements you make.

Be yourself
Working in an office where you don't fit in or don't get along with anyone is balls. The best way to avoid this scenario is to be yourself in the interview.

And remember...
The only way you'll ever see this person again is if you get the job. So don't be afraid to put yourself out of your comfort zone. If you do admit you would re-design the whole website they might get offended and not hire you, but when you never see them again who cares? Or they might just see an 'ambitious young woman with potential' and decide you're the one.


Morag

14 July 2013

In This Week


Oh man, as much as I love summer the heat this week has been ridiculous! Make-up sliding off and sweating so much a morning shower might as well have been skipped. Saying that I am enjoying that I don't need to wear a jacket (but the new freckles on my arms are kinda annoying). 

This week I've been up to Dumbarton for a meet up with Arbonne ladies then also headed through to Dundee for Alan's birthday. The beady eyed long-term readers may recognise my clothing choice for the night was my pink graduation dress from last year (I certainly did a get a few 'omg the graduation dress' from my mateys). And if you follow me on Instgram you might have gotten the impression it was a bit of a messy night - I wasn't as drunk as my photos made me out to be, I think it was just being out for the first time in what felt like forever which caused to me get so many weird photos on the walk to the club.

The next morning I did something that I had never properly done in the four years I lived in Dundee and that was walk along the water front in the west direction. I had been along the east bit for varsity, the airport and the big Tesco but for some reason never heading west. There are some stunning appartments there with some stunning views (if you happen to be flat hunting in Dundee). 

And for any of my Glasgow readers, you may have spotted the stall in Buchanan Galleries that sells oils, vinegars and alcohols of weird flavours. I always have a nosey at it and made my first purchase as a birthday present this week. I bought the fig vodka (which sounded like the most masculine for my pal) and was given a small shot of it. I was impressed and even though the cost does add up, the fact you can buy it in 100ml measures means you aren't forced to buy a full bottle. And the hand written notes on the bottle made it more personal. (This is a big hint for my birthday in November)

And those holiday brochures? They're actually my flatmate's as I am too poor and just needed an even amount of Instagram photos (I'm cool).

Lots of pole dancing love ;)

Morag

13 July 2013

The Anti-Diet: listening to your own booty



And by booty, I mean the entire body. But I needed an eye-catching title. 

And by listening, I'm being slightly metaphorical as we are not actually discussion listening in it's literal sense. More understanding, watching, observing, and being with ones-self (I'm going to get cheesy again).

Now on to the actual post.

This is only the second post in my anti-diet series but by god this topic has not been plucked out the air accidentally. I have chosen it second purposefully, and it is because I want to get it out there that what has worked for me may not work for you, as we are all different.

(This is also where I insert a disclaimer that this post/series is for entertainment and personal purposes only and that I am not a professional nutritionist, dietician, doctor, fitness instructor or anything else relating to the health industry and my advice should not be taken in place of a professional nutritionist, dietitian, doctor, fitness instructor or anything else relating to the health industry. So please don't sue me if you don't witness any results)

I am very passionate that everyone in this world is different, and this remains true for health as well. I am not a fan of the BMI or recommended daily allowance and believe they should have be taken with a pinch of salt. They amount to the 'average' person so if you step outside of average (which will be most of us) then you're going to have to sit down one-to-one with a professional or learn to listen to your own body to understand what really works for you.

Personally I know that I build up leg muscle easily, but have to work really hard to build up anything in my arms. I know that my dress size doesn't change much with exercise, only how toned I am. Back when I was seventeen and hillwalking was my main fitness activity I weighed 11 stone but was no bigger than I am today. When picking up my regular contraceptive pill the nurse used to always remark on how low my blood pressure was but I've only fainted twice in my entire life (once was when I was ill and other was when I got scared on a ghost tour circa age 11). I also have a self-diagnosed soya intolerance and I usually show the signs of 'too much water' long before I get anywhere close to the daily recommendation. We're all different.

But I'm not going to preach about this and instead will include some practical advice on listening to your own booty. 

Certain foods can make you feel bloated
If you're feeling bloated or poo-ing a lot (btw, poo might feature a lot today) then it might be an intolerance. If you seem to be showing the warnings signs start by cutting out the main culprits (milk, soya, gluten, wheat) or you can find out the way I did, by eating a lot of it in one sitting (which was an accident, I wouldn't recommend doing this on purpose).

Cutting out a food is not also as hard as you might think, if I can find soya free vegan cheese you can find anything.

Is you pee yellow or clear?
Ideally it should be a healthy medium. If you're peeing yellow smelly stuff you probably aren't drinking enough water but if it is clear (as in, you are actually just pissing water) then you have probably drank too much. 

What dress sizes you can be (and which you cannot ever be)
When I was eating unhealthily and not exercising I was a size twelve. When I began to eat healthily I dropped to a size 10. When I introduced excersize I became a more toned size 10. It doesn't look as though I could be any other size no matter how hard I tried. Don't obsess over this stuff and don't listen to the media - you know what is healthy for you!

Learn what vitamins do (and if you might lack them)
I have a big bumper post planned on vitamins but I'll let you know that I take omega 3 supplements because concentration has never been my strong point (up until I took them). I also let you know that I took vitamin C fizzes a few years back and they gave me diarrhoea. Watch yourself.

Glowing skin, healthy hair and strong nails
My penultimate beauty tip: it is more important what goes in your body that what goes on it. If you look extra dull without foundation maybe you do need to look at you diet, or if your nails break maybe you need to watch you nutrient intake.

Put down the fucking scales
Fun fact: I don't know how much I weigh and I do not care. When exercising to lose weight you'll burn the fat but you'll also build up muscle. And kids, muscle ways more than fat which can trick the scales into saying you're fat, when in fact you're developing the body of a strong woman (or man, hello male readers!). Ignore that dial in the bathroom.

I also don't know my BMI
Because muscle ways more than fat and I know 'underweight' people who scoff their faces.

Always sick/feeling faint/always cold
Could be you need more vitamins. Or could be a warning sign you need to see a doctor. 

Morag

12 July 2013

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!

Morag

7 July 2013

In This Week


How is everyone this really sunny Sunday? I assume you've all been watching the tennis? I haven't as I've been at a big Scottish meeting of Arbonne Consultants (which is where I got those cakes) where I heard talks from all the fancy Mercedez owning consultants. And now I'm back at mine testing out some of the nutrition. 

Thursday night I was invited to a Kopparberg event in Glasgow which was part of their #happenings campaign to promote the less well known flavours of their cider. Admittedly the event was mostly me and my girl Louise drinking free cider at a bar in the back of a branded Kopparberg van whilst the prize winner and their friends drank in the VIP bench. But there are few ways quicker to my heart than some free booze, one PR lady really did their research on me ;)

I also made a new Arbonne purchase and within it I found 'the one' foundation which is their shade 'fair'. And also a new stash of omega 3 supplements and the translucent setting powder which I am loving.

And now it's time for lbloggers. 

Lots of Kopparberg love, 

Morag

6 July 2013

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.

5 July 2013

The Linkables



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.


Morag

4 July 2013

Things I Love Thursdays: proving them wrong...


If you think this will be an immature teenage rant, then I promise it won't be. Much

I'm going to try and make this self-righteous epiphany as mature as I can. 

As you may be aware I graduated from university almost one year ago (in a pink neon dress). With a degree that was different from the career I wanted to pursue and was also graded at a 2:2 (for none Scottish people this means I my grades were primarily C's).

The reason for this low grade was truthfully because I flat-up didn't really care. But the surface reason was because in my final year I spent more time blogging, running a cupcake society, helping to run the business society's marketing, volunteering with Rotaract Dundee, learning dance routines for my final uni show and working part time in social media (with a few more freelance projects on the side).

And yes, my low grade can be completely and utterly blamed on not actually doing what I was 'meant' to be doing. But if you spotted the inverted commas and the statement about wanting a career that was different from my degree you might have realised there was some logic to this madness. 

Because there was. And it was because in my third year I finally worked out that I wanted to work in digital marketing but didn't really fancy adding any more years to my education to get the paper that confirmed I had a good theoretical knowledge of marketing. So I started collecting work experience in marketing - wherever I could find it. 

And despite having researched this calculated risk there were still the naysayers. Those who said you are nothing without at least a 2:1 (I kept my 2:2 off my CV and no one ever asked for my grade) or that your degree absolutely 100% no questions asked had to match your future career choice (I worked in a career centre so knew how transferable degrees can be). Whilst in a lot of cases a 2:1 is requested or a degree in that particular area is essential (I would be nervous if my dentist said their degree was actually graphic design!) in many many cases degrees don't count for everything, and I now act as living proof of that. 

One year on I am still one of the few graduates from the business school who have 'professional' jobs and have held it since October. In hindsight a few extra years of education wouldn't have killed me and I don't necessarily recommend ditching a degree for work experience but nothing really does beat the satisfaction of saying 'well I showed you'.

 Morag

3 July 2013

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

1 July 2013

Month In Review: June


My current book and the leaves of my Peace Lily plant

Oh, resolutions, I am so so sorry I forgot about you. Well, actually I didn't forget, I was hit by a large council tax bill that I am still in the process of paying off. And then I decided to start my own business which resulted in not as much time for reading books and drawing out tattoo designs. So, I'm kind of sorry but in the situation I reckon my excuses fly okay (at least it isn't due to laziness). 

But since 2013 is now at it's half year mark I thought I should provide a small update. 

Update: I can fingerspell the alphabet with not much thought but still can't 'read' it quickly when other people do it. My French adjectives have increased, but I still wouldn't hold up a conversation. I'm halfway through my final book before I can start on my 2013 reading list. I've missed the season for sowing plant food but I have bought compost, a small garden fork and the seeds and now only need plant pots (and a gardening book) in preparation for next year. I do however now have three house plants in my care with more on my to-buy list for practice purposes. I haven't pierced anything else but I am itching for my next one (but need to get myself into a better financial situations before I put needles in anything else). I'm yet to fund a tattoo but the courage is there (just not the money). And I'm still sending out the odd blog post on my 'professional' domain. 

So there!

Lots of medium success with my resolutions love. 

Morag