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Top five scary films


FUN FACT: I don't scare easily. Obviously I do get scared now and then, but my tolerance seems to be higher than most peoples. I hate spiders, snakes and talking on the phone. But outside of that it takes a lot to get beejebies thrown out of me.

But I'll let you into a secret, some films have managed to scare me witless. I like to pretend it was because I was 15 and watched them at midnight instead of recording them to watch during the afternoon. But if like me, you have a high tolerance and need something with some more hide-behind-the-cushion moments then these films might be for you.

Silence of the Lambs

This may need no introduction, but it is creeptastic. Well acted, well edited and just creepy as fuck. I watched this when I was about 15 when it came on at 11pm, alone. I didn't sleep that night and had insomnia for about a week. This was the film that won Anthony Hopkins an Oscar despite having been on screen for less than 20 minutes, because Hannibal Lector really is that creepy and  keeps you up at night. 

The Exorcist

Again, a film we've all seen, or at least heard the soundtrack. I watched this when I was 15 during the day because I found it in my dad's collection. Was content watching it (may have even laughed at that crucifix scene) but afterwards I was creeping round my parents' house, and then didn't watch another horror film until five weeks later (it was Scream, which was more funny than scary). 
 
I watched the Exorcist again for the second time another year later. 

1408 

You wouldn't think this was scary given that it is rated 15 and the entire movie is John Cusak sitting in a room (occasionally the ventilation system) with the odd appearance from Samuel.L.Jackson. But there was no escape route that Cusack (well, his character) didn't try, so I pretty much I knew I'd die too in that posh hotel suite.

Seven

I watched this as part of the Abertay Psychology Society's movie night whilst at university (alongside the slightly cheerier Little Miss Sunshine) and you might have guessed they picked it because it was of a psychological nature. This film is Class A Fucked Up With Capital Letters. A serial killer you can find no understanding with (Kevin Spacey) and two cops (Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman) who still have their own dark little minds.

The Amityville Horror re-make

I know this got slated, but it had many jump moments and times when you really worried about the family (and their dog). I don't believe the real story and it was a bit predictable but I was scared watching it by myself in student halls.

What scary movies have managed to scare you witless? Or is your tolerance really high? 


Morag
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Playlist: The Break-Up




If anyone is interested, October marks my three year singleversary. I don't sit about with a glass of champagne toasting the occasion and it usually passes by without me even noticing, but it definitely is humbling to look back at how far I've come. I've dated since then and managed to find a lucky escape before anyone called it official but all this breaking up experiences have certainly made me a master of getting the fuck over someone.

And for me music has been a big part of that. In my playlist I have included some of my favourite break-up songs ranging from 'sob sob so glad I'm not the only one - this totally sums up how I'm feeling' through to fiesty 'fist pump fist pump let's go get drunk and forget their name' type melodies. 

Just a Dream - Nelly
I'm Not Missing You - Staci Orrico
Life Goes On - Leanne Rimes
Best Thing I Never Had - Beyonce
If I Ever Feel Better - Pheonix
Higher - The Saturdays
Could It Be any Harder - The Calling
Shoulda Woulda Coulda - Beverly Knight
Breakaway - Kelly Clarkson
Ready Aim Misfire - New Years Day
Out of Reach - Gabrielle
Lemonade - Wheatus
The Lover After Me - Savage Garden
Breakeven - The Script
Losing You - Busted

You can listen to the full playlist on Spotify following this link.

Lots of love if you actually do need this playlist right not, or lots of love generally hah!

 Morag
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Dundee Delights: the health store





Its refrigeration section, for some reason I took a photo of this....

Glasgow may have been named the UK's most vegetarian-friendly city in the UK, but I personally scratch my head at that one. One shop in Dundee I always make an effort to swing in by whilst I'm through is The Health Store aka plant-base dieters personal Havana.

I actually never spotted this place until my final few months in the city, despite it's size and being located on one of the main streets. I mean, I think I registered something was there but it didn't look like much and when I did begin my veggie/vegan journey I kept complaining that I would have order food online (I also used to live on the same street...you can see how uninspiring it look from the outside).

But alas, I stepped in and it was God's gift to veggies. I found non-dairy milks which weren't soya, I found soya ice-cream, I found egg replacer, I found bars of vegan chocolate, I found ranges of fake meats which weren't the non-vegan Quorn brand.

Basically its's awesome. I haven't found anywhere in Glasgow as good (am I missing somewhere?) or in Aberdeen (when I am up it's the small health store off the side of Tesco Extra in Bridge of Don I frequent) and if you are ever in Dundee for some random odd reason (it's not really the sort of place people day trip to...hah) and you're into this kind of thing, then I'd completely recommend a visit.


Morag
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The Linkables



Top Ten Community Arts Projects

I'm getting more and more tempted to add Minneapolis to my wonderlust list

How do you find the people that are right for you? Hint: it’s all about energy.

I love the sound of the plans for the DNA Glasgow.

Butternut Squash and hazelnut lasagna.

It's only a few days away: Halloween dessert ideas.

It's also only 16 days until I turn 23, and apparently it's not as crap as it appears.

I stayed up past midnight this week researching Christmas dinner ideas: this is one thing I found.

As someone who has moved a lot I appreciated this post.

Amy wrote an amazing post on living with both a physical disability and a mental illness.

Police quiz immigrant family on parentage of ‘confused ginger man’ HAHA - probably shouldn't read if you're a royalist ;) 


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Things I Love Thursday: the most perfect flat





Monday marked the one year anniversary of the day I received the keys to my Glaswegian abode. My duplex flat, with the balcony, the breakfast bar, open plan living room, en-suite and well-maintained building (let's ignore the noisy drum n base loving neighbors upstairs for this post).

Admittedly I have become very accustomed to living here, and I maybe don't have the same awe I had on the day I walked in. But I can still remember the moment the landlord contacted me on Gumtree and frantically phoning my parents in Australia over finances and then trying to work out how to get in the main door on the day of the flat viewing (certainly not going to get burgled here). It's only when someone new visits and I innocently ask if they'd like a tour that I remember how fucking swanky my pad is and get a bit of swag on.

I remember when I was roughly 15 I became obsessed with the various modern flats in Aberdeen with balconies (there were some near Cadonas that I had even looked up prices for, yup!) and became convinced that if I worked hard enough, I too would be able to live there. Obviously we all know that I now live about 4 hours south-west of Aberdeen, but when my mum visited for the first time she replied "well, you did always say you wanted to live somewhere with a balcony". Maybe your average fifteen year old isn't fanatical about real estate, but it was a moment I could talk to back to my former teenager self and say "you did it kiddo".

I might have had to live in a B&B for the first two weeks of my job, but it was well worth the wait. I love the hallway which is bigger that some people's bathrooms. I love that one wall of my living room is completely window. I love that I have an en-suite. I love that the bedrooms have frosted windows that open up so we can look down into the living room. I love that I don't have to sit up in my bed to look out of my bedroom window. I love that I am one river away from the city centre of Glasgow. I love the second entrance upstairs which people always think is a cupboard. I've even grown to love the creepy nursery downstairs which contains far too many horror movie cliches.

I also love that I don't want to kill the person I live with, because that can drive people out of the most beautiful of flats.

And I get it at a steal of a price (no money laundering here!).


Morag
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Recently Read




The Purity Myth - Jessica Valenti
Some of my 'geek'/non-mainstream interests are feminism, sociology as a whole, sexual health and American culture, thus this was a book I had been meaning to read forever. However, I was a bit disappointed. I agree with everything that was written but it didn't bring-up anything I didn't already know. I certainly have a few more examples of sexism when it comes to 'virginity', but for a book that was only written three years ago I expected something a bit more groundbreaking. Maybe good if you're just getting started with feminism, but if you've been identifying with the label for a good while then I would say find something that takes social constructs apart some more.

Who Moved My Cheese? - Dr Spencer Johnson
This is one of the best selling business and self-development books of all time, but I had to admit I was very cynical given that it was a story about mice and cheese. Written to help people deal with their attitude to change; it tells the story of two mice and two humans who need to look for more cheese, and how they deal with it. Change isn't something I've ever struggled with but I still - in the end - did find this quite eye-opening. Because the author applies humans' general attitude/excuses/fear mongering of change to freaking cheese, it put change into perspective, in a somewhat humorous way. I really do think this is worth a read.


The Vampire Diaries (Volume 1 and 2) - L.J.Smith
I am an absolute fan-girl of the television series, and like most TV programmes and films that were once books I did it in the reverse order. From my regular reading of The Vampire Diaries Wiki (erm, yes?) I did realise the books were different and a fair bit had been changed, which you always have to expect. However I was very surprised by just how much had been changed to for a television screen. These two volumes came as one book so explains why I've read them both with an unfavourable opinion, but I reckon I'll just keep to the television series in the future. 

Morag
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University: money matters




When I started speaking to some my younger blogging counterparts about what aspect of university they would want me to cover, money was the one that came up the most.

And yes, it is a big concern. I was originally planning to study at one of the two Aberdeen uni's because university was expensive as it was without moving away, but my mum was like NO NO NO sweetie go to which one you like (as long as it is in Scotland).

I did move away, and I survived. But, honestly, the advice I was given by SAAS and my guidance teacher or whoever else came to speak to us during sixth year of school, was absolutely pish, and didn't match up the reality that I had whilst moving away or the reality of other students.

So on we go with my experience of money whilst I was a student (and as a disclaimer this is my experience, things may have changed since I graduated in 2012 and unlike teachers I appreciate it is a different age group now going through university).

SAAS
The obvious one. Apply for it in good time (and I mean as soon as you can because it's an understaffed public body) and apply for everything you are entitled to. Because I'm honest and transparent I'm going to lay it down on the internet that in first year I got £300+ a month, in second year I got just over £200, third year I got £91 and then fourth year I got £200+ but that got changed to £45 a month (I'll explain in a bit).

Reasons for these changes:
1. First year get more anyway, so it was reduced in secondyear
2. My mum moved into nursing management and got a sneaky pay rise, so I got less SAAS in third /fourth year
3. I missed out one digit of my dad's income when applying for fourth year and SAAS noticed before I did, so they cut it.

Moral of the story: do you SAAS quickly, and double check it before you hand it in. I know someone who had trouble getting her tuition fees paid because she accidently put it in as a masters.

Parental contribution
When applying for SAAS there was some kind of leaflet with suggested parental contribution amounts, but in truth in order to get through university most parents will need to be prepared to pay up more. If you get the full loan/bursary amount then fantastic but this is only really available to students who come from really disadvantaged backgrounds. Not to scare anyone but from my experience students (and their parents) who struggled the most were ones who came from middle-of-the-road families where they wouldn't get much SAAS but at the same time their parents income wasn't comfortable enough to give them £200 a month (and they might have had siblings).

My parents were very generous whilst I was at university and if I had to rely on SAAS alone (plus a part-time job) I would have had to drop out and go to an Aberdonian university. I know some people who had parents who were extremely detached from reality and didn't understand how much it costs to be a student. Have a proper talk to your parents and see how much they can contribute.

During the summer
I was told "work full-time during the summer" but this came from a generation who were studying during better economic circumstances. I had a job throughout the summer as a waitress and despite my mum's insistence that I should work more shifts it wasn't possible as I was part of the leisure industry which took one of the biggest hits in the downturn. But having that job and saving the money from it helped, and I would encourage you to try and do the same. If you are struggling to find a job during the summer before you go, then you will be entitled to Job Seekers but you won't be any other summer as you'll technically be a student.

Part-time work
This is by far the tip that is thrown around the most. It is difficult to find part-time work but at 18 you'll be cheaper to employ for a lot of people (even more if you're 17). I am in no way saying this right (it isn't) but it is a fact, and it can work in your favour. There is the question about balancing studies and I know some parents will pay for their kids to "concentrate on their studies" but we all know how big I am on work experience. These days (for a lot of degrees) you can't just have a degree so getting a part-time job also pays back for the future. There are many employers who would rather give the graduate with a second class honours who already has a previous employer/work experience a job, then someone who has a first class honours but never worked a day in their life.

In short: get a part-time job, but keep looking until you find something flexible (if your university employs students then try there - I got paid to be a freshers week helper and it was the easiest money I ever made).

Finding somewhere to live
Student halls are the cheaper option. Bills are included and you only have to stay in them for term time and not try to find the money for rent during the summer (when you you don't get SAAS). However at Abertay there were more students than halls so in third year we weren't allowed them unless we were foreign students and therefore forced to go private. Dundee still has a selection of private halls w- which are more expensive than uni halls but you don't have to stay there during the summer - but as I was pushing twenty I didn't really fancy halls anymore.

Sharing a flat with some people is cheaper at face value. I won't go into my own story of getting fucked over by flatmates, but if you live by yourself you won't have to pick up a high heating bill for a flatmate who won't wear a jumper, you won't lose a deposit because of something someone else did, and you won't be left paying extra rent if someone moves out or if someone decides they don't want to move in after everyone else has paid deposits (my story) or you go through a break-up with someone you live with (also my story).

Also: private landlords are better than letting agents. I could write a big post on flat hunting, but we'll leave it at this for now.

Bottom line
I remember dreading the financial part of university and was convinced I'd have to eat toast all day. But instead I was financially very comfortable as a student. As with all ages, some people will be poor and some people will be rich. I have known students who have dropped out due to financial reasons and other students who lived rather lavish lifestyles. My student days were probably the richest of my life - I had an income that wasn't just from my parents (SAAS) and didn't have to pay council tax (as I have to now). I have to budget much more now as a graduate not living with their parents than I had to as a student, which surprised me but might put things into perspective for current students.

There is maybe is a lot more I could talk about as money can be a big issue. But if you are starting university or thinking of going in the future, feel free to drop me a line and ask for one on one advice or ask about my real experience of being a 'skint' student.

Morag
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Wagamama autumn/winter menu


Two weeks ago I was kindly invited along to the Wagamamas* to sample their new dishes coming out for autumn and winter.

I headed along to the Glasgow branch with Hayley and her Gran, which was nice as me and my wee Hayley met in real life for the first time in that Wagamamas almost a year ago.

New on their drinks menu is root juice and iki beer. I am a big fan of throwing almost anything in a blender so whilst a beetroot, carrot and orange juice smoothie might not be everyone's cup of tea juice I drank mine down. I'm truthfully not much of a beer drinker (unless it's a Millers, in which case pass me a bottle) so the new beer wasn't really up my street but drinkers around the table who were accustomed to beer were nodding their heads.

There was also wine on the table, which the waitresses kept topping up...


Obviously these three dishes were not to my taste, but I took some photos anyway. I did cheekily take a teaspoon of the sauce to try and as far as the sauces go the one surrounding the mahi mahi curry gets the thumbs up. There was also a side dish of pulled pork gyoza which I didn't get a picture of but it was definitely the dish sending the meat-lovers into a frenzy.

Whilst the meat-eaters were devouring the chicken et al, Wagamamas offered to get me something off the normal menu (on the house) to pass the time. I opted for the yasai chilli men which was delicious, albeit very spicey. Full of tofu, courgettes, red onions, peppers, magetout and some very flavourful mushrooms (my exact response to putting it in my mouth was "now that was no Tesco value mushroom") along side white rice, sesame seeds and lime.

And then we had the new veggie dish. Probably not up your street if you don't like mushrooms (thankfully I love them!) as it contained seven types of mushroom (I didn't know there were more than three...) alongside aspagarus and silken tofu with a sauce of chilli garlic, sesame and soy sauce.


New on the side dish front was wok-fried greens. The marinade was garlic and soy sauce which are two of my fav things ever so this was well and truly up my street. Apparently quite a lot of the population have a vendetta against broccoli, personally I love it and in this sauce everyone should!



And despite all that food I obviously still had room for dessert (because there is always room for dessert). This may look like just a blob of ice-cream and some pancakes but these pancakes have a date and orange sauce within the fold which make them a level above your average pancake! And the ice-cream is cinnamon, which adds some jolly festive cheer.

The new food for the Chritmas menu will be available nationwide from the 22nd of October (so tomorrow) and all my photos of the event can be found on the mo'adore Facebook page


Morag

* All the food shown here - including the dish from their regular menu - was paid for by Wagamamas, however I haven't been paid to write this feature.
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In This Week




Passage from The Purity Myth // Cocktails at NYC Bar // New flowers for the flat // getting fat

I can really feel winter kicking in now - very much jacket whether and I'm really needing a new pair of boots. I've spent quite a bit of this week cursing at my wisdom teeth deciding to make an appearance - the bottom and top wisdom teeth on my right just had to break through at the same time. I've had them checked and they're all straight and should be enough room so I just need to see it through - and make sure I keep the area clean.

It was my friend's birthday on Wednesday. He actually lives in Glasgow but had his main weekend party in Dundee but I couldn't make it through so those of us in G-town had some cocktails at the NYC Bar on Hope Street. 

And I went flat shopping (how grown up of me) because the place is still so bare despite moving in a year ago tomorrow. Plus me and the flatty want it to look a bit more homely before my birthday party in a few weeks; we haven't bought anything for it since the Eurovision party...so if you were there it looks very similar aside from our latest haul, which included fake flowers, cushions, a painting for the hallway and a footstool. Just what every flat needs really. 

Lots of fake flower love.


Morag
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The Body Shop Vitamin C Skin Reviver





I had always ignored the Vitamin C range from The Body Shop. Despite my break-outs and maybe some dry patches in the winter dull skin was never anything I was plagued with. However last payday I fancied trying some new Body Shop goodies and it was a 3 for 2 weekend but when it came to picking up my third purchase I hit a standstill. None of my current make-up was close to running out and I had just stopped by Lush to pick up a new solid shampoo plus my classic favourites Herbalism and Cupcake. So I was stalled.

The shop assistant was helpful and went through most of the range. I knew I wanted make-up but wasn't sure which. That is when she directed me towards this product, which despite not being a traditional make-up product actually is used for priming the skin (at London Fashion Week). I thought it sounded odd enough to try.

She put it on the back of my hand and yes it did have the same smoothing effect that a traditional primer would have. The smell (citrusy) did put me off as we all know I hate a strong smelling product. But thankfully the smell did fade from my hand within the next 20 minutes.

I have been using this product for most of the last fortnight and have been impressed. When it comes to primers I have only ever been impressed by products that are over £20; the high street ones have just never ticked any boxes for me. This isn't however going to give Too Faced, or Arbonne (review here), or Mac (boo!) a run for their money anytime soon as these products are still better, but Skin Reviver does pack a fair punch for its £14 price tag.

I found that my foundation did last longer on my skin wearing this underneath when compared to a bare face - not all day but the bulk of my make-up would still be on by midday (after having applied it at 8am) and by the time I got to bed some of it would have slid off but I certainly didn't have a bare face either.

If you can afford one of the more expensive primers I would still say go for it. But if you are on a budget and still really want a primer but a £20 primer really isn't within your paycheck, then this is one hell of a little fella for your make-up collection.

Morag
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The Linkables




This 100 times over: 5 Myths of Recovery After Your Break Up

Sexual assault in the male-dominated tech industry

A trade union is something I've been thinking about looking into and I loved Charlotte's post on why young people should be a member of one

I'm all about busting mental health myths and I think Amy's story of OCD is great post on why "I'm so OCD about my shoe closet" and similar statements need to stop

The Urban Garden Guide is a great guide for city girls like me who still have the green finger

7 ways to be a decent, more evolved & just overall better person
 
How to make cheetos from scratch

Pumpkin Chocolate Cups

A look at how Dundee go some of its street names

The Indie Chicks is a new favourite online magazine.


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Things I Love Thursday: best doggie ever



Today's post might be a bit soppy. A eulogy of sorts. In a couple of days time it will be the ten year passing of my childhood dog, Maggie Boo Lee.

Yes, I am writing a eulogy about a dog. Who died when I was twelve. And yes, she had a middle name.

Maggie was already four years old by the time I was brought home in late 1990, and was already part of the family. Growing up I was never aware of a time without her though apparently her behaviour did show she could remember a time before me. After I came home she never went upstairs much again and if she did need 'to go' whilst in the house herself it was always my bedroom she went in. Apparently when she met me she came over for a sniff, turned her nose up and went over to my mum who was now sans-bump.

But I honestly loved her with everything I had (and yes, I have tears in my eyes right now).

 Maybe one of the first pictures of me and Maggie together.

The decision to put Maggie to sleep was my first dealing with grief, and my teenage (well almost teenage) self did feel a bit embarrassed that I was weeping over a dog. I have now experienced grief for several other deaths and whilst the death of a human (espcially a young human of which I have dealt with several times) is much harder, I am now not embarrassed to say how much grief I felt the day she was gone and how much of a hole can be left when a pet is taken from us.

I can still remember how the weekend panned out. I had been on a school trip to Barcelona and on the way back in the car my mum said "Maggie's been getting worse and we may have to put her down" in such a blase way that made me think, you heartless bitch. Though I now realise they were dealing with their own grief but had to remain strong for their pre-teen daughter. I remember her walking towards me through the patio doors when I got home and me putting my hand down to pat her to find that her bones were a lot more predominant than before. My mind did wonder off the topic for a few days but then I remember the phone call.

I remember the phone ringing whilst I was in my room, but I didn't exactly think much of it. As soon as my dad came in 10 minutes later with a certain look on his face, I just knew what conversation was going to follow. He sat on my bed and I remember not even being to look him the eye as I tears dropped from my own eyes. I also remember my new Beyoncé album was playing, which makes me cringe as I wouldn't be caught dead listening to her now.

And then the Monday came. My friend came round to support me and stay with me as I decided it was for the best I didn't go to the vets (though my parents allowed me full choice, and I've never regretted my decision to not be there until the final moment). I can't remember them leaving the house but I can remember my parents coming back into the living room with my dad saying that was her gone, whilst holding her collar and lead.

She also really hated vets in general.

 Summer 2003 - possibly one of the last photos of me and her.

Whilst it is really painful when the decision to put a pet down comes, it is always the right one. She could have had an operation but it would have meant a diet of pureed food, which would have just been selfish on our parts. I even remember the re-curring dreams of her coming to visit us in the months after. I knew in the dream she was gone and it was just a visit by I love being able to cuddle her again, even if it was just my subconscious. (Light years away from my recurring dream as a child when she would come into my room and bite my hand off - ireallyhavenoidea).

I remember an ex-boyfriend of mine asking "is it worth having pets with the pain that comes with losing them?" and I would 100%, every time, say that pets are always worth it despite knowing that you'll probably outlive them. Losing Maggie was painful but the joy she brought to my childhood was indescribable and I am so grateful my parents gave me that opportunity.

 Maggie and her 'cousins' Jock and Lassie - two other important dogs of my upbringing (also in doggie heaven).

It's no secret that I love animals. And whilst I would love to believe that my animal-friendly lifestyle would still exist today even without my memory of Maggie, part of me believes it probably wouldn't. A lot of my morals to do with animals stem from having felt so much love for one during the first decade of my life. I would love to own a pet, as in right now, but I know it would be selfish as I am not in the position financially or time-wise and it drives mental when I see people not understand the responsibility pets take. I also firmly believe in adoption and giving a rescue pet a home, as Maggie was just £10 from an animal shelter (I know you can't buy dogs for that price now) and I would definitely consider getting an older dog who just wants someone to love them after the past they've had. 

Maggie was truthfully a bit of a lousy dog. Rather introverted and would rather cuddle up in the garage herself than entertain any house guests. She only barked about twice a year and I'm to this day still a bit timid of loud dogs who just jump on me. Whatever my decision to eventually get a doggie companion in the future, Maggie will always be my first dog and hold a special place in my heart.  ♥

RIP 1986 - 2003.

Morag
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My picking a Halloween costume checklist


 Halloween costumes from 2010, 2011 and 2012. 

Yes, I have a checklist. What do you think I am? An amateur?

I put what might be a little too much thought into my fancy dress ideas, but each year it turns out to be worth it as I get complimented on my choices. I usually sit down to brainstorm months in advanced and normally an idea comes into my head and I know that it is the costume I want to be that year (like a bride looking for her dress, if you will).

1. Be scary
Aside from that time in my first year of university when I borrowed my flatmate's ladybird costume I have always nearly been something that might make a few people shit themselves. I was also an Indian when I was 10 which I won a jewellery box for at the local youth club, but I'm not going to be donning a butterfly costume anytime soon.

2. I'm always a character or person
In the past few years I have always been a scary fictional character, and not a generic witch, vampire, werewolf etc. Last year I was Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty, the year before that I was Samara from The Ring and the year before that I was the puppet from Saw. When I sit down to brainstorm, I look through scary movie lists and television series to see what I might like to do.

3. Will people get it?
I've always wanted to dress up as Bellatrix Lastrange but don't feel as though there are enough features to her outfit that people would definitely get it (unless it was a Harry Potter party, in which case, people might get it). There may always be someone who doesn't get my costume (last year I was asked if I was the witch from Wizard of Oz, and the year before that people thought I was from The Grudge) and the idea I'm running with this year will need a lot of details to make sure people don't think I'm a generic goth.

A tip: when putting it together ask what details of the costume need to be present in order for people to get it, and which can be overlooked (shoes, for example).

4. Not something everyone else would do
Slightly contradictory to the point above, but the outfit needs to well enough know that people will get it but not well known enough that everyone will do it. At most Halloween parties there is a cute insect, a Harry Potter, a Disney Princess or someone from Alice in Wonderland. It could even just be something so outrageous no one else would try it - my Maleficent costume was store-bought but not many people would be willing to paint themselves green. Or it could just be something expensive.

5. My rule on copying ideas
Dressing as the puppet from Saw in 2010 wasn't my original idea, but the person I copied was a friend of someone I went to school with who I just happened to have on Facebook. Like she'd ever know.


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In This Week



A passage from The Purity Myth // Wagamamas date night // new drink from the Wagamas menu // yasai chilli men // new dessert from the Wagamamas winter menu // new side veggie dish // toilet selfie in wagamamas // homemade olive bread // new book purchases

This week it looked like I was getting better but last night my throat felt tingly again and I ended up not getting out of bed until afternoon yesterday and today. I would give so much to feel better right now. During the week when I thought it as behind me I was kindly invited along to try some of the dishes from the new Wagamamas winter menu - and they all got the thumbs up! I'll be writing a full write up at some point but the names of dishes etc need to remain hidden until a certain date but if you want to view all my picture you can check out the photos of the event on my Facebook page

I did eventually get out of bed to go to Waterstones as I am very close to finishing by current book The Purity Myth by Jessica Valenti. My new years resolutions was to read the books that have been on my Amazon wishlist since about 2007! I ended up picking out the two books from The Silence of the Lambs series that I'm yet to read (Hannibal Rising and Hannibal) which I am so excited to read as I loved the films and the other two books - and desperate to read the romantic twist that they kept out of the films ;)

And I also bought Superfreakonomics as I loved the first book, which I read in 2008 in a matter of days. This is far behind I am on my to-read list. 

I'd also like to wish my mum a good time in Africa, as she is away back to Zambia to volunteer again. She has already text me from Heathrow to tell me what travel exclusive vodka is available and ask which one she should get me on the way back. She knows me too well ;)

Lots of Africa, creepy horror films, and olive bread love!


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The Village Curry House



About a fortnight ago my parents came down for a weekend escapade to Glasgow. As usual my mum offered up her pennies for us to go and work ourselves into a food coma at somewhere of my choosing. This was when I was still at the height of coughing and spluttering and even though I maybe should have been in bed with soup I wasn't going to pass up the chance to discover a new food joint whilst the bank of mum was in town (discovering new restaurants is one of my favourite things, but my graduate salary doesn't quite agree).

I had walked past The Village Curry House on occasion, but honestly hadn't taken much notice of it. From the outside it had never looked like anything special and just looked like a typical Tradestone building, but I wanted somewhere close to my flat and Indian is always a winner within my family.

The inside was beautiful and the food was delicious. Everything seemed authentically Indian (I say seemed, I've never been to India) which was to be confirmed by the Indian customers who had chosen to eat there the same night.


(I was seated in the very middle so I apologies for the phone camera pictures, felt a bit self-conscious getting the DLSR out).

Me and my mum shared the vegetarian platter for starters whilst my dad had the chicken pakora. The massive vegetable you see right down the middle is a chili, which was a lot more subtle than the the usual chilies that have me gushing down a jug of water.


Then for my main I chose the mushroom baji. I did take some time to decide which option to get as the menu uses the Indian names which I wasn't familiar with so I spent some time Googling the dishes on my phone. When ordering I was asked if I wanted it medium or hot, of which I picked medium and even though my tolerance has went up recently I'm still a korma girl are heart. But because this was authentic their definition of spicy certainly wasn't mine ;) Just a warning...

The drinks you see are the traditional lassi, which is the only thing I order when I go to an Indian.

We also had some naans, because no food is better than a good naan and the village curry house and several variations.



Top marks to The Village Curry House for authentic Indian food, top decor (they had sparkly floors in the toilets) and really helpful staff. I'd still say Mama Rosais is my favourite Indian in Glasgow, but The Village Curry House is still a great Indian for those of us on the Southside!

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The Linkables





A prime example of what is wrong with some people: stupid complaints made to Thomas Cook.

The i before e except after c rule is a farce.

I wouldn't say getting fired is a good career move but your next recruiter might love you for it.

Charlotte wrote a lovely piece on first university experiences and feeling homesick after moving away.

The 16 customers that bar staff should be allowed to legally stab in the kidneys.

46 times Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson proved they belong together

10 unusual jobs that pay surprisingly well

Waitrose mark out their vegetarian wines

I am either an INTJ or ISTJ, depending on which quiz I take, the first of which is very rare for a female.

What the cast of Lizzie McGuire are doing now

I found this by accident but it is about a base in my old high school that offers support to autistic youngsters and how one persons life has changed because of it.

A breakfast themed pizza

Playing with someones preferred name is one of my social pet hates and I love that this etiquette response to someone having trouble making people use her full name is just to correct them

Ugandan Minister of Ethics and Integrity says men raping girls is natural. Obviously.

An honest look at how motherhood changes womens' bodies

Anyone seen The Saturdays newest video? Anyone notice that they are badly hiding Frankie's pregnancy bump? This is pretty much how I reacted to it

Brides Throwing Cats is a hilarious Tumblr blog doing the rounds. 

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In This Week



Starter at The Village Curry House // Naans at The Village Curry House // Trip to Starbucks // vegan labelled salad at Starbucks // drinks at my great aunts // my friend Laura presenting // SECC and Hydro lit up at night // slouching in the creepy nursery // homemade sushi

These picture actually date back for the last fortnight. I seem to have shifted the coughing and spluttering part of my illness but my energy levels are still lack-lustre, and blogging after coming from work hasn't been the most attractive idea. Plus, the non-drowsy medicine never really work with me so I've been forced to taking the original stuff which knocks me right out haha!

Last weekend my parents were visiting (also explains the lack of blogging) and we headed to the The Village Curry House in Tradestone for dinner on the Friday. I'm probably going to blog about it in full (let's be honest I probably will) when I can actually do something without falling asleep, but I'll say now it was such a good choice of restaurant (need to thank the flatmate for that one!). We then headed down to Kilmarnock on Saturday to see some of my dad's side of the family and I ended up being handed multiple glasses of vodka and coke and the odd bottle of Millers by my great aunt in her 80's. Some people will always know how to party...

I was also in the West End during the week for a work event and had a lovely explore on the way back. I've never been up that way (I know, I know) and loved seeing what it had to offer. Even if it was raining, and it was dark and, erm, quite late (I'm constantly getting into trouble for my desire to always walk) I still got to see the Hydro lit up at night which was really beautiful. 

Hope you guys had a lovely week (or fortnight) and have had much more energy than me...

Lots of lit up at night Glasgow love! 

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The Linkables




A brief explanation on the difference between PR and marketing. I work in marketing and when someone tells me they are strictly a PR professional I wonder what they must do with half their time...

I'm a proud introvert but this week I've been studying quite a lot about ambiverts.

A father reprimands his homophobic child in this beautiful letter.

A band I've been loving this week: The Honorary Title.

Ikea to sell solar panels in the UK.

Chvrches' Lauren Mayberry: 'I will not accept online misogyny'

Amanda Palmer responds to Sinead O'Conner's letter to Miley Cyrus. I wasn't keen on Sinead's letter but this one is, imo, spot on!



The habits of supremely happy people. but I disagree with the spiritual one. 




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