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Being vegan at the bar

alcohol vegan choices

When I went vegetarian back in 2011 I realised that - aside from meat - a few other foods would disappear from my diet. I was aware of by-products and realised that Haribo would have to be left out my diet and I also realised that Id' have to check cheese packets for rennet. However something I never imagined having to be careful with was my drinks order. 

I wouldn't say I'm a massive party animal, but I do like a drink and have a fully stocked wine rack in my kitchen. This wine rack is actually made up of spirits - mainly rum - as that is usually my poison of choice and spirits aren't the hardest drink to find vegan friendly. However some other types of alcohol such as wine (another favourite of mine, make mine a pinot grigio), cider (good for drinking with a meal) and beer are a little bit more tricky. 

In the most recent issue of VeganLife magazine* there is a two-page article from Oliver Conninham sharing his knowledge on the beer industry. Alcohol itself is usually vegan friendly (I mean vodka is made from potatoes, cider from apples etc) however it's the ingredients used to filter the drink that are usually not vegan friendly. In the case of beer this ingredient is isinglass, which comes from fish bladder. This is used to help give beer a clean, clear and crisp look. Or as Moor Beer, who were interviewed for the article, state it only as accelerates the process and they prefer to leave their beer to filter naturally. Mechanical filtration is also another option, one that is used by Camden Beers

However, vegan or not you've probably spotted the rise in the amount of cask beers on the market. These are run by smaller independent breweries who concentrate on peculiar flavours. As filtration can remove some of the flavour in preference for appearance they choose to leave beers with that musky colour. The Scottish BrewDog were mentioned in the article (are they available outside Scotland? They're doing really well here and brewed not far from where I grew up) and I've been aware for a while that their Dundee branch has a salad marked out as vegan (albeit it it is pretty much just leaves...) and that some of their beers are vegan. 

The only thing to be careful with cask beers is that some companies are a fan of creating creative flavours, which may use honey or something else derived from animals. But the base is free of filtration and is vegan suitable.

The article also mentioned the London Vegan Beer Festival as a starting point. And also mentioned are the various craft beer and ale festivals - such as the London Craft Beer Festival - which are more vegan friendly than your usual beer festival. 

As mentioned earlier I'm a bigger fan of spirits and only pick a beer on occasion. However it's good knowledge to have on stand by and I would encourage any vegan or vegetarian to double check their brands (as it's not always on the label, you usually need to contact companies directly). 

N.B. I get a subscription to VeganLife for free as part of their blogger outreach campaign. 
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The Linkables

It's been a long time coming but Scotland is finally getting a VegFest.

The effect of the eclipse on solar PV output.

Some economists in the media can't even get their teminology correct.

I managed to get to the top of the search rankings without a link building strategy but if you're still not linking high enough this guide to link building might help push you up

Also: A SEO guide for bloggers.

So...Phee's Make-Up Tips is a blog full of goldmines.

For reasons I won't go into I have trust issues when it comes to money and relationships, but this article makes a good argument on why couples should keep separate bank accounts.

Zoella is a new breed of celebrity and people need to get used to that!

Being assertive is something I suuucccccck at but this article provides a slightly different way of looking at it.

How a blind person puts on their make-up.

This Kickstarter has already reached its goal but you can still back a hot sauce subscription box.

I never had a Ken (but did have about 20 barbies) but clearly I was missing out on a lot.

What forgiveness looks like, when your father is a serial killer.

Buying these 12 things helps fund the Tories.

Nick Clegg also said that letters between Prince Charles and the Government should be kept private.

What it takes to be a kids clothes designer.

Sweden adds gender-neutral pronouns to its dictionary.

If, like me, you live in Glagow Central here is the Scottish Green's candidate's Facbook page (I'm in the cover photo :P)

An open letter to anyone who has ever said to woman "don't get too muscular".

An interview without someone who is studying masturbation patterns in birds.

America and internet obsession colliding: what each state Googles.

If you're still looking for the perfect Twitter chat to take part in.

The Vegan Lifestyle Association is a thing.

I'm always looking for new vegan or vegan-friendly places, so #VeganinScotland is up my street.

This week in what the Tory's have been up to.

A guide to wholefoods you can freeze.

This is the best fake geek girl rant I've watched, like, ever.

1) Cameron Diaz and Snoop Dogg went to school together and 2) he dealt her pot.

A dating site...for dead people.

And remember, you're beautiful the way you are.

P.S. I'm ill as fuck and have a funeral to go to today so it's a short one today. Much love. x
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My first e.l.f puchase

e.l.f cosmetics review

e.l.f is a brand that has been on my radar for years. Despite their popularity amongst bloggers - including cruelty-free bloggers - I only bought my first batch a month ago. I had been saving up money in the past few months because my old flatmate moved out and I wanted to ensure I'd be okay by myself. But I found a new flatmate and, well, something needed to happen to that money. the e.l.f website it was!

Unfortunately quite a lot of products were out of stock (boo) so I bought about about £30 worth of products (even though I was willing to drop quite a bit more). But anyway, here is my quick review on what I did buy. 

First off I was in need of a new primer anyway. Despite my love of high end primers I decided to give the Mineral Primer a chance, and I was impressed. It's certainly not as good as some of the high end primers I've tried but this one certainly takes the leads in my favourite drugstore primers (so if you have to stay high street, this is the one I would recommend). I'm also currently in the market for a full coverage foundation so picked up the HD Mattifying Cream Foundation. This was about medium coverage but it had a very good finished and the consistency was easy to blend. I'm still in the market for something thicker and this isn't as long lasting as I'd like. However I do reach for it when I'm filming a You-Tube video when I'm only concerned about how I look for the next twenty minutes. 

Then I moved onto colour. I'm making more of an effort to expand my colour range so I forced myself to not order the first colour that 'spoke' to me but pick something that I didn't own already. Last Halloween I spent a lot of time trying to find random colours the night before which was just a pain. Since I'm also planning to get into cosplay this year I decided that I needed more colours to have on standby. I picked up one of their Mineral Lipsticks in Party Pink which is a very natural shade which has actually become my go-to daily shade (you do need to wear a primer with it though, my favourite is Too Faced). However I also purchased one of their regular lipsticks in Classy which is a very bold lavender-pink shade which just doesn't suite me. However it does fulfil my goal of having a wider range of colours just encase there is an occasion (or costume) where lavender lipstick is required (because other than the colour I do like it). 

I also picked up an eyeshadow pallet in Party Purple, not with the intention of wearing it regularly but just having a purple eyeshadow on stand-by. However, this is gently pigmented and what you end up with is a gentle smokey purple eye which I have found myself wearing when I'm going out at night. If you want a vibrant purple look this isn't what you're looking for, but just a tint if purple? This product will be right up your street. 

The final colourful product I purchased was the nail polish in Passion Pink. This colour is extremely different to what I already own (it's raspberry with a shimmer through it) and my eye regularly glances towards it when I'm deciding which colour to paint my nails. However you must wear a top coat with this as the staying power does leave a lot to be desired. 

I also purchased the cream eyeliner in gunmetal. However this is the first cream eyeliner I've ever owned so I'm not sure how to review this. I used to wear cream and gel liners as opposed to liquid when I was still performing in dance shows as they stay on the lid a bit easier,but it belonged to the make-up artist and I never got the name of the product. It does however work quite well as a grey cream eyeshadow, so if like me you're finding it a bit weird applying this as eyeliner you can still get use out of it (maybe I just haven't found the correct brush yet?). 

Have you ever tried anything from the e.l.f line? Which product if your favourite? 

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Crafting birds and notebook covers #hillaryscrafternoon


Aside from making my yearly Christmas cards, crafting isn't something that pops up much on mo'adore. It is however something I enjoy on occasion but I don't get much time to do it and I prefer 'crafting with purpose' as in making Christmas cards or something for fancy dress or cosplay (my first cosplay will be in two weeks, and there will be something hand made in it). But I know some people who are really into crafting who make craft after craft. I prefer to stick to making things I'll get use out of. 

So when I was invited along to #hillarycraftoon* with Hillary's Blinds (who make fabrics) and The Crafty Hen Parties (who host craft parties) on their final stop as part of their Craft Roadshow, I was excited about having a bit of an excuse to get my craft on. I didn't know what we'd be making but I was excited about possibly picking up some tips for any future (and seldom) craft projects (such as crafting a particular Pokémon in the near future). 

hillaryscrafternoon notebook

At the event the girls from The Crafty Hen gave us a guided tutorial on making a notebook cover and a stuffed bird using the fabrics from Hillary's Blinds. The notebook cover was simple enough and I'm proud of how mine turned out (plus I got to play with a glue gun). I've been meaning to pick up a new blogging notebook for a while and I reckon I can put my purse away and use this one for recording thoughts on various products. 

Making the bird was a bit more challenging. I had never crafted a stuffed animal of any kind before this event so it was a bit of a challenge. Thankfully I was sitting next to Sinead of Wee & Twee so I was able to take some pointers off her (and had her turn my bird inside for me as I just couldn't quite work it....). I was in the end quite proud of my bird. It clearly is a bird however there's a few holes along the edge of the stitching (I should have done smaller stitches much closer together). My bird is also quite squidgy as I was scared stuffing too much would have made the bad stitching go more awall and I'd have stuffing falling out!

hillaryscrafternoon bird

Both crafts I made now sit proudly between my windowsill. As for crafting more in the future, well, it's likely to remain something I do now and then. But it gave me a bit of practice crafting my own pieces so I'm less likely to muck-up my own craft attempts! 

P.S. Thank you to Joe Blog's for putting this together and to Hillary's Blinds and The Crafty Hen Parties for being great hosts. All photos from the event are now on the mo'adore Facebook page
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The Linkables

Mobile fashion shops (as in fashion shops in vans) are a thing in the USA.

If you're a London reader, there's a vegetarian café now hiring.

Been doing some reading on suffragette Ethel Moorhead.

One of my favourite vloggers Melissa Fabello films in front of her bookcase and being the nosey parker that I am (and knowing that we're likely to share similar tastes in books) her bookcase tour video had me watching intently.

I was searching on YouTube for more bookcase tours and stumbleupon an asmr and comic book cross over niche (This is a great ASMR channel which also includes a Morticia Adams does your make-up video).

I love the idea of a weekend away in Cornwall. In a treehouse

Best feminist books for young readers.

Events (such as weddings and corporate function) make the vegan in me worry if I'll have anything to eat. But I was at a work event and came across the GH Event Catering stand which had the gluten-free and vegan nibbles marked out!

After 18 years Buffy is still revoluntionary

You know that belief that women want relationships and men was casual sex? It's a myth.

Emily gives us 5 reasons to play netball.

Sky Sports will be broadcasting the Netball World Cup this summer (though I am annoyed that they're focusing on the England matches, there's other UK teams taking part you know...).

Here's a fantastic guide on switching your household energy supplier.

I've recently switched to Ovo Energy, and they've since joined the ECO pledge. 

There's a business Twitter chat called #CakeClubHour

A guide to what the clitoris is, and what it isn't.

How to turn negative social media posts into an opportunity.

In news that doesn't shock me, making girls look after a doll doesn't stop teenage pregnancy.

Hahahaha: a bisexual make-up tutorial.

You may have heard about #BoyCottLimeCrime and here's a good video on the low-down.

"If your name is uncommon, you are more likely to be a delinquent". And other findings about names that I'm not sure are true.

I'm a woman who doesn't want kids and it has happened that I've dated men who've wanted kids, so none of this surprised me.

"It's quite rude, insulting and ignorant." What Jennifer Aniston has to say about society's obsession with asking women when they'll have kids.

There's been a big leap forward in solar panelled transport recently.

TTIP is not getting much attention in mainstream media but the people who do know about it don't like it: including MPs who worry about what it will mean for our environmental standards.

The Campaign for Nuclear Dissarmament has has collected the views of candidates across Scotland regarding Trident and nuclear weapons and put them in a handy database.

Whilst on the topic of the elections, make sure you are registered to vote (they've changed a few things so please be diligent and double check).

The Vegan Womble is a great blog to find out what food/cleaning products/cosmetics are vegan in UK supermarkets.

There's a new restaurant in Dundee of the Lebenese persuassion and it has a very veggie friendly menu.

This SEO guide is quite technical but it's worth a read if you want to improve your URLs for search.

A guide to sponsored content on Instagram in 2015.

What happened when Rachel lived the life of the Pinterest popular page.

It was Steak & Blow Job day recently, and here's a feminist and vegan critique of it.

On the 4th of April you can visit Katie's Bar in Glasgow and get served by a guy from Corrie!

If you're in California and need abortion advice, please be wary of these places.

If you're in Minneapolis and need a winter date spot, here's an article.

In slightly more upbeat American news: the AHS mansion from season 1 was sold for $3.2 million.

And if any my readers are in the market for a castle, there's some in Italy for sale.

Nom: 5 ingredient vegan ice cream snickers.

And finally, brides tossing (badly Photoshopped) cats.

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Assams, Glasgow City Centre

assams garlic naan bread

So far this year I brought you reviews of café and restaurants from Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Dundee. Today I'm finally got my feet back in my city of residence and writing a review for those of who don't live in all these other random places I like to visit (which would be most of you). It's Assams in Glasgow, situated on St Vincent Street right beside Cova. 

I recently popped along for a friend's leaving night (she's going to teach English in China) and she picked Assam's because 1) it's bring our own bottle and 2) they cater to particular diets. The second one being particularly important as there would be two vegans attending and someone with a gluten intolerance (and let's not lie getting to bring your own wine is a plus too). 

assams spinach stuffed mushrooms

The menu is small and is set out so that anyone with dietary requirements can have things adjusted. The girl who had the gluten intolerance had a naan freshly made up for her. I went for the spinach stuffed mushrooms (which were lovely and are pictured) and Aloo Gobi (which was average). I also ordered a garlic naan (as always) but have to admit I have a lot better (I've been tempted to write up a post of the best nanns in Glasgow). 

The food was standard but we weren't paying that much for it and I was just over a tenner for my meal. It's a difficult one to call. As I have tasted better but given that you can bring your own wine and they're very flexible regarding dietary requirements I'm tempted to still recommend it if you're on a budget or are used to feeling awkward asking for something. 

Have you ever been to Assams? Where's your favourite Indian restaurant in Glasgow?

P.S. Some of my other reviews of Indian's in Glasgow include The Village Curry House, Akbars, and Masala Twist
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One year of #cfbloggers (and tips for hosting your own Twitter chat)

cfbloggers cruelty free twitter chat

I can't remember the exact date of very first #cfbloggers chat. But I remember chatting about it in February with Tilly and Charlotte, and we were going for a spring launch date (I looked back through my archives and it was the 20th of February, so not March). And this being #BeCrueltyFree week seems like the perfect time to chat about the past year and churn out some advice for anyone wishing to set up their own Twitter chat. 

The idea of hosting a Twitter chat had been in me for a while but the usual reasons held me back: time, would anyone take part, someone could do it better etc. But then I got chatting to Tilly and Charlotte and we decided to go at it as a three. It has grown a lot since then and I'm also the only original mod left, and I now run it with Louise and Lizzie. So lot's of twist and turns.

But I am really proud of how far the chat has come. I said in my 2014 wrap-up post, 2014 was a game-changing year for cruelty-free blogging. It's been so exciting to watch it become a niché within it's own right which is separate from beauty blogging. And along with some of the lovely people who are part of this community and the fantastic people I've met through the chat (some of who I have now met in real-life!). 

Whilst it's been busy, I'm glad I started the chat up. Twitter chats are already established as a great way to promote your blog and get involved in the blogging community. However hosting a Twitter chat has grown my blog's readership more than just taking part in Twitter chats has. So if you really enjoy a good old natter on Twitter then maybe hosting a Twitter chat is for you. Here's some of my tips. 

Be committed
First off, understand that hosting a Twitter chat takes commitment. Not raising a child or obtaining a degree commitment but you have to dedicate time to it and understand it won't magically take off. For example, I keep my Thursdays clear the best I can (no late night shopping for me!) as taking part isn't exactly optional for me...

Once I was going to a gig on a Thursday and I knew I had to host from my phone. Unfortunately the venue didn't get much signal so I had to go outside and host it from my phone (in December). 

Even in full hind-sight I'm glad I didn't start this myself, as running a chat is a lot of work. There's usually three mods but sometimes there's been two as some mods have moved on to do other things. Between us we split the work - someone organises who guest hosts, someone looks after the Facebook page, someone looks after the account on the night etc. 

It also helps when a moderator decides to move on. I'm still enjoying hosting the chat but I know the day will come when I choose to focus on other things and I want to know it will be left in good hands. 

Check out the other chats
It can sometimes feel as though there are hundreds of chats, and I sometimes log-on to Twitter in the evenings and find my timeline full of tweets relating to four different chats at the same time. When we started one of my worries that we were adding yet another chat to an already saturated Twitter timetable. However no chat closely resembled ours - and to my knowledge there still isn't - so it was something that was different. But with all the chats going on make sure you're idea isn't already taken (and ask about to see if there's a demand for it). 

Announce it ahead of time
We gave ourselves about three weeks of promotion before starting. This gave us enough time to promote, enough time to brainstorm topic ideas, enough time to set all technical aspects up, enough time to get the idea. It was also enough time to gage whether there was the demand for this kind of chat.

Get a Twitter client
I use Tweetdeck, and I have columns set up for notifications to my personal account and the #cfbloggers account, a column for all tweets with the tag #cfbloggers, a column for all tweets with the misspelled #cfblogger, a column to show all tweets tagged #crueltyfree, and one for messages from both my accounts (plus others for personal use). 

Keep track of what works, and act on it
When you have a great idea, it's really easy to become stubborn and ignore the signs its not working. The chat has evolved differently to how I originally envisioned it but we had to go with what was working. We were never planning to make it 100% guest-hosted  - we only did guest slots to give ourselves a breather, however these chats had a higher rate of participation and now the mods have only hosted once since the start of the year (from their personal account). 

It's community driven, not moderator driven
Similar to above. But it's important to remember that blogging has a strong community aspect and you should bare it in mind when building a chat or a blog. When we began to let go and hand more power back to the community (such as allowing guest slots) the engagement increased. 

Rome wasn't built in a day
At the start there would be chats where no one would show up. I once continued asking questions from the CF Twitter account and answering them from my personal Twitter, so essentially was having a conversation with myself (yeah). I felt stupid but people eventually began joining in and that chat went on until 11pm! Thankfully we haven't had an empty chat in some time now but be prepared in the beginning that it will happen. As with all projects be patient and persevere. 

It's been a lot of work and sometimes I've had a few tantrums but it's been heartwarming to watch it grow and it always feels wonderful when we have particularly good natter on a Thursday evening. And thank you to everyone who takes part, even if it's only now and then and also thank you to the people who had supported it (included IRL friends who has understood that Thursday nights are out for me). 100% love. 
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The Linkables #BlogForBunnies Special

This week has been #BeCrueltyFree week and I have been taking part in #BlogForBunnies, a camapign by the Humane Society International. I wrote my post on Monday with a few facts on animal testing for cosmetics but for today's Linkables post I thought I would do a cruelty-free theme (it also means next week's non-themed Linkables will be a bumper post!).

This cosplay blog has a cruelty-free tag

And this article that reminds us that it's not an outright ban

And the world is currently looking at New Zealand as a ban becomes a hot topic there

New Zealand cruelty-free blogger Sarah Lilly shares her top 5 cruelty-free brands

Buying Cruelty-Free hasn't been updated since 2014 but it's a great resource for learning about legislation

It caught me out recently but keratine isn't animal friendly (though I have heard there are plant-alternatives).

Amy celebrated #BlogForBunnies by blogging about the best vegan male skincare

Claire created a playlist on YouTube of all the #BlogForBunnies vlogs.

Jen went listed her cruelty-free top ten.  

Helen of Tea in The Tub lists her favourite cruelty-free blogs

Sarah - who is one of my favourite natural beauty bloggers - also wrote a post for #BlogForBunnies

Emily shares with us her cruelty-free wishlist

Something that us bloggers have in common is that we love a good nosey into other people's lives, So when Jessica's posted her full cf collection I was glued to my laptop ha!

I've shared this before but Amber wrote a great post last October on the alternatives to animal testing

If you want to know more about medical testing you can learn more form the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement & Reduction of Animals in Research.

The Dr Hadwens Trust also carry out similar research, and it's a register charity which you can donate to. 

The Vegan Kind and Souk Souk are the two cruelty-free beauty boxes I know of in the UK. 

The Good Box is a new subscription box on the market which includes ethical goodies.

Petit Vour is a cruelty-free beauty box in the States.

What have you been doing this #BeCrueltyFree week? 
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Lunch at Avery & Co., Dundee

avery and co falafel

When I was most recently in Dundee it wasn't just the West Bar that I took my tastebuds on a wee trip to. Before my bus on the Sunday I stopped by another café in the Westport area which I had heard offered a good vegan selection called Avery & Co

Because my backside needed to be back on the Glasgow bus in the next wee while this was a bit of a flying visit. So even though there were multiple choices on the menu I wanted to dig my vegan paws into I decided to pick the falafel (minus the tzatziki, which was no trouble for the kitchen) just for quickness. But I'd love to go back and sample the lentil pate, the veggie haggis or go later in the day and try out their dinner menu.

I was also there with my pal Alan who went for the steak burger and he said it was a very good burger! 

Avery and Co dundee menu

Something else I really liked about this place was the atmosphere and decor. The owners clearly put a lot of effort into the whole café and not just the food. The place was grey but with flashes of yellow in the menu, the occasional chair and the napkins. They also have a very strong social media presence with an on-point Facebook page and Instagram feed. I might just think these are nice touches because I'm a marketer however it just gives that feel that a business is really passionate about when they do when they take things such as branding and social media seriously. 

In case it wasn't obvious I rate Avery & Co. very highly and would more than recommend it. I'm planning to nip back myself as some point to nibble on some cauliflower pakora....

P.S. I've given my Scotland map an update to include all my recent reviews.
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#BlogForBunnies, because....

Today I'm doing that again. 

For animal welfare. 

Specifically animal-testing for cosmetics. 

Because this week is #BlogForBunnies week. Organised by the Humane Society International

If you've visited my blog for all of five minutes you'll know that I'm passionate about cruelty-free cosmetics. 

And in a similar vein as International Women's Day I'm going to run through the pointers for you on this issue. 

The UK outlawed the testing of cosmetics on animals in 1997. 

Since March 2013, it has also been illegal to sell cosmetics products within the EU which have been, or which contain ingredients, newly tested on animals.

It's the ingredients that get tested, not the finished product. 

However a global brand can still test in other parts of the world, the tested products just can't enter the EU (but the batch entering the USA for example can be). 

If any brand wishes to enter China they are required to test on animals. 

The recent ban on animal testing in China only refers to 'ordinary cosmetics' manufactured in China. All international brands have to give up samples.

A company can sell in the EU and China at the same time, but the batch coming into the EU can't be tested but the batch going into China must be tested.  

There's a also a ban in Norway, Israel, India and most recently the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo.

There is currently draft legislation to ban cosmetic testing in Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, Taiwan and the USA. 

The species used in cosmetics testing are rabbits, rat, guinea pigs, mice and hamsters. 

It takes longer to develop non-animal testing methods than it does to develop animal-testing methods, which is why so many companies support animal testing. 

Marketers (of which I am one) can get very sneaky with their wording. 'We don't believe in animal testing' doesn't mean they've checked their suppliers don't. 

When I send a company an e-mail I have them clarify if they test finished products or ingredients, if they sell in China and, if they are a British company, if they sell outside EU borders. 

The Leaping Bunny logo is the most trusted certification for cruelty-free products. 

In the UK all medication has to be tested on animals but if you want to help support the development of non-animal methods you can check out the Dr Hadwens Trust.

I believe cosmetic testing needs to be outlawed globally because we're not talking about the cure for cancer here, we're talking lipstick! 

If you're already cruelty-free or are thinking about going cruelty-free remember to visit the campaign at and sign the #BeCrueltyFree pledge.

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International Women's Day, because...

Because my ex told me I'd have to take his surname ('when' we got married, not if) and I wasn't allowed to keep the Ms salutation I'd used before meeting him (though I was allowed to get a PhD and become a Dr). 

Because my mum insists on putting the surname of boys I date after my first name, even though I've repeatedly insisted I'd keep my current name.

Ditto on the issue on grandkids.

Because Cheryl Cole continues to be known professionally by the surname of her first husband and people seem to think this is blaspheme (it's her name, Ashley doesn't own the surname Cole).

Because when I took Graphic Communication for Standard Grade I would get asked with a screwed up face "are you not like the only girl in the class?"

Because the only guy who took a cooking class was asked why he wanted to do a girls course.

Because how safe I feel in a club still determines how much I'll recommend it to someone else.

Because when the news travelled back to school that someone who had left two years earlier was transitioning I was one of the few people who were cool with it and began using the correct name and pronouns.

Because a lot of people still don't think things like bisexual and asexual are real (despite the evidence).

Because I can't seem to have a male friend without people asking if we're dating.

Because I'd like to see unisex toilets within my lifetime.

Because the diet industry customer base is primarily women.

Because a lot of these diets are based on aesthetics and not health or even fucking science.

Because I know a lot of women who are on these diets who don't need to lose weight.

Because when I wear something nice there's always someone who thinks its for men (usually men).

Because I have purposefully dressed myself down in the presence of some of these men (because who wants to look attractive in front of a pervert?).

Because when I bought a nice jumper with my Christmas money my mum asked who I was trying to attract (I put her in her place, the best way any 13 year old can with some good foot stamping but I stand by it).

Because I know women who can't leave the house without make-up.

Because growing up Bliss Magazine provided me with more of a sex education than my school or my parents.

Because comprehensive sex education is one of the first issues I really cared about and seven years after I left school it doesn't look like it's any better.

Because Christian Grey is seen as a dreamboat.

Because Edward Cullen is seen as a dreamboat.

Because I tend to date men of the geeky or metrosexual persuasion and I'm often asked 'why don't you date a real man?' (usually asked by macho men).

Because when I watched Sex & The City at age 23 I actually fist-pumped at the screen when they frankly discussed female sexuality.

Because when I asked my mum as a young child why she wore a wedding ring but my dad didn't her response was 'just cause men have the option'.

Because I've crossed the street to avoid wolf whistling.

Because when I got frustrated at one of my then-boyfriend's constant attention I was told by onlookers it was 'cute' and 'devotion'. It was actually keeping me in a box.

Because it took me almost four years after the split to own my experiences and say that the relationship was unhealthy. And that I'm relieved I got out.

Because quite a few men I've been *ahem* intimate with have tried to dictate to me what kind of contraceptive choices I should make about my own body.

Because young person sexual health clinics exists as 'judgement free areas' when teenagers should be free to go to their GP without fear of judgement.

Because there are still people (even in my generation) who still act shocked/unimpressed/confused when they find out I had a stay at home dad and a working mum.

Because I've known a recruitment consultant who admits he considers the parental status of a woman more than a man.

Because I was concerned with being considered sexy when I was an underage teenager.

Because we still have boobs in a national newspaper.

Because lists stating which countries are safe for women travelling alone still exist.

Because lists stating which countries are safe for gay people still exist.

Because body hair removal is optional for men but mandatory for women.

Because some private schools don't allow boys to have long hair.

Because private schools still exist which helps fuel the old boys club.

Because 77% of UK MPs are male.

Because in Scotland women only make up 36% of public boards, less than 35% of MSPs and 24% of councillors.

Because girls who attend a single sex school are more likely to take up a STEM subject than a girl who attends a coeducational school.

Because it's still not respected that period pain can really stop women in their tracks.

Because in the UK sanitary wear is still taxed as a luxury item.

Because in developing nations sanitary wear isn't a thing and girls have to miss school whilst menstruating (or sit in a hut).

Because there are still countries out there where women can't vote. Or drive.

Because circumcision of genitalia still happens to children (for no health reason) who are too young to consent.

Because this time last year the world was already getting excited for the men's world cup but no one seems to realise the women's world cup is this summer.

Because I'm one of the few people I know who will call it the Mens World Cup and the Womens World Cup, not the 'World Cup' and the other one...

Because cheerleading is sexualised in the media and not seen as a serious sport. Or even a sport. Even by feminists (this feminist is a former cheerleader and I'm yet to come across an argument I can't overthrow).

Because all the UK netball teams are some of the best in the world right now but no one seems to know...

Because Andy Murry wasn't the first Briton to win Wimbledon in 77 years. 

Because I know women (plural) - my age - who have said they don't think women's sport is the same or is 'a bit of a joke'.

Because when I showed someone the leaflet for a open software day I was attending he asked if I was attending cause the flyer had cute little bunnies on it.

Because I'm sometimes hesitant to attend Android events, or Ingress events or Comic-Con because I have been talked down to at these events before (despite being into these hobbies as much as any man).

Because a lot of the hate towards 'fake geek girls' comes from other girls.

Because GamerGate.

Because Bring Back Our Girls had to exist.

Because last year the UK banned a bunch of things from porn, this included female ejaculation and face-sitting.

Because the animal rights movement is rife with sexism (hello PETA) and vegan feminists have been accused of not being real vegans (because we don't support PETA).

Because the videos made by Laci Green still need to be made.

Because I shamefully used the word slut until I was 14 and it was Christina Aguilera who pointed out how hypocritical the word is.

Because instead of society dropping the word slut we instead had to work to reclaim it.

Because I recognised sexual inequality before I came across the word feminist.

Because any woman who is also LGBT, working class, disabled, non-white, an immigrant, or follows a religion not common in her country faces a double whammy of discrimination (and intersectional feminism is only just getting on the agenda).

Because patriarchy doesn't just hurt women. It hurts men who dare to not fit the alpha male stereotype, gay people, trans and non-binary individuals, and anyone else hurt by any kind of inequality. It exists to support a few privileged (and powerful) individuals.

Happy International Women's Day, y'all! 
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The Linkables


I was mentioned in The Wardrobe Conversations most recent Blog Crush post. And Helen is Dundee based, and there's not many bloggers situated there.

I've also finally got around to doing something with my Contently portfolio. Here it is, also including my words on my professional topic....utility management. 

REN Skincare have been on my 'grey-area' list for a while but they are now definitely on the testing list

It's been on my radar for a while that Vice aren't the best employers but this week I did some research and discovered that were investigated by HMRC for offering an illegal internship in late 2013.

Love: Calling bullshit on girly fitness. "We’re women, not baby jellyfish. We can handle a real fucking challenge. Put down the pink dumbbells."

You know those bullet pointed lists of life advice? Here's a good one (A bit TMI but my favourite point is in the sex section "True intimacy trumps technique").

What I'll be doing this weekend: The big Glasgow comic fair.

Next week in Glasgow there will be a march in support of Leelah's Law

Best online art resources

Why are so many brands failing at blogger outreach?

Garlic is one of my favour flavours, so I'm all over this indie brand The Garlic Farm

On Bill Crosby and victim guilt.

If you're planning to vote Labour just to keep Tories out you should know some Labour MP's want a coalition. Vote for a party who are really on the left...

An Indiegogo campaign to get republicanism on the agenda of the next government.

Apparently there's a law in the UK which makes it difficult for businesses to have unisex toilets

This Amethyst hotel is now on my bucket list.

But if like me finance doesn't really allow for a holiday try this list of 50 ways to have an adventure in your own town

A fantastic post on faddy diets and why people get sucked into them.

There's an American University with a sculpture of a clitoris (it looks like a deformed Pokemon but I appreciate the gesture). 

I love reading about people's morning routines and I love Esmé's attitude to taking her medication

If you've ever wondered what Iggy Azalea singing Old MacDonald would sound like then here you go (sort of). 

Marie Laveau from AHS was actually based on a historical person. You can even visit her voodoo shop on Bourbon Street

And more things from America that fascinate me: should Minnesota be re-branded as a northern state

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Lunch at the West Bar, Dundee

west bar interiors

If you ever happen to be in Dundee and are looking for a café (or bar) a good part of town to look is the Westport. It's a street just to the west of the city centre and is near the Rep Theatre as well as the University of Dundee grounds. One of the places situated here to eat (and drink in the evenings) is the aptly named West Bar

You may have previously known this place as something else, possibly the Snow Bar. It's now been given a rustic make over with typography prints included throughout. They also have had a reasonably sized day-time menu which has vegan options. 

salad west bar dunee

I went for the roast vegetable salad, which comes with spiced apricot couscous, spiced nuts, fennel shavings, garlic flatbread & coriander yoghurt (the last of which I asked not to be included which was no problem). I know vegans are a bit used to a salad being the default option but this is a more interesting and not a run-of-the-mill salad. And if you really don't want a salad you could also have a roast vegetable and hummus panini, a mezze, a house salad...

Or arbriatta (with the parmesa removed). 

arbiatta west bar


If you live in Dundee have you ever been to the West Bar? If not does this look like the sort of place you'd go?

P.S. Similar places I've reviewed in Dundee include The Folk Café and The Pancake Place.  
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Creating good make-up base with Urban Decay

urban decay base make-up

Whilst I own plenty of drugstore beauty products, when it comes to the perfect base I believe it's worth paying a bit more - since every foundation that I have rated highly has sat on the slightly pricier end of the scale. And one brand that has always been great for a good base is Urban Decay. 

I purchased the Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation months ago and I am still going through it as a little bit goes a long way. It's a great 'work' foundation for the day time and stays on all day with a primer and setting spray added on top. If you like a thick and full coverage foundation this probably isn't up your street however for a light, natural-looking foundation I'm yet to come across anything better. 

I've blogged before about how amazing the Urban Decay All Nighter Make-up Setting Spray is and I maintain that it is a dream product. If I had to choose between only a primer or only a setting spray - I'd choose this setting spray! However remember to apply your mascara after you spritz your face.

I've recently finished the Pore Perfection Primer Potion. Arbonne still does my favourite primer of all time however this is my favourite high-street primer. I find the tube quite annoying when the product goes low (every other primer I've bought was a pump) and I do find that it's a very small product given that UD usually has generous product sizes.

Urban Decay are an amazing brand with high quality products however if you follow me on Twitter/take part in #cfbloggers you'll know that I'm trying to wean myself off cf companies with testing parent companies. So you'll see less Urban Decay on the blog.

Have you tried any of these products? Have any other recommendations for similar products?

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