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Fashion Fabrics at Remnant Kings


Like most individuals who love clothes and fashion, I'm probably not alone in disliking wearing something that everyone else and their favourite blogger owns. And because of that I've entertained the idea on several occasions of designing and sewing my own one of a piece item. But for one there's the fact that I've never sat down to learn the art of seam-stressing. Then there's the availability of beautiful and funky fabrics. Because let's be honest your local high street fabric store is usually full of designs more appropriate for Halloween or a set of curtains rather than a Saturday night frock. 

My opinion on high street fabrics changed however this week when I was invited along to Remnant Kings on Argyle Street (the entrance is hidden near House of Frasers - you can easily miss it). Whilst Remnant Kings have been guilty in the past of offering only plain coloured fabrics, they are now a brand with their finger on the fashion pulse and have launched their very first fashion range ready for Autumn/winter 15/16. And I'm telling you, it's gorgeous. 

remnant kings fabrics

Throughout their store - which has been re-done to include a sewing hub - stocks a wide range of fabrics from a wide selection of designers. Their fabrics range from tartan, to faux fur to something that wouldn't look at all out of place on Etsy. There's the calender fabric I instagrammed which I still have buyers remorse about and might pick up again to send to my mum (who can sew). And as an extra special treat - you can purchase fabrics from the talent at Clyde College! On top of the fabrics, there's all you would need to actually carry out the sewing from patterns to thread and needles. And whilst some grinches out there will detest the use of the 'c word' in September, the Christmas range is already available and stocks fabrics for those who like traditional Christmas attire to those of who want something a bit more modern and Pinterest friendly.  

sewing room remnant kings

But if you're still sitting there thinking "but I can't sew??!!?". Don't worry, neither can I. But this is where Remnant Kings are also thinking ahead and have launched a new sewing room with a range of sewing classes. You can can contact the individual stores about booking but the from the handy press release I was given the following classes are coming up in the Glasgow branch: 
  • Quilting Classes - 27th September for 6 weeks, 12:15pm - 2:15pm - £120
  • Halloween craft night on 4th October, 5:30pm - 7:30pm - free
  • Christmas craft on 8 November, 12-2pm - free
  • Kids sewing class, 3rd October for two weeks, 10-11:30am - £30
  • Dressmaking, 11th October for 6 weeks, 2:30pm-5:30pm - £120 
On the night we also received a demonstration on creating a winter coat from a pattern by one of the lovely (and hilarious) seamstresses who had made it across from the Remnant Kings Falkirk store. Whilst a winter coat was not fully created right in front of our eyes, we learnt about using a pattern, the importance of creating a mock up first on toile before cutting up your pretty fabric, the different kinds of scissors and adjusting your pattern to sit nicely on your body shape. The staff definitely know their stuff. 

Remnant kings clyde college
The textile design talent at Clyde College

Me personally? Whilst I doubt I'll ever find my calling as a seamstress I'm certainly feeling inspired. Back in March I cosplayed for the first time as Misty from Pokémon and was raring to go with other designs. When I visited my parents in the summer I sat down with my mum' sewing machine to work on costumes in advance, but ended up so frustrated trying to create a Charizard costume (which was admittedly a bit ambitious) I swore off cosplay and have been attending cons in casual clothes ever since. 

But after my evening at Remnant Kings I'm feeling more confident about getting my thread and needle out again. I was also given a goody bag with some new kit (pins, needles, some plain thread and some basic patterns for a tote bag and circle skirt) and I've also discovered the Remnant Kings Stitch and Share blog for ideas and inspiration. Happy Sewing! 



Thank you to Remnant Kings and Palompo PR for inviting me to their event. As always all opinions are my own and all pictures from the night are available on my Facebook page
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The Linkables


Once upon a time....


How was your week guys? I spent the last week chilling and planning next week's trip to London. This weekend I'll be out and about at the MCM Comic Con Scotland (holla if you're going) and deciding which vegan event I want to attend out the several happening. 

But first, here's some links! It's quite a mixed bag this week so I'm not working them into categories this time around. 

The biggest headache I had when planning my London trip was finding somewhere to stay in the city itself without too much pain to my bank balance. I settle on using AirBnB for the first time but I'm bookmarking AllTheRooms.com for future trips

Instagram death match: Rosé versus avocado toast


In more morbid news I've always gravitated towards a natural burial, but I've never considered being a tree?  

Break-ups are shit. And one of the hardest things to work out is to be friends or not with the ex. This writer argues you should be 'nothing' with your ex

Something I've always wanted to own but probably won't ever realistically buy is a campervan. Maybe the re-released electric version of the Volkswagen campervan

I'm always on the look-out for indie comics, and I'm so glad I have Lauren on my blog feed to recommend new reads to me


Dundee has a lot more to offer locals and visitors than you might think. Helen has a round-up of pop-up shops happening soon in the city

If you're looking for your next Netflix binge, maybe one of these Scottish options will take your fancy

It feels as though all films and celebrities collaborate with make-up brands which test on animals, but there's rumour about an Urban Decay and Gwen Stefani range

I sometimes think the illustrations on the GBBO look better than the cakes, and here's the guy who creates them

It's always irked me when people mock unusual names. Because 1) it's hurtful (I know this firsthand) 2) it's rude and 3) in many circumstances it's racist

It's safe to say I'm a long term singleton, but if you're new to the single life here's how to rock your new lifestyle


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Chop Chop Chinese



If there's a type of cuisine I rarely eat, it's Chinese. It's just never been something I've been drawn to. I remember when I was quite young it was a cuisine I would actively avoid and struggled to find something to eat on a menu, even before my veggie days. But I'm always open to trying new things and re-visiting former dislikes so when the vegan meet-up group I'm a member of picked Chop Chop on Mitchell Street in Glasgow as the next venue I decided to give it a bash (and not stay in on Friday night). 

The organiser of the group was already familiar with Chop Chop and its menu. It has a wide range of vegetarian food and the staff have always been happy to answer her questions regarding veganism. Our server was already aware that we were a vegan meet-up group and was more than happy to tell us what was already vegan and what could be adjusted. 

As I've said, Chinese food hasn't been something I've ever gravitated towards so my experience of Chinese restaurants is limited. Though I have been in establishments before which follow the same formula: they number the dishes on their menu and you order by number, and the food itself is on the 'fast' side. Definitely more junk food vegan that night than raw superfood vegan! 



For my main I had Noodles in Peanut and Mustard Sauce. I regularly make myself a satay sauce based on peanut butter and I imagined this would be up the same street. However, it was slightly more unusual. The sauce comes in a small separate bowl and is cool because heating it up would cause the oils to curdle. You then mix it in yourself with the wheat noodles and the cucumber/coriander mix you're also given. As a side I had pan fried vegetable dumplings. My general dislike of Chinese food aside, I actually love vegetable dumplings but these didn't quite stand up for me as they had only been fried on one side! So imagine a dumpling with one side crispy and one side soggy and you get that idea. 



Whilst all vegans known it's not too hard to find a vegan mains (or at least one which can be easily adapted) dessert menus are usually the worst. For dessert we had three (!!) vegan options. There was sorbet, peanut dumplings and sugar string apple. I went for the peanut dumplings, which I loved. I've not got a sweet tooth but I love anything carby or starchy, so desserts of the savoury variety always get my vote. The sugar string apple was also ordered at the table and was apple pieces in caramelised sugar - but eat quickly as it becomes a bit too solid to eat after the sugar sets.



The atmosphere in Chop Chop is also worth mentioning. It's hustle and bustle and is somewhere lively to go if you're in the market for that. There are also fake blossom trees with fairy lights to look at above, as well as oriental music on the speakers. 

Based on my limited knowledge of Chinese restaurants, Chop Chop is of a similar standard that you'd expect for lower-end Chinese places with numbers on the menu. It's not where you'd take someone you were wanting to impress, but it falls into the cheap and cheerful cateory and there's nothing wrong with that. 

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Independent Shopping in Yorkshire


Whilst I'm a fan of reviewing things (it's kind of why I own a blog with a name which is a French toy on the phrase 'Morag loves') there's a few things I shy away from posting flat-out reviews on. Some because I feel they would be a bit out of place on my blog and others because I'm not really sure my writing ability could do it justice.

One of these 'thing I don't want to review' would be bars and nightclubs. Like, what would you actually say? I mean, I did write one once but that was before my blog found its feet and its niche. I'm not going to bore you with tales of my recent night out in Leeds for a university pal's birthday (if you are curious we went to Baa Bar which was all about fruity well-priced cocktails and then to Pryzm which was hella expensive and just like any other nightclub). But I didn't just go their to give myself a hangover, before getting my train back across the border I went for a quick jaunt into the town of Saltaire for a look around. I think we believed their might be a vintage market on but that turned out to be next weekend, but I still found a row of pretty independent shops. And I think independent shops are a bit more bloggy friendly than where I chose to drown my sorrows the night before.



My friend (who btw is called Melissa and has an Etsy nail shop if you want to take a look!) was already familiar with the shops on offer and immediately took me somewhere called Rad Studio which was the shop that all blogger dreams are made of. There was modern and chic homewares, jewellery, natural beauty products and stationary. This is maybe a sign that I've been on the internet too long but the shop felt very...gh0stparties-ish (when you're using blog names as adjectives to describe a shop you know you should go take walk in the park and feed some ducks). Everything was very clean, there was plenty of white space on the prints and everything was beautifully displayed. I was very tempted to buy some pieces (a coy candle, a cushion and a clay mask to be exact) but I refrained (knowing I should probably e-mail that beauty company first to be on the safe side) but they also have an online shop which I may make a cheeky order from.




Just next door to this was the ArtParade Gallery, which has a range of independent jewellery and stationary upstairs and artwork gallery downtsiars. Admittedly the designs here weren't my personal style but were still very beautiful and I'm sharing for anyone who might have a different style to myself. The jewellery on offer was of a more contemporary or art nouveau style, rather than the stylish modern pieces next door. Though I was very impressed with the moustache card I found.




A short walk from here was the Salts Mill. I didn't get to explore all the floors before my train but it (to an extent) reminded me of the WASPS studios in Scotland. The bottom floor was a massive shop full of artwork, stationary and art supplies for anyone who is looking to create their own art (which I forgot to take photos of aside from plant grown pencils so imagine an old building with a massive art shop downstairs). And the upper floors also have shops and cafés.





But alas after this I had to nip to get my train back up to Scotland. Saltaire was a gorgeous town in the Yorkshire countryside which is perfect for a wander. Despite having travelled right round the world thanks to globe trotting parents I've actually seen extremely little of England (and only a brief stop over the N.Ireland before heading to the Republic and with no visits to Wales) which I hope to change in the near future. I'm actually heading down to London in two weeks for a blog event which was too good to pass up, and next year I might possibly be in Oxford for a blogger meet-up and I'm still yet to visit Louise in Manchester (which is a big veggie hub).  


But enough about me and my travels. Do you live in Yorkshire and think there's somewhere I should check out the next time I'm down?

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The Linkables



What are everyone's plans for the weekend? After my trip to Yorkshire last weekend this weekend will be spent chilling (which I think is needed). I'll be eating out tonight at Chop Chop in Glasgow and will be spending the rest of it in bed with The Carrie Dairies re-energising myself. 

Geek & Pop Culture

I finished Game of Thrones this week. Whilst I'm not fangirling like the rest of the country there's still a part of me that is keen to learn about the whole world. Here's 12 things you didn't know about Game of Thrones

I haven't decided what my next TV binge is going to be, but the progressive Brooklyn Nine-Nine is on the very large list


Feminism & Equality

Despite a high level of knowledge about human sexuality and being a strong trans-ally I wasn't aware that hormone therapy causes trans folk to go through a second puberty. So I'm getting behind this kickstarter to produced educational -  but funny - videos on hormone replacement therapy,

In intersectional animal rights and feminist news an all female anti-poaching group has been awarded the UN's highest environmental prize.

 I love Charlotte Church.

I've always been slim but my stomach has always stuck out, and whilst I'm still learning to love it it makes me all kinds of happy that some women are loving it.

This week saw the launch of the Global Sex Work Law Map

There's quite a debate as to whether rough sex can be feminist. I'm of the opinion that any type of sex that is consensual is feminist. As does this writer (NSFW). 


Animals & Veganism


Nutritional Yeast is one of my store cupboard essentials, if you're thinking Nutri-what? here's the low-down

If you're a vegan heading to Toronto soon, this is for you

Etc. 


I've been getting into Snapchat recently (username: moadore) and I've been reading up the mistakes not to make.

If you're a London lover, here's some Instagram accounts you should be following

It's wayyyyy easier to make friends when you're still in education rather than as an adult. But here's some advice on making friends as a grown up

When having a break is the best and most positive thing you can do for your relationship

Which cosmetics ingredients are best for zapping away blackheads

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In My Shower #1




Have you ever looked at your collection of something any wondered "Why do I own so much of this one particular thing?"

Anyone who has a hobby which involves physically buying things will probably eventually wonder why they own so much of it. This is probably true for people who blog about a particular topic. Whether you're a fashion blogger who's wardrobe is filling out or a book blogger who has just purchased their third IKEA bookshelf, you're probably hearing me. 

For me, I own a lot of beauty products. It comes with the title of being a beauty blogger, afterall. However most of my collection can be kept neatly away in a box. My nail varnishes all fit in travel make-up bag and my face make-up still fits in a pretty box I found in TKMaxx. But the out of the control collection is probably my shower gel collection. 

I'm not entirely sure why I own a lot of shower gels. It's not like make-up which visibly changes my appearance when in public; it's not obvious to my workmates whether I washed with plain non-fragranced soap that morning or a pineapple and mango fushion with jojoba oil (they only care that I actually washed). I'm not even sure why I'm writing such a big intro to a blog post where I take you on a mini-tour of my shower via my DLSR. I think I just want to forewarn and justify my spending habits on soap. 

But, anyway. Currently in my shower I have six haircare products, three face care products and thirteen shower gel and scrubs. (Also, I have more shower gels in a cupboard, which is full and needs cleared out. Quite a few of these are birthday and Christmas presents because I'm one of those cheap people for who a Superdrug shower set actually is a good present). And to clarify this is actually all mine. I have en-suite cause I'm fancy so even though there's enough products here for a family of four (and their visiting cousin) it's actually all mine for me alone. 

Many of these products you've probably seen before, but I'm treating this post as one of those unedited 'what's really in my shower/bag/room posts'. And to clarify some of these products were presents and out of goody bag and whilst I've clarified no animal testing has went on not all products are made with 100% vegan/plant ingredients.



The bottom row of my shower has mainly hair care and face care products, plus two soaps in the bottom corner. I have my Au Lait Shampoo from the Scottish Fine Soaps Company (which is one of my favourite shampoos ever, but I haven't had vegan clarification so using it very slowly until it runs out though the brand is cruelty-free) and by that I have one of my Faith in Nature Shampoos (which is also a great buy). I also have the Superdrug limited edition Pear Drops shampoo and conditioner which I bought just last week and is also a great buy. At the end I have Keratin protein which I got in a goody bag ages ago and use as a weekly treatment. In the bottom corner have the Pure Chimp Super Shampoo Bar. The face washes I have on that shelf are the Conscious skincare Neautralize face wash, the Agronauti face wash and the Nude Purifying face wash. I've reviewed all of these and you'll notice that they all fall into the 'okay' category but I don't like waste products so I'm finishing them up before I purchase more (my skincare purchasing habits are not the same as my body gel purchasing habits). The two soaps in the bottom corner are the Pure Chimp soap bar and a geeky Tar Trek soap from Venus's Vault (who sadly got moved to my grey area on my cruelty-free brand list).



On the top we have a tray which is completely shower gels and scrubs. So much shower gels that you can't even see all of them despite my careful arranging for the photo. The tall white bottle at the left is the Arbonne SeaSpa which is one of my favourite shower gels ever. It's pricey and I still have it left over from my Consultant days because I love it so much that I only use it oh so sparingly (I feel squeaky clean after using it. Good for after the gym or a festival). In front of it is a Royal Jelly showergel from a Marks & Spencer's gift set I received from my aunt last Christmas which I only just opened last month. The two yellow bottles to the side are a small Arran Aromatics bottle that I got in the #ScotBlogMeet goody bag and behind it is a Lime & Pineapple Faith in Nature shower gel from a kit I got last Christmas. The clear bottle to the side is a Tesco showergel from my previous flatmate on my last birthday which is branded as Botany (and will be one of the few shower gels I've not reviewed - it falls into the okay category). To the side I have the Treacle Moon Vanilla and Coconut shower scrubs which you might recoginse as I reviewed them very recently (they're also the ones I seem to be reaching for the most as of late). And finally to the side we have two products which have also been left over from my Arbonne days - a shower gel and shower scrub from their Aromassentials range. I admittedly rate these as quite averagely and don't find myself reaching for them that often - the scrub has moisturising properties similar to baby oil and makes my shower floor really slippy! 

And this still doesn't count what is laying on the shower floor. Cause all that stuff is almost finished and I decided to leave it out. But it's mainly Faith in Nature shampoos. 

And even though they're super plain, my shower trays came from Matalan. In case anyone was wondering...

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Coping with travel sickess


Coping with travel sickness

With any luck this post will be successfully scheduled to go live when I am leaving my Glasgow flat to pop down to Leeds to visit one of my university friends for her birthday. The joy (and frustration) of scheduled posts. 

So yay! Excitement! Drink! Night Out! New city! But with every trip I make I have to factor in my health and manage my travel sickness. It's been something that's followed me since childhood and hasn't improved as I've entered adult life. Anyone who also experiences travel sickness will also know the dread that comes with an upcoming long trip. As I've not managed to find a cure and it's something that I appear to not have outgrown I have been forced to only learn to manage it (and thankfully I have not thrown up in years, though it's still horribly uncomfortable).

I've developed a few coping techniques for when I know I'm taking a long trip, and here's some of the things I've learnt over the years. 

- Take your travel sickness tablets to the letter
My preferred choice is Stugeron. Sometimes on a shorter journey I can get away with popping one before I travel. But on a longer journey I take them to the letter. On a bus trip to Paris (from Aberdeen) when I was 13 I made it the whole way down with no stomach sicky feeling after I took my medication to the letter. 

- Consider the mode of transportation
It's annoying but when I'm booking transport I can't book myself onto whatever happens to be cheapest. I have to annoyingly also take my travel sickness into consideration. Its not nice for my bank balance but for a comfortable journey where I still have energy at the end it means a train to see my parents in Aberdeen, the quickest available bus to Dundee and taking the train down to Leeds, when some of these options are rarely the cheapest.

- Look out for routes which stop off somewhere
My train to Leeds includes a half hour stop over in Carlisle which nicely breaks up the journey. Just don't go something with a five minute window to switch trains...

- Be punctual and pick your seats
I've always been punctual (for everyone).  The benefits include picking the best seat at the theatre, in a restaurant or on the Megabus. Where I sit can make a big different to how I feel when travelling. 

- Listen to music (or something else to concentrate on)
Reading or playing games is considered a no-no when travelling for the travel sickness inclined. I always take my iPod because it gives my brain something else to concentrate on. 

- Eat something nutritional, but light, beforehand
It's a double edged sword. But my travel sickness can be made worse by eating too much beforehand or travelling on an empty stomach. I eat a big meal a few hours beforehand and have something light before getting aboard. Seems to work.

- Stay calm and keep your anxiety under control
When I travel I get nervous because I expect to feel like s***. Which makes it worse than it has to be. Sometimes on long journeys I just want off the damn train already which can lead to a claustrophobic feeling. I have to remember to calm down and take deep breaths. 

- Be honest and assertive
I sometimes feel as if my travel sickness isn't taken seriously and I should just pop a few pills and be quiet. When I'm travelling with a group of people I need to put my assertive hat on and not make excuses about the fact that this happens to me, and I need to work it into my plans. And remind them that unless they want me puking on their lap they better take me seriously. 

- But if you are forced into the backseat of the car, take the middle seat
Cause you can still look ahead. As if you were in the front (just with less legroom).

What are your tips for coping with travel sickness?


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The Linkables


Inspiration

I hope we've all had a good week, and are looking forward to the weekend. I'm heading down to Leeds tomorrow to visit one of my best friends from university for her birthday. I haven't been to Leeds since I took part in a charity hitchike in 2011 (see ugly 24-hour hitchiking photo here) and I'm yet to experience the nightlife so I'm looking forward to it ( but not looking forward to the journey back to Scotland with the hangover!). 

But enough about me and my impending hangover, links! 

Feminism & Equality

A gay Nigerian illustrates the gay-positive history of Africa, which has been lost since Christianity spread to the continent. 

If you're a guy looking for a body-positive role model, check out these seven fearless and awesome males

An article for anyone who believes sex changes 'are handed out': only five doctors in Scotland are qualified to help trans men and women

Whilst there may be are slightly more important issues in the world than school uniforms, I feel strongly that they shouldn't exist. Here are 4 lies about school dress codes that cover up their oppressive effects. Myth 3 is the reason my school didn't have a uniform. 

Travel & Global News

If you're glob trotting soon make sure you don't offend the locals. 22 things that might be offensive in another country

If you're dining out this weekend, here's five of the best veggie burgers in Glasgow

Not sure where to book your next holiday? Well, Berlin has been named the world's vegetarian capital

Geek & Pop Culture


If you're a tattoo lover who wants to show permanent love to more than one fandom, here's some awesome mash-ups.

Wes Craven was a feminist director. Discuss

Etc. 

If you're a blogger who works with brands you might have questioned what is appropriate blogger etiquette. Here are some guidelines

If there's one thing I wish I was better at it is being assertive. The fabulous Gala Darling dug up an article from her archives on this very thing

I think you can tell a lot about the suitability of a new romantic interest by the way they keep their apartment. And I'm not the only singleton who agrees.  


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Burgers at Lebowskis, Finnieston




I do like a good vegetable burger. However, very often a simple veggie burger is the default non-meat option at restaurants so I occasionally roll my eyes at them. So when Lebowskis was the place picked for a work night out I wasn't very sure how I felt about a bar/restaurant who's menu was 100% burgers, even if two of them were veggie. 

But you know what? This was the best god damn veggie burger I've maybe ever had. So much so that I decided to blog about it, even though I wasn't originally planning to because "it's just a burger". Hence the Instagram photos...

There were actually two vegetarian options, but I settled on the falafel because 1) falafel, despite being the default veggie option almost everywhere, is actually one of my favourite foods and 2) I only had to ask for the mayonnaise to be removed (the other burger involved cheese of some kind). Not going to lie I was expecting to be served with a regular falafel pattie between two buns. But no! When it came there were two massive pieces of falafel inside a crispy bun with a stick through the middle to keep it together with a side of skinny fries (you can also get chunky fries) presented on a hipster wooden board. 

And it tasted a bit of alright too. The falafal was slighty spicy and was a beautiful texture. The American fries were also proper fries and not some McDonald-esque fries. I'm the only vegetarian at my work, but all the meat-eaters enjoyed their food as well. There was a curry burger which definitely caught my eye on the menu (but didn't eat because....chicken), and it actually came in tortilla wrap. If any of my meat-eating readers fancy trying anything different...

For a long time I've watched as meat-eaters indulge in the burger trend and slowly (or quickly) tick off the joints along St Vincent Street (for non-Glaswegians this is a street with half a dozen burger joints in a row, which is not where Lebowskis is so I don't know why I'm doing this mini-tour). I've eaten at a few of them, but the veggie burgers are usually boring by comparison to the meat counter-parts. Lewbowkis was the first burger I've had where I really felt the vegetarians were able to get in on the burger trend (which I have been jealous of - I want gourmet and imaginative veggie burgers). If you know anywhere else which puts solid effort in to their non-meat options please do give me a holla! 

And before I pop off, I can't mentioned Lebowskis without mentioning their drinks collection. Like a lot of the bars on the Finnieston Strip it's packed full on a Friday evening probably because 1) the offices getting out to start their weekend and 2) they offer a wider and more sophisticated drinks selection than the city centre bars. I'm a rum girl and don't waste an opportunity to try out some non-mainstream rums. Whilst at Lewbowskis I discovered a Scottish rum called Dark Matter which has a cinnamon taste to it. By far one of the best rums I've tried (at £40 a bottle). 

Have you ever been to Lewbowskis? Or tried a sophisticated rum of some kind? 

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Bunny Friendly Beauty Tag




1) How long have you been on your cruelty free journey?
I went cruelty-free just over three years ago. I had been a vegetarian a year before that and I began experimenting with veganism at the same time. I have been vegan for just over one year, and I am currently getting my head around cruelty-free cleaning products. 

2) What made you decide to go cruelty free?
By accident (I believe it was on Twitter) I stumbled upon Louise's blog where I was introduced to cruelty-free cosmetics. Don't get me wrong, I was always firmly against testing lipstick on a bunny but I didn't realise just how common it still was! I began to use her brand list to phase out products and two months later I made the full commitment to boycotting animal testing cosmetics. 

3) What has been the hardest product to find a cruelty free dupe for?
Not a specific product, but I find finding really good hair removal products (whether waxing, shaving or cream) to be a pain. I'm still shaving with a razor and a cheap conditioner in place of shaving foam! 

4) What's the best cruelty free dupe you've found?
I only began to get really into beauty about a year before I went cruelty-free so I didn't really have that many 'holy grail' products. It's probably since going cruelty-free that I've become more brand loyal which is probably just extension of that fact that I'm now more into beauty products in general. 

5) What product or brand do you wish was cruelty free?
It's the eventual goal that all brands in the world will be cruelty-free. However a brand I really really really miss is Benefit Cosmetics. Still haven't found a dupe for that Erase Paste! 

6) What's your holy grail cruelty free brand?
I'm going to be a big massive blogger cliché and say that Lush is my holy grail cruelty-free brand. I lack any imagination. But in seriousness their products are great and easily available on the high street. 

7) Name one cruelty free brand we might not have heard of?
I've mentioned them a few times on my blog but the smallest brand I use is the Aromatree Company. They make one of my favourite foot creams. 

8) Are you a vegan? If so, for how long and have you had any struggles? If not, why not?
I went 100% vegan a year ago, but it had been a long time coming. I started to experiment with it in 2012 when I was still in Dundee. But when I began experimenting with soya cheeses and tofu is became quite apparent that it was likely I had a soya intolerance, which lowed the process down. I also moved back to my parents house in Aberdeenshire then onto Glasgow, which meant having to find new shops to find vegan foods. I occasionally find struggles when eating out and buying vegan non-food items but otherwise it's natural now.  

9) What's your favourite local vegan friendly venue?
I live in one of the most vegan friendly cities in the UK but I actually love the options that the chain restaurants are creating more so than any independent place. The pizza at Pizza Express and the options at Las Iguanas are both delicious. 

10) You have 30 seconds to convert someone to a cruelty free lifestyle - what would you say to them?
I find that most people are against cosmetics testing but just aren't convinced that one person boycotting actually works. I'd remind them of the ripple effect and that if enough people boycott it can work - also look at the consumer pressure that made Urban Decay back-track on their decision to enter China. When I first started cruelty-free blogging there was very few of us, and now there's a whole community.

What's your cruelty-free history? I'm gonna let this tag be open to anybody but specifically I'm gonna tag Hayley and Louise

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Wanderlusting: Portland, Oregon


Portland Oregon

If you're a regular reader (especially of my Linkables series) you'll know that I have got a small bit of a USA obsession. And it doesn't probably come as a surprise that my travel bucket list includes quite a bit of the American states. In fact, not that long ago I whittled my travel bucket list down to just three places and one of those places was "a random American state". 

I was lucky enough growing up that my parents took me on holiday to some of the 'major' American cities and states: Florida including Orlando, Miami and the Keys (the final of which are beautiful); Southern California for Sans Fransisco, San Diego and Los Angeles; Nevada for the lights (but not gambling because I was six, ha!) and Arizona for the heat and desert. And whilst these places were all beautiful and amazing in their own right, I've always had an itch to visit somewhere which isn't one of the big tourist destinations (though the Big Apple would be wonderful and I've already worked out that the State of New Jersey is a quick train ride away). 

One of the more 'random' cities that has always stood out to me has been Portland in the Pacific North West state of Oregon. It first came onto my radar when I was in my mid-teens and was hanging out on message boards which were for the most part populated by Americans as I waited for the British Isles to catch up on my internet addiction (I originally - embarrassingly now - thought the acronym OR meant Orlando). Whilst a lot of these blogs and individuals will have fallen off my radar two that have passed the test of time has been the fabulous Shauna of  Nubby Twiglet and also Tashina of Logical Harmony who has lived in California for the entire time I've read her blog but is originally from Portland. Shauna's blog in particular always has bits and pieces from around her city. Wanderlust indeed. 

Portland trip: Vegan Cheese

In their recent issue, VeganLife* ran a piece on the vegan food offering in Portland. Photographer Annika Lundkvist stopped by Portland for a week on her move from Hawaii to Connecticut and wrote a piece for the magazine of the vegan options she found. I had already known that Portland had a booming vegan scene but I wasn't quite aware of how much there was, or had done any research on the actual establishments. 

For my own list and any of you who might be making a visit to Portland in the near future some of the places she stopped by (out of the massive list of places in the city) include: 

And I discovered a vegan 'mini-mall' exists! 

As far as fulfilling my drem of visiting a slightly more offbeat American city is safe to say Portland still stands quite high at the top of that list. 


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The Linkables



How has everyone's week been? I've had quite a quiet one but tonight I'll be out for a joint leaving-night at work, and my friend will be through from Dundee for a visit. I'll also be certain to get my nosed buried into The Sex Myth, the first book from one of my all time favourite feminist bloggers. 

Feminism & Equality

The BEST way to stand with Planned Parenthood (or any sexual health providers, including the NHS in the UK) is to actually use their services

I see myself in the stranger’s eyes, and I know he thinks he and I are the same. I am a young white woman with an expensive looking dress I bought at a thrift store last summer.  I have an EBT card, too, I imagine myself telling him, taking ownership of my identity. After all, what is there to be ashamed of? I wonder what it is, exactly, about receiving public assistance that humiliates me so deeply. I work hard, I want to tell him. I’m working two jobs this summer, and I’m starting college in the fall. Instead, I merely smile back at him and shrug. Moments later, I slip the cashier my EBT card, and the cashier looks surprised, then confused. Still, he swipes it without a word, and to my relief, it’s accepted. When I exit the store, I don’t let myself look back.

In the aftermath of Cecil the Lion, Delta Airlines changes its rules on transporting game trophies. Not sure why it wasn't done before, but high five for progress anyway! 


For that pen pal on the other side of the world: DIY map envelopes

I'm okay with strips clubs (in theory). I'm also okay with burlesque. But I know quite a few people who think strips clubs are seedy but would happily attend a burlesque show. This article is on point about why that sometimes is (and the comments are food for thought). 

Sex & Relationships

For anyone who has ever found it a hard pill to swallow when their ex looks really really happy

I discovered The Single Woman in the aftermath of a messy break-up, and her writing with a major part of my healing. Almost five years on I find myself nodding along to her What I've learned from my break-up post

How to respectfully compliment your partner's body, when they hate it. Also fantastic relationship advice in general. 

Pop Culture & Geek

I don't care what anyone else says I'm supporting this Draco Malfoy fan theory

I'm not normally one to publicly morn a famous death but the passing of Wes Craven touched me. The Scream films were listed within my favourites as a teenager, and I thought this YouTube compilation of 'Scream's from his films was a touching tribute. 


Like a lot of females my age, I learnt about diabetes from Stacey McGill of The Babysitter's Club. For young diabetics her character provided comfort. Including Stu, who doesn't fit the demographic of your classic reader...

If you're a Titanic geek, a menu from the day before the sinking is going to auction (for $50,000). 

Need to buy for my bookshelf: a horror story based in IKEA

Etc. 


A phone app for...foraging

The first day of school was a day to put in more effort to your outfit than the entire year, and make sure you had the snazziest pen. The Indie Chicks reminds us that there's still some first day rules to apply in adult life.  

In eco friendly news, and slightly morbid, I've been researching natural burials recently

Blogging has changed quite a bit over the last few years and Amber has some wise words on how it's not quite enough to be just be a good writer anymore

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Where to buy vegan food in Glasgow


Wholefoods vegan food Glasgow

Glasgow is renowned throughout the UK vegan scene as a plant based mecca. It was one of my primary reasons for wanting to move here post-graduation, and I've still not managed to make my way around all the vegan friendly restaurants and cafés (despite the three year anniversary of my move cropping up). 

But the question I get the most is not "where can I grab a tasty vegan burger?" but is "Where do you buy your food?". And by food they mean household food as in something to have breakfast or when you feel peckish in the night. Something to have in the freezer yougetthepicture. 

And Glasgow, as you might expect, is not short of places to buy something for your food cupboard. However, it is a bit spread out. Dundee is hardly noted for its vegan beauty but the one health food store that existed while I lived there was right on the main street and sells what you need for a vegan dinner (and some vegan cleaning materials to wash up afterwards, plus something to wash your hair with). 

In Glasgow, I go to a mixture of different shops. Which is a bit annoying. I still shop at mainstream shops such as Tesco and Co-op, but I won't include them in this blog post because we all know about the Tesco Metro in the St Enoch Square and the Co-op outside Central Station. 

I'll just include some places you can stop by to pick something up (there will also not be any Holland & Barrats in here either, as we know about them too). 

Quality Vitamins & Herbs
If I could split the weegie vegans I know down the middle: half of them love this shop and the other half have never heard of it. It's tucked away on Douglas Street, which is off of Sauchiehall (I think Nando's is on the corner?). It's stocked to the brim with what you need to live the vegan lifestyle, from vegan cheeses, to vegan shampoo and lots and lots of tea (which isn't really a 'vegan' product, but I really like tea). And the staff are lovely and are always open to ordering in what their customers want and even let me know the delivery dates for certain stock. 

Roots & Fruits WholeFoods
If you live in the West End of Glasgow then you'll probably be within walking distance to either the store on Great Western Road or the one on the Finnieston Strip. I work in close proximity to the Finnieston Strip and have popped in here a couple of times for a sandwhich (they sometimes make up some interesting vegan ones) and maybe a can of organic coke. It's also a great place to pick up vegetables of the peculiar variety such as fancy mushrooms (and fancy I mean shiitake and the like) or some summer fruits. They also sell a lot of tea. But, being the West End it's probably the dearer of the shops on this list. 

Wholefoods
Situated in my native Southside, Glasgow's Wholefoods is down in the Giffnock area of Glasgow. Whilst Wholefoods is hardly some little known store and is instead a global brand, because of it's suburban location a few vegans I know haven't taken the trip out yet (there's a bus that runs from outside the 02 Academy straight down). In terms of food, there isn't anything there that you couldn't find in the city itself but the beauty department is amazing and has already been responsible for a few financial faux-pas. And the alcohol section also has vegan friendly brands I hadn't come across before. (Bonus: here's my blog post from a year ago)

Waitrose
So, hands up who thought this would be all about independent shops? Whilst I'm not going to tell you about the vegan delights in Tesco because we all know about Tesco but Waitrose seems to be a British Supermarket that gets forgotten about (Morrisons is the other, but it's terrible for vegans). Though, if you've been born and bred in Glasgow you're probably acquainted with them and it's just those of us who grew up outside the Central Belt who had only heard of this Waitrose place. Neither Aberdeen or Dundee have a Waitrose (you'd think Aberdeen would have one?) and the Byres Road store is the first one I ever visited. Whilst their own brand range hasn't got much of a vegan offering (though they mark out their vegetarian wines), they carry a lot of branded food which I would otherwise have to order online. Such as Almond Dream and Method cleaning products

(M&S, Co-op and Sainsbury's also mark out their vegetarian wines, but I think most people know that?).

Where do you go for your vegan food? Is there a tiny little corner store that's not yet on my radar?

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