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© 2015 mo'adore | Content and design by Morag Lee | Powered by Blogger.

The last Linkables of 2017

Well guys, here we are again. Another year gone and I'm still sharing links. I took a little bit of a backseat from blogging this year, because pushing myself to post three times a week and maintain a cruelty-free brand list was proving too much (especially for someone who has always said they don't want to blog full time). But I've still been online: reading blog posts, watching videos and learning/laughing my way through the internet. This is some of the best things I've found.

Politics and Feminism

50 Healthy Resolutions that Aren't Losing Weight

My favourite thing on the internet this past month has definitely been the #WokeCharlotte meme.

What kinds of New Year fitness resolutions to feminists make? 

Self-Diagnosing Mental Illness Isn't Perfect - But Here's Why It Can Be Necessary

No, Female Trans Athletes Do not Have an Unfair Advantage.

12 Men Reveal The Mental Health Struggles Behind Their 'Manly' Photos To Smash Stereotypes

Why the voting age should be lowered to 16

Sex & Relationships

40 important milestone you can have in your life without getting married.

Sorry Romantics, But Love Is a Choice

What it's like to get an STI in an exclusive relationship

How Disney Princesses would be different if they had mothers

15 people who have felt suicidal on the questions they wish they had been asked.

When I'm dating someone new, I will make judgements about them when I see their living space: turns out I'm not the only woman who does.

Imagine meeting someone, only to discover they weren't on any social media? Here's a funny video from the Independent.

Pop Culture & Geek

The top 10 video games of 2017.

LOL: hilarious Pornhub comments we are glad exist

If you're having a dull day: here's A.J. McLean's daughter jamming to NSYNC.

I still wouldn't consider Eminem woke, but his new direction is something.

Here's a brutally honest twist to the Babysitter Club covers, featuring Claudia.

Keep handy for next Christmas: How to win all the major board games families play at Christmas

Blogging and Marketing

17 things you should do to every blog post before and after publishing

The 5 most important skills a digital marketer needs in 2018

The social media trends that will take over in 2018


I love this: the world needs more unflattering photos.

The opposite of FOMO: The Joy of Missing Out

morag | mo adore
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Why you should give the Arrowverse a chance (all 300+ episodes)

You know all those super hot television shows that everyone was watching in 2017?

Stranger Things, Peaky Blinders, Riverdale, Orange is the New Black, Broadchurch, The Crown, GLOW, The Good Place, Dear White People, Silicon Valley, Mindhunter, The Handmaid's Tale, Twin Peaks....

...I've not see any of them*.

Because, since May, I've been knee-deep in the Arrowverse with the goal of completing all 300+ episodes by the time 2017 was out (which I managed). For anyone unfamiliar with the Arrowverse, it's a fictional universe comprised of the DC superhero shoes Arrow, Flash, Supergirl and DC's Legends of Tomorrow. So there's a lot of episodes, characters, and story lines to get your head around. It's the biggest tv-binge I've ever completed and I thankfully enjoyed it when I reached the end of the most recent episode. I regret nothing.

Here's why you should give it a try too, even if it will take you the best part of a year to complete.

Lesser known comic heroes take the stage

I was originally inspired to start watching Arrow when I found out that Black Canary - one of my favourites - would be brought to life. While Black Canary isn't that unknown to comic fans, she's not exactly going to be popping up in the DC Cinematic Universe anytime soon, is she?

Other lesser-known characters that have been brought to life in the Arrowverse include Livewire, Captain Cold, Lena Luthor, Atom/Ray Palmer, Deathstroke, Damien Darhk, Vandal Savage, Vixen, Hawkgirl, Hawkboy, Kid Flash, Heatwave, Killer Frost, Vibe, Nyssa Al Ghul, Constantine, Firestorm, and Martian Manhunter all make an appearance.

You'll spot Easter eggs that reference the big-name superheroes
The Flash’s Welcome to Earth-2

The film studios have been protective about some of DC's big-gun superheroes so we're not going to see Batman or Wonder Woman in the Arroverse. But keep your eyes peeled and you'll catch the references. The most obvious was the back of Harley Quinn's head, but keep your ear's open for a conversation about Oracle and eyes wide for billboards with Ferris Air plastered across them.

A racially diverse cast

While the main characters - Supergirl, Arrow, and Flash - are all white (and that's not a good thing, main characters should be diverse too!), the wider cast is one of the most diverse I've seen. And they don't shy away from commentating on race either.

DC's Legends of Tomorrow is the most prominent example. Several members of the team are non-white, and when they go back in time to periods when racial tensions were far higher than they are now, it's not brushed under the carpet. One African American member of the team was so distraught by the treatment of the slaves that he frees them knowing it will blow up their current mission. And when they travel back to the 1950s, an older white male member of the team was reminiscing at what good a decade it was - only to be shut down by two members of the team who weren't white or straight.

And sorry racists, they changed Iris West's race for the show.

Women in STEM

Women are very rarely portrayed as scientific or tech geniuses in pop culture - not in the Arrowverse though. There's Felicity Smoak aka Overwatch: a hacker extraordinaire who is the eyes and ears at home base when Team Arrow run out on their nightly missions.

And there's Caitlin Snow. She's honestly a bit over-the-top and is some doctor/bio-engineer/chemist/hacker wonder women. But this is fiction and she's brilliant.

And LGBT+ characters

While it is frustrating that the writers haven't made Sara Lance utter the word bisexual, polysexual or pansexual - they don't use the word heterosexual or straight either. She consistently has relationships and casual flings with both men and women as the show progresses and her sexuality isn't treated as confusion or a stepping stone. But the word would still be nice....

Then over on Supergirl, we have a later-in-life coming out story. I won't say what character is it, but just that it is handled well.

A couple break up over wanting children/not wanting children

(I wasn't going to choose a gif that involved the couple due to spoilers, so here's one with Kara Danvers and Supergirl looking sheepish). 

It's still rare in pop culture to see characters actively choosing not to have children. So it's no wonder that so many regular real-life people don't understand that some people make the choice not to have them.

It's refreshing to see a fictional couple realise that it doesn't matter how long you're with someone or how compatible you are otherwise - a partnership where someone wants children and someone doesn't can't have a long-term future. It makes this child-free lady fist pump.

(Monica and Richard Burke from Friends, and then Robyn from How I Met Your Mother are the only two examples I can think of).

The acting

While there are a few bad eggs here and there, the acting is second to none. Whether it's Tom Cavanagh playing multiple versions of Harrison Wells from different earths, or Grant Gustin playing a future version of The Flash, these actors know how to immerse themselves into a role. 

You'll end up with a new fictional crush

It's Stephen Amell (Oliver Queen aka Arrow) everyone seems to be crushing over with his chiselled jawline and six-pack. But I've developed a little (okay, big) crush on Grant Gustin (Barry Allen aka Flash) because cute nerds with choppy hair cuts who wear Converse will always be my type. Plus, a male friend of mine totally has it for Felicity Smoak.

It's gives us DC fans something to watch

That's Thea Queen - ain't she cute? 

I'm a DC girl through and through. However, even I know that the DC Cinematic Universe leaves a lot to be desired. All we have right now are the TV shows (and the animated series, which I've not seen, but heard amazing things about) until the film executives sort themselves out.


Let me know if you'v watched the Arrowverse. What was your favourite bit?

* I did make an exception for 13 Reasons Why and Game of Thrones most recent season.

morag | mo adore
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Herbivore Kitchen, Edinburgh

It's Christmas Eve and by now you've probably all had your festive nights out with friends and co-workers.

So I apologise that this review is a week too late...

But I still need to write about the vegetarian Christmas Menu at Herbivore Kitchen in Edinburgh because it was just that good. Even if the ship has sailed on the festive dinner menu, I still highly recommend heading there for food at another time of year (I know I will be).

Honestly, it's been a while since I headed through to Edinburgh for some vegan food. So I'm not as up-to-date as I could be on where to eat in the capital. Thankfully the lovely Charlene was on the ball and went out of her way to organise a meet-up for some of the vegans she regularly speaks to online. 

And she made an excellent choice on venue as the food was delicious. It was a 3-course menu of £25 with three choices for each course. The menu also marks out what is vegetarian, vegan, wheat-free and contains nuts.

For starters I chose the Roast Butternut Round, Sweet Potato Gnocchi, and Sage Cashew Cream. This was by far my favourite part of the night. This was the first time that I have eaten gnocchi made from something that wasn't wheat, and I realise I've been missing out. But I've never made a secret of my love for butternut squash and cashew cream - which was the perfect accompaniment.

For starters, I choose the Sgaia Bacon Nut Roast with Fondant Potato, Baby Carrots, and Red Wine Jus. I'm not entirely sure why I chose this as I'm not a fan of typical Christmas food (including nut roast) and wish I had went for the Crisp Polenta, Stuffed Portobello Mushroom and Black Peppercorn Sauce (we ordered in advance). I did enjoy it, but it was probably my least favourite course, and the portion size did feel small for a main course.

Then for dessert I opted for the Arctic Roll. I'm not normally a dessert person but this was the course where I had to spend a bit of time pondering. The other choices were between a Chocolate Pudding Baked Cheesecake, and Sticky Toffee Ginger & Cinnamon Pudding. Even when the desserts were served, my mouth was watering at the other options. But the Arctic Roll was delightful; with vegan cake circling vegan ice-cream with a chocolate orange flavour.

Herbivore Kitchen is now closed for the Christmas holidays and will re-open on the 29th of December. While the Christmas menu is no more I can definitely see myself returning in the new year to try something from their regular menu (the Lemon Lentil Daal, Roasted Butternut Squash, Coriander Tofu, Spring Onions and Pickled Mooli sounds amazing!).

Herbivore Kitchen

Were you lucky enough to try the Herbivore Kitchen Christmas menu? Let me know what you think. 

morag | mo adore
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10 reasons why dating apps are not the death of romance (or society)

It's probably not surprising that, as a single woman in the 21st Century who owns a smartphone and enjoys social media, that I have dabbled in the world of dating apps.

And by dabbled, I actually mean that I have sixteen dating apps downloaded onto my phone (some are definitely better than others: Tinder, OkCupid, Badoo and Her are my favourites, but JigTalk, CLiKD, and Double should probably get deleted).

In case it wasn't clear: I like dating apps. Enough that I'm the mug who downloads all the silly quirky ones that only have five people signed up. But most single people I know are also on them - the stigma is shredding and it's now almost weirder to be single and not on Tinder, than it is to be on it.

But dating apps still have their haters.

They're not safe.
You'll receive unsolicited dick pics.
Everyone's profile picture is heavily filtered and posed.
You'll get catfished.
It's shallow.
It's lazy.
They're unromantic.
You might miss Your Person because they were born a year before your chosen age range.

If you're single and don't want to be on a dating app, that's your prerogative. But it's a prerogative that I don't agree with and I think you're wrong.

Here's why.

1. It widens your dating pool
There are so many potential dates or partners on these apps that you wouldn't meet otherwise. If you want to exhaust yourself bar-hopping every weekend and RSVPing yes to every social event ever in order to meet someone in real life, be my guest. You do you. But I'll be tucked up in bed, swiping.

(Tinder is also cheaper than going to a bar).

2. Some of us don't like bars, or public places...
It's extrovert bias to say that we should all head to a bar to meet potential matches. I don't really enjoy bars and I'm sure as hell not going to start hanging out in one every Friday night just in case a potential suitor shows up (and even when I did go to nightclubs, it proved to be the worst way to meet someone serious). I'm introverted and most of my hobbies don't involve leaving the house. Dating apps allow me to get on with a life that fulfils me but still have the opportunity to meet romantic and sexual partners.

3. It's actually less shallow
I can see where people are coming from when they say dating apps are shallow: you're deciding (with very limited information) whether to go on a date with an effective stranger.

But think about it. When a cute stranger catches your eye at the bar and you decide to go over - what exactly are you basing your decision on? What do you actually know about this person? You can see that they're cute, but that's it...

Before you swipe right or send a message on a dating app, you'll likely know the person's name, age, sexuality, job title, star sign, religion and whether they already have children or not. Some apps even show your compatibility rating. This is a lot more information than that cutie at the bar - so which is more shallow?

4. Some of us are chasing unicorns
If you're heterosexual, monogamous, able-bodied, sexually vanilla, want children, want marriage, aren't divorced, aren't vegan, don't already have children, and have mainstream political, or spiritual, beliefs then you probably don't understand how damn hard dating can get for those of who don't fit that description.

Those of us who do fall outside of these dating norms probably all know the pain of meeting someone new, feeling the butterflies, then afterwards discovering that there's a massive deal breaker that means the relationship just can't work. 

For those of us whose taste in partners is slightly niche, dating apps helps us find our unicorn(s). OkCupid (which is incredibly detailed) allows users to search based on sexuality, education, children (or lack of), religion, smoking, drinking, drug use, body type, race, monogamous/non-monogamous, and diet. It might not sound romantic, but I've had to end it early on with so many guys because I don't want children (and they do) that it's nice to go in there knowing from the start that it won't be a problem.

5. Casual sex with a stranger is far less awkward...
I generally prefer not to comment on what other consenting adults get up to, but why do people have casual sex with co-workers/a good friend/their best friend's brother?

I believe casual sex is better with someone who is separate from other areas of your life. Like, really. And honestly sex with a cute stranger from a dating app is better than drunken sex with a random at a bar.

6. You could end up dead in a ditch no matter how you meet someone
Okay here is some truth about dating apps: creepy guys can get even creepier when they can hide behind a keyboard (or phone, whatever). There are fake profiles, and I've swiped right on a hottie only to get suspicious that they weren't real. I even once came off OkCupid for a few months due to harassment.

But if you think creeps only exist on dating apps, you've clearly not been paying attention. Any woman who has ever stepped outside her house has received cat calls, had her ass grabbed, maybe her boobs, or struggled to politely decline a guy at a bar who just cannot take the hint. Creepy behaviour is not unique to dating apps.

Ya'll just gotta kiss lot of virtual frogs, yo.

7. It's easier for shy people
Think about that cute stranger in the bar from earlier. How many of us are genuinely comfortable initiating a conversation with a hot someone who we don't know?

Hiding behind a screen helps ease the nerves. If they don't reply it's much less embarrassing or awkward than a public dismissal. Plus you can read their profile and find some common ground to open up on. On swiping apps like Tinder, you even have the reassurance that the attraction is mutual before sending the first message.

8. Catfishing can happen IRL too
Touch wood, but I've never fallen for a fake profile. They're usually pretty easy to suss out (supermodel photos, a naughty bio, no connected social media accounts etc) and while I've evidently not found love on a dating app, I'm yet to have an awful date.

IRL, however, I haven't been as lucky. Guys who I've met in a more traditional setting have managed to pull the wool over my eyes. I've dated a guy in my final stretch of university who turned out to have a girlfriend back home. I knew a guy for two years and only found out his sexual consent skills were shaky once we started dating. Most recently, I was introduced to a guy on my birthday by a mutual friend who thought we'd be a great match - we spoke for about three weeks (and met up once) then he ghosted me...

Moral of my bad dating stories: meeting IRL is no guarantee that someone is being honest with you.

9. Do you honestly care that much about your "how we met" story? 
Tinder is not exactly a great story to tell the grandchildren; but how many couples have an interesting "how we met" story? My parents met at work (oh the romance).

Let's be real: very few couples are childhood sweethearts who stood the test of time or holiday romances who moved across the country to be together. You've been watching too many romcoms, mate.

10. Dating apps work
I know multiple couples who met each other online and are incredibly happy. Online dating works and is a completely legitimate way to meet someone.

As I said in point 8 I'm yet to have a truly awful experience with dating apps. Last year I was casually dating a guy I met off Tinder. We did eventually end things, but he was one of the nicest guys I've ever dated and I don't look back on our time together with any regret. Even more, we've stayed friends. He even bought me a break-up pizza!

If the knowledge that these apps actually work is not proof that they are worth your time, then I don't know what is.

If you're a fan of dating apps, let me know your favourite thing about them. If you're still not convinced, let me know what's stopping you. 

morag | mo adore
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Christmas gifts for foodies who like it hot and spicy

Food (and life) is always better with some spice. If someone in your life agrees, treat them to one of these spicy gifts this Christmas.

1. This mug for drinking their morning spicy espresso from

2. A wall print so they can proudly display their hot-sauce love affair

3. Or maybe this print will be more to their taste

4. A subscription to The Spicery (a subscription box for spices)

5. A towel to wipe up all that hot sauce after cooking

6. Because you're never too young to appreciate some sriracha sauce

7. A book to feed their brain with essential chilli knowledge 

8. The perfect Christmas Day party game...

9. A grow your own chilli sauce gift set

10. Then some chocolate and chilli vodka to wash it down

morag | mo adore
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November Linkables

It's doubtful anyone pays this much attention to my sidebar: but November is the month when my bio age goes up a digit. That's right, I am now 27 and a card-carrying member of the late-twenties brigade. I'm not much of a clubber these days, but I made an exception and tagged onto the back of an old university friend's birthday. I ended up having a good night, which included Solid Rock, Cathouse and even a flat after party. It was fun but I ended up sleeping solidly the weekend after...

Anyway, enough of my party animal antics (or lack of), time for links...

Sex & Relationships

I once dated a guy who - in hindsight, and by own judgement - was probably demisexual. I didn't understand him at all and we were wildly unsuited, but this list helped me understand where his attitude towards sex was coming from and why he behaved they way he did.

I'm introverted as hell, but I don't hate people. I just despise small talk and meaningless conversation (like the weather).

I've primarily dated guys who are the same height as me (I even have a preference for it) and this is why you should consider it too.

I've always joked that, if I was to live with a partner, I'd want my own separate wing. Apparently living apart but together, is becoming more of a thing.

YES: Healthy and happy polyamory in mainstream media.

Related: I'm polyamorous, and Facebook doesn't think my sexuality exists

These boyfriend beauty fails are hilarious.

Are you super single? *puts up hand*

Self-development & life

9 things your house needs to be a happy place.

There's science to why we love the music of our teenage years.

A reminder that you are worthy of effort.
“I would cook, if I had someone to cook for…” is a phrase I hear more often than you would guess.  Puzzled, I find myself wanting to shout, “What about you?” Aren’t you someone? You deserve delicious home cooked meals with or without a date! I found this discovery fascinating when I first moved to the city. I couldn’t fathom the idea of resigning myself to a life of takeout until the day someone came along to fill the seat next to me, thus saving me from a life devoid of home-cooked meals.

9 pieces of common life advice that you shouldn't listen to. 

Feminism & Equality

Co-signed: Dear Average Dudes: No, Conventionally Attractive Men Don’t Get a Pass When It Comes to Harassment or Assault

32 gifts for a book-loving feminist.

Why do women get all attractive if they don't want to be harassed? Glad you asked
" feel confident, to earn social capital in a culture that prizes physical beauty, to turn on their partners, to land dates with people they find mutually attractive — physically or otherwise.....It’s not a contradiction to want all those things and not want a superior to masturbate in front of you."


16 of the best new board games to get stuck into this Christmas

Which zodiac sign is the rarest? 

Potential Christmas recipe: Chestnut, squash and sweet potato loaf.

Scream is one of my favourite horrors films in general partially because the opening scene was such a game changer when it first came out. 

On the topic of horror films, Dead Meat is my newest favourite YouTube channel (I even support it on Patreon).

6 Instagram hacks you haven't heard before. 

morag | mo adore
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Advice for your first bar job

Can you see me?

These days I might be a professional marketer, but during university and breaks in employment bar work was my calling. 

I honestly love it. I wouldn't do it as a career job as I am an introvert much more suited to the background desk job. But I love cocktails, it's an easy way to meet new people, and I could get into clubs without paying.

It's not for everyone. Like all jobs, there is a certain skill set that is required in order to do it properly and effectively. I have seen people being fired and I've seen people fail trial shifts. I've also known people to leave bar jobs after a few weeks having decided it just wasn't for them.

But saying that, it might just be for you (either just to help financially while at university or as a career). This post isn't intended to scare anyone, just a few pointers for your first few months on the job.

Finding a bar job
Almost every bar person I know started off in either of the following positions: a bar job in their local pub or in a very basic student nightclub who employ students who are freshly 18 and cheaper to employ.

It might be you're aim to work in a fancy cocktail bar, however these places are more hesitant to take someone with no experience. Just pop into your local and ask - that's exactly what I did. I started out in a local golf club and later I was shaking French Martinis in a recognisable Glasgow bar. Like all your local establishments on Facebook because if they're doing a recruitment drive that's where you'll hear about it (that's how I got my Glasgow job).

On a trial shift they usually look for the following things
No one expects you to come in and memorise the entire cocktail list on your first shift, so calm down. On a trial shift they'll be looking for someone who is friendly with the customers and other staff, isn't a total idiot, and already has some basic alcohol knowledge (on one of my trail shifts, there was a girl who thought there was such a thing as a half pint of prosecco...she wasn't kept on). Also eat plenty beforehand as this is a physical job, and always look busy. 

Quickly learn what the bar sells
This is one thing I recommend you swot up on quickly. The most common question you'll get from customers will be "what do you sell?" or "what pint would you recommend" or "how much does such and such cost?". When you're running orders through the till keep an eye on the prices of everything, and study the menus on the website.

You'll learn on the job...but learn quickly
While you won't be expected to identify what wine is the driest straight away, you'll need to learn this soon-ish. There's a lot to learn when working in a bar, from learning what the bar sells, to how to work the till, to where everything is kept, to how to make cocktails by heart and where the toilets are. Soaking up these things as quickly as you can shows your manager you're taking the job seriously and it will make your own life a lot easier if you quickly learn (you might even progress to supervisor).

Things to pack in your bag
A pen (and spares), some paracetamol or ibuprofen, spare make-up, and deodorant. A spare jumper is also handy to throw if you're involved in the clean-up at the end or to throw over yourself while on your break so customers won't bother you. 

You can tell customers it's your first shift
When I started at the golf club and a customer asked me a question I didn't know the answer to I turned into a bumbling mess and rushed off to ask someone else. At later jobs I confidently said "Oh, it's actually only my first/second/third shift, I'll just have a check for you".

The mandatory licensing exam
By law, all bartenders in Scotland have to read a booklet explaining the law to them, answer a quick multiple choice quiz and sign some papers saying they understand what is legally expected of them. It's easy, but it is an essential part of the job. It is, however, putting it into practice that can be difficult which leads me onto...

Being assertive
Tying into the point just above, there are laws regarding the sale of alcohol that will require you to be assertive with customers. People will try and get 'an extra little bit of wine' or ask you not to open the can (I have actually ended up in a tug of over an unopened can of Red Stripe). Or there will be times you'll question someone's age but don't want to risk embarrassment when you find out they're actually 27. Remember, it's the law and the fine is hefty on bar staff if they break it.

(On a side note: don't get pissy about getting ID'd, bar staff risk their jobs and bank balance if they don't check)

Some bars are better for your first bar job than others
While working in a fancy cocktail bar makes you sound like a more interesting person at a dinner party, I wouldn't recommend it as a starting place. I started in a golf club that consisted of old men ordering pints, women wanting pots of tea and lemonade for the junior golfers coming in with their pocket money. I hated it there, but it kitted me out with the bar basics before moving on somewhere that serves cocktails, every shot you could imagine and several wine options. Like all jobs, start easy and move up. 

(Saying that, if you nab yourself a bar job somewhere fancy, congrats and go get them!).

Setting work goals
Setting benchmarks in a bar job is a bit more complicated than some other lines of work, as a lot of what you do in one night is determined by what the customers order. However, there are a few goals you can still make for yourself. Some that I've made for myself have included: remembering to put the credit card charge on every card payment, getting quicker at the cleaning up, remembering to offer cashback, and carrying empty glasses properly. I also took a picture of the cocktail menu and cheat sheet on my phone so I could swot up at home!

Hints and tips on
One of the major benefits to bar work is the extra money made through tips. The amount of tips you can expect will vary depending on where you work but there a few things I've learnt over the years:
- be friendly and smiley
- look your best and follow dress codes etc (it's a shame, but pretty privilege is a thing)
- customers who ask for complicated orders tend to tip better so if someone orders a mojito, two jagerbombs, a pint of Guinness, two bottles of Peroni, a cup of tea and three packet of crisps, wants to pay by card and asks for £30 cash back, it's time to strut your stuff and pretend like you're not secretly dying inside
- women tip better than men, and when men do tip it's usually when they're on a date with the missus

If you've worked in a bar before, what would you recommend to someone looking to get into it? 
morag | mo adore
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How to support colleagues and employees with dietary issues

Some of you may have caught my Twitter rant a while ago about office cake culture (I originally wrote this blog back then). If you don't have any dietary restrictions you might be rolling your eyes right now. But think: how many times has a colleague walked around the office and placed a slice of cake on everyone's desk or someone has brought in exactly the right amount of donuts for every person? Or booked the Christmas night out and not asked if anyone has dietary restrictions? 

If you don't have a diet that is restricted, these things have probably went over your head. But in every single office I have ever worked (yes, every god damn one) I've either been made to feel awkward when I received birthday cake I couldn't eat, sat hungry in business conferences or been asked by a manager why I wasn't more enthusiastic about the office version of the Great British Bake Off.

It's not just as simple as speaking up and plainly stating why you won't eat cake (or whatever food people are dishing up). I prefer to keep my veganism (and all other political and moral opinions) out the office. It's not just veganism though. The list of reasons why someone might omit certain foods is endless: religion, diabetes, IBS, eating disorder recovery, allergies, celiac disease, high cholesterol, kidney disease, gout, and heart disease are just a few. Some of these reasons are understandably not something someone would like to discuss in the office, and shouldn't be forced to.

So that's why I've compiled a list of thing you can do to 1) consider that some people do have a restricted diet and 2) to do so in a way that respects their privacy and doesn't force them to have a conversation they'd rather not have with their colleagues. 

1. Take a head count before you pop out for donuts
Or cupcakes. Or bacon rolls. Don't come into the office and get butthurt when you realise you spent excess money because you put the "Ass Out of You and Me" into assume.

If you want to buy your colleagues a mid-day snack, make sure they actually want it. 

2. No means no
If someone politely declines food don't say "are you sure?", "oh, are you being good?" or - the worst - "well, I'm cutting you a slice anyway". Be polite and move onto the next person. 

No means no in literally every situation on the planet. No is a good word. 

3. Don't buy a birthday cake unless you know what you're doing
That birthday cake I mentioned earlier? It was my 26th birthday and my colleagues had bought me a cake that was labelled as vegetarian. They told me they weren't 100% sure I could eat it but they had seen me eat cake before so assumed it was okay (they had in fact seen me eat vegan cake). I ended up giving the cake to the guy I was seeing at the time, and I have no idea if he even ate it.  

I appreciate that they did try, but I would have preferred to get a non-food related gift with the money they collected. I think most other people with dietary restrictions would as well. Only buy someone a cake if you are certain you can get it right. 

4. Ask for dietary requirements when booking team dinners
The Christmas dinner in my first graduate job was originally going to be at a seafood restaurant. I decided I'd let other people have fun and I'd sit it out...until I found out the owners considered it mandatory to attend (that's another wtf all in itself). I then sheepishly said that I didn't eat meat. Thankfully they changed it because no one wanted to go to a seafood restaurant anyway. But if you thought that was the end of the drama, it wasn't. I had to repeat myself every goddamn year. 

Before booking anything, e-mail round asking if anyone has any dietary requirements or preferences. If someone does, goddamn respect it. I also live in Glasgow, where there are plenty of restaurants that cater to both meat-eaters and vegans, so there are no excuses. 

5. Realise that allergies can actually be deadly
There's a persistent rumour that an allergic reaction involves nothing more than a bad stomach and that a day in bed will fix it.

*head desk*

Allergies can be lethal. If someone in your team has a severe allergy that means it might potentially be life threatening. Actually understand that, and understand it some more. Allergies can kill.

I don't have an allergy, so can't give much more insight. But don't be that person who eats peanut butter sandwiches at their desk when they know the person right beside them is deathly allergic.  

6. Consider social events that don't centre around food
Why does it have to be a team dinner? There are some dietary restrictions that prevent people from ever going near a restaurant. If someone in your team falls into this category be a star and think of something that doesn't involve food. Paintballing? Football trip? Marathon? Day at the fun fayre? Seaside day trip? Picnic? Pub Quiz? Roller skating disco?

7. Don't assume an employee is disengaged if they don't partake
Sometimes a dietary requirement does prevent someone from partaking in work events, whether it's a conference, social event or trip away. Myself and others with dietary requirements do worry that we might get passed up for promotions or horizontal development because we're assumed to be disengaged. When in reality it's our dietary requirements not being respected (either by the company or wider society).

8. Don't pry
I prefer not to talk about my reasons for being vegan in an office. I would just rather everyone left it as "Morag is vegan and doesn't eat cheese". I don't want to end up in an argument with someone about the ethics of the dairy industry, or explain how I get my protein.

Usually these conversations involve me responding with three word answers and squirming in my chair. I'm clearly uncomfortable discussing this. Please use some emotional intelligence and recognise my desire to change the subject.

If someone always turns down cake, it's not your business why.

If you're someone with dietary issues, what's something you wish your colleagues understood? 
morag | mo adore
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Make-up for small and close-together eyes

We all have that feature we dislike and try to cover-up or balance out with make-up. 

For me, one of these features is my close together and small eyes (which are slightly deep set to boot). Now, I know we shouldn't get hung up on these things and make-up should be fun and creative, but when you have something you're a bit insecure about make-up can create the illusion of smaller, bigger or more sculpted features (and it's cheaper than going under the knife!).

It took me years to work out how to create the illusion that my eyes are bigger and wider-set than they naturally are (the Avril Lavigne smokey eye I kept trying as a teenager really wasn't a good look) but these days I reckon I have it on point. 

Obviously, not all of these tips will work for everyone. Heck I don't even make use of all these tips myself. Even if you do have small eyes you might have another feature that these tips will clash with so play around and find out what works with your overall face. 

Conceal like a pro

I've always been big on the under-eye concealer because I have hereditary dark under-eye circles. Said circles also create the illusion that my already close-together eyes are wayyyy closer than they are naturally. Whether you have dark circles, or small eyes, spending a bit of extra time round the eye area with some concealer can create a more open look.

And by some concealer, I mean three (I told you my concealer game was strong and, oh yeah, remember a good eyehsadow primer before you start). My first concealer is a colour-correcting product - I personally prefer yellow to start off (my favourite is Barry M) but you might find peach or green works better for you. Then I go in with a thick concealer, such as Illamasqua (non-vegan but is good if you're just CF) or Hourglass. Then, I finished it off with some light-reflecting concealer (my favourite is the bargain Barry M liquid concealer). You can also finish is off with some setting power if you're going somewhere nice.

A note on a dark circles: a bad night's sleep makes mine worse, so get plenty of downtime. 

Retire the dark smokey eye

A wise person once said that you shouldn't blindly follow trends, and instead work out what suits you. That's exactly why you'll never see me wearing a smokey eye (despite my attempts to pull it off in the noughties). If you really want to wear a smokey, opt for a lighter grey shadow. 

Your eyelashes deserve some attention

Mascara is a considered a must by beauty lovers. For anyone with close together eyes they can help widen the peepers. Remember to concentrate on the outer corners and don't focus too much on the inner corners. Consider investing in a pair of heated eyelash curlers as well. Set them off with false eyelashes at night time, but don't buy the extra volume falsies - it's the lengthening once you want in your stash.

Consider a cat flick

I love liquid eyeliner and I really don't feel "made up" unless I have a cat flick drawn on. Just like the smokey eye, concentrate on the outer corners to help draw attention away from your small gap.

Step away from that waterline

Avril Lavigne was my fashion icon circa 2003 and I even dyed my hair to match hers in the My Happy Ending video.  I pulled that off, but something I couldn't pull off? Her eye-make up - especially lining my waterline with black liner. A cat flick looks great on small eyes, but anything on the bottom lash line just boxes them up.  

You're not Cara Delevingne

Thick eyebrows are in right now, and while I know a few small-eyed babes who can pull them off, generally speaking they're better left to those with naturally wide set peepers. Eyebrows and eyes should be well balanced. There's some debate as to where an eyebrow should start, and I'm in the camp that eyebrows should be plucked to be in line with the start of your eye - but if you have close together eyes plucking just a tiny little bit more will help create the illusion of wider set eyes.

I fill mine in gently to the point where they look almost natural. And I darken them after the natural arch. I use the HD Brow Powder (I've owned this pre-cruelty-free, and they never responded to my email) and darken the outer corners with Barry M It's a Brow Thing.

Lips, lips, lips

This tip might not work for everyone but I always wear a solid lip colour. It's a win-win for me as I quite like my lips, I suit most colours, and it pulls attention away from my eyes. Try a bold colour and see if it works for you. 

And some tricks that don't involve make-up 

Make-up isn't the only tool in the arsenal to create that wide awake look - you can also use your hair and jewellery. When it comes to hair my two main tips are: if your eyes are close set don't opt for a middle parting, and consider keeping your hair off your face. The first option is obviously to not drag the attention to the middle of your face, but the second is because it allows there to be more skin showing on the outside of your eyes, helping balance the small gap between the eyes. There's a lot of ways to get creative with your hair here: wear a simply ponytail, a topnot or get fancy with a headscarf.

As for jewellery: an eye-catching pair of earrings can transform many a facial feature. They can help balance out a close together eyes as well as a big nose and can feminise harsher features. If you're a fan of facial piercings, certain locations can balance out your face. Anything along the nose will drag attention to the small gap, but a lip piercing can pull attention away. Eyebrow piercing are not very trendy these days, but if they ever come back into fashion they'll help drag attention to the outer corners of the eyes.

Further Reading: 
Close-Set Eyes: The Makeup Tricks To Master If You Have Them
8 Eye Makeup Tips For Close Set Eyes
Beginner Eye Makeup For Close Set Eye
Fake It Until You Make It: Making Close Set Eyes Look Wider

morag | mo adore
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Vegan options on Glasgow Deliveroo

For a long time I was totally anti-takeaways, for two reasons:-

1. They're damn expensive. You can get a weekly shop for the same price as a Pizza Hut meal deal. 
2. You rarely see a V sign beside any of the options. 

Then in the past year I found Deliveroo, which cancels out both these aversions. If you're new to the party (or this century) Deliveroo is a sort of AirBnb or Uber for local restaurants where said restaurants sign up but the Deliveroo branded drivers/bikeriders/motorcyclists are the ones who actually deliver the orders. Glasgow is known for it's eclectic dining scene so it's no surprise that the options on Glasgow's Deliveroo are awesome and have plenty of vegan options. 

Granted I would still rather go out to eat and there's has been controversy over how well paid the Deliveroo drivers actually are. But for nights where I have a friend visiting and they're too tired after their journey, or I'm cuddled up on an indoor date, Deliveroo is what I opt for. And the delivery charge is not that much (it might differ if you live further away from the city centre) so you're not paying much more than you would if you were heading out. 

Here is the selection of vegan delicacies on Glasgow Deliveroo (might depend on your address). 

Pizza Express

Pizza Express might be one of the earliest restaurants to offer a vegan pizza, but whenever I've ordered from them on Deliveroo the spinach always arrives soggy. I actually avoid it.  

Pizza Punks

I love Pizza Punks, and I enjoy creating new pizza options with their mix-and-match menu.

Bar Soba

I only ever order from the Merchant City branch though. The Mitchell Lane establishment delivered me chicken and weren't even that apologetic. 

ASK Italian

I tried their vegan pizza for the first time very recently, and I liked it. they also have a full vegan menu.


Also has a dedicated vegan menu on the app.


Their sieten burger is one of my favourite vegan burgers in Glasgow.

Prep Fitness Kitchen

So they mark their restaurant as vegan-friendly but leave you to guess what is actually vegan. There's a Power Bean Burger than looks promising (though I've never ordered it).

Handmade Burger Co

One of my favourite places for a vegan burger as there is six options!

Di Maggio's

I love their Lucca vegan pizza!


Who doesn't love some Wagamama? Their Deliveroo portion sizes are also really generous.

Taco Mazama

I love Taco Mazama generally. But I'm not paying the delivery free for a burrito.

The Squid and The Whale @ Nice N Easy

Same goes for this place. 

Do you love Deliveroo in Glasgow? Have I missed any vegan-friendly places?

morag | mo adore
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5 problematic things pop culture taught me about love and dating

There's no denying that pop culture influences the way we see the world. Sometimes that's a good thing, and sometimes it's a bad thing. Films, TV shows, books and games can push society forward and educate us - but it can also hold society back and teach us some terrible life lessons along the way.

For me, personally, pop culture taught me some problematic af things about love and dating. Things I believed as gospel for years and, in some cases, only unlearnt after a sharp wake-up call. These days I'm pretty media literate (plus older with more life experience) and can watch films with a critical eye while still enjoying them.

But back when I was teenager? Not so much. Here are five really negative things pop culture taught me about love and dating.

1. If someone doesn't feel the same way? Wait for them...and then wait some more

If you assume I have an anecdote about a guy who tried to woo me by pathetically waiting for years, you would be correct. But the anecdote I'm about to share is about how I once waited. I was once one of those douche-bags. It was years ago - we're talking high school - that I kept waiting for the same guy to admit undying love for me, and spent too long staring at him in class (which in hindsight was super creepy and probably made him hella uncomfortable). The guy was blatantly not interested but I kept convincing myself that there we were meant to be....

There was no storybook ending here though. He never ending up feeling the same way, and is now married with a someone else. These days I am over him (thankfully) and have learnt how to take a hint.

2. Bad boundaries is a sign of true love

My very first relationship was unhealthy boundaries central. He had my parents house number, memorised all my passwords, knew what my bank balance usually sat at, spent all his time at mine, would tag along on almost all social situations and latch onto me all night, phoned me at work and got confused when I didn't answer, and would book a trip to come see me without checking if that weekend was good for me first.

Even at the time I wasn't happy with any of this - but we're taught that these actions are cute and a sign of true love (think Edward Cullen and Christian Grey). It wasn't even just me. When I got frustrated about his behaviour in front of my parents, my mum poo-pooed it as a sign of true love. It was only when I started dating my second boyfriend - who never once did any of things listed above - that I realised these behaviours weren't a sign of adoration, but of self-entitlement and possessiveness.

3. Nerds are good and jocks are bad

I self-identify as a geek, so it's only natural that I tend to date other geeks. But from high school until only a few years ago, I believed that geeks were all sensitive guys who just wanted to be loved and football players were, well, players. Pop culture taught me that girls should give nerds a chance because they really deserved us (Revenge of the Nerds is probably one of the finest examples).

It's easy to see why so many films teach us this: nerds are more likely to grow up to be film directors than football captains. So they're now free to live out their high school fantasies where the cheer captain realises she wants a sweet nerd with wonky glasses than some arrogant jock with a six pack.

Dude, get the fuck over it.

I wasn't cool during school either and you could not pay me to go back. But I haven't developed an ego complex where I think hot men should fall at my feet because I'm deep and intellectual. These days I've dated enough men to know that some geeks can treat women just as badly as the jock film archetype - and some jocks are actually amazing boyfriend material.

William Bradley wrote a great personal article on getting the fuck over his high-school nerdness, that you should totally read.

4. Guys always fancy the same type of girl

In film world even the geeks fancy the hot cheerleader. Where does that leave the rest of us?

Insecure as fuck, that's where it leaves us. For years I spent far too much time moulding myself to be the kind of gal I thought all guys wanted. Instead of experimenting with fashion and make-up because it's fun, I spent ages doing my make-up they way I thought all guys liked it. I even dumbed myself down and faked interests.

Think Laney Boggs in She's All That. She's undesirable because she's clumsy, wears overalls and has a ponytail - despite her conventionally attractive face. That really makes us non-cheerleader girls feel great.

But it's not even just girls who's behaviour is being effected by this bullshit. We've all met guys who police women's appearances and decide that because he doesn't personally find a girl attractive, then no one else should and these girls need to know that they're out of line.

I wonder where these guys learnt that there's only one type of girl worth fancying? 

5. You can tame (or change) them

Whether it's drug addiction or not believing in marriage, we see fictional characters tame bad boys and fall in love after an accidental baby. It's not my story to tell so I won't go into detail but let's say I have exes that came with a side serving of Issues (with a capital I). I naively believed that with enough love and affection, their demons would evaporate.

But the old saying is true: you can't help someone who doesn't want to be helped. Even when someone does genuinely want to change, it's usually a professional they need rather than a romantic partner.

I've also been on the flip side of this situation. I've had exes who are convinced that somewhere in me lies the desire to breed children. I've dated people who are adamant that the right person will put me off polyamory. I've been *ahem* casual with people who believe that if they *you know* enough times that I'll fall in love. Heck, people still don't believe that I like being single. 

One of my favourite female characters is Samantha Jones from Sex and the City. She's one of the few women in pop culture who is single....and loves it. This single lady has a fabulous life with a successful career, stylish NYC apartment, fun friends and sparkly hand bags. She didn't morn the man-shaped hole in her life.

But then she was tamed by Smith Jerrod. No wonder men are convinced they came tame me when foxy Samantha Jones was tamed into the domesticated life (even if it was by the best looking guy ever).  I was thankful as hell when she ended their relationship in the first film with the perfect "I love you, but I love me more".

So are you suggesting we should ban teenagers from watching television and films? Absolutely not.

Films, books and television are fun, and can be a massive force for good. But they need to be taken with a pinch of salt. That's why I strongly believe that media studies in school is not a pointless subject and should be an essential part of Personal Social Education (alongside comprehensive sex and relationship education).

That way, there's a smaller chance of the next generation growing up believing the same bullshit.

morag | mo adore
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My basic vegan curry recipe

In the lunch canteen at my work I'm regularly complimented on my home-cooked meals. But honestly? Most of my packed lunches sound fancier than they are and are pretty easy to make. I also have the same five recipes on rotation.

One of these meals is my basic vegan curry recipe. When I say basic I really mean basic. Most Indian chefs would probably scoff at the idea of this being a curry and there's no way you'd find something so basic in a restaurant. But it's quick and easy to make, completely vegan and makes you look more competent in a kitchen then you actually are. Win-win.

200ml coconut milk (I used powdered coconut milk)
2 teaspoons curry paste of your choice (I tend to use tikka masala)
half an onion, chopped,
one clove garlic, chopped
one vegetable stock cube
vegetables of your choice (I go for pepper, pea pods and mushrooms)
oil to fry

1. Heat oil in sauce pan
2. Fry the onions and garlic until softened
3. Add the vegetables of your choice, and heat through for about five minutes
4. Prepare your coconut milk powder (mix with water) and combine with the curry paste
5. Add the milk mixture to pan and add the stock cube
6. Bring to the boil
7. Ensure everything has been thoroughly heated through and that the stock cube has dissolved
8. Serve with rice.

Voila! One very basic vegan curry that will impress your co-workers.

morag | mo adore
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Christmas gifts for your loyal Hufflepuff friend

1. This poster to display proudly on their wall. 

2. Or this understated one for their side table

3. This Hufflepuff tea blend.

4. And this super-cute mug to drink it from

5. Or go one step more, and get them a customised mug

6. Hufflepuffs love their food, so they would totally love a copy of this

7. And they'd like this cookie cutter. 

8. Hufflepuffs also love Herbology, so will totally appreciate a flower crown in their house colours

9. Or this creepy but cute mandrake pin. 

10. And they love to pay homage to Newt Scamander, the most famous Hufflepuff of all, with a copy of the Fantastic Beasts screenplay. 

11. Or a Newt Scamander Funko Pop

13. Or, if they have that one already, opt for Cedric Diggory.

(You will have to look second hand for this - I can't find many aside from eBay)

14. They'll also need a bookmark. 

15. And a blanket to wrap around them.

16. And a candle that makes their room smell like the cosy Hufflepuff common room

17. A badger pin

18. And this Hufflepug pin

19. These Blackmilk leggings to show off their pride

20. And a themed box to store it all in. 

morag | mo adore
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