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

The Linkables



Erm, hello - remember me? I know I didn't exactly drop off the face of the earth, but August was the month where I made a return to blogging after a three month dry spell (that had been foreshadowed by a patchy blogging schedule across the last 12 months). Like everyone and their Instagram-perfect pug I became a little bit disenfranchised and disillusioned with the online world and needed some time to think about what direction I wanted to take my blog in, and how it fitted into my overall life (I mean, mo'adore has existed for six years and a shift was inevitable after that amount of time).

I'm not going to turn this into a post about how things have changed (blah, blah) as there are enough of those going around at the moment - and I'll leave it at saying that I've managed to map things out in a way that I am comfortable and confident with. One thing that hasn't changed is my Linkables series. Spending time reading random things on the internet is still a Top Five hobby and I love sharing everything I've come across in one big place (and I've been told some of you actively wait for my Linkables posts *blushes*). So here we go....

Sports Fans: Flyod Mayweather is a horrible human being. (TW: rape and IPV)

I wasn't a goth as a teenager, but I definitely fell somewhere in the MySpace-esque crowd, and it upsets me that youngsters who dress differently still get picked on.

A more lighthearted take on emo-adolescence: 18 scene kids who ruined family photos.

I know some sex-positive feminists I'd like to forward this to: Yes, you can still be feminist but prefer vanilla sex.

I know this is probably stereotypical Thought Catalog barf but Women who stay single a long time usually end up the happiest.

More Thought Catalog barf that I agree with: Getting over someone you didn't date.

Co-signed: there's a big difference between a vegan diet and a planet-based diet.

Goals: An unhealthy nerdy relationship vs a healthy nerdy relationship.

Creepy but fascinating: how/why do women fall in love with serial killers?

I loved this personal essay from journalist Joe Stone and his quest to meet his childhood heroes the Spice Girls.

It's a bit woe-is-me so I keep it to myself, but I don't really like my name. It conjures up an image of a 90 year old traditional woman who probably live in the Hebrideas and hand knits those woolly jumpers you see in Scottish gift shops, or my high school history teacher who wore frumpy clothes (and remains the only other Morag I have ever personally known). As this article explains, unusual names are more likely to hint at a certain demographic background while really common names allow someone to work from a clean slate.  

Veronica Mars is a show that does not receive the appreciation it deserves, if you haven't seen it maybe her craziest disguises will tempt you.

There's probably more important things I should be pondering in life but I've always wondered where famous Glaswegians went to school.

The apology we owe each Myerrs-Brigg type, I got a small lump in my throat at how true mine was:

I’m sorry for taking advantage of your willingness to work without recognition. I’m sorry for not appreciating how much effort you put into literally everything you do.

5 creepy fairytales Disney would never touch (lol).

Texting guys on Tinder with only Carrie Bradshaw quotes. (also lol)

Next time you head to the park, bring frozen peas for the ducks (bread actually isn't that good for them).

Vampires are everywhere in literature but there's a lot of guff to sift through, so here is a list of 15 good vampire books to get you standard. 

Why Jaffa Cakes excite philosophers.

I think Sex and the City is one of the best TV shows ever, and this article perfectly captures its brilliance while still commenting on it's flaws.

BRB, lifehacking my Spotify.

I've been telling myself this for years and maybe one day I'll absorb it properly: you'd be a better communicator if you stopped caring about embarrassing yourself.

My newest favourite Twitter account is AstroPoets.

I've not yet seen To The Bone, but here's a critical analysis from one of the internet's best-known body politics writers, Melissa A. Fabello.

21 times Game of Thrones summed up life in Scotland.



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My favourite ASMRtists



For those of us who enjoy relaxing with some ASMR, we all know how unique our triggers are. I can't stand whispering and much prefer someone who has a soft but realistic voice (and if anyone starts tapping anything, I'm clicking the X button).

But after two years of digging through YouTube in the later hours, I've discovered something that is far more important: the ASMRtist themselves. I can watch three videos (by different creators) with roughly the same premise but only one can bring on the tingles. However, I can watch several videos by the same ASMRtist and get tingles from every single one, no matter how different the subject matter.

These days, when I light my candles and snuggle into bed with my laptop (newbies: ASMR is not sexual, unless you want it to be) I have a few default YouTubers that I turn to first and only start searching elsewhere if they haven't uploaded anything new. Because triggers and tingles can be so personal, you may find that these ASMRtist won't have the same effect on you - but I'd definitely give them a try if you're looking for some new videos.

Amalzd



Not only is Amal one of my favourite ASMRtists, her Victoria Secrets bra fitting role play is my all-time top video. She does a good mix of roleplays, haul videos and sound videos (chewing etc) - plus she does some videos with an American accent and some videos with an Arabic accent. If you end up loving her videos as much as I do, remember to check out her Patreon for extra content

TheUKASMR



My favourite accent is generic English, so I'm always on the look out for ASMRtists from below the border. Chloe was one of the first YouTubers I came across and 200,000+ people agree that she is worth following. She has a wide range of role plays but personally it's her Sleep Clinic videos that really do it for me (there are three of them: here, here and here). Admittedly, I can find her a little bit hit or miss as I find it distracting when she films in what is very obviously a student halls bedroom but that might just me.

Be Calm with Becca



Another English beauty is Becca, who films everything from gum-chewing to knitting demonstrations to a Healing Fairy Reiki role play and even videos filmed in Hindi. She has been around for two years, and it was her Ultimate Binaural Salon Haircut Role Play that initially caught my attention and she's been one of my favourites ever since. She has such as a soothing voice and I'd happily watch her all day, even if it was mundane everyday chores.

thatASMRchick 


Looking for something geeky and a bit gothy? You'll find it here with ASMR game plays and role plays involving some pop culture favourites (such as Milisandre and Maleficent). Personally, it's her inaudible and No Talking videos that I gravitate towards - especially this Silent Scalp Massage which was the first ever video I found of hers. 

VisualSounds1 ASMR


While some ASMRtists splash out on speakers and green screens to create professional level videos, others are just so relaxing they don't need anything other than themselves. Jen of VisualSounds is one of the latter: I wouldn't say her videos are well-made by any stretch of the imagination but her voice is so soothing she doesn't require a special microphone (her 94,000+ subscribers seem to agree). She specialises in the geeky, and it was her Cosplay Shop Role Play that first caught my attention.

Other ASMR fans, who are your favourite ASMRtists? 



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My Berlin Vegan Food Diary


It feels like everyone and their dog has been to Berlin in the past few years. There's no doubting that the German city is definitely in vogue. Fascinating history, great architecture and hip locals, it's easy to see why so many people are flocking there for a city break - but personally, my reason for my trip back in May with my mum was to sample the the insane amount of vegan food (though I did end up falling in love with the city and liked it a lot more than I thought I would). 

Berlin is widely considered the vegan capital of Europe, and that was pretty much my whole reason for wanting to go there. And last May, me and my mum made the trip across. While we definitely still made time to explore the different tourist spots (I wrote this architectural guide for work last year and just had to see it all for myself) my nose was glued to my phone's Yelp app looking for great places to sample some plant-based goodness. Here's the places that made my shortlist. 

Curry by the Wall




You can't go to Berlin and not try a currywurst, or avoid Checkpoint Charlie - and this place combines together two quintessential Berlin must-dos. It's hard to miss this place as it's right beside where some of the original wall still stands (and is bright red). I had the veggie version while my mum had the meat version. It was the first time either of us had sampled currywurst and while it wasn't horrible, it's one of these national foods that gets blown out of proportion (it's like tourists coming to Scotland and getting really excited about trying Haggis...even though Scottish people tend to only eat it on Burns night or St Andrew's Day). 

Samadhi



Not far from the Brandenburg Gate, this seems to be a popular spot for vegans visiting Berlin if my Instagram comments were anything to go by. It's not something a lot of people know, but I studied Buddhism as a teenager (what do you mean you spend your youth drinking and sneaking out?) and I recognised the word Samādhi (it's a type of consciousness level that is above day-to-day living) and knew I was probably in the right place for a conscious lunch. 

The menu was large here and comes with a picture book so you can get a good idea of portion sizes. While I should maybe have tried branching away from my norm while on holiday, I immediately began eyeing up the dishes with tofu in them because I'm a basic vegan bitch. But I'm glad I did because this was potentially the best tofu I have ever eaten (emphasis on the ever, guys). 

Mariona Berlin



This wasn't somewhere I had been planning to go; me and my mum were heading to the Oberbaum Bridge, passed it on the way there and noticed the vegan sign outside. Honestly, the idea of an Italian didn't thrill me as I have sat and silently ate way more arrabiata pasta that I would like to, just to be polite and not make a fuss. But we didn't have any food plans that day so I thought I'd thought I'd give it a try. 

It was nice, nothing to rave about but nice. The vegan menu was obviously a new touch as it was handwritten, and it was in German so I picked out the gnocchi (because it was a word I recognised*). It was cooked in a herby sauce of some kind and while it was tasty, it isn't something I haven't already eaten and felt a little stereotypically vegan.

Duo



Also on the way to the Oberbaum Bridge me and my mum passed by this cute little ice-cream parlour that also offered vegan flavours. The place is very unassuming but the guy behind the till was lovely and gently laughed as he translated all the flavours into English. Quality wise it was your standard ice-cream and this place is a little out the way, but it's always nice when your mum buys you an ice-cream cone (even when you're 26). 

SOY



Now we're onto the good stuff! Found not far from the Fernsehturm, I had heard about SOY before I left for Berlin and was determined to find out if its 5 star ratings were well-earned. Turns out they were, and this was the best lunch I had while there - both in terms of food quality and restaurant atmosphere. 

It was an impressive menu and being the stereotypical vegan I am I was still drawn to the tofu (it's a Vietnamese restaurant) but this time it came with a twist: it was STUFFED? Mate I've eaten a lot of tofu, in a lot of restaurants, and not come across stuffed tofu before! Truthfully it was tofu cubes sliced through the middle and filled like a sandwich but we can overlook that. And it was delicious, which is all that matters at the end of the day. 

Aside from the food, the atmosphere was spot on. SOY had a trendy atmosphere that successfully stayed away from deep hipster territory, and I'd say it was similar to that of 13th Note in Glasgow.

Veganz



Not exactly a restaurant - but what vegan visits Berlin and doesn't stop by the vegan supermarket? Me and my mum were staying in your simple hotel room but walking round the isles here I wish I had opted for a self-catering apartment, AirBnB or hostel, as most of the food needed a fridge or cooked in someway. The supermarket has its own self-branded food items - such as the 'make your own Seiten' packet of wheat gluten I bought (that I still haven't used/worked out how to use) - while there are some brands that you'll recognise from the UK.

Little Green Rabbit



Me and my mum booked a late afternoon flight home and we didn't want anything too heavy for our final meal. Little Green Rabbit wasn't far from where we were staying and we had passed it a few times while wandering around the Check Point Charlie area, and it looked like it would fit the bill. It's a canteen sort of style place where you pick your base and add vegetables of your own choice. Despite being a hot day I opted for the Yellow Thai Curry, which was lovely but perfectly light at the same time. They also sell a range of smoothies and it's the kind of place where you know you're getting plenty of vitamins and your food is healthy as well as kind.

Are you a vegan who has been to Berlin? Where did you choose to eat?

Morag x

* I'd recommended learning German before going to Berlin. While the locals can speak English and will do when they realise you only know English, they will speak in German to you automatically and a lot of menus are German. 

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Bonobo Café, Aberdeen



I read somewhere once that trends finally reach Aberdeen about 10 years after they first hit the rest of the UK. I don't know if this is due to its northern location, or that its main (or even, only) industry is the drab and corporate oil sector, or because independent businesses never last very long, but I agree that Aberdeen is potentially one of the least trendy cities in the UK and seems to stand still in time. 

One example? A couple of months ago Aberdeen finally got its own 100% vegan café, Bonobo Café. It was previously a pop-up in the wellness centre behind Marks and Spencer's and after saving up all their earnings, they finally bought their own place on Skene Street, round the corner from Union Terrace. 



I was up visiting my parents last week and obviously I had to stop in by and show some support. The girl at the counter was super friendly and didn't mind going through the menu (my mum isn't vegan and some of the food options aren't second nature to her, but the girl was lovely and patient). 

We were there in the afternoon so got to choose from a range of wraps, soups and salads. I went for the BBQ tofu wrap and my mum chose the satay tofu wrap. I also noticed a chickpea 'tuna' sandwich on the menu that I oh-so-almost went for, but it will have to wait for another time. 



The hot drinks menu was probably the part that I found most impressive. I chose a Chai Latte and my mum a hazelnut latte, but I did almost choose the exotic sounding turmeric latte. You can also choose your own dairy-free milk from soya, oat and almond. 

The serving and counter area is downstairs with the eating bit upstairs (if you are disabled or have a pushchair this isn't ideal). It was a nice day so me and mum decided to sit outside in their garden patio. You can't see it from the street, and your view is the tall granite buildings that sit next door, but it is a lovely touch that makes you feel like you're somewhere more tropical. 



Overall? Great service, tasty (albeit snacky) food, top-notch drinks menu, and a peaceful garden patio. Bonobo Café should be getting top marks....but it isn't different to any other vegan café I've been to. I fully accept that this could just be because I'm spoilt by the vegan options available to me living in the Central Belt, and I really need to try and review this through the eyes of an Aberdonian who is jumping for joy at having somewhere they can pop for lunch without worrying about what is in their food. 

If I still lived in Aberdeen I would regularly be popping in to support it and give it the money it needs to thrive. But if another vegan café (or even vegan restaurant) opened up I've got a fear Bonobo could get left behind and within time they'll need to expend their menu to remain competitive. Independent businesses have a habit of not lasting in Aberdeen (I still weep when I walk past the place where One Up Records once resided) and I really don't want its first vegan café to go south too. 

Have you been to Bonobo Café yet? What were your thoughts? 

Morag x

P.S. While enjoying my lunch, there was a woman with a London/South-East English accent talking about how Aberdeen was a different "kettle of fish" and how she was "used to Edinburgh and Glasgow" and that she might go to Manchester early for something to do. She also said she wasn't vegan but enjoyed having somewhere cute to eat for lunch that wasn't a chain. There's a second review on Bonobo and Aberdeen for you. 
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