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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
"...to 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."

Etc. 


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. 

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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? 
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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


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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.

Zizzis

Also has a dedicated vegan menu on the app.

Doghouse

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!

Wagamama

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?



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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.

Ingredients: 
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.


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BEAUTY REVIEW: Outback Organics



Outback Organics is a brand that only recently came onto my radar. They're a Somerset-based beauty company that manufactures all their products with an Aussie twist and their mantra is effective, ethical and affordable. Definitely sounds like something that is up my street.

A skincare brand through and through, their product list includes body oils, face cream, deodorant, waxes, wet wipes and cleansers. Most of their products centre around tea-tree, and all their ingredients are plant-based. Recently they sent me their Little Wonders From Down Under bag that contains miniatures of their favourite products.

I'll be the first to admit that I've had a long on-off relationship with tea tree. I first gave it a try when I was 14 (because teenage magazines were raving about it) and it worked...for a while. It's the kind of ingredient that my skin gets used to, and I have to stop. Then I can go back to it later. If anything, it works best for me when I use it sparingly - worth mentioning before I dive into this review.

I'll start with my favourite product, which is the Face and Body Scrub. Typically speaking, scrubs irritate my face so I only used it on my body. The exfoliators in this are very gentle and the texture is creamy with some bumps. Like most botanical products, it didn't foam. It was very moisturising and I really liked using it on my arms and across my chest. but it it's not strong enough to work on rougher skin like feet.

For my face however I started using Skinwash. This left my skin feeling a great balance between washed but not irritated. There were no exfoliators in it, which is probably why. Like all their products, this contained tee tree that does lead to one problem: you can't use it near your eye area. One of the most important tick-boxes for me personally with face wash is being able to remove my eye make-up with it. I have cleansers in my cupboard so gentle I can wash between my lashes and my eyes remain unharmed. I couldn't do this with the Skinwash, which is really disappointing but a reality of tea tree.

Outback Organics also make products for calming the skin post-wax or shave. In my little bag I was given the Bush Balm and the Ingrown Hair oil. The Bush Balm might sound rude, but you can use it on any area of your body to calm the skin after shaving. I really liked this and - in line with the product's name - it worked best on my bikini line which gets hella' irritated post hair removal.

As for the Ingrown Hair Oil, I am going to have to get back to you about that product. I don't get ingrown hairs very often, but when I do I'll make sure I use this product and let you know.

Ingredients


Face and Body Scrub: Aqua/Water/Eau, Glycerin, Hydrogeneated Jojoba Oil, Stearic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dimethicons, Ethylexyl Stearate, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, Parfum (Fragrance), Carbomar, Allantoin, Tocopheryl Acetatw, Cucumis Sativus (cucumber) Fruit Extract, Citronellol, Gerantol, Linalool, Limonene. 

Skin Wash: Aqua/Water/Eau, Disdium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Cocamldopropyl Betaine, PEG-120, Methyl Glucose Trioleate, Sodium Babassuamphoacetate, Sodium Chloride, Melalauca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Sodium Benzoate, Propanediol, Glycerin, Potassium Sorbate, Menthol, Mentha Piperitta (peppermint) oil, Menthone, Tasmannia, Lanceolata (mountain pepper) Fruit/Leaf Extract, Citric Acid. 

Bush Balm: Aqua, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, Macademia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Polycrytamide, Allantoin, Butyrospermum Parki (Shea Nut) Butter, Caprylic/Capric Triglycende, Cetearyl Alcohol, C13-14, Isoparaffin, Laureth-7, Inulin Lauryl Carbarnate, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Aloa Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Dipropylene Glycol, Boswellia Serrata Gum, Cucumis Satvis Fruit Extract, DMDM Hydanton, Backhousia Anisata, Disodium EDTA, Tocopheryl Acetata, Panthanol. 

Ingrown Hair Serum: Aqua/Water/Eau, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Ceteareth-12, Steareth-2, Allantoin, Betaine Salicylate, Stearyl Alcohol, Aloe Barbadenis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Ceteareth-20, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate, Ethylthexylglycerin, Cupressus Sempervirens (Cypress) Oil, Propylene Glycol, Glycerin, Potassium Sorbate, Distearyl Ether, Fusanus Spicatus (Australian Sandalwood) Wood Oil, Backhousia Anisata (Aniseed Myrtle) Leaf Extract, Hydrolyzed Opuntia Ficus-Indica Flower Extract, Ananas Sativus (pineapple) Fruit Extract, Carica Papaya (papaya) Fruit Extract, Citric Acid. 

I was sent this as a PR sample. All views are my own. 

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