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Ideal Home Show 2015


Let's never lie that one of the best things about blogging is the events you get invited to. Out of all the events I've been invited to the Ideal Home Show was one of the best, and someone clearly listened to my prayers and I was invited back for the 2015 show. 

Emily Rose Vintage

This year myself and the other bloggers were given our own private talk from Emily Rose Vintage, Zero Waste Scotland, Revolve and interior designer John Amabile of Amabile Design on how to upcycle our older furniture. Emily Rose Vintage (and her beautiful home) were already on my radar and she gave us a talk through her process for updating old furniture in her shabby chic style. Zero Waste Scotland were also there to talk about the Revolve trademark: a seal of approval second-hand shops can get to ensure customers that the 50 year old second-hand chair they are buying is of high quality. 

john amabile ideal home show

TV interior designer John Amabile then took us into the main show and had a chat about each of the show rooms he had designed. They were all predictably beautiful and John talked through some of his thought process for each design. I also took away some interior design tips, like spacing and also cupboard handles (minimal handles are better in kitchens as there can be over ten handles in one kitchen - too many bright handles would be overpowering). Also, who wouldn't love bath right at the end of their bed? 

Amy McGregor
Amy McGregor design

After our chat we were left to wonder at our leisure. This was also the same day as Eurovision and I'd be jetting off to Edinburgh later that afternoon so I had a quick sprint round. I didn't stop to buy anything but obviously still tried a few nibbles and chatted to a few owners, and picked up leaflets to consider at a later date. Some brands that did catch my eye were Amy McGregorBoulevard Cuisine, Gin Bothy, Radiance London, Jaw Brew, Cochrane Cottage and MaRobert's. In the gardening section there was plenty of solar panels to be found. Being a renter I obviously can't install a solar panel but if I owned a house I'd be looking at alternative ways to source energy (my full time gig is in the utility industry, in case you were wondering why I was nosing at electricity products). Antaris Solar, SolarKing and Solar Electricity Systems are three brands to nosey at if you own and are thinking about solar panels. A more conventional gardening brand I came across was Glasgow Wood Recycling, who sell some really nice small and large wood products. 

eden project and rock rose gin

And finally I have to give a shout out to the organisers and brands who provided me and the other bloggers with a very generous goody bag. For me the most exciting product was the grow your own chilli pot from The Eden Project which will be added to my little balcony garden in the near future. Alongside that I also got a packet of chilli hot (vegan) chocolate. You'll also spot the gin from Rock Rose - an independent gin company in Scotland. I'm more of a rum girl myself but my mum is a gin drinker and her verdict is it has a natural/herbal taste to it but it's a very easy gin to drink (she took it with bitter lemon). I also received some Root Candles, which are made from beeswax but they also included some seeds to plant bee-friendly plants with. The artwork you see is by Betty Bay Design and is now sitting up on my bedroom windowsill, and the wooden heart from White Rose Creations is hanging off a shelf in my bedroom. Finally I received a sample from Stur to add to my water (it taste a lot more natural than most diluted juices).

Thank you for a great day Ideal Home Show and for the very generous goody bag! 

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The Linkables





I love an inspirational quote but I still laughed at this video.  

For any business blogger pals: building your dream mailing list

I haven't managed to make it to the DJCAD degree show since 2012 but here's a recap from Christina and Helen

So this is totalllly not safe for work and maybe a bit personal, but it's an issue a lot of women have dealt with and this is the only article I've seen on it: you vagina is not too 'tight', it's society which is the issue.  

I'm a big supporter of the 5 Love Languages and this article reinforces why they're important

Looking for a new TV show? Buzzfeed has you covered.

The idea of being a boss terrifies me, but that's okay

Ireland voted yes to equal marriage last weekend, with some people flying home especially for it

Bisexuality has been documented in many animals but biphobia only exists in humans. 10 animals who are proudly bisexual

A cancer survivor designs the cards she wished she had received while she had the disease. 



There's an anti-austerity march on the 20th of June in Glasgow. 

The ever fabulous Ruth has introduced me to a fabulous new jewellery company.

Also new onto my jewellery radar is Dundee based Jane Gowans,who is a bit out of my price range but she also has a lovely blog to read through written by her in-house employee Ann Russell.

Listen to my girl Charlotte chat about blogging (and give yours truly a mention) on the RGU feminism radio.

Staying on the topic of Charlotte, her and my other girl Hayley have put together a bloggers book club



I'm still feeling deflated about the fact that foxhunting could realistically come back, but apparently some Scottish hunts have been ignoring the law anyway.

I've always found Game of Thrones difficult to watch because, you know, rape and such. But apparently there a lot more rape in the books

UK Veg Gardeners is a thing that I need to join.

A shopping site that I've been loosing a lot of time to and might cost me quite a bit of my paycheck: Yumbles, full of indie food companies.

And, finally, if you're in Aberdeen I'm planning to stop by the Granite-City Comic Con on Saturday. 
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Vegan satay sauce


Vegan Satay Sauce

It's a commonly known fact that vegetarians and vegans need to be careful with some foods that contain meat but aren't actually meat. Most people know about gelatin but some common surprises across the vegan community have included certain alcohols, worcester sauce, hard cheese and...satay sauce. 

The first time I ever had satay sauce was after my lifestyle change upon finding it in a recipe book but when I found a pre-made bottle in Tesco I discovered fish sauce on the ingredients list. So no store bought stuff for me. But I've noticed quite a few veggies getting caught out by satay sauce, which is best left alone in restaurants unless it's been confirmed it's 100% plant-made. 

This recipe is actually one of my favourites to put together (you might have spotted it on my Instagram) and I almost always have these ingredients in my cupboards. Also a note that I cannot take credit for this recipe as I found it in a BBC Good Food recipe book I bought from a car-boot sale. It's from 2005 so I assume it's no longer in production (it appears to be one of these free supplements attached to a magazine). 

My basic vegan satay sauce contains the following ingredients: 

3 tbsp peanut butter
3 tbsp sweet chili sauce
100ml coconut milk (I use coconut milk powder)
100ml vegetable stock
2 tbsp soy sauce

And my method is: 
1. In one bowl mix the peanut butter, sweet chili sauce and soy sauce
2. If you use coconut milk powder like me mix this in a separate bowl (if you're using prepare coconut milk, just include it in the first bowl)
3. Prepare the vegetable stock in another bowl
4. Mix the three bowls together

It's important to mix these ingredients separately as it can make the sauce lumpy if all of them are mixed together immediately. 

This sauce can be used for a wide range of dishes but the dish I made in the photo above is the following: 

1. Create the satay sauce using the method above
2. Put the noodles onto cook (if you're using pre-cooked noodles you can skip this step)
3. Heat some toasted sesame oil in a sauce pan and once heated stir-fry some ginger, broccoli, peppers, broad beans and sliced onions for three minutes
4. Add some chopped garlic and stir-fry for three minutes
5. Pour over the peanut sauce and bring to the boil
6. When the noodles are cooked, either add to the stir-fry and mix through or serve in a separate bowl

As I said, you can use this sauce in a wide range of dishes. One of my favourite vegetables to use is broccoli as it soaks up the flavours so well! So much I've been known to serve satay broccoli as a side dish. But other foods that also soak up flavours well include tofu, friend bean curd and potatoes. 

Do you have any other satay sauce recipes? What was a type of food that caught you out when you realised it wasn't veggie?
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Update to my cruelty-free brands list



Before I list this months additions to my cruelty-free brands list I want to to throw a question out there. How long do you guys think is appropriate amount of time to give brands to respond to an e-mail before listing them as a grey area? I currently wait two weeks as most brands get back to me within the first week (the bulk of them first three days!). However I am interested in hearing your views on this! 

The following brands were all e-mailed on the 3rd of May so have had 20 days to get back to me. As you can see quite a few ended up in the grey area list. Some were because they didn't respond, but some brands did response however I had that feeling in my gut. Let me know if you want any further information on why I included a brand where I did. 

Cruelty-free

  • 100% Pure
  • Aromatika
  • Aromi

Grey Area

  • Alexami
  • Beauty UK
  • Bonne Bell
  • Charlotte Tillbury
  • Lottie London
  • Make-Up Revolution
  • Orly
  • SLG (owns Zoella brand)

Tests on animals

  • Palmer's
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Volunteering in Zambia - Interview with Mummy Mo






Internet! Remember almost three years ago I went to Africa, dived with sharks, seen giraffes and navigated being a vegetarian in a foreign country for the first time? If you don't, here is my South African recap and my Zambian recap. Whilst me and my dad were fapping about playing tourist for a week and a half, my mum had actually been in rural Zambia volunteering for three months! Three years on I've pinned her down to talk about her experience volunteering (she's been back for a second time since and will be returning again in the Autumn) and get the low-down for anyone else considering this kind of trip. 

Over to you....

Tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Moira Lee, I am 57 years old and I have now been to Zambia twice as a volunteer and plan a return visit later this year. My first visit was for 7 weeks in May and June of 2012 and then 10 weeks between October and December of 2013. These are my own thoughts and rambles on being a volunteer.

Why did you decide to volunteer?
Many reasons, I have found that everyone will have a different purpose. For me as you can see I was older! My ‘gap’ year came nearer the end of a working career as a full time nurse. I now work part time and able to take flexible time off work. My desire for doing different things is still strong and I did have an urge to ‘give back’ all the good things that I have experienced through my career. I also have a Christian faith which did influence my choices.

Why did you decide to go to Zambia? Did you consider anywhere else?
There are so many options, though less for an older person! I researched many different ways of volunteering which is vital; many you may discount as not for you. Your reason for volunteering will influence where you go and for how long and this is which you have to think about why you are volunteering for; i.e.  It won’t be like a holiday where you are free to do as you please. It is likely that you will have to follow the culture you are going to etc.  Find out how the locals dress etc, respecting their culture is part of the whole experience.

I was grateful to meet a lady called Jenny who was working as a mission partner in the Copperbelt region of Zambia for both the Church of Scotland and the Methodist Church in England and she invited me to join her there. Jenny worked partly teaching social work to trainee minsters in college there, plus working in the local community which I was I tehn did while there.

For me my choice of volunteer work was vital; was the work sustainable after I had left, was it well thought out? Was it crisis work I wanted to do or an established programme?

What should people consider when preparing to go?
Find out as much as you can about the culture where you are going. Visas, vaccinations (my mum had alllll the vaccinations whereas I only need two! - Morag) all take time to organise and can be expensive. Are you being sponsored or able to pay your way? I chose to pay all my own expenses which I felt left me more flexibility. I did fund raise through my church for the programmes that Jenny was running. I also had to be accountable though for how the money was then used for those who had donated.  

What were some of the cultural differences in Zambia?

Be prepared for a very different culture experience. Volunteering usually means you will be working where poverty exists or in a way you may not have experienced in your home country. Home comforts like running water and electricity are not reliable in many places. Personal space will be limited in most cases. In Zambia I was a ‘Mzungu’  a term used for white people through much of East Africa. While there I met situations that challenged me and overjoyed me, meeting many lovely people who changed in different ways how I viewed the world.

Where you are will dictate how you think of your personal security. Take advice from who you travel with. In Zambia I felt quite safe and respected, (Maybe because I was older?) used the local transport mini buses on my own, (got offers of marriage to take them back to Scotland through the window at some stops!) You do not go out at night on your own though without using a safe taxi. Walking alone at night is out, as no street lights in many places and you do increase the likely hood of robbery.

What would you recommend taking to somewhere like Zambia?
Clothing; keep it simple and comfortable with good walking sandals, trainers and a hat. I bought the local material called a Chitenge once there to go over my skirt/ trousers for local visits. Many young women do were western dress, but their Chitenge is never far away. Wearing it helped me be accepted as it demonstrated respect.

Depending on what you are doing if you can, make room for items in your suitcase that are either expensive for locals or just not available. Your chosen organisation can help you with this. I have packed puzzles, lego, memory games, reading glasses, bibles, knitting wool, embroidery thread, torches and loads more.

What was it like to return home to somewhere like Scotland after Zambia?


I think I can safely say you will have changed in some way, so be prepared to look at what we have in the UK in a different way. Be prepared to question things, even yourself, what you maybe thought was important. I was taken aback at the adjustments I had to make on my return, which was actually harder than arriving in Zambia at the beginning.  Most people I have met through volunteering also want to return as you get the bug. Enjoy your trip!

If you have any more questions for my mum you can leave them in the comments and I'll pass them on. Or if you want you can read her semi-update Zambian blog here

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The Linkables



This is going to be a bit of a snorefest but here's a PDF on the developments in the Single Irish Electricity Market. (If you're into Scottish Independence you should inform yourself on the combined market between RoI and NI - it provides an example as to how Scotland and rUK could work).

Not sure what to say to someone going through a difficult time? Maybe this illustration of animals can help.

I'm totalllly not into meditating, but if you are I've found a free course which might just be up your street.

Currently I'm trying to get into Game of Thrones but not quite feeling it. The numerous rape scenes aren't quite doing it for me, maybe this show that claims to be quite feminist will do it for me instead.

I have just about zero interest in ever biologically reproducing but adopting a child is something I would consider. This post on open adoption was so touching.

Teaching is one job you couldn't ever pay me enough money to do. But if you are a teacher here's Tami on how she stays sane.

Hahahaha: tips for living with a blogger.

I've mentioned before that my mum went to work whilst my dad looked after me/the home. I've also dated men who earned less than me and dated men who earned more. Here's an interesting article on gender, relationships and income gaps.

Dundee made Buzzfeed: 21 Things to Eat in Dundee.

And something to eat in the kitchen: kidney bean and peanut butter burger.

When I'm blogging either on mo'adore or professionally, I sometimes spend more time proof-reading than I do writing! Here's some tips on proofreading which I wholeheartedly agree with.

Some honest words on blogging and PR.

Charlotte Church is awesome: here's her response to some journalist calling her a champagne socialist.

Y'all know that I'm not the biggest fan of pseudo-science detox diets and here's Heather's not so nice experience.

Luxembourg's Prime Minister marries same sex partner!

Christina has a very similar view that I do towards people who cheat their way to the top.

I agree: e-mails are better to discuss professional projects.

I couldn't give an eff about Girl Online, but when Gala Darling announces she's writing a book? Alllll over it.

And finally, after last week's Dundee themed post and some pursuassion on Twitter, I went ahead and made a Facebook group for Dundee Bloggers (something I've been considering for ages). If you're in Dundee or have a strong Dundee connection, go join.

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Dr Noodles, Dundee


dr noodles vegan dundee

You know sometimes you really want to blog about something, but are a concerned it might be a bit boring? I'm having that feeling right now. Because today kids I'm away to review a box of noodles. Yeah. But these are mighty fine noodles. So if you like noodles (and boxes) then you can keep reading. 

A bit of background here: Dr Noodles in Dundee is a place I frequented back when I was a student. I mean it serves nooldes in a box for under a fiver so obviously students eat there. But on my trip back last weekend I decided to pop in for old times sake. And was happy to see that it was exactly the same as when I left. 

Dr Noodles is the kind of place where you 'build your own'. You choose your size of box, your sauce and what kind of meat (or tofu) you want in noodles. On Saturday I went for tofu mixed with soy sauce but my favourite back in the day was coconut. The first time I ever went in I ordered the spicy coconut but underestimated how spicy it was going to be and I couldn't finish the box! On Saturday I was with my spice loving pal who ordered the chilli sauce - I had one bite of it and ended up fanning my face and downing my Sprite. If you can't handle really spicy foods then you might want to stay clear but if you're allllll about testing your spice tolerance then Dr Noodles is a place to pop by. 

Dr Noodles have franchises in Dundee, St Andrews and Aberdeen. On the website they confirm that the noodles are wheat noodles. However they don't mention tofu on the website but I can assure you there was tofu at the Dundee branch. You can read the menu here anyway. I'm also sorry about my questionable photography, but boxed noodles are quite a so-so thing to get a good photo of....

So that was the story of how I managed to write four paragraphs about a box of noodles. But noodles from Dr Noodles come highly recommended. If you like noodles I'd go. If you want a quick foodie fix in Dundee for under a fiver, I'd go. If you're a student, I'd go. If you like to burn your tongue on spicy stuff, I'd go. Dr Nooldes appeals to many a target market. 

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My cruelty-free make up brush collection


cruelty-free make-up brushes


I have to admit that I'm not someone who gets overly excited about make-up brushes. I don't think they offer the same excitement as, say, buying a new lip colour. I've mentioned once or twice that one of my make-up goals this year is to have more colours on stand by for fancy dress or cosplay purposes. I decided to extend this to make-up brushes encase a certain costume required intricate eye make-up that can't be done using fingers! 

The picture above is my current collection of cruelty-free brushes made with synthetic hair. As you can see it's not huge and so far it consists of large brushes for powders which are pretty difficult to apply with your fingers. I've decided to get brushes similar to each other so I don't have to spend too much time cleaning brushes between using them for different colours of powders. 

Going from left to right (when looking at the photo!) we have the Furless Stippling brush first which I received in a Vegan Kind beauty box. This brush is the softest out of all of them, and is probably the most 'professional' one I have. Stippling - when done correctly - can create a beautifully smooth base. I personally don't have time to stipple my foundation in the morning, however I use this brush to get a flawless base when I'm going somewhere nice in the evening. 

Second up I have two foundation brushes from Real Techniqiues. Real Techniques get a lot of support from the blogging community, however my desire to rave about them is limited. I know a lot of people who say not to use foundation brushes as they can make your make-up look streaky, and that's what very much happened here. I'd take using my fingers over this. I also bought the Expert Face Brush which was definitely a bit better, though I find it much better for buffing in my make-up rather than applying it. Decent but not rave-worthy. 

Third up in the picture is the Barry M Powder Brush which I have been loving! There's not much you can say about a powder brush really, but this is very soft and I find it helps me apply my face powder evenly across my face. 

The final three brushes are from Eco Tools which I bought off Lizzie in one of her blog sales. Whilst the Barry M powder brush is definitely my favourite, the powder brush from Eco Tools is definitely a close second. I've also been loving having a concealer brush as it does make the process easier. Using a brush instead of your finger for concealer makes it easier to get right into the corners of the face - such as the lash line. The final brush is a standard eye shadow brush, which isn't any more exciting than any other brush but eyeshadow brushes are a type of brush which are handy to have a good number of. The Eco Tools brushes are super soft and I'm looking forward to buying more in the future. 

What are your favourite cruelty-free make-up brushes? Which ones should I add to my collection?


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My favourite Dundee based-bloggers


dundee blogger

I'm currently in Dundee as this post is going live. This is probably going to be a bittersweet weekend as I am here for a leaving party for one of my few university friends who still live in the city. Don't get me wrong I still know other people who I've met since graduating but there's such a weird feeling crawling over me right now (I'm probably more upset about this than when I left myself almost three years ago). As the amount of people I know in Dundee begins to thin, there's no denying that the amount of time I spend in the city may decrease (and the chances of me moving back - as I had once said I wanted to - may realistically not happen).

I started mo'adore whilst I still lived in Dundee. And back then I used to moan about being the only blogger based in the Dundee area as I watched from afar the Glasgow and Edinburgh blogger groups gain momentum (Glasgow's blogging community was one of my main reasons for moving here). Over the past twelve months I've began to notice an increase in Dundee bloggers, or at least more of them coming onto my radar. Right now, I'm not sure how much Dundee content will continue to pop up on mo'adore after this weekend so for now I've rounded up five of my favourite Dundee based blogs for you to have a nosey at!

Wardrobe Conversations
This blogging duo probably need very little introduction and they're one of my hot new finds of this year. Old school friends from the town of Arbroath, Kimberley now lives in Edinburgh but Helen is now in Dundee. And Helen knows what's hot in Dundee. Thanks to Helen my knowledge of Dundee shops and events has doubled. She's your girl if you fancy a bit of independent shopping in Dundee.

Blog / Instagram / Twitter / Facebook

The Artifact
Being based in the town of Montrose, there's an equal amount of Aberdeen and Dundee content on Gemma's blog (and some Glasgow stuff). And it's all art!

Blog / Twitter

The Daydreamer
Okay, I admit. I only found out about this blog because I Googled 'Dundee Blogger' for this post, but you'd think Christina was basing her blog out of LA with her beautiful style and photos. But then she blogs about Hayley Scanlan and the DCA and know I'm right at home.

Blog / Twitter / Instagram / Facebook

Twenty Something Beauty
Whilst Rachel doesn't blog about Dundee life itself, she was one of the first Dundee bloggers I discovered and I did a quick squeal! If you're wanting your travel and beauty fix sit down with a cuppa and have a read.

Blog / Twitter / Instagram

Oh Hay!
I discovered Lauren's design and lifestyle blog when she designed the header for Charlotte, and I've loved having a good snoop since. She's from Aberdeen and currently studying at Abertay (remind anyone of someone?) for her degree in Graphic Design. I love having a look at her artwork.

Blog / Twitter / Instagram / Facebook

Have I missed anyone out? Who's your favourite bloggers based in the City of Discovery?

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The Linkables








So...did I like the election result last week? Well, no. But this is a reminder why vilifying Tories isn't the way to go about changing things.

A genius idea I shall be adding to my balcony garden: herb pyramid.


Some simple, but good, advice on how often a blogger should post.


Some words on taking a selfie.

Comicbookgirl19 is now where I get my pop culture fix. 

A post I had wished I found before the election: Tory cuts aren't good for the British economy (my degree contained a lot of economics and I had many a lecture which said the same thing). 



This makes staying in feel cooler: Shayne Ward joins the cast of Corrie!

I do my boyfriend's make-up. (arent these two cuties?)

I'm probably late to the party...but Emma Blakery is my new fav YouTuber

"Should I buy condoms?" 
"No that makes it looks like you're asking for it" 
"But I am asking for it".

I'm a casual followers of football, but I've never understood the offside rule. But even professional footballers think it's ambiguous anyway.  

If you can't orgasm through penetration you're the same as 99.99999% of women out there. So don't sweat it. 

If you live in Hackney, London, Cambridge or Dundee you can vote for one of your museums to win a Museums at Night event. (obviously I'm biased on which event you should vote for). 

And still on the topic of Dundee, here's a community knitting project


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Bulgar Wheat Salad


bulgar wheat salad


Posting a salad recipe two weeks in a row is probably not the best way to convince non-vegans that I my diet doesn't just consist of leaves. (I promise I eat other things, mainly curry). 

However, this bulgar wheat salad is one of my favourite but tasty but quick things to make to take into work. For anyone who's unfamiliar, bulgar wheat is something that I was unaware of until I went vegetarian. It's a form of grain which soaks up flavours fantastically, so feel free to experiment with it. However this is how I like to make mine. 

Cup of bulgar wheat
1/2 cup of rice
pinch of salt
Few drops soy sauce
One vegetable stock cube
Bad of mixed salad
Two spring onions
Handful of cucumber cubes
Couple of halved tomatoes
Couple of halved green olives
Dash of Italian herbs

I like to cook the rice and bulgar wheat together in a saucepan of water containing the salt, soy sauce and dissolved stock cube. When they are both ready I drain it by shaking and then leave it to cool. Drain it properly or you risk ending up with something resembling rice pudding. And don't try to hurry up the cooling process by rinsing it with cold water or it could lose the flavour. 

Meanwhile I put together my salad, which is pretty simple. Once the bulgar wheat and rice mixture has cooled down I place it on top of the salad, then afterwards sprinkle with Italian Herbs. 

Do you like bulgar wheat? What's one of your favourite salads to take to work? 

 
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Skincare for when my skin gets a bit dry


skincare for oily skin when dry

My skin is what can be described as oily and spot prone. However, every now and then it can take a bit of a beating with dehydrated patches showing up. On the day to day I use a cleanser suited to oily skin (Lush Herbalism and the Merumaya are particular favourites) which I keep in my shower. However in the evening (when I'm not groggy like I am at 7am) I like to take a proper look at my skin and decide what it's needing, and if it's looking like it could be softened up a bit then these are the three products I reach for. 

First off, we have the Beauty Balm by Lyon's Leaf which I have already reviewed here. This is by far my favourite product to reach for when my skin is looking a bit parched. It's a balm which you massage into your skin and then wash off with a flannel. It's very gentle, so much that I can use it around my eye area to remove make-up and it doesn't sting (my eyes are prone to a bit of stinging!).

Second up, is a fairly new addition to my collection the Cleansing Milk from Skin Blossom. This is the easiest and quickest to use out of these cleansers and is quite refreshing on the skin, however it's one that I use when my skin is only slightly dry. The product was £7 from a health store in Glasgow and whilst it is nice it has a very cheap smell to it. I use it when I need something quick and I feel it's going to be a nice light cleanser to use during summer when I don't want anything too heavy. 

Lastly, I have the RE9 Cleanser from Arbonne. This is actually an anti-ageing product and whilst I'm not worried about wrinkles at this age, anti-ageing products are good when you need some moisture. I only use this during the winter as it's far too heavy to use during summer. It is an expensive product however the product does have a very luxurious feel to it. It's also a product which foams up a lot, if that's your jam. 

If you have oily skin do you have products on stand by for dry patches? Or if you have dry skin what are your favourite skincare products? 
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Filofax, organisation and to-do lists!


Filofax guide

It's something that I'm mocked for by older relatives and my friends alike. Despite being a Gen Y baby (and one is more addicted to the internet than most) when it comes to organisation I'm very much a pen and paper girl. I pay up for a high end Android smartphone each time my contract needs renewed, however no matter how many calender apps I've tried I always keep coming back to my Filofax. 

I was caught up in the Filofax trend back in 2010, after a late night run in with a now classic Gala Darling post. I purchased my first Filofax on my next payday - a yellow one with hearts - and it was my answer to keeping my univeristy life on track: the academia, the dance team, my cupcake society, my part-time job and my social life...it was unlike any other organisation system I'd ever used and the personalisation possibilities was endless. 

Fast forward to 2012 and I graduated. Anyone who has worked full-time knows the struggle it is to get used to it after the student lifestyle. My life was essentially work, come home, watch Hollyoaks and fall asleep. There was no need for an organisational hub in my life. Within the past year, I've become able to maintain multiple hobbies around my adult responsibilities and thus a new Filofax entered my life to contain the madness. 

filofax guide day to a week pages
Filofax 2.0 - the set-up, similarities and my diary pages
I found the personal size to be the perfect size the first time round: has enough room for some notes but also small enough to throw in my work bag. And I've stuck with it. I also found the 'week a day' pages were perfect for giving me a good over view of my week: back at university it helped me fit in my coursework around dancing and running a cupcake society, these days it helps me fit in blog posts around Green Party activities and netball. A quick glance at the weekend let's me know if I need to write Linkables three days earlier that week. I can see if my cosplay costume needs to be made one or two weekends in advanced. I can see if I need to do my weekly swim on the Sunday instead of my preferred Saturday. 

Something I did however change which is a genius idea I can't believe I didn't think of the first time. I only include diary pages for the next six months to keep it clutter-free. When I set it up in January, I only included pages up to July (and stored the others in my old Filofax, which I kept around for storing spare paper in). It's now May and I've removed January - April and added in pages up until November. I did however this time purchase a fold-out horizontal year planner in case there really was something I needed to note down seven months ahead of time. 

filofax dividers for bloggers
Beyond the diary and into the Pinterest friendly extras
I lie a bit. If you look through Pinterest you'll see Filofax p0rn which is colour and sticker co-oradinated to the point where you wonder if these people are for real. (Surely you spend more time making your Filofax pretty than you do actually doing the activities you need a Filofax to stay on top of?). My Filofax isn't the fancy stuff you see on Pinterest/Instagram, it's how a regular person who is busy enough to require a Filofax but is also busy enough that they have better things to be doing than using different coloured pens for different tasks organises theirs (but if stickers are how you roll, you keep doing what you doing!). 

However I've always been a fan of using my Filofax for purposes other than a diary. Back in my 2010 Filofax, nineteen year old me had dividers for my main to-do list, my whimsical to-do list, my gratitude list, music I wanted to download, a page for random inspiration I got from life along the way, and my to-buy list. Each of these dividers came with a doodle of a favourite quote (I cringe). These days my dividers represent my different projects: mo'adore, #cfbloggers, the professional blog/website I've been working on since forever, my full-time job plus a section for other smaller projects and a section for random helpful lists I need to keep nearby (like my packing list for visits to Dundee). Whilst letting you into these sections feels a little more invasive than I am comfortable with I'll let you know that each section contains it's own to-do list and some extra pages to jot down ideas.

I also have a general to-list at the very start of my Filofax where I put my important - and sometimes mundane tasks - like 'phone the council'.

filofax fold our year page

A Filofax for life!
If I could develop a way to organise my life through a smart phone, I would. However I'm sticking with my pen and paper. And when it comes to pen and paper I consider the Filofax to be in a league way above a basic diary. It will be five years this summer since I made the jump to a Filofax, and I don't foresee myself switching to anything else, ever. I'm very loyal to my Filofax, and not just loyal - brand loyal. When purchasing my recent Filofax I did consider purchasing a binder diary from Paperchase or WHSmith, but Filofax is still a cut above. There's a ton of inserts available on the Filofax website but if none of them take your fancy there's shops upon shops on Etsy dedicated to quirky and alternative options.

A Filofax is beyond customisable and the possibilities are endless. There's people who use theirs to budget, parents who use to keep on track of their household and bloggers who have organisers just dedicated to their blog. I've got a basic way of organising mine, but everyone is different!

How do you use your Filofax?


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The Linkables


Vertical roll cake

Photo by Call Me Cupcake

You attract what you put you, if you feel you're losing you 'magnet' here's some advice from Veronica Varlow

If you needed any other reason to believe Jack Nicholson is a creepy old man, there used to be a tunnel linking his house to the Playboy mansion

I never quite got into Livejournal (was all about the MySpace and messageboards) but love a good bit of internet nostalgia anyway, so here's a memoir to old-school Livejournal

For more internet nostalgia, here's some old Radiohead websites


Uber and Lyft are American lift services which I'm kind of wishing we had here, however many women still don't want to be drivers due to safety concerns

If you like looking at otter videos online, you'll be lad to now Monterey Bay Aquarium has set up a live cam so you can watch to your hearts content. (there's also other cams, but I love otters)

I use IFTTT to link my Instagrams to the mo'adore Facebook page. But you can also use it to receive alerts of craigslist items which might be of interest

Gerard Butler agrees that the southside is the best side of Glasgow


There's a restaurant in Instanbul which encourages food photos with fancy plates


The actor who plays Ste in Hollyoaks pretty much had the best wedding ever

My pal Hayley who is a talented crocheter (and scientist) has opened her own Etsy shop, The Crocheting Chemist


This is maybe for those of us who run corporate blogs but here's 6 places to find content ideas

I look after social media, but only as part of my job. If you're like me, here's how to manage social media if you really are stuck for time


And lastly, the best YouTube tag I've seen in a while: the blindfolded book challenge

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Violife cheese salad packed lunch


violife vegan cheese salad

One of the hurdles to overcome when following a vegan lifestyle, is the workplace. I don't work somewhere with a cafeteria but from friends who work for big companies I've heard they rarely cater to 'other' diets. I once worked for a restaurant which included cooked meals as part of our job however the menu wasn't even vegetarian friendly let alone vegan friendly. And unless you just happen to work near a health store or a vegan cafĂ© you're probably going to struggle. 

I am lucky that my full-time gig is near the Finnieston Strip so if needed I can still find something to eat. However being a bit of a Budget Barbara I also prefer to make my own food rather than spent £5 a day (adding up to £100 a month). If you follow me on Instagram you might have spotted that I regularly upload my packed lunches, which can range from exciting to downright boring (if I'm honest). Today I'm sharing the vegan cheese salad which you might have seen me upload from time to time. 

I do realise that most adults will have a working knowledge of how to put together a cheese salad, so I'm not going to throw myself into full on recipe mode. I'm only posting so that other vegans can gather ideas on what they can take into work as well. I also tend to keep my packed lunches simple so I'm not spending ages making them, because aside from being a Budget Barbara, I'm also a Busy Barbara, so I dislike cooking anything flamboyant on a weeknight. 

The salad is a combination of rocket, spinach, tomatoes, green olives, cucumber and spring onions. Then I throw in some cooked macaroni which I have allowed to cool down. My cheese of choice is Violife, and if you've been on the circuit a while you'll know of many vegans who speak incredibly favourably of this vegan and soya-free cheese. I used to love cheese and a lack of a good vegan alternative was preventing me from making the switch. When Violife came in my life I was able to cross the bridge into 100% veganism. Some other vegan cheese are okay in a cheese sauce but are horrid on their own, Violife is a cheese I can eat on it's own, or in a salad, or wrap. I then finish it up with a vegan condiment, which I switch up depending on my mood (vegan mayo, piri piri or a Nando's sauce). 

Usually I also make a wrap to go along with this. Which is sometimes a cheese wrap just like this (without the pasta, obvs).

What do you like to make in your packed lunch? 

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Update to my cruelty-free brands list




Hi there beauties. Now payday has swung round I'm posting up my latest update to which brands are getting back to me with their cruelty-free status. I'm trying to fire out as many e-mails as possible so I'm changing the format of this post to a list, rather than having a description beneath each brand to save me some time. However if you do want a copy of the e-mail or more explanation as to why I put them there then feel free to contact me. Below are the list of brands who have responded to my e-mail or brands who have more than enough time to reply.

Added to cruelty-free:
Added to ambiguous: 
I've got a massive list of brands I would like to contact this month but as always send me any brands you'd like me to fire off an e-mail for. 

Happy pay weekend!
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Why I'm still voting Green (and not SNP) this General Election




You can't exactly escape the name SNP right now. Even my readers below the border will be very familiar with Nicola Sturgeon and her crazies who want to break up the UK. You might remember that last September I was one of these crazies who voted yes in the referendum and cried when I realised it became apparent it wasn't going to happen (it was when Inverclyde said no, then I knew).

But I'm not an SNP voter. I'm a member of the Scottish Greens. I have oohed and ahhed and toyed with the idea of 'lending' my vote to the SNP because of this lovely system we know of as First Past the Post not taking kindly to smaller parties. I'll be voting in a constituency which will be close between SNP and Labour, even though the SNP will probably get it (just). And yes that concerns me, and I know there's very little chance of the Scottish Greens gaining an MP. But guys, I'm sticking with my party and here are my reasons why.

1. Caroline Lucas is already proof we can do this
The First-Past-the-Post system isn't fair to non-mainstream parties but the one Green Party MP is proof that they can get through if people disregard tactical voting. It made my stomach turn when it happened but the by-elections in Clacton and Rochester and Strood also prove this. As do the Respect MP, the Alliance MP and the three independent MPs are proof of this. And let's not forget how the SNP went from a joke of a party to a dominate political force in a short space of time. 

2. Keeping the SNP ego in check
Look, I'd much rather see the SNP in power than quite a lot of other parties. However, once upon a time I'd have said that about Labour (Well, not me personally because they sold out before I reached voting age!). What happened? Labour became the horrible party they are today due to political monopoly because power goes to people's heads (a similar drama happened with the Lib Dems). If SNP get too much power they may easily head in the same direction. By not 'lending' them my vote I'm reminding them that there are other viable left-wing parties in Scotland.

3. I joined the the Greens (and not SNP) for a reason
I know it's still a complicated concept for some no voters to grasp, but not everyone who voted yes in the referendum votes SNP. I've actually never voted SNP in my life (former Lib Dem) and I'm not eagerly keen to start (though they 'll likely get my constituency vote in the Scottish Elections). I didn't even vote yes in principle, I voted yes because I believe the UK is in the shitter and Scotland with its generally more progressive outlook would be better sailing alone. If the UK got out the shitter I might drop the issue. So yeah, not going to lend the SNP my vote because Tommy Sheriden told me to.

(If you take anything Tommy Sheriden says seriously, have a word with yourself. Putting it out there)

4. If UKIP were a serious contender I might tactically vote
Some of you might be reading this in a constituency where a UKIP MP is a likely possibility. In that case 1) my condolences and 2) I understand why you would consider tactical voting. The polls are suggesting that the SNP will grab my Glasgow constituency away from Labour, albeit not by much. If I was to wake up tomorrow to a Lord Ashcroft poll that said weegies were being swayed by the Farage I'd change my mind and use an SNP vote in order to block a UKIP vote.

5. If we don't try, we'll never do it
Look, I know the Scottish Greens are very unlikely to send a MP down to Westminster. At least not at this election. But I'm only 24 and in that lifespan I've already witnessed the political landscape change drastically. I've seen Labour and Tories morph into the same thing. I've seen the downfall of the Liberal Democrats. I've seen the SNP go from a joke to a political force which will likely hold the balance at Westminster. I've also seen some right-winged lunatics with views which belong in the 1950's come out the ranks too. I've witnessed the downfall of two party politics. A lot can change when the public stand up and demand change and the change I want comes in form of the Scottish Greens, not the SNP.

I'm voting for the Scottish Greens because I'm standing by what I believe in.

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The Linkables GE2015 special




If you want to know how barmy Labour are these days, here's some words from a former Labour MP.

If you live in a constituency where you may need to tactically vote, keep an eye on the blog of Lord Ashcroft.

The people who accurately predicted the USA Presidential Elections? Here's their thoughts.

English votes for English law may mess up the Budget


SNP vow to start HS2 in Scotland, which could be good for northern England too. 

Just a reminder that Tommy Sheriden is a shitebag. And is probably only screaming support for the SNP because he can't stand yet again.

Oh, and his pro-independence rally wasn't approved by the council

I shared this last week but just sharing it again, because it's very important

It is from 2009 but just reminding people that senior ex-military think Trident should be scrapped

With all the news between the SNP, Labour, Greens etc, you've probably not realised that the SSP are standing a few candidates


If you're from Northern Ireland think twice before voting DUP.

An actual doctor explains why privatisation of the NHS (even if it's free at point of use) is a bad thing. 



11 reasons for rent controls.

Not that I imagine any of my readers voting Tory or them winning in Glasgow, but here's a video of a Tory candidate being sexist

Some more on the Save our NHS campaign.

Engender have rolled up each parties stance on women's issues into a handy PDF




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