May catch-up

maycollage

Amazing May!

We’ve moved in proper to our house …and discovered it takes 7 weeks to get a sofa! So we’re enjoying a very romantic month(s!) of sitting on the floor. =) We’re also really, really enjoying gardening. (Our neighbors are amazing! One dropped off a bag of bulbs for us to plant and another one brought us a bird feeder!) Stuart found a frog and a newt while weeding, and I am in love with all of the massive peonies!

IMG_1616Sprained my ankle in the most important basketball game of the season for my women’s basketball team. Worth it! We won. Requisite photo of me at A&E (Emergency room!) with our winner’s medal. =)

Made for an interesting time at the wedding I was to attend the following weekend. So long, high heels! And what a tricky drive home from Glenrothes (basically in 5th gear the whole time so I didn’t have to push the clutch down… uh oh).

Also we explored our city a wee bit – a pal moved to Newhaven so we met for brunch at The Old Chain Pier. Amazing eggs benedict! And a stunning view of the firth of forth from the window seats. We later went to the Newhaven town fair which was super quaint. =)IMG_1530

Ended the month with a wee dinner birthday party for Handsome S, at Wings! followed by Supercube karaoke. With the help of generous sharing from my friends, I managed to hit my Wings-target so keep your eyes peeled for the 30-flavours-of-wings post, to come. Getting closer for karaoke as well with an additional +3 hour stint.

Have totally withered on my Duolingo and CodeAcademy/edX studies. BUT am now looking into doing a CIM qualification (as my work has kindly offered to sponsor me). We shall see! Carpe Diem, right?

With the new house, we’ve also made SERIOUS moves to throw away/recycle/donate SO MUCH STUFF. We traded in board games at Black Lion for an amazingly generous swap, and also donated easily 50 items (mostly books and clothes) in one go to a local charity. We bought a sledgehammer and S destroyed these two coal bins in the back garden as well so we got to clear out the ‘last’ of it on a trip to the local dump. Oh the joys of home ownership! =) Great fun really. I mentioned the sledgehammer, right?

readingKimiko Hahn – Air Pocket (at least the first part of this book is basically the collection/poems I dream of writing..)

Annual re-read of Where Rockets Burn Through. Still amazing!

Also received my special supplementary books and things from the Kickstarter funding of Coin Opera 2!

And enjoyed listening to The Best American Short Stories of the Century on tape on my rides in to work!

soundtrack

Clean Bandits – Rather Be (this video is of dancer, Koharu Sugawara, that I learned about through my pal Yoko’s newsletter Why Aren’t We Dancing?)
Ellie Goulding – Beating Heart
Foxes – Holding onto Heaven
Unicorn Kid – True Love Fantasy
Tove Lo – Stay High (Habits remix) feat Hippie Sabotage
Odesza – Sun models ft madelyn grant
Siren – I Think I Like You

May the force be with you?

Carpe Diem: Donate my hair

For as long as I can remember, my hair has been long. Like, long-long. A little bit weird-long.

But not long ago, a pal on my basketball team challenged me to a deal: if I cut my hair and donate it for wigs for cancer patients, she’d do the same!

I’d been wanting to do this for a while, but not really put much thought into it. It always feels a bit of a waste when I trim my hair… And I do suppose I take having long hair for granted; I know I’d be gutted if ever I lost it all. So when I received the challenge, I went for it (probably to my friend’s surprise…)!

Anyhow, my pal gave us a month while she grew out her super-fast-growing hair, which gave me a bit of time to do some research. In the states, I’d immediately think of Locks for Love, a charity that accepts hair donations. But I couldn’t seem to find an equivalent in the UK, until I stumbled upon the Little Princess Trust! It’s the same sort of thing but based in the UK. They send donated hair to a wig-maker in China who make the wigs for free. (I mean, even Jessie J did it – street cred!)

Earlier this month, my pal and I met before basketball practice, and another friend on our team who is a hairdresser chopped it all off for us! The following morning, I put it in the post for Little Princess Trust. So proud!

Every little bit counts and happy that my annual haircut can finally be put to good use. =) Will definitely make a habit of this in the future.

Added bonus: While we were getting our hair cuts, another basketball team’s practice ended, and some of the parents and such wanted to contribute (even though we never even thought to take donations or anything!) – and our pal who cut our hair let us donate her fee as well – so we were even able to give money to Little Princess Trust, as well as hair. Double win!

EDIT: Got lots of nice confirmations from Little Princess Trust about our donation!

Via JustGiving:

Hello,
Thank you for your donation. We’re sending it straight to The Little Princess Trust so you’ll be making a difference very soon.

A word from The Little Princess Trust
A big thank you from the Little Princess Trust! Rest assured your donation will go towards helping us to continue to provide real-hair wigs to boys and girls across the UK and Ireland that have lost their own hair through cancer treatment and other illnesses. On behalf of everyone connected with the charity, thank you again. You have made a difference and your contribution is very much appreciated.

And Little Princess Trust sent a certificate as well when they received our hair donation:

LPT_HairDonateCert

Carpe Diem: Save the world!

Random acts of kindness + cake = my favorite things!

RSPBpinbadges
Excitement overload: RSPB pin badges arrived!

Received my RSPB pin badge box this week!

I’d gotten in touch with our local representative to see if I could become a pin badge box minder at my office. I get a lot of passing traffic from students and staff, and with the students changing out every year I figured this might be a good opportunity to showcase the badges from my desk. (I totally love these badges myself, and figured it’d also allow me to selfishly get first dibs as well as helping the birds!)

WELL! The kit arrived and I got to assemble my box and put the pins in and definitely snagged a couple cute ones for myself (hello blackbird! hello snowy owl!). Then I took the box round the offices in my building and managed to sell LOADS in the first instance! So excited! It’s amazing how well received they’ve been so far. Some people had requests (for dragonflies and butterflies and puffins and more of the Scottish animal and plant badges), so I’ll need to request more of the other sets of badges. But it’s a great, great start! I can’t wait to report our success to the local rep come the end of the month!

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Carnage: Lemon Drizzle bundt cake, bottom left
Cake Carnage: My Lemon Drizzle bundt cake, bottom left

We’ve also just participated in the ‘World’s Biggest Coffee Morning‘ at my work, for Macmillan’s Cancer Trust. My colleague had heard about it, and as I regularly organise a Coffee & Cake mixer once a month at work, we decided to co-opt this month’s C&Cs to raise donations for Macmillan’s!

My colleague did most of the hard work: organizing the cake donations. And we all mucked in on the day to raise a couple hundred pounds! Very proud.

I got indecisive as usual and made a couple different things: red velvet cupcakes and lemon drizzle bundts (throw-backs from our wedding cake!).

Loving getting involved in good causes!