January catch-up

sunriseBlue Monday? More like Blue Month! January is the hardest… It goes on forever, with ages until first payday after the holidays. It’s cold and we didn’t even have a proper snowday to make it all worthwhile. But who’s complaining…. lots to be positive about!

+karaoke3 hours karaoke for New Years eve with pals! [Grand total so far: 10.5 hrs!] Have also bought a voucher for an hour with a bottle of prosecco for super cheap. Excitement! (And well, if you guys want to buy one too using THIS LINK, I could potentially get an hour for free – just saying!)

+4 flavours of wings. [Grand total so far: 17!]

+12 items accrued… I knew it would be difficult to pare down 30 items during the holidays. But I’m so grateful for amazing and generous friends and family! My favorite gifts were ones we could do as well as have (ie scuba diving) and I’ve eaten LOADS of edible gifts. =)
– 8 items. Discarding old things & replacing others with new presents! Also S did a charity volunteer day at the British Heart Foundation and we donated a few bags full of books and clothes. [Grand total so far: -14]

Karen made a collage!Donated my hair to Little Princess Trust. Still getting used to having not-crazy-long hair.

Planted some garlic. Will keep you posted come spring (or in a few weeks?) if it sprouts.

Went to Aberdeen for a bball tournament (but missed opportunity to go by train!). We didn’t win but it was a great game. Aberdeen had even worse weather than Edinburgh! *faints from shock*

Started the Intro to Programming (Harvard X) course which I’d mentioned. S is watching it with me. First assignment due February 1st!

At Spanish level 10, I ‘can now read 83.1% of all real Spanish articles’! And at German level 4, I can basically read nothing… but have learned Zitrone!

Midway through 30 days of Paleo which I started on the 10th of January. TOUGH! Especially tough as I’ve also decided not to drink any booze this year… Where’s the fun in life??! Looking forward to posting photos of my 30 days of eats, and dropping my two pence on changing my diet and how inconvenient it has been…

We’ve booked our tickets back to California for April! I feel like I shouldn’t get too excited as I’m still mega-looking forward to Iceland in early February but it’s been almost two years now since I’ve last been home (and hugged my mama) so I can’t wait!! It’s going to be an amazing trip.

Been poetry-ravenous lately, especially in light of the Scottish Poetry Library about to shut up shop temporarily while they undergo a major and amazing renovation. I’ve checked out some things from the Uni library to tide me over but already feeling withdrawals of not being able to have easy access to so many wonderful books each weekend when I go for my volunteering. Can’t wait to see the new place though in the winter/autumn!

readingRachel Boast – Pilgrim’s Flower
SinĂ©ad Morrissey – Parallax (excellent!)
Jane Yeh – The Ninjas
Jane Yeh – Marabou
Miriam Gamble – The Squirrels are Dead

David Orr – Beautiful & pointless {A Guide to Modern Poetry} (anyone interested in poetry or teaching it should read this!!)
Allie Brosh – Hyperbole and a Half (one of my Christmas presents!)


Ellie Goulding – Tessellate (Alt-J Cover)
Eloq – C’mon preview (going to see him in Feb at Sonar!)
Of Monsters and Men – Little Talks (again, super excited for Iceland…)
Cashmere Cat – With Me

Roll on February.

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:

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: