Fantastic Bake Along- Ode to Chocolate

It was not the day I was expecting, but still quite nice:)

Reading:

I wasn’t expecting to, but have spent much of the day reading Longbourne by Jo Baker. I think I’ll be done by tomorrow. It is a great read so far. I’m loving the different perspective on the characters from Pride and Prejudice!

Exercise:

I usually get up and run first thing Saturday morning, but there was a skiff of snow and it was pouring so I delayed. I was feeling quite guilty by 11am when I was still in my jammies. I did get out for a run at lunchtime when the sun came out for a bit. A beautiful run was spoiled by Runkeeper malfunctioning again. It kept losing the GPS signal and said I was doing a kilometre in 2:44, yeah right! I ended up deleting the run when I got back and just manually entered the distance. Thankfully I had done my usual park run!

The funniest thing about this run was when this song about the constitution came on. Obviously Spotify is celebrating President’s Day. I’m Canadian, I don’t need to hear this!

My Polar Loop activity tracker forced me out on a walk this afternoon. It was enjoyable until I got my phone out to take a photo to share with you all and my phone died. I had to walk home with no music:(. It was funny though to see a guy in a tux out walking a dog. My mind immediately questioned whether he had taken the dog to the wedding with him or rushed home between the ceremony and reception? He definitely lent some class to the inlet trail 🤣. I was hoping to run across him, but we walked parallel the whole time.

I also got a Lyndsay workout done this evening. It was an integrated abs workout and it almost killed me! A warm up, two sets of twelve exercises with each performed for 50 seconds, then a cardio blast of five exercises for 30 seconds, repeated twice and finally an overload of eight exercises performed for 30 seconds each. Amazingly with all of this, my activity timer still says I haven’t made my goal. Maybe it has to fit tight to my wrist to work properly?

Cooking:

I had asked for a fish tacos recipe and Regina Mary came through with one for me. Of course, being me, I messed up and only printed the first page, the ingredients so I somewhat had to make it up as I went along, but it was yummy and had a kick to it:) In fact it was so yummy that there is no pictorial evidence as I had eaten all before I thought to take a picture🤣

Knitting:

I have only managed two more rows on my sweater today and I ended up having to redo one of them. I’m a little disappointed to see that the bottom edge rolls because it’s just stockinette stitch. I checked and there doesn’t seem to be an edging applied to this area:( Hmmm maybe tomorrow I’ll do more.

Baking:

The only other thing I have accomplished today, well other than laundry, is baking. I’m participating in the Fantastic Bake Along again this month which had perfect timing as bookclub is tomorrow!Tracy at It’s a T Sweets Day hosts the bake along and this morning she wrote about her best brownie recipe. I immediately hauled out all my cookbooks and started looking for a chocolate recipe I wanted to make. I don’t really like chocolate so I don’t have a go-to recipe. I unfortunately got super overwhelmed and couldn’t decide on anything:(. I asked Tracy and she said it was okay for me to make her brownie recipe and just alter it to be gluten free and dairy free, so that’s what I did:)

Tyler Brownies (gf/df version)

1 cup Earth Balance vegan butter spread

2 cups white sugar

3 eggs

5 tbsp cocoa

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup potato starch

1/4 cup arrowroot starch

1/4 cup mullet flour

1/4 cup buckwheat flour

1/4 cup sorghum flour

1/4 cup oat flour

1 tsp xantham gum

I used my kitchenaid mixer and combined everything together. I lined my very old 8×8 pan with parchment paper and spread the batter evenly. It looked light brown just as Tracy said it should. I ended up cooking my brownies at 350 for 48 minutes and I think they still needed longer:(. They are very fudgy:(. Hopefully the women at book club will like them. They do taste good!They just didn’t hold together that well for me.

Unfortunately I’m on my phone so I can’t provide links to all the other amazing bloggers who participate in the Fantastic Bake Along (if there’s a way, please let me know), but please go to Tracy’s post and check them all out!!!

I also ended up baking up the rest of the cookie dough I had bought last week.

Finally I took some of the brownie parts that had crumbled and have made them into cake pops, but I haven’t quite finished so I’ll have to share them tomorrow.

Well I’m back to Longbourne now!

Have fun!

AJ

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Long Day Repeated

Another long day!

Teaching:

My day started with a meeting and I just have to say that I don’t love it when others don’t respect my time! Grrrr😖

I had an awesome young teacher help me through some yeh difficulties and then it was time to get the children.

I forgot my keys at home this morning. I don’t know how as I hang them on the doorknob, but I managed to, so we had to change things around a little, but we all survived. McCracken spelling, some math while I finished assessing addition strategies, and our second Rocks and Rings session.

I can’t recommend the Rocks and Rings program enough! It seems like every child in the school enjoyed it and it is such an inclusive sport. A definite success and the children were much better behaved today!

Tea:

I stole a tea bag off of a colleague today. In my defence the tea was in the tea cupboard at work which usually means it’s up for grabs and she wasn’t upset at me:). I mention the tea because it was delicious! It was Apple Cranberry tea from Trader Joe’s and it was amazing. The box is a simple red design and the tea is reddish when it is steeped. I would definitely recommend this tea!

Exercise:

I met up with Lyndsay for a workout. Hit the treadmill for a bit and then the floor. The treadmill went relatively fast as the Olympic women’s curling was on. Canada wasn’t competing so I was relatively calm😂. A guy came in though who was decidedly weird! I suppose it gave Lyndsay and I something to laugh about as he “worked out” by grunting through three reps and then checking his phone, turning the tv, playing with the volume, etc😂

The floor exercises today were single leg squats, goblet sumo squats, pendulum, mountain climbers, and upper cuts. I managed to use 10,12 and 20 lb weights today and hit 7.6 on the treadmill so I was happy with myself. We rewarded ourselves with the sauna.

My co worker this morning helped me set up the Polar Loop I was given a couple weeks ago. Amazingly it says I should still do another twenty five minutes of exercise today even though I’ve done 15,967 steps. I don’t think it’s happening😂. It will be interesting to see if I make my movement goal when I wear it for an entire day. I might have to see if I can wear it on my ankle though as it’s kind of big for my wrist:(

Photo Project:

This morning I was super efficient and got my RRSP contribution amount determined, got a manual printed off and got the last of my Boston trip pictures sent to Costco. Tonight I ran out to pick them up so I can get them off of my phone. They’re calling for some snow tomorrow so this will be a good indoor project:)

Reading:

I got approved for three more books on Net Galley today, but I’m going to finish Longbourne first.

Eating:

I tried Shape Shifter’s nutritional yeast popcorn tonight finally! I love eating popcorn but had never thought of putting nutritional yeast on it to get that slight cheesy taste. First, I always make my popcorn in a pot on the stove. It is loud, but it only takes five minutes! The popcorn was very yummy and the only change I would make is to try mixing the yeast with the vegan butter in the microwave so it wasn’t so powdery.

Well, I think I’m going to read and dream about what I want to do tomorrow as I have no commitments:)

Have fun!

AJ

Progress

Another long day, but a couple of steps forward.

Blogging:

Wow! I have more than 500 followers as of today! It blows me away. Thanks for reading and commenting everyone! You’ve been a big help many times:)

Reading:

It was really tough to stop reading last night and I put my time before school to use reading again this morning. I finished the novella,Medal Up I got from Net Galley.

This book contains two novellas set at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Korea.

The first story is about Arielle, a figure skater and Brady a snowboarder who used to be a figure skater. I really loved the pacing of this story. It was realistic and moved the story along appropriately. The characters were realistic and interesting, and it really felt to like they belonged together. Finally the sequence of events felt reasonable for athletes at the Olympics.

The second story tells of Maybelle and Bohdan’s relationship. They have been pairs figure skating partners for months, but are really no closer to knowing each other than they were the first day.

This story had a faster pace, but I really liked how the story concentrated mainly on the emotion within the relationship. The characters and situations were again realistic and these were also heart warming as the characters got to know each other and found they had more things in common than they thought.

One of the best parts of this duology is how well the two stories work together. The first story introduces all the characters and the friendship problem/situation that needs resolution carries through both stories seamlessly, almost as though one author had written both. Flockton and Marsden have done a fabulous job providing readers with realistic entertaining Olympic stories.

I reviewed it on both Goodreads, Amazon and here so hopefully I will be approved for something else soon! I really enjoyed this book and it was perfect timing as a pivotal moment in the first story happens on Valentines Day and that’s when I read it:)Until I hear something I am back to a book I’ve been meaning to read forever, Longbourn by Jo Baker. I’m a huge Jane Austen fan and often read the spinoff stories. I’ve heard lots of good reviews of this book written about the domestic help of the Bennet family. I’m only one chapter in and am already enjoying it:)Teaching:Today was a busy day as we had to plan before school and then prep in any free moments and then write three report cards after we finished the prep after school. All of this other stuff would be fine if I wasn’t expected to teach! Of course, all I feel like I’m doing right now is assessing the poor children to death for these report cards! I do wish we could move to having three conversations with parents a year! By the time they get these report cards they are out of date:(We did Writer’s Workshop and a little math today along with computers. The highlight of the day was the Rocks and Rings program which teaches the children about curling. Very cool! Finally a sport I know something about!Exercise:Tonight I had Athletic Yoga which was quite the challenge. Another instructor sat in and it was like our instructor went into overdrive because she was there. In the hour there was only one water break! It was a challenge, but in a good way. I can tell you I don’t love running on gliders though! My poor hamstrings!Knitting:Well I haven’t touched my sweater today:( I did get my Olympics Bootcamp from yesterday to count for the Headmistress’ challenge on HPKCHC! I really need to get going though as I only have 13 days left to get this sweater done!Well I’m tired so I think I’ll just take my book to bed.Have fun!AJ

A Long Day

I have literally just walked in the door after leaving for work at 7:30 this morning:(. I am seriously ready for my bed!

Teaching:

The children actually did pretty good for the double excitement of Valentine’s Day and snow!! We didn’t do much work, just a self assessment this morning that I’ll use for the report cards, but we had no major meltdowns or problems, so I count the day as a success! I got a lot of I love you’s and Happy Valentines Day wishes from my students:)

In the middle of the day we made Cupid’s bow and arrows with our buddies out of popsicle sticks, dental floss and q-tips. I think there’s going to be a lot of requests for these supplies at home as the kids really loved it!

This afternoon we took it easy with a Charlie Brown Valentine Movie. I prefer movies over parties with the children as they are already getting enough sweets and are excited enough already. The children seemed to enjoy the day 👍🏻

It was a late night at work though as my co-teacher and I stayed and got two report cards done. The first two are always the most difficult so it took us about forty five minutes to write each of them:(

At least I had a nice view coming home.

Exercise:

I completed the 2018 Winter Bootcamp Olympics today! 🤣 Lyndsay had some fun with our bootcamp this afternoon, and boy was it tough! There is no way I will ever be an Olympic athlete!!! I don’t think she left any muscle untouched in my body!

Family:

I had no real plans for Valentines Day and I am very proud that I gave away most of the chocolates I was given and then I took the rest of the chocolates and candies to my nephew this evening. It was nice to see him and I got a hug from my brother and my nephew so that was great! It was great to see all of them!

I continued out to Costco and got gas, picked up a package that came for me and grabbed some groceries. If anyone has a recipe for fish tacos they’d like to share, I’d love to hear it!

Blogging:

A few weeks ago I was given more chocolate tea ( really not to my taste) and Stefanie of Wooly Cakes and Wooden Spoons has said she would swap it with me for some Lemon Loaf tea:). Well I got completely spoiled! Not only did I get the tea, I got a beautiful bag, a fitness journal and some yarn along with it!! I will be enjoying all of these things very quickly! Thank you again Stef, it was definitely the best part of my day!!!

Well I think I’m going to go do one row on my sweater and then curl up in bed with my book.

Have fun!

AJ

Crash:(

Not the day I thought I’d have!

Eating:

It really is my own fault. Yesterday I was in denial that I was going to have to get up and go back to work today so I prepared nothing. I threw a few packages from the GF Expo in my bag and ran out the door. When two pm arrived and I quite literally could have laid down on the floor in the middle of forty children and had a nap, I paid for it:(. What’s funny is how long it took me to realize that a lack of water and eating nothing but chips and cookies was the cause! If I needed proof that I need to get back on track, I think this was it! I still feel draggy and too full:(

Teaching:

The day with the children was fine. We had an assembly that I had to run today and that was the cause of most of my angst. We were lucky enough to have the Vancouver Stealth coming to our school today, but I had absolutely no idea what they were doing, how long they were going to be, what they needed, nothing! I didn’t even have confirmation they were coming until yesterday. It turned out just fine. One player came and it was a lot of talking, and listening for the children, but they seemed to enjoy it. It seemed the staff enjoyed it too as he was a lovely piece of eye candy and was great with the children:). You have no idea how many winks and nudges I’ve had today, sometimes it’s not so much fun being the only single person on staff!

This afternoon we made our Valentines bags do we’ll be ready for tomorrow. It actually went quite calmly, but we’ll see how they do tomorrow!

The worst part of the day was that the EA organizing the Wigs for Kids fundraiser decided she couldn’t use my cookies because I used almond milk. Couldn’t they just be labelled. I made sure the three children I know share my allergies all got several to enjoy and take home and then just have the rest away ( after I had eaten a few more😞). I guess that was a waste of two afternoons!

Exercise:

I started report cards after school but still managed to get home in time to get a run in before dark. I love the new feature I set up on Runkeeper where it doesn’t start tracking for ten seconds- enough time to get my phone put away and start running. It really helped with the pacing information. It wasn’t a fabulous run as it was fuelled by only cookies and chips and no water and then my phone died, but it was great to get outside into the fresh air and no rain! It has warmed up so it will be interesting to see if we get the snow it’s calling for. I’m hoping not as I’d like to get a run in before school tomorrow!

Product Reviews:

With my crappy diet today, I do have a few new gluten free and dairy free products to tell you about.

We’ll start with the cookies!
These were actually a nice little treat and at 140 calories for the bag (about five cookies), not too bad! I think they would go with a cup of tea really nice. They were firm cookies, but not crispy. Not a really strong taste, but I didn’t expect that from honey graham flavour. The only downside was the amount of crumbs!

The chips:
These chips really do look like the ones on the front of the package! Once you get past the odd colouring they were quite good. I have to admit I was expecting fabulous as the ones at the show were, but they were a new flavour. I think these classic ones would be great to send in a kids lunchbox as they would feel like they were getting chips without being really unhealthy. The best thing about them was that they weren’t greasy!

Reading:

It felt great to finish another book today after finishing one yesterday, much more normal for me.<<<
I started the book, The Twelve Days of Christmas by Debbie Macomber late last night and wanted to stay up all night to finish it!

It tells the story of Julia and Cain who are neighbours and opposites in New York. They annoy each other and after a run in over a newspaper, Julia decides to “kill Cain with kindness” and blog about it in the hopes of getting a new job. However, Cain isn’t the only one affected by this experiment.

I love Debbie Macomber books and this one didn’t disappoint. I was laughing out loud at the start and sighing by the end. I especially loved that it gave an epilogue to tell us what happened for these two during the following year. Both characters were realistic and complex. They had their doubles and their contradictions. In addition, the actions they took in the book for with their personalities consistently. I also found the scenario realistic which is a nice change in a romance novel! The only part that I found unrealistic was how blogging was portrayed in the book, but maybe that’s just because I haven’t had that experience. The comments and relationship between Julie and her readers was realistic and shows the positivity of blogging relationships well. It was mainly the fact that Julie went from 50 readers to 25,000 in a matter of days that I found unrealistic. It seems more like the hey day of twitter to me than blogging. It’s a pretty minor point though and definitely didn’t keep me from loving the book.

If you like Debbie Macomber’s other books you’ll enjoy this one. I would also recommend it to anyone who especially likes a Christmas read, a very modern scenario or irascible relatives stories.😀

The other reading news I have today is that I got approved for my first story on NetGalley! I guess I better get right on reading that one!

Knitting:

I have felt horrible as I have t touched the sweater since Sunday, but I’m just so worried about screwing it up again. I know that once I get the hang of it, I’ll enjoy it, but it’s getting to that point that might do me in! I at least did some counting on the chart tonight and maybe tomorrow I’ll pick it up:)

Well, this ended up being much longer than planned! I’m off to bed in the hopes that when I wake up, I’ll feel better!

Have fun!

AJ

Liebster Award #2

Thanks to Baking Thad for nominating me for this award. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to do it again, but he has different questions, so I suppose it won’t hurt. I’ll still do my regular post later, but here goes!

First off, you should definitely visit Thad on his blog if you haven’t already as he always has really cool thoughts on a variety of books!

Rules:

You can read the rules at the Global Aussie here, but let’s get these questions answered!

Questions:

What’s the worst book you’ve ever read?

The worst book I’ve ever read was probably You by Caroline Kepnes. I’m sure it was well written, it just wasn’t my taste.

What’s the best book you’ve ever read?

I think there are just too many! I loved A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman.  I also love Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.  It really depends on my mood.

What’s your earliest memory?

It’s weird, but I don’t know if I remember or have just been told about things so many times that I think I remember them!  One of the clearest memories from my childhood is when I was on a trolley and my big brother was holding onto me. I said I wanted to get down and he said, “ok”. I let go and fell over him and hit the ground and cracked my elbow. I remember my mom being all calm and saying it was fine and then in the middle of the night she woke me up and took me to the hospital.  When we got there, she knew the doctor in the ER- he was an old boyfriend.

Cats or Dogs?

Definitely dogs! I like cats, but I can’t resist how happy dogs are and the fact you can take them for a run with you ( well except for the dog I dogsat).

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I’ve actually wanted to be a teacher ever since I was eight years old! My mom told me to save my money and I did,LOL!

Why did you start blogging?

I wanted to concentrate on the positive and I wanted to keep track of so many different aspects of my life that I figured it was either blogging or a leaning tower of notebooks on my bedside table!

If you’re not blogging what are you doing?

Reading, knitting, running, teaching, working out. Yup that about sums up my entire life!

Tea or Coffee?

Tea! Coffee might make me short! LOL My grandma told me this as a child and by the time I figured out it wasn’t going to make any difference it was too late to become addicted.

What’s your dream holiday?

My dream holiday is one where I have enough time that I get to see everything I want to see in a place without having to break land speed records! I want to be able to eat great food, see all the major landmarks, run the side streets, check out the cool architecture and of course, do reconaissance on any great book or knitting stores.

What’s the last record/album/mp3 you bought?

I seriously can’t remember what the song was, but I know that it was two summers ago because I was rewarding myself for losing weight by buying a new song off Itunes for each pound.

Nominations:

I like these questions and will say that I nominate anyone who wants to take a crack at answering them.

 

Have fun!

AJ

Family Day

I love three day weekends and think every weekend should be three days, but four is even better! I didn’t have any family time and I have to admit I’m even missing my dad now, but it was still a great day!

Exercise:

I got out of bed this morning with the thought that I could go back to bed once I was done. Of course, after a Lyndsay workout I didn’t feel like going back to bed. I definitely noticed my legs were tired from the upswing in running this weekend. It was still a great workout though! Cardio on the treadmill of intervals of fast and faster. I hit a 7.5 for my faster for the first time. I know that may not be fast for most people, but it’s the first time I’ve hit it so I’m going to celebrate it.

The floor work was all bosu ball based today, so my tummy was really working- lateral hop overs, mountain climbers, burpees, pullovers, static goblet lunges, and plank jacks. We then ended with three minutes on the spin bike and three minutes on the rowing machine. Definitely didn’t leave anything untouched!

I have to show off how beautiful a day it already was on my way home.

Socializing:

After about an hour at home I got dressed in my new, warm workout gear and met a friend for a hike. Back to the workout gear… I have to say that Sugoi Sub Zero tights and the Ivivva Up To Snow Good Jacket were worth the cost! I was actually warm!!!! This never happens as my friends and family will tell you. I actually had to unzip at one point. I really liked the tights because they didn’t work their way down, in fact I don’t think they moved an inch the whole time I wore them:). I wonder if anyone would notice if I just wore this outfit every day until summer???🤔

Ok back to the hike. It was an absolutely gorgeous day to be hiking through our rainforest. We took a slightly different route up the mountain this time and it was nice as it wasn’t crazy busy!<
he view from the top:). We made our way back down the path we went up last time. I really think Kula did about three times as much as we did, but little Wilson just calmly meandered along at our side. He is so soothing because he’s so calm. Unfortunately I only got one photo as my phone turned itself off again and wouldn’t turn on:(

From the hike we went for Pho:) I was determined to try something new but when we got there I yet again got the small seafood. I realize now that I do that because it is clearly marked as having rice noodles. I swapped my friend the imitation crab (has gluten in it) for a couple of pieces of her chicken. This was perfect as I had wanted to try the prawn and chicken dish but it didn’t come as soup and I really wanted soup today. It was perfect on this cold day, though today I really noticed how salty it is.After lunch we stopped by the Starbucks in the same strip mall so my friend could get a coffee as she was off to work. I got a tea and it came with a nice interaction with a cute guy:). When I dropped my friend off, she gave me a bag of kale she wasn’t going to use so I’ll be making kale chips this week sometime.

Baking:

This afternoon I had to get busy on making the heart sugar cookies for the Wigs for Kids Fundraiser at school tomorrow. I have decided I like the taste and texture of the cookies I made from Silvana’s Gluten Free and Dairy Free Kitchen by Silvana Nardone better than the cookies from the Sweet Eats For All by Allyson Kramer. I had already made the dough so it really wasn’t tough to get the dough rolled out, though I definitely want to hit Lee Valley and get their dough thickness guide as I’ve learned I’m horrible at getting the cookies all rolled out to the same thickness! I also made up the Royal icing and got them decorated. I didn’t discover the easy and neatest thing to put on the cookie until I was almost done:(If anyone has a good suggestion for how to get three dozen cookies to school without ruining the icing, please let me know. The icing seems hard but I’m not sure I can stack them.

I really wanted to do the nutritional yeast popcorn that Shape Shifters Fitness was talking about yesterday, but I’m afraid I ate too many cookies (3 or 4) while baking and decorating so that will have to wait until tomorrow.

Reading:

I finished My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman tonight.

The book tells the story of Elsa as she is sent on a treasure hunt by her beloved, but recently deceased, Granny. This treasure hunt leads Elsa to get to know her neighbours and her Granny much better.

I spent the first hundred pages of this book wondering what it was about as I couldn’t keep track of all the ‘fairy tale worlds” and fairy tales the story is told through. I spent the next two hundred pages reading as fast as I could to find out what happened. I was totally engrossed and amazed at how once again, Backman has managed to reveal so much of life and humanity through a story of one little girl. I loved how all the characters and the relationships between them are so complicated, just as life is. I liked how Backman includes some great teaching without being preachy. I also liked how you go from laughing and smiling to crying and back again.

This book is a great read and I’d recommend it to anyone who likes a good story or to read about being human.

Hmmm now I just have to decide what to read next!

Well for right now, I’m off to do some knitting on the sweat-inducing sweater!

Have fun!

AJ

Trifecta

A third nice day in a row:)

Exercise:

I got out first thing this morning for my regular Sunday morning run. I wasn’t sure how it would go after doing 10km yesterday, but I did 6.7km today with no problems and no rests or walking breaks. It was an absolutely gorgeous day for a run!

I thought about working out tonight, but I have plans to meet up with Lyndsay early tomorrow morning so figure is better stretch and roll and save my energy for her killer workout. I’m still hoping to keep my weekend of running going with a short run tomorrow afternoon though!

House:

The sunshine must bring something out in me as I got a deep vacuuming done of my bedroom. I get so much road dust! It felt great to get that done and three more things taken out of my place! I love living with as little as possible. I know it’s in response to my dad who is a “collector”.😀

Knitting:

I had knit day today with Brenda. I took Nothing but Knit’s advice and reprinted the chart for my sweater and colour coded it, numbered the rows and counted up the plain knit and Purl stitches. I still ripped it out another three times today. It was only when I finally said that “this was the last try and if it didn’t work I was knitting something else” that I finally got beyond row four. I got to row 14 before I was a stitch short and I just picked one up and kept going🤣. No one will notice, but me and hopefully I can now make some good progress on this thing! Any other sweater would have been half done by now!!!! Thank you Nothing But Knit for the advice, it really helped!

TV/Movies:

Brenda and I watched the third Harry Potter movie this afternoon and so far they haven’t been too scary for me. It’s tough though as I know death is coming for some characters that I really like! I have to say that I don’t like the new Albus Dumbledore as much as the old one. They made him too doddering and as though he’s not really smart:(

We couldn’t get the fourth movie to play in her machine so I actually ended up watching a part of an Olympic event, for the first time in my life! I can’t imagine how those athletes feel to have years of their life come down to thirty seconds and to know you have the works watching you. I now know why I don’t watch though Maureen, I am way too high strung! I get nervous for them and I’m just watching! It was neat to finally see something though:)

Reading:

It has taken a hundred pages but Fredrik Backman finally has my attention. I’ve gotten through another hundred pages just today and am hoping I’ll be done the book tomorrow!

I loved Christina’s post today as it clearly explained about this NetGalley I keep hearing about. I’ve signed up, but I think I’d better limit myself or this is going to be dangerous!

Product:

When I was out shopping the other day there was a new gluten free, vegan product on sale that I had never used so I picked it up. I usually try to buy gf/df products when they’re on sale so they’ll keep stocking them, though I usually just eat fruits, veggies and protein.

This was a refrigerated cookie dough by Eat Pastry that comes in a pretty square blue box, just like the Earth Balance box. The dough is very light coloured inside, but clearly has chocolate chips which is good as it’s chocolate chip cookie dough. I tried a little bit of the dough and realized right away from the taste that it has garbanzo flour in it, so definitely not what to buy if you just want to eat raw cookie dough! The dough scooped out very easily and I cooked it for 9 minutes. I have to admit it was at 400 instead of 350 as I had just put two scoops in with my other cookies. They were very brown but not burned at all. The cookies are very light in texture and not crumbly and not overly sweet either which was good. I think I’ll stick to my regular baking from scratch as I love to do that, but this would be a good product for anyone who isn’t in to baking and just wants to spoon and bake.

Well I’m off to more reading:)

Have fun!

AJ

✅, ✅, ✅

A second fantastic day in my long weekend.

Exercise:

I got up this morning and after my mini box of raisins I was out the door for my run:). A while back I had been reading My Kind of Fit’s latest blog post and found out she did her long runs using four and one intervals. I was curious whether that would help my speed on my long runs? Today, I decided to give it a try. I did my ten km run using run four minutes, walk one minute intervals and was only eleven seconds off of my best 10km time. I obviously need to work on this! The only thing is that I need to figure out what length of intervals to do so that it doesn’t block out my audio cues. I think I would have been faster if I had gotten regular updates on my time as at one point I know I slowed down because I thought I had already been out an hour and fifteen:(. That eleven seconds makes me want to run another 10k tomorrow, but I promise, I won’t 🤣. I liked how strong I still felt at the end with using these intervals but I don’t want to do them on every run as I don’t want to lose my ability to run steady.

It was a great day for a run as it was cold but super sunny and beautiful, actually maybe those icy patches are responsible for those eleven seconds🤣. I also liked the calorie burn that came with doing a longer run again:)

I also got a Lyndsay workout in this evening. It felt great to get back to a double workout day!! Today I did The Dirty 3,2,1 workout. It was three sets- 30 reps, 20 reps, 10 reps of the following exercises: plank, jumping jacks, wall sit, squats, crunches, pushups, sit-ups, lunges, butt kicks, and mountain climbers. I probably should have gone through the sequence again as I wasn’t that sweaty, but at least it was something:)

Shopping:

I had a few errands to run as I had a package to get mailed, needed to buy the movie A Charlie Brown Valentine to show the kids on Wednesday ( I always do movies rather than parties as the little guys are excited enough already!). I also picked up my new Sugoi sub zero running tights:) I can’t wait to try them out tomorrow morning. I also got to wear the new casual super warm jacket I bought yesterday while doing these errands and it was so nice to be warm!!! I was doing really well at staying focused on my errands until I saw Iron Dog Books outside the running store. I just couldn’t resist and got myself a new gluten free, vegan cookbook:). I also had a nice chat with the owner- she’s a knitter too!

In addition to buying, I also got six bags/boxes donated this morning. It felt so great to get some things out of my house!! It inspired me to come home and get my counter cleared off and my spare room tidied:).

Baking:

I have to take 24 heart shaped cookies for a Wigs for Kids fundraiser on Tuesday so I tried out two different recipes today. I wanted to make sure they tasted okay. I found them both slightly dry, but they need to be decorated and iced anyways so I think they will be fine. I need to remember to email the parents of the two children who have the same allergies as me so they’ll know there will be treats they can eat if they want to participate. Thankfully I think I have enough dough made so I’ll just need to bake and decorate now on Monday.

Knitting:

I had to restart my sweater again as there was a large hole from how they had me adding stitches. I know the pattern says to use a yarn over, but I think I’ll do a different method as I don’t want holes there! I’m trying to persevere on this sweater because I really like the looks of it, but it’s definitely making it difficult!!!

Well it’s been an awesome day of all my favourite things in sunshine so I think I’ll end it with some reading. My book has finally caught my interest:)

Have fun!

AJ

A Great Start

Well my day started a little earlier than expected when my co teacher texted to say she had become an auntie, but what an awesome way to start the long weekend!

Exercise:

I got my butt out the door first thing this morning for a run. I had found on my Runkeeper that there was an ASICS Pace Academy workout called surges. I decided to give it a try. It made the time go pretty fast and I was definitely tired by the end of the workout. It was a warm up and then thirty second sprint intervals with two minute recovery breaks afterwards. It had identified the pace I was supposed to do both intervals at so I was hoping it would tell me if I was making those paces, but it didn’t:( Turned out I was going faster than both.

I also got started on charging up the Polar Loop a friend gave me:). There is nothing like tech gadgets to make me feel completely dumb! I hope I can figure this out!

Shopping/Socializing/ Eating:

I drove downtown to spend the day with one of my closest friends. I had a couple of restaurants in mind that I wanted to try out, but unfortunately they were in the opposite direction from the store I really wanted to visit. We decided to just wander and see what we came across and that worked out well for us:). We came across a cool wall mural.We also tried a new place to both of us for lunch. It got super busy after we were seated so we knew it must be good!

Once done eating, it was time for some retail therapy! We crossed the street and made our way up the opposite sidewalk, popping into any cute little store that took our fancy:). That’s the great thing about this Street is that it is full of cute boutiques. It was mostly just window shopping as there are a lot of boutique prices too, but we both found a couple of gifts.

At the far end of the street, we popped into Lucky Doughnuts which is also Parallel 49 Coffee and partook of a hot chocolate as part of the Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival. I could only do the Classic Hot Chocolate with cashew milk, but it was pretty good:) My friend tried a fancier one and enjoyed a doughnut. It looked really good:)

We then crossed the road and made our way down the other side. I was disappointed that so many of the stores where I used to be able to buy shoes have gone out of kids shoes:( The store we had gone to that area for was thankfully at the end and still there. I’ve been getting short on workout gear, even with just one workout a day so I knew I needed to get more. Ivivva is the kids version of Lululemon and fits me much better, unfortunately they have closed all but one of their store locations:( I really like to try things on so every once in a while I make the long trek to go check out what they have. I limited myself to just sale items and I have to say, my friend has amazing patience as I tried on a lot of things! I only shop with this friend or my mom as they are both completely honest with me:).

It was a really tough decision but I found some new running tights, and two new jackets, one of which actually comes with a liner that can be worn on its own, so I guess that’s really three new jackets. I’m happy with them all and okay about the stuff I left there, so a successful shopping trip and a lovely day:)

They had cool decals on the street for Valentine’s Day. I need to remember to post them on Instagram as if I do money will be donated to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

The drive home in rush hour traffic was actually nicer than the drive out there. I think it’s because I listened to Wives and Daughters on my Librivox app. It completely took my mind off traffic and I was kind of wishing for more time in the car.

Cooking:

I had stopped at Choices market with my friend- boy is that place dangerous for me! I picked up the ingredients for a sort of Mexican bowl for dinner. I cut up romaine lettuce and then added corn and black beans along with avocado and salsa with a small amount of fake jalapeño cheese grated on top. It was awesome!! I’m glad I have enough left over for tomorrow:)

Product Review:

I tried a new cookie tonight that I picked up at the Choices Market.

I have to say that while they smell very good, they are also very dense. Thankfully at 55 calories each they will make a nice treat to go with my tea this week:)

I have to remember to go looking for a gf/df sugar cookie recipe tomorrow and try it out as I have to take two dozen cookies for a fundraiser on Tuesday.

Well I’m off to knit, read and try to figure the Polar Loop out.

Have fun!

AJ