Vacation Day 5

Why is this holiday going so fast?!?!

Exercise:

It was tough to get out of bed this morning, but my new strategy worked. I joined Squad Runner this week in the hopes it would get me out of my running rut. It’s just too easy to go out and do my usual half hour loop. It worked! This morning I went out and did 5km in the beautiful sunshine:). I stuck to the road today too and the SR app had no problems. I’ll do the same thing tomorrow with my runkeeper app and see if that helps. The best part of my run was getting hugs from my parents about a third of the way through as they were out for a walk:). The worst part is my run was that I seem to be slow again. I’ve enjoyed the last year of running faster and really don’t want to go back to being sloth slow:(

I also got a workout in this evening. It started with a Rabat’s if power jacks and high knees, then it’s a grab bag workout which means I have about 50 cards and I have to randomly pick 20 to do. I ended up doing:

A plank, 20 v ups, 20 skaters, 16 shoulder taps, 20 plank jacks, 15 barrow squats, 20 burpees, 10 front step ups each side, 5 push-ups, 15 hamstring curls, 20 decline mountain climbers, 30 Spider-Man plank climbers, 5 squats, 30 plié squats, 15 dips, 10 push-ups, 30 lunges, 50 bicycles, 10 hand release push ups, and 50 jumping jacks.

The best part is that it doesn’t take long and I figured out how to hold a weight between my feet so I could do hamstring curls (really need to buy a new band). The worst part was that I don’t feel like I did enough abs.

Socializing:

I met up with my friend Anna to help her out. It was her first time taking both of her sons to the kids drop in gym time and she wasn’t sure how it was going to go so I went along to help kid wrangle. It was a great time and we got to catch up:). By the end though, I was exhausted even though I had had an hour nap before I went:(. Maybe I overdid it yesterday:(

I ended up cancelling my shopping trip I had planned with a friend for this evening as I would like to have some energy before I hit the mall.

Family:

Instead of shopping I walked across the street to the pub and had a blueberry tea with my parents. It was nice to see them, especially since I missed seeing them yesterday!

It was a short visit and then I was back home for another rest.

Cooking:

My parents had brought their new instant pot home with them so I could try it. My mom warned me this morning though that my dad had bought a roast to make in it, so I wouldn’t have it for long.

I ended up doing a small roast in it this evening. It only took 45 minutes to fully cook. I actually think I could have gone with less as I like my meat a little on the rare side. I loved how I didn’t have to dirty another pan to sear the outsides, which is one of the things I don’t like about my slow cooker! This evening I also ended up making rice pudding in the instant pot. It took 30 minutes completely, but was super yummy too. I have portioned it out and have tried freezing some to see if that works.

Watching:

I finished watching the movie version of Wives and Daughters and really enjoyed it. Anyone who likes period films like Pride and Prejudice would enjoy this one, I believe.

Knitting:

I have also managed to get halfway through the first sleeve of my sweater and am hoping to get back to it and finish it up tonight! I need to get the sweater done so I can enter it into this month’s HPKCHC!

Have fun!

AJ

Happy Spring:)

A great start to a new season!

Exercise:

I slept in this morning but was up in time to join two friends for a walk around a local lake. It took 2 hours and 15 minutes and is just a series of big rolling hills. You come down a hill, just to go right back up one. I would definitely call it a workout, but it was so great to be out hiking on the first day of Spring! It definitely checked something off my spring break list:). We had taken Sarah’s dogs Kula and Wilson with us and I think Kula did about four times what we did!🤣

Later in the afternoon I forced myself out for a run so that I could continue my run streak:) Paula at Never a Dull Bling has been talking about Squad Runner so I looked it up today and the challenge was to run one hour over Monday and Tuesday. While I had thought to do just my usual half hour run I decided to tack on the extra five minutes to accomplish this challenge, just so I could test whether this was doable for me. I did get my 35 minutes in, though no thanks to Runkeeper which decided to tell me I was doing a 3:09 for my first km. Haha not unless I’ve recently sprouted wings!

Paula very kindly found me a team and I have joined up to Squad Runner. I’m just hoping it will inspire me to do more than my normal. The team I’ve joined seems amazing! And I now have to do a 5km run in the morning🤣.

I guess I was on fire as I also got a quick Lyndsay workout in this evening!

It wasn’t too much, but was at least something to keep me getting back on track:). I also discovered that catching up on WordPress is an awesome distraction during wall sits!!!🤣

Baking:

I haven’t just exercised today though. I had cranberries and cranberry jelly leftover from Saturday so decided to make muffins. Some of my (and my dad’s) favourite recipes come from the Joanne Fluke book series: Hannah Swenson Mysteries. I definitely recommend the series for anyone who likes cosy mysteries. She has a recipe for blue blueberry muffins that I love where you use blueberries and blueberry pie filling. I decided to try it out with cranberries and cranberry jelly. They turned out awesome, even with being gluten free and dairy free. The only thing I don’t love is my own fault! I ran out of butter and used lard in the crumb topping and I definitely don’t recommend this!

Knitting:

I have also managed to get the front of my sweater finished:) I just hope it all works out though as because I started with less stitches I also finished with less😳

My friend Brenda and I are trying to decide if we should go to the Fibres West festival or just save our money for the Knit Shop Hop next month. Decisions, decisions🤣

I should have really been cleaning my house today, but all I managed to do was take my poor dead houseplants outside and sweep up the living room:(. I really need to get a kick in the butt about this. I guess I’ll have to invite someone over🤣

Well I’m off to finish the Wives and Daughters movie, which so far has been really good!

Have fun!AJ

Vacation Day 3

Another lovely day, but how could it be otherwise when I can do whatever I want:)

Exercise:

I have to admit my book and bed were very pleasant this morning so it took me a while to get out for my morning run. I did get to it though and was doing quite well until my phone talked to me and I realized it had somehow lost signal again as there was no way I was doing a 4:40km! I continued despite this and got 25 minutes in before I arrived at my parents place for a visit:). It continues my running streak to three days and is better than nothing!

I had a massage this afternoon so didn’t want to do a weight workout as I like to enjoy my nice loose muscles for at least one night, so I went for a walk instead. It was so gorgeous out and there were lots of people out.

You get two pictures from my walk as I just couldn’t decide which I liked better 🤣

Family:

It was so great to get hugs from my mom and Dad today and to get caught up with them! I hope I get to see them everyday of my holiday and get to spend some time with my mom before they skedaddle off on their next adventure!

I also spent time with my nephew today. I learned from my sister in law this morning that my nephew was on his own for the first three days this week, so I texted him to find out if he wanted to do something. He came up with go-karting, lol. When I checked the website I determined that I wouldn’t be able to go on the adult course

So I took along his neighbour and friend too so that he could have some company. They seemed to really like it! My nephew was nervous as he had never done this before, but with each of his three races he got more confident. It was great to see him having fun, but let’s not talk about what 24 minutes of racing cost for two boys!!!😳

We proceeded to have lunch afterwards because these boys hadn’t eaten in an hour and were in danger of starving to death. They had subway and I had take out Hot and Sour Seafood Pho

It was very interesting, but I admit I didn’t like it as much as my usual pho. The boys then had Menchies which I bought to keep them quiet while we waited at Costco for gas, unfortunately they had no dairy free yogurt this time so I had to do without. Probably a good thing!

Reading:

I finished my book, Tangled Up in Tinsel by Candis Terry while waiting for my massage appointment.

It was a good read. This is the third book in this series and I greatly enjoyed it. The family dynamic is interesting and realistic and I was rooting for the couple. I don’t think it’s going to be the last of the series though, or at least I hope not!

I have started my next NetGalley book but I’ll save that until I’m done.

I’ve also made it to chapter five of Treasure Island on Librivox. I hope it doesn’t get too scary for me!

Movies:

Nicole of The Bookworm Drinketh was talking about watching Hallmark movies and I would love to be doing that, but I’m out of them right now, so I went with the movie version of Wives and Daughters to see if it’s as good as the book. So far it’s staying very close to the books and making a good background for my knitting:)

I’m going back to it now:)

Have fun!

AJ

Sunday Funday:)

A very laid back day that went its own way:)

Exercise:

For the first time in several weeks I managed to get up for my Sunday run. Unfortunately right now I’m the only one running in the group so it was a little lonely, and wet!!!! I swear I would have been better off as a duck out there today!! Even running a forest trail, it was wet! I didn’t get the entire trail done as at one point I figured out I couldn’t really breathe, but I did get most of it done at a slightly slower pace than normal. It at least continued my holiday run streak to 2:)

This evening I got back onto the double workout track with a short L workout:). I did differing intervals of run hard, sprint and recovery two times and then went on to weights. The first group was three sets of burpees, side plank crunches and squats. The second group was pushups, mountain climbers and walking lunges.

It was a short workout, but I’m glad to be getting back on track.

Reading:

I have started a new book today, but haven’t yet managed to finish it. Maybe tomorrow I’ll be able to review it. It’s called Tangled Up in Tinsel by Candis Terry and it’s been good so far. And yes, I am willing to read holiday books anytime of year:)

I also started listening to a new book on Librivox today. I took Abbey’s advice and got Treasure Island and have made it through to the third chapter so far. It’s interesting and I’m enjoying the narrator’s voices!

I’ve been thinking I’d like to go through my Goodreads Books Read list and finish off all the series I have started. I always have to read books in order, but because I won’t buy books, I often miss the lady in a series. I’d like to rectify that!

Shopping:

Around lunchtime my friend and I discovered that we may not have enough time to meet up tomorrow between her hair appointment and my massage so we decided to meet up this afternoon instead for our thrift store treasure hunt. I think, for the first time in my life, I didn’t even try anything on at the thrift store. I guess I just wasn’t feeling it today. My friend found a few cute things, two of which I found for her, but it still wasn’t as successful as usual, for her either:(

We decided we needed to have tea/coffee to revive our spirits🤣. I ended up at the same coffee shop I was at after my run this morning, but thankfully, no one commented on it! It was lovely to sit and catch up!!

Hopefully the first of many such friend catch-up dates I have this Spring Break!!

Knitting:

I got busy on my Modern Lodge Pullover sweater today and finished up the back. Boy do I hope it fits!!!

Well I’m back to reading!

Have fun!

AJ

Vacation Day 1

A pretty great day to start my vacation off with:)

Exercise:

I started Saturday off with a run through the trails with Sarah and Kula:). I had remembered Kleenex so we were able to add on and explore a couple new trails:). At the time we had no idea where we were or we’re going, but now that we know the route, it nicely extends that run which we always thought was too short. My phone yet again drove me crazy, but I won’t let that ruin an awesome trail run on a beautiful sunny day!

I started a workout later in the day but only got about five minutes of it done before I realized it was a bit much for me today. I’ll get there soon!

Reading:

I finished reading my latest Net Galley book. It was actually two stories in one by Samantha Chase.

Thank you to NetGalley for the advanced copy in exchange for a review. This book was a lovely surprise in many ways, the first of which was that there were two stories in it!

The first story,In The Eye of the Storm tells of Holly and Stephen. Holly has been Stephen’s PA for three years and has an unrequited crush on him the whole time, but it’s not until the night of a storm that leaves them stranded together that there is finally a change in their relationship. I really loved the character of Holly in this story because she experiences what I often do. She finally speaks up about all the things that are bothering her at work and Stephen very kindly agrees to change them all, but once she has what she wants, Holly determines that it’s not as good as what she had. The characters in this book were so human and relatable! I also liked how the supportive friends were the guys in this book! It made a nice change from the regular. The book has a great pace and no lulls; I definitely had to keep reading until I was finished!

The second story, Catering to the CEO was a surprise to me and while I was expecting it to be about one of the friends from the first story it wasn’t. It was completely unrelated and told the story of CEO Adam Lawrence and caterer Cassie Jacobs. Again they have worked together for three years and have had a very professional relationship. It is not until Cassie speaks her mind that the relationship changes.

As I was reading along, I was thinking that there were a lot of instances of Adam being a jerk in this book, but then I realized that that was perfect because it was true to his character. I really loved the sweetness in the relationship in this story which has Adam taking care of Cassie when she is unwell. It showed the dichotomy that existed within Adam and gave hope that he would come around right from the beginning. The supporting cast of the Jacobs family was also awesome! I’d like to be adopted into this family!

Overall, both of these stories were wonderful! I did nothing but read until I was done and simply couldn’t put the book down! I would highly recommend these two stories to any romance reader who enjoys a strong female lead and a sweet, yet spicy read!

Cooking:

I had plans to meet up with two of my running buddies for drinks and appies this evening so of course I took this as an opportunity to play in the kitchen:) I was quite ticked that I couldn’t find any of my go to recipes!!😖, so I improvised. I made the very easy, but delicious appie of wrapping roast beef around pickled asparagus spears- oh so good!!!!

I also made an easy ham ball- mixing a tub of Daiya chive and onion cream cheese with 1/4 cup mayo, 1/4 tsp of chili powder and a can of flaked ham. I mixed it, shaped it into a ball and then refrigerated it for a few hours. Later on I rolled it in chopped fresh parsley since I wanted green for st. Patrick’s Day. (Otherwise I would have put parsley in it and rolled it in nuts).

The third thing I made were turkey roll ups. This was supposedly a copy cat of a Costco product, but of course, I’ve never had that. I found some gluten free tortillas at the store which weren’t too bad, just not quite as soft as flour ones. I mixed a tub of Tofutti cream cheese with 1/3 cup whole berry cranberry jelly. This was spread on the six tortillas and then I put in each tortilla lettuce, 2 deli turkey slices, slices of Soya mozzarella cheese, and four cut up cherry tomatoes. This was all layered down the centre. I rolled them and refrigerated them and then cut them into 1″ rounds later in the day.

I also made the In a Pinch Polenta crackers again with 1/2 cup more water this time and they were perfect!

Overall it was an awesome evening of visiting, with way too much food and a couple of drinks (those PalmBays go down way too easily!) and two very cute party crashers!

Well I’ve got to get back to living today so I’ll have something to post about tonight!

Have fun!

AJ

Freedom 😀

We all survived the last day and I now have seventeen days to do whatever I want! An awesome feeling for someone who normally has to plan every work day down to the minute!

The thermos had my treat- a homemade chai latte- for the last day of school. Normally I wander to work with just plain tea, but I figured the last day deserved some sort of treat:)

My way to work this morning:) It feels like Spring, but still cold in the morning. It was tough to convince the children they needed to wear their jackets!

Teaching:

It was a crazy busy day with a parent presentation about emergency preparedness (tough to keep six year olds interested in the last day before holiday), finishing up our read aloud of Matilda, gluing all of our art work into our portfolio and watching the movie Matilda all afternoon. We all survived and the classroom actually didn’t look too bad. The only thing I didn’t get to was the desk clean out but maybe we’ll do that the first day back.

I got out of there at 3:30, completely ready for April 3rd:)

Exercise:

I joined up with Lyndsay for a workout after work. She wanted to ramp it up as she’s hitting the Mexican beach this holiday, but I knew better. It turned out to be good I needed an easier workout because only one treadmill was working so I ended up on the elliptical. It was fine, but definitely not the crazy, sweaty workout of a run. We also did floor work of: deadlifts, lateral bench step ups, snatches, lateral steps with the band, bridges with the band, straight leg drops, and three other exercises I can’t remember for the life of me right now! Each was three sets of ten reps with cardio blast in between of twenty seconds hard, ten seconds easy. I did take it easier on the cardio, but it felt great to get back to working out!!!

My goal for my holiday is to run each and every day! We’ll see how it goes:)

Walking home from my workout in the gorgeous sunshine, knowing that I’m on holidays made me fly high!

Otherwise I’ve been taking it easy on the couch and trying to catch up on my blog reading, though I also really want to continue with the NetGalley book I’m reading right now!

Right now though, I’m exhausted so I’m off to bed. Pathetic I know on a Friday night, but I want to run in the morning!

Have fun!

AJ

Ending and Tidying

A day of endings, but also of tidying so I can begin on a positive note:)

Teaching:

We were certainly busy today, but still didn’t get to everything I wanted to. I started the day by coming in to a report that one of my boys was kissing another boy on the lips yesterday 🙄. So I got to inform his mom and talk to the class. Ugh! Just what one wants to hear about her son first thing in the day😂

The children got to tour the school looking at all the box projects. There were some very cool ones! The imagination some children have is amazing! We had a grade two student build circuits and create a sound effect board out of his box! Here are two from my class: a cat and a unicorn. I wish I had grabbed a picture of the boxtrolls though, so cute!

It was an early dismissal today for parent teacher conferences , but thankfully I only had two so I got some time to tidy my classroom:). I just want to know how come when I do one thing, I immediately think of ten others I could also do! Teaching seems to be a job where you could work 24/7-365 days and still not be done!

Reading:

I finally finished my next book from NetGalley, His Wicked Charm by Candace Camp. It had been a while since I had read one of her books, but I’ve enjoyed many of her past series.

Thank you to NetGalley for the free copy in exchange for an unbiased review.

This is Candace Camp at her best. The story is of Delilah, a very prim and proper young debutante who is perhaps not what she seems and Constantine, the debonair smooth talking brother of her best friend’s husband. The two cannot seem to get along for even a moment, but maybe that’s not quite how it seems.

This book centres around an occult theme which I was not expecting at all. However, even if it isn’t my regular read, this book was fast paced, entertaining and thoroughly engaging. I wanted to know what was coming next! Camp did not disappoint and the action was in full swing by the third chapter and continued through to the last page. I loved how Delilah was being pulled in two different directions and really had to search deep for her true self. I also liked how Con had two very different sides to his nature and Lilah came to realize both were valuable.

I think anyone who enjoys a little mystery, the occult or just an entertaining historical romance will enjoy this book!

Exercise:

The beautiful sunshine tempted me to go for a run before my class tonight as I read a blogger who regularly runs before her spin classes, but I figured when I’m sick is not the time to try this out:(

It was my last athletic yoga class tonight. I’m in a conundrum as my colleague has signed up again, but while I love the class, I really need a regular yoga class for the stretching! I wish you could do both on the rec pass but I’d need a pass for the regular yoga classes and then a separate $90 fee for the athletic yoga class:( I haven’t decided what to do:( In a perfect world I would be rich and could do both!

Well, I’m off to bed so I can survive one more day with the munchkins!

Have fun!

AJ

Reassurance

A quiet day with some reassurance.

I think it doesn’t matter how old you get, your mom is still your mom. However, as the only single woman at work, I seem to have a multitude of moms and everyone of them has been worrying about me and telling me to go to the doctor. Today I gave in and did just that.

I got told that yes I have a horrific cold and that it’s probably a continuation of the one I had in December:( However, I also got told that my ears aren’t infected ( I’ve had ear problems my whole life so when they aren’t normal even I get worried), and that as long as I got lots of rest there was no reason I couldn’t go back to exercising😀. I also got given some kid decongestant so I’ll be more comfortable at work:). In the past I’ve had trouble with adult medications. Overall, I’m happy with my results. I think the no infections put my mind at rest most!

Cooking:

I tried making crackers today for the first time! There were called In A Pinch Polenta Crackers in my Allergy Free Cook Bakes Bread Recipe book. It was super easy! Bring two cups of water with 1.25tsp of salt to a boil, stir in one cup of corn meal until it’s thick like porridge ( I think mine was too thick so I’ll try adding more water next time), then turn off the heat and add 2tbsp oil, and spices. I added 1/8tsp cumin, 1/8 tsp chili and 1/8 tsp garlic. Spread the mixture onto a greased cookie sheet and bake at 375 for 30 minutes. They were so yummy and will make a good after school snack tomorrow:)

I had thought that making crackers would be so difficult and they really weren’t! One thing I did learn though was that I should have scored them as the recipe called for as then maybe I would have gotten nice, uniform crackers.

Exercise:

This evening I got back to exercising. I adapted this workout I read on the Vicki Lynn Fitness blog this morning. I didn’t want to kill myself so I toned it down a bit, but it still felt like a good workout and it certainly felt good to move again. I think my body also got a workout from my coughing fit halfway through too🤣

Reading:

I have spent most of the day quietly reading another book from NetGalley which I should be able to tell you about tomorrow night as I’m off to finish reading it😂

I am looking for a suggestion of a new classic to listen to on Librivox if anyone has one:)

Have fun!

AJ

Being Social

It was just another day:)

Teaching:

We worked this morning on a school wide project. We had read the book, The Most Magnificent Thing and every child in the school worked on turning a box into something. I unfortunately missed so much of it and was very worried about how crazy it would be, but this morning my class finished up and there were actually some quite clever projects! A cat, a dog, a unicorn, two boxtrolls, a rainbow, an airplane, and some that only the creator could name. We have a lovely assortment outside of our classroom for everyone to admire:)

This afternoon we finished our science unit about animals in winter with an animal adaptation experiment. The students were asked to put one hand in ice water and the other hand in a blubber hand in ice water. The blubber hand was made of lard. It was so neat to see their faces when they did the experiment and they all seemed to understand the concept that blubber is an adaptation that keeps animals warm and allows them to survive in cold regions:) ✅

Socializing:

After work we had a staff social at a local brew pub. It was nice to see most of the staff turn out and to see some smiles after the hard work of report card time. I left early as Who wants to drink beside a sick person, but it was an enjoyable evening of cider and two bags of chips (as the food truck hadn’t arrived yet🙁).

I at least got a tiny bit of exercise today in that I walked home from the brew pub:)

Now it’s off to bed for another eleven hour sleep in the hopes of turfing this cold!

Have fun!

AJ

Rudolph

I felt like all day people were staring at my nose!

Teaching:

Just a regular day though we had an undercover policeman come in and speak to the class today. I had tons of questions for him, but not with the children present. They had tons of “what if” scenarios for him. I think it made their day that four of them got “arrested”.🤣

Otherwise at the end of the day we went out and observed our tree in winter and then played on the playground. It got up to 18 today so we had to take advantage of the warmth and sunshine!

The beautiful weather continued all day into a spectacular sunset:)

I managed a two hour nap when I got home from school 😀.

Reading:

I finally finished listening to Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell this evening.

It was an excellent read. The characters are well portrayed and very in-depth with many foibles and follies, though you become invested in them and want the best for them. I liked that while this was obviously the original soap opera, it didn’t read as implausible. The characters made mistakes and many things happened, but it rang true.

The only thing I didn’t like was that it wasn’t finished!!! At the end I learned the author had passed away when she was one chapter short of finishing the book. While we all know what would have happened, I really would have liked to have heard the author’s rendition of it.

I think that anyone who likes period classics would enjoy this book. It in many ways reminded me of Pride and Prejudice, especially in how the mother and father are portrayed.

I also have to put in a race review of the narrator of this book, Elizabeth Klett. This is the second book I have heard her read and they have both been wonderfully done!

Knitting:

I have casted on a new sweater, but I am having to make changes to it. It called for 82 stitches just for the back and I think that would be quite huge on me so I have pared it down to 62. Hopefully I don’t regret that. It is nice how quickly it knits along with being in worsted weight yarn.

Exercise:

My friend Lyndsay was going for a hike after school and I so wanted to go, but even I know I’m not healthy enough for that:(. I can’t wait to be back to normal!!!!!

Well, I’m off to bed early to try and get healthy.

Have fun!

AJ