Who knew that bookclub could knock a person out?!

Exercise:

Yesterday morning started with my usual Sunday morning run club. We did a regular park route and I felt like I was running fast, but I definitely wasn’t:(  Oh well, I got out and I ran so that’s what really matters. I actually ended up running again in the early afternoon as my running buddies weren’t willing to do an hour in the pouring rain.  The afternoon run went way better, but was still on the slow side. It is weird that for the past two runs, my phone has acted weird at the end and shut itself off, even though it wasn’t out of battery. I wonder if this is it’s formal complaint about running in the cold and wet?

Reading:

I finished the next book in the Return of the Blackwell Brothers Series. This one, The Rancher’s Fake Fiance by Amy Vastine is the fourth in the series and tells the story of Tyler, the second to last Blackwell brother.  Tyler has no interest in the ranch, but promises his employee Hadley a promotion if she will accompany him to the ranch and pretend to be his fiance, so that his brother’s don’t find out he lied about being engaged.

I really liked how the relationship between Hadley and Tyler started out in Portland as it seemed super realistic and made for a nice contrast to how they end up.  I have to say, the whole Portland scene was very realistic and charming too:)

The other part that I really liked about this book was that the Blackwell family played a bigger part.  Ethan and Grace are around in every chapter and Ben and Jon pop in and out too. I really enjoyed the family lunch they all had. It’s about time that family started spending time together!

I can’t wait to see how this series ends with the next book which I will hopefully be starting tonight!

Thank you to Amy Vastine and the publisher for the free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Cooking:

I had a really tough time coming up with what to make for book club because Malin (an amazing cook in the group) beat me to posting what she was making – lemon cake and Christmas cookies. Well there went my plan for brownies and Christmas cookies. I am definitely more known for my baking than my cooking.  I have been craving cream of mushroom soup and haven’t found a vegan version at the store, so I got busy making that. I used this recipe. It was super easy and very yummy! It will definitely become part of the dinner rotation during these cold, wet months!  I also made up a loaf of Bob’s Redmill Bread and it was a hit.

Bookclub:

I, of course, ate way too much at bookclub, but it was just all so good! Between good food, good friends and a cute baby, it was a great night! We actually didn’t end up discussing a book because only one person completely finished it and two of us got partially through it. We did choose our books for next year though:)  We used to choose the next book each time we met, but it wasn’t very time efficient so now we choose six books for the year at our December meeting. I have to remember to walk over to the library and get the book for February as I am hosting that  month so I’d better make sure I’ve read the book!

I came home from bookclub and immediately crashed into bed!

Have fun!

AJ

45 thoughts on “Who Knew?

  1. How do you choose your books and how many of them have you enjoyed in the last year? Does everyone always read them? I am fascinated by book groups and in fact did some research on them a few years ago!

    1. Everyone gets to put in two book suggestions, we then remove any book that has been read by someone in the group. The rest get put into a hat and we choose six out.
      I have enjoyed most of the books and it gets me to read something new and different.

  2. What a great book club meeting! I went a couple of times to a meeting at a restaurant and they wanted me to pay dues online, and I declined and never heard from the leader again. I have been trying to find another one. This group was pretty much dominated by the one leader who made all the decisions.

      1. That is great! I really liked some of the people but the head of the group was a little bit strange about not accepting cash for membership and didn’t really make me feel too welcome. Maybe I will find another group.

      2. Oh that’s always too bad when one person ruins an experience! I hope you find a new group as it’s definitely a highlight in my life

  3. all that delicious food….I’d be sleepy after too! That baby pout is adorbs. Zach had only good things to say to us after his classes today . FIRST TIME this school year One girl asked him if he thought she behaved better today. He honestly said he thought she had done much bettter!!! Hooray

    1. Yes that food was so good, especially the cookies! I just couldn’t stop eating them!
      I’m so glad that Zach’s day went better! It is so nice when students finally start figuring out the expectations! How long does he have left until Christmas break?

  4. I had never had lemon cake until the first year I was dating Alex when his mom had me over for Easter dinner. It was SO good! I tend to forget about it though. Now you have me wanting to bake Christmas cookies since you mentioned them.

    Can’t wait to see what books you guys decided on for next year.

    1. Lemon is one of my favourite flavors. I can never make lemon bars as I’ll just eat them all!
      Yes I have the feeling that Christmas cookies will be made at some point:)

      1. I just don’t think to make lemon anything since I don’t always buy lemons.
        Same! I’m thinking maybe this weekend but who knows.

      2. Oh it rarely actually takes lemons to make lemon baked goods. Most call for lemon juice. I’m trying to only bake when I’m going out so I don’t eat it all

      3. I never even have lemon juice which is so bad. I really should force myself to buy some lemon or lemon juice so that I can bake with it.

      4. It’s so funny you say that. I walk by the bag of lemons at Costco when I get produce and always think “I should really get some to put in my water”. Then I never do…maybe 2019 will be my year ha!

      1. Cookies have always been my downfall- going to write a post about cookies this weekend – hopefully I can write a post tonight … I’ve been behind since doing those two days of walking and picture taking because they said we were having snow/sleet/rain this weekend … now they say dry. I give up, but it was beautiful last weekend if you don’t mind the cold. But going to do a post on cookies. I could pass up pie, even cake, even bars (except brownies … I can’t remember the last brownie I had) but cookies I do love.

      2. I’m not sure I can pass up any sweets, except maybe chocolate. I don’t care for it! I can’t wait to read your post on cookies- that will be fun!

      3. Thanks AJ – I am going to do it this weekend and I am going to put some recipes that I photographed right from my mom’s cookbook (a binder filled with favorite recipes) … I was looking for a recipe for a frosting with coffee and chocolate that my my mom used to use on cake. I was telling Mackenzie about it after her post on “Dirt Pudding” … I can’t find it but I found a few other recipes from my past. Nostalgia rules sometimes!

      4. Oh that’s one of the things that upset me most was not getting my grandma’s recipe book as there were a lot of great recipes and memories attached to them.

      5. My mom put all her recipes in a red binder, separated by different desserts and dinner-type recipes. If only I could cook, I could recreate some of them – maybe when I am retired, it will be something to try again. My grandmother could make a mean pot roast but her baking skills were not so good – people laughed that her lemon pies could bounce off the wall. If I made a lemon pie, it would probably bounce all the way to your place. 🙂

      6. Oh my grandma was an amazing cook and baker. All I have is her peanut brittle recipe but she was famous for her shortbread and butter tarts

      7. My mom used to make shortbread at the holidays … she made the “breaker shortbread cakes” and these little almost white shortbread cookies and she’d flatten them with the tines of the fork to make the decoration and put a green or red candied cherry on top. They were very buttery and melted in your mouth. She did make butter tarts as well – you can’t buy butter tarts here … strictly a Canadian treat!

      8. They were really rich with all the butter – I may have the recipe for those because the other day I was taking pictures of some of the recipes for this post and I am sure I saw it – my mom had several shortbread recipes in there … I will look and type it out for you if you want.

      9. AJ – I have your e-mail address from the “comments section” so I’ll find it this weekend and send it to you. I took some pictures the other day of recipes but don’t know if the shortbread was in there … my mom was all about these shortbread cookies, her favorite and prized cookies and only made them for Christmas. Then I bought a box of Walkers Shortbread one year – the last few years of her life she enjoyed them instead of the shortbread “breakers” … those were a shortbread cake and you break into chunks. I’ll look this weekend and send it to you – they were so good.

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