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It’s amazing how much you can get done when you only have so much time!

Exercise:

I got up this morning earlier than I have been to get out for my run while it was still cool. My run was still slow and I realized my legs were hurting from my workout on Sunday, but at least I ran the whole 3.86km. That was it for me for exercise today as it was massage day.

Knitting:

I am working on a basketweave mini blanket and am loving how it’s looking. I made it up so casted in 200 stitches, have four border stitches on each side and using four stitches per pattern element. I just hope I have enough yarn to make it big enough not to look weird!

Podcast/ Reading/ Listening:

I listened to my very first podcast this morning as I was knitting. It was the Marathon Training Academy and I really enjoyed it!

I also have been reading an ARC and listening to Portrait of a Lady in LibriVox. I highly recommend this book so far- it’s been keeping my interest really well!

Cooking:

With going away, I’m trying to get all my food dealt with. I made another batch of raspberry jam today. That will be my last of raspberry jam for this year. I got 15 jars though so I should have enough for the year and some gifting.

I also canned some pickled tomatoes. They were really easy and I had all of the ingredients. I just didn’t want my tomatoes to go bad. I realized afterwards I should have made Greek Salad and taken it with me!

Trivia:

This afternoon was taken up with a massage, a nap and packing (which I hate doing). Thankfully me reward is trivia.

It was just Jacqueline and I at trivia tonight. Out of 71 questions, I knew:

The child actor in Different Strokes?

Gary Coleman

Who was the director of toys in James Bond?

Q

Where was Melrose Place set?

Los Angeles

What prescription drug was tested on dogs?

Viagara

What was the one word used in donkey kong?

Jump

What is equal to 4 quarts?

1 gallon

What country does it border India?

Thailand

Who played Wolverine?

Hugh Jackman

What is the best selling car in Canada last year?

Honda Civic

What is the smallest US state?

Rhode Island

Which Canuck had the most penalty points?

Gino Odjick

What is the most common thing people yell after a knock on the door?

Who is it?

What show has had the most Broadway shows?

Phantom of the Opera

Well I just found out I have to go home and unpack and repack with warmer clothes- looks like it’s going to rain the whole time I’m away. Hopefully I’ll get some WiFi so I can make room for new pictures. (Any suggestions on what kind of pictures I should delete? Food, knitting, scenery, gf/df products- what don’t you guys care about?)

Have fun!

AJ

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A Reunion, Kitchen Time and a Start

It was a great day once I got over this morning.

Exercise:

I headed out about 8:30 for my run. Had this plan to walk up the big hill- run along the top road and down to the rec centre and then back along the bottom road.

It was awful! The walk up the hill was fine, but the run turned into a run/walk which never happens to me. I ran down the hill a street early and shut off my runkeeper at the bottom and walked the bottom road home. My legs were tired, I was tired, it was hot, it was a disaster:(

I have, needless to say, taken it very easy the rest of the day to give my body some rest. Hopefully it will reward me with a better run tomorrow!

Socializing:

My friend Karen was coming over so I spent the morning cleaning my house. It looked really neat and tidy when I was done:) I wonder how long I can keep it that way?!?!🤣

We went for sushi and then walked around the inlet. It was great to catch up with her as we realized it was before Christmas that we last saw each other😳

Cooking:

I got busy this afternoon and got my seafood manicotti made. I used this recipe from Pillsbury and it was super easy! I think I have this manicotti thing down now:)

Knitting:

I have so many knitting projects rolling around in my head and just don’t know where to start! I have pulled out some gray yarn to make up a baby blanket for my RMT’s wife who is due in October. Hopefully it will be cool enough that I will be able to work on it.

Eating:

Breakfast- egg and sausage patty

Snack- cherries

Lunch- assorted sashimi

Snack- guacamole chips

Dinner- seafood manicotti

Well I’m going to go back to my knitting and LibriVox.

Have fun!

AJ

Jam and a Great Book

I’d love to say I was as productive as yesterday, but it just wouldn’t be true. I’m blaming it all on the book!

Exercise:

It’s hopefully the last week that my morning run turned into a walk as I didn’t want to leave Brenda alone. We did the entire Coquitlam River so it was a good way to start the day, especially as Brenda walks very briskly.

I worked out this evening with another Lyndsay routine. After a warm up of running, skaters, jacks, side shuffle and skipping that wore me out, I did:

2 sets of: dumbbell press with squat hops, side lunges, plank taps to burpees, lunges to deadlift, bench push-up to leg raise, plank with leg raise up and to the side, squat jumps to pulsing squats, single leg hip lifts.

Then 2 minutes- first one skipping and the second jumping jacks.

Then 1 minute of each of the following: bench tricep press, wall sit, mountain climbers, band pull downs, and dumbbell swings.

Finally the torture ended with abs, 30 seconds each of: bicycles, Russian twists, right side crunch, left side crunch, full sit up

After that I ended the evening with a short run. I really didn’t want to go and had given myself permission to only go to the park and back, but surprisingly I felt really good. I still only did 3.75km🤣

Shopping:

After my walk and tea this morning I stopped by the farmer’s market and picked up my Black Sheep Vegan Cheese. I was so excited that they were close to home! I have to admit I bought one of each kind they have, though I was disappointed they were out of camemvert.

That’s my very large brown paper bag of cheese in the centre:)

I also went and picked up my friend Kathryn and we hit the Gourmet Warehouse. This is always a scary stop for me and I definitely require supervision. I really wanted to get an angel food cake pan, but they were sold out of it. I wanted to get wonton wrappers, but they only had rice paper. I also wanted to pick up canning jar lids, but they didn’t have the kind I need. I ended up being very good and only buying some sugar free vanilla syrup (I am on holidays so my tea should be special) and some butcher block oil for my charcuterie board. I was tempted by the Le Creuset and the cookbooks though!

Kitchen:

I got another batch of raspberry jam made today. It went smoother than yesterday. I think I need to make one more batch to get me through the year. After that I will just freeze the rest of the berries. I have to stop tomorrow and get more jars though.

Reading:

I spent a lot of today reading, I Flipping Love You by Helena Hunting. From the first page this book grabbed me and it never let go! It was such a good read. The plot is very fast paced and yet it seems to suit the characters.

The characters are realistic and interesting and the banter between them is great! I laughed out loud a few times and I have to admit I always love it when the female lead isn’t a pushover.

There was enough background given to have scenes and dialogue make sense and yet we weren’t inundated with “head stuff” or character’s thoughts.

I also liked how the narrative switched between the two main characters so you got to know both sides of the story.

This is an excellent beach read and is highly recommend it if you want something fun.

Eating:

What have I eaten today???

Breakfast- piece of toast with peanut butter and homemade raspberry jam

10 slices cucumber with cheese and 11 cherries.

Green beans with everything but the bagel seasoning on them

1 mini cherry tart

Raspberries as I was cutting them up for the jam

Not the best, but not horrible. At least my fridge is starting to empty out. I like it a lot better when there’s minimal food in there!

Well I don’t know if I’m going to start another book or some knitting, but I’m off.

Have fun!

AJ

Old Fashioned Day

It seems my old fashioned hobbies all made an appearance today.

Reading:

I finished another book today when I didn’t jump out of bed. Changing the Rules by Erin Kern tells of an uncle who must take on the responsibility for his unknown 6 year old niece. Thankfully he has the help of his sister’s friend who delivers the child.

The story was okay, but it seemed too unrealistic to me. There were no government agencies involved with this child? I don’t think so! The male lead seemed very stereotypical to me. I also didn’t love how none of the characters were well-fleshed out. The ending also left me with questions which really annoys me! I guess I wouldn’t give this one a raving recommendation.

Exercise:

I decided to get my run in on my way to renewing my home insurance. I did another 3.5 loops of Como Lake today. It was nice that it wasn’t that busy:)

This evening I got a walk around the inlet done and 2 sets of ab exercises. I did: 25 crunches, 25 reverse crunches, 25 bicycles, 25 static crunch with scissor legs, 25 leg drops, 25 knee tucks, 25 side toe reaches. Then repeated them again. I really want to start doing more for my abs!

Cooking:

I got busy in the kitchen and finally got my raspberry jam made. I will need to do some more tomorrow when I get more jars and lids. I used this Martha Stewart recipe. I did decrease the amount of sugar I put in as it seemed a bit much! It was simple and easy to make and it smelled so good!!! I’m hoping to make enough that I don’t need to buy jam this year.

Knitting:

I finally finished the cardigan! I am so happy to be done that thing. I did end up having to detach the sleeves, rip back to the cap and remake them and then resew them in. I also ended up knitting the collar as I went as it had to be longer than the pattern called for.

I made a size 8 kids from Patons #104a Raglans from 2-12. It is shorter and boxier than I expected, but it is incredibly warm, so I am still happy with it.

Socializing:

I’ve been home by myself most of the day, very happily. It was only when it became evening that I started thinking it was pathetic that I was home alone on a Saturday night. I either need to get over this or make a list of friends and start making plans for my Saturday nights!

Have fun!

AJ

Nice To See You Friday!

It was a really nice, low key day!

Reading:

I admit I didn’t hop right out of bed this morning, but lounged, reading Picture Perfect Wedding. I also finished it and really enjoyed it for what it was- a light, fun read. The characters were well depicted, interesting and I loved the backdrop of Misty Bottoms Georgia as it sounded like a great place to live!

Exercise:

I did finally get out of bed and exercise. I did a quick circuit that Lyndsay had given me. It has three rounds- the first is 45 seconds and then the next two are 30 seconds, all with 15 seconds of rest. You do:

Right leg step ups

Left leg step ups

Dips

Bench mountain climbers

Frogged jumps

Bench squats

Bench pushups

Bench plank jacks

Bench knee tucks

Bench hip bridges

I was definitely a little sweaty by the end.

I did finally get out for a run late this afternoon. I really didn’t want to go for some reason, but managed to get my usual 3.56km in. I am happy to say I am 11km ahead so far this month and hopefully o can maintain that!

Socializing:

I met up with my friend Corianne for lunch today at Browns. It was nice to sit and catch-up. Some friends are just so easy to be with.

We then took the opportunity to wander the village looking at the shops, but managed to buy nothing:)

We also hit the library where I wasn’t so self-disciplined!

Eating:

Not a bad day:

Breakfast- cherries

Lunch- tuna poke bowl, 1 mini cherry tart (thankfully I have the rest away and froze a couple)

Snack- iced chai latte with almond milk

Hmmm I guess I haven’t really eaten since lunch, but I also haven’t been hungry after eating the entire bowl!

Knitting:

I managed to finish my sleeve for the second time so tomorrow I will try sewing it into the rest of the sweater and see if I am happier with the results. For such a simple sweater, this sure is taking forever!

Well, not a super exciting day, but probably just what I needed. I also managed to not take a nap, so hopefully I’ll stop sleeping in so late!

Have fun!

AJ

Trail Thursday

It was another lovely holiday day. I actually wonder if you can have a bad holiday day? I hope not!

Beauty:

For once I didn’t hop out of bed for a run, but instead lounged around and then went for a pedicure with Lyndsay. It was lovely, except for when they touch the bottom of my feet. Sometimes I hate the fact that I am super ticklish!

Baking:

I had plans for the evening so decided to get going on another recipe from the cookbook I’m working from this month.

Today I made the Cherry Pie Poppers. It’s a simple cherry pie filling with a sugar cookie pastry.

The only change I made to the pastry was to use an already made all purpose flour mixture instead of Sylvana’s. Next time I’ll have to allow time to make hers as I was surprised by the cookie-ness of the pastry as I was expecting more like a pie pastry. I had to push down each one with a shot glass when they came out of the oven as they had puffed up. The recipe made tons more pastry than was needed!

The pie filling was simple to make though I used the fresh option instead of frozen cherries. I was surprised by the addition of pumpkin pie spice, but it was an awesome addition and really made the sauce flavorful and not overly sweet.

This recipe was easy to make, didn’t take that long and turned out great, even though I let them get a little too brown.

Reading:

I finished Meet Cute by Helena Hunting today. I’ve been reading and nothing else!

Wow! This book sounds as though it’s going to be just a cute romance, but it is so much more. It deals with some big topics and emotions in a lovely way. The characters are interesting, dynamic and realistic. They make mistakes, are uncertain and learn along the way. The pacing is realistic and excellent. The book pulls you in and keeps you turning pages.

Eating:

I had yogurt for breakfast.

Roasted cauliflower for lunch

Two mini cherry pie poppers (to test them of course!)

Tuna poke bowl

Food:

My friend Brenda has invited me over for dinner to try out the newest dish she had gotten from Fresh Prep. It was a tuna poke bowl, which anyone who knows me, knows I love seafood. I was super excited as she invited me to help her prep and cook it too. The package was super organized, though I do worry about how much plastic they use to bag up all their small amounts of ingredients. The dish said it took 25 minutes but with both of us working, it didn’t. The meal was super yummy and tasted like a restaurant meal. Brenda says all of the recipes have been like that. I may need to look into Fresh Prep for the Fall, though I think I would only need to order one meal for the whole week as the portions are very generous! We barely made a dent in the tuna poke bowl.

Exercise:

All day I hadn’t planned on going to the trail clinic tonight as the route sent to me earlier in the week really didn’t excite me, which explains my eating siracha sauce at 4:30pm (not a good idea before a run!).

However, after a nap, I decided to run down and join the clinic. I didn’t turn my running app on which did take some of the sting out of the fact that I ended up walking a lot of the start because we did about 250m of elevation all at one time! Ugh it was hot and hard! The run down was okay, but it was almost too steep to run down comfortably. What really impressed me tonight was that I had run down to the run and I actually ran home after the run! That was all on top of the 2km I did mid afternoon when I didn’t think I was going at all.

Blogging:

I really need to figure out this photo thing as there are so many more photos I’d like to share today! My tuna poke bowl, the trail, my new trail running shirt…

Have fun!

AJ

Errands with a Side of Shopping and Eating

It was a day of errands, but it was nice to have company.

Exercise:

I got 3.86km first thing this morning to ensure it got done as I wasn’t sure when else I would get to it.

Shopping:

I dropped my car off for its annual physical so my mom was chauffeur today.

We did the drugstore, got her bloodwork done, got the broken pots moved off my deck, and donated two bags of stuff to charity.

We then went shopping which is always fun. For a change I didn’t buy any workout clothes, but did get some nice blouses for work.

Eating:

I had a kind bar for breakfast and then shared nachos for lunch with my mom. They were very yummy, but way too much food, so I haven’t been hungry again.

Movies:

This evening we watched two Hallmark movies. The first was with Paul Greene and Danica McKellar called Perfect Match. The premise was cute, but I find McKellar a bit of an awkward actress, or I hope, that’s just the type of character she usually plays. What I really noticed in this movie was the location of Paul Greene’s treadmill- what a view!!

The second movie we watched was So You Said Yes. We watched this mainly because I wanted to see Chad Willet as I hadn’t seen him in a film since Annie O. It was also a cute movie with a great ending!

Well there’s my day and I’m off to read Meet Cute.

Have fun!

AJ

Trivia Tuesday #14

It was another great day of holidays with my mom.

Exercise:

I really didn’t want to run this morning. I think it’s just boredom from running the same thing each day. I did manage to go the opposite way, but I think I’m going to get out of my neighborhood tomorrow! I also only managed 3.4km- good thing I’ve done more than 3.5 some other days.

This evening after trivia I got a short fifteen minute workout done- kicks, punches, squats, hamstring curls, calf raises, high knees, and a few abs. Not much, but my philosophy is that something is always better than nothing.

Reading:

I finished the book, The Wedding Trap. A girl at her friend’s wedding ends up helping the CIA. It must have been written well because I was walking down the hallway today, heard a noise and jumped🤣

Knitting:

I drove my mom to her specialist appointment today and spent the time seeing my sweater together. I’m onto the sleeves and am not very happy as the sleeves are too long. Now the question is, do I take them back and shorten them or just roll up my sleeves?

I decided to rip back the one I had not sewn in yet and see how it goes.

Shopping:

We stopped a couple of places to look for buttons for my cardigan and finally found some at Fabricana. They were “designer” buttons which I think is just another word for expensive!

I also bought myself some plants for my new deck planters. They were expensive, but they really do make my deck look nicer and as long as I can keep them alive, I’ll count it as money well spent. I also replaced my cilantro for about the third time and learned that it doesn’t like intense heat and won’t come back from getting dry. Good to know!

I also sat on a very comfy couch today. It is larger than mine and $2800, both things I will need to think about. Is that. A good price for a couch???

Eating:

I’ve had an excellent eating day today!

Breakfast- one slice of toast with four different toppings

Lunch- shrimp and avocado salad with no dressing

Dinner- chicken wings at the pub because I’ve been craving chicken wings

Trivia:

Tonight there just four of us women, but the team is currently in 7th place!!

I only knew one question from round one.

Name the next seven words from the song It’s Five o’clock somewhere.

My boss just pushed me over the limit

Round two I got the five country song titles and singers, but nothing else.

Round three is on the app and for some reason I always find this round confusing!

The last round I got:

What is the capital of Saskatchewan?

Regina

Who has played the most games in the CFL?

Lui Passaglia

Who said, “Do or not do. There is no trying”?

Yoda

I think that’s all I got tonight. There might have been more, but I wouldn’t remember🤣

Have fun!

AJ

Family Day

It was a day filled with family which is always okay with me!

Exercise:

I had plans to run in a different area today, but my parents arrived way earlier than I expected so I just went out for my usual and managed 3.86km.

I also got a quick walk in this evening, but it definitely wasn’t a super active day.

Shopping:

I had decided I wanted to make raspberry jam so headed to my usual farm only to find they were gone. I figured this was a good opportunity to visit Krause Berry Farms which I’ve been wanting to do forever.

I have to admit I was even more motivated when it was featured in a Hallmark movie I watched last night.

It was a very cute place with lots of kitchen gadgets and berry baked goods for sale. They did have three things that were gluten free and vegan- a vanilla cupcake, a chocolate cupcake and a lemon tart. I was a little disappointed as when I’m at a berry place- I want a berry product. This section was rather sparse so maybe they were just out of a lot of stuff. I have heard that the waffles are amazing!

I ended up buying raspberries and cherries and have been having a very difficult time not eating them all!

After a quick stop at Walmart and then at Canadian Tire, since Walmart didn’t have what we wanted- dish pans and pectin, it was home again.

Gardening:

Growing up I had a third of an acre to play with so it has been a very big change to go to one small deck. I’m not very good a deck gardening yet, but every year I learn something.

This year I’ve had to replace two of my big pots that I had gotten from Costco as they have disintegrated. My mom and I took care of that and my deck is looking much nicer! I don’t think I’ll buy plants for the new planters until after my holiday in August, though as I say that, I’m only away for a short while each time so maybe it would be okay to plant. 🤔

My mom and I talked about two options for our little holiday next week over a cup of tea:)

Eating:

Yogurt

A kind bar

1/2 of an order of Singapore Curry from Noodlebox- so good!!!!

Italian pork schnitzel my dad made

A few bites of pork sausage and tenderloin my brother made.

Family:

This evening I took my parents over to visit my brother and his family. It’s always great to spend time with everyone! It’s funny to hear my dad’s stories- he once held up a nude Ann Margaret during the filming of the film Carnal Knowledge, that’s when he wasn’t above her shining a spotlight on her. He’s definitely had some interesting jobs and I’m doing my best to really pay attention to his stories as I regret not doing this with my grandparents!

Well I’m going to curl up in bed.

Have fun!

AJ

A Challenge and a Starting

It wasn’t an exciting day, but I got a few things done during the drizzle that continues here.

Exercise:

As usual I met up for my Sunday morning run, but yet again it turned into a walk. I think it’s because we don’t want to leave Brenda alone and James who usually walks with her is away. It will hopefully be easier when Brenda starts running again in September. We did 7.5km very quickly done!

This evening, after my nap, I got a 4.6km run in and felt really good. My fastest was a 6:18/km, but I’ll take it.

I ended the day with a workout from Lyndsay again. I am making my way through my book of workouts that I’ve compiled from all over the place. This one has 30 exercises that I had to do for thirty seconds with a hurry second rear in between. I should do more of these as it would be super easy to change it up. Tonight I did:

Burpees, squats, crunches, pushups, mountain climbers, squat jumps, reverse crunches, t pushups, lunges, plié squats, burpees, squats, bicycles, pike pushups, mountain climbers, squats, pushups, skaters, toe touch crunches, t pushups, burpees, squats, crunches, pushups, mountain climbers, plié squats, pike pushups, skaters, lunges, and burpees.

On everything I could, I held a pair of seven pound dumbbells. Every time I pick up weights, I think about the fact that I used to carry that weight inside me. I can’t even use weights that represent how much weight I’ve lost, but it would be cool to work up to that!

Cooking:

I have decided to start on another cookbook.

I have to admit I have had this cookbook for a while and have already made about twelve recipes from it, but I’m going to try some more and share my thoughts with you. Today I made Baked Ham and Cheese Manicotti as I had vegan ricotta from my trip to Blue Heron Cheese.

The recipe wasn’t difficult bough there were a lot of steps. The sauce makes enough, even though it didn’t look like it. I used lasagna noodles as I couldn’t find gluten and dairy free shells. I just let them soak in boiling water for ten minutes. The taste was good, but I wouldn’t add the extra salt as it wasn’t necessary, but I would add basil next time and maybe up the garlic. The strongest taste is the ham, but overall it’s yummy and impressive sounding while not being difficult.

Knitting:

I finished up my sleeve today (though I’m afraid I made this one bigger than the other- hopefully you won’t be able to tell!). I’m now working on the collar and then I’ll get to put it all together! I’m really hoping to have this done!

Movies:

Oh I wanted to tell you about the last movies I watched last night. I watched Love Unleashed. The puppies were super cute, but I thrill the storyline is just too overused. I also was distracted by the discrepancy between the actor’s heights. I guess this is what I look like with a guy.

I unfortunately can’t remember the other movie I watched:( It was fun to have Hallmark on the big screen though!

Eating:

It’s been a little off again today, but here goes.

A package of honey stingers and an almond milk chai latte

Bocconcini, basil and tomato skewers

Ham and cheese cannelloni

A small ice cream cone (I swear the ice cream didn’t go above the cone edge!)

8 guacamole chips

Challenge:

I was reading blogs this morning and came across Abbey’s post. She always has interesting posts so you should check her out! This morning she gave the challenge of naming five things you like about yourself. Like most people I’m much better at naming my faults, so I thought I’d give this a try.

Five things I like about myself:

My eyelashes- they’re super long and come from my dad

The fact that I’m short. This may come as a surprise to some people, but I really do love it as I think my height really makes me who I am.

The fact that I don’t take life too seriously and can laugh regularly. Maybe everything out of my mouth shouldn’t be sarcastic, but it definitely makes my life better:). My laugh is also way bigger than people expect.

The fact that I love to bake, cook and knit. These things may make me a little old fashioned, but I like that I can be creative in a way that some people aren’t. I also love how it allows me to be productive every day.

My high expectations for myself! They have helped me change my life drastically and I am so happy for that!

There you go!

Well I desperately want to finish my sweater so I’m going to leave you.

Have fun!

AJ