Stretching My Skills with Sally

Last year I tried a few of Sally’s Baking Challenge items and quite enjoyed the challenge of trying new things. Most of the people in my life asked why I was doing this, thankfully there are people like Abbey! I was talking with Abbey of Three Cats and a Girl and we decided to both try these challenges and then link up to talk about our results, so please check out her attempts too. I was really interested in doing this because I knew she would be doing the recipes as called for while I would need to convert them to gluten free and dairy free. I should say that I change as little as possible and just sub in gf and df ingredients to see if the recipe will still work.

It is so cool that when Kathy read about Abbey’s and my challenge she decided to join us so make sure you go read about her baking adventures! They always look professional and yummy!

The June baking challenge was for ice cream sandwiches. Now I love creamy deserts so this sounded really good even if it had chocolate in it.

I knew this weekend would be busy so last weekend I whipped up the brownies. Just like Abbey, I had to cook mine longer and they still were a little gooey in a few places. I was just hoping the freezing would help. The only difference in my brownies was that I used Bob’s Redmill 1-1 Flour and Earth Balance vegan Buttery Spread. The brownies were easy to make and I had no trouble spreading them like Sally did.

The most difficult part of this recipe was finding enough dairy free ice cream without going broke. Now o don’t keep ice cream in the house and usually just go to the local ice cream parlour when I have a craving, so when I looked in the frozen foods section it was a shock! The cheapest option was fourteen dollars and it only went up from there! There was no way I was spending fourteen dollars on ice cream for a recipe when I had already had to buy sugar, cocoa and pans! I checked out three different grocery stores and finally found some Breyers Dairy free that was an acceptable cost, though it was vanilla with peanut butter ripples. I thought it would be okay as peanut butter and chocolate go together.

I smooshed the ice cream onto the bottom brownie, though I really should have let it sit out longer first, and then topped it with the top brownie and popped it into the freezer overnight.

This is what came out of the freezer. I took these to work for my crew of friends there and they inhaled them. One friend did say they were very rich, but everyone raves about them and they were easy to make. I would count this baking challenge as a success.

Now for my Saturday:

Exercise:

I wanted to start out my holiday on a good note. I stepped on the scale to face reality and then headed out for a run with Sarah. We were running Hyde Creek again (where we ran into the bear last week), but decided to do the other side of the river. We were going along great until 2.44 when Kula, the dog, went crazy. We couldn’t see the bear, but decided to just turn around and tack on at the end. It turned out to be a slow but nice run:)

House:

I have spent most of the day doing the last of the laundry and packing. I have packed way too much and still think I’m missing some key things- like shorts! Oh well, my dad always said to pack half the stuff and double the money and thankfully I’m going somewhere with stores and laundry this year.

I did take a little time out and walked over for an ice cream. I’m really going to miss my ice cream treats while I’m away. I got ice cream two days in a row because I couldn’t figure out how to take some with me.

It was a lovely treat to sit on this rock and enjoy the ice cream in the sunshine. Callie was so sweet to give me a little taster of some of the other vegan kinds on top of my raspberry pistachio.

Reading:

I have started a new book today called Beach Read by Emily Henry. This book was recommended to me by Mildly Granola. I’ve only hit chapter four, but so far I am really enjoying it!

Well I’d better go get my garbage and recycling out since I’m being picked up very early tomorrow.

Have fun!

AJ

Happy Summer!

I know that summer officially started six days ago, but for me it started at 1:15 today.

Teaching:

I went in at my usual time today, finished cleaning up my class library and sorted some files and then had to sit around bored until my principal finally let us go home at 1:15pm. It really bugs me because most schools didn’t even have to show up today!😖😖😖

Family:

The first thing I did was to call Gus and see if he wanted to go for a celebratory ice cream. We went to Vashti Rose, which even he admits is the best ice cream around! I had a scoop of vegan raspberry pistachio and they put a little of their new vegan Rocky Road flavor on top and they were both amazing! Gus has the maple pecan and the cookies and cream and said they were wonderful too. Callie and Hamid didn’t even charge me for mine- they said it wasn’t happy summer from them. They really are wonderful people!!!

Reading:

After a lovely two hour nap and two loads of laundry I forced myself to finish the book, The Doctor’s Husband by Ann B Harrison. I really didn’t care for this book. The lead female was conniving and unbelievable, the father was stereotypical and not well rounded, everything was way too convenient and who gets married after one date?!?!

Exercise:

I did a BeFitDavis workout of wall sit, side planks, clam shells, leg drop to reverse curl and lying hamstring curls and then added on squats, plié squats, bicep curls and overhead tricep extension.

I’m hoping to do lots of exercise and healthy eating this summer so I can erase June from my body! Mom get the fruit salad and the salads ready!

Well that’s it for me.

Have fun!

AJ

So Close!!

I am so close to being done I can almost taste it!

Teaching:

I had no kids today, just parents and kids picking up report cards. I was disappointed in two of them. The mother of one of my hardest kids didn’t even say thank you and then I had another parent walk in, grab the report out of my hand and walk out without saying anything:(. I don’t expect gifts, but a thank you would be nice!

We also had a variation of the grade five leaving ceremony. It was great we could have something, but I missed being able to hug and give handshakes. I taught almost every kid who left this year.

Now the only problem we’re having is trying to get our admin to let us go at noon tomorrow like every other principal does. She says the optics would be bad. Like they aren’t when she leaves every day before lunch😖😖

We shall see what happens.

Exercise:

I went right from work to a run around the river with Dennis. I was even tempted to get into the river it was so hot. Dennis has a great run, but mine was a struggle. I guess it wasn’t turn.

I also did five minutes of abs, but only because I didn’t want to do anything!

House:

I got my floors swept, vacuumed or washed so I am happy. I just need to do laundry tomorrow now.

I haven’t done anything else to tell you about.

Have fun!

AJ

Trivia Tuesday

It was a good day!

Teaching:

We had no kids today but had the A-L kids who have been remote learning come in and pick up their report cards. It was great to see some of my kids, but really tough to not hug them.

I spent the rest of the day tidying and going through files.

TV:

While organizing two files I managed to watch the first book episode of The Crown. My friends at work have been recommending this to me and I have to admit that I really enjoyed it.

Exercise:

I met up with Dennis for a run, but he was having a really tough time breathing so we cut it short at 3.3km.

Trivia:

I went back to my usual Tuesday night trivia, but didn’t know much in the first round.

Where is the singer The Weekend from?

Ontario

What was Darryl on The Walking Dead prefer as a weapon?

Crossbow

Which team drafted Russel Wilson in the NBA?

Texas Rangers

Who were the three famous guitarists for the Yardbirds?

Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, and Jeff Beck

Which guitar brand did Jimi Hendrix set on fire?

Fender

Which drink was taken into space?

Tang

Who was married to both Nicholas Cage and Michael Jackson?

Lisa Marie Presley

Which coffee slogan was “good to the last drop”?

Maxwell House

In the music round I was responsible for knowing:

Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy by Big and Rich

You’ve Lost that Lovin Feeling by The Righteous Brothers

What is the term for two controversial items together?

Oxymoron

What is the centre of an atom called?

Nucleus

Oh and I’m trying to wear my more interesting shoes to trivia since I don’t wear them to work, so here are tonight’s

Well that was it for me:)

Oh but for those keeping tabs on me- tonight’s job was changing my sheets and doing a whites load of laundry and it got done. One job closer to holidays!

Have fun!

AJ

It Only Took a Moment

I had a great moment in my day and it was a good reminder.

Teaching:

We read stories, ran, sorted school supplies, did a nature scavenger hunt and did our annual cloud activity. Every year we take the children outside and read the classic book, It Looked Like Spilled Milk and then we have the kids look and see what they see in the sky. I always love what they come up with. Today we had flamingos, hamburgers, dragons, lego pieces, etc. It is a highlight of the year for me.

My sushi lunch that my EA kindly picked up for me.

After I got back from the grocery store I had a message to call a parent. I was worried that she was upset about the report card, but decided to call right away as it’s usually better to not put these things off. It turned out the parent just wanted to thank me for my hard work with her daughter this year. It was so nice to hear as I really haven’t felt like I’m doing very well at either online or in class teaching. It only took that parent a moment, but it really changed my day:)

Cooking:

I left school quickly so that I could get to the grocery store to see if they had ice cream. They did and I made my recipe, but you’re going to have to wait until next week to hear about it.

Knitting:

I am making progress on the sweater I have started:)

Exercise:

I really didn’t feel like doing anything tonight and so just did 8 minutes of abs.

I really don’t have much to report now that I write it out!

But for anyone who read yesterday’s post- I did get my bathroom cleaned today.

Have fun!

AJ

Just One of Those Day’s

Ugh- everything I try to do doesn’t work out:(

Exercise:

I met up early with Dennis, but forgot that he can’t go as far as he normally does. We ended up doing 7km and so I had us back too early to meet up with everyone else. I don’t complain though as he was practically running backwards for me last year. We will hopefully know more on Wednesday.

My workout tonight was a BeFitDavis as I just couldn’t get into a movie today. I did four sets of: squat to stand, reverse lunges to rear leg raise, up downs, and plank to down dog. It didn’t seem tough, but anything is better than nothing!

Baking:

I wanted to do my baking challenge today, but I got all the ingredients, except one:( I tried two different grocery stores and neither of them had it:(. I may end up just doing part of the baking challenge this month:(

Knitting:

I was happily knitting away on my toe up sock until I realized it was going to be too big for me:(. I ripped it out. At this point I had a 2.5 hour nap and then started a sweater, which of course I have now started twice.🙄

I think I’m just going to get ready for work and then crawl into bed.

Have fun!

AJ

Saturday 2.0

I heard this phrase on the radio this morning and loved it! It’s a long weekend here so it’s appropriate:)

Exercise:

My run turned into a walk as otherwise Brenda would have been on her own. I did manage to run 0.7km so that I could ensure I made my 100km for this month:)

I also got a short walk in this evening, just because it was too pretty out not to be outside.

I also decided a workout was necessary so did:

50 squats, 50 plié squats, 25 front lunges, 25 lateral lunges, 25 curtsy lunges, 25 backward lunges, 100 front kicks, 100 roundhouse kicks, 100 back kicks, 100 standing crunches, 100 hamstring curls, 25 crunches, 25 bicycle crunches, 25 static crunch with scissors, 25 reverse crunches, 100 jabs with 2lb weights, 100 hooks with 2lb weights, 50 uppercuts with 2lb weights.

Socializing/ Shopping:

I had arranged to meet up with my Corianne as her husband and kids are away camping. She indulged me and agreed to hit Main Street with me as this has been on my bucket list for a number of years.

We skytrained down and didn’t realize we were so hungry until we had zero interest in looking around.

Bob Likes Thai Food was our first stop. I went here several years ago with a guy I was dating, but hadn’t been back. The interior has definitely been updated, but thankfully the food was still amazing. We shared Miang Kham bites which were several flavors wrapped in a lime leaf- amazing! And the green curry chicken which was as good as I remembered! It was great to be out with someone who would share:)

We started back and stopped to look in several shops. There are a lot of consignment stores in this area!!! I wasn’t impressed with their prices though:(. I tried on a t-shirt, but for $35, I wanted a better fit and more excitement.

We stopped in the Soap Dispensary and a few other places, but didn’t get excited until I came to Blue Heron Cheese. I had been told about this place from a parent in my class so I knew I needed to stop. I bought the four types of cheese they had left and got told I should come first thing Saturday morning for best selection. I can’t wait to try a recipe with ricotta as that is a cheese I haven’t found dairy free before. I will also be having a bocconcini,tomato and basil appetizer for a meal in the next couple days😀

Our final stop was Cartems Donuts. Neither of us are huge donut fans, but this was another place I had been told about so we thought we’d stop. I had a gf/df salted caramel donut, which I didn’t realize was a chocolate based donut and Cori had a London Fog donut that had cream filling, but the cream filling was lumpy and not creamy:(. We agreed afterwards we should have gotten the earl grey and salted caramel gf/df donuts and shared them. Oh well, they had four options I could eat which was nice and if I ever start craving donuts, I’ll know where to go.

On the way home on the skytrain, we got off one stop early and checked out Golden Spike Days which is my city’s Canada day celebration. Yet again I was disappointed:( First it cost money to get in. Second there was nothing there but advertising and food trucks:(. I think I need to find somewhere that does an old fashioned country fair for Canada day!

All I’ve managed to do since I got home was have a nice long nap!

Eating:

Peanut butter on toast

1/2 miang kham & green curry chicken

Salted caramel donut

Salmon burger

Knitting:

I have started the ribbing on the right front of my cardigan, however I’ve decided that I don’t like that only one stitch was taken off for the buttonhole, so I think I will be restarting this part tomorrow.

Well, yet again, I’m tired so I’m off to bed.

Have fun!

AJ

Today and Yesterday

The first day of holidays was lovely!

Exercise:

I laugh that I had to get up even earlier than usual for my run this morning, but that’s okay because I had company:)

We ran Coquitlam River which was really quiet at that hour which made it even better!

The one thing I’ve noticed was that I was very stiff when I got up this evening from sitting and I’m wondering if it’s because I didn’t do the dynamic stretches this morning? I’ll have to do them tomorrow and see if it makes a difference.

Reading:

I have to admit that I spent a large part of today cleaning and reading. I love the idea of having a clean house, but I have to bribe myself with reading breaks. I read Getting Worked Up by Erin Nicholas. Phoebe and Joe are working together to help each other get married to their best friends, but things quickly go awry.

I didn’t really love the premise of this book at the beginning, but the characters did grow on me. I think it was the small town background that saved this book for me. It also turned out to be on the steamy side, rather than the sweet.

Eating:

I had scrambled eggs after my run this morning. A Kind bar and some fake cheese mid day and then the tuna poke bowl this evening for dinner. So not bad for the first day of holiday:)

Socializing/ Movie:

I had arranged to meet up with my friend Allison (who is here from Boston), Melissa and Suzanne for dinner and a movie. We had dinner at Browns Socialhouse and the tuna poke bowl was extremely yummy!

We then went and saw the movie, Yesterday. It’s about a world without the Beatles and then one guy remembers them and sings their songs as his own. It was really well done and interesting g right from the start. As Suzanne said, it’s great because it’s introducing the next generation to music they may not know. I would definitely recommend seeing it:)

Well my eyes keep closing…

Have fun!

AJ

I Made It

Well I survived the admin day and am free (except I still have to go help my friend next week).

Exercise:

I really didn’t feel like it, but managed to get my 3.5km in this morning and once again, they dynamic stretching seems to have helped:). It was way busier out this morning, but I guess I was a little later too.

This afternoon I had a short workout with L as it got interrupted when she had to go pick up her son. We did a giant hill from 2-15% on the treadmill and back down again. I have to admit that starting at 11% I did a combo of running and walking. We then did chest press, hammer curls and bicycle crunches along with a minute of skipping between sets. It’s okay that it was short because I sure was sweating a ton!

The plan is to do some more exercise just before bed tonight, but it hasn’t happened yet🤣

Eating:

We had a staff breakfast this morning and twelve of us made it out. I had my usual at Coquitlam Grill and it was as yummy as ever!

The even better part was that it kept me full forever! I grabbed a Kind bar at about 1:30 and then didn’t eat again until I went out for sushi with friends this evening.

It was yummy but not very filling as I couldn’t have any rolls. Two times from now I get to go to the gluten free sushi place:)

Teaching:

No teaching today, just cleaning and piling everything in my coat room.

Knitting:

After a lovely nap on my couch, I have been working on my cardigan again and am finished the left side:)

Well, that’s it for me tonight. My run is even earlier than my usual Saturday morning tomorrow so I think I’ll go to bed early!

Have fun!

AJ

The Last Day with Kids

Well it finally got here- the last day with my students!

Exercise:

I was worried when I heard it called for rain today that I wouldn’t get out, but I actually did and still enjoyed my morning run in the rain. I went the opposite way as I have been, but it went well as I got to run on the new path:) I shouldn’t call it a path though as it’s as wide as a road and feels like a road.

I did do the dynamic stretching that Maureen suggested. I just did leg swings and high knees, but it seems to have helped as my average speed was 13 seconds faster per minute and I’m definitely not as stiff tonight:)

Teaching:

Again, absolutely no teaching today- just handed out report cards, talked about the best friend moment of the year, went to the leaving assembly and then watched a movie in the afternoon.

I got my PR cards done twice today 😖. Don’t ask!😫

Socializing:

I met up with five amazing women I work with who make every day better. Our school isn’t a particularly happy place right now, but these women make me laugh and keep me sane. I really can’t imagine working somewhere without friends. We had an awesome time snacking, sipping and socializing for more than the 25 minutes we get at school. A pretty awesome end to the school year!

Eating:

Was really good all day

Breakfast- cheddar and peanut butter sandwich

Recess- larabar

Lunch- apple sauce, fruit

Party- way too much yummy stuff!

Well, I’m off to bed!

Have fun!

AJ