The Friends Get You Through It

Often I see these memes on social media about how teaching is a solitary profession and we need to connect. Tonight was the perfect example for me of how the people you work with really do make the difference.

Socializing:

I met up this morning with two of my high school friends for coffee. One of them lives on the campus of one of the local universities so we took her kids over to the main building and let them careen down the hallways on their tricycles. It was the cutest thing ever! We have to put a helmet on the littlest guy cause he’s a daredevil who goes super fast!

I was saying that I hope they will remember this when they are older cause talk about an awesome bragging point and a great memory!

Having my car quit for the second time in a week on the way home, not such a great memory 😖

Knitting:

I got a little bit of knitting in around naps. I was at a loss this morning because I couldn’t think of what to knit next. Then I decided that even if I had missed the deadline for the HPKCHC club this term, didn’t mean I couldn’t look at their prompts. The first I read was to knit something white. Well, I’ve started a small baby blanket that will hopefully get five skeins out of my stash😀

Socializing:

This evening I met up with four of the ladies I work with. My work isn’t a happy place right now, but these four ladies make all the difference and make it bearable. It really is great to work with friends!

We went to Browns Socialhouse for dinner and then carried on to see the new Little Women movie. I thought the movie was very well done and liked how a lot of the story is told by flashbacks:) I also appreciated that they did a great job of recreating Orchard House which was the Alcott residence, though there were a few changes. It’s so neat to have been there! I also liked how they included the fact that Louisa didn’t want the book to end the way it did. I would recommend seeing this movie, though take Kleenex with you.

Well I’m up later than I have been in a long time so I’m off to bed.

Have fun!

AJ

Meeting For a Run Is The Best Way

It was an incredibly quiet day! I didn’t even get out of my pajamas until 1:45pm!

Knitting:

I spent this morning finishing off the scarf I had started last night. It actually turned into a cowl as it wasn’t very long. It will be nice and warm for someone though. It was just thirty stitches and knit each row, made with Wendy wool.

Reading:

I have been reading Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore. This is the first book of the year for the Not Your Mom’s Romance Bookclub and I have to admit I wasn’t super excited to read it by the back cover description. It was available from my library online though so I figured I would try it. I have been really enjoying it. It’s about one of the first women to attend Oxford and she is on scholarship from the Suffragette league so must help with their cause. She’s assigned to convince the most powerful duke to support the cause. It’s been a very cute historical so far.

Exercise:

This afternoon I did another Hallmark Christmas movie workout. I watched Christmas Under the Stars which was just okay and then did a workout. I did a minute of jogging in between: 10 reverse lunges per leg, 35 crunches, 25 jacks, 5 burpees, 10 squats, 10 plié squats, 5 dips, 5 mountain climbers per leg, 10 pushups, 15 curtsy lunges per leg, 5 high knees per leg.

The movie didn’t seem super Christmassy and I think the low numbers in this workout prove that.

This evening, after a lovely nap, I met up with the Thursday night group for a run. It was a good thing I had committed to meeting people as there is no way I would have gone otherwise! We did 4.57km and I felt like I was running fast, but I really wasn’t and was actually running slower than usual:(

Shopping:

I stopped at Chapters on the way home to grab gifts for my friend’s sons whom I will see tomorrow. I had started the older son on a Robert Munsch collection and so this time got him More Pies which is set in Vancouver. I’m starting the younger son on a Dr. Seuss collection so this time he got Fox in Socks.

I always think starting a book collection for kids makes gift buying easier!

I also got them playdo and kinetic sand to go with the books.

Well I’m going to go finish my book.

Have fun!

AJ

Bye Bye

Well even though I got more days than I expected, I still don’t like it when my mom goes home and I have to become an adult again:(

Exercise:

I had arranged to meet up with my Sunday morning running group for a New Years Day run. It ended up just being Dennis, Sarah and I, but we got 5.27km done. We got to take a new trail at Colony Farm and it was a lovely path, though it will be even nicer when we can do a loop instead of having to backtrack.

I also got a Hallmark Christmas movie workout done this evening. I did a minute of high knees between these exercises: reverse lunges, crunches, squats. Plié squats, pushups, burpees, dips, curtsy lunges, jacks and high knees.

Reading:

Most of the day was super quiet and relaxing. I finished my first book of the year which I heard about on the Not Your Mom’s Bookclub podcast. It’s called Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson. It was a sweet historical romance and I really enjoyed it. It had a touch of mystery to it and the emotions were written so well that the reader feels them too. A great first read for the year:)

Knitting:

I spent most of last night and today knitting a Barley hat out of Mohair, but when I went to visit my mom tonight to say goodbye I tried it on her head. My mom has the biggest head of anyone I know and it was too big for her so I ended up frogging it and I am just knitting a simple garter stitch scarf with this cool Mohair.

Podcast:

Relentless Knitting had a new podcast out so I listened to it as I knitted today and really enjoyed their merriment and hearing how their lives have been going.

Movies:

Tonight I watched Holiday Date. It was super cute! It was the familiar trope of a fake relationship but was well done. I really loved the dad’s character. He was so into Christmas and yet really gruff with the men in his daughter’s lives 🤣

Well the first day is the year is done:)

Have fun!

AJ

Happy New Year!

It has been a relatively quiet day, which isn’t a bad way to end off the year and the decade.

I spent a lot of time today getting all of my new clothes entered into my Stylebook app. I appreciate this app as it lets me keep tabs on what I wear in my wardrobe and what I should let go. Lots of my friends tease me about it, but it has definitely helped me step up and buy good clothing when I see how little cost per wear they end up being.

Shopping:

I grabbed my mom and then did a few boring errands. I bought a ton of treats for tonight and now feel like I have eaten way too much!

Exercise:

I ended up watching two Hallmark Christmas movies so ended up exercising twice. I did:

36 reverse lunges

30 crunches

10 pushups

40 jacks

20 squats

20 plié squats

25 curtsy lunges

10 burpees

10 dips

20 high knees

60 squats with side leg lift

20 reverse crunches

20 side kicks

26 front kicks

50 mountain climbers

10 supermen

16 shoulder taps

10 side shuffles (both ways is 1)

10 knee raises

16 lateral lunges per side

Movies:

I have watched Picture a Perfect Christmas and Mistletoe and Menorahs. They were both fun.

I am now trying to identify elements that are in lots of non seasonal hallmark movies so I can keep the exercise regimen going.

Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

Going for a walk or run

Getting coffee

Eating a meal together

Playing with a dog

Conversation with mom or dad

Makeover

Going shopping

Arguing or bantering

Laughing together

Baking or cooking together

Town scene or montage

If anyone has any other elements, I’d love to hear them!

Blogmas:

I wanted to save the last day of Abbey’s Blogmas until today since it’s about New Year’s Eve.

Oh and if you haven’t visited Abbey’s site, you really should! She has an awesome post about what she thought her year would be like. It’s so neat!

New Year’s Eve has never really been a huge event in my life. As a kid we did a jigsaw puzzle and banged pots and pans at midnight. As a teenager/20 year old, I went to parties with my brother and his friends. Now I mostly just spend a quiet night at home doing my usual movies, books and knitting. One thing I do think about are my goals.

Goals for 2020:

I am very goal oriented and can become obsessed with accomplishing so I try not to make too many set in stone goals. Some things I want to keep in mind this year are:

Eat to fuel my running and be healthy.

Run consistently.

Do a workout every time I watch a hallmark movie.

Knit sweaters, hats and scarves for myself.

Knit from my stash

Keep track of my exercise and finances the old fashioned way.

Read more non-fiction.

Well I’m sure there are lots of other things I’ll come up with along the way, but this is good for a start:)

Happy New Year everyone and have fun!

AJ

Crafting 2019

It was a pretty good year of crafting for me. I reached and surpassed my goal of 40 projects this year and only a few were super small.

The stash is still way too big as I went a little crazy visiting all the yarn shops on the island while I was away on holidays, but it is nice to have some new yarn! Knitting from the stash will have to remain a goal for 2020 I think.

So what did I make?

I made:

10 market bags

7 cowls

7 sweaters

5 baby sweaters

3 hats

2 headbands

2 shawls

2 scarves

1 pair of handwarmers

I am pretty happy with everything I have made this year:)

My goals:

I want to continue to knit from my stash. I’m going to need to come up with some big projects to use up some of this yarn in a hurry!

I want to make more TinCanKnits patterns. I always love their patterns and bought myself five of them at KnitCity so want to get those made up. I’m actually already working on a new TinCanKnits project right now:)

I want to make sweaters, hats and scarves for myself so that I have a variety of colors to choose from!

Well that should be enough to keep me busy for the year!

Have fun!

AJ

Shopping, shopping, shopping…

Well I bought lots today, now I just need the motivation to use it all.

I spent the morning figuring out my running stats for the past year. I am happy with the fact that my faster runs have gotten faster:) I am forgiving myself for not having my average pace continue to improve as I see I started slowing g down in September which is about when I started feeling really tired. Hopefully my iron infusions starting this week will help solve this problem, and I’ll become rocket fast (🤪🤣 or at least continue to slowly improve).

Shopping:

My friend Allison has told me about a kids consignment store yesterday at brunch so this morning I called to see if they were open. They were and the woman was even kind enough to check to see if they had my favourite exercise brand in stock.

I grabbed my mom and set off. Not For Long in Surrey was an awesome kids consignment store. It was bright, well organized and the clerk was super helpful without being pushy or in the way. The prices were very reasonable and they had a good selection of both new and used. It was a very fun time and I came out with:

2 short sleeved running shirts

6 running tanks

2 sweaters

1 pair of running tights

2 long sleeves running jackets

And all for a price I was willing to pay:)

It was a long drive there and back so mom and I shared fish and chips at the pub.

Of course the pub is right across the square from the running store so I had to look in there as I missed the big Boxing Day sale as I was away. I guess sometimes it’s good to be a weird size as I found a new pair of running shoes, two running tanks (I’ve never regretted any Smartwool purchase), a long sleeved warm jacket and a cute dry fit dress.

I definitely needed to go home and put my Visa card away!!! Though thankfully I used up a few gift cards at the running store:)

Knitting:

I have spent the evening finishing off my last two market bags. I got them done and this allowed me to make my goal of knitting projects for the year🎉🎊

There will be a craft review post tomorrow:)

Exercise:

I did finally do another Hallmark workout this evening which puts me up to date and will allow me to binge watch some more tomorrow.

I did: 10 reverse lunges per leg, 35 crunches, 35 dips, 25 jacks, 20 squats, 35 plié squats, 10 curtsy lunges, 5 burpees and 15 high knees per side. I also did a minute of toe taps in between each exercise.

It did drive me a little crazy not to run today, but I don’t want to make a lie of my stats, so no running until Wednesday!

Well I’m going to go try to determine my next knitting project.

Have fun!

AJ

My Year of Running

Well I made my running goal of 1200km yesterday morning so it was time to sit down and figure out the stats. I have to say I was not happy with RunKeeper as first there was no celebration of my making my goal and secondly I had to go through and figure out my monthly stats myself as I couldn’t find them anywhere on the app:(

For the Year:

I ran 1,201.7km.

I ran 282 times

I burned 56,075 calories.

I climbed 7,559.3 meters

I spent 146 hours 17 minutes and 13 seconds running.

I ran the most times and spent the most time running in July.

I am perfectly split between running most in the morning or in the evening.

I have gotten faster over the year, but I definitely slowed down from September on.

Now to break it down monthly…

January:

21 activities

97.49km

4.64km was my average run length.

I spent 12 hours,27 minutes and 85 seconds running.

I was out an average of 35:08 for each run.

My slowest pace was: 10:01.

My fastest pace was: 6:41

And my average pace was: 7:49

Saturday was my most common run day.

I did most runs after 4pm.

February:

Runs:18

Km:81.16

Average kms: 4.51

Total time: 10:13:68

Average time out: 34:18

Slowest pace: 9:47

Fastest pace: 6:38

Average pace: 7:41

Most common day: Monday, Thursday, Saturday

Most common time: after 4pm

March:

Activities: 29

Kms:125.07

Avg kms: 4.31

Total time: 15:14:16

Avg time out: 30:50

Slowest pace: 9:20

Fastest pace: 6:25

Most common day: Thursday

Most common time: morning

April:

Activities:18

Kms:77.86

Avg kms: 4.32

Total time: 10:05:01

Avg time out: 33:50

Slowest pace: 10:46

Fastest pace: 6:42

Avg pace: 7:25

Most common day: Saturday and Sunday

Most common time: evening

May:

Activities:23

Kms:100.15

Avg kms:4.35

Total time: 12:42:33

Avg time out: 32:41

Slowest pace: 10:15

Fastest pace: 6:22

Avg pace: 7:15

Most common day: Monday

Most common time: evening

June:

Activities:26

Kms:99.73

Avg kms: 3.84

Total time: 12:41:11

Avg time out: 29:03

Slowest pace: 10:24

Fastest pace: 6:35

Avg pace: 7:15

Most common day: Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday

Most common time: morning

July:

Activities:31

Kms: 119.7

Avg kms: 3.86

Total time: 16:07:21

Avg time out: 30:33

Slowest pace: 11:51

Fastest pace: 6:42

Avg pace: 7:26

Most common day: Wednesday and Thursday

Most common time: morning

August:

Activities: 25

Kms: 104.85

Avg kms: 4.19

Total time: 12:10:83

Avg time out: 29:06

Slowest pace: 9:25

Fastest pace: 6:29

Avg pace: 7:19

Most common day: Thursday and Friday

Most common time: morning

September:

Activities: 26

Kms: 103.03

Avg kms: 3.96

Total time: 12:24:38

Avg time out: 28:26

Slowest pace: 8:54

Fastest pace: 6:22

Achieved pace: 7:31

Most common day: Sunday

Most common time: morning

October:

Activities: 24

Kms: 103.15

Avg kms: 4.3

Total time: 12:14:40

Avg time out: 28:26

Slowest pace: 8:54

Fastest pace: 6:22

Avg pace: 7:31

Most common day: Thursday

Most common time: evening

November:

Activities:23

Kms: 103.86

Avg kms: 4.5

Total time: 11:34:80

Avg time out: 30.00

Slowest pace: 8:00

Fastest pace: 6:12

Avg pace: 7:11

Most common day: Sunday

Most common time: evening

December:

Activities: 18

Kms:85.27

Avg kms: 4.74

Total time: 10:24:45

Avg time out: 33:21

Slowest pace: 7:53

Fastest pace: 6:30

Average pace: 7:11

Most common day: Friday

Most common time: morning

Well now I just have to set up a. Ok to track all of this stuff all year so I don’t have to spend a day figuring it all out at the end!

I also need to figure out what my goal for next year is going to be. I’ve done a speed goal, I’ve done a mileage goal. Anyone have any good ideas?

Have fun!

AJ

Grateful Sunday

It was a really good day and so nice to be home I’m familiar ground again. I didn’t realize how tense I was just driving when I had no idea where I was going and was in an unfamiliar car.

Grateful: For the opportunity and resources to be able to have a family Christmas vacation and all that family time.

Grateful: for a comfortable home that makes me happy and safe.

Exercise:

I finally got back to normal! I met up with my regular running buddies Brenda, Sarah and Dennis. James couldn’t join us as he dell off his roof and hurt himself. I can’t wait to hear this story!

We did a run of the river and it was great that Sarah came along so I had someone to run with and yet Dennis got a good run in:). It wasn’t super busy and it didn’t rain so definitely a win win!

The river on a Fall day.

I did meet my goal today so there will be a running review up tomorrow, but I was disappointed that RunKeeper doesn’t celebrate meeting a goal at all- the goal just disappears:(

Grateful: For all my awesome running buddies.

Grateful: For the animals in my life that provide me with lots of cuddles. Kula was a smuggler today:)

Friendship/ Eating:

I ran home and cleaned up and then met up with a couple of friends for brunch. It was Allison’s last day in town so I was happy to get one more meetup. We went to Wendel’s in Fort Langley. This place is always super busy! I got there early and had a few minutes to peruse the bookstore part of the establishment. Lots of cool knitting books, but all too expensive:(

I had three choices for brunch and went with the avocado Benny which as my mom says was just avocado and eggs on gf toast along with some tomatoes. It was still super yummy though!

We then wandered the Main Street and through the grocery store where I picked up a few gf/df treats.

Grateful: for friends who are easy to be with no matter how long it’s been:)

Grateful: to live in a place where there are options for me when I go out:)

Shopping:

I grabbed my mom and hot Costco for gas and food. My dad has given me the idea of buying steak at Costco and just freezing it for my regular Sunday lunch as this way I would be able to afford better steak. I ended up with steak, shrimp, yogurt and cucumbers. It’s going to be interesting meals, but I never know if I should bother shopping when I’m on holidays as it always seems like I’m out a lot. We shall see, but hopefully I didn’t waste my money.

We carried on to the clothing store where I immediately found the red winter wool jacket I had wanted. It must have been my day for red as i also found a red and white striped shirt and a red sweater. Now I just have to get rid of a few things from my wardrobe to make room for this new stuff! One of my goals on this week off is to get all my closets tidied and everything entered into my app.

Grateful: to have my mom for company as I was running errands. It makes the tedious time go so much quicker.

Grateful: to have made peace with my body so that I can feel comfortable wearing bright colours. I know I’m not perfect at this, but I’m a whole lot better than I used to be!

Reading/ Listening:

I listened to another episode of the Not Your Mom’s aromanxw book club podcast and found another book I want to read. I’ve decided that I’m still going to read lots of romance next year, but I will try for one non fiction book a month.

Grateful: for this podcast that keeps me entertained while I knit tedious sections.

Grateful: for the variety and number of books I have available to me!

Movies:

I rewatched Write Vefore Christmas as I hadn’t managed to do a workout to this movie the first time i watched it. I really enjoyed this book and it reminded me of Love Actually with its multiple story lines.

I ended up doing a 17:30 workout with a minute of jogging between moves. I did: 30 reverse lunges, 37 crunches, 37 reverse crunches, 5 pushups, 20 jacks, 5 burpees, 25 curtsy lunges, 10 high knees, 25 squats, 15 plié squats.

I know it’s not a ton, but I figure it has to be better than nothing! I’m thinking that I’d like to come up with a similar workout for non Christmas hallmark movies that I could do throughout the next year. If anyone has ideas of elements that are in lots of Hallmark movies, please let me know:)

Grateful: for hallmark that produces feel good movies

Grateful: for the clever person that came up with the hallmark workout so I can combine two of my favourite things and not feel guilty about sitting watching a movie.

Eating:

Not fabulous, but not as horrible as lately. I think I will still give myself a couple of days before I get on the scale.

I had: half a tortilla with peanut butter, the avocado and egg on toast, shrimp plate,1/3 of ginger cookie, 1/3 of chocolate chip cookie ( neither were very good) and 1/2 of peanut butter bar ( delicious)!

Well I’m off to start a new book.

Have fun!

AJ

2019 Reading Review

It was a very long travel day, but we all survived and made it home safely.  I was the random person who got their phone tested. I could have told them there’s only chips, sweets, book ink and yarn fiber on it🤣

Reading:

I spent much of the day finishing a NetGalley read, called Between Friends by Elsa Miles.

This is the story of Tessa and Jordan. They have been friends since they grew up on neighboring farms in Wyoming. However, can they become more?

This is a friends to lovers trope that is quite successful though it is a very slow burn.

The hero and heroine are interesting and dynamic characters who remain true to themselves.

The one element I questioned was that if these two were such good friends wouldn’t they be better at talking things out?

I had decided that as I met my goals in each area, I would do a review if that part of my life and since yesterday I made my goodreads goal, that means I am starting with my year in reading.

I have recorded 100 books read on Goodreads though this does not include the books I read to my students every day. I can only imagine how many books I read in the classroom!

So some stats:

100 books

30,502 pages

Average length is 305 pages

The most popular book I read this year was Where the Crawdads Sing

My average rating is 4.2 on Goodreads

I have read 21 books for NetGalley

I have read 10 books recommended or read by the Not Your Mom’s Romance Book Club.

Genres:

Kids:8

Fiction: 16

Historical: 10

Romance: 67🤣

I think my goal next year is to read some non fiction!

Ok off to not read🤣

Have fun!

AJ

 

The Last Day of Family Vacation

It was a much more low key day today.

Exercise:

I hung out for the morning and then went for a run around the neighborhood. It was just 3.6km but it felt amazing to be able to be in capris and a tank in December!

Reading:

I’ve been working my way through Chasing Stanley by Deirdre Martin, but I’m not loving it.

Shopping:

I ran out with my SIL to grab KFC for dinner but then went out after dinner to Nordstrom Rack. I had seen very cute Toms on sale but they didn’t have them there. I did find some of my underwear though so it wasn’t a completely wasted trip.

It was nice to have sunshine and warmth today, but it will also be nice to go home and have all my amenities around me. The Airbnb has been great space, but it isn’t great about having the little things you need.

That’s it for me!

Have fun!

AJ