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

Almost There

Today was my last day with kids in class all day, even though it was just two kids.

Teaching:

We spent the morning doing a virtual field trip to the Amazon Rainforest since we learned about rainforests last week. We also did some fun puzzle and colouring sheets.

After recess the kids helped create our posters for the car parade. Then this afternoon we watched the movie, Monsters Inc. I always love this movie!

It was an incredibly low key day though I did spend some time starting to switch over my word wall from tattered white letters to bright magnetic letters. Amazingly the different colours don’t bother me.

After school we had a teacher car parade. I went in the backseat of my teaching buddy’s car and her husband drove us. He made it very fun! We were yelling happy summer and waving to the kids and he kept honking the horn and yelling, more parade. He’s so crazy, but I think everyone had fun and there was a really good turnout.

Exercise:

I met up with Sarah for a run around the river and we ended up running in a rainstorm. There was a mist coming off the water. The skies opened when we were 3/4 of the way, but hopefully it helped with the humidity! We only did 4.4km so I desperately need some mileage over the next week as I’ve only done about 84km this month:(

June is always a tough month for exercising and eating and I am definitely noticing that:(

Reading:

I am trying to force myself to read this book, The Doctor’s Husband, but it is painful! I don’t know how my mom read it?!?!

Well that’s it for my day- a very boring last day!

Oh and I didn’t have to do housework as I did my Wednesday job on Monday this week and I am purposely not grocery shopping this week.

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

SAL Update

Stitching:

This year I am determined and it at least sits on my coffee table now. This is where I was at three weeks ago.

Unfortunately I am still at this point. The past three weeks have been full of work stress in the form of year end and report cards which has kept me from stitching. I am hopeful that starting after Friday I will have lots of stitching time:)

Be sure to check out everyone else’s progress as there are some amazing projects!

Jenny

Avis

Claire

Gun

Carole

Sue

Constanze

Christina

Kathy

Margaret

Cindy

Heidi

Jackie

Sunny

Hayley

Megan

Deborah

Mary Margaret

Renée

Carmela

Sharon

Daisy

Anne

Cathie

Laura

Sherrie

Almost Back

Today almost felt like an AJ day:)

Exercise:

I had texted Sarah last night and she was up for a run so we headed out in the pouring rain for a quick run to the mill and back. It’s a good thing I was meeting someone as I don’t think I would have gotten out otherwise!

This evening I did a Hallmark workout. It was a minute of jogggng between: squats, reverse lunges, pushups, mountain climbers, weighted sit ups, bicep curls, upright rows, reverse crunches, plié squats, burpees, deadlifts and overhead tricep extensions.

I am really trying to put at least one different exercise each time, but I figure I need the squats and lunges in there for sure to make me a stronger runner.

Reading:

I finished the book Wallbanger by Alice Clayton. I have had this book forever but was very hesitant to start it based on the title. It ended up being a cute, funny book. I admit the end seemed to drag and was a little dumb, but it was still a good read.

It was really nice to have an actual book. I know my kindle app and Kobo are great for traveling or when I’m out and about, but nothing beats a real book.

House:

I knew I needed to do something, but all I got done was my rug vacuumed and the floors swept. I’m going to try my best to do one job a day this week so my house will be tidy and clean by the time I’m on holidays. I wish one of you lived close enough to check that I do this!🤣🤣

Knitting:

I actually picked up knitting again. When I went to get my bag, I realized I hadn’t recorded or shared the quick and easy kerchief scarf I made on my trip last weekend.

Now I have started my toe up sock. It should get me through my travel next weekend, but I need to pick a project to take with me.

Cooking:

I really should have started the baking challenge today, but the only thing I did in my kitchen was make kale chips from some of the kale in my garden. They were really good.

Well, I think that’s it. A lovely, rainy day:)

Have fun!

AJ

Yay Friday!

Oops I guess I was so tired I didn’t even realize I hadn’t posted!

Teaching:

I have to admit I’ve never been this disorganized in my teaching before, but with only two children, it is difficult to be motivated.

We finished our Covid time capsule and our yearbook. We also created a graph about our favourite meal. There were only three of us which didn’t make for an interesting graph so we walked around the school asking classes and random people we ran into in the hall. This actually turned out great because it gave both of these very quiet children the practice of speaking to others. In case you’re wondering, dinner was the most popular meal. We ended the day playing outside.

House:

I was a good person and stopped on my way home to pay my property taxes. I’m getting close to having everything done!

Reading:

I spent a lot of the evening finishing up the book, The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman. I have heard this book recommended all over the place and while it was enjoyable, I won’t be recommending it. It really dragged for me and the writing style was just too overblown with details for me.

Exercise:

As soon as I finished my book I knew I needed to get off the couch and do some exercise. I did a BeFitDavis workout as they tend to be shorter. This one was a minute of jogging between four sets of: 25 squats, 25 hip raises, 25 reverse crunch to leg drop, and 25 Superman. Not much, but something.

I did start another book and it looks like I will be done quickly so I’ll tell you about that soon.

That really is all I did and it was so lovely!

Have fun!

AJ