No Plans Changed

Yesterday morning when I was with Lyndsay, she asked what I was doing this weekend and all I had planned was a run on each morning. Well that sure changed…

Exercise:

I slept in this morning and then had to rush to be ready for my run with Dennis. It was pouring out again so it was a good thing that I was meeting him. We ended up doing 6.52km. It felt fast and when we were on the way back I looked at my watch and saw it was at 4.67km and I could possibly set a new PR for 5km, so I tried to step up the pace. It worked! My old PR was 31:45 and now I’m at 31:18. My goal is 30 minutes (fast for me but slow for everyone else). I was very happy to be finished and change into dry clothes!

Socializing:

I met up with Dennis and his wife Martha for coffee and couldn’t believe how loud and noisy Starbucks was!

Later in the afternoon, Michelle who is Life of a Canadian Girl texted to see if I wanted to go for coffee. She asked if I had anywhere new on my radar and I told her the o my two I had were about an hour away. She had nothing else going on, so agreed to try one out. (Yes she just shot to friend #1!).

We headed out to The Polly Fox. It was a very cute spot- white furniture, exposed brick wall, and natural wood tables. The small fridge case was slightly bare as we were there later in the day, but it all looked very yummy! They also had a full blackboard of drinks ( including four non dairy alternative milk), and two page breakfast and lunch menu. I got a chai latte and a cinnamon bun to eat and they were both wonderful. It took me a few mouthfuls to identify that the strong flavour in the cinnamon bun was coconut, but it was definitely not a deterrent. Michelle had a London fog and a vegan cashew bar that she finished and said was good.

What I enjoyed most about this cafe and bakery was that it was quiet and the tables were spread out so you didn’t have to eavesdrop. It was a lovely change from Starbucks!

Baking (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. 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.

For January the challenge was artisan bread. It was a very simple recipe of flour, salt, yeast and cool water that was left to rise for two- three hours and then you were encouraged to leave it for up to three days to build air bubbles in it.

I actually ended up making this recipe twice. I made it on Monday night and couldn’t leave it any longer than the two hours. I liked how this bread looked as it was a lovely browned dome, but unfortunately it didn’t rise a lot and it ended up being undervalued:(. Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of this one, but I cut off a thin slice from all four sides and then threw the rest away.

On Thursday night this week, I gave the recipe a second try. I had made the dough, using Bob’s Redmill All Purpose Gluten Free Flour (the recipe calls for bread flour but I don’t know if any gf bread flour) on Wednesday night and after leaving it to rise for the full three hours, I covered it and put it in the fridge. I have to admit that once again, it didn’t rise much in those three hours. On Thursday, I shapes it into two long loaves and then baked it. They only took about 18 minutes to cook rather than the 20-25. This time they were fully cooked, but it was a very hard and chewy bread. I ate all of it because even bad homemade bread is better than store bought, but I don’t think this is a recipe I will come back to again.

Thanks Abbey for taking on this challenge with me:)

I’m so grateful that my boring day at home turned into a fun day out with a friend:)

Have fun!

AJ

A Great Friend

Well it was another day just like many others.

Teaching:

My class has been so off this week that I just can’t wait for tomorrow to be over and hopefully they come in differently next week!

We got through a lesson on bossy r this morning, but it took into quiet time too because I was trying to help four students finish up the art from yesterday during calendar, but the rest of the class just couldn’t handle doing calendar on their own😖🙄. It’s January and they can’t even sit for calendar yet:( there’s a way to feel like a failure as a teacher!We got our art finished by the end of the day, but it took us three tries.

I went on my prep to pick up the Chinese food lunch some of the staff were having for Chinese New Year. Unfortunately I can’t eat the food, but I was the one with the prep.🤣

This afternoon we had buddies where we did lunar new year crafts and then we were supposed to have a lion dance, but the company that does it, didn’t show up!😖😖. Of course, our principal didn’t tell us that until two minutes after it was supposed to start, so we had to quickly come up with a plan. My students read for a few minutes and then we went to gym and played musical chairs. The kids loved it!!! It was definitely the best part of the day:)

Exercise:

After finishing up the prep, I came home and dragged myself out for a run. It was soaking wet and the park was mostly flooded, so not particularly fun, but I did get another 3.75km done. I can’t believe how little I have managed to run this month:(. We are expecting rain every day for the rest of the month, so this won’t be the last of my wet miles.

Baking:

I tried the bread again, but I will write about that more on Saturday.

Knitting:

I have been knitting on a headband to finish up the MJ Yarns I made my slouch hat in. I just want to finish it off so I can deduct it from my stash count. I am super happy with the headband so far though;)

Gift:

During buddies, my buddy teacher, Lyndsay, gave me a shirt she had bought me. It says, RUNNING, cheaper than therapy! It is a baseball style shirt and I love it!!! I think I might live in this shirt for the next little while:)

Well, I’m back to the headband, though I should be going to bed!

Have fun!

AJ

Grateful Sunday

It was a pretty good day of my activities.

Medical:

I started the day by going for my necessary bloodwork. I love he new app our LifeLabs has- Save My Spot. I hit the button as soon as the lab opened and went from the end of the line to second. I don’t think the people in front of my liked it, but I sure did as I was home in twenty minutes.

Exercise:

I managed to be home in time to meet up with Dennis and Brenda for a run. As we headed out on my regular sidewalk, my thought was that I should push the speed a bit since we wouldn’t be going very far, but wouldn’t you know it, Dennis found a way to add on. We got a total of 5.44km done which isn’t bad when we’re still dealing with snow everywhere. I felt like I was running fast, but my Garmin shows otherwise. It wasn’t until I was talking with my mom tonight that it dawned on me that perhaps the loss of nine vials of blood just before my run, had an impact🤣

This evening, I got another Hallmark workout done. I did a minute of jogging in between each move and I tried to go faster than usual with this. I did: squats, plié squats, crunches, reverse crunches, burpees, Bridges, reverse lunges, curtsy lunges, dips, pushups, Superman, and froggers.

Baking:

I finally spent some time in the kitchen today. I started by making a loaf of banana bread. It turned out to not be very sweet as I was short of honey and used bittersweet chocolate chips, but I actually don’t mind it. The recipe came from The Allergy Free Cook Bakes Bread. I love this series of books as everything always turns out, even when I make a ton of substitutions like I did today.

I also attempted a batch of granola bars. The recipe is from LunchBox and I have made it many times and it has always worked really well, but unfortunately today it didn’t. I think it’s because I was short of oats and used puffed cereal instead. They got brown too fast and so the bottom didn’t cook completely. My mom suggested using the top as crumble over yogurt so I may give that a try tomorrow.

I was supposed to make bread today, but that just didn’t happen.

Knitting:

I started my sockhead slouch over today, twice. I started the first time and then was worried it was going to be too big so took it off the needles to try it. I determined it would be fine and so then had to start again. I have gotten the for inches of rubbing done and now am on to the plain stockinette. I am using the same size needles as I did for the ribbing and am wondering if that is a mistake. I don’t have a 3mm though and so would have to go to 3.25mm needles. If anyone has made this hat, I’d love to hear an opinion!

Well that is my entire day.

Thankful:

I am thankful for technology that saves me time and makes life a little easier and more efficient.

I am thankful for my running buddies who push me.

I am thankful that there are so many options available for people with allergies these days.

I am also thankful I enjoy cooking and baking so I can have treats that are safe for me.

I am thankful for podcasts that have kept me entertained while I do boring knitting.

I am thankful for my knitting that allows me to accomplish something while being on the couch.

Have fun!

AJ

Better

Thankfully today was much better than yesterday!

Knitting:

Tavia came for another knitting lesson today. She is working on Grandma’s Favourite Dishcloth And has mastered the knit stitch and increasing. Hopefully we’ll get to decreasing next week.

I ripped out the start of my Not a Boring Sweater as I couldn’t find my three missing stitches and have gotten the ribbing done again. We will see if I tackle the cables tonight or not.

It was great to spend time with Cori and Tavia and we had a sushi lunch together after knitting. They unfortunately couldn’t do a poke bowl for me:(

Reading:

I spent a lot of today napping and reading. I finished the book, The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare. I had heard Not Your Mom’s Romance Book Club talking about this book and wanted to read it.

I very much enjoyed this book and found it quite humorous and laughed out loud a few times. I also enjoyed how it was the male lead who had the trouble with being self conscious and how there was minimal drama between the couple. Fair warning though- it’s a steamy read.

Car:

I took my car back to the mechanic today and he hooked it up to the monitor. We were both really happy to see it was just a vacuum hose that hadn’t been reconnected. All the lights went off on my dash and my car ran normally. Yay🎊🎉

Baking:

I tried to make the Sally’s Baking Challenge for August which is a vertical layer cake, but my sponge cake completely fell apart. At this point I took the sponge cake I could save, blackberries and a blackberry sauce and coco whip mixture together into parfait cups and called it trifle. Thankfully Cori sent Tavia and Matthias down to eat two of the servings so I didn’t. They sure do great things for my ego🤣

Exercise:

I did finally get out for a run this evening though I really didn’t want to. My run ended up going better than expected even with having to dodge people in the park! Another 4.8km done towards my yearly goal! I hope I can get another 40km done before the end of the month!

Well I’m going back to my knitting:)

Have fun!

AJ

Ugh Times Two!

My day has some lovely parts, but it also had a couple that just got to me!

Exercise:

After stepping on the scale this morning there was no escaping that I needed to get back to routine. I got out for two short runs today as lately I’ve been finding it mentally easier to do that than go for one long run. I got a total of 6.4km done and it was fast for me. It really helped that it was cool and this evening I purposely pushed myself on the flat parts!

I also got 25 crunches, 25 reverse crunches, 25 bicycles and 25 scissor legs done. Tomorrow I really need to get a weights routine done. I feel like I’ve lost all my muscle!

Knitting:

I got a swatch done for my new project and got my halter top washed and blocked. Unfortunately the red cotton isn’t colour fast:( I tried soaking it in vinegar water, but it doesn’t seem to have made any difference. Anyone have an idea of what I should do? I now have a very pink halter outline on my towel:(

My new project is a test knit for Zanete Knits called Not a Boring Sweater. It was going well, until I just figured out my stitch count is 3 stitches out. I’ll save all that tinking for tomorrow! Ugh!!!

Baking:

I attempted the Sally’s Baking Challenge for August which is a vertical layer cake. It unfortunately turned into trifle as my sponge cake cracked into pieces. Ugh!!! I’m not sure that I’ll try this one again, but we’ll see.

Car:

I had taken my car in to be repaired yesterday and went back today to pick it up. After paying a rather large bill, I only got ten minutes into driving when my dash lights came on again. I called the mechanic when I got home and I’ll take the vehicle back tomorrow so we can see what the dash lights are for:(. Ugh!!!

I think I’m going to go curl up in bed with my book now!

Have fun!

AJ

Traveling

Well not a super exciting day, but I’ll tell you about it anyways.

Reading:

I finished my current book, All For You. This book had four short stories and I really enjoyed three of them. The third, which is the longest one, was just too tough to get into and didn’t really hold my interest. I just saw that I’ve actually read this book before too.🤣. It didn’t even seem familiar.

Shopping:

My mom and I looked around Ladysmith and I managed to buy nothing but another pair of Birkenstock sandals. This is okay as I saw them when I was there earlier in the summer and thought about them before buying them:)

We checked on my dad at the house and it was coming along well. It’s amazing how nicely the foundation looks now and how that neatness definitely improved the look of the place overall!

Eating:

We went for lunch at the Sawmill Pub. We shared nachos which were fine, but not as good as the ones at the Well that I usually eat. I also tried a Merri Berri Cider and it was quite yummy!

Sightseeing:

We looked around Petroglyph Park. I told my mom I would be embarrassed for visitors to see this park! It is about five carvings in rocks that you can barely see:( There are so many other awesome parks that I would give this one, just outside Nanaimo, a pass!

Traveling:

I took a float plane ride home followed by two skytrain rides. It was great that there were no cruise ships in port right now and it was before rush hour so this was definitely the time to go! I must remember that 2pm flights mid week are lovely!

I unpacked and then proceeded to have a two hour nap. My mom wore me out!🤣

Baking:

I did get busy and baked some brownie bark as I have Tavia and Cori coming for knitting tomorrow. I made it from the cookbook I am reviewing right now.

The recipe was easy to make and if you like chocolate, it would probably be considered a success. My two pans came out differently- one is crisper than the other and I prefer the crispier. The only complaint I have is that no where did it say how thinly or thickly the batter should be spread. Probably why my two pans turned out differently. I’ll let you know what my company thinks tomorrow.

Knitting:

I am about to start a new project, but this will be my third try as I keep having difficulty with the provisional cast on🙄

This is the first project I am attempting from my book, Knit So Fine: Designs with Skinny Yarn by Lisa R Meyers. I am thinking I’m going to work my way through the patterns in this book as out of 21, I really like ten of them. We’ll see how I do or whether I get distracted by something else.

I did get all my new yarn put away and I did a great job of buying yarn for weights that I didn’t have a lot of🎉🎊

Have fun!

AJ

The To Do List

The to-do list ruled my day and even for me, it was a long one!

House:

I had people coming over this afternoon so got busy this morning getting my house cleaned and tidied. I should have people over more often- it would probably stay cleaner!

Exercise:

I got out for a 3km run this morning and it felt really good. I wasn’t pushing myself or worried about pace- just plodding along, which of course, meant I did better than normal. I did a total of 124.1km this month and have caught up on my monthly goal. I’ve actually gotten an extra 6km done and am hoping to do a little extra in August too to ease my September which is usually crazy busy!

I got a walk in this evening just because it was beautiful!

Baking:

I’m out with friends tomorrow and needed to do some baking, especially for Sally’s Monthly Baking Challenge which for July was no-Bake cheesecake. I really wasn’t sure how the cheesecake was going to turn out since I had to make it vegan, so I made some mini blueberry tarts first.

The cheesecake did turn out well and was super easy. I took one block of vegan cream cheese and mixed it with a tablespoon of lemon, the zest of a lemon, a teaspoon of vanilla, two tablespoons of sour cream and mixed it until it was smooth. I then mixed in a container of coco whip and poured it over a base of one cup of gluten free graham cracker crumbs mixed with two tablespoons vegan butter spread. On top of the cheesecake layer I made a blueberry sauce and did a layer of that. Blueberry sauce is so easy to make and only takes nine minutes! Put two cups of blueberries in a saucepan along with 1/3 cup sugar, a teaspoon of vanilla. In a small dish combine one tablespoon corn starch with two teaspoons water. Heat the blueberry mix over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves- about five minutes. Then mix in the cornstarch and stir until thickened- about three minutes. I threw a piece of mint on top of the cheesecake just so I could use more herbs from my garden:). I tested their recipe out on my friends this afternoon and they both said it was super yummy!

I’ll let you know what my friends tomorrow say.

Knitting:

I had to get all my yarn off my floor and put away today. I did end up being able to separate each weight into a separate box, though the worsted is actually in a garbage bag for now.

I had offered to teach my friend’s daughter to knit. I used to have a knitting club at school and have missed this element of my life this year.

I can’t believe how quickly Tavia caught on. She already had seven rows done in less than an hour! It would seem that she is a natural.

I also got some more of my summer tee done. I’m onto the endless stockinette in the round, so am watching movies as I knit forever!

Eating:

Today was supposed to be a super careful eating day, but trying the treats threw that out:(

I had a cheese omelette for breakfast, a poke bowl for lunch and mini tarts and cheesecake for dinner. I had to make sure I wasn’t going to poison anyone!

I was so happy to see that the poke bowl I’ve been eyeing was on sale, that I bought it without checking it out. Turned out it just had two packages of tuna and two packages of poke sauce in it and the poke sauce had gluten in it. Thankfully I discovered that before I ate it! I made a poke sauce and had one of the packages of tuna along with half an avocado. Yum!

Back to knitting!

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

Why Won’t It Stay?

It was a very quiet day, but I was okay with that as I know this week is going to be crazy!

Exercise:

I got up this morning and went directly out for my run. I did just under 6km and was happy to see that my average pace still stayed below 7min/km even with the longer distance. It sure didn’t feel that way! It was nice it wasn’t raining, but I felt like I was plodding along.

This evening I went out again for a short run to the park and back just to finish off the Squad Runner mission. I swear it started pouring the moment I stepped outside! I only saw four people out which is quite remarkable for my town! Amazingly, I was slower this evening than I was this morning. I definitely thought it would be the reverse!

House:

I really didn’t want to do anything today, but I did get my dishes done, laundry done and sheets changed. I am so looking forward to crawling into bed as I don’t think there’s many things better than clean sheets!

Reading:

I finished the kids Bookclub book called Short. It was by Holly Goldberg Sloan who has written some other kids books that I loved. This book is about a short girl who is chosen to be a munchkin in the community theatre play one summer. She doesn’t want to at first, but finds herself becoming enmeshed in the theatre and learns a lot about herself. With being short myself, I found it interesting and an easy read, but it also felt at times like the author was trying too hard to teach lessons.

Baking:

So I did my dishes and had a lovely clean kitchen, then of course I wanted to play in the clean kitchen so I made scones and suddenly I have a messy kitchen again. It’s just a vicious cycle!

I made another batch of Sally’s Baking Addiction master scone recipe, however, this time I made lemon blueberry ones. I even put the lemon drizzle on top, which I normally wouldn’t. The scones taste great but they are almost too light. I expect a scone to be dense, but I’m wondering if they’re light just because I made twice as many as he recipe called for. I may have to try big ones and maybe they would be denser. I loved the recipe again and it went faster for me this time:)

I’m loving the Cup 4 cup flour I’ve used for both sets of scones and the Melt vegan butter spread. Both have been producing great results. I may have to try cinnamon buns with them!

Knitting:

I finished one of my socks today and have gotten up to the gusset decreases on the second one. I’m hoping to finish this pair tomorrow as I have to get moving on something for a two year old boy. I have sirdar snuggly yarn I’m going to use in a pale blue. If anyone has any suggestions, I would love to hear them!

I spent the rest of the time working on my mom’s present. She tells me they may be coming a day later than planned. That may be a good thing🤣

Have fun!

AJ

Fake Friday

Well it is kind of my Friday today as I have no kids tomorrow, but I do have to suffer through all day meetings.

Teaching:

Today we did an opinion response about Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed by Emily Pearson. I love this book because it highlights how one person’s good deed can spread to everyone.

We also did some more work on time which the children really seem to be getting well.

And this afternoon we started a directed drawing project based on Van Gogh’s Wheatfield with Crows which is our art for Saskatchewan which has a lot of wheat fields. We thought it would be one day, but we’ll have to finish it next week.

We had a meeting at lunch about the three classroom moves that are supposed to happen. Two of them I completely get, but moving the music room to the portable, I don’t get! We have to go outside to get there through the rain we have continuously and it is going to take up instructional time to get the kids dressed and undressed for going outside:(. I guess my biggest complaint is that there is never any discussion and it doesn’t feel like any comments we make, make any difference:(

If only everyone had to agree with me!🤣

I ran out of work quickly to get to my doctor’s appointment. So annoying that he only gave me six months of my pills- it’s a pain to go there! The good news is that I have perfect blood pressure-120/60. I guess all that running is good for something!

Exercise:

Unfortunately no running happened today. I ended up having another unplanned nap and just didn’t have a run in me, so I went for a walk instead. Hopefully a one hour walk is equal to a run:)

Baking:

I had bought some Sweet Loren’s cookies down the states last weekend as I had read a blog raving about them. I made them up tonight so that I can take them to work tomorrow. They are pre-shaped and took about 17 minutes to cook. I tried one cookie and it was chewy and too sweet while having too little taste. I can’t say that I will be buying them again, though I admit I always think homemade is better!

Eating:

I had a good eating day! Though I am starting to wonder if I’m the only person who eats pretty well the same thing everyday?

Breakfast- hard boiled egg

Recess: yogurt

Lunch: 2 kid pancakes with 1 mini sausage

Snack: cinnamon raisin scone

Dinner: 1 tilapia filet, cherry tomatoes with hummus, pepper with salsa, cucumbers with fake cream cheese, 1 cookie

I would like to make it so that lunch was my bigger meal though!

Well, I’m going to go suffer through more of the book I am reading right now, though I really need to get back to knitting!

Have fun!

AJ