Surprise!

It was quite a nice day with a surprise:)

Exercise:

We were out on the dykes for the run this morning. Yesterday I had been thinking I’d go as far as the marina, but this morning I really didn’t think I’d make it that far (about 7km roundtrip), but surprise surprise, I did. I didn’t push the pace and wasn’t as fast as I would have liked, but I did it comfortably. It’s been nice to have a couple of runs in a row that have felt good!

I got out for a walk this afternoon to take care of the Monday Squad Runner mission and I managed a 1:20 plank and my 200 squats. A pretty successful exercising day!

Cooking:

I didn’t plan to spend the day in the kitchen again? But surprise, surprise, I did.

My friend was just told she had to go gluten free and dairy free, but she was craving chocolate chip cookies. I decided to test a new recipe before sending it to her to make sure it was good

I tried the recipe from Minimalist Baker and was super impressed! They were easy to make and quick, though they did require a half hour of chilling. They tasted good right from the oven and a few hours later. I’d definitely recommend this recipe!

I also had coconut milk left over from my mac n cheese yesterday, and instead of making hot chocolate with it, Sarah suggested a curry. I had a few veggies left over so decided to make the creamy vegetable curry from Oh She Glows. I have to admit Oh She Glows and Minimalist Baker are two of my go-to resources for gf/df recipes. You need to have all the ingredients recipe as the process goes super quick. I have done this before with the cashew cream it calls for, but it was just as good with the coconut milk too!

I really felt like I was cooking as I even made my own curry from this Minimalist Baker recipe.

All in all, a successful cooking day. Amazingly it was a successful eating day too as I managed to restrain myself and got the cookies into the freezer quickly. I have also frozen a bit of the curry to see how it turns out.

Socializing:

While I was out walking, I got a surprise text from my friend Lyndsay wondering if I wanted to go for an early dinner at the Green Mustache. I wasn’t super hungry so I had the powerfoods hot chocolate. It tasted good, but I have to admit that while their food and desserts have been amazing, I find their drinks a little powdery. Maybe putting them through a bit milk bag would help.

I do love having a friend who lives close and likes to do the same things I do!

Knitting:

After a nap, I went back to my knitting. I am down the front of the new sweater and am on the back, and hopefully by tonight I will be starting the sleeves. Sometimes it’s a really good thing to be small!

Surprise, surprise, I finished my temperature cowl today! I’ve gotten tired of having it hanging over my head, so I finished it. I really wasn’t thinking I’d like it, but I think I do😳. I’m going to wear it tomorrow to work, so I’ll let you know how it goes!

I don’t love the joins at the day breaks, but I did like how it ended up going in bands.

The yarn is Sweet Georgia sock yarn mini skeins.

Well, I’m back to the sweater now that I have my clothes ready and all my food prepped.

Have fun!

AJ

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Two Good, One Ugh

It was a nice kitchen day for me today:)

Exercise:

I slept in this morning, but still made it for my run with Sarah and Kula.

We went a slightly different route today which seemed even hillier than normal, but somehow my run app says we were faster than we have been. We don’t believe it, but we’ll take it:)

I also got out for an hour walk this afternoon just because it was so beautiful and sunny, and I did a plank and 200 squats.

Knitting:

I got another row of ends sewn into the temperature cowl, only two to go and I’ll share a picture. It seems like a weird size so I’m not sure I’ll ever wear it:(

I also made good progress on my sweater and am up to the placket.

I am wondering about being a test knitter. Has anyone ever done this? Have an opinion about it? Want to share their experience?

Cooking:

I got into the kitchen today:). It started with this Vegan Mac ‘n cheese recipe that a parent shared with me. I made it up and divided it out for lunches this week. I had some for lunch today and it was super yummy!

After my walk I got busy and made these peanut butter protein balls. They were super easy, super fast and super yummy!!!

Earlier this week a new EA at work brought energy balls in. They were gluten free and dairy free, but tasted quite disgusting so I kind of felt like I needed to make some to redeem the gf/df food rep around school!🤪

I will definitely be adding both of these recipes to my recipes completed page as I would make both again!

Socializing:

Finally tonight was soup night! Every few months I get together with women I run with for something non running related (or water related) and tonight it was for soup. We had an amazing lemon chicken rice soup that was super lemony and so good!! I’ve asked for the recipe so I will share it when I get it. We also had borscht which was yummy too. I had made this vegan cream of mushroom soup. This is the second time I have tried it and I haven’t been super happy with it either time:( It definitely won’t be going on the recipe list!

Aside from my soup, the night was a lot of fun! I’m lucky to have the running buddies I have- not only do they run with me, but they also give me a social life:)

I’m exhausted now though!

Have fun!

AJ

Old Friends

A nice day with only a few commitments.

Exercise:

I met up with my friend Sarah this morning for a trail run in a local park. We always just follow her dog Kula and he must have taken us further over than usual. We had no idea where we were but ended up in the usual spot so all was good:) we ended up with a nice 3.5km run to start off the weekend:)

I got out for a walk this afternoon though I cut it short because there were just too many people out on the path!

I also did a 1:30 plank and 200 squats so that I wouldn’t have to admit to not doing them🤣

Socializing/ Eating:

I met up with some old high school friends for lunch this afternoon. It was great to catch up. I was feeling bad as another friend has dropped the group completely, but today I came to the realization that it’s not me- it’s her!

We went to Milestones and while it is definitely not my favourite restaurant as a person with allergies, I did manage to have a good seafood salad:)

Baking:

Yesterday I had a parent in my class send me this recipe for chocolate chip zucchini muffins. I whipped them up this afternoon , they took no time, and they ended up being so delicious! I ate way too many of them, but finally managed to get the rest put into the freezer!

Reading:

I finished Suddenly Mine by Samantha Chase this evening.

This seemed like a different type of book for Samantha Chase. It’s the story of Christian and Sophie who are both in need of a new direction in their lives when they meet each other.

This book seemed much more realistic and serious than previous books by this author. It definitely has you crying, sighing and laughing, though thankfully it does end happily. I appreciated that it was realistic and characters had to deal with big issues. The relationship was still the central focus, but there were a lot of other things happening too.

I also appreciated the timeline of this book. It was not insta-Love and it took a while for the relationship to build. There were also plenty of misunderstandings and arguments. The whole book felt more real than many romance novels so.

Thank you to the author, publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this wonderful book!

Knitting:

I have been knitting away on my current scarf, but it’s one of those annoying ones that shows no progress!! I have also finally gotten all the outside ends tied into my temperature cowl. Now I just have to tackle all the ones on the inside🙄

Have fun!

AJ

Back to the Grindstone

Well today I returned to work…

Teaching:

The day didn’t go too badly. We managed to write about three events from our holidays, two special gifts and one person we spent time with. We also changed our desks around, started place value and we started a unit on penguins by listing our wonders. The students had better wonders this time than they did the first two times we did this activity this year. They want to know if babies are born knowing how to swim, if the eggs are different sizes, and how do penguins dry off. These are actually only three of three pages of wonders they came up with!!! It was neat to hear some really good questions from students who struggle otherwise. Inquiry teaching is a big thing right now in our district, but when I questioned how that was done with grade ones, I got told that if they left grade one being able to ask a great question, I would have put them on the right path. So that’s what I’m working towards!

Exercise:

After surviving staff meeting, I headed out to get my 8km run done. Unfortunately, I was at 6.68km when my massage therapist called and my phone turned off:( I was not going back out to finish that off, so I guess I just won’t be getting that mission☹️

I did manage to do 200 squats, walk to and from work and do a 1:15 plank.

Baking:

I couldn’t get warm and so decided to do some baking. I made apple cinnamon bran muffins from the cookbook, Gluten Free Baking. They were easy to make, but they look very dry to me, they taste dry and they don’t have a ton of flavour.

Well I’m now back to being curled up in bed with my knitting and a Hallmark movie.

Have fun!

AJ

Last Day

It was the last day of my winter break.  It’s always tough, but I know I can’t complain as I get two weeks off.

Exercise:

My regular run was a little different today. We started a half hour later to accommodate some out of town friends. I had to do 9km for my Squad Runner mission and knew my buddies weren’t going to be up for two loops of the river, so I decided to run over to the river from my place for the extra 4km.

I got over to the river fine, though every step felt difficult. I had planned that I would just walk with my friends once I got there. Unfortunately, Dennis said we were running. I ended up doing 9.2km and it was painful. It may not have been the best idea to have that long of a run after so many days of doing nothing! I sure hope my speed improves again!

I got home to one of my running team member’s recommending 5 yoga moves to do after runs. They are located at this site. They really helped along with some rolling to loosen up my body!

I got my plank done and 200 squats completed. I also got out for a walk this evening. This is more like it and hopefully I’ll be back to normal quickly!

Baking:

After doing my meal prep for the week, I decided to bake. For the last year I have been following Sally’s Baking Challenge and dreaming of participating. I decided to finally give it a shot today! I made bagels for the very first time. They were gluten free and dairy free and the recipe came from this book. They turned out awesome!!! They look like bagels and taste like bagels. I restrained myself and only had one for dinner tonight and put five of them into the freezer.

Friends:

The friends I had breakfast with this morning stopped by this afternoon so we could exchange Christmas gifts. I got the best gift!!!!

It is pure wool so this may be my chance to try felting as I have never felted anything before. If anyone has a suggestion for a good pattern, please let me know!

I have spent the rest of the day getting my food ready, tidying my house, watching Hallmark movies, and knitting. All in all, a pretty good day!

Have fun!

AJ

 

 

Getting Back To It

It’s been another quiet day, but that’s probably a good thing before the chaos starts again on Monday.

Exercise:

I met up with Sarah for a run this morning. We got a little lost, as usual, but it was fun!

This evening I managed to get out for a walk as well. It wasn’t running so I figured I had better get it while it was good:)

I also did squats and a plank for the second day. Need to start building up the muscle again. I swear they all atrophied while I was laying on the couch last week🤣

Family:

Well we finally settled on a place to rent for Christmas next year. It only took two days. It was a tough decision because there was one that was an amazing deal but required the kids to sleep on air mattresses if there was the gorgeous one with enough beds but double the price. We’re going to go with the amazing deal as we can do a lot of events for all that money. It’s tough to do group things as there are just so many different personalities in my family. It will be interesting to see if we survive our first family holiday together.😳

Baking:

I grabbed a few groceries after my run and made a batch of Bisquick biscuits to use up the bisquick I had in the cupboard. They looked good, but were super crumbly. I think it was just the nature of Bisquick, or at least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Movies:

I watched A Shoe Addict’s Christmas with Candace Cameron Bure this afternoon and loved it. It is such a cute movie! It follows the basic outline of A Christmas Carol but its shoes that move her through time. Most of the shoes were gorgeous so of course it gets my vote for being a good movie!

Knitting;

I also finished up the cowl I had started earlier. It used up three skeins of yarn and was a super easy knit while turning out pretty. It used Morena yarn and the free pattern off Ravelry called Cowl for Coba. This is a “no think” pattern that shows off yarn very nicely.

I am happy with how it turned out.

I have also spent some time weaving in ends on my temperature scarf. I feel like I may be old and gray before I get them all finished.

Well I’m going back to watch another Hallmark movie:)

Have fun!

AJ

Quiet Inside

It was beautiful and sunny today but I have to admit I never set foot outside.

Exercise:

I did none today after being frustrated yesterday when my exercise disappeared:(. Maybe I’ll make up for it tomorrow.

Knitting:

My sweater is going well. I split for front and back and finished the back. I now need a quiet time to work the front as it has a lot of different shaping happen at the same time. Maybe I’ll get brave and tackle it tomorrow. I think I’m also stuck because I’m not sure how I’m going to do the sleeves as I have no DPN sets with me.

Movies:

I watched Coffee Shop with my mom this morning and really enjoyed it. It ended happily so I was happy.

I have to admit most of the day was spent watching the British Baking Show. I am now on season 3. I have to admit I was shocked by the winner of season 2.

I just saw British Baking Show: The Beginning so I am curious about whether I should have started with that one.

Baking:

After watching so much of the Baking Show, I of course, had to bake. This can be great but also tough at my parent’s place. It’s great because I can use normal ingredients and not contaminate my kitchen, but it can also be a nightmare as they don’t bake, so they don’t have a lot of ingredients. Today I made brownies from this Recipe.

I learned an awesome dessert from a colleague so I took the brownies, put some cherry pie filling and whipping cream on top and called them Black Forest brownies. My parents both ate them and enjoyed them.

Well that’s it for me, and yes I’m going back to The British Baking Show🤪🤪🤪

Have fun!

AJ

Merry Christmas

My day was surprisingly quiet but lovely. I have a few pictures to show you but unfortunately I’m yet again out of memory:( I guess I’m going to have to step up and pay and change my site. I’ll let you know when I figure it out.

Baking:

I was supposed to go to my brother’s for 8:45, but my sister in law texted about 7:30 and said they were already awake and to come anytime. I quickly baked the maple nut scones I had made previously for the Fantastic Bake Along. I knew immediately they weren’t going to be as good as last time. The batter was just too runny:(. I took them anyways, but at this point I’m almost afraid to try baking anything☹️

Family:

I sat and opened presents with my brother, sister in law and nephew. I love how they do one gift at a time so everyone can see what people got. I love watching people open gifts! They surprised me with a gift card for a pedicure. It was so not necessary!

My sister in law made an amazing breakfast of egg cups, bacon and fruit salad. It was all so yummy!!!!

Cooking:

I came home and got my dressing prepared. It’s always drier when it’s made outside the bird, but boy is it yummy! I tried cornbread stuffing but definitely prefer my pork and poultry seasoning- easy and yummy!

Exercise:

With my dressing done, I got out the door for a quick run. It was painful as I was way too overstuffed from breakfast! It did feel great to get out though in the cold!

Knitting:

I finished a green vest for next Christmas season (and I wore it tonight). I also did a green headband with the leftover yarn so that’s two skeins off my stash list.

I then started a cowl for the holiday market next year when I was at Brenda’s. I’ve used up two skeins on that so far so I’ll be able to take four skeins off the list:)

Movies:

I got a change to take in Christmas Kiss this afternoon and this evening I am enjoying The 12 Men of Christmas. I have to watch this as we watched Die Hard 1 & 2 at Brenda’s and I need something sweet and happy before I try to sleep🤣

Eating:

I spent the evening at Brenda’s knitting and watching movies. I enjoyed the quiet time and the dinner was amazing!!!! It takes forever to make and it only took twenty minutes to eat and clean up🤣

Gifts:

I ended up getting two tea pots, two boxes of tea and four tea mugs. Does everyone think I do nothing but drink tea? I’m going to have to go through and cull my mug collection so I can fit these new ones into the cupboard.

Well I’m off to bed as I’m getting up super early for a flight to visit my parents in the morning. I’m not sure what the WiFi situation is down there so you will either hear from me continuously for the next week or not at all. Let’s hope for the former!

Have fun and Merry Christmas everyone!

AJ

Early Christmas

Yesterday was quite the busy day!

Family:

I ran to Thrifty’s for some baking ingredients and when I got back my cousin and uncle were there to deal with the truck issue. I sure hope this makes them happy!😖😖😖

Baking:

I thought I’d be going for a run, but it turned out I spent the morning making baking disasters. My nan cake was a flop:) The cake was too hard, the pudding never set, and the cocoa whip was too runny. I guess I’ll have to practice.

I quickly made a set of multiple choice bars from the Hannah Swenson Lake Eden Cookbook, but I burned the top and it was too sweet. I ended up stopping at the IGA and grabbing cherry pie filling, whipping cream and salted caramel brownies.

Christmas:

My brother and his family came from the island to my other brother’s house and then my sister in law’s brother and his family came out too (he is my other brother’s best friend). We made gingerbread houses where the children ate a ton of candy and glued everything they possibly could to their house🤣. There wasn’t much candy left for auntie Ali to use on her house.

We then bundled up and headed out to a local lake that has an amazing light display. Here we were joined by my aunt and uncle and a cousin, his wife and son. It was so neat to have so many of us together. Not all of us, but probably the most for many years! We even got a picture, of course my oldest nephew his during it. My family is definitely not Hallmark, but we got close enough for me. I realized last night that I just like us all being in one house:). We are talking about Palm Springs for next Christmas though as it would be warmer, no rain and maybe we could convince my parents to join us as they haven’t been here for Christmas in three years!!! And mom, I’m not the one who made that comment last night!

Later in the evening we walked down the block to look at one of those crazy Christmas houses. It took care of the dogs and the kids!

I finally got to bed at about 11:30 and so didn’t post, but now you know how I almost had a perfect family Christmas:) Now I just wish someone would text me and tell me what’s happening today!

Have fun!

AJ

A Quiet Day in December

This doesn’t happen often, but overall it was a quiet day.

Exercise:

I lounged in bed for quite a while this morning and then met up with Sarah and Kula for a run around a local lake. It was short- only 3.5km, but super gorgeous. It is kind of sad though as this is another trail that has been pedestrianized so absolutely everyone can use it. That means it won’t be as quiet as it was today for long.

Reading:

I finished The Rancher’s Homecoming by Anna J. Stewart today.

This last installment of the Return of the Blackwell Brother’s series features Chance, the youngest and most famous Blackwell. He ran away with foreman’s daughter ten years ago and never looked back, even after he lost his wife. He had plenty of anger to keep him away. However, his love of his brother’s brings him back to the ranch and to the foreman’s younger daughter.

I really liked this final book in the series because it brought the whole family together and that’s important to me.

I was left wondering what happened to Zoe and to Grace’s sister. I suppose it’s tough to tie up every loose end when there are five authors involved, but I was curious about those two.

I’m not a big fan of the sister in law love story, never have been and probably never will be, though I understand it happens often, but thankfully this story has enough other angles happening that this part didn’t bother me too much.

The ending of this story is perfect with the reversal of roles!

Thank you to all five of these authors for allowing me to read their work!

Baking:

I did a little baking today and made some shortbread cookies for the party I went to tonight. They are gluten free and dairy free whipped shortbread. I followed this Recipe and was quite happy with it. I omitted the almond extract and I won’t if I make it again as it would help make it taste more traditional. I did like how the cookies melt in your mouth like real shortbread does.

The shortbread was well received and gone when I left the party. Someone said it really tasted like shortbread, so that’s good!

Socializing:

I headed to my friend Corianne’s Christmas party and it was nice to be out and meet new people. I only stayed a few hours as I had a good book on the go:)

Blogmas:

Thanks to Abbey for organizing Blogmas! Make sure you go check out the other sites too!

Stockings were always fun in my family. I remember my brother waking me up at 5am to open our stockings as we weren’t allowed to open our gifts until the grandparents arrived. The stocking always had our first mandarin orange of the season and a pack of life savers in it. Otherwise, we’d have a little something to play with. I have to admit to being surprised at what people put in stockings, but for us it was simple like chapstick. It was always the most fun to open as it was the first thing we opened:)

Well, I’m going back to my book.

Have fun!

AJ