Smashing Sunday

It was a really nice day! I seem to say that a lot about the days I have off🤣

Exercise:

This morning it was up for my usual Sunday morning run. It had just started snowing when I left home, but I figured I could get a run in before it got bad. I ended up just walking with my two buddies who now walk, as I don’t like doing that particular run on my own. It’s just too isolated and there were definitely not a lot of people around so early! We got a 45 minute walk in though at a very respectable pace.

About 4pm it finally stopped snowing and I looked out and saw the sidewalk by the rec centre had been cleared. I hoped it was clear right over to the park, but figured I could do laps around the rec centre if I needed to. Thankfully it was clear right to the park and I had an awesome run! I had splits of 6:31, 6:36, 6:54, 6:40, and 6:29. I realized these are slow for most people, but it’s definitely the fastest I have been in a long time! Maybe my muscle is starting to come back!!

This evening I also did my 200 squats with the light resistance band and 100 stomach exercises- reverse crunch and double leg drop today.

House:

After a nice tea with my running buddies, I came straight home to get my food prep done for the week. I prepared everything and got my daily bins out again so I could just reach in and grab what I need. I only have two eating events this week, so hoping I can be super healthy this week!

As I was prepping, I realized I need more breezy wrap as I have one the perfect size for a full sandwich, but only one that is good for a half sandwich. I don’t really want to cut my big one! I’ll have to get on ordering this and more reuseable bags this week!

Reading:

I finished my Net Galley book, Slow Ride by Lori Foster today.

This book has the perfect balance!

The book features Jack Crews and Ronnie Ashford. From the first moment they are attracted to each other, but it takes longer for them to work out how to be in each other’s lives for the long haul.

The characters in this book are super interesting. Ronnie has been through so much and has adapted to her circumstances. She keeps all interactions with men short and meaningless, until she meets Jack. I pictured Ronnie as a take off of a Japanese Manga character.

Jack is the perfect balance of a smooth, slick man who can take care of business when he needs to. What’s even better is that he has a soft side for his family and animals.

I, of course, also enjoyed the family dynamic in this book. I really like books that have strong supporting characters and I’ve loved getting to know this family over the two books in the series. They raze each other, but also have each other’s backs:)

This book features a thriller side that kept me reading. I knew I had to finish the book tonight or I would not be sleeping well, but once the climax came, it was swift and over quickly. I love how Lori Foster has that perfect balance. You read the hints throughout the book, but she never gives away too much while still keeping you in suspense. Then she always solves the mystery quickly and efficiently. It makes for the perfect romance!

Thank you to Lori Foster, the publisher and NetGalley for the free ARC in exchange for n honest review.

Knitting:

After a nice nap, I got busy on my knitting and finished the second sleeve of my sweater. I have also picked up the stitches for the hood, though it may not turn into a full hood! I only have about 2/3 of a skein left so it may turn into a fold over collar. The yarn chicken game is getting intense now!

Baking:

I decided to try the Sally’s Baking Addiction February challenge today. The challenge was for truffles and since I’m not a big chocolate fan, I figured I could take whatever I made for staff meeting tomorrow. I did manage to find an awesome dairy free, gluten free truffle recipe at Minimalist Baker. These were super easy to make and if they go over well tomorrow I will add them to my page of successful recipes. One thing I did learn was to re-roll the truffles in my hands before dipping them into the coating. It definitely helped the coating stick better!

Well that’s it for my day and I’m heading to bed!

Have fun!

AJ

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Successful ProD

A different kind of work day today, but very successful!

I had arranged a self directed ProD with a couple of colleagues as none of the workshops on offer were what I was looking for. We met at an office space at my friend’s building and took over the area. It was a gorgeous space to work as there were floor to ceiling windows to let in the beautiful sunshine we had all day.

My co- teacher and I got a lot done! We had made a list of topics that we wanted to learn more about so that we could implement them in our classrooms.

We learned how to implement loose parts through our writing program. We determined a new Writer’s workshop plan that would meet the needs in our grade 1/2 classes and still be interesting. We studied the new core competencies in our curriculum and have researched a picture book for each that we can teach them through and an activity we can have students complete to show their learning of that competency. We then researched the components of a successful PE program and have come up with a plan to implement it and brainstormed activities that can be used for each of those components.

All in all, it was probably one of the most successful ProD days I’ve ever had. I learned a ton of new things and can implement them immediately. This feels good as I often find I learn things at ProD but don’t implement them as I need to gather resources or research items for it:(

Baking:

We had a lot of food options for three people! I contributed the yellow container of goodies. The protein balls, cookies and cupcakes were a hit! The carrot pineapple muffins with vegan cream cheese frosting were amazing – so moist! The recipe is from Cooking for Isiah by Sylvana Nardone. The only change I made was to use Bob’s Redmill All Purpose Gluten Free Flour rather than her flour blend. They were so good and the vegan cream cheese frosting from Minimalist Baker was also yummy!

Watching the Great British Baking Show obviously rubbed off on me in a good way as I used a cookie cutter to make my muffins all the same size on top and piped the icing instead of just messily spreading it!

I have to admit I wasn’t super happy with the recipe I tried this week for veggie scones. The scones had a good taste, but were super dry:( I am thinking that I may try changing my maple nut scone recipe to a savory recipe and see if that works better.

Exercise:

First thing this morning I headed out for a half hour run to fulfil my Squad Runner mission. It was an okay run and I noticed that my pace was recorded more accurately since I started running before I pressed start on my tracking app. That was at least nice. I need about another ten kilometers before the end of the month to keep on top of my yearly goal.

I came home after work and had a quick nap and then went for a massage. I didn’t do very well with organization as I only had an hour to enjoy my niece loose, stretches out body before I went with Corri to Battlefit class. This is just never going to be my favourite class! Tonight we did lots of drills (just like gym class again☹️). Then we had to go run 8 laps of the small indoor track to make up a kilometer. Our first workout was then 30 kettlebell cleans and walking lunges of the length of the gym and back while holding a dumbbell straight over our heads. We had to do this sequence three times.

Our second workout was 50 wall balls, 40 mountain climbers (each leg), 30 kettlebell swings, 20 kettlebell row stops and 10 lateral bench hops with burpees. We then had to go back up the ladder again.

I did it all, but have to admit I just don’t love this class. None of it seems fun:(

Reading:

I have come home and been reading the book my sister in law gave me yesterday. The Ingredients Of Love has been a great read so far! I’m now going to go finish it:)

Have fun!

AJ

Busy Again

It was another busy day, but in a different way.

Exercise:

My sister in law managed to take me along as a buddy to her training clinic this morning. I couldn’t believe it when they talked for an hour!! The nutritionist was interesting and definitely highlighted that I haven’t been eating enough fruits and veggies, but an hour of talking was just too much!

We ended up running over to a local park that had a 400m path around it. We had to do 200m slow and 200m push ten times. I had never done it this way where you don’t have a walk break in between. I ended up staying with a woman who was upset that she was at the back. I was just out for a run so was happy enough to keep her company. We ended up doing 5.7km.

I also walked down to the local grocery store for a few odds and ends my brother’s family needed.

Blogging:

I spent a lot of today taking advantage of my brother’s WiFi and catching up on reading blogs.

Eating:

My niece had bought dairy free daiya cheese so she could make taco salad for me. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I avoid daiya cheese. The salad though, was wonderful! My sister in law had also made a pavlova that we had as dessert with our lunch. It was very nice!

Travel:

I started the trip home much later than I had planned to, and it seemed a very long trip!

Baking:

I am meeting up with some friends tomorrow for ProD and though both of them said to not bother bringing anything, I just can’t do that! This evening I have made carrot cake muffins and savory vegetable scones. I’ll have to tell you tomorrow how they are though.

I think I’m off to bed as I’d like to get a run in tomorrow morning before work.

Have fun!

AJ

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

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