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

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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

Sent Home

Well I got up and went to work this morning, so I get any points for that?🤣

Teaching:

When I woke up this morning I acknowledged my throat was a little sore, but went off to work as it was the first day of track attack, which I am organizing. Unfortunately with living alone, I didn’t realize I had no voice until I went to say hello to the secretary. Supposedly they question my ability to teach with no voice, though I’ve done it plenty of times over the past 17 years!

I came home and promptly slept for 5 hours straight. I guess I was a little tired.

Reading:

I did manage to finish Decoy Date by Mira Lynn Kelly. It was a nice, light read, though I really think it would be better to start at the beginning of the series as there were some references I didn’t get.

I also began the kids Bookclub book after my next nap. It’s called Flunked by Jen Calonita. So far I am enjoying it.

Knitting:

Still have 55 more rows of stockinette on the April Tank and only managed 5 rows today:( I feel like this knitting is going much slower than normal.

Baking:

I took the failed buns from last night and made a quick bread pudding recipe out of them and walked it the 500m to Lyndsay’s house so I would quit eating it. I love this recipe from Joanne Fluke- so easy! Pour 1/3 cup of melted butter over your bread, put it in a greased dish, layer on the 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 cup dried fruit of your choice. Mix 3 eggs and 2.5 cups of milk and pour it over everything. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. I had to put tinfoil over it as it was browning too quickly, but boy is it yummy! It was actually a good test for me as I learned I’m not as energetic as I thought and I still don’t have a voice. Guess I’m not going anywhere tomorrow:(

Night night!

Have fun!

AJ

I took the

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

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