Grateful Sunday

Today I am grateful for the little things!

Exercise:

I met up with Dennis fifteen minutes early so Brenda and James wouldn’t need to wait too long for us. I tried to keep up with him on the way out which is always a mistake as it means I go out way too fast and then die on the way back! I laughed when I yelled that we were at 5km and he said I had to keep going until the truck in case we were short going back. How are we going to be short??? We just ran it! In the end we ended up with 10.42km. These longer runs have definitely been good for me, though I am noticing that my weights workouts haven’t been consistent lately.

Shopping:

After a quick coffee, I was off to meet up with Lyndsay to go to the Local Love Pop Up Market. It had 67 vendors and I swear 60 of them were baby focused! Needless to say, I didn’t buy a thing! It was neat to go and look and once again I was shocked at what people were asking for their homemade goods!

Knitting:

I am still working on the mommy daughter hat and thinking of ripping it out again to do it on bigger needles. One side is going well, but the other seems to be off:(

Bookclub:

This evening, after a nap, we had Bookclub, but it turned out to be a short one. We had all enjoyed the book, Becoming by Michelle Obama so there wasn’t any arguments. I have to admit I left early because one of the other girls was annoying me. Since she started every Bookclub has turned into her talking about her lupus. I get that it impacts her life immensely and is horrible to live with, but can we please let someone else talk about a different topic??

The food was as marvelous as ever!

I admit I ate more than I have been lately, but for Bookclub I was super good. The only thing not pictured is the one cookie I ate.

Grateful:

I am grateful for a running buddy who pushes me!

I am grateful for a friend who will go out with me to events I know nothing about.

I am grateful for my very comfortable condo and bed.

I am grateful for the rainbow I saw on the way to Bookclub and the moment it provided with the couple in the car beside me.

I am grateful for a Bookclub that accepts my meager offering of a veggie platter when I need sleep too much to spend time in the kitchen.

I am thankful for Hallmark movies that soothe me.

I am thankful for knitting that keeps me on my toes.

Well that’s it for me, have fun!

AJ

Here, There, Everywhere

It was a day of back to back events.

Teaching:

My day was super chill because my most squirrelly boy was away! It was so calm and quiet:). We did a mini book about New Years traditions. It was very cool as the book talked about Mexico and Greece and we had a student and an EA who had experienced those traditions and were able to expand upon them. I always think the students will remember that type of information more.

We did more place value and most of the children are doing really well. This afternoon we made very fancy snowflakes for our windows. I will have to take a picture when I put them up tomorrow morning. These were well beyond the ones I made as a kid!🤣

Reading:

We had the kids Bookclub after school today and were discussing The Losers Club by Andrew Clement. It was really interesting to hear the children discuss it as there was one boy who didn’t like it and some who sort of liked it and others who really liked it. We had a good discussion between the fifteen kids who attended.

Exercising:

My walk to and from school had to suffice, though I did extend my walk home to a half hour so it would complete my Squad Runner mission. I also just jumped up and did a 1:25 plank and 200 squats so I could say I did them.🤣

Socializing:

Tonight was the second date with the concierge I went out with in November. I don’t think it boded well that it took us this long to set up a second date. We had sushi and it was quite lovely. I only ran into one student🤣. I think the death knell was when he asked if I drink and I told him, not much. His best Christmas gift was a bottle of rum. It’s pretty representative of how little we have in common. The first date ended with him saying he wanted to see me again; this one ended with, “I hope you keep running and being happy.” Sounds like a brush off to me, but I’m okay with that:)

Shopping:

I took the early end to our date as an opportunity to run out and do a little grocery shopping, where I managed to dump a Costco chicken on myself. I shouldn’t go in there without a buggy!

I’m home now and exhausted, so think I’ll go crawl into bed.

Have fun!

AJ

A Perfect Crisp, Sunny Fall Day

It was a gorgeous day here, but unfortunately I spent way too much of it inside:(

Exercise:

I got out this morning with my usual Sunday morning crew for a run. I have to admit it was slow and short after yesterday’s half marathon distance. 5.1km was just enough to earn me my morning tea:). Thankfully it was a gorgeous day for a run, through boy was it ever cold!

Baking:

After a lovely tea, I had to stop for some groceries for Bookclub. I had decided to do the s’mores cookies that Teacher Turned Mommy has done a few weeks ago. They were easy to make and to adapt to gluten free, dairy free, but the true test will be whether they get eaten tonight!

Otherwise, I am also providing baked potatoes for our camping theme Bookclub.

Knitting:

With my house tidy and my food prepare, Ive been back working on the purple bag. I’ve even made progress as I have finished front and back and am working on the strap. I decided to do the strap before the pocket etc, in case I don’t have enough yarn. We’ll see. I am hoping to get this done this week so I can take it over to my niece.

BookClub:

It’s always a good time! We spend just as much time, actually probably more catching up on each other’s lives than discussing the book:). There were seven of us tonight and one extra who stole the show:)

The food was a camping theme and was too delicious!

This month we read Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel. We all liked it which always makes the discussion less interesting.

The girls also introduced me to a new app called Libby on which I can get library books on my phone. This is going to be scary!!!!

I was pretty impressed with myself. The girls all left at 7:46 and I was completely cleaned up with the dishwasher on by 8:03pm. I have a friend named Kari who is an incredible housekeeper and I decided to channel her. It’s quite nice to have the place clean enough that it only took moments to get it clean again.

I’m now in bed and thinking of closing my eyes!

Have fun!

AJ

Happy Thanksgiving

There was way too much work involved with my holiday!

Exercise:

I had the Monday Squad Runner mission of 5km to do, but decided to walk it and give my legs a little break. It was so quiet when I set out and nobody seemed out yet. This didn’t last long though:(

I also got out this afternoon for the 45 minute Tuesday-Wednesday mission. I miss summer where I could just run the mission on the day it was for! I did run all of this and had a consistent pace so that was good. Hopefully it helps to counterbalance all the eating!

Knitting:

I sat down first thing this morning to get the ends woven into the afghan so it would be ready for my parents today. I know there are mistakes in it and it is 1.5 inches shorter than I wanted, but I’m still happy with it. The pattern is called Courtly from the Leisure Arts Big Book of Quick Knit Afghans. I really love this book because all of the Afghans are made in one piece so there’s little chance of them coming apart:). I bought the book when I was in junior high and have made many of the Afghans out of it. It has certainly paid for itself many times over!

Household:

On my way home from my run, I stopped in and grabbed the groceries I still needed to make my food for the week. I got Greek salad made for my dinners and yogurt and granola made for my breakfasts. I plan on turkey and cheese sandwiches so I’ll have to make them each morning for lunch.

I got started on cleaning my kitchen after this. I have book club at my house next Sunday and have been stressing about getting the place clean enough by then! My lovely mother came to the rescue and helped. She got my spare room tidied enough for the sewing table to go in there. I will just need to mop floors, clean the bathroom and vacuum during this week, much more manageable. This evening I even managed to get my sheets changed and my new pillows put in my bed:)

Eating:

For getting the kitchen deep cleaned, I decided I deserved ice cream!

I grabbed the vegan pumpkin pie and the vegan everything but the kitchen sink from Rocky Point Ice Cream. It was okay, but I may have to make my own as I didn’t find them very creamy:(

I also had dinner out with my parents at the Coquitlam Grill. They offer a turkey dinner which both of my parents enjoyed. Of course it wasn’t dairy free and gluten free so I had a turkey and cranberry sandwich with a side salad. It was still yummy and nice to get a last minute visit in before my parents leave in the morning!

Reading:

I finished the book a parent at school had lent me, way too long ago. The War That Saved My Life was an excellent book, though definitely written with a sequel in mind. Good for kids who want war books but are too young for anything too scary. I think a boy or girl aged 9-11 would like this book.

I have now begun my Bookclub book for this month which I need to have done by Sunday. Thankfully my mom and friend Michelle have both said it was a quick read. So far, that is proving true thankfully!

Well, I’m off to sleep off all my eating!

Have fun!

AJ

Rain, Rain, Go Away, Come Again Another Day

I like a rainy day when I have nothing to do, but today wasn’t that day.

Exercise:

I had planned to sleep in this morning, but I only made it an extra half hour. It was raining out so I really didn’t want to crawl out of bed for my run, but thankfully I had arranged to meet Brenda, so I had to.

All the way to Burnaby Lake I kept telling myself I just had to do at least five kilometers, I didn’t have to do the whole ten. I decided though that I had to run for a half hour straight as I worry about losing my half hour base.

By the time I got to a half hour, I figured I might as well keep going, but if the path got really wet and soggy I would turn around. It didn’t, so I ended up running the whole lake and I actually had a great run:) I took a thirty second walk break at 30 minutes and a forty-five second break at forty minutes, but that was it. That’s the first time I’ve ever run 10.11km with only two very short breaks and I actually still had the energy to pick it up a bit at the end. Of course, it poured rain the whole time I was out there!!!

I was super happy with myself as I had to run past the parking lot to meet Brenda (she usually meets me before I get to the parking lot), but then she said she had gone further before turning 🤪Ok I’m not super Runner yet 😜

I had a 6:54/km average and I’ve already ran further than I did in all of last year!

House:

After tea, I came home and got laundry in and the bathroom cleaned. The two things I had to accomplish today before I would let myself knit.

Knitting:

I finally finished one pattern of the purple poncho I am working on. I need to get going on this faster!! Hopefully some tomorrow!

Baking:

I had Bookclub tonight so I had to cook or bake something g today. We read The Little Paros Bookshop so it was obviously a French theme. I made cherry clafoutis. I got the recipe from GlutenFree on a Shoestring. It was super easy and tasted great! Even better I already had all of the ingredients:)

Bookclub:

This month we read The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George. As a Bookclub we were evenly divided on the book. I didn’t mind the book and it kept me entertained, but it definitely wouldn’t be the first book I’d recommend to people. I found the pace was a little slow for my liking and I wasn’t all that interested in parts of it.

For me the main focus was on the friendship between the three male characters and how they grew. I could almost live without the whole Manon storyline.

I did find one quote I liked.

His father would have presumably signed up without hesitation for the three things that made you really ‘happy’ according to Cuneo’s worldview.

One: eat well. No junk food, because it only makes you unhappy, lazy and fat.

Two: sleep through the night (thanks to more exercise, less alcohol and positive thoughts).

Three: spend time with people who are friendly and seek to understand you in their own particular way.

Book club was of course, as wonderful as ever! I love being part of a Bookclub because it gets me to read books I perhaps wouldn’t on my own, it gets me to try cooking new cuisines, and it gets me out of the house!

The food and the cute babies help too:)

Well I’m off to bed as my eyes keep wanting to shut!

Have fun!

AJ

Fun, Fun, Fun

Quite the busy day:)

Exercise:

I woke up a half hour before my alarm was going to go off for my run and still managed to just pick Brenda and her sister up on time. I was just planning to do thirty minutes out around the lake and then turning around, but Dennis convinced me to go all the way around. I hadn’t been planning on that so I seriously had to pick up the speed on the second half or Brenda would have been waiting forever. Even with my legs once again feeling like lead, I made it in an hour and seven minutes. Not bad and good enough to get the mission:)

Shopping:

Most of the day was spent shopping with my mom. I only seem to go clothes shopping when she’s here in town. She’s brutally honest, but I appreciate that. It happened to be a sale day at Value Village, but I ended up getting twenty new things!! I’ll be sure to show you what I got when I get it all washed:)

The funniest part was when my mom left me to go look in a part of the store she’s never looked in before. She says she has no idea what drew her there, but she came back with the exact light fixture I was looking for yesterday!! I tell you, my mom is powerful!!!

Book club:

This evening it was off to Bookclub at Malin’s. Their house is so cute and Malin is an amazing cook, so I always look forward to going to her place. We had tons of food as usual, but only five of us were able to make it. One of the girls just had a baby two weeks ago and another girl’s dad came into town. It was still great to get together and catch up. We had a new woman join us, and it will be interesting to see if she comes again. We did have one other book club participant today:)

The food was amazing as always

Sorry the picture was taken after we had eaten. The conversation was also great. We came to the realization that Carnegie’s Maid didn’t seem believable to us as there were just too many coincidences!

By the way, the Irish Coffee cake was good!!! Thankfully I sent the leftovers home for husbands:)

Crafting:

I have just finished my rug square for the week and so am off to bed!

Grateful:

I am grateful for my mom and her honest opinion:)

I am grateful for Dennis who pushes me in my running, but also loops regularly to check on me:)

I’m grateful for the girls in my Bookclub who are amazing women!

Have fun!

AJ

Ticking Along

Just another day of getting things done.

Teaching:

My students mastered printing v and w and hard and soft c today, or at least they were introduced to it:). It would be so amazing to be able to just input things into children’s brains and know they got it!

We had an environmental play come today that the children loved.

We watched a Bill Nye the Science Guy movie about matter this afternoon and then we had centres. Not a bad day😀

I didn’t feel great from 11am on and my co-teacher said I had a fever. I’m not sure what I got, but I’m going with nothing because I’ve been sick enough this school year!!!!

We had a reveal of a new sign that is in our foyer. It’s a saying that my mom sent me a few months ago and I really like it. I think it’s a great quote to have our students see every day!! What is even better is that it’s been translated into Braille and so can be a tribute to a little girl we lost earlier this year, who had made an impact on a lot of people in our school community. We are not allowed to have a memorial at the school for her, so this was our way of remembering her:)

I finished my report cards after school🎉🎊. I like when I’m at this point as now I can start wat bing for specific behaviors or specific children and tweak the reports as I need to:). It’s really perfect timing as my mom arrives tomorrow and I know she’s just dying to read them as they’re so riveting🤣🤣🤣

Exercise:

The mission today was to run for sixty minutes, but I ended up doing this as a walk as I still wasn’t feeling great. I got in just in time as the rain started soon after.

This walk was enough to put me back into first place on my team:). I really don’t know how this is happening though!

Reading:

I’ve made some progress on my Bookclub book- Carnegie’s Maid by Marie Benedict. I am on page 58 of 272. Will I finish by Friday???

So far I am enjoying it:)

Well that’s it for me today.

Have fun!

AJ

Quiet but Productive

I need to keep a list of my titles as I feel like I’ve used this one before😂

Exercise:

I didn’t want to go, but got out of bed and headed out to towns over for my run this morning. This run is always neat as it starts on a shaded forest path but then moves onto the blistering dyke. It wasn’t my best run as I was sore and stiff from yesterday and it was already hot, but I got 6km in and the view helped distract me:)

I’ve been noticing that my Saturday runs feel much easier than my Sunday runs and I think it’s because of the sauna that Lyndsay and I always do after our workout on Friday evening. It really seems to loosen up my muscles!

I managed to get my planks/push-up/squat challenge done again today:)

I also did Lyndsay’s 503 workout this evening. You do five exercises for a minute each with no rest and repeat three times. She had me doing push-ups, jumping jacks, sumo squats, plank punches and dips. I feel like every part of my body has been worked on today!

Food:

We were at a cute cafe after our run.

And they had lots of good looking vegan and gluten free food, including a breakfast bagel and I just wasn’t hungry. I then managed to also not buy the cookies and chips that were on sale when I was grocery shopping. I got my fruit salad made for the week too. It’s pretty similar to last week, but no strawberries. I always just buy what’s on sale so it will remain similar until there are more fruits in the store.

Reading:

I managed to finish two books today. The first was, My Life as a Book by Janet Tashijan.

The story of Derek Fallon’s summer. It started off very boring with him trying to liven it up in inappropriate ways and ended with a real life mystery that brought some thought and understanding to his life.

I liked how the book was realistic and yet funny. It has lots of animals in it so many children will enjoy that aspect. I also liked how the mystery was big enough and serious enough to be a mystery and yet didn’t make it too scary for kids. There is a twist at the end that I never saw coming!

I would recommend this book for 10-12 year old boys.

I’m glad to get this read quickly so the other teacher can get it done too before we get into report card madness.

The second book is an ARC I received from the author, Watch Over Me by Kait Nolan. I have read a lot of books from this author and always enjoy them.

This is the story of Rowan and Nash. Rowan is a cop in Houston who is in the middle of some trouble, so comes home tot are care of her great uncle who has just had a heart attack. Nash takes this opportunity to get to know the woman he became interested in last time she was in town, but perhaps trouble will follow her.

I really liked the characters in this book- they were realistic and interesting. There was enough heat to keep things interesting without making the book embarrassing. I also liked the plot line as it had some interesting twists to it!

I would recommend this book for anyone who enjoys cop romance or small town romances.

I of course have already started my next book as I needed an excuse to sit out on my deck and enjoy the sunshine this afternoon:)

I’ve also been making good progress on listening to the Age of Innocence on LibriVox and am now on chapter 21!

Crafting/Knitting:

I got my rug square done and am officially halfway through the rug!!

It doesn’t really look much different from the last time I showed you, but just to provide proof that I have accomplished another square!

Knitting wise I am working on my tabard and trying to get it done as it will count for a HPKCHC class this month that is something that keeps a person or object warm. I sure hope it does!

Household:

I finally got around to hanging the sign I bought at the garage sale a few weekends ago. I decided to put it on the wall just as you enter my spare room as I actually see that spot from my usual seat on the couch. A few years ago I had noticed I had no words in my house even though I love reading. Decided to try and rectify this!

Sorry I can’t get a great picture of the sign, but it definitely says some neat things. The only problem I foresee is that it’s in my summer decor colour so I don’t know what I’m going to do once I change to cranberry for the winter???

Well, I’m going back to my new book as it’s really good!

Have fun!

AJ

Ta-Da

My day ended on a high note:)

Teaching:

It was a super busy day with having to get notices out for the track and a schedule posted, plus planning and prepping for the week ahead and going to Bookclub, but somehow most things got done:)

We continued learning about characters today with the story Miss Rumphius.

This story is really beautiful and I love the message of everyone having a quest to make the world a more beautiful place:)

We started on 3D shapes today and ended up sitting in a circle passing the shapes around. It started with the cones being ice cream cones but soon everyone was saying where they saw these shapes in the world- even my newest refugee student who barely says a word!!! I love it when the students take care of covering the curriculum with no help from me:)🤣

This afternoon we had gym on the field since it was such a nice day and had a visit from “school cat”. One of our families live right beside the school and their cat visits regularly and will even go in the school so we call him “school cat”. His name is actually Tuxedo. The children love seeing him and it really is soothing to have him around:)

This afternoon we had Bookclub after school and once again, because we all liked the book, Moo by Sharon Creech, we had an interesting discussion about where we would choose to live if we could live anywhere.

It was really neat to hear the student’s ideas and their reasoning. I especially liked one girl’s answer- “the Okanagon (only about four hours away) because we have a cabin there and every time we’re there, I don’t want to leave.” Awww!

Exercise:

I’m working on this huge mission of 27km over three days. I’m not sure I’m going to make it as that’s a lot of running for me, but I am definitely giving it my best effort. I went out tonight and did 10.2km. It was tough as I ate way too close to going out, but I just kept putting one foot in front of the other. I was slower than normal, but incredibly consistent in my speed! It’s amazing how much music affects me. I was just about back to the start and seriously considering walking when Uptown Funk came on; suddenly I felt like dancing and that song gave me the energy to continue running to the end:). It was a beautiful night for a run!

I’m also doing a squat,plank, push-up challenge with a friend from work. Tonight I knew that as soon as I sat down there was no way I was getting back up, so I did my 30 second plank, 20 push-ups (I actually only had to do 17) and 60 squats when I got back from my run. So far it’s okay as all of these are within what I can already do, but we’ll see how I do as it increases!

Knitting/ Crafting:

Still up to date on the rug! Finished the bag!!!! I am so happy to have finished this. I had thought to make three of these bags, but I won’t be. The ribbon yarn has no give so it’s tough on the hands, it’s heavy and you need to use big needles. My hands have been aching because of these reasons. I’m glad to be done! My pattern (adapted from a sheet I was given).

Cast on 40 stitches

Row 1: Knit 5, *knit1, purl 8, Knit 1 – repeat to last five stitches, knit 5

Row 2: Knit 5, *purl 1, Knit 8, purl 1, repeat to last five stitches, knit 5

Row 3: Knit 5, *knit 2, purl 6, Knit 2 – repeat to last five stitches, knit 5

Row 4: Knit 5, *purl 2, Knit 6, purl 2- repeat to last five stitches, knit 5

Row 5: Knit 5, *knit 3, purl 4, Knit 3- repeat to last five stitches, knit 5

Row 6: Knit 5, *purl 3, Knit 4, purl 3- repeat to last 5 stitches, knit 5

Row 7: Knit 5, * knit 4, purl 2, Knit 4 – repeat to last five stitches, knit 5

Row 8: Knit 5, * purl 4, Knit 2, purl 4 – repeat to last five stitches, knit 5

Continue until knitting is twice the length you want your bag. Cast off. Weave in ends and sew up side seams. Attach handle.

For such a simple pattern, I found I had to continuously count and pay attention as no two rows were the same. It was easy to memorize, but also easy to be doing the opposite of what you’re supposed to be doing!

I’m just glad this counted for on of my HPKCHC classes this month!

Movie Review:

I forgot to mention last night that I finally finished the Harry Potter movies. I have to say that I found the moves not nearly as enjoyable as the books. They seemed so dark and depressing, while I didn’t find the books this way at all! I’m glad I’ve seen them, but I’ll stick with the books.

Well I have to go figure out what to wear for picture day tomorrow!

Have fun!

AJ

Until I Ate

I thought I was all better, until I ate…😏

Exercise:

I had to do 6.5km this morning to complete my mission of 21km for the weekend. I got it done, but it wasn’t pretty. A solid ginger ale diet does not fuel a run well:(.

I’ve already told Lyndsay I won’t be doing a workout in the morning and as much as I’d like to go get the Monday mission ran, I think I may need the sleep and rest more.

While I was having tea with my former running buddies who now walk, Lyndsay had texted to see if I wanted to try out the Hatha yoga class at the rec centre. I zoomed home just in time to change and grab my mat. It was much more what I was looking for in a yoga class, though personally I still think there were too many vinyasas.

Reading:

I had to finish up “The Keeper of Lost Things” by Ruth Hogan today for book club.

This book was a quick read and very interesting. It tells two stories at the same time that end up being connected. Laura is a woman who hasn’t found herself in her life yet, but her employer, Anthony, leaves her his house and a big job upon his death. The other story is of Eunice and Bomber who are also employer and employee in the publishing world. The story switches between these two storylines and also features other short story snippets in between.

I liked the story, though at first I was worried it was going to be super sad, but it ends happily so I was satisfied:).

A few of the Bookclub ladies felt like nothing really happened in the story until the end.

I also started a new book, Until There Was Us by Samantha Chase, which I can’t wait to get back to!!

It definitely has me intrigued at the start!

Baking:

The Keeper of Lost Things talks a lot about “the lovely tea” as one character puts it, so I wanted to make something tea appropriate for Bookclub. I decided on scones. I made chocolate chip scones and also a batch of cranberry ones.

I used the recipe from the book, The Allergy Free Cook Bakes Bread.

I actually used the same recipe and just made slight variations for the cranberry ones. The chocolate chip ones turned out great!

1 cup Bob’s Redmill All purpose gf flour

2tbsp sugar

1.25tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp xantham gum

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/8 tsp salt

3 tbsp cold vegan buttery spread

1/3 cup non dairy chocolate chips

5 tbsp vegan buttermilk

You mix the dry ingredients together with a whisk. Then cut in the cold butter with a pastry blender. Stir in the chocolate chips and then bring the dough together with the buttermilk. Pat it out on parchment paper to 1-2″ thick and cut it into whatever shapes you want.

Bookclub:

Bookclub is always a good time! I know there is a stereotype out there about Bookclub being all about wine, but ours is actually all about food and catching up on each other’s lives.

My mistake was that I tried some of the food. I lasted three hours and got caught up on everything, but then had to come home:( I’m glad I went though as two of the women had their kids there and they were so cute!

I can’t wait for the June meeting!

Well I’m going to curl up in bed with my new book.

Have fun!

AJ