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

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

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

Lovely

I started the week thinking I had a very quiet weekend, but today ended up being full.

Exercise:

I did manage to sleep in this morning and awoke to gorgeous sunshine, which was perfect for the hike I had planned with Sarah. It was slightly delayed as I got the chance to talk with my mom on the phone which immeasurably lifted my spirits:)

Sarah had said she had a new route for us to try today. I think it was a stream bed as we spent the entire hour walk in water!

This one at least had a plank walk over it!It actually became funny after a while! The hour spent in nature with a friend and cute pups was an awesome start to my day, though I am having a difficult time counting this as exercise.

Knitting:

I pulled out my little tree, but I really don’t want to have to pull out all my boxes of ornaments. They fit really tight under my bed, so it makes it tough to get them out!

I left this project and went to Brenda’s to knit. I am over 2/3 of the way through my current cowl, Everyone Likes Stripes Cowl on Ravelry. I am disappointed that it didn’t use up the entire ball of one colour:) I guess I’ll have to do a headband out of it too.

Movie:

While we were knitting we watched Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I remember wanting to see this movie when I saw the trailer, but hadn’t. Well today I did and I loved it. The animals were adorable, the characters were interesting, and I loved how it was set in the 1940s . I think JK Rowling has such an amazing imagination! I can’t wait to see the next one in the series and I’m definitely going to need to find these books to read!

Blogmas/ Christmas Event:)

I am linking up with Abbey, Mischenko, and Amber for Blogmas this year. So please go check out their interesting insights as well:)

Today’s topic is Christmas Lights which is one I am very torn about. I really love houses that have all warm, white lights. They glow in the snow and are just so inviting and classy, however, the other side of me also loves those old multicolored lights! My grandma had them along the roof edge of her house and it is always so cheerful. I find I take a lot of pictures of both of these types of lights.

Christmas lights used to signal a fun night for me too! When I was in my late teens and early twenties there was a group of five girls who hung out together. To celebrate my birthday at the start of December, we would pick up Starbucks drinks and then drive around looking at Christmas lights. I remember these nights as a lot of fun, filled with oohs and ahhhs and a whole lot of giggling!

This evening I got to see Christmas lights in another way as I headed out with my friend Lyndsay and her son and nephew for a local Christmas event called Cheer at the Pier. IT WAS LIKE I WAS IN A HALLMARK MOVIE! You had the young cute mayor, train ride, hot chocolate and cookies for the kids, we counted down and then they turned the lights on along the pier. It was pretty cool. Not a huge event, but still nice to go see what it was all about. Lyndsay and I checked out the food trucks and Lyndsay had bulgagi steak fries which smelled amazing and I had arancino which is supposedly a Sicilian rice ball. I had it mixed with salmon, one with beef and one with vegetable medley. They tasted great but I don’t eat a lot of fried food so my tummy isn’t particularly happy with me. The first Christmas even was a success:)

Tea:

Today I also got to start my Twinings Christmas Tea Advent Calendar. I have to admit I am biased as Twinings is one of my favourite tea companies. Today’s tea was English Breakfast and it was great. The tea bag was fresh and didn’t smell at all musty (I sometimes wonder how old tea bags are), and it brewed up two great cups of tea. This is the tea I always think of when I think of a “good cuppa”. The first cup was lightly brewed and yet still had a robust flavor and was greatly enjoyed. The second cup was stronger and I added soy milk and honey to it. I love that this tea is strong enough to handle having add-ins and yet you still get a tea flavor. This first day was great!

Well, I’m going to go enjoy my bed and tv along with knitting.

Have fun!

AJ

Something New

I got a lot accomplished today, but it was way too busy!

Exercise:

First thing this morning I was out the door for my regular Sunday morning run. We were out by the river which is a beautiful place to run

But today we saw none of this because it was so foggy I couldn’t even see my running buddy in front of me! When we started running I knew I wasn’t doing the 15km full mission as it was absolutely freezing and I had somewhere to be at 10am! My running buddy said 15 out and 15 back as he was feeling lazy and this was fine with me. Well we ended up doing 7km which just goes to prove you can always do more than you think you can!

This evening I got to try a new form of exercise. Lyndsay invited me to a Deep Stretching class at Oxygen yoga. I had never been before, but I would definitely go back! It reminded me of my old Hatha yoga class and was an excellent stretch. That’s what I need from yoga- not a workout, but a stretch. The icing on the cake was being warm for a change:)

Baking:

My friend Kathryn was supposed to spend next Sunday with me but she texted yesterday to say it had to be this weekend or not until December holidays. I moved a few things around and managed to spend 10-2 with her:) It actually worked out great because I needed a place to bake normal brownies as I didn’t want to contaminate my kitchen. Kathryn and I have been baking together for years and it was what I needed today! Just some relaxed fun in the kitchen. We made my brownies and. “Better than Salt Dough ornaments for her class. It was great!!!

This evening I decided that one little brownie piece wasn’t enough for each staff member so I quickly made some peanut butter cookies too.

Cleaning:

When I got home from Kathryn’s I had to hang around for my food delivery so I decided that I needed to tackle my house. I got rooms tidied, laundry done, new clothes entered into my app, my Christmas cacti checked and repotted, and my dishes done. My house is almost liveable again.

My food was delivered from 2 Guys With Knives and it looks good. I got four dinners out of the Pumpkin Chili and three lunches out of the sausage, kale and bean soup. I like that my collection of Tupperware containers is also growing with this meal delivery service so on the weeks I don’t order, I have containers for the food I make. With getting seven meals out of it, it works out to a decent price per meal for me. I’m not sure it would be economically feasible if I was bigger and couldn’t split them so many ways.

Well I’ve started a new book because I still can’t decide about my chunky yarn knitting. Can anyone suggest a project they like making with chunky wool- maybe it will get me excited!

Have fun!

AJ

Family Dinner

Sorry for no post tomorrow. I was so tired I went straight to bed at 8:51pm!

Exercise:

I met up with my running buddies yesterday morning at a local Park.

The walkers only wanted to do 40 minutes so I did one loop with them and then after tea, I came home and did another 24 minutes to finish my mission. It was a beautiful morning for a run, but extremely cold!

Shopping:

After a quick shower I picked up my mom and we went shopping.

We started with a local nursery that has lots of other things too, including cute clothing and Christmas decorations and gifts. Shucks just now I realize I should have found some gifts for friends. I usually make all my gifts, but I just don’t know what to make this year:(

I did find a down jacket here in black. I have the same jacket in purple but sometimes I’d like to look a little more adultish!

We then carried on and I went a little crazy getting some new Fall/Winter clothes. It will be nice to have new things though I will have to decide what I’m getting rid of as I don’t want my wardrobe to get too big! I have recently found I like having a smaller wardrobe but as I wear my clothes more often I need to replace them more often as I get tired of them!

Family Dinner:

Last night we had family dinner st my brother’s place. We weren’t all there but my parents, one brother and his family and myself. My brother did an amazing job doing a beef tenderloin on the rotisserie on his BBQ! It was so good!! The mashed potatoes looked good but weren’t allergy friendly, neither was the green salad though I tried to eat around the cheese and paid for it:(

I had brought apple crumble with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce. I also brought fruit with a dip. The dip was a definite hit and was so easy! It was from Iowa Girl Eats and was just lemon curd mixed with coco whip! My sister in law and I both said we could just have eaten it with a spoon! I do wonder how it would’ve if a little non dairy cream cheese was added to give it some tang as it was super sweet!

I learned my mom is doing clean November challenge too with one goal. I’m super proud of her as it’s tough to do that kind of thing!

It was nice to visit with everyone, though my dad was annoying. Thinking ahead to Christmas I know I would love to see my mom, but I’ll have to figure out if I can take my dad for a visit. Something to consider.

Well I’m off to Remembrance Day!

Have fun!

AJ

A Quick Note

This has to be quick as I need as much sleep as possible to deal with tomorrow!

Teaching:

My students are getting crazier by the hour because of Halloween. Today we did a new poem – Skeleton Parade, in many spooky voices and we wrote about our favourite candy.

We looked at the Scholastic Book Fair and had computers. This afternoon we played Halloween games in gym and did some more of our pumpkin investigation. Tomorrow is the big day for counting seeds and carving faces.

Movies:

On my breaks, I finished up watching Love at First Dance. I really liked this movie. I liked how at the start the female lead stands up for herself and makes the arrogant hero follow the same rules as everyone else! I wish I was better at this. I liked how the characters help each other grow. I also liked how they got to know each other in a non-romantic way for 90% of the movie. The ending was also super cute! I watched it three times!

Baking:

After work I made pumpkin muffins to use up my leftover pumpkin, once I separated all the seeds out of the school pumpkin guts. I must have been on s pumpkin roll! I used this Recipe and the one I tried hot was really good plain, with vegan butter and with vegan cream cheese. The rest have all been frozen!

Knitting:

Tonight was knit night and I managed to get partially casted off for the shawl/scarf. Hopefully I’ll be done tomorrow and able to share it.

Blogging:

I’m looking into blogging plans, but for $60 I only get 6g of storage- doesn’t that mean I’m going to be having the same problem in a year?☹️

Well I’m off to get some sleep so I am patient tomorrow.

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

Unofficial PR

It was quite the day!

Exercise:

Seven years ago I was knocked over by an SUV while I was out walking and I haven’t done any long runs since. Physically I wasn’t sure how my knees would do and mentally I wasn’t prepared to be disappointed by not being able to run or by being as slow as I used to be. I have, from time to time wondered if I could do it. A few weeks ago, after a 12km run, I started to wonder if I could do more. I often run Burnaby Lake when I need to do a 10km run and thought it would be interesting to see if I could do two laps.

I saw this the other day and loved it as I’ve often thought that! I just keep upping what I expect my body to do.

Well this morning I woke up, got dressed in my favourite running outfit, picked up my friend Brenda (who was willing to walk for 2.5 hours or more) and headed to the lake. Every half marathon I did I got the time of 2 hours,44 minutes. It was not the time I wanted and I dreamed of being able to do a half marathon in the 2:30s.

I set up my phone for intervals of six minutes and one minute. I usually make myself run the first half hour straight but with trying to go longer, I decided I should start the intervals right from the beginning. As I started off, I think I was running fast as I was afraid I would still be doing a 2:44:54. I did the first loop in one hour, nine minutes. I considered stopping, but my Squad Runner team knew what I was planning and had triple boosted me and I decided that a triple boost couldn’t be wasted on ten kilometers, so I turned around and started back the other way. It was a beautiful morning which really helped! I passed Brenda while I still had 8km to go, which was way sooner than I was expecting:(

I just kept thinking that I just had to run for six minutes each time. I also got to look forward to seeing the cute guy in the green toque who had a great smile:). I noticed on the second loop that I was getting more tired by the end of my six minute intervals, but wasn’t too bad. I hit 18km and thought, huh maybe I should try to do 21.1 instead of just the 20 around the lake, so I did! I skipped my last walking interval so that I could finish in 2:27:58. I surpassed my goal🎊🎉.

I know I can do even better since I skipped that last walk interval. I looked it up and the average for women my age is 2:09 which is not going to happen, but I wouldn’t mind seeing 2:20:)

Shopping:

I dropped Brenda back off and then headed home. I parked on the road as I knew I’d be going out again, but then headed straight over to vote in our local election and pick up the groceries for dinner. While I was out, I decided to celebrate my run with a new running shirt from my local running store. There is a Smartwool top I really wanted, but $135 was just too much.

When I got back from shopping, I suddenly wondered that I hadn’t brought my headphones in. I went down to get them from the car and found them on the ground beside my car😳. Thank goodness I went down before they got run over or taken!!!!

Socializing/ Eating/ Knit Night:

After enjoying a lovely nap, I picked up turkey from a friend and headed to Brenda’s for dinner. We had amazing shrimp tacos with avocado and pico de Galla. It was so good, though I ate way too much!

We then enjoyed a lovely knit night. I am still working on the super boring bag, but am at least almost finished the second side! I’ll be happy when I’m done so I can start my scarf!

Well, I’m off to sleep as I have a run in the morning and Bookclub tomorrow.

Have fun!

AJ