I Wonder

I didn’t run this morning and I had a bit of an unsettled day, I wonder if there’s a correlation there? I’ll have to track this!

Reading:

I’ve just been rereading books so nothing good to talk about here.

Knitting:

Still trying to decide on my next sweater. I want raglan, top down with some interest on the sleeves and hem. As I write this I realize I have a pattern in my Anne Budd book for a raglan v neck sweater. Maybe I’ll just adjust it. I will explore this more tomorrow.

Stitching:

Instead of knitting I did some stitching after my lovely nap, but you’ll see more on this tomorrow.

Baking/ Cooking:

I woke up this morning wanting to make scones and when I was having such an off day I ended up making the scones late this afternoon to see if that helped. It didn’t and the almond flour cookbook once again let me down. The raisin scones taste good but they are much more like cakey cookies than scones:(

I had to get started on my fresh prep meals as I’ve had them since Wednesday night. I made the coriander cod with butter beans and broccoli today. It was supposed to take thirty minutes but took me 45 minutes. The recipe wasn’t difficult and I love roasted broccoli! As well, I’m not sure I love coriander.

The veggies were great but I don’t know about the fish!

Other than dusting, doing laundry and switching my house over to its spring/summer colour, I think this is all I did today.

Have fun!

AJ

Grateful Sunday #4

I first have to be grateful for the fact that my weekend seemed calm and a little longer than usual.

Exercise:

I’m grateful for running buddies who wait for me when I’m somehow running late. I have no idea where the time went this morning. I did get to the park in time to do a hilly 3.8km in sleet. That’s why it was only 3.8km! I looked down at the first kilometer and it was super slow so then I had to pick up the speed to make sure that my average would be under 7:00/km. I didn’t want to undermine my average pace which has been steadily dropping this year. Now I just have to get it through my gas that it can’t continue to drop all the time!

I’m grateful for a running buddy who said it felt super fast to him too, though we weren’t really going that fast.

This evening I got a hallmark workout in. I kept my word and went up to ten pound weighted since it’s a new month and added four pound weights to my minute of jogging between each of these moves: burpees, froggers, dips, pushups, crunches, reverse crunches, Superman, raises, pullovers, bicep curls, around the world lunges, squats, plié squats, Bridges, and mountain climbers. It was at least something!

I’m grateful to have some equipment at home so I didn’t have to venture out in the wet.

Cooking:

I did my second Fresh Prep meal of the week called turkey scallopini with broccoli and rice. It was supposed to take 25 minutes and it took me thirty. It tasted really good, though the amount of broccoli seemed skimpy to me. It was easy to make and quite yummy and I got five servings out of it, so I’m happy.

I am wondering if I’m sending more on groceries with getting this as I’m not as organized with my grocery shopping and food prep. I guess I’ll find out soon enough as I’ve skipped this week’s ordering.

I’m grateful to have access to a program that allows me to try new dishes.

I’m also grateful I enjoy time in the kitchen as otherwise that would be a lot of time I didn’t enjoy in life.

Knitting:

I have to admit that most of the day was spent knitting and listening to the Yarniacs podcast. I am about halfway through their episodes now. They mentioned 2 knit lit chicks podcast but I can’t find their first episodes- anyone know where they are?

Sharlene has mentioned she tries to teach something each episode and during episode 100 I learned something great! I always have to look up M1R and M1L and usually end up writing a note on every planner, but they mentioned a trick to remembering.

M1R- I’ll be RIGHT BACK

M1L- I LEFT the FRONT door open

For right you go into the back and for left you go into the front. I hope I never forget this again!

I’m grateful for any tips people pass along. I’ll also be grateful to never have to look this up again!

I had started a Cowl just to use up another skein of yarn, but ended up living it so I will be keeping it. In fact I have started another just like it.

Now I just have to figure out an outfit to go with this tomorrow. I’m like a little kid and have to wear my new stuff right away.

I’m grateful to end up with something I like. I’m grateful to be six skeins under my stash goal with a whole twelve days to go still:)

Most of all I’m grateful for quiet weekends where I get to knit and bake and cook run:)

I’m also grateful for modern conveniences that allowed me to get my dishes and my laundry done while I knitted.

Have fun!

AJ

Stretching My Skills with Sally

I had another AJ day and it was as wonderful as ever. My only problem is definitely a first world problem!

Exercise:

I yet again couldn’t sleep in, so I was up in plenty of time for my run with Dennis. He picked me up and we went to Burnaby Lake Park with the plan to run the end of the Central Valley Greenway which runs from the lake to a very busy road. This bike path does carry on, but only on roads so I vetoed going further.

I had warned Dennis this morning that I wouldn’t be able to run fast as I was concentrating on weight loss right now (read being very careful with my calories) and I had heard on a podcast that if you’re concentrating on weight loss you can’t expect speed.

Well my run started slowly, but then the next four kilometers were all very close to 6:00 kilometers. At the end, I was five seconds off of my fastest five km ever and boy was I kicking myself for that slow start.

This path would be a great place to try for a 5km record as it’s 2.48km out and it is about as flat as it gets around here.

This evening I also did 28 minutes of yoga. When I was at the library I took pictures of a yoga sequence in a magazine and decided to try it out as I know I need to do more stretching. The sequence was okay, but I ended up adding a whole bunch of other moves to it. I really need to sit down and make a list of yoga moves as when I’m doing them, I can’t think of any!

Reading:

I hit the library to return a book today and though I was not supposed to get any more books, I of course came home with four more. I plan to go curl up in bed and read as soon as I get this post up!

Cooking:

I knew I had no choice but to get at least one of my Fresh Prep meals cooked up today. I decided on the Veggie Machine Tahini Bowl. This recipe said it would take 25 minutes, however it took me 40 minutes. You start by roasting sweet potato and chickpeas and cooking rice. You then marinate kale and red cabbage and make a tahini dressing. You layer these ingredients and top with cilantro and avocado.

There was nothing difficult about this recipe and it did have a good kick of spice to it. Fresh Prep did forget to include the rice spice, but they have given me a credit for it, so that was kind of them and I didn’t notice it’s absence. I would definitely get this one again, but also feel that it would be quite easy to alter at home according to personal taste.

Baking (Stretching My Skills with Sally):

Last year I tried a few of Sally’s Baking Challenge items and quite enjoyed the challenge of trying new things. Most of the people in my life asked why I was doing this, thankfully there are people like Abbey! I was talking with Abbey of Three Cats and a Girl and we decided to both try these challenges and then link up to talk about our results, so please check out her attempts too. I was really interested in doing this because I knew she would be doing the recipes as called for while I would need to convert them to gluten free and dairy free. I should say that I change as little as possible and just sub in gf and df ingredients to see if the recipe will still work.

For February, the challenge was Perfect Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting. I have to admit that I had no idea what this frosting was as I hadn’t heard of it. After making it, it reminds me of the frosting on a DQ ice cream cake and that used to be one of my favourite parts of that cake, so I’m glad I made it.

The recipe only takes five ingredients- egg whites, sugar, butter, vanilla and salt. I was doing really well with the egg whites and sugar and I did get stiff peaks, however, once I added the butter and vanilla, my frosting was quite runny. I put it in the fridge like Sally suggests for this problem, but it never recovered.

The recipe didn’t seem super tough, but maybe I shouldn’t say that as I wasn’t particularly successful. One thing I would say about this recipe- I wouldn’t attempt it without a really good stand mixer!!!

These are my poor cupcakes which I will force upon my running buddies tomorrow.

Thanks Abbey for taking on this challenge with me:)

Knitting:

All the rest of my day has been taken up with knitting (oh and a little stitching so I have something to show for the SAL next week).

I seem to be averaging a Hat a day, so today’s hat is he Kitimat – another free pattern on Ravelry. This is actually named after the city North of me by many hours. The pattern page shows it in gray and white which I loved, but I also really liked it in my purple and white worsted weight. The pattern was really simple to follow, though I did find it a bit long. I also learned that I may use my Michael’s gift card for a Pom Pom market!

Finally I also made another small headband which got me to my stash goal. Every skein used now is just gravy!

That is my big problem- I want to make a sweater, but there are so many I want to make that I just can’t decide. It has gone past fun to debilitating. I am wondering how everyone else chooses what they are going to knit next?????

Well my books are calling me… right

Have fun!

AJ

Solid Saturday

It was a pretty good day. I got to do things I enjoy, but I had to do certain things which does take some of the fun away.

Exercise:

Dennis and I ran a new route this morning- the Central Valley Greenway. We intercepted it at Sperling and ran the 5.28km to Boundary and back. This is an urban trail that only has one section of packed gravel and the rest is paved. I don’t think I would run it alone as it runs behind buildings and through industrial parks. Dennis thinks it probably gets pretty busy on summer nights and we probably passed twenty people during the 10km we did, but still seems secluded to me.

My legs were tight the whole time and my left Achilles was bugging me. At four km I was ready to say, let’s go find a skytrain station and go home, but good running buddy that he is, Dennis kept me going. I had done a workout last night instead of a run, but maybe my legs would be better if I reversed those two?

We did the whole 10.04km and I had a personal best with doing it in 1:05:21, that is down from 1:07.

This evening I did a hallmark workout as I am trying to keep my workouts and my runs equal.

I decided to jog between moves and did: squats, crunches, reverse crunches, front, side and back raises, froggers, burpees, bicep curls, around the world lunges, plié squats, pushups, and dips.

I hope one day that these workouts pay off!

Knitting:

After coffee, I came home and started the toque I am making for the secretary’s daughter. It’s an easy knit as it’s done in seed stitch which is one of my favourite stitches. Right now, I’m just worried that the yarn is going to be too dense to slouch, but I suppose we shall see.

Reading:

I have spent a lot of today reading my Bookclub book. I am almost halfway which is probably the best I can hope for as the book is 579 pages long. I am making this post short so I can get back to it.

Cooking:

I made my second Fresh Prep meal today which was Hoisin meatballs with broccoli and coconut rice. This recipe took me 32 minutes from turning the stove on to taking my first bite. It would have been less if I had remembered to take the ground pork out to de thaw and hadn’t had to take the 2.5 minutes to microwave defrost it in the middle. The recipe was easy to follow and simple to do. With both of these recipes I have felt that I could probably memorize the recipe if I made it a couple of more times. I also got four servings out of this recipe too so I should have plenty to get me through until the next two meals show up on Wednesday. I would like to get to the point where I can get six servings out of each meal as then I could freeze a couple and build my stash back up as my freezer is very empty right now.

Eating:

I have eaten really well today! I had a bag of honey stinger chews on my run as I was trying to give myself energy. I had a serving of my shrimp pad Thai for breakfast, and then taco salad for launch and then the meatballs and rice and broccoli for dinner. I wasn’t planning on the last meal, but realized later in the day that I needed to get that meal cooked up.

Well that is my whole day and I need to go read my book.

Have fun!

AJ

Have We Turned a Corner?

I don’t want to jinx it but today was finally a better day at work.

Teaching:

I told my students as we went through the shape of our day that if I didn’t have to raise my voice- they would get an extra long centres time in the afternoon. I had one little boy who just couldn’t control himself (running and sliding across the room), but the rest did a great job!

We got through calendar, music, quiet time, math, silent reading, desk clean out and a read aloud.

It probably helped that there was a TOC in the building for our AbEd worker who came in and actually helped children during math. I always love having an extra set of hands!

Cooking:

I made my first Fresh Prep meal today- Shrimp Pad Thai. When I put the first pot of water on to boil I started my timer and it took 38 minutes to make the meal. It was quite easy and the recipe card was well laid out and clear. I did think there could have been a few more shrimp, but that’s probably me just being a seafood piglet. I also was lucky that all of the sauce ingredients were going into one bowl as I wasn’t able to definitively tell the difference between some of them. Some labeling would have been nice. One thing I really appreciated was that their picture of the meal looked like mine. It didn’t look incredibly styled where the shrimp are equally spaced across the plate and all going the same way. I liked how I knew I had done it right because it looked the same as the picture.

The end result was so yummy! I liked that the hot sauce was given separately, well marked and you could add however much you wanted. The portions were quite generous and I have split the meal, meant to feed two, into four portions for meals over the next couple of days.

I am hoping to make the other meal tomorrow so I will let you know how it goes, but as of now, I would definitely do this again.

Exercise:

I had watched a hallmark movie last night but hadn’t gotten around to the workout so I did it tonight. I decided to do a minute of skipping between exercises, but surprisingly my heart rate didn’t seem to go as high as it does when I jog between exercises. I had thought it would be way higher! Tonight I did:

Squats, around the world lunges, plié squats, crunches, burpees, bicep curls, dips, bicycle crunches, pushups, Bridges, froggers, reverse crunches and front and side raises.

Knitting:

I finished my market bag. I once again used Berrocco Indigo in black for the bag and I really like this yarn for market bags. It holds up well, and yet isn’t tough on the hands. I did the fantasy naturale market bag pattern, a free pattern off ravelry. It is an easy, well written pattern that generates a bag that I think looks like the ones you can buy in the stores. We’ll see if my friend Michelle is happy with it.

I have now started on a toque for my friend Sarah’s daughter. I hope it goes quickly so I can go back to the Date Night sweater.

Well, I have to go try and read about 530 pages of my book as Bookclub is on Sunday.

Have fun!

AJ

A Light at the End of the Tunnel

It’s been quite the week, but we saw progress today:)

Exercise:

I got out again this morning for a run, but just did 2.9km because I had a run planned for tonight. Unfortunately I was too late getting home from work so even though I had extra mileage planned, I ended up short. I should just know to do the whole thing in the morning, just in case!

Teaching:

So it has been a very stressful week due to a lack of communication. We had been told that our school organization may be changing but then nothing further was said. My teaching partner was then told she’d have six major issues in her class, which of course caused her a lot of worry! We have heard nothing for about two days and then finally at the end of the day we were given our proposed class lists. Unfortunately I am still not teaching the same as my colleague ☹️ but we have decided to continue to collaborate anyways. At this time it appears that I e gotten the short end of the stick☹️. 21 students- 13 boys, 8 girls and seven major problems. It’s going to be quite the year! What drives me nuts is that three people who don’t work with any of the children have spent two days creating this organization when it could have been better done and more quickly done if the teachers (the experts on these children) had been asked!!!!😖😖😖😖😖😖😖 I will stop now as I could keep going with all my grievances for several more pages, but I’ll just say that it’s been painful and exhausting this week and it doesn’t appear it’s going to improve!

Blog Hop:

I missed yesterday, but loved meeting new people through the Teacher Turned Mommy blog hop so I’ll do another tonight:)

My favourite school supply. Oh this is a tough one for me as I really do love all things stationary! As a kid I really wanted smelly markers, but knew there wasn’t the money for them, so when I started at the school I’m at now, I bought myself a set. I use them to make all of my chart papers and they make me smile daily:)

I also love sharpies! I like how they come in so many cool colours and how nicely they print!

Sticky notes would probably be the third item I would choose as I love how they come in bright colours, and a zillion different sizes so I can colour code everything:)

I’m sure I could go on and on, but I’ll stop with those three cool supplies. Make sure you check out Teacher Turned Mommy and Ally Bean!

Cooking:

After a very late evening of planning I came home to make dinner (after my mom told me not to run again). I had ordered a meal through Fresh Prep as I have a friend who orders each week. I thought this would be a good week to try it and ordered Steelhead Romanesco. It was definitely something new for me to make.

All the ingredients come in pre-portioned containers. It did seem like a lot of plastic waste:(. It took me exactly 23 minutes to make the dish which was just under the 25 the recipe called for. The recipe was easy to follow and only had seven steps.

The dinner turned out delicious! I was hoping to get four meals out of it, but only got two and some extra rice. At least I will have lunch tomorrow.

I can see myself doing this again as I enjoyed cooking and it was quick enough for a week night since they do the grocery shopping and some of the prep. There wasn’t a whole lot of thought required.

Knitting:

With not running, I got some time to knit and managed the last five rows of the yoke that are just plain knitting. I sure hope I get a chance to separate for sleeves tomorrow!

Well I need sleep as I’m getting up early for a workout.

Have fun!

AJ