If It Rains, It Pours (good things)

I don’t know if anyone else’s life goes like this, but some weekends I have absolutely nothing planned and other weekends, it is insanely busy! Why can’t it even out so I’d have a couple things each weekend?

Exercise:

I had a short run through Bert Flynn Park with Sarah and Kula this morning. It was lovely and cool in there, but we also noticed the humidity. It was a slow run, but it’s a couple more kilometers towards my yearly goal:)

This afternoon I did an L workout that I missed yesterday. I liked it because it was a band one and I love the short circular bands! I did 3 sets of:

hammer curls with band and weights

Banded chest press and scissor abs

Banded plank walks

Banded iso squat walk

Bench flies

Sit ups

Jump squats

Uppercuts

Lunge jumps

Amazingly I felt strong:)

This evening I managed to fit in 50 plié squats, 100 hamstring curls, and 100 standing crunches.

Socializing:

First thing after my run I met up with my friend Anna and her two boys at a local park. It’s amazing how much the boys have grown and it was great fun to play on the playground and then go on a berry and duckling and gosling search:)

Shopping:

From the park I ran down to meet my co teacher at a local teaching store so we could get the supplies we need for September start up. We’ve learned to buy them now as the store is quiet and has lots of stock; definitely not the case in September!

Liane and I had a quick lunch together, but I quickly had to fly.

Family:

From lunch, I raced over to get my nephew and take him to his lacrosse game. I take any opportunity to spend time with this cool dude. I stayed and watched his game and was really impressed with how much he has improved! He’s also grown on me- 5’7 now!!! I also got to see my sister in law’s brother and his kids as they came out to watch too. It is so neat to see their personalities! The youngest is all muscle and determination, the middle girl is the brains and the ideas, and the oldest boy is so sweet! It made for a lovely afternoon!

I had ice cream with my nephew and sister in law and then headed home.

Knitting:

I have been knitting all afternoon (well after my nap). I’m working on a samosa bordered cardigan for myself. The yarn is recycled from a sweater my grandma had made for my aunt and the pattern comes from one of her original Patons books- Raglans for 2 to 12 in Canadians by Beehive. I’m hoping it will become my go to cardigan!

Movie:

I treated myself to a Hallmark movie tonight. Summer Villa was a very cute movie about a blocked romance writer who goes to France for the summer with her daughter. Of course she ends up in a villa with the hot chef that she had a bad blind date with. The movie has tons of cooking in it so of course I loved it:). I liked that it lacked drama!

Eating:

Not the best food choices today, but at least it’s a better amount of food!

Breakfast: fruit salad parfait with yogurt

Lunch: vegan fruit orchard cookie and tea- the only thing at the cafe I could eat

This was bucaneer tea which I would highly recommend if you ever get the chance to try it- so good!

Snack: vegan salted caramel and chocolate peanut butter ice cream

Dinner: salad with chicken

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Even Better

I was undecided what to do today, but it turned out great!

Exercise:

I got up for a loop of Burnaby Lake this morning with Sarah. We ended up running the whole 10.26km with one two minute walk at halfway. It was a gorgeous, but very windy morning, which I admit made me slightly nervous because Burnaby Lake is very treed. We got around without incident and were quite proud of ourselves. I have to admit I hurt more this week than I did last week and I am wondering if it’s because I changed my gait to keep pace with Sarah? I’d still rather have company than run solo!

Socializing/ Eating:

I wonder why these two things so often go together for me. I got invited to the Port Moody Food Truck Fest by Lyndsay and Brady today. As we walked onto the field we ran into our friend Cori and her family. We hung out together and ate, and I have to say it was way better than driving around to yarn stores alone:) company makes all the difference!

This was my first time at the festival, even though it is held a couple of blocks from my house. I checked out all the trucks and had about five choices, but settled on chips and salsa as I wasn’t hugely hungry.

The weather was odd- sunny, cloudy, hail- we had it all, but it was still a lot of fun. The kids got their faces painted, coloured sunglasses, we did a photo, and I bought a necklace!

Shopping:

I have been looking for a necklace that sits right at my collar bone but isn’t a choker and I found one today in the middle of the food truck fest🤣 It’s by Stella and Dot and is a little gold star. I’m super happy with it!

Knitting:

I did decide to go check out the yarn store closest to me as I was hoping for some inspiration for my next knitting project. I was surprised that the store had nothing special out and was only doing 10% off yarns. That isn’t even the tax! I thought there’d be better sales with it being Woolith Fair!

It was great as two ladies came into the store while I was there who had done 14 of the stores. They told me that Valley Yarn didn’t have their big sale table out this year. I’m kind of glad to hear that as I was unhappy thinking I was missing good sales there! They said Wet Coast Wools had the best deals so far, but I don’t really want to drive all that way! Oh well, I guess I will be behaving myself until Knit City in September.

Reading:

I spent the afternoon reading and finished my newest NetGalley book in one day. I just didn’t want to put it down:) Just One of the Groomsmen by Cindi Madsen was a great, light, sunny day read.

Loved it! It’s a story of best friends to lovers with a twist. It’s fun, but emotional and satisfying.

It’s the story of Addie and Tucker. They have been part of the same friend group since childhood, but when Tucker moves back to town they begin to see each other differently.

I really enjoyed the characters as they weren’t the typical. Addie is truly a tomboy and just one of the guys. The whole town, including herself, believes this and it comes with worries when she’s starting a relationship. Tucker’s life hasn’t gone according to plan and for a change it’s the hero who is concerned about finances and stability. The friend group was also great! The characters are so well described you can see them in your mind (and I’m really hoping Ford gets a story).

Anyone who likes a friends to lovers storyline or just wants a book you’ll laugh out loud during will enjoy this book.

Thank you to the author, publisher and NetGalley for the free ARC in exchange for an honest opinion.

Shopping:

This evening I ran out to Costco to get gas as I was running low. The price of gas is absolutely insane here right now so I’ll be trying to limit the trips I take!

Well I’m off to bed with my sneezing and coughing self. My cold seems to have come back with a vengeance today!

Have fun!

AJ

It Started With Fun

My day started off fun, and continued to be quite nice, though normal. Everything is always nicer with company.

Exercise:

I started the day with a forest walk with running buddies who were just in town for the day. I seem to have earned the nickname “Petri dish”.🙄🤣

I have refrained from any other exercise, but it is getting more difficult every day! I hope I get some lung capacity soon!

Socializing:

We had an awesome brunch at our regular place. It was great to catch up with everyone!

I read all the options, but got my regular still!

Errands:

I grabbed my mom again for company and got going on the list. I looked at the second hand store for a canning pot, but there wasn’t any. I finally ended up getting a starter canning kit at Canadian Tire. My mom says I started canning at about age 2 and often made jam when I was around 9, but my mom had downsized the canning equipment, so I had to rebuy. I’m excited to get started ASAP! I think it makes sense for me to can as then I’ll know exactly what’s in my food!

We stopped at the mall and my mom returned her printer ink, I grabbed some tech items at Walmart and then it was time for tea!

First we had to have carbonated water.

Yesterday I bought the SodaStream, but last night I kept getting flat water. I’m not the best at this type of thing so it was no surprise that my mom immediately got lovely bubbly water. Of course tonight, I’m back to flat water:(

I got all my food made for this week while my mom shortened some running tights for me. It was nice just to have company around.

Food:

I made the Thai Style Chili Mango salad from Costco and mixed it with ground turkey again. It was so good last week, I wanted it again this week.

I also roasted a ton of veggies with chicken for my lunches.

I have coconut yogurt, strawberries and oatmeal for breakfast. I really wanted granola, but didn’t get around to it until this evening. Unfortunately, my regular granola recipe didn’t turn out:(

Knitting:

I’ve been knitting on the April Tank again and have 27 rows of stockinette left!

Movie:

Of course, I was watching Hallmark as I was knitting and enjoyed the movie, All Things Valentine.

Have fun!

AJ

Bookends

It was a quiet day with bookend outings.

Exercise:

I was laying in bed when I heard from Sarah my running buddy. She won this week (not surprising after the staff meeting fiasco) and chose to run the inlet. It was rainy and windy so it’s a good thing I had company or I probably wouldn’t have been out there! We did 35 hilly minutes and called it done.

I went out again midday to finish off my Squad Runner mission. Somehow I seem to always have good runs when I only have to run to the park and back. I wonder if it’s the lack of worry about “making it”.

I also got 100 squats, 100 crunches and 100 arm exercises done. I cut the squats back to 100 and added 50 pushups and 50 dips to the routine. During Friday’s workout with Lyndsay I realized I have little upper body strength so decided it would be good to add upper body to my usual quick routine.

Reading:

I am still reading Definitely Not Mr. Darcy. In some ways the book has me hooked, but in other ways I just find it too unrealistic.

Knitting:

I got another 15 rows done on the April Tank, but I really need to devote a few hours and make some real progress! I love the looks of fingering weight knitting g, but it sure seems to be taking forever!

Baking:

I made another recipe from The Best of Clean Eating 2 Cookbook today- lemon meringue cupcakes.

The muffin batter was very runny and even though they browned nicely the tops still collapsed. The muffin is lightly flavored lemon, and is very quick and easy to make. The meringue makes way too much! Overall, the recipe was good but I think it could be improved by putting a spoonful of lemon curd in the muffin for a stronger lemon flavour.

Socializing:

I had a great time at a dinner with friends tonight. Anna and Simon hosted Caroline, Emily and I for dinner. We have been friends for over twenty years and still have a great time. We used to be a group of five, but one girl has decided to quit talking to Emily and I. I am doing my best to not let it bother me, but it still does. Even with this, tonight was a great time rehashing old memories and catching up:)

Well my run will be here before I know it.

Have fun!

AJ

Not Quiet As Planned

I had thought to have a quiet day at home, but it definitely didn’t end up being that!

Exercise:

For the first time this entire holiday, I slept in! Of course, this meant I had to hit the ground running to get my 6km in before all the obligations of the day started. My run was slightly better than yesterday and I came in just under a 7min/km average. I definitely need to be doing some longer runs though so my body doesn’t get used to just doing 3-4km!!!

I also got my 200 squats and 100 crunches done this afternoon:)

Socializing:

I spent the day socializing! I headed out to Costco for gas this morning, but once again the lineup was too long so I went straight to meet my colleague for coffee (and to give her the kids Bookclub book). It was a lovely catch-up as she’s been off recovering from surgery for 7 weeks. We tried our best not to talk about work!

Knitting:

From there I grabbed gas and then hit the knitting store. The owner was back from the Edinburgh Fibre Festival and was super helpful. I had been trying to avoid a solid colour for the tank because the front and back are quite plain, but she pointed out that the lace on the bottom and back would show up much better in a solid. I went with Cascade Heritage in the colour Anis. I tried to break out of my comfort zone with lavender, but just couldn’t do it. I have spent the evening restarting with the blue and it’s going well, except I just got to a mistake, so have to wait for an answer back before moving on.

Socializing:

From the yarn store I headed up to visit my friend Anna and her two little boys. I am so happy to have Anna back in town as she is definitely the friend I see the most! I try to get their regularly so she gets some adult interaction! Her boys are so adorable- 2.5 and 1.2 and so smart! Sammy, the younger was obsessed with the skid steer that was fixing the field by the playground. I don’t think he said anything but the word “digger” for over an hour.

He is also quite good about helping to clean up🤣 Of course he made the mess in the first place with his big brother!

After coming home, I met up with my friend Corianne at the library because she had a copy of the kids Bookclub book. I had to return my colleague’s copy even though I hadn’t finished it, though I have managed to finish it this evening.

The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser was a lovely read. It’s about a family that is being evicted at the end of the year, which is in just a few days. The five children come up with ways to try and convince their landlord to let them stay. While most of these are failures, they learn a lot about friendship and human nature along the way. I loved the camaraderie in this book. It paints the picture of a lovely neighborhood with amazing social relationships. I think that boys and girls of age 9-11 would enjoy this book. It could also be a fun read aloud for a class.

Well that’s it for me. Being a social butterfly has worn me out so I’m off to bed!

Have fun!

AJ

Bike Ride✅ New Restaurant✅ Bookstore✅

It was an absolutely awesome day!

Exercise:

I got out this morning for my run but was so focused on making the 4km I needed to do for my yearly goal that I forgot the Squad Runner mission was 45 minutes. I did do another forty five minutes later on, but grrrrr!

I also got out for a bike ride along the Pitt River Greenway with my co-teacher Liane. We must really be friends to spend time on our holidays together!

It was an absolutely beautiful day for a ride, though I have to admit I really need to look into a new bike seat!!

After biking we headed to a cute little bookstore and gift shop called Tomes and Tales. I hadn’t been back since I went with Liane last summer, and it was just as lovely. I managed to restrain myself and only bought a cookbook🤣

Everything in this book looks good! I want to make it all!!!!

Eating:

After this it was off to find lunch. We went to a restaurant I’ve been wanting to go to for a while called The Big Feast. It was so good and so many options for me that I just couldn’t make up my mind! I ended up having the lamb sausage hash. I was supposed to only eat half of it and bring the other half home, but I ate it all😳

Knitting:

Since coming home I have spent the evening knitting. My sweater has finished blocking.

I am super happy with it and it is a completely recycled sweater. The yarn used to be my grandma’s penguin sweater and the pattern was from my grandma as well. It is a red heart label pattern and I did the kids size 6 and it fits great! I like the length as it will be good with skinny jeans in the winter.

I have started my newest project which is a test knit for Carolyn Day for the April Tank Top. I had bought Cascade Heritage Prints yarn to do it in, but am not super happy with it. I really wanted a cream or white background with flecks of pink, purple or turquoise. If anyone can suggest a yarn, I’d love to hear it!!

Well I’m going to go curl into bed and read.

Have fun!

AJ

An Adventure

Well I had a lovely day and I still have two more days of weekend!!!😀

Exercise:

I headed out this morning for a trail run with my friend Sarah and Kula. We thought we had picked a good place that would have been protected from snow by the thick forest, however, the run was one big icy, slushy mess. We tried to extend it along the sidewalk a bit, but that was also icy and slushy:(. I think my calves are going to hurt tomorrow!!!!

I also got an hour walk along our local sea wall. It was super busy out there today probably as it was sunny and no snowing and 8 degrees!

I will also try to get my squats and crunches done today too!

Socializing:

I got picked up at 11am this morning and headed out for fun with two colleagues. It was an awesome day of doing whatever took our fancy! We were going to stop for lunch, but the restaurant didn’t open for another twenty minutes so we headed to Platform 7 for coffee. I had a almond milk chai latte and we all shared a vegan, gluten free double chocolate cookie. It was lovely!

We walked down the block to a cafe I’ve been wanting to try called Chomp. It is vegan comfort food. It was cool as they bring popcorn to the table to start and then I had Mac n cheese as that is something I don’t get very often. My friends had burgers with Beyond Meat patties. The burger and fries were very yummy too!

We carried on to downtown and had a lovely walk on the seawall and then sat and had a cider at a local brewpub. We couldn’t believe how many people spend Saturday afternoon in a brewpub!

All in all it was an awesome day with two good friends!

My day in one picture.

Reading:

Last night I finished Anything You Can Do by RS Grey. This book reminded me of the RL Mathewson series Neighbors From Hell. This is a good enemies to love book, though I have to admit I found RL Mathewson’s version funnier.

Today I have been making progress on The Other Alcott by Elise Hooper. So far so good!

Knitting:

I am trying to get this vest finished so I can move onto anything with an easier yarn!

Have fun!

AJ

Saturday

It was a great day, but I was absolutely exhausted and went right to sleep last night. Probably due to the fact that on the one day I could sleep in, I was wide awake at 6am☹️

Exercise:

I had already been to Costco and to my parents place to check their mail (my mom texted me to do this as I was on my way there- so crazy how similar we are!) when I met up with Sarah for a run. She was a great sport and indulged my wish to run up to a local waterfall. Thankfully it wasn’t quite as muddy as I was expecting!

5.6km done on a trail is a great way to start the weekend! I also managed to get 200 squats with a band done and 100 crunches- bicycles and normal, done.

Reading:

I spent quite a bit of time reading my newest NetGalley book- Lori Foster’s Slow Ride. So far, it’s a great read!

House:

In between chapters I made myself do two jobs around the house! I got vacuuming, dusting, sweeping, bathroom cleaned. It’s livable again🤣

Knitting:

I am back trying to finish up my sweater so I can start on projects for February’s classes in HPKCHC. I am on my second sleeve, but I think I’ll be playing yarn chicken to get it and the placket and hood done:(

Socializing/ Eating:

I got the chance to do a second Dine Out experience this year with my best running buddies. We went to Baci which is just a town over. It’s odd as everyone you talk to has seen this restaurant, but no one had been there. It was a great night. The ambience is great for a fancy dinner and the food was superb! I had a tomato and onion salad to start and then the seafood fettuccini, made to be gluten free and dairy free. I ended the night with a cup of tea as they didn’t have a dessert I could have. This was probably a good thing as I was stuffed!

Well I’m off to finish off my day:)

Have fun!

AJ

A Great Ending

It was a regular day with a nice ending, the best kind of day to have:)

Reading:

I do have to start by saying that I finished The Hating Game by Sally Thorne last night. I really enjoyed this book. It’s chick lit or a beach read, but cleverly done. The characters are complex and interesting and the plot is not the typical romance book. It is definitely worth the read!

I am so glad to finally be out of my reading slump!

Teaching:

We write up our top ten of the week again this morning. I had one little guy who tried to make his the top one of the week🤣. There was a quick new rule requiring at least three events!

We cleaned our desks, played a compound word game, read and talked about Groundhog Day and read with our buddies. We eased into the weekend with centers time. All in all, I don’t think anyone was upset over our day:)

Exercise:

The Squad Runner app was being its regular glitchy self and I thought about using that as an excuse to not run, but reminded myself that I have a personal goal of 1200km this year! It also helped that I said I was trying to avoid 2km runs this month as I forced myself to keep going to 3.09km today. It was not a great run, but I can’t have speed every day!

Socializing:

I hung out with my friend Michelle tonight. As teachers, we’re pretty bagged on Friday nights so we caught up (you should read about her recent adventures in Europe) and then watched the Hallmark movie, Royal New Year’s Eve. It was a cute movie and I actually really enjoyed the personality of the main female. It didn’t hurt that the leading male is quite nice looking too. Michelle and I agreed that we liked how the princess to be wasn’t a shrew:)

Well that’s my exciting Friday night and I am off to bed!

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