Getting Back To It

It’s been another quiet day, but that’s probably a good thing before the chaos starts again on Monday.

Exercise:

I met up with Sarah for a run this morning. We got a little lost, as usual, but it was fun!

This evening I managed to get out for a walk as well. It wasn’t running so I figured I had better get it while it was good:)

I also did squats and a plank for the second day. Need to start building up the muscle again. I swear they all atrophied while I was laying on the couch last week🤣

Family:

Well we finally settled on a place to rent for Christmas next year. It only took two days. It was a tough decision because there was one that was an amazing deal but required the kids to sleep on air mattresses if there was the gorgeous one with enough beds but double the price. We’re going to go with the amazing deal as we can do a lot of events for all that money. It’s tough to do group things as there are just so many different personalities in my family. It will be interesting to see if we survive our first family holiday together.😳

Baking:

I grabbed a few groceries after my run and made a batch of Bisquick biscuits to use up the bisquick I had in the cupboard. They looked good, but were super crumbly. I think it was just the nature of Bisquick, or at least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Movies:

I watched A Shoe Addict’s Christmas with Candace Cameron Bure this afternoon and loved it. It is such a cute movie! It follows the basic outline of A Christmas Carol but its shoes that move her through time. Most of the shoes were gorgeous so of course it gets my vote for being a good movie!

Knitting;

I also finished up the cowl I had started earlier. It used up three skeins of yarn and was a super easy knit while turning out pretty. It used Morena yarn and the free pattern off Ravelry called Cowl for Coba. This is a “no think” pattern that shows off yarn very nicely.

I am happy with how it turned out.

I have also spent some time weaving in ends on my temperature scarf. I feel like I may be old and gray before I get them all finished.

Well I’m going back to watch another Hallmark movie:)

Have fun!

AJ

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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

Happy Christmas Eve

It’s been a lovely day:)

Exercise:

I went out this morning for a run, but it didn’t go all that well as I was super hungry. Running after not eating for 15 hours wasn’t very successful.

I got out again this evening for a much longer run! This one was much more successful and finished off my 9km Squad Runner mission.

Home:

I spent the morning cleaning and tidying my place. I gave myself three hours to get as much cleaning done as possible. I love having a clean house, but so don’t love cleaning!

Baking/Cooking:

I spent this afternoon cooking and baking. I started to make the dressing for tomorrow when I realized the ground pork I had wasn’t gluten free so then I had to go looking for more. I tried two stores before I found ground pork, and I never found any more non dairy eggnog:(. There went being organized and prepared:(

I am still waiting for the pork to thaw so I got the apple crumble done for tomorrow night’s dinner. I also got the maple nut scones prepared for morning. They definitely aren’t the eggnog snickerdoodle doughnuts I wanted to make, but they will hopefully be good.

Knitting:

I have spent the rest of the time knitting my green vest. I’m hoping it’s ready for tomorrow but we’ll see. I really wanted to get a white tree put on it, but that is definitely not happening before 8am tomorrow morning.

Movies:

I have definitely been hitting the Christmas movies hard today. I have watched the original Miracle on 34th Street, Christmas in Connecticut, A Very Merry Mixup, The Christmas Ornament and I am now watching Hitched For the Holidays. This is a new one for me and I am enjoying it. The lead male is gorgeous, but human. Hopefully it ends as cutely as it’s been going along!

Merry Christmas to all!

AJ

Dark and Rainy Must Be My Thing

I seem to do everything in the dark and the rain lately! I can’t wait for that extra minute of daylight to start on Saturday!

Teaching:

I can’t say that we accomplished much today, other than we did get the card made for our parent present. Once again, I was impressed. We gave examples and talked about what was easier and what would be the harder option.

This is one little guy who is always super creative and artistic and he put his own spin on it:)

We also learned about Christmas in Japan. It was our most successful learning yet as it had the simplest video, but the children seemed to pick up more. It was neat to learn that Christmas is completely non-religious there. They decorate with trees, lights and Santa’s. They celebrate in Christmas Eve and actually go to work on Christmas Day! Every family has their own story of how Santa gets into the house and it is often a romantic night for couples, like Valentines Day.

I just had to leap across the classroom to stop the video before they showed the single people partying.

This afternoon was what my students have been waiting for all week! We decorated gingerbread men! It was absolute chaos as there were five classes in the gym doing this at the same time and half of my parent volunteers didn’t show up:(. We all survived and the children still seemed to have a good time:)

Exercise:

I once again came home as quickly as possible to try and get to run in daylight, but it didn’t happen. I ran about 6.7km and had to walk the last few hundred feet as the sidewalk was teeming with people going to the CP Holiday Train. I was supposed to go with friends but it was pouring so we decided not to.

Knitting:

Still working on the green vest. At least it makes progress quickly because of the bulky yarn!

Reading:

I finished Flare Up by Shannon Stacey late last night. It is the latest book in her series Boston Fire.

I loved this book as much as the rest in the series! Grant Cutter and Wren Everett dated and got quite serious before she disappeared into thin air. When Grant rescues her, they have no choice but to deal with their emotions.

I loved how the characters and situations were so real and yet there was no drama for the sake of drama. When Wren is scared, she talks:) When Grant is worried, he talks to friends. Wow these characters actually communicate!!!

I also loved the background cast of all the other characters and how strong a role they played in the book. Friends play a role in our lives daily whether we see them or not so I love that that was reflected in this book.

The pacing of the book is great as the action obviously takes place over a bit of time and yet the reader doesn’t have to read about every go hum day or get whiplash from insta-love. It was actually really interesting to read a book where the characters were dealing with that weird situation of dating someone you’ve already dated.

Finally, the ending was lovely, though I wish it hadn’t come!

Tea:

I have been worried lately that my advent calendar from Twinings was just going to repeat after Day 15, but today I had another new tea. It’s called Pure Rooibus Red Tea. I found that it got strong very quickly, but that it also had a slight green tea flavor to me. It is definitely a Tea I would have again.

Product Review:

Last night when I was supposed to be buying a hamburger patty, I bought a new brand of egggnog instead: Earth’s Own So Fresh Almond Nog. This may just beat So Delicious Coconut Nog as my new favourite eggnog as it has a stronger flavor:) Yum!!!

Movies:

I also watched A Very Very Valentine tonight. I guess I really should be watching Christmas movies, but this was the next one I had taped. It was a cute movie, but I think my favourite part was identifying all the places I know. I’ve had tea at that bakery! I’ve ran that part of the sea wall! Maybe I am just too easily entertained🤣

Blogmas:

When I was a child the only Christmas Eve tradition I remember is that we got to rent a movie and have pizza on this night. This was the only time all year that these two events occurred so it was a big deal!!! Nowadays I don’t really have any Christmas Eve traditions. I admit my mom and I have spent many Christmas eves finishing last minute crafty gifts, but these days I’m usually just sitting quietly at home reading. I hope you all have more exciting Christmas Eve plans than I do!

Well I’m off to bed early because I can😜

Have fun!

AJ

A Second Quiet Day

A second quiet day in December…how did I get so lucky?!

Exercise:

I headed out for my usual Sunday morning run, but it turned into a walk around the river as I couldn’t breathe through my nose and my running partner’s back was bothering him. It was actually really nice to just walk and catch up and amazingly it stayed dry!

I did get out for a run late this afternoon. It was just the half hour that was necessary for my Squad Runner mission for Monday, but it felt good. Again, I got lucky and it didn’t rain!

Reading:

I guess I have read a lot today as I have finished two books! 🤣

The first is Patience for Christmas by Grace Burrowes.

This tells of Patience Friendly who writes an advice column for Douglas MacHugh’s publishing house in order to make ends meet. MacHugh has asked Patience to write extra columns for Christmas in a literary match-up against rival advice columnist Professor Pennypacker.

I loved this book! It starts with a scene featuring the Wyndham ladies before they were married so I have to assume this book was meant to be from before the Wyndham series. The inclusion of these beloved characters only improved the book more.

By chapter two I was laughing. This book contains humor, warmth and intrigue- a perfect mix in fact!

I also liked how the traditional roles were slightly altered and Patience was represented as a woman with fabulous business acumen and MacHugh was a strong enough man to allow that and even to encourage it.

This book is a lovely, quick read for the holidays!

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

My second book of the day was Wrong Bed, Right Roommate by Rebecca Brooks.

This is the story of very organized Jessie Santana and very laissez-faire Shawn Lassiter. She is in need of a roommate for the summer, but doesn’t really want that roommate to be her best friend’s older brother.

This book had excellent pacing. The reader is never bored or just wading through parts. It is realistically timed and yet the reader doesn’t have to read each and every ho hum day.

The characters are very well developed and are multi-dimensional. In fact the characters are so well written that the male lead drove me crazy with his attitude towards everything throughout the book!

The book is very steamy and hot, but also had its sweet moments. I love that it ends on a sweet moment and the reader is left knowing what happened with the couple, though I do hope we get an update when it’s the friend’s turn to find her HEA.

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

Knitting:

I took a break from reading to do a little knitting. I had two skeins of Bernat Softee Chunky in a green and have found a pattern that claims I can make a vest out of that. Here’s hoping!

Movies:

I watched Stop the Wedding tonight and quite enjoyed it. The characters are sweet and the premise was crazy enough to keep me entertained:)

Well I need sleep as I can only imagine how crazy my students are going to be tomorrow morning!

Have fun!

AJ

A Little Bit of Fun

It was a good day with a fun ending.

Teaching:

Today was an okay day. We changed up our Friday journals and I had the children tell me what they have liked best so far this year. Trust me when I say academics weren’t mentioned often🤣

We did some more Christmas graphing and also did a robot directed drawing with our buddies.

It was fine and we managed to not get hurt, though one of my little boys hurt a grade five boy. The principal dealt with it, but I would have appreciated a heads up about the incident.

Socializing:

I met up with some teacher friends after school. We hit a public house and then had dinner at a local Thai restaurant. It was super yummy and very reasonable. I loved how quiet the restaurant was so that we could actually hear each other talk. I will never understand restaurants! People go out to visit and yet the traffic is so loud you can’t hear the people you’re with!😖

Tea:

My Twinings Advent Calendar Tea today was English Breakfast Tea that was wonderful! It’s a classic for a reason:)

Christmas:

I hit Chapters to pick up a few more gifts and then spent the evening wrapping gifts. It was neat to get them all done.

Movies:

I watched Matchmaker Santa while I was wrapping. It was a very cute movie. I enjoyed the premise as it was realistic, well except for a magical Santa🤣

Blogmas

I am a definite mitten girl as I’m always cold! I find I stay much warmer with my fingers all together. Lately I have been wearing my New Hampshire mittens mostly. These are mittens I knitted with yarn that I got when I visited the East Coast two summers ago. I love these mittens as they fit perfectly and are super warm without being super thick.

I suppose I also mostly wear mittens because I have a very difficult time finding gloves that actually fit my hands. My dream would be to find a pair of leather driving gloves that actually fit!

Make sure you check out Abbey, Mischenko, Teacher Turned Mommy, Life of the Rookie Teacher, and Amber’s blogs.

Well I’m off to bed!

Have fun!

AJ

Dragging

All day I felt like I was just dragging. It must be the time of the year as lots of other teachers were complaining of feeling this way too.

Teaching:

We made Christmas cards for seniors this morning and did a little bit more about pictographs for math. This afternoon we tackled a directed drawing of a poinsettia. My students are doing really well in the mornings but the afternoons are tough. Today was especially tough because we had an inside lunch:(

My day didn’t end great as one of my tough boys didn’t want to put on his boots because they were wet, so I left him in the classroom as I took the rest of the class out. I sent my co-teacher in to check on him as he hadn’t come out and he had hit his head:( ugh the first time in sixteen years I’ve left a kid alone and he hits his head☹️😫

Shopping:

I got invited by my co-teacher this morning to go shopping with her after school. I knew I should be heading home to run and clean the house, but I said yes. She got the gifts for her boys that she needed and I picked up some tea and chocolates to go with some friend gifts. It was nice to wander and have some non-work time!

Household:

It’s a good thing Knit night is at my house every other week as it forces me to tidy my place up. It doesn’t get super dirty, just cluttered.

Exercise:

The wind sounded horrible outside and I definitely didn’t want to go out in it! I texted Lyndsay and she had just started an at home workout so she sent it to me and that got me up and moving! I don’t know if I’ve just really been slacking or if these workouts were tough, but my legs were shaking by the end! I first did this sock workout and then I tackled this bosu workout. I definitely feel like I worked!

Knitting:

I have dug out three balls of horrible blue acrylic that has been in my stash forever and I have casted on for the Mosaic Coverlet which is a free pattern on Ravelry. I’m hoping this pattern will use them all up and then I will be able to delete them from my stash number. I didn’t want to make anything that would be against someone’s skin. I had never actually heard yarn squeak until I started with this stuff!

Movies:

I watched Stranded in Paradise tonight. It is about an HR woman who ends up losing her job and going to a conference in Puerto Rico anyways. The conference is a flop and lots of tough stuff happens, but of course she finds the love of her life. It was a cute movie and has a good message about thinking of whether you are actually happy.

Tea:

My tea today was cinnamon and orange spice. I really liked this tea and think it was perfect for Christmas time. It was reminiscent of those orange clove balls you can make and hang at Christmas time!

Well I’m off to bed in the hopes of not dragging tomorrow!

Have fun!

AJ

Quick Turn

After an amazingly wonderful morning, my students became different people in the afternoon:(

Teaching:

This morning we did a free choice journal that my students did awesome at! I was impressed with how much they were writing and how well they were writing. It was great to see them doing so well!

We started graphing after recess and then tackled Christmas in Mexico this afternoon. We learned that Christmas goes from December 12th to January 15th and that Santa brings presents on Christmas Eve, but the three wise men bring presents on January 6th. We learned that there are posadas leading up to Christmas where the front of houses are decorated and people move from house to house. They also break a piñata at the last house of the posada in Christmas Eve. I sure hope I got all the details right. I should write notes like my students do!

Knitting:

After leaving school quickly for a massage, I have spent the evening knitting. I did a new to me TinCan Knits pattern called Northward which is free on Ravelry. I love the fact that TinCan Knits include so many sizes in their patterns!

These are the two hats I have finished lately. I had planned on the teal one for me, but I think I’m going to put it in the Holiday Market pile for next year. It was an easy knit though and only took a couple of hours:)

I used Titan Bulky yarn by Mary Maxim. This was given to me and was quite bulky and I think the hat will be super warm with it:). It also got another skein out of my stash:) Unfortunately, I also broke my 6mm DPN needle. I think I now have a good excuse to hit Michael’s or maybe the LYS:)

Tea:

I was hesitant about my advent tea today as Honeybush, Mandarin and Orange sounded quite exotic to me! It turned out to taste mainly of orange and was quite delicious. It wasn’t a really strong flavor, but was enjoyable:)

Movies:

I have spent the evening watching Hallmark movies as I knitted. I watched Autumn Dreams which was very cute, except I was extremely distracted by the lead male’s unintentionally!

I also watched Walking the Dog which is set around Valentines Day. It was a cute movie with an interesting premise and characters.

Well, I’m off to bed!

Have fun!

AJ

Quality Time

It was a day filled with quality time:)

Knitting:

I started the day by finishing a toque in the three colours I had run into trouble with last night. I’m super happy with how it looks and it can either go to my niece or be ready for the holiday market next year. I’m sorry I don’t have a picture of it:(

Exercise:

I met up with my friend Sarah and Kula for a trail run.

We tried a new trail but ended up bushwhacking, so it was back to our usual trail but going the opposite direction. Thankfully I can rely on Kula’s sense of direction.

I got out later in the day for a fast 2.3km to finish off my Squad Runner mission. It felt great and I managed to avoid the huge puddles!

Cooking:

I grabbed some groceries in my way home and roasted some veggies. I did a whole tray of broccoli, onion, carrots, celery, and green pepper. It cooled down to lots less, but with the smoked tofu, it was enough to make four lunches for the week:)

Family Time:

This evening I have spent time with my nephew Gus and fur-nephew Banks. This is always a great for me! We went bowling and I beat him big time! I guess I’ve found the activity we will do every time🤣

He made up for it though because when we played Monopoly on his gaming system- he beat me badly!

Birthday:

I guess my birthday continues as my brother, sister in law and nephew got me a cute present. It definitely shows they know me!

Movies:

I have watched a lot of movies today and it’s been great. I watched For Better or For Worse and really wasn’t impressed! I watched a bit of A few other ones, but haven’t finished them yet so I won’t talk about them.

Tea:

My Twinings Tea Advent Calendar was Lady Gray tea. I really enjoyed the orange flavor of this and I’m wondering if it was the tea my grandma had regularly. I’ve been thinking about that tea lately and would love to have it more often. I’ll definitely be buying some Lady Gray Tea:)

Blogmas:

Homemade Presents:

Each year I have made presents for my friends and colleagues. They are usually Christmas themed so that their apartments and houses can be filled with Christmas joy. I have made things such as cross-stitch ornaments, tree garlands, fingertip towels for their bathroom, dish towels and dishcloths and the mug cozies from last year. I have always loved spending time making the gifts and giving them! This year I didn’t manage to do that and it definitely feels weird. I plan to start in next year’s gifts when I’m visiting my parents so this doesn’t happen again!

Go check out the other Blogmas posts at Abbey’s, Mischenko, Teacher Turned Mommy, and Amber.

Well I’m going to keep enjoying my Hallmark movies:)

Have fun!

AJ

Couch Potato Status

My day was awesome, but I felt guilty for most of it🤣

Exercise:

My run this morning turned into a walk as no one else was running. This was a lovely walk because it was a gorgeous, sunny, cold morning, but it definitely didn’t balance my brunch out!

At least I finally got a bit of a run in this evening with the dog. I wasn’t sure if it was going to record as being fast enough to count with all the stopping and sniffing he was doing. Then at the end when I needed just two more minutes, he refused to budge. I ended up letting him into the house and doing the street one more time to finish up.

Knitting:

After letting the dog out, I ran home and finished my knitting project.

I am super happy with how it turned out! It’s the Everyone Likes Stripes Cowl, free on Ravelry.

I have a little bit of each of the colours left, plus a bit of a fourth colour, so I think I’ll try to make another scarf out of it.

Movies:

I’ve spent the afternoon with a puppy dog on my lap watching Hallmark movies. All I can say is that it’s a really good thing that I don’t normally have cable!

The first movie I saw was Christmas in Graceland. It had Kellie Pickler in it and you could tell that the movie had been completely designed around allowing her to sing. The best part of this movie was the fact the lead actor was super cute!

The second movie was Christmas Joy. I enjoyed his movie and thought it was well done as I even cringed at the awkward moments🤣. I have to admit it was also very cool to see Hycroft house as the place where the “gala” was held when I was just there a couple of weeks ago.

Third up was the “Angel of Christmas”. The female lead seemed a little awkward, but the male lead is one of my Hallmark favorites:). The story was also quite unique- no widow with a single son in this one!

Ice Sculpture Christmas was back to a widower with a single daughter. It was neat to watch this movie as it takes place at Swan-e-Set golf course which is local to me and where my cousin got married. I always enjoy an opposites attract story and this one definitely was that! I just think they could have done a better job on the ending!

Tea:

Today the Twinings Advent calendar had The Goodnight Blend which contains camomile and spearmint. When I opened the package it smelled very peppermint to me, but I suppose that’s the spearmint. I had my first cup early in the day and t was perhaps a little early as it was nice, but not what I needed at the time. I think it would be perfect just before bed though. It was quite refreshing and fresh.

Eating:

The brunch was awesome as usual. We went to the Coquitlam Grill and I had my usual Sunriser Jumpstart.

I laughed when I was on the way out of the restaurant complaining of being way too stuffed and the owner said that that is the smallest dish on the menu 🤣

I also tried out Skip the Dishes tonight. It’s a popular program where I live where you can order from a local restaurant and someone brings it to you. I ordered from Freshii and it came right to my door. It worked great and I now have a healthy recess and lunch for tomorrow:)

Blogmas:

Ugly Christmas Sweaters is the topic today. I have to admit that I’ve never worn an ugly Christmas sweater, however, I did get close! When I was young my grandma made me an outfit the included pants, shirt and bonnet that was in red, white and green stripes. I actually wore that outfit all day!!! That must count! These days I stick with wearing red and green clothes as much as possible at work during December and wearing my massive collection of Christmas earrings.

Well I have to go console a heartbroken puppy!

Have fun!

AJ