Quiet

I know that the next two days will probably be busy, so I was quite happy to enjoy a quiet day.

Knitting:

I spent the majority of the day knitting on my Bentley cardigan. I am back up to row 50 and so have 16 rows left before I separate for the sleeves again. Let’s hope for better sizing this time!

I also started a crochet blanket this evening. I’ve been feeling bad that I had no projects that used stash on the go. I had yellow acrylic that I know I will never use so I decided to see if I remembered how to crochet. It seems I do have some muscle memory. I chose a very simple pattern and so should be done in no time. I will probably just pass it along to my running buddy’s friend who crafts for the homeless. I’m sure someone could use it.

Shopping:

I did go out as I needed a longer 3mm needle for my sweater. There was no way I was doing the whole thing on a 16” needle! The yarn store was busy so I didn’t linger, but just grabbed the needles. I did look at the Laine 52 weeks of Socks book. It is a gorgeous book, but I will have to look more closely because it’s $70!

While I was out I tried the two new flavours of vegan ice cream at my favorite store. The apple pie and cherry cheesecake were wonderful, but this afternoon my stomach put in its request to go back to my usual healthy fare.

I did eat my ice cream at the park. My grandma used to take us to the park and we’d sit facing the water and have car picnics so that’s what I did today. It’s odd sometimes to think how much of my life is dictated by what my grandma did, it’s definitely the best part though!

Exercise:

I have tried to take it easy today to see if that contributes to the bottom of my left foot feeling better. I did do my FitOn workout though. I got smart and every time it buffered, I knit.🤣. At least my thirty minute workout only took 45 this time.

After working out I realized I hadn’t stitched at lunch time so I quickly sat down and did a little bit. I wish the same technique worked on my taxes as I need to get them done too. Usually I make my mom sit with me while I do them, but this year I’m on my own and am procrastinating big time!

Someone knocked on my door tonight. I hate when this happens, which thankfully it doesn’t happen often!

Well, I’m going to go crawl into bed and enjoy my book.

Have fun!

AJ

5 Weeks Down, 35 To Go

Thankfully it was a better day today!

Exercise:

I didn’t sleep last night, but still got up for my workout with L this morning. We went up and down a giant hill on the treadmill and then did reverse crunches, two types of rows, up downs, shoulder press, and tricep extensions. I felt much better at the end of the workout than at the start!

Teaching:

We made it through calendar, music class and got a decent amount of the math words booklet done. This afternoon we finished our leaf art and played math word concentration. My students also got their first twelve minutes of centers. They didn’t do too badly, thankfully!

Family:

After prepping some sight word and number recognition games, I picked up my nephew at his field hockey game. I had no idea boys played field hockey, but I like him playing any sport! It was so great to see him! We went for pizza and then for ice cream.

Knitting:

After a quick trip to Costco to pick up more pictures of my students, I have spent the evening knitting on my scarf. I have been amazed at how far I’ve gotten as I wasn’t expecting to even get this much. I will finish it tonight, but not before I post this, so you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see it.

Eating:

I’m really unsure whether I can colour a square for today or not. I’ve had:

2 rice cakes with Pb & j

Banana

Kale and sausage pasta

Mini kind bar

I slice of vegan pizza ( southwest with beyond meat sausage and chipotle sauce. I was impressed they didn’t use Daiya cheese as their cheese actually melted) and one scoop of vegan ice cream (I had vegan caramel fudge pecan ice cream and it was amazing!)

Everything except for the pizza was planned, but maybe that’s too many treats in a day to count as a good day. 🤔🤔

Well I’m going back to knitting.

Have fun!

AJ

A Pretty Perfect Saturday

It was a pretty great day, but nothing like my usual.

Shopping:

After being so tired last night, of course I was up super early this morning. I was super ready by the time my colleague Liane picked me up. The city next to ours had decided to do a Fall city wide garage sale, like the one in May, so of course we had to partake in it. We hit about 16 garage sales but definitely weren’t as successful as we usually are in the Spring. I ended up with some items for the price bin at work, along with an Ivivva tank top, a pair of shoes, an aloe Vera plant and a bankers lamp for $9. I think that’s decent:)

We are hoping that it was just slow because it’s the first time it’s been held. It was an absolutely perfect day for garage sales!

Socializing:

After a quick stop at home, I met up with my friend Anna for a walk to the park with her two little boys. It ended up being a longer trip than I had planned, but was still awesome. It was such a perfect crisp, sunny, Fall day and I couldn’t have asked for better company!

We couldn’t get over their stamina!

Knitting:

I have managed to finish one sleeve completely and am ready to start the fancy hem on the second sleeve. I have had to use the extra skein of yarn as I only got to row 73 on the second sleeve and I ran out of my original skeins. I’m so glad I had the new one sitting there waiting! I had actually already started the hem of the second sleeve, but messed it up and had to rip it out. I figured I had better wait for tomorrow and a clear head to tackle the last 32 rows.

Reading:

Since I didn’t have the brain power to knit, I decided to read instead and finished another NetGalley book. I do wonder why my percentage stays at 80% when I have provided a review for every book I have been given. I wonder what else it is based on?

Today I finished the book, An unforgettable Christmas by Ginny Baird.

The story of Sam Singleton, a jewelry store owner who is a workaholic and bordering on Scrooge. He doesn’t even recognize how amazing his accountant Angie is until he falls and hits his head and suffers from amnesia. This was a very sweet, romantic story that surprised me. I wasn’t expecting Sam to become such a different person during his convalescence. It was a neat take on a classic Christmas story.

I greatly enjoyed the story and thanks to Ginny Baird, Hallmark and NetGalley for the free ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Eating:

I think I get to colour in another square on my calendar. I’ve had:

2 rice cakes with Pb & j ( I should probably get this down to one)

Grapes

Mac and cheese

One scoop of vegan maple walnut ice cream

Red peppers and dip

Anna had warned me about going for ice cream in advance so I tried to make the rest of my day healthier so it would make up for the ice cream. It wasn’t unplanned so I think it’s okay. If anyone disagrees let me know. I don’t want to be too easy on myself!

Well, I’m done and going to sleep.

Have fun!

AJ

1 Down, 39 to Go

Lol not that I’m wishing life away, but this week was tough!

Exercise:

This morning was a workout with L and it felt great to get back at it. We did a half hour of hills on the treadmill and I finally thought of adding that to my running mileage. I don’t know why I hadn’t thought to do that before!!! We then did squats, squat walks, crunches, plank toe taps, goblet squats with two minutes of cardio between each routine.

On the walk home I decided that I think I’m going to use my Saturday runs to catch up on any mileage I’ve missed during the week. This way I don’t need to worry about it during the week and yet I can get caught up each week. Again, why didn’t I think of this before?

Teaching:

We got our class lists today. Everyone looks at me and just shakes their heads, though all but one of the classes is like this is in my school. I really dislike when I get punished for being able to do my job!

This year I would like to keep track of what I do in my classroom that works well, in case any teachers follow me and are interested. These are the activities that the kids were really engaged in:

We had last year’s class so had to find engaging activities that their new teachers wouldn’t want to do. We did a nature hunt where they had to record one item that started with each letter of the alphabet. For example a leaf for L.

We had a September survey where they had to go around and ask their classmates questions to find one person who had done each item in the boxes on the page. Hey could only ask one question of each person and then had to go away and ask someone else. They spent almost an hour doing this and were upset when recess interrupted it.

We read the story Carumba which was great about how everyone is good at something.

We also wrote a top five list of what we’re excited about this year.

As far as my goals go- I got two files organized this week, and finished the work week 0.2lbs lighter- not bad for a stressful week. I’m not sure if I talked less and listened more, but I did refrain from signing up for a ton of extra curricular activities.🤷🏼‍♀️

Blog Hop:

My grade 4,6 and 7 teacher made a definite difference in my life. In grade two I hanged schools and it wasn’t a particularly welcoming group of children I came into, in fact they were pretty horrible. My teacher made a quick appearance as a TOC this year and then came back as my teacher for three other years. It was great as he showed interest in who I was and made me feel like someone cared and thought it was okay that I was who I was. He definitely encouraged me in all of my pursuits and crazy ideas. He is also definitely the reason I became a teacher!

Thanks to Teacher Turned Mommy for hosting this blog hop and be sure to check out hers and others posts on Back to School.

Socializing:

After watching several parents freak out about their child’s class placement a few of us teachers escaped to the local pub for some snacks and a glass of sangria. It was lovely to get away! I am lucky to have a great set of friends I work with who keep me sane!

Knitting:

I divided for my sleeves on the Not a Boring Sweater and had to send a picture in as it is a test knit. I am really liking it so far!

Eating:

Well I have to say I’ve been happy with myself for resisting all the treats at work this week. Today I had a rice cake with Pb & j. A Pb & j granola bar, yogurt, the rest of my steelhead romesco, my share of some appetizers, and a scoop of ice cream ( I walked over to Vashti Rose with Brady and Lyndsay).

Well I’m going back to my knitting.

Have fun!

AJ

Fun,Fun, Fun

I awoke to a gorgeous morning, but the day went differently than I expected!

Exercise:

I had talked with a colleague about going for a run this morning, but I didn’t hear from her. I was having a tough time getting up and out the door, so I texted S my occasional running buddy. She couldn’t run but was taking her dogs on a hike and invited me along. It was a gorgeous, cold, sunny day so I joined her.

It was exactly what I needed- fresh air, Sunshine, the forest, cute pups and a good friend. I greatly enjoyed myself and it even counted for my Squad Runner mission!

I also got a workout in when I got home. It was three sets of 12,16 and then 20 reps of squats, plank punches, bicycles, skaters, plank ski hops with two minutes of skipping in between each set. It was quick, but at least it was something!

Eating:

Today was the Halo Top ice cream testing. I started with the Birthday Cake flavor. I have to admit the colouring wasn’t as vibrant as I was expecting. It has a very sweet flavor. It reminds me of a white cake, very light in flavor, just sweet. It’s like those mini cupcakes with the pile of icing on them that you can get at the grocery store. I’m not sure I like having to chew my ice cream.

I next moved onto the Peanut Butter Swirl. I love peanut butter so I had high hopes! You can see the strands of peanut butter in the ice cream, however I was unable to really identify a flavor in the rest of the ice cream. It doesn’t really seem to be chocolate or vanilla, just some light brown cold substance. I guess it’s the definition of eating beige food. There was just not enough peanut butter flavor for me in this one:(

The final flavor I tried was Toasted Coconut. This had a bit of a peach colored hue to it with little dark caramel coloured bits in it. There was a strong toasted coconut flavor in this ice cream. The flavor was really good! My only complaint is that the coconut bits could have been a bit bigger as they kept getting stuck in my teeth.

I did notice that all three flavors seemed to melt very quickly. Thankfully I like my ice cream however I get it:)

And the winner is…Toasted Coconut! It had the most flavor and so will be the one I buy in the future. I’m glad I had the chance to try them all:).

Reading:

I know I should be cleaning or doing laundry, but instead I’m reading. I finished my next NetGalley book, I’ll Always Love You by Ella Quinn.

This is the next story in Ella Quinn’s current Worthington series. It features the eldest daughter, Lucinda and Earl Elliot, the brother’s best friend. I always like romances featuring the brother’s friend, even though they always make me wonder why my brother’s friends didn’t work out that way!

I liked the premise of the meeting between these characters. Lucinda has come to London for her first season and her brother asks his friend Gerald Elliot to help keep an eye out for her. Through random meetings they come to find they have great conversations and lots in common.

The characters themselves were interesting and realistic. I especially liked how Earl Elliot questions how he knows Lucinda is the right one. It seems the opposite to the usual storyline, but I liked the guy being shown as unsure.

This was a short read, but definitely worth your time. I really enjoyed it and thank Ella Quinn, the publisher and NetGalley for the free ARC in exchange for an honest opinion.

socializing:

After a quick nap, I met up with two friends and headed out for some fun! We got foot reflexology which was super lovely, though I really hurt everywhere. The girl said I’m not drinking enough water and the lactic acid is building up in me.

We stopped in at Bath and Body Works and Lululemon as we walked through the mall. I almost bought a dress, but managed to restrain myself:)

We then had dinner at a local pub as that is somewhere my friend normally wouldn’t get to go when she has her son. We shared dry ribs, nachos and yam fries. They were all really good or else I was super hungry!

This evening has just made me grateful I met these two women as I always have such a good time with them and they have become really good friends:) I’m lucky to have them in my life.

Right now though, I’m exhausted so it’s off to bed!

Have fun!

AJ

Eating

Another lovely day on land and water.

Exercise:

I started the day with a run around Newcastle Island. My parents have been great about getting me to shore for my runs, and this Island seemed perfect. It said it was 7.5km around the island and since my Squad Runner mission called for 6km, it seemed great! I started out, and was going along fine. There was a lot of up and down hill and one section where it would have been better to be a billy goat, but I was plodding along fine. After my one fall (not bad for me for a new technical trail route), I decided that it seemed like I had been out there for longer than I should have been. Think of my surprise when it said I did 9.3km around the island. I’m not sure how I found extra island to run, but perhaps it was the goat track or the fact I kept close to the shoreline 🤣

I also got a workout in this afternoon, or at least some exercises. I did: 10 crunches, 20 reverse curls, 30 heel drops, 40 heel reaches, 50 v ups, 60 bicycles, 70 toe touches, 80 dead bugs, 90 mountain climbers, 100 static crunch with scissor legs, 55 air squats, 55 plow squats, 1:50 plank. Not bad for being on a boat:)

Shopping:

My dad wanted to go the chandlery which was fine. I managed to spend more money than him as a I found a new Helly Hanson fleece that fit nicely. It’s a pretty raspberry colour, so definitely not something I already have in my wardrobe!

Eating:

I also took the opportunity of being in that area to try out a new ice cream shop. My mom had actually found this place. As we walked up we had stopped into the ice cream shops on the dock, but they just had the fruit sorbetto that was gf/df.

The Cold Front was a lovely stop that had five different plant based options. I went with the coconut flake which was very yummy!

My dad had the salted caramel and London fog ice creams and said they were good too.

I didn’t realize that my mom was holding out for Noodlebox so I ate dessert first and then shared a Chicken Pas Thai box with her.

It would probably be good if I could say that was the end of my eating for the day, but it wasn’t. This evening we dinghied over to

My parents have been here several times so it was neat to finally see what they were talking about. I had the Vanilla Freezie to drink and the one piece halibut and chips to eat. Everything was dairy free and gluten free and was delicious! The drink was nice and sweet but not heavy and the batter on the fish was lovely and light!

My dad had the calamari and of course my parents disagreed on whether this one or the one they had earlier was better. I can’t believe these two manage to live together in small spaces day in and day out without killing each other. I guess 47 years of marriage can do that!

Knitting:

Nothing yet today, but the evening is still young. I have to admit I have a good book to finish though!

Just a pretty evening picture to leave you with:)

Have fun!

AJ

Three Accomplishments

Not an exciting day but at least I got three things accomplished:)

Exercise:

I purposely slowed down by a minute this morning and I didn’t loop back to my mom. I managed to complete the whole run I planned and it recorded properly on runkeeper. I guess it was the looping that was throwing it off. I guess this just says I should take it slow down here and save my speed work for home. I really want to make it to the next mile marker though!! Unfortunately, I haven’t been out yet to determine exactly where it is and find a landmark. Thankfully I still have almost a week to get this done:)

I also got a quick workout in this evening. I did 50 squats, 50 plié squats, 50 swing lunges, 50 side kicks, 50 back leg raises, 50 high knees, 50 jabs, 50 crosses, 50 upper cuts, 50 push-ups, 50 bicep curls, 25 crunches, 50 side crunches, 25 leg drops, 25 flutter kicks, 25 reverse crunches. There again may have been more but I was just doing whatever came into my head. I was sweating by the end, but that may have been because it was warm in the trailer.🤣. It was interesting trying to find something to use as a weight in the trailer- my parent’s bottles of alcohol had to suffice. I tried out several to find the heaviest, but of course everything seems heavy after 50 reps!

Reading:

I finished listening to Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte today on Librivox. Jane Eyre is excellent! At 38 chapters it is a commitment but it was well worth the time!! The reader was Elizabeth Klett and she was great! The book contains a moral like most Victorian writing does, as well as the idea that you are rewarded or punished by god for your actions. I found the book to have a good pace and lots happening. The plot carries the reader along, however, it manages to avoid being so outlandish as to be unrealistic.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes Christian literature or the classics. It was a good story!

I was thinking that I would keep notes as I read in the new year so that I could write better reviews, but I’m worried it would ruin reading for me, so you may have to just put up with my short, general reviews.🤣

Knitting:

I spent a lot of today working on a vest for myself. I made up the pattern, loosely based on what I remembered of a vest I had made for my mom a few years ago. I wanted to make myself something from the black and white combination that I’ve recently used for a tea cosy and a toque. I didn’t really think I would manage to get the whole vest made with what I had left, but I did😀 I casted on 114 stitches on 6.5mm needles and joined in the round. I knitted ten rows of 2×2 twisted ribbing and then switched to straight knitting until it reached 13″. I then bound off six stitches at the mid point and at the end of the next row. I divided the front and back sections into halves and worked one quarter at a time. I decreased two stitches at the underarm and one stitch at the neckline every other row. When I had twelve stitches, I knitted 20 rows even. I bound off and repeated the exact same process for the other three sections. I then sewed the shoulder seams together.

I don’t love the side section of one part, but don’t hate it enough to rip it out and redo it. I think this will be quite useful as I can wear it on its own, but I can also wear it over a shirt at work to add a layer of warmth. I thought about crocheting around the edges, but in the end decided not to.

Amazingly I still have yarn left over!!! Maybe I’ll tackle a quick Barbie dress tomorrow so I’ll have an even thirty projects completed this year.

Baking:

I didn’t technically bake anything today, but I did make a delicious strawberry banana ice cream:) It is super easy and quick! Slice two bananas and freeze on a cookie sheet. Slice two cups of strawberries and freeze. Combine the frozen strawberries and bananas with a 1/2tsp vanilla and 2tbsp cream and blend. It is so yummy!!!! Unfortunately it’s all gone so there’s no photo:(. I used coconut cream and it was still good!

That’s really all I did today. I am now going to try and get through half a book tonight so I’ll be done before the end of the year and will have an even number of books read this year.

Have fun!

AJ

Boxing Day

Well I did the same as I usually would on Boxing Day- work on a project, but I missed the turkey, stuffing and cranberry sandwiches!

Exercise:

I got a 36 minute workout done in the trailer while my parents went off to happy hour. I think I’m lucky I’m small so I didn’t wreck the trailer with all the bouncing around I did🤣. I got hot and sweaty so I must have burned off something:) it was a minute of running back and forth across the trailer in between cardio moves such as cross jacks, skipping, jumping jacks, high knees, butt kicks, cross country skiers, moguls, skaters, kicks, toe taps, lunges, jump squats, frog jumps, mountain climbers, plank jacks, fast feet, and in/outs. It’s the same workout I’ve done before, just with more moves added. I hope this routine will keep me from losing all my fitness as I’m unable to run down here. There’s all this desert around me and yet I have nowhere to run:(

Knitting:

I had deemed today a knitting day and my mom had asked for a tea cosy for the trailer. We could only find super fine yarn in the knitting kit I had sent with her so I worked it doubled with a strand of white and a strand of black. The pattern is simply called tea cosy on Ravelry. It was a two row pattern that was very easy to pick up. You simply make two pieces the same and sew them together. My mother’s tea pot holds four cups so I adapted the pattern and casted on 43 stitches. I did 55 rows of the pattern and then started the top decreasing. I repeated exactly the same thing for the other piece. I did not make the loop for the top. I really love what the black and white yarn looks like when held together and I’m tempted to make myself a toque if my mom doesn’t have anything else she wants made. The yarn I used was Loopsand Threads: Woolike in super fine. The yarn is very soft and feels great to work with.

Baking:

I was planning to make my dad cookies today, but my mom said she had a few pears that needed to be used up, so instead I made carmelized pear ice cream. The recipe is from Food52, but it’s super easy. I peeled, cored and finely cut up two small pears. I then put 1/2 cup of sugar into a deep frying pan and put it on medium heat. Do not stir the sugar until you start to see it liquify. You then stir the sugar with a wooden spoon (I had to throw out the first batch as the red spatula melted into the sugar) until the sugar is smooth and amber coloured. You then add the pears. The sugar will go hard, but just keep stirring for about ten more minutes and it will smooth out again. After you have a smooth pear and sugar mixture, remove it from the heat. I then added 1 cup of coconut milk. I would have liked to have had cream, but there was none. I stirred in a dash of lemon juice and salt at this time too. You then throw the mixture through a blender (the chopper didn’t work well😂). Normally at home I then throw it into the ice cream maker, but here I put the mixture onto a jelly roll pan and put it into the freezer. I stirred it every hour and it took about four hours to become ice cream consistency. Both my mom and dad said it was good:)

I’m just sorry I don’t have a picture as it was eaten very quickly!

Reading:

I have been listening to Jane Eyre on Librivox again today. I have made it to chapter 18. Abbey was right that the story does start to move more quickly! I’m enjoying it, though probably partially because I’m listening to it so I love that I can accomplish that and something else at the same time:)

Well except for sitting out in the sunshine for a bit today, I haven’t moved far. It’s been very relaxing!!

Have fun!

AJ

Active, Active, Tired…

For months I’ve been saying that I want to walk the entire Vancouver seawall from the convention centre to Granville Island. Most people laughed when I mentioned this in conversation, but one friend decided to join me. Today was the day. Lol unfortunately events derailed the plan, but we got three hours in which took us from the Convention Centre to English Bay, not bad.  The smoke from the wildfires kept the temperature down and it wasn’t crazy busy, so all in all, a good first effort. I now know that I need to schedule about six hours to do it all. Maybe I’ll get to that after I get back from Boston:)

Unfortunately, I let myself get hungry which meant that I couldn’t decide on where we should eat and I ended up just coming home and inhaling everything I had planned for the rest of the day:( Grrr so mad at myself because I was a lovely 97.6 this morning and I actually liked a picture I took of myself when I was trying to decide what to wear. Positive self image isn’t my strong suit so this is a very rare occurrence!IMG_7319

After inhaling my veggies and hummus, fruit salad and dried fruit I decided I’d better actually accomplish something. The first was that I scored a new cowl knitting pattern for free on Ravelry! After visiting Beehive Knitting in Victoria I had followed them on Instagram and tonight it paid off when they offered a coupon code for getting a pattern free. Score! Someone would probably think I’d won a million dollars for how excited I was! I now highly recommend following them on Instagram (@beehivewoolshop). Though I’d also recommend visiting the shop as it is truly full of yummy yarn:)

I also managed to pick up my pictures from Costco along with a rotisserie chicken ( I truly think theirs are the best), grab blueberries from Ankars farm in Port Coquitlam, and get a couple photo albums from the dollar store.

This evening I decided that I should at least see the Port Moody Friday Night Market at least once this summer since it’s new this year. My friend and her son were willing to join me so we walked over and had a look. It was small but there were some neat booths, like custom mugs, jewellery that disperses essential oils, books, clothing, beer soap(made with our local Port Moody brews), candles, and food trucks. The best part was that it was just a fifteen minute walk away.

I caved and had a vegan vanilla ice cream and cola sorbet one scoop ice cream with B on our way back at Rocky Point Ice Cream. The cola flavour was so good! Next time, I’ll just get that! Hopefully my three hour walk will counteract this;) I took the long way home to help with this😉

On arriving home I realized, I just didn’t have it in me to work out tonight. I figure everyone is entitled to a night off. In all I managed a three hour walk and my regular walk today. It will just have to do!

I did manage to get all the clothes laid out that I’m getting rid of. I have a friend coming to see if she wants anything tomorrow so I needed to at least be organized as I changed the time on her.

Im going to give in to the sleep fairy now as six am is going to come early:(

Have fun!

AJ