Ouch!

A good day with a sore ending:(

Exercise:

I wasn’t really into running this morning so was t upset when it turned into a beautiful walk.

This evening I kicked my butt out the door for my run with the idea I only had to do 3.5km. Well I was going along great, feeling fantastic, when at 5.6km, Wham! Flat out and took out my chin, both hands and both knees. Needless to say my run was over and I hobbled home, dripping blood the last 1.4km. If anyone has a suggestion for how you get dirt out of cuts, let me know. Washing didn’t seem to help at all:(

Knitting:

After tidying my bedroom and doing laundry I joined Brenda for a knit afternoon. I got one sleeve of my sweater done and only have 34 more rows on the other. My hands better be knit-ready by tomorrow!

Cooking:

This afternoon I finally got around to making and canning my Strawberry rhubarb jam from this recipe. I think it might be too sweet for my liking, but I always follow the recipe the first time. It was neat how canning really did come back to me. It must be like riding a bike:)

Well I’m off to a painkiller and my bed.

Have fun!

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Crafty

It was a pretty crafty day for me:)

Exercise:

I won this week and got to name the location of our Saturday run. We ended up with a nice little 5km around Coquitlam River. Someone was looking out for me cause it rained on my way over and on my way home, but not while I was raining! That’s pretty amazing for my area! My new run jacket from Icebreaker also passed its first run with flying colours!

This evening I did a deck of cards workout. I love these workouts because they seem to go fast and I can customize them completely. Tonight:

♣️=curtsy lunge

❤️=sit ups

♦️=pushups

♠️=squats

I definitely was a little shakey by the end!

Reading:

Last night I finished the book, Playing For Keeps by Jill Shalvis. This is the latest Heartbreaker Bay novel. It was a great read like the others, though I found the overall mood much more serious. There was also a lot more angst, but it seemed to go with the character. It’s a beach read:)

Furniture Hunt:

My furniture hunt continued today at two more stores. Unfortunately I yet again came home without a couch, however, I did get a recommendation for a place to go look, so I will do that next week:)

Crafting:

After checking out Fabricland and not getting inspired for a boy baby blanket, I headed home. In December I had had the good idea of making felt Christmas ornaments for my friends this year (I always make them a Christmas decoration of some kind). Then I started to doubt I’d be able to do the ones I picked out since I’m not particularly artistic. Today, before I loaded the felt back into my car to take to work, I took one last look on Pinterest and found an ornament I thought I could do from Fun Thrifty Mom.

The top is the example and the bottom is my attempt. As I look at it, I realize I may have stuffed it too much🤣 So I’d love an honest opinion:)

I also spent a lot of time knitting on my sweater as my mom organized the sewing stuff. I have finished one sleeve and am almost done the second as well. I am so close to the fun stuff, I can almost taste it!

I went to buy yarn for my next project, thanks mom for encouraging that! The pattern suggested Peepaloo Fields Twisted Sock, but unfortunately that would cost me about $100:(. So I am looking for a comparable yarn:)

Cooking:

For lunch I tried another recipe out of The Best of Clean Eating 2. I made the mushroom melts for my mom and I. I made ours open-faced and used button mushrooms and red onion instead of what was called for in the recipe.

My mom said they were delicious and she liked how the broccoli was in big chunks. I liked how they had basil and thyme in them so they had some taste:)

I also found out that I have made the

Beef Stir Fry

All my note said was:

Bland!

I’ll keep trying more recipes before I decide if I’ll keep the book. I may have to test several and then get rid of the cookbook I like the least from.

Well I’m on a mission to finish my sleeve tonight (I can at least do that while I sneeze and sniffle!)

Have fun!

AJ

A Busy Vacation Day

It seemed quite busy but that may have been just because I was dead tired all day. This cold isn’t doing much other than making me tired and sneezy; it can go away any time now!

Exercise:

The first thing I did was to get out for my run this morning. I did the 6km I needed to for the Squad Runner mission, but it was definitely slow as I had to stop for sniffles.

I also got my 200 squats and 100 crunches done this evening. I needed something after dinner since tomorrow’s weigh in decides if I get to pick the run route or not!

Shopping:

I was heading to a furniture consignment store with my mom this morning when I realized I needed gas, so it was a change of direction out to Costco to get gas.

I stopped on the way back to buy some unmentionables:). I can’t remember when I last bought anything new so it was time to do so!

I spent more time looking at Soda Stream machines. I often enjoy a carbonated water, however, I don’t enjoy dealing with all the cans! My mom mentioned this machine to me the other day so we had a look today. There are four different kinds!! If anyone knows anything about these or can offer an opinion, please do so!

Organization:

The quest for organization continued today and I got my lounge wear sorted and organized and a lot given away and my spare room re-organized. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep all these organized spots this way!

Shopping Again:

I went to drop the lounge wear off at charity immediately before it made its way back into my wardrobe!! So easily done when two of the hoodies had sentimental value for me.

I took three garbage bags into charity and only came out with two items, so I consider that a win! Especially as one item was a new pair of pants for work as pants are my least favourite item to shop for!

Knitting:

I have finally picked up my sleeve again. I’m not loving how the stitches were added and may try a different way on the second sleeve, but I’m just not willing to frog this sleeve. I don’t think anyone but me will ever notice if the two sleeves are slightly different.

I think I was spurred on because I’ve already chosen my next project and can’t wait to start!

Cooking:

Fellow blogger Abbey has been exploring one cookbook a month for a few months now. I have really enjoyed her posts about this and decided to give it a try. If nothing else it will force me to pick up and use each of my cookbooks!

I was having a very difficult time choosing the first cookbook so I chose based on which one had a recipe that used ground beef as I had some that desperately needed to be cooked up!

The Best or Clean Eating 2 has been on my shelf for about 8 years! Today I made the Spaghetti and Meatball Casserole. I had a few of the ingredients, but had to buy some so the recipe cost me $15 to make.

This recipe had a lot of steps to it, which I have to admit is not my favourite for a casserole, though it was neat to make my own pesto! I also had to alter the recipe to gluten free and dairy free. I found the pesto was good, but as it was really the only item with taste, the overall dish was bland and the meatballs didn’t stay together well:(

Looking through the book, I have made other recipes (my notes are the quotes) including:

Turkey Pasta Casserole

Very yummy! Needs salt and pepper. I didn’t put the almonds on top and used Daisy cheese.

Pumpkin and Coconut Soup

Made it with water instead of veggie broth. Very good and easy, but definitely needs salt, pepper and the yogurt in top.

Tex-Mex Morning Pizzas

Good, must toast the English muffins first!

Pear-Cheese Quesadilla

Yummy and super easy, quite sweet so definitely a breakfast food. Could use some sort of spice.

I have a few more recipes picked out to try. I have to admit I’ve chosen them based on what needs to be used in my cupboard🤣 but going by the comments so far and tonight’s meal- the recipes in this book are quite bland:(

Reading:

I’m still reading Playing For Keeps by Jill Shalvis, but am so close to done! I’ll just go alternate reading and knitting and see how much I get accomplished:)

Have fun!

AJ

Understanding Groups

Quite a nice day and I got more done than I was expecting!

Exercise:

I couldn’t decide this morning if I’d go out for a run or not as my regular Sunday group was cancelled. I ended up doing a short run to meet the group for coffee. It will ruin the goal I made not to have and 2km runs this month, but that first sip of tea made it worthwhile and the company was also worth it!

Otherwise it was a light exercise day with just 200 squats and 100 crunches.

Cooking:

It was my day to do food prep and boy did I go for pretty! I have fruit and yogurt parfaits for recess snacks that are actually layered prettily! I have vegetable sticks wrapped in ham or chicken and tied with a green onion for lunch ( ham slices work better than chicken), and then I have roasted vegetables with Greek seasoning and veta for dinner. I’m happy I’m prepped with meals that are fruit or vegetable based with the carbs and protein in supporting roles:). I hope this leads to a successful eating week!

I also got cornbread made for Bookclub from Living Freely Gluten Free. This is definitely another successful new recipe as I had a lot of compliments on it at Bookclub. It goes really well with baked beans!

Reading:

I spent much of the afternoon engrossed in Becoming by Michelle Obama again. Tonight I found out we’re not discussing this book until October! I’m never going to remember a thing!

Bookclub:

It was once again Bookclub and it was as wonderful as ever! We had seven people tonight and we talked about the book a little bit; most didn’t love it☹️, but mainly we watched the Oscars and ate. This is the food except for the great baked beans that were done in an Instant Pot and the amazing desserts of Apple Slump and macarons. I bought the macarons from Kizzy’s macarons at the Farmers Market ( I finally got there), and they were wonderful!!!!!

We’ve decided that next year we’ll have to read something connected to Hollywood so we have an excuse to watch the Oscars at Bookclub.

All I have to say about the oscars is that Melissa McCarthy’s dress was crazy and phenomenal, I’m glad that Green Book won for best picture as my friends have all been raving about it, and does Julia Roberts ever age?

I realized today that the groups I belong to are all very understanding, accepting and supportive. These three words describe the teachers in my wing at school, my Squad Runner team, and my Bookclub. I’m glad to have all of these groups in my life:)

Well, I need sleep!

Have fun!

AJ

Smashing Sunday

It was a really nice day! I seem to say that a lot about the days I have off🤣

Exercise:

This morning it was up for my usual Sunday morning run. It had just started snowing when I left home, but I figured I could get a run in before it got bad. I ended up just walking with my two buddies who now walk, as I don’t like doing that particular run on my own. It’s just too isolated and there were definitely not a lot of people around so early! We got a 45 minute walk in though at a very respectable pace.

About 4pm it finally stopped snowing and I looked out and saw the sidewalk by the rec centre had been cleared. I hoped it was clear right over to the park, but figured I could do laps around the rec centre if I needed to. Thankfully it was clear right to the park and I had an awesome run! I had splits of 6:31, 6:36, 6:54, 6:40, and 6:29. I realized these are slow for most people, but it’s definitely the fastest I have been in a long time! Maybe my muscle is starting to come back!!

This evening I also did my 200 squats with the light resistance band and 100 stomach exercises- reverse crunch and double leg drop today.

House:

After a nice tea with my running buddies, I came straight home to get my food prep done for the week. I prepared everything and got my daily bins out again so I could just reach in and grab what I need. I only have two eating events this week, so hoping I can be super healthy this week!

As I was prepping, I realized I need more breezy wrap as I have one the perfect size for a full sandwich, but only one that is good for a half sandwich. I don’t really want to cut my big one! I’ll have to get on ordering this and more reuseable bags this week!

Reading:

I finished my Net Galley book, Slow Ride by Lori Foster today.

This book has the perfect balance!

The book features Jack Crews and Ronnie Ashford. From the first moment they are attracted to each other, but it takes longer for them to work out how to be in each other’s lives for the long haul.

The characters in this book are super interesting. Ronnie has been through so much and has adapted to her circumstances. She keeps all interactions with men short and meaningless, until she meets Jack. I pictured Ronnie as a take off of a Japanese Manga character.

Jack is the perfect balance of a smooth, slick man who can take care of business when he needs to. What’s even better is that he has a soft side for his family and animals.

I, of course, also enjoyed the family dynamic in this book. I really like books that have strong supporting characters and I’ve loved getting to know this family over the two books in the series. They raze each other, but also have each other’s backs:)

This book features a thriller side that kept me reading. I knew I had to finish the book tonight or I would not be sleeping well, but once the climax came, it was swift and over quickly. I love how Lori Foster has that perfect balance. You read the hints throughout the book, but she never gives away too much while still keeping you in suspense. Then she always solves the mystery quickly and efficiently. It makes for the perfect romance!

Thank you to Lori Foster, the publisher and NetGalley for the free ARC in exchange for n honest review.

Knitting:

After a nice nap, I got busy on my knitting and finished the second sleeve of my sweater. I have also picked up the stitches for the hood, though it may not turn into a full hood! I only have about 2/3 of a skein left so it may turn into a fold over collar. The yarn chicken game is getting intense now!

Baking:

I decided to try the Sally’s Baking Addiction February challenge today. The challenge was for truffles and since I’m not a big chocolate fan, I figured I could take whatever I made for staff meeting tomorrow. I did manage to find an awesome dairy free, gluten free truffle recipe at Minimalist Baker. These were super easy to make and if they go over well tomorrow I will add them to my page of successful recipes. One thing I did learn was to re-roll the truffles in my hands before dipping them into the coating. It definitely helped the coating stick better!

Well that’s it for my day and I’m heading to bed!

Have fun!

AJ

Successful ProD

A different kind of work day today, but very successful!

I had arranged a self directed ProD with a couple of colleagues as none of the workshops on offer were what I was looking for. We met at an office space at my friend’s building and took over the area. It was a gorgeous space to work as there were floor to ceiling windows to let in the beautiful sunshine we had all day.

My co- teacher and I got a lot done! We had made a list of topics that we wanted to learn more about so that we could implement them in our classrooms.

We learned how to implement loose parts through our writing program. We determined a new Writer’s workshop plan that would meet the needs in our grade 1/2 classes and still be interesting. We studied the new core competencies in our curriculum and have researched a picture book for each that we can teach them through and an activity we can have students complete to show their learning of that competency. We then researched the components of a successful PE program and have come up with a plan to implement it and brainstormed activities that can be used for each of those components.

All in all, it was probably one of the most successful ProD days I’ve ever had. I learned a ton of new things and can implement them immediately. This feels good as I often find I learn things at ProD but don’t implement them as I need to gather resources or research items for it:(

Baking:

We had a lot of food options for three people! I contributed the yellow container of goodies. The protein balls, cookies and cupcakes were a hit! The carrot pineapple muffins with vegan cream cheese frosting were amazing – so moist! The recipe is from Cooking for Isiah by Sylvana Nardone. The only change I made was to use Bob’s Redmill All Purpose Gluten Free Flour rather than her flour blend. They were so good and the vegan cream cheese frosting from Minimalist Baker was also yummy!

Watching the Great British Baking Show obviously rubbed off on me in a good way as I used a cookie cutter to make my muffins all the same size on top and piped the icing instead of just messily spreading it!

I have to admit I wasn’t super happy with the recipe I tried this week for veggie scones. The scones had a good taste, but were super dry:( I am thinking that I may try changing my maple nut scone recipe to a savory recipe and see if that works better.

Exercise:

First thing this morning I headed out for a half hour run to fulfil my Squad Runner mission. It was an okay run and I noticed that my pace was recorded more accurately since I started running before I pressed start on my tracking app. That was at least nice. I need about another ten kilometers before the end of the month to keep on top of my yearly goal.

I came home after work and had a quick nap and then went for a massage. I didn’t do very well with organization as I only had an hour to enjoy my niece loose, stretches out body before I went with Corri to Battlefit class. This is just never going to be my favourite class! Tonight we did lots of drills (just like gym class again☹️). Then we had to go run 8 laps of the small indoor track to make up a kilometer. Our first workout was then 30 kettlebell cleans and walking lunges of the length of the gym and back while holding a dumbbell straight over our heads. We had to do this sequence three times.

Our second workout was 50 wall balls, 40 mountain climbers (each leg), 30 kettlebell swings, 20 kettlebell row stops and 10 lateral bench hops with burpees. We then had to go back up the ladder again.

I did it all, but have to admit I just don’t love this class. None of it seems fun:(

Reading:

I have come home and been reading the book my sister in law gave me yesterday. The Ingredients Of Love has been a great read so far! I’m now going to go finish it:)

Have fun!

AJ

Surprise!

It was quite a nice day with a surprise:)

Exercise:

We were out on the dykes for the run this morning. Yesterday I had been thinking I’d go as far as the marina, but this morning I really didn’t think I’d make it that far (about 7km roundtrip), but surprise surprise, I did. I didn’t push the pace and wasn’t as fast as I would have liked, but I did it comfortably. It’s been nice to have a couple of runs in a row that have felt good!

I got out for a walk this afternoon to take care of the Monday Squad Runner mission and I managed a 1:20 plank and my 200 squats. A pretty successful exercising day!

Cooking:

I didn’t plan to spend the day in the kitchen again? But surprise, surprise, I did.

My friend was just told she had to go gluten free and dairy free, but she was craving chocolate chip cookies. I decided to test a new recipe before sending it to her to make sure it was good

I tried the recipe from Minimalist Baker and was super impressed! They were easy to make and quick, though they did require a half hour of chilling. They tasted good right from the oven and a few hours later. I’d definitely recommend this recipe!

I also had coconut milk left over from my mac n cheese yesterday, and instead of making hot chocolate with it, Sarah suggested a curry. I had a few veggies left over so decided to make the creamy vegetable curry from Oh She Glows. I have to admit Oh She Glows and Minimalist Baker are two of my go-to resources for gf/df recipes. You need to have all the ingredients recipe as the process goes super quick. I have done this before with the cashew cream it calls for, but it was just as good with the coconut milk too!

I really felt like I was cooking as I even made my own curry from this Minimalist Baker recipe.

All in all, a successful cooking day. Amazingly it was a successful eating day too as I managed to restrain myself and got the cookies into the freezer quickly. I have also frozen a bit of the curry to see how it turns out.

Socializing:

While I was out walking, I got a surprise text from my friend Lyndsay wondering if I wanted to go for an early dinner at the Green Mustache. I wasn’t super hungry so I had the powerfoods hot chocolate. It tasted good, but I have to admit that while their food and desserts have been amazing, I find their drinks a little powdery. Maybe putting them through a bit milk bag would help.

I do love having a friend who lives close and likes to do the same things I do!

Knitting:

After a nap, I went back to my knitting. I am down the front of the new sweater and am on the back, and hopefully by tonight I will be starting the sleeves. Sometimes it’s a really good thing to be small!

Surprise, surprise, I finished my temperature cowl today! I’ve gotten tired of having it hanging over my head, so I finished it. I really wasn’t thinking I’d like it, but I think I do😳. I’m going to wear it tomorrow to work, so I’ll let you know how it goes!

I don’t love the joins at the day breaks, but I did like how it ended up going in bands.

The yarn is Sweet Georgia sock yarn mini skeins.

Well, I’m back to the sweater now that I have my clothes ready and all my food prepped.

Have fun!

AJ

Two Good, One Ugh

It was a nice kitchen day for me today:)

Exercise:

I slept in this morning, but still made it for my run with Sarah and Kula.

We went a slightly different route today which seemed even hillier than normal, but somehow my run app says we were faster than we have been. We don’t believe it, but we’ll take it:)

I also got out for an hour walk this afternoon just because it was so beautiful and sunny, and I did a plank and 200 squats.

Knitting:

I got another row of ends sewn into the temperature cowl, only two to go and I’ll share a picture. It seems like a weird size so I’m not sure I’ll ever wear it:(

I also made good progress on my sweater and am up to the placket.

I am wondering about being a test knitter. Has anyone ever done this? Have an opinion about it? Want to share their experience?

Cooking:

I got into the kitchen today:). It started with this Vegan Mac ‘n cheese recipe that a parent shared with me. I made it up and divided it out for lunches this week. I had some for lunch today and it was super yummy!

After my walk I got busy and made these peanut butter protein balls. They were super easy, super fast and super yummy!!!

Earlier this week a new EA at work brought energy balls in. They were gluten free and dairy free, but tasted quite disgusting so I kind of felt like I needed to make some to redeem the gf/df food rep around school!🤪

I will definitely be adding both of these recipes to my recipes completed page as I would make both again!

Socializing:

Finally tonight was soup night! Every few months I get together with women I run with for something non running related (or water related) and tonight it was for soup. We had an amazing lemon chicken rice soup that was super lemony and so good!! I’ve asked for the recipe so I will share it when I get it. We also had borscht which was yummy too. I had made this vegan cream of mushroom soup. This is the second time I have tried it and I haven’t been super happy with it either time:( It definitely won’t be going on the recipe list!

Aside from my soup, the night was a lot of fun! I’m lucky to have the running buddies I have- not only do they run with me, but they also give me a social life:)

I’m exhausted now though!

Have fun!

AJ

Merry Christmas

My day was surprisingly quiet but lovely. I have a few pictures to show you but unfortunately I’m yet again out of memory:( I guess I’m going to have to step up and pay and change my site. I’ll let you know when I figure it out.

Baking:

I was supposed to go to my brother’s for 8:45, but my sister in law texted about 7:30 and said they were already awake and to come anytime. I quickly baked the maple nut scones I had made previously for the Fantastic Bake Along. I knew immediately they weren’t going to be as good as last time. The batter was just too runny:(. I took them anyways, but at this point I’m almost afraid to try baking anything☹️

Family:

I sat and opened presents with my brother, sister in law and nephew. I love how they do one gift at a time so everyone can see what people got. I love watching people open gifts! They surprised me with a gift card for a pedicure. It was so not necessary!

My sister in law made an amazing breakfast of egg cups, bacon and fruit salad. It was all so yummy!!!!

Cooking:

I came home and got my dressing prepared. It’s always drier when it’s made outside the bird, but boy is it yummy! I tried cornbread stuffing but definitely prefer my pork and poultry seasoning- easy and yummy!

Exercise:

With my dressing done, I got out the door for a quick run. It was painful as I was way too overstuffed from breakfast! It did feel great to get out though in the cold!

Knitting:

I finished a green vest for next Christmas season (and I wore it tonight). I also did a green headband with the leftover yarn so that’s two skeins off my stash list.

I then started a cowl for the holiday market next year when I was at Brenda’s. I’ve used up two skeins on that so far so I’ll be able to take four skeins off the list:)

Movies:

I got a change to take in Christmas Kiss this afternoon and this evening I am enjoying The 12 Men of Christmas. I have to watch this as we watched Die Hard 1 & 2 at Brenda’s and I need something sweet and happy before I try to sleep🤣

Eating:

I spent the evening at Brenda’s knitting and watching movies. I enjoyed the quiet time and the dinner was amazing!!!! It takes forever to make and it only took twenty minutes to eat and clean up🤣

Gifts:

I ended up getting two tea pots, two boxes of tea and four tea mugs. Does everyone think I do nothing but drink tea? I’m going to have to go through and cull my mug collection so I can fit these new ones into the cupboard.

Well I’m off to bed as I’m getting up super early for a flight to visit my parents in the morning. I’m not sure what the WiFi situation is down there so you will either hear from me continuously for the next week or not at all. Let’s hope for the former!

Have fun and Merry Christmas everyone!

AJ

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