Stretching My Skills with Sally

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

Exercise:

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

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

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

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

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

Reading:

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

Cooking:

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

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

Baking (Stretching My Skills with Sally):

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks Abbey for taking on this challenge with me:)

Knitting:

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

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

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

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

Well my books are calling me… right

Have fun!

AJ

A Great Learning Day

I had ProD today and normally I really resent having to sit and listen to someone lecture at me about theoretical things that I can’t apply in my classroom, by today was an excellent day of learning!

It was nice to not have to jump out of bed this morning, though of course I did at my usual time since I can never sleep in when I have the opportunity.

My ProD program didn’t start until 10am so I got done seriously lovely knitting time on the couch first thing this morning.

We then set out on a nature walk. I always want to take my students outside to learn about nature, but never feel like I know enough to do so. Then when I saw this opportunity I thought it might be the perfect chance to rectify this problem.

The walk was taking place at a place I run quite often which includes forest and dyke area as well as being right beside a river so it had a lot of diverse environment for us to look at. The talk concentrated on bird life and we were actually out for about three hours! I learned about the Northern Flicker that eats ants and then immediately grooms itself so as the formic avid from the ant will kill the parasites on the bird. I learned about robins, hawks, pillared woodpecker (we saw a female because it didn’t have a red mustache), the European starling that is not indigenous to BC,but is now present in huge numbers, the toohee which is like a zombie because it has red eyes and it’s a ground eater so it’s usually what I’m seeing on my walk to school when I hear rustling on the ground. I learned that an eagle’s wingspan is 6 feet- the size of one of my brothers. I learned lots more, including the six toilet papers of nature 🤣

It was an awesome ProD because I feel like I learned things that I can actually use when I’m outside with the kids on Monday😀😀😀

Eating:

After the session was over, we stopped for lunch at a small cafe there. I actually had to walk half a block down to a soup place as there was nothing but sweets that I could eat at this cafe. I did end up having a wonderful vegan, gluten free chipotle corn chowder for lunch that was so yummy!

Exercise:

On the way home I stopped at the grocery store and picked up a piece of rotisserie chicken for dinner as we were much later than I was expecting, but I wouldn’t let myself have it until I had gotten out for a run. With writing report cards every day I haven’t ran since Sunday ☹️. I just did a simple run over to the park and it was crazy busy as everyone was trying to get some fresh air before the rain started. I had a pretty quick run which was good since it was short! I may need a specific running goal as I’m not getting much running in:(. If anyone has a good suggestion, please let me know.

Knitting:

When I got home I had to read the message from my financial advisor before I was allowed to start knitting, and yes I do make these bargains with myself a lot.

I’ve had a very productive knitting day! I finished the June Hat which is a free pattern on Ravelry. I had picked it just to use up two small balls of yarn, but I love it!! I decided not to put a Pom Pom on it do that it is reversible.

I want to make this hat several more times in several more colours!

I then used up another small ball of yarn by making this headband. This will just go into the donation basket, but I do think it’s cute.

Finally I have started another hat – the Kitimat- which is another free pattern on Ravelry, and which I think I’m going to love too! It has already used up another small ball so I am one skein away from being at my mid March goal.

Hopefully I’ll be fine this hat tomorrow! I am also thinking that I will keep stash busting and then only let myself buy as many skeins of yarn at the show as I am below my goal number. Maybe this would keep my stash under better control.

I have never been a huge hat knitter, but I am really enjoying it. I think my next project needs to be a three colour cowl or shawl.

Also, what would you make with this single skein?

I have about 165-190 yards.

Well I need to head to bed as I have an early run in the morning.

Have fun!

AJ