Bake, Read, Bake, Read…

A day that didn’t go as I planned which is unfortunately common when dealing with my family, but was still enjoyable!

Exercise:

I slept in this morning but went with my plan to run regardless of the time. It was so nice to run in daylight that I went out with no plan! Somewhere in my brain perhaps I was planning a ten k because I went out the hilly way first, but it just didn’t happen. I wasn’t fast, or particularly strong, but I was out there! At one point I calculated I had to do an hour today and an hour tomorrow to make up for the runs I missed this week and I immediately knew, that wasn’t happening!🤣 I’m happy with my 6.? km:)

I had no other exercise today though. That is becoming a too familiar refrain so I’d better get on that!

Reading:

I finished two books today, though I suppose one would be classified as a novella. I find it so difficult to tell the length of a book when I’m reading on my phone!

All You Need by Lorelei James.

This is the second book I’ve read in this series, though I don’t remember anything about the first! I didn’t even recognize any of the names in the book😞. This is the third book in this series. It tells the story of Annika, a PR executive at her family’s big company and Axl Hammerquist, a hockey player, new to the Minnesota Wild team.  All has a bad reputation and Annika is forced (through family pressure) to pretend to be his girlfriend to improve his image.

This is a relatively common premise in romance books and I was glad it didn’t follow the usual plot pattern.  I don’t want to spoil the plot, so I’ll just say there are some twists and turns. Besides the plot I enjoyed the two main characters. They are well developed and interesting. I can’t say I loved the background characters all the time, but it wasn’t horrible enough to ruin the story for me. I also liked how the timeline was more natural. In a lot of romance novels they seem to meet, fall in love, breakup and reconcile all within a matter of weeks, but this novel takes place over seven months, a much more realistic timeline, I think.

As I was reading, there was something that annoyed me, but for the life of me, I can’t remember it now. I’m going to have to start taking notes!🤣. I do remember that I didn’t like how the solving of one of the pivotal stumbling points was never explained!

I would recommend this book to fans of sports romances or hockey romances because that is a large focus of the book. However, readers who like a strong, business woman heroine would also enjoy it.  If I have the chance to read another book in the series, I definitely would!

The second book I read was The Christmas Fountain by Kait Nolan. It was a lovely seasonal short story. I have read almost all of Kait Nolan’s stories. This was an ARC given to me in exchange for an honest review that I will post on Amazon in a few days.

The story is of Mary Alice, a local grade three teacher in Wishful, and Chad, a new ER doctor in town. They meet after a friend’s drunken accident and there are instantaneous sparks and interest. A sweet romance ensues:)

I liked how Chad is a strong male hero who goes after what he wants, but isn’t a brute and shows a very sweet, caring side to Mary Alice. I didn’t mind Mary Alice, but I found it slightly unbelievable that she hadn’t even talked to friends after her breakup. She did better after her fight with Chad however, so I forgive her. I also really liked how this book intertwined the characters from Kait’s two series and gave an update on some of my favourite past characters.  The relationship, events and characters are very realistic for the most part, though the timeline is yet again, very quick!   I just don’t think I’d know I was in love within a few weeks, but maybe that’s just because I’ve never experienced that.   I really loved the character of Chad and would like him to be real! As well, the fountain sure didn’t play a central part which is what I was expecting from the title. I suppose it did its part when it was supposed to though.

If you like small town romances, medical stories or just a fun seasonal story, I would recommend, The Christmas Fountain by Kait Nolan.

Knitting:

I finally got a project finished this month. It’s just a simple child’s Cowl that I knit on my lunch hours and sewed up today.  I made it as a donation to the school’s Christmas Market which is a big fundraiser at my school. Hopefully it will sell! It did count for the Horcrux class on the Harry Potter Knit and Crochet House Cup on Ravelry so I got it entered on there:) My next project will be a plain garter knit striped scarf to use up all the ends of yarn I have at school.

Baking:

I spent most of the day baking. I had planned to make a bunch of things for my friend’s birthday tea tomorrow and then remake the winners for the staff’s Italian luncheon on Monday, but I’ve changed my mind.  When I told my friends I would bring the food ( the birthday girl doesn’t know there’s a cake for her), their response was so sweet!

“Aw, thanks AJ.I’ll happily be part of your test kitchen 😁”

In comparison, when I take stuff to work, I often hear stuff such as, ” oh where’s the gluten, or imagine how good it would taste with gluten added.” I get that they’re teasing me, but it’s definitely growing thin so I decided to bake for my friend’s tea and then just buy two desserts for the staff luncheon. I love to bake, but I think I’ll save it for people who appreciate it or who at least say thank you!

The first thing I made today was the applesauce cake from Connie’s Creations. I am part of the Fabtastic Bake Along hosted by Tracey. This is my second month participating and I’ve enjoyed it both times, though today I seem to have completely misunderstood ( I thought we were to make the applesauce cake) and messed up my earlier post about it ( forgot to put in links to all the other blogs partcipating😞).  All I can say is I’ll try to do better next month!  Since I already posted about that recipe- all I will say is that it was yummy and easy!

From here I moved onto a chocolate cake by Oh She Glows. I know my audience and my friends love chocolate! Here is a Link to a blog that has the recipe. It is her Double Layer Chocolate Fudge Cake. It was simple to put together though I ended up just doing one layer in my springform pan.  I also chose to put buttercream frosting on it rather than the avocado simply because I didn’t have an avocado. 

I’ll grab one to

Oreos of it all decorated. I need to grab a tube of coloured icing to write on it. I was feeling pretty good about the cake until I saw a blog today with an amazingly fancy looking cake, now mine looks plain and boring in comparison😞🤣

From chocolate cake, I moved onto Maureen’s pumpkin loaf. It went together super quick and baked up beautifully!

Finally I made some custard. I cheated and used Bird’s Custard mix which means I used 3TBSP of that, 3 TBSP of sugar and 2.5 cups of milk and had custard in minutes. I love creamy desserts so I’ll enjoy the break from chocolate tomorrow!

They will be prettied up with some blueberries in the morning.

That was all I had time for today, but I’m hoping to make some open faced cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches and some scones tomorrow. We’ll see how the day goes.

Work:

I met up with my friend Lyndsay to start my report cards today. Starbucks was crazy!!! It is taking me about 45-60 minutes to write each report card.  It’s a new report card to me and so far, I think I’m going to have a lot of parentscoming in holding it and asking, “so how is my child doing?”  One of my greatest pet peeves!! I’m hoping they speak up about not liking this report card as it doesn’t seem very parent friendly to me!

Family:

The rest of the evening I spent with my parents. Didn’t do anything exciting, just hung out and chatted. I’m still on the quest to get tired of them. I always hate transitioning! I understand my students so much better now!  I hope I get to see them tomorrow morning again, but we shall see:)

Well I’m off to bed as I have an 8am run in the rain.

Have fun!

AJ