Fantastic Bake Along- Mary Berry Gingersnap Edition

I’ve had a pretty good day:)

Exercise:

I actually couldn’t go for a run today because my shoes are still drying from yesterday! Of course this just made me want to go for a run even more!!

I got a workout in this afternoon. I did each of the following exercises for 50 seconds with a ten second rest and repeated each twice.

Shuffle squat, plank butt kick, sprint, jumping jack with dumbbell press, back lunge with front kick, high knees, sumo squat to narrow squat with bicep curl, fast feet, moguls, front lunge with dumbbell press, twisting mountain climbers, dumbbell reach with curtsy lunge, single leg bench squat, squat, narrow squat, sumo squat, plie squat, dips, roll ups, v ups, bicycles, oblique crunches. I was a sweaty mess by the end, but felt great:)

Baking:

Once again I am participating in the Fantastic Bake Along which is hosted by Traci at It’s a T Sweets Day. I was just starting to wonder when the next one would be and along it came. I’ve been craving ginger snaps so this one had perfect timing! I also love that it tells me what to bake:)

The recipe was a little different for me as it was all in grams, but I just pulled my food scale out and got to work:) It was great to use it again as it’s been a while.

The recipe can be found Here:). It was super easy to put together and it was such a lovely dough to work with! Literally it was four steps- put butter and syrup together and melt, put dry ingredients together, mix the two, put onto cookie sheet. How easy can it be?!?! The dough wasn’t sticky or heavy and I used my ice cream scoop to put it onto the cookie sheet so the cookies actually look pretty too! My cookies only took 12.5 minutes to bake though! They come out crisp and are a perfect dipping cookie!! I of course made them gluten free using a mixture of potato starch, xantham gum, white rice flour, sorghum flour, buckwheat flour and millet flour. I also used earth balance butter substitute. I really don’t think these made any difference to how they taste as they are yummy! My mom is going to be upset she missed them. They even remind me of the ginger snaps my grandma used to have in the cookie jar when I was little.

I’m sorry I have to cheat a bit, but I’m on a phone, so I’m going to use a picture to show you who else participates in the Fantastic Bake Along! Please check them out:)

Shopping:

I took my friend Kathryn to the ULS book sale first thing this morning. It was a bit of a wash for me as the picture book section of their big sale was gone the first day, but Kathryn had some success! There were of course books I wanted for my teaching, but I’m trying to behave myself! I also found a cookbook I liked and I’m now kicking myself for not buying it while it was 30% off!

I was supposed to take Kathryn her Christmas present but it only made it as far as the counter. I’ll have to make sure I see her again! She, of course, being the incredibly organized person she is, remembered mine.

A gorgeous agenda that I will enjoy every day for the next year! I was spoiled! I absolutely love the front cover and I know I’ll have fun setting it up later tonight:)

Reading:

I’ve been listening to Wives and Daughters on Librivox as I was knitting today. I just can’t shake the feeling that I’ve either seen this as a movie or read the book as it seems extremely familiar. I just can’t place from where and it’s driving me crazy! I’ve stuck with it as I want wifi to download another book. Maybe I’ll do that at coffee tomorrow.

I’ve also started my free ARC of Baby It’s Cold Outside by Kait Nolan. I’ve read all of her books and have enjoyed them. I’m only 20% done so far, but it’s already grabbed me more than the book I have been slogging through.

Knitting:

I got to start my new project today and it feels great to be using up yarn that I bought last year and to be working on a sweater!!!😀. It’s going well so far, though it did lead to some naughtiness.

I had to go buy new needles as the needles I needed were already in use for other projects. I decided to support my local yarn shop which was probably my mistake. I’m good at ignoring things in Michaels and Walmart, but my LYS has an amazing sale bin- 50% off!!!!! I got the three sets of needles which were expensive enough, but then I also picked up six more skeins of yarn. Don’t tell my mom or knitting buddy please!!!!!

I did manage to resist the silk yarn as there was only 240meters and I’m trying to avoid making more cowls this year!

I also got two more yarns into my Ravelry stash today:). I’m moving right along. My dream would be to have all of my yarn in my Ravelry stash and know exactly how many balls/skeins I have. I know I would be motivated to see the total go down, but I have so much yarn that I think this might just be a pipe dream:(

Well I’m up to knitting stockinette in the round so I’m going to throw on a Hallmark movie and get back to my knitting:)

Have fun!

AJ

Everything Crafty

A lovely day with my mom:)

Exercise:

I slept in this morning right to the 7:40 alarm!!! Wow!! Good thing I had set it so that I wouldn’t be late. I really felt non-energetic, but I had arranged to work out so off I went! We did a speed interval workout and then a hill interval workout on the treadmill. I wasn’t as fast as I usually am, but it will do. We then hit the floor work which was interspersed with elliptical minutes. I was definitely sweating by the end and the fact it kept changing actually made it seem to go faster:) I love working out with Lyndsay as she inspires me to challenge myself! I will never be where she is, but I definitely up the weights!!!

That is the only exercise I got to today, though I realized that the running I do with Lyndsay isn’t recorded on my runkeeper app:( I do all these extra kilometres that end up not counting towards my monthly goal:( Oh well…

One of my readers ( I still can’t believe I actually have readers🤣!) asked what the story is behind my commitment to running. It’s a long story, but the short version is that I spent my childhood overweight, lethargic, continuously feeling sick, with rheumatism and bad eczema. (Who knew it was all from food allergies that I would finally get diagnosed at the age of thirty!) I started running a bit in junior high. I’d go out really early in the morning and run out Back lane so that I wouldn’t meet anyone. That was going pretty good until one day I decided to do my run on the school track. A grade ten idiot boy walked beside me and jeered at me that he could walk as fast as I ran. Now I know I should have told my brothers, or at least not listened to him, but at the time I quit and didn’t run again for about ten years.  I really wish I had stuck with it and gotten i to running earlier! When I started to lose weight,I conquered  walking and then moved into running. I joined a local running group, hoping to meet new people, and ended up taking a learn to run clinic, several trail clinics, and two half marathon clinics as well as going back to lead the learn to run clinic. I joke that running gave me exercise and a life🤣. Today I can’t imagine not running! I love the high I get from it, the sense of accomplishment, the sporty way I feel, the awesome feeling of being able to wear anything I want, the feeling I’ve done something good for myself, and ensuring that I never go back to where I was!  There you have it- my running life in a nutshell:)

Cooking:

I got my food organized for this week. The scale has been creeping up a bit after all the good people made for us last week so I’m hoping to be super careful this week. Be warned, this will probably make me grumpy or hangry as I call it. I got all my food ready today. I have some friends who hate doing this but I find it saves me so much time during the week and then I don’t come in and eat a meal while I prepare my meal! I have toast and pub for breakfast, an apple for recess, yogurt, oatmeal and blueberries for lunch, carrots and peanut butter or hummus for after school snack and then chicken pasta bake for dinner.  Thank goodness I don’t mind eating the same thing everyday:) The toughest thing is going to be breaking my sweets habit I have right now, especially as I need to bake a birthday cake this week to try it and then make it again on Sunday.

Oh I almost forgot to tell you that I tried out a new tea today. It is a Celestial Seasonings Holiday Tea I had bought at the same time as the gingerbread spice tea I’ve been enjoying the past few weeks. 

My mom was sharing it with me so you’ll get two opinions. We both noticed that the tea stayed very light even though it was left to steep for at least five minutes. My mom’s comment was that it seemed weird that it was that light and that it really didn’t taste like much. I have to agree- if you’re looking for a tea that is very unflavourful, this will be perfect. The taste isn’t off- putting in any way- there’s just not a lot of taste there:( I also spent the whole time I was drinking it trying to figure out what I was smelling from it. I never did figure it out.  Overall I was very disappointed as I was really looking forward to sugar cookie tea!

Crafting:

I spent the day with my mom. ( I’m already dreading her leaving😔🙁). She tackled my seat cover again and I got ALL of my fourteen tea mug cosies finished for Christmas. Yay🎉🎊. This is rather late for me as I am usually done my presents in the summer, but I feel much better now that they are done. My house smells strongly of the essential oils I dabbed on them (I ended up using up three vials I had been given by a student last year- citrus bliss, lemongrass and lavender) and I can only hope they’ll retain that scent until I give them at Christmas!! I have them in plastic ziploc bags but if you have other advice for keeping the smell, please let me know!

This evening I watched Never Been Kissed, yes I am a rom com addict, while I worked on my toque. I think the fourth try might be a winner!! I’m loving how the colouring is working out! I’ll take a picture when it’s finished.

Shopping:

My mom realized this afternoon that she needed bias tape for the slipcover edges so we went over to the mall. We were hoping Walmart would have the bias tape, but they didn’t:( I did get my new earbuds returned, my three gift certificates transferred into one and some tea sachets bought to include with the tea mug cosy. My gifts are always homemade Christmas items, but they can include store bought items too. Maybe I’ll also make some cookies to put with them. Hmmm I’ll have to think about this!

I’m very disappointed about the earbuds as my run tomorrow morning is going to be very long without music! If anyone has a suggestion, please let me know:)

Blogging:

I have to ask if anyone knows how to solve this problem. I accidentally followed someone whose posts are in a different language, but when I press the ellipsis, and “unfollow site”, it says that I can’t:( Anyone know how to unfollow this blog???

Well I’m desperate to get some reading done so I’m going to go enjoy the last hour of my four day weekend (every weekend should be at least three days!) cuddled in bed with my book!

Have fun!

AJ

Where did the day go?

I don’t know how she does it?

Exercise:

I went out this morning for my run. I had been planning to do Guildford again, but I have to admit that run is always tough on me because I come back with such slow numbers. I know intellectually it’s because of stoplights and hills, but it’s still tough emotionally on me and I didn’t need that today! Besides, was I going to let one weird guy stop me from a run I like? So I decided to go out along Murray street. No weird guy, the usual runner and senior walking couple and awesome splits! I was happy! I was well under 7 minutes for each kilometre, except the last. I need to figure out a solution as I think I slow down because I know I’m running out of sidewalk.  Hmmm????

I didn’t walk to work today, but did have a workout with Lyndsay after school. We usually work out onMonday  morning but she was having to cut it short as her husband had to leave for work. It didn’t bother me ( I’m usually dying by then anyways), but it seemed to stress her out, so I suggested Friday nights. My motivation is way less to exercise on Friday after work so better to be meeting someone!  It worked great! I also grabbed a few pictures of the new garden across the street from me as I was waiting for her.

We jogged over to her gym as our warm up and then did 25 minutes of intervals on the treadmill. I’ve noticed that my pace has increased. She goes between hard and harder and my pace used to be 5.8/6.2 and now it’s 6.6/7.3. 🎊🎉🎊🤔

We hit the floor for some weights. 13 reps since it was the thirteenth and four sets of chest press, bicep curl, skier squat, jump squats and punch jacks. Yup I worked my tush off!

Teaching:

It was crazy today! We had a department head meeting so my day started early as it was my turn to pick up the coffees ( though I did enjoy the eye candy in the coffee shop this morning. Maybe I need to do this more often lol).  The meeting was fine but I was asked to deal with another discipline issue as my principal’s daughter was involved. This turned out to be a she said/she said situation around lice.  It worked out fine as it seemed to have been a misunderstanding, but it took all day to deal with it! I had to interview all three girls separately and then speak with them all together. I started st 9:30 this morning and was fitting it in all day until finally at 2pm it was resolved:( grrr I so don’t want to be a principal and I’m not paid enough for this!!!!! The one good thing that came of it was that my students have been rockstars dealing with me leaving all the time! They can be so sweet!

We made Where Is Turkey mini books this morning and they got their mini book bags ( ziplock bags) to keep in their desks. You’d think I’d given them gold!

We also did leaf rubbing art this afternoon. We took a quick run outside to collect four or five leaves each and then came in and did rubbings with warm colours ( there was the art concept!). They actually turned out great and I meant to get a picture of some of them. Oh well, Monday when I get them put up!

Eating/ Cooking

Just too many scones!!!

Blogging:

I’ve found so many interesting people to follow, but now it takes me so much longer to get through reading then all😂. A true first world problem!  Abbey, I’ll get to that tag this weekend, unless I’ve left it too long? Shucks I didn’t check to see if there was a time limit😳

Reading:

I haven’t been reading much this week but I think it’s because I have to read my book club book. I’m not really good when someone tells me what I have to do. Now though, I really have to read it as book club is next Sunday!😳. I love book club but some of the books are tougher to get through!

Knitting:

I was thinking of keeping my project a secret but decided to tell my mom what I was doing. I’m taking apart a sweater my grandma made for my aunt in the 80s or 90s. My mom called it a polar bear sweater but I think more of a yeti,🤣. Right away my mom said she thought it would make awesome pillow covers for her new RV. Thank you mom since that’s exactly what I was planning to do! So here I sit, taking apart a sweater.

The sweater, though it really doesn’t show its ginormous size.

I wish I had more interesting plans to tell you about tonight but it’s Friday night and I’m a teacher so the teapot is the furthest I’m going tonight!

Just had to show the pretty sky outside my place tonight:)

Everyone have fun for me!

AJ

A Totally Fabulous Saturday!

It’s been a great day from start to finish!

Exercise:

I woke up this morning at 5:48am (why, I don’t know?), but it got me out the door by 6:20 to face the crunch. I felt like I was doing well and I was ahead of my expectations until I got to the final (5th) part and suddenly I got my worst time yet:(

When I compared last week to this week, ( no runkeeper I don’t need to pay for the premium to do this!) I noticed that I started off slower, so I really think I need to concentrate on gaining some time on the first few sections so that I have more than six minutes for the last. I identified some spots (on my run down) where I think I could run up next week and I’m wondering if it would be faster to walk up the hill than to do the stairs? It might kill my timing if it’s not faster, but I think I’ll try next week.

I also got workout #2 in this afternoon which was a warm up, and then ten exercises, such as DB press with a squat jump forward and back, push-up with leg raise, plank with side leg raise, side lunges, forward lunge to deadlift.it wassupposed to be two 30 second sets through, but I decided to challenge myself and do one minute sets. Then there was a minute of jacks, a burnout of mountain climbers, etc and abs. It wasn’t a deadly workout but I felt like I worked everything:)

I even got out for a walk this evening as well, so I am totally happy with my fitness for the day!

Socializing:

I went to antique fair with two work colleagues/friends this morning. There were probably over a hundred vendors and unfortunately most of them were overpriced. My frugal nature likes garage sales much more! I did manage to find a big glass jar to add to my collection for holding my various flours and I got a Harry Potter lego cook for my classroom. Not the most exciting finds, but as I said, stuff was too expensive and some vendors weren’t willing to barter:( It was a successful morning in the sense of quality time with my friends though!

My mom actually made the purchase of the day when she found two table lamps for my classroom in a second hand store on the Island for $15! Yay Mom!!!!

Eating:

I’ve had a much better day in terms of eating than I have had lately. I got to have my cinnamon bun after my run this morning. I should have taken a snack with me, but managed to just have chicken when I came in the door, though I was starving. I added fruit salad with a dollop of yogurt and some veggies and dip, cucumber and cheese for dinner. I was so stuffed after this dinner that I went for a walk.  I am definitely happier when I can snack than when I have to eat a meal! I wanted to bake this morning, but made fruit salad instead to contribute to my healthy week! Oh I forgot, I also had two marshmallows. Not bad, one little slip from the plan.

Reading:

I finished the book Homecoming by Shannon Stacey tonight for the second time😀. I realized pretty early on that I had already read it but decided to reread it anyways.  This is the third instalment in her Boys of Fall series (seems the perfect time to read it) and tells the story of Jen Cooper and Sam Leavitt. They grew up together but didn’t have much interaction until one hot night when Sam had been back in town briefly for a football fundraiser. When Sam comes back to coach during an emergency, they get together more seriously.

Yet again, I enjoyed the friendship group in this book. They are close without being joined at the hip.  I also enjoyed the quietness of the problem, both characters stayed true to their natures and there wasn’t any high drama!

I think that anyone who likes sports romances or small town romances will enjoy this entire trilogy!

Knitting:

I’ve had lots of time for knitting today, but little jobs have gotten in the way so I will probably only get one pattern repeat done, even though I thought I’d get at least two. Oh well, tomorrow is another day and I’ll have even more time then. I was super happy this morning though when I found my yarn at the Port Meadows Michaels store. I quick bought the three extra balls I needed😀. I’m not sure that the new balls are the same dye lit as I can’t even find a dye kit on these labels, so I think I will start intermixing them right away so that if there’s a difference in colour, it will be throughout the second half of the afghan.  I’m off to knit to my heart’s content!

Have fun!

AJ

Unbelievable

Well parts of my day have been unbelievable!

Exercise:

I started my day with a good run out along Murray Street, through the middle of Rocky Point Park and back along the trail to home. It felt like a good run, but nothing amazing. I was just enjoying the crisp fall air and thinking how nice it is to run at that temperature:) I got back to an alert that it was my fastest 4-6km run ever. This was my screen:


Unbelievable! I don’t think I ran a 4:40/km, even the 5:59 requires a stretch of the imagination! I think that when I stopped in the middle of the park to take this picture of the pretty scenery


it screwed up my running program. I will let it stand for now, but I highly doubt this run. Maybe I need to ask around and see what run trackers everyone else uses…

I got a walk in with my running buddy in Mundy Park this afternoon. We did the big loop and kept up a good pace. It is unbelievable how much one person can lift your spirits and make you feel lighter. The walk seemed to fly by as we discussed knitting and everything else under the sun:)

I got some squats and high knees done just before bed, but that’s it for weights today:(

Teaching:

Well I’ve already identified the student I should call on when I want the right answer:) She was away yesterday, but today, she was very handy to have in class!  It was a good day with my students today! I need to remember to plan less and take my time with each activity. The students and I both have a better day and get less frustrated this way. There’s just so much to get through that I always feel like I need to rush. This class is quite quiet and I find it interesting that for many of them, quiet time is their favourite time of day. I finished the last two sets of duo tangs today so I am officially done all student books! 🎉🎊🎉 I just had to show off my monthly duo tangs! It’s pretty unbelievable how smiley neat, new duo tangs can make me:)


Eating:

I have been eating way too much and the scale is starting to reflect it. I know it’s because my food isn’t planned out and because I’m just using up what’s in the house so it’s not the best choices:( I need to remember the saying I read a while back, “anyone can work out for an hour a day, true strength is controlling what goes on your plate the other twenty three”. I have a pretty quiet weekend so I’m going to use this weekend to reset my stomach. It won’t be pretty, but I’ll be happier with myself!

I tried my 9 Bean Soup in the crockpot today and ended up just throwing it all in the garbage, so not worth the calories! I threw the rest of the soup mix out too as I think it’s stale. The best part of that soup was the awesome container it came in:)

My running buddy gave me some beans, tomatoes, kale and I umber out of her friend’s garden tonight. I used that kale and my own to make kale chips.  I’m laughing because I picked the first recipe that popped up on Pinterest, which was much simpler than any other recipe I’ve used, and it turned out the best yet!!! It’s unbelievable that the simplest turned out the best! Yum! They’ll make a great after school snack tomorrow. Hmmm maybe they should also be my snack on Saturday too!

Here’s the recipe I used:  http://dish.allrecipes.com/how-to-make-baked-kale-chips/?lnkid=pin11097&crlt.pid=camp.J2kmZ2wzpPxY

Knitting:

I got right to work on my pattern repeat tonight as I have six pattern repeats to do and six days until my parents get home. Hmmm another unbelievable coincidence:). Usually my phone is pretty quiet and I’m a little lonely at night, but tonight there were a flurry of text messages so I only got half a pattern repeat done. Oh well, I’ll enjoy my friends when I get them:) I’ll just have to do a pattern and a half tomorrow!

Well, I just realized I have three meetings tomorrow so I won’t get any breaks, therefore, I need to get to sleep!

Have fun!

AJ

Sorry,Just Another Day

It seemed like just another day…

Exercise:

I worked out this morning as I was trying to make myself go to run clinic tonight. I did the dirty thirty workout. It wasn’t perfect as I didn’t want to be stomping around at 6:20 in the morning, so I went low impact but tried to go deep into the moves. It was at least something! I was sweating, but not like I usually am after a workout:(

I walked to and from work which I’ve decided has to count for my walk, even though it’s only 27 minutes total.

I did get my butt out the door to run clinic at the Port Moody Runner’s Den tonight. It was tough as I was nervous! I used to be a loyal clinic attendee but somehow I got away from it. I’ve decided that I need to get back to it!! I went with the ten minute group as that was the one a friend was leading. It was a challenge, but I managed to maintain a spot in the middle of the group.  We did intervals of 90 seconds hard/60 seconds rest, 60 seconds hard/ 30 seconds rest, 30 seconds hard/2.5 min rest and we did the set four times. It was a good challenge, but I didn’t feel hopeless and I think it will really help my running to be forced to try new things! Adding 7km to my monthly total was nice too!

Teaching:

Well the honeymoon period is waning. I had a little boy who made it to his third warning for putting his hands on others and had to step out into the hall and I had to re-organize the carpet seating to split up some problematic groups of children. It’s only the second day!! I can’t be that mean of a teacher though as I got four hugs and a picture today:) We are making progress in knowing the routines, though I really need to get on memorizing the “special order” as right now, I have the worst time figuring out if they’re in the correct order 😂 We have definitely been planning too much as I always forget how young they are when they come into my classroom in September. They really are just kindergarteners still! We’ll get there though:)

Knitting:

I’ve managed to get four rows of my afghan done tonight. It’s great that I am knitting this right now as it is cooler at night now and the afghan is keeping me warm as I knit on it:)

Healthy Living:

I have to admit that I’ve been slacking on the careful eating and consequently I’ve been ranging from 98-101 pounds. Tonight though my friend noticed and commented on the fact that I had lost weight. That has definitely given me the impetus to be more careful, I didn’t even have a snack when I came home:) I better come up with some healthy meals from my cupboards and I need to remember how little I actually need to eat to survive!

I often think that people avoid commenting on weight loss as they’re afraid of saying the wrong thing or making the person feel bad, but sometimes it’s just what the person needs. I’ve worked hard and nobody says anything. I didn’t lose the weight for anyone but myself, but it is nice to have it noticed on occasion, that I look better than I used to!

I’ll have to work on having more exciting days do that my blog is more interesting:) 🤣

Have fun!

AJ

A Well Rounded Day:)

A lovely day on almost every front:)

Exercise:

I woke up at six, but didn’t really have the motivation to go run the crunch like I had promised myself. I finally gave myself permission to just walk it today if I needed to as I didn’t want the pain and tingling in my finger to become a permanent thing. ( For one tiny appendage it’s sure being a pain!). I wish I could say I was motivated to do it by the knowledge that it was good for me mentally, physically and emotionally, but rather I was motivated by a cinnamon bun 😜 When I froze the cinnamon buns I made last week I told myself I could have one each Saturday that I ran the crunch. I really wanted a cinnamon bun today!  When I got to the crunch there were tents set up and I realized it was the crunch challenge today. I didn’t really want to be inundated with people so I asked someone when it started and found I only had twelve minutes. I figured I’d be dealing with people by the third section, but the man must have been wrong because I made it all the way up and down without being run over by a horde:) I walked a lot and ran the flats, but still managed to better my time!!🎊🎉 I took fourteen seconds off my time and now sit at 25:10. Still not great, but I’ll take every second of improvement I can get:)

I also got a walk in today as I walked around Sasamat Lake with a running buddy and her two dogs.  This path includes a service road at one of the lake and then a well maintained path the rest of the way. There are stairs so I wouldn’t recommend it for someone with a stroller or wheelchair or bike, but it’s a lovely forty minute walk with gentle inclines and a clear path for the most part. It was a stroll today,  but a lovely one.  These times with my running buddies are as effective as counselling, but cheaper than therapy:). It’s one of the things I love best! The two cute dogs didn’t hurt either. 

Unfortunately I have not done a workout today, so I get a fail on that one:(

Reading:

I have a shelf in my house where I store books that have been loaned to me so that I can ensure they stay neat and don’t get mixed in with my many piles.  Two of my work colleagues had loaned me books last June and both have mentioned them this week so I knew I needed to get going on them (a difficult thing when I have so many chick lit books in the house).  I had started the book, Between by Angie Abdou in June when my friend had given it to me, but had found the main female character, Vero, very difficult to read about. She exhausted me with her dramatic mood swings and I found her to be annoying, though I suppose all this angst is the main theme of the book. The book is well written, but not really my cup of tea. The thing I liked the most was that it mentioned Canadian places in it, like Edmonton. If you’re feeling confused about your life or the role you have in your life or are having difficulty with your role as a mother, you will identify closely with Vero and probably enjoy the book.

Socializing:

Today I met another friend that I have had since junior high, but unlike Thursday, I have been looking forward to this one. My girlfriend has a one year old boy who is a delight and it’s so awesome to see her interact with her son! There is a lot of love in every moment, even though I know she’s exhausted! We met at the Port Moody Public Library which has an awesome children’s section with many toys attached to the walls and a train table as well as large board book, picture book, novels and movie collections.  It was so neat to see how much her boy has grown and he’s walking now! I can’t wait to see him again!

Baking:

I was so ecstatic when it started raining on me on the crunch this morning because that meant I could finally bake! ( Just wish I had thought to put my phone in a bag! I’m lucky it’s still working.) I have book club tomorrow so while I wanted to make a set of cinnamon buns, I decided I should try Swedish Cardamom Rolls which turned out to be just like cinnamon buns. I found these when I searched Swedish food recipes on Pinterest and it looked easy and pretty. You can find the recipe at:

http://www.girlversusdough.com/2015/11/09/swedish-cardamom-buns/

The recipe was easy to follow and while it wasn’t created to be gluten free and dairy free, it of course, ended up being these in my kitchen. It’s a simple bread recipe with the addition of cardamom to the dough. The difference came in the shaping of the dough into braids rather than rolls.  The recipe adapted to dairy free milk and butter and gluten free flour very well. I’m just upset that they didn’t turn out perfectly because of my own stupid mistake.  A few weeks ago I suspected that my oven temperature was out and so bought a thermometer to stick in it. Of course tonight I forgot to check what the temperature really was in the oven and then because of so many raw mistakes lately, I decided to force myself to stick to the full cooking time it called for. Wouldn’t you know it, they came out looking very brown. They taste great still and I really like the addition of the cardamom to what seems just like a cinnamon roll. I will make them again tomorrow for book club and will be very careful to not overbrown them. I guess this batch will join my other cinnamon buns in the freezer as crunch incentives in the coming weeks.

It’s been a great day and there is no set run tomorrow at 8am as the organizer is away at a wedding so I’m going to go snuggle into bed with my book and wake up to a run whenever I do so naturally:)

Have fun!

AJ

A Little of Everything

Running:

For the first time in a while, there were a few running buddies around this morning, unfortunately none of them ran with me:( We ran Mundy Park and I am proud to say I didn’t get lost this time and I did it in 29:58 which I think is good for me! Mundy Park in Coquitlam is a great place for a summer Sunday morning run. First it is well forested so it’s often several degrees cooler on the trails than in the parking lot. Secondly, it is dog off leash time until 10am so I get my dog fix as I run. This morning I had to stop at the bottom of cardiac hill because I was being herded. 😂 The trails in Mundy are wide and well groomed so it is appropriate for strollers etc, just beware the entire park is a hill. I have ran the Perimeter trail both ways and it is within seconds and meters of each other. You just can’t win!

I also got a workout I need on this hot day, though I was sweating bullets. I started over in my book of workouts with workout #1 and it was still a challenge! I keep waiting for the day when they become easier! I am really motivated right now though because I’m hoping working out will build muscle which will make running the crunch easier and faster!

My walk tonight was the same old Inlet trail.IMG_8872 It was very pretty tonight, but I really need to investigate some more walks I can do on my own!

Eating:

I thought I’d be able to say I hadn’t had a treat today, but nope I had a frappe after my run this morning, a very large one because it was free. I should never have a drink as a treat as it just doesn’t seem to register with my stomach like food does:(

Otherwise, today is Sunday which is my food prep day and I decided to stick to the schedule. My fruit salad, tuna salad, egg salad and veggie sticks are all prepared. I liked how this week I cut down on plastic bags by putting my veggie sticks in a larger container and then putting the hummus in a silicone muffin cup in the same container. I hope it works well! I’m also hoping that having all my food prepared will help with the transition back to work this week, though as I type this I realize I should get my dinners ready too.

Knitting:

I fairhfully did another pattern repeat on the afghan for my parents. I’m loving how it looks, but I must really love them to knit an Afghan in thirty degree weather!!! I so wish I had more time so I could work on a small project right now!

Otherwise, all I did today was spend three hours making up the supervision schedule, ugh:(!!!!

Its off to sleep with me now as tomorrow is the last day I don’t have to set an alarm! We’ll see if I manage to sleep in at all.

Have fun!

AJ

Good Things

Why does there have to be balance in life, can’t it all just be awesome?

Running:

Well… I did it! I got up this morning ( though I didn’t want to), laced up my running shoes and walked over to the Coquitlam Crunch. I was giving myself a pep talk the whole way there- ” it doesn’t matter how far you get, it’s a starting point, you’re lucky you can run at all, just do your best,” etc. I gave myself no chance to chicken out and started as soon as I got to the gate. I ran the entire first section which is all uphill, ran to the stairs in the second section, did 437 stairs at a steady pace, ran to the end of the second section. On the third, fourth and fifth sections I ran parts and walked parts. It took me 25:24 minutes to get to the top. Yesterday when I walked the crunch it took me 31 minutes so I suppose I was better. There is a lot of room for improvement, but at least I’m now over the mental hurdle of the first attempt. I’m thinking that I will try to run it every Saturday morning. Now that I have a time, I can work on lowering it! Lol for being not into competitive sports, I’m sure competitive with myself!

I also got my inlet walk in and a workout. I know I need to work out daily as I noticed on my run up the crunch this morning that my legs didn’t feel very strong😞Definitely need to work on that!

Back to School:

I gave in and went to the teacher store downtown Vancouver today. Collins Educational has everything a person could possibly imagine! It cost me $60 to get out of there, and that didn’t include the paper I had to buy for the school! I keep telling myself that I won’t spend any more money on my classroom, and yet I do at the first opportunity. Collins is an interesting place because while the three women are very helpful, none of them seem to enjoy their job:(

Eating:

My mom came to the teacher store with me and on the way we stopped at The Gluten Free Epicurean. 

http://www.glutenfreeepicurean.ca

This is a totally gluten free cafe and bakery. It has a large selection of baked goods along with smoothie and frozen and packaged items you can take home.

My mom and I got the vegan cinnamon bun, a strawberry galette and a pot of English Breakfast tea.  We demolished everything. The galette had a crisp, flakey pastry that had sugar crystals on it. The filling was sweet without being too sweet. The cinnamon bun was moist and doughy.  My mom even liked both items and said they didn’t taste gluten free or dairy free! That is a big compliment coming from her! I noticed on the way out that they even have gluten free waffle cones!  I baked the frozen cinnamon buns I brought home ( it got too hot in my car for them) and they turned out fabulous too! This cafe is definitely worth a visit and I will be stopping by to try other goodies for sure!

I didn’t eat again until this evening when my parents and I went for dinner at the Brew Street Pub in Port Moody. I had been there before and had been very impressed, but unfortunately this visit was not as successful. You now seat yourself so my parents and I found a spot on the patio with a few other patrons. We waited more than fifteen minutes and then had to flag down a waitress. We were sure to order both our drinks and food at the same time. It still took another fifteen minutes for our drinks to come out. The food came quickly after that. I had the tuna tataki and it was okay, though the tuna was not very flavourful:(. The sangria was also not very flavourful and had canned peaches in it:( We had to ask to have our table wiped off as it was filthy dirty and when we looked around we noticed the patio as a whole had a lot of garbage on it and was mainly being used for storage it seemed. I hate to say it, but I don’t think I’ll be back.

Shopping:

Had a chance to go shopping with my mom today. It’s a nice treat to have a brutally honest opinion to go shopping with! I definitely know if something flatters me from the back as well the front with my mom around. I found a cute jean jacket to replace the one I shrunk out of, a blouse for work, and a couple of pairs of pyjamas:) All in all, a good shopping trip. I even convinced my mom to buy a new pair of shoes!

Knitting:

i am enjoying knitting this afghan pattern. It comes from a Leisure Arts book I bought years ago and is about the eighth afghan I have completed. This book has definitely paid for itself! I am getting a little concerned though as I’m only on my second pattern repeat and I am already on my third ball of wool😳

Well I suppose all these good things today had to be tempered by something not so good:( I thought that my parents were going to the Oliver Wine Festival and then coming home for a month or so before heading south for the winter, but they informed me today that when they leave for the wine festival they’ll be gone until Spring. This is great for them and I’m glad they’re enjoying their retirement, I just was expecting them to not be leaving before November 11th! I just need to wrap my head around this. I suppose it’s just because I don’t have my own family that I really notice their absence when they’re gone. It almost makes me want to go back to online dating so I’m not alone so much!

All of these great things happened to me today- vanquished a running fear, a craving satisfied, successful shopping, peaceful knitting and great company and allmy mind focuses on is the one element not to my liking that I can’t change! Grrrrr!

Well that’s enough complaining for one night.

Have fun!

AJ

Play in the Sunshine

The labour day weekend is always tough for me as it signals the end of my freedom to do anything and everything I feel like each day:(

Socializing:

I spent most of the day at The Fair, aka The PNE.  It is not my number one way to spend a day, but a close friend loves it and I count it as quality time with her:). I think my problem with it is that I don’t love big crowds (being short and in a crowd is not a good time!) and the Fair is all about the food- mini donuts, cotton candy, fudge, deep fried everything, etc, none of which I can eat:( Oh well, I survived another year:) We started off in the barns where I saw chicks, ducks and a beauty of a horse who is called Manley.

We grabbed food. I found a Pad Thai that was gluten free and dairy free at Saltspring Noodlebox. Thank you!  I actually did research this year and had four choices I was looking for. The wraps all had cheese on them, I didn’t find the salmon salad until much later as it was over in Playland and I unfortunately also missed seeing the tacos I could have had:( The Pad Thai had good flavour and I watched them use a new pan and utensils to make it, just wish the ingredients had been a little more mixed. I ate through layers- cilantro, bean sprouts, rice noodles and finally some chicken on the bottom. Lol.

We watched the Superdogs show. It always make sense me want a dog for about five minutes until I remember how much work they are and how little I am actually home.

We went through toytopia which is advertised as the history of toys. It was interesting, but I found it very unorganized, and you had to pay a $1 each to try the arcade games!!!

I tried to have dairy free frozen yogurt, but they were sold out so I settled for the vegan vanilla from Rocky Point Ice Cream.  Not the most exciting thing.

When we were going through the pop up market tents right after, I wished I had saved my money and calories for the ice cream marshmallow combo item that was for sale in those tents. It sounded very interesting.

We also checked out the Marketplace and the History of the Hockey Hall of Fame. I’m a huge hockey fan, but neither of these was all that interesting:( I don’t know what I was expecting, but that wasn’t it.  Overall it wasn’t a bad day, the only part I really didn’t love was walking through Playland at the end. I don’t ever need to see that many people or hear them shrieking on rides.

Baking:

Before I left this morning I made a batch of Apple Chai Scones so that there would be something in the house for my mom to eat if she ended up at my place sewing today. The recipe is from a new cookbook I got called, The Allergy Free Cook Bakes Bread by Laurie Sadowski. The recipe was very easy to follow and quick to pull together. The baking time was accurate and the scones were moist! They were very delicious! The only problem I had with them ( which was completely my fault) is that they were too thin to slice open and put butter on, but that’s only because I patted them out too thin, forgetting that they wouldn’t rise!IMG_8787

The only change a I made to the recipe was to use turbinado sugar on top and next time, I’d probably just use normal.

Exercising:

I did not run this morning because I slept in and my knee was still a little sore.  I ended up being very lazy and don’t work out either so with these two fails in mind, I decide do that my walk had to be more difficult than my usual inlet walk.  I decided to do the Coquitlam Crunch.

The second section of five has 437 stairs. I can never remember how many there are but today I counted back from 475 and that strategy worked well. The trail is wide and well groomed, but very steep! I used to run this trail both ways before I got hit, but haven’t yet gotten back to doing so. I’ve mostly avoided trying to run it for fear that I won’t be able to:(. I’ve decided that tomorrow morning I should try because the worst thing that can happen is that I will need to walk and that will give me a starting point for improving. I figure by putting it in my blog, I now have to do it! Hopefully it works!

Exercise wise, I’m going to try something new in September. Kathryn @ Dancing to Running has inspired me to set a distance goal. This goal will only be for my running and since I have no idea how far I run in a month, I’m going to try for 80km this month.  We’ll see how I do😳

Knitting:

I’be been working on the afghan for my parents and have finished one pattern repeat and the bottom border which has taken one and a half balls of yarn!  I went with the needle size that was called for on the yarn package and I considered ripping it out for the second time and going with the larger needle called for in the pattern, but have decided to go forward with what I’ve started as i don’t like big holes in my afghans.  This just turned into a very heavy and expensive Afghan however! I had better get it done before they leave on their trip because I definitely wouldn’t be able to ship it or put it in my luggage when I visit them!

Well, I’m going to go start one of mtn been library books:)

Have fun!

AJ