Intense but Rewarding

My day was quite rushed at times, but really was lovely!

Exercise:

I forgot to check last night whether my Sunday run alarm was on. Thankfully I woke up only seven minutes late, but it was a rush to get out the door in time!  We ran Coquitlam River trail. Only two of us were running and the rest wanted us to get it done so they could get to coffee. I wanted to run all the way around so we set off at a pretty good pace (for me).  Forgetting to bring extra shoes and socks when running during a rainfall warning is not a good thing! I became one of those people I usually chuckle at- the ones who carefully run around puddles. I usually run straight down my side of the path and take mud and water as my badge of a run well done, but alas, not today. I tried to stay dry but it just wasn’t possible! One thing both my running buddy and I noticed was that we had to watch a lot more carefully as the leaves were good at hiding roots and rocks. Thankfully only two near misses and no catastrophes:). We did the whole loop in thirty five minutes which is unheard of for me and we were back before the walkers! I think my phone lost its signal as it says we were doing a 7:27 at the start and we most definitely were going faster than that! I am proud of this run because I was running fast for me and though I wanted to slow down, I didn’t and kept pushing myself:) It might have had something to do with the fact Dennis waited for me regularly and I didn’t want to hold him up. It was sweet of him to keep me in sight as this is a trail I don’t like to run alone!

I haven’t liked having to say repeatedly that I didn’t get any other workouts in so tonight I made sure I did! I warmed up and then did a tabata workout of: mountain climbers/push-ups, skaters/squats, high knees/ jumping jacks, burpees/flutter kicks. It was short but intense and I felt great!!!

Family:

After a quick tea with my running buddies I drive by my parent’s place. I had perfect timing! Just as I was starting up the stairs I heard their voices in the foyer. I helped my mom distribute everything my dad had piled in the doorway of the trailer and then got one last hug from both of them before they set off on their next adventure:)

Baking:

I grabbed some groceries and finished up the tea food. I made open face cream cheese and cucumber on rye ( gluten free- Canton Bakehouse makes a good one) sandwiches. I got the cake writing done and I got scones made. This is the Recipe I made and they turned out fabulous! I used the cup 4 cup flour I used yesterday and they came out looking amazing. I had one when they were warm out of the oven and it was amazing ( truthfully better than when they were cold later on).  It only took about ten minutes to whip them up too so I was super happy! I’ll try a few more recipes with this new flour, but it might become my new regular flour. I just have to find a cheaper buying option!  My friends seemed to enjoy the spread and thankfully they kept most of the leftovers!

I’m sure the other visitor at tea would have enjoyed some too, but he had his own feast!

We told my friend she needs to get a mini heat lamp so they can get warm and dry!🤣

One thing I learned at the tea is that the fifth member of our junior high group was in town two weeks ago. Three of the girls got together but nobody bothered to let Em and I know:(. I have the feeling I know who organized this and I think it just gives me permission to stop trying. I had texted her about today’s meetup which she declined due to a family commitment, but I really think I’m done!

I also made the Oh She Glows Chocolate Hazelnut Torte tonight just because I already had the cashews soaking. I’ve made this recipe before and it’s always a hit:). You can find the Recipe on this blog. I’ll try to grab a picture of it tomorrow at the luncheon. I had planned this and a tiramisu but nobody at work really seems to appreciate my baking so I bought them lemon loaf and a caramel cake. They are only getting the torte because I had to use the soaked cashews. I don’t think it got very smooth though so it might not even taste good:(

Knitting/ Reading:

I’ve been having a lovely evening sitting here listening to Jane Eyre on Librivox and knitting on my toque. I thought I’d finish so I could show you, but it won’t happen tonight, so maybe tomorrow:)

I hope you all had a great Sunday!

Have fun!

AJ

Recharging

A lovely, quiet Sunday!

Exercise:

I met up with two running buddies for a run at Hyde Creek this morning. Brenda had to walk due to her on-going foot issues. She hasn’t yet said her running days are over, but I think they may be:( That might be the toughest thing ever for a runner- deciding that running can no longer happen. I’ll hold out hope for a while longer for both of our sakes😜 I did a 44 minute run out and back.   Felt pretty good for the day after I pushed myself in a 10 km run:) It was so foggy that my other running buddy Dennis who can do circles around me, kept turning around to come back and check on me as he couldn’t see me in the fog. I have met so many wonderful people running! I don’t know if Dennis realizes he checked on me each time we came across a lone male on the path and each time we had to cross a road ( I’m still slightly skittish after being knocked over by an SUV. I’ll cross by myself, but hopefully there’s no vehicles in sight!). It’s just the kind of person he is and I’ve found most runners take care of each other. It’s sure a nice community to be a part of!

The only interesting photo I got this morning. The fog lifted just after this, but before it was like running through pea soup!

My run also served the purpose of a test run for my new sports bra. It seemed to work fine and I’ve now thrown it through the wash so we’ll see how that goes and then perhaps I’ll be off to buy as many more as I possibly can!!!  Putting on a wet sports bra could be used as torture!

I am happy to say that I also got a workout in today. It is called the max out tabata and it took me thirty minutes. Amazingly, twenty seconds on, ten seconds off of high impact movements doesn’t seem as difficult anymore. I’m almost afraid to say that to Lyndsay though as she’ll up the difficulty level😳. She had me doing lunge jumps, squat jumps, scissor abs, L sits, tricep dips, high knees, skaters, punching and many more!  Each area of the body had four different moves to target it and it was rounded off with two sets of cardio for a total of six tabata sets. I wasn’t dripping sweat, but I was definitely breathing hard!

Eating:

It seems I am to become a regular at the Coquitlam Grill🤣. Brenda, Dennis and I went for brunch after our run.  Brenda and I were planning on this as we thought it would be just the two of us, but Dennis turned up for the run and decided to join us for brekkie too, and he even paid for it! So not necessary, but a lovely treat! I had exactly the same breakfast as yesterday except my egg was scrambled today. I know that many people probably like to try something new every time they go to a restaurant, but for me with my food allergies, I love it when I find a dish that works for me and I don’t have to spend achingly long studying and deciphering the menu to determine what is going to be safe for me to eat!!

A few days ago I read Pinkiebag’s post about gingerbread tea and today when I had to walk two extra blocks to the next grocery store when the one across the street from me didn’t have my dairy free cream cheese(yes I know I still have it much. Enter than lots of people) , I saw gingerbread spice tea and thought I was getting the same as she had reviewed and recommended. Alas, it was not to be😞I picked up Celestial Seasonings Gingerbread Spice tea. I am not a tea connoisseur as I’ll drink anything, but it seems good to me:)! It definitely had a very strong scent even when I just took the outer plastic off! I must have been hungry when I ran over to the grocery store as this tea is not the only new gluten free, dairy free item I came home with!

I also got all my food ready for the week so I have healthy food ready to go and have no excuses for mindless or unhealthy eating! I want to be back down by the time my mom comes home so we can go shopping!!!

Baking:

Well I had to try out the new Gluten Free and Vegan Bread cookbook I got last weekend so I decided to try the cinnamon raisin buns as I have been in a quest to find the best recipe for gluten free and dairy free cinnamon buns. These were very easy to make, though I was surprised that there was no time allotted for rising when the recipe called for active dry yeast.   The good points: the recipe came together quickly, it definitely rolled up the best of all the recipes I’ve tried so far and it came out as a very nice bread texture. The downfalls are that I don’t like how there were black spots all throughout the dough from the Chia seeds and I found them dry and not cinnamony enough.   I think next time I will use regular eggs because I can and it will eliminate the black dots and I think I’ll try cutting down the flour slightly and upping the cinnamon. I also need to find the maple butter she was talking about! I still ate three which cannot be considered a healthy diet anywhere😞😏😫😖 and I was doing so well at getting rid of those pounds!  At least I’ve put the rest in the freezer now.

Crafting:

I’ve worked a bit on my rug today. Every time I tell myself that doing a thread or two isn’t getting much done, I remind myself it’s more than what was getting done when it was on top of my bookshelf.

I have also spent some time looking through all my knitting books and on Ravelry trying to find a pattern to use my Granite Stare Madeline Tosh yarn for. I have come to the realization it will either be the Dijon tank or a pair of mitts that flip open to be hand warmers. If anyone has an opinion and wants to weigh in on this decision, please do! I’m horrible at making decisions! The yarn is gray and fingering weight if that helps in any way.

Family:

It has been a quiet day so I spent some of it reading my niece’s new IEP (which I will have to avoid talking about with my sister in law as we’re never going to agree).  I also hung out at home today so my cousin could come by and put his antique truck back into storage in my extra underground parking spot.  The guys in my family should be thankful I’m nice as I could make some good money off renting that spot or making them compete for it🤣

Well I wish I had a more exciting day to tell you about but I purposely keep my Sundays quiet so I can feel rested for the week to come!  I got my wish today:)

Have fun!

AJ

Onward:)

A pretty good day for my first day off the couch:)

Exercise:

Well I managed to get up and do a workout this morning. It was another of Bea Free‘s deck of cards workouts. I had to do sumo squats, push-ups, bicycle crunches and punches. These workouts really do work well for my Tuesday morning when I don’t think jumping around would be appropriate or quiet enough for my neighbours! I walked to and from work (they cleared my path) and I got myself out to run club tonight.

I was going to go down to a slower pace group since I’ve been sick, but Paul the owner said he thought I should stick with my usual. I did end up being fine as it was short intervals tonight.

4X30 seconds

4×60 seconds

And then repeat this another three times with only thirty seconds rest each time, even between sets. It was a good workout, but note to self, don’t eat cucumbers before a run!😫

I’m a little worried about tomorrow morning when I’m supposed to get up for a run. It’s so dark at 6:15 now and only about 4 degrees.  I’m trying to avoid the gym until there’s actual snow and ice, but I’m not sure how I’m going to get myself out there? Don’t really like running in the dark by myself. I did remember to ask Paul to put the word out that I’m looking for a 6am run buddy. We’ll see tomorrow, I guess.

Teaching:

No tears today🎉🎊🎉🎊😀

My school has a hip hop teacher for this week. Each grade group learns a different hip hop dance and then on Friday there is a performance. I have even been roped into participating in the staff one😳. I have to admit my students ranged from amazing to oh my! You look at a few and it’s tough to keep a straight face! In actuality though, they do amazing to learn and perform a dance in a week. I don’t think I could do that! Actually I know I couldn’t 🤣

We also had a visit today from our two kindergarten teachers from last year. It was great to see them and even better to be able to ask them questions about the children. I really missed having that articulation in September this year!!!!

We finally started out pumpkin unit this afternoon. We have two Jeohovah Witnesses in grade one and so won’t be doing “Halloween” activities, but we figured we might be safe with pumpkins. It was hilarious when I asked the children what colour a pumpkin could be as we were “scientists” today so we were going to colour them a “realistic colour”. Several children said blue! I thought they were talking about the blue pumpkins people put out to signify they have non candy treats for children with allergies, etc, but no they meant blue. My co-teacher explained the book they read yesterday said that pumpkins can be blue. I guess I learn something new every day!

We took the children outside today since it was just such a perfect Fall day! 

I know I’ve shown these trees before but they were just so beautiful today, I couldn’t resist another photo!

Eating:

I dug into the third of the Black Sheep Vegan Cheeses that my mom brought back from the Oliver Wine Festival for me. This one is called Voursin. It was delicious!!!! It has such a yummy, herby taste and was perfect on the cucumber slices!  I would highly recommend this cheese if you’re looking for a non dairy goat cheese alternative as that’s what it reminded me of. It would be perfect for a cheese board! I’m going to have to look into seeing if the company delivers when I’m done these last two cheeses!

Knitting:

I finished my handwarmers just after I finished my blog post last night. I’m actually wearing them right now as I was cold when I came in from my run. I am very happy with how they turned out and love the colour!!!! These might be my new go-to ones.

Pattern:

I’m sure there’s a pattern out there, but I didn’t look for one. These would fit a 7-9 year old. I casted on 30 stitches and split between three needles. Did six rounds of knit one, purl one ribbing. Then did 20 rounds of knitting, however, on every fifth round I did a cable of six stitches. I alternated between a front and back cable. The cable was always done on the last needle. On the 20th round, I knitted three stitches, cast off 4, Knit to the end of the round. 21st round was Knit three, cast on four, Knit to the end. I knitted fifteen more rounds and then did six rounds of k1,p1 ribbing again and casted off. For the right hand the thumb hole was done at the start of the round. For the left hand it was done towards the end of the second needle. Sorry I wrote this in an awkward manner, but you’ll get the idea!

The other exciting knitting news is that I got a new project bag! One of our education assistants at school was on a BC ferry this weekend and came across a bag she thought was perfect for me. I have her the go ahead to get it for me and today I got to pick it up at school. It’s so cute! I’m very happy with it and while I hope it will work for a knitting project bag, I know I’ll get use out of it elsewhere if it doesn’t.

Well I think that’s everything that has happened to me today. I hope you all had a good day too!

Have fun!

AJ

A Little of This, A Little of That…

Since I plan to do nothing more than knit on the couch, I might as well tell you about my day:)

Exercise:

As I drove to my run this morning at a local park, the sky ahead of me was so beautiful! The sun was just coming up and I always love that yellow glow that overtakes the sky. I thought about stopping to get a picture, but I knew it wouldn’t do it justice. I did get a picture of the gorgeous pond at the park though. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it that still. The park is off leash for dogs until 10am so normally there’s a couple playing in the water. I guess it was just too cold this morning.

My run this morning was lovely as Sarah and Kula showed up to keep me company and Dennis also came and went on our run. He’s super fast so I think he was doing circles around us. Even with taking it slow and allowing for Kula stops (everyone wants to pat a cute puppy), it still only took us 37 minutes. I was expecting 45, so pretty good.  It was a gorgeous morning, but I was surprised by he lack of colour change on the leaves. I keep wanting to have pretty Fall running pictures for you, but I’ll just have to give you the gorgeous views from my condo!

I also got my butt off the couch later this evening for a workout. It was called the leg burner and was aptly named. Only 16 minutes long, but by 3/4 of the way through, my legs were talking. Think a lot of lunges, squats and jumping with weights! I cheated at the end and did twisted mountain climbers instead of broad jump burpees. 😂

Now I just have to come up with where to run tomorrow!

Socializing:

Just coffee after our run, though I did hang out in Starbucks for an extra fifteen minutes after all my running buddies left to take advantage of the free wifi.  It was just a quiet day today for me:)

Eating:

I got all my food ready for the week- cinnamon raisin bread with peanut butter for breakfast, blueberries and yogurt for recess, turkey soup to which I added the ground pork I needed to cook up for lunch, cheese and cucumber for dinner:) Hopefully this will help me have a healthy week as the scale hasn’t been my friend since Thanksgiving and I’m not about to let it get out of control.

The one thing I did do for the first time in the kitchen today was to cook bacon in the oven.  I hate cooking bacon because I am level wi the stove so all those splatters are getting my face and neck- not fun!  I put a cooling rack over a tinfoil lined baking sheet and laid out the bacon slices. I cooked them at 350 for about ten minutes and they came out great. Definitely the easiest and cleanest way I’ve ever made bacon before and I’ll definitely be doing it again! I put the bacon in my soup as I don’t actually care for bacon, so I’m hoping I won’t notice it too much in there!

Reading:

I made myself read a chapter of the Shadow of the Wind after every twelve rows I knitted today. I’m almost halfway and the story line is picking up and becoming more interesting. Yipppee!

Lol I realized I do this a lot- work on many things at once, doing a little of each. It can’t be multiples of the same type though- like there is never two knitting projects at once, lol. I like to accomplish and I feel as though this technique allows me to accomplish as much as possible without getting bored or a project. The only thing I haven’t worked on today that I should have was my photo project. I’ll have to start doing five or ten labels each day and I’ll be done in no time:)

Knitting:

This got the majority of my attention today. I was knitting away on the cushion cover and was over halfway when I realized that it seemed quite large. I of course hadn’t heckled gauge because it was just a cushion cover 😜, but I quickly determined it was going to be a long and low cushion cover instead of a square.

Pattern:

I used the pattern smushion from Ravelry for its stitch counts, etc but didn’t follow the pattern as my mom was right, it wouldn’t have shown up.  I knit 94 stitches for about 44 rows, then bound off 47 of them for the back. I knit another 3″ and then made four button holes in the next row. My button holes were only 2 stitches wide as the four called for, seemed extremely large! I knit another inchc after the button holes and then casted off. I mattress stitches the bottom together and voila I had a cushion cover. I just need to hit Walmart tomorrow for a cushion insert and four buttons because of course I don’t have four the same:(

I have entered this project into the Muggle Studies class on the Harry Potter House Cup group because it definitely was made with irritating yarn!  I sneezed repeatedly from dust while taking the sweater apart and then since the wool wasn’t smooth, it was continuously getting caught on itself, grrrrr!😬

I have just started a doll blanket out of the same yarn for my secretary’s granddaughter, but hopefully I’ll be done that before bed. I think tomorrow I’ll be casting on the 98-33 handwarmers that Abbey of Three Cats and a Girl is making. I need a pair for work because my room is cold!

Well I’m off to finish the doll blanket. Sorry I didn’t have an exciting day to tell you about, but I did get some rest and relaxation which will hopefully stand me in good stead for the week!

Have fun!

AJ

Rearranged Day

A busy day that rearranged itself into a quiet day. I was supposed to go for a run and lunch and then shopping with another friend, but…

Exercise:

I slept in this morning and didn’t wake up until 8am. I never put an alarm on as I don’t normally need one but I may have to start using one for Saturday morning. I felt it was too late to go do the crunch as it gets super busy there so I said goodbye to the cinnamon roll for today. Lately I had been thinking about the step aerobics video I used to do daily when I first started getting fit in university. I decided to try it out this morning. I popped it in and did the whole thing. I was warm and glistening but not dripping sweat like I usually am after a bootcamp workout. It was nice to know I’ve improved in fitness over the past twenty years 🤣

Later this afternoon my running buddies joined me for a run around Coquitlam River. I have been wanting to run here as it’s beautiful when the leaves turn colour and fall, but there really weren’t any picturesque spots yet:( I had to make do with these photos. Kula had been at doggy daycare so we didn’t know how far we’d make it before he refused to go any further but we actually got all the way around- a 5km run. At the end we saw this cute signboard on the fence.He is getting better at being a running buddy every time we got out though he still provides cross training in the form of jumping over him as he cuts you off😂 He was definitely tuckered out by the end!

Eating:

I finally finished all the Thanksgiving leftovers (but not the turkey soup yet) and got the chance to try another one of the Vegan cheeses my mom had brought me from the Oliver Wine Festival. I tried the smoked Gouda this time. It was again a little slippery to the touch and the flavour was light, but still quite delicious. Would be great with an apple in a sandwich as it’s not a strong taste. 

So far, I’ve been impressed with these Vegan Black Sheep cheeses!

I also had the chance to go out for sushi today with my human running buddy. Kula decided to stay home for a nap instead 😂.  I’m lucky Sarah was willing to drive to Maple Ridge so we could go to Wasabi Sushi which has a huge gluten free sushi menu:)

I managed to decide on the salmon avocado roll, the BC roll and the Botan Ebi nigiri. It was all so delicious! 

I highly recommend this place! It’s even nice enough for a date:). The only thing was that tonight they made a point of bringing me gluten free ginger; I didn’t realize there could be gluten in pickled ginger. I’ll have to look into this.

Knitting:

I finally did something useful today and organized my circular knitting needles. When I checked Pinterest for ideas on how to store them, I liked the CD case idea, but settled for the page protectors I already had. I’ll have to bring home a binder from school on Monday.  Is it weird that I wish I could buy new circular needles to replace some of mine just so that they would be in their original packages. I’ve now learned to store my needles in the package they come in, but I have to admit I didn’t always know this and now I regret it😞

I also got the yarn organized that has been piling up in the basket beneath my coffee table. It was a real wreck and was getting out of control! It is now a lovely organized basket:) If anyone has any pattern suggestions for what to do with multiple small sock yarn ends (less than 100 meters and some as small as 20 meters), please let me know, otherwise I may need to garbage them.

I have started just a plain pillow cover for my mom as she was right when she said that a pattern wouldn’t show up with the fluffy yarn I’m using (sometimes I hate how she’s always right lol). Hopefully I’ll be able to show you a finished product soon!

Blogging:

You may have noticed I had an unusual blog post earlier today. Abbey at Three Cats and a Girl (an amazing reader and interesting person so check out her blog) had tagged me in a reading blog and I finally got it finished today. It was a tough blog post! First I had to learn how to tag people, then I had to figure out the answers. That was quite the task as I’m not great at remembering what I’ve read.  I had Goodreads to help me, but I’ve recorded 1152 books I’ve read on there so it was still quite overwhelming. I never did learn to cut and paste so I had to retune everything on my phone which took a lot longer than it probably should have. It was an interesting experience and really made me think so probably a good thing!

Reading:

It really worked last night writing about my book club book as I got a few chapters read and am now almost 1/3 of the way done. I’m hoping to get a few more chapters read tonight. Perfect night for it as it’s cold and dark here!

Project:

I’ve had pictures from my Boston trip printed for a while but haven’t written the date on them yet so they can be deleted off my phone ( the whole point of printing them!) and today I finally asked myself why?  I realized it was because I have pictures printed and dated from my last three trips that aren’t in albums yet and I want to get them dealt with first so I don’t get all these photos confused.  So here I sit organizing the photos from my trip out East in May for my friend’s wedding. I don’t know if I’ll get them labelled tonight but they will at least get put into an album today:)

With knitting, reading, album making and laundry to do tonight, I had better get going!

Have fun!

AJ

I Did It!

I started the day off doing something I didn’t think I could:)

Exercise:

I had plans to run Bert Flynn Park with my running buddy at 8:30 this morning. Normally though I run the Coquitlam Crunch on Saturday mornings. Yesterday I hemmed and hawed about whether I should skip the crunch? When I said something about this to Chelsea (dancingrunner) she said to go for it. I thought that if she could do 100 miles, I could do this and the worst that would happen is that I’d have to stop running and walk.  So I set off this morning to walk over to the crunch. Now just the other day I added “run the crunch in less than 25 minutes” to my fitness goals. Maybe I should have done that a while ago! I don’t know if it was because I had some honeystinger chews before I left or because I’ve ran some other hills lately or because I’ve been so consistent with my exercise lately, but…

I did it!!!🎉🎊(cue the band!) I felt awesome! It was hard at spots and I realized it’s the third section that’s slowing me down as it’s the longest and is just a continuous uphill so it’s tough to run it after doing the 437 stairs in section 2, but I’ll work on that:). I was ahead of schedule the whole way up and it felt great!!!

I ended up running down the top two sections and then diverting onto David Avenue to run over to Bert Flynn Park. Of course I got to David Ave just in time for the hills and I didn’t even get a break at the stop lights as they were all in my favour. At least there is gorgeous Fall colour to distract me! I really wanted to walk, but I didn’t! I probably could have ran down the whole crunch and then over to the Park as I arrived 25 minutes early and I got cold waiting😞😖. Thankfully my running buddy showed up early! She also brought our newest running buddy with her. It made our run through the park (also uphill) a little slower and winding, but he’s cute! 

Unfortunately my phone died as we got back to the car, but I then carried on to run down the hill to home. My app says I ran one hour and sixteen minutes, but I think it’s more like an hour and a half. That was really exciting for me as I haven’t run for that long in a lot of years. It wasn’t fast, but now that I know I can do it, I can plan lots more interesting runs!

I also worked out this evening. (You all are good for me- I wanted to skip it, but then didn’t want to have to admit that to you all!). I did the cardio fix workout which included crossover jacks, high knees, lunges, burpees, around the world planks, plank jacks, dips, plie squats, side lunges, skaters, mountain climbers and up downs. It was a good workout as I was dripping sweat at the end😀.

Cooking/Baking:

I have spent most of the day making my dishes for my Luncheon with my friend tomorrow, but I’ll wait to tell you about them until I can comment on how they taste.

Beauty:

I got my eyelashes and eyebrows dyed and waxed today. A few years ago I started doing this as my eyebrows and eyelashes are incredibly blonde! It looks like I don’t have any if I don’t wear mascara. I was forever stabbing myself in the eye with the mascara wand; I really am a menace with that thing so I moved to getting them dyed. It takes about twenty minutes to do both and is good for about six weeks. I’ve decided the expense is definitely worth it to not have bloodshot eyes any more from that mascara wand attacking me. The girl who does them for me has become a friend too which always makes the appointment fun and I don’t have to worry about making small talk!

Family:

I sent a Happy Birthday text to my oldest brother this morning as he turns 41 today. I saw him earlier in the week, but I’ll have to get his present over to him (once I buy it). I was thinking of getting him a few different bottles of Guinness to try, (I know he likes Guinness),but I don’t know if there are different varieties. I’ll have to check out the liquor store.

Knitting:

In between all the cooking I have managed to finish a pair of handwarmers for my nephew to match his toque.  I had forgotten how quickly handwarmers can be made! I’m thinking I should make them for my friends in Boston for Christmas as they should be cheap to mail.

Pattern:

I’ve made up several patterns for handwarmers over the years. This one was: on circular needles,  K2P1 ribbing for ten rows, Knit for 28 rows. Row 39: Knit 5, cast off 4, knit to the end of the row. Row 40: Knit 5, cast on 4, Knit to the end of the row. Knit for 11 rounds. K2P1 ribbing for 10 rounds. Cast off. Do exactly the same thing for the other hand. For this present I only had 27 stitches on the needle. It’s great that my nephew is about the same size as me so since the handwarmers fit me, they should fit him:)

Yarn: Maryanne’s Team Socks in Vancouver Canucks. I was just as happy with this yarn today as I was yesterday! Soft, light, smooth, and reliable!  I will definitely buy from Smith & Ewe again! I love that they’re a BC company too:)

I will be entering these handwarmers as a class on the Harry Potter Knit and Crochet House Cup on Ravelry. That will give me two classes complete and it’s only the 7th of the month and I’m only required to do one per month😀.

Now I just have to decide if I have enough yarn left for a scarf or not!

Well, I have two dishes left to make for lunch tomorrow so I had better get cracking!

Have fun!

AJ

Calm and Peaceful, or …

A day spent doing the quiet things I love:)

Exercise:

I have to admit I wanted to avoid the craziness associated with Terry Fox runs (I will do that with my students in a few weeks), so myself and one running buddy headed out to Osprey Village in Pitt Meadows. I always think this area seems so idyllic when I drive into the village and I want to explore, but I have yet to get out there for anything other than a run:(

My running buddy suggested 20 minutes out and then turn which sounded fine to me. I wasn’t racing along, but it was a nice morning for a run ( though it seemed slightly smokey out there). We ran along the shoreline trail and then the dyke which is beside the airport so it was interesting to watch the small planes land and takeoff. I find it tough sometimes with this running buddy as he is super fast so his “slowing down” to run with me is still too fast and when he stays with me, I feel like he’s hardly moving and not getting everything out of his run that he should.  People have told me countless times that I’m not holding back someone who slows down to run with me, but unfortunately my brain refuses to acknowledge this so far:(

I didn’t get a walk in, but I did get a workout completed this evening:) It was called a round robin and it didn’t have any times attached to it, so I decided to do each exercise for one minute. This wasn’t s problem, except for the pop jacks where I did 22 and actually felt sick to my stomach at the end of the minute.  I was super sweaty by the end and it was nice to feel that way! Just feel bad for the guy who lives below me. I keep meaning g to ask him if there’s a time he’s out so I could e we use without worrying about disturbing him.  Maybe the worry burns extra calories 😂

Eating:

I have stuck to my plan today ( I actually inserted the two marshmallows as my afternoon snack so I don’t have to feel terribly guilty though it’s definitely not a healthy 100 calories 🤣

Instead of baking, as I am drawn to do on these rainy days, I tried a new crockpot oats recipe this morning, well actually maybe that’s last night as I put it together before bed and actually woke up around 12:30 to turn them on:)   I ended up using both oats and quinoa as I didn’t have quite enough oats, but that is the only change I made. The recipe I used can be found here:

https://crockpotladies.com/recipe/crock-pot-banana-bread-oatmeal/

I was surprised and a little disappointed that I didn’t smell the oatmeal when I woke up this morning as in the past I have. I noticed when I lifted the lid that the oats had stuck to the crockpot even though I buttered it. The oats tasted good and the spice mixture was yummy. I have to say that I ended up adding brown sugar to it as it wasn’t as sweet as I like. Using bananas that are super ripe may help with this problem too. If you don’t like a sweet oatmeal breakfast, I would recommend this recipe for you, but I think I’ll keep looking.

Knitting:

I have to admit that I have spent almost all day knitting today. I have seen real progress on the exquisite afghan and I think I have less than fifty rows to go!  This is the point at which my brain says, “let’s just get it done!” I’ll have to remind myself not to stay up all night knitting as I have a six am workout tomorrow. Hopefully I’ll be able to share a completed picture tomorrow!

So I have spent the day doing hobbies that I enjoy and while the peace has been lovely and necessary, since last week was busy and this coming week looks to be even busier, part of me keeps thinking I’m living like a little old lady and I need to get out more!  I find it tough as my hobbies do tend to be ones that are enjoyed individually so it makes it hard to use them to be social or meet people:( I am active, but definitely not athletic so playing a sport that requires any type of hand and eye coordination would just lead to me annoying all the people I’d be with!  I’m just not sure how I’m going to solve this problem!  Or perhaps I have spent too much time alone this weekend and I should quit thinking!

But for right now, I’m going back to my knitting.

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

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

Can I Move Any Faster?

It has been quite the couple of days! I’ve decided to try and move my posts to my lunch hour so I’m not using so much data, but we’ll see if I can organize my brain around this!

Running:

Yesterday morning was the first day with children at school. I have decided this year to get up earlier so I can run before school (it worked really well this summer) and also not be so rushed in the morning. Yesterday morning was going along great- solid run, great hair, even remembered to put some make up on! Then I went to cut my English Muffin for breakfast and managed to slice through my left pointer finger instead😫 Lol I’ve dealt with a multitude of injuries with my brothers but I’m not good when it’s myself. I managed to get a bandaid on it and then got myself off to school. The first aid attendant looked at it and said I should have gotten stitches. I took it easy that night and just web for a walk, but it started bleeding again. Thankfully one of my running buddies is a retired nurse and she fixed me up and gave me strict orders for no physical activity for a couple of days. I hate being benched!!!😖 And I was just getting into a routine!

Teaching:

It was great to see my old class yesterday, even if just for a half hour! They’ve grown so much!  It was nice to also get all of their stuff out of my room so I can quit walking around it! The rest of the day was a whole lot of meetings. I find these more difficult to get through than teaching all day!

Reading:

Since exercise and knitting are off limits due to my finger I have been doing lots of reading. I just finished Love Me Again which is the seventh book in Jaci Burton’s Hope series. I love reading books in series as you get to know the characters so well. Jaci Burton is fabulous at this aspect as the friend group always plays a big role in her books. She makes me want to have friends like these as they do such fun things!  This is a store of second time love but what is unusual is that the leading lady left the guy when they were teenagers. I love how kids and dogs also play a big role in this book!  It is also a pleasure to see the leading lady, Loretta,grow stronger and stand up for herself. The only problems I had with the book were minor- I wanted to know what happened between Loretta and her parents and I felt that Loretta and her guy got back together too easily.Still it was a pleasure to read and it is a series that I wish I had bought! If you like small town romance, series romance, kids and dogs or second chance love, I highly recommend this book!

Knitting:

i may not be able to knit right now, but my nurse/ running partner distracted me with talking patterns last night and showing me her current projects. She went to visit her sister this summer and came home with tons of new project ideas. It made me want to visit someone who knits as I sure didn’t get this during my holidays:(!  I have to say we managed to track down the Mika wool she was looking for on Ravelry and I discovered a new website- Purl Soho which is amazing! I just want to make everything. They have tons of free downloads and if you sign up for their newsletter, you get a free paid download! I can’t wait to pick one!

Well I’ve taught young minds all day so I’m off to read a chick lit book:)

Have fun!

AJ