No Wonder

I’ve been feeling really flabby and out of shape this week, actually mostly like a baby elephant. When I started thinking about it, I realized I ate out Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and will probably be again tomorrow. No wonder!! As soon as I go out I’m eating more than I should, but here’s the quandary… I like having a social life. Ugh somehow I need to find how to balance social life and weight🤔

Teaching:

It wasn’t a bad day, but maybe that’s because we didn’t learn much. My students started the day with gymnastics, then music. We had quiet time and calendar after recess. We finally tackled some learning with fact families. All but two students seem to have gotten it. I will need to pull them next week and see about going over the concept with manipulatives.

This afternoon we had planners, silent reading and centres. Thank goodness for our math drills and fact family work or we would have done nothing all day!!

Socializing:

One of our teachers has been really feeling stressed this week so she suggested going out for drinks. We got one of the local pubs and it was a lovely hour of socializing:)

And more food! I should have asked for just the sandwich:(

Knitting:

I spent a lot of time cutting my odds and ends into 4-8″ pieces as my friend is going to put them out for the birds.

I did get a bit of knitting in, and am really hoping this sweater will fit me! Of course I may grow into it quickly if I keep eating out!🤣

Socializing:

Today I finally set my goodreads goal for my usual 100 books and it says I’m six books behind! I had asked my co teacher Liane if she wanted to hit Chapters with me tonight. We had a lovely couple of hours looking at books though I came home with no books. Even though I have a gift card to spend!

Ugh!

I think I’ll just go to bed!

Have fun!

AJ

Friday Eve

I really love thinking of Friday this way and in fact, today was my Friday!!!🎉🎊

Teaching:

It was a tough day because the kids were so excited, but it wasn’t too bad. That’s probably because we did no work! We had curling class this morning, then we handed out valentines and went to library. After lunch we had silent reading, watched a Charlie Brown Valentine video and filed a bunch of work.

Of course in the middle of this we had an inside lunch and a popcorn sale. Ugh!

We also used the cosmic yoga again and the kids were completely engrossed in the trolls yoga!

Socializing:

I had a staff social at one of the local brew pubs after work. It was a great group of about six of us and nice to just sit around talking:)

Knitting:

I have been all about knitting since I came home and I got a headband done. It was supposed to be for the gift box, but I think I like it enough to keep it. The pattern is a free pattern on Ravelry called Headband Anna

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/headband-anna

and it’s super cute and quick. It’s simply a band with a braid halfway through. I used just some leftover yarn but it would be lovely in some expensive yarn too:)

The seed stitch slouchy hat was a success! That’s the end of my obligation knitting so it’s back to the Date Night sweater, I go.

Well that’s it for me.

Have fun!

AJ

Grateful Sunday

It was a very nice day:)

Exercise:

This morning turned into a walk with Brenda and Dennis as my legs were still tired from yesterday.

I tried to get a run in this evening, but that was derailed too🤣

Oh well!

Grateful: to be flexible enough to not let changes in my plans bother me.

Grateful: for the gorgeous place I live where I saw a heron up close on my walk this morning.

Knitting:

I have spent most of the day knitting, actually I have spent most of the weekend knitting.

I finished a wide headband out of my MJ Yarns leftovers from the sockhead slouch. I love how this headband turned out and you can see the details of the pattern I made up on my ravelry projects page:).

The hat is my version for Sarah, the secretary at work. It is the Wellem Im Sturm pattern. It went super quickly with the bulky yarn and used up another ball from my stash:)

I am currently knitting the hat pattern Sarah picked in the yarn she picked. Can you tell I don’t think it’s the best fit for her. She can take her pick and I’ll donate the other!

Grateful to have people around me who appreciate my hobby.

Grateful for ravelry where I can find so many awesome patterns and lose myself for hours looking at all the options.

Socializing:

I went out for a run tonight and just as I was coming into the park o saw my friend Cori and her husband and kids ahead of me. By the time I had caught up with Cori I found myself getting ice cream and walking around the park. It derailed my run, but I think the social time was way more important for both Cori and myself (she’s the friend who just lost her dad). The time definitely cheered my day:)

Grateful for friends that are easy to be with and just include me.

Grateful for Bruno’s friend who bought me ice cream:)

Grateful for the energy that kids display that spurred me on.

Well I’m going to see how much of this toque I can get done tonight.

Have fun!

AJ

The Friends Get You Through It

Often I see these memes on social media about how teaching is a solitary profession and we need to connect. Tonight was the perfect example for me of how the people you work with really do make the difference.

Socializing:

I met up this morning with two of my high school friends for coffee. One of them lives on the campus of one of the local universities so we took her kids over to the main building and let them careen down the hallways on their tricycles. It was the cutest thing ever! We have to put a helmet on the littlest guy cause he’s a daredevil who goes super fast!

I was saying that I hope they will remember this when they are older cause talk about an awesome bragging point and a great memory!

Having my car quit for the second time in a week on the way home, not such a great memory 😖

Knitting:

I got a little bit of knitting in around naps. I was at a loss this morning because I couldn’t think of what to knit next. Then I decided that even if I had missed the deadline for the HPKCHC club this term, didn’t mean I couldn’t look at their prompts. The first I read was to knit something white. Well, I’ve started a small baby blanket that will hopefully get five skeins out of my stash😀

Socializing:

This evening I met up with four of the ladies I work with. My work isn’t a happy place right now, but these four ladies make all the difference and make it bearable. It really is great to work with friends!

We went to Browns Socialhouse for dinner and then carried on to see the new Little Women movie. I thought the movie was very well done and liked how a lot of the story is told by flashbacks:) I also appreciated that they did a great job of recreating Orchard House which was the Alcott residence, though there were a few changes. It’s so neat to have been there! I also liked how they included the fact that Louisa didn’t want the book to end the way it did. I would recommend seeing this movie, though take Kleenex with you.

Well I’m up later than I have been in a long time so I’m off to bed.

Have fun!

AJ

Grateful Sunday

It was a really good day and so nice to be home I’m familiar ground again. I didn’t realize how tense I was just driving when I had no idea where I was going and was in an unfamiliar car.

Grateful: For the opportunity and resources to be able to have a family Christmas vacation and all that family time.

Grateful: for a comfortable home that makes me happy and safe.

Exercise:

I finally got back to normal! I met up with my regular running buddies Brenda, Sarah and Dennis. James couldn’t join us as he dell off his roof and hurt himself. I can’t wait to hear this story!

We did a run of the river and it was great that Sarah came along so I had someone to run with and yet Dennis got a good run in:). It wasn’t super busy and it didn’t rain so definitely a win win!

The river on a Fall day.

I did meet my goal today so there will be a running review up tomorrow, but I was disappointed that RunKeeper doesn’t celebrate meeting a goal at all- the goal just disappears:(

Grateful: For all my awesome running buddies.

Grateful: For the animals in my life that provide me with lots of cuddles. Kula was a smuggler today:)

Friendship/ Eating:

I ran home and cleaned up and then met up with a couple of friends for brunch. It was Allison’s last day in town so I was happy to get one more meetup. We went to Wendel’s in Fort Langley. This place is always super busy! I got there early and had a few minutes to peruse the bookstore part of the establishment. Lots of cool knitting books, but all too expensive:(

I had three choices for brunch and went with the avocado Benny which as my mom says was just avocado and eggs on gf toast along with some tomatoes. It was still super yummy though!

We then wandered the Main Street and through the grocery store where I picked up a few gf/df treats.

Grateful: for friends who are easy to be with no matter how long it’s been:)

Grateful: to live in a place where there are options for me when I go out:)

Shopping:

I grabbed my mom and hot Costco for gas and food. My dad has given me the idea of buying steak at Costco and just freezing it for my regular Sunday lunch as this way I would be able to afford better steak. I ended up with steak, shrimp, yogurt and cucumbers. It’s going to be interesting meals, but I never know if I should bother shopping when I’m on holidays as it always seems like I’m out a lot. We shall see, but hopefully I didn’t waste my money.

We carried on to the clothing store where I immediately found the red winter wool jacket I had wanted. It must have been my day for red as i also found a red and white striped shirt and a red sweater. Now I just have to get rid of a few things from my wardrobe to make room for this new stuff! One of my goals on this week off is to get all my closets tidied and everything entered into my app.

Grateful: to have my mom for company as I was running errands. It makes the tedious time go so much quicker.

Grateful: to have made peace with my body so that I can feel comfortable wearing bright colours. I know I’m not perfect at this, but I’m a whole lot better than I used to be!

Reading/ Listening:

I listened to another episode of the Not Your Mom’s aromanxw book club podcast and found another book I want to read. I’ve decided that I’m still going to read lots of romance next year, but I will try for one non fiction book a month.

Grateful: for this podcast that keeps me entertained while I knit tedious sections.

Grateful: for the variety and number of books I have available to me!

Movies:

I rewatched Write Vefore Christmas as I hadn’t managed to do a workout to this movie the first time i watched it. I really enjoyed this book and it reminded me of Love Actually with its multiple story lines.

I ended up doing a 17:30 workout with a minute of jogging between moves. I did: 30 reverse lunges, 37 crunches, 37 reverse crunches, 5 pushups, 20 jacks, 5 burpees, 25 curtsy lunges, 10 high knees, 25 squats, 15 plié squats.

I know it’s not a ton, but I figure it has to be better than nothing! I’m thinking that I’d like to come up with a similar workout for non Christmas hallmark movies that I could do throughout the next year. If anyone has ideas of elements that are in lots of Hallmark movies, please let me know:)

Grateful: for hallmark that produces feel good movies

Grateful: for the clever person that came up with the hallmark workout so I can combine two of my favourite things and not feel guilty about sitting watching a movie.

Eating:

Not fabulous, but not as horrible as lately. I think I will still give myself a couple of days before I get on the scale.

I had: half a tortilla with peanut butter, the avocado and egg on toast, shrimp plate,1/3 of ginger cookie, 1/3 of chocolate chip cookie ( neither were very good) and 1/2 of peanut butter bar ( delicious)!

Well I’m off to start a new book.

Have fun!

AJ

Super Saturday

It was a lovely day but I am exhausted!

Blogmas:

I had an advent calendar most years that I was growing up. It definitely wasn’t like the advent calendars that my students have these days- chocolate, lego and hot wheels seem to be very popular. My advent calendars were put together by mom and grandma and set me up with an amazing collection of Christmas ornaments. I just loved opening a little gift each morning and I don’t think it would have mattered what was in them, though I love having all of these ornaments now.

I also have to mention my actual advent calendars as I love them as well. My personal advent calendar was created by mom and featured two little mice that she had cross stitched and then sewed red ric-rac pockets for the numbers.😍😍😍. However, I also got to put the numbers up on my grandma’s advent calendar which was a tree and featured cardboard numbers. I still do both of these advent calendars and love them just as much today!

On a different note, I am very intrigued by the many advent calendars offered now. I have actually tried a tea advent calendar twice and it was lovely both times. I have thought of a yarn advent calendar, but just haven’t found the right one for me yet:(. I have also thought of creating my own advent calendar by buying stuff on Boxing Day so I won’t even remember what I’m getting by the next Christmas, but it hasn’t happened yet.

Knitting:

I am busily knitting on another market bag which I need to finish tomorrow for Monday. I am doing Farmer’s Market/Produce Bag which is a free pattern on Ravelry. So far it’s an easy pattern to follow and hopefully will go quickly!

Socializing:

I went out with three friends from work. We started with a couple of errand stops at MEC, Starbucks and a spa. I managed to only buy a slap reflective band at MEC.

We then hit Fort Langley which is a lovely little township. I had suggested this outing as I had heard about a vegan charcuterie board at Bench Snack Bar, so we headed there first. What a mistake! We ordered four cups of tea, a normal charcuterie board and a vegan one and it took AN HOUR to get our food:(. And unfortunately we were all very underwhelmed by the boards that finally came out. I had two small pieces of vegan cheese, 8 small crackers, a tiny dish of hummus and about five pieces of pickled vegetables. And it cost $25!!! I was not impressed! The normal board was slightly better as it had some condiments, meat, egg and bread but the ladies said it definitely needed more. It also wouldn’t have taken any of us an hour to make these boards:(

We then wandered the Main Street shops. Liane had the longest list, but I probably spent the most money. Sue bought a present for her daughter and her boyfriend, Robyn bought a cute book and a placemat, Liane bought a hostess gift of a centerpiece, a necklace for her mother and chips and dip for her party tonight. I went crazy and bought a pair of Blundstone boots, the same cute book as Robyn and some groceries as there were several places that sold gluten free, dairy free treats ( which have all been frozen!)

It was such a lovely day with great friends:)

Movie:

I watched Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses. It was not the best Hallmark Christmas movie I have seen. It just didn’t seem very Christmassy to me:(

Exercise:

I did do a short Hallmark workout. I ended up doing:

25 reverse lunges

5 crunches, reverse crunches

20 pushups

10 jacks, 10 cross jacks

5 burpees

55 squats

10 plié squats

10 moguls

15 upright rows

20 high knees

30 curtsy lunges

15 front kicks, 15 side kicks

20 bicep curls

I at least did something, but I’m so tired now that I’m going straight to bed!

Have fun!

AJ

The Perfect Gift

Thanks to Abbey for letting me play along on this Christmas Blogmas!

I had better get going on it though or I won’t be done for Christmas.

I have to admit that my books of the season are the sappy Christmas romances. This time of year is super busy with both Christmas concerts and report cards so I really just want something easy and happy to read!

I have already downloaded a whole bunch of these types of books to read on my holiday.

I have a few favourite authors for this type of holiday romance:

Shannon Stacey

Sarah Morgan

Debbie Macomber

All guaranteed to entertain me and leave me with a smile:)

Teaching:

Today was a slightly better day:) We has music, finished our Christmas mini book, did a fun, successful pattern math activity and had centres.

I really think the math activity was the highlight of the day. I paired up the children and gave the pair a card that had a pattern on it- composed of snaps, claps or pats. The children had ten minutes to practice and then presented their pattern to the class who then guessed what the pattern was. It went so great!! We’ll try it again next week:)

Socializing:

After a lovely nap, I dropped off some stuff to a friend. I was pretty impressed with myself that I could pull her Christmas present together that quickly!

I also stopped in at my brother and sister in law’s as they had told me they had a birthday gift for me. They got me a hoodie that says, run, knit, read, repeat. Obviously my SIL knows me well!

Movies:

I watched Merry and Bright this evening. It was cute but I can’t say it was my favourite movie because the solution seemed so obvious right from the start and I found it annoying that it took until the last five minutes for Jodi Sweetin to figure it out.

Exercise:

I got a very slow and very short run done in the pouring rain today. I wanted to get my blood flowing as I woke up with a severely swollen left hand this morning. I was super worried I was going to have a Shrek hand for the rest of my life😳☹️. Thankfully the swelling is mostly gone now, just a bit left and the ladies at work figured it was just fluid from the amount they pumped into me last night.

I also did my Hallmark movie workout.

25 crunches

20 pushups

30 jacks

10 burpees

15 squats

10 plié squats

10 high knees

10 curtsy lunges

5 deep squats

10 front kicks

I know I should probably take it easy, but I’m tired whether I exercise or not so I figure I might as well exercise and be happy!

Well I’m going back to bed!

Have fun!

AJ

Finally Did It

I’ve worked with the same people for ten years and haven’t had anyone over, but tonight that changed!

Teaching:

It was quite the day! This morning we did a journal, but a different type of journal. I gave every student one or two eye stickers and the students got ten minutes to create a monster and then wrote about their monster. The students had great fun and it was neat to see what they came up with.

At recess two boys decided to pull on a girl’s jacket hard enough to rip the jacket. So the students had a longer quiet time as I tried to sort this out:(

We did a quick final activity about even and odd numbers and then watched a YouTube video on the book, “Kindness is Cooler, Mrs. Ruler” by Margaret Cuyler. This book was super cute and gave me two good ideas as my students really seem to be struggling with being kind. We are going to keep track of our kind facts and post each one on a heart while using tally marks to keep track of how many we have done as a class. Also it has inspired me to make the theme of our sharing for November be “my random act of kindness”. Students have to do something kind and then either write or draw about it. I hope these two measures help!!

This afternoon we had silent reading, buddy reading and then did a class book on making choices that keep us healthy, happy and safe. Hopefully they will finish in the morning.

We then went outside to play because it’s truly beautiful weather here right now. My two little boys had to spend the time writing an apology note to the girl. We will see if missing two play times will help these boys remember to be kind.

Socializing:

After school a few of us ran over to get our flu shots and then four ladies came by my place for a charcuterie party (or even just an appetizer party). It was great fun to just sit back and relax. I may not eat for the rest of the week though!

Sorry for the poor lighting- my place is tough in the afternoon because it’s so bright!

Knitting:

I am working away on my third market bag. It’s very mindless because it’s just a repeat of one row over and over again.

Well, that’s it for me.

Have fun!

AJ

Busy Bee

I was just busy from start to finish, but it did feel good to get things accomplished for a change, despite wanting to do nothing but sleep!

Teaching:

We had music today, finished our math word booklets and started the art project that will probably take the next three days!

Two cool things happened today though. The first was that the special helper brought a book for sharing that was from I See Me. This was a super cute book that featured this little girl on every page. This one happened to be about fairies, but I’m sure they probably have other themes. I want to keep this in mind for anyone I know having a baby though as what an awesome gift it would be!

The second thing was that when I came back after lunch my entire class was sitting quietly with their planners and pencils out. I almost cried as it’s the first time they’ve managed that. We had a big discussion after recess about being kind and I asked them all to come up with a plan of how to be kind to someone by lunchtime. They decided to be kind to me😍. It definitely made my day!

Socializing:

I left work early today to meet up with my friend Emily. It was great to see her as with us both being teachers, it’s been a while! It was horrible to hear that she’s suffering from nerve pain, but it was great just to be able to grab a tea and catch up! I really can’t wait until she lives closer next year:)

Reading:

I finally finished a book today! I feel like it’s been forever! I finished A Dash of Christmas by Samantha Chase.

This is the story of Carter Montgomery, the son who went against his father’s plan and became a successful chef, though that decision continues to affect him daily. Carter has been competing against Emery Monaghan since fifth grade, but maybe this Christmas their relationship will grow.

This was such a lovely Christmas book and a great addition to this series. I liked how Christmas was present without being overkill. As well, I loved, as always, how big a roll the family played in this book. I loved reading how the mothers and aunts interfere while the uncles provide sage advice and the siblings are just regular siblings- handing out both help and ribbing. All of the characters were well developed, complex and interesting. I can’t say that there were any stereotypical characters which was nice.

The plot moved at a good pace and was an interesting mix of both inner conflicts within each character and the usual problems between new couples.

This was a great read and would be a must read for anyone who has enjoyed the Montgomery Family series!

Thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest opinion.

Exercise:

With being so tired, I really didn’t want to run, but I knew I needed to. I told myself I just had to do the 2.6km to the park and back, but actually ended up doing slightly more for a total of 3.68km. It was gorgeous, sunny weather, but cold! We actually broke a 90 year record for cold today. I was happy to have my wool shirt and merino vest! I don’t know if the cold helped, but I did have a 6:18/km average which is really good for me:)

Knitting:

I didn’t get much knitting time as I had to clean my house tonight. Cori and Tavia are coming to knit tomorrow night, so I had to clean as I didn’t this weekend! I did take the opportunity to switch to my fall colour scheme though.

After looking through ravelry and the web a zillion times, I decided to combine a few elements I liked and make up my own shawl pattern. This is probably already somewhere, but I’m enjoying knitting it:)

Eating:

I did have an extra item at lunch, but did without an afternoon snack so it all worked out in the end. I’ve had:

Oatmeal with raisins and peanut butter

Mini kind bar

Slice of pizza

1/4 of an avocado

Potato, beet and egg hash

Well I need sleep!

Have fun!

AJ

A Pretty Perfect Saturday

It was a pretty great day, but nothing like my usual.

Shopping:

After being so tired last night, of course I was up super early this morning. I was super ready by the time my colleague Liane picked me up. The city next to ours had decided to do a Fall city wide garage sale, like the one in May, so of course we had to partake in it. We hit about 16 garage sales but definitely weren’t as successful as we usually are in the Spring. I ended up with some items for the price bin at work, along with an Ivivva tank top, a pair of shoes, an aloe Vera plant and a bankers lamp for $9. I think that’s decent:)

We are hoping that it was just slow because it’s the first time it’s been held. It was an absolutely perfect day for garage sales!

Socializing:

After a quick stop at home, I met up with my friend Anna for a walk to the park with her two little boys. It ended up being a longer trip than I had planned, but was still awesome. It was such a perfect crisp, sunny, Fall day and I couldn’t have asked for better company!

We couldn’t get over their stamina!

Knitting:

I have managed to finish one sleeve completely and am ready to start the fancy hem on the second sleeve. I have had to use the extra skein of yarn as I only got to row 73 on the second sleeve and I ran out of my original skeins. I’m so glad I had the new one sitting there waiting! I had actually already started the hem of the second sleeve, but messed it up and had to rip it out. I figured I had better wait for tomorrow and a clear head to tackle the last 32 rows.

Reading:

Since I didn’t have the brain power to knit, I decided to read instead and finished another NetGalley book. I do wonder why my percentage stays at 80% when I have provided a review for every book I have been given. I wonder what else it is based on?

Today I finished the book, An unforgettable Christmas by Ginny Baird.

The story of Sam Singleton, a jewelry store owner who is a workaholic and bordering on Scrooge. He doesn’t even recognize how amazing his accountant Angie is until he falls and hits his head and suffers from amnesia. This was a very sweet, romantic story that surprised me. I wasn’t expecting Sam to become such a different person during his convalescence. It was a neat take on a classic Christmas story.

I greatly enjoyed the story and thanks to Ginny Baird, Hallmark and NetGalley for the free ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Eating:

I think I get to colour in another square on my calendar. I’ve had:

2 rice cakes with Pb & j ( I should probably get this down to one)

Grapes

Mac and cheese

One scoop of vegan maple walnut ice cream

Red peppers and dip

Anna had warned me about going for ice cream in advance so I tried to make the rest of my day healthier so it would make up for the ice cream. It wasn’t unplanned so I think it’s okay. If anyone disagrees let me know. I don’t want to be too easy on myself!

Well, I’m done and going to sleep.

Have fun!

AJ