Knitting

It was a day of exercise, knitting and friends.

Exercise:

It was cool this morning and felt so good to get out in it for a run. I was planning on 2km as I was a little seat sore from my bike ride yesterday, but it felt so good that I did just over 6km. This was a good start to my wish to up my mileage.

Baking:

I’ve been trying to use up all the blackberries before I leave so today I got busy making some blackberry muffins from the cookbook I am working from right now

These were supposed to be blueberry swirl muffins, but I figured blackberry was close. I have made them before with blackberries and had the note that they were yummy. They looked good and tasted okay, but I made them too big and the top collapsed down.

Knitting:

My friend Cori and her daughter came to knit with me again today. Tavia is doing amazingly and so we worked on her joining a second colour today. Hopefully it will add some interest while she continues to practice the basic knit stitch. I’m thinking next time we’ll start a dishcloth so she can practice increasing and then decreasing.

I tried on my sweater for them and they told me that I shouldn’t tear it out. I have continued on and finished the sleeves. I have just torn out the bottom ribbing and plan to add onto the bottom. I forgot I’d have to pick up over 200 stitches though and I so dislike picking up stitches!!!

Outing:

When we were done our knitting lesson for the day, Cori’s husband two boys joined us and we walked over to a new ice cream shop, Vashti Rose Ice Cream. This is a cool little cafe that is in the front of a gym. The guy makes his own ice cream and offers both vegan and dairy options. I got to try all of the vegan recipes and finally decided on a flight including peanut butter with blackberry jam, cookie dough and peach blueberry. It was amazing, but definitely too much ice cream! Thankfully there was a teenage boy around to help me out with that🤣

Well I’be packed and I’m going back to my 200+ stitches.

Have fun!

AJ

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Why oh Why?

Why do all of my library books need to show up at the same time? How am I going to read all of these books before they are due back????

Teaching:

It was a crazy busy day! We started by making connections to the book The Party by Barbara Reid. My students are starting to get the idea and this is a very cool book as the pictures are made with plasticine!

We also did half of our term reflection for the report card in what they learned about penguins and how they are good at working with partners. We also got the children to brainstorm and then choose two goals for next term. Some students did great and really know themselves and others are living in denial!

Finally this afternoon we had flashlight reading and drew our tree in winter.

It wasn’t too bad a day, but I was glad to write the two report cards I had to do today and get out of there.

Baking:

I tried a new recipe tonight when I got home for tomorrow. It was savory scones by Living Freely Gluten Free. This is the same woman I got the cinnamon roll recipe from and they are just as good! I don’t know how she gets the dough to be just like regular baking, but it was. The only changes I made to the recipe was to use the almond milk I already had and I used more cheese and green onions than called for as I accidentally cut up too much. I had one tonight and it was lovely and flakey!

I will definitely be making these again, but maybe not quite yet:)

Exercise:

I did get out for a run with Sarah tonight. We were supposed to do a pyramid, but actually ended up doing long hills in trying to find a route that wasn’t icy! We climbed 262 feet and ran almost the whole thing. There were just a couple of icy spots we walked.

We treated ourselves to pho after the run as it’s cold and calling for more snow:(

Reading:

I finished The Other Alcott by Elise Hooper this evening. It was a good read and very interesting to learn so much about May Alcott aka Amy March. I never expected the book to be so much about art! Even though some of the other girls in Bookclub have already said they found it difficult to keep track of all the trips across the Atlantic, I actually found that structure of the book made the book read quickly. The book was also enhanced for me by the fact that I visited Orchard House last year and so I could easily envision scenes set there. It was a great book, but I wish it had a happier ending!

I’m home now and heading to bed!

Have fun!

AJ

Hey, Hey, It’s the Weekend!

I was never so happy as to see Friday arrive! I was all braced for snow, even wore my snow boots to work, and we didn’t get one flake🤣. I’m not complaining though!

Teaching:

I love how I mentioned a storage problem I was having to my mom yesterday and this morning I got to work to texted suggestions of what to do😍. We haven’t quite got the solution to how to store all these loose parts materials, but hopefully we’ll hit upon it soon!

My students were quite upset when there was no more penguin picture of the day (we ran out of types to look at), so today, we watched a penguin short video of the day. It was a great way to start the day:)

We wrote our Friday top ten list, had gym and tackled some more adding. This afternoon my students started building a home for Roz and Brightbill (The Wild Robot characters) with their big buddies. It was neat to see them all dive in!

Exercise:

After work I met up with L for a workout. It’s been a while and it felt great to get a good workout in. I have to admit I didn’t love going my cardio on the elliptical though! We did cardio intervals, then squat thrusters, squat jumps with overhead press, sit up with Russian twist and plank up downs, squat with front press and plank rows. It was enough for the first workout in a month!

Eating:

I had asked if L wanted to do dinner at the Green Mustache the other night, but it was too late, so we went tonight after our workout instead. I was really craving comfort food, and told them they should offer Mac n cheese! However tonight I had the chili which turned out to be really good! It’s probably the best tho g I’ve had so far and it was a big serving as I was too full to try one of their delicious desserts.

Knitting:

My movie date with a friend was cancelled so I’ve had a quiet night st home. I’ve been knitting the handwarmers. I thought I was done until I realized one was two rows shorter than the other. I couldn’t leave it and took it apart to add the two rows. Hopefully I’ll be done by tomorrow!

Well I’m off to ponder whether it is wrong to order grocery delivery when I live across the street from the grocery store???

Have fun!

AJ

Late

Sorry for no post, I was just too exhausted yesterday!

Teaching:

A regular day at school. We learned about compound words, the Chinese New Year and that’s about it! It seems like we’re so busy until I write it down!

Exercise:

Yesterday was boot camp day. I’m thinking I didn’t push myself enough as I don’t hurt today. However, since my stomach was still unhappy, it’s probably a good thing.

We did: jump squats/pushups, sumo lunges to burpee/ front jump to iso squat walk back, bicycles/ banded adductors, stability ball hip raises and hamstring curls, stability ball sit ups and leg raises to hip raise, banded fire hydrants both sides, bicep curls/ tricep extensions, and deadlift to knee drive on both sides.

Socializing/ Eating:

I ran home and got cleaned up to meet friends for a Dine Out Vancouver meal. We do one meal a year and have tried some awesome places. I have to admit I often pick them based on whether I can have dessert! 🤣. Last night we went to Chickpea. I wasn’t impressed at first when I had to wait for a table, even though I had made a reservation. As well, they didn’t seem to have the staff to deal with the amount of customers they had.

I have to admit the food was really good, but there was way too much of it! I ordered cauliflower of life but there was also hummus, and a ton of different kinds of food that came with our entrees. I found out I liked the pickled vegetables, and the eggplant the most. Their chickpea fries were delicious too!

It was all very good, but I felt very sick by the time I left.

It was home and straight to bed!

Have fun!

AJ

Fun,Fun, Fun

I awoke to a gorgeous morning, but the day went differently than I expected!

Exercise:

I had talked with a colleague about going for a run this morning, but I didn’t hear from her. I was having a tough time getting up and out the door, so I texted S my occasional running buddy. She couldn’t run but was taking her dogs on a hike and invited me along. It was a gorgeous, cold, sunny day so I joined her.

It was exactly what I needed- fresh air, Sunshine, the forest, cute pups and a good friend. I greatly enjoyed myself and it even counted for my Squad Runner mission!

I also got a workout in when I got home. It was three sets of 12,16 and then 20 reps of squats, plank punches, bicycles, skaters, plank ski hops with two minutes of skipping in between each set. It was quick, but at least it was something!

Eating:

Today was the Halo Top ice cream testing. I started with the Birthday Cake flavor. I have to admit the colouring wasn’t as vibrant as I was expecting. It has a very sweet flavor. It reminds me of a white cake, very light in flavor, just sweet. It’s like those mini cupcakes with the pile of icing on them that you can get at the grocery store. I’m not sure I like having to chew my ice cream.

I next moved onto the Peanut Butter Swirl. I love peanut butter so I had high hopes! You can see the strands of peanut butter in the ice cream, however I was unable to really identify a flavor in the rest of the ice cream. It doesn’t really seem to be chocolate or vanilla, just some light brown cold substance. I guess it’s the definition of eating beige food. There was just not enough peanut butter flavor for me in this one:(

The final flavor I tried was Toasted Coconut. This had a bit of a peach colored hue to it with little dark caramel coloured bits in it. There was a strong toasted coconut flavor in this ice cream. The flavor was really good! My only complaint is that the coconut bits could have been a bit bigger as they kept getting stuck in my teeth.

I did notice that all three flavors seemed to melt very quickly. Thankfully I like my ice cream however I get it:)

And the winner is…Toasted Coconut! It had the most flavor and so will be the one I buy in the future. I’m glad I had the chance to try them all:).

Reading:

I know I should be cleaning or doing laundry, but instead I’m reading. I finished my next NetGalley book, I’ll Always Love You by Ella Quinn.

This is the next story in Ella Quinn’s current Worthington series. It features the eldest daughter, Lucinda and Earl Elliot, the brother’s best friend. I always like romances featuring the brother’s friend, even though they always make me wonder why my brother’s friends didn’t work out that way!

I liked the premise of the meeting between these characters. Lucinda has come to London for her first season and her brother asks his friend Gerald Elliot to help keep an eye out for her. Through random meetings they come to find they have great conversations and lots in common.

The characters themselves were interesting and realistic. I especially liked how Earl Elliot questions how he knows Lucinda is the right one. It seems the opposite to the usual storyline, but I liked the guy being shown as unsure.

This was a short read, but definitely worth your time. I really enjoyed it and thank Ella Quinn, the publisher and NetGalley for the free ARC in exchange for an honest opinion.

socializing:

After a quick nap, I met up with two friends and headed out for some fun! We got foot reflexology which was super lovely, though I really hurt everywhere. The girl said I’m not drinking enough water and the lactic acid is building up in me.

We stopped in at Bath and Body Works and Lululemon as we walked through the mall. I almost bought a dress, but managed to restrain myself:)

We then had dinner at a local pub as that is somewhere my friend normally wouldn’t get to go when she has her son. We shared dry ribs, nachos and yam fries. They were all really good or else I was super hungry!

This evening has just made me grateful I met these two women as I always have such a good time with them and they have become really good friends:) I’m lucky to have them in my life.

Right now though, I’m exhausted so it’s off to bed!

Have fun!

AJ

Curriculum Day

We have had a new curriculum to implement this past year and so have had a few days added to work with it.

Teaching:

I spent the morning exploring assessment with my staff colleagues. It was fine, but if the government thinks a couple of days are going to make me proficient with this new curriculum- they are crazy! I feel like I need a good month to just read it and try to understand it. Of course we don’t get that, we got to implement it before we even got to read it:(

At least we got the afternoon to start writing our report cards, which, surprise, surprise, are also brand new! 😫😖

Exercise:

Needless to say, I had plenty of energy to work off in a session with my friend L! I grabbed the bike to warm up to give my legs a break from pounding the pavement running. We then did three sets of sit ups, military press with squat and rows. Then we got to do three sets of knee tucks, deadlifts and sumo squats with military press. I’m pretty sure I’m not going to be able to move my arms tomorrow. I’m really noticing how fast I lost the strength in my arms:(

Baking:

I have family dinner tomorrow. My nephew wanted fruit so I’ve picked up a fruit tray and am going to try a new dip. My brother wanted the cake my grandma always made, but I thought it was going to be way too big but I just heard he’s invited two more people so maybe I’ll make it up tomorrow morning. I did get an apple crumble made. I used the Oh She Glows recipe that can be found Here. It is super easy and very yummy though I did end up doing it in two dishes so I could save my big rectangular pan in case I get to the white cake in the morning.

I wanted to do the brownies I had made this past summer, but I was missing too many of the ingredients. We will see if I also get to them tomorrow.

Reading:

I finally finished my next NetGalley book, My One and Only Duke.

This book actually contains the full novel by Grace Burrowes and a short story by Elizabeth Hoyt.

Grace Burrowes introduces a new series to us which features the Wentworth Family. This first story is of Quinn who we meet while he is in prison. He marries Jane, a poor minister’s pregnant daughter, thinking that he will be dead in a matter of days.

I loved how this plot line was quite different from the normal romance novel. The start had me in tears as I definitely didn’t know what was coming.

The characters were great! The Wentworth Family is full of crazy characters and Burrowes definitely has me intrigued about what will happen to them all. I loved how Jane was not a doormat, but rather challenged Quinn and yet was also his equal partner when the need arose. She saves him a few times which is a nice change from the usual.

This novel is a great start to a new series and I can’t wait to see what more comes of it.

Thank you to Grace Burrowes, the publisher and NetGalley for the free ARC in exchange for an honest opinion.

Now I desperately need to get to bed as all that sitting today wore me out!

Have fun!

AJ

Out of the Ordinary

Today was really a day out of the ordinary at work and after!

Teaching:

I’ve been getting up five minutes earlier each day, so my mornings are starting to be less crazed.

Today we got our Friday journals done and a little bit in our math number word booklet, but that’s it.

We had a practice for the hip hop and then the actual hip hop performance this afternoon. My students did great and looked very cute! So many parents came after and took their children home that I only had nine kids left for last block!

Socializing:

I rushed out of work and joined my friend downtown. We hit dinner at Meet Yaletown. I’ve been here before, but it is a favourite as it is a vegan restaurant that clearly labels the few things that have gluten in them! It was a perfect night for tonight. My friend and I shared the mucho gusto burger which had pico de Gallo and guacamole and crispy onion bits on it. It was very good as were the fries and salad that came with it! We shared so we could have dessert and I went with the chocolate ganache torte with salted caramel ice cream while my friend had my usual lemon tart. I think I may stick with my usual next time:)

After dinner we hit a new to is Halloween event called Glow in the Garden at Van Dusen Gardens. We have been to the Christmas version several times, but decided to try the Halloween one. It was a reasonable price- about the same as a movie. It was very cute to see the little kids in their costumes and doing crafts as well. We got lucky and went in at the end of the time slot before us, about 7pm. Our time slot started at 7:30, but they let us in and we were super happy as we definitely noticed a lot more people on our second round at 7:30! There were two sections- Hänsel and Gretel and the pumpkin patch and it took about a half hour to do both. We took photos the first round and then just did a second round to look and make sure we didn’t miss anything. It was neat- we got a walk and some fresh air and a new Halloween event. It would be better for little kids though we did see lots of young couples too. I was just happy that it wasn’t too scary!

It was great to have time with my friend and yet not have a super late night after we have both taught all day!

Reading:

I finished my latest NetGalley book last night. Snowed in For Christmas is a collection of three novellas.

Thank you to the authors, the publisher and NetGalley for the free ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed the three holiday novellas in this book.

First, I really liked how all three stories had the man speaking up about his feelings first. It was a nice change from what often happens in romance books. I quite enjoyed the last one as I could picture the character almost telling his feelings.

Secondly, I enjoyed how each story outlined how we don’t know how others are feeling or really how their pasts have affected their lives. The second story definitely brought home the idea that we shouldn’t make assumptions about people as they are often wrong.

Thirdly, I enjoyed how all three stories ended. I really liked how the first two stories had epilogues that caught us up on what happened to the characters later on. The last story had such a cute ending that it’s forgiven for not having an epilogue.

Thank you for three great stories to start getting me into the holiday spirit.

Well, time for some couch!

Have fun!

AJ

Just Another Day

There wasn’t anything super exciting today.

Teaching:

Our morning was long because I had to review all the classroom jobs and the children got to choose their jobs for the first time this week. I swear some of them have already forgotten to do them🤣

I got through labeling two more sets of books during my prep. I really appreciate the parents who just send the supplies and don’t put the child’s name on everything! I spend more time having to redo labeling than it would take to just do it in the first place!

This afternoon we started working on our bubble letter names. I sure hope we finish before Thursday’s open house!

The most exciting part of my day was probably coming home for lunch as I got to have tuna on carrot crackers:)

Product:

Several years ago my parents brought me home These Okanagan Rawsome Carrot Crisps. I absolutely love these crisps as they are so yummy! They have some spice to them, they are hearty enough to stand up to being dipped and they seem to go with everything! Definitely worth buying if you get the chance. I may just have to do some online ordering:)

Errands:

I had a massage after school and then headed out for some teacher errands. I had a lot of things on my list but just got to Costco for playdough and the student pictures I took. I also dropped the stuff from the staffroom off at the donation centre. I miss having my mom for company on my errand circle. I ended up coming home when my stomach started growling.

Knitting:

I spent last night knitting a purple winter headband only to pull it out because I didn’t have enough yarn. Tonight I have pulled a new version out three times because it seemed too wide to me. I think I’m finally happy with it and just need to finish it off. Hopefully it will be long enough for a kid, perhaps my niece:)

Well, that’s it from me:)

Have fun!

AJ

Back to Routine

I am almost back to routine.

Exercise:

I dragged myself out of bed for my Sunday morning run. I don’t know why I was so tired, but I really was. I gave myself permission to run even slower than normal, but I had to go as I was meeting people.

I ended up doing 6.5km along the river. I was super slow and it decided to pour rain the whole time we were out there, but oh well, I’d better get used to it again and we definitely need the rain!

My running buddies were awesome as I was 600m short of my distance when we got back to the car and they carried on with me:)

This evening I decided there was no time like the present to get back to routine so I found a workout to do and did it. I often screenshot workouts and then don’t know where I got them. So I apologize to whoever created this great workout. If it was you, please let me know so I can give you credit!!!

20 Around the world lunges

12 stability ball hamstring curls

12 SL Bridges

12 sumo squat calf raises

12 SL deadlifts

12 deadlifts

10 curtsy lunges

10 medicine ball jump squats

10 knee tucks

10 pikes

10 side plank knee tucks

10 banded fire hydrants

10 banded aide leg raises

10 clams

10 plank leg lifts

I love the fact that I was sweaty by the time I got to the end. It felt good to be moving again!

Reading:

I finished another Susan Mallery library book (it’s due back tomorrow!) called Second Chance Girl. It is part of the Happily Inc series and was quite enjoyable. I think Matthias is my favourite brother so far in this series as he’s more upbeat and personable. I liked that the book featured both of the Lund sisters, but I truly think they both could have had their own books as it felt quite surface for both relationships.

I of course have started another book already which I am really enjoying!

Knitting:

Around my long nap, I have also done some knitting today. I had knit a scarf for my friend while I was away, but it was too short, so I picked up more yarn and have started a new one! The yarn I picked is Loops and Threads Charisma Heather. This friend is not a knitter so I wanted something that wasn’t delicate. I have a week to get it done, and thankfully finally made some progress today while watching some old Hallmark movies.

Cooking:

I spent some more time in the kitchen today. I was amazed to learn that all of my running buddies, past and present have a lovely brunch once they get home from our run on Sunday morning! Why have I never done this??? Today I did. I love breakfast hash and so made up my own. I heated cubed sweet potato, added celery, garlic, purple pepper and onion, then chorizo sausage, mushrooms and spinach. I topped it with some mozzarella cheese and an egg. It was so good I could eat it everyday!

My egg wasn’t pretty so you get a picture pre-egg.

I also tried another recipe from my Ella Woodward cookbook

Today I tried the carrot muffins. They are edible, but I find them too heavy and dense for my taste. I’ve done a lot of gf/df baking and there is better baking out there! I will try a few of the other recipes before I decide whether to keep the book.

Well I’m back to my book, knitting and movie:)

Have fun!

AJ

All By Myself

I spent a lot of today working on the curtains for my co-teacher and I accomplished them all by myself:). I also had some fun though!

Sewing:

I got up this morning and realized I needed to get going on these curtains. I called my mom, because isn’t that what you do when you need to talk through something, cane up with a plan and went for it!

I got the first one almost finished before I had other commitments, but came right back to them when I got home. I was worried that I wouldn’t have the design lined up, but I’m happy enough with it:)

On the second one, I was almost done when I realized they couldn’t be the same length as the first curtains, but they should have been able to be!!! I had to regroup and figure out where I had gone wrong. I ended up ripping out two seams, but in the end, I finished and the two sets of curtains are the same length.

I decided to stop with the two, even though there are four total, so that Liane can try them out when they go camping. If they work, I now have a list of steps to follow to finish the second two sets:)

Socializing:

My morning break was meeting two girlfriends for time at the park with two cute little boys. My friend will be leaving at the end of August for time in Mexico with her husband’s family so I am trying to get my time and snuggles in while I can! We had a great time at the park and actually managed to stay dry- pretty amazing!

Anytime with these four people is amazing and fills my heart!

We took a break from the park for a walk around the block which put the youngest one out long enough for us to grab lunch. There were no sandwiches or salads I could eat so I had the vegan orchard cookie and my Buccaneer tea. It was a lovely treat and the catching up made it even better.

Exercise:

After finishing the curtains I realized that I needed to get out for a run! I really didn’t want to and it was tough to get out the door, but I finally prevailed and managed to do 6.64km. I had forgotten that I had turned off the audio cues, but it seems to be working for me as I ran slightly faster than I have been lately:). The cooler weather may have also helped with this!

Movies:

I have watched two Hallmark movies as I’ve been working on my rug this evening. The first was Love on the Slopes.

I really enjoyed this movie! It is about a woman conquering her fears which is something we should probably all try to do. It also touches on the idea that we are all good at different things and that we can help each other. I loved that these messages were present, though they weren’t in your face either:)

I also realized while watching this movie one of the reasons I so enjoy Hallmark movies. I do love the happy endings (there’s enough sad in the world!), but I also love the fact that I recognize the scenery! Most of these movies are filmed here in BC so it’s cool to be watching and realize that, “hey, I’ve been there!” In fact, one movie was filmed in the shopping village across the street from me!

The second movie I watched was Love Once and Always.

I enjoyed this movie, not only for the attractive male character, and the banter between the two characters, but also because the main character is a history buff. It links to my love of history:). The sheep does steal the show at times😂

Well, I’m off to read my book.

Have fun!

AJ