Maybe I Should Make Plans

Lol as I sat here tonight with a few more knitting projects done, I wondered if perhaps I should be making plans for my weekends other than sitting on the couch knitting.

Exercise:

I did start the day with a very brisk walk with my running buddies for 5.5km. After yesterday’s 10km run, I didn’t want to run again, so decided to just walk and it was a good decision as even with walking there was a horrible head wind!

Shopping:

After a lovely tea with the group, I stopped for groceries. I was hungry so picked up steak, extra milk, crackers, cheese, and luncheon meat, though thankfully I left all but the bananas, apples and rice cakes at the checkout counter. I shop at the same store every Sunday after my run so they’ve gotten to know me and a few of the cashiers were giggling at me today🤣

Knitting:

I have literally spent the rest of the day knitting. I have finished the Rose City Rollers, Littles Edition socks today and when that didn’t use all the yarn up, I also made a tiny hat. I keep telling myself to try a new sock pattern and I think i will after this one as I wouldn’t mind something with a leg. I do like how this pattern goes so quickly and fits well. I still prefer to knit the socks on DPN’s as the decreasing at the toe is also easier on the DPNs than on the circular – there is no counting required on the DPNs.

The little hat is probably too little to be useful, but maybe I’ll donate it to the Christmas market in December and some little girl can buy it as a doll hat.

I have actually started another knit, but it’s a test knit so I’m not sure I’m allowed to talk about it. It is going really well and will be done soon:)

Well I’m off to bed!

Have fun!

AJ

Westwood Lake

My mom and I discovered that none of the knitting stores were open today so we had to come up with another plan.

My mom had told me a while ago about Westwood Lake in Nanaimo. We found it by feel and there was a very easy parking lot.

We set off to the left and made our way around the lake. It’s a gorgeous trail that only has three hills!

I am hoping to run around here one day. There were lots of people out, but I would definitely go out towards the right from the parking lot as it can be a little tricky to find the path coming around that way. This would be a great walk for anyone!

We had a lovely dinner out and I’m experiencing my parents continuous company right now.

By the way I started the day by breaking the toilet and ended the day by breaking the car door so I may be asked to vacate the premises quite soon.

Have fun!

AJ

Walking, Walking, Walking

Sorry about no post yesterday. I actually fell asleep sideways across my bed and didn’t wake up until this morning!

Reading:

I finished Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish by Grace Burrowes yesterday morning.

What a great read! Lady Sophia Wyndham has schemed to have some time alone before joining all of her family for Christmas. Of course this alone time flies out the window when she finds herself with a baby and a man as houseguests.

I love how Lady Sophia is a strong, capable and sensible character who also has honest emotions. She’s a complicated character who is realistic. Com Charpentier, our hero, is also multifaceted and who can resist a man who is capable with a baby?!?!

The background characters are also wonderful! I’ve always loved the Wyndham family with their scheming. They seem so high and mighty until one of their own needs a nudge to have a happy ending:)

Vim’s family is just as sweet in this book though. His aunt and uncle have schemed to get him back to the family seat and they are determined to help him have a happy ending.

The characters take centre stage in this book and make it a wonderful adventure to read.

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

I met up with two friends and we walked the seawall from downtown to Granville Island. This is just over 5km. We had lunch at a new spot on Granville Island called Poppino. It was good, but the only thing I was allowed was a cheeseburger without the cheese. Oh well, it was yummy and I was in a beautiful spot with great friends.

We looked around the market and the netloft but none of us bought anything.

As we were starting our walk home, we went by the water park and one of the ice cream places I follow on Instagram was there! I finally got to try Hello Sweets! I had really wanted to try their ice cream sandwich, but they were sold out so I had their most popular flavour of ice cream which is marshmallow. T was super yummy, but also super rich!!!! It’s definitely worth a tasting if you come across them.

After walking back, enjoying the sunshine I came home and fell asleep. Lol a nice day, but obviously not exciting enough to keep me awake!

Have fun!

AJ

Trivia Tuesday #16

Well my day had a few changes and was a lot cooler, but overall, quite a nice vacation day:)

Exercise:

I got out this morning for a 3km easy run. This is all bonus mileage for the month so didn’t want to go crazy, but wanted to stay in the routine. It’s a good thing I wasn’t going for time or anything as I got stopped by an old neighbor and talked with him for a while.

This evening I went out for a walk. I looked at doing a workout but didn’t want to get hot and sweaty before trivia so decided on a 6km walk instead. It was great to see one of my old students out running with her dad!

Socializing:

I met up with Corianne and Lyndsay to plan out our road trip to Seattle this weekend. I wasn’t much help until I had processed it all and responded this evening at 5pm. Boy am I a slow processor! I think we’re going to have a lot of fun!

Eating:

I had blueberries for breakfast and when I met up with Lyndsay and Corianne I gave into temptation and had the waffles at Green Mustache again. Cori and I really should have shared it as it was entirely too much food for me! I hope she’s willing to share food this weekend!

For dinner I am super proud of myself for making the decision to eat a salmon patty at home and just have a sangria at the pub.

I worked out that 20% of my meals for the week is four meals and that’s been really helping me lately to stay on track. I know my weekend will all be out so I have to keep this in mind!

Knitting:

I have spent some more time sorting my yarn by weight and it seems to be going okay. I just have to decide now if I’m going to group lace, light fingering and fingering in one box, sport and DK in another and worsted and bulky in a third or try to have each on a separate box. Thoughts and opinions are appreciated:)

I’ve also been knitting on my crewneck, raglan sweater and am quite happy with it, though as usual I am worried it’s going to be too big:(

I had to pass two tops onto Lyndsay and Cori today as they are just too big for me.

Trivia:

It was just the three of us and you could definitely tell!

What I knew:

A popular song by Chumbawumba?

Tubthumping

The next five words in the song American Pie?

How to dance real slow

How is insulation rated?

R Value

What is the number one tho g men ask their wives for permission?

Going out with the guys

Put these fractions in order smallest to greatest.

7/12, 5/8, 2/3

What is an Elvis Presley song with Blue in the title?

Blue Suede Shoes

A song by Faith Hill…

Breathe

The number one hit song from 2018? (Shown a picture of the singers)

Shallow by Lady Gaga

What was the job of the seven dwarves?

Miners

What is the most important book to Muslims?

Quran

Who was James Bond’s secretary?

Miss Moneypenny

Who produced and co-wrote Uptown Funk?

Mark Ronson

Well that’s it for me as I have a new book to read:)

Have fun!

AJ

Out, In, Out, In,…my life has a pattern lately

After being out all day yesterday, I had a much quieter day today.

Exercise:

I set the alarm so I would get up early enough to head out along a main road. It has little shade so I knew I had to get the run done early. I had forgotten how nice it can be to run the main road and get a lovely few seconds of break each block or so, as long as I have my auto pause on so it doesn’t affect my pace too much. I also discovered that it is 156 squares from the bottom of the hill to the top. For some reason counting squares really helps me get up the hill. The furthest I had to run was five blocks straight and I got 6.7km in which gets me completely caught up on my yearly mileage🎊🎉. Now I have two days to get a little ahead in mileage in case something happens in the future.

I also got a workout in this afternoon. I love my usual workouts, but have been feeling like I really need to do some concentrated weights, so today I went bottom to top, trying to hit all my muscle groups. I did 3 sets of 12 of each exercise with no rest between sets, but decreasing the weight each time. The amount of weight (in pounds) is what changed depending on the exercise. I did:

Calf raises- 10, 7, 4

Hamstring curls- 7s for all 3 rounds

Reverse lunges- 10,7,4

Squats- 10,7,4

Deadlift- 10,7,4

Bridge- 10s for all 3 rounds

Full sit up- 10s for all 3 rounds

Dead bugs- 2s for all 3 rounds

Stopped and stretched all my lower body muscles

Chest press- 10,7,4

Flies- 7,4,2

Bent over rows- 10,7,4

Bicep curls- 7,4,2

Overhead tricep extension- 10,7,4

Front raise- 7,4,2

Shoulder press- 10,7,4

Stretched all upper body muscles

I would like to find my 5lb weights and get rid of the 2s. I think I’ll try to get to this workout once a week at least as I really liked it, though I don’t like how difficult it is to get to my workout gear right now!

I finally also went for a walk this evening, just because it was so beautiful!

Knitting:

I was so happy to be able to start my sweater today. I had already decided I wanted to use the Cascade Heritage Prints yarn I had bought for the April Tank for a tee for myself. I quickly realized I didn’t want a v-neck though because the stripes didn’t line up properly. I ripped it all out and have started again with a crew neck raglan sweater, though I’m having to make up the pattern myself as there didn’t seem to be one for fingering weight yarn on Ravelry:(. Oh well, so far I’m happy with it.

I also spent some time starting to sort my yarn by weight. I thought this might be a better way now that I have multiple colours of one yarn. It would also allow me to see which yarns I could combine to make multi-colour projects. During this process, I also got some more of my yarn entered into my Ravelry stash. My goal is to have it all there so this also made me happy!

Reading:

I finally finished my latest NetGalley book, The One Who Stays by Toni Blake.

This is the story of Meg, an innkeeper on Summer Island who has a lot of soul searching to do when two men are in her life. She has had an open relationship with Zach for five years as he leaves for long periods as a commercial fisherman. However, Zach then enters the picture as a handyman around the inn.

I would definitely call this novel women’s fiction rather than a romance novel. Yes there were elements of romance, but there was a lot more introspection and angst than action. At one point I really wanted to tell Meg to shut up and have a glass of wine.

There were elements that I really enjoyed too though which saved the book. I recently heard Sarah Morgan say that a well written setting becomes another character in the book and this is definitely true in this book. Blake paints a beautiful picture of Summer Island as a peaceful, friendly, safe island where one can go to heal. I could see it in my head and wanted to go there. It also played a large part in the story.

The characters were interesting and well written. I felt like I could also picture them, however I really had a difficult time liking Meg!

Finally, the diary element of the story was very cool and the ending was super unexpected! It was sweet and surprising which made me happy I had finished the book.

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

Well, I’m going back to my sweater!

Have fun!

AJ

Sunny Sunday

It was a lovely day, not just because the sun was out all day:)

Exercise:

My run this morning once more turned into a walk, but mainly because I wanted to hear the news from my friend with the broken foot and the two who just returned from holidays. They walk at a good pace so I didn’t mind a 5km walk over a run.

I did get another workout in this evening. It consisted of:

30 jumping jacks,20 lunges,10 plié squats

30 butt kicks, 20 crunches, 10 pushups

30 mountain climbers,20 bicycles, 10 reverse crunches

30 skaters, 20 high knees, workout supermen

30 sec front plank, 20 second right side plank, 20 second left side plank, 10 second reverse plank.

Then you repeat all of it again.

I liked this workout as I repeated each round twice before moving on so while it seemed to go fast, I also didn’t need to go back through it again:)

Eating:

After a quick change I drove downtown to meet my friend Em who just arrived back from a trip to Ireland. We were supposed to be going to Festal, but was shocked to find they were closed! They need to update their website! So today I ate:

A kind bar

A Crispy Kalamari Caesar at Meet Gastown. This is an awesome vegetarian restaurant that has lots of gluten free and dairy free options. Their calamari was made out of oyster mushrooms and their Caesar salad also had kale in it. It was super yummy!

I highly recommend Meet if you’re in Vancouver. They have about four locations and I so wish they would open another one closer to me!

A red pepper with hummus, 2 crackers and some blueberries.

Shopping:

We shopped our way back to Em’s place. We both had the most luck at the Joe Fresh stand-alone store. I was super happy to find a pair of kids aviator sunglasses as I’ve been wanting a pair of sunglasses that are a little more dressy than the ones I currently have. I also found a new running shirt and a cute dress!

Knitting:

The rest of the night has been spent finishing up the blanket. This definitely ended up being a much bigger project than I had planned on, but at least it’s done and I think it’s a good size for a lap blanket.

I had to play yarn chicken and ended up taking apart a provisional cast on I had done for another project.

This blanket has 200 stitches across on size 4 needles. Four border stitches, 48 sets of 4 pattern stitches (knit 4, purl 4), and then another four border stitches. I did four rows of k4,p4, then four rows of p4,k4. Four garter rows at the start and end. The yarn used is just Red Heart Comfort and boy am I glad to get this out of my stash!

Oh and for those of you who wanted to see my stitch markers. They really aren’t that exciting, but I like them:)

I included my silicon stitch markers too as I now have about ten different colours. I like a different colour for each place so I don’t have to try to differentiate between them.

Well I need sleep!

Have fun!

AJ

Jam and a Great Book

I’d love to say I was as productive as yesterday, but it just wouldn’t be true. I’m blaming it all on the book!

Exercise:

It’s hopefully the last week that my morning run turned into a walk as I didn’t want to leave Brenda alone. We did the entire Coquitlam River so it was a good way to start the day, especially as Brenda walks very briskly.

I worked out this evening with another Lyndsay routine. After a warm up of running, skaters, jacks, side shuffle and skipping that wore me out, I did:

2 sets of: dumbbell press with squat hops, side lunges, plank taps to burpees, lunges to deadlift, bench push-up to leg raise, plank with leg raise up and to the side, squat jumps to pulsing squats, single leg hip lifts.

Then 2 minutes- first one skipping and the second jumping jacks.

Then 1 minute of each of the following: bench tricep press, wall sit, mountain climbers, band pull downs, and dumbbell swings.

Finally the torture ended with abs, 30 seconds each of: bicycles, Russian twists, right side crunch, left side crunch, full sit up

After that I ended the evening with a short run. I really didn’t want to go and had given myself permission to only go to the park and back, but surprisingly I felt really good. I still only did 3.75km🤣

Shopping:

After my walk and tea this morning I stopped by the farmer’s market and picked up my Black Sheep Vegan Cheese. I was so excited that they were close to home! I have to admit I bought one of each kind they have, though I was disappointed they were out of camemvert.

That’s my very large brown paper bag of cheese in the centre:)

I also went and picked up my friend Kathryn and we hit the Gourmet Warehouse. This is always a scary stop for me and I definitely require supervision. I really wanted to get an angel food cake pan, but they were sold out of it. I wanted to get wonton wrappers, but they only had rice paper. I also wanted to pick up canning jar lids, but they didn’t have the kind I need. I ended up being very good and only buying some sugar free vanilla syrup (I am on holidays so my tea should be special) and some butcher block oil for my charcuterie board. I was tempted by the Le Creuset and the cookbooks though!

Kitchen:

I got another batch of raspberry jam made today. It went smoother than yesterday. I think I need to make one more batch to get me through the year. After that I will just freeze the rest of the berries. I have to stop tomorrow and get more jars though.

Reading:

I spent a lot of today reading, I Flipping Love You by Helena Hunting. From the first page this book grabbed me and it never let go! It was such a good read. The plot is very fast paced and yet it seems to suit the characters.

The characters are realistic and interesting and the banter between them is great! I laughed out loud a few times and I have to admit I always love it when the female lead isn’t a pushover.

There was enough background given to have scenes and dialogue make sense and yet we weren’t inundated with “head stuff” or character’s thoughts.

I also liked how the narrative switched between the two main characters so you got to know both sides of the story.

This is an excellent beach read and is highly recommend it if you want something fun.

Eating:

What have I eaten today???

Breakfast- piece of toast with peanut butter and homemade raspberry jam

10 slices cucumber with cheese and 11 cherries.

Green beans with everything but the bagel seasoning on them

1 mini cherry tart

Raspberries as I was cutting them up for the jam

Not the best, but not horrible. At least my fridge is starting to empty out. I like it a lot better when there’s minimal food in there!

Well I don’t know if I’m going to start another book or some knitting, but I’m off.

Have fun!

AJ

Workout Wednesday Maintained

My goal is to do a lot of exercise, less eating and get back to liking my body this summer!

Exercise:

I did finally get my butt out of bed and went for a run. It’s tough when I’m not meeting anyone. I went out the opposite way as I usually do along the busy street, but I had discovered the auto pause feature in RunKeeper and needed to check it out. It worked great and I got 6.5km done. I was happy with this as I was of course, worried I’d be unable to run more than 3.5km as that’s all I have time for in the morning.

This afternoon I went for a walk. I was once again not feeling super energetic, even though I had just woken up from a nap. I was happy to get another 3.5km done:)

Finally I did a workout this evening. I went back to the first workout I had been given and boy did it have me sweating buckets!

Warm up: 30 seconds run in place, alternating with: jacks, cross jacks, side shuffle, high knees and butt kicks.

Tabatas:

Skaters/ mountain climbers

Squat jumps/ squat with alternating side leg lift

Mogul jumps/ dips

Burpees/ up-Downs

Circuit:

Tricep push-up, Back lunge to front kick right leg, back lunges to front kick left leg, push-up to pike push-up, curtsy lunge right, curtsy lunge left, front leg lift right, front leg lift left

Core: front plank, right plank, table top plank, left plank, crunches

I haven’t decided if I’m going to repeat this workout or move onto the next workout.

Shopping:

I met up with my friend Brenda and introduced her to Bulk Barn as she had never been. I picked up some baking stuff, but shouldn’t have gotten the banana chips as I’ve already eaten more than I had planned.

Eating:

Breakfast- yogurt

Snack- 20 grapes

Lunch- Freshii Kung Fu bowl

Snack- 30 banana chips

Dinner- shrimp plate

Knitting:

I have been knitting like crazy today and am almost at the neck decrease! I just hope it all matches up and fits when I’m done!

I always know when I’m getting close as I’m already thinking about what I’ll make next. My RMT’s wife is pregnant so I’m thinking I’ll do a quick sweater for him.

Movies:

I have been binging on Hallmark movies as I’ve been knitting. I’ve watched When Sparks Fly, Summer Villa and now on Chance at Love. I’ve seen them all before, but they work for background noise as I’m knitting.

Well that’s it for me.

Have fun!

AJ

Happy Weekend

It felt like this school week took three weeks to end! I think it’s just mentally getting to me that there are no days off in the month of June:(

Exercise:

I wanted to make sure that I finished off my monthly mileage so I went for a run this morning. I managed 4.93km and had okay times though, definitely not my fastest. There were so many people out! I met up with at least 12 people, including a father from my school. Of course when I got home I saw that I looked dreadful- all red and sweaty🤪.

This evening I decided it was too nice to not go out and enjoy the time so I went for a walk around the inlet. It was longer than usual because the trail is closed so had to take the road. Of course, I ended up frustrated when it didn’t count for my squad Easy mission. This app is driving me crazy lately!

I also did a short workout. I always worry that I’m disturbing the guy who lives below me so I tried to keep the jumping to a minimum. I did one minute each of the following and used 7lb weights where applicable:

Jump squats, standing crunch left, standing crunch right, reverse mountain climbers, hand release push ups, bicep curl to calf raise, banded monster walk, banded squat to curtsy lunge left, banded squat to curtsy lunge right, banded iso hip raise abductors, hamstring curls, toe taps, banded seated row, dumbbell double crunch, lateral lunge to upright row left, lateral lunge to upright row right.

I love doing exercises with the band!

Teaching:

I got a taste of what it must be like for most people as today all my friends at work were away. I only had one teacher who I’m friendly with there. It was really lonely!

We did our Friday newspaper and I noticed today how much more the students are writing! I may need to add in another page as it is getting difficult to get them all on one page. Some kids were even upset that I wouldn’t let them go onto another page!

We released the butterflies from Liane’s class. I did this with the principal. It’s quite nerve racking to teach in front of someone who controls your job! Especially when Liane is the expert who usually does the nature things!

This afternoon we had silent reading out on the field and then played with our buddies on the playground.

It definitely wasn’t an academic day!

Reading:

Last night I finished the book, The Wedding Date Bargain by Mira Lynn Kelly. I found the start of this book a little confusing with all the jumping around in the timeline, but I’m glad I persevered. It had minimal drama and angst which is something I appreciate and the ending was so sweet:)

I have started reading another book in that series called Just This Once. So far, it’s okay, but hopefully it will improve!

Eating:

Not great, not horrible, but I have no plans for the weekend so hopefully I’ll get back on track!

Product Review:

I had Amy’s Rice Mac and Cheese for lunch today. It was pretty good for a frozen meal, but definitely not homemade. If you’re GF and DF and need a ready made meal though- it’s not a bad option. I just found the portion size small for the amount of calories in it.

Have fun!

AJ

Fake Friday

Well it is kind of my Friday today as I have no kids tomorrow, but I do have to suffer through all day meetings.

Teaching:

Today we did an opinion response about Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed by Emily Pearson. I love this book because it highlights how one person’s good deed can spread to everyone.

We also did some more work on time which the children really seem to be getting well.

And this afternoon we started a directed drawing project based on Van Gogh’s Wheatfield with Crows which is our art for Saskatchewan which has a lot of wheat fields. We thought it would be one day, but we’ll have to finish it next week.

We had a meeting at lunch about the three classroom moves that are supposed to happen. Two of them I completely get, but moving the music room to the portable, I don’t get! We have to go outside to get there through the rain we have continuously and it is going to take up instructional time to get the kids dressed and undressed for going outside:(. I guess my biggest complaint is that there is never any discussion and it doesn’t feel like any comments we make, make any difference:(

If only everyone had to agree with me!🤣

I ran out of work quickly to get to my doctor’s appointment. So annoying that he only gave me six months of my pills- it’s a pain to go there! The good news is that I have perfect blood pressure-120/60. I guess all that running is good for something!

Exercise:

Unfortunately no running happened today. I ended up having another unplanned nap and just didn’t have a run in me, so I went for a walk instead. Hopefully a one hour walk is equal to a run:)

Baking:

I had bought some Sweet Loren’s cookies down the states last weekend as I had read a blog raving about them. I made them up tonight so that I can take them to work tomorrow. They are pre-shaped and took about 17 minutes to cook. I tried one cookie and it was chewy and too sweet while having too little taste. I can’t say that I will be buying them again, though I admit I always think homemade is better!

Eating:

I had a good eating day! Though I am starting to wonder if I’m the only person who eats pretty well the same thing everyday?

Breakfast- hard boiled egg

Recess: yogurt

Lunch: 2 kid pancakes with 1 mini sausage

Snack: cinnamon raisin scone

Dinner: 1 tilapia filet, cherry tomatoes with hummus, pepper with salsa, cucumbers with fake cream cheese, 1 cookie

I would like to make it so that lunch was my bigger meal though!

Well, I’m going to go suffer through more of the book I am reading right now, though I really need to get back to knitting!

Have fun!

AJ