Well hello again. I’ve been on vacation this past week (just a staycation) and finally took it down a notch to regroup. Coincidently, it’s been exactly a month since my last post so I figured I share a little from the last 30 days in pictures because honestly that’s how I remember my life these days….I just scroll through my phone’s camera roll :).

Aside from this past staycation week I’ve been doing lots of sign design and production 🙂

Now that the weather has been warmer, Mr. SOTSS and I have resumed our Thursday night walks to get ices. That’s rainbow cookie for me and coconut raspberry for him.

I discovered this amazing combo: Sweet and Salty Kettle Corn AND Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips. So delicious!

I ran a race! Yep, the Spring Lake 5 miler the last weekend in May. It was super hot and I thought I might die. I ran the whole race with my friend Lisa and we had a great time catching up on life. I also got to see my friend Jane. And after the race, I had brunch with Lisa, her cousin and his wife. And if it couldn’t get better than that, I got a medal and a glass. Woot!

Happy feet!

For the 2nd year Mr. SOTSS and I attended a local fundraising event called the Blue Jean Ball. Such a fun night! And with our crazy work schedules it was really nice to get out on a weeknight and relax.

Props for the props.

I picked up Chester and brought him back to my house last week and snapped this pic just before we started driving. So cute.

I also made him pose for a pic just like I do with Duncan.

Speaking of duncan poses here’s one!

and another

oh ok….one more 🙂

On the Friday before my staycation began I came home from working at Fastsigns and passed out for 2 hours. I woke up and felt like running….and so I did…at 8pm! Fresh pavement and honeysuckles…it was awesome!

Speaking of honeysuckles, I walked a whole lot during my staycation just to be around the honeysuckles….they smell soooo good!

I went hiking and these ferns stopped me in my tracks.

Ran 3 slow miles yesterday and then took this selfie. Note to self: I need more running tanks. I only have ONE!

The view on my first walk of the day today

and then a second walk this evening with Duncan

And I made my bed! This is a big deal because I am not a regular bed maker. But I need to get in the habit because tomorrow I’m listing my house for sale! That’s my big news 🙂 I’ll be moving in with Mr. SOTSS for a while before we start house hunting for something together. I’m a bit freaked out as I’ve lived my entire life (44 years) here on Staten Island and I’ll be moving to New Jersey. But considering I basically pack a duffle bag and go there every weekend anyway I guess it won’t be that big a deal. And Mr. SOTSS is a GREAT bed maker so I’ll have that to look forward to 🙂 But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t emotional about this. I bought this house less than a year after my husband died and I have been here for 18 years. It’s been my serenity. I’ll miss it. But I’m looking forward to this next chapter.

So how has your last month been? 

2017 Spring Lake 5 recap

Hi! I had a super busy weekend so I’m just getting a chance to recap my morning at the 2017 Spring Lake 5 miler in Spring Lake, NJ. I spectated this race in 2014 and 2015 and then ran it last year.IMG_0135

Let me just say that after having to DNS 3 races since March I was so happy to finally get to a start line, see my running friends and just feel like my normal “running-life” self.

I was on the road at 6:30am to make my way down to Spring Lake which is about 40 minutes south of Mr. SOTSS’s house.The race doesn’t start until 8:30 but I always try and park by 7:15 since they start to close roads and street parking fills up quickly. Plus, even though they mail you your race bib, you still need to pick up your t-shirt and souvenir glass.

2017 Spring Lake 5

Ready to run

I met up with Lisa and Bill and we walked toward the start area to get our goodies and then drop them back at the car before heading back and meeting up with Jane and Keri and another of their running group friends.

Photo: @Kmandell14

Photo: @Kmandell14

It felt great to finally see Jane because I was supposed to run the Philly Love Run half marathon with her back in March just shortly after she announced her pregnancy but we all know that my injury forced me to miss the race and subsequently miss meeting the baby (bump). Jane is a rockstar momma to be and has already completed a half, 10 miler and now a 5 miler.

The race starts and finishes by the beach and with the weather being absolutely gorgeous we couldn’t resist taking some pics on the sand.

She's only got 9 more weeks until she meets her little one.

She’s only got 9 more weeks until she meets her little one.

Keri just recently opened a yoga studio so I asked her to suggest to me some ways to work toward accomplishing some poses. She blogs over at Yogaswole. She’s an avid runner as well.

I also got to see my friend Elvia who I haven’t seen in a while too! She’s been running Spring Lake for so many years.

With Lisa still working through some hip issues and my toe still being on the mend the plan was to just take it easy and that we did. We kept a pace between 11:00 and 11:30 per mile. Jane and Keri went up ahead and I didn’t think I’d see them again until after the race since, even at 7 months pregnant Jane is faster than me 🙂 But about 4 miles in I saw Keri standing outside a port-a-potty waiting for Jane. Yassss!!!!! This meant that we could all possibly finish the race together!

Somewhere in the last mile.

Somewhere in the last mile. So freakin happy to be doing what I love.

an opportunity to cool off

an opportunity to cool off

Running through the main drag

Running through the main drag

Best feeling to be running again!

Best feeling to be running again!

Keri, Jane and Me crossing the finish (thanks Lisa for the photo)

Keri, Jane and me crossing the finish (thanks Lisa for the photo)

After crossing the finish line I grabbed the most refreshing orange slice…IMG_0130

And then it was off to breakfast because let’s face it….I was way overdue for a post-race breakfast and it didn’t dissappoint! French toast, eggs and bacon.


This race is really an enjoyable one. It’s a great way to kick off the unofficial start to summer.

The day after the race my toe was a bit angry but with each passing day felt better and better. I’m not sure how my running schedule will look for the next month or two but I do know I’ll be continuing with yoga and hopefully getting to run at least once a week as I keep getting closer and closer to feeling 100 percent.

How was your weekend?

TGIF! Let the weekend begin!

Seriously….I feel like my eyes need to be propped open with toothpicks. It’s been a long week back after my Adirondacks vacation last weekend. I’m only in week 3 of this new full-time job­‑and with the car accident, complete routine shift, and not yet really feeling like my role is defined yet at the job, I’ve been on edge, unsure, more tired than usual and just feeling a little out of sorts.  

I did manage to get in my 2 weekday runs. The first was a 3-miler on Tuesday night after work.

Post work 5k

Post work 5k

It was what felt like a lovely Summer night even though we’re still a month away from Summer. The temps in New York have been reaching 88-92 each day. Yikes #NotReadyfortheSweat

I have to say that running in the evening for a short 3 miles is perfect. Enough to get out some of the anxiety but it takes up only 30ish minutes which leaves me time for hanging with the doodle and doing some freelance work or chores. 

This morning I was up and out the door at 6am for another 3 miler. It was hot and humid and I was drenched in just 34 minutes.

Why does the color gray show sweat so much

Why does the color gray show sweat so much




Other than running, walking the dog and drinking too much coffee the rest of my week was spent on the sofa trying to relax and regroup for the next day.

more coffee

more coffee

Strolling the neighborhood for a few miles each night.

Strolling the neighborhood for a few miles each night.

I’ve been dvr-ing Ellen and watching it at night and I’ve been loving that. 

On Wednesday, after work I drove straight to the mall to get a birthday gift for Mr. SOTSS’ daughter. She’s going to be 13! While I was there I saw there was a Nathan’s in the food court and just couldn’t resist. Those fries are my absolute favorite. 

I heart Nathan's fries!

I heart Nathan’s fries!

I’ve got a super busy Memorial Day weekend starting with the Spring Lake 5 tomorrow morning. I can’t believe I’m actually going to be running. Two years ago I registered but got injured and ended up taking Duncan down with me to spectate which was so much fun.


I also met Mr. SOTSS for our second date later that day. We wanted the dogs to meet and walked around a park by my house. It started to rain and Duncan was annoyed because he hates walking in the rain. I remember turning around and whispering to him “C’mon Duncan, we’re on a date!” 

Post date

My loyal “wingman”

 I had so much fun spectating that I went again last year to do the same.

he would rather spectate me on the sidelines. LOL.

he would rather spectate me on the sidelines. LOL.

The race is 5 miles and I don’t run a ton of races that distance. My current PR is 49:10 (9:50 per mile pace) which is from 2011. The weather will be warm and as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I’m just feeling the effects of the transition to working full time in an office again so I really have no expectations or goals for the race other than to see and hug my running peeps. I miss them!

The rest of the weekend will be a back and forth between hanging with Mr. SOTSS and his daughters for fun stuff and home to get some freelance work done and get some chores out of the way. I’m also planning on meeting up with another friend for brunch and of course cuddling as much as I can with my furr kid.

This was the face that said goodbye to me this morning

This was the face that said goodbye to me this morning

I hope you all enjoy your weekend as well. 

What’s the weather by you today?

Any exciting weekend plans?

Hi and happy weekend! And for those in the U.S., Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Today was the Spring Lake 5 miler in Spring Lake New Jersey. I signed up for it last year but due to injury couldn’t run and spectated instead. I had so much fun I decided to go spectate again this year. So at 5:45am Duncan and I were on the road headed down to get a good parking spot. We met up with Lisa and her cousin Bill and his wife and later on the rest of the crew and chit chatted for the hour before the race began.

the runners

the runners

cutest, most well behaved spectator doodle

cutest, most well behaved spectator doodle

I love being at the start of a race where you actually get to see the runners take off at the sound of the horn.


The very front of the pack

Bill is the UPS driver for the town of Spring Lake so all the stores in town know him by name. He’s sort of famous. Anyway, when I mentioned where I would be standing (at the halfway point) Bill told me and his wife to go stand by the Life is Good store because there is a young man named Shaun who loves watching the race and give out high fives to all the runners over there. I had no idea just how well known Shaun is in the community but I soon came to discover that.

This is just a sampling of the high-fives happening. I think I counted at least 100 people

This is just a sampling of the high-fives happening. I think I counted at least 100 people

Waiting for our friends to run by

Waiting for our friends to run by

He was so funny. He refused to get on the curb. Luckily he didn't get trampled over.

He was so funny. He refused to get on the curb. Luckily he didn’t get trampled over.

Bill, Shaun and there's Lisa to the right!

Bill, Shaun and there’s Lisa to the right!

What a sight! This guy was so happy but the runners were even happier to see HIM! I could hear them shouting his name and crossing from the other side of the course just to come give him a high five or a hug. So my camera was out and primed just as Lisa and Bill arrived. I caught Bill’s hug to Shaun and it was such a special moment.

Somehow I spotted Miss Elvia...actually I think she saw me and called my name. The sun was blinding but I snapped this pic and was so happy hours later when I saw I actually got her.

Somehow I spotted Miss Elvia…actually I think she saw me and called my name. The sun was blinding but I snapped this pic and was so happy hours later when I saw I actually got her.

I dig this license

I dig this license

Lisa and Jorge!

Lisa and Jorge!

This little vignette really captures so much for this weekend.

This little vignette really captures so much for this weekend.

I’m hoping next year I’ll finally be able to run it. But I won’t be missing out on races completely this weekend because I just decided I’m going to register for our local 4 mile Memorial Day race here on Staten Island on Monday morning. It’s a super flat course and I’m probably ready to go from 3 miles to 4 for my long run (HA!). So what the heck. I’m pretty stoked. It’ll be my first race in a month. (it feel like so much longer!).

Do you have anything fun going on this weekend?

I’m going on a sailboat tomorrow. I haven’t been on one in about 25 years! I’m hoping I don’t get seasick =)