Hi there.

Happy Spring. Here in New York City we got a big dump of snow thanks to Nor’ Easter Toby. But it has mostly melted.

at the beginning of the storm

at the beginning of the storm

the morning after the storm

the morning after the storm

I got back at the beginning of the week from being away for 17 days. Away from home, away from Duncan. Needless to say it was tough. But it was for something very exciting…

Mr. SOTSS is opening a business. It’s a franchise called FASTSIGNS.

Welcome to FASTSIGNS :)

Welcome to FASTSIGNS :)

Basically a business that creates visual communications like signage for other businesses. In addition to traditional signage there is digital signage now added to the mix and even vehicle wraps. When Mr. SOTSS made the decision to do this I immediately jumped on board because I knew I could help him design the signs. He was really excited about the production part of it (actually building the signs). So this seemed like a great combo. This has been in the works for well over a year now and over that span it became clear that he, as the franchise owner, would be busy with many tasks at first, including the very important task of sales and that the production part is really more a dual role for the graphic designer…moi. I knew this would be a challenge for me, and as I learned while we were away, challenge is an understatement.

Let me back up for a minute and tell you about the trip which was to the corporate headquarters of FASTSIGNS, in Dallas, Texas. We had to complete a 2 week intensive training.

a little bag of snacks was given to each of us to help us get through the training weeks. And a BIG BINDER that was full of info by the time we left

a little bag of snacks was given to each of us to help us get through the training weeks. And a BIG BINDER that was full of info by the time we left

We set out back on March 2nd on a drive that would ultimately land us in Dallas, We were originally going to take our dogs which is why we opted to drive. We also thought it would be fun to see a bit of the country as we traveled (I think we covered 15 states total—New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansa, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Virginia, Maryland).

I insisted on taking photos of each state. If I was driving then Mr. SOTSS took the photo

I insisted on taking photos of each state. If I was driving then Mr. SOTSS took the photo

We ended up not bringing the dogs (HARD THINGS #1: Leaving my dog for 17 days! and HARD THINGS #2: Leaving my home for 17 days when I’d never been away for longer than 8 days before.)

We started the drive through a snow storm and the first 6 hours of the trip were very stressful for us but more so for me. I legit had a panic attack in the car and asked if we could pull over. And so we found a WalMart and he got new windshield wipers and I took a few deep breaths. HARD THINGS #3 was definitely getting through the snow storm. There was an 18-wheeler trying to make it up a hill on the Interstate and kept rolling back. We were the vehicle directly behind it.

But after that we were smooth sailing and made it to Ohio where we slept for the night.

Happy road trip AFTER the storm

Happy road trip AFTER the storm

The next day we drove through Kentucky and into Tennessee and when we got to Nashville we walked around for a few hours.

Hi, from Nashville

Hi, from Nashville




silly timer-camera stuff

silly timer-camera stuff

sweet treat stop at Goo Goo Shop

sweet treat stop at Goo Goo Shop

Hi, from Nashville

Hi, from Nashville

nashville-cashmuseum music-row

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I’m so sorry y’all!

If you follow me on Instagram then you know I’m on vacation but I literally haven’t had a minute to post on the blog.

14469604_10210584607833098_6249269647564307281_nI had a wild morning last Saturday just a few hours before heading to the airport. Duncan and I were playing around and he banged his leg and started limping. $200 and an x-ray later I had the peace of mind it was just a soft tissue injury and he’d be fine in a day or two. My sister-in-law is used to watching Duncan when he’s got a boo-boo. Back when I ran the Cherry Blossom 10-miler in DC he had his cone of shame still on from the surgery on his cheek. (P.S. she said he stopped limping after 1 day on the doggie anti-inflammatory meds!).

It’s just been non-stop since then (even the flight lol!).

Alaska Airlines for the win

Alaska Airlines for the win

I’m having a wonderful time with Mr. Sweat Out The Small Stuff.


Stole his hat while we took the ferry to Bainbridge Island

We started in Seattle. then headed to Vancouver (BC) and now we’re off to drive through the Canadian Rockies stopping in Kamloops, Blue River, Jasper and ultimately Banff National Parks.


The Capilano Suspension Bridge

I’ll fill you in on everything when I’m home. Have a great rest of the week!

Anyone from or visited British Columbia or Washington State?

Woah! How is it 6 days into the new year already? Let’s catch up! How did you ring in the new year? Anything new and exciting planned for 2016?

So the good news is I have managed to break my 10-cookie-a-day-habit but I have been satisfying my sweet tooth with these candy canes I got on the half price rack after Christmas :)

IMG_0211Let’s face it—I have no expectation that my sweet tooth will just disappear for 2016 so I’ll do what I can to keep it under control.

I got a new couch and it comes with a classic Sally story. So last Tuesday I met some of my high school alumni at a local bar for our annual holiday get together. It’s always fun to catch up although we keep in touch on Facebook too. I spent 4+ hours there and it was after midnight when I got home. I was expecting my new sofa to be delivered between 6:30-9:30am the following day and knew I needed to get my existing furniture out to the curb. I couldn’t exactly call someone in the middle of the night. Mr. SOTSS’s suggestion was for me to just move my existing furniture into the dining room until he was able to get over to help but I’m stubborn and a little too type A to be able to handle having the old stuff lingering for a day or more. So I just hauled a$$ and got-er-done but I took out chunks of sheetrock, pulled some muscles and bruised myself along the way.

All because I was too stubborn to wait 12 hours!

All because I was too stubborn to wait 12 hours!

But I did it! #stronglikebull #stubbornasamule

But I did it! Down 2 flights of enclosed spiral stairs #stronglikebull #stubbornasamule

There was even a moment that the love seat was literally wedged in the staircase and I couldn’t budge it loose. I almost fell apart and cried but I pulled myself together and slithered under the railing to get beneath and jiggle the love seat free. While I’m still sore and bruised a week later, it was worth it.

And the new sofa? I love it!

IMG_0111It’s big enough for Mr. SOTSS, me and BOTH dogs. This was very important to me since Chester is a big boy and hasn’t been able to fit on the sofa with us without being a “lap” dog =)

we ALL fit!

we ALL fit!

So I thought it would be fun to go month by month and share my most memorable moments of 2015. They won’t all be running related but I’m sure you don’t mind. Gonna go in reverse and start with December first so that I can tell you all about my New Year’s Eve:

DECEMBER 31—New Year’s Eve/Day

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

I spent the afternoon strolling the outlet stores with Mr. SOTSS, his girls and his mom too! We then picked up some groceries at the supermarket for dinner. The girls and I took on the important responsibility of picking out ice cream flavors and before you knew it we had whipped cream, chocolate chips, sprinkles and chocolate syrup! If there’s one thing I know it’s that you need to make ice cream sundae’s to ring in the new year. Mr. SOTSS’ mom cooked an amazing dinner (his aunt and uncle joined us for dinner too!). We then put on our party hats and waited patiently for midnight. The girls played chess and then joined me in working on one of the jigsaw puzzles that I bought them for Christmas.

Matching shirts!

Matching shirts!

The finished puzzle. All glued together and ready for hanging.

The finished puzzle. All glued together and ready for hanging.

Party animal!

Party animal!

Siblings! Always a competition =)

Siblings! Always a competition =)

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Breaking news. My sinus infection is G.O.N.E! I’m finally feeling better and so relieved.

Mr. SOTSS and I spent a few days in Chicago to celebrate my birthday.


It was so much fun and jam-packed with activities! Plus, aside from some rain on Saturday morning, the weather was perfectly crisp and Autumn-like with temps in the high 50s and 60s. Have I mentioned how much I love the fall? Have I mentioned how my I love my boyfriend?!!!

We stayed at the Hotel Chicago which is right in the center of the city and so accessible to everything.

Hotel chicago

There was a bottle of wine and some cheese and crackers in the room to welcome us thanks to Mr. SOTSS. He’s so sweet. He did the same thing when we went to Cape Cod last year for my birthday weekend. Hmmm, setting a precedent. Boyfriend, if you’re reading I hope you’re taking note ;).

Wine cheese arrival

I ran on my actual birthday (Sunday) along the Chicago Riverwalk and the lakefront trail (along Lake Michigan) and covered about 7 slow miles but boy was it nice to have some new scenery. Newsflash: Chicago and Garmin = no bueno. I had to transfer my data to Runkeeper and adjust the map. All the tall buildings in the city made the Garmin struggle to locate the satelite and it basically showed that I went berserk in the river. LOL! Actually to be fair, Mr. SOTSS used Runkeeper and it was also just as berserk. But the map is editable so that’s how we got our routes and mileage correct finally.

Riverwalk sign

Happy Birthday to me!

Happy Birthday to me!

Skyline chicago

I tried to take a panoramic shot with my phone.

1025-runAnd I also ran about 3.5 miles yesterday before we headed to the airport to catch our flight home.

Shorter run

Hotel room selfie before I set out.

The foliage!

The foliage!

1026-runMr SOTSS ran twice too. I love that we both enjoy going for solo runs while vacationing together.

We ate so much! From stuffed pizza at Giordano’s to filet mignon at Chicago Cut Steakhouse to BBQ Ribs at Weber Grill restaurant. And then there was my birthday hot fudge sundae.


No candles but Mr. SOTSS sang Happy Birthday to me and then I made a wish!



The cook all the food on Weber grills right in the restaurant!


That is pizza perfection right there.


two crusts with the cheese melted in between like a real PIE and then the sauce goes on top of the upper crust.


If you go to Chicago GO HERE!


We walked along the Magnificent Mile and boy was I excited to see they had a Garmin store.

Garmin store

I asked when the Garmin 235 that was announced would be available and they said probably another 2-4 weeks. So now I’m trying to decide if I should just get the 220 before the NYC Marathon on Sunday. I only have the Garmin 10 at the moment and it has a 5 hour battery life and I’m pretty much 100% sure I won’t be crossing that finish line sub 5 this year.

Some other fun things we did in ChiTown…

Took in a Chicago Blackhawks game

Blackhawks selfie

The time it takes me in photoshop to protect Mr. SOTSS’ identity with these smiley faces…..he’s worth it.

Went on an architectural river cruise to see and learn about some of the well known, and not so well known buildings in the city. It poured on us for the first 10 minutes of the cruise but we stayed mostly dry thanks to our well spent $2 for ponchos.

River cruise selfieRiver cruise ponchos

333 ewacker building

my favorite building just for the reflection

Art chitecture

As we were going down the river they had to open this particular bridge for a larger boat. I just loved the compositing. So angular and really cool.

Corncob condos

They call these the Corn Cob Condos. People live on the top half and their cars (and public parking) are on the lower half. So crazy.

We took the train out to the suburbs of Oak Park where we took a tour of some Frank Lloyd Wright homes including the first home he ever designed and lived in.

Pink line train

Different than the NYC subway in that most of their trains travel above ground

Frank lloyd wright home

An odd detail on the roof of one of the homes Frank Lloyd Wright designed

Frank lloyd wright house selfie

Another Frank Lloyd Wright house behind us

Frank Lloyd Wright was known for his lead glass designs.

Frank Lloyd Wright was known for his lead glass designs.

I scored while we were in Oak Park because we found a Fleet Feet store and I bought a new pouch to put my phone in while running the marathon. I needed sommething big enough to fit the iPhone 5 in the Mophie battery case so I’ll be sure to have enough juice for all those hours.

Amiphipod pouch

We also went to Millenium Park and saw the famous Bean sculpture.

Backwards bean selfie

Bean selfie!

Me bean

My feet are so sore because we’ve walked more in the last 3 days than I have in my life a while. About 25,000 steps daily. And that’s not counting the running! We’re both exhausted and will have to rally for sure to get through the rest of the week. 


Airport mrsotss

taking a power nap at gate B8

Another trip in the books with my favorite travel life companion.

Holding hands oak park

happiness is…

I’m hoping to get one or two super short and easy runs in this week. And then it’s Expo time…And then it’s GO time…AHHHHH! Starting to panic.

How was your weekend?

Ever been to Chicago?

Ever eat stuffed pizza?

Interested in architecture at all?