My intentions have been to post once a month but will you look at that?…It’s been 2 months since my last post. And so it goes. I hereby declare I’m going to post when I feel like it to free myself of guilt!

Unfortunately, summer hasn’t started out so well for us….Mr. SOTSS’ dad passed away over the weekend from a rare and rapid illness called CJD and we’re really all just in shock. His dad was just shy of 72 but was quite strong and healthy up until 2 months ago when he started to show symptoms. He was still running a business and doing all the things. Neither of us ever expected this. We’re now navigating through unchartered territory with the loss of a parent (and me trying to to support someone who’s lost a parent). I’m grateful to have had a few years to get to know him and experience some memorable family sailing trips as well as two special trips to Block Island (off the coast of Rhode Island)—first, for his wedding in 2015, and then two years later to celebrate his 70th birthday. I have to say that his passing has left me feeling that sense of urgency once again. Stop waiting and start doing….wait, isn’t that the tagline for The Home Depot? But really….we need to just tell our loved ones we love them as much as we can and go do what makes us happy on the regular.

Our captain at the helm.

Mr. SOTSS and his dad in Block Island celebrating his dad’s 70th birthday

My first kayaking experience was when we were in Block Island

Sunrise over the pond behind the house we stayed in on Block Island

On a brighter note there have been many awesome moments since my last post too.

Mr. SOTSS’s birthday was a quiet one this year but we celebrated with ice cream which is always a great way to celebrate 🙂

Yes, I brought a candle to the ice cream shop and sang Happy Birthday to him right there on the sidewalk. 🙂

His youngest daughter just graduated from middle school and his oldest daughter just turned Sweet 16.

My lame attempt at decorating. But hey, I used 16 cupcakes total so A for effort!

I have also discovered that our yard has some lovely flowers growing. We had peonies a few weeks ago and now we’ve got hydrangeas.

Freshly cut Peony bouquet

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It’s Oh Three Oh Four… 03/04.

Yep, It’s getting harder and harder to come up with blog titles. Figured I’d share a little update on the last 7 weeks. How on earth did I ever blog multiple times in a week when I can’t even post once a month now?

I’ll start on the fitness front.

I started running again! I ran my first miles of 2019 in Orlando Florida! More on that at the end of this post.

first miles of 2019

I have had some mild posterior tibial tendonitis (self diagnosed) but I’m doing a good job of keeping on top of it. I’ve been super diligent about strengthening and stretching. I found some great stretches and exercises online here and here and have been doing them every other day.

I ran a trail 5k last weekend (the Cold Feat 5k which is held in Staten Island’s Greenbelt) which was muddy and hilly but still lots of fun.

omg another hitch-hiking thumb

hitch-hiking thumb again


hitch hiking thumb

post race selfie!

I also finally took on the challenge of incorporating strength workouts into my life which is something I mentioned wanting to do in my last post. After listening to a podcast where the guest was a fitness instructor for an app called FITON, I bought the app. (there was a promo code so it ended up being a lot cheaper for a one year membership). I love it! I’ve completed 6 classes so far in the last 10 days. Most are bodyweight only classes but some use light dumbbells which I have. Some classes are as short as 16 minutes while others are around 30 minutes. There’s a really nice variety. You can choose from pliates, yoga, total body strength, dance/barre, cardio, and more. I’m really trying to strengthen my hips and glutes which will help as well in the ankle tendonitis department. Oh and core! I’m finally working on my core! And lots of arm work too. It’s felt so seamless which is bizarre to me because I’m 45 and haven’t been this jazzed about strength training EVER! Maybe it’s that I feel like it’s a really small commitment of my day and so easy to squeeze in. The instructors are very chill too. Hoping to stick with it for the entire year.

I had one really good run last month and came home and signed up for a half marathon because I guess I was having that “runner’s high”. Probably a very stupid thing to do but I am hoping i’ll get there. My attitude was “hey i’ve signed up and paid a lot for races that I couldn’t run in the past so what do I have to lose?” It’s the Love Run half down in Philadelphia. I ran it in 2014, 2015 and 2016 and I was signed up to run in 2017 and then got injured and missed it. Good news is they also have a 7k distance now so if I needed to I could drop down and not lose out completely. I completed my first “long run” of 5 miles last Tuesday and struggled for sure. I’m looking to do a 6 miler tomorrow. and then 8 miles next week. And a few short runs in between. I’m really just looking to complete the race so it’s a bare bones approach and not one I’d ever recommend 🙂

This was the run that I felt so great on that I went home and signed up for the Love Run Half Marathon

This was a run that got interrupted by a phone call from Mr. SOTSS. I don’t usually answer my phone but he rarely calls so I got worried. Ended up being nice to have a long walk break in between.

a nothing special run

My first long training run of the year and NEW kicks….New Balance 1080s. They’re currently being tested. I’ve got a couple of months to decide how I feel about them. 

For additional fitness I have been hiking here and there, and this past weekend Mr SOTSS and I took his girls skiing. So I got a good amount of exercise in traversing the mountain.


Found this heart shaped rock on one of the hikes

night hike!

In house-related news we repainted our back sunroom.

I give Mr. SOTSS props for closing off the room to the rest of the house, donning a respirator and sanding the layers of paint for a few hours. That was definitely the hard part. I just rolled on the paint.

Before and after floor closeup

It looks great except that after about a week a few little areas chipped and we’re now a little concerned that the prepwork we did (Mr. SOTSS spent a few hours sanding the old paint layers down with an orbital sander) wasn’t enough. I read that if there was an oil-based layer of paint underneath and you’re painting with a latex paint/primer that it could cause chipping without a special primer. Anyway, we’ll just wait it out and see if it continues. It could also be that the paint can take a full 30 days to cure and we only gave it 2 days before returning furniture and using the floor again.

In work-related news Mr. SOTSS and I attended the FASTSIGNS National Convention back in January in Orlando.

Learning a lot and enjoying some free lunches lol because isn’t that why everyone goes to a convention?

We learned a lot that will help us refine some of our business practices and grow the business too. I’m enjoying helping him with graphic design but sooooo happy I don’t have to do the sign production anymore. That was really challenging for me. And in my personal graphic design business, after a little lull in the new year, things are finally picking up! Whew! Freelancing can be quite the roller coaster.

In hair news I found an awesome new product line for my curls thanks to a sponsored ad in my Facebook newsfeed. Back in December I ordered some products from Lus Brands and can’t tell you how pleased I am. I got their travel kit size to try of both the kinky and the curly products and I mix a dollop of each into my hair when it’s soaking wet right after the shower. I scrunch and air dry and that’s it. The shampoo and conditioner are great too.

curly hair don’t care

Other than that it’s been the usual…

Cleaning up after dogs…

muddy doodle

Oh I wasn’t supposed to go on the furniture until you gave me a bath? My bad.

oops muddy

Hi mom. Can you let me in. I’m done digging in the yard.

Walking dogs…

Cuddling with dogs…

cuddles with duncan

Playing with dogs…

wanna play

hmm, I think we have a toy hoarder situation

Soccer anyone?

and clearly taking too many pictures of dogs. 🙂

Do you have any races coming up?

Do you like DIY projects or do you like to just hire someone?

Active without running

Hi there,

I’m emerging from my funk and lack of activity and have been active without running.

First there was the blizzard a week ago that dumped about a foot of snow here. I shoveled a ton. My arms got a very good workout!

shoveling is the new cross training

shoveling is the new cross training

Last weekend, Mr. SOTSS, his girls and I went sledding! Walking up to the top of the hill multiple times worked my leg muscles and sledding down worked my face muscles…I was laughing and smiling so much.

What a great invention

What a great invention

Working my face muscles

Working my face muscles


On Monday I took a brisk walk through the neighborhood while listening to podcasts.

On Tuesday I returned for a yoga class and last night I joined my hiking group for 2 solid hours of hiking in the snow. We covered about 4.75 miles and boy am I sore today.

It was 7:30 pm but the snow allowed us to see well even without our headlamps

It was 7:30 pm but the snow allowed us to see well even without our headlamps

I also dusted off the old Wii Fit and did some Hula Hooping. Geez, my abs are killing me after only 6 minutes, two days in a row.


Not activity related but Duncan is feeling better and got groomed too.


On a scale of 1-5 what’s your activity level like these days? Have you ever gone sledding? 


After (mostly) resting my knee for 3 days (and icing it the first 24 hours) I bounced back! I can’t remember the last time I healed so fast. And I even went on that walk in the park with Mr. SOTSS and the pups on Saturday. Go figure.

two of my favorite boys

two of my favorite boys

I have had this sweatshirt for about 6 or 7 years and if it weren't for Facebook/Instagram and the blog I might not have realized how much I wear it!

I have had this sweatshirt for about 6 or 7 years and if it weren’t for Facebook/Instagram and the blog I might not have realized how much I wear it!

The magical state park a mile from Mr. SOTSS' house

The magical state park a mile from Mr. SOTSS’ house

Welcome to our "church"

Welcome to our “church”

We didn’t go for the walk until I got to watch Shalane Flanagan win the NYC Marathon.IMG_3799

Yesterday I got back to full activity level. I went for a 30 minute run earlier in the day AND hit up yoga at night.

This is the right place!

This is the right place!

another easy 30 minutes of healthy and happy running

another easy 30 minutes of healthy and happy running

Still loving these New Balance 1080s!

Still loving these New Balance 1080s!

And I found a new use for my old yoga mat. It’s now a great cushion for my feet when I stand at my standing desk a long time. Gotta keep those feet happy!


This morning Duncan and I had a rough time getting going

Is it really time to get productive?

Is it really time to get productive?

So now you’re all caught up.

What’s new? What’s the weather like by you?