Tag Archives: dog beach

A Perfect Fall Day

Today was just about as close as you can get to a perfect fall day. And believe me I’m just as surprised as you that it happened this early in October and this close to the Gulf of Mexico. But it did. And I’m perfectly OK with that.

Normally on a day like today, I would head out to a pumpkin patch with the sole purpose of stocking up on gourds, drinking cider and eating donuts until my glucose tolerance increased enough for the upcoming holiday. But since I’ve been warned that any pumpkins I purchase will likely melt before Halloween, Finn and I settled for a trip to the dog beach instead. Because nothing says fall like sun, sand and saltwater.

If you’re already sick of PSLs, puffer vests and pumpkin pics, let me take you on a day-trip with us to the dog beach. You can go ahead and stop reading now if you are over my alliteration or averse to a million dog photos.

Cat people beware.

I had planned on taking Finn to the dog beach this week as a reward for adjusting fairly well to me going back to work, but when we woke up to temps in the low 60s this morning, I wasn’t sure anyone else would be at the beach for him to play with. I tried to come up with something else to wear him out but neither he nor his cow were having any of it.

finn, greater swiss mountain dog, swissy, puppy, dog,


So off we went but not before Finn showed off how much control he has when he realizes he is in fact going for a ride in the car.

It’s not a very long ride to the dog beach but all that excitement about riding in the car usually wears Finn out for the actual riding part. After all, you never know what you’re in for once you get to your final destination so you might as well arrive rested.

finn, greater swiss mountain dog, swissy, puppy, dog,

Turns out everyone else was taking advantage of the great weather and the beach was actually busier than usual. Never very cognizant of his own size, Finn managed to find the only dogs on the beach bigger than him. Cocoa the Saint Bernard and Willow the soon-to-be 200 pound mastiff seemed like as good a pack as any to join.

finn, greater swiss mountain dog, swissy, puppy, dog, saint bernard, mastiff, brohard dog beach, venice, beach,


There was a lot of gossiping going on.

And quite a few selfies.

finn, greater swiss mountain dog, swissy, puppy, dog, brohard dog beach, paw park, florida, gulf coast, dog beach

get one with my ears blowing in the wind mom.

When we got tired of running around, we took a few more selfies.

finn, greater swiss mountain dog, swissy, puppy, dog, brohard dog peach, paw park, florida, gulf coast, dog beach

And how can we forget that moment when Finn thought he was posing for a picture and it was really a video. Awkward!

I still have to figure out another way to spike my glucose over the next few weeks but I’m glad that we can keep trips to the beach in rotation well into the fall.

Have a great week and please keep the pumpkin patch pictures coming!




Weekend Recap: Rally, Ravinia, Run

Maybe it’s the short work week. Perhaps it’s because I just realized it’s July first and I’ve yet to don a swimsuit, go to a pool or lay on the beach. Or maybe, just maybe, this is a rare moment when I really don’t have much to say.

Whatever the case I’m not feeling very motivated today. I know it’s hard to believe. And I’m sure by the end of this post you will be all like ‘woah that’s a pretty long post for a girl who claims she has nothing to say today.’ And you’ll probably be right because I somehow have a way of filling the space with words even if they don’t have accurate context behind them. In my world even a few words are better than no words. Give me periods of silence and I’ll probably shift in my seat until I’m allowed to ask you why we are sitting in silence. Or what you are thinking about while you sit in silence. And likely at which point we are going to be done sitting in silence so we can talk again.

I had dinner with a girlfriend this weekend and we were reminiscing about our shared love for communication. Her husband brought up a few instances in which he came home after she was alone for a period of time and was taken aback at the sheer volume of words that came at him in a matter of minutes. We’re talking near record-breaking word counts. I think for a moment he thought I could commiserate, but he quickly caught himself, ‘Oh why am I telling you. You know exactly what I am talking about.’

And he was right. Having lived with my fellow communicator for a number of years, I experienced it a time or twenty. But for the two of us, that was just a good day’s conversation. We both came from families of talkers. And talking is what we do.

And so we chatted. About the craziness that was the Blackhawks parade and rally on Friday.

chicago blackhawks stanley cup champions parade 2013 simply social blog

And about my Chicago bucket list trip to Ravinia Friday night where we picnicked, listened to the sounds of Darius Rucker and made further use of our ponchos.

ravinia chicago darius rucker chicago fire simply social blog

The rest of the weekend was pretty low-key. Finn got a new toy and hasn’t let it out of his sight ever since.

greater swiss mountain dog simply social blog

We made the most of post-Ravinia recovery and cooler temps and delayed our 10-miler until Sunday. Typically I prefer to get it out of the way early Saturday morning, but what a nice surprise to meet some of Chicago’s finest along the way, just resting up for a long day of work at the Pride Parade.

Afterwards, we brought Finn with us to the lake and took him to the dog beach afterwards where he proceeded to only enter the water if there was paraphernalia (aka tennis balls) nearby. And as you can see the run and swim hit some of us harder than others.


Finn “Swims” from Sarah Murphy on Vimeo.

As usual, I have a random recipe to leave you with today. I made these pesto chicken skewers last week for dinner with my girlfriends along with a triple berry trifle. They turned out well so when I needed something that we could throw in the cooler for Ravinia, I made another batch Friday afternoon. Simple, fresh and perfect for a summer party.

pesto chicken tomato kebobs simply social blog

Pesto Chicken Skewers

  • 1/2 C fresh basil leaves (I added spinach and arugula as well)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2-3 TBL chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 C shredded parmesan cheese
  • kosher salt and fresh pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1 lb skinless chicken breast or tenders, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • grape tomatoes

In a food processor, add basil, garlic, walnuts and parmesan cheese. Pulse until combined and add salt, pepper and olive oil until desired consistency is reached.

Using kitchen shears, cut chicken tenders or breasts into 1-inch cubes. Place chicken in a large plastic bag and cover with half of pesto mixture. Refrigerate overnight.

Soak wooden skewers in water for at least 30 minutes. Starting with chicken, alternate chicken and tomatoes for each skewer.

Heat grill to medium (350 degrees). Add skewers to grill and cook approximately 5 minutes on each side or until cooked throughout. Let cool. Serve with remaining pesto.

pesto chicken tomato kebobs simply social blog

Prefer the original? Visit skinnytaste.com.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week celebrating our independence with family and friends. As for me, I will continue my annual tradition of trying to avoid severe burns and severed digits due to my love of fireworks. If all goes well I will be back at the end of the week to recap the holiday. If you notice more typos next week, you’ll know why.

Happy Birthday America!

4th of July cake, sparklers, independence day