Tag Archives: puppy

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!




Long time no talk

Hey there! Where have you been? Feels like we haven’t had a one-sided conversation in forever.

My bad. Truth is I’ve actually been busy. Really, truly, contributing to society again busy.

That’s right the sabbatical has ended. The summer of Sarah has come to a close. But what a summer it was! Beach time, dog walks, mid-day recipe posts, more dog walks, mid-day workouts, another dog walk. But it wasn’t all sunshine and summertime. The frustration, boredom and self-doubt that comes with re-starting your career in a place you know nearly no one can really wear on you.

sunset, florida, sky, palm trees

Nonetheless, I’m very excited to get back to seeing if the parts of my brain that have been resting all summer still work. So far so good. Brain cells seem to be multiplying and I feel like I need a nap by 3:00 everyday.

I ask that you bear with me as I remember how to live the 8-5 life again and somehow fit in workouts and meals along the way. And dog walks. Poor Finn might be the only one not thrilled with the new adventure.

So I’ll leave you with a photo dump from the past few weeks, including a visit from two of my best friends and a bunch of pictures of Finn looking guilty.

beachhouse restaurant, anna marie island, girls weekend, beach, sunset, sky, dinner

sunset, florida, sky, palm trees


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

Oh and just for good measure, here are a few fun fall recipes from last year to tide you over until I actually make something worth sharing again.

pumpkin bread streusel topping

Pumpkin Bread

spooky pumpkin toffee chocolate chip cookies simply social blog

Pumpkin Toffee Cookies

Have a great week!




Workout Wednesday: Work out like a dog

Before I got Finn, I had two choices. 1) get a dog who could I could take on runs with me but who may be miserable and hyper throughout the day while I’m at work or 2) get a dog who could nap with me. I chose the latter and ever since Finn has certainly lived up to his side of the deal.

greater swiss mountain dog, swissy, finn, dog, puppy, get fit like fido, workouts with your pet

In the time since Finn came into my life, I have trained for 3 half marathons, a full marathon and several other races. And while he doesn’t go on long runs with me, he’s a heck of a warm-up or cool-down partner. In fact, he’d be great for one of those 3-day fundraising walks if anyone needs a team member. He’ll even carry your stuff if you reward him with carrots. Kid loves himself some carrots.

What was I talking about again? Oh right, working out with your pet.

When the folks at DogVacay.com* reached out to me about my exercise routine, my first thought was

Nah. Not me. You guys probably want someone who can actually do a workout with their dog not someone who works out their dog then works out herself or vice versa.

But then they shared a pretty cool infographic with me and I realized one of my go-to workouts already incorporates a lot of the things that my pup does on a daily basis. That and I just really love a good infographic.

get fit like fido infographic, dogvacay.com, working out with your pet, workouts, fitness, exercises with your dog

The circuit above is a great opportunity to change up your routine, which is just what I was looking for a few weeks ago when I was at home for a quick visit. In fact, I wish I had seen this before I called up my trainer and asked him for a “quick workout” that day. If I had I may still have been able to breathe afterwards.

get fit like fido infographic, dogvacay.com, working out with your pet, workouts, fitness, exercises with your dog, circuit training, fire hydrants, squats,


To get started grab a treadmill or a very hot Florida afternoon and complete the following:

  • 3 minute warm up jog (5.5 mph at a 1% incline)
  • 1 mile at a comfortable pace (6.2-6.5 mph at a 1% incline)
  • 30 second sprint intervals for 8 minutes total (20 seconds at 7.7+ and 2% incline, 10 second rest**)
    **you may just have to hop off the treadmill and let it keep running because these go pretty fast

You should complete roughly 3 miles or more depending on your pace.

Immediately following that circuit, grab a mat and complete the following, alternating leg and arm exercises as you go and trying to rest as little as possible.

  • Body weight squats (see infographic for proper form)-20x
  • Pull-ups-20x
  • Walking lunges-20 on each leg (40 total)
  • Push-ups-20x
  • Fire hydrants-10 each leg (20 total and yes you will look and feel silly)
  • Back Extensions-20x
  • Donkey kicks-10 each leg (same position as fire hydrants only you will kick leg up and back)
  • Planks-1 minute

Do this circuit three times, four if you’re crazy. Then throw in a down dog for recovery sake and call it a day.

greater swiss mountain dog, swissy, finn, dog, puppy, get fit like fido, workouts with your pet

* I was in no way compensated for this post but that’s not stopping me from telling you if you have pets and are looking for a qualified person to watch them while you are away rather then boarding them, be sure to check out DogVacay.com.

Have a great workout!



Cupcakes and Ice Delis

Please accept my apology for ignoring the blog late last week. I had plans to fly home and surprise one of my best friends for her 30th birthday and I was not entirely confident in my ability not to spill the beans. All of them. All over the table and the floor. I love surprise parties, but I get really nervous having to lie to people to pull them off. When you use as many words as I do in a standard conversation, you really have to tread carefully. Fortunately, recently moving out of state gives you a pretty good excuse for missing large events so I had a pretty good alibi.

I flew home Friday evening just in time to join the celebration and catch up with some of my girlfriends. It was a great weekend with friends and family and lower humidity.

baseball game, nephews, little league baseball, boys


grace, puppy, bailey, chocolate lab, toddler, hugsice deli, boys, family, snow cones, summer, nephews

Here’s hoping I can get a few projects started at my parent’s house before they read this and call to stop me. Have a great week!



Family Photos

I realized when I unpacked all of my frames at our new house in Florida that my photos were pretty Murphy-centric. And seeing as how there are two of us in this house, well three if you count the big hairy thing that barks at us when we sit on the couch, I thought we needed some photos of Matt’s family as well.

greater swiss mountain dog, sleeping puppy, swissy, puppy

Trouble was when I asked Matt if he had any he looked at me like I was crazy. How silly of me. I should have known that men don’t take photos of anything other than race tracks and German bratwursts.


Lucky for me, Matt’s family already had a vacation to Florida planned before we moved here. And since their vacation spot was fairly close to our new house, we were very fortunate to spend a lot of time with them over the past week.











IMG_3944 IMG_3948 IMG_3960 IMG_3961


Have a great day!

Winning in October

Can we just start this post with a big old Hip Hip Hooray Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah Hakuna matata for the Cardinals heading to the World Series? October is so much more fun when playoff baseball includes your favorite team. Even more so when they clinch with a 9-0 score. Whew!

I’m especially excited because I completely forgot that back in February I placed a bet for the birds to win the pennant while in Vegas.

I’ve only placed a few legit bets in my life (with my own money) and they have all been on sports teams while visiting Vegas. My Dad gets credit because he usually asks me to do it and coaches me through the process. Completely overwhelming by the way. Anywho, as the old saying goes, if you place it, you will win. Not really. Sorry Kevin Costner. I do know it is if you build it, they will come but that doesn’t work for this blog post. Please note that I am not advocating gambling as it relates to your favorite sports team. Mine just so happened to have pretty decent odds. If you or anyone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER. 


And let the record show that I purposely did not bet on them to win the World Series. I don’t want any money riding on that series. Just good ol’ fashioned watching each game through my hands because I get so nervous baseball. Please win. Please win. Please win. 

Speaking of ol’ fashioned, I traveled home this weekend to celebrate the birthday of one of my very best friends. I’m still on the mend from the marathon madness so I had time last week to whip up a batch of spooky pumpkin toffee chocolate chip cookies to bring with me.

pumpkin toffee chocolate chip cookies simply social blog

Per usual, Finn decided to photo bomb them. Kid loves him some pumpkin. I’ll share the recipe with you later this week. Don’t worry I was sure not to deliver the puppy-versions to my friend.

On Saturday morning, Finn and I went on a nature walk. He gathered sticks and I took pictures of pretty leaves. It was lovely.

autumn fall changing leaves springfield illinois simply social blog

greater swiss mountain dog, swissy, fall leaves, gsmd, simply social blog

I did a little morning crafting in an effort to represent a few friends who couldn’t make the party. It’s sort of a tradition we have that when someone can’t make it we put them on a stick. And by we I mean I. Only for big occasions of course. And since our pseudo-theme for this thing was harvest party, I figured a pair of scarecrows were as good a representation as any. And let me tell you, those scarecrow girls had fun on Saturday.

fall birthday party simply social blog

We had fun too. Starting at a local spot for lunch then riding the party school bus to a winery where we were treated with musical entertainment from the birthday girl’s brother-in-law, cake and later, a family strongman competition.

oakford winery birthday party simply social blog

The pictures don’t do it justice. Let’s just say my stomach still hurts from all the laughter. I can’t speak for the birthday girl but I’d say we all had a pretty nice weekend.

Here’s hoping you did too. If so, let me know in the comments. I get tired of talking to myself all the time.

Have a great week!

The Year of the Swissy, An Infographic

For the past several weeks I’ve been visualizing life in infographic form. I’m not exactly the numbers-type but when I see those stats all wrapped up into a perfectly packaged design element, I get all warm and fuzzy inside. As if suddenly I need to know everything about the power of Pinterest, the triggers of asthma or what type of Facebook personality you exhibit. But seriously, I now know all of those things thanks to recent infographics.

For just about as long as I have had Finn I’ve been building this infographic in my head. As you will see below, he and I spend a lot of time walking together. And since he doesn’t always talk back to me, I spend the majority of the time thinking about random things. Like how many times he and I have passed El Famous Burrito when someone has NOT been taking a bite of a taco (4). Or whether or not crazy neighbor lady will squeal and ask what kind of dog Finn is today like she did yesterday and on Sunday. If you have a pet, or a child, you can probably relate. Dogs are very habitual. And so are their owners.

In typical Sarah fashion I underestimated the amount of design time actually needed to put my facts into visual form, but hopefully you will get where I’m headed. You may have read my past posts about all of the things my pup has ingested over his short year of life. Another episode this week, along with the celebration of Finn’s birthday a few weeks ago, finally gave me enough of a push to create an infographic about him. Without further ado, I give you:

greater swiss mountain dog infographic simply social blog

greater swiss mountain dog infographic pounds of food eaten simply social blog

greater swiss mountain dog infographic number of walks simply social blog

greater swiss mountain dog infographic dog beds used simply social blog

greater swiss mountain dog infographic objects eaten simply social blog

greater swiss mountain dog infographic visits to vet simply social blog

greater swiss mountain dog infographic love simply social blog


Happy Birthday Mr. Finn. I can’t believe how much you’ve grown.


Now please stop eating foreign objects.

greater swiss mountain dog infographic love simply social blog