It’s Houston. It’s summer.

What’s a black lab mix dog who hates water supposed to do to cool off?

Josie is our seven and a half year old black lab mix. We think the mix is with Great Dane … she’s long, tall and sleek, unlike many stocky labs. She also gets these looks on her face that are pure Dane.

There are two other tells for her that make us think Dane. First, even as a one year old dog, she put herself to bed every night by 8. She didn’t want to get up for anything. Danes are known for their laid back demeanors and love of rest time, and this is unlike any lab I’ve ever heard about.

Second, she hates water. Won’t wade in it, won’t splash in it. I’ve never seen a lab who didn’t want all the water, all the time! We bought her a kiddie pool one of her first summers with us, and she acted like it was a hissing pool of poison.

So there went that summer cool down idea.

I tried something that was all over Pinterest: pupsicles. Frozen treats for dogs, yes sir! Unlike a lot of Pinterest, this couldn’t be easier: chicken broth, dog food, and freeze it.


I froze this one in an empty limeade container. (Limeade for the beer margaritas, hurray! People need to cool off too!) It was nice because I could peel off the container. It was narrow enough, though, that my big dog could carry it away from her bowl. Oops.

She wasn’t complaining, though. Josie took a couple of sniffs, one lick, and was in doggie heaven.


I think next time I’ll freeze in a bowl so she can’t lift it and lose it in the grass. A larger container will last longer, too.
I’ll probably make the broth a half broth/half water mix too. I’m pretty sure she’ll still love it!


Things I’ve Learned (So Far) As a Mom

Things I’ve learned as a Mom:

  • There are never, ever enough AAA or AA batteries in the house.
  • There will be too many of the WRONG kind of batteries in the house when your child clamors for the other kind.
  • Always keep a Philips screwdriver in the kitchen drawer.
  • Nature’s Miracle is handy for pet messes and for a light spray-down of a potty-training kid’s mattress.
  • Check your own pockets for tissues and chapstick before doing the laundry.
  • Diaper rash ointment can be handy for Mom’s running problems as well as baby’s bottom
  • Every work of art is precious
  • But take a picture of it and get rid of it or it will BREED LIKE RABBITS
  • Only get rid of it when the kids aren’t looking
  • Or teach the kids the value of recycling early in their lives
  • Also: “This is how we make room for MORE art!”
  • Keep an extra storage tote handy for dropping in seasonal decor that didn’t quite make the Easter clean-up of Christmas decorations (what, is it just me?)
  • Sometimes a ten-minute timer makes cleaning into a game or a race, especially if there’s a prize at the end
  • That works on kids too
  • Throw the laundry detergent cup into the load after you add the soap. No more sticky residue!
  • Also: keep the extra ones when you buy new detergent.
  • Also: remember to get it out of the washer before you transfer the load to the dryer. Ha!
  • Finally … three hours of kid-free cleaning while at home and sick still accomplishes the same as two weeks worth of cleaning while the kids are around.


I’m trying a Summer Blog Project to get myself to write more regularly. The project is – wait for it – blogging during the summer. I know! You can follow along by liking the Treacle.Net Facebook page!


Stitch Fix #1 – Jumping that bandwagon

Yes, I jumped on the StitchFix bandwagon! After seeing a couple of people say they used StitchFix, I decided I needed help re-igniting my wardrobe. I’ve been in a six-year cycle of size ups and downs because of pregnancy, breastfeeding, and varying levels of activity, so I haven’t invested heavily in my wardrobe. Honestly, my maternity wardrobe was better than my standard wardrobe, especially this last time around. Loaned clothes and consignment shops were wonderful things.

So I signed up for StitchFix. Monthly stylist, mailed to your house, send back what you don’t like in a postage-paid envelope. Since my next fix is due this week, I thought I was probably overdue for the blog report on the first fix!

My style profile falls somewhere between classic and preppy, occasional touches of romantic and possibly tame boho, but don’t you dare go glam on me. I have plenty of t-shirts and casual wear, so I really wanted to focus on things I could wear to work that might also make me look less casual on the weekends.

Unlike lots of StitchFix blog reviews with cute pictures and stylish shots, you get quickie shots with the iPhone because I needed to pack it all up and send it back. Well, not all of it.

One thing I forgot to mention or didn’t think of mentioning: I hate a lot of colorblock. It’s too severe on me. I’m a lumpy curvy girl and straight colorblock lines don’t always work. So I hated this shirt. Another thing I forgot to mention: skinny pants on a short, curvy, lumpy girl don’t always work either. They were too long, too clingy, and didn’t help in a Stacy and Clinton sort of way. The necklace in this picture is my third item, and it was just boring to me. I can do boring. I need color and fun in accessories. So 3 out of 5, back to sender.

SF1: Colorblock Shirt

Item 4, this striped shirt with a metal bib. I actually loved this shirt. The fabric was wonderful, it felt good, and it even managed to cling and not cling appropriately. What I didn’t like: the metal bib. Hated it, actually. I tried to be open-minded and obviously failed. I reluctantly bundled that one back too.

SF1: Metal Bib Striped Shirt

Item 5: the Pomelo tie-front polka dot shirt. Finally! This was exactly along the lines of what I wanted from SF: a little whimsical and fun, more effort than a t-shirt but still casual, but something I could wear to work on a summer day or with a black skirt and be happy. Keeper! But not with those skinny pants.

SF1: Pomelo Polka Dot Tie-Front Shirt

As a matter of fact, I wore that polka dot shirt the next weekend in a family picture. I love it. Ignore my children glaring off into the distance. We did get some better shots of them.


I like the process, I like the feedback opportunities, and I definitely like getting more ideas than my usual Target run or the Pinterest Impossibles. Hopefully this month’s fix will be a little more on target …

(Yes, I also have a referral link that gives me credit if you sign up through it. Use it if you like!)