the art of framing

I’ve been working on mini-projects throughout the house while we figure out which baseboards look the best. In the living room with the walls painted and the floors in, I really wanted a fun frame arrangement to look at, especially when people walk in the front door. I picture this arrangement with an antique buffet table under it. But the antique buffet table has yet to be found!

For about two weeks now, I’ve walked around the living room with frames on the floor, adding and taking away pictures to figure out the right mix for the space. I try to have a theme to my arrangements. I think it’s fun and a neat conversation piece to the curious eye. There’s a lot of fun themes you can do: family, landscape, color, world, travel, type of medium, etc…  this is my “travel” wall. I have two meaningful Wisconsin locations, Missouri, France, Africa, and two pieces of wisdom. I’ve been adding and taking away all week and finally found a a great combo for the space.

Once I figured out the right arrangement of photos and the amount of photos/frames needed for the space, I started arranging them. I like disorganized or asymmetry in terms of frames design. One day, I’ll have an arrangement that are more symmetric, but not this one. These are some ideas of framing techniques and design.

Tight framing.

Symmetric framing.

Diamond/Mirrored framing. 

An illusion of a mirrored image. (I really want to do something like this with my entry way!)

Ledge framing.

Once the arrangement looks the way I want, I cut out pieces of paper or newspaper the size of the frames, so I can arrange them on the wall.  Believe me, this is a little time-consuming but worth it when you don’t have to make five or fifteen different holes in the wall for one frame!  Also, you’ll see a line of blue painter’s tape below my frames – this is the anticipated height of my future buffet table.

Then, all you have left is the measurements to align the nail hole with the back of the frame. This step is the best! Once you get all the holes in the wall start putting up the goods! Finished product!

It’s always fun to hang up old frames and photos in new spaces. Oh, and I don’t believe you need to have all black or all gold or all white or all wood frames; the array of colors work most of the time. Like in my kitchen for example, I would be more likely just to place gold or white frame on my brown walls as opposed to dark woods and blacks.

sausage souffle

I’m really liking this blogging-baking bit. I have always had love for baking and have since discovered my love for taking pictures of food, so this seems like a perfect fit! Plus, it’s fun to share ideas and recipes. Today, I’m presenting a family favorite. My mother always made this dish whenever we came home; we had it Christmas morning, weekends we were all home, and even at my brunch after my wedding. It’s a fan favorite, and I’m pleased to share it with you. Plus, you can sound fancy saying “I made sausage soufflé!”, even though its super easy, hearty, and it gets better every morning!


  • 8 – 10 slices of bread (cubed)
  • 3/4 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 lb Jimmy Dean Mild pork sausage
  • 1 lb Lean hamburger (or venison)
  • 1/4 tsp dry mustard
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 teas salt & pepper
  • 2 3/4 cups of milk, divided
  • 1 can (16 oz) cream of mushroom soup

I start by cubing the bread. I usually use 10 slices and cut the bread using kitchen shears. Place cubed bread into a sprayed 13 x 9 baking pan.

Then, add cheddar cheese to bread.

Fry sausage and hamburger (or venison). I use venison as my hamburger meat, as my husband is a hunter and we have venison available to us all year. It’s a super lean meat and really good. Plus, I feel like at least the deer had a good life running free in the wild; I can’t say the same for the sausage or hamburger. I should really be a vegetarian, I know.

Drain and arrange meat over cheese. The haze on the top corner of the picture is steam!

Once that’s done, beat eggs, add 2 1/4 cups of milk, dry mustard, salt and pepper together in the bowl. The mixture didn’t look that cool, so I took a picture of 4 eggs in my ceramic egg crate! Necessity? Yes.

Pour over sausage and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, preheat oven to 325 degrees. Just before baking, mix cream of mushroom soup and 1/2 cup of milk. Pour this mixture over the top of the dish.

Bake for one hour! (Start the coffee!)

Enjoy! It will keep for a couple days, and it gets even better each morning!

wood floors & baseboards

Wow! With the holidays over we are excited to reveal some major goodness in the Snitker household! We’ve been working through the holidays and beyond to have our whole house transformed!

First we had to pick the wood – hickory or birch?

Then we had to prepare the whole house for the installers, which meant taking out all of the carpet and baseboard! Paul actually did most of this while I was in Chicago! Smart planning on my part!

Then we left it to the professionals! First, they set down plywood!

The plywood made everything feel real! We were excited to see the wood, too… but first we got a sneak peek of the wood. Hickory.

After the installers left, we were still in need of some baseboards before the big reveal… We still haven’t picked out “the one” but here are some options.

Otherwise, Here’s a mini-reveal or a “progress reveal” of the wood, because I know there have been people REALLY wanting to see these results! Okay, just my dad. It’s been a big transformation!

Entry – Before

Entry – After

Living Room – Before

Living – After

Kitchen – Before

Kitchen – After

Office – Before

Office – After  (Please disregard the mess! I wanted to get this post up and it shows I’m human.)

Hall – Before

Hall ~ After

We have both been so pleased with the results.  It really brings cohesiveness to the entire house and adds some luxury in our standard ranch style home. I’m in love with the floors and cannot wait for the baseboards to get here!

bbq pizza

Since moving to Texas, this northern girl has had to make a lot of adjustments … Macintosh Apples are rare, the Friday night fish fry is not a special, there are no Spotted Cows (beer or actual), and you feel the need to at least like Mexican food (Tex-Mex), Barbecue, and Ahi Tuna Towers.  I honestly was told in clinic, after telling a patient I don’t really like barbecue, to never to say I don’t like BBQ to a patient – he may not respect my opinion on his dermatologic issues either. So, I set my heights on trying, and at least learning to like (I was wishing to enjoy) prepared styles of bbq. It’s all in the sauce, and I found one! Austin’s finest BBQ and Pizza.

I love pizza, so to start my barbecue adventure this way, was a safe-er bet.  I actually found this recipe on my friend’s website, A Food Driven Life, and decided to try it out!  Let me tell you, it was a little work, more waiting for the yeast to rise and chicken to cook, than actual work but I would recommend it to everyone! Hence, me repeating the post.


Pizza Dough
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 package yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 skinless chicken breasts, bone-in
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • BBQ sauce
  • corn
  • Fresh Mozzarella

Start by mixing the pizza dough. In a liquid measuring cup, mix one cup of warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let it stand there for a few minutes to get all foamy.  In a mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. Pour in the warm water and mix. Add the honey and oil. Knead together until combined. If the dough is too sticky, add a bit more flour. Cover the bowl and let rise for about an hour and a half.

Now, cook the chicken.  Preheat the oven to 300. Heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil in a dutch oven  over medium-high heat. Add the chicken breasts, browning all sides. Then, add onions and bbq sauce (1 cup or so) and a little more olive oil. Cover the pot and place in the oven. Bake for an hour and a half, and remove from the oven.  Simple!
After taking out the chicken, increase the oven temperature to 450.  Place the pizza stone/baking sheet in the oven to heat it up.
Now it’s time to roll out the dough.
Make it as thin as possible (you won’t go wrong), about 1/4 inch thick or so! Then, brush the top with olive oil and a little salt.  I brushed my baking sheet with olive oil and a little flour. Then bake crust at 450 degrees for 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, pull chicken off the bone (it will fall off).  You’ll have extra chicken for sandwiches tomorrow, too! So yummy!
Take the pizza dough out of the oven.
And add toppings!
BBQ Sauce
Corn & Mozzarella
Bake the pizza at 450 for about 10-12 minutes, until the crust looks crisp and the cheese is slightly browned. It’s so fun to watch the cheese bubble!   It tastes as good as it looks! Delicious! Maybe this will give me the courage to wear my cowboy boots (which I bought in September and haven’t worn yet) out in public while yelling – I love barbecue!
Also, I don’t suggest starting this recipe after work. Which I did. Twice. We ate at 8 and 8:30, respectively. But it was worth the wait each time!

pashmina, what?!

I figured it was time for some house love! I’ve been wanting to post this simple example of paint color for a while… but other things have been on my plate. Literally! Banana Bread, yes!?

My husband and I finally finished painting all the major rooms in the house.  It was a rather huge accomplishment! And I’m looking forward to the last rooms; the laundry room (yes, still searching for “the” color) and two bathrooms left, but that’s it! Yay!

We finished “Guest Room #1” a couple weeks ago and were blown away by the results.  We used the same, yes, the same-exact-color as we used in “Guest Room #2” but were amazed with the contrasting results.  I had purchased an extra gallon but only really needed a little to touch up “Guest Room #2” and figured it was a great color to paint the other bedroom.  What we’re really pleased with, and I shouldn’t be that surprised, is that the color in each room feels so different!

This is why you always take the color home, put it up in the room, and walk around, walk around A LOT… at night, during the day, midday, midnight, lights on, lights off, you get the idea… to make sure you like it. It will always look different in the room you’re painting than in the paint store. Luckily, we had “Guest Room #2” to make sure we liked the color, but it looks SO, I mean sooooo different in each room! This is a fun way, especially if you’re scared of color, to paint several rooms the same. It’s okay! Sometimes with different lighting, amount of windows, etc, it can make for a dramatic difference!

Okay, have I made you wait long enough!? First the progress of guest room #1.

Guest Room #1 – Before

Guest Room #1 – After

Alright, now we’re excited to load up the room and make people come down and stay a couple nights!! But first I’ll refresh your memory of “Guest Room #2” (geez I need to get another name for these two rooms)!  I made them a little small so you can see them in the same screen and the contrast of the same color.

Benjamin Moore AF – 100 Pashmina


Maybe I should go look at the paint cans again?!? …just in case. He he.

banana bread


Since adulthood, I have always been taught when bananas go bad, freeze them…freeze them, so someday you can make banana bread.  I don’t know where I got this from but I rarely have ever made banana bread in my day, and rarely have ever used the bananas I had in the back of my freezer. I have moved many times, and every time I find so many forgotten or ignored frozen bananas in the back of my freezer. With all these lost-souled bananas in the freezer hoping someday to become banana bread, many of which in the past have had their dreams shattered, I figured I would start giving them a chance! I started making banana bread! Some of those banana’s didn’t even have to set foot in the freezer! I’ve made many different banana bread recipes within this last year, since the banana revolution began (Viva la Banana!), and my favorite one comes from my mother and grandma Anne; I should have known! And I must add, my spouse has also been on the tasting team and agrees with my decision.


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 stick (8 Tbsp) butter
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (I usually put 2 tsp)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. I first start by creaming the sugar and butter and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. I put about 2 tsp of cinnamon in my banana bread because I think this is what makes it taste so yummy! Yay Cinnamon! 

Then I add the eggs.  Mix eggs in one at a time. I think this makes a difference when baking.  Mix in one egg, then the next. Grandma Anne taught me this, and I haven’t been disappointed in my baking since.

In a small bowl, mash the ripe bananas with a fork and add milk. Mix well.

In another bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and soda, and salt.

So you should have 3 bowls. One with liquids (sorry I didn’t get a mixed-with-eggs photo), one with bananas, and one with dry ingredients.

Add banana mixture to the creamed mixture and stir to combine.  Add dry ingredients, mixing JUST until flour disappears. Pour batter into prepared pan. I just use cooking spray or butter to coat the pan. Bake 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

Enjoy!  A little hot coffee and a slice of banana bread makes any morning fabulous! Sometimes I do add in a cup or so of mini chocolate chips to turn this banana bread into a sweet treat!


good morning 2012

A long December and there’s reason to believe
Maybe this year will be better than the last
I can’t remember the last thing that you said as you were leavin’
Now the days go by so fast

And it’s one more day up in the canyons
And it’s one more night in Hollywood
If you think that I could be forgiven I wish you would

The smell of hospitals in winter
And the feeling that it’s all a lot of oysters, but no pearls
All at once you look across a crowded room
To see the way that light attaches to a girl

And it’s one more day up in the canyons
And it’s one more night in Hollywood
If you think you might come to California I think you should

Drove up to Hillside Manor sometime after two a.m.
And talked a little while about the year
I guess the winter makes you laugh a little slower,
Makes you talk a little lower about the things you could not show her

And it’s been a long December and there’s reason to believe
Maybe this year will be better than the last
I can’t remember all the times I tried to tell my myself
To hold on to these moments as they pass

And it’s one more day up in the canyon
And it’s one more night in Hollywood
It’s been so long since I’ve seen the ocean I guess I should

Thank you Counting Crows ~ Here’s to a little, okay A LOT of hope that 2012 could be better than the last, well, last couple years… Long story. 

Paul and I spent our New Year’s Eve day working around the house. It’s amazing how different New Year’s Eve plans change when you are old-ish. Years prior, I would plan weeks, months in advance, to figure out what to wear and where we were going to celebrate the ball drop. Now, I spend most of my New Year’s Eve figuring out what I want the new year to be/bring and reflect on the good and bad that had come from the year or years prior. I try my best to bring the good into the new year and correct any bad. I can say I’ve probably learned the most this past year in my relationship, self, the world, and employment than I have any other year in my life. I’ll keep the positive and try my best to push the sad things of 2011-or so, to the back of my mind. I’ll leave the knowledge I’ve acquired this year to myself. But the two main things: The world isn’t black and white and there’s more than one way to skin a cat… and make yourself happy, selflessness in moderation. 

Otherwise, Paul and I had dinner with Amelia and Bryan, a sweet Dallas couple at Sevy’s!  What a great meal and conversation.

We opted to head home for the ball drop and enjoy the first minutes of the New Year with Boston and Otis…

My New Year’s Resolutions

Personal Growth

  • Read a book a month
  • Continue with design & photography (take more photos of people!)
  • Be honest with myself and others.


  • Floss!
  • Get more toned…


  • Go to church, every week I’m in town.
  • Volunteer.


  • Be early to work (15 minutes not 2 minutes).
  • Meet new PA’s in the area.


  • Be 100% in it…
  • Travel home to my family every other month.
  • Communicate more with friends!

I hope you all have a wonderful 2012!