i want a subaru

The marketing team at Subaru has won my heart with this commercial.

Only in my version, we have blondies (dogs & baby).  My version: a yellow lab that has been with me before my husband, a baby boy in the back seat as a blondie, too, and of course, a pug laying next to him. Makes me smile every time.

Happy Friday, Friends.

christmas 2012


Holy Cow 2013, hold on! I still have a couple things (two more posts, to be exact) to talk about in 2012! :) 

If someone would have said going into the medical field you might not be able to take off during the holidays, I might have reconsidered. Seriously. It’s the sacrifices I have to make and I’m glad my family and spouse understand. This year we only made it to St. Louis instead of our usual Christmas festivities in both Missouri and Wisconsin. In lieu of work, we were able to squeeze a couple of days in St. Louis with our family. We spent the weekend enjoying each other’s company, ate way too much, and laughed often. On Saturday morning, everyone got up to start the Christmas excitement of opening presents and climbing on presents.

Climbing on present

Climbing on presents

The excitement of all the kiddos was so much fun to watch. It really never gets old!


Even our dogs got some love and presents!

Anna & Boston


After all the festivities, everyone went their separate ways. We drove back earlier than expected because of the weather forecast and spent Christmas day in Texas with our boys. I captured a couple more pictures of our festive house. We even got a little snow on Christmas day! White Christmas!! Yay!

Christmas Lights

Entryway Xmas

Christmas Tree 2012


I hope everyone had a fabulous holiday season with your friends and family! Happy 2013, friends.

pup cups

I have two boys in my house. Technically, three. But two are furry and love pup cups! Especially in the summer! I wanted to share this icy treat with other pet lovers in hopes it will make your dogs as happy as mine.


  • 32 oz vanilla yogurt
  • 1 banana
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp honey

Blend all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl until consistency is smooth.

Place mixture in containers. I bought my Beaba Multiportion Baby Food Freezer Trays containers from Williams-Sonoma, but I believe you can get them elsewhere. They are silicon container trays that have seven 2 oz cups, perfect for this project. I use two containers for this recipe.

Prior to getting the trays, I would use paper cups (Dixie cups), but it was a bigger mess for both the dogs and myself. My lab would shred the paper all over the house or yard and the pug would eat the paper. I found these great baby food containers to be the best. After mixing all the ingredients, spoon the contents into each cup.

Then, just freeze overnight.  Trust me, your pup will thank you!

These little containers make it easy to pop out the frosty treats and hand it to your pups. I suppose a silicon ice cube tray would work too, but I liked having a cover! As you can see, we enjoy our treats outside.

Happy Wednesday to my furry and human friends!

old bones

This handsome man turned the Big 8-years-old this past Wednesday! Actually, it’s his “made-up” birthday. I found Boston in the middle of a highway, tired and smelling like manure in April of 2005. At that time, the vet examining him said he was around one year old. I put up fliers, called the police in the area but (to my luck) no one claimed this yellow lab, whom I named Boston. His nickname “Bones” came from my father. I walked him into my parents home after I found him, with a fused broken back leg and ribs showing; his nickname stuck. Luckily, my parents are compassionate people and let me keep him. He was a wild “puppy”, which played a large role in my decision to take up running. Thank you Boston!

Since our chance meeting, he has been by my side through good times and bad, through a masters degree, five state moves, and so much more. It’s been a hard life!!

This birthday was pretty low-key.  We got him a “durable” toy that made it longer than most, a bone, and a treat that helps with arthritis… It pains me to think he’s the equivalent of 56-years-old in human years.

I’m so fortunate this crazy man found his way into my life.  Happy Birthday Boston; you’ve helped me more than you know.

happy birthday otie!

We celebrated our youngest’s 5th birthday this weekend. Yes, the cake has a “six” candle; after looking at pictures and doing the math, we figured out he’s actually five not six – oops! I’m a bad parent.

I do remember the day we went and looked at the future Otis. He was running amuck with his puppy mates, and they were all so adorable. Paul instantly fell in love with Otis and I his adorable fat sister. We took him home that afternoon with a toy from his childhood and said goodbye. Since then, we still send them our family card each Christmas. Though he has been threatened to be sold or given away several times, he’s been such a entertaining and lovable part of our family, I couldn’t imagine life without him. Below is a couple pictures of Otis then and now.

Otis’s celebration started by us getting all the party supplies!

Then, the guests started to arrived.

We served hot dogs and hamburgers.  After dinner, we had Otie blow out the candle… he was a little nervous about it, so I think Boston licked it (Boston’s fine).

We exchanged presents and enjoyed the rest of the event just the way Otis likes it, Chil-axin’.

Happy birthday, Buddy!

first visit & color balance

This past weekend, we had the pleasure of hosting the Daugherty clan in our Dallas home.  The first to venture down and see what Texas was all about.  We had a wonderful time, once Paul and I got over the initial shock of being “on” all the time. Paul even said, “kids are a WHOLE different level, I was tired after Adventure Landing!” But, we had an absolute blast and the things that come out of their mouths are so funny, such as Drake stating the sheets on his blow up bed were Fancy, wondering if the crabs would eat them at the aquarium, and the realization half way through a meal, “I have NO drink!”  They were great, and I wanted to adopt them all. What a great weekend. These kids are a ball full of energy and we didn’t want to disappoint.  So we hit up a couple local attraction: the park, which is right down our street, a couple times, Adventure Landing, Fort Worth Rodeo, and The Dallas Aquarium.

It was a great weekend and honestly, if I could guarantee a baby like Anna, I would have four.

Plus, it was nice to have a general contractor in our presence to nonchalantly ask questions… can we actually do that?  and how much would that cost? and what would you do? and can you just come down and do it?!?  Okay, I was thinking that last question.  I’m so happy they came down and here are the highlights of the weekend.

*Weekend Photos by Lisa Daugherty – because who forgets her camera? This girl. :( 

Otis also won a souvenir prize thanks to Anna.  Otis got many face licks in to Anna’s surprise this weekend; she was watching him all weekend but never got mad, just gave a look of what was that?!

He’s been playing/sleeping with it ever since. Sorry Anna.

Prior to the Daughtery’s making their presence in the Big D, I knew I had to clean up the main bath for their arrival!  I fell in love with the gray-with-green-undertones BM Stingray 1529 in our kitchen and decided to use what was left in the main bathroom.  It works perfectly with yellow tile and bronze/gold accessories. I also demoed the gold shower door! That was such an eye sore, so I replaced it with a simple curtain from West Elm.  I still need to add framed items in here but it’s such an improvement, I wanted to share.


After (Progress Pic) – Sorry for the dark mirror photo…

When first purchasing a home, I got all excited about paint color, the kitchen could be this and the bathroom that, but then I realized the zen quality of cohesiveness… and stopped wanting to paint our house like a preschool classroom, so I started picking colors that complement each other.  Though I know people that have the same color throughout their house, and it works for them, I couldn’t do the same. I couldn’t think of that one color to blanket the whole house; I couldn’t handle just one color.  Instead, I found a happy-medium.  Here’s my color palette thus far;

  • Guest Rooms #1 and #2 – BM pashmina AF-100
  • Kitchen and Main Bath – BM stringray 1529
  • Hallways and Strip in 1/2 bath – BM swiss coffee OC-45
  • 1/2 bath other strip – BM halo OC-46 (though I could of used Early Morning Mist or Stringray)
  • Entryway – BM stone harbor 2111-50
  • Living and Dining Room – BM bennington gray HC-182
  • Master Bedroom – BM palladian blue HC- 144
  • Master Bath – BM boothbay gray HC – 165
  • Family Room – BM early morning mist 1528
  • Laundry & Guest Room #4/Office Bookshelves –BM dragonfly AF-510 or rockport gray HC-105 (TBA)

I tried my best to use the same colors throughout the house.  I think it’s working really well! I only have the laundry room, 4th bedroom and some bookshelves left!

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!

a few of my favorite holiday things

door decor

fresh cut christmas tree’s

fireplaces & stockings

holiday baking

christmas cookies – with old school cookie cutters.

puppy chow

new places

my 5 favorite holiday movies… minus It’s a Wonderful Life.

a big yellow dog

starting my new year’s resolution early… but realizing the need to bring the point-and-shoot.


vino, lots of vino.

Happy Holidays.

giving thanks

This thanksgiving has been a lot more fruitful than years pasts. I have really reflected on who I am and what has helped mold me into what I am today. In prior years, I would look forward to spending time with family and friends, enjoying their contributions in the fun activities of the season, never really reflecting on what amazing characters I’m so blessed to be around during the holidays and throughout the entire year. This reflection also makes me realize this new idea, new to me anyway, that the world isn’t so “black and white”, as I first thought. There are so many ways to live your life and many ways happiness, love, grace, and communication can be interpreted. During this Thanksgiving, I reflect on the many people that I think of daily, even when they are miles away; they have impacted my life.

I started out this Thanksgiving with a Dallas Turkey Trot; it was so much fun to get up and be among other happy turkey day folks in the hope to lighten the turkey day feast/caloric intake with a morning run. My friend Amelia was happy to participate with me, and we said we would add more people each year we do it! I think this is a fabulous tradition, when living in a southern climate, that is.

I am thankful for my athletic genes. My parents were/are both athletic, and I think being active was always part of my parents’ philosophy. Athletics were always a way to blow off steam, build friendships, and gain self-esteem and self-confidence. I will always thank my parents for incorporating that type of skill into my life and hope to carry on that philosophy with my own children.

I also had to stop running when I saw these two on the sidelines… too funny!

After our running, Amelia and I parted ways. And I was greeted in our entry way to this…

Yes, it’s a new mailbox! I was so excited to see it up!  Our old white mailbox just wasn’t happy, and this guy really makes our little entry shine! It looks like an envelope! So cute. I give thanks for all the small things that make me happy. From a new mailbox, people waving on our street, opening doors for people, fresh air, talking to my family and friends, and just playing or snuggling with our dogs. Those small entities make up most of my life, and I need to step back, more often than not, to give thanks for all the small things.

After a quick shower, I was excited to get my Thanksgiving traditions started. Considering this is the first holiday we decided to stay instead of head to Wisconsin or Missouri, we really didn’t have any set rules or traditions for the holiday, and I was eager to make our own. I decided to bake; after all, that’s my favorite part of any holiday, making sweet treats for after the meal, and Paul was in charge of the actual Thanksgiving dinner.

I decided to make a twist on an original and make pumpkin cheesecake pie.

I give thanks for my extended family. Especially the ladies. The Christianson ladies – thank you for the endless amount of wine and their personal justification that yes, a piece of pie can and will count as a meal. I thank my Aunt Diane for the pumpkin cheesecake recipe, and for her love for extravagant things, which she can pull off anywhere, from her vintage Louis to her mink coat at Christmas… and her ability to go through my learning curve of red wine. “You like Shiraz, I remember that time…” She and the rest of the Christianson ladies are all amazing. Obviously my mother being the best of them all, but I’m a little biased.

I also made Apple Cheese Crisp. My favorite.

I give thanks for my Grandma Anne, though she would balk at the idea of having something apple for Thanksgiving. “You don’t serve apple pie during Thanksgiving, Sarah.”  I thank her for her independent, equal opportunity, and opinionated self, and I wonder who will get those traits?  I give thanks to both of my grandmothers for their amazing ability to bake and cook feasts for hungry mouths throughout the years without falter. My grandma Christianson made these delectable pies, apple being my favorite, that unfortunately I will never be able to replicate, as she made them from memory and I’ve been told, never really wrote down the recipe. Otherwise, I think of them every time I bake anything; Christmas cookies to Grandma Anne’s Apple Cheese Crisp.

All ready to go! If it was up to me, those two items would be our Thanksgiving meal.

But first, we had to participate in the regular tradition of turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy… and with a little help from Boston Market we made that happen. Paul was a little exhausted from all the prep work he had to do, including pre-heating the oven, heating up the gravy, putting the items in serving dishes AND cutting the turkey. Wow, I’m exhausted just writing it!

It turned out great! We did find out we need a gravy boat and placemats someday, but we made it work! This Thanksgiving, I thank Paul for making me realize the importance of the necessities of a great relationship; communication, honesty, transparency, trust and religion. I hope we can work to better ourselves and in time, hope we can build on these things to make for a lasting relationship and future for ourselves together…

It’s always fun to play house.

I am thankful for our two dogs, as well.

Otis has been in my life for four years now, and he continues to be a happy-go-lucky guy, cuddle bug, and always there for kitchen clean-up duty.

Boston has been with me for six years now, and I think he’s saved me more than I ever saved him. He is an amazing guy, as loyal as they come, steadfast, smart, handsome, and wonderful inside and out. Thank you Boston, for finding me.

We finished up our evening with dessert and some scratchers…

Happy Thanksgiving to all. I give thanks for everyone, family and friends, and everything that I have been given in my life to this point…

it’s a marathon

My generation and the ones following get looked down upon for our demands to have instant gratification. We want the goods delivered. Fast and now. I, too, want it now. I’m willing to put in some effort to get things done, but I want it done well, and I want it now. I want my house to be painted, cleaned, window treatments hung, wood floors installed, beautiful hand-picked pieces for every room, all my magazines read and finished, and all my books and movies read or watched on my “I should read/watch list”. But I have to remember this is not how it works. It takes time!! It all takes time. Unless, as Paul pointed out, I would just do crack; then, maybe I would have more time…

This comes to me in a time of despair.

I’ve been having trouble lately with colors. Making my want-it-now attitude turn sour because now I have to re-do it, again.  Here’s my problem: I have this wonderful idea in my head of the exact color I want, but I’m unable to translate that idea into reality when I get to the store to color-match the paint.  Or it looks great in a blog post or article and horrible in my house. It’s like reading a great book with all your wonderfully vivid characters in your head and then watching the movie and wondering how the director could butcher all the characters that badly. Except in this case, I am both the book reader and director. So, as I promised from the beginning, I’ll tell you about the good and the bad.

Here’s a list of my distasteful color choices, and their appropriate names, in case you would like to bring them to your home … maybe you could make them loved? In no particular order.

Laundry closet – Benjamin Moore marblehead gold HC-11 – Does anything look good with open-faced/cobbled cabinets and a fire extinguisher?? Really?

Bookshelves – Benjamin Moore providence olive HC-98

Kitchen – Benjamin Moore yarmouth blue HC-150 – It’s not bad, but it’s all wrong.  I cannot explain it.

The kitchen was so bad that I woke the next morning after it was finished with hoping it was all just a bad dream. Maybe I dreamt the hideous blue on the walls? Maybe it looks better today, in the morning sun? But it wasn’t. It was still as bright and as awful as it was before. So, I walked into the kitchen, took out all the color samples I owned and painted. Not even the morning coffee could take me away. Until, Paul with his infinite wisdom (or being of the male species) said not to waste my time. “We have to figure out our water damage situation before we paint the whole kitchen anyway, Sarah.”

So, I walked away… I’ll figure it out… later.  Here’s the samples… I want a color?  Not white or beige, a real color. Any ideas?

My favorite is the top left but we’ll see…

This idea of getting things done was emphasized when I revisited an article I read a month ago in Real Simple. It’s about this girl who always had a to-do list or numbers in her head, from her caloric intake to the day her infant would be a toddler.  This sounded familiar to my own life.  I too have deadlines: when I’m able to do something or eat something or even when I’m able to go to the bathroom.

“Fold the rest of the laundry and then you can go to the bathroom, Sarah.” Seriously?

I have countless to-do lists from books to read, movies to watch, flea markets to check out, the lists for the house, to detailed hourly schedule for a weekend, a work week.  It’s kind of crazy.

So, I vowed on this “labor day” that I would still have a to-do list BUT I won’t have them haunt me if/when I’m unable to finish everything. Maybe even scratch the list completely for a dinner out with friends, or a movie in the afternoon. Life is life and I will reference this article frequently until it becomes second nature!  As Paul says, “it’s not a crisis”.

Real Simple article Count Me Out


Otherwise, this weekend was comprised of little tasks: painting missed spots, covering holes, organizing paperwork, and one BIG monster project that was both exciting and scary.  I’ll just get to the big guy, he was sitting in our family room sucking the energy out of the space but I felt he was ready for rehab and a new look on life. ;)

He looked like this (below) before I decided the unthinkable!

Sarah, it looks like you have some good ideas but I just wanted to tell you, you know if you paint the fireplace, well, you can never paint it back. ~ A.S.


First, I started by taking down the bronze door and washing off all the brick with a little soap and water.  I vacuumed around the door frame because that was McNasty. Oh, the layers of dust. Which lead me to this… already an improvement! I also sanded the mantle surface so the primer would have something to stick to. The little LED tripod work light in the fireplace is a little wonder! Paul got it for Christmas a few years back, and we use it all the time!

I then started the priming process!  It was fun to see the transformation and the brick have new life.  It looked so sad and dated before! I was going to use a roller for some of it but opted for two paint brushes instead. One small, one bigger. With all the nooks and crannies, this was the best route.

Primed. Check!!  Yes, I put my estate sale find on the mantle.  Even with just the primer it looks so much cleaner and happier. My estate sale find worked out perfectly, too!  I was getting really excited for the final product!

Then I painted the whole thing (two coats and a third to the mantle and hearth) with Benjamin Moore white linen (color matched to Lowe’s Olympic no-voc semi-gloss paint).  Because my Benjamin Moore store wasn’t open on Labor Day… and that whole, I want it now attitude.  You get the idea.

I’m so happy with the results!  I loaded it up with goods so you can get a visual of what it may look like all dressed up!! With all my strike outs, I’m so happy something worked out! Now, we can load the room. It will be ready for grilling and football season! Yay! Especially with the beautiful weather we had this weekend, everyone was ready for the fall… and sometimes you need to stop the projects and play a little football.