Wall-o-Vespa revisited

I've recently learned a couple things about myself.  I am not perfect (I know, shocking!) and I did not inherit my maternal grandmother's amazing painting skillz

Still not satisfied with my wall-o-Vespa in my living room... and inspired by abstract, bright paintings similar to:

above images via

I decided to try my hand it it.  Couldn't be that hard, right?  Smear some paint together and Voila, Right?  Wrong.  Let me just say it took me a month and at least 4 tries before I finally got something that didn't look like kindergarten finger painting. 

Not 100% satisfied so I'll keep playing around with it..  The canvas is just mix of two different shades of blue (trying to tie in the blue lamps) and it looks OK.  Maybe I'll keep playing around with it, adding more colors?  Not sure.   Still needs something.  

At least now you can see how Rico's new yellow rug fits in!  

Dear Santa

Thank you for following my blog and gifting me with a dress form because I was oh so good last year!  She and a variety of addons (read: padding to make her shape, size and curves similar to mine) arrived last week. 

I've christened her Helga, after my mom's dress form Hilda.
Here she is modelling my New Years Eve dress

isn't she Gorjus?!

Word of advice for those thinking of welcoming a Helga/Hilda into your lives: Wait a while to get used to her presence before watching ghost/scarey movies. That headless (but well dressed) figure in the corner of my room nearly gave me a heart attack as I was getting ready for bed last night.

I've got big plans for her  - more on that later  (and no it doesn't involve scaring hapless houseguests after midnight)

A Century!

TODAY would be my grandmother's 100th birthday!  
Grandma and my dad

Grandma and Me! (in Disneyland!)

Grandma and the fam @ high school graduation

My favorite memory of her was as a little girl
- the day she taught me addition and subtraction

With chocolate chips
(she was making chocolate chip cookies)

That day wasn't only special because I learned sweet mathematics with little chocolate morsels of goodness, but also because I became a big sister later that afternoon. 

Happy Birthday Grandma!

Silver lining and yellow rugs

The silver lining to having your beloved redwoods ravaged by incompetent arborists is the Dissatisfaction Discount, which - in my opinion - was on the low side, but this was my first time showing Angry Anne and that probably means I should brush up on my Angry Anne Face and negotiation skillz for the future.

But whatever... I just wanted to be done with it, so I took the measly peace offering dissatisfaction discount and wrote a bad Yelp review.  

Yay Vindication!

So, back to what I was saying...  I've wanted a yellow rug in my living room for a while.  I spent hours pouring over Overstock & Ballard & Home Goods and any other place that may give me my pretty yellow rug but I wasn't having much success.  

UNTIL...  I discovered Rugs USA - a resource that was previously unknown to me.  


The total cost happened to equal 

(wait for it...)


  Rico digs it... I do too!!

Yellow = Bright = Happy = Anne!

Ridiculous Frocks

Checkin' out various fashions online the other night, to my dismay,
I discovered the following:

I don't know how this one even made it to a retailer

  Ok, its kind of growing on me, but no. 
I doubt I'll even where it as a costume.

And THIS dress is called the 'Cute and Cuter Dress'
It looks like a blanket to me 
(ok, a cute blanket, but not a dress)


I had a dress like this in third grade.  
My mom made it out of pink taffeta 
it swooshed

(images credited here)

Puppy Tweets

Riley's Christmas present from some bunnies (Dusti & PJ - old bunnies buddies  friends from their Humane's Society days) was the generous gift of ...
After much begging from Riley and alleged thumping from the bunnies, I finally got it up and running and here are tonight's tweets:

Riley:I chase parked cars, you use wrinkle cream. I think that makes us even.

Riley:One man's trash is another dog's treasure. 

Riley:You're my best friend, but my chew toy and I have become very close.

Riley:Uh oh! It's getting late and I haven't finished scattering my toys all over the room for you to trip over.

Riley:My "puppy-dog eyes" seem to have no effect on the pantry door.

Riley:HEY YOU, STOP... ah, I'm pooped.

Riley:I <3 Animal Planet.

Riley:L'il help! Nose stuck in bird feeder!

Riley:I've got a new leash on life!

and my personal favorite:

Riley:I <3 my human!

If you feel the need to follow my pup's tweets, feel free to do so by following 'Tahlulamae' - I'm not really sure how this twitter thing works, but that's my twitter username!

What's been going on at home?

Recently I got a bug up my derriere to start (and finish) some projects around the house - probably about time, eh?

here's an update (and preview of finished projects to come!)

#1:  Yellow doors.  Yes, you must be thinking ... 'Wha?!  Yellow doors?!'  And yes, I'm goin' bright.  Its true.  I'm kind of gambling here.  I have a vision in my head of a gray entryway and bold yellow doors (trust me, it will look awesome!).  I'm currently on my 4th shade of yellow and I'm considering a new shade of gray to get it right.  Here's a preview of the coat closet between the most recent shade of yellow and hopefully the last: 

and yes I could have painted over the previous yellows, but I had a snafu that required a reunion with an old love to help me strip the paint.  As you can see from the picture, the gray has a little blue which wasn't a part of my vision,... so I will continue playing with colors before I'm completely satisfied...

ADDITIONALLY... as you can see in the lower right hand corner... the floors... that's a whole other project I keep hoping will take care of itself! 

#2:  The dining room ceiling.  Ugh!!  This is the embarrassment of my life.  I cringe every time I look at the room and scold myself for living with it since I unsuccessfully attempted to remove the wallpaper which was over a layer of paint which was over a layer of wallpaper.  This is how far my old love and I got last spring:

(please don't judge me!)

And then it was a late night frozen yogurt run where we had the brilliant idea to just cover it up with a fancy schmancy tin ceiling... Voila!  Stay tuned.  It may be this weekend's project (wanna help?)

#3:  My trees - beautiful 40+ year old dense redwoods that I used to climb with my cousins as a kid.  Let just say the tree trimmers had their way with my trees and this little girl ain't happy.  My yard wasn't much to look at before, but now its barren and sad without my thick redwood canopy... So add Landscaping to pretty it up!   

#4:  And lastly (for now) - THIS... 

has been kickin' it in the bathtub since November.  You see... its supposed to be used with my nail gun (the black box off to the right) which will help me put up my crown molding... but I admit it... I'm a bit intimidated.  More with the miter saw and funky angles than the air compressor, but whatever ...

Crown Molding.
Heard its hard.
Not ready to go there yet. 

So there you have it... Feel free to offer any advice or help.  In exchange I've got beer, wine, vanilla extract, an abundance of yellow paint, and will even offer to buy you dinner!

Danish is more than a pastry

It’s my heritage on my grandmother’s side. Of course the closest I get to embracing my Danish genes is every Christmas morning when we make Aebleskivers (a wonderfully delicious pastry fried in Crisco and rolled over in powdered sugar)…

Cholesteral and Christmas??  Yes Please!

There’s a story of my dad and uncle visiting Denmark when they were in college. All they had was a name and a photo of a store. So they arrived and suspiciously started poking around town for information on long lost relatives. Fortunately my uncle bore a strong resemblance to that side of the family, and they welcomed the two random American men with open arms. We are still in contact with them (thanks especially to Facebook!)

A branch of that same family came to visit recently which is always an excuse (in my mind) for a party so party is what we did – Here are various generations of the California branch of the Jorgensen clan together with our Danish relatives. It’s almost too complicated to dictate exactly how we’re all related, but trust me when I say we’re pretty much all cousins.


Last summer through various blogs, I thought it would be fun to make my own vanilla extract, especially once I found out how easy it was!  

With a couple liters of Vodka (or any alcohol, really - my next batch will be from Malibu Rum... yum)
I split several Madagascar Vanilla beans down the middle (gosh they smelled delicious!)
I popped them right in the vodka bottle and threw them in my wine cupboard to sit for a couple months - Be sure to screw the cap on tight otherwise things could get messy. 

The most fun part of this process was shaking the vanilla every week (its the simple pleasures, really!)

The vanilla Vodka eventually morphed to vanilla extract and was done just in time for the holidays! I slapped some custom labels on the bottles I purchased from Specialty Bottle Co. and they were ready to give away as hostess gifts, stocking stuffers, etc :)  

Intended for baking, however if things get a little too stressful in the kitchen, also good for a shot (or two).

Cherry Blossoms in the Loo!

I've been pretty lucky lately with my dog sitters. 

While I'm out of town, they're getting to work on the master bath. 

First it was Kelsey who stripped all the wallpaper off the walls while I was in hanging out with Mickey and Goofy

Then it was Kathryn who I not only hired to feed and play with my 
precious pup and crazy cat, but also to pretty up the walls a bit...

a close up of her pretty petals

Above the bathtub

 She even 'branched' out to another corner!


For those in the Portland area (or even here in the SF Bay Area), she is heading up a creative design studio:  MAKE Design Studios... Check them out!!

Now I'm thinking I should go out of town more often... Maybe the next time I hire a dog sitter, my crown molding (moulding?) will get magically installed!? 

all images via Kathryn @ Make Design Studios!

Polka dots, Wine & Scottsdale

I'm back at work tomorrow and could easily take another 6 months (to forever) off.
(Can you tell I'm not ready for vacation to end)

Immediately following the hustle and bustle of all things Christmas,
I was off to Scottsdale to visit these lovely folks
They're just as cute from the front too.

But before I get too far into my Scottsdale excursion, let me take you back to an evening this past fall drinking wine with good friends.  Atop the coffee table was San Francsico Magazine (the July issue)

Thumbing through it, I fell in love with this ad:

ok, the dress, to be exact - I have a thing for polka dots

I tore the ad out, and tacked it to my wall thinking I would one day recreate it. 

That one day happened this week in Scottsdale

Sitting on the clearance rack at my drug dealer's Anthropologie was this pretty little number

No need to 'one day recreate'.  

I transferred it over state lines and can't wait for Spring to come early