The house saga of January 2015, Part One: Ouch

Looking at this photo now makes me cry. This was our house, and we lived here and loved it for almost four years.

Now we live in a retro slice of hell – sans hairdryers, clothes dryers, an oven or a shower. It’s a “before” picture, and there will soon be an “after,” but in the meantime, tears galore. Also, I am allergic to the carpet.  And it is powder blue.

Here’s what happened . . .

At 2 a.m. on New Year’s Day, we came home from a party to an email from our landlord: he’d sold our house — which was not listed for sale, to which we had the first right to buy — and we had until Jan. 31 to move.

There was much crying and wringing of hands and dramatic flinging of self onto the sofa and the bed. There was copious cursing of the landlord. I still think about toilet-papering his house — perhaps with eggs on top for good measure.

We didn’t want to move.

But we didn’t want to buy our house, either.

We were stuck, and happily so.

But the world has always had a tendency to force my hand and push me into bravery.

And now it is February 12, and we’ve moved.

There are  posts to come about the days between Jan. 1 and Feb. 12, and all of our stressed-out house hunting, and then the hijinks that come into play if you want to buy a “project” house in the crazy-competitive Arcadia area of Phoenix, which we did, and the drug-dealer-like communicating that goes on to make such deals happen. There will be the story of how we found our house through a Facebook post and a friend from Kindergarten, and how freaking GRATEFUL I was, and then the desperate agreeing to insane clauses, and the paying of enormous sums in cash only, and the strange and obnoxious rules of appraisals — all of which have landed us in a “before” picture, without a working shower, or a hair-dryer, and with 55-year-old blue carpet, to boot — with hordes of people lined up to buy the house behind us, if we’re crazy enough to let it go.

(I’m tempted, people, I’m tempted.)

There will be no “before” pictures until we have an “after.” And renovation can’t start until August 1.

Yesterday, my client and friend George called to see how things were going. I whined and carried on.

“Jaimee,” he said, “Don’t be one of those wives that’s a pain in the ass.

“I feel like this can be a fun part of your marriage — making do, planning the new house together.

“It’s an adventure,” he said.

We hung up, and I knew that he was right.

So I went to my friend Puddinn’s house to take a shower and wash our clothes.  I called a housekeeping service to come and scour the insides of the cabinets and drawers. The electrician is coming. Tonight, we’re going to tear out the carpet.

And for now, I’m back here, because I’ve got feelings, people, and, like this carpet,  they are going to need to come out.




By |2015-04-13T03:04:07+00:00February 12th, 2015|Jaimee's Home Renovation|2 Comments

First look: Our black and white wedding in Paris

I’m so happy. We’re so happy. Tyson kept telling me all day: “I’m so happy. This is so fun.” It was the perfect wedding — rainy, romantic, and the lights on the Eiffel Tower came on early. We felt like it was all just for us. Our genius photographer Juliane Berry captured exactly how it felt — almost unreal.

I’ll share details throughout the week, but here’s a first look at our happiest day.


















I am married to this man.






By |2013-12-04T08:22:04+00:00December 4th, 2013|Style|3 Comments

Our wedding: apartment hunting in Paris

For our wedding-honeymoon abroad (see yesterday’s post for the news!), we decided to stay awhile. It’s like this: skip the big expensive wedding, get a really long vacation to France. Also, get married when you’re old, like me, and have been saving. That helps.

We’re breaking the trip into three parts: a special hotel for the wedding, an unbelievable outing to Reims courtesy Puddinn’ and her husband (you will squeal), and a real Paris apartment for the remaining days.

A Paris apartment!

I’ve been carrying a faded dream of a Paris apartment around in my head for decades. I imagined something high up, with wood floors and glorious vintage furniture, worn just so. I pictured grays and golds and lots of white walls — a garret from the storybooks.

Look at what we just rented:



Can you even stand it? The beams! The mirrors! My little black wedding dress hanging in that pretty  armoire.

(I just stood up and did a small dance in the kitchen.)

It’s in the Marais, on the top floor, with skylights and views over the Paris rooftops. It was even in our budget, which makes everything feel meant to be. There’s even a sleeping loft, with windows in the roof. The French really work the romance, even in 600 square feet.

Now, can we discuss the shoemakers’ conspiracy to rid the world of elegant black satin pumps?  OK, that will be tomorrow.


By |2013-08-21T08:12:31+00:00August 21st, 2013|Travel|0 Comments

Starvation, my wedding dress, and our wedding … in Paris, France

My wedding dress arrived two weeks ago, and I did it. It’s black.

A cocktail dress, with lace edges and sheer sleeves. A dress for the ages, I think.

It channels Audrey Hepburn in Paris in 1954. It’s a runway dress. It even swishes around my legs when I walk. 

I’d been feeling timid about traditions (and damn that, seriously). But my friend Angela said that if I could see my own face when I talked about this dress, I’d buy it already, and stop looking at white gowns with a scrunched-up nose. 


And so, black. Audrey Hepburn-esque black. Black that fits like a dream with vintage chandelier earrings and satin pointed-toe shoes.

In Paris.

In October.

To Tyson, who has hired an accordionist for the vows, and tries to make me happy every day.

We’re eloping — just us two.

I think there will even be fall leaves.

And yes, I know.

Meanwhile, and this is guaranteed to assuage any envy, I’ve been starving myself lunatic-style since July to look good in a wedding dress of any color. It’s been a stressful couple of years with lots of change, which means I ate M&Ms and made pie every day and never went to the gym.

Come June, I couldn’t zip up my skinny jeans. I couldn’t zip up my regular jeans. I was living in yoga pants and a knit dress that I am now  tempted to burn.


I’m doing that HCG diet, which I know is terrible and crazy and unhealthy, etcetera, but it works quickly (20 pounds and counting), and I have a deadline and a plane ticket to France.

Do you think they have s’mores in France?

Do you think there’s such a thing as a s’more wedding cake?

I better not know.


By |2013-08-20T00:51:31+00:00August 20th, 2013|Style|2 Comments

A Sneak Peek at the Sweet Salvage Sale

The new Sweet Salvage flash sale starts tomorrow (Thursday) and runs through Sunday. I went in for a sneak peek at the vintage goods, just so I could show you. It’s gooood, my friends. Call a friend. Get up early. Get in line. The doors open at 10 a.m.

I’m dying over these authentic vintage subway signs, about $250 each.


Oh, you know, just a vintage grand piano for under $1500.


This month’s theme is “At the Movies,” and Stephanie Williams’ booth boasts a Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe Theme. I want the lion, especially.


There’s a pair of these towering French balloon garden chairs. They’re my favorite find.


This pair of vintage medical chests would make killer nightstands. $199 each.


Pretty tufted chair. $399.


This cabinet’s price is MADNESS. $795. I’m coveting. And possibly buying. JaimeeRose_SweetSalvagePhoenixSneakPeek

Next movie section: Bond. James Bond, of course. JaimeeRose_SweetSalvagePhoenixSneakPeek

Cutest playroom storage ever. $300. Crazytown.


Fun metal LOVE sign.


In the “It’s Complicated” section, which has a sweet kitchen theme, I’m loving this vintage medical cabinet. If I was building a house, I’d build it into my kitchen. Or bathroom. Or closet.


JaimeeRose_SweetSalvagePhoenixSneakPeek IMG_6205

Sweet Salvage runs through Sunday. Go early, and tell me what you find!

By |2013-07-17T18:44:31+00:00July 17th, 2013|Style|0 Comments

My DIY Black and White Abstract Painting

My friend Shanna and I have started a new tradition of weekend craft days, in which we choose a project and finish it in a single afternoon. During these hours, we also solve world peace, listen to Bebel Gilberto, start new exercise programs, virtually lose 15 pounds and plan trips to Europe that we may or may not actually take.

This is therapeutic in so many ways. A few Saturdays ago, my project was an homage to a black and white abstract  painting that Shanna had stored on her phone to show me.

The inspiration:


The process:

First, a trip to my craft room and Arizona Art Supply for materials. I like acrylic paint and extra-thick canvases.


Next, I piled on layers of white and cream paint to get a background going with some good depth.


Busting out a paint spatula is a creates blocky texture and the paint ridges that I love.


I used walnut ink to section off the painting. Drips are good.


And then started filling in with lines.


The next morning, I hung it on the black wall. JaimeeRose_DIYBlackandWhiteAbstractPainting

What do you think?

See another of my weekend black and white abstract paintings here.

By |2013-07-16T07:49:32+00:00July 16th, 2013|DIY + Projects|0 Comments

Peach and Raspberry Crumble Cake with Cherries on Top

This perfect little summer crumb cake wants to be filled with all those glorious things from the market that beg for attention each time I go.  Peaches with raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, or cherries – whatever you love. (Keep the peaches intact.) In my mind, I baked it and had my girlfriends over for tea. Except it’s too hot to drink tea, or to ask people to leave their houses.  So Tyson and I  ate it for breakfast. Also: it was a little too luscious to share.


I made it with peaches, raspberries, and cherries — because I love cherries and almonds together, especially.


And it’s summer, so I get to use my seashell measuring spoons. (It’s weird that I have summer measuring spoons.)


The cake starts with a buttery sour cream batter pressed into a springform pan.


Which is then topped with a stewed fruit mixture that is just as delicious eaten with a spoon, or served over ice cream. It  really doesn’t need the cake.


Then more batter, almonds, and raw sugar are piled on top.


Oh, baby.


Summer distilled.



Raspberry Peach Crumb Cake

(Recipe from Seven Spoons, via Simple Pleasures. It was originally adapted from Inn Cuisine.)


4 ounces fresh raspberries

4 ounces fresh cherries, pitted and halved
2 medium peaches, peeled and sliced into chunks
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup butter, cold and diced
1/3 cup sliced (flaked) almonds
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
coarse sugar for dusting

Preheat an oven to 350°F (175°C). Butter and flour a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, or a 10-inch springform pan.

In a medium saucepan, toss the raspberries, cherries and peaches with the cornstarch to coat. Stir in the sugar and cook over medium heat until bubbling and thick. Remove from the heat and mash the fruit slightly. Set aside to cool slightly.

For the cake, in a medium bowl stir together the sour cream, milk, egg and vanilla. Set aside.

Combine the flour and sugar in a large bowl. Using fingers, two knives or a pastry cutter, cut the cold butter into the flour mixture until you have a texture that resembles coarse meal. Remove 1/2 cup of the crumb mixture to a small bowl and stir through the almonds. Set aside.

To the remaining flour mixture, whisk in the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the liquids. Using light, quick strokes, stir until only just combined. The batter should be thick, but smooth.

Take about 2/3 of the batter and spread it across the bottom and up 1-inch of the sides of the prepared pan. Damp fingers or a wet palette knife make easy work of this. Spoon the reserved raspberry filling over the batter, gently spreading to cover and leaving a 1/2-inch border at the edge. Dollop irregular mounds of the remaining dough over the fruit layer, again using damp fingers or a wet palette knife to coax the batter to almost cover – some gaps are good. Top with the crumb topping over all and then sprinkle with a couple of teaspoons or so of coarse sugar.

Place on a sheet pan and bake in a preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean and the cake starts to pull away from the sides of the pan. Cool, in pan on a rack, for 15 minutes. Remove from the tart pan and serve at warm or at room temperature.

Makes one 10-inch cake.


By |2013-07-15T08:32:33+00:00July 15th, 2013|Recipes|1 Comment

My picks from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

Lest any of you think otherwise, the Nordstrom anniversary sale is running at full tilt. Cardholders can shop early, and the store is full of curtained-off sections that contain the sale items. You really can just walk behind the curtain and go for it. Cindy and I spent six hours yesterday stocking up on fall basics. It was a glorious cloudy day, and we bought boots and coats. I swear I could almost taste pumpkin pie.

My picks from the sale:

We each brought home a pair of these Tory Burch boots. Cindy’s are brown. Mine are black. They’re gorgeous things, and I’ll be wearing mine every day come November. $299, regularly $500.

Tory Burch 'Brita' Riding Boot

Dear anonymous benefactor, please send this rabbit-lined leather jacket, post-haste. I’m in mourning over it. Soooo yummy. $465, from $695.

Rudsak Genuine Rabbit Fur Trim Leather Jacket

By day two, the Scottsdale shop had almost sold out of this Halogen leather dress. It’s sexy. $198, down from $298.

Halogen® Back Zip Leather & Ponte Dress

Behold, Cindy’s new Mackage coat. I’d have bought one, too, but it was meant for someone with a longer torso than mine. If you have one, please try it on. It’s collar-rific. $395, regularly $590.

Mackage Leather Trim Double Breasted Coat

Remember when I told you about the best leggings known to womankind? I was wrong, and a post dedicated entirely to my new discovery is forthcoming. I’ve been holding out on you all summer. The very best leggings are Lysse, and they’re on super sale. $38, regularly $58. They hold you in, and you don’t even realize that your top is being controlled.

Lyssé® Control Top Leggings

I am courting this handbag by Pour La Victoire. It reminds me of the Celine bags that I covet. $329, from $495.

Pour la Victoire 'Butler - Large' Snake Embossed Leather & Suede Tote

Are you sensing fall’s color palette? Black and cognac, everywhere. This Laundry leather jacket is three trends in one: color-blocked leather with motorcycle styling. Glorious. $199 from $300.

Laundry by Shelli Segal Two Tone Leather Moto Jacket

And now for the non-sexy essentials that you can’t miss:

A pack of my favorite Zella cushioned-heel athletic socks is $13, down from $22, in black and white. How’s that for an exciting purchase?

Zella Tab Back Socks (3-Pack)

New pajamas are in order. These Make + Model pants are just $20, from $32, in fun solids and stripes. I bought black. Snore.

Make + Model 'Vintage Sleepy Time' Lounge Pants

The softest T-shirt you will ever touch is by Majestic. $79, down from $135, and you might try to wear it every day.

Majestic Long Sleeve Crewneck Top

Lastly – isn’t this little Kate Spade wallet cute? I’m so tempted, but I can’t decide between fuchsia and black and white. $64, from $98.

kate spade new york 'hancock park - small stacy' leather wallet

kate spade new york 'hancock park - small stacy' leather wallet

What did you buy?

P.S. If you’re not a Nordie’s cardholder, and don’t want another credit card, try this: I have a Nordstrom debit that’s linked to my checking account. This way, I still get all the benefits of being a Nordstrom cardholder (points, reward $$, and early shopping at the Anniversary Sale.)

By |2013-07-12T07:03:22+00:00July 12th, 2013|Style|1 Comment

For Sale: A Two-Day Pop-Up Shop from my Collections

*****Sale closed. Thank you!

My “collecting” problems got to the point where I couldn’t close a couple of closets or walk into the dish room underneath the stairs. Tyson was ready to divorce me, and we aren’t married yet. So, I’m purging the excess of two decades of shopping, and you’re invited to peruse my collections. (SOB!)

Here’s the deal: if you see something you like, email me. ( I’ll tell you how to fetch your loot.  I’ll update this as things sell, so if it’s posted, assume it’s available. And check here again tomorrow (Monday) morning — I’m posting some furniture, rugs, craft supplies, vintage prints (oh, baby!) and draperies. And probably table linens, too.

All items must be claimed by Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. I’d prefer not to ship, so send me a note if you’re out of town and I’ll let you know if your item is still available after we’re through.

Thanks for looking!

Rattan dome $20



By |2013-06-30T21:38:37+00:00June 30th, 2013|Style|1 Comment