Fox Monthly: Eighteen Months

Friday, July 22, 2016

I have always been a person who loves clothes, and I knew that one day when we had a baby, I would want to dress him or her stylishly, because what's cuter than a well-dressed baby?  Nothing.  Of course, Fox came along, and I have tried my utmost to make sure he looks darling at all times.  

According to friends who have older children, there weren't a lot of choices for baby boys in the past. But in the last few years, things have really improved and I have found loads of cute options for him, both used and new.  

We have a lot of second-hand clothes from friends, that I have carefully looked through, selecting things that fit with my aesthetic and that were in good shape, while adding the occasional nice, new article of clothing from various retailers.  My favorite of these nice, new items has been our Freshly Picked Moccasins.  

Merrick's boys have worn these for years, and I always thought they were darling.  They are a bit pricier than what I would normally spend on shoes, but the mocs match everything, and they last so well (Fox's last pair fit him about six months, and still look great)! We often go days without him wearing any other pair of shoes, because they are so easy and look so cute with everything in his closet.  

See?! Doesn't he look darling in those mocs?  He just had his eighteen month birthday and to commemorate, I took some photos, and wanted to record a few of the delightful little mannerisms that he has recently begun to develop.  Here are a few fun things about Fox right now: 

1.  He has started talking a little bit, and he says "I did it" pretty often, although it sounds more like "I  dihhh!"  He can also say "What's that," "truck," and "giraffe."  His vocabulary still comes and goes, and he will say a word or phrase a few times over the course of a couple of days, and then not say it again for weeks.  

2.  He is obsessed with all cars and animals.  We regularly visit this museum on BYU campus that has a bunch of animals that have been taxidermied.  They have a ton of big animals and some small ones and he thinks it is the greatest thing.  We also spend a lot of time looking out the front window watching the cars drive by.  He gets particularly excited when big trucks drive by.

3.  Fox is getting really helpful.  He knows how to throw stuff away, if we ask him too, and if he knows we are getting close to putting him to bed, he will go grab a diaper and wipes.  

Earlier this week, I was getting the laundry sorted, and he carried a couple of items out of the room.  A minute later he reappeared to grab another handful.  When I took the laundry basket down the hall to load the washer a minute or two later, I realized he had been putting the clothes in the washer.  It was beyond cute!

4.  He loves being outside more than just about anything.  We can go for a walk, play in the backyard, go to the park or just stand on the sidewalk outside our house and he is thrilled.  It makes me really grateful that we are in Utah this summer and not Texas, because Texas summers are brutally hot, and it starts to get hot very early in the morning.  Most mornings here in Utah are cool and crisp and it doesn't warm up until 10ish.  I love being able to make him happy by going on a daily walk.  

5.  He is still such a happy, sweet boy.  So many smiles, spontaneous hugs, open mouthed kisses (on the cheek) and more.  We just love you, Fox!  Thanks for being such a good boy!

shorts:  Carter's// shirt: Gymboree via ThredUp ($10 off your first purchase if you buy through this link)// shoes: c/o Freshly Picked (Weathered Brown) 

This post was done in Collaboration with Freshly Picked 

Weekly Menu Plan

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

 A few meals from this last week.  What are you eating these days?  Hopefully all the peppers, zucchini and peaches.  Yum!  Have a great week!

Spiced Vegetables over Rice with Cashew Sauce: I took photos of this one and it should be going up in the next few weeks.  It was delicious!  And vegetarian.  And delicious.
Roasted Vegetable Salad with Tahini Maple Dressing:  I changed this recipe up quite a bit by using rice (instead of quinoa), sweet potato (instead of beet), romaine lettuce (instead of kale) and I left out the radishes.  Can you even count it as being the same recipe?  Probably not.  Anyway my version just didn't taste that great. Everything sounded like they would go together, but it fell flat for me. At least the roasted vegetables looked beautiful.  If you try this recipe out, stick with the original and see how it goes (and then let me know).
Black Bean Soup: I made my own beef broth for this and it was the best version of this soup I have ever made.  It was SOOO good and was a little jealous when Adam took the rest of the leftovers for  lunch the next day.
Simple Cheese Pizza:  I make this when I am feeling a lack of creativity, or when I am too busy to do anything fancier.  One day I will post about this, because it takes like 30 minutes, start to finish (if the dough is already made).  So fast and easy.
Parmesan Onion Tart:  I will also be posting about this one in a week or so.  This was super delicious.  The French know what they are doing when they make tarts.
Chicken and Arugula Melts with Sun-dried Tomato Jam on Homemade Focaccia Bread: Can I say enough good things about these sandwiches.  They were a lot of work, but worth every effort!  The flavors melded perfectly, and I will be raving about these for months.  The jam was particularly good.  Wow.

Salted Caramel Coconut Popcorn

Monday, July 18, 2016

I have been a longtime fan of white chocolate popcorn.  I distinctly remember going to a housewarming party of some family friends when I was 10 or 11, and tasting my first bite or two.  I was obsessed and would have eaten the whole bowl if we hadn't left shortly thereafter.

I am less interested in white chocolate popcorn than I used to be, thanks to ever changing tastebuds and a weakening sugar tolerance.  A few months ago, I was trying to think of what a good alternative to white chocolate would be.

Thus was born the salted caramel coconut popcorn post.  Honestly, it probably isn't that much better for you than white chocolate popcorn, but it is incredibly delicious and not too difficult.

Coconut butter is something you can make in a  food processor, or you can buy it.  I would make it at home, if I were you, because it is kind of expensive, and it isn't too tough to make.

Salted Caramel Coconut Popcorn:
serves 4- 6

1/2 cup popcorn kernels (8 cups popped popcorn)
1/2 cup coconut butter (see directions for how to make it below)
1/2 cup caramel sauce (recipe below)
1/2 tsp ground sea salt

Coconut Butter:

1 bag unsweetened, shredded coconut

Begin by making your coconut butter.  If you have purchased it, soften it into a liquid by warming slightly (in the microwave, keep it under 15 seconds to avoid burning it).  If you are making your own, take a bag of shredded unsweetened coconut and pour it in a food processor or blender.  Blend for 5-8 minutes until smooth (it will still have some graininess to it, but should be a liquid).  Set aside your 1/2 cup for the recipe, and store any remaining in a airtight container at room temperature for up to two months.

Caramel Sauce:
4 Tbs unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
1 1/2 Tbs white flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/8 cup water

Melt the butter in a small saucepan.  A little at a time, add the flour, and mix it in, smoothing out any lumps with the a rubber spatula.  Add the sugars and the water, stir to combine and bring the mixture to a boil.  Reduce the temperature to a simmer and let it simmer about 5 minutes. While it is simmering, pop your popcorn.


Place your popcorn kernels in a brown paper lunch sack.  Fold the top over twice, and place it in the microwave for 2 minutes.  Add 30 seconds if the kernels are still popping.  Once the kernels are popping with more than 2 seconds between them, remove the popcorn from the microwave.  Pour it into a large bowl and place a cooling rack one the top of it.  Tip the bowl upside down over the sink while holding the cooling rack and shake the bowl.  Unpopped kernels should fall out, and keep you from breaking a tooth.

Remove the cooling rack, and pour the popcorn on a greased piece of wax paper or a silicone mat (not greased).  Spread it out popcorn into an even layer, and drizzle the caramel, back and forth across it.  Next drizzle the coconut butter on top.  To finish, sprinkle with sea salt.


House Tour: Provo House

Friday, July 15, 2016

We have now been in Provo, UT about 4 weeks. I went to college in this little town, so I was already decently familiar with it, but living here this time around has been vastly different. For starters, I am no longer a student.  I am married, have a baby and live in a house. One constant has been the beautiful summer weather that I remember from my college days. I don't miss the Texas humidity one bit (sorry, Austin friends!).

We have had a great time living in Provo, seeing some old friends, meeting new ones, enjoying restaurants and bakeries around town, and going to places with lots of animals (mainly the BYU Bean Museum, that has loads of taxidermied animals, and the duck pond south of BYU campus). One of the best parts about living in Provo, has been living in a house.

This has been the first time that I have lived in a house in many years, and I am reveling in the space. Adam and I have both commented that you could totally fit a family of 6 or 8 in this house without much trouble. Basically it is WAY more space than we really need, and feels luxurious for the few weeks we will be here.

The house is very, very old, built in the late 1800's, and belongs to a relative of mine (which is one of the main reasons we chose to live in a house, not an apartment). The house has three bedrooms, which is somewhat flexible because one of the bedroom is actually a loft and there is a library that has had a bed in there right now, but probably won't in the future.

It has a large living room, and a long kitchen with two kitchen tables, and a gorgeous study with skylights and a loft above it.

There is a small courtyard in the back (which Fox is loving playing in), with a small picket fence around it.  Fox often stands behind the fence with his head pressed up against the slats, so he can watch the cars go by. Last night, he spent about 20 minutes with a spoon in the planter (a section with a few weeds and a lot of dirt), catapulting dirt into his hair and all over the surrounding bushes.  He loves this house and yard as much as I do!

Overall, it has been a lovely house to stay in, and I will always have fond memories of living here!

If you want to come see my house for yourself, come to my bread class on Saturday (July 16)!!! I would love to see you there, and still have a few spots available!  Email me at measureandwhisk[at]gmail[dot]com to reserve a spot. Full details available here.

The dark but gorgeous entry! The entire living room is covered in this navy blue wallpaper. At first I thought it would make the room feel dark, but instead it is cozy and elegant.

A cozy window nook in the Living Room. Fox and I sit here some mornings and watch the cars go by. 

One corner of the kitchen. The kitchen has never felt clean enough or light enough to take proper photos. 

The hallway from the old part of the house to the new study and loft.  

Someone in the family (I am not sure who), did this incredible painting on the wall (there is another one by the same artist on the opposite wall, shown in the next photo). The man who painted them was a pharmacist and chose that profession as his subject in these beautiful paintings.

The study. And my favorite room in the house. The light just pours through these windows in the morning; it is such a calming room.

My aunt and uncle who own the house have children who have lived in a number of countries in Middle East, so they have decorated with a number of beautiful handmade tapestries from their travels there.  

The loft.

The library, upstairs. This space has the most beautiful light. Adam and I realized the other day that each room in the house has sunlight coming in from at least two different sources, which gives every room really great light!

Raiding My Sister's Closet: That Time We All Styled Merrick's Denim Skirt

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

One of the best things about having sisters is being able to share clothes. We aren't exactly the same size in everything (most notably shoes.  We are each at least a size apart), but shirts, dresses and skirts can often by exchanged with no safety pinning required.

When Merrick and I lived in the same city,  I borrowed her clothes frequently (sadly, my clothes were definitely less fun for her to borrow), and I remember one particular night when I was going on a date to the opera.

She stopped by my college apartment on her way home from work, and asked what I was going to wear.  I had been pretty stressed out about what would be appropriate, because I had never been to an opera, and wasn't sure what the dress code was.  Merrick helped me pick out an outfit and then finished the look by lending me the coat that she was wearing.  There were many reasons why I miss living by her, but this is one of them.

When I lived by Janssen, we were constantly swapping clothes.  It was great to have 2 wardrobes, instead of one.  Plus, when I got tired of them, I just took them back.

We may not live close to each other now, but back in May, we were all together for a few days for my little brother's LDS mission homecoming, so we thought it would be fun to style one piece in three different ways.  We each have a fairly distinctive style, so it was fun to see what each sister chose to wear with this darling a-line skirt. The skirt belongs to Merrick, because she definitely has the coolest clothes of the three of us.  Actually, the purse also belongs to her... Like I said, she definitely has the coolest clothes.

I wanted a fun, summery look, so this hot pink shirt felt just right.  This bright shirt has quickly worked its way to a favorite position in my closet.  I wear it often, and always feel like a million bucks when I do (the bright color makes me look nice and tan)!  Pair it with some comfy wedges, and we are in business!

shirt: h&m via ThredUp - you can get $10 off your first order here (similar)//skirt: borrowed from Merrick.  Check out her link below to see where it is from// purse: borrowed from Merrick// wedges: dsw (similar & similar)// necklace: francesca's (similar)

Check out Janssen and Merrick styled this skirt!  


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