dinner with friends.






Yesterday, we had some friends over for dinner. And yes, you are seeing correctly, Miss Kimi Rooney is back in town! Kimi is one of my best friends. She has been serving a mission in Texas for the last year and a half, and I have missed her so much. She just got back in Provo yesterday, and so I snagged the first opportunity I had to get our little group of friends together for dinner. It was absolutely perfect. I have some of the best friends around. They love life, and they are not afraid to throw their heads back and laugh out loud. We had tacos out on the lawn, sitting around a card table with mismatched chairs. I wish we had taken more pictures, but we were having way too much fun.

I love getting friends together. And, I am really going to miss JJ, and the Wests when they leave town. It's crazy how much Provo has changed over the years, but having Kimi back makes it feel like she never left.

I forgot to mention--one of our belts was featured on simplesong last week, by our friend Amanda Jones. We are extremely flattered, seeing as Amanda has such great style. And, I love the outfit she put together.

how she wore it.




This is Miss Sara Beach.
She's gorgeous, eh? Well, try and pry your eyes from her pretty, little face and take a look at those pants! I asked Sara if she would model her new pants for me to announce the launch of "phase 2" of our shop opening. We are starting a new feature called "how she wore it" or "how he wore it." I had the idea when I realized how heartbreaking it was to let go of some of our inventory, never to see it again. I thought it would be fun to have some of our customers send us photos so that I could see how they wore it. I was so excited to see how Sara would style these pants. I love high waist pants, but I have always been a little nervous to try them out. Sara snagged these from the shop even before the official launch. I set aside a similar pair in black and they are still sitting in my dresser waiting for me to get the guts to put them on. But, after looking at these photos I am already making plans to wear them out. Do you like them? Well, lucky you--we have three pairs in the shop.

So, here is the deal: Send us your photos (roxandsamvintage@gmail.com), and we will feature them on the blog or on our brand new Facebook page. I look forward to seeing them!

We have had a lot of friends and family asking how they can help with the shop. We really appreciate everyone's support, it's been such a fun project for us. If you are interested in supporting, we now have a few new buttons on the sidebar! We've opened a Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter for Rox & Sam Vintage. It's an opportunity for people to follow the shop, including new inventory, sales, and style features. Sam is also working on a few buttons that you can add to your blog or website, if you are interested.

We are also offering a giveaway! On August 12, we will pick a random fan from our Facebook page to receive a $50 gift certificate to the shop! We like you a lot, by the way.







Yesterday, we spent the day at Grandma Chuckie's celebrating Pioneer Day with family. We're lucky enough to have so many members of the Gray family in the area, but yesterday we had even more family visiting for the weekend. Chuckie's place was filled to the brim, I loved it. We sat on the lawn and told jokes and stories, while the kids ran around. I spent a good half hour holding beautiful baby Grace, and somehow we left with a million pictures of just the kids. No surprise, because the Gray families boast the cutest kids ever.

I am already looking forward to when we can have so many family members together again. I'm also counting down the days until our trip to Texas to see my family in September! Sam and I found a good deal with Southwest Airlines, and we booked a flight to San Antonio for a whole week!

utah day.


Happy Pioneer Day! I guess technically Pioneer Day was yesterday, but since it fell on a Sunday most of Utah is celebrating today. Pioneer Day is the day we all celebrate when the Mormon Pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley to settle Utah. Sam likes to call it "Utah Day." Next to the 4th of July, it is one of his favorite holidays of the year. I had to talk him out of buying cookie cutters shaped like the state of Utah and beehives the other day because he really wanted to make cookies for Utah Day. This is how he celebrates holidays--appropriately shaped sugar cookies, iced and covered with the appropriate candy. For example, Halloween is apparently not Halloween until we have pumpkin shaped cookies covered with candy corn, or on Valentine's Day we have heart shaped cookies covered with conversation hearts.

In case you haven't noticed, Sam loves Utah. It has made me fall a little for the state myself. He has a map of Utah with every road he has ever driven on highlighted. Someday, he really wants to have covered every road on the map, and he is actually much closer than you think. I think it's great, because I just tag along for the ride. By the way, we are planning another southern Utah trip this coming weekend--if you want in, let us know!






In our church, Sam and I serve in the Primary each Sunday, teaching the four-year-old children. We had been promising our kids a class party for months, so last week we finally had them over to our house. We made them hot dogs and macaroni, and played games out on the lawn. It was so great to just play and be silly, and not have to hush them or try to guide their attention through a lesson. They are such great kids.

We had each of them plant seeds to take home in little pots. How do you take care of them? "Water and sunshine!" And, we let them each pick a squash or zucchini from the garden--our very first harvest! We sent them home with toys, candy, and chocolate chip cookies. They were bouncing off the walls by the time their parents picked them up.

I was just recently called to serve in the Relief Society Presidency, which means this party was a farewell of sorts. I am sure going to miss those kids' smiles each Sunday.


So, my posts may be somewhat scattered for the next couple of weeks. I am participating in a really great workshop during the day, consequently in the evenings I am either zonked out or nursing my sore-out-of-shape body. The Choreography Design Workshop, at Jacqueline's School of Ballet, is directed by Troy Mundy-- an internationally known choreographer. It is a chance to let three choreographers work with some of the best dancers in the Utah area. Most of the dancers are members, or apprentice members, of the Utah Regional Ballet. And, if they are not apprentices, then they are tiny child prodigies who can kick their head and leap higher than anyone I know. It's like having two weeks to create and craft with some of the best tools you can imagine. There are three choreographers, and every day we are given an assignment and two hours to create a piece. It is challenging, to say the least, but I love it. You learn to trust your instincts when you are given a time restraint. It is also amazing to work with and get immediate feedback from a professional who has such an extensive background.

Yesterday, I created a piece somewhat inspired by this Decoufle video. He is one of my favorite choreographers, as you may recall. It was the first day this week where I really felt like the piece came together just the way I wanted it to. Yesterday, the challenge involved the use of space. We were only allowed to use half of the stage, and we had to use the side and back wall as part of our "floor." We were all allowed up to eight chairs, as well. I loved it. I felt like everyone came up with some great material.

I hope this video makes you smile. It is one of my favorites. Happy Thursday, and Happy HP7.2! You know we will be there.

ice cream.


In our freezer we currently have otter pops, ice cream crunch bars, mango-cherry popsicles, and four cartons of Breyer's ice cream-- vanilla, rocky road, mint chocolate chip, and neapolitan.
oink, oink.

I was talking to a friend yesterday about the difference between men and women, or at least the difference between us and our husbands. When Sam and I were engaged, we had a mini-argument that seemed almost ridiculously unreal because both of us were so sure of our side. Sam has always been accustomed to having three or four tubs of ice cream in the freezer, even when he was single. He buys them on sale, and they last for months and months. I told him that we could never have ice cream in the freezer, unless for special occasion. We couldn't have ice cream, because if it was there...I was going to eat it. He would say, "Well, why can't you practice self-control?" And, I would say, "It just doesn't work that way."

I can remember this time when my roommate, Kimi, and I each ate a bowl of ice cream. There was a little left in the carton and so we said, "Well, we might as well finish it." When Sam heard our argument, he didn't understand. He thought, "Well, you might as well save it." This coming from the man who saves his Halloween and Easter candy for years. How is it that men have so much self control? It's like they forget that the good stuff is even there. Whereas, I can hearing it screaming my name in the next room over. Am I just crazy?

So, I still can't keep junk food in the house. I don't buy crackers or chips, because they will be gone in a day. I don't buy sugar cereals, because I eat them like candy. But, I am proud to say that we have three kinds of popsicles, and four kinds of ice cream in our freezer. And, some of them have not even been opened! Talk about self-control. So, if you are ever unable to flag down the ice cream truck, we would be happy to have you over for a bowl.

in the garden.





If you have walked by our house lately, you may have noticed that our garden doesn't look like this anymore. Our tiny, baby plants are maturing into their teenage years. Their limbs are too long for their bodies, and they are sprawling all over the place. These pictures were actually taken last week, and today we saw zucchini and squash measuring 4 or 5 inches! Pretty soon, we will have side dishes for every meal, and all the makings of a fresh pizza garden. So far, the garden has not been as difficult as I had imagined. (But, technically, Sam has been doing most of the work.)

Here are some thing we've learned in the early stages:
1. If you live in Utah, or a similar climate, plant a lot of squash and zucchini. They are amazing ego boosters. They will make your green thumb feel just great, without having to do much work.

2. Plant everything at once. Pick a weekend, and just do it. We still have a nice little empty plot outside by the fence, with two little packets of pole bean seeds sitting on our bookshelf.

3. Use mulch. We just bought some this weekend. At first, we thought we could get away with just pulling a couple of weeds every morning. But, then a thick carpet of round, grassy weeds popped up and we wished we had protected it. Those little ones are not easy to pull up.

4. Cucumbers need a lot of water. We just about gave up on ours, but with a little tlc they came back from the dead.

5. Don't buy tomato cages for $4 at Home Depot. They will magically turn up the next time you hit DI.

So, we have a little bug problem right now. They are having a picnic on the basil and pepper plants. We've heard of mixing garlic or tabasco sauce with water, and spraying it under the leaves. Do you have any suggestions?






I love that summer is the perfect excuse to eat food with friends. This weekend we went up to Salt Lake City for a bar-b-q at Dane and Tracy's. There is something about summer air--it just tastes better. I cant get enough of it. We sat out on the deck and ate chicago dogs and turkey burgers till the sun went down. Too good.

Speaking of summer:
We just posted a couple of great pairs of sandals to the shop--one and two.



Hello there.

That's what I said when I first dug these up. After some polish and shine, I fell in love. I can tell you that my heart just about broke when I realized that these beautiful vintage Ferragamo flats were just a bit too tight for my feet. They are perfect--feminine and classic. This "Vara pump" was designed by Salvatore's daughter in the late 1970s. I love that these flats, topped with the classic bow and metal stamped plate, have changed very little since they were first made. Ferragamo has a history of making beautiful shoes. I appreciate when a designer or a company can create something so classic that it does not require alteration. This shoe is still sold at stores like Bloomingdale's, for those that appreciate iconic style.

You can find these flats in the shop today! We have a beautiful collection of new shoes that will start to pop up in the shop over the next few days, so keep your eyes open. You may find something special.

dance camp.


Even though we have been busy with the shop opening, I was able to teach at the BYU dance camp the last two weeks. I had been looking forward to it all summer. I taught modern/contemporary technique, composition, improvisation, and reparatory. I admit it was a little strange to be back on campus, but I absolutely loved it. It made me realize how much I really love teaching. (Believe it or not, this was my very first teaching job.) I sure do miss dancing. There is nothing better than starting your morning dancing in a huge two-story studio with floor to ceiling windows. And I've learned, there is nothing better than seeing a group of girls smiling back at you, eager to learn.

You dancers are amazing. You have so much potential and strength, and it was fun spending every day in class together. Please, continue to do what you love and feel free to call me if you ever need help. You are all going far, ladies!

(This picture is of my intermediate class. But, I wanted all my classes to know that I love them, too!)

lemon berry cake.


This is one of my all-time favorite summer cake recipes. I have a had a few requests for this recipe, so I thought I would share it with everyone. I love this cake because it's absolutely delicious, easy to make, and pretty darn picture-perfect. If you came to our wedding last year, you probably had a bite. My friend, Whitney, made four of these for the reception using cranberries and blueberries. The one pictured above was Sam's birthday cake (minus the glaze). The recipe originally called for cranberries and lemons, but I added a summer twist by using an assortment of summer berries. I am a huge fan of baking with the bags of frozen berries at Costco. They are cheaper, and when you bake you don't necessarily need perfectly shapely berries. I would suggest Costco "Nature's Three Berries," blueberries, raspberries, and marionberries.

Glazed Lemon Berry Bundt Cake
3/4 c unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 c light brown sugar, firmly packed
3 c fresh or frozen berries (about 12 oz)
2 1/2 c all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c granulated sugar
2 lemons
3/4 c buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 c confectioners sugar, plus sugar as needed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 12 -cup bundt pan. Sprinkle brown sugar in the bottom of the pan, then evenly distribute the berries over the sugar.

In the bowl mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl put granulated sugar, then grate the zest from the lemons over the sugar and mix briefly.

Squeeze the juice from the lemons into a small bowl. In a liquid measuring cup, combine 2 tbs of the lemon juice, buttermilk, and vanilla. Save the remaining juice for the glaze.

Add the 3/4 c butter to the lemon zest and sugar and beat on medium-high until "light and fluffy." Beat in the eggs one at a time. Reduce mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk mixture in two batches. Raise the mixer speed to medium-high and beat for two minutes.

Scrape batter into pan and spread evenly over the berries. Bake until the cake is browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 35-45 minutes. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then invert cake onto plate, lift off pan, and let cool completely.

Once the cake is cooled, whisk together the confectioners sugar and 1 1/2 tbs of the reserved lemon juice until thick and smooth. You may need to add more sugar or juice, as needed. Drizzle over cake, let stand 15 minutes, and slice into wedges to serve.

I loved hearing success stories from the lemon cookie recipe. Let me know if you try the cake!

I'm so sorry, I left out the baking soda measurement! I hope that my silly mistake did not ruin any cakes!

4th of july dinner.












My favorite part of the 4th was having dinner at Grandma Chuckie's. Chuckie (Charlotte) lives in a beautiful log house in Mapleton. It is where all of the Gray's gather for holidays and special events, or just to hang out with Grandma. Chuckie is a firecracker, no 4th of July pun intended. She is the one with the sassy bob. I never met Grandpa Bob but I always hear of his love for her, and how he would call out to her, "Chuck!"

We had grilled chicken and hamburgers, beans, salad, and Chuckie's famous potato salad. And, we couldn't celebrate the 4th without Nancy's flag cake. We set up a table on the lawn and enjoyed the cool breeze from the canyon. I hope that someday I can be as lucky as Chuckie. She is still beautiful and hopping, and surrounded by a large family who loves her.

After dinner, Sam and his little brother broke out our meager supply of "fireworks"--mostly consisting of snaps, flowers, blackcats, and sparklers. Lucky for us, the entire canyon was blooming with fireworks. So, while we watched the neighbors set off works, we played with sparklers and ended the night with the "box of fire." The "box" went something like this: Sam got bored, set a cardboard box of paper on fire, and threw the rest of the explosives in...BAM!

By the way, the baby blue belt from our shop was featured on Creature Comforts today! Take a look--she put together a beautiful collection of picks, and we are so excited to be a part of it.

4th of july parade.







Sam and I had the best 4th of July weekend! I might have to spread out some of the photos, so as to not overwhelm you with our patriotism. Or, with our habit of taking far too many pictures.

We spent Saturday night on a blanket at the corner Chevron watching the fireworks from the Stadium of Fire. It is a perfect Provo tradition, riding your bike in the summer breeze to snag a spot by the stadium. The fireworks were spectacular this year. They were so loud and close you almost expected to be showered with sparks. Speaking of explosive, this year the big fireworks were made legal in Utah. So, Utah County has been exploding with fireworks and poppers every night for a week. You would think it would be annoying, but it has been so much fun.

On the morning of the 4th, we joined the Grays on Center Street for the Freedom Festival parade. Do you remember Art City Days? Well, this is Provo's time to shine. People camp out over night to get the best spots. Somehow, we grabbed a space right on the median at the turn-about. We had a perfect view, and sometimes the marching bands would split at the median and we then we had surround sound seating. Some of our favorites: seeing friends skipping with the Sundance Sound of Music cast, the homemade baby floats, huge walloping tanks and jeeps, and the crowd of patriotic Star Wars characters.

After the parade, we took a stroll downtown to see the festival booths and carnival rides. Provo really does know how to do the 4th right.

tiny shoes.




I promised you tiny shoes, and here they are! Five pairs of shoes for the tiny feet in your life--now available in the shop. We have one, two, and three. And, don't forget to check out these saddle shoes or these little hiking boots.

Can you believe it is already July? Sam and I have a fun holiday weekend ahead of us, and lucky for me it already started today! Sam's team at Vivint has been working hard, and they were rewarded with a four day weekend. So, I have decided to reward our readers with a four day discount. Starting now, until midnight on the 4th, you may use the code freedomdays to receive a 10% discount on anything in the shop. Happy shopping!

And, Happy Freedom Days. I love the 4th of July. It's the perfect excuse to run around barefoot, eat comfort foods, and blow things up.