a simple elegance

January 30, 2015

TEN SIMPLE THINGS || IT'S BEEN AWHILE

photo via 

it's been a long, long time since I've sat down and put fingertips to keyboard and logged all of my simple things. I'd even say it's been too long. for the past month, I'd go throughout my week and say, "oh, this totally makes the list" be it the darling white and yellow butterflies that seemed to undertake the whole island for a solid week or a heartwarming conversation with a friend, life just seemed to get in the way, and then I'd totally forget to share my 'ten simple things' altogether. but not this week. this week, my nights have been almost completely free, which is super conducive to writing down all of my bright and shining moments from the past seven days.  a week full of healthy dinners (minus the pizza on monday evening, but it was a special occasion, after all), hot and busy days, and gym time with friends. here's a little bit more on how this past week went...

one :: being able to purchase (more) affordable fruits and veggies at the closest thing to a whole foods this island is gonna get. finding raspberries at $3.50 a carton is pretty much unheard of down here, but it led to a very colorful berry salad that was both sweet and tart all at the same time.

two :: being featured on rosie's blog. so many wonderfully talented bloggers are featured on there each month and it's always so nice to be a part of the lovely little community she's created via her patch of the internet.

three :: gossiping about the fictional characters in into the woods with my best friend. the two of us together are incredibly shameless when it comes to who did what in whatever show we're both watching these days. and just to be clear, we felt that into the woods was just okay.

four :: making meals out of this amazing cookbookgina, the author, has a knack for enhancing flavor while cutting calories and all  of the recipes I've tried can easily be made in under and hour. I've probably made fifteen different meals of hers so far and only found the slightest bit of fault with one.

five :: an amazing husband who will do all the tough jobs whilst cleaning the house (ie :: vacuuming the stairs). even while he studies, he is always so helpful.

six :: having just enough sugar to finish wednesday night's chocolate chip cookies. it's a beautiful thing when life works out like that, is it not?

seven :: thursday morning's run. after only running here and there for the past several weeks, I hunkered down with a killer playlist and--not to toot my own horn--killed it. I felt a little miserable afterward, but it was totally worth it to feel that powerful and strong for the first time in a long time.

eight :: paying all of our bills until the month of march! getting all of that adult stuff taken care of early is a gigantic load off my childish mind.

nine :: grocery shopping with friends. when I shop on my own, it's all about efficiency, so I never stop to take a look at all of the new and different foods the stores are getting in each week. but when I shop with friends, all of a sudden I'm taking the time to peruse the aisles, which inevitably leads to buying chocolate covered pomegranates and a giant box of otter pops. no, they weren't on the list, but they definitely would have been had I known I needed them ;)

ten :: an amazing neighbor who will give me her last quarter-cup of soy sauce as I am in the midst of my mid-dinner preparations. just another reason why where we live now is so much better than our old place.

and now, all I have to worry about it where we're going to watch the superbowl. not having cable only really stinks a couple times a year and this is definitely one of those times! what are you all doing this weekend? I'd love to hear all about it in the comments. and as always, thanks again for reading along!

love, arielle

January 28, 2015

THE TOURISTS


you would think that living somewhere for an entire year would entitle you to 'local status,' but that never quite happens because you know your leaving is imminent. when mitch and I first arrived here, we should have taken the time to explore like tourists do. walking down the boardwalk in search of the perfect macrame coverup. sipping coconut water right from the source. having people take our picture in front of sandy beaches. but we never did. until yesterday. yesterday, mitch finished up with his tests early and rather going to swim in the waves (which is our standard go-to activity around here), we opted for something we never got the chance to do before, which was all of the touristy things. I think when we moved here I was a little too focused on not appearing like a tourist. I wanted to fit in. be one with the island and all that. but as I realized our time here is winding down, I find myself wanting to take more pictures and drink more coconuts (figuratively because, in truth, I didn't really like them).






after getting a very sweet lunch at one of our favorite places to eat on the island, we drove down to little divi bay, which is probably one of the swankiest parts of our side of the island. mitch had always seen it from afar but had never been, so we finally decided to stop. the infrastructure surrounding the place is perfection. it's condos, but it's also little beach shacks that make your stay on our island feel more authentic. and for whatever ecological or geographical reason, this beach has the coolest marbled sand that looks wet even when it's dry. not to mention it sticks to you like nothing else! for this reason, mitch and I decided not to lay out here and move onto the boardwalk, which is where all the cruise ships roll in.











everyone on the boardwalk is extremely friendly and helpful and we set out in search of coconuts. being honest, real coconut water was not what I expected. maybe I expected something sweeter or fresher tasting, but to me, it just tasted bitter and old. mitch finished mine off as we discussed what a miracle it is this island has coconuts. here they are surrounded by salty, undrinkable water on all sides, and yet they were given a source of clean hydration right there in the coconut. amazing. then we walked and walked past shop after shop as I searched for the perfect white, macrame coverup, which has yet to be found, whilst having passersby take our picture in front of the crowded beach. and then, assessing the crowd, we actually drove all the way back to our own little beach on the other side of the island for some relaxation because being a tourist is actually kind of exhausting. and then we went home to a perfect night in full of pizza and diet coke (mitch must love me or something) and sabrina, which we had forgotten completely, so we were both really into it.








and then it was wednesday! which means a whole day of hard work and sunshine followed up with girls night tonight. we've been watching the bachelor and is it just me or does this season seem a lot more crazy than the bachelorette last season? and I feel like just because he's a farmer, doesn't mean that all of the dates should be farm themed. just a thought. have a wonderful day and thanks for reading!

love, arielle

January 26, 2015

INSTAGRAM CATCH UP


oh hey there! remember me? that girl who promises herself, every week, that she'll post everyday and then, well, doesn't? oh yeah, that's me. but this week will be different, right? here's hoping. the saddest part about my blog's neglect is that I've really enjoyed my life lately, not that I don't usually, but I'm just a little bummed I won't have it to keepsake and review later. but we're gonna try and catch this place up today with a little instagram round up, what do you say?

one :: soda bread from my river cottage every day cookbook. it's the easiest thing when you need a quick bread basket to go with whatever pasta you're craving that evening. which has been always around these parts.

two :: these beautiful spoons my sweet sister gave me for christmas. we'll talk more on these later!

three :: a very cozy new year's eve in with a cup of herbal tea and the softest sweatpants ever!

four :: a memento of one very exciting trip to the fresh market in my hometown. it's where I finally got the go ahead for a more organic lifestyle from my very meat-and-potatoes husband.

five :: a snap from our morning swampwalk, which I talked all about last week!

six :: that inevitable moment when you board a plane back to reality, but not before one, final red cup!

seven :: this adorable little dishtowel that could not be more appropriate in describing mitch's and my life together for the next eight years.

eight :: the sun rising over our apartment on one of the few mornings I actually woke up to hit the gym. that view, though. 

nine :: before a 'girls night' a week or so ago, I baked the chocolate zucchini cake from the kinfolk cookbook and it was so fudgey and delicious. and wouldn't you say it also counts as a serving of vegetables? I mean there are zucchinis in there.

ten :: my first loaf of sourdough bread. after ten days of nursing that starter and a 24-hour rise/prove period, that loaf sure does make me proud.

and so it's monday again! and I hope yours is a very happy one. mine will be chock full of little life laundry-like things as mitch takes his first set of block exams. it's crazy to me that we're already finished with the first block of fourth semester. that means we've this island home for more than a year! it feels so weird to be counting down rather than up. 

if you care to do a little catching up yourself, feel free to leave it in the comments!

love, arielle 


January 20, 2015

APARTMENT SWEET APARTMENT


there are so many beautiful interior design inspos floating around the blogosphere. you know the kind that always tend to drop your jaw as you stick them straight to your pinboard? well this isn't really one of those instances. I didn't design this space. I didn't pick out the furniture. the utility bill doesn't even come in my name. but it's our new apartment and we're kind of in love with it. welcome to our home!

about a month ago, I mentioned that mitch and I moved. it was a mad dash kind of thursday morning that ended with a flight back to the states. where we were living before was absolutely perfect on paper--it was equipped with an "american" kitchen (which I think means that it's just big and has big, western appliances), granite countertops, and was over 1200 square feet. on paper, it sort of sounded like the perfect place. it had the pool and the view and the 24-hour security. and leaving canada for the caribbean, I didn't care what it costed, I wanted the comforts of home. well, one year later, I can honestly say that just because something is more expensive doesn't mean you're going to be happier with it. I guess I just had to learn that the hard, pricey way. despite the beautiful view from that gorgeous pool area, our last apartment had very little natural light and tight visiting restrictions. I actually had to fill out paperwork just to have friends over! and then december came and our contract was up and it was time to move into someplace brighter, accessible, and albeit, cheaper. and through what can only be considered divine intervention, we got this place. it's not right out of a magazine and it isn't pinnable in the least, but it's ours and unlike the place that came before it, it actually feels like a home.

our apartment is never short of a quilted gift (or two). my mom is so crafty that she can whip up just about anything you want in a few short hours. so you'll notice a lot of brightly colored fabrics and original pieces in this home and the home to come, I'd guess.
the grout lines are a force to be reckoned with as far as cleaning is concerned and there isn't a lot of space to spread out, but this kitchen does have everything we need. and still makes room for my cookery books.
one feature of our new kitchen that I can't get enough of is our gas stove! before, the only time I'd ever had one within my reach was during my culinary classes, which were a few years ago now, and I loved how much power and freedom it gave. it's wonderful! I've actually cooked every night but one since we've been back on the island and I think this stove has something to do with it.
I have always wanted to live in a place with stairs and this is my first time. the only time I regret it is after 'leg day' at the gym.
and those beams! I could have done an entire post about my love for those beams, but I thought you guys would find that incredibly dull. in all seriousness, mitch has found me just lying on my back gazing up at all those beautiful beams.
the whole loft design is such a cozy one. and it finally has mitch and I on the same sleep schedule. we are still deciding if that's a plus ;)
and there's our amazing view overlooking the lagoon. 

and that's our home. I realized just recently that I actually never shared our previous apartment. probably on the account that it was always so dark that a decent picture seemed impossible. we could not be happier to have moved! on a different note, happy tuesday! this week is block week and has mitch studying up a storm while I am surprisingly busy with this and that and am trying to plan a moment to stop and watch netflix. what's keeping you busy this week?

love, arielle

January 19, 2015

A WALK IN THE SWAMP


^^ like the autumn we never had ^^

over this past little break from school, mitch and I decided that we probably needed to take a break from all of the stuffing our faces and football and get a little quality time in the great outdoors. and the great outdoors in florida sort of equates to swamps. but swamps aren't always what you might think. I remember my brother-in-law once commenting that he thought we would see alligators on the way to our mailbox each evening and that isn't quite the case. you have got to go out of your way to find the real, live, honest-to-goodness kind of swamp that alligators would find worthy. all things considered, this swampwalk was a fairly tame one. more like walking through a beautiful park with the flora and fauna than it was getting stuck in quicksand and running from rabid animals.

we headed out to the nature reserve down by the university, the one I had walked many times before in high school. back then, I would walk and think and plan my future and worry about the things that teenage girls are prone to worry about. this time, as I walked the same paths with mitch, who actually is my future, we thought and planned things together and it made me feel like my life had come full circle (when in reality, it has only just begun). and the weather was so nice that we didn't get the least bit sweaty. more than anything, though, it was the perfect break from the sedentary identities that we sort of assumed for the couple days before. it was so nice getting to relax, finally, but there is a time when relaxing sort of turns to laziness and this pretty little walk sort of snapped us out of it. this realization spawned the 'let's do more outdoorsy stuff' conversation, which brought us back to thinking and planning. take note that we did go back to 'relaxing' when we were finished.

^^ he was more than a little bummed there were no gators to be found ^^ 


and did I forget to mention? happy monday! what did you do over the weekend? we did a lot of beach sitting (surprise, surprise) and sourdough loaf tending. I'm telling you, that little guy is so incredibly high maintenance. but even as you read this, he is in the oven, baking. let's all pray he turns out. he's 10 days in the making, and it'll probably be super depressing if he took that much time and I went through that much flour just to him turn out all flat and non-sour-tasting. have a great monday and if you care to share, let me know how your own weekend went in the comments!

love, arielle