a simple elegance

October 17, 2014


monday, mitch and I celebrated our halfway point here on the island! we celebrated with a hurricane, but at least we celebrated. it's crazy to think that we have been occupants of this beautiful island for ten months already. I feel like I have learned and grown so much in such a ( relatively ) short period of time. like, no matter where you are, there are good people all around. people who do what is right no matter what. people who go out of their way to brighten your day. people who inspire you. I feel so blessed to be a part of this great, big world. it really is wonderful, isn't it? 

this week was an interesting one. mitch had two days of class canceled because there was that little hurricane at the beginning of the week. I've scrubbed the apartment top to bottom because there was that flood in our living room due to said hurricane. and we got a whole day to decompress after it was all over. we headed out to the beach for some much needed catching up. mitch reminded me that he really is a little boy at heart by digging holes in the sand just for the sake of digging holes. it was really rather adorable and I am seriously considering getting him a tonka truck for christmas. what say you? you can get back to me on that. in the meantime, let's knock out this week's ten simple things...

001 :: gilmore girls hitting netflix. and boy, was it about time? I remember watching it on abc family after school growing up and it is seriously taking me back to the days of doing homework in front of the tv whilst recovering from a most likely very troublesome bus ride.

002 :: the new issue of porter out in stands. I get it delivered straight to my ipad and cannot wait to delve into it this upcoming weekend.

003 :: a full freezer. I was attempting to eat everything in our cupboard before I made my way back to the store, but finally caved when a certain husband complained that soup three days in a row was a little much. and I have to say, it is quite nice to go and have a look at all those freezables. it's a gentle reminder that we won't starve for at least another week.

004 :: a super delicious chocolate cake in the fridge. late at night. because that is my all time midnight-snack wish come true.

005 :: mitch rearranging the furniture. it's funny, but I was 100% positive that the way I had the couch with the chairs and the coffee table was the coziest possible layout for our comes-with-rental furniture. turns out, I was wrong.  mitch's way is much better. it's not something I admit very often, so  it's a good thing he got it in writing.

006 :: finishing the fifth harry potter book. I know what you're thinking--wasn't she supposed to do that in, like, july? why, yes. yes I was. however, that book sort of depressed me there in the middle, so I'm just happy to be moving onto to book number six.

007 :: cooler temps. after the hurricane blew its way to puerto rico, it left cooler temperatures in its wake and I, for one, am not complaining. it was about time. it is october, after all.

008 :: walking > driving. because the weather has been substantially more mild, mitch and I have begun walking again and it has been so nice to spend a little more time with him going here and there.

009 :: a seriously intense workout. it felt so great to say, "ummm, I think I can do more." however, I am also feeling the brevity of that decision all the way down to my fingers which are also sore for some reason. it's tough being buff.

010 :: a salad full of spinach, feta, apples, and couscous. topped with the most amazing poppyseed dressing. even mitch went back for seconds, which is unheard of where salad is concerned. he even stopped a few bites from being finished to announce that he was full. whoa.

I hope all of you have a festive weekend planned. I've set a goal to go to the beach every single day, which I realize is not very festive, but still kind of amazing. thanks so much for reading!

definitely give these a read :: 

cozy in the mountains by pink peonies ( because I'm an enormous ugg australia fan )
setting the fall table by camille styles

love, arielle

October 15, 2014


the generator is running. the internet is streaming. the water is flowing clearly and freely from the faucets. and I can't help but feel so grateful for how well we fared before, during, and after hurricane gonzalo's brief residence on our tiny island. it wasn't without some difficulty, mind you. monday night, we were thinking of hitting head to pillow a little early out of respect for mitch's upcoming tests. mitch got up to turn on the air conditioning and came back into the bedroom asking for help sweeping the water out of our living room. this seemed really odd considering we live on the third floor of a concrete building, but sure enough, there was water flowing into our living room rather rapidly. turns out, the drain on our balcony was clogged with debris causing our tiny porch to act as a somewhat dirty, tepid jacuzzi. the next three hours of our lives consisted of moving the furniture back...and then back again, repeatedly unclogging the drain outside, sweeping the water out with dustpans, and a very inventive little contraption honed by the husband, himself--two swiffers with a towel tied in between, so as to achieve maximum sweeping capacity. this was then minorly thwarted by the man upstairs' own flooding coming down through our electrical, which was both scary and exciting. all while a hurricane blew through the trees making those palms dance like they were stuck on an episode of soultrain and the sky followed suit with some of the funkiest back-lightening you've ever seen. all I've got to say is, gonzalo has moves.

throughout the panicking, sweeping, draining, and later, cleaning process, mitch and I felt this immense sense of camaraderie and teamwork. he even commented, later, that that is what it means to be husband and wife. not that you have to stand outside, soaking wet, in three inches of water, while leaves pelt you in the face and lightening flashes all around to prove yourselves as a team, but that overcoming obstacles together is what being married is all about, isn't it? and it definitely makes life a little more exciting. we're already laughing about it, actually.

because of the storm, mitch's tests were put off for two days, so we'll be celebrating later tonight with some dorky movie marathon, no doubt. and I'll be scavenging the island for candy corn because, a) what is october without it? and b) I'm a determined one when it comes to celebrating things the right way. I hope all of you are having a wonderful week. it's good to be communicating with the outside world, once again!

also, we are in desperate need of new movie-marathon suggestions. any thoughts?

love, arielle

October 09, 2014


I'm not sure if you're aware, but I struggle with looking up syndrome--a disorder I named myself, but I'm sure that all of us have suffered from it at one point or another. it's the one where no matter how wonderful your life is, you always find its opposite far more appealing. someone once told me that "the trick to being happy is wanting what you already have" and I try to remind myself of this insightful thought frequently. on the other hand, there's something magical about what you don't have that makes it so much more appealing. come to think of it, that is probably why I always enjoy mitch's supper better than my own when we go out somewhere. and at the root of it all is pinterest--so fun, so addicting, so endless. it makes dreaming so easy, but amidst that endless dreaming remember that no matter how green the grass is on the other side, it still has to be mowed ( a quote my mother-in-law says to me when I get a little carried away ). in any event, here is a bit of what we've got and what we wish we had ::

001 :: what we've been doing.

002 :: what we wish we were doing.

003 :: what we've been eating.

004 :: what we wish we were eating.

005 :: what my hair is doing.

006 :: what I wish my hair was doing.

007 :: what I've been wearing.

008 :: what I wish I was wearing.

009 :: where we are.

010 :: where we wish we were.

I hope all of your thursdays have been wonderful, so far. tomorrow is friday and I'm starting to wonder where these weeks go? mitch is already entering into block three of his third semester and I honestly can't believe that we've made it this far on this island. I'm so incredibly proud of us! is that bad to say? conceited, even? no? oh, good. have a wonderful day, you guys!

love, arielle

October 07, 2014


I've never really done this sort of thing before, but it's a rare day that I find a movie that I love as much as I loved the hundred-foot journey. it instantly jumped up to my top five very favorite movies before it was even half-way through. it's hanging out up there with the help, breakfast at tiffany's, v for vendetta, and the 6-hour version of pride & prejudice. it was directed by steven spielberg and oprah winfrey. and for some, that might be all they need to know because some folks just love their oprah. but if you want to know a little more before purchasing a movie ticket...

this movie really does have it all... it's inspirational. it's a love story. it teaches about responsible money handling and cultural diversity. all the while, remaining funny-to-boot. when this family leaves india after losing everything, they find themselves in the most adorable little town in southern france. the younger son, having learned to cook from his mother, is truly gifted and becomes the chef at the only indian restaurant for miles and miles. a restaurant that is exactly 100 feet across the way from a swanky french restaurant that possesses a michelin star. as you can imagine, this little addition to the neighborhood isn't exactly welcome by the aforementioned french restaurant and most of the locals. many revolt against this ambitious family and they're sort of despised for a little while. until one of the more bigoted protestors takes it too far thereby uniting the community. and at that point, it's just getting started. this charming little tale is well styled, well thought out, and not too convenient--something that I really admire in a film. the characters are complex and they leave you wondering, "why did they do that?" and "what do you think they meant by...?" and on top of all of that, it gives you the urge to hunker down in your kitchen and master the art of french cooking. I know I have really appreciated the time spent in my kitchen since. the simple art of separating an egg has made me feel joyful and grateful. I seriously cannot wait to purchase this flick for my own personal library because I know I am going to watch it again and again!

I definitely recommend giving this flick a watch. it's totally clean, so it's appropriate for the whole family and has so many beautiful take-aways. I think it would be so fun to have a small feast full of indian food, french food, this movie, and good friends. I'll have to put that on the books after it comes out...

have any of you seen the hundred-foot journey? did you love it? I'd love to know below. have a wonderful day!

love, arielle

** photo found via the huffington post

October 06, 2014


this weekend was of the fattening sort--full of pizza and tacos and lasagna and pie and homemade bread and waffles. the pumpkin kind. it's a shame, but mitch and I haven't really had the opportunity to establish very many traditions in our marriage, thus far. these waffles are the one exception. every year, during the october general conference for our church, we whip up a batch of pumpkin waffles with the amazing buttermilk syrup ( I don't think I can emphasize that enough ) that goes along with it and listen to the good word curled up in bed. in our pajamas. trading off head scratches. I know what you're thinking, "does life get any better?" and honestly, no. no it doesn't. I got the recipe from a roommate the semester before mitch and I tied the knot and have looked forward to it every year since. I suppose I could make it more often, but that would sort of defeat the purpose of tradition. and also, I'm not entirely sure my waistline could handle it. and you deserve fair warning :: there is nothing clean about these waffles.

pumpkin waffles


2 cups flour
2 tbsp baking powder
2 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt

4 egg yolks ( save the whites )
1 cup pumpkin, canned
1 tbsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup margarine

4 egg whites, beaten to stiff peaks



001 :: sift flour and combine all dry ingredients, mixing together thoroughly.

002 :: add in wet ingredients and stir until completely combined.

003 :: beat saved egg whites to stiff peaks and fold into pumpkin mixture gently.

004 :: pour and spread1/3 cup portions onto greased waffle iron.

005 :: remove, top with liberal amounts of buttermilk syrup and enjoy!


buttermilk syrup


1/2 cup of butter
1/2 cup buttermilk ( or substitute 1/2 cup milk and 1 tbsp lemon juice )
1 cup sugar
1 tsp corn syrup

1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla


001 :: combine butter, buttermilk, sugar, and corn syrup over medium heat stirring continually until it boils.

002 :: remove from heat and add baking soda and vanilla.

003 :: top over pumpkin waffles, pancakes, or pretty much anything else, and enjoy!

makes 5 servings. though, we tend to get at least 8 out of each batch.
 the rest of this weekend went by in a sedentary blur. thankfully, I was able to catch up on my pitifully behind to-do list before conference commenced, which is making laying out by the pool today, all day, possible. I hope all of your weekends were just as gluttoned and relaxing as ours! I'd love to hear all about them, regardless. just leave it for me in the comments. have a wonderful monday everyone!

love, arielle