a simple elegance

October 23, 2015


after spending most of my life in florida where there is very little autumn, it still excites all of my senses to see leaves changing and feel chilly air leaking through the windows. to say that fall is my favorite season is such an understatement. though, I feel like maybe I'm part of the majority. I feel like the general consensus among friends, family, and other bloggers alike is that fall is the best. apart from the shift in weather, this week has been such a fast one. one minute, I'm mourning the absence of my sunday nap and the next, I'm writing up this list on thursday night, cocoa in hand, and monsters university playing in the background. and yes, the niece and nephew have already gone to bed.

one :: coercing a perfect hair day out of day five hair. this dry shampoo is a miracle worker.

two :: receiving it's the great pumpkin charlie brown in the mail. it's a holiday staple and I can't wait to have it on repeat this upcoming week!

three :: noticing all of the sheep the nearby farmers have let out to finish off the leftovers from this year's harvest. I literally stopped mid-sentence and just about jumped out of the car. I'm still trying to convince mitch we need our own little herd of sheep once we've decided to stay in one place.

four :: blasting classical music in the car. I'm convinced it will make me smarter and besides, most of the music on the radio is crap--for lack of a better term--right now.

five :: a whole fridge full of diet coke. it exists and it's one of the most eye-opening things I've ever seen. pun intended.

six :: discovering new moves at the gym. the kind of moves that make you wonder if you're paralyzed while you're dozing in that half awake early morning haze only to wake up and realize that it was your own physical neglect and your love for sleeping in and pop tarts that put you in your current predicament.

seven :: aveda lip saver. as the nights have gotten cooler, mitch and I have been sleeping with the window open more and more which tends to wreak havoc on my lips and skin because the climate here is so incredibly arid. and although I'm still looking for the perfect winter moisturizer, this literal lip saver has kept my lips soft and smooth all day.

eight :: late nights at barnes & noble with my niece and nephew. it's something my parents did with me when I was little and I remember thinking it was such a magical little place to be imaginative and dream and inevitably fall asleep in the kids section. one of the most selfish parts of watching those munchkins is getting to do all of my favorite childhood past times all over again and then witness their own excitement in doing them for the first time. plus, it gave me a chance to pick up this book. I've had my eye on it for quite some time and I finally decided I had the proper amount of time to devote to it.

nine :: baking pilsbury's halloween shape sugar cookies with those littles. again, it's something I always did growing up and it's something I just couldn't wait to do with them this year. we delivered them to the neighbors after they were baked, and the kids got so excited to hand them over. pretty much adorable.

ten :: admiring all of the gorgeous autumnal scenes and festive autumnal decor on pinterest. if I wasn't already in the mood, I certainly would be after a perusal through some of those bloggers' ideas.

and as of 2:30 this afternoon, it's officially the weekend and I'm ready to fill it with lounging in pajamas till late morning and visiting pumpkin patches and baking bread. and with my niece and nephew in tow, it's sure to be an adventure. what are your weekend plans? any good festive fall ideas that are munchkin friendly? 

love, arielle

October 19, 2015


since we last caught up, mitch and I have moved the better part of our belongings down to my sister's where she and her funny, adorable children are keeping me sane while mitch studies tirelessly for his board exams. okay, I guess 'tirelessly' is probably the wrong word, but he holds it together like a champ. at this point, I think it's safe to publish to the world that we are both more than a little ready for this whole studying thing to be a thing of the past so we can move on to the next chapter of our lives. 

a couple weeks ago, we loaded up the car with my sister's pup and headed south for a little apple-picking, study-breaking adventure. we really have been chomping at the bit for all of those autumnal past times that we missed out on last year. and we were not disappointed. with the wind warm at our backs and the slight promise of cooler weather lingering in the air, we were feeling fully autumnal. the apples were ripe and ready for picking and the labrador was more than willing to do the eating. the orchard smelled as if someone had spilled fresh apple juice all over the floor without all the mess. and I know that doesn't sound terribly romantic, but it did smell romantic in a 'my life should be a line of scented candles' kind of way. and believe me, I would have curled up in a bubble bath with a candle scented just so. 

if any of you are in the wasatch area, I highly recommend rowley's red barn for all things autumn and apple. apple pancakes, apple muffins, apple syrup, and of course, apple cider. and so many more apple derivatives. they do it up nice, too. with hayrides out to the pumpkin patch and a little creamery within the barn. over and over again, I just kept thinking it was the place to go to make those everlasting childhood memories that are sure to be reminisced about years later. I can imagine running amuck outside all morning and coming inside to cool down licking an ice cream cone in the afternoon. it made me miss my little niece and nephew and I am seriously considering taking them back this upcoming weekend to run as amuck as they'd like.

we left with a bag of jonathan apples that are native to this area because I was guaranteed they would make the best pies. and if you've been reading long, then you know how well pie and I get along. and with our stomachs and our bag of apples full, the three of us made our way home to get on with the typical saturday tasks.

and now it's time to get on with all of those monday tasks. thankfully, it's been cooling way down here and it's led to wearing wool socks in the morning and sipping hot chocolates in the evenings and I can officially say I feel like I'm home from a beautiful, but eternal, summer.

if you're new to a simple elegance and interested in our 20-month long caribbean adventure, click here.

top :: zara
jeans :: guess (old, see similar)
wellies :: hunter

love, arielle

August 28, 2015


well, how 'bout that? another picture of me sorting through fruit (hashtag, sorrynotsorry). this week has been a short one. and by short I mean it went by way too fast and there are about a million things I didn't get done. we just kept putting off all the life laundry for, say, golf and hiking and anything else and it made this past four days incredibly busy. though, we still fit some hiking in there because waterton really is just right there. and today we're off on a new adventure. as you're reading this we're probably somewhere in the middle of montana without cell reception. now, on to a rare but wonderful ten simple things..

one :: calgary's farmers' market. it was the perfect mix of all things local and fairly local. our hotel was just 'round the corner and didn't serve breakfast (wah!) so we feasted on cherries and peaches and plums. it was a good morning.

two :: it snowed! on the way from cardston to calgary it snowed. we couldn't believe it and it didn't stick but it's been so long since we saw snow we both became all giddy. and then we started singing christmas songs.

three :: finding three pairs of my favorite jeans for the price of one. I'm never one to turn down a bargain, you know.

four :: feasting on poutine not one, but two days. in a row. because what says comfort food like fries smothered in gravy and cheese curds?

five :: being reunited with my kitchenaid. it really has been too long. in fact, I think it's been somewhere around 26 months. it's not okay. and to think we'll be estranged again this fall seems cruel. it really is a wonderful machine.

six :: getting my healthcare card in the mail. it feels so good to know that I'm officially going to live through whatever life puts me through. 

seven :: hiking in waterton. wednesday, we took the ferry down to the crypt trailhead and started out on the 16 km hike. it was the perfect crisp and cool morning that you just can't wait to go hiking in and the way up was so challenging and rewarding that we were almost too exhausted to climb back down. in all actuality, I'm pretty sure I fell down most of it.

eight :: great british bake off. just expect this to make any and every happy list from now through the next seven weeks. that show just makes me happy. the accents, the baking, the etiquette, and the humor. it's perfection.

nine :: blue and blackberry sauce atop a chicken filet. we ate down in waterton one night this week and I was incredibly satisfied with this combination. I've been dreaming of nothing but recreating it since.

ten :: that everything just fit in my suitcase(s). with a little coercion and justification that not everything needs to go in the suitcase. but I'll take it as a win, anyhow.

I hope you had a wonderful week and that you're out having fun this friday. fall is fast approaching so I think we all need to soak up those last little bits of summer while we can. I'm curious to see if any leaves are turning on our drive down today. our first stop is our old college town and we're excited to  see if it's changed and catch up with a couple of friends tonight. and then it's down to utah tomorrow. this time, to stay awhile. have a wonderful weekend and thanks for reading!

love, arielle

August 25, 2015


 how to properly pick a peach ::

 step one :: set your sights.

 step two :: reach, twist, and pull.

 step three :: inspect.

 step four :: place in basket. repeat.

step five :: I think step five has something to do with pie...

we've been home from our 20-month sojourn in the caribbean for about two weeks now and it's beginning to feel like a distant dream. the last two weeks have been full of to-do lists and baking and long drives to orchards and farmer's markets and it really feels like I've picked up a piece of myself out here that I had put down whilst living down there. as fun as laying on the beach is and as delicious as fresh mango tastes, it's good to be home. it's really really good. now, about that orchard...

for years now, mitch's family has summered down in this little town in montana that just so happens to be surrounded by orchards of every kind. every season seems to offer only the very best down there and year after year I think to myself that I better go pick some of that, and this year I finally did. I've been using this site called pickyourown.org to find u-picks in all of the places I've been traveling to and I really feel like I hit the nail on the head finding this one. the owners, dan and his wife, own more than 300 acres full of cherries, apples, peaches, plums, pears, and grapes. the peaches and plums were ready for picking (and eating) and we enjoyed following dan through the rows upon rows of lush and fruitful trees.  he'd stop every so often and tear a peach or a plum right in half, taste it, then hand one of us the other half to devour. they were usually so juicy we'd have them dripping down our arms before we were finished.

the neatest part of this whole experience was dan's enthusiasm and philosophy on growing things. having always wanted an orchard of my own, I found so much inspiration here. and so much inspiration for life, too. he explained it like, 'well of course there's a little science thrown in there, but it's pretty cool magic. you just plant a seed and water it and care for it and you have the best kind of candy. nature's candy.' I'm paraphrasing here, but I swear that's pretty much the gist of our conversation. and by conversation I mean me badgering him with endless questions until he had to go back to work.

^^ peat moss. all of the money from the orchard goes straight back into buying this stuff, right here. the owner said it's the best and most natural way to grow things (and that it's the secret to his green thumb success) ^^

I think dan could sense that I was seriously interested in his job, his life, ...and his lifestyle, for that matter. so before we bid adieu, he ushered us around his own personal garden. he grows all of his own produce and his wife cooks only from the garden. they're actually scheduled to open a garden-to-table cooking school here in a little while. he even let us eat straight from the vine handing us the largest variety of beans to try that I've ever seen. they were every color of the rainbow and tasted far superior to beans from a can. we picked corn off the cob and ate it raw and it was so sweet. he even sent us home with a complimentary cucumber for good measure. long story short, we left very full and very happy. and dan is officially alright in my book. the way to my heart is to feed me, after all.

if you're in the kalispell area and feel like a nice walk with all-natural hors d'oeuvres, hit up getmans' cherry red orchard. and just so you know, this was not a sponsored post in the least. we just really had a fun experience here.

and this begins the america chapters. mitch and I still sort of panic about needing to get ready to go back to the caribbean until we realize that that part of our life is over now. now I'm off to find a 9-to-5 and he's off to ace his board exams for the next few months. when did we all get so adult? well, I hope all of your weeks are off to a happy start. we've been playing so much recently, that now is the time to get junk done and that is precisely the plan today. have a great day!

love, arielle

August 05, 2015


in honor of great british bake off's return, I thought we'd make pie. berry pie. who's excited? this girl!

I actually made this pie for july fourth, which admittedly, was so many weeks ago, but I don't think pie is any less relevant now. in all honesty, when is pie ever really irrelevant? especially when talking about gbbo. this show became a fast favorite last year after rosie's recommendation and I've been waiting not-so-patiently for august to roll 'round again. it has everything--comedy, drama, suspense, and the most polite group of people you could ever imagine baking together under one tent. 

back to pie. my favorite part about this pie is that I used frozen berries, so the cost was relatively low. berries are in season in so many places right now, but the caribbean isn't one of them. in fact, fresh berries are horrendously expensive here. that doesn't necessarily keep me from purchasing them--they are to be savored with greek yogurt and honey--but it does keep me from baking them, you know? and before we start, can I just say..this crust recipe. amazing. I've never had better. I found it via pinterest and am seriously considering having it engraved on a plaque in my kitchen to refer to daily. be sure you give it a go this summer. now, aprons on. rolling pins at the ready. go!


for the crust :: 

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter (not margarine), very cold
10 tbsp ice water
1 egg white, lightly beaten

for the filling ::

3 cups berries (I used a six berry blend from the freezer section)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
3 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp butter



for the crust ::

preheat your oven to 425° fahrenheit, then just do exactly what this lady says, here --> elizabeth stark via food52.

for the filling ::

combine all of the listed ingredients into a dye-proof bowl then spoon into your readied crust. create whatever top you desire. I'm sort of in love with the wide lattice that elizabeth used, but there's a gorgeous braided top crust wandering around the blogosphere that is equally as darling (yes, I said darling). after all of the rolling and cutting is finished, simply brush an eggwash over top, sprinkle on some cinnamon sugar, and pop that sweetheart in the oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

and there you have it. the perfect summer treat to utilize all of those fresh or frozen berries you might have on hand. though, I wouldn't mind putting them on a shopping list, either, if you know what I mean. we took our pie out to the beach with some friends for the fourth and ate sans plates, with our hands. it felt a little barbaric, but that's just how we forgetfuls roll.

mitch and I are undergoing the moving process right now and it is incredibly daunting. I don't know why that surprises me. each of our moves has been daunting, but each time it catches me off guard all over again. we have sold so many things--rolling pin included--so as not to have to haul it all back to america that I'm really rather ready for a lackadaisical beach day. can I have it? please?

thanks for reading, you guys! and seriously, go bake some pie and then watch great british bake off tonight. you're welcome.

love, arielle