a simple elegance

October 31, 2014

TEN SIMPLE THINGS || OUR UNPAINTED PUMPKIN


so we didn't paint our pumpkin. I was at the craft store looking at various paints and glues and glitters with the assistance of this really sweet high school aged girl and she asked me if I would be eating the pumpkin afterward. I immediately responded that, "no, we aren't because I've already promised my husband that he can smash it." she laughed, but I immediately felt bad. what a waste! I've since changed my mind. sorry hun, but you're not smashing lawrence--that's our pumpkin's name. and he's here to stay for a little while. and then he'll make a tasty batch of scones or these amazing-looking pumpkin chips

one :: learning to french braid my own hair. it's something I've always wanted to do, but I never thought I'd be able to pull it off and have it look halfway decent. turns out, fifteen minutes in front of the mirror did the trick. or maybe I'm just more coordinated than I used to be.

two :: baking up a huge batch of homemade buns sunday afternoon. I ate them until my stomach couldn't handle it anymore and it was amazing. although, I did have to lay down for the rest of the night. so many buns.

three :: wednesday night's burger. we have been hard pressed to find a delicious, american-styled burger here in the caribbean. we've tried several places and always left feeling ripped-off and a little disappointed. but wednesday night, we tried one at this place called rendezvous and it was amazing! imagine a half-pound patty that tastes like the grill and stay warm for longer than a mere ten minutes. so good. mitch and I quickly turned to the budget trying to figure out how many times we could eat there each month.

four :: mitch in his flannel shirt. in the caribbean, it's a rare day I get to see him in flannel. and it's a shame because he is one handsome man in flannel. okay, okay. he is one handsome man, period. though, I might be a little biased.

five :: a whole day of rain. another rare occurrence. this is what made mitch's all-day-flannel-shirt-wearing possible and I couldn't be more grateful.

six :: running in yesterday's rainstorm. I just love that feeling of running through puddles and squishy grass while falling drops pelt me in the face. it really is one of life's little pleasures.

seven :: it turning darker earlier. it's just one of life's simple acknowledgements that it is finally fall. we have already established that this is the best time of year, haven't we?

eight :: essie's after school boy blazer. it's the most amazing navy blue color and really has me in the fall spirit.

nine :: sugar cookies for breakfast. definitely the best part of being an adult, I'd say.

ten :: my mom's care package got here today! it's been so long since we had a care package. mostly because it took me a seriously long time to sort out our mail situation. like 10 months long. 

tonight, mitch and I will settle into a healthy, homemade batch of macaroni and cheese whilst enjoying the final three harry potters. we got terribly behind due to studying and bedtimes, so we'll be pulling triple duty this evening. what about you guys? what are your halloween plans? any fun halloween traditions you care to share? I'd love to hear them. especially if they'll spook up my life a little better because let's face it, my halloween could use a little spooking. happy halloween, everyone! 

definitely give these a read :: 

back to ballet by camille styles
around here by hey natalie jean

love, arielle

October 30, 2014

A SUGAR COOKIE AND THE DIRTIEST DIET COKE


not quite sure what it is, but anytime somebody says "holiday!" I immediately think, "where are the sugar cookies?" this is probably the result of many a church function where we were ordered to decorate sugar cookies in all of the various seasonal shapes and frostings. trees and ornaments for christmas. hearts and lips for valentine's day. flowers for springtime. and of course, the notorious pumpkins and skulls for halloween. the sugar cookie recipe I used for these is by far and away my favorite sugar cookie recipe ever. and I mean ever. sugar cookies have the tendency to become dry all too quickly. these stay moist for days which puts them a cut above the rest. pun intended. too subtle? well, oh well. instead of rolling out and cutting this sugary dough, you simply roll the dough into little golf ball sized balls and flatten with a glass coated in salted sugar. I think it's this method that allows the center to remain a little thicker than the rest of the cookie, thereby keeping it moist. I love to stick these babies in the fridge for a sweet, cool treat smothered in frosting. and it is a seriously delicious vat of frosting.

now, for something not so traditional. in recent years, I've heard so many yammerings-on about a dirty diet coke. being somewhat of a diet coke connoisseur myself (if there ever was such a thing), obviously I had to try it! the big dilemma being where. nowhere that mitch and I have ever lived has graced us with so much as one dirty diet coke and so we simply went without. until I found a little recipe online. isn't that always the case, these days? where would we be without technology? anyway, mitch and I finally made our own the other night and it was a household winner. though, mitch did mention that it would have been better with root beer. I gently reminded him that then it would pretty much be a root beer float, which isn't nearly as exciting because we've all heard of those.

you can find the recipe for the best, seriously the best, sugar cookies via.

you can find the recipe for the dirty diet coke via.


so in case you've been living under a rock, misplaced your calendar, or haven't stepped foot in a craft store in the last month, tomorrow is halloween! and if you're looking for last minute treat ideas, give these sugar cookies a go. they really are winners. every last one of them. and your decorating is most likely loads better. I sort of gave up when I felt our average house temp hit 84 degrees (#islandproblems).

thanks so much for stopping by! and happy almost halloween!

love, arielle

October 29, 2014

PINNING || FALL TRENDS I LOVE


so far, autumn has brought us so many wonderful things. it's brought later mornings and chillier evenings. it's brought corn mazes and walks through the pumpkin patch. it's brought plaid blanket scarves, oversized sweaters, faux-leather everything, and boots. lots of boots. being the pinterest junkie that I am, I pretty much obsess over all of this year's favorite fall trends. as a child who grew up in the nineties, I swore I would never go back there, which is incredibly tough to do when 'there' feels a little like home. a home chalk full of destroyed denim, birkenstocks, and too-long sleeves. probably the best and biggest difference is that I have a greater understanding of which trends to follow and which trends to pass up. or at least, I hope I do. I love all of the classic renditions of these nineties favorites. I seriously want to buy a croissant for whoever thought that up. so cheers to them. cheers to the nineties. and cheers to fall. we still get a whole month before stringing up some twinkle lights and calling it winter.

one :: white cable-knit. similar here and here.

two :: faux-leather leggings. similar here. 

three :: wide-legged corduroys. similar here. 
( and ahem, they're on sale. )

four :: the blanket scarf. scarf.

five :: boyfriend jeans and birks. jeans. birks.

six :: too-long sleeves. similar here

seven :: hand-knit scarves. pattern.

eight :: jacquard cardigan. similar here.

nine :: patagonia fleece. similar here.

ten :: the ankle boot wedge. similar here.

eleven :: fair isle sweaters. similar here.

twelve :: the classic pea coat. similar here.

thirteen :: floppy hats. similar here.

fourteen :: the sling-back bootie. similar here.

fifteen :: a brightly colored classic. see similar here.

sixteen :: an over-the-knee boot. similar here

seventeen :: oversized sweaters. love this and this.

eighteen :: a pair of faux-leather gloves. similar here.

nineteen :: dr. martens with socks. dr. martens. socks.

twenty :: bordeaux everything. see similar here and here.

I know my daily uniform is terribly unimaginative. it pretty much consists of washed out denim and my favorite birks. you know what they say :: when in paradise...

and it's already wednesday!? it's crazy how that happens. yesterday, I woke up and it felt like friday. when I found out it was only tuesday, I was a little disappointed. now today, I wake up and remember that it's wednesday and I can scarcely believe it! regardless, I really hope your weeks are going well. I will be spending my whole day waiting for a care package from my mom ( because that's where my candy corn is ) and doing absolutely nothing. sounds like some sort of wonderful, doesn't it? take care, everyone.

love, arielle

**see more fall everything via my pinboards

October 28, 2014

RECIPES MADE IN OCTOBER!


I remember the first cookery book I ever bought. one day in grade 11, I decided I wanted to be a good cook, so I drove down to barnes & noble and bought the art of simple food by alice waters. this was later borrowed by a roommate, never to be seen again ( you know who you are ), but I digress. these days, I wouldn't need to get dressed, utilize a driver's license, or even go to a store because pinterest has a wealth of cooking ideas ( admittedly, some better than others ). but here are a few that I tried during the past month that I feel are worthy of your time. it's no surprise that there seems to be a common theme throughout all of these recipes. they're all new to my kitchen. they're all perfect for fall. and they're all kind of orange. 

a little bit about these creations :: that sweet potato, kale, and black bean quesadilla is a keeper and we're actually having it for dinner, again, tonight. pumpkin soup is a fall staple and this version is fairly inexpensive, makes plenty, and has a little bit of spice to it that makes the flavors more complex. and I don't know about you, but I really appreciate complex flavors. I really got excited about the spicy fish tacos because it felt like they were the perfect compromise between fall and caribbean flavors. and the balance bowl helped me through a bout of remorse after eating too many of those finnish cinnamon buns, which actually have flavoring in the dough as well as rolled between the layers. genius. and that caramel corn was strangely addictive, though mitch and I couldn't eat it fast enough. it made too much and went stale before we were finished. that's the typical complaint about cooking for two, wouldn't you say?

( left to right, top to bottom )


two :: sweet potato, black bean, and kale quesadilla by cookie monster cooking.

three :: the big, vegan bowl by oh she glows.

four :: skinny pumpkin soup by six sisters stuff.

five :: korvapuusti--finnish cinnamon rolls by my blue&white kitchen.

six :: caramel apple popcorn by cookie monster cooking.

and that is a little of what's been cooking in october! I can't believe this splendid month is almost over. have you guys sorted out all of your plans for halloween? I know I haven't, though I'm pretty sure it will consist of some variation of the perfect night in because that's just how mitch and I roll. I hope you guys have a wonderful tuesday and enjoy every last falling leaf of this beautiful, breathtaking month.

love, arielle


October 27, 2014

DINNER AT PAN LAAN


as I have gotten a little older, I've found that my taste buds have matured as well. there was once a time when I would go to a restaurant, any restaurant, and order a grilled cheese regardless of it being on the menu. I can even remember ordering room service on a cruise once and explaining grilled cheese to the foreign gourmet chef they had on board over the phone. but I would like to think that I've developed a more sophisticated pallet in recent years. friday night, mitch and I tried a new restaurant called pan laan--a thai restaurant that was recommended to us by a good friend who has since left the island. we got there just as the sun had said goodnight and everything from the service to the ambiance to the food to the company was right out of a fairytale. 

but let's talk about the food. I ordered the pad see ew--a dish made up of those delicious chunky rice noodles and vegetables. I got it extra spicy, which was the good kind of spicy that allows you to still taste the flavors of your food rather than the spicy that just makes you want to sip from a fire hydrant. mitch got the sweet and sour shrimp ( because he doesn't get white rice at home ) and after trying it myself, I can attest that it, too, was delicious. and without exaggerating, those shrimps were the size of my fist. no joke.

later that night, we went home stuffed to begin our annual harry potter halloween marathon and I'm pretty sure I was driving mitch crazy quoting the whole thing ahead of the actors. nerd alert, party of one! the following morning brought homemade strawberry scones of which mitch ate a whole dozen. kind of unbelievable. I don't know how that boy does it and keeps such a fit physique. it's an anomaly, really. we should have him studied. but the rest of the weekend was business-as-usual--one killer legs workout that still has be hobbling around the apartment, some life laundry, one homemade pizza, and some typical sunday baking. and hey, we finally got our halloween pumpkin!


tonight, we'll be watching it's the great pumpkin charlie brown as we draw or paint ( we haven't decided yet ) our white pumpkin. apparently, things mold pretty quick around here so we'll forego the carving this year. what are some of your favorite halloween past times? mitch and I are always in the market for more festive traditions, so by all means, please leave them in the comments!

thanks so much for reading! you guys are seriously the best.

love, arielle