a simple elegance

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


January 13, 2015

CHRISTMAS EVE + DINNER AT MCGUIRE'S



if you ever visit the slightly obscure floridian town of pensacola, there are a few things you have got to do. spoiler alert! all of them contain food. you've got to eat grilled cheese from city grocery, bear claws from j's bakery, oysters from peg leg pete's, and just about anything off the menu at mcguire's irish pub. I've never been to ireland..unless you count mcguire's. and in all seriousness, it has got to be pretty close. there's irish folk music rhapsodizing through the rafters and it looks like a pub if I ever saw one--kind of dark inside and covered in money. like literally. there are dollar bills all over the walls and ceiling. they even have to shut it down for a day or two every year just to count it all for tax purposes. no joke. I've even contributed to, like, three of those dollars back in my youth. and one during this most recent visit. you're welcome, mcguire's.

this past christmas eve, we picked my brother, sean, up at the airport and headed on over to mcguire's for our annual reservation. you see,  this little irish pub just happens to be my brother's favorite restaurant and well, december 24th is his birthday, after all. we got the best seat in the house right by the fireplace and enjoyed munching on calamari and pumpernickel bread while catching up and meeting sean's fiancĂ© who is the absolute sweetest. everyone ordered typical pub fare, except for me. I ordered the salmon--probably one of the more delicious cedar-planked salmon I've ever had. and when we were almost bursting, we asked for the stapler and passed around the dollar bills. we scouted out the good spots, did a little stapling, and then hit the town to show sean's fiancĂ© all of his old haunts. the town was lit up, not unlike a christmas tree, though that comparison does seem a tad bit trite, and then made our way back home to settle in for the night. it was seriously such a wonderful night to spend with the family that I miss so much whilst living out here on this rock and I'm so grateful for this space as a place to immortalize it.

^^ I was too nervous to actually kiss the moose. he kind of gets around ;) ^^ 
 ^^ seriously. the best! ^^
 ^^ after scouting out our spot, mitch took stapler to wood paneling and we left our mark on mcguire's hallowed halls. ^^


in more recent news, my apartment is seriously so clean and finally feels like home. learning all of our european appliances is a bit like reading hieroglyphics from an ancient land. and I am off for a much needed day in the sun with a couple of friends. I hope all of you have a wonderful tuesday and thanks so much for reading!

love, arielle

January 12, 2015

OF RESULTS AND RESOLUTIONS

calendar :: vikki chu for anthropologie (now on sale!)

it's january! a very happy belated new year to all of you! and yes, I am well aware that it is the twelfth and that I am the laziest girl with a blog there ever was. I have no excuses for you this time. it was just laziness. days full of sitting at home watching football (and by watching I mean napping to) and eating my weight in leftover holiday goodies. except for the occasional trip to the grocery store to simply wander around or the mad dash of packing to come home, we rarely left the house. and then we came back to our island and into our new apartment, which I am pretty much in love with. it's open and airy and small, so I spent the bulk of last week actually selling extraneous kitchen supplies on the web so that it didn't feel so cluttered. the whole moving, unpacking, rearranging experience has been so utterly january that it's been hard to feel anything but festive all week long (despite the lack of winter wear). 

speaking of january, I guess that means I should say something about beginnings and resolutions. I honestly don't believe in the practice of only making resolutions at the new year, which I have most likely said before, I'm sure. no, I'm really a constant resolution maker. whether it's to stop eating chocolate cake at midnight or spend fewer hours a day "plugged in," resolutions are always in the making. whether or not I can stick to them, though. that's a whole other animal. this time last year, I actually made the resolution--for mitch and for me--to become foodies. I don't think I even knew what that meant. I think I thought it meant I would get to go out to fun, eclectic restaurants and avoid cooking and washing up afterwards. which you have to admit, is a pretty clever resolution on my part. but becoming more interested in food this past year has been incredibly fun. my degree sort of taught me to look at food in terms of calories, and it has been amazing to sort of stretch and start looking at those calories in terms of complexity of flavors and odd combinations that go swell together. it's sort of the antithesis of the typical new year's resolution--to hit the gym. which, ironically enough, is part of this year's new year's resolution. go figure.

this year, I'm really hoping to focus on balance. on sweet and savory. on hot and cold. on active and passive. and then hopefully I'll find that sweet spot right in the middle where everything is wonderful and healthy and good for you. I'm cutting back my diet coke (I know!) and hitting the gym a little more often. I'm letting the house get a little more messy and going out to have a little more fun. though today, I'm totally cleaning it because it really does need a good scrub! and I'm hoping to become a little kinder. a little more aware of others and their feelings and become way way less egocentric. it's a big, big world and I should probably look around a little more and discover all of the beautiful people out there. it's gonna be a good year, you guys!

what are your new year's resolutions? I'd love to catch up in the comments below. it's been too long, don't you think?

love, arielle