a simple elegance

April 12, 2016

WE ARE THREE

dress :: forever 21
shoes (very similar) :: swedish hasbeens

I've sat down to write this four or five times now and I'm honestly having trouble putting our elation and our relief into words. after almost three years of trying and failing, I can finally say that we are three this upcoming august! I'd get all obnoxious with the explanation points but I want you to keep reading. 

THE STORY


like I said, we'd been trying unsuccessfully for nearly three years. I was without health insurance living on the island and clomid had failed us already. after returning from the caribbean, we decided to make an appointment for an ultrasound to see what was going on. because of our own schedules and the canadian health system, the earliest I could get in to see anyone was december, which is a heck of a long time to wait when you're thinking something is seriously wrong with you. with just a few days until christmas, I arrived at the ultrasound expecting a cyst or some physiological problem and instead found this sweet little jelly bean of a babe with a racing heartbeat. the tech quickly went to grab mitch who had earlier been told he had to stay in the waiting room. he entered bewildered and as the girl filled him in with the line, "and this is your baby at six weeks, two days pregnant." we simply looked at each other and started to tear up. not to sound cliché, but it truly was a christmas miracle. and to see that little heartbeat pitter-pattering away was one of the most emotional experiences of my life. and now that I'm pregnant, almost every experience is one of the most emotional of my life lol.

WHY WE WAITED


there are three reasons we waited so long to announce it to the world. the first is that mitch and I had struggled to add onto our family for so long that once it happened it was kind of nice to just spend time with this wee babe as just ours. we told our families fairly early on because it was christmastime and it was tough to explain our way out of trips down the ski hill and sushi dinners. for the most part, however, we kept it to ourselves and I'm honestly so glad we did it that way. the second reason is a bit more obvious. I didn't want to spread the good news and then have something happen and have to share the bad news. though now, I feel that at twenty-two weeks, I'm pretty much out of the woods (knock on wood). the third reason is that although this pregnancy has been so much easier than I could have ever imagined, I did feel extremely fatigued during my first trimester and it sort of led to a surge of apathy and laziness toward this little online space and for that, I apologize. I really want to be better because I want to document the time I have left with this little person safely inside of me.

ONE MORE THING

 

if you had asked me two weeks ago, I would have sworn to you up and down that this sweet, wonderful person I've been carrying around was a boy. I had very little nausea and no throwing up during the first trimester, but my skin was a disaster and I just had that overall feeling we would be adding a mini mitch to our lives this summer. until we were halfway through our twenty week ultrasound when the tech announced that it was a girl! I almost asked her to start over so I could see the whole thing over again with this new perspective. as we were leaving, I suggested getting a second opinion to mitch. how could my "mother's intuition" have been so far off?! but my medical student husband can read an ultrasound. he looked over at me and said, "honey, I saw the labia. I'm your second opinion." and thus, we will be expecting a sweet little baby girl this august!

as I'm finishing this up, the little person is doing flips. and all I can guess is that she's either ready for me to move my computer off of my hip bones or that she is already wanting second breakfast. either way, I suppose I'd better get up. have a happy tuesday, everyone! thanks for letting me share this big news with you!

love, arielle


October 23, 2015

TEN SIMPLE THINGS || FALL COLORS & COOLER NIGHTS


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

APPLE PICKING AND APPLE EATING


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

TEN SIMPLE THINGS || MOVING DAY


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

AN EVENING IN THE ORCHARD

 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