a simple elegance

November 28, 2014

TEN SIMPLE THINGS || THE YEAR OF FRIENDSGIVING

^^ some of the art featured at our friendsgiving yesterday evening. all I have to say is #masterpiece. ^^

if you had asked me a couple of days ago if this would have been one of my favorite weeks of the whole year, I probably would've have said so. it really was turning out like any other week. but the combination of baking and friends and midnight milkshake runs really set this week into gear. I even convinced mitch to skip a class and stay home with me for the parade. it was his first time ever watching it all the way through and it was so nice being able to have the typical conversations with him. you know the ones--"how much do you think that balloon costs?" ; "am I supposed to know who that is?" ; "do you think if they let go and the balloon blew away, people in london would see it in a couple of days?" at least, those are our typical conversations, but we're sort of an odd bunch. and did you see the lindor truffle float? it pretty much set my constant chocolate hankering into full gear. now, here's a little bit more about what's been happening in our neck of the woods.

one :: only spending $47 on groceries this week. mitch is pretty sure he is going to starve, but we'll see how we do. 

two :: getting started on my holiday shopping. this really is the most wonderful time of the year! and the sooner you begin the sooner you can stay home with a wooden spoon and bake till your heart's content.

three :: purchasing these adorable maps of the north pole as our holiday cards this year. anthropologie has everything.

four :: listening to my friend's little girl read aloud in the backseat while driving her to her ballet class. those littles these days are so much smarter than we were, don't you think? she reads so much better than I did at her age.

five :: mitch taking me for a strawberry milkshake. after nagging him for a good three hours, he set aside his studies and drove me down to the nearest milkshake at eleven o'clock at night. I guess I could have driven myself, but it wouldn't have been the same.

six :: my mom and dad setting their computer up perfectly so that mitch and I could watch the thanksgiving day parade with a front row seat via facetime. my family is pretty much the best.

seven :: mitch doing all of the dishes after I made a pretty impressive mess of the kitchen. that man has my whole heart.

eight :: curls in my hair. I've been kind of bored with that mop of mine recently and even considered chopping it off because chopping it off is really in style, but all it took were a few curls to remind me why I love my lengthy, though sometimes super unruly, hair.

nine :: friendsgiving the way thanksgiving should be. we missed our families, but it was so nice to be surrounded by our island family. there was plenty of food and the adults were mingling and the littles were only eating the sweet stuff on their plates. exactly like it's supposed to be.

ten :: blank space. oh my goodness, this song. I first heard it back when t.swift's 1989 came out and being totally honest, I wasn't super impressed. but the music video makes it. have a watch ::


now, it's time for the weekend! we're actually attending our first christmas party of the season later on this afternoon (they don't waste any time, do they?) and then we're going to see a movie later on tonight with friends. our third and final thanksgiving dinner is tomorrow night and then it's officially christmas all the way! what are you guys up to this weekend? let me know in the comments and I'd love to hear how your thanksgivings were.

just to let you know..that cookery book giveaway from monday closes tonight. so if you're following, feel free to head on over and leave a comment to enter. have a wonderful weekend!

love, arielle

November 27, 2014

A DAY OF THANKSGIVING

**original photo via adventures in cooking

happy thanksgiving, everyone! and even if you're across the pond or welcoming summer down in the outback or sweating it out on a caribbean island this twenty-seventh day of november, you can give thanks, too. but only if you want to. because it's finally here! thanksgiving is finally here and as far as I'm concerned, it's the best day of the year. the family football game, the macy's thanksgiving day parade, the double batch of sweet potato casserole I'm whipping up later on this afternoon. it's wonderful, isn't it? it is such a wonderful day to take a step back and reflect on all of the wonderful things we have to be grateful for. our basic needs--food, shelter, safety, health, and in my case, diet coke. and even our not-as-basic needs--our ability to communicate with loved ones over thousands of miles. 

I know that I've harped on about this holiday and how it means so much to me and I want to fill you guys in on why. seriously, sometimes, I don't even think mitch gets it. true, he is canadian and they celebrate their own thanksgiving. but growing up, I don't even think he ever looked at that second monday in october as his favorite holiday. and not because he wasn't thankful. he's a thankful guy. I think he just needed a bit of perspective, which he found when he met me, of course ;)

I explained to him that thanksgiving is more than just a day to give thanks. truthfully, we probably all give thanks throughout the whole year. on the whole, I feel like we're a pretty grateful people. when the person in front of us at the grocery store sees that we only have three items and lets us go ahead in line. when our husbands (or wives) wake us up because we slept through the alarm and they don't want us to be late for work. when there always seems to be enough money in the bank account. when a friend lends us a shoulder to cry on. I know we all give thanks for those things throughout the year. but I told mitch that thanksgiving is a time to feel more than thankful. it's a time to feel blessed, you know? it's a time to look at life and feel absolutely satisfied and pleased in every way. it's a time to gather and share and settle differences just like the native americans and the pilgrims did. but don't even get me started on that because then I'd go on and on about how I wish I could have been there and it would probably just be redundant and bore you to tears.

I guess what I am trying to say before I go tuck into a slice (or two) of apple cake for breakfast (#1 reason for being a grown-up!), is that I'm grateful for this space and for you guys and for sharing and for pilgrims. even if you're not celebrating today, know that life is grand and let that feeling fill you up because it doesn't always seem so, but it is. life is grand. happy thanksgiving, everyone.

love, arielle


p.s. if you are already, or fancy, following along, head on back to monday's post to enter in this cookery book giveaway.

November 26, 2014

PINNING || THANKSGIVING TABLESCAPES


by now, it's definitely no secret that thanksgiving is my favorite (and I do mean favorite!) holiday and is surrounded by my favorite time of year. and if you're like me (an everloving procrastinator) and you're still trying to sort out your thanksgiving tablescape, then this one's for you! or even if you live abroad and thanksgiving is really just the last thursday in november to you, then here is some final autumnal tablescape inspiration! it's chock-full of lush greenery, dreamy twinkle lights, and obviously, pumpkin. 

one :: a thanksgiving by the seaside. in a perfect world, this is what our caribbean thanksgiving would look like. but in the spirit of full disclosure,  it will most likely look much more 'real life' than this idyllic seaside tablescape. and is it just me, or is it like the article says--twinkle lights really do make everything better?

two :: a thanksgiving in the orchard. years from now, in the scenario where we don't end up in canada where november's frozen tundra would most likely upend any hope of dining outside, I can totally see mitch and me and whatever children the good lord sends us dining in our intimate, little orchard thanking the lord for each other and this beautiful earth that we live on. 

three :: boxwood favors. before my days are through, I hope to hostess a really fancy thanksgiving. and I mean a really fancy one! one where the guests get to take home their very own festive plant to nurture and care for all winter long. and the way pottery barn styled this whole get-together really has me weak in the knees. 

four :: tablerunning greenery. lit with candlesticks intermingled with votives and crystal goblets. there's just something about simple assortments of local flora that makes life so much more 'alive' and worth living.

five :: tapered candles indoors surrounded by those beautiful place settings and the earth's most cozy and intimate lighting--two things that are critical to any good thanksgiving. this will probably be the thanksgiving mitch and me and all of those little kids enjoy in the scenario where we do end up in canada.

six. gourdeous centerpieces. and I didn't come up with that joke, the ritzy bee blog did. I just found it super clever. as is this beautiful pumpkin centerpiece. because really, what denotes thanksgiving and autumn and abundance more than pumpkin? I couldn't think of it, either.

and so how goes your final thanksgiving preparations? I'll be honest, I'm dreadfully behind. and would I really be me if I wasn't? I finally got the shopping done, but have yet to put any plans into action. thankfully (pun intended), I've got a whole day left of this amazing thanksgivingness to get it together. 

as always, thank you so much for reading and if you haven't already, be sure to drop by this little giveaway. it doesn't end till friday.

love, arielle

**to see more autumnal inspiration, feel free to check out my pinterest boards.

November 25, 2014

AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE


after three-and-some years of marriage, do mitch and I still count as newlyweds? probably not, huh? which is a shame since, for the most part, we still feel like newlyweds. especially 'round the holidays. I have a couple of theories as to why this is. it could be because we were (and are) so busy with school stuff that not a lot of original thought went into our traditions pre-graduation. or it could be because we are still in that phase of our lives when we visit our parents over the holidays and sort of just latch onto their holiday plans. either way, we are seriously in need of some holiday traditions all our own. and since this week we're celebrating our first ever on-our-own thanksgiving, pretty much the most wonderful holiday ever, I decided to begin with a simple one.

thanksgiving really is a time for cherishing loved ones, focusing outwards, and brightening someone else's day and I don't think it's a coincidence that I just happen to be in possession of the cutest, simplest 'thank you' notes at the same time I'm supposed to be giving thanks for all of the inspiring people in my life. so, I decided to put them to good use. every thanksgiving, I want to write my loved ones and let them know how grateful I am for them--to acknowledge the little things that shouldn't, but may, hang by the wayside throughout the rest of the year.

so if you're like me and looking to start some of your own traditions, try taking a morning to think and scribble down all of the reasons you love and are grateful for someone. it doesn't have to be on fancy paper. you could scribble it down on post its if that's what works for you. just let them know. this life really is a wonderful one, but it wouldn't be half as wonderful without the amazing people in our lives, wouldn't you agree?


what are some of your favorite thanksgiving or holiday traditions? I'd love to hear all about them and maybe even apply them in my own life. by all means, let me know below in the comments!

love, arielle

p.s. did you see this cookery book giveaway from yesterday?

** 'thank you' notes c/o tiny prints.


November 24, 2014

FROM MY KITCHEN TO YOURS :: A COOKERY BOOK GIVEAWAY


happy thanksgiving week, americans! and happy month before christmas, everyone! we celebrated the first of three thanksgiving dinners this previous weekend and my thanksgiving cheer is in overdrive. and not just because I went home feeling morbidly obese. the three buns I ate before even beginning dinner were definitely a mistake. a minor one. they were delicious. but they seriously cramped my style where dessert was concerned. just saying. I spent the rest of my weekend updating my mac, changing my instagram handle, and trying to strategize how to fit all of the seasonal recipes I've been meaning to cook for weeks into the next four days because I know that as soon as thursday night's dishes are washed and stored, everything is going to be coming up christmas. not that that's a bad thing! just that we are staunch thanksgiving celebrators and I want to make sure we do it up right.

regardless of where you are or what you celebrate, the whole season is a wonderful one and in the spirit of reaching outwards and giving, I wanted to do a little something for you all. just a little giveaway to let you know how grateful I am for all of you. grateful that you follow along and read all of my ramblings. grateful that you put up with all of my dorky questions and leave comments that always make my day. grateful that you endure my sporadic posting (ahem, last week). it means a lot, you guys. it really does. 

when brainstorming for any good gift, I can't help but think of what I'm most wanting and loving in that moment and, what with all of this thanksgiving in my bones, that means cookery books! one cookery book that I'm currently loving in my own kitchen and three cookery books that are currently hanging out on my amazon wishlist. and one of these cookery books, I want to send to one of you! go ahead and have a gander below...


one :: plenty more by yotam ottolenghi. I don't know about your holidays, but ours are filled to the brim with starch (sweet potato casserole, anyone? yummm). so I thought this little veggie inspired cookbook would be a welcome addition to my own collection, as well as yours. plenty more is actually an addition to his original work, plenty. clearly, plenty wasn't enough because after so many rave reviews, he compiled this much anticipated sequel.

two :: sunday suppers by karen mordechai. if you don't already have this little work of art in your kitchen libraries, you need it! as do I. this collection of recipes focuses on gathering together for the sole purpose of being present with the ones you love whilst enjoying a simple meal. and mordechai's food styling is to die for. seriously. click on over to amazon and take a peek! I could scroll on for days (how's that for hyperbole?).

three :: at home in the whole food kitchen by amy chaplin. I've heard less about this one cookbook than any of the others, but mitch and I are currently trying to eat a 'whole' diet (minus the eggos, duh) and so I thought I might like to add this one as a contender, as well. it did get excellent reviews and I really like the pictures, so it must be good ;)

four :: my little french kitchen by rachel khoo. I've been long awaiting this cookery book since, like, october! and if I didn't suspect it was already bought for me and sitting under a tree somewhere, I, most likely, would have purchased it all my own. rachel khoo also wrote my little paris kitchen and really has a knack for taking complicated french cuisine and making it super simple. this book is kind of the 'every girl' where french cooking is concerned.

so those are your choices! now, here's how to enter ::

one :: leave a comment below just letting me know you're following along somehow--instagram, twitter, bloglovin', pinterest,  facebook, gfc. it all counts, but be sure to leave your handle in there somewhere so I can get ahold of you somehow. after all, communication is the key to any good relationship, amiright? ;)

two :: check your email on or around saturday, november, 29th to see if you won. the giveaway ends friday the 28th at 11:59 pm atlantic.

(sorry, but this giveaway is open to usa, canadian, european, and uk addresses only.)

and before you go, how were your weekends? have you been doing anything festive? I'd love to know below. good luck, you guys! thank you, again, for just being here. it really does mean the world!

love, arielle