What I did on my summer vacation.

Recently, we took a week-long rest here at home. It was much needed, I tell ya! It's amazing all the things you have time to do, books to read, movies to watch, when there isn't an inch of work in sight...

1. We kicked off our vacation with a delectable meal Steven made, which was a re-creation of my favorite salad at Taco Diner: their cobb salad with chicken, slathered in avocado. He also made us strawberry coolers with Peregrino, fresh strawberries, and a little sweetener. I made some roasted potato fries that I cut with this cool Asian blade thingy that we've had forever but never used. It makes the perfect thin cuts for fries, cucumbers, even turkey slices!

2. Later that night/early morning at 4:30am, Greta woke us up barking, and we were both unable to fall back asleep. So we said, "Let's watch a movie!" Why? "Because we can!" So we watched the original Sabrina with Audrey Hepburn at 4:30am and ate an egg burrito inside a sprouted grain tortilla.

3. The next day, we went back to our busy movie-watching and nap-taking schedule. Somewhere amidst all the relaxing, I made this for Ange's birthday:

4. We also watched "Night At the Museum," which I loved, and which also made me miss NYC and inspired a forthcoming blog post on my favorite New York memories. "A Good Year" with Russsell Crowe was royally awful. The only saving grace for that film was the gorgeous footage of France.

5. Took a trip to Jimmy's Food Store here in Dallas, which carries absolutely authentic Italian groceries. I couldn't believe they even had "New Jersey Taylor Ham Roll"! What?! Haven't seen that since growing up in Jersey. Jimmy's Food Store is an Old East Dallas landmark known for Italian sandwiches, its selection of Italian staples, such as pasta, cookies and condiments, as well as olives, meats and cheeses in the deli case.

Heavens. And since we were on vacation, we indulged in a sampler of Italian cookies, which were exactly like the ones my Aunt Lucille serves every holiday. Like these...

We made some Italian sausage, delicious homemade sauce, and spelt pasta to go with it!

6. Harvested the first jalapeno from our garden...

7. While running some errands, I picked up this little jar with chalkboard paint on the side from World Market. It was only $4.99 and works great for Greta's treats! I moved the old cannisters into my office to store ribbons and paintbrushes and other doodads.

8. Flipped the calendar to July and circled our 2 year anniversary!

9. Played with Greta. She is one spoiled Doberman.

10. Decided one night at 10:30pm to make homemade Pecan Sandies. I've never made them before, so I literally Googled "Best Pecan Shortbread Recipe Ever" and found this recipe. I never would have thought to brush egg whites on top. I have to agree, they were amazing!!

11. Visited Rohde's Nursery in Garland, TX, a lovely organic plant nursery with a huge selection! I loved the cute wooden signs hanging above, and I must say, they had the biggest coneflowers I have ever seen!

12. Bought this Indian design coir doormat from World Market, to replace the old one after we found an entire colony of ants living under it. Eww!

13. Tended to my own garden, where things are blooming nicely.

14. Became enamored with the TV show, "So You Think You Can Dance," and teared up during all the contemporary dance routines. I decided I want to start taking contemporary dance classes in the fall, just for fun, and to find a new way to express myself!