I had a pretty good day today too, Vacation day Number 2. I enjoyed some hot chocolate and read a bit this morning at Starbucks (I've accounted for them all here, that's number 3, and I just can't afford any more for awhile!) while I had some laundry in the wash at my parents'. My mom generously bought me an artificial Christmas tree (Just $19.99 at Michael's Arts and Crafts!). She was actually disappointed at how small the four foot tree actually was on display, in person. I, on the other hand, loved the size. I was considering one of those metal ornament holders which max out at 6 to 8 ornaments. I just don't need a big tree when I currently live in a one bedroom apartment and don't want a big family living in a single family home gathering around a big tree in the future. I feel that this is more European than American of me. It came in a small box with a convenient handle so I can store and move with it easily. This one comes pre-lit with white lights. I do love Christmas trees overall and am happy to have picked this one up today. I'm all about giving and decorating. Taking it a beautiful and lit tree at Christmastime during a quiet time is always something I remember each year. I bought a star, red tree skirt and red ornaments while living in my apartment in Philadelphia. I just hope the scale of these things isn't too off! Truly believing in the "one in, one out" decluttering philsophy, with this new addition, I donated two bags of holiday decorations to the Salvation Army. I may donate more if I have way too many ornaments for such a small tree. In Philadelphia, I borrowed my family's 6 foot tree while they enjoyed a real tree that year and then decorated it on quite the budget. I was happy to have it up during my Christmas party I threw. That was fun and just what we needed at the end of a long semester.
I love the white owl ornament that I found on Kate's blog, Une Vie Chic!
I subsequently pinned to one of my Pinterest boards.
It's available at Crate & Barrel.
One of the highlights of my afternoon was reading a book on my balcony. However, I would love to invest in better patio furniture. Right now I have two white plastic chairs and a small glass top table I scored dirt cheap at Target. I was sitting in one chair with my feet on the other and wasn't uncomfortable but I could just be much more comfy lounging in something else, something that costs more than a single digit of dollars. They were with me in Philly too. To go with those new lounge chairs or loveseat arrangement, I could also have my favorite flower, dark pink azaleas planted in a big terra cotta pot... They bloom at the time of my birthday you know. I also whipped up a dozen chocolate chip cookies from the Betty Crocker mix this afternoon.
I made myself my signature dish for dinner. Penne pasta with a tomato basil sauce with sauteed vegetables. Casually, the vegetables are usually red pepper and zucchini and this was no exception. I treated myself to a bottle of cheap Chianti too. Anyway, it really turned out well. Even though I've made this dish on many ordinary and memorable occasions, it always takes me back to learning how to make it with my German roommates in our apartment in Pescara, Italy, during my study abroad experience in 2005. I still think of their instructions despite doing things my own way now.
My Specialty: Penne Pasta with Tomato Basil Sauce and Sauteed Red Pepper and Zucchini
...and the night is still young! Maybe a facial mask and pedicure over a chick flick AKA a "Michelle Movie?"
I'm thoroughly enjoying myself, but life is best shared, and the remainder of my vacation should be much more social!