:type travel tuesday: {mont saint-michel, france}

Mont Saint Michel is a magical tidal island that is surrounded by water at high tide, and surrounded by land at low tide. Their website states; "The « Wonder of the Western World » forms a tower in the heart of an immense bay invaded by the highest tides in Europe. "

The island has held strategic fortifications since ancient times, and since the eighth century AD been the seat of the monastery from which it draws its name. (wikipedia)


west, texas memorial service

Over 10,000 people including approximately 4,000 uniformed officers, and President and Mrs. Obama are coming together in Waco today to honor the fallen firefighters of the West, Texas plant explosion. Over 300 fire trucks and emergency vehicles from around the country processed and parked in front of the building where the memorial is taking place today at 2pm.

If you want to watch it live, you can stream it here (or elsewhere, I'm sure).

We walked over to see the processional, but aren't going to the actual service as it filled to capacity quickly with uniformed officials, people from West, etc. The line formed before 10am for the service that starts at 2pm, and went as far as the eye could see. It's so awesome to see all the support people are providing. We're thankful for the sacrifice of these firefighters and are praying for them, their families and all the victims.


mad men premiere party & "old-fashioned" NY cheesecake

We had a delightful Mad Men Season 6 Premiere party with our good friends Mike and Alexandra, and as usual, we dressed up. Despite our unanimous lamentation of the fact that Mad Men is quickly entering the fashion era of the 70s, I decided to dress with a nod to Megan Draper and a nod to Audrey Hepburn. We even sang a little Zou Bisou.

Mike and Alexandra dressed in classic 60s chic a la Don Draper. Neither phased nor affected by the encroaching sideburns or widening neckties. They also brought pre-prepared Old Fashioneds, so we could all enjoy the show in a fourth dimension.

For dessert Brandon had the brilliant idea of making New York style cheesecake, with the appropriately-Mad-Men addition of an "Old Fashioned" sauce. Made in the likeness of Don Draper's cocktail of choice, with Rye whisky, bitters, orange, and sugar.

I had never made cheesecake before, and have always been afraid of it, having heard countless tales of it's finicky characteristics. It was actually really easy to make!  The process also made me much more keenly aware of just how unhealthy it is, however.

I don't own a spring-form pan, and have never had need of one in my past adult life. Actually, Caryn and I were just having a conversation during her visit about how I don't own normal round cake tins or a spring-form pan, and have never needed them but thought I should have them on hand. Weirdly, in the two months since that conversation I have needed both of these kitchen items. It's fine though, if you don't own a spring-form pan, just raid your church kitchen cupboards with a vague hope that they might have something random like that, and when you find a door labeled "spring-form pans" you will be very pleasantly surprised and thankful.

The season opens on Don Draper in Hawaii (paradise) reading Dante's Inferno, with a voice over reciting it's first lines...

Midway upon the journey of our life
I found myself within a forest dark, 
For the straightforward pathway had been lost.

The episode was fraught with symbolism and has me wondering and worrying what Don will do next. It should be an interesting season, and it was certainly a fun premiere party.

(Mad Men graphic, Don Draper, Don Draper)


egg cup collection

After purchasing one egg cup in Europe, I have begun a small collection. Mom and Dad helped me along by giving me olive wood, pewter and white porcelain cups as gifts. Now I'm ready to host a big breakfast (mostly consisting of soft boiled eggs), if anyone would like to join.

I got some cute speckled eggs in my carton last week, and with it being springtime and the Easter season, I thought now would be a nice time to photograph them.


easter in duluth

I'm more than a bit behind on blogging lately. Here are some pictures from the fabulous Easter visit we had in Duluth. Our family was incomplete as Dan and Meg were missing, but it was so fun to see the rest of my immediate family for the most important celebration of the year! It was also fun to go back to winter for a few days, then return to a green Texas spring.


i painted a wall

Caryn and Grandma Bandstra bought me this awesome vintage mirror while they were visiting, and as it happened to be the exact same color as all of our walls, they encouraged me to paint one.

When you've done nothing but rent your entire adult life, painting a wall is a super exciting. It was Brandon's idea to go with a dark blue, and I love how it turned out. Thanks for the decorating help, family!


sheer addiction jewelry

Meg-sis introduced me to Sheer Addiction Jewelry. An online shop of jewelry hand-made by a friend of a friend of Meg's. She travels around the world collecting unique bits and bobs which she combines into very interesting and dynamic necklaces, bracelets and earrings.

Mom and Dad got me this bracelet and I love it.

Some of her pieces are a bit pricey but she frequently runs great sales. Check it out.


warm holiday wishes (in april)

Hey! I have entered a design contest at Minted, and if you'd like to vote for me, I'd be much obliged. You should rate it only in good conscience, of course, but I hope you will think it worthy of a "5." Thanks, friends!

Here is the link to my design.
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