TOL #6: Big Trees, Sweet Chai, and a Recipe ♥

Ever have one of those weeks where the current day feels like the day after it, so that all day Monday you were thinking it was Tuesday and all day Tuesday you were thinking it was Wednesday.

Yeah, that’s been happening to me all week.  I don’t know why that happens but it sure makes time seem to pass slowly, but it’s actually almost April!

This week has been all about investigating opportunities for me.  I’ve been investigating them in all aspects of my life from my career, to my minimalism challenge, to my blog and all things considered, I’m more excited about my life now than I’ve been in a while!

Also, I’m headed on a spontaneous camping trip coming up this weekend so I should have some more great, California photos after the weekend and I’ll be sure to post them.  And before I forget (again) somebody a while back asked me how I made the macaroons that I made around Valentine’s day but completely neglected to post a recipe for… that super basic recipe is finally here at the end of this post.  So let’s kick this Thursday off with a bang with a little #TOL!


Thinking Out Loud

  1. Exciting plans for this weekend are that some of my co-workers got a campsite near the giant sequoia trees in Kings Canyon and invited us along!  The great Sequoias here are the world’s largest trees by volume and they are absolutely breathtaking. 
    Me next to one of the fallen sequoias in Kings Canyon

    Me next to one of the fallen sequoias in Kings Canyon

    We’re expecting snowfall up there tonight, and low temps for camping (brr) but it should still be a good time.  This means that we’ve visited the fattest trees on earth (Great Sequoias), and the oldest trees on earth (Bristlecone Pines), and all that is left now is the tallest trees on earth (Coastal Redwoods).  We love California for having all three!

  2. Recently, we discovered a ringworm like rash on one of our kitties.  We took him to the vet today, and they took a culture of it but we won’t know exactly what it is for a few weeks.  In the meantime, we’ll have to put some ointment on it every day.  This cat was strictly raised indoors and it seems like every time he gets exposure to stuff outdoors, he gets a serious infection or itch.  Poor guy.  We bought the kitties a new toy last night… it’s this doggie puzzle thing where you hide treats behind sliding panels and they have to figure out how to get to it.  I found a video of a Bengal kitty on Youtube playing with one of these, so I’m confident my guys will figure it out.  The younger one already has the hang of it

    New puzzle toy!

    New puzzle toy!

  3. This week, I’ve had a lot of really great food adventures but I keep forgetting to post them!  One of the new things I tried was hard-boiling eggs in the oven.  It works!  Found the instructions on Running Rachel.  Super easy, but the only downside is that all of my eggs
    Perfect every-time hard-boiled eggs (all with a little dot in the middle)

    Perfect every-time hard-boiled eggs (all with a little dot in the middle)

    had a spot on them after peeling (I think at the point where the shell touches the muffin tin) and the egg white was a little more rubbery there.  No problem if you’re putting them in a salad or something, but I wouldn’t just go and serve these eggs to friends without giving them a heads-up that it’s totallyokay.

  4. I am absolutely crazy about this tea flavor and it’s on sale right now.  It is zero calorie happiness in a cup.
  5. Last Sunday, B and I sat down together to write down our life goals.  One of his was to “have a prolific garden”.  Well, he planted some tomato plants and they’ve been growing like crazy!  Our first one “dropped” its first tomato just last night.  We’re such happy parents :)  Me on the other hand… I’ve been nuturing orchids and they’ve finally re-bloomed after two years.  I’ve never done this before, but this week I actually cross-pollinated them and I’m hoping to make some little orchid babies.
  6. To close out my Thursday, I realized that I teased you all about a month ago with a picture of coconut macaroons, but I never posted the recipe.  I sorely apologize so here it is if you need something to get you through today and into Friday.  Also, I want to let you know that I’ve been seeking feedback on blogging and challenges from a lot of you and coming later today or tomorrow, you’ll see a slight change in my challenge schedule.  I’ll be posting a new challenge on the 1st of every month and it’ll be more specific (e.g. “cooking every meal for a month”) and less general (e.g. “minimalism”) since the overall challenge length is a bit shorter.  You can read a few months ahead at my new Challenges page here or even suggest or sponsor a challenge here.  I’m expecting some of these challenges to be really exciting for you all, and some of them to be exciting only to me but I wanted to give my frequent readers a heads up.
    Chocolate Macaroons

Dark Chocolate-Dipped Macaroons
Yields 20
Write a review
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
  1. 7 ozs coconut flakes (sweetened and shredded for baking)
  2. 2 tbsp coconut flour
  3. 2 egg whites
  4. 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  5. 1 tsp vanilla or almond extractj
  6. --- For Chocolate Glaze --
  7. 1/4 dark chocolate chips
  8. 1 tsp coconut oil
  1. Combine coconut flakes, flour, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl
  2. Stir in egg whites and extract with the dry ingredients until well blended
  3. Using a tablespoon (or your hands like me) mold the coconut mixture into golf ball sized cookies and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  4. Bake at 325C for approximately 20 minutes or until the edges begin to turn golden.
  5. Allow to cool completely.
  6. -- Chocolate Glazing! --
  7. Place chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwave safe cup (I recommend a shallow, small cup) and heat at 15 second intervals, mixing well with a spoon after each interval until the chocolate is completely melted.
  8. Dip each macaroon into the chocolate and set back on the baking sheet.
  9. When complete, move the baking sheet to the refrigerator to help the chocolate harden. Keeps well at room temperature or in the refrigerator, but these definitely won't last long!
Challenge Mantra
Happy Thursday, friends, and don’t forget to check out the other #TOLs over at Running with Spoons.


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  1. says

    Ripe tomatoes and camping?! Girlllll I’m all sorts of jealous that you’re experiencing the kind of weather that lets you do that! I know it’s technically spring, but it looks more like winter around these parts and I’m SO over the cold and snow. It’d be lovely to be able to go outside without wearing 100 layers, and I’m literally dreaming about fresh produce. Clearly I need to move to Cali :lol:

    • says

      S’mores! Must not forget! One of the girls I’m going with also found a pin for fire-roasted Starbursts so I’m sure we’ll have plenty of odd and fun things to try out.

    • says

      Thanks! A California camping trip I’d like to do that isn’t on the books yet is beach camping. I think there are some places best you and me that have that option.

  2. says

    Cute kitties! That’s a neat toy too, I should get it for Indy! So jealous of your camping trip! Well, not the camping part, just the trees….I’m not big on camping. And I have got to get my hands on that chai! Yum!

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