Happy Earth Day! + eco tips

Two years ago today I was standing on the top on Emory peak at Big Bend National park. It’s hard to believe it’s been two years since that trip. Typically on earth day I find a beautiful hike to take in Texas’s natural beauty, but this year is a little different since all the public parks are closed. Instead of trail blazing, I’ll be taking the same neighborhood stroll that I’ve done every day (sometimes twice a day) during the pandemic. I may sound dismal but in fact these walk have kept me sane. Not to mention spring has been putting on a show.

^Emory Peak 2018

This time of year the streets are lined with all different types of roses and wildflowers. I never really noticed how much personality each different type of rose has. Some are more tight knit, while others love to spread out their petals and show their pistils. We even spotted a funky passion flower that was hiding amongst a rose bush. I don’t think I would have taken my time to really stop and smell the roses if we hadn’t been forced to slow down. This time has really allowed me to sit with my thoughts and mull over how this pandemic has affected our lives as well as the environment.

I’ve been thinking a lot about mama earth during this time. With people not driving to work anymore; surely greenhouse gasses have subsided…right? Now that humans aren’t crowding beaches and trails, animals can come out to play…right? Maybe there are a few upsides that have come from social distancing, but let us not forget we are still fighting an environmental war every single day. And no, I’m no mother Teresa when it comes to being green, but I’ve tried to implement as many positive practices as possible. How during this pandemic can you care for mamma earth? Here’s a few ways:

  1. Disposable masks are starting to make their way to the landfills. Consider making a DIY one of your own. Wether you’re a talented seamstresses or kinda crafty you can find so many do-it-yourself reusable face-masks on the internet. Like these.
  2. Start a garden! Even with food scraps that you already have. Have an avocado pit? Grow a little tree! Maybe you have some old potatoes that are growing roots. Throw em in a pot! You don’t have to spend a bunch of money at the nursery to grow your own food. Here are a few tips.
  3. Support a political candidate in your area or do some research on how your city or state is making efforts in going green. You can find some information about the politics in Texas here

Hope you guys enjoyed this post! How are you spending your Earth day? Make sure you get outside and stop to smell the roses!

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Macaroon Sandwich Cookies

I’ve been taking full advantage of quarantine over here at the Waterloo house and have been cooking/baking up a storm. Now that Facebook isn’t feeding me three meals a day, I’ve been forced to take out the spatula again. I almost forgot how satisfying it is to eat something you’ve put love into. Although I love making a delicious dinner, I think I’ve missed baking the most. Alongside making snickerdoodles, and chocolate chip cookies, I wanted something a little lighter so I whipped up a batch of these coconut macaroon sandwich cookies.  I’ve already made these cookies twice, and I gotta say they are as delicious as they are look. They’re super simple to make and there isn’t a ton of added sugar. The sweetness of the coconut and the jam really come through so you don’t need to add much. They’re gluten free and dairy free (if thats your thing) and IMO they’re pretty guilt free too. Simple, easy and tasty. Hope yall enjoy!


Macaroon Sandwich Cookies

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 15 mins
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Servings: 16 Cookies
Author: Mandy


  • 3 Large Egg whites
  • 1/3 Cup Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 8 Oz Coconut Flakes about 2 1/2 cups
  • 2 1/2 Oz Finely chopped almonds about 1/2 cup
  • 1/2 Cup Strawberry Jam any jam will do


  • Preheat over to 350 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Whisk together egg whites, sugar and salt in a large bowl until frothy. Stir in coconut and almonds.
  • Drop coconut mixture in 1 tablespoon mounds 2 inches apart on baking sheet. Flatten each to 1/2-inch thickness.
  • Bake both baking sheets at the same time in the preheated over until golden brown about 12 minuets, rotating baking sheets (top rack to bottom rack and front to back) halfway through baking. Let cool completely on the baking sheets, about 45 min.
  • Turn cookies over (flat side up) and spread about 1 teaspoon on each cookies and sandwich with a seconded cookie. Chill until set. About 15 min. Store covered, at room temp for 3 days. 

Photos by: Amanda Hickman

Edited by: Mountain Trout Photography 

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The Great Gig in the Sky

“And I am not frightened of dying
Any time will do, I don’t mind
Why should I be frightened of dying?
There’s no reason for it, you’ve gotta go sometime
If you can hear this whispering you are dying”


After a long batter with Multiple Sclerosis, my father passed away on January 30, 2020. Although it brings me great sadness, I know he’s in a better place. The battle he fought was not easy but he did it with such grace. He looked fear in the the face and took on life head first. After many years being confined to a chair he was finally set free, surrounded by the people he loved the most.
If you knew my father you knew him for his incredible joy and kindness but you also probably knew him for his love of music. He had a blog where he wrote about music with a dash of trivia. He loved to share his thoughts with the people around him and was a great teacher at that. He had a real knack for rock and roll trivia and loved to spend hours quizzing me on lead singers and album names. You could definitely say he was the most influential person in my musical journey. He was someone who really knew how to live in the moment which is something so many of us search for…he found it. He would lay back into his chair with a good pair of headphones and listen to an album in full (he particularly like progg music for this reason.) His eyes wouldn’t open until that album was finished and his face showed full bliss the whole time. It’s was incredible. The way he used music to be present was really inspiring and something I admire about him. When I have those moments myself I feel him right beside me.
I remember being 15 driving my dad around in the minivan blaring “Dark Side Of The Moon” with the windows down on our way to the movies. Many kids that age would have been embarrassed to be seen driving a mini van with a handicapped dad, blaring oldies…but not me. I was pretty proud of him. He was the coolest and I wanted to be just like him. We had many daddy daughter dates like that. Nights at the record shop or lunch at the local burrito bar; I miss simple times like that.
This album (and many others) will always hold a special place in my heart. It brings me back to those times with him.
Dad, you inspire me every day to be a better person just by loving me as much as you could. I will miss the way you made a room feel, and your killer taste in music. Most of all I’ll miss the joy and love you brought everyday. Thank you dad for everything. I love you.
See you in The Great Gig in the Sky🤟

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