As the shadows creep further across the uneven floor, I consider my level of productivity for the day and find myself completely unsatisfied.
I feel as if I haven’t done much lately, and I don’t like it.
This semesters classes start much later in the day than I would like, leaving me with a lot of dead time in the morning. The second my feet hit the ground, I feel a knot in my stomach, even though I know there are a number of hours before my daily obligations truly begin. But as the hours pass, I’m uncertain as to how they are best filled. I step in and out of the shower, travel back-and-forth between the bathroom and my bedroom then into the living area, intent on taking care of something before I head off to class.
But then the hours are gone. Every morning.
They’re gone before I even realize how I’ve spent them. Did I do homework? Did I clean? Did I talk to S? Did I spend three hours eating cereal…?
When class is over, I’m not motivated to work on homework. I do it – eventually – but only with great difficulty, which has been a theme for the past week or so. The simplest things distract me from my studies, and I feel as if my abused “to do” list will never end. I am behind on e-mails, studying and errands. Phone calls and texts, invitations and obligations. When my head hits the pillow, I feel like I’ve accomplished nothing, and, worst of all, as if I am letting people down.
It’s driving me crazy. I’m terribly sorry for slacking.
My inability to satisfy my unending thirst for completion is affecting my sleep. Sufficient hours between the sheets and cups of coffee do nothing for me, and I spend my awake hours yawning and painfully batting my eyelashes. My struggle for consciousness is fought in tandem with a battle for note-taking and comprehension as I suspiciously eye my lecturing professors. I often wonder if they see the unintentionally defiant repose in my blood-shot eyes. I wonder if they assume I’ve been out partying. I wonder if they’re annoyed.
I wonder if they care.
And yet, with my daily “to do” list lying just three feet away, still unfinished as the clock spins around to nine, here I am writing for the blog. Writing because it makes me happy…
and maybe because I need a break from ACC 201 and IAH 211D studies.
I really need to get my priorities straight.
But in the meantime – I suppose that “write for the blog” is something else I can cross off the list. You know, the one I started a week ago?
Yeah. That one.
Chocolate Macarons via Cannelle et Vanille
I love chocolate macrons without the filling because they taste like brownies. Some might argue that I should just make brownies and quit being finicky with macarons, but those people don’t know what they’re talking about. Besides that – this recipe rocks!
100 g egg whites
225 g powdered sugar
125 g almond flour
15 g cocoa powder
pinch of salt
25 g sugar
1/2 tsp lemon juice
Separate the egg whites at least 24 hours to making this recipe, leaving them covered in the fridge. This helps remove moisture and increase acidity which will help create a fuller and more stable meringue.
Preheat the oven to 300F and cut 2-3 pieces of parchment paper to fit on baking sheets. Prepare a piping bag with a small round tip (a 10 works well).
Combine the powdered sugar, almond flour, cocoa powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
Whip the egg whites and the lemon juice until frothy, then begin slowly sprinkling in the sugar and whip to stiff peaks, or until the meringue doesn’t slide in the bowl when tipped.
Sift the dry ingredients into the egg whites and fold until well combined and shiny. You want the mixture to spread slightly, but not be too runny.
Pour the macaronage into the prepared piping bag and pipe the macarons in small rounds onto the parchment. Bake them for about 8 minutes, rotate the sheetpan and bake for another 8 minutes or until the tops *just* slide over the feet.
I used chocolate Italian meringue buttercream leftover from a cake I baked earlier in the week. Use your favorite recipe or one of the methods described here and here.
Yummy, i've always wanted to make macarons but they always seem so hard! Do you really have to use almond flour or can you use regular or whole wheat flour?
Ooooh yum. These look delicious!! <br /><br />I'm like you, I don't like feeling unproductive. When I dislocated my knee recently I couldn't stand the fact it meant I couldn't get up and do things like cook, clean and go out for walks etc. Thankfully I'm almost back to normal.<br /><br />As far as your studies go, I'm sure you will get back into the swing of things soon
Those look great! I have always been so intimidated to make macarons. Yours always look so lovely.
Oh yum! Those look so beautiful 🙂 I just adore your photos. I really need to get started on macarons again, I've abandoned them for a long time!<br /><br />I know exactly what you mean about those stupid morning downtimes with nothing to fill it up with. It's a big waste and I get nothing done. Or maybe I just need to stop procrastinating (as I currently am..)
Hey! Don't worry about feeling down… I feel the same, unproductive but with lots of things on my to-do list. It's probably the fact that we have to get used to being back to school, a new schedule, a new routine. We don't have as much time as before (to do all the baking we wish we could!). I'm sure everything will fall into place soon so don't worry!<br /><br />Btw great
Mrs Mar says
I agree don't feel worried about being down. Hay, I feel like that quite often and I am a stay at home mum. Just don't feel like I get enough done in a day. (what I probably don't) <br /><br />They look good. I love Macarons.
They look delicious! Do you know your blog was mentioned in the Australian Cosmopolitan Wedding magazine? The newest one to come out has a mention of your blog. I haven't bought it but when I do I will scan the page for you. They do things on real weddings and the people that got married say where they got their inspiration from and stuff. This one girls wedding cake was a rainbow layer
Hey you shouldn't be so hard on yourself, no-one can do it all. We all struggle from time to time, and have heaps on our plate, not knowing what to tackle first. You'll be ok.<br /><br />I adore the macarons! I am never brave enough to try making them, but i'll happily eat them though 🙂
those macs look awesome!!!
Yum those look great! And your photos are gorgeous! <br /><br />Also, I know it's frustrating to be in a rut and feeling unproductive, but make sure you let yourself enjoy some down time, too!
Deeba PAB says
Just gorgeous. There's something about macs, and I find them entirely charming and magical too!
Julie @ Willow Bird Baking says
Aw, I get into ruts like this as well. I bet if you find one active thing to start off your morning (like putting in a load of laundry or doing the dishes or stretching/exercise) it will make you feel better all day long. Sometimes (especially in summer) I have these days where I never feel like I START and so I don't END on time because I'm still trying to feel like I've done
they look fantastic. really. they're very, very delicious… mmmm ;] yummmi!
Whoa. These macarons are insane!! <br /><br />But I know exactly what you mean about feeling less than productive. Maybe you could try setting a timer in the mornings and just doing whatever you can (on your list) before the timer runs out. Then, move on to class or a meal or whatever is next. It could work.
Aran's recipe is fantastic. You did a great job with the chocolate macarons. Much prettier than brownies. <br />Sigh. Sounds like you need a bit of a break from everything that's going on. Sometimes a break allows you to put things into perspective.
Your professors. Yes. I used to think about that all the time. Then I made friends with a couple and realized that, after all, they've got their own fish to fry, haven't they? I wouldn't worry to much about that. But I'd worry about getting enough sleep. But not about the cereal. I wouldn't worry about the cereal.<br /><br />What I'm trying to say is, happy trails, and I&#
You macs look fantastic! I haven't braved the the mac making world yet, but when I do this recipe is going to be one of them.
Mr. P says
They look amazing!<br /><br />(Brownies are boring, and that is why you make macs instead!)
Cookie @ Cook, Snap, Repeat says
I totally know what you mean … sigh …<br /><br />Gorgeous macarons! I'm starting to feel the itch to make them again :o)
Love it and love Cannelle and Vanille! If it makes you feel better my to-do list isn't shrinking either – so much for being capable.
Feeling like your life is passing you by without you making any meaningful contribution totally sucks! Don't feel alone in it, everyone goes through times like these. What I do is make a list,you already ticked that:), Tell myself that I'm a capable, awesome, meaningful contributor to my life. It will not run away from me. And then I just start doing. It's hard to be productive
Pauline Chan says
thanks and will try this recipe soon… enjoy reading your blog
charsiubau (Bento-Mania) says
your macarons look so yummy and good! I have to try to make them too!