Top Five of 2011

As we near the end of the year, it’s time to look back and really contemplate those things of which we are thankful. I can picture you all now, listing off your above-average family, your adorable, honor-roll children, a roof over your head, pot-roast on the table … and that’s all fine and good.  But what do you say we really dig in. I’d like you all to push aside all the ‘givens’ above, okay? We can assume you are grateful for those stellar gems.

Let’s get to the crux of it, shall we? You know, the fun stuff. Those things that when you look back and remember them you get that little zing of excitement in your belly. Things that bring up a giddy squeal of delight. Think of the stuff that had you bouncing on the balls of your feet, which made you look like you had to go potty.

 I’ll start first with my top 5 picks!


1. Twitter

This past summer I joined Twitter not knowing how much fun and how attached I’d quickly become.  In October I took an online blogging class instructed by Kristen Lamb and that’s when my Twitter world exploded!  I met so many awesome people and made some great connections. I joined the blogging world and oh my goodness, I mean, I really ~heart~ Twitter! You are more then welcome and encouraged to click that cute Twitter button thingy and follow me.  We can be Twitter besties!


2. iChat

This one is a bit more personal.  The majority of my writing friends, and every one of my writing/critique partners, live far from me. We take part in online loops and we email, Facebook, Tweet but sometimes you just need to chat with your peeps. For a while now some of us have carved out some time where we log onto iChat and it’s almost like being together. We can brainstorm, say hi to each other’s kids, husbands and pets, laugh, cry … basically have a cup of coffee or glass of wine together. It’s the best.


3. Lindt

No favorite list is complete without chocolate. I discovered, by quite a fortuitous happenstance, this amazing chocolate bar. It’s dark, it’s got itty-bitty salty surprise crunchies, it’s a savor-moment. We’re talking nirvana here folks!

4. Ninjas

Ah, this next year will be the year of the ninja for me.  My muse was kind enough to hand me such a fun story idea that involves, well, you know what’s coming, Ninjas! I’m already in love with my new characters. They are such fun, especially my sassy little heroine. I can’t wait to spend time with them next year and hope they teach me some really cool ninja moves.


5. Wine

Now you know it had to come to wine at some point, right? One thing our family loves to do is take the boat out to the lake. We are all skiers; we love the sunshine, the water, the fun. We’ve started a fun weekly tradition of Wednesday nights out on the lake. After we all get in a ski ride or two, we dig into the cooler for dinner in the boat watching the sunset. What’s all this got to do with wine? I found these cute little mini-boxed wines that are perfect for the cooler! Now I can have a lovely glass of wine watching the sunset with my family. I know! For Christmas, we received many really nice bottles of wine. My wine rack is full of goodness. Furthermore, Whole Foods just had a sale on a great little go-to wine, $25 for a whole case.  It’s like the universe really gets me.  🙂

Now it’s your turn. I want to know your Top Five picks of 2011.  Come on, don’t be shy.  I know ya’ll discovered some awesome stuff!

Before I sign off, I am going to say that I’m so grateful for all of you who read my blog and have fun with me. It’s only been 3 months and already spending time blogging and connecting with all you great people is a highlight in my life. I look forward to what 2012 will bring.


About Ginger Calem

I never met a notebook I didn't want to buy. Pens speak to me. Sticky notes are dear to my heart. Some of my best friends are those clambering in my head trying to get onto the page. And when they have their stories told, and I release them to the world, I hope they'll be your friends too.

Posted on December 30, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 30 Comments.

  1. Fantastic post, Ginger! Off the top of my head, five things I’m grateful – aside from the obvious 😉 are: blogging and my iPhone, Kindle, waffle maker and agent. Happy New Year!

    • Thanks, August and for the RT. I appreciate the support. Oh, I love my Kindle too! It was so great all summer when I was out in the boon docks and I had books a few clicks away. Happy New Year!

  2. Great post Ginger. 5 things I’m grateful for: (beside the obvious)
    Calgary RWA chapter for their support and kindness.
    Learning to blog and enjoying it
    My new Android Smart phone – oh my God it’s fun
    My Kindle and coming to prefer reading on it
    My house – always my house. i love it.

  3. Just terrific, Ginger! (Boxe wine??!! Who knew?) Okay, 5 things I’m grateful for and I’m taking Louise’s caveat (besides the obvious):

    Getting out of my writing rut and deciding to e-pub my backlist and front list;
    Meeting all the Wana crews (and especially the Wana1011 bunch);
    My iPad (how did I ever live without it???);
    Bottled Wine (of course, this was before I knew about the boxed stuff!);
    Mom. Yes, I know this is an obvious one. But it’s true anyway.

    • You’ve never seen boxed wine? Oh my heckness! 🙂 We take them on road trips. Not to drink ON the road, mind you, but at the hotel, etc. So convenient for travel. I’ve loved watching you e-pub your back list and living vicariously through the process. I’m thrilled for you. I got my husband and iPad and it’s rarely out of his hands. I might just have to have one. 🙂

      P.S. I love that you added your mom, obvious or not.

  4. Gosh, once you take away the family/friends/job/food thing, this gets tough! Not because I can’t think of anything, but because I know I’m going to forget something super cool. oh, the pressure!!!

    • You, seeing your reply made me remember my most swoon-worthy item of the year that we have in common. Our cashmere, fingerless gloves with the little vintage buttons from Pikes Place! How could I forget. They are never out of my purse!

  5. What a nice list! I’m a fan of the lindor balls because they have the soft chocolate in the middle. But the bar sounds good, too. I would have to add the DVR to your list, because this year I discovered the joy of getting sleep and still watching fun shows. It made me feel like a real grown up!

    • Emma, you are so right. We love our DVR so we can watch our shows as a family when it’s convenient for us. About those Lindor balls, there is a package that is light sky blue, they are white chocolate and they have little crunchy bits in them … SO good!! (and kind of hard to find)

  6. Ginger, thank you! I’ve been looking for dark chocolate with sea salt since a Napa Valley wine tasting last summer where the pourer paired it with an amazing cabernet. Heaven! Couldn’t find it locally, but now at least I have brand name.

    For me, in no specific order: My Android (my first smart phone!), #MyWANA, Amazon Prime, my two happy cartoon-like cats, getting rid of the car and walking.

    • Debra, you should be able to find the Lindt bars at Target. My local grocery has them too. And paired with an amazing cabernet … SWOON!

      I currently have the 1-month free trial of Amazon Prime and I’m feeling quite spoiled about it. Now to convince my husband that we need it going forward. I think he’s afraid I’d just click-click-click, buy, buy, buy, all the time, at every whim. I’m trying to figure out what’s wrong with that? 😉

      And finally, I LOVE that you ditched the car. How great. I wish I could. (still shuttle children everywhere) I have always wanted a vespa but oldest child is worried I’d be killed. Isn’t that cute?

  7. Love your list! My top 5 are: (1) Mumford & Sons – love this band, (2) Shellack – super strong nail polish, (3) my Keurig frother, (4) #WANA1011, and (5) my worn-out, bright-red converse sneakers.

    Love you, Ginger-girl!

    • Mydni, my darling! I have a pair of grubby converse sneakers that I love. Two-tone blue. 🙂 And, we’re about to get a Keurig dealy, or some other espresso/cappuccino fun thing.


  8. Great idea, Ginger. Hmmm, my top 5 (in no particular order) are: my dogs (are they obvious?), Shellack fingernail polish (isn’t it terrific, Myndi?), blogging, the Trans Siberia Orchestra, and the comments and posts of all my WANA1011 friends (you all inspire me!).

    • Clearly I must check out this shellack polish. I love your list. I adore my dogs too, so you get to include them. We enjoy TSO as well. Son is in orchestra at school so we often get concerts from him. Happy New Year!

  9. LOVE this post! Too much fun and I adore your fav things! What are my top five…hmmmmmm…I’d have to say:

    Kindle – hubby thinks I am having an affair I love it so much

    Blogging/ROW80/WANA711/Twitter – all sort of lumped into one but this is a huge fav of mine for 2011 as I’ve connected with so many amazing people who are encouraging me to chase my dream in ways that touch my soul!

    My 6 foot pre-lit palm tree – I’ve wanted one for years and Santa finally delivered!

    Shoes – all of them – but especially the newbies to the collection!

    Clothes that fit – I had no idea that accommodating my weight gain by buying bigger sizes and clothes that fit would actually make me feel wonderful about myself and…smaller?!?!

    Fantastic post. I may just borrow your idea for a post on my blog, if you don’t mind?!?! 🙂

    • Hi Natalie!! I see that you and I have some things in common. I adore your top 5. Of course you can borrow the idea. Go for it and I can’t wait to read your post, which I know will make me smile and laugh. Thanks so much for the support!

  10. Hey Ginger! Top five things, I can do that. First off, I’m extremely grateful for my Tempur-Pedic mattress. Wish I was in it right now napping. Sleeping was never as good before the mattress. Now all I want is time alone with it. 😀 Moving on… The WANA Crew, my Droid smart phone, my computer set-up, my DVR. I could keep going but you asked for only five. 🙂 Happy New year Ginger!

    • Hi Debra, so great to ‘see’ you. 🙂 Oh, you are so right about the tempur-pedic. We have a memory foam topper and I simply love it. I concur with every item on your list. No wonder we get along so famously! Happy New Year, it’s going to be a great one!

  11. In no particular order:

    1. Twitter, Kristen Lamb & my tweeps (hard to separate them)
    2. More Cowbell and the posse there
    3. Writers In The Storm
    4. My Kindle
    5. My family life

    • Great list, Jenny. I love reading your blog. It has never failed to entertain me and make me smile. I need to check out this writers in the storm. Sounds right up my alley.

      Thanks so much for stopping by. 🙂

  12. I am soo sorry to be late to the party Ginger! Please accept my apology!

    But I’m back!!! Love your gratitude list! And you are such great support! And Friday is going to be so much fun! I sure wish you’d join us at the ROW. If anything, being a lurker isn’t so bad. That’s what a lot of us did until we bravely jumped in.

    Top Five things I’m grateful for: Well, it was a hell of a year. But I know it was for soo many. My number one pick would be for the approval from Workman’s Comp for my husband’s surgery! Nine months of fighting, waiting, doctors and lawyers, lawyers and doctors. Unbelievable.
    Number two would have to be getting the judge’s approval of his back pay. We’ve lived off borrowed money and the rest of our savings to live. Funny, we’ve never lived like this before, so that also has been a great relief! Number three has to be great friends. We have got to have some of the best friends on earth! But then in saying that, really, it is our two grown son’s that have to come in front of our friends. No two parents could be more prouder of what kind of men they’ve become. So last but not least, my fifth favorite thing that I’m grateful for are my new WANA friends! You guys have been so supportive. I never expected that. Thank you Ginger!

    Looking forward to a great 2012! And I wish that for you also Ginger! Oh, and I do hope that your dear son is getting better. Do let me know how that is going. Please let me know if I can be supportive. After everything that we’ve gone through with my husband’s disc/spinal problems, I so want to be helpful.

    But I do also like my wine, chocolate, kindle, etc. Couldn’t leave that out. Now I’m hoping for a smart phone and I might just be able to keep up with the rest of the world. 🙂

    • Wow, Karen. You are such a huge support to me. Thank you so much. I’m considering ROW. I want to get writersbutt up and going and define my short and long range goals and then I’ll hop on in. I know I’ll be in fantastic company.

      I’m so glad your husband is getting his needed surgery. Yay! Your perspective and priorities are smack on.

      Thanks for asking about Grey. He seems to have stabilized. I’d like him to put more effort and time into his PT and maybe speed up the recovery process but maybe it’s a blessing in disguise that it’s taking it’s sweet time. Rest has to be good, right? We are in a quandary over how hard to push and how much to pull him back. I wish I knew. I just want him to be better and play his sport again. He’s really missing it. 😦

      • I’m looking forward to your writersbutt posts. lol I know it’s serious, but I tease about getting writers butt all the time. And then ROW80. That will be a blast. Of course like a ding-a-ling, I forgot to post my update today. Dah. Oh well, what are they going to do to me? Fire me?

        So what have the doctors said about Grey? I know he hurt his back while playing soccer, right? And I remember you said something about taking him somewhere to get help for the pain on facebook that one night a while back. But is it his spine, as in vertabrae? How is he and is he out of pain? 🙂

  13. This is one sweet list, Ginger! Mine would include my Windows Phone, WANA & Social Media, Adele.

  14. Love your five!! Off the cuff so, after thinking about it, I’m sure I’d need to adjust as I over analyze ;)…..Harry Potter, Exotic Chocolate bars (like the ones we got from WF), Choc. Milk, Wine, iPhone, Hi-quality athletic clothes, training, the perfect song when I’m working out…oh crap….I simply can’t be limited to 5!!

  1. Pingback: Happy New Year! « Serena Dracis' Blog

  2. Pingback: My fab 5 for 2011 – Natalie Hartford

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