Monthly Archives: July 2012

Let the Games Begin!!

Tonight is the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Games in London.  I bet you all already knew that. I mean, how can you not unless you are literally living in a cave, in Siberia, with a bag over your head. And even then, I bet you have your smartphone with you so really DO know!

In case you haven’t guessed, I LOVE the Olympics. Like, goosebumps and crying and jumping up and down screaming. And that’s just for the opening ceremonies.  I get really crazy once the event-action starts. I marvel at the athletic talent. I am humbled by the immense level of effort and hard work each athlete has given to their sport, their passion. I am brought to a raw level of inspiration. They make me want to be better.

I wish I could have been an Olympian. I joke that I had all three of my children in Olympic years and expected them all to make it to the Olympic. No pressure but the challenge is out there for them, should they choose to make my dream come true.

Even though I have favorite events like swimming, gymnastics and the sprinting in track and field, I really love it all.  But one thing I’m kind of wishing will happen, outside of the USA doing well overall, is that I really hope that Ryan Lochte pulls off an upset against Phelps. I wish Michael Phelps all the luck in the world. He is amazing, there is not doubt. But, there’s a little part of me that wants Ryan to sneak in there and grab his moment against the best.

Here is a great video of great Olympic moments of past games.

Let the Games Begin!!!  Go USA!!


WritersButt Wednesday – Workouts on the road and a recipe!

Happy WritersButt Wednesday!  How have you all been this past week?

You all know that I’m away from home at my summer lake retreat on the lake. Because I’ll be away from home for over a month, I have to think about what sort of workouts I’ll be doing.  In years past, I’ve brought a lot of equipment with me. I’ve even dragged my Olympic barbell and weights out here. But you can do a lot of working out with very little to no equipment.

This summer, I decided to go old school and bring just two pieces of workout equipment.

A kettlebell and my jump rope

You can do a ton of things with a kettlebell – swings, cleans, snatches, weighted squats and lunges. It’s an awesome piece of equipment. Also, where I stay has a very steep private road that goes down to the house.  While I’m here, I do a lot of hill sprints. Nothing will kick your butt (literally) like some steep hill sprints.

People ask me all the time what they can do while traveling. You can get a great workout in anywhere, even in a hotel room, EVEN if they don’t have a gym! Think of all the different bodyweight exercises you can do.  Can’t think of any? Well … let me help!

Pushups – Squats – Burpees – Lunges – tuck jumps – situps – pike pushups – jumping jacks – jumping lunges – mountain climbers … just to name a few!  You can mix up various things with different reps and see how much you can get done. You are only limited by your creativity.

Some examples:

10 push ups, 15 situps, 20 squats – repeat for 10-15 minutes and see how many rounds you can get it.  Or – choose to do a set number of rounds, like 5 for example.

5 rounds of: 10 burpees followed by 25 jumping jacks

Or count down from a starting set of 10 reps down to 1 rep of Burpees and jumping lunges. So you’d do 10 of each, then 9, 8, 7 … all the way down to 1.

Make it hard so you will be winded fast. You shouldn’t have to workout longer than 15-20 minutes max, as long as you’re pushing really hard.  Then go and relax in the hotel’s hot tub.  I encourage you not to get stuck into thinking you need a gym with a treadmill or an elliptical to get a workout in.

Use your body as your machine! It’s an awesome thing.

Now that we’ve worked up a sweat and an appetite talking about all those burpees, how about I share a recent dinner I made.  Salmon packets alongside grilled asparagus with a fresh salad topped with crisp bell peppers and creamy goat cheese.

I love the beauty of fresh colorful food. It’s like heart-healthy art!

This salad could not be simpler.  Just fresh romaine, sliced bell peppers and crumbled goat cheese. Dressing is my usual of extra virgin olive oil, splash of vinegar, kosher salt, cracked pepper and a generous sprinkle of dried minced garlic. You can use any spices you want. A tip for you — try to use the same spices/flavoring in all the components of your meal so that it marries well.  For instance, in this dinner I used lemon zest and juice on the fish and on the asparagus and even squeezed a little on my salad. It was so fresh and smelled divine!

I know a lot of people are nervous about cooking fish. I was too. Lately our favorite way to eat fish is what we call ‘fish packets’. For this dinner I used salmon, but you can use tilapia, halibut, whatever. Cut a piece of heavy tin foil large enough for your fish and some cut up veggies. Put your fish in, season with olive oil and spices. I like to put in sliced lemon and often I’ll put in cut up veggies like zucinni, squash, onion, carrots … whatever you like.  You can cook these in your oven by placing them on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes. The timing will depend on how thick your fish it, etc.  You can also cook these right on the grill.  YUM-FACTOR overload. Trust me!!

So, tell me some your creative workout ideas you can while on the road. I know you all can think up some great ideas!  Have a great week my friends!

What do you feed your soul?

My last blog post I was heading out for our annual road trip to TN to spend some summer time at the lake. This never fails to put a smile on my face and make my spirit dance. It’s my happy place. This got me hoping that everyone has a place or an activity that is truly a vortex of happiness and contentment — your PASSION!

Lake Georgetown, Texas

(photo source: Ginger Calem)

Do you have things in your life that you are so passionate about they feed your soul? Things that if they were taken away from you or you stopped doing them, a vital piece of who you are would go missing? I’m here to tell you that if you do, you are blessed and if you don’t … FIND SOME!

We all need things in our life that bring us joy and fulfillment. I believe that everyone is born with a need inside of us to do certain things. Sometimes it is easy to find out what that is and sometimes it’s hard. But it is always worth it.

A dancer dances, even when no one is looking. A composer is never without a melody or masterpiece playing in his heart. A woodworker sees the trees in the woods as tools for his art.

Our world is richer through people’s passions. You can tell when someone is doing something that stems from deep inside of him or her. And you can tell when they aren’t.

A lot of things that make me happy, but not all of those things are my passions.  I enjoy cooking, and crafts like knitting and quilting and I really enjoy photography, especially sports-shots of my kids.  That said, if I don’t knit or photograph an event, I don’t feel cheated out of something or that I’m not living up to my potential. Ok, maybe a little with the cooking because our family has gotten really spoiled with healthy, fresh meals.

(photo source: Ginger Calem)

There are some things in my life that if I stopped doing them, I would not be the same person, I would be neglecting my passions and cheating my soul from it’s joy. One of those things is writing. I have to write. I have characters in my head and in my heart and they are a part of who I am. It is not enough to have them inside of me. I have to give them life and share them. When I do, I feel alive.

(photo source: Ginger Calem)

Many of you know I’m pretty serious about health and fitness. I’m one of those people who has always worked out in some way.  I love how I feel when I’m strong and fit. I don’t always like how I feel during a workout. Quite frankly, most of the time I want to stop.  But I don’t because I’m stubborn and I know the feeling when I’m done will trump any pain I felt during. When life makes it difficult for me to workout and I miss some days, something gets tripped up in my brain. I need that adrenaline and those endorphins. Also, the working out totally feeds the creativity and my writing so these two go hand in hand.

Douglas Lake, TN -- Summer 2011

(photo source: Ginger Calem)

Lastly, I’m a lake girl. Not just any lake girl, but a water sports, in the boat, behind the boat, on top of the water, surfing or trying to jump wakes and not kill myself but maybe come close, kind of girl. It makes my heart sing and my soul soar. I can’t ski and not smile. I guess I could try but what is the point of that? I let my joy show because it’s pointless to hold that back when it’s bursting to get out of me.

Lake Georgetown, Texas 2012

(photo source: Ginger Calem)

Do you have something in your life that you are so passionate about that you simply have to do it? Something that fills your heart to bursting and radiates happiness? I truly hope so and I’d love to hear all about it.  So tell me!

If you don’t have a passion, whether it is glassblowing, basket weaving or dog training, I encourage you to find one. I can promise you that it will be worth it … times infinity!

WritersButt Wed–Jennifer Update and Road Trip!!

Happy WritersButt Wednesday.

Ok, so it’s nearly midnight and I have to leave by 5 am for a two-day cross country road trip and I woke up today at 3:15 am. Yeah, I’m a little nutso-mode.  And of course, I was to have written this post earlier and have had it in the cue ready to roll tomorrow while I was on the road but well … you know the drill.

But, it’s WritersButt Wednesday and I can’t let you down. Please pretend that you were anxiously awaiting this post, just for kicks, okay?

Before I go on and on about my road trip, I know we have quite a few new followers (WELCOME!!!) because of the fabulous Jennifer Oliver and the start of her journey.  Well, she just posted a wonderful update on her blog –> HERE!!!

Isn’t she completely awesome?  Yes, she is.

For those of you interested in starting from the beginning, in THIS POST, I included a list of links from the beginning to about mid-June.  Also, we hang out here on the WritersButt Facebook page, in addition to Twitter with the hashtags #writersbutt and #wanafit.  Please, join the discussion, fun, motivation and group love!  And please, if you have ANY questions, I’m here to answer them, kick your butt and give you a high-five!

Now — Road Trip!!

So, you might be asking yourself, what does Ginger, miss 90% Paleo diet, pack for a 2-day road trip?  Well, I’m going to show you!  We have been traveling cross-country for many (MANY) years. First just William and me as a dating (and  then newlywed) couple and then as a growing family.  Over the years, we have mastered (in my sleep-deprived opinion) the art of road trips, finding what works best for us.

I remember in the beginning, when the kids were little (diapers!) that we had one of those mini-tvs with the attached VHS player. Yep, you read that right, VHS!  We had a huge bag of Disney movies.  Oh the magna-doodles!! We also have a huge case of music CDs. Now with iPods and satellite radio, the idea of packing a ton of CDs cracks me up.

Also, we are huge audio book listeners on road trips. I can’t imagine a road trip without an audio book! Anyone in the backseat can watch DVD’s in the drop-down player (w/ earphones) so that the rest can listen to books. Normally we listen to Harry Potter and have done this for years.  This year we are switching it up and going with another book.  (I know some of your are wondering so we’re listening to Divergent by Veronica Roth –I’ve read it twice—and I might download Dark Life from iTunes because my son is dying for me to read that.) I have the book downloaded to an iPod and we can listen that way through the speakers. We’ve come a long way from a huge back of VHS tapes.  😉

In terms of food, we have also come a very long way.  In the early days, we’d stop at whatever fast food place had a playscape for the kids to work off some energy. It took about 2-3 years before we realized this was insane!  Those places were nasty-dirty, the kids got totally amped up with the play and the processed food.  Nope—that HAD to change. Now we pack food that doesn’t upset our stomachs, and gives us healthy nutrients and energy from protein and fats.

Here is what is going with the Calem Clan from Texas to Tennessee!!

Three containers of chicken with grapes. We’ll eat that at a rest stop.  I will add some toasted almonds. YUM!  We have a bag of fresh strawberries and grapes.

Hard boiled eggs for protein and fat.  For years we have had fresh sliced apples with cheese.

Sparkling water, nuts and here I cheated and just got a can so instead of being unsalted, they are slightly salted.  Also, protein bars for kids and me.

Here’s a fun tip for kids. Even though I stay primarily Paleo,the kids still get some ‘treats’ and one of them is cereal.  We leave for our trip long before the sun rises.  I get many hours of driving in before we make our first pit stop. Last year I got the brilliant idea of packing these cereal things with plastic spoons. I get small whole milk at the gas station and they have a little breakfast.  

Make no mistake that this is the most important thing that I pack. This is my wine for when we get the hotel. I’ll have been driving for about 11 hours on little to no sleep. The kids will be swimming because we always book a hotel with an indoor pool.  There is pretty much nothing I want more than a glass of wine!  Oooh, another tip.  We don’t go ‘out’ to dinner.  After sitting in the car all day, the last thing that we want to do is sit at dinner.  We order pizza (kids!) and salad (everyone) to be delivered to the hotel.  We veg out with the TV and are just happy we’re out of the car until tomorrow.

Speaking of the next day. They kids make full use of the hotel’s continental breakfast and then we’re on the road again.  About 5-6 hours later, we are at the lake and  …. All Is Good!!!

So tell me, what are your road trip tips? How do you spend the hours of monotonous driving?  Are you road warriors (like us) where you’re on a mission to your destination or do you wander off the beaten path to see what you may discover?

Also I’d LOVE it if you went to Jennifer’s blog and/or commented here, to give her some support after surviving her first couple weeks. She’s doing so well!!  Go Jennifer!!


One last thing, I am hoping that my internet will be better than in years past and I will be able to keep up with my blogging.  I will be away from home for over a month.  (Lucky-Me — I know!!)  If my internet is sketchy, I’m sorry!  I will do my best. Don’t give up on me!




WritersButt Wednesday — A Life-Changing Journey Begins

Hi everyone.

I’ve been looking forward to this day and it’s extremely special to me. A couple weeks ago, Jennifer Oliver  contacted me, as well as August McLaughlin, about getting control of her health. After we exchanged a few emails, I asked her if she’d be willing to make her journey public on my blog so that she could inspire others. Jennifer agreed because she made the decision to commit to her health, and she knows that with a team behind her, she will have the support she needs to succeed. Isn’t she awesome!!

Shortly after we set this plan in motion, Jennifer shared this great quote on her Facebook page. I think it’s incredible and epitomizes that moment when you’ve finally had enough and have made the decision to make the changes to make things different.

It’s one thing for me to encourage you to workout, do your potty squats, drink all that water, make good nutritional choices and quite another for you to see someone, just like you, actually do all of those things and then share with us how she’s doing. That’s what Jennifer has agreed to do and I’m so grateful she trusts me with her goals and to guide her on this journey.

Now, I’d like Jennifer to tell you her story.


It’s hard to put myself out there like this, to be so honest and admit my flaws for the world to see. But if my words can reach just one person, if I can help someone else in a similar situation, then it’s more than worth it for me to swallow some pride.

It’s no secret that I’d like to lose weight. I’ve posted before on my blog about wanting to get in shape, to get healthy. I made goals, I told my friends about them, and even added them to my ROW80 writing challenge. I bought Wii Fit Plus. I downloaded “Couch to 5K.” The intention was there, it really was. But it just never happened. Oh, I walked, worked out, and ate better for a couple of days or so, and then something would come up that would sidetrack me. “Life got in the way,” I said. But the real truth is that it got in the way because I let it.

Why? Because it was easier. I think it’s human nature to gravitate towards the easy path and avoid the really hard things in life. For me, I didn’t want to not acknowledge my situation. I didn’t want to admit to myself how overweight I’d become. I didn’t want to see how much I’d let myself go. I turned a blind eye to my weight and my poor exercise habits. Essentially, I turned my back on myself. 

But ignoring something or putting it off, doesn’t make it go away. My self-esteem was non-existent. Worse, if that’s possible. The weight kept building, to the point that it affected my way of thinking and my relationships. For most of my life, I was the skinny girl. Not any more. I hated the way I looked.

I avoided visiting old friends who came to town. I didn’t want to see the look on their face when they saw me. It’s hard to hide the “Wow, did she get big,” look that inevitably happens.

I didn’t want to go out in public if I could help it. My clothes didn’t fit right, or were uncomfortable. My ankles were puffy and there was NO way I would be seen in a bathing suit. I started saying at home more and more, inside the safety of my house where no one could see how crappy I looked.

I made excuses to not go clothes shopping. I’d say I just hated to spend the money, or that I really didn’t need anything. But really I didn’t want to go because of how it made me feel. Trying on clothes when you are really overweight is depressing. Items don’t fit. You have to go get yet another larger size. Or worse, you have to ask the sales associate if they even have a larger size and you get told “Oh I’m sorry, we don’t carry sizes that big.” Yeah, that feels good to your ego, doesn’t it? So I stopped going. But that’s not all. It gets worse.

I insisted I was embarrassing my husband, too. He denied it emphatically. My husband loves me, I have no doubt about this. Yet, no matter what he said, I just knew his friends were trying to figure out why he was with a fat chick. I would develop migraines from stressing about going to our friends’ houses to hang out. My clothes, my hair, my pale skin. In my mind, I looked ridiculous. My husband would swear I didn’t but I didn’t believe him. I didn’t want to be one of those people that everyone looks at and shakes their head because they were so overweight. In reality, I was embarrassed of myself and it was making things worse than what they were.

I lost friends. I got more depressed. I had trouble writing. I didn’t have any energy. I wanted to sleep – a lot. I wanted to eat comfort foods. A lot of comfort foods.

You know, it’s really hard to take a good, long look and see how poorly you’ve treated yourself. Or in my case, how I neglected myself. But I did it and I didn’t like what I found during that soul-searching moment.

I cried, no, I sobbed. Out of guilt for abusing myself, for the lost friends, and the lost moments of potential happiness that I’d denied myself. And then I decided I never wanted to feel that way about myself again. Ever.

Rationally, I knew I couldn’t do this on my own. I didn’t have a clue where to begin. I needed coaching, guidance, a miracle – anything to point me in the right direction. Emotionally, it’s really hard to ask for help. Especially when it’s so personal. So I did what I do best – I wrote. Yes, it was just two emails but, hey, ya gotta start somewhere right? Believe me, those were two of the hardest emails I have ever had to write.

I contacted Ginger and August McLaughlin, two wonderful and beautiful women in my WANA writing group, and I asked them for advice. Their responses were better than anything I could have imagined. They both offered various ways that they could help me. I was humbled by their generosity and compassion. It strengthened my resolve. I must make a change. I have to.

So today, I’m officially announcing my decision to take part in a WritersButt Challenge. I know I’ve tried other things and failed, but I won’t be doing it alone this time. Ginger will be helping me to meet my goals and guiding me on the right path to do so. August will also be helping me by providing nutritional information. It’s going to be hard, there’s no doubt. I’ve got a lot of bad habits to break.

I am blessed to have people in my life like Ginger and August. People who would take time out of their busy lives to help another. Their willingness to help me lead me to make another decision:  to share my story, my challenges, and hopefully, my success. I’ll be posting my experiences and progress reports on my blog and Ginger is going to share updates with you, too. August will be visiting my blog to share some of her knowledge as well. With the support of these great women and the encouragement of friends and family, I truly believe I’m finally going to get my life back. 


Thanks you so much, Jennifer, for your honesty and for trusting us with your story. Never doubt that you have me in your corner, at your back, encouraging you to take one more step, to believe in yourself, and to celebrate every small victory.  I have no doubt that you have August at your back as well, in addition to all my amazing WritersButt Warriors.  You have a TEAM!

So team … let’s huddle up, hands in and it’s Jennifer Rocks on three —

One, Two, Three … JENNIFER ROCKS!!

Flash Mob meets Orchestra!

A friend just shared this on Facebook and I couldn’t share it with you all fast enough. As a mother to orchestra students, son will play the viola in high school and daughter will start learning the cello next year in middle school, this touched my heart!  I love to cheer on my children, whether it be from the sidelines of a soccer field, the bleachers at a swim meet, or quietly savoring amazing music from the depths of my chair in a theatre auditorium.

Tomorrow, I’ll be a swim-mom to our three children at their last swim meet of the season.  This was the perfect, calming, beautiful thing to put a smile on my face … like the calm before the storm.

Enjoy and Happy Weekend!

WritersButt Wednesday – Why you should choose food you don’t recognize

Happy 4th of July to all my fellow Americans. And Happy Wednesday to everyone else! I know many of you are icing down your coolers of beer bottled water and are marinating your steaks, forming your burger patties, and stackin’ your dogs for the grill. So, I will keep this totally food-focused.

Briefly, though, I want to let you know that I have a very special post planned for next Wednesday. We will have a guest here and let me assure you, you will not want to miss it. It’s a start of a journey and we’re all going to be on it together, in love and support and encouragement for a person who has decided it’s time to take charge of her health. I know how much you all will lift her up with WritersButt awesomeness. So, come back next week!

Often when I’m making dinner, the kids and/or my husband will trail through the kitchen. Ok, I take that back, everyone is always traipsing through the kitchen at all times. It’s absolutely the hub of our home.  But when I’m making dinner, the question is always asked, “What’s for dinner?”  Many times, my answer goes something like this, “Well, I’m doing chicken with this veggie and I’m trying … well, it’s sort of an experiment.”  I do a lot of ‘experiments’. Thankfully, they usually turn out so this phrase does not send my house-natives running for take-out.

Something I want you to think about in your cooking is to not always choose what’s familiar. I encourage you to try to prepare stuff you are totally unfamiliar with. It’s an adventure and you can discover amazing things. I get a farm-fresh box of locally-grown vegetables delivered to my house every other week. Often there are things in my box that I’ve never seen before. I usually have to go to Google and look a veggie up to see what I’m supposed to do with it. Not only does this teach me about different vegetables, it often makes me prepare a dish I’d not have considered before. Also, and this is a biggie, it shows my children that it’s fun to try new things. My kids are great about seeing a new food and – as they are bringing it to their mouth to taste – asking, “what’s this?” So much better than the wrinkled nose, puckered lips expression that goes with, “I’m not eating that.”

During the summer, I get a lot of okra in my veggie-box. I had never cooked okra. And I heard it was slimy and that was a total turn off. But like last summer, here came the okra in my box and I was determined to cook it and like it. So I went to where I often go when I want quick and amazing advice. Facebook! I asked how to prepare okra and not to tell me breaded and fried because that was not happening. I got a lot of great suggestions, many I’m going to try throughout the summer because I’m sure I’ll be getting more okra, but in the end, I chopped it up and sautéed it just like I do any other veggie and it was delish! Who the heck knew??

This week, my challenge to you is to choose a food (veggie, fruit, or even a protein source) that you don’t recognize or have never tried and really don’t even know what to do with. Get it! Have an experiment! You never know, it may turn out to be your family’s next favorite thing!

Last week I promised you the recipe for the amazing lemon and paprika chicken dinner I made. So, here ya go!

What you see on this plate is the chicken dish nestled onto a bed of roasted garlic spaghetti squash with a healthy helping of roasted farm-fresh vegetables.

First you’ll need to get your squash in the oven. I got a HUGE tip this week to speed up this process because typically spaghetti squash can take between 30-50 minutes in the oven. For a faster version, poke it a bunch with a sharp knife and put it in the microwave for 10-12 minutes. (While that is going on, prepare your chicken and veggies for cooking) The squash will be hot so handle with oven mitts. Cut in half lengthwise, rub fresh garlic all over the flesh. Cut up a few cloves of garlic and sprinkle all over. Salt and pepper and to really go with this dish, I added some smoked sweet paprika powder. Into a 350 oven to finish cooking. You’ll know it’s done when you can make spaghetti with the flesh by scraping it with a fork.


Dice up your chicken into desired sized bites. Sauté in olive oil with garlic. Add in zest and juice of a couple of lemons and sprinkle with some of your smoked paprika powder. (Little kosher salt to taste and cracked pepper) Keep sautéing until cooked through and then turn to low until you’re ready to plate.


For this side dish I used veggies I had on hand from my local farm-fresh box. There are some lady peas, (never cooked these before) and some hardy greens. I didn’t know what the greens were. I’m still not 100% sure but I’m pretty sure they were swiss chard.  I also had a sweet potato that had been languishing in my veggie basket for a couple weeks. Chopped up the potato and rough chopped the greens. Heated up some olive oil, added in some garlic (are you seeing a theme in my cooking?) and put the sweet potato and peas in. Once the potato was soft enough, I put in the greens and, using tongs, kept folding it until it was wilted. I squeezed on some lemon, added some zest and paprika so that all my dinner components would marry well.

This is by far one of the best meals we’ve had in a long time!

I’ll leave you with some pictures of the other night when we had a yummy grilled dinner and decided to eat in our backyard, despite the fact that our grass is dead and well, let’s just say our backyard lacks any form of ambiance. It’s the fabulous company you keep, right? And we do have that!!

I once again grilled avocado. Probably the easiest thing in the world and so delicious. Here you see it pre-grill.  All I did from here was put it flesh side down for a couple minutes until it had those great grill marks.  You can fill with some fresh pico de gallo. I scooped half an avo onto my grilled chicken. Swoon!

Here’s our platter of yumminess. As you can see, I’m not very good at cooking steak. The boys didn’t complain and said it was ‘great’. Aren’t they sweet?  The chicken was perfect because, well, I’m good at that.  Haha

As per our usual, we had a fresh salad with our dinner.  In addition to field greens and romaine, I added in fresh strawberries, blueberries (from the box), grapes and cucumber (again from the box). Tossed with olive oil, vinegar, garlic crunchies, s/p. Behind the delicious salad you can see the sweet potato chips that I burned and the new ones that my husband had to buy (frozen) from the store when he went to get a new propane tank, since ours ran out ‘last’ time we grilled and we had forgotten. Ah–just go with the flow!!

So, along with Delaney and Duncan here, I’d like to wish you all a wonderful Independence day!






What’s at your fingertips in bed?

Now I bet you all jumped to all sorts of images and wild conclusions based on the title of this post. Puleeze, people! I’m talking about what’s on your nightstand. Get your mind out from between the sheets. That’s for a totally different blog post, probably not written by me.

I think what is on a person’s nightstand says a lot about them. Even the tiny details or bits of clutter reveal fascinating tidbits. In the effort of full disclosure and honesty, I’ll show you a few nightstands in our house, starting with my own.

First you might notice that this is a TV table. I don’t even have a nightstand. I’ve wanted to get matching nightstands for our master room for over a decade. All in good time! So, in the ‘meantime’, I’m using this TV tray and will likely soak my dentures on it next to my clap-on-clap-off lamp I’ll eventually have when I’m 112 years old.

Items on my table:

Of course there is a stack of books.  My water bottle, which is pretty much never out or arm’s reach. A couple pair of reading glasses because even though I’m not 112, I am 42 and sometimes I need a little boost for the peepers. A little notebook and various writing utensils for bouts of inspiration. I see a green therapy band. I have this here to remind me to do my shoulder exercises. This has never worked. I have some tissue because I have allergies. I see a time-improvement ribbon from one of my kids’ swim meets. Not sure why that’s there. I also see that I have my fingerless, cashmere gloves w/ the darling vintage buttons here. You know, it may be 108 degrees in Texas right now, but hey, the weather can turn on a dime! Honestly, these should be put away but I love them. They remind me of a fantastic writing week with my besties, so they can stay there. Oh, there are two cords that always stay there, one for my kindle and the other for my phone.

Books in my stack:

Since most of you who read my blog, (all 8 of you) are writers, I know you want to see which books sleep next to me at night.  I’ve read all of these books, some multiple times, except the one my son keeps pestering to me to read. It’s probably time to move these to the book shelf so I can start a new stack. Although, some of them will make their way back to my nightstand eventually. From top to bottom, with links because I’m helpful that way:

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Break Into Fiction by Mary Buckham and Diana Love

Save the Cat and Save the Cat Strikes Back by Blake Snyder

Deadly Farce by Jennifer McAndrews

Dark Life by Kat Falls (son’s book)

Tangled by Erica O’Rourke

What does my nightstand tell you about me? I’d like to think it shows I’m prepared for an allergy attack and writing inspiration, am well hydrated, am sentimental, don’t get hung up on details like having to have a ‘perfectly’ decorated room and that I have amazing taste in books!

Here’s a photo of my husband’s nightstand, a real nightstand that is actually part of a bedroom set from my parents who divorced about 34 years ago. You see why matching nightstands are on my wish list?

His stuff is mainly little things the kids have made, a cup of coins, a book our son wants him to read (he’s big on having us read the books he loves), letter opener, leatherman knife thingy. Mainly though, it’s those 2 cords, one for his phone and the other for his iPad. What this tells me is that he clearly needs a picture of me at his bedside? What the heck?

And here’s a peek at my 11 year old daughter’s bedside table.

In the back is a copy of the school newspaper in which she was a contributor, various water sources, pens and paper, (a girl can’t live without a feather bird pen, it’s a rule!), clock and iPod docking thingy, CDs and her CD/Karaoke player. Does this tell you anything about Delaney?

I’d show you my two teenage sons’ bedside collection but honestly, let’s not go there. That would be way over-sharing and uber-embarrassing. Their rooms … ~shudder~

What do you think? Do you think our nightstands tell you anything about us? What does yours say about you?  Share with me in the comments what you have at arm’s reach while you’re in bed. (Keep it clean—Family blog!)  ~grin~


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