Monthly Archives: August 2012

WritersButt Wednesday – Back in Action!

Well, Hello, Hello, Hello, my WritersButt Besties!

I want to know how you all are doing? Who’s been drinking their 100oz of water a day?  Who’s been grilling up a storm this summer – fueling your body with healthy food? Who’s been finding time daily to get in a little workout to fire up their metabolism and boost their creativity? Who’s been taking the time at the end of the day to list 3-5 things for which they are grateful? Who’s been getting enough sleep?

The paragraph above is your recipe for a healthy and fit self! Sure there are more components, but these are your core basics. Everybody can do this. We can all be hydrated, fueled healthfully, active, rested and grateful.

Excuses are what you are choosing to do to ensure that you do not attain your goals.

Before I get to some recipes for you, I’d like to update you on Jennifer’s journey. She has hit some roadblocks and been knocked off course a bit, but she is not giving up! I’d love if you’d head over to her blog and give her some support as she gets determined to stand back up and forge ahead.

When we got home from TN, there was nothing to eat in our house. I mean, of course not. We’d been gone for weeks. On one of the first few nights we were home, I ran to the store to get a rotisserie turkey breast and a large salad. My daughter begged me to make my ‘lemon-spinach’ so I put that on the list. I was so scatter-brained trying to assimilate back into home-life that I got home without two things. The turkey breast and lettuce. Yes, just the two main things. My husband offered to run back to the store for me. I could have run back to the store myself, but I didn’t want to. I thought I could punt and make it work.

Now, I know a lot of people, when faced with a night where they don’t want to cook or missing key ingredients, will immediately default to unhealthy choices they can find in their pantry or freezer.  I had all the fixings for the wilted lemon-garlic spinach, so I was good there. I also had a ton of hard-boiled eggs left from our car trip home.  So, I whipped up some egg-salad and made the spinach. I did have bread for whoever wanted that. I didn’t. This is what I did.

It was SO good. In fact, when my daughter saw my plate, she asked if I’d make the same thing for her.  This couldn’t have been simpler!

Lemon-Garlic Spinach:

Huge box of fresh triple-washed spinach from produce section

1-2 lemons – zest and juice

2-3 cloves of garlic – thinly sliced

Bonus: sprinkle of freshly ground nutmeg

In very large skillet or sauce pot:

Sauté garlic slivers in extra virgin olive oil until golden

Add in zest of lemons

Pile in all your spinach (it will be overflowing!) Start turning with tongs.

Add juice of lemons

Just turn spinach until it just starts to wilt. Take off heat.

Another thing I’ve experimented with this summer is homemade Pico de Gallo. It’s a condiment that is PACKED with flavor and you can give it as much kick as you can handle. If you’ve never tried to make your own pico, I encourage you to try because you can put in exactly what you like. For instance, I’m not a fan of raw onions. All store-bought pico comes with raw onions.

Every summer in TN, I drive into town on Saturday to go to the local farmer’s market. This is a tiny-little market in the center of town in Dandridge, TN. What was fun is that this one farm has gotten to know me and looks forward to when I start showing up on Saturdays. This year, when I said I was about to drive home, the mom came out from behind the table and give me a huge hug and said she’d miss me until next summer. How cute is that? I adore small towns!

Why am I telling you this? Well, because it’s heartwarming for one, and, if you can get to a farmers’ market, do it — especially if you’re going to make an awesome pico de gallo!!  🙂

Some things I have used in my versions over the summer: various peppers from the farmers market, tomatoes (again from farmers market), cucumber, bell peppers, garlic, mango, apples …

Here’s a version we had last night with our eggs.

In our area of Texas, we’re in the Hatch-Pepper season. It runs for a few weeks and our local grocery store sells them raw and also slow-roasts them and packages them that way. For the above pico de gallo, we used a package of hot roasted hatch peppers, a large tomato (removing seeds and juice so it won’t be too watery), some sautéed onions, and apples. Seasoned with splash of vinegar, kosher salt, pepper and a bit of chili powder.  Seriously YUM! It can be used on eggs, on burgers, chicken, steak … anything. Or even with tortilla or pita chips if that’s your fancy. ~wink~

I have another recipe for you but I’m going to save it for next week. It was unbelievably good. Now aren’t you already excited for newt WritersButt Wednesday?

Finally, I’m going to give you a little workout challenge. We did this in our gym last week and I thought it would be a great short WritersButt workout for you guys. I’m going to give you the version we did at CrossFit Georgetown and I’ll give you a scaled version as well.

CFG Version:

AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible) in 12 minutes of:

50 double-unders – OR 150 single jumps

7 Burpees

*note: You add 7 burpees each round. So round one you’ll do 7 burpees, round two, 14, round three – 21 etc.

Your ‘score’ is how many burpees you can get done.

WritersButt Version:

AMRAP in 10 minutes of:

75 jump ropes (if you don’t have jump rope do 35 jump-jacks)

5 push ups

*You will add 5 push-ups each round.

Questions? I’d LOVE it if you tried one of these and let me know how you did. How many burpees or how many pushups did you manage to fit into that 12 or 10 minute time cap?

Have a great week!


Anyone remember me? I’m BACK!


Knock-Knock. Hello … anyone still out there? I’m going to pretend I have a few of you who remember me after I went totally AWOL on you the past month. As many of you know, I scampered off to my beautiful summer lake in the gorgeous East TN.  For 13 years we have done this and it’s always exactly what I need to get away from the hustle and bustle of the school year and avoid complete burnout. (Thanks Louise for this great post.)

Here’s a little taste of what we did on our summer vacation.

Sibling love!!

Ginger’s writing desk.

A girl flying with her grandpa!!

Goodbye Summer 2012

And now we’ve been home a week and today is the first day of school. It’s a momentous year for the Calem Clan. Our youngest is off to middle school and our middle child is joining his brother in high school. In fact, they drove off to school on their own. It’s a new reality for mom.

The Natives off to 11th, 9th, and 6th grade.

I know everyone says, “time flies” so much that it’s beyond a cliché. I’d like to change it to ‘Time Apparates’. Most of you know we are huge Harry Potter fans in our house. You know how in the magical world, the kids reach an age where they can learn how to apparate, that is be in one place and then through concentration and a bit a magic, instantly show up in an entirely different place?

Well, that’s how I feel. I feel that in one second I was the mom of little kids who needed my hands-on care for food preparation, shoe-tying, nose-blowing, bubble-baths and play dates. And now, well, now I’ve apparated to a world where they don’t need me for any of that. Except for maybe that food-prep thing. They do love to be fed!

With elementary school behind us for good, gone are the class parties, field trips and ‘Good Job’ stickers on their papers. Heck, I hardly saw a single paper come home from high school last year. But there will be a lot of school sports, orchestra and theatre productions. For that, I am grateful and can’t wait to support my Eagles!

I love how they are growing up and becoming mini-adults. I’m so proud of them. But I have to wonder how my role as a parent will change in the coming few years as they prepare to transition into adulthood. I recognize how blessed we are to be a close family and how we love to have fun together. I cherish all those laughs and all those moments deep in my heart.

For those of you who have passed this milestone, any tips for me? Any words of advice on how to hang on tight and release my hold on my babies at the same time?

Finally, thanks for not forgetting about me as I went MIA. I got lured away from my blog by the lake water lapping against the shore and the sunshine warming my skin and the time to spend with my little family away from it all.  Forgive me?

Do Olympians have FUN? Apparently they do!!

Hi WritersButt Friends!

I don’t have a regular post for you today. But I do have something really fun to share with you that ran across my Facebook wall this morning and made me so happy and left me grinning like an idiot.  As you know from a previous post, I’m a total Olympics nerd. Olympians are my rock stars! I can only fathom the time and intensity of their training. And yet, they are still human. They are often young, like really young. Missy Franklin will be a senior in high school, just a year older than my oldest. Wow!

So this music video of the USA swim team makes my heart smile. Love seeing them be young and goofy and having a great time.

Their time is NOW and they are having FUN.  Priceless!

Nutrition Note:

I know y’all are sick me me harping on you strongly suggesting that you get more lean protein, veggies and healthy fat in your diet. Well, here’s a great tip for a fast dinner. Egg night! Often in the Calem household we do eggs for dinner. Made to order. It’s a great night to clean out your fridge of all those little bits of various veggies leftover. We did this last night. On the cutting board, ready to be thrown into a egg scramble were things like, mushrooms, chopped bell peppers, sausage, pepperoni, spring greens and shredded cheese.  The sky’s the limit, or whatever you can find in your fridge!  Get creative. Healthy, cheap and fast. Can’t beat that!!

Have a great week!

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