3.20: What’s On My Nightstand

Well, folks. We’re living in a whole new world right now. This is absolutely crazy, and I hope everyone is doing okay. I’m sending solidarity to people who are working from home and homeschooling kiddos, and sending huge thank yous to all the brave healthcare workers, first responders, grocery store workers, and more, who are doing so much for our country right now.

While it feels trivial to talk about what’s on my nightstand, I know that I, for one, am looking for some mindless ways to escape reality at the moment (and get some sleep). Maybe you are too? Here are the six items I’ve been obsessing about lately. Several of them are from women-owned companies, in case you’re in the mood for some retail therapy or just want to infuse some dollars into worthy companies.

What’s On My Nightstand

Dry-line hand sanitizer
I hate the smell of hand sanitizer, which is a problem right about now! Recently, I met Evelyn, Dry-line’s founder, through a mutual friend, and she told me about the hand sanitizer she created using essential oils. I was blown away by the great smell and the pretty packaging, and it’s 65 percent alcohol—perfect for killing coronavirus germs.

Wave Meditation
I love this! I find that the beat and vibration of the pillow helps recenter and calm my nerves—and my brain. It completely washes over me and almost resets my nerves. The music is great and the meditation that goes along with the beat is incredibly soothing. You can choose your own adventure. For a more affordable option, you can always download the Wave app and use noise cancelling headphones or a bluetooth speaker.

Cora women’s products
There are a ton of things we weren’t told about feminine products, like what’s actually in them and what the proximity of those toxic chemicals next to our reproductive organs can do to our bodies. I recently discovered Cora, a subscription service featuring products made of natural ingredients like organic cotton. They have a solution to all your monthly needs, from pads and tampons to panty liners and washes. And I love the give back component: With every month of Cora you purchase, the company gives health education and pads to a girl in need in a developing country. 

Glossier Cloud Paint 
With nowhere to go these days, it’s been a tad hard to motivate myself to put effort into my appearance. It feels a bit trivial with everything going on, but the isolation and lack of effort can take a toll on your mental wellbeing. I’ve found that a little bit of energy on my makeup helps boost morale and makes me feel better during this strange time. And while being with three kids and two dogs 24/7 is errrr…entertaining, it doesn’t exactly leave much room for a makeup routine. That’s why I love this blush from Glossier. It makes me feel like I’ve been kissed by the sun (or my husband). My skin looks more alive and pretty and ready to take on the day—whatever is being thrown my way. It’s minimal effort with maximum effect and it lasts all day to keep the indoor blues away.  

S’Well water bottle
Having a reusable water bottle is a must, especially these days. I really love this woman-owned company and adore the designs. When I sip from one, I feel good about being better to my environment, and I also feel like a hydrated boss.  Especially with everything going on, it’s a good reminder to stay hydrated and flush my system.

Dr. Barbara Sturm lip balm
I am obsessed with this lip balm. Yes, it’s on the higher end, price-wise, but it is worth it. Your lips won’t regret it.

And tell me: What is helping you get through these crazy days and nights? I’d love to know in the comments.



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  • Hailey Owens

    I absolutely love this series. It’s crazy how much our nightstands change through different life phases. Thank you for continuing to encourage and share with us. Hang in there, Momma. You’re doing wonderfully. ❤️

  • Jam

    Today I have a headache and I’m trying to study ( trying to get in med school) with this headache, not working!

  • Tracey Le Clerc

    Thanks for these ideas Gen!
    I love your “What’s on my nightstand” posts!
    Some things that I’ve tried and have helped with sleep are Cbd gummies; sleepytime tea; and Melatonin.
    I also love how real you are with your readers. You don’t try to be perfect, or pretend that you have a perfect non stressful life! You are so genuine and upfront about your personal stressors, it makes you more relatable.
    So thank you for everything you share with us. And you are an amazing woman & mom!!
    Take care!!

  • Chantal

    I, like you, use meditation to centre and ground myself. I also take walks and try to do something creative whether it’s painting, drawing, making jewellery or experimenting with a craft from materials laying around my art studio/dining room LOL. I limit my exposure to news so that I have the necessary information to stay safe while at the same time avoiding overwhelming my anxious mind. But mostly I try to be mindful and look for the positive in every moment.

  • Erin

    In addition to a (loose) schedule, I do the following:

    1) Physical activity – at least 30 minutes of SOMETHING. I love to dance (I’m not great at it but I love to do it), so stuff like Body Groove is great for me, or I’ll just throw on my favorite music list (a bit of everything 80s rock, 90s alt, 00s punk, etc) and dance for half an hour, or if it’s warm enough I’ll go for a walk or I work out and stretch – so long as I’m moving it’s good.

    2) I try to do ONE productive thing. This might be cleaning, looking through my stuff to decide what I can get rid of, cooking an extra big meal for leftovers for a few days, etc.

    3) I spend at least a half hour writing. I’m planning to go back to grad school for a different degree, and I need to be able to write (I want my submission to be my best!). Plus, I enjoy creative writing. Poetry and fiction (fantasy) both are things I work on 🙂

    4) Reading. I read a LOT and devour a lot of books. Most of the stuff I have I’ve read for the Nth time so I generally turn to fanfiction and the like to help me pass some hours. My preferred genres are fiction (fantasy) and romance, but I’m always down for a good sci-fi or post apocalyptic adventure.

    5) A half hour of work. I’m a high school teacher, so according to my district, I’ve gotta find “voluntary resources” to use with my kids. I give them a big assignment for the whole week, like watching a video and then writing a paragraph on an ethics issue or something. #biology #humananatomy #apbio

    6) Video games. I’m such a nerd (proud of it!) but different games with different challenges (usually self imposed) is fun. Plus a lot of my games tend to be RPGs (fantasy and great story and characters) or puzzle games (Portal and Portal 2 are 3-D problem solving games that don’t feel like problem solving games and are so much fun!).

    If I slow down, it gets hard to push myself through, and even on days I do well I can feel the anxiety and depression creeping in, so I also try to message/voice chat with one friend every day, even for a few minutes to try and beat it back. It’s not always successful (my plants and stuffed animals don’t cuddle back or talk back yet – yeay?) but it sometimes helps.

    Hope you guys are well 🙂

  • Sandi

    Enjoy your recommmendations….thanks

  • Troian Miller

    I love how real and honest you are! On my nightstand is just regular hand sanitizer, my glasses case, my book I am reading right now, and the remote to the roku. It is so very interesting how my nightstand changes probably seasonally. My husband is working overtime and I’m self quarantined.

  • Sara

    For me it’s been music & classic tv reruns! I’ve got 200 of my favorite songs, new discoveries & old standards, on my playlist & MeTV for my classic shows; like M*A*S*H, Andy Griffith, Twilight Zone, Hogan’s Heroes…& I just started binging Supernatural again. I lost count how many times I’ve done that over the years! Take care & carry on ♥️

  • Alyson

    I’ve been curious about Glossier products Ive been seeing on IG ads. I might give them a try now.

  • Cathy

    My daughter is a yoga instructor and massage therapist and she taught me how to breathe from your diaphragm it’s so relaxing that I feel like I’ve been sleeping I also use calming mediation music while I breathe.Thank you Gen for sharing Stay safe and healthy ❤️

  • Melanie

    A diffuser with lavender oil relaxes my mind and body and Indie Lee’s Squalane Facial Oil softens and soothes my skin. A Voluspa candle and a good read helps too!

  • Diana Quick

    My husband just cleaned my nightstand so it’s just my charger, wireless headphones and a bottle of water now. I’m a nurse so I’m working during the day and at night coming home to have some downtime and a nice leisurely meal with my husband. Just before the quarantine we sent our kids to stay with my parents in the next state over during the extended break so we’ll usually call and talk to them if they aren’t too busy playing a game or baking. Then some internet time and sleep so I can get up and do it again the next day.


    Morning Gen, I Just wanted to tell you what I’m doing to stay sane, I never saw your show Wildfire so I bought all the 4 seasons, I”m in season 2 and I love the show and you are fantastic. I have some laundry to do and some cooking so I’ll continue later because if I put it on now nothing will get done. Prayers for you and your family


    Hi Gen!! Thank you!! Yes, how crazy and scary things are right now. I’ve been required to work since I’m in the financial industry. Half the office was sent to work from home but us few. Now we have been possibly exposed to a person coming in to the office that was around a person that tested positive!! Now I’m quarantined in my room as my brother and 2 kids live with me. They are in the opposite end of the house. Please everyone stay home if you are sick!! She had been sick and did not do the responsible thing and get tested then came in to work! Now it got REAL for us. Not just the inconvenience of not being able to buy toilet paper or towels. Thank you Gen for continuing to post and hlep us get through this hard time. My nightstand has a sound machine that I love, I fall asleep to waves every night. Also I have my bible, quiet night relaxing balm from LATHER. Love it! And lavender essential oil for my pillow. Plus happy pictures of all my nieces and nephews 🙂 Take care everyone!! Wash hands often for 30 seconds, don’t touch your face, stay 6 feet away from people if you have to go out for necessities, stay home as much as you can and stay social by phone, internet only. Stay safe and healthy!!

  • Tami

    Love the products you recommend!

    I’m actually doing this global meditation:

    Join with thousands of people across the world who are adding coherent heart energy to lift global consciousness and generate personal health and wellbeing. Your participation matters.

  • Jean Mathwig

    I love to hear all fun and not-so fun things happening at your littel urban Funny Farn: everything from the good (new chikies), the bad (dead chkies), and the ugly (3kids,2dogs,1oversized man-child cooped up together — even in a large house, that’s hard) , to the OMG unexpected cute overload (bitty bunnies, can’t get much cuter thatn that!).

    Seriously Gen, I look forward to all of your posts because even in a crisis you radiate calm (you are a fantastic actress!) LOL. Seriously, though, you share your wisdom and your fails, you keep it real. I do wish you would moffer more low-cost items for those of us struggling. I would love to hear any I would love to hear any do-it-yourself tips or strategies for those of use running low on TP and all the other everyday stuff. I’m not one to hoard,, and usually shop online for the household items. But when Walmart (for example) is out of stack for online orders, but says they are available in the stores — only they aren’t by the time I get there — it’s very frustrating. Any ideas where to find or how to create hinney wipers from scratch? <3 <3 <3 *long-distance hugs to the family and criters*

  • Ravi Teja

    Hey Gen,

    Thanks for the awesome posts and stories, even my mother got inspired by your website started her own Indian food blog, She was a teacher and resigned her job for us. I am adding her blog post link below.


    Keep entertaining, and Keep Inspiring people, God Bless You, Jared, and the whole family with abundant happiness and prosperity.

    Lots of Love,
    Ravi Teja.

  • Alex

    At the moment my nightstand has my night book (cause I read multiple books at a time), a journal, a reusable water bottle, a bookmark of a speech that Jared did for AIR that Hot Topic was giving out, and photos of my mom and soulmate that have both passed on. I like keeping their memories close to me.
    Keep safe and healthy! Thanks for posting! I’ve been catching up on reading your blog during this quarantine. It’s a nice escape from all this craziness right now! 💕


    Morning Gen, Just checking in to see how the Padalecki family is doing. I mentioned earlier that I was watching Wildfire and
    in the middle of season 3 my DVD player stopped working. Well thank God for amazon because I ordered a new one. Today I’ll finish season 3 and I wish season 4 was not the end. Love this show and between your show and Supernatural I’m through these lonely weeks. Love to all Adele

  • Katrina Jones

    Thanks for being so Inspiring. I love seeing your post and reading your blog. IT Inspires me to be a better person, wife and mother. What would be the best way to intriduce myself to yoga or some kind of meditation?? Thanks

  • Iva Marinkovic

    I tried Dr. Barbara lip balm and have to agree with Gen and recommend it 100% I always had very dry lips but after I started using the balm they were always moisturized, plum and soft (definitely more kissable lol)!
    Love you Gen💕 keep up amazing work on this blog!

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