What is Currently Keeping Me Off a Ledge

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I'm mentally preparing to start my senior (and most difficult) year of college next week. I am overwhelmed just thinking about my grad school applications (what if I don't get in?!).  And taking the GRE (the SATs of grad school). 

Zillow says our house is worth $45k less than we paid for it almost five years ago (despite getting a good deal because it was facing foreclosure), and we are confronting the scary reality of selling it in less than two years.  People on Yahoo Answers say Zillow knows bupkis about property values unless you live in a cookie cutter neighborhood.  We don't.  There are a lot of smart people on Yahoo.  Geniuses.  I'm going to hang my hat on their opinions.

Little Man is starting middle school in two weeks. I want to put him in a box and feed him Mountain Dew so he won't grow anymore.  I think I'm kidding.  Please don't report me.

I bought a new car three months ago.  Prior to this we had not made a car payment in over 5 years because our old car had long since been paid off.  Sure enough, I forgot to pay it this month . . . but remembered today, the due date.  I almost had a public meltdown in a local diner over the fact that my first late payment (ever) was going to be the third payment on my new car. It ended up being fine. And paid.  But not without an unattractive case of cold sweats.

Have I thoroughly overwhelmed you?  Welcome to my world.  I really need to chill, start going with the flow, and stop ruminating on things I have no control over. Needless to say, I have needed some happy distractions the last few days. Being the nice, if not neurotic, girl that I am, I'm going to share said happies.

I read somewhere that R. Kelly has a new album out and downloaded it to my iPhone immediately.  We were in the midst of a road trip and it sounded like just the thing to pep up some late night driving. I was not wrong.  I had my phone's music library on shuffle, so his songs were mixed in with others.  After the third one came up, my husband turned to me and said, "What is this you're listening to?  It's very . . . smooth.  And calming. I like it!"

This album isn't like Kelly's usual R&B sound.  It's old school.  I love old school.  As in, classic Motown sounds.  This is coming from the girl that owned NBC's Temptations miniseries on VHS until I wore it out.  Classic Motown speaks to my soul.

This album gives Kelly the opportunity to showcase his amazingly versatile voice. You Are My World is reminiscent of Michael Jackson. Party Jumpin' is 50's-ish and super catchy. Love Is and Share My Love are very Barry.  White, that is. I didn't want you to confuse it with Berry Gordy, Motown's founder.  Yeah, I knew that. 

Overall, this album shows off a more mature side of R. Kelly.  Like his girlfriends should be.  I always struggle with that, actually.  Should the fact that he makes unfortunate choices in his personal life have any bearing on my love of his music?  They are completely different entities in my mind, but it is true that buying his albums supports the person.  It's one of those weird moral dilemmas.  In the end, I choose to continue listening to him . . . with the hope that he has started carding his potential dates.  His music makes me feel  good, and this album is no exception.

Greenroom Recycled Binders

I was at Target the other day shopping for my son's school supplies (hurrah!) when I decided to pick up a binder for my A&P II class.  My professor posts the lecture notes online for us to print ahead of time, so it's one of the few classes that calls for a binder.

Let me take a second to tell you how much I love office supplies. Love. My son hasn't had to buy school supplies for the last four years and it has been really, really hard on me.

As I perused the aisle, I felt totally uninspired by the usual options.  I yearned for the pretty ones, but the more practical side of my psyche usually prevents me from spending a small fortune on a binder I'll only use for one semester.  It just so happened that the Greenroom 1.5" binders were 25 cents cheaper than the plain ones, so I gave myself the green light to be fancy. Besides, if I'm going to have to memorize all of the body's veins and arteries at 8 a.m. three days a week for four months, I should be doing it in style.  After much deliberation, I picked out a lovely leaf print one.  It's sooo purdy.  And good for the environment.  And my soul.  Too far? 

This is in New Zealand . . . but it looks A LOT like our house.

Cooler nights have begun!  While I have grown weary of New England winters, I love the cool, cloudless nights that have started to emerge over the last week.  I am picking our down comforter up from the cleaners today, and we are actually going to need it soon.  I sleep so much better when all is calm and cool.

We are fortunate enough to live in a rural area that is fairly free of light pollution, so the sky looks like the one in this picture: Stars on top of stars against a jet black background.  "Date night" for Mario and I during the semester usually entails a soak in the hot tub before bed, while watching the sky and talking about our day.  Shooting stars are not an uncommon occurrence. The sky is full of my wishes.

We didn't have Nutella in our house when I was a kid.  Child abuse, right?  As an adult, I saw it on store shelves but had no idea what it was about.  Or its delicious potential.  My husband is shocked and dismayed at my lack of relationship with this divine spread.

Unfortunately, my son has a dairy allergy and Nutella is made with milk.  Boo.  Some day I hope to have it in my life.  In the meantime, I've discovered this lovely.  It is Nutella-ish and super tasty.  And the whole family can enjoy it!  Yay!

I was starving the other day and jittery from a morning that involved too much of a certain caffeinated brew; so I was seeking out something quick and hearty.  This stuff spread on a slice of nutty, whole grain sandwich bread did the trick. I have to resist the urge use the two-finger method of eating it.  Straight out of the jar.

I have a new cookbook. And a new BFF. I came across it at a local bookstore, then immediately sat on the floor and flipped through it. But I walked away. Then I found it at Barnes and Noble, sat on the floor, and flipped through it again.  I thought about ordering it on Amazon, but ultimately decided to wait until I revisited my favorite bookseller.   

Thank goodness they still had it in stock. I scooped it up in my arms and vowed never to let it go.  I apologized profusely for being so wishy washy. I always feel good buying from independent bookstores because they are a rare and wonderful thing these days.  We have spent hour upon hour in this particular bookstore. I owed them. I'm so grateful for their amazing presence that I don't mind paying list price. I think Joy the Baker would be glad that I waited.  She seems like an independent-bookstore-shopping, small-business-supporting kinda gal.

It's true love.  Never mind the fact that she's a genius. 'Cause she is. Oh, and did I mention she has a blog?  It makes it so much easier to stalk her.  Plus, I'll never run out of inspiration.  Cakes, pies, muffins, ice cream and Crunchy Cocoa Roasted Nuts . . . wherever shall I begin?  The Everything Caramel Corn.  For shizzle. I'll report back.  When I'm finished sabotaging my diet.

That's all for today, kids.  But I'm feeling frisky, so I will be posting more lust-worthy, anxiety-reducing faves this week.  Later, dudes.


  1. Nutella... yum! but peanut butter mixed with dark chocolate sounds amazing too :) Hi from your newest follower!


    1. Welcome, Heidi! Can't wait to check out your blog!

  2. I never had Nutella until I was 20! I never had heard of it, now I love it!!! mmmmm

    Im your newest follower

    XOXO Tiffany

    1. It's nice to know I'm not alone in my Nutella naivety! Welcome to my quirky world! Your blog is fun...a girl after my own sample-loving heart!


  3. I like this! I hope you can share it on my blog today. Now following! :)
    Wanderlust Wednesday Link-up

    1. Thanks, Kelli! I'm still learning the ins and outs of 'blog hops.' I'll definitely share! Thanks for visiting!

    2. Thank you SO much for linking up today, it made my day! You are awesome. Please come share next week on my blog again, I love hearing about your crazy adventures. We can share this last year of college together! Yay for being seniors!

    3. Thank, Kelli! I'd love to share! Doesn't it feel sooo good to be in our last year?! Holy long road, Batman! Here's to kindred spirits!

    4. FYI: The fact that it says Thank, Kelli instead of 'Thanks' will haunt me forever. I'm neurotic that way. :)

  4. Thanks so much for linking up to Loves on a Thursday! I am big fan of Nutella, school supplies and I really miss the stars...I grew up in the country and now, living in the city, you just can't appreciate them as much!

  5. Thanks for visiting, Lish! We won't be living here forever, and the stars will be something I will miss. I'm just discovering 'hops' and really enjoy getting to find great blogs through them!


  6. so glad i found your pretty blog! i love it!

    Have a wonderful day! stop by nichollvincent.blogspot.com and say hello! :)

  7. Thanks for visiting, Nicholl! I will definitely stop by!


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