September 30, 2010

Current obsessions...

Dressing up a blah bowl of grilled chicken and brown rice with some salsa, sour cream and a pinch of shredded cheddar ... mmm - don't forget the hot sauce!



September 24, 2010

bear with me ...

I fully intend to continue changing the design of this blog until I am 100% satisfied.

This could take a while.

September 23, 2010

super shiny, healthy, awesome...

I would like to recommend a few products from a brand that I LOVE. 

This bundled package through Amazon is a great deal, truly. My hair dresser, Tanya (Salon de Moda) used the trio on me about two years ago and I have been hooked ever since. I bought this very package before I left the salon that night and I still use it every single day. 

THE SHAMPOO is a conditioning shampoo - and anyone who has super thick hair like I do has probably tried a million two-in-ones in their lifetime with no success. Nothing ever worked for me. But this product is awesome... 
"Made with mild lipid and amino-acid cleansing creams, it's so healthy for your hair that you'll never have to switch shampoos again. What makes it so good? Because the human hair fiber is made from amino acids, and the hair and skin's moisture is derived from lipids, our proprietary blend of lipid and amino-acid based cleansers make DermOrganic® the only shampoo that moisturizes, strengthens and rebuilds the hair while it cleans! Colored, permed, heat styled or sun drenched, DermOrganic® has what it takes to impress your stressed tresses. We've also added rice amino acids to help repair, and reinforce; panthenol to rehydrate; and natural moisture factors to further maintain a healthful moisture balance. So gentle, this shampoo is ideal for color treated hair and is superb as an all-over cleanser that leaves skin soft and supple. Further enriched with Omega-6 and anti-oxidants to protect and preserve the life of hair color, we're sure that you won't find another shampoo that is as safe, gentle and nourishing."

THE MASQUE. I use this about once a week. I don't find the need to do it more frequently. It instantly recharges your hair and leaves it feeling silky and "put together". All of the little frizzies are tamed for a few days after use. It's wonderful.

"The Masque is an intensive deep conditioner that revitalizes and repairs damaged hair from the inside out. It has unique properties that won't build-up, or over-proteinize the hair, making it safe for everyday use. Why is it so good? The Masque contains a proprietary blend of rice amino-acids inside a lipid-based emulsification. Instead of coating the hair, DermOrganic works deep, depositing amino acids to strengthen and smooth each individual hair from the inside out while replenishing real, natural moisture. Colored, permed, heat styled or sun drenched, DermOrganic has what it takes to impress your stressed tresses. So gentle, Masque is ideal for color treated hair and can be used everyday as a quick conditioner, and 2-3 days a week as a deep reconstructor."

THE TREATMENT "This Leave-In Treatment with Organic Argan Oil repairs, protects and shines. Although Argan Oil is an oil treatment, it will not make your hair oily! DermOrganic Leave-In Treatment, based on Morrocan Argan Fruit Oil, has the unique quality of instant absorption into hair. It restores shine and softness while strengthening brittle hair. Replenishes nourishment to dry, damaged, colored hair. Protects hair from styling heat and UV damage."  

This might be my favorite of the three. When Tanya first used this in my hair I was nervous. It's oil... and my hair is oily after one day so I would never actually add oil to it purposely. But argan oil is different, I quickly found out. I keep this in my medicine cabinet and use it every day. I run some through my hair while it's damp and then after it is dry/styled I put a little more for added shine. I sometimes use this as a skin softener as well. It's great to have on hand. The second I start to run out of any of these I hit up to order more. I am hooked.

September 22, 2010


The day has finally come!! Our prayers (well, some of them) have finally been answered!! We have dreamed of this day and are now stunned by its arrival. 

Our neighbors are taking down their above-ground pool!! 

Now, hold on. Don't judge me just yet. 

Of course I realize that everyone likes to cool off in the hot summer heat by throwing a florescent inner tube in the ole dunk tank and setting sail for a few hours. Understood. And I further understand that a person's backyard is their business. Gregg and I certainly don't have a landscaped wonderland for our neighbor's viewing pleasure. Quite the contrary. But in my opinion a few hundred weeds - some of them quite lovely - and a few of Brody's toys and soccer balls don't really look too bad when paired up against a nautical themed yard that pales in comparison to a Namco ad. Honestly, the fishing net and buoys tied to the retaining wall?? The oars and paddles in desperate need of a power-washing?? The beach towels that hang on the line three seasons out of the year?? I mean really. I'm not trying to be a douchebag here but let's be serious. Not only does the skeevy little pool, whose water is forest green all summer long, cause a shudder but the wooden deck attached to it is just as bad an eye-sore as the friggin fishing net. Lattice lattice everywhere!!! 

Now I know we are getting ahead of ourselves here. Just because the oldest boy was bashing a hammer into the pool sides yesterday doesn't necessarily mean that they won't rebuild. Or that the one story deck is about to see its demise. And who's to say that the buoys will be removed?? I am really jumping the gun with my excitement. But ya know what? Sometimes you just gotta go for it. Ah, maybe there's a let down in the future but I am swingin' from the chandelier (or twenty year old dusty ceiling fan) on this one and I don't care what lies ahead!! Ahoy, Cap'n Nemo!!!

September 19, 2010

clappin' gnats...


Opening curtains and then closing them immediately when I realize how bright it is outside. 

Doing dishes a million times a day while the dishwasher sits there watching me. 

Pinning my hair the hell away from my face and then demanding that my hairdresser cuts my hair to hang directly in my face. 

Wiping water from the bathroom sink and vanity. 
Trying to convince Brody that the people walking/biking/driving by our house have the right to do so.

Clappin' gnats dead when they hover around my plants or whiz past my face in the kitchen or bathroom. 

Forgetting that I have put something in the washer or dryer therefore spending days on just one load of towels. 

Making too many pitchers of iced green tea. 

Scanning the walls desperately to find space for a new project or arrangement and then obsessing over it until I complete my vision. 

Folding our kitchen towels into neat squares so they don't look too messy on the counter.

Deciding what scented candle I shall fill the air with each and every day. 

Rummaging through the fridge to be sure that we will finish all foods before their expiration.


Writing in my journal and assuring Gregg that I'm not making fun of him in it. 

Reading tons of Woman's World and Real Simple magazines.

Singing ridiculous songs to Brody such as, He's a Handsome Boy He's Brody and the ever popular, Danger-Wolf

Hating my treadmill for sixty minutes, five times a week. 
Watching Roseanne reruns. 

Making lots of eggs, chicken, brown rice and steamed veggies and adding a waterfall of hot sauce to them. 

Updating my facebook status.

Revamping my resume. 

Writing silly blogs. 

Igor further beautifies RI coast...

September 16, 2010

... patchwork

There is a store in Old Mystick Village called Imagine that I have been in love with since I was 15 years old. It remains a hippie owned and infused atmosphere. One of the owners, Karen, is almost always there to chat you up with her genuinely friendly conversation regarding her favorite store items as well as anecdotes about her own life. They recently moved from a very small dwelling located at the end of the shopping village to a much larger space with an open floor plan which ensures that you get a great look at everything the store has to offer. I have bought many things over the years in this sixties inspired gift shop but just recently I found my favorite item to date. I fell in love with a patchwork style bag and knew I had to have it. 

This may not look like much to you, and is probably not your style but I am in LOVE. I love every last detail and every single stitch. I do, of course, love me a Guess bag but I will always have a soft spot for that sixties style.

disco room ...

As I recall, from personal experience, when forced to awaken early to begin a regimen of hurried ready-getting and a white-knuckled commute to a place that you don't necessarily enjoy, you don't exactly possess the free time to appreciate a lovely morning. 

Lately, I have been waking up around 5 am, as the dog plays a game of 'I'm up, just kidding, no I'm not', jumping on and off the bed five or six times before Gregg leaves the house to head to work. Some days I lay there - enjoying the extra space, and then the crowded space, and then the extra space - with no agenda and a heavy blanket on these recent chilly mornings. Other days I spring up and out of that room without looking back. Today was a springy day. And this is what greeted me in the dining room ... 

It was a light show of sorts. The newly risen sun was flooding the living room and singling out a glass, mosaic style candle on the table. Those little "dots" were all around the room. I was tempted to throw on a pair of roller skates and the song Stayin' Alive. Lucky for all, I possess neither the song nor the skates. But seriously, what a simple sight to marvel at. It was pretty wonderlandy. Definitely put me in a cheerful mood right from the start!

September 7, 2010

get well snot??

Oh Walmart, you will never leave me storyless. Today, whilst searching for a Get Well card I was greeted by a nostril-dweller. Now if that doesn't say "Here's to your speedy recovery, champ, Get Well!" then you tell me what does ...

September 5, 2010

Sweet Dreams...

This is what night time looks like in the Leach household ...

Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake ...

This is a delicious recipe that I found in a magazine, courtesy of Bobby Flay
It only requires 3 ingredients and is super simple...

  • Preheat the broiler.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with nonstick spray. 
  • Arrange 9 large marshmallows flat on the sheet and place under the broiler until the top is a  deep golden brown, 30 seconds. 
  • Remove from oven and carefully turn marshmallows over and broil until tops are deep golden brown.
  • Remove from oven and let cool slightly. 
  • Combine marshmallows and 1/4 cup whole milk in a blender; blend for 5 seconds.
  • Add 11 oz.  premium vanilla ice cream and blend until smooth, about 10 seconds.
  • Serve immediately.  

* The next time I make this I plan to substitute chocolate ice cream for the vanilla and add some graham cracker crumbs, blended. Mmmmm.

September 3, 2010

I'd like a heads up ...

Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a fan of the "pop-in". You've heard the stories, you have listened to my rantings and you graciously oblige me. We have had a couple of slip-ups over the years but I'm willing to look past that. After all, I realize we are only human. 

When we moved into our first apartment I quickly realized that laws needed to be laid down. Ground needed to be set. A foundation, established, if you will. And I did just that. Not sure if the finesse came across the way that I intended it to. I thought of it as, "Please give me a heads up if you are going to swing by so I can make sure we are home." But I fear it may have seemed more like, "Don't you dare show up at my doorstep unannounced, you creepy son of a bitch!" Either way, it did the trick. I may not have come out the hero but what can ya do? Can't win 'em all. 

It isn't as though I am running some shady dealings behind closed doors. Nor am I living amongst heaps of garbage and old shoes. I can assure you that our home is always tidy and I live an honest life. I do however enjoy lounging with a fresh, clean face, wearing yoga pants and a tank top. I shuffle around in ratty, old bunny slippers that are just weeks away from seeing the inside of a garbage truck. I pin and clip my hair in eleven different directions to keep it out of my way. And I make a LOT of eggs. Stinky. I would rather you give me a call and we set up a time. It's not that I am soooooooooo busy that you need an appointment - it's that I want to make things lovely. I want to put on makeup and acceptable clothing. I want to take those god-awful pins out of my locks and spruce up a bit. I want to light seventy four candles to cover up any breakfast, lunch or dinner stenches. And naturally I want to Swiffer the floor so you don't have to wade through Brody's fur corpses. Now that's understandable, isn't it??     

September 2, 2010

My Mom...

Marie. A lovely name for a lovely lady. That's my Mom. She's Italian and proud, she's a faithful Days of Our Lives viewer and she can make a mean lasagna. What's better than that? 

I met my Mom 33 years ago. Along with my older brother, she quickly became my best friend. I can remember us singing songs and playing in the back yard together. Even the Nights are Better by Air Supply is one of the many songs that I learned from her. She often prepared my peanut butter and jelly sandwich while I prepared for her a dish of plastic berries. Well, I'm sure the thought counted. We had the privilege of spending the weekdays together while my brother was in school. Each week she would take me to the library for story hour with my little neighborhood friend and she would run next door for a coffee and muffin with her friend. We had a lot of fun in those simple times. We took a lot of walks and enjoyed living in "the sticks". Those years are responsible for some of my fondest memories.

Nowadays my Mom doesn't exactly live a simple life. My father was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in the late 1990's. That diagnosis changed her life every bit as it did my Dad's. Upon hearing the official news, things went downhill quickly. His poor reflexes and vision contributed to his decision to not renew his driver's license. He fell into a depression. He no longer cared to have a social life. He basically kept to himself. And spent the rest of his time at numerous doctor's offices.We were all devastated for him. We were left with a blank and subdued shell of a wise-cracking, full-of-life man that we'd always known. My mom lost her partner in crime. She no longer had someone to go with her to the beach, shopping or the movies. No more vacations. Not even a lunch date. My father's condition continues to worsen. He now uses a walker around the house and wheelchair otherwise. They are currently in the process of renovating their home to make it more accessible and wheelchair friendly. 

They sure have had their share of challenges over the years. My Mom stays strong. She shuffles Dad off to all of his appointments at the V.A. Medical Center. She also cares for my Grandmother, who is 88 years young and living in their home. Every week she makes several runs to the pharmacy, shopping centers and the grocery store to make sure everyone is taken care of. Not to mention cooking dinner every night and making sure that everyone has their "staples" for breakfast and lunch. No easy task. I commend her. She is quite selfless and she has a huge heart. 

I have now taken over for my father in the way of being Mom's partner in crime. Being unemployed I have had loads of free time to spend with Mom. We go to lunch and window shopping, take rides to Mystic to walk around the little shops and during the summer we always head to Newport and Jamestown for our seaside days. I enjoy it every bit as much as she does. She helps me out at every turn and someday I hope I can repay her for all of her support. She's still the fun, young lady that she was in the '60s - she just needs someone to remind her of that. Thanks for everything, Mom, you are the greatest and you are irreplaceable. 

September 1, 2010

matches made in heaven...

There are so many material things in our home that I love even though they aren't considered necessities. They were created to sit on a shelf, counter or table or hang on a wall simply for viewing pleasure. Although unimportant and maybe ugly to most, these things make me happy every single day. That is their purpose. I am very impulsive when I see something I like. I clutch it instantly which full intent to purchase it. Sometimes I put it back on the shelf and continue walking around the store, all the while obsessing in my head over this amazing item. Nine times out of ten I will go back, with a quick pace, and grab the must-have and race to the registers. Afterward, I always feel great about my decision, knowing that each piece was meant to spend the rest of its days in our home. While walking around the house today I made it a point to visit some of my favorite things and I took a minute to admire them.

My What's going on? / Bill-paying station. 
I could NOT get by without this calendar.
My plants... they've come a long way. 
It's a happy little green area.
I have always loved strawberries and I remember finding this cookie jar in the Cracker Barrel gift shop a few years ago. It was one of my "must have"s.
I found these canisters at Home Goods and they were super super cheap. 
Coffee, Tea and Sugar. So adorable.
I loved this pitcher when I first saw it and forced myself to leave the store without it. I went back the next day and bought it with the intent to fill it with fresh flowers each week. That got old (and expensive) quick - hence the utensils. Still in love.
Little fruit and veggie magnets. These were my mother-in-laws. When I was dating Gregg I would always play with the corn guy's hair when I went to his house. His mom gave them to us when we moved out. 
And yes, I still play with the corn guy's hair.
I really could have made this myself but I saw it in a magazine that offers personalization and just decided to get it. I like everything about it except the font on the keys. Should have stayed authentic with that one.
One of my favorite groupings in the house... the top of my dresser. The very same dresser that I used as a little girl only back then it had pink knobs and Strawberry Shortcake wallpaper on the sides. 
This is my little "finishing touches" place.
Another Home Goods steal. Framed tiles that match our bathroom perfectly.
Obsessed about this print from the very day that I saw it. Months later, it was a gift from my Mom. 
Thanks, Mom!
Found these old match books for $1.00 each in a consignment shop. Paired with a $4.00 bowl from the clearance section in Kohl's it has become one of my favorite decorations.
Two cherished things here. First, the Theatre shelf. This was the very first piece of decor that I bought. It started my whole obsession. I basically designed our first apartment around this shelf. Haha. Next, the Skeleton keys. I have always had a thing for keys and I bought these many moons ago ...

There are many more items and spots that I adore but I simply couldn't snap a picture of them all today. Maybe someday I'll make a sequel. I just love our home.