what fills my heart?

finding beauty, thoughts By February 11, 2016 2 Comments

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“Actually, my heart is empty”, I thought. I slipped this cuff on my wrist last week and thought, “I shouldn’t wear this. I’m too busy, too tired, too overwhelmed.” I felt sad and blah. Some days are like that. Some weeks are like that. It’s real life–but it’s not the way I want to live my life.

Since then, I’ve been reflecting on what fills my heart.

Going for a walk and noticing the bright blue sky gives me perspective.

Cuddling on the couch with my boys nurtures my soul.

Holding hands as we walk down the street makes me smile.

Cleaning out closets and donating old clothes helps me breathe deeply.

A heartfelt chat with a dear friend brings clarity to my mind.

Praying with a humble heart quiets my fears.

Counting my blessings reminds me how truly grateful I am.

Instead of filling my days with things that drag me down, I want to focus on the most important things.

In a crazy contradiction, emptying my life of extra stuff fills me up.

Touch, time, kind words, rest, space to breathe & think, letting go–these are the things that fill my heart.

Looking at that list, it’s clear –I have everything I need for a full heart.

Today I’ll slip this cuff on as a reminder of what matters most.

What fills your heart?

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my neighborhood, san luis obispo

san luis obispo, shops i love, what I'm wearing By February 10, 2016 3 Comments

We moved our shop onto Chorro Street in downtown San Luis Obispo. I’m standing our front in these pics. We are sandwiched between Eureka! Burger and Black Sheep Bar & Grill with an awesome Boba tea room called Sweetie Cup right across the street. It’s basically amazing. And there are so many adorable boutiques and delicious restaurants steps away. We are working on a plan to open the retail shop–it’s a big project in the midst of busy days. I’ll keep you updated as we progress!

on my street san luis obispo-02 I found this button up dress at Target and we both knew {the dress and I} that we would go home together. It’s a flowy versatile piece and I love it! Plus the price is unbelievable.

on my street san luis obispo-04 The slip dress is a thrift store find from years ago. I think I splurged and paid $10 for it. It’s definitely worth the investment.

on my street san luis obispo-05 And this sweet necklace holds so much meaning for me. I have a heart for each one of us in our little family of four. I am grateful.

on my street san luis obispo-06 These sandals are so comfortable. I got a second pair when they went on sale last year and tucked them away. They’re a warm weather favorite.

on my street san luis obispo-07 Have you seen these stackable ‘sweet love’ rings? Aren’t they sweet? Two for me and Steve and two for my boys.

on my street san luis obispo-09

Outfit Details: Slip dress, Thrifted. Denim dress {worn open}, Who What Wear, Target. Bag, Nena&Co. Sandals, Miz Mooz. Your Heart in Mine necklace, My shop. Sweet Love rings, My shop.

Please excuse the sandals in February. We’re having a heat wave here in California. Today was 86*–insane. We’re soaking it up while praying for more rain!

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hello little bits of home

an everyday moment, hello monday By February 8, 2016 2 Comments

Lately we’ve been sprucing room by room. First, I purged and gave away lots of stuff. Then I’ve been slowly adding to each space some plants, throws and vintage finds. Home is feeling fresh and welcoming right now–and that’s something to be thankful for!

It’s Monday–how about some hellos for a new week?little bits of home1little bits of home-01little bits of home2little bits of home-09 little bits of home3

Hello no school. We are staying home today and having a slow morning.

Hello cuddling with Louis and Beasley. Matthias and these dogs are a match made in heaven. Seriously.

Hello laundry to do and hoping I can muster up some motivation.

Hello energetic David. Lately he’s been spunky and trying new things–some good, some not so good. His rhythms are changing as they do every once in a while. He’s asserting his independence. He’s growing up–and I’m trying to let him.

Hello clean eating. We just finished a two week cleanse {phew! it was awesome and challenging!} and now we want to keep eating whole, fresh, delicious foods and stay away from refined sugar {my downfall!}

Hello sunshine and heatwave. It’s 80* here this week!

Hello craving goat cheese. I know some people hate it, but I love it. Lately I can’t get enough.

Hello reading this autobiography. What are you reading right now?

Hello listening to this podcast. What are your favorite podcasts?

Hello to YOU! It’s a brand new week with beauty to be found. What are you saying hello to this week?

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DIY leather wall hanging

DIY By February 5, 2016 1 Comment

Ready for a fun DIY that’s a little boho and a super cute? I love the texture this adds to a room.
Check it out.
wallhanging_DIYJust a few stitches, a little fringe and presto–you’re done. This leather was sold in a pack at our local craft shop–but I’ve seen beautiful and affordable leather pieces at Michael’s, too. The parachute cord melts together with a little heat–making closing your loop.

Have fun!

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the best jeans in the whole world

jewelry, Louis and Beasley, what I'm wearing By February 4, 2016 9 Comments

We stopped at Banana Republic the other day to get some jeans for Steve, and these super soft, broken-in jeans called to me. They remind me of hunting for vintage Levis in high school. We used to scour thrift shops for hours looking for the perfect pair of boyfriend jeans. A good pair of jeans are like a good friend. Or maybe like a security blanket. They’re comforting.

bursting heart lisa leonard-01I’ve also been counting my steps and they add up quickly when I take the dogs to work and we have stretch breaks during the day. My daily goal is 10,000, but when I’m in meetings all day, it’s so hard to get steps! Some days I can’t get more than 5,000 steps no matter how hard I try.

bursting heart lisa leonard-07 The bursting heart ring is making me all kinds of happy lately. And the large gemstone cuff goes with anything. I have the words ‘honesty + bravery’ stamped inside.

bursting heart lisa leonard-08I layer up every day because the mornings are super chilly. And sometimes the shop is chilly–it’s a brick building, so it stays cool.

bursting heart2-01 Sniff sniff sniff. What’s the rush?bursting heart lisa leonard-09 We’re slowly getting better at not getting all tangled up in the leash.

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Outfit details: Boyfriend jeans, Banana Republic. Striped long-sleeve tee, Banana Republic. Green faux leather jacket, Thrifted. Boots, Frye. Backpack, Frye. Bursting heart ring, My Shop. Gemstone cuff, My shop.

Are you counting your steps every day? I’d love to hear what your goals are and how you get all your steps in!

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Maybe love doesn’t last

finding love By February 2, 2016 67 Comments

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When Steve and I got married almost 17 years ago, I had love figured out. Or at least, I thought I did. We vowed to love each other ‘for better or for worse’. I had the ‘better’ part all planned out. We would work hard, save our money, buy a cute little house, have a couple kids and keep on loving each other and having fun—just like we did while we were dating and engaged. I was confident we could avoid the ‘worse’ part. I mean, nobody loved each other like we did! We were going to beat the odds. Sure, we’d have the occasional argument—but that’s normal. We knew how to communicate and listen to each other. We had found true love and we were going to make it last.

Then life, in all it’s crazy, imperfectness began to get real.  Sometimes it was big stuff—like having a baby with a disability or getting fired from a job. Sometimes it was just the normal, every day stuff—the stress of grocery shopping on a tight budget or car trouble. I began to have hours, days, sometimes weeks were I didn’t feel that love I felt when we got married. But then we would reconnect. The love was still there {what a relief!}. Although it looked different. It didn’t feel new and shiny. It felt normal and comfortable. Love grows, love changes, that’s what love does, I told myself.

Then ten years into our marriage we started to see marriages around us crumble.  Close friends separated. A couple that mentored us split up. Sometimes it was an affair, sometimes it was just unhappiness. We couldn’t believe it. These were the people who showed us what made love last–and their love wasn’t lasting. It was unsettling and scary. In my own heart, I began to feel discontent.  A scary little thought crept in—maybe love doesn’t last.

We have walked through our own hard times–fighting, feeling disconnected, not understanding each other. There have been times where the anger and hurt feels much stronger than the love. I’ve wondered if our love was ever true. Maybe we weren’t well matched. Maybe we made a mistake. I suspect every marriage goes through these dark times. I think it’s the rule, not the exception.

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It seems true love gives all it has, breaks down, then reconnects to heal. A new love begins where the old love left off. Perhaps love is a journey of holding on to each other, even when you want to let go? True love is more about forgiveness than feelings. It’s more about giving than getting. It finds it’s hope in humility. Love begins, it breaks down, it begins again. Where love began is not where it will end. We will be broken and changed and hopefully over the years, with a lot of grace, we will find ourselves in a marriage that has lasted, defined by a love that has been renewed again and again.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is patient.

Love is kind.

It does not envy, it does not boast.

It is not proud.

It does not dishonor others.

It is not self-seeking.

It is not easily angered.

It keeps no record of wrongs.

Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices in truth.

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

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hanging out with Louis & Bealsey

Louis and Beasley, what I'm wearing By January 29, 2016 11 Comments

I have good news! It’s Friday. Woohoo! For some reason, this week seemed to go on and on. We’ve had lots of holidays sprinkled in the last few weeks–but this was a full week at home. We need to get back in our rhythm, but it’s hard sometimes!

I’ve been taking Louis and Beasley, our new pugs to the workshop everyday. They are comfortable there and they love to be near us. And of course, I love having them with us all day. For the most part, they are very well behaved. I usually take them for a mid-day walk. I won’t tell you that Beasley pooped in the shop 2 seconds after we returned for our walk last week. It’s a learning process, right?!

the meaning behind the cross bar necklace-04We’ve had chilly mornings that warm to sunny afternoons and then get chilly again. Layering is the best thing when temps change so much!

the meaning behind the cross bar necklace-06Aw, those boys are so sweet!

the meaning behind the cross bar necklace-07We’ve been walking so much! The dogs are trimming down a bit and getting stronger. And it’s great for me too.

the meaning behind the cross bar necklace-01They want to walk and sniff and walk and sniff and walk and sniff. I say, “Less sniffing, more walking!”

the meaning behind the cross bar necklace-02I’m getting great use out of this backpack. It’s awesome when I have the dogs AND David. I love having my hands free.

the meaning behind the cross bar necklace-03These boys are such love bugs.

the meaning behind the cross bar necklace-05The cross bar necklace is a fave. It means so much to me.

the meaning behind the cross bar necklace-08And often on our walks we make friends. How sweet are these scotty dogs? Beasley was very shy, but Louis was ready to play!

Outfit details: Jeans, Target. Tank, Old Navy. Hoodie, Gap. Coat, Cupshe. Booties, Target. Backpack, Amazon. Cross bar necklace, My shop. Gemstone cuff, My shop.

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what forty knows…

finding beauty, thoughts By January 27, 2016 18 Comments

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I’ve heard people say they feel more beautiful 40 years old than they did at 20 years old.
And I agree.
But I wonder why?
Objectively, I’m not more beautiful at 40 than I was at 20.
Maybe 40 is more willing to wear bright red lipstick and high heels without worrying what someone else thinks.
Maybe 40 has seen that physical beauty won’t bring the happiness she once thought it would.
Maybe 40 has a friend who’s not a traditional beauty, but whose captivating smile radiates warmth and kindness.
Maybe 40 knows that each of us wants to be loved as we are.
Maybe 40 has discovered a new kind of beauty.
Maybe 40 can sigh at the wrinkles but admit they reflect years of working toward wholeness.
Maybe 40 has seen the sunlight through the window as she sips a cup of coffee, or felt her child’s tiny hand in hers as they walk along–and she craves those things more than a flat tummy or long legs.
Maybe 40 is more able to look at outside herself and love others deeply.
Maybe 40 is beginning to understand life will bring unavoidable pain but also undeniable hope.
And with it hope brings the truest, deepest beauty to be found.
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hello {missing} bits of england

hello monday By January 25, 2016 2 Comments

Oh how I love England! All the colorful doors and flower boxes make my heart happy. Maybe because the skies are gray-er, people are more intentional to bring color into their daily lives?

And of course we miss our cousins most of all! We are making sweet memories on these trips.

We are slowly getting back into our routine. It’s been three weeks, but t’s crazy how international travel can really mess up your internal clock and rhythms. I still have a few things from our trip to organize and put away. What we really need is downtime, but there isn’t much of it. We came home and hit the ground running! All good stuff, but we are realizing we need to slow down a bit.

It’s Monday, a new beginning and a fresh start! How about some hellos?

hello bits of england -03Hello tiled step. So pretty.

hello bits of england -02Hello drip drop.

hello bits of england -01-3Hello confused daffodils. It was so warm while we were there that some thought spring had arrived.

hello bits of england -04-2 Hello side by side. Do you live in Lincoln Cottage or Lincoln Lodge?

hello bits of england -04 Hello porcelain, brick and painted door. And that door knocker–so cool.

hello bits of england -05 Hello bright doors, mossy steps and iron gate.

hello bits of england -07Hello window box and chippy paint. I love this photo above. It’s completely normal by English standards but it captures the daily beauty for me.

Hello two week intensive healthy eating plan. Hold me.

Hello catching up on emails. I must.

Hello planning and sketching new designs.

Hello haircut. Yay! I love a fresh cut.

Hello feeling very very very thankful for all the rain we’re getting.

Hello making time for a date night this week.

Hello to you! It’s Monday. I’m greeting this new week with an open heart.

What are you saying hello to this week?

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Risky, Messy Love

family, finding love, Louis and Beasley, matthias By January 19, 2016 10 Comments

louis and beasley lisa leonard-01
The other day, as I was driving the boys to school, Matthias told me he loves our new pugs so much it makes him sad.

I asked him what he meant, and he explained, “I feel so much love for them—but what if they get hurt or sick or worse, die? I would be so sad. Just the thought of it makes my heart heavy.”

I sighed and nodded. I knew exactly what he meant. I feel those same feelings and worry every day. Not just for our dogs {I mean, I love those doggies!} but even more so having children, committing to a husband, sharing life with sisters who are dear to my heart, it’s amazing and it’s terrifying.

louis and beasley lisa leonard2-01

Love is vulnerable.

Love is a risk.

Love is messy. Always.

Love isn’t safe.

If we love deeply and honestly, we’ll most likely get hurt.

But if we protect our hearts and keep them safe, we miss out on, well, the best of what life brings.

Because love is imperfect, we’re imperfect—flawed in all of our good intentions, living in bodies that will eventually fail us.

It’s heart-breaking.

But it’s also breath-taking.

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Love makes the journey not only bearable, but beautiful.

Love may break our hearts but it also heals them.

Love eases our pain and comforts our souls in a way that’s impossible to understand.

To be loved is everything.

And so, these two sweet dogs have walked into our lives, made them sweeter and unexpectedly, they’re teaching us about love and life. And that is no small thing.

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