Browsing Articles Written by

Lisa Leonard

you are worthy of love! {my ‘full of love necklace’}

finding love, inspiration, jewelry, the meaning behind the jewelry By July 29, 2021 No Comments

Look at how beautiful my Full of Love necklace is! If you’re looking for a heart necklace, this beauty is so full of meaning.

I am prone to judge myself harshly—I wasn’t productive enough, honest enough, kind enough, thin enough {I could go on and on about my not-enoughs!}

I’m learning with practice, therapy, time, and patience to be more gentle with myself. All is well. Everything is okay. I am loved. I am worthy.

Full of love—that’s what the necklace is called {and what it symbolizes}. Pouring out love for family and friends. Taking time for quiet and reflection—time to nurture our own heart and believe we are worthy of time, energy, fun, play, silliness, happiness, goodness. We don’t have to earn our worthiness—we are already loved and worthy.

This heart necklace is so unique! The hand molded pendant shows the artist’s fingerprint, making each one a one-of-a-kind treasure. It’s the perfect little piece to wear around your neck every day. Your heart is so full of love!

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What David Taught Me

celebrate the every day, david, family, inspiration, jewelry, motherhood, the meaning behind the jewelry By July 15, 2021 No Comments

One of the biggest things David has taught me is to be present in this moment. He lives in the NOW. He doesn’t worry about the future or the past. He truly lives in the moment.

It’s a gift to watch and learn from him. So many times, I’m overwhelmed with worry and I look around and find I have everything I need in this moment. Right now, everything is fine. It’s all okay. I’m trying to stay in the moment today.

Also soaking up his silly smiles and hugs!

It’s hard, it’s heavy, life is a lot but I promise you, there is beauty in this moment. 

I designed this piece for David and everyone in the CdLS community. It’s a meaningful mother and child necklace that really captures the beauty of David’s life. I love it so much!

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breathing in the beauty

an everyday moment, celebrate the every day, choose joy, finding beauty By June 18, 2021 No Comments

There is so much beauty around us—this doesn’t minimize the pain and the mess of how hard it is to be human, but it brings BALANCE, hope and relief.

It’s easy for me to see the hard stuff—to feel overwhelmed, scared and frustrated—but I’m practicing taking time to notice the beauty, to breathe it in, to feel grateful for these gifts. Gifts like colorful flowers, snuggles, and time with my boys!


It’s strange how pain and peace often go together. Exhaustion makes way for deep rest. Sadness created space for joy. In my experience as a human, there’s no such thing as perfect—but there’s so much GOOD. You deserve good and beautiful things!

And friends, don’t forget to take the time to smell the flowers and notice the beauty around you. My sweet flower jewelry reminds you to do just that, like my Be You Wildflower Necklace and Birth Flower Necklace. Aren’t they gorgeous?

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NEW birth flowers collection!

inspiration, the meaning behind the jewelry By March 3, 2020 1 Comment

It’s here! It’s here! Oh my gosh friends I have been so excited to share this brand new collection with you–but I wanted to make sure everything was just right. And guess what–it’s all JUST RIGHT!

I bet you know your birthstone–but do you know your birth flower? Each month has a flower and your flower holds special meaning just for you.


These little charms have been created with so much love. Each one began with a sketch, then a wax carving and finally a perfect sterling pendant hung on beautiful chain and finished with a freshwater pearl .

Aren’t the beautiful? They’re even better in person. They have detail and weight–and the charms warm to your skin as you wear them.

Wear your own birth flower or layer charms for each of your loves. It’s like a little garden next to your heart!

Each charm has its own meaning. January’s flower is a carnation, representing connection and love. February’s flower is violet, meaning faithful and true. You can see all the birth flower charms and their meaning here.

When I get a new calendar the first thing I do is turn to my month. Do you do that? My birthday is in August and the birth flower is a poppy. I love my August birth flower! It means brave and strong–two characteristics I hope I am growing to be!

You guys, seriously, aren’t these gorgeous?

The charms are just the right size–perfect for wearing alone or layering. And the freshwater pearl is just right to finish the necklace.

No need to worry about birthday gifts–get your dear friend their birth flower. So special, so full of meaning.

Click above to watch the video!

To shop your birth flower click here! I know you’re going to love them as much as I do. PS we might be having a spring forward SALE!

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Dining Room tour {glass cabinets}

decorating, DIY By January 22, 2020 No Comments

Our dining room is a really beautiful space. The previous owners of our home remodeled the living area–so the family room, kitchen and dining room all flow together.

If you’re new here, my family and I have been in our new home almost a year. It’s a beautiful space with lots of little nooks to read and sip coffee while looking out the window. We live in San Luis Obispo, California and my husband and I run our own businesses making jewelry and gifts.

Okay, so back to the dining room. There is a giant window in this space with a window seat. The light that comes into this room is magical. There’s just one little problem–it’s hard to see inside the glass built-ins. They kind of get lost with all the light. But I found a quick, easy fix!

We added puck lights to each shelf and it really illuminates the glass cabinets beautifully! Look below and you can see the difference a little lighting makes!

Crazy, right? Keep reading and I’ll tell you more about the puck lighting.

The built-ins have a wine rack and wine fridge and even though we don’t drink a lot of wine, we’ve managed to fill a lot of the space! I like wine but I love a gin and tonic!

Lately I am really into gold frames, real plants, textured wood, pottery, textiles and natural light. Put those things together and it’s a magical combination!

One big take away from photographing my dining room is we need more plants!

I love to search thrift stores for plant containers with texture–like that aged silver urn or a cool basket. Also can we talk about this incredible chess set my husband created?

It’s called the Endgame Chess Set and it’s truly an heirloom. The chess pieces are hand carved and the board is handmade. It’s beautiful. See more about the Endgame Chess Set here.

I found this little painting at a thrift store. I’ve collected colorful pitchers for years. I just found that little cake plate in the dollar section at Target. I think it was $5. My husband asked if we have enough cake plates but I assure him we don’t.

I love mixing glass, paintings, weathered wood and rusty metal. So good! Also can you see those puck lights sitting there in the middle of each shelf?

These puck lights are a game changer! My mom found them on Amazon and told me about them. They take 3 AAA batteries and they have a remote to turn them on and off.

I literally just set the puck light in the middle {towards the back} of each shelf and it really illuminates the space.

This window seat has become a favorite spot. I often sip my coffee here in the morning and Matthias will come talk with me. I love it! The cushion is custom made from Heritage and Folklore on Etsy. I really didn’t use the window seat before we got the cushion–but once we got the cushion we started using it all the time! Cozy matters.

The macrame wall hanging is by Tied and True on Etsy. Lindsey, the owner of Tied and True is our nanny and we adore her! Check our her creations here.

A weathered bench, cozy blanket and a few pillows finish off the space just right!

Please check out my handmade jewelry! The brave love ring, open circle necklace and artisan pearl earrings are some of my favorites right now! And we’re having a sale in the shop!

And that friends, is our dining room! We love having friends over and gathering around this table. I wish I could have you over and sip coffee with you and hear your story.

Do you have a formal dining room? Do you use it regularly? Tell me everything!

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searching for the perfect blazer

shops i love, what I'm wearing By January 21, 2020 1 Comment

I’ve been looking for the perfect blazer–something that I could throw on and it fits great, feels put together {without being too dressy or business-y}. I wanted something I could use as an alternative to my denim jacket. So when I found this velvet blazer second-hand I was thrilled. And it fit just right!

Lately I’ve been wearing these jeans, booties and a white tee almost every day. It’s become kind of my uniform. Most days it’s too cold to wear dresses and these jeans feel easy and comfortable.

When I added in my new-to-me blazer it took my uniform up a notch! And can you see my necklace?

The older I get the less I can tolerate wearing something uncomfortable. I want to feel good and I want to look put together. We don’t need a ton of clothes, we just need the right clothes–the ones we want to wear over and over because they help us feel our best.

These jeans are Madewell and they are just so dang comfortable. I find I usually have to try jeans on in the store to make sure the fit is just right. On a recent trip to Nashville I was able to pop into a Madewell store. These jeans are true to size and have become an everyday favorite.

Louis wanted to be in the photo too. He’s my sidekick. He’s only in it for the treats but I’ll take it!

Have you guys seen the new My Monogram necklace? It is so easy, simple and full of meaning! After all, it’s my initial and represents me and the things I’m passionate about. I think everyone needs a My Monogram necklace.

The Brave Love spinner ring is another favorite. Layer on a gold spinner for each of your loves!

The next day, I layered the blazer with a black sundress and knee high boots for a completely different look! I think this blazer might live at the front of my closet so I can keep it in regular rotation.

For those of you who are new here, I make personalized jewelry! My heart is to create jewelry that’s one-of-a-kind and helps you tell your story. In this post I’m wearing My Monogram necklace, Full of Love necklace and the Brave Love spinner ring. See all my jewelry here.

Do you have a blazer you love? Are you on the hunt for the perfect blazer? Tell me all about your blazer journey.

Jeans, Madewell
Blazer, Second-hand from Ruby Rose {similar here}
Booties, Marc Jacobs
Knee-high boots, Rag and bone {similar here}
White tee, H&M
My Monogram necklace, here
Full of Love necklace, here
Brave Love Spinner ring, here

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a unique space for a unique kid!

david, decorating, DIY By January 19, 2020 4 Comments

Lately I’m inspired to create a space that’s fun and fits David’s needs. Of course I’ve always wanted his room to be a great space, but I’ve been watching him closer–which toys he plays with and how he spends his time. Every kid is unique and deserves a space to thrive and play. David has special needs and we want to fill his room with the things he loves.

David has a syndrome called Cornelia de Lange and people with his syndrome sometimes have difficulty sleeping. He’s up a lot at night. His room is safe and fun–with a cozy bed that he can climb in and out of as he wants to!

It seemed like David’s bedding was falling off his bed more often than not–so we got a Beddy’s comforter for him. It’s like a soft sleeping bag that goes on like a fitted sheet. No more blankets falling off the bed!

David loves keyboards and toys that light up and make noise. He loves books and sensory toys–like a slinky or a tambourine. That basket is full of more toys that we rotate out to keep things fresh and new.

We put a big keyboard on his dresser and David really gets the music going—drum beats and all! He likes to turn up the volume full blast. Typical teenager, right?!

This wall collage makes me so happy! The sunrise print is by Summer and Dreamer. It speaks to me of hope and new beginnings. Summer, the owner of Summer and Dreamer was one of our first employees at Lisa Leonard Designs years ago. She is seriously talented, creative and I am forever grateful for her friendship. Go check out Summer and Dreamer!

The framed Dr. Seuss quote is a gift from our dear friends Rob and Susie who know how much David loves a good story book! The basket is fair trade and my first children book, Your Spark, is a regular read around our house. After all, David is a big part of the inspiration behind the book. He shines so bright! Find Your Spark book here.

This adorable prayer plaque hangs on his wall and we say this prayer before bed. I wrote the poem so we could memorize it and make it part of our bedtime routine. You can find it in my shop!

Good night, Sleep tight. May angels watch you through the night. To keep you safe, to calm your fear, to whisper peace. Your God is near. Amen.

Personalize a prayer plaque here for your little sweethearts.

David has a walk-in closet with double doors. We leave the doors open and created a space to play. We used to have a big floor cushion with pillows but he never used it. For Christmas he got this desk {actually a side table I found at a thrift store for $40} and red chairs from Pottery Barn kids. {thank you, Nana!}. He has started sitting down on chairs independently–a new skill–and it’s so fun to rotate the toys and books on his desk.

Here’s a picture of David’s closet–with lots of his favorites toys and books,.

This desk area is getting a lot of use and it makes me so happy!

We found this little red piano on Amazon and it’s one of David’s go to toys.

That’s David’s room! A work in progress but a very loved space. Do your kids spend a lot of time in their rooms? Do you rotate toys and books to keep things fresh and new?

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DIY photography filters

inspiration, jewelry, photography By January 11, 2020 3 Comments

I love taking pictures–I’m an amateur with a lot to learn and that’s okay. Maybe that’s what makes it fun. I love to experiment and try new things. I use a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV and I’m not sure if that camera can take a bad picture. Because my husband and I have a business creating handmade jewelry and accessories, I take a lot of pictures of my jewelry {and other things too!}. I want to create that magical shot that captures the heartfelt meaning behind every handmade design.

Today I tried partially covering my lens in 3 ways to see what kind of results I would get. I used a hair band to attach the object to my lens. I tried an olive branch, tissue paper and twinkle lights. The images are straight from my camera and unedited.

Check this out!

To start I cut a twig of olive branch leaves and attached it to my 50mm fixed lens with a hair band. This is high tech, folks!

It created some natural streaks in the foreground. I think it adds interest to the image–especially with the olive branch next to the jewelry box.

This is the sunburst necklace. Do you know that feeling; when you’re walking through a dark time and you’re wondering if hope or joy are even possible? Your heart is grieving. and then you feel it–just a hint of light. The smallest ray of hope and you hold onto it as tightly as you can. The sunburst necklace captures that glimmer of hope

The sunburst necklace has powerful meaning–you can see why I want the photography to tell that story! Find the sunburst necklace here.

The second filter I used what tissue paper, torn in the. center and the attached to my 50mm fixed lens with a hair band. {I still haven’t put away all our Christmas wrapping paper–so it was right there, available for me! Sometimes it pays to procrastinate!}

Oh my gosh aren’t these results magical? The tissue paper creates soft, blurry edges and with the center of the lens unblocked we get a clear image of one of my favorite necklaces–the Open Circle necklace.

A circle complete and whole. Each of us is part of the whole—together we are stronger and better. Every person is unique and precious. Every soul matters. This is the meaning behind the Open Circle necklace. Find the Open Circle necklace here.

I pulled the tissue back a bit more and got this shot of the Sunburst Necklace. It created softer bits of blurriness–so pretty.

I really went on a limb here and tied some twinkle bubble lights around my 50mm fixed lens. I was laughing as I did it–and also super curious to see what kind of results I would get. Check out this pic of my Artisan Pearl earrings. The lights created some bokeh around the edges of the photo. This image isn’t edited! So magical and fun.

These earrings are forged by hand to create an extra long, gold-filled stem and finished with a freshwater pearl. The result is clean and absolutely stunning. The pearl represents grace and beauty. Perfect with jeans and white tee or your favorite black dress. Find the artisan pearl earrings here.

Louis allowed me to photograph him with twinkle bubble lights tied to my camera lens in exchange for some dog treats. He’s such a cutie. He’ll pretty much do anything for a treat–even give me a head tilt!

I decided to try these same techniques with my iPhone.

The first image above left is with a small olive branch partially blocking the lens. I could have taped it to my iPhone case but I just held it with my other hand. I think it’s fun–like I’m looking through leaves to take the pic.

The second image I used some tissue paper with the center torn out. The blur isn’t quite as soft but it does create some foreground noise that’s kind of fun.

The last image is using bubble twinkle lights. This one was a lot trickier and I didn’t love the results. It’s just some round orbs in the foreground without that magical bokeh.

Which one is your favorite? Have you tried playing with real life filters? Hmm, I wonder what other things I could use for filters?

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10 reasons we don’t ask for help

david, family, the meaning behind the jewelry By January 10, 2020 9 Comments

A few years ago my husband, Stephen, and I had to take a last minute business trip. My twin sister offered to watch our two boys, one with profound special needs. When we got back from our trip and I asked her how it went, she said, “It was really, really hard.”

I looked in her eyes and I felt seen. I broke down crying.

If you’re a mother of young children, caring for someone with special needs or aging parents–you understand. It is hard. Years ago, I almost never asked for help. I tried to do it all myself. My husband was willing and able but I still tried to shoulder most of the load. I didn’t want to burden my husband, friends or family. I thought I could do it on my own. I thought it was my JOB to do it on my own.

It wasn’t any one task that was hard. Giving a bath wasn’t hard. Changing a diaper wasn’t hard. Giving medication wasn’t hard. Scheduling a doctor visit wasn’t hard. Feeding a child wasn’t hard. Even dealing with a tantrum, while exhausting, was still do-able. But all of it–all of the tasks, to dos, emotions and being available 24 hours a day was HARD. It was overwhelming. Honestly, it was suffocating.

Why don’t we ask for help? I’ve spent time thinking about this and asking friends for their perspective. I’ve worked hard to overcome false beliefs in my own life and start to ask for help–and I still have a lot to learn.

Here are 10 reasons we don’t ask for help.

  1. We’re so tired we can’t figure out HOW to ask for help.
  2. We think we should be able to do it alone.
  3. We worry someone else won’t love this person as much as we do. Even worse, what if they hurt the person we love?
  4. We’re afraid we’re not doing a good enough job and you’ll judge us.
  5. We can’t ask for a favor because we don’t have room to repay the favor.
  6. Paying for help is expensive and we can’t afford it.
  7. We don’t want another person around. Life is already complicated without adding another personality.
  8. It’s easier to do it on our own–that way we have control.
  9. Our house is a mess, our heads are a mess, life is a mess and we don’t want you to see our mess.
  10. If we ask for help and take a break we might realize how overwhelming it all is and completely fall apart.

Our family is in a season with lots of doctor visits. David has a big spinal surgery coming up and we will see all of his specialists for clearance before the surgery. I counted last week and we 9 doctor visits in Los Angeles before his surgery. It’s big and overwhelming and we need help. I can’t do it alone. So I’m slowly looking at what we need, thinking of practical ways people can help and then I’m doing something crazy–I’m asking. We’re hiring caregivers and showing them how to care for David. We’re asking friends to bring meals. We’re planning overnight care for David during the surgery recovery. It’s imperfect and messy but it’s necessary. I’m learning how important help is–and I’m feeling hopeful.

My word for this year is ‘simplify‘. I want to make space for David’s medical needs, surgery and my emotional well-being. I want to keep our calendar manageable and avoid overwhelm. I want downtime to read, walk and rest–even in this stressful season. I want to feel my feelings and speak honestly. I want to build a community of people who love and support us–and who we can love and support. We have help and it’s amazing. My heart is full of gratitude. I want to continue building a team of people who help us. I want to make space so we can help others too! I truly believe our burdens are lighter when we carry them for each other.

My word this year is S I M P L I F Y. I’m loving this necklace. Click image for details.

Do you have a word of the year {or a word of the season}? What do you want your life to look like? How do you want to change and grow?
Click here for the Word of the Year necklace.

How can you ask for help? I see you mama–pouring out love on your kids. I see you friend, caring for your aging parent. I see you teachers and doctors and nurses and therapists–you pour out love and care for others. You matter–your needs and wants, thoughts and feelings MATTER.

Personalize with a meaningful word, special names, dates or a phrase.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Does this list resonate with you? Why is so hard to ask for help?

Click here for the Word of the Year necklace!

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how to: heart-shaped pancakes

food & goodies, inspiration By January 7, 2020 No Comments

We’re a BIG pancake family. We eat pancakes a few times a week and we love them! Sometimes we keep batter on hand so we can make some pancakes quickly on busy mornings. The pancakes we make are fairly low carb and gluten free. You can find a similar recipe here {I use half the amount of oats and I add cinnamon and a little bit of vanilla}. With our love of pancakes and my love of all things heart-shaped, it seemed like heart-shaped pancakes were in order.

The secret to making heart-shaped pancakes in using one of the condiment bottles with a little bit of thinned down batter to create an outline. I found this condiment dispenser on Amazon but you can find them anywhere!

Make sure your pan or griddle is hot. Create an outline of a heart and let it cook just a bit so the pancake holds it shape.

Then fill in the heart with batter. I use regular batter for this part–not the thinned down batter from the condiment bottle.

Add chocolate chips, blueberries, sprinkles or other yummy ingredients.

Stack them up and enjoy with butter, syrup, whip cream, strawberries–the works!

A special breakfast is fun but breakfast for dinner is a great option, too!

Once you’ve mastered the technique try making different shapes like flowers, Mickey Mouse, stars, etc!

Do you plan special breakfasts? Are you a pancake lover like we are?!

Check out my handmade jewelry. So many pieces have hearts–I just can’t help myself. I love hearts and I love LOVE!

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