Our Christmas tradition advent calendar

christmas, decorating By November 1, 2019 1 Comment
Create anticipation every day of December with this adorable Advent calendar!

One of our favorite Christmas traditions is counting down every day of December with an Advent calendar. It creates excitement and fun!

Did you know Advent means ‘coming’ in Latin? An advent calendar is a reminder that Christmas is coming!

The star at the top of the advent calendar reads, “Christmas is coming!”

My adorable, handcrafted advent calendar includes 24 pewter ornaments–one for each day of December leading up to Christmas Day! The advent calendar is not only a beautiful Christmas decoration, it’s also full of meaning.

An advent calendar is perfect for table decor at Christmas.

Parents and kids are going to love this advent calendar. Each day of December a new ornament is revealed. It’s like an early Christmas present every day!

There are 24 numbered bags and 24 tiny ornaments. One December 1st, find the first ornament in the bag labeled ‘1’ and hang that ornament on the advent calendar tree.

There are 24 adorable advent ornaments!

Oh my gosh friends these advent calendar ornaments are just adorable! They have so much detail!

How cute is this little vintage style ornament? These handmade Christmas ornaments are unique.

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This gingerbread ornament is so cute it might inspire you to bake Christmas cookies! The advent calendar is one of the Christmas traditions that makes the holiday so memorable.

How precious is this handcrafted ornament?

This tiny bell ornament is handcrafted and a sweet part of the advent calendar. Every ornament is so special!

Kiss me under the mistletoe {or the holly!}

Holly leaves and berries feel like Christmas time! The advent calendar makes a perfect Christmas gift for your family or dear friends!

Get your Christmas tradition advent calendar today!

On December 24 all of the ornaments will be revealed and the advent calendar is complete! Christmas is here!

The advent calendar comes with 24 handcrafted ornaments. Each ornament is full of meaning and tradition.

The Christmas nativity ornament shows the holy family under a bright star. The advent calendar helps remind us Christmas is a time for celebrating the birth of Jesus!

Now is the time! Christmas is right around the corner. Don’t wait! Purchase your advent calendar now! Very limited quantities. Click here to shop.

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How to display your Christmas nativity scene

christmas, decorating, DIY By October 28, 2019 3 Comments

Decorating for Christmas is one of my favorite parts of the holiday season! I love to set up the tree with all its sparkling lights, hang stockings and burn cinnamon candles!

Every year we set up our Christmas nativity scene with Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, the wise men and of course, the adorable animals. The nativity scene is a favorite part of our Christmas decor because it tells the story of Jesus’ birth!

My handmade Christmas nativity scene is absolutely adorable–with pewter figurines and a wooden stable. I love the texture and feel of it!

A savior is born! Let’s celebrate!

Adding a few simple touches to the Christmas nativity scene will take it from beautiful to absolutely breathtaking. You want your Christmas nativity to be eye catching–a perfect reminder of what Christmas is all about.

This year we introduced the adorable Angels On High to add to your Christmas nativity scene. Aren’t they sweet?

Okay, so let’s get down to business. I have four easy and adorable ways you can display your Christmas nativity scene.

Each of these ideas is easy to carry out and will make your Christmas nativity scene the centerpiece of your holiday decorations. The supplies are available at Target, Michaels or any craft store.

Idea 1. Display nativity with bottle brush trees and snow

The first idea for displaying your Christmas nativity scene is to use bottle brush trees and fake snow. I placed the nativity on a wooden tray to keep the snow contained.

So precious! I sprinkled some snow on the roof of the stable.

I’ve heard the animals breathed on baby Jesus to keep him warm. I’m not sure if it’s true but it’s a sweet thought.

Adding bottle brush trees and a little snow really gives the Christmas nativity scene a wintery feel.

And don’t forget your sweet Angels on High! They proclaimed the birth of Jesus!

Idea 2. Display nativity with cake stand, wood tree and natural garland

I kept the second display idea very natural and simple. This cotton ball garland is so sweet and very Joanna Gaines, don’t you think?

The angles are on the cake stand behind the nativity looking down. The wood tree completes the Christmas nativity scene!

These angels on high are so sweet. One has a star, one has a heart!

Idea 3. Display nativity with red cake stand and red berries.

Don’t the red give a beautiful POP to the Christmas nativity scene? It’s bright and cheery!

Add some red berries inside the stable and some around the outside. The whole Christmas nativity scene is placed on top of the red cake stand.

Idea 4. Display nativity with white berries and green wood trees.
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These white berries sprays are simple but add good impact to the Christmas nativity scene. The green wooden trees in the background are so simple!

The white and green are both Christmas neutrals but make the Christmas nativity scene eye-catching.

Which way is your idea for displaying your Christmas nativity scene?
1. white berries with green wood trees
2. bottle brush trees with snow
3. cotton ball garland and wood
4. red cake stand and red berries

Christmas is coming fast! It’s the perfect time to get your Christmas nativity scene! And don’t forget a set of Angels on High.

We have very limited supplies of the nativity and angels! Don’t wait!

Click here to shop!

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finding magic in the mess

be brave, christmas By November 16, 2018 43 Comments

photo by Heather Gray

Earlier this week, a friend asked me, “What’s the most magical thing that’s happened to you this week?”

I immediately thought of a moment the morning before. I was buckling David into the car and I was caught up in a moment of worry. The left side of his face was swollen and while the doctor was hoping it’s a sinus infection that could be easily treated with anitbiotics, he was concerned it may be something more serious like an abscess. So there I was, buckling David in the car, staring at the swollen side of his face and lost in thought—when our eyes met. David has a disability he doesn’t often make eye contact, but in that small moment, our eyes met—and it was magical. I got a little peek into his soul. I got to really see him. My heart swelled with love and I got a lump in my throat. Dang, I love that kid so much.

The twinkle lights are beautiful, the wrapped gifts bring wonder, the smell of cinnamon feels like home—and yet none of these matter as much as the love we share. We walk side by side on this journey—with ups and downs, joy and grace. There it is—beauty, even on a regular Thursday morning, even in the midst of worrying about a swollen face.

Sometimes the most magical moments are unplanned—when we’re all relaxing, there are no expectations, no stress. Sometimes magic happens when we let each other feel whatever we feel—when we’re willing to laugh together or cry together or just sit side by side on the couch and watch a movie.

Brave Love is me being fully me and you being fully you. We don’t have to prove we’re good enough. We don’t have to pretend to be happy. We can let things me magical or let them be messy. We can let them be whatever they are—knowing we are loved.

I’m giving myself permission to let go of perfect this Christmas–and if you want it, I’m giving you permission too. Although really, just give yourself permission because you have the power to do this! You are amazing. You are imperfect. You are loved.

Let’s just let this season be whatever it is–and find magic in simple, unexpected places.

PS We’re still watching the swelling in David’s face to see if it will respond to antibiotics. I’ll keep you updated!

I love this brave love ring from my shop.

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*NEW* handcrafted nativity set!

christmas By July 20, 2018 31 Comments

Friends, I have been working on this project for over a YEAR and I finally get to share it with you. I’ve created a hand-crafted nativity set with adorable pewter figures and animals. There are very limited quantities. Read on for more!

A couple years ago I created a hand molded  nativity set for all my nieces and nephews and we sold them in the shop as well. They were a huge hit! After that season I started working on another set–this time with more detail and story. These projects take so long but the end result is worth it. There are 11 figures along with the stable. You can purchase the whole set or just parts.

How sweet is this little shepherd with his sheep and donkey?

Mary and Joseph look over baby Jesus. Growing up, my mom always set out our nativity around Christmas time–but she didn’t place baby Jesus in the manger until after we went to bed Christmas Eve. For weeks we waited for the manger to be filled and when we woke up Christmas morning, there was baby Jesus in the manger. It gave deep meaning to our Christmas celebration.

I wrote a poem for the nativity and it is hand-stamped on a pewter plaque and placed on the back of the stable. The poem reads:

Babe in a manger
Star in the Sky

Wisemen from Far
Angels on High

The birth of a King
Humble and low

The whole earth rejoices
Redemption to know

A Savior is born
There is hope for us all

We are covered in love
Each one, great and small

This nativity represents HOPE and so much love. This set is meant to be touched and talked about. I hope it brings families together around the birth of our Savior.

The poem is also hand-stamped on this sweet ornament with a star dangling from the bottom.

Get all the details on the nativity and ornaments here! Hurry there are very limited quantities.

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hello california christmas

christmas, hello monday By December 26, 2016 5 Comments

We had a fun relaxing Christmas day with family. Last year we were in England–the Christmases were so different, each amazing in its own way. Our California Christmas was surprisingly chilly this year–it only got up to about 56*–which for our part of California is cold!

I’ve got lots of pics to share. How about some hellos for a brand new week?
Hello tiny tree. We stayed in an Airbnb and I brought a little tree with us.

Hello berries and blurry boys walking to the car.

Hello love.

Hello pug butts.

Hello pretty table and llama wrapping paper for a tablecloth.

Hello cuddles with grandma.

Hello aunties.

Hello kisses and being silly.

Hello spiderman. We were all so happy he made an appearance!

Hello bright eyes and smiles.

Hello playing a game. Prizes were wrapped under various layers of saran wrap. One person tries to unwrap as fast as they can while the person next to them is trying to roll doubles with two dice. It was so fun!

Hello smooches from auntie

Hello cutie pug.

Hello helping daddy play guitar.

Hello Lucy the dog who’s almost a human.

Hello finally getting the cold I’ve avoided for weeks. It caught up with me.

Hello not sleeping well and feeling extra thankful for good coffee.

Hello wrapping paper and boxes to clean up.

Hello absolutely loving this children’s book.

Hello wondering how long we can leave our Christmas tree up. I love the twinkle lights.

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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hello very loved elf

christmas, hello monday By December 12, 2016 5 Comments

My mom bought this handmade elf for me for my first apartment after college. He been very loved. Last Christmas David carried him around quite a bit and at some point he lost an arm–and we never found it. But that hasn’t changed our love for him.

It’s Monday, how about some hellos for a new week?

hello-very-loved-elf-lisa-leonard-01
Hello watching Hallmark Christmas movies. I can’t get enough!

Hello absolutely precious children’s book. David and I keep reading this one. It’s a beautiful gift for kids.

Hello rain and more rain. We love it!

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Hello feeling unmotivated in the kitchen. What’s your favorite dish to make this time of year?

Hello busy busy in the shop. Customer service is working overtime getting back to every inquiry. I apologize for the wait.

Hello sniffles. We all have them and they seem to hang on!

Hello getting ready to wrap presents. I found pug wrapping paper at World Market!

Hello loving the Christmas lights all over town.

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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hello christmas time

christmas, hello monday By December 5, 2016 10 Comments

These pups are eager to please. I can’t believe how still they sit for photos! We have our house decorated {mostly} for Christmas. I love twinkly lights. So fun! It’s Monday–how about some hellos for a new week?

hello-christmas-time-lisa-leonard-01 Hello Louis and Beasley. We love you!

hello-christmas-time-lisa-leonard-02 Hello getting the house ready for the holidays but finding it impossible to keep clean! Oh well.

hello-christmas-time-lisa-leonard-03Hello head tilt. Such a heart melter.

Hello moving through our Christmas movie list. Two of our favorites are Polar Express and Elf. How about you?

Hello making a gingerbread house this week. It’s a tradition.

Hello busy busy in the shop. We have a sale going AND you can still get it in time for Christmas!

Hello reading this book. It’s by the ladies who started Juicy Couture.

Hello loving this sweater. Isn’t it adorable? I love love the zippered back.

Hello teenage boys. I can’t believe how much my boys are eating. It’s insane! They’re both having a growth spurt.

Hello thinking about starting the show This Is Us. Do you watch it?

Hello meetings this week. Lots of planning to do!

Hello wrapping up my Christmas shopping. I think I’m almost done!

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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keeping everyone happy

christmas, finding beauty By December 2, 2015 10 Comments

The Christmas tree is up and December is officially here. So we should be feeling happy and joyful, right? Magic is in the air! So how come I feel overwhelmed? I love the twinkling lights, the cinnamon candle I’m burning smells good and there is a chill in the air. It’s a festive time of year–but that doesn’t mean I have to feel festive–at least not all the time. It’s still real life, right? Mornings are rushed, dinner time comes too quickly and by 8pm I’m ready for bed. As a mom, I feel responsible to make everything run smoothly, to keep everyone is happy and to somehow make every moment magical. It’s an impossible task I put on myself. It’s too much pressure. And bottom line–it doesn’t work.

keeping everyone happy3

Today I’m reminding myself–every moment doesn’t have to magical. I’d rather have moments that are real. Real is good. Real is honest and true.

Today I’m reminding myself–It’s okay to not feel happy. It’s okay if I don’t’ feel happy or the kids aren’t happy. The pressure to be happy doesn’t make anyone happier. It’s okay to feel tired or sad or even angry. It’s okay to not be okay. And strangely, things are more okay when I let them be what they truly are.

Today I’m reminding myself that grace is real. I have a family that showers me with grace. I have friends that don’t expect me to be perfect and actually embrace me in my brokenness.  This community is real. In the craziness of life, we share our stories–the beauty and the mess. I love that.

Instead of keeping everyone happy, I want to keep things real. To let this journey be what it is–beautiful and crazy and messy.

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how we created the ‘cross of light’ ornament {matthias remarkable imagination}

christmas, inspiration, matthias By November 18, 2015 4 Comments

Months ago, I was working on our Christmas ornaments and I asked Matthias if he would like to design one. At eleven years old he draws and sketches all the time–I mean, he literally carries his drawing pad and pencil case everywhere. And this is nothing new–he’s been drawing since he was three or four years old. I thought an ornament would be such a fun gift for aunties, uncles and grandparents. I asked him to draw whatever he wanted and planned to create the ornament from his drawing. Take a look at what he came up with!

*Also, scroll down to the bottom to see our ornament special happening today!*

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Matthias drew the cross himself, then from his drawing, together, we created the ‘cross of light’ ornament. It turned out so well!

matthias cross of light ornament2-03

I asked Matthias why he wanted to draw a cross for the ornament and he said, Christmas is about Jesus and the cross symbolizes Jesus. Beautiful!

matthias cross of light ornament2-04

The ‘cross of light’ ornament is finished with a sheet red ribbon and can be personalized on the back with a name or the year.

matthias cross of light ornament2-05

I love having Matthias use his talents and creativity to be part of the business. He loves to draw and sketch. This was a perfect opportunity to use his artwork in a new and different way. He inspires me!

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All ornaments are buy two get one FREE today! Enter code ‘happytree’ at checkout. Yay! They’re the perfect gift for each kiddo, teachers and dear friends.

You can find the ‘cross of light’ ornament here. Click here to see all the 2015 ornaments.

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whoa! 30% off the shop!

christmas, coupons By November 12, 2015 13 Comments

Friends, our biggest sale of the season is HERE! Save 30% site wide–this is huge! This is even bigger than Black Friday. Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 9.27.37 PMThe shop has been crazy busy and I want to make sure you get your special gifts in time for Christmas. Use code handmadeholiday and save 30%! Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 9.28.26 PMEach piece is handmade and reflects the real, messy beautiful moments that fill our hearts. Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 9.28.05 PMDue to the high volume, I encourage you to shop TODAY! Save 30% off with code handmadeholiday.

*Click here to shop*

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