creating a cozy hearth

decorating, get creative By January 6, 2020 No Comments

We’ve been in our new home about almost 9 months. Wow, time flies! We loved our last home and it holds many wonderful memories, but I’m loving this new space and how it works for our family.

The house has a large, stone fireplace that’s the focal point of the family room. The first time we looked at the house I thought for sure we would paint the stones cream but as we moved in I started to really love the warmth and texture of the natural stones. For now, they aren’t being painted!

The house also came with a large television over the fireplace which I wanted to move ASAP. But with the windows there really isn’t another spot for it in the family room. We love watching movies together and, I’m not sure I should admit this, but having a big TV has grown on me.

Last summer we spent time in Scotland and I fell in love with old-timey pubs and antique shops. There was a restaurant called Mitchell’s that we visited twice and I loved the warm decor, texture and plants. I also fell in love with a restaurant called Forgan’s. Beautiful! And don’t get me started on cozy bookstores, pubs and home decor shops. There’s so much inspiration to be found while traveling.

I started to see a pattern of natural stones {and bricks} weathered wood, baskets, antique brass, candles and tons of plants. The combination is calming and cohesive.

We spend a lot of time in this room–and because our home is an open floor plan, the dining room, kitchen and family room are basically one big space. The candles are all LED with timers. Anyone else nervous about using real candles in their home? The candles automatically turn on at 5:30pm and stay on until 10:30pm. It creates a cozy glow.

And Louis says it’s definitely his favorite spot in the house. I wish I had a cozy bed right by the fire.

This room is also where we play board games. Lately our two favorites are telestrations and chess. Has anyone played telestrations? It’s SO FUN!

And this handcrafted chess set my amazing husband designed for his brand, Stephen David Leonard is truly an heirloom to hand down to the next generation.

That’s our cozy hearth! I should probably go water all those plants–but maybe I’ll relax and finish my sparkling water first!

Do you mix up your living room decor periodically? Do you lean to warm natural textures or bright fun colors?


hello hope, hello monday

get creative, hello monday By August 24, 2015 4 Comments

Hello friends! It’s a brand new week and today the boys start their new school year. David is in 8th grade and Matthias is in 6th. We are excited for what this year holds!

I’ve been struggling with sadness over the last weeks and just a couple days ago the clouds started to part. I woke up happy and hopeful. It’s been a while–and I savored the feeling.

With hope and happiness comes creativity. I put together some little collages of beautiful things I’ve found on walks or at thrift stores. Inspiration is a good thing.

Life is imperfect. Life is hard. Life is beautiful. Life is to be lived. So today, let’s try to live it well.

It’s Monday. How about some hellos?
***Hello Monday is where I greet the new week with an open heart and a fresh perspective. It’s a new beginning–and there’s so much to be thankful for! Join me by leaving your own hellos in the comments section or linking up a hello monday post there!***

hello collage hello monday-01

Hello air plants {I’m giving these a try!}, hello vintage print, hello feather, hello stones, hello swing free earrings.

hello collage hello monday-02

Hello jersey cow postcard, hello lavendar bottle, hello little twigs, hello swept away necklace.

hello collage hello monday-03

Hello little book, hello pretty illustrations, hello you’re my wish necklace.

hello collage hello monday-04

Hello sunburst ring. So pretty. To me, this represents hope. Each day is new.

hello collage hello monday-05

Hello packing lunches.

Hello special breakfast {chocolate chip pancakes, of course!}

Hello new desks, new classes, new teachers, new things to learn, new friends to make.

Hello trying hard to get outside, to walk, to jog, to sit in the sun. It’s good for my soul.

Hello praying and reflecting and journaling.

Hello house to clean and dishes to wash and laundry to fold.

Hello jewelry to make and meetings to have and dreams to pursue.

Hello boys to snuggle and moments to savor.

Good things are happening. It’s a brand new week–with beauty to be found. Today is a blessing, let’s soak it up.

What are you saying hello to this week? Leave some hellos in the comments or link your own hello monday post there!


all the beautiful things

get creative By March 26, 2015 5 Comments

Last weekend I took a wire wrapping class in Morro Bay. I’ve been trying to sign up for various creative classes around the central coast, just to keep my skills fresh and learn more. It’s been so fun. And I’m inspired.

So Sunday afternoon, I got in my car. By myself. And drove the quiet 20 minutes down Los Osos Valley Road, past farms and cows and crops to Morro Bay. I spent some time thinking and praying. I arrived a couple minutes early, so I popped into a thrift shop. Awesome, right?

The bead shop has lots of succulents, glass, stones–not to mention so many pretty beads. I looked around, took my time and tried to soak up all the beautiful things.

Halfway through the class, I took a break and got some frozen yogurt with fresh raspberries. I took my camera along and snapped a few pics.

It’s so good for me to have alone time and time to stretch my creativity. I adore my boys and family time–but I need to recharge, too. Wanna see what I created in the class? Here’s a peek.

How do you recharge your soul?


Myths About Decorating {holiday house tour}

christmas, get creative, hello monday By December 2, 2013 14 Comments


It’s December and I have the house all decorated for Christmas. Would you like a peek? And how about some hellos for a brand new month?

Hello home. Isn’t it a lovely place to be?

Hello cozy and warm. Hello family.

Hello adorable J-O-Y sign from Kelly’s shop. It’s huge–about 4 feet tall. So fun–you must check out her shop.

Hello buffet that I found on craigslist and painted black–my only craigslist find so far!

Hello stacked books. Hello sweet saplings.

Hello hot cocoa and curling up with a good read! One of my favorite ways to relax.

Hello white Christmas tree! So fun and happy!

Hello twinkly lights and holiday cheer.

Hello cozy corner of the house.

Hello pulling out all our favorite ornaments and remembering holidays past.

Hello gorgeous holiday sign from Barn Owl Primitives. I have one for each season.

Hello let it snow banner from our shop. Did you see our big cyber monday sale?

Hello cutting snowflakes with Matthias. Have you cut any yet?

Hello nativity, Hello reflecting on the meaning of Christmas.

Hello unwrapping each piece of the nativity and smiling. This set was passed down from my mom.

Hello colder temps on the way this week.

Hello cozy fire and hello elf that David loves to carry all over the house.

Hello Merry Christmas sign {also from the shop and also on sale!}

Hello cotton balls hung on thread–that’s as close to snow as we’ll get here in California.

Hello c-r-a-z-y busy in the workshop. We are working hard filling orders!

Hello feeling thankful that YOU support my creativity.

Hello brand new month with big things ahead.

Hello HUGE SALE today for cyber monday. Enter code supercyber for 25% off!!!!

Hello Monday! It’s a brand new week. Are you ready?

What are you saying hello to this week? Leave some hellos in the comments section or link up your own hello monday post there!


why we love snowflake (and you should, too!)

DIY, get creative By November 26, 2013 8 Comments

Matthias and I were cutting snowflakes on Saturday and I accidentally made one with hearts–then of course I was totally excited and proceeded to make a bunch more with hearts! It’s not hard to do–here’s a quick tutorial.

I just used computer paper we already had–it’s easy to fold and cut!

You need a square shape, so just fold up on corner until it meets the edge and crease.

Fold the square in half.

Fold in half again.

And fold in half one more time.

You can see, above the half heart shape is drawn on the folded edges, the triangle shape is on the outer part of the snowflake.

Cut away on the pencil lines {this can be especially helpful for kiddos}

Unfold and you have a gorgeous snowflake with hearts! How sweet is that?!

We’re gearing up for Thanksgiving but my heart is ready for Christmas!

Have you ever made paper snowflakes to decorate for Christmas?