lightening my load

what I'm wearing By December 1, 2015 3 Comments

A couple weeks ago we spent a few days in Boston. We had so much fun! We walked a ton, saw historical sites and ate great food. But as the trip went on, I began to despise my shoulder bag and how heavy it was. In the morning I packed a bag with food, diapers, snacks, camera, etc–to last the whole day. The heavy bag combined with having to lift/carry David throughout the day was tough. By afternoon, my back and shoulder ached. I began to think about the virtues of a backpack. So last week I invested in a backpack I can love for a long time. Hopefully, my shoulder and back will thank me! Plus with all the pockets and sections I can get super organized. Lately I’ve been using it every day. I’m sure I’ll still use my favorite shoulder bags sometimes, but for travel–this is the way to go.
lightening my load3 lightening my load4 lightening my load5

Outfit details: Backpack, Frye via Amazon {20% off today!}. Another {more affordable} backpack here. Jogger pants, Cloth + Stone. Black tee, Target. Denim jacket, Gap. Booties, Frye via Zappos. Birthstone cuff/rings, My shop.

Share:

hello pug love

hello monday, Louis and Beasley By November 30, 2015 6 Comments

Hello friends! Last week we got home from Boston, and the next morning went and picked up two pugs who are joining our family. We were connected with these two sweet dogs through the Central Coast Pug Rescue. Louis is 3 years old and Beasley is 5 years old. They couldn’t be sweeter! It’s been a fairly easy transition and we are loving having them around. It’s a big change for our family. We’ve been talking about this for a long time–and we finally made the leap!

How about some hellos for a brand new week?IMG_1569

Hello cuddles. These dogs want to cuddle all day, every day. And we’re not available, they cuddle each other. Adorable.

IMG_1562

Hello lounging in the sun. It’s a good life! PS the tree is up. Hooray!

IMG_1540

Hello daily walks. We are working them up to longer and longer walks. They love it!

IMG_1504

Hello watching me get ready. They like to follow me around. Beasley has the black forehead, Louis has the light forehead. {Beasley black, Louis light}

IMG_1495

Hello exhausted. After our walks, they crash big time. And they snore!

IMG_1477

Hello bowties. Aren’t they fancy?

IMG_1470

Hello David, warming up to new dogs. He is doing great. Lots of smiles {from the dogs and David!}

Hello busy busy in the shop. Christmas is in full swing! You can save 20% on everything in the shop today with code happyholidays.

Hello cleaning out the fridge and wiping it down. Feels so good!

Hello Christmas shopping–making lists and checking them twice.

Hello enjoying leftovers from Thanksgiving. I don’t want it to end!

Hello brand new week with beauty to be found.

What are you saying hello to this week?

Share:

exploring boston

adventures, family By November 25, 2015 6 Comments

Last week we took a family trip to Boston with my sisters Susan, Ellen, Chrissie and Chrissie’s family. Matthias chose Massachusetts for his state report last year–so we wanted to visit and see the historical sites. But we also just wanted to travel and do something fun! And we had a great time. The boys have grown a lot since our last adventure–and we’re planning to visit our family in England this Christmas, so is was kind of a warm up trip. We saw a lot, ate great food and had a blast with cousins, aunties and uncle. IMG_1371

We explored Harvard. Cambridge is beautiful–it was a highlight of the trip!

IMG_1367

Since I’ve never seen Boston–I was taken with all the history. It’s so different than California. I think it’s kind of a mash-up between England and San Francisco.

IMG_1366

The trees were gorgeous this time of year. Some had colorful leaves, some were bare. The weather was chilly but manageable.

IMG_1364

The cousins missed their first flight {along with their parents} and they arrived 18 hours late. We were THRILLED when they arrived. The cousins had so much fun together!

IMG_1363

Look at those smiles. David smiled the whole weekend. He was such a trooper!

IMG_1361

Oh the leaves and this gate at Cambridge. Spectacular.
IMG_1360

I loved getting some sister time!

IMG_1359

Red building, red leaves.

IMG_1356

I can’t get enough of that sweet smile. I think David loves to travel. He’s an explorer. He wants to see and touch and experience everything.

IMG_1350

Matthias spent time drawing and sketching. Of course.

IMG_1344

We found a mini kalimba for David at a little boutique. He spotted them right away and I couldn’t resist getting him one!
IMG_1343

Twins <3
IMG_1340

Steve and I explored some fun boutiques on an evening out. It was such a treat to explore Boston for a few hours without kiddos!

IMG_1339

A green bike in front of the boutique Sault. So inspiring.

IMG_1337

Evening light.

IMG_1336

So thankful for our family of four!

IMG_1335

Susan planned the trip and found us a great Air B&B where we all stayed together. Most mornings we made breakfast and we relaxed in the evenings. Perfect!

IMG_1334

Hey, it’s Paul Revere!

IMG_1333

I love the texture of this alley and the peach door at the end.

IMG_1332

David crashed out on the way to the airport and Matthias snuggled up with him. Matthias is faking–but isn’t this the sweetest?!

IMG_1331

Berries growing on a brick wall.

IMG_1330

Here’s our whole gang! Party of ten. We had so much fun!!

IMG_1329

We walked the Freedom Trail on our last day and explored a couple old graveyards. So much history and story and texture.

Have you been to Boston? What are you favorite things to do there?

Share:

avoid the walls, there’s gum everywhere

san luis obispo, what I'm wearing By November 20, 2015 3 Comments

I am overjoyed! It’s finally cold! Well, cold by California standards. It’s been scarf and boot weather. I wore flats the day we took these pics and my feet were cold. After so many hot months, it’s wonderful to have some chilly weather–even some rain. We’ve turned on the fireplace a few times. Hooray for a chill in the air.

With our shop downtown now, there are lots of fun places to shoot pics. Around the corner from us is bubble gum alley. It’s completely disgusting {as you can see}. It’s definitely something to see and of course, leave your mark {or your chewed up gum}.
bubble gum alley lisa leonard-01

Sunshine on a cold morning is perfect. Especially with a cup of good coffee. bubble gum alley lisa leonard-02 The sunburst ring. It’s a favorite of mine. See it in gold here. And sterling herebubble gum alley lisa leonard-03 Steve picked out this scarf for me last Christmas and I love it {and him!}bubble gum alley lisa leonard-04 Stacking bangles. Yes please. bubble gum alley lisa leonard-05 These flats are super comfortable and they come in ten million shades. Check it out here. bubble gum alley lisa leonard-06 Notice how I’m standing away from the wall. I was so worried my hair might touch the gum. {I have big hair, so this is a real fear ;)}bubble gum alley lisa leonard-07Outfit details: Jeans {on sale!!}, Target. Mock turtleneck sweater, Target. Faux leather jacket, thrifted. Flats, Chinese Laundry {So comfortable!!}. Scarf, Anthropologie. Sunburst ring, My shop. Stacking bangles, My shop.

Share:

master bedroom makeover

decorating, DIY By November 19, 2015 5 Comments

Our master bedroom doesn’t seem to get enough attention. Overall, I keep the main areas of our home tidier than the bedrooms–that’s where I stick stuff I don’t want to deal with. But the bedrooms are where we rest and regroup. These spaces should be flaming and beautiful–especially the master bedroom.

Steve was in the Dominican Republic last week, so while he was away, I tidied and purged and cleaned and freshened and made the space much much more beautiful.

I partnered with RugsUSA for this post. They sent me this gorgeous rug. It has such a vintage-y feel. See more details below. 
master bedroom makeover lisa leonard

The branch was found on the hill near our house. I had planned to hang it above the bed, but I tried to hang it a bunch of different ways and it look right–either is was hanging too low {and we would knock our heads on it if we sat up to read} or it was so high the battery packs dangled down into plain sight. In the end, I found this large vase at Target. The branch is also secured to the wall in one place.

master bedroom makeover-12

The bedding. Oh my. It’s from West Elm and it was a spurge. We’ve never splurged on nice bedding before–and now in our forties I felt like it was time. Wow, it is truly beautiful and feels so good. I wanted lots of neutrals to keep things calming.

master bedroom makeover-05

The lamp on my bedside table is from Target. The camera is a thrifted find.

master bedroom makeover-06

The large heart was gifted from a friend. The baskets hold mismatched socks and other things waiting to be put away. 

master redo2 lisa leonard

My dear friend, Brenda, helped me hang curtains. I can’t believe how it warms up the room and makes it feel so much cozier. And it keeps the room dark in the mornings, too. The typewriter table was a thrift store find. $12–awesome! As soon as I picked it up, a woman tried to tell me it was already hers. But no, she walked away. It was mine. I just smiled sweetly and walked towards the register.

master bedroom makeover-07

This vintage cycling poster was hanging in Steve’s office {I gifted it to him a couple Christmases ago}. Now our office is one big loft, so we don’t have our own walls to decorate. We both love it–now it hangs in our bedroom!

master bedroom makeover-08

How pretty is this rug? And it’s so incredibly soft. I love how it looks worn, even though it’s new.

master bedroom makeover-09

An area rug really defines a space and gives it more personality. This rug is perfect for our bedroom. How cute is this rug for a family room? I’ve got my eye on it!

master redo

Sometimes I want to leave the twinkle lights on all night–they are so pretty!

master bedroom makeover-11

All the details: Bed, Pottery Barn {we’ve had it for years}. Bedding, West Elm. Rug, RugsUSA. Branch, found. Copper twinkle lights, Amazon. Large basket, lamps, throw, Target. Overstuffed chair, side table and dresser, ModelHom. Curtains, Bed, Bath & Beyond.

I can’t wait to crawl into bed tonight!!

Share:

Matthias created this ornament!

christmas, inspiration, matthias By November 18, 2015 3 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!*

matthias cross of light ornament2-02

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!

matthias cross of light ornament2-06

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.

Share:

hello growing grounds

hello monday, san luis obispo By November 16, 2015 No Comments

You want in on a great secret? Growing Grounds in downtown San Luis Obispo is full of inspiring plants and succulents. Love! I’ve got pics to share and some hellos for a brand new week. hello growing grounds-01

Hello plants. Just plants in general. I’m really into plants right now. I need to learn how to keep them alive–succulents I do well with. hello growing grounds-02 Hello pumpkins and Thanksgiving meal planning. I loooove sweet potatoes. What’s your favorite Thanksgiving food?hello growing grounds-03 Hello pretty little succulents. I want to take you all home with me. hello growing grounds-04Hello boot weather. Finally. Hooray!!
hello growing grounds-06 Hello air plants. Have you tried them? I have one in my kitchen and after three months it’s still thriving. Yay!hello growing grounds-07 Hello doing good. Gorwing Grounds supports people with mental illness. This is so important. Love this.hello growing grounds-08

Hello busy busy busy in the shop. Like, crazy busy.
Hello minimum days for the boys all week. Short days for them {and for me!}
Hello teacher conferences.
Hello Boston! We are planning a short trip. I can’t wait.
Hello clean house. I wish it would stay this way–but I give it a half hour.
Hello to YOU! It’s a brand new week with beauty to be found.

What are you saying hello to this week?

Share:

Spending the Holidays with Pipsticks {Giveaway – CLOSED}

giveaway By November 13, 2015 51 Comments

mo+fam_004

This holiday season I’m trying to embrace real moments – in everything I do. That means letting the mess be part of the memory. It means taking the pressure off to be perfect. I know this idea has resonated with many of you. The more we give each other grace and let each other be imperfect, the more love and freedom {and fun!} we experience.

We had the absolute privilege of photographing Maureen Vazquez and her (real!) family for our holiday line. How adorable are they?! They just moved to our town {San Luis Obispo} and they are settling in as a family. They own their own {totally inspiring and amazing} business and they are busy with kiddos. This family shines with real love.

mo+fam_002

Maureen launched Pipsticks, a subscription sticker club, a year ago. She aims to inspire kids, crafters and sticker lovers – and, to help parents, grandparents and gift givers. Pipsticks sends a curated selection of stickers to its subscribers every month. Isn’t this awesome?!

As a mom, she really appreciates hands-on  projects for her kids. Pipsticks sticker packs arrive with loads of stickers as well as paper and postcard so that kids can use the pack completely unassisted. The whole pack, from packaging to sticker selection, is totally child-friendly – giving parents a chance to take a break (or just cook dinner in peace and quiet) once in a while.

Pipsticks is a GREAT present: new and different each month, inspires creativity, doesn’t add to an overcrowded toy chest, and is geared toward whatever your budget may be. Maureen has generously offered a 15% off code to our community! Through the holidays, use code ‘LISA15’ to save.

ella_home

And now it’s giveaway time!

Who on your list would love a Pipsticks subscription? Tell us why you need more stickers in the comments for a chance to win a 3 month gift sticker subscription! Winners will be announced early next week! One entry per person. Woohoo!

pip_01

Pipsticks is such a perfect Christmas gift! When you subscribe, don’t forget to use code LISA15 to save 15%!

 I hope you win a 3 month subscription! Leave a comment and tell us why you need more stickers!! Yay!

**************

We have a WINNER! Lisa S.! We just sent you an email. Thanks all for participating!

**************

Share:

whoa! 30% off the shop!

christmas, coupons By November 12, 2015 7 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*

Share:

real moments, real memories

christmas, finding beauty By November 10, 2015 9 Comments

I looked at the calendar yesterday and saw that we are already well into November and my heart did a flip. Wow, Christmas comes so fast every year! Even with the best intentions, I seem to find myself overwhelmed and rushing in those final days before Christmas. When I saw the date on the calendar, I felt like I was already behind. I was on the path to failure before I’d even begun. But Christmas isn’t about having it all together, is it? This year I want to slow down and go a little easier on myself. I want to focus on real moments, create real memories and love the people around me well.

When I say ‘real moments’ I mean, I want to get away from trying to create the perfect picture to post on instagram. I want to be in the moment. I want to let it be imperfect and honest. When I say ‘real moments’ I’m admitting to myself that there will undoubtably be stress, frustrations and messes. I mean, life simply isn’t perfect–no matter how hard we try {and believe me, I’ve tried!}. But in the stress and mess there are silly moments and laughter. There is forgiveness. There is love. There is togetherness. Together is a beautiful place to be. I believe this is where memories are made.real moments real memories-01-2

Last week, I cleaned went through all our Christmas decorations and gave four large boxes to the thrift store. Now everything we have fits into two bins {except our white tree}. I’m keeping the decor simple this year. Truthfully, I never used it all–it was just clutter. The decorations add to the fun, but it’s really about being together. A few twinkly lights and go a long way.
real moments real memories-02-2

I’ve started Christmas shopping but I need to make a list and get organized. It will come together, right?!

real moments real memories-03-2This is our busiest time of year. The shop is crazy busy {so exciting!} and there is so much to do to prepare for our own celebration. This year, I’m making decisions to embrace the imperfect and live in the moment. Stress will happen, but if I’m not aiming for perfect, I’m pretty sure there will be less stress. And the stress will be less stressful. And what is, will be enough.

I want to focus on my family and not worry about the dishes in the sink.
I want to sip cocoa, watch Elf and say all our favorite lines.
I want to take naps and drink lots of vitamin C to fight off the inevitable cold.
I want to let the kids decorate the tree even if all the ornaments end up on one side.
I want to give meaningful gifts and not worry about having it perfectly wrapped.
I want to remember that the bedhead, the pancake breakfasts, the kids laughing and playing, the gift wrap littering the floor, the yummy food, the time together, the love–these are the things that matter. What’s real is what matters.

Share: