Lisa Leonard Designs

Archive for the ‘family’ Category

gorgeous day in morro bay

March 12th | an everyday moment, family

Last weekend we spent the afternoon in Morro Bay. The weather was insanely pretty. My mom left yesterday, but we had her with us for a week. And it was wonderful!

Steve road his bike to Morro Bay and we met him at Taco Temple. Yum.

We walked the path to the rock and saw otters playing.

I love my boys.

The squirrels {chipmunks?} were extra friendly.

Steve went into a music shop and when David saw this piano painting, he really wanted it to make noise!

I hopped next door to the bead shop, looking for inspiration.

Then we got Thrifty ice cream and came home.

That night we had leftovers and played scrabble. Pretty much a perfect day!

Come back soon, grandma! We love you!

And now the weekend is here again. Thank goodness! What do you have planned?

a sweet valentine’s breakfast

February 6th | celebrate the every day, family

I planned a fun Valentine’s breakfast for my sweethearts. We had to celebrate a little early because I’ll be in the Dominican Republic on Valentine’s day. I took lots of pics for you–plus our favorite {heart-shaped} pancake recipe is below. Yum!

I kept the table super simple but fun. I used things we already had around the house–but it feels special.

Real dishes, placemats and fresh flowers is fancy for us! We should do this more often, though. It’s so fun and hardly any extra work!

I taped construction paper hearts to twine and hung them from the ceiling.

I keep paper straws on hand and they always add whimsy to the table.

Homemade, high protein pancakes are a staple for us. We probably have them at least three times a week. Here’s the recipe:

For each person, you’ll need…
2 eggs, 1/2C whole oats, 1/4C cottage cheese, dash of cinnamon, 1/2t vanilla
Put all ingredients in blender and blend at high speed until smooth. Add a little milk to thin, if necessary.

For heart-shaped pancakes, Take about 1/3 of the batter, thin with milk and put into a squeeze bottle. I found this one in the cake decorating section at Michaels.

Squeeze and outline of a heart onto hot pan.

Fill in with batter. Add chocolate chips, if necessary. And it’s always necessary.

And you end up with a heart-shaped pancake. I’ve gotten better at these as I’ve practiced a bit. So fun!

A cake topper from our shop is so cute on a stack of pancakes!

And of course, exchanging hand-written valentine’s makes it that much sweeter!

Do you have anything special planned for Valentine’s Day this year?

investing in love

January 31st | david, finding love

The fall mornings are always chilly even though after a couple hours the sun comes out to warm everything. Before we leave the house, I pull a warm vest around David and strap him snuggly into his car seat. As we arrive at school, I slide open the van door, give him a kiss on the cheek and lift him from the car.

David has special needs. He was born with a rare genetic disorder called Cornelia de Lange. Because of his syndrome, he doesn’t use words to communicate, he has only two fingers on his left hand and he depends on us to feed and diaper him. David is very relational and loves to cuddle and hug—but he is cautious with new people. At times he voids eye contact and prefers to play alone.

At the beginning of the school year, he took hesitant steps toward the classroom, pulling on my hand and trying to slow my pace. It was a new school with new faces to get to know. Every morning, his teacher would bend down and with a big smile on her face, and welcome David to school. For weeks it went like this, hesitant steps culminating in a warm welcome and a fairly disinterested David.

But she persisted. She showed love and kindness to David. She invested in him…

I’m sharing at {in}courage today. Hop over to read the rest of the post. 

hello family time in santa barbara

December 29th | family, hello monday

Hello friends! We are saying good-bye to family and welcoming more family. After our Christmas rush last week, the four of us got away to Santa Barbara for a couple nights to be together and decompress. We stayed in a hotel near the beach, ate good food, saw The Hobbit and had lots of downtime. We also had some grumpiness because it’s hard to go from crazy stress to total relaxation. It’s a process, right?

I’ve got some pics to share with you and some hellos for a new week.

***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 last week of 2014. Crazy!

Hello taking down Christmas decorations. The house always feels empty without them.

Hello tidying up and organizing. That always makes me feel great!

Hello taking some blurry pics. Tara Whitney takes this kind of shot sometimes and I think they are so magical and fun.

Hello trying to get back to low carb/paleo eating. Less sugar.

Hello thinking about goals for 2015. I love a new beginning.

Hello feeling broken and tired and thankful and super imperfect.

Hello new week with beauty to be found.

Hello to YOU!

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

errands and christmas fun

December 19th | an everyday moment, family

There’s so much to do this season! There’s the stuff I need to do {emails, wrap gifts, prep for Christmas parties, send cards} and the stuff I want to do {grab a cozy blanket and read or nap!!}. So during the crazy, we’re running errands and making time for fun. It’s a stressful time of year. So we’re remembering to breathe and enjoy the small moments. To let things be imperfect. Here are some pics from the last week.


There were some very sweet moments–and I’m so glad I captured them! How do you find calm in the midst of the crazy?

hello impromptu guitar lesson

December 15th | an everyday moment, family, hello monday

Over Thanksgiving we had some sweet family time. One afternoon, Steve was playing his guitar and the smallest cousins took an interest. Before long, he had them strumming and playing. They were so excited. And these pics were too sweet not to share.

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 Lexi–isn’t she adorable? She so kind and insightful. And she’s getting so big!

Hello getting the fingers just right and holding tightly.

Hello black and white photo and such a sweet profile. Love that girl!

Hello Brandon. He’s the littlest and he won’t be left behind.

Hello strumming away and feeling really good about himself.

Hello sweet moments with Uncle Steve. I think they’ll love these pics in a few years.

Hello home stretch. The workshop has been very busy. Our deadline for Christmas delivery is December 17th. You still have time to get a personalized piece of jewelry or an ornament!

Hello planning our Christmas menu and some fun activities while Nana is in town.

Hello sending out Christmas cards. I’m determined to get them out to family and a few friends. I haven’t sent them the last few years.

Hello lots of rain. Hooray. We are so happy!

Hello cozy blankets and cinnamon candles.

Hello seeing a live Mythbusters show this week. Matthias and Steve can’t wait! {I’ll be home with David}.

Hello to YOU! It’s a brand new week. I believe there is beauty to be found. Will you join me? What are you saying hello to this week? Leave some hellos in the comments or link you own hello monday post there.

bolsa chica wetlands

December 1st | celebrate the every day, family, hello monday

Hello friends! We are home from a fun, family-filled Thanksgiving and jumping into a new week with both feet! Are you ready? 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 Southern California and Bolsa Chica. Such a pretty day, such a mellow walk.

Hello soaking up family and eating lots of delicious food!

Hello cuddles from Grandma. What could be better?

Hello running and playing with cousins.

Hello no sisters, but lots of girl cousins. Kind of awesome.

Hello sunlight through the brush. Beautiful.

Hello rules. That’s okay, we’re planning to fish or jump.

Hello three year old with a good stick. Happiness!

Hello awesome moves.

Hello pretending and being completely un-self-concious.

Hello holding hands and long shadows. Two things that fill my heart.

Hello talking about important things and figuring life out. {We don’t have it figured out yet–not even close!}

Hello taking pictures and capturing a moment.

Hello twin sister who knows my heart so well.

Hello being big even when you’re the littlest.

Hello coming home to laundry, email, grocery shopping and lots of real life stuff.

Hello new keyboard for David that he is playing non-stop. Love!

Hello school and homework and learning.

Hello CYBER MONDAY! We are having a FABULOUS sale in the shop. Take 30% off shop wide with code ‘cyberlove’. Shop here!

Hello December! It’s here!

Hello Christmas season! Lights are up and Christmas music is playing. So HAPPY!

Hello to YOU! Are you ready for a new week?

Leave some hellos in the comments or link up your own hello monday post there!

hello silliness, hello pismo beach

November 24th | family, hello monday

This weekend we worked on cleaning the house, spent a little time in the workshop and had lunch and play time at Pismo Beach. I am planning to do some Christmas decorating before we celebrate Thanksgiving, so once the turkey is eaten, we’re ready to kick off Christmas!

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 cooler days, low clouds and wearing sweaters.

Hello climbing, exploring and having fun.

Hello lunch at Cool Cat. Someone paid our bill. Steve and I were so completely humbled, touched and grateful. That unexpected kindness was such a boost to our spirits.

Hello Matthias. You are sweet, insightful and such a LOVE.

Hello torturing dad. You know, just for fun.

Hello setting the timer on my camera and getting a rad pic. It’s nothing fancy–but it’s the four of us and I love it.

Hello not sharing food with the birds.

Hello being silly just because it’s fun.

Hello brothers.

Hello unending beach and sky that stretches on forever.

Hello heart wrapped up in these three boys.

Hello L A R G E bird.

Hello soaking it all up.

Hello arm around daddy’s neck for a good snuggle.

Hello time with family and being thankful.

Hello eating turkey, cranberries and sweet potatoes. Yum!

Hello slow mornings and coffee. My favorite things in the whole world.

Hello making memories.

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

turning 70 {fun!}

November 11th | celebrate the every day, family

My sisters planned a gathering to celebrate my mom’s 70th birthday. We live four hours north, but we were able to come down and hop in on the fun.

My mom is one of the most generous, creative people I know. Growing up she was always creating–that’s definitely where I get my creativity. And she gives and gives. If you compliment her on a vase she’ll hand it to you and tell you to take it home with you. She has such a generous heart!

It was so fun to see her friends–many who’ve known me since I was born. It was a laid back gathering with delicious mexican food, yummy sodas and a sweet cake. Pretty much perfect!

That’s my mom on the right, in blue and her sister in the black and white checked top.

Happy 70th, mom! You are a blessing to our family and we love you so!

creating traditions {with nativity}

October 23rd | family, inspiration

Ah! I am THRILLED over the response to our new nativity. It’s so exciting!

I know this will be a keepsake year after year.

I created the nativity for my nieces and nephews. I wanted them to have something to cherish in their childhoods and carry memories into adulthoods. I hope they use these nativities with their own children!

When I was growing up, the nativity was a big part of our Christmas season. Every year, after we went to bed on Christmas eve, my mom would place baby Jesus in the manger. And when we woke up on Christmas morning he would be there–reminding us of the true meaning of Christmas.

Each piece is hand-molded and beautiful in it’s sweet simplicity. I spent hours trying to capture the story through these little pewter figures.

When I was molding baby Jesus, I felt so humbled trying to capture something with such HUGE significance and wrap it into a pewter figure. Jesus has brought JOY to the world and his birth changed my story.

The demand for the nativity has been great. We are doing our best to keep up, but please if you want one, don’t wait! They are only $199 and I don’t want you to miss out!

Find the new nativity here.