hello beautiful, hello colorful

hello monday By August 15, 2016 1 Comment

Hello friends. I have pics from Cassis, France to share today. We visited friends in Aix de Provence and made the short drive to the seaside one evening. I was captivated by the color and beauty. The south of France felt to me the way I imagine Italy to be. Breathtaking.

It’s Monday, how about some hellos for a new week?hello cassis france-01 Hello castle on a cliff with the carousel below. So charming!

hello cassis france-02 Hello boats lined up.

hello cassis france lisa-01Hello Lindsey looking very much in her element in Cassis. She helped us with boys. So grateful!

hello cassis france-03 Hello trying to get a family pic and settling for this one!

hello cassis france-05 Hello time with friends. I cherish these memories.

hello cassis france-06 Hello exploring another part of the world with my favorite partner-in-crime.

hello cassis france-07 Hello Matthias. Hello green eyes. I love those eyes.

hello cassis france-08 Hello baskets. I wish my suitcase was a lot bigger!

hello cassis france-09 Hello taking a walk with David because his tummy was hurting and stumbling on this charming little street.

hello cassis france-12 Hello pretty shutters and colorful tiles. Love!

hello cassis france-13 Hello soaking up kisses and cuddles with my sweetheart.

hello cassis france-15Hello gelato before we hit the road! Cassis you were good to us!

Hello making time for organizing this week.

Hello carrying my sketchbook because inspiration has been finding me lately. I’ve been writing down ideas and doodles.

Hello last week of summer before school begins!

Hello to my middle schoolers. Both boys will be in middle school this year. So exciting!

Hello walking every day. I’m trying to make space for movement and downtime.

Hello planning to try a couple new recipes.

Hello to YOU. It’s a brand new week with beauty to be found. What are you saying hello to this week?


borrowing from grandma and boyfriends

what I'm wearing By August 10, 2016 2 Comments

We’ve been having some glorious cooler weather. It’s been overcast until late morning and when the suns comes out it warms to about 75*. It feels more like fall or winter than summer! It’s nice to layer on a cardigan in the morning and evening.

I found this cardigan at our local Goodwill bins.It’s basically a first stop for donations–and if you’re willing to dig through boxes and bins before items go to local stores, you can find some amazing deals! I imagine my grandma had a sweater like this back in her younger days. The boyfriend jeans are from Banana Republic {not actually from a boyfriend ha!}. Worn-in, broken-in jeans are the best.

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Outfit details: Vintage sweater, thrifted {similar here and here}. Boyfriend jeans, Banana Republic. Tank, Old Navy {similar here.} Lace-up sandals, Amazon. Bag, Local consignment boutique. Rings, cuff, My shop.


hello sister time

hello monday, san luis obispo By August 8, 2016 2 Comments

This last weekend I got away with my sisters for some down time. It was wonderful! I’m thankful Steve encourages me to get away–I always feel guilty, although little by little I’m getting better at taking time for me. We mamas need time to laugh and play and talk and rest, right?!

It’s Monday. How about some hellos for a new week?
sister birthday 2016-01Hello long shadows and happy hearts.

sister birthday 2016-05 Hello piling into a tiny cottage at Flying Flags Resort in Buellton. So fun and cozy!

sister birthday 2016-02Hello matching blue eyes. We’re definitely twins!

sister birthday 2016 2-08 Hello birthstone rings–my gift to each sister.

sister birthday 2016 2-07 Hello perfect succulent.

sisterbday 2016Hello gorgeous sisters and bright paper flowers. It was fiesta days in Santa Barbara.

sister birthday 2016 2-05Hello amazing painter on the street in Santa Barbara. I really wish I’d asked for his name!

sister birthday 2016 2-06Hello cheese and meat tray courtesy of my sister Ellen. Delicious!

sister birthday 2016-12Hello wishing it could last forever. Now I’m back home with my boys and getting back into my routine. And that’s really pretty great too!

Hello week full of meetings and to-dos.

Hello taking care of a few things before the boys go back to school–like haircuts and immunizations.

Hello soaking up slow mornings before we get back into the school routine.

Hello trying to comprehend that both of my boys are in middle school this year. Our elementary school days are behind us!

Hello thinking of coffee as I drift off to sleep and waking up with the thought of my first cup. So good.

Hello marveling at how Matthias’ drawing skills are growing!

Hello soaking up David’s smile.

Hello to YOU. It’s a brand new week with beauty to be found. What are you saying hello to this week?


DIY short sleeve denim jacket

what I'm wearing By August 4, 2016 4 Comments

I saw this short sleeve denim jacket on Madewell and fell in love! Super cute, right? I kept thinking about it and how perfect it would be for summer evenings and fall. When I came across this denim jacket at Old Navy on sale, I thought it would be perfect for simply cutting off the long sleeves and making it into a short sleeved denim jacket. So easy!

DIY short sleeve denim jacket-03 DIY short sleeve denim jacket-04 DIY short sleeve denim jacket-05 DIY short sleeve denim jacket-06 DIY short sleeve denim jacket-07 DIY short sleeve denim jacket-08

Outfit details: Denim jacket, Old Navy. Also this one is super cute and on sale! Black jumper, Old Navy. Sandals Seychelles. Bag, Local consignment shop. Personalized Gemstone Cuff, My shop. Earrings, new design I’m working on!

What do you think of the short sleeve denim jacket? Would you wear one?


hello addictions

hello monday By August 1, 2016 4 Comments

I mean addictions in the daily-rhythm-things-I-crave category. I can quit anytime. I swear.

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

hello addicitions-01

Hello coffee. of course.

Hello walking. the more I do it, the more I crave it! It’s time where I think and move and breathe.

Hello sparkling water. I cut out soda {mostly} and replaced it with sparking water. So yum.

Hello thrifting. The thrill of they  hunt. So many times I find nothing–but when I discover treasure it’s motivating.

Hello audible. This summer I’ve been listening to book after book while I walk and drive. Mostly autobiographies.

Hello goat cheese. I don’t know why but I love it. So yum. Give me more!

Hello Madam Secretary. We just started with Season one, episode one and we’re hooked.

Hello favorite jeans. I always have one pair that I wear over and over and over. Right now it’s a pair of vintage levis I found at a thrift store.

Hello cuddles with my boys. I’m hooked.

Hello to YOU! Hello August–how can that be?! What are you saying hello to this week?


hello market baskets and missing france

what I'm wearing By July 26, 2016 3 Comments

We are fresh back from France and missing the lavender fields and amazing architecture. The more we travel, the smaller the world feels–and I love that!

This super easy, comfortable dress was on clearance for $10 at Target. It’s the type of thing I could wear everyday–with thee sandals for lunch with a friend or flip flops for dinner near the beach. Market baskets are very affordable in France–I think this one was $17. Smaller baskets are around $12. They are so adorable–and useful!

market baskets and missing france-04market baskets and missing france-01 market baskets and missing france-02 market baskets and missing france-03market baskets and missing france-06 market baskets and missing france-07market baskets and missing france-09

Outfit details: Black dress, Target {similar}. Sandals, Miz Mooz {on sale!} Market basket, French market in France. Cuff, sunburst ring, My shop.

Is there somewhere in the world you would love to see? I’d love to visit Greece. I think that’s next on my wish list!


hello industrial cart {side table}

decorating, hello monday By July 25, 2016 2 Comments

Last week while thrifting with a friend, I stumbled on this awesome aqua industrial cart {right side of couch}. We already had one in our family room {left side of couch} and I loved the height and size. So I grabbed it, brought it home, scrubbed it quite a bit and placed it next to the couch. I love it. It adds a bit of color to break up the brown. Someone instagram suggested bringing in a rug with some aqua to add more color and I think that’s a great idea. Now I’ll start hunting for the perfect rug!

It’s a brand new week with beauty to be found. How about some hellos?
industrial cart side table lisa leonard-03

Hello family room. This space is constantly going from tidy to disaster and then back to tidy again. I guess that’s the cycle of a home that’s actually lived in!

industrial cart side table3

Hello warm summer days. We’re having a bit of a heat wave–how about you?

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Hello sending Matthias off to summer camp for a WEEK. My heart can hardly stand it.

Hello pups already missing Matthias. Who will cuddle them all week while he’s away? We’re all going to have to chip in!

Hello walking and walking. I crave it. I love it.

Hello listening to this book on Audible. It’s equal parts tragedy and humor. I love a good autobiography. I love to hear other’s stories. It fascinates and inspires me.

Hello being falling for mexican tiles. How amazing is this fireplace?

Hello celebrating 17 years of marriage this week. Insane!

Hello looking forward to some down time this week.

Hello to you! It’s a brand new week with beauty to be found. What are you saying hello to this week?


Hello Eiffel, Hello France

adventures, hello monday By July 18, 2016 4 Comments

France is on our minds a lot lately for three reasons; we just returned from France, we are BIG Tour de France fans and because of the recent tragedy in Nice. It’s a beautiful country with lovely people. The people of France are close to my heart.

One of our favorite days in Paris was visiting the Eiffel Tower. It’s such an icon! Seeing it in real life was magical. Traveling with David is challenging–but I’ll save that story for another post. Standing by the Eiffel Tower as a family feels like a huge accomplishment. I remember feeling that same thing when we visited Stonehenge–pics here. We want our boys to see the world–believing that we are connected to everyone. In every country, every culture we find we’re really not so different. In our heart of hearts we are connected by feelings of love, fear and hope. The more we see of the world, the smaller it seems.

It’s a brand new week. I’m starting out with thoughts and prayers for France. How about some hellos?
Hello Eiffel lisa leonard3Hello beautiful Eiffel. You take my breath away!

Hello Eiffel lisa leonard2Hello looking from every angle to get a sense of the bigness and beauty of the Eiffel Tower.

Hello Eiffel lisa leonard 4 Hello kissing and holding hands and being together.

Hello Eiffel lisa leonard 5Hello finally saying yes to one of the vendors and buying a tiny Eiffel Tower to take home.

Hello busy week ahead. Every day this week is full. Somehow I always imagine summer as so laid back–but we end up with a full calendar!

Hello art class for Matthias.

Hello dinner with friends.

Hello coffee. I’m trying to limit myself to one cup a day. I’m savoring every sip.

Hello last week of the Tour de France. We’ll be watching every stage.

Hello all day meetings and lots of planning.

Hello walking and soaking up the sunshine.

Hello France. I’m thinking of you today.

Hello to YOU. It’s a new week with beauty waiting to be found. What are you saying hello to this week?


hello lavender fields

family, hello monday By July 11, 2016 3 Comments

On our last full day in the South of France we drove to lavender fields. We’d heard they were breath-taking and we weren’t disappointed. There were row after row, field after field, mile after mile of lavender fields. I’ve never seen anything like it! The color was vibrant and it smelled amazing. Only one small problem–lots of bees! But we didn’t let that stop us.

It’s Monday, a brand new week with beauty to be found. How about some hellos?
hello lavendar fields-02 Hello adventure. I’m thankful we were able to travel as a family to France. It wasn’t easy, particularly because of David’s special needs,but we made some amazing memories.

hello lavendar fields-04 Hello lavendar. I could have brought back a suitcase full of lavender.

hello lavendar fields-05 Hello being carried. David refused to walk so Steve helped him out. Such a good daddy.

hello lavendar fields-06Hello cutie. He’s starting 7th grade in the fall. I think our trip changed him and gave him some new perspectives.

hello lavendar fields-01Hello family. Hello going through ups and downs with these people. I’m thankful we are learning and growing together.

Hello sunburn. I’ve been walking and hiking and my shoulders are red. It’s a good reminder to use more sunscreen than I think I need!

Hello appetite. David has been eating so much! Maybe he’s getting ready for a growth spurt?

Hello Get Smart. We watched it for family movie night last night and we were all cracking up!

Hello meetings this week. Summer meetings always catch me by surprise. I get into relax-no-schedule mode.

Hello cherries. One of my favorite summer fruits.

Hello new book. I’m enjoying it and love her honesty. Warning, she uses language and covers some sensitive topics.

Hello to you! What are you saying hello to this week?


I can’t be silent

thoughts By July 9, 2016 49 Comments


A few years ago my family went to the Southern California mountains for a snow day. We planned a fun-filled day of skiing and tubing down snowy slopes. As we arrived we headed to the lodge for snacks and a potty break. I got the kids settled and headed to the bathroom. The door to the stall next to me closed and the screaming began. I heard a mother berating her daughter. Her cruel words echoed through the room. Then I heard the slaps and the little girl began crying. I stood frozen in fear.

“I don’t know the details.” I told myself. “It’s none of my business.” I tried to reason with my heart.

I didn’t know what to do, so I did nothing. They left the bathroom before me. I washed my hands as a few tears fell from my eyes. I went on with my day but I couldn’t shake the awful feeling inside me. I did nothing. It was horrible. It was wrong. And I stood there silent.

I promised myself next time I would do something.

A couple years later I was shopping at a department store. As I entered the dressing room with a couple pairs of jeans, an angry mom pushed past me. She dragged her child into one of the dressing rooms and began screaming. I heard slaps. I had been in almost the exact same situation a few years before. I felt the same feeling of fear and horror move through my body.

I looked at the dressing room attendant and said, “We have to do something.”

She looked at me with sympathy in her eyes and said, “As an employee, I’m not allowed to say anything. There’s nothing I can do.”

I took a deep breath and walked over to the dressing room. I knocked on the door and said with a timid voice, “Pardon me. I’m not sure what’s going on, but I’m uncomfortable with what I’m hearing.”

The mother responded, “It’s none of your business. We’re fine.”

“But I’m not fine.” I said. “I’m uncomfortable and I’ll wait out here until you come out.”

After a few moments they came out of the dressing room walked past me and left the store.
Did I do enough? Maybe not. But I did something. It was a start.
I showed up. I stood up and said, “I’m uncomfortable.”

My husband and I recently started watching a documentary that explores racism {among other things} in the US in recent history.
A couple days ago I read a news story about police violence against a black man.
And the next day, another very disturbing news story about police violence.
I’m uncomfortable.
We have a problem.

If we see injustice and do nothing we’re not only part of the problem, we are the problem.
We cannot look away.
We cannot sit silently by and do nothing.
We can fight for what is right.
We can say, “I’m uncomfortable.”
It’s not enough, but it’s a start.
One voice, even if it’s squeaky and small, can join with many others to become a roar.
A beautiful, power force for change.
Friends, we need change.