Lisa Leonard Designs

hello color, beauty and light

February 16th | adventures, dominican republic, hello monday

We are in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic! It’s wonderful to be here. Steve and I are traveling with Compassion, International and we are looking forward to seeing a different side of the DR. Yesterday we walked and walked and walked some more. We explored the city and saw all kinds of color, beauty and light. 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 flag {bandera} hanging from the mirror in our taxi. There are flags all over–so much national pride.

Hello tree with a heart-shaped knot. Love is everywhere.

Hello palm trees, ocean and warm sun.

Hello colorful kites. It’s carnaval here and people dance and party in the streets.

Hello obelisk in the center of the city.

Hello walking with a box of chips on your head. That takes skillz.

Hello walls painted with every color of the rainbow.

Hello sidewalks with heart-shaped designs. Love.

Hello to adventures with this guy.

Hello city by the sea.

Hello living out of a suitcase and trying to be low maintenance.

Hello scorching sun and life-giving breeze.

Hello sipping some of the best coffee in the world.

Hello missing my boys.

Hello kids that are looking for sponsorship. You can change a life–more details here.

Hello heart that is falling even deeper in love with the DR.

Hello Compassion, thank you for taking us on this journey.

Hello sharing it with YOU!

Hello brand new week with beauty waiting to be found.

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

headed to the Dominican Republic

February 13th | adventures, dominican republic

Hello friends!

Steve and I are headed to the Dominican Republic today with Compassion International. This will be my fourth trip to the DR in 9 months. We’ve been expanding our production there and creating jobs in a community that desperately needs them. This trip will be very different though. Instead of spending our days in the workshop, we’ll be visiting children, families and seeing Compassion at work. I love the Dominican Republic and I’m excited {and nervous} to experience it in a new way.

We sponsor a little girl named Joeli who lives near Santo Domingo. And we’re going to meet her. I can hardly wait! Joeli has special needs which, as you know, is close to my heart. I hope she’ll let me squeeze her. I really want to.

And guess what? Anyone who sponsors a child is going to receive the necklace pictured above. We are absolutely thrilled to team up with Compassion International.

Friends, the only reason we are able to go on this trip is because of YOU. This community cares about people. This community believes every heart matters. I am so thankful for you.

Please journey with us on instagram and follow along on the blog.

It’s going to be beautiful and messy and sweaty and emotional and I want to share it all with you {well maybe not all the sweatiness}.

Click here to learn more about Compassion.  Click here to get to know kiddos who are waiting to be sponsored.

Do you sponsor a child through Compassion or another organization? I’d love to hear about it!

thrifted cream dress, gypsy soul necklace

February 11th | what I'm wearing

Hey friends! I found this little gem of a dress at a thrift store last week for $5. It made my whole day! It’s Wednesday and I’m linking up with Lindsey at The Pleated Poppy for some fashion inspiration.

I’ve been wanting a cream dress–just something simple and flowy. This one fits the bill!

I layered a long slip with the dress for a vintage feel.

The sweet bag is by Nena & Co. Love it!

On Monday, we shared the Gypsy Soul Necklace. Such a sweet piece. If you missed Monday’s special, you can find the necklace here. It’s very limited edition–so don’t wait!

Isn’t this necklace FUN? I love the adjustable leather–wear it super long or shorter.

Outfit details: Cream dress, vintage slip, both thrifted. Booties, Frye via Zappos. Jean Jacket, Gap. Bag, Nena&Co. Turquoise cuff, vintage. Gypsy Soul Necklace, My shop.

hello pain, hello joy

February 9th | hello monday

Lately it seems, everywhere I look there is pain. My heart hurts for friends who just want to bring their baby girl home from the hospital, friends who had a massive scare last week and thought their son had leukemia, friends who are on their way to UCLA for a long stay and other friends who said good-bye to a beloved dad and husband. And that’s just within the last week. So much heartache. We have ours. Those close to us seem to be suffering more than usual. You might be struggling too.

And I look around and I see beauty. I see blessings. I see actual, real-life joy. It seems impossible, but there it is. God is at work even in the muck and yuck. Today I don’t feel happy, but I still believe there is good. I believe there is beauty to be found. It’s a new week, 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 praying, more than I usually do. And that’s a good thing. It’s good to need God.

Hello giving myself permission to feel sad and not have it all together. It’s real.

Hello making dinner for friends and loving them while they are recovering from a rough season.

Hello working out. It’s good for me. I feel better when I’m done.

Hello creating and sketching. I have some fun things to share this week!

Hello packing for the Dominican Republic. Next week we’ll be there with Compassion International. I can’t wait to tell you more.

Hello hugging and cuddling and sipping chai lattes and doing things that comfort me.

Hello tidying up my desk at work. Um, it’s a train wreck!

Hello thrifting. I’m on the hunt for inspiration.

Hello to YOU. I hope you are feeling joyful and whole. It’s a new week, leave some hellos in the comments or link your own hello monday post there!

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?

flowy and free

February 4th | what I'm wearing

This dress and sweater are super slouchy and comfortable. The length of the dress keeps it from being completely frumpy, I think. Hopefully? The bottom line is, I felt comfortable and happy–so the outfit was a win. It’s Wednesday and I’m linking up with Lindsey at The Pleated Poppy for some fashion inspiration.

If you’ve seen the national weather lately, we are at the warm extreme here in California. It’s been mid 70s. It’s awesome but it doesn’t feel like winter at all. And I know many of you are knee deep in snow and busy shoveling your driveways. I don’t want to rub it in. File this outfit under ‘spring inspiration’.

This bag is nothing if not FUN! It’s from Nena & Co. I might be in love.

The sweater and turquoise cuff are vintage.

And of course, my favorite booties, that I wear almost every day.

I’ve been really into dresses lately. They’re easy and make me feel put together {even if I’m totally not put together}.

I’m sending some sunshine your way today. Can you feel it?

Outfit details: Dress, Local Boutique, Plenty. Sweater, Ruby Rose. Booties, Frye via Zappos. Bag, Nena & Co. Bracelets, Earrings, My shop.

left field, san luis obispo

February 3rd | decorating, san luis obispo, shops i love

This brand new shop here in San Luis Obispo, Left Field, combines some of my favorite things–succulents, baskets, colorful rugs, rough stones, rusty metal, textured shells and lots of light. The result is magical. Today I’ve got lots of photos to share. I hope they inspire you!

Left Field is on Monterey, right across the street from Ruby Rose and just down from Splash Cafe.

Want to read an interview with the owner? Click here.

Browsing a couple amazing shops and clam chowder, hmmm. Sounds like the makings of a perfect afternoon, don’t you think?!

hello confused weather

February 2nd | celebrate the every day, hello monday

The weather around is here has been so warm! We had a couple rainy weeks and everything got nice and green. Then the sunshine came and persisted–so everything is in bloom. I think the weather forgot that it’s January. Last week I pulled out my camera to capture some of the beauty and send it your way. Here’s a little sunshine for those of you who are stuck inside with cold weather!

It’s Monday–a brand new week with so much to be thankful for! 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 blooming branches and blue skies. My heart can hardly take it all in.

Hello making time for quiet and making time for me. I don’t know why I have such a hard time sitting still–but I do know it’s good for my soul.

Hello play date with friends and trying to drag the kids away from video games. {after all, the sun is shining!}

Hello gift for you! If you want a copy of the above photo, just email me at lisa @ and I will send you the high res image. I think this would be so pretty on a wall!

Hello February. So nice to see you.

Hello groundhog day today. We should watch that movie–it’s such a great one!

Hello sister time. Be still my heart–I love time with my sisters!

Hello creating. I am working on some fun things and of course I can’t wait to share them with you!

Hello Valentine’s Day. It’s not far away!

Hello fighting a little cold. It’s not enough to keep me down, but it’s still annoying!

Hello to YOU! It’s a brand new week with beauty waiting to be found. Join me!

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

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. 

willow and sage magazine feature!

January 30th | DIY, features

I have fallen in love with a new magazine! I’m sure you’ve heard of Stampington–they create magazines such as Where Women Create, Artful Blogging and Somerset Life. Such beautiful publications! They have a new magazine called Willow and Sage–and they featured my sister weekend in there. I am so excited! Take a look.

These magazines are worth keeping for years. The photos are high quality with a matte finish. So inspiring!

In August I snuck away for a magical few days with my sisters. We stayed in an airstream trailer and had so much fun talking, laughing and eating amazing food. I want to go back. So bad.

I surprised the sisters with some handmade foot scrub and we soaked our feet. It was so fun and relaxing.

The foot scrub is incredibly simple. It’s just brown sugar grape seed oil and if you want, a splash of almond or mint flavoring for a nice scent. I use it all the time in the shower. It makes my skin so soft and moisturized. Love it.

For a gift, just put into a mason jar and make a little tag. Seriously simple, pretty and practical.

Click here to follow Stampington on Facebook. And here to follow them on Instagram.

And if you want lots of inspiration for homemade bath products, hop over here and get a copy of Willow and Sage. You won’t be sorry!

What’s your favorite make-at-home beauty treatment? Please share!