Hello Christmas in England

adventures, Leonards take England By December 28, 2015 1 Comment

Hello friends! We are in England with family celebrating Christmas and New Year’s. It’s been relaxing, exhausting and mostly wonderful. We’ve been splitting our time between relaxing and exploring. David had a hard time kicking the jet lag and was waking up at 4am every morning. That makes for a very long day!

It’s Monday. How about some hellos for a brand new week?
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Hello mild weather. It’s hardly cold at all and we’ve been able to spend lots of time outside. Usually England is freezing this time of year–so we’re very thankful!

Hello cousins! They are all growing up so much. I love that they get to make memories together.

Hello girls day. Sara and I are going to foot massages and some shopping–just us two. Hooray!

Hello eating all of the english chocolate, scones with clotted cream and hot tea we can handle.

Hello taking a break from ‘real life’. It’s good for us.

Hello Cambridge tomorrow. I’ve never been and I can’t wait to take it in.

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

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hello yellow, hello monday

hello monday By December 14, 2015 2 Comments

There are vibrant yellow leaves every where these days, and I can’t get enough. These pics really don’t do them justice. It’s Monday-a brand new week with beauty to be found. How about some hellos?

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Hello sunshine and rain. The weather has been chilly and wet lately–then the sunshine breaks through. Beautiful!

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Hello busy busy. Man, it’s just a crazy season. Everything feels busy. I’ve been having some anxiety–and trying to slow down and breathe deeply. Everything will get done and rushing never helps.

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Hello doggies. We are loving having Louis and Beasley in our family. They are such love bugs.

Hello wrapping gifts. I’m trying to get ahead so I’m not up until midnight.

Hello meetings. Lots of meetings and lots of good stuff happening.

Hello quick trip to NY this week. I want to see the tree in Rockefeller Center.

Hello to you! It’s a brand new week. Let’d do this.

What are you saying hello to this week?

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hello walking in morro bay

hello monday, Louis and Beasley, san luis obispo By December 7, 2015 2 Comments

We’ve always enjoyed walking in Morro Bay–but with the dogs, it’s even more fun! Saturday was gorgeous and clear with a beautiful view of the rock and lots of otters playing.

It’s Monday, how about some hellos for a brand new week?!
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Hello pug lover. Matthias is doing an amazing job taking care of Louis and Beasley. He feeds them, walks them and picks up their poop. I’m impressed. hello walking in morro bay-03
Hello outnumbered. Five boys and one girl. I’m seriously outnumbered here–and I don’t mind one bit!

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Hello beautiful day.

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Hello silliness. David had some tummy pain when we started, but then he cheered up and had a great time walking and dancing.

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Hello running! It’s so good to get out and move!

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Hello long shadows. Winter days are short–we try to soak up the sun while it’s out!

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Hello sunshine. So much love.

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Hello dog smiles. Beasley {with the dark forehead} has the best dog smile ever.

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Hello giving David kisses.

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Hello happy and tired pup!

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Hello long nap for the doggies after we got home. They snore and it’s hilarious.

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Hello eight feet and eight paws. Awesome.

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Hello finishing up Christmas shopping. I need to start wrapping!

Hello lots of work around the house this week. We’re having the carpets cleaned. Hooray!

Hello brushing the dogs everyday. And still having to link roll the couches and vacuum regularly.

Hello preparing for England. We’re spending Christmas there and it’s going to be COLD! I can’t wait to see our British family!

Hello Christmas party and Christmas cards and all things Christmas. So fun!

It’s a brand new week. What are you saying hello to this week?

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keeping everyone happy

christmas, finding beauty By December 2, 2015 10 Comments

The Christmas tree is up and December is officially here. So we should be feeling happy and joyful, right? Magic is in the air! So how come I feel overwhelmed? I love the twinkling lights, the cinnamon candle I’m burning smells good and there is a chill in the air. It’s a festive time of year–but that doesn’t mean I have to feel festive–at least not all the time. It’s still real life, right? Mornings are rushed, dinner time comes too quickly and by 8pm I’m ready for bed. As a mom, I feel responsible to make everything run smoothly, to keep everyone is happy and to somehow make every moment magical. It’s an impossible task I put on myself. It’s too much pressure. And bottom line–it doesn’t work.

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Today I’m reminding myself–every moment doesn’t have to magical. I’d rather have moments that are real. Real is good. Real is honest and true.

Today I’m reminding myself–It’s okay to not feel happy. It’s okay if I don’t’ feel happy or the kids aren’t happy. The pressure to be happy doesn’t make anyone happier. It’s okay to feel tired or sad or even angry. It’s okay to not be okay. And strangely, things are more okay when I let them be what they truly are.

Today I’m reminding myself that grace is real. I have a family that showers me with grace. I have friends that don’t expect me to be perfect and actually embrace me in my brokenness.  This community is real. In the craziness of life, we share our stories–the beauty and the mess. I love that.

Instead of keeping everyone happy, I want to keep things real. To let this journey be what it is–beautiful and crazy and messy.

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favorite shoulder bags for travel–this is the way to go!

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.
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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.

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warming up to new dogs {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!

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

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

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

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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}

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

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Hello bowties. Aren’t they fancy?

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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?

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why we’re in love with boston and our family moments to share

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!

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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.

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

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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!

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

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Oh the leaves and this gate at Cambridge. Spectacular.
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I loved getting some sister time!

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Red building, red leaves.

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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.

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Matthias spent time drawing and sketching. Of course.

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We found a mini kalimba for David at a little boutique. He spotted them right away and I couldn’t resist getting him one!
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Twins <3
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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!

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

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Evening light.

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So thankful for our family of four!

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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!

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Hey, it’s Paul Revere!

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

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

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Berries growing on a brick wall.

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

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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?

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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}.
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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.

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How about DECORATING DIY to makeover master bedroom

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. 
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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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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!

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

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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!

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

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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!!

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how we created the ‘cross of light’ ornament {matthias remarkable imagination}

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!*

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Matthias drew the cross himself, then from his drawing, together, we created the ‘cross of light’ ornament. It turned out so well!

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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