Saturday, August 21, 2010

{feature} meet lisa leonard!

"hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul" 
- emily dickinson

Lisa Leonard
a few months ago I found lisa leonard's jewelry online.  i LOVE all things jewelry, especially silver necklaces. i was tickled pink by her creations! what makes them even more special is that she makes them all herself! being a mompreneur is hard work and balancing life, motherhood and a business is tricky. but Lisa Leonard seems to balance it all without breaking a sweat!  but wait, there's more... have you had a chance to visit her blog yet?  W-O-W!  she is an amazing photographer and her posts really reach out to you.  she finds the beauty in just about everything! 

i popped over to her site to to share with you some of my favorite jewelry designs!  she just introduced this new piece and I am hoping to acquire one by christmas! lol!

have you seen anything so beautiful?  this is my new FAVE!  want one? find it here!
(but please make sure there is one left for me to get!)

here are a few more favorites of ours: 



and someday when i have completed my family 
i will be acquiring this one! 
the Family Tree necklace...  

I was so grateful when Lisa even agreed to do a little interview 
with me to share a bit about herself, her inspirations and her motivations!  

1.) at what point in your life did you realize this is what you wanted to do, making handmade jewelry? 
i really wanted to start a business so i could be home with my boys and have more flexibility. i debated between wedding favors (i used to be a wedding coordinator) and jewelry. i jumped into jewelry and i'm so glad i did! 

2.) your pieces are so unique and refreshing.  With the many handmade jewelry designers out there - what makes Lisa Leonard Design different?
i really try to be unique and different. i make what i want to wear. if i look at other jeweler's sites it because i want to see what's out there, so i can make something else! i spend a lot of time brainstorming and nurturing creativity so i can be unique. then all of a sudden an idea will hit me out of nowhere! 

3.) do you have an all time favorite piece? 
i love the family tree and the family crest. i also love the banner necklace. it's so sweet and fun. 

4) if you could only wear one piece of jewelry for the rest of your life which would it be?
either my wedding ring or my grandmother's ring. i wear both every single day. 

5) as a momPreneur - how do you balance your boys and work? What challenges do you face? 
balance is sooo difficult. there are no easy answers. i work a lot but my boys are my first priority. we like to go on adventures away from the house, that way i can leave my computer behind. i want to cherish these days, the boys are growing so quickly.  

6) do you have any advice for other moms just starting out their biz and trying to manage it all? 
as soon as you are able, hire someone to do the things you don't like and also the things you can let go of. help is crucial for growing a  business. also, do something you love. be unique. be genuine and build real friendships. 

7) what's up next for you? 
i'm speaking at some conferences in the next few months. we have some super fun new designs coming out. more blogging of course!

 i cannot thank lisa enough for granting me the greatest pleasure of 
having her as my first {feature} on my new blog!  
it was such a pleasure getting to know her!
(i can now cross that off my bucket list!)

and to commemorate being my first {feature} lisa has
graciously agreed to give away a $25 gift certificate!
one lucky winner will receive a $25 to spend at lisa leonard designs!   

To enter, simply visit lisa's site and come back and leave a comment
telling me your favorite piece!

for extra entries tweet it (@lehlashop), blog it and facebook it!
**be sure to leave a comment for each extra entry!

winner will be randomly selected on friday august 27th!


Monday, August 16, 2010

What Brings You JOY?

Have you ever wondered what it is in life that brings you joy? Is it the amazing man you may have married? The child/children you have brought into this world? Your work? Or maybe you have a pet project you have been diligently working on that you know will eventually bring joy to you someday.

For me it's all of the above!  Recently, I realized that I needed to stop and take a look around me.   To see what I had right in front of me.  I married my soulmate and my hero.  I gave birth to the most amazing little girl, born 7-7-07, (the luckiest day there could ever be).  I work at a church where I can proudly say I have made some very good friends, whom, I can also admit, I consider to be family.  My work in progress...well that would be my home-based, online company I started, Lehla Shop.  Everyday, I challenge myself to try new things, perfect items and strive to make good products I know will put a smile on a child's face.  All of these things were staring right at me. I just needed to realize it.

I can reflect back on times when my life wasn't exactly "joyous".  My first marriage didn't quite work.  I didn't have too many people I could honestly call "friends".  And I worked a full time job, clocking in at least 9 hours a day.  Everything was so faced paced (that's NJ for ya!).

So, I got a divorce, met my new husband, had my daughter, quite my job and moved to Louisiana!  Whew! 

Now I work part-time at the church and at home for my shop.  I am constantly online trying to publicize Lehla Shop as much as possible.  My goal is to one day have my products on the shelves of other stores.  And who knows...maybe even own my own "brick and mortar" shop and have my products on my OWN shelves!  That would be ULTIMATE joy!

then make it happen

I want my daughter to grow up and know that dreams can come true, if you work hard enough to make them happen.  More joy.

"Your dreams are never silly; depend on them to guide you" chinese fortune

So with that said, I can tell you that I am blessed for the joy that already surrounds me.  Am I lucky?  Maybe...but I wouldn't trade anything!

Have you stopped to take a look at your life?  Have you started thinking what it is that brings you joy?

Life + Love + Happiness = Joy


Friday, August 13, 2010

Viva La Cupcake!

What is it about a cupcake that seems to draw out our inner child?  Is it their small size?  Their portability?  Or maybe it’s the seemingly endless flavor options that are now available to us!  We all grew up with cupcakes, but in recent years the cupcakes from our youth have been transformed into edible works of art.  The “Cupcake Craze” has created standalone bakeries that specialize in gourmet cupcakes. 

I recently had the great pleasure to meet with three entrepreneurs and find out more about the local “Cupcakeries” that have been popping up all around us. 

It begins with Buttercups, owned and operated by Kim Wood.  She had been creating her cupcakes for locals for over three years and even gained national notoriety when Katie Holmes purchased them through a local store. But in November of 2009, she decided to truly make a name for herself and opened Buttercups at the Villagio in Bossier City.   

She described to me how seeing the ingredients come together to develop such edible creations is what ignites her passion for baking.  All of the cupcakes are made with her own original recipes.  Small batches of cakes are made throughout the day, so you know that you are getting a fresh cupcake at time of purchase.  Her most popular flavors are Red Velvet and Wedding Cake.  Yum!  She even takes it one step further and uses only recycled products for her boxes and wax paper.   

Something else that caught my eye was the first impression you get when you walk through the doors.  From the lavender walls to the cafĂ© tables…even the fresh flowers she puts out daily.  She explained that she wanted a contemporary/industrial look and if you ask me, I would say everything she did works!  I was even excited to see that she started selling Buttercup t-shirts!   

In addition to her Villagio location, Shreveport locals will soon be graced when her second store opens up at the Shoppes at Bellemeade in August 2010!  Buttercups is open 6 days a week and offers 16 different flavors (check her menu for daily flavor options).  You can learn more about Buttercups by joining their Facebook Fan page!   

Next I visited Cupcake Gallery on Youree Dr. in Shreveport.  I had the great pleasure of speaking with Amanda.  Cupcake Gallery is family owned with a few extra employees.  Their story began when her mom had been making cupcakes out of her home.  Soon, word of her cupcakes had gotten around and the opportunity of a shop fell into their hands.  

All of their cupcakes are made fresh daily and offer 16 different flavors (check their menu for daily flavor options).  Their most popular flavors are Lime in Coconut, 24 Karat Cake and German Chocolate, which is an age old family recipe!  I was very curious as to what happened to any daily leftovers and was nicely surprised to learn that they donate them to local hospitals and prisons.   

As you come up on the store, you are greeted with an amazing outdoor patio with wrought iron tables and chairs.  They even have seating for the little ones!   The interior has a more modern look with Red and Black.  They even have an enormous chalkboard wall for the kids to draw on!  In addition to the array of cupcakes they have a coffee/espresso bar. 

When I asked what the future held for them, Amanda told me they were going to begin offering Birthday Party packages hosted at the store where the children can decorate their own cupcakes, from the icing to the sprinkles! 

Cupcake Gallery is open 6 days a week.  You can learn more about them by visiting their Website at and by joining their Facebook Fan Page. 
Third on my list was Diva Delights, LLC.  While the other shops already have a storefront, Diva Delights is still in the beginning stages of establishing their footprint.  I was delighted to have had the opportunity to speak with Judith Sammons.  Her story truly touched my heart.  When I asked her where her inspiration came from, the words and her story just rolled off her tongue.  Seventeen months ago, Judith gave birth to her second daughter, Lexi, who was born 5 months early.  I learned that Lexi is a special needs child.  That meant that Judith needed to stay at home to provide support for Lexi and her family.   

While Judith has always been artistic, baking was a definite passion of hers.  Quite often her family advised her that she needed to turn that passion into a living.  She had an extreme love of cupcakes so that was where she began.   She started a Facebook Fan page and automatically received a great response.   Then as fate would have it, she was approached by a longtime friend who made boutique bows.  The idea was that they would combine their talents into a one stop shop.  That was when they created Diva Delights, LLC. 

Diva Delights not only offers custom cupcakes and cakes, it also offers a complete line of couture clothing, bows and jewelry.   As I mentioned earlier, they are still in the beginning stages of creating a store front, so as of right now, the business is based out of their homes.  At one point the opportunity for a store front had been presented, but as Judith explained, the timing just wasn’t right.   

While I felt the other bakeries concentrated more on their flavors, Diva Delights was more about the artistic presentation of their cupcakes.  I was able to view some of her photos and was amazed at how detailed the designs of her cupcakes were.   From little piggies to rosettes,  everything you see on her cakes and cupcakes is edible.  In addition to the detail on the cakes themselves, she feels that an order isn’t complete without her personally delivering and setting up.  A nice gesture to help out any parent who is stressing over their child's party!   

Judith told me she has been blessed by all of the events that have happened in her life.  She is a great supporter of The March of Dimes and quite often donates her proceeds right back to needing charities.  You can follow Diva Delights by joining their Facebook Fan Page and by visiting their Website at  All orders can be placed by contacting Diva Delights directly. 

I have to say that I think I enjoyed this assignment the most!  There was no doubt that I had to walk away from each interview with samples!  And you will even be able to spot me around town sporting my own Buttercups t-shirt!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The One & Only Silhoutte Craft Cutter

Ok, you have all heard about it!  You are all wanting one! I can honestly tell you I am WANTING one!  Well, just recently I was informed about some incredible websites that are hosting Silhouette giveaways.  Yes, I said GIVEAWAYS! 

Here is some information about the Silhouette and what everyone is saying!  

The Silhouette SD

This incredible little machine is sleek and compact.

You can cut vinyl
                                                               cut/make the cutest cards

cut outs for your scrapbooking

Huge assortment of paper cut outs

The Silhouette hooks up to your computer and cuts out the shapes/letters that you tell it to. It's THAT easy! So all you need is your Silhouette machine, your computer, thecords and your imagination! You can even use an SD card and take your Silhouette wherever you go!

It comes with a nice library of shape and cutout files to get you started! And, what I LOVE is, you can use all of the letter fonts (True Type) from your own computer, to design your own cut outs. Hello!!! I can choose ANY font I want? Do you know how many FREE fonts there are out there?!! You can even create your own shapes and cutouts for your projects!!--I LOVE that!

No cartridges to buy!

They do have an online image store, where you can browse and purchase from a huge assortment of different shapes, letters, phrases, cutouts, etc......and upload them instantly to your computer. The images are just $.99 each and they offer membership plans and options for bulk-buying where they can cost even less than this. Each week, they also feature a free download on their site that you can add to your library. Love those freebies!

Love all of the ideas you can get over at the SILHOUETTE blog!

They even have a FREE DOWNLOAD OF THE WEEK feature!

When you order, here is what you get!

Silhouette SD

The Silhouette is a digital cutting tool for personal use. Similar to the functioning of a home printer, it cuts paper and other materials like vinyl with a blade instead of printing onto it.


The Silhouette machine ships with the following important items:
  • Silhouette machine
  • Software for Windows XP/Vista
  • Power cable, USB cable
  • 2 Cutting mats (one for thick media, one for thin media)
  • Cutting blade
  • $10 gift card to the Silhouette Online Store

Ok, here is some information to enter for your chance to win!

How Does She shared a little secret and some sites 
that are currently hosting a Silhouette Giveaway! 
Here are a few!