Visit the Shop

17 April 2013

Meet Mini-Lee!

Hello, everyone! I'm starting up something today that's pretty crazy-fun. I grew up in the generation of "flat Stanleys" and I loved when I had a school project to send a miniature of myself to my different friends around the world. I still find the idea so magical. It's my dream to travel across the globe, but until I get the finances for that kind of thing, I'm sending out a MINI LEE to go on adventures for me!
I got the idea when my roommate found out she was going to Paris for Christmas break. I'm not going to lie, I was more than a little jealous. But I put that jealously in the trash and drew up Mini Lee and sent her on her merry way to Paris with my roommate. (and I'll be sharing pictures of her adventures there tomorrow!)

After that, I've sent mini lee to different places with many different loved ones (pictures soon! Woo!), and I've decided to have YOU take her on an adventure, too! That's right, YOU!

here's how it works:
-email howlovelee(at)gmail(dot)com to request the .pdf version of the image above. Print out the .pdf
-take loads of super fun pictures of your super fun time together
-you can even use the #whereisminilee for some instagram fun!
-email your photos to howlovelee(at)gmail(dot)com with a write-up of your fun time together
-check back in a few days to see your documented adventure here on the blog!

Alrighty folks, I'm expecting loads of emails from you, okay?!?

have a lovelee day!


16 April 2013

Good for a Giggle

Hello, everyone! Today was my last day of classes before finals start. AH! So with all the stress going on, I figured that it would be super duper to pass on a giggle. Because let's be honest. I'm a giggler.

Also, if you haven't seen this video yet, I REALLY recommend it. It's not humorous. In fact, I cried. But because it was so beautiful and reminded me of the love and beauty God sees in all of us, and that we should see in ourselves. Enjoy:

Have a lovelee day! And don't forget:


ps-Oh, the things I do for you. Actually, I did this one for my roommate. But sharing's caring, yo!

12 April 2013

Make a Super Simple, Super Cute Skirt: DIY

The other day I was in a sewing mood. I needed to make something, but I didn't want it to take forever. I quickly sewed up a skirt and it was SO simple. It was about 45 minutes from start to finish, and only requires THREE straight lines of stitching. Don't believe me? Ask the dishes! No, don't do that. They don't ever tell the truth. Just trust me. Or keep reading. That'd work too.

you will need:
-measuring tape
-one yard of your desired fabric
-large width elastic (mine was 2"), about a 1/2 to 3/4 yard
-Sewing machine
Measure yourself where you want your skirt to hang. you should be so grateful that I am sacrificing my middle's privacy for the sake of a helpful photo:)
fold your fabric in half and measure out half of your waist's measurement. (so mine would be around 16"). I actually decided to just use all 21" as you can see in the picture below, and figured it would just give me more of a ruffled waist band, which ended up being pretty cute.

-cut your fabric to your desired measurement. You can also then cut down the fold if you want a 2 seam skirt. I kept it all in one piece so that I only had to sew up one seam.
Then I cut off the excess fabric on the bottom, leaving about an inch of extra fabric for the hem. See below:
Alright, let's sew this puppy up! pin up the side of your skirt and sew a straight stitch.
Alright, let's set that aside now. Measure your elastic length by putting it around your waist where you want the skirt to sit. You will want it to be just a little bit smaller than your waist so that it stretches just a bit.
Connect the ends of your elastic and sew them together with about a 1/8-1/4" seam. Slip it on to make sure that it's a good fit. It should look something like this when you turn it right side out:
You're so close now! Next you'll need to pin your skirt to your elastic.

Turn your skirt inside out and pin your elastic to the inside of the skirt, every 2" or so. I had my roommate Hayley help me with this step. She would pull the elastic tight and then I would place a pin on the two halves of the skirt, then she'd take one of the halves and pull it tight so I could place pins on the halves of the half, and so on. It really helped to have her do that, so I'd recommend this step as a buddy step.
it should look something like this:
when you're sewing the elastic to the skirt, pull the elastic as you go so that it's just like sewing two pieces of fabric together.

I wanted a little bit of lace on the bottom of mine, but if you just want a plain bottom, fold your seam over about a 1/2" and sew a straight stitch all along the bottom.
and voila! You've just made yourself a skirt, girlfran! And you were so worried.

have a lovelee day!


11 April 2013

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes: Recipe

 So the other day I was REALLY craving pancakes. But I was also feeling fancy. I didn't want just any old pancake. I wanted.....fancy pancakes.

I came across this recipe from "the Stir" and I could practically taste the pancakes in my mouth. Thing is, they wanted me to make the pancakes from scratch...problem! I needed these pancakes NOW. (you know how that feels, right? Tell me you know how that feels.) So I just skipped that step and pulled out my trusty pancake mix and got right down to business. If you would like to see the Sir's original recipe, click here. If you want to skip a few steps, keep reading:
 for the pancakes, you will need:
-your favorite pancake mix, along with the ingredients on the back of your box

For the filling:
-4 T butter, melted
-1/4 C + 2 T packed brown sugar
1/2 T ground cinnamon

 mix your cinnamon filling in a plastic bag and make a small clip in one of the corners. 
 pour out your batter on your heated and sprayed griddle and squeeze your cinnamon filling onto one side, in a spiral shape. (it's also fun to do a letter or number. We did that for my roommate's birthday)
Once you flip it over to cook the other side, make another spiral on the cooked side.
once you flip the pancake back over, enjoy the beautiful sight of caramelized pancake. And the smell! Oh my cherry pie, it's probably the best in the world. No lie. I jest not.
 continue to cook your pancakes until you have used up all your pancake batter and cinnamon filling.
the Stir also had a cream cheese glaze they put over the top, but I found the pancakes to be already pretty rich, so I just at them with a little maple syrup. Enjoy!

have a lovelee day!


09 April 2013

Sparkle Letters: a DIY

Who else feels like it has been far too long since a diy around here? Thing is, I've been doing tons of projects. I just have been too lazy to edit the pictures and write up about them. Well, not today, baby! Productivity overload! Oh yeah!!!
About a month ago, we celebrated my roommate Molly's engagement with a fun little party. I made up some quick decorations using a few commonly found items, and thought I'd share how I constructed them.

you will need:
-writing utensil
-template (if desired)
-Elmer's glue
-old paint brush
-glitter, in your desired color.
 first thing first: I wrote out Molly and Robert's initials, along with an ampersand. I just free-handed mine, but  you could trace a template or a printed out font, to be sure.
 Look at them all in a row. Next step is to cut them out.
 I really hate cutting cardboard. Power through it! Then I used a paintbrush to completely cover the letter in glue, and covered sparkles all over. I found it easiest to work on either half the letter or a quarter of the letter at a time, as you can see below.
 I think it would be lots of fun to do this project again, with stripes of varying sparkles and paint. Oh, it would be just delightful, wouldn't it? I think I might just do it.
 So....I get quite happy when I craft.
 Above: the ampersand is finished, now on to the other letters!
 once I finished the letters, we hung them up on the wall, and continued decorating for the party. I was going to paint polka dots on that table cloth, but hey. You can't win 'em all.

have a lovelee day!


the Cream of the Crop

I'm really not sure how I got so lucky. I have THE best friends in the world. And my family? Well, they're just the most AMAZING people. I feel a little spoiled, but I'm okay with that. All of my relationships are so special to me and I learn so much from every friend and family member.
 This little beaut is Miss Alyssa. You've seen her in this neck of the woods before. If you have, you might have realized that she's cut off all of her hair! (donating it!) She's probably the bravest woman I know.
 And not just because of her hair. I have always really admired her courage to always stand for what is right, and to make it through really, really hard times.

 When I first moved here, she was in my 6th grade class. I knew we needed to be friends, but I was a little too shy. Fun fact: I started parting my hair on the side instead of the middle because of this little lady. True story. (also, good story. a middle part on me was bad news. Why did no one ever tell me this?!)
 One of my favorite memories of her is when we were taking our end of year standardized testing, and our teacher told everyone to separate their desks to make sure no one cheated/could be cheated off of. Well, Miss Alyssa not only separated, but went all the way to the boonies in the corner of the classroom AND turned her desk around. I knew right then and there that she was one classy chick.

 Well, today (April 8th) is HER BIRTHDAY! that's right. Hats off to the birthday girl, everybody!
 Thanks for being my friend, missy. It really means more than you will ever know.
 (we took these pictures one day after rehearsing for my recital, and they are about 100x funnier if you could hear our conversation and the faces made between shots. I really love to laugh, and so does she.)
Have a lovelee day! And go tell your friends and family that you're thankful for them!


04 April 2013

Tune in tonight! It's gonna be good.

If you didn't know, I play in the BYU Philharmonic. Tonight will be one of the coolest concerts of the year,  because we're playing Stravinsky's the Rite of Spring. If you don't know how big of a deal that is, you can read a little history on wikipidea if you want. That's where I go 62% of the time when I want to feel smarter. Long story short, when Stravinsky premiered this famous ballet, it was so off the charts crazy that it caused an actual riot in the theater. how cool is that?! Pretty cool. Pretty cool.

Well, if you're in Provo tonight you should TOTALLY come. 7:30 in the HFAC. You can still get tickets (I think it's like $10 for non students) in the balcony, but the floor is sold out. We're hoping to sell out the whole concert hall. It's gonna be crazy.

If you don't live in Provo, don't have $10, and don't have any other plans tonight, you can listen to it LIVE! for FREEEE! that's right. Click here around 7:30 and all of your wildest dreams will come true.

have a lovelee day!


ps-that picture is from a little commercial shoot the Phil did last year. Those are my viola buddies. 10 points if you can find me in the picture! (tip: my face is hidden by someone else's viola.)

03 April 2013

Ham and Cheese Roll-Ups: EDIT!

soooo my b. I left out a step in one of my favorite recipes. I thought I'd clear up any confusion. Below is the updated version of the delicious Esplin specialty, Ham and Cheese Roll-Ups.
 Today I'm sharing a family favorite recipe. Tried, tested, and proven to be the most delicious thing your taste buds have ever experienced. I guarantee. Are you ready for this?!

for the bread dough:
1 1/4 C Water
2 Tbs Sugar
1 Tbs Oil
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 C Flour
2 tsp yeast (make them heaping teaspoons)

Combine water, yeast, sugar: let the yeast and sugar dissolve and soften, then add the rest of the ingredients except for the flour. Add flour one cup at a time, mix well. When the mixture is too thick, start kneading with your hands for 10 minutes. When well mixed, place in a bowl and cover with dish cloth. Let rise for about an hour, or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 350
for the delicious inside:

Ranch Dressing
1-2 C. Diced Ham
Finely Diced Onion (about half)
2-3 C. Cheddar Cheese
Parmesan Cheese, for the topping.

Punch down the dough onto a lightly floured counter top and roll into a rectangle shape. Squeeze enough ranch dressing to coat the dough. Add diced ham, finely diced onion, and CHEDDAR cheese and then roll up (long ways, see picture above). Pinch seams. Cut into 18 sections and place in a greased muffin tin, cover with (greased) saran wrap. Beat an egg and a little bit of water in a small bowl and brush mixture over rolls. Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese
UPDATE: don't forget to let them rise in the pan, covered with sprayed saran wrap for about 15 minutes.

Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown and delicious.
you'll love 'em! I guarantee.

have a lovelee day!


02 April 2013

It's February in April. That's right. (February 365 days of Hand Lettering)

Hey, I told you it wasn't an April fool's day joke that I was back. And you were so worried.
So unfortunately  when life got crazy and I had to drop a few things from my schedule for a little while, 365 days of hand lettering went along with blogging. I got through 21 days in February, and I'm hoping to pick back up for April. We'll just pretend like March never happened. Okay? Okay.

This one is my favorite from the whole series:

And then this one is a close second:
here's the rest, just cause I love ya.

Have a lovelee day!