A slice of Thanksgiving


Tuesday was frying chicken.  Today was pie + rolls.  Tomorrow is everything else.




Having pie on Thanksgiving is just an absolute must!  It was our first time trying to make our own cherry pie.  Cherry pies always remind us of our (great) Aunt Mary, who died a couple years ago.  She made the best pies in the world, especially cherry.  She was so sweet, and we know there's no way our pie could even taste half as good as hers.

A word about fried chicken…. we know, we know.  Traditionally everyone's supposed to have turkey.  Well, we never quite caught onto that, as Dad dislikes turkey (Mom too).  So, we cook a lot of other things — roast, chicken fried steak.  This year it's fried chicken.

We know there's so many things to be happily grateful to Christ for!  If we started naming them all we might just spill over.

Have a very beautiful Thanksgiving, All!

With much love and thank yous~ Kristie, Apphia, Achaia, Abigail, & Abiah


PS.  We plan to be back Friday or Saturday with the details of our After-Thanksgiving-Happy-December sale, so if you're not a newsletter subscriber be sure to check back! xx

hat check.


My pillbox hat.  As I mentioned earlier, yes, I did make it.  It was a lot of fun to put together, and not too complicated or time consuming.  Some of you asked for recommendations on making your own.  Sadly, I didn't take any during-the-process-pictures, so you all will just have to be satisfied with some very rough and sketchy ideas!



When I hatched the idea of making my own hat, I fumbled around on what style.  However, since I'm no milliner, a simple style was very crucial.  When Paps and Nanny were down here visiting, I got this sudden urge to make my hat.  I must have been thinking of Jackie O or something… the pillbox style was calling my name.  So, with lots of help from Nanny, and (naturally) some input from Mom, Apphia, Abigail, and Abiah I started cutting, stitching, hand sewing, & glueing.

I chose an Anna Maria Horner Innocent Crush velveteen from my stash for the main part of the hat, and a coordinating quilting cotton for lining.  I love both little & big prints alike, but I just liked the idea of this larger scale piece, with the main design purposely centered on the crown.  Also, I thought it seemed nice that I could possibly mix and match it with even more of my outfits!IMG_6260


I measured roughly around my head, making sure not to measure too far down, as I wanted my pillbox to stay propped more up on my head.  I took some heavy duty craft interfacing and cut a piece the measurement of my head.  I also messed around a little with it, sticking it on my head, and testing how tall I wanted my hat to be.  I whipped the craft interfacing ends together, so I ended up with a circle — the "sides" of the hat.  I made the crown out of the same craft interfacing, and whipped it to the circular band.  Now I had the bare bones of my hat.  I took a strip of cotton batting and glued it to the sides of the hat, as I wanted a little poof.  I did the same with the crown — In fact, I did that three times, graduating the sizes a little bit (from smaller to larger), so I'd get the desired look.


After that I cut my piece of velveteen into a circle, and did a long machine stitch around the edge.  Wrapping it neatly around the hat, I pulled up the gathering stitches (with a little help!), pinned them in place, and stitched around it by hand.  This is one of those extra things I'm so glad I did.  I love the result of the slight gathers around my pillbox!  To make the lining I simply cut a little-bit-bigger-circle and band, then pressed the raw edges in.  I chose to just glue the lining in, and I'm quite happy with that.  Though, technically I could have used a little more glue.  But, since it's inside the hat I'm not losing any sleep over it!

Viola!  My first millinery experience.  I loved it, and hope to continue to venture out more in the future.  I have this idea swirling in my head for another hat.  It's a bit over-the-top maybe, but it's sooo cute!! We'll see…

Hope this was helpful to any of you aspiring hat makers!  By the way, if you give it a try I'd would LOVE to see the finished product!

xxx Achaia

PS  By the way… Nanny informed me I really needed a hat pin, so I found mine via Etsy.  They have a gazillion to choose from!

fabulous photos on Friday






Dare's having fun dressing warm for fall and winter. A long gracie skirt, (made out of this fantastic fabric!), knee socks, clogs, and a long sleeve tee. What could make a little girl happier??

We topped the photo-shoot off with Sonic. (You see, our photographer and model were near the point of starvation…. you never would've guessed it, would you?)

Off soon to some very good movies, and even better pizza! (Or is that possible????)

much love,


recipe try-outs


As of late, we've been having fun trying out some new recipes.  It seems like they've just been popping out of the woodwork and calling our name.  It probably helps that we have several men in this house who are always up for a new food-related-item.  Ahem.

So, enter our try at Friday Cookies {above}.  Most of you probably have no idea what a Friday cookie is.  That's okay!  Most of the time they fall under the heading of "Soft Lofthouse cookies" or "Those cute cookies with sprinkles that you get at the store, with lots of icing".  Well, we've taken up calling them Friday cookies, as we used to get them every single Friday. (We've completely grown out of that.  Healthy reasons helped too.)  When we found this recipe, we knew it was a must try.  And, what do you know??  They were ready to eat with Friday night movies.  Ahh….  Now, a word on the taste.  They aren't exactly like the store-bought variety, but real close (and very yummy).  Oh!  The recipe calls for letting them sit for at least 3 hours for the flavors to blend together.  We'd definitely second that.  In fact, they taste even better after a couple of days.


Another new try-out was this Peanut Butter Chocolate dessert.  It's really yummy too.  The recipe calls for a 9×9 pan, and I made it in a 6×11, or something like that.  Let's just say, it's a nice hearty, tall dessert.  Sorry we didn't get a picture of it almost running over the sides of the pan.  My personal opinion was that there was a little too much cream cheese in one of the layers, so I may try and tweak it a little.  Truthfully, we aren't big cream cheese in dessert eaters around here.  (Except for some of the boys that hardly know what cream cheese is, let alone what is exactly tastes like…)

Oh, and we did try these Olive Garden style breadsticks, and they were really really good! Next up to try might be this, or this, or this, or this.  Oh, and these are so cute too!  We'll probably never get around to trying these, though they are so terribly lovely we might just make them for decoration… what do you think?  We better stop right now.  We must have food on the brain!

xxx Kristie, Apphia, Achaia, Abigail, & Abiah…. who are trying to be adventuresome cooks

Fall Fashion Challenge ~Day 7

Me with my faithful photographer.



{Top- Target} {Cardigan- Anthropologie} {Skirt- Anthropologie} {Flats- Lands' End Canvas}

{Hat- Forever21}




Well, it's the very last day of Ashley's Fall Fashion Challenge… too bad, so sad!  I've had a great time!!  A big hug to Ashley for putting it all together.

It was hat day, so I pulled out my new floppy hat.  I'm looking forward to wearing it more this fall/winter, Lord willing, and messing around with shaping it differently.  It was sooo windy here today that holding onto your hat was a complete necessity.

It wasn't hard for me to pick out my outfit.  I got this skirt on sale a few weeks back, and really really like it.  Actually, the skirt is a wrap-around one, with the added benefit of an adorable ruffle!  Oh, and I love my cardigan— I don't have a ton of green things, so I love this emerald one.

Okay, so now I have a question…. out of all the outfits I wore this week what one(s) were your favorites???

Time to get on with supper, possibly try a new dessert recipe (I'll have to let you know how it turns out!), and watch Gone With the Wind.

Much love! Achaia

PS– Thanks so much for the sweet words about yesterday's outfit!  Some of you asked about my polka dot satchel.   It's from Cath Kidston, and you can see it here.  Mine is a little bit brighter, as it was last year's color.  By the way, it's laminate so it is a breeze to keep clean.  Definitely a favorite!! xx

Fall Fashion Challenge ~Day 6



{Sweater- TJMaxx} {Skirt- Talbot's} {Booties- Eddie Bauer}




Well, day 6 was about wearing one of your favorite fall trends.  I chose chunky sweaters & maxi skirts.  I've worn this skirt probably hundreds of times since I got it a few years back…  It's basic, but chic, and goes so well with everything.  One day Apphia, Abigail, and I were out shopping at TJMaxx when I spied this little sweater.  The teal color was a complete taker (one of my favorite fall/winter colors to wear) + it boasted a cute cropped length, which I'd been admiring.  Abiah did my hair in an up-do (you know the kind— I'll never be able to replicate it again in my life…) and velvet ribbon as my headband.  It's looking a little wild in these pictures, as the day was extremely windy.  Not only is she my official photographer, but she also happens to be my official hair-doer. 

Bo and Blayde decided they had been left out in pictures the past 5 days, it just wasn't fair, and they weren't going to stand it any longer.  So, they got their picture taken too!

Oh, and a quick word about the last picture.  Mom took it for me while we were out shopping.  When she saw that teal-y truck, we knew we must take a picture beside it (it was so cute).  Also, my polka dot satchel bag is from Cath Kidston.  It also happens to be the perfect color.

Happy Friday night to all of you!  love, Achaia

Fall Fashion Challenge ~Day 5



{Cardigan- Target} {Shirt- Forever21} {Skirt- Made by me} {Boots- Anthropologie}




Polka dot day!  Around here dots are one of those most-loved prints of all time.  We'd sprinkle everything with polka dots if we could, so today wasn't too difficult.  Especially since I got this fun dotty short sleeve tee at Forever21, and I was itching to wear it.  Also, while I'm talking about it, I have to say not only does this shirt sport dots, but it has a sorta glittery sheen on it (gaining brownie points).  I've worn this grey cardigan for a few years now, but just can't seem to get rid of it.  I pull out a grey cardigan all the time, so this one gets plenty of love.  Did anyone recognize the skirt??  Of course, I orginally made it to go with my Loulouthi top (which I LOVE), but have found out that the carmel color goes so well with a ton of other things.  And, the boots you've seen before.  Well, what else can I say?  I'd wear them with my pjs if I could.  Yes, I love them that much.

xxx Achaia

Quilts: The Update


Alright— So!  We have been working on the Joplin Quilts, and apologize for the silence around here about them.  It's not that we haven't cared.  In fact, we've been overwhelmed.  So many of you (and you, and you….) have contributed so much on the families of Joplin's behalf.  We were flabbergasted at how many fabric bundles we sent out and how many were returned with interest!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  The quilts are truly beautiful, and we can't wait to see them given out to those in need.


We have been getting them ready as quickly as we could, sending them off to our quilting lady.  As you can tell in the pictures, once they get back to our home we've been trimming and binding them as fast as possible.  But, since there is only 5 of us it's taking time.  We are seeing progress (yay!) and have in our minds to finish them and have them distributed by the end of the year.  We'll see what The Lord has in store!

An official Joplin Quilt Project: Love Your Neighbor page is up and running now (you can always get to it through the Joplin button on the right sidebar), where we've detailed what we still could use help on, and names of all those that have given their time, energy, talents, fabric, and money into this project.  If you've helped and don't see your name (or someone else's) on the list, please, pretty please, let us know!  We really and truly want to credit anyone and everyone who has been a part of this project!

We're unsure as to the exact amount of quilts that we will have, but hopefully we'll be sharing that information with you very soon!

Once again, a very big thank you to all of you!

PS… We also wanted to mention that we have some Ruby by Bonnie & Camille now!!  It's sooo beautiful. 

Fall Fashion Challenge ~Day 4



{Top- TravelSmith} {Jacket- Talbot's} {Velveteen skirt- Made by me}

{Dotty tights- Target} {Heels- Sofft} {Pillbox hat- Made by me}




Well, today was awfully fun for me, as the "must do" was choose one of your favorite eras and wear it!  I have several eras that I adore (40s, 50s, 60s, 70s…), but it wasn't too hard to decide which one to do— late 50s.  A la Eva Marie Saint in North by Northwest to be exact.  I love all of Eva Marie's clothes in the movie, so I combined a few different elements from a couple of her outfits.  I'm happy with the result!

Mom and I picked up my velvet jacket when we were shopping on my birthday earlier this year.  What a find from the clearance rack!  It's one of those absolutely love pieces from my closet! (I have a complete and utter nutty weakness for jackets.)  The mustardy-gold velveteen skirt was my take on Ashley's great mustard pencil skirt that I was always mooning over when she posted pictures of it— now I have my own!

And my hat.  Yes, I did make it.  Out of Anna Maria Horner's velveteen (I am noticing a velvet/velveteen theme here…).  I've been mulling over the idea of making myself a hat, and I was really wanting a pillbox.  So, thanks to some invaluable information from Nanny, I started cutting away and came up with this.  I love it!

xxx Achaia

Fall Fashion Challenge ~Day 3



{Shirt- Macy's} {Wool skirt- made by me} {floral tights- Forever21} {booties- Eddie Bauer}



Today was colorful tights, so I felt right at home!  As we mentioned last fall, we just love tights that have some pop.

I picked up my floral tights at the Forever21 store in Houston (which just happened to be right next door to our hotel!).  This is my first time wearing them, and I'm hooked.  I made my wool skirt last year… it took a little more time to make the "school girl" pleats at the bottom, but definitely put the skirt up a notch and is now one of my favorite winter skirts! And, my top.  It was a birthday gift a few years ago, but has never gotten old in my book.  I absolutely love it!  How can you go wrong with a slight drape, 3/4 banded sleeves, a peasant-style tie neck, and buttons??

It just wouldn't be fair to mention everything and leave my booties out.  They're very comfortable, and I think they work great with tights.

Happy Tuesday to all of you! xo, Achaia

Fall Fashion Challenge ~Day 2



{Purple tee- Kohl's} {Cardigan- Talbot's} {Skirt- borrowed from Apphia} {Boots- Anthropologie}





Today's outfit requirement was to wear colors that don't usually go together… I chose coral-ly pink and purple.  I've just recently discovered this combination and love it!  Sadly, I don't have a skirt of my own this color, so I borrowed one from Apphia (she's sweet).  Apphia made it off of a Colette pattern, and I have loved wearing it!  Now comes the question– should I make myself one now??

Hugs~ xo Achaia