5 girls in a fabric store + 1 1/2 hours…..

= above results.

Not too long ago (golly, it's been almost two weeks now…. how'd that happen??) we had the happy, happy opportunity to run over to JoAnns for a whole 1 1/2 hours!  We say "whole 1 1/2 hours" because finding time for ALL 5 of us to go out, plus be able to spend more time than just 20 minutes in the store is a pretty amazing feat. 

Off we jaunted and returned home with used coupons, about 15 patterns, a couple zippers and thread spools, one cookbook, and this great stack of fabric (they were having lots of good sales too).  Ahhh…

Some of us have already started sewing (that bit of royal blue peeking out is what's left of Abiah's dress fabric), and most everyone has a plan.  Oh!  And those top stripe pieces are knits — reversible knits, actually with polka dots on the other side.  Fun!!  We'll plan on sharing finished goodies as they get sewn!

Sending hugs and kisses~ xoxo

Rainy Grey Day.


This is what our Tuesday's looked like…. we haven't had this much rain for quite awhile!  So we've spent the day inside sewing, folding laundry, watching a movie, and eating pizza. 

xoxo~ KAAAA

A Fabulous Friday.

We love Fridays!  Here are some things we're enjoying…. Happy weekend to you all! xoxo

{Kristie's picks}



1. To Have and To Hold – love this book!

2. cashmere cardigan

3. vintage egg scale – maybe we should start measuring our eggs… this would make it especially cute!

4. Tipton County Courthouse

{Abigail's picks}



1. Dean Martin music – cooking, road trip, cleaning, it can't be beat!

2. being with Mommy – even if it's just a quick run to the local grocery store

3. gorgeous fabric from Amy Butler's Alchemy collection – I got it for Christmas and have already made a maxi skirt!

4. I adore leggings and am hoping to try my hand at making my own!

{Apphia's picks}



1. my new favorite beverage – lemon water!

2. cold days like today always make me dream of the beach

3. such pretty gold towels

4. I love gold flatware, and have my eye on a vintage set at our local flea market….

{Abiah's picks}



1. I want to learn how to do this braid… and I'm growing out my hair to be at least that long

2. a movie I love with Robert Taylor & Eleanor Parker – Many Rivers to Cross

3. this pattern that we just got from JoAnn's – I can't wait to make my own out of royal blue stretch denim! 

4. Venice.  I'd love to go there.

{Achaia's picks}



1. the portable turntable I got for my birthday!  I'm having so much fun collecting records.

2. adorable shoes I just ordered from eBay – I can't wait for them to arrive in the mail!

3. I'm making a dress out of this rayon right now – I got the fabric for my birthday

4. this book from Mom and Dad – it really is lovely inside!


We couldn't resist an all-round favorite.  In fact, we received it for Christmas and have watched it probably 1/2 a dozen times in the past month.  Yes, it's THAT good! (Has anyone seen it?  Or even heard of it??)


Westward the Women

They Taste Better Red.


Red velvet
We didn't mean to be gone for so long!  Things got crazy around here (surprise) and there's been days we've been catching ourselves coming and going….

Have any of you ever had pasta from TJMaxx?  We know that made sound strange (it kinda did to us when a friend recommended it), but it really is our favorite place to buy pasta now.  They have brands straight of Italy, so you know it's extra yummy.  Now whenever we have a spare moment when out running errands we run in to TJMaxx to check their pasta selection.  On Thursday when we went we got a little carried away with the other foodie things they have.  Some truffles for Dad, chocolate covered pretzels with sprinkles, and Belgian chocolate covered Oreos (the boys ate most of those).  And, last but not least, we found two mixes for Red Velvet Cupcakes.  They were on the $2/apiece sale rack, and since we've never had them we opted to give them a go.  Especially since Dad has fond memories of growing up with red cake, and we've eaten cupcakes our entire lives (they are always a good, cute party choice).

On Monday we made them up.  Monday night after supper Dad ate three in one sitting.  Need I say more?  They seem to have gone over big.  The red makes them taste better too, right?  The only thing we did differently is the mix box gave you a recipe for cream cheese frosting, and since we aren't cream cheese frosting eaters we chose a tried-and-true Taste of Home Vanilla Buttercream Frosting recipe.  Alls well that ends well!  Now that everyone seems taken with them, I went searching for my own from scratch recipe to use next time.  I think I'll try this one…. minus the cream cheese frosting of course. 

Happy Wednesday… back to work….

xoxo the Long ladies



Dearest Achaia Victoria,

Happiest of birthdays to you, my sweet, sweet girl!  I still remember the day that you were born.  I was so thrilled to have another precious daughter.  Every day with you has been such a delight and I would never trade one of them.  The Lord has given us over 8,000 days together, and in His mercy I trust He'll give us many days more! 

I thoroughly appreciate your wit and your willingness to lend a hand.  Thank you for your service to our family.  Most of all, thank you for you fierce loyalty and love for me.

I love you dear Achaia,



Happy birthday, sis!  Thanks for being our best friend.  Thanks for always being there for us, and thanks for being you.  It's so hard for us to believe you're twenty-three years old.  Wasn't it just yesterday that we were playing dolls and doing gymnastics in the front yard?

We'll love you forever!

xoxo, Apphia, Abigail, & Abiah

Gina Up-Do Tutorial


Oh dear.  We are so sorry that it is now January AND we promised this tutorial last April.  Good grief… that's terrible. 

Abiah made this style "up" for me when I was going to be showing you all my Gina dress (pictures found here and instructions for making your own here).  The dress is still an all-time favorite — in fact, Abiah and I have an idea for a Gina variation that we hope to work on soon! — and I love the hairstyle too. 
So without further gabbing, here's the Gina Up-Do Tutorial!

Gina Up-Do


1. Brush out your hair (I washed my hair the night before and slept with it braided.  Perfectly straight isn't necessary.)  Also, my hair's probably what you would call 'mid-length' (though I'm growing it out a bit longer!), so it should work for several hair lengths.

2. Roll your entire head in hot rollers.  We use these by Conair, and they are wonderful!


3. After your curlers have set for about 30 minutes, take out carefully (we start at the bottom), trying not to destroy the curl.


4. Part your hair in desired place (not all the way down the back of your head).  I typically part mine slightly off center.


5. Run fingers lightly through hair, just enough to separate the curl. Starting on the right side, begin twisting a 1 1/2" to 2" portion of curled hair toward head and secure with bobby pins (it's okay if it at first looks like a balled-up jumble.)


6. Now, working on the left side, twist up hair and begin in same way as Step 5.


7. You now have both sides up (left photo).  Start pinning up the middle sections in the same manner as sides.  Abiah did about 4 in the middle.


8. Continue pinning until all hair is up and secure.  Keep adding bobby pins if necessary (better safe than sorry)!


9. Spray with hairspray.  We don't recommend using hair spray every day, but it's definitely necessary with this sort of style.






Now go make yourself a cute dress and sport your Gina Up-Do!!

Much love,

xox Achaia & Abiah

Doing flips!


We're doing flips and spinning around in circles over here because our francie dress and happy girl apron patterns HAVE ARRIVED!!!!


If you didn't pre-order them, but want a copy you can purchase them now right here and here

As you might expect these kinds of things always seem to take longer than you expect them to.  Hopefully they are well worth the wait!  We spent yesterday evening stuffing patterns and packaging them up so they could go out to all of you who pre-ordered (thanks for your patience!).  We plan on sending them out tomorrow!!  Woo-hoo!

Happy Friday to all of you!

xoxox K,A,A,A, & A

A New Year!


Happy 2013!  It seems like everyone says this, but we really truly cannot believe a year has come and gone, and we've already started in on a new one.

Nearing the end of 2012 we spent some time thinking about what had happened over the past 12 months.  It was a great year and a hard year — we were blessed with a load of wonderful things we didn't expect, but there were also plenty of times when we were ready to sit down and give up.  We laughed lots and we cried lots.  Opportunities came and went.  There were times when we wondered how everything could be turning out so beautifully, and days that we wanted to erase forever.

In all that, we think The Lord taught us lots in 2012, and we hope to use the experience to make 2013 even better.  We were struck many times with how completely we didn't deserve the many blessings we received.  We also were reminded that God expects of us complete faith and utter trust in His plans for us.

So, with mixed emotions we enter a new year.  Mostly with excitement.  We know God has great things for us this year, and we're jittery with anticipation.  Maybe we start with a twinge of sadness that another year has come and gone, but that also means a new year is here…. almost a fresh start. 

We pray that all of you had a most happy and beautiful Christmas and New Year!  Thank you so much for all of your love and support through the past years.  Here's to 2013!!

Lots of love,

Kristie, Apphia, Achaia, Abigail, and Abiah