Saturday, December 26, 2015

Who Would They Be in the Future? Addy

It takes me a very long time to write the future predictions for the characters and I'm sorry for that. Unfortunately, they take up quite a bit of my time because I don't want to throw just anything together. I want the predictions to be fairly plausible with enough detail that people reading might learn something about the time period under discussion.

And of course I'm always learning. None of us are truly experts at things-more information comes to light or is brought to our attention. History is my passion and I spend a lot of time reading biographies and books about the lives of women (currently reading Stacy Schiff's new book on the Salem Witchcraft Trials). But despite my life long interest in the subject, I still learn.

For example, my understanding of life expectancy has become a bit more nuanced. Neth from American Girl Outsider pointed out to me after my Felicity and Elizabeth prediction that I was using life expectancy statistics that predicted life expectancy at birth. Since a major factor in low life expectancy in the past was child mortality (which is defined as children dying before the age of 5), that statistic wouldn't really apply to Felicity and Elizabeth who we know were 9 at the start of the series. Therefore the dismal life expectancy of 36 doesn't really factor in. In other words, while it is plausible (if depressing) that Baby Polly died very soon after the story wrapped up, that wouldn't have such an impact on Felicity and Elizabeth.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Molly's Evergreen Velvet Dress and Emily's Holiday Gown

Again, happy holidays everyone! I'm back to give you one more seasonally appropriate post before preparing for Christmas (pretty much everything on my wish list was AG or book related) and heading out of state to spend time with my family.

Many of you know that I am a military wife, and I feel really lucky that I have never missed a Christmas with my husband. If I ever do miss a Christmas with him, it won't be because of the military either-this is his last year. By Christmas 2016, I'll be back in my hometown with the rest of our family, ready to start my own career and help him with college. Maybe we'll have children then-I'm not sure. I have mixed feelings about him getting out-on the one hand, I'm ready for the next stage. On the other hand-I love this life, and I love being a military wife.

But I have been very lucky in terms of his service. He has never been in danger, and the most I've gone without him is a month and a half or so. I have put my own aspirations on hold, and I have spent a lot of time away from my family and friends, who I was very close to. Yet I've looked at the bright side-the time away from a job that wasn't just there to keep me busy and buy extra stuff gave me time to focus on my creative writing, and the time apart from everyone else we cared about other than two cats taught us how self sufficient we really are, and brought us closer together.

But many military families are not so lucky. Their service member is in danger, and they often spend holidays away from their family. That reminds me of Molly and Emily, two girls who suffered horribly because of WWII. They were both away from people they loved-Molly was away from her father who was serving as a doctor in England (and in the mysteries it is later revealed that he is suffering from some form of PTSD) and Emily, who had to leave behind her entire family and her home because of the bombing of London.

The challenges military families face today are not as severe as those faced by Molly and Emily. Phone calls and the Internet make separations easier in most cases. Deployments aren't as long. Fewer Americans die. But the pain of being away from the people you love is the same now as it was then, and that is what American Girl is all about-yes, it shows the ways that things have changed, but it also highlights the multitude of ways that life has remained the same. Love, family, the desire to spend time with the people you care about during the holidays-those things have remained mostly the same.

So, since this is my last Christmas as a military wife, I wanted to go ahead and cover Molly and Emily's Christmas outfits-two girls who would have spent their holidays away from people they loved.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Elizabeth's Christmas Gown

So if you celebrate any holidays around this time of year, Happy Holidays!

I hope all of your holidays are turning out well and that you're spending time with your family or friends, and that they're not annoying you too much. Holidays are funny like that-we're allegedly supposed to look forward to them but often they involve being around people you otherwise avoid throughout the rest of the year. Try to be around positive people and, if you can't for whatever reason, remember that this month will soon be over. Take care of yourself-this is a hard time of the year for a lot of people.

I personally celebrate Christmas (though I am not Christian) but we have dolls celebrating a wide variety of holidays in my apartment. Kirsten is celebrating St. Lucia Day soon, Rebecca is celebrating Hanukkah, and Kaya is enjoying the winter season. My holiday traditions include dressing my dolls in their holiday gear and so today my post is going to focus on Elizabeth Cole's Christmas gear (I'm trying to cover more dolls instead of my usual Josefina, Rebecca, Kirsten, and Caroline).

Elizabeth Cole is a lovely doll-I know there are a lot of complaints (for good reason!) that they changed her to a blue eyed blonde. I would have loved a dark haired Elizabeth but I still think my Elizabeth is beautiful. We share a name so of course I adore her. :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Addy's Striped Dress

So I am keeping my promise to not post about the dolls I always post about (Josefina, Rebecca, Caroline, and Kirsten). Since it is still fall, I wanted to show you guys one of my favorite fall outfits that American Girl has released.

And it's an Addy dress! Let's talk about Addy for a moment since this is her first time being seen on my blog.


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Item Review: Josefina's Weaving Outfit

More Josefina!
So Halloween is over and we're now on the count down to the busiest months of the year for me which include: my anniversary (yes, I had an anniversary earlier this year but that is the anniversary of my legal marriage and this is the real deal), my birthday (which for the first time this year leaves me with a sense of depression instead of excitement), the military ball, Thanksgiving (which I'll be celebrating with my dad for the first time ever), Christmas, a trip home right after, and then the New Year. Once New Year's hits, I'll be preparing for my husband to leave the military. Busy times ahead...

And of course with the holiday season coming up, American Girl is busy as well. Grace is about to be gone forever, as well as Caroline (go to Costco!), and then AG can disappoint me again with their new GOTY. I am not getting my hopes up. I guess I'm getting cynical.

In the meantime, American Girl can deal with the criticism over their recent coverage in their magazine of a foster child who was adopted by two loving parents. Why would that be a big deal, you might ask? Oh, yeah, because those two loving parents are both men. We all know that children are better off stuck in temporary foster homes than with two loving but gay parents! I just can't...

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Friday, September 18, 2015

Who Would They Be in the Future? Felicity and Elizabeth


Faithful Friends Forever Be

So I'm finally back to the series people ask me about the most-the series where I predict the future of the American Girl characters. It's been a while since I've written one of these, for a couple of different reasons.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Product Review: Samantha's Buster Brown Dress

Brace Yourselves: The School Year is Starting....

The school year has begun, and kids are heading back to class! Not me-my school days are done, at least for now. I might go back and get a graduate degree once military life is over and my husband gets his degree (so at least another 5 years). Still, I loved that time of year-new clothes in attractive fall styles, brand new school supplies with cute animals on the covers of my notebook, the chance to see my friends again after a long summer. But for now, I am no longer a student.

But that does not stop my dolls from getting ready for school! Oh no-all the dolls that have school outfits must put them on this month. As I was dressing them, I thought about which of the dolls gets the most attention on this blog-only 4 dolls have had a product review. Those dolls are Josefina, Kirsten, Caroline, and Rebecca. I felt kinda bad, in much the same way that a child feels bad when they pay too much attention to one stuffed animal or doll and then neglects the others. I need to rectify that, and I'm going to start with my original girls. So come on down, Samantha, and show us how you go back to school!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Maryellen's Collection :)

Maryellen and Her Collection
So unless you've been living under a rock (at least in the American Girl world), then you've known that Maryellen Larkin was our new historical character, the much requested girl from the 1950s. And she has finally been released. Now I haven't seen any of this in person-I don't live close enough to a store, and since it is only the day after, I can't possibly have received any of it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Product Review: Josefina's Writing Desk and Stand

So it's been a pretty exciting time in doll world! We've all seen the leaked pictures of Maryellen Larkin (if you haven't, go check them out on my and I must say-she is a beauty, from what I can tell. I am already saving my money for next month-the date I've heard is August 27.
Anyways, I realized as I went through my old posts that I have never reviewed any Josefina items. That's kind of odd, since Josefina is my main girl and the first American Girl doll I had. Josefina and I go way back-I remember reading her books in the school library (along with Sam, Addy, Molly, and Kirsten-still, I wanted Josefina) and I remember getting the catalogue in the mail and wanting her more than anything. I had never wanted a toy that much in my entire life! She was too expensive though-I got her at the ripe old age of 21.

The picture of her that I'm about to post is from the day I received her in the mail. I adore her.

Yet I haven't done any posts about Josefina. Not a product review, not a "who would they be?" post. Nothing. I'm not sure why that is.

Why do you ignore me? We're supposed to be close.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

New Bed Time Release!

Beds, PJs, and Nina-Oh My!

So I finally went on my honeymoon.

Yes, I've been married for a while. A year next weekend actually. But, my husband is military, and when your spouse is in the military, your life must run on Uncle Sam's schedule. That is why, legally, I will have been married for a year next weekend BUT I didn't consider myself married until my wedding November of last year. That is why, since there were so many deaths in our family that my husband took leave for, our honeymoon was delayed for a while.

I'm not upset about it-the extra time meant we saved more money.

We went to NYC, and it was wonderful. Even better, on our way home, we found out that marriage inequality had been declared a bunch of BS by the Supreme Court. I cried, and we both felt better, since I always felt guilty that I could get married but others could not.

Anyways, I went to American Girl Place NYC because of course I did. I actually went on the day of the release. I picked up a few things-Julie, Josefina's new bedroom accessories, and Caroline's nightgown.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Product Review: Kirsten's Summer Outfit

Kirsten's Summer Outfit

This has to be one of my all time favorite outfits. I actually have a list in my head of the outfits for each doll that I love the most. Still, this is one of my all time favorites for all the dolls.

It's simple, but it's so pretty that it proves, once and for all, that clean basics have a beauty in and of themselves. I prefer the simple lines of Kirsten's summer dress than all the fancy flounces of Samantha's Edwardian era costumes.

So here's my review!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Product Review: Caroline's Travel Outfit, Skiff, and Travel Basket

In honor of Caroline Abbott...
I know I haven't blogged in a while. I'm sorry-I've been really busy. My goal is to get back to one blog a week.
So we know that Caroline is retiring and of course you've heard the big news about Maryellen. I'm going to cover my thoughts on our upcoming 1950s girl after my review.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

It's Official: Farewell to Caroline

AKA...No doll is safe!
So I think almost everyone knew, at this point, that Caroline was probably retiring. She didn't receive a BeForever makeover unlike all the other dolls (even Josefina got a new meet outfit). She wasn't given a 2015 Limited Edition Outfit (neither was Josefina). A person linked to American Girl told a Facebook group that she was retiring, partially to make way for the rumored 1950s doll (more on that in a moment). I've even written in a previous post that I believed she was retiring, so hopefully you listened to my warnings.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Review: Kirsten's Bed and Nightstand

So I need to take a break from my American Girl predictions. They require a bit of research, and I am trying to work on my novel writing. Yes, I write-my current project promises to be a three book thing, and I've got the draft down for the first (I'm in the process of editing it), I'm about 30,000 words into the second, and I've got my plan for the third. It's been taking up quite a bit of my time and my creativity, but I know I need to be dedicated to it. American Girl, while still dear to my heart, comes second.

Also I have two jobs right now, and that takes up some time as well.


Friday, April 3, 2015

Where Would They Be Today? Part Three: Molly and Emily

Molly and Emily
So I am now on the last of the original girls: Molly, the patriotic and spunky girl wearing glasses from WWII. Of course, I'm covering Emily, the brave little soldier from Britain who epitomizes the phrase, "Keep calm and carry on."


Monday, March 9, 2015

Welcome to Kirsten's World Book Review

Welcome to Kirsten's World
(AKA Why didn't I wait before doing her where would she be post?)
Just so you know, the history aspect of American Girl has always appealed to me. That's why I love the world books so much-they're like the looking back sections on steroids. Yes, you can find all of this information online, but it is so nice to have it in a child-friendly, colorful volume based on a character. I'll take advantage of it when I have my own children and I love it now. I wish American Girl made these for all the characters but only 8 got a volume like this: Sam, Molly, Kirsten, Josefina, Kaya, Kit, Addy, and Felicity.
I'm going to go through all the world books I currently own (Kirsten obviously, Josefina, Felicity, and Molly) and show you a few pictures that I thought were really cool. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. I bought this one on eBay for around $12 shipped. The rest I found in used bookstores for around $10. They aren't too hard to find but if you see one, snatch it up!
The cover, showing Kirsten and some of the key pictures.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Furniture and Accessories Review: Rebecca's Sideboard and Her Souvenir Set

Rebecca's Sideboard and Souvenir Set
Ah the beauty of sales...
I said earlier that I was beginning to think AG might price themselves out of the market, but I may actually be wrong. They have offered so many sales lately-I managed to score the sideboard when it was on sale for $65 (it usually retails for $130) and the souvenir set for $12.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Who would they be in the future? Part 2: Kirsten

So I have a strange obsession with Kirsten-it's not so much that I love her character all that much. It's more that I am absolutely obsessed with her era and her clothes. I have a thing about being a pioneer I guess-I wouldn't mind being Laura Ingalls.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Special Edition Outfits-First Impressions

Spring Release 2015

So I'm going to take a break from who would they be today to review the new historical outfits. I do not own them (yet), and I do not live near a store. These are just the rambled opinions of an online shopper.

So this was clearly the reason they were having a sale-to make way for the new stuff. I scored Rebecca's Souvenirs so I was happy!

I'm disappointed that Josefina still has nothing. Caroline doesn't either, which kind of surprises me. I was always under the impression that she was a very popular doll. I think Josefina is going to be archived at some point in the near future. I know American Girl says that they'll be doing something with her this spring and I hope that's true-I just don't believe them.

Anyways, here are the items that were released for the historical dolls this spring. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Who would they be in the future? Part 1

Samantha and Nellie

So I currently have guests, which means I can't access my dolls because the dolls are in the guest room so...
The doll fun has all been in my head recently. That does not mean I'm crazy...the fact that I spend all this money on dolls means I'm crazy. Kidding...mostly. But really, almost all the disposable income I can claim either goes to travel or dolls.
Anyways, I decided to do a new series on the dolls in the future. What would these girls live through as they grew up? Some periods would intersect. For example, Samantha and Nellie would live through Rebecca's series, Kit and Ruthie's time, and finally Molly and Emily's time.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Grace Thomas-Initial Thoughts

Happy New Year!

A new year full of fun AG things-super exciting! Here are some rumors I've heard swirling about:

-First, I believe that the 1950s doll we've all seen stock pictures of might be released this year. This hasn't been confirmed by American Girl so maybe not-but I am really hopeful!

-Second, it was confirmed by the company on the Facebook page that a BeForever African American doll will be released in 2016. This is incredible news and I am excited to learn what time period she is from. I am all about the historicals, not so much the GOTYs. I'm hoping for a Civil Rights Era doll. I think that would be awesome.

But of course, it is the new year, and Grace Thomas is the doll of the hour. Bye bye Isabelle, hello Grace Thomas.

And I...don't know how to react. I think she is a very pretty doll-much prettier than Isabelle was, IMO, mostly because I think we have a surfeit of blonde dolls. Her eyes are very striking and I love her freckles. I really love the side bangs-she looks very stylish and sassy, which I certainly approve of. I want this doll.

But...I was really hoping for a doll of color this year and I am, again, disappointed. This is not what I wanted. I don't really know how to react. All these years and still no African American GOTY? What, black girls aren't special enough for a LE?

Also, don't be that person that argues dolls of color don't sell. It's all about the clothes and advertising. They could make a black doll a success if they wanted. Addy is out of stock currently-when I went to Orlando in December, you couldn't buy her. With two outfit changes, she won Be Forever. I see that argument on Facebook all the time when someone complains and it makes me so angry. I go. Grace is a pretty little thing-her hair looks very nice and I like the side braid. The blue eyes with the dark hair is very striking. Her outfit is cute-the boots especially. I'd wear them and the grey color is awesome. I probably won't buy her for now-after all, I don't have all the historical dolls yet, and they are my main collection. Grace will cost $120, and the justification for her price is the charm bracelet. Last year it was the highlights, this year it is the bracelet.

These are her meet accessories. and they sell for $32.. I LOVE polka dot stuff and so I adore this purse. If they made this for humans...oh, they will be making this for people??? Interesting... Also, fingerless gloves. Maybe I need some fingerless gloves! Is it bad that I take style advice from dolls?

Anyways, Riley might end up getting this. We'll see.

This is her welcome set for when she arrives in Paris. This makes me want to barf-it seems so touristy, like something an American would certainly wear in Paris. Gross. I prefer her meet accessories to this because the meet stuff doesn't seem so...clichéd. I like to travel and I hate feeling like a naïve tourist, which is what this screams to me. This will not be bought. I just wish I could get those macaroons without the rest of this junk. Maybe I'll call in for a replacement part. This sells for $32.

This is the Opening Night outfit and it sells for $38, which is really expensive for what this is IMO. I hate this. Too pink, too frilly, too...much. Pass.

I guess she wears this to work in the bakery. Kind of cute (I especially like the pink and blue combination) but I don't think this is Riley's style. I'll have to think about this some more, but probably a no. This sells for $34, which I personally think is a bit much for what this consists of.

Now this...this I can work with. This is the City Outfit. Riley needs a Valentine's Day outfit and this is perfect for that! This is my favorite outfit of all her things. I want this. It sells for $34 and it looks like it's worth every penny. I have seen some people speculating that this won't sell well after Valentine's Day-I'll still buy it. This is the only item of her collection that is definitely going on my shopping list. The colors, the style...Riley will look like so chic in this number. I would wear this myself.

Yep, she travels. This is actually two sets-the coat ($28) and the traveling set. I don't know. You know what the coat reminds me of? The awful powder blue puffy monstrosity that was in Marie Grace's and Cecile's collection. I HATED that thing with a passion. I might end up with it, since it is my goal to have complete historical collections. But this is the same thing, just modern. Pass.

Her PJs aren't so bad, but it's doubtful I'll actually buy them. I didn't really like the PJs that went with Saige or Isabelle. These are an improvement. The only dolls who currently have PJs are Kirsten and Nellie-I tend to find them boring unless I have the bed set for scenes and stuff. These are selling for $24.

Here's her little dog Bon Bon. He's $22, which is the going rate for the animals. He's very cute but Riley needs a horse before she needs a dog. He's not even my favorite AG pet at the moment-that would be either the Himalayan kitten or the Dalmatian pup.

I actually really like this but I probably don't have room for it. This is the bistro set, which I suppose is meant to be set up outside of the bakery. This is basically what I want my own table set to look like in my home but less touristy. If I had a kid, I'd probably buy them this. It costs $85.

Then there is this. This is the actual bakery, which goes for $500! I can barely believe this. I was shocked to see the price tag on Samantha's ice cream parlor but this...this is ridiculous. It looks like plastic too, and cheap, like something I could get at Target. Like the diner for instance. Pass, for lack of desire, money, and space.

And of course, if you want to bake in your bakery, you need to pay a separate fee for this set. This costs $68. So if you want that whole bakery experience, you're going to need to pay $568.

Now this is $150 and seems much more reasonable and much better in terms of size. This I actually kind of want but, once again, space will probably prevent it from happening. As of late night Jan. 1/early morning Jan. 2, this is backordered on the website.

Anyways, those are my thoughts about Grace-how does everyone else feel?