AG January Release 2016 / Bella’s Thoughts

Hello!

If there’s one thing Lulu and I have learned, it’s that time truly does fly when you’re having fun. While our Doll Mag posts have been less than frequent over the last few months {we’ve taken to the slow blogging approach}, we were able to spend much time with our family during the holidays. Now, two weeks into the new year, and we’re slowly adjusting back into our school schedule after our relaxing winter break.

That saying holds true in another sense as well: Lulu and I were laughing when we went up to the American Girl store on the day of Lea’s release because we felt as if Jess, the 2006 Girl of the Year, had just been in stores! Ten years might have passed, but the two of us still look forward to the GOTY’s release with excitement come December, and it was no different of a case with Lea’s collection. Discussing the new items with YOU all has evolved into a tradition of its own, so I’m here today with 2016’s take! What items caught your eye from the new release?
American Girl January 2016[1] Lea Clark Doll Lea is such a cutie! I’ll admit, I’m disappointed by the lack of diversity in the GOTY line {that’s a discussion for another day}, but for what she is, I think Lea is a unique addition to American Girl’s doll offerings. Though she doesn’t have a home in my collection, it’s easy for me to see the appeal of her long, caramel-colored hair and her colorful, tribal-print dress.

[2] Lea’s Three-Toed Sloth Something I do see myself buying one day? Lea’s animals, such as the adorable three-toed sloth! I’m not surprised it’s been so popular of an item – it’s hard not to smile when looking at this little guy – but I’m further impressed by the level of quality and AG’s charity efforts {for every sloth purchased, American Girl will donate $1 to the World Wildlife Fund}. Two thumbs up from me!

[3] Diabetes Care Kit I was overjoyed to see this set appear on the new items page – I feel it’s been long overdue! I was diagnosed with Type One Diabetes several years ago, so I can testify to the pieces’ accuracy and detail, right down to the tiny glucose tablets. It is priced reasonably, comes with a number of things, and, most importantly, will mean the world to young diabetics.

[4] Lea’s Fruit Stand Lea’s “big-ticket” item is her Rainforest House, but if you’re not willing to spend four hundred dollars {I’m right there with you!}, Lea’s Fruit Stand seems to be just as well-made and have just as much play value. I particularly love how bright the set is, from the pink inside walls to the fresh produce, but then again, anything with mini doll food is on my wishlist :)

[5] Lea’s Bahia Outfit Lulu and I just saw our first snowfall of the season, but my first glance at Lea’s Bahia Outfit had me thinking of summer! I like that each piece can stand on its own {the top would pair well with jeans or capris, the shorts are a basic that can go with anything and everything, and those sandals seem like a summer essential}, but, together, they create an adorable ensemble.

[6] Lea’s Rainforest Dreams Pajamas I was first deterred by the bright color palette of Lea’s pajamas, but they won me over once I saw them in person. I adore the tropical print, and I’d imagine my doll, Zoey, would rock them well. Even better? So long as it’s styled correctly, I think this romper can function as an everyday piece too!

[7] No Ordinary Sound: Melody’s First Book Finally, my interest in Lea was eclipsed by my love of the new Beforever character, Melody! She won’t make her debut until July, but if she looks anything like her illustration, I think she’ll be all sorts of cute. I haven’t had the chance to look at her book yet, but I hope to do so soon – I’m intrigued to see how the author weaves her story into the time period.

If you want to browse the new items yourself, click HERE :)

Have a wonderful rest of your day!
Bella

Psst. One last DM announcement, while we have your attention: there will be no January/February issue. Instead, we hope you’ll check back for the next edition of Doll Mag on March 1st!

AG Release August 2015 / Bella’s Thoughts

Hello!

Happy Friday! The American Girl holiday rollout has always been a sign that our summer is coming to a close, and yesterday’s release was no exception – we head back to school on Wednesday! The two of us hate to see our vacation go, but we DO like cute new items, and fortunately, the Maryellen collection and Truly Me line is full of them; I haven’t been this impressed with a historical character in a long time. As is tradition, I’m sharing what I liked and didn’t like from the new products, and Lulu will pop in later next week to share her own thoughts. What do you like from the Maryellen rollout?

AG Release August 2015[a] Maryellen’s Diner Set Pancake lovers and frequent diner goers we are, Lulu and I adore every aspect of Maryellen’s Seaside Diner, from the decorative sticker set to the handwritten order sheets. The Beforever big ticket items are expensive {this set, for example, sells for $275}, but I believe the attention given to historical detail, product quality, and play opportunities is enough to justify the high price tag; I mean, just look at those tiny padded stools! :)

[b] Sparkly Spotlight Outfit The Beforever dolls weren’t the only line to receive products yesterday, as the Truly Me cuties has a few new items as well! One of my favorites of the new holiday outfits is the Sparkly Spotlight set, with its chic black top and glitzy glitter shorts. It’s trendy without being overdone, and I think each piece has the potential to work on its own. Can’t you see Ruthie or Nicki rocking this one come December?

[c] Maryellen’s Play Outfit I struggled to pick favorites from Maryellen’s outfits, because to be quite honest, I love them all! However, her play ensemble had my heart at first sight, not in the least because of the adorable cherry embellishments. The outfit is not a seasonal choice for the Northeastern autumn weather, but I may bring it home just for my own redhead, Hannah, to wear it. At $28, it’s totally doable.

[d] Doll Celebrations I have always enjoyed the “Doll…” activity kits; I think they come with plenty for the price, and they encourage doll play at a different and more creative level. Now as I’ve grown older, I continue to flip through them for crafting and photography inspiration. The newest title to join the line is Doll Celebrations, with each page celebrating a different month or holiday. The page previews look excellent, and they have me so excited for when I grab my own copy.

[e] Maryellen’s Poodle Skirt Set It may be stereotypical and, hey, perhaps a tad unrealistic, but it wouldn’t be a 1950’s doll without a poodle skirt set. Maryellen’s dotted blouse and striking black skirt is adorable against her auburn hair, and the saddle shoes are an added plus. With Halloween only a few months away, I would happily purchase this for a DM model’s costume.

AG Release August 2015 Dislikes[a] Joyful Jewels Outfit The only thing wrong with this year’s signature holiday dress? It’s not memorable. Time and time again, American Girl has used a similar silhouette and the same color palette in their holiday outfit, leaving me and others underwhelmed. This is more of a personal complaint as a longtime fan, however, as the target audience will likely have this sold out in mere weeks!

[b] Cool Coral Outfit I don’t mind these pieces on their own, but together, I think the patterns and colors clash. The “distressed blue glitter print,” as AG describes the pattern of the leggings, paired with the coral and studded zebra-printed top is too much for one outfit. Solid bottoms or a less busy top would take this ensemble from “eh” to “yay!”.

[c] Movie Popcorn Machine Finally, though I admire the creativity behind the product, I think the final execution of the mini popcorn machine looks cheap. Granted, I haven’t seen it in person yet, so I’ll hold off on making a final decision, but until then: I’m not a fan.

If you want to browse the new items yourself, click HERE.

Have a lovely afternoon!
B

AG June Release 2015 / Lulu’s Thoughts

Hello!

I’m sure most of our readers have seen the latest American Girl Release (If not, go check it out here!). Almost everyone got something; the Beforever cuties have new sleepwear and beds, Grace has a new sight-seeing look, the Just Like You MyAG Truly Me line have some stylish new school outfits added to their collection, and the Bitties now have polka dot PJ’s as well. There are loads of cute things, some not-so cute things (coughStylin’Bangscough) and some sort-of cute things. I will not be sharing my opinions on everything that was released (there’s a LOT of stuff), but you can read my thoughts on most of the things below!

Truly Me1 >> Sparkle Sweater Outfit >> Like Bella said in her own post, the individual pieces of this outfit are quite stylish, but they don’t seem to go altogether. Maybe if the shoelaces were the same color as the sweater? They’re very cute nonetheless, and I look forward to seeing and creating mix and match combinations in the future.

2 >> Recess Ready Outfit >> Yay! Purple… lots and lots of purple. (Cue evil laugh:)) I really like the tunic of this outfit; lavender and coral look great together. The shimmery sneakers are very trendy and cute, and the leggings help bring out the color of the polka dots nicely. The cons? The sliver trimmed scarf and coral stripes on the leggings.

3 >> Mod Monster Outfit >> This costume is okay; some pieces work for me, but some pieces don’t. The felt wig is very quirky and fun, and I enjoy the accents of green throughout the outfit. I’m not a big fan of the dress however – the spider web in the corner seems kind of unnecessary. 

4 >> Flip Top Desk >> Bella and I both have fond memories of playing school with our dolls when we were younger, and this cute desk would have fit right into our elaborate set up! The folders and notebooks both have nice patterns and colors, and the desk itself is a cool shape – plenty of room for books and mini pencil cases. I have a feeling we’ll be checking this set out next time we’re in the store.

5 >> Science Fair Set >> A purple miniature doll school project? With a miniature telescope? And a ribbon? And did I mention that it’s purple? And turquoise? Together? It couldn’t get quite much better than this.

Beforever1 >> Kaya’s Pow Wow Dress of Today >> I absolutely love the color palette of Kaya’s new outfit! While blue and pink aren’t exactly a new idea, they look great on Kaya, and I think this outfit is a welcome addition to her collection. Need more convincing? Look at the cool neckline and boots!

2 >> Addy’s Nightgown >> Addy’s new nightgown is my favorite Beforever outfit from this release! The blue accents look lovely with the white dress, and the embroidered flowers are just the things to make it stand out. And those knit booties? Perfection.

3 >> Josefina’s Nightgown >> YES! I knew if I waited long enough American Girl would finally give something to Josefina (It’s been way too long AG). Seriously though, this nightgown is adorable and awesome. At first glance, I thought that it was embellished with only a ribbon, but on closer look, I realized with a happy smile that it has not only a ribbon, but lace, layering, a nice neckline, and cute slippers. This will be coming home with me for sure.

4 >> Julie’s Zigzag Pajamas >> While these PJs are “far out” (like the AG site says), I have to say that I prefer Julie’s old sleepwear – it’s the purple lover in me. :) The shade of pink does look good with her hair however, and I really like the pom-pom trimmed pants.

5 >> Rebecca’s Satin Pajamas >> I don’t like this odd pinkish-purple color very much at all, and this is coming from a hard-core purple lover. *Sigh* Like Bella said in her own post, Rebecca’s collection needs a bit more color variety.

6 >> Kit’s One Piece Pajamas >> I love Kit’s old striped nightgown (who am I kidding, I love almost all the historical PJs), but this one piece set is adorable as well! The puppy print is too cute, and orange and green look awesome on Miss Kittredge.

Grace1 >> Grace’s Sight Seeing Outfit and Accessories >> Grace’s new outfit is pretty cute; it could use a few tweaks (no polka dots on the skirt, perhaps?), but I really love the top and the accessories are adorable. Sunglasses and boots? Yes, please!

If you want to browse the new items yourself, click HERE.

Have an awesome start to your week! :)

Lulu

AG June Release 2015 / Bella’s Thoughts

Hello!

American Girl has certainly improved on their social media presence in the past couple of years. Between their Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, fans have many different avenues to contact AG; Lulu and I, however, like their Pinterest account the best – we adore the sneak peeks! :) As the company hinted at earlier in the week, all of the lines received several new items today for the fall collection, and we are happy to say we are incredibly pleased with the roll-out. I’m highlighting my favorites and “non-favorites” today, but Lulu will be adding her own opinions sometime soon! What were your thoughts on the release?

AG Release June 2015[a] Sparkle Sweater Outfit The pieces of this outfit hardly go together – where is the cohesive element? – but I love each item individually for their mix-and-match potential. The pink honeycomb sweater is something I want in my own closet for back-to-school, the embroidered skirt would surely look good with an Etsy top, and the blue boots were practically made for my quirky fashionista, Zoey. I’ll be adding this set to my birthday wish-list!

[b] Baking with Grace For ease of posting, we’re combining last week’s Grace-themed released with today’s new items – it’s a good thing too, given how much I like the new activity book, Baking with Grace! American Girl’s craft kits have always been a hit here in the Doll Mag household, and Grace’s baking tutorials should be no different. Lulu and I will have to stock up on art supplies before we grab our own copy.

[c] Science Fair Set Regardless of what it is, tell me it is school-related and I’m sold. Playing school was one of my favorite pastimes as a kid, but my love of doll-related supplies and assignments clearly hasn’t disappeared. I think this  science fair set – complete with a first place ribbon – would be a perfect addition to the biology set that came out a few years ago. If anything, our science fanatic, Hannah, will be happy when we add this to our collection!

[d] Flip-Top Desk On that same note, can we discuss the cuteness that is the newest desk set?! I’m absolutely smitten with the smallest details, like the hot lunch schedule or the teeny green protractor. I doubt we have room for another school-related accessory, but I can dream {or use our back-to-school issue as an excuse :)}.

[e] Grace’s Sightseeing Outfit Finally, Grace’s new ensemble is a fashionable blend of trendy and classic styles. The pieces look terrific together, but I’m sure they would look just as stylish on their own. Furthermore, I can easily imagine all of our dolls rocking one or all of the items; for example, Ruthie would snag the glitzy striped top for her wardrobe, while Nicki would eye the embellished white skirt.

AG June Release 2015[a] Rebecca’s Satin Pajamas My dislikes in this rollout were few and far between, but there were still a few products that I wasn’t a fan of. I found many of the new historical pajamas adorable, but I was saddened to see that Rebecca’s nighttime wear was changed from a lovely blue to another purple. She deserves a bit more variety in her collection!

[b] Mod Monster Outfit I think this Halloween release will leave many AG fans divided, for already have I seen differing opinions across the blogging community. I personally fall on the “dislike” side, as the over-the-top wig and skimpy dress both lack the charm and creativity of previous costumes.

[c] Stylin’ Bangs Finally, I don’t know if I would ever call this new hair accessory “stylin.'” I understand that these items sell well, but I personally find them too strange and tacky for my own doll to wear.

If you want to browse the new items yourself, click HERE.

Have a wonderful evening!

Bella

AG May Release 2015 / Lulu’s Thoughts

Hi!

Last week Bella posted her thoughts on the new AG “Truly Me” release, and this evening I finally got a chance to write up mine! I’m a big fan of the new items – loads of purple and summery prints are just the things to pull me in. I hope you enjoy reading about my thoughts, and I look forward to reading your own in the comments below. Read away!

Truly Me1 >> Flamingo Beach Dress >> This is my absolute favorite part of the release! It’s the perfect style to wear to the beach or to a fun outdoor party. The color combination of turquoise and coral look great on many dolls, and I can see my entire doll family sharing this cute outfit in the near future. And flamingos are just really cool, don’t you agree?

2 >> Lilac Dress and Accessories >> I didn’t like, but I didn’t dislike the last Just Like You (as they will always be thought of by me) meet outfit, so I was excited to see what American Girl had come up with in this revamp. Yet again, however, I was disappointed with the new outfit. The dress looks like a mash-up of sequins and ribbons, and the layered accessories packet isn’t any more exciting.

3 >> Shimmer Doodle Outfit >> I may be a bit biased as a hardcore purple lover, but I adore this outfit! It isn’t “summery” (I will probably hold off until the fall before buying this), but I really like the sweatshirt-like tee, as well as the slouchy boots. I would prefer the skirt to be as long as the thin layer over it though.

4 >> Seaside Fun Outfit >> Although Bella isn’t the biggest fan of this summer ensemble, I happen to like its printed shorts and striped hoodie! I probably wouldn’t keep the whole outfit together (maybe replacing the striped hoodie with a solid one?), but there are several stylish and useful pieces that could be used throughout the summer season. Bonus?! The color palette of this and the flamingo dress are similar, so you can mix and match all sorts of different styles on your doll!

5 >> Beach Hammock Set >> Like Bella said before, I don’t know where we would store this adorable set, but it sure is cute! Beachy accessories always find a way to catch my interest, and the blue starfish pillow is no exception. The colors of the hammock are also very appealing, and I adore the color of the solid blue base.

6 >> Beach Blanket Set >> It seems that every time I write up my thoughts on a release, I end up talking about how much and Bella and I love American Girl’s food sets, and this time is no different! Watermelon and pink lemonade are some of my own summer essentials, so I will definitely be checking this set out next time I’m at the store.

If you want to browse the new items yourself, click HERE.

What was your favorite part of the release?

Lulu

AG May Release 2015 / Bella’s Thoughts

Hi!

While Lulu and I keep our eyes out for product leaks, sneak peeks, and AG gossip, the Doll Mag household still experiences a flurry of excitement whenever American Girl releases new items. Despite its small size, last Thursday’s roll-out made us happy; AG’s newly renamed line, Truly Me, seems to be off to a good start! I am not a fan of everything, but there are several cute pieces I’ll be adding to my birthday wish list come July :) Like usual, I’m sharing my thoughts today, and Lulu will pop in soon with her own opinions. What was your favorite item of this release?
AG Release May 2015[a] Beach Blanket Set Some doll fans can’t pass up on historical items, others cannot leave the store without doll-sized accessories, but me? I can’t say no to mini food sets. American Girl’s beach-themed meal is not only cute, but cheap too; selling at $24, it’s a perfect piece for imaginative play and photo shoots alike. I’m hoping to snag my own set merely for the adorable tiny details, like the flamingo straw and potato chips bag!

[b] Flamingo Beach Dress This stylish number looks right out of a Boden or Lilly Pulitzer catalogue; it was practically love at first sight! This summery dress is balanced nicely with chic accessories {I can’t lie: I would like my own pair of those strappy sandals} and trendy cuts, all for a reasonable price tag. I’m sure my own doll, Isabella, would be happy to have it in her closet for the summer season.

[c] Beach Hammock Set Lulu and I many not have the room to store this colorful hammock, but it doesn’t hurt to dream of adding it to our collection! I love the adorable accessories this set includes {I’m a sucker for mini magazines, and the pillow and visor are versatile pieces to own}, but more importantly, I’m so pleased with the price. These three coordinating pieces have won me over with this release.

AG Release May 2015[a] Lilac Dress and Accessories Unfortunately, I can’t love everything, such as the new Truly Me meet outfit. A pink-purple dress, blue flats, and a magenta tutu-style skirt seems to me like a color combination gone wrong, and the bizarre choice in accessories does nothing to help its case. I’m glad I finished my doll collection before this meet outfit came onto the scene!

[b] Seaside Fun Outfit We have certainly seen worse when it comes to JLY/MAG/Truly Me outfits, but I was saddened that AG didn’t leave the shorts in this other-wise stylish ensemble white. It was a missed opportunity in terms of mixing and matching, and it limits the potential of the sweatshirt and sandals as well.

[c] Shimmer Doodle Outfit Finally, these pieces may be in fashion with the target audience, but I don’t think they are as flattering on the doll as they are the owner. Between the slouchy boots and graphic tee, I’m left underwhelmed by this outfit, even if younger dolls fans snatch it up.

If you want to browse the new items yourself, click HERE.

Have a lovely Saturday!

Bella

AG February Release 2015 / Lulu’s Thoughts

Hi!

There was a flurry of excitement in the doll world last week with the new American Girl release, and I have to say that I’m a big fan of many of the items, despite some high prices being thrown in to the mix and the fact that my lovely Josefina got no new items. :( Today I finally got a chance to sit down and write up my thoughts on the entire release (excluding items I have deemed unnecessary *coughbeachbeadscough*) and I would love to hear your thoughts too. Comment away!

My AG 1 >> Boho Beachy Swimsuit >> I don’t love this, but I don’t hate it either. I like the colors, but the pattern and flip flops aren’t amazing. The ruffle across the middle is a nice touch, but the extra one at the bottom just looks odd, as well as the beads on the strap.

2 >> Garden Outfit >> I was actually under the impression that this was sleepwear until Bella told me that it was supposed to be an everyday outfit. The wedges are actually pretty cute, but the cut and material of the shorts and top are too pajama-like for my tastes.

3 >> Sparkly Jazz Outfit >> I’m not a big fan of the accessories in this outfit (I just don’t really like choker necklaces or fingerless gloves) but the actual leotard is quite cute! The bright red color is looks great on lots of dolls, and you can’t go wrong with a sparkly top.

4 >> Soccer Uniform >> This is another one of those ‘I don’t love it, but don’t hate it’ outfits. We’ve seen these colors from AG before, so they’re nothing new, but I do like the vibrant green knee socks.

5 >> Shimmer & Lace Party Dress >> This dress could be a hit or miss depending on which doll is wearing it. The color could wash some dolls out, but that may just be because of the lighting in the photo. I like the sheer neckline and sequins, but the dress would probably look better without the flower and white underskirt peeking out at the bottom.

6 >> Garden Bench >> I really love this set! The color, the accessories (except for those totally out-of-scale butterflies), that birdhouse – they’re all just so adorable! This may be coming home with us very soon…

7 >> Pretty Ballet Set >> Bella and I have the 2-in-1 Ballet Set from a few years ago and we use it quite often, so I was glad to see that AG brought back a similar set this time around. While I don’t like the pieces as much as the older ones, these ones are a very cute alternative.

Bitties1 >> Hole-In-One Outfit >> Since I have no Bitty Boy dolls, I really have no need for this outfit, but it sure is cute! I love the vibrant colors and cute golf club, and would definitely buy it if I had a use for it. It’s nice to see the boy dolls getting some cute outfits too.

2 >> Tennis Pro Outfit >> This might be my favorite thing of the entire release! The accessories are a bit out of scale, but I understand the precautions for the younger girls’ outfits. Pink and orange look great on both my and Bella’s Bitty Twins, so I have a feeling this will be purchased in the near future.

3 >> Pastel Carousel Dress >> This dress is cute, but a bit forgettable. The colors are a classic Bitty Baby combination, which allows for lots of mix-and-match opportunities, but I’m not dying to get it. The print on the dress skirt is quite cute though!

4 >> Basics Sweet Dots Top >> I really have no idea why this top and the leggings below aren’t sold together. (Other than being able to price them higher.) It is a pretty adorable top though, and I like the ruffle.

5 >> Basic Elephants Leggings >> The case for these leggings is basically the same as above: oddly sold, pricey, but very cute. That pattern is just the best! (I think I have a weakness for elephants…especially  blue ones…)

Historical

1 >> Julie’s Mix-Print Maxi Dress >> I really like this color combo on Julie! The bright yellow and pink-purple are bright, cheerful, and very eye-catching. I don’t think any of my dolls would wear this set, but if I owned Julie or Ivy, I would definitely pick this up for them. The accessories are a bit odd though…

2 >> Kit’s Overalls >> Hooray! Kit has her overalls again! While these ones do sport a lot more flowers and color than the old ones, they still seem like something I could see her wearing. I love the subtle print on the overalls and that headband looks great with Kit’s short hair. That chicken in the photo keeps giving me the evil eye though…I think she’s scheming blog domination…

3 >> Julie’s Skateboarding Set >> At first I, being the total non-skateboarding expert I am, was quite confused at the size of the skateboard in this set: How could any doll possibly stand on it? Is it just an odd prototype? Does the photo have strange accessory-minimizing powers? With the help of Pinterest comments I realized that it’s modeled after a specific style called a Banana Board. My curiosity was then satisfied, so I could finally take a look at the outfit. I like the rainbow-theme, but I don’t love it, and prefer Julie and Ivy’s car washing outfits to this one.

4 >> Addy’s Dress and Sewing Set >> It’s just sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo pretty! :) The sewing theme! The colors! The cut! The pattern! The price! Addy rocks this outfit and the entire release.

5 >> Rebecca’s Seashore Set >> I know a lot of AG fans were doubting the historical accuracy of this outfit, but I think the style fits the time period just fine. The colors might not be exactly true to what was worn in 1914, but you have to remember that a lot of AG’s target audience (I’m generalizing here.) like the color combination of dark purple and magenta, (as do I. :) ) The beach chair is also pretty cute, and I like it better than some of the other historical accessories that came out with this release.

6 >> Kaya’s Modern Fancy Shawl Outfit >> While I’m all for Kaya getting a new outfit, I was just wondering why Kaya’s clothes aren’t usually from her time period? (Edit: Xyra helpfully explained this in the comments – our readers are the best. :) ) I think Kaya looks fabulous in red and I adore the patterns in this outfit, but the price seems pretty high considering that you get about the same amount of things as Kaya’s Pow-Wow Dress of Today, which is $12 cheaper.

Samantha Parkington

1 >> Samantha’s Traveling Bag >> Oh look. A bag. I guess it’s a nice color?

2 >> Samantha’s Garden Gazebo >> This gazebo would be gorgeous for photos, but I can’t see very much play value. I can imagine a little girl saving up all her money for it and then playing with it constantly for a couple days…and then eventually forgetting about it. It is very visually pleasing however, and the colorful lanterns are a fun detail.

3 >> Samantha’s Flower Picking Set >> I want to like this set. I really, really do. But something just seems off about it to me. The pattern and neckline look fabulous, and I have to admit that Sam pulls off pink like a champ, but I just can’t figure out what’s so unappealing about it. Perhaps I just have to see it in person?

Side Note: Samantha has an entire set devoted to flower picking?

4 >> Samantha’s Special Day Frock >> It’s not entirely pink! *Gasp!* Despite being a strong believer in the color pink, I am terribly sick of seeing it pop up in most Samantha’s collection, so this was a very refreshing surprise. Her hair looks great with the mint green, and the lace details really help pull the look together.

Side Note: Something about calling a dress a “frock” just makes it sound so fancy!

5 >> Samantha’s Traveling Coat and Hat >> Why, oh why, does this coat not cover the entire dress in the photo?! Although, since I have no plans on getting that certain dress…I think this coat is pretty cute! I have a feeling that the hat would get flattened very quickly, however.

6 >> Samantha’s Traveling Coat and Hat >> Bella owns the MyAG (then “Just Like You”) easel from a few years ago, and while it’s perfect for photos and play, it’s a terrible pain to close. This doesn’t seem as difficult, but it’s paints are also a lot less detailed. And, apparently, Samantha paints a better butterfly than I do.

7 >> Samantha’s Treat Set >> I like the look of this set with its white swirls and coordinating pastries. A second chair would have been preferable and the glasses look sort of plastic-y, but the sweets sure are cute! I’m sure it would look lovely in an outdoor photo shoot.

What are your favorite pieces?

Lulu :)

AG February Release 2015 / Bella’s Thoughts

Hi!

American Girl’s spring releases can be a mixed bag, as one can see with Thursday’s new items for the historical, My American Girl, and Bitty lines. Some of the products the two of us ADORE, but others have us questioning AG’s taste; it’s no different in this year’s lineup of bright colors, pastel prints, and expensive accessories. As we do with every American Girl release, I’m popping in today to share my favorite and least favorite items, and Lulu will be back soon with her thoughts on the entire rollout. What items caught your eye?February 2015 Release[a] Tennis Pro Outfit Much of this new release left me underwhelmed, but the moment I saw the Bitty Twins’ tennis ensemble, I declared it a favorite. While I don’t ask for or buy Bitty outfits often, I would love our darling twins Lucy and Bridget to sport this cute set sometime this spring :)

[b] Samantha’s Special Day Dress Samantha’s collection can be overwhelmingly pink, so I found her new mint-green dress a refreshing addition to her wardrobe. The stylish details of the dress and the inclusion of shoes, tights, and a fun pink hair bow is worth the $32 price tag – or so I hope! If the dress is just as pretty in person as it is online, I can see this going home with me for Ruthie to rock all spring long.

[c] Sunshine Gardening Bench Set AG has a number of gardening sets in their archives, but I’m delighted that they have finally included a bench to store all of the tiny accessories! The purple color would not have been my first choice {an aim at the target audience, and not realism, I presume}, but I imagine this would be a great set for both play and photography.

February 2015 Release[a] Sunshine Garden Outfit At first glance, I thought these were pajamas! I adore the colorful plaid shorts, but the strange cut of the top, the impractical wedge sandals, and the lack of color coordination have me cringing otherwise. The gardening set may be a hit, but this gardening outfit is certainly a miss.

[b] Samantha’s Flower Picking Set Sam looks gorgeous in a variety of colors, so I was saddened to see yet another pink, frilly dress added to her collection. American Girl knows what sells {generalizing greatly, but pink is usually a big seller with the target age group}, but I personally won’t be seeking this next time I head to the AG store.

[c] Beachy Hair Beads Finally, I appreciate the idea behind the hair beads since they have been a trend for who knows how long, but the final result just looks cheap. With a bit of creativity, I’m sure at least one doll fan could whip up a homemade version for less money and packaging.

If you want to browse the new items yourself, click HERE.

Have an amazing Saturday!

Bella

AG January Release 2015 / Lulu’s Thoughts

Hi!

I’m sure you’ve seen the 2015 GOTY, Grace Thomas, and her collection floating around the web for a while now; now that she’s been officially released, however, I can write up my thoughts on all of her new items! I was quite happy with AG’s new release, considering their less than amazing GOTY collections from the past couple years. Here’s what I thought of the new products…

Grace's Clothing1. Grace Doll / I will not be adding Grace to my collection, but I still think she’s adorable! I love her bright blue eyes and darker lips, and those side-swept bangs are very stylish. Her outfit is nothing amazing, but it’s still pretty cute.

2. Grace’s Baking Outfit / This is oh-so cute! I like the color combination of blue, black, and pink, and the dress-like apron is really cute. I know a lot of people were wondering whether the cupcakes on the shirt were really upside down, but no worries! They’re actually a mix of upside down and right side up.

3. Grace’s Pajamas / I love AG pajamas! Bella and I have a pretty large collection, so I really have no need to add anymore, though Grace’s PJ’s are quite cute. The color goes very nicely with her hair and I like the adorable print on the pants.

4. Grace’s Coat / I fell in love with this coat when I first saw it online; the color and style were both trendy and cute! I was all ready to buy it when Bella and I went to the store on Thursday, but once I saw it in person, I decided not to. It looked adorable, but I was unhappy with the material. The $28 price tag was also a little steep – it doesn’t even come with shoes! :(

5. Grace’s City Outfit / Instead of buying Grace’s coat as I planned, I ended up buying Grace’ adorable city outfit! It’s perfect for Valentine’s Day with the red sweater and heart details, although I have a feeling my doll Ellie will be wearing it throughout the year :)

6. Grace’s Opening Night Outfit / I can see why someone may like this dress, but I’m not really in love with it. The headband is too similar to the Talent Show Outfit for my tastes, and the combination of sequins and tulle are too overwhelming.

Grace's Furniture1. Grace’s Bakery / I would love to have this set, but $500 is out of my price range. It’s too bad though, because I love the details on the food and counters.

2. Grace’s Bistro Set / This cute set is a very good alternative for the expensive bakery, isn’t it? I personally prefer Grace’s cart to her bistro, but the turquoise chalkboard is very tempting!

3. Grace’s Pastry Cart / I think Grace’s Pastry Set may be coming home with us sometime soon! I love the countertop print and swirling wheels, but the most appealing thing about this set is the large amount of doll-sized sweets. They may be a little out of scale, but they’re still cute.

Grace's Accessories1. Grace’s Luggage / I’ll admit that I originally thought this set was pretty boring, but after seeing it in person, the suitcase and accessories have grown on me! I especially like the suitcase’s polka-dot lining :)

2. Grace’s Welcome Gifts / These are okay, I guess. There’s not really a need for them unless you have the Grace doll, but they could make cute photo props.

3. Grace’s Paris Accessories / My opinion on this set is basically the same as Grace’s Welcome Gifts. They’re cute, but they don’t allow for much play opportunities. The fingerless gloves are adorable though!

4. Grace’s Dog (Bonbon) / I always find the GOTY pets cute, but never enough to buy them. It’s the same situation with Grace’s dog Bonbon. I do find it quite fun that the collar matches Grace’s outfits though!

5. Grace’s Baking Set / This might be my absolute favorite thing from the entire release! I’m in love with the little mixer and the mini recipes and tablet are just added fun. I think Bella and I may be buying this in the near future.

What are your thoughts on the release?

Lulu

P.S. Be sure to check out our Grace Thomas Pinterest board for all the latest news on this GOTY cutie!

AG January Release 2015 / Bella’s Thoughts

Hello!

The Girl of the Year was nothing new for many doll fans on Thursday, as several images of Grace’s collection had been floating around various doll blogs well throughout December. Nevertheless, Lulu and I were excited to look through the multitude of new items when they debuted on New Year’s Day, and we were lucky enough to head to the AG store to look at the products in person. We’re happy to say that we LOVE much of the Grace items, and we’ve already bought one thing from her collection: the City Outfit. As with every American Girl release, I’m sharing my thoughts on the new items today, and Lulu will be back to share her opinions soon. What did you think of the release?

AG Release January 2015[a] Grace’s Baking Outfit I’m head over heels with everything in Grace’s collection, but my favorite outfit is her adorable baking ensemble. The outfit is much cuter than the stock photos suggest, and thankfully, the cupcakes are right side up in person. I’m sure this will be one of the first outfits I buy this year; I think Hannah would appreciate the dotted apron.

[b] Grace Doll I am perfectly happy with the number of dolls I own and I have no plans to add to my collection, but I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t want Grace in my doll family. While she has been deemed unoriginal, I think her combination of features – her side-swept bangs, freckles, and sweet smile – fits her personality perfectly. Her meet outfit isn’t amazing, but those stylish booties are enough to overlook the tourist-like tee.

[c] Grace’s Pastry Cart Buying all of Grace’s products would cost you a pretty penny; she’s the most expensive Girl of the Year yet! Her five hundred-dollar bakery, while fabulous, is unrealistic to buy, but I think her equally cute cart is reasonably priced. The detailed accessories offer this set plenty of play value, so it’s no wonder this is already backordered.

[d] Grace’s Baking Set When Grace’s collection was leaked right before Christmas, the first product that caught my eye was her baking set. It’s no secret I love doll food, but it was the mini stand mixer and the tablet with recipes that sealed the deal for me! Along with the baking outfit, this is another item I would love to get this year.

[e] Valentine Gift Set I’m one that always has a festive sweater or tee for every holiday, and it’s the same with my dolls. I love the idea behind this cute gift set – it’s such an easy, adorable, and best of all, affordable present for Valentine’s Day!

AG Release January 2015[a] Grace’s Opening Night Outfit One item of the Grace release I’m not rushing to buy? Her opening night dress. With the sequined bodice, asymmetrical layers, and sheer sleeves, this outfit has too much going on. A simple pink sundress with a black belt would have been a more chic addition to her wardrobe – there was no need to go overboard with trends.

[b] Sporty Sandals and Socks Set My dislike with this new shoe set has little to do with American Girl than it does with the trend itself. I’m a strict follower of the fashion rule “no sandals with socks” anywhere and everywhere, so my dolls won’t be needing these black slides and knee socks.

[c] Grace’s Paris Accessories Finally, I’m not a fan of Grace’s accessories. I fear they look cheap compared to the other items in her collection {the coin purse, especially, hurts my eyes}, and they don’t have much play value beyond dressing up Grace once or twice.

If you want to browse the new items yourself, click HERE.

Have a wonderful rest of your day!

Bella