Staff Picks / September 2015

Hello, hello!

Happy weekend, friends! We love to take the time on Saturday and Sunday to get ahead on schoolwork, have spontaneous movie nights {our latest was Newsies, after we saw the musical of the same name over the summer}, and best of all, catch up on our favorite blogs, doll-related and otherwise. We had skipped Staff Picks in August due to our short vacation, but the feature has returned with a batch of excellent posts, articles, and other mentions. Read to your heart’s content before sharing your favorite posts of the month – blog love is the best.

Staff Picks September 2015{1} Some of Lulu’s favorite movies when she was younger were the ones starring the Disney Fairies; this adorable post by Journey Girl’s Adventures, therefore, was only bound to make her smile! The gorgeous shots, the captivating photo effects, and the well-placed cliffhanger all guarantee that she’ll be back for next week’s installment. Thumbs up from us!

{2} There are some bloggers that make being cool look effortless. Case in point? Inky, New York resident and Instagram superstar, who recently gave us a peek into her perfectly-styled bedroom. From her extensive Uglydoll collection to her colorful rows of books, it’s clear Inky has an eye for interior design, so only one question remains: when can we visit?

{3} While the latest Ever After High special did come out in August, Lulu couldn’t help but include it in this month’s round of picks! The animation was breathtaking {especially in the outfit transformation sequence!} and she adored the “wonderlandiful” story. She would love to discuss with other EAH fans, so if you’ve seen it, be sure to share your thoughts in the comments :)

{4} It’s hard to keep up with trends in real life, let alone translate them to the doll world too! For this reason, Bella adores any fashion craft that is both easy and quick to make, like Liz’s recent leather bracelet inspired tutorial. It’s trendy, it’s creative, and it’s an oh-so cute accessory to go with our dolls’ fall wardrobes. Perhaps we’ll make a few of our own as we watch the Brooklyn Nine-Nine premiere tonight!

{5} Doll Mag advice of the day: There’s nothing a good piece of cake can’t solve! Lulu loved reading about Kaya and Xyra’s adventures in the kitchen in a recent photo story; that lemon cake looks oh-so yummy {and makes us both hungry and ready to bake!}. What recipes have you been whipping up as of late?

{6} Finally, the girls at Dolly Dorm Diaries have impressed us yet again with their gorgeous photography and fun adventures. Cindy, Christina, and Saige took advantage of the late summer weather to fit in another beach trip, but this time with other friends: their horses! We think there’s nothing better than doing something with the people you love most, and it seems they agree.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Psst. Thanks to everyone who entered this month’s survey so far! Though our issues only has the room for one reader to be featured, we love reading your responses. Keep ‘em coming by entering HERE!


Magazine / Fall 2015


Doll Mag September October 2015The two of us want to thank you for your patience and understanding as we finished our autumn issue; it’s a few weeks late, but we couldn’t be more excited to share it with you! The autumn season seems to bring out our creativity, and we had so much fun with the articles in this edition. Here’s a peek of what you’ll find inside…

  • an interview with the newest and cutest in AG’s Beforever line, Maryellen Larkin.
  • two sweet hairstyles for your short-haired friends.
  • a round-up of creative costumes that fit any price range.
  • a detailed article on the spooky Monster High dolls.
  • and much, much more!

As always, you can read the current edition on ISSUU or download it on Adobe Reader HERE.

And of course, it wouldn’t be issue release day without a few links. First up, we urge you to head on over to our Survey page HERE and enter for your chance to be featured in the next issue – it’s open to all of our readers!

We currently have Etsy shop owners lined up for interviews through the spring, but we would love for you to submit responses all the same! Click HERE for more information on the Shop Owner Spotlight feature.

Gabby, our adorable cover model, is also the official DM advice columnist! Send her your questions, comments, or concerns HERE; she will pick one or two to answer in the holiday issue.

If you want to write to us {much love and thanks if you do!}, you can submit a letter to the editors HERE.

Finally, start your week on a good note by reading through our archives of the back issues HERE.

Bella, Lulu, and the DM team

Monthly Recap / July 2015


Monthly RecapAs the saying goes, “time flies when you’re having fun.” The statement couldn’t be truer as the two of us look back over our July. With weeks of seeing friends, attending work and camp, and soaking up the summer sun, the start of August took us by surprise! Nevertheless, the start of a new month brings another monthly recap; we take this chance to share the highlights of our month, while you can catch up on the best – and most recent – posts on the Doll Mag blog. How was your July?

What We Loved ♥ Bella kicked off her July with three weeks of working as a counselor at a local summer program; she helped incoming middle schoolers adjust to the new building, and, later, befriended first graders as they erupted homemade volcanoes in a science camp. The fun continued when she was asked to work crew at a community production of Stephen King’s Carrie. Although it wouldn’t be her first production of choice {too much fake blood and telekinesis for her liking}, she had a blast and made several new friends backstage. Bella finished up her eventful July by celebrating her birthday with family and starting a typography course at a nearby design college.

Lulu is also enjoying her summer vacation! Her mornings were well-spent watching all three seasons of Dance Academy for the third time {we can never get enough of Abigail and Sammy}, and the relaxation continued into the afternoon with new books to read – The Last Ever After, anyone? – and ice cream to make. Lulu also throughly enjoyed Newsies when the two of us saw it in early July, as well as the new films Minions and Mr. Holmes. Finally, Lulu has also started an art class at the same school; her course, however, is on miniature set design.

Monthly Recap July 2015Reader’s Favorites ♥ Bri’s Super Summer Live Blog / Happy National Ice Cream Day!

Lulu’s Favorites ♥ A Small Comments from Bri and a New Friend / Working on Wednesdays (34)

Bella’s Favorites ♥ Magazine (Late Summer 2015) / The Doll Mag Book Club Discussion (01)

Doll Mag Around the Web ♥ The Disney Dolls

Looking Ahead ♥ In our last monthly recap, we were counting down the days until summer break, but now, we are already prepping for the new school year! Both of us will be wrapping up our summer reading, going back-to-school shopping {Bella’s favorite}, and finding out our schedules in the coming weeks. Before we head back to the classroom, however, the two of us will be taking a family trip to Virginia – we can’t wait! In the meantime, we hope you’ll follow us on Instagram at @dollmagblog. We have posted nothing yet, but our first picture is on its way :)

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Staff Picks / July 2015


With July coming to a close, it’s time for another round of Staff Picks! The two of us have been writing this monthly feature since the beginning of the Doll Mag blog {i.e quite a long time}, and we still believe it’s important to highlight the work of other talented doll fans. Fortunately, summer seems to be treating us doll bloggers well – we had such a difficult choosing from July’s slew of creative posts! Since June escaped without its own staff picks, we packed today’s round-up with eight terrific finds to brighten up your Thursday. Read and spread some love.

July Staff Picks1 / Syddie, blogger of Snister’s Flock, is an outstanding photographer; we are often left in awe when we read her new posts! Thankfully for us and other admirers of her photos, she’s willing to share some of her secrets, as she does in her recent photo shoot. Her photos – with stunning bokeh – capture Caroline, Jimmy the Fox, and their doll sized world perfectly.

2 / We don’t follow A Girl for All Time as closely as, say, American Girl or Ever After High, but we were excited nonetheless to see the promotional photo of their newest doll: Sam, the line’s 1960’s girl! From her adorable rosy cheeks to her stylish mod dress, we’re sure she’ll be a sell-out come September. Thanks to Confessions of a Doll Collector’s Daughter for sharing the news!

3 / Charlie always seems to have a fun day planned and photographed. Case in point? Her recent post on her trip to the zoo! With the cutest tote bag and camera in hand, Charlie snapped pictures of lions, elephants, and other animals to share with her readers. All we want to know now is if we can join her on her next field trip!

4 / The two of us agree: if we were given a chance to travel anywhere in the world, Europe would be at the top of our lists! Sabine’s recent travel recap already had our attention with its title; we Audrey Hepburn fans know our Roman Holiday :) She follows up a great name with photos of famous sites and insight into her trip to Rome. Yes and yes.

5 / July was quite a busy month in the Ever After High World! Pictures of upcoming releases were posted online, the dolls themselves were shown at the San Diego Comic Con, and hints about the next hour-long special were released. Lulu was particularly excited about the new signature release dolls, and she eagerly stalked checked her favorite EAH blogs for photos from the Con. Her favorites? Justine Dancer {pictured here} and Heartstruck C.A. Cupid.

6 / Summer calls for light sundresses and evenings spent outside, two things that Charlotte and Becca from Simply Dollightful recently took advantage of. The gorgeous sun-drenched pictures of their photo story had us pulling out our own mini dolls and attempting to make as pretty of a French braid. Bonus points for the Anne of Green Gables reference!

7 / Clarisse rocks her sense of style with each new post she publishes, so of course it was no different of a case with her birthday recap. In typical Clarisse fashion, her party was complete with live music, chocolate cupcakes, and thoughtful gifts {we want that Kate Spade bag ourselves!}. Bella, as a July birthday buddy, definitely approves.

8 / We have mentioned our love of frozen treats before, so it came as no surprise that this tasty looking sorbet from A Peek Into the Pantry caught our eye. Gwen’s recipe for an Addy inspired Ice Orangeade is not only easy to follow, but also explained with a number of interesting historical facts. Time to get out the ice cream maker!

Happy Thursday!

Magazine / Late Summer 2015


Doll Mag July August 2015May and June seemed to whiz by, and although we feel like just yesterday we posted our last issue, we already have another edition of Doll Mag to share! The two of us love creating the late summer issue, as it always falls in the DM birthday month; besides our celebratory goodies, this particular edition includes some of the following articles…

  • an interview with Felicity Merriman and Elizabeth Cole, American Girl’s archived cuties from the time of the American Revolution.
  • a thorough timeline of the darling Strawberry Shortcake and her fruit-named friends.
  • a collection of modern fashion inspired by the wardrobe of the always stylish Audrey Hepburn.
  • two fun crafts that take advantage of summer’s hottest trend: pineapples!
  • and much, much more!

You can read the current edition on ISSUU or download it on Adobe Reader {we finally bought our media upgrade} HERE.

Like always, issue release day brings a number of links! First up is the bimonthly survey. Open to ALL of our readers, it gives you the chance to be featured in next issue’s Contents page. You can enter HERE!

We are in need of Etsy shop owners for next issue’s Shop Owner Spotlight. It’s a super easy process, so we hope you will sign up for an interview HERE.

Gabby is an advice columnist extraordinaire, and she would be delighted to answer your question for the September/October issue! Write her with your worry HERE.

There’s never a time when we don’t love hearing from you readers {although we do need to up our commenting and emailing game :)}. Write a letter to us HERE with your thoughts on the latest issue.

Finally, are you on summer break?! Use your free time to read through the DM back issues HERE on ISSUU.

Lots of love, hugs, and thanks,
Bella, Lulu, and the Doll Mag team

Psst. The winning book of the Doll Mag Book Club is Anne of Green Gables! We will be back with a schedule and more details later this week.

AG June Release 2015 / Lulu’s Thoughts


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! :)


AG June Release 2015 / Bella’s Thoughts


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!


Monthly Recap / May 2015


Monthly RecapHappy June! The two of us are counting down the days until summer break {only nineteen to go, in case you were curious :)}, but in the meantime, we thought we would kick off a fun-packed weekend with a brief monthly recap! As usual, we’ve shared the highlights of our month, the most popular posts of May, and the events we’re looking forward to most in June. How is YOUR spring/summer coming along?

What We Loved ♥ Bella started her May in the midst of an intense week for her school’s production of Shrek! As stage manager, she spent much of her time coordinating set changes, managing props and platforms, and running around backstage. The four performances went off without a hitch – she’s blocking one incident with the curtain rigging from her memory – and she’s delighted that so many of her family and friends enjoyed the show! After recovering from the musical, Bella spent the rest of May catching up on schoolwork, practicing her yoga and conditioning skills, and taking out far too many books from the library.

Lulu’s month was just as busy! While Bella was at her tech rehearsals, Lulu was participating in an one-act play festival with her school as one of the costume crew members. The entire cast and crew had been rehearsing since the winter, so it was exciting to see their hard work pay off. Lulu’s school brought home a silver medal, but more importantly, plenty of memories; she can’t wait to do it again next year. Afterwards, she welcomed the warm weather with open arms: riding her bike, playing badminton in the backyard, and shooting goals on the soccer field!

Monthly Recap May 2015Reader’s Favorites ♥ Magazine Early Summer 2015 / Springtime: A Photo Shoot

Lulu’s Favorites ♥ Comments from Bri (18)AG Release May 2015: Bella’s Thoughts

Bella’s Favorites ♥ Work It Like a Boss: Fabric 101 / Seven Days of Style (May 2015)

Doll Mag Around the Web ♥ Doll Diaries / Candidly Charlie / The Toy Box Philosopher / A Peek Into The Pantry / AG in the Shire / Little House of American Girl / The Disney Dolls / American Girl Fan

Looking Ahead ♥ As if we haven’t mentioned it enough, what the two of us are most looking forward to is the end of school! Before the year ends, however, Bella can’t wait to see Mumford and Sons in concert, attend a few award ceremonies for academics and theater, and begin her art class on Adobe Illustrator. Lulu, too, has several things she is looking forward to in June; most notably are The School for Good and Evil website update and her audition for next year’s school musical {Once on This Island, a very song-heavy show}.

Have a lovely start to your weekend!

Staff Picks / May 2015


May was a very busy month in the doll world: Caroline’s retirement was confirmed, the Truly Me revamp was seen for the first time, and we got a peek at the newest Beforever addition, Maryellen Larkin! Along with a hectic school schedule, we hadn’t gotten a chance to take a look at all of your lovely blogs and posts until earlier today. Luckily, we were able to squeeze in our Staff Picks before May was over, and we’re sure that these six fun reads will end your month on a happy note.

Staff Picks May 20151. The photographs at Glowy Zoe are never anything less than superb; the Learning to Skate photo story is just one recent example! The sun is a highlight to cutie Brooke’s attempts at roller-skating, lending itself to a number of stunning pictures.

2. Finding new blogs to read is always fun, so Lulu was very excited when she stumbled upon the site, The Realm of AG! All of Shannon’s posts are terrific, but Lulu’s favorite would have to be the Peculiars series (pictured above). She isn’t done reading them yet though, so no spoilers!

3. The Thing 1 and Thing 2 interview over at AG in the Shire had both of us giggling! Be sure to go check out Willow and Charlie’s attempts at interviewing their doormates – but just remember, whiskers are a must.

4. The two of us can’t wait to participate in this year’s Camp Doll Diaries. Char, Karen, Anna, and the rest of the Doll Diaries team work so hard to make each summer a success, and this year’s fun should be no different if the pre-camp activities are any indication. This simple, yet cute, pillow craft has us wishing for our own cabin mates.

5. We likely won’t make a trip to American Girl until we are on summer break, so, in the meantime, we can make do with the advice and photos from other doll bloggers. Kiki’s recent trip to see the Truly Me debut ended in the best way possible: relaxing on the new AG hammock. Shopping done right :)

6. Lulu loves these cute AG-themed coloring pages from Small Dolls in a Big World! The Beforever ones are her favorite, and she’s sure that she’ll be busy coloring away this summer. Isn’t Josefina’s goat adorable?!

Have a happy Saturday!

Lulu and Bella

AG May Release 2015 / Lulu’s Thoughts


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?