Seeing Green / Style

Hello!

Happy St. Patricks day! The spring weather made a stop up in New England today, and Bella and I took advantage of the warmer temperatures by spending the afternoon outside. In honor of today’s festivities, we’ve put together a collection of our favorite green Etsy listings for your 18-inch doll. Enjoy!

Skirt{buy the skirt}

Shoes{buy the shoes}

Top{buy the top}

dress{buy the dress}

Have a great rest of your week!

Lulu

All image backgrounds are from Pumpkins & Posies

Reviews for the Wintertime

Hello!

How are you all? Lulu and I are keeping our eyes on the forecast for the weekend, as we’re anxious for a snowfall! In the meantime, however, we thought we’d pop in with a set of product reviews: one on the Warm Winter Outfit and Accessories, which Lulu was kindly gifted at Christmas {it was timely too – winter in New England certainly calls for a cute sweater and hat!} and another on the new Diabetes Set, which I snagged on the day of Lea’s release at the AG store. Both have their pros and cons, as you’ll see in our thoughts below. If you have either set, what do you think of them?

Lulu will take it away first! :)

IMG_0589My least favorite part about the Warm Winter outfit would have to be the leggings. While a great color, they fit awkwardly in the top half of the leg and don’t work very well as bottoms with the short sweater. They should come in handy however, when mixing and matching in the future!

IMG_0600The orange and dark purple color palette can be hard to pull off, but when done right, it can be one of my favorite combinations. In this case, I’m a fan! The material is soft and cozy, and I love the cut of the neckline. The heart elbow patches are cute, but I wish the color of them was subtler. I could do without the asymmetrical hemline as well.

Louisa in the SnowI am a huge fan of fluffy winter hats, so you can imagine my excitement when I first saw this adorable accessory! The fair aisle pattern is detailed, but not too busy, and adds a bit of fun to the outfit. And the pom-pom on top and fleece lining? Yes, please!

Louisa in the SnowAG usually does a pretty good job with their winter boots, and this time was no different! Using the same fabric as the hat, the orange cording and purple accents pull out the main color elements of the outfit. They’re quite easy to get on, and make it simple for your doll to stand – looking stylish while doing so, of course.

Doll mittens and gloves can be a bit tricky – full fingered gloves are too hard to slip onto AG hands, and if mittens are too loose, they are prone to fall off. The solution in this case? Fingerless gloves! Admittedly, these took me way longer to put to put on than they probably should have, and they’re not the most practical things in the world, but they sure are cute and help tie the outfit together.

Louisa in the SnowFinally we have the vest, which is made of a dark quilted fabric lined with fleece. It fits easily over the sweater, and while movement is a bit restricted when the Velcro is fully attached, it looks nice open or closed. It’s a great extra layer for winter days!

Overall? Some elements in the Warm Winter Outfit could use tweaking, but the majority of it is made up of cute and comfortable pieces in one of my favorite colors. I would recommend it for its accessories {especially the hat and the boots} and altogether winter-y look.

Buy it for yourself: Warm Winter Outfit and Warm Winter Accessories

American Girl Diabetes KitMy turn! As I had mentioned in my initial thoughts, I couldn’t be happier that American Girl had finally released a kit for their diabetic fans. Though the colors and materials veer to unrealistic, the accuracy of said pieces are top-notch. In other words? I could do without the blatant plastic look of the accessories, but I give my wholehearted approval to the intention behind each part, whether it’s the adorable miniature meter or the canister of glucose tablets.

American Girl Diabetes Kit and BagEverything fits neatly into the included bag – any diabetic will tell you that there’s a lot to carry around! I like the opportunity AG provides to personalize the kit; it’s a nice touch, and I personally think it only adds to the set’s appeal.

American Girl Diabetes Log and MeterOne drawback to the set? The lack of test strips! It’s a shame they didn’t include them because all other pieces clearly had so much thought put into them. Case in point: the journal, which has ample space for any doll diabetic to log and track her blood sugars throughout the day.

Overall, though, I’m pleased with the set. The play and educational purpose it serves greatly outweighs its cost {and at $24, it leans towards the cheaper end of the AG line}. American Girl has taken great measures to diversify their medical line, and in doing so, I believe they truly live up to the message of their brand. Thumbs up from me!

Buy it for yourself: Diabetes Care Kit

Have a terrific afternoon!
Bella {and Lulu!}

The Doll Mag Book Club / Winter 2016

Hello!

Doll Mag Winter Book ClubHappy Sunday! Are you enjoying the long weekend? Going out with friends? Catching up on your favorite television show? Or, perhaps, reading a good book? We’re right there with you – Lulu and I love to read, and we frequently take the time before bed or on free afternoons to dive into our library books.

Avid readers that we are, we launched the DM Book Club last summer; throughout July and August {and a bit of September as well}, we read one of our favorite classics, Anne of Green Gables, and discussed it weekly with you all! The two of us had such a good time that we are planning yet another round for the winter months. This time, we’ve chosen Ally Carter’s YA classic, I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You, the first story in the Gallagher Girl series.

Lulu and I both read and adored this entire set of books, and we hope you will as well! {Fair warning: we tried to choose a novel that most Doll Mag readers would enjoy; Common Sense Media recommends it for ages 11-12 and up}. Our summer book club was an excellent learning experience, and we think this round will go even better than before.

If you’re interested in joining us, set your calendar for the dates below:

  • January 31: Chapters One through Seven
  • February 15: Chapters Eight through Fourteen
  • February 28: Chapters Fifteen through Twenty-One
  • March 13: Chapters Twenty-Two through Twenty-Eight

Have a lovely afternoon!
Bella

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!

Magazine / Holiday 2015

Hi friends!

Doll Mag November DecemberWe here at Doll Mag wish you a very happy Thanksgiving! :) The two of us don’t want to keep you from your turkey, gravy, and mashed potatoes, so we’ll get right to the good stuff. Here’s what you can find in our holiday issue…

  • an interview with one of American Girl’s original historical dolls, Kirsten Larson.
  • two crafts to get your doll baking in the kitchen.
  • a quiz to find which winter creature matches your personality.
  • a brief history of rocker dolls, Jem and the Holograms.
  • and much, much more!

You can read the newest edition on ISSUU or download it on Adobe Reader HERE.

If you have more time to spare {recovering from your food coma, perhaps?}, click through our monthly links! First, enter the reader survey HERE for the chance to be featured in the January/February issue with your doll.

We love Etsy shop owners, so much so that we created a whole feature to highlight them! Though Shop Owner Spotlight is booked through the spring, you can still enter your information HERE and we’ll get in touch regarding our next opening.

As the official DM advice columnist, Gabby is always willing to answer your questions! Shoot her your concerns HERE; we’ll be sure to feature one or two responses in our next issue.

Your comments are instant daymakers. We make it easy – simply submit a letter to the editors HERE.

Finally, our archive is filled to the brim with back issues. Read them all HERE.

Many thanks to all of YOU, and, better yet, happy holiday season!

xo,
Bella, Lulu, and the DM team

Working on Wednesdays / 36

Hello!

Thanksgiving Illustration Chuck Groenink{via}

Happy Wednesday, friends! Lulu and I apologize for taking a brief hiatus without warning; the two of us didn’t plan to go two weeks without posting. Now that we’ve both had the chance to catch our breaths and devote our attention to DM matters, we wanted to share a few Doll Mag updates in a new “Working on Wednesdays” – a little housekeeping, if you will. Then let’s chat: what have we missed on your sites? In doll scoop? With our favorite readers?

First, we are planning to publish our holiday issue on Wednesday, November 25. Think of it as a special treat to read alongside your turkey day leftovers! :) We have been working hard on wrapping up each article, and we’ll be finishing our final design elements this weekend. Thank you for your patience; we think the wait will have been worth it {Hamilton reference for the win}.

Second, we recognize the lack of posts on the DM blog! Lulu and I like to live by the motto of “quality over quantity,” so when life gets busy, we would rather keep the site quiet than hastily put a post together. Hopefully, you understand our slow blogging approach, but with the holidays coming, our hope is that it won’t last forever.

And that brings us to our third and final point: mark your calendars for December 1, the return of Holiday Headquarters! This will be our third year running our series of festive posts, and the two of us couldn’t be more excited for it to begin. Let the gingerbread-making and present-wrapping commence!

Have a terrific night!
Bella

Snug as a Bug / Style

Hello!

Warm, cozy, and comfortable are staple qualities in an autumnal wardrobe, but that shouldn’t discount the importance of style too! With sweater weather upon us, Lulu and I wanted to focus a new style post {yes, also, hi, we’ve been awful at updating lately} on our favorite sweaters of the season. From cute pullover sweatshirts to trendy knitted cardigans, there’s surely a sweater below for every member of your doll family. What Etsy items have caught your eye this month?

Snug as a Bug 01{buy the sweater}

Snug as a Bug 02{buy the sweater}

Snug as a Bug 03{buy the sweater}

Snug as a Bug 04{buy the sweater}

Snug as a Bug 05{buy the sweater}

Have a lovely day!
Bella

The Doll Mag Book Club Summer Discussion / 06

Hi!

The Doll Mag Book ClubHello and welcome to the last Anne of Green Gables Doll Mag Book Club discussion! If you’re just joining us, we’re discussing L. M. Montgomery’s classic story, Anne of Green Gables, all throughout July, August, September, and October. The book club discussions are moderated by two of our models, Nicki and Louisa, both book worms themselves. Anyone can be part of the club – comment your answers to the questions below, tell us your thoughts, or even just mention your favorite quote or scene from this set of chapters! Today we will be talking about chapters 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, so let’s travel with Anne to Queen’s College and Avonlea…

Remember – spoilers ahead! Louisa’s flying solo this week, though Nicki hopes to add in her thoughts sometime soon :)

“‘You’ve all passed, every one of you, Moody Spurgeon and all, although he’s conditioned in history.‘” 

1. What were your thoughts when we found out that Anne got into Queen’s College? 

Louisa: I’m so proud of Anne – and all the other Avonlea students (even Josie!). We’ve seen them through their early years and having them head off to a new school makes me smile. They’ve all worked so hard and come so far, although I must admit I’m a little pleased that Anne and Gilbert’s competitive natures haven’t completely disappeared.

“‘But suddenly, as her dilated, frightened eyes gazed put over the audience, she saw Gilbert Blythe at the way back of the room, bending forward with a smile on his face – a smile that seemed to Anne at once triumphant and taunting…She would not fail in front of Gilbert Blythe – he should never be able to laugh at her, never, never.'”

2. In this set of chapters, Anne recited a poem for a concert. What did you think of her performance and the crowd’s reactions? 

Louisa: Oh goodness, this made me laugh. Leave it to Anne to find the courage to speak in front of others through her rivalry with Gilbert! Stage fright can be terribly hard to overcome though, so I’m immensely happy that she was able to so, as well as wow the crowds of the White Sands Hotel.

“‘Well now, I’d rather have you than a dozen boys, Anne.’ Matthew said, patting her hand. ‘Just mind you that – rather than a dozen boys.'”

3. Only a few pages before the end of the book, Marilla and Anne suffer a great loss. How were you effected by this event?

Louisa: Matthew! He’s always been one of my favorite characters, so the moment Marilla told Anne he was feeling sickly, I got worried. As much as his death saddened me, I’m glad he was able to see Anne do so many great things at school and grow up to be such a lovely young lady. I’m also glad Marilla and Anne were able to lean on each other, in their own ways.

“‘I didn’t think you and Gilbert Blythe were such good friends that you would stand for a half hour at the gate talking to him,’ said Marilla with a dry smile. ‘We haven’t been – we’ve been such good enemies.‘” 

4. Now that we’ve reached the end of this book, what are your opinions on the overall story and characters? 

Louisa: It’s no wonder Anne has been considered one of literature’s favorite heroes since her book’s publication! The moment she arrives on the scene, you instantly feel more imaginative and curious yourself. This book managed to make me laugh and cry and cringe and smile all at the same time, and I hope it inspires other readers for many years to come.

We can’t wait to hear what YOU have to say in today’s discussion. Feel free to share your favorite quote too, as we have done above!

We’ve had so much fun on this reading adventure with our book club members! Surveys and posts regarding the next reading selection will be up on the blog sometime in the next month, so be sure to check back soon for updates. We would love to hear your thoughts!

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!

Shop Owner Spotlight / 10

Hi!

Nini Says SewJust in time for the first day of fall, we are back with another round of Shop Owner Spotlight! Both Lulu and I are delighted to welcome Lori; she owns the online store Nini Says Sew, a shop that not only sells adorable clothes for dolls, but pieces for young kiddos as well {can you say impressive?!}. We haven’t bought anything from her yet, but Lori’s eye for vintage styles has us excited for future roll-outs. We’ll keep the rest of our introduction short and sweet, because you surely know the drill of the feature by now: we ask Etsy shop owners a series of questions on their behind-the-scenes work {think outfit inspiration and doll models}, they kindly answer with interesting responses, and we give them a shout-out in the latest issue and right here on the DM blog. Here’s Lori full interview!

What inspired you to start your shop?

I have been sewing for many years. I used to make matching outfits for my daughter and her American Girl doll. Now my granddaughter has a doll so I am making clothes for her. I also have a collection of 18″ dolls, and I love all the clothes I can make for them.

How do you come up with the ideas for your outfits?

I love vintage patterns and dresses. I look for vintage style outfits when looking for patterns.

What are your favorite color combinations?

I like to combine bright colors. Lately I have been sewing with a lot of fabric that has teal in it.

What are your favorite pieces to make?

Dresses!

Finally, we would love to know a little bit about your dolls.

In our family we have:

  • American Girl of Today circa 1994
  • My daughter’s Bitty Baby doll
  • Circa 1995 Just Like You doll purchased 2014
  • My granddaughter’s doll Molly
  • My doll Kit {my favorite of all my dolls}
  • Just Like You doll with dark hair and blue eyes {purchased from Ebay}
  • Bitty Twins
  • Many other dolls from Our Generation, My Life, My Twin, and Madame Alexander!

A HUGE thank you to Lori! I’d imagine vintage sewing patterns are an excellent source of inspiration, and her doll family seems like a tight-knit collection :)

If you’re interested in being featured as an Etsy shop owner, read more and sign up HERE! We have interviews booked throughout the spring, but we’ll fit you in as soon as we can.

Have a lovely evening!