Meet Beatrice!

Hi!

Meet Beatrice 1I hope you’re all having a lovely start to your week! Although I’m feeling a bit under the weather, (colds are no fun!) I couldn’t wait to share the newest addition to our doll family. Over the weekend, I received the EAH Forest Pixie Harelow doll as a gift, and fell in love with her adorable bunny ears and spring-y dress. I ended up renaming her Beatrice (after Peter Rabbit author Beatrix Potter) and decided that she’s a fan of animals, illustration, riding her bike, and gardening. Yesterday afternoon, the two of us headed outside for a sunlight-filled photo shoot…

Meet Beatrice 4

Beatrice and a new friend.

Meet Beatrice 3

Meet Beatrice 5And of course, I couldn’t leave out another bunny bud who joined our household this weekend…

Bunny!What have you and your dolls been up to lately?

Lulu & Beatrice

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

Meet Molly!

Hi!

When I first became interested in the Ever After High line a few years ago, I immediately fell in love with the turquoise-haired, tea-loving Madeline Hatter. In fact, I was so in love that I planned on getting her as my first EAH doll, but my local store didn’t have her in stock; so you can then imagine how excited I was when I received her Sugar Coated doll as a birthday gift a couple of weeks ago! After excitedly ripping the paper off her box, I was happy to see that she is just as cute in person as she is in the pictures. And so, without further ado, here’s Molly! {also known as Maddie}

Molly 6I usually rename my Ever After High dolls, and this time was no different! After a little bit of brainstorming, my mom, Bella, and I finally decided on calling this Wonderland cutie Molly. I’ve also decided that she loves tea, roller skating, sci-fi and time travel books, and baking shows. She and Gigi can have endless Masterchef marathons!

Over the weekend, Molly and I grabbed some tea-themed fabric and snapped a few introductory photos…

Molly 1 Molly 2 Molly 3Molly 4Happy Monday!

Lulu and Molly

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

Hello!

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.

xo,
Bella, Lulu, and the DM team

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