Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My Birthday...updated :)

Just thought I'd update you all on how my birthday ended up after its unpromising beginning. :}  My daughter ended up being able to go to school and did fine through the whole day.  I succumbed to my naturally clumsy nature and turned my ankle as I left to take her to school, falling off of our back step in the process (I'm sooo glad it was at home and not at the undignified!).  It was super embarrassing, but I was able to walk on it okay so I went ahead and took her to school. 

I think I mentioned before that my husband got the whole day off so he could spend it with me.  We did some things around the house in the morning and then dropped our younger two girls off with my husband's sister.  She graciously agreed to watch them and even pick our oldest up from school for us!

My husband went and saw "Despicable Me" in the theaters this summer and really enjoyed it.  He's been wanting to take me to see since then, but with our schedules we haven't been able to do it.  Well, yesterday, at our local theater, they just happened to have one daytime showing of "Despicable Me", so we were able to go and see it.  Even better, no one else showed up, so we had the entire theater to ourselves!  It was really fun.  I liked the movie, too, which was nice.  It probably won't make my top 10 list, but it was still good enough that I was able to enjoy myself.

After the movie we did some random running around, including getting my wedding ring cleaned, looking at cell phones, and visiting antique stores and a crafter's mall (where I found a genuine AG Kit's Christmas dress for $12.75!).  We topped it all off with an early dinner at "Red Lobster", our favorite restaurant, sharing one of our favorites, their shrimp trio dish.  Yumm!! :)

And if all that wasn't enough, after we picked up the girls and brought them home, my hubby took care of their dinner and started the girls' baths so that I could go to Starbucks with my best friend who was in town visiting her family.  All in all, it was a great birthday.

We have a family party on this coming Saturday.  My mom and I have birthdays just a week apart, and my sister-in-law to be has her birthday in between ours, so we're doing a combined birthday that should be lots of fun.  In the coming week I'll be posting some pics of birthday goodies, so keep checking back! :)

Ella models her new dress (Kit's Christmas Dress).

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

It's my Birthday!!!

Hi everyone.  Just thought I'd type up a post, as I have nothing better to do right now and would rather still be in bed.  It's my birthday, and I'm spending it like any mom would, sitting up with my daughter who can't stop coughing.  My husband and I had a big day planned...he got the whole day off and everything.  If my daughter can't go to school, though, those plans may fall through.  Oh well, at least we'll be together.  I'm sure it will all work out. 

This is my last year in my 20s.  Next year, I'll officially turn 30.  Kinda weird.  Mentally, I still feel like I'm about 22 or so.  I think of my mom still in her 40s and my aunt still in her 30s.  It always surprises me when I realize my mom's in her 50s, my aunt is turning 40 this year, and I'm having to go to the 3rd age bracket in any surveys or questionnaires I fill out.  I've heard people say that your mind stays young as you age...I'm starting to understand that more now.  My dad, who's in his 60s now, has talked to me before about how it still surprises him how old he is.

When I was in high school, 30 sounded so old.  I was sure it would be the end of everything (I was slightly over dramatic back then...I'm slowly getting better). :)  Now it's not such a big deal, just a little surreal.  No matter what, I know my Heavenly Father is there to guide me every step of the way, and that's a comforting thought.

So, not sure how I'll be spending my day today.  I may be feeding my daughter chicken soup and keeping her supplied with tissue and Vics all day.  Oh well, maybe we can watch a fun movie all together or something (like "Baby Einstein:  Baby's Favorite Places"...whoop-dee-doo).  Seriously, though, I'm not as crushed as I thought I'd be.  It's just the way life goes when you're a mom.  :} 

I'm just so glad I finally unearthed the disaster area that was my living room.  Now I've just got to resurrect the playroom.  :}  Maybe that's what I'll do today!  

Hope you guys have a great day! :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thrift Store Find and a Re-arranged Doll Room

Hi everyone!  I just had to share my latest treasure I unearthed at the Salvation Army Thrift Store.  I was there this morning with my two youngest daughters and found this beautiful little wooden jewelry box that looks just like a miniature dresser.  It was in really nice shape and was only $10 (conveniently, I'd just sold something on Craigslist for $10 the day before!).  On the back, it has someone's name and then "Christmas 1970" in matching paint.  It looks like it was probably a handmade Christmas gift for someone in the 70's.  Isn't that cool?  The thing that made me laugh is that it shows how full circle popular colors have come.  You'd find something in these colors in a store today!  :)  Here's a pic:

Isn't it beautiful?  It's got the same painted flowers on the sides, too.  It's hard to tell with the awful lighting in my room, but it's a kind of sage green with gold trim and brown and tan flowers.

So, once I got my new little dresser home, I realized that I needed to majorly re-think my doll room to get it to fit.  After about an hour, this is what I came up with:

Okay, now for some close-ups, since this pretty much shows you nothing! ;)

Here's the dolls' closet/shelf combo, made from an old medicine cabinet (also from Salvation Army).

Here's the top, with a clock, pictures, Danielle's seashell collection, and some of Tess's figurines. 

This shelf has Ella's dolls...

...and the bottom shelf has the girls' books, Hailey's scrapbook and Hello Kitty things, Tess's tea tin, and a Curious George Altoids tin.

Next to the closet is the little plant stand I use for a table, with the girls' pics on top.  In the background you can see their mirror.

The girls always keep out their old toys so that when their little cousin Lucy comes to visit, she has something to play with besides all of Ella's nice dolls!

And here's the couch and chair with the new dresser in between.  To the right is the Squinkies Cupcake Surprize Bakery (my daughters and I use it every Friday and it's a convenient place to put it). :)

After I rearranged everything, all the dolls had to try it out.

Lucy, trying the vanity chair in its new spot.  She's been spending a lot of time with her cousins.  She feels lost on her shelf without her big sister (Katie) there.

Ella and Emily just chillin'.

Hailey and Danielle visit in the corner.

They seemed to approve of the changes.  ;)

Hope you enjoyed the post! :)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Veer-Zaara and My Newest Doll

Something amazing happened two weeks ago.  My husband, who'd been spending his spare time trying out some Bollywood movies on Netflix instant play, came home from his morning job with a huge bouquet of roses and carnations.  Shortly afterwards, when he went in to take his shower, he started by scrubbing the bathtub.  The next morning, he unloaded my dishwasher. 

Now, let me clarify here.  I have a very sweet, loving husband.  But he's a very busy, tired husband.  He does get me flowers every once in a while, although it has been several months since the last bouquet.  I guess I'm trying to say that the flowers weren't a total shocker.  The bathtub and the dishwasher were, though.  As sweet as my husband is, he's completely oblivious to things around the house.

This can work to my advantage, as being a mom of 3 girls 6 and under is not very conducive to a tidy least for me! :}  But the disadvantage is that he also doesn't notice when I might need a hand with things.  Quite honestly, one of the most special ways my husband can show his love for me is to help with the housework.

When I asked him to explain this strange phenomenon, he said that 2 of the Bollywood movies he'd watched inspired him to be a better husband and made him appreciate me more.  All I was thinking was, Okay, I've GOT to see these movies!  And then maybe buy them and play them randomly throughout the year!!

So, we watched them together.  The first one was called "Wake Up, Sid".  I enjoyed it as a once or twice kind of movie.  It did definitely help me understand my husband a little bit more. :)  There were a few things in it I didn't care for.

The next one was called "Veer-Zaara".  This one, I absolutely LOVED!!  I'll admit, it took a while to get used to a serious movie with random song and dance numbers interspersed (and speaking of the songs, I loved the music and the guy's voice, but I really didn't care for the girl's voice).  By halfway thru the movie, though, you're totally hooked.  The story is so sweet (have a box of tissues on hand if you decide to watch it).  There's one song I didn't care for as much.  It's pretty sensual in parts, plus she's basically going crazy, seeing this guy everywhere when he's not really there.  And a word of warning:  You have to be in the right mood when you watch this movie!!  If you're in an analytical or completely realistic mood, it will seem like one big joke.  In fact, it actually surprised me that my husband liked it so much (he even teared up when we were watching it together!).  It's the type of movie that he and my brother would usually make into an MST3K commentary (Mystery Science Theater 3000, for those of you wondering what that means).

I really loved Veer-Zaara.  I even found the songs on and added them to my playlist.  It was neat to see the strong character of Veer.  It also touched me how much my husband looked up to his strength and was inspired to have that sort of love.

Okay, so for those of you wondering what on earth all this has to do with anything, :)  I started playing around with the idea of trying to make a Zaara doll (Zaara is the name of the other main character in the movie, the girl that Veer loves).  As I might have mentioned before, I'm giving dolls to my daughters and my 2 nieces around their ages for Christmas this year.  I had an extra Madame Alexander Friends 4 Life Doll that I ended up not needing for them after all.  She just happened to have the right skin and close to the right eye color for Zaara. 

I'd sold some things on ebay, so I had a little money to play around with.  On ebay, I was able to find an Indian Sari, sold by ebay seller Carpatina.  It wasn't the same color as anything Zaara wore in the movie, but it gave the idea.  I also found a fantastic wig, originally for Blythe dolls.  The ebay seller shopoholican has a great selection of wigs for Blythe dolls, and they fit AG, Gotz, and Madame Alexander dolls too.  They're a good tight fit, but they end up going down the forhead a little too far, so you have to work with them.  And I think if you got one with bangs they'd have to be trimmed.  I first got the idea of using Blythe wigs from stephenswodadancer of YouTube.  So, thanks again, Sarah! :)

The particular wig I got probably wouldn't be good for play because you can't brush it (it's a permed-look with gel in it), but some of the straighter wigs would be better.  For a collector, though, these wigs are great!  

So, without further ado, here are some pics of Zaara.  She's a work in progress.  I'd still like to add some of her jewels and things.  The necklace she's wearing in the picture at the top of my post is a necklace from Wal-Mart.  Eventually, I'd like to use the alchemy option on and have someone design one of her actual outfits from the movie.  I'd most likely try for her Lodi outfit because it's so colorful and interesting.      

I also found these really pretty little jeweled boxes that are just the right size for Zaara and have an East Indian flair to them (see pic below).  They open up to store trinkets and treasures, and were only 25 cents each at my local thrift store! :)  The silver jingle bell anklet is one I found on eBay.  The silver anklet Zaara wears in the movie plays an important part.   I'm hoping to make this shorter so that Zaara can wear it around her ankle. 

Here are some pics of my Gotz doll Emily and my Alexander Girlz doll Maggie with Zaara's wig on, just so you can get an idea of how the wig fits them (sorry, I don't have any American Girl dolls without hair to try it on).

Emily, feeling a little odd without her blonde locks...

...and Maggie, seeing how she would look with a perm.  She decided she prefers her straighter hair. 

Hope you guys enjoyed the post!  I'll give you updates as I modify her look.  I'll also try to find some downloadable pics from Veer-Zaara to put on my blog.  And I would totally recommend watching it on Netflix if you have it.  Who knows?  Maybe you'll get your dishwasher unloaded, too. :)

Monday, September 20, 2010

FYI: Alexander Girlz Dolls by Madame Alexander now in Costco!

Hey everyone, just wanted to let you know that this year's versions of Madame Alexander's Alexander Girlz dolls are in Costco.  I haven't had a chance to see them yet, but my mom spotted them and gave me the head's up.  These dolls have the same faces as my Maggie doll.  They are only around $25 and they go fast.  If you want a nice cheaper alternative to an American Girl doll or a friend for them that's less expensive, grab one of these sweeties!  As I've mentioned before, their hair is pretty awful, but they can be re-wigged, and they have the most adorable faces.  The clothing's not quite up to the AG standard, either, but they fit into most AG clothing.  For a review on these dolls versus AG and Gotz dolls, check out my earlier blog post HERE.  I'll give you more information on the Costco dolls once I've seen them myself. 
Just a reminder of how cute they are:  here's a pic of my re-wigged Alexander Girlz doll, Maggie. 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Katie's First Trip as a Traveling Doll

    Hi all!  Just a quick post to let you know that my Katie doll is officially taking her first trip as a traveling doll.  My daughters have a friend that moved about 9 hours away and they miss her a lot.  We're hoping to take a trip to see them in a year or so.
    In the meantime, the girls' friend was up for a family wedding, so I sent Katie with them when they left.  The plan is that Katie will get some pics with my daughters' friend in some of her favorite places.  Then my girls will be able to "visit" their friend without going to see her.  I'm really excited to see how it works out! :) 
    Hope everyone's having a great weekend!
Katie...all ready to go! :)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Fun Accessories for your 18" Doll

     Hello, everyone.  Well, I had this really nifty video that gave a tour of my doll collection and shared ideas for some inexpensive and unique items you could use for your dolls.  Unfortunately, my camera appears to have deleted it without my knowledge.  Since I don't have the video anymore and have no clue whether I'll even set up a YouTube account, I thought I'd just take some pics and share my info with you, my faithful blog followers and readers. 

    First off, how many of you have heard of Scrabble Tile Necklaces?  I just discovered these on this past summer and I LOVE them.  Basically, it's a necklace pendant made out of an old Scrabble tile.  There's an image printed on the front and sealed with a glaze so it doesn't come off.  There are hundreds of designs to choose from.  I love using them for my dolls.  Here are the Scrabble tile Necklaces I have for my girls: 

This one belongs to Tess, since she's such a Jane Austen fan. :)

Here's Maggie's.  I was so excited to find this pretty unicorn Scrabble tile.

Danielle loves "The Wizard of Oz", so this Ruby Slipper pendant was perfect.  Also, she was named after my favorite contestant on the British TV show "Over the Rainbow", as I've mentioned before.  This pendant was even more appropriate for her because the winner of the TV show won the pair of Ruby Slippers they'd be wearing at the West End. :)  The sea shell charm was one I bought on my vacation to the ocean.

Katie loves the movie "Roman Holiday", so when I found this Scrabble tile with a picture of Audrey Hepburn in that movie, I knew this was the right one for her.

Lucy loves ballet and Barbies, so what better pendant for her than a Barbie ballerina? :)

Ella's necklace is a little bit different.  It's a glass tile pendant, so it's a little larger and made differently (I'm not exactly sure how).  She loves musicals, and "Singin' in the Rain" is her favorite, so this was perfect for her.  Incidentally, this glass pendant is how I found  It came up when I googled "singin' in the rain necklace".  :) 

    Similar to the Scrabble tile pendant idea is the Bottle cap pendant, as shown here with my Emily doll:

I couldn't find a "Monsters Inc." Scrabble tile anywhere, but I found this bottle cap one that's perfect for my Pixar-lovin' Emily (especially since "Monsters Inc." is her favorite).  As a side note, her shell pendant was purchased at the same place as Danielle's.

    There are lots of these out there as well.  I really love the Scrabble tile and Bottle cap necklaces because you can get a perfectly unique necklace for each doll that tells something about her interests or personality.  And of course, they're great for people, too. :)  So be sure to head to and search for "scrabble tile pendant".  Or, if you're good with your hands and want to try to make some yourself, I found a great "how to" video for these on YouTube, done by user michellelovespaper.  I've posted a direct link HERE.

      You can use other things for doll necklaces, too, such as this Hello Kitty child's bracelet I used for Hailey's necklace...

     ...and also this red beaded anklet I used for Felicity's coral necklace, since the seller I bought her from didn't have it.  Instead of paying around $30 on eBay for her real necklace, I paid $5 for a set of 3 beaded anklets at Wal-Mart! :)

     One other thing I discovered is that postcards and greeting cards make great doll posters.  Most of the ones I have I found on eBay.  If I had a specific movie, actor, or animal in mind, I just typed it in the search box.  For example, for Emily's posters, I put "disney pixar mini poster" or "disney pixar postcard" in the search box on eBay.  Here are some of the things I found:

These postcards came in a lot someone was selling on ebay...they came from Hong Kong! :)

This one was also from Hong Kong (from a different seller).  I found this when I typed in "pixar mini poster".  It looks like it might have been a promotional flyer handed out for the movie.  It's an even better poster size than the postcards.

Here are some various postcards and pics I attached to the dolls' closet (made from an old bathroom medicine cabinet) to use as posters for them.  The "Singing in the Rain" one at the top is a postcard modeled after one of the original movie posters.  The girl on the top right is Danielle Hope, winner of "Over the Rainbow".  I printed a picture I found online and colored it with colored pencils to give it a touch of color.  There's a black and white pic of Emma and Mr. Knightley at their wedding (also a computer print out), and then pictures cut from books of Prince Char and Ella ("Ella Enchanted") and Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy ("Pride and Prejudice"). 

     I'm so happy I found Maggie's beautiful unicorn "posters"!  These were greeting cards that came in a collectible tin.  The artist's name is Ruth Sanderson.  I've never seen more wonderful paintings of unicorns in my life! :)

(and yes, I know the top poster is horribly crooked!)
Just in case you're wondering, I attached these with photo splits (from my scrapbooking supplies) so that I can easily remove them later if I need to.

    Something else I've done is take pics of my dolls and develop them in wallet sized prints.  Then I searched through thrift stores and dollar stores and found miniature picture frames.  These are really easy to find!  When you put the wallet sized print in the mini frame, it makes a perfect picture just the right size for your doll! 

I even had some developed in black and white, just for fun. :)

     Another fun thing I've discovered, mostly at yard sales, thrift stores, or used book stores, is little miniature books.  These books are actually a little big, but close enough to regular doll size to work.  I've found some great ones!

Sorry, blogger was stubborn again and wouldn't upload this in the right direction!

It's so nice to have actual books for your dolls.

     Can't find the book you want?  Make your own! :)  I found some mini blank books sold by lovvbugg on eBay and covered them with scrapbooking paper to make my own books for the dolls.  There aren't any words on the inside, but at least they look great on the outside.  Here are some pics:

For this one, I added a picture I'd printed online of Lizzy and Mr. Darcy.  It looks pretty good, if I do say so myself. ;)

Ella loves the book "Ella Enchanted", so I cut out this pic of Anne Hathaway as Ella from a book I found on eBay.

For the back of the book, I used colored pencils on a pic I'd printed, then copied the back of my own "Ella Enchanted" book. 

    I used to be an avid scrapbooker.  Now I'm really behind on my real scrapbooks.  When I was at a yard sale, though, I found this really cool Mary Engelbright mini photo album, designed to hold wallet-sized pics.  When I saw it, I thought, "Why not make a mini doll scrapbook?"  So here are some pics of Hailey's scrapbook.  She's worked really hard on it! ;) 

    The nice thing about such a tiny scrapbook is you can get pages done in a snap! :)  It's a lot easier than my people-sized ones.

    I've had a lot of fun searching for Pixar toys for Emily.  Most of them were on Ebay, and most of them came from Hong Kong or China.  I especially loved these little miniatures made by the Tomy company.  Here are some pics of Jack Jack from "The Incredibles" (still in his package, which, by the way, is just the right size for Emily), Gill from "Finding Nemo" (in his own little fish tank), and Boo from "Monsters Inc".  They're really small, but painted surprisingly well for their size:

Wall-E and Eve were also eBay finds.  They're really cool.  Both of them are poseable, and the perfect size for Emily.

     Lastly, I just wanted to share some pics of some everyday items you may not have thought about using for your dolls, but they work great! :) 

     Here's a cute jewelry box designed to look like a dresser.  I found this at a Yard Sale for only fifty cents!  The drawers open and close (except for the top row, since the whole top of the dresser opens).  I use it to store doll hair stuff. 

     Interested in Barbies or My Little Ponies for your dolls?  The Barbie dolls sold at McDonald's work really well, as Lucy is demonstrating here.  The Ponyville My Little Ponies are great, too.

     Pretty much any miniature McDonald's toys work great for your dolls.  I also love using the TY Beanie Babies and Madame Alexander Dolls from there, too. 

     The best thing I can say is use your imagination!  As you're shopping around, look for things that would be the right size for your dolls.  You don't have to spend a fortune to buy the spendier name-brand doll items.  The fun thing about finding these types of items is that then you'll have a fun story for each accessory or piece of furniture you find. 

     Hope you found this article helpful.  Have a great week! :)