Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year, Updates, and a Special Giveaway

Happy New Year, everyone!!  I hope this year is a blessed one for you and your families.  I'm so thankful for 2010 and so many of the things I enjoyed in it.  I can't wait to see what 2011 holds! :)

I'm not really big on New Year's Resolutions because I never keep them and then I just have something else to feel guilty about.  However, I've decided to post a list of some things I'd like to try to work on this year.

  1.  Being better at regular Bible reading and's amazing how much better my days go when I have the right focus! :)
  2.  Exercise and eating right!!!! (I'd like to lose about 10-20 lbs)
  3.  House cleaning/meal planning/organization in general.  Yeah, let's just say that organizational skills aren't really my strong point.  I'd like to work on that.
  4.  Spending more quality time with my girls.  Sure, I'm with them all day, but it's amazing how often I let them entertain themselves while I clean or do bills or check my "to do" list or write or blog...well, you get the idea. :)
  5.  Work on my writing.  I'd like to finish the rough draft of my story I'm working on, at the very least.

So, who knows how many of those things will actually happen, but maybe making up a list for myself will be a good reminder. :)

I wanted to let all of my readers know that I recently switched to "comment moderation" on my blog comments (just for this blog).  This has nothing to do with anyone in particular.  Thankfully, I've been blessed with kind readers who don't leave spammy comments.  The reason I switched over is because I'm planning a giveaway, and using comment moderation was the best way I could think of to keep things anonymous.  "What giveaway?", you may ask.  Keep reading to find out. :)   

Okay, my husband and I have discussed it, and as much as I'd enjoy trying out Innerstar U, I don't think it would be a wise choice for me.  As a mom of 3, I have to be careful how much time I spend on the computer.  I'm afraid if I had an Innerstar U account it would be too time-consuming. 

Since Nora was so kind with her fall giveaway, I've decided to pay it forward.  So I am officially announcing my Innerstar U giveaway! :)  Included in this giveaway will be the Innerstar U code and charm keeper necklace that Nora sent me, as well as the three extra charms.  I'm so excited I get to do this for someone! :) 

Here are the rules: 
1. There are no age limits, but if you are under 18 you MUST ask your parent's permission before entering, as I will have to get your mailing address.

2. The giveaway will start today and end Friday, January 7th, Pacific Standard Time.  The winner will be announced on Saturday, January 8th (also PST).

3. The winner will be chosen the old-fashioned way...I'll put the names of all of the entries in a hat and pick one.

4. To enter, simply leave a comment on this post, including your name and email address.  All comments on this post WILL NOT be published.  After the contest is over and I've selected the winner, I'll delete them.

5. Only one entry per person, please (in other words, commenting 4 or 5 times won't increase your chances of will just get confusing).  If there is someone in your family who wants to enter and doesn't have a blogger account, you can comment for them, but put their name on the entry so I know who is entering.

6. The winner will be announced on a follow-up blog post on Saturday, January 8th.  I will contact the winner via email that same day.  Just like Nora's contest, the winner has 1 week to respond.  If I don't hear back from the winner in one week's time, a new one will be picked.

I wish you all the best! I can't wait to see who wins. :)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Goodies and Another Emma Photo Shoot :)

Hi everyone!  I hope you all had a wonderful time with your families and friends this past weekend. :)  I had a great Christmas at my aunt's house.  We enjoyed food and fellowship and gifts together and stretched out the holiday for as long as possible (we just came home yesterday). :) 

I wanted to do a quick post to show you some cute 18" doll outfits that my mom found for my girls.  She found these at Big Lots for their off-brand 18" doll line.  The outfits were only about $8 a piece, but were really cute for what they were, especially considering the price.  Jen at "Dolls and Nachos" did a post on these sometime in the last month, so I had heard about them before.  It was really fun to see the girls get them for Christmas.

Okay, enough are the pics! :)

Hailey, Maggie and Ella modeling my daughters' doll outfits (and yes, I did ask their permission before I played with their Christmas presents).  :)  

First up is Hailey, modeling a mock turtleneck in blues, greens and pinks, with slightly faded denim blue jeans (which include floral embroidery on one pant let), brown suede ankle boots, and a blue, fur-lined vest.  The shoes and vest probably won't last very long because of's probably good that this outfit went to my most careful daughter. :)

Next we have Maggie, wearing khaki pants, a white, long-sleeved shirt with rose embroidery on the front, a pink fur-lined hoodie jacket, and pink plastic Mary Janes.  Something to be aware of with this outfit:  the pink shoes didn't fit on my Gotz dolls, but I was able to get them on Maggie.  I think the Alexander Girlz dolls have slightly smaller feet than some of their 18" sisters.  So for those of you with American Girl or Gotz dolls, you might want to avoid this outfit if you want a fully functional one.

Finally, we have Ella modeling my favorite outfit of the three.  I especially love the cute corduroy jacket!  The striped mock turtleneck is really nice too.  The stripes are kind of a peachish-orange, tan and off-white.  This outfit also includes a denim skirt and suede boots trimmed in fur.  When I saw this on Ella, I thought, "I bet that would look really cute on Emma,"... of course I had to try it! :)  I absolutely fell in love with this outfit on her.  She looks adorable!  Then, I just had to take more pics because she is so stinkin' photogenic. :)

Here's a close-up of the cute jacket...and Emma! :)

I love these boots, even though the quality is definitely not up to American Girl standards.  But still, aren't they fun?

Details of the skirt.  You can see from this pic that the stitching is not all it's cracked up to be, but hey, for $8, I'll take it.  It beats me having to attempt to sew! :)

Here's Emma without the jacket, so you can see her cute stripes.

Hmmm, I may just have to go by Big Lots and see if there are any more of these left.  This is definitely a perfect Emma outfit. :)  Either that, or I'll just have to sweet-talk my youngest a lot so I can borrow the outfit for photo shoots! :)

UPDATE (12/29/10):  These doll clothes are from the "Friendship Kids" line, done by a company called Kingsgate.  I went to Big Lots today to see if I could find the outfit for Emma and they didn't have it. :(  They did still have the outfit Hailey modeled, with the blue vest, so I went ahead and bought it.  The cashier said that it's possible they could get more of them in.  Their trucks come on Monday, so I might try again next week.  I think I'll keep the outfit I got in the package until then, just in case. :)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas! :)

Just wanted to say "Merry Christmas" from the whole gang here at "Never Grow Up".  We hope you and yours have a wonderful day together.  My prayer is that you would each remember the true reason for the season, the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Talk to you all again soon! :)

P.S.  Be sure to check Tess and Maggie's blog for a special Christmas Day story post!   Here's the link: Christmas Morning

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Emma's Christmas Dress

Just wanted to do one more quick post with some pics of Emma in her new Christmas dress, another beautiful creation by one of my favorite eBay sellers, shopamericangirl.  Be sure to follow the link...she's got some great stuff on eBay right now.  Of course, you won't be able to get it in time for Christmas, but maybe it can be a New Year's Eve dress or something. :)

Here are some pics of lovely Emma:

Re-stringing Emily Part 2

 Okay, so I FINALLY finished putting Emily back together.  I've decided that I really don't want to restring my dolls unless it's a dire emergency, because it is a total pain!! :} 

Taking the limbs off and getting the plastic cup out is actually not that bad.  And even doing the first brass insert (the one that goes inside the leg itself) isn't too difficult either.  It starts getting tricky, though, when you're crimping the brass insert that goes inside the body.  This time around, on the second leg, I didn't have my hubby to help me.  It's extremely difficult to get the elastic in the right spot and to crimp the brass insert tight enough while working around the material of the doll's body. 

And a word of caution:  I ended up crimping the brass insert too far down.  You remember how each insert has one end that is wider?  Well, that wider circle is what keeps the insert from moving once it's attached to the little white cups.  If you crimp it too close the the wide end, then the insert doesn't stay in place.  All that to say...Emily's left leg will probably have to be re-strung again eventually, because I messed it up.  The leg my husband did is absolutely perfect (of course). :}  That being said, her legs are still better than they were, so it was worth it to re-string her. 

The other thing that's a bit time-consuming is getting all of that stuffing back into the doll.  There's a whole lot of stuffing for that small body cavity.  It's actually amazing how much stuffing they cram into these dolls!!

Look how stuffed the body is, and how much stuffing still has to go in there!!

I also found that I couldn't reach all the way down to make sure the stuffing was packed tightly.  So I actually ended up using the round end of a wooden spoon to pack Emily's stuffing.  I would grab a handful of stuffing, push it in and shape it with the spoon, then grab another handful. I repeated this process until all of the stuffing was back in.

Finally all stuffed!!

Then it was just a matter of replacing her head and tying her neck strings again.

And Voila!! Here she is, all better! :)

As you can see from this pic, her legs are much tighter.

Overall, my re-stringing project was a success.  I just hope I don't have too many dolls who need this in the near future!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Emma's Exclusive Interview

Hey guys, just wanted to let you know, for those of you who might be interested, that Maggie did an interview with Emma so we could all get to know her. :)  You can find the interview HERE at Tess and Maggie's blog.  Be sure to stop by and check it out! :)

P.S.  Sorry, but the dolls were really long-winded, so it's a pretty long post.  Just wanted to warn you ahead of time! ;)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Emma the Fashion Queen :)

Hi guys!  My camera battery is all charged, so I just took some great pics of Emma in all of her outfits.  Hope you enjoy them! :)

Here's the outfit she came in, as you saw from the pics yesterday.

Here's the new My AG meet outfit.  Lavender and purple are really good colors for her!

Don't look too close at this pic...after I took it, I realized that it looks like she has a hair sticking right up her nose! :}

And here (drum roll please) is Emma's Liberty Jane outfit!  I must say, I love all of the clothes Nora sent, but this outfit is my favorite!  I think it's because it's so unique.  It just made her personality jump out at me! :)


I put the silver ribbon in her hair as a looks pretty cute!  I don't know how well you can see it, but Emma has some very faint reddish brown highlights in her hair (which is really cool, because I do too).  :)

Emma with her special teddy bear...yet to be named. :)

I laughed so hard when I found this Scrabble tile pendant!  Like I said before, I'm still working on her personality, but I knew that her favorite book was going to be "Emma" by Jane Austen.  With all of the "Team Edward" and "Team Jacob" stuff around, I thought this necklace would be perfect for her.  And I quite agree...I'd take Mr. Knightley over Edward or Jacob any day! :)

I also gave her this pretty rose charm that I got through Disney Movie Rewards after I bought "Beauty and the Beast" on Blu-ray and DVD.  I know she's going to like "Beauty and the Beast" and "Tangled". :)

My beautiful Emma. :) 

Friday, December 17, 2010

Introducing Emma Grace! :)

Hi everyone!  Well, it's the moment you've all been waiting for.  My hubby ended up working really late (I think he felt bad for making me wait so long), but as soon as he got home and the kids were in bed, we opened up Emma's box! :)  [Editorial note:  we're not big meanies, I just didn't think that opening a new AG doll in front of the girls right before bedtime would be conducive to sleep! :}]  If, by some miracle, you happen to be reading this post and have no clue what I'm talking about, check out my two earlier posts and you'll be all caught up. :)

I have to say, this doll is sooo beautiful!  Pictures don't do her justice.  If any of you are thinking about adding a #41 to your collection, I would highly recommend her.  I still can't stop looking at her...she's just so gorgeous!! :)  Thank you so much, Nora!! :)  Be sure to check out Nora's wonderful blog:  The Doll Wardrobe.

And now, for the pics you've been waiting for so patiently.  Unfortunately, my camera batteries died before I could take all of the pics I wanted, so there will be a follow up post or two after this where Emma models all of her outfits.  My hubby and I got pics of everything Nora sent, though, so don't worry. :)

Tess and Maggie were eager to meet the newest member of our doll family. :)

FINALLY opening the box that's been in my house all day!!

I can't tell you how excited I was at this exact moment, when I was just about to see her for the first time.  I'm sure all of you AG doll collectors out there know exactly how I felt, though. :)

Seeing her for the first time...Tess and Maggie were impatient for me to turn the box around.

Here she is!!!!

A box full of goodies. :)

A close-up of her pretty face.

She had this cute silver ribbon in her hair.

What a sweetie! :)

Tess and Maggie welcome Emma to the family. (It's funny, I didn't notice where the snowman's head was until after I took the pic...see him in the AG box?)

So here's a shot of everything Nora sent:  the Just Like You star hoodie outfit, the My AG meet outfit, the purple top and grey skinny jeans from Liberty Jane Clothing, a "Fun With Your Doll" book, a little pamphlet with a mini AG magazine to make, some hair ribbons, an Innerstar U code and charm necklace, 3 extra Innerstar U charms, an ADORABLE Marriot mini teddy bear, and a cute little container.  Here are close-ups of everything:

There are three of these, like I said.  I just didn't include the 3rd one in this pic. :)

This bear was so soft.  I think he's going to be Emma's favorite stuffed animal! :)

Well, that's about it! I'll leave you with some parting shots of Emma close up.  Like I said earlier, I'm planning on doing a follow-up post with Emma modeling her other outfits.  I'm also working on her personality profile, too, so I'll share that with you when I have it all figured out. :)  Yay!!  I'm so excited! :)

I LOVE her with her hair down!  :)