Saturday, October 29, 2011

Belle's Bulletins Blog

Hi everyone!  I just wanted to do a quick post for those of you who read the "Belle's Bulletins" section on Tess and Maggie's blog.  "Belle" (my Disney Store 12" doll) has found it more and more difficult to post on the pages as she continues with her story, so I figured it would be easier to have her post on a separate blog.  You can find Belle's Bulletins HERE.  Belle would love to get some more followers (she's got 2 so far), so if you're interested, be sure to go check it out! ;) 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Hayden Photo Shoot :D

Have any of you ever noticed that there are certain colors or outfits that make each specific doll suddenly stand out to you?  I've had this happen with my dolls before.  When I first put Emma into into her purple Liberty Jane top and grey Liberty Jane skinny jeans, something just clicked.  That totally became her "meet outfit" to me.  Tess just looks right in her original striped meet top.  Maggie looks the best in the "meet outfit" I designed for her:  her light blue corduroy newsboy cap, her bright blue and white polka dot top, and her khaki pants. 

I was really struggling with finding Hayden's look.  Nothing I had really seemed to click for me.  My mom very kindly offered to let me look through some of her surplus doll clothes to see if I could find something for Hayden there.   It was definitely a success:

Dark pink is definitely her color! :) 

So, without further ado, here are lots of pictures, shamelessly devoted to Hayden. ;)

Before I went to my mom's, I did an outdoor photo shoot with some clothes I had on hand.  This was my first clue that pink might be a great color for her. 

I find it rather humorous that my "fall" photo shoot has all of these flowers in it.  We've had a very mild fall this year...which is probably why it's so hard for me to believe that we're only 2 months away from Christmas.  Yikes!! :} 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Think About What You Type

Any of you who enjoy watching American Girl stop motion or music videos on YouTube are probably aware that (as usual) there is a lot of drama on there right now.  I don't like getting into the middle of this stuff.  In fact, I felt hesitant to mention anything and bring more unnecessary attention to it. 

However, since I have several links throughout my blog to videos belonging to some AG YouTube channels, I thought it would be appropriate to just mention it briefly, since by following the links I've added, you may come across some of this.

I'm not going to name names or take sides.  Honestly, I find the whole situation very sad and blown out of proportion...on both ends.  Which brings me to the point of this post:  please watch what you say online.  Please just stop a minute and think before you type in the heat of the moment and then click that enter button. 

As girls, we feel things deeply (at least most of us) and we express those feelings through our words.  It's easy for us to get caught up in our emotions and speak before we really think about what we're saying. 

When I was growing up, my hasty words often got me into uncomfortable situations at home, on the playground, or in the locker room.  Now, we have a whole generation of girls who can connect to millions of other people through the Internet.  A hastily "spoken" sentence has a much more devastating effect than it did in my day.  Instead of hurting a handful of girls in one's class, a girl has the potential to hurt or offend thousands with just one click of a button.

Please think about what you "say" on the Internet.  Whether you're on Blogger, YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter, take a moment to think before you type that angry sentence.  For those of you who are my sisters in Christ, think about the fact that you are being a testimony in everything you do, even on the computer.  Whether you are a good or a bad testimony is up to you.  Don't forget that many other girls you connect and interact with are your fellow Christians and sisters...and those who aren't may be influenced by your treatment of them, especially if they know you're a Christian. 

For those of you who aren't followers of Christ, think about how you would like to be treated, and try to treat others the same way.  It's a matter of common sense and decency, and the best way to have a pleasant, functional online community. 

I bore the brunt of many jokes and cruel comments in my younger years.  I can still remember many of these instances with vivid clarity.  Don't do the same thing to some other girl you've never even met.  Before you judge or get involved in someone else's drama, think about how you would feel in that person's situation.  Try to imagine things from their perspective before you condemn them.  Don't spoil something beautiful by letting bitterness or anger lead your actions.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Free Shipping for Cecile and Marie-Grace Items Extended

Hi everyone!  Just a quick post this morning.  American Girl decided to extend their free shipping on Cecile and Marie-Grace items until Tuesday the 25th. :) 

Also, as some of you may have guessed, one of the reasons I bought Hayden when I did is that the free shipping code from AG came up.  Since I got it second-hand and not directly from AG, I wasn't sure if it would be appropriate to share it, so I decided not to mention it at all.  I didn't want it to be a "nah-nah-nah-nah-nah-nah-I got free shipping and you didn't!" post. :}  Anyway, the reason I'm bringing it up now is that the free shipping code is mentioned on The Doll Wardrobe's post today.  To use this code, you have to spend at least $50 before tax.  If you're interested, you can find The Doll Wardrobe's post HERE.  The code is mentioned at the bottom of the post. :)

Happy shopping, everyone! :D

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Introducing Hayden Brooke Hathaway: My AG #55 :D

So, it's the post you've all been waiting for...well, the one I've been waiting for, too! And let me give you fair warning:  as usual, this will be a very picture-heavy post! ;)

This is what was waiting for me when I got home from Ladies Retreat! :D

Here was my first glimpse of her cute face.

Here she is in the closed box...

...and in the open box!!  (Sorry these pictures aren't the greatest...I was in a hurry to get her open!) ;)

Beautiful Hayden!!  No wonky eyes (yay!!).  I think her eyes might be just slightly different sizes, but not enough to to bother me. :)  They do tend to look in more of a downward position than my other dolls.  I've heard this is pretty common with the newer AG dolls.

Hayden's hair in the hairnet.

Hayden with her hair free! :)

Back view

So here she is! :)  #55 is an absolutely beautiful doll.  Her coloring is lovely; the hair, eye, and skin tones are a great match.

I love her cute freckles, too. :)  They remind me of my oldest daughter.

(Sorry for the random yellowish tone in this camera likes to do that every once in a while).

Her hair is really pretty.  It is definitely going to be higher maintenance, though, like Emma's.  Every time I changed her clothes I was really nervous about messing up her hair. 

There are some great hair tutorials for #55's hair on YouTube.  This one is the method I tried on Emma (while I was waiting for Hayden to get here).  I didn't use quite as much spritz as the girl in the video did, just because it made me nervous to get her hair really wet.  When I did it, though, I had the best results from Emma's hair that I've ever had. :) 

I didn't want to brush Hayden's hair until it was absolutely necessary, so I used my little spritzer bottle from the American Girl hair care set to mist her hair.  Then I finger curled it.  I'm pretty happy with the results. :)

I decided to try a more classic look for Hayden:  a white tee and blue jeans. :)

Here's a glimpse of Hayden's charm necklace.  She loves Strawberry Shortcake, horses, and Disney Princesses, so her necklace reflects that.  "Aladdin" and "Beauty and the Beast" are her favorite Disney movies, and she loves Rajah, so I thought it would be fun to give her a Rajah charm. :)  Both the Rajah and Strawberry Shortcake charms came with our last batch of hand-me-down clothes and toys from my mom's cousin.  I found the horse charm at a local bead shop. 

This little guy was one of the McDonald's beanie babies that I got a year or so ago.  His name is Butterscotch.  (I have no clue what his name was originally.)  Since Hayden is into horses, I thought this would be a perfect stuffed animal for her. :)

I think Butterscotch will look really cute sitting on Hayden's bed.

As you can imagine, I was very excited to see Hayden next to Emma and Charlie.  I couldn't wait to see how they looked with each other. :)

The three Hathaway sisters, finally together. :)

I think they make the perfect combination.  Each doll is unique enough that I don't feel like I have three of the same doll, but they all have enough similarities between them that they look like they could be related.  

What do you think? :) 

I've taken some close-up comparison pics to show the difference in the girls' eye color.  While Hayden and Charlie both have "hazel" eyes, the shades are very different.  Hayden's eyes are a much darker hazel.  In some photos from AG Playthings members, I've seen them look almost brown.

Hayden and Charlie (fka GOTY Mia St. Clair)

Here's a picture of Hayden and Emma (#41) side by side.  As you can see, these two also have different eyes.  Emma's are labeled "green" by American Girl.  They are a deeper, brilliant green than Hayden's.  They also have the "pinwheel" design instead of the "decal" eyes like Hayden and Charlie's.  I also find it interesting that Emma, Hayden and Charlie all seem to have slightly different eye sizes.  Charlie is the most wide-eyed of the bunch, while Emma's eyes look almost beady next to her sisters.

While we're on the subject of the differences between Hayden and Emma, I took some pics of their hair to show the difference in the shade.  Emma's hair is more of a brown/black, while Hayden's is just brown. 

With flash (Hayden on the left, Emma on the right)

Without flash

Here's one from farther away.

Several people have commented on problems with #55's wig, such as thin spots and uneven hair.  Hayden's hair is definitely longer on one side than the other, as you can see from the above and below pics.

It doesn't really bother me, though.  Because her hair has some curl, this issue isn't as noticeable as it would be on a doll with straight hair. 

I'll have to get back to all of you on thin spots.  At first glance, her hair seems to be okay.  I tend to not discover thin spots until I've gotten more familiar with a doll's hair and tried a few more styles.  One thing I did notice was that her wig has short hairs in the wig cap in back, I'm assuming so that when you do pigtails or double braids, her wig cap won't show.  I'll get back to you with more detail on that, too.  I don't want to mess with her hair too much yet. :}

Beautiful Hayden

Hayden and Emma

Hayden and Charlie

Sweet Sisters

I thought it would be fun to take some pics of them in matching outfits.  Don't they look cute? :)

I hope you enjoyed the post! :)  You can be sure that there will be lots more pictures to come!! :D

P.S.  I just had to share this with you.  As you can imagine, all three of my daughters were very excited about Hayden's arrival.  My oldest daughter decided to welcome her with a sign.  She taped it on my bedroom door.  Here's a picture:

Isn't that the cutest thing? :)