Friday, April 27, 2012


Hey everyone!  Just a quick post to let you know that I'm still alive. :)  I've really been struggling with blogging as regularly as I'd like to these past few weeks.  I've already talked about how busy I am, so I won't bore you with more excuses. :}  I guess I just wanted to let everyone know that I'm still around, even though I haven't been on as much.

I'm so excited to publish some of the "in-progress" posts that are waiting.  I hope to have some of them up by next week.  I've also let Belle and the 18 inchers know that they need to get posting on their blogs, too! ;)

Let's see, is there anything else? Oh, I guess I should do a quick weight loss progress update.  I'm pleased to announce that I've lost 4.6 pounds.  It's not as much as I would like, considering I've been in Weight Watchers for over a month, but it is still progress.  I'm averaging a loss of about .2 lbs a week (that's, uh, point 2, not 2...heh heh).  For those of you who are interested in keeping up with how I'm doing, I've added a Weight Loss tracker to my's the very last thing in the sidebar lineup.

It's easy for my perfectionist side to get frustrated with the slow speed of my weight loss, but I have to keep reminding myself that I'm still headed in the right direction.  The good news is that I haven't gained any weight since I started.

 The Lord has been really working on my attitude through all of this.  Honestly, I've done really well with Weight Watchers in the past, so I was a bit cocky when I started (inwardly, at least).  I had pretty high expectations that have NOT been met whatsoever.  Like my struggles with patience and parenting, though, I think the fact that my weight loss journey has not been easy this time around has given me more compassion for others who are in the same boat.  How easy it is to look down on others when something is easy for us!  Yet when we are struggling for something with all of our might, it's easier to relate to the needs and struggles that others are facing, and to give them the encouragement they need.

So, I'll just keep plugging along!  I'm already noticing a slight difference in the way my clothes fit, and I feel a lot more energetic and in control of my eating.  I'm (slowly) trying to learn to be a journey person instead of a destination person like I normally am! :}

I most likely won't be online much this weekend.  I'll be singing for a memorial service tomorrow afternoon, and tomorrow evening my great uncle and great aunt will be in town.  They live in Virginia, and I haven't seen them for about 5 years or so.  They'll be here for the whole weekend, so I'm really looking forward to spending some time with them. :)

Oh, and I can't remember if I've already shared this, but I'm also really looking forward to May.  Our church's "Ladies Spring Event" (basically a Mother-Daughter Tea) has a doll theme this year, and I'm the special speaker! :D  I'm so excited to share with all of the dear ladies in our congregation.  I'm planning on showing them some of the dolls from my collection and also using one of my dolls as a spiritual object lesson.  My oldest daughter gets to be in a skit, and my two oldest get to sing a song.  Oh, and I might be singing a couple of numbers if another lady from the church isn't able to be there! :}

The Ladies Spring Event is always such a blessing.  I can't wait to see what's planned for this year...besides the stuff I already know about! ;)  Pray for me, if you think of it.  I really want to share a clear message with the ladies and have a fun time while doing so. :)

I guess that's about all for now.  Thanks for being so patient, everyone!  I'll be in touch again soon.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

New Brave Merchandise at! :D

If you guys are anything like me, then you are eagerly awaiting the release of Disney/Pixar's next animated film "Brave", scheduled to hit theaters this June.  I can't wait to see what they do with this story.  :D

I was super excited when I checked online this morning and found that had finally gotten in some "Brave" merchandise (aside from the 2 children's t-shirts fearturing Merida that they've had for a while).  You can check out the new stuff HERE.

I love the Merida 12" doll, and the deluxe figure play set has some promise, although I'd like to see it in person first.  Sometimes the Disney Store does a great job with their figure play sets (I LOVE the Hawaiian Toy Story set!), and sometimes they just don't quite get it right (I despise the Princess figure playset...bad face paint, weird face molds...the works!).

Which of the new items are your favorite?  Are you planning on seeing "Brave" when it comes out? :)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Hayden and Jenna's New Room

My dad and I have been in the planning stages of making some stacking doll rooms for my bedroom.  I'd like to try and condense my 18" doll displays to one side of the room so it doesn't feel like I've completely taken over the bedroom! ;)  It might be nice if Hubby felt at home there too. :}  

Dad got the first room done a few weeks ago, and on Thursday I got it all painted (with his help...thanks, Dad!).  Here are a few shots of the paint job in progress:

I used some lavender Behr paint that was leftover from the girl's playroom for the inside of the room.  We painted the outside white.  Dad also stained one side on the inside of the room so that I could use it as a wood floor.  

Today, Dad brought the room over.  Eventually I'll have 3 rooms stacked on top of each other, but for now it's perched on top of the entertainment center that serves as Maggie and Rachel's room:

I already knew that this room would belong to Hayden and Jenna, but it still took me a couple of hours to figure out the best way to display everything.

I'd like to apologize for the poor lighting in some of these pictures.  I'm still trying to experiment and figure out the best way to get light into the rooms for my photography. :{ 

Here's the whole thing! :)

Hayden looks quite comfy on her bed. :)  The beds are AG boxes covered with blankets and doll bedding.

Another picture of Hayden.  I know it's almost exactly the same as the first one, but it turned out so cute I had to include it. :)

Jenna is very excited to have a big room to share with her new friend. :P

I thought you might enjoy taking a closer look at their shelves.  You might remember that I found this adorable white shelf at Salvation Army.  The top has a floral arrangement (fake flowers and a metal pail from Dollar Tree), a picture of Hayden with her sisters, Sugar Grape from the My Little Pony Blind Bags, Hayden's Orange Blossom figurine, and two of Jenna's carousel horse figurines (the ones my mom found at a local antique store).

The next shelf has Jenna's other two carousel horses, Hayden's horse Squinkie, and both girls' My Little Pony collection.  Jenna has her two favorites, Rainbow Dash and Applejack, and Hayden has her 3 favorites, Fluttershy, Princess Celestia, and Twilight Sparkle.

The middle shelf has Hayden's Strawberry Shortcake and Disney Princess stuff...

...and the bottom shelf has her Breyer horse collection.  As you can tell, I have a lot more stuff for Hayden than for Jenna.  I've only had Jenna for a few months, and I'm still figuring out her character, so that's pretty much why.  That, and Hayden has waayy too many things she's into...just like me! ;)

Hayden's books.  Can you see her vintage Custard the Cat in the background? :)

I also included Hayden's princess floor puzzle.  

Jenna is into shopping and clothes, as you can see from the bags at the foot of her bed. :)

She has My Melody, Chococat, and a Rebecca doll at the head of her bed.  And yes, this is the doll that was formerly Hailey's.  Hailey decided that she didn't really want her Rebecca anymore, and she thought Jenna might enjoy her since they look so alike. ;)

Hayden's bed has her stuffed horse Chester and her Felicity doll.

She also has some friends at the foot of her bed:  her cloth Ariel doll, her plastic Aladdin, and her vintage Strawberry Shortcake doll. 

That's it for now.  I'll probably change things around a bit once I have a better idea of how I want it to look.  I'm also planning on hanging up posters and maybe a shelf or two at some point in the future.  

I'm not sure when the other two rooms will be here.  My dad's super busy now, and I have to wait until both of the other rooms are done before I move them here (I can't fit anything else until I can get rid of the entertainment center, but I can't get rid of the entertainment center until I have the rooms to replace it). :}   I'll be sure to share pics when the whole thing's complete, though! :)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Hayden's Snow Day

Hey everyone!  Sorry I haven't really been on all week.  I wasn't expecting things to be so busy, but today was the first day I actually had time at home!!  

Oldest gal's birthday party was a big success, but I haven't had a chance to finish that post, so I thought I'd tide you over with the promised snow day post. :D

I always bring at least one doll with me to my sister-in-law's because they have such beautiful scenery at their place.  I have to admit, though, when we first arrived, I didn't expect to take any pictures.  It's been pretty dry up there, so everything was dead and brown.  

But the next morning...

...we woke up to a beautiful thin layer of snow.  Hayden was very excited! ;)

It's amazing what a bit of snow will do to a dry landscape! ;)

So I pretty much just took Hayden outside and had an awesome time taking pictures right and left. :)  Here are some of my favorites:

Our car was completely covered with snow (well, at least by my hometown's standards). ;)

I know this one's really similar to one of the earlier pictures, but I loved this one too. :} 

The really fun thing about this photo shoot was that it was still actually snowing during the photo shoot.  I think it added an extra sense of realism, since Hayden was covered with snowflakes. :)  I've been wanting to do snow pictures for a really long time.  I was so thankful that it worked out! :D  

I figured that would be the last of the photos, because within 2 or 3 hours, the snow had completely melted. But low and behold, the next morning we woke up to...

...more snow!! :D

So out I went again! :)  This photo shoot was really fun because the sun kept coming in and out from the clouds, so the lighting was constantly changing.  There was also a thicker snow cover, so it gave the place a whole new look. :)

Hayden decided to pose on the bottom part of the snowman the girls were building with their cousins. :)

I was just about to go inside when I remembered the beautiful stonework at the side of the house.  I'd gotten some great pics of Emma and Charlie there during the summer, and I thought it would be fun to get some snowy pictures there, too! :)

Hope you enjoyed the photos! :)  I worked on some headers using these pics (on my last day with Picnik *sob!*), but I just couldn't quite bring myself to post a snowy header when it's now 92 degrees outside. ;)  I may save the headers for next fall or winter...I'm not sure yet.  Meanwhile, I need to decide which photo editing service I'm going to use now so that I can make some summery headers! ;)

Talk to you guys again soon.  I have so many posts in the works right now it's not even funny...I've just got to buckle down and get them published!! ;)