Wednesday, November 15, 2017

A Few Updates

Hello, everyone! May I just say, you guys are awesome for waiting so long for me to get my act together. This fall brought many new adjustments with the girls' new school, so for a while, it was just easier to play the avoidance card instead of thinking how behind I was on blogging. ;)

I'm about halfway done with my annual Rapunzel and Belle Disney Store doll reviews, so those should be up within the week. Since the reviews are taking longer than I planned (especially since my Belle dolls from prior years are still packed away and I have to find them), I thought I'd tide you over with a few updates.

For those of you who don't follow me on Instagram, I just did a full month's worth of drawings in October, known as "Inktober" for artists. ;) It was a crazy challenge to do one traditional ink drawing per day, but I made it. I think about two or three of them were a day late. ;)

Here are a couple of my favorites:

Fan art from Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George.

Fan art from Tangled

Unicorn!! :D

"Phan" art from The Phantom of the Opera.

Fan art from Beauty and the Beast.

It was great to have an excuse to draw, and I really saw an improvement in my art as the month progressed. :)

Since I now have an indoor cat, I have to rethink the way I display my collections. He loves climbing and has taken quite a liking to my doll rooms, for example. ;) 

To keep my things from getting broken and to avoid situations where I'm annoyed at the cat for something instinctual to his nature, I decided to invest in a couple of display cases from IKEA. They didn't house quite as many of my things as I'd hoped, but it's a start. Here are my displays so far: 

With lights on...

...and without.

I couldn't fit my boxed doll sets in the displays and fit much of anything else with them, so I decided to put them on top with my Funko Pops from Frozen and Tangled.

The top left shelf holds some of my favorites from my Tangled collection.

The next shelf down has some of my Frozen favorites.

Next comes my live-action Cinderella collection.

And on the bottom, my Fluttershy, Minty, and watermelon mini collections. This is the display space I'm probably the least happy about. I might try rearranging it, or I might try displaying something else there instead.

The top right space has my more stylized dolls, like my Pullips, J-Dolls, and Licca.

The next shelf down has my custom dolls. This space will eventually have other dolls, too. :)

Next I have a display of some of my very favorite G1 My Little Ponies.

And the bottom shelf has some of my Hearts for Hearts Girls and mini dolls.

I may change the displays around a bit after a while, especially as I continue to unpack, rearrange, and go through my collections, but this is a nice start. :)

I also hung up three of my little house-shaped shelves again so I could display some of my mini Shoppies and Twozies. 

My toy budget has been much more limited now, but I've still managed to find a few things here and there. ;) 

Ever since I saw the messy-haired Anna Little Kingdom doll from Frozen in footage from last February's Toy Fair, I've been keeping an eye out for her. She never showed up in regular stores, but I just found her at Ross last week for $5!

She comes with an unassembled bed, a Sven pillow, three golden embellishments for her hair and dress, and a sleep mask.

Here she is, all ready for bed.

And catching some Zs with her mask on. ;)

At Target, I found a doll-sized Nutella jar. ;)

And also some Christmas Shopkins. My favorite is the ugly sweater one. :)

It's been thrilling to find so much unicorn-themed stuff around in stores, too. As I said on Instagram, though, I liked collecting unicorn stuff before it was cool. ;)

I also recorded a couple of YouTube vlogs during my absence that shares a bit of what's been going on with me. If you'd like to see the most recent one, you can watch it HERE. (Please pardon my crazy hair...I'd just taken a shower.) ;)

Not much more to report other than that. I've been busy parenting, helping the girls adjust to their new school (which they love), writing, and trying to figure out a better social media/blogging schedule. 

I also got a couple of writing rejections. One for a short story I submitted to a magazine, and one from an editor I met with at Realm Makers for my book. The good news is, in both cases, they liked my writing. It just wasn't a good fit for them. I'm trying to keep pressing on and remember that each rejection is a chance for growth and change. :)

I'm slowly starting to save up for Mount Hermon next year. While I'd be tempted to attend Realm Makers a second time, it's farther away next year, and I really missed Mount Hermon. We'll see how that goes, though. There are still a lot of other things that may need to take a financial priority.

I guess that's all for now. Just wanted you to know that I'm still alive and kicking. ;) Hope to have that review post up soon!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Still Alive

Honest, I am. But I'm discovering that starting your kids at a brand new school can take some serious adjustment, even if your kids are doing well and enjoying that new school.

Sorry to leave you guys hanging for so long. The last few weeks have felt like the inside of a washing machine, or the middle of a merry-go-round on the playground. :} Things will still be crazy for a while, especially since Oldest Gal just started volleyball season. But I hope within the next week or so to get a handle on blogging, writing, and some of the other things that have fallen by the wayside in the past month. ;)

In the meantime, I'm headed to my church's ladies retreat today. While I won't be posting here during that time, I'll be keeping everyone updated on Instagram and Twitter, so you can keep track of my adventures there until I get back. ;)

Have a lovely weekend, everyone! Talk to you again soon.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Blogoversary Giveaway Results!

It's time to announce the winner, folks! We had thirty-two entrants and a total of fifty-five entries including the extra entries for following me elsewhere.

All names were recorded on paper...and thankfully not scattered around the living room when Pumpkin was in a "helpful" mood. ;)

The names were put in a bowl and mixed up carefully. Then Middle Gal chose one name (without looking, of course) to be our winner.

Since Pumpkin seemed to want to get involved, too, I decided to let him announce our winner. 

At first, he just wanted to play with the winner's name...

...and then, he wanted to keep us in suspense. 

But finally, he decided to cooperate. 

Congratulations to our winner, honeysuckle jasmine! :D 

I'll be contacting honeysuckle jasmine today via email. If I don't hear back in a week, a new winner will be chosen.

Thank you so much to everyone who entered, and for all of your lovely comments and wishes. It's so nice to know this little blog has touched so many lives. :) Thanks for sharing this adventure and this crazy doll obsession with me. :)

UPDATE: I've heard back from honeysuckle jasmine, so this giveaway is officially closed!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Last Day to Enter the Giveaway!

Hey everyone! Just wanted to remind you that today is the last day to get your entries in for my blogoversary giveaway. I've had a great response so far and can't wait to see who wins! :)

For full giveaway details, you can check out my post about it HERE.

I just got back from a wonderful family vacation. I haven't had a chance to blog about it, but you can see all my pictures on Instagram.

Have a great week! I'll be back tomorrow to announce the winner.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Create Your Own American Girl Dolls Now Available

Hey guys! Thanks for the great response to my giveaway. It's been fun hearing from so many of you. :)

Just a heads up: American Girl has officially released their "Create Your Own" dolls on their website. You can choose custom face mold, skin color, eye color, hair length, style, and color, outfits, and more. You can even chose from several options to make your doll's personality.

The dolls retail for $200 each, which is a little steep, but considering you get a doll, an outfit, accessories, and the option of glasses, hearing aides, braces, and more, plus the joy of creating your own custom doll, I understand the price.

You can start creating your own dolls HERE. Even if you don't plan on purchasing one, it's fun to try different hair/eye/skin combos. And if you have an account with American Girl, you can save your designs for later. :)

Here are some of the designs the girls and I created (all mini-me dolls):


Oldest Gal's

Middle Gal's 

Little Gal's

Have fun customizing, but be warned: you might just fall down a rabbit hole for a couple of hours. ;)

Monday, August 7, 2017

Blogoversary Giveaway

Hello everyone! Sorry to leave you hanging for so long. I'm back from Realm Makers (which you can read about on my writing blog HERE), managing to survive the over 100 degree weather of our hometown, and in the middle of packing for our last family vacation before school starts. In the middle of the craziness, though, I wanted to uphold a long-standing tradition and do a giveaway in celebration of SEVEN YEARS of blogging at Never Grow Up. Hooray! :D

Because it's been seven years, there are seven prizes for one special reader. Here's a look at what the winner will receive:

A Shopkins Lollipop Soft Top Cutie Car...

...a Kuu Kuu HaraJuku mini G doll... of my original hand drawn artwork pieces on a 4x4 cardstock tile with a protective sheet, signed and colored with ink pen and Copic markers...

...a Shopkins Happy Places Season 3 Jellica Lil' Shoppies doll...

...a Season 2 Hatchimals blind bag...

...and two Disney Store gift cards totaling $10 ($5 each).

Giveaway Rules: 

1. This contest is WORLDWIDE, so any of my readers can enter. :) That being said, I'm not sure if the gift cards work out of the country, so please be aware that this might be an issue.

2. If you are under 18, please get a parent or guardian's permission to enter.

3. To enter, please leave your name or username and email address in the comments below. Comments with email addresses will NOT be published and will only be seen by me.

4. For one extra entry, you may choose one of the following:
     -Follow me on Twitter
     -Follow me on Instagram
     -Follow me on my Never Grow Up Facebook page
     -Follow me on YouTube

NOTE: Please leave me a comment, letting me know what you did for your extra entry so I can count it!

If you are already following/subscribed to any of the above, let me know and I will count it for your extra entry.

5. The contest will be open until Monday, August 14th

6. On Tuesday, August 15th, I will pick one winner through a random drawing, notify them via email, and request their shipping address. The winner will have one week to respond. If I have not heard from them by Tuesday, August 22nd, a new winner will be chosen.

Thank you so much for the past seven years. Your comments, input, and friendships mean more than I can say. :) Can't wait to see who wins!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Seven Years

It's hard to believe that seven years ago I started a little blog that grew into something amazing. Today is my seventh "blogoversary," and as I look back over the past seven years, I am so humbled and thankful for all I've learned and for the wonderful friends I've made. Thank you to all of you who have been a part of this adventure and have made it so special. :)

I had hoped to have my traditional giveaway ready by now, but between swimming lessons for the girls and getting ready for the writers conference this weekend, I didn't quite get it together. I do have a few reviews in the works, though, so I thought I'd give you a preview of what to look forward to. ;)

Disney Store Rapunzel "Before Ever After" Doll

Slim, Original, and Broad Ken Fashionista Dolls 

Disney Store Live Action Belle and Gaston Dolls
(I have a new photography assistant.) ;)

This weekend, I'll be sharing photos of my trip on my Instagram account. I'm hoping to get to a Disney Store to get my Belle and Rapunzel (and possibly Hans) dolls, and there will definitely be at least one Toys R Us stop involved. I'm on the hunt for Season 3 Shopkins Happy Places sets. :D Since it's a special trip, I'll have a bit of spending money. :)

I might also possibly vlog about my adventures, if it works out with our schedule, but I'll keep you posted on that.

Keep an eye out for a giveaway post next week! And thank you again for seven wonderful years. You guys are the best. :)

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Upcoming Shopkins Happy Places Sets!

Just a quick post today. My girls and I are huge fans of the Shopkins Happy Places line, and we've been looking forward to seeing some of the new releases that should be showing up soon.

I noticed that some of the new toys are starting to show up on It looks like most of them will have a release in early August:

Happyville High School Playset (You can see My Froggy Stuff's YouTube review of this set HERE.)

Bearry Fun Convertible


Kiki Creme




Season 3 Blind Bag Surprise Delivery Packs (These are also featured in the My Froggy Stuff video.)

They also have a few of the Shoppies that were supposed to be part of Season 2 of Happy Places, but never showed up in our area:

Fria FroYo

Pia Puzzle

Macy Macaroon

I love the creativity and detail that goes into this line. I'm especially excited for Macy Macaroon, Kiki Creme, and the new blind bags, since according to the info from My Froggy Stuff's video, they will feature art classroom supplies. :D

Which ones are you most excited about?

This post contains no affiliate links. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Disney Store 2017 Classic Dolls are Here!

And sadly, there aren't too many changes to report, especially for the dolls I collect, but there are a few things they switched up that are fun. The face molds appear unchanged, and most of the dresses are almost identical to last year's. Also like last year, each of the princess dolls comes with a sidekick. Let's take a look!

As usual, I'll start with the dolls from my three favorite movies (only highlighting the princes from my faves), and then the rest of the dolls will be listed alphabetically.

To change things up a little bit, I thought it would be fun to include pics of the dolls both boxed and unboxed. I like seeing how the boxes change from year to year, but you can usually see more of the differences in the unboxed pictures.

If you'd like to take a look at last year's post to compare the changes, you can see it HERE.

(original images HERE)
So first, we have beautiful Belle. The only changes I see right away are the lack of glitter on her bodice this year and the shorter skirt length. Any other differences are so subtle, they won't show up until I see her in person. I have to say, I do hope she has at least a slight variation in her face paint, or I'm going to feel like I'm purchasing the exact same doll. :{

Just a note on the new box design. Boxes don't matter as much to me with this line since I always debox these dolls, but overall, I find this year's design quite plain compared to last year's. However, I do like the fact that each box has the title of the movie in its original script. That's kind of cool and nostalgic. ;)

(original images HERE)
The Beast appears to be exactly the same as he has been for the past two years, and since I wasn't a huge fan of him before, I'll be skipping this guy this year, too. :)

(original images HERE)

The only difference I see in Rapunzel right off is that they kept her sleeves short. I really like it when they add her longer sleeves, since the dress is more movie accurate that way. No other differences stand out to me at this point. Again, it will be interesting to see her in person and see the slight variations.

Eugene (because I still refuse to call him "Flynn") ;)
(original images found HERE)
I'm pretty sure all the prince dolls are the same (except for one...but more on that later), so Eugene, like the Beast, is virtually unchanged. I think I'll pass on him this time, too, even though this mold is one of my very favorite renditions of him. :)

(original images found HERE)
Classic Anna. I'm so glad she was released right away this year instead of weeks later as an almost afterthought, like last year. I know everyone loves Elsa, but Anna has always been my favorite of the two sisters. That being said, I don't think I'm going to bring her home. Honestly, it's crazy enough collecting the Belle and Rapunzel Classic dolls. I really don't need to start with Annas, too. ;) Especially since I know her outfit will be so simplified compared to the original.

(original images found HERE)
Since I just purchased this version of Kristoff last year, I won't be getting him this time around. Did I ever review this guy for you guys? I can't remember...

(original images found HERE)
Elsa's new doll seems almost the same as well. Definitely not getting her since I already try to limit my Elsa purchases. I'm just flat running out of room!

(original images found HERE)
Hans was the only prince/villain doll to receive a major change. He's wearing his outfit from the ball, and it actually looks pretty detailed, especially for the Classic line! I'm going to have to get this guy eventually. He'd look great on my shelf with my original Hans. I might tone down his freckles a bit, though. They're pretty big and dark compared to how they looked in the movie. 

I won't go into as many details with these others since I don't actively collect them, although I will make a few comments on some of the more obvious changes.

(original images found HERE)
 Wedding Ariel
(original images found HERE)
Every once in a while the Disney Store releases wedding versions of some of their princess dolls. I haven't paid enough attention to have an educated breakdown of which ones they've released and how often, but I know I've seen Ariel, Cinderella, and Rapunzel in wedding dresses at different times. Wouldn't it be cool if they did a whole wedding line sometime, with wedding prince dolls, too? That would be awesome! :D

(original images found HERE

(original images found HERE

(original images found HERE

(original images found HERE

(original images found HERE
I'm so happy that they FINALLY decided to change things up for poor Mulan, who's had essentially the exact same dress since 2010. I love that they did a version of her green and white outfit this time. Little Gal is super excited for the updated look, since Mulan is her favorite princess. I'm sure this will be one of her purchases on next year's birthday trip!

(original images found HERE)

Snow White
(original images found HERE

(original images found HERE)
Tiana has gone back to her green dress this year. In some ways, I wish I'd snagged one of the blue-dressed Tianas either last year or the year before. Her blue dress has always been my favorite, and I loved her face mold and face paint. But again, I just can't justify collecting other Disney dolls. I have so many dolls in general, and my Beauty and the Beast, Tangled, and Frozen ones already take up so much room. I really don't need to add more. She sure is a cutie, though, especially in her lovely blue gown.

So, that's all for now! My tentative plan is to pick up a Belle, a Rapunzel, and a Hans, but I will probably wait for a while, at least until they go back on the "buy two or more, get them for $10 each" promotion they usually have going (it usually comes back about a week or so after the newest Classics are released). And I might wait for a free shipping code.

To see all of the new Classic dolls together, you can go to the Disney Store website HERE.

What do you guys think? Will any of you be tempted to add any dolls to your collection this year? Would you like to see more variety from the Disney Store with this line? Which dolls are your favorites? If you could oversee the production of the Classic doll line, what changes would you make?

P.S. I apologize to those of you who left comments I didn't respond to. I just noticed I was a bit behind! Sorry about that! I'll try to get to those a bit later.

P.P.S. Was it killing anyone else to miss D23 this year? Someday, I really want to go! Did you hear that all of the current Disney Princesses will be making a cameo appearance in Wreck-it Ralph 2? I can't wait! :D

This post contains no affiliate links and was not sponsored by Disney. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.