Sunday, January 22, 2017

Hey There...Remember Me?

The one who used to post on this blog at least once a week...usually? Yeah. Just thought I should stop by and let you know I'm still alive.

I don't really have a valid excuse, other than the usual "my life is so crazy right now" thing. ;) The holidays were nuts, Hubby's work shifts have been all over the place (night shift, day shift, away from home for a week shift, etc.), I've been working on several projects...the list goes on. And, to be honest, the farther behind I got, the harder it was to get back to the blog. (I'm really good at avoidance when I'm overwhelmed.) ;)

I knew it was time to shape up and post SOMETHING when someone left a comment on my Facebook page today, asking if my blog was still functional. :}

So, Merry Christmas and Happy 2017! (Hey, at least I posted in time for Valentine's Day...a whole three weeks early!)

As usual, I have several posts in the works (when do I NOT have posts in the works?), part of my aforementioned avoidance/overwhelmed thing. ;) I thought for this post, though, I'd briefly share a bit of what I've been up to since you last heard from me, and then share a few things I'm looking forward to.


Our family had a lovely Christmas together, though it was quite different from years past. For one thing, this year Christmas was held at my mom and dad's house instead of my aunt's. Due to financial issues related to medical issues, my aunt had to move this year, so her home was no longer available to us. It was a bit crowded, but we survived just fine. ;) It was great to all be together once again. And I have to admit, there was something special about spending Christmas in the home of my childhood, thinking back on old memories. :)

Watching Papa's train go around the base of the Christmas tree.

All ready for Christmas morning!

Interestingly enough, I didn't bring a doll or toy to Christmas this year. It was all I could do to get the people in my life packed. ;)

I did manage to get pics of the display the girls and I set up for my mom's living room, though. :) 

Doll Customizing

The girls all got Pullip dolls this year, which was super exciting for them. Middle Gal got a "Make it Own" Pullip set, and did a fabulous job customizing her doll.

Pretty good for an almost eleven-year-old. ;)

This got all of us on a doll customizing kick. I've admired the YouTube tutorials of doll customizers such as Nicolle's Dreams and Dollighful, but aside from a few feeble attempts at customization, I've never really taken the plunge.

This January, I did, and for a couple of weeks, that was pretty much all we did. The girls' dolls are still in progress, but here's how my first one turned out:

Ever After High Raven with face paint removed.

After repaint:
It was a LOT harder than it looked on the tutorials, but I'm super pleased with her. :) Can't wait to share pics of the girls' dolls, too!


The doll customization was brought to a screeching halt, however, when at this month's doll club meeting, I discovered that the doll club would be meeting next at my house on February 1st. Eep! Time to put the dolly stuff on hold and clean the house.

But, of course, I couldn't just do things the easy way, clean things up, and be done with it. No. I had to do the whole, "Blech!!! My house is a mess! I can't find anything! I have too much stuff! The girls have too much stuff!" thing and embark on a major decluttering adventure.

Which has pretty much taken up the entire month of January. Especially since I discovered black mold on one of my walls. :(

But we're making progress, and I LOVE what we've done so far. Hopefully, I can get it all done in the next week and a half...and figure out what on earth I'm going to talk about for the meeting. ;)

A great shelf I found at Goodwill for just $10...perfect for the younger two girls' room!

Our newly organized doll customization/craft center.

The still-in-progress part. ;)

I'm hoping to do some eBay sales in the coming weeks (probably after the doll club meeting), but I feel bad even saying that since I've been talking about eBay sales for months now. Sigh. I really need to get more organized. I'll let you guys know if I actually get my act together and get some stuff listed.


In the midst of all of this excitement, in early January, it snowed for the first time in three years! We had a wonderful time playing outside. I got a few great doll and toy photos, too. :)

The girls took doll pictures, too. This is Middle Gal's...

...this is Little Gal's...

...and this is Oldest Gal's.

Fan Mail

I got some incredible fan mail from my online friends Treesa and T.K.Wilson. I feel horrible that I haven't done a Fan Mail Friday post about it yet. But girls, please know your gifts were loved and appreciated. You both brightened my day so much. :) And don't despair. I WILL get that post up as soon as I can...possibly after the doll club meeting, as all of my time right now is being spent in frantic cleanup. ;)

Toy News

Boy, this was one of the things that killed me as I sat on the sidelines, trying to get myself to jump back into the fray. Sooo many new toy releases have been showing up!

Shopkins Happy Places Season 2!!

Milly Mops

Rosie Bloom

Queenie Hearts

Tippy Teapot

Chelsea Cheeseburger

Daisy Petals

Now that I had some new Lil' Shoppies, I needed a way to display them. I found these great little shelves at Target for $5 each. I think they look great! :)

Twozies Season 2!!

Groove Pullip dolls at Tuesday Morning stores!

I bought this one, Marianne, with some of my Christmas money. :)

So pretty!

And, of course, I can't possibly go on without mentioning all of the incredible Beauty and the Beast live action merchandise that's started popping up everywhere! As you can imagine, I've been oohing and aahing and making wishlists and generally feeling like a ten-year-old again.

My only B&tB Purchase so far: the Enchanted Rose Scene Playset.

While I haven't done any reviews yet, I've been very active on my Pinterest boards. ;) You can see my Beauty and the Beast 2017 Pinterest board HERE, and my Shopkins Happy Places board HERE.

For those of you who are wondering, my current plans are to purchase the Disney Store Belle (Yes, I know she's not the most attractive portrayal of Emma Watson, sadly. No, I will not go as far as to say that she looks like Justin Bieber.) ;) and the Disney Store Beast. Even though I think Gaston is the best of the Disney Store dolls, I don't think I'll be adding him and village Belle to my collection. At least for now. I also plan on purchasing the Toys R Us exclusive Belle and Prince set. (I'm so disappointed the Disney Store didn't do a Prince doll.)

I will most likely not purchase any of these until the girls' birthday trip in February. For those of you anxious for reviews, be sure to check out my Pinterest board, as there are several from other toy bloggers/vloggers there.

Plans and Road Bumps

I can't guarantee how frequently I'll be posting over the next couple of months, but I'll do my best to not leave you hanging again without fair warning. ;) I have some pretty involved writing and illustrating projects coming up (and a house to resurrect).

Also, I just received the news this week that my daughters' school, the same one Hubby and I attended K-12, which has been around for 51 years, will be closing its doors at the end of this school year. So, as you can imagine, in the coming weeks I'll be busy making phone calls and setting up appointments and school visits. For my brothers and sisters in Christ, please pray that we can make the best decision for our girls as we figure out where to place them next year.

Things to Look Forward To

On a brighter note, there are several upcoming events I'm very excited about.

First, I actually have the funds to purchase a Disney Store Limited Edition Doll for the first time in my life!! :D

It came about in a rather random way. Back in November, Hubby and I took advantage of an incredible cell phone upgrade deal through Best Buy which left us with around $900 in Best Buy gift new phones. (Whaaattt?) ;D I used $100 of the money to purchase Disney Store gift cards. And now, I just have to wait for the perfect doll.

Originally, I had planned on getting a Belle doll from the live action film, but if the LE doll is anything like the regular one, I don't know that I'll be interested. That's okay, though. I'm going to take my time. Eventually, the perfect doll will come around, and then I'll be ready. ;)

As I mentioned before, in February we'll be taking the girls on their annual birthday trip to Roseville. It will be so fun to go to Toys R Us and the Disney Store and see so many of the new items I've seen online in person. And it's always a joy to spend that time with the girls, my mom, and my aunt. It's something we look forward to every year.

In May, Hubby and I will be taking an early anniversary trip to see The Phantom of the Opera in Sacramento! :D I haven't seen Phantom live since high school, when my friends all pitched in and bought me a ticket. It will be so fun to see it again and get away for an evening with Hubby.

Especially since this guy is the one playing the Phantom. (Gotta love that voice!)

Finally, I'm excited about Realm Makers, a writer's conference I'll be attending in July of this year that is specifically for speculative fiction writers. Sadly, I won't be making it to Mount Hermon this year, but I'm thankful I get to attend RM. We're staying at a hotel in Reno, and the conference includes a cosplay dinner and...a zombie apocalypse Nerf gun war. :} Not too sure about that part. Still, it will be great to join my friends Sarah and Rosemary once again for a new adventure. :)


I think that's about all for now. Thanks for hanging in there without me, guys. Hope you're having a wonderful 2017 so far. Here's to a great year, fun dolls, and fabulous friends. :)

And grinning puppies, too. ;)


Meritre said...

Looks like you were really busy! I hope it all turns out for the best!

Doll Dimensions said...

Oh, what wonderful snow pictures! :D Please tell Little Gal I especially love her photo. :) Living in Florida, I had to spray a tiny square of the yard with spray snow to get anything close to a white Christmas for my dolls. ;) Also, I'll be praying for you all to find the right school...I know form experience how hard that can be. Also also, AHHHH I'm definitely heading to a Tuesday Morning store! Marianne is beyond gorgeous! Anyway, just wanted to drop in and say hello! :) <3

Treesa said...

Welcome back to the blogosphere Hannah! Glad to hear that you've got good things to look forward to in the coming months. Life can be a mixed bag sometimes, but I know you'll make it through the crazy and the stress. To quote Peter Pan, "All it takes is faith and trust." And I know from reading your blog that you have faith and trust to spare. Best of luck in all your endeavors.
Signed, Treesa

Nikki Fielder said...

I hope you enjoy Phantom of the Opera! I absolutely adore it. My best friend let me borrow the 25th Anniversary DVD last February and I've loved it ever since. I went to see it live in London in August, but I was in a terrible mood that day so I didn't enjoy it as much as I should have. I'm dying to see it again some day!

MyLittleMegara said...

Welcome back, Hannah! It sounds like you've had a lot going on. Prayers for your family and your girls. :)

Also, that last picture of Teddy is too cute!

Sarah said...

Hi. I'm the one who commented on your Facebook page, lol. I'm sorry if I came across as pushy. I definitely understand that real life comes first. I just really love it here, and I was wondering if something had happened. Glad to see you're all doing well.

jSarie said...

Great to see your blog pop up again in the feed; it's good to see you around. We had some mold drama around here as well, so I can sympathize with that bit.

Love the photos in the snow! :)

Farrah Lily said...

Hi Hannah,
Great to see you back! Your Christmas photos look so colorful and cozy. I'm glad you guys had a great time. Your first repaint looks nice! Did you use paint or water color pencils? That is something that I've always wanted to try, but I can't seem to jump into it. I blame it on "no time", lol.
The snowy photos look gorgeous! I especially love the rebodied Candy Princess Barbie. So pretty. Your new Pulip doll is also adorable! I don't have any Pulip dolls in my collection, but I really like them and hope to get one some day. We have a Tuesday Morning store somewhat nearby and I've never gone inside, so I will have to check it out!
I have to say..I'm obsessed with the Shoppies now. I was slow to jump on the bandwagon, but now I think they are so adorable. So far I've collected Gemma Stone (I found her on clearance for $9 in Walmart!) and Rainbow Kate. I also picked up a mini Rainbow Kate and Mini Kristina Apples. So cute! I LOVE your idea of displaying them in those mini shelves.
Congrats on being able to get your 1st Disney LE doll!! So exciting! I'm excited to see what comes out this year. I haven't heard any leaks or rumors as of yet. I think Snow White may be close to celebrating her 80th aniversary so I would love to see another one of her. :)
Your puppy is getting so big!

Hannah Prewett (beastsbelle) said...

Thanks so much for stopping by, everyone! It was great to hear from all of you. :)

Hi Meritre! Thank you. :)

Hi Grace! I'll be sure to pass your message along to Little Gal. :)

As far as schools, we have two promising possibilities. Thanks for your prayers. I'm meeting with one school two days from now, and am in the process of setting up an appointment with the other school. I'll keep you guys posted as I have more information.

I hope you find your own Pullip treasure at Tuesday Morning! :)

Hi Treesa! So good to hear from you, my patient friend. :) Thank you very much for your kind words and lovely gifts. You always make me smile. :)

Hi Nikki! I'm sure I'll love it. There's something so magical about live theatre. :) I used to have the entire score memorized in high school. I'll probably have to stop myself from singing along! ;)

Hi MyLittleMegara! Thank you so much. Your prayers are appreciated. Wonderful to hear from you, as always. :)

Hi Sarah! Lol, please don't feel bad. I didn't think you were pushy at all. It was just the little wake-up call I needed to get my act together. :) Have a wonderful week!

Hi jSarie! Blech, mold is not fun. I'm not sure if I got rid of it for good, but for the time being the problems have settled a bit.

Thank you! It was so much fun getting to take snow pictures again. :)

Hi Farrah Lily! Wonderful to hear from you. :)

I used a combination of paint AND colored pencils, and some chalk pastels, too. I used water color pencils for the first part, but unfortunately, mine aren't the greatest quality, so they didn't work all that well. For the later layers, my Prismacolor regular colored pencils worked well. At the very end, I added paint to the eyes to make them pop. I'm still learning, but it's been super fun! :)

I'm glad you enjoyed the pictures. It was fun taking them. It's been a while since I've set aside the time for a dolly photo shoot, so it was nice having an "excuse." ;)

You should definitely check your Tuesday Morning store periodically. You never know what will turn up! ;)

Oh, I'm stuck on the Shoppies, too! I tend to go for the Lil' Shoppies more, just because they take up less space, but I do have my three regular Shoppies on my bookshelf. :) And I must say, I just saw a regular-sized Kristea at Target the other day and was SUPER tempted to get her. ;)

I was so happy with how the shelves turned out. :) I'm trying to keep my Lil' Shoppies to three house shelves. We'll see how I do. ;)

I'm really excited to see what the Disney Store releases, too. The only thing I've seen so far is another Moana LE. While I loved the movie, I don't think Moana is what I want to go for. I'd prefer Beauty and the Beast, Tangled, or Frozen (although I can't see them releasing more Frozen LE dolls anytime soon with as many as they released in the past couple of years!).

Teddy is getting huge! I didn't realize just how quickly puppies grow. He's going to be a big boy! ;)

Thanks for stopping by!

Amber L. S. said...

I hadn't seen the Disney Store doll yet, until now haha her dress is really prettthe and while the dolls face is pretty in a way, she doesn't have a very pretty expression. She looks kinda confused, I think if they went with a better facial expression for the doll like with the Hasbro version. It might not have been do bad.

Hannah Prewett (beastsbelle) said...

Hi Amber! I agree, if the expression wasn't the one they chose, it might have improved the doll. I've now officially purchased one, and sadly, she does not improve in person. :( It's really a shame, because Emma Watson could make a very pretty doll if done correctly.