Yeah…I did it…

A few weeks ago I had a moment of weakness, and I gave in.  To what, you ask????

Last week this box arrived at my house.  Thank heavens I was home, you can see it has raindrops on it! Any ideas as to what it might be??????????????

Here’s an even better hint:

Yep, I finally decided to take the plunge and buy a Create Your Own doll from American Girl.  I liked how the box was protected, not just with the plastic bag but the foam pieces to protect the corners.  Nice touch!

The box the doll comes in is very nice, and I LOVE how they made a non-traditional doll box for them.  You spend this much on a doll, you certainly expect it to come in an heirloom quality box, and this does not disappoint.  Now I just have to figure out a good place to store it since I don’t think the doll will be spending much time in it. 😉

And now, for the part you’ve all been waiting for…here she is!  I decided to stick with my original idea of “1st Grade Me”.

“Can someone take these plastic bags off my hands please???”

Tada!!!!!  I’m going to admit, there was that moment before I opened the box that I was hoping I wasn’t massively disappointed.  You spend this much money on a doll and then wait 3 weeks for it to arrive, you definitely don’t want it to be a let down.  I’m happy to report that it wasn’t!  She had extra protection on her hands, which I was very pleased to see.  No worries about shine marks or staining from the box color.  (I have to admit I am a bit concerned about the red color on the inside as well as the outside of the box.)  More on the doll later, let’s see what else was in the box!

The accessories all come in an additional box that is inside the presentation box.  I chose the “Let’s Create” accessories along with a pair of sunglasses.  Here is everything (well, almost everything) that was in the box:

And now for the closeups:

I think everything is adorable, but I especially love that watch, it has a bit of a “Swatch” vibe.

I thought the makeup kit was very well done, complete with mirror.  I guess this is supposed to be lip gloss because I don’t think most 10 year olds would be wearing full makeup, although what do I know?!?!

I almost missed this item, it was so tiny, and to be honest, I didn’t even notice it in the picture when I ordered it!  I thought it was fun though, especially because when I was a kid, I had a mood ring that was red and in a heart shape!

Also in the accessories box was a two sided coupon–one side is for the free magazine subscription and the other is for the free t-shirt.  I haven’t done anything with that just yet, hopefully later this week.  May is going to be insanely crazy, but I want to get that out of the way soon.

The doll outfit is very cute.  I chose the “Let’s Smile” outfit because it mostly closely resembled the outfit I wore to school on my first day of first grade.  I also liked it the most out of all of the ones they offered.  I wanted the “Let’s Smile” accessories but they were on backorder until July!!!  SO, I decided to order the other set instead so I didn’t have to wait all that time for the doll, (plus I was torn between the two) and also ordered the Let’s Smile set to be shipped later.  Something to look forward to!

The dress is just very average.  It’s cute, but nothing over the top special.

I do really like the shoes, I think they are very cute.  But I have a doll shoe obsession… 😉

The jacket is cute.  I do have to say I had trouble getting it off the doll though, the sleeves don’t have actually button or Velcro cuffs like some of the others, so it was a struggle.  Another thing drives me even more crazy than that though.

These buttons annoy me.  I’m a stickler for scale on stuff like this and these just look awful.  So much so that I may go through my doll button stash and see if I have enough to take these ones off and replace them with something else.  We’ll see.

The inside of the jacket is nicely finished, with all of the raw edges overcast so they don’t ravel. 

Okay, I know, enough about that.  On to the doll!!!

I picked the Sonali mold in the light skin, short pixie style hair cut in light brown with hazel eyes.  Her ears are pierced as well.  I really like how she looks, I think she is very cute.  I’m especially pleased with the eye color, the hazel is lighter than any of the other dolls I have with hazel eyes.  It is very close to the color of my eyes, more of a blue green hazel with brown accents.  This hazel is closest to the eyes used for Lanie if you need a reference point.  Rebecca and Kanani both have much darker eyes.

Of course, a new doll means I had to go find her some new clothes on Etsy.  The jeans and top came from seller Silly Monkey Fashions.  I’ll write more about these items later along with some other fun Etsy purchases.  I just thought these were way too cute and so in style, I even have a shirt similar to this myself!

I am very happy with how she turned out.  Would I do another one?? Maybe.  I only say that because I already have so many dolls, and don’t have any ideas at the moment that seem unique enough to spend the money on.  I do have to say that I think it’s a great idea, and I’m especially glad to see that American Girl decided to actually make a short wig for a doll.  Girls have short hair too!!!

Her name??????  GOOD QUESTION!  She is unnamed at this point.  No, I’m not going to call her Flo either, that would be too confusing.  I thought she might make a good Kate, but it’s not etched in stone at the moment.  Any other ideas???

One thing I would like to note here–the material used to make her torso is the old style cotton/pre-permapanties material.  I noticed that almost immediately, and I’m curious if this is the norm across the board for these dolls?  And if perhaps that thinner/cotton blend material has been eliminated on the entire line?  If you’ve bought a doll recently, I’d like to know which it has.  The only doll I bought brand new since that whole fiasco was Logan (Ryan) and he had the thinner blend fabric.  Fingers crossed they did away with that because I thought it looked cheap.

 

 

 

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The Science Fair Surprise

Every year at Kennedy the Saturday Science Club hosts a science fair.  Unlike most, it’s not a competition, but more of an opportunity for the kids to show what they’ve learned through the year and share it with the other students.  Everyone was busy getting their displays together, and they all did a great job.

Zara and Christine decided to do theirs about chemistry and how you have to be very careful not to mix the wrong things together.  They even talked about how you have to be careful with household chemicals.  They did a couple of different experiments throughout the day.

Josh did a different kind of chemistry.  He showed how you could use basic household items to make your very own volcano!!  It was pretty cool when he got it to “erupt”–but I doubt it was much fun to clean up.

   

Cassandra decided to concentrate on biology.  She talked with students about a variety of subjects and showed them where their different internal organs are.  She also talked about DNA and how it contains all the information that makes us who we are.

Ryan and Shivan are both fans of astronomy so they decided to bring Ryan’s telescope and show the kids how it works.  Shivan worked with the kids while Ryan talked about the planets, stars and the various constellations.  It was all very interesting and they both knew a lot about the subject.

Everyone did a great job with their displays, but one in particular really caught everyone’s attention–Abby’s.  She decided to talk about forensic science.  And she did it up in style by dressing up as everyone’s favorite forensic scientist–Abby from NCIS!!!  She had a lot of fun with it and set up microscopes so that people could look at different things through them–a strand of hair, a footprint, a fingernail, and a finger print were just some of the things she had them look at.  Her display was the hit of the whole science fair!

   

I think everyone had a wonderful time and they learned something in the process!

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Thank you to Maggie from If Dolls Could Dream for making Abby’s awesome lab jacket, it was perfect!  She made the skirt too.  And check out the boots, I found those on Etsy, they are by American Fashion World.   Abby Sciuto has always been one of my favorite characters, I was very sad to hear that Pauley Perrette was going to leave at the end of the most recent season.  It won’t be the same without her.

Book Group–Saige

It’s that time again, book group!  This will be the last one for a while, but I’m happy to say that for me, we are going out on a high note.  I LOVED “Saige”, I think it is now my favorite GOTY story.  I’ve said it before that she is my favorite Girl of the Year doll, and now I can honestly say that her story is my favorite too.

Saige and her story came out not long after I’d been to Albuquerque for the Balloon Fiesta and it really hit a soft spot for me.  Unfortunately the company my husband was working for at the time was on shaky ground so I couldn’t quite justify spending that kind of money on a doll.  However, here I am, 5 years down the road, a proud owner of Saige, Rembrandt and several of her outfits.

Which brings me to one thing I don’t quite understand.  Why, when American Girl released Saige and her collection did they name the dog Rembrandt???  That’s her grandmother’s dog!  Her dog is named Sam.  (Insert head scratch here.)  I still had to get one though as I’m a huge border collie fan.

Anyhow, on to the book!  I thought it was a great story that hit on a number of subjects that are relevant to not only current situations within schools (cutbacks to arts) as well as the problem of how to deal with changing friendships.  There is no real antagonist in the story, but Saige does reach a bit of a crossroad with her best friend.  I thought this was an incredibly realistic part of the story and something that many young people have to deal with over the course of time.  I liked how the author handled it the whole way around, I think it is a very relatable situation and the resolution was very well done.

I especially liked how Saige’s grandmother was portrayed.  I also liked how she and her new friend problem solved together.   As a horse lover, I liked the descriptions of not only the horses themselves, but the different items and techniques used to train the horse (and the dogs).  Plus how she and Gabi “saved the day” with their idea at the fund raiser.  And I would be horribly remiss not to mention the references to the balloon festival!

Albuquerque, New Mexico is considered one of the best places in the world for hot air ballooning.  On any given day (when the weather cooperates) you may see a balloon in the air.  I enjoyed how they mentioned that her dad owned a balloon and took people up in it periodically.  Each year Albuquerque hosts one of the biggest (if not the biggest) hot air ballooning event in October and let me just say, it is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever been to.  The year we were there they estimated at one of the mass ascensions (where large groups of balloons go up at one time) there were over 650 balloons launched in one morning! It was truly breathtaking, I highly recommend it as a place to visit if you can.  The only drawback is if Mother Nature doesn’t want to help–not just rain, but winds as low as 12mph can ground everything.  Lucky for us, we were there for 5 days, so we were able to get to see a mass ascension as well as balloons on other days just drifting around above the city.  I’m hoping at some point we get to go again.

I don’t want to go into too much detail in case I would spoil it for someone who hasn’t read it yet, but I think it’s a must read in the American Girl series.  Did you enjoy “Saige” as much as I did?

Since this is the last book group for a few months and it hits on a subject near and dear to me, I thought I’d share a few pics from our trip to the balloon festival: