She has a name!!

Someone recently asked me if I’d ever decided on a name for my Create Your Own American Girl doll.  It was a tough choice, but I had several different ones that stood out.  One was fairly high on the list, but after a comment a friend made, it finally became her name.

So, officially introducing:

Mackenzie!  Her whole name is Mackenzie Leigh Hett.  Her family calls her “Mimi” because she looks just like her mom and they joke that she’s her “Mini Me”.  Her friends call her Kenzie, but she answers to both!

I’m sure you are wondering how I came up with her name.  I’ve always liked the name Mackenzie and it was high in the running for what I would finally pick.  Then Xyra (from Tea Time With Melody Q) suggested Mimi since it kind of fit the whole mini-me type theme, and I thought it would work well with Mackenzie as far as a story.  I’m also a fan of NCIS and NCIS Los Angeles, and I liked the shortened version of Kenzie.  It all fits because I actually go by three different names myself and since she is supposed to be me in a way, it all works!  I thought Leigh worked well with Mackenzie and I know many people with that as their middle name.

Her last name is in memory of a young man killed in the Manchester UK bombing last year.  Martyn Hett was a vibrant young man in his 20’s who was at the Arianna Grande concert when a terrorist set off a bomb in the arena, killing multiple people.  I remember in the hours after the bombing, family of people who were missing posting photos of their loved ones all over Twitter in hopes of finding them.  Martyn’s photo hit home for me because he was a member of the Coronation Street fandom that I’m very involved in, and when we all learned the truth that he had been killed, it was a horrible moment.  Martyn’s sense of humor and love of Coronation Street will always be remembered.  Just to give you an idea of the impact his death had on fans, the cast and creators of the show, a bench in Martyn’s memory is actually now on the set.  You can read about it here:

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that we recently went on a big adventure and Mimi got to go along with us. Stay tuned for photos and stories soon!


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.




Well, have you tried it?

American Girl unveiled their new “Create Your Own” platform for making a custom doll earlier this week.  The first day didn’t go so well with major site issues.  Not sure if that’s a good or bad thing since I don’t know if it was due to high volume, or because they weren’t completely prepared.  Regardless, I was able to get in later on in the day and play with it a bit.  It took forever and was a bit frustrating.  I don’t know at that point if the problem was on their end or my end, but I persevered and manage to create a doll.  I didn’t buy though since I just got Allie and Christine.  Plus I’m waiting to read some reviews as well.

The hardest part for me was deciding what I wanted!  Finally I decided I was going to do “1st Grade Me”.

It was fun to play around with it a bit and try out the different face molds. I was surprised to see how many different “parts” were already on backorder or low inventory. Again, was this a case of them not expecting this to be quite so popular or perhaps this might explain the sudden change in date of release as it might be a case of not having all of the supplies they had hoped to have. Since I’m not in a hurry to order one it didn’t really matter to me, but I can see where this might be frustrating to someone who planned on using this as a birthday gift right away.

The only thing I would have liked better in choices was another shade of light brown hair offered. It may not even be an issue though, it’s hard to tell from just a computer screen. I did try making a “current me” version too by just changing the hairstyle, and I wasn’t all that wild about the curly haired wig with bangs. Just a minor thing though.

Xyra and I were both a bit upset with the fact that music and dance were lumped together in the favorite activities section. There are many girls that like one or the other and not both, so I don’t quite get why that was all stuck as one activity. Other things were individualized so I really don’t understand the need to put these together.

Overall, I like the whole idea. I’m just not sure they were ready for it as far as their website and inventory. For what you get, the $200 price tag isn’t completely out of line. The doll would be $115, the accessories would be about $30, subscription about $12, t-shirt $14 and the personalized keepsake box (which I don’t know quite how to put a price on). Plus if you added ear piercing or a hearing aid, and the included shipping, it’s actually right on the money if not even a little bit better, depending on what you chose. I love the idea of a little girl (and big girls too!) being able to create a doll that resembles them.

I am curious to know one thing–if you choose to do this at one of the stores where it’s offered, do you get your doll immediately, or do you have to wait for it to be shipped to you? It looks as though the only thing you can design and take home at the store is the clothing, and that is only available at certain stores. Xyra wondered if you already had a subscription to American Girl magazine, would they allow you to just extend it by 6 months? So many questions.

Did any of my readers decide to take the plunge and order a doll? I’m anxious to hear opinions on finished dolls! I was thinking this might be a fun Christmas request, but not sure that I want to get caught up in the frenzy, so I may wait until sometime after the new year. Plus by then there should be a decent number of reviews on them. Time will tell!