Review: Truly Me #55

Review of American Girl doll Truly Me #55

 Arabella requested a review of Savannah, Truly Me #55. Go check out her blog and enjoy the review. :)

Review of American Girl Doll Truly Me #55

#55 has the classic face mold and feathered eyebrows.

Review of American Girl Doll Truly Me #55 | freckles

She has an adorable spray of freckles across her nose. I’m pretty sure they’re the original pattern.

Review of American Girl Doll Truly Me #55 | eyes

She has hazel decal eyes. They’re quite beautiful and I love how detailed they are.

Review of American Girl Doll Truly Me #55 | hair

#55 has gorgeous hair, it’s probably my favorite thing about her. It’s parted on the left and, I’m pretty sure, made of just one shade of dark brown. I’ve been using her constantly since I got her in 2014, and her hair is still soft and shiny.

Review of American Girl Doll Truly Me #55 | hair

Her hair falls in soft waves down to her waist. It’s the perfect length, too: not so long as to be impossible to brush, not so short that you can’t style it.

Make sure you have American Girl’s Sparkly Hair Pick before you buy her! Using a brush on her will ruin the curls.

Review of American Girl Doll Truly Me #55

#55 is the most photogenic doll I own, and she looks great in everything. Out of all my dolls, she’s the one I’d recommend the most.

Review of American Girl Doll Truly Me #55

I hope you enjoyed the review! And if you’re considering asking for her for Christmas, maybe it helped you make up your mind.

If you want to see more pictures of #55, you can scroll through all my posts about her here.

xo

Loren

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Christmas Wishlist | Doll Edition

Hey, guys! Christmas is right around the corner, so I thought I’d share my wishlist of doll things that I’m hoping to receive. There’s not as much stuff as in previous years, since I don’t like dolls as much as I used to, but there are still a few things I’d love to find under the tree.

(Click on the first three images to find out where to buy them.)

Image result for ever after high dolls lizzie

Ever After High Lizzie Hearts Doll

Lizzie is probably my favorite EAH doll. I love her color scheme and that she’s the Queen of Hearts’ daughter. Honestly, the only reason I want her is because she’s pretty, but I guess that’s all that counts when it comes to dolls.

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Our Generation Gourmet Kitchen Playset

My best friend has this set, and let me tell you, it is the coolest thing she owns. It would be great for photostories, because not only is it a sick kitchen, it comes with tons of dishes and food. I’ve wanted this thing forever, but I’m constantly broke and rarely have more than $20 at once. Which is why I’m asking for it for Christmas instead of buying it myself.

Image result for plaid to be here our generation

Our Generation Plaid to Be Here Outfit

This is the cutest outfit I’ve seen in awhile. Plaid skirt? Lace tights? Mustard yellow shirt? Sign me the heck up. It fits with the artsy aesthetic that I like, and idk, I just think it’s adorable and I want it a lot.

Lanie Holland & Sonali Matthews

I’d love love love to have either of these dolls, but they’ve both been retired for years, so it’s unlikely that I’ll ever get my hands on one. (I looked them up on eBay, and while the Lanies are affordable, Sonali dolls go for $300+. Woe is me.)

What’s on your wishlist?

xo

Loren

Peppermint Winter // AGPS

I twirl through the driveway with angelic grace
Till I slip on the sidewalk and fall on my face
This peppermint winter is so sugar sweet
I don’t need to taste to believe

Peppermint Winter // Owl City


I took these pictures of Nevaeh all the way back in January, which was probably the last time it snowed. Hope you liked them.

Christmas break is coming up! I’m planning on spending it continuing my novel (I’m currently at 16k) and working through my stack of unread books. One of them is The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill — has anyone read it? It’s got a gorgeous cover.

I’m also going to a Christmas party at a friend’s church (that’s right, this loser got invited to a party). I haven’t really seen this girl in a couple years, so I’m a bit nervous, but hopefully it’ll be fine.

Do you have anything fun planned for the holidays? Let me know in the comments. :)

xo

Loren

Updated “The Dolls” Page + Quiz!

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I redid my dolls’ profiles for the first time in almost four years!

A few things changed: I deleted some useless information, so they look somewhat neater now. Most of them have new profile pictures, too, and if I’ve done a review of a doll, I linked to it. A few of them have slightly different personalities, but I didn’t suddenly make Saige a sweetheart or anything drastic like that.

I also added profiles for my Ever After High, Hearts4Hearts, Madame Alexander, and mini dolls, although they aren’t very in-depth. You’ll have to visit The Dolls page to read them.

Now that I have a better understanding of who my dolls are, it might be easier to make photostories. Who knows. ;)

This is a cause for celebration, since it took me over a year to quit procrastinating and update the profiles. So I created a short quiz that tells you which of my dolls you’re most like. Take it and tell me the results in the comments!

Which Doll are You? Quiz

Scroll down to find your results!

Mostly A’s: Saige

I bought Saige with my own money. She’s my third AG doll.

Name: Saige Courtney Copeland
Nickname: Saigie
Age: 13
Birthday: March 22
Date received: March 22, 2013
Doll: Saige Copeland, GOTY 2013
Hobbies: art, fashion, horseback riding
Personality: melodramatic, leader, ambitious, confident, extravagant
Best friend: Isabelle
Dream job: model
Pet(s): Rembrandt (dog) and Alaska (horse)
Favorite animal: horse
Favorite color: red and navy blue

Mostly B’s: Isabelle

I bought Isabelle, my sixth doll, at the D.C. AG Place for my birthday.

Name: Isabelle Rose Palmer
Nickname: Izzy
Age: 13
Birthday: May 2
Date received: March 15, 2014
Doll: Isabelle Palmer, GOTY 2014
Hobbies: dancing, fashion, shopping
Personality: sweet, fun-loving, generous, naive, romantic
Best friend: Saige
Dream job: dancer
Pet(s): Coconut (dog)
Favorite animal: swan
Favorite color: blush and gold

(review)

Mostly C’s: Molly

My parents helped me buy Molly and Emily just before their retirement. I bought one doll, they bought the other. She’s my fourth doll.

Name: Molly Kristina McIntire
Nickname: Molls
Age: 12
Birthday: April 22
Date received: sometime in October 2013
Doll: Molly McIntire, retired Historical
Hobbies: gymnastics, make-believe games, animals, hiking
Personality: smart, optimistic, curious, polite, sincere
Best friend: Emily
Dream job: veterinarian
Pet(s): Boo (dog)
Favorite animal: all animals
Favorite color: lavender

Mostly D’s: Tracy

Tracy is the first American Girl doll I ever got. I bought her in 2012 for my birthday.

Name: Tracy René
Nickname: Trace
Age: 15
Birthday: February 28
Date received: February 28, 2012
Doll: JLY #39
Hobbies: soccer, video games, skateboarding
Personality: tomboy, sporty, lazy, dependable, impulsive
Best friend: MJ
Dream job: she has no life goals
Pet(s): Chocolate Chip (dog)
Favorite animal: hawk
Favorite color: lime green

Mostly E’s: Ivy

I bought Ivy (doll #7) when American Girl retired the Best Friend line.

Name: Ivy Jade Ling
Nickname: N/A
Age: 14
Birthday: February 28
Date received: June 30, 2014
Doll: Ivy Ling, retired Best Friend of Julie Albright
Hobbies: photography, gymnastics, reading
Personality: daredevil, logical, quick-tempered, opinionated
Best friend: Savannah
Dream job: Olympic gymnast
Pet(s): N/A
Favorite animal: squid
Favorite color: amethyst and topaz

(review)

DSC_0785

A’s and B’s: MJ

I bought MJ for my birthday at the D.C. AG Place. She is my ninth doll.

Name: Mary-Jane Alina Grace Valdez
Nickname: MJ
Age: 15
Birthday: July 3
Date received: February 22, 2015
Doll: Grace Thomas, GOTY 2015
Hobbies: cooking, violin, basketball
Personality: relaxed, outgoing, dramatic, sociable
Best friend: Tracy
Dream job: having her own cooking show
Pet(s): N/A
Favorite animal: dragon
Favorite color: red

DSC_0173-001

A’s and C’s: Caroline

I got Caroline, my second American Girl doll, for Christmas in 2012.

Name: Caroline Noelle Abbott
Nickname: Caro
Age: 15
Birthday: October 22
Date received: December 25, 2012
Doll: Caroline Abbott, retired Historical
Hobbies: being outside, crafting, babysitting
Personality: quiet, resourceful, compassionate, motherly
Best friend: N/A
Dream job: stay-at-home mom
Pet(s): N/A
Favorite animal: bunny
Favorite color: light blue

(review)

DSC_0428

A’s and E’s: Eve

I bought Eve, my eleventh doll, when I went to the D.C. AG Place for Lea Clark’s debut.

Name: Eve Adriana Cortez
Nickname: N/A
Age: 14
Birthday: August 14
Date received: January 1, 2016
Doll: Lea Clark, GOTY 2016
Hobbies: exploring, photography, skateboarding
Personality: chill, reckless, independent, clever
Best friend: Parker
Dream job: National Geographic photographer
Pet(s): N/A
Favorite animal: turtle
Favorite color: earth tones

(review)

B’s and C’s: Nevaeh

I bought Nevaeh, my tenth doll, at the D.C. AG Place while on a family trip.

Name: Nevaeh Allison Taylor
Nickname: N/A
Age: 13
Birthday: December 6
Date received: October 12, 2015
Doll: TM #24
Hobbies: singing, guitar, gardening
Personality: observant, shy, helpful, humble, anxious
Best friend: N/A
Dream job: musician
Pet(s): Lyric (cat)
Favorite animal: owl
Favorite color: honey and periwinkle

(review)

 

B’s and D’s: Savannah

I was given Savannah (doll #8) for Christmas in 2014.

Name: Savannah Juliet Kingsley
Nickname: Ana
Age: 13
Birthday: January 19
Date received: December 25, 2014
Doll: MAG #55
Hobbies: acting, singing, swimming
Personality: sarcastic, fearless, imaginative, protective
Best friend: Ivy
Dream job: actress on Broadway
Pet(s): N/A
Favorite animal: narwhal
Favorite color: silver

C’s and D’s: Parker

I bought Parker when I went to the D.C. AG Place for Gabriela McBride’s debut. She’s my thirteenth doll.

Name: Parker Jamia Miracle
Nickname: N/A
Age: 15
Birthday: November 2
Date received: January 1, 2017
Doll: TM #40
Hobbies: writing, listening to music, surfing the internet
Personality: apathetic, relaxed, irresponsible
Best friend: Eve
Dream job: ghost hunter
Pet(s): laptop. She takes very good care of it.
Favorite animal: centaur
Favorite color: vanilla

(review)

DSC_0012

 

C’s and E’s: Emily

My parents helped me buy Molly and Emily just before their retirement. I bought one doll, they bought the other. She’s my fifth doll.

Name: Emily Natalia Bennett
Nickname: Em
Age: 12
Birthday: September 29
Date received: sometime in October 2013
Doll: Emily Bennett, retired Best Friend of Molly McIntire
Hobbies: running, reading, hanging out with friends
Personality: loyal, honest, forgetful, stubborn
Best friend: Molly
Dream job: English/P.E. teacher
Pet(s): Leo (dog)
Favorite animal: lizards
Favorite color: blue

D’s and E’s: Elise

I bought Elise (doll #12) with my own money.

Name: Elise Penelope Larkin
Nickname: Ellie
Age: 11
Birthday: June 7
Date received: February 29, 2016
Doll: Maryellen Larkin, Historical
Hobbies: science, playing outside, make-believe games
Personality: bubbly, optimistic, friendly, curious, inventive
Best friend: Molly
Dream job: astronaut
Pet(s): N/A
Favorite animal: bugs
Favorite color: sky blue

(review)


Do you think your results are correct? Why or why not? Let me know.

Have a good day! :)

xo

Loren

Review: Born Global Indian-Inspired Outfit

Hey, guys. I hope you’re having a good day.

Born Global sent me an outfit to review! It’s the Yellow Block Print Tunic/Indigo Pant outfit ($25) from their Parichay Collection.

Born Global is such a cool company. Their goal is to create products that inspire global learning. Currently, they only have one clothing line: the Parichay Collection, inspired by Indian fashion. The limited edition outfits are made for 18″ dolls, but they plan on including clothes for 14″ dolls (like Hearts4Hearts or WellieWishers) in later collections. There will be three collections released a year, with new clothing styles available in each one.

Each outfit includes a tunic, pants, and scarf (the shoes are from my collection).

First up, the tunic. It’s made of a light material that almost reaches the knees. The mustard yellow fabric has a plant-like pattern on it.

There are slits in the sides, as well as Born Global’s tag on the left.

All the edges are hemmed except for the sleeves, which are selvedge. That means the fabric is woven so it won’t unravel.

Instead of using velcro fasteners like most doll clothes, it has snaps. They keep the tunic in place just as well as velcro would, if not better, and they don’t snag on the fabric or doll’s hair, either.

The second part of the outfit is the pants.

They have a stretchy waistband, and the bow is just for decoration. It’s a cute touch.

The last piece is the scarf. It’s made of the same fabric as the pants.

It’s a bit longer than the doll and can be styled in many different ways.

Born Global’s outfits also come with a doll-sized book with a fabric cover.

It contains instructions for putting the outfit on a doll, history facts, lessons on Indian languages, and more.

It also includes different ways for your doll to wear the scarf.

The outfit is adorable and very well made. They bottoms could easily be used as sweatpants, and the tunic as a t-shirt or mini dress.

Born Global is a fantastic company with a message as wonderful as their products. The packing is made from recycled materials, they enable artisans to make extra income, and (the best part) 5% of each purchase is donated to the Kids in Need Foundation, which provides free school supplies to students who can’t afford any themselves.

And that concludes my review! If you want authentic and quality Indian-inspired outfits for your dolls, Born Global is the company for you. Read more about their mission here, or browse their store here.

Here’s a photoshoot of Parker in her new outfit, because the sky was pretty and I wanted to show off the clothes. :)

xo

Loren

Day in the Life of a Writer | a NaNo Photostory

I’m not sure how many of you know this, but I’m a writer! And I’m participating in National Novel Writing Month for the third time — you can learn more about my project here.

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to make a photostory showing what my life is like in November. Really, this is just another way to procrastinate writing my novel. I’ve spent about five days putting off writing by working on this photostory instead. But that’s beside the point.

Enjoy!


I wake up on the couch where I’d fallen asleep the night before. A blanket is tangled around my legs and my laptop sits on my chest. Stale food from yesterday’s midnight snack lies on a plate on the floor. I stretch, rubbing the gunk out of my eyes.

What will I do today? I wonder. Maybe I’ll go skateboarding with Tracy or work on my Tumblr blog.

And then: NaNo. The thought crashes down on me and I scrunch up my eyes, like not being able to see will make it go away. It doesn’t.

I first heard about NaNoWriMo from a boy in my English class. “You write a novel in a month, and then you have the rest of the year to edit and think of a new story.” He’d made it sound so easy, as if it wasn’t a big deal. And maybe it wasn’t for him. Apparently, he’s participated — and won — every year since sixth grade. But I’m finding it quite difficult to make myself write everyday. The month is almost over and I’ve still got a few thousand words left.

I moan. I don’t want to write today. Just twenty-four hours to rest my mind and fingers, is that really too much to ask?

Maybe taking a shower will help clear my head. Eyes half closed, I flop off the couch and plod upstairs to the bathroom.

The hot water welcomes me like a hug. Steam rises around me, making dew appear on the tiled shower walls. I’m almost fully relaxed, water drumming on my shoulders, worries washing down the drain, when I begin to count the droplets as they plop against my skin. Five, ten, fifty, a hundred. I imagine that each one is a word I have to write. Soon, all my anxiety about not finishing in time pours back over me.

I shut the water off. I need to get back to my laptop and fictional world.

Wrapped in a towel, I pad into my room and sit on the bed. Water drips off my hair and trickles down my spine, making me shiver.

Write! my brain urges.

Procrastinate, I reply, grabbing my phone from the bedside table and scrolling through social media. The first post I see is by the legendary writer in my class: “Just finished #nanowrimo with a few days to go! #writer #50k” I groan, shoving my phone under the pillow so I won’t be distracted by it. I should be happy for him, but the update just reminds me that I’m falling behind on my own novel.

Coffee might kickstart my creativity. I throw on some clothes, toss my phone and wallet into a bag, and head to the front door. I grab my skateboard from a bin in the hallway before slipping out.

Cruising down the sidewalk on my skateboard, I picture my characters in my head. There’s Taz, an alien with long blue hair who will do anything to help his twin. Zen, his brother, who becomes infatuated with a girl from Earth and crosses the galaxy to find her. And, of course, their best friend, Lulu. She’s brilliant and a bit eccentric, and goes to the new planet with the brothers to keep them out of trouble.

I know and love these characters, so why can’t I get put their thoughts and adventures on the page?

The chilly November morning offers no answer.

I prop my skateboard up on a bike rack and stroll into the cafe, inhaling deeply. The aroma of coffee and cookies is heavenly. A bored girl stands behind the counter, sighing and tapping the surface with her glittery fingernails. She perks up immediately when she spots me. “Hi, I’m Claire, what can I get you?” she recites, smiling.

“Hey.” I study the menu mounted on the wall behind her. The special today is peppermint hot chocolate. That sounds delicious. “Can I have the special?”

“Sure thing!” she beams. “It’ll be just a moment. Can I have a name for the order?”

“Parker.”

“Wow, that’s such a nice name!” she gushes. “It fits you perfectly.” This girl is so friendly, I can’t help but like her already.

“How’s your day been?” Claire asks while she fills a paper cup with cocoa. She sounds genuinely curious.

“Oh. I’m a little stressed,” I confide, fishing a few dollars out of my wallet. “I’ve got to write a lot today for NaNo. Have you heard of it?”

Claire’s eyes light up. “Oh, yeah! They’re doing a NaNo thing today at the library. A lady came over this morning and order a ton of drinks.” She points to a flyer on the wall that promises free coffee and snacks. “You should check it out. I was going to do NaNo this year, too, but I’ve already got work and college taking up all my time.”

Free food? I’m definitely going to stop by the library on my way home. It’s just a block away. “Yeah, thanks, I’ll do that,” I say, taking my cocoa. I raise the cup to my lips. Chocolatey, minty goodness fills my mouth. “Have a good day, Claire.”

The library is quiet, as always, and nearly empty. There’s just a girl browsing and a middle-aged woman on the couch with a notebook in her lap. A writer, I guess, here for the refreshments. A plastic cup rests on the cushion beside her, and a repulsive plaid bag leans against the couch by her feet.

I cross the room, the thick carpet swallowing the sound of my footsteps. There’s a table with plates, cups, and a box of teabags by the shabby couch. To my dismay, all that’s left is a bruised apple and a half-eaten granola bar. I wrinkle my nose. There’s no reason to stick around.

“You, girl,” calls the woman on the couch. She has bangs cropped too short, unflattering coke bottle glasses, and a vibrant, busy sweater. She looks just like the kind of person who would write a 50k novel by hand and make you feel bad about doing yours on a computer.

“Me?” I take a step toward her. What I want to do is get out before she can begin her rant on how technology has ruined my generation, but I need to be polite.

“Are you a writer?” She blinks at me, her glasses magnifying her eyes to nearly twice their normal size.

“Yes, ma’am.” I angle my body toward the door, hoping she’ll get the hint and let me go.

“How far along are you?” she presses, leaning forward. Talk about nosy. “I’ve already reached my word count, but I haven’t finished the plot yet.”

 I’m too embarrassed to say that I’ve only written ten thousand. But if I suck it up and tell her, perhaps she’ll leave me alone. “10k,” I mumble.

When she scowls, she looks almost as ugly as the red schnauzer bag on the floor. “Hmm. You’re not going to make it, honey. It would take a miracle.”

I bite my tongue to keep from announcing that my goal is only 15k, so I’m actually not that far off. Instead, I nod, give her a forced smile, and get the heck out of that place.

At home, I stash my skateboard in the garage and curl up on the couch. I wake up the laptop and stare at the screen, at the blinking cursor that mocks me silently every time I let it sit there. Not today, cursor. My eyes skim over what I wrote last night before dozing off. The alien trio has just flown away from their home on the moon Titan.

What was I thinking? I cringe at a particularly poorly worded sentence, jamming the backspace button. Great, so now I’m even further from my goal than before I sat down.

I need a break.

While I’m wandering around the house, I spot Nevaeh’s guitar resting on Caroline’s duvet. Sometimes she’ll come up here and play a song for Caroline, to get her opinion on it. Nevaeh is really good, like some kind of child prodigy. I wish I could play guitar like she can.

Well, I tell myself, no time like the present. I sit on the edge of Caroline’s bed and settle the guitar into my lap. My fingers press the strings against the frets, plucking out a tune. It’s twangy and sharp and headache-inducing.

My mind drifts off, reminding me of everything I should be doing instead of messing with Nevaeh’s guitar. Chores. Homework. NaNo. I don’t want to do any of those, but I’m definitely going to save writing for last.

I decide to do homework first, so I don’t have to stress about it when I return to writing. I drag my backpack up to Caroline’s room, which I’ve dubbed homebase. Chewing on the end of a pencil, I spread my papers out in front of me and tackle the first problem.

Thirty minutes later, I’m nearly bored to tears. But anything, including homework, is better than facing that cursor, blinking at me like a smug cat.

Two girls decked out in flamboyant ballgowns swirl into the room, springing onto the bed. Their bouncing makes the guitar leap around with them.

“Parker!” Ellie and Emily sing together. “Come play with us outside!”

I climb to my feet, glad that my sisters interrupted me before I could get started on chemistry. “Sure! But outside? Won’t you be cold?”

“Nope! We’ve got cloaks and fire powers!” Ellie giggles, as if that explains everything. Her strawberry curls bob around her as she jumps. “Come on, Parker. We’re princesses, you’re the knight, and you’ve got to come kill a dragon before it kidnaps us!”

Emily and Ellie dash for the stairs, their voluminous skirts flying out behind them.

The “dragon” turns out to be Alaska, Saige’s mare. With an old-fashioned shawl around my shoulders, a toy sword in my hand, and childlike excitement in my heart, I pretend to fight off the dragon/horse. Emily and Ellie huddle on the ground behind me, fake crying, while Alaska watches us with curious eyes. She looks like a scientist observing a new species.

Once the game is over, the two princesses safely returned to their castle, I face my responsibilities once again. I finish my homework, clean my room, the bathroom, and then the entire first floor. Then I try to make myself a pizza, accidentally setting it on fire in the oven. I have a bowl of cereal instead. I distract myself with tasks all day, but the nagging voice in my head remains, begging me to write.


 Eventually, I’ve procrastinated as long as I can, and I find myself returning to the laptop. I give myself a pep talk: You can do this, Parker. Just a few hundred words. Meet today’s word count. It can be absolutely horrible. All you have to do is write. 

OK. I wake up the laptop, fingers poised above the keys. Write, write, write. And then I do, and the angels are singing. A word appears on the page: The. 

I wipe the sweat off my forehead, exhausted. I deserve another break.


So I just wrote nearly 2k. That’s great, but it probably should have been for my novel, not my blog. Oh well.

Have a good day!

xo

Loren