Blog Update // Mah Girl Eve

 

WHO GOT THAT NEW BLOG LOOK, YEEEAAAH. *dabs into the next dimension*

I think I like those pictures of Saige in the cherry tree too much. Oops? Oh well. I like the new look, it’s a lot simpler and easier on the eyes. But now I have to update the rest of my blog to match it. Ugh.

Anyway! Pictures of Eve that I took around Christmas. She looks so cute in Molly’s sweater. ^.^ I freaking love her hair, it’s so soft and curly and the highlights are gorgeous.

Time for some shameless self-promotion! :D Anyone recognize the fence in the background? It was used in a photostory series called Road to Pamel that I did two years ago. You can read it here, if you haven’t done that already. And you should really check out my personal blog, let’s be lost. I’ve been posting on there a lot recently, and it’s pretty great, if I say so myself (I’m just kidding, it’s a trashy blog. Would you expect anything else?).

xo

Loren

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Holding on to Hope

GOTY 2016 Lea Clark American Girl

I was taking a walk one warm summer afternoon, with my dog Pete trotting by my side. Deep in thought, memories of my lost family swirled through my mind. The last time I had been with my mom, dad, and my older brother Zac was in . . . January? That sounded right. Mom and Dad took me to Brazil to visit Zac, who was living with some locals in the Amazon as part of his college experience. When our trip was over, my parents decided to stay a little longer and enjoy themselves, on a no-kids vacation. They had put me on a plane back to America, but I had somehow boarded the wrong flight. Instead of landing in St. Louis, Missouri, I had ended up here. Half a year later, I was still waiting for Mom and Dad to find me.

I glanced at Pete. He had a bandage tied around his front leg. When I first found him, the dog had had an awful limp. He still had that limp, but it was getting better.

“Pete,” I asked my pet, “are my parents still looking for me? Or have they given up? Because I’ve almost lost all hope.”

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Feet pounded against the asphalt behind me. I turned around and saw her: Elise Larkin, the newest girl in the family.

She waved cheerfully. “Hi, Eve! Hi, Pete!” She matched her stride to mine, walking along beside me. “Mind if I join you?”

I did mind, actually. I wanted to be alone.

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“Aww, hey, Pete!” Ellie cooed. Pete bounded over to her, yipping delightedly as she rubbed his ears.

I wanted to leave this place. Yes, I had friends: Tracy and Savannah and MJ and Nevaeh and more. But at that moment, all I really wanted was to be with my family, back home in St. Louis. Or at least for Ellie to go away.

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“So, hey, Eve,” Ellie began as we started walking again. “I know we’ve been living together for months, but the weird thing is, I don’t know you very well! I know you’re awesome and adventurous and good at sports and photography, but your past? Nope! I know nothing about that! So would you tell me about your family?”

I froze. “My . . . my family?” It was weird for her to bring that up now, when I’d just been thinking about them.

She nodded. “Yeah. Your family.”

Ellie was the only one who didn’t know about my past. She hadn’t been there in January when I’d shown up at the doorstep and poured out my whole story. There was really no harm in telling her. So I told her a short, to-the-point version of how I’d been separated from my family.

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“Aw, man. That’s sad,” she murmured when I had finished.

Sad. I didn’t want people to describe the story of my life with the word sad. Wonderful, brave, an adventure — those are the kinds of things my life should be described as.

“Well, you know, it’s kind of funny, actually.” Ellie was talking again; I was only half listening. “I don’t really know where I come from. All I remember is that I’m from Florida, and then I was just . . . here. At an airport nearby. There was a nice lady there — she looked a little like you, Eve! — and she gave me directions to this place. I haven’t thought about her in awhile. I wonder how she’s doing . . .?”

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Hope can make you completely irrational. I suddenly whirled on Ellie and grabbed her shoulders. “What did you say?” I demanded. “About the woman at the airport.”

“Uh, she — she looked like you. A little bit.” Ellie’s voice was unsure now. I felt her trembling beneath my grasp.

I pressed on. “Did she say what she was doing there? Was there anyone with her?”

Ellie looked on the verge of tears. “No!” she squeaked. “She was alone! But she did say that she was looking for someone!”

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I released Ellie and collapsed to the ground, feeling deflated. Whimpering, Pete stared at me imploringly, while Ellie stood off to the side, massaging her shoulders.

The woman at the airport . . . she had been searching for someone. Was it my mom? Was she searching for me? And if it was all true, then why hadn’t she found me yet?

“Eve?” Ellie whispered. “Just after I left the airport, there was a loud boom behind me. It might have made the news. Maybe the lady was featured. Do you want to go check?”

I rose unsteadily to my feet. Then I took off like a gunshot, my legs carrying me so fast that Ellie couldn’t keep up.

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Back home, we found the laptop sitting on Ivy’s rainbow comforter. I turned it on, brought up a news website, and looked through the archives. When did Ellie arrive? I asked myself. Early March. Look there. I kept hunting through the old stories until I found one that fit the bill. Right time, right location. The date was March 15th, 2016, and it was about a disturbance at a local airport.

A gun was fired in a local airport this evening. Officials say that only one was injured: a middle-aged woman named Melissa Cortez. She was taken to the hospital, where doctors are unsure if she will survive.

The shooter was caught and arrested.

Melissa Cortez has had a tragic life as of late. Her husband Mike and son Zac were killed in an accident in the Amazon rainforest. Her eleven-year-old daughter Eve went missing as of January 23rd, 2016.

UPDATE, 3/16/2016: Melissa Cortez was not able to recover, and passed away at the hospital. Perhaps she will be reunited with her loved ones in death.

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I felt numb. I thought my heart had stopped. Mom, Dad, and Zac . . . they had been dead for months, and I hadn’t known it. The world was caving in around me.

I shot a look at Ellie, sitting on the floor with Pete in her lap. I resented her. It was so unbelievably unfair that she had been with my mom on the day she died, and I hadn’t.

Even the sight of Ellie made me angry. Cheerful new-girl Elise Larkin, with her fancy strawberry blonde curls and neat little side bangs.

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She was so unafraid to speak her mind. I wished she had just kept her mouth shut and had never told me about meeting my mom at the airport.

Anything — even the false hope that my family was still searching for me — was better than this suffocatingly awful knowledge.

 -Loren

Review: Lea’s Mix & Match Swim Set

Review: Lea's Mix and Match Swim Set

Hey, guys! I’m finally getting around to reviewing the Lea’s Mix & Match Swim Set that I bought in January. The powers of procrastination, my friends.

American Girl Lea's Mix & Match Swim Set - bikini

Let’s start with the lime green swim suit. American Girl calls it a tankini, but let’s be honest: this is a bikini.

American Girl Lea's Mix & Match Swim Set - bikini

The bikini is lime green with hot pink edging. The fabric is stretchy, and feels like a real bathing suit.

American Girl Lea's Mix & Match Swim Set - fringe

The fringe is made out of the same fabric as the rash guard that comes with this set. In all the stock pictures of this outfit, the fringes are perfectly flat, but that’s not going to happen with mine. They curl and flutter all over the place. The only way to get them even close to flat is if you wet your fingers and stroke the fringes.

American Girl Lea's Mix & Match Swim Set - bikini

The bikini closes in the back with velcro.

American Girl Lea's Mix & Match Swim Set - bikini bottom

Like the bikini top, the bottom is made of lime green fabric with hot pink trim.

American Girl Lea's Mix & Match Swim Set - bikini bottom

The bikini outfit doesn’t hide the doll’s tag, but if you stick it into the bottoms, it becomes slightly less noticeable.

American Girl Lea's Mix & Match Swim Set - rashguard

Let’s move on to my personal favorite, the rash guard outfit.

American Girl Lea's Mix & Match Swim Set - rashguard

The top has hot pink sleeves and lime green edging around the neck. The rash guard is mostly made of a blue fabric with a busy neon pattern on it.

American Girl Lea's Mix & Match Swim Set - rashguard

It velcros in the back.

American Girl Lea's Mix & Match Swim Set - rashguard bottoms

The bottoms are pink, with a panel of blue patterned fabric on the hips.

American Girl Lea's Mix & Match Swim Set - headband

Lea’s Mix & Match Swim Set also comes with a stretchy headband.

American Girl Lea's Mix & Match Swim Set - headband

It’s pink with a white pattern.

American Girl Lea's Mix & Match Swim Set - headband

Elastic is sewn into the back of it, and it slips over the doll’s head.

American Girl Lea's Mix & Match Swim Set

Obviously, you can mix and match this set (hence it’s name), but I prefer keeping the rash guard outfit and the bikini outfit to themselves. I guess the colors just don’t work as well.

American Girl Lea's Mix & Match Swim Set

See what I mean?

American Girl GOTY 2016 Lea Clark's sarong

Hot pink sarongs were given out at Lea Clark’s debut, and they work perfectly with the swim suits.

Lea’s Mix & Match Swim Set is a colorful, realistic set that is a must-have for anyone who lives near the beach or has their own pool! Not to mention, the rash guard can double as a regular top

Buy this outfit from American Girl for $34 HERE.

American Girl GOTY 2016 Lea Clark

Bonus pictures!

American Girl GOTY 2016 Lea Clark

Relaxing in the pool. ;)

American Girl doll swimming pool

I used a colorful beach towel for the background of this shoot. :)

American Girl doll swimming pool

American Girl doll swimming pool

Like my swimming pool? I made it using Hidden Hollow AG Crafts’ tutorial: http://hiddenhollowagcrafts.blogspot.com/2016/06/happy-first-day-of-june.html

Do you live near the beach or have your own pool? I don’t, but my neighbors let us use their pool every summer.

-Loren

Golden Hour ~ an AGPS

Eve and Ellie, my newest girls, haven’t been getting the attention they deserve. I took them out yesterday during the golden hour — an hour before sunset — for a photoshoot. Enjoy!

American Girl dolls Maryellen Larkin and Lea Clark | Happy House of AG

American Girl doll GOTY 2016 Lea Clark | Happy House of AG

American Girl dolls Maryellen Larkin and Lea Clark | Happy House of AG

American Girl dolls Maryellen Larkin and Lea Clark | Happy House of AG

American Girl dolls Maryellen Larkin and Lea Clark | Happy House of AG

American Girl dolls Maryellen Larkin and Lea Clark | Happy House of AG

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American Girl dolls Maryellen Larkin and Lea Clark | Happy House of AG

American Girl dolls Maryellen Larkin and Lea Clark | Happy House of AG

American Girl dolls Maryellen Larkin and Lea Clark | Happy House of AG

American Girl dolls Maryellen Larkin and Lea Clark | Happy House of AG

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American Girl dolls Maryellen Larkin and Lea Clark | Happy House of AG

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American Girl dolls Maryellen Larkin and Lea Clark | Happy House of AG

American Girl dolls Maryellen Larkin and Lea Clark | Happy House of AG

American Girl dolls Maryellen Larkin and Lea Clark | Happy House of AG

American Girl dolls Maryellen Larkin and Lea Clark | Happy House of AG

THEIR HAIR IS PERFECT, OK. <3

American Girl dolls Maryellen Larkin and Lea Clark | Happy House of AG

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American Girl dolls Maryellen Larkin and Lea Clark | Happy House of AG

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American Girl dolls Maryellen Larkin and Lea Clark | Happy House of AG

American Girl dolls Maryellen Larkin and Lea Clark | Happy House of AG

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Flowers! :)

American Girl dolls Maryellen Larkin and Lea Clark | Happy House of AG

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American Girl dolls Maryellen Larkin and Lea Clark | Happy House of AG

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American Girl doll BeForever Maryellen Larkin | Happy House of AG

I really love this picture and the next one. The bokeh, the dandelion, the lighting, her hair — ahhh.

American Girl doll BeForever Maryellen Larkin | Happy House of AG

American Girl doll BeForever Maryellen Larkin | Happy House of AG

American Girl doll BeForever Maryellen Larkin | Happy House of AG

American Girl doll BeForever Maryellen Larkin | Happy House of AG

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American Girl doll GOTY 2016 Lea Clark | Happy House of AG

American Girl doll GOTY 2016 Lea Clark | Happy House of AG

American Girl doll BeForever Maryellen Larkin | Happy House of AG

American Girl doll BeForever Maryellen Larkin | Happy House of AG

American Girl doll BeForever Maryellen Larkin | Happy House of AG

American Girl doll BeForever Maryellen Larkin | Happy House of AG

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American Girl doll BeForever Maryellen Larkin | Happy House of AG

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Eve, apparently, has a stalker-ish obsession with tiny flowers. Weird.

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American Girl doll GOTY 2016 Lea Clark | Happy House of AG

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American Girl doll GOTY 2016 Lea Clark | Happy House of AG

If you actually looked at all of my pictures (I took a lot, I know), then good for you! *claps*

-Loren

Swimsuits, Sand, and Sea {Updates & a Photoshoot}

Hey! I know I haven’t posted since Valentine’s Day, but I actually have a legit excuse. I was in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina! I went with my mother, and we visited my mom’s friend from high school/college and the friend’s family.

Anyway, the drive to SC was extremely long. It took us nearly all day to get to SC, no joke.

Even though it was much too cold to go swimming, we went to the beach anyway. I brought along Saige and Eve and took the opportunity to take some pictures of them with the sea in the background!

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As you can see, Eve and Saige are modeling Lea Clark’s Mix & Match Swim Set. I took pictures for a review of that outfit, so you can expect to see that sometime soon. :)

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The daughters of my mom’s friend each own an American Girl doll. One of them brought GOTY 2010 Lanie Holland to the beach, and I took a picture of her, as well.

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In the Myrtle Beach State Park gift shop, there were these tiny alarm clocks. They were the perfect size for American Girl dolls! I just had to take a picture. ;)

If you’d like to see more pictures from my trip to Myrtle Beach, please check out my other blog, Blue Eyes, Gray Eyes. I’ll be posting about my trip on there a little later.

-Loren

Review: Lea Clark’s Rainforest Hike Outfit

Review: Lea Clark's Rainforest Hike Outfit

Hello! Today, I’m going to be reviewing an outfit from the collection of Lea Clark, American Girl’s newest GOTY doll: the Rainforest Hike Outfit.

American Girl Lea Clark Rainforest Hike Outfit

The outfit comes with a T-shirt, cargo pants, hiking boots, a belt, a watch, and a headband. It’s priced at $34.

American Girl Lea Clark Rainforest Hike Outfit - shirt

The white T-shirt has a beautiful butterfly design on it, described by American Girl as a “watercolor butterfly.” The shirt velcros in the back.

American Girl Lea Clark Rainforest Hike Outfit - pants

Lea’s cropped cargo pants are a grayish-green color. There are parallel lines in the fabric, but you don’t really notice them until you look closer.

American Girl Lea Clark Rainforest Hike Outfit - pants

There are two nicely sized pockets.

American Girl Lea Clark Rainforest Hike Outfit - pants

The pocket flaps lift, and there’s enough space to put something small into the pockets.

American Girl Lea Clark Rainforest Hike Outfit - pants

Functional belt loops go the whole way around the pants.

American Girl Lea Clark Rainforest Hike Outfit - belt

The striped green belt is not attached to the pants. It closes with a large plastic belt buckle.

American Girl Lea Clark Rainforest Hike Outfit - belt

The belt is surprisingly long.

A complaint is that little hands might have trouble feeding the belt through the loops. Also, I’ve found it hard to style the belt. The shirt covers it, and the buckle bulges in an unattractive way. Here, let me show you:

American Girl Lea Clark Rainforest Hike Outfit

With belt.

American Girl Lea Clark Rainforest Hike Outfit

 Without belt.

The outfit in the second image is more pleasing, because the belt isn’t making a lump beneath the shirt. I’ll most likely use the Rainforest Hike Outfit without the belt.

American Girl Lea Clark Rainforest Hike Outfit

Of course, I could hike (pun intended XD) the shirt up above the belt so that it can be seen, or tuck the shirt into the pants, but I like it better without the belt at all.

American Girl Lea Clark Rainforest Hike Outfit - boots

Moving on to Lea’s shoes! They are made of a tough, leathery fabric, with thick plastic soles. The hiking boots have beige, pink, and green fabric on them.

American Girl Lea Clark Rainforest Hike Outfit - boots

Side view.

American Girl Lea Clark Rainforest Hike Outfit - boots

The boots lace up with a green stretchy rope. In order to put them on, you don’t have to loosen strings or undo velcro or anything like that; the fabric is simply flexible enough to let the doll’s foot slip right in.

American Girl Lea Clark Rainforest Hike Outfit - watch

Next up, Lea’s watch! It’s made out of hot pink plastic. Clear plastic protects the watch face. There are bumps on the sides of the watch that are supposed to be buttons.

American Girl Lea Clark Rainforest Hike Outfit - watch

A better look at the watch face.

American Girl Lea Clark Rainforest Hike Outfit - watch

The watch goes on like the real thing: you have to stick the lime green clasp through one of the holes in the flexible watch strap.

American Girl Lea Clark Rainforest Hike Outfit - watch

You can even slip the end of the strap through a hard plastic thing that slides back and forth (such great description on my part! *eye roll* But seriously, does anyone know what this thing is called?)!

American Girl Lea Clark Rainforest Hike Outfit - headband

The Rainforest Hike Outfit also includes a yellow headband. It’s about a centimeter wide, and made of elastic.

 American Girl Lea Clark Rainforest Hike Outfit - headband

There’s a bow on the headband, but I prefer to style it so that the bow is in the back.

American Girl Lea Clark Rainforest Hike Outfit

Overall, I absolutely love the Rainforest Hike Outfit. It looks amazing on Lea Clark, and I bet it would look great on other American Girl dolls as well.

American Girl Lea Clark Rainforest Hike Outfit

It’s got a lot of mix-n-match potential! I can see the T-shirt and the cargo pants going with lots of different outfits.

-Loren