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! 😀 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

Happy First Day of Summer!

It’s officially summer! Enjoy these warm, school-free days while you can, guys.

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Eve, Savannah, Nevaeh, and Isabelle decided to play in the pool this evening. (I made it using Hidden Hollow AG Crafts’ tutorial.)

American Girl GOTY 2014 Isabelle Palmer

Isabelle relaxed on the raft I made this morning.

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“Marco!” Eve called, waving her arms around. Where were her friends hiding?

“Polo,” chorused Savannah and Nevaeh.

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Eve stumbled in the direction of their voices, and stepped on Izzy’s hand.

“Hey!” she shouted. “I’m trying to get a tan here!”

“Sorry,” Eve giggled, rolling her eyes.

American Girl GOTY 2014 Isabelle Palmer

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They got bored with Marco Polo pretty quickly, and decided to toss around the basketball that they’d “borrowed” from MJ.

American Girl GOTY 2016 Lea Clark

American Girl GOTY 2016 Lea Clark

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Saige’s dog, a Border Collie named Rembrandt, leapt into the pool a few minutes later. The girls’ game of pool basketball was instantly forgotten as the huddled around the dog, cooing.

 American Girl GOTY 2013 Saige's Dog Rembrandt

American Girl GOTY 2014 Isabelle Palmer

American Girl Truly Me doll #24

American Girl GOTY 2014 Isabelle Palmer

American Girl Truly Me doll #55

American Girl Truly Me doll #55

American Girl GOTY 2013 Saige's Dog Rembrandt

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What are you guys doing this summer? I’m hoping to earn enough money to buy a new doll! I made a post about my summer bucket list on my personal blog, if you’d like to look at that (read it HERE).

-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. ❤

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

How to Bead Your Doll’s Hair

How to Bead Your Doll's Hair

Hey! Today, I will be showing you how to put beads in your American Girl doll’s hair.

How to Bead Your American Girl Doll's Hair | Happy House of AG

You will need:

  • A clear rubber band
  • A spray bottle
  • A wire hairbrush/pick
  • Beads

How to Bead Your American Girl Doll's Hair | Happy House of AG

Before we get started, I want to say something about the beads. They need to have large holes, or else it will be nearly impossible to put them into your doll’s hair. Pony beads work best, but any bead with a large hole will do.

How to Bead Your American Girl Doll's Hair | Happy House of AG

First, take a thin section of hair near the front of your doll’s head. Brush it out and mist it. Make sure that the ends of the section are wet and clumped together.

How to Bead Your American Girl Doll's Hair | Happy House of AG

Take the first bead and slip it on the chosen strand of hair. Slide it all the way up to the crown of your doll’s head.

How to Bead Your American Girl Doll's Hair | Happy House of AG

If you can’t get the bead onto the strand of hair, try misting it again. Or twist the ends together, fold the hair in half, and pinch it. Then slip the bead over the twisted, folded, and pinched piece of hair.

How to Bead Your American Girl Doll's Hair | Happy House of AG

Once you’ve gotten all the beads on the doll’s hair, take a clear elastic. Wrap it around the hair directly below the beads.

How to Bead Your American Girl Doll's Hair | Happy House of AG

You’ll need to wrap it many times, so it’ll get too thick for the beads to slip over it.

How to Bead Your American Girl Doll's Hair | Happy House of AG

Finished!

How to Bead Your American Girl Doll's Hair | Happy House of AG

Doesn’t Eve look cute with the beads in her hair? 🙂

Try experimenting with different color combos and different numbers of beads.

How to Bead Your American Girl Doll's Hair | Happy House of AG

You can do pretty much any style on your doll’s hair while the beads are still in.

Ponytails . . .

How to Bead Your American Girl Doll's Hair | Happy House of AG

. . . braids . . .

How to Bead Your American Girl Doll's Hair | Happy House of AG

. . . a braided bun, etc.

The beads add a colorful pop to any hairstyle; perfect for the warm summer months ahead (which I’m already dreaming about. 😉 )!

If you decide to bead your doll’s hair, I’d love to see pictures! Post a picture on your blog and link back to this post, or email me a photo at happyhouseofag@gmail.com.

-Loren