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

Advertisements

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

The Haunted House | Photostory

Related image

It was the night of the greatest Halloween party of the year. Our entire family had been invited, and in the hours before it started, the house was buzzing with activity. The bathroom was crowded with girls doing their makeup and face paint. Shouts of “Has anyone seen my shoes/hat/wings?!” rose above the cacophony every other minute. The excitement made the air electric.

When I say that the entire family had been invited, I really mean almost the entire family. Nevaeh was the only one who hadn’t received one of the pumpkin-shaped invitations. The kid was so quiet at school that the girl who was hosting the party probably didn’t know she existed.

I couldn’t very well leave Nevaeh at home by herself while practically everyone else in the entire school was at the party. So while the rest of our sisters bounded out of the house in their getups, I hung back. We could find something fun to do together. I didn’t really want to go to the party, anyway.

We surfed the web for Halloween activities and decided to go to a haunted house. I’m into creepy stuff — ghosts and zombies and that sort of thing — so it was kind of a no-brainer.

After paying and signing waivers, Nevaeh and I hung out in the brightly lit lobby, waiting for the haunted house guide to appear and lead us on the tour. The Ghostbusters theme played from speakers mounted on the wall. We sucked on peppermints from the bowl on the desk.

A door slammed open on the other side of the lobby, letting out a group of shrieking kids. A young woman followed the screamers and walked over to us. “I’m the guide,” she said, giving us a rehearsed smile. “Are you my next group?”

“We are. Nice costume, by the way. Very scary.”

She laughed, drumming her fingernails on the cardboard sign draped around her neck. Your grades were scrawled on it in black marker. “Thanks. It’s in honor of my report card.”

The woman told us to call her Kate and beckoned us into the haunted house. Dry ice curled around our feet. Nevaeh shuffled closer to me in the dim light.

We rounded a corner and my sister gasped. Dangling from the wall and ceiling were severed hands and a decapitated body. They spun slowly, scraping against the wall.

“This used to be a jail,” Kate whispered in a low, husky voice. “Those bodies? They belong to executed prisoners. Some people believe that their souls still haunt this place.”

A sudden gust of wind made the hanging body parts twirl on their strings.

Kate led us down the hall, where a spirit drifted into view. A beautiful snowy gown was draped over her bony body. When the shadowy form tilted its head in our direction, we could see that instead of eyes, there were just deep black holes in its face.

“Parker!’ Nevaeh choked, grabbing at my hand.

“That is Lady Amelia. She died on her wedding day, along with her soon-to-be husband. She wanders the earth at night, murmuring the vows to herself, longing to be reunited with her lover’s soul.”

The ghost of Lady Amelia floated toward us, hand outstretched. She vanished just before her wriggling fingers found my face.

With Lady Amelia gone, the hall was clear, and we followed Kate down it. Spiderwebs hung over our heads; bloodcurdling yelps could be heard from other victims of the haunted house.

Something was in the hallway with us: scuttling, scratching sounds could be heard around our feet. Three wispy white objects darted in front of us and disappeared into the gloom, giggling.

By my side, Nevaeh was so tense that if anything surprised her, I bet she would jump as high as a cartoon character.

We walked in sinister silence for awhile, bracing ourselves before turning every corner. I had begun to relax when a young girl in a dirty nightie stepped in our way. A holey sweater was wrapped tightly around her. She gazed at us with dull eyes, unblinking.

Nevaeh glanced at me out of the corner of her eye. Her mouth drooped into a nervous frown.

The girl pulled the sweater away from her side, revealing a huge wound in her side. The thin fabric of her pajamas was damp and red. She shivered. Cocked her head. “Please help me,” she croaked.

 We had to press ourselves against the cool, rough stones of the wall to get past. She watched us go with a gloomy expression.

Not even a minute after escaping the bleeding child, another fright appeared. A figure was hiding in a dark alcove, crouched over something white and still on the floor. The silhouette of a person looked over its shoulder as we passed, revealing a pale, angular face and blood-stained chin. It gave us a menacing grin with too many sharp teeth.

The white thing by its feet whimpered. I could now see that the shape was a tiny white dog with blood spurting out of a wound to its neck.

Past the vampire and its meal was a room with bones, feathers, and tribal masks hanging on the walls. A witch sat hunched over a cauldron from which came flashes of green, orange, and purple light. Pots, bowls, and woven baskets littered the space around the hag. They were filled with crystals, insects, critters, eyeballs, and other unpleasant things.

A desperate croak came from a frog dangling between the witch’s knobby, gnarled fingers. She dropped it into the cauldron and the mixture swallowed the struggling creature, belching and releasing an unsavory smell.

The witch’s cat snarled at us as we passed through.

 

I felt Nevaeh’s hand slip into mine. She was shaking.

She must be really terrified, I realized. Aloud, I whispered, “Don’t worry, it’ll be over soon. Just keep holding my hand. Close your eyes if you have to.”

She nodded and tightened her grip. Her wide eyes flitted around the room. They glinted in the flashing colored lights.

Kate halted. She pointed to two girls who were standing with their backs to us. “Jenna and Elise were best friends hanging out at a Halloween party. They spent the night gossiping, dancing, and drinking punch. But it turned out to be the worst — and last — party of their lives.”

The girls whipped around and lunged at us. Their faces were sallow and their flesh was beginning to peel in some place. They moaned as the rushed toward us.

“Jenna and Elise were turned into zombies that night!” Kate exclaimed, stepping to the side as the undead girls careened down the hall.

Nevaeh screamed. She pushed past Kate and the zombies and sprinted for the door that would lead back into the haunted house’s lobby.

I raced after my sister and found her sitting on one of the stiff canvas couches, breathing hard. I slid onto the cushion next to her and draped my arm around her, squeezing her shoulder comfortingly.

“I’m sorry for making you go through that,” I said, staring at the ground. “I like scary things, but I see now that you’re not into that. I’m really sorry if I ruined your Halloween.”

She took a deep, steadying breath. “It’s ok, Parker. It was fun, actually.” She gave me a hesitant smile. “So thanks for making me go. It was better than going to that party, anyway. At least we’re not going to end up like Jenna and Elise.”

I laughed. “Yeah. Good thing I know how to cure zombification. We might need it, when our sisters get home.”


 

Happy Halloween from the HHOAG girls!

xo

Loren

Parker’s Profile

Hey, guys! I finished Parker’s profile a long time ago and never got around to posting it. But it’s here now. :)

Name: Parker Jamia Miracle
Age: 14
Nickname(s): None
Date Received: January 1st, 2017
Type: Truly Me #40
Birthday: November 2
Allergies: None
Hobbies: Listening to music, surfing the internet, sleeping, trying to creep people out, reading useless facts.
Personality: Sarcastic, apathetic, confused, relaxed.
Awesome Fact: I’ve been told that I give off good vibes.
Random Fact: I’m pretty sure I’ve seen aliens.
Pet(s): The laptop. I take very good care of it.
Fave Animal(s): Dragons, man.
Fave Food(s): Plain pasta is pretty good.
Fave Color(s): Vanilla.


She’s sort of named after Jamia Iero (whose husband is Frank Iero. He was in the band My Chemical Romance.). I like the name Jamia (pronounced ja-mee-a), and I’m band trash, so it felt like a good choice.

I feel kind of bad about how short this post is. But profile posts usually are. idk, what have you all been up to this summer? I want to chat with you guys in the comments. I went to North Carolina for vacation (and I didn’t get any doll pictures, I’m so sorry), and I’ll be going to summer camp with my best friend next month.

Have a good day, my friends! :)

xo

Loren

Comparison: Ivy Ling x Truly Me #40

Comparison: Ivy Ling and Truly Me #40 | Happy House of AG

Hello, my friends! Here’s the promised comparison of Ivy and Parker (Truly Me #40).

Comparison: Ivy Ling and Truly Me #40 | Happy House of AG

American Girl’s Asian dolls all look pretty similar, and it’s a bit of a shame. Give some of them freckles or side bangs or a different eyebrow shape — just something to make them stand out from each other. Anyway, in this post, I’ll be pointing out the differences between my two lovely Asian AGs.

American Girl Jess face mold | Happy House of AG

They both have the Jess face mold, and feathered eyebrows. I feel like Ivy’s skin has a more yellow tone to it than #40’s.

American Girl Jess face mold | Happy House of AG

Ivy’s eyes are slightly different from #40’s. Her eyes are decal brown (#40 has the regular brown), and there’s some light brown around them.

Ivy Ling and Truly Me #40's hair colors | | Happy House of AG

They both have dark hair, but Ivy’s is black, and #40’s is brown. Ivy’s hair is parted down the middle, while #40’s is parted on the left side.

Ivy Ling and Truly Me #40's hair length | Happy House of AG

Ivy has shoulder-length hair. #40’s goes about an inch and a half past the shoulders.

Ivy Ling and Truly Me #40's hair | Happy House of AG

Styling Ivy’s hair can be quite difficult. It’s too short to do much with, except for pigtails. #40’s hair is long enough to do most hairstyles, although i think a bun would be difficult (but possible).

Since Ivy was retired in 2014 (before the awful zip ties were reintroduced), she has neck strings.

I got #40 in January, 2017, so she has a zip tie. Her head moves pretty easily, though.

Comparison: Ivy Ling and Truly Me #40 | Happy House of AG

And, of course, the main difference between them is that Ivy has bangs.

They’re both beautiful dolls, and I wouldn’t really recommend one over the other. You can do more with #40’s hair, though. And she would be easier to purchase, since, unlike Ivy, American Girl is still selling her.

Which do you like better: Ivy Ling, or Truly Me #40?

xo

Loren

// Golden Days //

Featuring Miss Parker and random lines from Panic! at the Disco’s “Golden Days”.

Oh don’t you wonder when the light begins to fade?
And the clock just makes the colors turn to grey

Forever younger growing older just the same
All the memories that we make will never change

We’ll stay drunk, we’ll stay tan, let the love remain
And I swear that I’ll always paint you

Golden days!
Golden days!
Golden days!
Golden days!

I bet they never even thought about
The glitter dancing on the skin

The decades might’ve washed it out
As the flashes popped like pins, hmm

In the summertime
In the summertime

Time can never break your heart
But It’ll take the pain away

Right now our future’s certain
I won’t let it fade away

Golden days!
Golden days!
Golden days!
Golden days!

It was really gorgeous this evening, so I took Parker out to the treehouse and snapped some photos in the dying light. I love flower crowns, and Parker looks lovely in hers. I like how the yellow stands out against her hair.

I balanced Parker on a tree branch for some of the pictures. That was kind of terrifying. She didn’t fall off, though. I guess balancing dolls on uneven surfaces is a skill I’ve acquired over three years of blogging. ;)

-Loren