Sunshine Blogger 2017

sunshine-bloggerFlo at Say Hello to My Little Friends recently took part in the Sunshine Blogger award and nominated fellow bloggers inspired to participate.  I know I must be behind on a few of these nominations, so I decided to jump in!

Here are my responses to the eleven questions that help to get to know your bloggers better:

What’s your favorite post you’ve ever done on your blog?  

Ooh, that is a tough one to answer.  Maybe my three-part story about Isabelle’s mystery in the closet.  Maybe it’s asking a lot of a blog reader follow a three-part story, but I had fun with it!

Isabelle October Mystery

What’s your favorite photography tip?

I don’t consider myself an expert by any means.  Don’t let perfectionism stop you from jumping in and having fun.  That said, pictures outdoors are always a good place to start.

What season is your favorite? (Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall)

Fall is pretty terrific, but I am off work in summer, and what’s not to like about that!

Do you play an instrument? Which one?

I took guitar as a kid, but didn’t practice very much.

Do you like to cook or bake? What’s your favorite thing to make?

Definitely bake!  I am known for my Irish soda bread and cut-out cookies.

What’s your dream doll? (Custom, retired, available, leaked are options)

Kirstin “new in box” with as many original outfits as possible.  Love the Scandinavian culture.

Where would you like to go if you could go anywhere?

England, Wales and Scotland!  I’m saving my money right now hopefully for summer 2018.

What do you want to do when you grow up?

Apparently I am grown up already, but I love my work in an elementary library.  A bigger dream job would be to write kids’ books.

Do you prefer things you craft or things you save up to buy?

Save up to buy.  I am not crafty or patient with crafts.  My mom is a talented artist who can build anything.  I leave this up to her and reap the benefits.

What’s your favorite bible verse? 1 John 3:1


What’s your favorite school subject? Honestly, I loved college but didn’t enjoy elementary and secondary school that much.  I think subjects are taught in a more interesting way today, and the books taught are more relevant.  In 10th grade we read “The Scarlet Letter” and “The Red Badge of Courage.”  Ugh.

If you are a blogger and would like to participate in the Sunshine Blogger Award, here are my 10 questions.  Please tag me back should you jump in!

  1. What’s your favorite post you’ve ever done on your blog?
  2. What is a book you want everyone to read and love as much as you do?
  3. What season is your favorite? (Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall)
  4. What is your favorite type of exercise or physical activity?
  5. Do you like to cook or bake? What’s your favorite thing to make?
  6. What’s your dream doll? (Custom, retired, available, leaked are options)
  7. Where would you like to go if you could go anywhere?
  8. What do you want to do when you grow up?
  9. Do you prefer things you craft or things you save up to buy?
  10. What’s your favorite Bible verse or inspiring quotation?

Good luck!  If you participate leave a link in my comments section.


What I Did This Summer

by Molly McIntire

This summer I went to Camp Gowonagin with my friends Linda and Susan.  My mother said it would be unpatriotic to take a family vacation during wartime, but being at Camp Gonwonagin was as much fun as being on vacation!

Every day we did crafts, sewed sit-upons, swam, and learned outdoor skills like first aid and cooking over a fire.  At camp, you don’t eat your meals in a cafeteria, it’s called a mess hall, which is the same thing they call it in the US Army!

I was pretty nervous that I might have to swim underwater.  I can swim OK on the surface but feel nervous going under the water.  My mom sent me off to camp with a new swimsuit that made me feel like a movie star!  I could swim much better in it than in my sister Jill’s hand-me-down suits.

Molly Swim

Molly AG Swimsuit

I got a few care packages at camp, including one from my English friend Emily and her Aunt Primrose.  They sewed a pillow for me that looks just like my Jack Russell terrier, Bennett!

Every night at Camp Gowonagin Miss Butternut, the camp director, would play taps on her bugle and we sang “Day is Done, Gone the Sun” in our bunks.  Sometimes I fell asleep before the end of the song.

In conclusion, I had a swell summer at Camp and also learned how to be a better citizen.

Jen says… parts of Molly’s school composition follow her book, and parts I made up.  Her swimsuit, for example, plays no role in her books.  The pillow, which does have a 40s vibe, was purchased in England by my mom.

Cath Kidston

It’s a pin cushion!  Molly’s camp bed is Addy’s bed, and her camp blanket was knit by my neighbor.  The backdrop Brianna and I painted for Camp Doll Diaries two or three years ago, and probably to my husband’s chagrin, it is still stored in his office closet! I think there is something kind of magical about being so tired from a day at camp that you fall almost instantly asleep.

Updates from Our Home Front

We got through the first week of school and I’m squeezing in a blog post.  That feels like an accomplishment!

We ended our summer with a trip to American Girl Chicago where we met our friend Heather, author of the blog Dollightful Dolls.  It was so fun to get to know Heather “IRL”. We even had the tea service, where we learned it may be wise to borrow a doll in the AG Cafe . . . the man clearing the dirty flatware almost dropped them on Elizabeth’s head!  I intended to get Julie’s ears pierced, but there was a whole birthday party-worth of dolls awaiting the service.  Brianna and I both picked up some outfits from the new release.



Elizabeth, unaware of impending accident




Heather’s Kanani, dressed up for the launch of Nanea.

So much news continues to come out of AG these days.  Kit will be appearing at Costco this holiday season in a package with a new red sweater.  Many people anticipate that she will be cubed (available only online and in flagship stores until she is gone), making way for the return of Molly.  Molly’s books are scheduled to be re-released Feb 19, 2018, so we can only speculate the doll will release at that time as well.


Are you excited for Molly’s re-release?  While I would prefer to have Kirsten return, I am hopeful that I may be able to purchase some items for the PC Molly I bought from my SIL.

I have many outfits and items to share with you in the months to come, but in the meanwhile, a great way to keep up with Dolls Between Us during the school year is on Instagram.  Follow us @dollsbetween.american.girl

I want to close with a few close-up pictures of Nanea that I took at AGP-Chicago.  I think these are two of the neatest items in her collection, and both play a role in book one of her story.



A barrette only Nanea can wear




September Catalog

Hey doll fans, if you have the American Girl app, the September catalog is now available for download!  Terrific photos of Nanea, whom we were excited to see in person at AGP-Chicago yesterday.  Not only did we meet Nanea, but we also met Heather from Dollightful Dolls for tea! We will definitely share a report about our purchases soon 💗. We are still squeezing a bit more fun out of the summer.  I went back for a half day of work today, but now we are off to see the movie “Leap”!

August Arrivals

Hi everyone! It’s Jen and Brianna coming to you from the local coffeeshop with our opinions on some of the new arrivals.

Our first item is Kaya’s Trading Dress and Accessories. You buy these items separately.

B: I like these items, because I think that they relate to a very important time for Kaya’s Tribe and the English that are exploring and trading with tribes like Kaya’s. The beading and stitching on Kaya’s dress is amazing, and the items in her Trading Accessories are very 1764ish.

J: I don’t know a lot about Kaya, but I am thrilled whenever a historical character gets new items.


Our second item is the new Kaya outfit for girls….

B: I think this outfit is beautiful. The dress and faux fur vest blends Kaya’s Time (1760’s) and modern times very well.

B: Rebecca’s Faux Fur Coat is amazing! I love the fur around the wrists and neck and the color on the coat is beautiful, though frankly I’m not sure if they could make the blue – purple color so vivid back in her time.

J: I’m not sure how this coat looks if you don’t have the same dress underneath.

J:  Kit’s new Christmas items – I’m pretty excited!  I don’t have a Christmas dress for Kit yet. We own Maryellen, Addy, and Julie’s holiday outfits.  I’m still weighing whether I would prefer the new or old Christmas dress for Kit.  I hope to see this outfit in Chicago soon and I can definitely see asking Santa for it!

B: Kit’s Christmas Dress is really nice, but my favorite thing is her stocking! It’s so adorable with the sock monkey inside of it!

J:  My pie and coffee are almost gone and we are just getting started!!

B: Maryellen’s new Rollerskating Outfit is really cute, but I don’t know how easy it would be to rollerskate in a dress, like that..

J: I think it is a great dress for Maryellen, and I would maybe think of it as a “party dress.”  Are those Caroline’s shoes recycled?  Hmmmm…  Addy would look phenomenal in this!

B: I LOVE THIS OUTFIT! I think it is so pretty, especially on Melody. Some of the fabrics remind me of Rebecca’s Beforever meet outfit…

J:  Melody looks very pretty but I would not buy this outfit.  I dislike turtlenecks, tight sweaters, and scratchy wool skirts.  I know my mother is laughing when she reads this because this was the source of much drama back in the 1970s when I was a kid.  Don’t even get me started on those fuzzy tights!  I don’t understand what these shoes are.  Maybe they are better in person?

B: I also love this outfit! Gabriela looks awesome in it. The silver shoes and turquoise dress are stunning together.

J: I’m glad Gabriela’s collection continues to grow.  Lovely color.  Reminds me a bit of a professional ice skating outfit.


B: I think this outfit is cute, but I can’t imagine a 13 year old wearing it.

J: I disagree!  Seattle!  Brianna and I are arguing about this right now!  I love this outfit and it my #1 pick from this release.  It could be coming home soon.  I am disappointed, though, that they gave Z’s dog the cute umbrella.  Hello?  Z needs the umbrella not her dog.  Tricky business there AG.

B: Z’s Media Set and Green Scene are amazing! It has everything you could need for making a doll movie! At my middle school, we have a G – I – G – A – N – T – I – C green screen that we use to make our Middle School News Show.

J: I can’t wait to see the doll community using this as a photo backdrop.

B: I love this outfit! It’s very Western, and the boots remind me a lot of Saige’s Meet Outfit boots. The belt around the tunic is very fashionable too!

J: I like this and think it will sell well.  I’m still trying to determine whether the white fabric is sheer? After Gabriela’s see through performance skirt I’m keeping watch.

B: I don’t like the capelet or the skirt but I think the shirt and golden flats are so cute! It’s definitely not AG’s best outfit, though.

J: Here we thought the t-shirt would be for Luciana – the possible 2018 Girl of the Year.  AG surprised us on that leak.  The capelet.  That houndstooth pattern is huge in doll-scale.  I’m Ok with the rest of the outfit, but the overall look is just too strange for me.  Brianna says I should let out my “true feelings” on this outfit.  There’s one doozy in every release, and this one is it!

Top Picks

B: My top pick is two outfits actually … Gabriela’s Party Dress and the Western Chambray outfit. Melody’s Birthday Dress is the runner – up.

J:  Z’s rainy day outfit and Kit’s Christmas dress.  Santa?  Do you follow this blog?

We look forward to hearing your thoughts on this AG release.  We will talk more about Nanea in a future post.

It’s All About the Rods and Cones

Julie Eclipse

“Hey Isabelle!  How was tennis practice?”

“Great!  Um, Julie … why are you sitting in the driveway by yourself?”

Isabelle Tennis Ag

“I’m waiting for the eclipse!  But don’t worry, I have sunscreen on.”

“Julie!  What about your eyes?  Those Target sunglasses don’t stand a chance against the sun.  Girl, protect your rods and cones!  Come inside with me and we’ll see what Josefina is up to.”

Josefina Nanea

“Josefina, I found Julie in the driveway trying to view the eclipse with Our Generation sunglasses on!  The safe viewing glasses have been sold out for weeks!”

“Ah, not a good idea.  I’m too busy in here to bother with the moon and the sun.  The new Nanea book arrived!  I can’t put it down.”

Josefina Necklace

“I totally forgot about Nanea!” said Isabelle.  “We have to hop on the American Girl website and study her collection!”

“That sounds much safer that watching the eclipse,” said Josefina.  “AG release party in Isabelle’s room in 5 minutes!”

What are your plans today?




Introducing. . .Us!

The American Girl Create-Your-Own Doll launch inspired us to create dolls that look like us.  Now you can picture us over here typing away…


I chose the Jess face mold, though I am not Asian.  In the online program that choice looks the most, to me, like an adult face.  I have heard that this face mold has painted eye notches similar to Nanea… but I digress!

I chose the “Let’s Daydream” outfit, but honestly none of them are outfits that I would normally buy for myself or a doll.  Brianna detests this outfit!  I can’t say that I normally wear a flowered headband, but I did once wear a Rainbow Dash headband to the school I work at for Halloween, so maybe it isn’t that much of a stretch!

I chose the “Let’s Play” accessories because there is a doll Fitbit.  For “Personality” I chose reading and writing.

Brianna says I look better than this in real life, so I’m taking that as a compliment!



I chose the Cecile face mold, because I think it looks a lot like a normal face of a 12 year old, like me. My best friend and I were both making ones that look like us and we both chose Cecile.

I chose the “Let’s Smile” outfit, because out of all 6 outfits it personally looks the best to me. I like the light blue jean jacket over the dress, because my everyday outfit tends to look like that.

I chose the “Let’s Smile” accessories as well, because they have what looks like a Starbucks drink in the accessories. For “Personality” I chose travel. It was really hard to decide which one to do. I like music & dancing, reading & writing, travel, and sports & games. For my “Favorite Place” I chose the mountains. It was either that or the lake or beach. Finally, for my “Pet Pal” I chose the dogs, though I like cats, and many of the other animals listed as well.

We would love to know what you “look like” too!