One of my Daily Deals purchases from American Girl was Samantha's frilly frock. I've read several well-written, thorough reviews of this outfit, so I won't do a lengthy review, but I wanted to show how it looks on my different dolls.
I don't have Samantha, so Saige got to be my AG model. The dress fits really nicely, but I don't like the way the wide neckline looks on this body style. I also don't think it is appropriate to the era, as all Samantha's former outfits seemed to have a higher neck. the boots fit well but were difficult to get on.
I love how the bow looks with her curly hair. Saige had slightly loose limbs, so I was happy that the tights and boots actually help her stand up better.
Dana, my Journey Girls doll, rocks a more modern look with Addy's snood worn like a beret. I think this would style would look really good on the new GOTY, Grace. The vinyl breastplate looks a little better, but the dress is too wide for her narrow shoulders and a little baggy at the waist. The boots were also loose, but the tights improve the fit and look.
This dress does not look at all Edwardian to me, but it does have a vintage feel. With a quick wig change and the snood worn in the classic style, I think Dana has a bit of a 40's or 50's vibe.
I think the Madame Alexander body style works best with this outfit because of the vinyl breastplate and fuller waist. I used the wig with bangs and let the curls hang loose below the snood.
So, who do YOU think wore it best?
Mini Kirsten and Josefina on Sale!
It's time to stock up on stocking stuffers! The holiday season is a great time to buy mini dolls from American Girl, and some of them are on sale for $18.
Kohl's Clearance Bargains
Look what I got for $3.80!
I haven't been to a Kohl's store for a while, but when I stopped in today I was delighted to find some great clearance bargains, including this Dollie and Me dance set. It was 90% off the regular price of $38, which ended up being just under $4! I bought two of them, so I was able to clothe both my daughters and their dolls all in matching outfits for under 10 bucks. These seem to be a pretty nice quality, but the fit of the leotard is a little off. The neckline was way too big for my youngest daughter, so she probably won't be wearing that part for a while, but she loves the tutu skirt. The color and sparkle make it great for dress-up play or an easy costume. This would make a great fairy skirt, and I was thinking I could add some snowflakes to make an Elsa ice queen tutu.
Here is the doll dress on Saige. It's all one piece with a leotard and attached tutu skirt. I like the overall fit on an AG doll, and it should easily fit other brands. It's too short for a dress, but it makes a nice dance outfit, especially with some tights or leggings.
I bought these two sets plus a pair of shorts and a skirt, all for under 14! My receipt said I saved $111!! Overall, I think it was a very good value. Kohl's also has some cute girl and doll pajama sets on sale right now for around $13. The regular prices for the Dollie and Me line are too high in my opinion, and I have found that the quality is not as high as other brands of matching sets I've purchased. If you can find them on clearance or on sale through Zulily, though, I think it's worth it. Definitely not bad for under $5! You couldn't even buy the doll outfit for that, even with a coupon! The change of season is a great time to hunt for clearance bargains. If you find some good ones, be sure to let me know.
He's Back! Pottery Barn Gotz Boy
A recent perusal of the Pottery Barn Kids website led to the exciting discovery that a Gotz boy doll is once again available at Pottery Barn. The Gotz 18 inch dolls have been available for several years, along with mini dolls more recently. There are about four main dolls with different hair, eye, and skin colors, and special edition dolls have also been offered. There used to be a boy doll (named Henry) pictured on the website, but he has not been available for sale for quite some time. I keep hoping PBK would bring back their boy doll, and they finally did!
The new doll is named Parker, and he seems quite similar to Henry, but his eyes look darker. I really loved Henry's outfit, as it looks exactly like my son's school uniform, and I love the red shoes. The new (sportier) outfit also looks cute, but I wish there were more pictures or a more detailed description on the website. I can't tell what his shirt looks like under the letter-man jacket, but it looks like it has a collar, so it may be a white button-up shirt. If so, that would add some nice versatility to his outfit. The shoe color is also not clear, but I think they are a more muted color than the cute red ones. I like his hat, but it totally obscures his hair so you can't see the style. Maybe I will have to try to find one of these little guys in my local Pottery Barn store so I can check him out more.
Since the company created a completely new character rather than just bringing back Henry, I would like to have seen a little more diversity. The eyes are slightly different, but the complexion and hair look nearly identical. I would like to see a different skin tone or hair color/texture, or at least some freckles or glasses. Currently, there is quite a variety of girl 18 inch dolls available from Pottery Barn, so it's disappointing to see the lack of creativity with the boy doll. Overall, though, he is very cute and seems to be good quality, so I'm just glad to see a boy doll offering again from a major retailer. Parker is currently available for $99, but I am hoping to see some sales closer to Christmas.
There are also several other 18 inch Gotz dolls available, and as they bring in new characters, a few of the older versions are on sale. I saw some cute outfits too, including a cat costume and a birthday outfit. The regular mini dolls are not currently available, but they do have a princess, prince, and royal guard mini doll, selling for $24 each. You can also buy a royal carriage and horse to go with the set, and there is a full-sized princess doll and carriage as well.
My New Old Samantha
When I was growing up, I somehow missed the whole American Girl phenomenon (probably too busy making tin foil clothes for my second-hand Barbies). Even so, I find myself feeling nostalgic toward the original characters. While I didn't get the chance to "meet Samantha," I did meet and fall in love with similar characters like Anne Shirley, Mary Lennox, and Sara Crewe and their fascinating time period. Though my daughter is thrilled about the pink-clad "new" version of AG's beloved Samantha Parkington, I prefer the original. So I decided to to add her to my mini-doll collection while she is still readily available. The new Beforever mini comes out later this month.
Mini Samantha is currently sold on the American Girl website for $24, but I actually purchased mine for about 19$ on Amazon, since I had free shipping. When Samantha arrived, she was a little off-kilter inside her box, so I was afraid she might be disheveled, but she came out looking lovely, though her hair does lean to one side.
I had already purchased Samantha's Play Scenes and Paper Dolls book on sale for $5. It is no longer available, but some of the other historical paper dolls are still on sale. I love these sets, and at $5, they are an incredible value. The actual paper dolls are a little large for the play scenes, but the mini dolls are a perfect size! Here are some pics of my new "old" Sam.
Samantha gets ready for back-to-school time with this fabulous classroom scene from her paper doll book.
Samantha plays with her new birthday teddy bear in her room (bear and play scene are from the paper doll set). The first chair is made from a free printable available here, and the second was purchased with a coupon from Jo-Ann craft store.
When I first saw this mini doll, I immediately thought of the beautiful Diana Barry from L.M. Montgomery's books. Naturally, I had to create her kindred spirit and bosom friend, Anne Shirley. Saige is borrowing Marie-Grace's dress and Cecile's boots with a mini straw hat to complete her costume. This picture just makes me giddy. I loved Anne of Green Gables so much, and I was even in a junior high production of the play, where I played Diana's sister Minnie May.
Which do you prefer, the new version of Samantha, or the old one?
Mooshka Tots Review
A few days ago, my daughter's beloved Mooshka Tots doll had an unfortunate accident and ended up having to go for a spin in the washing machine. She turned out good as new, and I figured now is as good a time as any to finally post her review.
This spring my son received some money for Easter, so I took him to Toys R Us to pick out a toy. He saw this little doll and insisted on buying it for his younger sister. I told him he didn't need to spend his Easter money on someone else and could buy something for himself, but he insisted that was what he wanted to do.
I was impressed with his generosity and kindness, and his sister was delighted at the gift. The doll came with a free e-book for my tablet, and all my kids love it. They are all enthralled with the Mooshka Village world, and my son was super excited that one of the dolls shares his birth date.
We got our Mooshka Tot for 8$ on sale, and it is still available at that price at Toys R Us and Target. There are also larger Mooshka Dolls available and a wonderful website with free activities and printables.
Overview: This lovely set comes with a cloth-bodied doll, a cloth finger puppet, a beautiful box with carrying handle, and four paper double-sided paper dolls that are attached to each other. The story behind the dolls is that they are paper dolls that all held hands and came to life. The tots are little sisters to the full-sized Mooshka dolls, and each has a distinct personality and back story.
Quality: The doll is very well made and looks like it will hold up to years of play. It has already been machine washed once, and it came out very clean and did not show any extra wear. The hair accessory is attached very securely, so it's appropriate for young children.
Cost and Play Value: The tot dolls retail for about $13, which I think is a little bit steep, but the sale price of $8 is reasonable. The little accessories definitely add to the play value, and I love that the company offers a free e-book along with online activities and printables. I think these dolls are priced appropriately for the target age range, which I would say is 2-5.
Clothing and Hair: The little dresses are so bright and beautiful, and I love that the shoes and stockings are not detachable. The hair is drawn on with cute little pigtails. It does not allow for hair play, but it will stay looking great for a long time with no maintenance, unlike dolls with wigs or rooted hair.
Recommendations: I would definitely suggest this doll for a preschooler. The finger puppet and removable dress allow for imaginative play, and the rest of the doll is very low-maintenance. The online components and downloads enhance the play experience, and the characters are lovable and relate-able. I like the back story and character details. These are great dolls!
AnnLoren On Sale At Zulily
This morning I received an email from Zulily announcing that they will be offering AnnLoren clothing for girls and dolls on sale for a limited time. If you are not a member of Zulily, you can find out how it works here. And if you join through my link here, I can get credit for future purchases. There are some really great products and deals on Zulily, and it is so fun to see what's new each day.
AnnLoren makes beautiful matching girl/doll outfits, and they are really nice quality. The last time AnnLoren was on Zulily, I purchased a patriotic doll outfit and a pink and brown horse outfit for my daughter. I just love all the ruffles and the cute appliques. I also purchased some Dollie and Me matching outfits, and while AnnLoren is a little more expensive, it is definitely higher quality. The seams are all very well done with no loose threads, and the velcro extends all the way down to make dressing easier for little hands. Right now, they have several holiday outfits for Halloween, Christmas, and Thanksgiving, as well as everyday styles. They also have doll carriers and bedding sets. Zulily does take a little extra time with shipping, so now is the perfect time to do your holiday shopping. Go check out AnnLoren and the other great brands available!
Paw-Parazzi Mini Swimsuit Set
At my local Tuesday Morning store, I was able to find these cute Paw-Parazzi mini clothing sets for under $3. They are made to fit the mini pets, which are also available at Tuesday Morning. Each set comes with an outfit, a hat, a mini purse or bag, and a larger bag to fit everything in. The Mini bag is perfect for the AG minis, and the big bag works great for 18 inch dolls. I purchased the beach set and the ballet set, and this review is for the beach set.
The items all fit really well for the six inch mini dolls. There is a little blue towel with the set, but it's a little small for a beach towel. I love the matching stripes on the hat and swimsuit. The only problem with the swimming suit is that there is a little hole in the back for the pet's tail to fit through. It is not very noticeable, but you can easily stitch it closed to make your girls feel more comfortable. I also really love the clear beach bag, thought the dark blue doesn't seem to match too well. Everything but the hat fits inside it well. I thought the straw hat went really great with this 60's style dress I made for mini Ivy. Overall, this is a really cute and fun set for an awesome price. I was really happy to find these sets because it's tough to find cute clothes for the minis. Paw-parazzi clothing and pets can be found at some discount stores or online. Check them out!
SAIGE'S Accessories On Sale!
I check the AG sale page often, as they are clearing out old items to make room for new. I was tickled to see several of Saige's retired items available, relabled and on sale! If you missed out on something in her collection, now is your chance to snag it! My daughter finally earned Saige right before the GOTY retired at the end of the year, but she did not have enough to buy any of her accessories or clothes, so now she may be able to purchase some things for her Saige doll. I am excited to see what other items might end up on sale before the big Beforever rollout next month. I am hoping some of the historical outfits may go on sale, and perhaps the mini dolls since AG is introducing new meet outfits and minis for their historicals.
Many other great items are on sale too, so check it out now!