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Luciana Out Of This World

Image result for Luciana out of this world

*This post, while I tried not to put spoilers, does give away a lot of the story*

This book came in the mail today. I was so excited, I took the book and read it right away. It was just as good as the first two, maybe better. I love that these books explore things that are unusual in books for girls that age, such as science and space, but also have morals that many people can relate to, such as friendship, working together, and thinking before you act.

I didn’t realize there was going to be a third Luciana book, let alone that it was out yet. I hadn’t heard anything about it, but when my mom asked if I wanted any books from Scholastic it was listed on the page, so we bought it.

It’s not available on the American Girl website yet, but you can get it from Scholastic, Amazon, and probably a few other places.

I’ll review the other two books eventually, I LOVED them both, but I wanted to share with you this amazing book.

The book starts with Luciana going to visit her family in Chile for winter break. She is so excited to visit her four cousins the same age as her, but when she gets there they don’t seem excited for her to be there. They are all good friends, and Luciana thinks that they don’t need or want her as part of “Los Cuatro” the four.

Claire, a girl from the training camp Luciana went to last summer, not a girl that Luci is really friends with, is also in Chile. Her scientist dad is doing studies in the dessert, and had to drag Claire along because there was no one to take care of her. So Claire invites Luciana to come with her to the dessert. 

It would be a great opportunity for Luci, she would get to meet real space scientists, sleep in a Mars habitat, and maybe even do some tests of her own!

But Luciana doesn’t really trust Claire, after some events that happened last summer. Some really scary, life threatening events. Luci still has nightmares about these things, is scared of things because of what happened. Besides, she believes her mission is here with her cousins, to just be with her family. Luci turns down the invitation without even asking.

But when things between her and her cousins get worse, and she doesn’t feel connected at all, she feels bad that she turned the opportunity down. It would be an amazing experience, and maybe she would have more fun with Claire then with her cousins.

So she talks to her parents, and they are skeptical of Claire, after what she did last summer. They are also worried about the aftershocks of an earthquake, An earthquake in that makes her grandparents’ house unstable, unsafe to live in. But Luci convinces her parents that Claire has changed, and that no aftershock will come. And her parents let her go.

Claire is nice to Luciana the whole way to the dessert, and Luci believes that Claire really has changed. But when Claire’s dad has to go to a meeting instead of taking the girls to see the geysers Claire turns into the same girl Luci knew before.

Luciana talks Claire into going with the other scientists to take samples of the dirt, but Claire won’t talk to her the whole way there or back, a total of four hours. And when Luci accidentally ruins all the samples and the scientists have to go back Luci is left alone with Claire.

They are in bed when disaster comes. Claire helps Luciana, but then runs off into the dessert when Luci needs her most. Luci begs Claire not to leave, afraid she has abandoned her again, but Claire comes back and saves the day.

They forgive each other, and Luci learns to listen more. Things between Claire and her dad also work out.

When Luciana gets back to her family, she works things out with her cousins as well, listening instead of doing all the talking, and they accept her into “Los Cuatro” making it “Los Cinco”.

Things don’t work out in favor of her Grandparents’ house, but they decide to hold onto the memories.

Overall, I loved the book. I liked how it carried on the science/space theme, while also having a theme of listening and forgiving.

I rate this book 5/5 stars. Even though the grade level is a few years younger then mine, I thoroughly enjoyed the book.

I recommend this book. It would be great for 9-13 but also for any age reader.

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Underwater Habitat Part One – Inspiration And Set Up

When I read the Luciana books, I started making lists of things I wanted to make from the books. Robots, penguins, all sorts of things.

Normally in American Girl books, I want the character to not get what they want, because it’s so cliche. But in Luciana Braves The Deep I wanted Luciana to go the Cetus, the underwater habitat so I could see inside it. Spoiler alert, she does get to go to Cetus. And when I read that part I knew I wanted to make an underwater habitat for my dolls.

I wanted to do more that just a cardboard room this time, though I didn’t want it to be completely permanent, because I knew it would have to be big. I was thinking building a wood box to put it in. Then I remembered a contest that my Mom had entered me and my sisters in. (Without asking, but she knew we would want to do it.) A recycling challenge, called the Build It Challenge. So I decided to make my underwater habitat for the challenge.

The Build It Challenge doesn’t have many rules, but among the few lies “No power tools.” So that rules out building a wood box.

I’ve wanted a bookshelf under my window for a long time now, and also a window seat. So I decided on trying to find a bookshelf at the thrift store, with a shelf under the room for books, and the top the window seat part. It seemed like a perfect way to have everything I wanted there.

The first time we looked at the thrift store we didn’t find anything.

Bookshelf with shelves

The second time we looked we found these two bookshelves, only one with actual shelves, and not in great shape, but they were only a dollar each, so I convinced my mom to let me take them home.

“I’ll make them work. You know I always do.”

doubleshelves

I started by pulling the shelves out, and the little thingies that keep the shelves up.

shelves

To be wide enough for a bed, they had to be both there, so I shoved them together. They are made of particle board, but the backs are only thick cardboard. One of the shelves’s back was falling off, so I yanked it all the way off with the back of a hammer.

They don’t have the shelf underneath, are falling apart, and, as of right now, aren’t sturdy enough to sit on. But, although they aren’t perfect, they are good enough, and I know I can make them work, I know I can turn them into an amazing underwater habitat.

I have about a month before the challenge, which is a lot of time, but not for what I’m planning to do. I’ve started on the beds and some other stuff, but I have a lot to do.

I’m planning on posting updates regularly, so stay tuned for the next part!

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The Dolls’ Christmas Outfits

Merry Christmas!

I hope you are having a good one!

 

 

Yesterday (After I spent most of the morning cleaning my room, of course) I dressed all of my dolls in Christmassy (Or wintery, I only have so many red doll pieces.) attire. I was going to post about it last night, but didn’t get a chance.

So first of all I undressed all the dolls thinking random thoughts like “I thought this was Abby, why am I doing Joy?” “How did I get so many dolls?” “Where is Mckenna? And Hope, and Faith, and…Oh, I forgot to get that shelf of dolls.” Etc. Then I put the clothes away. Then I picked out sixteen Christmassy or winter outfits. (Actually I counted first. How did I get so many dolls?) Then I laid them out and dressed one doll at a time, picking an outfit for the doll as I dressed it.

And now here they are.

All of them

First of all, here is all of the dolls along one of the purple walls in my room. (We repainted last summer, and I love the walls being purple.)

As you can see, not all of the dolls are in red or green. I only have so many pieces of red and green doll clothing.

Now here are pictures of each doll next to my mini Christmas tree. It’s blue, so not all of the outfits match, but whatever. The dolls are in no specific order, just the order the computer chose.

Riley's potrait

Here is Riley. I love the red of her hair against the outfit. (And the tree, and the wall, and the floor, you get it.)

Oliva's potrait

This is Olivia. She is a doll I randomly got at the thrift store one day. I had a bunch of dolls I was going to give away, but that might not happen. Her dress came on an also thrift store doll, but it’s perfect for Christmas.

Mia's portrait

Mia’s outfit is kind of random, and I’m not sure I like it, but it’s okay. She’s wearing a tree skirt from the dollar store I bought a few years ago. It looked bad the first year, (It kept falling down, and there are probably pictures you could find of Mckenna in her underwear,) but I finally got it to stay, and it doesn’t look bad now.

Mckenna's Portrait

Mckenna refused to wear a skirt, or really anything nice, but she agreed to wear the green shrug. She wouldn’t change into matching shoes, insisting that it was Christmas and she should be allowed to wear comfortable shoes.

Maria's Portrait

In person Maria’s shirt and skirt and shoes match, but not in pictures I guess. And her shirt looks a lot more like pajamas than I would like. It’s festive at least…

Lea's portrait

Ooh, I love this picture. Nothing about Lea is Christmassy, but she looks nice.

Kaitlyn's portrait

The dress Kaitlyn is wearing I made a long time ago. I don’t like it as much as I used to, but the fabric is perfect for Christmas.

Joy's Potrait

Joy isn’t looking at the camera, but I love this one all the same. She kind of looks like a dancer, which she’s not, she’s a writer, but it looks nice all the same.

Jenny's Portrait

Ha! I knew this dress would be useful for something someday. Jenny doesn’t care if she looks old fashioned.

Hope's Portrait

And, Hope is wearing rain boots. Why? It snowed here! (For the first time I can remember we got a white Christmas!!!)

Grace's Portrait

I love this one. Grace is all blue. Even her earrings are blue, though you can’t see them. And her shoes match the hat, which sparkles everywhere, and the sweater.

Callie's Portrait

Callie! I love Callie. For Christmas, my little cousin received a doll from our Grandparents. Callie. My Grandma had asked advice from me on which one to get, and I told her that as far as off brand dolls go, I love the Journey Girls. So now my cousin has Callie too!

Gabi and Keirra's Portrait

Kierra wanted to be in a picture with her sister. Her outfit doesn’t match at all, but she insisted on wearing the leggings so she “wouldn’t be cold.” I don’t know why she can’t wear shoes, but no shoes for Kierra.

Faith's Potratit

I finally have given up on Faith being older than the rest. She doesn’t look like it, and none of my doll clothes make her look older.

Eileen's Potratit

For Eileen’s outfit, it was the same as mine yesterday. Last year I made myself a red and green plaid skirt, and a doll one to match. Since Eileen is my mini me, she wore it, though the proportions are better on mine. Her outfit is mostly the same, except I had a black turtleneck, a necklace, and headband (Which was actually a necklace, and kept falling down, but was otherwise cool.)

Abby's Portrait

And now Abby. Normally I don’t like Abby’s outfits or pictures very much, but I like this one a lot.

 

So there are my dolls in their Christmas outfits this year. I hope you enjoyed.

Merry Christmas!

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Gabriela: Time for Change

This was such an amazing book. Best American Girl book I’ve read. I loved it so much. It was so relatable to normal girls. I related to it quite a bit, though I am way older than the target age range.

 

I requested this book through our library system, but I didn’t read it right away when I got it. To be honest I wasn’t all that excited about it. But I finally started it. It was a little slow to get into, but it was so, so, good.

 

The story is about Gabriela dealing with several different things. Her ballet class is working on pointe shoes, something Gabi has dreamed about for most of her eleven years, she is helping plan a halloween party with her co ambassadors, and making a costume with the group. She is making a costume with her best friend Teagan, and working on multiple poems for the upcoming poetry slam she is doing with Teagan, and some other friends.

With all that is going on, some things get pushed aside, especially her friendship with Teagan as she becomes better friends with her co ambassador and former enemy Aliyah.

In the end Gabriela must make a choice about which things mean the most to her, and which ones are only weighing her down.  

 

But, to me, the book is about friendship, being overwhelmed with too much stuff, and being a good friend even when it’s hard.

I loved how there were lines from Gabriela’s poems in the book, and how one of the poems changes as Gabi grows and changes.

I liked the message that friends are as important as dreams.

 

But mostly, I loved the decision Gabi had to make, and how it only made things better, though it was really hard.

 

Go read this book. It’s seriously amazing.

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The Cutest Three-Step Doll Skirt You Will Ever Make

Hello people reading this!

Want to learn how to make a really cute, really simple (three steps!) doll skirt? You have come to the right place.

*Note: This is not the easiest skirt you will ever make, nor the cutest, but for how easy it is, it is really adorable, and you can make it for any size doll.

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Step one: Gather your materials. All you need is wide lace (which you can find at the craft store) and self sticking velcro or sew-on velcro and fabric glue. If you want, you can use flowers or bows to embellish it, or fabric dye to dye it.

Step two: Wrap the lace around your doll, and mark how long it needs to be. Add some overlap for the velcro. My lace was really thin and see-through, so I used my sewing machine to sew two pieces together. I also dyed my lace pink, but that is optional.

Step three: Wrap the skirt around your doll. Cut a square of velcro, and place it where the end of the lace on top overlaps with the lace on bottom. Either stick it on, or glue it on.

And you are done! See how simple that was?

You could make a bunch for Holiday gifts, or for dolls to wear in a dance class. The possibilities are endless!

Nora (The doll) is wearing: Warm Winter Outfit from American Girl, Silver Sparkle Beanie from American Girl, and the skirt I made.

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Z Yang Look A Like Shirt

A few days ago I was at Target, and I saw a shirt that looked a lot like the one from Z’s easy breezy outfit. So I looked it up on the internet, and here it is.

Z shirt

Here’s the link to Z’s, and here’s the link to the one at Target.

It’s not exactly the same, but it’s close, and it would be cute to wear with your doll’s.

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The End Of Permipanties!

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American Girl has decided to do away with the stupid permipanties! Here’s what American Girl said:

**An Important Update for Our Customers**

We love and appreciate our dedicated American Girl fan community, and we take our role in listening and responding to your feedback very seriously. In recent months, many of you have shared your thoughts on how we can continue delivering the great products you’ve come to expect from us. We’ve heard you, and we will be implementing two changes as a result.

First, we will be reverting to the separate underwear design for all of our 18-inch dolls. Starting today, any dolls that are currently in production or any new dolls being developed will now come with removable underwear. Because there are dolls with permanent underwear already in the market, this will be a rolling change—meaning dolls that currently have the permanent underwear design will remain as is until the inventory is sold through.

However, if you currently own an American Girl doll with the permanent underwear and are disappointed with the design, we will do a one-time, free body exchange on the doll to create one with separate underwear and return the doll to you at no cost. For details on this offer, please click here: http://bit.ly/2rKyn0n

Second, we have made the decision to return to our iconic boutique box for our 18-inch dolls. Only the new 2017 contemporary characters, as well as some of our Truly Me dolls, will come in the current packaging until inventory is sold through. In addition, none of our 18-inch doll outfits will be sewn directly into packaging, with the exception of any existing inventory for our 2017 contemporary characters.

Thank you for caring enough to share your candid and heartfelt opinions with us, and we are sorry if we disappointed you in any way. Your feedback helps us deliver on our promise to create high-quality products, services, and experiences that nourish a girl’s spirit and help develop her strength of character.

Your Friends at American Girl

I’m really glad that they decided to do away with permipanties. It sounds like they have finally heard us.  But what about squishy vinyl? Thinner fabric? Neck ties? Cheaper products? Are they not going away also?
Notice that they only got rid of the changes that were most hated. There’s nothing holding them back from making cheap dolls still. My mom says they only care about our opinion because they care about our money.
But it’s a start at least.
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Spring Photo Shoot

For Easter I dressed up all my dolls in nice, springy outfits and took them outside for a photo shoot. I did a group picture, but also single pictures of each doll. I am going to use these as profile pictures because the place where I used to take profile pictures no longer exists.

Alishdollish

Group picture!

This was really fun to take. I had to arrange all fifteen dolls. (Count them!) Most of the dolls are positioned well. A couple of them I don’t like so much, such as Gabi, Jenny, and Faith. Overall though, I really like this picture.

I am going to try to use it as a header image. I don’t know how well that will work…

Mckenna is not colorblind

 

I really like this picture. Mckenna’s hair is frizzy, and I didn’t have a good pair of shoes for this outfit that no one else was wearing, but whatever. Who needs shoes?

Mckenna is wearing:

A dress that I sewed and tie dyed,

The shrug from the fall outfit I bought at our local festival,

The matching hair bow with aquamarine lace wrapped around it.

Abbygail

I like this one too. The outfit looks good on Abby, but come to think of it, she would never wear something that frilly.

Abby is wearing:

American Girl Grace’s opening night dress

Headband from American Girl Grace’s opening night outfit.

Rileygail

I like how the tall grass and flowers cast shadows on Riley.

Riley is wearing:

Shirt from the American Girl spring breeze outfit,

Tunic from the American Girl spring breeze outfit,

Leggings from the American Girl warm winter outfit,

Shoes from the American Girl spring breeze outfit,

Random butterfly hair clip.

Kateskate

Katelyn isn’t looking at the camera. Argh! And her hair is messy.

Katelyn is wearing:

My Life As dress,

Headband from a Madame Alexander outfit. (I looked, but I got it years ago, and I have no idea what the outfit is called)

Gracietree

Oh, I love this picture of Grace. Even though the shoes never made it on her.

Grace is wearing:

Skirt that I made out of lace and fabric I dyed,

Tank top from American Girl Gabriela McBride’s meet outfit,

American Girl Isabelle’s purple Wrap sweater.

Hope and Pride

Argh! This one’s kind of blurry.

Hope is wearing:

Cheerleader dress from my local festival,

Pom pom from the cheerleader outfit (In her hair)

Headband from Our Generation Joy’s meet outfit,

Boots that I made.

Joyfullybushes

Joy looks so adorable in that dress.

Joy is wearing:

A dress that I made,

Our Generation Joy’s meet shoes.

Maria moose

Maria isn’t looking at the camera, but I like this one.

Maria is wearing:

A baby dress I adjusted to fit my dolls,

The headband from the American Girl love to layer accessories,

The shoes that Journey Girl Callie was wearing when we found her.

Faith under the branches

Not one of my favorites, but it’s okay.

Faith is wearing:

A baby dress I adjusted to fit 18 inch dolls,

Our Generation Parker’s meet shoes.

Dandieileen

I absolutely love this one. It fit’s Eileen’s personalty so well.

Eileen is wearing:

The American Girl petals and posies dress that Mia was wearing when I found her,

A pearl bracelet from Our Generation,

Random blue ribbon,

And she’s holding a dandelion.

Lealove

I don’t really like this picture, but it fits Lea’s personality.

Lea is wearing:

American Girl Merry Magenta dress,

American Girl Merry Magenta headband.

Mialyn

I really like the outfit that Mia is wearing.

Mia is wearing:

A dress that I made,

A sash that my cousin crocheted,

The Journey Girls shrug Callie was wearing when we found her,

American Girl Lea’s meet shoes,

Our Generation Parker’s meet headband,

An ice skate charm on a piece of ribbon.

Gabbygail

I like this picture. If only Gabi was sitting up more.

Gabi is wearing:

Our Generation Doll shirt, (Someone gave it to me, and I never identified it)

American Girl headband from Grace’s baking outfit,

American Girl Gabriela McBride’s meet leggings,

American Girl boots from Soft As Snow outfit.

KaoriCallie

Callie is so fun to pose! This picture was fun to take.

Callie is wearing:

A dress I made,

Headband from American Girl Spring Breeze outfit,

Shoes from Our Generation tworiffic twin set.

Jennylyn

Argh! Jenny’s hair is so frizzy.

Jenny is wearing:

My Twin Blooming Flower dress,

My Twin shoes,

Random hair clip.

 

So there you have it. This year’s Easter photo shoot. I hope you enjoyed.

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I Don’t Know

You probably don’t want a long list of excuses (But if you do, read my long list of excuses)

Anyway I know I haven’t been posting much.

I haven’t really decided what I’m going to do yet.

Ever since I decided to stop supporting American Girl, things have been…different.

I still love my dolls, but maybe I’m starting to outgrow them. Most of the time I only use them on my blog, rarely in real life anymore.

I think I still want to keep this blog going, but I just haven’t had much motivation to post.

It takes a lot longer to make a post, and I just can’t get one up every day. I might be able to get two up a week, but maybe not.

I’m still deciding, but I’ll let you know what I decide.

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Be Nice

Hello Everyone.

A lot of people are complaining about American Girl’s changes. I think this is perfectly fine. I’m doing it myself. I’m not buying from American Girl anymore. I don’t think it’s worth it.

But here is something you should keep in mind.

Be nice.

I’ve seen tons of posts in the doll world about this, and while not all of them are like this, I’ve seen a few that were not all that nice to American Girl. (I’m not pointing fingers, I’ve just seen a few) Maybe even mine.

American Girl is made of humans. Humans make mistakes. (Believe me, I do.) They might have done something we don’t like, but they are still humans.

Even though a lot of us won’t support them anymore there’s no reason we have to be mean about it. We can say so in a nice way.

Would you like it if you made a change in your company and tons of people started cutting you down for it? I sure wouldn’t.

So if you write something about American Girl’s changes do so in a nice way. Don’t say anything mean, and don’t cut them down. Don’t say anything you wouldn’t want to hear.

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