April 15th is Income Tax day! We have all been busy preparing our taxes and some actually wait to complete this annual ritual right up to the deadline by dropping off their tax forms at a local post office by midnight of April 14th! In Philadelphia, there are post office employees outside of the main post office collecting envelopes for those last minute tax returns! Although explaining why we pay taxes would be too complicated for most children…it’s even complicated for most adults, this might be a wonderful time to teach your children about money. If you live in or near Philadelphia and Denver, the United States Mint has locations in these cities. Free tours are provided and offer a firsthand look at how our money is made. Whether or not you live near a United States Mint, teaching your children the value of money can be initiated at a very young age. For most of us, saving money began with our very own piggy banks. Making your own piggy bank makes it even more special. Find out where there is a “make your own ceramics” store near you. Not only can your child choose his/her own special bank, they can add their own creative “signature” with glazes and finishes. What a sense of pride a child will have by dropping coins into their very own, one of a kind, bank. Experts say that saving up for a special purchase is a great incentive…maybe some 18″ doll clothes from My Doll’s Life®! I would love to see photos of banks that you have made. Feel free to send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Have fun!
Since we are quickly coming to the end of March, National Nutrition Month, I thought it might be fun to share a few quick, healthy recipes that you, your children and your 18” American Girl® doll can make together. (Remember we now have a great Clip On Chair for your 18” doll!) Snack time can not only be fun, but nutritious as well. Here are a few easy and delicious ideas! Enjoy!
Red Ants on a Log!
Spread peanut butter on a piece of celery and dot with dried cranberries or cherries.
Pretty in Pink Smoothie!
Blend together one cup low-fat milk, one banana and some frozen strawberries for a pink powerhouse smoothie! (It will remind you of the Cherry Blossom Festival currently going on in Washington, DC…see this week’s blog!)
Layer low fat vanilla yogurt, sliced strawberries, and blueberries in a tall glass. Sprinkle the top with your favorite low fat granola.
I am so excited to let you know that our play food (erasers) sets are back! We now carry three different sets of play food, perfectly scaled for your 18” dolls. The really cool thing is these food items are also erasers! For you 18” American doll collectors with a sweet tooth, the dessert set includes a donut, round cake, strawberry tart, éclair, and a cupcake. In addition, we also have an ice cream set that has a Popsicle, ice cream sundae, ice cream cone, ice cream sandwich, and a cup of 3 scoops of ice cream! Wow!!! Lastly, our lunch set features a pizza, hot dog, sandwich, French fries, and a spaghetti dinner plate! So now, your American Girl ® doll can serve up lunch and complete the meal with a spectacular choice of sweets!
Lately, I have seen many advertisements for a Kate Middleton doll. This royal wedding is drawing curiosity from all of us, whether you are a royal watcher or not! Most recently, I saw an ad for a 16” porcelain doll of the soon to be Princess, dressed in a wedding gown. Now, what was most intriguing to me, was the disclaimer that the gown was just an artist’s rendering. The actual wedding gown is being kept a well guarded secret and until it is revealed, the company selling this doll can only dress her in a “concept” gown! After the wedding, an identical representation will be created and will don each Kate Middleton doll they sell! What’s not a secret, are all of the trendy and fashion forward 18” doll clothes and accessories on My Doll’s Life ®. Although we won’t be carrying a replica of the royal wedding gown, we do have a vast selection of dresses…fit for a queen…your 18” American Girl ® doll.
To celebrate the Annual Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC, I wanted the OUTFIT OF THE WEEK to reflect the prominent colors you see as you stroll down the Tidal Basin! In addition, this week’s choice is perfect for the upcoming spring holidays. Our DREFD-PK is a gorgeous pink satin dress with a sheer overlay that has embroidered dark pink flowers and pale green leaves & vines. A light pink satin bow adorns the empire waist. It is beautiful, feminine and will make your American Girl® doll look like a vision of spring. To compliment this dress, we are adding a FREE pair of pink satin jeweled toe flats S1LJ-LP. Celebrate the spring with this OUTFIT OF THE WEEK PLUS FREE SHOES. (through April 1st)
Washington, DC welcomes the arrival of spring with the National Cherry Blossom Festival, a tradition that showcases the beautiful gift of 3,000 cherry trees that the city of Tokyo gave to our nation’s capital. The date when the Yoshino cherry blossoms reach their peak bloom varies from year to year, depending on the weather. The blooming period lasts up to as long as 14 days. They are considered to be at their peak when 70 percent of the blossoms are open. Each year, the dates of the National Cherry Blossom Festival are determined based on the average date of blooming, which is around April 4th. This date is forecast by the chief horticulturist for the National Park Service. This year, the blooms are to peak between March 29th and April 1st. The highlight of this two week event is the breath taking sight of thousands of cherry trees in full bloom, however, there are many other events including parades, art exhibits and restaurant festivals. This year’s festivities will include fund raising events for the victims of the tsunami. If you are looking for a day trip or a longer visit, here is a link to a website that will provide you with some great information. Although I live close enough to Washington, DC to attend this annual extravaganza, I have never been. This year, I am making plans to attend, even if it just for the day. No doubt there will be lots of 18 inch American Girl® Doll enthusiasts present! If you have been, or plan to visit, let me know at Tori@mydollslife.com
We have all heard of the Ides of March, but did you know that March is also National Nutrition Month? National Nutrition Month® is an education and information campaign created by the American Dietetic Association. The campaign focuses on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. The theme for this year’s campaign is “Eat Right with Color”. I have heard the more colorful your plate, the healthier your food choices tend to be. Think about it…all of the colors in a bountiful salad: the greens of various types of lettuce, red, yellow and green peppers, white mushrooms, ruby red beets, and tomatoes. We all need to be aware of the food choices we make as we only have one body and it needs to last us a lifetime. Let’s all try to incorporate some healthier changes in our diets this month. Let me hear what you are doing to have a healthier lifestyle. Email me at Tori@mydollslife.com. Here is a link to the American Dietetic Association. There you will find a wealth of information about healthy eating, nutritional games to play with your family, and mouth watering recipes for colorful and nutritionally sound meals.
For those of us who enjoy collecting 18”American dolls, there is a challenge in storing the many fashions that are associated with our little darlings! We have doll dresses, doll shirts, doll pants, doll shoes, doll socks, purses and often jewelry, that need a home when not adorning our dolls. So where does one store all of these items? I have seen several armoires and trunks available that hold some clothing, but let’s face it, when you begin collecting, those pieces don’t hold much!!! I have found that hanging my doll’s clothing up on small hangers in a closet is the best way to see what I have available. Having all the clothing right in front of me, makes it easy for me to decide which outfit to choose and gives me a better view on ways to mix and match the clothes I have. My Doll’s Life® sells a terrific hanger that allows clothing to be hung in several different places. And…many of the clothes sold on My Doll’s Life® have loops sewn into the garment for easy hanging. If you have a special way to store your American Girl® doll’s clothing, I would love to hear from you. Email me at Tori@mydollslife.com.
Spring has sprung! Officially, spring arrives on Sunday, March 20th and most of us, at least on the East coast, can’t wait! So to welcome this change of season, the Outfit of the Week at My Doll’s Life ® is a pink floral pleated skirt and a powder blue, cinched T-shirt; DRPPS-LB. This delightful outfit will make your American Girl® doll look like she just walked out of a garden of flowers! The pastel colors are great for this changing season. FREE WITH PURCHASE are a pair of white jeweled sandals; SSTS-AT. (through 3/25/11)
Now, since most of us are now operating on Daylight savings time, the days are getting a bit longer and the weather is getting a bit warmer…at least for us on the east coast. Why not take advantage of the beginning of spring (March 20th) and plan to do something outdoors. I know on my street, there are lots of tree limbs and debris, reminders of this winter’s wrath! So, I know that I will be outside collecting them and getting the lawn ready for the first mow of the season! As you look around, you can see lots of budding bulbs…crocus, lily of the valley, grape hyacinth, daffodils, iris…and the list could go on and on. This is the time I get itchy to “play in the dirt” and ready my flower beds and garden. Gardening is a great activity to do with your family and the rewards are immeasurable. Why not begin by visiting a local garden center for some seeds that you can begin sowing indoors. I would suggest beans or something in the squash family. I did pumpkins that we harvested at Halloween! My kids loved it. These seeds germinate quickly and are easy to transplant outdoors. If you intend to do anything in the squash family, be sure you have some room outdoors…they do spread! So some seeds, soil and peat pots (you can plant seeds indoors and put this entire pot in the ground later) are all you need to get started. I know that we will have more gardening entries as time goes on…but for now, get on your gloves and have fun!