When you and your 18” American doll are headed outside to play, exercise, or just hang out with friends, this week’s Outfit of the Week plus FREE SHOES will be the perfect outfit for afternoon fun or evening adventures. This 2 piece pink interlock sweat suit DRPSS features capri length pants that have double white stripes on the sides. The zippered hoodie has the same white stripe detail along the sleeves with white interlock cuffs and jacket hem. The front kangaroo style pockets are trimmed in white as is the hood of the jacket. Your American Girl doll will look as sweet as cotton candy wherever she goes in this stylish and very cozy outfit. FREE WITH PURCHASE: a very colorful pair of slip-on canvas sneakers SVS-PR. The pink and red floral print on white canvas, make up the front portion of the shoe, while the back is solid pink. The floral pattern repeats around the heel. This splash of pink, red and green make this outfit pop! Add your favorite cami or t-shirt (not included) to easily change this look from sporty to comfy-casual. (good through May 6, 2011)
May 6th is the third annual National Public Garden’s Day celebration. National Public Gardens Day offers public gardens an excellent opportunity to showcase their gardens and highlight the valuable contributions they make to their communities. It coincides with Mother’s Day Weekend and the start of spring. Botanical gardens, arboretums, public gardens, zoos, specialty gardens and farm gardens will be celebrating. Many of the nation’s public gardens will celebrate the day with special events and activities for educational groups, families and visitors, in an effort to learn about each garden’s commitment to education, research and environmental stewardship. There are many facilities that are even offering free passes. So take your Mom out for the day…dress your American Girl® doll up in something special and enjoy the wonders of spring!
The Royal Wedding is only 2 days away. With speculation about Kate’s dress, the carriage, the guest list and food menus, why not have your 18” dolls join you in all the excitement by trying some traditional English fare. Below is a recipe from former Buckingham Palace chef Darren McGrady, for Cottage Pie. This is said to be one of Prince William’s favorite dishes. Enjoy!
1.5 lbs ground beef
2 small yellow onions (finely chopped)
2 tbs corn oil
1/3 cup all purpose flour
2 cups water
2 bouillon cubes
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 or 2 tsp dried thyme
The potato topping
2 lbs (peeled weight) red potatoes
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tsps salt
1/8 tsps ground white pepper
1/8 tsps ground nutmeg
1 egg yolk
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
In a large saucepan over a high flame, heat the oil and add finely chopped onion. Saute the onion until soft and translucent. Add the ground beef and break up using a wooden spoon. Saute the beef until it has all browned. Gradually stir in flour, thyme water, bouillon cubes and Worcestershire sauce.
Reduce heat to low and simmer the meat (so it is just bubbling) for about 30 to 45 minutes. Remove from stove and using a slotted spoon, transfer the beef into an earthenware pie dish. (Using the slotted spoon will ensure the beef is not too wet to hold the potatoes and also leave you some sauce to serve with the finished pie). Leave the beef mix to cool and a skin to form. (Up to this stage can be done several days before and cooled and stored in the refrigerator).
Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water (about an inch above the potatoes). Cover and bring to boil over high heat. Lower heat to a simmer until the potatoes are tender (about 20 minutes). Drain the water off the potatoes and return dry potatoes to a low heat for one to two minutes to dry them. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher or pass through a ricer.
Add the butter, salt, pepper, ground nutmeg, egg yolk and cream and stir into the potato mix. Spoon, or pipe using a wide star tube, on to the top of the beef mix and sprinkle the grated cheddar over the potatoes.
Bake in a preheated oven (350 degrees) for about 20 to 30 minutes until the potatoes are golden brown and the pie has heated through.
As the weather transitions from winter to spring so will your 18” American doll’s fashions. Needless to say, a variety of footwear will always be necessary for this transition. These lightweight corduroy button boots, SBC, are just perfect for your 18” doll. Great for those cold winter days with pants, these boots are also fun to wear with lightweight spring skirts and leggings…making them a great item for year round wear! These mid calf height boots come in two colors, gray and black and are constructed of pin whale corduroy fabric. The hook and loop closures on the sides allow your doll to wear them up or folded down. Add the 3 button detail on both sides: black on the black boot and white on the gray and you will find these boots your go to footwear for fun and fashion!
Spring has sprung and a sunny day makes us want to dress our dolls in something colorful and fun. This week’s 18” doll Outfit of the Week PLUS FREE SHOES is both! This colorful 2 pc outfit, SH-WT-HC has fuchsia capri pants that have elastic cuffs and white silk screened hearts down one side. The sleeveless ribbed tank top has fun rhinestones along the neckline. FREE with this purchase is a pair of diamond pattern sandals SDPS-WH in white & hot pink. This outfit would be just perfect if you and your American Girl® doll were headed out to the back yard barbecue or for a walk along a creek. (through 4/29/11)
In addition to Easter celebrations this weekend, there will also be many ways for you and your 18″ American doll to celebrate Earth Day. All of us should be concerned with polluting less, creating less waste and conserving energy. So before you go out on your Easter egg hunt, why not have everyone in your family make a pledge to do something green. For instance, moms could pledge to hang clothes out to dry instead of drying them totally in the electric dryer. Kids could make less waste by using a lunch box and re-usable water bottle instead of using a paper bag and plastic water bottle for school. Dads could take leaves and household food trash and begin to compost for planting around the house. Every family member could make a point to turn lights off when they are not in use and be sure to use energy saving light bulbs where you can. It is easy to come up with ways to be “green” on Earth Day and Every Day! Happy Earth Day and Happy Easter!
April 22nd is Earth Day, 2011 and this year’s theme is A Billion Acts of Green®. Now is a good time to make a commitment to being “Green”. Did you know that many of the cleaning products found in our homes are actually not good for the environment? Why not try some “greener” alternatives made with basic ingredients you may already have in your pantry. Keep your house clean and the environment safe…sounds good, right?
Here are some basic ingredients you will need:
Baking Soda: cleans and deodorizes
Borax: cleans, deodorizes and disinfects
White Vinegar or Lemon Juice: cuts grease, freshens
Here are some easy ways to CLEAN GREEN!
Dishwasher Detergent: Mix 1 Tbs Borax and 1 Tbs Baking soda
Put it into the soap dispenser in your dishwasher and run as usual.
General Household Cleaner: ¼ C Baking Soda, ½ C Borax, ½ C White Vinegar, 1 gal water
For extra scrubbing, add baking soda to a damp cloth
Window Cleaner: 2 tsp white vinegar, 1 qt. warm water
Mix together and use immediately
Silver Polish: 1 qt warm water, 1 tsp Baking soda, 1 tsp Salt, and a small piece of aluminum foil. Mix together in a shallow dish, lay foil on bottom and watch your silver shine!
Yesterday’s blog discussed caring for your 18” American doll. Keeping your doll’s hair looking good and being able to successfully style her hair is a challenge. It seems that one of the most important tools is a good wig brush. My Doll’s Life ® carries two different wig brushes. DNHB-PK is a standard sized wig brush that measures 7” long. The metal round tipped bristles are perfect for synthetic doll hair. This wig brush is glittery pink plastic and easy to handle. The other brush, DNHB-G, is 3 3/4” long and sized for an 18” doll. It comes with plastic tipped metal bristles and is available with a purple glitter handle. Both hair brushes are certified and safety tested to be compliant with CPSIA regulations.
There are always questions about cleaning the vinyl bodies and the hair of your 18” doll. I don’t think that there’s one correct answer as dolls vary in age, construction materials, and need for cleaning. I have found some consistency with the fact that you don’t ever want to get water into a doll’s eyes. This could cause rusting of the functioning parts of your doll’s eye and prevent them from opening and closing properly. If your doll has cloth parts…either the body and/or limbs, care will need to be taken not to get these parts wet. Surface cleaning with a clean damp cloth and mild cleaner seem to be the most recommended procedure. For cloth that has been discolored due to age, replacement might be the best option. Vinyl care varies and although there are commercial products available, I would suggest trying some of the more “home spun” alternatives first. Never use products with bleach! When starting to clean vinyl, always start with the mildest cleaner, like Dawn dish soap, and work up from there. Scrubbing cleaners and acne treatments are recommended for more stubborn stains, and I even read an article that uses Vaseline. Hair washing is not usually recommended for either wigs or rooted hair. Caring for your 18” doll’s hair can be accomplished without washing. Drying and curling hair should not be done with either a blow dryer or curling iron. This could destroy synthetic hair. Only wig brushes are to be used and are available on My Doll’s Life®. There are lots of sites dedicated to doll care and restoration and will provide many “how to’s” for maintaining your doll. Especially with 18” play dolls, it is important to have clean hands before playing with them. Oils from your hands can potentially attract dirt and stains making them more difficult to remove. We all want our American dolls to be lovely and hopefully, some of these tips will help!
This week many of you will be celebrating Passover or Easter…or maybe both! I know my family does! So the girls will dress up in something fancy and springy for both celebrations. This week’s 18” doll Outfit of the Week DRSFD-BL plus FREE SHOES SAS-BB will be perfect for your American Girl® doll as she celebrates along with you. The sheath dress with fly-away front pleating, is a black satin fabric with contrasting blue & white flowers, green leaves and an empire waist. The citrus green spaghetti straps and trim make this the perfect combination of Fancy and Springy! We have added a pair of sky blue ankle strap sandals SAS-BB FREE with this outfit. If it is chilly on those holidays, your doll can always wear our fur stole and glove set DRFSG which adds just a touch of Glam! (not included with the Outfit of the Week) Happy Holidays! (through 4/22/11)