Interview with Sydney Paulsen from @5HensandaCockatiel at American Girl {plus our Z Yang photo shoot}

Z Yang riding bikeSponsored postLast month, American Girl released their newest contemporary doll, a Korean American doll named Z Yang. "Z" {short for Suzie} hails from Seattle, which of course makes us very, very happy. To celebrate her release, we took Z around our city and took pictures of her in some of our favorite places, including the Fremont Sunday Market {our favorite farmer's and craft market}, a Seattle food truck event, the Woodland Park Zoo and even on a Seattle bike ride. Z Yang at Farmer's Market

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Z Yang events this Saturday at American Girl stores in NYC, Chicago, Seattle, Dallas, and DC

American Girl Z in the air Sponsored postHave you heard the news? American Girl just released their newest contemporary doll, Z Yang last week. “Z” {short for Suzie} is Korean American and hails from Seattle {every girl in the PNW, including my two littles, is squealing right now}. American Girl Z with cameraNot only do I adore that she’s from Seattle, I love that Z is a stop-motion vlogger, which is my oldest’s dream job. Fans have come to know and love Z as the star of the American Girl’s immensely popular web series, Z’s Crew. In the web series, Z loves staying connected with friends and sharing a good story through her stop motion videos.

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Beauty and the Beast inspired

Are you as excited about Disney's new live action Beauty & the Beast as I am? I remember seeing it in theaters when I was little and ever since then I've been in love. We're counting down the days until we take the kids to see the new Beauty & the Beast movie {yay! and shhhh! they don't know yet}. While we're waiting, I'm having fun putting together Beauty & the Beast-inspired collections. Doesn't this just make you happy?Beauty and the Beast lay flatI love this little rose purse I found at Target, and I know it's going to be well loved with my little flower girls. Add in a book and it's just what Belle would wear. My daughter just got the book and she's already well into it. My little book lover, just like Belle.Beauty and the Beast purse and book

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American Girl for everyone

American Girl for everyoneMy oldest fell in love with American Girl when she was only 1 year old, so we’ve been American Girl crazy for years and years now. But, that love is even stronger now that we officially have a doll for everyone, thanks to the newest American Girl contemporary dolls. American Girl dollsLike most families, we start with the Bitty Baby line and then we ease in slowly to the American Girl Wellie Wisher, BeForever, Truly Me, and Contemporary lines. That transition is always a big deal when they go from baby to adolescent and with that comes doll books, movies, accessories, and more to immerse them further into the world of American Girl. 

But, until this month, there was nowhere for my son to go after he outgrew his Bitty Baby boy {which thankfully hasn’t happened yet}. I dreaded the day my son would be done with babies and his love of American Girl would slowly fade while his sisters continued to play. I don’t need to worry about that anymore, because his love has only deepened with the introduction of Tenney Grant and Logan Everett.

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American Girl fans: DIY Tenney and Logan inspired tin drum craft

DIY Tin Drums inspired by American GirlAre you as crazy excited about American Girl's new contemporary dolls, Tenney Grant and Logan Everett, as we are? We've literally been counting down to their release for months, and we're so thrilled they are finally here. To celebrate their release, we came up with a Tenney-and-Logan-inspired DIY project to make a tin drum so you can start a band just like they did.

I'm going to walk you through the steps to make your own drum, including two handy little printables you can use to add logos to your American Girl-inspired drums.

To start with, you will need to gather your supplies: 

2 large tin {or tin-and-cardboard} cans – we used milk substitute tins, but you could repurpose coffee cans, formula canisters, powdered drink containers, or whatever else you have on hand.

2 long threaded rods (or bolts), 8 nuts, and 12 washers – for securing the drums together

2 printables – for covering the cans {you can download those below}

Scissors, tape, ribbon, and a small drill {optional, you can use scissors if your can is thin enough} Tenney Drum supplies

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Introducing Logan Everett, the first ever 18″ boy doll from American Girl

Sponsored post American Girl playing guitarHe’s here! He’s here! I feel like we’ve been waiting forever for the release of the new American Girl doll, Logan Everett. The rumors have been swirling for months that a boy doll was in the works and I think I got roughly 50 messages asking if it was true. I’m happy to say that the rumors were true, and Logan Everett arrived this month at American Girl on Valentine’s Day.  American Girl Logan in storeIf you know my son, you know he’s one of the biggest fans of American Girl that there ever was. It started when my daughter got her first doll when she was 4 and he was only 2, and that love has grown exponentially throughout the years. He was crazy excited when he was given a boy Bitty Twin we scored second-hand, but I always wished there was an 18” boy I could buy for him. American Girl Tenney and Logan in storeYou should have seen his face when his sister and I surprised him with his own Logan Everett doll at the Seattle American Girl café last week. Not only was he over the moon excited, but so was his sister who has been dying for him to get his own doll for years and years. She had been plotting since before Christmas about how she could get him a doll if they came out with a boy and Logan was everything she had hoped for for her brother.

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The perfect Christmas gift: The new and improved Lundby Dollhouse

Lundby house at Christmas square
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As parents, we categorize toys into four main groups:

  1. novelty toys that are fun for a bit and then get abandoned within hours
  2. toys that kids play with for days and then ditch before they have even been in the house a month
  3. toys that don’t get played with every day but are still returned to month after month
  4. and, finally, those special toys that are an essential part of play nearly every single day, year after year.

As you can imagine, there are lots and lots of toys that fall in those first two groups, and not so many that fit in the third group. As for that fourth group? It’s like a rare unicorn and you never know when, or where, you will find it. Lundby dellightsFor us, the Lundby dollhouse is one of a handful of toys that squarely fit in that fourth group without ever wavering. From the moment the kids opened the Lundby dollhouse all those years ago, they were hooked. And then, with all the redecorating, DIYs, and crafting we have done on it throughout the years, the Lundby dollhouse just kept getting more and more beloved as we all added our personal touch to the house. Lundby mom and daughterSo, when we got home from Boston and were greeted with a huge package from Lundby that contained a brand new Lundby dollhouse, the sideboard/TV set, and the awesome Lundby remote, it was declared as the best.day.ever. Ever since we saw a sneak peek of the newest Lundby items on social media and got wind of the remote, I was dying to try it out.

 

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Playing and learning with American Girl: Melody’s microphone and piano playsets

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Amereican Girl Melody doll
After spending so much time this year learning about the new BeForever character, Melody Ellison, I wanted to get the kids something special this year to celebrate. With so many awesome choices in the Melody collection, I debated for a bit whether I wanted to go with one of her playsets or an outfit or two.
Melody with piano and microphoneIn the end, I decided that adding to our Melody collection with a toy they could play with was the way to go. I chose Melody’s Microphone Set paired with Melody’s Electric Piano because the kids were specifically drawn to them at the Seattle American Girl store after they realized that they actually really work. American Girl family band

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