Friday, July 1, 2016

An Open Letter to My Classmates

Greetings, classmates who have found my blog, Instagram & YouTube channel! Welcome!

Well, now that you're here, I feel like I need to explain some things so that you don't get the wrong idea of what I do.

I DO NOT "play" with dolls.
I AM NOT like Melanie Martinez in her music video for "Dollhouse".
I AM a collector and a photographer.
These ARE inanimate objects.
These ARE photography subjects.

It's really as simple as that.

I am a photographer.
I prefer to photograph inanimate objects, similar to many other nature and lifestyle photographers.

I am a collector.
I have been collecting American Girl Dolls and their clothing and accessories since I was four years old. Over the years, my collection has grown. I have always enjoyed the idea behind the American Girl brand, inspiring girls to follow their "Innerstar" and do what they enjoy, regardless of what others think, and the background stories relating back to American history.

If you know me well, you know that I am extremely interested in the history of our country. My interest in American History stemmed off of constantly reading the series of American Girl books when I was younger that followed pre-teen girls in pivotal moments in America's past.

If you visit my house, you may notice the six foot by nine foot American Girl Doll sized dollhouse. Like I have previously mentioned,  I have accumulated quite the collection of dolls, furniture and accessory pieces. Not only does the house serve as a creative storage piece, but also as a nice background for photographs.

When I was eleven years old, I started this blog and realized how much I would love to have a career in the American Girl brand someday. I love the idea of inspiring young girls to be powerful women in the future. I would also love to help continue to educate children on the history of our country through the stories told by American Girl.

When I began to experiment with photography, I was looking for something to photograph. My extensive collection of American Girl Dolls were there, and so I began to photograph them. A little while after I started to photograph them, I found an online community called AGIG. It was filled with accounts who, just like me, were doll collectors and photographers. That is simply what I do, and I do not feel as if I should be judged for my passion of photography, even if you find my photography subjects to be "creepy" or "weird".

 If there is one thing that I hope you take away from reading this, it's this: It's just photography with the use of inanimate objects. I do not "play" with dolls. I am a photographer and a writer. If, after you read this, you still choose to judge or make fun of me because of my interests, that's fine by me.
Just don't ask for my help in AP US History come Junior year. :)

"Allow your passion to become your purpose, and it will one day become your profession."
-Gabrielle Bernstein

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

How To Order a Doll Without Hair

As most of you know, I recently welcomed a Doll Without Hair ( DWOH) into my doll family! I have been getting so many questions on how to order one, so I thought I'd make this post! I hope it will help you!

STEP 1: Visit the American Girl website.

STEP 2: Click on the "Shop" tab.

STEP 3: Scroll down on the "Shop" page and click the "Doll Hospital" tag under "Let Us Help You," a tiny section at the bottom.

STEP 4: Scroll down on the page until you see the box explaining the American Girl Dolls Without Hair that are available.

STEP 5: Out of the five options available, choose which skin color and face mold variation you want. Note that the number you choose is only for the skin and face mold–you can personally choose the eye color later on (eye colors vary by face mold).

STEP 6: Locate the phone number provided in the box and call it.

STEP 7: Tell the employee on the phone that you would like to order a "Doll Without Hair." It's best to use the official term. If the employee on the phone transfers you to someone else or is unsure about your request, don't worry. Not all employees are even aware they offer the bald dolls.

 STEP 8: Let the employee guide you, but don't forget some bullet points to make sure you bring up during the conversation, if they don't first:
- You get to choose the eye color based on the selection they give you. So make sure you have selected it before the call has ended.
- If you would like to add a hearing aid or pierce your doll's ears, they probably won't ask, so be prepared to tell them.

 STEP 9: Place the order using a credit card. If you have an online account through American Girl already, inform them of this so you can skip giving them your address and other ordering info.

Hope this helps you!

Thursday, January 21, 2016


Hi Everybody!
Happy 2016! I hope everybody had happy holidays and are enjoying the new year so far!

This post is for a friend in our AGIG (American Girl InstaGram) community. @TheNookDolls, aka Bella, is a fantastic photographer and a great member of AGIG.

Recently, Bella woke up with chest pains so bad that she couldn't breathe. Her parents took her to the doctor, where she was rushed to the ER for masses in her lungs. After some tests and biopsies, Bella was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer that is curable with the right treatments.

She has already started chemotherapy and had surgeries to insert a central line and remove part of the tumor on her right knee.

Her nurses found out how much Bella likes dolls after she brought in her Grace doll to the hospital. Her nurses gave Grace a hospital gown, a port, an ID bracelet, a blood pressure monitor and a bandage on her knee!

Not only that, but her nurses also surprised her with a My American Girl Doll Without Hair! The doll has blue eyes just like Bella, and is going to be her mini me while she loses her hair to chemotherapy. She even named her doll mini Bella!

Please pray for our friend Bella and hope she has a speedy recovery!

Bella's Instagram: @thenookdolls

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

A Day at St. Jude: A Photo Story


Penny woke up bright and early in the morning. She was so excited because today she starts her 8 week treatment again at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital for Dolls. She will miss her home, her siblings and her pets while she is away, but she know the doctors and nurses at St. Jude will take such good care of her.

Pennylane had packed her suitcase the night before. Her suitcase was filled with clothes, toys, stuffed animals, and cards from her brother and sisters. She was also taking her fuzzy blanket and some decorations to make her room in the hospital feel more like her room at home. In a couple of hours, Penny and her older sister Nellie, who was coming with her, would be hopping on an airplane and be off to St. Jude for 8 weeks, and she couldn't wait!

Later that day, Penny had arrived at St. Jude wearing one of her favorite childhood cancer awareness shirt. This shirt is a crop top so it is easier for the nurses to access her central line, or port, in her chest for chemotherapy. The looked up at the huge hospital building and took a deep breath. She could not wait to be in there with her friends and nurses she loves!

As she got out of the St. Jude Transportation bus, she ran over to the large marble statue of St. Jude Thaddeus and attempted to give it a huge hug. Inscribed of the statue are the words: "ST. JUDE HOSPITAL. DANNY THOMAS, FOUNDER. 1960". She is so thankful for Danny Thomas and his commitment to St. Jude Thaddeus back in 1960, or else many children like herself may not be here today.

Penny couldn't help but smile every time she walked through the doors of St. Jude. The bright murals and welcoming smiles of the doctors and nurses made her feel at home. She did a little twirl in the lobby. She adored the cozy feeling of the hospital that has become a second home to her. Pennylane was counting down the minutes until she could go throughout the colorful hallways, even if it meant toting around a chemo pole.

The first place Penny stopped when she walked into St. Jude was the registration area. Here in the registration area is where she signs in with her hospital ID card and will get her hospital ID bracelet for the day. Each day that Pennylane is here receiving treatment at the hospital, she has to get a new bracelet.

Then, Pennylane will walk around the hospital taking the long way to get to the hospital room that she will be staying at. She wants to go through every hallway, trying to find her friends from previous visits, and her favorite doctors and nurses. In one of the hallways, Penny spots the red wagons! These wagons were donated to St. Jude to make transportation around the hospital easier, instead of wheelchairs, for tired and weak patients. The wagons are just one of the many little things that make their stays more fun for patients like Penny.

On her trek to find her room she will be staying in, she walked down her favorite hallway in the hospital! The hallway that contains the "ABCs of Cancer". The hallway's walls are decorated with posters of words associated with cancer that go along with the ABCs. The posters were made by other patients at St. Jude.

When Penny finally reached her hospital room, it didn't look homey at all. It only contained a dresser, a bedside table, a bed with a plain blue blanket, a TV, and an empty bulletin board. But within a few minutes after unpacking, Penny's room was starting to look more like her own!

She had pinned photos of her family and friends on the bulletin board and put up some posters.

On her bed, Penny had lay out her favorite pink blanket and decorated it with pillows, her teddy bear and her American Girl Doll, Elizabeth. Penny smiled as she sat down on her bed to read her favorite book until her nurse came in, so she could have her blood drawn and vitals taken.

A little while later, Penny and Nellie heard a knock at the door. It was Nurse Chrissa!

"Hi Nurse Chrissa!" Pennylane exclaimed, excited to see her favorite nurse.

"Hi Penny! How are you?" Nurse Chrissa asked as she hugged her.

"Fine! I'm so happy to be back here in Memphis!" Penny replied gleefully.

Nurse Chrissa tied a compression band around Penny's arm and took her blood. Pennylane was so brave, and didn't even cry!

"Nurse Chrissa, I didn't cry! Getting blood drawn doesn't even hurt anymore!" Penny said. She was so proud of herself for being brave, but she was also worried about getting her port accessed, which she knew would be much more painful.

After getting her blood drawn, Penny's stomach growled. She hadn't eat anything since she was on the plane! I guess it was time to go get lunch at the hospital's cafeteria, the Kay Kafe. The Kay Kafe serves the most amazing food, unlike the stereotypical hospital cafeteria! You can get anything- and everything- from chinese food to baked goods here! Penny decided to go with her favorite, alphabet soup, a cup of tea and a cupcake, because this was the last meal she would eat until she lost her appetite from chemo in a few hours! Nellie and Penny took Penny's food back to the hotel room to eat it.

After she was done eating, she colored a picture that she wanted to submit in the Sr. Jude Art Show happening January 4. She drew a picture of a child receiving chemo at the hospital and another child alongside it happy and playing outside. Just then, the nurses brought in the dreaded IV pole- time for chemotherapy! The nurses accessed Pennylane's port, under the skin in her chest using a very large needle. They attached Penny's port to the cannula tubes of the IV pole. Her central line is used to give her treatments, including her chemo. Soon, she had the chemo poison running through her body, killing cancer cells.

During chemo, Penny likes to be comfortably snug in bed, in comfy clothes, surrounded by her stuffed animals, and have something to keep her busy during the seven hours she has to be hooked up to the chemo. Today, Penny had brought along her favorite movie, "An American Girl: McKenna Shoots for the Stars"! She also brought her activity book to keep her occupied.

A couple of hours later, Penny decided she would like to go for a walk around the hospital, since she didn't have much nausea at the moment. Nellie grabbed the empty wagon that was outside the hospital room and loaded it with fluffy blankets and pillows. Penny climbed into the wagon with her teddy bear. Nellie pulled Penny and her chemo pole throughout the hallways of St. Jude. In every hallway at least one nurse, doctor, researcher, or patient called "Hi Penny!" as she rolled by.

A little while after they had returned from their expedition around the hospital, Penny got changed into a hospital gown and Nurse Chrissa came back in to unhook Pennylane from the chemo for the day, before the steps would be repeated tomorrow.

Penny also got a package mailed here to St. Jude for her! It was a package from the Make-A-Wish Foundation and she was so excited! She has been waiting for this package for so long to arrive! She filled out the form (with Nellie's help), and guess what her wish was? Pennylane's wish was to be able to meet Gabby Douglas and be able to do gymnastics with her for a day! Her cousin Skylar, who is also battling Neuroblastoma, would be included too, of course! Penny is hoping that this wonderful foundation could make her wish come true!

Since chemo usually causes nausea and loss of appetite, Penny did NOT want to eat any dinner that night. But in order to ensure she gets all of the proper nutrition she needs, and avoid getting to thin and need a feeding tube put in ( such as an NG tube or a G tube... Penny has had an NG tube before and it was NOT fun!). The nurses recommended that penny take a "Sour Gem". Some of the nutrition scientists here at St. Jude developed the Sour Gem, which is a tart gummy treat that is packed with calories, protein and fat, things that Penny may lack from her loss of appetite during chemo. She also had to take her meds for the day.

Then, Penny's first day back here at St. Jude comes to an end. Despite the painful things she endures during treatment for her Neuroblastoma, she always has a smile on her face and looks forward for the next day she will be here at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

American Girl "Girl of the Year" 2016 LEA CLARK Leaks!

Well the time has come.

On December 4, 2015 we finally got what we've been waiting for.

After many months, the Girl of the Year 2016, Lea Clark's 18 inch doll stock photos have been released. Well more like leaked, actually.

And let me be the first to say, she is adorable.

Okay, now do you see what I mean? Besides her looking like the offspring of Kanani and Marisol, she's irresistible and will most likely be joining my doll family on January 1.

Here's a full size image of Lea and the cover of her first book:

With her caramel wavy hair, stunning green eyes, fleeky eyebrows, and nice full cheeks, how could you not just melt at the sight of her? Her bright tribal meet outfit also gives her a fun, playful look. Needless to say, I cant wait to meet this girl in the new year!

Back to her eyes. They look different than anything that we've ever seen here at American Girl while dealing with doll eye colors. They are a nice shade of sage green, that I adore. I've heard from a VERY reliable and trusted source that her eyes are a new color, that differs from any other that has been released by AG.

Here's a comparison to all of the possible eye colors Lea could have that have already been released by AG:

I think her eyes are either new (which they most likely are), or a mix between Mia, GOTY 2008 (second down on the right) or TM 52, who shares her eye color with TMs 41 & 61 as well (bottom right). What do you think?

We have also found her book titles and summaries on Amazon available for preorder. Her book are written by Lisa Yee, the same author who wrote Kanani and Ivy's books. Here are her three books titles and summaries.

BOOK 1: "Lea Dives In"

Lea Clark is ten years old and ready to explore the whole world, just like her grandmother! But first she'll start with a family trip to Brazil, where her big brother is studying the rainforest. Lea is really excited to see the ocean - and when she does, she realizes she'd rather take a picture of it than swim in it. Can she overcome her fear and dive in?
Then she meets a fun new friend who inspires her to embrace the thrills and beauty of Brazil. But when the fun turns to danger, she must find the courage to face adventure head on! Where will the next adventure take her?

BOOK 2: "Lea Leads the Way"

Lea Clark is all set for an animal-discovery adventure! She's never been to a rainforest before, and her mind is filled with exciting thoughts about the animals she'll get to see - and the pictures she'll get to take deep in the jungle. During a hike with her brother through the Amazon rainforest, they discover a baby sloth that is badly injured. Lea quickly decides she must do all she can to help the little sloth survive. But as she learns more, she wonders: "Is that the right thing to do?"

BOOK 3: "Lea and Camila"
to be released March 1, 2016

For spring break, Lea Clark has invited her friend Camila to St. Louis for a stateside adventure. They find a stray kitten and make a mysterious discovery while visiting a grand but crumbling mansion. Lea is determined to uncover the secrets of her discovery, but in her search for clues she forgets to be a good host to Camila. And when Lea's best friend, Abby, becomes fast friends with Camila, Lea feels a little left out. Can she find a way to reconnect with her friends - and solve the mystery, too?

So what do you think about her book summaries? How about the doll? I think the last book sounds really good! I can't wait to meet Lea and read her stories!

* Photo credits come from:
AGUpdateNews on Instagram and Lissie & Lilly !

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Interview with Elana from AG Life!

It's been a little bit since I last posted an interview, so here is a new one! Today's interview if with the star and host of American Girl's new YouTube series "AG Life", Elana Cacares! Elana's fun, bubbly personality drew me in from the very beginning, and she quickly became my favorite of the five featured girls. Read her interview below!

EDS: How did you get a spot on AG Life?

Elana: American Girl had a casting call in May, I submitted a video. In June, they called me for an audition.

EDS: Do you have any American Girl dolls? If so, who?
Elana: Yes, I have four dolls!
- My 1st doll is a Just Like Me Doll and I named her Lizzy.
- 2nd doll is the 2008 Doll of the year, Mia
- 3rd doll is a historical doll, Kit Kittredge
- 4th doll is another historical, Josefina

EDS: How does the filming for AG Life work?
Elana: American Girl has an amazing crew that work very hard in putting weekly shows together. Filming takes place at various locations including the 5th Avenue store.

EDS: What is your favorite part about being on AG Life?
 Elana: I've been a huge fan of American Girl since I was 6 years old. I am truly honored to represent AG as a YouTube host. I love to inspire girls and AG Life allows me to do that! The film crew is so cool and I always have so much fun on set. I LOVE the segments they offer and even I look forward to learning new things and watching new episodes every week.

EDS: Which of the other girls from AG Life are you closest with?
Elana: I love the girls all the same, they are all so sweet and we are a great team!

EDS: If you could be any BeForever character for a day, who would you be and why?
Elana: It would have to be Kit, I love that she is determined.

Here are some photos Elana sent me of her having fun on set!

Thank you so much for the interview, Elana!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Meet Pennylane, My American Girl Doll Without Hair!

Hey guys!
Late last month I bought myself a new doll! I had been wanting her for a while, and I'm so glad I finally got her!! She is so cute and so pretty! I love her even more than I thought I would! Allow me to introduce... Pennylane Elizabeth! Penny is a doll without hair with light skin and hazel eyes! She is so cute!

Penny's story is that she is currently being treated at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for Dolls for her Neuroblastoma. Neuroblastoma is cancer in her neuroblasts. Penny is currently getting chemotherapy through her port in her chest. When she isn’t receiving treatment in the hospital, Penny enjoys monkeying around with her big sisters and coloring pictures. Penny wants to be a gymnast when she grows up and her favorite gymnast is Gabby Douglas. Pennylane is 5 years old and is a Doll Without Hair with light skin and hazel eyes.

If you'd like to order a doll like Pennylane click here for the instructions on how to do so!

Here she is! How cute is she?

In this photo you can see her central line, also known as her port. It is used for giving her chemotherapy and other treatments for her Neuroblastoma.

Here is a closeup of her sweet face.