Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

The Journey Girls Want to Wish you all Happy Holidays!

The girls have been so excited for the holidays.  They have been getting ready for Christmas the last few weeks.  Dana was busy wrapping presents.  She can't wait to see Meredith's face when she open's this bowling set!

Kyla hangs the stockings above the fireplace.  She loves that Santa fills them with candy!

Chavonne sets up the train.  It will go around the Christmas tree, but for right now she plays with it on it's own.

Kelsey is in charge of the lights for the tree, but she is having a little bit of trouble.  She eventually gets untangled and strings the lights around the Christmas tree.

Meredith adds one last ornament to the tree, making sure it's in the perfect place.

Finally, Callie puts the star on the top. The tree is done and the girls are ready for Christmas!

Hope you all have a wonderful holiday season.  Cherish your family and friends, hope for peace, and enjoy life!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Purple and White Journey Girls Dress

One of the New Italy Outfits

When Toys R Us came out with the new Journey Girls Italian line they also released 4 outfits.  One of the outfits that was released was this simple purple and white outfit.  The outfit comes with a light purple purse and matching shoes.  The outfit retails for around $17.99.  Is the outfit worth the money?

The dress outfit is one of the best made Journey Girls outfits on the market.  The cloth is thick and the whole things is very well made.  The outfit looks like it is two pieces, a white top and a purple star patterned skirt.  However it is actually one piece, layered to look like two.  The skirt has a purple geometric star pattern printed on a nice cotton cloth with a satin back to it.  Ending just above Kyla's knees, the skirt is a nice length when standing.  Because of the issues with the way the Journey Girls sit, the skirt is short when seated.

The top of this outfit is actually two layers.  The top visible layer is not actually attached to the skirt, rather it is attached to another layer of fabric, that is attached to the skirt.  The underneath layer of fabric is the same simple satin that is on the underneath of the skirt. It is sewn to the waistline of the skirt, as well as the side of the top layer, around the arms, and neckline.

The top layer is made of the same material with an intricate flowered lace on top, that makes it stiff and adds a beautiful pattern to the plain top.  The portrait neckline, the thick shoulder straps, along with the knee length skirt make this out fit a nice casual "work" style outfit.

The purse is a light lavender "leather", with a shape kind of like a duffle bag.  The straps are long enough that Kyla can carry the purse on her shoulder.  It opens, but there is nothing to keep it closed, no velcro to latch it together.  Still, a very nice purse.

The shoes match the lavender of the purse.  They are the same plastic dress flats that come with almost every dress.  Nice, but it would be great to see something new.

All ratings are out of 10

Value 7 – Although this dress is well made there is nothing else to the set.  The purse is great, but the shoes are the same old thing.  It would be nice to see something else come with the dress, or to see a lower price.  Still nice, and quality wise this is on par with an American Girl outfit.

Fitment 10– Fits perfectly as would be expected from a Journey Girls outfit.  

Versatility 6 – Like some of the other dresses in the Journey girls line this outfit does not have much versatility.  Although because of it's design it can be used for casual occasions to semi formal/ business occasions.  The shoes will go with many outfits as will the purse.

Cuteness 8 – The pattern on the skirt is really cute and the lace on the top is awesome.  The photos her can't show the detail and intricacy of it.  This is not the cutest outfit that Toys R Us has put out, but it is the cutest "casual" outfit.

Overall 8 – A great outfit! Cute and very well made.  This outfit is not as fancy as the "Celebrate" outfits and not as casual as the plaid outfit.  It has a place right in the middle.  The price is okay, actually it's a good price for the quality of the dress.  If this was sold by American Girl (it would have some better shoes) it would cost twice as much.  Still, look for it on sale for a great outfit.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Top 5 Journey Girls Picks for Christmas

2015's Journey Girl Must Haves

5 Journey Girls Scooter

Released at the end of last year/earlier this year, the scooter is a great accessory for the Journey Girls as they travel through Europe. Turn it on and it makes “real” scooter sounds. It also turns on the front and rear lights. The turn signals light up when you push the appropriate button, accompanied by a “click, click, click” sound. It would be nice if it was a little bit taller, but overall it’s a great little vehicle. The scooter comes with a helmet to keep your Journey Girl safe as she is on the road!

4 Journey Girls Outdoor Table Set

Although I personally had an issue with the table set, it is an awesome set.  The table is super sturdy and is a great size.  The girls can actually sit at the table and not be super crowded.  The chairs are very casual, with low backs.  Almost like a bench, rather than a chair.  The Journey Girls sit really well in them though.  The placemats, cups and cushions are nice little extras for this set.  A great, functional furniture set.

3 Journey Girls Accessory Packs

Toys R Us released two waves of accessory packs this year.  The first set has 4 different sets, mostly with shoes, scarves, sunglasses, and jewelry.  The second wave that hit stores in July, had 4 sets with clothing accessories and 4 with sports equipment, school supplies, and an umbrella.  It is wonderful to get some much needed food in these sets.  Hope that there will be more of these.

2 Journey Girls Outfits

In a normal year Toys R Us releases 12 to 16 outfits for the Journey Girls.  This year was amazing in that there were 22 outfits released just in July!!!  Not only were there a good amount of outfits released, but there was a wide range of styles.  The "Celebration" outfits are beautiful, elegant dresses.  There is a ballet outfit, a gymnast set, as well as a cheerleading outfit.  Three sleepers sets were released, that have wonderful, cute slippers.  Two of my favorite outfits are the beige sweater set and the blue plaid top.  Both of these sets are awesome!

1 Special Edition Journey Girls Giovanna

This years special edition doll hits the mark and is much more similar to Jordanna than Mikaella.  Giovanna dress is gorgeous with three layers and a chocker neckline. The crimson color offsets Giovanna's light blonde hair.   Giovanna comes with a faux fur shrug, a beautiful pearl and diamond bracelet, a silver clutch, and a masquerade mask.  She is also the first Journey Girl to come with pierced ears!  A wonderful doll for the 2015 special edition!

What is on your top 5 list for the Journey Girls?  What would you like to see next year?

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Journey Girl's Teal Layered Celebrate Outfit Reviewed

Callie in the New Teal Tiered Celebrate Outfit

The celebrate outfits from Toys R Us are elegant dresses created to compliment the special edition holiday doll released each year, this year that doll is Giovanna.  There are four celebrate dresses released this year.  The dress being reviewed today is a full length tiered teal colored dress.  It comes with shoes and a handbag and retails for around $19.99.  Satin like fabric makes up most of the dress, with chiffon pleated overlay for the tiered skirt. 

The dress has a square neckline with wide shoulder straps that have pleats also. The entire top of the dress is satin, with the light pleated overlay beginning as an empire waist.  Two layers of pleated chiffon like material create a skirt that is reminiscent of a flapper dress, but longer.  

The first layer goes to just below the knee and the second goes to top of Callie’s shoes.  The dress is form fitting on the top, but flows freely from there down.  It Velcro's up the back for easy changes.

The accessories that come with the celebrate dresses are sparse.  As with most of the outfits made for the Journey Girls, the celebrate outfits come with the standard plastic low heel dress shoes.  They work, but are nothing special.  It would be awesome to get some higher end fabric shoes, especially with a special edition dress like this.

The clutch is also very similar to many other purses that have been released with other Journey Girls outfits.  A wrist strap is attached to the side of the clutch and fits perfectly around Callie’s wrist.  The clutch is open at the top with a shimmery gathered ribbon around the opening.  It does not latch closed, and it’s pretty small to carry much.  The Journey Girl cell phone doesn’t even fit in it.

All ratings are out of 10

Value 8 – The dress is what you are paying for with the celebrate outfits.  The shoes are the normal flats that come with so many of the Journey Girl outfits.  Although the clutch is pretty, it is nothing amazing.  It’s too bad that shoes and the clutch don’t match the quality of the dress.

Fitment 10– This dress fits beautifully, which is exactly what you expect for a dress made specifically for the Journey Girls. 

Versatility 6 – This is a fancy dress and as such really doesn’t have much versatility.  Even though the shoes are the same as so many other shoes, the color is unique to this outfit and could be used as an offsetting color for another outfit.  Unfortunately there just aren’t many different uses for a one-piece semi-formal dress.

Cuteness 8 – Though it’s not very versatile, the dress is very pretty.  The design of the dress is different, with the two-layered skirt and the empire waist, it works wonderfully together.  

Overall 8 – Like the pink celebrate dress from this year and most of the celebrate dresses from last year, this dress is made well, but it is lacking the accessories to make it an amazing outfit.  This outfit is, along with the pink celebrate outfit, are both much more elegant than last years celebrate outfits (Except the teal outfit).  They come closer to matching Giovanna’s dress in style.  Even though the shoes are not awesome, this dress is still worth picking up if you like an elegant dress.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Dana's Last Day on Mackinac Island

Dana Makes One Last Bike Trip on Mackinac Island

Dana wakes up early on her last day, excited for the adventures that await.  She rides her bike down to the shoreline to watch the sunrise one last time on this trip.

The waves are so serene.  The pastel colors of the rising sun reflect off the waves as they crash against the shore.  The lighthouse on Round Island flashes its light as it whirls around.  Dana feels like she could relax here all day.

She walks further down the shore, coming across a kite, sailing in the air, tied to a tree so it doesn't get whisked away.

Dana looks back down the shoreline towards the hotel.  What a beautiful view.  If only she had a few more days…but today is her last, so she must make it count.

The sun gets high enough that the color fades from the clouds.  The sun is bright and warm, but the wind is really strong.  Dana finds one of the many shops along Main Street and buys a Mackinac Island sweater.  She loves the one she found because it has a horse on the front.

Dana poses on the huge front lawn of one of the hotels.  She can only imagine how busy this must be when it is summer.

Dana loves the look of the different houses.  Lots of different styles and colors.  Many of the houses on the main part of the island have been converted to hotels or Bed and Breakfasts.  It's hard to imagine some of these huge houses are for one family.

Getting on her bike Dana heads out for one last ride down the coast.  The wind is so strong that it pushes her sideways as she rides.

The wind is just a little too strong today for Dana to go on a long bike ride.  She stops by the Mackinac Island State Park sign to get a photo.

Then goes down to the shore to see the waves.

Wow they are big!  She stays up higher on shore, not wanting to get wet from the splashes.

Finally it is time to go.  Dana boards the ferry and heads back to the mainland.  As they head out she has a great view of the gigantic Grand hotel.

The ride back is very bumpy with the waves almost 5 feet high in some places.  They crash over the front of the boat, flooding the second floor with water.  As the boat nears the shore the waves calm a little bit, but not much.

Dana gets off the boat, gets buckled in the car with Shia, and is ready to go home.  She is excited to see some of the fall colors on the drive back home, but about an hour into the 8 hour trip home…she falls asleep.  Dana had a great trip to Mackinac Island.

Hope you enjoyed the trip too!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Day 4 of Dana's Trip

Fort Mackinac and The Grand Hotel

Mackinac Island was first inhabited by the Ojibwa Indians.  Then the French used it as a fur trading outpost.  Finally in 1780 the British decided to build Fort Mackinac.  Dana walks up the hill to explore the historic Fort Mackinac

Shia and Dana walk past one of the restored original houses on the island.  Like Fort Holmes the house is surrounded by a log fence.

Dana can't believe how tiny the house is compared to the homes on the bluffs.  She stops at the park at the bottom of the fort to admire the beautiful fall colors.

The fort has an amazing view of the surrounding area, which was perfect for protecting the straight back in the days that it was a functioning fort.

By 1815 the Treaty of Ghent forced the British to return the island to the Americans.  Dana loved seeing the inside of the living quarters.  There were  quarters for the families of the soldiers that stayed on the island all of the time.  

Dana's favorite part of the fort was watching the re-enactors fire the guns.  They were really loud.  They were actually louder than the canon!

The canon, when it fired real canon balls, could shoot them almost all the way across the straight.  Now it just fires a wad of gun powder.  But it is still extremely loud!

After looking around the fort for awhile longer, Dana and Shia walk to the Grand Hotel.

The Grand Hotel was opened in 1887.  Not only is it one of the oldest hotels on the island, but it is also the largest.  It claims the world's largest front porch at 660 feet long.

Guest often dress up in outfits from the 20's and 30's  There is a strict dress code still in effect at the Grand Hotel.  All Males must wear a suit after 5pm and all females must wear a dress.

Dana loves watching the large horse drawn carriages bring the guests to the hotel.

After admiring the hotel and the beautiful horses, Dana walks down to the beach to watch the sunset. As she watches the sun slowly decent towards the horizon one of the jet boat ferries cruses in front of the Mackinac Bridge.

The colors are amazing, reflecting off of lake Huron as the sun finally goes down.

Dana relaxes, listening to the waves gently crash upon the rocks, the water pink with the dying light of the sunset.  It makes her a little sad to think that tomorrow will be her last day on Mackinac Island.  But she can't wait to explore for one more day!

What will Dana do for her last day?  Check back to find out.