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.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Dana's Mackinac Island Trip: Day 3

Dana Takes a Bike Trip Around the Island

Dana puts Shia LaWoof in her bicycle's basket and heads out for the 8 mile trip around the island.

The lake is bright blue and clear as glass.  When Dana stops, she can see the rocks at the bottom of the lake for what seems like hundreds of feet out.

Dana rides all the way around the island to a place called "Crack in the Island."  The rocks seem to have split apart, creating a chasm 6 feet deep.  According to a plaque by the site there are more of these on the island, some of them being very,very deep.

Dana rides towards the bluffs as Shia runs around, following behind.  The roads are nice and smooth, probably because there is no car traffic.

Dana can't believe how amazing the trees look.  In some places the branches hang over the road forming a tree tunnel.

As Dana comes out of the forest as he rides past some of the huge houses that are on the island.  Mackinac Island was originally a vacation spot with cottages, but as people discovered it's charm, larger and larger houses were built.  Shia gets tired and barks, wanting to get back in the basket.

This house reminds Dana of the White House.

Shia and Dana come back towards the hotel, passing houses with white picket fences as they go.

Dana drops off Shia and heads back out, this time going to a nearby stable.  She decides that it is time to try the other mode of transportation: a horse. 

 Dana gets to go on a carriage ride with a wonderful horse named Mabel pulling her along.

Mabel takes her on a short trip through the middle of the island, where the trees line the streets.  Mabel doesn't need any direction as to where to go, she just knows the route.  At the end of the trip Dana pets Mabel, saying goodbye.  Before she leaves she notices a hitching post that looks like a horse.

 Another day is coming to an end and Dana has had another wonderful time.

Dana explores more of the island another day…check back soon for more!