Thursday, June 30, 2016

Callie's Trip to Glacier National Park

Callie's First Day in Glacier National Park

Callie is up early on the first day of her vacation to Glacier National Park.  She can't wait to go hiking, see the beautiful scenery, and maybe spot a few animals.  She starts off, her backpack on, to see what she finds in the area that she is staying.

The first thing she observes is a strange wildflower. A big white poof of smaller flowers that form a kind of cylinder.

She looks it up in her field guide and finds out it's called "bear grass".  What an odd name, Callie thinks to herself as she continues along her hike.

She hears birds calling to each other as she walks along the path, sometime catching a glimpse of them as the flutter away from her, but she can never really see them well.  She hopes that she can see some wildlife, as long as it isn't a bear. A fallen tree catches Callie's eyes with it's twisted branches and roots.

She stops to explore the mangled mess wondering what might have taken off much of the bark.  Did a bug do this?  Or an animal?  Or was it something else?  She looked around some more, then continued on her hike.

Suddenly Callie found herself surrounded by beautiful yellow wildflowers, filling a small valley between the trees.

The sun shine off the long stems.  Speckled throughout the field are fire weed, a purple stalk flower.  Callie loves the way the fire weed stands out from the rest of the field.

She spends a few moments in the field admiring the beauty of the flowers and the surrounding trees before pushing on.

Coming around a corner in the trail Callie gasps as she gets her first view of the Rocky Mountains.  A long field of more wildflowers spreads out in front of her, tall pine trees flank the field on either side, and beyond the pines are the peaks of the mountains.

Some are covered with white snow, while others have pine trees covering their summit.  Still others have only rock at the tops.  Taking out her camera, she snaps photo after photo, not able to get enough of how beautiful this area is.

She thinks of setting up camp right here, but decides that the grass and flowers are a bit too high.  So she continues on.

The trail winds through the forest, mostly coniferous tress (pines and fir trees) but there are some deciduous trees hidden in the vast see of needles.  The mountains poke through the curtain of pine trees as Callie walks.  Each time she sees the mountains she stops and marvels at the beauty.  Eventually she comes to an area with nice flat ground, that overlooks the valley and the mountains on the other side.

She sets down her backpack and begins setting up her tent.  She sticks the poles together, then puts them through the loops.

At the top of the tent there is a cross piece that all of the poles fit into.  Once the poles are all in the cross, she bends them ever so slightly and slides them into a cloth sleeve at the bottom of the tent...Voila!

The tent is up.  Sitting down in the tent, she arranges her sleeping bag, backpack, and pillow.  She looks out the tent at the beautiful scenery and starts to think about what she is going to do tomorrow.

Soon, she drifts off to sleep, still dreaming of the adventures she will have in Glacier National Park.

Check back for more of Callie's adventure in Glacier National Park.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Chavonne's Hoodie From Our Generation

Chavonne Looks Great in OG "Summer of Style"

One of the new outfits that came out recently from Our Generation is called “Summer of Style”. It's a regular outfit, which means that it's normally priced at around $12.99. This outfit includes a fancy sweatshirt or hoodie, a skirt, a plastic purse, two bracelets, and a pair of shoes.

The hoodie is a coral pink color with a zipper up the front, sleeves that go mid shoulder, and a little flair right below the waistline. It has pockets around the midriff that you could put things in for your doll. The fabric of the hoodie is a thicker sweatshirt material (similar to jersey material but not as soft) with an embossed pattern over the entire hoodie. The hood is big enough that you can stick your dolls hair in it and she should be able to cover her head. It may look a little strange because she's going to have a big bump in the back, but it will work. Other hoodies have a slit in the back so that the hair can be pulled through, but this one does not. The zipper can be difficult to move up and down not because the zipper is bad, just because it's hard to hold onto at times.

The bright yellow skirt is a very simple cotton skirt. It has elastic halfway around the waistline to make it easy to get on and off. The skirt stops right above the knees, and has a little bit of a hem at the bottom of the skirt. Although simple, it goes really well with this hoodie.

The shoes on this outfit are fairly simple. They are made of the same plastic rubber that all of the Our Generation shoes are made of at this price level. These shoes have dual colors though, making it look like the shoe has a sole. The loafers are a light baby blue on top with a tan colored soul. The top layer of the shoe also has some texture to it, which gives it more of a fabric feel. Fairly simple but very nice.

The purse is more of a bag then a purse. It is made out of a clear plastic that has the same design on it that is embossed on the fabric. It's a really unique bag and it really goes well with this outfit. The bag is very large and can hold quite a lot of things, which is nice. Looks more like a beach bag though then a purse. There's no clasp to keep the bag closed, which again makes sense if this is more of a bag then a purse.

The other neat accessory that comes with this outfit are the 2 bracelets. They are square on the outside but are circular in the middle. Although the bracelets look like they are made of hard plastic, they're actually made out of more of a rubberized plastic that can be bent. This is important since they would not be able to go around your dolls fingers if they didn’t bend.

You actually have to squeeze them together to get them over the fingers and onto the dolls wrist. They're really cute and make a great accessory to this outfit.

All ratings are out of 10

Value 9 – This outfit is amazing for the price. It doesn't necessarily have a lot of accessories, but the accessories it does have are very unique. Plus the actual hoodie is wonderful. The embossed feel of the fabric is neat and unique, and the color is great. This skirt is simple, but the yellow is such a neat color. And the shoes are unique to the set, which is neat. It's good to see something different done with the plastic shoes!

Fitment 8 – This outfit fits surprisingly well on the Journey Girls. I would expect the hoodie to be quite big, but it actually fits fairly well. It's loose around the waist but not gigantic. The skirt fits wonderfully because of the elastic around the back. The bracelets fit perfectly. The only thing that doesn't fit great (and is not to be unexpected) are the shoes. Like many Our Generation shoes, they're just too wide to fit decently.

Versatility 10 – Everything that comes with this outfit can be used with other outfits. As I was taking it out of the package I was thinking of other skirts that would go with the hoodie as well as leggings that would work too. I was thinking of tops that would go with the skirt. And how neat the bracelets would be with so many different outfits.

Cuteness 9 – The hoodie is the main part of this outfit and it does a great job of making the outfit. The embossed look, with the little squiggles is just cute. And the bag with its matching design is adorable. The skirt could be a different color, and I think that this outfit would look even better. However, the yellow is also amazing and it takes the outfit in a little bit different direction, gives it a little more sass.

Overall 9 – As a non-deluxe outfit from Our Generation this one is very nice. The seams are done well, there are no issues with loose, the embossed look to the hoodie is amazing. The only complaint I would have is that the zipper can be difficult to get up and down. That's probably the quality of the zipper but it could just be that it's harder to hold at times. The shoes, even though they're not cloth, are cute and have a great design to them. It's nice to see shoes that are not all one color and have some definition to them. You will love these little bracelets that come with this outfit. They're very unique, very hip. If you see this outfit in the store definitely get it. As with all Our Generation outfits I suggest soaking this one in water, especially with the red color. When I soaked this outfit I get a lot of dye in the water. That may not mean that the dye would come off on your doll, but better safe than sorry.

AG note - Since Journey Girls are so much thinner than American Girl dolls, Our Generation outfits can fit drastically different on both of them.  Knowing that many people have both Journey Girls and American Girls, I am giving small reviews of how the outfits fit on American Girls too.  So on with the review.

The yellow skirt fits well on Journey Girls, but is tight on American Girl dolls.  It is actually difficult to get over their little tush.  It fits on Lea's waist once it is over her bottom.   The hoodie fits really well.  The zipper is difficult to zip up, especially getting it started.

Even though Our Generation and American Girl feet are about the same size, these shoes are super tight.  They fit, but wow are they tight.

So are the bracelets.  No, actually they aren't tight on Lea's wrist, they are difficult to get over Lea's fingers.  I had to squish her fingers to get the bracelets on.

It's a great outfit for the Journey Girls, but it is a little tight on American Girls.  Each Our Generation outfit has some difference in size that may make a difference in how tight the skirt is.  So don't let that deter you from buying this outfit.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Our Generation's "Tropical Trends."

Callie in an Adorable New Our Generation Outfit

One of the regular sets that just came out from Our Generation is called “Tropical Trends”. This cute summer jumper dress also comes with a little light sweater, shoes, flower sunglasses, and a really cute headband. The set retails for about $12.99, but can be found on sale sometimes for $11.99 at Target.

The dress is a light lavender with a pink pineapple print on it sporadically. Sounds kind of goofy but it's actually very cute. The dress has a bibbed neckline of the same material that the dress is made out of. The bib has hot pink piping that matches the printed pineapples on the dress. The dress is fairly straight until it gets down to the bottom where the skirt part ruffles and flares.

The sweater is definitely an accessory it has a button and loop to help hold it shut at the top and then is loose and open at the bottom. Made out of white lace material, this sweater isn’t going to keep Callie very warm. It's nice to have the button rather than Velcro since the Velcro would get caught on the lace and probably ruin the lace fairly quickly.

The headband that comes with this outfit is a similar type of lace material as the sweater, but is bright pink like the pineapples on the dress. It's a full headband with stretch elastic at the bottom and then a nice bow at the top. The bow is rather flat, but still looks really cute.

The sunglasses are similar to many other sunglasses that Our Generation has out. These ones are shaped more like a sunflower or a flower. They are white with the shaded part being round. They fit really well on the dolls face and don't seem to slip down. The one thing that is strange is that the sunglass part very see-through. So you can see the eyes of the doll very easily. I guess that’s okay; there are a lot of sunglasses that are that way.

The shoes are the standard style shoes that come with many of Our Generation outfits. It's a flat bottom shoe with a strap that goes across at the ankle.

The strap comes across and uses a hole and stub type of closure to strap. It’s easier to use than the slide through buckle type of strap. The shoes are a little bit dressy, but nothing real fancy. They go perfectly with this outfit.

All ratings are out of 10

Value 6 – Not much in this set. Although to tell you the truth, I’m okay with this outfit not having a purse. Like plastic Journey Girls flats, I have so many purses I don’t know what to do with them! The outfit is a quality dress, especially the little sweater. There just isn’t much there.

Fitment 7 – The dress is loose on Callie. If it were made for Journey Girls it would be a bit more form fitting. Doesn’t hang funny or look bad though. The shoes are too wide, as sis normal with Our Generation sets.

Versatility 6 – Not much else you can do with a one-piece dress, but the other pieces it comes with can be used for other outfits. Although there are many white lace sweaters made by Our Generation, this one has the great ability of being able to close around the neck or be left open. And the headband is really cute!

Cuteness 9 – Callie looks adorable in this dress! The colors are really pretty. It’s simple and fun. The dress looks great with the sweater or without it. The little gathered bib on top makes the dress special and unique. Just cute!

Overall 7 – Yes, the outfit is super cute, but it doesn’t have much to it, it is a thinner material, is a one piece dress that can only be used as a dress, and it’s loose on Callie. But I don’t care…it’s super cute! If you can find this on sale, it’s well worth the money. Just know that it’s a simple outfit.

AG note - The dress is tight on Annie, especially around the midsection.  The dress also seems short on Annie compared to on Callie, but that could be because it is tighter up top and doesn't hang as well.

The sweater and headband fit perfectly.  The shoes work okay, but the strap is super difficult to attach.  You really have to stretch the strap to make it stick on the the little plastic knob on the shoe.

Not a great outfit for American Girl dolls.  Very cute!!!  Just too tight.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Meredith Rock Climbing

Our Generation's Rock Climbing Outfit

One of the neatest outfits to be released in a long time is this rock-climbing outfit from Our Generation. It's a deluxe outfit, which means that it retails for about $17.99. It comes with a shirt, yoga pants, rock climbing shoes, a helmet, webbing, and a carabineer.

Let's start by looking at the shirt. Made out of a Lycra type of material, it's very light and stretchable kind of like an Under Armor type of shirt. It is a very light pink and has bright florescent pink sleeves and neckline. It has Velcro up the back to make it easy to get on and off. The shirt is a little loose on Meredith but not as bad as other T-shirts that are made by our generation.

This could be because of the material stretching. Soak this shirt!!! I soaked it twice and both times the bright pink bled into the light pink. The shirt lost a lot of dye in the water also.

The yoga pants are a dark purple cotton material that goes just below the knee. The waistline crumples up near the top of the pants. Because they are yoga type of pants they have an elastic waistline that fits Meredith well. The rest of the pants are larger, not formfitting as most yoga pants are but it does look good on Meredith and make sense with rock climbing.

The shoes that come with this outfit are all cloth, which at first doesn't sound great, but makes sense for rock climbing shoes. Most rock climbing shoes are a light cloth top and a very flexible rubber bottom or a type of cloth with grip to it. So these cloth shoes make sense and do look like climbing shoes. With little straps of elastic across the top rather than laces and very tightfitting design, they are very similar to the real thing.  They just fit on Meredith’s feet, which is interesting since Our Generation feet are about the same length but are much wider. These shoes are hard to get on Our Generation dolls and American Girl dolls. But Meredith is able to wear them fairly easily. Getting the back on her heel can sometimes be a little bit difficult, but it's not impossible.

The webbing is what goes around Meredith's waist to make sure that she's safe as she's climbing. It's made out of woven polyester in two different colors (gray and blue) a large strap of webbing goes around her waist and around the calves of her legs. Then a connecting piece of thinner webbing connects the larger calf strap and waist strap.

On the front of the webbing is a metal ring that is connected to florescent colored rope and at the end of the rope is a carabineer to attach to either another climbing rope or to the wall itself. I love that this has a little carabineer to make it more realistic and to keep Meredith safe.

The webbing is loose and is set up for an Our Generation doll, which have a larger waist and larger legs. But it does fit Meredith okay and could be modified fairly easily to fit Meredith tightly.

The final part of this outfit is the helmet. Made of molded plastic with slits in the front and back, like a bike helmet, this helmet is light and less bulky than the Journey Girls helmet that comes with the “Summer Accessory Pack”.

The straps come around the ears in a strange place and kind of flip out a little. They keep the helmet tightly on Meredith's head with Velcro for adjustment.

All ratings are out of 10

Value 7– Besides the dye issue with the shirt, this set is made really well, and true to rock climbing gear (according to my limited rock climbing experience when I was a child). It would have been really neat to have a chalk bag and a water bottle with the set. Still worth the money.

Fitment 5 – Two things in this set fit Meredith well; the shoes and the helmet. Everything else is loose. The yoga pants are not horrible, but they aren’t awesome either. The shirt is not as loose as other Our Generation shirts, but it is still large. And the webbing is big, but can easily be tightened by adding Velcro to it.

Versatility 6 – Well, that pants and shirt can be used with many other outfits. The helmet can be used instead of the dorky Journey Girls helmet, for skateboarding, rollerblading, etc. And maybe the shoes could be used with another outfit.

Cuteness 8 – Okay…maybe not super cute, but this set is super cool!!! It’s awesome to have outfits that inspire play, and especially outdoor play. This outfit really encourages exploring and doing it safely! Awesome!

Overall 8 – This outfit is more than its score implies. Mostly because it is such a unique set that opens so many neat possibilities. It was so neat to have Meredith climbing the rocks, rather than just posing by them. Awesome to have safety equipment like the webbing, helmet and carbineer, too. If your dolls want to get out and explore, this is the set for them!

AG note - Most of this outfit fits American Girl dolls well.  The shirt is somewhat tight, but since it stretches it fits okay.

The pants on the other hand are not as forgiving.  The waist is tight, making it difficult to get the pants on her waist.

They are also tight on Gabby's legs, which makes sense for the type of pants they are.  The webbing fits perfectly.  The shoes are really tight...really tight.

They are difficult to get on Gabby's feet.  You can do it, but it is extremely difficult.  The helmet looks small on Gabby's head compared to Meredith's.

Although the outfit is tight, it does work, and I would recommend it just because it is such a neat outfit.