Grace Thomas inspired Ratatouille Recipe

Today’ s ratatouille dish is inspired by  American Girl 2015 Girl of The Year- Grace Thomas. Grace is an adorable brunette doll with a side bang, beautiful blue eyes and freckles.  She has a passion for baking, dreams of opening her own bakery, gets an amazing opportunity to visit France and she is available now until the end of the year. I am so excited to add her to our American Girl doll collection.  With her arrival we were inspired to make a simple variation of a French dish in her honor- Ratatouille, which is basically a vegetable stew.  Kids will take more of an interest in vegetables that they have helped prepare, and if you have a little girl who is mad about Grace use it to your advantage and play up the French aspect. I think Grace  would approve of this healthy and flavorful French dish!

grace thomas

american girl grace thomas


This recipe builds cutting skills and I pre-scored the soft veggies for her to try and keep them relatively the same thickness. The knife and cutting board that came with our Curious Chef 5 Piece Pizza Kit  is perfect for soft veggies. Safe,  comfortable,and manageable for little hands it is a great addition to our kitchen tools. Demonstrate to your child how to hold the vegetables opposite of where they are cutting with fingers tucked in, careful movements with knife.

kids in the kitchen prescore ratatouille



 Here is our inspired by Grace Thomas, her love of cooking and her time in Paris, Ratatouille recipe! 


Kid-Friendly Ratatouille Recipe


1 eggplant

1 zucchini

1 yellow squash

1 sweet onion

14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes

2 Tbsp. +1 Tbsp.. grated Parmesan

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. dried basil

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tsp. pepper


kids in the kitchen ratatouille

Go ahead and pull out everything you are going to need down to spices before starting so you don’t have to walk away from little during prep to grab something. A handy basket works to keep everything together and out of the way.



Preheat oven to 350°

Coat an 11″x 7″ pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Cut eggplant, zucchini, squash, and onion into thin slices.

ratatouille slice kids kitchen

Toss all vegetables, 2 Tbsp. Parmesan, olive oil , basil, garlic and pepper together in a large bowl  until well mixed.

ratatouille mix

Pour mixture into pan.

Top with additional 1 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes.



What do you think of 2015 Girl of The Year Grace?  Isn’t she a cutie? And don’t you think your kids will love our Grace-inspired Ratatouille recipe?


Click here to print the ratatouille-recipe-card- or click the recipe card image and it will bring you right to the download of the pdf for it.  Bon appetit!


Check out our other Kids in The Kitchen recipes


Kid Friendly Overnight Oatmeal

cereal bar horizontal

Homemade Cereal Bars



4.8 from 5 reviews
Grace Thomas inspired Ratatouille Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp. +1 Tbsp.. grated Parmesan
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Coat an 11x7 pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Cut eggplant, zucchini, squash, and onion into thin slices.
  4. Toss all vegetables, parmesan, olive oil , basil, garlic and pepper together in a large bowl until well mixed.
  5. Pour mixture into pan.
  6. Top with additional Parmesan cheese.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes.

Thanks to American Girl for sending us Grace!

American Girl Valentines

Got a girl who loves her American Girl dolls?  I know both of mine do- and most of their friends! Here are some a-doll-able Valentines that they can share with all of their friends- and their dolls!!

Click to download here: american-girl-valentines or click on the image of the cards. Happy Valentine’s Day!




Check out our fun Hipster Valentines as well!



American Girl Holiday Giving Campaign #Joy4EveryGirl #SharetheWonder

Have you heard of the American Girl holiday giving campaign, Share the Wonder of the Holidays? Starting November 24 through December 18, 2014, American Girl will match any doll purchase made online, in-store, or via phone with an 18-inch doll donation to the Children’s Hospital Association- up to 1,000 a day! The donation, worth nearly $3 million in retail value, will help bring joy and comfort to thousands of young girls receiving care in any of the association’s 200 member hospitals in the U.S.

share the wonder larger

To celebrate the excitement of giving and receiving American Girl this season, American Girl invites all of us to share pictures and videos of your unforgettable American Girl moments-from unwrapping gifts on Christmas morning to celebrating a birthday or visiting a store-on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #Joy2EveryGirl.

My daughters’ first American Girl moments were mostly captured on film…. my youngset, with her beloved Annabelle…makes me a little teary, because she’s going to get a “big girl” doll of her own from Santa for Christmas this year.


And my oldest with Holly…

first american girl

Oh how I love the magical moment of excitement.  Do you remember our sweet friend Abby?  American Girl sent us a wigless doll when my son was diagnosed with Alopecia Areata and we were so blessed to be able to send that doll to Abby halfway cross country with love, hugs and kisses in that box with her new Abby doll.  One of my favorite blog memories ever.  abby and american girl

American Girl has a long-standing commitment to helping children and families in need. The company is proud to support a wide range of causes and issues affecting millions of individuals, and works with leading charitable organizations to help make the world a brighter place. To learn more about American Girl’s 2014 “Share the Wonder of the Holidays” campaign, visit, or find them on Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram

I’m pretty excited about this campaign.  American Girl is sending ME an Isabelle doll to donate to a local charity or hospital of our choice.  I’m excited to do that, and be able to pay it forward once again.


American Girl Orlando, Fl. Opening

ag opening

I was lucky enough to get a chance to visit the unofficial opening of the  American Girl Doll’s 18th retail store  in Orlando, Fl. this week (The grand opening is Saturday November 15th, 2014).  American Girl was begun as a mail order only company in 1986 by Pleasant Rowland and opened its first retail store in Chicago, Illinois  in 1990.  What began as a mail order business with historical period dolls has expanded to encompass several lines of dolls, accessories, books, a magazine, DVDs, and even matching outfits for girls and their dolls. They are known all over  the world and are easily identifiable. We were excited before we even headed out the door since we are already familiar with the brand- we bought a  bitty baby last year that has become a true member of the family. Pulling up outside Florida Mall in Orlando, Fl. I was amazed at how beautiful the store front was, From the tall eye catching trademark red of American Girl brand to the beautifully decorated windows you knew you weren’t about to just “go shopping” but have an experience.

beforever american girl doll


The entrance is bright, pretty, and welcoming and the employees greet you with a smile as soon as you walk through the door.  There was beautiful eye candy in every direction in the form of all their collections-The Beforever Dolls, Bitty Baby, My American Girl Doll, Girl of The Year, as well as a large section of American Girl books.  Each collection was showcased on gleaming shelves, in glass cases and contained everything you might ever need to go along with your doll- clothing, accessories,hair , shoes, furniture, accessories like ; glasses, wheelchairs, horses, camping gear, etc..  There is also a hair salon for your dolls, yes a hair salon. Complete with  beauty shop chairs, smiling stylists, spa packages, ear piercing, and hair styling- your child can choose from a selection of hairstyles for her girl and leave her with one of the hair dressers while she browses the aisles or visits the bistro. Did I mention the bistro?  While we didn’t get the chance to visit the bistro this time I was able to peek in and was impressed by the quaint decor,  and precious dishes, not to mention the fact that they even supply you with highchairs that hook up to the table for your doll to sit at so she can enjoy lunch as well.



doll salon


Every inch of the store is a true boutique experience, eye catching and gorgeous displays, doll clothing wrapped in tissue and in a pretty box ready to take home,  There was a tall, sparkling, beautiful tree straight out of little girl dreams in the middle of the store, and there are swags and matching decorations throughout the store to give it an even more special and festive feel.

american girl tree


I am not sure who came away more delighted and excited about revisiting the store- my daughter or myself.  If I was not already a huge fan of the American Girl brand then this visit to their amazing Orlando location alone would have turned me into one. Even if we had not purchased anything, spending an hour in the store was so fun and made for a wonderful mommy and me experience.

american girl bags

In addition to our amazing visit we were also given the opportunity to choose a matching Bitty Baby and little girl outfits.  My daughter chose the beautiful Teal Tidings dress for herself and her doll. The dolls includes matching shoes and headband, aren’t they lovely? The store offers a selection of matching outfits- for Bitty Baby, Bitty Twins, Beforever, Girl of The Year- Isabelle, My American doll and your little girl. From everyday outfits to tutus, bathing suits, formal dresses, and the cutest pajamas! These would make a wonderful gift for a little girl getting her first doll or one who has been collecting for years.

bitty baby dresses

If that is not enough to make your head spin at all the things American Girl has to offer the stores also have events with crafts, tea, birthday parties, seasonal events, a cooking class, book signings, and more.  Check the various locations near you to see what they have available.

If you  live or are in the area visiting I highly recommend you stop by the Florida Mall and visit the newest addition to the American Girl Boutiques at 8001 S. Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, Fl. 32809.


Do you have a favorite American Girl Doll? Tell us which one you or your little girl love the most.

Here is a shot of my little cutie at the Orlando store with her Bitty Baby- Selma ( Don’t ask, Daddy named her)

american girl bella






Isabelle Palmer, Girl of the Year

Every year American Girl features one special character to be their doll of the year. The character is only sold for one year, and comes with her very own story about finding success in the challenges of today’s world. This year, however, the American Girl for of the year is even more special!


Meet Isabelle Palmer:


Isabelle Palmer aspires to be a dancer. She couldn’t be more excited to begin her dancing program at the Anna Hart School of Dance. Her excitement is quickly replaced with fear, however, when Isabelle realizes how talented all of the others dancers at the school are. She feels intimidated by them, and slightly out of her league.

is_ballet_bag (1)

Rather than competing with the other girls to match their talents, however, Isabella decides to take a much more unique approach to her dilemma. She reaches inside of herself to bring to the surface her very own talent that sets her apart from the other girls.


I LOVE the message of Isabelle, and my daughter does to.


It Get’s Even Better!


Isabelle has raised the bar on the American Girl Doll of The Year title! In addition to her story, Isabelle actually has two additional stories, making up an entire three part series!


If that isn’t enough to impress you, American Girl has honored Isabelle with her very own movie, available for purchase on DVD.  We were lucky enough to get a viewing party kit from American Girl and see Isabelle at my daughter’s birthday party…. it was, of course, American Girl doll themed!


How fun to watch Isabelle on screen, while holding your very own Isabelle doll, adorned with one of her MANY outfits. Speaking of her many outfits, did I mention that Isabelle has more outfits than any other American Girl Doll of The Year? Perfectly student for a character so enthralled with design.

Is your American Girl enthusiast interested in design as well? Be sure to snag her a copy of Isabelle’s Fashion Sketchbook so that she can create her very own fashion designs!


Whatever you do, act quickly! Isabelle is only around until December 31st, after which a new character will be titled American Girl Doll of the Year!

Thank you to American Girl for sending Isabelle and the movie kit.

Check out our Boxtrolls! #TheBoxtrolls #BuildaBoxtrollSweeps

The countdown continues until The Boxtrolls comes to theaters (9/26). We finished our Boxtrolls, although we’re still reading Here Be Monsters (and we need to hurry or we won’t finish before the movie comes out!)
We had to enter the #BuildaBoxtrollSweeps and took plain old shipping boxes from this:



To this….

To these!

Create your own Boxtroll and enter to win a trip to the movie premiere! Hurry, because the sweeps ends September 5th! Good luck!


An all-expense paid trip for 4 to the L.A. movie premiere of The Boxtrolls!

How to enter

Make a totally awesome Boxtroll

Snap a pic

Share your photo on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the #BuildABoxtrollSweeps hashtag

That’s it!!

Legal and Official Rules  No purchase necessary. 18+ years old. 50 US States + District of Columbia only. 8/4/14-9/5/14. 


Have you made YOUR Boxtroll yet? I’d love to see pics!

4 reasons to visit American Girl Stores this summer

When my niece Sam was 8, I slept over her house on Christmas Eve.  When we got up Christmas morning, she was over the moon delighted to find that Santa had left her her very own Samantha Parkington American Girl® doll.  That was about 20 years ago, and my sweet little Sam will be marrying her best friend in the fall. She’s still got her Samantha doll, and every single accessory that went with her, tucked away at her dad’s house, saved for when she has a little girl of her own.
My niece Erica spent hundreds and hundreds of hours playing with all three of her American Girl dolls.  She played alone, she played with her friends…and even now, as a college junior, she still has those beloved friends in her closet, ready for playing at a moment’s notice.  It’s nice that my girls are so much younger than their cousins, because it lets the girls see what their older cousins played with when they were younger, but it also gives the older girls a chance to play with their beloved dolls again (and again, and again and again….)
My oldest daughter’s first baby doll was a Bitty Baby.  The Bitty Twins were welcomed into our family not long after that.  My girls both got an American Girl doll (a Just like You doll and a Bitty Twin, respectively) when they were flower girls in my nephew’s wedding a few years ago. We’ve added a Molly and McKenna are both currently residing in this house now, too.  These dolls are loved.  They are played with, played with more, and played with more still.
One thing I have noticed about the entire American Girl® line of dolls, furniture, clothing and accessories is that they are made WELL.  American Girl® doesn’t skimp on quality, and that makes a big difference. They are more expensive than many other similar dolls and product lines, but the quality lasts and lasts and lasts. The dolls, the clothes, the accessories are made to be played with and used, over and over and over again.
And that’s not even all of what American Girl has to offer.  I love the books as much as the dolls and accessories. There’s historical books, fiction, arts, crafts, activities, and books about being a girl.  The books aren’t preachy, they aren’t full of inappropriate content or language.  The historical books do a really great job depicting what life was like in different times for 12 year old girls- something that helps kids to understand and relate- and engage even more with their dolls. My only complaint about the whole American Girl concept is that I wasn’t a kid when they were around, I was born too soon and missed out on the awesome. Thankfully for me, I have kids who love it so I can live vicariously through-and with them :)
abby and american girl with eyebrows
I don’t know how many of you remember our little friend Abby, who we sent a wigless American Girl® doll to.  Sweet Abby lost her battle with cancer earlier this year, sadly.  I know that having a doll that looked so much like her meant the world to Abby and her family. Not all companies make a doll without hair for girls and boys who don’t have hair.  Not all companies would allow a lady from Connecticut to be able to gift something like this to a perfect stranger, a thousand + miles away, to brighten a sick child’s day.  But American Girl® does, they did, and continue to do so. american-girls-bitty-twins
One thing that’s a MUST on our summer to-do list this year is visiting our local American Girl®store (local being relative, because we don’t live near the Boston area, but it’s just over an hour drive and worth the trip(S) we plan to take).

American Girl is your Summer Destination for exclusive events and summer-only opportunities that celebrate girls and help them make memories they’ll cherish. You’ll also find summer exclusives in the store, restaurant, and salon!

Top 4 Reasons to visit American Girl


  1. Parties & Special Packages: Thrill her with a gourmet meal, signature desserts, goody bags, doll tiaras, games, crafts, and so much more. Choose the perfect way to celebrate—whether it’s her birthday or any day! (My lucky girls both have summer birthdays, just 2 1/2 weeks apart!)
  2. Exclusive Events: She can take a cooking class. Have a book signed by a favorite author. Spend time learning about one of the characters she loves. These are just a few of the unique events and workshops.

One of the exclusive events this summer at the Boston (Natick, MA) store was  American Girl at the Boston Duck Tour.  Last Friday, we met outside the store, boarded a beautiful coach bus, which of course had Kit’s movie playing for our viewing pleasure, water and snacks were passed out to all of us guests, and we were in downtown Boston in no time at all.  We got to enjoy the 80 minute Duck Boat Tour with Skipper the Skydiver. After a fun 80 minutes- during which some of the girls and boys decided they’d like to have a turn driving a Duck Boat, we headed back to shore, and back to the store.



The store was a BIG DEAL to our little group. None of us had been before. We hadn’t any idea what was in store for us (well, we sort of did, but it was really exciting when we went in!)

The Duck Boat Tours were a lot of fun, we saw so much of Boston and so many cool landmarks and learned a lot of the history of the city.  Shopping after the tours was just the icing on an already awesome cake and we had a blast.
       3.  Dining: From scrumptious starters to delectable desserts, American Girl menus feature girls’ favorites—and dolls are welcome to                join the fun, too! You can make reservations at a Cafe or drop by a Bistro, each offering service throughout the day, from brunch                    through dinner. (Please note: Denver and Kansas City do not offer Dining.)

We enjoyed a lovely lunch before we started our shopping (we needed to refuel!) The chefs made a special batch of cookies just for those of us who’d gone on the Duck Boat Tour (aren’t they adorable??)


Everything was delicious- and I have to note that one of our party is on a gluten free diet and the folks at American Girl couldn’t have been more accommodating.  They had 3-4 options that were gluten free when something needed to be changed or substituted, not just one.  Just that ‘extra’ quality we love about American Girl so much.  The chef actually came out to speak with us personally when we arrived!

      4. American Girl Doll Hair Salon: Treat your girl’s doll to a new ’do, ear piercing, and pampering, too! Visit the Doll Hair Salon,                  and watch the American Girl® specialists work their magic. (My soon to be 5 year old is getting her ears pierced for her birthday,                  and while she cannot pierce her Bitty Twins’ ears, she did find some earring stickers for dolls  at the store- perfect for a 5 year old to              use).


Free events

We were fortunate to head back up to the Boston store to enjoy a Bitty Baby Story Time- an ongoing story time in the Bitty section of the store.  An employee set out special rugs for the kids to sit on and read from an oversized Bitty Baby book.  My girls sat through the story four times, and thoroughly enjoyed coloring while listening. Absolutely worth a visit just for a free story!


The Summer Reading Bookmark Craft has been ongoing Tuesday and Thursday afternoons at 2.  Kids can fill in American Girl themed reading logs, and then make fun Isabelle bookmarks.  I was actually really impressed by the bookmarks- not by the quality, but you can change them up with a simple fold change and have a very different bookmark from everyone else.  There are, of course, stickers to decorate.  My kids LOVE to read so they were happy to have fun new bookmarks. My little one is in LOVE with Isabelle so she really can’t stay away from anything related to her!


Have you visited your local American Girl store yet? 


This post is sponsored by American Girl. Opinions are my own.

American Girl Gift Ideas

Here are several American Girl Gift Ideas  for that girl in your life who just loves her 18 inch doll play!! American Girl Gift Guide

American Girl of 2013  – Saige Doll & Paperback Book $179

Doll Wheelchair Set for 18″ Dolls $36.95

Doll Soccer Outfit $23.50

Doll Bunk Beds With Ladder $35

Doll Cheerleader Outfit Set $12.95

18″ Doll Cookware Set $15.95

Junior Girl Scout $14.99

Lavender Field ~ Party Doll Dress & Sandals $24.95

Doll Scooter & Helmet Set $22.95

Salon Doll Chair $27.95


American Girl Mini Dolls $12.48 to $26.50

American Girl Clothing:

American Girl dolls are a toy that every little girl wants at one point in her life. Not only are they beautiful, special, and lots of fun, but the fact that your child and their doll can dress the same is pretty darn neat.

This holiday season is the perfect time to let your little girl dress the same as her doll.

With the super cute holiday dresses available from American Girl, there is no reason not to!

Red is the perfect holiday color, and when you pair that with sparkles, you have the perfect dress. Available for big girls and little girls, plus their dolls – this is one dress that you don’t want to miss out on.


The little girls Twinkle Party Dress features a knit bodice with puff sleeves, an adorable bow, and a sparkly mesh bubble-skirt. Available with a matching satin-covered headband, this outfit is sure to be a favorite. Available in sizes 3 to 7, it matches perfectly with the doll version (that fits the Bitty Baby and Baby Twins).


For older girls, the Sparkle Party Dress is where it’s at. This fancy, sleeveless dress has just the right amount of sparkly in the mesh bubble-skirt, and ties in the back with a satin sash. Finish off the look with a luxurious cream-colored shrug and matching rhinestone-studded satin headband. This fabulous outfit is available in girls sizes 6 to 16, and the matching ensemble is available for the larger American Girl dolls.

Disney Princess Peasant Dresses for Girls and Dolls

We are surprising our children with the news of our upcoming family trip to Disney World on Christmas morning, so many gifts this year are themed around the trip….and I knew I wanted to have some Disney princess dresses for the girls to wear while down there. My problem was that the dress up stuff we have- even the really nice quality stuff, doesn’t seem like it would be very comfortable to wear walking around a park, nor would it be conducive to going on and off rides all day. So I set off to see what I could find on the internet.

That’s how I met Shannon from Nannabells on Etsy. Let me tell you, this woman is my hero (and her cousin, but we’ll meet her later). She had some darling peasant style dresses for babies (and more recently, toddlers!) on her shop site, but none in sizes that would fit my girls. Dresses that were cotton, and didn’t go down to the ankles or longer, that looked like a kid could spend all day playing in and still be- well, a kid playing all day. I sent her a message. Within hours we had all kinds of plans. I wanted dresses with doll dresses to match in the girls’ favorite princesses. She wasn’t making bigger sizes, but she was absolutely ready and willing to start!

After a little while, we decided upon a Snow White, Cinderella and Tinkerbell for my little one, and Merida, Tinkerbell and Rosetta for my older daughter. As of today, we have Snow White

snow white peasant dress

and Merida here – and you won’t see photos of these with my girls in them because they are, indeed, Christmas gifts. But I’m too in love with them NOT to share, so here you go!

merida peasant dress

Shannon even added a bit of embroidered “flair” to each of the dresses for the girls. Her seams and stitching is top notch. These dresses are made to last and they look fabulous. The dresses have a really generous elastic neck for pulling over heads to get on and off, which makes things a lot easier for the girls. The sashes are such a fun accent but the dresses look amazing without them, too- and they are not attached in any way.

Shannon’s cousin, Jaime, from Sew Every Whim, makes her own custom 18 inch dolls in her shop (they are darling, check them out!) and was also the one to make the doll dresses to match my girls’ dresses. The dresses are not identical but I think that works out perfectly- they look the same, but the girls should have *something* extra, right? Like the appliques or embroidery, each is a beautiful embellishment for the girls’ dress.

merida 18 inch doll dress

With the Snow White doll dress, the applique is the same, but if you look closely, the doll’s dress has a polka dot ribbon on the sleeves. A tiny difference, that makes the dress stand out a bit. The doll dresses have a nice generous elastic so that you can slide the dresses on the dolls with ease. My 3 year old will need help with these (she needs help with dressing her dolls) but my 7 year old will love this. Velcro closures always get snagged on things and annoy us all.

snow white 18 inch doll dress

Here are all of the dresses together (and I WILL update with pics of the girls after Christmas!)


Shannon and Jaime are both SO talented, and work quickly- I’d recommend them in a heartbeat (and already have a new order pending…Minnie Mouse, Rapunzel and Jessie have been added to the list of dresses they can do) and what a FUN way to let your princess be a princess at Disney – or at the playground- in comfort and style! I’m sure they are able to even more styles and designs- just ask!

merida dress for girls with 18 inch matching doll dress

snow white peasant dress with matching doll dress

Nannabells’ dresses range from $35-$50 depending on the size/design/ruffles/applique on the dresses, if there is an applique added there is a $5-$8 charge depending on the size/detail of the applique.

Sew Every Whim’s doll dresses range from $20-$25 again depending on the design/ruffle/applique on the dress.

What kind of dress would you like to see next?


I did receive a discount on the dresses I ordered from Shannon and Jaime, and wasn’t obligated to post about them- but I am so head over heels in love with these dresses and supporting women’s businesses I just HAD to share!




American Girl Holiday Gift Ideas (Giveaway)

american girl doll julieJulie  

In the 1970s, girls experienced all kinds of changes, and Julie’s story highlights many of them. She’s facing several challenges all at once—she’s moving away from her best friend, Ivy, starting over in a new home, and dealing with new issues at school. But with creativity and optimism, Julie learns to make a few changes of her own.

My girls love Julie for her oh so very long hair.  They both have straight blonde hair and both want their hair all the way down their back.  I think my oldest just loves Julie because they are both very creative.

caroline abbot doll

Caroline Abbott ($105) opens up a whole world of imaginative play, and comes with authentic styles from 1812:

  • A soft pink empire-waist dress with a woven floral sash and ruffle trim, details common in her era
  • Lacy pantalettes and ribbed-knit stockings to keep her proper
  • Pink shoes to match

Bring Caroline’s exciting stories to life! The Caroline doll is 18″ tall, with light aquamarine eyes that open and close. She has waist-length, golden-blond hair that can be braided and styled, and she arrives in an empire-waist dress authentic to her era. Caroline is soft and huggable, and she’s poseable for hundreds of playtime moments to come.

The Caroline doll has a huggable cloth body, and her movable head and limbs are made of smooth vinyl. Her golden-blond hair tumbles in curls, all the way down to her waist! Includes the Meet Caroline paperback book, the first story of this brave, adventurous girl.

Bitty Twin Outfits 

Autumn Plaid Outfit for Dolls ($24)- When it’s time for fall fun, your girl can dress her Bitty Twins doll in this cozy outfit:

  • A collared flannel shirt with a plaid pattern and buttoned front
  • Cuffed khaki pants to match
  • Slip-on canvas loafers with textured soles
  • Includes The Bitty Twins’ Movie Night book for girls

Fall Flower Dress for Dolls($24)- Your little mommy can get her Bitty Twins doll ready for autumn adventures in this outfit, featuring:

  • A red corduroy dress with puffed sleeves and a trio of embroidered flowers at the hem
  • A ribbed knit beret to keep her warm in cooler weather
  • Knee-high boots to match
  • Includes The Bitty Twins’ Movie Night book for girls.

If you know a little girl who’s lost some hair for a medical reason, or has a loved one who has, I highly recommend checking out one of the wigless dolls that American Girl sells.  They are the exact same as all of the other dolls, just without hair…and if you want to see how the doll will be received, read about Abby and her new doll.  There are also a wheelchair and crutches for dolls, and even a service dog set ($34).  The service pup is darling- chocolate brown, removable vest and harness, and even a box of training treats!  One of my favorite things about American Girl is how they “get” what girls are about, and I love how they “get” that not all girls are the same size, color, or ability.  

The Mini Dolls are also a great option for gifts- at $24 they are on the lower range of items from American Girl, but are also a bit more portable and easy to travel with.  We have a few of them and this is a favorite gift for birthday parties! Each of the mini dolls is a 6 inch version of one of the historical characters which come dresses just like the 18inch dolls, and even a tiny version of the book.  Be warned, I cannot read the books that come with the minis.  They are just too tiny for my 38 year old eyes.  My 7 year old loves to read these books, and they do fit into your pocket.

Books- American Girl has some really wonderful titles in their catalog- from the series that go along with each of the historical characters to the Girl of the Year books, to activity books, books “about me” that talk about what tween girls are experiencing in life and with their bodies.  There are Inner Star U books that let you choose your own ending- much like the “choose your own adventure books” I loved as a kid.  Books are such a wonderful gift and can be read over and over!

american girl magazine subscription giveaway

American Girl magazine- This magazine comes out 6 times per year.  It’s chock full of great content, all about tween girls.  Fun recipes, crafts, projects, stories, and more.  It’s a great gift idea because it lasts all year and encourages reading, creativity, and it’s got safe content for your little girl.

holiday gift guide One reader will win a 1 year subscription to American Girl Magazine! To enter, simply leave a comment and tell me who your subscription will be for!

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Samples of some of these products were received to facilitate my review.  Opinions are my own. This giveaway will end on November 27, 2012 at 11:59 pm EST. US only. Winner to be chosen randomly. One entry per household.