Monday, June 29, 2015

Oh June, What a Month :)

Happy last day of June, guys!
This month has been an absolute whirlwind of things to do, celebrations and a little travel throw in the mix.  We had birthdays, holidays and milestones met this month that I wanted to share with you all.
Of course, the first little bunch of photos is just of out and about the farm showing how the landscape has changed just since last month. 


Path towards the back hay fields. 


I love the smell of clover blossoms this time of year...devine! 


This is a pond built by the DEC last fall to promote wood duck habitation. I am just amazed by how much greenery has grown and how many frogs are here now!


The second creek behind the house.  Looking much warmer and greener now. 


Our first celebration was my oldest daughter's birthday. 
This month Pumpkin Pie turned 6! 


Here she is as a 1 year old. :)


Now as a big 6 year old! 

 I just can't believe it. Sweet as can be, this one.  She had a great day at Kindergarten wearing her birthday crown and being the "line leader" and sharing a sweet treat after lunch.  She's normally very shy, but she said she loved all of the birthday attention at school.  :)


Little Button snagged a cupcake from the top bin when we weren't looking! 

Minion cupcakes...kind of rough, haha, but I tried my best with what we had on hand. (Luckily 5 and 6 years are not that judgmental when it comes to cupcakes.) :) 

We took the girls to Build-A-Bear for the first time and they LOVED it.  We were the only people there as it was 3pm on a school day so they got lots of attention and the staff were so friendly. 
A million dollars later  (lol) we had dinner at Pumpkin Pie's restaurant of choice "The Chinese Buffet." :)  They both ended up eating pizza there!  

Towards the middle of June, the girls had a sleepover at my mom's house and I had the nicest morning walk.  I rarely have the morning to myself as I usually sleep until the last possible moment or the girls wake me up first.  I could take my time, enjoy the morning light and snap photos along the way.


The tomato plants were looking fab...they're about 4x this size now! 





Our beautiful, tiny little town. :) 



Later that day, we headed to Sturbridge, Massachusetts for my friend's wedding  We stayed in this quaint little place called the Old Sturbridge Inn and Reeder Family Lodges.  It was fabulous!  The owners were so nice, the inn was so cozy and quiet.  I definitely recommend it if you are ever in the area.




I'm excited about this little "fireplace". (Easily amused!) 


We didn't get to visit Old Sturbridge Village, but we hope to go back here with the kids for a weekend and check it out.  The actual wedding was held there, and the ceremony was inside the old church and it was so cool. 





My favorite tree.  





Next we celebrated Father's Day and the Summer Solstice, which I did a separate post here.


We also celebrated Pumpkin Pie's Kindergarten graduation and the beginning of summer vacation!


Getting so tall! 

Lastly, we celebrated Little Button's 3rd birthday. :)


Little Button 10 months old. :) 


Now as a 3 year old! 

 This is such a great age.  She had no expectations, just pure excitement.  She opened one present in the morning and played with it all day; she didn't ask for anything else!  We had a small family party and it was really laid back and fun.  After dinner she opened the rest of her gifts and said "Wow, just what I always wanted!!" after every single gift.  ADORABLE. :)


The girls decorated the cake. :) 



June was a busy month!  Thank you so much for letting me share with y'all what our family has been up to this month. I know you come here for the dolls, but I can't help and share a little personal stuff as well and I always appreciate you taking the time to have a look.

I love seeing snippets of everyone else's "real life" on your own blogs so I hope you all do the same once in a while!

I am going to try this new format of doing an "end of the month" summary for my own memories, but also to still be able to focus the majority of my blog on doll collecting and review.

I hope you're all having a great day and thanks again for stopping by!  xoxo
~Farrah

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Harmony Club Lyric and Our Generation Kendra

Hey-ya, today's post is regarding 2 new dolls I added to my collection this past late winter.  
One is the popular Our Generation 18 in doll sold in Target and the other is a lesser known 18 doll from Harmony Club.  I thought it would be interesting to compare them with each other so here we go!

Harmony Club Lyric 
Retailed for $78 on the Harmony Club website, but I got her for $39 during their end of the year sale. 





Our Generation Kendra
Retails at Target for$24.99


Now, on to the review! I couldn't find a ton of information about the Harmony Club dolls, but there was a review a while back on Doll Diaries and the post is here if you're interested.   They are a smaller company that is supposed to be comparable to American Girl dolls and they also sell a lot of cute outfits.  I bought mine from their website, but I'm not sure if you can find them in an actual store. 

Our Generation dolls are sold in Target stores here in the U.S. and is a cheaper alternative to an American Girl doll.


Here's a look at Our Generation (OG) Kendra and her packaging.  I love this packaging in the sense that it is cardboard only-no plastic outer layer to mess with as the front is open.  I think the colors and design are very pleasing.  She is so fresh and cute! 
Kendra is marketed for children ages 3 and up. 


Here is Harmony Club (HC) Lyric's packaging. 
Ummm.....
Not such a great first impression, lol. 
Pumpkin Pie furrowed her little brow and said to me, "Mom, I don't really like her."  (haha)
Her box is mostly cardboard with a plastic front panel. 
Lyric is marketed for children 8 and up (similar to American Girl dolls.) 



Ahh, hairnet up and looking much better.
Here's the two side-by-side in their packaging.  OG Kendra was secured using thick plastic cables around her neck and ankles.  HC Lyric was tied very similarly to an American Girl and getting her out was a breeze.


As soon as I freed them, my eyes immediately focused on the hair.
Right away you can see the difference in quality.  Kendra's hair was secured in 3 ponytails and is thick and rooted to her head, while Lyric's curls were up in a hairnet, made from a better fiber and appear to be a wig.



Cute little gingersnaps. :) 
Both hair needed a little tending to right out of the box.
Look at all those luscious red locks! 


Finally free of plastic and hairnets, here's the dolls in their full, fresh glory. Right away, I felt as though Kendra was very cute and charming.  I loved her outfit and freckles.  Lyric's strong feature was her hair which is very soft and shiny.  The curls are beautiful, but I wasn't really in love with her outfit.


Kendra has a sweet little face.  I wasn't the hugest fan of Our Generation face molds at first, if we're being honest.  I passed them by may times thinking I was going to get one to review on the blog, but I never could really warm up to them or choose one that I really wanted.
Then I saw a few photos of Kendra on Emily's blog and something about her red hair and freckles really drew me in (the doll addiction black hole, that is), but I could never find her in the store or online.  I saw that they were out of stock, but wasn't sure if they would be getting her back in stores or online. One random day she happened to show at my local Target when I wasn't expecting her and I scooped her up right away!
(At this time, you actually can buy her on Target's website!)


I had been contemplating getting Lyric for a few months, but wasn't sure if I wanted to spend $78 at that time.  At the end of the year, I checked the site again and she was on sale for $39!  For that price, I couldn't resist.
I can't really remember where I found out about Lyric.  I believe I had stumbled upon a photo of her in a Scottish outfit (which I am now unable to locate!) and thought she was adorable.  This particular face mold has unfortunately been retired since the end of 2014 and now, if you go to their website, you'll see dolls with a completely different look. I have seen this line still pop up on Ebay, though for prices comparable to what they were previously being sold.




OG Kendra's profile is cute, but there is something more realistic about Lyric's.  It could be the shape of her nose or the proportion of her forehead to her chin, but I think they did a great job with the sculpting.  

Who has the cuter profile?  
Lyric!! ;) 

Both dolls have "sleep eyes" which means then can close their eyes when laid flat. 


Peek-a-boo! 
Kendra's eyes actually remind me of Pumpkin Pie when she sleeps.  Ever since she was a baby she occasionally sports that slightly open lid while she's sleeping which always creeps me out.  It appears as though the outer edges of her eyelashes actually block the eye lid from completely closing.

Don't wake me until the coffee's ready

Lyric closes her eyes very nicely, but it seems as though the eyelids are a slightly different shade.
I think Lyric looks quite serene while taking her nap. (Must be nice!) ;)


OG Kendra's hand. 


HC Lyric's hand

Lyric's hand looked very similar to Kendra's but had a bit of blushing on the surface as well as a pale coral colored polish on each tiny nail.

Kendra's feet 


Lyric's feet 
Cute little painted toes, too!



Kendra's cheeks have a slight blush to them and she has a splattering of small freckles across her cheeks and nose (which I have since added a few more for a better balanced look.) As you can see, she has a soft closed mouth smile, which I think is so sweet.
Kendra's skin tone is a bit on the orange side, though.  Nothing like a bad spray tan.
Her lips are very pale and almost a light mauve/lilac color.  I am not really sure this goes so well with her fake tan, but it doesn't really look too bad in the above photo.  It really is all about lighting!


Kendra has painted eyebrows in a subtle feathered pattern in a shade a bit lighter than her fiery red hair.  Her eyes are a striking bright aqua green and I thought OG did a great job in creating depth and dimension in her irises.  Her eyelashes are applied to the top lid, but a bit sparse in my opinion. There is an obvious depression in her eye sockets creating the illusion of a lid crease (not sure how much I like this feature.)  Something I've noticed with these dolls is that the right eye appears to be a different shape than the left.


Lyric's face is much softer and childlike.
She has an almost porcelain look to her skin and she is very pale, almost with an ashy tone when propped up against some of my other dolls.
As you can probably tell, her left eye is really wonky.


 Her eyebrows are really nicely done in a feathered pattern and her eyelashes are soft and a bit longer and jut up and out farther than Kendra's. Her eyes are a really pretty light gray-blue.  She has very light painted eyelashes on her lower lids almost giving the illusion of a top lash shadow (which I do think works well!)
Her nose is adorable.


Lyric has very defined blush on both cheeks and bright red lips.  I think the lip color is quite odd against the rest of her childlike features.  Weird choice.  I would have loved to see her with a more natural lip.
She has an open mouth smile with the two little chipmunk teeth that American Girl is so well known for.  My particular dolls tooth paint was sloppy, which I need to touch up at some point.


 Out of their clothes, the two have very similar body types.  Both are about the same shape and have completely (hug-able) cloth torsos and all vinyl limbs.  Kendra's legs were much tighter as you can see.  Her feet are completely touching in that relaxed state.  She has since loosened up a little and can easily stand.
Kendra's shoulders are very broad while Lyric's are a little rounder in shape.


They both have a seam down the back of their torsos and 5 points of articulation.  Both dolls stand very well on their own which makes posing and photographing them easier. 



Lyric is a tiny bit more flexible in the hips. 


Just for fun, I threw in Jessie who is Pumpkin Pie's My Life Party Planner doll (found at Walmart for around $27.) 
Although they are all marketed as 18 inch play dolls, Lyric is looking a little on the petite side in these photos.  As you can see, she is quite pale in comparison as well. 


Three little redheads.  I didn't think I had a preference for redheaded dolls, but I guess I do! 


Kendra's outfit was really nice and that is another reason I liked her so much.  She comes with a white and navy striped shirt, a navy blue ruffled skirt, blue tights, a blue headband, yellow sweater boots and cute pink underwear.


I had a little helper with me for this photoshoot :) 


Lyric's outfit is very simple and consists of a shirt/skirt combo with gray leggings, white underpants and silver shoes. The top closes with a large velco strip (which likes to get caught in her hair!) 


The shoes are cute and easy for a child to take on and off.  No complaints. 



I don't think these photos are really doing justice on this dolls gorgeous hair.  I have since learned to finger curl so I apologize for the slightly messy look in some of these photos.  When she first got here, I was seriously afraid to do anything to her hair in fear of ruining the curls.


After some brushing, Kendra's hair straightened out nicely.  It's very layered on this ends though.  This type of hair seems to withstand play pretty well without too many tangles.


After some combing and finger-curling, Lyric's hair looked gorgeous! 


Now that the main part of the review is over, the girls decided to have a fashion show to see who could wear each other's clothes.  My Karito Kids doll, Ingrid (originally Zoey) was very happy to participate.  She already knew she would look good in pink.




Kendra's outfit suits Lyric's coloring so much better than the hot pink/gray number she came with. 


I'm not too sure how well orange and purple pair up, but Kendra can wear the My Life doll clothes, no problemo.

Kendra can swap clothes with Araceli (Karito Kids Pita doll) and they both look adorable. 
I just love Araceli's little face! 


Lyric looks dashing in Jessie's party dress. 


Jessie also looks great in Kendra's outfit as well. This may be the universally good outfit for all the dolls.

And now to leave you with a few "outdoorsy glam shots" as is my style. ;)



Kendra is looking totally cute in an American Girl Julie outfit.  I think these colors really look nice with her complextion






Come on hostas...grow!






That glorious hair!!




:)




At the time of these photos were taken, this was our current larger scale doll collection. 
Karito Kid Pita (Araceli), Our Generation Kendra (who I've renamed Carly) , Harmony Club Lyric (who I've renamed Betty),  My Life Party Planner (Jessie) and Karito Kid Zoey (Ingrid) 


My favorites are still the Karito Kids. :) 


Overall, I actually think both dolls are great.  Lyric wins in the hair and higher quality department and if her eyes were straighter and her wig down a little lower, I think I would like her even more.  I wonder if I will ever be brave enough to try to fix those issues!  Overall, though,  I am really glad I was able to get her for 50% off!   Kendra is cute and quirky and I like her cheery little face.  I'm going to try to work on those freckles a little. :)  Our Generation has a super fun line of clothing and accessories, which wins over Harmony Club. 

Although it wasn't love at first site with my Harmony Club doll, I do have a growing fondness for her.   She reminds me of what my grandmother looked like as a child.  Dark auburn hair, bright blue eyes and porcelain skin.  That's why I call her Betty (after Gram.) :) 


From a child's point of view, I asked Pumpkin Pie (age 6) who her favorite out of this line up was and she chose the Our Generation doll as her favorite.  She really had no interest in Lyric which was interesting.

Looks like the winner in my 2 year old's eyes ended up being Jessie the My Life Party Planner.  I came upon this adorable scene one afternoon while going up to check on her during her nap. (!!!)


Young or old(er) ;), 18 inch play dolls have a special place in our hearts.  Although I really love the American girl dolls that I've recently started collecting, there really are so many options out there.
I think in the eyes of a child, these lower priced dolls you can find at Walmart and Target are just as loved. :)

In real life, Pumpkin Pie had her Kindergarten graduation yesterday as well as her last day of Kindergarten today!  I was a little emotional about it, but am excited to be able to sleep in a little longer in the morning and feel the relaxing tone of summer wash over us all.

This weekend is Little Button's 3rd birthday so lots to prepare and look forward to.  I still get sentimental about it as I had such a great pregnancy and labor with her and she was such an easy and happy baby.  Oh I miss those baby days sometimes...so cuddly and cute!
Maybe that's why I love dolls so much as well.  :D

I hope you all have a beautiful day filled with whatever you enjoy.  :)

Thanks for stopping by!
xo Farrah