Great Doll Blog Award/News and Updates

I am excited to accept the Great Doll Blog Award! I will get to that in a second, first I have some news and updates to share.

  1. I have now joined the 21st century and have Instagram. I had to ask my students at school how to use it. Witnessing my incompetence sent them into raptures of delight, but seriously, I had been confused by hashtags from the beginning. (Sidebar: when teaching flats, sharps, and naturals to my fifth or sixth grade band I often point to the sharp and say, “Tell me what this is–and don’t say hashtag!”). If you would like to follow me, I am @dollsandsmiles
  2. Just last week I took the plunge and got my first DSLR camera, a Nikon D3300. I am already thrilled at how much better my pictures look just by using the preset modes (I had been using a 6.0 mp Canon Powershot that I got 10 years ago) but I have a LOT to learn. I have been looking at a lot of online resources and have bought a book, so I am excited to really go after it and unlock its potential. The main advice I have heard over and over is “learn to shoot in manual mode” and “practice, practice, practice”. I have also started learning to shoot with a reflector and have been pleased with the difference that makes. If anyone has any doll-specific photography tips to share I am all ears, but I also understand if you don’t want to give away your secrets. 🙂
  3. I have been considering changing the name of my blog, probably to something along the lines of “She’ll Go Down in Herstory”. I think this would give a little more context to the word “herstory”, helping readers understand that it is a play on the word “history”. I also think it’s catchier. When I started my blog, I really didn’t have a vision for where I was going to head with it, and didn’t even know if it was something I would be able to commit to doing. Now that I’m invested, I want to feel good about all aspects of it, including the title. I want to keep using the word “herstory”, partly because I am not going to change my URL so I need the title to still relate, but mostly because I think that learning about history through the perspective of girls and women is what American Girl has always been about for me. I’ll gladly take thoughts and suggestions!

On to the Great Blogger Award! Thank you so much to Gwen from A Peek Into the Pantry and Flo from Say Hello to My Little Friends for both nominating me! I enjoy both of their blogs a lot, so be sure to check them out if you haven’t already.


Award Rules:
Thank the person that nominated you.
Answer the questions given to you.
Nominate at least 5 others who you think has a great doll blog.
Notify them that they have an award.
Leave them at least 5 questions to answer.

I will start with Gwen’s questions first:

1. What’s your favorite non AG doll in your collection?

I actually don’t really have any! I don’t really have a reason why, I just always have loved AG dolls so much that I haven’t considered getting any others. I do think Our Generation dolls are really cute, though. I guess I do have a Stacey doll (Barbie’s little sister) that I was pretty attached to, even during my American Girl years, as a kid. I had several outfits for her and a pink trunk for all of her stuff.
2. What do you want the next GotY’s theme to be?

A Native Alaskan girl! Enough with the tropics–bring on the parkas and sled dogs!
3. What would your Meet outfit look like if you were the next AG character?

I generally like to be comfy whenever possible and if I can look cute at the same time that’s just a bonus. I wore this outfit the other day and I think it suits me well, so I choose this as my Meet outfit:

When I asked my husband to take this pictures and explained what it was for he said, “Oh, yeah, good call on the cardigan.” The fact that he knows the word “cardigan” tells you that I wear a lot of them. Excuse the wrinkles, by the way. A day of work at a middle school does not always leave me looking fresh as a daisy.

Also, I thought long and hard about whether or not I wanted a picture of myself on my blog and when I asked my husband’s advice he shrugged and said, “Authors put their pictures on the back of their books.” So, yeah. That was good enough for me.
4. Which AG outfit would you wear with pride if it came in your size?

Maryellen’s meet outfit! I just love the silhouette of the dresses of that time period. To illustrate my point, here is a picture of me twirling in a 1950’s party dress I found at (of all places) a flea market last weekend. The booth specialized in vintage clothing and they had this on a mannequin in the front. I fell in love the moment I saw it, and when I tried it on it fit me completely perfectly. I had to have it.

5. If you were in charge of AG, what would be the first change you implemented?

I would put illustrations back into the books!


Here are my answers to Flo’s questions:

1. Besides dolls, do you collect anything else?

Nothing to the extent of my doll collection, but as part of my husband and my goal to visit every national park, I get a postcard at each one I visit. I also have a fair amount of Harry Potter memorabilia.

2.  What is your favorite non-doll item (not made originally for dolls) you have that you use for your dolls?

Oooh, fun question. I actually just acquired quite a few accessories that you will be seeing very soon (probably this weekend) in a post about a very big project I have been working on! I am so excited to reveal it! So without giving too much away (though this will be a bit of a clue) I will just say my favorite is probably a miniature heart-shaped cake pan that I found at Goodwill for 25 cents! It is perfect for Kirsten–she totally would have made her heart-shaped birthday cake in this!

3. What is something that you don’t know how to do that you’d like to learn?

Photography! I’m working on it!

4. How do you come up with names for your dolls?

Well, I actually only have two dolls that I’ve named myself right now, Abby (Abigail) and Daphne. I named Abby when I was nine, so I really don’t know where that came from. Daphne just sort of came to me, I saw her and she looked like a Daphne!

5. What made you decide to start a doll blog?

I needed an excuse to buy more doll stuff! Haha, actually no, I just wanted to be part of a fun online community! When you have a hobby that is not mainstream, it is fun to be able to share what you do with others who appreciate it and can relate, and blogging seemed to be the best way to do that. It also helps me stay fresh and inspired with my doll collecting because it motivates me to always come up with new things to do with them!

Thanks again for the nomination, Gwen and Flo! These questions were fun to answer, I hope everyone knows me a little better now. I know that I am supposed to nominate five blogs, but since nominating five creates such exponential growth, it seems that many of the blogs I read have already been nominated. There are lots of other great ones out there that probably haven’t, too, so I decided to nominate anyone who would like to answer the questions! I know that doesn’t really follow the rules, but I love all of my readers and their blogs, so hopefully I will have some takers who want to participate!

Here are my questions!

  1. If you could time travel to one of the time periods in the AG historical collection, which would it be and why?
  2. How do you display your doll collection in your house?
  3. How do you make time for blogging/enjoying your doll collection?
  4. Which archived doll do you think AG should bring back next?
  5. Do you have a friend or family member who helps you with your blog/supports your doll collecting hobby?

I can’t believe the month of May is almost half over and another school year almost done! One of my favorite things to do when the weather is beautiful is go on long walks, so tonight I took some pictures of Abby walking Coconut. I felt like they needed some love today…sometimes they feel a little left out from my obsession with the historicals. 🙂 DSC_0651





13 Comments Add yours

  1. jackylina says:

    Super cool post! So that’s what your blog title really means. I thought it was just her story smushed into one word to fit your url and I’ve always wondered which ‘her’ you were referring to. Your new idea of a blog title is much better in my opinion.
    I love seeing a face behind the blog. It makes a blog that much more real. (check out me and my mini me here:
    Every national park? What a cool goal to have. Do you take your dolls with when you go?


    1. Rutvi says:

      This is such a great post!! Emily, I love your hair. 😉 I have a few photography tips for you!

      You probably already know this, but try to stay in natural lighting. It makes for much prettier and better photos.

      Give your doll props, or even a pet. Anything that will make your photos more interesting.

      (I know these are mostly beginner tips, but hopefully they’ll still help you)

      When posing your doll(s) somewhere like the grass, I like to first pose her perfectly, then while still holding her, make sure my camera is ready. Then I set her down gently and snap the photo. Sometimes dolls don’t stand up for very long, so this helps them not to fall owe while they’re waiting to get their picture taken.
      Put her somewhere interesting. I take most of my doll’s pictures outside, in my backyard. Scenery is just so beautiful, and your photos will have a really pretty background. As for indoor photography, you can use scrapbook paper as a background, or you can use a scarf.


      1. Emily says:

        Thanks Rutvi! All good tips!

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Emily says:

      Thanks so much! Haha, ok that definitely tells me I need a new name! 😀 yes, every national park is our goal, we’ve only been to 9 so far though. 50 to go! Last summer I took Abby to Rocky Mountain National Park, but I barely took any pictures with her…I probably won’t do it again unless I can come up with a method for keeping them from getting tossed around and disheveled in the car.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. bennettv says:

    Hi! Great post, and Coconut is so cute. 🙂 As for a new blog title, you might just have to add a couple of words. You could call it something like, The HerStory of AG. It’s simple, and it clears up the confusion. Just a thought! Anyway, I followed your blog! 🙂

    ginnie /


    1. Emily says:

      Thanks, and good idea! I followed you too!


  3. Flo says:

    Loved reading your answers! And I agree with the putting the name to the face comment. And love the idea of an eskimo/inuit GOTY! That one would be very dangerous for me. 🙂

    Photo tip–don’t be afraid of the flash, even outdoors. I see a lot of dark photos on blogs that could benefit from what is known as “fill flash”. A reflector will only work well if there is sufficient light. Take two photos of each, one with flash and one without, then pick the best. Have fun with your new “toy”!


    1. Emily says:

      Thanks Flo! Good tip, I will put it into practice!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. kaitlynrh1 says:

    Love it!
    kaitlynrh1 ❤


  5. Gwen says:

    That vintage dress is so pretty! It’s so much fun when a second hand outfit looks awesome and fits you perfectly, like it was meant to be, haha. Thanks for answering the questions. 😀


    1. Emily says:

      Thanks Gwen, your questions were great! And, yes, it was definitely one of those meant-to-be moments!


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