American Girl Exceeds Expectations With Expanded Bitty Baby Line!

American Girl Exceeds Expectations With Expanded Bitty Baby Line!

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Well, American Girl has done it again! Introduced a new line of dolls that exceeds expectations! Actually, it’s not a new line, per se, but an expanded one: Bitty Baby®. American Girl has come out with 11 different Bitty Baby dolls with various skin tones and hair- and eye-color combinations. Now your youngest child can have a look alike doll of her own!

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Last month, I was invited to a party hosted by Jenny Ingram & Danielle Smith at the flagship store, American Girl Place, in Chicago. The party was held after hours in the café and, as an added bonus, attendees were invited to shop. Realizing that Lulu’s 10th birthday is coming up this month, I decided to pick up a few things for her collection. (By the way, so did Adam!) We may have actually gone a bit overboard with the shopping.

Party Goers Unite: Adam, Jenny, Danielle & Me!

Party Goers Unite: Adam, Jenny, Danielle & Me!

What I bought Lulu:

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What Adam bought her:

Saige's Hot Air Balloon!

Saige’s Hot Air Balloon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Windy City Momma bought Me:

mollyFine, fine, I’ll admit it! I bought the Molly McIntyre doll. But I have a good reason! The Molly line will be archived at the end of the year. Look, I understand that I am an adult and have NO NEED for American Girl dolls but to my defense, I am still a little heartbroken that I didn’t buy the Samantha doll when I had the chance.

 

 

Little did I know that the express purpose of the party was to unveil the updated line of Bitty Babies!

So after I got the shopping spree under control and felt that I could focus on the party, I was immediately distracted by the impressive collection of bitty babies lining the table. “That’s funny,” I thought, “when we bought Lulu’s Bitty Baby few years ago, there weren’t so many choices of dolls.” Seven years ago, we selected the dark haired doll with a light complexion and brown eyes  because that was the doll that most closely resembled our daughter.   Now look at them!

As of TODAY (!) August 27th, 2013, families will have more choices for their younger children (recommended for ages 3 and up). With so many new options to choose from, children can experience that very special moment when he or she selects a Bitty Baby doll that’s just right—no settling for one that’s almost perfect. (I know that the dolls are marketed to girls but, to be quite honest, I don’t see a reason that a little boy can’t love a Bitty Baby as much or more than little girls, can you?) Also, the Bitty Baby doll comes dressed in a signature sleeper and has a special “wishing star” keepsake toy. As an added bonus, the Bitty Baby package also contains a book, “Bitty Baby and Me” the first in a series of five hardcover picture books that inspire fun ways to play.

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If you are familiar with the previous line of Bitty Baby books, you may remember that they were really small (perfect for little hands) but not so easy to manage by Moms and Dads. It’s hard to read a story to a toddler when you can barely turn the page! Now, the Bitty Baby line of books has been revamped and includes beautiful illustrations. These larger picture books are filled with heartwarming adventures and are the perfect addition to any young child’s library.

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So, did I get a new Bitty Baby? Yes, I did. This one has light brown hair, green eyes and is fair skinned. He looks remarkably like what I imagined Adam looked like when he was a baby. As soon as I saw that doll, I couldn’t help but fall in love with it. Wouldn’t you?

For more information, on the awesome things going on this summer and fall, please visit the American Girl website: americangirl.com

I was not paid for this post. But, I did receive one of the new Bitty Babies as a gift from attending the event.

 

Looking For A Great Way to Kick Off The Holidays In Chicago?

Looking For A Great Way to Kick Off The Holidays In Chicago?

Are you looking for a great way to kick off the holiday season in Chicago this year?  Two events always mark the beginning of the holidays for my family: The Chicago Toy and Game Fair and The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival.  Both events occur this coming weekend and are sure to be a hit with the whole family.

Starting Saturday, November 17th, you can get your game on at Navy Pier.  It is the 10th Annual Chicago Toy and Game Fair where families can preview, play, and yes, purchase the latest hot new TOYS and GAMES from around the world.  But don’t mistake this fair for a glorified Toys-R-Us showroom!  At this show you actually get the chance to meet the inventors of some of your favorite games like Twister and Operation!  Last year we spoke with a variety of people marketing interactive games that you can use on the iPad.  This year, those same games are being sold at the local toy stores and…yes, the prices have gone up.  This is your chance to learn about this year’s IT games.

“This is not the Jenga game you are looking for.”

 

One of the highlights of this fair, something that you rarely see at other events is the Young Inventor Challenge.   We loved strolling through aisles of  toys and games invented by kids ages 6 to 18.  Maybe you have to be a kid to understand what other children like to do?  To be quite honest, my family felt that lot of the toys and games in this section of the fair topped the adult’s toy and game concepts.  In the end, we spent MUCH more time talking to children about their ideas rather than spending time with the adults on the other side of the Expo Hall.

By the time we are finished checking out the many toys and games at the Chicago Toy and Game Fair, it is hard to convince the adults in our party to hang out for The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival.  If you’ve never experienced the majesty and fun of this event, you really need to grab another Soy Latte and get your second wind!  I promise you, this event is not to be missed by children and adults!

The first time that Adam and I experienced this event, we weren’t even aware that it was going on.  Imagine our surprise when we saw Mickey and Minnie Mouse on a float traveling down Michigan Avenue.  Of course the second time, we were even less prepared.  We couldn’t figure out why the American Girl Place was so crowded that Saturday afternoon?!  Now, we get it and are ready for the crowds and the feeling of awe as over a million lights on trees up and down North Michigan Avenue are illuminated at this magical holiday celebration hosted by Mickey, Minnie and their friends from Disney Parks.  Mickey flips the switch at 5:30 pm on Saturday, November 17, and with the lights come exciting marching bands, gigantic balloons, celebrity appearances and more.  Of course, like any significant event in Chicago, the evening ends with a spectacular fireworks show over the Chicago River.

Yes, it’s exhausting to try to master both events in one day.  I get that.  However, I am frequently reminded (usually by my child) that your kids are only young once.  With each passing year, I feel that K is slowly slipping away from believing in the magic of the holiday season.  Well, at least that’s what I tell myself when I consider how exhausted I am while waiting for the lights to be illuminated on Michigan Avenue.  Oh, I also remind myself that I can take a nap tomorrow.  Unless, of course, I am being dragged to Day 2 of the Chicago Toy and Game Fair to get one last look at the must-have game of the year!

 

Last year’s show. Will we still be all smiles by the end?