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Be the star in an American Girl Film!

american girl short film casting Is your daughter a Julie Albright, a free-spirited girl from the groovy '70s, who fights for what's right?  Or maybe she's a Maryellen Larkin, an enthusiastic girl growing up in the fabulous '50s who wants to stand out from the crowd.

American Girl wants YOU to bring the stories of two American Girl characters to life on screen.  Get the script and then your girl can audition to be Julie and/or Maryellen in a 15 minute short film.  The winning girls will win $10,000 prize and a trip to film.

Full disclosure, my 8 year old will be submitting a video.  She has little acting experience, but thinks she's got this.  As does probably every 7-12 year old in America.

So print the script, grab your phone and submit your entry!  You never know who will be the lucky girl to play Julie or Maryellen!


More to come on Maryellen soon!  She's from the 50's and we can't wait to learn all about her!


Family Travel: Explore St. Louis


Family Travel: Explore St. Louis

Growing up I went on a ton of road trips with my family. My kids are at a good age that we can now go on long car rides without a problem. I decided that this summer would be a good time to start exploring the Midwest.  A few weeks ago my kids, mother in law piled in the car and headed to St. Louis! I had only been to St. Louis for a wedding about 10 years ago. We were all excited to Explore St. Louis!

The kids got  super excited when they saw The Gateway Arch and Busch Stadium (even if we are Cubs fans it was cool to see!) and the "Are we there yet?" finally stopped.  We drove directly to Forest Park, which is in the heart of St. Louis. You could spend several days exploring Forest Park, its the 7th largest urban park in North America. It also contains all of the St. Louis major museums and the Zoo. Our first stop was at the St. Louis Zoo, which is a free Zoo.

It was a hot day and we were ready to check out our home for the next two nights. Hotel Ignacio is located in Midtown and near Saint Louis University. It is a cool boutique hotel, has reasonable rates and  was very family friendly. We loved that Hotel Ignacio was centrally located to everything we had planned to do while visiting St. Louis. The hotel has two restaurants which was very convenient especially when traveling with kids. We found ourselves starting and ending our day at Triumph Grill.

We headed out the first evening to visit the Gateway Arch up close and personal! It is something to see in person and not just from the highway. It was fun to go up in the arch and be able to cross that off our bucket list.

We decided to skip breakfast on our 2nd day in St. Louis and go to Pappy's Smokehouse for an early lunch. This was the best decision ever! The BBQ blew us away! If it weren't for the long lines, we would of gone back and brought pulled pork home with us. If you are ever in St. Louis, you must eat at Pappy's.

We headed to City Museum. I will be honest, I didn't know what to expect when we first stepped into this unique place. It is housed in a former international shoe building. You will find repurposed architectural and industrial objects through out your visit. Once you get your kids into the City Museum they will not want to leave!! They do not have maps but that is the best part of the adventure!  Mia and Dylan had a blast exploring every inch of this place. I  went down the 10 foot slide and on the Ferris Wheel with Dylan. We paid an extra $5 to go to the roof, which was a perfect way to tend the day. My mother in law and I were able to sit back in adirondack chairs and enjoy a cocktail (yes they have Bars in the city museum!). The kids already want to go back to City Museum. 

We had worked up quite an appetite exploring the City Museum for 5 hours. We headed to Fountain on Locust for dinner. Since we were in vacation mode, I let both of the kids start of their meal with a float. They of course were in heaven! The menu was unique but also had something for everyone in the family to enjoy. We went overboard on the desserts but isn't that what vacation is all about? We had a blast visiting St. Louis. It is a very family friendly city. The only complaint I have is...we wish we had stayed longer! Until next time St. Louis.

Don't forget to enter this amazing giveaway!  You will win a a 2-night stay with an attraction, dining and entertainment package valued at over $250, the total package  itself worth  over $500! It will make the perfect family road trip!

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Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are honest and my own.



Chicago: Museum of Science and Industry a must see!

This post is sponsored by Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago.

My kids and I recently visited the Museum of Science and Industry Chicago, it is one of the largest science museums in the world. The kids enjoyed playing and interacting with robots in the world premiere Robot Revolution exhibit. It is a unique experience being able to play with robots from around the world.

MSI makes science come alive! Dylan is only 6 years old but he has been a lover of science since he was young. His first visit to the Museum of Science and Industry was a favorite for him and one he will remember for a long time. The live science experiences that happen hourly were very cool.

Both the kids were fascinated with the Science storms exhibit. Mia loved being able to manipulate a 40- foot tornado.

The Idea Factory is great for kids under 10 years old. Everything in this exhibit is hands on learning. It's perfect for the kid  who wants to figure out how every machine works or a future engineer like  my son.

Are you planning to visit MSI Chicago for the first time this summer? I would suggest that you use this planner on the Museum of Science and Industry's site.  You need a full day to enjoy MSI at its fullest. My kids already want to go back. For ticket information go to here.

The Museum of Science and Industry is  one of the largest science museums in the world, offers world-class and uniquely interactive experiences that inspire the inventive genius in everyone and foster curiosity. Visit MSI  on Facebook to learn more about MSI's groundbreaking exhibits that can’t be found anywhere else and hands-on opportunities that make you the scientist.


American Girl #TrulyMe

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American Girl #TrulyMe

We (and by we I mean the girls and moms) are excited to share the launch of a new line of look-like-me dolls from American Girl called Truly Me!   The Truly Me line allows girls to choose their doll from 40 different combinations of eye color, hair color and style and skin color. Each Truly Me doll will now come with exclusive play-based content directly in the doll box (48+ ideas for girls to do with their dolls) as well as a new, free digital play experience online that will accessible to all girls on all devices.

Ellie chose the blond doll with wavy hair and brown eyes.  The blond on this doll is a darker blond, not super light, which is perfect for her.  She has been waiting for a doll with her features and was so excited find Truly Me doll #24.

American Girl Doll

Here is a video Ellie made of of her new American Girl Truly Me doll.

Truly Me really encourages girls to think about what makes them special and unique.  Ellie was ecstatic to be part of the #TrulyMe campaign that started today on and will featured on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter this Saturday!

American Girl Truly Me

To encourage your daughter to think about what makes them unique, you can have them create their own Truly Me poster.  Just click below to print and upload a photo of your daughter with her poster and the hashtag #TrulyMe to get in on the fun!

Stay tuned because we have an inside scoop on much more of the American Girl Truly Me fun!  We can't wait to share it with you!

This post was created in partnership with American Girl but all opinions expressed are my own.

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Clothing for girls and their dolls

Mia turned nine year old in March. She celebrated her special day with two friends at the cafe at American Girl Place. One of her favorite things to do these days is dress up her American Girl Dolls in the perfect outfit and do their hair. You can find her spending hours, braiding her dolls hair. It has been great for me because she now know how to braid her own hair! If you aren't familiar with Little Gloriana, it is a specialty clothing collection that offers adorable and stylish clothing for girls and their dolls. Little Gloriana has been a favorite in our house for several years. Mia loves all of the dresses and costumes for her dolls.

Mia loves dressing like her doll. Little Gloriana designs lovely dresses for both your little girl and her doll.

The best part of Little Gloriana clothing is unique, affordable and adorable for both girls and their dolls. You must check out their costumes here.

 Does your little girl like to dress up her dolls?

We were provided with samples for review purposes. All opinions are honest and our own.