#outandaboutAva visits the @American_Girl Store for Holiday Shopping, Bistro Dining and More! 

We are in Charlotte,NC where a visit to the American Girl store in the SouthPark Mall is a must do experience! Our daughter, now age 6, was very excited to take her GOTY doll, Gabriela McBride, with her for the first time to enjoy afternoon tea at the Bistro, ear piercing at the doll salon and some holiday shopping. Not only did my husband,daughter and I enjoy our family date, but we got the opportunity to #givewhatcounts to our child. American Girl brand inspires all to create memories that will last thru the holidays and beyond!

THE BISTRO

Good eats, delightful sweets and for your doll a special seat..that’s what you can expect at the Bistro. We went during their special Holiday Tea event, which included a deliciously different menu of teatime treats, a craft, and fun conversation with the holiday Table Talkers. We made a fleece headband to keep the dolls’ ears warm on chilly days, and a holiday-card-making craft. It was great way to start the holiday season with a special teatime together and a couple of crafty projects! 

DOLL HAIR SALON

Recently, #outandaboutAva got her ears pierced just in time for her photo with Santa and thought it would be great to have her doll’s done too! At the American Girl Doll Hair Salon you can get a “Gabriela Girl of the Year Ear Piercing”, which is an exclusive ear-piercing service available only for the Gabriela™ 18″ doll. It was a quick service for her doll, which included her signature earring set.  The music note studs are so adorable, I wish I had a pair! Pampering services and hair styling services are also available at the salon. It was so fun to see the dolls get a new look!

SHOPPING

Christmas is just days away and if you are still looking for ideas to gift your girl then look no further than American Girl. They have gifts that will teach her that “little moments of kindness can only come from big hearts”.  I decided to treat my daughter to an early gift to celebrate her courage in performing in her first solo ballet recital a few days ago. It was practiced as a duet but in the last moments, she had to do it by herself. That experience helped build her confidence and allowed her to let her spirit shine. 

To help her with backstage jitters, we were able to discuss how her American Girl doll Gabriela loves to perform and express herself thru dance just like her. Gabriela’s story inspires creativity and even when its not easy, she uses her talent to help those around her. So for both, my daughter and Gabriela, we got matching girl & doll PJ sets, which are on holiday sale until 12/24/17. We are planning an NYE ‘family date night in’ which is a together tradition we do and you can bet these fun, matching pjs will come into play. Find creative tips on planning the ‘Ultimate Sleepover’ inspired by American Girl’s ‘A Year of Slumber Parties’ book.

SobeSavvy Tip:  Now-Thru December 31, 2017 while shopping at any American Girl store in the U.S., American Girl will match any customer donation to the American Red Cross, up to $75,000 maximum. Tied to the debut of its newest BeForever character, Nanea Mitchell—a Hawaiian girl growing up in Honolulu, Hawaii, in 1941 during WWII, American Girl is supporting the American Red Cross and their Service to the Armed Forces mission
to provide care and comfort to members of the military, veterans, and their families. Donations can also be made at americangirl.com

On Jan 1, American Girl is introducing Luciana Vega, the 2018 Girl of the Year. She comes with her cool line of space inspired products (like a Mars habitat and flight suit!) AND an out-of-this-world storyline about an 11-year-old who dreams of being the first person on Mars. American Girl worked with NASA, including a task force of advisors (scientists, astronauts, and more) who helped ensure the accuracy and authenticity of Luciana’s world—from her story and products to a STEM-based educational program in partnership with Scholastic and Space Camp. 

We plan to head to the Raleigh,NC temporary store to celebrate her launch. AG is hosting Luciana debut events at its retail locations nationwide on January 1. The event features interactive science demonstrations, a Moon Phase craft, galaxy-inspired treats, and a free Luciana doll tee to take home. For more details, visit americangirl.com/retail.

Check out more of our in store experiences on You Tube and see a glimpse of how magical it is! Enjoy..thanks for reading..and Happy Holidays 🎅🎄💖🎁

 https://youtu.be/Pzko6A78oLU

#outandaboutAva gets creative with her @American_Girl #GOTY2017 Gabriela McBride #AGdoll #Fun 

​Disclosure: We received the doll for review and the opinions are that of my own/DD

We were excited to hear the news of American Girl’s debut of its 2017 Girl of the Year – Gabriela McBride, which became available January 1, 2017. Why were we excited ? As a mom, I love to see representation and diversity in dolls and it was another opportunity for my daughter to bond with a doll that as she would say “looks like me”. 

We learned that Gabriela is a true talent who uses her passion for the arts—specifically spoken word poetry—to overcome personal obstacles and create positive change for her community. Gabriela launched with a beautiful 18-inch doll, plus several performance-inspired outfits, accessories, and toys. We’re also happy to hear that, unlike past Girl of the Year characters, Gabriela will be available throughout 2017 and beyond!

After unboxing her, my daughter was most impressed with her outfit. She liked the layered top & jeans and commented that the shoes are easier to put on and take off in comparison to some other dolls. It also comes with a book that shares how Gabriela focuses on expressing her true feelings when speaking up gets scary. Gabriela is inspired to use her talents and be creative for a cause. 

The doll comes with clear rubber bands and a pink headband. My daughter squealed in delight over the brown curls and could not wait to style it ! (as seen in this YouTube video). 

Coming in March, American Girl is partnering with Scholastic to create and distribute Express Yourself, a program for classrooms that empowers students to use the arts as a tool for self-expression ,to connect students with Gabriela’s inspiring message and to bring awareness to spoken word poetry. The classroom resources will give teachers the tools to encourage students to find their creative voices, just in time for National Poetry Month in April.

Learn more about Gabriela here-and get ready to imagine, dream and create! After reading her inspiring story to my daughter, I told her “May her Dreams be as Big as her Smile~Always! “