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Thursday, 25 June 2015

Classroom Reveal

Over the past several weeks I've been working on transforming one of our bedrooms into a classroom for Addie and Ciaran. The bedroom originally belonged to my eldest step-daughter Aurora, but since she'll be living with her mom through the week, her time here will be spent sharing a room with her sister. Aurora's room was painted a wonderful muted shade of purple, painting the room white was not fun!
Four coats of white to cover up the yellow, and six to cover the purple and it was finally covered - woohoo! Below is what that corner of the room looks like now. This will be Ciaran's corner, he's kinda trapped in there with my desk lol.
The border was made with my printer using regular paper, then I used glue sticks to mount it to the wall. Since it was so bland, I added a border with glitter tape and printed tape that I found at the dollar store. Ciaran decided to use the box of flower stickers I had to further decorate the border.
 Behind my desk is all our supplies and the start of our library, safely out of Ciaran's hands. I'll share more about my desk this week :)
The printer is in the corner with the teacher manuals that I have printed off so far, unfortunately I'm no where finished with them yet. I decided that the narrower bookcase beside the printer unit will house all our paper and craft supplies. Next to that is my bargain file cabinet - $5 find at the last garage sale we attended.
Directly on my left, is Addie's work station. To add some colour to the wall I glued - yes I glued scrapbook paper to it, then cut some coordinating letters to add her name. This is where we'll keep her vocabulary words, her spelling list and other little things she wants to keep handy.
Beside her desk is her workboxes, which I haven't finished yet. I'll write a post next week explaining why I decided that we'd try homeschooling through the workbox system.
On the last wall in our room is our whiteboard wall, framed with scrapbook paper and well you guessed it, glued to the wall lol.

That concludes the tour of our classroom for now, aside from building our library, I don't believe there will be many changes in the near future. Well maybe some better chairs for the kids when the funds become available.
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Friday, 29 May 2015

American Girl Book List


Since Addision is interested in American Girl, we're going to use the American Girl Homeschooling curriculum as our base and add Canadian content to bring her up to the level she should be at, and maybe even get her to rise above it :) There is a Canadian series of novels "Our Canadian Girl" published by Penguin Random House that are similar to the American Girl Series that I am actively trying to add to our library. I will add the list to another page once I have it compiled and in order.

American Girl

Kaya, 1764

  1. Meet Kaya OWN
  2. Kaya's Escape OWN
  3. Kaya's Hero OWN
  4. Kaya and Lone Dog OWN
  5. Kaya Shows the Way OWN
  6. Changes for Kaya OWN

Felicity Merriman, 1774

  1. Meet Felicity OWN
  2. Felicity Learns a Lesson OWN
  3. Felicity's Surprise OWN
  4. Happy Birthday, Felicity OWN
  5. Felicity Saves the Day OWN
  6. Changes for Felicity OWN
Felicity's Cook Book OWN
Felicity's Craft Book
Felicity's Story Collection
Welcome to Felicity's World, 1774

Elizabeth Cole

  1. Very Funny, Elizabeth OWN

Caroline Abbott, 1812

  1. Meet Caroline OWN
  2. Caroline's Secret Message
  3. Surprise for Caroline
  4. Caroline Takes a Chance
  5. Caroline's Battle
  6. Changes for Caroline OWN

Josefina Montoya, 1824

  1. Meet Josefina
  2. Josefina Learns a Lesson
  3. Josefina's Surprise
  4. Happy Birthday, Josefina
  5. Josefina Saves the Day
  6. Changes for Josefina
Josefina Just For Fun Book
Josefina's Paper Dolls
Secrets in the Hills: A Josefina Mystery
Josefina's Magnetic Mini World
Welcome to Josefina's World, 1824


C├ęcile Rey & Marie-Grace Gardner, 1853

  1. Meet Marie-Grace OWN
  2. Meet Cecile OWN
  3. Marie-Grace and the Orphans OWN
  4. Troubles for Cecile OWN
  5. Marie-Grace Makes a Difference OWN
  6. Cecile's Gift OWN


Kirsten Larson, 1854

  1. Meet Kirsten OWN
  2. Kirsten Learns a Lesson OWN
  3. Kirsten's Surprise OWN
  4. Happy Birthday, Kirsten OWN
  5. Kirsten Saves the Day OWN
  6. Changes for Kirsten OWN
Kirsten's Cook Book OWN
Kirsten's Craft Book
Kirsten's Story Collection
Welcome to Kirsten's World, 1854


Addy Walker, 1864

  1. Meet Addy OWN
  2. Addy Learns a Lesson
  3. Addy's Surprise
  4. Happy Birthday, Addy!
  5. Addy Saves the Day
  6. Changes for Addy
Addy's Cook Book OWN
Addy's Craft Book
Addy's Story Collection
Welcome to Addy's World, 1864


Samantha Parkington, 1904

  1. Meet Samantha OWN
  2. Samantha Learns a Lesson OWN
  3. Samantha's Surprise
  4. Happy Birthday, Samantha!
  5. Samantha Saves the Day OWN
  6. Changes for Samantha
Samantha's Cook Book OWN
Samantha's Craft Book OWN
Samantha's Friendship Fun
Samantha's Story Collection
Welcome to Samantha's World, 1904


Nellie O'Malley

  1. Nellie's Promise

Rebecca Rubin, 1914

  1. Meet Rebecca OWN
  2. Rebecca and Ana 
  3. Candlelight for Rebecca 
  4. Rebecca and the Movies 
  5. Rebecca to the Rescue
  6. Changes for Rebecca


Kit Kittredge, 1934

  1. Meet Kit OWN
  2. Kit Learns a Lesson OWN
  3. Kit's Surprise 
  4. Happy Birthday, Kit 
  5. Kit Saves the Day
  6. Changes For Kit
Kit's Friendship Fun
Kit's Story Collection


Ruthie Smithens

  1. Really Truly Ruthie


Molly McIntire, 1944

  1. Meet Molly
  2. Molly Learns a Lesson
  3. Molly's Surprise
  4. Happy Birthday, Molly!
  5. Molly Saves the Day
  6. Changes for Molly
Molly's Cook Book OWN
Molly's Craft Book
Welcome to Molly's World, 1944


Emily Bennett

  1. Brave Emily


Julie Albright, 1974

  1. Meet Julie 
  2. Julie Tells Her Story
  3. Happy New Year, Julie 
  4. Julie and the Eagles 
  5. Julie's Journey
  6. Changes for Julie


Ivy Ling

  1. Good Luck, Ivy

 Girl of the Year dolls


Nicki Fleming

  1. Nicki
  2. Thanks to Nicki


Chrissa Maxwell

  1. Chrissa 
  2. Chrissa Stands Strong


Lanie Holland

  1. Lanie
  2. Lanie's Real Adventures


Kanani Akina

  1. Aloha, Kanani 
  2. Good Job, Kanani


McKenna Brooks

  1. McKenna OWN
  2. McKenna, Ready to Fly


Saige Copeland

  1. Saige
  2. Saige Paints the Sky


Isabelle Palmer

  1. Isabelle
  2. Designs by Isabelle
  3. To the Stars, Isabelle


Grace Thomas

  1. Meet Grace Thomas OWN
  2. Grace Stirs it Up
  3. Grace Makes it Great


More AG Titles Add's Studying

  1. A Smart Girl's Guide: Manners (Revised): The Secrets to Grace, Confidence and Being Your Best OWN
  2. Stand Up for Yourself and Your Friends: Dealing with Bullies and Bossiness and Finding a Better Way OWN
  3. American Girls Cookbook: A Peek at Dining in the Past With Meals You Can Cook Today OWN



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Some Good & Bad News

Life takes us on many adventures, some planned some spur of the moment. For me, it looks like setting up my doll clothing store has been put on the back shelf again. Something far more important in life has developed that requires my attention, my youngest step-daughter has been is a victim of the Government's No Child  Left Behind school system. Instead of being failed way back in grade 1, she has been passed year after year, falling further behind the other children. The NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND policy has more than left her behind, not only is she mentally not up to speed with the other children because she never learnt the basics, she is depressed, has low self esteem and feels that she is a failure and stupid. Now that I've shared the bad news, we'll get to the good - we're going to homeschool Miss A to get her up to grade :)
In the weeks to come we'll be going through many changes around here, the girls will be sharing a room again, kind of - Miss A will be here Monday thru Friday and one out of 4 weekends, and her older sister will be living with her Mother Monday thru Friday, spending 3 out of 4 weekends here. We'll be converting Miss A Senior's room into our budget friendly classroom for Miss A and our little monster.

Since Miss A is eager to start her home schooling we will begin our lessons mid-July. Miss A is a huge  fan of Samantha, the only AG doll she has ever asked for, so I decided that we'd use the American Girl series of novels as the base of her curriculum along with another series Our Canadian Girl by Penquin Random House. I do believe, Samantha will sooner rather than later end up in our classroom along with Caroline, you know as teaching aides (wink wink).

I haven't decided yet if I'll post our classroom makeover as we go or just do one after and explain everything we did. Decisions...decisions lol. I do hope you stick with us for our homeschooling adventure, I'll be sharing AG inspired worksheets, an agenda, where we purchased our lesson plans, crafts and more.
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Friday, 8 May 2015

Let's Go Camping, Part 2 - Fire Pit


With camping season quickly approaching I thought it was about time to share my tutorial for the fire pit I made the girls for their dolls. It's one of the easiest projects I've made thus far, was relatively inexpensive and was quick to make (much quicker once I scrapped the idea of sewing the longs and just hot glued them lol).

Supplies Required:

  • felt scraps -  yellow, orange, red,  tan and brown
  • tea light (found in the dollar store)
  • hot glue gun and hot glue sticks
  • cereal box or other thin box
  • sharpie for drawing on bark lines (optional)
  • template for flames (template is at the bottom of the post)

First I cut my cereal boxes about 3 inches by 4 inches, then rolled them lengthwise into varying widths and used a dab of hot glue to secure them. Next I roughly cut out 2 circles for each log of the tan felt to cover the ends. I have 6 pictured but you will only need 3 for the fire pit, I was making two at the time.


Next step, carefully hot glue these to the ends of your "log", snipe around the edges to make it smoother.

 Next I used my log as a pattern piece and cut the brown felt large enough to wrap around my log. Randomly run lengths of hot glue down your log and roll the brown felt around it. I found that by doing this it gave the logs some realistic details and saved myself from burning myself by just trying to get the edges glued down.

 After the glue cooled down, I took my sharpie and made some rings around the ends and knots and bark lines  on the logs.
 For the flames, I cut 3 large red, 3 medium orange and 3 small yellow pieces. As you can tell from the photo above, I gave up on cutting them exactly as the pattern piece lol. Then they were hot glued together as you can see above (again you will only need 3 flames for 1 fire pit.).



 I hot glued the 3 flames together at the edges(picture above) and then glued them to the base of my tea light (pictured below).


For some reason, I never took a picture of the final step (one of these days I'll get it right!) I laid one of my logs down and adjusted the other two logs and "fire", once I was happy with it, I hot glued it together.


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Thursday, 7 May 2015

Feminist Template Tutorial

Since THEMEXPOSE doesn't seem to want to help those who've purchased their template Feminist, I've decided to write this post to try and help others get their copy up and running. These are the steps that I've done in order to get this template to work.


  1. Convert your blog template to one of Bloggers templates, remove all widgets (save all your typed information, like your menu and instagram in notebook or another writing program so you don't have to retype them)
  2. Change all your settings as follows:



  1. Save, reinstall Feminist template, refresh and your blog should work.
  2. Slider will not work unless your posts have labels!
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Monday, 6 April 2015

Review - Journey Girl Chavonne



My first Journey Girl from the Italy Tour was Chavonne, courtesy of our good friend Bent. I had really wanted Kelsey, but she wasn't available at the Toys R Us location that my husband and Bent had visited, but they were able to get my second choice Chavonne. Since I don't have an AG or Maplelea Doll, I can't give you a quality comparison but I'm really impressed with the quality of her compared to similar dolls sold at Walmart, Target and Michael's.


Chavonne has a thick head of soft curly hair, that most definitely will require a hair pick and not a brush.  I find the Journey Girls have the most beautiful eyes. Chavonne's are hazel in colour and the detail is remarkable. Personally  I don't feel that pictures capture her true beauty.

She came dressed in a pink jacket, floral pants and a striped t-shirt, not a look  I would put together personally lol. The pants are not very well made, in my opinion, the waistband is sloppy and twisted and I believe a child could have issue taking them on and off due to them being fairly tight. The t-shirt is basic but cute. The jacket however, quality wise is okay I guess, but limit's Chavonne's ability to raise her arms. With it on, she can barely lift her arms to her chest since the jacket is so tight. With the jacket off, she is capable of raising her hands over her head :)

Would I recommend this doll: Yes, without a doubt! She's a beautiful doll at a great price!

Please Note: I'm not affiliated with any toy company, all opinions are solely mine. All dolls and accessories reviewed in this blog have either been purchased by me or gifted by friends and family.
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Saturday, 28 March 2015

Journey Girls Adventures

Since we started collecting dolls last year, one of my favourite Doll Websites that I frequent often is Doll Diaries. I could spend hours on their site getting lost in all the information and crafts they share. One of my favourite features is by Char at Doll Diaries, called Sunday Showcase, and honestly I  just love viewing the pictures of all the creative ways the girls (and boys) play with their dolls. I'm the old fashioned kinda mom that believes kids (young and old alike :D) should be playing and not spending all their precious time stuck in front of a screen of one description of another!


As a tribute to my favourite feature on Doll Diaries, I would like to continue to encourage Journey Girls fans to capture their adventures and share those photos with us here on Ann Deborah! We'd even love to feature something that you've made for your doll that you're proud of!

If you would like to have your Journey Girl's photo featured on our weekly Saturday post -Journey Girls Adventures,  just follow the steps below:

  1. Make sure your photos are at least 675 pixels wide. (this is the width of my post, anything larger will be automatically scaled to size)
  2. Email your photo to deborahsampson2008@gmail.com (it must be your own photo – please do not take photos from someone else’s site and submit them as your own, this is theft!)
  3. Put “JOURNEY GIRLS ADVENTURES” in the subject line (So it stands out in my inbox)
  4. Make sure you include a description or caption for your photos, don't forget to add your name!
  5. If you'd like a watermark on your photo but don't know how, no worries just let me know what you'd like on it- last names and email addresses will NOT be displayed for the safety of the person who submitted the photo.
  6. Please don't send in more than TWO photos for the Saturday Showcase, so I can include everyone’s photos. 
  7. If your craft item wasn't designed by you, please tell us where you found the original idea so that we may share this information with other viewers.
  8. Please don't send in pictures or crafts that you've already posted on your own blog.
  9. We reserve the right as to whether or not we will post your photos. Please remember that this site is viewed by children and anything inappropriate will not be tolerated.
  10. By submitting your photos and content to Ann Deborah, you are granting us permission to use them on our website and any of our associated social media accounts.
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Let's Go Camping - Part 1


With spring just around the corner, it means that camping season is about to start! The picture above shows the camping gear that I made my step-daughters for Christmas. The fishing vest and expedition shoes were made using Pixie Faire patterns that can be found here, they also carry patterns for other camping items such as a tent, soft sided cooler, sleeping bags and a portable padded chair.


In this series, I will be sharing with you how to make the fishing pole, the tackle box and the fire pit. We'll start off with the fishing pole.


Materials Used:

  • 12" bamboo skewer (found in the craft section of the dollar store)
  • printed duct tape
  • solid duct tape
  • 2- 3/4" diameter buttons
  • 3 paper clips
  • hot glue
  • embroidery floss
  • wire cutters to cut paper clips

To Make:

Cut the ends off of your paper clips (about an inch)





Next step (which I forgot to take a picture of again :( !) Wrap your bamboo skewer with your patterned duct tape, you can snip the pointed tip off if you want. Make sure to to completely conceal the smaller end with tape since it will be seen. Next, using a small dab of hot glue on the small tip glue down the end loop as shown below.


Using the same method, glue your biggest loop about 1/3rd of the way from the bottom of your pole. Take your 3 loop and glue it between the bottom on and the top loop, keeping them aligned.


With your contrast colour duct tape, tear it into thinner strips and cover the ends of your loops and the large end as shown below.


For the hand part I never measured. I used one full width of duct tape to cover the end, and a 1/3rd of the tape's width for where the reel is attached.


Next, glue two buttons together, and wrap with embroidery floss. Leave the end long enough to thread through the loops and have some hanging for the "hook".


Hot glue the button to the thicker part of the handle. Thread the floss through the loops. I knotted some brown yarn together to make a "worm" but you could attach a feather or a real lure(less the hooks) to the end.









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