Saturday, August 30, 2014

School Supplies

School Bags

Who do you think carries each bag? (There is one extra.) Everyone should get one right. ;-)

School Lunch

Who do you think takes which lunch and who buys?

Thank you for stopping.

Best wishes,

Friday, August 29, 2014

Belated National Dog Day

National Dog Day 2014

Yes, we missed it. The pups didn't. They had fun that day! Check it out.

Looks like they are having a meeting. Definitely playing ball. 

Do you have a dog? Or a favorite dog breed? Or a favorite AG dog?
Tell us in a comment. :)

Thank you for stopping.

Best wishes,

Thursday, August 28, 2014

XBR4OF #3: Sleeping Murder

Sleeping Murder by Agatha Christie

We are mystery fans in this house. One of the greatest mystery authors is Agatha Christie. While I'm posting this review in as a Xyra's Book Review for Older Followers, there is nothing gruesome, gory, or overly scary in it and I would recommend it to younger followers too. Not too young though, maybe 11 or 12. You can build your vocabulary reading these. [I think Melody and the others would be okay reading Agatha Christie mysteries. They would need to have a dictionary handy and could always come to me to ask questions.]

The Review

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I just LOVE Agatha Christie's mysteries. A thoroughly good read. Timeless. Unique.

Once you start reading you are transported directly into the world of the main character. In this case, Gwenda (love that name) Reed. It is her curiosity over feelings and memories she had in the home she purchased that lead her to Miss Marple. A good thing too - a very good thing!

Miss Marple, everyone's Aunt Jane, has a penchant for observation and interrogation. Her subtle conversations and visitations, so unassuming, trip up the most wily of characters. Secrets are secrets no more when Miss Marple is around.

While reading a friend asked me to provide two sentences as a teaser to entice others to read the book. I couldn't do it. The words and action flow so smoothly together; the conversations so very subtle in what they reveal that I just kept reading and reading only to stop at the next chapter break.

I did figure out who the murderer was before the big reveal, before Gwenda and Giles. This is not a drawback to the writing. No, indeed. As an outsider observing both Gwenda's and Miss Marple's investigations, getting Giles hypotheses, and the musings of those not in direct contact with Gwenda or Miss Marple I could draw my on conclusions. I LOVE that too. Sometimes I'm wrong, other times - like this one - I am correct. [Note: I did mention that I had seen this on TV at some point. I fully recognize that the clues could have unlocked a visual memory from the televised version.]

If you like true mystery and detecting, then you must put Dame Agatha Christie on your to read list. Without her the others wouldn't have any inspiration. However, if you like gruesome, gory, horrific, thriller mysteries - that is another story.

This Miss Marple installment was published in 1976 - the year Dame Christie passed away - it has since carried the subtitle Miss Marple's Last Case. Whether you read this first or last or in the middle it doesn't matter. Each mystery is a stand alone piece and complete story.

Happy reading!

Do you like mysteries? Who is your favorite sleuth? Who is your favorite author?

Thank you for stopping.

Best wishes,

BeForever Kaya

American Girl BeForever Release

Xyra, Kaya

Changes for Kaya

Hi! Like all of you I had to check out the new BeForever at American Girl with particular interest in the changes to Kaya. I won't be posting any pictures, but will give you links directly to Kaya's American Girl webpages.


The one thing I did notice is that BFKaya's face is much more round. Otherwise, she is still her beautiful self. Yay!

Mini Doll

I've never been a huge fan of the Kaya mini doll (please don't throw stones - something about her eyes bothered me - or her face was too round). The new BeForever Kaya Mini Doll is definitely different. It makes me laugh because the new mini doll's face is longer than the 18" doll's new face. This one is cute. I wish they had cut the fringe on her dress thinner and shorter.


The major change in her can no longer get the bedroll with out the teepee. The new Teepee and Bedroll set costs $150. I am glad that I got her bedroll a couple of years ago. We do not have space for her teepee. Too bad, it would be fun to have.


Tatlo lovers...Tatlo is still available! They have changed the name of the set from Tatlo and Travois to Kaya's Dog, Tatlo and Gear. The punctuation is wrong. Should be "Kaya's Dog, Tatlo, and Gear." Oh, well. Honestly, I can not say for certain if the price changed; $36 doesn't seem to high for this set. So happy Tatlo is still in the collection, for now.

Accessories & Furniture

With the exception of the bedroll teepee combination, it doesn't seem as if Kaya has lost or gained very much. I would like to add Steps High and Sparks Flying to our stable, but would settle for Kaya's saddle. We will definitely be adding the Powwow Hair Set of Today in the near future. Love it!


Again, no new clothes for BeForever Kaya. However, there is promise of a new outfit - a modern outfit for girls is shown and is really cool! But it's only available for girls right now. I hope the doll version is released soon. I wonder how much it will cost? I love it! Steps High on a graphic tank - cool!

Other Observations

I really like that they have not changed her moccasin style. While the design can be a challenge to get on and off, they are much more authentic than those included with the jingle dress. With all the talk I was afraid Kaya would lose her Deerskin Outfit; I have always wanted it, but put it off. I finally bought that a couple of months ago, just in case. Really? why haven't I tried it on yet? We'll do that soon. Nice!

Thank you for stopping by.

Best wishes,


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

World Equestrian Games

2014 World Equestrian Games

The Alltech FEI 2014 World Equestrian Games are underway in Normandy, France. Many medals have already been won. The US Equestrian Endurance Team competes on August 28. We know Dr. Meg Sleeper and want to wish her, Syrocco Reveille, and the rest of the team Good Luck!

We wanted to get this up early because of the time difference. :)

Where to see and how to follow the riders of Endurance. Another exciting part of this is the course traverses the Bay of Mont St. Michel - Xyra has been there and loved it!

The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games site provides lots of information as well as fun stuff. Check out:

Do you compete in anything (academic, athletic, musical, etc.)? We'd love to know.

Good luck and best wishes!

#ALLTECHFEIWorld EquestrianGames2014

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Mini Big Advneture #2 & Tea Review

Regular Morning...Perhaps

Melody, Lanie, both

Perhaps Not

(yawning) Must make some tea. Hey, what's this? Lanie! You have to see this.
What are you yelling about?
There is a doll in the kitchen.
She's pretty.
Yes, she is. She has blonde hair and green eyes.
Let's get the tea started and look at her more later.
Okay. What kind of tea today?
This Harney & Sons Darjeeling was sitting out. How about that?

Sounds good. This is a regular bag not a sachet.
Says to steep for 3 - 5 minutes.
Let's split it and go with 4 minutes.
Got it. Timer set!
It's already a lovely golden color.
Yeah. Let's check out that doll while it steeps.
What's her name again?
Holly. She's an Our Generation doll.
Who do you think she's for?
(giggling) Who in this house has blonde hair and green eyes and doesn't have her own doll yet?
Really?! You think she is for me.
Of course.
(timer beeping)
Tea's done!
Smells wonderful, doesn't it?
Yes. Very mild. No milk in this one.
How about sugar?
We'll have to taste it without.
Hmmm, could use a little sugar.
Yes, I agree, but just a little.

Xyra's Review

The Harney & Sons Darjeeling is a mild blend of Indian black teas. Very subtle and still exotic. Milk would overpower this tea; it's much better without. Great to start the day with this one or have it later in the day to relax with a good book. 

Have you ever found a pleasant surprise waiting for you? If yes, what was it?

Best wishes,

Note: All opinions shared in the above post are our own and unsolicited. All links are for education purposes - no purchase is required or implied.