Reaching For The Stars: Ep. 1 // The Cheer Competition

Lea’s POV

I took a deep breath as we entered the floor, smiling, waving, and tumbling into our starting positions. My heart pounded with a mixture of excitement, adrenaline, and fear as the music started.

Immediately, we all ran towards the platform, making a formation to catch Jade as she would flip into our arms. As we scrambled into position, I thought of how important this performance was for me. It wasn’t just my first year on the elite Shooting Stars cheerleading squad – it was my first year cheerleading, period. And also my first competition ever!

Jade flipped into our arms! We caught her, preparing to throw her up in the air as we turned around. Jade was a high school cheerleader, but the three top junior high cheerleaders got to compete with Jade, the captain of the high school team, at Luv2Cheer (the competition we were at). It was so crazy that I’d made it here, insane that I was performing this routine after a few weeks of cheer and a modest tumbling background…

But as we spun Jade around and lifted her up, all my thoughts melted away. I only focused one on thing: getting the flyer up in to the air.

And we hit perfectly! The crowd roared as we pulled Jade high above our heads, beaming. Jade threw her arms up in the air and smiled widely before we dismounted, placing her on the ground.

We raced into formation and stood with our arms at our sides and our feet parallel, which in cheerleading is called “clean”. I ran through the dance motions in my mind in the few counts we had before the music switched and we would begin our dance…

But suddenly, the beat dropped, and I didn’t have to think about it at all. I smoothly moved from one position to another, muscle memory and adrenaline taking over, as I made different smiley and sassy expressions!

The dance section ended, and Tenney and Alexandra dropped into a middle split while I ran forward and Jade stepped backwards, forming a “V” shape. I stood in a lunge in anticipation of the huge, crazy stunt we were about to do…

Tenney and Alexandra quickly stood up from their splits as I did a back walkover, landing in a bridge! All those years of once-a-week tumbling classes since I was little finally paid off.

I stood up into a handstand, feeling nervous and confident and shaky all at once. I knew what would happen next…and the stunt we were about to do was crazy difficult. If we could hit this, we would win the competiton almost automatically.

And we did it! Just in time, Alexandra and Tenney scrambled on to the platform in the nick of time for Jade to toss me on to her shoulders. Alexandra and Tenney held me up. I beamed with pride, holding my hands high in the air. We did it!

Tenney, Jade, and Alexandra lowered me on to the ground. As they ran to position, I did a spectacular front handspring! I could hear the crowd cheer as I did the impressive move – but I tried to block everything out. I had to focus on the routine…

I landed the tumbling section and slid into a split, while Jade and the other girls posed on top of the platform. The next move we were about to do was even crazier than the rest of this routine…and if we messed this up, we would have no chance at first. The first half had been perfect – and now we had to live up to it.

And we formed a pyramid with Tenney on top as Jade threw her hands up and lunged in preparation for the stunt…

And Jade sprung off the platform into a toe-touch…above Tenney and the pyramid! The crowd screamed, and the judges scribbled down impressed notes. But their faces remained impartial; was this all enough to beat some of the most experienced teams in the state?

Isabel Landed, and we stood up on the platform and held her high in our final formation. The music ended, and we headed off the stage. I was sweating like crazy, my muscles ached, and I should’ve felt exhausted, but I didn’t. Instead, I felt full of energy and couldn’t stop smiling long after we’d exited the floor. I know we’d done it.

Jade, our captain, held up our first place trophy high for the photographers. It hadn’t been easy to get here – I’d had to face haters, jealousy, trials, and injuries. But I couldn’t help feeling like I’d made it through it all.

I’d reached for the stars – and grabbed them. I was swinging from the stars, higher than the moon, on top of the world.

Hey guys! So this originally started out as a doll-stunting expirement, then a cheer-themed photoshoot, then a short photostory, and now it’s become a series! So yes, this is the first episode of Reaching for the Stars – but it starts with the end of the story. The following episodes will show how Lea got here, and all of the challenges she had to face! I’m super excited for this spontaneous photo series, and hopefully you guys are too!

Are you excited for this series? Anyone noticed the hidden label on the featured image? Have you ever done cheerleading? Which stunt was your favorite?

PS My birthday post is up on Diary of a Daydreamer!

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October Birthday Bash // An Aesthetic Llama-Themed Birthday Photoshoot!

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Hey guys! October is upon us, which means birthday season for the AGW fam! On top of my birthday on the tenth, it’s also Alexandra, Paris, and Z’s birthday month. To celebrate, I have a super fun llama-birthday-party-inspired photoshoot for you guys! (Which, of course, is super summery, but OH WELL)

This photo is so cute! I love how Lea’s camera matches the party’s aesthetic. I’m also obsessed with how Z’s outfit and scrunchie match too, lol. In case you were wondering, the scrunchie is actually the one I got from this post on Diary of a Daydreamer, my lifestyle blog!

This pizza photo cracks me up! She looks so serene and relaxed, but then she’s biting into some pepperoni and cheese. Oh, and I love how the stuffed llama is staring judgemently in the background. XD

I made this unicorn Frapuccino following a tutorial on American Girl Ideas! Isn’t it cute? I love how aesthetic it is. The purple is wayyyy brighter in real life, but it showed up reddish for some reason…Also this photo is REALLY vibrant, but oh well.

These llamas are so cute! The one on the right is Jeffrey, and the other one I got at camp named Bailey.

SO CUTE! You know what this photo reminds me of??

This pic from last November! In case you didn’t know, I’m obsessed with llamas, and it was super cool to take a selfie with one. XD I love how the llama was posing for the picture! (But ugh, my teeth are so yellow…and I still had my retainer back then, ew!)

Aw, this pic is really cute! I like how the background is blurred just enough to where you can see the decor, but are still focusing on the dolls. Also, Z and Paris are very distracted, lol.

Since school has started, Alexandra, Tenney, and Lea have joined the cheer squad that Jade is captain of! I’m obsessed with cheer right now – I’m so excited for tryouts next year in seventh grade! I thought it would be fun to do a post about the girls’ cheer competition…what do you guys think?

Ever since I started DD and school has started, you might have noticed that I haven’t been posting very much lately. I wish I had a really good reason, but I only have a few that are kind of lame: I’ve been super busy lately with school and dance, and when I do have time for blogging, lately I’ve been preffering to work on DD.

Also, I’ve been a little unmotivated lately, since my stats for posts have been going way down. I only get a handful of comments or even no comments at all on posts I’ve worked really hard on, which is really discouraging sometimes. I know stats aren’t everything, but I always am wondering why my posts used to be more popular in the past.

On that note…isn’t this photo so cute? Z and Paris aren’t super photogenic dolls, but I do think that they look pretty good in this photoshoot! Don’t you think?

More pictures with the camera…it’s just so cute! I love how Lexie is posing with her arm around Paris.

I got Alexandra as my second doll for my birthday when I was seven years old. I remember I picked her out because she looked the most like me, and I was ecstatic to open her! I remember I loved finally being able to play InnerstarU (any long-time AG fans remember that?) because she came with an account code. I spent hours playing on that website as her, finally being able to have a friend for Isabel, and making up countless stories with them!

I was definitely not expecting to come home with Ziana from the AG store on my tenth birthday! I remember liking her when she first came out, but I never really thought I would buy her…that is, until we went to the AG store for my birthday and I picked her out! Immediately I made an unboxing video, and realized she had the dreaded permapanties, so I sent her to the hospital and now she’s as good as new!

I got Paris as another unexpected gift for my eleventh birthday, and I was so happy! I had sent my grandma a list of some stuff I wanted for my birthday, and I sort of liked this Truly Me. On my birthday morning, I found her with the rest of my presents!

I guess that concludes this little birthday party post! I really hope you guys enjoyed reading this. Which photo was your favorite? When is your birthday? Which doll do you like best? Are you as obsessed with the aesthetic-ness of this birthday party? Don’t forget to follow along and leave a comment!

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I Have 12% Of A Plan Blog Tour: The FaceTime Fiasco! // A Photostory Feat. Diamond @ Build A Bears Furever!

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I sat on the floor of the living room, scrolling through random posts on Emmie’s WordPress reader.

But a post called Surprise! from Build A Bears Furever caught my eye. I clicked, curious.

What?! I thought as she read the post. Diamond is starting a personal blog? That’s crazy! I have to FaceTime the Stones!

The phone rang…and rang…and rang! Ugh, this is taking forever. I waited impatiently for a few moments, before Cloud answered the phone. “Um…who is this?”

“CLOUD! It’s me, Maryellen! From American Girl World? Helloooo? Remember me?”

“Oh yeah! I know you. Why are you calling?”

“Well…” I lowered my voice dramatically. “I saw that Diamond posted something very important on the stuffie blog. Something about…a surprise.”

“WHAT SURPRISE?” Candy butted in. “Who is this?”

“Maryellen,” I said. “I saw that Diamond is starting a new blog.”

“Oh, really? She hasn’t told us. Cool!” Cloud said.

“But here’s the thing – ever since Emmie started her personal blog, Emmie’s posted like two posts. TWO POSTS. And how many of those was I in? NONE!”

Candy gasped. “You don’t mean…”

“Yes,” I nodded solemnly. “Diamond is going to forget all about you!”

“WHAT?!” Candy shrieked. “No! No! That can’t beeeeeee!” She wailed. “That means less presents! How dare she?”

“Oh no! I love the blog. She can’t abandon us!”

“Sorry to break it to ya. But that’s what happens!”

Just then, Alexandra came into the room. “Hey, Ellie! I’m home!” Then she noticed I was on Paris’s iPad. “Ellie! You’ve gotta stop doing that! You’ve reached your device limit for today. Hand it over.”

“But I can’t! I’m calling the Stones to tell them that Diamond is starting a new blog and she’s going to forget all about them. See?” I shoved the phone in Alexandra’s face for emphasis. Candy and Cloud waved from inside the phone.

“Maryellen! Why would you tell them that? That is so not true.”

“But it is! Haven’t you noticed that Emmie hasn’t done any posts since like August? Which just so happens to be the month she started her new blog?”

“That’s not true – Emmie’s been working hard on transferring to the new website all weekend. Plus, she’s also been so busy with school and dance that she even missed last week’s post on her new blog!”

“Oh…”

Alexandra took Paris’s iPad right out of my hands. “I’m so sorry, Cloud and Candy! Diamond still loves you, she’s just going to be spending a little time getting her new blog started at first.”

“YES!” Candy cheered. “More presents!”

“Phew!” Cloud sighed in relief.

“Okay, I’ve got to start packing. Maryellen, say bye to the Stones!”

“Bye!” I waved, and Alexandra hung up.

“But you do realize that Emmie hasn’t posted about either of us all summer, right?”

“We’re in a post right now.”

“Oh.”

Hey guys! I had so much fun collaborating with Diamond to make this cute photo story for her blog tour for her new blog, I Have 12% of a Plan! I love the pictures she took – thank you so much, Diamond! I really hope you guys liked this photostory, Diamond and I worked super hard on it!

Do you like the photostory? What do you think of the little living room setup? The FaceTime editing? Maryellen’s new freckles? The little iPad I made? Diamond’s adorable photos?

And…hmm…what could Alexandra possibly be packing for?

September 12th: Build a Bears Furever

September 13th: Middle Mary

September 14th: Taking the Cake

Spetember 15th: Liberty

September 16th: Pananaw

September 17th: American Girl World

September 18th: Treasured Script

PS. I FIGURED OUT WHY HER BLOG IS CALLED 12% OF A PLAN MWAHAHAHA (hint: it’s a marvel thing)

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Just The Beginning: AGMV (Ft. Original Song By Emmie!) // Camp Pineapple FINALE!

When Tenney discovers that Camp Pineapple is hosting their annual end-of-summer talent show, she has to sign up! But, she’s facing writer’s block on her newest song. As she thinks back to all of the memories she’s had at Camp Pineapple, can she finally write the song and perform it in the talent show?

Just the Beginning – LYRICS:

(Verse 1) Got a couple things left to say, hey

Before we all just go away, hey

Been such a crazy journey

Come on and sing along and dance with me

(Transition) Summer’s almost over, don’t got much more time

So come with me, while we still got daylight

I know it’s been such a crazy ride

But right now everything just feels so right!

(Chorus) Let summer last forever

Just all of us together

This isn’t ending

It’s just the beginning

We’ll party all day, laughing in the sunshine

Singing by the campfire in the moonlight

This isn’t ending

It’s just the beginning

This isn’t ending

It’s just the beginning

(Bridge)

Summer’s almost over, we’re running out of time

But you can trust me, everything will be alright

School’s out

Surf’s up

And we all start laughing

Sun’s out

Hands up

And we all start dancing

All of us, fireworks, light the sky

The night of our lives, yeah!

(Repeat Chorus)

Lyrics by Emmie

Vocals performed by Emmie

Track: Puzzle — Declan DP [Audio Library Release] Music provided by Audio Library Plus Watch: https://youtu.be/S0h8b-6Iiy4 Free Download / Stream: https://alplus.io/Puzzle

What did you think of the final episode? Are you sad Camp Pineapple is over? Check back soon for a brand-new photostory!

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Camp Pineapple Ep. 4 | How to Make DIY Friendship Bracelets for 18″ Dolls (Video)

Hey guys! Once again, I’m sorry I’ve been slacking on posting regularly – I actually just got back to school yesterday, and I’ve been super busy with that plus volleyball and keeping up with my other blogs!

I’m super excited for today’s video – it’s the second-to-last episode in the Camp Pineapple series! I worked super hard on it, and I hope you guys enjoy. Friendship bracelets bring back so many memories of summer camp, and I’m really sad summer’s over for me!


Don’t forget to send in photos of your craft to americangirlworld[at]icloud[dot]com!

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Welcome back to the Arts & Crafts Corner at Camp Pineapple! Today, you’ll learn how to make an easy DIY craft, Doll Friendship Bracelets, that’s perfect for your American Girl Dolls. This craft for kids is easy, fast, and fun, and you can do it in 10-20 minutes!

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Don’t forget to subscribe!

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(For music, intro, and outro credits, please click here.)


(P.S. Quick shoutout to Madi, she recommended this album to me!)

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good memories // a lyrical photoshoot

(song by Matthew Parker — listen here)

We grew up in a small town

And everybody knew us

You were crazy as a Betsy bug

And I was just clueless

You said let’s hit the road we’ll go together

Where’s your sense of Adventure?

Soon we’re stranded in Nevada on an empty freeway

You said this trip has gotta be the best mistake we ever made

As we looked out on the desert bathed in silver moonlight

I said we won’t forget these memories for the rest of our lives

Don’t you worry, don’t you worry, I could never forget

All the memories, all the good times, all the happy moments

We’re living like we’re dying

Until the day we die

Cause we won’t forget these memories for the rest of our lives

We were young, we were trouble

Never had a dull moment

You came up with the crazy plans

And I always just rolled with it

You said it’s now or never

Before September

Summer won’t last forever

We were walking down a boulevard

One day in LA

Only had a couple dollars

And a little pocket change

I was anxious to make it back home

But you said we’re fine

I’ll bet we won’t forget these memories

For the rest of our crazy lives

Don’t you worry, don’t you worry, I could never forget

All the memories, all the good times, all the happy moments

We’re living like we’re dying

Until the day we die

‘Cause we won’t forget these memories for the rest of our lives

These are the good days

These are the good memories

That we keep

We keep them forever

‘Cause we won’t forget these memories

For the rest of our lives

‘Cause we won’t forget these memories

For the rest of our crazy lives


Hey guys! For today’s post I decided to change things up and do something different than what I normally do, instead of the normal Camp Pineapple Episode. (By the way, the last two are coming soon!) So, here’s this fun lyrical photoshoot for you guys!

I’m cringing at the date of my last post – July 15? Really? I’m super sorry I’ve been kinda inconsistent lately – on top of traveling, focusing on my new blog, back to school stuff, and okay, generally me just being lazy, I’ve been slacking on posting on here.

If you want to see conistent once-a-week content from me, head over to my new lifestyle blog, Diary of a Daydreamer! I’m going to be focusing on that blog for a few weeks as I adjust to a new blog, new topic, new style, and get things figured out (and also, I’m sooo excited to finally be able to post on there! :P)

Thanks for reading! 😀 Love you guys, and thanks for sticking with me through all these years! (Why am I getting randomly sentimental? IDK.) Anyways, see you next time!

(P.S. Quick shoutout to Madi, she recommended this album to me!)

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Camp Pineapple: Episode 3 | Facing Fears (A Photostory)

Tenney was peacefully enjoying a dream about accepting her 19th Grammy Award when an annoying beeping sound startled her awake.

She sat up in her bed – but instantly got hit in the face! “Owww!” She groaned. She lied back in bed, rubbing her, head, confused.

Just then, she heard someone walking through the door, and the lights turned on. She blinked, adjusting to her surroundings. Then she remembered: she was at camp!

“Rise and shine, Phoenix cabin! We need to get dressed and then we’ll head on over to the Mess Hall for breakfast.”

Paris groaned and yawned loudly, while Tenney pulled the covers over her head, moaning.


At breakfast, Tenney munched her food thoughtfully. She felt a little out of place here, and sort of missed home. But she would never admit that to Paris or Jade. “So, what are we doing today?” Paris asked Jade, taking a big bite of bacon.

“Well, after flag and cabin cleanup, we have specialty until lunch. Paris, you’re in basketball this week, right?” Paris nodded. “And Tenney, this week you’re doing music.”

“Cool!” Tenney says, forgetting about her homesickness. She started to imagine herself impressing the whole specialty with her musical talent and songwriting skills.

“And after lunch, we have ropes!”

Tenney instantly stopped imagining, paused her eating, and froze. She could almost hear a record scratch, like in cartoons. “Wait, we have ropes today?”

“Yeah! There’s the Zipline, the Screamer, the Leap of Faith, the Bushwacker, and the Ropes Course. We have a really small cabin this year, so you guys could go on every single ropes if you want to!”

“Yes!” Paris exclaimed happily. “Last year I couldn’t even do any because I had, like, six girls in my cabin – and one of them got stuck at the top of the Leap Of Faith and started crying. They actually had to belay her down, which I think is scarier than actually going on the Leap.”

“What’s the Leap of Faith?” Tenney asked, her heart even beating a little faster at the thought of being dozens of feet in the air, with nothing but a harness and rope to hold her.

“You have to climb up this really shaky pole, and then you have to stand up on top of it, and then you have to jump off of the pole and try to grab the bar. If you don’t grab the bar, you fall for a few seconds and then it catches you and they belay you down. It’s so fun!”

“Doesn’t sound that fun to me,” Tenney muttered. “Um, what else is there?”

“The Screamer is like a giant swing – there’s a huge platform you jump off of , and then you swing back and forth. And the Bushwacker is another big platform, but you have to do a ropes course to get up there, and then you swing around in this huge circle. It’s awesome! And in the Zipline, there’s a tightrope you walk across (but there’s ropes you can hold on to), and you step off of the platform and zip around the woods. And the ropes course is really easy – it’s pretty self explanatory. I mean, it’s a ropes course.”

“Wow. I think I’m going to do the…” Tenney took a deep breath. “…ropes course?”

“Nice choice!” Jade said. “I went on that one during training week. It was awesome!”

Tenney forced herself to choke down a cinnamon roll. Suddenly, she wasn’t so hungry anymore.


“That was INSANE!” Paris squealed happily as Phoenix Cabin walked along the trail to the Ropes Course. “The zipline is my all-time favorite. We were so high! Ugh, I loved it!”

Jade high-fived her. “Too bad Tenney didn’t want to do it! But it was fun being your zip partner. We rocked! Are you sure you don’t want to do anything else, Ten? Just the Ropes Course?”

“I’m sure,” she said nervously, still regretting her decision to do ropes at all.

“Hi! You guys must be from Phoenix. I’m Kisha! I’m going to be your Ropes Coach for the Ropes Course today. Which one of you guys is doing the Course?”

Reluctantly, Tenney raised her hand. “I’m doing it.” She felt sick to her stomach, and her legs shook – and she was still on the ground! But something inside her told her that she needed to do this. She needed to face her fears.

She was shaking as Kisha clipped on her harness. “Tenney, are you sure you want to do this?” Tenney nodded reluctantly. “Let’s pray before you go up there.”

They all embraced in a group hug as Kisha and Jade prayed together. …and please keep Tenney safe, and help her to be confident and trust in you. Help her to know that you’re with her every moment. Amen!”

“You ready?” Kisha asked.

“I-” she looked up again, at the course, and suddenly it didn’t seem so high anymore.

“I’m ready.”

Kisha clipped the rope to her harness. “Can I get spotters over here?” Paris and Jade came over to the rope ladder and held their hands up. “Spotters ready?”

“Ready,” they said. “Belay secure?”

“Belay secure.” She turned to Tenney. “Climber ready?”

She took a deep breath. “Ready.”

“Climb on!”

She stepped onto the ladder, starting to think that this wasn’t so bad. She climbed up and up, getting past the rungs easily…until she reached the top.

“You can do it, Tenney!” Paris cheered.

That was when she looked down, realizing how tiny Paris and Jade and Kisha looked, and her stomach did a backflip. She held on to the ladder so tightly her knuckles turned white!

“God,” she prayed. “Please give me the courage to keep going.”

Suddenly, the shaky, scared feeling melted away. Bravely, she grabbed the first obstacle….

And then the next….

….And the next!

She was shaking with adrenaline, and still kind of scared. But this was actually kind of fun!

Finally, she made it to the tree on the other side, where a counselor was waiting to catch her and belay her down to where Kisha stood at the stump of the tree. “Did you have fun?” He asked.

“Yeah,” Tenney said. “I actually did.”


Thanks for reading! I really hope you enjoyed this post, I worked so hard on it! Here’s some fun facts about this post:

  • I photographed this backwards over a span of three weeks!
  • The Bushwacker, Screamer, Leap of Faith, and Zipline are all real rope courses at my camp I go to every summer!
  • Tenney “put on a jacket” in the middle of the series because I couldn’t find the hoodie!
  • I used my little sister’s actual mini “ninja warrior” course for this photo story!
  • The woods were background-swapped (but you could probably tell :P) and this was photographed in my front yard!

What was the coolest fun fact? Have you ever been on a ropes course? Are you excited about this series?

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PS: Don’t forget to check out my new blog, Diary of a Daydreamer!

PPS: Diamond, your craft will be featured in the next video episode!