Ella turned 7 a couple of weeks ago. Seven! That is completely crazy to me! But, it happened and she chose to have a smaller Birthday Party this year and then have a girls trip to the American Girl Doll Store in St. Louis. So, we took a small group of girls bowling and then back to our house for pizza and dancing. Well, it was supposed to be smaller…but this mamma can’t ever seem to do “small” birthdays. There was even a disco ball mounted to my ceiling. Ha! It was a lot of fun!


Small birthday party or not…we headed to St. Louis one Saturday afternoon with Aunt Kari for our first trip to the NEW American Girl Doll store. I’m not gonna lie…I think I was just as excited as Ella to experience it. And, BOY was it an experience! You walk in the door and are greeted by a mass of girls and their moms and EVERY imaginable doll, accessory, book, and clothing item you can think of! It was amazing!


After getting our name on the Bistro’s 3 HOUR waiting list, we headed to the Salon for “Little Ella” to get her ears pierced and hair styled – just like “Big” Ella. How fun?! They pierced her ears quickly and placed her in a styling chair and asked Ella to pick a style from the list of more than I could count. Ella chose a side braid and her hair down. It was adorable!



We then headed to the far corner of the store and went through section after section of Historical Dolls, Bitty Babies, My American Girl Dolls and The Girl of the Year – Saige. Which Ella had her eye on!


Yep – Ella decided on getting Saige during our trip there! She was soooo excited and I’m not gonna lie again…I had tears in my eyes when I saw just how happy Ella was that she was getting to pick out a doll.


After a little more shopping and picking out a few more items – we shopped a little in the mall while waiting on our table at the Bistro. I tried to talk Ella into the food court – but it didn’t really compare to having lunch at a pink table with your doll.


The food was delicious and the atmosphere was fun! Girls and dolls, food and drinks all geared toward young ladies and their moms. They even sang Happy Birthday to Ella and brought her a candle to blow out on her dessert. She was in heaven.


Yes, the day was expensive and more than I have ever spent shopping in one store…ever. But, it was worth every single penny for the experience I had with my big girl. It was a memory that will last a lifetime for us both, I am sure!


If you ever get the chance to have a day like this with your own daughter, I highly recommend it. It’s not something you can do all the time, and maybe not even every year. But, you’ll never forget it and will gain more joy than your heart can hold!


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About Kasey Schwartz

For over 15 years, Kasey Schwartz, the mastermind behind All Things Mamma, has been the ultimate go-to for mouthwatering family recipes. Her work has been featured on Today.com, Buzz Feed, Better Homes and Gardens, and more, making her your go-to mom next door for all things delicious and family-friendly.


  1. Your post brings tears to my eyes! Tears of joy… it is so wonderful that we Moms can spend time with our daughters doing something fun and wholesome. What a memory!! Can’t wait to go with my girls.

    1. Awww! It is the best! 🙂

  2. Melinda@LookWhatMomFound...andDadtoo says:

    what an awesome experience. SOLD I’m gonna take Shae

  3. I had a lot of fun!

    Love Ella :)!

  4. What a fun experience. I wish there was a store closer to us, my niece would love it.

    1. Erin, it’s so worth making a small vaca from it one day!

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