Farewell, American Girl magazine

I picked up the very first issue of American Girl magazine when I was 9 years old. I went on to make all the recipes, do all the crafts, throw all the theme parties, solve all the puzzles, read all the fiction, and follow all of the school and friend advice through junior high.

When “editor at American Girl magazine” became my first job at 22, it felt pretty crazy. I got to meet the people who dreamed up the stuff that I did and read as a kid. They were my guides and now I was working with them! (Yeah, that kinda freaked out my coworkers.) And then the torch was passed on to me and I got to be the one who dreamed up stuff for kids.

American Girl magazine’s final issue is out this month (Jan/Feb 19). I’m feeling especially nostalgic since I now have a daughter. I’m sad that she won’t have this publication to guide her through the ups and downs of elementary and middle school. While I absolutely don’t agree with the decision to shutter the magazine, I’m so proud of all the incredible work of my coworkers.

Since 2006, I’ve had so much fun working on AG mag as both an employee and a freelancer. I’ve got to work with life-long friends and family (👋 Sigrid!) and we made some really beautiful stuff together. Some of the most fun times were just hanging out and goofing off in the craft room, at Friday brainstorm sessions, or photo shoots. Like the time we accidentally cast Candace Cameron’s daughter as a model, or the time we cleaned up and decorated the craft room because Oprah was going to film (but then cancelled), or the times we rewarded ourselves with a really delicious and laughter-filled meal in Chicago after an exhausting shoot.

I’m so lucky that I got to experience what it’s like to produce something amazing out of nothing over and over again. All in thanks to hardworking, talented, and passionate people. All of the moving parts and contributors… it’s seriously a miracle that any magazine gets published every month!

When I left the company, I was given a doll that looked like me (yay!) but I also took a binder (shhhh) that I filled with a bunch of photocopies of some of my favorite letters from our readers. Some make me hysterically laugh and others make me cry like a baby. We were their guiding light and they were ours. ⭐️

A Smart Girl’s Guide to Travel

A Smart Girl’s Guide to Travel is out today!

I love to travel so I was super pumped to write this book. Inside you’ll find legit travel tips like how to pack, how to convert currency, and how to use public transport. But more importantly, I’ve included life skills like how to respect other cultures, how to keep an open mind, and how to be adventurous in your own home town.

Every kid can be an explorer whether they travel near or far, which is why I was excited to dedicate this book to my daughter. She’s already made me more adventurous. We traveled to Spain with her when she was only 7 months old. Spain was my first big trip when I was 17. And 17 years later, I got to take her there!

Traveling with a kid seems scary, but it was not even remotely as difficult as I thought it would be. It’s important for kids (and adults!) to venture beyond their own bubble. I hope we keep inspiring her to explore! And I hope this book inspires other kids to try something new and experience different cultures and people.

If you’re not familiar, American Girl has a mission statement printed on the back of the book: “American Girl celebrates a girl’s inner star–that little whisper inside that encourages her to stand tall, reach high, and dream big. We take pride and care in helping girls become their very best today, so they’ll grow up to be the women who make a difference tomorrow.” 👊

Find A Smart Girl’s Guide to Travel wherever books are sold!