American Girl Offers Free Books To Read Online!

I was just poking around the AG website a little bit ago and noticed this:

 

So I clicked on the “free online library” button.  Lo and behold, there are two books for this week that you can download, totally free of charge!  It says “Week 1” on it, so I’m assuming that through this crisis, they are going to put up new books each week.  What a cool way to have some new reading material and catch up on some books you’ve maybe not purchased yet!  Thank you American Girl!  There is also a teachers guide which would make this a handy lesson for so many things–this week the historical story is Nanea, so you could incorporate this as not just a reading lesson, but history as well.

I hope you are all doing well.  Crazy times, but we can get through this mess.  Please stay home, by staying home you could save a lot of lives.  And if you have to be out, be sure to observe social distancing.  And no, this isn’t a snow day.  It’s not time to have a slumber party or invite all your friends over to watch movies or whatever.  Stay in your own home with the people you live with all the time because you don’t want to be exposed to or possibly expose others if you might be getting sick.  We are all missing people we love and care about right now, we have to do this together for everyone.  Things are being cancelled left and right and everything seems so uncertain.  Hang in there.  We can do this.

Review of Melody’s Table and Chairs from American Girl

In 2016, American Girl pulled the ultimate “gotcha” on fans who were hung up on trying to find things out ahead of time by doing a preview early on of Melody and her accessories.  Two items in particular caught my eye–her keyboard (which I did get) and a table and chairs set.  The table and chairs were supposed to be like a folding set from the 60’s.  However, there was one little problem…they didn’t fold!  For $85 I decided I didn’t need them that bad, I wanted them more to go with my camper set than anything.  And I really wanted them to fold just like the real thing.

Right after the new year, they did a large scale sale on a number of items, and this was one of them.  Because I had amassed a large number of rewards points over the holiday season (especially thanks to purchasing Jamie and a few other things when they did the 5x points bonus), right after the sale hit the website, I received a $50 rewards certificate.  I decided it was time to get this set!  I purchased it along with two other items I wanted and with shipping and sales tax, my purchase of this, a set of pj’s and the sled set was…(drumroll here)  $16.96!  SCORE!

Now that I have this set, I have to say that it was definitely a very good use of my rewards point monies, even if it doesn’t fold.

The chairs are very cute, and very sturdy.  The fabric on the seats is a vinyl, very soft.  I love the print on these!

Here is a shot from the underside.  I still haven’t figured out why they didn’t just go ahead and make them into little folding chairs?!

The table is VERY solid.  The green is very bright, and very 60’s!  I suspect the table was made off the same basic patterns/ideas as Molly’s table.

I decided we needed to put stuff on the table so everyone can get an idea of just how much it holds.  I was doing a bunch of photos all in the same day, so I grabbed the nearest thing I had handy which was the birthday set.  Kind of appropriate–I know I went to many a birthday party when I was a kid that involved a card table and folding chairs!

As you can see, it’s plenty big enough and very proportionate!  (Wendy couldn’t resist a sip of the lemonade)

 

Part of Melody’s story is about her community, so the table comes with a banner.  It attaches easily with special clips.

I also wanted to show the amount of room under the table for doll legs.  You’d have to be kind of careful when seating them, but they would fit with some planning ahead.

Despite being skeptical about this set initially, I have to say it’s of very good quality and I give it an A+.  Still wish it folded, but it’s not a huge issue, especially given the price I paid!  I think this is a set that will get a lot of use in my different stories, especially paired up with the camper.  I think it would even make a cute table and chairs in a retro style kitchen, or if you didn’t want retro, easy enough to put a table cloth on it to cover up the green.

Review of American Girl Birthday Party Set

This is one of those sets that I bounced back and forth on more times than I care to even think about.  Finally, when American Girl offered their 5x points after Christmas and I ordered Jamie, I decided why not make this order totally worth my while and get free shipping too!

It has some super cute stuff in it though, and after I received it and really looked it over, I was glad I decided to get it.  Lots of nice pieces with a ton of detail.

It wouldn’t be a birthday party without favor bags!  There are goodies to go in the bags too–games, stickers and bracelets.

Plates, forks and napkins.

I didn’t realize there was a design on the other side of the napkins until I was all done doing the photos and went to put stuff back in the box!

Pink lemonade!  I love the attention to detail on these, but I guess it must be frozen lemonade given the heart design on the top?  I like that these have the handles on them so your doll can hold them.  Has anyone else had difficulty using these though?

A nice tray for the cake.  It’s plastic though, not metal like in a few other sets.

It’s not a birthday without cake!  Complete with two pieces already cut.

A nice decoration for on top of the cake.  I just wish they hadn’t stuck a hole in the middle for it…kind of takes away from the finish if you don’t want to use it.  Oh well.

Cake fully assembled:

So…there was one piece that I really wanted from this set.  I even thought about just buying it by itself on Ebay, but for the prices they were going for, I was just as far ahead to buy the entire set.  I am sure if you know anything about me, you can probably figure out what it was…

Yep, just what I needed, another doll sized camera!  (I can hear you all laughing!)  But not just any camera, a Fuji Instax camera!!  The camera is absolutely adorable and I really like the additional photos.  I should see if someone has a template to make some more using your own pictures, wouldn’t that be cool?

The details on it are really great.  Here is a side view with the lens retracted.

Here you can see the lens after you pop it out.  It’s easy, you just push the button on the bottom side of the lens.

I put Wendy to work for me (my renamed Joss doll has a name!) She’s showing how easy it is to hold.

Say “cheese”!!!

The picture pops up on the top when you hit the shutter button.  It reminds me a lot of the World’s Smallest Polaroid if any of you have seen that.  Really a cute, well thought out item.

Overall, I think this is a terrific set, even with the minor shortcomings (like the hole in the cake).  You get a lot of pieces for $35 and if you get a sale, then it’s an even better deal.  I give it an A.  (The camera makes up for the hole in the cake LOL)