One Broke Girl-The Bakery Challenge

Happy New Year to you all!  I hope you enjoyed reading the posts that the girls wrote over Christmas break.  Now it’s back to business.  I have a lot of ideas for things I want to do in the New Year, with dolls and with this blog.  My big thing is to get my doll house in to it’s permanent place.  I think I have finally figured out what I want to do.  Just a matter of moving on to the next step, I need to get rid of two pieces of furniture that after great debate and discussion, my husband and  I agreed were not working out.  The space they will leave should be just about perfect for the doll house.  I sure hope so!

Grace Thomas has hit the scene as GOTY 2015.  I’ll admit, I’m kind of disappointed.  First off, I was hoping for a doll of color, American Girl has some sort of phobia about this.  Sure, they gave her an international twist, but even that has a “hitch” to it-the French connection is because her aunt married a French man.  What would have been wrong with one of her parents being of French descent, she could have spent time learning things from her Grand Mere and Grand Pere as well as her aunt, uncle and cousins.  I’m not sure I will buy her, I think she’s cute from the photos I’ve seen, but too similar to what I have already.  AG is really stuck in a severe rut with their GOTY.  They seem to forget they have some other face molds out there; Marie-Grace, Sonali and Addy have NEVER been used to make a GOTY.  Argh!  Just too many things for me to get in to here.  I’ll reserve my final decision until after I see her in person.  Never say never.

Her clothing is adorable, it’s probably the first GOTY collection that I have liked in it’s entirety.  The accessories are very cute too.  BUT…one of the pieces is $500.  Seriously?!?!  I thought Isabelle’s studio last year was bad enough at $275.  Have they lost their ever-loving minds?  Interestingly enough, I have been reading a lot of different doll blogs since this release and I’ve noticed (thankfully) that while a lot of people think that the bakery is cute, they too are appalled at the price tag.  This has come from AG fans from all ages.  I think I’ve only seen one person who seemed to think that it was worth it.  Not this cookie.  I would look very long and very hard at $500 before I would spend it on that.  If I won’t spend $350 on the VW from Julie’s collection, I’m sure as heck not spending $500 on the bakery.  (I am a HUGE HUGE HUGE VW fan, if that helps put it in to perspective.)  It’s a big piece too so anyone with storage issues will also not be all that interested in it.

One thing that I am always excited to see in the AG fandom is an unprecedented level of creativity.  I’ve noticed a lot of people putting on their thinking caps as to how they could make the bakery or the cart themselves.  Let me just say that it got these old squeaky brain wheels to working too.  I spent a good day thinking about different things I could do, and finally it dawned on me–make it a weekly challenge for myself!

So here it is–I’m calling it the “One Broke Girl” challenge.  Each week I’m going to post about something I picked up somewhere along the way or something I made myself for my own little bakery project.  I will also keep a running total of what it cost, I think it will be interesting at the end of the year to see just what I ended up spending.  Anything that I had before January 1st will not count in my totals, but still can be used for the project.  I’m all for recycling!

It didn’t take me long to find something that I thought would work out well in this project:

I found this at Joann’s, it is supposed to be a cupcake stand.  It was in their Valentine’s day stuff, available in white or pink.  I debated for a few minutes before I finally settled on the white.  Regular price was $9.99, all Valentine’s day items were 30% off taking it down to $6.99, and I had a 15% off your entire purchase coupon, so that took it down to a final price of $5.94.  Off to a good start!

Paris 1
Zara was nice enough to agree to pose with everything so you can get an idea of proportions.


Then Rhonda at Living A Doll’s Life shared this lovely carafe she found at Hobby Lobby.  I had a trip that direction anyhow so I picked up one myself.  Only $1.99.  (I did have a 40% off coupon, but I used it towards something else more expensive.)  Just a snip with my jewelry clippers and the wire will be gone.

Paris 2

At Michael’s I found this wonderful chalkboard/easel.  The reverse side appears to be a dry erase board too.  Only $3.99.  They didn’t have any coupons this week for the whole store, darn! 😦

Paris 3

I also found fabric on clearance at Hobby Lobby with a wonderful Paris theme.  I’m not sure if I’m going to use this for this particular project, so I’m not going to include it in my totals as of now.  If I do, I will add it in later.  It was only $3 for a yard, I can see lots of potential.  I also wanted to let everyone know that this particular Hobby Lobby had quite a few different fabrics with a Paris theme, so be sure to check yours if it has a fabric section.  This was the only one on sale though.

Paris 4
Zara is already hinting that she wouldn’t mind this fabric in her bedroom-we’ll see honey!


Amount spent as of January 1-   .00

Items bought through  January 6   11.92

Total Spent as of January 6       11.92

Stay tuned!


15 thoughts on “One Broke Girl-The Bakery Challenge

  1. LOVE the items you found! We would start the stampede to Michaels if it weren’t for this scary cold weather in the Midwest. Addy had to get on her hooded pink coat and grey boots (MYAG collection). I have to observe that my 10 y.o. Gets more joy from creating things for her AGs than the premade items.

  2. OK, this should be interesting, “Broke Girl” LOL! You would think AG would realize some of these high prices are actually doing us a favor in forcing us to get creative, and make oour own versions of the overpriced items. I betcha “My Froggy Stuff” on YouTube will have some creative things to make inspired by Grace as well.

    • I can’t wait to see what Froggy comes up with, she is such a genius! She already has a lot of ideas out there for baked goods made from various different clays, most of which is made out of simple ingredients.

  3. This is a good challenge! I broke out all my OG sweets (sent a picture into DD Sunday Showcase for this week) and felt better about being broke myself. I agree that $500 is INSANE but people are already buying it. I am hoping for some more great crafts for Grace. The whole baking challenge for hungry kids annoys me though. Did Mattel not get the memo that you can’t have bake sales at school anymore? And I love Paris but I think AG got that all wrong too. My favorite part of Paris was waking up, heading to the corner patisserie pointing at the strawberry tart and smiling at the beautiful young woman behind the counter who spoke no English as I paid. I did that every day for a week before we went home. A year later, I returned. I didn’t even have to point. She smiled so BIG when she saw me and pulled out the tart. We hugged. French people are wonderful! (But it is American Girl and there are so many American stories to tell…I would have done an Italian Bakery in Jersey if I got to write the stories!).

    • GMTA Nonna, I did the same thing with all of my sweets a while ago for a future post. I just have to say that there are so many good sources out there for food for this project, it is crazy. And I agree with you about AG getting too many things wrong, I just saw a comment somewhere about the no bake sales thing from a kid. They didn’t think this through. I liked that you pointed out the major faux pas they made with having little Eiffel Tower figures here, there and everywhere over on Rhonda’s blog, NO NO NO!!! I’m starting to wonder if AG has a research department at all. Love your idea for an Italian Bakery! They are missing the boat by ignoring ethnic groups.

  4. Go Girl! ! I agree. I am mulling over ideas too. I want to have items to make with my granddaughters this summer. I do have some bakery items in my stash of AG goodies. I will be keeping track too. I guess my challenge could be how to extend my $50 Joann ‘ s gift card. I hope to go to shop Friday but it is going to be colder than normal here in Texas so I will only go one place.

  5. Those are some great finds! I LOVE the little cake stand! If it was made by American Girl, you can bet it’d be at least $20. I DEFINITELY agree with you about the $500 bakery. I got to see it in person over the weekend and I don’t think it’s worth it. Even if the walls and doors are made of wood, there’s so much plastic, it doesn’t feel like it should be $500. I was hoping there’d be some metal pieces, too, like Samantha’s Parlor – nope! Still, it was sold out when I went, so there must be enough people out there willing to have it.

      • Just from the photos it doesn’t even look CLOSE to the quality of Samantha’s Parlor. The sheer size I think would be a deterrent for many people, at least some of these other large items they are coming out with collapse or come apart for storage. I have one of the first sled dog sleds they made and it’s a pain in the neck to store, and it’s not anywhere close to the bakery in size.

        I’d also like to know what is with the only one chair thing lately? I tried to get two more chairs to go with my table and chairs set I got and they won’t sell me those either. I’m starting to get a bit annoyed about little stuff like that.

      • Yeah, after Samantha’s parlor, I was sure they’d have more wood and reserve the plastic for harder-to-make parts. Just the amount of real wood, real mirror, and metal make the $300 for the parlor seem so much more reasonable.

        Yeah! I find that really weird, too. I know some people will call and say their chair got damaged to be able to buy another one heh heh…

      • When I contacted them, they said that replacements weren’t available. They did say to check back though, not sure if it was because it was relatively new. Perhaps I will try again later.

  6. This is a great idea! Yes, i agree that the devil is in the details and AG seems to have no devil inside their research and development team. Reminds me of the story I wrote in high school about snow in Australia…later I found out that was a big faux pas. It does surprise me that the authors don’t do more research on their own to get the stories “right.” Maybe being an AG staff writer with a guaranteed paycheck includes restrictions on what is written.

    Wasn’t Lanie’s RV around $500? I remember that price tag being way out of my range too.

    I know bake sales are not allowed at school anymore, but I’ve still seen organized bake sales outside Walmart, at churches, and other places. The project can still work outside of the school platform. Proceeds can still go to No Kid Hungry. [Why am I hearing Marie-Antoinette, “Let them eat cake” in my head?] The concept is noble.

    • Lanie’s camper was $295. I’d be curious to know just how many of those actually sold. It too was a beast for most people to store, and it wasn’t as big as the bakery.

      Around here, bake sales are few and far between. I know a lot of places (like Walmart, grocery stores, etc) won’t let you set up unless you are affiliated with a particular organization (Girl Scouts, Kiwanas, etc). Too darned many sue happy people-which also makes me think that someone forgot to check with the legal department at AG. Maybe they were all out to lunch with research? LOL

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