Broke Girl Bakery: My Life As Cupcake Baking Set and Snack Stand

One of my goals in doing the Broke Girl Bakery was to do it for less money than the $500 price tag that American Girl has on the French Bakery, so I am constantly on the look out for inexpensive accessories. As you can see from previous posts and several yet to come, there are lots of things that you can make yourself and lots of cute little accessories that you can buy to go with it. It wasn’t long after I started this project that I thought of one thing I had seen that I thought would be perfect for this, and another popped up on a blog that I thought would work as well. I also thought both of these would be good for someone who wants to do something in a bakery theme, but perhaps not in to crafting.  It was just a matter of finding them!  Neither of them were expensive either, very much in keeping with my original idea for all of this.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a big fan of the My Life As clothing line for 18″ dolls found at Walmart. I can’t say the same thing about their accessories though. I think that many of these items cannot be beat, especially for the price. Last summer I got the tent/camping set and I love it, well worth the price. I remembered seeing the Snack Stand before Christmas, but at that point I really didn’t have any use for it. As soon as I started this project, I was kicking myself for not buying it because as you can imagine, once Grace Thomas was introduced and the stock being depleted after the holiday, finding it was like looking for a needle in a haystack. I wasn’t about to give up though, and I did eventually run across it at a Walmart about 25 minutes away, luckily I had a stop there anyhow. At $27.95, it is well worth the price. It looks like this:

Photo from Walmart.com
Photo from Walmart.com

I’ve seen this in two different colors, the pink and white shown here and the purple and white which is what I got. The food accessories vary too, so don’t count on finding ones identical to these. Not sure why, but not a big deal. Here is mine with the purple and white covered with scrapbook paper to match the décor of MY shop:
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I think everything is really very cute in this set, I especially liked the beverages:
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I did get a chuckle out of the giant cookies though! Reminded me of those ones they used to sell in the shopping malls that you could use as a birthday cake. 🙂
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The cash register is cute, the drawer even opens.
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It also comes with various signs that can be hung on the back or wherever. They are made of cardboard, but not sure how well they will hold up over time with much play. Not sure what the square things are supposed to be: plates? Napkins? Hot Pads?
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Overall I think at just under $28, this is a great value and is especially nice for someone who wants to recreate a bakery without spending a lot of money or having to do a lot of crafting. The stand itself is well made and I think will hold up well, it’s not a fragile piece.

The other thing that I had been wanting for the bakery were some more accessories. I first saw the bakery/chef set that Target had online at $24.99 and thought it would be nice to have. Good luck finding it. I was very pleased to see My Life As release a similar set called the “Cupcake Baking Set”. It doesn’t have as many pieces, but get this–ONLY $5!!! It had the primary things that I wanted that I didn’t already have: a muffin pan, a mixing bowl, cookie cutters and measuring spoons. It took a bit of looking but I did eventually find it. (My Walmart stinks, I’m going to quit even looking there for specific things!)
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Here’s Marie-Grace doing her best Vanna imitation with everything displayed so you can see it better!
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First, the disappointing piece: the mixer.
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Yeah, the set was only $5, but seriously, they couldn’t put a bottom on this? I wanted to be sure that everyone saw that just in case it was a deal breaker. It wasn’t a huge issue for me since I do have the Grace Thomas Baking set with the stand mixer. I was just shocked at how this was finished.

The rest is really cute though!
MLA 4The cupcakes actually fit in the pan! Too bad they only included two. 😦
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The cupcake stand is really nice, and I was excited to discover that it came apart, I thought maybe I could change the layout on it, but no such luck. I still see this as a good thing though for storage purposes.
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I love the apron, I think it is very cute and fits well. The neck tie and waist tie attach in the back with Velcro.

And now for my favorite thing in the whole set:
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These measuring spoons are beyond adorable!!! They remind me of a set I had from Tupperware when I was first married. Very well done, and let’s be honest, if AG sold these by themselves, you know that these alone would be $5!

Even with the shortcomings on the mixer, I’m very pleased with this whole set.  I think both of these sets are terrific additions to any bakery collection as they offer such a nice variety of pieces at an extremely affordable price.  The hardest part is finding them. :/

Broke Girl Bakery Project Totals to date:

Total spent as of March 16– $24.89

Money spent on the Snack Stand –$27.97

Money spent on Cupcake Baking Set–$5.00

Total spent as of April 16, 2015:  $57.86

Apologies for taking so long on the next installment on this, as I mentioned before I injured my back and as a result, not only was I having difficulties in doing certain things but everything (blogs, house, etc) all got behind.  I’m recovering and finally getting caught up!  I was just thankful that I had some posts already photographed and/or written before I got hurt or you guys would have had nothing to read, eeek! LOL

 

Doll sized finds: It’s all “relative”

It’s bad enough when you are totally addicted to collecting things for your dolls. It doesn’t help matters when you have family members who enable your addiction–just kidding!!! My niece works for a deep discount, off-price retail chain, and sees some cool stuff come through her store. Recently she came across something she thought I would be interested in, and was she ever right! She sent me a text and I was so excited! 🙂

So what did she find?
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These are Madame Alexander Favorite Friends sets. On the left is the Fun and Funky accessory set, I did have a photo of it before I took it out of the box, but accidentally hit a wrong button and **poof** it was gone, so this will have to suffice. On the right is the Techno Girl accessory set, and the Urban Garden set. These are no longer available on the Madame Alexander website, the boxes are dated 2013. Madame Alexander sets usually sell for between $15 – $30 each (sometimes even more depending on what is included). These were only $9.99 each! We both wondered if the shoes would fit AG dolls or not, but even at this price, it was worth taking a chance on.

Here is Abby modeling the Fun and Funky set:
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As you can see from this poor photo, the shoes fit great!
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One thing I do want to say is that the glasses in the Techno Girl accessory set are a bit on the big side for most of the AG dolls–except dolls made from the Josefina mold (Rebecca, Julie, Grace). It’s a common complaint that the dolls made from that face mold can’t wear the AG glasses well or at all, but these ones fit Rebecca perfectly.

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Both pairs of shoes fit AG dolls, the t-shirts fit fine, the only thing that was iffy was the skirt and it fits, it’s just really close, and really only where it closes. I may change it a little so it’s easier, the waistband is just grosgrain ribbon so it shouldn’t be hard to fix.

The fun didn’t end there though. My niece is a huge Barbie collector and she said that she had something else for me, she had purchased it thinking it would work for her Barbie display. Once she got it home, she realized that it was too big, but thought perhaps it would be the right size for 18″ dolls.
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Isn’t this music stand cool? It’s short, so the girls will have to set it on a table top to use it but otherwise the size is perfect. I haven’t decided if I’m going to paint it a different color or leave it as is, but I was super excited to get this as this is one thing we don’t have to go along with our assortment of music instruments.

Kind of nice when someone else finds goodies for your dolls. 😉

“In The Swim”: Springfield Collection Swimsuit & Sarong, Springfield Collection Navy Polka Dot Swimsuit and Our Generation “Having A Ball” set

Recently I showed you where I picked up two hand towels to use as beach towels for my dolls. I plan on making tote bags and flip flops, but I only had one bathing suit. It’s no fun to go swimming by yourself, I wanted at least a second suit so that two girls could go together. Sure, I have the freebie swimsuit pattern from PixieFaire, but I’m going to make a confession here: I HATE sewing spandex knit material. I’m not a fan of sewing knits to begin with, I’ll do it, but I won’t be happy about it, especially with doll clothes and tiny seams. Hmmm…

I didn’t like the new store exclusive swimsuit that AG came out with this year, not nearly as cute as the last one. I did like the one they just came out with in the spring collection, but the price is just too much for all the more material that is involved. I looked on Etsy, saw some cute stuff, but still wasn’t sold. For some reason I was poking around the Springfield Collection website and came across the one they had–that’s it!!! I thought it was cute, their stuff is usually nicely made, and very reasonably priced. Fingers crossed I would run across one somewhere.

I needed some craft supplies, and while I was at my local store, I decided to check, they carry some Springfield stuff, but not everything. They had it!!! And it was only $7.99, I thought that was more than reasonable since it wasn’t just the suit, but the sarong that goes with it.

Swimsuit 1
I think the fit is really nice on this, whoever designed it did a very good job. It was super easy to get on the doll too, no struggling or anything. I think the sarong is a nice addition too.
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Fit around the legs is good too, no struggles. Best part is I have a small piece of pink gingham fabric that will be perfect to make a matching tote for it!
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Here’s a view from the back, very simple, just ties around the neck like a real swimsuit would. Plenty of material to tie too, not skimpy at all.
I give this set an A++–made well, fits well, priced at a reasonable price. I like it so much that I hope Springfield comes out with it in a couple of different colors, I’d buy them all!

Springfield also makes another swimsuit called the Navy Polka Dot Swimsuit. I managed to find it at a Joann’s store in another town, our store is too small and they don’t carry any Springfield Collection items. 😦 Luckily I had a coupon, so instead of paying $9.99, it only cost me $6.99-yay!

swim 1

To say this suit was disappointing is putting it mildly.  First off, it was extremely difficult to get on the doll.  I actually was concerned that it was going to rip at one point, it was just strangely made.  The fit was very poor too, that surprised me a lot because my other experiences with Springfield Collection clothing on AG dolls has been very, very good.  😦

Here is the back, it closes around the neck with Velcro.  Unfortunately, because of the way it is cut, it doesn’t lay nicely most of the time.  It tends to roll too.

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Under the front of the skirt fits fairly well, slightly skimpy, but not horrid.

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The back however was another story–YIKES!

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You can see from the other photos that the suit is on correctly, so this is just a failure in the cut.  Thank heavens for the skirt or Cassandra would be exposing her butt cheeks to the whole world.

It came with a towel as well:

swim 2“You call THIS a towel?!?!?!?!”

The towel was barely hand towel sized.  Cassandra was less than impressed with this outfit, and so was I.  The only plus was that I had a coupon.  I give this swimsuit a D.  Back to the drawing board guys!

When Target was running the 30% off sale on their Our Generation items, I happened to have a trip to an area where there was a Target store. I really didn’t expect to find much and truthfully, it was already pretty picked over. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find yet another swimsuit that came with some adorable accessories as well. It is part of their $12.99 collection and with the sale, I got it for $9.09. I can handle that! The set is called “Having a Ball” and includes the swimsuit, sandals, sunglasses, a towel and an inflatable beach ball. Too cute! I had been thinking that a beach ball was going to be an essential item in my beach collection, now I don’t have to go looking for it.

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Abby looks so cute, don’t you think?

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It was a little difficult to get on.  The problem is because it’s made of two different fabrics and when they sewed them together, they didn’t use elastic thread and/or a stitch that works well for knit fabrics.  ARGH!  I hope it holds up, I don’t know how it will do if it is taken off, put on, taken off, put on.  It might not be as big of a problem on an OG doll since they are slimmer.  At least I know how to sew if it does come apart, as long as it doesn’t rip too badly.

The view from the back:og swim 2

Overall it fits nicely, good coverage.  Anyone have any good ideas on how to disguise doll strings??

Aren’t these sandals the cutest?

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Only one problem-the way they are designed and because it’s an OG outfit and OG dolls have smaller feet, I couldn’t get them on her without a “minor” alteration:

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Yeah, I had to cut through the red band.  Otherwise, they fit great.  I’m debating on removing that band completely and either leave it off, or replace it with a red ribbon, I could either tie it or put a bit of Velcro on it.  I haven’t decided just yet, I have a little bit of time before beach season arrives.  I still think they are the cutest sandals I’ve seen in ages.  I have noticed in recent outfits that OG has really upped the cuteness factor in their shoes.

Abby is all ready to go to the beach now.  She’s such a ham!

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“Now THIS is a towel!”

I give this swimsuit a B+.  The only reason I can’t give it an A is the way the two pieces are sewn together, that to me is a major fail.  Otherwise, it is cute as heck and I definitely think even at the $12.99 price point, well worth the price, especially with the accessories it comes with.

I also broke down and bought a shirt to cut up that I think will make a cute swimsuit, a project for later.  In addition, I found an infant’s swimsuit at Dollar Tree of all places in a pattern that I love, so that will also be made in to another suit. I have several ideas, I guess I need to get busy. I’ve also discovered some cute suits from one of my favorite Etsy sellers so if my attempt at making them turns in to a disaster, I know where to go.  Summer’s going to be here soon!