In search of more Phil’s!

Hello blog readers!  It’s Zara here, and I’m so excited to get to do my very own post here on the blog.  Some of you may remember that back in June, Sophia went with Flo to meet up with Lea and Xyra from over at Tea Time With Melody Q for a trip to Punxsutawney.  If you didn’t get a chance to read that post, you can check it out here.  Punxsutawney is the home of renowned weather predicting ground hog, Punxsutawney Phil.  All over town there are statues made in Phil’s likeness and in June they managed to find a lot of them.  They didn’t find them all though, so we were off on a mission to see how many of the missed ones we could find.

Flo and I met up with Xyra and Kaya in Coolspring at the General Store before we headed out on our journey.  Kaya and I hit it off immediately over our shared love of horses and all things 80’s!  She’s such a sweetheart, I hope someday that maybe we can go horseback riding together.

Sometimes finding Phil statues can be a bit tricky, especially when looking for ones on the outskirts of town.  Luckily we were equipped with a map, but it didn’t take us long to realize that the scale wasn’t all that great.  Eventually we started finding them though, and we covered a lot of ground!  This particular Phil is called “You Can Bank With Phil” since it’s in the yard of a bank.

We found another Phil in a really cool little park.  Not only was there a Phil statue there, but a playground too!

This Phil statue was called “It’s A WonderPhil World”.  I love how the statues all have names!  We also found this cool memorial stone that told us who the park was named after.

The playground was a lot of fun!  We climbed on the monkey bars…

Climbed on this spinning pole…(I was kind of dizzy after I came down.)

And then we had a little mishap.  I thought the end of the slide looked like a cool place to stand.  I didn’t realize that Kaya had gone to the top and was coming down.  She called to me, but by the time I heard her it was a little too late.



Neither of us was hurt thank heavens.  I just felt kind of stupid.  Oh well.  I didn’t let it ruin our fun!

This one is called “Hope Phil”.  It’s one of the new ones this year, it’s really pretty!  I thought it was very cool that we got to see it in October too since that’s officially Breast Cancer Awareness month!

Next up was one near the post office that was appropriately called “Philatelic”.  It was really unique!  Be sure to check out Xyra and Kaya’s photos over at their blog because there is another very cool photo with this particular Phil.

There were several Phil’s near the different schools.  This one is called Mary A. Philson Undercover and was near the elementary school.  (This is one of the few named after a person)

And this one was near the middle school.  It was called Start To Finish.

With all of the ones they found the last time and the ones we found this time, you would think we had found them all.  But we didn’t!!! There are at least 4, maybe 5 still to be seen.  2 that we missed, one that was brand new that we didn’t know existed (and unfortunately wasn’t on the map we had) and one that was out for maintenance.  There was also one that we couldn’t find at the location it was supposed to be at, we’re not sure if it was out for repairs or had been repainted and turned into a different theme.  Perhaps whoever goes in the spring will get the last few.  Maybe there will even be a new one by then too.

After all of that trekking around Punxsutawney, we decided to go check out the official store!

(Yes, that’s me, peering through the plant.  Not the best place for it to be if you want a good picture!)

The shop is super cool with just about anything you can imagine in it with a groundhog day theme.  I thought this t-shirt was hilarious.  Unfortunately it didn’t come in my size. 😦

Kaya and I had fun hanging out with these stuffed Phil’s too.  They were so soft!!  I would have loved to bring one home, but my gosh, they were almost as big as me!  I don’t think we’d both fit in my bed.

I had a great time meeting up with Xyra and Kaya.  The girls from Tea Time are all so much fun, everyone looks forward to our get-togethers.

Oh, and I did manage to pick up a little something while we were at the souvenir shop…

Yep, I got my very own Phil puppet!!!! Isn’t he cool!  He’s a bit smaller than the ones Kaya and I were hanging out with.  And guess what…we got a second one just so we could do a giveaway here on the blog!! That’s right, you could win your very own Punxsutawney Phil puppet!!!!  We decided to throw in a pin as well so you can be well prepared for when February 2nd rolls around and you want to celebrate!

To enter, just tell us in the comments your name, and which of all of the Phil statues is your favorite.  It can be from any of the posts, either ours or the ones from Tea Time With Melody Q and either now or from June.  You can see their posts here and here.  Our other post is here.

The winner will be drawn on November 9th, so make sure you enter!  And if you’d like to check out other items from the souvenir shop, you can check it out at

If you’d like more information on the “Phantastic Phils” click on this link:  There are photos of the different Phil statues and if you click on each individual one, you can get some of the background story behind the different themes.  There are a couple missing though from this site, it needs updating.

Good luck and thanks for stopping by!


  1. Lainey (Lu D)
  2. Heather (Jackylina)
  3. Sharon
  4. Maggie


Decisions, Decisions

Hello fellow doll loving friends!  It’s been a busy two weeks around here, but it’s all a good kind of busy.  I took Laney for her follow up check up to see if all of the medications did what they were supposed to.  She got the all clear, yay!  I was so glad to hear that, I really didn’t want to put her through surgery if we didn’t have to.  I also got together with Xyra from Tea Time With Melody Q which is always fun.  Stay tuned for a post from that get together.

A healthy dog, yay!!!

The biggest thing for me was some serious cleaning around here, primarily my office/craft room and the spare bedroom which has turned into the “doll room”.  It was a wreck and needed both deep cleaning and serious organization.  Over the summer Aldi had metal shelving units for sale, so I picked those up.  I just needed some help in moving a piece of furniture out of the room and getting everything rearranged and in order.  My niece is trying to earn some extra cash for her move to Florida at the end of the year, so I hired her to help me with part of this task.  By the time she was done, everything was in place for “Operation Doll Organization” to get into full swing.  It was a lot of work, but I am super pleased with how far things have come along, but in the process I was faced with some truths about my collection.  Ugh.

The simple fact is I have way too much stuff.  Even with all of this organization, it still takes up a good bit of space, and in all honesty, there isn’t room for anything more.  I decided that I am going to limit myself considerably in any purchases I make in the near future.  For me, my dolls and accessories have never been so much about the size of my collection, but more a case of buying it because I truly like it and/or have an idea for a story to use it in.  Now I have to add to that only buying things that aren’t repeats of what I already have and genuinely have enough use for it as well as space to store it. That said, it does have some ramifications for the blog.  It’s a bit hard to do product reviews when you aren’t buying anything!

I also realized that I don’t need anymore doll sets/backdrops.  In addition to the doll house I have a pop-up bathroom, Louisa’s room, the coffee shop/bakery, The Lighthouse, the unfinished hotel room and another one I haven’t even shared yet!  All of this takes up a good bit of space, even with the backdrops folding up.  I am planning on utilizing several of these sets a few more times and then I may sell off the contents.  It would free up some space, plus allow me to create new sets in the future without feeling completely overwhelmed about where to store everything.  Several weeks ago I did a poll to see if my readers would be interested in purchasing some of the extras and there seemed to be enough people who were curious about what I’d be getting rid of.  Stay tuned, you may have an opportunity to pick up some good deals straight off the pages of Say Hello To My Little Friends!

How does all of this affect the blog?  As I mentioned before, there will be fewer product reviews.  I’m also going to cut back on the number of posts I do in a month.  I’ve tried to keep it at two posts a week, but I don’t know that I’ll have enough to keep it at that.  It also doesn’t help that I’m suffering from a bit of blogging burn out.  So I’m going to try and do a post a week and see how that goes.  I know of many blogs who only post once a week (or even less) and it works well.  This doesn’t mean that I won’t post more often sometimes as events happening in the doll world sometimes create a need for more posts.  I’m just going to make it a goal to post at least once a week.

Book group will continue as planned, I have no intentions of changing that at the moment.

After I was done getting everything organized, I realized the dollhouse needed some serious cleaning and de-cluttering.  Kit’s room was so dusty, not sure why it is so much worse than the rest, but it was in dire need!  Overall, the house had too many unnecessary things sitting around, making it difficult to use as well as clean.  I have to say that it looks so much better now.  I made a few changes in a couple of the rooms too–wanna see???

The kitchen was just way too crowded, so I took out the baking table and did some rearranging plus added garbage/recycle bins.  I like this set up much better now.

The living room has frustrated me since the very beginning.  As I was cleaning, I went to move the sofa–and it fell apart!!  I was going to try and fix it, but the more I thought about it, I decided not to bother.  It so seldom gets used and took up way too much room.  By removing it from the set up, I was able to move the keyboard in to the room.  I also took out the boat shaped bookshelves and replaced them with ones I picked up in the spring while we were traveling.  I like it much better this way.  I still may eventually build a new sofa, but that’s on the backburner.  I definitely need to get some wall art for in here though.

Cassandra’s bedroom is the only room I left cluttered, and the majority of the clutter is her Minion collection so it’s not a big deal.  That isn’t going anywhere!!!! I also had these cool puffy Minions (they are supposed to be tub toys) that I picked up quite a while ago, and after much thought, decided they would be fun wall decor.  I stuck them to the wall using Sticky Tack, hoping they will stay up that way.  I think it looks cute!

Kit’s room and the room that Alya and Shivan share didn’t change at all other than some of the clutter was removed.  The same could be said about Marie-Grace and Rebecca’s room, but they had several new additions to their room.  The aquarium and the hamster!!!  Chum is very happy in his new surroundings.  The girls are having fun with him…except when he runs on the wheel in the middle of the night.  I had to explain to them that most members of the rodent family are nocturnal animals and he really couldn’t be trained to change.  They are getting used to it.  (Just like I had to!)

That’s the update for today.  Stay tuned for future developments!  I’m still here, just not as often.  I’m not ready to quit blogging by any means, just need to find a better way to fit it (and my collection) into my day to day life.



Goodies from the AG Pop Up Store–Maryellen’s Roller Skating Accessories and the Truly Me V-Neck Hoodie

It’s Pop-Up Store season for American Girl and we were lucky enough to get one again this year in the Pittsburgh area at the Ross Park Mall.  I wasn’t all that impressed with it last year, but apparently the powers that be learned a few things and it seems to be a much better thought out store with a better supply of items!  If you’ve ever been to a Pop-Up store, you know that they don’t carry the entire line of items.  I had my fingers crossed that they would have one item in stock that I really wanted, and the doll gods were on my side this time!

Before I get to that, I will show you the V-Neck Hoodie I picked up.  I liked this item when I first saw it, but then I realized that it had those ridiculous holes in it for you to hook over the dolls thumbs.  Ugh.  I don’t like this style at all.  Do people really wear their clothes this way????  I was glad I had the opportunity to see it in person though because the holes aren’t ridiculously obvious should you choose to not wear it that way.  They really just look like button holes, and they face inwards so unless you are looking for them, you probably wouldn’t even notice.

Now for the item I really went for–Maryellen’s Roller Skating accessories!  I thought this set was adorable and took me back to my own childhood, even though I grew up 20 years later than Maryellen’s era.

You’ll be happy to see it comes in the traditional box.  The only change they have made is now the boxes are sealed with circle stickers.  They are easy to remove if you are careful though without damaging the box.  If I managed to do it, so can you!  Proof:

Everything is self contained in the roller skate case:

The case is lined with a pink fuzzy fabric.  The outside of the case is a bit lumpier than I expected, which makes me wonder what exactly the box is made out of.  Hmmmm…

All sorts of goodies in the case!  A bottle of soda pop, a pair of socks, a baton and a jump rope! And some stickers should you want to decorate the case.

I think the socks are adorable and will go with so many other outfits, not just the roller skates.  I’m also very happy to see that the baton and the jump rope have handles on them so the doll can actually hold these without the use of clear elastics or something else.  American Girl has been doing a great job of adding this to a number of their products and I hope it continues.  The only thing that disappointed me in this set was that the baton was completely plastic and not metal as it should be.  They didn’t even spray it with shiny paint.  😦

Let’s see how the items look in action!  Cassandra wanted to try everything out and since she already knows how to skate, I thought it sounded like a good idea.  Here she is with the baton:

The scale on this is perfect.  I can just see her marching down the street, can’t you?

The jump rope seems a bit short to me, but maybe I’m wrong?  Maybe I just need to leave it out so it will lose the kinks in it and will look more accurate.

And on to the main item I wanted from this set–the skates!!!  They are so cute, they remind me so much of the ones I had when I was young.

I even made sure that they were accurate in their assembly and that they could actually be stopped properly!

The skates were super easy to get on, not a struggle at all.  I will admit that Cassandra put them on without the socks, but I think that even with the socks they wouldn’t be difficult at all.  I told her she didn’t want to skate for long like that or she would get horrible blisters on her feet!!

Overall, I think these are cute and very well done.  A really nice set with a lot of pieces that would allow for plenty of play scenarios.  I really lucked out as it was Columbus Day weekend, so I got the $10 off $50 since I purchased both items at the same time, plus it was triple points for rewards members, and I ended up with enough points added to my account to get another $10 certificate in the future!  Timing is everything, you know! 😉