Review of Mary Ellen’s Poodle Skirt Outfit and Crinoline

Back in October there were several good deals offered at American Girl on a group of items.  There were several things that interested me, but I behaved and limited myself to just one–Mary Ellen’s Poodle Skirt Outfit.  At $15, how could I pass it up?  And with the money I saved on that, I was able to add the crinoline to my order and still, even with shipping and sales tax, get all of it for just little more than what the Poodle Skirt Outfit was at regular retail.  Win/win in my book!

The crinoline is very well done and definitely has enough poof to it to make any large skirt stick out properly.  I may be tempted to use this under several other items I have!

The Poodle Skirt outfit has all the items necessary for anyone wanting to complete their 50’s look!

I think the top is adorable!!  I think this is a piece that could be mix and match with other items too.


The skirt is very cute too.  I was surprised that the waistband was elastic though.

No 1950’s outfit would be complete without a pair of bobby socks and a scarf!!

And my favorite part–the saddle shoes!!!  Aren’t these perfect?!?!?!

Now I had to decide who would get to model this outfit, and after a bit of debate, I decided that Lanie looked the most like Mary Ellen, just a blonde instead of a redhead.

I think Lanie was the perfect fill in for Mary Ellen, don’t you?

Some closeups of the details:

Overall, I would rate this outfit as a B+.  The shoes were incredibly difficult to get on over the bobby socks and I was a bit disappointed in the elastic waist on the skirt, that definitely is not how a real poodle skirt would have been finished back in the 1950’s.  I do still think it’s a very cute outfit, and I’m glad I managed to get it at such a great price.  I think it will be nice to have as part of my collection for a Halloween outfit or a 50’s themed party or story.

The Barbie Party

Many moons ago I had a decent size collection of Barbie goodies.  Not so many dolls, but lots of furniture and accessories.   I lucked out and found a lot of things at a KB Toys (remember them?) near me, and before it was over with, Barbie had a well fitted out kitchen that rivaled my own!  At this point though I didn’t leave the doll goodies out like I do now as I not only didn’t have the space, but at that point I hadn’t accepted the fact that it was okay.  However, I did have one advantage in having a niece who was just the right age to enjoy and appreciate all of these wonderful Barbie items.

Evil Twin’s granddaugher (my grandniece), who we will call Florida Girl, came up every summer to spend time with her family here.  While she was visiting, they always came to my house to spend a day or two, and on one of these occasions, I decided it would be the perfect time to break out all of the Barbie gear.  It took up the whole dining room table before it was over with, but we had a great time setting it all up.  And then we got an idea–let’s have a party!  And thus, the Barbie Party was born.  Everyone was dressed in their finest clothing and ready to have a good time.

It wouldn’t be a proper party without tea, now would it???

Ken was the only guy, and as a result, he was a bit bored…

A nice group shot.

Some closeup candids of the guests:

As happens with kids, Florida Girl is all grown up now, and no longer into Barbie, but she still talks about the Barbie Party.  Eventually I decided I needed the storage space and I passed on all of my Barbie stuff to the daughter of a co-worker who was just the perfect age.  I’m sure Barbie is still busy having parties somewhere!


Book Group–Grace!

It’s that time again everyone, book group discussion!!!  This month we are going to discuss the book “Grace” which was for the Girl Of The Year for 2014.  I will admit that Grace’s collection was probably one of my all time favorites, I have quite a few pieces from it.  I wasn’t quite as excited for the story when I initially heard about it, but first impressions can be wrong!

The book starts out with summer vacation and Grace along with her friends Maddy and Ella making plans for what they are going to do for the summer.  However, as that saying goes, “Life is what happens when you start making plans” and Grace suddenly finds out that she is going to be heading to Paris with her mother to help out her aunt who has been put on bed rest while pregnant.  She’s not too happy about it, but makes the best of things regardless.

I really enjoyed this book, and thought it was very well written.  We have no “nasty girl” situation, instead the issues between Grace and her cousin Sylvie contribute the conflict to the story.  Sylvie speaks no English and Grace speaks next to no French, so it creates a bit of a problem!  I saw some similarities to Kanani and her cousin in this part of the story, and I love how the girls eventually come to a resolution to their problems.

Other things I totally loved about Grace–lots of French words along with a very nice section at the end of the book explaining what they all mean.  I also totally related to Grace’s reaction to being on a plane for the first time.  I have a fascination with aviation, and there isn’t a plane trip that doesn’t go by that I don’t marvel at the technology involved as well as everything looking tiny as the plane climbs.

One thing that the book brought up that I thought was excellent was Grace’s difficulty in cooking while in France due to the fact that all of the measurements are in metric.  I had an issue one time with a recipe I was giving to a friend who lived in the UK due to this, and I have a friend who has complained of the reverse!  I also liked the fact that the difference between macaroons and macarons is explained.  Just one of those things that drives me crazy!

I also learned what gargoyles on old buildings are for.  I’ve seen my fair share of them on our trips to the UK and Ireland and never really gave it a thought, but they aren’t just there for decoration.  They are for diverting rain on buildings built long before gutters and rainspouts were invented.

I don’t want to give too much away, but we also learn how Bonbon the dog comes into Grace’s life.  I thought it was one of the cutest parts of the story.

Overall, I really liked this story, and since I bought the whole set, I’m looking forward to reading the other two.  The book seems like it’s thicker than some of the American Girl books, but it is kind of deceiving.  The pages are laid out a little bit different, but I don’t think the word count is all that much longer.  I found it a very easy read too, so it took no time at all to finish it.

Did you enjoy Grace?  What were some of your favorite parts of the book?

The book for March will be “Meet Felicity”.  April will be “Saige”.  There will be no book group for May due to prior commitments.  I am thinking I may do one over the summer, I will keep everyone posted.  Otherwise, we will pick it up again in the fall.