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.



A bit of this, that…and the other!

Hello!  I feel like it’s been ages since I’ve posted anything since I had quite a few of the posts set to automatic.  Thank heavens for that feature.  Anyone recognize where the title of this post comes from?????  I thought it was a good name for it though since I’m going to cover a number of different things in one blog post.

First off–quick reminder, book group!!!  On the 15th I will start the discussion on “Meet Rebecca”.  I hope everyone has been able to locate the book and read it.  I’m looking forward to getting these discussions started again!.

Time for a Laney update!  She’s doing fantastic and I thank everyone for their prayers and good thoughts.  Her energy level is back to normal, and we think she was sick a lot longer than we realized.  She goes back soon for her follow up blood work and ultrasound to see if the medication did what it was supposed to do and dissolved the suspected gallstone.  We have our fingers crossed, we really don’t want to to put her through surgery if we don’t have to.

In other news–the AG pop up store in Pittsburgh has opened once again at Ross Park Mall and I was able to get there the Monday after it opened.  I did ask one of the clerks if it was crazy busy over the weekend, and she said it wasn’t, but she also said it didn’t get near the media coverage as it did last year.  The store is set up pretty much the same as it was last year with the modern stuff at the front of the store, the historical/BeForever in the back and the Bitty Baby in a small section on the one side towards the back.  It’s not a very big store, but I do think they did a better job of maximizing the space this time.

Lots of cute stuff to check out!  I was very disappointed in Nanea’s bed though, it’s advertised as being wood.  That isn’t true.  The back and sides are wood, but the piece that pulls out is completely plastic!  Not sure how well it would hold up over time.  They also had the hotel set up and I really wanted to get a photo of it, but there was the cutest little girl having a fantastic time playing with it, and I didn’t have the heart to stop her.  Although I think dad would have welcomed an intervention!!!  I did pick up a couple of things, I will be sharing those later this month.

In the same trip, I stopped by Costco.  They have some AG stuff, but I didn’t buy anything.  They do have mini doll/book sets for $29.99.  And these:

The Wellie Wisher gift sets are $74.99 and the AG Sleepover set or Salon & Spa sets are $39.99 each.  I thought this seemed a bit steep, especially since it’s Costco.  I didn’t pick up anything, partially because I thought they were overpriced, but also because it’s repeats of a lot of things I have already anyhow.  I’ll be curious to see if there are any doll gift sets like we’ve seen in previous years turn up over the next few weeks.

That’s it for now!  I do have a lot of things I’ll be sharing soon though.  The next few months are going to be a bit erratic, so I’m warning everyone in advance.  We have managed to sell my father-in-laws house (yay!) but I now have my own home to contend with and all the stuff we brought from the other house.  My dining room is downright scary at the moment!!! Plus I want to get back to my doll room cleanup/ cleanout project.  So if you don’t see a post when you’d normally expect to, everything is fine, I’m just up to my eyeballs in cleaning.  It’s going to be kind of tricky for a few months, but once it’s done, I’ll feel so much better.

Plus, like I needed another thing to distract me…

Yes, I bought a guitar and I started taking lessons.  It’s going well so far and I’m seeing progress!  Maybe the girls will let me join The Beacons?????


Doll Sized Finds: Back at last!

It seems like forever since I wrote one of these posts!  With the holidays, illness and a zillion other things going on, it didn’t leave me much time to run around.  Not only that, but pickings around here have been very slim.  Recently on some show I watched (not sure which) they said that this time of year was excellent for thrift store shopping since a lot of people are starting on their spring cleaning.  After I heard that, I was really itching to go, and after some great debate, I decided to go this past week.  Let me just say that I apparently do not live in an area where they have started spring cleaning, the stores all seemed to have less than normal, but that didn’t stop me from finding some goodies!

I decided to venture to Pittsburgh, I hadn’t been there since before Thanksgiving.  My first stop yielded more personal items than doll stuff: a tie for my husband, a shirt and a coffee mug for me.  But I did find one doll thing:

DSF April 16 4
It’s actually a Barbie piece from a set called “I Can Be A TV Chef”. However, I saw a small oven and refrigerator for the bakery! After I got it home, I did some measuring and using measurements posted on another website for some of the Grace Thomas bakery pieces, my hunch was right, it is going to be perfect, they aren’t much smaller. And it cost all of 95 cents! I plan on doing some customization on it, but I was absolutely thrilled.  What’s even more interesting is after having Jen from The Dolls Between Us check her refrigerator from Grace’s bakery (plus she sent me a picture), the shelving inside is nearly identical.

On to the next store! This store is usually a gold mine for toys. This time it wasn’t, but I did find one thing in that section:
DSF April 16
Only $2.95 for a doll bed, not bad. It did appear as though it had been damaged, but it was repaired and seemed to be very sturdy.
DSF April 16 2
I suspect they used Gorilla Glue for the repair and if you’ve ever used this stuff, you know how hard it is to get it apart!

I also found this adorable jewelry box for $3.95:
DSF April 16 3
I thought this was so cute I couldn’t pass it up. The whole way home I had this nagging feeling that I had seen this somewhere else, and after thinking about it, I went to the computer once I got home to look. Sure enough, it’s the same as one at Dolly Dorm Diaries that they have in the Zebra room. Too funny.

Those were the only items I found at that store, so I decided to head towards home. I debated on stopping at one more store that was on the way, and after some “should I/shouldn’t I”, I made the decision to go ahead and stop. Wow, was I glad I did. I only bought one thing, but it was awesome! Remember this?

AG Thrift 4

That turned into this?
Chair 9

Walking up and down the aisles I was about to give up when I saw this:

DSF April 16 5

Happy Dance!!!!! I’ve been wanting more of these ever since I finished that chair, I was so excited when I saw these. $1.99 for all four! Lots of seating options for the girls, and I can make them all match or make them different for each doll room. They are a bit dirty, look like they have been sitting in someone’s garage for a while, but nothing a little soap and water can’t fix.

There you have it, my latest finds.  Not sure when I will have time to go again, but that’s okay, this gives me some fun projects to work on in the meantime.  Have you found anything awesome lately?