Book Group Reminder–Saige!

Just a quick reminder that we are going to discuss Saige on the 15th.  I haven’t read this one yet, so I’m really looking forward to it.  Saige is my favorite of all of the Girls Of The Year (as far as the dolls) so I’m hoping the book doesn’t disappoint!

This will be the last book group for a while, we won’t be having one in May because my schedule is going to be crazy busy.  Hopefully we will start again in the fall, perhaps October.  See you on the 15th where we can discuss Saige!

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November Book Group–“Aloha Kanani”

Hello everyone!  I can’t believe we are to the last Book Group get together for the year already, where did the time go?  I don’t know about you, but I really enjoyed “Aloha Kanani”!

I can say that so far, this is probably my favorite of all of the Girl Of The Year Books we’ve talked about.  I thought that it was a very well written book without some of the issues that bothered me with some of the previous ones we’ve discussed.

The set up for the story is very well done, and you can get a real feel for Kanani’s surroundings.  From the description of her room to the Akina’s store, I found it very easy to visualize in my mind.  The additional characters really rounded out the story, I especially enjoyed her aunties who came to the store with their daily goodies for Kanani to try!  As someone who grew up with a number of older relatives and family friends constantly around, I thought it was terrific that these characters were included and how they were presented.  The combination of the generations along with the tidbits of Hawaiian tradition were so well done and I found myself smiling the whole time I was reading the book.

There is a bit of conflict, but it’s more a case of misunderstanding instead of outright meanness.  There isn’t a villain or nasty person in this book, just two girls who come from completely different worlds not quite seeing things from the same way.  I also loved the part about the baby seal, it not only added a lot to the story, but also was a great lesson in how we shouldn’t interfere with wild animals if we don’t know what we are doing.  Especially timely given some stories that have recently hit the news with people thinking they are helping wildlife but in fact are doing more damage than good.

I’m not going to say much more because I don’t want to give too much away.  Just that I liked this book way more than I expected to and I’m going to look for the second one now!  That said, another thing I liked about it is the book is quite capable of standing alone without leaving the reader wondering what happens in the future books.  It’s a good story that does a very good job of telling the story with all of the necessary elements and having a true resolution at the end.

Did you like it?

Book group will resume in January once the holidays are over with.  January book will be “Meet Cecile” and February will be “Grace”.  The entire series of Grace Thomas books are still available on American Girl, so you have plenty of time to pick it up and read it between now and then!

 

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!