Review of the American Girl Pie Baking Set

When the recent new releases came out, only a few things jumped out at me as must haves.  It didn’t take me long to order the Pie Baking Set, and luckily for me, I had a rewards coupon to use towards it and a few other things I ordered.  I’m glad I didn’t pay full price because I have somewhat mixed feelings about this set.

Here is everything out of the box.  I do like the way they packaged the accessories, it seems like it would reduce the chances of anything coming up missing or stolen, especially for the sets sold in stores outside of American Girl.  I especially love the little plates with the autumnal design and the can of whipped cream.  The top of the whipped cream container is flexible too, although I’m not quite sure how you’d get a doll finger to work it… 😉

Here is the pumpkin pie out of the dish:

 

And a different view of the apple:

I think the pies look somewhat realistic, but the scale seems large to me.  One thing that I thought sounded cool was that you could take the pies apart and change the toppings, so you could have crust on your pumpkin pie and whipped cream on your apple pie.  Everyone likes choices!

I will admit though, I was a bit disappointed in what the pieces looked like once separated.  You can’t leave the crust or whipped cream off or it looks weird.

I decided to show a few comparison photos of the pies with a handmade cake I have in my collection.

See what I mean?  I’ve always thought these cake replicas were perfect in their proportions, but since when is a piece of pie as tall as a double layer cake????

To sum up my review on this set, I think it’s cute, but I would only give it a B rating.  I’m not a huge fan of American Girl food items because of scale issues, and this is a perfect example.  My other complaint is that the pie pieces don’t lock together securely, so one bump the wrong way and your crust slides off your slice of pie!  The set could use a little work, and I couldn’t help but thinking that it really seemed much more like a Bitty Baby set instead of an American Girl item.   The price was reasonable enough on it though, so I’ll keep it, especially since it fits in with our bakery set.

My disappoinment didn’t stop the girls from wanting to taste it though! 😉

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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.

 

 

October Book Group–“Meet Rebecca”

Hello everyone!  I’ve missed our little book chats, I’m glad to get back to doing these.  This month the book to discuss is “Meet Rebecca”.  Let’s get started!

For me, this book was okay but didn’t impress me a bunch.  I guess the best way to describe it is it’s too formulaic.  Maybe I’m being a bit harsh as a good bit of the book is spent explaining some of the Jewish words and customs to the reader, and that isn’t a bad thing, but it lacks some of the good story telling that I’ve encountered in some of the other books like Meet Kit and Meet Marie-Grace simply because it would have made the book way too long.

I did like the way Rebecca decided to earn some money and how she had a change of heart in what to do with the money.  I also liked her Bubbie and her frequent comments about how things were changing which I imagine were common issues for people of her generation who came to the United States.  Just being uprooted from ones homeland and then experiencing many of the enormous changes the world was going through at that time in history had to be a very traumatic and scary experience for many of the immigrants.  It reminded me of a woman who I used to know whose family immigrated to the US from Germany right around the time of World War II.  The story she told about how her parents mailed money and clothes to family there so that they could celebrate a family wedding there in conjunction with the event here in the US was fascinating to me.  It was a great example of the family ties crossing the ocean, much the way they did with Rebecca’s family trying to figure out how to get some of their family out of danger in Russia.

The biggest downside to this book is the underlying story about the perils facing those still living in Russia.  Perhaps this is why this book was a let down to me as this is a part of history that I’ve done a lot of research about.  It would be very difficult to pay much attention to it in a book of this type as it would be a whole book in itself!  Plus I have to remind myself that these books are aimed at a grade school to middle school reader and it probably wouldn’t be all that interesting to them on a larger scale.  Hopefully it inspired some readers to go and do some research on their own as it’s a very complicated but interesting period in Russian history.

Overall, the book wasn’t horrible, but I found it hard to get excited about.  I do plan on reading the rest eventually though, and I’m hoping that we see more of Cousin Max and the annoying Leo.  I did get tired of hearing Rebecca continually complaining about not being allowed to do anything because she wasn’t old enough.  Maybe it was just me though.

What did you think of “Meet Rebecca”?

The book for November will be “Aloha, Kanani”.  We will be taking December off due to the holidays and will resume in January.  I will give the book list for the first part of 2018 next month so everyone has time to locate them.