A great find–just in time for Valentine’s Day!

Something I’ve been thinking a lot about over the past year is finishing up some specific doll collections.  In other words, perusing Ebay and other secondary market sources to get items that I maybe missed out on when they were originally out, but wished I’d picked up.

I have more Grace Thomas items than any other GOTY, her collection is by far my favorite.  But I am missing two outfits and I was missing one of the play sets that I was regretting not buying.  Keyword is WAS.  I was super excited to see this item pop up on Facebook Marketplace and not all that far from where I lived.  A few texts later, plans were made to meet up and next thing I knew, it was in my hands.  Yay!!

So…what was it???

Grace’s Pastry Cart!  Here is the pic from when it came out:

When this was initially introduced, it was $150.  So you can imagine how pleased I was to get it for $50, and with almost all of the pieces included and in terrific condition!

There were only 5 items missing–The bell that hangs from the top, the paper menu booklet, the clear plastic piece that fits over the cupcake box, business cards and the small shelf that attaches.  I can see how many of these pieces could easily be lost as they are small.  The shelf–it seems to be a frequently missing piece on this item when looking at them on Ebay, so it must not stay attached very well.  Unfortunately it’s the only piece I haven’t come up with a really good solution to, but I worked around it.

Here are photos of all of the pieces that were included.  When I picked it up, I asked the woman why they were getting rid of it.  She said that it had belonged to her 10 year old daughter and she never played with it.  I could tell by the condition of everything, all I really had to do was clean the dust off all of it.

Not only did the two loaves of bread come with it, but there was a bonus loaf as well!

This is the cupcake and box that was missing a cover.

It even included all the stickers for the menu board, I just didn’t take a picture.

I’m not sure exactly how many dollar bills were supposed to be included, but it’s not a big deal as I have other sets that have money with them if I want more.

Another bonus in the box was this AG balloon!

So after some thought, I came up with a plan.  I decided to run to Michaels to get a replacement bell (I now have an entire bag!) and I wrapped the cupcake without a package in plastic wrap from a cut up sandwich bag.  I liked it so much I decided to do it with a few other baked items I had.  I scrounged through all of my food items and pulled out some more pieces that related to a bakery theme, found a printable on another blog to make some boxes…did some cutting and folding, and I was set!  In fact, I liked this item so much after I was done, I decided that this would just be part of my living room décor for a while!

A close up of a well stocked bakery cart:

Then I decided it was missing something–an apron!  I had the perfect one in my stash of doll goodies.  TaDa!!

Mimi is hoping to do a lot of business today!

I was thrilled to get this item at first and now that I’ve had it sitting out for a bit, I’m even happier.  It’s really a cute piece and has a lot of potential for future ideas I have.  Once in a while things work out!   Now to go in search of the two Grace outfits I’m missing at a reasonable price…

Happy Valentine’s Day! 

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. 


You didn’t think she’d be an only child, did you???

I’ve decided I’m not going to say that I don’t have anymore room for dolls because every time I do, someone else joins the party!  It doesn’t help that new dolls keep coming out too.  But I can’t even blame this on them.  This was all my doing.

I’ve got several of the more recent Girl of the Year dolls–Saige, Lanie, Lea (Sophia), Kanani, Isabelle (Zara).  I was only missing one that I’d had any interest in, and I wasn’t even 100% sure I wanted her.  I went back and forth more times than I care to think about.  Finally I decided I would like to have her.  But Ebay prices–yikes!  And after the issues I’d had with Allie, I wasn’t sure I wanted to buy her from Ebay at all.  Then I found out that a friend was going to the Madison Children’s Museum sale.  Hmmm…dare I ask.  I finally decided to go for it, telling her that if she didn’t want to bother, I completely understood.  Honestly, I’m not sure I’d want to lug around a doll for someone else, but much to my surprise and happiness, she agreed!  Now we just had to have our fingers crossed that they would still have her when she got there.  Luck was on our side, and now she’s here and ready for her closeup!

Meet Allie’s sister–Christine Irene Rhodes!

I liked Grace, but like I said before, I wasn’t fully convinced I wanted her. Really, it’s kind of ridiculous, especially considering I have more of Grace’s collection than any other GOTY. And then when I got the doll that would become Allie, I thought they would make a cute set of sisters. Yeah, they have completely different coloring, but lots of sisters do. They have each inherited different traits from their parents, but their basic face shape is the same.

I promised when I unveiled Allie that I would tell you where her name came from. Christine’s isn’t too far off from where Allie’s comes from either. My favorite band is the Gin Blossoms. And my favorite song of theirs is “Allison Road”. Get it? I always used to joke that it would be fun if your last name was Rhodes to name your daughter Allison. Since my last name isn’t Rhodes and I don’t have a daughter, this was the next best way to do it! The story behind the song is kind of funny too, the lead singer was driving through Texas with a friend when they saw a sign for Allison Road. The friend’s sister’s name was Allison, so they decided it would be funny to stop and take a photo of it. Some time passed and one day the idea for the song came to him, and he started writing it. He has said it’s one of the fastest songs he’s ever written!

“Christine Irene” is another song by the Gin Blossoms, but not quite as popular as the other. I just thought it would be kind of funny to keep with the same theme. The post about Allie contained several hints too, I’m really surprised that no one figured it out. The title of the post “I’ve Learned Not To Say Never” is a line from their song “29”. Allie’s comment “No Chocolate Cake” is a reference to the name of one of their albums. And the girls are from Arizona which is where the band is from. Plus Allie is a fan of 90’s alternative which is the time period where the Gin Blossoms really hit it big with their album “New Miserable Experience”.

The girls are really happy to be here and excited to see snow. I haven’t burst their bubble. (shhhhhhh)

Allie is the oldest, she’s 13 (almost 14) and Christine is 12. Christine is a little bit nervous about starting at a new school, but Allie keeps telling her she’s going to be just fine.

Look out Kennedy, the Rhodes girls are here! 😉