Coolspring Time Again!

Hey guys, Abby here!  I’m sure from the title, you can figure out what this post is about.  Yes, time to go to the Coolspring Power Museum to see Xyra, and this time Grace. I was super excited to get to go, especially since I wasn’t originally supposed to.  Marie-Grace already had dibs on going, but then she got a bad cold and sore throat, so Flo decided she should stay home and recover.  I couldn’t believe when she asked me if I would like to go, I couldn’t get “YES” out of my mouth fast enough!

We weren’t sure what to expect weatherwise, the forecast was all over the place.  We hit rain here and there, but once we got there, it cleared up and we didn’t see another drop.  Once we arrived, Flo texted Xyra, and before too long, she and Grace came to meet us.

It was so nice to meet her-and her dog BonBon too! He’s so cute!

There is so much to see at Coolspring! I thought the “Boneyard” looked pretty interesting though. These are parts of non-functioning engines so that people can see them. The fun part is that, unlike the ones that work, you can touch these. So we really checked them out!  (please remember that these are not safe for humans to climb on, only dolls!)



“Come on Abby, you can do it!  The view is great up here!”

“Sorry BonBon!”



“Hello down there!”


Flo said it wouldn’t be a lunch at Coolspring without some homemade ice cream.  It was so good!  Afterwards, we  checked out some more engines that were behind where we had been sitting while we ate.


Then it was time for us to go. I was so sad to leave, I had such a fun time hanging out with Xyra and Grace. Hopefully I’ll get to go again sometime.

Xyra sent us home with some fun goodies to share!
A cool hiking stick, awesome! This is going to come in handy the next few weeks to go walking in the woods with. Lots of pretty leaves to see.
A birdhouse. What colors should we paint it?
A Minion bank for Cassandra. She’s going to love this! I think the round things are stickers, I need to investigate further.
A travel journal, a flyer on rain forests and an American Girl Magazine! Awesome! We always need new reading material around here.
Oooooo! A cauldron that we can use for Halloween decorations or for someone to take trick or treating. And another similar item that will look fantastic with a light in it for the holiday season.
And this cute little doll. Xyra called it a “worry doll”. I don’t know why, it doesn’t look very worried to me!

Thanks again Xyra and Grace for being such great hosts at Coolspring! We had a great time.  Flo told me that she is already making some special plans with Xyra for the next time she goes in June.  I can’t wait to see what it is!

If you’d like to see what Grace and Xyra did when we weren’t there, you can check it out over at Tea Time with Melody Q. And if you’d like to learn more about the Coolspring Power Museum, you can check it out here:

One Broke Girl–Timing is everything!

When I started this challenge, it was because I was outraged at the price of $500 for the bakery offered by American Girl in their new GOTY collection. Now it has taken on a new meaning. Last week, my husband found out that the company that he just started working for in 2013 had been sold. It was certainly a shock to us, and now we are faced with a lot of unknown factors at the moment. Until we know a little more about what is going to happen, I’ve put myself on a self-imposed spending reduction. No fun, I’ll admit, but in all honesty, it’s a good kick in the butt to work on some of these projects that I’ve been putting off, but have all the materials to make! I couldn’t help but laugh though and think to myself that I was glad I didn’t have my heart set on buying Grace, job uncertainty is the same reason I missed out on buying Saige 2 years ago. The other part that stinks is that we had to cancel our plans to go visit family in New York City in April. I was looking forward to seeing them as well as going to the AG store there and several other things we had planned. 😦 I may have to call my cousin and see if she will go pick me up Coconut’s Statue of Liberty outfit since I don’t know when we will get there.

This week I’m going to show you how I recreated one of the smaller things in the bakery: the rolling pin and dough. It really was quite simple.

American Girl version

First off, while I was at our area craft store (Pat Catan’s), I found not one, but two different sized mini rolling pins. I wasn’t sure which size would work best for this, so I ended up buying them both. Then I remembered back to my own childhood, my mom frequently had two different sized rolling pins that she used for different kinds of baking projects. They were cheap enough too, the smaller one was a whopping 83 cents and the large was all of 89 cents. Last of the big spenders!  I’ve heard they sell these at Hobby Lobby as well.

Now to recreate the dough.  Several months ago I watched a YouTube video created by Sharry, “mom” to Julie of Julie Newman’s 70’s Time Capsule on how to make Jiffy Pop for your 18 inch doll.  Very clever and informative video, but what intrigued me more was what she used to make it with.  A product called Model Magic.

dough 2

I’d never heard of this before, so I asked her some questions about it and then bought myself some.  I have a lot of problems buying different kinds of clays.  I’m not a fan of Sculpey because you have to bake it and when you do, the stench it puts off is not only terrible smelling, but I do question the safety of it as well.  I can’t use regular dough type clays like PlayDoh because most of them have wheat flour in them and I am highly allergic to it.  Model Magic was the answer to my prayers when it comes to clay, it requires no baking, just needs to sit to dry, can be mixed just like other clays to create custom colors and NO WHEAT!

dough 3

To make my “dough” for my bakery, I took a blob of Model Magic in a light shade, rolled it in a ball, then used one of the mini rolling pins to roll it out in the shape I wanted.  Then I took a toothpick to rough up the ends a bit so it looked more natural.  I think it turned out cute!

dough 4

I’ve been debating on painting the rolling pins or just leaving them as is.  I doubt that I can duplicate the ornate design like on the AG ones, so I may not bother.  We’ll see.  I may also make another dough blob in a different size, color and shape for variety.

This week my expenditures were a whopping $1.72 for the rolling pins.  I already had the Model Magic and I didn’t use much of it to begin with, so I’m not counting that.  If you don’t have Model Magic and wheat isn’t an issue, I think that PlayDoh would work just as well, you might need to paint it to be the color you want since it does tend to turn white when it dries. There are also a lot of recipes for making your own dough out of simple household ingredients on the internet, give one of those a try and save a trip to the store!

Total Spent as of January 13–  $11.92

Items bought through January 19– $1.72

Total Spent as of January 19–$13.64

See you next week with the next project!