A Peek Into the Pantry 4th Anniversary Giveaway

A Peek into the Pantry is one of my all time favorite blogs and it is the FOURTH anniversary of the blog so the lovely author, Gwen, is having a GIVEAWAY.

I know we all love giveaways so please check out the giveaway and this great blog. If you like food and dolls (like me) then you will love it too.

Hip, hip, hooray for A Peek into the Pantry’s Fourth Anniversary!

Dallas Part 2

The Dallas store features two floors. Upstairs is the salon and Bistro (which wasn’t open when we arrived). I picked up the adorable Coconut shirt for dolls.

Kaya’s teepee is the one thing that caught my sidekick’s eye. He thought this was really neat.

Kaya is on my wish list but I would prefer an older one. Her new dress and the beaver are cool.

Kit’s got another outfit…surprise. It is cute but again, this the kid who would not have had funds to have a million clothes. That said,  I did pick up Kit’s Floral Print Dress on clearance for my new used Kit doll.

Julie has also gotten a new set. She is the perfect marketing tool against those of us too old for the original release of dolls. I even knew a girl named Julie who looked like her.

We also got to see the newer salon sets.

As we were leaving, I spotted Nanea’s new bed. I admit that I like the style of this product. I wish it was actually wood and … well, I don’t need it either way. I’m looking forward to seeing someone craft it.

So that was Dallas AG. I picked up Dallas t’s for the dolls too. All in all, nice trip.

Oh, and my son’s team? They made it to the finals which qualified them for $25,000 as a team of four. However, the first team they played in the finals was the favorite to win. They took some solace in watching every other team not score against them either. The guys had a great time and I got to go to the doll store.

back from Dallas

We went to Dallas for QuakeCon 2017 where my son was in the Finals for Quake Champions (which is a video game for anyone else, like me, who doesn’t know). My ex-husband was kind enough to Uber it over to the Galleria Mall in Dallas with me and summed up visiting the store well, “This must be how you feel when I take you to a computer store.” Uhm…yup.

Inside, a quick glance to the right shows the new hotel set…

And to the left, here’s Tenney!

Off further back on the right, the new versions of the Truly Me line…

In the center as you enter, Nanea gets center stage.

I love both the swimsuit and Hawaiian dress (I actually have a dress similar to this that belonged to my grandmother I will have to drag out of my closet and see if it fits).

Aside from the pricetag, how do you not love the store set?

Nanea’s collection

The other new Dolling – Z

A lot of Z’s collection was out of stock but they did have the new backdrop.

More later…including what I picked up and how my son’s team did in the Finals.

campfire cutie finally found!

I’ve been on the lookout for Our Generation’s Campfire Cutie outfit since it came out. I really wanted that plaid shirt. It was funny to me that American Girl’s boy Logan comes in a t with plaid shirt over it. I wanted to try this plaid on Thomas.


Thomas’ cargo pants are from a random retailer as are his boots. They may have come from Antina’s eons ago but I can’t remember. His shirt is not labeled Corolle but it came from a French department store Corolle section almost 20 years ago. My kids had just gotten their American Girl dolls (of which Thomas was one of them) and we didn’t have the dolls with us but purchased on faith that it would be a close fit. Somewhere there is also a light yellow one. I am still so happy they fit!

Out of the box, you can really see how much is in this set – a great value even at the full price of $17.99. In addition to the plaid shirt, you get denim look leggings, boots, a guitar, two smores, a pack of jumbo marshmallows and a stick with a marshmallow and hot dog. Before you think it, no, there’s nothing that hot dog goes with but my daughter determined that the hole in it is smaller than the marshmallow so it’s entire purpose seems to be to keep the marshmallow on the stick.

Thomas was originally a PC Kirsten. As such, his tummy and bum are a little fuller than modern Mattel AG counterparts. OG clothes are often slightly smaller than AG clothes too. I could absolutely use this shirt unbuttoned if I had to. And yes! These are REAL BUTTONS with BUTTONHOLES. How awesome is that?

I do think the shirt is a little snug. Gen popped over to offer her opinion. “I think it fits ok but it would look better on me!”

“I think the rest of the outfit looks great on you, Gen!” Thomas told her.

Gen’s shirt is part of a dance outfit from My Life As (Walmart). The set does not appear on the website right now. It went over something; it wasn’t intended to be worn as a crop top with a wide neck showing. It looks ok to me but not really child play spectacular.

Thomas, being a gentleman, offered Gen a smore. She was delighted.

Suyin popped over to see what all the fuss was. Gen talked Thomas into letting her try on the plaid shirt.

“It looks great!” Thomas told her.

I do think the shirt will fit the newer AGs better. Since the colors do go with Thomas’ blue shirt, I should have tried it over that but didn’t think of it until I saw these photos later (although I think his blue shirt is longer). I am impressed that Gen’s feet fit in these boots with no issues. The leggings also have good coverage.

We had an intruder come check out the accessories. He loved the hot dog. That’s why it’s there! (The bear is a Valentine’s day stuffy from Target. He came with a small box of candy around his neck).

Suyin went to help get the tea ready. Everyone else settled in for a photo. Gen said she might have to learn how to play the guitar because it’s so cute. Our bear friend joined us too!

Gen invited Thomas to tea but he thought it would be more fun to hang with the bear. I mean, how often does one get to hang with a bear?

two new dolls

Happy Monday, Dollings!

This weekend I finally got a chance to let my new friends out of their boxes. On the left we have American Girl Truly Me Number 54 and on the right, Our Generation Suyin.

I took #54 out of her box first because I thought it would be easier. It was. No hairnet and the neck and ankles were wrapped with plastic foam under the strapping.

Our Generation doll boxes have an insert that slides out. The neck and ankles are secured with zip ties that you must cut carefully to release the doll.

Both dolls stand pretty well. Suyin is a little off balance right out of the box but putting her one arm back balances her nicely. Suyin comes with a beautiful light pink coat. I took it off to see her dress which is also lovely. Suyin is a non poseable (aka regular) doll from OG. She has the same points of articulation as an American Girl. Oh, yes, her eye sticks. I have found this with a few OG dolls; they do loosen up over time with play (movement).

Skivvies test! I removed both dresses and shoes and Suyin’s tights. Suyin’s undies are definitely more bikini’s but I am still glad to see them included on her. #54’s look at little lumpy here for some reason. I was not clever enough to get a picture of their backsides in their own undies.

Undie swap! As you can see, #54’s undies seem to fit Suyin better than her own. Suyin’s bikini’s look good on #54 too.

Suyin is still doing well backside with the Truly Me undies; on both dolls, the bikini underwear is not full enough cut for their bums.

Suyin’s dress, tights and shoes fir #54 well. The Truly Me outfit and shoes also fit Suyin well. The colors aren’t anymore flattering to Suyin that they were to #54. Consensus was that we just really don’t like this Truly Me outfit. The shoes really don’t go except for the little bit of embroidery near the shoulder which feels like an afterthought. If it weren’t for the gold in Suyin’s dress (next to the white dots are gold dots), I would say the AG shoes go better with the OG dress. (The AG shoes have big silver dots on the toes).

“Try the jacket!” Suyin suggested. Now, I bet you were expecting it not to fit over #54’s hands (so was I). I was pleasantly surprised that it did.

I think this jacket looks great on #54! I guess we should stop calling her #54 too. Meet Gen Chen! She is named after my sister’s friend. Her full first name is Genevieve.

Overall, the price points for OG are much fairer than AG which we all already know. The wig on the Our Generation doll crimped in packaging (I’ll try a hot water treatment) but the hair feels soft like a PC AG. I had to trim Gen’s bangs and she had constant flyaways so I’m not that impressed with the AG wigs lately.

The dolls have the same limited range of motion and both sit goofy because of their hip joints. They can’t do much but sit still and look pretty.

I will do separate posts on each doll later so you can see their uniquenesses. (Yes, I made up that word). I really enjoy Suyin’s face sculpt. I wish OG would choose different vinyl colors though. Several of their skin tones photograph out to yellow orange and not very natural looking. Then again, AG tends to pull flat or beige in photos so eh, whatcha gonna do?

While I was taking photos of our new friends, we were also hosting a tea party. Come back tomorrow for that post!


“Call me Suzi,” Suyin told Gen, “everyone else does.”

holiday haul

At the end of last year, I obtained two lots of AG stuff from ebth. My sister kindly hand washed it all for me for Christmas. I spent under a $100 for everything including shipping (which I’m pleased with. You have to decide for yourself what something is worth to you).

Photo One – Classic Doll’s Clothes

clockwise from top left:

Molly’s Robe w tie

Kirsten’s Housecoat

Kirsten’s Nightgown

Samantha’s Middy Dress

Samantha’s Nightgown

Samantha’s Robe

Molly’s Pajama Pants

middle from left to right:

Molly’s Skirt

Kirsten’s Bloomers

Photo Two – American Girl of Today and GOTY Jess’ Clothes

IMG_6168 b

by row from left to right starting in the upper left

Top Row:

Jacket, pants, striped shirt from the First Day Outfit (2nd Meet Outfit)

T from the In-line Gear Outfit

Rashguard and Tankini from Jess’ 2-in-1 Kayaking Outfit

Bikini, Hooded Robe and Pink Skirt from the Seaside Wardrobe

Next to bottom row:

as yet identified Green Shorts (possibly Bitty)

Purple Backback from the School Gear Set

as yet identified frilly pink skirt with mesh underlay (from the Jess lot)

Pink Shorts from Jess’ 2-in-1 Kayaking Outfit

Madeline’s Pajamas (not American Girl)

Bottom row:

Molly’s shorts from her Tennis Outfit

Bitty Baby Red Gingham Sun Hat

Knit/crochet booties (could be Bitty)

purple bloomers (probably Bitty)

While most sets are not complete, there were books, shoes and accessories as well. I confess, I packed up the non-clothes and I’m not sure where I put them. But I know you want to see them so here are the original sale photos from ebth. See what else you can make out!

breaking up is hard to do

Happy Valentine’s Day, Dollings!

It’s that time of year to celebrate those you love and I want to let you all know how much I cherish the doll community especially YOU.

Unfortunately, this year, there’s something I needed to do to be whole for Valentine’s Day. That’s right, it was time to break up with an unhealthy relationship that left me angered, confused and quite bluntly, feeling betrayed. You know who I mean. Some of you are right here with me.

I am breaking up with Mattel’s American Girl dolls.

Our relationship had become very rocky since Mattel took over American Girl brand. Several things in the past week have made me realize just how unhealthy our relationship had become.

I tried to work it out. I let Mattel know that I wasn’t happy but the response I received felt like an automated customer service machine. I need to feel validated, not dismissed, when I have something to say in order to feel my relationship is healthy. That’s not unreasonable.

Several folks have posted about the new levels of low quality (check out: https://themouselair.com/2017/02/13/the-great-permapanty-debate/). I haven’t seen the flat out denials from Mattel that this isn’t their product but I have heard they’ve said that. I’ve been upset since the limbs changed to lower quality fasteners which will require more dolly hospital trips (Who remembers the Lindsey legs??? Have we learned nothing?). And then I heard that the doll hospital isn’t even addressing things well.

SO many rumors about my beloved!

Yes, I join others in not liking the permanent panty design. (see Flo’s post here: https://sayhellotomylittlefriends.wordpress.com/2017/02/10/the-protest/)

This isn’t just about panties to me though. AG brand quality has been going downhill since Mattel took over.

My worst fears that the rational behind all the changes is Mattel’s profit margin has been confirmed. This is their response to a Jezebel article on the panty uprising (original article here: http://jezebel.com/everyones-really-upset-that-they-cant-take-the-panties-1792137653)

I’m not a media genius but I have no reason to doubt this publication as genuine (aka not fake news as this would be way too much of a liability to publish). I have to question why, if the cost of doll making has gone up so exponentially, that we haven’t seen all doll brands spike in price since they aren’t reducing their quality. Maybe they didn’t include profit margin in their costs? Also, who did Mattel watch play? I’ve never seen a girl not strip a doll and brush her hair like crazy.

What does this mean, Mattel? I tried talking to you. I tried your changes. I wanted to adapt but I miss my American Girl brand. So, it’s over Mattel. I can’t do this anymore. I am letting you go.

When this came today (that’s right, I was a GOLD MEMBER of AG rewards), I clicked unsubscribe.

And I followed through with it. My next step, Facebook.

I’ve unliked you, AG. The new header was a nice touch but I won’t be visiting your website either. For the record, I told you before that I had concerns about the BeForever color selections and you stated the color choices were historically accurate. I’m just going to note that you may be right but just because something was available, doesn’t mean a child had access to it let alone an average child.

That brings me to another issue, one I secretly avoid discussing because it’s so much of a trigger.

You’re an elitist, American Girl. What I believe was once intended to be a toy of hope has become a symbol of greed and privilege.  As a consumer, I accept responsibility for my part this revelation. I think it’s important that I put it out there that I believe Pleasant Roland, AG’s founder, didn’t intend to make an elite toy. I think, like many dollmakers, she set out to make a great doll and I believe she did. I do not have any criticism that her toys were intended to be exclusionary and I believe her record speaks for itself. However, I have sharp criticism of the way things have been handled since Mattel took over.

How many times do I have to say it but why does the depression era Kit have more outfits than any other doll? Profitability, plain and simple. These are not my values. The whole perma-panties escalation genuinely makes me feel like Mattel is body shaming my dollies and children everywhere. I am not ok with that.

AG, I don’t want to be bitter. I want to remember the good times we had. Thank you for Saige, my first GOTY of my own (not my kids). Thank you for the Kirsten that became Thomas when my son wanted to play with his sisters and the memories of the hairdresser who had to answer questions all day while he sat and waited for me to pick him up without the kids seeing so he could be a Christmas surprise. Thank you for Nellie’s sisters who literally fell off a truck and were delivered by a stranger who saw the box fall off the truck, retrieved it, saw the label and HAND DELIVERED it because it was from American Girl and he knew how much it was going to mean to the child awaiting the Christmas package (they were my daughters last two dolls).  Thank you for the doll my daughter named after me.

I am going to cherish what we’ve had American Girl. You have meant a great deal to me and my family.

Here’s my checklist for breaking up with Mattel’s American Girl if you feel you need to be in a healthier relationship too.

Break-up Checklist

  1. Unfinished business: Use any AG giftcards you have (no point in throwing away money). Do not use coupons or enticements unless you have already spent money (use it with a giftcard-paid purchase).
  2. Communicate: Let AG know that you’re done and why in whatever format works for you (social media, email, snail mail).
  3. Disconnect: Unsubscribe, unlike, unfollow…however, you’re connected to the company, let go.
  4. Savor: Be proud of who you are and what made you that way including your dolls and your dreams. It’s still ok to enjoy AG. If you still want to shop, there are many secondary markets available now for older items. New releases will eventually trickle down to the secondary market as well (check your sellers out first always!).
  5. Heal: Acknowledge your priorities, accept limitations, believe in your convictions and values. Don’t chastise yourself for staying informed if you want to keep up. Don’t feel like you’re obligated to do anything you aren’t comfortable with. Utilize your friends in the doll community for support and support them as well.
  6. Move on: Catalog your own collection yourself or on Dollation. Learn more about other products. Make more. Play more!

AG Orlando

We built a few non-park days into our trip including a day for American Girl!


After an exhaustive search for parking, I finally made it to the storefront! I have never had a worse parking experience at a shopping mall and I live near King of Prussia mall! Parking was so bad that the store clerks even commented that it was worse than Black Friday. Why? Who knows. All I know is this reinforces my desire to have AG in Disney Springs instead of the Florida Mall (which has NO parking garage btw – insane).



Maryellen’s collection is nice, especially her holiday accessories. She greeted us right inside the door. The store is only accessible from the exterior of the mall. This was a first for me. I have been to Atlanta, DC, NYC and Nashville. NYC is not in a mall but the others are. I was not particularly excited about the exterior entrance only to be honest. Orlando is by far my least favorite AG to date before I even got in the door.


A little further in and we spotted Melody! One drawback to the stores with Bistros is that the items get caged away in clear plastic so I you can’t tell if this set is awesome or just looks pretty. Our local Philly (King of Prussia) temporary store doesn’t have it (but does have the kitchen out so we can play). I could interact with the set in Atlanta.



Speaking of play…the kitchen and camper are still excellent! I adjusted this camper too (I also adjusted Atlanta!). It seems that none of the AG stores were told to lift up the kitchen piece so it was a better height. I wonder if the employees were given the instructions!



We have the older version of the tv set and love it. Likewise, we have lots of OG camping sets so neither of these are contenders for our house but they appear to be nice sets.


Addy is still one of my favorites that I don’t have so I always seek her out (I’d like to find an older version of both her and Kaya). She looks comfy on her bed!


No one was more comfy that this Bitty (that I previously shared).


The same outfit on multiple dolls is a theme right now with some sets including this cheer set. I think the display is adorable. Thankfully, my dolls aren’t into group sports (who can afford that?).


Just in time for the holidays is the new carriage. Yay! I do have Samantha’s carriage sled so I won’t be doing this one but the set is beautiful. (Budget buy: Our Generation sleigh)


Lastly, we have little Lea. I admit it. I want the hut. I have no room. I don’t need it. I won’t get it but I want this over Grace’s kitchen last year. The little girl in me just sees an independent space for her dolly to exist and I love that. (Yes, those backyard She Sheds really appeal to me too).

What’s on your 2016 AG Wish List?

Atlanta AG


Trying to decide who was coming with me to Orlando wasn’t too tough. I knew I was not in a position to take a full size doll so I took my Lori doll, Katie! Before we could go, she would need something a little more practical that her fluffy green sweater set so Pamela traded clothes with Katie (FKA Tama). I think the sweater set looks MUCH better on Pam anyway. Pam’s khakis would be good for traveling.

The AutoTrain on our way down from DC to Orlando was cancelled last minute due to the hurricane. We ended up having to rent a car as both of ours went kerplewy the morning we should have left! Part of 95 was still closed to we took an inland route via Atlanta so we could visit the World of Coke and American Girl (we had hope to also catch relatives but that didn’t time out well). We napped in North Carolina overnight (very chilly!) and went straight to AG when we woke up.


Katie was just as happy to get out of the car as we were by the time we hit Atlanta! The store was well situated and easy to find. Parking was ample on a weekday morning. Sadly, the cafe was not open yet when we arrived but they had customized Lea treats on feature which was nice.


The Wellies are everywhere when you walk in.




I loved these girl sized activity displays with attractive artwork!



One of our newest ladies got some prime real estate a few steps in – Melody!


I really love this set. I had a table set like this growing up. I am so stoked there is Vernors too! I love Vernors to this day. (Vernors is a vanilla ginger ale).


Mini Melody was tempting but I left her at the store. The holiday wrapped boxes are fantastic. I would love to get one for Christmas!


The recording studio! It is awesome. I don’t have space but I love it especially since I am recording my own album right now.



A few steps out into the mall is this wonderful carousel! We did not have time for a ride sadly.


We did a quick visit to the World of Coke while in Atlanta too.


This little display was about the only (mini) doll sized thing in sight but it was adorable.


I do have some printables planned with some literature I grabbed from the World of Coke. As soon as I unpack our goodies, I’ll share what we bought too…doll sized Coke bottles!

Orlando TRU

We hadn’t intended to hit Toys R Us but our return AutoTrain was delayed several hours so we had some extra time!



There were plenty of Wellie Wishers in stock. No Truly Me here.


The holiday Journey Girls are out. I think both skin/eye/hair combinations are lovely this year. The face mold is unique to this doll too.


This TRU had most of the newest versions of the dolls



and a good selection of accessories including the new value pack 2 doll combo and some clearance accessories.