American Girl, GOTY 2015, Grace
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The Spring Break Kansas City Trip, 2015

My husband, Forehead, and I decided to keep spring break low key so got in the car and headed to Kansas City for a day.  We ate at Jack Stack, which made him happy, and I got to go to American Girl, which made me happy.

The new photography kit that I’ve ordered has been held up in shipping, and I almost decided not to put this post up at all.  The lighting in the doll room is pretty weak, the backdrops are caught up in the shipment, and the doll room itself was an absolute disaster.  (Except for the spring break trip, I’ve been busy with my nose to the grindstone earning extra cash and so things like housecleaning have fallen by the wayside.)  I am no Martha Stewart and it shows.  I thought about putting this off until I’d cleaned up and the new kit had arrived, but I realized that as soon as class started up again after break I’d never get around to it.

So here goes!

I must have wandered around that store for two hours because I am the absolute worst at making up my mind and deciding what I want.  Everything is much easier to order online.  In person, I always second guess myself.  Since the corgi was on sale, I decided to go on ahead and buy him.  A good friend of mine in Tulsa is a corgi owner so I figured I would have to have a corgi represent in my collection!

"Oh hai!"

“Oh hai!”

The next pet was Samantha’s Cocker Spaniel, Jip.  Sam was my favorite when I was a child, and I loved that she had a cocker spaniel too (although Jip is blonde and my childhood cocker was black and white).  Cocker Spaniel equals automatic A+ in my book.

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I’ve seen some posters on forums demand to know why Jip’s fur is “so weird”.  That’s because they’ve given him the show Cocker cut.  Thumbs up to American Girl for accuracy with Jip’s grooming.

030Here’s a good picture where you can see the show cut.

So you can see they’ve done a great job.  I cannot imagine what an absolute pain it must be to maintain the Cocker show coat.  I tried to grow out Aurora’s coat (not to show length, but just a medium-long-ish cut) and we got out her little brush and groomed her religiously every night and she STILL came up with mats.  While she loves having her belly brushed, I think she would fit me for a coffin if I tried to grow out her coat to a show cut.

032The current PWP ($14 with $50 purchase minimum).  I will say this, I love the print on the dress.  It’s very light, very spring.

Like Croc flats, but worse.

Like Croc flats, but worse.

But these shoes…no.  They’re made of a really squishy, pliable purple plastic.  I just can’t get on board with these, I really can’t.  They fit on the doll’s feet fine, but they feel really cheap and look like it.  Boo to these flats.

034A little more detail on the crystals.  Hmph.  I didn’t like them there at first, but they’ve been growing on me…and I think I like them.  (I really need a macro lens.  That will be in the next order of kit.)

Now to be modeled by the lovely Isabelle:

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I think this would look great on Nicki…but I didn’t want to go digging in all my doll boxes to try and find her. 038All in all, I’m really pleased with this outfit.  I can even accept the crystals.

While I was at Kansas City, I saw that they were sold out of almost everything that I had specifically gone there to look at purchasing.  The spring peach lace dress.  Grace’s pajamas.  Grace’s pastry cart.  Grace’s bakery.  (that was kind of a relief, there was no way were were getting that in the car after we went to Ikea first.)  Half of the pets.  Lots of stuff that was on sale.  I went to look at the gardening bench and you know, even on sale I thought it was priced too high.

They had plenty of Grace’s Baking Outfit, however, so I bought that.  It’s by far the cutest outfit in her collection.  Really well made, I love the colors and the ballet flats are cute.

The cupcakes, I'm pleased to report, are the right way up.

The cupcakes, I’m pleased to report, are the right way up.

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The best part of this apron is the back. I love that detail.

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And then… *sigh*

I now officially hate myself.

I now officially hate myself.

Yep.  The baking set.  Is it overpriced for what it is?  You bet.  If the sifter, beaters for the mixer, and pastry cutter were metal, then, THEN I could wrap my mind around the $68 price tag.  I know they’ve done metal in the past.  But this is plastic, and that is really disappointing.

I swore I would not buy it, or I would take the risk and wait for it to go on sale.  (Now that I’ve purchased this it is practically guaranteed to go on sale, so you’re welcome.)  But in the end…I could not resist, and weakened.

Behold!

Behold!

You win this round, AG.  You win.  *shakes fist*

Please observe the mixer currently in the Our Generation Diner, where Grace is waiting tables so that she can earn money for that massive (in size and price) bakery.

I wish the mixing bowl was metal.  I wish the beater was enameled metal.  But *sigh* I couldn’t help myself.  I love this piece.  Fine, AG, I will tolerate this overpriced bundle if I get a Kitchen Aid-esque mixer.

This is a Kitchen Aid mixer from the late 70's with its bowl and attachments that I bought in a thrift store for $25.  It was absolutely filthy, and I cleaned it with a piece of steel wool--and didn't pay attention to what I was doing and scrubbed off the "Kitchen Aid" decal off the front.  It annoyed me so badly that I bought a new metal strip and replaced it, so learn from my fail.  I'm still mad I did that.

This is a Kitchen Aid mixer from the late 70’s with its bowl and attachments that I bought in a thrift store for $25. It was absolutely filthy, and I cleaned it with a piece of steel wool–and didn’t pay attention to what I was doing and scrubbed off the “Kitchen Aid” decal off the front. It annoyed me so badly that I bought a new metal strip and replaced it, so learn from my fail. I’m still mad I did that.  At least the mixer still runs like the day it was made and will probably keep doing so for another couple of decades.

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You can also tilt the head of the mixer back.  After you pop two AAA batteries in the compartment, the beater will spin when you press the button on the front.  Even with the “too much plastic” issue, I still love this piece…and I DO like the set.  I just think $68 is too much.  I know that I bought it anyway and have no right to complain, but this is definitely one of those pieces where I was gritting my teeth a little as the cashier was ringing me out.

It would be neat if it could light up, but I think that would end up being more of a hassle than it's worth.  Still a cute piece and very modern.

It would be neat if it could light up, but I think that would end up being more of a hassle than it’s worth. Still a cute piece and very modern.

I do like that tablet.  Although I would never use one myself in the kitchen (it would get flour fingerprints on it instantly and I’m sure to drop it at some point) I think it’s a neat addition to the set.  You get three cards and they slide in easily to the tablet.  They are laminated pretty thickly with a high gloss so that once you slide one in it really does look like it’s behind a proper tablet screen.  What modern times we live in.  This is where I get to sit back and feel old, I guess.

Other musings:

This was the first time I’ve gotten to visit an AG store on a weekday afternoon when it wasn’t an absolute and total madhouse.  It is much more my style, especially since AGKC is the size of a shoebox.  The employees were very attentive and helpful.  But another part of the fun was getting to people watch, especially the little girls who were there to pick out their first AG doll.  I got my first catalog when I was seven and have been a dedicated collector ever since–I’m in my early 30s now.  It’s nice to sit back and see someone else getting that magic for the first time.   God help us all if my little niece wants me to take her to American Girl Place: New York.  While I can stick to a budget for myself in store, I have an uneasy feeling that I’m not going to be able to say no to anything she asks if she falls in love with this hobby like I did.  I’m sure that’s the road to disaster, but it sure would be a fun trip!

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