Updates and Season’s Treatings!


“Season’s Treatings” Cookie Tree Snowman Ornament |  found at Hallmark (link)

Arista with Cookie Ornament

Season’s Treatings!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! I am extremely thankful this year! Since my last post, my husband and I have made the transition from apartment renters to first time homeowners! It’s been a wild ride so far! Escrow was just as crazy as people say. Even after being on top of everything we had control over (getting paperwork sent in, etc.), there were still days that we thought we were going to lose the place. And to make matters worse, there were people eagerly hoping we’d fall out of escrow so they could swoop in. But finally, in late October, the place was ours and we were able to move in. Our condo is a bit of a fixer, but we’re slowly fixing and changing out everything that’s broken or gross (I’m now an expert at changing out toilet seats haha). We’re still unpacking, but I recently unearthed all of my American Girl stuff, so I thought it was about time for a new MINI MAD post!

Before all the moving madness, I found this “Season’s Treatings” ornament at Hallmark. Usually I don’t seek out ornaments to use as doll items – they’re typically expensive and the metal loops at the top break that sense of realism for me. But this ornament was both nicely priced (even better with a coupon) and has the metal loop hidden behind the top “cookie”.

Cookie Ornament from Hallmark

A tree of cookies!

The scale is a little smaller than typical American Girl food, but I still think it works well – the cookie tree is about the size of a lot of doll desserts on etsy. It’s a great size for Barbie or American Girl mini dolls, too. And even though it’s sparkly, the sparkles don’t rub off easily at all. I’m pretty happy with it! I might even look into others in this ornament series and see if any would make good additions.

Arista on Display

These are a few of my favorite things…

The ornament works especially well with Arista in Grace’s Baking Outfit (with some of the accessories from Grace’s Baking Set (I managed to snag one when it went on that one-day sale!).

I LOVE having Arista displayed in our den. I know the “typical adult” thing to do is have random sculptures or fake books or other things that have no sentimental value but are considered decorative, but my husband and I can’t bring ourselves to do that. And luckily, a lot of my family members are the same way. Both my mom and my aunt also like to display dolls. But up until today, my aunt didn’t have an American Girl doll to add to her collection.

I’d been feeling bad for awhile now that I didn’t really display Marie-Grace or Caroline as often as my other dolls. They’re beautiful dolls, but just weren’t my favorite. So Caroline recently found a new home with my mom (who had been wanting one for awhile) and Marie-Grace became my aunt’s first real American Girl doll. I can’t begin to describe how thrilled she was to get Marie-Grace. She absolutely loves her! And MG is almost like her mini me (minus brown eyes), so it’s all the more fitting for my aunt to have her. I’m just glad that both dolls went to people who are SO happy to have them.

I hope you and yours have a Happy Thanksgiving weekend! ♥


Barn Dance & BBQ Set

Barn Dance & BBQ Set Our Generation

I’m a stickler for details when it comes to accessory sets – which is why in the past I haven’t really given the Our Generation sets a second glance. But after hearing a lot of fellow collectors rave about the newer accessories, I’ve been checking the OG aisle at Target periodically to see what’s new. I almost got the Love a Luau set, but it wasn’t enough to really sway me.

But then yesterday I saw this Barn Dance & BBQ set… and as the Monkees song goes, “Now I’m a believer!”

OG Barn Dance & BBQ Set

Summer in a set!

The set sells for $16.99 at Target. Can you imagine what this set would cost if it were made by American Girl? Probably five times as much! That said, the OG set materials do feel a little cheaper – but they photograph just as well (and that’s all I really care about).

So, without further ado, Arista and I would like to invite you to take a closer look at this set!

Barn Dance invite

Grab a bandana; this here’s a barn dance!


The bandana is made from soft, thin material that’s printed on one side and triangle-shaped. The edges are folded over and sewn, which is nice, but the giant OG tag is a little annoying.


The set minus the bandana.

The Set comes with the bandana, an invitation, three corn cobs, a basket of buffalo wings and legs, two hot dogs, two paper plates, two sodas, a harmonica, a BBQ grill (minor assembly required), and a horseshoe toss game. Let’s start with the most essential part of any shindig – the food!


Looks good enough to eat!

The Food

I’ve been wanting some more non-dessert foods for my dolls – particularly more “fun” foods, like these summertime favorites. I’m really impressed by the nice paint job on all of these items, too! The hot dogs look very realistic and the corn has individually painted kernels to give them more depth. The chicken isn’t as nicely detailed, but the realistic colors make up for that. The cluster of legs and wings are glued to a paper-lined plastic container, but the hot dogs and corn are separate from the paper plates.


Nothing says summer like a BBQ!

The Grill

This little grill is pretty cute – and it looks just like a small, portable grill! It comes in six separate pieces – three legs, one grill grate, one grill lid and the grill body. It’s pretty easy to assemble – just stick the legs into the sockets, place the grill grate on top and you’re good to go!

Invite and Amusements

Invite and Party Amusements

The Invite, Harmonica and Horseshoe Game

The majority of what I do for a living involves graphic design, so I’m pretty picky about it in anything I purchase. This little flyer’s not bad! There’s a few things I would’ve done differently, but it’s better than I expected from a minor accessory. It’s a lot easier to take a picture of a barn or grill and slap “BBQ PARTY” above it, so the fact that they spent time to design a realistic invite is pretty nice. The harmonica and horseshoe game are both nicely detailed as well. I’m not sure if the harmonica actually works (I didn’t want to test it out), but it’s a good size for the dolls. On the other hand, the horseshoe game seems a little small. Maybe as a portable, table top version?

Overall, this is a pretty nice set for under $20! The scale is a little off for some of the pieces, but since I’m mostly using them for picture props, it’s not much of a deal breaker. As much as I love American Girl, it’s nice to see other companies getting into the mix with cute accessories.

Mini Sailor Moon Plush


Mini Plush Sailor Moon |  found at an anime convention

Arista with Sailor Moon plush

Collecting plushies by daylight…

It’s been a while since my last post! I’m not exactly sure how the time flew by so fast, but it consisted of busy times at work, a mini staycation to celebrate my husband’s and my 3rd wedding anniversary, seeing family, and watching lots of When Calls the Heart (it’s cheesy, but I kind of love it!)! There may be some more busy weeks ahead, but I’ll try not to let another month go by between posts!

My husband and I recently went to an anime convention and spent the majority of the time weaving through the Dealer’s Hall, finding all sorts of neat things. One of the treasures I found was this mini Sailor Moon plush! It’s really supposed to be a bag accessory, but it looks a lot like the old Sailor Moon UFO catcher plushes (but in perfect American Girl scale). I actually lucked out and got the very last one at this particular stall.

Sailor Moon plush

Moon… mini… cuteness… OVERLOAD!


I grew up watching Sailor Moon on Toonami (Cartoon Network). My cousins, sister and I each had a different favorite scout (though, if I remember correctly, no one actually liked Sailor Moon the best haha). My favorite is still Sailor Venus. She’s just so warm, friendly, fun and a little goofy; how can anyone not love her!?

Sailor Venus

The BEST scout (in my humble opinion), Sailor Venus!

Today, Arista is channeling Sailor Moon and Sailor Venus’ love of all things sweet and romantic.

Arista's OOTD

Love and Beauty Frock

Top: Isabelle’s meet t-shirt

Skirt: Isabelle’s sparkly skort with ballet tutu layered on top

Shoes: Flats from Grace’s City Outfit

Accessories: Headband from Grace’s City Outfit, Grace’s heart earrings with Eiffel Tower dangles

Maybe once I’m a little more advanced at sewing, I’ll try to make a sailor scout costume for her (or if I’m feeling really ambitious, sailor fuku for everyone!). In the meantime, it’s back to getting ready for the start of another busy week.


OOTD – French Vanilla & the Start of a New Project

Outfit of the Day – Arista

Ever start off thinking you want to make one thing, but when you try to find what you need to make it, you can’t find ANYTHING? But then you find other stuff that looks neat, so you decide to make something entirely different? Yeah…

I’ve been toying with the idea of making a black mage costume for Arista for a while now. I finally got my butt down to my local Joann’s (which usually doesn’t have anything) and true to form, they didn’t have anything that was calling my name. A black mage is a FINAL FANTASY class type that specializes in dealing elemental damage to foes (in FINAL FANTASY XIV, that usually includes lightning, fire, and ice attacks). This class is not only fun to play, but it’s one that I could see myself actually “being” if people were able to wield the elements. I don’t think I’d be brave enough to be up close with a sword and shield, and I wouldn’t want to focus on healing my teammates (as noble as that effort would be) – I’d wanna be standing at a distance, maniacally laughing as a giant fireball scorched whatever foe had dared to threaten my friends. I guess that probably says something about me – I’m chill until provoked and then watch out! Or maybe I like to make a big impact from the comfort of being at a distance…? I don’t know. I’m an INFJ; I confound myself all the time.

Speaking of confounding myself…

This is the top to whatever creation is slowly taking form. I found this GORGEOUS sheer lace fabric and some pretty purple brocade (which I’ll tackle later on) and my black mage plans turned a bit more… princess-y? Since I’m not sure what I want to do for a skirt, I thought I’d use it as a top for now.

Arista with lace top

French Vanilla

Top: Cream lace and satin top from a project I’m currently working on! (with an added blue ribbon)

Pants: Jeans by Royal Doll Boutique on Etsy

Shoes: Sparkly Black Flats

Accessories: Grace’s Meet Charm Bracelet, Grace’s blue bow earrings with Eiffel Tower dangles, lace bow from Samantha’s holiday dress, Grace’s souvenir cookies.

My inspiration for… whatever I’m in the process of creating… is THIS amazing Elie Saab dress.

Elie Saab dress

How do I love this dress? Let me count the ways…

I love this dress. This is the dress a mermaid princess would choose for her first foray on land. It looks like it’s made of sea foam and a mosaic of shells. OH, HOW I LOVE THIS DRESS.

But, unfortunately, I am not as talented as Mr. Saab. My first rendition of this top was a bit more sheer, a bit closer to the original, but I couldn’t figure out how to make it work the way I wanted. I saved it, but decided to try again. This version is more generic. It looks like something you might see topping a prom or wedding dress. But I’m happy with it so far. The back kinda makes an awkward “V” into a snap and kinda angles back out, but I might fix that with the addition of the skirt part.

Arista in the vanilla lace top/

Ooh la la! So much lace!

I’m not sure yet if I want to try to finish off the edge of the sheer part or just try to be REALLY careful as I take the top on and off. I’m hoping I’ll find some time this weekend to start on the skirt. I’m using three colors of tulle – beige, light purple and dark indigo. I’m hoping it’ll give the skirt a neat look. We’ll see… ;)


OOTD – Ombréd Gray

Outfit of the Day – Arista

Arista's Outfit of the Day

Ombred Gray on a Cloudy Day

Tops: Grace’s Meet Tee, Tee from Saige’s Sweater Set

Shorts: Shorts from Grace’s City Outfit

Shoes: Sparkly Black Flats

Accessories: Grace’s Meet Charm Bracelet, Rosy Glasses, Star Stud Earrings

It’s been very “May gray” here lately, which I actually really love. Gray days just feel very chill to me – perfect for being cozy indoors and doing something fun. My job and my husband’s job can get pretty hectic at times, so it’s nice to have a chance to relax on the weekends.

Arista’s look mimics the gray weather with a white to gray to black ombre of color. The pop of pink from her shirt is repeated in her rosy glasses. I actually have a pair that’s almost exactly like these, so my parents made sure I got the mini version for my mini me! Like me, Arista doesn’t wear her glasses for prolonged periods of time (she and I prefer the freedom of contacts), but sometimes when she’s just chillin’ indoors, she opts to keep them on all day. Arista’s sparkly black flats have the right amount of comfy and dressy to match the nicer fabric of her shorts. And her silver jewelry adds a nice finishing touch and brings an additional hint of sparkle.

Arista's Outfit of the Day

Tiny Tokidoki!

Gray days are great for looking through your collections! Arista likes to collect Tokidoki figures. These Japanese-inspired creations are actually the work of Italian artist Simone Legno. His creatures are a fun mix of animals, food, and plants – like these cactus pups and cactus kitty. These particular ones just the right scale for 18″ dolls and look a lot like their larger counterparts. Once my husband and I can get into a bigger place, I’d love to make a doll-sized bookshelf that can store all of my doll’s collectibles. Collectibles for my collectibles, how weird is that haha!

Tutu with toys

Toys for Tutu?

And, as cats are wont to do, Tutu thinks these must be for her to play with… ;)


Mini Cactuar Plush


Mini Plush Cactuar |  found on SQUARE ENIX Online Store (no longer available)

Arista and Cactuar

Arista and her other new friend – a cactuar!

EEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!! My husband is the best husband EVER! XD

I’ve been wanting a mini cactuar plush since they were announced! A cactuar is another FINAL FANTASY creature. These guys aren’t quite as menacing as tonberries. They’re little cactus-like creatures that are usually only dangerous when provoked. They generally keep to themselves, chillin’ in the desert. But watch out… If you anger one, they’ll fight back with their sharp needles. Really make one mad and you’re likely to face the dreaded “10,000 Needles” attack (which, as you might guess from the name, does 10,000 points of damage – yikes!).

Cactuar Up Close

Running nowhere fast

I have some serious plans for this little guy. He’s going to be Arista’s little minion – just like the character I play on FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Real Reborn (haha, can you tell one of my other passions is FINAL FANTASY?). Now I just need to figure out how to make a Black Mage costume and staff for Arista. I love playing a Black Mage – there’s just something really fun about wielding the power of the elements! (As long as you’re far enough away not to get hit by the enemy. Mages don’t have the greatest defense…)

Much Fangirling


Pardon us as we fangirl out. ;D


Updates and Izzy’s OOTD

Outfit of the Day – Isabelle

Izzy and Tutu

Tutu and Isabelle

It’s been awhile since I’ve had Isabelle out! I thought it was high time for her to get to try out Saige’s Sparkle Dress and some of the other newer accessories she missed – including Tutu!

It’s been hard lately for me to have more than one or two of my dolls out at a time, or even some of the larger items. Since our windows and sliding door were changed out, our complex decided the next “upgrade” our complex needed was electronic locks – complete with the ability to track who enters or leaves and when. They can even remotely unlock and lock the doors. Between these “beneficial upgrades” and the number of times they need to inspect or shut off our water to repair the pipes, this place is seriously starting to feel less and less private… So, needless to say, my husband and I are trying to figure out if we can afford a place we can own and how. Because of that, you might see posts that are easier for me to set up, like this one, for awhile.

OK, enough life stuff, back to the good stuff! Izzy in her outfit of the day (OOTD), featuring one of my favorite pieces of AG clothing!

Izzy Spins

Dancing Dizzy Izzy

Dress: Saige’s Sparkle Dress

Shoes: Sandals from Shimmer & Lace Party Dress Set

Accessories: Necklace from Samantha’s BeForever Accessories Set, sunglasses from thecraftysewingbee on etsy

Izzy in the Sparkle Dress

A sweet look for Spring.

This is a great look for Springtime – and for a Mother’s Day weekend. The flowers on the sandals match the flower in the middle of the gold heart pendant. Saige’s leather sandals would also look nice with the outfit (and give it a slightly dressed down appearance).

Izzy, Tutu and the Tonberry

Tutu and her new (reluctant) friend…

I think Isabelle’s pretty happy to see Tutu. I don’t think the tonberry feels the same way, though… ;)