Monthly Archives: July 2017

Bring on the Cotton Candy!

What better way to start Monday than by celebrating National Cotton Candy Day!  Do you pick the pink or the blue cotton candy at the carnival?

img_7927How about forgetting that sticky mess and having a Cotton Candy Frappuccino like Isabelle? Starbucks has them on sale today.


Did you know that the Cotton Candy frappuccino is one of the “secret” drinks you can ask for at Starbucks?  There’s a Butterbeer frappuccino, a Pokémon Go frap, and even a cupcake frappuccino!  Most are made with a regular vanilla frappuccino with 4-5 added pumps of various syrups, bringing the drink to 60-70 grams of sugar, about double the amount in real cotton candy.

Cotton candy fact for the day: in England they call it candy floss.

Have a sweet day!

Beckie’s First Day Out

By Rebecca Rubin

Today was my first day A.W. (after warehouse) and what an exciting day it was. I woke up to a view of Lake Mendota. Madison is an isthmus–a skinny bit of land between two lakes.

We took a car ride to Cave of the Mounds, a cave formed 400 million years ago which continues to grow stalactites and stalagmites. I waited in the car because the cave gives “cave kisses” which means it drips a lot of water on your head! You can remember the difference between the two cave formations because stalactites hang tight to the ceiling.

After Cave of the Mounds we traveled down the road to Mt. Horeb “The Troll Capitol of the World”! You can visit trolls in front of many shops and businesses. Did you know trolls can live for hundreds of years? In Norwegian folklore they are simple beings who are known for guarding treasure.

Trolls in a museum

Root Beer Troll

I don’t recall hearing about trolls from my Russian grandparents, but I do know about domovoi — a Russian house spirit who lives under the stove.  It is important to keep your domovoi happy or he might rebel!  In Sweden they have tomten, which are similar.

The troll stroll made me hungry, so we stopped at a Swedish bakery. They had Princess Torte which Jen had seen on the Great British Bake-Off. it is covered in green marzipan.


It was a pretty exciting first day out.  I dream of being an actress someday, so I try to soak in all of the experiences and people (and trolls) I come across.

See you soon!

Confirmed: St Louis American Girl Sale

DBU Reader Carolyn shared this today:

I just spoke with a lady at the AG Warehouse in Wilmot. They will not be having a sale there this year (2017).

They will be having what they call a pop up sale in St. Louis at the Mall that the AG store is in but not at the store itself. The sale starts August 3rd and will run 10 days. No info on what will be there.

St. Louis readers-let me know what details you find out. I am traveling home from MCM today. If there is a sale and you attend, I'd love to share some of your photos on the blog!

It's hard to imagine a 10 day sale. Maybe it will be like the outlet store that used to exist in Oshkosh? AG just keeps us on our toes lately.
Confirmed: Sale is Aug 4. You can follow Facebook for more information

Getting Spacey-Luciana 2018

Today we received our first clue that the 2018 GOTY will have a space theme. You can see the leak of her t-shirt at Poppets and Posies.

Her first name is Luciana which Wikipedia says means gracious light. It is a popular Italian and Spanish name. Her last name is Vega, which does mean meadow (Las Vegas) and is also the name of the 2nd brightest star in the northern hemisphere.

Could we have a brainy Italian-American beauty? Maybe….

Reflections on MCM Doll Sale

Brianna and I had 9:30 tickets this year.  We left our hotel at 7:00 and stopped at our usual Panera en route.  I wanted to allow plenty of time because last night the organizers sent out an email saying that field parking would not be available due to flooding.  We were directed to the Ice Center, which is in the same office park.  Shuttle was provided in the form of a school bus.  It was convenient and it was separate from the shuttle going to affiliated hotels.  Win!

We arrived and enjoyed seeing all of the crafts and silent auction items.  Some silent auction items included

  • Addy scenes
  • Kailey’s surf items
  • Kirsten’s quilt, St Lucia wreath etc 
  • Lanie’s hammock and garden apparel
  • Matching girl and doll outfits from the early AG dolls

The silent auctions end at various times, such as 10:00 am, and many have minimum bids of $50-100.00

By 8:30 we were waiting our turn to line up in the tent, but they were running 30 min behind. We thought we would be lining up around 9:00 but the 8:15 group hadn’t even been called.  Oh no!  When we were called to wait with the other 9:30 tickets we made conversation with a blueberry farmer and her young daughters from Iowa.  It was their first time getting a doll!

One tent to wait in and another to wait to wait in!

We entered the warehouse for our 9:30 slot around 10:45.  On Twitter the organizers said that the large amount of merchandise was slowing people down in the warehouse.  More on that later.

Once in, we saw Kaya, Rebecca, Caroline, Kit, Julie, Addy, Samantha, Melody, Maryellen.  Earlier attendees also saw Molly (?!?) and Emily @ 100.00.  Beforever outfits predominantly.

There were ample Lea, Isabelle and Grace dolls.  

Also saw JLY/TM dolls in the pink dress with no Permapanties.  Unfortunately no #41 which I had my eye on.

So Many Dolls, No #41

Books… not particularly cheap IMO at 6.00 for the more current Beforever titles.

Very little clothing for dolls.  Cheer outfit, Lea’s outfits, Melody’s summer outfit, 2013 purple peacock pjs, various flip flops for girls.  Beforever mini dolls.

We attended in 2014, and to me, the sale didn’t seem all that different, except for the presence of big items for Lea.  If you attended I am interested in your opinion.

We brought home Isabelle to be auctioned at our church’s holiday bazaar.  We hope to have a crafty parishioner make her a quilt or bed.  We also bought the beauty salon scene for $ 2.00 to go with Izzy.  I think the scenes are so nice to have. We picked up a doll for a friend.  Surprisingly only one doll for us… 


We witnessed no Black Friday type behavior, thankfully.  We saw our new acquaintance from Iowa at checkout and the girls were thrilled with 4 dolls!  My takeaway this year is that the sale offers the most to the beginning doll lover, or to someone buying gifts.  

Prices for Sunday are below:

Scenes from the MCM Sale

Hi Doll Friends, we are back from the 30th Anniversary AG Benefit Sale.  Here are some pictures and I be back later with some thoughts (when I get my iPad on wifi!)

Life in the tent. Spent 1 hr here

Young dancers entertain

Let us in!!!

Silent auction and buy me now dolls included Emily, Molly, Ivy

There was some hubbub about partial sets of recoding studio and fruit hut

Melody items but little for Maryellen

Make Room, Girls!

What better time to add a doll to the family than 48 hours before the American Girl Benefit doll sale?!

I’ll give you a few easy clues…


There are braids….

IMG_0268And lovely gray eyes and cheeks with a subtle blush…


It’s Pleasant Company Molly!

Molly comes from my sister-in-law, who bought her at the Madison Museum sale about 16 years ago.  Molly has been in a box ever since.  She is in terrific shape but will need to be restrung very soon because her legs are dangling.  I don’t mind investing the money in  this high quality doll and will send her to the doll hospital this summer before school starts up and life gets busier.

After spending 16 years in a sweater and a wool skirt (in the southern US, no less!) I thought Molly might want to get into something a little breezier for the summer.


She is lounging in our sunroom in Maryellen’s summer PJs.


Molly was the first doll Brianna wanted back in 2nd grade, because she also wears glasses.  We were all set to take our first trip to AGP-Chicago to get Molly, and Molly was retired about 2 days before our trip.  Crushing!  She ended up with Saige instead and life went on.

At first we were going to pass on Molly (no room at the inn!!), but my sis-in-law really wanted her to come to live with us, and after she sent pictures, that sealed the deal.  It’s kind of like people who “just look” at cats or dogs on the Humane Society website and find themselves unable to say no to another fluffy friend.

We couldn’t be happier she is here!


American Girl Benefit Sale Price List for Saturday, July 22

A glimpse of what will be available at the MCM sale next weekend. I think there are a lot of Isabelle and Grace dolls. Could they be reproducing?

Learn Through Play


The price list is here for our American Girl Benefit Sale!  The sale warehouse is bursting at the seams with dolls and accessories — and we’ve got the major items priced and listed!

All inventory items will be available starting at 7 a.m. Saturday morning. Please note that we cannot promise that a particular item will be available on a particular day or time.

The list below includes many of the most abundant items, and popular item categories. We are unable to confirm the presence of individual dolls or items not listed here.


  • BeForever Dolls–$80 (Limit 1)
  • WellieWishers–$40 (Limit 2)
  • Bitty Babies–$40 (Limit 1)
  • Truly Me–$50 (Limit 8)
  • Girl of the Year 2016 Lea Clark–$120 (Limit 3)
  • Girl of the Year 2015 Grace Thomas–$80 (Limit 5)
  • Girl of the Year 2014 Isabelle Palmer–$80 (Limit 5)
  • Mini Dolls, Lea Clark–$10 (Limit 8)
  • Mini Dolls, Assorted Special Edition–$10 (Limit 2)


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Disco Diva!

Hi to all the Dancing Queens and Bad Girls reading the blog today.  It’s Julie here to tell you about a neat way to make your clothes look like you just came from skating down at Venice Beach.

I saw these far out jeans in the Sears’ catalog.  Can you see there is a real shoe lace on the skate?!

These are the greatest pants ever, but I don’t think they come in my size.

Jen saw a great way I could get a similar look.  She found these patches at Michaels.

The roller skate looks just like my dream pair of tennis shoe skates!  It sticks right to your jeans.  If you can’t have a patch on your back pocket, a knee is an OK choice too.  Some kids like to sew their patches to a zip front sweatshirt.

Jen here – I really love this little patch.  It isn’t very sticky and would need to be sewn down for long-term use.  I would love to find Julie a blue zip front sweatshirt (Etsy!) and make a permanent home for the patch on it.  I remember kids in school who would get patches from state and national parks and sew them on the back of sweatshirts.




Waiting for Nanea – Author Kirby Larson

There is just over a month until the release of Nanea Mitchell (August 24th), a Hawaiian girl living at the time of Pearl Harbor.  Nanea’s books are written by distinguished author Kirby Larson.

Prior to writing Nanea’s books, Larson wrote about the Pearl Harbor-era in her book Dear America – The Diary of Piper Davis: The Fences Between Us.  The book opens in Seattle, 1941, with Piper’s brother Hank departing for his naval base in Pearl Harbor.  Piper’s father is a Baptist minister who serves the Japanese-American community in Seattle.

The book focuses on the after-effects of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, namely the war with Japan and relocation/imprisonment of innocent Japanese-Americans living on the west coast.  This story about an attack leading to war and racial profiling of U.S. citizens seems terribly timely and familiar.

Before the war, Piper is just a regular 13 year-old girl upset because she is a “PK” (Preacher’s Kid) and therefore she isn’t allowed to wear lipstick.

Monday, November 10, 1941

It’s not fair!  I bought that tube of Tangee lipstick with my own money, and Pop won’t let me wear it.  He wants me to be such a Goody Two-shoes. . . . All I know for sure is that I am the only girl in the seventh grade with naked lips.

After the bombing, Piper finds herself with a first-hand view of the conditions experienced by innocent Japanese-Americans who were relocated to remote deserts and incarcerated: no sewer, no coal to heat with, extremely poor food, and no running water.

I was able to visit one of the Japanese camps in California many years ago.  Manzanar was one of 10 camps used to relocate and imprison Japanese-Americans because of their ethnicity.  It is in a very remote part of California near the Mojave desert.


My photo of Manzanar.  I believe this is the Guard Station at the entrance to the camp.

Larson’s Dear America book brings to life many timely ethical issues, which I will leave to you to ponder should you pick up the book.  I recommend the book 5th grade and up based on the complex social issues of this era.

Brianna adds . . . 

Another great World War II book written by Kirby Larson is called Dash.  Eleven year-old Mitsi Kashino, a Japanese – American, has lived a pretty normal life with her parents, siblings, and beloved dog Dash. That was up until the attack on Pearl Harbor and the terrifying anti – Japanese sentiment. Many of her friends and classmates begin to turn on her.

Mitsi and her family are sent to a scary, big incarceration camp. The worst part is that Mitsi is separated from her dog, Dash. All Mitsi wants is to find her beloved dog again.

I (Brianna) recommend this book for kids in 5th – 6th grade. I remember reading it in the early part of 5th grade as an AR (Accelerated Reader) book. It was amazing!

We hope you look into these books by award-winning author Kirby Larson this summer before the release of Nanea!