Sunday, February 9, 2014

2014 Winter Olympics

The 2014 Winter Olympics started on Friday in Sochi, Russia! As I watched the opening ceremonies on TV I couldn't help but remember 2010 when Vancouver hosted, our city hummed with an electric buzz from start to finish. I watched the residents of Russia celebrate being the host city, and the feelings came rushing back and I could feel their excitement! As of today Canada has earned 4 medals, 1 bronze, 2 silver and 1 gold! Go Canada! I think my most favorite part of the opening ceremonies was the lighting of the Olympic cauldron and the fireworks display! I thought they did a fabulous job with that performance!


Friday, January 3, 2014

American Girl Isabelle

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday season and now I am hoping we are straight on to spring! It is no secret I am not a fan of the winter season and by now I am craving warm sunshine and flowers!

American Girl Isabelle Mini Doll:





American Girl dolls by the Mattel toy company have a special doll they call the "girl of the year" each year and for 2014  her name is Isabelle and she is a ballet dancer! A few months back she was available in her "mini" version for preorder on Amazon Canada  (they didn't show a photo, you had to order by name only because the  reveal each year is a big "event" for American girl both online at midnight central time January 1st and in their retail stores on the day of January 1st).  As I had a gift card balance just sitting on Amazon begging to be used, I ordered her!  It sounds as though all those who were fortunate to go to her unveiling in the stores had a wonderful time! Little girls in the target age group (8+) were given gift bags with a special Isabelle Tshirt and a sheet of paper dolls and there was also a craft station where they could color the outfits for the paper doll.  Today at my house, "mini" Isabelle arrived and her 6 inch self has captivated me! I really wasn't expecting to like her much as they have used the classic face mold which has been used to death and hazel eyes yet again but I found that I really do love her! In her mini version her eyes really do look hazel colored, a lot of the pictures I have seen of the 18 inch doll online have her eyes looking more green rather than hazel but mini has hazel eyes. She also has the shocking pink under hair. The full size version has a hair piece that attaches with clips to add the bright pink hair but mini Isabelle has her pink hair rooted in with her lovely blonde hair. It is very cute!

She is wearing a coral colored T-shirt with a ballerina on it, silver metallic Capri type pants and shiny gold sparkly sling back shoes! I have viewed the 18 inch Isabelle and her collection online at the American Girl website and all the ballet outfits are really darling! They have done something a little different this time around and made most of the outfits mix and match rather than full outfits...we will see how this goes as I can see where they might add up to be more costly being packaged separately but on the plus side you can buy what you like and not take home the things you don't.... I have a feeling the target age group of American Girl's audience are just going to love this doll and all of her wardrobe! She will be around until December 31, 2014 or until she is sold out. I can't wait until the Vancouver store opens in the spring so I can go and see Isabelle and all her things in person!







Saturday, October 19, 2013

Thanksgiving Weekend - ROAD TRIP!!!

After a very warm summer with many high temperatures that broke records for here, autumn is upon us! I was fortunate to be included on a fall road trip with my friends The Houben's. We set off early Friday morning of our long weekend for Thanksgiving for a awesome road trip to the grand daddy of all dollshows, the Crossroads doll show in Puyallup, Washington! I hadn't been to this show for many years and was very excited to be included!



We crossed over the Douglas border crossing at the Peace Arch and surprisingly didn't have too long a wait considering it was a holiday weekend!


 We stopped a few times along the way but our first "big" stop was the American Girl store in Alderwood Mall in Lynnwood, Washington.
 This was my second trip to the store. It is not a place I can get to on my own and I was very happy to be included in this trip so I could go back. I haven't been to the store in two years.
 Molly and Emily are being archived from the American Girl collection this year. Molly was one of the original American Girl dolls when the company was owned by Pleasant Rowland prior to Mattel buying the company from her for a reported $700 million dollars in 1998. Pleasant Rowland founded the company in 1986 and it was known as the Pleasant Company. As of 2008, it is second in U.S. sales only to those of the Barbie doll!
 This is Julie and Ivy with their very cute Volkswagen car that makes all kinds of realistic sounds!
 The store is getting ready for Christmas and had several areas of wrapped packages that are all ready to just place under the tree!
 This doll is the American girl of the year, Saige. She will be retired and unavailable as soon as her stock sells out or December 31, whichever occurs first!
 These are the new faces of "Bitty Baby", the line was recently revamped and the price of these little cuties bounced way up!
 More Christmas packages! The outfit shown on the dolls above is inside them!
 Every year the company puts out holiday dresses and these are this years editions!
 This is a darling Christmas baking set with a cute gingerbread house!
 Of course girls need pets and here are a few available at the store and already wrapped for holiday gifting!

 Here I am browsing the store...the outfits on the dolls are some of the latest editions to the line.
 Mixed between the Christmas displays were a couple of Halloween displays, Aren't these outfits adorable?
 Loretta went to the store to buy Caroline. It is much better to pick out your doll in person so you can see that the eyes align and that they have nice hair. This is the Caroline Loretta picked out, she is so cute!

 We decided to eat in the bistro restaurant for our lunch. Having ate at the LA American girl a few times, we thought this would be as good...alas it didn't compare to LA. The food was only so so and rather sparse for the cost.
 Robert was much smarter than us, he ordered from a menu and received "real" food that he said was good!
 This is the lunch Loretta and I shared. It looks bigger in the picture than it actually was...lol...we were NOT impressed...
Our traditional photo outside the store before hitting the road and the incredible traffic heading to Tacoma.



 The Seattle Space needle in the distance.
 As we got closer to Tacoma, Robert got off the freeway to check which exit we would need to get to the hotel. There was so much traffic, he couldn't chance a mistake. Well, we ended up in the City of Fife and found this incredible antique store and of course had to browse a bit before they closed! It was huge, we didn't have a chance to see most of it as there was just so much to see!
 Loretta loves buttons so this was the perfect booth for her to explore!
 We saw lots and lots of antique and vintage dolls. This display of black dolls was gorgeous!
 This little Shirley Temple was very cute also!
 I took this picture for my friend Betty as she collects these vintage Santa's. I have a couple of very old ones also!
Another sign in the store. Lots to look at here!
 We checked into the Comfort Inn in Tacoma, I had room 307 on the third floor and was quite comfortable as my room had all the comforts of home with a fridge, microwave, table and chairs, couch and bed. I made tea in the microwave the first night because I hadn't figured out where the hot water was in the lobby at that point.



This is the lobby and each morning there is a complimentary breakfast with lots of choices!
We didn't stay at the hotel long, though. After checking in we were soon off to The Black Angus restaurant. There used to be one in Bellingham and it closed so on our last trip down I was delighted to discover there was one not too far from our hotel. Robert and Loretta remembered it and we went there again this trip. It didn't disappoint, it was very good!



 And here we are at the Puyallup Fairgrounds and the Crossroads doll show! We went in for the early bird entry....



 This is Valnora, we know her from the bleuette Sewing Club on Yahoo and she recognized Loretta from the photos she has posted of herself in the past!

 For some reason there were Shirley Temples everywhere at this show, many more than we usually see. Every size and type I think was represented at this show.
 The antiques....they are so pretty to look at!
 We visited Patti,  (Pattikins) at her booth and viewed her lovely kits that you can purchase and sew for bleuette. Isn't this pretty? She said she cannot get the silk velvet she used for this kit as easily anymore and only has a couple of these kits left.
 Another Bleuette kit above at Patti's booth and below is an embroidery machine design a lady working in the booth was busy applying to aprons and tote bags.

 A bit of a view of the room...a small bit, the area is very large and half the room is to the right of where we are standing...we were there from opening to closing and I am not sure we saw everything there was to see!

More Bleuette and family!

I was so surprised to run across this booth as all the dolls were made by the maker of Madeline, Lois McCall. I loved the bleuette Gold on the left hand side. Although I said no more bleuettes, if I had had the money she would have come home with me, but alas She was rather expensive and so she remained there.

This is who I bought at the doll show. She is a retired girl of the year named Jess. I think she is darling! 



 After the doll show we ate dinner at Elmer's restaurant and Loretta and I had our Thanksgiving turkey, it was very good!
 They had lovely fall harvest displays at the entrance to the restaurant.

 Do I look tired? I was....but that didn't keep me out of the indoor pool that night...however I did forget to take a picture of it....
 As we headed back north, somehow the car pulled into the Alderwood mall again...you didn't really think we would drive past the AG store and not stop again, right?

The autumn leaves all over were just fabulous!

 Jess came to pose with the girl of the year, Saige for a photo.
 And she just had to try out that car....
 And she wanted to sit on this horse at the entrance to the mall but I figured i would break my neck getting her up there so just the horse in this shot....
 Robert, our oh so patient driver, and Loretta at the Alderwood mall.
 Hmm...just had to take another traditional shot outside the store...and no, those bags are an illusion...
 On the way back we had a pit stop at a rest area and Robert wanted to have a bit of a rest so Loretta and I went for a lovely walk in the sunshine and what did we find?? A man selling cookies for charity set up at a counter at the rest stop...and his cookies were delicious!

 These were taken on our little ramble around the rest stop...lololol
 Home again, this is waiting in line to cross over the border. Again the line up wasn't too bad...but I heard on the radio later that day it was incredible! Good timing! We couldn't have picked a better weekend weather wise, it was lovely all weekend for us!
The flowers in Peace Arch Park. Their gardens are always so beautiful! Thank you Loretta for inviting me and thank you Robert for driving us and being so kind and patient and giving up your weekend for us!