Friday, January 2, 2015


 The signage within the store welcoming Grace Thomas as The American Girl of the Year for 2015

Happy New Year! It is hard to believe 2015 is here already but I was so ready to say goodbye to 2014 that I am glad we have now turned the page on the calendar!

Today was the launch of the new 2015 Girl of the Year, Grace Thomas, at American Girl Stores so I decided to go downtown and see her in person at the large Chapter's Bookstore on Robson Street in their in store AG boutique! It was a fun outing!
Here is part of the line up to enter the boutique when I arrived just a little after the store opened!

There were lots of very excited girls and dolls there to meet Grace! I soon met up with some other adult doll collectors and it was much more fun browsing with others than on my own!

This sweet lady is Lauren and she is a school teacher. She brought her doll Clementine along. Clementine is A Girl For All Time manufactured in the UK. Isn't she darling?

This lovely lady standing with Lauren is someone many might already know as she writes her own blog called Karen Mom of Three Craft Blog and she also writes and posts articles for The Doll Diaries website. Karen is holding Grace! Grace is much cuter in person than in pictures!

Here is Grace in her baking outfit with some of her baking supplies! I love this outfit and all of her baking things!

This is her Bistro set but only one chair...hmmm

 I liked this sweater a lot but I wasn't crazy about the shorts and sweater look! The outfit is adorable though and I imagine the target aged girls are just going to love it!
 Here are the new books!
This is Grace wearing her darling pink beret. They have named this the "Welcome Set" and it contains flowers, 1 set of macaroons, 1 gift box, 3 post cards, 1 bag with 2 cookies and the beret. I bet you have guessed by now that Grace has a French theme! And she enjoys French baking!

These are Grace's PJ's. I really like them! the print on the bottoms are a French print. Her dog BonBon has a very clever collar on, it has a bow and when you release the bow, it becomes the dog leash! You can see the little bow on the picture below!

The pastry cart is really lovely! Lots of very nice french pastries, french bread and all sorts of neat accessories! It was speculated to be plastic however some folks who bought it say only the wheels are and most of it is made from metal. It is hard to tell in our store as it is behind glass so you cannot touch it to see what it is made out of! 
There is a very large piece of the collection that will not be coming to Vancouver as they just don't have the space to display it in our little boutique store. It is a bakery and looks very lovely on American Girl's website! It is a shame they couldn't find a corner to put it in so we can just look...lolol

Here is the actual Bakery that is not available here! As you might notice, they are displaying it in stores that do carry it with the Pastry cart and Bistro set

 These are more shots of the pastry cart which is available in Canada for $180.00

 The pink dress is very pretty but also very similar to the dress recently released for the Beforever Samantha. I already own that dress so probably will not get this one even though I love pink!

 This mixer is really fun! It really runs using batteries to power it! I saw someone online who had a daughter that brought it home and was mixing real house flour in it! It was working well! This set is very pricey in Vancouver! With our low valued Canadian dollar all the items in our boutique store are priced much higher than the US stores.

 I really love Grace's travel coat, it is very well made. The top is lined, the buttons down the front are real buttons and there is a tiny piece of velcro at the waist. The lining is pink! Beside Grace is her suitcase all ready to travel to France, it is adorable too! Almost all of this collection is totally adorable! I think American Girl has picked a winning theme this year as the target aged girls in the store were enthralled with the collection!
 The next lady to arrive was Deena. Many of you will know her from her utube channel BeenaAndDeena! She has quite a following on Utube and many of her little fans were waiting for her arrival! She brought her Caroline along! Tomorrow she is going down to the Seattle store to check out their launch and will be posting on her channel for everyone to see so check out her utube channel as she will probably get to see that bakery in person and review it!
 Here is a group shot of Lauren, Deena, Karen and myself!
 Now this is not Grace but shortly after we got into the store Karen took us over to see a new very lovely item that has come into stock! It is a red American Girl T-shirt...why is that a big deal you ask? Because except for when the store opened, we don't get store exclusives in our tiny store but due to popular demand, they have brought in a red t-shirt with Canada written on it and it has a Maple Leaf on it! Very fitting! And they have also brought in blue jeans with the AG logos on them to go with it! Modeling the shirt in this picture is #61 with red hair and green eyes and previously not carried in Canada! She is displayed in the new doll and pet carrier!
 These are Grace's official accessories. There is a girl sized purse available to match Grace's and it is a very generous size and I imagine a lot of girls are going to just love it!
 Here are the price signs in the store, the lower priced one was on display when we first when in the store but was incorrect and replaced later on with the correct price chart.

 And this below is MY Grace, yes she came home with me. I received money and gift cards for Christmas rather than gifts from my family in anticipation of this release. I really wanted to buy the doll from the first ever launch on New Years Day of a Girl of the Year in Vancouver! As I was there on launch day, I received her limited edition apron that they only give out to store visitors for a couple of days when she is first released! And of course I had to buy the Canada T-shirt as well! I love store exclusives!

I really enjoyed my visit to American Girl today! Thanks Karen, Lauren, and Deena for hanging out with me, I think we all had a lovely time! And thanks to Nikki for doing such a nice job of piercing Grace's ears!
For more coverage of Grace's launches across Canada and the USA head over to the Doll diaries webpage!
Here is the link for Karen's blog:
Here is the link for Doll Diaries:
Here is the link for Deena's utube channel:

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Mabel Florence Crocker April 4, 1926 - August 7, 2014

This is the saddest blog post I have ever written. As many of my friends are aware, I lost my beautiful and beloved Mom one month ago today on August 7, 2014.  It was not unexpected but it also wasn't expected right at that moment either and it came as a terrible shock. As most can imagine, the last month has been very difficult on so many levels. My Mom was so much more than "Mom" to me. She was my best friend, travel companion and buddy for most of my adult life and her loss to me is huge. She had been failing in recent months, we knew this, and her quality of life had gone steadily down to a place she would never have wanted to be but she was always such a fighter. She fought her way back from many strokes and medical issues and somehow in the back of my mind I thought she would fight her way back from this latest round...but alas she was too tired and couldn't. She fought a very good fight and proved everyone wrong when medical staff told us that the most she had was 3 months following the last of many strokes she had in October of 2012. She was tenacious and never liked to be told what to do so she set out to prove them wrong and did!   RIP sweet my Mom, I love you and will miss you always....

                       This is one of the last pictures I took of Mom.
God's Garden Must Be Beautiful

God looked around the garden, and found an empty space. He looked down upon the earth, and saw your tired face. He put his arms around you, and lifted you to rest. God's garden must be beautiful for he only takes the best. He knew that you were weary, and he knew you were in pain. He knew that you would never be well on earth again. He saw the roads were getting rough, and the hills were hard to climb. So he closed your weary eyelids, and whispered peace be thine.
My Mom and Dad in 1945
My Mom, me and my baby brother in 1958
Mom and great granddaughter Dakotah
Mom and Great Grandson Jaime and Great Granddaughter Dakotah
 GaGa and Dakotah at Queens Park Hospital following one of her strokes
GaGa, Dakotah and Jaime going to Spaghetti Factory in October 2011
Mom and Great Grandson Kalani in January of 2010 

Mom and Great Grandson Teo in February 2012 
Mom with her dearly loved Grandsons Ben and James at one of all of our favorite places, Disneyland.
Mom in 2010 enjoying one of her favorite outings for fish and chips at Coney Island in White Rock before her strokes began

 Mom and Emily, Emily died in May of 2011, they adored one another
 Mom's favorite thing in the world was lemon meringue pie, this was 2011

 More lemon meringue pie, in 2012 this time
 Mom and Granddaughter Ana at the Spaghetti Factory

Mom in August of 2012
Mom and my brother Larry at Christmas 2012
Mom and I Halloween 2013
Christmas of 2013, Mom and Santa
                                           Mom at Christmas 2013

Mom and Great Granddaughter Dakotah, Canada Day tea 2014
Mom and Great Grandson Jaime and Granddaughter Analecia, May 2014
One of my favorite photos of Mom and Ana was on their shared birthday in 2010
Mom in Spring 2014 
Mom and Ana
 Walking outside at Queen's Park
 November 2012
 Summer 2012

My Mom was not a collector of dolls however she enjoyed mine and bought me a lot of dolls when I was growing up!
 Here she is with a travelling Chatty that she got such a kick out of.
 Last year a friend sent me a darling outfit and Mom loved it! It is pink!
 Summer 2013
 Summer 2013
 Spring 2014, she had a fall and broke her arm but was still smiling:)

                                    Mother's Day 2014. She loved roses!
                               Mom and Ana's shared birthday 2014.
 No matter how tough things got and believe me they got tough many times in the last 3 and a half years, she never stopped smiling. If you brought out the camera she would smile, I will always remember that.....

                                 A few short days prior to her death, she was still smiling:)

God Saw You
God saw you getting tired, and a cure was not to be. So He put His arms around you and whispered "Come to ME". With tearful eyes we watched you, and watched you slip away. Although we love you dearly, we could not make you stay. A golden heart stopped beating, hard working hands at rest. God broke our hearts to prove to us, He only takes the best.
Years ago as her arthritis worsened and mobility became a problem Mom found TV, she enjoyed all the award shows, never missed an episode of Entertainment tonight and became hooked on CNN news. She loved the Grammy Awards, the Country Music awards and General Hospital...oh my she loved General Hospital!! She taped the episodes if she wasn't going to be home to watch them! She often would talk to me about the people on there like they were "real" and I guess to her they were. As her dementia became worse she lost interest in her shows. In the afternoons following General Hospital she would have a nap in her chair with this piece of a white cotton sheet over her eyes....the family joked about Mom and her white cloth moments...  She loved to travel in her younger years. She once went on a South Pacific cruise for 27 days all by herself! She loved Hawaii and visited their frequently and had many friends that would all go at the same time from all over the country and each year they would meet up under "the tree" on Wakiki beach. Before the dementia overtook her, she enjoyed all aspects of her life. In later years she would bomb around town in her red electric scooter, she loved that scooter and it afforded her lots of trips out she wouldn't have been able to do on foot.

Walk In Sunshine

May you always walk in sunshine
And God’s Love around you flow,
For the happiness you gave us,
No one will ever know.

It broke our hearts to lose you,
But you did not go alone,
A part of us went with you,
The day God called you home.

A million times we needed you,
A million times we cried,
If love could have only saved you,

You never would have died.

                                             RIP My Sweet Mom!

Crocker (nee Jacura) , Mabel Florence
April 4, 1926 – August 7, 2014
Passed peacefully after a long illness in Queens Park Hospital in New Westminster. Survived by daughter Linda (Fil)  and Son Larry . Also survived by grandsons Ben, James, (Nicci) Kevin and granddaughter Analecia, great grandchildren Dakotah, Jaime, Kalani and Teo. Brother John (Pat) and many nieces and nephews. Predeceased by husband Claude, her mother Celia (Labreque) and father Peter, sisters Pearl, Loraine, Stella, and brothers Cappy (Lawrence) and Albert. Mom loved her family more than anything and was extremely devoted to us. She enjoyed her time in Hawaii for many years and made frequent visits there until illness sidelined her. She also had a special fondness for Disneyland and made many trips there over the years on family vacations with her grandchildren. Mom was a fighter, she fought her illness and limitations right up until the end. After the strokes started, and her prognosis was poor, she survived and fought her way back much to the amazement of many. We will miss her spirit and her spunk! She will always be in our hearts and will be dearly missed.
Our family wishes to thank the staff of 2 west at Queens Park Hospital, Dr. Nick Petropolis, Dr. Doritt Klarke, Karen, Anne and all the nurses, caregivers and staff who tried to make her last few years more comfortable. There will be no public service per her wishes, and donations can be made in her name to the BC Heart and Stroke Foundation.