Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving Giveaway

Hello Lovely Readers!

Are you ready for a Thanksgiving Giveaway?  I call it Thanksgiving because this holiday just happens to be this week and I want to give something fun to one of my dear Reader!  But I could also call it a Christmas Giveaway because it is a very Christmassy item....

Can you guess yet?

Hehehe, it's the Mini Lalaloopsy Holly Sleighbells from last winter!  She was apparently sewn on December 1st from a Real Elf's costume!  You can't get any closer to Christmas than that :P

When I saw this doll in store a year ago, I bought two of them because I thought she was so cute that I would certainly need an extra one to give to somebody!  Well the time has come and here she is ready to find a new home!  There is another version of her in a pink dress which is quite cute but I like this version too because she comes with a sleigh and her pink winter coat is adorable!

So one lucky lucky winner will get this adorable little doll with all her acccessories!

She comes in a box shaped like a snow globe!  Her accessories are: a sleigh, her pet reindeer, a red bag and a popsicle partially bitten!

To participate, please:

1) follow my blog by Joining this site with the Google Friend Connect link on the sidebar
2) write a comment in this post 

You can also link my post on your blog but it's not necessary!  You may use the picture I have posted above to add the image to your blog post or sidebar! 
Since her birthday is December 1st, I will announce the winner on that day!  So you have until Saturday, November 30th to enter the giveaway!
I will pick randomly one winner on December 1st and ship it to that person.   I pay the postage fees so you don't have to worry about that but you are responsible for any tax or custom fees from your country!
I hope you will like this giveaway and that she will be worthy enough of your attention!  Maybe some of you have never owned a Mini Lalaloopsy doll before and this would be a great chance to try one out for free! 

Good luck to everybody :)


Monday, November 25, 2013

At the Galleria

My little girl wasn't feeling too well yesterday.  She developed a slight body rash which is the first time it has happened.  She never had any type of baby rash before and she didn't eat anything new this weekend so I wonder what has triggered this sudden condition.
I hope she will feel better soon and we can go out again like this weekend.  I took her out to the Galleria on Saturday to play at their indoor playground because it was colder than usual outside.  It was incredibly crowded.  It seems the Christmas shopping rush has started earlier this year.
We admired the huge Christmas tree they placed at the center of the ice ring.

We didn't go window shopping but we did stop at the Sanrio store!
I was very tempted to buy their miniature dollhouse furniture!
They had a very cute Hello Kitty Christmas tree on display!

And many handbags!!!

And Wizard of Oz themed Hello Kitty plushies!
(I know Danzel from Silver Shoes and Rabbit Holes would love this!)
I can't wait to be home again with my children.  Even though I only have 3 work days this week because of Thanksgiving, I feel sad more than ever when I leave baby in the morning to go to work.  If it was up to me, I would stay home and cherish every day I can have with my family.  But I am the only one with a stable income so I can't leave my job.
I will think of the wonderful long weekend ahead and be in good spirits for the next 3 days.  We are planning a big family reunion as usual and a family dinner as well.  I won't cook the turkey this year and I'll let somebody else take care of that difficult task.  Have you ever prepared a whole chicken/turkey before?  It is scary and gross.  Well at least it is to me.  I don't usually cook meat so I always do so reluctantly, even with pre-cut pieces of meat.  So imagine how challenging it was to prepare a WHOLE chicken.  I won't attempt again, I can tell you that.
What are you planning to cook for Thanksgiving?


Friday, November 22, 2013

Fisher-Price Sweet Streets Cottage

Among the small dolllhouses I have, there are a few from the Fisher-Price Sweet Streets brand, which is no longer produced.  I wished Fisher-Price had continued this line of miniature buildings, furniture and people because they were so cute and well-made!
Here below is Strawberry Shortcake who will give you a tour of a Sweet Streets cottage!

The front of the dollhouse is really beautiful with painted flowers, a mailbox and a white picket fence!

Despite its small size, it is very spacious inside with 6 rooms!

The kitchen has a fridge, a stove and many cupboards (but only the door of the fridge can open).  

There is a dining table and a darling little chair too!

The bedroom upstairs is small but the bed is big enough for a good night sleep.

 The bathtub is just the right size and it's attached to a sink!

The house has a nice hallway, living room and another bedroom but I am lacking the original furniture to make the rooms more complete.

The built-in fireplace and TV are still there though!

Each room is decorated with wallpaper and rug creating a fun dollhouse for kids. The very small objects like plates, pots and pans, are built-in with the furniture so it's very practical because small kids won't lose them!  Same thing for the mantel above the fireplace.  You can clearly see the flower vase, clock and painting but it's all built-in with the wall.  The design is simple and not too detailed so I can see how it would appeal to kids.

Little dolls like the Mini Strawberry Shortcake and the Mini Lalaloopsy would look good in such an environment because the background is so lovely.  As an adult collector though, I think it's too simplistic for people who like miniature with more details.  

But from a kid's perspective, it must have been an awesome toy to own!   Have you played with the Sweet Streets Dollhouses before?


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Redbox Dollhouse

My husband came home the other day with an old Redbox fold up dollhouse. It is quite small and would probably fit only dolls about 3-4 inches tall like Mini Lalaloopsy or Calico Critters.  

Here is a view of the back.  I totally love the clear (fake) glass windows!

The back door is also made of clear plastic and there is a fountain carving on the wall right next to it.

Here is the inside view.  I like the design of the house and the large bay windows, clear imitation glass (aka plastic) doors and windows but I dislike the green floor.  The balcony is only for show as it is too narrow to use but the roomy interior makes up for that.

I quite like that when you press the doorbell in the front, it will ring and light up the lamps outside.

 And inside as well, on the first floor.

And second floor.

I filled the house with furniture from the Mini Lalaloopsy collection and from the Calico Critters / Sylvanian Families collection too.  Now let's see how if the Mini Lalaloopsy dolls like the house.



I think they quite like it and it's much more spacious than their Lala Play House!

I love this dollhouse but it seems some parts are missing.  Parts that would make it more sturdy.  I don't know what they are but I think it might be two or three columns.  Or maybe I don't know how to set it up properly because the second floor keeps on collapsing at the slightest movement.  Does anybody know what the house looks like brand new? 

It is still a wonderful dollhouse though and I could probably fix the problem by making and installing two new columns.  I might also paint the floor another color and paint over the fountain carving.  But overall I am quite happy with this house.

I wanted to try the dollhouse with other types of occupants like Calico Critters, LPS Blythe, etc but I ran out of time.  My children were waiting for their bedtime stories so this will have to wait for another day!

Do you like the dollhouse? 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Of Blythe, Dollhouse and Bingo

It got colder last week and then today it's sunny and warm again.  Typical November weather here.

I went to Babies R Us this weekend to shop for baby food and because it was in the same store as Toys R Us, I walked by the toy section and saw these Littlest Pet Shop Blythe dolls:

♪ Those boots will walk all over you ♪

I didn't even know they existed until Danzel from Silver Shoes and Rabbit Holes mentioned them!They were on sale (buy 1 get 1 at 50% off).  I had a gift reward from Toys R Us so the dolls did not cost me anything to get!  I never bought a LPS blythe doll before and since it was basically free to me, I didn't mind getting them this time.    I do love the clothes they wear (and will you look at those boots!) and their adorable pets!  I didn't unbox them yet because I want to find them a good house first.

Cutest husky EVER!
Speaking of house, I sold my Licca dollhouse!  It now belongs to a sweet 3 year old little girl!  The Licca dolls have now moved into a bookcase!  My nieces were busy this weekend moving the furniture into the new place!  Here is how they decorated the kitchen and dining room:

I want the same kitchen!

Frankly, I prefer my bookcase because it gives me more space than the dollhouse!  And it has doors so I can close it and lock it from baby's curious little hands!

Those little hands were busy playing bingo this weekend!

It's a French Bingo game from Eboo!  It's so pretty and features many French words!  I blogged about that last year (has it been that long???)!

The older kids were busy painting the Christmas Advent Calendar and I must admit this has been a really fun activity for them!  There is just something magical about painting!  All the kids I know love to paint and my nephews come to my house knowing I will always have projects for them to work on.   They are not done yet though and it will probably take them another week to finalize.  I can't wait to show you the tree!
I have much to do before Christmas starts! I have not finished my Christmas village and my books are not wrapped yet!  I know we still have more than a week left in November but it's going to be Thanksgiving soon and that's when the whole family meets for dinner!  So much to prepare in advance!  It will be super busy in a few days!
Am I the only one panicking about Christmas?  Please tell me I am not!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Winner of the Early Christmas Giveaway

Thank you all for participating in my Early Christmas Giveaway!  There were 12 participants in total so I did the simple paper cut and fold method!

The miniature baking buttons will go to...

Wyrna from A Fairytale Come True!

Congratulations Wyrna!  Please email me your address :)

I really wished I could give more of those miniature baking sets because you are all such a sweet bunch - no pun intended :) ... so I have decided to give one more set away!  I picked a second name...

And it is Narina (aka Irina) from Narina Näpertää who wins!  Congratulations Irina, please email me your address :) 

The winners will each receive a set of miniature Christmas buttons as seen on the table above... PLUS ANOTHER SURPRISE MINIATURE SET!  I am not telling you what it is now so you'll be find out when you open your package!  I will post about that "surprise" in a future post so my readers can see too!
If you didn't win, don't worry, I have another giveaway coming up this month!  I hope I can take some picture this weekend so it can be posted soon! 

Have a great day y'all!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Decorating a Dollhouse for Christmas

I posted previously about the Wood Christmas Tree I will paint for this year's Advent Calendar.  The compartments of the tree are quite roomy so I will fill each one with a small piece of wrapped chocolate and also a Christmas-theme miniature to decorate a dollhouse!
You see, I have been planning to decorate some of my Sylvanian Families / Calico Critters dollhouses for Christmas and make it an interactive activity for the kids throughout the month of December.  By filling the Advent Calendar with miniature Christmas decorations, the children can decide each day where to put the new items in the dollhouse.

To fill the Advent Calendar, I opted for Playmobil Christmas toys.  I know Playmobil sells Advent Calendars too such as the Playmobil Advent Calendar Forest Winter Wonderland and the Playmobil Advent Calendar "Christmas Post Office" but neither really had the items I was looking for.

So I chose the two following Playmobil sets:
PLAYMOBIL Santa's Workshop Carrying Case Playset because it has nice furniture for Santa's workshop,  miniature toys, and a cute elf!

I love this playset because it comes with very cute miniature toys and one adorable elf!  I wished it had more elves but oh well, one would do.  The furniture is however the reason why I bought this set.  Having the shelf, table and chair will nicely complete Santa's workshop and give it just the right look.


PLAYMOBIL Santa's Sleigh because I wanted a sleigh with two reindeers (there is one set with one reindeer only and I felt lonely for that reindeer LOL so I opted for the playset with 2 reindeers).

This playset contains a few toys and it has an angel too!  The sleigh is my favorite item though.  It is so beautiful and I just love how roomy it is!
I wished I could buy the gorgeous Playmobil Santa's Home but it's a little too small for my liking and I have so many dollhouses already so I might as well use them!

Photo Credit: Amazon.com

The big items such as the sleigh, reindeers, work table and chair, etc, will be placed in the dollhouses in advance but the small items will be hidden away in the Christmas Tree Advent Calendar!   
I am so excited about this project and I really can't wait to see my boy's reaction when he opens up each compartment!  He likes miniature a lot and I don't always set up my dollhouses on the big table so this will be a great occasion for him to play with them.

Speaking of miniature, don't forget you have until this Friday to enter my Christmas Miniature Giveaway!  Good luck to all :)


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Christmas Advent Calendar

If you are planning to buy an Advent Calendar to count down the days until Christmas Day, this is the time to start shopping!  I am saying that because per my experience, it's usually impossible to find such a calendar by the end of November (unless you buy online and are willing to spend big bucks on express shipping). 

And if you are creating your own Christmas Advent Calendar and you have limited free time like me, you should start right about now.  I always start too late and I can't complete the project on time or I couldn't get the items I want on time to make it.   So this year I am starting super early in order to get it right!

I remember one year I started the project so late (it was a felt Christmas tree with felt pouches for each day)  I ended up using a stapler to hold the felt together instead of sewing them with stitches.  But thank goodness, my boy still thought it was the prettiest tree EVER!

This year I am not really making my own Christmas Advent Calendar but it will be a semi-finished product that would allow me to customize it to my liking!  It will be a tree made of wood!  I bought it at Michael's Craft Store with their 40% coupon which was a real bargain!

It has 24 numbered compartments.  I know my boy and all his cousins love to paint so this project is also meant to be a craft activity for them.  Each box is small but it can hold a candy and probably more knick knacks.  A few boxes had rough edges so a little sanding would do the trick.

The tree can stand by itself thanks to a wood plank on the back.

The tree is plain bare wood without any color.  You can therefore paint it the way you like it.  To show you an example of the final product, here below is a painted tree from the Michael's Craft Store website.  They have a page HERE describing the project instructions.

Photo Credit: Michael's Craft Store

I think the above version is very tame.  I expect the kids to go wild with the colors and their own personal drawings and that's what will make it so special to them!  I love how you can completely customize the tree to your own liking just with some paint :)

How about you?  Did you plan to buy or create a Christmas Advent Calendar this year?


Friday, November 1, 2013

Early Christmas Giveaway

Did you all have a good Halloween night?  It stopped raining cats and dogs here so we were able to take the kids out.  My boy was dressed as Obi-Wan Kenobi and toward the middle of our trick and treating route, I was carrying his sword and cape on one arm and carrying baby on my other arm.  Note to self for next year: no heavy costume or extra objects that kiddo won't want to carry around!

Now that we are past the Halloween frenzy, I can finally indulge in posting about my favorite holiday of the year: CHRISTMAS!!!  I didn't want to spoil the Halloween fun so I waited until the end of October to do so.
To start off the month, I am doing a little giveaway.  Since the majority of my readers have voiced their preference for a 1:12 miniature item, I have chosen a Christmas baking buttons set.  I found it at Michael's Craft Store in the Christmas section!  It's really tiny and has a loop in the back of each piece.  I like the possibility of using them either as buttons or dollhouse miniatures.

There are many pieces in the set and they are so well made!  Look how tiny they are but they fit nicely with the Calico Critters.

Mrs. Norwood Mouse has graciously accepted to show you what the set would look like in her kitchen :)

One lucky winner will get one un-opened bag!  Just leave a comment below and follow my blog :)   A link on your blog would be appreciated but it's not compulsory to win the prize.

The deadline is Friday, November 8 at midnight CET!

There will be more Christmas miniature giveaways this month so if you don't win this time, you'll get another chance!  Good luck to all :)