Friday, January 30, 2015

Three New Members Added to my Collection!!

Hey guys!

       As I told you in my previous post, I was waiting on three new girls to show up. Well the last one finally arrived and I am ready to reveal! So... Drum roll please!

The first new girl is.......


For any of you who are not familiar with Addy's stories, Addy is in the year 1864. She was born a slave and in her story series, Addy's father and brother are sold and Addy and her mother make the decision to runaway to freedom. I won't tell anymore than that because I don't want to spoil anything. Her stories in my opinion are the best that American Girl has released. I am so happy to have Addy! I bought Addy directly from American Girl, she is of the new BeForever line. 

I bought her old "meet" outfit as well! It was a big part of the stories so I had to have it too! 

Okay! Drum roll again! The next new girl is........


Okay so Josefina is not technically new... you guys have seen her before! She was one of The Three Musketeers, the TLC lot that I purchased a while back (which I will eventually update you guys on what happened with the Samantha and Kirsten). When I got her, she had a chewed up arm which I replaced myself.. but after some thought, I decided to send her to the AG Doll hospital for a new head. Her eyes where very badly damaged and her hair had been burnt. Now she is fresh from the hospital and looking amazing! 

Just look at her hair!! It is soooooo soft! I am tickled pink!

I do not have ANY of her outfits yet but seriously... she makes an amazing ballerina!

I am kinda ashamed to say this, but I have never read her book series all the way through. As a child, I had no interest and now as an adult, I have not tried to read them yet. One day I will though!

Okay so this is the one that I have given NO SPOILERS for yet so I saved her for last! Addy and Josefina I have talked about their arrival on the Collectors group I am a member of but this one, no one knows about! So







Molly is growing up in 1944 during World War 2. Her father is shipped out to war and her mom starts working. Molly must learn to make sacrifices during this wartime and that includes sharing her room with an English girl that comes to live with her family until the war is over. Molly's book series was made into a movie and it is such a good movie, I cry like... every time!

Molly may look a little nerdy with her cute big glasses but as you can see below, she is a really beautiful doll anyways! She was an ebay find, her hair was still in its original braids (the hairbands crumbled when I took them out!) and she had her full meet and accessories. I am really happy with her and I paid a REALLY great price. 

Well those are my new girls!
I really wish it was nice and sunny and warm out with beautiful colors because I want to photograph these girlies properly! I hate taking pictures inside! Spring is just around the corner! :)

You know, Today I looked up at my display shelf and I got a little emotional. I own every historical doll that was out the first couple years that I first started getting into AG as a kid. (besides Kit but she was just getting released around that time frame, she will be here one day though.) I always tell my husband that one of the biggest reasons I collect AG is because when I look at them, it brings me that happiness I felt as a child. My mom and other family gave me such a good childhood and when life get rough now as an adult, my dolls really do make things a little better. 
I think a lot of you fellow adult collectors right know exactly what I mean.

Okay guys, follow my blog for more! I am working (slowly) on two new Felicity posts!

And feel free to comment, ask questions, leave feedback, or just make chit chat! 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Recipe: Felicity's Shrewsbury Cakes

Hey Guys!
     Well with one of my recent Ebay bundles I purchased I got the complete Shrewsbury Cakes Kit which was exciting because this bundle was a steal. In Felicity's third book Felicity's Surprise, Felicity and Elizabeth (her best friend) make Shrewsbury (pronounced shrows-bree) cakes for their teacher.
     So, I made some for myself.. and I am going to show you how to make them too! So before everyone gets too excited.. this is not cake. I am sorry to deceive you that way but Cakes is what they called cookies in the 18th century. What did they call cake then?... Well they called that cake too. I know, I know... this is almost as confusing as Aloha being a greeting and a goodbye..
    So anyways... Shrewsbury Cakes are similar to today's sugar cookies, except the recipe I am going to share with you has a citrus-y hint which is amazing. When I first started looking for recipes, I wanted to use an authentic 18th century recipe but the ones I found included like.. one pound sugar and three pounds flour.... Okay I am not considered a skinny woman but this just sounds like a lot of cakes. Other more modern recipes needed rosewater. I live in the middle of no where, our nearest Wal-Mart is over half an hour away and a specialty food store is over an hour away. Nope... keep searching! And Bingo! I found this recipe.
Here is what you are going to need!

1/2 c. unsalted butter 
(original recipe asked for 1/4 c. butter but in my first attempt at this recipe, the cookies became really hard, more like a gingersnap.. this may be the way they are suppose to be but I bumped up the butter the second time and I loved them better being nice and soft.) 
1/4 c. shortening
1 c. sugar
1-1/2 tsp. of grated orange zest
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg
3 Tbl. milk
2 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt

2 tsp. cream or tartar

And the supplies you need are..

One large mixing bowl
One Medium mixing bowl
Hand or stand mixer
wax paper
mixing spoon
hand grater for the orange zest
cookie sheets
small glass

       I am sorry, but I did not take many pictures while I made this. I tend to get pretty serious in the kitchen... plus my kitchen lighting is horrible. So I know its hard... but try to follow without the pretty pictures. It'll be okay, now preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
First step is put the butter, sugar, and shortening in the large mixing bowl and cream the mixture. 

Once the mixture is creamed, add the orange zest and vanilla extract and mix it all in, once that is done add your egg and milk and mix that in too.

       Now get your medium bowl and add sifted flour, cream of tartar, salt, and baking soda and mix that all together. Once that is done you can add it to the other mixture and mix it up good until a dough is formed. 
       Now put down some wax paper on your kitchen counter and sprinkle some sugar on it. Grab some dough and make about 1 inch balls with it. Roll each ball in the sugar and then set them each on a cookie sheet about an inch and a half apart. Take a glass and using the bottom, smoosh the balls until they are about half inch thick and resemble a cookie. This dough is thick enough that you could also roll it out and use cookie cutters. 

Make sure they have room to grow because the dough expands A LOT! Now pop those bad boys in the oven until the edges are a golden brown.    

Finished product! Once again... old 70s kitchen... bad lighting.

Okay now that we have had a snack and feeling refreshed. Let me talk about the Pleasant Company Shrewsbury Set. 
The set comes with a wicker basket, four metal cookie cutters, a real sugar cone, a recipe sheet, and a cloth.

The recipe sheet has the old 18th century recipe on the front, colonial cooking terms on the back, and a modern recipe on the inside. 

 The cookies cutters are made of metal and the shapes are a crescent moon, a heart, a star, and clover.

The sugar cone is wrapped in blue paper and sealed with a sticker that has Felicity's logo on it.

The basket is a light colored wicker.

The cloth is a thick white fabric with colorful flower details. 

This is a great little set and of course it has wonderful quality just like all the old Pleasant Company items and I hope you plan on trying this recipe cause they are very good "cakes."
Be sure to follow this blog if you enjoy it and feel free to ask questions or give feedback! 

Oh and be sure to keep watching my blog because I will be introducing THREE new girls to my collection in the next two weeks! 
EEK! :)


Saturday, January 3, 2015

Felicity's Tall Post Bed with Tester

Hey there!
      I hope you guys had a wonderful holiday with your families! I bought myself a little something and man did I get a good deal! I got Felicity's Bed for $52.01 in near mint condition!
      For your history lesson, first I am going to talk about the tester beds and their uses... or the gullible myths of their uses... And the second part of this, I am going to talk about the sleep patterns of people in the 18th century, and then of course a quick review of the bed.
     The four post bed was first introduced in the 15th century and was believed to be from Austria. An interesting story I found while doing some research was about Richard the Third. If you don't know who he is, I suggest you do some research because recently some very interesting articles have been released about him that I found to be extremely fascinating...But to keep things short.. Richard III was King of England from 1483-1485. He was brutally killed in the Battle of Bosworth Field and his body was just found buried underneath a parking lot on England.
       The story I found states that when traveling to Leicester for the battle, he brought with him a four poster bed with extravagant bedding and hangings. The bed was set up in a building of some sort (was not stated in the story where it was set up). Anyways, after being killed in battle, his murderers stripped the bed of all its expensive bedding and left the four poster bed with the landlord. The bed for many years was passed from tenant to tenant and was know as quite an attraction to see. Well during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, the current owners discovered that the bed had a false bottom... a secret compartment that was filled with gold owned once by Richard III. Cool, right??
      Okay so.. back to the subject at hand.. Through my research, I have come to find two purposes for the four post beds creation that seem to make sense. The first being warmth. Having curtains around your bed acted like a tapestry over a window did. Kept in heat and kept out the draft of a cold breeze. Houses, castles, what have you.. were cold, drafty, and hard to heat in the 18th century and previous years. Beds like this actually would often be a popular place to socialize during Medieval times just because of the warmth.
       The second reason was simply to show everyone how wealthy you are. Tudor beds were massive richly carved pillars. The curtains were made of rich fabrics and embroidered with many detailed scenes. The wooden headboards were also carved with grand scenes. Queen Elizabeth I bed was made with silver, gold, silk, satin, and velvet.
Tudor Bed Circa 16th Century
Four Poster Bed at the Historic Colonial Houses Hotel in the Ewing Shop
Colonial Williamsburg

        There was one theory I heard about four poster beds that is absolutely silly...There was a post going around Facebook entitled "Life in the 1500s." It was a list of "facts" about life in the 16th century that was actually a load of rubbish... there was a part in it that read like this....

I'll describe their houses a little. You've heard of thatch roofs, well that's all they were. Thick straw, piled high, with no wood underneath. They were the only place for the little animals to get warm. So all the pets; dogs, cats and other small animals, mice, rats, bugs, all lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery so sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Thus the saying, "it's raining cats and dogs," 

Since there was nothing to stop things from falling into the house they would just try to clean up a lot. But this posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings from animals could really mess up your nice clean bed, so they found if they would make beds with big posts and hang a sheet over the top it would prevent that problem. That's where those beautiful big 4 poster beds with canopies came from.

           This is so not true. Only the rich could afford to own canopy beds and the rich did not live in houses with roofs like that. The poor were lucky if they even had a bed in all honesty. 

           In the 18th century, there is very strong historical evidence that shows people had very different sleeping patterns than us today. Their nights of sleep were segmented, which according to Historian Roger Ekirch, means that within a 12 hour period people would go to sleep shortly after dinner, sleep 3-4 hours, then wake up for 3-4 hours...and then go back to sleep until dawn. This way of sleeping ending around the time electricity was invented. There was a scientific study done by Psychiatrist Thomas Wehr that supports the theory that this sleeping pattern is actually our natural way of sleeping....but that's science. I won't go into that.. but it is a very interesting study and I suggest you look it up!   
        During the awake time it was common for people to talk, pray, be intimate, read, commit crimes, and even visit their neighbors. A lot of writers did their writing during the awake time...I know I am more creative late at night! Which would explain why I always write these posts after midnight! 
        Anyways.. Now a little about Felicity's bed. When I got it in the mail, it was taken apart. With just a couple turns of an allen wrench it was together, so as for assembly... it was super easy. My five year old son put half of it together! My first impression of the bed was... WOW....This thing is HUGE! It stands two feet tall! My second impression was... Its BEAUTIFUL!! The bed is made of wood I believe and is a dark stain color. The curtains are red and white checkered print and the blanket is a red and white toile print. There are little gold brackets that cover the screws to make it more decorative. The curtains have to be tied to the wooden canopy on top...which was horrible! My hands hurt so much afterwards! But that's is my only negative comment about the bed honestly. So there you have it. I hope you have learned something new and interesting. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments. I am not so good at the whole review portion so if I left out something you want to know about, ask away! I love getting questions and feedback! And remember if you enjoy my blog to click on the follow button! I have much more to come!

The cover for the screws, it just flips down.

The ties for the curtains! The top canopy goes over it so it isn't seen but man! What a pain!

My cat, Mr.Cotton displaying the size of the bed... he slept in it for a few hours!