Thursday, December 24, 2009

What Christmas Means to Me . . . .

Snowflakes, family, presents, baked goods, Santa Claus AND the premier of The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus!!!!

That's right folks, Rachel McAdams and I both have huge Hollywood movies opening Christmas Day.

Granted, Rachel McAdams is famous, rich and stars in her movie.

I am famous to my mom, not rich, and play a small role in mine.

Small, but key.  Well, maybe not even that.  But I will be 20ft big and playing in Cineplex Odeons around the country.  And my name is in the credits.

So this is my plug to get you to go watch the movie - keep an eye out for a British-sounding salesgirl who gets a flower from a Russian.  That's me!

And of course, MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Getting Jolly for the Holidays

The most wonderful time of the year is upon us and there are many ways to celebrate the season in Vancouver.

If you want to make the most of your holidays with local delights, here's some activities I've unearthed for you.

If you've watched my wee video, you've seen the fun that is singing Christmas carols via a karaoke machine with random people.  My advice?  Grab MANY friends and book the trolley for your private party.  Fill thermoses with Bailey's and hot chocolate, then gaze merrily at the Christmas lights of Stanley Park, VanDusen Gardens, and Canuck House all while singing badly.

Perhaps the trolley isn't your thing, but lights are.  Head up to VanDusen Botanical Gardens for their amazing lights.  Really, these lights are amazing.  There is nothing much more I can say.  Except you can also get waffles, crepes, hot dogs, cocoa, chat with Santa, watch a musical light show, and listen to the choir sing 'Silent Night'.

For kids, and big kids, Stanley Park puts on a fun light show complete with train ride through a lit up forest.  Proceeds go to the Firefighters' Burn Fund so it's a good cause. Buy your tickets online but still be prepared to stand in line, especially on weekends.  Your ticket also includes entry to the Children's Farm.  But if you don't care to see a turkey, you can always check out the raccoons running around the grounds.  Chestnuts roasting on an open fire are extra, but the hot firemen are included.

The good people at Capilano Suspension Bridge light the bridge, and surrounding area up, to create a magical winter wonderland.  Especially if snow covers the surrounding trees.  A truly beautiful experience.

Check out the free light show that plays on the sails of Canada Place timed to favorite Christmas carols.

Several Gingerbread creations line the lobby of the Hyatt.  Made by students from grade school right to pastry chefs, these edible concoctions are a fun way to spend a few moments and escape from the bustling streets of Vancouver.  I was especially blown away by the Cinderella's castle.  Oh, and you can vote on your favorite!

7.  The skating rink at Robson Square
A new addition this winter (but an old favorite from years past), Vancouverites can once again skate outdoors.  Rink is free, but skates will cost you ($3) - and it's covered so you can glide arm in arm with your sweetheart while the rain patters above you.

And last, but probably the most enchanting:

Screw the Grind, the best thing about this mountain is how it makes Christmas a truly wonderful white wonderland.  For the price of admission, you can escape the city (which is often raining and without snow) and find yourself atop a snowy haven.  You can ice skate (on a small pond but it's on the top of a mountain!), go for a sleigh ride, or snowshoe.  Top it all off with hot chocolate or wine by the blazing fire.  Even I loved going snowshoeing - it was so peaceful.  You can head up during the day, but I prefer the night when the stars are out and you don't even know a city lies before you.

I hope this inspires you to get out there and enjoy the holiday season before it's over!!

Simply French, Simply Fabulous

If you know me, and this blog, you know that I like croissants.  A LOT.  I also love cute cafes in which to write.  And I love anything French because I secretly wish I was an elegant French girl.

I was driving up 10th Ave the other day, and nearly got into an accident as an adorable cafe caught my eye.  Simply French is a newly opened cafe near the intersection of 10th and Alma.  Opened by the former owners of Truffles, the Drummonds know how to serve a good dessert.  And good pastry.  And good coffee.

Firstly, the cafe is really large, with high ceilings, chandeliers, and plug-ins for your laptop.  Secondly, it serves strong coffee.  Thirdly, the croissant was AMAZING.  Perfect and incredible.  In fact, the croissant is now number two on my list (one below a boulangerie in Paris and one above Mazzola's in Brooklyn).  Isobel Drummond bakes everything herself and let me tell you that she knows how to create a buttery perfection that is croissant.

I loved it in here so much.  The owners are so friendly and happy.  I sat in the window and wrote for hours undisturbed, letting the sky grow dark and the snow gently fall outside.  So cozy and elegant, I think next time I go I will try a Paris panini.  And wear a beret.

Je t'aime all things French.

Irish Heather and Eating Pigs

The Irish Heather, located in Gastown, is a busy hive of cosy dark interior, steamy food, and pints of Guinness.  What started as a pub overlooking a cobblestoned mews, it has now moved across the street and is linked in one building with the Salty Tongue, a delicious deli, and Shebeen a whiskey house.

Early this year, the Irish Heather started the Long Table Series which is described as "a series of meals matched to a beer/cider for low prices".  Twice a week, eaters show up to Shebeen for a drink and then are ushered into Salty Tongue where a 40ft table sits for all the guests.  The chef comes out to talk about the meal and then dinner is served, complete with a drink.  For, are you ready for this, $15!!!  Only $15!

I've gone to two now.  Once during the summer for veal that was delicious.  And then again last week for the very-much-in-demand roast suckling pig.

I definitely liked it better during the winter months, as when I came in the summer I nearly melted it was so hot.  Forty people at a table is a tad noisy and squished.  And as it's Vancouver, you don't really talk to the people next to you even though you are rubbing elbows.  Oh this city of pretention.

That aside, the food is yummy and at a great price!  Our roast pig was amazing and the serving portion was massive.  It came with braised cabbage and mashed potatoes plus a pint of cider.  We opted to have a sticky toffee pudding for dessert.  All in all, a fun event, a new way to experience food, and a great Irish meal.

Except for the braised cabbage which reared its ugly head a few hours later.  Ick.

Check out the blog to see upcoming menus and get out for a night of eating fun!

The Man in Red

As I was getting on the ferry the other day, two little girls had this conversation:

Girl 1:  Dad texted it to him.
Girl 2:  He texted him the list?
Girl 1:  Yes
Girl 2:  How do you know?
Girl 1:  He told me
Girl 2:  He told you he texted the list?
Girl 1:  (sighing) Yes, he texted the list!
Girl 2:  Are you sure?
Girl 1: (now exasperated) YES!
Girl 2:  How does dad know his number?

That's right folks, Santa's gone electronic.  I couldn't help but think of how technology has changed our lives, right down to how we get in touch with the man in red.  

When it comes to having Santa's number I almost said to them, "I think my mom has his number.  She used to call him when I was being bad."

True story - every time I did anything naughty and it was in the late part of the year (maybe starting in August) my mum would threaten to call Santa.  If that didn't work, she would get on the phone and tell him I was being bad.  I would go nuts!  I would also stop being bad.  The thought that my mum was actually talking to Santa Claus would scare all the naughty things out of me.  Note to self:  use when I am parent.

Everyone seems to have the story of when they stopped believing in Santa Claus.  For some it was traumatic, like a friend of mine who was told my his first grade teacher (and yes, his mother marched to school the next day to chew her out), for others it was perhaps a simply realization one year that their dad was the one eating the cookies and milk.

I honestly can't remember when I stopped believing.  This is going to sound corny, but I don't think I ever really stopped.  Firstly, I did believe in Santa Claus for a long time.  Well past my elementary comrades.  I remember (and my mum will dispute this) one Christmas when I was about nine. We had driven to Alberta from Winnipeg for Christmas.  We took all of our presents to open at my grandma's.  When we got back, there was another present under the tree.  I was so excited about Santa's drop-off.  But seeing as the gift (a 'Get in Shape Girl' set - remember those?) was from my parents, they wanted me to know that they were giving it to me.

My dad showed me how impossible it was for Santa to get down the chimney as the flue was shut AND he had placed a big tile thing in front of the fireplace to keep the cold out.  I wasn't persuaded.  I knew Santa had figured out a way to get in.

My grandmother always believed in Santa.  She said he was the magic of Christmas.  So if you always believe in the magic of Christmas then you believe in Santa.  That sort of stuck with me.  And I am all about creating magic around Christmas.

The other day, my friend and I watched 'Elf'.  At the end, I sighed and said, "Part of me sort of wonders".

"Wonders what? "

 "If Santa is real."

Her reply?  "You can't swallow the idea of Jesus but you think it's possible that Santa exists??"


Call me crazy.  Call me a big kid.  Or call me a girl who always believes in the possibility of magic.

Monday, December 21, 2009

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year . . . .

It's that time of the year again and I made a little video showing you how things are celebrated in the Rainy City.  Well, one of the many possible fun things to do in Vancouver over the holiday season.

Vancouver Trolley Company gets us into the season every year with their 'Christmas Karaoke' trolley that takes singing riders to Stanley Park to check out Bright Lights (but only the part outside of the train), and then to VanDusen Botanical Garden for their spectacular, and I mean SPECTACULAR, lights.

Check out the video that includes chestnuts roasting on an open fire, a choir singing merrily on high, and sparkly lights.  Oh, and perhaps thermoses full of hot chocolate and Bailey's :)

If you have trouble viewing it, go directly to the You Tube Channel

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Craving More Crave

In order to emulate the ladies of 'Sex and the City', my sorority sisters started to meet for brunch about six years ago.  Back then, most of us were still single, or not engaged/married and our biggest stresses were end of term exams or bad boyfriends.

We met every week.

Fast forward six years and you get several weddings, one divorce, banished bad boyfriends giving way to awesome fiances/good boys, two kids, one more on the way, condos bought and sold, houses remodeled, and the globe travelled several times over.  Now our woes include professional problems or huge successes, husbands not sharing in housework, or kids not walking as fast as we want them to.  Needless to say, if we have brunch once a month we are in good standing.

Twice is practically a miracle.

We also move from venue to venue, trying to find the perfect eggs benedict or organic coffee.  I make a bold statement when I say that I think we may have found a winner - that we can at least stick to for a few months.


With two locations, this urban retreat of cool and cozy has quickly become a new favorite of mine.  I always always always order eggs benedict.  Therefore, I am picky about having perfectly poached eggs that dribble just the right amount of yolk on the fresh English muffin upon which they sit.  I always ask for 'soft poach'.  At Crave, I asked for this and the waitress kindly informed me that the eggs were always softly poached.

I didn't quite trust her, but she was, in fact, right.  Plus they use organic, Omega eggs so the yolk was that lovely dark yellow/golden colour.  The muffins were fresh and warm.  I had the California so the combination of ham and avocado was heaven.  Not to mention the coffee was great and the mimosas even better!  Made with fresh OJ.

Plus you feel really cool eating in here.  It's very New York.  All dark and black inside.  Teeny tiny.  Warm and cosy.  It's my new favorite spot ladies!

Oh and the trauma this week?  My poor pregger friend vomited in the bathroom so the whole restaurant could hear.  Poor thing.  Six years ago it would have been because of a hang-over.  Hell, six months ago it would have been a hang-over.  Amazing that the moment you mouth to disgusted diners 'she's pregnant' their foul mouths turn to smile and applause.

Note to self:  if ever hung-over and throw up in public, just tell 'em I'm pregnant.  It's a great excuse for all kinds of things!

The best part was the fact our whole table was dressed up.  So much so, that another table of girls came over to tell us how nice we looked.  They wondered if it was a special occasion.

Vancouver is funny that way.  If you are not wearing Lululemon than something is amiss.

Anyways, they really liked my purple rosette dress and asked that I come over and model it.  When I did, I had to open my ruffle coat to show them.  I won't lie, this was a moment of pride for me.  They actually applauded my outfit.  APPLAUSE!  I am not a stylish diva - I can't make outfits at all. Not like those cool Upper East side girls.  But I do know how to pick out a dress.  Okay, moment of narcissism over.

I highly encourage you to grab your best gal pals, zip up your favorite dress, and head out for some morning champagne!

Girl's Night Out

On my return to Rainy City, I once again bounced back into being the social director of all things fun.  I find it easier here, much less overwhelming than New York where more frequently than not, I fear leaving my house.

I found out about an event called "Girl's Night Out" which is held every month at a Granville Club.  Like one of those Christmas fairs, it's basically an event to showcase local wares and girly things to do.  For December, they offered a free SUV limo which I thought would be a fun thing for my friends to do.

So I booked the limo and got some friends on board.

Then some of my friends bailed the day of.

Leaving me, one friend, and a limo ride.

Feeling silly at taking a limo for only two, I called to cancel.  This is when I found out that the limos were supposed to be a 10-girl minimum.  Ummmmm.  No worries, he told me, just enjoy the ride for the two of you.

I tried my best to recruit new ladies but failed.  Luckily my friend was bringing one of her friends.  Perfect.  Three girls in a limo.  No problem.

Until the limo arrived.

I wouldn't call it a limo per se.  More like a bus with black windows.  Leaving my building, the three of us burst out laughing and felt quite embarrassed as we climbed into the monster.  Our driver wanted to know what we didn't have any friends.  This made us laugh harder.

Once inside the limo, I realized our terrible mistake.  This 'BUS' was built for 30 people.  It included two poles.  Oh god.  Our driver then turned on the sleaze by asking us to dance later for him. Ugh.  He also asked where our alcohol was.  Once again, I didn't quite get the message.

So here the three of us were, in a limo the size of a small Eastern European country with two poles.  By the by, I have taken pole dancing and I could barely swing on these puppies.  The vehicle was moving after all.  I suspect that the dancers that come on board during stags are much more talented than I.

The best part?  Our ride was literally five minutes.  Maybe seven.  We arrived in style, at the club, and everyone on the street was staring.  As THREE girls toddled off with a wary glance at leering driver man.

Upon entry to the event, we quickly realized that most in attendance had in fact brought alcohol aboard the beast and had driven much further than seven minutes.  We suspected many were from Surrey. Sorry, that was mean.

But true.

Anyways, the event was fun.  We got free shots of blueberry vodka, our hair did (by crazy drunk hair stylists from Gloss - and even in their state they still did an amazing job!), nails done, I won a pretty hat with a peacock feather worth $65, and talked to some pretty fun people.  We learned that there is a new dance studio near my house, called iDance, which has burlesque AND Bollywood lessons for super cheap. That we can learn how to better swing on poles at Tantra Fitness.  And that feather flowers are always a better accessory.

My first girls night out was a success, even with the lack of girls in attendance.  And next time they offer a limo ride, I will just press 'delete'.

Legally Blonde

The other day, an earnest and lovely friend stared at me in wonder and said this most horrifying sentence:

"Sarah, I never knew you weren't a natural blonde!"

I don't know what's worse:  someone asking a woman how much they weigh or simply pointing out that one is long overdue for a trip to the salon.

He didn't know what he said was a faux pas as I explained to him how intimate his statement was.  You certainly don't look at someone and say, "Wow, you got fat!" Okay, some people do actually.  In Japan.  It happened to me.

Anyways, I told Matt that no, in fact my natural colour was not blonde.  Then I promptly booked an appointment for highlights.

Truth is I haven't been my natural colour since 1993.  My mum started me young.  Back when they still did highlights with those horrible condom caps that practically made your scalp bleed!

At 18 I turned to the box when I sadly discovered blonde was, in fact, the most expensive accessory one can have.

When my hair turned a light grey and started to fall out, it was time to return to the natural.  But the stylist went overboard and I became a lovely auburn.  For about three months.   Then I missed the attention of being a blonde (there, I said it).  Back to the box.  Ummm, have you ever tried going from dark to blonde before? You can't.  The result was green, which softened to a bright yellow.  I looked like Sailor Moon.

This was when I was living in England.  My mum came to visit me, took one look at my head and took me to a proper salon.  Back to blonde.  Minus about six inches of damaged hair.

The upkeep proved to be too expensive, so I went back to the box and tried black.  Same year as 'Zorro' and I wanted to look like Catherine Zeta Jones.  Trouble being that I look nothing like Catherine Zeta Jones.  Nor did I know to colour in my eyebrows.  Therefore I looked like a sickly teenager who loved 'Dungeons and Dragons'.

On return to Canada, I went back to blonde and I have been here ever since.  Okay, there was a teeny tiny parlay into brunette last winter when I put a hair gloss on to give myself some shine and the salon boy went crazy.  But that's it.  I have been blonde for half my life.  More if you count my first year of being bald and my third as being a natural blonde.

It's who I am.  If I get it into my head to dye my hair EVER again, I will simply buy a wig.

Strange how hair can define a personality.  I'm not dumb, like the stereotype, but I am bubbly, fun and enthusiastic.  Raven heads are more brooding - I'm not a brooder.  Redheads are spicey and sexy.  Not me either.  Blonde curls is who I am, and as long as I can sit in a chair every 6-8 weeks with foils on my scalp, then forever blonde I will be.

The engineer prefers me blonde.  Not that this really matters to me.  But he has mentioned several times that he is into blondes when I suggest going dark.  I feel his opinion is slowly changing though when he found out how much this head costs every month.  Always economical that one.

It's tres difficile to keep these tresses healthy.  Are you a blonde?  Here are some tried and tested tips:

1.  Don't wash OR water your hair everyday.  Yes, on day 3 you will be a greasy wench but do as I do and stay inside wearing your PJ's.
2.  Use purple shampoo and conditioner.
3.  Trim trim trim.  I have fine hair that has to be kept on the shorter side for it to look healthy.  But I do have a few friends with long blonde hair.
3.  New Chapter Pre-Natal vitamins.  No, I am not having a baby.  I got this tip from another famous blonde:  Gwyneth Paltrow
4.  This is the biggest secret of all that was passed on to me from a top-notch NYC stylist:  CLAIROL NATURAL INSTINCTS HAIR GLOSS!!!!!

That's right ladies, you might be embarrassed being in the box aisle (I know I was) but trust me on this.  Every month or so, $10 will get you shiny, healthy hair with a tube of the best conditioner I have ever used.  And the tube lasts until your next gloss.  It's like crack for blondes.

And yes, in case you wondered, blonde is more fun.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Brotherly Love

Sometimes I wonder if my dogs actually like each other.

I know Brooklyn likes Mop.  But Brooklyn likes everything, including blowing leaves and beetles.

Mop, on the other hand, is a bit more, ummmm, of an asshole.  He is constantly biting Brooklyn's head and stealing any toys that Brooklyn wants to play with.

I do often catch them bathing each other.  Mop licks Brooklyn for hours.  Brooklyn lays back with his eyes closed and paws around Mop's neck in pure ecstasy.  When I say their names, the two break apart like guilty teenage lovers.

Therefore I suspect they really do care for each other.

My suspicions were confirmed a few weeks ago when I decided to take Brooklyn to Manhattan.  When I got a dog, I wanted to be able to take the dog with me everywhere.  Then I got two dogs and that plan went to crap.  I could possibly take my dogs everywhere if Mop wasn't such a freak.  He can't handle being in shops.  He panics and goes nuts.  It's embarrassing.  But seeing as the Engineer was home, and I wanted company, I tucked Brooklyn into my purse and we went for an 'F' train ride.

New York is a very dog friendly city.  You can take your dogs practically everywhere.  Unfortunately, Manhattan is so busy, bustling and TALL, my little 9-lb borkie had a wee problem.  In that he is wee.  I had to carry him most of the time for fear he would be trampled.  He looked around in wonderment around him as cars went honking by and people rushed past us.  On the plus side, he has never received so much attention.  Without Mop to bite his head, he was finally able to enjoy little old ladies cooing over him.

When we got back home, I wanted to play the equal parent by spending alone time with Mop.  The Engineer and I set out with Mop to go pick up dinner, leaving Brooklyn alone in the house.  He has never been left before.  He isn't the brightest of bulbs in the pack, I thought he might not notice.

The moment we left, he went barking mad at the door.  Barking and shrieking and crying.  I should have known he would do this.  Once when my mum and I were walking the dogs, I crossed the street with Mop and didn't notice that my mum was still on the other side.  People thought she was stabbing Brooklyn with the way he was carrying on.  Crying, yelping, barking - she kept getting evil eyes.  Mop didn't seem to care.

But not this time.  Mop did care.  He refused to budge an inch. I got him out of the house, but as we could still hear Brooklyn going nuts from the street, Mop planted his bum down and wouldn't move.  I tried to drag him down the street but it wasn't happening.  The Engineer went back to get Brooklyn and Mop pulled on his leash to follow.

With each cry, Mop was on his hind legs as if trying to reach Brooklyn himself.  When the Engineer and Brooklyn walked out the door, Mop flew at him and covered him in kisses.  Both the Engineer and I were so happy to see this brotherly love.  We had no idea Mop cared so much about Brooklyn.

But five minutes into our walk, Mop resumed biting Brooklyn's head and Brooklyn resumed peeing on Mop.

Monday, December 7, 2009

American Girl

No, I am not word playing with a famous Estelle song, or talking about how I am becoming an American Girl.

What my title refers to is 'American Girl'.  A doll store.  A store that sells dolls.

Have you heard of it?

Well, I hadn't until a couple of years ago when I first visited the flagship store on Fifth Ave.  And I certainly hadn't heard about it circa 1989 when I would have DIED to have an American Girl Doll.

Here's the deal:  in 1986 a woman named Pleasant Rowland was searching for dolls to give her eight-year old nieces.  She could find baby dolls for little girls, or 'cool' dolls for tweens, but nothing for the 8-12 range.  Her search for a perfect doll coincided with a visit to Colonial Williamsburg where Rowland was inspired to make history accessible.

So she started her own doll company with six 'history' dolls complete with stories about them.  For example, Felicity is a Revolutionary times doll who believes that the colonies should be free.  Or Rebecca Rubin is a little Jewish girl growing up in 1914 New York City.  All the dolls come with changes of clothing, books, movies and even matching outfits for the owner.

I am sorry.  But I am having a minor FREAAAAAAAAAAAAK out right now!!!!  OMG OMG OMG!  Is 30 too old for one of these things?

Firstly, I LOVE dolls.  I always have and I always will.  Even if I have all boys, they will be getting dolls.  Any doll, I don't care.  I love them.  I loved my 'My Child' doll:

I got her for Christmas 1987. I saw her in September at Eaton's (remember that store?) and my mum said if I was a good girl until Christmas she might be under the tree.  I was SO good for three months.  Come Christmas Eve I couldn't handle the pressure anymore and poked the box that was shaped like her.  I peeked in and there was her pretty little face looking up at me.  On Christmas morning my mum wondered why there was a hole in my present.

With complete seriousness, I looked up at her, shrugged and said "Santa must've tripped" and proceeded to rip open the box.

Then there were my Cabbage Patch dolls, Barbie dolls, Hugga-Bunch dolls.  My grandma even had these knitted dolls that I loved.  It didn't matter that they had buttons for eyes, I took them everywhere.

  One Christmas, my mum and grandma joined forces and made me a Bride doll.  She was BEAUTIFUL.  I came up Christmas morning and saw her standing on the table.  My one clear memory of my Grandfather is him sitting next to that doll and smiling at me.  I didn't want to believe she was for me because she was so beautiful.  But seeing as I was the only girl in the family she had to be mine.  He smiled and said maybe I should read the tag and see who she was for.  He peeked in the tag and read: For Sarah.  I was so happy I couldn't even talk.

Oh I loved her.  Now that I think about it, perhaps she started my obsession with weddings?  In hindsight maybe my grandma and mum should have made me a Wall Street Doll.

But I digress, back to American Girl.

So I love dolls.  I also LOVE history.  It was my minor at University.  I dragged my parents to the Plains of Abraham when we went to Quebec City. I practically lived at Lower Fort Garry every summer. Heck, I go back every time I visit Winnipeg. And I am dying to go to Colonial Williamsburg but some Engineer won't go with me.

Therefore the combination of dolls and history is a bit much for me.  I gave myself a headache when I saw this floor.  I was practically running around in glee.  Okay, fine.  I was running around in glee.  With a nine-year old girl named Lily.  At American Girl, each doll is displayed in her 'era' with little houses or street scenes.  It's too much.  I would have loved this place as a little girl.  Oh wait, I love it now.

The history dolls are just one aspect about this store.  You can also get dolls to MATCH YOU.  MATCH!  AAAAAAAAA!  They have dozens of skin tones, hair colours/styles, eye colours, etc.  So you can get a doll that ethnically matches you.  There is a beauty salon for your dolls.  That's right, you line up to have your doll's hair done (this I don't get, isn't the fun of having a doll with nice hair so that you can do it yourself?), a cafe, a doll hospital, a doll portrait gallery (so you can take family photos with the doll?), a nursery where all the baby dolls are for toddlers, a pet store so you can get Coconut, the American Girl dog, and the list goes on.

And this place is PACKED.

With Crazy Wild-Eyed Little Girls with their stressed-out, credit card bearing parents.

It's a lot to take in.  Especially on a Saturday.

I thought I would die a bit. There is nothing more terrifying that 100 9-year olds and their high-pitched squealing waiting in line to get doll stuff.

I know.  I used to be one.

 Running around with their American Doll backpacks (so that dolly stays safe I guess), freaking out over the newest PJ set for Chloe/Katy/Marsha, stuffing their faces with cupcakes (and the mini-cupcakes made in doll size), and in general overworked with excitement and the lethal combination of retail and sugar.

Oh wait.

That was me.

God I love this place.

I love it so much I wish I had thought of it.  The smallest, cheapest doll is $95.  NINTEY FIVE dollars!  Then you need the matching clothes, books, accessories, etc.  Kids come out of this store armed with the tell-tale red bags. Well, their dads are the ones with the bags.

Pleasant Rowland is a very very happy lady.  On her private island.