Saturday, October 3, 2015



                         HELLO MARYELLEN!

By now I'm sure you have seen or at least heard about (or even own) American Girl's newest historical character, Maryellen Larkin.  Maryellen's story is set in the year 1954 in Daytona Beach Florida.  She's spunky and smart and longs to stand out amongst her siblings and her peers at school. 

The 1950's were a time of prosperity and hope for the US.  The economy was booming, the housing market was booming, babies were booming...seems like it was a great time to be a kid.  

It's a wise move on American Girl's part to choose the 1950's:  the target age demographic likely has grandmothers who can share with them their first hand experiences and warm fuzzy memories of the 1950's. My own mother would have been 11 that year, very close to Maryellen's age. Unfortunately my mother died many years ago, when I was 21, so no warm fuzzy memories here to share. However, I always enjoy a good historical release from American Girl, no matter the era. Every collection has something to offer, with or without a personal connection. 

                      THE BATTLE OF THE DINERS

When I first learned American Girl was developing a character from the 1950's I have to admit I was none too excited... but then out came the Our Generation Diner and their retro accessory line.

I have to admit it was all incredibly appealing.  And it was suspected that an American Girl version of a diner was in the works and would be released with Maryellen.  So I bided my time and waited patiently to see what AG had up their sleeves. Surely AG's version would completely upstage and outshine OG's diner.  Hopefully?  And then the reveal...and sigh. Not so much.

I could see why a mom buying for her daughter or even a collector might choose the OG diner, with it's light up counter, teeny retro phone and it's crazy number of accessories.  Both versions have strong design elements and both versions have major drawbacks. And both diners have plentiful reviews on YouTube and the like,  so instead of reviewing, I set out to do some reinventing.  

I've seen some pretty awesome OG diner transformations on the web.  And so inspired, I set out to do my own version- a mash-up of sorts, incorporating both the AG and the OG diners into one big glorious diner scene.  And I have to say I love the way it turned out.  In my next post, after the 15th, I will chronicle the process and hopefully inspire and encourage others to make their own versions as well. But for now it's onto the foods... 

Historically in my shop October has been reserved for Halloween party foods and treats.  However, with the release of the diner and Maryellen- and with her story fresh on my mind, I decided that it would be fun to split the month and churn out some typical 1950's diner foods- and also do some foods plucked directly from the pages of her books, as well as offering some Halloween goodies.

As always, items in my Etsy shop are listed on the 15th of each month at 12:00 noon est, on a first come first served basis.  Quantities that will be available are in parenthesis, followed by the prices-and I finally have pics up now too!


Popsicles Set of Two  (18)     12.00

It was a last day of school tradition in Maryellen's classroom to eat popsicles while they emptied out their desks.  Twin Pops like these were a popular dessert or afternoon snack in the 1950's, just as they are today.

Coffee Cake with Single Slice  (1)     26.00

Maryellen's family had lots of holiday traditions- and Maryellen remembered them all.  One of her favorites was her grandmother's Christmas morning coffee cake.

Meatloaf with Mashed Potatoes and Peas  (9)   21.00

While riding the train on her way to spend Christmas with her grandparents, Maryellen enjoyed a fancy meal of chicken soup, meatloaf, mashed potatoes and peas.

Bowl of Chicken Noodle Soup   (8)    14.50

Ice Cream Bars Set of Two   (8)    7.50

For Maryellen's birthday, her father surprised everybody by asking the Good Humor man to park his truck in front of the Larkin's driveway so that he could buy ice cream bars for everyone.

Plain Brownies Set of Five  (7)   10.00

Maryellen's sister Joan announced that everyone could have brownies for dessert after lunch, as long as they saved one for Dad.

Bowl of Chili   (5)     12.00

Chili has always been a diner staple-this bowl looks hot and fresh and loaded with beans.

Spaghetti & Meatballs   (11)   14.00

Spaghetti and meatballs is another diner staple and a popular meal in the 1950's, just as it is today.

Grilled Cheese Sandwich   (6)   7.50

Toasted cheese, cheese toast, cheese on toast- whatever name you call it, this is a definite diner staple that still persists today in restaurants everywhere.

Ham & Cheese Sandwich  (5)   7.50

The classic ham and cheese sandwich has been enjoyed by diner patrons since before the 1950's.

Serving of Crinkle Cut French Fries  (6)    7.00

French fries were a popular a la carte choice even back in the 1950's.
Approx 10-12 loose and separate fries are included.  The napkin and paper basket are not included.

Whole Peach Pie  (2)    16.00

Pies sold whole and in single slices were a popular diner dessert choice.

Key Lime Pie Slices Set of Two  (8)   7.50

Florida's well known sweet and tangy key lime pie- garnished with whipped cream and a slice of lime. Diners in Maryellen's day likely served these alongside more traditional pie flavors.

Pancake Stack of Two with Two Sausages    (7)   9.50

Many diners often served breakfast all day- just like today.  Pancakes were popular alongside bacon or sausages.

Five Pancake Stack  (1)   7.50

Just for fun I added this tower of pancakes stacked five high, drizzled with syrup and dotted with a pat of butter.

Broiled Fish with Lemon Garnish   (8)   8.00

Fried or broiled fish were popular choices in diners in seaside towns like Maryellen's.

I'm so happy to be able to show off two creations made with Maryellen and the 1950's specifically in mind, and to be able to feature the sellers who made them.  

                                    KINDRED THREAD

Ever since American Girl's prototype pics of Maryellen were leaked, that orange and aqua gingham dress has been in many a collector's mind. 

Inspired by that prototype dress, Joni from Kindred Thread created a fun and fabulously sewn swimsuit for Maryellen.  With rick rack trim, button detailing and a crisp gingham cotton- it certainly does its job to evoke the original. The back of the swimsuit is fully elastic and the straps tie around her neck so the outfit slips on and off Maryellen with ease.  

Kindred Thread offers exquisitely constructed historical and one of a kind vintage pretties- dresses and outfits for 18" dolls. Check out the swimsuit here the rest of her collection here.  



Another of my most favorite Etsy sellers and fellow seamstresses is AGseamstress .  Her shop specializes in quality historical outfits and dresses for the 18" doll.  She custom made for my Maryellen this red gingham top and coordinating skirt.  She has decades of sewing experience and is able to do custom work in her shop.

The buttons down the front on both pieces are fully functional and the front collar is tacked down so it lays and stays perfectly.  The outfit is first rate in both construction and materials.  I have a personal weakness for gingham, but especially for red.  Who said red heads can't wear red??   

And now for those waiting for the Halloween goodies.....

Halloween & Autumn Party Treats 

Pecan Pie with Two Slices  (1)   26.00

Pumpkin Pie Slices Set of Two  (15)   6.50

Halloween Candy Set  (7)    11.00
set includes:
   10 pumpkin candy corn
   1 white chocolate ghost on a stick
   5 gummy worms

Frosted & Sprinkled Halloween Sugar Cookies Set of Five  (12)  7.50

Chocolate Spider Web Cake with Two Slices  (2)   18.00

Cookies & Cream Oreo Pie with Two Slices  (1)   24.00

Cookies & Cream Oreo Cake with Two Slices  (2)  30.00

Autumn Party Snack Cakes Set of Two   (10)   6.50

Frosted & Sprinkled Brownies Set of Five  (6)   11.00

Festive Fall Cookie Party Tray Set  (5)   20.00
set includes:
  4 dipped acorn cookies
  3 pecan shortbread
  4 peanut butter chocolate kiss cookies
  7 apricot spritz
  2 leaf cut outs

Googly Eyes Cookies Set of Six  (11)   10.50

Halloween Twister Lollipops Set of Two  (assorted colors) (10)   4.00

Halloween Swirl Lollipops Set of Two  (assorted colors)  (11)    4.00

Sprinkled Autumn Leaves Cookies Set of Five  (8)   8.00

As always, if you have questions about my shop, my foods or anything- message me in my Etsy shop or comment here on the blog.  



  1. Yum! That oreo cake looks good enough to eat!

  2. When will you release your menu for November? I can't wait to see what you will release. :)