Sunday, January 31, 2016

January

Wow, it's February 1st tomorrow!  I can hardly believe it.  It seems like it's been ages since I did one of my monthly round-ups, so I thought I'd throw in a few photos and tell you guys how we've been doing over here on the farm.  

Photo from New Year's Eve. :) 

New Year's Eve is usually pretty uneventful over here, or at least it has been for the past 6 years since we've had kids!  Pre-kids, I used to meet up each year with my best group of girlfriends at a different location each year.  We are all scattered between Texas, DC, Boston, Virginia and NY so it was always so much fun to all meet up and celebrate the ringing of the new year together.  We don't do that anymore, but those were some fun times!

This year my sister and her financé came over as well as my good friend and her boyfriend that were both traveling home from Oregon.  We drank lots of hard cider from a local cider mill and snacked and chit-chatted the night away. 
We made it until midnight and saw the first moments of 2016.  It was nice. :) 


Other than that, this month has been very uneventful, but extremely relaxing.  After the flurry of Florida travel and then holiday preparation, last month proved to be a little challenging for me anxiety-wise.  In the first few years after having my first daughter, I had really bad anxiety (complete with panic attacks) which started happening out of the blue every year around this same time.  During our Florida trip and a little after, I felt myself falling back into that anxiety a little more that usual, which was no fun, but with this month of quiet and stillness, I am feeling much better and back to my balanced self.  Phew!



I got back into my daily walking routine, which has been so incredibly beneficial to me (my cholesterol was off the charts amazing this year!)


This is my absolute favorite place on the farm.  It's a large hayfield about a mile out back from our house.


The snow you see here is pretty much all we have gotten the entire winter.  This is extremely bizarre for this area of the US. Thank you, El Niño!  I think it is supposed to be close to 50 degrees today.  I don't miss the stress of winter driving, but I do wish we would get a good heavy snowfall at least once, just for the sheer beauty of it.  Pumpkin Pie is totally crushed that we haven't gotten any snow.  :(




Lots of calves are being born, but I haven't been able to get too many good photos of them yet!  I will for next month though, as they are so cute. :)


Currently, the ground is totally dry and we have patches GREEN GRASS growing.  This is just weird and I'm sure many of you that live around here can agree!  Especially with places just south of us (DC, Maryland area) getting slammed with that snowstorm last weekend!


Overall, January was a lovely month.  I stuck to my doll buying budget and kept a list of every purchase to try to create more structure in this hobby.  I was feeling a bit out of control last year with my blind spending and should've been saving this whole time!  This year will be better.  :)
We dropped the girls off at Grammy's house last night (my mother had been chomping at the bit to have them over for a sleepover :) ) so hubby and I after off to a quiet breakfast and a peek into Barnes and Nobles.  Heavenly to be able to browse the isles, kid-free! :)

I hope you all enjoy the rest of your weekend.
Best to you all,
xo Farrah 

Friday, January 29, 2016

2016 Barbie Fashionista Evolution

Oh my gosh...this was popping up all over my Instagram feed yesterday.  Barbie's new body for 2016!
It looks like TIME magazine has even featured these lovely new gals in an article talking about their new diverse body styles.

They will be coming in 3 new body sizes as well as their original shape:  Tall, Curvy, and Petite.
I just can't wait for these. :)



You can already order and pre-order some from the Mattel website and they cost $9.99.  They also have some images of dolls coming soon.



I am so excited by these new doll body types.  I wish they had better articulation, but I'm not complaining by any means. I hope within time, they will design these in a similar style to the made to move Barbies. 

I already ordered 4 of them, shame on me!!


UPDATE:  Here is a nice post that shows all of them with close ups of their faces.
Gosh, they are ALL gorgeous.

What do you guys think?  Will you be adding any in particular to your collection this year? I absolutely love that they came out with something so new and fresh this year.

Happy Friday!
xo Farrah 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Toy Review: Disney Tsum Tsum Collectible Vinyls


Hi everyone,
Today's post is a quick photo review of the new Disney Tsum Tsum stack-able vinyl figures I found at Walmart a few weeks ago.  They have been popping up on some of my favorite Youtube channels and while I haven't been interested in collecting the plush Tsum Tsums, these miniature vinyls ones really caught my attention!

The girls and I did a quick review and un-boxing here if you are interested. :) 



Here are just a couple close up shots of them to show you what they look like.  The larger ones seem like the perfect size to stand in for a "plush Tsum Tsum" for an 18 in doll, while the smaller ones seem perfect for a 12 inch fashion doll "toy."
They come in packs of 3 and each pack was about $4.87 and there are many different characters to collect.  Each pack has a different variety of characters.


Largest ones (Mickey, Goofy and Minnie). 


Medium ones (Winnie the Pooh, Figaro from Pinocchio, and Cinderella). 


Littlest ones (Dumbo, Stitch and Cinderella).


I can't stand how cute they are.  I think my favorites are Mickey and Minnie.  Each character comes in each size and while I'm not interested in getting all the different sizes in the whole collection, I wouldn't mind getting one of each character (can be any size.) 
I think they are well made and have nice detail for a toy this small.  They would make great miniature doll accessories as well. 


Overall, I definitely recommend these little stack-able, collectible vinyls.  For under $5 I think they are a great value and a nice gift for any Disney collector or child over 3 (due to small pieces.)  My girls love stacking them and knocking them over. :)  When they are done playing, I stack them next to my computer and enjoy their cuteness throughout the day. :) 

Hope you are all having a good day. 
xo Farrah 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Liebster Award 2016:)

Hi everyone!  I hope your weekend is going nicely so far.
I was recently nominated by the lovely Barb from My Little Doll Corner to share my answers for the 2016 Liebster Award.
Thanks so much, Barb! :)


RULES:
Thank the person who presented you the award and link back to their blog
Post the award image on your blog. 
Answer 11 questions posted by the presenter. 
Nominate 5 blogs with less than 200 followers. 
Create 11 questions for the nominees to answer. 
List these rules in your post. Inform the people you chose of their nomination by leaving a comment on their blog and link them your post.


1. What was the first doll or figure that started your collection?
The first doll I purchased that started this whole thing was a Blythe Neo doll called Misha tebyA lyublyU.  I got her during Christmas 2013.
It was love at first site and I originally got her for my daughter, but quickly took her back for myself as Pumpkin Pie had no interest in her. You can read one of very first posts I did here!




2. Is there a retired doll or doll line that you'd like to bring back?
I hope they bring Kirsten back from the Historical American Girl line.  She was my absolute favorite character and her stories were my favorite books to read when I was younger.  I also wish they would make some of the older Disney Limited Edition dolls again as I missed out on a lot that I would've loved to own.


3. Have you ever acquired a grail doll?
Yes, my 3 Cinderella scupt Tonner dolls! (Strawberry Blonde Cinderella, Nu Mood Jess and The Sun.) My current grail doll is the Limited Edition Ariel and Eric Disney couple doll.  They are pretty pricey on Ebay though! My grail doll seems to change from time to time.


4. What are you looking forward to in 2016?
As far as personal life, I'm looking forward to my twin's sister's upcoming wedding this fall in Lake Placid!
As for dolls, I want to try to do more with them in terms of crafts and maybe sewing. I have 2 AGs that I want to switch wigs on.  I want to do a bunch of hair makeovers for my MH and EAH dolls and try repainting a Monster High face as we have a broken Abbey and a broken Catrine that I could practice on. :)


5. Do you have a favorite doll line or manufacturer?
Yes, as for fashion lines, my favorites are Tonner 16 inch dolls, Hot Toys (espeically the Star Wars gang) and Integrity Toys.  Ironically, I don't really have any other than my 3 Tonners from any of these manufactures due to their higher price tag, but I love looking at the photos of them!  I also love Barbie, American Girl, Monster High, Ever After High, My Little Pony, Disney and vintage Care Bears.


6. Any doll lines that you've moved on from?
Not yet, although I've stepped away from Tonner a little in order to save money.  I have been more specific about what I want to collect and have been better at resisting stuff that falls into the "get it just to have it" category.


7. Do you have an idea what dolls you would like to acquire this year?
I want to continue with my Monster and Ever After High collections, although I most likely won't be collecting too many  of the reboot versions.  I also hope to get GOTY Lea as well as Beforever Addy this year. I have many more on my AGs list, but those are the two that I definitely want to get this year.


8. What would your dream doll accessory be? I'm talking things like furniture or a car or a set of dishes.
Oh gosh, I honestly don't know.  I don't collect accessories at the moment, but I hope someday to build a 70s style 1/6 scale house/diorama so any cute accessories and furniture from that time period would be fun!  I also love mini vintage looking phones.


9. If you were to write a paper on an era of doll history, which era would you pick?
I'm not sure if I could pick one specific era as I think the whole timeline is very interesting.  Instead, I would love to visit some sort of doll history museum to see dolls in person, especially very early and primitive dolls that were made out of clay, corn husks and whatever material people had on hand.  Kids have such vivid imaginations and can create such personality and character with the simplest of things.
I could draw a face on a toilet paper roll and my 3 year old would have a whole story sorted out about it within the hour. :)


10. Do you do any creative activities related to your doll collection?
For me, photography is my creative outlet so I love photographing my dolls outside in nature.  I love posting photos to this blog, of course as well as my Flickr and Instagram accounts!
I have a desire to sew and creative little outfits for them as well as to start building some simple dioramas or rooms for me to be able to incorporate into my photography, but struggle a little to find the free time right now to do this.

11. How do dolls fit into your everyday life?
Since I have 2 small daughters dolls are just everywhere.  I still love to play dolls with my daughters and we play almost daily with their dolls.  For me, dolls create such a simple, but strong feeling inside me that brings me back to my childhood.
I enjoy just looking at them, brushing their hair and thinking of different ways to pose and photograph them. During nursing school, when I did my clinical at a nursing home, often times I would see an elderly woman sitting in her wheelchair with a doll or stuffed animal in her lap providing her so much comfort and love. I think dolls are just one of those things you can allow yourself to unconditionally love.
It's an extremely fun hobby that brings me happiness and sparks my creativity  almost every day and I'm glad we all have each other to share it with!

Here are the 5 blogs I nominate if you are interested (because I am interested in your answers!)
Arlette from Thammie et Compagnie
Serenata from How Many Dolls?
Smaller Places (I'm not sure what your first name is!)
Margaret Ann from Margaret Ann's Dolls
Phylls from A Day in the Life of My Dolls

Well, we're off to the mall to spend some Barnes and Nobles gift cards (yay!) and then I'm taking the girls to a local indoor pool for some swimming.  Pumpkin Pie made a lot of gains this summer with finally going underwater and swimming on her own so I don't want her to lose it! :)
I hope you all have a great weekend.  Stay warm!
Farrah xo




Monday, January 18, 2016

Classic Julie Albright-An American Girl doll


Although I am child of the 80s, I did manage to squeeze my birth in during 1979 so I love to say that I was born in the 70s.  For some reason, the 60s and 70s have always been an era that I am drawn to.  I love watching classic TV shows based during that time and I jumped all over the 70s fashion trend that sort of came back for a little while.  I love scoring thrift shops for 70s themed household items and patterns.  I love the Brady Bunch. 

When I happened to come across an American Girl catalogue as an adult, you can imagine my excitement when I saw they had a girl from the 70s.  Julie immediately went onto my virtual "doll I want" list before I even had any idea I would actually be a collector. 
When the BeForever line was released, I wasn't the hugest fan of Julie's bright new outfit.  I can see why younger girls would really like it, but for me, I prefer the classic Julie that first entered the AG world. 
I was fortunate to find a Classic Julie on Ebay, brand new, for a tiny bit cheaper (free shipping!) on Ebay so she joined the Cozy Comforts doll family last spring.  It's taken me ages to get her photos up, but here they are!


The girls have an absolute field day with package peanuts. I keep a big box of it so on days where I have to get things done, I dump it out and they pretend it's snowing. ;) 



I love the Josefina face mold, so that was another feature that drew me to Julie.
I love that moment when you first see an American Girl doll for the first time.  I'm not sure what it is, but it could be that I see so many photos of them online, that when I see them in person, it's really satisfying.



Here's Julie out an about on one of my Autumn photo shoots.
Her hair is gorgeous!


My only compliant with her is that her eyes can be a bit difficult to photograph in certain light.  I have to do some editing in Photoshop to make them stand out a bit as otherwise, they can look a little too dark and void.










Not quite the shoes I'd recommend for climbing fences, but she did pretty well. ;) 


I miss this warm fall weather and the spectrum of colors that are everywhere. 


I had an audience during the photo shoot. :)


I miss the warm sun! 


Julie loves the farm.  She loves the sound of the trees and creek which is off to her left. 



Overall, I'm so happy to have  this Julie doll.  The braid will probably go soon, but she is such a cutie pie.  I'm excited to add some of her other clothing pieces to my collection, but probably will not add too many accessories or furniture.  I love her bed, but don't know where I'd put it, so we probably won't get it.  As of now, the only other Julie item I have is her Calico dress.
What do you guys think of her?  I know some of you probably already have her!

Today is Marten Luther King Jr. day and we have the day off from work and school.  I wish every weekend was a 3 day weekend!
I am trying to reflect on peace and equality today in memory of a man with a beautiful heart and spirit who we are lucky enough to have had spreading his soulful message on this Earth.
In the meantime, happy doll collecting!
Talk to you soon.
xo Farrah 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Doll Review: Great Scarrier Reef Clawdeen by Monster High

Happy Thursday!  Yay for almost Friday...work has been SO BUSY.  We have been down a bunch of nurses for a few months now and every day it's just a whirlwind to try to get everything done.  I always have to remind myself how happy and lucky I am that I work from home.  That is my saving grace!!

Anyway, I hope you're all doing well and enjoying your January where ever you are and whatever the weather is. 

Today's post is a quick photo review of the other Great Scarrier Reef doll I picked up last week. 
This was released along with Draculaura who I reviewed previously and these are the only two from this line I have purchased thus far.  
I found both Clawdeen and Draculaura in Walmart and both retailed for about $14.99.


I don't think I had paid much attention to the prototype images of this particular doll when she first came out, so when I saw her in the store, I was blown away by how lovely she was.
As I mentioned in my Draculaura post, I have a thing for mermaids and anything having to do with the ocean, so she really appealed to me.


You Tube review, if interested! 


I guess I forgot to grab a photo of her in the box, but Little Button was in the room with me while I was doing this review and video, so I was a bit distracted. ;)
Here's a look of her out of the box.  She can stand on her own when you position her fins a certain way, which is great, but to be honest, it took a while to get her to balance.


Clawdeen is a werewolf by nature, but appears to transform into a "wolf fish" once she enters the portal bringing her to Lagoona's home in the Great Scarrier Reef.
Her fins are a beautiful and shimmery iridescent green with lots of textured detail.



Her mid-fin area is a shimmery purple with a bright aqua pattern consisting of full and crescent moon silhouettes.
The two side fins on her hips are the glow in the dark feature of this doll and can pivot as well as be removed.


She wears a long, one-shoulder tunic style shirt with lavender and aqua "starfish appearing" cobwebs. Over the top, she has shimmery seaweed colored bangles and chains with crescent moon and tear drop charms.
Clawdeen's overall color scheme is much more appealing to me than Draculaura's 80's neon and it reminds me a lot of Twyla's coloring.



Her skin is lavender which is different from her normal coffee-brown skin tone.
She has additional fins attached to her forearms which are a really nice detail.


Her hair is glossy and a slightly coppery brown color with streaks of purple, blue and aqua mainly focused within her side-swept fringe.  So pretty!


She also wears a single earring that resembles a fish hook in her left ear. 


It was Clawdeen's beautiful face that really drew me in!  I love the way her golden werewolf eyes pop against her lilac face.  Her eye make-up is just gorgeous and very well painted.  Although her eyebrows are pretty harsh, her expression is still very cute, I think.
Overall, I really like this doll a lot.  She may be my favorite Clawdeen so far!

As you guys may have heard, there is a rumor that Monster High (and Ever After High) will be changing their face molds this year to be more "kid-friendly".  I was wondering what your thoughts were about that?  Here are some comparison photos.

For me, I am a little relieved.  I'm not a fan of the new look, which means I will be able to focus on finishing up my MH and EAH collections without feeling so overwhelmed by all of their new releases.  I would be interested in any new characters along the way, but most likely won't be getting any of the main ones with the new face molds.

Hope your day is great. ;)
xo Farrah