Thursday, 19 September 2019

Blogger Rate Sheet How To

Blog Rate Sheet How To

Once you have a media kit for your blog, the next step is to create a 'rate sheet' - aka your blog price guide.

What you need to include:

Why is yours the blog for the job? This can include your blog ethos, social media statistics, influencer scores, awards you've won, brands you have previously worked with, etc, etc. Whatever is most relevant to your blog. (Dependant on whether or not it will be sent with your media kit, of course.)

Contact Details. If there is no way to get in touch with you, there won't be much work resulting from it! (As I don't actively pitch I just went with my blog header - my main aim was to make it easier to respond to PRs who approach me.) Continuing with the theme, make sure you save the file with a useful name for whoever's opening it. Eg. My Blog Name Rate Card - 2019.pdf.

What you offer... and how much it costs. If you want some guidance on how much to charge, check out Social Bluebook which suggests monetary value of social media posts based on how many followers you have and how much engagement you get.

Additional Details. Totally dependant on what makes sense for your blog - it might be stipulating how you want to be paid, how long the work will take, or requests you won't even consider.

Here's one I made earlier...

My media kit and rate sheet -

Babi a Fi Media Kit
Babi a Fi Rate Sheet

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Blogging Guides

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

School Dinners Around the World

School Dinners Around the World

All the reception parents were invited along today to eat school dinner with their kids! Marianna had a bit of an 'I don't want it' fuss at first, probably because I was there and it's one of her staples, but she quickly settled down and ate her roast dinner with welsh cake for afters.

Most primary schools in Torfaen use the local authority's 'Funky Menu' for dinners, which cost £2.30 for infants or £2.40 for juniors. (If you earn under £7,400 your kids are entitled to free school meals.) Marianna's school has an afternoon snack on offer for 30p, plus there's the free school milk scheme for nursery and infant pupils, and free breakfast clubs funded by the Welsh Government.

Torfaen Schools Funky Menu

Around the world governments provide 370 million students with school lunches every day, with March 14th designated as International School Meal Day. Read on for a sample of school dinners around the world...

JAPAN's school lunches are heralded as the best in the world. For Japanese students, lunch is as much of a learning experience as any other part of the school day. They learn about the nutritional value of their food, as well as its cultural importance - all while they themselves prepare, serve, and clean up afterwards! Although the menus are varied, with different dishes each day, there is no choice and children are expected to clear their plates. Schools tend to charge about half the actual cost of meals, so around ¥250 (£1.85).

Free school dinners in EGYPT are vital to combat malnutrition and improving school attendance. In 2018 the Egyptian government upped the budget to provide 50 grams of biscuits for pre-school children and 80 grams for primary students, served with two pâtés, a halva bar and a date pie. The Food Safety Authority is tasked with inspecting schools to ensure the food they serve is fit for human consumption; thousands of students across  the country come down with food poisoning from their school dinners - in fact, school dinners had to be temporarily suspended in 2017 when over 3,000 children fell ill within weeks of each other.

Although ubiquitous here, not all countries have a tradition of school dinners. In ROMANIA children often attend school in morning or afternoon 'shifts', something which originated to deal with overcrowding and quickly became the norm. The system means children eat dinner at home, though younger kids are provided with a free snack to keep them going.

Romanian State School Snack

In AFRICA there is an annual Day of School Feeding to celebrate and co-ordinate school meal programmes across the continent. The African Union recognises not only the health benefits of providing kids with school dinners, but also the economic benefits of spreading wealth and creating employment. Eg. NIGERIA launched their free school meal programme in 2016; it now feeds 7 million children a day and employs 72,000 cooks. UK kids might not be that impressed with what's on the menu however, just check out this plate of fufu and caterpillars served up in the Republic of Congo. Yum!

Congo School Lunch
Image from the What's For School Lunch? blog.

Meanwhile some kids are being treated to gourmet lunches, day in and day out. SWITZERLAND's Institut Le Rosey is the most expensive boarding school in the world with tuition fees starting from £100,000 a year - and its pupils are fed accordingly with top class chefs and a formal dinner every evening. Back in the UK pupils at Harrow (a snip at £38,550 per annum) can expect nothing but the best:
Harrow School Menu

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Family Life

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Mini Mart: Sweet Kiss Doll Shop

Sweet Kiss Doll Shop

Supplier: Sweet Kiss Doll Shop
Website: Etsy Store.

Etsy Sweet Kiss Doll Shop

Paper goods - books, magazines, product boxes, etc - in a range of scales from 1/12 through to 1/4. My latest purchase was a set of six 1/6 scale True Crime magazines for £13.60.

I've ordered loads of stuff from them over the years, and I'm always super impressed with the quality. The print is really clear, all the books and magazines are printed throughout, and the seller always sends free gifts with every order. The cutting on the dolls boxes is so neat too; check out the little 1/6 scale Licca-chan box below!

SweetKissDollShop on Etsy

Post and Packing: Varies, but generally around the £5 mark.

Want to try them out for yourself? Fill out the Gleam widget below for a chance to win a 1/6 scale Japan travel guide which includes a map, guide book, and mini paper money. :)

Miniature Travel Set Giveaway

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Mini Mart - Reviews of Dolls and Scale Miniatures

Monday, 16 September 2019

Monsieur Z Dolls

Monsieur Z

Monsieur Z, aka Richard Zielenkiewicz, is an illustrator who attracted international attention in the early 1990s, with his cool 60s inspired sensibilities. In 2005 he collaborated with Jason Wu of Integrity Toys on a small line of dolls; these were followed by another two waves, completing in 2007.

The dolls are fully articulated - except for the ankle - and stand 12" tall.

Monsieur Z Global BabeMonsieur Z First Class

Z Airlines - 2005. Each doll was a limited edition of 1300 pieces and originally retailed for $79.99.

★ Global Babe - box front / contents / back.
★ First Class - box front / contents / back.
★ Flaunt It - box front / contents / back.
★ Fly Girl - box front / contents / back.

Monsieur Z Flaunt ItMonsieur Z Fly Girl

There was also an online exclusive, Super Fly, of 500 pieces retailing for $45.

★ Super Fly - box front / contents / back.

Monsieur Z Super Fly

Monsieur Z Cool ItMonsieur Z Fine and Dandy

Second Wave - 2006. Each doll was a limited edition of 1300 pieces and originally retailed for $44.99.

★ Cool It - box front / contents / back.
★ Fine and Dandy - box front / contents / back.
★ Jungle Fever - box front / contents / back.
★ Park Avenue - box front / contents / back.

Monsieur Z Jungle FeverMonsieur Z Park Avenue

Monsieur Z was also a feature at that year's IFDC (International Fashion Doll Conference). 'Flaming Royal Virgin' was a table centrepiece doll, making her a limited edition of 35 pieces, and there were three different style kits handed out as gifts. They contained a doll head, shoes, and pattern pieces to create your own outfit.

★ Flaming Royal Virginwith centrepiece accessories.
★ Z Style Kit: Blue - box front / contents / back.
★ Z Style Kit: Pink - box front / contents / back.
★ Z Style Kit: Red - box front / contents / back.

Here's a Flickr embed of the style kit heads:

Monsieur Z "Style Kit" dolls

Monsieur Z and Integrity Toys Summer Babes

Summer Babes - 2007. Each doll was a limited edition of 1300 pieces and originally retailed for $44.99.

★ Caliente - box front / contents / back.
★ Fierce - box front / contents / back.
★ Playa - box front / contents / back.
★ Sizzle - box front / contents / back.
★ Splash - box front / contents / back.
★ Wild - box front / contents / back.

Fine and Dandy was one of the first collector dolls I ever bought, way back in 2007. I still love her stylized face paint and her cute outfit, though her body plastic has discoloured awfully. These days it's long sleeves and full skirts all the way for her!

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Sunday, 15 September 2019

This Week: 15/09/2019

giving up is not an option

I haven't had that much time for blogging this week; I've spent the evenings entertaining Marianna or listing stuff on eBay instead. I'm trying to make some space in the spare room... slowly, slowly, the floor is becoming visible!

My 'big' thing at work this week was cross-cutting overview and scrutiny committee on Wednesday, along with a scrutiny committee chairs' meeting, and then a couple of hours of sitting around the park to keep an eye on Marianna. I've been reading a bunch of true crime books on Kindle this week, so that helped keep me occupied.

I binged the new Netflix series Unbelievable too - it's so good! Definitely worth watching if you get chance. I also watched the last two series of Inside the World's Toughest Prisons, presented by Raphael Rowe. It's so interesting, not just seeing the different conditions but the outlook of the prisoners in them.

On the blog I posted a guide to Smartgurlz dolls, mini mart reviews of Minis1to12 and Magpies Miniatures, and my five favourite films of the 1980s.

Song of the Week -

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This Week - Weekly Overviews

Saturday, 14 September 2019

Mini Mart: Minis1to12

Minis1to12 on Etsy

Supplier: Minis1to12
Website: Etsy Store.

1/12th scale newspapers, books, handbags, and umbrellas. The print quality and cutting is really good, and the umbrella is so adorable. Just check it out! :)

Minis1to12 Umbrella

Post and Packing: Starts at £1.12 to the UK; my order cost me £4.07 in shipping.

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Mini Mart - Reviews of Dolls and Scale Miniatures

Friday, 13 September 2019

Friday Five: 1980s Movies

Friday Five


My favourite five films from the 1980s...

#5. Baby Boom (1987)

Instant baby films are one of my guilty pleasures.

#4. Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)

Steve Martin and John Candy play the oddest of odd couples.

#3. The Breakfast Club (1985)

The detention we all wished we had... I would say this will be the last John Hughes film on the list but, hey, I'd be lying.

#2. Ghostbusters (1984)

Who you gonna call?

#1. Pretty in Pink (1986)

Girl from the wrong side of the tracks falls for 'richie' Blane McDonough. Cue more teenage angst than you can shake a stick at!

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Friday Five

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Toddlers with Trunks Review

Toddlers with Trunks Children's Book Review

Follow three adorable little elephants - Poco, Loco and Toco - on their adventures. Written by Balachander Vijayakumar, a father of a three year old who demands a new tale every evening, the stories use simple language and familiar settings - with just a touch of the surreal as the elephants go about their day! The books are illustrated by Janani Balachander, who apparently finished the illustrations for the second the day before her daughter was born. That's dedication!

The elephants in both text and art are super cute and, most importantly of all, the stories got my four year old daughter's seal of approval.

The Elephants and the Chocolate Cake'It's Poco's special day, and Loco, Toco, and Poco set off on an important quest: they must find the biggest, CHOCOLATIEST cake to make the celebrations perfect.'

This is a cute short story following the trio as they visit various London bakeries, looking for a cake big enough for an elephant. Marianna was very taken with the idea of a HUGE chocolate cake and promptly reminded me that it is only a few months until her own birthday...

The book is available from Amazon in hardback (£9.99), paperback (£6.99), or on Kindle (£2.99) - right now it's also free to read on Kindle Unlimited.

The Elephants and the Leaking Tap'When their faucet springs a leak, three young elephants search for the right person to fix their problem. Is it a painter, a doctor, or someone else? Join in on the fun as these three elephants solve the problem together.'

This one was mine and Marianna's favourite, not least because it rhymes! It was a really fun way of discussing different professions, and quickly branched out into talking about what jobs friends and relatives have. Marianna said that when she grows up she wants to be a ballet dancer. :)

The book is available from Amazon in paperback (£6.99), or on Kindle (£2.99) - right now it's also free to read on Kindle Unlimited.

We were sent an e-copy of the books to review, but our thoughts and opinions are our own.

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Reviews from Babi a Fi - food, fashion, beauty, baby, toys, books, tech, days out, and more!

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Mini Mart: Magpies Miniatures

Closing Down Sale

Supplier: Magpies Miniatures
Website: Website.

All the basics - furniture, accessories, decor, etc, in 1/12th scale. They're closing down for good at the end of the year, so right now everything is 25% off! I picked up a few bits and pieces, including this little flat cap. :)

Magpies Miniatures

Post and Packing: If you spend £40 or over there's free shipping within the UK.

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Mini Mart - Reviews of Dolls and Scale Miniatures

Monday, 9 September 2019

SmartGurlz Dolls

SmartGurlz Dolls

SmartGurlz launched in 2016 with the aim of engaging girls in STEM subjects. The line then won support from one of those Dragon's Den type shows, and is based around Siggy, a self balancing inverted pendulum robot that is controlled by SugarCoded, the SmartGurlz app. To work it needs a 28cm / 11" fashion doll of any brand, though the included dolls are specially produced by popular Chinese brand Kurhn.

You attach the dolls to the handlebars by the wrists, then you use the app to move Siggy, solve problems and learn some basic coding. You can buy them through the SmartGurlz website for €60 each.

SmartGurlz Dolls and Siggy Robots

★ Emma - box front / contents / back.
★ Jen - box front / contents / back.
★ Jun - box front / contents / back.
★ Maria - box front / contents / back.
★ Zara - box front / contents / back.

Emma seems to be the most popular - judging on stock levels - but I'm quite taken by Maria. With her side glancing eyes and English prep school vibe she reminds me a little of classic Sindy.

Earlier versions of the dolls shipped in slimline boxes, although the only doll that is noticeably different is Maria. She originally came with a yellow Siggy as opposed to red, and had much more sultry looking eyes:

Smatrgurlz Maria 2016

Check out some of the original design work at Elianna Morningstar's portfolio site too.

Elianna Morningstar SmartGurlz Design

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Sunday, 8 September 2019

This Week: 08/09/2019

enjoy the little things

Marianna started school this week! It's not too different for her, because she already went to playgroup and nursery at Maendy and has been wearing the uniform for 18 months or so. But, it's a much longer day, and she's getting used to school dinners and higher expectations. So far she seems to be enjoying it and has even asked to go to breakfast club which will keep her there from 8:30am.

After dropping her off on Tuesday we went to Cwmbran Community Council to see the flag raised for Merchant Navy Day. Then I had to finish dealing with my email - I had 690 in my work inbox and then I had to tackle my deleted inbox. For ages I didn't realise you had to permanently delete them from there, not until I started getting messages about how I was about to exceed my data limits. So, yeah, I had like 11,000 to delete from there.

I had quite a range of stuff this week: a staff appeal panel at Croesyceiliog School, a meeting with the education department about the school standards monitoring sub-committee, and board meetings at Llantarnam Grange. On Friday night Anthony and I went to the Congress Theatre to see a charity am-dram performance. It was totally sold out and they raised around £3,000!

We went to the Stagecoach Bus open day on Saturday. They had lots of vintage buses there, along with music, food and various stalls. Of course, Marianna decided to throw an epic tantrum when her ice cream melted over her hand so then it was back home to think about our life choices...

On the blog I've posted guides to Fairy Tale High and DC Super Hero Girls dolls, a review of Solar Buddies children's sun cream applicator, and my five favourite films from the 1970s.

Song of the Week -

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This Week - Weekly Overviews

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