Friday, 31 May 2019

Friday Five - Annoying Songs

Friday Five


#5. Baby Shark.

#4. Ooh Stick You! - Daphne & Celeste.

#3. Babycakes - 3 of a Kind.

#2. Witch Doctor - Cartoons.

#1. This Song Is Gonna Get Stuck Inside Your Head from Lego Movie 2. :D

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Friday Five

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Recobags Review + Giveaway

Recobags Giveaway

Reco Bags are a local company who turn trash into treasure. Literally. Using ring pulls, crisp packets, juice cartons, sweet wrappers, and other items which would otherwise end up in landfill, Reco Bags create gorgeous bags and jewellery. Each item is handmade using Mexican basketry techniques to weave the wrappers together, a process that can take upwards of 40 hours.

All the bags are waterproof and designed to be strong and durable, reflecting Reco Bags' ultimate aim to encourage people to become more eco-conscious.

Recobags Cwmbran

There is something for everyone too; from coin purses (£12), to cases and clutches (£20 - £30), right through to large shoppers (£60). When Graham - the driving force behind the brand - asked my mum and I if we'd like to try a few out we didn't need too much convincing! I picked a large silver tote made from the inside of crisp packets; I figured it would be big enough for work without being too heavy to carry all day. And it's just so shiny. What can I say, I'm a 90s kid. Here's Marianna playing model:


I also got the small silver case (£20) which is the perfect size for an evening bag - lippy, purse, phone - so I added a silver chain for ease of toting. It's made from the inside of chocolate bar wrappers. My mum went the more colourful route, choosing a super cute small handbag (£10) made from juice cartons and a large bag made from crisp packets. I'm so impressed with the quality of each of them, it's amazing to think that my bag was once a pile of rubbish.

Recobags Silver CaseRecobags Handbag

Check out the entire range on Facebook. Or, for a chance to win a clutch worth £30 - pictured at the top of the post - enter my giveaway via the Gleam widget below. :)

Recobags Clutch Giveaway

Graham Skirm of Recobags Cwmbran
Graham Skyrme of Reco Bags. Image Credit: Wales Online

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

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Mini Mart: Sandie's Little Gems

Sandie's Little Gems on Ebay

Supplier: Sandie's Little Gems
Website: Ebay Store.

Great selection of handmade 1/12th scale haberdashery and paper products, like bunting, Christmas decorations, and tiny pretend cross stitch sets. I bought one with little orange flowers for £2.30, measuring tapes (5 for £1.50), air mail envelopes, and the cutest paperchain for £2.85. I would never have the patience!

Sandie's Little Gems

Post and Packing:You only pay postage for one item; the discount is applied automatically.

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Mini Mart - Reviews of Dolls and Scale Miniatures

Monday, 27 May 2019

La Dee Da Dolls

Complete Guide to Spin Master La Dee Da Dolls

After discontinuing Liv doll, Spin Master turned their attention to their new fashion offering, La Dee Da. Main character, Dee, teamed up with her BFFs Cyanne, Sloane and Tylie to create their own fashion label. Or so the storyline went. The dolls stood 10 inches tall with rooted hair and screened faces. They were skinny enough to be able to share dresses with Mattel's Monster High line, but were only jointed at shoulder, hip, and knee.

Launched in 2013, by the end of 2014 the brand had been discontinued. For some of the dolls that never made it past the prototype stage, check out Jaime Tracht's Coroflot. Dolls that just missed out on release included School Day Style Dee and a circus themed line.

La Dee Da City Girl

Signature Line (2013)

★ City Girl - (box front / back)

There was also a special NYC edition with extra accessories.

La Dee Da Runway Vacay

Runway Vacay (2013)

★ Dee - 'Bollywood Bright' - (box front / back)
★ Cyanne - 'Viva la France' - (box front / back)
★ Sloane - 'Safari Dreams' - (box front / back)
★ Tylie - 'Kabuki Cutie' - (box front / back)

La Dee Da Sweet Party

Sweet Party (2013). You can check out the commercial HERE.

★ Dee - 'Dots of Style' - (box front / back)
★ Cyanne - 'Peppermint Rose' - (box front / back)
★ Sloane - 'Lollipop Swirl' - (box front / back)
★ Tylie - 'Cotton Candy Crush' - (box front / back)

Cheaper versions of the dolls were sold without accessories and in less elaborate looks, packaged in smaller sweetie jar style plastic boxes: Dee (back), Cyanne (back), Sloane (back), Tylie (back).

La Dee Da Sweet Party Boxed

La Dee Da Garden Tea Party

Garden Tea Party (2013)

 Dee - 'Bee-licious' - (box front / back)
★ Cyanne - 'Sunflower Burst' - (box front / back)
★ Sloane - 'Butterfly Blast' - (box front / back)
★ Tylie - 'Ladybug Look' - (box front / back)
★ Garden Tea Party Playset - (box front / contents / back)

La Dee Da Juicy Crush
Juicy Crush (2013) 'Guess what? The La Dee Da girls got after-school jobs at a smashing smoothie bar. The uniforms were kinda boredinary, so they each designed fruity-cute new work outfits!'

★ Cyanne - 'Sweet 'n Sour' - (box front / back)
★ Dee - 'Watermelon Mist' - (box front / back)
★ Sloane - 'Tropical Twist' - (box front / back)
★ Tylie - 'Grape Shake-Up' - (box front / back)

A second wave of Juicy Crush dolls were planned for 2014.

★ Cyanne - 'Peach Mango Glow' - (box front / back)
★ Dee - 'Strawberry Kiwi Cutie' - (box front / back)
★ Sloane - 'Fruit Punch Party' - (box front / back)
★ Tylie - 'Pomegranate Berry Bliss' - (box front / back)

La Dee Da Juicy Crush Wave 2

La Dee Da Fairytale Dance

Fairytale Dance (2013)

★ Dee - 'Frog Princess' - (box front / back)
★ Cyanne - 'Rapunzel' - (box front / back)
★ Sloane - 'Little Red Riding Hood' - (box front / back)
★ Tylie - 'Snow Queen' - (box front / back)
★ Prancie - 'Fashion Stallion' - (box front / back)
★ Dee and Prancie - 'Cinderella and Prancie' - (box front / back)

The promo image below had quite a few differences with the actual product, not least Prancie's hair becoming pink in the interim! For more detail, check out a review of the Toys 'r' Us exclusive double set at the Toy Box Philosopher.

La Dee Da Cinderella and Prancie

I Love Le Bun

I Love Le Bun - (box front / back)

Le Bun was the line's only small pet, and as such was spoiled with a wide variety of fashions:

La Dee Da Le Bun

★ Le Bun Safari Dreams - (box front / back)
★ Le Bun Sweet Party - (box front / back)
★ Le Bun Top Hat and Tails - (box front / back)

La Dee Da Le Bun Dog

★ Le Bun Bee Deluxe - (box front / back)
★ Le Bun Dork Dog - (box front / back)
★ Le Bun Hot-Doggin Picnic - (box front / back)

La Dee Da Ribbon Salon

Ribbon Salon Playset and Doll (2014) - (box front / back)

La Dee Da Art Show CyanneLa Dee Da Pop Art Dee

Art Show (2014)

★ Cyanne - 'Art Show' - (box front / back)
★ Dee - 'Pop Art' - (box front / back)

La Dee Da Fashion Pack

★ Girls' Night Out - (box front / back)
★ Hula Rock - (box front / back)
★ Kickin' Picnic - (box front / back)
★ Sailor Made - (box front / back)

La Dee Da Fashion Packs

★ Design to Shine - (box front / back)
★ School Cool - (box front / back)
★ Sugar Coated - (box front / back)

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Sunday, 26 May 2019

This Week - 26/05/2019

One small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day.

It's been another busy week - lots of meetings and training sessions and stuff like that. It's half term next week though and I have most of it off to spend time with Marianna. :) Today she's going swimming with Hannah though, so I am chilling out at home watching Doris Day films. (RIP!)

Yesterday I put together a website for Mt Pleasant Community Hall. I've still got to change out the placeholder pics, and embed an events calendar. The bare bones of the thing are done though. I've somehow signed myself up to do a presentation on Torfaen for the next Bron Afon board away day too, so that'll be more wrangling with technology...

Today I'm just sticking to ebay listing. I've got some more doll clothes to go up, and a bunch of vintage fashion magazines.

On the blog I've posted a guide to Diva Starz dolls, some pics of Anthony in this week's free press, another Friday Five, and a post about Towel Day.

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This Week - Weekly Overviews

Saturday, 25 May 2019

Happy Towel Day!

Happy Towel Day

Towel Day, as Wikipedia tells us, 'is celebrated every year on 25 May as a tribute to the author Douglas Adams by his fans. On this day, fans openly carry a towel with them, as described in Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, to demonstrate their appreciation for the books and the author. The commemoration was first held 25 May 2001, two weeks after Adams' death on 11 May.'

The importance of towels to the HG2G universe is well known, and is outlined in chapter three of the original book:

A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-bogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you — daft as a brush, but very very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough. 
More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitchhiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have "lost." What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with. 
Hence a phrase that has passed into hitchhiking slang, as in "Hey, you sass that hoopy Ford Prefect? There's a frood who really knows where his towel is." (Sass: know, be aware of, meet, have sex with; hoopy: really together guy; frood: really amazingly together guy.)

By complete coincidence, May 25th is also celebrated as Geek Pride Day. The more you know, huh?

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Blogging Calendar

Friday, 24 May 2019

Friday Five - Classes You Wish You'd Studied Harder In

Friday Five


I was a major swot so this list was kind of difficult to come up with...

#5. Home Economics. I'm still at the Can't Cook Won't Cook stage.

#4. Geography.

#3. RE. Some people did an extra GCSE in it with lunchtime lessons, but I didn't want to give up my break.

#2. ICT. I mean, I did everything I had to, but I wish I'd gone further with it instead of humanities. I could have had a decently paid job by now!

#1. Welsh. My year group was the first to have to study it at GCSE level and I really couldn't see the point. The school compromised by letting us take it as a short course, but it meant I left school unable to even recite the alphabet fluently, in spite of my paper pass.

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Friday Five

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Getting To Know Your New Representatives

Anthony was really pleased to be in the newspaper today!

Pontypool Free Press

Scanned version...

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15 Seconds of Fame - find me in the press

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Joyful Jenny (Maple Box Kids)

Joyful Jenny Doll

These dolls are so super cute! Created by Shauna Altes, Joyful Jenny is a doll based subscription service focusing on fun activities to bring the whole family together. At the moment Maple Box Kids are being funded through annual kickstarters so there are only two options available: Jenny + storybook for $24.99 or Jenny + storybook + activity set for $49.99.

I wish they shipped outside of the US because I would be all over that! The Jenny head is on an Azone body which costs $20+ on its own, and I love the unusual smiley head sculpt. Fingers crossed they find the funding to expand.

Joyful Jenny

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Monday, 20 May 2019

Diva Starz

Mattel Diva Starz

Launched by Mattel in time for Christmas 2000, the Diva Starz stood 9 inches high and had rooted hair, inset eyes, and plastic clothing. The main draw of the dolls was their ability to recognise which outfit they were wearing, and to talk to each other.

The line quickly expanded to encompass computer games, plushies, mini dolls, and taller fashion doll versions with fabric clothes. Their popularity was short lived, especially after the arrival of Bratz, and the brand was discontinued in 2004.

I've got to admit that this was the most difficult and time consuming of all the doll collation posts I've done so far. The long defunct's website's flash files were a no go, they don't have a big fanbase, and Mattel doesn't seem to have issued any regular catalogues or brochures for them. I think I've covered all waves here, but please let me know if I've missed any!

Diva Starz Dolls 2000

This is the original wave from 2000, consisting of Alexa, Nikki, Summer and Tia.

★ Alexa. (box front / back / instructions)
★ Nikki. (box front / back)
★ Summer. (box front / back)
★ Tia. (box front / back)

Diva Starz Fashion PacksDiva Starz Fashion Packs 2000

Fashion Packs -
★ Alexa. (box front / back)
★ Nikki. (box front / back)
★ Summer. (box front / back)
★ Tia. (box front / back)

Diva Starz Wave 2

With the dolls performing better than Mattel had expected, a second wave of four dolls was released in 2001. This wave introduced the girls' pets: a cat called Fluffy for Alexa, a bunny named Sunny for Summer, and puppies for Nikki and Tia, named Budster and Hippie respectively.

★ Alexa. (box front / back / instructions)
★ Nikki. (box front / back)
★ Summer. (box front / back / instructions)
★ Tia. (box front / back)

Diva Starz second wave fashion packs

Fashion Packs -
★ Alexa. (box front / back)
★ Nikki. (box front / back)
★ Summer. (box front / back)
★ Tia. (box front / back)

2001 Diva Starz Mini

2001 also saw the release of the first wave of Mini Diva Starz dolls.

★ Alexa. (box front / back)
★ Nikki. (box front / back)
★ Summer. (box front / back)
★ Tia. (box front / back)

Diva Starz Scooters

★ Diva Cruiser Car. (box front / back / instructions)
★ Scooter - Pink. (box front / back)
★ Scooter - Purple. (box front / back)
★ Scooter - Lime Green. (box front / back)

Diva Starz Dolls Wave 3 from 2002

A second wave of mini dolls was released in 2002; this wave were advertised as pop stars, with the dolls able to sing songs when placed together. Summer was dropped from the line at this point in favour of Miranda.

★ Alexa. (box front / back)
★ Miranda. (box front / back)
★ Nikki. (box front / back)
★ Tia. (box front / back)

Mini Diva Starz Wave 3

Wave 3 of the Mini Diva Starz followed in 2002. These were Target exclusives. Although the box art showed all four original characters, the back only shows three to collect: Alexa, Nikki and Summer.

★ Alexa. (box front / back)
★ Nikki. (box front / back)
★ Summer. (box front / back)

Fashion Diva Starz Dolls

In 2002 Mattel released the first wave of Fashion Diva Starz. These had much more in common with the traditional fashion dolls, with typical play doll bodies and fabric clothing.

★ Alexa. (box front / back)
★ Miranda. (box front / back)
★ Nikki. (box front / back)
★ Tia. (box front / back)

Diva Starz Fashion Packs 2002

Fashion Packs -
★ Alexa. (box front / back)
★ Miranda. (box front / back)
★ Nikki. (box front / back)
★ Tia. (box front / back)

Diva Starz Glow AlexaDiva Stars Glow MirandaDiva Starz Glow NikkiDiva Starz Glow Tia

A second wave of Fashion Diva Starz was released in 2003. This wave's 'gimmick' was glow in the dark clothing.

★ Alexa. (box front / back)
★ Miranda. (box front / back)
★ Nikki. (box front back)
★ Tia. (box front / back)

Diva Starz Glow Fashion Packs

Glow Fashion Packs -
★ Alexa. (box front / back)
★ Miranda. (box front / back)
★ Nikki. (box front / back)
★ Tia. (box front / back)

Fashion Diva Starz Wave 3

A third wave of Fashion Diva Starz was released in 2003, this time with the theme 'Glitter to Glam'. Each doll came with sunshades, with the phrases they would speak controlled by whether they were worn up or down.

★ Alexa. (box front / back)
★ Miranda. (box front / back)
★ Nikki. (box front / back)
★ Tia. (box front / back)

Fashion Packs -
★ Alexa. (box front / back)
★ Miranda. (box front / back)
★ Nikki. (box front / back)
★ Tia. (box front / back)


★ CD-ROM Game.
★ Keyrings.
★ Mall Mania Gameboy Colour Game.
★ McDonalds Diva Starz 2001.
★ McDonalds Diva Starz 2002.
★ Plush Dolls. (Alexa, Nikki, Summer, Tia - back of box)
★ Plush DivaPets. (Fluffy, Sunny, )
★ Plush Talking DivaPets. (Budster, Fluffy, Sunny, )

I've always been fairly sure the dolls in Tuuli's video for It's Over are modded Diva Starz. If anyone has any info on how the dolls came into being I'd love to hear it - I used to play this song over and over and over back in 2002!

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