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Showing posts from September, 2019

Malaville Dolls

Malaville Toys is the creation of South Africa based model Mala Bryan. A doll collector herself, Bryan was frustrated by the difficulty in finding a diverse - and affordable - range of black dolls. In early 2016 the first four dolls were officially launched: Maisha, Mala, Malina, and Mhina. In 2017 they were joined by Alexa, the world's first doll with albinism, Lola, Imani, and Viv. Most are still available directly from Malaville Toys' website , with prices ranging from $32.99 to $39.99 each. There were also plans for a line of collector dolls, beginning with Oshun, but I'm not sure if she was ever actually released. View this post on Instagram Here she is! Our goddess, #Oshun Information from Wikipedia: Oshun (known as Ochún or Oxúm in Latin America) also spelled Ọṣun, is an orisha, a spirit or deity that reflects one of the manifestations of God in the Ifá and Yoruba religions. She is one of the most popul

This Week: 29/09/2019

This week was quite busy. We had a seminar at work on Monday to go over Torfaen's education results. Welsh Government has vastly reduced the amount of data they publish this year, as part of their rejection of 'league tables' and comparing schools, so instead of tons of figures it was just anonymised scatter graphs showing where we are compared to the rest of south east Wales. It was full council on Tuesday - I posted an overview of it HERE - and then Marianna and I took Molly for a little walk after school before my school governors' meeting. I'm the chair now so there's no way out of it! On Wednesday I chaired Children and Young People Committee - webcast - looking at social care's plans to change the way child protection referrals are made in Torfaen. There was a housing summit on Thursday morning I meant to go too, but I woke up feeling like death so I stayed home. We had a Labour Branch meeting in the evening; Marianna insisted on coming along

Fantastic Female Adventurers

A few weeks back we were contacted by Shrine Bell, the youth imprint of Vertebrate Publishing who specialise in outdoor adventure, to ask if we would like to review their new book, Fantastic Female Adventurers . Written by Lily Dyu, Fantastic Female Adventurers  chronicles the achievements of 14 remarkable women, with the aim of inspiring girls to think: 'I can do that too!' In the book's introduction, Lily describes her antipathy towards the outdoors as a kid. It was too muddy, too scary, and she couldn't imagine ever actually wanting to go out and explore. I could really relate to that because, although my own dad tried very hard to instil a love of the outdoors before his accident, it never quite worked. It's only as an adult that I've started to appreciate the natural world around me! I was excited, then, to find out what Marianna would make of it being smack in the middle of a princesses, sparkles and unicorns phase. She loved it! Ann Daniels'

Friday Five: 2000s Movies

FIVE FILMS OF THE 2000s My favourite five films from the 2000s... This was a weird decade to do because I watched so many films in this decade. I was old enough to have cash, young enough to have nothing important to spend it on, and yet of the hundreds of films I went to see most of them were just 'meh'... #5. I Love You Phillip Morris (2009) Black comedy starring Ewan McGregor and Jim Carrey as inmates in love. It might sound like a punchline to a joke, but it just works . #4.   The Ring (2002) It's hardly the best horror film ever made. It's not even the best of the 2000s. But, oh man, this film terrified me so much. I had to sleep with the light on for weeks. #3.   The Princess and the Frog (2009) My favourite animated Disney film of the decade - and definitely the one with the best soundtrack! #2.   13 Going On 30 (2004) I'm always a sucker for body and life swap films, and this cute rom-com does it perfectly when main character Jenn

Books about Cwmbran

Books about Cwmbran! I'll link all the titles up to review posts about them, eventually. For now here's an (incomplete) list... ✩ Cwmbran History and Mystery - Carol Ann Lewis (2013) ✩ Cwmbran Vol 1. - Gareth D. John and Graham Lawrence (2007) ✩ Cwmbran Vol 2. - Gareth D. John and Graham Lawrence (2009) ✩ Rebuilding a Valley: History of Cwmbran Development Corporation - Philip Riden (1988) ✩  The Trains don't stop here any more: A pictorial history of Cwmbran from the 1930's to the present day - Village Publishing (1991) ✩  Victorian Cwmbran - Carol Ann Lewis (2013) For more like this, please click the below image:

Mini Mart: Sixth Scale Studio

Supplier:  Sixth Scale Studio Website:   Etsy Store . Products: Retro style 1/6 scale dining tables, coffee tables, chairs, etc. I needed a table to replace the 1960s Sindy drop leaf table and chairs I had in the doll house kitchen - it looked great but was a little unsteady for photos and stuff. So I sold it and used it to get this one which is abuot £20. (I say about because, you know, exchange rate is all over the place at the moment.) Post and Packing:  £20+ to the UK. Then, of course, I got hit by customs on top reminding me why I never buy anything from the USA. :/ For more like this, please click the image below:

Full Council - September 2019

We had a flag raising ceremony this morning before full council, in memory of our fallen soldiers. We even had a visit from Fusilier Shenkin IV, the Royal Welsh's regimental goat. (The only pic I could find uploaded so far was this one from the South Wales Argus Twitter feed with a disconcerting view of Shenkin's backside!) Then at 10am we began the meeting proper. You can watch it on webcast HERE . #1. and #2. Attendance and Apologies for Absence . #3. Declarations of Interest . #4. Confirmation of the minutes of full council meetings from 18/07/2019 and 23/07/2019 . #5. Updates on Actions . #6. Receipt of Petitions . Ms Louise Kirby presented a petition signed by over 800 people asking the Council to stop using glyphosate in weed control. #7. Public Question Time . Again on the issue of glyphosate, there was one question today: My question is mainly based on the discussions held during the 'Torfaen Council Democracy and Scrutiny meeting titled Cleaner

Disney Attractionistas

Disney Attractionistas are fashion dolls based on Disney Park attractions. There were 8 dolls in total, standing 12" tall with basic articulation. The first four dolls were released in 2015. ★  Celeste (Space Mountain) - box front / contents /  back . ★  Gracey (The Haunted Mansion)  - box front / contents / back . ★  Pearl (Pirates of the Caribbean) -  box front  /  contents  /  back . ★  Maddie (Mad Tea Party) - box front / contents / back . Later in 2015 another two dolls joined the line up. ★  Carrie (Carousel)  - box front / contents / back . ★  Nellie (Jungle Falls) - box front / contents / back . The final two dolls were released in 2016, with Holly being especially sought after today. ★  Briar (Splash Mountain) - box front / contents / back . ★  Holly (The Tower of Terror) - box front / contents / back . For more like this, please click the image below:

This Week - 22/09/2019

Marianna has given me the inevitable back to school cold, so my head has felt like it's stuffed full of cotton wool all week. :/ Still, I've been busy rearranging and organising stuff; I feel an IKEA shop coming on... We've been trying to get into a good routine too, now Marianna's at school. Monday - Party Night, aka playing music and having sandwiches for tea. Tuesday - Walking Molly Night. Wednesday - Park Night, aka an hour at a play park of Marianna's choice. Thursday - Craft Night. We had a Toucan Box this week. Friday - Library and 'Old McDonalds'. Saturday - Unplanned. Sunday - Movie Night. Hmmm, trying to think of anything else out of the ordinary we did... On Wednesday all the reception parents were invited into school to have lunch with their kids. It inspired me to go googling about school dinners around the world - there are some way out lunch options out there! I won a Dr Who 50th Anniversary CD which Anthony immedi

Friday Five: 1990s Movies

FIVE FILMS OF THE 1990s My favourite five films from the 1990s... #5. Soldier (1998) Okay, so it was a critical and commercial failure. But I was ten and totally imprinted on it. #4.   Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999) Jar Jar Binks aside, this was the film that sold me on Star Wars. <3 #3.   Clueless (1995) As a pre-teen I thought this was the coolest film ever made. #2.   Mulan (1998) By '98 I was starting to think myself too old for animated Disney films , then Mulan came out and convinced me otherwise. #1.   Mrs Doubtfire (1993) The sillier it gets, the more I love it! For more like this, click the image below:

Blogger 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

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. 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