Monday, 31 August 2020

Christmas 2020

Christmas 2020

AKA the post where I keep track of what we're getting Marianna for Christmas / Birthday. (Because, of course, I had to arrange it so the two events are only a few days apart...) The biggest problem this year is just that she kind of already has everything - so suggestions on what to get a precocious almost six year old are very welcome!


BOUGHT

★ Little Miss Book Collection.
★ Frustration Board Game.
★ Connect 4 Board Game.
★ 3x 'Lego' Animal Building sets.
★ Dream Wedding Sticker Book.
★ Lie Detector Game. (like the one they use on TotallyTV...)
★★

★ Remote Control Car. [mum]
★ 3ft Barbie Doll. [mum]
★ Barbie Fashion Design Plates. [mum]
★★


TO GET?

★ Night Skies 2021 Book.
★ Rizmo Interactive Pet.
★ Pyjamas.
★ Party Dress.
★ Rainbow Scratch Art Mini Notes Box.
★ Headphones.
★ Hide and Seek Periscope.
★ Mini Sewing Machine.
★ Glow / Light Drawing Board. 
★ Fashion Design Sketchbook.
★ Make It Real Fashion Design Book.
★ Make It Real Paint Pouring Craft Kit.
★ Friendship Bracelet Craft Kit.
★ Double Sided Art Easel.
★ Art Supplies.





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Gift Ideas





Thursday, 27 August 2020

Miniature Noticeboards

miniature noticeboard

I've been making some mini noticeboards for the doll house this week. This one is a cork backed drinks coaster I won for a penny on ebay bargain hunt, covered in Re-ment cut outs, some patterned paper (actually cut outs from a kids clothing catalogue), and some tiny photos from the thumbnail sheet some companies do with your prints.

1/6 Scale Noticeboard

This one is for the 'gaming' room and is made from some sticky back cork and an aceo art frame I bought ages ago on etsy. The little knights on top are from one of the Micro Playmobil sets. 



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Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Mini Mart: CB Toy Collectables

CB Toy Collectables

Supplier: CB Toy Collectables
Website: Ebay Store 

Products:

UK based seller of Action Man and other 1/6 scale loose parts. I am always on the lookout for splits and CB Toy Collectables are one of the cheapest on eBay. I got the above bag - a briefcase from DID's John Colman Guards Officer figure - for £4.99.

Post and Packing:  Free. :)



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Monday, 24 August 2020

Portugal Lidl Shop

Lidl Shop Miniatures Portugal

In 2016 Lidl ran a Little Shop promotion in Portugal, with customers getting a free blind bagged miniature for every 15 Euro they spent. Along with various larger scaled play fresh fruit, veg and meat there were 26 branded miniatures to collect: 

Portugal Lidl Shop Miniatures

2. Fairy.
10. Combino Spaghetti.
11. Persil.
15. Cien.
17. Ovos. (eggs)
19. Fin Carre Chocolate.
21. Manhazitos Leite.
22. Planta. (margerine)
23. Terra Vento. (cheese)
24. Alesto Miolo de Noz.
26. Almond Ice Cream.

Lidl Shop Minis 



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Thursday, 20 August 2020

Nipper Cards Review

Nipper Cards

We were asked a few weeks back if we would like to review Nipper Cards, a deck of positive affirmation cards designed to help children talk about their feelings. As Marianna seems ever more disposed to apparently causeless tantrums I was really excited to give them a go.

Designed by Janthea Brigden of Nipperbout Event Childcare, the cards themselves are lovely quality. There are 13 vibrant animal designs, each with 4 affirmation cards based around the animal's theme. Dolphins, for example, are a 'breath of life' while horses represent 'power and wisdom' and hummingbirds 'joy and love of life'. My favourites are the 'dreaming' lizard cards. :)

Nipper Cards for Children

The instruction card in the deck reads: "Each card has an animal that represents a quality - and each animal has four messages which reflect both sides of that quality. The opposite of fear, for example, is courage. Often the things we most dislike about others are in ourselves, and the qualities we most admire are those we already have. Shuffle the cards, and ask the child to pick one card. Find out how they feel about the card they have picked. Talking about, and naming feelings, enables children to understand their emotions and learn to balance them."

We jumped straight into it and Marianna picked out a horse card which read 'I am wise and caring'. Then proceeded to have a massive meltdown of a tantrum over it. (The cards, thankfully, were tough enough to withstand her attempts to crease a few into obliteration.) Clearly a different approach was needed! 

Nipperbout Affirmation Cards

Next time I got the cards out we simply played snap with them, first matching animals and then numbers. This proved much more agreeable and we played a couple of games before I gingerly introduced some discussion about the messages on the cards. Marianna was a little more willing to engage with them this time, but I didn't push for anything too involved.

Since then we have used the cards a few times to play snap and I've asked Marianna to pick out her favourite cards which we have then discussed. She still tends to get quickly frustrated with being asked to talk about the messages, but I think that will change as she gets older. I've spent some time looking through them and have actually found them really helpful for working through some of my own emotions - mostly my fears about all the things I'm doing wrong, etc. 

Nipperbout Cards

I think these cards have the potential to be incredibly useful, both as conversation starters and a tool for self reflection, and as Marianna gets a little older I hope she will engage more fully with them.

The cards are available on Amazon for £9.99.



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


Wednesday, 19 August 2020

Migros Mini Mania

Migros Mini Mania - Switzerland Little Shop

Switzerland kicked off the Little Shop trend in 2013 with Mini Mania at Migros, both the largest employer and supermarket chain in the country. Migros runs these kind of campaigns multiple times a year, gifting shoppers a free blind bagged miniature for every 20 CHF spent. 

All the Mini Mania stuff I've had has run big and is best suited for 1/4 or even 1/3 scale. Probably the best fit from this series for 1/6 is the Soft comfort toilet roll.
 Migros Mini Mania 
There were 52 miniatures to collect. Click on the item below to see an individual picture of it - the promo pics seem to be lost to the swirling mists of internet past so the images are from various ebay and aliexpress listings. 

1. MiniMania Card.
2. Der Orange Riese M Charm.
3. Miggy Charm.
4. Surprise.
6. Carrots.
7. Apples.
8. ?
9. Zwieback. (rusk bread)
10. Riesen-Cervelas. (sausages)
12. Chicken.
13. Eggs.
16. Le Gruyere. (cheese)
21. Fit Flakes.
26. Belvita.
32. Rosti.
33. Mifloc. (instant mash)
36. Anna's Spatzli. (pasta)
42. Pelican Fish Fingers.
43. Pommes Frites. 
44. Ice Tea.
51. pH-Balance Soap.
53. Migros Plasters.
55. Handy.

To go along with the minis you could get a play checkout, shopping cart, basket, till and money. There was also a collector's album, and a limited edition series of 16 extra grocery miniatures:

Mini Mania Limited Edition

2. Hand Cream.
3. Bon Chef Bouillon.
4. Bon Chef Soup.
5. Happy Hour.
6. Sausages.
7. Sandwich Paste.
8. Selina Adult Cat Food.
9. Ham.
10. Pastini.
11. Frey Mahony Chocolate.
12. Fish.
13. Juice.
14. Pasta.
15. Pasta.
16. ?



Migros Mini Mania Checklist



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Tuesday, 18 August 2020

Mini Mart: Dollz With Love

DollzWithLove Fashion

Supplier: Dollz With Love
Website: Etsy Store 

Products:

Awesome quality clothing for 1/6 scale fashion dolls. I was trawling Etsy looking for doll school uniforms for a different room and came across the 'school sucks' outfit. It had to be done! I also got a Ken sized Superman tee because, well, my stash of guy doll clothes is still very small. The Wildflower dolls look impressed, at any rate. ;)

DollzWithLove on Etsy

Post and Packing:  £4 from Croatia.



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Monday, 17 August 2020

M&S Little Shop

M&S Little Shop

Spend £20 on food at Marks and Spencer and bag yourself a blind bagged branded miniature. As with similar miniaturised product lines (think Zuru Surprise Mini Brands, Coles Little Shop, Lidl Shop, etc) the scale is kind of hard to pin down. Some stuff is clearly 1/6 scale. Some is clearly 1/4. Most of it is somewhere in between. 

Last week we bought Marianna a new doll house via eBay and Shiply, and in with all the bits and pieces were a few M&S Little Shop items. I can't even remember the last time I set foot in a M&S - and we're not even counting lockdown - so it was the first time I'd actually seen any in the flesh. Contrary to all expectations, I was really impressed with them and have taken to eBay to bid on a bunch of the frozen food. Fingers crossed! 



Marks and Spencer Little Shop 2019

Little Shop launched in 2019 with 25 items to collect. 26 if you include the ultra rare (LE of 1000) golden Percy Piggy Bank. Click on the item from the list below to see its promo pic -

★ British Petits Pois.
★ Canned Tuna Steak.
★ Balanced For You Scottish Salmon.
★ Collection Peruvian Coffee Beans.
★ Super Seeded Bread.
★ Made Without Chocolate Cookies.
★ Chicken Tikka Masala.
★ Cornish Cove Mature Cheddar.
★ Chicken, Mushroom & Rice Soup.
★ Acacia Honey.
★ Perfect Pick British Strawberries.
★ Sensitive Washing Up Liquid.

There were also a small range of accessories available to enhance the play factor for kids:

M and S Little Shop Accessories



M&S Little Shop 2 Checklist

Little Shop returned in summer 2020 for a second wave of 25 items, running until August 31st. This year's rare was a golden Colin the Caterpillar, with a limited edition of 1000 pieces. Click on the item from the list below to see its promo pic - 




M&S Food Little Shop



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Thursday, 13 August 2020

Mini Mart: Dolls Flowers

DollsFlowers Miniature Furniture

Supplier: Dolls Flowers
Website: Etsy Store 

Products:

Super realistic 1/6 scale flowers and greenery. Seriously, the flowers weren't the purpose of my order but I couldn't resist getting a daisy (£5.20) to check it out. The detail is amazing! I'd love to get a whole bouquet one day.

Etsy DollsFlowers

My main reason for ordering, however, was the retro style wooden chairs (£9.20) the seller makes as a sideline. I've been meaning to get a couple of chairs for the kitchen ever since I swapped out the Sindy set for a table by Sixth Scale Studio. It only took a year... I love them so much though; they're excellent quality and really true to scale.

Post and Packing:  £7.50 from Russia. Shipping took about six weeks and everything was very well packaged, including a little free gift of a milk jug. ♥

Dolls Flowers on Etsy



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Wednesday, 12 August 2020

33 Films by 33

Film Review

One of my bucketlist items for this year is to watch 33 new (to me!) films. Here's my progress list:

★ 1. Detroit Evolution (2020)
★ 2. Jungle Bride (1933)
★ 3. Millie (1931)
★ 4.
★ 5.
★ 6.
★ 7.
★ 8.
★ 9.
★ 10.
★ 11.
★ 12.
★ 13.
★ 14.
★ 15.
★ 16.
★ 17.
★ 18.
★ 19.
★ 20.
★ 21.
★ 22.
★ 23.
★ 24.
★ 25.
★ 26.
★ 27.
★ 28.
★ 29.
★ 30.
★ 31.
★ 32.
★ 33.

Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Mini Mart: Butterfly Family

ButterflyFamily Miniature Furniture

Supplier: Butterfly Family
Website: Etsy Store / Instagram

Products:

1/6 scale wooden furniture. Premade furniture, at that. I'd been getting sick of building miniature furniture so I was super pleased to get my order from Butterly Family and just bung it straight in the doll house! I wanted a room to showcase all my 'cute' miniatures, from Sanrio to My Little Pony to the tiny little Polly Pocket I bought last year, and this seemed just the ticket. The doll house wardrobe (£24) and the two side bookcases (£11 each) are absolutely adorable, and I also got two short window cabinets (£15 each) and a chest of drawers (£13). 

Etsy ButterflyFamily

The furniture fit in perfectly with my spray painted Sindy dressing table and the bunkbed I got ages ago from Furniture For Dolls. I couldn't fit both short cabinets in so I made a little foam mattress and cover for the bottom bunk, meaning I could wedge the cabinet into place to use the space as a day bed / reading nook. Sindy's wardrobe drawers even fit nicely under the bed for some extra storage. :)

Post and Packing: £15 from Poland. Shipping was pretty quick and everything was very well packaged.

Butterfly Family on Etsy



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Monday, 10 August 2020

#FAILFIX Dolls

Moose Toys Fail Fix Dolls

Moose Toys new #FAILFIX doll line has hit retailers! Don't get me wrong, I'm as much of a sucker for blind boxing as the next collector - but it is good to see somebody other than Mattel attempting to be more innovative with their playline dolls. 

The concept isn't perfect: why are girls always being told they have to fix themselves? Rock whatever look you like. And they haven't dropped the blind box element entirely; the website blurb says you might find a rare or ultra-rare outfit or make-up look. But it is something different and I like the explicit focus on hairplay and redressing. I'm looking forward to seeing some in hand reviews on how well the 'fix' features work. :)

You can pick them up now at Argos for £20 each.



Moose Toys #FailFix Dolls


2Dreami is their deluxe 'epic colour 'n style makeover' pack, providing two different fix looks for the doll as shown below:

2Dreami Casual Look2Dreami Glam Look



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Dolls



Sunday, 9 August 2020

33 by 33 Reading Challenge

Book Review

One of my bucketlist items for this year is to read 33 new (to me!) books. Here's my progress list:

★ 1.
★ 2.
★ 3.
★ 4.
★ 5.
★ 6.
★ 7.
★ 8.
★ 9.
★ 10.
★ 11.
★ 12.
★ 13.
★ 14.
★ 15.
★ 16.
★ 17.
★ 18.
★ 19.
★ 20.
★ 21.
★ 22.
★ 23.
★ 24.
★ 25.
★ 26.
★ 27.
★ 28.
★ 29.
★ 30.
★ 31.
★ 32.
★ 33.

Saturday, 8 August 2020

Hits of 1988

What I'm Listening To

My top ten tracks of 1988... I found this really difficult because 1988 was such an awful year for music. In the end I revelled in it and went for a good proportion of novelty tracks.



Don't Worry, Be Happy - Bobby McFerrin

Written by Bobby McFerrin for the Cocktail soundtrack, Don't Worry, Be Happy became a mega hit in 1988, charting top five everywhere from Iceland to West Germany.




Stutter Rap (No Sleep Til Bedtime) - Morris Minor and the Majors

Stutter Rap is a genius Beastie Boys parody that peaked at #4 in the UK, #14 in Canada, and #2 in Australia. No surprise with lyrics like these:

And it breaks my heart that we're not on the chart,
'cause the record's nearly over when the vocals start ...
something must be wrong with your vocal technique,
when the twelve inch mix goes on for a week.




The Loco-Motion - Kylie Minogue

Sigh. The Loco-Motion has always kind of summed up my view of 1988 pop culture - naff with a capital 'N'. Originally written for Dee Dee Sharp (she turned it down), The Loco-Motion was first recorded by Little Eva and became the USA's sixth most successful single of 1962.

It was then covered by various people in various languages, before Kylie gave it a go in 1987. The song did so well in Australia that Kylie landed a deal with PWL Records who had her re-record it for a July '88 release. I might not have been impressed to discover it was the soundtrack of my very first summer, but the record buying public of the time must have disagreed: it was a top ten hit across most of the western world.




Doctorin' the Tardis - The Timelords

KLF cheerfully sold out their house sensibilities for chart success with Doctorin' the Tardis, reaching #1 in the UK and New Zealand, and the top ten in Australia, Norway, Ireland, Finland, and Belgium. Drummond and Cauty were under no illusions as to what they had created, describing it in press releases as 'probably the most nauseating record in the world'.




Anfield Rap (Red Machine In Full Effect) - Liverpool FC

It's so bad it's almost good. As novelty tracks go, at any rate! I like how willing they were to take the mick out of themselves though - and I've always low key hoped John Barnes was having a jab at racist crowds with that bananas line. (The infamous pic from the Everton v Liverpool match was taken a few months earlier in February '88.)




I Think We're Alone Now - Tiffany

Originally a hit for Tommy James and the Shondells back in 1967, I Think We're Alone Now has been covered by everyone from Lene Lovich to The Rubinoos. The then 15-year-old Tiffany recorded it for her debut album in 1987, going on to hit the top spot in the US, UK, New Zealand, Ireland, and South Africa. I always loved this one as a kid, and thought Tiffany looked so effortlessly glam in her hairspray and denim!




Minnie the Moocher - Reggae Philharmonic Orchestra

Minnie the Moocher, first recorded way back in 1931, was a huge hit for Cab Calloway and his orchestra. This version proved, yet again, that covers were the way to go in 1988 when the song peaked at #35 that winter.




Loco in Acapulco - The Four Tops

Written by Lamont Dozier and Phil Collins there was no way I couldn't love Loco in Acapulco, really! It never made it past the B-Side in the US, but hit the top ten in the UK and the Netherlands.




There's More To Love - The Communards

This has always been my favourite Communards track; that whole mix of sugary upbeat pop and an angry political message just spoke to me. ("I would like to shout it from the highest mountain, to tell the world I've found love and what it means to me. But all around there's violence and laws to make me think again.") It peaked at #20 on the UK charts in the spring of 1988.




Voodoo Ray - A Guy Called Gerald

Okay, it's confession time: I tend to prefer house when it gets a bit poppier and starts clogging up the charts in the early 90s. But '88 was the second Summer of Love and Voodoo Ray, released in June 1988 though it didn't chart until 1989, was definitely one of the best things about it.





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What I'm Listening To



Wednesday, 5 August 2020

Mini Mart: RoomBoxRU

RoomBoxRU on Etsy

Supplier: RoomBoxRU
Website: Etsy Store

Products:

Laser cut wooden furniture for 1/6, 1/4, and 1/3 scales. I just had to get the 1/6 scale IKEA corner MICKE desk (£44); I have the same one in the spare room / home office (where the doll house lives) so it was too cute an opportunity to pass up. I'm going for a bit of a Life on Mars vibe in the diorama, complete with crime writing wall and lots of bookcases. It's still very much a work in progress at the moment!

RoomBoxRU Miniature IKEA Desk

The desk went together very easily and gave me the confidence to order something more ambitious - a 1/7 scale loft bed with built in desk. I couldn't work out where to start with this one though and, in the end, I got my dad to put it together for me. This room is basically to showcase miniature retro consoles and computers, so I really like how the space is starting to shape up now the bed is in place. :)

Post and Packing: Free!

Room Box RU on Etsy



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