New Dolly: Be With You ~ Carrot

Hey everybody!

Can’t believe it’s been MONTHS since my last post, but I am back from the dead. As you can already tell, I haven’t spent my time lazing around, I was actually getting some work done, aka- revamping my website! I don’t think I was ever truly happy with what it looked like before, it was a quick transition from the first one, but alas, my layout is as perfect as I want it to be <3 A quick thank you to the awesome Amanda Carlisle who helped me out with installing my logo, and the Studiopress team who made designing websites so much easier with the Genesis Framework. The artist within just wouldn’t allow me to pay another artist to do the designing job, and I must say I am proud for not giving in. All of this is my sweat and blood, baby!

Now off to the main event, after stalking these babies (literally, babies) since February, the amazing BJD sculptor “YG”, the creator of the doll company “Be With You” or “Dollsbe”, opened another resale of his baby doll line last May. These include Paprika, Carrot, Grape and Strawberry, all of which are extremely adorable but my wallet only affords one of them so I chose Carrot :)

I have never done a box opening before so I’m quite excited to show you my own process! I’ll be giving out random info as I go along for those of you who might be interested. Also, if you guys have any questions, don’t be afraid to ask, I love to help. Now off to the pikchures!!!1!

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I’m not completely sure, but I think YG either is the only one who runs his company or with a few others as his team, but he has this custom where he sends treats to his customers with every purchase. I’ve seen many other box openings with people getting some type of Korean bread/cake? Its a little funny because you don’t expect it, but it’s a really sweet gesture, so cute xD I really want to taste it, but I guess this is beef flavoured, and I don’t think it’s Halal :P Enough of the Ramen though, haha…

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Cute little postcards of all the Dollsbe BJDs :)

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Certificate of authenticity!

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Putting the cards and CoA in my nice little drawer of all my keepsakes :)

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I wanted my girl to have “dirty blonde” hair, and looking at Strawberry’s pictures it looked like a really nice colour, but didn’t like to short cut. I asked YG if there are any wigs in that colour and in a bob cut, and he contacted the company and delivered :D How awesome is that! The wig is so so soft (Mohair), although the colour turned out to be lighter than I had planned, but it’ll do for now. If it bothers me too much there’s always Leekeworld :P

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And here’s the mummy!!!!

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All wrapped up nice and cozy!

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One thing I love about this line of dolls is that they come with a variety of hands! Now that’s what I call customer satisfaction! ;) These are all I need and will ever need, no more ordering separate hands! They aren’t magnetic though, which is a bummer but hey, I’m not complaining~

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She’s my first Yo-SD size and I knew I would expect her to be bigger. I’m not at all disappointed or anything but she’s soooo tiny xD My hand for scale lol.

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She shows her face…

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Brilliant delicate face-up for such a tiny face <3 She has some glitter applied but is not seen unless you look closely! Very subtle and natural!

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Dainty little hands! I didn’t notice this before but she has clear nail polish on! Just goes to show you how much love and detail went into this doll :)

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She comes with a default slip on dress, but ya’ll already know I got a whole wardrobe for her even before she arrived ;)

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Small velcro tape on the front and back of the head to secure wigs!

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This is the thing I love the most. Eye mechanism.  I own a Pullip and at one point, thought how easy it would’ve been if BJDs had an eye mechanism to make it easier to move their eyes for photoshoots and such, and YG did just that. No more sticky eye putty, no more weird eye positions!! This mechanism moves the eyes up, down, left and right! The eyes that she came in are pretty, but they don’t photograph well, so I ordered Oscradoll eyes about a month ago to really make them ‘shine’, however, to insert them to the eye mechanism they will need stems, and Oscardoll eyes are stemless, so I’ll figure out a way to make some stems and share in a later post!

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Eeeeeep with her wig on! <3 Truly a unique face! Nothing like it!

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Let’s play dress-up!! :B  I’m too old for this…
These are all the super adorable things I snagged from Taobao. Taobao really becomes your friend when you get into the BJD hobby and you wanna save money. Most of the stores who are well-known probably buy from these Taobao stores and re-sell them, I have researched and found the exact same items being sold at different prices.

That panda tho. I’ll embroider him a nose xD

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Overalls on kids. One of my favourite things as you can probably tell I got two lol. They’re so adorable :'( My mom used to dress me up in overalls for kindergarten, and I loved it! It was so comfy and even had a small bear like this one, except the bear wasn’t as cute :P

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Customary hello is customary.

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Off to post a box opening on DoA in a while! Thanks for reading and viewing!

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Oh and I forgot to mention, I finished my first year of college a couple of weeks ago and it was great, Elhamdillah! InshAllah next year I will be starting my art courses. Hope I don’t get to draw apples all semester. So stoked! Summer is filled with plans *-*

Have a great week everyone, and Ramadan Kareem <3

– Reem AlHashmi

Monthly Finds: January 2014

Hello readers! I know this one is pretty late, but for the few months that passed, there wasn’t anything particularly interesting that I found, so I accumulated the little things I got to put in one post.

Books:

I haven’t been reading much lately, and I don’t feel motivated enough to do that nowadays. These phases come and go, but I did get some of what I like to call “Pleasure Reads”, short and quirky things I would read for the fun of it, not a serious novel or anything.

If you’re not aware of the blog Hyperbole and a Half” by Allie Brosh, then you’ve been living under a rock. Best blog to read when you’re feeling down because it’s just so funny and entertaining. At one point, I read almost all the posts that I ran out of things to read….so I ordered the book.

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Haven’t read it yet, just skimmed through the pages and some of them were familiar which kinda bummed me out because I was hoping for new content, but I did find unfamiliar comics here and there so I won’t complain.

Next ones are all kitty-related. Two of them are by Yasmine Surovec which is the mastermind behind the cute Cat vs. Human comics. I bought her second “Cat vs. Human” collection of comics and “I See Kitty”, a children’s book for my 2 year-old cousin who is infatuated with cats, in hopes of fuelling her love of felines. The story is so adorable I cannot wait to read it to her!

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The third one is the all popular “How to Tell if Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You” by The Oatmeal. I’ve read many of The Oatmeal’s comics over the internetz, and decided I’d buy this one it’s related to cats-duh! It’s quite fun to read, and I finished it in one sitting with a bowl of Rice Krispies when I had a hard time falling asleep :P Plus, it has a summary poster of “the evil cat plotting to kill you” inside woot woot! Must hang it somewhere strategically and freak the heck out of visitors. Maybe in the bathroom, and then I’ll let Tiny stick out his paws from under the door while they do their business lol!

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Shoes & Accessories:

Other than books, I got some pretty things while on my trip to Dubai last week or so. These dainty little lace pumps from New Look -absolutely love their shoes, and some rings I found here and there in Forever 21 -which is 100 times much better than the ones here in AD imo ._. They are pretty simple, but I wanted to collect small rings to stack them up on my fingerrrsss :D

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Makeup:
Not very unique or special, but I needed a new bronzer and blush and I got some great ones! Bronzer is Hoola from Benefit which is perfect, and the blusher is a nice pink peach from Sephora. Also got a brush for my loose setting powder.
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For Kitty:

Since I let Tiny roam around outside everyday, I got worried he might catch some fleas or ticks. He is fully vaccinated from the cold and rabies and such, but those pests sound like a huge hassle to get rid of and I do not want them in our house. I looked around for preventive products and found two, the Bio Spot Flea/Tick Control for 6 months, and Dr. Mercola Natural Flea and Tick Defense, an organic daily spray that is supposed to “confuse” fleas and ticks when they smell it, thus preventing them from recognising a potential host and going into the pet’s skin. Yes, I got two, and I’m so glad I did. The first one kills AND prevents, but can only be used once every month. The second organic one is only preventive, and I don’t know whether it could kill them IF they already exist, and can be used daily if needed.

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The Bio Spot formula was great, easy to use and apply and the instructions were clear. However, it is OILY, and it left the patch of hair that was exposed to it weird and oily and not dry from the product on Tiny’s fur for three days until I decided to wash it with shampoo and water (water alone did not work). Let’s just say I’m not anticipating next month’s dose xD Luckily, Tiny didn’t have any fleas or ticks, but I hope it does its work and keeps them away too!

The Dr. Mercola one smelled nasty, which was very disappointing because they mentioned it smelled good :( And seeing Cinnamon in the contents got me excited (I love Cinnamon) but it smelled like cloves… which I do not like at all and was NOT in the contents…
I am one to cuddle the crap out of my cat, so his smell is very important to me tyvm lol! However, if you prefer natural and organic remedies and don’t mind the smell of cloves, then you should try it! I can’t recommend it as I’ve only used it once, but look into other people’s reviews.

That’s all folks! Thanks for reading and get ready to head back to school/college because it starts tomorrow. Eep.

– Reem AlHashmi

FURminator Review

Hello everyone! Long time no post. If you follow me on Instagram, you probably know that I finally got my hands on a Furminator brush after many failed purchases and attempts to rid me of my cat’s shedding problem. This post goes to everyone who’s thinking of getting one but is too hesitant to spend such a big amount of money on a hair brush for their pets! Before I start reviewing it, I’d just like to point out that I will be in no way biased and “over-recommend” this product just for the heck of it. I’ll tell you exactly how it worked for me, and provide pros and cons, and you be the judge :)

So being a person who’s 102% conscious about where she spends her money and on what, the idea of purchasing an almost 300 AED shedding comb for Tiny was completely out of the question. But after about a year and a half switching between different types of combs- the slicker brush, deshedding comb and a flea comb- that were almost useless, I decided to give it a go, but that I’d find myself a bargain ;)

After looking through amazon, I found an awesome deal of only 110 AED (including shipping fees from the US to Abu Dhabi) for a long-hair small sized Furminator comb for cats. (It couldn’t deliver straight to the UAE, so I had to use a US address and then had Aramex deliver it to Abu Dhabi. The cost above includes all of these expenses, so it would’ve been around 70 AED only if it wasn’t for the extra shipping :’) Much better than 300 AED!!)

I chose the long hair option because Tiny is a cross between a shorthair and a Persian according to his vet, and his hair is a about 2-inches long, and a small comb to make it easier for me to get into sensitive areas like his face or paws, as I’ve had one of the big slicker brushes and found it hard to brush these areas because of it’s size.

Now on to the brush itself, I can honestly say I was pretty impressed and wasn’t disappointed at all. A couple of brushes with a Furminator do go a long way!

Pros:
1) It’s teeth were designed differently that any slicker brush (which I thought otherwise previously..) and it kinda works like a rake, I’m not kidding lol. You can actually feel the brush pull the dead hairs out!
2) The teeth really dig in the coat, to catch a lot of the dead hairs not just from the top of the coat, but from inside. My slicker brush had long teeth, but it just wouldn’t dig in the coat properly, so it only caught the dead hair from the top, and left me with a horrible inner coat of dead hair madness!
3) This one is pretty obvious if you know a little about Furminators. It is easy to get the dead hair out of the brush from the handy button :P I used to wash my slicker brush to get most of the hair out because it was hard to pull it out by hand (and sometimes, it would bend the teeth, yikes!) so this was a much appreciated feature xD

Cons:
1) Of course, with every item, it has it’s cons, because it isn’t perfect. What I found a little bothersome with the brush is that when I managed to go through his whole coat, it would leave a lot of stray hairs at the top, something that I haven’t experienced with the slicker brush (Probably because it didn’t do such a good job lol) I guess it’s more of an expected effect than an actual problem with the brush. When he’d shake his head or when I’d pat his coat, it would drop a lot of dead hairs that weren’t caught by the brush. Does that make sense? :P However, I guess a good bath is the solution to this problem.
2) You must be careful when brushing your pet as the teeth are quite stiff and pointy, and I’ve had a lot of panicky moments where I was afraid I had cut him. So make sure you’re a little careful :) It’s not in any way like a shaving tool, but just a little consciousness while brushing is required.

In the end, I give this product a 7/10 because it wasn’t a marketing lie, it really does work like they said it would. Here’s a picture of all the hairs I’ve gathered just for this post:

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IMG_5861Placed my hand beside it so you can see the approximate size lol.

I would have been able to get rid of 100% of Tiny’s dead hair if he was a lot more cooperative, since he hates his grooming sessions :’) I constantly have to entice him with treats to get him brushed. I am working on training him to get used to it though, so wish me luck!

Thanks for reading folks, and as always, if you have any questions, feel free to ask me :)
Have a nice long weekend and happy National Day! <3

– Reem AlHashmi

On Local Businesses!

In today’s topic, I’ll be discussing a practice that has slowly been rising and spreading quite a lot over the past years: local businesses. I’m not talking about those big companies run by a huge team of employees that are set up by locals, but I’m specifically referring to those small businesses run by the youth sector, at home, online, at their small premises, etc.

Let’s take a look at the pros first. Since part-time jobs are limited, if not nonexistent, in the UAE, especially for teenagers and young school/college students, setting up these small businesses is a great substitution. It is their opportunity to express independence and management skills, and create their own source of income. Even if people don’t look into it, but it actually prepares them for the big world, where they will have to deal with and communicate with various types of people, at work or in their daily lives. Plus, it looks great on CVs.

However, this isn’t an educational blog, it’s a personal one, and so it’s now time for the cons, things that have been bugging me for quite some time now, and not just from my experience, but from other people’s as well.
In the past, I used to have a good perception of Emirati businesses. They can be trusted, they’re professional etc. Unfortunately, I have realized now that many of them have proven me wrong. And it’s time to address such issues! Be aware that this is my own view on such businesses, and my personal opinions, so yes, you might not agree and yes, it doesn’t apply to all of them.

Recently, I have purchased a pet ferret from an Emirati online petstore, owned by an Emirati animal lover. Contact me separately if you wish to know who the seller is. I’m going to be reviewing this store as well as use it as an example for this topic. Let’s rewind to the beginning of the week: Monday, 13th of May. The 16th was my friend’s birthday and the pet was supposed to be her gift. I contacted the seller by whatsapp and informed her I would like to reserve it and have it delivered by Wednesday, a day before the birthday. All was well until Wednesday actually came around and there was no sign of the ferret…nor the seller.

I had contacted her before 3:00 PM in the afternoon which was the delivery time we had decided on and a little while later. No replies. It is 5:00 PM and then later 7:00 PM and still no reply from her. At that moment, I was starting to get fed up. I’m sure there’s probably some law against the number of times I called her, but still no answer.  And what threw me off the most was the fact that my texts were read, but no replies were made. Now why did I keep on pursuing her instead of just ignoring you ask? It was because I really wanted that gift for my friend. Otherwise, I would have ignored by like, 4:00 PM xD But ugh you don’t know how dumb I feel  for being that desperate. Lesson learned. At the time though, not just yet. When it looked like a hopeless case, I contacted other businesses for a substitute ferret, and actually found a couple dealers that were very cooperative and nice.

By 12:00 AM midnight, she replies. And what was her excuse? She forgot her “business phone” at the office and the reason why my texts were read was because it was with her friend the whole time. Seriously? Not only did she completely ignore our deal, but she didn’t even make the effort to at least contact me any other way to inform me of the situation. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind if the friend actually answered one of my calls and told me about it.

Later on, long story short, I discover the pet isn’t even with her but with someone else who was the previous owner but had complications with the pet and decided to sell it back through the online store. I did my research and thankfully managed to contact the girl who was extremely sweet and made sure the ferret came home to me safely, all the while, the seller over on whatsapp didn’t utter a word. The ferret (along with pellets, food, cage, toys, shampoo, blanket and treats all thanks to the previous owner who was responsible) arrived on Thursday afternoon. Just before the party. If it wasn’t for the previous owner the pet would have probably not even arrived. And I had to pay an extra 200 AED for delivery that I wasn’t even informed about.

Now with that story aside, this is why I think local businesses should be your last resort when purchasing anything. First, they show no incentive for providing good service. They already have a substitute source of income, aka mommy and daddy, so one or two unsatisfied customers isn’t a huge deal right? Second, their prices are so over the top it’s not even funny. I die a little inside each time I see a purchase being made when it could guarantee a life-time source of happiness for an African family. What is it they’re trying to do? Become a famous prestigious brand like Louis Vuitton or Chanel? That takes years and years of hard work that’s not over the internet. I’ve been to Michaels, I’ve been to AC Moore, and I’ve seen how little it takes to make some items sellers provide for outrageous prices. You’d be astonished.

And then here’s the solutions I can provide for those who truly care about what kinda businesses they run.
1) If you’re an online business, check your email, phone, website all the time. Yes you’re human, but you’re a human who chose an online business so stick to it. It’s a package deal.
2) If you make no contact with them face-to-face, and won’t present a bill/receipt, always inform them of everything about the product their purchasing. Price, delivery cost, location, description about it, anything! Anything that is related to the product, we want to know it.
3) Maintain a professional entity. Obviously, don’t be rude, be the opposite instead. Treat your customers right and show them their time and money is important.
4) Just because you’re local, doesn’t mean you’ll become any less if you decrease your prices to a reasonable value. I promise!
5) If there happens to be any complications, inform your customers beforehand. It is more professional and more often than not, they won’t even mind.

Again, I don’t refer to all the local business, but the many experiences I have witnessed. In the end, some of them are quite good, but it takes some looking into it before one should decide on a potential seller. Kinda like eBay.

That will be all folks! Thanks for reading! Let me know what you guys think :)

– Reem AlHashmi

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