Devouring The Big Apple: pt 2 ~ ‘Central Park & FAO Schwarz’

So many pictures in this post! Excited for you guys to see them :) After visiting the Statue of Liberty, we woke up the next morning and decided to have breakfast at Sarabeth’s, a little cute restaurant beside Central Park.

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It was a nice little change from hotel restaurants, the environment was lively. They had old vintage-looking photographs of Audrey Hepburn (Of course!) and who I think is Marilyn Monroe and other old black and white pictures.

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We ordered some french toast, different types of omelettes and a smoked salmon with eggs dish. Also, the orange juice in the US tastes SO much better than the one back home. It’s nice and sweet and sour, minus the bitter aftertaste ours has :’) Florida Naturals is awesome <3 After eating, we didn’t have much time to wander aimlessly in Central Park lol, so we took a horse-carriage ride as a quick tour. It was lots of fun, who doesn’t love horse rides, right? But it was a little stinky, haha, as with everything that has to do with horses! xD

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Oh! What’s this building here? ;)

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It’s the Plaza Hotel!

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The one from Home Alone 2 if you didn’t know, haha! Remember this entrance? :P Sadly there are no more pictures of the place because when we got inside, the lobby and actual hotel were not open to the public, I’m thinking because of it’s popularity and a lot of people coming to visit? Perhaps it disturbs the hotel’s residents? I dunno, it was a bummer but what can you do. So after that we visited the largest toy store in the US, FAO Schwartz! This is the same toy store the smurfs visited in their first movie, how cute right? Everything was so colorful and cheerful I was wandering the aisles speechless and amazed. I love toy stores <3

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I want one ^ :’)

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They even have a section exclusively for candy and sweets! :D This is what the inside of a rainbow looks like lol!

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Large cereal-box sized nerds? YES PLEASE.

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Alphabet gummies *-* That’s a first.

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Any fans of the Simpsons? :P

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The best part: They sell the Bean Boozled and Harry Potter jelly beans, the ones YouTubers use for the jelly bean challenges! We got some to film our own take on it >:) Don’t know whether I’m excited or scared lol.

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Peeps are the cutest marshmallows in my opinion! I have to taste some before we go back home! Now on to the real toys~

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A little creepy, but still awesome to look at xD

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LOVE these portraits! Would look so great as a decoration to your study or work office <3 Sadly, I came to the doll section hoping to find clothing that would fit on my MNF, but what I found was either too big or too small. Looks like its back to the sewing machine again~

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CALICO CRITTERS!!

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And my ultimate favourite…

The Miniature Section!! <3

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These are sheets of wallpapers and parquet that you can use to line the interior of the house like the picture of the empty house above! So cute :’)

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This tiny little cigarette is my favourite lol!

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Want a new family? They’re got you covered xD

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Personally I just want the brother. I don’t have a brother.

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Or perhaps you want a dollhouse FOR your dollhouse? Inception~~~

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They even have a Build-a-Bear inside of their store! That’s how big it is!

Now these bears below have a special place in my heart. These were the exact same bears that were featured in a book that belonged to my cousin. Can’t remember it’s name right now, but it was a huge book with delightful pictures of toy bears doing all kinds of activities. It had no particular storyline, but everything was styled and set up perfectly as if it was showing you a whole different “World of Teddy Bears”, how they live, how they dress and even where they go when they’re sick, i.e. torn up to shreds lol. We used to read it all the time when we were kids and inspired us with so many ideas, and I never knew the brand until now. Thank you, Steiff bear. I will own one someday! :)

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This little bunny is a cutie! The salesman was like “Make sure you get his ‘good side'” xD I thought that was pretty cute, haha!

In the end, I didn’t buy much, just a Jenga because I’ve always wanted to play it and never had one. We went back home and watched some friends while we play it. I lost incase you want to know :’P

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Thanks again for reading guys! Have a lovely vacation yourselves and be safe!

- Reem AlHashmi

Devouring The Big Apple: pt 1 ~ ‘Statue of Liberty’

Woohoo! You guessed it! I’m on vacation with the family and I have lots and lots of content to go through and talk about! Finally!! After a whole month of nothing interesting to share… I miss writing :’)

So just as an overview, our trip consists of a week in New York city and then another week in Washington D.C.
I will be going over the attractions we went to, and also little reviews of things only found in the US, because I’m a tourist like that. Let’s get started!

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So just as the title reads, we finally had the chance to visit Lady Liberty! :D Yay!
Our last trip to NYC was a little after Hurricane Sandy, and as a result, we were unable to visit because of maintenance and such, so that was a bummer, but we got a second chance!

We booked our tickets early through the official website and I was so glad we did because upon arrival there was a huge line waiting to get tickets that same day. We just sped through and got on the ferry to the little island where the statue was. The next pictures basically do all the talking :P

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SQUIRREL!!!!!

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I love this picture because we were at a similar place in Washington D.C. last year in spring, when the cherry blossoms were in bloom, and now this is a different season with a twist! <3 This is the picture incase you missed it:

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We could see it off in the distance by then!

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It’s getting closer!!!
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And here she is! In all her greatness and glory :P
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She’s always ready for a close-up ;)

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I’m really glad my camera didn’t act up (much) and the pictures turned out lovely! They look like they came straight out of a postcard :)

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And as if the Home Alone soundtrack wasn’t blaring into my head enough, this also reminded me of the movie! xD

And now for some random pictures of the place..

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I’m not entirely sure if it’s this one or the one next to it, but supposedly it’s the bridge from the Two Broke Girls opening video, and I love that show so I decided to snap a picture as a ‘souvenir’ :P

Anyway, that will be all for now! Again, like I said there are many photos to go through and it’ll take me a while to sort through them, filter and edit until I can post something again, but stay tuned!

Next stop: Central Park and America’s largest toy store!

Hope you enjoyed the photos as much as I did!

Love always,

– Reem AlHashmi

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