Blythe and Me: Jane of Ddalkijane

Hello everyone! I hope a lot of you enjoyed the very first Blythe and Me feature with Violet of Blythe Ponytail Parades last week. I had an amazing time putting together that post so I'm really excited to get started with the second feature. :)

For today's installment of the Blythe and Me series, I have interviewed one of the friendliest bloggers I know    Jane of Ddalkijane. She's a creative Korean now based in America with her cool hubby and an even cooler cat named Gamja. Aside from her pretty dolls, her random daily life musings and fun drawings are always something I look forward to everyday. Let's get to know her more and her blog, together with her enormous Blythe dolls collection. She's got so many dolls I could only dream of having!

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your awesome blog?
I'm Jane. My blog is about my daily life plus Blythe dolls and ddalki (meaning strawberry in Korean) diary which reflects my feelings and my daily life.

What got you into collecting Blythe dolls and can you share with us the story behind your very first Blythe?
I discovered Blythe dolls from the internet for the very first time in 2005. I wanted to get one for myself, but since I couldn't find any Blythe sellers near my place, I wasn't able to get one. I didn't trust online shopping at that time. But in 2006, I decided to order my first Blythe doll, Samedi Marche from a store called Toy Tokyo in New York. When I received her I was the happiest person in the world. :)

I got my second Blythe doll, White Magic Night from Toy Tokyo while I was traveling in New York. The rest of my dolls I got from Ebay.

How many Blythe dolls do you currently have? Do you have a particular favorite?
I have 14 Blythe dolls, 1 Middie Blythe and 1 unopened Blythe doll. My favorite doll is Samsoon (I named her after my favorite character from a Korean TV drama) and she's the first doll that I got. Abbie (I named her after one of my friends who lives in UT) is one of the dolls that my awesome friend, Natsuko in Japan gave a plastic surgery (customized).

Do you also feature your Blythe dolls on your blog? Any other special activities you do with your dolls (like maybe bringing them when you travel, sewing clothes for them)?
I do "Blythe on Friday" on my blog. I used to carry my dolls everywhere I went but I realized that I got scratches on my dolls' face, so I don't do that very often now. I've wanted to do something with my Blythe dolls on my blog so I came up with the idea of posting about my Blythe dolls on my blog every Friday instead.

Also, I started learning how to sew and use the sewing machine. I've already made a couple outfits for my Blythe dolls and plan on selling them once I became good at sewing. I do a little customizing with my dolls sometimes like changing their eye chips, sanding their face, giving them new eye makeup & lips color. In fact, I just recently did my first re-rooting hair process. :)

Aside from Blythe dolls, are you also into collecting other things?
I also collect Sony Angel and Harajuku Lovers perfume.

Thank you so much, Jane for sharing your Blythe story with us. Get to know more about Jane through her sweet blog. You can also connect with her through the following links: Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Bloglovin.

Here are some of my favorite posts from Jane's Blythe on Friday blog series:
Are you a blogger who's also into collecting Blythe dolls? I'd love to feature you and your collection here in Icing & Write! Please send a quick email to aizzing(at)icingandwrite(dot)com with the subject "Blythe and Me" so I can hook you up with the details.

I've also got a really sweet girl from down under for next week's feature. Stick with me! :)

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Happy days are here

Happy Sunday everyone! The sky is looking and feeling so good right now here in Dubai. From the usual 50 degrees Celsius, today we're finally down to 35! The summer heat has been nothing but unbearable and I couldn't be happier that it's all about to end. I miss the outdoors! Now looking forward to picnics at the park, regular weekend strolls, and just taking out my knitted sweaters and comfy cardigans from hibernation. Excited to layer up!

Everybody is all smiles today. I don't know if it's just me, but everyone really seems a notch nicer and easier to work with once the colder weather kicks in. People can be as merciless as the sun when it's scorchingly hot outside, y'know. It's nice to finally get that grumpy phase over and done with.

Colder days = cooler heads! Definitely my cup of tea. :)

How's the weather over your side of the fence? :)

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Breaking the fast

This is the story of the "food coma" that is the end of Ramadan. Yes, Ramadan finally ended and we celebrated it in true "Eid Mubarak" fashion: shameless non-stop eating of course! I'm telling you, my baby fats were overjoyed I can hear them yell "Oh yeah!"
The Rundown : Ihop opened its first ever branch here in the desert and I fell in love with hefty breakfast all over again // Choosing yummy meatballs and salmon from Ikea Food over picking up new things for the apartment // Went Japanese for dinner. Those shrimp tempura were so good I didn't mind the allergies that came after // Baked an extra sinful moist chocolate cake for our friends to celebrate the long break // Downed two boxes of Domino's and chicken wings while watching feel-good movies on tv. The life!

You may have probably noticed already, but these photos (together with my consistent food-focused blog posts as of late) basically sum up how my "Fit into the bridesmaid's dress" mission went further down the spiral. In short, I ended up gaining back all the pounds I lost and more during the last few weeks. Trying to stay positive though. After all I still have roughly nine months to get into shape anyway. Keeping my fingers crossed.

My five-day staycation was sweet, laid-back, quiet, and as much as I want to stretch it further it officially ended its course today. Missing it loads as I crawled myself back to work this morning. It was a struggle but I couldn't be more excited to get back into the groove of things. Busy days ahead!

Eid Mubarak, everyone! :)

Blythe and Me: Violet of Blythe Ponytail Parades

What better way to start off this new Blythe and Me feature series than with Violet, the talented photographer from Indianapolis and the girl behind this cool slice of the internet called Blythe Ponytail Parades. From creative tutorials to fun and inspiring daily life posts coupled with professional photos, I'm sure you'd find yourself instantly hooked reading through her latest blog posts and archives. She has this distinct dreamy style that sets her photography apart from all the others and it doesn't hurt also that she happens to be one of the nicest ladies in the blogosphere ever. :)

I've always been such a huge fan of her, so I was more than glad and excited when she agreed to sign up for this mini interview. Here's her story:

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your awesome blog? 
My name is Violet and I'm obsessed with photography, my puppy, decorating, food and my husband. I blog over at Blythe Ponytail Parades, a compilation blog featuring my photography and life! I love keeping my blog fresh and up to date, because in the long run, it's really a visual journal for myself documenting the wonderful things in life.  

What got you into collecting Blythe dolls and can you share with us the story behind your very first Blythe?
I discovered Blythe dolls back in 2007 on Flickr. My love was instantaneous! I loved their large eyes and that they could change colors. Plus I've always been in love with all things Japanese. ;)

How many Blythe dolls do you currently have? Do you have a particular favorite?
I currently own four large Blythe dolls. I LOVE them all, but Sadie Jane is my favorite.

Do you also feature your Blythe dolls on your blog? Any other special activities you do with your dolls (like maybe bringing them when you travel, sewing clothes for them)? 
I do feature them from time to time. I used to do photoshoots with them ALL the time on my FLICKR. I loved taking them with me to places and showing them "doing things" with me. I haven't done it in a while, but I want to get back into it! :)

Aside from Blythe dolls, are you also into collecting other things? 
I LOVE old books. I have an enormous collection. I also love antiques in general, cameras and other Japanese toys!

Thank you so much, Violet for sharing your Blythe story! Get to know more about Violet and her dreamy photography through her blog. You can also connect with her through the following links: WebsiteTwitter, and Flickr.

Here are some of my favorite posts from Violet where you can spot some of her wide-eyed dollies:
Are you a blogger who's also into collecting Blythe dolls? I'd love to feature you and your collection here in Icing & Write! Please send an email to aizzing(at)icingandwrite(dot)com with the subject "Blythe and Me" so I can hook you up with the details.

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Missing Art Cafe Dubai

If our bellies had a heart, I'm sure those hearts would be terribly terribly broken by now. We just found out last night that one of our favorite restaurants in Mall of the Emirates has already closed and I'm not excited that another clothing store is probably being built in its location as a replacement. You see I'm quite the picky diner. In fact I can count only on one hand the few restaurants where we go to eat regularly (PF Chang, Mandarin Tree, Thai Wok, Soy, Koreana, and of course, Art Cafe). So this recent discovery that Art Cafe already closed down is quite a disappointing blow. :(

I took these photos a couple of months ago. I had no idea that it would be our last chance to taste their amazing food.
It's quite ironic actually. For someone who chose to live in the Middle East, I'm not that much a fan of Arabic and Mediterranean cuisines. I always end up choosing an Asian restaurant no matter the choices. It's my comfort zone and I rarely experiment nor go all adventurous when it comes to food (which makes me lame, I know).

Art Cafe happens to be the only non-Asian restaurant in our fave list here in Dubai. They served the best buffalo chicken and spicy pasta we have ever tasted in the region so far and has served as our default venue whenever we craved for good comfort food countless times. Gone are the days. :(

Still have to find out though whether they just moved to a new location or completely closed down since this is the only branch I knew they had. I guess we will have to go on the look-out once again to find a new favorite restaurant. The hunger game is on!

Have you ever had a favorite restaurant, store or hang-out place that made you really all sad when they closed down?

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Monday Favorites - Random Pretty

Is Monday a bummer or what? Raise your hands if you also struggled parting with the duvet early this morning. I couldn't be the only one! It's one of those weird "blah days" again when my bed feels a little bit more comfortable than usual that I'm almost tempted to call it a day off. If not for a new pair of candy-colored shoes, I'm so certain I would have stayed up in bed. I knew I bought this gorgeous flats for a reason! :)

I hate to admit this, but yes, sometimes pretty things do make me happy and they help me get up during tough mornings such as today. So with this,  I decided to play favorites today because I could really use some more inspiration. Here's some of my recent pretty favorites for added inspiration to hopefully shake our Monday blues away:

the dreamy photos that inspired my blog's header

really can't get enough of pretty floral garland headpieces

my color crush for this summer

two of my favorite illustrations by artist Oana Befort

love everything about this outfit, especially the coffee

this letter pretty much sums it up

but this is a much better and way more positive way to look at it

I really enjoy compiling lists like this one. "My day" does sound much more promising and positive than plain "Monday", doesn't it? Now I'm gonna grab myself a cup of coffee and claim this day mine. I hope your day is off to a good and productive start. Let's do this! Have an inspiring week ahead of you. :)

What's your Monday mantra?

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Blythe and Me

Hello! How's your Sunday going, everyone? I hope you're all enjoying the weekend with much rest, good food and fun times with your loved ones. :)

I was really inspired by sweet Emily's recent fun shoot with her Blythe dolls in this post. In fact, we were supposed to go to the park yesterday and I planned on bringing my dolls and camera with me for a little photo shoot of my own, but unfortunately, the scorching weather here in the desert just won't allow us. We went home slightly disappointed. Really can't wait for this cruel summer to wrap up. I miss the outdoors a whole lot! It's hard to keep a cool head sometimes when the sun is just so merciless outside. Even a little bit of rain would really mean so much for my sanity for sure.

I'm curious. What's the weather like in your part of the globe?

These are two of my dolls named Tippy and Lottie. Tippy is a Border Spirit Neo Blythe, while Lottie is a Very Vicky Neo Blythe. You probably know by now how much of a big Blythe fan I am. I don't have a lot of dolls at the moment, but if my finances would allow, I intend to grow my collection in the future *fingers crossed*. So anyway, I've been thinking about starting a new interview series here that would feature some awesome bloggers I know who are also into collecting Blythe dolls. I really enjoy reading posts about other people's stories and adventures with their wide-eyed dollies and I'm glad that a few wonderful ladies have already agreed and signed up for the feature. I'm putting together the first installment right now and so excited to post it here. :)

If you're a blogger who has a Blythe doll collection, I'd love to feature you here! I don't care if you only have two dolls or a hundred. This invitation is open for all Blythe-loving bloggers. I wanna hear your own amazing story! If you're up for it, please send an email to aizzing(at)icingandwrite(dot)com so I can hook you up with the details.


Good food weekend

There's really nothing like waking up to good food on a weekend morning. Today is officially our cheat day. That means no more counting calories or thinking about managing our weight. We're gonna stuff our tummies with favorites and just simply enjoy all these blessings that we have. It's nice to stay inspired and to reward ourselves from time to time with great-tasting treats after a week of hard work. :)

I woke up to the smell of awesome pancakes for breakfast that I just had to follow it up with something equally good for lunch. A quick look inside our fridge and I ended up cooking caldereta or meat stew, which everyone enjoyed.

Last night, we grabbed a couple of friends and went to our favorite Korean restaurant for dinner which is only a few blocks away from our house. We missed this place! It's been months since the last time we visited. We had bulgogiojingeo bokkeum and of course, countless servings of kimchi. :)

Sorry for the photo-heavy post. Did I just make you hungry? We just can't say no to good food around here!

Do you also have a cheat day? :)


How To: Disable 'Please prove you're not a robot'

I'm not a robot. Seriously, I'm not! I don't see the point why I have to prove my humanity to you over and over again.

How many times has this happened to you? You type in excitedly to give your favorite blogger a virtual high-five for her recent amazing post then this ridiculous "prove-you're-not-a-robot" prompt comes up completely ruining the moment. This word verification thing is really sucking the fun out of commenting. Sometimes it's the one thing that usually prevents me from letting a blogger know that I visited and read her post. I couldn't even decipher those two words 80% of the time!

Please make me a very happy blog-hopper by disabling this. It only takes a few clicks to do so. If you are using the Blogger platform, you can click on your blog's 'settings', select 'posts, comments and sharing', and choose a big "NO" under 'Show word verification'. That's it! Easy peasy. :)

Anyway, I'm feeling really sorry for myself right now. When will I ever learn? Eventually got into the trendwagon once again and purchased an ebook copy of Fifty Shades of Grey the other day. I'm not even finished with Chapter One and I already lost count how many times this Anastasia Steele flushed. I'm telling you, this girl has some major flushing problem! She's either flushing, blushing or turning crimson almost in every page and it's driving me insane. It's unbelievable! I really think Fifty Shades of Flushing is a more appropriate title for this book.

No longer sure if I can still will myself to finish reading the entire book. It's disappointing. What's worse is, I already got the trilogy because I thought I'll be saving tons if I got the discounted bundle. I feel like I've been duped or something.

Have you read the book? I'm not sure but maybe some of you found this book good and for some strange reason I find it unbearable. Don't worry. Even if you consider Fifty Shades of Grey as your favorite book or something, we're cool. I still love you. Haha! Please don't take this against me, okay? :)

Sorry if this post sounds like a complete rant-fest. Promise, I'll stop right here. Fortunately, it's already weekend tomorrow. Planning on visiting my favorite Korean restaurant with our friends tonight. I'm excited! How's things in your side of the fence? What are you up to? :)
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