My 200th post?!?!?!

They say that “time flies when you’re having fun”, and in the case of this blog, I’d have to say I agree.  I honestly didn’t know what to expect when I started it.  I thought if I had a couple of readers besides immediate friends and family, I’d be doing well.  I’ve been very blessed to have a nice group of “regulars” and made some wonderful friendships in the process.

One of the things about blogging that I’ve always found of interest were reading the stats.  Depending on which blogging platform you use, you can get information about what countries your readers come from, what posts they like, how many hits a post has received and a variety of other information. I’m sure some bloggers use it as a gauge to see what is working and what isn’t.  I just have fun reading it to see what’s catching peoples interests.  I thought it might be fun to share some of that with all of you in celebration of my 200th post.

The pages that have gotten the most hits really aren’t a surprise:  Other Doll Blogs I Enjoy, Meet The Dolls, About Me and Check Out My Other Blog took the top spots.  I fully expected that, especially since my blog is still relatively “new” in doll world, and I’m getting new readers all the time.  Recently the bakery display case tutorial took off, I suspect from parents who had planned on buying the AG version but discovered it sold out and refuse to pay the ridiculous Ebay prices.  After that though, the blog post that got the most hits was “Alya’s Stuff Arrives”.  That also didn’t surprise me, and I can’t take all of the credit for that, the blog got a massive amount of hits when that post was featured over at Doll Diaries as a “Pick of the Week” (thanks Karen!), that was actually quite funny.  I remember that morning, checking things in my activity and my hits were off the charts and climbing, I didn’t realize what had happened until I looked at the stats further.  Talk about a nice surprise!!

Alyas stuff 2

Most of my other popular ones have been craft related where I had posted links to them over at Pinterest, or had sent in photos with links to Doll Diaries Sunday Showcase.  I’m always pleased when one of my craft projects gets a hit or a Pin, that’s one of the main reasons I started this blog.  I love sharing my ideas with other crafty folks!  One that does surprise me is the popularity of “Doll Sized Finds”, I never realized that I could combine my love of dolls and thrift store shopping and get so much interest.  Just goes to show that you never know.

Valentine 20

So where do all of these hits come from?  As one would imagine, the bulk of them come from the United States (by a landslide).  That is followed by Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia.  The rest are from all over the world, I’ve had hits from 70 different countries and territories!!!  I thought that was really cool, it just shows the range of interest in dolls around the world.  Now I’m sure a few of those hits were from “bots” and not a real person, but it can’t be that many.

How do they find me?  I thought it was particularly interesting that most of my hits come from search engines.  I’m assuming from people looking for doll blogs or related subjects.  The rest come from a variety of sources, many from other doll blogs, either ones I’ve commented on or who list me in their own lists of favorite reads.  To those people I say “Thank You”, I truly appreciate that!

Now for the funny part.  (You knew I wasn’t going to have a post without at least one funny thing in it!)  I mentioned that search engines send the bulk of the traffic my way.  WordPress gives me the ability to look and see what the search words were that people used.  “Doll Blog” was number one (no surprise) and the rest for the most part were doll related: thrift store doll, American girl blog, Pixie Faire patterns, etc.  BUT, some of these are hilarious and I can’t help but wonder how in the world they managed to end up at my blog with these searches:

doll that can talk that can say holle i want to eat

my neigbour girl is not allowed to have dolls

sayhel herd broken video

cassie lee my spunkey lover

usedvictoria tamagotchi

expenive potary and cristal

The last two were my favorites–not only did neither of them make any sense, but how did they end up here?!  (insert head scratch!)  I didn’t do any spelling edits on any of those either, I just copied and pasted from the logs.  Too funny! 🙂

In closing, I just want to thank all of you that read the blog, support my efforts and have become my friends.  It is truly fun to combine my love of dolls with my love of photography and story telling, and it is rewarding to see it appreciated.  I have no idea how long I will continue to do this, but as long as I have readers and I’m able to do it, I’m sure I’ll still be writing.  To 200 more!

The Red Sweater (and a new Etsy seller I’ve discovered!)

I love sweaters.  And I love the color red.  Combine the two, and I’m happy as a clam.  One day I was poking around Etsy and I came across the cutest red sweater to fit 18 inch dolls.  I debated for quite a while about getting it, then it disappeared, argh!  Eventually the seller listed another one and I didn’t waste any time buying it this time around.  So glad I did too.
red sweater 2 copyrightAs soon as it arrived, Rebecca immediately volunteered to model it. Can’t say that I blame her either, it looks really good on her. I want one in my size now!

Are you ready for the best part…
red sweater 3 copyrightBUTTONS!!! No Velcro, no trying to pull it over the dolls head, no stretching it out or yanking a dolls arm loose. PERFECTION. 🙂

Here are some photos of the sweater by itself, the workmanship on it is top notch:

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I think this sweater is one of the prettiest styles I’ve seen and very well made. I purchased it from Lil Princess Doll Store, she sells a wide variety of items to fit both 18 inch dolls as well as Bitty Baby. Her hats are adorable, Evil Twin bought one from her a while back. I definitely will be buying more!

Review of Our Generation “Fun Day Sun Day” set

Once Fiona joined our group here, I decided she needed a swim suit.  She’s a bit of an athlete, so when I saw the “Fun Day Sun Day” set from Our Generation, I thought it would be perfect for her.  She is learning how to water ski, so that life jacket will come in handy!  I lucked out, Target was not only offering free shipping when I ordered it, but they had a lot of OG stuff on sale, PLUS I had the 25% off toy coupon to use.  Regular price on this set is $12.99 but by the time I got all of the discounts, I got it for $8.74 and had it delivered to my door. Crazy thing is right after I ordered it, I noticed it was gone from the Target website (along with a bunch of other OG items). Not sure if that is permanent or not, but sure glad I ordered it when I did.
fun day 1 copyrightDoesn’t this look great on her? I have to say that the fit on both pieces is very good, and I do think that navy blue is a good color for her. Coverage is more than sufficient on this swimsuit on an AG doll, easy to put on, unlike the OG suit I bought earlier this summer, very little tugging and pulling to get it on her. The life vest is beyond adorable, and also fits very well. Glad to see that OG is making stuff that fits AG better, I hope this continues.fun day 2 copyright
I thought these sandals were adorable! They are the same sandals that come with “Beachy Keen”, just in a different color. These were a little weird though, one went right on, but the other one, yikes! I struggled for a little bit and then it finally went on. I’m hoping by leaving them on her for over 24 hours they will be stretched enough to avoid that in the future. I doubt that there was that much difference in the size of her feet. I do have to say that I’m also very pleased to see OG making shoes that not only fit AG dolls better, but are cute too. Most of the last couple of outfits I have bought from them have come with very nice shoes.

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Here is a shot of the swimsuit uncovered. I think it’s a very nice swimsuit for a young girl, and as you can see, coverage is very good. I didn’t include a back shot because it’s pretty much the same. The coverage on the behind is good, no dolly butt cheeks hanging out! (that drives me nuts!)
fun day 4 copyrightThe set comes with goggles instead of sunglasses, aren’t they awesome??? The fit on these is outstanding, but I will give anyone who purchases this set a bit of a tip. Be sure to hook them in the back first before putting them on the doll, then you can adjust the snugness. Even off the doll they are a bit difficult to hook, but totally worth the effect.  I also thought these goggles might work with the snow suit in a pinch!fun day 5 copyright
The set also includes a decent sized beach towel, and an assortment of faux shells. The shells are pretty and fairly realistic looking, although I might have preferred a different accessory. Not that they are horrible, but I would have liked something more interactive like a floatie or other beach toy. Not a biggie. As with all OG clothing sets, a hanger was included as well. Another thing I want to note is that if you order OG clothing from the Target website, it comes in a plastic bag inside a nice box, none of that struggling with packaging like the sets you buy from the stores. No tape, no strings, just some of the smaller items wrapped in some tissue to prevent loss/damage. That alone might keep me coming back to the website to buy instead.

Overall, I give this set an A+! I think it looks great, has tons of play value and everything is well made. I’ve noticed that OG is really stepping up the game on quality recently and I’m happy to see that. They make a nice line of clothes and accessories that are a terrific alternative to some of the other lines. Good job! Now Fiona is just keeping her fingers crossed that we don’t have the algae issues with the lake next year…