Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A Review of Journey Girls Kelsey Doll,a Few Updates, and a Big Annoucement (For me anyway...)

  A while back you may have seen that I had been trying to lose weight. That effort kind of got laid aside for a bit when I got sick in March,(And managed to actually GAIN weight while sick and not eating much for a whole week!). Since then I've been trying to maintain the 10 pounds I had managed to lose before I got sick. (Maybe the pills the doctor has just put me on to take care of a slow thyroid will help get me on track.)Since I have been fighting a nearly losing battle to lose weight and had requested that Ken not buy me a lot of candy for Easter, instead he bought me something I've been wanting for a while now: a Journey Girls doll.  

I love red haired dolls, so Kelsey was my choice.I think this is the third series of Journey Girls dolls. The previous series was Paris, and this one seems to be London. That makes this doll a fitting gift for me right now, for a reason I will tell you at the end of this review!
Apparently the Journey Girls have won a Best Toy award.

Her box is decorated with pictures of the other Journey Girls and their non-doll counter parts...

...and images of travel stamps, and pictures of Kelsey's destination.

My favourite place: London.

One side has a window so you can see more of the doll before you buy.
Her box was sealed with the usual tape.I cheated and sliced it instead of peeling it. I'm lazy.

The insert slid out easily.

Kelsey was held in her box by wire twist ties on her ankles,some elastic bands,a piece of plastic...

...and this strange thing:

I didn't realize what it was at first. It actually has claws in the front that had an elastic band on them that held her head in place.

The elastic was easily slipped off the 'claws', (It's off in the picture, but the claws are around her neck.) and she came out.All in all she was easy to remove from her insert and kids really wouldn't need more than minimal help, (If any.) to remove her.Here is Kelsey straight out of the box.

 The inside of her box is decorated with airline tickets and pictures of Big Ben, (Actually, 'Big Ben' is the name of the bell inside The Elizabeth Tower, the clock tower at the end of the Houses of Parliament.Over the years the name has come to include the clock tower as well.), and the Leaning Tower of Pisa.(Ok,why the Leaning Tower when the theme of this series of Journey Girls is London?)
Inside there is also a 'luggage tag' with a picture of the human version of Kelsey, and some information about her in three languages.

The human Kelsey doesn't look much like Doll Kelsey.

Here's how Kelsey's hair looked straight out of the box.

It had three elastic bands on it. The top one was twisted a couple of times, but the bottom two were just slipped on. In spite of that, when I  took them off they still brought a lot of hair with them.

That worried me a bit.I combed her hair after removing the rubber bands, and found that the bottom was very knotted and hard to comb through.
The hair is somewhat thinly rooted too.

This is pulled back a little, but you can tell it started out thin.
She lost a bit more hair when I tried to comb the knots out.

Why was it so knotted straight out of the box? This doesn't bode well for future hair play, does it? But otherwise her hair is nice and silky. It looks a little like oily hair though. But it's a great colour of dark auburn. Ivy's friend Lainey has this colour hair, and the more orange haired Ivy covets it.

She has non-blinking inset eyes with 'real' lashes. Her eyes are quite realistic. My only negative comment on her face would be that the colour of her eyebrows is a little strange.
Her head doesn't tilt up or down, but when her head is turned to the side it slightly tilts upward on the swivel.

Kelsey is wearing a comfy looking shirt with a crown on the front. The only thing I don't like is the slightly leathery look to the sleeve fabric.

The shirt closes in back with Velcro.

Her head band matches her skirt. It's attached to her head with a couple of those little plastic thingies.

It has elastic in the back to make it easy to take on and off.

The cute plaid skirt has an elastic waist.

A lot of the Kelseys in the store had problems with their pleats. They didn't seem to lay properly.
Her sheer looking tights are actually lined all the way inside, even the legs.

That will make them much longer lasting for play.It does give them a weird side seam though, that looks like they are lined only at the bottom half of the legs.

Her shoes are rubber slip ons, but the bows are real ribbon.

Under her tights she has plastic covering her feet.

That is a good thing, considering that the plastic has black stains on it. There aren't any stains on her legs, so it has to have come from the shoes and not the tights. Nice of them to put the plastic on her feet, but since they obviously know the shoes will stain the doll, why not do something about it instead? What if the owner wants to use the shoes without the tights? It's clear you aren't going to be able to without staining  the doll. 

Journey Girls have vinyl limbs and head, but they also have a vinyl chest plate, which makes them look nicer in V-necks or clothes with shoulder straps, than the cloth chested dolls like American Girl.
She has a fairly detailed and realistic looking clavicle.

But absolutely no behind.
This angle looks really strange.
She has the Journey Girls tag on her body.
'Geoffrey' is  Toys R Us' own brand.

She's jointed at the neck, shoulders, and hips.Her arms and legs have some outward movement as well as up and down.

Her legs can be turned outward a little, which is necessary sometimes when balancing her for standing.

                                                       But she can stand on her own.

And sit fairly ladylike.

She has a beautiful face.

 She's very fair skinned, but anybody who thinks real people couldn't possibly be this pale hasn't met me and my kids.

This gives you a look at her ear.Not especially detailed, but it looks fine.
Today we are having temperatures in the low 40s. (That's Fahrenheit.) When I took these pictures last Friday it looked like Spring was actually here and deciding to stay. The daffodils were blooming...

...and the wild violets,

and the iris's and the peony bush are coming up.The garlic is VERY prolific.

That's not grass she's standing in. It's garlic.
 The amaryllis' were starting to bloom. I've since had to bring them back inside.

The lilacs will be blooming very soon, if they don't get frozen tonight.
I LOVE my lilacs! They smell wonderful!

 And here are some more pictures of the very photogenic Kelsey.

There are those leathery sleeves. They're soft, but somewhat shiny.
 That gorgeous face.

 These shots are nice...

...but they do have one drawback:
This is sideways, but you can see the problem. My own hair kept falling in the way. I really should tie it back before doing this stuff.
Her body seems nice and sturdy. That hair worries me though. It could definitely be improved on.Her clothes are nice quality and easy to take on and off. I don't like the staining aspect of the shoes. It would have been nice if her head could tilt, for more expression in her poses.
  And one more shot of beautiful Kelsey.

My baby tomatoes are growing like crazy.
These are the ones I left growing in the amaryllis pot.
These are growing from the method that I used on purpose this year, after it happened accidentally last year: I dropped a 'past it' tomato in a couple of my amaryllis pots at the end of last season and let nature take it's course.Some of the tomatoes started too early and died out, but this batch is doing really well, other than a few I moved to their own little egg carton. A few of those, which I moved to thin out the seedlings so they could keep growing,failed to take. I am notorious for my black thumb, so that's not really surprising.
   I also finally managed to find actual full blooded beefsteak tomato seeds at an Earth Fare grocery store. They're heirloom seeds. Up until now all I had been able to find were hybrid seeds for some kind of beefsteak crossover. I don't want any changed around, mutated seeds. I want REAL beefsteak tomatoes. So I'm hoping these will grow as well as my 'nature's course' tomatoes!
  My nose is healing nicely, although it's still a little sore and red and slightly puffy. The doctor says it will be that way for a while, but eventually the swelling will go away.My head is still tender too, but I got the stitches out today. Turns out, there were actually more than four in there. Probably more than 6. But the cyst was benign, so that's ok.
  I finally found a hat that didn't look quite as idiotic on me. That's a relief since I'm supposed to wear one all the time. This one is soft and squashy too, so I can take it places with me without having to worry that it will get messed up like a straw hat might. I was forced to borrow one of Fuzzy's hats to go to the flea market last Saturday, and the bill wasn't nearly big enough. It was one of those almost Andy Capp type hats, so there wasn't much bill at all. My nose and head were covered though, which was the most important stuff to cover right now.
  As for the reason London Kelsey is the perfect gift for me, here it is: My family is being given a tremendous gift. Regular readers may know that my husband Ken is from England. He celebrated his 21st birthday over here, and hasn't been back since. I've been there twice since he's been home. (Both times were before I met him, even though most people assume I got him while I was over there. Weird, huh? For that story, go HERE.) He's now 52, so that's been a LONG time. One of Ken's sisters was going to bring the other two over with her and come to visit. When they couldn't get their schedules in sync Ken's oldest sister had another idea: Bring Ken over instead! I was thrilled when she suggested the idea because I knew Ken would LOVE to go home. We have always wanted to, but it was just never in the budget, especially after we had kids to include in the trip too. I thought the offer was for only Ken to come, so when the sister's called back when Ken was home and I found out that I was going to be included too I was shocked. How could we be so lucky?! Ken has always wanted to show the kids where he grew up, and Emma has always wanted to go  to England. I suggested I would tell Emma and maybe she would want to come along. Ken's sister said she couldn't bring three of us over, and I assured her I meant Emma would pay for herself. We also were going to try to get enough money together to bring Ivy too. (As I figured, Fuzz didn't want to go.) A couple of texts later we were told that Ken's sister was going to bring all four of us over! Ken can't stop talking about it and making plans. Emma has been making sure we get the things done we need to do, like getting our passports sent for and getting appropriate luggage. (Ken's old luggage is too heavy, and nobody thinks I should use my nylon bags.) Most of our time will be spent with family, but we wanted to let the girls see a bit of London, so we added a few more days to the trip. Ivy can't think of anything specific she wants to see, just 'stuff', but the rest of us have plans.Emma insists that I go stand on the Greenwich Meridian, since I have always said that I regret having lived right across the street from Greenwich Park for three months and never got around to it. Ken is making a mental list of all the foods he wants to eat while he's there, or bring home with him. It will eventually become a paper list. We've been trying to arrange getting together with some friends while we're there.Ken hasn't seen his best friend Robert for 31 years! Robert lives in the south, but is prepared to travel north to Ken's sister's area if he has to. That's a good friend. Not to short my friend Cheryl. She's coming to London from where she lives to meet us, but it's a much shorter trip than Robert going all the way to Yorkshire.
  Anyway, we're all thrilled and excited. I'll take lots of pictures and hopefully I can do some posts on dolls available there when I get home. Maybe I'll even buy something...


  1. Hi Tam,
    Kelsey is adorable! I love her eyes! You did a great job reviewing her and your pictures are beautiful! I'm so glad that you are recovering well. Congratulations on your upcoming trip to England! That is so exciting! I just read the wonderful story of how you and your husband met, and all the things that had to transpire to make that happen. You did such an amazing job writing it, I felt like I had watched a movie. Delightful! :)

    1. Thanks for all your comments. I especially appreciate your thoughts on my writing. I always wanted to be a writer, so that means a lot to me! I always thought our story would have made a good 80's or 90's style romantic comedy!

  2. That is so awesome! I was going to say what a great doll Kelsey is, and she is, but once I got to the story about London, Kelsey was all but forgotten. What a wonderful gift! I am a Brit at heart. Just a couple days ago I finally visited the British store near my home. I was in heaven. I've been having tea and crumpets the past few days. I've had a coffee press for awhile now. I've been feeling mighty British lately. Have a wonderful time!

    1. Thanks so much. Ken can't wait to eat all the things he's been missing, and bring some of it home! (Especially since we just found out that alot of his favourite British candy bars will soon be longer allowed to be imported, due to competition worries and the fact that some of them have logos that look too much like American ones. It's pretty ridiculous.I can't wait to see Ken in England. He's so excited. The foods I'm most looking forward to having again/bringing home are a carbonated apple juice called Appletise,and a dessert called Angel Delite, (The strawberry flavour. It's the closest thing to something we got when I was a kid, called Whip and Chill.). I'm also going to stock up on my favourite deodorant! It's called Mum, (But I only want the blue scent!).

  3. What an exciting trip! I hope you and your family have a very happy, rewarding time.

    Thank you for the review of the Journey Girl. I haven't seen a lot of reviews of those. My youngest daughter and I are pale too. :)

    1. Thanks Barb. Your family must be like ours: My two red heads are pale like me, and Ken too really. Emma was always more olive skinned.She looks like Ken's side of the family,but my mom always said my sister was olivey when she was a kid, so maybe she does get it from my side.

    2. Mr. BTEG is Italian, and he and my eldest daughter have very olive skin. Like, looks slightly greenish in the right light olive skin.

    3. Wow. Actual olive green, huh? We always joke that Emma is still not as pale as the rest of us because she was our 'golden girl'. She ate too many beta carotene rich foods when she was a toddler and she turned vaguely orange.

  4. What a great news to visit London! It will be great. Have a nice trip!
    Take care of you

  5. Thanks. We're all excited! Somehow I missed directing people to your blogs when you joined, so I'm doing that on my next post.

  6. Those are gorgeous news! I wish you a wonderful trip to London :). It must be so exciting!
    I'm very pale too and people often wondered why I didn't become brown in summer^^.
    The doll is a really pretty girl!

    1. Thanks so much. I wish I could bring back a souvenir for everybody!
      Actually, I tan,but I always liked what a friend called my "fish belly complexion'! Now that I have had that skin cancer I HAVE to stay pale. My doctor said I have to wear a hat and a sun screen that's at least 50 SPF whenever I'm in the sun. I hate wearing a hat in the summer and I hate the smell of sunscreen, but it's better than cancer!


Thanks in advance for your comments.