Tiny Horse

Fashion, beauty, food, art…pleasing to the senses


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Hot August Days

I used Formula X nail polish in this shimmery beige silk shade that acted as a great backdrop for my pink flower decal on the accent nail. I’m modeling on top of the book I just recently finished–La Casa de los Espiritus by Isabel Allende. It uses magical realism (as many Latin American novels are wont to do) and the stories are interesting but the female characters were weak and oppressed for the most part. The other characters are pretty frustrating and they don’t really develop or change. Still, a solid summer read.

I did a gradient look with 5 shades of purple. I probably have the most of purples because there were at least 5 others I could have incorporated if I had more fingers. They were a mix of OPI, Essie, Trust Fund Beauty and Pretty Woman NYC. Three of them were full size bottles from Ipsy bags!

The book I’m currently reading is How Are You Going to Save Yourself by JM Holmes. It’s a fictional (I hope) memoir of 4 young black friends on the East Coast growing up. I am about 3/4 of the way finished and while I don’t particularly mind the style or the quality of writing, the subject matter and events are deeply disturbing. I can’t relate to any of the characters or see the logic behind any of their actions and I find them despicable, immature and extremely selfish. Maybe the author will wrap up nicely with some morals or SOME type of positive message to go off of.

My daffodil turned one last month! I did the minimal amount of decorating for a small party and made her wear her birthday outfit (that’s it! She’s never going to fit this for her 2nd birthday…What a short shelf life!). I took her bow off halfway through her party but at least some pics!

I’m usually so good at recording and remembering every single gift Daphne has ever received but drew a complete blank as to who gave me her tutu birthday outfit!

The fanciest cake we’ve ever bought–swiss chocolate truffle ganache cake. It was heavenly.

Daphne is sporting one of her birthday gifts and accessorizing with a bright Kate Spade bag!

I wanted to give a shout out to @Spiritbearbath for sending me this lovely and pampering self care package as part of her giveaway on Instagram! She packed me 4 XL bath bombs, 2 essential oil rollerballs and 4 shower steamers. The aromas filled my hallway as soon as I opened the box! They all smell so soothing and relaxing! This was my first time using shower steamers and they are fun! You place one at the back of your tub and the hot water and steam will release all the essential oils throughout your whole shower! her products are all natural and high quality! Check out her shop on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/spiritbearbath#.

 

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Summer Picks

I’ll gladly caption this picture! My work teamed up with this local cupcakery called StudeCakers and had them come during a lunchtime to sell their gorgeous creations! Part of the proceeds even went to the AHA – American Heart Association Pittsburgh local chapter!

First row = samoa, maple bacon pancake with YES, that is a mini pipette of syrup and strawberry milkshake with mini straw and malted ball

Second row = cookies ‘n cream with a truffled Oreo ball inside, duplicate of that maple bacon and a chocolate chip cookie dough

For this amazing presentation, these gems were $2 each, which is slightly lower than less fancy cupcakes at local bakeries!

I won another Pinchme beauty giveaway! This collab featured this ultra chic beauty company called Poppy & Pout and includes the following:

-3 full size body scrubs

-3 full size citrusy lip balms

The packaging had no plastic in it so I unfortunately pushed too enthusiastically at my lip balm and now it’s stuck at that height. There’s no way to push it back down so…just gotta use this sucker as is! That Lime Rush flavor is so refreshing and summery! Just wish the smell would linger longer! Feels great and isn’t waxy at all on your lips. I highly recommend you check Poppy & Pout out!

This is the current shower gel I’m using and boy, does bath time feel like a treat! I got this from Memebox last year and am still not over the fact they don’t sell any of their amazing beauty boxes anymore or have a loyalty points system. I was their biggest fan. Anyways, here’s my take on this Happy Bath grapefruit sparkling ale body wash:

Pros:

smells like bubbly wine + real grapefruit! Nothing artificial

packaging is just too cute; like a pint of beer

lathers well

smell actually lingers on you after you dry off!

 

Cons:

hard to use on loofah

too runny and comes out really quickly

half the bottle is just foam and the actual product is very little

expensive!

Uhhhh, this is just the fanciest, tastiest drink I’ve ever had. This bottle is so dangass tiny though. It tastes like a sparkling, slightly tart lemonade with a fragrant rose smell! Packaging, color, taste, just all awesome! It was like $3 at Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop. For special occasions only, lol.

Y’all gotta check out Little Poppy Co. It’s a monthly subscription for bows and headbands and the designs are just too cute! Here is August’s! Can’t wait for my biddyboo to have longer, nicer hair to be able to flaunt some of these!

Today is this little angeldoll’s FIRST birthday! To think, this exact time last year, I was a bulbous mess going into the OR for my spinal block…oh glob, I’m so glad that’s over because LOOK WHAT I MADE! She is my joy!


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Codenames Marvel!

Here we go! This past weekend, I hosted several rounds of #Codenames @Marvel edition! Thanks to @usaopoly and @tryazon! The funny thing is, I had never played any version of Codenames before. Everyone in the group had played at least the base game before so I turned out to be the n00b! I was under the impression that you had to be a pretty good Marvel fan in order to play but nope! The barrier to entry to this game is really low and it’s versatile for all ages! Nate’s daughter ended up beating my team on the 2nd round! You just have to be good at giving and getting visual clues. The alternate way to play is just with the words on the back of the cards. I think I prefer the pictures because it’s fun to look at the art but it’s nice to change things up too!

I played as a member of S.H.I.E.L.D. on all the rounds while hubby played as Hydra :).

These guys got competitive during the later rounds! They didn’t want to be pictured at first but I got them in the end, hehe.

Daphne is modeling the prize pack! She helped in the game by grabbing cards off the table, removing the already placed markers and smushing the bags. I would say she added a certain random element ;).

Overall, everyone had a blast and this is definitely getting added to my arsenal of social icebreaker games for future game nights! I will keep on playing and keep on hosting!

@usaopoly, @czechgames, @Marvel #codenames, #usaopoly and #tryazon

Oh, and my post won’t be complete without showing off my mani of the week and the book I’ve been reading for a while. Here is my take on summery ice cream names! Sorbet frenzy or gelato soiree! I used Essie for 2 of the colors and Pretty Woman NYC for the rest.

This book The Locksmith’s Daughter by Karen Brooks definitely has the potential to be a thrilling historical fiction set in Elizabethian times, but it is way longer than it needs to be and it’s cringeworthily obvious at times about setting up the love interests. I’m just halfway through and it’s been almost 3 weeks so I’ve started reading 2 other books on the side simultaneously. *Sigh, it’s not cheating if you eventually go back to the main book, right?


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Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

This is an oldie but goodie. I used Essie’s creamy Peach Side Babe with Sally Hansen’s opal and added a cute cartoon kitty decal for accent! This book Elegance by Kathryn Tessaro is truly shallow, unbelievable hogwash disguised as feminine wisdom. Nice cover art with black edged pages but trust me, it’s been donated already.

I wanted to share this giveaway that I actually won on Insta! It was hosted by @Pinchme and @Kopari for the following products shown back in May. There was lack of communication about the delays and a missent first package and a month of waiting buuuuuuuuuuut I finally got it so I can say IT’S REAL, Y’ALL! Just check out that gorgeous box! Prize package includes:

-14-day oil pulling sticks

-4-piece pink skincare deluxe set

-full size natural deodorant

Whatever the effectiveness of the products is…Kopari already wins with its aloha-glam packaging! I actually read that whole info booklet that came with everything and it is sassy AF. This will be my first time trying this brand so I’m hella excited to try all this coconuty, Hawaiian goodness!

Thanks, Pinchme and Kopari Beauty!

Also wanted to show off my own packaging skillz. This is a present for my sister in law’s upcoming baby shower. This tissue paper is just so festive and chic! It totally gives me Kate Spade (sad face) vibes. Well, hope she’ll like it!


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Rituals Review

I was recently selected to participate in this unique and lovely sampling opportunity from @RitualsUSA via @Tryazon. I received an exquisitely – packaged 4-piece luxury bath set.

Rituals has an assortment of different scents of products and it’s unique that each scent is its own line! I received the Ritual of Sakura foaming shower gel, body cream, shower oil and body scrub in their travel deluxe sizes all in a gorgeous keepsake box. This set retails for $28 at Ulta, Macy’s and Amazon.

First of all, the scent…It’s feminine, sweet and flowery. All the products give you a really strong burst of the scent as soon as you open the bottle and also as you are using them. However, it does soften after the application but unfortunately, does not linger quite as long as I expected. So for me, it’s too heady to begin with but does not have nearly enough staying power. It is different from the Bath & Body Works version of all their cherry blossom varieties.

The body cream was the most effective product! It had the perfect texture of a thick, substantial body butter without the tackiness or greasiness. This absorbed like a dream and was so easy and smooth to apply. If you go for any of the products in full size, I’d recommend this one! It really does scream high quality and luxury. I put on my summer silk robe and felt like a pampered lady indeed when I used this product!

This foaming shower gel was the most innovative of the set! You shake this baby and pump out this milky, translucent looking gel that instantly transforms to a thick foam and gives you an amazing lather in the shower! The only drawback of this product is that you end up using too much at a time. A little goes a long way but that pump makes it hard to control the amount that comes out so I’ll be running out of this real soon!

The scrub had very fine granules so the exfoliating feeling is quite gentle! All my body scrubs are pretty abrasive and contain big sugar chunks so this was a pampering alternative!

The bath oil really seemed like the most luxurious simply because of the feeling you get of being enveloped in a fragrant oil. I literally closed my eyes during the application in the shower, haha!

If anything, these products together formed a pleasant routine or ritual, I should say ;). Ah, see what I did there? As a working mother of a young babby, it felt like stolen moments when I could actually take time for myself and indulge in a seemingly mundane act of cleansing oneself. These 4 products made that mundane task seem like a luxurious slow-mo moment. Everything they claim comes through! Probably the only suggestion I would make to this company is to consider a crisper/fresher scent formulation. I love the products and their textures but the Sakura scent was too much even for a scent-crazed being like myself. To go along with the Asian theme, I would pick osmanthus (my favorite scent in the world) or lychee instead.

To wrap up this post, I of course have to show off my mani (Essie + Sephora) and the book I was reading at the time. The Optimist’s Guide to Letting Go by Amy E. Reichert was a fast read that was enjoyable but lacked depth in describing relationships. I gave it a solid 3 stars out of 5.


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Spring Looks

This wedding season mani is brought to you by Adesse’s cabana boy (straight up identical to Essie’s bikini so teeny) from my May Ipsy bag. The feather decal is a highlight! I’m modeling on top of my new fab Rachel Pally clutch from the spring edit Fabfitfun box! I liked every single product except one–which almost never happens! It was personalized so well for me! I’m not sure I could do every quarter ($50, I believe per box) but this one time purchase was a success.

Due to the cold, dark, rainy weather, I was not able to wear my wedding guest outfit in its full glory but here it is paired with said clutch and dusty rose high heeled booties! I’m taking the whole pale pink/periwinkle color combo pretty seriously here! It’s also my first time sporting a choker and I felt like it added the perfect accent to this outfit. In hindsight, I probably should have brought my curler but argh, it just takes so much time to do. Alas, the fancy Oribe texturizing spray could not inject a bit of volume into my ramrod straight tresses.

My friend’s wedding took place at The Chanler in Newport, RI. It’s a pretty English-style hotel and restaurant overlooking the beach and official start of the Cliffwalk (which I’ll get to!). It was really small and we were stuck on the terrace the whole time with a plastic screen zipped up and some heated lamps to protect us from the elements. The lobby and restaurant area are not meant for big parties and the old wooden floor was actually slanted and crooked in areas! That’s New England for ya! I wish the grounds were bigger and grander but I guess the scenery was nice.

My friend has very good taste so the decor was all pink floral with delicate arrangements as centerpieces. It was the smallest wedding I’ve been to so far but the quality of guests was definitely the best I’ve ever encountered. I talked to such accomplished, interesting people and almost forgot about the fact that there wasn’t a dance floor or a DJ! So yeah…no line dancing or raving!

Wow, the Cliff Walk! John and I weathered over 3 miles of terrain ranging from dirt paths, uneven boulders, sand paths to razor sharp rocks (spoken like Gimli of course). The mansions that everyone talked about were unaccessible and tucked out of sight from the hike. I loved it but definitely underestimated the endurance you’ll need to get to the end! We had to call a Lyft to get us to a restaurant because we were not going to walk yet another mile into the shopping area.

It was my first time abroad the ferry from Long Island to CT so this was an interesting experience!

This totally unedited photo shows an eerie, pale yellowish afterglow right after a rainstorm yesterday. Luckily we have our solarium to enjoy such sights!


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Sustainable Me!

Essie ladylike nail polish paired with Estee Lauder’s bold glittery plum! I’m liking this tame mani for this frigid spring. The book I was reading at the time was The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough. I would describe it as the Gone with the Wind of Australian sheep country, lol. This thick tome is a sweeping multi-generation family saga. WWII even happens in the middle of it! The writing is superb and the story is gripping. It’s everything I love in a historical fiction drama, so kudos to McCullough!

Wow. You have no idea how lucky I consider myself to qualify for this voxbox from Influenster! I’ve been a member for a few years but rarely have the chance to receive any beauty goodies to review. Saturday Skin is actually a Korean beauty brand that is pretty much only selling via Sephora right now. These are full size products if you can believe it! Here is the breakdown:

-foam cleanser

-featherweight moisturizer

-hydrating sheet mask

-rub a dub dub peel gel

I tried every product and here’s my ranking:

  1. moisturizer – packaging is brilliantly hygienic! You have to push down and the perfect amount of product comes out in a flower shape. It’s so lightweight as the name suggests and it absorbs on my skin so well! This is great for day and night, all seasons!
  2. peel gel – I don’t normally like peel gels but this one wasn’t like ones I’ve used in the past. The consistency is opaque and not quite a gel, which I like! The microbeads disappear as you rub around and it really did feel like a gentle exfoliator!
  3. cleanser – lathered pretty well, easy to wash off but didn’t quite remove all my makeup residue (which I shouldn’t expect…but the claims!). Need to mention now that the scent of all these products are just juicy heavenliness. It was faint but each smelled like a fancy fruit like lychee mixed with green apple mixed with papaya.
  4. sheet mask – a bit tricky to use this right, haha! There were TWO pieces of mesh that you are supposed to remove. It was a slippery, kind of thick, chunky sheet mask. I also don’t like sheet masks very much (this is starting to change as I’m making myself try them more!) but I will have to say that my face felt really nice afterwards. I rubbed in the remaining essence and my skin felt plump and nourished.

Mmmmm…I still remember this meal so well. I made my own spice rub and dipping sauce for this majestic slab of pork spare ribs. Then we have my springy lemon butter garlic asparagus and honey drizzled jumbo buttermilk biscuits! Sparkling pink lemonade completes this filling meal! My dad was visiting that weekend so I had to show him a good time :).

I had my boss and her daughter over for dinner so I busted out some unique serverware pieces! Check out the tiny swords for spearing my sesame meatballs! Hubby baked lemon bars and that was a success! The main dish was my Thai peanut noodles using Chinese mung bean cellophane noodles! I love entertaining!

Had to share how cool Daphne looked in her “babyators.”

Oh, my sweet ray of sunshine! My little Daffodil is having fun in the solarium!

Color coordinating with her new mermaid doll. No big D, just have an innately fashion-conscious baby ;).

 

I want to document how 2018 is my year of sustainability! It didn’t start out as a definite resolution or anything but it’s turning into a great lifestyle choice! I’ve always been against waste and trying to cut down on the huge number of disposable products my household is dependent upon. Dish towels, hand towels and rags will always be my go-to for kitchen cleaning, for example. I’ll list out some of my green achievements for this year!

-buying my hubby a set of cotton men’s handkerchieves

He has constant allergies and is cold all the time so there’s a box of tissues in every room and he goes through them monstrously. With this set of 6 nice-looking hankies, I’m hoping to cut down on the massive number of tissues in our house! They are a light turquoise shade and very large in size!

-buying a set of 6 wool dryer balls

With a baby in the household, our loads of laundry have increased tenfold. With every dryer load, we use a dryer sheet and they really add up! After consulting with my crafty friends and reading tons of reviews, I bought a set of wool dryer balls to replace dryer sheets. They bounce all around merrily and knock out some wrinkles! I’ve also dripped a few drops of fragrant oils on them to help disperse the pleasant scent! So far I love them and I have not run into issues with increased static.

-using a menstrual cup

I bought this a few years ago but was too chicken to try it before. After womanning up, I did a trial run on my entire cycle last month and am convinced that this is the way to get rid of tampons for good! It is tricky to put in, even trickier to take out and a bit messy when emptying BUT…you can leave this in here much longer than you can with tampons and after the initial purchase price of this contraption, I can end my dependence on those pesky, TSS causing, expensive period sticks!