Tiny Horse

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


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DIY & Yums

Just a simple sheer opalized coral and an opaque shell mani. I’m modeling on top of this disturbing book Room, by Emma Donahue. It’s narrated by a 5-year old boy who has been trapped in a small enclosed space all his life with his young mother. This is loosely based of the real life story of tragic Elisabeth Fritzl whose demented father held her in his sealed, sound proof basement for TWENTY FOUR years. She gave birth to 7 children of his, one of whom died shortly after. Truth is stranger than fiction, y’all. It’s hard for me to believe that there are many sickos out there in the world who would do this to another human being, let alone…more than one at a time! The one case that hits closest to home is the Cleveland abduction. Anyways, the book was good but it was fictional and too optimistic. All the real life cases are much worse and lasted longer. 

Loved this bath bomb shortcake fizzler! That “topping” in the center is cute and was last to melt.

I decanted this other fancier glass jar of bubble bath into my tiny plastic wine glass for the perfect fit! Now it has a wider opening and looks like bubbly!

I made my own bath crystals! Months ago, I had the foresight to buy a large bag of Ahava mineral bath salts from Marshalls and this week, I mixed some with rose petals, crushed mint leaves, lemon essential oil, coconut oil, a sleep blend of essential oil and achieved this spa-smelling bath treat! I used a few scoops in my last bath and it was delightful! 

I also took on a one-time decoupage project! Go me! I cut out these butterflies from a particularly pretty napkin and brushed on a few layers of Mod Podge onto this cleaned out empty glass candle jar. Viola, now I have a super cute pen holder!

I experimented with different colored wax pieces to achieve these cool lookin’ wax seals! I bought another set of 4 new stamp designs and can’t wait to try them out! I sent out 7 of these hand-written, completely customized and personalized cards and one person never got hers! Someone else got hers a whole month after I sent it so wow, the postal service has been dealing with a lot of delays. 

I made grilled pork kabobs with herbs and a Peruvian spice mix. Gotta say, they turned out SO DANG YUMMY. Cooking with pork is more challenging than chicken or beef but this grilling method was bomb!

Yup, another impulse Amazon purchase that turned into my DIY win! I mixed honeydew powder, whole milk, ice cubes, some honey and premium hibiscus iced black tea to make this miracle! Turns out, I don’t need a bubble tea shop during quarantine! 

I made this version of bibimbap that was healthy and good! Ground beef, fried egg (with a slightly runny yolk), sliced avocado, scallions, black beans, minced onions and baby portabello mushrooms over rice drizzled over with Sriracha sauce. Mmmhmmm!

For lunch today, I seared sea scallops in a pan with butter, minced garlic, lemon juice, sprinkled with some salt, black pepper and parsley. Simple and oh, so divine! 

My background, ladies and gentlemen! So it doesn’t look like this right now but a few weeks back…damn, my whole backyard should have been featured in Better Homes & Gardens.

Just look at these perfectly pink blossoms!

Okay, now this is a separate photo entry to National Geographic. Right in our pond, people! 

One of my favorite pictures of biddyboo in our backyard.


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Sunny Days, Sunny Times!

I had luck with the whole chunky glitter at the bottom with an opaque color look so I thought I’d try this out again. I used a K-Beauty nail polish Pokemon edition (Oddish) and a H&M mermaid blush glitter top coat on the bottom half of my nails.

I’m modeling on top of the current book that is taking me quite some time to read but is well worth it–Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides. I first heard of this book from the Seth Rogen/Barbara Streisand comedy Road Trip, and have since seen or heard allusions of it here and there. If you also thought this book would be about a charming (perhaps haunted) English village called Middlesex…you would be dead wrong! It’s about the life and times of a Greek hermaphrodite and her/his generational saga. Glad I picked it up at the library book sale; it really is interesting and educational.

I tested Christian Siriano’s new fragrance In Bloom recently and it is marvelous! I would best describe it as a tidy, sweet floral scent. It’s definitely feminine and while ephemeral, is still pleasant to reapply often. It sits well close to the skin because it’s not sharp or overwhelming. It’s no unique Jo Malone signature, but it’s a comfortable and young summer/spring fragrance!

I also just tried Aveeno’s new oat mask with pumpkin seed extract and enjoyed using it. I applied with a brush and it was thick, creamy and layered very well. It smelled like leftover cereal and had Pangur Ban sniffing me like no other. Not revolutionary but a nice, relaxing mask at night!

I call this picture “Ladies in Yellow.” Totally accidental that my sister, my mom and I are all wearing sunny shades while touring the lovely Frick grounds.

I hosted a bomb dinner party last week and cooked:

-seared Kielbasa with sweet organic green beans from my mom’s garden! Topped with some sesame seeds and Asian seasoning.

-sauteed edamame with sliced garlic, sea salt and olive oil. This was my personal favorite.

-mango curry with onion, sweet corn and chives over tri-colored rotini

-Not Pictured: blood orange Forte iced tea sweetened with Teavana’s rock sugar

Our microwave broke, leading to many meals of fancy salami bites, mozzarella balls, tomato, chives all heavily drizzled in olive oil and spices!

I attended the a wedding in the heart of downtown Chicago and checked off another “first.” First time attending a wedding in an art museum! The ceremony was held in the sleek and well-air conditioned modern art wing of the Art Institute. The reception was upstairs with a gorgeous view of the city and very clean hardwood floors.

The night of the wedding, we stayed at the Blackstone hotel, quite a swanky upper-crust Marriott line. Service was very meh, but at least I got to see the floor where they host weddings.

We also attended the after wedding dim sum brunch in Chinatown! I got to show off one of these outfits I never thought I’d pull off before that day!

My sis and I toured Pittsburgh’s Trundle Manor, by appointment only. What a hodgepodge of grotesqueness and oddities! I was hoping the place was an actual manor, but alas, it’s just a cramped old house with taxidermy, lol.

Blackstone corner room with a view!

Lovely cake that had a passionfruit creme layer. Yum.

Crossing off a bucket list item: seeing Hamilton!!! Every bit as wonderful as it is/was hyped. We splurged to get relatively okay seats. Over $200 though…how do people see more than one show a year? Yikes!

You might not be able to tell in this picture but it was the hottest day in the hottest city of the year. It was TORTURE walking outside. We had to duck into air conditioned stores on the way to the theater multiple times.

Hubby’s meager soft shell crab salad from Sunda.

My way superior Cantonese style noodles with seared pork belly, shrimp, chinese sausage, Chinese vegetables.

What a bourgie hotpot looks like in a trendy Chicago restaurant ;). Delicious, but it was for two people.

Enjoy this picture of Daphne with her ride at the Car and Carriage museum.


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March Mani Time

Finally! New mani time! I’m using an old Sephora brand nail polish in a glossy teal paired with this dependably creamy Julep cashmere polish. It gives me a “working woman” vibe and I like how chic the combo looks. I’m modeling on top of the book I’m currently reading–The Debt to Pleasure by John Lanchester. It’s quite a curious book detailing the fictitious cookbook author and his whimsies. The style is amusingly snooty and the sparse descriptions of food are definitely enjoyable. Some of his random asides are rather educational too. I wouldn’t call it a page-turner; it assumes the reader has a high vocabulary and is well versed in geography, literature and gourmet cooking.

Check out this dainty spread! My workplace recently hosted this amazing afternoon tea event celebrating womens’ achievements the day right after International Womens’ Day! The ladies at work were invited to sample custard filled cupcakes, turtle brownies, scones, mini fruit turnovers and crackers with various pots of delicious jams! We mingled together and played a game where we had to guess which famous woman we were representing from the sticker on our back! I left feeling full and empowered :).

I made this! It was a surprisingly easy and quick meal to make:

-frozen breaded white meat chicken pieces

-thick sliced mushrooms

-carrot medallions

-sweet orange and red peppers

-lots of chopped scallions

-basmati rice

-sweet and sour sauce: canned fruit syrup, duck sauce packets, sesame seeds, black pepper, light soy sauce, crushed garlic with juices, squirt of lemon juice

Mimiboo and I enjoy some mother-daughter time. Everyday when I come home from work, I am greeted by her cries and gallops from afar! As soon as the garage door opens, she comes up and snuggles my ankles as if to say “Mommy!  Where the heck have you been for the last eight hours? Ah! I miss you!”


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San Diego Trip

San Diego shimmer mani! I used Sinful Colors in a mauvey taupe metallic shade and Sally Hansen chrome pink for the accent nail. My fingers were finally slim enough for me to fit my rightful wedding ring again, haha. By the way, I have gained that weight right after this vacation :(. 

These delightful Mandarin ducks lived on the grounds of my hotel! I attended the Lean Kanban conference for 3 full days and it was hosted at the Catamaran Resort and Spa. I give the hotel lobby a 4-star rating and the rooms a 1-star rating. My living quarters were dismal! However, it was a good thing I spent most of my time at the conference or exploring San Diego with my coworkers. 

These bright macaws talked, mimicked other animal sounds and blew kisses to the guests! So cute. 

Overall, loved the Polynesian theme of the hotel but would never recommend anyone to stay here because of the exorbitant prices and low, outdated quality of the rooms. No mini fridge or even any desk room! The wifi was horrible and spotty for a conference! We were billed $235/night at the discounted corporate rate and it didn’t even include breakfast! Avoid this place!

At one of the lunches during the week, we ate at Humphrey’s and it had a tranquil and beautiful view of the marina. I loaded up on steak and frites :). 

This is one of the yummiest cupcakes ever–not too sweet, creamy and even had a bit of crunch with the rice cracker topping!

Mmmm…when in California, you must try the sushi! This is my hotel’s house roll featuring crab, eel, tempura shrimp, avocado, cucumber and nageri sauce. It was da bomb. 

San Diego Zoo time! This peacock wasn’t even in his exhibit! 

You can say I dressed for the occasion! My favorite exhibits were the Polar Bear Plunge and the gorilla family. The panda exhibit setup sucked but of course, the pandas themselves are cute. We spent a total of 8 hrs here. Let me tell you though–$100 for admission is no joke. You bet we saw every animal, took the skyfari cable cars and the double decker bus. 

This is my venture to Seaport Village as soon as I switched hotels to be in the Bayfront downtown area. I loved the location of my second hotel a lot better and I loved exploring all the sights. 

I absolutely LOVED all the vegetation of San Diego. It was a feast for the eyes! There were blooming purple trees everywhere called jacaranda and they were just gorgeous. 

This is the magical town of La Jolla. What a pretty and fun little jewel of a place! Getting up close and personal with those sea lions at the cove was my fave! It took everything in me to not hug all these adorable sea sausages! 


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Spring Decor

I made a shadowbox craft! I used thick craft paper from Target as a patterned background and glued some shells way back from an Atlantic City trip! These origami swans are actually folded by the hubs because I do cranes. I made him fold a whole batch while I folded cranes in all different paper for centerpiece decoration at our wedding. I also included a recent wedding anniversary gift from my sister. They are keychains that say: “moon of my life” and “my sun and my stars.” Being the big Game of Thrones fans we are, it was a perfect gift! It’s pretty romantic to be addressed like Daenerys ;). 

Okay, I am flipping out over my new shoes. They came extremely fast from China and they actually fit! I am rocking these Lolita heels at the office today like a fashion winner. I have on an airy white lace dress with the skirt part made of a floral patterned chiffon. So spring, you guys.

Oh, and here’s my mother’s day present from Pangur Ban. She done brought me a snake, y’all. No joke. Here is the wriggly, live proof. Funny thing is that she brought me a snake 2 days before and I had specifically told her not to do it again. Kids these days!

This is from the first time she brought over a snake. Take a close look because these 2 snakes are different! I screamed bloody murder and was legit about to faint. My husband picked it up casually and tossed it down our hill but I’m inclined to think that it’s definitely made its way back by now…

What he needs to do is take it with him to the airport when he leaves every week. I’m sure movie fans will love it–snakes on a plane, am I right?


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Mani & Pedi! 

My bestie visiting from Columbus stayed with me this past weekend and we packed it with activities! We woke up at the butt crack of dawn (phrase she loves to use) on a Saturday to adhere Megan’s Loft’s hours. I went for a feminine spring lady look. The pink color is Suzie Pedal Faster and the accent nail is this soft purple with a metallic sheen that I forgot the name of. I asked for square shaped nails but I’m afraid she cut them too short :(.

Behold! My magnificently hued little toes! My first pedicure at a salon was quite nice. This is a new OPI color in a gorgeous shimmery periwinkle. The hot bubbly water, scrub and massage chair was definitely pampering! I can see how addicting it all is! This is perfect timing too because I’m counting on these colors lasting me ’til I hit the beach in San Diego!

Leanna and I chatted candidly…maybe a little too candidly in front of our nail tech ladies. We got more than few raised eyebrows and laughs. But hey, what’s spoken at salons never leave salons so I shall say no more. This also just naturally happens between besties who know each other too well. It has been a year since I last saw my girl, so we were throwing entirely too much shade and gossip!

Right after our nail appointment, we left for my coworker’s baby shower/belated wedding reception. Interesting combo, right? It was at a gorgeously upscale winery and we enjoyed ourselves immensely. These white chocolate party favors were the best! SO CUTE.

Look at that shimmery pink frosting! Hey hey! The topper is a plastic ring that fit on my middle finger perfectly :). My Mimiboo has claimed this as her new favorite toy already.

What a pretty ethnic rainbow we make!

And here is Mimiboo sleeping like a zombie. Her cuteness is just off the charts cray. 

This is the hand cream I currently use at my desk at work. I’m obsessed with it. It’s Tonymoly’s banana hand milk in a squeezable tube that smells like banana candy! It’s pleasant but I would say the smell goes away too quickly. I reapply often so it’s depleting at a pretty fast pace. I call it my nanner.

Hey hey, I got new kicks! Ordered these from China and they are just like the picture! Who doesn’t love a pair of platform oxfords?! They are a size 4.5 though so my feet are shuffling around in them :(. TOO BIG. Even in China, I am Thumbalina-sized.


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Iceland Part II

  On our Golden Circle tour, we made an unscheduled stop on the side of the road at one of the many free range horse farms! Thank goodness someone else in our group requested strongly that we do this because it ended up being my fave part of the whole tour. Iceland has a huuuuge amount of these shaggy, sturdy horses and in turn, there’s a big horseback riding and rental business here. While we didn’t do that, we did just get to go up to these beauties and pet the heck out of them. I’ve never seen such friendly, furry horses! We also learned from the tour guide that all of Iceland’s current livestock descended from a continuous line of the original Viking animals brought over from Norway. The Icelandic breeds are pure in themselves because they have never mingled with breeds from other countries. That’s amazing.
  From my look of utter delight, this petting session brought unfiltered joy to my animal-loving heart.   Our tour group braved high winds, rain and cold temperatures to go on the Golden Circle tour. Worth it, of course, but I was almost blown away on the Parliament lava fields. Check out the black lava rock gravel path against the stunning backdrop of snow mountains. Dayum, Iceland!

I was so proud of myself for not dying on this hike. I huffed and puffed through a 6-mile hike on mountainous, muddy, snowy terrain…in WEDGES! I was thinking that if I died during this process, my body would be easily distinguishable from others by being so fabulous. To all the non-believers, I did it and I didn’t die. My boots are almost ruined but I was not.

And…this is the whole reason for that aforementioned 6-mile hike. Hot springs, son! Many of the girls (myself included) wore our swimsuits so it was just a matter of stripping down and plopping in the piping hot stream. Getting out was so awful because the wind nipped our cold wetness and changing clumsily amongst your whole tour group was humbling. Still worth it though. Hot springs are always worth it.

More hot spring realness. My two types of outfits in Iceland = winter fur coat and string bikinis. A land of contrasts!

Visited an earthquake exhibit where the tectonic plates divide. I’m in North America, now I’m in Europe!

  Geyers are a type of hot spring except they blow out steam and water with exceptionally violent force. Many are dormant but some have a consistent timetable of when they erupt!  Little Brother erupted every 5 minutes. He was the perfect tourist attraction.
  We spent our last full day in Iceland exploring the capital city. I am standing atop the Perlan Dome, enjoying a marvelous panoramic view of the city.   This scene reminds of me of the Swiss Alps. Architecture was pretty bland in Iceland. All buildings and houses looked like rectangular Monopoly parts and the interiors all resembled white-washed Ikeas.
  Resting after another laborious 6-mile walk that day.   Meet Clown Cat, the friendliest kitty ever. I sat down to rest at the Sculpture Garden and she came out of nowhere to greet me. She continued to roll around in the grass, rub against me and basically hung out for about 20 minutes. There was a sort of device on her neck so perhaps she wasn’t a stray.
  Don’t be too shocked but I visit the Icelandic Phallus Museum. Yup, that’s a whale’s thingy, or dong, to be scientific. Fascinating. 


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Demilune Realness

I wanted to share my latest crafting DIY adventure! I have been working on decorating this one wall of my living room, or formal parlor (as I like to refer to it as) for a month! Here is the fruit of my endeavor!

I took a regular glass mason jar and spray painted it gold in several layers until it was fully opaque. Spray paint is magic. I have the perfect place to do it too–my high ceilinged, unfinished basement! Then I took the bouquet from my wedding and plopped it in! I made my own silk flower arrangement and wrapped it in thick satin ribbon for the day of my wedding. I bought everything at Michaels and the total cost was about $6, I believe. It will last forever and add a bit of romantic sentiment in my home decor ;).

  The gold square tray is from my local thrift shop and the trinket tray is from my sis in law who I believe got it at her local Goodwill. It’s also romantic looking and serves as a great white chalk holder!
 I’m so proud of this hanging creation! I upcycled the heck out of this moldy old mirror I dug out from the basement. It had crooked legs from where it used to attach to this moldy dresser we got rid of when we moved in. I had the hubby remove those legs and I disinfected this grimy piece.

For the aged wooden frame, I spray painted it shiny gold to give it a luxe look! You’ll notice the top part is only slightly spray painted because I wanted the gold to have a bronzed look on the wood.

The mirror was stained and really dull looking so I knew I was not going to use it as a mirror. Instead, I bought a craft foam brush and a few small bottles of chalkboard paint to repurpose this! I used up 1.5 30ml bottles of the paint; enough to do 2.5 layers. I left that dry for a whole day. I watched this video online that said to prime the chalkboard with chalk before using it but I skipped that part. I found it was easy to write on it already!

The last thing I did was order this espresso dark wood demilune table from Amazon. I needed an accent table that had two layers so that one would serve as decor while the other would serve as storage. I took the leftover gift basket from one of those Wine and Country gift baskets and made it into my cat’s toy box! It tickles me pink when I come home from work to a few toys scattered around the house. This tells me she has her favorites :). And now, I announce that my living room is full and fully decorated! 


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Bright Styles

  This is my first time using China Glaze nail polish. I was surprised by the matte finish and streaky look. I chose this poppin’ goldenrod color to help usher in a fresh spring. The ring finger is accented with a purple flowers sticker! It took almost 4 coats of this polish to get an acceptable opacity level. I also wish the brush were a little more flatter and wider for easier application.

The nail wraps I did 2 weeks ago were still intact and needed a huge amount of remover to get the darn things off. Lasting power is crazy good, I would say.
  Craft time! I painted a simple wooden 4×6 picture frame with acrylics, then cut some nicely patterned craft paper and glued it to the back. I then used the Urban Decay tattoo glitter set I have to create a golden dove silhouette. Any loose glitter is protected by the glass! This piece will serve as minor decor to a bigger craft project I’ve been working on. I am waiting on an Amazon gift card in the mail so I can realize this fanciful visualization I have in my head right now. It involves upcycling and major crafting! Stay tuned!  My Pangur cat LOVES hanging out in the sink. She chose the guest bathroom sink this time as a first so of course I had to photograph this for the archives.


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Candle Making Glory

  I haven’t undertaken a crafting project for a while so I just buckled down and did this since I’ve been fantasizing about doing it one day! Here’s what I did to make my very own candle without buying anything! Who would have thought that a burnt out Diamond Candle, Kohl’s candle and Home Goods candle could create a whole new candle at a generous 4oz? A fragrant 4oz candle at Bath and Body Works retails for $10, just sayin’.

  1. Gather up old candles with unburnt wax (if you’re a candle lover/hoarder like I am, you probably will have plenty of candles that have burnt out but still have a sizable chunk of fragrant wax that need some lovin’). What I did with these pieces before was put them under silk flower arrangements that give my fake flowers a very real fragrance! I suppose scented wax pieces work too if you have some half used wax tarts lying around.
  2. Take some thick string or twine and tie one end to a small washer/nut. I just hunted in my utility drawer and found one. Best thing about this is that it’s metal so it doesn’t burn and can be reused for your next homemade candle!
  3. Find a glass or metal container to use as your candle container. I used a previously used candle–no waste!
  4. Dangle the washer end of your twine down the middle of the glass. For future candle releases, I will also put a spot of super glue to secure the wick in the center better. I thought I could wing it this time but of course, my wick ended up getting shifted to the side…
  5. Wrap the other end of your twine to a stick, cut it to a good length and tape it to the stick. I used a single chopstick.
  6. Take a pot, fill it with water and boil it.
  7. Place wax pieces in a separate glass container and put in pot when water has boiled. Wait for however long until the wax melts. Do not use a timer for this. Stand right next to the stove and eyeball this step.
  8. Pour melted wax into your candle container!
  9. Repeat step 7 for however many candle containers you want to melt. I used 3 leftover candles that yielded around 4oz of wax.
  10. Wait for wax to cool and set, then trim the twine to 1/2 inch. Remove and clean off stick.
  11. Stand back and admire your new candle!  No fancy stickers or patterns for this mani. Just 2 coats of this smooth, shiny sorceress purple from OPI! It’s been a while since I have opted for a straight monochromatic mani so in a way, it’s refreshing! Happy 2016!  Hubs and I made ugly sweater cookies. Mine is on the left and definitely not ugly. I would wear that sweater in real life in a pinch! I dedicate to my lovely little Pangur Ban :). The hubs made a Bob Ross Christmas sweater, lol.  Of course, I like to end my post with my Pangur Ban. She is posing as Glamour Puss today on my fainting couch :).