Tiny Horse

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


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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!

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Date Night

This nail polish lasted all of 1.5 days, haha. I used Korean beauty brand SEP’s liquid nail sticker in this beautiful creamy orchid shade. It really is a sticker! The brush was good and thick, the application was smooth but once it dried completely, you could lift up the entire thing! I think the point is to try different shades all the time without having to use polish remover but…wish the flaps would not come up so quickly.

This book took me a really long time to finish. I hate that I didn’t fully enjoy this autobiographical account of a woman’s literary teaching experience in oppressive Iran but it wasn’t my fault! The author was too self-important and focused on her own analysis of literary books to appreciate the actual interesting events that were unfolding around her.

So sad about the closing of Teavana forever…but happy to be able to finally afford their perfectea makers! I also ordered 2 Japanese matte tea cups out of this Honolulu boutique! This is sweetened mango black tea brewing in there :). So good. Currently obsessed with Adagio teas and Harney and Sons as well.

Last night, the hubs and I ventured out on our own for a real date night–the first time since little daffodil was born! We saw this avant garde German-based opera and then hopped downtown to the Milkshake Factory! What a cute cute place! Prices were high and portions were small but the taste was excellent! Decor was very on point and the whole place was so clean! Loving it.

Behold my Stroopwaffle deluxe sundae with bananas, chocolate dipped stroopwaffle pieces, vanilla ice cream, gobs of caramel, whipped cream…mmm…

This is their regular raspberry milkshake and it is CREAMY and rich, you guys. The raspberry even tasted like the real fruit instead of the syrup.

My Chinese New Year outfit! We got major flooding this past week so hence my red slickers!

Daph Daph has been crazy with her constant flipping! She is even starting to push backwards. Coming soon–crawling! Oh, my sunshine biddy boo. Turning 6 months and growing up so fast!

Ending with my other baby boo, Pangur Ban, as she is featured her oh so majestically. The weather has been unexpectedly warm so she’s been enjoying the great outdoors this week! Photo credit to my sis, who is great at capturing the many moods of the regal Pangur beast.


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Feelin’ Purple

Continuing January with a purple vibe, y’all! This is straight from my Ipsy bag; a nice full size nail polish from Emma with the shade Mia is my BFF. Someone needs to tell Ipsy they have sent every possible shade of purple already to me. I’m so ready to move onto a new color. Green? How about green?! I’m much lacking in the green department besides mint. My accent color is a petal French manicure shade from Sally Hansen. It’s all old and sticky and from my college days. Out it goes! Finally, I have come close to using up a bottle of nail polish!

I’m modeling my mani on top of the book I just finished: The Piano Teacher. It had an interesting narrative with good depictions of characters but the mystery was served a bit on the heavy side. I read the whole darn thing and still don’t know what happened to key characters and what exactly their crimes were.

I tried my hand at home-making ramen and here’s what I came up with:

-Chinese egg noodles (they come frozen)

-duck broth

-onions

-sweet Chinese sausage (I love this! So tasty)

-scallions

-egg

-red chili oil

-sesame seeds sprinkled on

-sesame oil

It was a great cold weather meal and the rendered duck fat in the broth added some umami!

I got to test out this dry shampoo from Unilever’s new brand, Love Beauty and Planet recently and it was bomb! Another Crowdtap opportunity! The scent is citrus peel and it is so refreshing for a dry shampoo! Usually, it smells like powder or that plasticky hairspray scent so a fruity fresh smell was the right choice! This didn’t weigh down my limp and fine hair so I highly recommend it! The size is also great for tossing into your purse or luggage.

I haven’t showcased my Mimiboo for a while so here she is! She wanted to nose in on my bath time :). Look at her ladylike little paws!


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The Start of 2018

Happy end of 2017! Gosh, I have such intensely conflicting feelings about 2017. For most of the year, I was in constant pain, discomfort and a state of anxiety. Pregnancy and delivery near broke my body. But after everything was said and done, I did welcome the most precious little bundle of joy who promptly stole my heart and changed the way I view life forever. Pain, nausea, swelling, acid reflux, massive weight gain, clumsiness…you name it, I got it! Throw in getting T-boned by a 79-yr old while 8 months along and you got yourself 2017 in a nutshell. I have to recognize that this was also Pangur Ban’s worst year, lol. She was confined to our house for the duration of my pregnancy and then demoted to 2nd place in our hearts and household after Daphne was born. It is a lot to take in for an adorable glamour puss. She surprisingly has been very friendly to the baby, even if she does like to hog the changing table at times. I can’t wait for little Daphne to be old enough to interact with Pangur Ban!

I’m sporting Revlon’s parfumerie line in Moonlit Woods with fruit water decals and loving it. This gray violet shade is metallic, opaque and smells like a sweet bouquet after drying! I want this entire nail polish line but it’s from several years ago. The scent lasts for about 2 days and you only need 2 coats for this thick, creamy consistency!

The mani is modeled on top of the first book I read in 2018–The Fifty Year Sword by Mark Z. Danielewski. If you’ve read his other masterpiece House of Leaves, you’ll know this is an experimental horror book. The story was okay and it took about 1.5 hrs to finish the whole thing! There were many words misspelled on purpose but I’m not sure I liked that. I cringed every time I read these atrocities…

My MIL and SIL had fun putting Daphne in this old Radio Flyer wagon. She is the perfect size for this contraption! #cheeksfordays

Lucca the bordercollie was a lot better behaved this time around. We spent Christmas break on Long Island and I have to award Daphne with the best traveling baby award. She only cried for fewer than 10 minutes during the worst traffic between the George Washington bridge and LIE. Many adults have cried for longer. It took 9.5 hrs with 4 stops on the way there and 8.5 hrs with 2 stops on the way back.

Dog + Babby pic. Santa’s helper baby!

The week before our big Christmas trip, we took a smaller trip to Columbus, OH to celebrate my sister’s undergraduate graduation from Ohio State! Daphne slept the whole 3.5 hrs of that trip, the little angel. Here she is, posing sweetly at our scarlet and gray decked out hotel!

Oh, hi, Brutus! O-H to you too! The Schott was as big and chaotic as I remembered it.

With so many dog pics, I had to sneak in this cat pic too. This is Molly, my hubby’s friend’s gorgeous, long haired midnight beauty!

And to end this post with my little Daffodil in her lamby outfit :). To a less painful but more exciting year! Cheers!


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Wintry Tales

I’m showing off so many new things here! My mani, for one, is super unconventional. I was so lazy about removing my last mani’s colors entirely…dark colors are so difficult to get out! So…there are remnants of my watermelon nail polish ever so slightly staining my new look. It would have been unnoticeable if I had chosen an opaque color but no…I had to go for a soft, season inappropriate nude pink shade. I used Revlon’s Sheer Blossom and it has tiny specks of glitter in it. Then I used Marie cat cartoon water decals for a cutesy mani.

I’ve recently been obsessed with POPSugar Must Have boxes and bought myself two a in row (not even counting 2 mixed boxes off of Mercari from other subscriber’s!). One box is 4x the cost of Ipsy or Birchbox per month BUT you mostly get boutique full size products in categories of not just beauty but food, jewelry, fashion items, home (my fave!) and sometimes games. Their cyber Monday deal gave you a chance to order past boxes so you know exactly what was in them. I’m modeling an indigo silk friendship bracelet with a sterling silver heart from their August box. It is the most delicate piece of jewelry I own and even though it’s simple and can be easily overlooked, I’m kind of obsessed with it because it’s so easy to wear and adjust. I also can’t wait to use this gorgeous rose gold notebook from Fringe Studios. It’s leather bound and has a ribbon. I wish the pages were unlined so I can doodle but it’s still fancy looking enough.

I still hesitate to subscribe so I’ll only be buying specific boxes or pieces from boxes that I fo sho know I will like. I have this thing about surprises–most of the time, they’re not worth the fun of not knowing because the annoyance of it being something I don’t like will overshadow any positive feelings.

I also wanted to continue my tradition of modeling my mani atop the current book I am reading so this is a shoutout to the last Foundation book in the trilogy and also the best! I’m about 3/4 of the way through and it is definitely the easiest to follow because there is only one story line and I know all the past main characters already. My hubby has been pushing me to read these books years ago so it’s the least I could do after he’s gone and read the entirety of Les Miserables, Gone with the Wind and Sophie’s Choice after I declared that anyone who wants to understand me should read the following first ;). I am lacking in the sci-fi department so finishing this series in turn broadens my horizons a little.

Is she not the most adorable little baby doll you have ever seen? Look at her pretty little face! I MADE THIS.

This was the last meal included from Gobble and it was grand! You’re looking at a miso ramen with soft tofu, hard boiled egg, bak choy (qing cai), scallions, baby corn all simmered with delicious Korean sweet chili paste and a sprinkling of Korean chili powder. The portion was so big, there was even enough for one more meal the next day! This Gobble subscription was real dang good.

It’s tummy time!


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Flirty 30

Flirty, 30 and thriving? I’m not sure I feel like Jennifer Garner’s character from 30 Going On 30; rather, I’m way more accomplished than she was at 30, haha. This is my first birthday as a mom and I’m feeling good about it. I’m still on maternity leave so I have yet to balance the whole working mom aspect, and I know there will be challenges there. So until that day comes, I’m blissfully going to enjoy these times I’m spending with my adorable baby girl.

Current manicure gimmick: water nail decals. I bought a buttload of these sheets so I’m itching to try all of them out! I opted for these annoying Minon ones first just to see how they would look. Decent, I guess. The dark gray accent nail background color was a mistake but going forward, I will not commit this error. The gray is a Sephora brand and the lovely creamy orchid is an Ulta nail polish. I like the broad applicator of the Sephora one better but the size and selection of the Ulta one more.

The book I’m reading right now is an absolute page-turner. I’m so in awe of this gripping yarn and these fascinating characters the author has woven. Who knew I would enjoy a book about a cathedral being built? The preface has Ken Follett admitting he isn’t religious at all, and that his interest in writing about a cathedral was more along the lines of the architecture and culture behind it. I can dig that.

Fall outing at Gerber’s Dairy, a now annual tradition! This mini golf green made a great background for my pic!

Baby girl’s precious smiles and giggles for her momma :). 

I’ve named this toy Babylon 5 and gave him a French accent. He’s a big hit.

I’m obsessed with #Crowdtap’s samplers! I recently sampled the #Revlon sugar kiss exfoliator and lip creme plumper in nude honey. The sugar crystals of the lip scrub melted easily into my lips and didn’t need to wiped away! So easy to get soft, minty lips! The lip creme plumper easily layered on top in a universally flattering nude rose tone. That needed a few applications and was not very long lasting, but it was so smooth and non-sticky!


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Final Countdown

My latest mani is a creation of Orly’s deep metallic magenta and Sinful Color’s silvery blush. Not my most creative pairing but I was so tired of that Eastery chalky pink!

I’m modeling on top of Uprooted by Naomi Novik, a trying-to-hard to be unconventional fairy tale. It’s supposed to be dark but it hasn’t been very convincing yet. The characters are one-dimensional, especially the heroine, and the villainous being/spirit is not explained very well. I’m 1/4 of the way in and still have no idea what the villagers are afraid of, what this thing does, what it does and why it does these evil things…I’m not holding my breath for a high rating here at the end. I have to get better at choosing what to read this summer!

Mmmm…got my ramen fix at this place I’ve wanted to visit ever since learning the name: Love Yogurt. It’s an Asian eatery that serves fro-yo, ramen, bubble tea and made to order desserts like crepes and puddings! You order the ramen off of a laminated customization sheet and literally everything is an upcharge. The noodles are good and chewy but totally not enough. The broth was good but not as thick as a truly authentic tonkatsu broth. I will say this is the best ramen I’ve had in Pittsburgh so that’s something to cheer about! Hubby and I played a trivia game and the furniture pieces are all puzzle-shaped. Cute, definitely. 

Three weeks ago, my friend who lives in CT visited me on a double date with her BF and we had high tea at the Frick! We dined on mini savory sandwiches, warm scones and an assortment of mini desserts. I had apricot tea and used a lot of their clotted cream. Yum! The inside was super cramped but the surrounding Frick grounds were so fun and varied! We checked out the greenhouse, carriage museum, art museum and gift shop–all free! The weather cooperated that day by being a gorgeous 76 and sunny. I’m definitely making a trip back here. There was even a dedicated parking lot!

I HAVE to give a shout-out to the Frick’s celebrity here–Luke the cat! I guess his owner lives nearby and does not mind him prowling the grounds but my, is Luke the social butterfly! This lovable Maine Coon photobombed our pictures, nuzzled against us and let us pet his big paws! Ladykiller over here!

And by final countdown, I’m counting the days until my due date and hoping my difficult baby will turn out of her frank breech position and drop into the acceptable labor position by then. I”m still driving to work everyday, huffing and puffing up/down stairs, painfully getting in and out of bed, constantly having shortness of breath, walking weird because my feet are 4x the width of my normal feet and a whole host of other unpleasant, downright painful symptoms. 37 weeks now! 

My front yard lilies usually have no trouble blooming but they are so scarce this year. I saw perhaps 3-4 of these pretty deep coral lilies out of the possible 30 that would bloom across the yard…oh well, at least the early purple ones did well! This August heat is for real, you guys. My elevated body temperature is giving me grief these days :(.