Tiny Horse

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


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Busy 2020

I might have used these on New Year’s Day, but shortly afterwards, I bought and used my first holiday cracker! Found these fun snowman ones at Marshall’s and they still cost too much after clearance :(. These ones are from a brand that Popsugar introduced me to–Meri Meri. Daphne loved these but were a bit young for the toys that came out. Oh, well, more fun for mom!

My friend Michelle always make this dish for her annual holiday party that has become famous by now, and this is my own version of it. I also fried up radishes, herbs, pancetta and added it to olive oil drizzled grape tomatoes to make it a meal.

Ingredients:

Butter-toasted potato bread seared on a non-stick pan and NOT a toaster

Sliced brie

Dollops of fig jam

Raspberries

Bath time has become routine and necessary fancy affairs for my toddler. I kid you not, she gets a special bath item(s) at EVERY bath. Not including the cost of hot water, her baths averages to $4 – $8 PER bath! I mean, I enjoy them too but she’s totally going to grow up saying “Oh, you didn’t get a bath bomb or bath oils or bubble bath at every bath? Strange.” Guilty as charged for 150% indulging her but there are definitely worse things to indulge a kid in ;).

This bath bomb from 2 Sisters spa via Amazon was especially cool. You put it early on in the bath next to the running tap so that it activates all the bubbles. It turned this gorgeous cornflower blue from the pink and blue colors at the end that reminded me of my wedding color. Smelled great, looked great, felt great.

This pre-Christmas mani was done with a mini OPI nail kit from my MIL and some fun nail decals. I’m modeling on top of the book that I finished out 2019 with called The Unconsoled by Kazuro Ishiguro. Oy vey was this a crazily frustrating book! The point was to make you frustrated, anxious and stressed out as much as the protagonist but yeesh…it did too good of a job. The writing was great and I am convinced that the nondescript central European city that the story took place in was Budapest. Many clues pointed to it–repeated mentions of Old Towne, food that was vaguely Hungarian and some side characters with Hungarian accents.

My newest mani also consists of these butterfly nail decals and coral and gray Essence polish. I’m modeling the new ring I got from Simple Statement Jewelry. I only did the one box to try out new styles of jewelry and my favorite item turned out to be this ring (that I miraculously fit!).

Had to feature my Mimiboo as she had a crazy end to 2019. We went on a big 12-day trip all across PA, Finger Lakes, Hershey, White Mountains, NH and had to put her in a kitty hotel for the whole time. Then we took her to my parent’s house for 6 days during the Christmas break and now we’re going to leave her for another 3 days to head to Sandusky. Poor thing is a trooper!

This was taken on the warmest day ever in December with my dad’s new iPhone 10 at Legacy Village.

Look at our unconventional Christmas tree! My mom is so creative at decorating, lol! And look at that healthy pile of presents!

Our mall had some craft booths and this one caught our eye. Hubby ended up buying me a pair for Christmas. These are origami crane earrings dipped in resin!

2019 wasn’t my favorite year but many good things did happen! 2020 is off to a whirlwind start and my immediate wish is that we don’t go to war! To peace!


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The Ritual of Ayurveda

My Fall mani–featuring a classic vampy red from VS, Essie chrome and blue glitter topper.

Tryazon and Rituals sent me the Rituals of Ayurveda medium gift set to review! Look at this ultra-fem, ultra giftable box and arrangement! I’ve tried Sakura and Dao before but was slightly afraid of Ayruveda because it might be too spicy or strong. I was pleasantly surprised by the Indian rose and sweet oil scent because it was not too cloying or overwhelming. I found it very feminine and lush. Thankfully, there wasn’t any incense-like smell and it was not headache inducing at all. The scent lingers and feels very mature. I would definitely recommend it for an older female demographic like your mom, older sister, MIL, aunt, etc.

First time trying a Rituals hand liquid hand soap. It does not disappoint! This gave a rich lather and the boxy shape makes it seem really high end. My hands didn’t feel tight or dry afterwards.

The body scrub with pink Himalayan salt is wonderful. The scrub wasn’t too abrasive and the oils in it help with the application.

The foaming shower wash is an innovative way to lose the loofah! I’ve had issues in the past with the deluxe sized version because the nozzle dispensed too much at once but the full sized version seemed to be okay. The foam gave a rich lather and it felt like washing with clouds.

Lastly, the body cream was bomb! In every one of these gift sets, this one is my favorite because of how perfect the texture is. This cream is rich, thick, fast absorbing but not greasy! It is a joy to put on!

I bought a set of 12 bath bombs from Amazon that came beautifully packaged. Daphne picked out the first one we used–the coconut lavender! Fizzing action was medium and the color payoff was A+! Scent was almost non-existent but that’s not the worst thing when you’re bathing a 2-yr old.


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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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Less Stress

I was reading The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd and you guessed it–it’s a fluff piece. I kept wanting to not finish and just go with another book and yet, it wasn’t badly written and the twist was actually heartbreakingly readable. The main character was irritatingly privileged and selfish but the author still made it interesting enough for me to finish.

For the mani shown, I used a gunpowder Essie shade and a true purple purple polish I got from one of my Ipsy bags. This particular Essie polish is the best quality I’ve experienced. It’s thick, coats evenly and very opaque. I love that it gives off more of an industrial vibe rather than a lighter, sparkly look.

We recently visited my friend’s place in downtown Pittsburgh and they served us a traditional Turkish tea! I love trying new things and really admired all their serve ware! The tea was especially strong and yummy. I was not previously a fan of the Turkish delight candies but these coconut crusted ones were great!

While the water might not have been colored, it was rather fragrant and Daphne now relishes baths in our giant whirlpool tub.

Aldis had this amazing blueberry cream cheese breakfast pastry and it tasted as delicious as it looks! The crust was beautifully flaky and crispy. Oh lawd, this is my type of dessert. Flaky, buttery pastries all the way.

Yup, finally bought the John Oliver version of the Marlon Bundo children’s book via Amazon! It’s a great story with a great cause. Per Amazon, 100% of proceeds benefits the Trevor Project and AIDS United. My favorite part is about the stinkbug president drawn exactly like Mike Pence. What a lovely political and moral message. For now, this is more for me than for Daphne but soon!

Thanks for standing up, Last Week Tonight!

Couldn’t resist buying her designer socks from Marshalls. Only wish all 6 pairs were different but oh, well.


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Thoughts Here and There

Due to this book, I am behind on my reading goal for the first time ever on Goodreads. This substantial almost 900-pager is worth it though. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt is griping, well-written, dramatic and so hard to put down. The main character is undeniably a whiny, uninteresting sad sack of a person but the events that happen TO him and the supporting cast are too fascinating.

I’m modeling my ombre green look from poison green to Tiffany blue to a seafoam green. I used this cute Pokemon nail polish in the shade Oddish, Essie and Nail Medic.

I’ve been running down my supply of bath bombs already this year and this one from Marshall’s was wholly unsatisfying. The scent close up was great–white tea and bergamot. But fizzled up in the bath? You hardly smell anything. I’m usually all about no dyes in food but in bath bombs, bring it on! So this white color totally did not do it for me. With bath bombs/fizzes, you really do have to go with quality brands.

I hosted a dinner + games party with my coworkers last weekend and someone brought this gorgeous lemon trifle cake! She made it and brought a small dish of blueberries and strawberries to top it off! Apparently the marigold on top is edible but to be safe just threw it away.

Wow. My mom’s spare ribs are better than any restaurant’s! She’s trying this Northern Chinese recipe that calls for a dash of brown sugar and honey. Oh my glob…

Our pond might be covered up, but with this powder sugar dusting of snow in the winter, it looks fairly picturesque ;).

When Daphne was being difficult one day, my hubby knocked down a framed picture from the wall and the glass broke. I wanted to save the glassless frame by spray painting the wooden frame gold and then painting a piece of cardboard with 2-3 layers of chalkboard paint. I then finished it up by taping all edges with this festive roll of washi tape from the brand Meri Meri.

Homemade French onion soup with a piece of provolone cheese on top and a sprinkling of parsley. Mmmmm! Cold weather comfort food goodness!

I bought this fruit tart bed for Pangur Ban but she shows no interest in it. Daphne will grab some of the fruit pieces from time to time to play. This is targeted Facebook ads working on me, lol.


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Voting!

The only window of opportunity I had to vote was after work and after picking up Daphne from daycare so she accompanied me :). My voting area did not hand out stickers but I did get a receipt! I was looking forward to Nov. 6th more than my own birthday next Tuesday, hahaha. I stayed up late last night to watch the live election results and while it was better than the 2016 disastrous results, some key races were still disappointing. But having a record midterm voter turnout is a still a win!

I haven’t had a manicure for a while so this autumn look is a big deal. The dark green shade is Formula X called Huntress (fitting). The light gray is from Essence with a confetti-like topcoat from Sally Hansen.

I’m modeling my mani on top of this weird, weird book called The Waiter by Matias Faldbakken. This was translated from Norwegian and I’m sure some things were probably lost in translation…I wouldn’t recommend it because I don’t even know what I read. There’s no plot and no payoff for character investment.

Yep, it’s about time for another Mimiboo picture! She’s been hanging out on Daphne’s changing table again, lol. Look at how fluffy she is!

I haven’t shared any pictures yet from my Central Euro trip back in September so here are just a couple from my last full day in Budapest. Hubby and I spent nearly all day at the Gellert Baths, which had and indoor swimming pool, outdoor wave pool (pictured) and a few thermal baths inside with varying temperatures. Ahhhhh, so needed after trekking all over Prague and Vienna!

This particular bath was 38 degrees Celsius. Check out those mineral deposits on that fountain! It ain’t no blue lagoon but I always appreciate a natural geothermal spring!

This was right in the lobby of the Gellert hotel. The spa was underground. Overall, I think I preferred the Szcheny baths because of the huge selection of different indoor baths as well as the giant outdoor ones with jets!


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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#.