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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Let Me Eat Cake!

Homemade chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and raspberries! Not great-looking by a long shot but it was a fun treat to eat just between hubby and me!

The famed Hummingbird cake from Giant Eagle I bought for the surprise birthday party! It had a cream cheese frosting with pineapple, walnuts, toasted coconut and dusted with a delicate sprinkle of cinnamon. This was a big hit!

I steamed these blue shell Maryland crabs from our seafood market in the Strip and mmmmm, this brought me so much nostalgia from when my parents used to buy live ones and steam them. Yuuuuummmm! I did a good job with the steaming and making my own sauce. Looking forward to when I buy these the next time!

Influenster sent me the new bareMinerals bounce & blur blush and palette. The texture really is bouncy! The eyeshadow shade at the end was like jelly! It’s still powder but has absolutely no fallout and high pigmentation. I’ve never used bareMinerals eyeshadow and blush before and now I see why they are popular! The packaging is also sleek and stunning buuuut attracted to fingerprints, unfortunately.

My Pangur Ban is growing up and becoming less social these days. She used to mingle with our guests like they were her friends but nowadays, she will wander aimlessly outside until everyone leaves…

Yep, that’s right. It’s yet another birthday cake! We celebrated Daphne’s 2nd birthday on the day of on Long Island with my husband’s parents. It’s their tradition to get a little ice cream cake on birthdays. It still doesn’t quite compare to a Dairy Queen ice cream cake, but this one was cute in its own way. Perhaps due to the candle being lit and not being allowed to touch it, Daphne showed no interest in her own cake and refused even a bite!

Chinese shrimp chips! They are magical and colorful! Before pic.

After pic! Sticks to your tongue! Fluffy and crunchy! This was another one of my childhood nostalgia treats!

 

Gorgeous flowers from Frick and Highland park!

Cabin in the woods themed escape room success! Date night on Long Island!

Biddyboo in her birthday qipao fabulousness.

Baby’s first ocean trip! She was scared of the water at first but then was hooked at touching the waves and didn’t want to leave.

That’s a happy Daphne!

We also went to the Sunken Forest on Fire Island! We took a ferry ride and had a BLAST. Look at that nicely maintained boardwalk!

Fire Island also had its own beach and we briefly checked it out. Clean and not too crowded!

Four giant bucks not 20ft from us! Majestic and felt amazing.


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Farm & Festival Fun!

I think my newest mani turned out pretty well. I had to slather on 3 coats of Essie’s muchi muchi shade to get that opaqueness. Then I dabbed some gold glitter nail polish from OPI on the nail beds. No top coat so hopefully this doesn’t chip too soon. 5 days and counting, so I think we’re good so far!

Look at my water lily from my very own pond! Photo credit to my hubby for snapping this while cleaning out the pumps of our pond. It takes a lot of maintenance and there’s always something to trudge out of there but the purple lilies, the water lilies and the giant frog that lives here make it worth it.

My sis who has great taste in desserts brought me a bag full of delish pastries from Belle’s Bread (from Columbus)! Every one of her selections were amazing. You just can’t find this quality and taste of pastries and desserts from non-Asian and European bakeries! None of these beauties had any nasty icing or sugary glaze or too-dense dough. It was the smoothest, yummiest of creams and fruit purred mixes! Mmm! This bear was a fluffy brioche type bun with a raspberry cream inside!

My cat’s selfie! Isn’t she precious?

Sis and me posing downtown Pittsburgh on the sunniest and hottest day in June so far.

I have lived in my current neighborhood for 4+ years and this is the first time we heard of this park that’s less than 2 miles from where we live! I guess they have an annual summer fair with fried food, local company booths, carnival rides and fireworks! What fun times!

We also went to Triple B Farms that same day to pick some black raspberries! Daphne loved the tractor slides, petting zoo, bee station and berry picking.

The weekend before, my sis in law visited with her baby and hubby and we also went downtown to the Strip to eat and be merry. Pittsburgh has so many things to do and see and eat! I love touring it myself as a resident! This is inside one of my favorites shops, Roxanne’s Dried Flowers.

I’m going to end on this note of Daphne looking her most pensive while walking in Point State Park.


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Summer Tastings

I’m loving my fresh summer mani! I’m rocking Peachside Babe from Essie and this deliciously creamy baby blue from Adesse. Two coats each achieve this opaque look!

The book I’m reading right now is one I had my eye on for years, actually. The Spice Box Letters by Eve Makis is a bit heavier than I was expecting but it’s better that way. She writes of the Armenian conflict, which I previously knew nothing about. I can’t get past this annoyingly consistent typo of “no one” being spelled like “noone” though. The first time I caught this, I thought it was just a sloppy typo. However, this book spells it this way every.single.time. Like, what? There were other spelling mistakes (not just typos) and for this being a published book (as opposed to ARCs which I’m more forgiving about), it’s just not acceptable. Mistakes aside, I am enjoying the story so far.

Yum, this very Instagrammable drink from Aldis made me feel oh-so fancy! I added some ice cubes and fresh mint leaves for the ultimate summer drink. It’s sweet and floral and reminds of all the sparkling elderflower drinks I had in Vienna. The value is crap though–you get this tinyass bottle for about $3.

Hubs made French toast from scratch topped with this fresh berry mix and real maple syrup. Yum!

Hubs also made this from-scratch quiche with red onion, spinach, bacon and cheddar cheese on top. I mixed us some OJ + pineapple wine +San Pellegrino mineral water. Yum.

Over Memorial Day weekend, I visited my parents and we had an amazing dim sum brunch in downtown Cleveland at our old standby Bao Loong. I took this picture even before all the dishes came but just couldn’t wait to dig in!

I love that soooo many packets of desiccant came in this toddler snack’s packaging, enabling me to complete my makeup brush holder filler. These little balls serve as the perfect material to absorb any moisture from my brushes! This particular gray, clay type isn’t pretty like the transparent ones but it does the same thing!

Just utilizing my iced tea maker with this very tarte raspberry nectar! The color is gorgeous but the drink needed some honey to counter that blast of sour.

I received a voxbox this year! Success! These 3 skincare products from Bio Clarity simplifies a clear skin routine for oily, acne-prone skin!

This past weekend we went to a coworker’s party and someone brought this scrumptious spectacle of a cake! I’m told that it’s a turtle mocha cake from Oakmont Bakery. Wow. Daphne loved this!

As far as I’m concerned, the only good thing Republicans have done so far since 2016 was to get Cleveland to put up this sign and spruce up that area when they hosted the RNC. It was really fun hanging around the lakeside area!

This is the newest park we discovered–Mellon park! It was bigger than I expected and had a walled garden area. Loved it!


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A Cold Spring

Targeted Facebook ads work on me like a charm. Instagram ones too! Although they are one and the same since Facebook bought Instagram so…basically I’m just saying that it’s not really hard to guess what I like. I recently made a purchase at Live Love Polish and impulse-purchased a temperature reactive polish from their Van Gogh collection. The bottle color is what it becomes when it’s cold and the shade on my fingers is what it looks like warmed up. One polish, two gorgeous shades! This did not come by cheap either–$16 for the bottle and another $6 for shipping. The bottle is rather small too for the full size: only 10ml. Worth it though for the effect? Yeah! Also, I dare you to watch their ads and NOT be interested in trying one!

I bought this raspberry lambic beer last week. Yum! It quite reminded me of the New Glarus raspberry tarts I had back in my WI days! The bottles were stoppered with wax. This lambic beer wasn’t quite as snappy and a little more beer-like. Still, with an ice cube, it was pretty refreshing!

I tried a grape vanilla float at Burgatory last week and boy was it overpriced! $6 for a scoop of plain vanilla ice cream on top of this little soda bottle. There are so many places around me I always get excited to eat out at and then immediately regret it after racking up a $40 bill after 1 entree, a drink and a side…Is this merely inflation or capitalism becoming increasingly unsustainable? Then there’s always tax and tip and wow, an average American’s paycheck for a whole day is down the tube after one meal! Just a few years ago, I would never even think of purchasing a drink at a restaurant and it’s a mark of my financial stability that I can every now and then.

Live below your means, people! Then when you’ve finally saved enough, live comfortably! Save, spend frugally, prioritize purchases, reuse, upcycle and you too can live debt-free!

My second alcohol-related pic in the same post! Ironically enough, coming to you from the girl who is allergic to alcohol, hardy har har. To be fair, this pic is from months ago when I mixed some sparkling water into this pineapple fruity tutti dessert wine. Yum but actually too strong for me, alas. I ended up red and uncomfortably warm the whole night after finishing the quantity you see before you. Pangur Ban is adorbs as a model here.

It was good while it lasted! This stunning white blossoms in full bloom view was as ephemeral as it was beautiful. I want to say…2.5 weeks in April? And now the remnants are stuck in the crevices of our hardwood floors, our rugs, underneath our shoes, in the pond and even in our car seats!


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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 :(.


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UK Sights

What a whirlwind month of May I’ve had! I spent my babymoon in the United Kingdom on an action-packed adventure! It was also my hubby’s annual company trip but I’m mostly going to refer to it as my babymoon ;). Four whole days definitely didn’t feel like enough time, and we caught ourselves already planning a follow up trip to do all the stuff that we couldn’t do this time around–Roman baths, high tea, Globe Theatre, London Museum, etc.

Here I am at Oxford University, standing in front of where the Great Hall in Harry Potter was filmed…also, where the best minds of British literature went to school.

We even caught a theater production in London’s arts district! I’ve always loved the play Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and seeing it live was just intense and magical. Recognizing Varys from GoT, Umbridge from Harry Potter and Imogen Poots from 28 Weeks Later was quite satisfying! They are great stage actors!

Right outside William Shakespeare’s childhood home in Stratford upon Avon! This was the only place we got to shop a little. The little stores were oh-so cute here.

Love the Venetian style bridge in the background! This is the area Oxford students celebrated their graduation!

Christ Church–most famous college within Oxford!

Windsor Castle–the queen was here the day of our tour! She did not offer us tea and biscuits but we were also in a bit of a rush. Feeling rushed became the theme of all 4 days here with such limited times and long commutes from our Hilton hotel.

Ah, Stonehenge doesn’t look quite so big, does it? I can pinch the little stones from this angle!

We didn’t go across Tower Bridge but seeing it is still impressive. I didn’t realize the bridge was blue!

This raven got up close and personal with me. Legend has it that the day the ravens fly away, London will fall. To prevent this, these ravens have their wings clipped.

Okay, I had to take this picture :). I didn’t get a chance at Buckingham Palace but the Tower of London had a good view of this guy.

Entrance to the Tower of London. This is the extra thing we did apart from the city tour. We saw the crowned jewels and learned all about the Cullian Diamond! It is the biggest diamond ever found and it’s actually split into 9 diamonds! One is in the scepter and another is in the crown.

The Shard skyscraper–I love the mix of the modern and the ancient in this view.

MI6 Building–James Bond’s headquarters :).

Big Ben and parliament in the back!

Westminster Abbey! We didn’t get to go in–see what I mean about feeling rushed? To be continued for next trip.

Buckingham Palace changing of the guards!

On our first night here, we ate at Giraffe, a world kitchen with interesting international cuisine. I got a Thai dish and hubby got a Turkish dish. I’m sipping my yummy mango lassi. The only real British food we tried was what they served on the tours and I have to say that it’s the worst fish and chips I’ve ever had. That was sorely disappointing!

Current mani = seafoam green + gold champagne accent nail with a thin layer of Mermaid Blush.

I’m modeling on top of the book I’m reading now: Under the Tuscan Sun by France Mayes. It’s the non fiction memoir of this middle aged lady’s housing renovation in Italy. It’s slow reading but I have a fascination with housing stuff so it might yet impress me.

My sweet Pangur Ban is cuddling with the baby :). 28 weeks along now! *Sigh still 2 more months to go…