Tiny Horse

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


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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…


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2 Weddings and a Funeral 

What a whirlwind of a month for me! This upcoming weekend will be the only one since a month ago that I will be able to sleep in a bit on my own king sized bed. September = the death of me!

This pic is from my most recent wedding in St. Mary’s, OH of my Ohio State friend! The banquet hall felt like a high school cafeteria and the sash definitely doesn’t help the image, haha. The hubs and I look like homecoming couple 2016, lol! We had loads of fun and I relished every Ohio/Buckeye-tinged moment. 

Jess’s wedding ensured that I got to see my good pal Brittany this year. Check out those danger-zone aviators! Right after getting home from the wedding, I was actually inspired to watch Top Gun. How appropriate is that?

This is my fave pic of daddy + daughter. Pangur Ban looks resigned, haha! 

What a gorgeous lace wedding dress Jess is rocking! It was tied up with custom hot pink satin straps in the back and trimmed with hot pink lace at the bottom! I also dug the modern birdcage veil she chose in lieu of a cathedral length one.

All 8 Ohio State grads lining up for an epic double O-H-I-O shot! I felt honored to be the only invitee from the class of ’10. Everyone else was reppin’ class of 2009! 

Can’t believe the cake and the cupcakes were made by Jess’s mom and sister! I sampled blackberry/lemon, pumpkin cheesecake and peanut butter chocolate!

Instead of a photobooth rental, Jess opted for a selfie station complete with selfie sticks! What a cute idea! 

This has got to be the prettiest china pattern I’ve ever seen. Every piece was different. I never drink tea at a wedding but this arrangement propelled me!

John’s grandma’s burial site. We traveled to Long Island to attend her wake, funeral service and burial service. It was good seeing his family members and to pay respects at this time. Grandma Mary will be remembered :).

Upstate rural NY wedding of John’s friend Adam, who coincidentally enough served as the officiant at our wedding! We’re all connected, yay! They had it on the farm property of called Maple Ridge and had some of the fanciest food served at a wedding I’ve attended. Entrees included: coq au vin, roast beef with au jus, roasted farmhouse veggies, garlic cream risotto! The cocktail hour had baked honey brie, bacon wrapped dates, grilled jumbo shrimp and stuffed mushrooms! It was scenic and intimate and the only thing I would add is a proper public bathroom! All guests were encouraged to pee in the woods, however there was a bathroom in someone’s cabin for emergencies…

Before the wedding, we explored Saratoga Spa State Park and got to taste all the fresh mineral water springs! I had such a blast!

Random roadside restaurant near Scranton, PA on the way to the wedding that we stopped at. It was a Japanese steak house and pretty fancy! Check out the scrumptious teriyake beef and pork yaki bowl! So much mmmm…

Revlon nude rose polish with a topcoat of micro glitter polish from H&M. The accent nail is Beauty Trust Fund in Elegantly Wasted from my Ipsy bag. I’m modeling atop the book I was reading at the time: The Nightingale. It’s a WWII story centering on the sacrifices and relationship of 2 sisters in France. I liked that it was based off the real life of a Belgian teenage woman who risked her life to help get downed Allied pilots to safety across the Pyrenees.


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Beach Trip Mani

Trying out my new Covergirl Outlast polish in Inferno! I got the free full size bottle plus 2 other beauty items and a makeup bag all free as part of their #covergirlclean campaign. See my pic from Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/BJ0R3tkgLry/?taken-by=kding55

I put 2 layers of a solid gold from Sephora as an accent color and viola, I give you fashion Gryffindor colors!

Taken at my weekend Presque Isle State Park trip back in August. This is the lighthouse there. See those jelly flip flops? Yeah, I hiked over 3 miles in those and got raging blisters and broken skin. My regular Old Navy flip flops would never do that to me :(.

 

Wanted to document this dish that tasted magnifico. Here’s the scoop:

Kathy’s Pasta Puttanesca (literally translated to whore’s pasta but only because this was a hearty and quick dish to make between customers back in the day…)

-spaghetti or thin spaghetti

-cherry tomatoes sliced in halves

-crushed garlic and fresh sprinkle of chives and basil

-tinned anchovy filets in olive oil

-sweet onion

-sea salt, black pepper, paprika, crushed red pepper flakes

-more olive oil

-splash of lime juice

It was super delicious, y’all. My version doesn’t have capers or pickled olives but I’m okay with that. My Italian hubby majorly approved.

Mimiboo is once again blocking me from writing, organizing or reading anything on my desk.

Three pics in a row showing off my new retro one-piece swimsuit! I’m so over bikinis these days ;).

The book I was reading on the trip was Rubbernecker and it was super entertaining. I would describe it as a mix of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime + I Am Not a Serial Killer.  The overly British spellings (pyjamas, tyres) and weird nouns (marmite?!) stymied my progress at times but I got through it pretty quickly. The plot and twists are pretty clever even if the main character isn’t relatable.


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Summer Trips

Is it considered cheating on my cat if I’m cuddling another somewhere else? This pedigree Persian kitten is literally a cloud in corporeal form. I felt pure bliss when I touched its creamy perfect coat of fluff. Who knew a company picnic would become a petting zoo?! Best picnic ever. 

Taken in Center Moriches, Long Island on our annual duck BBQ trip. This local pond was recently renovated and very neat and pretty looking. I might have looked cool but it was 95 degrees in the shade that day :(. Apparently no one in this whole region has central A/C so we spent most of the weekend huddled up in this one tiny room with the window unit propped up. Bring on the SPF!

Holiday Beach was quite breezy at 7pm when we went so that felt great. I think the salty bay breeze gave my locks some volume there!

Back to Pittsburgh! The Allegheny Cemetery had a beautiful fountain and we had a nice Sunday walk here after gorging ourselves at La Gourmandine. I don’t get a lot of chances to wear my yellow silk shift dress from Hangzhou so I’m mugging for the camera right here.

This structured polka dot skirt is very interesting–it’s pretty much made of plastic and the stiffest piece of garment I own. Washing it was interesting too…

Mani time! It’s been a while because my last mani lasted so long. The pink is China Glaze and the accent nail is Sally Hansen opal fire. The look is inspired by watermelon lemonade…if that’s a thing.


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Beachy Mani

I used an old Essie favorite: Turquoise & Caicos (Turks and Caicos being a destination I eventually want to venture to) and a marshmallow color from China Glaze on the accent nail. I added a metallic dragonfly nail sticker too; this time with a clear topcoat to seal the deal!

My hand is posing on top of the current book I’m reading called Dream of Ding Village. I admit I picked it up because of my namesake being in the title but when I read that it’s based off the real life story of the blood bank scandal in Henan province back in the ’90s, I thirsted to learn more about this event. Unhygienic equipment was used on many blood donors and hundreds of people were infected with AIDS as a result.

This was the feast laid out during the long weekend of July 4th where I spent it with my family in Cleveland. A new ramen bar just opened and we took my fam out to celebrate my mom’s birthday. Look at those milky bowls of tonkotsu broth! My dad was the only one to opt out of the ramen and try the seafood tom yum bowl. He was disappointed and definitely ordering ramen next time! I got to satisfy my pork belly cravings! My picky eater mom loved her chashao (aka char siu) pork bowl. Here’s my full review on Yelp: http://www.yelp.com/biz/otani-noodle-cleveland-3.

Another round of blossoms bloomed on my grounds and I made another bouquet. These wildflowers actually made it this year! How gorgeous is that fuchsia flower?!


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Independence Mani

Check it out! It’s my own modified 4th of July mani! Pink, sky blue and cream always screams independence to me ;). I used Essie’s Bachelorette Party and Bikini So Teeny. Then I used 2 thick layers of this Sally Hansen French manicure nude color as the accent and topped it off with Victoria’s Secret gold glitter topcoat! 

My gorgeous water lilies bloomed in my own pond! They bloom during the day and shyly fold back into a bulb at night. It was totally hard capturing this. 

My favorite color of day lilies has to be the mauve and yellow blooms. This year, I even got some daisies!

 

Mimiboo holds my hand for comfort. We haven’t had a kitten moment for a while so I stayed in this one position for 20 minutes. So…stiff…must…keep cat from jumping off…