Tiny Horse

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


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Spring Review 

Oh, my dear dear Pangur Ban. She turned 2 in June! Her exact birthday is a mystery as she was a feral little thing when I got her and even then her age was a guestimation. My neighbor took good care of her when I was off in London so she is in full fluff mode! Just look at this supermodel cat pose. What grace, what poise, Mimiboo!

She can be a little terror in the mornings though. Just today, she would not let me go down the stairs without nipping, biting , scratching at my ankles and feet. She continued to mew loudly the whole time and rub herself up against me. In addition, she has this bad habit of standing on her hind legs and pawing at me when I get out of the shower and I have to let her sit in my lap while I awkwardly balance her while dripping wet and half naked…oh, the things I do for my furbaby…

This isn’t exactly the mani I envisioned for my baby shower this weekend but it’s close enough. I applied 3 coats of Essie’s muchi muchi and alternated VS’s gold glitter topcoat. I searched all over for my French manicure placeholder stickers but could not find them for the life of me. I was going to paint half the nail gold but alas…

I’m reading Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo right now and can’t think up a good rating for it. It takes place in Malaysia and explores the superstitious ghost stories of the ethnic Chinese who live there and it’s just too cray for me. The main character is clueless and not entirely likable. The style is simple and the story feels too long. Perhaps the ending will surprise me?

Second wedding of 2017! I’m almost 7 months preggers in this picture and definitely took it easy for this wedding. The Morais Vineyard in Bealeton, VA was quite picturesque! I haven’t seen this friend for 10+ yrs so it was a good chance to attend this milestone in her life. The weather was overcast and romantic, I thought ;). Since my friend is Chinese and she’s marrying a Korean dude, I thought the food would’ve been some kind of Asian but NOPE. It was vanilla snowstorm Mitt Romney white. Bland, catered chicken breast, mashed potatoes…boiled veggies that went soggy in your mouth :(. It’s okay, the cake was da bomb! It was like layered coconut, chocolate cake with some strawberry jam in there. Yum!

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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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I’m on a Boat! 

This is my 6-month preggers mani! It’s an opaque pinkish orchid color from Ulta and my attempts at jazzing it up. You can’t really tell in this picture but my accent finger has this halfassed yellow butterfly on there as a result of my stamping fiasco. I tried 3 different polishes and countless times but either my polish was drying too quickly or it wasn’t thick enough to transfer. Grrrr…I gave up after the 5th try and pasted a nail sticker right on my index finger. My last mani lasted for 2 whole weeks without chipping with a topcoat and I left it on for another 2 weeks so I’m hoping this one will last through my trip next week!

I’m modeling on top of the current book I’m reading: The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon. It’s an awkward title because I want to say A Beautiful Girl but the A is missing. Anyways, I’m predisposed to dislike it based on the fact that it’s not purely fiction and not based on anything that ever happened. I’m skeptical about books designed to make you feel extreme pity for certain characters or to tug at your heartstrings. Little Bee lost me this way because it simply wasn’t based on facts or biography. The author can try to exaggerate the plight and throw in some sob background story but really, the characterization HAS to be convincing and enlightening enough for me to feel like I learned something or discovered something. I mean, I’ll read this book but I’m going into it with a healthy dose of high expectations.

Last Thursday and Friday, I attended the Heart of Agile Conference aboard the Pittsburgh Gateway Clipper fleet on behalf of my company! It was such a unique setting and I got to learn some useful lean principles and network with coworkers that I otherwise would not have met. The boats were stationary but the smaller ones still got shaky when there were waves. Pastries and lunch were served on both days and it was really nice to take in sights of the 3 rivers of Pittsburgh. I’m so lucky to work where I work and to have a boss who is so supportive of these extracurricular events.

It’s fun to remember that just last year, I was in this exact river on the Ducky Tours going under the Liberty Bridge. Pittsburgh is a pretty unique city with plenty of places I have yet to explore. If only its roads weren’t like roller coasters and its drivers weren’t always so pissed off.

Pangur Ban being a little brat ;). Because a cushion-less armchair is so much more comfortable…#catlogic


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April Times

I just got back from the most exhausting wedding I’ve ever been to. My hubby’s cousin married an Indian girl so they had a traditional Barat ceremony at the buttcrack of dawn, followed by a luncheon, then a second Christian ceremony, cocktail hour, followed up by a reception. I got probably 1 hour of sleep between Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I wish there were more traditional, heartier food options but hey, nobody asked my opinion on catering ;). The luncheon offered 3 vegetarian curries and paneer fingers (okay, can someone explain to me why paneer is ALWAYS so firm, hard and rubbery? It looks like it could be tofu or mozzarella sticks, but I’m constantly disappointed by its stubbornly chewy and flavorless texture…). The cocktail hour featured some so-called Chinese and Mexican appetizer stations but since they were made by Indian caterers, the flavors were indescribably “off” and contained absolutely no real ingredients from either culture. I watched one of John’s cousins bite into a juicy-looking meatball with gusto only to realize it was a mashed beans and celery mixture. The late dinner actually consisted of the same, tiresome items as the luncheon’s so I could only wait for dessert time to be saved. 100% vegetarian wedding banquet courses = never again. Little did I know that the brief road stop we made during our 6-hr drive to Farmingdale, NJ turned out to be the best meal I would have all weekend…

This whole wedding was a colorful, extravagant mess! I mean mess in that no one (including the bride and groom) knew what was happening during the Indian ceremony and with 370+ people in one building, there was no guidance on which room to file into, or what blessing what currently going on. For the first 2 hours, I was either mindlessly following this horse doing laps around this country club because the bride’s family was so late to arrive, or I was pinned up against the entrance of the main hall because some sort of ceremony was going on where no one could see or hear anything. For the next 2 hours, the Indian side of the wedding just milled around, talking loudly amongst themselves, eating breakfast all while the actual Barat ceremony was going on. It was a confusing hullabaloo!

What an experience! I was so exhausted I had to take a sick day on Monday because of extreme soreness and vomiting (this I expect came from my disagreement of Indian food). However, it was a lot of “firsts” for me: first Indian wedding, first wedding I’ve attended being pregnant, first NJ wedding. Squeezing into both dresses (bought last year) at five months pregnant is no small feat. I’m hoping to goodness I’ll survive the second wedding in Virginia…

My April Ipsy bag added a mini duo nail polish set to my collection! This deep violet with grayish cast and pinkish nude went well together. I added a swipe of pearl pink topcoat to the accent nails. This ring is also my latest obsession. It’s a canary yellow CZ platinum plated stunner that looks so much more expensive than it is! The band is so delicately thin! I love the cushion cut and the crazy sparkle it gives off! I found out the hard way that it’s also pretty weak…two days into wearing the thing and one of the tiny CZ stones already chipped off on the halo! Rats!

I’m modeling over the book I recently finished: The Truth About Andy Bloom, by Mark Lages. It’s an interesting story about a writer who is supposedly the son of Salvador Dali!

From the official Cafe Du Monde box mix, we fried up beignets at home! They were easier than I expected and tasted great! This is definitely happening again. 

John went crazy two weeks ago and bought a crap ton amount of fresh fruit. He made breakfast smoothies for us one day and here’s the list of ingredients:

-cantaloupe

-kiwis

-canned peach syrup

-few canned peach slices

-fresh papaya

-crushed ice

The result was tropical deliciousness!


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Punta Cana! 

I’m loving my oh-so-feminine mani right now. I used Sinful Colors shimmery burnt pink alternating with Essie’s pastel To Buy or Not to Buy (palest lilac). I have on The One Ring and modeling it atop of an amazing book called Honolulu by Alan Brennert. I picked this up cold because I enjoyed Moloka’i soooo much. That book taught me so much about Leprosy/Hansen’s disease and that particular part of Hawaiian history. This author should have taught in school because he effortlessly engages you in a topic you wouldn’t otherwise be interested in.

Hubby and I just came back from a 6-day, 5-night all inclusive resort vacation from the Dominican Republic. It was basically just unlimited food, drinks, shows and pool/beach time. The biggest decision we had to make everyday was where to pick our dinner reservation.

It did rain for 2.5 days while we were there but duh–it was their hurricane season so we chose this year knowing the risks. We ate at 4/7 of their specialty restaurants and sampled every bar. There were nightly shows that definitely impressed us with its scope and talented cast! We did archery, mini golf, ping pong and pool and even made some friends. Our one regret is that since the waters were so choppy, no water activities were available. I wanted to snorkel or kayak or go on the catamaran but nope! Instead I lost my only pair of aviators to this evil bigass wave.

I couldn’t help but compare this trip experience to my only other Caribbean resort experience which was in Jamaica and found it lacking. We stayed at the Caribe Club Princess Resort and I would probably rate it a 2.5 stars out of 5. October is the off-season but it was still swarming with people :(. At Jamaica, there were only a few other U.S. honeymooners and some locals but at this Punta Cana resort, there were so many babies, families and entire European and Latin American tour groups. The resort was so big in area that we had to wait 15 min at a time just to board the “train” to get to the lobby/theatre area. The buffet food selection was very meh and most of the dishes were bland and overcooked. A nasty surprise was that about 85% of the clientele smoked. I was trying to waft away second hand smoke the WHOLE vacation. People tossed their cigarette butts on the beach, in the beach, at the buffet and even in the pool! There was no escape. Our Jamaican resort was no-smoking. Also, I wasn’t prepared for 95% of the staff and other resort goers to only speak Spanish. Even the couple of Spanish words I used weren’t understood by anyone. Sad news bears. Would I come back to this resort? Hellz no. Would I come back to DR? Probably not. My next beach resort vacation will be an upscale one at Turks & Caicos or Saint Kitts & Nevis ‘cuz you pretty much get what you pay for, mis amigos. Going lower in price this time matched the kind of quality you get and the type of masses of people you go with…


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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.