Tiny Horse

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


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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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Gobble Gobble

My Thanksgiving mani is a deep watermelon shade from Formula X (not quite red!) and several cat silhouette water decals! I’m continuing to love these decals. All you need is a pair of tweezers and a shallow container with some water in it. Seal with top coat and you can get fancy with the designs!

This was my dad’s and my combined epic birthday cake (Yay. November bdays!). BEST CAKE I’VE EVER HAD. It’s called Dulce Napoleon cake from Market District. It’s basically several layers of perfect yellow cake, dulce de leche and the lightest, freshest cream topped with flaky, buttery pastry! Oh my glob, it was da bomb frosting. Literally. We’re all about the European pastries in our family so we always shy away from those sugary, radioactive colored confetti cakes usually found in this country. I mean, just look at this beauty. It’s more beautiful than some people I know.

My latest little craft project! I bought a DIY wooden frame from Michael’s for $1. Then I spray painted it gold, lined the top with a strip of washi tape and carefully pressed a silver cluster of bird body tattoos on there! Then I cut out some adhesive print paper and wrote a cool quote on it. Note to self–that sticky craft paper is so thin and tricky to apply that I’m just going to glue it down next time and forget the whole adhesive part…

 

Let’s talk about Gobble! This is a meal subscription service I signed up for. Virgin Mobile inner circle members got a whole week’s worth of credits so I nabbed it before it was gone! I’m duly impressed with the meal choices, ingredients and customer service.

Here you see 3 different meals with 2 servings each for $71. Shipping is included and it arrives the day it ships out. Ingredients are very fresh and pretty interesting! I learned what ponzu, minzu, kohlrabi were! Everything was packaged in its own bag and you didn’t have to wash or chop beforehand! That’s my least favorite part about cooking!

First meal was sesame crusted ahi tuna with kohlrabi noodles, sliced avocado, minzu, pickled ginger and wonton strips. The sauce was a sweet and savory ponzu topped with my fave–sesame oil! So fresh and good!

The second meal was even better than the first! This is pan seared chicken breasts on top of a butternut squash garlic butter risotto with caramelized fennel. Mmmm! I can’t wait for the third and final meal tonight–Korean spicy tofu ramen with hard boiled egg!


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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 :(.


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Baby Shower + Craziness 

This is the craziness part of my post. Two weeks ago, I had just gotten off work, pulled out of the parking lot and was going straight in my own lane when a Subaru Forester T-boned me all because he didn’t look left when he was making his right turn. There was no way I could have even stopped to let him in because he turned the exact moment I drove past–what a winner. Just look at the damage he did to my poor lil Civic! This guy’s wife hopped out of the car and had the gall to tell me off for driving too fast. Lady, the speed limit is 35 on this road and since I had JUST pulled out of my work parking lot before being rammed by your husband, the max I could have been going was realistically around 18 mph. A bystander had to point out the fact that I was pregnant because it didn’t even dawn on the actual driver. That lady was like, “Oh my, gosh, she’s pregnant!” Yep, hit by an 80-year old man while 8 months pregnant and being yelled at by his ignorant wife. What a Thursday. The policeman called an ambulance and I took a quick trip to the ER where the NP used the doppler to hear my baby’s heartbeat.

What I’ve learned from this incident that there are ZERO consequences for an at-fault accident in the state of PA. Basically, this terrible driver does not have to pay his own deductible for his vehicle’s repairs, his rate for his insurance will not rise for next year and he does not even get a ticket from the police for not yielding when turning onto a main road. WOW.

Can’t do any work with my Pangur Ban all cute like this. She is decidedly less cute in the mornings when she repeatedly bites me for no reason though.

This is the mint brownie milkshake from Red Robin. It was good but in hindsight, soggy brownie pieces at the bottom of a chocolate shake was not the best idea. I think I preferred the Oreo pieces for a bit of a crunchy texture but oh, well. Can’t complain too much about a milkshake.

Behold the perfect cake pop set amongst my gorgeous hydrangeas. My baby shower went well and it was super fun. I should mention super tiring for me as well since my out of town guests stayed several days. I was excited for this event but also relieved that it’s over :). My sister did a great job with the decorations and desserts. I got to see so many of my Ohio State friends and even rounded up a bridesmaids reunion! Now I am a little more prepared for my baby girl with all the onesies, diapers and accessories I received!

I’m not a fan of my current mani, funnily enough. The color in the bottle looked lilac fo sho but on my nails, it looks like the same exact pastel pink I chose for last month! Grrr…China Glaze, you shady! I tried this Trust Fund Beauty $12 Latte shade on my accent nail and topped it off with a micro glitter coat but it’s still not doing much for me. I think it’s too muddy and dark of a brown and the contrast with this chalky pink color is not great at all. I’ll probably only wait 1 more week to change this one up. No more pinks!

I’m reading The Clockwork Dynasty by Daniel Wilson right now and it’s pretty interesting. The narrative goes back and forth between time periods and 2 sets of main characters. I have an advanced reading copy from Goodreads but have not seen any typos so far–always a great sign!


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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…