Tiny Horse

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


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February Miscellany

A simple mani! Essie’s Ladylike with Sally Hansen’s white topped with gold glitter from VS. Not pictured here but I’m currently reading Commonwealth by Ann Patchett and it is entertaining! We’re not talking deep literature here but the story and characters are so fascinating. After State of Wonder, I really am quite a fan of this author.

I bought 20 of these bad boys off Mercari last week so that Daphne will never want for a fun bubble bath experience! Bubbles were good but the scent was too light. Can’t wait to try out such flavors like Margarita, Bahama Mama, Lemon Drop, PIna Colada, etc.

These dessert bath bombs came from Amazon and they are so fun to use! Look at this doughnut with “sprinkles!” It turned the water a nice baby blue. Scent was just a generic powdery lavender/soapy kind of scent; not actually like the treat itself.

Had high hopes for this one but it came broken out of the packaging :(. It also had the same toy inside as another one we used from the same box. C’mon! Throw in something different over here!

Went to one of my favorite bakeries in Pittsburgh–The Pink Box in Squirrel Hill. Got 2 Japanese cheesecakes (in which they put way too much whipped cream and not enough of the actual cheesecake…) and a slice of triple layer strawberry. Both were yum.

This ginormous smoothie from Tropical Smoothie Cafe was literally half the size of my child. Cray.

Man, what a crazy two months it has been so far this year! I watched about 30 minutes of the State of the Union last night and just eye rolled the whole entire time. God, what a delusional monster we have in charge of our nation and an entire group of people who prop him up. On the fashion side, check out all those chic white suits the Democratic women were wearing!

 


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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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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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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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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.