Tiny Horse

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


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DIY & Yums

Just a simple sheer opalized coral and an opaque shell mani. I’m modeling on top of this disturbing book Room, by Emma Donahue. It’s narrated by a 5-year old boy who has been trapped in a small enclosed space all his life with his young mother. This is loosely based of the real life story of tragic Elisabeth Fritzl whose demented father held her in his sealed, sound proof basement for TWENTY FOUR years. She gave birth to 7 children of his, one of whom died shortly after. Truth is stranger than fiction, y’all. It’s hard for me to believe that there are many sickos out there in the world who would do this to another human being, let alone…more than one at a time! The one case that hits closest to home is the Cleveland abduction. Anyways, the book was good but it was fictional and too optimistic. All the real life cases are much worse and lasted longer. 

Loved this bath bomb shortcake fizzler! That “topping” in the center is cute and was last to melt.

I decanted this other fancier glass jar of bubble bath into my tiny plastic wine glass for the perfect fit! Now it has a wider opening and looks like bubbly!

I made my own bath crystals! Months ago, I had the foresight to buy a large bag of Ahava mineral bath salts from Marshalls and this week, I mixed some with rose petals, crushed mint leaves, lemon essential oil, coconut oil, a sleep blend of essential oil and achieved this spa-smelling bath treat! I used a few scoops in my last bath and it was delightful! 

I also took on a one-time decoupage project! Go me! I cut out these butterflies from a particularly pretty napkin and brushed on a few layers of Mod Podge onto this cleaned out empty glass candle jar. Viola, now I have a super cute pen holder!

I experimented with different colored wax pieces to achieve these cool lookin’ wax seals! I bought another set of 4 new stamp designs and can’t wait to try them out! I sent out 7 of these hand-written, completely customized and personalized cards and one person never got hers! Someone else got hers a whole month after I sent it so wow, the postal service has been dealing with a lot of delays. 

I made grilled pork kabobs with herbs and a Peruvian spice mix. Gotta say, they turned out SO DANG YUMMY. Cooking with pork is more challenging than chicken or beef but this grilling method was bomb!

Yup, another impulse Amazon purchase that turned into my DIY win! I mixed honeydew powder, whole milk, ice cubes, some honey and premium hibiscus iced black tea to make this miracle! Turns out, I don’t need a bubble tea shop during quarantine! 

I made this version of bibimbap that was healthy and good! Ground beef, fried egg (with a slightly runny yolk), sliced avocado, scallions, black beans, minced onions and baby portabello mushrooms over rice drizzled over with Sriracha sauce. Mmmhmmm!

For lunch today, I seared sea scallops in a pan with butter, minced garlic, lemon juice, sprinkled with some salt, black pepper and parsley. Simple and oh, so divine! 

My background, ladies and gentlemen! So it doesn’t look like this right now but a few weeks back…damn, my whole backyard should have been featured in Better Homes & Gardens.

Just look at these perfectly pink blossoms!

Okay, now this is a separate photo entry to National Geographic. Right in our pond, people! 

One of my favorite pictures of biddyboo in our backyard.


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Quarantine Time!

This mani has been lasting me a while and I’m kind of proud of it even though it looks pretty rough. I chose a faint lilac from Essie and a creamy lavender from Adesse. No topcoat yet I’m going on the second week with only a few chips. 

The book I’m modeling on top of is Eat a Peach, by David Chang. It’s a really interesting, colloquially written memoir that is fascinating for fans of Momofuku, the various Netflix series he’s in or just for fans of Chang himself. See my full review on Goodreads here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3228153296?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

Both Daphne and I are in love with this 6-pack of bath bombs! I got them from Amazon and they are literally da bomb. I’ve already ordered MANY boxes/sets of bath bombs/fizzies with surprise toys inside and while the element of surprise is exhilarating, my luck has been terrible and I keep getting repeats within the same package. Two unicorns, two whales, two penguins…enough already! Give me some variety! These aren’t cheap at all! So this particular set already had each toy showing in the packaging, which is great for people who want to see the goods! No repeats this way! The size of the bath bomb is large, the scent was nice and fruity and the coloring was STRONG. Just look at the hue of the water! No staining in the tub either afterwards! It did get quite slippery because of the essential oils. Here is the link I used:

 

Hahaha, this was such a random beauty product I bought in a bundle via Mercari back in February. You break apart the “spoon” like tool to mix the “yolk” part with the “white” to create this hydrating sleep mask. The scent was so nice and beautiful! This lasted me a week and half and while it did feel a bit thick upon application, you woke up with supple, smooth skin! Plus, it gets points for being super adorable.

Is this not the most perfect buttered brown toast you’ve ever seen? It’s French brioche toast that I browned on the skillet with a pat of butter and then topped it with my new obsession–clotted cream and an artisan blueberry champagne jam. Heaven!

I whipped my own cream with a pinch of sugar and it frothed beautifully when I put in fresh cut strawberries. Yummy dessert!

I baked drumsticks with a nice rub/glaze of: hoisin sauce, honey, cajun seasoning, black pepper, crushed mint, garlic salt, paprika. The broccoli was tossed in a similar spice mix albeit with drizzled garlic infused olive oil and parsley. The potatoes got a little more honey and olive oil. Yum. 

I got sent a box of Lola ulta thin condoms for review and I loved the look of them! I was only aware of Lola’s feminine care products like tampons, wipes so was pleasantly surprised to see them come out with condoms. The little box was discreet, cute and totally can be mistaken for a box of mints or paper clips placed on your nightstand, ha! So yes, they were ultra thin but the verdict was that they are a bit too tight. 

Amazon makes my wishes come true! I searched for tons of wax sealing kits and settled on this set with a hefty brass stamp. I am obsessed! I bought another set with pre-cut hexagonal wax pieces so that I could mix colors and go all out on this new hobby of mine! 

Here is everything in action! I’m melting 2 differently colored wax pieces in the tiny spoon heated by a tealight candle. This is really going to amp up my stationery game! 

April weather got me like…wuh? I’ve been enjoying our solarium a lot more and trying to catch some much-needed sun in there admist all the torrential rainstorms, freezing temperatures, snow or fierce winds! 

This is a pretty accurate Hogwarts House test I took last week via Facebook. I self identify as Slytherin but usually get placed in Gryffindor. I do believe I’m way more Ravenclaw than Hufflepuff though…

I filled up all the plastic eggs we had with fruit snacks and cheddar penguin crackers (off brand Goldfish) and hid them all over the house on Easter. Daphne found 85% of them the first day! Then over the next two days, found the rest. My hubby ended up finding the very last one in her toy watering can almost a week later though. Ha!

Quarantine times has probably got a lot of going stir crazy but I want to explain my nerves and feelings because they’re not quite like those of my friends, family or coworkers.

Things I’m tired of hearing:

-If she’s hungry she’ll eat (a big NOPE! So my 2-yr old has sworn off food and hubby and I have tried the gamut of tricks. Pediatrician is worried, we had an appointment with a nutritionist. So she’s fallen completely off the growth chart but the issue isn’t physical. It’s 100% behavorial and it’s driving all 3 of us nuts. Meal times are WAR TIMES in our household)

-The apple doesn’t fall from the tree. She’s tiny because you’re tiny. There’s no other reason (wow, okay, completely disregard my husband’s very normal height and weight and taller genes from his family. Explain why literally every single child I know who has two short parents have crazily exceeded their height and weight?! No, Daphne is not tiny because I’m tiny. I’m tiny because I didn’t eat real food until the age of 12 and starved myself and didn’t sleep. Sounds familiar but it might have been a physical ailment for me because I just didn’t like the taste of anything edible until turning 12. It was like something finally clicked. Unfortunately, I missed my growth spurt and only ever grew horizontally after that. I always have to explain that genetically speaking, my future height was projected at a healthy 5’4″ by multiple doctors that my parents visited when I was a child)

-I’m so bored while quarantined or I don’t know what to do with all the free time I have now that I’m stuck at home (okay, I will trade with that person’s life in a heartbeat no matter where they are living because all I want everyday is to have a few moments of free time. Being under quarantine has drained away my energy, my sanity, my freaking time and my life force. The closure of daycare centers and the essential nature of my work has caused all hell to break loose in my household. Both my husband and I are expected to care for our crazily difficult toddler while working full time jobs at home and maintain whatever routine and health and wellness we have left. She doesn’t eat, which I have already stated but she also skips naps and goes to bed late everyday, giving us no moment of rest. She is a full time job and even with our eyes on her, she manages to get various scrapes, cuts, bruises, bumps from EVERYWHERE. Her screams and tirades fill the house and I don’t remember the last time I was able to go to the bathroom without her following me. It might have been in 2018 when she didn’t walk yet. However, even with all these difficulties, I’m not one of the people complaining about social distancing. I’ll do whatever it takes so that more people don’t have to die from this pandemic. Turn your boredom to hobbies or even online browsing and shopping. I just want a minute to look at my goddamn phone!)


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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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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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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.


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Voting!

The only window of opportunity I had to vote was after work and after picking up Daphne from daycare so she accompanied me :). My voting area did not hand out stickers but I did get a receipt! I was looking forward to Nov. 6th more than my own birthday next Tuesday, hahaha. I stayed up late last night to watch the live election results and while it was better than the 2016 disastrous results, some key races were still disappointing. But having a record midterm voter turnout is a still a win!

I haven’t had a manicure for a while so this autumn look is a big deal. The dark green shade is Formula X called Huntress (fitting). The light gray is from Essence with a confetti-like topcoat from Sally Hansen.

I’m modeling my mani on top of this weird, weird book called The Waiter by Matias Faldbakken. This was translated from Norwegian and I’m sure some things were probably lost in translation…I wouldn’t recommend it because I don’t even know what I read. There’s no plot and no payoff for character investment.

Yep, it’s about time for another Mimiboo picture! She’s been hanging out on Daphne’s changing table again, lol. Look at how fluffy she is!

I haven’t shared any pictures yet from my Central Euro trip back in September so here are just a couple from my last full day in Budapest. Hubby and I spent nearly all day at the Gellert Baths, which had and indoor swimming pool, outdoor wave pool (pictured) and a few thermal baths inside with varying temperatures. Ahhhhh, so needed after trekking all over Prague and Vienna!

This particular bath was 38 degrees Celsius. Check out those mineral deposits on that fountain! It ain’t no blue lagoon but I always appreciate a natural geothermal spring!

This was right in the lobby of the Gellert hotel. The spa was underground. Overall, I think I preferred the Szcheny baths because of the huge selection of different indoor baths as well as the giant outdoor ones with jets!