Tiny Horse

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


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Sustainable Me!

Essie ladylike nail polish paired with Estee Lauder’s bold glittery plum! I’m liking this tame mani for this frigid spring. The book I was reading at the time was The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough. I would describe it as the Gone with the Wind of Australian sheep country, lol. This thick tome is a sweeping multi-generation family saga. WWII even happens in the middle of it! The writing is superb and the story is gripping. It’s everything I love in a historical fiction drama, so kudos to McCullough!

Wow. You have no idea how lucky I consider myself to qualify for this voxbox from Influenster! I’ve been a member for a few years but rarely have the chance to receive any beauty goodies to review. Saturday Skin is actually a Korean beauty brand that is pretty much only selling via Sephora right now. These are full size products if you can believe it! Here is the breakdown:

-foam cleanser

-featherweight moisturizer

-hydrating sheet mask

-rub a dub dub peel gel

I tried every product and here’s my ranking:

  1. moisturizer – packaging is brilliantly hygienic! You have to push down and the perfect amount of product comes out in a flower shape. It’s so lightweight as the name suggests and it absorbs on my skin so well! This is great for day and night, all seasons!
  2. peel gel – I don’t normally like peel gels but this one wasn’t like ones I’ve used in the past. The consistency is opaque and not quite a gel, which I like! The microbeads disappear as you rub around and it really did feel like a gentle exfoliator!
  3. cleanser – lathered pretty well, easy to wash off but didn’t quite remove all my makeup residue (which I shouldn’t expect…but the claims!). Need to mention now that the scent of all these products are just juicy heavenliness. It was faint but each smelled like a fancy fruit like lychee mixed with green apple mixed with papaya.
  4. sheet mask – a bit tricky to use this right, haha! There were TWO pieces of mesh that you are supposed to remove. It was a slippery, kind of thick, chunky sheet mask. I also don’t like sheet masks very much (this is starting to change as I’m making myself try them more!) but I will have to say that my face felt really nice afterwards. I rubbed in the remaining essence and my skin felt plump and nourished.

Mmmmm…I still remember this meal so well. I made my own spice rub and dipping sauce for this majestic slab of pork spare ribs. Then we have my springy lemon butter garlic asparagus and honey drizzled jumbo buttermilk biscuits! Sparkling pink lemonade completes this filling meal! My dad was visiting that weekend so I had to show him a good time :).

I had my boss and her daughter over for dinner so I busted out some unique serverware pieces! Check out the tiny swords for spearing my sesame meatballs! Hubby baked lemon bars and that was a success! The main dish was my Thai peanut noodles using Chinese mung bean cellophane noodles! I love entertaining!

Had to share how cool Daphne looked in her “babyators.”

Oh, my sweet ray of sunshine! My little Daffodil is having fun in the solarium!

Color coordinating with her new mermaid doll. No big D, just have an innately fashion-conscious baby ;).

 

I want to document how 2018 is my year of sustainability! It didn’t start out as a definite resolution or anything but it’s turning into a great lifestyle choice! I’ve always been against waste and trying to cut down on the huge number of disposable products my household is dependent upon. Dish towels, hand towels and rags will always be my go-to for kitchen cleaning, for example. I’ll list out some of my green achievements for this year!

-buying my hubby a set of cotton men’s handkerchieves

He has constant allergies and is cold all the time so there’s a box of tissues in every room and he goes through them monstrously. With this set of 6 nice-looking hankies, I’m hoping to cut down on the massive number of tissues in our house! They are a light turquoise shade and very large in size!

-buying a set of 6 wool dryer balls

With a baby in the household, our loads of laundry have increased tenfold. With every dryer load, we use a dryer sheet and they really add up! After consulting with my crafty friends and reading tons of reviews, I bought a set of wool dryer balls to replace dryer sheets. They bounce all around merrily and knock out some wrinkles! I’ve also dripped a few drops of fragrant oils on them to help disperse the pleasant scent! So far I love them and I have not run into issues with increased static.

-using a menstrual cup

I bought this a few years ago but was too chicken to try it before. After womanning up, I did a trial run on my entire cycle last month and am convinced that this is the way to get rid of tampons for good! It is tricky to put in, even trickier to take out and a bit messy when emptying BUT…you can leave this in here much longer than you can with tampons and after the initial purchase price of this contraption, I can end my dependence on those pesky, TSS causing, expensive period sticks!

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Date Night

This nail polish lasted all of 1.5 days, haha. I used Korean beauty brand SEP’s liquid nail sticker in this beautiful creamy orchid shade. It really is a sticker! The brush was good and thick, the application was smooth but once it dried completely, you could lift up the entire thing! I think the point is to try different shades all the time without having to use polish remover but…wish the flaps would not come up so quickly.

This book took me a really long time to finish. I hate that I didn’t fully enjoy this autobiographical account of a woman’s literary teaching experience in oppressive Iran but it wasn’t my fault! The author was too self-important and focused on her own analysis of literary books to appreciate the actual interesting events that were unfolding around her.

So sad about the closing of Teavana forever…but happy to be able to finally afford their perfectea makers! I also ordered 2 Japanese matte tea cups out of this Honolulu boutique! This is sweetened mango black tea brewing in there :). So good. Currently obsessed with Adagio teas and Harney and Sons as well.

Last night, the hubs and I ventured out on our own for a real date night–the first time since little daffodil was born! We saw this avant garde German-based opera and then hopped downtown to the Milkshake Factory! What a cute cute place! Prices were high and portions were small but the taste was excellent! Decor was very on point and the whole place was so clean! Loving it.

Behold my Stroopwaffle deluxe sundae with bananas, chocolate dipped stroopwaffle pieces, vanilla ice cream, gobs of caramel, whipped cream…mmm…

This is their regular raspberry milkshake and it is CREAMY and rich, you guys. The raspberry even tasted like the real fruit instead of the syrup.

My Chinese New Year outfit! We got major flooding this past week so hence my red slickers!

Daph Daph has been crazy with her constant flipping! She is even starting to push backwards. Coming soon–crawling! Oh, my sunshine biddy boo. Turning 6 months and growing up so fast!

Ending with my other baby boo, Pangur Ban, as she is featured her oh so majestically. The weather has been unexpectedly warm so she’s been enjoying the great outdoors this week! Photo credit to my sis, who is great at capturing the many moods of the regal Pangur beast.


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The Start of 2018

Happy end of 2017! Gosh, I have such intensely conflicting feelings about 2017. For most of the year, I was in constant pain, discomfort and a state of anxiety. Pregnancy and delivery near broke my body. But after everything was said and done, I did welcome the most precious little bundle of joy who promptly stole my heart and changed the way I view life forever. Pain, nausea, swelling, acid reflux, massive weight gain, clumsiness…you name it, I got it! Throw in getting T-boned by a 79-yr old while 8 months along and you got yourself 2017 in a nutshell. I have to recognize that this was also Pangur Ban’s worst year, lol. She was confined to our house for the duration of my pregnancy and then demoted to 2nd place in our hearts and household after Daphne was born. It is a lot to take in for an adorable glamour puss. She surprisingly has been very friendly to the baby, even if she does like to hog the changing table at times. I can’t wait for little Daphne to be old enough to interact with Pangur Ban!

I’m sporting Revlon’s parfumerie line in Moonlit Woods with fruit water decals and loving it. This gray violet shade is metallic, opaque and smells like a sweet bouquet after drying! I want this entire nail polish line but it’s from several years ago. The scent lasts for about 2 days and you only need 2 coats for this thick, creamy consistency!

The mani is modeled on top of the first book I read in 2018–The Fifty Year Sword by Mark Z. Danielewski. If you’ve read his other masterpiece House of Leaves, you’ll know this is an experimental horror book. The story was okay and it took about 1.5 hrs to finish the whole thing! There were many words misspelled on purpose but I’m not sure I liked that. I cringed every time I read these atrocities…

My MIL and SIL had fun putting Daphne in this old Radio Flyer wagon. She is the perfect size for this contraption! #cheeksfordays

Lucca the bordercollie was a lot better behaved this time around. We spent Christmas break on Long Island and I have to award Daphne with the best traveling baby award. She only cried for fewer than 10 minutes during the worst traffic between the George Washington bridge and LIE. Many adults have cried for longer. It took 9.5 hrs with 4 stops on the way there and 8.5 hrs with 2 stops on the way back.

Dog + Babby pic. Santa’s helper baby!

The week before our big Christmas trip, we took a smaller trip to Columbus, OH to celebrate my sister’s undergraduate graduation from Ohio State! Daphne slept the whole 3.5 hrs of that trip, the little angel. Here she is, posing sweetly at our scarlet and gray decked out hotel!

Oh, hi, Brutus! O-H to you too! The Schott was as big and chaotic as I remembered it.

With so many dog pics, I had to sneak in this cat pic too. This is Molly, my hubby’s friend’s gorgeous, long haired midnight beauty!

And to end this post with my little Daffodil in her lamby outfit :). To a less painful but more exciting year! Cheers!


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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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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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March Mani Time

Finally! New mani time! I’m using an old Sephora brand nail polish in a glossy teal paired with this dependably creamy Julep cashmere polish. It gives me a “working woman” vibe and I like how chic the combo looks. I’m modeling on top of the book I’m currently reading–The Debt to Pleasure by John Lanchester. It’s quite a curious book detailing the fictitious cookbook author and his whimsies. The style is amusingly snooty and the sparse descriptions of food are definitely enjoyable. Some of his random asides are rather educational too. I wouldn’t call it a page-turner; it assumes the reader has a high vocabulary and is well versed in geography, literature and gourmet cooking.

Check out this dainty spread! My workplace recently hosted this amazing afternoon tea event celebrating womens’ achievements the day right after International Womens’ Day! The ladies at work were invited to sample custard filled cupcakes, turtle brownies, scones, mini fruit turnovers and crackers with various pots of delicious jams! We mingled together and played a game where we had to guess which famous woman we were representing from the sticker on our back! I left feeling full and empowered :).

I made this! It was a surprisingly easy and quick meal to make:

-frozen breaded white meat chicken pieces

-thick sliced mushrooms

-carrot medallions

-sweet orange and red peppers

-lots of chopped scallions

-basmati rice

-sweet and sour sauce: canned fruit syrup, duck sauce packets, sesame seeds, black pepper, light soy sauce, crushed garlic with juices, squirt of lemon juice

Mimiboo and I enjoy some mother-daughter time. Everyday when I come home from work, I am greeted by her cries and gallops from afar! As soon as the garage door opens, she comes up and snuggles my ankles as if to say “Mommy!  Where the heck have you been for the last eight hours? Ah! I miss you!”