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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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!


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Hot August Days

I used Formula X nail polish in this shimmery beige silk shade that acted as a great backdrop for my pink flower decal on the accent nail. I’m modeling on top of the book I just recently finished–La Casa de los Espiritus by Isabel Allende. It uses magical realism (as many Latin American novels are wont to do) and the stories are interesting but the female characters were weak and oppressed for the most part. The other characters are pretty frustrating and they don’t really develop or change. Still, a solid summer read.

I did a gradient look with 5 shades of purple. I probably have the most of purples because there were at least 5 others I could have incorporated if I had more fingers. They were a mix of OPI, Essie, Trust Fund Beauty and Pretty Woman NYC. Three of them were full size bottles from Ipsy bags!

The book I’m currently reading is How Are You Going to Save Yourself by JM Holmes. It’s a fictional (I hope) memoir of 4 young black friends on the East Coast growing up. I am about 3/4 of the way finished and while I don’t particularly mind the style or the quality of writing, the subject matter and events are deeply disturbing. I can’t relate to any of the characters or see the logic behind any of their actions and I find them despicable, immature and extremely selfish. Maybe the author will wrap up nicely with some morals or SOME type of positive message to go off of.

My daffodil turned one last month! I did the minimal amount of decorating for a small party and made her wear her birthday outfit (that’s it! She’s never going to fit this for her 2nd birthday…What a short shelf life!). I took her bow off halfway through her party but at least some pics!

I’m usually so good at recording and remembering every single gift Daphne has ever received but drew a complete blank as to who gave me her tutu birthday outfit!

The fanciest cake we’ve ever bought–swiss chocolate truffle ganache cake. It was heavenly.

Daphne is sporting one of her birthday gifts and accessorizing with a bright Kate Spade bag!

I wanted to give a shout out to @Spiritbearbath for sending me this lovely and pampering self care package as part of her giveaway on Instagram! She packed me 4 XL bath bombs, 2 essential oil rollerballs and 4 shower steamers. The aromas filled my hallway as soon as I opened the box! They all smell so soothing and relaxing! This was my first time using shower steamers and they are fun! You place one at the back of your tub and the hot water and steam will release all the essential oils throughout your whole shower! her products are all natural and high quality! Check out her shop on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/spiritbearbath#.

 


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Codenames Marvel!

Here we go! This past weekend, I hosted several rounds of #Codenames @Marvel edition! Thanks to @usaopoly and @tryazon! The funny thing is, I had never played any version of Codenames before. Everyone in the group had played at least the base game before so I turned out to be the n00b! I was under the impression that you had to be a pretty good Marvel fan in order to play but nope! The barrier to entry to this game is really low and it’s versatile for all ages! Nate’s daughter ended up beating my team on the 2nd round! You just have to be good at giving and getting visual clues. The alternate way to play is just with the words on the back of the cards. I think I prefer the pictures because it’s fun to look at the art but it’s nice to change things up too!

I played as a member of S.H.I.E.L.D. on all the rounds while hubby played as Hydra :).

These guys got competitive during the later rounds! They didn’t want to be pictured at first but I got them in the end, hehe.

Daphne is modeling the prize pack! She helped in the game by grabbing cards off the table, removing the already placed markers and smushing the bags. I would say she added a certain random element ;).

Overall, everyone had a blast and this is definitely getting added to my arsenal of social icebreaker games for future game nights! I will keep on playing and keep on hosting!

@usaopoly, @czechgames, @Marvel #codenames, #usaopoly and #tryazon

Oh, and my post won’t be complete without showing off my mani of the week and the book I’ve been reading for a while. Here is my take on summery ice cream names! Sorbet frenzy or gelato soiree! I used Essie for 2 of the colors and Pretty Woman NYC for the rest.

This book The Locksmith’s Daughter by Karen Brooks definitely has the potential to be a thrilling historical fiction set in Elizabethian times, but it is way longer than it needs to be and it’s cringeworthily obvious at times about setting up the love interests. I’m just halfway through and it’s been almost 3 weeks so I’ve started reading 2 other books on the side simultaneously. *Sigh, it’s not cheating if you eventually go back to the main book, right?