Tiny Horse

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


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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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I’m on a Boat! 

This is my 6-month preggers mani! It’s an opaque pinkish orchid color from Ulta and my attempts at jazzing it up. You can’t really tell in this picture but my accent finger has this halfassed yellow butterfly on there as a result of my stamping fiasco. I tried 3 different polishes and countless times but either my polish was drying too quickly or it wasn’t thick enough to transfer. Grrrr…I gave up after the 5th try and pasted a nail sticker right on my index finger. My last mani lasted for 2 whole weeks without chipping with a topcoat and I left it on for another 2 weeks so I’m hoping this one will last through my trip next week!

I’m modeling on top of the current book I’m reading: The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon. It’s an awkward title because I want to say A Beautiful Girl but the A is missing. Anyways, I’m predisposed to dislike it based on the fact that it’s not purely fiction and not based on anything that ever happened. I’m skeptical about books designed to make you feel extreme pity for certain characters or to tug at your heartstrings. Little Bee lost me this way because it simply wasn’t based on facts or biography. The author can try to exaggerate the plight and throw in some sob background story but really, the characterization HAS to be convincing and enlightening enough for me to feel like I learned something or discovered something. I mean, I’ll read this book but I’m going into it with a healthy dose of high expectations.

Last Thursday and Friday, I attended the Heart of Agile Conference aboard the Pittsburgh Gateway Clipper fleet on behalf of my company! It was such a unique setting and I got to learn some useful lean principles and network with coworkers that I otherwise would not have met. The boats were stationary but the smaller ones still got shaky when there were waves. Pastries and lunch were served on both days and it was really nice to take in sights of the 3 rivers of Pittsburgh. I’m so lucky to work where I work and to have a boss who is so supportive of these extracurricular events.

It’s fun to remember that just last year, I was in this exact river on the Ducky Tours going under the Liberty Bridge. Pittsburgh is a pretty unique city with plenty of places I have yet to explore. If only its roads weren’t like roller coasters and its drivers weren’t always so pissed off.

Pangur Ban being a little brat ;). Because a cushion-less armchair is so much more comfortable…#catlogic


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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!”


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Punta Cana! 

I’m loving my oh-so-feminine mani right now. I used Sinful Colors shimmery burnt pink alternating with Essie’s pastel To Buy or Not to Buy (palest lilac). I have on The One Ring and modeling it atop of an amazing book called Honolulu by Alan Brennert. I picked this up cold because I enjoyed Moloka’i soooo much. That book taught me so much about Leprosy/Hansen’s disease and that particular part of Hawaiian history. This author should have taught in school because he effortlessly engages you in a topic you wouldn’t otherwise be interested in.

Hubby and I just came back from a 6-day, 5-night all inclusive resort vacation from the Dominican Republic. It was basically just unlimited food, drinks, shows and pool/beach time. The biggest decision we had to make everyday was where to pick our dinner reservation.

It did rain for 2.5 days while we were there but duh–it was their hurricane season so we chose this year knowing the risks. We ate at 4/7 of their specialty restaurants and sampled every bar. There were nightly shows that definitely impressed us with its scope and talented cast! We did archery, mini golf, ping pong and pool and even made some friends. Our one regret is that since the waters were so choppy, no water activities were available. I wanted to snorkel or kayak or go on the catamaran but nope! Instead I lost my only pair of aviators to this evil bigass wave.

I couldn’t help but compare this trip experience to my only other Caribbean resort experience which was in Jamaica and found it lacking. We stayed at the Caribe Club Princess Resort and I would probably rate it a 2.5 stars out of 5. October is the off-season but it was still swarming with people :(. At Jamaica, there were only a few other U.S. honeymooners and some locals but at this Punta Cana resort, there were so many babies, families and entire European and Latin American tour groups. The resort was so big in area that we had to wait 15 min at a time just to board the “train” to get to the lobby/theatre area. The buffet food selection was very meh and most of the dishes were bland and overcooked. A nasty surprise was that about 85% of the clientele smoked. I was trying to waft away second hand smoke the WHOLE vacation. People tossed their cigarette butts on the beach, in the beach, at the buffet and even in the pool! There was no escape. Our Jamaican resort was no-smoking. Also, I wasn’t prepared for 95% of the staff and other resort goers to only speak Spanish. Even the couple of Spanish words I used weren’t understood by anyone. Sad news bears. Would I come back to this resort? Hellz no. Would I come back to DR? Probably not. My next beach resort vacation will be an upscale one at Turks & Caicos or Saint Kitts & Nevis ‘cuz you pretty much get what you pay for, mis amigos. Going lower in price this time matched the kind of quality you get and the type of masses of people you go with…


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Vacay Mani

Modeling my new mani in preparation for my week-long tropical vacation! The shade might be Turquoise & Caicos from Essie but I’ll be heading to The Dominican Republic! Had to use 4 coats to get this perfect opacity. The accent nail has a mermaid blush topcoat from H&M. Hopefully it survives hurricane Nicole…

The book I’m reading right now is Lancelot, by Walker Percy. I’m close to finishing it and it’s a 3/5 so far. My to-read list has been weak sauce for the last 3 books so I’m hoping to get out of this rut. The last great book I read was Of Mice and Men but that was way too short to linger. I’m yearning for a masterfully-written saga.

Family portrait time! Pangur Ban is giving her momma a sweet kiss as we all cozily watch the Ohio State game from our sectional. Fall weather is perfect for cozy snuggles!

Mmmmm…wanted to share this amazing salad I made last weekend. This freshened my day:

-halved yellow tomatoes

-sliced organic bell pepper

-Italian salad mix

-cilantro

-crushed garlic

-Dressing: olive oil, sesame seed oil, garlic sea salt, Xi’an chili oil, lemon juice, sesame seeds on top


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Beach Trip Mani

Trying out my new Covergirl Outlast polish in Inferno! I got the free full size bottle plus 2 other beauty items and a makeup bag all free as part of their #covergirlclean campaign. See my pic from Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/BJ0R3tkgLry/?taken-by=kding55

I put 2 layers of a solid gold from Sephora as an accent color and viola, I give you fashion Gryffindor colors!

Taken at my weekend Presque Isle State Park trip back in August. This is the lighthouse there. See those jelly flip flops? Yeah, I hiked over 3 miles in those and got raging blisters and broken skin. My regular Old Navy flip flops would never do that to me :(.

 

Wanted to document this dish that tasted magnifico. Here’s the scoop:

Kathy’s Pasta Puttanesca (literally translated to whore’s pasta but only because this was a hearty and quick dish to make between customers back in the day…)

-spaghetti or thin spaghetti

-cherry tomatoes sliced in halves

-crushed garlic and fresh sprinkle of chives and basil

-tinned anchovy filets in olive oil

-sweet onion

-sea salt, black pepper, paprika, crushed red pepper flakes

-more olive oil

-splash of lime juice

It was super delicious, y’all. My version doesn’t have capers or pickled olives but I’m okay with that. My Italian hubby majorly approved.

Mimiboo is once again blocking me from writing, organizing or reading anything on my desk.

Three pics in a row showing off my new retro one-piece swimsuit! I’m so over bikinis these days ;).

The book I was reading on the trip was Rubbernecker and it was super entertaining. I would describe it as a mix of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime + I Am Not a Serial Killer.  The overly British spellings (pyjamas, tyres) and weird nouns (marmite?!) stymied my progress at times but I got through it pretty quickly. The plot and twists are pretty clever even if the main character isn’t relatable.