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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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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Beachy Mani

I used an old Essie favorite: Turquoise & Caicos (Turks and Caicos being a destination I eventually want to venture to) and a marshmallow color from China Glaze on the accent nail. I added a metallic dragonfly nail sticker too; this time with a clear topcoat to seal the deal!

My hand is posing on top of the current book I’m reading called Dream of Ding Village. I admit I picked it up because of my namesake being in the title but when I read that it’s based off the real life story of the blood bank scandal in Henan province back in the ’90s, I thirsted to learn more about this event. Unhygienic equipment was used on many blood donors and hundreds of people were infected with AIDS as a result.

This was the feast laid out during the long weekend of July 4th where I spent it with my family in Cleveland. A new ramen bar just opened and we took my fam out to celebrate my mom’s birthday. Look at those milky bowls of tonkotsu broth! My dad was the only one to opt out of the ramen and try the seafood tom yum bowl. He was disappointed and definitely ordering ramen next time! I got to satisfy my pork belly cravings! My picky eater mom loved her chashao (aka char siu) pork bowl. Here’s my full review on Yelp: http://www.yelp.com/biz/otani-noodle-cleveland-3.

Another round of blossoms bloomed on my grounds and I made another bouquet. These wildflowers actually made it this year! How gorgeous is that fuchsia flower?!


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Independence Mani

Check it out! It’s my own modified 4th of July mani! Pink, sky blue and cream always screams independence to me ;). I used Essie’s Bachelorette Party and Bikini So Teeny. Then I used 2 thick layers of this Sally Hansen French manicure nude color as the accent and topped it off with Victoria’s Secret gold glitter topcoat! 

My gorgeous water lilies bloomed in my own pond! They bloom during the day and shyly fold back into a bulb at night. It was totally hard capturing this. 

My favorite color of day lilies has to be the mauve and yellow blooms. This year, I even got some daisies!

 

Mimiboo holds my hand for comfort. We haven’t had a kitten moment for a while so I stayed in this one position for 20 minutes. So…stiff…must…keep cat from jumping off…


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Sunny Mani

I used China Glaze in a metallic sand shade and Essie’s Peach Side Babe for the accent nail. I also popped on a gold-edged nail sticker! I like the creaminess of the colors together.

Hubby and I went to Muddy Waters for a happy hour last week and it was too much fun. 4:30pm – 6:30pm weekdays this place will serve you $1 east coast oysters on the rocks! We ordered 24 of them of which I consumed 6. Then we feasted like kings and continued to eat the hot chicken entree, cornbread skillet with jalapeno cajun butter and finished it all off with a full order of beignets! The dipping sauce was a melted caramel with a shot of bourbon–luxe! Yes, our bill ended up being very high but getting a taste of New Orleans in Pittsburgh was nice enough. We will be back! 

Here are a few of my USS Midway pics that didn’t make it to my San Diego post. This ship was a 3-min walking trip from our hotel! Good times!


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Iceland Part I

Yes, boy and girls, I traveled to ICELAND! Our hotel was in the capital, Reykjavik but our excursions took us to neighboring places. My favorite excursion was the surreal, magical Blue Lagoon! The most interesting part about it is that it’s not even natural! It is just a byproduct from the geothermal energy plant. Water seeped into some fissures and the heat of the earth, along with the abundant minerals formed the amazing Blue Lagoon. The silica mud there gives the waters its signature milky aquamarine hue and the high pH and heat serve as a tonic for your body. Doctors here legit prescribe treatments to just soak it up! Ay ay, doc!   What made the experience even more luxurious was that the center opened especially for our group a whole hour before public hours. I could spend a whole day here! Temperatures were about 38 F that day and the wind sure was whippy, but then you sink in the waters and forget about all that. Of course, it made climbing out of the lagoon that much more terrible.

Tips for booking your own trip to the Blue Lagoon:

  • A regular admission gives you a wrist band and nothing else. It’s about $50 so be prepared if you choose this option!
  • Pack a towel and flip flops!
  • If you’re willing to spend $90 per person, then yes, slippers and a bathrobe are included
  • Shower facilities and locker rooms are great but got SUPER crowded after it was open to the public
  • Must shower naked first, then put on swimsuit to be able to go into the lagoon
  • Swim up bar in the middle of the lagoon available and you pay via your wrist band. They limit you to 3 adult drinks so you don’t die in the heat and of dehydration
  • Excursions here are only to and from the airport. I’m sure you can arrange your own trip here but it’s en route to Keflavik.

My Blue Lagoon themed mani! Bikini So Teeny from Essie on all nails and a Jamberry wrap that didn’t work so well. I did a top coat this time to make it last using BBWorks True Blue Spa topcoat.
  Yum! Mai Tai Bistro on their main street in the capital. This is the best pad thai I’ve ever had. Presentation was gorgeous and every table had chopped peanuts, dry chili powder, sweet vinegar, black pepper and fish sauce.   Noodle Station! First place I spotted and first meal in Iceland! These are steaming bowls of beef rice noodle soup and it was full of hot and spicy goodness! Iceland does Asian food right!
  Daily breakfast at the Foss Hotel. I had 3 plates of everything and averaged around 2.5 pastries a day. Skyr was abundant and passable with fruits, nuts and Coco Puffs sprinkled on top.   Every day we would eat a big dinner on the main street somewhere and then go to a different restaurant just for dessert. This was a Nepalese restaurant that I picked. I got the milk balls which were sweet dough balls in a soup of condensed milk and syrup served in a fancy ice cream goblet! The hubs got lamb momos with a strange but yummy garlic sauce.
  Best dessert goes to this historic Icelandic bakery-turned-restaurant. This is strawberry mousse with skyr foam, licorice meringue and like 2 berries. Amazing presentation and odd but rich taste! Hubby chose this place because he wanted a fish meal. Pictured here is my dish: sweet BBQ skewered chicken in an herb aioli with a side of fries. Best BBQ chicken I’ve ever had! Iceland did meats right! I had the tenderest pieces of lamb and beef while I was there.