Tiny Horse

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


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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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Thoughts Here and There

Due to this book, I am behind on my reading goal for the first time ever on Goodreads. This substantial almost 900-pager is worth it though. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt is griping, well-written, dramatic and so hard to put down. The main character is undeniably a whiny, uninteresting sad sack of a person but the events that happen TO him and the supporting cast are too fascinating.

I’m modeling my ombre green look from poison green to Tiffany blue to a seafoam green. I used this cute Pokemon nail polish in the shade Oddish, Essie and Nail Medic.

I’ve been running down my supply of bath bombs already this year and this one from Marshall’s was wholly unsatisfying. The scent close up was great–white tea and bergamot. But fizzled up in the bath? You hardly smell anything. I’m usually all about no dyes in food but in bath bombs, bring it on! So this white color totally did not do it for me. With bath bombs/fizzes, you really do have to go with quality brands.

I hosted a dinner + games party with my coworkers last weekend and someone brought this gorgeous lemon trifle cake! She made it and brought a small dish of blueberries and strawberries to top it off! Apparently the marigold on top is edible but to be safe just threw it away.

Wow. My mom’s spare ribs are better than any restaurant’s! She’s trying this Northern Chinese recipe that calls for a dash of brown sugar and honey. Oh my glob…

Our pond might be covered up, but with this powder sugar dusting of snow in the winter, it looks fairly picturesque ;).

When Daphne was being difficult one day, my hubby knocked down a framed picture from the wall and the glass broke. I wanted to save the glassless frame by spray painting the wooden frame gold and then painting a piece of cardboard with 2-3 layers of chalkboard paint. I then finished it up by taping all edges with this festive roll of washi tape from the brand Meri Meri.

Homemade French onion soup with a piece of provolone cheese on top and a sprinkling of parsley. Mmmmm! Cold weather comfort food goodness!

I bought this fruit tart bed for Pangur Ban but she shows no interest in it. Daphne will grab some of the fruit pieces from time to time to play. This is targeted Facebook ads working on me, lol.


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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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Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

This is an oldie but goodie. I used Essie’s creamy Peach Side Babe with Sally Hansen’s opal and added a cute cartoon kitty decal for accent! This book Elegance by Kathryn Tessaro is truly shallow, unbelievable hogwash disguised as feminine wisdom. Nice cover art with black edged pages but trust me, it’s been donated already.

I wanted to share this giveaway that I actually won on Insta! It was hosted by @Pinchme and @Kopari for the following products shown back in May. There was lack of communication about the delays and a missent first package and a month of waiting buuuuuuuuuuut I finally got it so I can say IT’S REAL, Y’ALL! Just check out that gorgeous box! Prize package includes:

-14-day oil pulling sticks

-4-piece pink skincare deluxe set

-full size natural deodorant

Whatever the effectiveness of the products is…Kopari already wins with its aloha-glam packaging! I actually read that whole info booklet that came with everything and it is sassy AF. This will be my first time trying this brand so I’m hella excited to try all this coconuty, Hawaiian goodness!

Thanks, Pinchme and Kopari Beauty!

Also wanted to show off my own packaging skillz. This is a present for my sister in law’s upcoming baby shower. This tissue paper is just so festive and chic! It totally gives me Kate Spade (sad face) vibes. Well, hope she’ll like it!


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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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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!