Tiny Horse

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


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2018 Wrap Up

2018 was a year of firsts with a focus on family. Here are some of my favorite pictures of the last two months of the year!

Daphne is playing on the toddler workbench at my parent’s house. It’s a bit big for her but she seems so happy on it! I live for her bright smiles!

Those tiny Nikes were a gift from my parents and they couldn’t have impressed Daphne more. She will actually bring them to me to put on her in the house. That’s how much she likes them!

Our first leg of our New England Christmas tour was in Woodstock, VT. We stopped one night to visit my hubby’s best friend and his family. Here we are in their town’s famous inn!

This was the cleanest, most modern rest stop I’ve ever been to! And by my Midwestern standards, this is quite high! The bathrooms were spacious, spotless and had tasteful recessed lighting! The walls were decked out in timelines and facts about New York state. The sitting and lounging areas were well decorated and so comfy. It’s hard to say exactly but I think we were close to Saratoga.

Our main part of the trip was spent in New Market, NH at my husband’s sister’s place. She did a good job hosting Christmas for her parents AND us for multiple days.

Daphne was obsessed with the miniature rocking chair in their nursery. Look at her sittin’ there like a little person!

Last year at her first Christmas, Daphne was only 4 months so she wasn’t conscious of gifts yet. This year though…she got into opening her gifts! Christmas eve was spent at their aunt’s house an hour away with over 20 people. We didn’t come back until almost 1am and Daphne kept pace with all the adults because of her massive baby FOMO, lol. Her second cousin went to bed at 7pm!

John got a fun plushie for Christmas–everyone knows of our love of Adventure Time! Here’s Finn in all his wiggly glory!

Matching cousins! Daphne meets Timarie!

I am officially an aunt now!

Another stop on our journey was to Destiny USA, America’s 6th largest mall in Syracuse, NY! This place gave Daphne the chance to run unchecked everywhere and stretch her poor little legs until she has to go back to her car seat prison!

The mall used to be called Carousel Mall, in honor of this historical carousel!

Yes, we were so ambitious we even made it to Niagara Falls on our way back! Here we are at the Horseshoe Falls on the American side.

The Pittsburgh Zoo did a free week for the end of the year and we took advantage of that to give Daphne her first zoo and aquarium experience! She pointed to all the big cats and acknowledged them like they were Pangur Ban, hahaha!

That’s a blue lobster at the PPG aquarium! Super cool!

We ended that day with delicious Taiwanese eats at Taiwanese Bistro Cafe 33 in Squirrel Hill!

What a year! Happy new year and here’s to many more adventures in 2019!

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Save the Day Seasonings!

Mmmm! I got to host a @SavetheDaySeasonings party courtesy of #tryazon and #savethedayseasonings this past weekend! My family was visiting so it was the perfect time to try out many of these spice blends and attempt to impress my mom, who is a reigning chef ;).

For the filling of these magnificent wontons, I sprinkled some of the Chinese blend. It’s a nice, mild savory blend with sesame seeds. My mom also added soy sauce, sesame oil and chives. In the soup, I put out some hot chili oil (our fave) for an additional zing!

There is a braised pork dish, stir fried lotus root with scallions, mixed vegetables and Kielbasa (air-fried with the Philips Airfryer!), egg fried rice and pickled radishes. We used the Thai, Alvi’s Incredible, Strong ARM and Super Strong ARM packets with great results! Alvi’s Incredible won the popular vote by way of versatility! It’s perfect for being not too salty but still flavorful!

Even Daphne enjoyed a few bites!

That same day at work, my coworkers joined me in trying out a smaller potluck-style tasting event and were thrilled to go home with some of the blends! I used the Mexican blend and Alvi’s Incredible for the summer squash chicken stir fry and my go-to classic, cucumber salad.


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Summer Picks

I’ll gladly caption this picture! My work teamed up with this local cupcakery called StudeCakers and had them come during a lunchtime to sell their gorgeous creations! Part of the proceeds even went to the AHA – American Heart Association Pittsburgh local chapter!

First row = samoa, maple bacon pancake with YES, that is a mini pipette of syrup and strawberry milkshake with mini straw and malted ball

Second row = cookies ‘n cream with a truffled Oreo ball inside, duplicate of that maple bacon and a chocolate chip cookie dough

For this amazing presentation, these gems were $2 each, which is slightly lower than less fancy cupcakes at local bakeries!

I won another Pinchme beauty giveaway! This collab featured this ultra chic beauty company called Poppy & Pout and includes the following:

-3 full size body scrubs

-3 full size citrusy lip balms

The packaging had no plastic in it so I unfortunately pushed too enthusiastically at my lip balm and now it’s stuck at that height. There’s no way to push it back down so…just gotta use this sucker as is! That Lime Rush flavor is so refreshing and summery! Just wish the smell would linger longer! Feels great and isn’t waxy at all on your lips. I highly recommend you check Poppy & Pout out!

This is the current shower gel I’m using and boy, does bath time feel like a treat! I got this from Memebox last year and am still not over the fact they don’t sell any of their amazing beauty boxes anymore or have a loyalty points system. I was their biggest fan. Anyways, here’s my take on this Happy Bath grapefruit sparkling ale body wash:

Pros:

smells like bubbly wine + real grapefruit! Nothing artificial

packaging is just too cute; like a pint of beer

lathers well

smell actually lingers on you after you dry off!

 

Cons:

hard to use on loofah

too runny and comes out really quickly

half the bottle is just foam and the actual product is very little

expensive!

Uhhhh, this is just the fanciest, tastiest drink I’ve ever had. This bottle is so dangass tiny though. It tastes like a sparkling, slightly tart lemonade with a fragrant rose smell! Packaging, color, taste, just all awesome! It was like $3 at Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop. For special occasions only, lol.

Y’all gotta check out Little Poppy Co. It’s a monthly subscription for bows and headbands and the designs are just too cute! Here is August’s! Can’t wait for my biddyboo to have longer, nicer hair to be able to flaunt some of these!

Today is this little angeldoll’s FIRST birthday! To think, this exact time last year, I was a bulbous mess going into the OR for my spinal block…oh glob, I’m so glad that’s over because LOOK WHAT I MADE! She is my joy!


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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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Feelin’ Purple

Continuing January with a purple vibe, y’all! This is straight from my Ipsy bag; a nice full size nail polish from Emma with the shade Mia is my BFF. Someone needs to tell Ipsy they have sent every possible shade of purple already to me. I’m so ready to move onto a new color. Green? How about green?! I’m much lacking in the green department besides mint. My accent color is a petal French manicure shade from Sally Hansen. It’s all old and sticky and from my college days. Out it goes! Finally, I have come close to using up a bottle of nail polish!

I’m modeling my mani on top of the book I just finished: The Piano Teacher. It had an interesting narrative with good depictions of characters but the mystery was served a bit on the heavy side. I read the whole darn thing and still don’t know what happened to key characters and what exactly their crimes were.

I tried my hand at home-making ramen and here’s what I came up with:

-Chinese egg noodles (they come frozen)

-duck broth

-onions

-sweet Chinese sausage (I love this! So tasty)

-scallions

-egg

-red chili oil

-sesame seeds sprinkled on

-sesame oil

It was a great cold weather meal and the rendered duck fat in the broth added some umami!

I got to test out this dry shampoo from Unilever’s new brand, Love Beauty and Planet recently and it was bomb! Another Crowdtap opportunity! The scent is citrus peel and it is so refreshing for a dry shampoo! Usually, it smells like powder or that plasticky hairspray scent so a fruity fresh smell was the right choice! This didn’t weigh down my limp and fine hair so I highly recommend it! The size is also great for tossing into your purse or luggage.

I haven’t showcased my Mimiboo for a while so here she is! She wanted to nose in on my bath time :). Look at her ladylike little paws!


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Wintry Tales

I’m showing off so many new things here! My mani, for one, is super unconventional. I was so lazy about removing my last mani’s colors entirely…dark colors are so difficult to get out! So…there are remnants of my watermelon nail polish ever so slightly staining my new look. It would have been unnoticeable if I had chosen an opaque color but no…I had to go for a soft, season inappropriate nude pink shade. I used Revlon’s Sheer Blossom and it has tiny specks of glitter in it. Then I used Marie cat cartoon water decals for a cutesy mani.

I’ve recently been obsessed with POPSugar Must Have boxes and bought myself two a in row (not even counting 2 mixed boxes off of Mercari from other subscriber’s!). One box is 4x the cost of Ipsy or Birchbox per month BUT you mostly get boutique full size products in categories of not just beauty but food, jewelry, fashion items, home (my fave!) and sometimes games. Their cyber Monday deal gave you a chance to order past boxes so you know exactly what was in them. I’m modeling an indigo silk friendship bracelet with a sterling silver heart from their August box. It is the most delicate piece of jewelry I own and even though it’s simple and can be easily overlooked, I’m kind of obsessed with it because it’s so easy to wear and adjust. I also can’t wait to use this gorgeous rose gold notebook from Fringe Studios. It’s leather bound and has a ribbon. I wish the pages were unlined so I can doodle but it’s still fancy looking enough.

I still hesitate to subscribe so I’ll only be buying specific boxes or pieces from boxes that I fo sho know I will like. I have this thing about surprises–most of the time, they’re not worth the fun of not knowing because the annoyance of it being something I don’t like will overshadow any positive feelings.

I also wanted to continue my tradition of modeling my mani atop the current book I am reading so this is a shoutout to the last Foundation book in the trilogy and also the best! I’m about 3/4 of the way through and it is definitely the easiest to follow because there is only one story line and I know all the past main characters already. My hubby has been pushing me to read these books years ago so it’s the least I could do after he’s gone and read the entirety of Les Miserables, Gone with the Wind and Sophie’s Choice after I declared that anyone who wants to understand me should read the following first ;). I am lacking in the sci-fi department so finishing this series in turn broadens my horizons a little.

Is she not the most adorable little baby doll you have ever seen? Look at her pretty little face! I MADE THIS.

This was the last meal included from Gobble and it was grand! You’re looking at a miso ramen with soft tofu, hard boiled egg, bak choy (qing cai), scallions, baby corn all simmered with delicious Korean sweet chili paste and a sprinkling of Korean chili powder. The portion was so big, there was even enough for one more meal the next day! This Gobble subscription was real dang good.

It’s tummy time!


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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 :(.