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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A Cold Spring

Targeted Facebook ads work on me like a charm. Instagram ones too! Although they are one and the same since Facebook bought Instagram so…basically I’m just saying that it’s not really hard to guess what I like. I recently made a purchase at Live Love Polish and impulse-purchased a temperature reactive polish from their Van Gogh collection. The bottle color is what it becomes when it’s cold and the shade on my fingers is what it looks like warmed up. One polish, two gorgeous shades! This did not come by cheap either–$16 for the bottle and another $6 for shipping. The bottle is rather small too for the full size: only 10ml. Worth it though for the effect? Yeah! Also, I dare you to watch their ads and NOT be interested in trying one!

I bought this raspberry lambic beer last week. Yum! It quite reminded me of the New Glarus raspberry tarts I had back in my WI days! The bottles were stoppered with wax. This lambic beer wasn’t quite as snappy and a little more beer-like. Still, with an ice cube, it was pretty refreshing!

I tried a grape vanilla float at Burgatory last week and boy was it overpriced! $6 for a scoop of plain vanilla ice cream on top of this little soda bottle. There are so many places around me I always get excited to eat out at and then immediately regret it after racking up a $40 bill after 1 entree, a drink and a side…Is this merely inflation or capitalism becoming increasingly unsustainable? Then there’s always tax and tip and wow, an average American’s paycheck for a whole day is down the tube after one meal! Just a few years ago, I would never even think of purchasing a drink at a restaurant and it’s a mark of my financial stability that I can every now and then.

Live below your means, people! Then when you’ve finally saved enough, live comfortably! Save, spend frugally, prioritize purchases, reuse, upcycle and you too can live debt-free!

My second alcohol-related pic in the same post! Ironically enough, coming to you from the girl who is allergic to alcohol, hardy har har. To be fair, this pic is from months ago when I mixed some sparkling water into this pineapple fruity tutti dessert wine. Yum but actually too strong for me, alas. I ended up red and uncomfortably warm the whole night after finishing the quantity you see before you. Pangur Ban is adorbs as a model here.

It was good while it lasted! This stunning white blossoms in full bloom view was as ephemeral as it was beautiful. I want to say…2.5 weeks in April? And now the remnants are stuck in the crevices of our hardwood floors, our rugs, underneath our shoes, in the pond and even in our car seats!


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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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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!