Tiny Horse

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


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DIY & Yums

Just a simple sheer opalized coral and an opaque shell mani. I’m modeling on top of this disturbing book Room, by Emma Donahue. It’s narrated by a 5-year old boy who has been trapped in a small enclosed space all his life with his young mother. This is loosely based of the real life story of tragic Elisabeth Fritzl whose demented father held her in his sealed, sound proof basement for TWENTY FOUR years. She gave birth to 7 children of his, one of whom died shortly after. Truth is stranger than fiction, y’all. It’s hard for me to believe that there are many sickos out there in the world who would do this to another human being, let alone…more than one at a time! The one case that hits closest to home is the Cleveland abduction. Anyways, the book was good but it was fictional and too optimistic. All the real life cases are much worse and lasted longer. 

Loved this bath bomb shortcake fizzler! That “topping” in the center is cute and was last to melt.

I decanted this other fancier glass jar of bubble bath into my tiny plastic wine glass for the perfect fit! Now it has a wider opening and looks like bubbly!

I made my own bath crystals! Months ago, I had the foresight to buy a large bag of Ahava mineral bath salts from Marshalls and this week, I mixed some with rose petals, crushed mint leaves, lemon essential oil, coconut oil, a sleep blend of essential oil and achieved this spa-smelling bath treat! I used a few scoops in my last bath and it was delightful! 

I also took on a one-time decoupage project! Go me! I cut out these butterflies from a particularly pretty napkin and brushed on a few layers of Mod Podge onto this cleaned out empty glass candle jar. Viola, now I have a super cute pen holder!

I experimented with different colored wax pieces to achieve these cool lookin’ wax seals! I bought another set of 4 new stamp designs and can’t wait to try them out! I sent out 7 of these hand-written, completely customized and personalized cards and one person never got hers! Someone else got hers a whole month after I sent it so wow, the postal service has been dealing with a lot of delays. 

I made grilled pork kabobs with herbs and a Peruvian spice mix. Gotta say, they turned out SO DANG YUMMY. Cooking with pork is more challenging than chicken or beef but this grilling method was bomb!

Yup, another impulse Amazon purchase that turned into my DIY win! I mixed honeydew powder, whole milk, ice cubes, some honey and premium hibiscus iced black tea to make this miracle! Turns out, I don’t need a bubble tea shop during quarantine! 

I made this version of bibimbap that was healthy and good! Ground beef, fried egg (with a slightly runny yolk), sliced avocado, scallions, black beans, minced onions and baby portabello mushrooms over rice drizzled over with Sriracha sauce. Mmmhmmm!

For lunch today, I seared sea scallops in a pan with butter, minced garlic, lemon juice, sprinkled with some salt, black pepper and parsley. Simple and oh, so divine! 

My background, ladies and gentlemen! So it doesn’t look like this right now but a few weeks back…damn, my whole backyard should have been featured in Better Homes & Gardens.

Just look at these perfectly pink blossoms!

Okay, now this is a separate photo entry to National Geographic. Right in our pond, people! 

One of my favorite pictures of biddyboo in our backyard.


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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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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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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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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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Gobble Gobble

My Thanksgiving mani is a deep watermelon shade from Formula X (not quite red!) and several cat silhouette water decals! I’m continuing to love these decals. All you need is a pair of tweezers and a shallow container with some water in it. Seal with top coat and you can get fancy with the designs!

This was my dad’s and my combined epic birthday cake (Yay. November bdays!). BEST CAKE I’VE EVER HAD. It’s called Dulce Napoleon cake from Market District. It’s basically several layers of perfect yellow cake, dulce de leche and the lightest, freshest cream topped with flaky, buttery pastry! Oh my glob, it was da bomb frosting. Literally. We’re all about the European pastries in our family so we always shy away from those sugary, radioactive colored confetti cakes usually found in this country. I mean, just look at this beauty. It’s more beautiful than some people I know.

My latest little craft project! I bought a DIY wooden frame from Michael’s for $1. Then I spray painted it gold, lined the top with a strip of washi tape and carefully pressed a silver cluster of bird body tattoos on there! Then I cut out some adhesive print paper and wrote a cool quote on it. Note to self–that sticky craft paper is so thin and tricky to apply that I’m just going to glue it down next time and forget the whole adhesive part…

 

Let’s talk about Gobble! This is a meal subscription service I signed up for. Virgin Mobile inner circle members got a whole week’s worth of credits so I nabbed it before it was gone! I’m duly impressed with the meal choices, ingredients and customer service.

Here you see 3 different meals with 2 servings each for $71. Shipping is included and it arrives the day it ships out. Ingredients are very fresh and pretty interesting! I learned what ponzu, minzu, kohlrabi were! Everything was packaged in its own bag and you didn’t have to wash or chop beforehand! That’s my least favorite part about cooking!

First meal was sesame crusted ahi tuna with kohlrabi noodles, sliced avocado, minzu, pickled ginger and wonton strips. The sauce was a sweet and savory ponzu topped with my fave–sesame oil! So fresh and good!

The second meal was even better than the first! This is pan seared chicken breasts on top of a butternut squash garlic butter risotto with caramelized fennel. Mmmm! I can’t wait for the third and final meal tonight–Korean spicy tofu ramen with hard boiled egg!


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April Times

I just got back from the most exhausting wedding I’ve ever been to. My hubby’s cousin married an Indian girl so they had a traditional Barat ceremony at the buttcrack of dawn, followed by a luncheon, then a second Christian ceremony, cocktail hour, followed up by a reception. I got probably 1 hour of sleep between Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I wish there were more traditional, heartier food options but hey, nobody asked my opinion on catering ;). The luncheon offered 3 vegetarian curries and paneer fingers (okay, can someone explain to me why paneer is ALWAYS so firm, hard and rubbery? It looks like it could be tofu or mozzarella sticks, but I’m constantly disappointed by its stubbornly chewy and flavorless texture…). The cocktail hour featured some so-called Chinese and Mexican appetizer stations but since they were made by Indian caterers, the flavors were indescribably “off” and contained absolutely no real ingredients from either culture. I watched one of John’s cousins bite into a juicy-looking meatball with gusto only to realize it was a mashed beans and celery mixture. The late dinner actually consisted of the same, tiresome items as the luncheon’s so I could only wait for dessert time to be saved. 100% vegetarian wedding banquet courses = never again. Little did I know that the brief road stop we made during our 6-hr drive to Farmingdale, NJ turned out to be the best meal I would have all weekend…

This whole wedding was a colorful, extravagant mess! I mean mess in that no one (including the bride and groom) knew what was happening during the Indian ceremony and with 370+ people in one building, there was no guidance on which room to file into, or what blessing what currently going on. For the first 2 hours, I was either mindlessly following this horse doing laps around this country club because the bride’s family was so late to arrive, or I was pinned up against the entrance of the main hall because some sort of ceremony was going on where no one could see or hear anything. For the next 2 hours, the Indian side of the wedding just milled around, talking loudly amongst themselves, eating breakfast all while the actual Barat ceremony was going on. It was a confusing hullabaloo!

What an experience! I was so exhausted I had to take a sick day on Monday because of extreme soreness and vomiting (this I expect came from my disagreement of Indian food). However, it was a lot of “firsts” for me: first Indian wedding, first wedding I’ve attended being pregnant, first NJ wedding. Squeezing into both dresses (bought last year) at five months pregnant is no small feat. I’m hoping to goodness I’ll survive the second wedding in Virginia…

My April Ipsy bag added a mini duo nail polish set to my collection! This deep violet with grayish cast and pinkish nude went well together. I added a swipe of pearl pink topcoat to the accent nails. This ring is also my latest obsession. It’s a canary yellow CZ platinum plated stunner that looks so much more expensive than it is! The band is so delicately thin! I love the cushion cut and the crazy sparkle it gives off! I found out the hard way that it’s also pretty weak…two days into wearing the thing and one of the tiny CZ stones already chipped off on the halo! Rats!

I’m modeling over the book I recently finished: The Truth About Andy Bloom, by Mark Lages. It’s an interesting story about a writer who is supposedly the son of Salvador Dali!

From the official Cafe Du Monde box mix, we fried up beignets at home! They were easier than I expected and tasted great! This is definitely happening again. 

John went crazy two weeks ago and bought a crap ton amount of fresh fruit. He made breakfast smoothies for us one day and here’s the list of ingredients:

-cantaloupe

-kiwis

-canned peach syrup

-few canned peach slices

-fresh papaya

-crushed ice

The result was tropical deliciousness!


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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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My Life in Food Pics

Mimiboo and I sharing a glass of sparkling cider in my new favorite room to hang out in.

I put together a whole seafood hotpot in under 15 minutes! I used chicken stock, chili oil, sesame oil as the broth base. There are crab sticks, fish balls, shrimp balls, squid pieces, fish cake, bean curd and tofu skin wraps. High protein and low calories!

I made mango curry from scratch last night! Ingredients included:

-coconut milk

-canned mango with nectar

-paprika, black pepper, chili powder, basil, salt, brown sugar

-Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, chili oil, red pepper flakes

-carrots, onions, sweet potato, button mushrooms, golden mushrooms

-basmati rice

We went to this place called Thai Foon and I ordered yuntun mein! The broth could have used more flavor and the egg noodles are the wrong kind but this was still pretty dang good. 8 whole wontons were included! Plenty of qing cai (bakchoy)! I even had some leftovers! Winner!

This is how my husband and I celebrated Chinese New Year…without Chinese food at a Chinese restaurant, lol. I originally ordered dan dan mein but this restaurant did not make this :(. Then I tried ordering Cantonese noodles right off their menu and the waiter had to apologetically explain they don’t carry those noodles either. Ugh, just give me some beef Pad Thai then. Hubby got the deluxe sushi and sashimi entree that costs a small fortune. We also splurged and got steamed pork dumplings with chili oil. Mmmm…