Tiny Horse

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


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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 :(.

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Kitten Dreams 

The most important event that happened to me since my last post was that I am officially a pet owner! I adopted this sweet, tiny little kitten! My husband and I decided long ago that if we were ever to get a cat, its name would be Pangur Ban. We were inspired after watching the animated feature The Secret of Kells. There was a clever ghost cat named Pangur Ban her own theme song. My mom keeps pronouncing it wrong and calling her “Pikachu” or “Peter Pan.” Her Chinese nickname is also acceptable–Xiao Mimi.

Pangur Ban’s mother is a feral cat and I saw a picture of her; she is a gorgeous long-haired sweetie pie with a glossy heather gray coat. Pangur Ban has the potential to be a beauty queen when she grows out of her kitten scruffiness! She is the newest love in my life, and both the hubs and I adore the crap out of her!


  
  I’m starting July off right with a sophisticated mani. This is an e.l.f shade called Nude and the ring finger has a topcoat from H&M that goes spectacularly with a blush background. I wish every glitter shade I own could look like this bottle. It’s also easier to remove than those obstinate chunks of crazy glitter.

 The hubs and I attended another round of high tea (because I am obsessed with everything tea!). This time, our location was Flowers in the Attic.

Pros:

-Victorian house setting was perfect and beautiful

-Shops, galleries and gardens all around and inside the house were fun to peruse

-Size and taste of sandwiches were great. High teas tend to lean heavy on the sweet side so it was nice to be able to call this a brunch

-Iced tea was an option and came with its own small carafe for a refill

-Our server was great and attentive

Cons:

-Even with my Groupon that I already paid for, there was still an additional $15 charge for tiny amounts of food. Guess I’m paying to be in the house?! The same Groupon for the fancy Omni William Penn was only $25 for 2 people with ZERO extra charges.

-No credit card option. I at least thought I could pay the extra charges with plastic but that wasn’t an option. *sigh* I seriously will avoid small businesses if they don’t let me pay with credit card. I will even pay in bitcoin before counting out coins and crap.

-Desserts here were lacking. No fruit on the side, no devonshire cream, and the scones were as big as my finger. Uh…this is not worth $24 a person. Yeesh.

-Mandatory included gratuity of 20%. I felt better about tipping at the Omni because it was up to me. Forcing a fixed amount to the customer is in bad taste especially since everything else was so overpriced. Pay your servers a living wage so the burden of their paycheck doesn’t fall to me.

Bottom line: will I recommend this place or visit in the future? Nope. Cute experience, but not even another Groupon can lead me back here.


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February Celebrations

The second month of the year is full of holidays, yet I do not get a single day off ;). Let’s see, there was President’s Day, Martin Luther King Day, Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras and Chinese New Year! I celebrated 2/5 and here are the pics to prove it.

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Valentine’s Day was a double date adventure this year. My coworker and I both bought groupons for Victorian high tea at Pittsburgh’s grand hotel, the Omni William Penn and treated our husbands to a fancy schmancy afternoon snack! This was our first course–teeny tiny sandwiches with a dab of pomegranate dressing in the shape of a heart. Artichoke, cheese spinach wrap, ham and mustard, salmon mousse 1/4 of a slice of cucumber. A mouse would’ve dined like a king but the 4 of us were looking forward to the 2nd course.   IMG_2310

Ah, here we are. Top tray had chocolate mousse cups, petite fruit tarts with creme (my fave out of all of them), basil and mint macarons. Second tray consisted of 4 tiny fruit kabobs that definitely left me wanting at least 4 more kabobs. Third layer had plain and blueberry scones. I was quite impressed with these because scones I’ve had practically anywhere are always too dry for me. These were crunchy, buttery and the light dusting of powdered sugar was perfect. IMG_2317

Close-up of my favorite items! The spot of creme fraiche was delightful on my scone! Not really sure how one is supposed to eat creme fraiche, but that’s how I did it! IMG_2348I took my in laws to Golden Palace to celebrate Chinese New Year. One of the big hits that night was the Beijing duck served restaurant style. The duck was roasted and crispy, the fresh cucumbers were perfectly sliced, the pancakes were heated and the sauce was thick and sweet. Mmm…I’m a big duck fan so this takes the cake. They did not serve lamb or else that would have been the appropriate way to celebrate the year of the ram ;).

 


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It’s Tea Time in Germany

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After months of coaxing, my friend from Cincinnati gave me a visit all the freezing way up here. She bought a present for me last year while vacationing in Germany and I finally received it!

I’m into tea–being Asian and all. I guess it’s in my blood, or rather tea flows through my veins? Anyways, I’m one of those gurus who drink loose leaf, brand name teas straight from my tea-producing hometown in China. I scoff at those who need to add sugar or honey or something to their nondescript bags of black tea. I figure if I ever go to England, I would LOVE to go to high tea and add cream and sugar but usually for me, tea is a beverage like water and I would never add sugar or honey to water.

This precious little set is a complete tea service for one! The top part is the teapot, the bottom half is the teacup and they rest on the matching saucer dish with a nub part to hold everything in place. Ah, what a wonderfully appropriate gift for me. I can take this item off my wedding registry now! Just waiting for a cast iron teapot and Primula flowering tea blossoms ;).