Tiny Horse

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


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February Miscellany

A simple mani! Essie’s Ladylike with Sally Hansen’s white topped with gold glitter from VS. Not pictured here but I’m currently reading Commonwealth by Ann Patchett and it is entertaining! We’re not talking deep literature here but the story and characters are so fascinating. After State of Wonder, I really am quite a fan of this author.

I bought 20 of these bad boys off Mercari last week so that Daphne will never want for a fun bubble bath experience! Bubbles were good but the scent was too light. Can’t wait to try out such flavors like Margarita, Bahama Mama, Lemon Drop, PIna Colada, etc.

These dessert bath bombs came from Amazon and they are so fun to use! Look at this doughnut with “sprinkles!” It turned the water a nice baby blue. Scent was just a generic powdery lavender/soapy kind of scent; not actually like the treat itself.

Had high hopes for this one but it came broken out of the packaging :(. It also had the same toy inside as another one we used from the same box. C’mon! Throw in something different over here!

Went to one of my favorite bakeries in Pittsburgh–The Pink Box in Squirrel Hill. Got 2 Japanese cheesecakes (in which they put way too much whipped cream and not enough of the actual cheesecake…) and a slice of triple layer strawberry. Both were yum.

This ginormous smoothie from Tropical Smoothie Cafe was literally half the size of my child. Cray.

Man, what a crazy two months it has been so far this year! I watched about 30 minutes of the State of the Union last night and just eye rolled the whole entire time. God, what a delusional monster we have in charge of our nation and an entire group of people who prop him up. On the fashion side, check out all those chic white suits the Democratic women were wearing!

 


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Subscription Addictions!

Latest manicure is a blue ombre. The second and third fingernails are completely different nail polishes, I swear to you! One is supposed to be a slate blue lavender and one is supposed to be a perfect baby blue. Apparently, I don’t actually have that many blue shades. I can achieve a much better ombre look with purples, greens or pinks!

During our Fall Northeastern trip in 2019, we went to this candy store called Chutters in NH and I got this fancy pink hot chocolate! I made it last night legit on the stove with fresh cream, a tiny bit of water, 2% milk and a sprinkling of lemon peel. The result was pretty-looking deliciousness!

This cool bath bomb had a tiny hammerhead shark has a surprise toy inside and turned the water to such a beautiful lavender shade! Can’t wait to try the others!

Love with Food is a fun food subscription box that comes once a month with interesting snacks! I don’t think there’s a specific theme but I have never heard of these brands or some varieties. I got this first box for only $4.99 and enjoyed most of these snacks except the bag of pretzels. Just for the novelty and the convenience of getting of try new healthy snacks, I’d say this is worth it to get another few months or so!

I actually found a subscription box for tea lovers! I love the idea and I do love that there’s an extensive questionnaire to make sure they get your preference right. I tested out whether this company could get my tea tastes right and…unfortunately, this will be my only box from them.

Pros: LOVE the reusable tea bag and the couple of disposable tea bags that came in my package. Love that they chose a flowering tea for me, love that they chose a great flavor from Harney and Sons for me

Cons: they chose lavender as a flavor for the flowering tea and it’s one of my least favorite flavors in foods and household scents. It’s so medicinal to me, ugh. I love that Paris flavor but I already own the full size container so this wasn’t a new discovery! The Organic India tea flavor was chamomile and I just don’t like it–too medicinal. The Einstein tea was not bad but kind of basic, like, just mint, which I have and tried lots of times.

I still would highly recommend this service though if you are less picky than I am!

This is a household subscription box called Who Gives a Crap for paper products that do not use trees! Everything you see in this picture shows what you get in your first box which is only $4!!! So worth it and so useful! My hubs is seriously the worst at reducing use of disposable products…so he goes through a roll of toilet paper and full box of tissues EVERY SINGLE DAY. Paper towels is almost like every other day. Anyways, I thought I’d look into a subscription for something like this and this service has options for all those types of products and for different schedules too. The cute thing is that they even encourage you to reuse the super adorable prints as wrapping paper, tissue paper, packing or book covers.

This is my order from Revitalash and it was $145. Their products are pretty high quality but I probably won’t go through their website next time. They don’t offer free gifts, samples or discounts :(. The eyeliner wasn’t exactly that creamy and the tweezers are about the same as Tweezerman’s but not even as cute. The eyelash curler is baller though! And the micellar wash works great! You spray it onto a cotton pad which works better than dumping the product from a small hole like all other toners and micellar waters.

Was inspired by my mom’s killer tofu dish so I had to make my own ground beef, Chinese greens, mushroom, cilantro, garlic tofu with a bit of chili oil.

Yaaaasss for Skyline chili! I legit crave this stuff and only my bestie in CBus will bring me some cans without fail every time I see her!

Cute little arrangement found while shopping at the Strip District on a Sunday.

This is Daphne’s THIRD time to Kalahari waterpark in Sandusky, OH and she’s only 2 yrs old. LOL. Livin’ it up on our last trip here ever!

During Christmas break, I tried out Solon’s escape room with the theme Budapest Express! We escaped with 7 minutes left so I wish the puzzles were a little harder or had some more layers. The facilities and ambiance of the place were top notch, however.


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Busy 2020

I might have used these on New Year’s Day, but shortly afterwards, I bought and used my first holiday cracker! Found these fun snowman ones at Marshall’s and they still cost too much after clearance :(. These ones are from a brand that Popsugar introduced me to–Meri Meri. Daphne loved these but were a bit young for the toys that came out. Oh, well, more fun for mom!

My friend Michelle always make this dish for her annual holiday party that has become famous by now, and this is my own version of it. I also fried up radishes, herbs, pancetta and added it to olive oil drizzled grape tomatoes to make it a meal.

Ingredients:

Butter-toasted potato bread seared on a non-stick pan and NOT a toaster

Sliced brie

Dollops of fig jam

Raspberries

Bath time has become routine and necessary fancy affairs for my toddler. I kid you not, she gets a special bath item(s) at EVERY bath. Not including the cost of hot water, her baths averages to $4 – $8 PER bath! I mean, I enjoy them too but she’s totally going to grow up saying “Oh, you didn’t get a bath bomb or bath oils or bubble bath at every bath? Strange.” Guilty as charged for 150% indulging her but there are definitely worse things to indulge a kid in ;).

This bath bomb from 2 Sisters spa via Amazon was especially cool. You put it early on in the bath next to the running tap so that it activates all the bubbles. It turned this gorgeous cornflower blue from the pink and blue colors at the end that reminded me of my wedding color. Smelled great, looked great, felt great.

This pre-Christmas mani was done with a mini OPI nail kit from my MIL and some fun nail decals. I’m modeling on top of the book that I finished out 2019 with called The Unconsoled by Kazuro Ishiguro. Oy vey was this a crazily frustrating book! The point was to make you frustrated, anxious and stressed out as much as the protagonist but yeesh…it did too good of a job. The writing was great and I am convinced that the nondescript central European city that the story took place in was Budapest. Many clues pointed to it–repeated mentions of Old Towne, food that was vaguely Hungarian and some side characters with Hungarian accents.

My newest mani also consists of these butterfly nail decals and coral and gray Essence polish. I’m modeling the new ring I got from Simple Statement Jewelry. I only did the one box to try out new styles of jewelry and my favorite item turned out to be this ring (that I miraculously fit!).

Had to feature my Mimiboo as she had a crazy end to 2019. We went on a big 12-day trip all across PA, Finger Lakes, Hershey, White Mountains, NH and had to put her in a kitty hotel for the whole time. Then we took her to my parent’s house for 6 days during the Christmas break and now we’re going to leave her for another 3 days to head to Sandusky. Poor thing is a trooper!

This was taken on the warmest day ever in December with my dad’s new iPhone 10 at Legacy Village.

Look at our unconventional Christmas tree! My mom is so creative at decorating, lol! And look at that healthy pile of presents!

Our mall had some craft booths and this one caught our eye. Hubby ended up buying me a pair for Christmas. These are origami crane earrings dipped in resin!

2019 wasn’t my favorite year but many good things did happen! 2020 is off to a whirlwind start and my immediate wish is that we don’t go to war! To peace!


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The Ritual of Ayurveda

My Fall mani–featuring a classic vampy red from VS, Essie chrome and blue glitter topper.

Tryazon and Rituals sent me the Rituals of Ayurveda medium gift set to review! Look at this ultra-fem, ultra giftable box and arrangement! I’ve tried Sakura and Dao before but was slightly afraid of Ayruveda because it might be too spicy or strong. I was pleasantly surprised by the Indian rose and sweet oil scent because it was not too cloying or overwhelming. I found it very feminine and lush. Thankfully, there wasn’t any incense-like smell and it was not headache inducing at all. The scent lingers and feels very mature. I would definitely recommend it for an older female demographic like your mom, older sister, MIL, aunt, etc.

First time trying a Rituals hand liquid hand soap. It does not disappoint! This gave a rich lather and the boxy shape makes it seem really high end. My hands didn’t feel tight or dry afterwards.

The body scrub with pink Himalayan salt is wonderful. The scrub wasn’t too abrasive and the oils in it help with the application.

The foaming shower wash is an innovative way to lose the loofah! I’ve had issues in the past with the deluxe sized version because the nozzle dispensed too much at once but the full sized version seemed to be okay. The foam gave a rich lather and it felt like washing with clouds.

Lastly, the body cream was bomb! In every one of these gift sets, this one is my favorite because of how perfect the texture is. This cream is rich, thick, fast absorbing but not greasy! It is a joy to put on!

I bought a set of 12 bath bombs from Amazon that came beautifully packaged. Daphne picked out the first one we used–the coconut lavender! Fizzing action was medium and the color payoff was A+! Scent was almost non-existent but that’s not the worst thing when you’re bathing a 2-yr old.


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Sunny Days, Sunny Times!

I had luck with the whole chunky glitter at the bottom with an opaque color look so I thought I’d try this out again. I used a K-Beauty nail polish Pokemon edition (Oddish) and a H&M mermaid blush glitter top coat on the bottom half of my nails.

I’m modeling on top of the current book that is taking me quite some time to read but is well worth it–Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides. I first heard of this book from the Seth Rogen/Barbara Streisand comedy Road Trip, and have since seen or heard allusions of it here and there. If you also thought this book would be about a charming (perhaps haunted) English village called Middlesex…you would be dead wrong! It’s about the life and times of a Greek hermaphrodite and her/his generational saga. Glad I picked it up at the library book sale; it really is interesting and educational.

I tested Christian Siriano’s new fragrance In Bloom recently and it is marvelous! I would best describe it as a tidy, sweet floral scent. It’s definitely feminine and while ephemeral, is still pleasant to reapply often. It sits well close to the skin because it’s not sharp or overwhelming. It’s no unique Jo Malone signature, but it’s a comfortable and young summer/spring fragrance!

I also just tried Aveeno’s new oat mask with pumpkin seed extract and enjoyed using it. I applied with a brush and it was thick, creamy and layered very well. It smelled like leftover cereal and had Pangur Ban sniffing me like no other. Not revolutionary but a nice, relaxing mask at night!

I call this picture “Ladies in Yellow.” Totally accidental that my sister, my mom and I are all wearing sunny shades while touring the lovely Frick grounds.

I hosted a bomb dinner party last week and cooked:

-seared Kielbasa with sweet organic green beans from my mom’s garden! Topped with some sesame seeds and Asian seasoning.

-sauteed edamame with sliced garlic, sea salt and olive oil. This was my personal favorite.

-mango curry with onion, sweet corn and chives over tri-colored rotini

-Not Pictured: blood orange Forte iced tea sweetened with Teavana’s rock sugar

Our microwave broke, leading to many meals of fancy salami bites, mozzarella balls, tomato, chives all heavily drizzled in olive oil and spices!

I attended the a wedding in the heart of downtown Chicago and checked off another “first.” First time attending a wedding in an art museum! The ceremony was held in the sleek and well-air conditioned modern art wing of the Art Institute. The reception was upstairs with a gorgeous view of the city and very clean hardwood floors.

The night of the wedding, we stayed at the Blackstone hotel, quite a swanky upper-crust Marriott line. Service was very meh, but at least I got to see the floor where they host weddings.

We also attended the after wedding dim sum brunch in Chinatown! I got to show off one of these outfits I never thought I’d pull off before that day!

My sis and I toured Pittsburgh’s Trundle Manor, by appointment only. What a hodgepodge of grotesqueness and oddities! I was hoping the place was an actual manor, but alas, it’s just a cramped old house with taxidermy, lol.

Blackstone corner room with a view!

Lovely cake that had a passionfruit creme layer. Yum.

Crossing off a bucket list item: seeing Hamilton!!! Every bit as wonderful as it is/was hyped. We splurged to get relatively okay seats. Over $200 though…how do people see more than one show a year? Yikes!

You might not be able to tell in this picture but it was the hottest day in the hottest city of the year. It was TORTURE walking outside. We had to duck into air conditioned stores on the way to the theater multiple times.

Hubby’s meager soft shell crab salad from Sunda.

My way superior Cantonese style noodles with seared pork belly, shrimp, chinese sausage, Chinese vegetables.

What a bourgie hotpot looks like in a trendy Chicago restaurant ;). Delicious, but it was for two people.

Enjoy this picture of Daphne with her ride at the Car and Carriage museum.


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Farm & Festival Fun!

I think my newest mani turned out pretty well. I had to slather on 3 coats of Essie’s muchi muchi shade to get that opaqueness. Then I dabbed some gold glitter nail polish from OPI on the nail beds. No top coat so hopefully this doesn’t chip too soon. 5 days and counting, so I think we’re good so far!

Look at my water lily from my very own pond! Photo credit to my hubby for snapping this while cleaning out the pumps of our pond. It takes a lot of maintenance and there’s always something to trudge out of there but the purple lilies, the water lilies and the giant frog that lives here make it worth it.

My sis who has great taste in desserts brought me a bag full of delish pastries from Belle’s Bread (from Columbus)! Every one of her selections were amazing. You just can’t find this quality and taste of pastries and desserts from non-Asian and European bakeries! None of these beauties had any nasty icing or sugary glaze or too-dense dough. It was the smoothest, yummiest of creams and fruit purred mixes! Mmm! This bear was a fluffy brioche type bun with a raspberry cream inside!

My cat’s selfie! Isn’t she precious?

Sis and me posing downtown Pittsburgh on the sunniest and hottest day in June so far.

I have lived in my current neighborhood for 4+ years and this is the first time we heard of this park that’s less than 2 miles from where we live! I guess they have an annual summer fair with fried food, local company booths, carnival rides and fireworks! What fun times!

We also went to Triple B Farms that same day to pick some black raspberries! Daphne loved the tractor slides, petting zoo, bee station and berry picking.

The weekend before, my sis in law visited with her baby and hubby and we also went downtown to the Strip to eat and be merry. Pittsburgh has so many things to do and see and eat! I love touring it myself as a resident! This is inside one of my favorites shops, Roxanne’s Dried Flowers.

I’m going to end on this note of Daphne looking her most pensive while walking in Point State Park.


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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!