Tiny Horse

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


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Spring Review 

Oh, my dear dear Pangur Ban. She turned 2 in June! Her exact birthday is a mystery as she was a feral little thing when I got her and even then her age was a guestimation. My neighbor took good care of her when I was off in London so she is in full fluff mode! Just look at this supermodel cat pose. What grace, what poise, Mimiboo!

She can be a little terror in the mornings though. Just today, she would not let me go down the stairs without nipping, biting , scratching at my ankles and feet. She continued to mew loudly the whole time and rub herself up against me. In addition, she has this bad habit of standing on her hind legs and pawing at me when I get out of the shower and I have to let her sit in my lap while I awkwardly balance her while dripping wet and half naked…oh, the things I do for my furbaby…

This isn’t exactly the mani I envisioned for my baby shower this weekend but it’s close enough. I applied 3 coats of Essie’s muchi muchi and alternated VS’s gold glitter topcoat. I searched all over for my French manicure placeholder stickers but could not find them for the life of me. I was going to paint half the nail gold but alas…

I’m reading Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo right now and can’t think up a good rating for it. It takes place in Malaysia and explores the superstitious ghost stories of the ethnic Chinese who live there and it’s just too cray for me. The main character is clueless and not entirely likable. The style is simple and the story feels too long. Perhaps the ending will surprise me?

Second wedding of 2017! I’m almost 7 months preggers in this picture and definitely took it easy for this wedding. The Morais Vineyard in Bealeton, VA was quite picturesque! I haven’t seen this friend for 10+ yrs so it was a good chance to attend this milestone in her life. The weather was overcast and romantic, I thought ;). Since my friend is Chinese and she’s marrying a Korean dude, I thought the food would’ve been some kind of Asian but NOPE. It was vanilla snowstorm Mitt Romney white. Bland, catered chicken breast, mashed potatoes…boiled veggies that went soggy in your mouth :(. It’s okay, the cake was da bomb! It was like layered coconut, chocolate cake with some strawberry jam in there. Yum!


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End of Year 2016 Wrap Up

2016 was a big year. So much happened in the world and also in my own life. From my own experiences, I can say I had a pretty good year and there is much to be thankful for and proud of.

This is the most recent picture on my phone! Last weekend, I made a fun trip to my local St. Vincent’s thrift shop and it became candle-themed very quickly. I bought close to 40 votive and tealight candles, 3 candle holders, 2 napkin holders and an old pot for my candle-making tool! I made the mistake of previously using my super nice, Teflon-coated, non-stick pot before; I have learned my lesson, you guys.

The wick is twain coated with a thin layer of wax and tied to a metal nut. I melted down the remains of a Prize Candle, Yankee votive, BBWorks votive, 3 tealights and another previously melted down candle. It yielded 5.3oz. Not bad, y’all! I wish I could say it smelled good but it smells bizarre. The Prize Candle was a clean, fresh spring flowers scent but the other waxes was a mix of winter spice or vanilla (which I absolutely DESPISE the smell) so it’s a rather weird concoction! Pouring and grasping the hot hot candle holders is the most difficult part. I got smarter this time and used one of those strong office binder clips but my technique could use some work. Good thing I burn a bajillion candles every year so I can get lots of practice :).

I am packing for Christmas and this time, it’s totally appropriate that Pangur Ban is preparing too–I am bringing her to my parents’ house! I will have a whole lovely week at home and my babycat gets to enjoy it with me! I hope she becomes best friends with Muffy while she’s there. There’s a whole cycle of hating each other, turning into tolerating each other and then when they are about to separate, become friends with each other. #travelcat

How adorable is she?! Look in awe at her lovely, shiny, long gray hair! Look at that luscious, full tail!

My wrapping job might not be the best, but my coordination skills definitely are! Even the random winter bag I chose has a matching snowman! What are the odds?! So excited to give these out to my friends and family.

My current mani is 2 coats of Formula X in a deep watermelon and an alternating topcoat of VS gold glitter. I’m modeling the most recent book I finished called Little Bee by Chris Cleave. It’s a quick and interesting read but lacking facts and real conviction because it’s completely fiction. I wish the author would have wrote about a real Nigerian refugee’s experience in England instead of making it up. I thrive to educate myself when I read for pleasure and the author’s level of research was so half-assed that it’s a bit disconcerting.


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Books + Manis

I hosted Thanksgiving this past week and it was a big accomplishment. Nine people under 1 roof: in-laws, family members, husband and even sister in law’s hubby were present. We deep fried a turkey (45 min tops) and put together meals for multiple days. The true star of the holiday season was Pangur Ban, as everyone wanted her cuddles and love :). Here she is with her momma during a rare quiet moment.

Throw back Friday to this cutie in the springtime! It only looks like she’s pushing me away but she’s a momma’s girl!

This was my birthday and Thanksgiving mani. I alternated a demure purplish gray and a light sorbet color with a Jamberry piece on the accent nail. You must preheat the Jamberry strips to make it adhere better but I never bother with my few sample pieces. As you can see, it doesn’t completely lay flat and got caught in my hair every time I touched it. Grrrr…

Shown here is The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison, featured as one of Goodreads’ horror section’s books of the year. It’s an easy, fast-paced interesting read without much depth or conviction. It’s a solid 3-star book though and not badly written but there are gaping plot holes and forced suspense. It’s a fine beach read or casual read but it makes me highly suspicious of any other Goodreads nominations for books of the year…

My current mani is a creamy Ulta pinkish orchid with a deep sparkly Estee Lauder plum. The plum shade photographs badly but it has micro glitter and really is beautiful in person.

I just finished reading The Adventures of John Carson in Seven Quarters of the World by Brian Doyle. I gave it a 3.5 star review only because it really was written in a similar style as the real Robert Louis Stevenson but in truth was a dull, trifling read. It sounded so adventurous but the structure was more of a stories within a story format. So basically, nothing really happened to any of the characters in real time and no one was particularly memorable.

Mmmmm…cheesecake bites from the WINergy womens’ conference I attended on Wednesday. I’m a sucker for prettily arranged dessert shots!


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Punta Cana! 

I’m loving my oh-so-feminine mani right now. I used Sinful Colors shimmery burnt pink alternating with Essie’s pastel To Buy or Not to Buy (palest lilac). I have on The One Ring and modeling it atop of an amazing book called Honolulu by Alan Brennert. I picked this up cold because I enjoyed Moloka’i soooo much. That book taught me so much about Leprosy/Hansen’s disease and that particular part of Hawaiian history. This author should have taught in school because he effortlessly engages you in a topic you wouldn’t otherwise be interested in.

Hubby and I just came back from a 6-day, 5-night all inclusive resort vacation from the Dominican Republic. It was basically just unlimited food, drinks, shows and pool/beach time. The biggest decision we had to make everyday was where to pick our dinner reservation.

It did rain for 2.5 days while we were there but duh–it was their hurricane season so we chose this year knowing the risks. We ate at 4/7 of their specialty restaurants and sampled every bar. There were nightly shows that definitely impressed us with its scope and talented cast! We did archery, mini golf, ping pong and pool and even made some friends. Our one regret is that since the waters were so choppy, no water activities were available. I wanted to snorkel or kayak or go on the catamaran but nope! Instead I lost my only pair of aviators to this evil bigass wave.

I couldn’t help but compare this trip experience to my only other Caribbean resort experience which was in Jamaica and found it lacking. We stayed at the Caribe Club Princess Resort and I would probably rate it a 2.5 stars out of 5. October is the off-season but it was still swarming with people :(. At Jamaica, there were only a few other U.S. honeymooners and some locals but at this Punta Cana resort, there were so many babies, families and entire European and Latin American tour groups. The resort was so big in area that we had to wait 15 min at a time just to board the “train” to get to the lobby/theatre area. The buffet food selection was very meh and most of the dishes were bland and overcooked. A nasty surprise was that about 85% of the clientele smoked. I was trying to waft away second hand smoke the WHOLE vacation. People tossed their cigarette butts on the beach, in the beach, at the buffet and even in the pool! There was no escape. Our Jamaican resort was no-smoking. Also, I wasn’t prepared for 95% of the staff and other resort goers to only speak Spanish. Even the couple of Spanish words I used weren’t understood by anyone. Sad news bears. Would I come back to this resort? Hellz no. Would I come back to DR? Probably not. My next beach resort vacation will be an upscale one at Turks & Caicos or Saint Kitts & Nevis ‘cuz you pretty much get what you pay for, mis amigos. Going lower in price this time matched the kind of quality you get and the type of masses of people you go with…


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Vacay Mani

Modeling my new mani in preparation for my week-long tropical vacation! The shade might be Turquoise & Caicos from Essie but I’ll be heading to The Dominican Republic! Had to use 4 coats to get this perfect opacity. The accent nail has a mermaid blush topcoat from H&M. Hopefully it survives hurricane Nicole…

The book I’m reading right now is Lancelot, by Walker Percy. I’m close to finishing it and it’s a 3/5 so far. My to-read list has been weak sauce for the last 3 books so I’m hoping to get out of this rut. The last great book I read was Of Mice and Men but that was way too short to linger. I’m yearning for a masterfully-written saga.

Family portrait time! Pangur Ban is giving her momma a sweet kiss as we all cozily watch the Ohio State game from our sectional. Fall weather is perfect for cozy snuggles!

Mmmmm…wanted to share this amazing salad I made last weekend. This freshened my day:

-halved yellow tomatoes

-sliced organic bell pepper

-Italian salad mix

-cilantro

-crushed garlic

-Dressing: olive oil, sesame seed oil, garlic sea salt, Xi’an chili oil, lemon juice, sesame seeds on top


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2 Weddings and a Funeral 

What a whirlwind of a month for me! This upcoming weekend will be the only one since a month ago that I will be able to sleep in a bit on my own king sized bed. September = the death of me!

This pic is from my most recent wedding in St. Mary’s, OH of my Ohio State friend! The banquet hall felt like a high school cafeteria and the sash definitely doesn’t help the image, haha. The hubs and I look like homecoming couple 2016, lol! We had loads of fun and I relished every Ohio/Buckeye-tinged moment. 

Jess’s wedding ensured that I got to see my good pal Brittany this year. Check out those danger-zone aviators! Right after getting home from the wedding, I was actually inspired to watch Top Gun. How appropriate is that?

This is my fave pic of daddy + daughter. Pangur Ban looks resigned, haha! 

What a gorgeous lace wedding dress Jess is rocking! It was tied up with custom hot pink satin straps in the back and trimmed with hot pink lace at the bottom! I also dug the modern birdcage veil she chose in lieu of a cathedral length one.

All 8 Ohio State grads lining up for an epic double O-H-I-O shot! I felt honored to be the only invitee from the class of ’10. Everyone else was reppin’ class of 2009! 

Can’t believe the cake and the cupcakes were made by Jess’s mom and sister! I sampled blackberry/lemon, pumpkin cheesecake and peanut butter chocolate!

Instead of a photobooth rental, Jess opted for a selfie station complete with selfie sticks! What a cute idea! 

This has got to be the prettiest china pattern I’ve ever seen. Every piece was different. I never drink tea at a wedding but this arrangement propelled me!

John’s grandma’s burial site. We traveled to Long Island to attend her wake, funeral service and burial service. It was good seeing his family members and to pay respects at this time. Grandma Mary will be remembered :).

Upstate rural NY wedding of John’s friend Adam, who coincidentally enough served as the officiant at our wedding! We’re all connected, yay! They had it on the farm property of called Maple Ridge and had some of the fanciest food served at a wedding I’ve attended. Entrees included: coq au vin, roast beef with au jus, roasted farmhouse veggies, garlic cream risotto! The cocktail hour had baked honey brie, bacon wrapped dates, grilled jumbo shrimp and stuffed mushrooms! It was scenic and intimate and the only thing I would add is a proper public bathroom! All guests were encouraged to pee in the woods, however there was a bathroom in someone’s cabin for emergencies…

Before the wedding, we explored Saratoga Spa State Park and got to taste all the fresh mineral water springs! I had such a blast!

Random roadside restaurant near Scranton, PA on the way to the wedding that we stopped at. It was a Japanese steak house and pretty fancy! Check out the scrumptious teriyake beef and pork yaki bowl! So much mmmm…

Revlon nude rose polish with a topcoat of micro glitter polish from H&M. The accent nail is Beauty Trust Fund in Elegantly Wasted from my Ipsy bag. I’m modeling atop the book I was reading at the time: The Nightingale. It’s a WWII story centering on the sacrifices and relationship of 2 sisters in France. I liked that it was based off the real life of a Belgian teenage woman who risked her life to help get downed Allied pilots to safety across the Pyrenees.


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Beach Trip Mani

Trying out my new Covergirl Outlast polish in Inferno! I got the free full size bottle plus 2 other beauty items and a makeup bag all free as part of their #covergirlclean campaign. See my pic from Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/BJ0R3tkgLry/?taken-by=kding55

I put 2 layers of a solid gold from Sephora as an accent color and viola, I give you fashion Gryffindor colors!

Taken at my weekend Presque Isle State Park trip back in August. This is the lighthouse there. See those jelly flip flops? Yeah, I hiked over 3 miles in those and got raging blisters and broken skin. My regular Old Navy flip flops would never do that to me :(.

 

Wanted to document this dish that tasted magnifico. Here’s the scoop:

Kathy’s Pasta Puttanesca (literally translated to whore’s pasta but only because this was a hearty and quick dish to make between customers back in the day…)

-spaghetti or thin spaghetti

-cherry tomatoes sliced in halves

-crushed garlic and fresh sprinkle of chives and basil

-tinned anchovy filets in olive oil

-sweet onion

-sea salt, black pepper, paprika, crushed red pepper flakes

-more olive oil

-splash of lime juice

It was super delicious, y’all. My version doesn’t have capers or pickled olives but I’m okay with that. My Italian hubby majorly approved.

Mimiboo is once again blocking me from writing, organizing or reading anything on my desk.

Three pics in a row showing off my new retro one-piece swimsuit! I’m so over bikinis these days ;).

The book I was reading on the trip was Rubbernecker and it was super entertaining. I would describe it as a mix of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime + I Am Not a Serial Killer.  The overly British spellings (pyjamas, tyres) and weird nouns (marmite?!) stymied my progress at times but I got through it pretty quickly. The plot and twists are pretty clever even if the main character isn’t relatable.