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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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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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!


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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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Less Stress

I was reading The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd and you guessed it–it’s a fluff piece. I kept wanting to not finish and just go with another book and yet, it wasn’t badly written and the twist was actually heartbreakingly readable. The main character was irritatingly privileged and selfish but the author still made it interesting enough for me to finish.

For the mani shown, I used a gunpowder Essie shade and a true purple purple polish I got from one of my Ipsy bags. This particular Essie polish is the best quality I’ve experienced. It’s thick, coats evenly and very opaque. I love that it gives off more of an industrial vibe rather than a lighter, sparkly look.

We recently visited my friend’s place in downtown Pittsburgh and they served us a traditional Turkish tea! I love trying new things and really admired all their serve ware! The tea was especially strong and yummy. I was not previously a fan of the Turkish delight candies but these coconut crusted ones were great!

While the water might not have been colored, it was rather fragrant and Daphne now relishes baths in our giant whirlpool tub.

Aldis had this amazing blueberry cream cheese breakfast pastry and it tasted as delicious as it looks! The crust was beautifully flaky and crispy. Oh lawd, this is my type of dessert. Flaky, buttery pastries all the way.

Yup, finally bought the John Oliver version of the Marlon Bundo children’s book via Amazon! It’s a great story with a great cause. Per Amazon, 100% of proceeds benefits the Trevor Project and AIDS United. My favorite part is about the stinkbug president drawn exactly like Mike Pence. What a lovely political and moral message. For now, this is more for me than for Daphne but soon!

Thanks for standing up, Last Week Tonight!

Couldn’t resist buying her designer socks from Marshalls. Only wish all 6 pairs were different but oh, well.


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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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Voting!

The only window of opportunity I had to vote was after work and after picking up Daphne from daycare so she accompanied me :). My voting area did not hand out stickers but I did get a receipt! I was looking forward to Nov. 6th more than my own birthday next Tuesday, hahaha. I stayed up late last night to watch the live election results and while it was better than the 2016 disastrous results, some key races were still disappointing. But having a record midterm voter turnout is a still a win!

I haven’t had a manicure for a while so this autumn look is a big deal. The dark green shade is Formula X called Huntress (fitting). The light gray is from Essence with a confetti-like topcoat from Sally Hansen.

I’m modeling my mani on top of this weird, weird book called The Waiter by Matias Faldbakken. This was translated from Norwegian and I’m sure some things were probably lost in translation…I wouldn’t recommend it because I don’t even know what I read. There’s no plot and no payoff for character investment.

Yep, it’s about time for another Mimiboo picture! She’s been hanging out on Daphne’s changing table again, lol. Look at how fluffy she is!

I haven’t shared any pictures yet from my Central Euro trip back in September so here are just a couple from my last full day in Budapest. Hubby and I spent nearly all day at the Gellert Baths, which had and indoor swimming pool, outdoor wave pool (pictured) and a few thermal baths inside with varying temperatures. Ahhhhh, so needed after trekking all over Prague and Vienna!

This particular bath was 38 degrees Celsius. Check out those mineral deposits on that fountain! It ain’t no blue lagoon but I always appreciate a natural geothermal spring!

This was right in the lobby of the Gellert hotel. The spa was underground. Overall, I think I preferred the Szcheny baths because of the huge selection of different indoor baths as well as the giant outdoor ones with jets!